• Graded • [The Forging] Ice

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Praetorum
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Re: [The Forging] Ice


It had only been a scant few bits since they’d landed, and already half their party was in danger. Ice was melting away under their feet and eyes, turning into water, which the others were treating as much more dangerous. In spite of his mutation induced warmth, Prae couldn’t help the shiver of fear at just how easy it would be to freeze to death here. Ithecal did not do well in the cold, as a rule, but he didn’t have a choice here. It was, for all intensive purposes, adapt, or die, and Praetorum was not going to die here of something as pointless as exposure.

It was a stroke of good fortune for him, then, that the other members of his party were far more adept at surviving this sort of icy terrain than Prae himself was. “I’m coming,” Prae said when he was called to aid in Elisabeth’s undressing. It was simple enough for Prae to lift the much smaller human and walk around, avoiding the puddles of water forming where they’d stepped.

In short order, Elisabeth was dressed in clothing not drenched in snowmelt, and Prae set her down carefully before pulling his domain bag from his waist, walking around the mirror radiating life-saving warmth. It contained a general survival kit which Prae kept stocked, and one particular item might prove to be useful here.

“I have rope, if we want to tie ourselves together. I think we should give ourselves plenty of slack, so we don’t have to step in each others’ melting footsteps.” If the others agreed, Prae would give the rope to Elisabeth or whoever chose to take it. “If only we’d thought to bring more,” he muttered under his breath. It was pointless fretting over the past, though, and Prae’s mind quickly turned to the the things that he could still do now.

Instead of walking through the gate, Praetorum wandered over to where Arlo was investigating. “I’d like to take a look at that map too, if you don’t mind,” Prae said. It was unclear to Prae how his own navigational ability worked, but he hoped that the more information he had, the better off they would be in the long run.

Inventory
Descriptions of all in CS

Currently Equipped
Silk Scabbard on wrist
Ring of Reversal on claw
Gate-Ring on claw
Sorelian Steel shield on back
Quarterstaff on back

Domain Bag on hip
 [USED]
Plate-like Leather worn
Winter Clothing provided by the Elements

In Domain Bag

Mental Map
Calling Coin
Survival Kit (T7)
 [BROUGHT OUT AND USED]
You Same Bolt?
word count: 444
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

Image
Inside The Cave
Apparitions be damned, Darius said, and he pushed on.

It was true, had they stood still then things would quickly get much worse. If this had been a normal cave, on a usual trial, in a regular place, then that ice would not have melted.Ironically, it was the very nature of Scalvoris which meant that it was none of those things.

And, it was the nature of people to behave in the way they thought best. Acting in his role as the Fire Forged with the Diri communication enabled, it was Darius who informed the group that their Induk must be freed first, and then he stepped into the cave. Immediately, the mist enveloped him. Ahead, all he could see was swirling darkness, but he noticed that inside the mist were tiny firefly-like creatures. Iridescent little things, their wings were both multi-coloured and providing a little light. Of course, it didn't help much, because of the mist, but it allowed him to have a sense of things.

Unceremoniously, Darius dropped the mirror and, since Elisabeth was not with him, he started to undress, all the time while he was moving.Even walking in a circle like that was dangerous, for where his foot touched, ice melted. As he stepped away, though, the subzero temperatures re-froze it almost immediately. Immediately enough that, by the time he walked around again, it was very slippery.

Inconvenience was not really a strong enough word, but he had the mirror and that did make a difference. Undoubtedly, in fact, without it, he would have found things much more difficult. Unbidden, Doran's words to Darius' diri “The first aid kit that you have with you contains White Heat, a tasteless flower that can be eaten. It is not a permanent solution, but it will provide temporary warmth. The people that have fallen should take it immediately. They will also need to get dry, if they can. If they don't have any dry clothes with them, stuffing something under their wet clothes and creating an additional layer between them and their skin might help. If they start to shiver, eating something to replenish their energy stores might help as well”, came through to him.

Information which may very much help them. Unfortunately, that very moment, Darius heard something else.

Echoing in the cave, there came a low growl. Unnatural sound echoed and bounced and, before Darius had the chance to do more than recognise what he was hearing, much less pass on the information, something happened .....

Objectives Met!
All Must Do Objectives!~ You completed all must-do obectives, which will have positive consequence at the end of the thread.
Every Can Do Objective!~ Also, you completed all can-do obectives, which will have positive consequence at the end of the thread.
Oh, Secret Objective, too!~ In this entire thing, you didn't repeat any sentence-starting words. A positive consequence awaits at the end of the thread.
Outside The Cave

After administering the advice of how quickly they should act, Arlo got himself writing. It was tricky, avoiding the ice for any length of time - for any of them. Ice and snow melted immediately upon their foot fall, and this meant that they left behind mush and slush in an instant. And it was in an instant that, once their foot had completelyExpert Detection or higher (and a moment where you examine / experiment) in order to notice this completely left the ground that the ice began to re-freeze. Even just a toe still on the ground, and it continued to melt - the whole footprint.

Elisabeth considered things, and she knew that she and Darius were both out of time, in terms of what they had to do now. Act. Imperative number one was to get dry clothes on, and she considered the options. In that moment, Elisabeth was faced with a choice. Arlo had stayed outside, Darius gone inside. Inside? Out here? Either or both had consequences, of course. Everything did here. Every choice, every movement, every decision.

Indecision wouldn't help her, and so Elisabeth made her choice. Ignoring the wind, she remained outside and spoke of her plan to Praetorum and Arlo. Implementing this plan was easy enough - Arlo held her things, Praetorum lifted her.

Eating some beef jerky, Arlo examined the statues, and considered the tooth and how it was reacting and, as he did there in front of him, he saw a statue which was familiar. Old family legends might be true, after all - could it be that it had been true all this time? Among the strange and unusual was the unmistakable (to him) form of the skeeterwampulus. Undressing herself, Elisabeth was currently held in Praetorum's grip, facing outwards and just about to remove her wet clothing. Unavoidably, she was shivering as the wind and cold battered her, but it was at that moment that something happened........

All Three PCs! Objectives Met!
All Must Do Objectives!~ You all completed all must-do obectives, which will have positive consequence at the end of the thread.
Every Can Do Objective!~ Also, you completed all can-do obectives, which will have positive consequence at the end of the thread.
Aha, A Second Secret Objective, too!~ In starting each sentence with the same vowel, Praetorum has met a secret objective. A positive consequence awaits at the end of the thread.
Image
Inside The Cave
Alone.

Isolated and, arguably, much more vulnerable, Darius was alone in the cave. Arlo had called in, advising caution and then informing him he'd stay outside to examine things and respect Elisabeth's privacy. Elisabeth too remained outside and so, Darius got himself undressed.

It was at more or less the same moment that Elisabeth was, in terms of where he was in his state of undress, that it happened. Orbiting the mirror, avoiding slipping on the increasingly treacherous ice, he was about half way through the process of the undress/dress cycle. And the mist cleared. In an instant, Darius could see and - if he should look, he would see that the entrance to the cave was not clear. Undulating and thick mist, almost solid in its consistency, remained there.

Almost certainly, though, it was not the entrance-way which was Darius' main concern, not at all. Instead, it was likely to be the frankly enormous tiger which stood mere feet away from him. Icy flames flickered over it's very much physically there body because, unlike the woman who was - unknown to Darius - speaking to his companions, this creature was entirely physical. Engraved on to its forehead was a symbolImage which glowed in a range of colours. Unbenownst to Darius, of course, or to Arlo - it did that in time with the changing sensations of the icy tooth Arlo wore.

Ice and fire flickered from the tiger's mouth with every out-breath while eyes of the same glowed at him with apparent balefulness. In that instant, the tiger moved, inexorably, towards him. Impossibly fast, it ran and would be in his space, on him, in - at most - two trill.
Image
Outside The Cave

A woman appeared in front of them.

Incorporeal in form, she stood in front of Elisabeth and Praetorum. Incredibly beautiful, she had once been a human it seemed and she gazed at them with eyes which were sad. Impassibly Malapropism for Impossibly so.

"Isis is coming," she said to them, her ethereal words floated to the three of them outside. Inside, of course, Darius didn't hear. "I'm afraid, so afraid she'll hurt me again." Under her breath, she muttered that but they heard it anyhow. As she spoke, she held out her porcelain-like arm and they all saw the ragged cuts which left most of her forearm appearing to be grey and shredded. It was like something had drained her of all her power, her energy. Ephemera draining was, to ghosts, what bleeding out was to mortals and yet here, it was all focused on her arm - it was almost like she'd fractured.

"Is there anyone who'll help us? If you do, I'll show you the chainstones."Eyes which shone with infinite pain gazed upon them. "I want to help you, but she'll hurt me. All of us. Eternally, the pain goes on eternally."

Imploring them, begging them, she could do more than that, and so she waited for their answer.

Info & Rules

Okie dokie. Just in case it isn't clear, I've made you lovely people a map.
The Map!
Image
DB = Darius
EA = Elisabeth
AC = Arlo
P = Praetorum
GL=Ghostly Lady
The glowy cross = the tiger.
Darius, the glowy thing is the mirror.
The circle of stones is roughly your walking around and around area.

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
Group
  • Arrived at destination
  • Ascertained information about the elements
  • Noted the strange melting phenomena
  • Attempted to use some abilities to stop yourselves getting lost.
  • Identified a means of changing clothing
  • Began process of changing clothing
  • Entered Gambits Gate
  • Encountered Ice Tiger
  • Encountered Ghost 01
Individuals
  • Arlo You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. Your map shows everything the map I've provided shows (not including the people / animals / things. Just the area). All of your post happened. You have 1 set of clothes spare.
  • Elisabeth You are managing against the cold, but you're really feeling it. You are wet and this poses a significant danger to you. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. Your post happened up to the paragraph starting with "If he agreed and was still outside the gate" - you're just about to remove your wet clothes. When / if you've got changed, you have no further spare clothes.
  • Darius You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are wet and this poses a significant danger to you, although your FireForged nature mitigates it somewhat. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. All of your post happened (except Elisabeth didn't go inside, and you're in the middle of getting undressed....) When / if you get changed, you have no further spare clothes
  • Praetorum You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. Your post happened up to the point of the paragraph starting "In short order" - this didn't happen. Also - please be aware that Darius is inside with the mirror. Elisabeth chose to remain outside, so there is no source of warmth, currently. You have one set of spare clothes.

Objectives

None this round!

DiriCom

This round, you get the following information:
  1. You have to release the Induks in order. Ishallr must go first - then Sweetwine and Scaltoth
  2. Kura is investigating a fifth induk.
Next Post: Sunday 16th May
word count: 1824
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~~Red in hoof and claw... ~~


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Darius Baer Bottom
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Nothing seemed to be going to plan. Even the theoretically simple act of dismounting a saddled creature had resulted in two of the group soaking wet and trying to do whatever they could to stave off the threat of frostbite. And when Darius had sought shelter for the group, so that he and Elisabeth could change into dry clothes, he led the way into the mouth of Gambit's Gate...and turned around to find that he was on his own and had apparently been talking to himself.

Isolated and cold, inside a cave with a mist so thick that he could barely see through it, the bearded blond knew he couldn't wait around. Circling the mirror, he scrambled to change his clothes as he moved around the mirror, grateful for its warmth. His leggings were replaced in short order, and he was just pulling his coat tightly around his torso when he began to assess his new surroundings.

Close, but out of sight, he heard Arlo's voice as Cassion's son replied to his question. And then he sensed Katara's message, which he wasted no time in relaying to the others.

"Elisabeth, there's a flower in your first aid kit called White Heat," he called out, for it was she who he was most concerned about as he grabbed hold of some from his own backpack and continued to move around the mirror. "Eat it! It will give you some warmth for a time, and stuff something under your clothes if you need to!"

Kaleidoscopic clouds of mist began to shift, their colours swirling before him, and then - in an instant - he caught sight of something, but not before it saw him. A tiger; a beast of ice and flame, its luminescent blue eyes staring at him, and then it advanced.

Immortals loved such situations, Darius was sure. Mortals were their playthings, to be toyed with for their twisted amusement. The celestial puppet masters would pull the strings as they pleased, and, when they had had their fun, they would be only too happy to cut those very same life strings and play with a new toy. Uncontrollable and seemingly impulsive, they all had their

"T-t-iger!" he called out to the others, trying to hide the fear in his own voice and hoping they might hear him. "Fire and ice, like the others!"

Then, a fraction of a trill later, he reached out to Katara. The Diri could could read his mind if he let her. She didn't need him to speak aloud. It was enough to communicate through his thoughts, and that was what he did, sending the an image with his mind's eye of the beast. Its size, its gaze, and its form. Flaming ice, like the creatures outside that had mingled harmlessly, predator and prey together. The symbol, with its colours, and assorted triangles, was depicted in an image, too - information much more easily transferred than via words.

Yielding ground to the approaching beast, Darius scooped up his mirror and moved to the side. He knew there was no point attempting to outrun the feline, but he couldn't stay still either, lest he fall through the ice. As he tried to keep himself mobile, the human sent a glance towards the tiger's feet, curious to know if the floor of the cave was melting beneath its massive paws. There was no escaping the tiger, and as such, he refused to turn his back, only raising his hands - one holding the mirror - in the hope of showing that he meant no harm. All the while he spoke in a quiet voice, trying to keep the beast calm. If the tiger was to attack, he would use his arms in defense and attempt to escape the cave, even though such efforts to evade would surely prove futile. If, however, the tiger appeared benign, and it came close enough, Darius would gingerly reach out to touch it - though he would pull back as soon as the tiger showed any signs of aggression...for all the good it would do!
Inventory
  • Average quality studded leather gambeson, leggings, and boots.
  • Average quality longsword.
  • Average quality dagger.
  • Waterflask.
  • Mirror with magic healing ability. Your mirror functions as a normal mirror - but it emits a constant warmth along with the constant glow. It will function as a camp-fire if placed on the ground and keeps the person carrying it in a constant state of warm - summer or winter!
  • Saoire's box of chocolates. A small box with 10 8 chocolates. They are, frankly, beyond delicious and taste like your very favourite thing. You find yourself unable to more than 1 on any trial. But each one provides the following to whoever eats it for the next 6 breaks: "Saoire's domain of Gifts is not merely one of physical goods, but of the happiness and joy that comes with both giving and recieving a well meant gift. This ability allows the Blessed to give both themselves and anyone they're with a feeling of joy and good cheer, banishing negative feelings like sorrow, anger, and fear."
  • Cassion's book. Cassion has given Darius a book in which to write things.
  • Other winter equipment provided by the Elements. (Spare clothing, rope, crampons, rations, etc.)
  • Vega's skill bonus. This skill will be directly linked to the focus Vega has so - if it is in a camp preparing for battle, for the soldiers it will be a combat skill - but the cook for that camp would gain a bonus to cooking for the troops. No more than one bonus per day can be given. (Chosen skill: Field Craft.)
  • Vega's flag bonus. PCs who are working towards the goal of the clan are given more support, more help. Things happen quicker and more efficiently for that reason. PCs who are actively using skills which benefit the "clan" and are doing so with NPCs / PCs of the "clan" - may assume that the task is less difficult and by everything going smoothly and people helping, everything falls together more easily. This allows the task to be easier / a stroke of luck /teamwork to mean that the task is completed in 50% of the time OR to 2 levels higher a standard than they could otherwise achieve.
 ! Message from: Peg
FYI - the other PCs can not hear Darius' shouts. The cave entrance looks unchanged and you do not hear Darius' words. If you plan on calling in to him, please talk to me first.
While Darius feels nothing different - his Diri does not get his message. Darius doesn't know she hasn't.
word count: 1115
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Arlo Creede
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

Image
So, according to Darius, their induk must be freed first. There was an implied sense of urgency contained in that message. And if not for their current predicament, Arlo might have said that finding and freeing the induk quickly was priority number one. Except that another more immediate problem had reared it's ugly head and required more immediate action; that of Darius and Elisabeth being soaked to the skin, with very little time left to put things to rights. They could only free the induk if they were still alive and equipped well enough to do it.

Having already agreed to hold Elisabeth's things while she changed into dryer clothing, Arlo was nonetheless more than mildly surprised that she opted to do it outside the gate, fully exposed to the howling wind. "Are you sure you want to do that?" he asked, a deep frown settling in, but concealed beneath the layers of the scarf that he'd wrapped round his lower face. True, he'd warned them to take care if they'd decided to change inside the cave entrance, which Darius had already passed through. It was simply the smart thing to do, even under ordinary circumstances, to take a good assessment of one's surroundings before making oneself more vulnerable.

But the risks in there were still an unknown, and had the potential to be very, very bad. The risks outdoors with layers off and exposed to subzero temperatures and howling winds, were known, and they were most definitely deadly. Sometimes there simply was no right answer or risk free option, when the better answer would have been never to have got in that spot in the first place. And sometimes, just occasionally, the lesser known risk might just be the wider one to take. "If you're going to change outside the gate," he said, just after she handed him her things to sling across his shoulder. "Make haste, it's a matter of life and death. The amount of time you've ordinarily got before frostbite kicks in or the body ceases to function properly...the wind changes that ratio dramatically."

Basically, what layer of insulation she'd had while dry, or even what little had remained once she'd gotten wet, would be carried away on the wind as soon as she further exposed herself to it. Come to think of it, Arlo thought once he'd said his piece, why, when the wind was blowing, was the loose snow piled here and there not blowing around with it? And for that matter, why did the colorful mist hang and linger instead of being whisked away on the wind? He'd already taken an exploratory poke at the frozen ground with just the toe of his boot while remaining on the move. It made no sense for it to melt that fast, or melt at all, considering how many pairs of socks he was wearing and his boots weren't exactly toasty warm on the outside.

"If our bodies were leaching off enough heat through all of these layers," he muttered, "to melt hard frozen ice in an instant, we should have all frozen to death by now." Or, more realistically, an oxymoron if there ever was one, if their bodies were generating enough heat to let off enough to melt a frozen tundra in an instant, just by brushing up against fully wrapped in layers, their blood would might as well be boiling from the inside out, and if that didn't kill them, they'd all be dying of heatstroke in the middle of a blizzard.

Just a number of additional questions and observations to add to his list of information for Lyova to carry to Kura and Doran. The others had made their decisions though, and so Arlo had been left with an opportunity to examine the statues, among other things. One of them in particular would have stopped him dead in his tracks, had Arlo gotten to the point already of instincts adjusting and remaining constantly on the move.

But his focus remained on a figure of ice that he'd never once seriously considered he'd see, and his eyes had widened in near shock when he spied it. "What?" he muttered. The creature was unmistakable, and fit his description to the last scale and hair. He'd told the story of skeeterwampulus a half dozen times now, if not more. Told to him by Jonas and presumably by his father before him, and again before him, so Jonas' claimed, back through what might have been centuries, sworn to be a real and true creature of legendary proportions. The idea had amused him, he'd never taken it seriously. But here it was, crafted in ice and right in front of him.

Did that mean it was real after all? Or, given the oddities of this whole thing, had imagination and the retelling of the story somehow brought it to life through a repetition of the story...Or at least ice? Wasn't that how myths and legends came to be after all? Or, was something preying on the imaginations, fears and fantasies of mortals, and if it was, was it creating all this? Something else to add to his list of messages.

At any rate, the map was helpful, in that it showed him what must be the interior of the cave. But since it only showed the layout of the place and not the other potential dangers that might be lurking inside, it hardly rated calling out that information to Darius who was inside the gate, to tell him what he'd have already seen with his own eyes. There was no time, at any rate, since they apparently had company. A ghost, which all things considered wasn't surprising, even if her sudden appearance had startled him a little. But according to her, she wasn't Isis. But if Arlo had learned anything during the short time they'd been here, during what was turning out to be a disaster of epic proportions, it was not to take anything at face value. And not even the word of a sympathetic and self said helpful ghost, taken as gospel.

Arlo remained quiet, simply observing until this ghost had made her request. But then, still moving, because standing and gawking would end him up in a puddle, he asked, "Hardly anything in this place is how it ought to be, or how it appears. How are we to know that you're not Isis, offering to lead us all into worse than this by taking on a sympathetic and helpful guise?" he asked. Might as well be blunt and straightforward, Arlo figured. Elisabeth hadn't managed to get out of her wet clothes yet, and the cold wind was only slightly less deadly to Praetorum and himself. This was hardly the time to stand round mincing words or engaging in niceties and chit chat.
word count: 1168
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Arc 721, 30 Ashan

Thankful to get at least her shirt sorted, Elisabeth had shifted her mind to getting her pants switched out when Arlo’s words found her. Despite not being able to see his features, there was an implied tone she recognized. It didn’t take much for the young mage to figure out that he wasn’t a fan of her idea. Well, to be fair, she wasn’t a huge supporter of it herself, but at that point, she really hadn’t seen any other option. Circumstances weren’t improving around Elisabeth and her time to act was fading, and that was part of the problem - she had to act.

Luckily, Arlo had provided her with information that would help her understand the severity of the situation, which was beyond the knowledge she had previously. It was simply too dangerous to change out in the wind. Perhaps her quick thinking had served her well with her upper body but the lower body was a different situation and would take a little more effort.

“My thought was getting into dry clothing overrode the horrid conditions, but I guess it’s not wise to finishing changing out here. The only place that will be better is the cave, out of the wind…so I need to get there. My worry is splitting us up further. I don’t think it’s wise to do that anymore than necessary, but I think I’m out of options. I’ll take my gear and sword, go to the cave and try to sort things out there.” To be clear, she didn’t want to leave them – at all. Her preference would be for them all to go…but the only choice that was hers…was hers. Dragging Arlo and Prae along with her wasn't up to her.

There was no time for her, at least, to stand around and talk to their newest companion, regardless of how much she wanted to. Well, there was at least no standing as they all had to keep moving and shifting lest the ice melt beneath them. Elisabeth had some passing familiarity with ghosts, having created a somewhat cool understanding with Nimue. She hadn’t seen the ghost anchored to Balthazar’s dagger for a while, but she had learned a lot from him about ghosts. A ghost claiming not to be something or someone else, just like a human, wasn’t a guarantee, and thus far, the expedition was turning into a case study on things being the exact opposite of what they appeared to be.

Arlo’s words to the ghost confirmed how she felt and as such, she had nothing further to offer. He had the right of it. Words from her would just muck up the situation. Her job, currently, was to try not to die so she could help at the appropriate moment when her talents were of best use. Part of being a leader, something of which she was currently learning, was knowing when others were more suited to the task. The three men she was with, all outclassed her in leadership, and as such, she took their advice seriously. She was a team player and would do what was asked of her.

But something struck her about what the ghost said. Help us. The vision she had seen from the Heart, the fire elementals, they had called themselves 'we' too. Ghosts, from what she knew, were very singular beings. 'We'...was odd. At least to her.

Turning to Arlo, she quickly voiced her thoughts. "We?" He had been there while she had only seen visions. Elisabeth trusted his instincts on the matter, holding herself to the one observation.

Several problems presented themselves, again, all at the same time and she was struggling with the solution. Darius was in the cave by himself. Arlo, Prae, and herself, outside. The group was already split, and she didn’t love that idea. She had mentioned perhaps lashing themselves together and Prae seemed to agree, but before things had been able to be settled, their new friend had shown up. She didn’t want to split them up further, but she needed to act quickly for her own well-being.

"I'm sorry, but I need to get into dry leggings." Taking up her sword and gear from Arlo again, Elisabeth quickly fastened the scabbard around her and hauled the bag upon her back, setting out for the cave entrance. Calling out to Darius, she quickly relayed her intentions.“Darius, I hope you are changed because I’m coming in one way or another. I need to finish changing out of the wind…” What called back, sounded like Darius and didn’t lead her to believe there was anything wrong. If she was careful, she could simply hang her sword from her pack and change out her leggings without assistance, but it would be tricky, and she didn’t want to fall again.

And with that, she stepped into the cave...

ooc
Elisabeth's intention is to step into the cave and change out her leggings. I have stopped this post at that point she enters the cave because I didn't want to assume anything. Please let me know if I need to edit...


OOC Equipment/Items

Winter Weather clothing/gear provided by the Elements

Ladies Leather Vest - Tier 3 Masterwork

Provisions provided by the Elements

Average quality longsword + scabbard - Provided by the Elements

RIng of Reversal

Whetstone
A whetstone that can repair any battle damage or dulling of a blade, if used on the sword over the course of a trial. Depending on the severity of the damage on the weapon, it may take anywhere from a bit to repair the weapon, to a full trial. "

Silver ring - Connected to Balthazar's

A pair of silver rings that are connected to each other. Whoever wears them knows if the other is in danger or needs help and knows which direction they are in.

U'frek's Hip flask
The hip flask which U'frek gave Elisabeth will re-fill itself magically once a day (when full, it holds roughly enough for 4 shots of spirits, or 2 glasses of wine). It only ever holds alcohol, but when she drinks from it, it will taste of the alcohol she wants it to taste of - and while she can get tipsy from it, it will give her no other side effects, she will suffer no hangover from it, never get drunk to the point of throwing up, etc. It works only for her, or those marked by U'frek.

Chamadarst's Coin
The Coin which Elisabeth finds in her pocket is icy cold and made from glass. It has a single use of a favoured ability on it from the mark of any Immortal NOT listed as sibling, ally, or enemy of the Coinking. Alternatively, it may remove 1 curse from 1 individual. Please choose one use and PSF it.

Cavani's Cloak - Borrowed from Yeva
This cloak shimmers a soft color in complete darkness that echoes that of the wearer’s aura. While this item does little to protect against weapons, its strange ability of heating an individual up or cooling them down (depending on the season) makes it an interesting keepsake.
word count: 1223
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Praetorum
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Re: [The Forging] Ice


Cold was a worse killer than even Prae had feared, from what Arlo said. Frostbite was something he’d only ever heard of in passing, but what little he did know was ugly. But while he could understand the logic behind having Elisabeth change in the cover of the caves, Prae couldn’t help but remember what others had said about them shifting.

Before Elisa could leave, Prae pulled rope from his pack, and quickly tied one end of it around her wrist. “Give the rope three sharp tugs if you need us to come join you,” he said. “And keep the rope on your person—I don’t trust this place to behave properly.”

The rest of the coil of rope, Prae held, letting it out as Elisabeth moved towards the cave so the rope never went completely taunt, but didn’t have an excessive amount of slack either.

With that concern dealt with, Praetorum turned his attention to their ghostly guest. Arlo was suspicious, and Prae certainly couldn’t blame him. This place was unnerving, and nothing was acting as it should—Prae Suspicion spark surged in his chest, wanting needing hungering to read the ghost’s frequency, to ferret out any traces of deceit or treachery.

The urge was strong, strong enough that Prae had to take a moment to close his eyes and collect himself to keep from attuning to the ghost. Under normal circumstances he’d have done it in an instant, but the command center’s warnings still echoed in his mind. This wasn’t an emergency situation. Not yet.

“Assuming you’re telling the truth—” Prae dipped his head in Arlo’s direction as he paced, indicating for her to answer the mortalborn’s question first ”—how can we help? And why is this Isis hurting you?”

It wasn’t that Prae believed her, not really. But there was a part of him that simply saw someone in trouble, someone asking for help, and he had never been able to refuse that call. Better to try and help and fall into a trap than to let someone be hurt out of paranoia.

Inventory
Descriptions of all in CS

Currently Equipped
Silk Scabbard on wrist
Ring of Reversal on claw
Gate-Ring on claw
Sorelian Steel shield on back
Quarterstaff on back

Domain Bag on hip
Plate-like Leather worn
Winter Clothing provided by the Elements

In Domain Bag

Mental Map
Calling Coin
Survival Kit (T7)
 [Rope tied to Elisa and held by Prae]
You Same Bolt?
word count: 423
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Inside The Cave
Well, there was no doubting it. Darius was in a bad situation

Even though things were worse outside, he didn't know that - and it didn't change the simple fact that Darius was in a bad situation. He was not feeling the cold, his teeth were not chattering. Shivering did not wrack his body, making it difficult to move. But, in this moment Darius might realise that this was both a blessing ~ and a curse. Because what his FireForged ability did not do was protect him against the damage done by fire or ice.

'twas arguable, however, that he was in bad shape for meeting a tiger in an icy cave - but who wouldn't be? What actually defined good shape as far as that was concerned? Ironically, such questions were likely to be the matter of lively debate in the Scholar's Nook. However, right now, Darius had the situation in front of him that he did and the blond baron needed to do the best he could. He had some serious advantages - he was out of the wind, he had a source of warmth and so, while he was in a bad situation, it could have been worse as far as his physical reaction to the cold went.

Rallying his course, as the mist swirled around him, Darius spoke to the others outside. He did that and they replied - calling in that they had heard what he said of the herb and then, as he sent his message through his Diri, he heard her tell him that Kura said to be carefulI know she said more than that, but it doesn't get relayed . It all seemed perfectly normal to the young baron and he was focused ~ rightly so ~ on the creature in front of him.

Even though he was in such a perilous position, Darius stopped and engaged his brain, he considered things. And, he adopted an approach of non-combat, choosing to try and see if he could get the tiger to not attack him, to even try and touch it, if he could. He maintained a quiet voice, a soothing tone and he chose to make sure that he was the least threatening version of himself that he could be. He chose peace, rather than being eaten alive by a very odd-looking tiger.

Darius took a dreadful risk in so doing, but it was a good choice.

Outrunning the tiger was not an option, and it stopped its run right in front of him. Eyes which were unlike any he had ever seen seemed to glare at him, but it sniffed him and allowed him to touch it. The symbol on it's forehead glowed at Darius' touch and Darius felt it push against his hand. It was warm to the touch and it began to nudge him. He couldn't tell for sure, because it's features were so alien and unlike any tiger Darius might have seen, but it moved with purpose, with intelligence. It took a moment sniffing him - getting his scent.

Once he and the tiger began to make friends, Darius would realise that his link with it Diri was quietened. Stilled. Muted. The tiger, unaware of this, seemed to be urging Darius to move. It ran forward, paused, and ran back to him, nudging him. It was insistent. Yet, Katara's voice was gone from his head - the mist in the doorway was solid and he was in an ice cave with a very odd tiger. He knew what he knew already, but no more messages came to him, no more messages of his went out. Should Darius listen, he would realise that there were no sounds from outside any more - he didn't hear his companions.

Making its feelings and desire for Darius to move very clear, the tiger pushed against him. The ice did not melt where the tiger stood and, Darius might notice that - when he was touching the tiger, or it was touching him, then the ice and snow stopped melting beneath his feet. It was most odd, but it was definitely there.

Even just the touch of one finger, or the pressing of a nose against his hand was enough to trigger it. Touching the tiger, being connected to it was physically reassuring, it felt familiar, even. The tiger, however, was insistent. It wanted Darius to go deeper into the cave system - it was leading him, pushing him, nudging him. It didn't go so far as growling if he took the time to explore his surrounding area, but there was a definite sense of urgency.

Darius, it seemed, was alone in the caves with a tiger. How that might work when it came time to release the Induk, though? Well that was a question for later.

Info & Rules

So - you are in this thread on your own (except for me!)
New Thread for Elisa, Prae, Arlo here
You are in the cave, on your own (except for the tiger!)

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
Group
  • Arrived at destination
  • Ascertained information about the elements
  • Noted the strange melting phenomena
  • Attempted to use some abilities to stop yourselves getting lost.
  • Identified a means of changing clothing
  • Began process of changing clothing
  • Entered Gambits Gate
  • Encountered Ice Tiger
  • Encountered Ghost 01
  • Lost contact with DB.
Individuals
  • Darius You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You have managed to get fully dressed (I'm happy to assume that). You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have no further spare clothes

Objectives

Decide. Go with the tiger or try something else.
If you go with the tiger - please describe a maze of tunnels and small caves you are led down.
If you try something else - please let me know.

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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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The tiger charged.

It was swift, glacial muscles revealing its raw power as each heavy paw hit the ice, the creature seemingly having no difficulty in finding purchase on the slippery surface. Its eyes, glowing blue and with an unchanging baleful expression, focused on Darius, as if advancing on him was the very thing that defined its existence.

In response, the human stood still. He had been moving as much as he could, lest the ice melt beneath his feet, but in those moments - those miniscule but agonisingly long split-trills - he planted his feet and watched as death came for him.

The beast approached at pace, flames visibly coursing through its veins, and Darius knew there was nothing he could do. Escape was not an option. And he could not react quickly enough to fight a creature that would surely overpower him anyway.

All he could do was embrace the inevitable.

His mind swirled with memories and questions...

Was this how Yeva had experienced it? Would the Immortals find favour with him and bring him back, as they had with her? What would become of Josef? Astra? Hopetoun? In death, would he finally be reunited with his Ma?

...and yet it remained abundantly clear;
focused;
unburdened by meaningless distractions.

If this was to be his end, then he would not shy away. He would lean in and stare death in its face and - if he could find the courage - snarl back.

The trill passed. The tiger neared. Darius closed his eyes and breathed in, ready. If the Immortals were to cut his strings and let their Scalvorian puppet fall to the ground, then he would be defiant until the end.

He felt a cool wind brush across his face, and then...nothing. No claws in his chest. No teeth biting into his neck.

He blinked his eyes open. The tiger was up close, staring at him. He suddenly realised he had been holding his breath, and he gasped to give his lungs some respite. And then, having already cheated death, he reached out to touch the giant creature.

Its response was as surprising as his survival. Nuzzling against his hand, it provided him with his first sense of warmth beyond the mirror that he held in his other palm, and he felt the ice harden beneath his feet. He put the reflective glass into a pocket and then, scooping up his backpack, he tried to make sense of what was going on.

Darius recalled hearing of another tiger on Faldrass. That beast had served as a guide for a pair of adventurers on that expedition, and, by all accounts, it too was not hungry for mortals. It seemed inevitable to wonder if this creature was related in some way; an elemental feline cousin of sorts.

The tiger's apparent eagerness to escort the mariner deeper into the cave made him wary, but he couldn't step back out of the cave. There was a sense of urgency that meant he had to press on. He couldn't know for sure how Elisabeth was faring. Stepping back outside might not only anger the tiger, but it would also endanger himself by exposing himself to the elements once more. But, having heard the group call back about the White Heat, he naturally believed that Arlo and Praetorum were ensuring his Videnese friend was being taken care of.

With that sense of assurance, he was willing to let the tiger guide him. With a hand on the creature's head, he scraped his boot at the ice on the cave floor until he was able to etch the shape of an arrow into the ground. His hope was that the trio would soon enter the cave and the symbol would show them which way he had moved as he headed into the mist.

"Will you let me put a rope around your neck?" he asked the tiger in a gentle voice, reaching for the coiled item that was attached to his pack. "Just so we don't become separated. If I'm not near you, I fall through the ice, you see."

He suddenly realised that he had begun to talk to his guide as if it were a house cat, and he reached out cautiously with the rope. Hopefully the tiger would not feel threatened, and was intelligent enough to know that it had the strength to pull itself free, should it ever have the desire to do so. The human could not capture it if it did not allow him to.

"The tiger seems friendly," he called out to the others, "and it wants to guide me. I'll leave markings along the way."

He sent the same message to Katara, but the Diri didn't seem to answer.

Darius' blond brow furrowed at this unusual development, and then he realised that he hadn't heard a response from the others on the expedition, either. He was tempted to turn back; to step out into the cold. But the tiger was insistent, and he didn't want to anger it - and besides, there was a comfort that he felt with the creature that made him reluctant to leave its side.

And so, after a few trills of hesitation, he turned and stepped through the mist with his unusual companion, marvelling at the icy but warm scapulae in the creature's back that protruded with every step.

Darius was careful to leave as many markers along the way as the tiger would tolerate him doing without growing too impatient. But he quickly became aware that the maze of tunnels he was walking through would make it difficult for anyone to follow.

As comforting as it was to share the tiger's company, the caves themselves made for a confusing network of entanglement, and the mariner knew he would have easily become lost, had he been forced to attempt to navigate them on his own. At times, he saw tracks in the ice that weren't his or the tiger's, and at one point, he could have sworn he heard a scuttling noise in the shadows, but when he looked, he saw nothing.

Further and further they went, and Darius soon realised that he couldn't see the trio behind him. He hesitated, wanting to turn back, until he realised that he would only get himself lost. He would be doomed to roam the labyrinth until he could roam no more.

And so, with the ice tiger by his side, he continued to cautiously delve deeper into the cave.
Inventory
  • Average quality studded leather gambeson, leggings, and boots.
  • Average quality longsword.
  • Average quality dagger.
  • Waterflask.
  • Mirror with magic healing ability. Your mirror functions as a normal mirror - but it emits a constant warmth along with the constant glow. It will function as a camp-fire if placed on the ground and keeps the person carrying it in a constant state of warm - summer or winter!
  • Saoire's box of chocolates. A small box with 10 8 chocolates. They are, frankly, beyond delicious and taste like your very favourite thing. You find yourself unable to more than 1 on any trial. But each one provides the following to whoever eats it for the next 6 breaks: "Saoire's domain of Gifts is not merely one of physical goods, but of the happiness and joy that comes with both giving and recieving a well meant gift. This ability allows the Blessed to give both themselves and anyone they're with a feeling of joy and good cheer, banishing negative feelings like sorrow, anger, and fear."
  • Cassion's book. Cassion has given Darius a book in which to write things.
  • Other winter equipment provided by the Elements. (Spare clothing, rope, crampons, rations, etc.)
  • Vega's skill bonus. This skill will be directly linked to the focus Vega has so - if it is in a camp preparing for battle, for the soldiers it will be a combat skill - but the cook for that camp would gain a bonus to cooking for the troops. No more than one bonus per day can be given. (Chosen skill: Field Craft.)
  • Vega's flag bonus. PCs who are working towards the goal of the clan are given more support, more help. Things happen quicker and more efficiently for that reason. PCs who are actively using skills which benefit the "clan" and are doing so with NPCs / PCs of the "clan" - may assume that the task is less difficult and by everything going smoothly and people helping, everything falls together more easily. This allows the task to be easier / a stroke of luck /teamwork to mean that the task is completed in 50% of the time OR to 2 levels higher a standard than they could otherwise achieve.
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Image
Inside The Cave
There are moments in life which impact all that is to come.

Decisions which shape every moment of the future.

For Darius Baer, this was one such time. He had stood in the face of certain death and he had believed, wholeheartedly, that he was about die. But instead, he had lived and now he and the tiger were here together. It regarded him and, if it cared about the fate of those outside, it showed no hesitation.

And then, Darius spoke to it.

The tiger looked at him, tilting its head to the side with an almost-quizzical expression. It edged closer and sniffed the rope. Then, it moved and stood in front of him, lowering its head if he needed it to, in order for him to do just that. It gazed at him with alien eyes. It was quickly obvious that the tiger didn't mind the rope - but whenever Darius hesitated, it growled. Deep and furious-sounding, it's growl echoed around the tunnels.

And what a lot of tunnels there were.
Image
They moved, the tiger keen to be making forward movement, and every time Darius paused to make a mark or leave an arrow, it growled impatiently. Until it stopped doing that and stopped in it's tracks. It was at a crossroads, an intersection where four tunnels met. The tiger sniffed the air and turned it's head to the right-hand junction. Darius was quicklyDetection Expert able to notice the very slight breeze. Somewhere down there, there was a place where the wind blew in. Whether that was a tiny hole or an entrance, accessible or not, was unknown, but the tiger looked at him and pawed the ground, leaving deep marks with its talons.

The wind was coming from the right-hand junction, but they turned left. At that point, every turn and every junction (and there were lots), the tiger marked the ground. A swipe of it's paw was quick and effective.


As they moved, Darius saw amazing things. There was ice which was glowing, and some of it was different colours. Rainbows of frozen stalactites made for a beautiful scene, but the tiger was keen to press on.
Image
Until, that was, they got to the statues.

A small scene, nothing more, of people. A woman, kneeling next to a crib in which rested a baby. A man sitting next to her, and they sat in front of a large brazier. From a distance it might seem like something typical, but the closer Darius got the more that he could see. It was beyond superb craftsmanship.

Each statue was perfect. Perfect to the point of strands of hair, of folds of clothing being flawless. There were no tool-marks, no imperfections. Even the inside of the crib - there was a frozen blanket laying over a frozen baby wrapped in another blanket - and the crib. The blanket, the baby, the crib they were all separate pieces. And - other than being made of ice which was so perfect that it, too, was flawless, they were incredibly realistic.
Image
On the ground, in front of them there was a small stone. It glowed, in the same blue as the tiger did, with a symbol. It was in the center of a disc which was also without flaw.

And, perhaps oddly, the tiger sat down. Sniffed at the statues, looked at Darius expectantly and sniffed the statues again. Should Darius try to move on or move away, the tiger growled low and lowered itself to the ground.

It had been so keen to get them here but now?

Now, it seemed, it was equally keen to have them stop awhile.

Info & Rules

So - you are in this thread on your own (except for me!)
You are in the cave, on your own (except for the tiger!)

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
[*] Darius You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are dressed and by virtue of the tiger-connection, you notice that the ice is no longer melting under your feet. This happy happenstance at first only happens when you're touching the tiger but as you make your way, you become able to be not touching him, and still ok. If you experiment, let me know and be aware that the tiger does not want to wait around in the name of science. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have no further spare clothes

Objectives

None

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Re: [The Forging] Ice

Image

There was a moment of tension when Darius waited to see how the tiger would respond to his request. A rope could be an intimidating thing, especially when a stranger was asking to put it around one's neck, but something in the man's words - or, perhaps, his tone - appeared to reassure the creature that there was no malicious intent.

With the tiger and the mariner now loosely bound to one another, by way of a threaded cord, they moved further into the cave network.

Darius was nervous when his attempts to mark the path caused his fierce companion to grow impatient. He didn't want to push his luck, and knew that should the creature turn on him, he would be easily killed. But, as he spoke to the giant cat - a small comment here, or a quiet encouragement there - he discovered something rather unusual was happening.

Not only was the creature beginning to take on the task of scratching the ice for the trio behind them to follow - an act which was each time greeted by gentle encouragement from Darius - but the ground that had so easily melted before was now ceasing to do so in a more powerful way. It didn't just remain solid when Darius touched the creature, but also when he temporarily lost his balance and his hand left the creature's back. After a while, the Scalvorian found he was able to relax his grip on the rope and he didn't need to be immediately beside the tiger in order to find a firm footing.

It seemed the tiger was not simply immune to the melting ice, but it was capable of making it harden. And the more the creature seemed to tolerate his presence, the further they could separate without him unwittingly endangering himself.

With a sense trust building between them, Darius let the tiger guide the way, and he made a mental note of the tunnel where he had felt a breeze, but its location was easily forgotten in the underground maze.

By the time they reached the statues, the bearded blond had lost track of time. He didn't know how long he had been underground, and he was beginning to feel weary, but the sight of the exquisite craftsmanship of the ice sculptures filled him with awe. They were perfect. In fact, they seemed too perfect.

He was reminded of Arlo's words, back in Scalvoris Town. He studied the statues for a few moments, then looked back to the tiger.

"Did you know them?" he asked gently. "Are they...are they still in there?"

Arlo had spoken of cursed souls, that represented four families, trapped within statues. He wasn't sure if these were the statues the son of Cassion had spoken of, and if they were, whether or not they still housed the cursed souls.

As Darius turned back to look at the statues, something caught his eye.

A stone.

But it wasn't just any stone. It looked eerily familiar. This was a chainstone, he was sure, like the one that had frozen Tio's hand when he'd attempted to pick it up. Cassion had gifted them a bag that could tolerate the freezing temperature, and Oram had packed another with ashes to counter the freezing, and Darius cursed his luck that he had neither an Immortal or a fire to make use of.

He looked over his shoulder, wondering where Arlo, Praetorum, and Elisabeth were, but it seemed he was on his own.

"Cassion," he sighed, "you sure love underdog stories, don't you!"

Darius didn't dare touch the stone with his bare hand. Not without testing it, at least. The one on Faldrass had threatened to freeze anyone who touched it, and the Scalvorian could ill afford to experience something similar. Or perhaps this one would burn? There was no way for Darius to know simply by looking at it, and so he reached into his pack pulled out the tunic that he had been wearing when he'd landed on Ishallr. It was cold and wet in places, but he tore a dry portion off and dropped it onto the stone, making sure to let go of the material before it touched the glowing object.

He held his breath, wondering what might happen, and hoping the tiger didn't grow impatient in the meantime.
Last edited by Darius Baer Bottom on Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 735
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