Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

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Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Zerifachias on Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:01 pm

Prologue

"Thank you for joining us."

He stood at the door to the Undercroft. The mages rarely let anyone who was not a mage or part of the Purifiers into their temple. This was a special treat for the mercenary leader, though he did not know what to expect. The man sitting at the far end must be Archon Gerard, the man who sought him out.

"I take it anything we speak of is to be kept hushed up," he says. The leader of the mercenary gang White Basilisks and a veritable monster of a man knew when and where he needed to keep his mouth shut. "Don't look so surprised. I take my contracts seriously."

"Your assistance is something we absolutely require," the Archon says. "I am thankful you are willing to keep closed lips. We will still pay as much as you demand. The fate of the mages depends on it."

"I have a lot of boys to feed, but I will hear what needs to be done first."

"Take a seat and we will show you."

The mercenary did and one of the other mages rolled a small, crystal ball out onto the table. It rolled to the center and fell into a socket, locking in place. He heard murmurs of words and the ground shook beneath his feet, but only just. Magic fled from the crystal and took shape in the air, changing until he could see the form of a woman. Young and frightened, the image of her was static but there was no doubt in his mind she was in danger.

"Who's this?" he asked loudly. The form distorted to his voice, but stabilized shortly after. The other mages, a slightly older woman and an ancient man - his eyes were blind - let their Archon speak while casting their magic.

"This is Ieta. She is one of our students. You have a similar history to her, as she is from Sar'tu. We sent her to look for another of our students, whom we desperately need to return, but have since lost contact with her. The Purifiers are growing restless, and the King makes demand after demand of us. We fear the worst for Ieta, but she is alive. We need you to locate her and bring her home to us."

"That's all? The way I see it, you could send out those Purifiers of yours and bring her back that way. Why pay for a mercenary?"

"The Purifiers do not know she is gone, nor that she ever came."

"This is hardly work suited for a mercenary. We're killers for hire. Search and rescue is hardly our strong point."

"Then it may please you to know we will have more work for you after Ieta's safe return."

He nodded, this would be good training for his men. He should have brought one of them along to get some leadership and contractual training. But one thing disturbed him. "Hold on one moment, Archon. Suppose this Ieta is possessed by a demon or for some reason attacks us. We will have to kill her then."

The Archon frowns. "Unfortunately, yes. As of this moment, however, I am certain of her sanity. She is not possessed, but she is being chased by someone or something. In the case she does become possessed before you reach her, you may not survive the encounter. Not many can withstand an unbridled mage's power."

"I think we'll be just fine, Archon. I'll accept the job and send you my terms for payment later."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:20 pm

Chapter One

The White Basilisk Mercenary Company

Lakeside Tavern, the only place in Jesu City that wasn't crawling with sweaty sailors or angry men. A small little hovel on the western side of the city, close to the edge but away from the docks. Captain Vino brushed back red hair from red eyes and scanned the tavern. He knew the others would pick a spot in relative isolation from the rowdy bunches. As soon as he found them he pulled up a chair and sat.

"I've got good news and bad news," Vino said. His voice took on a hint of southern drawl, his origins could be forgotten but never lost. "Good news is, this job is going to pay well. Bad news is it involves a mage who may or may not be corrupted by demons. A search and rescue mission. The girl's name is Ieta, and looks something like this." Vino pulled out a parchment and quickly drew a rough sketch of the girl. If he had more time, he would draw something a little more lifelike.

"According to the client, she was last seen north of here, close to a village called Fetsam. We go there first and ask for information. It's a two day trip on foot so pack your bags for the morning."

A search and rescue mission; it wasn't the only thing on Vino's mind, but this would definitely be the first time anyone asked the White Basilisks to do anything besides kill or escort. Many thought the mercenary group a band of assassins. Or thieves for hire. Neither was even close to the truth. Captain Vino loved fighting, but he worked his men on a code of ethics written in stone. They were not assassins. If they were hired to kill, it would have to be in protection of something. If they were hired to steal, it would have to be to take back what was stolen.

Before Vino became captain, the White Basilisks' moral code was in a different shade of gray. The greed of the previous leader ended up getting many men killed and most of their sponsors cut themselves off. After the leader was persuaded to leave and Vino took over, he regained half of their contacts and made the mercenary group well-off. They had coin to spare, and with this job they would be able to take it easy for a little while.

"We all clear?"

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Masquerade on Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:23 pm

A rather tall hulking man stood near the table 'round which several other intriguing figures sat. His name was Tiberius Wood, and the strange company he kept now was quite unfitting for a character such as himself, one that was known to wander and to never settle his roots in any one given place. By what forces of fate led him to this particular company, he could not have fathomed. He was a guide to spirits, unseen entities of nature that roam the land--he was not the one to be guided himself, yet like lamb by the shepherd, he was led to the White Basilisks on the cusp of a change in leadership. The previous man had apparently been some piece of work, he had heard through the grapevine, and this company was in need of some skilled mercenaries. Though Tiberius was anything BUT a skilled mercenary, he knew his way around a fight, and the wilds posed no danger to him making him a likely candidate to join. He was happy to prove himself, and he made acquaintances of other humans--connections that would actually be permanent for once instead of him being naught but a phantom passing through the random village on the hillside.

Emerald eyes fell upon Captain Vino, the leader that took the place of the last, and what a great change that had proved to be. The company was climbing its way back up from the depths of depravity within which it sank from before. Tiberius was all too ecstatic to lend a strong helping hand. He straightened his straw shawl, a slight rustle coming about as a result. He was not the type to dress to extravagantly--in the wilds there was no room for such formality. Any worldly possession could become lost or destroyed in a heartbeat. Clothes were no different. His trousers were made from a poor cotton, and his belt was made of hemp rope. Even his weapon was tattered--a wooden palette with old crusted paints that he had to wet and revive himself to bring form to his spirits such that their benefits could be felt by his allies.

His bald head reflected what dim light could be found inside the tavern. His muscled body was on display for all to see. Many people feared him just because of his frightening and strong appearance, not aware that his true talents lied with magic and spirits. It was thanks to his physique that not many approached him looking for trouble, and he could scare off street rats with ease if they were harassing a young lady or other passerby. He may even have gathered a reputation for such a thing.

"I am perfectly clear, Captain," Tiberius spoke, his voice silky smooth and deep and hollow, strong and from the depths of his lungs. His voice carried easily through the air against his whim, as was the case on a multitude of occasions. Stealth was not his specialty.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Vergil on Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:02 pm

The stout Dwarven man known as Borenghren eyed the captain as he sat down and began his briefing. Hopping his portly body off the stool with a mug of ale still in hand, he trotted over taking generous swigs of his drink before tossing it back behind him. "Bah, why couldn't ya've chosen a better shack to get tanked up in. These suds are mighty weak," he complained, his accent brogue and rhotic. "Y'ought to let me treat you to some Dwarven whiskey some time, let ya know what a real man's brew tastes like." Despite his age in comparison to the other members of the White Basilisks, Borenghren was relatively new to the group and was a little too eager to show the others what he was capable of.

"A rescue mission?" he reiterated. "Doesn't sound too exciting, lad. But if you need all o' us, it must be dangerous. You say she might be corrupted by demons, eh? What are we to do if she attacks us? I'll let ya know ahead o' time that I ain't got no problem blowin' the girl's head off if I have to. Never did get for those 'magicky' types. Feh. Just like those dirty elves. Always puttin' their mana in everythin' they do; and where it don't belong. Ya ever had elven wine? It's shit, I tell ya. It's almost as if you can taste their dirty little elf hands in the juice. They might as well be stickin' their peckers in there while they're at it. A real craftsman can take pride in actual hard work - there just ain't no heart in puttin' magic into wine. It's a sin, I tell ya!" There he went, rambling off on his own tangent without considering whether or not anyone else actually gave a damn about what he had to say. The behavior of his was accredited to his time he spent traveling in an all-dwarf hunting party; a brotherhood among many.

"What's our cut gonna be this time? I need some extra coin 'cause I'm runnin' out on my supply of beard oil."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by CerberusLycan on Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:38 pm

The building was small and the spirits diluted, but the crowd, Antares found, was pleasant. 'Not a bad pub,' the silver-haired man judged as he raised his tankard and grinned in appreciation of a passing bawdy joke. Jesu City on a whole hadn't left him with the best impression, but as far as places that you had to stop in just to earn a little coin went, it had served fine so far. While one of the nearby patrons launched into a story involving his wife and his sister, Antares glanced at the entrance, and then at the tables on the opposite side. It was still just the two of them there. Taking a quaff of his drink, he returned his attention to the thick cloud of conversation before him. He knew the pair on the sparser side of the tavern must be his coworkers; the company he had taken up service in sent word of a new job, and the location and time of the meeting to receive it. Even if he had them figured right, he didn't see the harm in staying nearer the boisterous, tipsy masses until the boss arrived. Antares had visited many a town in the past years, and often found the local watering holes to be worthwhile-- not so much for the drink, but for a grasp of the community's conditions. By simply asking a few questions and lending an ear to the (drunken) talk of the town, one could tell how safe a place was, what their issues were, maybe gain an idea of where to go next.

The sound of the door opening drew Antares's attention. He recognized the Captain straight away, and muttered an excuse to the nearest men, clapped one on the shoulder, and rose with his drink. The silver-haired man trailed after the red-haired one, and leaned against the wall near the table they gathered at as the mercenary leader began speaking. A rescue mission didn't seem like the typical cup of tea for the White Basilisks, but Antares would be content with it all the same. Thus far he had tried to avoid the jobs which outright demanded someone's head-- he had no qualms against killing another man, but something about making a murder your goal for the day never sat right with him. "Sounds good to me, boss-man," Antares got in just before the dwarf's mouth took off.

His mind wandered to Melanie then. If it wasn't an assassination contract, she'd probably want to come with them. He had relented and let her join the escort mission he had been sent on a week ago, after much begging and arguing. They'd gotten in far worse, far more violent encounters on the road before that, and time and again the girl had proved she could protect herself in battle, even without a tangible weapon. Antares never felt good about bringing the girl into danger, but she was more capable than he was at her age, and smarter to boot, never mind being more willful than he was even now. Maybe it would only make her stronger. Maybe he had nothing to worry about-- it was just a search and rescue mission, after all. Hell, if he took the girl, he would take the dog, and maybe they would see if Loop had some bloodhound in him.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:06 pm

"If it comes down to it," Vino said, "we are to defend ourselves from her. If she is corrupted and attacks she'll have to die. There doesn't seem to be a cure." Even with that said, Vino was a bit adverse to killing women. Particularly due to the nature of such creatures, but since this Ieta was a mage she couldn't be treated as a person. Not if she was corrupted by demons. "As for the reward, it will depend on how difficult the task is and how much danger it puts our lives in. I have yet to send my terms and will do so this evening."

The dwarf was the newest addition to the White Basilisks. Vino would take any man capable of handling their own in a fight, but this was a bit of an oddity among men. Dwarves did not exist in Ermith, to his knowledge, and yet here one sat, drinking and berating elves as a typical dwarf might. He had yet to ask Borenghren where he had come from, but it was not Vino's place to know. He saw the dwarf fight, and was impressed, so he let the stout man into the mercenary group.

The heavyset man who spoke so loudly the wooden pub shook under his voice was even stranger. Mage might not be an accurate description of this man's capabilities, but Tiberius had magic. As far as Vino was concerned, all magic looked the same but even he knew conjuring spirits differed from throwing flames or lightning. Vino felt unnerved by him, but was perfectly capable of fighting by his side. Tiberius proved to be vital in many missions, having joined after Vino put himself in charge.

The most normal of the group, Antares. A strong jaw and a stronger arm made this man stand out from the normal bunch of hooligans. He wasn't quite as bulky as the sailors in Jesu were, but Vino knew his strength. When Antares joined, he had with him a dog and a small girl, whom Vino thought at first to be his daughter, but the two looked nothing alike and he was far too young to be a father of a girl in her early adolescence. Captain Vino wasn't keen on letting the girl join, but Antares was insistent on it, so he eventually gave in. The girl also showed magical promise and proved valuable to the White Basilisks, though it pained Vino to include her on dangerous missions. The girl seemed to like it, at least. He wasn't sure if she was afraid or inspired by him though. Children were hard to read.

"Alright. Finish up whatever you need to do today," Captain Vino said. "We leave bright and early in the morning. Meet me at the gates - don't cross the bridge without me." Vino wanted to stay with the group, but he couldn't. There were some loose ends to tie up around the city for him as well, minor errands and reward demands to send. He stood up from the chair and said his farewells to the group.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Masquerade on Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:37 pm

Just like that it seemed that the meeting was over. They had planned on a meeting place for the next day. Vino had his own loose ends to tie up in this place. That left Tiberius in a tough spot. What loose ends did he have? His were already quite tidy. He supposed that it would be best to go and make preparations for the monumental task at hand, one that could prove to be immensely dangerous. Bohenghren seemed to have no problems with this task, as Tiberius knew he wouldn't, but such brazen mien would not be enough to succeed. Not alone, at least.

"If you'll excuse me gentlemen," Tiberius said quietly which was more like a soft bellow. "I have my own matters to attend to." He turned to Antares. "I am sure the young lass will be thrilled to hear of this particular mission." He offered the man a slight nod and bid farewell to the magic-detesting dwarf before pacing slowly out of the tavern, waving farewell to a couple of smashed patrons whom he had seen on the streets before a few times.

Tiberius was greeted with the fresh air of the outside which was quite significantly better than the air within the tavern from which he departed. His wooden sandals clacked against the wood of the docks after making his way down towards them. There were quite a few sailors out tending their boats and the like, some communing on the docks with such good cheer. It was a nice sight to see. He lingered momentarily to catch wind of one sailor mentioning having seen something strange out on the water. That was always curious, but the spirit guide made sure not to loiter about in their vicinity for too long. Eavesdropping was rather unbecoming.

At the end of one of the docks, Tiberius came to a stop. There were a few crates littered about along with a myriad of rope, something that was apparently quite needed out on open water. He wondered what boat had departed from this particular stop. Sitting down upon the creaky wood, Tiberius crossed his legs and looked out over the water, the sun shining off of it in such a mesmerizing way. It was a beautiful thing. He had always adored water--the substance of life. The spirits told him it was greatly important, and yet he had not come to harness the power of a water spirit yet. As a matter of fact, though able to commune, he was still largely unable to harness the power of spirits themselves. He had done a lot of wandering and searching, but such an art took time. Part of his reasoning for joining the Basilisks was to aid in his quest to become a more effective guide. He had done a lot of good in his life but there was so much more to be done. What better opportunity was there than this?

He perused his thoughts with eyes shut now, meditating calmly on the dock. These were the only loose ends he would be tying up.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Vergil on Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:19 pm

"Aye, off with ye then," Borenghren dismissed Vino and Tiberius before hopping off the chair. "I just hope we still get paid even if we hafta kill her." Now that the meeting was adjourned, it left the question of what to do until the mission. The dwarf was a man who got bored rather easily, and often had to find creative ways to pass the time. "Anybody up fer startin' a bar brawl?" he asked nonchalantly to those that could hear him. "Show o' hands, who wants to tussle? Nothin' like a good ol' fashioned bar brawl to get the blood goin'!" His suggestion went ignored for the most part, with many of the other patrons shaking their heads in disapproval.

"C'mon! I wanna see how you lads throw down!" he continued to insist, only to achieve the same reception. "Guess everyone these days has forgotten how to really live. Bugger off, the lot of you." Borenghren grumpily climbed onto a bar stool and slapped some coins for another drink. He chugged it down quickly and slammed the tankard of ale onto the counter with a repulsive belch. "Still some pretty weak grog... It's like it's been watered down with water from the muddy brook. This is among the worst caliber of ale I've ever had, I'll tell ya." Borenghren stared back at the tavernkeeper briefly, and while maintaining eye contact, reached into his pockets for more coin.

"Another."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by CerberusLycan on Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:36 pm

With a nod, Antares saw the Captain off. As the vivid figure disappeared through the tavern door, the silver-haired man's eyes flicked to his remaining companions. The tall, muscled Tiberius he knew already; they had ran an escort mission together not more than a few weeks ago. He appeared to have a way with ghosts, and commanded them in battle. Antares wasn't sure of the specifics and so didn't say anything, but it seemed a sacrilegious ability. Even if he was right, though, he wasn't about to lecture the guy-- Antares was a man of the physical world, and tried not to concern himself with matters of the spiritual realm, and Tiberius came off as an otherwise affable fellow besides. Even now, the brawny mercenary regarded him and commented, "I am sure the young lass will be thrilled to hear of this particular mission." Antares returned his gesture and muttered, "Most like." He didn't know much about this taller man, but figured him to be trustworthy.

The shorter one was a different story. Antares had never seen him before, and didn't know exactly what to make of him. In his experience, the ones who talked the most had the most to hide-- if that knowledge held true here, the dwarf had more to hide than he did the height to conceal all of it. Even so, Antares wasn't prone to judging a man before getting to know him. All he really knew thus far was the dwarf was a bit ruthless, had a liking for alcohol, and didn't have the best opinion of magic. If Antares was being honest, all the same could be said for him to a degree. The small man didn't seem to pay him any mind for now, though, so he reciprocated and followed Vino and Tiberius out into the sunny day. Taking a deep breath to get the stifling smell of the tavern out of his system, he glanced around, and noted the towers in the distance. Jesu City laid host to and was built around a grand castle, home to the lord who ruled over the metropolis. Antares didn't care much about the castle itself, but the ostentatious, sky-reaching towers served as a useful point of reference for navigation. Making sure he still had all his belongings on him, the man set off through the city.

It wasn't long that he had to weave his way north and a bit eastward via cobbled roads and sturdy bridges before he reached his destination. Sunlight shimmering off its white stone exterior, Antares slowed to a halt in front of the gates to the large schoolhouse. A group of kids milled about in the grassy yard beyond the immaculate iron bars, and through the windows yet more children could be seen enduring their lessons. A happy bark distracted him from examining the scene more closely, and within a moment Antares had a dog at his feet, trying to stand on its hind legs to meet the man. "Hey, Loop," Antares chuckled, patting the mutt's head fondly. Man and dog strode a few paces away to the shade of a tree, and sat with their backs to the bark. "She's still not out yet, huh?" sighed Antares to his companion. Loop gave him an unconcerned look and settled into the grass, mouth open and tongue out. The silver-haired man made himself comfortable and closed his eyes, allowing the minutes to pass by the dozens while they waited.

The creaking of the gate made them both alert, and then Loop was issuing another joyous bark and cantering across the grass. Antares sat up with a grunt and gazed at the girl with a wide grin. On noticing the dog, the brunette soon noticed the man as well and headed towards him, with a smile to equal his own. "Ant!" she called to him excitedly. As she neared and knelt on the ground by him, she removed her worn brown messenger bag and smoothed out her dainty white dress. "Hey, Mel. Learn a lot today?" Loop situated himself between the two, and laid on his side contentedly as the girl drew some papers from her tote and eagerly shared them with her senior, explaining how she had studied poetry that day, and could now name all the different types of poems and enjoyed making some herself. The man absorbed it all happily, complementing her compositions and recalling one of his favorite poems as well, though he only knew several. When the girl was done detailing her lessons, she brushed some hair behind her ear and asked, "And what about you, Ant? What's your next job?" With a wry smirk, he told her, and she responded with a knowing smile and an expectant gaze, with a trace of pleading between them. Antares pretended to demur for a moment, and then reluctantly confirmed her. The beam that broke across Melanie's face was the most genuine of all her smiles that day.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:25 pm

Jesu always was a comforting place for Vino. He waved as a group of women took notice of him. It took a lot of work, but the women in this city finally stopped being afraid of him. His red hair was so vibrant and shocking it made others shy away, never mind the White Basilisk's stigma. Immigrants came from Sar'tu regularly enough, and the traits he brought along made Ermith that much more diverse. He couldn't remember the last time someone tried to start a fight based on country. He barely remembered traveling overseas.

He had no property in Jesu, or anywhere else for that matter. All of his personal coin went to the mercenary company for the past few years, but it wouldn't be long before he could start using it for himself. With this job he'd be able to finally be comfortable and rest, maybe find a wife and start a family. Vino certainly wasn't getting any younger.

He closed up shop with the city the previous night. He didn't like leaving a whole lot sitting on the table, and the loose errands were quickly tied up. Considering the dangers of demons, he wanted to make sure everyone he took along would be well-compensated. He sent his terms, expecting the Archon to agree to them regardless. Vino would have to remember to keep this all quiet from the Purifiers and Father Morrin, as well. He never liked the old priest anyhow, so that wouldn't be difficult.

The gates waited for him. He waited for his crew. As soon as they showed, they would head off to Farsay, the first and last stop of those traveling between Jesu and Nolathan.


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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by CerberusLycan on Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:01 pm

The serene sight of a dawn sky was one of Melanie's favorite things. She loved waking up and watching the sun rise into its glory, the velvet covering of night conceding inch after inch to the encroaching day. To her, it was the perfect start to a day of traveling.

Her opinion remained unchanged as she and Ant strolled through Jesu City in the morning light, dim and soft as it was, but growing more intrepid with every passing minute. Loop cantered at her heels, returning her gaze joyfully when she glanced down at him. The sun's advent was at their backs as they headed towards the meeting place, and the sky before them was a rich, light purple. If you looked hard enough you could still see some stars, but most had surrendered to the coming dawn. It wasn't just the sight of daybreak Melanie loved, it was the smell and sound and feel of it, too. The only word she could think of to describe the aroma it lent the air, no matter where she went, was fresh; the sound it imbued an area with, hopeful; the feeling it filled her with, peace. Nothing bad happened at dawn. It was when the world opened its eyes after a restful slumber, the worries of yesterday forgotten for the moment, and the wonders of dreams still playing in each thought.

When she saw their destination, and the lean Captain waiting, she therefore couldn't resist growing a cheery smile and calling out, "Good morning, Mr. Vino!" Ahead of her, it caused Antares to grin slightly as well. Normally she might've acted more reserved, for the sight of the bloody-haired mercenary leader intimidated her somewhat, and she was cautious that he might turn aggressive at any moment. Although seeing his capabilities in battle didn't make her feel much better about being around him, she-- and Ant as well-- supposed he seemed nice enough for now. And it being dawn, that was all that mattered. Dawn was a time of hope, of assuming the best and praying the day's light would reveal your hopes and prayers to be true. That was how Melanie wanted to live her life.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Masquerade on Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:58 pm

All of Tiberius's surroundings and sensations from the environs dissipated as he meditated.  All faded from view, both physical and mental until all there was was him amidst the darkness, sitting patiently and waiting for something unknown.  It was at a young age that he became familiar with this darkness and the wonders it held within.  He learned that many feared the shadows and what might lie beyond, wreathed in the blackness of a starless night.  He, however, knew that there were answers here.  When one meditated, opened one's mind, and peered into the darkness, one would find not only oneself, but myriad knowledge of, not only the physical world upon which one tread, but of the ethereal realm as well.  The latter knowledge was the one Tiberius held dear, for the enchanting spirits were the stem of his strength, and it was his moral obligation to guide them with his ability.  It was in this darkness that he sat now, reaching out into the shade in hopes of finding what he was looking for.

"Gosh, I thought I had felt the presence of a mystical being in my vicinity for quite some time, but never would I have thought it to be a mortal...oh?  With the potential of becoming immortal at that!  This is rich!"

A voice.  Albeit mocking, this was a voice that Tiberius wished to hear.  It was full of power, and it echoed off the eternal walls of darkness.  It came from everywhere, and yet nowhere, but Tiberius could sense the presence was very far--way out over the lake.  This must have been the mysterious thing the sailors had mentioned.  There was only one being that would talk to him in this space--a spirit.  It had a feminine voice, but it was deeper than one would expect of the gender and it was filled with power.  

"The presence over the lake.  Concern yourself not with who I am, or rather, perhaps you should," Tiberius said, his voice seeming a lot less impacting amidst the shadows of his mind than in reality.  "I wish to make a pact with you.  I plea, may I borrow your strength?"

"How rude!  I don't even know your name and you're already trying to get in a relationship with me?  My word, pray consider another spirit."

"My apologies, madame.  My name is Tiberius.  I merely assumed you knew because of your ability to assess my being."

"Ew, you're way more well-versed in spirits than I had hoped for.  UGH, are you sensing me?  Stop that.  I'll have you know I am far too powerful for that, I don't care what level you're on, buddy."

"No, no, I mean no disrespect.  I can only feel your location, nothing more."  Tiberius found it easy to keep his calm despite the spirit's rather unorthodox nature.  Each spirit was unique in personality just like people, and Tiberius had encountered some with far worse temperaments that carried far worse consequences.

"My name is Qui Sy'lane, The Prosperous.  I am a royal spirit of water that blesses the realm of Jesu.  A pleasure to make your formal acquaintance but quit this now while you're ahead.  A royal spirit will not conjoin or consort with any mortal."

"Your Majesty, my apologies for my disrespect," Tiberius said suddenly, completely aghast.  "Even still, might you perhaps wish to see the realms beyond?  Such a journey might do you well.  To fill yourself with such a rich experience might bolster your standing among spirits, especially those royals that may remain isolated.  Your knowledge will trump theirs; you will always hold an edge over them."

There was silence for at least a few minutes, and every second made Tiberius sweat in suspense.  

"Okay, you drive a hard bargain, Tibbers, I'll give you that.  But you are still way too weak to merely handle my essence.  Look at that gross palette of yours!  Is that your medium?  Paint?  It's all dried up.  GROSS.  You add your own saliva?!  Okay woah no deal.  Conditions, listen closely: get stronger and command more spirits.  Also get a new medium or at least a better version of your current one, good lord.  Your spit is not coming anywhere NEAR my essence, capiche?  I'll be watching you closely until then.  Ta-ta!"

Tiberius opened his eyes suddenly and took in the view of the dock which was now lit by moonlight.  He didn't know whether to feel honored for being considered by a royal spirit or just completely insulted.  The royal spirits served as leaders of their own kind, kings, queens, and other nobles which possess vast power over ordinary spirits.  To make a contract with even one of them is the dream of any guide.  Every spirit needs some assistance, even the nobility despite their own thoughts.  Even still, Tiberius needed to get stronger as she said.  The lesser spirits were far easier to convince.  Usually they appeared before him when he found inner strength.  Ni'ama had been there with him since the beginning.  Kankero came later on, albeit slowly.  He wondered what other oddity of a spirit would recognize him and wish to travel with him.

The muscled man's back hit the dock and he closed his eyes again, only this time he would let himself fall into slumber, the cool night breeze washing over him, securing his descent into the realm of dreams.

For once, Tiberius found himself not the first to arrive at a destination spot.  Vino and Antares and his gang were already there as he came trundling along the road.  He was probably the only one that could wake up refreshed after a cold night on a wooden dock, but there he was with a warm albeit stoic expression on his face.  He came to a stop near his companions and greeted them.

"Well, look who came along.  If it isn't Melanie, good morning, young miss," Tiberius said as gently as he could and flashed her a smile, his previous expression melting.  He stooped down a bit and held his hand out for Loop to approach in order to receive a good petting should he be in the mood for it.  Being of nature, Tiberius had a way with animals.  "I hope the rest of you slept well.  Where might Borenghren be?" he inquired.  Looked like that was all that was stopping them--just the dwarf's absence.

_________________


*Thanks to Mayari for the wonderful avatar/signature combo

WhippedCreame wrote:oh god yes eat my spaghetti confetti

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Vergil on Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:36 pm

The prior evening was now a faint blur in the depths of the dwarf's mind, as he awoke dazed upon a mountain of empty tankards. "Argh... what happened last night?" he groaned, the throbbing headache running rampantly through his temples. The hired barmaid made her way by, sweeping up broken chips of wood and the pile of emptied out ale from underneath him with a broom. "You were immensely intoxicated," she began to explain. "Spent the last of your coin buying rounds for all the patrons, and then you angrily started shouting very prejudice remarks about elves. You then took off your tunic and began riling up the tavern into an all-out fight." Borenghren scratched his head. "I don't recall any of that." The barmaid shrugged in response. "It's all true, a local painter captured it into this beautiful canvas that now hangs on our wall." She pointed at the artistic piece; an epic and exaggerated depiction of the night caught in watercolor, with a muscular illustration of Borenghren standing triumphantly upon a heap of defeated foes.

"Huh... still not ringin' a bell," Borenghren noted. "The town bard even wrote a song about you," the barmaid added, pointing to a man dressed in gaudy pantaloons and strumming his lute in rhythm. "Oh... come one, come all, listen to my tale of the raging dwarf..." the bard began to sing. When the migraine lessened, the dwarf managed to get back on track of meeting with the others. "As much as I'd love to stay an' revel in the legends I'm makin', I must be off." He grabbed his cloak and draped it around himself as he headed out the door. "If any o' ya ever want another good time, come to the next 'Dwarf Con'. We're still deciding on this year's location."

Borenghren scurried through the town and arrived at the gates where the captain had told them to meet, raising his rifle in the air to signify his arrival. Being as new as he was, the dwarf had not yet been accustomed to remembering the names of his partners aside from the captain himself, and made for ersatz nicknames. "G'afternoon t'alla ya and Vino."

"Tree hugger," he gave a nod at Tiberius.

"Skinny," he spared a glance over to Antares.

"Girlie," he acknowledged Melanie.

"Dog," he looked down to Antares' animal companion.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:20 am

"Good morning, Miss Melanie." Vino was pleasantly surprised by the girl's greeting, but didn't let it get to his head. She was still terrified of him, he could tell. With time that would go away. Or so Vino hoped. He waited for the rest of the gang to appear - the dwarf still clearly drunk from last night. With everyone gathered, Vino led the way out of the city. There were no more exchange of words. No wise remarks or noble starts. Vino took his job seriously, time spent on ceremony was wasteful. His company knew this.

The two day trip to Farsay led them through the Plains. The road well-worn by travel granted them a safe trip - as beasts rarely ever found themselves close to human civilization or their roads. Even the aggressive beasts turned tail at the sight of it - humans were a powerful race, capable of destroying beasts and their habitats. In time, they learned not to trifle with even the scattered travelers on the roads.

Farsay was primarily a farming village. Despite the small number of homes, Farsay took up a great length of land, made fertile by the Long River. A mill sat at the top of a hill overlooking Hiki's Forest - northeast of them - and one could easily see the river in the distance from atop the hill. The road led straight through the village center, splitting around a deep well before reconvening and shooting east. The road split at the Long River, going over a bridge to the other side of the river and another part heading north.

At this time, many men were still out in the fields, tending to half-grown wheat stalks, while women watched their children play out in the road near the well. It was a peaceful place here, one might never think it would come to any harm from bandits or the like. But this village was only their first stop, and as good as a place to ask for information as any.

"Spread out in teams," Vino said. "Antares, you and Melanie should ask around, see if one of the women can tell you anything about Ieta. Tiberius, you and Borenghren head to the tavern there. I'll head out into the fields to speak with the men. Remember to keep quiet about mages, they'll likely only remember Ieta as a traveler." Melanie wouldn't pair well with anyone except for Antares, and Vino wasn't apt to force them apart. The dog, Loop, would likely go with them as well. Tiberius would be in charge of keeping the dwarf in line, Vino hoped.

Captain Vino split the group up and headed out into the fields. The first man he saw caught his eye. Many of the farmers were taller, and thicker, than Vino was, though he was sure Tiberius would intimidate even these fellows. Vino saluted one of them men and carefully stepped towards him. He knew to be careful on the fields, and the farmers seemed to notice.

"Hail, stranger." The farmer had a brash accent, one that reminded Vino of home. His hair was cut short and he wore only leather trousers. His skin was black and his eyes were coal-black. "What can I do you fer?"

"I'm looking for a woman," Vino started, digging into his coat pockets for the drawing he made.

"Aren't we all?" The farmer laughed. He took the drawing as Vino handed it over and hummed a little bit. "Can't say I remember seeing this one."

"You're sure? She must have passed through here not too long ago. Short, raven hair, blue eyes, dressed lightly except for a cloak. Has a southern look to her."

"The only traveler I remember of such a description was a mage. She came here seven years ago. Though, her hair was long and black and her eyes were violet."

"I don't think it was that long ago. Thank you for the answer though, I'll ask someone else."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Into the Abyss

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