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 World of Illidia - IC

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Admiral Ji
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue 05 Feb 2013, 8:53 pm

Dusi, being slower to act than Ahlat, had to watch as his compatriot charged past him. He couldn’t do anything while Ahlat was in the way, either, lest he ruin whatever Ahlat hoped to gain with his mad rush. Instead he moved to the side, hopefully in route to Thrembul. His plan was more… simple. Should Ahlat fail, well, he’d attempt to use his blade to slice through the banshee’s throat. It sounded smart in his head anyway, the Banshee needed to breathe to shout, right? Still, there was no way he’d outpaced his hooved partner in rescue, and it would be up to him how this went.
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 09 Feb 2013, 7:20 am

AHLAT and DUSI

Ahlat's charge carries him perfectly into the melee, his horns meeting little resistance as they plunge deep into the beast's chest, splintering ribs and pulverising organs, lodging firmly in its putrid flesh. Already on the verge of losing his grip, Thembul cannot withstand the impact and goes flying off with a startled grunt, leaving minotaur and banshee locked together in whirling confusion as both try to keep their balance and throw the other off theirs.

This close, her stink is overwhelming - Ahlat's knees buckle involuntarily, though he is strong enough to keep from collapse. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the banshee. Too late you remember these creatures are counted among the greater undead, wretched spirits bound in corporeal form, but nonetheless very powerful.

One arm begins to batter Ahlat's exposed back and neck relentlessly, trying to wear him down through sheer persistence and out of the corner of his eye, Ahlat can just spot what Dusi has clear sight of: the banshee's other hand trying to pluck Thembul's hammer from its throat. If it succeeds and lets loose its characteristic scream this close to you, death would be a mercy.

Thembul tries to splutter something as he regains his footing, but the wind has been knocked from him and whatever he hopes to say is lost in a fit of coughing. He will be no help for a few critical seconds more at least.

**********

HAI

First Edition doesn't look nearly as useful as Tollah made it sound - a grey slab of a building squeezed between warehouses that, although doubtlessly ill-maintained, look far more interesting; its solitary door little more than a simple wooden affair with the words "First Edition" painted on and flaking off. Not a single window decorates its exterior. Not a single weed tries to push its way through the barren flagstones.

For a moment you struggle to open the door, until you try to push it, at which point it immediately swings open - strange, considering most of Towelen operated on the mercantile custom of going outwards rather than in - to reveal a short, unlit and empty passageway with an identical door at its end. A deep, musty smell wafts out; the smell of uncountable books and scrolls kept inside a sealed room for years on end.

The door at the end of the passage then also swings open - again, a little worryingly, inwards - but there is at least light coming from the chamber beyond. Still no sign of anyone actually being there though: you know that sort of glow could easily be the remains of a magelight charm, rather than a torch or lamp.

**********

KATYUSHA

As you walk, you notice fewer and fewer people moving in the same direction, presumably others seeking the first ritual blessings of this day or carrying out minor errands before the main festivities begin. There are barely a dozen of you by the time you actually reach the entrance to the Ice Sanctuary and the stern-faced guards open the doors to allow you entry - and yes, their spears are almost completely clear all the way from butt to tip, unlike Rhen's own. It is not the growing cold that sends a shiver down your spine.

Steeling yourself for what you know will come, you step over the threshold and cross into the Ice Sanctuary proper. The temperature plummets abruptly, your breath freezing almost before it leaves your body. When the doors close behind you, all sounds from the outside world are cut off, even the terrible wind that strikes at your clothes and slices at your flesh soundless. There is nothing but whiteness within, endless unchanging whiteness that shows neither wall nor ceiling or floor.

Your eyes work quickly, pupils dilating, brows lowering, lids reshaping themselves to give you the best possible vision in these conditions - the heritage of the earliest i'karen, who did not have the luxury of a city to shield them from the cold. Here, in the Ice Sanctuary, you are thrust back into those times, serving as a humbling reminder of your insignificance before the primordial forces that are worshiped herein.

Instinctively, wordlessly, you and the others huddle together as you continue on. In this merciless cold, time ceases to exist and there is only the warmth of your companions. Periodically you shuffle yourselves, taking turns to bear the brunt of the frost on the outside of the huddle, but always you walk on, deeper and ever deeper into the heart of the Ice Sanctuary.

Some tiny, foreign part of your mind tries to explain, but it is shouted down by a hundred, by a thousand, by more generations of i'karen who know better in their blood and bones. The understanding granted by civilization is of no comfort and the alien creature calling itself Katyusha is ignored by you in favor of survival.

An eternity passes. The cold recedes. Katyusha is again the master of your mind. The primal animal in your soul returns to its lair.

"Well met, Children of the Frost!"

Startled by the voice, disoriented from the experience, your huddle breaks apart. The Ice Sanctuary suddenly has colours - muted blues against shades of white, but the most wonderful of sights to you nevertheless. Your eyes gradually settle back to their accustomed form and you are amazed to see that you have not moved more than a few feet from the doors. The wind has died down and even the temperature seems to have risen slightly.

"You have entered our domain of your own free will and earned our blessing with your strength," continues the voice, which is coming nearer by the second.

A gasp from one of the others turns all heads and you see that the speaker has appeared. She is a very young i'karen, probably no more than twenty seasons - she would not have even finished basic schooling as yet! - but she carries herself with the confidence and presence of a woman many times her age. And her voice! It resonates with power that no ordinary child could have - a power that is explained with her very next words.

"I am the Sybil of the Ice Sanctuary," the child continues, motioning for each of you to step forward. "Tell me of your hopes and I shall bestow favor upon you. The choice to use it nobly or to squander it belongs then to you alone. Come, my Children, my bravers of Frost. Few of the uninitiated are so bold as to enter this place - but you have earned your blessing all the more for doing so."

Her voice gradually loses its force, which now you recognise was mostly due to the shock of hearing anything after so long - or no time at all? Or something in-between, perhaps - and a little less due to the awesome power contained within her little body. You can still hear its echoes in her words, but not nearly so much now. And in a way, you are quite thankful for that.

**********

SYRRYNON

"Indeed, Barterer, my work has just reached a new level of import!" the Prostrator exults at once, barely even looking at you. "At this rate I might even live to see its completion! I could die having witnessed the resurgence of our domination and the last downfall of our enemies!"

She pauses, cocking her head in your direction and still speaking more to herself: "Although I am curious as to why a Barterer would show interest - unless the most chaotic variable has already strayed beyond the acceptable parameters. Barterer - Senkazon, was it? An old, good name - how is business down in the markets? Is our trade still flourishing? Our slaves still obedient? Or are things going less well of late?"
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 09 Feb 2013, 7:51 am

Dusi’s eyes narrowed with apprehension as the task before him laid itself out. As deftly and as swiftly as he could muster, he reached out with his right hand, left clutching his sickle, and attempted to pull the Banshee’s arm towards him. His intent, the only thing he could think of at the moment, was to hack the beast’s arm off. He already anticipated the issue of his rusty blade making this difficult, but he could only hope it would distract the banshee long enough for Thembul to run, or help.

This was going to be long, tiring work, and excessively likely to kill them all, but Dusi couldn't help but laugh in his mind. It’d been far too long since he’d felt like he was actually doing something beyond looking out for himself. He could use with this a little more often, to be honest. Too long ago he’d had to change names, lose his identity, and wander the land a coward with no skills… however, he supposed this was just the way things were going to need to be. He’d sold his good life for a guaranteed continued life, there was no way to take that back.
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 09 Feb 2013, 9:04 am

Is this the place? Hai mused when he first approached the building. Of course he figured that this place would be one of those library-types of building--- opposed to a piece of crap that can't even afford a proper door. Tollah was obviously playing him for a fool, or possibly this could be the exact place he's looking for (Judging a book by it's cover wouldn't do too much good in the long run).


"Adventure awaits...." He says to himself in a snarky and sarcastic tone. Then he opens up the front door with difficulty--- before trying to pull open the door inward, which off put him even more since from what he knew doors. He continued through the building with a slow pace taking note of everything about the place, things kept seemingly getting stranger. There's not a single soul in the building that's supposed to be a store--- on a busy day at most.



There was another door, and it swings inwards. Of course Hai decided to shrug off the strangeness of a door swinging inward. He was unsure of what to do now other than continue.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 09 Feb 2013, 9:34 pm

A moment passed while each of the assembled strove to unearth his or her voice from the mountain of awe that had descended to obsctruct their throats. Katyusha's brow, in spite of the inclement cold, threatened to overheat. This was the moment.

Before anyone else could step forth, Katyusha's feet volunteered her. Lowering her head, she inhaled briefly to muster her courage. Her nervousness seemed to fade under the Sybil's gaze.

Unwilling to chance that the moment would last, Katyusha was quick to raise her head and blurt her intentions. She spoke of her parents and of her desire to explore the outside world. When she had finished, she held her breath, closed her eyes, and dipped her head.

Surely she will refuse my request. Surely.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon 11 Feb 2013, 2:23 pm

Varn spat in disgust as he watched the split tongue slither and squirm along his blade and coming ever closer to his hand. He hadn't a clue what the those tongues would do if they were to come in contact with him, and he wasn't keen on finding out. All he wanted to know at this rate was the color of the blood that oozes from a mako's throat. Varn had made a rather unlikely move - the warrior had tossed his claymore aside and lunged a tackle towards the mako that hopefully wouldn't anticipate it, and grabbed for the survival knife on his belt. If the mako didn't squeal for mercy, Varn may well just sink that blade into its throat.

If, of course, the tackle meets the small, devilish creature.


***


A shaman - a shaman! Who would have thought that he would have been a shaman? Vokky's thoughts on Aharn had shifted, if only a little. Perhaps the goblin as thinking too much like an orc, product of bad company. Even so, Vokky hadn't helped but wonder Aharn's intents. The chiefs were often warriors. To have a chief be magically imbued and to wish for a shaman by his side is a strange request indeed. He wondered if his intentions is to reform the tribe into something more arcanely potent. Perhaps he may just reconsider--

"Nay!" Vokky exclaimed, intervening on his own thoughts. "Even if I were to take up Aharn on his offer, my magic is not strong enough to make me a shaman." The goblin's fingers caressed the stray, wiry hairs on his bottom chin in quizzical thought.

"I shall leave yet still, and yet still I ask you to come with me. When I feel we have learned more and grow in prowess, we shall return where my final decision will be made."

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon 11 Feb 2013, 6:36 pm

Ahlat responded by raising his shield, pressing it diagonally to the banshee's shoulder, blocking its arm from doing much but flailing around to the side. With the incessant beating on his back managed, that left Ahlat to concentrate on more important things, like the awful stench that reminded him of rotting fish and burning hair simultaneously. It made his eyes sting and water, but there wasn't much he could do about it without getting rid of the banshee in the first place.

His decision to protect his back left him mostly unable to do anything else in the upwards direction, so he dropped to a knee and lifted up with his horns to deny the banshee any purchase on the ground, then jammed his seax up into the banshee's abdomen - if it wanted to stop him from doing that, it would probably have to divert one arm away from its hammerectomy. At the moment, Ahlat just hoped that Dusi was on his way to help and that the banshee wouldn't be able to scream very well with a horn in its lungs.

~~~~~~~

Syrrynon smiled. That was a lot of questions to condense down to one train of conversation.

"Congratulations! I think we should both be happy to see your project finished, as should everyone. I was mostly curious what the implications would be for the various fiber crops and how quickly we could expect the desert borders to move. Since my trade involves border outposts and importing exotic materials, let's just say I'd like to know what to expect for business' sake.

As for business itself, it's going well; my slaves are doing well, productivity is about as usual; others not so much, but I don't want to bore you with the details."

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue 12 Feb 2013, 11:33 am

RCMidas wrote:
KO

"Ahem, student Ko!" Your lecturer's stern voice snaps you out of your reverie. "You do realise you are the last one left? Unless you wish to repeat this session with the lower classes?"

You see that you are, indeed, the last of the group still in the room. It is a little embarrassing, especially as Vulpa has no choice but look in your direction - and the gleaming whiteness of his blind eyes washes over you even though he cannot possibly see where you are. It is more unsettling than embarrassing, overall.

Then his beak opens again: "Perhaps the student has had an insight he wishes to discuss?"

Your lecturer almost starts to frown, then wisely shuts up. Vulpa, as with all hamakei, has neither temper nor impatience, yet somehow the slightest word of reproach can crush a spirit just as readily as the most tempestuous fury. So if Vulpa wants to make the next lot of students late, Vulpa will get the next lot of students late.

((long wait while thinking is long))

Ko clacked his beak slowly several times, thinking, before starting. "The rocks don't get power from anywhere, right? I mean, if it were a source of power, with the amount of energy that would be required... well, there's no possible way we wouldn't see the channel for the power, never mind that the relationship between power used and distance traveled isn't squared but cubed... And if it was just ambient energy, we wouldn't be able to do any magic, the spell sucking away our power the second we collected it. So the rocks have to somehow provide the power themselves. So only two possibilities remain- the rocks themselves generate the power, somehow, or the sheer size of the spell is keeping it going indefinitely. Which would mean it's a magic singularity- a spell so massively powerful that it recreates itself over and over again." He ruffled his feathers, clearly displeased with that conclusion. "Personally, I lean towards the former explanation. A singularity... Well, frankly I don't think it's even possible... at least, not for a mortal. Perhaps a god could do it, but even gods have limits, and this seems a feckless waste of power."

Clacking his beak rapidly in agitation, worried at having spoken so informally while discussing such important theory, he pressed on. "If it's a singularity, though, effecting so much area, it must be capable of spreading. So it's easy enough to test that theory, all we'd need to do is bring back a non-native rock, leave it somewhere that it could be found, perhaps marking it with magic, and then test it's properties along the edge of the continent, where a native rock would cling and hold itself, to see if the rock behaves as is natural- or if it conforms to it's environment."

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 15 Feb 2013, 2:20 pm

AHLAT and DUSI

With Dusi joining the melee, the banshee suddenly finds itself hard-pressed to maintain its initial advantage. For a few seconds, the imbalance remains - and then Ahlat repositions himself, thrusting the monster's arm out to the side with his shield and giving Dusi the perfect opportunity to inflict major damage.

In just three bone-crunching blows, his aim guided by many years of experience, Dusi severs the banshee's exposed arm. At once, the duo find that they have the edge. Using more brute force than technique, Ahlat is able to heave the thrashing banshee upwards, throwing it completely off-balance, its feet waving helplessly in empty air as it practically dangles from the minotaur's horns.

Best of all, it is no longer trying to remove Thembul's hammer from its throat - although it still doesn't seem any closer to actually dying for good.

**********

HAI

As you step over the second, inner threshold, you see clearly that the illumination is due to sickly magelights glimmering on strategically-placed stands - a psychological illusion to help settle those discomforted by seeing glowing balls of pure magic float in the air, but of little real interest to you, who are aware of this technique - and that Tollah certainly wasn't lying about this place in one respect: books and scrolls of all kinds are EVERYWHERE.

The building is obviously significantly larger on the inside than it is on the outside, with even just the passage ahead of you stretching further than you are able to see and countless more branching off both down this route and to your immediate left and right. It looks as though somebody with enormous amounts of patience simply gathered together all the bookcases in the world and jammed them together to make the walls of this place.

Casting your gaze upwards, you initially suspect the ceiling is not illuminated by the magelights, being too high, but then you notice that the volumes nearest to the darkness are lit up just as brightly - and as your eyes adjust still further, you come to the realisation that the ceiling is actually covered with small spiral encrustations, between which lie thick cables of some type of webbing, each one apparently as thick as your arm.

Still nobody in sight though.

**********

KATYUSHA

"As Sybil of the Ice Sanctuary I offer you good fortune and all success in your quest," comes the unexpected answer.

There is a gentle, tingling sensation within and without as the blessing is fortified by an actual magical power, then a very girlish giggle from the Sybil as she leans in close and whispers, almost conspiratorially, in your ear: "Awful warm out there. Wouldn't want to go myself even when I do grow up! Bring back something nice for your friends."

**********

KO

"An appropriate experiment and one which I would be interested to observe in practice," acknowledges Vulpa with a nod. "However worthy your conclusion, the process lacks a key element - it presupposes a limited number of possibilities based upon unvalidated assumption. Namely, that the magic responsible for levitating the Celestus Plains does so out of paraphysical necessity as opposed to will."

Your lecturer blinks and seems about to say something when Vulpa adds: "The most lasting discoveries are made by those who prove the absurd and the impossible to be poorly-understood facets of the universe."

The hamakei pauses here to let this sink in. "I will be traversing the western edges of our uplifted world from next week. Mayhap I will...see...some young aspirant experimenting and theorising whilst on my trek. Now then, if you would be so kind as to either resume your seat or send in the next lot on your way out."

**********

SYRRYNON

"Problems with a kassistra?" Prostrator S'rylvis guesses with uncanny insight. "They are becoming increasingly obstinate, you know. Quite aside from the heretical aspect of that-" she pauses momentarily to check nobody else heard that. "-it is also proving to be a remarkably persistent hindrance to our work beyond the Snakelands proper. As I'm sure you realise, I refer to that self-important fool Leeshka and his delusions of excavating Vatos."

You nod understandingly. Everybody knew Leeshka, the mongrel-breed pariah from the human territory of Gunthartaz, a cultist of Sithera who was - for now, at least - being given extraordinary leeway in his efforts to uncover the mysteries of the ancient desert-drowned citadel of Vatos. Rogue kassistra would, for many reasons, be 'problematic' for this operation.

S'rylvis wasn't finished, however: "Normally I would unconcerned about the fate of a raceless outcast such as that animal, but my own work has seen recent and spectacular benefits from his lunacy. I would, in fact, go so far as to say that my own projects might become entirely obsolete should Leeshka be permitted to continue up to a certain point. Assuming that the rumours are true."

Then, as what seems to be a complete (and very out-of-character) non-sequiter: "Ever wanted to deal in draconic material, Barterer?"

**********

VARN

Your lunge takes the mako completely by surprise - as does your significantly greater muscle mass - and the pair of you collapse in a struggle that ends almost immediately, with your arms locked around the savage's and your boot pressing down on its throat in warning. The mako gurgles something incomprehensible, looking rather bewildered by this state of affairs. Then it groans and rolls its eyes, realising the problem.

With an expression that you suspect is the closest such a creature can get to 'apologetic', it opens its mouth wide and waits. After a few seconds, a rustling sound comes from behind you: the severed pieces of its tongue crawling slowly and very visibly towards you, until at last they slither back inside their owner's mouth and reform themselves.

"You win, human. I surrender."

**********

VOKKY

"Then Merkil go with Vokky!" the huge troll proclaims loudly. "Vokky too small to hunt proper food like deer and boar. No friend of Merkil eat berries and bunnies, even if they are goblin!"

Several of the nearby orcs breathe very audible sighs of relief at the announcement. You suspect word will get back to Aharn quite some time after the pair of you head off - for all his usefulness, Merkil is not someone most of the group have any interest in having around. After all, look what happened to the last poor idiot who annoyed him.
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 15 Feb 2013, 5:13 pm

Ahlat didn't see a good reason to interfere with how things were going so far, so he simply held position and started hacking at the banshee's leg as high up as he could without endangering his own face. "Good, good! Keep at it, Dusi! If we can't kill it like this, let's keep it from getting into trouble while we figure out what else to do with it."

~~~~~~

Syrrynon originally wasn't going to mention his troubles with the Elecutor until he had some concrete proof of what had happened that morning, but he could tell the Prostrator was a kindred spirit.

"Indeed; Elecutor K'hitssatha has been a thorn in my side for - " And then his brain belatedly processed S'rylvis' question about dragons, and his normal poise tripped over its own feet and went falling down a flight of stairs.

"Wait wha... huh?" He leaned in close and dropped his voice to a whisper. "Dra- Draconic? Are you serious? Of course, of course, yes to everything you just said, but this isn't really the venue for such a discussion."

He backed off and straightened himself out. "I rent a private booth at a restaurant a block or two from here. Would you care to join me there for a drink? It seems we have many things to talk about."

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 16 Feb 2013, 11:05 am

This building was amazing. Hai's faith in Tollah was instantly restored as he looked around in awe. Before casting away those thoughts and started his search. Since there was nobody in sight to assist him by pointing him in the direction of the Mage book he saw Tollah use. Starting at the nearest pile of scrolls and books he looked at them one at a time, it was more of curiosity opposed to looking for his book. There wasn't a rush to find his book so he wanted to see all of what they had in here.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon 18 Feb 2013, 4:43 pm

Dusi was a little stunned at what he remembered. That was brutal, and it was all too effective… Well, the beast wasn’t dead yet, and he knew too little about the physiology of the undead to assess where would be the greatest place to strike it to end it quickly. It is because of that, that his only course of action was to begin hacking off more limbs. If he could at least render it incapable of making any outwardly aggressive act that could figure out what to do with the beast later.

“Could I get a hand here, Thembul?” he shouted, moving for one of the legs at the moment. He was hoping Thembul could either help him keep it still, or hack of its limbs himself, or failing that know how to actually kill the thing.
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon 18 Feb 2013, 9:08 pm

The ensuing hours passed with the evanescence peculiar to those in extreme states of excitement. Katyusha must have exited the Ice Sanctuary, observing all of the proper courtesies, and tread a meek path back to her home. The more practical part of her mind observed that she had encountered no further familiar faces which might serve to detain her even longer. Quietly, she thanked the Ice Mistresses for what might have been the first manifestations of their blessing.

Katyusha faced now a long-assembled heap of belongings that she had deemed the very most essential to travel, all carefully store inside a simple fleece bag - a length of rope, several carven stone canisters filled with water, a bundle of tallow candlesticks, a sparkrock, several weather and navigation scrolls to study in her free time, a bedroll, many spare clothes, an excess of provisions, and a trinket or two to remember Dall by. Deciding it best to put off the actual journey until morning, she performed her nightly ablutions and attempted to rest.

The noise of the revelers without her modest wooden door kept Katyusha awake even after she managed to settle her mind, but with an hour of persistence she achieved a dreamless slumber.

Katyusha awoke just before dawn. Upon realizing the time, she was quick to compose herself and undergo the final preparations for her journey. Shouldering her pack, she stepped outside, smiling into the crisp air. A final thought occurred to her. Dashing back inside, she scrawled a hasty goodbye note for any acquaintances that might seek to investigate her sudden disappearance - assuming, of course, that gossip of her request from the Sybil would not reach her friends' ears. Leaving the note upon a table in the foyer, she quit her familiar home for the last time and set out into Dall.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue 19 Feb 2013, 9:01 am

Varn claimed victory over this small engagement with the mako, but that was only the simplest part of what he had to do. The hardest was just on its way, and just starting that was to decide whether or not to kill the wretch beneath his boot or practice any sort of reason. Directions, information, slavery - could he enslave the mako? Each option had its flaw, and it all involved whether or not if he could trust turning his back on it. He had not gone so far into the woods to be back stabbed by some tribe rat.

"Do you now know your place, rat?" Varn demanded, pressing his boot just a little more upon its throat. "Do you have any reason for why I should not kill you here, right now?"

***

"Then pack what few belongings you might have. I've shown you how to tie a proper knot, yes? Get to it!"

For what reason would Vokky have for being happy with Merkil's company, that a grin would stretch across his old green face? He didn't have the answer himself, but to think that his dreams and hopes were beginning to form and manifest itself was a wonder to behold - and with a companion, no less! The goblin has crawled into his own tent and packed the few things that would be a necessity to bring along. His staff, for one. Carved with the traditional orcoid language, the alphabet differing greatly than today's, to the point of almost looking like arcane runes. Cherrywood. It was beautiful.

And then some of his books, most of which had little practical use, other being very special indeed. One of them was written by an old linguist, another goblin in fact. He remember receiving it from him as a gift for taking him into camp when his caravan met with a herd of boar - the pigs around here are large and easily angered, but is frightened by half the things that was bigger than a goblin. You can't really blame them when there are orcs and trolls as far as the eye can see!

The linguistic book itself, was in a formalized orcoid language, so that Vokky could best understand it. It shows all of the writer's previous destinations and where to go for what if you were to end up in a place such as a dwarven type kingdom, or that avian place. What was that human city called again? Gun-toot-thas?

Of course, he could always travel in the wilderness, in which case some other book may help about surviving in foreign lands. Oh, this was so exciting! Vokky grabs an assortment of rags and a knife or two before contemplating if he is to bring anything else with him. The bedroll would be too big for him to carry along with the other things, and while Merkil could carry a lot of weight, he'd rather not entrust much of his things in the troll's hands.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 22 Feb 2013, 1:50 pm

AHLAT and DUSI

"Just keep at it boys!" Thembul growls as he regains his footing. "Believe me, you've got her on the ropes! A few more hits and she'll go down like this'll hurt!"

For all of half a second you wonder at what the smith is saying. Then an unbelievably cold blast spreads out from the banshee, covering everything in a thick layer of frost. It feels like you were suddenly dumped naked into the middle of a blizzard, but the agony relents relatively quickly and is reduced to 'mere' severe pain.

Fortunately for the pair of you, your muscles were forced into contracting by the cold, only tightening your respective grips on weapons and flailing banshee limbs - Thembul was rather less lucky and is huddled up on the floor again, teeth chattering, but still trying to offer advice.

You are just able to make out: "Take the head off."

**********

HAI

For nearly an hour, you rummage relatively fruitlessly through the endless piles and stacks for anything of interest - there is no order or logic to how everything is arranged, and as it increasingly seems to be the case that nearly anything that could be known had accompanying volumes stored within these walls, your search for anything of use or even value to you begins to appear hopeless.

"Graanthu'uli naarfabne, e'imbrim tsaka. %%@¬ #&~=$!$_! ?<`£¬#. Aa-arbra barla-nummua, too-looba ma. Ga'izeig tza, volk dunka mahra-bak. What a surprise to see a newcomer this late in the season!"

The voice, evidently speaking a variety of different languages, is heard well before entering your aisle - and, you notice, adopting a language you understand the moment it does so - but there is no owner to be seen. Your skin twitches as the sensation of being watched spreads over you.

"Try looking up," the voice adds in a very helpful tone, from directly overhead.

You look up, straight into a mass of eyes of all kinds, bubbling up from and sinking away into a black sludge clinging tightly to the web-like cables that cover the ceiling. Glooping strands that could be slime trying to drip off or tentacles left hanging are visible for several paces along the length of this amorphous entity.

"Is there any way in which I can be of assistance?" it inquires jovially, its surface flickering with barely-glimpsed colours with each syllable.

**********

KATYUSHA

With the Festival still in full flow - as it would be for another three days at the least - you are not troubled as you slip through the streets and make your way quickly, determinedly towards the Outlander Halls - a relic of an age only a few years past when only i'karen were permitted within Dall itself; and still symbolic of the preferred means by which any i'karen should leave the city - until at last you stand before its unassuming doors, cutting you off from all you have known and the endless world beyond.

The guard whispers conspiratorially at you: "Warden Arnorath sent word ahead to let you through, no questions asked. "Not many outsiders in the Halls this year. Adventurers the lot of them, apparently, though. Warden Arnorath said he recommends helping out the ones who seem the least likely to help you back. Doesn't make sense to me."

With a reassuring smile, he first pushes open the doors and then gently ushers you inside. There are not many within, but their faces are peculiar to you, recognisable only by relation to the carved images of racial archetypes used to teach children in basic lessons: there is a group of two elves and three dwarves at one table deep in discussion, an orc - racially a distant cousin, you remember! - sitting alone at another with a book, and an arguing trio of mismatched creatures that can only be talmay coming down the stairs from the upper levels.

**********

SYRRYNON

"By all means," acknowledges the Prostrator.

Shortly thereafter...

"Now then, perhaps I should clarify my position - and by extension, your own - in this matter, a little more than I previously have. You are, of course, aware of the physiological limitations our bodies possess, inasmuch as we are quickly reduced to paralysis and death in the cold lands beyond our borders. Doubtless, you are also aware that the primary means of overcoming this obstacle is dependent upon the blood of a living dragon - or one of its relatives - being used to create the various 'Superior Talismans of the Serpent Mistress', of which the Amulet of Heat is the most famous."

As S'rylvis says, nothing of this is new to you. Nearly every adult caarth with any reason to leave the cities is taught about this early on. However, what she says next is news.

"What you may not be aware of is that, in the earliest days of our empire, we allied ourselves with a refugee family of dark elves, using their mammalian flexibility to extend our reach beyond the deserts. Eventually their kin hunted them down and buried them beneath the sands, sparing our predecessors the decision of whether or not to offer aid.

As it happens, the head of that family was a thing oft-called 'wyrm wizard', one who studied draconic mysteries and magics, even stealing eggs to raise up a brood utterly subservient to him. Ambitious and futile, I am informed, as this helped to precipitate their annihilation, along with the loss of every dragon hatchling."

She pauses for effect, judging your reactions carefully, before delivering the final blow: "Can you guess which lost city of interest to me harboured those dark elves and their dragons before the desert swallowed them whole?"

**********

VARN

"I take you to my village for a reward?" the mako offers ingratiatingly. "You keep your sword at my throat if you like, then nobody dare to try to hurt you. Gold if you like, fine weapons, maybe a spell-trapped shield. We have much you could take with you, if you have the strength to carry it."

**********

VOKKY

Merkil's possessions turn out to be nearly as simple as the troll himself: a gigantic bow nearly twice your height, a similarly massive ebonwood club, a quiver of arrows that look more like repurposed spears and a 'hooded cloak' of sorts fashioned from the hide of a bear (still with teeth and claws attached, not that the thick skin of a troll such as Merkil would be troubled by such puny things).

"We go when you ready Vokky!" he beams, looking eager to be off. "Where you want to go first? Vokky say way, Merkil show way. You want me carry you?"


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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 22 Feb 2013, 2:46 pm

Hai was nearly on the verge of giving up and continuing his adventures elsewhere. This place was a sea of scrolls and other books useless to him. At first indeed he was curious to see what this place has but now it's just getting ridiculous. He put the last scroll back where it had belonged and turned around for the exit (where ever it was). A voice put off those plans of leaving, he halted and slowly turned towards the source as it spoke in several languages until it spoke English. He looked up at the eldritch mass of cables, which was unexpected for a empty place such as this. Maybe it's why the place is empty. "I want to find a special tome that has instructions to make magical brews and tonics."

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 22 Feb 2013, 6:07 pm

HAI

"I suspect this tome is the item you are looking for," the creature responds after only a moment's pause.

One of the long strands stretches out - clearly they are tentacles, or pseudopods, of some kind - and taps a section of a bookcase you have already searched through several times, latching onto one book you are absolutely convinced was not there previously. The book is carefully slid out of its position, which appears now to have a larger selection of reading material, and held up in front of you, leafing through a couple of pages with a series of smaller 'limbs'. It is self-evidently a copy of Tollah's.

"There are many discussions that could be hand on what has just occurred," the creature says almost apologetically. "Few of which would make any sense to either of us, despite my extremely long experience with the matter. Suffice to say that the contents of First Edition do not consistently obey all the laws of this world even when forced to by being present within it."
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 22 Feb 2013, 11:47 pm

The cold shot through Dusi like a lance, and had he have never been a greater man than he was now, it would likely have felled him like the lesser man he was. The armor he’d chosen to don clearly going to offer him little protection against these arcane attacks… or whatever this could be described as.

“And… you’re sure it won’t just scream after I do that?” he shouted, his rusted blade, now covered in blood, already moving for the beast’s jugular. He wasn’t going to wait for confirmation, as he allowed himself a wind up, and a swift swing to begin his attempts to fell the banshee. The pain in his body now only drove him on, he would not allow the creature before him to loose another one of those.

"We'd all better hope this works then, sir..."
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 23 Feb 2013, 8:44 am

What did this little rodent think he was, stupid? There is no chance in heaven or hell that would bring him to his home; a simple, lone mako attempted to tear him to shreds, what would a whole village of these primitive savages do? And what could they possibly offer him? His armor and weapons were crafted by one of the strongest civilizations in Illidia, his training surpassed almost every soldier in the army of Gunthartaz. Beyond directions, what could they provide to him? A blanket made from the skins of their backs?

In fact, that was almost tempting.

Varn was just about to jerk his arm back and slit the creature's throat before a thought came across him. Yes, perhaps. "Tell me shaman," Varn begrudgingly said, "what kind of magic does your people know?"

An unlikely request from a warrior of his stature, but this old knight wanted a certain power that no man in Gunthartaz could provide to him. Something to assist him in the exacting of his revenge.

*

"That would be rather pleasant, actually." Vokky bemused. "These old bones don't walk far."

The goblin accepted the troll's offer and hoisted himself up onto his shoulder with Merkil's assistance before making a comfortable spot in the fur of the clock that rested upon the troll's broad shoulders. He dug into his small bag, conjuring up an old map (that was riddled with holes and outdated information from a generation ago) and smiled. Gunthartaz was excellent in trade, but orcoids were distrusted due to the the war that waged in the Third Age, and goblins were only permitted in with limited rights. He would also have to teach Merkil some serious manners before going there. Yes, that would be best.

Vokky spoke up hoarsely. "We are going to the human city. It be best I teach you manners on the way..."

This would end horrifically.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat 23 Feb 2013, 11:32 am

"Suffice to say that the contents of First Edition do not consistently obey all the laws of this world even when forced to by being present within it"



This sentence put Hai off (that's not even considering that a tentacle monster had just pulled the book out of space and tome). But, he wasn't going to give up just because things seem weird in this building. The creature had the book and Hai had the patience (and money) to purchase it. He crossed his arms and smirked, "Yes, indeed it is. How much does it cost?"

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSun 24 Feb 2013, 8:51 pm

With a quick nod and a quiet "Thank you" to the guard, Katyusha entered the Hall. She attempted to hide her confusion at the guard's words as she chose an empty table and pretended to examine something in her pack, listening to the conversations going on around her.

The least likely to help me back... What could the Warden have meant by that?

Deciding to trust Arnorath's words at a literal level, Katyusha scanned the room. Her eyes quickly settled upon the trio of talmay, remembering the fear she had felt when first learning of the strange bestial race at a young age. Fine, then. Let's see what they need help with, if anything. Straining her ears, she listened in to the group's argument, ready to step in when she could muster the courage to.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon 25 Feb 2013, 11:41 pm

The wave of cold hit Ahlat like he and his evil twin had full-tilt headbutted each other in the stomach. His shield arm faltered, and he lurched as his abs spasmed. It was fortunate that his only responsibility was keeping the banshee aloft and out of trouble, or he might have pitched enough to drop it. As it was, for now, he was just going to focus on holding the thing in place so Dusi could get a clear shot at beheading it.

~~~~~

Syrrynon nodded and flicked his tongue in thought, then leaned in. "Vatos? I see where this might be going. So, would I be correct in assuming Leeshka's real work is finding what might remain of the dragons, thereby eventually enabling mass portable heating and not needing the desert to be expanded first? That would be problematic for you indeed. I would then assume that, since I know some Binding to protect myself, have connections enough to put up a traveling caravan to get to the city, and have a working knowledge of biology so I'll know what's important when I get there, you want me to go in and get to his discovery first?"

Syrrynon's interest was peaked, knowing what sort of opportunity this might entail. Becoming the sole supplier of [heat devices*] would be more lucrative than textiles with curs at the edge of the desert had ever been. There would be issues, of course. Going too far with it would just turn him into Leeshka as far as S'rylvis was concerned. While mass distribution would likely be best for the race on the whole, which was what Syrrynon wanted, expanding the desert still had its advantages, and he wanted S'rylvis to continue at least somewhat. His own limited understanding suggested that such an expansion might throw off the magickal balance of the entire world if done too much – a dangerous proposition, since they'd still have to live in said world.

As it stood, Syrrynon presently stood in the perfect place to influence what was going to happen on that front, and he didn't intend to screw it up.

"Question is, what do you have in mind for me to do specifically once I get there? I could think of a number of possible ways this could go - though I assume you and Leeshka are far better informed on the city than I; it's finer details weren't exactly part of my education."

*((Your post had the name and/or description of the artifact missing.))

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri 01 Mar 2013, 1:59 pm

AHLAT and DUSI

Dusi's first swing cuts deep and the banshee's struggles begin to intensify as it realises the danger it is in - but its strength is not enough this time around and they cease the moment its head falls free. Battered, bruised and frozen, the pair of you are finally able to breathe easy, with even the atrocious scent of the monster fading rapidly now that it is defeated.

His own wind recovering, Thembul approaches with a grim smile: "Well done, well done indeed. You fight like I have not seen in many decades...and with far more success than most who have faced such a foe have had."

The dwarf spits on the body and kicks the head for good measure, audibly cracking the skull. "My forge will be delighted to receive you in its embrace. Guess I win our last little argument after all. Who's laughing now, bitch?"

Again he turns to you, more apologetically this time: "I am sorry you had to go through that. A man's private life should never intrude upon his business and it has here. The wife never knew when to quit interfering. Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking, but she was still living and only relatively insane when I married her. I'd hoped I'd seen the last of her years ago, but...clearly not, eh?

Now then, more to the point, as you have both earned a reward for this act of valor, might I ask how I might recompense master Dusi for his troubles? I will find something suitable for you, Ahlat, right after."

**********

HAI

"The price for a first time buyer is merely one small favor."

Your gut immediately warns you against this, with your mind just becoming a little confused when another book - this one entitled 'Songs of Terlanis: Annotated Annuad' - is presented to you.

"If you would be so kind as to deliver this to the house of the duchess Montague, I would be most grateful. Her steward requested this item by name some years back and it has only recently surfaced."

**********

KATYUSHA

As they enter the hall proper and take up seats near to you, the talmays' argument becomes a little more clear, apparently on the subject of various artifacts of historical importance to multiple cultures - some of the names bandied back and forth you recognize from oral history and religious traditions (if pronounced somewhat strangely, no doubt due to centuries of relative i'karen isolation from the rest of the world) but the specifics elude you.

Interestingly, one name that crops up repeatedly is that of Cri'ila, always in relation to something called a 'heart stone' that was found in the city of Ger, many leagues to the south, and of rumors of ice magic among the desert people of the Snakelands. The connection between those two things and why they were important is beyond you, but the involvement of Cri'ila is certainly food-

And that name was Rhen Arnorath! One of them just mentioned Rhen!

**********

SYRRYNON

"Leeshka is laboring under the delusion that he will be able to wield the same powers that gave the 'wyrm wizard' his mastery," Prostrator S'rylvis acknowledges your insight. "I am told that this is an impossibility, although I do not claim to understand precisely why. That is, however, irrelevant; his ambition can help to further my own goals, his presence is tolerated by my superiors, his very camp even guarded by some more expendable justrali.

So long as he believes his mad quest is attainable, resources other than our own are expended in the excavations. What I need is for his madness to be directed in specific directions, thereby uncovering what is most useful to me. That will require somebody who is persuasive, somebody who knows the power that words and suggestion can have, somebody who has the incentive of independent gains as further motivation.

Somebody...such as yourself."

She pauses momentarily and then concedes: "Also somebody who is actually fluent enough in the common language of the lesser races to be able to persuade and suggest and influence. Nobody among my people who I could spare for the task has the knowledge necessary, less still the patience.

Why, take a moment to consider the translation of our discussion into their half-speech! Scarce a minute has elapsed since we sat down here, yet ten times that would be needed to say all that we have! Can you imagine one of my academics, trained to the highest standards of concision and precision, struggling to explain to a deranged mammal what was needed of him? It would be a bloodbath and worse: an embarrassment to me!"

**********

VARN

"Magic?" the shaman asks incredulously. "You are after the magic we hold? The spells to corrupt spirits, twist flesh, bend the very elements to our will? That is the payment you seek for sparing me?"

One look at your face convinces the mako that it is, indeed, the sort of thing you are after. Disconcertingly, it immediately starts to giggle like a little girl.

"Then you shall have it, oh fearsome warrior!" it says gleefully. "Go forth. Stay put. As you like - when you want to learn our forbidden arts, go to the mouth of Silverwater River and wait by the circle of carved stones within that cave until midday or midnight, when our rituals take place.

It is cursed, desecrated ground - none are so foolish as to spill blood there without very specific, very strong protective wards. Learn by watching from shadows or step into the light and demand that you be taught, it is up to you!"

The mako's words disappear amid gales of laughter and you get no more sense from it...

**********

VOKKY

"Merkil not quite know what Vokky mean," your troll - for 'yours' is the best way to describe this new working relationship - mutters in confusion as he trudges off in the direction you point. "Merkil never hear hunters get teached manners. Tracking is teached. Skinning is teached. What even is manners?"

He doesn't break stride when a wolf, clearly rabid and desperately hungry, leaps out out of the undergrowth and clamps its jaws around his leg, merely using his next step forward to smash the animal against a tree. Still walking on, he picks up the twitching body and bites into it, chewing loudly and wetly.

"Sorry Vokky," he says apologetically, tearing off a front leg and belching loudly. "Want some? It very fresh."

It is going to be a long trip.
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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon 04 Mar 2013, 12:58 am

Ahlat had already been half-frozen, ear-raped, and had his horns forehead-deep in undead, so he already felt a desperate need to bathe. But when he heard that the banshee had been Thrembul's wife, and that he'd had his horns stuck *there* which put his nose close to *there,* he went weak in the knees. Now he just wanted to light the top of his head on fire and call it done.

But at least the ordeal was done, and everyone was okay; that was the important part, and he'd try not to think to hard about what he'd just done. And they were getting a reward, that was the best part.

He set down his knife and shield, waiting to clean them until he could get to a cleaning cloth he wasn't wearing.

~~~~~

Syrrynon smiled good-naturedly. "Naturally, of course. This sounds like it's going to be a relatively large operation, if outsiders are to be involved. And I'd be willing to help, of course; I do have a question, however. If we're simply going to encourage Leeshka in the proper direction, rather than, say, monopolize his discovery for ourselves, what specifically will be my personal gain? I understand that if he helps you inadvertently, that helps everyone; but the bulk of the risk in dealing with him will be mine, so naturally I have to watch my own bottom line. And what do we need to encourage him into doing, exactly?"

So getting dragon magic wouldn't likely be doable, that was fine, but still... if there were any sort of dragon remains there, then that could be significant.

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PostSubject: Re: World of Illidia - IC   World of Illidia - IC - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue 05 Mar 2013, 9:21 pm

Katyusha was quick to steer her will. She had to appear composed, intelligent, and - most of all - respectful. She did not know very much about talmay cultures, but could guess that an offensive i'karen would not be welcome to them.

Drawing herself up from her table, Katyusha swiftly crossed the distance between her and the talmay. She waited patiently several feet away until their conversation lulled; luckily, they had not reacted to her approach, seemingly entirely focused on their discussion.

"Excuse me," Katyusha crooned, bowing low - but not too low, for that would be submissive, and just as undesirable as aggression - "but I happened to overhear your mention of Rhen Arnorath. My name is Katyusha, and he is..."

Katyusha hesitated to reveal her friendship with Rhen, for it was possible that he had had some conflict with these talmay.

"...an interest of mine. If there is anything I may do for you in return, I would be happy to learn more about Arnorath." Katyusha fought a powerful urge to bite her lip.

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