Floating Castle - Special Event 4

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

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Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:13 am

Quest Title: Lost
Quest Description: You (and your friends) have gotten lost in the city, possibly in the sewers.
Quest Goal: Find your way home.

GM Notes: This is an Open Quest, which means that anyone and everyone can write a valid quest fulfillment for it and post that to this thread; you can even write as many valid fulfillments as you like. HOWEVER. There are rules that must be followed.

Rules:
  1. No Tearjerker/NightmareFuel fulfillments will be considered valid for this quest. (We're serious: it can be boring, heartwarming, awesome, or funny, but if it's a downer it's disqualified. We take these Breather Episodes very seriously.)
  2. Usual one-post-per-fulfillment rule applies (60k-character limit).
  3. You may complete the quest alone or with partners/a partner, or with NPCs you control.
  4. You may complete the quest as many times as you like, in as many configurations as you like; however, your character will only receive one reward no matter how many times the quest is completed.
  5. Timelime on this quest is flexible, but please indicate when it takes place.

Reward: Every character to successfully complete this quest will receive one adorable plushie.

Deadline: Deadline for this quest is Saturday November 30th at 11:59 PM EST.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby agoraoptera on Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:16 am

"It stinks," Zi complained.

Oh, enough with your complaints, child, the thing told her, the mental equivalent of a frown impressing itself upon her consciousness.

"Why are we here, anyway?"

Here happened to be somewhere deep in a dirty, dank sewage tunnel which smelled of human feces and organic waste. Like the Underground, it was, well, underground, and similarly, Zi ended up here by virtue of following voices in her head. At least this time, she knew what that voice was, she thought wryly. The 'why' wasn't very clear though.

Just keep going, the beast in her head told her wearily.

"But it's so smelly and dirty-" she paused as she jumped daintily over a particular trail of muck obstructing their path, "it's so disgusting!"

Suck it up, child!

"Ew." Zi grimaced at the mental image the literal expression conjured. "I'm not you, you know. I can't just withdraw from my own sense of smell and I can even taste it on the air, by the Never-Fading, it's so dirty it's so dirty I can't take it-"

Oh calm down! Exasperation coloured its tone, and if Zi could glare at it physically, she would have. It's just a little bit of trash.

"You know I can't stand this kind of thing, of all things, really! Why don't you try smelling this constantly without backing out?" she challenged.

It was a moment before the thing responded. Fine. Bring it.

Then there was that curious sensation of double presence in her nose, as though she had a ghostly nose overlaying her actual nose, and it felt vaguely itchy, as it did every time the thing took over a part while she remained in overall control.

The beast inhaled deeply, and immediately, they both gagged, coughing and choking in the pungent aroma. Her eyes watered and mentally, she knew the beast was having much the same reflex. Uncontrollably, she began to giggle at the thought of an immense magic beast having such an averse reaction to bad smells, and its annoyance pulsed through her consciousness like a background drumming.

"You see?" she pouted, continuing down the sewers, doing her absolute best avoid falling into the river of waste while not touching the damp wall which no doubt was stained with the excrement of cockroaches and rats and other dirty dirty things and the smells of the sewer was probably a miasma that would bring all sorts of filthy greasy grimy grubby-

Stop that! it cried out.

"But it's so dirty.."

Bah! Fine! Go, find a way out of here.

".. Wait," she tried to eye it suspiciously as best as she could within her mind. "Then why did you make me come down here?"

There was a distinctly awkward silence.

Ah...

It paused.

You know how you can't stand the filth?

Zi didn't say anything.

I, ah..

...

I wanted to see how far I could push it.

...

I'm sure you've heard of the term 'practical joke'.

"I can't believe you did that, just for that."

Look, what's done is done, so you should move on and let bygones be bygones, it suggested.

"You suck."

That is a physical impossibility for me, it told her primly, trying to gloss over the issue. So, please keep moving.

"You don't even know how to get out, do you?"

I admit, spatial awareness is not one of my particular strengths-

"Retrace my steps," Zi demanded, glaring at the sluggish river of sludge.

You should learn to rely on yourself, it told her.

"You don't know how to get out," she repeated.

I.. wasn't really paying attention to the route.

"What were you paying attention to?"

Most definitely not your discomfort, my dear girl.

"You suck."
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

agoraoptera wrote: :| Shane just because I'm Asian doesn't mean I get to be Godzilla


Proud co-writer of the Greatest Idea of Our Time: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=1236
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby RussetDivinity on Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:40 pm

Alexander Curtiss glared at nothing in particular as he sniffed the air. “Ugh. And I thought healing gel smelled horrible.” He kicked at the slime-coated sewer wall, then shuddered as the impact resulted in a loud squelch that echoed through the darkened tunnels ahead of him. “Right, are we supposed to be here, Likovya? I kind of thought we were heading up, not down.”

“We were heading up,” Likovya said, grimacing and stepping carefully around a puddle of… something. “Then you said that you knew a shortcut so we could get around that crowd of farmers. Next time, I decide which route we take, got it? Ugh.” Her foot nearly slipped into another puddle, and she shuddered. “I just had a bath, too.”

Curtiss frowned. “I thought you were deciding. You mean you were following my direction when I was-” The scout facepalmed. “Okay. Okay, let’s get something straightened out here. You-” he pointed at Likovya- “you’re the one who actually knows our final destination. Correct?”

“I know where we’re going, yes.” She crossed her arms and frowned at the walls. “This is a new jacket, too,” she muttered. “Brand new boots.” With a sigh, she looked around. “I thought you were the tracker.”

“I’m the guy who maps things, not tracks things,” Curtiss growled, “and I couldn’t care less about clothes. Next point. I’m the tagalong. I don’t know where we’re going. I’m relying on you for that. You got that?”

Likovya muttered something that sounded like a curse. “When you’ve put a jacket through a glass window, you’ll learn to care about getting new clothes. I don’t think I’d had new boots since… well, since the circus.” She shook her head and strode off down the sewer for a few yards, before stopping suddenly and saying, “Who designed sewers this big? Does a city even need a sewer system people can stand up in?”

Curtiss glared at his partner, then shook his head and stalked off in her direction. “I’ll take that as a yes,” he grumbled, electing to ignore her question. “Let’s just get going, dammit. I don’t deal well with bad smells too well.”

“I really should have stopped you before,” Likovya said. “Do you remember which way we came down?”

Curtiss stopped mid-step, head tilted at an odd angle. “Stopped me?” he burst out. “Stopped me from what? Saying that it was probably a better idea to go around the giant mob of traders rather than punch your way through it? That’s common sense! I shouldn’t have had to say it at all!”

“Stopped you before you led me through a quarter mile of sewer, I mean. Your idea was good, I suppose. You just couldn’t execute it.” They reached something of a crossroads, and Likovya peered down each side. “Right or left? They both look the same to me.”

“You’re the guide, remember?” Curtiss said, still scowling. “You choose.”

“Fine.” Likovya turned down the left-hand side and continued picking her way across the floor. “This side looks a bit cleaner. Except for that pool.” She grimaced at a pool of sewage before looking away. “Whoever runs this city really ought to get someone down here to patch things up.”

“I think they probably prefer to just ignore the problem.” Curtiss kicked a lump of scum over the edge of the walkway. “It’s what I’d do.”

“Well, it’s just not… healthy, I suppose. I mean, the smell alone should be driving people away. Unless…” She paused and sniffed the air. “Oh, son of lightning, we’re probably under the slums. How did you get us under the slums so quickly?”

“Likovya, stop for a second and think about where we are. There isn’t anything but slums up there. We got normal slums, extra dirty slums, extra dangerous slums, slums that look oddly classy on the outside but are rank as all hell once you actually start paying attention-”

“Is that a dead body?”

“Hm?” Curtiss glanced back at where he’d kicked the slime blob. “Why would the- oh wow yeah that’s a dead body all right.” He leaned closer, then recoiled slightly. “I think the rats are using it as dinner or something.”

Likovya’s face turned a very slight shade of green. Curtiss looked at her, then back at the corpse. Both were silent.

After a minute of faint echoes of skittering rodent claws and dripping liquids, Likovya mumbled, “I… I think we should just get out of here. Now.”

“Now would be good,” Curtiss said quickly, and as one the pair of scouts turned back the way they had been travelling before and resumed walking.

***

Likovya was sure she would never get the smell of sewer out of her clothes. It wasn’t entirely Curtiss’s fault, she knew, but she planned on blaming him anyway. “This time, I don’t care how many people we have to fight through,” she said. “We’re going the main route. I don’t want another detour.”

Behind her, Curtiss snorted and leaned against a brick wall, a sour look on his face as he studied the trail of slime from his hiking boots. “This time?” he said. “This time we’re going up. Good workout, lots of sun, no slime, and it’s still more-”

“There you are!” A woman ran across the street, a worried expression on her face changing quickly to annoyance. “We were wondering where you were.”

“Arietta!” Likovya glanced around, even though she knew she didn’t have to be too worried about them being seen together. “What are you doing here? I told you to wait on the fourth floor.”

“You were taking too long,” Arietta said. “I didn’t want to have you die on the first day.”

“I can take care of myself,” Likovya said. “Where are the others? They’re not here too, are they?”

“Lasair and Tsilia are on the fourth floor. Isidor’s waiting on the third.” Arietta wrinkled her nose and looked Curtiss over appraisingly. “Of course, if I’d known why you were so late, I wouldn’t have bothered worrying. I don’t blame you, either. Really, though, you couldn’t find a more private place than the sewers?”

Likovya opened and closed her mouth several times, trying to find the right words. Before she was able to string together a coherent sentence, there was an annoyed-sounding grunt from behind her left shoulder, quickly followed by Curtiss’s voice. “Oh, hey, a smug insinuation. That’s a new one. Really, Alisdair, you could at least try to come up with some new material.”

Arietta shrugged and toyed with a small blade at her hip. “Really, Alexander, is that all you’re going to say to me?” she asked, smiling. “Surely you could spare me a nicer greeting for an old acquaintance? I mean, we haven’t seen each other since… well, before I got arrested. I take it you haven’t missed me, though I see you still enjoy dallying with danger.”

“So I do,” Curtiss replied. “Certainly far easier on the nerves than you are.”

Likovya looked from one to the other. “You two know each other? And we weren’t --”

“Yes, and that is all I have to say on the matter,” Curtiss cut in quickly.

“We have indeed met,” Arietta confirmed with a smile that was somewhere between mocking and flirtatious. “I suppose we had better head up. You may not have heard, but Lasair can be rather impatient.”

Likovya turned to Curtiss quickly. “I told you there were other people traveling with me, right? Well, she’s one of them. Is that going to be a problem?” For some reason, she had been looking forward to traveling with him, but if it came down to it, she could hardly leave Arietta behind.

Curtiss shrugged. “Only if she starts violating my personal space again. Oh, and for the record, I’m gonna be sleeping in my own tent during this trip.”

Arietta looked to Likovya, who nodded. “Do as he says. Let’s head up.”
Jubilation and despair are two sides of the same coin.
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby JackAlsworth on Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:10 am

“Remind me why we’re down here?” Jenny asked apprehensively, feeling along the damp wall and trying not to shudder.

“Because you’re being a wonderful friend and doing a favour for me,” Ben answered calmly, flicking a glance to either side.

Something squished on Jenny’s boot. "Yes, but why a sewer, though? Couldn't we have done this somewhere more... clean?"

“Don’t look at me,” Ben complained. “I wasn’t trying to end up in a sewer.”

"Did we at least plan a way out of here?" Jenny hated being lost in general; being lost in a maze of giant sewer pipes just made it worse.

“I am an excellent planner,” Ben informed her friend loftily. “I always plan ways out… of places I planned my way into. The rest of the time, I figure I’ll find my way back eventually.” The redhead shrugged, plainly unconcerned. “Hasn’t hurt me yet.”

"It's the 'eventually' that worries me," Jenny muttered.

----

Fifteen minutes later, Jenny was almost ready to scream.

"Someone really ought to map these," she said, trying to keep her voice even.

Ben put a hand on the other girl’s shoulder. “And I’m sure someone more suited to boring stuff will. In the meantime, let’s see what’s down there.” She picked a direction at random in the winding passageways and pointed, excitement hitching in her voice.

Probably the last people who got lost exploring down here, Jenny thought grimly, trying to keep up.

“Oh, for goodness’ sake, you should smile,” Ben urged Jenny, disguising a limp as she grabbed her friend’s arm to hurry along. “Feel the adventure! The thrill of the unknown!”

"I think this unknown would be a little more thrilling if it wasn't so slimy," Jenny said, trying to grin. "Oh, no, another dead end?"

“We could bash the wall down,” Ben offered speculatively. “It doesn’t look that solid.”

Jenny felt along the wall. "This was put here relatively recently. Ben, they must have had a good reason for blocking this tunnel off. Are you sure breaking it is a good idea?"

“Look at it this way,” Ben said, already testing the space between the stones with her sword. “The blocks are regular enough. If we change our minds, we can always try to put it back.”

"Or run?" Jenny suggested.

Ben made a dismissive sound. “Why run when we can stab things?” She turned to give Jenny a sidelong glance, grinning widely.

The problems start when the things want to stab us, Jenny thought. Aloud, she said, "I'm right behind you."

“Glad to have you at my back,” Ben said, turning back to work at the stones. She chuckled, adding, “Enjoying the view?”

“Well, I, uh… I guess this is a nice wall,” said Jenny, looking closer and wondering if Ben had seen something she had missed.

Ben smirked audibly, as she levered a couple of stones out of position. “Yes, Jenny. Yes it is.” Having made a sizeable hole, she reversed her grip on her sword to widen the space by knocking on the remaining blocks with the pommel.

“Come on,” she urged, beckoning her friend to climb through after her. After a moment of hesitation, Jenny complied.

--

By the third stone wall, Jenny had almost hit her breaking point of exasperation.

“Okay, clearly someone doesn’t want us to go this way,” she argued as Ben relentlessly chipped away at the obstacle. “Wouldn’t this be a good time to listen to them?”

“What, before we find out why?” Ben panted cheerfully, and elbowed Jenny lightly as she pushed a block out of place. “Where’s the fun in that?”

Traditionally, the fun is in not dying, Jenny almost pointed out, but before she could speak, a loud, echoing clatter emanated from the small hole Ben had excavated in the wall in front of them. Ben’s hazel eyes flashed excitedly, as she worked frantically to clear enough space to see what they were hearing.

Finally, she made a hole wide enough to accommodate her eyes, and she peered through, awash with anticipation. A long stretch of pitch-darkness greeted her.

“What do you see?” Jenny asked anxiously.

“Not much.” She grinned again, hoisting her leg up to the opening. “Only one way to find out!” Ben winced as for a moment, her recently-healed arm bore the full weight of her body, and then she had her ankled slipping through the ledge, followed shortly by the rest of her.

For a moment, the only sounds she heard were her own feet hitting the floor sharply and the steady drip of water. Then, without warning, a light flared in front of her, illuminating a large, twisted shadow on the wall. A voice boomed out: “WHO DISTURBS THE MIGHTY MAZOZ?”

Finally,” Ben hissed, a thrill of exhilaration running through her as she unsheathed her blade and answered, “Ben of Lamada and Orono, standing champion of the Memenet Games, challenges this miserable Mazoz!”

A deep laugh emanated from the tunnel before her. “HAH! A MERE MORSEL! MAZOZ HAS MADE MINCEMEAT FROM MORE MINIONS THAN YOU COULD MUSTER.”

“She can muster at least one,” came Jenny’s voice from behind Ben, quivering but defiant. Her bow was raised; her voice may have been shaking, but her hands weren’t.

“I’m not mustering anyone,” Ben complained. “After all that time glued to my bed, I finally get the chance to stab something; you can hang back, Jenny.” She half-turned to leer at the other girl. “I thought you didn’t want any fun, anyway.”

“You and I have very different definitions of ‘fun’,” Jenny replied, but she backed up, her bow still trained on the shadow.

“THE MORE THE MERRIER!” called the voice. “MANY MEALS MAKE MAZOZ’S MAW MIRTHFUL!”

“I’d better do something before he runs out of M’s,” Ben commented dryly. A cocky little smile played on her face as she charged for the shadows from which the voice emanated, sword held out before her in a practiced offensive thrust.

The shadow jerked out of the way. “MUSTN’T MOVE MINDLESSLY,” the voice taunted. “MAZOZ LIKES PLAYING WITH MEALS!”

Ben pursued, rounding the corner with a determined look on her face.

The shadow awaited her. “MAZOZ AWAITS YOU, MORTAL,” cried the voice. Ben glared in determination at the shadow of the giant lizard, circling around it in a slow sweep to try to gauge the best angle to come from. It would have been nice to have more light so that she could see the thing itself and not have to guess its location based on the shadow-- but, as she murmured to herself, “It’s always the challenges that make life interesting.”

With a set of her mouth that was half-grin, half-grimace, she stabbed the sword left and then up, jerking around in a move that should have reached past the armoured scales that undoubtedly covered the thing, twisting its innards until it could no longer fight.

What actually happened was… odd. For one thing, the thing offered a good deal less resistance. When she turned her weapon sideways, she heard, instead of a squelching sound of some beast’s guts, a dry scratching.

She jerked her sword free; a shower of straw followed it, spilling out onto the floor of the tunnel. The “beast” collapsed onto her, and the scent of unwashed fabric and weeks-old straw met her.

Ben spoke with absolutely no inflection to her voice. “What. The absolute. Hell.”

The voice laughed again. It was now much higher and older. “HA HA HA HA, oh wow, missy, I tell you what, you are the most fun I’ve had in yeeeeeeeeeeears.”

Ben narrowed her eyes and listened, stalking closer to the source of the voice with her sword drawn, still shaking straw off the weapon. “Sir Ben,” she said coldly. “I am no one’s ‘missy’. And you’ll damn well remember that.”

“Ha ha, okay, Sir Ben, no need to muss your hair.” A panel in the wall slid open, and a tiny old man clambered out, grinning like a maniac. As soon as he emerged, Ben whipped her sword to press its tip to his throat.

Jenny came running around the corner. “Are you all right? I heard - ” She trailed off as the absurd scene before her presented itself.

Someone’s not all right,” Ben said coolly, glaring furiously at the little man.

Even with the sword against his neck, the man was smiling. “Pleased to meetcha both. Name’s Mervin Zomam, but most folks just call me Mental Merv.” He held out a hand to Ben.

Ben eyed the hand disdainfully, not bothering to shake it.

Jenny blinked, attempting to make sense of what her eyes were telling her. “Who are you? What are you doing down here?”

Mental Merv continued to grin. “Why, I live down here! Don’t get many visitors around here - I always assumed they blocked this place off! You two must be very persistent.”

“One of us is,” Jenny muttered.

“Do anything useful with your time here, Mervin?” Ben snapped, her tone bordering on belligerence.

“Nope!” said the little man. “Just me and Mazoz. I tell you, he’s an okay guy, once you get used to the smell, but…” He leaned in conspiratorially, carefully avoiding Ben’s sword point, and whispered, “He’s not a very good conversationalist.”

Ben continued to glare, her lips twitching as though about to say something a couple of times, then finally muttered, “Hell with you,” as she sheathed the sword and turned her back on the man, walking back the way she’d come.

Jenny was waiting for her, very obviously trying not to laugh. Ben pushed past her friend to climb through the first of the demolished walls, not saying anything until she could lean against it on the other side. “I’ve been cooped up for too long,” she complained quietly, mostly to herself. “This was supposed to be my chance to have fun.”

Jenny put her hand on Ben’s shoulder gently. “Well, I had fun,” she said. “I know you’re sad about not getting to stab things, but… you were right. This was an adventure.”

“Some adventure,” she said disgustedly, leaning casually against Jenny’s hand. “Rug pulled out from under me and it’s just some big… joke. That’s all I’m able to defeat now, straw puppets and tiny madmen.”

“There’s plenty of sewer we haven’t seen yet,” Jenny commented. “And we still need to find our way out. Who knows? Maybe we’ll find a real monster yet.”

Ben stood again, taking Jenny’s hand as she began to walk aggressively onward. “I’m sorry I dragged you along, Jenny,” she said quietly. “That was… frivolous of me.”

Jenny let herself be dragged. “Hey,” she said airily, “what are friends for?”

“Apparently for listening to poor sports whine about it,” Ben replied, trying to force good humour into her voice.

Jenny laughed. “It’s all right. I was being a pretty poor sport myself.”

“Well, if we’re together on the whining, all that’s left is women and song.”

Jenny’s smile turned mischievous, and she started humming the first few bars of a drinking song she had picked up from her father when he thought she wasn’t listening. When she reached the second verse, Ben sang the next line of the song aloud. Jenny laughed and joined in, and as their voices echoed down the tunnel, she could have sworn she heard Mental Merv singing along with them.
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby Tohrinha on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:42 am

Mirae dropped the last few feet to the walkway, bypassing the final rungs of the ladder. A loud rattling from above made her look up. As far as she could tell, the hatch was still closed, but there was no use staying around here. She glanced along the corridor. The sewer continued straight one way, to where she couldn’t see in the dim light, but the other route soon branched off.

The hatch rattled again, and a few twigs landed on Mirae’s shoulder. The stick she’d used to bar the door must be giving way. As the hatch opened a crack and a sliver of light came through, she darted off towards the fork and randomly chose a direction.

Several turnings later, she paused to listen for pursuit. She was fairly sure she’d lost them, seeing as even she didn’t know where she was, but the lack of footsteps still reassured her. The new owner of the bakery hadn’t taken a liking to her. She’d hoped that escaping through the back would at least delay him, though she still wasn’t sure why a bakery happened to have a trapdoor leading to the sewers.

Mirae pulled off her cloak, draping it over an arm so it wouldn’t drag. Still no sound from behind her. Cupping a hand and filling it with light, she glanced around. Well, this is interesting. Not somewhere she’d like to visit in the summer, but the way the moss carpeted the walls and walkway was really rather pleasant.

The rest, however, was dank and reeked of everything the city wanted to hide, just like every other city sewer she’d been in. Time to be gone, then. Particularly as there were more floors to explore as well. She just … needed to find a way out.

The moss lessened a bit to her right. Good a way as any. She started off, holding the light in front of her.

---

The way the sewers twisted, they could have doubled as catacombs, thieves’ dens, giant spider lairs, and no one would have noticed. They clearly didn’t follow the pattern of the streets. Mirae would have guessed that she was somewhere under the forest, but there was no reason for them to reach that far. That didn’t mean they couldn’t, though.

The moss was barely a green tinge on the rock now, and filled with holes where none grew. At least it was drier; she must have turned into a storm drain at some point. The ceiling was getting higher, too. She hadn’t come across a fork in quite some time, but there were openings near the top, probably to let rainwater in. Slightly out of reach, she thought. Even trying to hold her light up to them, her hand fell short by almost an armlength.

No good there. Something made a noise farther ahead. Mirae brought her arm down, dousing the light until only a flicker remained. “Hello?”

The sound came again, and she moved towards it. Mirae slowed as something loomed ahead, blocking at least half of the tunnel. She risked brightening her light to see.

A pile of debris -- branches, rocks, and decaying leaves -- was heaped against one of the walls. As Mirae walked up to it, a shadow detached itself from the base and sauntered over, coming to wind around her ankles. She looked down. The shadow mewed up at her.

She gently pulled her foot away from the cat and crouched next to it, offering the hand that wasn’t lit up for it to smell. It gave her a cursory sniff, then nudged her hand with its head. “Hello,” she said, petting it. “You’re a ways from company.” The cat started to purr.

“I’m sorry,” Mirae said, standing up. “I have traveling to do, and places to go you might not like.” She stepped carefully around the cat and began walking around the debris pile, searching it for a reasonable path to the top.

Something butted against her foot. “Really,” she said, looking down at the cat. It stretched lazily, the tip of its tail weaving slowly back and forth. Mirae tried going around it again. She hopped up on a log, looking for the next step.

An insistent meow.

Mirae hesitated. “Oh, very well.” She bent down and scooped up the cat. It wriggled around in her arms before finding a comfortable position. It was lighter than she’d expected; hunting the occasional rat in a storm drain couldn’t have been the most plentiful source of food, she supposed.

With her added burden in one arm, she clambered up the pile. There was an opening near the tip, a square hole in the wall, even lighter than the rest of the tunnel. Mirae thought she could see a grate at the far end.

“We could come out anywhere from here to the next floor,” she said to the cat. “Still coming along?” The cat’s purrs deepened. “All right, then.” She began the climb up to the surface.
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby Blurred_9L on Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:32 pm

Timeline placement: Just before Quest 41

“So quiet…” the girl whispered as she tumbled around the enclosed space beneath the city streets. She didn’t seem to mind the decomposing river of garbage below her, as she stepped on the sludge that filled the floor. The nauseating stench didn’t even phase her at all. She was somehow at peace.

She extended her right arm in front of her, a flame orb slowly forming over her hand, lighting up the place. the small cracks over the brick became visible, signalling how not many people seemed to ever come down here. So… what was she doing here? She asked herself that question as she strengthened the flame sphere surrounding her hand.

A smug smirk appeared on her face, realizing she had no reason to be there at all. The flame over her hand grew even thicker, just before she threw it forward, lighting up the tunnel as it travelled through the air, before crashing against the nearest wall. Her vision went black after the heat and the light dissipated from the tunnel, a rat’s screeching resounding across the sewers walls. She giggled, before moving on through the passage.

The passage of time didn’t seem to bother her at all, as she kept walking ahead, without a doubt about her whereabouts. She would turn to the right sometimes, and others, to the left, all the while whistling a silly melody, moving her feet forward to the rhythm of her music. She sent sparks flying from her fingers, startling many a rat that decided to try to slip past her.

Reaching a fork, she stopped. She frowned, intrigued at which way to go. “Oh dear…” she exclaimed, a bit amused. “... I seem to have gotten lost.” she spoke, not a single sign of worry of fear seeping into her voice. On the contrary, she seemed excited. Maybe even curious. Reaching into a small satchel on her belt, she took out a copper coin from it.

“Which way shall I go, dear coin?” she asked aloud as she positioned the coin over her closed hand’s thumb and hitting the coin with it. The coin flipped over in the air for a moment. She took a step back the same instant, her right hand flaring up again. The coin began to fall. A small flame orb advanced menacingly forward, engulfing the coin just as it passed right in front of her, hitting the wall where the sewer split into two different ways. She walked up to the the wall, carefree smile on her face as she looked down to the floor, trying to find whatever remained of the copper coin.

“Oh, guess I’ll go this way.” she said, nonchalantly stepping to the left, deciding to go through the passage in front of her.

“There you are, Isabelle!” a worried voice shouted to her right, a man quickly running up to her from the tunnel she hadn’t intended to take. “Seriously, if you weren’t so loud I probably wouldn’t be able to find you half of the times you go and wander of your own.” he commented before stopping right in front of Isabelle. He ran a hand through his forehead in relief. Isabelle lighted up her hand once again.

“You shouldn’t worry about me, Norby!” she laughed, ignoring the man’s concern over her. “Besides, isn’t it wonderful in here?”

“My name is not Norby!” The man frowned, upset at Isabelle’s complete disregard of his name. “Besides, I’ve been running all day inside this place, stepping over this…” he lifted up his left boot and showed it to her, a weird gooey substance dripping from the sole into the sewer’s floor. “...this thing that’s all over the floor, in look of you. Do you know how many dead ends this place has? More. Than. You. Could. Even. Count. Come on, let’s get out of here…” he said, as he held to Isabelle’s free hand. The girl laughed again in response.

“Heehee, Norby, you’re funny!”

“My name is not Norby…” he pouted in response, leading her through the passage. “If you wanted to explore that badly, why didn’t you join one of those exploration groups that went to the upper floors? I’m sure the places up there are more interesting than…” he looked to the sludge on the floor again, feeling nausea. “...this sewer, who would even build a maze-like sewer anyway? But that’s not the point right now.”

Isabelle laughed again, though her laugh was slightly off this time. She let go of her partner’s hand, but didn’t stop walking. “Do you think they would accept somebody like me on their team?” she asked, losing the silliness of her voice. Both of them fell silent for a while, the sound of their footsteps echoing through the tunnel, as well as the occasional squeaking of a rat. “Besides…” she began speaking again, her voice returning to the playful tone it had had a minute ago. “...you’re useless without me, Norby!”

The short man flinched at those words. “I… I’m not!” he stuttered. If the flame Isabelle was using to light the way forward hadn’t been so dim, she probably would have seen him blush slightly. “You know what I think about weapons, right?” he asked, sounding a bit annoyed and, perhaps, slightly hurt.

Isabelle nodded at the question. “But you still would be lost without me.” she added after a while. The man didn’t even bother replying back this time, he just let out a sigh of resignation. “Because, Norby… aren’t we kind of lost right now?” she asked in a low voice, making it impossible for her companion to know if she was joking or being serious this time.

“Well… there are only two things that I can say to that…” he began to say, as they turned to the left when they reached another fork. “Number one! My name. It is not Norby. And… number two! ...Gee, you stink, how much time did you even spend in here?”

Isabelle laughed again. Just as they turned once more, the light revealed a slope in front of them, rising up into what could hopefully be the surface, somewhere inside the castle. “Not enough time, Norby.” she calmly said, as she sped up towards the exit, leaving her partner behind once more.
Why should we do the right thing?
-Well... because it's the right thing to do, there's no other good reason.

Am I a bad guy trying to be good, or a good guy trying to convince himself that he's not the bad guy?
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:29 am

Anji yawned, stretching out on the bed lazily in the late morning. As the sun hit her face, her eyes snapped open, “Shit.”

Standing quickly, she all but sprinted to the dresser, slipping into her day clothes, a pair of pants and a loose tunic that concealed many of her knives, and glanced around the room frantically, “Shit, shit, shit, shit.”

Grabbing her sword, she walked to the door, slipping into boots a size too large for her before ripping the door open and striding down the hall, heading for the common room that served as a cafeteria.

Kevin met her before the stairs, looking like he’d just climbed out of bed himself. “Good morning, love. Something wrong?”

“She’s going to kill me.” Anji quickly reached back to tie her hair as she descended the stairs, walking quickly to the door, “I’m late and now she’ll kill me.”

Kevin had his sword halfway out of its sheath before Anji finished talking. “No one’s damn well going to kill my fiancee.”

Anji didn’t stop walking, heading out into the street with a confident swagger that belied her shaking voice, “Kevin. I had a meeting with Lori.”

Kevin frowned, matching pace with her. “Stay away from cliffs, dearest. I’ll speak to the Loremaster and tell you when it’s safe.”

“She’d not buy that crap.” Anji laughed, glancing up and down the street before swiping a steaming cinnamon bun from a vendor, and offering it to Kevin. “Want this?”

Kevin accepted the pastry with a smile, absentmindedly breaking it into bite-sized pieces that he fed to Anji. Anji laughed, “I got it for you, love. I’ll be…. busy.” She glanced at the looming library warily.

Kevin rolled his eyes at her. “I can eat while you’re busy having your head bitten off by our lovely librarian. You should get some food in you before your untimely demise.”

Once they approached the library’s gates, Anji looked up at Kevin, “You can go ahead and take off, I’ll be okay.”

“Right. I’m just going to throw the love of my life to the wolves.” He snorted indelicately, before calling up to the guards to let them in.


“Ah come on,” Anji grinned, walking into the gates with a smile on her face, “You’re marrying into the pack as it is anyway.”

Kevin grinned, kissing the side of her head. “Wolves look after their own.”

“Actually wolves will kill any other wolf they come across, given that it’s not in their pack.” A voice called from above, as Lori descended from the wall, upside down and reading a dusty tome. “I wouldn’t expect you to know about that though, seeing as I can’t even get you into the library at a decent hour, much less open a book.”

“The hour seems plenty decent to me,” Kevin commented casually, one hand on Anji’s shoulder, the other back on his sword’s hilt. Giving the Lorekeeper his best wolfish grin, he asked, “But tell me, then, Lori-- are we of a pack?”

“Pack of imbeciles, maybe.” Lori said severely, brown hair limp as she hung from her feet. “Besides, I need your help with other things anyway. Anji, I’ll dock this from your pay.”

“You don’t pay me anyway.” Anji said, crossing her arms defensively. “And before you ask, no I am not going to set myself or anyone else on fire. We’ve been over this. Several times.”

Lori made a rude sound in between a laugh and a growl, “I can only truly see people when they are on fire. Why am I ridiculed for this? I am a genius among swine!” She began rocking back and forth in the harness that suspended her, eventually lifting herself up to loosen the ties. Falling to the ground, she strode over to the couple, eyes dilated. “I need you to get me some cows.”

“Have you not noticed,” Kevin asked incredulously, “that Anjali is no longer your assistant?”

“Hm?” Lori glanced at him, and then waved her hand dismissively. “Yes, yes. Of course she is. I’m glad you agree.”

“Neither one of us is a librarian, Lori,” he said, enunciating clearly.

“OH, you would like to be librarians!” Lori’s face lit up as her brown eyes sparkled with excitement. “I was hoping you would!” She leaned closer to Kevin, elbowing him with a silly grin on her face, “In fact, you’ve helped me on my experiments before! So you’ll know exactly how to find the cows I need.”

Kevin grasped the woman’s elbow carefully, extricating it from his side. “Yes,” he said, still smiling, “I know exactly how to take my fiancee with me in avoiding the crazy lady and her crazy demands before someone gets hurt.”

“Oh you’re no fun.” Lori frowned, shoulders slumping slightly. “I was just looking for someone to help me, is all.” Glancing up mournfully, she added, “I’ll pay you.”

Anji’s ears perked up from where she had been cowering behind the tall man, “Pay?”

“Yes, yes.” Lori huffed, “You have no appreciation for the sciences at all.”

“Anji, love,” Kevin murmured in a low tone, “you don’t need the madwoman’s pay. We can keep our relationship with her strictly social.”

“I think we left strictly social at the gate, sweet.” Anji stepped out to look up at Lori. “What do we need to do?”

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

Kevin wrinkled his nose. “You didn’t have to humour her, love.”

Anji winced, eyes stinging. “Ah, come on. Money. We can always use more of that.” She looked at Kevin, smiling slightly, “We might even be able to get you more cinnamon buns.”

He rolled his eyes at her. “Silly Nova. We can afford all the cinnamon buns we want without taking suicide missions from our favourite tyrant.” He pulled her into a close hug. “I know. Old habits. But everything I have is yours now, beloved.”

Anji smiled, the expression not quite making her eyes. Quickly, she changed topics, tongue stumbling as it tried to match her speed. “I don’t know what she meant about cows in the sewers? I mean, I haven’t seen any.”

“I don’t think cows could even fit in the sewers,” he agreed, looking around.

“Maybe they’re sideways?” Anji tilted her head, measuring the difference.

“Hmmm. I wouldn’t put it past Lori to teach the cows how to walk on walls.”

“Why walls though?” Anji puzzled for a moment, “I mean, why not just have them float or something?”

Kevin raised an eyebrow. “Floating cattle?”

Anji looked at him, groan pulling her mouth into a smile. “What a silly, terrible, completely nonsensical pun.”

He smirked back at her. “And here you said I had no sense of humour.”

“With jokes like that, I wouldn’t call that a sense of humor.” Anji snarked, walking down the dim corridors. “More like a weapon in and of itself,” she mumbled under her breath.

“What’s that, my love?” Kevin smirked, following her through the dank passageway. “Maybe I can use it to defend us against Lori’s house-sized cows.”

“Meew.” A small sound filtered through the sewers towards them both.

“Did you just sneeze?” Anji asked, grin playing on her features.

“Psshhhh. Something that high sounds more like when you have a cold, my adorable Anji.”

“You’ve never seen me with a cold.” Anji mumbled, peeking around a corner curiously.

“Meeeeew.”

“There it goes again.” Kevin raised an eyebrow. “If it isn’t either of us, love, what do you think that would be?”

“Cats live in sewers…” Anji trailed off, voice brightening again as she smacked his arm lightly, grin widening, “Can I have a kitten?”

“A sewer-kitten?” Kevin wrinkled his nose. “Can’t I get you a kitten that smells nicer than here?”

“Oh come on.” Anji wheedled, “I was a sewer-kitten at one point, and I smell nice.”

“mmmm.” Kevin buried his face in her hair, smothering his laughter. “You are the nicest-smelling sewer-kitten I have ever met.”

Anji laughed, “I’m probably the only one you’ve ever met, Your Highness.”

“All the more reason for you to be the nicest, Princess Anjali.” He shook his head, kissing her a few times before releasing her. “But the Lorekeeper was talking about cows, not cats. You think she had some sort of cow-cat hybrid going on down here?”

“Now that would be ridiculous.” Anji laughed as they turned a corner, and cried out as she tripped over something in the gloom, falling into the muck. “Ew!”

She leapt up, skin and hair covered in gods knew what, laughter warring with embarrassment and irritation, “Ew ew ew ew Oh gods get it off of me this is disgusting ew ew!”

“Are you all right, love?” Kevin bent down to examine what Anji had tripped on. He raised his eyebrows as he straightened, holding in his palm a tiny, black-and-white cow, no bigger than a rat. About a dozen more-- the rest of the herd, he thought absently-- milled around in the mud at their feet. “Bovines of unusual size.” Kevin chuckled. “Who would have believed they exist?”

“Well, gee.” Anji said, wiping the goo off of her face. “I guess anything can grow in this cesspit.”

Kevin laughed, offering her a handkerchief from his pocket with his left hand, while the miniature cow pranced impatiently in his right. “I don’t know… it’s kind of cute.”

Anji cleared most of the muck away, and inspected one of the cows, “This is the cutest thing ever!” The cow turned to look at her, bored expression plain as it licked her finger experimentally. “Oh Rabbit. This thing is adorable.”

Kevin bent again, scooping up a handful of the tiny cows. “I wonder what they eat.”

All of the cows began stretching their necks toward Anji, moos becoming more frantic as they begged to eat. “Oh well that’s just nasty.” Anji said, holding out a tentative hand to the puppy-sized bovines.

The cow that Anji held began to gnaw smugly on the dirty handkerchief beside it. “Ah,” Kevin said, smothering a chuckle.

“Well, i think we found Lori’s cows.” Anji said, pulling one of the cows into her arms, petting it absently. “Can we keep one?” she asked, eyes lighting up.

“mmm. I’m tempted to keep all of them. Though the Lorekeeper would probably object,” he sighed regretfully. “And they might be difficult to care for.”

“We can give them to Seire.” Anji said, “He’d know what to do. Give him a few months, and he’ll have raised a herd to match the ones we lost when Marcus drove them off the castle.”

“In volume?” Kevin asked, smirking.

“They are so cute! I do not think anyone would mind at all.”

Kevin absently stroked the cows squirming along his arm. “Well, we should probably leave a couple here, so Lori won’t kill us. Rescue the rest, and try to keep a couple as pets?” He grinned.

“Oh look!” Lori’s elated voice swept through the sewers, “You found my cows!”

Kevin gave the woman a baleful look. “If you were coming down here anyway, why send us?”

“Because I’m not a good finder.” Lori said simply, scooping up a cow and inspecting it. “Really, do you even know how to read?”

Kevin raised an eyebrow. “So… you followed us down into the sewers, where we were wandering blind with no idea of either where we were or what we were looking for, in order to find your charges… because you lack faith in my literacy. Lori, your leaps of cool, unclouded logic continue to amaze me.”

Lori sniffed, “Well, you found them, didn’t you? It’s not like I was following you anyway. I just--” The Loremaster produced a focus, red as blood and floating towards Anji, from her pocket-- “Made use of an old friend, is all.”

Kevin started forward, a couple of the forgotten cows in his arms complaining with high-pitched moos in reaction to his anger. “Why do you have that?” he asked coldly.

“Nova was under my care.” The Loremaster answered, as if that was the only explanation needed.

“You shouldn’t have abused that right.”

“Look, can we argue about her having the thingie later? I’m covered in shit and I need to get clean.” Anji remarked, holding her cow protectively.

“Sorry, love,” Kevin said, stepping back sheepishly. Meeting Lori’s eyes with a speculative smile, he suggested, “Here’s a deal for you, Lorekeeper. I’ll put it behind me if you give us the cows.”

“But they were my dinner!” The Loremaster whined petulantly. After a few more moments staring into Kevin’s livid face, she relented. “Only if I can keep one.”

“One,” he agreed. “That’s fair.” Turning to Anji, Kevin grinned. “Love? We have a herd of cows!”
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Floating Castle - Special Event 4

Postby Lordxana0 on Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:28 pm

"So...what your saying is that we are lost?" Rose looked at Salvantas with a single raised eyebrow, crossing her arms and tilting her head to the side in annoyance.

"Not lost... adventuring..." Salvantas pulled out the map he had been making and held it at multiple angles.

"Adventuring where we get lost" Rose rolled her eyes and moved her torch around so the two could see through the darkness. "Its at times like this that I wished I were a Wizard and could just make lights and compasses and other useful things. Or at least cast a spell to get rid of the smell. Why did I agree to this again?"

"Because you are madly in love with me and this is one of those rare occasions where we are on the same mission" he grinned at her and folded up the map, storing it inside of his coat. His smart mouth earned him a swift punch in the arm from Rose. "Ow.. hey what is that for?"

"I felt like it" Rose gave him a gentle smile and handed off the torch. "You get to hold the ball of fire on a stick for awhile, my arms are getting sore" Rose walked in front of him toward the area she thought they had come from

Salvantas begrudgingly took the torch. "Woman can swing a sword for hours but can't hold a torch for five minutes...."

Rose turned around as she walked. "What was that?" she asked with a dark grin showing there would be bloodshed if he was saying anything against it.

Salvantas felt a wave of fear pass through him as he suddenly came to know the fear that Blank could put into people. "Nothing Rose"

"Damn straight" they continued walking for awhile until a certain sound hit their ears. Someone was singing. Why would someone be singing in the middle of a sewer through? The two followed the noise for a few twists and turns until they eventually came upon a woman who seemed to be collection the water that had pooled in this area of the sewers. "Hm... old, I wonder I could date it and get a time frame for when the sewer was built, then again this could be a new area that just wasn't finished. Infuriating indeed" the woman was of an average build, not tall but also not short. Rather thin for her size as well. She wore a pair of half glasses and had long black hair that looked as if it had needed a cut for many a moon.

Salvantas froze when he saw the woman. "No...that isn't possible." he said the words under his breath, mostly speaking to himself. "Larisa?" he called out.

The woman turned toward them, pulling her attention away from the water. She blinked before a large grin came over her face. "Oh no way!" she ran over and tackled Salvantas to the ground, holding both of his arms down and pinning him. Before anyone could react she pressed her lips against his in a deep kiss.

Rose quickly pulled free her blade and put it against the woman's neck. "Excuse me, but you should really remove your lips from his mouth before I remove your head from your body"

The woman grinned and vanished, appearing a few feet away. "Awww Sally wally you went and found yourself someone else to keep your bed warm?" he giggled and put her hand to her mouth.

Salvantas was pretty dazzed from the sudden assault of a woman throwing herself on him, and it took him a full thirty seconds to actually stand up and think rationally again. "Mad Alchemist Larisa, still keeping your title I see"

The woman went over to her supplies and began to pack them up in a travelers bag. "Eyup, can't go and act all normal like the lower class or people might start calling me Normal Alchemist Larisa, and how dreadful it would be to have such an amazingly bland title like normal" she stood up with the pack on her back and gave a dramatic shudder.

Rose looked at the two of them, confusion plain on her face and blade still drawn. "So...anyone going to tell me whats going on here or is confusion now just to be my natural state of being?"

"Oh well that one is easy person I don't know" the woman reached into her pack and pulled out a small blackboard and some chalk. "We and Sally wally over there used to be part of a big scary organization called the Three Claws of Oblivion. We killed gold for the people..." she blinked. "No wait I got that backward, we killed people for gold"

Salvantas growled at the woman. "It was more complicated then that and you know it"

She waved her hand. "I never like getting caught up in the small details unless there are rats and potions involved. Anyway me and Sally where part of the same five person team. I was the research, and he was the muscle. Bugger me if I know what the other people did."

Salvantas sighed as he began to realize that he would have lots of explaining to do later. "What are you doing here Larisa?"

"Oh, well you see after our organization got kicked to the dust I had no way to continue my experiments, you know rats and Alchemy ingredients aren't exactly cheap" she crossed her arms and sighed. "Not cheap at all no sir"

A cold feeling passed through Salvantas. A figure from his past, somehow here on the castle and working for someone didn't exactly leave a lot of mystery as to who she was working for. "You... you're working for Tenzami!?"

Larisa snapped. "Yep thats his name, I am working for Tenzami."

Rose blinked and looked at Salvantas. "Tenzami?"

Salvantas drew his saber and looked at the woman. "Are you crazy, he is the one that killed our group, he is pure evil!"

"That was always the problem with you Salvantas." the playful tone in her voice disappeared and she regarded the two of them coldly. "You never could see past the black and white world you live in" she sighed and put her hands into the pockets of the lab coat she was wearing. "In order to discover things one needs money, it doesn't matter where the money comes from, good, evil, inbetween. scientific advancement is all that matters"

Salvantas sighed and aimed his blade at her. "If you are working for him then I am taking you down"

She shook her head and sighed. "That was another bad point about you" she pulled out three small stones from her coat. "You never knew when to quit" she tossed them out and the balls seemed to draw in all of the loose stone in the area, becoming man sized Golems. "Get em boys!" the woman turned around and ran as the three stone creatures charged at Salvantas and Rose.

"Damn it!" Salvantas tried to run past the Golems but was knocked back for his trouble.

Just before one of them managed to land a blow on him Rose knocked its fist back with her blade. "I don't quite understand whats going on here but at the same time if you are planning to beat that lunatic up go for it, I can handle these things" she pushed back against the creature of stone with amazing strength and sent it back a few feet. "But don't think that you won't be explaining this to me later!"

Salvantas nodded and jumped over the Golems to chase after Larisa. She might be fast, but he was much faster and used to chasing people. As soon as she came into his sights he used his free arm to throw a dagger at her. "Stop!"

Larisa quickly turned around and deflected the dagger with a short sword, turning her body around so she was running backward. "Aww how romantic, chasing after me like this"

Salvantas felt his earlier mixed feelings disappear, replaced by the usual white hot rage that came up when he faced someone linked to Tenzami. "Where is he!"

"You know it is rude to talk about another man with a woman as lovely as I around... or is it me that isn't suppose to talk about handsome men when you are around... either way!" she reached into her pocket once more and pulled free a small vial. "Catch you around Sally Wally, maybe next to you and the other girl could join me... but I guess we would need a bigger bed for that... oh well!" she tossed down the vile and from it burst a massive wall of foam, which quickly hardened into a strong seal that his blade couldn't cut through.

Salvantas slammed his fist into the wall and sighed. "Damn it" He turned around and made his way back to Rose, who had managed to destroy the cores of the Golems. "Sorry" he said just above a whisper.

Rose put her blade against the wall and walked over to him, giving him a look that spelled nothing but death. She quickly reached out and grabbed his undershirt in her hand and pulled him in for a quick kiss. "The next time a crazy woman kisses you stab her got it?" she gave him a playful grin. "The only crazy woman that gets to kiss you is me"

Salvantas felt a smile play over his face. "Deal" his earlier rage was still inside of him, but being around Rose always suppressed his darker emotions.

The two of them gathered together the broken cores and resolved to get them to the Lorekeepers for research and possible development. After all an army of Golem workers could help out quite a bit. "So..." Rose gave him a grin. "Sally Wally?"

Salvantas let out a groan and started moving toward a ladder that he had passed in the chase. "Oh gods here we go again"
Who you going to call? ME!
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