Floating Castle RP

It's a castle....and it's floating! :O

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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:38 pm

Setting Update:
The first floor is still locked off from the other floors. The earthquakes have stopped, but everyone is reeling from the changes.

Quest 48: Library Science
Quest Description: With Lori not conscious enough to keep matters in hand, the library has become overrun with miniature cows.
Your Goal: Contain the infestation.
Quest Takers: Eliziya (agoraoptera) and Marcus (Guyshane)
GM Notes: The cows are approximately rat-sized, and adorable. Also, you’ll have to tread carefully in the library to avoid running into more of Lori’s experiments. It would be terrible if some sort of accident were to happen to someone.

Deadline for this quest is Thursday, December 12th at 12:59 p.m. EST.

Note: More quests WILL come, this one just needed to go up early due to special circumstances.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby agoraoptera on Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:46 am

Quest 48: Library Science

It had been just one little turn around the corner, but suddenly, there was no more alley and a great deal of shelves and books.

“Hang on.. Isn’t this the Library?”

Eliziya turned around to go back to the alleyway, but she faced a blank wall and the girl swore softly.

Mind your language.

“Well, now I’ll have to find some way out of here,” she remarked gloomily. Zi had been on her way to find Tamar, but now, well, first she had to find her way out. She peered past unfamiliar shelves, looking for a sign pointing to the exit, but very quickly, she was lost amidst the racks of esoteric material.

“Hey, Zi. What are you doing here?” asked a familiar voice.

“What are you doing here, Marcus?” Zi repeated the question back at him, glad to see a familiar face. “I took a wrong turn, and then suddenly.. here I am.”

Marcus shrugged. “There was certain research that needed to be done, now I have to leave soon as there is some investigating that needs to be done.” he replied. “Although I have to ask, if you got lost and ended up here why didn’t you just head to wherever you were going? You have a clear point of reference now.”

“Now I uh, I don’t know. When I realised I was in the Library, I looked back but it was just a wall. I’m not quite sure how I got here..” Zi’s voice trailed off as she heard a strange sound in the distance. The mage cocked her head to the side. “Do you hear that?”

Marcus nodded. “Yea but for the life of me I can’t figure out wh-” The warrior cut himself short as a herd of miniature cows ran past the two. Marcus’ eyebrow twitched. “You know what that’s it. My family is never ever going to be farmers, no matter what. If my great-grandchild ever sees another cow, it’ll be too soon.”

“I… Saints alive, am I still dreaming? This day’s getting weirder by the moment. Should we.. Should we find out where they’re coming from?”

“No Zi you aren’t dreaming, dreams imply positive things. This is just another stage of my nightmare,” he growled before seeming to deflate. “Still I suppose we should go stop them ruining anything, for the common good or something.”

Eliziya nodded and followed after him meekly.

Arriving at a darkened room they found many tables set up with all manner of crystals, circles and various implements of both magic and science. Occasionally arcs of electricity would jump due to collective energy. The floor looked as if it were alive, moving and undulating with white and black-

“There’s so many of them!” Zi exclaimed as she knelt down beside them, picking one of the miniature cows up. “It’s adorable.”

Marcus was standing very still. “Zi, they’re staring at us.” he whispered. “Maybe we should just lock the door and leave.”

“But what if they hurt themselves? That lightning looks dangerous. We should return them back to.. to their little pen?”

Marcus gave her a flat stare. “Clearly you are unaware of my exploits or you would not be trying to get me to give a damn about the cows.” he replied.

She quailed a little beneath his stare. “I- I’m sorry. It’s really been a long time, hasn’t it?”

“I’ll forgive the cows when the universe stops tormenting me with them.”

Zi took small shuffling steps, trying not to step on any of the cows and reached the table. She picked up a wooden cowbell and held it up. “Do you think this will get them to follow me? Then I could lead them back to wherever-”

At the dull sound of the cowbell, the little herd raced around frenetically, nearly pushing Zi over as they rushed about.

“Oh no, oh no, oh no, this isn’t good, no cows don’t knock those over no, cows!”

But the cows did in fact knock over a table, launching a beaker full of an unknown substance into the air where it was struck by one of the random electrical discharges. The container promptly exploded knocking both of them unconscious and frightening the cows such that they fled.

----------

A while later Zi awoke to the sound of Marcus cursing.

“And thrice-damn whoever came up with idea of domesticating them and--Zi are you awake yet?”

She rubbed her eyes, getting to her feet. “A-awake yet, yes. Marcus, what happened? Marcus, why do you look.. bigger? And your right eye is exceptionally.. sparkly. It's diamond."

“Wait, what?” he exclaimed grabbing a mirror off a nearby table and examining his reflection. “Well that’s….gonna take some getting use to. I mean I can still see out of that eye but still..” pausing and looking at Zi he said. “Still I think I got off easy.” Then he turned the mirror so Zi could see herself.

Zi stared. And stared. And stared some more.

“Um…”

She raised a hand up to her head, touching the new pair of fox-like ears, if foxes had ears as long as rabbits.

“I…”

Zi felt a pressure at her tailbone, and adjusted her tunic. She felt her thick, bushy tail- almost as long as she was tall- and gave it a few experimental swishes.

“Marcus… I don’t think I’m awake yet.”

Marcus continued to stare at his hand, not quite believing their situation himself. “Sorry kid but I’m pretty sure we’re both awake,” the warrior frowned. “Also I think my vision may have actually improved somewhat that’s….disturbing.”

“I guess you could say it’s crystal clear now?” Zi picked up the mirror and continued looking at her ears.

“I’m banishing you to the new pun corner when we get another base.” Marcus looked around. “Don’t see the cows, I wonder what Lori was doing to them that they reacted so violently to the bell.”

“Marcus, why does everything look even bigger from down here?” she tugged at his legging tentatively. “Saints alive, I can’t stop looking at myself. I.. I’m adorable. But I’m a freak. I.. I don’t even know what to think.”

“So you’ve got a fox tail and ears and are shorter than you were. That’s hardly the worst thing that could have happened. I mean you can still use your magic and everything right?”

“I.. don’t know.” Zi focused, then a little candlelight sprouted from her finger. “Yeah. Looks like that still works.”

Marcus gave her a reassuring smile. “And you still look like you so all things considered you’ve come out positive in the area of ‘magic mutations’,” his smile grew evil. “Besides, I bet Tamar won’t mind too much.”

Zi blushed furiously, pulling her ears in embarrassment. “Too much.. Marcus, don’t say that.” Then a thought struck her. “Wait, I’m shorter than I already was? Noooooooooooo…” Zi hung her head, ears drooping. “I was just having a growth spurt, damn it..”

Marcus had expression on his face almost like he was having a seizure. “Zi-” he managed to get out. “Can you hear better now?”

“I don’t know, why don’t you try whisper something to the wall?” Zi pouted, turning away.

Marcus walked out of the room and down a nearby hallway, Zi heard what were probably the echoes of laughter before he returned. “I came up with another test.” he said, completely deadpan.

“What?” asked Zi sullenly.

“Oh so you didn’t hear it? Good.”

“I heard you laughing.”

“In my defense I would have been able to hold it in if you hadn’t told me about the growth spurt.”

“I just wanted to grow a little! Is that so much to ask for? Nobody ever takes the little healer seriously. Now they never will,” Zi put both hands to her head in exasperation. “Rawr.”

Marcus raised an eyebrow “Seriously? Your sister is short, do you see her not being taken seriously? I was a doctor and several of the other mages here are healers, do you see any of us not being taken seriously? It isn’t your height or your abilities that decide who you are, its what you do with what you have. Besides, the people who won’t take you seriously just for your appearance aren’t worth the time of day anyway.”

“Bleh. Tell that to those patients. ‘She’s just a child!’ I mean, yeah, I’m not that old.. but anyway, Jie has knives. It’s usually not very convincing when I tell people I can help. And this,” she pointed at the ears and her tail. “Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to help my credibility.”

“Patients are never grateful. Do you know how fast Anj runs through salve? I’ve never seen anything like it. And then she asks for more because she’s hurt herself again. As to the comment about the knives, you have fire. Like a lot of fire, seriously how many buildings have you burned down now? Aim it at the bad guys and I bet people will start listening.”

“I’ve only burned down just the one…” Zi shuffled about uncertainly and decided to move the subject away from arson. “A-anyway.. Where are the cows?”

Marcus nodded at a trail of dust and scuffed tiles. “I have a feeling they went that way.”

Zi grabbed a broom, then glared at it as she realised it was taller than her. “Let’s.. let’s go shoo them back. Stupid cows.”

Marcus chuckled and grabbed another broom but before Zi could do anything else he spoke up. “You know Zi I can give you this advice all day for the next year but it won’t make a difference unless you believe it. But take the word of someone who's older than you: You have to choose, you can let yourself be affected by those people who’ll judge you just based on what they see or you can ignore them, do what you do best and look absolutely awesome while you do it.”

“It’s somewhat inconvenient to have fire around me while I’m healing, Marcus,” she shot him a wry grin. “But I get it. Though… let’s make a bet. When we get back, I bet the others will think I’ve turned into some cute thing and completely forget about things for a little while.”

Marcus grinned and shrugged. “Ah, what can you do. They’re only human.” Then he began following the trail the cows had left behind. “Now lets get these little bastards. I have a date to keep.”

“Damn cows. I see why you hate them so much.”

It took some tracking, creative thinking, two ducks, a sponge and half an hour but they eventually got the cows back in the pen and locked away. Marcus even found an extra lock to put on the door and they walked out, Zi riding on Marcus’ shoulders, both thankful that the cows were finally dealt with.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:43 am

Turn Rewards
Lordxana0: ~ Coat of Many Maladies (confiscated by Lori); Tome on Nature Magic
Richard the Warlock ~ ?
Qara-Xuan Zenith ~ Bracers; Parrying Dagger
JackAlsworth ~ Brass knuckles
eli_gone_crazy ~ Kevin; Unlocked Fairy Sword
Sicon112 ~ Enchantment Level 2
Guyshane ~ Diamond Eye; Activated Behemoth Tooth: Magic Guard
Tohrinha ~ Beginning Alchemagery
Endless Sea ~ Lightweight Armour
Krika ~ Basic Hand Signs
Blurred_9L ~ Enhanced Hearing; ?
agoraoptera ~ Fennec ears and tail
narrativedilettante ~ Lockpicks
Adell ~ Broken Sword: Ba’al
Scarab ~ ?; ?
Victin ~ Magic Seeds
RussetDivinity ~ First Aid Kit


Setting Update: The Artist Formerly Known as the First Floor is still separated from the other “floors” until further notice. Lori’s magic expired immediately after the quakes; however, there is now a series of barriers surrounding the boundaries of what was the First Floor. Sheer cliffs and mountain ranges now completely divide the First Floor area from the rest of the castle.
The castle is no longer vertical. The earthquakes have stopped, but they have done damage, both to the city and to the mages who were working to contain them.


Quest 49: Social Work
Quest Takers: Hector (Adell) and Kyras (Richard the Warlock)
Quest Description: The earthquakes did some damage to the orphanage, and while the children were evacuated before the building caved in, half of it is currently not inhabitable, and those poor parentless kids need someplace to live until it’s fixed.
Quest Goal: Find foster-homes for all the displaced orphans, or rebuild the orphanage before nightfall.
GM Notes: You may not eat the children. Except for Jim. He’s made out of gingerbread.

Quest 50: IT IS A DECEASED. PARROT.
Quest Takers: Aram (West Coast) and Ben (Qara-Xuan Zenith)
Quest Description: There was this really famous crypt in the middle of the cemetery. Children and ancient crones spoke of how the grave would whisper secrets to them. When the earthquakes shook the city, the crypt split open, revealing the ground underneath. You are asked by the city to explore the crypt and investigate the noises.
Quest Goal: Don’t be dead. That would be inconvenient
GM Notes: I honestly dunno what’s down there, could be mage or technology, human or fae. Please be careful.

Quest 51: Stay Hydrated
Quest Takers: Likovya (Russet Divinity) and Curtiss (Endless Sea)
Quest Description: WHOOPS. Apparently when we-er, Lori, sealed the city, you were stuck outside! And so were these massive man-eating worm-things, and they’re in the same area as you!
Quest Goal: Do unto them before they do unto you.
GM Notes: If you cut them in half, both sides are alive. And they wriggle!

Quest 52: Unshelved
Quest Takers: Fern (Krika) and Giselle (narrativedilettante)
Quest Description: Lori isn’t quite up to doing the legwork herself, but she runs a tight ship, and is very strict about late books. A certain captain of the city guard checked some stuff out quite a while ago…
Quest Goal: Collect Legias’ overdue library books (and the overdue fees)
GM Notes: Legias doesn’t necessarily need to know. But if you do want her, you can bug eli or Qara to write her (or Lori) with you.

Quest 53: Entirely Peopled By Criminals
Quest Takers: Seire (AMimsyBorogove) and Kurt (Sicon112)
Quest Description: The Floor is falling.
Quest Goal: Survive.
GM Notes: No lasting, PC-affecting damage should be incurred. This must be completed in one post, with no lingering arc ties.

Quest 54: What is this Feeling
Quest Takers: Lori (eli_gone_crazy) and Jenny (JackAlsworth)
Quest Description: A Polymorph has gotten into where you are (possibly during one of your dealing-with-rogue-mages lessons).
Quest Goal: Get your personalities back (i.e., make it spit them out). Also maybe prevent the thing from eating more people?
GM Notes: The Polymorph can take on any shape/appearance it wants, and subsists by draining its victims of “negative” emotions until there’s nothing left. Generally the “negative emotion” is a dominant part of the victim’s personality (for example, a control freak becomes a lazy slob).

Quest 55: Feed the Ducks (Tuppence a Bag)
Quest Takers: Tamar (Scarab) and Morionem (Victin)
Quest Description: After all the uproar, there are a whole bunch of sad, hungry ducks in the city. Wouldn’t it be nice if a couple of bleeding hearts helped them out?
Quest Goal: Feed the ducks.
GM Notes: Some of the ducks are carnivorous. That is how this quest is not as easy as it seems at first blush. Don’t get eaten!

Quest 56: Don’t Shoot the Messenger. You Are the Messenger.
Quest Takers: Jadas (Lordxana0) and Mirae (Tohrinha)
Quest Description: Legias is calling for volunteers to do reconnaissance on the perimeter of the city, to find out what they can about the current situation. Someone with a horse would sure be useful.
Quest Goal: Check things out-- the extent of the barrier, is anything attacking us, what is the extent of the damage within the city. Or something.
GM Notes: Attempt to keep Jadas from doing anything… Stupid.


General GM Notes re: Geography: Quests 49, 50, 52, 54, 55, and 56 are sealed inside the city.
Quests 51 and 53 are outside of the city grounds, and also outside of its meagre protection.

Quest Deadline for all quests is Sunday, December 29th at 11:59 p.m. EST.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Endless Sea on Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:36 pm

Quest 51: Stay Hydrated

The mountains had stilled for a while, and Likovya called for a break in their march to catch their breath. Lasair passed around a skin of water, and Tsilia leaned against a tree, winded. “Are we going to go much farther?”

“I don’t know,” Likovya said. Her sword felt heavy against her hip, and sweat pressed her hair to her head. “I’m not even sure where we are right now.”

Curtiss shrugged, eyeing the tree Tsilia had claimed- clearly dead, but tall and reasonably sturdy-looking. “I could check, y’know. I think I could get a good look from some higher branches or something.”

“Be careful,” Likovya said, but she doubted he would be in too much trouble. If he could survive riding a sea serpent into the underground, a fall from a tree would hardly kill him.

“Likovya, I don’t do careful.” With a grunt, the scout took a running leap and sank his knives into the aging bark three meters above the ground. “Would’ve thought you’d have realized that by now.” Using his blades as makeshift handholds, he began forcing his way up the side of the tree.

“Just don’t die.”

Curtiss snorted and hauled himself onto what seemed to be a stable branch. “Sure, why not,” he deadpanned, getting himself seated on his new perch and pulling out a set of magnifiers.

Likovya gave him a minute before asking, “What do you see?”

“Um…” He pointed straight ahead of him to an opening between two mountains. “Well, over there appears to be some of the new floors and stuff that we haven’t gotten to yet, because it stretches pretty damn far in the other direction and some of the scenery there is weeeeeeird.” He glanced down at the others and grimaced. “Like, for one thing, I think I saw a volcano with green lava boulders way in the distance. And a huge thicket of crystals like the ones in the underground, except these were infested with demon bugs or something, I don’t know. It’s pretty crazy.”

Likovya frowned. “Um, that’s nice to know,” she called up, “but is there anything we need to worry about in the immediate future? As in, relevant to our current situation?”

“Well, there’s some really dark clouds rolling in,” Curtiss said. “Looks kind of like a snowstorm from here, but it’s definitely not a normal one. It’s spreading all over the place, and fast. Probably something from one of the higher floors that decided to start stretching its metaphorical legs or something. Might be best to get to lower ground before it starts shooting dragons made of cloud cover at us or something.” He paused for a second, shifting his position on the branch, then added, “Oh, and this branch is gonna break in a couple seconds. Wimp.”

There was a sharp crack of splintering wood, and then a pair of thumps as the dead branch and the very not-dead Curtiss hit the ground, the latter in significantly better condition. The scout glared at his former seat, glanced at a slightly unnerved Tsilia, and muttered, “Okay, fine, one second. Close enough.”

“We’d better get moving,” Likovya said, looking up at the rapidly moving clouds. A snowflake brushed against her cheek. “Head away from the storm. We’ll need shelter.”

They had just started gathering their supplies when the ground trembled. Lasair grabbed onto Tsilia, and Isidor reached for Likovya but stumbled and clung to a tree. It wasn’t as bad as the first one, but it was bad enough to knock Arietta to the ground and make the trees around them creak.

“Move!” Likovya said once the ground had stilled enough for them to walk, and they set off in double file.

The snow grew thicker, no matter how quickly they walked, and winds beat against their backs. Likovya was soon shivering and wishing she had indulged in a fur-lined jacket when she was in the city. When she glanced back, she saw that the wind wasn’t nearly as strong as it might have been; Lasair was serving as a windblock for them. It wasn’t quite enough to keep them warm, though. Likovya’s breath puffed out white, and her sweaty hair felt frozen.

At the front of the group, Curtiss paused, one arm held protectively in front of his face, and glanced back at the mountains. “Ooh,” he said. “Don’t look now, but I think I was right about the cloud creatures thing before. Storm just dropped something that looks like a giant tiger-shaped tornado on one of the mountaintops.”

“Here’s hoping it stays there,” Isidor muttered.

The snow was past Likovya’s ankles when they reached a copse of trees that blocked the worst of the wind and storm. The snow there was barely a dusting, and while it had started to thunder, Likovya decided she would rather take her chances out of the snow. Grabbing Curtiss’s arm, she called, “In there! Come on!” She made sure to release him before heading in herself. The four Salvantas had sent with her joined her, and they set their packs down, taking deep breaths of the now very cold air.

“At least it’s less windy in here,” Arietta said, blowing on her hands. “Lasair, would you be a dear and start a fire? Tsilia looks half frozen.”

Lasair had only just started assembling the wood when the ground began to shake again. With a curse, he sprang to his feet, but Likovya didn’t think it felt like the other quakes had. She pulled out a knife and began feeling about the ground with her foot, testing the earth. Isidor murmured something that could have been “Careful”, but it came just a split second before the ground exploded upwards and a giant five-jawed worm with cyan-tinted saliva and breath that smelled like week-old cadavers popped its head out and screeched.

“Oh, it’s one of them,” Curtiss said. “I was wondering about those things.”

“You mean there’s more of them?” Likovya gasped. As if in answer, the ground shook again, and something burst out from the other side of the trees. “Son of a --”

Another. And another. They weren’t quite surrounded, but they might as well be. Arietta drew her sword, and Lasair was hurriedly doing his best to light a torch. Isidor drew an arrow from his quiver, removed the water-proof protection from his bow, and let fly a shot that struck the beast in what looked like its underbelly. The worm screeched, so loud that Tsilia shrank back against a tree and covered her ears, but it did not die.

“We’ll need to get in closer,” Likovya said. “Lasair, have you got that fire yet?”

“Nearly,” he grunted.

“Arietta, Curtiss, and I will take this one. Lasair, once you have a torch, see what you can do with it. Isidor, get Tsilia somewhere safe.” Likovya drew another knife.

“I can help here,” Isidor insisted, drawing another arrow.

“Too late, already done,” Curtiss said, driving his crystal javelin deeper into the skull of the squealing worm beneath his boot. “Told ya I was getting better at this.”

“There are still three left,” Likovya said. Tsilia had scrambled to her feet and run beside the dead worm, and was busily looking over it. “Isidor --”

“Once Lasair has his torch ready, I can light my arrows from it,” he said quickly, sounding louder than Likovya had ever heard him. “It might only make them angry, but it should be a little effective.”

Curtiss emitted a strangled cough as another worm burst out of the ground behind him and hauled him into the air by his pack. “Trust me, man,” he wheezed, “these things are already angry, they don’t need your help with that.” With that, he pulled out a knife and started stabbing.

“Don’t light the forest on fire,” Likovya said. She tucked away her knives and drew her sword. It was heavy, but she was able to raise it and charge forward, shouting and ducking between trees.

Beside her, Arietta let out a shrill war cry and drove her rapier into a worm’s belly. A flaming arrow struck another, followed quickly by another. Likovya turned her attention to the third and began hacking at it, cursing and growling.

“Your form’s terrible!” Arietta called.

“You never taught me how to fight with this thing!” Likovya’s sword cut clean through the worm, and she stumbled to the side with the momentum.

“Not bad!” Arietta said, twisting around and climbing the worm to drive a knife into its head. “A bit unpolished, but I think you’re getting there.”

The worm hadn’t stopped wriggling, and the jaws directed themselves at Likovya. For the first time in a while, she shrieked.

Still in the middle of stabbing himself free of the tunnelworm gnawing on his pack, Curtiss glanced back at his teammates at the sound of the scream. “Right, kinda forgot,” he yelled. “Sometimes, the worms? Are actually two worms. Really annoying when that happens.”

Likovya looked around frantically and saw that, if they hurried, they could slip away into the storm. “This way!” she yelled. “We might be able to lose them!”

Lasair flung his torch at the wriggling worm-halves, heaved Tsilia onto his back, and set off at a run. Isidor was just behind them, firing as he ran. Arietta leapt off her worm’s body and sprinted past Likovya, who had paused behind a tree, waiting for Curtiss to catch up. He could be annoying, but she wasn’t going to leave him behind.

A yelling bundle of gray-clothed, knife-toting scout hurtled into Likovya’s field of vision, hitting the snow and skidding over to her face down. Curtiss forced his head out of the snow and hurriedly wiped his face clean of any lingering frosty residue, then looked up at his partner. “Hi. Really starting to hate these things now.”

“Only just now?” Likovya pulled him to his feet.

“Well, up until now, I could actually deal with them,” he grumbled. “Should’ve brought a fire mage along. The worms that hit the city didn’t seem to like heat too much. Of course, they decided to protest by leveling a few blocks, but that’s to be expected.” He paused, then asked, “Can we just make a run for it, now? I don’t want them gnawing on my supplies anymore.”

“That sounds like a good plan,” Likovya said, and she had just taken a few steps when the ground shook. “Not again!” But this was a different kind of shaking, she realized just before the explosion. Lasair must have left something explosive behind, and now sparks flew through the air with the snowflakes. “Keep moving!” she called to the rest of the group. “We’ll be right behind you!”

The only things she heard in response were the screams of dying worms.
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Krika on Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:10 pm

Quest 52: Unshelved

Fern glared at the guard in front of him, annoyed. “I merely need to retrieve the books, and leave a bill for the overdue fees. I can do that while being escorted, so you can assure that I’m not up to anything nefarious.”

The guard shook his head, not for the first time. “And unless Commander Legias is present, you aren’t getting into her quarters, overdue books or not. You can just come back when she’s here. And,” he interjected, seeing Fern opening his mouth to continue arguing, “I should warn you that if you keep on being a nuisance, we will have to throw you out of the building.” He made a meaningful gesture toward the door.

Fern stared at the guard for a moment. “Very well. I will be back.” He turned, and stalked out the door, half grumbling under his breath about nonsensical regulations and rules. Outside, he leaned against the wall, and looked toward the sky.

“So. I have been directed by the Loremaster to retrieve overdue books and overdue fees from the Guard Commander. However, the Guardmaster is not present, and nobody is telling me when she will return. As a result, I apparently cannot retrieve the books from her office, since she must be present for visitors to enter them. And since I have not been told when she will return….” He sighed, and rubbed his forehead. “Also, I am talking out loud to myself in public.”

“Bound to attract attention, talking to yourself like that. I’d recommend against it.” The voice came from Fern’s side, opposite the entrance to the guard headquarters. A woman with a bow at her back approached, stopping at a reasonable distance. “Of course, sometimes you might attract the right sort of attention. Something I can help you with?”

Fern looked at her, tilting his head to the side slightly. “Indeed. Generally it is easier to get away with talking to oneself in a library, or similar environment, as opposed to...here. And for help? Unless you are the Guard Commander, or have a way to access her chambers here, then I do not think so.”

“Well,” said the newcomer, leaning against the wall, “I’m not her, but…” She lowered her voice, speaking scarcely louder than a whisper, as if pretending they were in a library right then, “Getting into her chambers? That sounds like fun. I could do that. Probably.”

He gave her a long look. “What are you suggesting, precisely?”

“I’m suggesting that we discuss this in a more discreet location,” she replied, beginning to return in the direction that she’d come. “Have you got a name, by the way?”

“Yes. You can call me Fern. And your name is….?” He started to follow after her. It couldn’t hurt to hear what she had to say, at least.

“Giselle. I’m a… well, let’s just say my guild has a tenuous relationship with the city guard at the best of times.” Across a street, in the back of a tavern, where the mess was a deterrent to company and the noise was heavy enough to limit eavesdropping, they’d be able to talk more freely. “So, what do you want to break into Legias’ room for?”

He settled into his chair, feeling a little out of place in the somewhat rowdy environment. “She has overdue books, and I have been tasked with retrieving both the overdue books and the overdue book fee.”

Giselle smiled. “I was right. That does sound fun. A little bit like… poetic justice, the keeper of the law having broken rules on a much smaller scale, and being taken to task for it. I wouldn’t have thought she’d be one to blatantly disregard the will of the loremasters like that.”

Fern gave a shrug. “I do not know what the circumstances of her tardiness in returning them are, although given the...disruptions that have occurred, I suppose it is conceivable that it might have simply slipped her mind. I do not really need to theorize about such reasons, though, simply retrieve the books and the fine.”

“Well, the fine might be harder. I don’t know where she keeps her money; it could be in a safe, or just well-hidden. But I’m assuming the books would be easy enough to find. We should probably wait to go in after dark. I know it’s a cliche, but it really is much easier to hide in the shadows at night time.”

Fern considered this offer for a minute, before sighing and looking toward the ceiling. “This is going to be another one of those things, is it not?” He looked back at Giselle. “Very well, but I will check to see if the Guard Commander shows up later today, as that would be easier than the route you are suggesting.”

“Okay,” said Giselle, “If you’d rather do things the boring way, I guess you should give that a chance. If it doesn’t work out, let’s meet up in the back of the guard station after sunset, all right?”

Fern nodded. “Agreed.”

-----

The two of them met in the back of the guard alley that night. The Guard Commander had not shown up, and despite his nervousness, Fern was not going to back down on this challenge.

Giselle held a piece of parchment, showing a map that was barely visible in the moonlight. It showed the layout of the guard station, though many of the interior details were missing. Still, it was enough to be able to find the external window that opened into the Guard Commander’s room. “Hold this,” she said, handing the parchment to Fern. She pulled a handful slim tools out of a pocket, and fidgeted with the window until she could get it open. “That was… easier than breaking into the chief of the guard’s personal chambers should have been,” she reflected, putting the tools away. “Now, do you want to go in, or should I do it?”

“Well, I would prefer to find the books myself, or at least make certain that the correct ones are taken before exiting the building. Is both of us going in a bad thing?”

Giselle shook her head. “I guess not. After you, then.”

Fern sighed, and hoisted himself in the window, bunching up his robes to make it easier. Dropping in, he looked around in what was apparently supposed to be the Guard Commander’s office. It certainly looked the part, with a big chair and a big desk covered in paper. He walked over to the desk, and started looking it over, doing his best to not disturb any of the paperwork that lay on it. He found one of the three books he was looking for serving as a paperweight, which he slipped into his bag. Seeing none of the others on the table, he looked around at the edges of the room, where several bookshelves were placed.

“Could you perhaps help me search through the bookshelves?”

“I guess. What are we looking for?”

“Military Tactics of the Grenden Empire, and….A Collection of Lambda Fables. If you look on the inside cover, there should be a Loreknight marking.”

“All right,” said Giselle. “I’ll work my way up from the bottom shelf here. That way we can meet in the middle.”

Fern nodded, and started on the other end of the shelves, checking the titles with a speed that only comes from working in a library.

“Aha!” Giselle shouted, probably too loudly for subtlety’s sake. “I found one. This is one of them, right? It’s got the symbol.” She proudly held open the cover to display the marking to Fern. Checking it, he nodded. “That is it, yes.” Sticking it in his bag, he returned to his searching, only to a moment later pull another book from the shelf. Flipping it open, he nodded, closed it again, and slipped it into his bag.

“That is the last one. Now I need to find a way to either bill, or take payment for the overdue fee.” He looked over at Giselle. “Any bright ideas?”

“You could steal some of her books to make up for the payment,” Giselle suggested. “Or, leave a bill on her desk… though she might not get around to paying it. Or,” she added, looking around and opening drawers until she found a lockbox, “We could see what she has in here. Up to you.”

Fern looked at the box in her hands, and then back to her. Spirits, this was really turning out to be one of those things. “We will…..see what she has in there?” He winced a little as he said that.

“Sure thing. Just give me a moment.” The box was quick work, compared to the window. Probably Legias trusted that it would be harder to get into the room in the first place than Giselle had found it. When opened the box proved to contain, yes, a handful of coins, but also some more interesting things. A ring, which Giselle swore emitted a glow as soon as the box opened, though it calmed down immediately after, and some crystals of a type she didn’t recognize.

Fern, after a moment of furious internal debate, counted out the coins, eventually taking a half-dozen of the medium-sized ones to add to a pouch on his belt. “That is that, I suppose...although I should leave a note so they do not think that thieves simply broke in to steal things…” He grabbed a quill and blank sheet of paper off the desk, and began scribbling on it.

“We’ve done them a favor, really, when you think about it,” Giselle reflected. “When Legias finds out her office was broken into without anyone noticing, you can be sure the guards on duty are going to be chewed out over it. They’ll increase the numbers for night watch, instill a new sense of discipline in everyone, and make it much harder on any thieves who might try to come around in the future.”

Fern slowly nodded. When she put it like that, it did make what they were doing seem better, less...bad. In fact, given that he didn’t think they had been very stealthy, he was surprised that nobody had checked to see what the strange noises coming from inside the Guard Commander’s office was.

Which was of course when the door opened, and a slightly sleepy guard looked in, eyes going wide as he saw the open window and two strangers standing in the office. “Oi! What’re yew doin’ in ‘ere?”

By the time the guard had finished his sentence, Giselle was at the window, beginning to climb out to freedom. No time to respond with a witty rejoinder or check whether Fern was following her lead.

Unlike Giselle, Fern was not used to this sort of thing, and backed up slowly toward the window. “I am sorry but I needed to retrieve books and this was the simplest way I could see to do it andIleftanoteonethetableexplainingeverythingpleasedonotarrestme-” he barely dodged the charge by the irate guard, and attempted to leap out the window. He got out, but nearly tripped onto his face as he hit the ground, taking a moment to get his breath before following in the direction he thought he had seen Giselle sprint off in.

Fortunately, the guard didn’t seem to want to follow them out the window as well, and turning to look at the desk, would find a partially written note freshly penned, laying with the quill and open ink bottle on the desk.

Normally I would introduce myself here, but I do not think it is appropriate to give you some way to find me, as I have not doubt that doing this would get me in trouble with you, but there were overdue books the Guard Commander had, and I was sent to retrieve them, and they needed to be retrieved, and for some reason this ended up being the easiest way to do so - I did not take anything but the books and the overdue fine, I am not a criminal but I d-(here it trailed off into a scratch indicative of a surprised jerk of the hand writing the note)


Fern meanwhile had pounded around several corners, eventually coming to a halt several blocks away, chest heaving at the sudden exertion.

After gaining a reasonable distance, Giselle had kept an ear out for her erstwhile companion, and followed the sound of the panicked man until she found him at rest. Looking back around them, she verified that they were still alone. “I don’t think they followed us, but you probably want to get back to the library as quickly as possible,” she said. “Once you’ve caught your breath, I mean.”

“Yes, that is...the best idea.” Fern took several deep breaths, starting to get his breathing back under control. “Thank you for assisting me on this….crazy venture.”

“You’re welcome. If you ever need assistance retrieving overdue books again, feel free to drag me along. Just as long as you don’t, say, waste time explaining to people what you’re doing when your time would be more effectively spend running away. For example.”

“I was not expecting the guard to enter into the room, and I went to automatic, in a similar sense to how your automatic was to leave. Which was smarter and better than mine, yes.” He pushed himself off the wall he had been leaning on, and patted the dust off of his robes. “I do not know how likely it is that I will see you again, but I will try and remember your offer. Retrieving overdue books generally is not this...illicit, though.”

“I wouldn’t have expected it to be. Still, I’m glad I got to be a part of it, just this once. Good luck in your future endeavors. I hope for your sake that the illicit ones don’t come up too often in the future.” With that, she disappeared around a corner and into the depths of the city.
Krika
>Narra has tiny jerk people in her socks.
>We are affirming our collective jerkhood by committing genocide on them.
Guyshane
>I'm going to read the logs and pray that that sentence makes more sense in context
>No
>No it does not
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Tohrinha on Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:12 am

Don't Shoot the Messenger. You Are the Messenger.

Mirae wandered into the square, idly playing with the light in her hand. Looking around the perimeter was as good a way as any to spend an hour, since she’d spent the morning gathering supplies, she had decided. Chet scuffed at the ground behind her as she watched her hand. One side of the light rose up in a miniature wave, then fell back to her hand as the other side rose. Both at once might be interesting. Or all at once… She smiled at the thought. Light sphere?

Stopping, she held her palm up to her eyes, focusing intently on the light. The edges curled in toward the center, and her eyes narrowed in pleasure as they crept ever farther in. Then all at once, it collapsed back into a glowing mist.

Mirae sighed, looking up. “Later, maybe,” she muttered to herself as she glanced around the square. There was supposed to be someone else meeting her here.

“Yee Haw!” Jadas smacked his horse and had it jump off of a roof, landing next to her. “Hello there, hired for this little scouting mission too right?” Jadas calmly slipped on Salvantas’s personality and smiled warmly. “I hope that we can both accomplish this mission without any bloodshed”

Mirae laughed, watching the rider. “That’d be nice. Doesn’t mean that it has to be routine, though,” she answered with a grin. She didn’t think that would be too much to expect, the way the newcomer had introduced himself. “I’m Mirae. And you are?”

He nodded his head and smiled warmly. “Salvantas, guild leader of Heroes Unlimited”

Her eyes widened slightly in recognition. “Ah, aren’t you the ones who run the school?”

He sighed deeply like he imagined Salvantas would. “Used too, my school was destroyed after the riots, and finding the time to rebuild has been difficult”

Mirae nodded slowly. She forced the frown off her face a moment after he had finished speaking. “I hope you find the time soon, then,” she said, before twitching her horse’s reins. “Shall we head out? I have somewhere to be in a while.”

He nodded his head and urged his horse forward. “I can understand that, just remember that even if we find a threat we are just scouting, we don’t want to fight against something that might kill us for stepping against it”

She smirked, but again dropped the expression before replying. “Who knows? It might just be a scouting trip. Go out, come back, let the guard deal with any trouble.” Mirae scrambled onto Chet’s back and followed.

Jadas pulled out a book and began to mark some stuff down as they arrived at the edge of where the new first “ring” ended. “Okay now we make a circle from here, see what we can see”

Mirae nodded and turned her horse to the right. The outside of the city seemed to have been hit by the earthquakes more severely. While there were only a few damaged houses that she could see, toppled trees and other debris littered the surroundings. And she was fairly certain those mountains hadn’t been there before.

“Seems pretty quiet so far,” she said after a while. “Everyone’s inside clearing the city, I suppose.”

“Yeah, but this would be the perfect time for something big and nasty to start scouting our weak points” he looked around at the broken houses and winced as he saw the occasional arm or leg. “If I ever meet this Shard person I am going to make them very sorry for being born”

If he was born. Mirae glanced over to her companion, breaking her gaze from the carnage. “What makes you think you can go up against someone who can cause this?” she asked, gesturing to where he watched. “Earthquakes and whatever else.”

“Everything sleeps, and it is a bit hard to cast spells when your arms aren’t attached to your body” he spoke plainly as he continued forward, secretly revealing in the carnage that had been created. If he hadn’t already promised to murder him Jadas would probably shake the mad mages hand for the amount of destruction.

Mirae winced, turning back to the front. “That sounds like a very well thought-out plan,” she said, looking sideways at him.

He paused for a moment and tilted his head. “Do you hear...singing?” from far out the sound of children’s voices rang out, singing a small song.

She turned her head to hear it. “Yes, I do,” she said slowly, trying to make out the words. She shrugged. “At least someone’s being cheerful.”

He shook his head. “Number one rule, when there are children singing together outside of Church something is going on” he got off his horse and tied it to a bit of wall that was still standing. “Lets check it out”

“What, you’ve never heard of nonsense rhymes?” Mirae stared after him, then also dismounted. She couldn’t pretend she wasn’t pleased at the change of pace. Still shaking her head, she followed him on foot.

He quickly stalked after the noise and paused behind a broken house, looking out of a window and seeing a rather odd sight. A group of twenty children all singing a song in perfect unison while painting a large circle on the ground in what appeared to be muddy red paint. At least he really hoped it was paint. Along with the children stood two other figures. One was a short girl dressed in what could only be thought of as a princess’s gown, holding a massive broadsword on her back and wearing a mask with half of it being the mask of comedy, and the other tragedy. The other figure was a rather tall man with light blue hair, playing a flute which seemed to play in rhythm with the kids song. He was wearing a white suit that seemed to be remarkably clean given the condition of the environment around them.

“Carnival, Carnival, Lord Cloth brings the Carnival for fun and play all day. Never dream or sleep again, come join the Carnival” the children sang in perfect pitch and unity, not a single word being even a single beat off.

“You really need to start the school up again.” Mirae had come around behind him, craning her neck to see through the splintered glass. She pulled out a knife as she spoke. “You have some interesting competition,” she said, holding the hilt loosely as she walked to the side of the building for a better look.

Jadas frowned as he looked to her, wondering exactly what he could say. “This guys are dangerous, part of some kind of evil Underground kingdom run by a lunatic dressed in bright green named Cloth. And that…” he pointed at the circle. “Looks like a summoning circle”

“Indeed?” Mirae followed his gesture, a smile spreading across her face. “Well, shall we stop them?” She looked back at him. “If they’re as dangerous as you say, I wouldn’t like to imagine what they would be looking for. I doubt there’s time to go for the city guard.”

“Not at all, but a warning” he pulled out his saber and pointed toward the man with the flute. “All of Cloth’s people who aren’t dressed like clowns seem to be running around in immortal bodies, you need to destroy some sort of symbol on them before they go down for good, and the girl there has some serious magic on her side”

She tipped her head to one side as she thought. “Do you know where this symbol is? If we can get them away from the children, I might be able to help with that.”

He shook his head. “I would imagine it would vary from creature to creature. If it were me I would make it the point where you would last hit them with their fighting style”

Mirae nodded. “I’ll keep the mage off of you, then. If you do find out…” She trailed off, holding up her knife. A spark jumped along the edge. She shrugged, and began walking again toward the edge of the house.

He nodded and followed after her. “Won’t be the first monster I have killed” he paused as they cleared the house and set his gaze on them. “Oi you lot, don’t you know that child labor isn’t allow around here?”

Comedy giggled and picked up her claymore. “Oooooh its Salvantas… and…” she blinked and looked at Mirae. “Um… that...one…”

The man put down his flute and the children continued to work. “Oh come on, is nothing ever just simple in this gods damned castle?”

Mirae stopped a slight way out of the house. “And where would the fun be in that?” She grinned at the group. As the last word fell from her mouth, a bolt of lightning crashed down where Comedy had been standing. Mirae started to run toward the circle. If she could pull one of the children away, perhaps the summon would break.

The young girl quickly jumped away, sending a blade of air at the other mage quickly. “Emperor, take care of the circle, I can handle...uh...whateverhernameis”

Mirae dropped, rolling underneath the attack. She scrambled to her feet and faced the girl. Quick one. She started to pace to the girl’s other side, carefully watching her for another attack. It would be best to get the children out of the line of fire.

Jadas quickly examined the situation. The children were obviously part of this little sideshow, but what part did they play? Just workers or were they actually needed. Maybe he should just kill them before they could plan something out. He quickly looked to Mirae. That wouldn’t work with her here, his cover would be blown. “So Emperor huh?” he asked the blue haired man.

“Its a title I enjoy” he began to play his flute fast and from the shadows around them formed pitch black wolves which made their way toward Jadas with evil intent in their eyes.

“Crap magic, Mirae switch out” Jadas dodged out of the way of one of the wolves and slashed at it, finding his blade passed right through the beast.

“Got it,” she called back, taking a sharp breath as she narrowly ducked away from another slash of air. Sending one last bolt to cover her, Mirae darted past Jadas, leaving him to deal with the girl. She was partial to attacking the blue-haired man from a distance, but remembering her companion’s warning, she decided against that. It would do no good to just attack at random if he could come back.

It was wolves first, then. She smiled at them, walking backwards so that she led them farther away from the circle. Lightning crackled along her shoulders and down her arms in anticipation. Mirae tightened her grip on the knife as she moved, feeling the familiar tug at her heart, as though a lightning storm was waiting just over the horizon. Not necessary, she thought, shaking her head hard.

Instead, her hands began to glow. “Ready?” Mirae murmured, not sure if she was talking to herself or to the dark wolves. She stopped walking, letting the light spread over her arms as she held them up to guard, and lunged at the first wolf.

Jadas jumped forward and attacked Comedy, slashing at her and attempting to land a blow against the mage and warrior in the body of a little girl. Of course seeing as they had both fought more than a few times they had a good understand of each others movesets, so it was more of just attack and dodge, blows traded between two warriors ready to kill each other.

“Come on can’t you just leave us to our work, I mean its not like we are planning on bringing the show into the city today” the blue haired man watched as his wolves attacked Mirae. “Just walk away and let us do our jobs.”

Mirae blocked one of the wolves as it bit down on her arm. The shadow teeth blunted on her light, but it still forced her back a few steps with the force of its attack. Grimacing, she sliced through its neck with her glowing knife, watching it falter and fall away. She gave a short cry as another’s claws tore into her leg.

“Letting you do that would mean not doing mine,” she said through gritted teeth, slicing at the second wolf. “I’m sure I’d love to see whatever show you’re putting on. Just not at the moment.”

The man let out a long sigh and shrugged his shoulders. “Well if you are really going to be that way then I can’t help it, kids lets get this thing done!” The children stood around the circle, uniting hands before beginning to hum together. “This will open a gate straight to our side of things, and all it takes is a payment in souls” he bowed toward her as his remaining wolves joined together to form a massive shadow wolf. “Come on now, you know you want to see something like that”

“Salvantas! Break the circle!” Mirae shouted at the fighters. Not bothering to respond to the man, she turned to run toward the children, stopping short as the wolf jumped in front of her. She raised her knife again, quickly glancing between the wolf, the circle, and the man. It didn’t look as if she would be able to move without running into the creature.

Jadas knocked Comedy off his blade and ran toward the circle with a grimace. Turned out killing the kids wasn’t an option after all, not if their souls would power the circle. He quickly jumped, trying to get over the circle of kids but was brought down to the ground by an invisible force. “Having my brother in me now gives me his powers too” Comedy laughed loudly. “Meaning I can make you all heavy and stuff now”

He tried to reach for the children but with the crushing gravity forcing him down there was nothing he could do. “Gah…”

Mirae pushed herself away from the wolf as it lunged at her, falling to sprawl on the street. “Hah,” she gasped, trying to get back up without putting weight on her injured leg, “fine.” She glanced once more at the circle of humming children, then at the strange man. As she raised an arm once more to put light between her and the wolf, she sent a furtive lightning bolt at him. If it wouldn’t get rid of him, it would at least distract.

The man was hit by the energy and fall back with a curse, the power flowing through his empty body. As soon as he was hit the children began to blink and slowly move away from the circle in fear. “No no no no you are ruining it!” the man quickly pulled the flute back to his lips and began to play a quick song, trying to bring the children under his control once more.

Mirae started to reply, but cut off as the wolf’s feet landed on her legs. “Go-” Falling back in pain, she turned her head to look at the man. Enough music. Ignoring the shadow creature as best she could, she let the light on her arms go out, bringing all her focus to the flute. And the lightning that was now striking it and the player’s hands.

The man cursed heavily as he dropped the flute, his hands bursting into flames from the buildup of energy. His flute had become a piece of slag from the input of energy and he was left cursing while rolling with his burned hands. The children ran quickly away from the scene and hid.

Jadas grinned and used Comedy’s confusion at her fellow freak getting hurt to jump up and throw a knife directly into where her heart should have been, forcing her back and holding the wound. “Good one Mirae!”

Mirae relaxed as the wolf disappeared, closing her eyes for a moment while her healing began to work through her legs. Soon after, though, she opened them again and pushed herself up, bracing herself against the house’s wall. “The children left, then?” she asked, looking at their two adversaries while she spoke.

Comedy kicked the dirt at her feet. “No fair, we were winning and you cheated you big meanie cheater face” she crossed her arms and the knife in her stomach fell.

The blue haired man slowly picked himself up. “Yes, they are gone and I no longer have my flute to control them, you...win” he looked at his ruined hands and sighed.

Jadas grinned and stood up and grinned. “So feel like ending this?” he asked Mirae as he looked at the two Dark Carnival fighters.

Mirae hesitated, then jerked her head noncommittally. “After all, there’s no time to go for the guard,” she said, a faint smile appearing.

Comedy gulped and looked between the two of them. “Uh… Emperor I am starting to think this game might not end very nicely”

He nodded his head and thought for a moment. “Yep, we are certainly outnumbered” he raised his hands. “I surrender”

Jadas blinked. “Excuse me?”

The blue haired man grinned. “I am surrendering, and you wouldn’t kill a man who was giving up would you?” he looked toward Mirae with a smile. “Would you?”

Mirae remembered the feel of the waiting lightning storm, and where she had felt it before. She shook her head once before stopping and glancing at her companion, smiling a little at herself. Memories cropping up where they weren’t welcome. “Can we send them to the guard without them causing more havoc?”

Jadas paused and looked around weighing his options. “No” he ran toward the man and ran his through with his saber. “I believe the better option is death” he slashed again and again, cutting multiple wounds into the body.

Looking consideringly at Comedy, Mirae leaned against the house. A bolt of lightning again flashed down to where the masked girl stood.

She let out a meep and jumped out of the way, looking toward Jadas. “Come on already…”

Jadas finally struck the symbol, which was in the shape of an IV. He grinned at the man. “Ready to die?” he asked the man.

He smirked at him. “Soul Sacrifice” the circle under them began to glow dark red as the man laughed. “A few children, one high general, not a big difference to the portal”

Jadas cursed and jumped back, looking toward Mirae. “We need to go, now!” he turned and began to run toward her.

Mirae pulled herself to her feet, standing unsteadily with her weight on one leg. She raised an eyebrow at Comedy, then began to stumble back out of the square.

Jadas froze and looked back at Mirae, willing himself to leave her there. But he couldn’t, not out of moral obligation but because he couldn’t silence the twin voices of Salvantas and Blank. He ran over and quickly picked her up. “Don’t get any ideas” he said bitterly as he began to run them away.

Comedy spun around and smiled. “Dark Carnival rises!” she clapped her hands and a massive gate sprung out of the portal, a gate that looked as if it led into a deep black abyss. From inside it a song could be heard, sung by hundreds of voices. “Welcome to the greatest show unearthed!”

Jadas got them back to their horses and set Mirae on hers. “We need to get to the City Guard, a portal like that will only hold for about an hour without the proper souls, but in that time they will move a massive force into second floor territory until they are ready to move”

“I could have gotten on my horse myself,” she muttered, her voice low enough that only she could hear it. Raising her voice, she said, “We should split up, then. Each of us try to find the guard.”

He looked at her and nodded. “Don’t try and do something stupid, on that leg you aren’t going far without your horse, report to a guard or guild and get to the Chruch” he got on his own horse. “And tell them to get ready for something big”

Never one thing at a time. Nothing’s ever simple in this castle, she thought, grinning slightly. She turned Chet toward the center of the city and started off.

Jadas looked at his horse and sighed. “Yeah run up to a guard on a stolen horse, thats going to happen” he instead made his way toward the Heroes Unlimited base, wanting to get his people ready for the battle.
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Tohrinha
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby JackAlsworth on Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:08 am

Jenny had spend much of her childhood climbing trees for fun, one of the natural side effects from living so close to a forest. She didn’t know why she’d gotten out of the habit, but as she pulled herself up one of the castle’s trees, she had to admit that it was about as much fun as she’d remembered.

She reached the top, and gazed at the vast landscape before her. She’d never considered the sheer size of the castle, but now it was thrown into sharp relief. How will we ever reach the end? she thought wearily. Maybe we don’t even want to, if that… thing can kill so easily…

She shook her head. She couldn’t think like that. She had a job to do, and she’d known the risks when she came here.

Lost in her thoughts, she barely noticed her gaze dropping downward, until she saw the body lying below her. She gasped and started climbing down the tree. “Hello?” she called in its direction. “Are you all right?”

As she approached, the body shuddered and twitched, apparently trying and failing to open their eyes. "Go away!"

Jenny recognized the voice immediately. “Lorekeeper? What are you doing out here all by yourself?”

"I said. Go. Away." Lori snarled. She made a quick sign in Jenny’s direction; blue sparked to life around her hand, but quickly vanished as the librarian went very suddenly limp.

That can’t be good. Jenny knelt down beside her. “What happened? Do you need help?”

"Need... AIDEN?!" Lori shot up, hands grabbing at the dead leaves for her sword.

“Who?” Clearly Lori was delirious. “Come on, we’ll get you back to the library and -”

“Not the library,” Lori begged, eyebrows narrowing with fervor as she lay collapsed on the forest floor, sword discarded next to her. “Not there. Not the library not the library.”

“Um, okay…” Jenny tried to help Lori up. “We can… do you have anywhere else to go?”

“No… Yes. Yes. Ow.” Lori shook her head sharply, before trying to stand, knees wobbling for a few moments before she fell back onto her bum, wincing quietly. Looking around, her eyes focused on Jenny’s for a moment, pupils dilated, hair disheveled. “Where’m I? Is everyone okay?”

“Yes, we’re fine, we’re all fine,” Jenny said reassuringly. “You’re… out in the middle of the forest, actually. What were you doing out here?”

“Oh.” Lori chuckled quietly to herself. “That actually worked!”

Jenny blinked. “What worked?”

“I-” Lori stopped, and began looked around the forest frantically. “Not here. Not here Not here. He’ll hear.”

“Okay, okay, we’ll…” Jenny sighed inwardly. Clearly keeping Lori calm would be tricky. “You said you had somewhere else?”

“Cabin.” Lori responded, trying to stand again. “In the woods. Mine. It’s safe there.”

“All right, we’ll go there,” Jenny said decisively. “Lead the way.”

The cabin was rundown on the outside, boards covering the windows, rotting leaves on the tin roof. Lori limped slowly up to the door, starting to make a sign before whimpering, hands falling slack to her sides. Turning to Jenny, she started to speak, before reconsidering. Her jaw worked, and she sagged, armor seeming too large for her. “Can’t undo the locks.”

“Why not? Are they -?” She looked at the door again; a series of odd glyphs had flared up and were slowly fading. “Oh. Well, can’t you magic them away or something?”

Lori glared up at her weakly. “Can’t.”

Jenny instantly regretted asking. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have - ”

“It’s fine.” Lori said, leaning against the wall, slowly sliding down to the floor. With one hand, she began stripping herself of her armor, placing them carefully next to her. “Did too much. Tired.”

“It’s okay. You can rest.” Just as soon as we get in the cabin, Jenny added to herself. “Is there another door? Preferably one that isn’t magically sealed?”

“‘s one over there.” Lori pointed to a small burrow several yards away. “‘mergency exit.”

Jenny helped Lori over to the burrow and looked inside. It was dirty, wet, and clearly out of use. “And it’s safe? There’s nothing at the end that will zap me or anything?”

Lori shrugged, and began to slowly shuffle into the tunnel. “Haven’t been here in months. He might’ve found it, though. Gotta be careful.”

That was the second time Lori had mentioned “he”. “He who?”

“Not now.” Lori began searching the woods, eyes panicked. “He’ll know and then we’ll be dead.”

“All right, all right, keep calm, you’re safe,” said Jenny soothingly. “Let’s get into the cabin and then you can rest.”

Lori nodded, and slid the rest of the way into the tunnel, mumbling all the way. “Sleep will be nice. Food? Food. Need to seal the doors. He can’t find out. He’ll know. Need to plan.”

Jenny followed her, trying to keep up with everything she was saying. “Sleep first,” she said firmly. “You’re clearly in no state to be doing hard work. I’ll figure everything else out.”

Lori nodded, falling into a small opening, just large enough to allow them both to crouch. “Need to eat. Mages… Mages need energy to practice magic. I have no energy, so therefore…”

‘Okay. Do you have any food stored here?” Jenny answered herself almost immediately. “No, it’ll probably be rotten. I’ll go out and find something.”

Lori, still in her dirty tunic and breeches, sighed and collapsed into the small cot, asleep before her head hit the lumpy mattress.

**

About an hour later, Jenny came sliding down the back entryway again, a freshly caught rabbit dangling from her hand. “I’m back,” she called softly. “Do you have a fireplace or somewhere else to cook in here?”

Lori sat up timidly, blushing slightly as she fixed her tunic. "Uhm, yes we do." She pointed at the stove, hidden in shadow. "Thank you."

Jenny looked over at her, confused. “Are you feeling all right?”

"Yes, yes I am. Thank you for asking." Lori glanced around the room nervously, and asked, "Would you like any help?"

“N-no, I’ll be fine. Get some rest.” Jenny shook her head. She didn’t know the Lorekeeper that well; maybe her behavior wasn’t all that odd.

"Oh, okay. Sorry for being so needy." The Loremaster curled up on the bed, suddenly smaller.

"You’re not -” Jenny stopped herself. No, something was definitely wrong. “Has anyone else been in here since I was out?” she asked warily.

"Just a Polymorphic entity. It was pleasant. I am now free of all those nasty vices. I-Is that okay?"

Jenny froze. “What?”

"Oh, it is right behind you. Hello, Polymorphic entity!" Lori grinned and waved shyly at the beast.

Jenny whipped around. She was greeted by a section of blank cabin wall. “Lori,” she said carefully, “there’s nothing here.”

"Oh, I'm sorry. I must have been mistaken." Lori sagged, and hung her head.

Jenny noticed her shoulders had tensed up. She tried to relax. “What is a polymorphic entity, anyway?” she asked, forcing a casual tone.

Lori perked up a little at the question. "It is a being capable of devouring emotions. Eventually we will die. Isn't that amusing?"

“...No,” Jenny said truthfully. “But… it’s not still here, is it?”

"Oh, it is around somewhere. I do not know its whereabouts, however. I am sorry."

Jenny bit her lip. An invisible, murderous monster in a small, enclosed area. With us. Oh no.

“All right,” she said out loud, her voice wavering much more than she wanted it to. “I’ll go f-find it. You just keep resting. You’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

"I am certain that He sent it. That or his owner." Lori nodded sagely to herself, hands trembling. "It was a wise decision for you to bring me here. The damage will be minimal with only two casualties, compared to the untold numbers that may have awaited us if you had taken me to the Library. Thank you."

Casualties. Lori had resigned herself to death. “No,” Jenny muttered. “You’re going to be fine. You’re going to be fine. Don’t worry.” She crept out of the room into the hallway, raising her voice a little: “If you see it again, yell, okay?”

"Yes, miss Genevieve." Lori grinned at the scout, and began scanning the room actively. "I want to help, if that's okay."

“Just… stay there.” Jenny wiped her forehead, and realized she was sweating. It is right behind you... “Are there any lights in this place?” she asked as loudly as she dared.

"Yes, Miss Genevieve. If you examine the wall beside you, there is a switch. You may flip it, if you desire light."

Jenny opened her mouth to ask how that worked, decided it didn’t matter, and flipped the switch experimentally once or twice. Nothing happened. Lori must be experimenting with some weird new magic that doesn’t work right.

She noticed her heart pounding. Dark room, invisible monster… there were only so many ways this could end. She slid quietly down the dim hallway, floorboards creaking under her feet. Her breath came in short gasps as she edged forward, panic holding her back as morbid curiosity pushed her on...

There was a small thud directly behind her. She whipped around, a shriek tearing itself from her throat. Nothing. Nothing but more empty hallway.

Don’t be so jumpy, she chided herself. Not everything that makes a noise is trying to kill you.

Somehow, this didn’t quite put her mind at ease. She turned back around and stepped forward - her foot caught on something and she tripped. She barely registered the pain of hitting the ground, as another thud came right after her falling. She rolled over, and saw what had been following her. She screamed.

**

“Miss Genevieve?... Miss Genevieve are you conscious?”

Jenny groaned. “Th’ rabbit’ll be cooked soon, don’ worry…”

“Miss Genevieve, the rabbit is still raw. You are also bleeding. Do you require assistance?”

She was still lying on the floor. Lori was standing over her, looking concerned. “No, no, I’ll be fine.” Jenny pushed herself up, looking around. “What happened?”

"You were being eaten. It's gone now. Would you like me to go find it?" Lori pulled her into a sitting position, smiling shyly.

Jenny’s head was pounding. “Eaten? By that… polymorphic thing you were talking about?”

“Yes, miss Genevieve,” Lori bobbed her head. “By the Polymorphic entity that will slowly devour us until we die. It is quite hopeless. We should likely give up.”

“Give up?” Jenny repeated. “What, you think we can’t take it on?” She smiled brightly. “Oh, I know - you’re scared, aren’t you?”

“Considering it has eaten a large amount of my self-confidence, as well as being unable to perform any feats of magic at the current time, yes. I do believe I may be experiencing fear, miss Genevieve.”

“Oh, I’m sure there’s nothing to be afraid of!” Jenny stood, scanning the dimly lit room as best she could. “Come out, polymorphic entity!” she called in a singsong voice. “Come out, I dare you!”

“P-please don’t do that, miss Genevieve.” Lori trembled. “I would prefer to remain alive, worthless as it is.”

“Don’t say that, Lorekeeper,” Jenny said kindly. “I’ll bet when we get that thing to give you your confidence back you’ll feel better.” She raised her voice again. “I’ll fight you right here, right now!”

A crash sounded in the room opposite, and Lori shrank against the wall, eyes wide with fright.

“Oh, come on!” yelled Jenny in exasperation. “You just left me lying there after you attacked me? Why would you even do that?” She dashed into the other room, looking around wildly. “Give me a fair fight, eh? Come out!”

"I already am out, dear," a voice from nearby intoned warmly. "You just can't see me."

A thrill of adrenaline ran through her. “That makes a fair fight pretty difficult, doesn’t it?” she asked, barely masking her excitement. “Want to show yourself, or are you just afraid?”

"I have eaten the fear, now." Lori was no longer whimpering quietly. The entire cabin was silent; Jenny could hear her heart pounding in anticipation.

“So that’s what this is? That’s why I’m not scared of you? Why not just kill us and be done with it?”

"Well, then you would cease to be useful." The voice shifted, becoming more effeminate. "And then why would I care?"

So it was a monster. Jenny grinned. There would be no reason to regret killing it. “That’s Lori’s voice you’re using. Enjoy playing with your food, do you?” she asked casually, still looking for any hint of her adversary’s whereabouts. “I guess we’re lots of fun.”

"Yes," the voice agreed happily. "You are the best meal I've had in years."

Something moved in the corner of her eye. She dove at it, and found herself crashing into the wall. “Stand still,” she growled, ignoring the pounding in her head. “I’m not going to play with you forever!”

"But I don’t want to play!" The voice was panicked now. "I just want to eat!"

“Sorry, can’t help you with that.” Every shadow was catching Jenny’s eye now; she tried to focus on the direction the voice was coming from. “You leave us alone, or I’ll… I’ll… be extremely annoyed with you,” she finished lamely.

"Oooh, can I eat that too, please?" The voice was over by the closet, muffled by a ratty old cloak.

“Wha- no!” Jenny started moving toward the closet as quietly as she could manage. “Okay, so you don’t want to fight. How about if I make you a deal?”

"Is the deal that I can eat your annoyed?"

“No!” she repeated, before realizing she was annoyed. “Neither my nor the other woman’s emotions are currently on the bargaining table,” she said as evenly as she could.

"Aw." The voice was pouting. "I just wanna eat."

“All right, all right, how about…” Jenny’s mind raced. Maybe she could keep everyone alive. There had to be a way to keep the creature happy without innocent people getting hurt...

She remembered an option. It wasn’t a great option, but… “How about in exchange for our emotions back, I tell you about a place where you can eat however much you want?”

"Aw, but then I'll be hungry." The voice saddened. "Can I keep just one?"

Jenny shook her head. “I’m not telling you anything until I’m sure we’re back to normal. Am I clear?”

The polymorph slid out into the main room, alien and pale. "I could just make you tell me."

Jenny cocked her head. “Really? How?”

"Take enough, you'll be dying." The alien had no mouth, sweat gleaming on its carapace.

“You forget, you took my fear first,” said Jenny, laughing and spreading her arms wide. “I couldn’t even fear death if I wanted to. You’re going to have to do better than that.”

"Fine." The polymorph twisted to look at Lori. "I give you her arrogance, and then you give me the location of more food. Then I'll surrender the remainder and leave."

Jenny nodded. “Sounds fair. You first.”

The polymorph shuddered, and slime fell off of it in clumps as it shrank. It's voice became more nasal, and it seemed to smile. "Your turn."

“There’s a goblin village not too far from here, to the west. Plenty of emotions. Plenty of dark corners to hide in.” Jenny’s smile took on a bit of an edge. “I think you’ll like it.”

"I thank you." The polymorph nodded its head, before fleeing the cabin.

Jenny stumbled backward. It felt like something had punched her in the stomach. Heart pounding, shortness of breath -

Breathe, she told herself sternly. You’re okay, you’re alive, Lori’s okay… Lori! She ran into the other room, kneeling next to the other woman’s still body. “Lorekeeper, are you all right?”

"Y-yes, I believe so." Lori looked up at her with wide eyes. "We're alive. That's nice."

“Yes. Yes we are.” Something still seemed off, although Jenny couldn’t put her finger on it. “Are you feeling all right?”

"I... Yes. Thank you for your undeserved attention."

Undeserved? “Lori,” said Jenny slowly, “how good of a mage would you say you are? Not at this moment, I mean in general.”

"Not that good," Lori blushed.

Jenny cursed under her breath. Clearly the monster hadn’t upheld as much of their bargain as she had assumed. “Okay, we’re going to get you back to the library now. And you’re going to tell me what you were doing by yourself in the middle of the forest. Okay?”

“Please!” Lori seemed surprised at her outburst. “I am sorry, that was rude of me. What I mean to say is, please don’t take me to the library yet. It is too dangerous, and He could hear.”

Jenny sighed. This would be even harder if Lori was going to keep tiptoeing around her. “All right, we can stay here for now.” She remembered something, and grinned sheepishly. “And I can finally get that rabbit cooked for you.”

“Oh thank you! That would be delicious.” Lori beamed, then added, smile becoming nervous. “If it is not too much trouble.”

“Of course it’s not,” Jenny reassured her. She left Lori alone to get the food she had dropped in the other room.

She paused on her way, glancing at her hands. They were shaking. She was… angry, she realized. Angrier than she could remember being for a long time. And the worst part was, she didn’t know exactly why.

I guess we’ll both have to live with strange emotions for a while, she thought grimly, setting up the stove.
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JackAlsworth
 
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: Western Washington State

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:04 pm

Mid-round update: Santa Claus is comin' ta a floatin'castleintheskythat'sinhabitedbythingsthatwanttoeatallofus

So, for christmas, I'm gifting every player character one potion. This potion acts as one of three things.

  • An insta-heal potion. It effectively gives you the ability to heal all wounds, and restore the character to full health
  • Call another character to you (with the given that the writer of said character is cool with being called to do whatever)
  • One (1) Molotov cocktail.

Enjoy! :D
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eli_gone_crazy
 
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:59 pm

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Victin on Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:24 pm

Image

Quest 55: Feed the Ducks (Tuppence a Bag)

The warrior turned and stared at the street, which stretched itself deep inside the city. The avenue, and the smaller streets which crossed with it, were part of the commercial district of Cattletown. But if Morionem had not known beforehand he’d have questioned whomever had told him that. After the earthquakes, many of the street’s shops which extended outside their buildings had crashed down, and too had the smaller stores in the outskirts of the district. Despite the damage, many of the salesmen worked on the still standing stores, attempting to gain their wage for the day and be able to rebuild - a third time - their establishments.

But the consumers, on the other hand, weren’t so eager to go on a shopping spree. Asides from the goods necessary for living barely anything else was being bought. The warrior sighed, but kept his search for someone who would buy his magical seeds. “On the other hand I could look for someone who can tell me how much these are worth. A magic bean is worth a cow, so these magic seeds should be worth at least what a calf is in gol-Aaaaahhh!”

He lunged to the side to avoid stepping on a duck, while the bird ignored his existence and kept walking and quacking cheerfully. Morionem passed his left hand on the pouch he stored the seeds to make sure they were still there. For better or for worse, better watch out for these ducks. Who knows what the hell ducks eat? Come to think of it… Where the hell did all these ducks come from? He glaced around, peering into the countless amount of ducks which filled the avenue. Their numbers surpassed by many the amount of people currently on the road, and far in the distance a flock of them flew as a raging maelstrom, surrounded by running people who trying to bypass them.

Wondering if this wasn’t some kind of public calamity, Morionem entered a store in which a man quickly stormed off the store, while expeling out some birds himself. Although he hadn’t hit any of the birds they still flew away from him, to avoid such fate. Morionem thought there wouldn’t be many ducks inside, but a quick peek into the impressively large market showed him there still were many ducks inside, alongside a few consumers.

He wandered inside looking for any seeds that might be sold here. He assumed checking the price for normal seeds could give as much insight as anything else. That was when Morionem noticed he had to avoid stepping on another duck, but he forgot he wasn’t on the empty street anymore and bumped into another person. “Sorry! I’m terribly sorry mis-Uh… Kiddo.”

~~~~

Tamar hadn’t meant to get messed up in anything, of course, but as was often the case with Tamar, he ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that was how he met Morionem. Or rather, how he happened to leap for shelter in the exact same store the aforementioned boy had been browsing when the duck-apocalypse had struck.

It had started out a fairly normal day. The city after all had seen far worse than a plague of ducks in its time. The creatures must have been frightened out of the parks by the earthquake days earlier and now they had filtered through into the main city, just as chickens and, occasionally, the cows did.

Tamar paused for a moment before digging in his pack and throwing a few leftover crumbs of Eliziya’s sweet rolls towards one of them. The duck pecked at them for a moment, quacked, and turned away, as if snubbing the offer.

"Huh, you don’t like that?" Tamar frowned.

"Quack."

"Trust me, its good stuff."

"Quack, quack.'

"...Homemade and everything... well, not by me. I can’t cook for love nor... I’m talking to a duck," Tamar shook his head at his own inanity. He left the duck and rounded the corner into the main square, already expecting quite a sight. Judging by the huge numbers of ducks he had already seen in the streets.

Indeed, the main square was having much the same problem as everywhere else was. There were ducks everywhere.

~~~~

Funny... the more Tamar looked at them, the stranger their behaviour had seemed, and it was when he noticed a bundle of them attempting to assault a cat (which leapt away into the relative safety of the rooftops) that he realised something was very, very wrong with those ducks.

Namely they seemed to have developed a vested interest in eating everything in sight.

They had begun tearing apart signs and display boards in the market stalls outside. A meat merchant selling dried fish and pork in the street had been overrun by the creatures that were now descending upon his cart in a feeding frenzy. A small child ran past with her mother, in a fit of tears, her fingers bleeding. Apparently she had attempted to feed the ducks and they had decided she would be a better appetiser than the bread crumbs she had offered.

"What in the name of..." Tamar started to say, then he leapt away as the ducks scattered through the streets. Their eyes red and beady in the morning light, their quacking coming together into a loud, disturbing chorus.

"...Okaaaay...meat eating ducks," Tamar muttered to himself watching the nearest of the malevolent eyed little creatures snapping its beak. 'Um... right, what’s the last thing I read on ornithology which wasn’t an instruction manual on how to skin and cook them?"

The ducks didn’t seem to appreciate this insinuation, assuming they understood what he was talking about, because one of them latched onto his ankle hard enough for Tamar to feel it through the leather of his boot. He staggered backward. In truth, Tamar had absolutely no idea what the base diet of your average water fowl was, but he was pretty certain it was not leather boot soul... or the flesh beneath the leather.

"Ow... ow! Hey!"

He didn’t really want to hurt the thing, but he saw no other choice than to shake his foot violently until the creature let go. It skidded across the cobblestone, then staggered back to its webbed feet, flapping it’s large, strangely moth eaten wings. Tamar lurched backwards in horror as he got a good look at the thing for the first time.

A normal duck it most certainly was not. Sure, it was still a duck... mostly anyway. But its beady eyes bad been replaced by a mess of writhing, wormlike appendages, which burst from its feathers and beak like a rotting corpse. Tamar hadn’t seen anything so grotesque since ...well, he had been in the underground and there’d been an insane vermin worshipper involved, put it like that.

The duck quacked loudly, and it sounded all wrong. Like somebody had slowed its words down and mixed it up with human screams. It was a duck, yes, but a duck which had quite possibly emerged from the deepest of the seven hells.

It was about this moment that Tamar took the hint from everyone else and ran, however stupid doing so made him feel.

~~~~

Tamar slammed the door behind him as the streets around him were festooned with violent quacking and screaming. He wasn’t the only one doing so. He had ushered in a number of people in front of him, all of whom seemed very disturbed by the onslaught of violent waterfowl to their fair city. A couple of them were even bleeding, though saints only knew how the ducks had managed to bite people on the face and upper arms.

‘Um... I okay,’ Tamar said, doing his best to sound bigger and taller than he was, channelling his inner-Hector for all he was worth. ‘Um... I-I reckon it’ll be safe in here, everyone. Just... stay calm and erm... keep your eyes open for ducks?’

‘...Out of the walls, man,’ a drunk looking man was mumbling frantically as he stared out of the windows. ‘T-they’re coming outta the goddamn walls!’

Tamar suppressed a sigh. ‘No, sir, I don’t think they are, they’re just panicked because of... of something, I don’t know, but trust me, they’re just ducks.’

‘Just ducks my last bloody copper!’ another woman whined hysterically. ‘The things just tried to bite my fingers off!’ Then she flailed madly, as one of the ducks that had already been in the store climbed out from under the counter. ‘They’re already in here, oh lords!’

‘M’lady, please calm down, I’m pretty sure that’s just one of the normal ducks,’ Tamar muttered.

‘The name of the saints is this about?’ someone called. Tamar looked up to see a burly, bewildered looking shop keeper who didn’t appreciate this invasion of his property. ‘So help me, boy, if you’ve brought a flippin’ bar fight to my establishment...’
‘Uh... n-no, sir, I promise there’s no fight there were just...’ Tamar trailed off. What exactly was he supposed to say? We’re hiding in your store because there’s a bunch of carnivorous ducks outside trying to eat people? Tamar had no idea what he was going to say to Zi when he got back. He really wasn’t certain she’d believe this, and Zi had a crazy magical being living inside her head. ‘Uh... sorry, but erm, Severed Storm needs to... to borrow your store, sir. For... um... protection of civilians?’
‘Oh yeah? Protection from what, lad?’ The shopkeeper said, with that strange smirk people often gave Tamar. The smirk that said “aww, cute, he’s playing at being a grown up guild member”.

Tamar had pretty much steeled himself against that look by now, though. He looked around at the store, full of bewildered seeming customers. ‘Uh... not exactly there wouldn’t happen to be another mage or anything in here, would there? Or a guild member?’

There was no answer.

‘Oh come on, ANYBODY from a guild? Affiliates, or somet-?’

“Sorry! I’m terribly sorry mis-Uh… Kiddo.”

Tamar winced as somebody collided with his back, after narrowly avoiding stepping on one of the many, seemingly harmless ducks around their feet. ”Damn it, what is it with everyone I meet crashing into me?” “Uh... thats fine, mister...’ he stared at the kid for a moment, without actually recognizing him. “I take it you’re not a guild member either, are you?” Tamar was coming to the conclusion he was the only guild member actually in the store right now.

“Uh… No, I’m not.” He replied speaking each syllable slowly, confused at the seemingly out of nowhere question. Staring down the kid, Morionem wondered if he was a guildmember himself, only to have the train of thought derailed as he noticed the shining - at least for Morionem - magic of the sword on his hilt, linked to the magic inside the boy himself. He knelt suddenly, both the warrior’s and the boy’s eye standing on the same level. Even then, Morionem had his attention fixed at the sword. “Is this a magical sword?” He asked, eyes shining with hope. “Can I touch it?”

Tamar’s immediate instinct was to back off. He was aware of pretty much everyone in the room staring at them. “Um... no, no it’s not magic sword. It’s just got... lots of echos in it.”

The shine of the warrior’s eye vanished, but his hope did not. “Are you sure? It looks magical for me.”

“I’m... pretty sure. Look, um... eveyrone might want to stay out of the streets, there’s... there’s a lot of ducks out there and...” he paused, clearly thinking before lifting a compass rose pendant from his neck. “Look, I’m acting on behalf of Severed Storm! Everyone here needs to stay calm and not panic about... about the carnivorous ducks mixed in with the regular ones out there, I’m sure the Loremasters have been alerted and-”

“The heck is he talking about?” One of the store patrons muttered. “Carnivorous Ducks? Has somebody been letting this kid into the drinking parlours underaged?”

There was a muttering. “He’s got a guild sign,” somebody muttered, as if trying to reassure themselves.

“Say what ducks?” Morionem replied confused, just after remembering he should stand up again. “Aren’t ducks…” He paused for a few seconds, as if trying to remember something. ”Omnivore?”

“Um... I dunno, herbivore, maybe, but whatever they are,” he lifted one foot up, “these ones have a taste for leather and flesh.”

“They’re coming out of the walls!” the slightly hysterical drunken man from before continued to moan. Everyone ignored him, save for Morionem who readied his hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to attack anything that could come out of the walls.

Tamar sighed impatiently. “There’s nothing coming out of the walls, Mortimer,” he called reassuringly, then looked back at Morionem. “Um... I’m Tamar, by the way. Severed Storm. Used to be Storm and Drive and Severed Claw, and then things got confusing for a while.”

The warrior’s eyes darted back to the kid, and then the corner of his mouth smirked. “And I am Morionem. Nice to meet you.” He moved closer to the kid to shake his hand… Or to stroke his hair, he wasn’t quite sure how old was the boy.

“Right, erm... okay, so about-”

Anything Tamar was about to say was interrupted by a loud, and rather ominous tapping sound. Tamar (almost with pretty much everyone else who had been ushered into the store along with him) flinched and stepped away from the window.

There was a duck on the other side of the glass. Or at least it looked as if it had been a duck, at some point, and was still mostly one now except for all the things which really mattered. It quacked loudly and tapped the glass hard with it’s beak.

"...I swear to god, this is the act of the devils," the shopkeeper murmured, lowering his broom, his jaw dropping in shock.

"Um, well I’m not sure if it’s devils," Tamar muttered, watching in a combination of disbelief and horror as the ducks swarmed the streets. "...Bad magic maybe, but since when did devils have a vested interest in du—"

"Kid, I don’t give a damn in the seven hells what they are, demons, devils, whatever, they don’t belong in this city!" the shop keeper snapped. “The heck is going on? You’re a guild member, or whatever you are!” the man snapped. “Do something about this!”

As everyone else moved away from the window, Morionem moved closer to take a good look at the duck. The animal, on the other hand, was tapping the glass fiercely, its sharp teeth visible as it growled. “Whoa, this duck has sharp teeth.” The warrior said with his hand still on the sword hilt. Looking more closely at the bird, he noticed some worms digging through the skin of its left wing, dirting the cream-yellow feathers with putrid blood. The shopkeeper looked dazed at the young man’s reaction to the beast.

“H-hey, don’t go near those!” Tamar reached out a hand to pull his new acquaintance (who clearly had the self preservation instincts of ... well, of your average member of Severed Storm, really) away from thre glass. He really didn’t seem at all worried about the fact that a duck with incredibly sharp teeth attempting to break through the window.

At least, not until the duck actually succeeded. A series of thick cracks began splitting outwards from the duck’s beak, spreading across the surface of the window like a spiders web. Tamar gulped. “Uhoh...”

Then, amidst the sound of breaking glass, slashing iron and very loud quacking, the bird broke inside, barely dodging a swing by the warrior. The attack severed part of his left wing, but the bird’s bloodlust kept him moving. It lunged towards the man’s heel and made it bleed with a single bite. “Damn you little…!” Morionem kicked the air trying to make the duck let his foot go, as the boy - ”His name was Thomas or something, right?” - pulled him away from the window.

The warrior let a surge of curative energy flow into his foot to lessen the pain, but that was all he could do until the duck stopped biting his ankle. To turn that into reality, Morionem tried to kick the bird (using the same leg it was biting) while trying to stab it. “Stop! Moving! Damnit!” The people around the store started fleeing for their own safety, some accidentally running deeper into the shop, others straight outside.

There was a hissing sound, clowsely followed by a rush of hot air... then Tamar hesitated “Can’t use fire in here,” you’ll burn the place down, and if you use ice you’ll just freeze his leg off,” he thought. So instead, he went for the duck with the blade itself. There was an ugly sound as he brought the blade down, severing the creature from Morionem’s leg, and from... most of it’s body. The rest of the store reacted with the appropriate level of disgust at having a demonic duck decapitated in the store.

“Oh, ew, that ‘s disgusting,” Tamar grumbled.

“I hope somebody's clearing that up,” the shop keeper muttered. Given that he had been living in the Floating Castle all this time, this perhaps wasn’t as major a concern for him as it might have been anywhere else.

“Thank you.” Said Morionem as he knelt down to take the bird’s head away from his foot. ”Those were some strong teeth.” He thought as he slowly removed the same teeth from his skin. The blood which flowed out from the bite marks quickly stopped, and the warrior sighed, relieved. “Was that it?” He stood up again, and noticed the people around were looking weird at him. “Uh… Did I do anything wrong?”

“Uh...” if it were possible, Tamar’s face had just gotten whiter than it already had been. “Did... did you see what that thing was trying to do to you?” A dull grey, tinted dark red, worm and snake-like creature crawled out of the duck’s head, around Morionem’s arm and was biting, albeit very weakly when compared to the bird, the flesh.

“Aaaahhhhhwhat!?” He yelled, as he swung his arm twice, throwing the worm away. The gruesome critter hissed and trailed its way out of the store, its long, slender body moving swiftly, leaving scarce blots of blood that rapidly dried behind. “What the hell was that!?” Morionem yelled again, confused. He could feel the adrenalin spike in his veins keeping him alert. ”What… What was that trying to do!? Whatever… Whatever it was that was a close one.”

“Don’t touch them!” Tamar yelled, abruptly serious, his eyes wide. Contrary to Thomas’ advice, Morionem rushed out of the store and stood shocked at the sight his eyes saw. The worm promptly pounced at a duck, as if it were a viper, gnawing forcefully at its neck. A single bite was enough to rip the bird’s flesh. As the red liquid dripped from the wound, the worm became… Worms, almost ethereal, a miniature flock of vermin which entered the bird’s body through the lesion as if they were being sucked inside.

The duck’s limbs twisted and convulsed, and the lesion closed, leaving exposed the worms which crawled in and out the body. The bird turned towards Morionem and lashed out a daunting growl. The other ducks around, which were already distressed at the predator, panicked all at once, confused and stormed in a convoluted living maelstrom.

Tamar was having a hard time believing any of this was actually happening. No way in hell would Eliziya believe him when he got back home and told her about the onslaught of carnivorous possessed ducks in town. He swung Echo, trying to force them away but the possessed creatures seemed to have as much awareness of their own mortality as Morionem did. The other patrons of the store had backed off with a panic but Morionem was still besides him, clearly attempting to fight the creatures off.

“Aaahdahhhhhyuuuuu!” Was the best curse the warrior could yell at the birds while screaming for his life at the same time. Normally he’d his magic to ward himself, but despite his many tries he felt empty and tired deep inside. “Crap, I must’ve spent most of what I have with the spell to protect the city. I don’t think I have enough power to shock them away, better stick to healing then.” Morionem danced, or better yet, shook his limbs around the best he could while being hit by the storm of birds. He could swing his sword, but not reach his shield or move around. Under the deafening quacks, as loud as a thunder at this point, Morionem could hear a different one, which almost creeped into his soul, and each time it roared the storm got worse and worse.

Each step the warrior did with his wounded foot proved him how weak was his magic right now. Each one sent chilling pain through his leg, and too much strain would eventually make him unable to walk properly, he figured. He needed either help or a quick source of magic to fend off all these birds.

"That's right!" An idea snapped inside Morionem's head. Using his free hand, he took hold of the pouch tied to the side of his backpack, and, carefully tried to open it. Despite his efforts, the chaos around him alongside the fact he was still holding a sword turned that into a complicated task to perform without spilling the seeds.

Crouching, he finally managed to open the sack. He took out a single seed using his fingers as pincers, and then closed the pouch right away. Now, with a seed, a pouch and a sword on his hands, he stopped to think his next action.

"Okay… Now how do these work?" He stared bluntly at the grain which shaked in the same rhythm as him because of the mayhem. "Maybe if I think really hard about it?" The warrior stared blankly at he unresponsive seed. "Go seed! Go seed! Gooooo!

~~~~

Tamar wasn’t sure exactly what had happened in the chaos. all he knew was that one moment Morionem had been besides him, and the next they were being trampled by ducks.

The fact was, Tamar thought as he struggled, most of them were actually pretty normal duck. They were simply panicked and running around like headless... well, ducks, as they tried to figure out exactly how their lives had gotten so scary and complicated in such a short space of time. Tamar actually felt sorry for them as he slashed Echo madly into the air in an attempt to seek out their evil counterparts (Saints damn it, evil ducks, no way was Anji going to believe this).

Then there was an almost imperceptible creaking. Like the noise of a tree in the wind. Like roots sprouting under the ground. The duck directly in front of Tamar – which did indeed turn out to be a demonic one – was knocked aside by a suddenly appearing vine, spiked with thorns, that wrapped itself around the creature and crushed it.

Tamar glanced around in the suddenly receding panic to see Morionem, standing hunched over, with a small pouch in his hands, the vines trailing around him through the floorboards.

“Oh bloody hell, enough with the sorry already!” the frantic shop keeper yelled. Tamar ignored him, as well as the other civilians who had now gathered in a huddle to the back of the store, seeming disturbed. “...Morionem? Y-you alright? What the... how did you... where...” Tamar trailed off shaking his head. “Where did THAT come from?”

The vines trailed on the wooden floor, and whipped the air like a wild animal, searching for more things to grab onto. At least four ducks were grabbed asides from the monstrous one, and they now yelped in pain as the thorns pierced them. "See? I said these seeds were magical!" A small pause by Morionem was unheard, while the vines still wriggled around and the ducks yelped. “Wait, I think none of you are the innkeeper, or are you?” He stared back at the people who looked at him, who were Thomas and the shopkeeper. Closer to the boy, the demon duck was still being crushed by the vine, which hold tight its beak after it tried to eat its way into freedom. Its terrifying growlings were muffled, but still noticeable.

...Tamar looked at Morionem and shook his head/ Alright, so it was entirely possible that this guy was a few arrows short of a full quiver, but all the same, an idea was forming in Tamar’s head. The vines, while incredibly violet towards the ducks, did not appear to be much of a threat to people. They were too small for that... yet they seemed... intelligent, aware to a degree, of what was going on so…

Tamar had his doubts about trusting any kind of wild magic he didn’t personally create himself (or that Eliziya wasn’t around to help him deal with) but right now there seemed to be little choice. Tamar turned to the window, drawing his sword from its sheath with a hiss. Stay back,” he said, turning the sword blade down, kneeling, and stabbing it into the surface of the wooden floor boards.

A thin blue sheen spread across the ground in front of him, thickening and growing as it spread up the window frame ad across the walls. The air chilled as the ice covered the fresh hole in the glass, spreading further and thicker until it had created a solid ice wall where the window used to be, - “I said it was a magical sword!” - keeping out any and all ducks that might try to get in. Tamar got slowly to ho his feet, trying not to stagger. ”Ow. That was a lot more than I should’ve used right now... stupid Kraken killing tower.”

“There,” he gasped, turning to the rest of the room. Now everyone, stay in were. Don’t come out until it’s safe! Stay away from any vines, and stay away from the ducks. Does everyone understand?”

There was a murmur of agreement. “Safe from what?” somebody snapped. “The apocalypse of ducks?"

“Well, no probably not, look most of those ducks are perfectly normal,” Tamar glanced at Morionem. “It’s just a question of figuring out which ones are dangerous. Can you keep up that trick with the seeds? We need to deal with this before it gets out of hand.”

Smiling, Morionem nodded in agreement. “I guess so. If we can’t gather them all in the same spot it’ll be much easier, though.” He glanced at the possessed bird still tyring to escape it’s thorny prison. “I think it’d be safer to just freeze that one over here first. If we kill it, it’ll just possess another duck.”

“Uh... right. Sure,” Tamar winced a bit. It felt kind of mean, to just freeze the thing, but the vines wouldn’t hold it forever, and even if they did, they would probably have just traded one problem for another. he walked over to the creatures and tapped the blade of cho against the vies. The whole thing froze over with a hissing burst of ice, the air chilling around it. “Okay,” Tamar said, nodding at the shopkeeper and turning to Morionem, who looked utterly unaffected by this whole duck-freezing incident.

“Let’s go, then. Also,” he said, turning to the door and gesturing to Morionem to follow him. “Not a magic sword.”

~~~~

It wasn’t that hard to find the other unholy ducks, Tamar and Morionem had only to follow the panicked yells of common people and ducks alike. The hard part came when they noticed the yells didn’t come all from the same spot. “So...” The syllable was pronounced for a long moment. “Who’s going to be the bait?”

Tamar hesitated. “Um, well, you’re the one with the seeds, so... me... I guess?” Possibly not the most sensible thing he’d ever volunteered to do.

“You don’t need to if you are afraid to.” Morionem replied sporting a comforting smile.

Tamar did his level best not to bristle indignantly in response. He had a tendency to freeze the hairs on his neck accidentally when he did that these days, in much the same way Eliziya had an uncomfortable tendency to set her hair on fire whenever she got annoyed. “Hey, it’s fine, I can handle it,” he muttered. “How bad can it be? it’s just a bunch of ducks.”

Still he found himself taking a deep breath as they approached the horde. Of all the things he had expected to do today, facing down a bunch of abominable waterfowl had most certainly not been on on the list.

Tamar figured, as he stepped out in front of the ducks, Echo drawn, and aimed a magical burst at the nearest of them, that this would be something he looked back later and laughed. “Hey, ducks! Over here! Look! Moving target with really tasty leather shoes here!”

Yes, Tamar thought, as he was abruptly fixed in the glare of a couple dozen beady red eyes, ducks definitely had a taste for leather. They went for him like starving gannets descending on a fish, but before they could taste their prey, vines bursted from the ground beneath them, entangling many instantly. Their quacks quickly turned from “hunger” to “anger”, and more vines sprouted and wrapped themselves around them. Given the large amount of targets on a single spot, the result was a large ball of thorns and feathers, which shaked as the encaged birds reluctantly tried to escape. “Do the icy thing!” Yelled the warrior.

Tamar took the hint. He drew Echo, through the angriest thought he could, and slammed the blade into the ground so hard that the world around him seemed to shake. The patterns and symbols he had garnered from Asha’s memories traced icy blue patterns in the ground as they spread outwards, catching the ducks with their icy fingers and swallowing them up with clouds of ice cold.

Amazingly enough, it seemed to be working. Echo was quaking in his hand, and Tamar knew that was bad news. Lately he’d been getting information through Echo that his body didn’t realise until a few seconds later. He wasn’t sure if that was Asha’s influence, or some other Evoker-type development, but it hardly mattered at this point in time. He kept swinging trying to focus on wherever Morionem was, using quick, small blasts of ice sent directly through the ground and into the target.

Morionem watched as the orb of frost shaped itself in front of him. As he walked closer to the massive sphere, he could feel the air quickly becoming more gelid. The warrior knocked on the surface of the massive ice crystal, and gazed inside at the ducks which still twitched their limbs. To the side, now away from both Thomas and himself, he noticed a duo of escaped critters with tiny frostbitten legs, growling their horror-inducing song. “So, let’s go to the next ones?” He stared at the kid, and now noticed the boy should start to feel tired after this powerful spell.

“R-right,” Tamar pulled himself together. As impressive as it was, maybe the spread burst had not been the best choice of attacks for magical energy conservation. He got to his feet, shaking. “Okay... um... this time I use SMALLER ice blasts, that was way overkill.”

“You better. Don’t try too hard, not only we need you to keep going you also might end up harming yourself that way.” The older man tried to give his best supportive smile at the boy. “And if you harm yourself then I’ll have to take care of both you and the ducks all without magic. We need to stay strong to help the city!” Although he tried his best, he was almost sure he missed his point, as he wasn’t even sure what his point was.

And so the next hour or so continued.

Tamar knew he didn’t have much power left – Echo was incessantly reminding him whenever Morionem didn’t– but it didn’t take much to send out quick, small bursts of ice energy into the ground, letting the magic drift naturally towards its target, almost as if it had a mind of its own. It was Morionem who would finish them off, he was the only one who still had the power to do so, mage or otherwise, so Tamar left it to him. Pick your battles something told him, as he challenged the creatures that managed to avoid Morionem’s attacks.

Ducks were quite literally freezing where they stood in the street. A couple of them were knocked over and smashed to pieces by frantic passersby, or by the continually growing vines of Morionem’s magic.

It worked. It was a strange and confusing mess, but somehow it worked. It was easy to predict Morionem, to figure out what he was doing. Strange as he was, he seemed to knew his way around a fight in much the same way, say, Hector or Anjali did: he’d just figured it out over time, without teaching. He was clumsy in a way that reminded Tamar of himself roughly six months ago, and he had to smile as Morionem staggered away from the ducks, throwing seeds over his shoulder.

“Okay… So that was the fifth? Maybe sixth ones?”

“Seventh,” Tamar grumbled, and... yep... he was officially out of decent magic now. “I counted. I might manage a couple more icicles, Morionem, tell me we’re nearly done?”

“I… I think so. Or certainly I hope so.” He told himself. The truth was that walking around, fighting hordes of animals - and that poor confused drunk - with a hurt ankle had wore energy of more than he thought it would. Surely he could keep going - or so Morionem told himself - but his foot on the other hand could not, and walking was the second most important step of fighting ducks.

The first most important step was not to get bitten by them. That was more important than Morionem had the words for.
So they kepty going, avoiding bites, swallowing ducks up with more vines and less ice as the hour went on. People had begun to atch on to the creatures behaviour now and were simply trying to stay out of the streets.
And then, what seemed quite suddenly, there were no more ducks.

Well, no more evil possessed ones anyway. There were a few terrified and perfectly normal ones hiding underneath benches and stools with no idea what on earth was going on.

Tamar staggered to sit on the nearest object he could find, which just so happened to be the rim of a fountain he had just accidentally frozen hlf the surface of, feeling the last threads of magic fading. That was it for a while, it seemed. If there was one major problem with his magic, then it was its tendency to cut out at the worst moment. He looked around for Morionem, smiling sheepishly. “W-well... that was... weird. What do you suppose are the odds of anybody believing this happen... You alright?”

The warrior sat down besides Thomas, and caught his breath. “Yeah…” He took the pounch to his hand and started counting how many seeds are left. ” Well, with giant balls of ice and ducks laying around I guess someone ought to believe it. We should at least try to warn the Guard or something to take care of them before they melt.” Ten seeds, he counted in his fingers. His dream profit had just halted, but for a greater good. ”Gotta find another way to pay for the inn then…” Glancing back at the boy, Morionem stared at him from head to toes. “What about you? Feeling okay?” The magic on his sword was merely a spark right now, fighting to stay up and burning.

Tamar paused for a second before making a decision. “You did something to your foot. It’s just... my girlfriend Zi knows her way around a healing poultice,” Tamar smiled shakily, standing and holding out a hand. “Amongst other things. Come on. You ever met anyone in Severed Storm? Trust me, we’re not all incredibly scary.”

“Not personally, no. The closest I got from meeting a guild integrant were… The guildmaster from Phantom Thieves Anonymous and the guildmaster of Heroes Unlimited.” As soon as he finished saying that sentence, Morionem realized he had never noticed he had met two guildmasters and how unbelievable that sounded. He blinked his surprise at himself away and resumed talking, putting the seeds back into the pouch one by one. “Well, I can heal myself, but I’m kind of out of energy at the moment.”

“Oh, good. Then you and her can compare notes too,” Tamar said, with the kind of tone that suggested he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. He still had his hand outstretched for the handshake he hadn’t accepted earlier.

Morionem looked back at him and grinned. “Okay, okay then...” He went for the handshake they couldn’t do before. “But only if you tell me how did you make your sword magical.”

Tamar resisted the urge to sigh. “It’s not a magic sw... tell you what, why don’t I explain on the way back?”

The young man’s eyes shone with glee. “Thanks!” He went for a hug.

Unfortunately he wasn’t to know that Tamar reacted as he reacted to pretty much anyone attempt at physical contact and as the boy jolted backwards,they fell into the fountain. Which was still fairly cold.

Tamar was not all that sure what he had just gotten himself into, but he had a feeling this wasn’t going to be the last time.
Dolphins are some of the smartest animals, yes, but by human standards… Let's say you should praise the god that forces them to stay handless and underwater.
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Victin
 
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:17 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby West Coast on Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:40 pm

Quest #50
IT IS A DECEASED. PARROT.


The air was cool and damp, and the entrance of the crypt showed no outward indications of the tumult within the city. Aram paused briefly at the threshold, and Ben took the opportunity to move past him, brushing aside some errant cobwebs.

‘Be on the lookout for anything,’ Legias had said. What kind of anything would give pause to a trained guard? More to the point, what does it say of me that I’m willing to jump into the first pit that presents itself? Aram’s brow furrowed slightly, marshalling his thoughts. They needed the assistance, and it’s bad enough that the guards are on double shifts. They can’t afford the manpower, so it falls to you. Both of you.

Aram quickened his pace to catch up to Ben, who had continued a ways past him before striking a match. Smiling grimly at the sudden small light that flared, she lit a torch and held it aloft, illuminating their surroundings. The fire’s light caused flickering shadows to cascade over the long rows of hollows in the crypt’s walls, forming a macabre path deeper into the mausoleum’s basement.

There are hundreds of spaces here, possibly thousands! How long has this city been here? And who saw fit to inter them all? Silently, Aram shook his head at the torrent of questions that were opening up to him.

Ben strode confidently forward, glancing about impatiently. Looking at the man who hung back a little behind her, she rolled her eyes. “You coming, Smooth Hands, or should I leave you at the door?”

Sarcasm, wonderful. Aram quietly caught up with Ben, looking away from her at some of the upper walls to conceal a smirk at Ben’s misplaced jibe. Plenty of souls interred here, but no love for the masonry. These shelves probably haven’t been looked at in some time. Cracks along the shelf joints were visible on many of the holes, and the majority of the bodies were skeletons held together with some darkened cloth. Perhaps some sort of ritual? They certainly don’t appear to go in much for religion around these parts.

Ben only gave her surroundings a cursory glance. The bodies that lined the walls were obviously not talking, so they were of no interest to her. If they’d been offering a fight, that would be another matter… But as it was, she was just mildly bored.

Aram felt, rather than heard, the tremors before realizing what they were. Aftershock. Strange that it would happen this late, but we should be safe here, this corridor looks painstakingly carved out –

Looking ahead to where Ben was sauntering away with the torch, Aram’s eyes were drawn to the uppermost shelves. That shelf’s overloaded, or maybe it was just poorly made -- She’s going to walk right underneath it! Shout? She’ll step forward before she turns around, too slow. Hit the shelf? It might not shift, even under my full weight, or else it just falls on me. Damage? It’s probably about twenty stone or so, nothing you want hitting you around the head. Time’s running out! Grab her!

Aram quickly stepped forward to cover the remaining distance between them, and grabbed Ben’s free arm. Behind her, the heavy ceramic shelf cracked in protest of the vibration, spilling out into the corridor, and dumping its former occupants onto the floor along with a mass of shattered pottery and stone.

Ben jerked away instinctively, twisting her arm around to grip him a little too tightly on the wrist. “Don’t touch me,” she hissed. Dropping the man’s hand like it was a hot coal, she focused her eyes forward again, trying to regain her composure. “We can accomplish this mission perfectly well without you manhandling me, Lady Fingers.”

Better that she’s upset with me for invading her personal space than out with a concussion. Or worse. Aram kept his expression even, unslinging his torch. “I’m sorry.” He moved the torch near Ben’s until it too had caught aflame.

The walls of the crypt became slightly more narrow as the path continued, and the initially straight path now became beset with curves, crags and corners, winding deeper into the ground around enormous slabs of darkened rock. Ben and Aram’s footsteps began to echo a bit more loudly, with the occasional clink from the settling shards a ways behind them. As they walked deeper into the more ancient part of the crypt, the shelves became more infrequent, appearing only as partly carved hollows in the rock. Just as the interments were cruder, so too was the tunnel itself: less a worn path and more a cave passage, all sharp corners with the occasional crunch of bone or flakes of slate underfoot.

Aram, still slightly behind Ben, frowned, closing his eyes briefly. The corridor’s getting cleaner, if anything -- how are our footsteps making that much noise? Unless…

“Ben?” Aram kept his voice low, to avoid muddying the sound further. “Hold up for a moment.”

Ben stopped walking, impatience in every aspect of her stance. “Problem?” she asked, irritably.
Upon seeing Aram’s eyes closed, a single finger to his lips, she rolled her eyes exaggeratedly, but nodded and straightened, standing silently.

Gradually the pair’s echoes of footsteps grew quieter, to be replaced by a new, more unnatural noise: ephemeral whispers, punctuated with an odd clattering and clanking and thumping.

Voices. Who could possibly be down here? This passage is old, but no-one save for the two of us has been going into it. Thumping, something -- or a lot of somethings -- are hitting the floor. Need to get closer to get a better idea. And… clinking? Scraping? Something dragging together, maybe, but that also doesn’t make sense. More questions. Aram opened his eyes and raised an eyebrow expectantly at Ben.

“That’s what we came for,” Ben murmured. “Looks like you’re good for something. They’re coming from below-- we should press on.”

Moving further into to depths of the earth, the voices began to coalesce into distinct people, although it was still a far cry from conversation.

“Enough with the lightning thing already! It’s ugly, it’s almost certainly uncomfortable, and it is never going to help you reunite with your lord. Don’t you get it? If you’ve been needing the magic to keep you going all this time, how can you possibly think he’s not dead? Or did he go off with his own lightning mage to restart his heart every eighty years, because, odd, I don’t remember it that way.” The voice was thin, but sharp and indignant.

“Needed.” Again, the rumbling and scraping noise reared its head, accompanied by a muffled baritone.

“Nothing about this whole charade is necessary, least of all your ongoing transformation into a mummer’s farce! Yet we persist in crawling through every untold nook and crevice that you manage to trip your fumbling selves over. And for what? You’ve been going around in circles more than half the time!”

“Mission.” A new voice, whispery as a cobweb.

“Absolute balderdash. The quest is OVER. You were swallowed alive. There! That’s the end of it! Take a nap!”

“Arthur.” A third voice joined the two, a rumbling bass that only barely made it into a human register.

“Arthur is dead! Nobody lives for thousands of years except for you, because you are CRAZY! Arthur does not want you to keep with the lightning thing and keep dragging your sorry corpses through this crypt until the end of time, because he is not alive. He’s passed on. Shuffled off this mortal coil. HE IS AN EX-KING.”

The words reverberated against the walls, bouncing into incomprehensibility as they reached Ben’s and Aram’s ears. There was a hurried clatter as the pair stepped forward from the last bend. Ben slipped her torch into a bracket in the wall, illuminating an odd trio in its flickering light.

The frontmost individual was a dour-looking mountain of a man, peering at them from a scratched and dented helmet, and clutching an oversized tower shield to his side. Behind him, a wizened crone squinted suspiciously at Ben before seeing Aram, and hoarsely whispering “Men! Kneel!” before lowering her crossbow and sinking to one knee. Finally at the back, a shambling colossus of patchwork armour tottered steadily towards the first two, before shuddering to a stop and bowing. The shield bearer looked back at his brethren before following suit and sinking to one knee, keeping his free hand at the top of his shield.

“My lord Arthur!” cried the oddest of the three, his conflicting armours clanking. “And his lady Millena! We are at your service, my lord! Here to help you defeat this place at last!”

The torchlight flickered, illuminating Ben and Aram, and the man looked up at them at last, his eyes narrowing as he saw their faces. “You are not my King,” he hissed, standing in one fluid-- if loud-- motion. “Kill the imposters!”

Aram relaxed his shoulders. It’s like one of my tutor’s scenarios. Before you begin the exercise, determine what you know about your opponents. Let’s have a look.

Hammer man. Using an oversize shield -- that thing is almost as tall as I am. The hammer is going to give him fairly good reach over the top and around the side, so there’s no use in attempting to tangle with him from the front. His armour is in poor repair, but is mostly solid -- I won’t be able to break through unless I’m really lucky.

Woman with a crossbow. She’s seen better days. Her armour is mostly scraps, just a buckler for shoving off anyone who gets too close. That crossbow is ancient, I haven’t seen designs like that since the academy! The bolt action is worn, too -- it hasn’t been replaced in a long time. She might need more time than normal to wind it up, and it won’t stay wound otherwise -- if I can get behind or around the hammer, I can take advantage of that.

Armour golem. Is there even a real person inside of there? That staff looks like it’s more for balance than for any practical use. He shouldn’t be able to see very well, if I get the jump on him, I may even be able to off-balance him.
Aram’s eyes flicked to the stony walls. Perhaps even a literal jump.

Ben eyed the trio, and went for the one on the right-- a mountain of a man, with sunken-in eyes, holding a hammer that was bigger than her head. If their enemies were given the time to choose their own opponents, she had little doubt that the fellow would snap her partner in two with no effort.

She ducked under the man’s first wild swing, pulling her sword into an attack position well inside the range of his arms. On the down side, he could probably crush her fairly easily with sheer brute strength, but on the positive end, he couldn’t use his weapon without twisting his arm into a very uncomfortable position.

Before the man had fully adjusted to Ben’s new proximity, she leapt under his arm again, skipping back further into the cave as she switched her sword for the recurved bow; she wasn’t particularly fond of fights in which she got crushed to death.

Aram took advantage of the hammer wielder’s lack of attention and bounded off the wall to interpose himself between the two remaining adversaries, just as the woman with the crossbow was beginning to pull the business end of the contraption away from the cavern floor. Bolt’s rusted, catch isn’t set properly -- I really hope this works. Aram whipped his rapier forward to strike at the crossbow’s bolt, catching it between the bottom of the chamber and the piston.
“No, you don’t!” he cried, as the mechanism, rusted from years of abuse, snapped the bolt up to the ceiling of the chasm.

That’s one, where’s the-- Aram turned his head directly into a blow from the colossus’ staff.

Blinking away spots, he jumped at the second assailant as high as he could, landing somewhere near the mid-section of the giant.

“Oh not aga--” a grumpy reply burbled forth as Aram and the collection of mismatched metals, leathers, and ceramics fell back towards the floor.

Ben nocked an arrow in the tight recurve’s string with relative ease as her giant turned his head toward the clatter Aram was causing. Can’t the fumble-fingered fool do anything quietly? she wondered, wishing she could put a hand to her aching head.

A brightly-coloured bird, hitherto unnoticed simply because, relatively speaking, it was the least-unusual-looking occupant of the cavern, hovered by the giant man’s shoulder, and, at this point in time, opened its beak. The two explorers were only mildly surprised when it spoke in understandable, if exasperated, language. “Stop fighting them, damn you! Can’t you see she’s got a bow aimed at your face? If you’ve wasted all this energy not-dying until now, you’d be even bigger fools than I pegged you for-- and that’s not saying nothing-- if you get yourselves shot to death now!” It flew over to the armoured heap, pointing a wing in Aram’s direction. “Get up off the floor and stop being a total stick. He’s not an imposter just because he’s not your king; did he ever SAY his name was Arthur? NO! You cannot blame these people for the fact that YOU ARE DELUSIONAL.”

Aram looked closely at the parrot. Green plumage, with yellow feathers around the eyes and beak, and blue highlights at the wingtips and tail. Unusual colours for a crypt. More unusual for a parrot to have speech -- nevermind that, THOUGHT PROCESS.

He extricated himself from the heaving pile as he asked “Sorry, just who are you folks?”

“Loyal,” rasped the woman.

The bird managed to roll avian eyes, and waved its wing in her direction. “That’s Gwen. She’s the least mad of them, which isn’t much. Lon just isn’t much, and I think you’ve met Mar. He’s definitely mad. I’m the one who knows things. Gaheris.” He flew in a head-over-feet circle, approximating a bow. “I’d say ‘at your service,’ but I’m really not. And you are?”

Ben eyed the bird suspiciously, holding her bow steady. “Ben of Lamada. He’s Aram, but probably useless. We came from the Castle proper to check things out.”

At her words, the armoured figure-- who had righted himself by this point-- started forward eagerly. “What news of my lord?”

“Who do you mean?” asked Aram in return. “There’s no official lord in the castle currently.”

“Arthur,” Lon’s basso rumble was uncomfortably loud in the small space. Aram noticed that Lon’s mouth hadn’t moved.

“I think Lorin mentioned an Arthur,” Ben mused, silently insisting to herself that she was not unnerved by the large man’s voice. “As part of the previous expedition of the Castle. The ones who came before us.” She paused, seeing the trio’s expectant faces, and added, “In her words, I think… if they’d been successful, we probably wouldn’t be here.”

“See? At this point, the only ones bothering about for your quest are you forsaken lot!” Gaheris’ sharp voice enveloped the cavern once again. “Look, you’ve had a very long run. An incredibly long run. A run that stretches the boundaries of possibility. Marathons look to you for inspiration when they grow up. But you are the only remnants. Everyone else is gone. Arthur and Milena (bless their silly souls) are out of the picture. You don’t need to bend the laws of men and gods to keep shambling about.” The parrot settled on Aram’s shoulder. “Rest.”

A whisper went up among the three ancient figures, repeating and bouncing back and forth between them. “Arthur.”

“Arthur. Arthur. Arthur.” “Dead…”

“Join him.”

As one, they crumpled, even Mar’s armour barely clattering in the crypt which sounded, for once, like what it was: a grave. They stopped moving, their eyes closed and unblinking; they spoke no more as they waited, silently, for their hearts to stop once more, this time not to be restarted.

Tucking the bow back into her belt, Ben propped a hand on her hip, glaring at the bird. “Well? What about you?”

“I’m not mad like them,” the bird informed her smugly. “I am a perfectly sane immortal spirit in the body of a rather lovely bird, finally finished with acting as advisor to that lot. Like I said. Perfectly sane. Besides, I know things. You want me around.”

“All right, then. Would you like a lift out then? It’s a bit nicer on the surface.” Aram chided his shoulder’s new occupant, rummaging through Mar’s endless pile of mismatched parts.

“Oh, for heaven’s-- It has wings, you know!” Ben’s eyebrows twitched, her glare not abating. “Besides, what could you possibly know, as a bird that’s been down here for who knows how long, that would actually be useful to us?”

The bird flapped its wings tauntingly at the knight, before resettling on its perch. “I know where you are.”

”I know where you are.” Why would that mean anything in particular… And why do I feel like I’ve really stepped in something big this time? With an unpleasant sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, Aram pulled his prize away from the pile and followed Ben away towards the entrance of the mausoleum.

The bird was oddly silent, for once, as they made the trek back up, and as they stepped back into the daylight, Ben turned to the man beside her to ask it something-- but it was already gone, flying off into the distance.
When you're hungry for a rush...
A deep, metallic rhythm section backs the racing beats that speed through this endorphin-laced, hard-driving track.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:05 pm

Turn Rewards
Lordxana0: ~ ?
Richard the Warlock ~ ?
Blurred_9L ~ ?
Scarab ~ ?; ?; ?
West Coast ~ Manica
Victin ~ ?
JackAlsworth ~ ?
RussetDivinity ~ ?
Krika ~ ?
Endless Sea ~ ?
narrativedilettante ~ ?
Qara-Xuan Zenith ~ ?



Quest 57: Trolls in the dungeon!
Quest Description: You were interrupted from your lovely break to find an attack on the local quarry. There are trolls attacking the townspeople, demanding their spare change, or the stones in their shoes. It is highly inconvenient. Stop them.
Quest Goal: Stop the trolls and go back to lovely bliss
Quest Takers: Kevin (NPC-- Qara-Xuan Zenith) and Marcus (Shane)
GM Notes: Think Frozen trolls with sharp teeth and a hunger for delicious gravel.

Quest 58: You’re Making A List
Quest Description: The city is somewhat protected by the cliffs Lori formed, but there’s going to be a lot of trouble in the near future, or so it seems. It would be a good idea to improve these defenses, and catalogue the military/ offensive resources available to the city.
Quest Goal: Strengthen the city’s defenses and/or take inventory of the fighting strength available to us.
Quest Takers: Pan (IslaKariese) and Alexander Curtiss (Endless Sea)
GM Notes: I know this is kind of open-ended. Just try to follow the spirit of the quest? Basically make us as a whole more able to face the oncoming troubles.

Quest 59: Go West, Young Man
Quest Description: The other floors are… there, but the organization isn’t as obvious as it was before. If we want to get out of the Castle, presumably we still have to go through what was once the “top”-- which means we need to find it. And get there.
Quest Goal: Find a way to get to the other floors
Quest Takers: Mirae (Tohrinha) and Aram (West Coast)
GM Notes: Closest to the city are what were once the lowest floors, the once that people have “tamed” already, which are useless to you. Also don’t get killed.

Quest 60: Social Work (reassigned)
Quest Description: Between damage and lives lost during the earthquake, the orphanage is over capacity and will be at least until the repairs and expansions are finished. Those kids need somewhere to go.
Quest Goal: Find homes/shelter (temporary or otherwise) for all the displaced orphans.
Quest Takers: Anjali Aqaba (eli_gone_crazy) and Hector Erastus (Adell)
GM Notes: Killing the surplus children is not an acceptable resolution to this quest.

Deadline for all quests is Sunday, January 19th at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Qara-Xuan Zenith
 
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:51 pm

(My apologies for the lateness. Here's our quest.)

Quest 53: Entirely Peopled By Criminals

The assorted denizens of the tower rushed about frantically, searching in vain for both the intruders who had evaded them and a means of escape. The wind rushed past, whistling as the large stone battlement and all those who had occupied it plummeted wildly down, spiraling towards the ground below - or at least, the bottom floor of the disassembled castle that approximated it. Goblins howled and beat upon their shields wildly, as though challenging gravity to fight them fairly instead of pulling them inexorably to their doom through a means they could not avoid. Skeletons shambled confusedly about, unsure as to how they should deal with the situation, while towering giants simply lowered themselves to the ground, bracing their mighty frames for the impact they knew instinctively was coming. Mighty wyverns circled overhead atop spread wings, watching from the safety of the sky above to see what would befall the floor’s occupants.

Within the sprawling network of towers, walls, and bridges connecting the two aforementioned structures that made up the fourteenth floor, a group of minions ran in screaming confusion down a certain battlement towards a spiked and ominous looking parapet that they thought might afford some shelter from the coming catastrophe. The sound of straining cable was impossible to hear over the crash of collapsing masonry, and so they never had any warning of the oncoming attack. The black coat of the priest fluttered wildly in the wind, along with his trailing crimson scarf as he swung down above the hapless creatures, slamming straight through a fragile skeleton in an explosion of bones, and planting a knife in the head of a goblin without ever slowing his swing. With a snap of his fingers, the group of minions burst into flames as he went hurtling away, catching a flying bone from the shattered skeleton and yanking back his knife with the wire bound to its pommel.

As he reached the apex of his flight, he carefully took aim at a blur of green below him, rushing down a causeway toward a set of whirling red lights far below. As he released the wire on which he swung, his rise slowed, and he hung for a moment in midair, or at least seemed to from the ground below. In truth, he still fell, but the speed of his plummet matched that of the immense castle, and so to them he seemed to be hung in the sky as he released his projectile.

The ivory bone went spinning through the air and with a loud thwack collided with the skull of the goblin in the midst of a leaping attack directed at Scarlet’s back.

The spellcaster merely nodded with satisfaction as the goblin toppled over the edge of the wall, her familiars pulsing slightly as she turned to face a looming shadow that had fallen over her as, with a loud crash of cracking stone, the towering figure of a giant rose up from behind the wall, its massive hand falling close by as the beast pulled itself up. Scarlet’s crimson eyes met the enormous, dull brown gaze of the titanic creature as it opened up its yawning mouth in a freakish, fanged grin. But the magician merely gave a slight smile and shook her head as the giant raised its hand to grasp at her.

“Fall,” She said, thus completing her orders as the priest descended, a red and black blur, whirling as he hooked the beast’s arm with his wires, flinging himself downward and entering a plunging somersault as he collided with the giant’s extended limb. Like a tornado of blades, he shot down the giant’s arm, bisecting it from hand to shoulder, before a thin silver streak shot out, abruptly halting his spin as he caught the base of the enormous beast’s neck with another wire, then swung himself around it, beginning the same motion again horizontally. An arc of silver pierced the nape of the giant’s neck, and then, in the next instant, a flash of blue lightning lit up the bloody wound. The giant did not even have time to let out a groan of pain before the two blades the priest had left planted in the base of its throat turned it to stone, before twin cables pulled taut around their hilts, and they, too, vanished in a blur. The giant’s petrified body, still carried to the side by its upraised arm, slowly gave way, and toppled to the ground with a loud crash, shattering into rubble.

Scarlet merely smiled contentedly, and turned to glance down the rampart behind where the giant had risen up. As expected, a host of assorted guardians - everything from armored goblins and skeletons to lesser demons - was already rushing towards her. It was to be expected. The gleaming light and notable magical power emanating from the small cloud of familiars surrounding her was more than enough to draw the attention of this floor’s guardians. And so they came, like moths fluttering towards an open flame - just as she had anticipated.

With a crash and a roar, a smaller giant than the one Kurt had just slain fell suddenly through the side of a tower that rose up from the inner wall, looming over the smaller, outer rampart atop which she stood. And, right on cue, a figure followed its corpse through the breach, his crimson hair billowing around him as he came plummeting downward, the assistance from two familiars Scarlet had sent to aid him launching him where the priest had failed to fall. Giving a battle cry, Shirou descended from above, slamming his sword into the head of a large goblin at the center of the procession. With the force of his blow increased tenfold by the power of her familiars, this strike alone was enough to shake the masonry upon which the creatures stood, launching several of the smaller members of their number into the air, where they “floated” much as Kurt had, effectively helpless until Shirou’s sword hacked them into bits with his next broad sweep.

”Behind,” Scarlet cautioned, warning the knight to a more immediate threat just seconds before the source of that threat appeared. Parting its suspended comrades with a sweep of an enormous wooden pillar, a large demon - based on a bull, by the looks of its hooves and large, curving horns - emerged from the center of the group of incapacitated denizens, its weapon raised to smash the knight, who, in kind, leveled his own sword. Giving a wild roar, the demon swept its massive maul across the width of the battlements, aiming to simply knock Shirou from the walls and end the fight promptly. But, although the knight’s speed was normally fairly average, backed by Scarlet’s familiars and without having to worry about relative gravity, he had no trouble in simply leaping upward into the air, rising high over the swipe aimed for his side. Flipping over horizontally as he rose he brought down his sword with the full force of his rotation, dealing a mighty blow to the crown of the demon’s head and sending it staggering backwards as a spurt of blood erupted from its scalp. As the familiars supporting him took place on either side of him, Shirou smirked, bracing himself against a rune that took form behind him. Then, abruptly, he went flying forward as though launched from a slingshot, leveling his mighty sword like a lance as he struck the stunned demon head on, plunging his blade clear through its skull and sending its body toppling slowly backward over the walls. The corpse fell silently over the edge, dropping in slow motion as it slipped away from view, only to suddenly vanish in a flurry of motion as a black shape darted past the rampart, its mighty claws slamming into the demon’s body and battering it against the edge of the battlement. The wall began to crumble as Shirou landed atop one of Scarlet’s familiars, hastily pulling back to the safety of where she stood as the wall beneath him fell away into the open sky below as both the demon, and the dark shadow of the wyvern, vanished from view, only for the latter to circle around the tower the knight himself had emerged from earlier and streak overhead, weaving left and right and shaking its tail about wildly, like a horse trying to shake some sort of noisome insect that has taken hold of it.

“I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A STUPID IDEA!” Roared the pirate, freezing his hand to the wyvern’s wildly flailing tail in a desperate attempt to maintain his grip as, making another sudden turn, the beast tried to shake him.

“Nonsense!” Seire called back from where he stood almost casually between the monster’s spread wings, hanging on with one hand to a small spine protruding from the center of the beast’s back, while toying with a large black scale held within the other. “See? I found this cool scale! Think I could sell it when we get back?” He grinned as he slipped the stolen object into his pocket, only to wince slightly and draw his hand back as a faint trickle of blood dripped through a tiny hole in his glove. “Woah. That thing’s sharp,” He noted with surprise. “Maybe I should steal more of them and make them into a sword? Wielding two swords at once would be pretty cool.”

“You oblivious idiot!” The suspended pirate bellowed as he was nearly shaken free for the hundredth time. “Now is hardly the time to be looking for trophies! In case you hadn’t noticed, this thing is trying to kill us!”

“Oh, relax! Scarlet told us to get a wyvern, so we’ll get a wyvern! Just stick to the plan and everything will be-” The thief’s words were drowned out by a momentary howl of pain from their unwilling mount that was almost instantly silenced as its head was removed from its shoulders by a whirling blur of black and red. Kurt vanished almost as swiftly as he appeared, crossing his arms smugly as he hung sideways in the air above them, before a cable protruding from under his coat was lit with blue lightning and he was yanked out of view.

“Hey!” Seire cried, dismay entering his voice as the wildly twitching corpse took a dive for the front of the castle below. “You killed my ride!” The priest was, however, long gone before Seire’s accusation could reach his ears, and so the thief merely sighed and resigned himself to trying to find some way off the falling beast before it hit the-

With a loud crash, the Wyvern slammed into the ground, shaking Zess free from his precarious position at the end of its tail. Rolling across the pavement, he hastily created a sheet of ice, dropping into a crouch as he began to slide towards the front gate. Drawing his saber as a group of skeletons closed in ahead of him, he rose mid-slide, leveling his blade and dealing a series of precise slashes as he skated past, carving through three of their number and leaving the others stunned in his wake - that is, until the giant wyvern’s corpse slammed into them as it, too, slid across the ice, bashing them to tiny bits before entering a sideways spin and crashing into one of the gate’s parapets.

Leaping upward at the last minute as his deceased mount collided with the tower, Seire rose rapidly into the air, the lack of relative gravity allowing him to find new footing atop a shard of floating rubble broken off from the tower by the initial impact. Eyeing a window across from him, the thief hopped casually through the opening, floating into the tower… only to find that it was missing a few key items, like a floor, or a ceiling. Actually, now that he thought about it, the tower seemed to be tipping a bit to the side. He was not, of course, the only one who was a little perplexed by this situation. Several goblins and skeletons floating helplessly amidst the rubble seemed just as confused as he was… until they actually saw him. At that point, they all started flailing wildly, trying to find some way to reach and kill him. Unfortunately for them, the one who actually had a wall right next to him to use as footing was Seire. Bracing himself against the window frame thusly, he launched himself into the collapsing tower, drawing his sword as he streaked past a goblin, slashing it in two. Reaching the opposite wall, he leaped back, this time shooting upward and shattering two skeletons with a single blow before rising up through the broken ceiling. Landing atop a shard of floating rubble, he bounded yet higher, stabbing a goblin through the throat before whirling mid-flight to throw the body into another skeleton, which flew out the window, screaming as it broke apart.

His flight carrying him to the final floor of the tower, Seire caught the wall with his blade, hooking the edge of a window facing inward towards the walls. Granted, this window was now looking more towards the ground than anything else, as the tower had fallen about halfway over before stopping due to both the wall behind it and lack of gravity, but that suited him just fine. Stepping out onto the underside of the tower, Seire walked upside-down across its surface, swiping the blood off his sword and marveling at how the little droplets simply floated in the air instead of falling, or at how his coat was managing to stay attached instead of flying up over his head, considering that he was upside down. And then, he realized, there was something that looked like a giant monster in the courtyard.

“Found you,” He said, grinning as he hopped downward off the tower and slowly floated down towards the ground below, flipping over to right himself as he did so. Landing casually inside the courtyard, he found himself swiftly flanked by Zess, who dropped down from a tower of ice in much the same manner as Seire had entered the courtyard, and Scarlet and Shirou, who floated down atop two familiars and also landed gingerly by his side. Then, with a loud, echoing rumble, the giant being at the center of the castle began to rise to its feet, its enormous form dwarfing even the giants that had guarded it while it slumbered.

Seire whistled, cocking an eyebrow. “Well,” He said, stepping forward. “Aren’t you ugly?” Shirou nodded, advancing in front of Scarlet to provide cover for the magician in case the beast attacked them.

“You took the words right out of my mouth, brother,” He said with a smirk.

“In my not-so-limited experience in this castle, the weirdest one is generally the one in charge, so I’d say this sack of meat’s the thing we’re looking for on this floor,” The pirate chimed in, dusting himself off after his tumble from the wyvern’s tail. “Well, were looking for before we started falling, anyway. Not much point in fighting it now since it’ll be dead when we crash regardless, but in case it’s holding onto something important, I say we kick its ass before this entire place hits the ground.”

“Like Shirou said - you took the words right out of my mouth!” Said Seire confidently, leveling his blade at the lumbering… thing… that slowly rose to its mismatched feet in front of them.

“Thing” was about the best possible description one could offer for the beast. Its body could perhaps best be compared to a very, very old blanket, one that has been ripped and torn and sewn back together with patches made from washcloths and rags and other scraps of cloth. Scaled hide criss-crossed with darkly tanned, almost leathery flesh, which merged along visible seams with sudden patches of fur of varying colors and textures. All of these diverse pieces were stitched together in a mockery of an enormous humanoid shape that towered over the courtyard, let alone the people in it. From the left side of its head, rising from the midst of a mane of ragged black hair protruded a single, straight horn, split halfway the center and chipped around the edges. The eye beneath this horn shone a bright gold, seeming to glow, and yet bearing a rather unusual star-shaped pupil, giving it a distinctly artificial look. Stranger still, however, was the right side of its face, which looked almost as though someone had stitched a blue-scaled patch over its entirety, crudely carving the second half of a mouth into it to join with the gaping, fanged maw on the other side of its face. Just above this, closer to being on level to the base of the creature’s deformed, crooked nose than its golden counterpart, was a single ruby-colored eye, as though that side of its face had somehow been inverted. Indeed, the right side of its forehead bore distinctive stitch marks, where perhaps the other half of its original mouth had been sewn shut, just before its flesh seemed to cave into the top of its skull in an altogether unsettling manner.

Its limbs were hardly an improvement. The creature’s left arm looked like that of one of the giants’ limbs before abruptly changing at the elbow into a three-pronged, green-scaled talon, like the claws of a wyvern. The creature’s other hand, meanwhile, was made of leathery red flesh, from the elbow of which protruded a long bone covered with skin and muscle, like a giant, meaty club that extended almost to the full length of the monster’s forearm. Its legs, on the other hand, were largely identical, save for the fact that the right was noticeably longer than the left, giving the abomination a distinct lean to the right side. This patchwork body, however, despite its multiple contradictions and seeming impossibility, was most certainly alive. With a loud, rasping wheeze, the beast fully awoke, drawing its first breath as it stumbled about, unsure of its footing. Balancing itself at last, it turned its mismatched, glowing eyes upon the group of adventurers standing before it. Giving a growl unlike any sound made by a living creature, the flesh golem raised its clawed hand and slowly reached out, clumsily extending the limb as it grasped towards them.

“Kurt,” Said Scarlet calmly, her familiars flashing slightly as she spoke. It wasn’t an address, a request for help, or any other such thing. Rather, it was a command - a command the priest, though unseen, instantly obeyed.

Thin flashes of blue lightning arced out from behind a parapet, and a black blur came swinging out from behind the massive structure, detaching the cable propelling it and spinning into a whirling black tornado streaked with red. Darting across the giant’s path, the priest’s spinning form intercepted the clawed appendage with a flash of gleaming metal and the loud noise of steel, or something like it, striking against a hard surface. A moment later, as the figure flew past and skidded to a halt near the rest of his party by digging a knife into the stone below them, a huge wave of fire exploded from a spark and shot along his flight path with a loud bang, causing the golem to ponderously withdraw its arm. “Tch.” The priest made a sound of annoyance as he carefully righting himself, which was difficulty to do while in freefall. “That didn’t exactly go too well. Those aren’t imitation dragon scales, that’s for sure.” He massaged his shoulder slightly. “Lucky I hit that thing at an angle or that would have hurt a lot more than it did.”

“Uh, hate to interrupt, but I think you made it mad,” interjected Seire, shouldering his sword as he pointed casually at the flesh golem, which had drawn back its arm only to raise both of its mismatched hands overhead, letting out a booming, resounding roar that shook the entire floor. Seire raised an eyebrow, only for his golden eyes to focus on something in the beast’s hands all of a sudden.

“Hey, wait a minute…” He said. “Is that a… chain?”

In the next instant, the thief got his answer as, with a mighty stroke, the flesh golem swept both arms forward, grasping what was most certainly a gigantic chain. And, trailing at the end of this chain, coming crashing through the front of the castle’s keep as it did so and sweeping across the courtyard towards all of them, was an enormous spiked flail the size of a carriage.

”Scatter.” The command registered instantly, and none of the three thieves, nor the priest, needed any time to follow it. With a sound of stretching cables, Kurt instantly hooked a large chunk of rubble that had once been part of the front of the keep, and now was floating - or rather “falling” - behind the golem. Pulling the wires taut, he flung himself forward, flipping head over heels to avoid the oncoming flail. Shirou, meanwhile, spun about, shouldering his sword with one hand before wrapping the other around the small form of the magician and leaping into the air with Scarlet in tow. Seire followed suit, but instead of jumping away from the golem, he leaped towards it, barely managing to clear the chain as it stretched in the wake of the incoming flail.

Black Zess, on the other hand, took a somewhat different approach. Planting his saber in a gap in the cobblestones, he clapped both hands to the weapons hilt as a flash of blue light ran down the blade. With a snap and a hiss, a sudden surge of ice rose up from the ground in an instant, forming a broad wall between himself and the oncoming weapon.

...Which promptly shattered into a thousand pieces, a cloud of diamond dust rising around the area as the hastily erected barrier crumbled instantly beneath the impact. For a moment, it seemed as though the pirate had been slain, only for him to reappear from amidst the mist in the next instant, sliding down the chain of the flail as, with a loud crackle, it froze beneath him, sealing the taut fastenings within a cylinder of ice, broken only by small holes left over each link in the chain. At the same time, the shrapnel from his initial barrier coalesced itself into a new form, taking on the shape of several dozen spikes of ice that rained down, driving themselves like nails through each hole, then impaling themselves into the ground and thus pinning the frozen chain to the cobblestones. With its weapon thus immobilized, both Zess and Seire closed in on the giant.

The thief king reached his target first. Soaring into the air as though weightless - which, technically, he was, relative to the falling floor as a frame of reference - Seire struck out towards the titanic Golem’s throat, only to cry out in surprise as his blade struck the creature’s neck and was turned aside as though it had clashed with steel, sending him hurtling backward, spiraling wildly into open air. Zess, undeterred by his commander’s failure, leaped upward to dodge a swipe from the creature’s dragon-clawed hand, then leveled his saber to release yet another shower of arcane ice. Yet this, too, although it struck the golem head on, failed to do any significant damage, as the projectiles shattered like so much glass upon impact.

“You’re kidd-” The pirate began, only to be silenced as, moving as a blur, the flesh golem swept up its red right arm, slamming the massive club-like bone growing from it directly into the pirate’s upraised sword, sending him, too, spiraling wildly away. Both thieves collided with the pavement and skidded backward, Seire grimacing as he landed in a crouch and slowly rose.

“You alright?” Zess asked, standing up alongside him.

“Well, my arm hurts like hell, but nothing major. You?” The thief replied.

“Well, the good news is that I can’t feel mine,” The pirate said as his sword dropped from his limp fingers. “The bad news is that that’s probably not a good sign,” He concluded with remarkable composure as he picked up the weapon once again with his working hand.

“Can you wield that thing left-handed?” Seire asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I’m ambidextrous,” Zess replied casually.

“That’s fortunate, because it looks like that thing isn’t going to just settle for your arm,” Seire said as a shadow fell over the two. Leaping to either side, they only barely managed to escape from the titanic monster’s next strike as, with a loud crash, it tore its flail free from Zess’ ice and swept it down upon them once more.

“Fine by me!” The pirate replied, rebounding off a shard of flying rubble. “In that case, I’ll just have to take its right arm in exchange!” With a flash of light, the shattered ice swirled upward into the air, swiftly condensing around the edge of the pirate’s sword as he swept it downward, releasing the spell in the form of an enormous blade that descended like a guillotine upon the flesh golem’s overextended hand. To his surprise, however, even this mass of ice was insufficient to wound it, as, sweeping up its arm once again, it bashed the attack apart with the club-like bone protruding from its elbow.

“Seriously?!” Zess exclaimed incredulously, leaping backward off his own crumbling ice construct to avoid taking the brunt of another strike from the abomination’s clubbed arm.

“Damn,” Seire cursed irritably as he dropped upon the creature’s hand and plunged his blade downward, only to barely pierce its flesh. “I have the worst luck with these sorts of constructs. And there isn’t even any dynamite handy this time... Seriously, golems are bullshit!” He sighed, leaping back as the golem shook its hand wildly to dislodge him. Landing once more by the side of the pirate, he was just preparing himself to dodge once again as the golem once more raised its flail to attack, sweeping it forward, only to stop mid-motion as a sudden black and red blur tore across his vision, carving a swath across the beast’s side, and, much to Seire’s surprise, drawing a stream of jet black ichor as the abomination writhed in pain. Shirou flew backward, skidding to a stop beside his sworn brother as the creature’s flail spiraled wide of its mark, slamming into the wall of the courtyard and embedding itself there.

The magician descended atop one of her familiars, calmly nodding to the three thieves. “Analysis completed. I have discovered the target’s weakness. Aim for the stitches binding its body together.”

With a strange roaring noise, the angered golem extended its flesh arm, reaching out to swat at the offending adventurers, on to be interrupted a second time by a the dull thwack of a knife hitting home on one of the scars across its hand, followed by a crackle as blue lightly wreathed the cable bound to the knife, dragging Kurt back into the battle. As he slammed into the giant’s hand, the lightning of his sacramental magic flashed across the creature’s skin and darted a short way up its arm before stopping, leaving what had once been flesh as inanimate stone. The golem drew back its bleeding stump with another roar as what remained of the hand fell into rubble, leaving stepping stones for the priest to launch himself high into the sky to wait for his next opening. “Second time’s the charm, monster. Didn’t really appreciate that, did you?”

“Stitches, huh?” Seire said, grinning as the beast writhed in pain. “Now that I can do!” Leaping forward, he raised his blade, hooking it in one of the loops in the chain of the golem’s enormous flail. As a familiar rose alongside him, strengthening his blade, Seire wrenched it free, using the leverage to launch himself with tremendous speed straight for the creature’s throat once again. And then, there it was: a stitch running right across the side of its neck. Bringing back his monochrome sword with both hands, he swept it across the stitch mark, the satisfying sound of his blade piercing his enemy’s flesh ringing out in his wake as he flew past, the power of Scarlet’s familiar creating a pulse of force inside the neck of the creature as he cut it, sending its head spiraling from its shoulders in a spray of jet black blood. Seire smirked, landing atop a chunk of floating rubble and turning to face his defeated adversary… Only to leap to the side in surprise as, raising its flail with its remaining hand, the headless golem swept it up towards him, smashing the vantage point atop which he stood and forcing him to jump to another such platform. “It’s still alive?!” Seire cried in exasperation.

“Not for long, it isn’t!” Roared Zess, bounding into the sky atop one of Scarlet’s remaining familiars. “This is for my arm, you tough bastard!” Sweeping down his enchanted blade, Zess released one last spell, turning the black spray from the creature’s severed head and hand into ice which pierced into the construct’s body, tearing it apart from the inside as the pirate froze its innards. With a hideous squelch, countless spears of frozen black blood pierced the golem’s body, and with one last dying spasm, the beast was no more.

“Good move!” Chuckled Seire, looking down at the golem. “I’m glad you didn’t use that trick on me when we fought last, Zess!” He called down.

“Not to interrupt your celebratory compliments or anything,” Kurt said as he started floating in a decidedly earthward direction at an alarmingly increasing rate, “but we may be about to crash!”

The magus reacted in an instant, lights the color of her namesake illuminating each member of the party in turn as her familiars rapidly took form around them, forcibly lifting them into the air before projecting a runic shield around each. “Prepare for impact!” She warned. Whatever words she might have spoken afterward were drowned out, for in the next instant, the floor beneath them struck the ground, and the deafening roar of crumbling masonry and the screaming of the wind as a shockwave burst forth in all directions, was all that could be heard.

.....

A few smaller pieces of rubble rolled down a large pile in what had once been the floor fourteen boss arena as the top was brushed aside and a black coated arm emerged. Tossing aside the rubble piled above him, Kurt, and the glowing familiar that had created a barrier over him during the crash, escaped from the remains of Seire’s crashed tower.

Dusting himself off and clearing his throat, Kurt surveyed the area around him. “Well? Are all of you going to come out, or are you quite happy to take a nap now that we’ve finally arrived at our destination, wherever the hell that is?”

“Hey, speak for yourself,” Said a gruff voice as, with a faint crackling, an orb of ice shattered into diamond dust and condensed back into the glistening jewel in the hilt of Black Zess’ sheathed sword as he dropped softly to the ground from within his floating sphere. “I’ve been up here all along.”

“That’s pretty much the size of it,” Chimed in Seire, where he stood perched atop a tall, thin tower of rubble. His coat fluttered in the wind as he dropped down, surfing down a small mound of debris before landing next to Kurt and the pirate.

“OK, so he had a reasonable excuse for not being buried under ten tons of solid rock, but what about you?” Kurt’s question held equal parts sarcasm and “do I really want to know?”.

Seire grinned cheerfully, holding up one finger as though to silence the priest. “A: I dodged the ground. B: I blocked it with my scissors. Or perhaps C: I stole gravity. Which explanation would you prefer?”

“Can I take ‘D: None of the above’, and get you to shut up that way?” The priest was rarely found without a comeback, but this time, he only barely managed to get the words out of his mouth before a loud crash from a short distance to the left silenced everyone present. As a large chunk of the castle’s destroyed keep fell in half, Shirou sighed, emerging alongside Scarlet and sheathing his zweihander.

“We’re both fine,” He said sarcastically. “Thanks for asking.”

“Well, that makes four of you, then,” Said Zess, grimacing as he glanced down at his limply dangling arm. “In any case, the priest does raise a good question. Just where in the blazes are we?”

“I am presently investigating that,” Scarlet said quietly. “Please wait a moment. My familiars will reach their maximum altitude in approximately half a minute, and provide a wide view of the surrounding area. I should be able to determine what region of the continent we are currently occupying, at the very least.”

“Damn,” Zess said, giving a whistle of respect, from one magus to another. “Those constructs of yours sure are useful. You’ll have to teach me how to make them some time.”

“I apologize,” Said Scarlet quietly, a grave note entering her voice as she seemed to hesitate for a moment. “But I am afraid that doing so is… not possible.”

“Trade secret, huh?” The pirate sighed.

“That is not entirely correct. It is simply that my form of magic does not lend itself to instruction,” The spellcaster replied, shaking her head slightly.

“I see. Well, I guess I can understand that. It’s not like I could teach somebody how to use ice magic without giving them my sword, after all - and like hell I’d do that.”

“The situation is similar, yes,” Scarlet affirmed, nodding. “One moment. My familiars have finished ascending. It seems our current location is…” She trailed off, her namesake eyes abruptly widening in surprise. “That… That must be incorrect…” She murmured, disbelief entering her voice. “In the north, I can clearly see the tower where we fought the Sphinx on Floor 13. Could it be that the floors have relocated themselves? But how? The castle is an analog to a colossal ritual space, but surely it wouldn’t be capable of restructuring itself in such a manner without some outside influence…” She trailed off, placing a finger on her chin as she contemplated the inexplicable situation. “I suppose it does explain the falling floor, however… It seems that the castle has realigned to sort floors on a horizontal plane rather than a vertical one. In which case, it should theoretically be possible to return to the warehouse just by traveling a short distance on foot.”

Before anyone else could open their mouth, the priest cut them off, face awash with shock and confusion. “It has WHAT!?” His face began to pale as he realized something that no one else could have known.

“We need to leave,” He said, his face as serious as if he was staring into his own grave. “Now.”
"The Apocalypse is basically just a tutorial." - Sicon112.

"Due to the ambiguity of this wording, I am unable to determine whether or not I am the leader of the X-Men!"
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:10 pm

Quest 60: Social Work

Anji walked into the guildhouse with a carefully controlled expression, her jaw set in a firm line. Just need to get this over with. She glanced around the crowded room, and loudly coughed, bringing the room to a stand still. “Everyone? Uh… Hi. I need volunteers for a mission.”

One of the guildmembers, a scruffy looking man with scars that ran down his cheeks in some odd design, looked up at her and grunted, “Wot’s this mission?”

Anji stared the man down for a moment, and sighed, saying, “I need a volunteer to help me and the orphanage with repairs and possible aid.”

Several members of the guild looked at each other, shrugging before returning back to their meals or games. Anji grimaced, biting her lip. Looks like this will be a chore. Taking a deep breath, she began walking up to individual tables, quietly soliciting help and receiving negative responses. Most did not consider themselves the “kid” type, and certainly were trained for more dangerous kinds of quests. Anji may have been the currently leader, but it did not change the fact that these fighters came together for more challenging missions.

The guildleader finished with the last table and sighed again, taking the time to straighten out her already tightened weaponry to calm herself down. Once she had, she turned to leave the guildhouse.

However she was stopped suddenly, as she seemed to walk directly into a wall where the door should have been. That’s when she realized it was not a wall at all. “Looking for some help?” A familiar voice said from above, a casual calmness that could only belong to one giant of a individual. When Anji looked upward, she saw Hector looking bad down, his usual grin on his face. His hair had grown a bit longer from the last time they had seen each other, and was tied up in the back in a bit of a ponytail, but otherwise he looked like nothing had changed.

A grin rose unbidden to her face, and she stumbled over her words for a moment before saying, “Hey Hector! How’ve you been? I… I haven’t seen you in ages!”

“I was doing pretty good until some earthquake broke my shack,” He sighed with a shrug of his shoulders. “Figured it was good a time as any to come back, maybe help out around here again.” He looked over the guild members briefly, who seemed a bit excited to see their old leader back in the base, “Looks like I came just in time, seeing how lazy everyone is getting around here.”

Anji looked back, wincing painfully at their excited faces. “Well, you know how it goes. Take the fox out of the guildhouse, and all the chickens stop laying.”

There was a pause as the man stared blankly. “What does that mean? Foxes? Wha?” He asked, confused.

Anji rubbed the back of her neck, where a headache was starting to form. “It’s nothing, Hector. Everyone’s glad to see you back, is all.”

“They won’t be once we get them to help out with this quest of yours.” He grinned, crossing his arms.

“Only need to help the orphanage.” Anji said, straightening up again. “Just need one. You up for it?”

“Haha!” He gave a strong pat to her back, sending her flying, “Up for it? What a silly question, of course I am!” He looked to where she had been standing, and was surprised that she seemed to have moved suddenly “Hey, where’d you go?”

“Floor.” He heard muttered below him.

“Anji, what are you doing down there? That’s just not safe, what you’re doing.”

Anji coughed, and stood, dusting herself off. “Yeah, no kidding. You have everything with you?” She asked, though the man's response was merely to readjust the large sword strapped to his back. It was clear he had everything on him.

“Not that I’ll need her.” He made sure to add. “Ivory says hello, by the way.” He laughed as he exited the building, leaving it unclear if he was serious or not.

Anji glanced at him worriedly, before quickly following. “So… How’ve you been? I mean, beyond the sudden homelessness.”

“I’ve been fine. Finally starting to get use to only having the one eye now.” He remarked as he pointed to the eyepatch, as if it needed a reminder. “I’ve been spending most of my time just training to make up for it. I figured with the immediate problems out of the way it would be a smart idea before I continued upward with the rest of you.”

He thought for a moment, “I guess there won’t be much climbing, in that regard, anymore,” He scratched the bottom of his chin lightly as they walked, “How have you been handling things?”

Anji shrugged. “I guess I’m the technical leader of the guild now.” She sent a glare back to the guildhouse and cracked a smile, saying, “You see how much good that did. Other than that… I’m just trying to keep everything from exploding. Missed having a green giant to keep me company.”

“They’re still there,” He chuckled, “Y’Must be doing something right. As for everything else… yeah, I guess preventing explosions is a good idea.” He mentioned offhandedly, “Those, uh, tend to be dangerous.”

Anji laughed, and turned a corner. “So you’re back for good?”

“Yeah, I suppose I am. I’ve been training, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to take on whatever wants us dead yet. Our best bet is to be working together right now.” He cracked a confident grin, “THEN I’ll go beat up whatever wants us dead.”

Anji bit back a grimace. “You ever want the guild back, jus’ lemme know. I think ‘d’rather be fighting kobolds for eternity than deal with all that damned paperwork.” Bet they’d follow you more easily, too.

“I always made Ben do the paperwork.” He gave a sly grin, though it was a quick one. “I would accept, but I can’t do much good in a public kind of position. Not now, it’s too soon.”

Anji nodded, seeming to shrink a little, “Thought you’d say that.”

“Someone’s gotta step up and take the reins at this point,” The man said with annoyance in his voice, “Unfortunately, it seems that task has fallen to you due to the circumstances. That doesn’t mean we can’t help you out, though.”

“Doin’ my best.” Anji said, irritation spilling over.

The man was quiet for a moment as the two continued on through the city. They passed a few workers fixing up some of the damaged houses nearby, as well other people just helping move some of the debris. Hector looked back at the woman, then returned his attention ahead. “You can do better.” He finally responded, though his voice was not irritated or confrontational. It sounded like he was speaking as if it were a fact.

“And how’s that?” Anji growled.

There was a chuckle in the man’s words, “Now, how are you willing to confront someone twice your size, but not any of those lazy workers in our guild?”

“Well… Uh…” Anji rolled her eyes. “For one, they don’t ask stupid questions and are generally more terrifying.”

“Well now I know THAT’s not true,” He grinned, “Come on Anji, I got a reputation here! You’ve made the Jade Devil stop in his tracks, you can convince a couple of wet-behind-the-ears fighters to follow your orders. You’re just holding yourself back.”

Anji ran her hand through her hair. “Holding myself back? I’ve been running myself into the ground! I can’t even spend time with my own husband ‘cause I’m either out on a mission or in my office trying to keep some idiot farmers from starting a clan war.” They reached the orphanage, and Anji stepped inside, snapping, “So no, I haven’t been holding back.”

Hector stared back in silence, raising an eyebrow. “...That was perfect. Now do that to them and they’ll listen to every word you say.” He gave a closed eyed grin, and walked further in, giving her a light pat on the shoulder as he did.

Anji’s jaw worked, but she remained silent, following the man into the Administrator’s office. “Hello, Sam.” She greeted the fat old man with a quick handshake. “I’m Anjali Aqaba, from Severed Storm. We’re here to help you and the orphanage.”

‘Ooh… Severed Storm, that’s a good name…“ Hector muttered under his breath with a tinge of excitement.

Anji glanced back at Hector, eyes lighting up with amusement, before she turned back to Sam. “And this is Hector Erastus. He’ll be helping me help you.”

“Yo.” He raised his hand in a short wave.

Sam eyed the man warily, but nodded. “We do need repairs made on the building, Guildmaster. I’ll show you.” He walked towards the back of the building, motioning to side rooms whose walls had cracked. “We also have far too many children. Can you help with that?”

Anji bit her lip, and nodded to the man, smiling reassuringly. “We’ll do what we can, Sam. Go grab a cup of tea, and we’ll get started here.”

“... Lots of debris in here,” Hector remarked, stating the obvious, as they looked the room over.

Anji shrugged, walking over to begin rolling out a large piece of the wall. “Big earthquake.” Hector joined her, and the two began the slow process of moving what they could out of the way to get to the bigger messes. Every now and then, Hector would carry out some of the larger debris and dispose of it outside. Some of the kids began to notice the large man helping around the place, and watched him in an eerie awe.

“How’s he lifting all that…?” One would mutter.

“I hear he’s got the blood of a giant in him.” Another would answer.

Overhearing the kids, Anji glanced over at Hector, their eyes level as she climbed on the windowsill to clean the stained glass. “You have giant blood in you?”

“I didn’t think my blood was that big, honestly.”

Anji laughed, and went back to work. “Next they’ll be saying Father himself came down to give you Ivory.”

“...Should we?” One kid quietly asked.

Anji glanced at the kid, tilting her head. “Should you what?”

“Should we be saying that?”

Anji stopped working, and slipped to the floor, walking outside to kneel by the kid. “What d’you think you should do?”

“Uhhhhhhhhh… No?”

The guildmaster laughed, and waved Hector over. “He looks kinda scary, doesn’t he?”

The kid moved a bit to put Anji between him and Hector. “A...a little.”

Anji rolled her eyes, and mussed the kid’s hair, smiling reassuringly. “He’s not. He’s one of the people that help keep you safe. He looks scary to help keep the real monsters away.”

“R-really?”

Hector looked over at the two, and responded with a playful “Grrrr!”

Anji smacked him on the leg lightly, looking at him as if he had gone mad while the child edged away from the pair. “He’s also not all that bright either, which is why we just point him at the bad guys.”

“Who wants to shine brightly, anyway? It’s overrated, and probably hurt your eyes or something.” The kids around them seemed to laugh, thinking he made a joke. Anji knew he didn’t. The two continued with their work, clearing up the area in a pretty decent amount of time; the childrens company seemingly boosting the twos energy.

“The guildhouse has a lot of room.” Hector finally suggested to her quietly, as the two were carrying out the last bit of broken material. “And the people to take care of them.”

Anji looked at the kids somberly. “Really think it’s a good idea to have a bunch of kids with that crew? I mean, I trust you and a few others, but the guild grew pretty quickly after the war. Not sure I want to leave a bunch of already scarred kids on their own like that.”

“The others will be reluctant at first, but if we can convince them it wouldn’t be so bad.” The man tossed some of the material in the designated place for it.

“Well, I’m sure they’d instantly agree to anything you suggested.” Anji sighed, sweeping a bit of debris into a dustpan.

“Maybe,” He responded, tossing a few more pieces, “But… I’m not that one who can give them that order.” Hector looked back over at the guild-leader.

“You are the one they want though.”

“You’re the one they have. It’s time for them to understand that, don’t you think?”

Anji cut her eye at him, and bit her lip. “What am I supposed to do?”

The man stood tall, his light grin still on his face. “Show them that you mean business...” The two stood there for a moment, thinking on it, before a plan was made.

----

Anji strode into the guildhouse, glancing around the room before shouting, “Listen up!”

The guildmembers stopped, eyeing the small woman with obvious impatience. Anji glared at them, and opened the doors fully, admitting a score of kids, who ran in to explore their new home. “These are your new guildmembers. You will take care of them, teach them, and keep them safe. You will not hurt them, or see them come to any harm, by negligence or through the idiocy of others. Am I clear?”

A few of them wanted to argue, or protest, but were quickly swarmed by the mass of little kids. Who wanted to jump, play, and ask waaay too many questions.

“I said, am I CLEAR?”

The guild members looked at one another, shocked, and completely taken off guard. Finally a few began muttering, “Y-yes ma’am.”

“Good. Glad we had this talk.” Anji looked down at a kid who was tugging plaintively on her pants leg, holding out a thumb with a cut on it. Sighing, she picked the tyke up, and walked outside the guildhouse to see Hector. “Need a place to stay, big guy?”

The large swordsman looked around, seeming quite amused with what was going on in there. “Hmm, I suppose I could use a place right now, if there are some openings.”

“I think there’s a cot at mine and Kevin’s place. You can crash there, if you like.”

Hector merely grinned, and gave a nod of his head. “I’ll be back later, there’s still some work to do around the area.” The man turned, readjusting his gear once more. “You did good today.”

Anji shrugged the now sleeping toddler higher onto her shoulder, smiling softly. “Thanks.”
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Guyshane on Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:22 am

Quest 57: Trolls in the dungeon!

Kevin met Marcus on his way to the outskirts. “Oracon,” he said, nodding in an almost-friendly manner.

Marcus stared at him for a second before shaking his head in disbelief. “I must have wandered into some other world by accident. There is no way this is happening.”

“Nothing’s happening,” Kevin said calmly. “I’m just looking in on a problem Anjali was told of. You can go about your day.”

Marcus nodded. “Might that problem somehow be related to the miners who came running into the pub and disrupted my lunch?”

“Consider your lunch undisrupted, then, Oracon. I’ll take care of it.”

“Not likely. I hardly trust you alone to handle it and besides regardless of Castle rearrangements and the like we still need to build up trust with the populace again. There’s still a lot of anti-guild sentiment around and about,” Marcus replied calmly.

Kevin shrugged. “You’re the one who didn’t want to run into me,” he reminded Marcus.

“You’re referring to my earlier comment I presume,” the big man replied, grinning. “Not referring to running into you but rather that you were being polite and not passive-aggressive, though upon further thought it seems you actually are so all is right with the world,” he concluded, happily.

“I’m sure you think you’re making sense,” Kevin observed. “If you’re coming, don’t hold me up.”

“It makes perfect sense to anyone willing to have some fun in life. Unfortunately you are a stick in the mud, and I pity you,” Marcus retorted.

Kevin only smiled, walking toward the quarries in silence. The sounds of a disturbance reached their ears before they reached their destination.

Marcus focused and listened on the nearby sounds. “It sounds like singing if rocks were the ones doing the singing. What the hell is down there?”

“I’ve got something better than questions,” the blond man told him.

The soldier rolled his eyes. “Well it must be nice to have actual information. Care to share? All I got was: ‘Rocks! Moving! Quarry!’ ” Marcus shook his head. “Honestly, they weren’t a very helpful bunch.”

Kevin raised an amused eyebrow at the other man. “I have feet,” he informed him, walking forward in exaggerated motions. “Perhaps they can take me to where we’ll learn more.”

Marcus snorted as he increased his pace. “Maybe I can learn more, I’ve yet to see any evidence that you can learn anything.”

Kevin ignored Marcus, turning aside to find a few stragglers to pull aside and speak to. He came back to the other man’s side about ten minutes later. “Creatures from the mines have been panhandling, and attempting to devour the goods, causing an overall ruckus. Most of the workers were either frightened by the initial appearance, or objected to the requests for money, and either fled or engaged in an… altercation.

“We should be able to calm people down if we get closer.”

“Yes, we can’t really calm people down from all the way out here now can we, Kevin,” Marcus replied, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “Did you happen to ask what the creatures we’re dealing with look like?” he asked as they began to move forward.

Kevin rolled his eyes, plunging deliberately into the thick of the crowd. They were surrounded by the yelling men, and the lower-pitched rumblings of what seemed at first to be large, spherical boulders, which, as he glanced around, began to coalesce around his companion.

Marcus stared down at the rocks as they started to surround him. Well, this is a new one, he thought to himself. Just as his hand began to move towards his mace one of the rocks seemed to jump up from the ground and rearrange itself to resemble an ugly goblin made out of stone. The warrior blinked and looked at Kevin “They’re trolls. Usually aren’t a threat. They eat rocks and gems.” He paused and touched the skin near his right eye. Marcus managed to get out “Oh thrice-damn it all to--” before several of the trolls jumped straight at him and tackled him to the ground.

Kevin brandished his staff, swinging it in a low, measured arc to knock a few of the rock-men away from Marcus’ face. The ones he struck rolled away, as more bounded onto the downed man. Kevin continued to bat at them, occasionally hitting Marcus’ shoulder on his downswing but overall leaving the other man unravaged.

Marcus scrambled to his feet and away from the trolls that were now advancing. “Leave my eye alone you manic gnomes!” he shouted. “Your mothers should be ashamed by the lack of decorum you’ve displayed here! Other trolls I’ve met have always been kind and considerate for asking for gems and rocks to eat.”

“Great,” Kevin muttered, “insult them before we start. I knew you were the guy for diplomacy.” He reached into his pocket, feeling for a few coins and pebbles. He held them out, waiting for the mineral part of the throng to quiet, and tossed them to the ground a safe distance away. “We’re only here to talk,” Kevin called out, as he began to hear the soft crunch of the trolls gnawing on his loose change. “Didn’t come looking for a fight.”

“Don’t knock the insults,” Marcus whispered back. “Trolls hold their elders in high respect, the mothers thing was to make them stop and think a moment longer.” Turning to the trolls, Marcus continued. “And there is no reason we need to fight, so long as you don’t attack me again.”

The crunching continued impassively.

“You’ve been causing some trouble among our folk here,” Kevin said. “Not pointing any fingers, but I’d like to see the matter resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.”

“And how are you going to satisfy our needs, pretty boy?” one of the trolls called out.

“I’ve a feeling I can answer that better once I know what they are,” Kevin answered with a crooked smile.

“Rocks,.” called out another one. “Especially gems like the one he has,” it said pointing at Marcus.

Marcus glared at the trolls some more. “Can’t you all find gems that I’m not using to see?”

“Meat-folks won’t hand them over,” a troll grumbled loudly.

“What if you were given work here?” Kevin asked, surveying the area thoughtfully. “You could take a fair portion of the rocks mines as your price.”

The rock-men bounced and bounded into a tight huddle, muttering amongst themselves in gravelly voices.

Marcus tapped Kevin on the shoulder before whispering, “That isn’t a horrible plan but we’re going to need to find new jobs for the people they’ll put out of work if they accept.”

“The city will have the pay for them,” Kevin pointed out, “as we wouldn’t be compensating the trolls with coin.”

Marcus snorted. “Yes, because governing bodies are always effective. They won’t know how to handle the miners and then the miners will riot and blame the guilds, again”

“Lovely to see your firm grip on reality. Why don’t you go talk to the men about a proposed change in career, to suss out their feelings on the matter, while I try desperately to think if there is any job at all which Legias has said she’d love to hire more men if she could spare the coin to pay them. Particularly at a sensitive, dangerous time like now.”

Marcus rubbed the heel of his hand against his face. “That won’t be an easy sell, Kevin, and you know it, there is a reason not many join the guards. Not that I can’t convince them you understand, but still…”

Kevin shrugged his shoulders at the other man, grinning slightly. “Would you rather work in the dark daylight of a mine, breathing in its dust all day, or have the relative prestige of a guard in a nice, cushy, non-wartime position?”

Marcus let out a sigh and shook his head. “Well, let’s wait to hear their answer. We can see how much damage control we have to do after that,” he reasoned.

As if on cue, the trolls broke formation, and one-- larger than the others, with a long “beard” of moss growing from what was probably his face-- rolled over to the pair. “A full tithe of the rocks, and proper crunchy ones at that, and we’ll mine your larder, meatbag.”

“That’s wonderful news,” Marcus said. Oh this is going to go over terribly. Turning to his companion he said, “All right Kevin, I have an idea about what to do with the miners but we should wait until night to talk to them about it.”

“So long as you don’t wait until nightfall to explain your no-doubt brilliant plan to me,” Kevin said mildly, watching as the trolls slowly withdrew from the altercation.

“Oh it’s a good plan,” Marcus replied with a grin. “Of course you’re going to hate it but the fact of the matter is people tend to be a bit more open to suggestion after a drink or two.”

“Legal contracts can’t be signed if the parties aren’t in possession of their faculties,” the prince pointed out. “I can only assume you’ve never signed one.”

Marcus turned and clapped Kevin on the shoulder. “You make too many assumptions. I’ve signed contracts before and only the real lightweights are drunk after one drink. Besides, I’m not looking to get them to sign up just after they drink, merely convince them just after they drink.”

The blond man shrugged. “You’re buying those drinks out of your own pocket.”

Marcus rolled his eyes. “Whatever, come on we’ve got some time to kill.”

-------------------------------

Later that night, the two were standing outside a local pub. Marcus looked over at Kevin. “All right, so we give them another couple minutes so most of them can finish dinner, then I’ll buy them a round of drinks and then the really hard part.”

Kevin smirked. “Just remember, one at a time.”

Marcus gave him a flat look. “Kevin, this is serious. These people didn’t ask for this, they probably just wanted a new start with their families. Instead they’ve had to deal with bizarre threats, mind control, and now I’m about to ask them to risk their lives.”

“They’re risking their lives as much in the quarries as in the Guard,” the blond man said quietly. “I respect that this takes time, but everyone’s making sacrifices here. I for one want to be able to go home to my wife tonight.”

Shaking his head Marcus pushed open the door to the pub that was filled with most of the quarry workers and walked up to the bar, handing a heavy looking sack to the bartender, along with a whispered instruction. Turning back to face the rest of the establishment, the warrior called out in a booming voice, “All right everybody! Next round is on me! Unfortunately since I’m cheap you don’t get to pick your drink, you all just get another ale! Now drink up and once you have I’ll tell you about what is going on with the quarry.”

There was a rousing cry of “Free beer!” interspersed with suspicious looks directed Marcus’ way. The men pushed their way to the bar anyway, holding out their mugs for the complimentary refill. A couple of miners quickly swigged down what they already had, to make the most of the man’s offer.

Once he saw enough people drinking, Marcus moved over to one side of the room which served as a rudimentary stage for bards when they were present. Clearing his throat, he began speaking again.

“So. About the trolls and the quarry a deal was struck and the trolls are going to dig out rocks and minerals so long as they get to eat a portion of what they dig. Now I don’t have to tell you what this means. A few of you might be able to get a job working alongside the trolls but most of you will be out of a job,” he explained. “Now, I have a suggestion about what you could all do from now on, but first I’ll let you complain a bit since I know you all want to.”

“I ain’t gonna work aside those abominations!” one red-faced man shouted. There were cries of assent.

Another piped up, “I’d get the hell away from these mines afore those things back out o’ their bargain an’ try to dump the whole mess on us lot again!”

“Actually trolls don’t back out of their bargains often,” Marcus replied. “They’re very solid and stubborn, much like rocks. It would take a rather serious betrayal to make them back out.”

Kevin elbowed Marcus sharply in the stomach and gave the man a pointed look.

Marcus glared back. “No, Kevin. We need to be honest with them.”

“Honest is one thing, information that is completely irrelevant to the men you so helpfully lubricated with drink is another.” The prince rolled his eyes disgustedly.

“Look, Kevin. I don’t know where you got your diplomacy training or an ego that nearly matches mine, but you are horrible with people. Now let me do my thrice-damned work.”

“Of the two of us, I have not been mobbed by potential allies trying to eat my face. But by all means, go ahead.”

Glaring one final time, Marcus turned back to the room. “Please I know you’re all very angry but at least hear me out! Now, there are many jobs opening up on the guard force. It should be very obvious why. Also, I know you’ve heard a lot of stories about the kind of things they handle. For the most part they are untrue. Vampires, mutants, and the like are very rare occurrences on the guards, usually the guild members are the ones handling those level of threats. And I know that many of you feel that what’s coming isn’t your problem, that the guards and the guilds should handle it.” Marcus paused for a breath.

“We will handle as much of it as we can, already guild members are dealing with threats headed towards the city, the guards already solidifying the defenses. However it might not be enough. We may fall without additional people, so you have a choice: you can go about seeking whatever job you can find and leave it to us. Or you can stand with us and help protect your friends and family. I realize, many of you don’t like me and who I represent but I’m begging you: this once, just consider what I’ve said. And I promise for every man who joins, I will work twice as hard to claim this castle for all of you.”

“‘Ere!” A grizzled man waved his glass irritably. “You talk much more words, ye’ll have t’buy me another drink!”

“Cut to the pay!” demanded a boy who couldn’t be far out of his teens. “How’s the pay?”

Marcus looked over at Kevin. “Do you happen to remember the current pay rate?”

The prince rolled his eyes. “Now you respect my training.” He closed his eyes for a moment, calling the memory into focus. “Twenty silver for a day’s work, I believe.”

Marcus snorted. “Training? You just knew the pay rate.” Before Kevin could respond, he whirled back to the room. “Twenty silvers a day is the pay rate, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that is more than what you were being paid at the quarry.”
I say we nuke it from orbit...its the only way to be sure.
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:45 pm

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Endless Sea on Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:02 am

Quest 58: You're Making a List

In a completely random spot in a completely random section of forest, a slightly less random rock (it was weird and bronze and stuff, okay?) shook slightly and rolled sideways in a cloud of dust, exposing an opening in the cliff wall behind it. A few coughs echoed through the trees, and then a gray-haired, gray-clothed man with an oversized backpack emerged and glared out at nothing in particular. “Well, I’ve got absolutely no clue where we are,” he announced. “Wonderful shortcut you got here. Real nice.”

“Oh, let me have a look, you idiot,” came another voice from within the hole, and Curtiss yelped as a heavyset man with a sizeable number of burn scars knocked him to the side from behind and strode into the forest. “...well, son of a bitch,” Lasair muttered. “First floor. We’re right back where we started on the goddamn first floor.”

“Wait, what?” Curtiss said, brushing some dust from his shoulders. “First floor? You kidding, man? Last time I checked, we didn’t have nearly as many mountains down there as that.” He gestured emphatically at a nearby series of cliffs.

“Trust me,” Lasair growled. “I know these trees. Nearly burned half of them down not too long after I got here.”

“So what now, then?” Curtiss said. “You want to finish the job or something?”

Lasair sighed. “Will you just shut up for once? I wasn’t trying to come here.” He turned around and headed for the entranceway. “C’mon, we’re going back.”

“Hell no,” Curtiss said. “I am not crawling back into that particular demon-infested hellhole again. You wanna go? Be my guest. I’m taking the long way.”

Lasair snorted and walked past him into the cave. “Whatever you say,” he commented. “Hey, Tsilia! Come on, we’re going back. Looks like we’re all the way back at the first floor, somehow…” His voice faded as his muscled silhouette vanished into the depths of the cavern.

--

It all started with yet another of the city’s patrols disturbing her nap.

On a normal day, it wouldn’t mean anything. Maybe a conversation if she was in a good mood. Outright avoidance if she wasn’t. Obviously, this wasn’t a normal day, seeing as she’d gotten herself wrapped up in some sort of security detail.

“What, exactly, do you need me for?” Pan had asked them pointedly. “I’m no city guard - I don’t know how to effectively protect a city. And surely you have mages that can do more than shock a few poachers and bandits?” Admittedly, she could do much more than shock a few poachers and bandits, but that wasn’t the point of the argument anyway.

“We need you,” said the scout in charge, “because you are the only one who knows the forest so well. You can redirect enemies into more dangerous territory, or show us where to build defense outposts, or set up traps in areas the enemy is most likely to travel through. The brand new mountain range isn’t enough - we need to secure the forest as well.”

Oh, is that what the mountains were about? She’d hardly even remembered to wonder about it. “And who exactly is this so-called ‘enemy’? Do I get that at least?”

The scout’s narrowed eyes and pursed lips told her all she needed to know. “Well, in that case, I don’t see why I would help you. I’m a nice girl, generally, but working to turn the entire forest into a shock maze or something will take more resources than I have available and more time than I’m willing to give. Whatever’s coming, I can defend myself just fine, but you all are on your own.”

With that, on a normal day, Pan would’ve simply leapt up and away, leaving several yards between them before they could blink. Except that today, she was surrounded by suddenly hostile city guards who weren’t willing to give her an inch, lest she take the mile she was planning on.

“That’s a shame, Miss Saterne,” the leader stated, making her choke on the use of her last name. “Your expertise would’ve been greatly appreciated. Though I suppose that with enough flowery wording, I could make you reconsider, lest we place you under arrest for actively hindering the security work…”

Pan gaped. This guy wasn’t being the least bit subtle. “My name is Pan,” she growled. “And does Legias know that her scouts tend to resort to blackmail when they don’t get what they want?”

“Hey, now, I’m only following orders,” the guy said with a less-than-charming smile. “But with that said, may I presume we have an agreement?”

Pan snorted boldly with a venomous glare. “Fine,” she said, not even bothering to shake the hand that the snake-skin held out for her. “I’ll participate in your ‘tune-up’ of the city defenses.”

With another grin and a wave, the scout and his company had gone. And now she was stuck trying to figure out not only how to even get started on such a huge task, but also how a city guard had gotten wind of her real name.

--

Pan’d been at this for several days now. What that snake-skin of a scout didn’t seem to realize was that the forest was large, and there were many pathways - below and above ground - that an enemy could see fit to travel by. And she was meant to do them all by herself!? Even knowing the forest as well as she did, she was only one person and it had taken months upon months of off and on exploring to map it all. Snakeskin never gave her a time limit, but she didn’t imagine that she had that long.

Steadily, she finished off another rune circle. She supposed it was good that she’d managed to get her hands on so many lightning spellbooks, since she knew next to nothing about her element before coming here. She found the concept of lightning traps in one and tended to use it when hunting in the dark. But she’d never managed to create so many at once. She was already nearly drained.

Dusting off her hands, Pan chose to walk rather than climb her way to her next destination. It was a cave of some sort. There were a few people who passed through there, so she figured that this would be a good enemy entry point. Or something.

Before she reached it, however, she heard voices. Acting on her immediate sense of self-preservation, she instantly hid behind a tree and seemed to blend in with the shadows as she observed the three figures - two men, one woman - gathered at the mouth of the cave. After a short while, two of them left, leaving the second man behind. Not knowing the man’s intentions, Pan narrowed her eyes approached, staff held at half-mast. “Hello, stranger,” she said lightly, trying not to sound threatening but fully aware that she didn’t look friendly.

The man blinked and turned toward her. “Uh. ...hi?”

Pan raised a brow and looked him up and down. Well, he looked built, but not very ‘enemy-like.’ A civilian, maybe? “Where exactly did you come from? Not as many come out that cave as they do going in.”

“Wait, people actually use that thing?” the man said. “Or are there just a lot more crazy or stupid or crazy and stupid people around here than I thought?”

Pan snorted. “I won’t deny the crazy and stupid bit, but people actually do go in there. Not often, and I don’t know what’s in it myself, but that’s the truth. Besides,” she added with a smirk, “doesn’t that make you crazy and stupid, too?”

“Nah, just crazy.” The man shrugged. “Well, okay, maybe a little stupid too. I have lapses, it’s a normal thing. Still alive, aren’t I?”

The girl shrugged, finally lowering her staff. “I suppose. Could just be dumb luck, though.”

“Nope, definitely not luck,” the man said. “Trust me, I am not a lucky person.” He paused for a moment, then added, “Usually.”

Pan smirked, taking a few steps closer and finally leaning casually against her staff. “And what brings such an unlucky bloke to my neck of the woods?” A bit cliche, since every neck of the woods was hers in her opinion, but details.

“Well,” the man said, “part because the Underground seems to hate me for whatever reason, but mostly because I got teamed up with a bunch of idiots. Well, mostly idiots. There were a few non-idiots there, too, but they were off doing other things. I think.” He frowned and looked back at the cave to the Underground. “Well, what matters is the guy I was actually dealing with was an idiot, at least.”

“Sounds like an interesting story,” she said, with only the slightest hint of sarcasm.

“Thank you,” replied the man with considerably larger amounts sarcasm. “Well, I’d love to stay and chat (not really), but I’ve got places to go. Like, out of this forest.” He glanced around the area, then added, “Incidentally, which direction would the nearest non-forested area be? I have pretty much no clue where I am right now.”

“Well, I could help you with that,” Pan said lightly. “But I’m on a rather tight schedule. So instead of escorting you personally, I’ll just say that the city is a few miles that way,” she finished, pointing in a vague manner towards the mountains.

“...the city?” The man groaned. “Oh, dear god, this is the first floor. Except with mountains. Why are there mountains? There shouldn’t be mountains. Urgh.”

Pan chuckled. “Yeah, the mountain bit’s new, but it didn’t concern me much. Though now…” Now I’ve been roped into being an unpaid grunt for a snakeskin crooked cop. Good Terra above, what even is my life. “Well, now I realize what they’re really here for.”

“Which isssssssssssssss…?”

Pan raised a brow. “Protection. From someone. Or something.” She swept a bit of hair behind her ear. “I don’t even know. The City Guard’s certainly not talking. But my job is to make the forest more secure, as backup. Whoop-dee-flubbin-doo.”

“Protection. Really.” The man snorted. “It’s a couple of cliffs! That’s not gonna do anything! Seriously, if they wanted defense and they had the power to make a freaking mountain range, why not, y’know, just make a wall? At least that prevents you from just walking around the damn thing. I mean, I am literally best friends with a guy that could do way better this by himself. By himself.”

Pan blinked. “By himself, huh? Any chance he’d be willing to give us a helping hand? Any chance you would, for that matter?”

“Eh…” The man scratched his head, glancing between the cave and the mountain range. “I got things to do, and… aw, screw it. Probably gonna need to restock anyways, might as well pay Tirry a visit while I’m here. Sure, why the hell not?” He extended a hand to Pan. “So, uh, hi. Name’s Curtiss. Well, last name. Don’t usually use my first name.”

Pan stifled a laugh and took the hand. “Well then, Curt, I’m Pan. Welcome to Operation: Cover the City Guards’ Backs.” She leaned back against her shepherd’s crook and added, “What kind of guy is this Tirry? Is he really as powerful as you say?”

Curtiss smiled. “No,” he said, “but he’s got a couple vials of blood from my homeland’s resident deity. I imagine that’ll be good enough…”

--

“So… is this the place we’re gonna find him?” Pan asked skeptically. She felt she had a right to be skeptic, since the place Curtiss had led them to was nothing but an old, run-down church. It was large, wooden, covered in vines and moss, and she couldn’t see a decent-sized strip of wall that didn’t have a hole in it. And were those bite-marks? Really? Really? “Cause… to be completely honest, I don’t think anyone would live here.”

Curtiss shrugged. “At the moment, that’s pretty much true,” he said. “Back before all the floors remembered gravity was a thing, the local priest here let me and a couple buddies stay here, since we were friends and all. Then a bunch of worms came and tore up a good chunk of the city, this old joint included, and we kinda had to move to a replacement. Last I checked, Tirry was still looking around for people to help him rebuild.”

“As you can see,” came a booming voice from behind them, “I haven’t had much success thus far.” Pan turned, and walking over to them was a tall, bald-headed man clothed in brilliant white and red robes. “So, Alexander, what brings you back so soon from your journey? Somehow I doubt it was concern about the church’s current state of affairs, considering how eager you were to leave!”

Curtiss- Alexander?- rolled his eyes. “Come on, Tirry,” he said, “don’t lecture me about responsibility and all that now. I’ve got enough stuff to deal with as it is.”

“Then attend to it,” the bald man replied, gesturing with one prayer bead-shrouded hand towards the road behind him. “If you’re so busy, surely you’ve no time to visit the wreck of our former domicile?”

“Normally, yeah,” Curtiss said. “Thing is, though, I made a friend on the way here- shocking, I know- and from the sound of things, she could use your help. So, um, yeah.” Pan not-so-discreetly rolled her eyes from behind him.

The bald man raised a blond eyebrow. “Is that so?” he asked. His gray eyes flitted from the scout to Pan. “And your name would be, young miss…?”

The shepherd stepped forward, partially wary but otherwise carefree. “My name’s Pan. I’ve lived in the forest the entire time I’ve been here. I take it you must be Tirry?” Obviously, her brain provided even as she scrambled to figure out how not to sound stupid in front of this guy.

“Tirry” let out a booming chuckle. “High Priest Sotirios of the Mossdeep West Church of Aether, at your service,” he said, holding out his hand. “Don’t call me Tirry, though, please- Alexander here only gets away with it because we’ve never been able to get him to call me anything else. Now, what ails you, Pan?”

Pan sighed. “Well, first let’s start with this - are you aware of why the city’s gained a brand new mountain range over the weekend?”

Sotirios winced and let his hand drop. “Among other things. Yes, I am well aware.”

“Well, the City Guard’s decided that the mountains aren’t enough protection from whatever’s coming. They decided that the forest needed to bump up security as well, and since I know most of it like the back of my hand, they’ve… commandeered me into doing so. While I worked, I came across Curt, here, who mentioned something about being friends who could offer even better protection than the mountains. After that he brought me here.”

Sotirios sighed. “That doesn’t give me much to go on,” he said. “I do hope you don’t intend for me to start training wind mages, Curtiss; as I’ve said before, there are many reasons why I simply-”

“Don’t sweat it, man,” Curtiss said. “Although I still don’t know why you can’t just lend some spellbooks out or something-”

“Those texts are reserved for the clergy, Curtiss,” Sotirios snapped. “I won’t let them be passed round to simply anybody curious enough to request a look. Now, what was your suggestion?”

“Well…” Curtiss fidgeted slightly. “You’ve still got some magic water from the Fountain of Light, right?”

Sotirios’s eyes widened. “Curtiss, you know how sacred those waters are! You couldn’t possibly mean to suggest that I waste the blood of our Lord on something such as-”

“-Such as protecting the city and all those who inhabit it?” Curtiss interjected. “Seems fair to me. Plus, you help out the guard, they’re bound to help you back, right? We could finally get this old dump-” he kicked at the church wall, which creaked ominously in response- “back into its prime again.”

“Old dump?” Sotirios sputtered. “Curtiss, I-”

“Also, there’s another Fountain in the Underground.”

Sotirios paused mid-sentence. “...what?”

“I’m serious,” Curtiss said. “Found some books in a city down there, and from the looks of things they used a Fountain of Light to make a whole bunch of cures and stuff down there, right up until they all got eaten by evil blankets or something. Here, I knew you’d be interested, so I kept the page bookmarked-” The scout fished into one of his pockets and pulled out a weathered tome, then tossed it over to the priest.

Sotirios caught it easily with one hand, then flipped the book open to where a strip of linen was crammed between two well-worn pages. “Oh my shit.”

“Had a feeling you’d say that,” Curtiss said.

“So is this a religion-specific thing I’m not allowed to know about, or will one of you kindly inform the ignorant bystander of just what you two are talking about?” Pan interjected, vaguely annoyed.

The two men glanced over. “Right, right,” Curtiss mumbled. “Um, I’m trying to get my buddy to use some super magic-enhancing holy water to cast a super-spell to protect the city, and in order to convince him to do so, I’m telling him that I found more of the holy water in the Underground, and that if we do this, the city guard might help him rebuild his church.”

“A very convincing argument indeed,” Sotiros murmured.

“Yeah, that,” Curtiss said. “That clear enough for you?”

“Crystal,” the girl replied with a bit of sarcasm. “Now that that’s been cleared up, is that a yes or a no on the whole ‘holy water’ bit?” She didn’t mean to sound so rude. Really she didn’t. But she’d just spent the better part of a week booby-trapping the entire forest. And she wasn’t even halfway done. All of this could mean that she could actually get some sleep. That is, if the super mysterious priest-person agreed with Curtiss’ plan…

“You mean if he’s gonna do it or not?” Curtiss asked. “Well…” He turned to Sotirios.

“...give me a moment,” Sotirios muttered. “This is… The implications of this are extraordinary…”

“Yeah, good for you, man.” Curtiss grunted and stretched his arms, then added, “So, wanna go shopping for supplies or check in with the guard or something? If Tirry wants some time to himself, we might as well get productive about it.”

Pan wrinkled her nose at the thought of running across Snakeskin anytime soon. “Er… well, I guess we can do some shopping or something. But if we come across any of the guards, I’m disappearing quicker than spilled water on a hot day.”

“Fair enough, I suppose,” Curtiss said. “Say, do you know anywhere I can get some wolf pelts offloaded or made into a coat or something? I’ve had a few lying around for a while, now, so I might as well do something about them sooner or later…”

--

Several hours of preparation later, Pan, Curtiss, and Sotirios stood at the top of one of the Guard’s watchtowers. How they managed to get up there, Pan couldn’t recall, but if anyone had the mind to ask after everything was over, she was sure an explanation of ‘security detail’ would be enough to get them of their back for at least a little while.

She and Curtiss stood to the side and watched as Sotirios hovered over stone bowl decorated with intricate runes and filled with holy water. And Pan used the term water in the loosest sense possible, since according to Curtiss it was actually a demigod’s magic blood or something. Glowing blood, of course, because nothing about magic holy blood-water was simple. Pan stared out of sheer confusion and wonder at first, but when she felt a mild burning sensation behind her eyes after two seconds of it she decided it would be in her best interest to watch Sotirios instead.

The priest himself could apparently stand to be closer to the magic holy god-water than she or Curtiss could. He was doing some very intricate hand movements and murmuring a chant under his breath. The holy water in the bowl churned slightly, and every second that passed left the tower growing darker and darker as the layer of clouds above the city thickened. In a matter of minutes, the thunderclouds completely blotted out the sunlight, leaving the settlement below lit only by artificial means.

“...Do you think we should give him some sunglasses or something!?” Pan yelled to Curtiss over the wind.

Curtiss slumped against a battlement, hands pressed to his head to shield his hair from the storm. “Uh, I don’t think he really cares!” he hollered back, pressing himself against the stone.

“Yeah, I didn’t think so…!” Hope he doesn’t have eye problems after this, that thing’s really freaking bright… “How long is thing going to take!?”

“How should I know? Ask him, not the random bum renting his attic!”

Pan freely rolled her eyes before turning to Sotirios. “Uh… sir!? Tirry!? Is everything going okay, or…!?”

“Call me that one more time and I’ll throw you over the side,” Sotirios growled, glaring intensely at the bowl of holy water. “Now, if you would be so kind as to be silent? I’m in the middle of something, if you haven’t noticed.”

Oh, I noticed you grumpy old coot. I also noticed the giant of a storm forming and I was wondering if I was supposed to be feeling like I’m about to fly off into the currently not-visible sunset, but if you wanna continue burning your brains out with the holy god magic-water, be my guest. Of course, none of this was said aloud, but it would’ve been extremely satisfying if it was. “And how long will you be ‘in the middle of something,’ ‘cause if this storm keeps up much longer, we’re both gonna fall out and you’ll have two really annoying ghosts badgering you for the rest of your natural life!”

Sotirios huffed. “I’d have been done already if you hadn’t already started badgering me in the first place. Now, be quiet and let me do my work.”

[i]...If I whacked him too hard with my staff, would his ghost badger me for the rest of my natural life?[i] Pan decided not to take the chance.

A beam of light suddenly shot up from the bowl and struck the storm, and the wind and snow immediately lessened to far more tolerable levels. All around the city, just beyond its protective mountain range, a barrier of glowing green, magic-imbued wind faded into existence.

Curtiss grunted and pulled himself to his feet. “So-” he looked at Sotirios- “judging by the fireworks, you and the guard worked something out?”

Sotirios failed to meet his gaze, eyes fixed sternly on the floorstones. “I talked with the city guard, yes,” he muttered. “It took some arguing, and I’m not entirely pleased with the results, but…” His voice trailed off.

Curtiss frowned, appearing genuinely concerned for the first time since Pan had met him. “Did they at least offer to help rebuild?”

Sotirios nodded. “That was one of their agreements, yes, along with periodic expeditions to the Underground to secure more waters from the Fountain.” He glanced back at the pedestal where the holy water had been, shaking his head. “Of all places, I never would have thought-”

“Yeah, you told us that already,” Curtiss cut in. “So, what’s the problem, then? What else did they want besides the storm defenses and stuff?”

Sotirios closed his eyes and sighed. “Our magic, of course. They said it was mostly to ensure safe passage through the wind walls, but I’ve no doubt that’s little more than an excuse to access the church’s secrets.”

Curtiss’s frown deepened. “Man, we’ve been over this,” he said. “It’s just a few wind spells. Honestly, you should’ve started teaching that stuff to everyone the moment we got here-”

“Our lord intended that magic for the clergy,” Sotirios snapped. “No one else. To let his teachings fall into the hands of nonbelievers-”

“-is something you’re gonna have to deal with,” Curtiss said. “You guys had an agreement, right? It’s too late to whine about it now.”

Sotirios’s eye quivered as he glared at Curtiss. “...for you of all people to be lecturing me on responsibility…”

“Well, if it gets you to shut up…” The scout smirked.

Sotirios scowled at him for a moment longer, then stiffly turned to the staircase and descended from the towertop.
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:36 pm

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby West Coast on Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:20 pm

Quest 59: Go West, Young Man

’I know where you are.’
Aram walked away from the guard station, still troubled by the parrot-spirit’s parting words. Why does that bother me? This city certainly has some unusual geography, but Geheris made it sound like something much more significant. Aram shook his head and sighed. I don’t need this to bother me. It’s about time to get moving on anyways.
Aram shifted his pack and started to head towards one of the city gates, still unable to shake the vague feeling of dread.

The main gate to the city had a ramshackle, cobbled appearance that belied its height over the surrounding buildings. With the adjacent stables and barrack area, there were often a number of guards milling about, either about to begin new duties or be relieved. Aram noted that the grounds felt more empty than usual, with only a pair of armoured souls at the watch posts.
Might as well get going while the daylight’s still good. Maybe I can even get paid for the crypt clearance.
One of the guards was sitting at a booth, intently studying something in front of him and occasionally moving his arm forward, as though to adjust something or take a note. The other was looking through an arrow loop, oblivious to his partner. I guess it’s a low traffic part of the day. Haven’t seen any caravans or trading parties yet here, either - just the cows from outside the city.
As he came closer to the booth near the the heavy oaken door, the sitting guard stood up and called out to Aram in a voice laced with put-upon bureaucracy and tedium.

“Do you need some assistance, Sehr?”

Average height, appears to be balding under the helmet. Heavy set, but that makes sense given the guard duty and the mostly sedentary workplace. Armour’s not particularly flashy, but looks like it’s been put to some use. Probably bored, not intending to be rude.
Aram cleared his throat. “I’m just looking to head out of the city.”

The guard’s body language shifted slightly, and his expression changed imperceptibly from ‘boredom’ to ‘unease’. “Er, what are you looking to do outside the city? Some mercenary work at the upper floors?”

Upper floors? Of what structure?

The second guard had turned away from the wall slit, and walked over towards the booth. “Relax, Pho. He’s been a bit uptight since the bit with the collapse, dunno why, ours is probably the easiest gate to look after in the city right now. Not much out there ‘cept for the cows. Although if you’re looking for something paying, I know that the lovely Lady Lancer Legias was looking for someone able-bodied for something or other.”

This one’s a pleasant sort, if a bit more cavalier with his tongue. And his information. Looks to be paying a bit more attention to his armour, but that might be simple vanity. The long blond locks certainly don’t help that.

“I think we’ve already met, she had me look into clearing the crypt on the other end of the city. I wasn’t looking to stay here though, I’m just as happy to be on my way while there’s still daylight for traveling.” Even as the words left his lips, Aram felt a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. What’s wrong here?

“You’re probably better off getting a leg up speaking to her first, sirrah. Besides, you don’t seem too well equipped for the upper floors, and you don’t seem like a mage - no offense intended, sir.”

Cavalier or not, a guard is never that relaxed when talking about magic. “None taken; do you get a lot of mages around these parts?” Aram did his best to keep his expression neutral.

The two guards almost instantly looked away, snorting and guffawing with laughter.
“L-look,” wheezed the heavyset guard, “It’s a blithering CASTLE that FLIES IN THE AIR. You can’t” overcome with laughter, he took a moment to try composing himself - “Can’t trip without bumping into one of the fools. It’s a regular honey trap for them - and once they’re here, they’re as stuck as the rest of us.”

Aram took the guard’s directions over to the armoury building where Captain Legias was supposed to be, his calm features masking a turmoil of thoughts.
How? How on earth did I end up in here? How can a castle have no exit - magical or otherwise? How did I manage to get myself into this situation?

...and how can I now leave?


-

Mirae slung her cloak over her shoulders as she stepped out into the main street, where she nearly collided with a boy jogging along the edge, letter clutched in his hand. Mirae stepped hastily back into the alley as the messenger skipped to the left to avoid her. He raised a hand in apology and ran on.
Muttering aimlessly under her breath, Mirae bent down to pick up her cloak. She hadn’t managed to clasp it before the messenger boy had appeared, and it lay in a heap behind her. Scooping it up, she walked more carefully into the street.
She found herself again in the road leading up to the library. The cuts on her leg twinged, and she smiled tightly.
Mirae leaned against a nearby shop and looked up at the library’s towers. Speaking to the building, she said, “I think I’ve been here too long again.” No matter where she went, the city felt endlessly, infuriatingly, the same.

-

The main training facility was a beehive of activity, even in the middle of the day, with groups of guards in mismatched training armour sparring, wrestling, and practicing with their weapons, while pages and disgruntled looking farmers came in and out of long, squat building.
This must be the place. Aram melted between the crowding leagues, noting a half closed door near the back of the building. It may not be the most official business, but if I’m being asked to report to Legias by the gate guards, it’ll be enough.
Aram paused, and made two crisp knocks before opening the door. “Captain?”

“What is it?” Legias called from inside the room.

“I’ve been requested to ask about any outstanding duties by the guards at the Main gate.” Aram kept his reply as order-like as he could. It won’t hurt to show some proactive behaviour, either

“Yes, Phobos and Deimos,” Legias replied, momentarily distracted. “Why didn’t they route you to the master-at-arms?”

Aram kept his face somewhat blank. “No idea, sir. Mentioned something about the upper floors.”
How much do you know? And how much do you expect that I know?

“I want you to get your gear together and get out of this area. I want maps and intelligence on the areas surrounding us, as well as possible resources and enemies. I would prefer you weren’t seen, and that you come back with as few injuries as possible. Am I clear?”

“Understood, sir.” Aram paused briefly to consider the directive. Maps. Alright, I’ll need paper or vellum, some compasses, a utensil or two, and some distance markers. The captain won’t have those, but… “Is there a stables in town?”

“The Library has a small acquisition of horses, but I’d doubt you could convince the Lorekeeper to help you.” Legias made a face, lip curling in derision. “The Guard has a few, but they’re… taken, for the moment.”

“I can do without, but it may take somewhat longer. I’m assuming you need this information immediately.”

“It is of the utmost importance,” Legias commanded, standing. “If you must, arrange a meeting with the Lorekeeper, and tell her it’s a favor from the city if she complies.”

“Hmm. May I?” Aram gestured to a blank piece of vellum on the Captain’s desk.

“I’d prefer you didn’t, but I suppose you will anyway, so--” she gestured impatiently towards her desk. “There’s a pen in the first drawer.”

Without waiting for further instruction, Aram took the pen and wrote neatly, ‘The bearer of this notice is empowered to act in the best interest of the city in order to create an accurate map and intelligence report for use of its citizens. Signed this day,’ and Aram left a blank for the Captain to sign.

“This may be acceptable for me to begin acquisitions, if you’d sign below.”

Legias inspected the paper, turning to glare at the man. “You expect the Lorekeeper to agree to this, Aram?”

Aram arched an eyebrow. “Not at all. However, she can’t ignore an official envoy, and she won’t be able to ignore results.”

“Don’t start a war, Aram.”

“Won’t be a problem, sir. I’ll report back with the information.” With that, Aram saluted and headed out of the office. Looks like the Library should be my next stop, although Legias didn’t think much of my chances, even with the notice. Well, it’s much like the old tutors - what they don’t know won’t bother them once they’ve got the finished product

Making his way to the Library grounds, Aram’s thoughts flew once again to the frightening revelation the heavyset guard had unwittingly set before him.
I can’t leave. Not that exile is anything more than self imposed at this point, but there’s noone here to run from either way. Is everyone else here against their will? The guards seemed too relaxed for that to be true, and adventurers sometimes seek this place out, don’t they? But how did I get here, then? I never left the ground, I’ve barely been in this city for a couple of days! I can’t - Aram shook his head to clear his thoughts. Stop. This isn’t helping. Stop worrying about the how. Focus on the Job in front of you.

-

The Library appeared to have been largely untouched by the earthquakes and mysterious discharges from previous days, looking almost ornate in its humble sidings and column facings.
Lovely set of front doors, I’ll definitely have to come here later and have a proper look at some of the literature. That’ll take time, though - and Legias needs this done urgently. Fastest way through a bureaucracy is to go around it, maybe there’s a back door? Side entrance? Aram moved past the large double doors to see if the alley had a solution. A couple of minutes later, he rounded the back, feeling vexed. No side doors, pox and chaos. Does everyone jump out the window if there’s a - NO Aram gasped, the involuntary thought sending his world spinning, and causing his knees to buckle.

Mirae had been pacing back along the alleyways, unwilling to return to the heart of the city but uncertain what she would gain by staying. At least the back ways were emptier than the streets, so she could afford to watch the sky and the rooftops instead of the road. The few she did encounter all seemed to have a destination they were more than anxious to reach. A flicker of motion caught her eye, and she glanced half-heartedly to the side, waiting to see another passerby hurry past and disappear as quickly.
This man, though, stopped as soon as he had turned the corner. Mirae shrugged, waiting to see what was different.

Aram didn’t remember hitting the ground, only the feeling of the uneven cobbles on his face.
Relax. Deep breaths. There’s nothing here. You aren’t in immediate danger. Count primes until you can stand up again. You have a job to do, after all.
Aram propped himself up on his elbow. Falling down in a clear walkway, that’s a new low, though. At least no-one noticed? Or would it be better if someone had? His breathing was shaky and shallow, despite his efforts to the contrary.

Mirae paused just beyond the sidestreet. Just a midday drunk, she told herself, starting to walk on again. She stopped after a few steps. “It doesn’t sit right”? Why are you talking inside my head? Shaking her head, she tried to ignore the shuffling sounds coming from the alley and move on.
The next thing she knew, she was walking back around the corner. The fallen man seemed to be recovering, or at least, was not prostrate on the ground. After throwing a brief look down the street he had come from, Mirae crouched next to him, trying to catch his eye. “Are you all right?”

Aram blinked up at the young woman next to him. “I hope so. I don’t seem to remember falling over, though.” And truth be told, it might take a couple of minutes for me to stand up by myself. Aram tried to draw himself up further, but only managed to rise to one knee. “You wouldn’t happen to know of a side entrance to the library, would you?”

The woman put a hand on his shoulder. “Easy,” she said, frowning, and Aram’s breathing began to slow. Wait, what’s she- “Not really,” she continued. “Are the guards not letting you in?”

“I’m not concerned about the guards, but Captain Legias asked about making some maps, and mentioned that the Lorekeeper might not be so willing to part with materials, much less a horse. I figured I’d have to do some ‘unofficial appropriation’ to get results - unless you’d happen to be Lori?”

Brow clearing, the woman sat back on her heels. “‘Liberating’, then?” She hopped to her feet and offered him a hand. “You should be able to stand now.”

Aram took the proffered hand, and stood up. I feel better. Not just the breathing, but the bump on my head’s gone, and the scrapes where my knees must have hit the floor. A mage, then? The guards did say they were common here.

He looked at Mirae in astonished gratitude. “Thank you! Er, not ‘liberating’ as such, I don’t intend to keep anything longer than I’ll need it for, but explaining it is a bit more complex than borrowing a few tools and sheets and bringing back something worth considerably more.” Aram paused, then added, “Albeit, without permission, but people tend to be more forgiving afterwards. Have you been out on these, er, ‘floors’ before? Miss?”

The woman’s face lit up. “Ah, you’re mapping the other floors?” Hastily attempting to lessen her grin, she said, “Right. I’m Mirae.” She dipped her head somewhat respectfully.

Aram bowed, smiling. “A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mirae. I’m Aram. Legias said that she needs maps, but also some intelligence reports for the other floors as well. I’m happy to help out, but I don’t exactly know the lay of the land, only that I’m supposed to be keeping out of any trouble for this.” Although I may already be disqualified from that, but that’s neither here nor there.

“I could probably help with that, if you need a guide,” Mirae said. Her smile had not lessened. “Though--is she sending you out alone?” Her fingers twitched toward a fold in her cloak before she stilled them.

“Funnily enough, she didn’t specify.” Aram chuckled. “And I would certainly be glad of the company, not to mention the experience. Have you ever done any cartography?”

Mirae gave a sharp jerk of her head, as if banishing an unwanted thought. “I’ve never made maps, but I’ve been to most of the nearby floors before. And I’d be glad to go again, see what they look like now.”

“I’d be happy to have you then! The map work is easy enough to explain, especially once we’ve got a couple of the tools. Any Library worth its’ vellum will have a set or two of what we need. And this one is supposed to have a stable somewhere around here too, perhaps to make up for the lack of a side entrance.” Aram paused, collecting his thoughts. “Legias made it sound like we’d be dealing with some fairly hefty distances, at least, so I’m assuming we’ll need horses - technically, we’re empowered to take any necessary measures for this.” Aram pulled the chit with the Captain’s signature on it out for Mirae to see.

Mirae skimmed the parchment, muttering a couple of the words to herself, and handed it back. “It is a bit of a journey. I have a horse, and supplies for myself, so that makes it a little easier. I could pick up food for you, if you’d like to start now. While you get what you need for the maps.”

Aram nodded. “I’d appreciate that, would you mind meeting up at the main gate to the cow pasture? I can’t imagine this should take too long, even with borrowing a horse.”

“I’ll see you there.” Mirae adjusted the neck of her cloak and with a final look down each alley, started off to the marketplaces.

-

Aram ducked into the Library, letting the door shut behind him as quietly as he could manage.
Okay. I’m looking for a supply room, perhaps somewhere they do binding?
Wait, just make a list. I’ll need some string, a compass, a rangefinder with an angle attachment, a few writing implements, and as many sheets of material as I can find.

Aram crept along the halls of the library, looking out for side rooms and desks. Nothing yet - wait, there’s a section of maps over there, let’s look in the drawer underneath… Excellent! Now to find paper.

A pair of doors adorned the furthest reaches of the lowest floor of the library. With any luck, one of these should be a general supplies repository. Aram smiled wryly. Of course, with my luck, they’re the Loremaster’s offices and private outhouse, and I’ll be caught post-haste.
Aram opened the door to reveal a binding workshop, sewing desk, and small printing press in the corner. Jackpot! They’ve even got a press here! Not much in the way of type, but that’s still impressive! Augh, no time to marvel, best to take a sheaf of paper… Aram grabbed the sheaf, hoping that no-one had entered the hallway to hear the rustling of the papers. Charcoal markers, string, paper, compass, range-finder… I think that’s all from here. Just need to head to the stables and find a mount. Aram smirked as he opened a window to let himself out. That’ll be the easy part.

-

Aram caught up with Mirae’s horse just outside the city gates. “Here, hold this for a moment.” he said, handing her an unusually marked semicircle.

Mirae hooked her bag over the pommel of her saddle and took the object. Turning it over in her hands, she said, “This is for mapmaking?”

“In a way,” Aram replied, pulling out an identical piece from the small box he was holding. “These can be used for taking measurements - if you know a couple of basic principles. Do you see the copse over there, next to the tree?” She nodded, glancing at the thicket.
“I took a reading from the gates to figure out what the angle between the top of that hill was and the ground - that’s what these pieces are for,” Aram indicated the small lever on the side.
“You use your eye to line up the top of something to the lever, and then hold the lever in place, and look at the reading on the face of the circle. What we’re going to do, is take a few readings for the taller spots out here, and then we can roughly get the distances without walking everywhere, as long as we know one of the distances in question.”

“Hm.” Mirae fiddled with the lever, watching as the marker turned. She held it up between herself and the copse, then swiveled to face one of the taller buildings in town, checking the reading in between. “Makes enough sense, I suppose.” She shrugged. “So we can use these to tell where each of the floors are when we find them?”

“To an extent,” Aram replied. “What we should do first is check the angle against something we know the height of already - in our case, the top of the Gate wall - and then we’ll be able to gauge distances. Direction is a bit more difficult, the lode-stones in the library were all pointing in different directions, so we’ll have to deal with the boundaries of each area by marking down what we can see from a point that we know.”

“Well, I know about where things are in most of the nearby areas, if each floor still looks basically the same. We’ll find out soon enough.” She took up Chet’s reins in one hand. “Shall we?”

“I’m just about done here,” Aram was jotting down the number onto a small notepad, making a couple of notes while his borrowed horse ambled towards Mirae’s. “Although now that you mention it, I did have a question - if you don’t mind.”
She nodded.

“Why does everyone keep talking about floors?”

-

Mirae waited on Chet in the middle of a plain on what used to be the third floor. She switched repeatedly between scanning the horizons for signs of movements and watching her companion take measurements of both the city and a towering tree, made small by distance. So far, the floors seemed to be normal. Other than being able to step between the second floor’s forests and the third’s fields, that was. She focused on Aram as he finished writing.

“There’s a few places here that should be suitable for a forward camp, I think. Certainly we won’t be going hungry any time soon.” Aram appeared thoughtful, biting down on his lower lip and making another note in the pad. “The caves and rock falls by the outer walls probably bear investigating at some point. Maybe not the ones on this floor, but it might be worth a look into by one of the other areas.”

“If they’re still there on the others,” Mirae agreed. She hesitated, frowning. “Does the city look like it’s in an odd place? It seems like we’re following it around instead of getting farther from it.”

“We are further from it, but we’re no longer heading directly away from it the way we were by the gates.” Aram appeared pensive. “Either we got turned around somehow, or we weren’t heading perpendicular in the first place…”

Mirae shook her head. “We’re still in the middle of this floor. We can’t have gotten turned around.” She ran a hand over her head in frustration. “This is bizarre.”

“Not necessarily. I think I’ve got a handle on what’s going on here, but we’ll need to keep going to make sure.” Aram put the paper down, and turned his horse. “Where to next?”

-

I’m not going to miss this floor. Aram wanted to complain to Mirae, but reasoned that she was just as fed up with the expanse of salt-smelling quicksand and moist air as he was. We’ve been lucky that we haven’t lost the horses, either. There’s barely enough vegetation to use as a rope anchor here if one of us fell in. Aram reached into his pack and put down a few more touches to the floor map.
Up ahead, Mirae turned from where she was leading Chet across a narrow strip of marsh grass. “I think we’re almost to eight. The terrain’s starting to look different in just a little ways. Behind you!” A sharp crack sounded behind Aram, and the smell of burnt flesh mixed with the salt. Mirae paused, waiting for him. “Another rat.”

“Can’t even see where they’re coming from, half the time. Unless they’re using these root systems the same way we are. You said no-one’s been to this upcoming area yet?” Aram brought his borrowed horse over to where Chet was eyeing the marshy stubble.

Mirae dropped her reins, letting the horse go after the vegetation. “Not too many people, anyway. I know at least one has climbed through the eleventh, but I think he’s one of the few.”

“Hmm.” Aram moved the pages around to show a different map, with most of the previous floors now filled onto it. “No doubt that we haven’t got information, I don’t think we can actually see it from the city, even now.”

“The city we’ve been circling around for the past however-many days? How does the map look now, by the way?” Mirae walked over to peer at his papers.

“We’ve been rotating around the city to a certain extent, but there’s a couple of wrinkles here,” Aram pointed at the lower part of the map, smoothing it out so that Mirae could see. “The outer walls have been getting further away from the city with some consistency, and we can’t see into this upcoming area. The terrain’s also… sloping? I guess that’s the best term for it. It wasn’t so obvious by the water’s edge or here by the sand, but I think we’re a fair bit higher than the city right now.”

“Ah.” Mirae traced the outer boundary with a finger. “This was about where the cliffs were, right? The ones off that way.” She gestured vaguely behind them. “If the floors keep spiraling like this…” She traced out a path on the parchment. “Do you think what we were seeing was the upper floors?”

Aram grinned. “I’m almost certain. And there’s an easy way to check it, if we head over to the next floor’s inner edge.”
Mirae’s eyes lit up. “Let’s go over, then.”

The marshy edge of the sandy plains gave way to a smoother rock ground, angled with occasional deep divots that appeared too perfect to be natural. The vegetation appeared as spiky brushes and gnarled trees, but on closer inspection, these too were oddly smooth to the touch, with sharp angles and spiked needle-like appendages.
Aram gulped as they approached the edge of the floor. Even if I hadn’t been told this was a flying castle, I’d definitely suspect magic here. That’s the front gate of the city! Aram whipped out the range finder, nicking the skin on his finger in the process.
“That clinches it. It’s a spiral outward.” Aram, studiously ignoring his hand, scribbled notes furiously onto the pad.

“This is incredible,” Mirae said, kneeling down to run a hand along the top of the cliff. She grinned as she stared down at the city below them. “I wonder what this looks like below us,” she said, turning to look at the dark spot that was the cliffs on the other side of the floor.

“I’m not sure we can see past the cliff edge from below,” Aram replied. “We certainly didn’t think to look up when we…” Aram looked behind him and fell quiet. The field behind them stretched out to the far walls of the upper floors, but instead of the normal hills and valleys that Aram had thought of as the ‘average’ floor, they had been replaced by a bizarre mix of smooth facets and sharp angles, periodically dotted by strange curls and twists of thorns and spikes. The colour of the land was strangely breathtaking, with the muted greens and brown facets of the ‘ground’ giving way to dark reds and oranges in the hills, and changing to brighter greens and purples at the spiny outcroppings. Some distance away, the ground appeared to break unevenly, revealing a small cave outcropping, lined with more reflective crystalline structures. Further still, several unusual structures standing far above the rest of the floor rose in an alien manner, all spires and angled spirals towards the heavens.

“Well, that’s certainly… different.” Aram spoke absent-mindedly, still staring at the bizarre scenery.

Mirae had already unclasped her cloak, setting it by the cliff edge so she could move more easily. She walked in between two dark green clumps of spikes and crouched beside one, so that her head was just below the tallest of the group. “I can’t tell if it’s glass or stone,” she said, putting the tips of her fingers against it. “Doesn’t seem dangerous, if you don’t run into it.” She tipped her head consideringly at the thorns.

“Give me a few moments, I’ll make a sketch.” Aram switched to a new piece of paper. “I don’t think we should disturb them, but somebody is definitely going to want to have a look around here, even if it’s only for the novelty.” Probably worth mentioning to the Loremaster, along with this sketch.

She nodded, standing and wandering among the closer figures. “Call me back when you’re done,” she said, a little distractedly.

-

The stench of rotting, decayed bodies permeated the air, despite only a token presence of skeletal remains from the battle that had occurred on the floor. Here and there, indents and gouges in the ground marked areas where a fight had occurred, sometimes punctuated with the off white and yellow of bone fragments. Near the centre of the floor, a broken tower provided the only proper landmark of the area, save for a pair of shallow indents near the cliff edge, and some crevices by the upper floor wall.
Aram coughed, feeling slightly green and trying to contain his now roiling stomach. I have the readings here, for what that’s worth. But this odour, its putrescent, even fetid. What happened here? “Anything here we need to be on the lookout for?” Aram kept his voice low, and his breathing shallow.

Mirae shifted in the saddle, pulling the hood of her cloak around her mouth and nose. “I’m not sure,” she admitted, voice muffled by the fabric. “Marcus made it sound horrifying, but he never told me exactly what was here.” She pulled Chet to the side, scanning the floor as she did, but it remained silent and still.

“There was some sort of battle here, I take it?”

“Seeing as there are swords and spears and dead bodies, I would guess so.” She reined her horse back toward him.
“Not the first time I’ve seen aftermath, but it’s odd…” Aram looked introspective. “Swords and spears are valuable, even just for spare wood and metal. But nobody’s been around to collect the leftovers.” Leftovers, what a tasteless turn of phrase. And the less scrupled usually loot the dead while they’re at it.

“It could be due to whatever this floor does, if it drives off any visitors or something else.” Above her cloak, her eyes seemed far too excited by the prospect. “We know it’s survivable. But this is a mystery.”

“Either way, the Captain’ll want to know about it.” Aram leaned forward suddenly, his surroundings forgotten. “Wait, more grasslands?”

Mirae followed his gaze. “Oh, that’ll be the next floor.” She paused, thinking. “We might want to take measurements at the edge of nine instead of on ten. I’d imagine it’d be hard to map past that.”

That seemed… ominous. “There’s a problem with the tenth floor?”

“If having hooves is a problem.”

“It.. Transmogrifies you?!” Aram was incredulous.

“You turn into a cow.” Seeing his expression, Mirae hurriedly added, “It only lasts while you’re on the floor. You go back to normal on the eleventh.”

“Then we’re giving it a skip. I’ve got the measurements for this floor, but I want to go look at the crevice over by the cliff.”
Mirae nodded, leading the way over to the edge. Her horse picked his way carefully through the corpses and abandoned weapons. The crack Aram had pointed out widened as they neared, until it was an opening wide enough to pull a small cart through. The ground sloped sharply into the hole, veering abruptly to the right just where the light could barely reach it past the crevice’s ceiling.
Aram dismounted from his horse. “I think we might want to take this next part on foot.” No telling what there is inside, at any rate.

“Good point.” Mirae did the same, then stepped into the passageway, ducking around the fragmented remains of a ribcage as she went further in.

As soon as she turned the corner, a familiar set of stone walls met her eyes. Surprised, she glanced behind her, where the light from the ninth floor seemed to have been cut off completely, leaving only a black turn in the corridor. She dropped Chet’s reins and stepped back, losing sight of all traces of the city the moment she was back in the first section.

Aram stepped behind her. “Where’d you go before, and where’s your horse?” It didn’t seem that dark in here…

Mirae glanced at the shadows behind her, then at him. “Take a look for yourself,” she said, smiling slightly as she stepped aside.

-

The afternoon had just begun to slide into evening when Aram parted with Legias, bringing the faithful steed toward its’ original stables. What have we learned so far? The floors appear to be arrayed in a spiral configuration, with the city at its’ centre. There’s a gradual uphill slope that naturally separates the different floors by means of a cliff face. There’s a number of caves in the cliffs,and they appear to be connected to sinkholes near the surface of the corresponding upper level, but the distance covered doesn’t make sense - once you have left one area, you’re basically in the next. Save for the one split between the 10th and 11th floors, you barely spend any time in the cave system at all. The cave system may be pretty standard, but we won’t know that until people check the other floors…
When Aram looked up, he was surrounded by several well-armed Loreknights. “Lorekeeper wants to see you, sir,” one of them said impassively.

Welp, time to pay the piper. At least this information is good, and the Loremaster should respect the work, at any rate. Aram handed over his rapier to the closest knight and dismounted the horse, allowing the guards to lead him into the library, depositing him in an empty study.

Lori breezed in, glancing disdainfully at the waiting man as she made her way to her seat on the other side of her desk. “What are you doing here?”

Aram looked at the Loremaster. So this is the Captain’s sister. Tall, thin features, framed with dark, almost ebony, hair. Eyes are sharp, this is someone that notices details - not that you’d expect less from someone using this kind of title. Fingers are nimble, slightly inkstained, and… discoloured? I can smell some sulphur, maybe saltpetre? Certainly someone with an alchemical bent. She’s wearing a mail shirt and leather undercoat, with some blackening to one side - she may have been working on an experiment. Odd that she wouldn’t be wearing gloves, unless something spilled? Aram cleared his throat.
“I’m here to apologise for withdrawing a number of supplies from the library, and for taking a horse without being given express permission to do so.” Let’s get my indulgences out of the way first.

Lori sniffed. “You set my experiments back a month with that little prank of yours. The horse was an integral part of my work, and now it’s going to have to learn to count all over again before I can progress.”
Wait, so THAT’S why the horse kept on pawing at the ground? I thought it had learned impatience! Aram hastily tried to recover from smiling, replying, “Given the circumstances, I don’t believe that will be necessary, unless you had trained it to count beyond eight.”

“Do you have any idea of the type of science you were disrupting?” Lori asked. Momentarily distracted, she went on, “Oh, do you? Because I’d love someone willing to participate. All you’d really need is a basic comprehension and a willingness to have your hair slightly-- well, we don’t need to discuss particulars right now.”

Odd that she’d get sidetracked so easily. Aram quavered, “I’m not privy to any disruption that was caused, and I do apologise for the inconvenience. I was told that having an accurate set of maps for the floors surrounding the city would be invaluable to the guard - but I sense that you may wish for a copy as well.” Aram brandished a roll of scrolls in a leather binding from his bag, and handed them over to Lori.

The tall woman glanced down at the papers then back to the man, still glaring. “And you just took what you needed without bothering to consult first, did you? That sounds like the kind of behaviour a Loreknight needs to cultivate.”

Cultivate? That doesn’t seem right. “Forgive me, but the Captain mentioned that it might be… difficult to explain the circumstances, despite the need of the task. Rather than tie up your time, I felt it might be more prudent to show my work first.”

“Oh, it’s no trouble,” Lori said with a vacant smile. “I’ll have someone find a uniform in your size, then. In the meantime, there should be empty quarters for you on the fourth floor.”

Now hold on just a moment. “Am I to be placed under arrest, then?” Aram sounded quizzical.

“I hope not,” Lori said. “If Legias arrests one of my people one more time, I will be upset.”

“Then I’m afraid I’m at a loss as to why I would need a uniform or any sort of lodging, Loremaster.”

Lori raised an eyebrow. “All Loreknights are required to be in uniform when on duty, young man. As for lodgings, it is highly irregular for you not to remain in the library, and any reasoning and extenuating circumstances would have to be cleared with me.”

That’s as may be, but I’m not volunteering. And you certainly don’t have the right to call me young. “Ah, I begin to see the problem. Given that I was engaged for the City Guard at the time, I can certainly appear before you for a reprimand as you see fit, but I am not currently part of the Loreknights.” And you’re a long way from convincing me that I should be.

The Lorekeeper sighed. “Any access to library materials, beyond the books that are shelved for the general public, is only available to Loreknights. Obviously, you only made use of those materials with the intention of becoming a Loreknight.” She smiled brightly. “Do you have any unusual immunities to poisons? That could be quite useful. Or do you speak another language? Oh, well, we can always use more researchers. And you’ve already shown some talent. Dismissed.” She pulled a cord, and called out, “Decius, please show Mr. Aram to his rooms.”

Alright then, plan B it is.“Before you leave, there’s one minor thing - if you could sign to acknowledge to the Guard that the leftover materials and extra copy of the maps were returned along with the horse, that would likely ease Legias’ mind. I’ve written it out on the parchment with the maps.” Aram kept his face in a practiced blank state.

Lori signed the paper, scrawling an additional note beneath her signature. Handing it back to Aram, she informed him, “You don’t answer to Legias.”

Aram took the scrap of paper, and turned away from Lori, following Decius out of the office. Aaand there’s the fold. The note now read: ‘The bearer of this note, Aram, is permitted to use all materials within the library, and may check things out with notation and approval. Signed, Lori. Aram is to be known henceforth and retroactively as a Loreknight, and not to be suborned in any way by the City Guard, nor hindered excepting required experimentation.’
I may not answer to Legias, but neither do I answer to you, Lori.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:09 pm

Turn Rewards
Lordxana0: ~ ?
Richard the Warlock ~ ?
Blurred_9L ~ ?
Scarab ~ ?; ?; ?
West Coast ~ ?
Victin ~ ?
JackAlsworth ~ ?
RussetDivinity ~ ?
Krika ~ ?
Endless Sea ~ ?; ?
narrativedilettante ~ ?
Qara-Xuan Zenith ~ ?
Guyshane ~ ?
IslaKariese ~ ?
Tohrinha ~ ?
eli_gone_crazy ~ ?
Adell ~ ?

GM Note: We will start hunting down open reward slots this weekend. If you have an idea of what you want, please message us on the Forums. Thank you.

Setting Update: So now we have some idea of the new shape of the Castle: the first floor is in the centre, and still the lowest, with everything spiralling outward and upward from there. We also have some defenses in place-- a bigger Guard and a windwall spell that Legias and a few other city leaders have the authority to call up in case of emergency.

Quest 61: Resolution
Quest Description: You’ve started fires.
Quest Goal: Put them out.
Quest Takers: Seire (AMimsyBorogove) and Kurt (Sicon112).
GM Notes: Once again, there should be no lasting adverse effects on non-you PCs. This is your wrap-up time.

Quest 62: Falling Flat
Quest Description: You’ve been sent up as part of a joint effort between the Guard, the guilds, and the Library to establish an outpost in one of the Upper floor areas in order to move forward. Your grouping has been assigned to investigate floor 18.
Quest Goal: Find or make a safe area on the floor to build a new settlement.
Quest Takers: Fern (Krika) and Eliziya (agoraoptera)
GM Notes: Everything on floor 18 is 2-D. When you enter floor 18, you become two-dimensional for the duration. (Paper Mario~! :D)

Quest 63: Feeling Green
Quest Description: You’ve been sent up as part of a joint effort between the Guard, the guilds, and the Library to establish an outpost in one of the Upper floor areas in order to move forward. Your grouping has been assigned to investigate floor 19.
Quest Goal: Find or make a safe area on the floor to build a new settlement.
Quest Takers: Marcus (Guyshane) and Vincent (Lordxana0)
GM Notes: Floor 19 is radioactive.



Deadline for all quests is Thursday, March 13th at 11:59 p.m. EST.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby agoraoptera on Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:19 am

Quest 62: Falling Flat

“Do I have it, did I make sure to get it….” Fern muttered, shuffling through his pack. Various items of varied descriptions were carefully removed and set on the ground, until he reached a large leather satchel. He opened it slightly, peering in. Seemingly satisfied with the contents, he put it back in, and and slotted everything that he had taken out back into the pack, hoisting it back onto his shoulders.

He glanced behind him to where Mandora was waiting patiently, and wandered in the direction of the group that was gathering. With the Castle having been restructured as it had, they still needed to explore new floors, and as such several expeditions had been organized to explore further. Lori, in her infinite and perhaps slightly questionable wisdom, and seen fit to assign him as part of this particular one, something about getting outside some. Not that he minded much, as there could be quite a few unique magical effects that they could run into during the course of exploring the next floor...if it could still be called a floor. That being said, he still would have to work as part of an expedition, and the last major one he had been part of had left him stranded here, so he was a bit nervous.

Still, the girl next to him seemed to be as nervous as he was, if not more so. Every now and then, he could hear her mumbling something, as if she were ticking off a checklist. Her rather... unusual fennec ears twitched as she glanced from side to side, avoiding looking at Fern. Upon noticing them, he did a double take, making sure that yes, he was seeing this properly. The girl had fennec ears, a very large and fluffy matching tail, and as far as he could tell, both seemed natural. He pursed his lips, running through the list of possible races that he knew of that could do this. Nothing really stood out, except for….Hmm. That would be very interesting, assuming that they were natural, again. He tried to surreptitiously examine her more closely while doing his best to avoid looking like he was doing it. Unfortunately for him, his unknowing forward lean made it fairly obvious to anyone who cared to look.

Eliziya swished her tail from side to side awkwardly, trying to ignore the fact that yet another strange guy was staring at her uncomfortably close. At least he wasn't trying to pet her, so that was something.. As his scrutiny continued, she slowly and intentionally turned away, clearing her throat conspicuously.

Fern jerked a little as he realized that he’d started leaning toward her, thus removing any chance of inconspicuous observation he could have had. He tried to avoid glancing to the side at her (and tending to fail), as questions kept bubbling up into his head.

Unable to stand it anymore, Zi blurted, "It's rude to stare!" and promptly flushed a deep crimson. "S-sorry," she mumbled.

Fern jerked back again, flushing slightly as well. “Um, yes, ah, I am sorry for staring, but I cannot help but notice your, um, ears. And tail.” He paused for a moment. “Are they natural?”

"Are they natural? I d-don't think s-" Zi paused, thought for a moment, then continued. "Yes. They're natural. They're totally natural."

Fern’s face lit up. “Oooo!” He slung his pack off of his shoulder, and began rummaging through it. “I have questions for you!”

Zi waited curiously, wondering if it might have been better to tell him the truth. But if natural meant that she hadn't sewn them on or some such, why then, it was entirely natural, wasn't it? Magic was natural, after all.

Fern emerged from his rummage with an inkpot and a notebook, the former of which he uncorked before slipping an artificial quill out of a small slot on the notebook’s cover. He flipped it open, and looked up at the girl, a wide grin on his face. “So, uh, I know that there are several varieties of yokai that can shapeshift to varying degrees, but, um, may I have clarification as to which you belong?”

"Umm.." Zi laughed nervously. Quick, think of all the mythological foxes. What was the name of.. ku-something.. uh.. "I don't remember," she answered lamely, settling for a truth. "I was.. abducted a long time ago, and I can't remember much."

Fern seemed to deflate slightly, frowning as he glanced at the paper in thought. “Oh. Um. Hmmm.” What to do, what to do….he glanced up again. “Would you like to find out?”

... Hm. Zi blinked. Well. No harm in playing along, right? "Find out, s-sure. What.. what will I have to do?"

Fern leaned back, thinking. “Well, do you know of any magical abilities that you have? Like-” He cut himself off. “Just, anything that you might know of?”

"Of, of course I do!" Zi grinned and snapped her fingers, conjuring candle-flames on her fingertips. "I'm also a healer. And," she gestured grandly, "I've got a Tutelary of my own." Numen drifted out of her languidly, turning its piercing golden eye towards Fern.

He nodded, scribbling some notes down before pulling a small crystal on a string and carefully waving it around near her. As it got close to Numen and passed through it, the gem glowed slightly. With a nod, he stuck it away, and scribbled down a few more notes. “Ah, I am sorry about that, but I am rather specialized, and precise sensing is a bit beyond me, so I generally use that as a tool to help in that regard. I assume it was picking up on your Tutelary?”

Zi nodded. "My name is Eliziya, by the way. Eliziya Torvantine."

He nodded. “I am Fern.” Her last name niggled in the back of his head for a moment, but he was interrupted by a call from one of the guards for everyone to get moving. He frowned in annoyance, and packed his writing tools away, glancing at her hopefully. “I would guess that you are here for the expedition as well?”

"Unfortunately," she grumbled in agreement. "I would have preferred to stay back at the Library or something.. I am not fond of the outdoors, especially when said outdoors is probably going to try and kill me."

Fern nodded in agreement, shoulder his pack as he did so. “I agree completely. The Library is where I am more than comfortable, but the Loremaster decrees that I am here, and so I am. Still…” He grinned widely. “We can try and work out more about you on the road, if it proves possible! I do not remember much about Yokai and similar spirits, but I think there are several things that could be done to at least determine some things about you!”

"Ah.. haha.. hah.. yeah.." Zi tried to match his jovial mood, wondering how she was going to smoke her way through his doubtless comprehensive questions. "Let's uh, let's go."

Fern nodded, and started off toward the wagon, which was just starting to roll out of the gate as the group got under way. He was quiet for the moment, starting to organize what information he could recall into coherent questions.

-

Zi eyed the gateway arch and nudged Fern. "After you."

He glanced up at the arch, and then back at the girl. This floor, it seemed, was completely surrounded by a tall stone wall, smoothed and polished to a gleaming shine. They hadn’t had any luck trying to get over it, and the only entrance they had found was a gateway across with a shimmering curtain of energy. It had proved to be harmless, and so they were slowly and carefully entering, Zi and himself being part of the first group. “Very well.” And with that, he stepped through, Nethys flapping along behind.

Before he could blink to clear his eyes from the bright glow that had flashed before them as he had crossed over, he found himself having to shut them, brain almost instantly starting to hurt at whatever it was he was supposed to be looking at. As he waited for his brain to stop trying to excise the snapshot from his memory, he quickly went over the rest of his body, trying to determine if anything was wrong with it. After running through a mental checklist, the only thing he came up was that his body felt tight, squeezed from both sides, but not in a way that necessarily felt uncomfortable. Just...squeezed, really. After a few moments, he gulped, and cracked one eye open a fraction. He had to squeeze it shut almost immediately thereafter, but he did get the impression that they were in some sort of forest glade. Perhaps the visual effects were some sort of ambient magic? He cracked his eye open again, trying to avoid involuntarily shutting it. This time, he managed to keep it slightly, and began to slowly look-aaand now he was looking back at the portal. He turned his head-yep, back to looking at the glade. Careful experimentation revealed that while he could look up and down just fine, looking from side to side seemed to teleport his vision between front and back.

“Strange…” He slowly cranked his eye open more, and keeping his head as still as he could, tried to observe the terrain a bit more. It seemed….hard to figure out. He could tell there were in a forest, but it seemed like there was just what was in front of him - he could see a tree ahead, but nothing to the side of it, and he could sort of see beyond it, but it wasn’t quite like he was looking through the tree….and yet it was blocking his vision completely. He staggered to his feet, slowly starting to open his eyes more and more as they got used to the strange effects of being here.

Zi took a step through the portal, yelped in pain and stepped back out, rubbing her eyes. Strange, incomprehensible images were burned on her retinas, but it wasn't quite incomprehensible, just... She stepped back in again with eyes closed and tried to feel about with her hands. But no matter how she strained, she couldn't quite seem to reach to the sides...

"Fern? I feel.. squashed. What's going on?" Fern turned around, stumbling as the sudden shift in perspective happened. “I...I have no idea…” His voice sounded a bit shaken. “Existence seems...different, here. I cannot quite quantify how, though...”

Zi focused warmth to her eyes to ease away the pain, then opened them and struggled not to cry out as the foreign sights invaded her mind. It was alien and unknowable like..

It is like and unlike me, child, growled the voice in her head. It is part of me, but I am not part of it. Even I feel some discomfort.

Zi stumbled forward, trying to make sense of how stick-like Fern looked, and tripped past- or was it through him? Fern stumbled as well, somehow having Zi through him, and yet beside him as well? The inability to look to the side was an issue here.

"A-are we in some kind of ghost land? Is this what ghosts feel like?" Zi asked, trying to get back to her feet that were sort of in line and not and how was she even walking?

“No?” Fern reached forward, and tapped her on the shoulder. “I can touch you, but-whoa!” As he thought about it, his hand suddenly started slipping past and through her again, causing him to pull it back quickly. “Strange..” He reached out to touch her shoulder again a few more times, before concentrating. This time, his hand did the past and through thing, moving through her space, but not through her body? Was that what was happening?

“We seem to be able to move past each other by moving through each other without actually moving through the other person? Somehow?”

"This is a horrible place," moaned Zi, clutching her head, ears flicking in distress. "We should just go home and tell them this is a horrible place."

Fern frowned. “We should at least try and figure out what is going on here...a set of rules, or maybe find a way to quantify what is going on here….” He reached for the bag at his side-but no, it wasn’t at his side, it was somehow there in him, and his hand wasn’t going to the side, it was reaching into the bag in where he was standing? He paused, and removed it carefully, the realization that he had no idea how to begin even trying to describe or sketch this hitting him.

“Would you mind helping me work out a few things? Just, testing?”

Zi hissed her assent, trying to look at him and giving up entirely on attempting to understand what was going on.

He nodded. “Alright….Can you look behind you?”

Eliziya turned, swaying unsteadily from.. side... to.. something as her entire body orientation flipped to the opposite side. "Not without turning around."

“Are you trying to turn around completely?” As far as he could tell, she had seemed to just suddenly shift around, looking the other direction, which was very off-putting to witness.

"No. I can't turn my neck," she growled in frustration.

Just like what he seemed to be experiencing...he turned around and then back again to confirm that yes, his entire body orientation seemed to be shifting. “And your arms? Could you stretch them out to either side of you?”

"No.. it's impossible. Can you?"

Fern tried to as well, but once again, he found his arms somehow moving inside of him, but not to the side. “No...I am unable to do that either. Maybe we could see something through our peripheral vision?” He paused, focusing on his vision, and trying to look towards the edges of it without moving his eyes or his head.

"There's something.. but it's nothing and something at the same time. Sort of trees and.. something? It's giving me a splitting headache."

He nodded slowly, the very edges of his vision seeming to blur in and out of focus, as if they weren’t really supposed to be there, but were there all the same. “So…...there is no sides?” he said out loud, a bit uncertainly. “Does that make sense? We cannot do anything that seems to involve the sides, so….they do not exist here?”

"Sideless land? Hooray equity," Zi muttered. "There's forward and back.. can you jump?"

He crouched, and hopped into the air a little, landing with a thump. “Yes? I did not notice anything out of the ordinary about that, aside from the...sidelessness. Does your magic still work?”

She gathered an orb of flame to her palm, trying not to think about how the orb didn't look like an orb but.. don't think about it. "Yes," she croaked out hoarsely, the strain of the alien perspective taking its toll on her.

“Well, at least that wor-ooaah!” He fell backward as Nethys, who had apparently up until now been fluttering around, dived past and through him toward the flame in Zi’s palm, flapping at it. He gave a fast patdown to determine that he hadn’t been set on fire….it seemed like the passing of his Summon hadn’t had any side effects that one would normally associate with a firebird passing through someone.

"Calm down, birdy," Zi reached out, trying to stroke its incendiary plumage. The bird fluttered around her hand, before her hand stroked it, and it realized that it wasn’t burning her hand. It then proceeded to land on her hand, nestling itself in it. "It's cute, Fern. It'd be cuter if I could look at it properly."

Fern opened his mouth, and was interrupted by a tap on his shoulder.Flipping around, he saw one of the guards who had entered in before them, the rest of their small group having grown used to their circumstances to at least move around. “We’re going to be heading back through the portal - this place is strange enough that we don’t want to have to stick around here.” He nodded in response, and the guard looked...through..him at Zi. “Same goes for you, missy. We’re not sticking around here.”

Zi glanced at Fern in askance- something not very clear since she was previously looking through him to the guard. "Are we leaving yet?" Fern sighed and the guard nodded in response.

Which is of course when a howl floated through the air, and what looked to be a good hundred pounds of wolf leaped over the small hillock beyond them, and into the unfortunate Loreknight that happened to be closest. It was followed by two more who somehow crested the ridge simultaneously, and paused, sniffing at the group.

The group had worked out the rules of their location to understood that on this strange level without sides, they could not use their superior numbers to hold against the wolves. The lupine predators gathered, somehow stacking on the same spot, clearly much more acclimatised to the environ and they snarled, disorienting triple overlays of canine muzzles flaring. Being made of sensible folk and recognising their disadvantage, they immediately began legging it back towards the portal. Fern grabbed at Zi, shoving her in front of him as the people shoved into, tumbled through and past, and generally mobbed their way through the entrance.

As the wolves pounced on another warrior, Zi raised a desperate hand wreathed in flames and flung it towards the back. Thankfully, the bolt hurtled through the other guards just as she'd intended, leaving them untouched and blasting away the wolf.

Fortunately, the disorientation and general chaos that the group had been working through immediately upon coming through the portal meant that they were still rather close to it, and with the closest wolf having been knocked back by Zi’s bolt of fire, they managed to reach the portal before the wolves could catch back up.

As Fern dived through the shimmering energy of the portal, he felt himself...expand, somehow. Stumbling out of the portal, he was once again struck with a sense of disorientation and confusion, as he stumbled to the side - to the side!

Zi cried out in relief as regular space reasserted itself, the safe haven of normalcy resolving their warped forms. The sudden expanse meant that all of the people she'd been moving through were suddenly tactile again, bumping and jostling her, and the small-sized waif feared for a moment that she'd be trampled underfoot. Thankfully, there weren't that many and the group spread out quickly, leaving blessed open air.

A chorus of weak growling and whining reached her fox-ears. Zi turned to look back at the gateway just in time to catch sight of the last wolf leaping out at them. But as it passed through the shimmering field, it failed to expand out and came through as a flat line. It landed, entire body completely flat, and promptly fell sideways onto the ground. Taking a closer look, she realised that all the other wolves were likewise on the floor, their flat forms pedaling against thin air to no avail. Scary as they had been, she couldn't help but laugh at the comical sight they now presented. They looked like living woodcuts escaped from books, but without the plane of the book to hold them, they were unable to do anything.

Fern tilted his head, and carefully walked over to where the wolves were peddling frantically on the floor. He reached out, and tapped on of them on it’s….side? It jerked, giving a surprised bark as it tried to figure out where the poke had come from, but apparently unable to move much. It’s head kept twitching, as if it wanted to look behind itself, but nothing seemed to come of it. It’s side felt….smooth. Completely smooth, and yet at the same time he could swear that there was a phantom of rough fur there.

“That is….strange.” He paused, and then stood up, watching the wolves continuing to frantically figure out what had happened to them.

"We should bring them back, Fern," Zi squatted by the wolves and tickled one of them. "Maybe house them with Lori's... experiments and see if there's anything worth.. worth something."

He walked around to the top-side of one of the wolves, and began carefully feeling around the edge of it with his fingers. “Well, if you have any ideas for how to remove what appear to be perfectly flat wolves from a relatively smooth surface…...I think she would love them. Probably. How would we even feed them?”

"I suppose that's something worth learning!" Zi took out small dagger and used the point to try and slip it under the wolf. As soon as she got it off the ground and pushed it upright as though it were weightless, the wolf attempted to scramble off but barely made it a step before falling back onto its side again. Zi laughed even harder at that, and tried to slip her fingers under the wolf after prying open a gap with the knife again. "As long as we keep their feet away from anything, I think they can't run away."

Fern nodded, moving to stabilize the wolf so that it was at a slight angle with its top was resting a few inches off the ground. Reaching into a pocket of his robes, and silently reveling in the ability to go sideways, he pulled out a stick of dried meat, and carefully slipped on end into the plane the wolf was occupying, close to it’s mouth. The wolf paused in it’s continued attempts to figure something out, and appeared to sniff at it. A moment later, it chomped at the stick, severing it neatly in half where it had bitten.

He leaned back, and carefully retrieved the other piece from where it had fallen. “Well, I suppose something like that will have to do for feeding them? It is not like we really have any idea how else to do it, right?”

"Not a lark," Zi replied with a grin. "What'll you tell Lori when you get back? I know what I'm gonna tell my sister: it's a horrid level and we've no business going there unless we want to get a new perspective on things."

Fern nodded. “It certainly does have a lot of interesting properties associated with it, and I think that running some tests in there to see how different the various natural laws are in there would be certainly interesting. That being said….” he waved an arm out to the side. “I would not want to spend much time there. It is...too off-putting, I think.”

"That's one word for it." Zi ran her fingers through her hair, idly rubbing a ear. "Say, do you have a guild?"

He gestured at his robes. “I am a Loreknight, so yes, I do have a guild? Why do you ask?”

"Oh, just checking," she shrugged. "Anyway," Zi pulled the wolf along. "We may as well get moving."

He nodded and stood up. “I suspect that for the moment we can just leave the wolves here...they can not go anywhere on their own, so I think it will be easier until we can figure out how to transport them.” He glanced over to the rest of their small expedition, which looked to be starting to set up a campsite. “I suppose that we will have plenty of time to figure that out. Aaaaaaaaand….” He flashed a wide grin at Zi. “Time to continue figuring out what you are!”

"Ah. Yes. That. Fun." Zi said without much enthusiasm. She wasn't sure how fast she could think on the spot, but.. oh well. "Let's."

The two of them walked off to the camp that was being set up, Zi dragging the poor wolf with her.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Lordxana0 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:46 pm

Anji glanced up from the papers cluttering her desk, scowl already marring her face. “Come in,” she called out, returning to her notes.

Marcus opened the door and walked into the office. “You summoned me back, again. Why? I already found the were-cat a job. I already made that hangover easier for Kevin. Can’t I just go and be away from the majority of the human population for a while?”

“Take me with you?” Anji snorted.

“Well if you really want to hear Mir and me fawn over each other…” He shot back with a smirk.

“I’m actually going to have you work with a new recruit for the time being--” Anji motioned to the half-opened door-- “I’d like you to help him get used to being a member of this guild.”

Vincent entered the room after her words and smiled, adjusting a pair of glasses covered in soot and wearing his normal outfit with his alchemy coat, all of which looked a bit bitten by flames. “Hi there.”

Anji looked between the two of them, mischievous smile playing on her face.

Marcus looked at the new recruit. “I would say ‘nice to meet you’ but that remains to be seen. I’m Marcus.”

The rather crazy looking man offered his hand to Marcus. “Names Vincent, and I most certainly did not accidently blow up my room trying to remake an old potion recipe,” he turned toward Anji and gave his best smile to the guild leader. “That being said what forms do I have to fill out to get new furniture… just in case something of that nature were to happen one day?”

“Uh… You know, during the entire time this guild’s existed, no one’s ever done that.” Anji sat back against the chair, smile growing wider.

“Oh yes the thing you wanted us to do...” he crossed his arms and nodded, putting on a rather serious face. “The quest… for uh… to do… which is to say we are off to uh…” he looked between the two of them for a moment, hoping to the Goddess one of them would cut off his rambling.

Marcus shrugged “Don’t look at me man. I was just about to leave when Anj called me back here,” He looked over at the short woman. “Seriously, what’s up? We were gonna get to twenty this time.”

Anji stood, walking over to a board with a map on it. “Legias is twisting my arm again, and wants scouts sent out to more distant floors. Unfortunately, it appears that the guard will not have any men or women sent out beyond the gates, so she has… petitioned for each guild to send out parties of their own and report the findings.”

She paused for a moment, pulling her red hair back into a new ponytail. “We’ve been chosen to explore Floor Nineteen. Marcus, you have the experience of the upper floors, so I’m pretty sure you can handle it.”

“Well if I can’t I certainly won’t be getting into skirmishes with that army up on twenty now will I?” he replied easily. “At least doing this will give Mir and I a good staging point for explorations.”

Vincent coughed a bit into his fist to get attention aimed at him. “Not that I mind too horribly being sent to explore a place that will no doubt try and kill me, but doesn’t this seem like a mission to give to someone you have known longer and have a good feeling when it comes to abilities and such?”

“Everyone else is less approachable than you two, and you can use the practice, anyway.” Turning to Marcus, she warned, “He dies, and I’m making you find me another alchemist.”

“What did I not do a good enough job of spiking the punch that you need this guy to be there so he can do it again?” Marcus turned to Vincent. “That was your potion in the middle bowl wasn’t it?”

He coughed into his hand and grabbed Marcus by the arm, starting to pull them out. “Right then on our mission and away we… oh wait” he reached under his coat and pulled out a pink potion, putting it on Anji’s desk and giving her a wink. “Heard you were married, figured I would give you this little potion as a gift, please to enjoy” he turned around and continued pushing Marcus out, fearing the wrath of the guild leader who might have him whipped for basically making everyone at the party drunk.

Marcus cleared his throat. “Relax, new guy. She won’t do anything more than making you do the chores if she decides to punish you. Which I know she already has you doing since she makes all the new recruits do them.”
I think thats all we will need eli

He laughed and scratched the back of his head. “I have actually been using a potion on a kid I found stealing food from the market to make him do it while I test new potions in my room...former room”

Marcus nodded. “I see….” The warrior balled his fist and drove it directly into the other man’s stomach. “Next time just pay the poor kid to do it instead of making him. And I do mean poor, that’s probably why he was stealing.”

Vincent held his gut in pain for a moment and coughed. “Well that was unpleasant, and please ask about said potions effect before the punch part happens” it took a moment for the Alchemist to regain his breath. “Its a potion that allows a person to live off of less food and water, very easy to make and helps in a pinch along with plenty of exercise” he stretched himself out. “Now then we have a mission?”

The soldier shrugged. “So I have a trigger. But you’re right, no reason to delay.”

“So do we walk there, or ride horses?” he looked at the soldier with a small frown. “I am a bit new to this whole adventuring thing.”

“Yea we ride,” Marcus paused. “Also I hope you don’t have a fear of heights. According to a friend of mine the new layout of the castle is…...interesting shall we say.”

He laughed a bit. “Its not so much a fear of heights, more of a fear of falling, and hitting the ground, hard,” he sighed a bit. “So whats the info on this floor anyway?”

Marcus smiled cheerfully. “Oh you don’t have to worry. If you fall off the edge you won’t hit the ground. As to the floor...I have to admit, I have no idea. I missed nineteen on the way down from twenty.”

“Well you know what they say,” he raised a hand into the air. “Keep going till you hit the top!”

Marcus snorted. “ ‘They’ also say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush but I’ve never seen how that’s the case.”

“I believe that its because you already have one in your hand and the two hidden in the bush aren’t in your hand” he nodded a bit. “Makes sense”

Marcus raised an eyebrow “Sure, sense. Up here. You do have a lot to learn.”

Vincent shrugged. “Yeah yeah yeah”
**
It seemed like the two had ridden for weeks by the time they finally reached the entryway to the nineteenth floor, the entry to which seemed to be blocked by a massive iron gate that reached far into the sky, smooth and without a single handhold to help climb its impressive height. The only way in seemed to be a massive gate with no visible way to lower or open it.

“Well…” Vincent dismounted and looked at the gate. “What do you think?”

“I think someone went to great expense to keep this floor inaccessible,” Marcus noted. He walked closer and examined the door. “Doesn’t look like there’s a knob or a wheel to turn or something so…..” The warrior rapped his knuckles several times on the gate.

A loud voice seemed to boom out from the gate. Thou who enters this damned place will find only pain and misery, oh foolish souls turn back now and be at peace with yourselves.

Marcus glared at the gate. “Look I get that you don’t want me to come in and all but could we do away with the drama? I don’t think all of you who live up here get that if everything is big and dramatic then suddenly it just becomes the norm. And after that...NO ONE IS IMPRESSED ANYMORE.”

Vincent walked over to the gate and tapped Marcus’s shoulder. “Uh...let me give it a shot” the alchemist looked up at the gate and said. “Open”

Thou hath made your beds, not it is your duty to lay in them. The gates gave a massive groan and creak as they pushed inward, opening up to reveal a rather massive building behind them. One that seemed to reach almost as high as the wall that guarded it did.

Marcus stared at the floor inside before blinking several time, rubbing his eyes and resumed staring. Then he began moving his hand so as only to cover one eye at a time. “Well, isn’t that a nice little side benefit.”

“Side benefit?” he blinked at looked at the soldier for a moment with a confusion filled face. “Side benefit of what?”

Marcus turned and tapped the side of his face that his crystal eye sat in. “I got this as part of an accident a while back. At first I thought it just had clearer vision than my other eye, but this confirms it, its seeing stuff my regular eye can’t,” He turned and pointed at the floor. “There’s a constant energy radiating off of everything on this floor here.”

Vincent took a step back and bit his lip. “I don’t like floors that have energy radiating off of them, but I did think we might come across something like this, so while we were riding a mixed together a few of the potions I had made and…” he pulled out two vials filled with blue liquid. “It lasts for an hour and pushes away harmful things, like lava, or acid rain, or the hurtful words of a woman who doesn’t love you anymore,” he frowned and looked down. “The last one… not as useful for it.” He handed him a vial.

“Okay well then let’s flip a coin and see who tries it first. Only fair way to do it.”

Vincent rolled his eyes and drank down the potion. “Come on,” he paused before entering and frowned. “Through…” he grabbed a tree branch and tossed it into the building, watching as it seemed to crumble and die. “Oh...wonderful.”

“Well that’s something. I expected gradual break down, not a lightning ward.” Marcus said nervously. “We really need to find a test subject before we try going in there.”

Vincent jumped into the room and looked around, touching his skin and nodding. “Potion works!”

Marcus shrugged and nodded. Of course jumping right in works too I suppose. “Okay then,” he replied outloud. The warrior walked into the room and began looking around. “I hope you brought a lot more of that potion.”

“Just the one, and we have an hours worth,” he looked around and whistled a bit at the grand building that seemed made only for giants. “This place is impressive.”

The big man nodded. “Impressive..and dreary. What the hell did anyone build this for? And why here of all places? Why build in an inherently hostile environment?”

He looked around to find something of note that could help point out what this place is before the gate slammed shut behind them. “Well if I had to guess, I would say it was a trap”

Marcus nodded. “Right then, scout the floor, escape the trap, one hour time limit. I’ve had slightly worse odds before.” Kneeling down the soldier quickly made a torch to provide light. “Well, what are we waiting for? Time’s wasting,” He commented as he headed forward.

Vincent nodded and thought about it for a moment. “Well we should try to find something to…” before he could finish speaking the entire room began to shake as a massive roar went through the building, nearly throwing Vincent off his feet with its fury before it died down. “So… there is also that”

“Okay then...Terrible beastie on top of everything else.” Marcus commented settling back on his feet. “And now my odds have not been worse.”

Vincent chuckled a bit. “Guess we know why this place is so huge now aye?” he tried to make a joke about it, but the roar actually had brought a spot of fear into his soul.

Marcus nodded, not quite seeming to hear the other man. “Let’s go see what it is. I mean it must be massive to merit all this, I wonder what kind of creature it resembles? I mean terrible force of destruction or not this could be really interesting to observe.”
He sighed a bit and put his hands into the pockets of his coat. “Yes lets run toward the thing making the massive sound that just shook the building.” he shrugged a bit and began moving toward where he thought the sound might have started before hitting the massive open room they were in now.

Marcus glared over at him. “Well if you actually want to be technical we need to go investigate what it was or our job will have been done incorrectly, we need to know what the threat is and how dangerous it is”

“Apparently dangerous enough to somehow live in a place so deadly it killed an innocent flower in under a second” he sighed a bit and ran his fingers through his hair. “Why is there never a mission to the land of beautiful women and wine?”

“Be careful what you wish for” Marcus replied, moving forward to get a better view of the room. “The castle has a truly sick sense of humor.”

He chuckled a bit. “If I have to die than I am okay with dying in that place” he looked up at the ceiling and drew in a low breath. “Pretty fancy place isn’t it?”

Marcus nodded as he observed the surroundings. “Yea, looks like it was actually meant to be manned at some point during its life cycle. So probably the energy field was an unintended consequence of something the builders did or it was the result of an escape attempt,” he paused. “I have to admit, I’m not sure which I find more disturbing.”

Vincent looked around for a moment as he noticed a hallway, pointing toward it and starting to walk. “My money is on the second, unless whoever lives here is both invisible and invincible I don’t see a single body around, dead or otherwise”

“Yea and not seeing the bodies might mean something if we hadn’t saw what happened to the flower,” Marcus reminded him as they headed deeper into the structure.

He nodded a bit as he thought about it. “But what about other things, metal, cloth, or would those things melt without my potion protecting us as well?” he reached out a put a hand on the wall, running his hand along it. “Feels like… marble”

“Cloth is technically made from organic material, it probably would waste away without the potion its getting from our sweat. As for metals…” The warrior shrugged. “I must admit I have no idea.”

“Imagine how much work must have gone into gathering this much marble, shaping it into walls…” he moved his hand away in sudden thought. “In fact… why would you?”

“Marble is a symbol of status for a reason. It’s very heavy and dense and extremely hard to work with. You need to be able to pay the workers for all their trouble,” Marcus explained. “If you’re going to make a prison, marble would in theory be a wonderful material to do it with.”

Vincent blinked and looked at Marcus. “A prison?”

Marcus shrugged. “Well….yes, I did mention escape attempt earlier didn’t I? Do you think whatever is making that noise is here by choice? My guess is someone tricked that thing into a very large hole and then built this place on top of it.”

“Really now?” he looked around for a moment before smiling a bit. “You know… this place might be useful for us somewhere down the road”

Marcus shrugged yet again. “You might, personally if I hate someone enough to lock them up here then I probably hate them enough to kill them. And really killing them presents far fewer issues in general.”

Vincent shook his head. “Well yeah obviously, but what happens if we run into some nightmare creature that we can’t kill using normal means?” he snapped his fingers and pointed all around them. “We could throw them in here and let the air hold it for us”

“My superiors in the army had a saying ‘If its immortal it just means you haven’t tried hard enough to kill it,’.” He stopped and turned to face Vincent. “Everything has at least one weakness, its just a matter of finding it.”

“Well, “ he paused at a rather massive door etched into the marble hallway they had been walking down. “Want to find what that weakness is?”

“Sure,” Marcus replied nodding. “I think this time I can open the door.” The big man turned to the door. “We are the wardens of this place, grant us access to the prisoner.”

Your request is granted. The door slowly pushed itself inward, showing the two adventures a massive staircase that seemed to spiral forever downward into pure darkness.

“Alright, lets go. We don’t have much time.” Marcus said before charging down the staircase.

Vincent followed suit, chasing after the larger man and coughing a bit. “Haven’t...run...this...much...in...ages”

“Get used to it!” Marcus called back. “There’s plenty of running to be had here. Mostly running away from stuff.”
“What...happened...to...killing it?!” he continued after him and reached under his coat, pulling out one of his newest batch of cigarettes and putting one between his teeth, lighting it with a small match.

“Well sure, in ideal world I’d be able to kill everything that needs killing in the first fight, but I’m not always that lucky,” Marcus explained as they hurried on.

He drew in a deep breath and let a small trail of smoke come out of the other side of his mouth. “Fine fine, so how much deeper do you think this pit is?”

Marcus slid to a stop as the staircase abruptly terminated and he got his first view of the creature. “Well our stop is here but I’d say the pit goes a fair bit deeper.

The monster was a massive reptile that stood in an almost human fashion, large plates of bones that resembled nothing so much a giant, sharp rocks followed along its spine. Its pupils glowed red in the relative darkness. It was bound by great metal shackles inscribed with runes the crackled with power

Marcus stared in awe. “How did they ever capture you?”

“I would say with great difficulty” he stood in awe of the beast and tilted his head to the side. “So do you think it is intelligent or…?”

The beast fixed both eyes upon the two mites that stood before him and let out another earsplitting roar. Once the noise had subsided Marcus spoke. “My guess is that it is, and also that it isn’t very fond of us.”

“I wouldn’t be too fond of people either after being trapped here for.. however long this thing has been trapped here” he took a step back from the great cage that held back the beast and looked around. “So… do you think there is a way out of here?”

“Well I suggest we turn around and run far, far away from this place.” Marcus replied, already backing up.

He nodded and followed after him, feeling as if the creature was staring directly into his soul with those red eyes. “I don’t think we have time to make it to the top again through, even if we ran”

“Do you have a better plan?”

He looked at the monster for a moment and frowned. “Actually…” he turned to Marcus and smirked. “Tell me have you ever done something stupid and crazy?”

Marcus looked at Vincent like he was an idiot. “Do you want the list to be alphabetical or by magnitude?”

He laughed a bit and pulled out a small vial. “The last potion I have to my name, its acidic, probably enough to rot through those bars”

“Okay that’s great but after you release the giant monster and he smashes his way out of here how are we going to climb out after him?”

“Well actually I am working on a theory right now” he tossed the potion up and looked at the creature. “This thing is the only living being we have found here, and we know this place is a prison built with marble… I am just curious about why you would build an entire building for one creature”

Marcus glared at him. “Well if I had to venture a guess its because this thing is massive and probably responsible for the energy field. Its extraordinarily dangerous.”

“Or… and work with me here… maybe its the Warden” he looked over toward Marcus and waved his hand. “This place is impossibly massive, meaning that there must be cells we haven’t found, and unless there is a race of giants running around that don’t even have a single bone left behind then all I can think is that this creature must have been trapped here, possibly by the prisoners” he smirked and shrugged a bit. “Or its just a massive lizard and we die a bit faster than if the air kills us”

Marcus gripped something under his shirt, closed his eyes and spoke silently and quickly to himself. He looked back over at Vincent. “Fine, do it. I think we’re not going to have much time to regret this decision though.”

“Hey at least you get a shot at a form of Paradise, my soul is already claimed by inferno” he threw the acid at the bars, watching as the glass broke and released the liquid onto the metal, melting it down enough for them to enter. “After you” Vincent waved for Marcus to head first into it.

Marcus ducked under the dissolving bars. “Well its a long shot, like so much else in my life is. What exactly are we doing in the cell again?”

He pointed at two levers on either side of the beast. “Well I figure those probably do something, so we pull on them and hope the lizard doesn’t eat us?”

Marcus sighed in defeat. “I really wish I had more prayers to say or one that fits the potential magnitude of what I’m about to do.” Still the big man walked over and pulled the first lever.

Vincent didn’t take his eyes off of the massive beast as he moved over to the other one, pulling on it at the same time and waiting to see what happened.

After a few seconds the massive shackles around the beast opened, setting its limbs free. It seemed to test its new found freedom for a few moments before letting loose what might have equalled to a happy roar, if such a thing even existed.

“Now what? Do we ask the lizard to get us out?” Marcus asked exasperated.

That would be my suggestion. the lizard turned its eyes on Marcus and ran a long tongue over its mouth.

Marcus stared back, “What. The. F**k.”

Vincent gave a small bow to the lizard. “Would you please show us the way out?” he asked in a rather polite tone.

I suppose. The creature turned toward the two of them and stomped its feet, opening a small door in the wall to the side of the cage, one with a small teleporter the likes of which had once been seen on the first floor. Thank you for freeing me, though finding those who escaped will be troublesome without my agents.

“Well, good luck with that.” Marcus said after he had finished gaping. I’m gonna need so much alcohol after this

Oh yes… The creature blinked and let out a small dry noise. Humans can come and go from my domain so long as they take care to not interfere with my prison… and they don’t look to appetising…

“....Right….” Marcus looked over at the other man. “Vincent. How much time do we have?”

Vincent laughed a bit. “We ran out about two minutes ago, thanks… uh… whats your name?” he asked the lizard.

Kaiju the Great, now leave so I can get my prison in order. It let out a powerful roar, one to show its satisfaction of being freed.

“Thank you Lord Kaiju,” he walked over to Marcus and nudged him, whispering. “Lets get the hell out of here”

Marcus stopped briefly and saluted the creature. “Always nice to meet another military…...being” Then he turned and walked straight to the teleporter.

Vincent followed suit, and suddenly the two of them were standing in front of the way they had entered. “So… think anyone will believe this?”

“Can’t say for certain. Well except the people who will want to meet him.”

“Better hope that they don’t have criminal records, I would hate to see him in actual Warden mode”

Marcus nodded, “True. Okay so here’s the plan: We are going to go back to the city, you are going to report this to Anji, I am going to find the nearest pub and consume far more alcohol than is healthy.”

He nodded. “That idea sounds fair, except here is a counter offer, we both get drunk, find some beautiful barmaids and I tell them how I saved your life while I continue to buy you rounds of whiskey”

“Tempting, but it is not wise to anger a someone who can toss lighting around in great quantities and enjoys doing so, which is what I’d be doing if I accepted your offer.”

He sighed grealy and shook his head. “Fine fine, but you do owe me a round and a half for saving your life… or a night with a beautiful woman… with a round a half with it… yes I like this agreement” he walked toward the horses. “I will make sure to tell Anji how I saved the day while you backed me up from the rear!” he jumped on his horse and took off with a laugh.

Wow, he actually thinks Anji will buy that story. Or that I care. Or both! Marcus shook his head as he walked over and mounted up on Binky. What fools these fresh recruits be.

After a few minutes of riding Vincent stopped and smiled a bit, pulling out a small cloth that seemed to hold a few drops of green slime, something he had gotten from the shackles that had been holding the lizards body. “You are going to be interesting to experiment on…” he smirked and put it back into his pocket, continuing back.
Who you going to call? ME!
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Lordxana0
 
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:36 pm
Location: Long Beach

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:30 pm

Quest 64: There she goes again
Quest Description: You have been asked to introduce Pan to something approaching culture since her rediscovery by the guard. Lori and Legias want to have better access to Pan’s skills, and you, Jenny, stand to gain from helping them.
Quest Takers: Isla Kariese (Pan) and JackAlsworth (Jenny)
GM Notes: End this how you like. Pure character development for the both of you.

Quest 65: Frozen
Quest Description: The third floor is buried under four feet of snow. The chill is dangerous for the inhabitants-- especially the young, elderly, and infirm-- and the frost runs a high risk of permanently damaging the crops on which the Castle’s entire human population depends for food.
Quest Goal: Save the crops! And the people.
Quest Takers: Narrativedilettante (Giselle) and Tohrinha (Mirae)
GM Notes: Add in as many puns as you want. Let it all go.

Quest 66: Turtles All the Way
Quest Description: Legias, Lori, and the guildleaders have selected floor 16 as the ideal floor on which to establish an upper-level human outpost.
Quest Goal: Establish a human settlement on floor 16.
Quest Takers: Krika (Fern) and Blurred_9L (Darren)
GM Notes: All of floor 16 is on the back of a giant turtle of incredible power. On your expedition, you must either make very sure that the human settlement runs no risk of waking and angering the turtle, or seek the turtle out and perhaps barter with it for a promise of protection for the humans dwelling on its back.
Also note: the turtle is a Guardian. It is also green.

Deadline for all quests is Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Blurred_9L on Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:30 am

Quest 66: Turtles All The Way

Fern was, for the second time in as many weeks, in a bumpy wagon heading for upper floors, with the relative safety of the first floor slowly moving farther away. Needless to say, he wasn’t entirely happy about this, but the Loremaster apparently wanted him to spend time in places other than the library, and was once again sending him out to try and colonize an upper floor. After the last one, he was somewhat cautious of what could happen, or what the floor might have, but he was at least more prepared this time around. He hadn’t had much need to used most of his supplies that he had gathered for the last trip, so he had refined and expanded them for this trip, and was at least partially confident in his ability to have something on hand that could help in most situations.

He had to admit that it was nice to see terrain outside of the city. As comfortable as he was in it, seeing the more varied terrain of the floors was an enjoyable experience.

The wagon suddenly bumped upward, making Darren wake up from his sleep. How long had it been since they had left the city at the request of Legias and Lori? Maybe a day or two. He wasn’t entirely sure since he had spent most of the way up dozing off, either probing his own thoughts and problems or trying to enjoy the diverse environments they traversed. He couldn’t say it was all that bad, but he’d rather have come up there of his own choice. This time, however, he didn’t even argue with the captain of the City Guard or his immediate superior, Nestor, it probably wasn’t even worth it.

He looked just outside of the wagon to make sure they were still on the road. Darren felt slightly disappointed at the landscape that appeared in front of him, he had thought they were in some kind of mountain due to the bumpiness of the ride, but what he saw outside were just rocks, gravel and sand dunes. He could also hear the sound of crashing waves in the distance. ”Another sea, then?” He thought, not particularly thrilled about it since his last experience with water, but at least he hoped this time around, scouting the floor would be much more smoother. However, the dull speed at which the wagon moved started making him sleepy again, at this rate, he would probably end up falling asleep one more time. Turning back into the wagon, he asked aloud:

“Think we’re almost there?” trying to contain a yawn. He stretched, trying not to hit the other occupants of the wagon.

Fern poked his head up from one of the few books he had managed to snag to take with him. “To my knowledge, we are supposed to arrive later today, so it should not take us too much longer to arrive at our destination, assuming all goes as planned.”

Darren let out a sigh, thinking that later today could probably be either in a little while or after a long wait. His eyes stared back to the road they slowly left behind them. ”This is going to be long day, isn’t it?” Even so, he knew that everything that involved the castle wasn’t as simple as assuming everything goes according to plan.

“So… what if it doesn’t?”

Fern pursed his lips. “Well, in a hypothetical worst case scenario we might never arrive. This could result from something as simple as our destination not existing any more, to the hopefully small possibility that we would not arrive because we are all...um, dead.” He tried chuckling to diffuse the tension. “But I believe that generally the challenge arises from what the destination is like, rather than the journey.”

“Wonderful”, Darren, unlike Fern, laughed at his words. “Sounds like another day at the castle.” He kept bluffing, feeling the other occupants of the wagon gazing a hole through his skull. He had accepted to go on this journey, but, truth be told, he didn’t even knew what was awaiting him on the sixteenth floor of the accursed castle. At least he could keep himself from being scared by joking around, worst things had happened in the last few weeks anyway. “You’re saying you have any idea where we’re going, then?” he finally asked, still not paying attention to the other men who were probably cross with him by now.

“No, I know nothing about our current destination. I believe that is why we are part of such a group, so that no matter what is necessary to establish a base at our destination, we would have either a person that can perform it to satisfaction, or simply backup and help.”

“Well, I could hear the sound of waves a while back, so maybe this place might not be so bad after all.” he said without thinking, a fleeting memory crossing his mind of the only time he had been at the sea before he found himself in the castle. Back then, it only seemed like Wendy and him were just running around the earth, although fleeing would be a more accurate description. He shrugged the thought away from his head and decided to wait until they reached their destination.

A few hours later, the wagon ground to a halt, and the cries of the wagonmasters brought everyone out of the wagons where they had been traveling. They had arrived at a rocky beach area, with room for the wagons but not much more beyond that. Not too far off the shore an incongruously lush island rested.

A tall imposing man stepped outside of the leading wagon, he held his arms crossed and looked back at the other members of the expedition. “Alright everyone, let’s get moving!” he shouted so that everyone heard him, before he started giving orders to the closest men in the expedition. In an instant, people began moving about, unpacking boxes and setting up camp on the rock filled beach. Darren helped himself to one of the biggest rocks on the beach and sat on it, but not too long after that the leader shouted in his direction.

“Hey, you! Cloak guy! Get over here!”

Darren flinched at the man’s words. ”Cloak guy?”, he thought, finding himself embarrassed by the weird nickname. The brown cloak that rested on his shoulders, if he could still be able to call it a cloak after being torn at several parts reminded him of his own adventures, but he didn’t feel inclined to call himself a ‘Cloak guy’. He shrugged again as he got up from the rock, deciding to stop thinking about it.

“Yes?” he called lazily.

“You don’t seem like you would be useful carrying stuff around…” the leader thought aloud, making Darren feel even offended. “But I can have you as dead weight. No, I can’t.” The man stood silent for a moment, his gaze lowered to the sand below their feet.

“Hey, I only came here because I was asked ordered to. If you don’t need something from me, I’ll go back to where I was, I can barely keep myself awake for some reason.” Darren spouted, annoyance in his voice.

“No, you can’t go.” the other man spoke with a serious tone. “See that island there? Find a way there, the Loremaster told me you knew how to swim… she also spoke about you having defeated a fearsome beast, but a weakling like you… I can’t believe that.” The man broke out with laughter after speaking. Darren clenched his fists, even more annoyed than before. “Actually, you probably wouldn’t even make it swimming…” he turned around and pointed at a small boat and the men that gathered around it. “Go with them. Make sure nobody drowns.” the leader ordered, his face turning serious. “Did I made myself clear?”

“Yes…” Darren replied half-heartedly as he began walking to the edge of the beach. He waved at the men to wait for him and began moving at a faster pace. ”This is going to be a long day, isn’t it?”

He ended up having to run to catch up to the boat as it began to leave the shore. He jumped into it, knocking down one of the scouts sent alongside him.

“Sorry about that…” he whispered as he got up. Aside from him, there were other 5 people on the boat. He recognized Fern as one of them, but the others didn’t particularly stand out to him. He sat down as the men rowed the boat towards the island, leaving the wagons and the main crew of the expedition. Meanwhile, the rocky and lush island came closer and closer, looking even bigger than he had thought. Still, it didn’t take quite as long to reach it, and soon they were all back on land.

“Ok, now what?” asked the crew member Darren had landed on a moment ago.

“Let’s split up. We’ll be done much faster. That means we can go back to the safety of the city sooner.” another one spoke up. The others teamed up and left, leaving Darren and Fern behind.

“Hey” Darren simply said to Fern.

“Ah, hello!” Fern responded. “Shall we head off and get this over with as fast as we can, then?”

“Sounds like a plan.” The two of them started off around the edge of the island, trying to follow the waterline as best they could.

“Strange.” Fern commented, examining the waterline. “There is no transitional area from the island to the water.” He leaned down to feel around in water a foot or two away from the edge. “The plants go all the way to the edge of the water, without exception to what I have observed so far.”

“Uh… what does that mean, in simple words?” Darren asked, feeling confused.

“There is no beach” Fern clarified. “One would think that on an island, tides and similar things would create an area between the waterline where no plants grow, such as on the beach where the rest of the expedition is. That being said, I have no real idea as to what it could mean, at least for the island. That being said, it is entirely possible that there is one, but we are simply at high tide, so this might be pure fabrication on my part.”

“Well… there are some weird things on this castle anyway.” Darren simply shrugged. They kept advancing through the island, delving deeper into it. As they went further away from their starting point, the vegetation seemed to become more abundant. After walking for a mile or so, Darren looked back at his companion.

“Hey, don’t you think this kind of trees are out of place in a place like this?” he asked, pointing at a vine that hung from the nearest tree.

Fern inspected it. “Possibly, but I will admit that I do not know that sort of thing all that well, so I could not say for certain. Still….” he plucked at the vine carefully. “This is a jungle vine I think, and we are neither in a jungle, nor surrounded by jungle trees, at least to my knowledge.”

“Hmmm” Darren stood quiet for a while, closing his eyes to concentrate. “Well, we haven’t left the place we where in, I can still hear the waves in the distance…” He took out a knife from his pocket and tried to cut at the dense vegetation with little success.

“Guess we can’t continue this way…”, he spoke to himself. He felt the ground shift below him for a moment. “Hey, did you feel that?”

Fern nodded slowly, as the ground lurched again. “Yes. Yes I do.” Another lurch. “Shall we evacuate to the shore?”

“Do we even know remember which way the shore is?” he questioned, blaming his poor sense of direction as the ground began shifting again, this time with more force.

“Well, I would rather try to find it then stay on an island of questionable nature and flora composition, whilst in the middle of a geological incident!” Fern glanced around, and then spotting a slight shimmer through the trees, began pushing his way through the trees towards it, ground shaking underneath him.

Darren followed slowly, having to held onto the ground every few steps. Fern wasn’t that far ahead from him, but as the ground movements kept making him lose his balance he felt as if he was lagging behind. They both struggled for what seemed minutes and finally came to the edge of the island, where water met land.

There was now a few meters of very damp earth and soil from where the tree-line stopped. As Fern stumbled toward the water, he pulled himself up short just before the edge. “Ah...the island is rising?” Where the soil ended, there was now a straight drop of about a meter to where the water was. The island shuddered again, and the water seemed to get a tiny bit farther away, exposing more of the ledge. “This….is very odd.”

“Do you think the ones at the camp have already notices?” Darren asked, getting near enough to the edge to see the earth rising, but not enough that he would fall off due to the trembling. “Maybe we should look for the others?” he suggested, even though he would rather find a way back to the shore.

Fern frowned, kneeling on the ground to stabilize himself as the island continue to shake itself out of the water. “I do not know, I would think that they would try to leave the island as quickly as they could as well, and it is large enough that I would not fancy our chances of finding them in a reasonable timeframe even without the incessant tremors that are….going…..Ummm.” He pointed down the shoreline.

Another island seemed to be emerging where he was pointing, a large bump slowly emerging from the water. It was very flat on the top, and seemed to come to a point at the end pointing away from the island, while a much more gentle curve sloped down into the water on the island side. It was rising up much quicker than the rest of the island, almost a dozen meters out of the water, and still rising.

“Aaaah. That is….ominous…” Fern faintly, eyes locked on the rising object.

“Everything ends up like that, always.” he mentioned, holding onto the earth to maintain his balance. He didn’t know if he could still call it that. Far away, he heard somebody screaming. ”They better not leave us behind…” he thought to himself. “So… what should we do about it? I don’t think the tremors are stopping soon.”

Fern managed to wrench his gaze away from the ascending...well, it couldn’t be a rock anymore, to glance down at the water. “Well, I do not think I could swim back to shore, so I would fancy my chances here over that….”

Meanwhile the object had risen almost a hundred meters out of the water, before it slowed down and very abruptly stopped rising. A few moments later, it very violently twitched back and forth to the side, sending waves of water flying in all directions (and soaking Darren and Fern to the bone). It settled for a moment longer, seeming to have come to a rest.

And then it opened an eye, that had to be multiple dozens of meters across. The eye looked around ponderously, before focusing on the two very wet humans.

Why do you come?

Fern’s eyes were popping wide, staring at the….creature’s eye. “Ummm.”

Darren tried to speak, but the words ended up stuck on his throat before he could say them. As always, his hand had found itself inside his pocket, readying a knife just in case. The eye stared at him as he did so, forcing him to desist. ”Calm… I got to remain calm.”. The sound of the crashing waves certainly wasn’t helping his case. “Uh… Hey… there?” was all that could come out of his mouth.

You come to me, and yet have such a poor showing against my presence. I repeat, why do you come?

“Eh… Exploring?” Darren mentioned in what could have been a whisper. To be honest, he didn’t even know if the words left his mouth or if he had only imagined he had spoken. “We’re trying to… to… make settlement? Yes, a settlement, right Fern?” he looked nervously at his partner, who nodded along, still struck silent.

The old treaties are not remembered, I see. Why should I allow myself to become a common settlement?

Fern managed to find his voice. “You…..you are the island?”

You stand on my shell. You walk the paths of my back. Why should I allow you to use myself?

“Hey… we don’t need to make the settlement on you. There’s enough beach over there, right?” Darren pointed towards the direction he thought the shore was, still wondering if the crew members had already realized the true nature of the island. “But… but perhaps, we can discuss that later? You spoke o...of treaties?” He had a hard time speaking with the titanic creature in front of him.

If you have something of worth, I may gift you with something of equal value. Do not seek me out again until that day comes.[i/]

Fern spoke up again, hesitantly. “We….we have a….library, with...large, large quantities of knowledge….”

[i]Trifles.Do not insult me.


“W...wait!” Darren said all of a sudden. Unsure about how to explain himself to the creature, he stuttered. “Have… have you heard of the Lorewarden?” Darren gulped. Well, the secret wouldn’t have lasted that much longer anyway.

Explain.

“It’s… it’s sort of a long story. It’s a book… but not any regular book. Umm… how should I put it… it’s… a dangerous book.” Darren tiptoed around the issue, if the creature knew about the book, he wouldn’t need to explain all that much to it and if it didn’t knew about it, it would be too risky to reveal all about it in a single shot. No, he had to wait just a little longer. But somehow, he felt the creature would easily be able to see through his lies. He crossed his fingers, hoping that it wouldn’t be like that.

Do not test my patience. Explain.

Darren sighed. Why did he think it would be any different?.

“The Lorewarden is a book. An apparently empty one. But it’s not.” He tried to turn away from the creature’s eye. “It… it serves as a kind of repository of knowledge. As such, any person who uses it has access to it, but… by exposing themselves to its knowledge, they must pay a price. With each use, the reader gains temporal knowledge about anything. Even things whose knowledge would grant them abilities they wouldn’t normally possess. But also, the books eats away at you. Your soul, your experiences. A part of them goes every time you open up its pages. It’s… a very dangerous book.” Darren remained silent after that and waited to hear the creature’s response.

A curious trifle. Bring it to me, and I shall judge it’s value.

Darren went pale as the words echoed inside his head. “I… it is lost to the underground right now.” he lamented.

Retrieve it.

Darren clenched his fists, forgetting his nervousness for a moment. “And then what? What is your end of the deal?”

I will judge it, and should it prove of worth, I shall gift you with equal value.

Darren cursed under his breath. “Fine.” he simply muttered. He turned to Fern and spoke. “C’mon, let’s find the others and get back to the camp.”

Fern nodded, standing up shakily. “Aaaahh, yes let us do so.”

And leave me to my rest.

The eye shut ponderously, and the head began to slowly sink into the water. As it did so, the rest of the body trembled as the great beast slowly sank back into the water. A few minutes later, the water was once again lapping to the very edge of the trees, as if the island had never moved.

Fern glanced at Darren. “I do think the beach is the best choice?”

“Let’s just get off of this damn creature.. thing…” Darren replied with an irritated voice as he started making his way back to the boat, Fern trailing behind.
Why should we do the right thing?
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby narrativedilettante on Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:29 pm

Quest 65: Frozen

The woman stationed in the guardhouse was taking longer to return than Mirae had hoped. The records office was nice enough in its own way, brightly lit and wood-paneled, but waiting in a small room wasn’t the most enjoyable way to spend her time. She’d promised Dan Shriker’s parents that she would look for him, though, and waiting for a fortuitous bit of gossip at the tavern hadn’t been working.

So now she was standing in the middle of the city guard’s headquarters to hear where he was keeping watch. Stopping her pacing along the wall, Mirae turned to her companion. “We probably should have tried here before now.”

“I’m not exactly fond of turning to the guard for advice at all…” Replied Giselle, “But I know what you mean.”

“We should be done with it soon.” Mirae shrugged.

“And if they do have news, it’ll be worth it. Besides, if I’ve got to have a public image, I’d rather it be a positive one. Finding people is a decent enough reputation to have.”

Mirae laughed quietly. “Even if it does take months to track them down.”

The door opened, and the guardswoman entered. Nodding to the two inside, she said, “Shriker’s on the east gate. We sent someone to fetch him. He’ll be here in a bit, if you want to come out and wait for him.” She stepped to the side, leaving the doorway clear.

Giselle’s mouth fell open. She looked to Mirae. “This has proven… surprisingly effectual.” She stepped toward the door, hesitant to take the lead.

“I guess Legias and the rest are the only ones terribly interested in who’s on the guard. But they’re very good at it,” Mirae said, shaking her head. She motioned for Giselle to go ahead, then followed her into the next room, stepping up to her side once they were through the door.

“I’m glad we came here, then,” said Giselle, smiling at Mirae. They waited outside for Shriker to appear. He came walking up the street a few minutes later, stowing his sword back in its scabbard.

“Jimmy replaced me,” Shriker said, glancing at the guardswoman. She nodded and retreated back into the building. “So,” he continued, looking at the adventurers, “you were looking for me?”

“Mirae here is the one who knows the whole story,” started Giselle, “But it seems your family is worried.”

“They lost track of you during the civil war,” Mirae continued. “They asked if I would at least find you and tell them how you were doing. I think they’d like to see you, though,” she finished awkwardly. He had the same curly hair as his father, but he seemed comfortable in the mail shirt and sword he wore. She wasn’t sure how willing he would be to go back to a farm.

“Um, yeah.” Shriker chuckled. “If you could take a message back, that’d be great. Tell them I’d visit if it weren’t so cold at the moment.”

“We can do that for you,” said Giselle. “I’m sure they’ll be glad just to know you’re okay.”

“Okay.” He shifted on his feet in the following silence. “I, eh, didn’t think they’d send someone after me. But thanks. Good luck with the snow.” He smiled at them and walked into the guardhouse.

Giselle looked to Mirae. “Well? Ready to be message-bearers?”

Mirae was watching the closed door, frowning. “What was that he said about snow?”

“Supposedly they’ve been having some rough weather up there.” Giselle shrugged. “It’s probably not that bad, but we might want to grab coats before we leave the city.”

“Good plan. All right, let’s go.”

~~~

The first hint of snow came maybe ten minutes away from the third floor. By the time Mirae and Giselle had reached the edge, a winter wind was blowing clouds of sparkles off the tops of snow heaps. Some of the drifts could reach nearly to Mirae’s neck, though between them it was only a thin layer.

She turned to Giselle. “I’m surprised no one’s been up here about this yet. It’s… quite the change.”

Giselle shrugged, between careful steps through the thick powder surrounding them. “I don’t know what anyone would do about it. It probably won’t last too long and if it does… well, it’s not exactly the most immediate of threats.”

Mirae walked with her, the end of her cloak wrapped around one arm to keep it dry. “I hope it’ll be gone soon. I hate seeing winter on a farmland.” She pointed a little off to their right. “The Shrikers’ home is over that way a bit.”

Giselle’s eyes followed in the direction Mirae pointed. “Good. I can’t wait to be out of this weather. My boots are not equipped for this environment.”

The walk to the Shriker residence wasn’t too far, though the snow drifts made the journey longer and less pleasant than it would normally have been. Both travelers were pleased to reach the front door.

Mirae knocked loudly on the wood. It was a couple of minutes before the door was opened by Shriker’s mother, a pair of rough woolen gloves on her hands. “Oh,” she said, eyes widening at the sight of them. “Hello. Here, come in and get warm.” She stepped aside to let them enter.

“We’ve had a bit of a storm,” she continued, leading them down the hallway. “It only started maybe a week ago, but we’ve been stuck at home most of the time. What brings you up here?”

“We tracked down your son,” Mirae answered. “He’s still with the city guard, and he seems to be fine.”

“He said he’d visit if it weren’t for the snow, but he wanted to send you his regards,” Giselle added. She wished she could say more, but the reaction from Shriker’s mother made it clear no more was needed.

“Well, thank you for the news,” the farmer said, after a silence. “I think we were introduced last time you were out. Mirae and Giselle, right?” She pulled off a glove and offered her hand at their nods. “I’m Megan. I can give you a warm drink, but you should head back soon. I don’t know how long the weather will hold.” She glanced worriedly at the window, which let in the white light from outside.

“Has it been impassible?” Giselle looked out the window at the snow-covered ground. “Coming up here wasn’t a treat, but it didn’t exactly seem dangerous.”

“That’s two storms.” Megan nodded to the snow. “One last week, one a day or two ago. Each of them, you couldn’t see two feet in front of you. I’m just glad Nick and I were inside both times. We only had to dig our door out. There’s no chance we can clear the fields to get what’s left, let alone replant.”

Giselle shivered. “Guess we’d better be careful with the stores of food we have now. I swear, we’re all gonna starve before most of us get a chance for something more exciting to kill us.” Rubbing her shoulders, she added, “That hot drink you mentioned sounds nice.”

She nodded and went over to the fire. When she came back with three mugs, Mirae asked, “Do you think it’s seasonal?” She accepted the cider, curling her fingers around it for warmth. “We could try to set up some small farms on another floor if it doesn’t last too long. I’m sure the city has room for you to stay for a while.”

Megan turned her hands up. “I’ve no idea. I know we’d like to stay, though.” She smiled slightly. “If only to be able to find the house again.”

Giselle smiled around her mouthful of cider. “Yeah, I get where you’re coming from. When you have a place to belong, it can take a lot before you want to leave.” She thought for a moment. “On the other hand, if it isn’t seasonal, it would be better to get out of here before doing so would require the use of a tunnel.”

Megan sighed. “Tell you what, I’ll give it another week, and if it keeps piling up, I’ll talk to Nick.”

“We’ll come back and dig you out if you don’t show up.” Mirae smiled. “Just put a giant flag on the top of your house. We’ll find you.” She took another drink of cider.

Giselle, meanwhile, was losing herself in thought. “I suppose we could ask the Loremasters…” she muttered. “About the weather patterns, I mean. But they were only barely starting to figure things out before everything suddenly changed on us. Who knows how different things are now, or if there’s even any information out there about what happens when the Castle’s in this configuration… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.” She swirled her cup, watching the little whirlpool that formed as she did so.

“Hm.” Mirae watched the unchanging scene outside. After a minute, she looked over to Giselle. “If we can get over to it, I’d like to take a look at the cliff before more snow comes. Over at the far end of the city, there’s a passage that takes you up to floor nine. Even if the snow doesn’t clear up, it’ll be good to know if one comes out here.”

Giselle nodded. “That would be useful information… and best if we do it before another storm hits.” Draining the last of her cider, she added, “Ready to brave the cold again?”

Mirae wrinkled her nose as she pushed back her chair. “I guess. Thanks for the drink.”

Megan stood up as well, gathering the mugs. “Thank you for coming. I enjoyed the company. Stay safe,” she said warmly.

“You take care of yourself. Thanks for the hospitality,” said Giselle as she and Mirae headed out the door. Looking around to get her bearings, she pointed roughly ahead and to their left. “So, the cliff should be roughly that way, right?” The snow looked like it got noticeably thicker in that direction, but that could easily have been the slope of the ground.

“Yeah, it should be.” Mirae shaded her eyes, but it was still too bright to make out much of the cliff. “Should we try going up the second floor instead?” Forests seemed much more appealing to hike through than mounds of snow.

“We could but…” Giselle hesitated. Once she’d decided to do a task she rarely left it unaccomplished, but the snow did look rather intimidating. “There’s no guarantee this is ever going to get easier. And I’m guessing the second floor will still be as welcoming tomorrow as it is today. Of course, if you’d rather head back I can try to make it on my own.”

“Oh, no, we can do this,” Mirae sighed. “Okay. Let’s go.”

The sky was darkening by the time they came to the cliff face. It loomed ahead of them long before they reached it, appearing so close, but with each step forward, instead of growing closer, it just seemed to grow bigger. It didn’t help that the snow did seem to grow deeper as they grew nearer, practically reaching up to Giselle’s chest at its deeper points. It was as though the snow gathered at the cliffside. The remaining sunlight glinted off the snow, giving the whole area an eery glow.

“So what would this passage look like?” Giselle asked, rubbing her hands together, trying to warm her blood as it circulated through her numb fingers.

Mirae huddled in her cloak, but her voice was still clear through the icy air. “A hole in the cliff, like a cave. But it’ll be completely dark after the first turn. Like this…?” She quickened her pace to investigate a shadowy part of the cliff. “No, that’s just another set of rocks.”

“Hm.” Giselle opened her knapsack, careful not to let any snow in. She pulled out a piece of parchment on which a map of their progress was laid out. “This will let us know when we get to it… but, unfortunately, we’ll have to be within ten feet before we know it’s there.”

Mirae pushed back her hood to see. “That is very useful,” she said, grinning. “We’ll have to fight our way through here to get to it anyway.” She stared down the length of the cliff to where it vanished in the growing dusk. “I’ll make us some light when the sun goes down.”

“Light,” said Giselle, “will also be very useful.” Together, they started picking their way through the snowdrifts at the foot of the cliff.

Full night had fallen. A few patchy clouds were hiding the stars, but they didn’t have enough volume to be storm clouds. Even so, the flakes drifting down from the sky were growing thicker. Mirae held a glowing hand up close to the map so that they could both see.

“I think we’ve found it,” said Giselle. “Just at the edge there… yeah.” A few more feet, and the passage was clearly visible on the map. Handing the parchment to Mirae, Giselle held a hand up to the cliff wall to feel for the opening.

The passage opened up suddenly; if it hadn’t been for her map, she wouldn’t have noticed until she was right on top of it. The snow stayed just as deep as she walked into it. A little ways in, the cave turned, becoming completely dark and still just as cold. Looking behind her, Giselle couldn’t even see the light that Mirae had been generating. “Mirae? Are you still there?” She called out.

A muffled voice replied. Then the light winked back into existence as Mirae rounded the corner. “Well. The storm even made it in here.” She and Giselle were both standing in waist-deep snow. “Let’s see what kind of floor we ended up on.” They trudged to the end of the passage and stopped abruptly.

Even through the gloom, they could see that the snow didn’t end beyond the cave. If anything, it rested more securely. Instead of drifts, there was a thick layer of heavy snow everywhere -- covering the ground, clinging to the stone by the passage entrance, blanketing low bushes so that only bare twigs could be seen poking through the cover. The dead trees visible within the light’s range had branches painted white with ice.

The snow here crunched as they moved through it, seeming more solid and established than the snow they’d found on the third floor. As they took in their new surroundings, more flakes began drifting toward the ground. Mirae looked up. The clouds here were not the thin wisps they were on the third. The floor seemed to be completely overcast by low masses of dark grey.

“So the weather’s even worse up here…” Said Giselle. “Which is… uh, do you have any idea where we’ve ended up?”

“No, I don’t,” Mirae said slowly. “Somewhere above floor eleven.”

“That’s higher than I’ve ever traveled,” Giselle remarked. “I know Seire said there was a floor that was stuck in deep winter… This could be it, for all we know.”

“When was he up here?”

“Before the shift, I’m pretty sure. There’s no telling how things may have changed in the meantime.” Giselle held her hands out in a gesture of helplessness. “It’s like all the rules just disappeared on us. I don’t feel like I can be certain of anything anymore.”

“You seem to have managed all right so far.” Mirae smiled at her. “But whatever’s going on, two winter floors together isn’t going to help anything.” She ran a hand over her head in frustration.

“They will pose something of an impediment, yes.” Giselle looked thoughtful. “Do you think there might be a connection? Between the snow here, and the snow there... If we can travel through the passage between floors… could the weather? Could magic? Perhaps things are more interconnected now, not just physically, but… metaphorically, as well.”

Mirae stared at her, then started to nod. “That makes sense. The snow only started after the floors moved. The magic that’s keeping this floor in winter might be bleeding through.” She glanced over her shoulder at the black corridor. “If that’s the case, how do we stop it?”

“You don’t know any weather magic, do you?”

“Not unless lightning counts.”

Giselle sighed. “Not in this circumstance. And if the winter here is entrenched enough that it couldn’t be undone… I don’t think we’re going to fix it on our own.” She looked back to the hole they’d emerged from. “But then… it wasn’t as bad, down there. Maybe there’s still time to stop it from taking over that floor, too.”

Mirae looked thoughtfully at it for a moment. “You said that Seire only mentioned one floor covered in snow. So before, it wasn’t traveling to the other floors. If we block off the passage, that might stop it. Or at least slow it down enough for the Loreknights to have a look.”

“Sure, if we can’t stop it, slowing it down may be the best we can manage. I’d say it’s a shame to cut off the quickest route to this floor, but somehow I doubt people will be eager to come up here anyway.”

“There’s still the one between the city and nine. And probably others. I think we can afford to lose this one.”

Giselle nodded. “I guess it’s our best option, then.”

“Looks like we go back and get some farmers to help us fill it in. And get out of the cold.” She shivered.

“Yeah. I don’t think I’ll do a very good job constructing a barrier with my hands all numb,” said Giselle. “Hopefully the farmers will be able to lend a hand.”

“Okay. Let’s go talk to Megan.” Mirae turned and made her way back into the corridor, moving as quickly as she could. She waited a moment at the turn for Giselle, and continued back to the third floor.

It was easier going, heading away from the passage. The snow got shallower as they went, and the weather seemed to offer much less resistance overall. Still, by the time they arrived, they were nearly soaked through and shivering. Megan took longer to answer the door this time, and when she did, she took a moment to blink the sleep away and recognize them. But she let them in and seated them by the fire.

Ten minutes later, their clothes were beginning to dry. Nick Shriker had joined his wife for the story and now sat at the table, rubbing a hand along his jaw. “I can go round up some of the neighbors,” he said with a glance at Megan. “I think Timothy’s got a bit of wood at his place we can use. It’ll have to wait til dawn, though. I like to see where I’m going.”

Suppressing a yawn, Giselle agreed. “I think Mirae and I could probably do with a rest, anyway.” Her companion nodded, stretching.

Megan laughed. “The guest room’s open, if you want it. We’ll wake you if we need you, but I think we can manage a bit of construction. Just leave your cloaks here,” she said, standing up.

“Thank you,” said Giselle. “I hope we can actually get this taken care of for you. I can think of more than a few people who’d be happy to see the end of this weather.”

Their cloaks hanging where the heat of the fire would dry them, Giselle and Mirae retired to the guest room for the night.

The sun glaring off the snow woke them the next morning. Sitting up blearily, Mirae swung herself out of the bed and walked out into the hall. Megan had left a scribbled note on the table, next to a set of plates with bread and cheese.

Nick and I are going up to the hole with a couple families. We’ll have one of their sons take a message down to the city when we’re done, so everyone knows it’s safe again.
Help yourself to the food.


A few minutes later, Giselle followed Mirae out to the hall. “Oh, nice,” she said, seeing the food that Megan had provided. “Do you think we ought to check up on their progress?”

“It won’t hurt to take a look.” Mirae was already sitting down with a chunk of bread in her hands.

After their simple but satisfactory breakfast, the two trudged once more to the passage, where the farmers were already well at hand, setting up a wooden barrier. Already the walk seemed easier, though it may have just been the knowledge that something was being done.

Nick caught sight of them. “Grab a board and a hammer,” he called over, motioning to a pile with his free hand. With the other, he was holding a plank of wood in place while another farmer nailed it to the growing barricade. Mirae glanced at Giselle, then shrugged, heading over to the toolpile.

The two extra sets of hands may not have made all the difference, but Giselle thought that the work seemed to be going a little faster for their help. Most of the cave was blocked from view well before the sun began to set.

It was strenuous work, and Giselle was sweating in her cloak after the first hour, but the cold was still intense enough that taking it off wasn’t an option. “I swear,” she said, “If this doesn’t help I am going to take out my frustrations on an ice sculpture.”

Mirae grinned as she handed another plank up to a man standing on top of the barrier. “If it doesn’t help, you’ll have plenty of time to do it. You could even sell off the snow you’re standing in. Have people make their own.”

“Actually…” said Giselle, “Maybe we should sell off some of this snow. I mean, the only other thing to do is wait around for it to melt, and I’m sure there’s more than a few people in the city who’d like to have a cold drink or two.”

“Hm.” Mirae paused for breath, gazing around at the white landscape. “You might be on to something there. Better hurry before someone in the city has the same idea.”

Giselle nodded. “Let’s get on it, then.” Looking at the farmers who were still hard at work ensuring there were no viable cracks between the boards, she asked, “Will you be all right if we take off now?”

The response took the form of nods and waves; the farmers had their task in hand, and while the job was nearly done, they would not be distracted from it.

“All right,” said Giselle. Looking at Mirae, she grinned. “Let’s sell some ice!”
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after.
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby IslaKariese on Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:31 pm

Quest 64: There She Goes Again

If you were to ask Pan what she thought of the city that thrived at the edge of her forest, she would most likely use some very colorful words that would require mothers to cover their children’s ears and glare at her in disapproval and/or disgust and cause grown men to be torn between ‘impressed’ and ‘surprised’. In other words, Pan didn’t think very much of the city.

There were, of course, aspects of it that she couldn’t avoid. Hikers, hunters, and guards came through all the time, mainly because there’s always some sort of monster or strange happening to investigate. Sometimes, she left them be. Sometimes, though, they weren’t so harmless and she took it upon herself to ‘clean up,’ as it were. As far as she could tell, the ruffians all lived in the city, so she should avoid the city. The city wasn’t quiet, peaceful, or simple, but the forest was, which how she liked it.

So if you were to tell the shepherdess that she would be taking a trip to the city that was for something other than a dire emergency, she would likely laugh you off and then smack you with a charged staff for good measure.

That was, of course, before this morning.

--

Jenny stared at the clearing she had found herself in. She was sure she had followed Lori’s instructions correctly, but she couldn’t see any sort of cabin, or any living arrangements whatsoever. What was she supposed to have found?

She knelt down, examining the tracks more closely. They appeared to approach a large tree near where she stood; they were well-worn both coming and going, from multiple directions, almost as if it was the center of…

Oh. Feeling mildly foolish, she looked up. Sure enough, a small figure slept in one of the tree’s more comfortable crooks. Not wanting to interrupt the mage’s slumber, Jenny sat and waited patiently.

After a few minutes, the figure seemed to startle awake and gripped the staff in her lap tightly with both hands. She looked around a bit before looking down and spotting Jenny, who waved awkwardly.

Pan blinked a couple times. “Um… hello?”

“Hello!” said Jenny, smiling in what she hoped was a genial fashion. “You’re Pan, right?”

“I… yes. Why?” As in, why would anyone be looking for me?

“My name’s Genevieve Hunter, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Lori asked me to come find you.”

After a couple seconds, Pan sat up straighter and rubbed a hand over her face. “Yeah, sorry, who?

“Oh, uh…” This was not the reaction Jenny had anticipated. “She’s a… librarian, and she works with the guard sometimes. She and Legias thought I should talk with you.”

“Legi… oh, the guard-leader-lady. Right. I literally just woke up, so bear with me a bit. Why do you need to talk with me?”

“I’m… not entirely sure, actually. Lori said something about…” Jenny tried to remember the exact words. “Trying to get you ‘acclimated to city life’. I guess you don’t spend much time in the city, do you?”

Pan snorted inelegantly. “The city? No. I don’t step foot in a city unless I really need to. Which makes the idea of ‘getting acclimated’ incredibly far-fetched. I don’t know what Legias and her friend are trying to pull, but I’m not buying it.”

Jenny nodded. This was closer to what she had been expecting. “I understand. And I’m not sure you’re going to like the city. I don’t know why they want you to do it. I’m just going to ask that you try.”

Pan looked down at her with a considering look. “And who are you that they thought you could convince me, Ms. Genevieve?” If there was a slight condescending tone when she asked, then she felt the situation warranted at least a bit of her ire. The city? Really?

Jenny took the question at face value. “Honestly? I don’t know. I never liked the city much either. Too crowded. Too… restless.” She smiled again. “Maybe they thought we had something in common.”

The girl in the tree chuffed a bit with a half-smile. “Yeah. Maybe.” She stood on the branch, stretching out like a cat before swinging down the tree with her usual grace and landing with a muffled thud on the ground. “Fine, then. Let’s suffer the horrors of the city together, shall we? See how much ‘acclimating’ we can get done in a day.”

“That’s the spirit,” said Jenny. Maybe this wouldn’t be as hard as she thought.

--

Or maybe it would.

“What?” Pan asked, almost self-consciously. “Why are you looking at me like that? It was self-defense!”

“You don’t just zap people just because they run into you,” Jenny explained patiently. “They tend to view it as inconsiderate.”

“Inconsiderate, my boot! It’s inconsiderate to have no concept of personal space!” she growled, glaring at the others around the square who seemed to have the spontaneous decision to leave a good four feet between her and them. She couldn’t imagine why.

"That's part of being in a crowd, I'm afraid. We try our best, but sometimes accidents happen." Jenny looked around, noticing for the first time the people edging away. "Well, I guess that's that problem sorted!" she said, her voice falsely bright.

Pan snorted. “Your optimism is made of puppy dogs and rainbows. Should I just call you sunshine and be done with it?”

"I prefer Jenny, but I've been called worse," she replied. She paused, weighing something, then said, "Do you want to try the market? It's noisy, but it has the most fascinating things for sale."

“Oh? And I look like a shopper kind of person to you?” Pan teased, an eyebrow arched as high as it could go.

Jenny chuckled. "No, not really." She glanced around at the crowd again, who were slowly slipping back into their normal stream (while still giving the tiny mage with the lightning staff a wide berth). "I don't suppose there's anything you want to try?"

“Uh… can’t say there is, no.” Pan rubbed the back of her neck. “Anything you’d recommend?”

Jenny shook her head. "I'm afraid not. All of my favorite places are in the forest, and I imagine you know them better than I do." She sighed. "I'm sorry. I guess I thought the city would sell itself. I'm sorry I got you mixed up in this."

Pan stared for a moment before her mouth scrunched up in an effort to conceal her giggling. The effort failed completely as she soon bent over from the force of her laughter.

"What's so funny?" asked Jenny, grinning in spite of herself.

“I’m just… just wondering what in the world Legias was thinking when she came up with this really dumb idea. Having a person who hates cities help teach the girl who hates cities to not hate cities.” Pan snorted again as she clutched her stomach.

"It was kind of hopelessly optimistic, wasn't it?" Jenny was quiet for a moment, then got a gleam in her eye. "I have an idea. Follow me."

--

Jenny stood on the edge of the roof, breathing deeply. "This is where I come whenever I need to get away from it all."

Pan stood next to her and happily breathed in the fresh air. “Now this is more like it.”

“It’s not quite the forest, but it’s peaceful. There’s no crowds, no noise… just the open air.” Jenny closed her eyes, feeling the cool evening wind brush gently past her face. “Reminds me a little of home.”

“Oh? Did you live in a city, then? Or maybe a smaller town?”

“Smaller town. Village, really. The houses were spread farther apart, but that just made it more fun to find ways around.”

Pan giggled. “Sounds like fun. I’ve never actually lived in any sort of town or city before. It’s always been the forest for me.”

Jenny nodded. “This whole castle thing must be completely new for you.”

“A bit, but it hasn’t been too bad. I can easily ignore the whole ‘castle’ part and just enjoy taking care of the forest. With the city, there’s still a lot of activity, but it doesn’t take away my joy.”

“The city does need quite a bit of protecting.” Jenny blinked. “Oh. Of course.”

“Hmm?” Pan peered over at Jenny. “What is it?”

“I think I know why Lori and Legias wanted me to show you around. They’re in charge of protecting the city, right? Maybe they wanted you to see that the city’s not so bad, and you could help protect it as well as the forest.”

The smile steadily slipped off of Pan’s face into a more neutral look. “This again, huh? The whole ‘protect the city’ bit. They’ve already got me breaking my back to protect it using my forest as a means to an end, now they think trying to make me like the city will make up for it?” She scoffed, staring off into the distance. The sun was starting to set, turning the buildings into a multitude of colors that would’ve looked breathtaking had Pan been anyone else.

“I’m sorry,” said Jenny. “I know they plot and scheme a lot, but they do mean well.”

“I’m sure they do,” Pan said. “Or, at least I’m sure Legias does. I’m not at all confident about her lapdogs, though.”

Jenny laughed. “That’s one of the reasons I love it up here so much. Up here, it doesn’t matter what the castle’s going to throw at us next, or what other people are planning. It’s just the roof and the sky.” She turned to face Pan. “I know you didn’t really want to do this, but… I hope you got something worthwhile out of it.”

Pan looked her up and down with a small smile. “Well, I’m still iffy on the city, but… it seems I might’ve made a friend?”

Jenny smiled back. “I might’ve made one too.”
The voices in my head tell me that we saved the world. However, they also told me that George Clooney's face is on the dollar bill, so... meh. The voices are more fun, anyway.
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IslaKariese
 
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Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:41 pm

Messenger

“Short day at work today,” Kevin said, greeting Anji with an approving smile.

“Yeah,” Anji smiled, dumping her bags onto the floor. “Brought home groceries. I figured we were running low.”

“Good,” Kevin said, his eyes dancing. “I was so hungry, I almost ate these. He pulled a pair of cinnamon buns from his pack.

Anji beamed at him, slipping close for a kiss. Pulling away, she produced a small bottle, pressing it into his hand.

Kevin leaned over, his free hand curling behind her back. “What’s this?” He examined the bottle curiously.

Anji took a bite of the pastry, smiling softly. “A guildmember gave it to me. It’s a… well, it makes things more exciting.”

Kevin rolled his eyes, setting the bottle down on the table to wrap his arms around her. “What, and I’m not exciting enough for you already?”

“Well, I’m giving it to you, in case you ever want to use it on me.” Anji bloomed red before burying her head in his chest.

Kevin’s laugh was muffled by her hair. “Let’s wait until we know a little more about what it does, sweet. Then we can swig all the excitement you want.”

Anji snorted. “It’ll be fine. No one has any reason to poison anyone.” Tugging him to the couch, she curled up on top of him. “Ever wonder what it would be like if we were a normal couple?”

Kevin clasped his hands around her. “You mean normal people, or in a normal situation? Because I wouldn’t trade you for someone normaller in a million years.”

“Normaller?” Anji chuckled.

He kissed her on the nose. “You, my dear, are too… extraordinary to be normal.”

Anji nuzzled him, settling down more comfortably. “Just… having no responsibilities. No kingdoms or castles. Just us.”

“Be nice to have a just you,” Kevin mused. “Although our responsibilities are… a part of us by now. I’m not sure if we’d still be us without them, for very long.”

“You’d never be less.”

“I’d be a lazy good-for-nothing.”

“You would not!” Anji kissed him. “I’d bet you’d work your ass off at some job.”

“Then we’d have responsibilities,” Kevin pointed out, laughing.

“Yes but not large ones! I bet… You’d be a scout for some big guild or something.”

“And you? A front-line fighter, I suppose?”

“No! I’m sure I’d be at home all the time. In a dress, even.” Anji smiled quietly to herself.

Kevin smirked. “You can’t fool me. You’d be bored and courting danger inside ten minutes. The pretty dress would be ripped to shreds.”

“You act like I invite all the danger!”

“Not all the danger,” he said soothingly. “Our friends bring some. You only chase most of it.”

Anji snorted. “You wouldn’t have married anyone that just sat there, I think.”

“I wouldn’t mind if you just sat there,” Kevin protested. He grinned. “mmm. Especially if you just sat here.”

Anji shifted, leaning down for a long, drawn out kiss. “Better?”

“Perfect,” Kevin murmured. After a few moments in comfortable silence, he asked, “What made you wonder?”

“Just, you know… I think it would be nice to just… be. I guess. No end all obligations, no wondering if the other’s going to die every time they go out. Just us.”

“It would,” Kevin agreed quietly.

“I’ve been thinking--” Anji began, before the sound of wood being shredded cut through her words. Face paling, she pulled away from Kevin, quickly buckling her sword and knives back on. “Why didn’t the bloody shields go up?!”

Kevin reached for his sword as he stood, turning to the door. “Love?” he said, his voice tense and taut. “It’s here.”

Anji bit her lip, and walked to the window, quickly opening it. “Kevin, get out of the apartment. Now.”

“After you.” The door shuddered now, hinges creaking at the blows that rained down on it.

“Do we have to do this now?”

The monster roared, lunging toward them, and Kevin grunted, blocking it with his sword. “Too late. Get out; you’re closer. I’ll follow when I can.” The creature that had invaded their home had the head of a bull, with angry, beady red eyes and a pair of sharp, smoothly curled horns. It stood upright, its shaggy humanoid body resting on cloven hooves that glinted of metal.

Anji hesitated by the windowsill, knives in her hands. Taking a few deep breaths, she threw a knife, smirking as it embedded itself in the beast’s hairy side.

Kevin took advantage of her hit, scoring a red line down the creature’s chest before it batted his sword away in a shower of sparks with a powerful blow from one of its hooves. Anji slid closer, a flash of green and silver streaking towards the bull-man. It ducked, deflecting the blow with its horn. “Start backing up. We can both get out.”

Kevin nodded, taking a step back; the monster advanced in the space he had vacated, lowering its head to menace him with its horns. The man dodged to the side, raising his weapon and thrusting it at the monster in several quick jabs.

As Kevin righted himself, the beast kicked out with a heavy hoof and knocked Kevin’s feet out from under him. Winded, Kevin scrambled up, holding his sword aloft as a barrier between himself and the creature until he was steady again. He swung his weapon around sideways, aiming to sever one iron hoof, only for the monster to lower its head again, and snap his blade off with its teeth.

Kevin?!” Anji stabbed a knife deep into the meat of the thing’s shoulder, sliding in front of him. “Crow. Get. Out!

Kevin stepped to the side, allowing her to fend the monster off while he pulled a pair of knives out of his boot. He turned back to the fight, and saw the creature using his severed blade to battle her, Anji rolling back, one hand slashing at the bull’s nose, the other messing with the scabbard at her waist.

Kevin shifted his stance, watching the pair intently. Anji struggled with the sword’s clasp, not noticing in time as the creature lunged forward, the blade in its teeth arcing down toward her. Eyes wide in horror, Kevin threw himself between them, shielding Anji with his body, as he shouted, “Nova, get clear!” The sword bit deeply into his back as he fell, carving a line down from his shoulder blade parallel to his spine.

Kevin struggled against the fire in his back to keep his eyes open, searching for Anjali. “Have to get out,” he mumbled. “Get out, ‘njali.”

A small boot locked itself on the floor in front of him, scream echoing through the apartment, which creaked and groaned under the weight of the chimera. Anji drew the sword, levelling her gaze at the beast before glancing wildly around. The beast seemed content to pace for the time being, and Anji slowly knelt, one hand reaching back to feel his pulse, thready and erratic. “Can you move?”

Kevin turned his head, reaching one hand weakly toward her. “Bit. Get clear.”

“I’m gonna go for a healer, okay?” Anji’s voice was tense, her face shadowed by the beast as it crept closer. “Stay awake.”

“Be safe,” Kevin whispered, watching her.

Anji stood, sliding towards the opposite window as she yelled, “Hey, dumb ass! Having a lark, attacking a random couple? Come on, then, let’s have a go, right?”

“Messenger,” the tauros growled, reaching Anji in two huge strides. As it pulled back a metal hoof to strike at her, Anji ducked, rolling in between its legs to collide painfully with the shattered coffee table.

“Messenger for what?” She demanded, scrambling to her feet.

The monster spun, kicking her sharply in the side. “That.”

Anji flew back, colliding with the wall. “Love?” Kevin whispered, alarm in his voice as he struggled to turn his head to see her.

The creature’s eyes brightened, narrowing, and it lowered its head, sniffing in Anji’s direction. The sword hummed angrily in her limp hand and glowed green, twisting to face the tauros.

Tossing its head in disgust, the monster turned away from the woman. It headed out of the apartment, making a point of stepping on Kevin’s upper leg on its way out.

The man screamed in pain. Bone tore through flesh, tears streaming down his face. Sound filled the room until everything went black.
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eli_gone_crazy
 
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:59 pm

Re: Floating Castle RP

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:43 pm

Boss Battle 4: Bully For You

Quest Description:
A tauros has torn apart Anji and Kevin’s apartment and seriously injured the two of them. Although it seems to have fulfilled its duties as a “messenger,” it is still in the city and is more than happy to attack and kill anyone in its way, especially those it perceives as weak.

Part One:
Quest Goal: Locate Anji and Kevin and get them to safety/ medical help.
Quest Takers: Eliziya (agoraoptera) and Marcus (Guyshane)

Part Two:
Quest Goal: Defeat the tauros.
Quest Takers: Jenny (JackAlsworth) and Hector (Adell)

GM Notes:
  • The tauros is an incredibly strong, high-level monster. As described in the above post, it has the head and hooves of a bull, and a humanoid body covered in hair. Its hooves and horn are made of iron. It has a limited power of speech.
  • If you want information on Kevin or Anji’s injuries or interaction with them, feel free to contact eli and Qara for that.
  • The two parts of the quest may be conducted in tandem or separately, as the four players choose.

Quest Deadline is Sunday, April 6th at 11:59 p.m. EST
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Qara-Xuan Zenith
 
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