The Abyss Watchers

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The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Sat May 06, 2017 12:33 pm

~Prelude Before the Storm~


The tracks were still fresh. Nigel ran his hand over the imprint, a meter wide crevice dug into the ground by an otherworldly creature. He could feel its weight and power in the tracks. He could feel its animosity, its undying anger at the world around it. A chill crept up his hand. The beast knew of a frozen world, once covered in ice - not trees and flora. They were close. So close he could practically smell the beast, even if spirits didn't give off a scent

Nigel Sieta rose his hand to cover his ear. “Vienna, we’re closing in on it,” he spoke into a small receiver hooked onto the sleeve of his cloak. It took some time for him to hear a response.

“Roger that, Nigel" the feminine voice echoed in his ear. "I’ve got eyes on our target.” Nigel smiled, a hand resting on his blade. “I’m waiting for your signal.”

“Don’t fire until I can see it,” Nigel said and started to run. He jumped through a small opening in the trees and landed in a meadow-like clearing. Nigel saw the beast. Its whole body, though massive, was barely visible thanks to the bright light shining through its translucent body. The giant mammoth glowed a ghostly blue color. It turned and Nigel drew the sword at his side, the blade sliding silently from its sheath. He felt the air pressure grow.

The beast reared its head and roared, a deathly aura pulsing outward from its core, the blue turning red as it raged. It dug its feet into the ground and charged. A second later a loud bang filled the air and the mammoth fell to the ground, its momentum keeping it sliding forward towards Nigel. He brandished his sword and held it to his side. In a flash, quicker than an eye could blink, he dashed through the beast.

The mammoth groaned and collapsed. Its body began to glow brighter and brighter, flashing once before fading away. Nigel held his free hand up in prayer as he sheathed his sword. “Rest in peace, old spirit.”

After paying respects, Nigel observed the surrounding meadow. There was a small shrine in the center, with a well directly behind it. Nigel put his hand to his ear again. The mammoth spirit lost its home long ago, but only now could it finally rest. And it was thanks to their efforts. A celebration was in order.

“Vienna, time to go,” Nigel said. His partner was being rather quiet. “Vienna?”

“Nigel!” Her voice was panicked. “Help me!” A sharp scream pierced the sky.

Fear shot through him. “Vienna!” He shouted for her, hoping for her answer. His own voice echoed back at him. Then, a sharp pain erupted from his chest. He gasped, a long, thin blade poking out through his chest. He could feel one of his lungs collapse as the blade retreated. He fell.

He couldn’t move. He could barely breathe. His chest felt wet and warm as blood poured from the wound like a river. He heard a thump beside him. Scarlet hair fell over her face. Red eyes, blind and full of fear, stared at him.

Vienna, no... Nigel tried to reach for her, but found all his strength drained.

“Two down,” a gravelly void echoed above him, then vanished.

~
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Chapter One

Post by Zerifachias on Tue May 09, 2017 5:21 pm

Clover City. The pride of Verdantia and home to a great many mages. Many of the trees were cleared out to make way for huts. The homes were made of heavy logs and shaved tree bark. Several smoke towers rose from the city’s interior and the scent of roasted potatoes and basilisk meat made Karen’s mouth start to water. Basilisk was a delicacy back in her home village, they rarely got the time or the hunters to go out and hunt such dangerous beasts.

“God that smells so good,” Karen said, breathing the scent of that salty-sweet meat deep into her nose.

She saw the guild hall from her little hill, too. It stood on the other side of the city, towering over the little huts that made up the city’s bulk. Too excited to contain herself, Karen slid down the hill and ran into the city, slowing down only when she started seeing people walking about. She weaved around the crowded city, her eyes set on the guild. It was decorated traditionally, with bark and leaves shading the front entrance and a cloth banner flying overhead. The cloth depicted a man with his arms crossed over his chest in an ‘X’ form, holding his daggers outward.

Before she got much farther, Karen stopped at a stall in the bazaar. “That looks so good, can I buy one off you?” Karen asked, pointing to one of the sticks loaded with potato and basilisk meat.

“Sure thing miss!” Karen traded a piece of gold for the kebab and grinned as she bit into it. She moaned and rolled her eyes as the juices exploded in her mouth. The taste of basilisk meat was so good, Karen couldn’t get enough of it.

“Coming back from a job, are you?” The shopkeeper bit down on the gold piece to test it before pocketing the thing. He was a middle-aged man with a receding hairline, but what was left of the black hair was still full of color and life. “I haven’t seen you around here before,” he said. “I’m Raff, you won’t find a better basilisk kebab chef in all of Verdantia!” He and Karen laughed.

“This is certainly some of the best I’ve tasted!” Karen said. “I’m Karen. I’m not in the guild, though that’s why I’ve come here. I’ve heard so much about them, I hope they let me join up.”

“A pretty girl like you? Ah, you’ve got nothing to worry about! If it comes down to it, tell ‘em old Raff sent you! They’ll let you in after they hear that.”

Karen giggled. “Thanks for the support, Raff. And the kebab! Wish me luck.”

“Here, take another for the road! It’s on the house.”

“Thank you, I will!” Karen grinned from ear to ear now as she walked the rest of the way. The guild hall was an imposing structure, but with food in her belly Karen felt a lot less intimidated by it. People who saw her moved out of her way and greeted her as she passed. Some mistakenly told her ‘welcome home,’ but Karen only smiled and waved at them. There was no need to correct them if this was going to become her new home. Even the idea set her heart on fire.

Karen took a deep breath and pushed through the curtain door. The air turned hot and humid and the light practically vanished, swallowed up by the dark inner hall. She could still see the tables lined up before her, but no one sat in the chairs. She slid the last potato in her mouth and dropped her pack on one of the tables. A blue flame sparked to life in her hands and she held it high to get a better look around.

“Ugh, what a dump.” Karen wrinkled her nose. The whole guild hall was trashed. Empty mugs and canteens on almost every table, some of the chairs knocked over, the floor covered in booze and crumbs. Even a couple candlesticks were knocked over, spilling wax all over the tables or floor.

“Hello?” Karen called out into the empty hall. “Is anyone here? My name’s Karen Bell from Shamrock Village. I wanna join the guild!” No answer. “What happened to everyone?” Karen walked around until she came to a bulletin board. A few papers were stuck to it. Karen traced her free hand over a couple of them. “Destroy a wyvern, feed a hungry village, and clear out a poison fog? These are all magic job postings. They look recent, so where is everyone?”

A loud, grating snore made Karen jump and her skin crawl. She lifted her flame higher and looked around for the source. There was a bar counter close by she hadn’t bothered to visit – she was still underage. Karen wriggled her nose and peered over the counter.

A man in his early thirties lay sprawled out against the wall, a bottle of rum in one hand and an empty cup in the other. Some brown liquid stain splashed on his bare chest, but he snored away as peaceful as could be. She didn’t recognize him, but she never expected to recognize anyone here.

“Um, excuse me?” Karen knelt on top of the counter, holding her fire right over the edge. “Sir? Hello?” A snort interrupted his snore and the man came to life. He shook his head and shielded his eyes from the light.

“Whozzat?” he slurred, waving his bottle of rum at her. “Wha- fire? FIRE!” He shouted, throwing the glass bottle at the flame. Karen squeaked and fell off the counter. She landed on her back, hitting her head against the floor.

“Ugh," she groaned. "Ow. What was that for?” Karen glared at the counter as she sat up. The man behind it lifted himself over the edge of the counter and squinted at her.

“Fire and alcohol,” he said, slurring his words. “They don’t exactly mix, little lady.” Passed out drunk for who knows how long, and upon waking up he’s still drunk. Even from here she could smell the alcohol on his breath. “Whatterya doin’ here anyway? You lost?”

“This is the guild, isn’t it?” Karen was on her feet again. “I came here because I wanted to join. There’s a trial, right?”

“Yeah, yeah. Welcome aboard, uniforms are over there, you’re not required to wear them. Jobs over there, you’re not required to take them. Have fun, or whatever.”

Karen hesitated, not quite catching on until the man collapsed. She jumped onto the counter again. “Wait! Just like that? You’re not even going to bother asking who I am or…? He’s asleep. Jeez, is this the master of the guild? No wonder everyone left.” Karen stepped off the counter. “I guess I should just take a job and see about those uniforms.”

There was only one uniform hanging off the shelf. There were a bunch of small alcoves on the wall where the uniform hung out of. Storage for more uniforms, maybe? If everyone was wearing them, then she ought to, right? Karen glanced at the passed out man, hesitating before stripping down. He probably wasn’t going to wake up anytime soon.

The black leather didn’t exactly fit her, but as soon as she put it on it shrunk to fit her form. It came with a jacket and a skirt for her. The guild insignia was printed on the chest of her leather in white, and a larger one on the back of her jacket. Anyone who looked at her would know she was a part of the guild now. She spun herself around, watching the skirt fold out. The skirt also had a pair of tight shorts attached to it, making it worrying about flashing her butt a thing of the past.

“Stylish and comfortable?” Karen grinned at herself in the mirror, running a hand through her short black hair.  She pointed her fingers at her reflection and winked. “Lookin’ good, Karen.” Karen shoved her old, dirty clothes into an alcove and turned to face the guild hall. She flicked her hand around, lighting the standing candles and the chandelier, lighting up the dump.

Karen looked to the sleeping man and shook her head. “I guess I should clean up, huh? This guy certainly won’t be.”
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Vergil on Wed May 24, 2017 7:10 pm

"My dearest Heron..."

"My beloved Sparrow..."

Music:
Spoiler:

"Is there anything you can do for her, Dr. Zhirov?"

Fettering snow trickled endlessly into Mhesire's night with brutal winds whistling against the steel shelters constructed by man. Cold. Bitter cold. Such was the nature of the lifeless. Heron Zhirov sat bedside to a still woman, with an older gentleman standing to his left. He said not a word, only raising a hand back in response to the older gentleman's question. Heron's eyes were half-lidded and tired - the crow's feet only emphasizing the many burdens that he carried beneath the surface. An oil lamp's dim flame flickered and painted shadows on the walls of the home and upon the good doctor's face as he stared at the woman.

"Madam Vanavier..." Heron spoke. "So young. You said sickness had taken her?"

"Yes," the gentleman responded. "It is not uncommon in Mhesire for the cold to claim the better of us. Madam Vanavier was taken from us so suddenly..."

"Then I will go."

"Go? Go where, Dr. Zhirov?"

"To the land of the dead."

"How?"

"The same way everyone else does. I have to die."

"You have to die?! Good sir, have your senses taken leave of you? Isn't there any another way?"

"Fear not, I won't be gone for long. A situation like this merits an unorthodox solution. Well, unorthodox for you at least. You knew that when you called upon a Mourner, did you not?"

"I did. Forgive my outburst, Dr. Zhirov. Please, do what you must. Madam Vanavier's family misses her dearly. On their behalf, I shall place faith in your method."

"Then I shall begin. Please await my return."

Heron tied a wooden charm onto Madam Vanavier's wrist and grabbed a black case that he kept beside his chair. He clicked opened the lock on the case, and inside revealed all manners of vials and tools. He took a syringe and dipped it into one of the liquid-filled vials and drew until the syringe was full. The liquid was then injected into one of the woman's veins, and Heron would wait afterwards. He took a deep breath and stood still. Soon, his eyes began rolling to the back of his head and he winced from an oncoming flood of pain. Terrible, excruciating pain beyond fathomable comprehension. At the end of it, his body fell limp and he remained as motionless as Madam Vanavier.

He was not lost, however, as his mind stayed alive. He watched a pool of black surround his vision as he felt himself descending into nothingness. A new world would construct itself around his body, and Heron would awaken, lying in a wasteland of black sand. The blistering sun's light would be brought to naught on Heron, as a figure stood firm in front of him, gazing back down on Heron with graven eyes.

"Welcome back to the city of Nakhartha, good doctor," the figure spoke. "To what do I owe this visit?"

Heron's lips curved a smile and he chuckled at the voice. "Angelo Grimm," he greeted back. "You speak as though it has been ages. I was here but a week ago on business, and have returned here now on the same grounds and reason."

The standing man cleared his throat. "Need I remind you that you are to refer to me by my proper title? I am Death, and keeper of this realm. I'll not be having the departed souls hear of anyone being so familiar with me... especially not one of your profession."

"You say that like you're the only one who goes by that name," Heron continued to tease, getting up from the sand and dusting himself off. The man he called "Angelo Grimm" was a man dressed in a sharp black suit and tie. His arms were crossed disapprovingly, and was showing his impatience by his expression. Heron failed to take the name of "Death" so seriously. Despite the title, Angelo Grimm was but a man, and Heron saw him as such.

"I've come to bring back a soul," Heron explained. "Then I shall take my leave."

"So you aren't just here to poke fun of me then."

"I will admit, I do enjoy soliciting my fair share of laughs from you. It's not something I'd die for, however."

"And what shall be my reason for allowing you to take one of my residents this time?"

"Perhaps an offering will do."

Heron reached into his pocket and handed Death a glimmering jewel.

"A ruby?"

"My grandmother said they were your favorite."

"How is the old hag, anyway?"

"Still old. Still a hag."

"Very well. I shall allow you to do what you came to do. Though I must say... playful banter? A gift of a precious stone? It causes me to wonder if you're secretly trying to court me, Dr. Zhirov."

"And here I thought Death didn't have a sense of humor. Do not worry, old friend, for I may dance with Death, but I shan't be making him my bedfellow."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Sun May 28, 2017 2:07 pm

~Karen~

Karen wiped her brow and tossed aside the apron she found under the bar. The guy behind the counter hadn't woken up yet and she was starting to consider throwing a bucket of water on him. But then he'd be more likely to kick her out of the guildhall, and where was the guildmaster anyway? And where were all the other guild members? And what was that feeling on her butt?

“Gah!” Karen jumped back, bringing her hand to her butt and glaring at her assailant. Now that he was up and had some light shining on him, Karen could see his mess of salt and pepper hair and green eyes. He wore a brown leather jacket and his shoulders slouched as if he hadn't a care in the world.

“Hey,” he said. “You've got a pretty nice ass. Nice and firm, with just enough to squeeze.”

“I've got a-” Karen flustered. “Is that how you treat every strange girl who walks in here!?”

The man pondered the question with mock interest, then shrugged. “More or less.”

“I can't believe you'd admit to that.”

“Listen, kiddo, when you get to be my age, you can't just go around touching anyone's ass. You've gotta have certain prerequisites., like I don't want none if you ain't got no buns, hon. You've got a spectacular pair of you own, it'd be a crime not to share.”

“You're a pervert!”

“Guilty as charged!” He made a sweeping bow with his arm high in the air.

“I'm not putting up with this. Where's the guildmaster?”

“You're lookin' at him.”

Karen stared at the man. She couldn't believe it, after all this time traveling through the forest, barely living off the land, accepting little odd jobs for a meager rewards, and coming to the guild, she findes a lone, drunk, unkempt, perverted man skulking about the guild hall as its master. She didn't have to put up with this. Karen retrieved her backpack, slung it over her shoulder, and went towards the door. She was almost out until the guildmaster stepped I front of the doors, blocking her way.

“Where ya going, kiddo?”

“I have a name, you know. It's Karen. And I'm leaving.”

“Alright, but first take off your clothes.”

“Wha- I'm not doing that!” Karen took a step back, holding onto her backpack. The man furrowed his brow a little and shook his head. The next instant Karen found herself sliding across the ground, getting dirt and grass in her face and mouth. She was so stunned she hardly had any time to process the sudden change in scenery. “What the heck was that for!?” Karen shot to her feet and backed away as the man approached her.

“I guess you could call this penitence?” He threw the door shut behind him and stopped some eight feet away from Karen. She took another step back and growled.

A blue flame appeared in her hand. She held it up, ready to throw, but the man wasn't where he was before. He had disappeared again, only this time nothing else had happened yet. She felt something touch her butt and went three different shades of red all at once. She screamed and the blue flame in her hand exploded with a great amount of force.

Karen found herself in the air, her shoulders and chest aching a little. She didn't even see him hit her or throw her and didn't feel it until she was already several meters high. Karen started to fall and scrambled to get in control. Her fingers dragged through the air, blue flames spurting out from the air and she swiped her hand beneath her, and put her feet on the fire. She slid through the air, catching her balance and her stride. She slid around in the sky, watching the cloud of smoke from her previous attack float away.

He wasn't there. Karen crossed her arms and expunged magic from every point on her body, feeling the wind hit and push something away. The guildmaster landed on his feet, despite the strong winds. He looked up at Karen, uncorked a small flask and drank.

“That's different,” he said. “Hey kiddo, you know flames are supposed to be hot, right? These aren't going to cut it.”

Karen growled a little. “Then you won't mind standing still for this, will you!?” She conjured a blue flame in her hand and threw it down at him. She saw him stand there a moment, watching the flame, but something crossed his eyes and he suddenly swiped at the fireball It exploded on impact, making even the air around Karen tremble from the blast.

“Gotcha!” Karen cheered, pumping her fist in the air. “That'll do you some-” something hit the back of her neck. She blacked out.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Sun May 28, 2017 2:59 pm

~Vienna~

This wasn't Verdantia.

Vienna Scarlet lay on the ground, feeling the sand slip through her clothes and run over her hands. This wasn't Verdantia at all. There were no trees here, and everything took on a very dark, gray and black sort of look. There was nowhere quite like this back home. What happened, anyway? The last she remembered was...

It wasn't any good. She couldn't remember. Vienna pushed herself to her feet and looked around again. She searched and searched, but even with her magically-improved vision she could not find Nigel. “What a time to go and get myself lost,” she murmured.

Vienna walked. There wasn't much else to do, and a hunter's instinct never failed her before. Or so she thought. Maybe just once then, because she didn't know where she was or how she got here. She saw two figured in the distance and headed towards them. She fingered the slot of her gun, comforted by the feeling.

She heard them speaking, but didn't hear the words. One handed over a small treasure, she could see the glint of red even from where she was. Should she interrupt? How should she interrupt? Nigel was the one who talked to strangers. She didn't have the experience. She didn't know how. So she watched them, a little ways away, visible but wishing herself invisible.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Gist on Sun May 28, 2017 6:29 pm

Lesonia. A world positively bursting from the seams with magic; almost too much for some tastes. The overflowing energy completely saturated the air quite like a thick fog that tasted sickly sweet and left a blue stain on anything it touched, let alone for whatever other ill effects it may have on poor unfortunate souls that came in contact with it. It was taught that the denizens of the small respite of the Abyss Watcher's guild should never go outside of the settlement's walls, and if they did, not without proper protection. The effects of being exposed to the toxic miasma that the overflowing magic formed had proved to be quite poisonous in a way for human contact, though it was never really made clear as to how.

Not too many people lived on the small colony, and less of them were particularly keen on doing much else than study the land and its workings to try and restore the land to what it apparently had been long ago: a world brimming with life. From what the common eye could see through the thick panes of enchanted glass, this place was naught but a harsh wasteland that most weren't sure how any life could be hosted here at all, let alone their own. In time, though, many did not deny the possibility and potential that the land held to be even a shard of what history and studies showed what it could be.

The effort put forth by the Abyss Watchers had begun in earnest approximately thirty years ago, with the initial colonization effort and securing a quarantined area for magicians to begin their studies. Since that point, not much else has changed, only adding another couple of congregation areas with various and appropriate facilities, not because much wasn't learned, but because the land's magic was just that difficult to tame.

Music: Inside the Cage

Maven Lancaster was one of the few residents of the settlement on Lesonia. Born and raised there, he new nothing but the small and toxic world around him. He had never been permitted to go outside the settlement's walls, but that didn't stop him from wondering what was outside of the thick panes of glass that stood between the toxic environment and the denizens living on the (from what Maven could tell) wasteland. His parents always told him stories of a harsh environment outside of the settlement's walls, that for the most part, there really wasn't too much on the land to be seen. There was a thick forest of sorts a good distance from the settlement, but they had never been in its depths. For the most part, they went outside of the walls to study the land immediately around the settlement.

Contrary to where one may normally think a person would wake up at, Maven awoke collapsed in front of the front steps of the Observatory. He frowned and took survey of his surroundings, noticing that there wasn't anyone else about. Narcolepsy was very much not something that he wanted to live with, but it was something he grew used to after a countless number of these episodes growing up. At least he wasn't injured, right? He stood and brushed off his clothes. Starting to walk back towards the main hub of the settlement, wanderlust poured through him slowly, but steadily, like a warm mug of coffee.

Over the past couple of years, Maven had finally read through every single tome that Lesonia had imported from Mhesire. From the most esoteric to the most basic of texts, Maven had taken the time to study and peruse every single one, leaving nothing on the small settlement unexplored. At first, he thought that he would be suffice with just rereading what he had read longest ago, but this was proving to not be satisfying at all. All of his life, he had never been permitted to leave the settlement's walls due to his condition, but there was likely a way he could subdue it, if only temporarily, if he looked hard enough. He was plenty old enough now to make his own decisions, as was evident by the lack of protest from his parents when he went out on his own, and he decided that he wanted to search for more knowledge than the settlement had, which led him to the main focus of the settlement at large: the Abyss Watchers.

The agency his parents were employed by, the Abyss Watchers, seemed to serve as the gatekeepers between the small quarantine that was the settlement and the rest of the unknown both on this world and beyond. He had never made any direct inquiries growing up, only really hearing passing mentions of the guild through his parents small talk during dinner. From what Maven gathered, everyone on the settlement was affiliated with them in one way or another since the settlement was an effort put forth by the guild. After all, in time, it was only natural that he would follow in his parents' footsteps.

It didn't take long for Maven to reach the guild hall, given that as a whole, the settlement on Lesonia did not span very far or wide. In fact, he remembered as the first and only addition that now housed the Observatory was built as he grew up. He took a look over the impressive building, butterflies forming in his stomach. He had never considered joining the guild in earnest until recently, but consideration was vastly different from actually making it happen. He took a deep breath, then exhaled, walking up the small set of steps leading into the guild hub proper.

Inside was the same setup of an information kiosk along with several branching hallways leading to different departments of the building. The partitions that had acted as walls when he was growing up were now replaced with legitimate plywood and insulation, leaving for a more formal, solid feel to the whole thing. At the central information desk sat Verna, the guild's designated receptionist. She was a full-figured woman with greying dark hair and skin whose eyes still sparkled with a youthful mischeviousness. Verna saw everyone and their mother who passed through the Abyss Watcher's doors, whether they wanted to be seen or not. She looked up at Maven and put down her pen.

"Hello, Maven." Verna started, kindly smiling at him. "How are you this evening? I trust your mother and father know you're here as well."

Maven's cheeks flushed with chagrin as Verna mentioned his parents. "I'm fine, thank you, Verna." Even though he shouldn't have been caught off guard, he still was. "Yes, I let them know that I was heading out. I'm an adult now, though, I should be free to do as I please."

Verna chuckled in response. "Of course, Maven. It's still considerate to let them know, though. I'm sure you know they always worry about you."

Maven sheepishly looked down at his feet. "I suppose you're right."

Verna's smile grew wider. She always took pride in using her many years of experience to tell people when she was usually right, and this was one of those times. "What can I do for you today?" she asked cordially.

Maven looked back up at Verna, taking a few steps forward to the kiosk. "Actually, I wanted to ask if Isolde was still in. I figured it's high time to inquire whether the Abyss Watchers are recruiting."

Verna's smile instantly dissipated and was instantly replaced with a look of worry. "Are you sure, Maven? You know with your condition it would be very difficult for you to-"

"I'm sure, Verna." Maven spoke in a cold tone. He was tired of everyone worrying so much about him, treating him like a child. He shook his head. That was no excuse to be rude, though. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. It's just that I've taken a lot of time to think about it, and I feel I'm ready and capable enough."

Verna's look of worry started to soften, but doubt was still in her eyes. "Of course. If it were my choice, I would have admitted you long ago, but that choice lies solely with Isolde. I'll call her, why don't you have a seat while you wait?"

Verna motioned towards the front door, and Maven looked in suit. Simple wooden chairs lined the wall next to the door, presumably for waiting for department members to arrive and take people back, but for the most part, everyone that lived on the settlement was apart of the guild by proxy. Maven was the only soul in Lesonia that currently was not a member of the Abyss Watchers. "Of course. Thank you, Verna. Maven responded, taking a seat in one of the wooden chairs, feeling pretty alone.

"My pleasure." Verna rose from her desk and sauntered off to summon the guildmaster. The nervousness and apprehension that had gripped Maven before as he stood outside only grew stronger as he waited for her to return. He was actually doing this. He was actually making this decision today.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Sun May 28, 2017 8:01 pm

~Alisentra~

Alisentra stood sentinel close to the door, watching the researchers and mages compile their notes together. So she waited as they tried to crack their codes and figure out the logistics of breathing through the world and into the void.

She turned her head, smooth brown locks swaying with her head, as a short, silver-haired woman came to stand by her side. Guildmaster Isolde, a short-statured changling from the Naletia world, whereas Alisentra came from Syarses, the main hub of the Abyss Watchers guild.

“I'm finding it a little difficult to focus today.” Isolde's voice was smooth like honey and neither feminine nor masculine, but somewhere in between. Changlings were not restricted by gender, as humans were, and Isolde was capable of far much more than that. Today, however, the guildmaster took the appearance of a human woman, with sharp pointed ears and short hair.

“Has there been a change in the world's magic?” Alisentra knew Isolde very well, the two had been partners ever since they met, and Alisentra was the key figure for Isolde's rise to Guildmaster.

“No,” Isolde said, shaking her head. Her every move was slow, deliberate, and sometimes cold. Though Alisentra found herself more at peace whenever Isolde was around. “I'm afraid I didn't get much time to rest. Shall I go and sit down?”

“Perhaps some water and rest will do you some good, Isolde.”

“Thank you, Ali. I am ever in good hands with you around.”

Just then there was a slight rap on the door. Ali watched Isolde find a spot to sit before addressing the door. The receptionist, a little out of breath from the walk down the halls and looking a little past Alisentra before at her. “Verna,” Ali said, bringing the girl's attention to her. “Is there something you need Isolde for?”

“Ali, how good to see you. Yes, I just need to borrow Isolde for a-”

“Isolde is very busy at the moment.”

“Yes, but there is a boy looking for her, Maven is, I mean.”

“Maven is here?” Isolde perked up a little. “Oh, Ali, could you go and fetch him? I'm afraid I needed this rest a little more than I previously believed.”

“For what purpose?”

“He's actually here to-”

“Oh, does it matter? I've something I've been meaning to ask him.” That was it, Isolde gave an order, and Ali was to obey. It didn't sound like an order, but Alisentra heard the command where no one else did.

“Verna,” Ali said. “Go and fetch some water for Isolde, I will bring Maven here.”

“Of course. Isolde, would you like some lemon with your water?”

“That would be lovely, Verna, thank you.”

Ali watched the littler woman run off on her business. Now, Alisentra was solidly built, not at all like Isolde or Verna. Muscles shown on nearly every part of her body, but because she was a woman, getting muscles to show properly was a difficult thing. Still, it was quite strange to see Verna run off, Ali believed in some way the receptionist might be faster than herself.

It was not a long trip to the front, where Maven the boy sat. Alisentra made her presence known, a hand on the sword hilt at her waist, the other hung loosely at her side.

“Maven, is it?” Ali said. “I remember you a little. Alisentra Nylund. Guildmaster Isolde waits near the gates for you, and I am to bring you to her. I hope you don't mind a little more walking.” She wondered if Maven would remember her. She never really spoke much to the boy and hardly ever saw him other than in passing or eavesdropping – which she was very opposed to and never once partook in.

“Before I take you there, I hope you don't mind a question. No matter the answer, I'll bring you to Isolde as you've asked. Why have you come today?”
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Gist on Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:52 pm

Maven patiently waited in his seat, twiddling his thumbs while he waited for Verna to return. To his surprise, though, it wasn't Verna that returned, but... Alisentra? Was that her name? He stood and slightly frowned, wondering why she would have come back instead of the receptionist. She knew his name, but everyone knew everyone's names on this base in Lesonia. It couldn't be helped."Yes, hello. Maven Lancaster. Pleasure to see you again, Alisentra." Truth be told, he struggled to recall where she might have seen him before, though someone as close to the Abyss Watchers wouldn't necessarily be anyone that Maven had gotten a chance to regularly interact with as he grew up. He didn't want to offend the woman, though, so he played along in course.

Alisentra told Maven that there would be a bit of a trip to meet with Isolde, since she was quite close to the other end of the complex. "That's quite alright. I don't expect Isolde to stop her work for just one person, especially not just me." She then told him that she had a question to ask. "Go ahead, I am in no particular hurry." She asked him why he came by the guild this evening. Maven smiled in response. "I have finally decided that I am ready to move forward with my life, and follow my parents' footsteps. I wish to read every book that exists, as childish as that is, and the guild will facilitate that." His eyes sparkled with genuine excitement, though they quickly dulled as he reigned in his emotions. Clearing his throat, he continued, "Ahem. Yes, that's why I am here today."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:30 pm

~Alisentra~

Ali got the feeling Maven truly didn't remember her. She searched her own memory, but couldn't really remember anything. Perhaps just in passing, or she mistook something she heard? Memories were complicated things, and not something to be too concerned over. "I don't believe that to be childish at all," Alisentra said, putting a hand on her hip. "Child-like, perhaps, but it is not wrong to want something. Everyone deserves a chance to pursue their own dreams. That's what we believe her, in Lesonia. How else will we fix this world? Come along now, I'm sure Isolde will be tired of waiting for us when we arrive."

Alisentra lead Maven through the guild bunker. The walk was quiet, and Alisentra busied herself with putting one foot in front of the other, not bothering to ask questions or make small talk with the much younger Maven. She would entertain any words he had, but otherwise kept to her silence.

Finally they came to a door, and Ali rapped on the cold metal before entering. Verna had since left and Isolde wasn't in the small room. The three other researchers were gathered in front of a wide glass pane that took up most of the wall space. "Isolde is already working?" Ali glanced through the window, then gestured for Maven to come closer. "Take a look. You're about to see something extraordinary not many have the chance to see."

Isolde stood far below them in a huge, hangar-like area, surrounded by the blue-tinted heavy steel bunker. She wore her feathered suit, the symbol of the guilds - a silhouette with two knifes across his chest - on her back. She glanced back at the researchers and gave a slight nod.

Spoiler:

Guildmaster Isolde, Firstborn of the Changelings

The Gates of Lesonia shook and split open, dust and sand falling to the ground as a blue mist flooded into the hangar. Isolde held her hands up, welcoming the pure magical energy, letting it touch her skin and breathe through her lungs. The mist swirled around her, not commanded by her but engraving itself into her.

The wind caught her cloak and it billowed up behind her. The magic was formless, yet it was also beautiful. It shone brightly and made even the scars on Isolde's face glow a brilliant pink. Moments passed like hours as she slowly breathed the magic in, and out. All at once it bent to her will, coming into her command and she drew it into her body. Her hair, her body, even her crisp blue eyes were all aglow now.

The hangar doors closed. They shut them tight, and in no time at all everything was as it was before, with only the light coming from Isolde's body left as a reminder of what just happened. Alisentra pulled Maven away from the glass and waited. Isolde popped into existence right where they had stood just a second ago. She turned, saw Maven, and smiled, her body still glowing.

"You are Maven?" Her voice, smooth as honey and vibrant as she was, was so full of magic it was nearly intoxicating. "How wonderful to finally meet you. I am Isolde Tireal, though I am certain Ali has already filled you in."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:44 pm

~Karen~

"Uuuugh"
Karen groaned and wiped her face. She lay on a hard surface - it felt like wood - and touched her chest to check. She was still wearing her leathers. She was dazed, but she still remembered what happened. She glared at the man, who sat on a table opposite her. Only this time, he had a friend sitting on his shoulder. Karen blinked at the giant hark, almost at a loss for words. She quickly found them again.

"What the heck was that all for!?" she demanded.

Spoiler:

Guildmaster Arrow, Warlock of Verdantia

The man shook his head and gave a heavy sigh. "Listen, kiddo, I'm only gonna say this once." He held up three fingers. "First, I'm the guildmaster. Arrow Thorn. Yes I have a real name. No I don't remember it. Second," he lowered one of his fingers, "if you ain't gonna be a part of my guild, you can't go struttin' about wearing my guild's logo, ya know? And third," he lowered another finger, pointed it at Karen and gave her a wink. "You've got a killer ass."

Karen went red in the face again and shot up off the table. She opened her mouth to give a nasty retort when it burst open at the hinges. A short-haired woman came in through the door, immediately followed by a stretcher carrying two people, one male, the other female. Both looked in pretty bad shape. The girl wasn't moving at all.

"Master Arrow!" The woman called to Arrow and like a....well, arrow, he was there, picking up the man from the stretcher and laying him on one table. He did the same for the girl. "They were attacked," the woman said. "I barely got there in time."

"By whom?"

"I'm not sure. I managed to stitch their wounds and stem the flow of bleeding, but," her gaze went downcast. "Vienna...she already stopped bleeding when I got there. I closed her up, but there's no signs of life. I'm sorry."

This day couldn't get much worse, Karen thought, then berated herself for thinking such a thing. Guildmaster Arrow's once aloof expression had changed the moment he saw the three others come in, turning gravely serious. Karen watched him tend to the bodies, touching them gently, seeking for signs of life. It really was something different. This was more than just a guildmaster here. More like a father.

Karen bit her lip.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Vergil on Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:47 pm

Death made his exit, vanishing away into a cloud of black mist. Heron could only muse at how overly dramatic the lord of the dead was in keeping up appearances.

Time to get to work.

In Heron's coat pocket was another charm identical to the one he had placed around Madam Vanavier's lifeless wrist. Raising his own copy into the air, Heron's eyes lit up with an eerie light, and a spectral trail was made visible to him. He would follow the trail through the desert, while pieces of cobble and steel debris swooped in from the sky and suspended themselves in the air around the path, serving as ornaments that decorated the wasteland. As Heron traversed further, the pieces began forming more definitive shapes. There was snow now - much like the precipitation of Mhesire. The world around him was now taking semblance to a formidable manse. Lavishly crafted furniture and elaborate architecture laid in awkward positions, stuck sideways, upside-down, and every other direction imaginable. Heron was getting closer.

The trail led Heron through a twisted hallway, a corridor containing naught but mirrors and portrait paintings of Madam Vanavier and her presumed family. At the hallway's end was a set of stairs that hung from the ceiling, defying natural geometry. Unperturbed by the nonsensical chaos of the stairs, Heron placed a foot at the first step, and then another. He too was now defying the dimension of physics and traversing the steps in such a way that an outside observer would witness  the sight as him walking upside-down and up the walls. At last, he reached a single door at the end of the trail.

With a turn of the knob, Heron opened the door to find a small, enclosed garden at the other end. The room was merely a tiny plot of grass laden with flowers, and a pond topped with water lilies, and Madam Vanavier was found sitting upon a stone and peering wistfully into her reflection.

Music:
Spoiler:

"Madam Vanavier," Heron called to her.

"Oh? A visitor?" she responded, her voice silvery yet soft. "How wonderful. Would you be ever so kind as to spare me a moment of your company? It's awful lonesome to enjoy this beautiful garden by myself."

"Certainly," Heron obliged, sitting down by the pond with her.

"Isn't this such a lovely place?"

"It is, Madam."

"Oh my, now where are my manners? I have forgotten to ask for your name. Are you one of my father's associates?"

"Not quite. Actually, I was sent here by one of your family's servants. Hedgerow, I believe was his name. My name is Dr. Heron Zhirov. I am here to take you home."

"Back home to be locked away in the abominable mansion? Perish the thought! I have always longed to see such beautiful flowers that elude Mhesire, and at last I've found them. Why, I don't ever wish to leave!"

"This is where the harder part of my task comes in. You do know where we are, don't you?

"Now that I think of it... I haven't the faintest idea. All I remember was being bedridden for the longest time. Then suddenly, I didn't feel so ill anymore and wandered about. There was nobody in my manor, strangely enough, and I found this enchanting place where I've stayed ever since. Where are we, Dr. Zhirov?"

"This is the afterlife. More specifically, your afterlife comprised of your random memories and wishes. Your mind has attempted to make sense of what is going on and has shaped this environment accordingly as to not leave you lost in panic. This would explain why there is a garden here when there is nothing but snow in Mhesire. It might be a lot to take in, but you have passed away and I have been sent here to retrieve you."

"You mean to tell me that I am deceased?! I'm absolutely flabbergasted!"

"Nonsense, you don't look a pound over a hundred and twenty."

"If I am dead, then just how are you here, Doctor?"

"I got here the easiest way I could, and that was to die as well."

"My goodness! This is the first I've ever heard of a gentleman dying for me, or rather, a first for a lot of things. Still, even if that were the case... I still very much like it here. If I am dead, then so be it. This just means I can enjoy an eternity surrounded by flowers."

"Oh, but you mentioned that it was lonely here all by yourself."

"Well yes..."

"All I'm asking is that you come with me back to the world of the living. Not many are given another opportunity at life, and it would be a shame not to take it. There are other places that have flowers, you know. Places full of lush meadows and green forests."

"Are there really? I've only read about such places in books."

"There are. A thousand poxes on me were this not the truth."

"Could you show me, Doctor?"

"I could."

"Will you?"

"If that is what you wish, then I will. So will you come back with me, Madam Vanavier?"

"If what you say is true, then I am more than eager to see for myself. I don't think I could find it in me to turn down a man willing to die for me either way."

"Very well. Speaking of flowers..."

Heron unlocked his case and presented Madam Vanavier with a peculiar-looking plant that he was keeping. Its petals were a ghostly white and blue, traced with an eerie glow.

"To return, I am going to have to ask you to eat a petal," Heron instructed.

"What sort of flower is that?"

"It's called a Soulbloom, Madam. They only grow in the village where I'm from. If a man or woman of my profession properly harvests and prepares it, then a departed soul that consumes a petal may return to the world of the living. Fortunately, your body is still intact and your illness has been expelled. You'll wake up as if nothing ever happened."

"Very well. I look forward to meeting you again, Doctor."

Madam Vanavier plucked one of the petals of the Soulbloom and consumed it in a single bite. Her body began to fade away, and soon the garden and the labyrinth that had constructed themselves crumbled into nothingness. There was no longer anything but the desert that had been there before.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:53 pm

~Vienna~

One of them vanished. Vienna made a start but quickly silenced herself. The other hung around and drew something from his pocket. Then things started to change and before she knew it, the man was walking down a sparkling path. She made haste to follow him, but quietly, keeping to the shadows and masking her presence as best she could, though her magic didn't seem to be working. She had only to go off of her hunter skills.

She followed him through a maze of mirrors, narrow corridors and hallways and nearly lost sight of him several times. Somehow they walked on stairs which were upside down, or on the walls as the maze demanded. Soon he came to a door and went through it. She spotted a beautiful garden beyond the door and waited for the door to close before approaching. She knelt by the doorknob and brushed her ear against the surface, listening to the conversation.

Her whole understanding of the world changed. This is the afterlife? Vienna though, bewildered by the very idea there actually was an afterlife at all. Throughout her life all she believed in was her own life. She never considered what lied beyond because that was the province of people who talked to much and knew too little.

The door started to fade as she was consumed by thoughts. Vienna panicked and fell back into the sand, making a nice, small thump that in this barren wasteland made just enough noise to be heard. Vienna crawled back a little, frightened by the man's pale appearance. He looked as dead as...well, death. But there was something else about him. He felt...like he had power here. Real power.

Vienna swallowed the lump in her throat. "Y-you don't," she stammered, unable to get through her fear of speaking to strangers. "You don't happen t-to have another of those fl-flowers, do you?"
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:46 pm

Somewhere in Verdantia...



Spoiler:

A Cloaked Figure

A figure, cloaked in darkness, moved through the dark woods like a shadow. His scaly curved talons dug into the ground, leaving deep marks into the dirt that vanished a moment later, eradicated by a foul, magical aura. The figure stopped, turned its head, keeping its face hidden underneath the cloak. Echoes of life ruminated in these dark woods, and they spoke to him.

Have you collected your blood payment.

It was no question. It was a demand. Without a word, the creature under the cloak procured a small sack from inside his cloak and threw it out onto the cold ground. It rolled, the cloth unraveling as it did and revealing the severed head of a man. The wind howled as the echoes screeched. Anger dripped from their voices.

He is not the one!

They shrieked again and the crows who had gathered there scattering to the winds. The creature under the cloak made no effort to move or run as the crows did. Wriggling thorns wrapped around his cloak, trapping him there and constricting until the thorns bore holes into the cloak.

You shall die for your mistake.

A figure emerged from the shadows, but yet was still concealed by them. It was a figure of the darkness, summoned there by its own will. As the thorns continued to strangle and constrain and constrict, the shadow grew closer.

Spoiler:

The Shadow of Verdantia

The cloak tore. A sizeable claw lashed out and grabbed the shadow's head, gripping it tightly. Hard, green scales bulged as the muscles beneath them contracted. A head like a lizards emerged from the cloak, its maw opening and a cloud of hot breath leaking out. The winds howled once again as the creature shrieked, the thorns were torn to shreds and the beast underneath the cloak swallowed the shadow whole.

The wind quieted.

Spoiler:

The Rogue Dragonkin

"Know your place, worm," the Dragonkin growled, flexing its claws. "It is not I who does your bidding."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Gist on Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:08 am

The two proceeded through the hallway to meet with the guildmaster, passing various detours and entrances on the way, with Maven remaining silent en route. Alisentra flagged their way into what appeared to be a giant exhibit behind a large steel door that the woman rapped on. Leading the way, Alisentra brought Maven to witness Isolde in person. The gates leading to the outside opened wide, and the guildmaster took the magic that overflowed the land and bent it to her will as if it required no effort at all. In fact, Maven could have sworn he felt the sheer energy even through the thick barrier, though all he felt was a slight pressure in his lymph nodes; perhaps a symptom of the sudden intake of outside air.

The scene was no less beautiful as Isolde transformed in front of Maven's eyes, aglow with energy. As soon as the guildmaster stopped drawing in magic, the pressure Maven thought he felt was alleviated. Isolde blinked in front of Maven, the doors leading outside closing tightly in her wake. She addressed him in quite an alluring voice, charged with the energies she just absorbed. In all truth, it made thoughts difficult to form, but Maven responded quite less eloquently than the guildmaster spoke, "Indeed I am, guildmaster. Maven Lancaster, the pleasure is all mine to finally meet you." He tipped his head and continued, "Mother and father always spoke highly of you, though I believe this is the first time I have been able to talk with you myself."

Maven cleared his throat and shifted his weight, apprehension in his gut both from what he just saw and what he was about to ask of the guildmaster, especially in light of his condition. "If I may, I would like to get straight to the point - I came by this evening to ask if you were accepting applicants for the guild. Would there be a space for me?"
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Vergil on Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:45 pm

Heron turned to face the woman, keeping a stoic face while still holding the Soulbloom in his palm. He kept his distance, being wary not to make any sudden movement as if he were observing a wild deer. "No, I'm afraid this is the only one I've brought with me," he responded. Heron clicked the lock on his case with the tip of his foot, and the lid sprang open. He dropped the flower and watched as it daintily floated down into the case, and closed the case. "Well," the good doctor continued. "It's been a pleasant chat, but I must be going now. It's been a busy day. Busy, busy, busy. I'm sure you have your own appointments to attend to, and I won't be getting in your way. So I'll leave you to that. Goodbye. Farewell."

He walked away for a good amount of steps before he stopped in his tracks. Heron narrowed his eyes and began walking backwards after making a realization. Turning back to face the girl, Heron placed a  hand to his chin in contemplation.

"How peculiar. Most peculiar."

He took another step forward.

"Another lost soul? And you haven't been confined to a residence yet? You must have just passed away... and by chance you wound up in this particular kingdom of the dead. How fortunate. Ange- I mean, this particular Dea- I mean, Death is a most hospitable lord in this land. I'm sure he'll find a nice place for you in this afterlife."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:59 pm

~Vienna~

She paled. No other flower, which meant no other way to get back..but, wait, was that right? He only brought one flower, but was that really all he needed? He got up and walked away, with her staring at his back and wanting to call out for him to come back. But she couldn't. She was too frightened.

Then he came back. He was so dismissive of her, as if she weren't even a person anymore. Yet why would he care to return the other girl to life, then? Was she a personal friend? A lover? Did he do it for money? She had money! The mission - she remembered they followed it through to completion, then...nothing, she couldn't remember. The reward wasn't very big but maybe she could buy him with it.

"W-w-w-wait a second!" Vienna stumbled over her words, reaching out to him but never touching him. "I can't die yet, I don't want to! I don't even know how I died! Please, you have to help me get back. Nigel needs me, I can't just leave him behind like this. I-If you want money I have- I mean the guild has it but it's reward money for my mission. It's all yours, just please help me out of this place."

She stopped to catch her breath. "I don't want an afterlife."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Vergil on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:37 pm

This one was a whiner, by the looks of it. Heron kept silent and fiddled with a skull-shaped ring on his finger while he let her run her rant. He looked back up at her when she was finished. "I see the shock of dying has just caught up to you. Usually takes a little sooner in most people," Heron commented. "I could bring you back, but Death won't be too pleased about me crossing over another departed soul. Not to mention, I cured Madam Vanavier's of her ailments before I returned her to her body. In your case as it is, you would return to your body, but whatever injuries you may have sustained will still be there and you will be subject to the pain of them. In the chance that your body isn't in one piece... then things would get rather complicated. Another body could be constructed for you, but that's an entirely different area of my profession that I would much rather avoid at the moment."

She said she didn't want an afterlife, as if it were a truly terrible thing. Heron was about to leave the girl to her fate when he remembered the words of his grandmother. Heron reopened his case, and brought out the Soulbloom once again. He then recited the words once spoken to him.

"We are the Mourners. We are the ones that tend the garden of life. Where Fate has wronged them, we are the ones that return the flowers that should have never been picked. This is our duty as the ones branded by the name Necromancer."

He plucked a single petal, and blew on it so that it would drift over for the girl to catch.

"You now hold your fate in your hands. If you wish to chance upon your body still being in functional condition, then I shall leave it to your own discretion. Just know that you'll still be dealing with any lingering pain when you cross over. If you do go through with this, I would greatly appreciate it if you mention me to no one. There are many that disapprove of my profession and have taken to rather hostile means of approaching men and women of my work."
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:05 am

~Vienna~

Vienna caught the petal and looked down at it. It seemed so fragile a thing - this would bring her back to life? It was difficult to believe, but...she did believe. She HAD to believe, otherwise where else would she be? Even if this was a demon in disguise, anything was better than not being with Nigel again. She looked back to the man, to Heron, who managed to take enough interest in her to give her a chance.

"Okay," Vienna said. "I promise I won't tell anyone, but...if you ever find yourself in Verdantia, come to Clover City. That's where I'll be. The Abyss Watchers have a guild hall there, and you won't fear being attacked. You saved my life, so there's no way any of them would hate you for what you do. I especially, I can't thank you enough. Oh, if you need passage to Verdantia, Mhesire also has a guild hall and can help you, though I don't know what kind of luck you'd have with them. Verdantia's gate is closed, so I won't be able to leave Verdantia to find you."

She swallowed the petal. She felt her body becoming lighter as it faded away. She looked down at herself, terrified in the moment but it would only last for as long as she remained visible. As the last images of her body disappeared, so too did her consciousness.

A start, a gasp, frightened shrieks and someone shouting bloody murder was how she woke. Vienna threw herself up off her back and fell over from the stiff pain in her neck and a terrible weakness in her body. She gasped again, trying to fill deflated lungs with little success. Her heart pounded in her chest, struggling as her body suddenly realized it was alive. Someone touched her back and the pain eroded, her lungs reopened, and her heartbeat slowed.

Her vision, which had gone black, returned and she saw the familiar guild hall, smelled the ale in the casks and felt her feet stick to the floo- wait, her feet weren't sticking to the floor. Vienna looked around again and saw that someone had cleaned up the place.

"Vienna?" Guildmaster Arrow was staring at her in disbelief. Amaranth, too, was there at her side and rubbing her back with healing magic. Nigel lay but a table away.

"Nigel?!" Vienna got to her feet and stumbled to her knees.

"Easy, Vienna, easy," Amaranth said. "You've been...out for a while and your body's still stiff. Just take it easy. Nigel is fine."

Nigel is fine. Vienna finally relaxed, the first time she was able to since after appearing in the world of Death. Was that really what happened? Was it not a dream? Vienna turned her head up and saw someone she didn't recognize. She was a cute, young thing with bushy, black hair and blue eyes. She wore the guild's leathers and was staring at Vienna as if she had seen a ghost.

Arrow helped her back up onto the table. "Alright, Vienna. Look at me, do you remember me?"

"Yes, guildmaster," Vienna said, calming down. "I remember you, and Amaranth, and Nigel. How...how long was I away?"

"A little over half the day, I'd say," Amaranth said. She went back to rubbing Vienna's back, easing out the stress and relaxing her stiff muscles. Vienna's neck was starting to feel a little less broken now.

"Are we not going to talk about what just happened here?" The new girl blurted out, pointing at Vienna. "She was dead ten seconds ago! How the hell do you come back from that!?"

"There are a lot of things about magic we do not understand, kiddo."

"Don't give me that crap! You don't just come back from the dead. It's not like you're called out for a long vacation and Death realizes he got the wrong person and sends you back home."

"How did you come back, Vienna?" Amaranth asked. The other two stopped arguing and looked at her, their eyes asking the same question, although the strange girl was a little more aggressive about it.

Vienna bit her tongue. She promised not to tell anyone about him. Whether she liked it or not, that included everyone here. Nigel too, when he woke up. "I don't remember," Vienna finally said. Arrow let out a sigh of relief, but the girl didn't seem convinced.

"You people," she said, "really freak me out. I can't stay here."

"If you're leaving, take off those leathers."

The girl went red in the face and threw off her clothes in plain view of the notoriously lecherous
guildmaster and threw them at him. "Fine, have your damned clothes back," she huffed, and despite being only in her smallclothes now, marched out the door into the city. Vienna saw her pull something from her back - a black cloak.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:02 pm

~Karen~

"Who does he think he is, anyway?"
Karen stormed off in a huff, heading away from Clover City and getting behind some trees so she could dress properly. A cloak wouldn't be enough for traveling, but thankfully she managed to remember to put her old clothes into her pack. After a bit of shuffling behind the bushes, she came out again fully dressed and ready to head back into the city.

She sat against one of the trees, taking bites out of an apple while watching the guild hall. Karen knew the place would be full of mages, but she didn't expect anything that happened today. She was attacked by the guildmaster, watched someone who was clearly dead wake up, and was likely going to be attacked again - in a way she didn't care to think about. Karen sighed.

"I guess I'm back to aimlessly traveling," she said. It wasn't so bad, wandering the forest. She had little skill in fetching food and nearly half the stuff she picked was poisonous anyway. It was a work in progress. The apple she ate wasn't poisonous, at least. She hoped. Karen glanced at the thing in her hand and turned up her nose. It didn't taste very good.

Karen hung her head. A loud thunk, like metal piercing through wood, echoed above her an instant after. She glanced up, saw the blade poking out where her head should be, and screamed. The blade removed itself as she scurried away on her hands and feet.

"Wh-wh-what the hell!?" Karen turned around just as a large, cloaked figure buried his sword into the ground next to her, barely missing again. She saw a flash of yellow eyes from under the cloak and hard, green scales opening wide to let out a hot breath. Karen froze, staring in fear as the Dragonkin yanked its sword out of the ground.

It growled at her, baring its sharp fangs before sheathing its blade and turning away.

"H-hey!" Karen immediately regretted calling out. "What the hell was all that for if you're just gonna back off?"

The beast glared at her. "Too much blind luck ruins the hunt." And then he left, disappearing into the shadows, leaving Karen with a near-fatal heart attack that still might prove otherwise. She shivered from head to toe.
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Re: The Abyss Watchers

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