[The Forging] Souls

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Re: [The Forging] Souls


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When Nir'wei called for him to climb out of the hole, and after Hart and Yeva and Ralgar disappeared into the blackness, he exhaled in relief that he'd managed to keep his grip on the wall. He attempted to get a hold of himself, and then began pulling himself up from the deeps. Foothold by handhold, he made his way out. When he was out, Nir'wei was still there and getting ready for the descent. Woe took the time to put his gloves and boots back on.

When he was ready, he moved over toward where the wolves were, to keep an extra set of eyes on the artifacts they'd need for their task. "I'll watch them. Are there any special handling instructions I'll need, in case you aren't able to climb your way back out?" Woe waited for an answer, and then knelt by the altar, waiting for Nir'wei to get underway.

He'd stay there until he was called again by Nir'wei, through one of the wolves presumably. In the meantime, he knelt by in guard mode. It would get boring quickly, but then, Woe was adept at nothing more than staring at stones and walls for long periods of time. He kept his ears peeled for anything going on around him, meanwhile, but maintained his stare on the chainstone, tooth, and leaf.

Nir'wei seemed like a capable leader to Woe, and so he trusted he knew what he was doing. He'd reserve the right to worry when and if that expectation was upset.

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Re: [The Forging] Souls

30th Ashan, 721

Tamsen wasn't able to get through the darkness. Hart had told her to go with Yeva, but Tamsen wasn't able to. Because of that, she went with Hart when he descended down.

It was like descending through dark, frigid water. Then they were in the room below the darkness, and the darkness was above them like a dark pool.

Yeva wasn't in the room.

Ralgar descended down, and then Nir'wei, and Nir'wei said, "Where'd she go."

"I don't know," Hart said. "Tamsen wasn't able to get through the darkness with her. She was able to go through with me. But when we got here, Yeva wasn't here."

"Yeva!" Hart said. Nir'wei moved to the windows and Hart moved to the doorway. He didn't move through it; he said her name. "Yeva!"

But she wasn't there.

"Yeva!" Hart said.

There were desks and tables and crates of papers in the room, and Nir'wei looked through them, but Hart didn't move from the doorway. Nir'wei had said not to use his abilities.

But Hart might be able to use one of his abilities to sense where Yeva was. Hart was able to sense need. The ability was limited; but he had used the ability on a man he'd met in Melrath when the man had been dragged underwater, and he'd sensed where the man was in the water. He might be able to sense, then, where Yeva was.

But he didn't use the ability.

Hart looked out the doorway and he thought of the times he'd let people down. He thought of Nir'wei praying, and he thought of the times the immortals had let him and others down; he thought of the immortals' Domains and of his Domains.

He was the mortalborn of Need.

Hart didn't use the ability, and he thought of the man in Melrath, and he knew. He knew that like the man and like others Hart had let down, he was letting Yeva down now.

She had descended through the darkness for them and he wouldn't... he wouldn't. Hart moved to where Nir'wei was looking through the papers.

He wouldn't use the ability to look for Yeva, but he would look through papers. His hands were trembling; the papers trembled in his hands.

Looking through the papers, there was mention of a strange stone in the research. The papers mentioned placing the stone in an examination chamber.

"They were able to handle the stone," Hart said. He looked at the crates and the research and he said, "If they had a method for handling the stone," and they had,

"and if they had time to get half their things when they'd left," and they had,

"then they might have had time to remove the stone from the ruins when they'd left. There might be a chainstone in the other half of their things. Nir'wei. If you would, ask command to look into it."

Nir'wei said that it was likely that there was a chainstone here, either in the room or perhaps in the crates and papers, and so Hart looked for the stone. He looked through the papers, and he looked through the crates and on the desk or the table, and he looked carefully.

"Yeva said not to touch the chainstones," he said. "I have two of the leaves from the flower in the room above. If there is a chainstone here, do not touch it without one of the leaves."

Hart looked for the chainstone. But when he was moving papers, he looked through the papers as well. If he found important information, he would ask Nir'wei to get the information to Kura.

Hart looked for the members of the expedition; he looked for their names.

Hart looked for the city or the location the expedition was from, as well as for relations to well-known institutions or groups.

He looked for a map or description of locations within the ruins. He looked for other entrances to the ruins, because he thought the expedition had to have had entered the ruins by a different entrance than the one their group had. Their group had descended down through a hole in the ground; but the hole in the ground hadn't been there when the expedition was here over a hundred years back. So the expedition had to have gotten down here, to this room, through some other entrance.

Hart also looked for mentions of where in the ruins the expedition had found the stone, and where the examination room was.

When he had looked through the papers, Hart stood unmoving for a moment. Then he looked up at the darkness above them, like a dark pool of water over their heads.

Yeva had descended into the darkness for them.

"Please," he said to the dark pool. "If you know where Yeva is, please. I... I would..."

Hart looked down.

He was the mortalborn of Need, and he wouldn't. And he didn't think the darkness would respond to him. He was speaking to nothing, to dark and cold.

If Hart found a description or a map in the research notes, he would point it out to Nir'wei and Ralgar. He was looking for a lot of information, but the location of the examination room was most important. The researchers might have removed the chainstone from the ruins when they'd left, and it might gone, with their things.

But the group wouldn't know til they'd looked for it.
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Re: [The Forging] Souls

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As Ralgar dropped down the hole with Hart he went through the dark ink-like substance, holding his breath as long as he could, he focused on the task at hand. It wasn't often he ended up in situations like this one, nor did he imagine this was how his trial would end up. Cold suddenly overwhelming the Scaltoth, snow falling in ways it should not be for the time of year. Now this. He didn't regret any of it, not particularly. But he was out of his depth. Going against the elders of his tribe, coming to this place and seeing all the things he saw.

That feeling of being out of his depth, and being overwhelmed, only got worse as they entered the room. Dark vines, like nothing he had ever seen before. Yet only one other person was here with him. Hart. Ralgar looked as Hart called out to Yeva, the man glancing around the room. He noticed the doorway, the boxes and crates, all of the papers. What had happened here? "What is this doing in a place like Scaltoth? This is not the work of my people" he spoke, knowing how few people had explored Scaltoth. Perhaps something more than Ralgar's tribe had happened here? But what reason did anyone have to leave papers here, and what had forced them to leave?

Slowly he turned to Hart, as he pleaded to the black ink for Yeva back, the man placing a hand on his shoulder. "We'll find her, you have my word. If she is some place we can go, that is where we'll go" he vowed to the man with his deep tone remaining, his eyes serious. Yet despite his size and appearance, there was empathy on his face, kindness. Ralgar was not just the big, fierce warrior he made himself out to be. There was love and care there. Why else would he fight so hard for Scaltoth? He loved it here. He cared for the inhabitants, for the Bro'ky'na.

Once that was said and done, he moved his hand away, staying near to Hart in case the man needed any reassurance or comfort. Nir'wei had joined them too, Ralgar giving a small nod to him before rummaging through papers, seeing what he could find. If there was anything important in the papers he would report it, anything that gave a hint as to what this place was and why it was here. If they could figure out those answers they might be able to open the door, or find Yeva.

So long as it got them closer to their goals.
~~Haltunga~~ Common~~
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Re: [The Forging] Souls

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Nir'wei made his way down. He left Woe up there with the Chainstone and the Tooth. For Woe it was a rather dull time as, indeed, nothing happened and he simply had to wait.
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Once down there, Nir'wei ignored the vines and looked at the crates. As he explored, he got to see a few things. First, it was like there should be people here, there was a mug still half-full of coffee on the top of one of the crates, a book lay open on the floor. There was equipment in the chests which were labelled "Equiipment" and the ones labelled "Catalogue" were empty. Against one wall there was a large chalkboard, on which was drawn a map of Immortals Tongue. Someone had been in the middle of writing something, and the words on there had been stopped half way through.

Also pinned to the board was a map, labelled "Ruins Ground Level". The map there was detailed, notated and had spots of colour on it which obviously meant something. Unfortunately, there was no label saying what they meant. There was also a space for a map of the same size, with the words "Ruins Below Ground Level 1"; there were pins to hold it and even small ragged bits of parchment attached to the pins, suggesting the map for that bit had been torn off.

And then, Nir'wei looked at the journals. The dates didn't match up. Some said 717, others from hundreds of arcs ago. As he looked, more things didn't add up, it was Gaddwin that saw it.

The crates were placed in such a way as to hide it - but there was a rip in the floor. A rip in reality and Gaddwin told Nir'wei that he thought it was a fracture. A small one maybe. All three of them could see it. Hart saw in the papers that he looked at, lists of names. One of them caught his eye.
List of Names
  • Team Flora
    • Lakia Amaranthine
    • Delta (slave)
    • Padraig Augustin
    • Pash Raj'oriq
  • Team Fauna
    • Kali'rial
    • Tio Silver
    • Arwel Kyric
    • Amaris
As each inconsistency happened, as every detail started to contradict itself, it became more and more clear that this was not right. Pieces of parchment were consistent (namely, if both Hart and Nir'wei looked, it said the same thing) but there was still the sensation of it being almost dream-like here. Like reality was folding on itself.

None of it made sense.

Communication between Nir'wei and Command told that Yeva had been teleported and was safe and on her way back to Scalvoris (since she couldn't now get through the barrier to rejoin them), but that didn't answer any questions. The longer they were down here, also, the less that the vines seemed important. The less they noticed them. The more that they paid attention to the archaeological dig crates and books and interesting things to read, the less the vines seemed to even be there.

Like they were wrapped in shadows, perhaps. Fading from dreams. The doorway was still there , but the vines just almost slid from view. Ralgar saw none of the more up to date information from the dig in 717, everything he found was from hundreds of arcs ago.

However, up above that hole, Cyshe spoke to Woe, telling him all of it. Then, the small water-creature frowned. "It's like it feels when Nir'wei's dreaming," she said. "Like I can't wake him. He's not seeing what's there. I'm sure of it. "

And in his head, Nir'wei heard it. Loud and clear.

"WAKE UP!"

Info & Rules

  • This thread is for those who have gone to Scaltoth in direct response to this thread
  • Ok, lovelies! Please remember that this is as cold as Ishallr normally is.
  • Due to the time-sensitive nature of this, I can not hold out for people to post. If you miss a round, there will (I'm afraid) be consequences.
  • This style of event moderation - with objectives etc - was taught to me by a dear friend and one of the most talented Storytellers I've ever known. With thanks to Crimson / Straylor.
 ! Message from: Reminder
There are no required skill levels for this.
It is - undoubtedly - dangerous. It's a war.
What will get you hurt is NOT if you are low skilled. What will get you hurt is doing something foolish. There's plenty for everyone to do.
Equally, being highly skilled is not a guarantee of anything. This will need teamwork and smarts.

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
Group
  • Discovered Somewhere Interesting!
Individuals
  • Woe You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You not hungry.
  • Hart You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry.
  • Ralgar You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry.
  • Nir'wei You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry.

Objectives

Ok - so you are in a moment of decision. Having ignored the vines, all of you, the dream-like state which the inky blackness induced is pushing on you. You want to go through the door, you really do. However, since you kept someone up above, you have a chance here to realise that. You really want to go through the door. It takes real focus to even remember that the vines were there.

Those of you with the Dreamwalking Skill may well notice the dream-like nature of this place.

Those of you who know what Minor Fractures are may well recognise that is what the "rip" is.

Up to you. Please play according to your skills and experience. Thanks!

DiriCom

This round:
All diris are communicating loud and clear - you know what's happening everywhere (please note Ishallr have succeeded.)
Next Post: Sunday 4th July
word count: 991
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Re: [The Forging] Souls


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The first order of business for Woe, as information got back to him through Nir'wei's connection to Cyshe, was to communicate the situation back to the Glass Temple, and see if anything could be gleaned from the experiences of those there. He had a theory about things, about everything going on, based on what he knew. Magic was a bad idea to use in fractures, and it going haywire all over Scalvoris seemed to indicate that the entire Island may have been sinking into some sort of Fracture or Fractive state. Fei's fracture lay beneath Scalvoris, perhaps encompassing it's entire underpinnings. Was it the case that something was pulling Scalvoris into the grave of Fei, or that something was pushing the grave of Fei out? Was that even an important question to ask?

So as he had these thoughts, he sent them along to his spirit of commerce, feeding him a full onyx nel in order to maintain his connection.



Radburn, the golden Peacock that was Woe's diri of Commerce, spoke to those gathered in the Temple, but mostly to Kura and Doran. However, nobody was excluded from his communication. "Greetings ladies and gents. My Associate Woe has a question, and perhaps a theory. Is it possible that something is pushing the grave of Fei upwards, or that something is drawing the Isles of Scalvoris under into the Grave? He doesn't know if this is something that needs answering, but he points out that the team, the rest that have fallen into the inky black, have fallen into a dreaming state. He also points out that the strange behavior of magic suggest some kind of Emean or fractive vengeance, rather than one of spirit."

Radburn paused, then looked at the rest, including them in his conversation. "He is going to attempt to communicate with them, and encourage them to interact with each other, focus on each other. He believes that reaching lucidity is important, not least of which because having our allies sleeping during their most important task would be a Very Bad Thing. But also wonders if their being lucid might have some other effect, such as clearing the blackened soup that appeared to force them into such a state to begin with."

Radburn took a deep breath, and then half-lidded eyes gazed around him, "So he is going to try and encourage them to cling to each other, and failing that, attempt to speak to each other, to wake each other up failing the achievement of lucidity. Woe is an experienced Dreamwalker, and so it's possible by the touch of a dreamwalker, if there are any among them, they might all be brought to lucidity. Anywho, that's the situation currently in Scaltoth. I shall keep you posted, if they don't all die horribly. In which case I shall return to Sombran."



So having sent along Radburn's message, Woe focused now on Cyshe. "Spirit, tell your master to gather the rest around him. Is he a dreamwalker himself? Encourage him to touch the others, ignore everything else, but focus on the others. The documents, the dungeon, the crates, all a trap meant to lure their interest, I think. They need to cling to each other. I don't know if that will dispel the inky blackness, but it will at least render them aware of what's going on around them... I think Hart is a Dreamwalker as well, but not sure. Tell them that they are dreaming, and nothing is real."

Woe took a breath, wondering if he'd helped communicate what needed to be said to the group. It was in Cyshe's hands now, to try and make something of this. Even at that, he wasn't sure if Nir'wei would agree with his assessment. It was as much the Velduris' play as anything.

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Re: [The Forging] Souls

30th Ashan, 721

Hart looked at the list of names and thought, Padraig Augustin. The research notes were from more than a hundred years ago; why was Padraig Augustin on the list of names?

The notes weren't from more than a hundred years ago. They were from four years ago. He didn't know why he'd thought they were from...

They were from more than a hundred years ago.

There were...

There were two expeditions, Hart thought, attempting to make sense of the notes. There was the, the expedition in Scaltoth; and there was the expedition in Immortals Tongue. Padraig Augustin was part of the expedition in Immortals Tongue. Hart looked up at the map, the map of Immortals Tongue, and said quietly, "Yeva... went to Immortals Tongue, didn't she?"

In the glass temple, Stan had said that Immortals Tongue was one of the four locations of balance. It needed to be balanced or, or the induks' power would overwhelm Scalvoris.

"Yeva... balanced Immortals Tongue?" Hart questioned. "But if she did, why are we..." Why were they at Immortals Tongue?

They weren't.

They were the Scaltoth group, and they were at Scaltoth. Hart was exhausted, his mind was exhausted. He looked at the map on the wall, and the map was of Immortals Tongue.

But they were at Scaltoth, weren't they? They, they were. They were at Scaltoth.

But then why was there a map of Immortals Tongue on the wall?

There was a half-empty cup of coffee on one of the desks, and Hart smelled the coffee. The room hadn't smelled like coffee before, and he thought of the nosebleed, how he had bled in the basement in Melrath, bled from the mouth and nose. He thought of coffee, and he thought of dying, and he whispered, "No."

His mind was exhausted but there shouldn't be coffee in Scaltoth, should there? There shouldn't be, so why was it here?

This was more than exhaustion, he thought.

Hart realized he didn't know what was real and what wasn't.

But he looked at the coffee, and the coffee didn't make sense in Scaltoth. And as he thought that, he realized that he didn't really smell the coffee, that it wasn't really there. He looked at the map on the wall, and the map didn't make sense; it was the map of the ruins Yeva had gone to at Immortals Tongue, he thought, the ruins that balanced Moseke and her sisters. It wasn't a map of the ruins they were in. He looked at the list of names from four years ago, and one of the names on the list, Padraig Augustin, didn't make sense.

They didn't make sense because they were of Immortals Tongue. And the Scaltoth group was at Scaltoth.

What did Hart know was real?

He knew they were at Scaltoth. And he knew that the Scaltoth group was real. Nir'wei, Ralgar, Ralgar's translator, Woe, Yeva. He knew they were real because they had been with him before all this, before the room. Before the dream.

Ralgar was of the group; Ralgar was of Scaltoth.

Before, Ralgar had said that the expedition didn't make sense. "What is this doing in a place like Scaltoth?" he'd said. "This is not the work of my people."

The expedition wasn't of Scaltoth, and Hart looked at the notes a moment, not the research notes from the expedition in Immortals Tongue but the research notes from the expedition in Scaltoth, and the notes looked real to him.

But they didn't make sense to Ralgar, so Hart knew they weren't real.

Rather than look through the things from the expedition, Hart looked at the room. The room was real, he thought; it had to be. He looked at the room, and there was the doorway and there were the vines. The doorway looked real to him. The vines didn't look real.

Looking at the vines was like looking at a dream.

The vines were the only thing that didn't look real in the room, Hart realized. The things from Immortals Tongue looked real, despite not making sense for Scaltoth. The vines made sense for Scaltoth, they were jungle vines, but they were like a dream.

Hart moved to the vines and he held onto them with one hand. Holding onto the vines like holding onto Reality, he spoke to the group.

"I don't know what's real and what's not," Hart said. "It's like we're... ?" He didn't know; he didn't know how or why they would've gotten into the dreaming world.

And they weren't in the dreaming world, were they; they were in Scaltoth.

"But even not knowing what's real and what's not, there's something... different about the vines." Looking at the vines now, holding onto them now, it was like they weren't real. Like they weren't there in his hand.

But they were.

"I think they're real?" Hart said, questioningly. "Because... because of all the things in the room, the vines are the one thing that don't look real. It's difficult to look at them; difficult to hold onto them. The expedition notes were real to me, I was able to read the map on the wall. The coffee was real."

"But the vines aren't real to me, and so they... are?" he asked.

"Nir'wei, Ralgar," he said. The equipment was real; he knew that because, like the group, it had been with him before the room. He went through his equipment and got out a knife. Then, holding to the vines with one hand, he began to cut and saw at them.

It was difficult, because they didn't seem real. It was exhausting to look at them and hold onto them and need to remind himself that they were different from the rest of the things in the room, that though they didn't look real, they... were.

But the knife was real, it was real in his hand, and he sawed at the vines. The vines were difficult to cut, very difficult, and he said, "I think we all need to do this." He didn't look away from the vines, not for a moment. But he said to the group, and it wasn't a thought and it wasn't a question,

"We all need to do this."

While Hart worked on the vines, he spoke. He spoke to himself and he spoke to the group, and he said what was real and what wasn't, and why. He worked through his
thoughts
, and as he worked through them he worked through the vines with the knife. He cut at the vines, and he thought of Reality cutting through dream, through surreality.

He needed the group to do this; he knew he wouldn't be able to get through the vines by himself. So he spoke to the group, and he cut and he sawed at the vines, and he asked the group to speak to him like he was speaking to them, to speak Reality so that it would be real. And he asked the group to cut through the vines.
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It was immediately apparent that something really wasn't right about this place. Mugs half-filled with black liquid that smelled of coffee; he cupped one in his hand to test if it was still warm, and almost laughed, thinking that it could be considering they were somehow impossibly deep within a set of black-water-sealed ruins underneath a chamber encased in fog... layers upon layers of enchantment, yet a whole expedition party had mined out the interior? Left all their equipment behind in the middle of investigations? He focused in on the letters half-finished on the chalkboard, stopped right in the middle of a word. How could they have left in such a hurry; what could have spirited them all away?

"This." Gaddwin's voice thrummed in his head, and at a gesture, Cold pushed the box away to get a better look at the piercing black portal that dug deep into the floor. Very, very distinct from the blackness that they'd seen above and decided to jump straight into. "A Fracture." Maybe that was what had drawn them all away. Maybe something from inside had emerged and spirited them all away.

He hadn't realised he was sinking deeper into introspection, but then, despite spending such a long time in Emea, it turned out he was hardly any better at discerning its allure from reality than anyone else. He'd been looking at the whole thing backwards, trying to find the impossible logic behind it all. Cyshe's words, ringing sharply in his ear, felt like they took his brain and snapped it over a knee like a brittle twig. Emea has no logic.

Of course none of it made sense. Faith would never have been here. No expedition took place. Nothing was real. Emea hadn't reached through the Fracture and snatched away the expeditioners. It was leaking through the Fracture right then and warping their perception. "You're right." They couldn't trust any of it. The writings spoke of Chainstones only in an effort to lure them deeper into the depths of this strange maze of a dreamscape. A trap, set by... what could even set a trap such as this, to lure them in? What could know of the Chainstones? "Hart. Tamsen." Likewise, he reached out and suddenly clinging to his shoulder was the dripping ichor horror Sage, the Emean Being hopefully able to help him navigate the thin line between dream and reality in the same way he had helped navigate the depths of Emea when fully submerged. The only one around them that did not hold an Emean of his own, Ralgar, Nir grabbed by the shoulder to pull back from the papers. "We need to stay together," he echoed from Woe through Cyshe. "We're in danger of falling asleep unless we focus on the one task of breaking through the vines... and I don't know what happens if one of us actually falls asleep. If we vanish into Emea, the others can't bring them back." Despite his extended visit of Emea, he was no accomplished Dreamwalker. He didn't know about Hart, but he definitely seemed more grounded at least.

Cyshe relayed everything she heard directly to Nir'wei, and he had her relay back shortly afterwards that they had followed his advice and would continue to do so. "Keep talking. Anything at all, to let us know if we start slipping again," he also asked of Cyshe and Woe. Hart had already begun relaying thoughts, and so Nir'wei did the same. "Such a small Fracture, creating such a large problem. If only the vines weren't real either. We might be able to think them away." As it was, of course, he had nothing to offer. A bow with arrows was hardly suitable for taking down the thick, twisting vines, all covered in thorns and the like. A sword, perhaps even an axe would be better, if not for the fact Cyshe needed to remain above. What was he meant to do here? How to ever--

"Oh right. Sorry, I... I'm a total idiot. Vabina." The giant Zephyrus closed her eyes, lowered her head, and charged head-first into the vines with a sudden jolt of stored electrical energy from her horn to fry the vines. If that wasn't enough, he'd spare Cold and Myrth venturing into the fray with teeth and claws and thick hides to best the tough plant fibre. Considering their sheer size and strength, he trusted they would make much more of a dent than he could ever hope to himself. "Y'know, I keep preaching this whole thing about animals being the solution to every problem," he mused idly, hands on hips, "and then I just fail to act on it."

Sage made a strange death-rattle. "If that was you calling me a hypocrite, I will throw you down that Fracture right here and now."
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We return to where we started, and pass onwards into history.
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Re: [The Forging] Souls

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Ralgar looked down at the notes.

Why? Ralgar glanced at the papers without a moment of thought, looking at them. When was the last time he had read anything? Did the translation he had now make words make sense? Was that why he understood it? "Maybe these have something important" he muttered, looking through them, paying his full attention to the notes. So much so that he didn't take in any of it. Hart and Nir'wei spoke and for a moment, he looked over his shoulder.

Nir'wei placed his hand on Ralgar's shoulder and pulled him back from the papers, the man turning to look at his friend for a moment. Nir'wei felt different to everything else around. Felt real. As they explained the risks, the Mortalborn looked to the vines, his eyes focusing on them for a moment. "I understand" he said, his head feeling strange from the feeling. He had no experience with things like this. Even when he used his Mortalborn powers, mentally it drained him. Everything was physical, strengthening his body or using it in a ritual to make him better at his tasks. But mentally things became a blur. While this was different, the last thing he needed now was to be sent into a Frenzy. Not with people around like these. The civil folk that had changed his mind on the world, in such a short period of time.

"You're Nir'wei and Hart. Civil folk. Saving Scaltoth. I'm Bro'ky'na, I'm Deathkissed" he said to them, before repeating the same words quietly under his breath. Ralgar was in no way disciplined, not to deal with this sort of strain, but if physical change was what helped him stay awake then he would be physical. He let his fist open and close slowly, he muttered words. Anything that showed his body he was awake, while he placed his other hand on Nir's shoulder and nodded his thanks to the two men. Without them he would have been entranced by the papers, perhap lost to time. Perhaps taken, as Yeva might have been.

Hart told them to cut the vines, together. Without a second of hesitation the Mortalborn picked up a knife, grabbing a vine and focusing on it despite his head not wanting to. "Deathkissed. Bro'ky'na. My people, need me" he muttered, cutting through the vines with all his might, careful not to let his grip slip and slice his own hand. In a state like this it would be easy to harm himself by mistake, or to lose focus and slice one of his friends. They had to stay focused now, as hard as it was.

So he sliced the vines, careful to avoid his friends, doing as his group told him to - muttering the same phrase as he did.
~~Haltunga~~ Common~~
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Re: [The Forging] Souls

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Woe kept the Glass Temple informed, and he acted on the information he had. He saw - thanks to his well-paid diri - the happenings in the Glass Temple and he was in many ways an anchor for the people down below in the hole.

In the dream.

Down, past the inky blackness which had led them to the overlap of Emea and Idalos - the fracture they had slid into willingly - and which Woe had refrained from entering. He was reality, and for Nir'wei at least, that was a very helpful thing as it meant that Nir'wei's diri had someone to speak with and didn't join Nir'wei in the lucid dream in which they walked.

Hart forced himself to look at the vines. The vines which Arlo would confirm looked exactly like those which had wrapped around the Scalv Flame arcs ago. The vines attached to "Wilma the Wonder Weed" - and they looked identical. But, of course, Hart didn't know that and the diri couldn't yetbut will, if I forget, please assume confirm it.

And then, Hart cut the vines. It was hard, at first, more difficult than it should have been. Almost painful and certainly something that he didn't want to do.

But then, Nir'wei too spoke. Tamsen and Sage - the Emean beings - were here and they were solid and given form. They were at home and they both could confirm that this was Emea. Inside a fracture, but they recognised it, they saw it, and that gave it less power over them. Ralgar was not as protected as the other two down here, but he repeated the mantra that he needed to remind him who he was and he, along with Hart and Nir'wei's animals, cut the vines.

And when they worked together, they saw the vines for what they were. Strangling, vile, twisted things with sharp thorns. Choking reality, bending it.

But they cut them away and the dream shattered, breaking like a mirror and falling in shards around them.

And then, they were all four of them standing where Woe was - except there was no moon outside of the window. They were in the ruins as they were - not as the dream-state they had seen them as previously. They were in the ruins, far far below ground and in Hart's hand was the knife with which he had cut the vines - except now, he knew, that it was not. It was marked with the same marking as the other chainstones. In Ralgar's hand, too, his knife had transformed.

And the low plinth was waiting for them to place the stones on.
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With all barriers to communication gone, it was easy enough to synchronise their movements with those in Sweetwine.
The earth shook. The ruins trembled and that shaking was felt all over Scalvoris. But it was one tremor and then, it was gone. The being in front of them stood and spoke. It was simultaneously massively tall and yet, contained in the form it wore. When it spoke, they felt the very ground shake as it's voice boomed out and yet, it was quiet and softly spoken.

"I am free?"


It looked at them, bottomless black eyes regarding them. And then, it moved. Standing there, they could feel the power emanate from it. The room around them had seemed large previously but now it took more clear shape. It was vast and beautiful and made from twisting jungle plants and vines. There was an altar carved from stone and there were creatures moving in the enormous place. They saw a lion, a snake, bats fluttering in the darkness above.

"Thank you, all four of you,"
it said.
"I have watched you, hoping for my release, and I would name you Soul Forged, if you would be it,"
It looked at them, regarding them.
"But now that all four of us are free, we must meet in the Heart of Scalvoris. We must restore the Balance of Life and Death,"
it said.

Swirling in front of them was a portal. But it did not insist.
"I would ask you to join us in the Heart of Scalvoris,"
it said.
"And restore Balance to this island. There, I will name those of you who wish it as Soul-Forged."
It looked at them each.
"And we will be able to explain more. But time is of the essence now, we must not tarry long."


But the choice, of course, was theirs.

Info & Rules

Ok - because both groups have got to this point, I took the liberty of assuming that you put the chainstones down. Basically, otherwise, you'd have another round of posting which seems to me to be largely wasted. However - to be clear - IF YOUR PC WOULD NOT COMPLY then that is fine and if you wouldn't put the chainstones down, then let me know and I will work it out.

If you could let me know sooner rather than later, that would be great.

If you do go through, however, then please note that you are now going to one of two threads. Please post in the following thread:

Life Forged: Nir & Hart

Death Forged: Woe & Ralgar

In that thread, please split your post into 2. The first half, responding to this mod post - the second half, explaining what you do when you arrive. Thanks!
 ! Message from: Reminder
There are no required skill levels for this.
It is - undoubtedly - dangerous. It's a war.
What will get you hurt is NOT if you are low skilled. What will get you hurt is doing something foolish. There's plenty for everyone to do.
Equally, being highly skilled is not a guarantee of anything. This will need teamwork and smarts.

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
Group
  • Discovered Somewhere Interesting!
Individuals
  • Woe You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You not hungry.
  • Hart You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry.
  • Ralgar You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry.
  • Nir'wei You feel warm and rested. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry.

Objectives

Go, or do not. There is no try!

DiriCom

This round:
All diris are communicating loud and clear - you know what's happening everywhere (please note Ishallr and Sweetwine have succeeded.)
Next Post: Sunday 11th July
word count: 1076
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Re: [The Forging] Souls

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Your Review
Woe

Overview

It's so apt that Woe is a follower of Chamadarst, you know. He's so well-balanced in the way you play him. His reaction to flying, the way that he stayed behind above the inky gloopy blackness. All of those details which you weave in and it makes for a great read. He's a very complex pc and I love the contribution he made here. Enjoy your rewards!

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

When you return from The Feast, you return home to find a beautifully carved wooden box. The contents of this box include:
  • Earthsoul!: An ornamental doorstop-like figure. Made from what seems to be ice, this is the spider-monkey thing that Woe saw. It can be placed at a perimeter or point where it will act as an alarm. When there is movement within a 40ft radius of it, Woe will hear an alarm. The alarm can only be heard by Woe and up to four other people he designates. He can remove access to hearing the alarm at any time, but can only give access twice a cycle.
  • Words! ~ A story book, entitled "The Princess of Fection" - it is the tale of a princess who traveled the world but ends up back home (in Fection.....). It tells of all the many different languages she has learned on her travels and the glorious food she ate and the many adventures she had. When you read this it imparts one language (your choice) to your pc. This language is at Conversational level and does not count towards your Linguistics maximum number of languages. You may assume that you have the base requirements for this language and may progress it as usual if you choose to.
  • Urges! ~ A beautiful and very delicate-looking decanter which, once a trial, will create pure, clear water. The decanter is actually very tough and will hold up to four servings. Those who drink this water will have any negative effects from tiredness, tension etc, washed away with the drink. It leaves you feeling refreshed and clear-headed. It does not, however, heal wounds etc and will not combat magical effects.
  • Successes and Failures! ~ A small chest of jewels and coins. Please add 5 WP to your total.
    Vowels! + No Repetition ~ A piece of parchment. Four times a season, you may activate this and it folds itself into a small origami bird. You speak to the bird and give it a message - it "records" that message and then flies off to find the person the message is for. The message may be no longer than 50 words (contractions count for the correct number of words) and the bird will take the required amount of time to fly to the recipient. Upon arriving, the bird speaks your message (in your voice) and then flies back. If the recipient is dead or hidden by magical / immortal means - the bird will circle overhead when you summon it and not fly in any direction.
  • Malapropism! ~ The Very Pineapple of Usefulness. A small cut-glass pineapple which would fit in the palm of your hand. When placed on the ground it functions as a campfire in terms of warmth and providing a place to cook.
  • Fears! ~ A small bunch of 10 grapes. Each one is wonderfully sweet - eating 1 grape will heal you of minor injuries. This is cuts and bruises, scrapes and grazes etc. If you have moderate injuries (deeper cuts etc) then it will take 3 grapes. Major injuries take 6 grapes and someone can be brought back from a critical condition with 9 grapes. Please note, though - if you gave (for example) 1 grape to someone with moderate injuries, it would do nothing. You have an all-or-nothing grape situation.

Moseke is pleased with your actions here beneath the earth and stone:

Sevrath's Will (Minor)
With a large amount of concentration, the user is capable of focusing energy into a small plant or sapling of their choosing to coax it into a form (An inanimate object, a room, etc). Using this ability will require multiple events to "convince" the plant to retain the shape that is willed unto it. The character will usually have to sing or play music for the plant in question to calm its wild ways. At this stage, the formations created by this ability are often small and easily destroyed.

Sru'Alubosa (Minor)
Standing for 'nature form,' the user is capable of turning small portions of their body into stone or wood. They must be in direct contact with sturdy, natural object containing stone or wood. Other natural objects such as earth and sand are not encouraged, as a low level user is unable to maintain the form of the body part. Potential loss of the body part is high if the user is not familiar with that natural component.

Chamadarst, too, is pleased with your work.
Perfect Value
When dealing in matters of trade, as many Sombran are wont to do, it helps immensely to know the exact value of the goods for which you are trading. Perfect Value allows the Sombran to know the exact value of any good they are buying, selling, or trading. Due to this, many unscrupulous merchants hate dealing with those who bear Sombran, as they are impossible to fool. Many wealthy houses and businesses, however, regularly employ those who bear Sombran in order to ensure the quality of the goods they purchase. Naturally, most Sombran bearers are not shy about exploiting this ability in order to charge a great deal for such services.

Glass Blades
When in a fight, no Blessed should ever find themselves without a weapon, and so Sombran grants those who wield the ability to form glass blades over the their hands and arms, turning themselves into living weapons. Those unfamiliar with glass may find this underwhelming, but glass has an incredibly sharp edge, and those these blades can be shattered, they can be reformed almost instantly and at very little cost to the Blessed. Each blade costs only 1 WP to generate, but cannot be used more than 10 times a break.

Knowledge

Athletics: x 2
Detection x 5
Discipline x 3
Endurance: x 3
Fieldcraft x 4
Investigation x 5
Leadership x 3
Mount (Air): x 4
Navigation x 3


Hart

Overview

Hart is such a deep thinker and feels everything so intently. I love how you write his introspection and I always imagine that the way he speaks is considered and careful, like he's really thought about every word, you know? I very much enjoyed Hart's contribution to this thread, and this story. I hope you enjoy your rewards!

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

When you return from The Feast, you return home to find a beautifully carved wooden box. The contents of this box include:
  • Earthsoul!: An ornamental doorstop-like figure. Made from what seems to be ice, this is the constellion that Hart saw. It can be placed at a perimeter or point where it will act as an alarm. When there is movement within a 40ft radius of it, Hart will hear an alarm. The alarm can only be heard by Hart and up to four other people he designates. He can remove access to hearing the alarm at any time, but can only give access twice a cycle.
  • Malapropism! ~ The Very Pineapple of Usefulness. A small cut-glass pineapple which would fit in the palm of your hand. When placed on the ground it functions as a campfire in terms of warmth and providing a place to cook.
  • Fears! ~ A small bunch of 10 grapes. Each one is wonderfully sweet - eating 1 grape will heal you of minor injuries. This is cuts and bruises, scrapes and grazes etc. If you have moderate injuries (deeper cuts etc) then it will take 3 grapes. Major injuries take 6 grapes and someone can be brought back from a critical condition with 9 grapes. Please note, though - if you gave (for example) 1 grape to someone with moderate injuries, it would do nothing. You have an all-or-nothing grape situation.
Ziell is pleased with you

Touch of Greatness (Minor)
With this ability, one can sense the capability of another. While not truly a 'prophecy' of what is to come, this ability grants a sensation of what one target is capable of. Those with Competency in a weapon will smell of blood or steel, someone accomplished in magic might smell acrid or lance the tongue with a shocking sensation. Players are encouraged to be creative with this ability. While it does not deliberately spell out a character's skills or abilities, a learned user of this talent will be able to identify certain people by what they are capable of.

The Peacefather's Skills
The character is granted an extra three skill points which may be spent only on the following skills: Socialization, Meditation, or Investigation. Any skill points granted by this Mark can break the 250 (or 100 if fast track) point cap on skills. Within these skills, the points may be spent how the pc chooses.

Knowledge

Athletics: x 2
Detection x 5
Discipline x 3
Endurance: x 3
Fieldcraft x 4
Investigation x 5
Leadership x 3
Mount (Air): x 4
Navigation x 3
Ralgar

Overview

He's a big fella, isn't he? You play Ralgar really well, I enjoy how very intense he seems to be - he's very focused and I hear his voice as a very gritty, deep almost-growl. He's a lot of fun as a PC and there's something very formidable about him. Enjoy your rewards!

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

When you return from The Feast, you return home to find a beautifully carved wooden box. The contents of this box include:
  • Earthsoul!: An ornamental doorstop-like figure. Made from what seems to be ice, this is the anaconda-like thing that Ralgar saw. It can be placed at a perimeter or point where it will act as an alarm. When there is movement within a 40ft radius of it, Ralgar will hear an alarm. The alarm can only be heard by Ralgar and up to four other people he designates. He can remove access to hearing the alarm at any time, but can only give access twice a cycle.
  • Malapropism! ~ The Very Pineapple of Usefulness. A small cut-glass pineapple which would fit in the palm of your hand. When placed on the ground it functions as a campfire in terms of warmth and providing a place to cook.
  • Fears! ~ A small bunch of 10 grapes. Each one is wonderfully sweet - eating 1 grape will heal you of minor injuries. This is cuts and bruises, scrapes and grazes etc. If you have moderate injuries (deeper cuts etc) then it will take 3 grapes. Major injuries take 6 grapes and someone can be brought back from a critical condition with 9 grapes. Please note, though - if you gave (for example) 1 grape to someone with moderate injuries, it would do nothing. You have an all-or-nothing grape situation.

Knowledge

Athletics: x 3
Detection x 5
Discipline x 3
Endurance: x 3
Fieldcraft x 4
Investigation x 5
Leadership x 3
Linguistics x 2
Navigation x 3
Yeva

Overview

It's a shame that you didn't get to finish this thread with Yeva - she's a fun pc and was missed throughout the rest of this thread and what followed after.

Points

XP: 15
Renown: 5

Loot

None

Knowledge

Athletics: x 2
Detection x 2
Endurance: x 2
Fieldcraft x 2
Mount (Air): x 4
Nir'wei

Overview

Ohhh, he's a little collection of action figures in this thread, so he is. I love how very action-oriented he is and how you manage to give everyone a unique voie in your posts. It's great writing, it really is. You know, there's just something very real and relatable about Nir, even in the most fantastic of situations. Enjoy your rewards!

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

When you return from The Feast, you return home to find a beautifully carved wooden box. The contents of this box include:
  • Earthsoul!: & Hunting in Packs: Four ornamental doorstop-like figures. Made from what seems to be ice, they are the screeching hound creatures Nir'wei saw. These can be placed at a perimeter or point where they act as an alarm. When there is movement within a 40ft radius of one of them, Nir will hear an alarm. The alarm can only be heard by Nir'wei (and his animals / familiars etc in direct contact with him) and up to four other people he designates. He can remove access to hearing the alarm at any time, but can only give access twice a cycle. Each figure functions independently and may be accessed by different people if he chooses.
  • Words! ~ A story book, entitled "The Princess of Fection" - it is the tale of a princess who traveled the world but ends up back home (in Fection.....). It tells of all the many different languages she has learned on her travels and the glorious food she ate and the many adventures she had. When you read this it imparts one language (your choice) to your pc. This language is at Conversational level and does not count towards your Linguistics maximum number of languages. You may assume that you have the base requirements for this language and may progress it as usual if you choose to.
  • Urges! ~ A beautiful and very delicate-looking decanter which, once a trial, will create pure, clear water. The decanter is actually very tough and will hold up to four servings. Those who drink this water will have any negative effects from tiredness, tension etc, washed away with the drink. It leaves you feeling refreshed and clear-headed. It does not, however, heal wounds etc and will not combat magical effects.
  • Successes and Failures! ~ A small chest of jewels and coins. Please add 5 WP to your total.
  • Vowels! ~ A piece of parchment. Twice a season, you may activate this and it folds itself into a small origami bird. You speak to the bird and give it a message - it "records" that message and then flies off to find the person the message is for. The message may be no longer than 30 words (contractions count for the correct number of words) and the bird will take the required amount of time to fly to the recipient. Upon arriving, the bird speaks your message (in your voice) and then flies back. If the recipient is dead or hidden by magical / immortal means - the bird will circle overhead when you summon it and not fly in any direction.
  • Malapropism! ~ The Very Pineapple of Usefulness. A small cut-glass pineapple which would fit in the palm of your hand. When placed on the ground it functions as a campfire in terms of warmth and providing a place to cook.
  • Fears! ~ A small bunch of 10 grapes. Each one is wonderfully sweet - eating 1 grape will heal you of minor injuries. This is cuts and bruises, scrapes and grazes etc. If you have moderate injuries (deeper cuts etc) then it will take 3 grapes. Major injuries take 6 grapes and someone can be brought back from a critical condition with 9 grapes. Please note, though - if you gave (for example) 1 grape to someone with moderate injuries, it would do nothing. You have an all-or-nothing grape situation.
Cassion is pleased with your adventure!

Safe Camp
When one takes camp in the wilderness, they take risk. Dangers lurk when the traveler is in stasis and many expeditions have ended with ambush in the dark of night. Safe Camp is an ability Cassion allows his followers during such a time to avoid some of the worst of what untamed Idalos has to offer. Any camp can be deemed, ‘safe’, but only a single camp for a trial. The Sojourner marks the edges of the camp with drops of his own blood, naturally warding away predators and creatures who might prowl through the night. Marking an entrance, a Sojourner opens a door to a comfortable extra-dimensional space with a warm roaring fire in the hearth that will burn all eve if willed to. This room often changes depending on the area the Sojourner is in, naturally blending with local customs of comfort and style. No object from this room can be taken from the inside as it exists only as a respite for the weary. This ability is only available if the Sojourner takes the time to set up camp, and cannot be used instantly in a combat situation to avoid harm or escape to an extra-dimensional space. This space, while comfortable and roomy enough for a traveler, a few companions, and even their mount, holds no food or other comforts save those that they might need to enjoy a restful evening. A side effect of the ability is that it naturally draws non-aggressive travelers to the location, a beacon for any and all who walk the road to their own ends, but do not seek the end of others they may meet. A Sojourner is not permitted to refused entrance or rest to any who come, even if that means they must sleep on the hard floor outside. Any outsiders seeking to enter the extra-dimensional space for a hostile or aggressive purpose will find themselves in the material space taken up by the camp, not allowed into the space created by the Sojourner. Should the entrance to the space be discovered and destroyed, the Sojourner and all interred companions are transported back to the material space occupied by the Camp.

Souvenir
A Souvenir is a piece of travel, a memory attributed to an object of importance. Cassion travels with many, tangled in his hair. A souvenir can be almost any item, but it must have great importance to a particularly impactful event or accomplishment that the marked has achieved. Dedicated in such a way, it gains a supernatural power that can be used by any who possess it at the time. Only one Souvenir can be utilized at first mark, but an additional souvenir can be collected and dedicated at each level of mark thereafter. Should a souvenir be destroyed or stolen, the marked will need to dedicate another to a different memory, or track down the thief responsible. The power of the Souvenir tends to be variable, depending on the nature of the object and what memory it is associated with. When achieving this ability, you may submit a suggestion to the PSF. Be sure to explain the object’s importance as well. These abilities function like minor magical effects, but ones that can be quite useful. Boots that stride upon calm water, dedicated from an adventure set in the shoals and shallows of a reef, or perhaps a blade that always burns hot with the heat of a desert sun. Other possible examples might be a bone bead that renders you untrackable to a particular beast of scent, or a shell by which you can draw a fresh breath every two breaks, rather than needing to breathe the air around you. A Souvenir must have a story attached that explains the effect it provides. At this level, the effects can be quite useful, but are often not astounding.

Knowledge

Athletics: x 2
Detection x 5
Discipline x 3
Endurance: x 3
Fieldcraft x 4
Investigation x 5
Leadership x 3
Mount (Air): x 4
Navigation x 3
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this review - drop me a PM.
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~~Red in hoof and claw... ~~


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