Event Freeze Frame

19th - A blast of cold pierces the heart of Ravok

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

Freeze Frame

Postby Prophet on March 7th, 2018, 3:55 am

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19th of Spring
5th Bell


Like any other day, the city of Ravok was sleeping peacefully in the middle of her lake. Rhysol’s chosen enjoyed many things and the security of the floating platforms was certainly among them. Nothing had disrupted their way of life in over five hundred years; not since the survivors of the Valterrian had first sought the black waters’ solace. These resourceful people fled the chaos and madness of a world being ripped asunder in boats and fishing barges. As time wore on, they found others who had the same thought for survival. Effort, perseverance and sacrifice were key in the small clans coming together to realize a much larger vision.

The shard that rests within the Temple of the Black Sun runs deep into the lake- farther than any could swim. This strange artifact drew the families together and the manifestation of divine power presented itself as a safe haven amidst the turmoil that filled the Wildlands and the world on the shores of the huge lake. This is how Ravok came into being. Humble beginnings from a group of people willing to do what they must in order to survive. With the help and guidance of a god, it grew into a place envied by the entire world. There are no poor. There is no hunger or disease. War is a foreign concept and one that is reserved for the tales of a world still coming to grips with its brutality. The Black Sun provide the words of Rhysol to his people. The Ebonstryfe protect the floating city from the wild and ruthless things which seek to end the beautiful city’s peaceful existence. Order is maintained and balance is held by the City Guard but also by every citizen who holds Rhysol in his or her heart.

This is why Ravok endures. This is why Rhysol remains faithful- the people continue to believe; to know that he is the savior. It’s this principle that will be needed to face what’s to come.

Before the pristine glass of the black water was disrupted by hundreds of slick ships and the gentle lull of lapping waves against wooden platforms was drown out by thousands of voices, there was a strange sound. Foreign, terrifying and concussive; every soul in Ravok heard it even in their sleep. The tearing of lightning would be the closest any could come to describe the noise but it was so loud and sudden that when asked to recall, most would say it was indescribable. The burst radiated from above the center of Ravok. It was not lightning but the sky seemed to be ripped apart and beam of blinding energy was released in a single column down upon the waters of Lake Ravok right in front of the Temple of the Black Sun.

The surface tension of the water seemed to be enough to disperse the power outward and so, like a ripple in a pond, the blast radiated outward in a rush of power that could only be defined as one thing; cold. The waters froze over solid and all of the buildings, boats, bridges and any poor soul unlucky enough to be outside was instantly converted to ice. As the wave spread and covered everything in its path, the sound of breaking glass echoed along the lake in all directions. The sheer force ripped several of the footpaths from their moorings near the City Center and hurled them along the canals until they froze in tilted and random positions.

The Pit was blown away; decimated. The fencing, the seating and the platform itself was leveled into the water almost completely. Packed in ice, it’s hard to tell where Lake Ravok stops and starts within the once bloody establishment. Other businesses like Maven’s Thread and Ino Vations collapsed from the force into heaps of rubble suspended by the cold and ice in twisted displays. Mikaya’s shop toppled back from its moorings like a domino, a building inverted that now rested upon an icy canal. The Spot shifted and shook; walls fell and the roof tilted inward. The beloved watering hole would not soon recover from this. Lastly, Lucillus & Associates was removed from the Docks as if it never existed. Its skeleton was blown out into the lake never to be seen again.

The entire ordeal lasted only a chime. The spectral beam lanced down from the heavens and struck the water. The force of the cold spread was both a blessing a curse for it did not permeate very much. Frozen buildings and objects were mostly on the surface. People and things indoors were safe so long as they were not in a direct line of the energy. The canals and the waters around the entirety of the city froze solid. The Temple of the Black Sun and the Vitrax seem untouched by the blast but the rest of the city clear to the Docks had been immersed in ice. The air is cold radiating from the canals and frozen objects but the sun is warm. There is a minimal breeze and it stings noses with the bitter chill of winter.

6th Bell


The Black Sun and Ebonstryfe are out all over the city with the City Guard in force. Citizens and visitors alike are being calmed and aided in many ways. Hot tea is being served, medical services are dispatched to places where collapsed buildings have injured a few but most of the damage seems to be frostbite. The Druvin are even seen in their magnificence ushering folks to common areas where the Black Sun are leading services of prayer and petition for Rhysol’s mercy. While spirits remain high and everyone is grateful for their god’s benevolence, the body count is still being figured. Many of those lost were less than scrupulous but the sight of a flash frozen body is hard to shake. Murmurs of treachery from the other gods, Morwen in particular, becomes rampant but plays only as an undertone to the warm banter of people taking care of one another and worshipping Rhysol for preserving the city in the middle of such a catastrophe.

Players :
This is the first of three similar events. As a PC in Ravok this season, you must write out a response to this or one of the others which will come later. The goal of your post will be to describe what your character was doing when the blast occurred. This is a survival post, of sorts, that lets me and everyone else know how you managed to not be turned into a popsicle. You may respond to multiple events if it applies.

As a Seasonal Challenge, players may attend a Black Sun gathering where Rhysol is praised and people give thanks for their good fortune to live under a god who sheltered them from the rage of winter.

Also- all warm clothes instantly double in price.

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Freeze Frame

Postby Evarista on March 7th, 2018, 7:20 pm

The view from Evarista's "office" at the Vitrax was, one could say, its only saving grace. After begging to be freed from the claustrophobia of her cramped arrangements in the basement, she was granted this room on the upper floors instead. It was ridiculously tiny, dusty, and only had space for a bed and a chair. The heiress didn't mind, though. The only thing she cared about was the big window with a fantastic panorama of the city center, and indeed the whole southern half of the city, under the dome of a huge blue sky. It was at the same height as the roof of the estate, and while the Vitrax gave her no feeling of home, the view from this window made her strangely comfortable.

That morning, sitting on the chair in front of the window, she enjoyed exactly that. The complementary joys were loosely arranged on the sides of the windowsill. The spoiled heiress would never admit that the soldierly drinking habits of the place were rubbing off on her... but they were rubbing off on her. Taking another sip from the heavy tankard, she rested her chin on her palm and directed her gaze to the golden-grey dawn on the horizon. Although she cursed the citadel life and everything about it until recently, now, crunching down on a hearty pickled cucumber, she begrudgingly admitted to herself that she could get used to it.

Just as she thought that, the soothing silence of the morning was pierced by a violent knell that seemed to shake the very core of her being. Exactly where her eyes were focused, the sky began to come apart like shoddy fabric under strain and releasing a blinding light. A filmy filter covered her eyes; she couldn't look directly at the light, but she also couldn't look away. Paralyzed, she watched the white explosion burst from the central plaza, embracing the whole city in an otherworldly grip, crushing buildings and walkways like cardboard. For a moment it felt as if the world outside of the window was being erased completely. Encased in white.

After a moment of utter silence, as if respecting some kind of mystical latency, a gust of icy wind burst in through the window, sending the stunned spectator's black mane billowing and bringing her out of her trance.

"Uggh..."

With tense hands, Evarista pulled the window shut and locked it, The thin glass barrier somehow instantly making her feel safe.

The paralysis left as suddenly as it struck. As soon as the sensation in her jaw returned, she slowly continued chewing the piece of pickle in her mouth, hazy eyes directed at the unfamiliar new scenery outside.

Is this the end of the world?

The thought floated casually by in her mind, causing surprisingly little distress. Unhurriedly, the girl took another sip of beer to wet her parched throat.

Her gaze drifted towards the massive silhouette towering on the skyline across from the plaza. The Nitrozian estate.

Faces flashed in her mind. Her father. Her siblings. The maid and the butler. Hwyn. Not many people, but people she had to depend on. If they died, who would pay for her meals? Who would make her bed? Who would do her laundry? Who would comb her hair in the morning? She certainly didn't enjoy the prospect of having to do all that herself. It was very worrisome.

The estate itself was still standing, so that was a good sign. She had to go there and... see.

Draining the tankard of its inebriating remnants, she fished out the last cucumber out of the pickle jar after five tries and left the room, slightly dizzy.

The corridors of the citadel were already full of loud and perturbed soldiers, some who were already on patrol, some obviously straight out of bed. Everyone was rushing somewhere, waving their hands, pointing their fingers, shouting something. Evarista slid along the walls and down the stairs until she was at the gate, which was wide open. Groups of troops in full armament were hurrying out into the freezing air, rallying on the plaza. Cursing loudly, many of them were slipping and sliding on the mirror-like ice glaze at the spot where the mysterious beam had struck. Evarista thought they looked funny. She took a moment to scan the crowd for Elias, but didn't notice anyone who looked like him.

Her experiences with cold weather were few, but she recalled that during her travel to the Northern outpost a few years ago, she was given a fur coat. Before going outside, she did her best to replicate it. The result looked more like an off-color bear suit, but at least it was warm.

Finally outside, the girl squeezed past the rallying soldiers and took her usual route to the estate. The very first walkway she expected to see was no longer there. It just vanished. Instead, there was only a frozen lake a bit below. With discrete use of claws, she crossed that section by sticking to the ice-covered wall. It felt like she was making her way through a foreign land.

The outer section of the Noble District greeted her with a post-apocalyptic silence, settled oppressively over the elementally defaced buildings. There wasn't a single soul in sight. Not one window remained whole.

At the intersection with the Merchant district, she accidentally looked down an alley. In the beshadowed crevice, there were two congealed silhouettes. They didn't move. They were a part of the silence.

Finally, the Nitrozian estate was only one turn of the corner away. She wasn't sure what to expect. The sound of voices was already rather relieving, though. As the main entrance came into view, the turbulent activity showed her that the city wasn't extinct. At least not the part that mattered. Armed with a cucumber and a question, Evarista approached without hurry, legs tired from the slippery footing.

Before she made it to the door, a servant rushed out to meet her. It was Bryony. Her eyes were bloodshot and her face and hands were covered in small cuts; probably glass from a burst window. She didn't look dead, however. That was all that mattered. Once the maid was done expressing her pitched relief that Evarista was unhurt, the dull-eyed aristocrat asked her if everyone was alright. Apparently, yes. Everyone except the two guards that were outside, one at each entrance. But those didn't matter. Well, some of her siblings weren't at the estate that morning, so their safety couldn't be confirmed yet. But those didn't matter either. No one important was hurt. That was all she needed to know.

A wave of total relief washed over Evarista, suddenly purging all of her worries. She even momentarily thought of going up to see the state of her room, but changed her mind quickly. She didn't want to meet anyone. As long as she knew they were fine, that was enough for her. Telling Bryony that she'd be heading back, she turned right around and did just that, ignoring the maid's protests.

The walk back seemed shorter, and turned out less solitary. Comfortably warm in her bear suit, the girl stayed close to the walls as the roads filled with soldiers, guardsmen and normal people in varying levels of distress. Ravosalas were inoperable, forcing everyone to use the partially mangled and slippery walkways. People fell. It was funny. She observed it all while munching on her last cucumber, which had grown pleasantly warm in her hand.

Back at the citadel, the corridors seemed empty. There was a rumble of many boots somewhere below her, but the corridors she was used to taking were pleasantly vacant. On her way along, she dropped by the officers' lounge. She couldn't believe her luck - it was also completely empty. Grabbing a bottle of whisky from the officers' bar, which was the only place with real alcohol in the citadel, she finally retreated to her room with the trophy held closely. Shutting the door behind her was so pleasant that it sent a chill down her spine.

Evarista took the chair and turned it away from the window, seating herself so that she was staring straight, point-blank at the wall. For the rest of that day, this would be her preferred view.
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Freeze Frame

Postby Elias Caldera on March 9th, 2018, 2:51 am

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“The house of Chaos… has grown stagnate.

The room stirred, hushed murmurs and an air of unruliness spreading like a wildfire as the speaker’s snarl cut through their ranks. Nearly a dozen eyes were staring at him as he spoke, each one as transfixed upon the pale figure standing at the head of the congregation as the next. It was a decent turn out this time, the Caldera mused. It seemed his two favorite disciples were doing a fine job in spreading the word, as well as choosing the right ones too it seemed, for the intensity in the studiousness of those enraptured gazes he beheld told Elias many of them were here for more than just idle amusement. Good. he thought. Numbers weren’t what mattered in a thing like this. It was zeal and commitment, for such a righteous cause demanded harshly of both, and yet he felt the pangs of such fervor in these young faces looking back at him even now.

They hung with bated breath upon every word he uttered, and the hypnotist knew he could not deny them. They were here, in this dark and dingy place, disguised in their plain clothes, because they sought his truth and pined for his wisdom. They had been targeted and teased with whispers just loud enough to be overheard, and rumors just daring enough to leave them restless. Though guided by their own will, each and every one of them had been led here by a greater design. Elias’s.

Even if they didn’t realize it yet -even if they could not bring themselves to voice such thoughts out loud- Elias knew they were begging for his guidance. As it had done for so long and for so many, fear had kept their lips sealed and their minds numb to the questions he now posed.

With time, that would change.

With time, everything would change.

“Where once the agents of anarchy did vie for our lord’s favor in the ceaseless turmoil of days gone by, now no more. The Ebonstryfe is a hollow, desiccated shadow of its former self, its ‘elite’ content to laze upon their laurels, idle and ever pleased with themselves.” A wave of commotion and embittered agreement rolled through the apprentices, goading the speaker to go on as his tone and tempo rose in tandem. “Their minds are rotted by a paradise they take for granted. They see the jewel that is Ravok as their god given right, an inheritance they did they not earn, a legacy they could never hope to live up to! So, in their arrogance they are content! In their indolence, they are content! In their disgrace, they. are. content.

Elias looked around the room, sweeping his cold focus from each and every soul that had found itself in his presence that tepid evening. Apprentices to the last, they were young and ever eager to prove themselves, as all apprentices were. He prayed that among their numbers stood those worthy enough to join this cause, for they were the lucky ones, still too young to have been corrupted by an asinine system far too ancient and warped to see its own failings anymore. Many would not, and could not, find a place amongst this movement, he knew, and for those forlorn fools, Elias mourned. They were as lost to him now as they were lost to themselves.

“They are content, and so too will you be, for such is their design. Your destinies are stillborn, doomed to mirror the inadequacies of your superiors who endeavor to lead us astray. Under this regime, you will be little more than caretakers and nursemaids, the skills that you have so diligently honed for years tested only by your waning sanity as the decay of time eats away at you day in and day out. You will never know conflict. You will never know glory.”

He lashed out with his hand, a harsh and pale finger pointing sternly at the young men and women all around him. “Your god will never love you!” He growled bitterly. “Because your god will never know you. For what are you to he but yet another sword forgotten in its sheath, rusted shut with disuse like so many others.”

The whispers had flared into stymied shouts and cries now, each one louder than the last. “The sons of Ravok have known peace for too long! It is hypocrisy!” Elias hissed, his dark words brought low with a sudden, seething reticence and the ardor of the room slowly followed suite. “No, worse still…

it is heresy.”

The meeting hall erupted into uproar.

A dozen voices clamoring to be heard over the shouts and howls that filled the cramped room. They jeered and heckled, snarled and cursed, cheered and applauded, and amidst the crazed tumult, Elias fed into all of it with his hypnotic influence.

“What are we do to!?” Came a cry from the back. It was one of his, right on time. “What would you have us do, then?” he asked again as the din of discord deadened and his voice boomed over the others. They quieted and turned to him as he stood there, rigid amidst the crowd, eyes hard and defiant as he glared at the Caldera. The boy was even better than when they’d practiced, the mage thought, hiding his smile. He’d have made a fine actor had not his calling been more divine.

“I would have us do what were born to do.” Elias replied calmly, the fury and rage that had etched its way into his features as he preached fading in the face of resolution. “What we were always meant to do. What we are best at.” He looked from apprentice to apprentice, studying their faces with pointed deference as his words began to take root. “I would have us fight.” His hand tightened into a fist and he could see the others recognizing its meaning. “I would have us fight until this taint that poisons our city is excised once and for all! I would have us fight until our enemies are ground to nothing more dust beneath our boots!

I would have us fight until all the world writes in chaos beneath the Black Sun and our lord knows victory, hallowed and utter!”

The roars of adulation, even fueled to a fever pitch by the mage’s hypnotic influence, died the instant the heavens were torn asunder.

They poured out into the street in single file, pushing and shoving to see what had caused the screams and the panic the noise of which had reached them even in their hiding place. All eyes found the sky and knew the culprit immediately.

Elias winced, the light blinding in its eminence, but it wasn’t the light that he should have been looking at it. It was it’s wrought upon his city. A wave of frigid death came rolling towards them at incredible speed from where the luminescence touched the waters. So much so that by the time the mage had thrown his hands up, he could feel ice creeping across his outstretched palms even as the fires around him roared to life. Born of res hastily fed into the air, a wall of flame erupted before the sorcerer, a blistering barrier of furious heat and lashing orange tongues of massive proportions and ungodly intensity. Like the tide against the rocks, the storm of ice and wintry cataclysm dashed against the fires.

Steam hissed and spiraled in a blinding explosion as the two opposites collided. When the veil was finally lifted, and the madness had come to an end, Elias and his congregation of confidants were alone amidst a sea of glacial devastation.

Frost permeated and devoured everything around them, like a blanket thrown over the heart of Ravok. An ever expanding cone of normalcy radiated outward from behind where the stryfer’s fire shield had held its ground and the cold was denied, but everywhere else… Everywhere else he looked, Elias could see bodies frozen stiff like statues in the distance.

“Oh god!” He heard a wail from behind him. He spun around to see one of the apprentices on his knees, babbling incoherently as he rocked back in forth in fanatical prayer. Through the argle bargle and gibberish, the soldier could hear snippets of what the boy was saying. “Rhysol is punishing us. We have blasphemed and he is punishing us! Oh god forgive your faithful son, I hav-”

“If Rhsyol wanted your head boy, he’d have it on a platter by now.” The elder stryfer snapped, whirling on the fool. “Get off your knees you simpering dolt, this isn’t god’s wrath upon us! This is… something else.”

Eyes as devoid of warmth as the hard-packed ice that clogged the streets and damned the canals wandered towards the sky where the beam of light had come from. What is god’s name has happened? The pale mage wondered, trying desperately to hide his confusion and… anger. Ravokians were dead in the streets! The city was maimed! What the petch had happened! Was this an attack? Was there a fight to be had? A thousand thoughts raced through his buzzing mind, as he was sure the same could be said for the entire city. He had no idea what to make of any of this, and at times like this, he could always remind himself of one simple fact; he was a solider, and a soldier had his duty to uphold first and foremost. Answers could come later.

“Return to the Vitrax and report to your commanders.” Elias said coolly as he turned to face his dazed cohort of conspirators. They had been spared injury thanks to his magic, but their minds still reeled from coming so close to death. He couldn’t blame them, but they were still sons and daughters of Ravok. They had had enough time to stand around in stupefied suspension as they tried to piece together what was going on. Now was the time to act. “I said to arms, damn it!” he bellowed, and the apprentices, programmed to snap to attention when such a tone was unleashed against them by their instructors on the training grounds, went rigid before him. “To your places, apprentices. Your city needs you! Your people need you! Now go!”

And so they went, rushing towards the dark temple in a mad dash of duty and dread. Behind them trailed Elias, his brain still wracked with questions despite himself. The scarred sorcerer just had to wonder; was this an omen…

or an opportunity?
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Freeze Frame

Postby Shane Wallsly on March 13th, 2018, 11:03 am

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5th Bell, Tarsin’s Boarding House

It was a quiet morning in Shane’s newest life and he was beginning to find that it wasn’t at all too bad. Shane had always found that the key to a sufficient, if not exactly happy, lifestyle was to keep one’s head down and avoid trouble at all costs. He was rather comfortable in his new lodgings and employment, if a touch bored. His ambition had once again dwindled into faint indolence. All was well…

The universe wasn’t really a fan of that motif, it seemed, for the very thought was accompanied by an all-mighty sound; the pitch and volume of which was so utterly, terrifyingly cacophonous Shane reacted with an animal’s instinct. With a shriek and a wail, Shane dove under his bed. He proceeded to whimper, much like a frightened dog, for several minutes after the sound abated. He simply lay eyes screwed shut, whole body tensed and shaking, for many more minutes. By the time he had the presence of mind to realise that he didn’t seem to be in danger now, he was entirely unsure how long he had spent under the bed or even why he was under there. He remembered only fear; a fear that had twisted itself around him as a coiling serpent and arrested all rational thought and action.

He crawled slowly, every inch forward a new dread being summoned into his mind, out from under the bed. He shook violently as he began to rise. He noted, vaguely, that something like this had happened once before. The thought, however, was deemed unimportant and allowed to float away. He tried to rise but found he shook too prohibitively to make much headway. A trace of frustration blossomed instantly into impotent rage and he roared forcing his whole body upward. He fell. Hard.

6th Bell, Tarsin’s Boarding House

He was on the floor now uncertain as to the exact amount of time he had lain there. His nose felt painfully hot, his mind cloudy and his face wet, sticky. The bells were ringing. He counted them dazedly. Six bells, he noted. That seemed significant. It felt as if he’d just heard bells. He had, he realised with a start. He sat up blinking hardly noticing the blood that dripped from his nose down on to his clothes. There was something going on and it had scared him out of his wits for a whole hour.

He stood, far less shaky now, and wiped at his nose with his scarf. He took small, hesitant steps toward the balcony of his room. He suddenly flung open the door in a fit of nervous agitation. The cold struck him, and the light raked at his eyes. The weather had been strange since he had arrived, but this was something else entirely. Ravok looked as if Morwen herself had dove headfirst into it. The view from his doorway on the communal balcony of the 2nd floor certainly wasn’t panoramic, but it gave a good view of one shop in the Merchant’s Ring that had been flattened and encased in ice.

He wanted to go out on to the balcony for a better look, but the cold was not to be ignored. It bit and raked at his face and hands. He hurried quickly into his room and pulled his black cloak on over his battered brown coat. He put on his leather gloves and llama cowl. Then, for good measure, he pulled on his bladed boots; they would provide traction for him in the ice.

He wobbled, somewhat unsteady on the bladed boots, out to the railing of the balcony outside his door. The lake had done more than just freeze and there were tell-tale signs of structural damage everywhere he looked. He focussed once more on the destroyed building, had that been the sculpting place or the engravers? Shane summoned djed to his eyes opening his Sight and focussed on the desiccated remains of that building. Frankly, he found it difficult to perceive anything beneath the ice; so intense was the aura of it. Factoring in distance and the fact that so little remained of a whole the building’s aura was too faint to focus upon and Shane only served to tire himself by trying. Instead he focussed upon the ice. He had made at least two hypotheses by this time. The first was that all this was the work of a group of rogue reimancers. Aoren had shown him that ice could be transmuted from Res with the proper talent. If this were the case, however, he shuddered to think of the numbers involved or the personal power this group would have. The second hypotheses seemed more and less likely all at the same time; a single attack by Morwen herself. How or why where questions very clearly beyond his own ken but as he settled his focus upon the aura of that vast ice he felt a lance of pain in his temple and he dropped to one knee bidding the djed to leave his eyes. There was something intense in the aura of that ice; like staring into the glare of an artic landscape.

He rubbed his eyes and opened them blearily. His eyelids were heavy and his vision difficult to focus. For a few, scary moments he feared he’d damaged his eyes irreparably but after a while his eyes began to focus, and he rose looking out over the balcony. He could see groups of people out on the platforms; many in the uniforms of the guards and ebonstryfe. Whilst they were out in force they didn’t particularly seem to be acting any aggressive or martial capacity. Mostly they seemed to be leading groups of civilians somewhere. Shane wondered if he ought to find one such group and allow himself to be corralled to wherever they herded their civillians in times of crisis. Such a place might be safer for him should whoever or whatever wrought such destruction on the lake city come back.

On the other hand, Shane was more than a little apprehensive about leaving the token safety of the boarding house. The authorities were likely to come eventually. He would go once there was a nice escort of armed men and women to protect him. He turned back to his room door, shutting it, and wobbled his way down the stairs to the main room of the inn where he would wait for the authorities to rescue him.
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Freeze Frame

Postby Prophet on March 21st, 2018, 1:46 am

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The response from the Black Sun and Ebonstryfe was impressive but it was the City Guard who made the numbers work. Half of the military was on the shore so the men and women who dedicated their lives to the well-being of Ravok were now out in force to do what they could to stem the tide of chaos and confusion. Several districts were organizing groups to break into frozen buildings while others were scavenging debris to create safer walkways. It was a band of guardsmen who got to Tarsin’s first. A unit spread through the lobby and assessed injuries as well as getting a report from Tarsin’s in terms of the location of his tenants. A short woman with golden hair and fine muscles stood before the young man with dark hair and a kind face. She touched the wound on his head then drew a bandage from a hip pouch. “Hold still, I’ll clean you up and then you can help me set up triage for this area.”

When she finished, the woman stood and offered a hand to Shane to help him up. “What skills do you have? Can you get these tables and chairs arranged in a line or some other pattern that makes sorting degrees of injuries efficient?”

*****


When all of the men found their way out of the room and scattered, the lone warrior who remained was not truly alone. There was one who watched him. She had been watching him for quite some time- why? Because she was a true predator. Bugs eat the grass, toads eat the bugs and snakes eat the toads. Hawks and foxes eat the snakes but wolves eat everything. A prowling black wolf with white eyes stalked the room from a hidden passage, her visage hidden from the warrior’s sight for the duration of the game.

Chimes later, she appeared in the doorway dressed in her resplendent armor, a shimmering scale of nearly white metal hung over her shoulders to her elbows and down her torso to her hips. The flowing flaxen hair was pulled back and tied which revealed her rather attractive and familiar face. The weapons on her body hung from a belt around her apron. The leather straps were bleached white and weighted down at the bottom with a small piece of lead rod. When she moved, they parted to allow her muscular thighs a chance to peak out and reveal that her beauty was completely supported by strength and power. An aurist would be able to see that her inner power was equally as potent. Aemeli smirked as she walked right up to Elias and put a finger in his chest, the rest of her hand balled into a fist but holding an object. Underneath her finger was the long thin blade of a pick mounted on a t-handle. “Remember me?” She remembered him. The priestess had a knack for names and faces but in her position it was easy to act like she wasn’t. “I recognize you from Commander Sullins’ party but I don’t recall your name…” She recalled her finger and pressed forward with the tip of the metal awl. “How would you like to do me a favor? Who knows…” She grinned in a way that was alluring but the overall shadow that crossed her pleasant countenance was enough to make the coldest wind seem fair. “Maybe next time, you’ll be worth remembering.”
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Freeze Frame

Postby Rook on March 22nd, 2018, 12:08 am

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The party was by all accounts a garish affair. Dozens of finely dressed guests mingled and gossiped and drank into the wee hours of the morning, their tales becoming grander and less believable with each passing bell. By the fifth bell, only the most stubborn dozen of men and women remained, leaning heavily against each other, knocking over vases and clinging to walls and laughing uproariously. Rook’s own master had left for bed around the first bell, commanding Rook to stay until every guest had departed. The kelvic had resigned himself to no sleep until tomorrow night, and trudged through the event with a weariness that transcended exhaustion.

Early in the evening before the start of the party, Rook had been adorned with a beautiful golden collar studded with forest green gems that enhanced the gold specks in his eyes. He was commanded to remain in his wolf form. The kelvic could slip out of the collar easily enough if he needed to. The point, Rook was told, was presentation. It had never struck Rook that he might be considered exotic until the guests began cooing over his fine red and black fur, his strange long legs and his unusual voice. He was neither fox nor wolf, but something in between and something few of the wealthy ravokians had seen before. He was, at the moment, a center piece to accentuate the Lazarin’s wealth. It was better, Rook thought, than being used for heavy labor as he had been a few times before.

Rook made himself busy patrolling the dining hall like a proper guard dog, left, then right, then left again. The guests loved it. What a well behaved little slave! Rook weaved in between the serving slaves feet and did his best to look alert and confident. It only took a few hours for the guests to grow bored of him. When the party moved to the receiving room, he had followed and continued his patrol. Soon he was ignored entirely. He listened with half an ear to the political babble of the rich nobles, but could make little of it. His pacing became a methodical rhythm. Left, then right, then left again…

The sound was like a spear that pierced Mizahar. Rook heard it more with his bones than he did his ears. The guests stiffened with apprehension, and confusion, lost amidst their drunken stupors but before they could react, the ice struck.

The windows of the receiving room shattered. Shards of glass and ice flew from and through the windows, peppering the walls and ground with frozen shrapnel. Rook froze as a shard sliced neatly through the soft fold of his ear and thudded into the wall behind him. Blood dripped to his shoulder but he hardly felt it.

Then the screaming began. It was a high pitched, horrible keening. Guests and slaves staggered, clawing at shards of ice and glass embedded in their skin. Rook turned to see one of the guests, a finely dressed young woman, impaled against the wall on a massive stake of ice. She screamed and pawed at the object in her chest as blood ran down her stomach. The white of her dress blushed with a flower of crimson.

Rook’s mind ground to a halt for what felt a solid chime. When his thoughts returned to him, there was only one thing he could think of. He had to get to his master. The wolf turned and fled upstairs, towards the sleeping chambers. He knew not whether fear, a sense of preservation, or loyalty drove him. All he knew was couldn’t face an enemy he couldn’t kill with his teeth, but Jessica could. Halfway up the stairway, Rook nearly ran headfirst into his master, half dressed and long sword in hand. Rook took to his human form instantly, and knit naked in front of her. The golden collar flopped limply round his neck.

“The ice is everywhere!“ Rook babbled. “A woman was impaled. Everyone is hurt! I came to find you… “

Jessica’s cold, merciless eyes pierced Rook’s for any sign of deceit. Apparently content in what she found, the woman nodded. “Turn back into a wolf and follow me,” she commanded. Happy to follow orders, Rook flashed back into his wolf form and felt the collar tighten back around his neck.

Back in the receiving room, Jessica first examined the impaled woman. Her gaze was impassive, analytical. “She’s already dead,” Jessica told her shivering, bleeding guests. Rook glanced at the woman. She was still shaking, her mouth working wordlessly and weakly. Blood flowed from her mouth and clung to her neck. Jessica turned her back on the woman and towards her guests and slaves. Many were bleeding, but most seemed to not be severely injured. Next Jessica turned towards the walls. They were frozen solid, an impenetrable shield of ice radiating a field of cold. Even underneath his fur, Rook shivered.

Jessica turned towards the crowd of guests and slaves, shivering from both fear and the cold. “Slaves, go see if all the exits are blocked. That includes you, wolf.”

The bloody slaves nodded weakly, and shambled out of the receiving room. Rook followed them obediently. The blood flowing from his ear already seemed to have stopped, and Rook took no notice of his injury.

Ice crystals tickled his nose as he walked the perimeter of the inside of the estate. At each of the entrances, the slaves fought with doors, struggling to open them. There was nothing that could be done. The entire estate was perfectly encased in a solid wall of ice.

Rook returned to the receiving room with the other slaves. The dead woman had been pried off of the massive icicle and moved elsewhere, but pools of blood sat on the floor and the acrid smell rubbed Rook’s nose raw. Someone had brought Jessica a coat, and she now spoke to everyone with a firm authority of a person who commanded power.

The slaves shuffled back and forth as Jessica turned her intense gaze on them. Finally one of them was shoved forward.

“We tried all the exits…” He mumbled weakly. “Everything is blocked.“

Her cold gaze slid from the slave. The slave tensed, but whatever thunderstorm he expected didn’t come. “Then we try to break through the windows while we wait for rescue,“ she commanded.

The slaves, both the injured and uninjured, set to chipping at the frozen windows with whatever tools they could scrounge in the kitchen. Soon the clang of metal filled the area. Before Rook could take to his human form to join them, Jessica pulled Rook aside.

“Not you. You worked in a herb shop. Tend the guest’s injuries.”

At Jessica’s command, Rook had kept up with his herbalism. One of the slaves had raided his sleeping quarters and come back with the packets herbs and poltusies stashed in Rook’s drawer, as well as a change of clothing. Rook stared at the objects nervously, but quickly took to his human form and dressed. Now of all times was not the moment to protest his novice skills. Awkwardly, the kelvic took his packages from the slave and began applying them to the most injured of the patients. He thanked his lucky stars that most of what he had here was treatment for cuts, as that had been most of what he’d been dealing with as of late. He turned to the most injured of the guest’s and began treating them under Jessica’s intense scrutiny. The scrape of ice filled the silence.

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Freeze Frame

Postby Shane Wallsly on March 22nd, 2018, 4:35 pm

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Shane’s kneejerk reaction to the calm precision of the City Guard who entered the Boarding House lobby was fear. He hated it immediately for he was aware that the mentality of those in authority, especially those in authority over peace, viewed undue fear with suspicion. One of these days, he thought to himself, you’re going to be killed for no good reason and it will be your fault. Paranoia and self loathing aside he re-arranged his expression into what he hoped looked like relief and, for the most part, it probably worked. He was relieved. After all, the City Guard were presumably, Shane hadn’t had the time to brush up on Ravokian law, there to help and protect the peoples of Ravok. Shane didn’t have full citizenship but surely, he merited an adequate amount of protection.

One of the guards, a blonde woman of diminutive size, approached him and touched his head wound. He flinched with a hiss of breath but restrained himself from making any threatening moves or words. “O-of course.” He agreed as she instructed him to keep still and began to bandage his wound. He decided to take advantage of this as the perfect time to scope out her aura. After all, their auras were practically touching and since she was bandaging his head he had no other choice than to look at her. He opened his sight glad that it was a subtle art and required no gestures or words of power.

There were some things about the Sight that were curious. The first thing he could always tell the minute he focussed upon an Aura was whether it was physical or spiritual. One could usually tell this without the Auristics but, none the less, it was the first thing one usually sensed. This was how it was with Auristics. The easiest things to discern about an aura were the easiest things to see. Shane sometimes wondered if it were possible to perceive auras with his other senses and, if that were true, would each method bring quicker the various details each sense can most easily perceive as quickly as his ability to see whether something was physical or spiritual? Such thoughts were academic, philosophical and inherently distracting from the task at hand. He studied her aura. She was a physical being, a human being, one could assume and infer she had all the usual squishy body matter and the like. She was athletic, fit, with the beginnings of the kind of specialised muscles people grew when they were trained with weaponry. Shane guessed swordplay and flicked his focus out to include the weapon by herself as well. It was black iron and very much in the shape of a sword; it was also physical. This woman was… exactly as she appeared to be. He lingered moments more sifting through data for any hint of something more.

He released the sight when she was done with the bandage. He was beginning to feel more at ease with both the situation outside and inside. He hadn’t heard any further signs of attack, or whatever that had been, and the City Guard here seemed to be doing their job in the least malicious way possible. The guard spoke to him again and he listened as dutifully as he could which was to say he didn’t outright complain at the prospect of work. Shane was lowborn no matter what he might think of himself and, on top of that, he’d been a street urchin of all things. Shane knew that when the authorities were ordering you to do something, you just had to do it. It was the order of things. The current order of things.

She wanted to know his skills and Shane had an answer ready that he had been formulating since she had started to bandage his head. “I’m a Clerk, ma’am, but a small talent in Auristics as well if that could be of any use to you.” He told her covering his earlier tracks in case she had noticed his peeking at her aura and omitting, not exactly lying outright, his other talents. It wasn’t as if his pitiable skills as a Reimancer could help here and Hypnotism… Well, it was bad practice to admit to that if you didn’t need to. In fact, he regretted admitting it to the CRO almost every day. At least every second day.

He frowned for a moment as he looked across the rest of the room resigning himself to the prospect of ‘helping out’. It was time to adopt the tiring persona of shop boy. The ever underappreciated but lovable underdog who, against favourable odds, battled the horrors of repetitive tasks and disorganisation. There were plenty of tables and chairs in the comfy lobby area. He had wondered, briefly, what ‘triage’ had meant but now, inferring from context, he guessed it meant ‘when you put all the wounded people together and saw how wounded they were’. He was certain it would be more complex than that, but he could perhaps learn something of it once his task was complete, so he set himself to arranging the tables and chairs in two lines with a long walkway between them and a wide space at the entrance in case any further guards or wounded needed to enter the place in a hurry. Of course, Shane didn’t want to move them himself and it would have taken him an inefficient amount of time if he had. As self-appointed ‘Under-Secretary to the City Guard’, a title he spoke aloud to no-one, he began to give orders to the healthy, more importantly the unarmed, members of the public (read: peasants) that had come to/from the Boarding House when the ‘great calamity’ had occurred. At first, they were unwilling to help but some of the City Guard began to help and the civilians took their cues from them. Before too long anyone who was able was participating in the effort; even Shane who had almost forgotten his earlier reluctance to get his hands dirty.

By the time it had been arranged to Shane’s liking he felt this odd sensation. It might have been pride. Wearily happy he shuffled over to the guard woman from before. “That’s it all done, ma’am. The tables are for arrivals with some chairs on the same side for spill-over. When you’re done with them you move ‘em across the aisle where it’s mostly chairs, see.” Shane’s accent, which was almost always tightly moderated, had slipped somewhat in weariness. Unintentionally, he was sounding more and more like the lowborn peasant he both was and is currently pretending to be. “Forgive me, ma’am, do you know anything about what has happened?” Shane couldn’t help but ask the question for, as busy as he had been, he was still intensely, curiously afraid.
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Freeze Frame

Postby Elias Caldera on March 23rd, 2018, 2:24 am

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Elias found himself doing something he couldn’t quite remember ever having done before in this city…

He shivered.

No Ravokian had felt the chill of winter’s grasp within the realm of Rhysol’s hallowed sanctuary since its glorious inception centuries ago, yet now, Elias Caldera could feel little else but the biting cold upon his pale skin. The air tasted of ice, and his breath fogged with ever slow heave of his chest. Winter had come late it seemed, and after so long denied, it had come with a vengeance. Frozen devastation stretched from the temple halls at the heart of the city to the fringes of the dockside wharfs, and nothing in between had escaped the icy blast. No building had been safe, no street or canal granted amnesty, and not a single soul unlucky enough to be caught outside was spared. Yet, despite the frigid hellscape his home had been reduced to in the wake of… whatever this was, Elias knew his trembling wasn’t the just the result of the temperature’s dip, not when he was staring directly into the dead white eyes of the Druvin smiling back at him.

Aemeli the Wicked they called her, and that was the least terrifying of her many, many troubling monikers.

The mage could feel the hairs on his neck rising as the pick nuzzled its way playfully into his chest and her devious grin widened. Where the petch had she come from? Why hadn’t he detected her approach! Why hadn’t he sensed anything?! Like the shadow of a hunting hawk, the muscular woman had descended upon him before he’d even realized he was being swooped away. His magics had been useless, and worse yet, so had his instincts. He’d frozen in the wake of her appearance, only to go even more rigid still in the face of her appallingly disturbing question. What? What did she want from him? And more importantly, why was she smiling? What did she know that he didn’t?

Truth be told, the Caldera had been dreading this moment for a long time now. Ever since the peculiar events of Sullin’s ridiculous shin dig, he’d been considering how things would turn out the next time he came face to face with one of his god’s chosen. It was clear to the sorcerer, despite his wide eyed and disquieted state, that this woman meant to ensnare him in something truly sinister. With her majestic form and near regal air of superiority, she meant to bind him into something he wasn’t even sure he’d live long enough to regret. The ice pick in her clutches and the way her words flowed like milk and honey were enough to not just put him on the edge, but have him dangling over its side.

She was grinning at him as if nothing were out of sorts, like the entire world hadn’t just been turned on its head. Why? Perhaps being an immortal and hand picked by the lord of chaos meant things like this just didn’t surprise you anymore, but that thought only served to unnerve the stryfer even further. He didn’t like not being in control, he liked it even less when other people around him were, and he absolutely despised the idea of being under someone else’s control.

The brooding, nightmarish intensity of Ebonknight Maathias was a somewhat frequent sight within the Vitrax, and the heavenly preaching of mother Valdinox had wrapped Elias in the warm embrace of Rhysol’s glory since he was a but a babe. Aemeli however, was something completely different. He’d heard stories of course, everyone did, but the night he’d laid eyes on the woman at Tarsin’s had made the sorcerer realize talk of her exquisite beauty had been so pathetically inadequate, it brought into question everything else he thought he’d known about her. She was a mystery veiled in might and muscle, and it made her all the more awe inspiring to behold.

Now, the divine wanted something from him, and they both knew she could simply take whatever it was regardless of his choice.

Yet that knowledge was not enough to keep him cowed.

Subservience and naiveite were what had brought Elias to the brink years ago. It had ruined his life and saw him exiled from his god’s love. After he’d been forgiven and returned to the fold by his merciful lord, the son of Ravok had sworn he would never go back to being that weak willed, idiotic boy again. He was a soldier true, but that didn’t mean he was a slave, and now he needed to listen to that little voice in the back of his mind screaming at him to grow a spine, to stand up to this divine and curvaceous creature and show it Elias Caldera was not one to roll over so easily. Strength and confidence, power and control, he needed these things to flow from his person like raging rivers, and he needed her to behold such. By Aemeli’s staggering form alone he could tell such things would be appreciated, unlike more of the same mewling and groveling a queen like her would no doubt be accustomed to. Power and control He reminded himself sternly as his lips worked anxiously to make sound. Show her you’re no whimpering milksop, but a man true and proud, a power in your own right. His body tensed and his gaze narrowed into focus, as if he was about to throw himself in the thick of a fight. Let her know she holds no sway over the great Elias petching Caldera!

“I… live to serve, mistress.”



You petching fool.

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Freeze Frame

Postby Alija on March 30th, 2018, 10:43 pm

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5th Bell

Hands moved with the forge, long fingers twisted around a shovel. Her muscles rose and fell with the intakes of breath, scooping low, straining to lift the coal. Hair matted against the trails of sweat that already flooded her face and her heavy breaths did nothing to blow it out of her eyes. It wasn't as if she needed to see anyway. She could raise a fire in her sleep. Still, she rested for a moment, leaning the shovel against one leg as she picked her hair back and over her shoulder.

The day had barely arrived and she could feel it in her heavy eye-lids and tired arms. But the job of a blacksmith required all this, and she wouldn't give it up for anything in the world.

Slowly, she moved to get back to it, knowing if she stopped now she might just fall asleep and forget about work. But, as she felt for the shovel, a noise came and she couldn't help but leap back, knocking the tool across the forge.

It was both deep and shrill - painful to the ears yet resonating within her as much as through the air. Even as her tired mind flustered trying to find the right words to describe it, she knew it was impossible. Whatever it was, overwhelming, beyond comprehension - godly, even. She was shaken to the core, having to steady herself on the anvil behind her. And she could never prepare for what came next.

The noises that came after could be described. Ripping, thudding, footpaths being thrown across the city. Glass shattering. Creaking of boats and of ice that swallowed them. Even where she was, sheltered and unable to see what was happening, she could feel the blast of cold even against the burning furnace.

The blacksmith shuddered, shifting closer to her rising fire and letting herself be enveloped in the heat that radiated from it. Within a chime, the commotion outside seemed to be over and she could sense how it had stopped. But still, she reached out with her auristics, closing her eyes and instead trying to feel what had happened without having to venture outside of the safety of this forge.

All she could feel was the coldness and destruction that had swept across the city.

6th Bell

Alija clutched Kial tight to her body, letting him cling like a monkey to her back. At their feet lingered the two dogs, almost stepping over her boots as they shifted through the frozen city. The cold wind bit her nose and she wished for warmer clothing, for something that could have prepared herself for this sudden change in climate. She had wrapped herself in her longer cape, giving the fur-lined half cape to Kial, but even with it she wasn't finding it pleasant. At least the gentle touch of Syna warmed them as they made their way along the frozen canals.

They passed another collapsed building. Outside, city guards or other similarly fashioned people were handing tea to those who had been pulled out of the wreckage. The misty steam clung to their shaking bodies. Beside them was another, blanket being pulled over his corpse. Alija caught a glimpse of a mouth frozen mid-breath, and covered Kial's eyes before he could see.

There seemed be a general movement in one direction. Desperate for some sort of explanation, she followed mindlessly.

It had been a slow start out of her forge after the calamity had happened. Alija had been terrified and would have given anything to stay in the warm embrace of her fire and not worry about the world outside. But thoughts of Kial, of what might have happened to him, pushed her out, as did the curiosity when her auristics had revealed little else. The cold had been biting then, given that she was dressed and accustomed to being beside a fire, but she had been quick on her feet and found the boy shivering under his blanket. At least nothing had happened to him. As she had dressed both in extra layers and pulled him tight, she knew she had to return outside, to see what had really happened.

And so she had.

They were praying. They had reached the crowd now, whether they had been gathering, and she saw why. Up front, someone was leading a prayer. To Rhysol, who else, asking for mercy, thanking him for preserving the city. She tightened her lips, not sure how this was protection. But she had to say something - it felt like blasphemy not to.

"Rhysol, protect this city from further harm. Please, let no one else suffer today, or any other day. You see how they worship you?" her words were faint whispers, even to herself. But she knew that if he was listening, he'd be able to hear.

But she couldn't stay. It felt silly, when she had nothing else to say. Instead, she continued, turning the corner to find a debris covered walkway. Already, a group were trying to clear it. Slowly lowering Kial to her side, she stepped forward, taking a few moments before she found her voice. "Do you- is there any way I can help?" She moved forward, trying to see something she could easily budge, "Do you- do you know what happened?"' She reached around a broken piece of shingle. It was ice cold to the touch and her hands retreated instinctively. What could have happened? The only thing that came to mind, with this level of destruction, was to blame the gods. But which god would do this, and why?
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Freeze Frame

Postby Prophet on April 6th, 2018, 11:32 pm

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ShaneYou may continue if you wish with your endeavors. I just wanted to make sure you got involved. :D

ELIAS

Aemeli smiled a very sheepish grin. Oddly enough, she was the wolf in this duo but it never hurt to be polite. The soldier had agreed and that was enough. The real test would be the fervor that he used to achieve his rather simple task. The woman towered over him and somehow made herself seem small with a few graceful bends to her well-tended form. With white eyes peering up at the man, she was close enough to whisper hot breath against his chin and neck. “Would you be a doll…” Her fingers walking up his chestpiece to the exposed flesh where each point of pressure allowed her to feel his blood as it coursed through his veins. “And have one of your lackeys keep an eye on Silvas for me?” The final step of her fingers found the nerve cluster behind the corner of the jaw. With her divine strength, she pushed against it hard enough to send a shockwave through the synapses on that side of his head. As if to further confused Elias, she pressed her full lips against the other side of his neck and drew in a very enthusiastic embrace that allowed her tongue to write a letter on his skin. As she withdrew and rose to her full height once more, the priestess left the injuring hand to trail along the jawline that would likely still burn from the assault. “Don’t slip on the ice, love. I know you’re not used to it.”

EliasYou’ve been cursed by a Druvin. Everytime Elias walks on ice or frozen ground, he must roll against your acrobatics to not fall. Given your overall prowess, we’ll round up so you can roll d10 or d20 instead if you choose. Success = d100, less than or equal to 10; d20, less than or equal to 2; d10, 1. This will last as long as there is ice in Ravok.

ALIJA

The people who could hear Alija looked at her at her offer for help. One woman who had heard her pray to Lord Rhysol walked up and placed a wrinkled hand on the young woman’s arm. “Young lady, your prayers are enough. Rhysol will save us- you’ll see.” The elder Ravokian moved on and there was a pair of men in black robes standing before Alija and Kial. One could not be seen under his hood while the other boldly displayed his single white eye and handsome, albeit scruffy face. He bowed his head and his companion met the gesture in kind. After a few ticks of this somewhat out of place homage, they rose and the handsome one spoke. His voice was quiet like a whisper but strangely easy to perceive. “We don’t know what happened yet, miss, but we will. There is a gathering of folks willing to help sort out the damage several platforms to the west.” He indicated with his finger. “I’ve seen your face before- at the smithy’s. I dare say that your skills will be greatly needed in the days to come.” He reached into the folds of his robe and withdrew a trinket hung on a simple leather cord as a necklace. The item was an anvil. The man continued to speak as he offered it to her. “My father was a blacksmith and he wore this every day- claimed it helped him to make sound equipment. I’d be honored if you were to take it.” Just then, his companion touched the handsome man on the shoulder.

“We must go, Ephesus.”

Ephesus, a gentle smile on his face, still held the necklace for Alija to take.


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