• Closed • Adventuring West

Noth, Malt

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Adventuring West

Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:44 am

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It took a moment for Noth's demands to get through the shock of what the Morrels had just witnessed. "I...I've never seen...never even heard of...such a thing. How did you...?"

The mother, Yalla, was already at hand, rendering assistance, with a fearful look at the gauntlet the avriel wore. Her husband came to help, mirroring the look of dread at the highly enchanted armor piece. "Please sir, we will take her inside. Not to sound unappreciative, but please, just keep it away from us. I...don't want to touch it, and...we...have much to discuss."

They separated into two pairs. Yalla speaking softly to Night, defending Noth as having been trying to help. Encouraging her to let her fears out, the woman spoke of many rumors of ghastly terrors the beast inflicted on other victims. In time, it did help Night to hear of the ravages of other folks' terrors, inflicted by the monster. The woman had a remarkable way of sharing the pain of others without making one feel as if their own suffering was being decreased in legitimacy; or, in the reverse sense, that they were trying to make theirs out to be worse.

Even as Night was coming to terms with the fears she'd had ground back into her soul, Darin Morrel was eagerly encouraging Noth to give him all the details of what he'd seen. His attention had initially been riveted on the gauntlet. What little Noth was willing to tell of how it came to be brought gaping amazement to the farmer. The suggestion that the half-avriel implied about having fought a future - or was it past? - version of himself was enough to convince the farmer he'd just witnessed a power unlike anything he was ever likely to understand.

So the montage of images came under Morrel's scrutiny. With each new set of particulars, the man was up, pulling another book, parchment scrap, or scrolled news flyer down from a shelf or up from some chest. He began to put together the history of this one Soraanar. But more importantly, he realized a far greater significance in some of the scenes Noth described.

There had long been a belief that if the grave-like site of every goat ritual connected to any one Soraanar could be found and "purified", all the Lothar souls embodied in the six goat sentinels, and then the Soraanar itself, could be freed from the nightmare existence in which they were trapped, driven to revisit and magnify all the fears that lived buried in the souls of its victims.

The seemingly random visions took on a profound new importance as the count of those that Noth relayed matched the number long held to be attributed to the creation of a single Soraanar. Morrel scratched down the details in almost manic eagerness; convinced that they had the means to destroy the monster now. Even Yalla showed an avid determination to make sure of details that she thought her husband may have missed.

Two peripheral details gave some pause, however. First was the presence Noth had sensed of some overriding presence beyond the Soraanar; some darker, stronger power that seemed to have been aware of the gauntlet's backtracking to its origins. Morrel spoke of a rumor of some myth called the Feron. A powerful spirit that had been outraged, by the war of Immortal Spawn upon its Gauthrel home, to the point of madness against all life. He had no additional information to impart on that subject.

The other detail spawned an initial concern that there was one too many locations to match the ritual sites for the Soraanar. But as the details of a particular homestead were brought to light, Nightshade became suddenly riveted with attention. And the claim by the monster that she "had returned to aid me" was also cast in a new light, as the description of one of the houses in Noth's vision was recognized by Night as her childhood home.
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Re: Adventuring West

Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:29 am

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"No, no, no no, no, no," she slipped into a language that was neither Ith'ession or Common. The words almost sounding broken on her tongue as she whispered a language that she'd only ever used in childhood. If Noth had any familiarity to Lorien then perhaps he'd be able to recognize the hushed, horrified words that were spoken almost in the form of a prayer. A prayer to Ethelynda and Qylios, a prayer against the beast, a prayer for the safety that came with her father. These words, spoken halfway between terrified and reverent, were the only thing that Yalla was able to get out of Nightshade for a good number of bits. Eventually, the frantic words slowly became quieter as Yalla's gentle coos began to ease the heart of the half-breed. If she'd known the creature could do such attacks then she would have at least tried to use one of her mark abilities between Inspire or Calm, but she had the faint inking that neither of them would have necessarily helped. Which was upsetting and partially disturbing. Slowly the half-breed fell into silence and allowed herself to be surrounded by the gentle voice of the other woman. Of course, she wasn't entirely out of the woods yet. What she'd gone through could only truly be described as a panic attack, and perhaps that was something Noth had picked up on when he was so quick to spirit Nightshade away back into the house and into the arms of Yalla who was doing a far better job of dealing with it than Noth could have dreamed to. If left in the hands of Noth there was the off chance she could have quickly become a danger to herself, and that generally wouldn't have been good for anyone just a rule of thumb. "Terrible awful creatures," the half-breed finally muttered when she seemed to be both calm and sane enough to speak as herself once more. She winced slightly at the sensation in her throat.

"Oh Serpents, I can taste the blood," she croaked hoarsely as the iron flavor slowly began seeping into her tongue now that her senses were finally beginning to thaw. The numbness that had carried itself over her entire being was slowly starting to fade and she could once again feel the almost painful, roaring pound of her heart against her chest cavity. She couldn't help but wince as the lingering adrenaline rushed through her bloodstream causing mayhem in the form of jitters and stomach problems. To make matters worse she was feeling the slow oncomings of a migraine. She wasn't sure if it was a result of the beasts tampering with her head or if it was simply due to the distress of seeing those... creatures again. She almost sneered at the thoughts. How struck down in cowardice she'd been. Of course, even as she thought that her hands continued to shake and her body screamed with the urge to abandon the mission and run. Perhaps a couple trills ago she might have, but as she listened to Yalla speak she could feel herself starting to regain control. The grasp on her emotions and her own thoughts finally tightening back into what it was before. She was shaken, but she was supposed to be a bastion of courage and honor.

In spite of the mental pep talk, tears continued to leak from her eyes as she made sure her back was to Noth. Not out of the same vicious anger from earlier but more so because she didn't want the shame of having her beloved see her crying over the demons haunting her past. She didn't realize that she'd been holding the hand of Yalla until the older woman prompted her to let go so that Yalla could retrieve some water. Nightshade was grateful that they'd stopped at a home with such a kind matron. It only made the sting a little worse as Nightshade was deeply reminded of her own lack of a good mother figure throughout her entire life. There had been no shortage of father figures, but never a mother. Never a mother. She almost cried for the simple fact that Yalla had brought her a glass of water and was being kind to her. Every single nice thing and gentle utterance that left Yalla's mouth only seemed to prompt more tears from the shivering half-avriel who despite her rather desperate attempts had neither the strength nor the remaining will to stop the waterfall until finally, she started to feel her body run out of tears to shed. Only making her more grateful for the glass of water that Yalla so kindly offered. It wasn't until close to the end of the little episode that Nightshade really felt the urge to speak. Instead, she listened to Yalla tell stories about what others saw.

"I saw so many horrible things like they were old nightmares," she finally whispered to the woman. It felt like she was trying to pull strings from her throat whenever she spoke. Strings that had been stuck down in the pit of her being that she had to viciously tug out to release. But once she'd freed one of these metaphorical strings they seemed to tumble from her mouth as though they were water of freshly shed blood. Perhaps the second was a better comparison as the words themselves felt gross and sticky, her mouth feeling tacky the moment the words left her jaws. "I would love to say that the most fearful creature there was Lisirra. I've love to say that I fear her in the same manner that I feared everything else. But nothing could compare to the guttural fear of having to face The Master and his bloody damned whip again," she paused for a moment. The Master wasn't even the most terrifying thing there. No, the most terrifying things were the things that the creature had looming in the back. The visions that it didn't deem haunting enough to really be painful. The fears and horrors that slowly Nightshade had gotten over. Or at least she thought she didn't. In a quiet and broken voice, she spoke in Ith'ession as if speaking in a different language could protect her from the words. Or as though speaking in a different language could protect the words from those around her. It wasn't Yalla that she changed to Ith'ession because of. It was to protect the stories that she'd buried so deeply that she didn't even tell Noth. "What scared me the most was watching Grace get stabbed, over and over again all because she wanted to protect me. Because she wanted to get me away from The Master. It was watching Icarus be burned alive because I wasn't strong enough. It was watching my father get whipped in my stead as a young child because I had done something bad and someone had to take the punishment. It was having to watch those scenes play out over and over and over again, and still not being able to do anything," her voice, if not her sanity, started cracking and flaying around the edges and for a long time she felt into an almost deathly silence as the boys talked. She did little more than reach out a hand and cling to Yalla, desperate for anything. Desperate to feel what it'd be like to have a mother.

After she managed to finally collect herself she stood up with the help of Yalla and managed to make her way towards the men who were trying to puzzle out a location. Again, Noth repeated the details of what had apparently been his vision. The half-breed wasn't too sure on the details. She'd only been processing a fraction of what the two were talking about as she had a literal break down in the arms of Yalla. She was almost made sick by her own weakness. Until a different kind of sickness rocked through her entire body. Listening to the details of the building she almost felt as though her blood was going to freeze. No. She was certain, this would be it. This would be the moment she was finally embraced by the dead Treid and her body froze over. But it didn't, and she was left acutely aware of how she felt like she was being suspended in mid-air. Like gravity didn't exist. Which for a half-avriel who could fly, was probably one of the most jarring sensations in all of existence.

The building Noth was describing, sounding like home. It wasn't where she always spent her time. A good majority of it was left living with The Master. She had been born in a small villiage, and not more than a season after she was born and her mother passed bandits attacked the town. The razed whatever they could and stole whatever was of value. And her father fled to The Master. Now, The Master had been looking for more power as he usually was. So he took her father's deal. In addition he would even help them reclaim the little town! And to his credit he at least didn't lie about that. He reclaimed the town and populated it with those loyal to him. It wasn't too much trouble since his manor was little more than a trial's ride north at the time. Even less if you fly. So Night spent a good amount of time being flown between the Master's house and the place she considered to be her home until she was about 12 and The Master started to get... twitchy one might say. Nervous and constantly observing Evaryin he ordered Nightshade and her father to live in the manor full time. He told them the house was destroyed, but she'd had a feeling he'd been lying. When she fled The Master part of her thought about going to the house, but she knew it'd be the first place he tried to check, so she refrained. The house itself in all its beauty and it's glory had been practically burned into her memory.

Like a bolt of lightning, an even more chilling thought stuck her over the head and she could practically feel her bones start to shiver. For the life of her, she couldn't remember if The Master had been a Lothar...

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 1789
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Re: Adventuring West

Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:48 pm

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For yet another time throughout his existence, Noth was thankful for his intimidating presence and his frightening appearance. He was not sure how much his blatant disregard for societal standing; his authoritarian orders and convictions, had happened to impress urgency upon the Morrel’s, but they seemed content to obey. It was rather difficult to discern how much of that was in response to his acts, and how much of it was genuine kindness and a desire to assist others in a sort of sympathetic notion of fellowship, but, in the end it mattered little what the reasoning of their hearts was so long as the effect was the same.

The Morrel’s were clearly not mere blind and bumbling peasants, because they had taken adept notice of the device which granted him power of the Duskwraith, and they looked upon it with what was certainly concern and fear, deigning it necessary to include a clause to keep the enchanted gauntlet away from them as they assisted with his beloved. The hybrid consented, keeping the gauntlet tight against his side, ensuring that he operated primarily with his left hand wherever possible so as not to unduly frustrate or frighten the assisting family in their ministrations and work.

Even as she was cared for, Darin Morrel encouraged him to relieve his mind of the sole ownership of the details he had observed whilst undergoing his monumental voyage into the history of the creature. The Avriel, once again, obliged, beginning to converse with the man about the strange things that he had seen, about the creation of Duskwraiths, the way that the procedure seemed to have stretched backwards throughout history, how they had reproduced until now there were many whence once there had been only one. He’d even decided to share a short story on the nature of the gauntlet, though he didn’t bother revealing all of its secrets to the man… it was unimportant, and he wasn’t quite certain that he wanted information about its abilities to disseminate out to the public lest others attempt to find a way to circumvent its effects in the distant future.

There was a frantic few moments of eager writing and relaying of research and commonly held perceptions about the Duskwraiths interspersed with re-tellings and re-examinations of each of the scenes that the hybrid had experienced. In total, Noth was not entirely certain how much time had managed to pass between Darin and himself, but his tongue was beginning to dry with a lack of moisture and the effects of his long conversing by the time that they had settled upon a majority of the details. The hybrid had little reason to keep anything secret from the pair, especially since he fully intended to go out, seek the gravesite of the creature, and annihilate it from existence… though it seemed that certain details that he had encountered in the process were not quite understood even by the well-lettered Morrels.

There was the flickering mention of an entity known as the Feron, a mad Spirit which had been driven to a state of delusional prejudice against all mortal life on account of the war which had been waged near its territory. Noth had never heard of such entities possessing so great a deal of intelligence… though his own encounter with an entity in the past had convinced him that such intellect as was usually reserved for the mortal races could certainly be embodied within the qualities of the natural beings of the world. Nevertheless, the quandary that faced him even as he concluded that the Feron could perhaps be involved was that he completely lacked any equipment or ability which would allow him to face a purely spiritual foe unless it could be convinced into manifesting itself into a physical form.

The other detail was facilitated by his beloved, his own frantic terror seemed to have subsided, at least in portion. He could distinctly remember the past few moments, of assisting her into the home, listening to her vivid and negative chant, a string of a single word spoken in a language that she had likely never found a use for except in the utterance of hidden codes or subtle curses. Crimson eyes flicked across the room at the familiar lilt of Ith’Ession, a language commonly reserved for the Etzori people, and one that he encountered on a regular enough basis amidst the dregs and scum of society that it had been prudent to learn. Were it not for the fact that Morrel had been pre-occupied with writing as opposed to inquiring after him for more information, he might have completely missed the sudden speech… as it was, it was still remarkably difficult to over-hear, though he did catch snippets. “Scared… stabbed… Master… punishment… Scenes play…” He listened intently, completely missing it when Darin finally finished his writing and inquired as to more information, his focus completely held by his beloved.

Crimson eyes glazed over somewhat as the entirety of his focus went into his unsubtle eavesdropping, and when finally the words of Ith’Ession had come to a close, he looked upon her, the warrior bird, his beloved Nightshade, and there was a pitiable sympathy that crossed his visage that said he knew of her suffering, even if the details were obscured. It took a moment to conceal such an emotion, and to return to the task at hand, but efficiency dictated that such emotional issues be confined and constrained to another time, and soon he had re-acquainted himself with the purpose for his prior actions… the destruction of the Soraanar.

It seemed as though the next destination of the group had been decided… but the night had grown late, and it would be utterly unsafe to travel. The hybrid questioned whether or not the pair could stay the night, and depart in the light of dawn where they could avoid any potential reprimand and reprisal from the Soraanar’s allies, aware that it would have drawn some semblance of attention to them. It was not every trial, he imagined, that a mortal dominated a spirit in martial combat. If it were allowed, Noth would spend a relatively sleepless night, crimson eyes always scouring the perimeter, the arcane gauntlet he wielded always at the ready.

They would not be allowed to harm anyone in the home so long as he could help it, not out of a sense of sympathy, or altruism, or fellow-feeling… but because so long as he remained, the property was his own, the inhabitants his servants, and he was jealous of what was his.


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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Re: Adventuring West

Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:14 am

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Morrel's fear of the gauntlet waned considerably as they conferred late into the night. It was probably becoming obvious to Noth that the farmer would soon be asking if it was possible that a second such item could be created for the little farming community to wield in defense. But before he quite got around to posing the question, Yalla spoke up stoutly in refusal to allow such a thing in her house.

She quickly turned a regretful expression to the bird-man, "I'm sorry, sir. I mean no ill toward you. Your use of the thing was a salvation to all of us." her eyes flashed briefly to Night, still quivering slightly from her experience, before turning to her husband. "But I can only imagine the damage my Darin would inadvertently cause in his attempts to do right." Her look toward her husband also took on a facade of regret, but held firm, as his own slowly morphed to a grin.

"Yes...I fear she is right. I've never even wielded anything so mysterious as...a dousing rod. These herb satchels are the limit of magic I can use. And them only because the village herbalist insisted they would work. So far, I've had no complaints, but time is running out. There probably wouldn't be time to see another one of those made anyway. They weren't made as a...pair...then?" Yalla scowled, as Darin dismissed his own comment with a brisk wave of his hand.

"Never mind, never mind. We will make do with what we have; and that is actually quite considerable. Many of those visions you speak of pique specific memories of incidents that should make those sites easy to find. The rocky cliff, the river, the flash poplar event that grew right through that old house. Luckily, it had been abandoned for some time before that happened. I believe we townsfolk can purify these sites ourselves, now that we know a little more about what we're dealing with."

Now it was his turn to stand firm in the face of his wife's protests. Time was running out and as they'd witnessed tonight, the creature's main weapon was the impressing of deadly fear and twisted motivation upon a target and having him do its foul bidding. "As long as there are enough present to restrain the victim, no one should be hurt." he followed-up. Seeing the terror glistening in his wife's eyes, he went to wrap her in a hug.

"Honey, you know it must be done. We can't ask them to help with this," he said, a thumb flicking in the directions of Noth and Night. "They'll be busy enough already. You saw how she reacted." He now went and crouched to look up into Nightshade's face. "I'm so very sorry dear, but it's pretty obvious that the description of that house means something quite clear to you. I think if we can draw the creature to where it feels pulled in two directions at once, we can destroy it. It will see you two as its most potent enemies. But as we purify it's gravesite origins, it may decide we are its biggest threat. It will have to deal with us as well."

Mrs. Morrel was predictably resistant to this proposal, only willing to compromise on condition of accompanying her husband, who countered that someone needed to stay and keep Galine safe. This was not met with much satisfaction, as Yalla tried to keep her desperate voice from waking the child, as she asked just how she was to keep anyone or anything safe from the Soraanar.

Darin sighed heavily and approached to lay his hands on his wife's shaking shoulders. "Beloved Yalla, love of my life, I can not answer that in any way that will not only give you cause to fear for someone else. It is my intent to see to it that this monster will have only two targets to focus on. The two of them..." he said motioning toward the two avriel hybrids, "...and any in this community that will accompany me."

He shushed her with a finger gently held to her lips, "I know, I know...and you are not wrong. It is perilous, it is madness, it is possibly suicide. It is also our only chance; yours, mine and Galine's. We've spoken of leaving before; but we know we have nothing to go back to. We will lose everything." He held back a moment to allow his wife to say fairly that this plan risked losing MORE than that everything.

But even by the time she'd finished she could see he would not be swayed. There was something new in his face, she had not seen it since it had vanished after the first several attacks. It was hope; wild, desperate and knowingly unsupported by anything resembling facts; but hope nonetheless. "Before tonight I was feeling more beaten by the trial. But tonight I saw what I had not previously believed possible. I saw the monster beaten! I saw it run! I saw that it has a weakness. WE can not give IT time to regroup. It may well have been unaware of this weakness up until now as well, and we have to exploit that now! For the first time, WE have an advantage, and I will not see it wasted."

Tears were left unattended as Yalla dropped her head into her hands, nodding slightly in seeming defeat. Darin looked down with determination to see that defeat turned to victory. Then he looked up, and pure eagerness radiated from his face. "You leave in the morning then. We will pack you any supplies you think you may need, if we have them. It will take the most of the trial to reach Westguard. We here will afflict one of these sites in the late afternoon. Perhaps its reaction will reveal something in Westguard that can help you. At least you can find your old house and see what's what there."

Yalla looked up suddenly, smiling through her tears "He means, if that's okay with you."
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Re: Adventuring West

Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:47 pm

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The half-breed nodded her quiet assent through the conversation, listening to the words everyone else was saying while saying as few of her own as possible. She didn't completely trust her voice in that moments even though she'd for the most part recovered from her episode. Something twisted painfully in her own chest as she watched the pair, a stinging in the back of her throat. They were good people, and all the half-breed could hope was that everyone would make it out of this alive. She knew that was a big thing to wish for, but she couldn't help but hope it. She wanted them to be okay.

"Of course it is," her reply to Yalla was so instantaneous that it left no room for Noth to respond first. This was both done with the intent to assure Yalla and tell Noth that they had no other choice. He had no other choice if he intended to stay with her. Of course, she wasn't sure what was going through his head right now. He could be in total disagreement or he could be completely on her side. Either way, the mind and the path of the half-breed were set. She was determined not to let anything bad become of this situation.

Turning to Yalla once more the half-breed spoke up. "I will do everything in my power to ensure they take no notice of your husband and any who choose to go with them, I swear it," the woman said with a quick nod before fatigue once again sealed her mouth shut. She needed sleep and that need was slowly started to feel especially heavy on her shoulders. Given how long and hard a day they'd have by morning, they needed to be certain that they were ready. The half-breed especially who needed to ensure her sword was sharp and her mind even more so.

"As for supplies, Noth, I'm leaving that one to you. I'm not good with these kinds of things... The only thing that would really do me any good is if you somehow had a sword stronger than my own, but I really don't want to disarm you given the situation here," the half-breed said with a quick flick of her head. Her features twisted uncomfortably once more as she realized just how long and hard the morning was going to be. They'd have to ensure they stayed the bigger targets. Noth's glove would do wonders for that. But what about Nightshade? She felt particularly useless, especially after her little episode. It wasn't like she had any weapons that were especially good to use, she didn't have any work powers that would aid her too well, she was left struggling for a way to make herself useful. She supposed that was a bridge to burn when she actually got to it.

She and Noth wouldn't be able to do anything without a good enough Night's sleep, and a plan could slowly be forged on the way. She didn't mean to be rude but her jaws parted in a yawn she couldn't sucsessfully push back, her eyes watering slightly as she tried her best to keep herself away. She moved closer to Noth, allowing her body to lean slightly onto his.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
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Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Re: Adventuring West

Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:20 pm

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It was evident by the way that Yalla spoke that she held at least some measure of condemnation against the fanciful gadget upon Noth’s hand. It was true that it was capable of utterly devastating damage, and had proven to be not only viable, but an effective weapon against the spiritual beings which had haunted the local area. Her excuses that such a device would be ill-used in the company of her husband seemed to be just that; excuses, but the hybrid held no negativity towards her, nor did he allow such terror to cloud his judgement of them. They were decent persons, and they had provided for the pair of adventurers with kindness, and he had no inclination to deal violently with either of them in recompense for their good intentions.

It seemed that for all of Darin’s desires to take hold of such an item, or at least to learn more of its origins, he wholly agreed with the judgement of his mate. He spoke of how his experience with the arcane had extended effectively only to the slight bags of herbs which had been used when they had first met. Yet, despite the relative lack of experience that he possessed with such items, Noth could distinctly remember the man coming to the aid of the travelers, braving the darkness and the Duskwraiths in order to save strangers. Surely, in physical form and martial talent, the man was little more than a sheep to be slaughtered, but he carried with him the heart of a lion. The twilight hybrid made a mental note to appoint him as overseer of the area should it ever fall into his dominion as a reward both for his heroism and his kindness towards them. He was not, after all, above small degrees of favoritism.

It seemed that the townsfolk would likely be able to purify several of the sites which he had spoken of, and the Avriel nodded his acceptance of this supporting action. If they were able to free themselves of the tyranny of the Duskwraiths, at least in their local area, it would go a long way towards making their operations far simpler. Of course, there was no innate resistance against the mind-altering effects of the creatures, and so Darin supplied, truthfully, that they would need to bring along enough townspeople to subdue whomever was being actively affected. Noth wasn’t entirely certain that the beast could not simply switch its attention to a new person once its old puppet had been subdued, but that was an issue for the townspeople.

A plan was devised in the midst of the home, spearheaded primarily by the out-spoken and tactically sound mind of Darin Morrel. The hybrid held no major objections with any portion of the discussion, nor did he make a point of resisting the request of accompaniment by Darin. It would be useful to bring him along if nothing more than to ensure that someone would be able to purify the site while the others dealt with whomever was being affected. Noth felt confident that he could hold his own against Nightshade for long enough that the site could be purified, and he didn’t doubt that his dearest could do the same against him. Darin would be a pushover, and so the hybrid only barely considered that he’d even be affected.

Supplies were gathered in accordance with their goal, and in the midst of the early morning, the trio of adventurers set out from the estate of the Morrel’s. Noth allowed Nightshade to take the lead in directing them towards the site of her old home, uncertain as to whether or not her memory would allow her to accurately dictate a correct path, but trusting that she would eventually get them there, or at the least that they would sight the infamous foe. He wished that he possessed some item or equipment that he could pass along to his love in an attempt at better arming her against the oncoming prospect of battle, but to be frank, he possessed nothing that she could use. A mace was no better in her hands than her sword, and clearly physical weapons of that sort did far less than the ethereally powered one upon his hand.

He found himself petting her head throughout the extent of the trip, crimson eyes scouring the nearby surroundings in an attempt at spotting any potentially hostile entities. He wanted her to be comforted, knowing that she might feel some measure of post-traumatic stress over the incidents of the previous night. He couldn’t imagine entirely what she had felt as the entity intruded upon her mind-scape, but it had clearly been detrimental for her mental health. It was his hope that his comforts would allow her to more readily resist its grasp. His own mind focused upon the goal of slaying the beast, and briefly he recalled each of the losses that he had suffered, his own fears, keeping them in mind so that he was already acclimated to their sudden arousal if the beast attempted to subvert him.

And, before much time at all had passed, they had managed to arrive at the site of the old home. Even from the outdoors, there was a sort of malevolent energy about the structure. He kept his right hand somewhat behind his back, his left clenched around his adamantite mace, attempting to make it appear as if though he intended solely to use the blunt weapon instead of his true one, though there was doubt as to whether the beast would fall for his trick. Nevertheless, as he entered into the confines of the building, his intent was simple: Find the Soraanar, place his hand upon it, and banish it into oblivion.


word count: 982
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Re: Adventuring West

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:22 pm

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He watched, waiting...

It seemed that the farmers had now joined with the adventurers; one touched by Ethelynda and Qylios both, the other touched by a power beyond his immediate recognition. 'Some artifact of Ralaith, perhaps?' he thought to himself absently. It did seem to unravel the very timeline of pain and corruption that embodied the servants of Feron's devils.

He thought back to his first understanding of this vengeful spirit's fury. Existing since before their arrival on Idalos, and enraged at the depredations wrought by them, using the beasts of Gauthrel, one could hardly blame Feron for his hatred of the Immortals. But now, this entity, more than spirit alone, used and enhanced the monsters of Gauthrel, the "Immortal spawn" as they were most often identified as, to torment and slaughter the mortals of the world. As well as to bring the blame for it down upon their Immortal heads.

Ashan shook his head sadly, it could not be denied that much of what his fellow Immortals lamented was largely of their own making. But it was hardly right that they should take the blame for this creature's deeds as well; or those of its minions, these Darkwraiths, these Soraanar. It had gotten so convoluted that he doubted he could ever unravel the path of original blame for what was happening. Not in the minds of these mortals anyway. They embraced the feud all too readily. He saw it in the way that subtle scorn and suspicion was laid in the path of the two adventurers as they entered the outskirts of Westguard.

Were he to mark them all, they might have gained a bit more affinity to see things from the spirit world's point of view. But they had done nothing to earn such favor. Sure, they appreciated the Rebirth Cycle, but only for their own farming ends. Understandable this was, and it did not give him offense, but neither did it make him feel honored or revered in anyway. Even the farmer, Morrel, had not yet shown the acknowledgement that would garner his mark. There was a chance though now, with what was in the works. His group had separated to take on their end of this plan. Already they had purified one grave site. That made two goats now emptied. And they would soon be arriving at the site of a third.

Other than him and the avriel woman he now focused on, this "Nightshade Eld", there was no one here that he would consider worthy of favor that would not oblige him to give his mark to half the mortals of the world. He had no animosity for those that defended their lives from corrupted spirits; or even, like the one-winged avriel accompanying the woman, sought out the enemy. But they wanted only to destroy the spirits caught up in the corruption, not to free them from it. The one-winged avriel, "Noth", had freed one, but it had merely been coincidence, not his intent to do so.

This again brought his attention to the inexplicable swirl of time distorting energy radiating from the armored figure. It seemed only to emanate from his right side...his right arm...No, the hand. But was it the flesh or the metal that gave off this aura? Ashan decided he would speak to Ralaith about it. He did not feel it was safe in the hands of a mere mortal, but he was not going to intrude upon the agenda of one of his own.

The two of them seemed aware enough of it though. Even when they came close, a clear effort was made by both to avoid contact with that right hand. The Immortal found himself wishing the female well. He had been watching her for some time now. But he wondered why she had returned here, to the site of so much pain. It was not uncommon that such profound misery took an odd toll on the victim, making them identify with it to the point of re-immersing themselves in it. Night had gained her freedom. Was she returning to give objective assessment to that over which she had already triumphed? Or did it still have a hold upon her?

Ashan knew this event would be the telling point in his decision regarding her. She had already shown a determination to delight in the Rebirth of spring, shaking off the unpleasant memories of her past birth trials, to better enjoy the anniversary of her life's beginning. She had shown sympathy for the spirit displaced by the power of Noth's right hand. Would she take action to actually save them from that power, if it struck again? Would she assess her past in order to more fully be free of it?

Ashan took a deep anticipatory breath. This night would surely provide proof one way or the other. For the Soraanar would not relent. It would be coming for them this very night.
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Re: Adventuring West

Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:25 pm

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It took a while to arrive where the pair was supposed to be. The moment they got to Westguard, however, it felt like stepping into a dream. Familiar in a strange kind of way that wasn't quite familiar at all. It was wrong and right at the same time. Distant and unknown and yet she could still remember many of the old streets that her father had taken her down. She couldn't remember names, but if she closed her eyes and thought she could remember disgruntled faces. The top of the list being The Master. The Master had lived a distance off, and by extension, Nightshade never had the chance to spend much of her time in the town proper. The sight, however, was still associated with him and his name.

She'd expected a bitter flavor to rest on her tongue, a deep and unsettled hatred to raise up its head and growl. She didn't feel either. In fact, if anything, her heart felt wonderfully light. The town wasn't the same town that her father had tried to raise her in. It was a different town, a new town, and while she could still remember exactly where the house resting on the outskirts of the town sat, she didn't feel the same dreadful fear that she had as a child whenever she set foot in the town proper and had to face other people. People who would look at her with hatred and distaste. She didn't feel it.

Her breath still came out quickly though. Her heart pattered uncontrollably but it wasn't an uncomfortable feeling by any means. It was... excitement? "I wasn't really expecting this," she told her companion quietly as she faced down the past and didn't feel her blood freeze. Of course, she had yet to actually come across the house. She placed a hand across her chest, measuring the pounding of her heart.

She had always done her best to free herself of her past, but in doing so, she had shackled herself to it tighter. In recent seasons she'd tried with all of her might to escape it, and she'd actually started to cover ground. She'd asked Ashan for his guidance time and time again, hoping that he didn't think less of her for her struggles. He wouldn't though, would he? That was the thought of a child who was still trapped. Trapped in the memories of an abusive home and a mournful life.

The revelation she'd avoided facing for the longest time was a simple one. She knew deep in her soul that she couldn't truly be free until she faced down her past and walked away from it herself. She couldn't run away and she couldn't hide like she'd been doing for so many arcs. She needed to face it and she needed to walk. Ethelynda guide her. This was perhaps her toughest mission yet. While in these short moment she still felt excitement and she was energetic to face her past, she knew that the moment the house came into view she'd feel those all too familiar sensations of fear and dread.

She couldn't run away though, she needed to face them or else she'd never truly free herself from the memories. From the master. Puffing out her chest and taking a deep breath of the sharp, crisp air she gathered her strength. "Come on, leave the cart here. Storm will guard it and we'll come to pick it up again later. It's best that he not be there for this," she said as she untied the beast. He wouldn't stray far she knew that, and she wanted to avoid leaving him bound if she could. "It's not much farther," she assured Noth as she started to lead the way.

She wanted to fly. Wanted to spread her wings and soar for a moment before she had to face the house again. Remin herself that she was strong and she wasn't trapped anymore. She almost laughed. It wasn't until Icarus saved her that she actually learned how to fly. It wasn't until Icarus saved her that she tasted true freedom for the first time. There was a poetic irony in that. She didn't need to fly through. She knew her own strength, knew her own soul. She'd faced her own demons and now it was time to face the ones that lingered in her past.

It was obviously just her imagination, but she could swear she heard the whispers of her father and Icarus, wishing her the best of luck. There were other voices mixed in that medley. Voices from those who help helped be her stepping stones on this journey. She thanked them all, taking their memories and crafting it into a shield for her heart. She would face this beast and finally win. She deserved this victory, she would take it and when she returned to Etzos she would hold her head high in the knowledge that she'd taken one of the hardest steps yet on the path of a hero.

The house appeared over the hill and just as expected there were hints of dread that lingered in the back of her mind. They tugged on the child that was hidden deep inside her. The fearful girl who was still afraid of the past. With a definitive slash, she banished those doubt and stood in front of her younger self, a queenly knight, unyielding and proud. She wasn't going to be owned anymore. Wasn't going to be controlled anymore.

In spite of that, she could still hear the ghostly whispers of the man she called master as they drew closer and closer to the house. "Come hither, pet," the voice mocked her. She wondered if Noth could hear that terrible voice. Perhaps it was just the creature playing tricks on her.

"This is the place," she told Noth when they arrived at the house on the outskirts. It was a run down looking thing, but it still stood despite being uncared for. It looked unstable with age, but the fact it hadn't fallen yet was a testament to its craftsmanship. The door wouldn't budge for a moment when Nightshade tried to push on it, only yielding when she took a step back and slammed her shoulder into it. Once dislodged it opened with a creak. "Come in, come in, it's definitely not haunted," came the sarcastic drawl of a woman refused to crumble against past fears.

The wood was stained a dark color with age, various green things growing on and out of it. Stepping inside showed just how little the building itself had been touched after the death of its old owner. "You think my family still owns the property? It hasn't been touched in so long, maybe I could make an appeal to have it put in my name," she mused. It was half joking but also half serious. There was still a dread that formed in her heart but it wasn't overbearing. What better way to face the past than to own her old house? If she bought it, though, she'd probably have to pay someone to tear it down and rebuild it. Not that it would make a dent in her savings.

The building was still full of old furniture, untouched and growing lifeforms of all kind. There were two plates set on the table. The last time she'd been here, her father had been called on an emergency to come back. She'd been fairly old at the time, old enough to be agitated with having to go back to the Master. She'd been looking forward having a meal with her father and getting to read one of his old books, the elderly Avriel trying his best to teach her own he could of Avriellian Script and Lorien before he passed. He'd even tried to teach her the tongue of slaves, just in case.

Frowning, she knew where she needed to go. Stepping towards the back of the house she displaced a rug, coughing as dust flew into the air. A rusty iron trap door sat between them and the basement. Pulling out a key she'd been holding onto for a long time she unlocked it with a click. Opening the trap door revealed a ladder. Swallowing her hesitation, she proceeded down.

She was hit with a massive wave of emotions. Sorrow, anger, grief, all of them felt unnatural and not like they were hers. The deeper she went into the basement, the more wrong everything began to feel. The air was heavy with the scent of old paper and it was hard to see in front of her face. "Noth, light a torch," she said. She was roughly able to tell what she was doing thanks to the glowing band around her arm which provided some light. To do anything useful, they'd need more.

When she touched down on the floor, it looked and felt strange. Not in a way that would be evident to her companion, but in a way that Nightshade took notice of immediately. Peering downwards, the grief and anger seemed to pool endlessly under her feet. Desperately, the unnatural, wrong feeling sensation started to try and consume her.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 1595
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Re: Adventuring West

Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:42 pm

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He watched, anticipating. He raged, vindicated within his own take on justice. He acted, delighted in his growing success...

The group of farmers had now fully turned on each other at the site of the third grave. There had not yet been any deaths, but mayhem was joined, the men either quailing in mindless fear, or hurling rapturously monstrous accusations at each other. It would be only a few more moments before the bodies would begin falling...Just a moment more...Any moment now....

A scowl began to form on the Soraanar's face.

The one, the "Morrell" one, was proving to be far more troublesome than the others. From where had come this sudden conviction? This resistance? Four goats' influence should have been more than enough to unseat the resolve of this mismatched rabble. But the obvious leader, Morrell, was slowing the rate of disruption to their task. Had he been present at the previous night's debacle? Was it confidence of this knowledge?

When The Panic was applied to him, he did soon fall into terror. But it took more than it should have; allowing too many of the others to keep him in check, and still go on with their work. If the terror was driven into others, Morrell took control to swiftly assign counter tasks to the those unaffected that kept things from deteriorating into the madness the Soraanar had expected.

He would have to take it upon himself to add the extra influence, a rare bother. He stepped forward, but assurance did not follow his steps. His step faltered just a moment...Uncertainty?...Was that...thing...the hand worn by the winged rebel, present? He had not seen it, or felt its presence as yet, but had he checked sufficiently? New rage at his own cowardice fueled his determination. He would know its unleashing this time. He would not be taken by surprise this time. That last incident was as anomaly, it told itself, never to be repeated.

Its step faltered again. But this was not borne of the mere nuisance embodied by a particularly stout show of resistance, by soon-to-be-doomed farmers. Anything they accomplished this night could be reversed in short order. No, the real problem now lay in Westguard. The Soraanar cursed his own distraction. A grudging nod of a job well done to the farmers for having decoyed him so successfully. They would pay later. The two winged rebels would pay now...


The swiftness of a spirit's travel brought the Soraanar to its Westguard haunts in less than a single break; and even that was only due to the necessity of guiding its goat/minions through its Emean pathway. The house now stood before it, the lack of screams, cries, or the combined timbre of slamming doors of various materials and the shuttering of multiple windows gave it satisfaction that the town knew who its true master was. There were none to be caught outside at night anymore.

But the building before it now would not be spared. The two winged targets resided within. The slave, Ivan, now approached, warring terrors evident in the twitches of his face; on the one hand the fear of obedience, on the other, the fear of resisting. "Go inside, slave. Speak to your...sister." it spoke the word with loathing. "Learn if the ritual is recorded there. It need not be brought to me. I need only that you ensure that when it is found, you burn it, along with the rest of the structure. I will see to it that their dead bodies rest within the conflagration."

Utter, final self-loathing crawled in contempt across the brother's face as he nodded. Ivan stepped slowly to the stairs, and walked in. He did not have to make any effort to locate where the two targets were. The goats stayed upstairs, their spirits accompanying the man until he descended the stairs, torch in hand, bringing powerful fear, pain and hatred with them. But only to be kept within for now; nothing was inflicted upon the adventurers...yet.

"Welcome home, sister." Ivan said, his voice failing utterly to dispel any sense of the doom which lay upon the situation. He did not even try. "I suppose it would be pointless to ask for forgiveness." His eyes could not meet hers. "Either for myself or my father...He's dead now, you know. You're free of him. I am the slave now. Given time, I...might stand a chance of convincing you that we were ALL pawns in the monster's game. And I don't just mean the Darkwraith, even IT has a master."

Noth was, of course, already advancing on the man, mace in hand, gauntlet extended, telling Night to stay back. Over the arcs that he'd know his love, he'd heard more than enough of the vile deeds perpetrated upon her by this man and his father. Bloody vengeance shouted his every move. Ivan did not quail before the onset of death. If anything he showed relief at the prospect.

"Before you strike, either of you, know that within this house lies the means of destroying the creature. Night, your father must surely have told you where it is. Some spell or ritual? An Artifact? Some old memento of ancient Athart? Or even before Raskalarn forced them from Aeva's Peak? The monster tormented my father to find it..." the brother's head drooped, "...as he does me now. It would not kill your father outright, fearing his death might actually initiate some or all of the ritual? Perhaps it was set up but the last act? That being his death?"

The possibility that there was some answer to the questions was the only thing holding back Noth's hand. Tears burst suddenly from Ivan's eyes. His voice wracked and broken as he fell to his knees. "I do not fear death, Noth. Yes I know your name. The beast stole it from my sister's mind the other night. I would not stop you from freeing me of this agony."

He turned again to the winged woman. "I know I can not expect any change in your memories of my father. But he was my father. And he was driven by the cruelty of the beast to do it! I saw what you never did. The beast torturing HIM day and night, using him, forcing him to cruelty to coerce your father into giving it up. I have torn this house apart looking for anything that might be it. I've hired attuners to scan every inch of the place, but all they find is the lingering presence of the evil done here. The way they look at me...as if it was me! I had no choice!...You felt the pain the other night, didn't you. I have felt that a thousand time! Help me or kill me!"

The waiting Soraanar only had the goats' spirits present to hide his own. Neither it nor they had any ability to infuse the situation with any compassion or forgiveness. Such concepts were alien to it. Noth was next in line as far as current dedication to inflicting harm was concerned. But he waited for word from Night.
word count: 1229
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