• Graded • [The Forging] Ishallr

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[The Forging] Ishallr

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Outside The Cave

Elisabeth had managed to change her top.

That had not been a risk-free - or a consequence-free - action. These were temperatures where breathing could freeze your lungs and she was not protected magically against the cold. Add in to that the fact that her trousers were the items which were most wet - since she had landed the way she did - and things were not good. Not good at all.

Arlo advised caution, and Elisabeth spoke her response. But the issue was that her teeth were chattering to the point that speaking was more and more difficult. Shivers had progressed to near-convulsion levels of shaking and as she tried to explain what she was thinking, that would be enough for Arlo to recognise just how bad a situation she was in. Then, as the ghost appeared, Elisabeth walked and listened and tried to comment to Arlo, questioning the use of the word "we" and, as she did she would realise that her legs were numb. She couldn't feel them at all and she was running a very serious risk of falling again.

Then, more time was taken as Prae tied her wrist and spoke to her. This was more extreme a situation than Prae32 / 350 XP Competent Fieldcraft had encountered and it paled beside the warmth of the fortress-city of Viden which Elisabeth0 / 250 XP Novice Fieldcraft was used to. But for Arlo 256/250 XP Master Fieldcraft, it was obvious. In these temperatures, they'd had mere moments the very trill the pair of them had got wet. Moments which had been used up.

Still, the group moved as best they could. Once the ghost had spoken, Elisabeth apologised around her shaking and chattering and then, after Prae had tied her wrist, she tried to call in to Darius. She found that her breath caught in her lungs. But she couldn't see into the cave because of the mist.

Arlo spoke to the Ghost Lady, and Prae was more accommodating. "You must help us, oh please kind sir. Please. She has our bodies, you see, frozen in the tundra. She feeds on us, harms us, but we can't leave because we're anchored here." Baleful eyes glared at Arlo. "No one helps us. Always too busy, always too cold. She'll hurt us, every moment you waste here, she hurts us." Pleading eyes gazed on them both. In that moment ~ two things happened.

First, Arlo realised that he had no contact with Lyova, his fairy companion.

Also in that moment Elisabeth stepped forward, entering Gambit's Gate. This meant that she passed close to the Ghost Lady - close enough for the Ghost to really examine her. Still, she walked - by now stumbling on her number legs - to the Gate and she stepped in. Except, she discovered that she couldn't. Because the mist was solid. As solid as the ice around it. Darius no longer replied to them.

The ghost chuckled.

"Audrae's wrapped him up in silk. His blood is warm, like mother's milk. Tiger'll lead him to the door. But one won't do, there must be four!!" She laughed, flitting around them. "You're just helpless, she'll soon be dead. Her eyes will be frozen, in her head." the ghost flew around, cackling, and she turned to Elisabeth. "So full of life, about to die. I'm hungry, so I'll drink you dry!"

And as Isis disappeared, Elisabeth felt her energy start to drain. The othersDetection at Competent or better. would notice her colour change as the already-suffering-from-frostbite young woman was an obvious and easy target to the ghost and it's ability to sap her life.

A wolf howled, in the distance.

Info & Rules

Ok. This group is in a
Situation Critical Moment.

What you do now will determine the next outcomes.
Please remember that everything you do takes time. While Elisabeth is in the most immediate danger, the three of you are in a very inhospitable place.

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
  • Lost contact with Lyova
  • Lost contact with HQ.
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 the surrounding area. There's a small X on it, in an area which appears to be very difficult to get to. You have 1 set of clothes spare.
  • Elisabeth You are no longer managing against the cold. You are in extreme danger. At this point, serious frostbite is guaranteed, and you are at risk of hypothermia. You are not yet tired, but you feel a little drowsy (you can shake that off though, due to your Endurance). You are not hungry. You are experiencing "Syphon" being used against you by a ghost.
  • Praetorum You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have one set of spare clothes.

Objectives

You have 2 objectives.
1. Deal with the ghost.
2. Decide whether you will try and find your way into the caves via another route, or do something else.

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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr

Just when Arlo had begun to think things couldn't get any worse than they already were, things did. A lot worse. In large part, thanks to a manipulating, poorly rhymed and meddlesome ghost. He'd known she couldn't be trusted. He just hadn't quite anticipated the lengths that Isis might go to in order to thwart them. What few bits Elisabeth might have had before hypothermia would set in, had been robbed from her by long trills of indecision, and by whatever that ghost had done to her.

Arlo wasn't predisposed to knowing exactly what that was. He could only guess by looking at Elisabeth's coloring and how quickly it was changing; and if there'd been an ounce of truth behind the ghost's threats, then Isis had definitely done something. And presumably, still was. It was probably no great exaggeration to think that Elisabeth had many fewer bits now than she might have had otherwise before she was beyond the point of helping. But only if they were lucky.

Was the ghost still here? Last Arlo had spied her, she'd been racing round them, cackling away. Tugging off one glove, for just the minimum of time he could afford to expose his hands to the cold, he revealed one black fingernail that due to some strange adventure so long ago, suddenly sprouted flame in response to the presence of a spirit. 'Ah, there you are,' he thought, reminding himself to keep moving while his mind raced over what measly options they had left. He spent no more than a trill or two on the effort. All of them were, as he'd once heard someone say, 'Hail Marys'. But so far as he could tell, he'd be using them all up at once. He'd have to hope one of them stuck.

Safe camp, he realized, had never been an option. Setting up a proper camp to start with, finding burnable wood if there was any, starting a fire; all of it would have taken more time than either Elisabeth or Darius had from the moment they'd fallen. Come to think of it, he'd be hard pressed to take Isis' word for it so far as Darius' fate was concerned. Right now, it was trills for Elisabeth, while Darius remained an unknown. Having gained sight of the ghost and able to avoid getting near her, or letting her get near to him, Arlo first addressed Prae. "I'm going to flag the Elements down. Hopefully they'll see my signal," he said, already unwinding the thick scarf from around his neck.

"If you want to buy her a few trills, if she's lucky, pick her up and cradle her against you. Use your body to shield her from the wind." It was too late to strip off those wet trousers. Doing so would cost her more time than was gained. "Keep moving, stick close to me. Always. Trust me." Meaning, he knew where that ghost was and could see her well enough to avoid her. But unless she was a mind reader, and considering their luck she would be, he'd rather not announce his intentions for Isis to hear.

"Hey! Hey! Help! Down here!" Arlo shouted then, waving the red scarf in the air in an effort to get the Element's attention. He hoped for a signal back or some change, so he could know that they'd seen him. They'd said they'd be circling above them, keeping watch and ready to help if needed. Arlo hoped they were still there, and that there was a healer among them, and that they'd seen and heard. Would it mean ultimately carrying Elisabeth back with them, back the way that they'd come? Possibly. But if the second, or third option he had in mind didn't work either, better recovering back at base than dead.

Once he'd done that, he turned back to the pair, still on the move and pulled the wooden chicken leg and it's leather strand from around his neck, always moving, always keeping an eye on that ghost and taking pains to avoid her. Whether Prae had scooped up Elisabeth or not, whether they'd followed and stuck close to him or not, Arlo pushed the chicken leg into Elisabeth's hands. "Hold it against your skin, under your clothing. Keep hold of it. I'm going to need that back just as soon as you're sorted," he said, hoping to add a touch of lightness to what was, frankly, nothing of the kind. It was true anyway. He'd need it back in order to keep himself going for the long haul. But for now, he had the packets of orange sand sewn into his clothing and packed round his body, and the wooden leg might buy her just the bit or two that she needed until help arrived.

Arlo had the map, still, rolled up in his gloved hand, and giving it a look, he spied an x there that he could swear hadn't been there before. It might have been. There'd been a lot going on. "There should be another entrance nearby," he said, hoping the pair were sticking close to him, avoiding the ghost, and reassured that if the Elements were there and on their way down, the trio would remain easy to spot and get to so long as they hadn't ventured inside.

But if they didn't catch his signal and act quickly? It might be too late by the time they found and reached the cave opening anyway. But he had to try. If not Prae shielding Elisabeth from the wind, if not the the Elements or the wooden chicken leg that he'd pushed into her hands, then inside that cave might be all the chance that Elisabeth had left. So while ducking and weaving when necessary to avoid letting the ghost near, should she still be in the area, that's where Arlo was headed, towards the direction of the x on the map while keeping an eye out for anything that might look like an opening, another way into the cave system. And always taking care to watch for any threat or danger presumably greater than the one they were already facing; which could in turn trigger a change of plan.

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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr

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Arc 721, 30 Ashan

Elisabeth knew she was in trouble. To be fair, she had been in trouble from the moment she stepped into the Glass Temple earlier that trial. It hadn't been the grandest opening of chess ever but the Immortals' Gambit, played out with her, Woe and Bao, had led to event after event. The young woman owed Woe something of an apology for not understanding the gravity of what was transpiring. She was still furious, but that had been tempered with perspective.

The hits just kept on coming and up to that point, she had soldiered on, trying to help someone. Anyone. It was always that way with her, constantly moving and looking for where she could pitch in. Rharne. Viden. Scalvoris. Haven. The Immortals had asked a favor of her. Kura had believed in her. The young mage had always believed in her ability to work through any situation, but she was being tested in a way unlike any other.

No, no, no…..Darius…..please….not you too….

The mist had formed a solid barrier. Separated from Darius, she was unsure what his condition was but if the ghost was to be believed, none of them were safe. It took her back to the memory of being separated from Balthazar in Almund. Not knowing if he was dead or alive. Irritation mounted, but she didn’t allow it to consume. She couldn’t. Darius was her friend. He was the reason she heard seagulls when she called on Water. He had seen what she had been through and cared for her when they met up in the Glass Temple. He was a good man, and she wasn’t letting anything happen to him.

The people she cared about were in danger. That was all she knew, and that’s all she needed to know.

She felt her energy draining away, and she knew it was the ghost. It felt unnatural. Her knowledge about ghosts was limited to what she knew from Nimue and Balthazar, but they had never discussed anything about the abilities of ghosts, other than Nimue mentioning that it was easier to take over someone that was a little drunk. Maybe her own current state made something easier for the ghost. The cold had made even walking more treacherous for her and she really couldn’t handle another fall.

She was a liability the group couldn’t afford. Scalvoris couldn’t afford the liability if Command and the ghost were to be believed. But one won't do, there must be four!! All four had to make it and in her current state, she wasn’t going to be able to.

Something needed to break in her favor. One glimmer of hope.

Frustration took over. Countless hours had been devoted to training to handle anything that came her direction, and this was what it came down to – the damn cold and a ghost? One thing she thrived in. The thing that gave her joy and peace when she felt it caressing her cheeks. If it hadn’t been for being weak from that, perhaps there would have been another way to deal with whatever the ghost was doing to her. She knew something of anchors although not much. The ghost’s anchor had to be nearby. She knew at least that. Scanning the area, she wondered what the anchor could be.

Glancing at Arlo and Prae, she knew they had to be thinking of ways to help her, but in this case, she needed to try to help herself as well. Her mind was what made her special. She needed to use it.

Accepting what appeared to be a chicken leg from Arlo, she didn’t hesitate to do as he asked, listening and watching while he and Prae did what they did, but she had a few cards left to play herself.

Not totrial. Ishallr won’t take me. I’m here for a reason….

Steeling herself, Elisabeth did what she could to communicate with the ghost. Balthazar had told her that ghosts wanted something, which is why they were still hanging around. Instead of threatening her, perhaps it was time to talk to her and ask her what she wanted. “Isis, I presume?” She tried talking out loud the best she could, continuing to walk, making sure her steps were smaller, with less chance of falling in her current state. Or being carried, as Arlo had suggested. What she needed to do could be said from anywhere.“Help us. The Immortals sent us on a mission. Assist us and I will tell them you did. Maybe they can help you. If you help us, I will come back and help you.” She knew a little of Faith and Famula, having been witness to an incident in Rharne with a soul. The memory burned bright in her mind, trying to remember that ghosts were once people and deserved compassion.

That wasn’t all. Would he even hear her? Elisabeth knew the Immortals were watching…but would their sights be set on Ishallr? They needed to release their Induk first, so perhaps.

“Ziell, I call upon you, in gratitude and need. I have been faithful to the mission of peace and helping others. Four need to arrive at the door. Please help me see this through and I will do whatever is asked of me. We have to protect Scalvoris – all of it, and all those that live here.” Haven was only a small piece of Scalvoris and while it was large on her mind, the situation they faced was greater than all of it. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

To be truthful, Elisabeth had no idea how much of what she said was out loud or in her mind. Her body was tired, and it was hard to speak, but she kept fighting it, needing to see things through. That was one thing she knew to be true – she was a fighter. Ishallr would not take her.

She was a practical girl and even if she died, she needed to do everything possible to protect her home. She may have been "Elisabeth of Viden" once upon a time, but that girl was no more.

Speaking what needed to be said, she addressed both Arlo and Prae. “If I fall, the riders need to get Balthazar. He can withstand these elements and Faldrass is close. This is a matter of life or death, for all of us. If I can’t make it, someone else needs to take my place. He is the closest and he has some sort of spiritual healing powers that can help if anyone needs them.”

Regardless of where she was or how she was feeling, she knew they had to get into the caves. Cerulean eyes poured over the face of the caves and around, searching for an indication of something that might be a way in.

Not totrial...

I love you, Balthazar...

She was going home. They would release the Induks, in order, They would free the Heart. Elisabeth would prove that she was worthy of trust. She would go home to Haven and sometrial, she would be able to talk to and kiss the man she loved without an audience.

There was work to be done first.

Note for Peg
I have no idea how much Elisabeth will be able to say out loud or in her mind. Happy to leave that to you...

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 a 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 to heat an individual up or cooling them down (depending on the season) makes it an interesting keepsake.
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Praetorum
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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr


Things, Praetorum should have learned by now, could always, always get worse.

Elisabeth was freezing to death before his eyes, they’d been cut off from the one member of their party who’d been truly irreplaceable, and the ghost he’d hoped was sincere—damn it all, when would he learn his lesson about trusting in ghosts—had turned out to be malevolent.

Panicfearhorror rippled in Prae’s mind, just for a moment, before he stilled his mind, assessing the situation. He couldn’t do anything about the cave or Darius right now, not when this thing was so oddly magical; nor could he do anything about the ghost, at least as far as he knew. But he could help Elisabeth before the cold overtook her entirely.

Even as Arlo spoke, Prae was already moving towards Elisabeth, his mind running along the same track as the mortalborn’s, if a little slower. Unceremoniously, he scooped the human up, and pulled her towards him, cradling as much of her body in two arms as he could manage, tucking his cloak around her using his tail. His own body ran hot, and it was his hope that he could use his cloak and body to create a pocket of warmth for Elisabeth to survive in.

He nodded at Arlo’s words, and followed, keeping as close to the man as he could manage without getting in his way. As he did, he peered over the man’s shoulder at the map in his hands, quickly scanning it for later reference.

“I’m going to try something with magic.” He told his companions both as Elisa began to pray. “She might not survive if I don’t.”

For a runewright of Prae’s experience, it was a trivial matter to draw a rune of resistance on Elisabeth’s torso, and then a dispersed rune of chained endurance and regeneration on her arm, at a much lower power than his maximum. He'd drawn runes like these a dozen, a hundred times before. But he hadn’t focused so much on his runes since his days in Yaralon.

Acutely aware that magic was acting strange, Praetorum drew the runes carefully, monitoring his ether usage, the rune’s strength and stability, and the general state of his spark at all times. If he detected anything he deemed dangerous, he would stop, leaving Elisabeth with runes only as strong as he thought was safe.

He could only hope it would be enough.
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: 478
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] Ishallr

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Outside The Cave

In times of crisis, every second counts. That was certainly the case here.

So many of those seconds had already been spent in indecision, and it had led them here. To this moment. To anyone with any skillCompetent Medicine or Fieldcraft it was obvious that Elisabeth's situation was way beyond dangerous.

Arlo gave Elisabeth the chicken leg, and she held on to it. It warmed her, and she felt that happening. Yet, what it didn't do was mitigate the damage already done, and she felt herself continue to shiver, to tremble. And, as her temperature changed, to sweat a little too. She didn't follow Arlo, as he had said, but that didn't matter because Prae walked in and picked her up. Holding her, Prae followed Arlo as the Elements began their descent to the group.

And Elisabeth tried to speak to the ghost. To reason with her. Isis laughed. "Mention me to the Immortals? Useless child, why would they listen to you?" She flew around, constantly flying through Elisabeth, keeping that physical contact she needed. As she did, Elisabeth felt - of all things - a sudden, almost insatiable hunger. Her mouth was dry, her head began to spin and every joint ached. Praetorum, as he was the one holding her, saw how pale she was. Arlo, who could see the ghost - and not just see what the ghost was willing to show them - saw the link between the two. A sort of swirling vortex between Elisabeth's chest and the ghosts, with power flowing very definitely from the human woman to the dead one.

"In that Temple, you raged at the man who offered you in exchange for all of Scalvoris!" The ghost sounded angry. "And look here. Useless, worthless child. The mission will fail because of you. Because of your foolishness. So you would not sacrifice yourself for all of Scalvoris, but you'll let them sacrifice all of Scalvoris for you! Fool!" The laughter echoed in her ears. "Oh, so needy. Oh, so helpless. Helpless. Hopeless. You're no use to them. You're taking their time and their energy and because of you they'll die, the island will fall." They could all three of them hear the words, but Elisabeth heard them in her mind, in her soul - as well as with her ears.

"So proud, so determined. So useless. What have you done? What have you achieved? Nothing. You're a hanger-on, a limpet. Useless. They'd be better off if you died. Talk to the Immortals on my behalf? HA!" Laughter, mocking awful laughter reverberated. "No Immortal has listened to you so far. You've been a spectator while they work, you've done nothing except drain them of time and energy. You think your brain makes you special? You're all words and nothing more. " Louder now, echoing in her mind. "Nothing more, lots less. Useless, needy child. " And it continued. And continued. Elisabeth would noticeplease feel free to include what is said in your next post, Elisabeth that it was right, always, bang on the money as far as hitting her fears and insecurities were concerned.

And then, Prae cast.

It was an easy thing. A usual thing. Mundane even to the Runewright. But just as they had been warned it was cold, so too had they been warned not to use magic. And, he did. To save a friend. Praetorum was sensible, starting with a Resistance Rune on Elisabeth's torso. He monitored himself carefully, making it a slower process. His ether was normal, his spark felt as it always did. But Praetorum had heard the warning - and he had experienced what was happening with the elements via his defiance.


That monitoring meant that he never got further than the Rune of Resistance. Because the moment that Prae empowered that rune, three things happened, simultaneously. Firstly, it burned. Searing, scorching flesh, Elisabeth felt an intense searing pain as it burnt into her as the rune Overloaded. A technique which could be used by Runewrights, but also a very dangerous situation, the young human woman was already in physical danger, but now this had happened. The second thing was that, the "swirling vortex" between Elisabeth and the ghost glowed an intense, impossibly bright white light - it was blindingly bright - as ectoplasm and ether mingled and twisted together, they all saw it. No longer only visible to Arlo, they all saw the energies combining as the overloaded rune effectively became the very opposite of what it was meant to be.

And the third thing? The ghost was sucked into the swirling vortex of energy and disappeared into Elisabeth. For Elisabeth, that was where the real issues began - because now there were two of them in her body, the ghost and the woman, fighting for controlthe overloaded rune has created a forced possession situation. The voices hammered her - so many voices, now, each one of them whispering about her weakness and her insecurities - every secret fear laid out to her. But now, all in her head.

As the Elements landed, a fourth thing happened. Prae - of all of them - might understand why, especially if he understood why magic and dreamwalking was such a bad idea. But as the creatures of nightmareEmeans and Emeyans began to fall in to attack Prae, they too were pulled in to the swirling vortex which the overloaded rune had created. More energy, emean energy, combined with the ectoplasm and ether.

Inside her mind, Elisabeth was fighting. Sometimes, her eyes were her normal blue, other times, the blackness of Isis' eyes - other times, other colours completely.

"What in the Beneath is going on here?!" The Elements, having landed, had run to them. One of them immediately began to examine Elisabeth, grabbing the White Heat herb from the medical bag and putting it in her mouth, forcing her to swallow it. Elisabeth saw and knew flashes, here, she got out a word from each sentence she thought she spoke. Isis was visible no more and the Element worked quickly, using the orange sand bags, putting them down her trouser legs, keeping her legs warm and the wetness away from her skin. "What did you cast on her, exactly?" His companion wrote something, then helped. "As much detail as you can. Did you test it on yourself first?"

There was no question. No hesitation. No pause. "We're taking her back. You are welcome to join us, if you choose. Alberach says it's your choice if you wish to continue on, or return with her." Having followed Arlo, they were in front of a cliff-face which was apparently just sheer ice and snow. It looked impossibleit isn't. But we're looking at Expert level in Acrobatics, Climbing, that kind of thing. There's also the issue of how stuff melts when you touch it and how that might impact climbing to climb, and more than a little trecherous. But it was there that the X was marked, still, on Arlo's map and for the sharp-eyedDetection at Competent or above there was a tiny opening on the very edge. It was above an impassible area and, should anyone fall from that place, they'd probably die as they got skewered on the stalagmites below. The Elements were not hanging around, Elisabeth was in a critical situation and they knew what they had to do.

Info & Rules

Ok.
Situation Critical Moment.
continues.
Talking to the ghost didn't help
Casting magic hindered - significantly.
Prae, however, has not experienced any overstepping or negative effects.
Elisabeth has experienced significant negative effects and is in a battle for who has control of her body. The Elements are taking her out of here - although she can (in her moments of lucidity) fight them, of course.
IF you choose to go on, it is an incredibly dangerous option. High risk. Very high.

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
  • Lost contact with Lyova
  • Lost contact with HQ.
  • Confirmed that magic is a very bad idea.
  • Elements arrived and are transporting Elisabeth back.
Individuals
  • Arlo You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are getting hungry. Your map shows the surrounding area. There's a small X on it, in an area which appears to be very difficult to get to. You have 1 set of clothes spare.
  • Elisabeth You are falling in and out of lucidity. You are in a life or death situation. At this point, serious frostbite is guaranteed, you are at significant risk of hypothermia. Your torso is burned and you have become a lightning rod for supernatural creatures. You are dreadfully thirsty and enormously hungry. You are fighting off a ghost who is trying to possess you. After the moment that Prae casts on you, Elisabeth is "sharing" her body with the ghost and the myriad of voices will be constantly falling in on her, as described. Further to that, Prae's casting has had a similar effect, here in the mouth of a grand fracture, that it would in Emea - and a host of Emean beasts would be - at this point - attacking him. However, he's NOT being attacked as they are being pulled in to the "vortex" which is acting as a lightning rod. These emean beings are adding to the voices. Please play this in your next post, which will be here. In the rounds after that, you'll be posting in the Glass Temple (I'll give you more clarity in my next mod-post).
  • Praetorum You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have one set of spare clothes.

Objectives

None this round.

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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr


Case in point, things got even worse.

Prae felt the rune shift under his spark almost the instant he cast it, but it was already too late. He had never known a rune of resistance could be overloaded, but the normal laws of magic did not apply here—moreso than he’d thought.

There was a flash of light, and through half blinded eyes, he watched as the ghost fell into a whirling twister of ether and ephemera, all leading straight back to Elisabeth.

Still following Arlo, he hissed in alarm. “I think she’s being possessed,“ he reported as the Elements approached. “In this state I don’t—”

Something moved in the corner of his eye, and Prae turned in time to see impossible creatures emerge from nothing to lunge at him—only to fall too into the whirl of energy, being sucked into Elisabeth. Even as he watched, her blue eyes flashed through a myriad of different colors.

“Elisabeth is freezing to death,” Prae reported as the Elements landed. With his mind on the mission, his voice was steady as he spoke of his friend’s critical condition. “I used a rune of resistance on her—a runewright, a hone mage will know what that means—and it seems to have overloaded on its own. I didn’t have time to test it on myself—she’s losing heat too fast.”

“There was a ghost trying to drain her life—when the rune backfired, it sucked the ghost into her. The same thing happened when Emeyans arrived to attack me for casting.”

He’d guessed such a thing might happen, but he’d always assumed any backlash would have fallen on himself. This sequence of events had been beyond his imagining. And Elisabeth was paying the price for that.

No time for self recriminations while there was work to be done. Prae racked his brain for anything else he might need to tell the Elements. “We’ve lost track of our fireforged, but have no reason to believe he’s dead. We might be able to reunite with him in the caves. But until then, we have no way of communicating with the command center. I’m not going back with you. There’s still work to do.”

He passed Elisabeth on to the Elements, careful to keep her out of the cold as much as possible. “I know you’re stronger than this, girl.” He murmured to her before she was taken. “If you can’t believe in yourself, believe in me.”

He glanced over at Arlo’s map once again, eyes landing on the X in the center of it. It didn’t take long for Prae to realize that was where they were. A quick scan of the area revealed a small, almost hidden opening on the edge of the cliff face they were standing in front of.

“Is that where we’re going?” He asked Arlo. “If so, I don’t know if I can make it up there without magic, and that’s not an option, obviously.” He turned to the Elements, eyeing their Sohr Khals. Perhaps… “If we get on your mount, how close can you get to that entrance? If someone could use the mount to get up there, we could get a rope between here and there—we bolt down one end here, and someone holds the other end and goes from the mount to the entrance, and bolts it down there.. I can probably haul myself up a rope if I have to—I can’t climb a sheer wall of ice, especially not when it melts underneath us.”

Actually, that gave Prae an idea. Walking up to the wall, he pressed the tip of his claws against the ice, looking to see if it would melt. It was possible, though not likely, that they would be able to melt handholds and footholds into the ice—though they were going to be damn slippery.

[Inventory as before]
word count: 668
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] Ishallr

Finally, after everything that had already happened, Arlo was forced to abandon what had previously been a somewhat sunnier outlook, and admit that things could always get worse. And apparently they were, just now, swiftly and exponentially. As he helplessly watched the disaster unfolding; ghosts, misfired magic, emean beasties and furious vortexes; he couldn't rightfully even fault Prae for trying. In spite of them being warned about the perils of using magic in this place.

Desperate moments sometimes prompted desperate measures, which usually, even predictably by rather heavy odds, resulted in terrible consequences. But by even the slimmest margins, sometimes you got lucky. Elisabeth was fading fast, so fast that Arlo had wondered if even the Elements would reach them in time. Unfortunately, the odds had not fallen their way. Arlo took several steps back to avoid getting caught up in the whirlwind of ghost, emeans and so on. But at least some of it, even if he didn't truly understand the mechanics, Arlo recognized. Vega had once been tormented by something similar. Too bad there was no giant wonder weed named Wanda to kill. Otherwise, he was helpless to do anything at all.

As soon as the Elements arrived and took over Elisabeth's care, Arlo stayed out of their way, but remained close enough to observe what they did. He took note of the herb that they put into her mouth, and committed it to memory, making a mental note to see if such a thing was available to them in the kit they'd been given. If so, why hadn't they been told what it was, and what it was for? It was then, in a flash, that Arlo realized that it had been some time since he'd been subjected to Lyova's usual string of chatter. Sometimes silly, other times serious. Nothing. He didn't even sense her presence at all.

"Lyova?" he said. "Are you there?" Nothing. But taking a chance, Arlo said, "If you're there and can hear me, please send messages about what's going on here, back to Kura and Doran." Whether she heard him or not, he might never know. But then they were told that Elisabeth would be going back with the Elements, which he'd already thought might be the case. "Don't you worry," he said to her. "We'll find Darius. I'm staying," he said to the Elements. Then retrieving the chicken leg, he draped it back round his neck and dropped it beneath his shirt.

Then there was the x marked on his map. Turned out, the exact spot that was indicated by those two, small crossed, seemingly innocent lines, were located high on on a place that seemed for all the world to be as good as inaccessible. Except that thanks to his Immortal Father's blood running through his own veins, the son of Cassion was rarely if ever inclined to view anything as impossible. "It appears to be, yes," he said, when Prae asked if that's where they'd been heading. And then he dryly stated what seemed rather obvious. "It's not ideal."

Already, with a possible attempted ascent in mind...maybe, while the Elements were preparing Elisabeth for transport, Arlo was rummaging through his sack, looking through the survival gear that had been provided and sent with them. He'd already tagged his own knife for possible use, along with a very unique, sharp and very strong pair of scissors that he figured might not only be used for cutting. But in the provided kit, Arlo found quite a lot, apart from a first aid kit and the usual. *Plenty he might improvise with in order to pull off the seemingly near impossible. Presumably, Prae would have similar things in his own kit.

"I didn't put the mark there myself. The map came that way. It may be that this was where we were intended to go all along, and not through Gambit's Gate...before everything went wrong." Either way, before Prae turned away to speak to the Elements, Arlo added, "If a simpler way doesn't present itself, I might be able to climb up there carrying one end of the rope, then anchor it at the top. It's not ideal," he added. "But I can call on one of my domains, not magic, and I see no reason to think it won't work here as intended." How exactly that would happen or how it would transpire was a complicated and time consuming thing to describe in detail. And there might yet be another way.

"We might have another option, and need to agree on the best course. Or at least hold the possibility in reserve. The gate that Darius passed through in essence slammed shut when Isis appeared. Chances are, now, the way would be open again. Darius has probably moved on in hopes of meeting up with us somewhere," Arlo theorized. "But it would take several bits to go back and know for sure that the way is clear, and several more to return here.. I doubt the Elements are willing to wait that long." Or Elisabeth herself, long enough to wait for them to do the checking.

But if just one of them and their mounts could give them a lift? Well, that would be ideal if the cliff was the option they took. On that note, Arlo stood by as Prae spoke to the Elements. "If all of us could be carried there, and if there's the time, it would make things easier. But if only one, I would suggest Prae go, and anchor the rope at the top." If Prae was less confident about his ability to scale the sheer ice cliff...and who wouldn't be?, then perhaps better for Arlo to shimmy up the rope after him. He had the skill, in addition to the ability to call on a domain that would be extremely useful.

And there was always the option of considering the gate, if indeed the way was cleared again. It was a decision they'd need to make. At any rate, if it was to be a slick and icy ascent and Arlo needed to call on his Risk, All In domain, for the transformation to begin, he'd only need to shift his mindset and cease viewing the treacherous placement of the small opening as a roadblock littered with any number of impending doom pitfalls, and begin seeing it as a very tempting and irresistible challenge. Piece of cake.

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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr

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Arc 721, 30 Ashan

Arlo gave her the chicken leg. Praetorum picked her up.

How had the situation devolved so rapidly? A slip on the ice had been all it took to make everything come crashing down. Hadn’t she thought of every detail to make sure she didn’t get herself or the group into more danger? Not running into unknown terrain? Not setting her pack down on ice that didn’t seem to follow natural law? Not wasting precious time, trying to get changed as fast as she could to rectify the issue?

Yet she had thought, and fought, knowing Scalvoris was at stake, and seemingly it was still not enough. Every moment she thought she was doing the smart thing, fell to pieces in a million horrible ways. It was as if everything she touched simply fell apart.

Elisabeth gave everything when it came to others…and it wasn’t enough.

Those were only a few of the thoughts circling when the ghost got its hands on her. A baseline to delve further into the well of insecurities that lay below the surface, and Isis was just getting started. If Elisabeth hadn’t been the one experiencing it, there would have been fascination regarding the fact that the ghost knew every single one of her insecurities in excruciating detail.

Why would the Immortals listen to you?

The mission will fail because of you.

Helpless.

Hopeless.

You're no use to them.

You're taking their time and their energy and because of you they'll die, the island will fall.

Useless.

What have you done?

What have you achieved?

No Immortal has listened to you so far.

You've done nothing except drain them of time and energy.

You're all words and nothing more.

They'd be better off if you died.


And then Praetorum cast.

The searing pain from the rune engulfed her, causing a scream to rise. The voices continued, taunting and torturing her. Whatever had happened, and Elisabeth had no way to know what that was, intensified everything. More words came…from her own mind….

You deserve the pain, you worthless, pathetic waste of flesh.

He’s trying to kill you so they can be done with you.

You’ve doomed them all.

You love Balthazar, but he doesn’t love you. How could he?

You're too weak.

You’ll never be good enough, for anyone.

He couldn’t wait for you to leave Haven so he could be with someone else.

Worthless.

He knows you are in danger. He just doesn’t care.

They all think you are a joke.

No one would bother helping you. Why should they?

No one can stand to be around you.

They all want you to go away.

You try to help but you are so weak and pathetic that all you do is hurt people.

Everyone would be better off if you died.


The voices, she couldn’t make them stop. They kept coming, unrelenting, unyielding, and without remorse. Shaking her head as if the very act would free her from the demons within, she began losing grip on what was happening around her. The Elements were there, and someone shoved something in her mouth. They were working on her, but between that and the voices, it was hard to determine exactly what was happening.

Look at that. They are wasting their time again, trying to save your worthless ass.

It’s all your fault. Everything is your fault.

Darius is probably dead because you were too stupid to do what he said.

You can't even protect Balthazar.

You didn't sacrifice yourself for Scalvoris, and now it's doomed.


Her body convulsed, anguish rising. Tears wouldn’t come but everything she heard cut into her soul, threatening to destroy everything she believed about herself. The voices were fierce, brutal, relentless.

Despite them, she heard Praetorum’s final words to her. It cut through, the one voice not laying her fears to bear. She heard Arlo too, but it was Praetorum’s words that stuck.

I know you’re stronger than this, girl. If you can’t believe in yourself, believe in me.


At her core, Elisabeth fiercely believed in others. It had been even noted a time or two that she could be naïve about it. She often drew on past lessons and the strength of others to get her through difficult times. Her initiation. The incarceration. Even being in Haven had its challenges. She believed in other people. This time, however, it was different. Believing in others wasn’t going to help anyone…

She had to believe in herself. This was her battle and hers alone.

Foolish girl. You don’t have what it takes.

You are alone. You will always be alone.

You will fail.


She was leaving with the Elements – that was clear. Elisabeth wouldn’t fight them on this. She wouldn’t endanger anyone further, despite her deep desire to stay and see things through. She wasn’t a quitter but realized that whatever was happening to her, was threatening everyone.

Time to go! You failed. Maybe they’ll drop you off the flying beasts so they don’t have to worry about you anymore. No one would know. Kura wouldn’t care. She’d be happy to be free of you. Every time she sees you, it's trouble.

All you cause is trouble.

NO!

Elisabeth – confused, disoriented…. but still trying to hold on – had listened to enough of it. She had indulged the cacophony for far too long and was tired of the games the voices were playing. Everyone had fears. Everyone had insecurities. It was time to face hers instead of suppressing them.

Her strength. Her will. Her discipline. Her heart.


The mission will fail because of you.
I believe in the others.


Helpless.
I’ve never been helpless.


Hopeless.
I’ve never been hopeless.


You're no use to them.
Then why was I told I was? Why was I sent to the Glass Temple with the others? I believe in the Immortals more than I believe in your lies.


You're taking their time and their energy and because of you they'll die, the island will fall.
The island will not fall. I believe in others. I have hope.


Useless.
Every viewpoint has value.


What have you achieved?
I’ve achieved what matters – taking care of Haven and seeing to its people.


You've done nothing except drain them of time and energy.
I fell, which allowed us to discover the unnatural properties of the ice. Even mistakes have value.


You're all words and nothing more.
Words have power.


He’s trying to kill you so they can be done with you.
He was trying to help me. I believe in him.


You love Balthazar, but he doesn’t love you. How could he?
Balthazar loves me.


You're too weak.
I’ve never been weak.


Worthless.
I have value.


No one can stand to be around you.
I have people that care about me.


You try to help but you are so weak and pathetic that all you do is hurt people.
Trying to help people is the right thing to do.


Darius is probably dead because you were too stupid to do what he said.
I believe in Darius.


Foolish girl. You don’t have what it takes.
Yes, I do. My truth is stronger than your lies.


You are alone. You will always be alone.
I’m not alone. I’ve never been alone.


You will fail.
No, I won’t. Failing is not an option.


Everyone would be better off if you died.
I have value. I have worth. I am loved.


You didn't sacrifice yourself for Scalvoris, and now you will be its downfall.
You don't sacrifice others. You sacrifice yourself. I would willingly do that to save Scalvoris.


She hadn't given Woe the answer to his question in the Glass Temple, but the truth had never been in question.

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 a 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 to heat an individual up or cooling them down (depending on the season) makes it an interesting keepsake.
word count: 1687
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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr

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Outside The Cave

The Elements were obviously in communication with the Glass Temple. The scroll one of them had relaying orders back and forth quickly. As they worked with speed and efficiency - and a sense of urgency seen in medics all the world over - one of them spoke. "You've been given command of the group, sir," he said to Arlo. "I'm staying here with you, we'll get up there and then my Sohr Kahl will wait." He looked at Praetorum, very calmly, gauging his size and nodded. "She'll take all three of us. It won't be comfortable, but it isn't far." He looked at Arlo and said, "if that's acceptable, sir?"

They worked, first though, to get Elisabeth up on the Sohr Kahl and ready. The two Elements shared a glance and it was one which both Arlo and Praetorum saw - and understood. "Move quickly," the Element staying with them said to the one taking her. "Good luck."

She was going to need it.

Once the first Sohr Kahl had taken off, the Element staying behind with them, nodded. "I'm Eckman. Climb up, hold on." As they didI'm assuming they would, to move us along, Eckman gave them a run down. "Your Diri is reporting on the events, Sir," he said to Arlo. "We have contact with Darius' Diri too, but neither of the diris have the ability to be in contact with you. Darius is alive, he's met a tiger made from ice and fire and it's leading him. He's encountered statues of people."

With the merest hint of changing tone of voice, Eckman continued. "The reason for the no magic order has become more obvious. Not just here," he said drily. "There are numerous theories regarding it, but ether is super-charged and over-active. The reports which have been received suggest that Defiers are seeing the elements as hyperactive, hone mages are overloading runes without meaning too. Overstepping is happening very regularly and we've just received the directive to maximise light as Audrae is involved and may be spying in the shadows." As Eckman spoke, Prae tested the ice and, yes, it melted.

Thankfully, they wouldn't need to try and climb it - instead they got to climb on to the Sohr Kahl. And then, they flew up. It was not an easy thing, but Eckman could get to the point of hovering in front of what looked like a very small hole, just far enough away for Arlo to jump over. The leapGM Acrobatics with a relevant capstone was easy for Arlo and, once he was over there he could rig up a safety harness for Praetorum and Eckman. Once Arlo was over, Eckman flew a little lower, as that meant that he could get a bit closer to the cliff. "Not a big climb," he said to Praetorum and, indeed, Prae was able to make it. But the issue Prae had was his lackAcrobatics at Novice, no climbing and that meant that, inevitably, he got wet as he slipped.
Image
However - they could prepare for it and so Eckman gave Prae a quickly rigged padded vest to wear - which got wet but which protected his clothing.

And then, Eckman climbed up, too - except he was obviously skilled at climbing and did it in such a way that he didn't get wet - holding on to the rope, he more or less walked up the cliff face. There was no ghost, no emeyans or emeans, just the three of them.

In the time it took for them to do that, Arlo was able to ascertain a few things. The ice melted under their feet here, too - and there were areas of the snow which revealed ice which was not normal at all. In fact, it glowed. It was entirely unnatural but, then, Arlo had seen it before. Praetorum joined and then, a few moments later, Eckman. During that time, they could explore if they chose.

The icy wolf-tooth continued to thrum and it glowed at the same time. It was brighter in here, it seemed. On the ground, both Praetorum and Arlo spotted the same thing. Tracks. For PraetorumCompetent Hunting, they were obviously large animal tracks. ArloExpert Hunting knew that they were large animal of some kind - some kind he'd never seen. But he also knew that they were not tiger tracks. More than that, he saw that whatever made the tracks here did not suffer from the ice-melting phenomena they did.

Ahead of them was a tunnel. It was long and winding. Intermittently speckled with glowing ice far in the distance. Right at the edge of their vision far down the tunnel,PraetorumCompetent Detection could see something that seemed to be a more concentrated glow. ArloExpert Detection saw it more clearly though.

It seemed to be a bench.

Info & Rules

Elisabeth is no longer in this thread. (you're here! )
Arlo & Prae now have Eckman with them.

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
  • Lost contact with Lyova
  • Lost contact with HQ.
  • Confirmed that magic is a very bad idea.
  • Elements arrived and are transporting Elisabeth back.
  • Made their way in to an alternative entrance.
Individuals
  • Elisabeth: You're here
  • Arlo You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are very hungry. You have 1 set of clothes spare.
  • Praetorum You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have one set of spare clothes.

Objectives

 ! Message from: Must Do 1
Express a preference for going ahead fast or going ahead slowly. Both have consequences.
 ! Message from: Must Do 2
Describe your process of getting into the cave (eg: jumping, climbing etc)
 ! Message from: Can Do 1
Take samples of the glowy ice
 ! Message from: Can Do 2
Use an Idalos-specific swear

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Re: [The Forging] Ishallr

He'd just been given command? "Oh," Arlo responded in a dry tone of voice. Leadership, at least the kind that was named and acknowledged aloud, wasn't the sort of thing that he tended to seek out. Nor did he fall any easier into the category of follower. Fair enough though. The disasters that come crashing down on the group, one right on top of the other since the moment they'd first stepped foot on the ice, were probably in part due to too little structure and entirely too much independent thought. And forethought. "Yes, alright. Thank you," he said to the one of the Elements who'd delivered the message. His tone was more alike to that of a young kid handed a plate of boiled sprouts for his supper, rather than chocolate cake.

As for getting up the side of that cliff, just as well that he wouldn't be needing to climb it. He'd have needed to tap into one of his mortalborn domains to make a success of it; and Arlo was starting to wonder...if magic was unreliable here, now, and the ice didn't behave like any other ice at these temperatures, along with a half dozen other things which just didn't make sense; then would mortalborn domains work as they ought to? Or the abilities granted through marks and blessings for that matter? It wasn't a question that arose on a whim. The grumbling, hollow feeling in his belly, when it shouldn't exactly have been just yet, was enough to give Arlo some pause. Accelerated in it's usual frequency, with an increased intensity as well.

He made a mental note to mention it so that Lyova could pass it along. In the meantime, Elisabeth was being bundled up onto one of the mounts, ready to be carried away. Quickly, he dragged her pack off his shoulder, along with the weapons she'd given him to hold on to, and handed it over to the Elements who'd be taking her back. "Her things," he explained.

"If that's the case, if Lyova is communicating with the others. And all of you as well," he said just before they lifted off. "Then yes, obviously we should forego the use of magic completely," Arlo added, acknowledging and repeating the warning. "But I have to wonder about how other mortalborns elsewhere are being affected, if at all, if they've attempted to tap into their domains. Or about abilities of affects arising from blessings and marks for that matter. Due to my father's blessings," he explained as they took off towards the opening above, "I possess more strength and endurance by half than I ordinarily would at my level of fitness. It comes with a cost. More frequent hunger, a need to eat in order to maintain that level."

"It could be the extreme cold out here," he considered, already preparing himself for a leap he knew he'd have to make towards the narrow ledge. "Or the added exertion caused by the need to remain constantly on the move. But this is more frequent, and much more intense." Those back at the command center could make what they would of the question. But in the spirit of keeping them informed, he'd thought it was worth mentioning. It might come to nothing. But still, lucky for him, Arlo wouldn't need to be tapping into any blessings, marks or domains to make what would be a very large leap.

Once they were close enough, careful not to bump or jostle Prae or Eckman off balance or out of their seats, Arlo hopped up on his heels, then the balls of his feet in order to balance atop the Sohr Kahl's back. Constantly realigning his center of balance with the creature's movements as it flapped it's wings, he calculated the distance in his mind. He knew that a somersault mid air would give him the extra momentum he needed, and his ability to remain in the air five to eight trills longer than should be possible, should be more than enough to cover the distance. And, because the ice on that ledge would be slippery and might melt as easily as it had on the ground, he'd need to stick that landing and soundly. No problem, Arlo thought. This was the fun part.

After he was there, Arlo quickly dug into his sack and began rigging up a line and harness. First he used several of the metal stakes, and the mallet, to anchor one knotted end of the rope into the icy rock face. If the surface didn't give way easily enough, he'd simply melt a deep hole into the face with a finger inserted, slide the stakes in and then let the ice refreeze tight around them. A small piece of the tarp cut away to wrap a finger in should stop the moisture from seeping through the glove. After testing the strength of the hold, he cut off what length of rope he could spare to make a harness that would slide on the line as needed, but not plunge off at the end should things happen to go south. He knotted it into shape, Prae's shape roughly, and robbed the metal rings from the corners of the tarp in his sack in order to create the points that would allow the rig to slide easily. Once he was satisfied the whole thing would hold, he tossed the end over the edge to the waiting pair, sure that they'd know what to do with it.

While they climbed, first, Arlo dipped into his sack once more to pull out a ration of jerked meat, berry and seed that he'd packed plenty of (he thought), and ate it quickly before turning to the opening behind him. He'd have a quick look to make sure that nothing was laying in wait, pistol crossbow at the ready if need be. But he wouldn't go far until Prae and Eckman had joined him. The first thing Arlo noticed was that the thrumming sensation from the wolf's tooth against his chest suddenly felt...more. So lifting it out on it's leather strand, he took note of how brightly it glowed. More than before. Was it the difference in the light between here and outdoors, he wondered? But more likely..."I wonder if the wolves are nearby, or if it's a message. It's proximity to something," he uttered, and then communicated to Lyova that she ought to pass along the changes in the tooth as well.

In the meantime, presumably, the other two had joined him near the opening, and Arlo noticed the tracks just as Prae must have. "They're not melted in," he said. "Careful not to walk where, whatever this is, has walked," he suggested. "We'd probably destroy the tracks if we did. These aren't big cat tracks. And they don't look like wolf or other canine tracks either for that matter. Big, though." But it was the fact that the tracks had been made by something that didn't melt them in as it went, that made him most curious. "I've assumed until now that in spite of all of the layers we're wearing, we must be leaching out some discernible heat, and that the ice is simply hypersensitive to it." Hypersensitive would be putting it mildly.

"But maybe that's not it. We're living things, flesh and blood, I mean. Maybe it's nothing to do with heat, and whatever made these tracks is something...else," he said, struggling for a way to express what he was thinking. "Made of ice, air...something else, but alive in a different way than we are." Scienc-y words, not Arlo's strong suit. Still, he examined them closely. Were these cloven feet, hoofed or feet with pads? Biped or quadruped? Claw marks...Toes?

As they walked further, some of what Arlo was seeing at least, was familiar. "The glowing ice, I've seen this before. Several times, and when I visited the ice caves with Cassion. When we came across the statues. When you take bits of the stuff away, it never melts." It made him wonder too, wherever Darius was now, were the statues he was seeing the same ones that Arlo had seen and interacted with before? There was one way to find out, he guessed. "Lyova, ask them if Darius is seeing any statues that resemble me there." There'd be two of him, one as he was now, and a version of his much younger self. If they were even still there. In the meantime, there was something else down the long tunnel that caught his eye.

It took a trill to make it out. Distant as it was, it glowed more brightly than the rest of the ice that had somewhat lit their way along the corridor, and it definitely appeared bench shaped. All the while, he'd kept an eye on the tracks, trying to discern which way whatever had made them was going, and looking for signs that might tell him how old the tracks were. The way they were going was long, but if there were other tunnels leading in other directions, had the creature gone that way instead, or would it lead them straight to that bench? "Either of you seen anything like that before?" he asked.

Either way, Arlo described what he was seeing to Lyova, though she was capable of observing and telling for herself, and asked her to pass along the message. "We may ultimately decide, or have reason to veer off somewhere, between here, and there," he said to Prae and Eckman, gesturing towards the glowing object down the way, but then glancing back down at the tracks on the hard ground. "But I also think that we shouldn't be too hasty and ignore it, or leave it behind should another likely option present itself." Otherwise, they could be leaving behind a very important, even critical piece of the puzzle.

"I've asked Lyova to relay a message," he told them, still taking care not to trod over the tracks on the floor, and watching where they were leading. All the while, he listened, and paid attention to any changes in the wolf tooth's behavior. "Hopefully before we're faced with making a choice under pressure, we'll get back some insight or advice. Until then," Arlo warned, "We may end up closer." The tracks could potentially lead them there anyway, he thought. "But for the moment, a look but don't touch approach would be best." Unless, of course, a reply was stalled or wasn't forthcoming at all. Then? They might just have to touch.

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