Quest Beasts in the Mist

A party ventures into the Unforgiving to deal with the Zith threat plaguing the city.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Beasts in the Mist

Postby Luminescence on July 10th, 2018, 2:06 pm

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Beasts in the Mist

42nd of Summer, 518 AV

8th Bell

The citizens of Lhavit were in danger. Whatever strange phenomenon the mist that had invaded the city and the Misty Peaks was, it seemed to be affecting the wild Zith that inhabited the mountains, for indeed they were being bold. One too many Lhavitians had been lost to them; it needed to stop.

"Enough is enough," Allius Tanka spoke, his voice grave, concern etched into every line of his weathered face. "We have put out the call for volunteers, for indeed this may be a very dangerous mission; but no longer can we stand idly by." He stood at the head of the table in the meeting room at the Shinyama Pavilion; seated at the table were several Shinya, along with John Lhutav, his second in command.

"Agreed." Kagaya Ona spoke up from the other end of the table; she was already dressed and geared up to enter the wilderness. Leather pants and a leather jacket clung to her lean frame, her tiger hook swords sheathed at her sides, pale hair pulled into a severe ponytail to keep it out of her eyes. "We have had a few citizens come forward to aid us. They all claim to be willing to accept the risks that come with the task. I must admit, I am hesitant to involve citizens in such a dangerous outing, Allius; but we need all the help we can get."

There were murmurs of agreement around the table. Allius nodded, his hands clasped in front of him. "You are exactly right, Kagaya. Now, all of you, go; fetch what supplies you may need. You will meet by the Gate and wait for those who wish to accompany you. Kagaya will lead the expedition, and Aysel will be accompanying you all as well."

The various Shinya sitting around the table stood, talking in hushed tones as they began to depart. The mood was somber, heavy with uncertainty and caution and perhaps even a little bit of fear.

10th Bell

Those who were going on the expedition had been given time to prepare, and were beginning to meet at the Amaranthine Gate. Kagaya stood, arms folded over her chest; she had been the first to arrive. A half-dozen Shinya milled around, talking in subdued voices. Finally, Kagaya spotted Aysel walking towards them; he wasn't as easy to pick out of a crowd during the day, for indeed a small crowd had gathered to send off the party and wish them well, but she was familiar enough with the Eth to recognize him.

Aysel slipped through the crowd, his thin form clad in black from head to toe. His dao sword was sheathed at his side, a rucksack on his back; his piercing blue eyes met Kagaya's gaze, and the two exchanged a solemn nod. "Strange times," Aysel spoke, without greeting, as he approached Kagaya.

"That is indeed one way of putting it," She murmured, uncrossing her arms. "This is concerning, Aysel. Do you have any idea what is happening?" She dropped her voice, not wanting to be overheard. "It started at the end of last season...I wasn't a part of the expedition that went searching for the Constellations, but something must have happened."

Aysel narrowed his gaze, his eyes meeting Kagaya's, but the woman was stubborn, and she didn't back down; she met his gaze unblinkingly, fiercely. "It is my duty to protect this city and those in it, and if you are hiding something from me and the others, then it's wrong. We need to know what is going on to be able to help."

Aysel was silent for a long moment. "It is not of your concern, Kagaya; all you need to focus on is keeping the city safe, and right now that means hunting down some rogue Zith. Don't ask me again." He turned away sharply, signalling the end of the conversation, and Kagaya scowled at his back.

All that was left to do was wait for the brave few who had volunteered to accompany them; the volunteers, upon making their way to the Amaranthine Gate, would see a small crowd that they would have to make their way through. They would then find the group they would be accompanying waiting for them. Kagaya and another half-dozen Shinya of varying genders and even races stood in a loose cluster, all equipped with backpacks and their weapons, and Aysel stood to the side in his mortal form, impatience etched into his features.
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Beasts in the Mist

Postby Raeyn on July 10th, 2018, 4:36 pm

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To Raeyn signing his name on the piece of parchment, that called for civilians to aid the Shinya in a counter attack on the wild Zith, who plagued the city, was equivalent so signing away his very life. He was neither a warrior nor a maverick. In many respects he was little more than a hunter who lived a cushy enough life. Raeyn didn’t have many friends. But for those few important to him, he’d lay down his life with no hesitation.

The redhead arrived at the Amaranthine Gate neither early nor late but precisely that; on time. Clad in the simple brown clothing he used for hunting, a dark grey cloak across his shoulders, with a bow in hand and a quiver full of [ooc=arrows]20[/url], Raeyn had prepared himself to the best of his ability in wake of the unknown. His jewellery all laid abandoned at home. His hair was tied up in a neat bun, swept clean off his face. He wore a backpack, which unbeknownst to many was an artefact of voiding, containing his waterskin, flint an steel, a razor and the magic muffin tin. After all he feared leaning the hard way what the void could do to fresh produce. The rope from his hunter’s tool kit made it’s way in there also. Not that he was the world’s most competent trapper - quite the opposite - but at least it may come in handy for other things which he could only imagine at this point.

Strapped to his belt was his the simple yet pin sharp dagger. The last line of defence. A weapon acquired more out of fear than actual wish to use it but in the unforgiving no one could tell what could come in handy to get oneself out of trouble.

With a kiss on the cheek he bid goodbye to his sister, who looked perhaps even more afraid than he felt, and weaved his way though the crowd towards the gathering of Shinya, awaiting to be joined by anyone else who made the same brave decision he did. A Kalean Spicecoat hunting god followed obediently. Upon arrival he nodded a polite hello to his fellow brave hearts before summoning the courage to stand before Kagaya and Aysel in his mortal form.

“My name is Raeyn. As a Lhavit hunter I volunteer my skills and my weapon and my life.” he said. And not a single one of those words he didn’t mean. “And this is Ruru. He’ll prove himself useful in the unforgiving. The dog has saved my life out there on more than one occasion.” There was fear in his heart. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the Zith whom he laid his eyes on only once but it was enough to ignite that flame of fear. But his expression was strong as stone and determined. A fire in his heart drove him to face the fear.

There was no turning back. No second guessing nor changed minds. The men and women that gathered there that day, Shinya and volunteers alike had to turn their hearts to stone and summon the kind of bravery only heroes knew. They were soon to face off against two deadly enemies: one being the Zith beasts and the other was the cruel environment of the fog covered Unforgiving.
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Beasts in the Mist

Postby Alexis Aryeh on July 21st, 2018, 11:01 pm

Today was the day he thought to himself as he had his blade at hand, his backpack on that was filled with his waterskin, rations for a week, flint and steel and a couple other small items. His trusty falchion at his side and simple outfit and he was set.

He was not much of a fighter but he would not rest and wait while his city was under attack by monsters called the Zith. Plus he knew Raeyn would be showing up to help and he would not let him walk into danger unaided.

As he made his way down to the meeting site he thought about many things. His biggest thought was how this party would fair in the end. Would they win and live another day or would this turn into a living nightmare with death and scars that would last a lifetime? He was not sure but he would take the risks even if it meant his life. He would act as the sword and shield to keep people safe even if in the end it meant his life.

At last he had found his way to the group of volunteers but would it be enough he thought? As he made his way around the group of people he saw in what his mind as all dogs were an oversize puppy who needed more pets and his friend Raeyn next to Kagaya and Aysel and another human he was not sure of with the same shade of black medium hair as he wore.

He stopped before them and bowed softly before speaking.

“I am ready when you are. I will give my life if needed.”

It was simple and to the point before he turned to Raeyn and the other male as he moved his right hand to pet the puppy. Raeyn was like a brother to Alexis even if they did not meet up enough nowadays.

“Raeyn I could not let you go into this alone. With luck your hunting wall will have a Zith head or two and wings soon. And hello new person.”

Alexis said as he eyed the other man who did seem a tad out of place but that did not mean much in a land of magic. Who knew maybe this new person was a except mage of some sort.
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Beasts in the Mist

Postby Luminescence on July 28th, 2018, 1:49 am

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Beasts in the Mist

Raeyn

The tense atmosphere between Kagaya and Aysel dissipated upon the arrival of the first of the volunteers. Aysel glanced over Raeyn, his gaze cool, face impassive. 'Pretty boy' were the first words that came to the Ethaefal's mind, but his words were sincere and selfless, and he seemed prepared. Aysel gave a sharp nod to Raeyn in greeting, but said nothing.

Kagaya was more friendly. "It's good to have you, Raeyn. I hope you truly know how to use that bow; I feel we'll need it." She gave him a smile, before crouching down to Ruru's level and offering the dog her hand to sniff. She chuckled quietly, giving the dog a fond pat on the head, ruffling his ears. "Ruru is more than welcome as well. I'm sure he'll prove handy with decreased visibility."

Straightening up again, she nodded to the rest of the Shinya that were gathered. "Feel free to introduce yourselves to them as well."

Alexis

Kagaya recognized Alexis as he strode up; his words were brief and to the point, and his clothing only reaffirmed her suspicion; he was a Shinya Acolyte. She knew his sponsor, if she recalled correctly. "I'm surprised you're here, Alexis," She spoke to the Acolyte, not rudely. "Zhivka isn't coming on this mission. I suppose I can see it being good training, dangerous as it is, though."

She nodded to him; Aysel was busy reassessing his equipment, and said nothing, so Kagaya watched as Alexis joined Raeyn. It seemed like the two knew each other; Kagaya only hoped that would help their teamwork and not hinder it.

All

Another ten chimes passed to make sure that no more volunteers would be coming before the decision to leave was made. Aysel stood at the head of the group, raising a hand to catch their attention, chattering nervously amongst themselves as they were.

When the talk died down, he cleared his throat. "Kagaya and I are head of this venture. You will answer to us, or you will be making your own way back into the city. This is not a leisure hike; this is a serious and potentially very dangerous task. We have no room for insubordination here. Volunteers, we appreciate you being here, but you will also answer to the Shinya since they know better than you what they are doing. I hope you've all had a chance to introduce yourselves."

Kagaya was quiet, letting Aysel speak. "Our task, while dangerous, is simple. Find where these rogue Zith have taken up nest, and either eradicate them or drive them out. Whatever is forcing them to enter the city, it won't be tolerated."

And with that, Aysel turned and walked through the gates. Kagaya motioned for the Shinya and volunteers to follow, taking up the rear. Strangely enough, once the party left Lhavit and actually entered the trees surrounding the city, they would find that it was easier to see; the fog seemed less thick outside of the city's limits.

"This fog isn't natural," Kagaya spoke softly, to nobody in particular, but a few of the Shinya hummed their agreements.

"It may very well have something to do with why the Zith are acting strangely," Aysel agreed, from up front. "All of you, stick together for the time being. It won't do us any good to split off just yet." He was leading them deeper into the woods, up the slope of the mountain peak. The trees grew thicker, the floor of the forest blanketed with pine needles and a thin layer of frost from the frozen morning dew.

While the fog was thinner, it seemed colder in the forest. Aysel drew his dao sword, holding it loosely; it seemed even he was nervous. The forest was unnervingly quiet, with only the occasional bird call to break up the sounds of breathing and footsteps of the group.

The ground became slightly rockier as the slope suddenly increased. "Watch your step," Aysel called back, using the rocks to his advantage to climb the steeper section of the slope. Gradually it leveled out again, though the ground still wasn't entirely flat. The trees thinned out to the far right, where one could see the mountain suddenly drop into a steep slope; much too steep to simply walk down.

Aysel stopped there, turning back to face the group. "Has anyone actually seen any of the Zith? Around the city or outside of it? You," He gestured to Raeyn. "Raeyn, was it? You say you're a hunter. Have you seen any of the beasts?"

He allowed Raeyn a chance to respond, but not long after, a shrill but almost human screech cut through the air, causing everyone in the group to go still. Silence reigned for a long few moments, but nothing else sounded from within the forest. "A mountain lion?" Ventured Kagaya, her hand resting on the handle of one of her own swords.

The large cats were notorious for their screeching yowls that sounded eerily like a screaming human. Aysel frowned, his gaze scanning around. "Possibly," He muttered. "But possibly not. It came further from within the trees, but my interest is there," He motioned towards the cliff's edge to the right. "Zith like caves, and I'm sure that slope has a few."

"So what do we do?" Kagaya asked, warily, hoping he wouldn't suggest what she thought he would.

"We split up now," Aysel answered simply, and Kagaya sighed deeply.

"I was worried you would say that," She mumbled, but Aysel ignored her.

"Raeyn," He ordered the hunter. "I want you with me. We're going to investigate that cliff. Kagaya, you continue on into the forest."

The group of Shinya were split between Kagaya and Aysel, leaving only Alexis. Kagaya turned to him. "I'd like you to come with me; Zhivka would have my head if anything happened to you," She said, with a wry smile. "But I will leave the choice up to you. We're capable enough to handle ourselves if you wish to go with Aysel and the others."

They would wait for Alexis' decision before wishing each other luck, and moving out. They would meet again at the city gates; it would be useless to try and find each other in the forest, especially since Kagaya had no clear direction to travel.

Kagaya and her group continued deeper into the trees, towards the general direction of where the scream had come from. "Be prepared," She warned the ones with her. "Whether it's a Zith or a cougar, we're likely in for some trouble."

Aysel led his group through the thinning trees to the edge of the slope, which plummeted downwards, steep enough to be called a cliff. Perhaps twenty feet down, the gaping maw of a cave in the side of the slope was visible; the bottom of the valley was much, much further than that, mostly obscured by fog.

"Right. Any of you have experience with mountaineering?" Aysel asked, glancing around. "We'll need to look around up here too. Perhaps if we're lucky there's an easier way down, or some sign of the beasts so we know we're on the right track." While not a command, two of the Shinya split off to look around the edge, while Aysel crouched to peer down towards the cave.

OOC :
Alexis, it's your choice to go with Kagaya or Aysel. :) Feel free to explore the forest and stumble upon potentially strange things if you go with Kagaya.

Otherwise, Raeyn (and Alexis if you're with Aysel), you can look around the edge, try to see the cave more clearly, etc. You're both free to ask any questions. Things are moving a bit slowly right now but I tried to give you both things to do.

If you have any questions about the Shinya NPCs with you, or want to know their names/what they look like, just shoot me a PM. Likewise if you have any questions or think you might need to roll for something. :D
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Beasts in the Mist

Postby Raeyn on July 30th, 2018, 6:51 pm

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Ruru trotted over to Kagaya as she reached out her hand. He sniffed for a moment, familiarising himself with her scent tis he could pick it among all the other scents of the volounteers and soldiers. But it was her fond petting that cemented the association in the dog’s head: she was a friend now. And Ruru protected friends.

The dog’s eyes were keen. His tongue hung out of the animal’s mouth as he panted. So blissfully unaware he was of the dangers to come.

Raeyn smiled. A worried smile but a smile none the less even though the presence of Aysel intimidated him somewhat. Little more than a nod was exchanged between the men but Raeyn supposed it would be up to him to impress the man out there beyond the wall. The others were a little more talkative and soon enough Raeyn had made his introductions to the new comrades in arms.

The sight of Alexis raised his morale. After all the two men had grown up together. He knew very well that his childhood friend was as competent with his blade as he was fearless. Raeyn greeted the man with a look that said it all; gratitude for his presence, fear for whats to come and above all the unspoken vow of readiness to sacrifice his live if need be to deliver the other to their respective family in one peace.

And it seemed high morale was something needed, knowing that they would be marching to their death soon enough. Aysel’s words were about as to the point as one can get. Silently Raeyn listened. He was neither a Shinya nor a soldier nor had any such training but in face of such danger Raeyn knew as well as anyone that messing about in face of such terrible danger would be ill advised. Following the lead of the others was something he expected.

As they passed the threshold of Lhavit, he took information in like a sponge, struggling to retain it all with a frazzled mind, not only by the danged but all the strange things happening over the past season. The strange fog that even Kagaya didn’t seem to have a complete explanation of other than the fact that it wasn’t natural. The voices he heard in his mind and the sudden closing of the towers. It was all a little much for a man born not of war but of an easy life in a beautiful city.

But the one thing Raeyn did know was this part of the forest. And the eery silence made him nervous as well as the others. He followed his leader and comrades over the rocks and up to the sudden drop where they stopped.

Raeyn swallowed before answering Aysel’s question. “Yeah.” Head nodded. “Not close up. But close enough to know you can’t mistake it for anything other than what it is.”

The wretched streaking of a mountain lion interrupted him however. At least something Raeyn was pretty certain was a mountain lion… it must have been. The sound, like that of a shrieking woman, rumbling like thunder. What else could it be if not a mountain lion? Raeyn wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer. Suffice to say he said “Understood.” With some relief once Aysel made decision to take the hunter with himself to survey the caves. At least there he knew what to expect. His eyes Looked to Alexis, awaiting his friend’s decision before departing with the others, exchanging a few heartfelt goodbyes with those who were to accompany Kagaya into the woods.

Soon enough the party made it to the edge of the cliff. It didn’t take much to realise that simply jumping would result in little more than broken legs and ribs.

Raeyn crouched by Ruru. His eyes peeled to the side of the cliff, looking for perhaps some old path that could lead them safely down, or a strong enough tree that could hold their weight if they were to descend down on a rope. “Sniff around my boy. See what you can find.” With those words the dog bolted after the Shinya who split off. The dog’s nose did precisely what his master ordered.

“Aysel.” He said, alerting the Eth to his plan B. “If we come up empty-handed I’ve brought rope. It’ll be strong enough to get one at a time safety down at least.”
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