Open [Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Day one on the new land proves to be a challenge.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Kelski on July 7th, 2019, 6:02 pm

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Kelski was like a Kelvic under a strong hypnotic compulsion. She was flat out driven to get the Pavilion up and didn’t rest or do anything else until its canvas was in place and it was tucked into the sheltering bows of big trees up on the hill. It wasn’t in an ideal build space which was fine to the Kelvic since she wanted to leave all the ideal build spaces for the buildings that would be permanently placed. For now, all she wanted was shelter for the night and the temporary time being for everyone.

She didn’t bother Anja and Alex or their meeting. Both men and the boy were working hard, and a break to chat wasn’t begrudging them anything. Kelski didn’t try the Sea Urchins. She’d scrounged for them before and much preferred the meaty bites of clams and scallops over the delicate fragrant yellow insides of the urchins. She didn’t like eating animals that she had to slaughter dozens and dozens of to feel full. But she was glad everyone was enjoying them. Muscles, big clams, even geoducks were better meals though. And she knew the beach held all of those. She’d seen them scouting the location initially.

Those not putting up the Pavilion were busy hauling supplies and crated goods up the track Vasin had helpfully widened and turned into a cart track. Then Moth’s cart had been assembled and the horse was drafted to haul pile after pile of supplies up the bluff. To Kelski, it seemed that just as soon as the canvas was in place the inside was being filled. Caitlyn was directing Ebon and Dess to put together beds and had divided off the octagon ends into what Kelski decided must be a male and female side. Beds were assembled and even with the help of Moth, the piano was moved up and into the pavilion. Kelski looked at it with distaste and decided she’d best learn to play it if she was going to haul it around with her wherever she went.

That garnered her a slight laugh and she shook off her trepidation and went back to work. Vasin had fallen a number of trees that were six to eight inches in diameter. She used her axe to cut them to seven foot lengths. As soon as most of the supplies were in the tent, Dess and Ebon joined her and even Gilthas had stripped off his tunic and was lending his back to the work. They cut fence posts and pointed the ends like spears. Then, making a series of shovel holes three feet apart, the men started driving the new posts into the ground between the arms of the two octagons. The fence slowly went up, with smaller saplings nailed in place across its front to act as rails. Kelski dug out a huge tarp that she’d used as an awning at the front of the Pavilion for the party, and strung it halfway over the new enclosure. That took some doing, climbing both on a latter and later on Ebon’s shoulders to attach it to the guidelines of the main pavilion and secure it against brisk wind. At eight feet tall and slopping down to seven feet at the front with the edges guided downwards towards rain barrels at each pavilion wall to catch rainwater and automatically give someone a place to dip a bucket to replenish animal drinking water… Kelski looked satisfied.

Ebon and Dess fashioned a secured gate big enough for the horses to get through for they would be staying with the goats and chickens for a while at night. And when that was done, Kelski drafted little Zeric to help her cut armfuls of grass and once more transfer the water buckets to the pen and then release the goats and chickens within.

Caitlyn had nodded at the setup, but then had appeared after vanishing a few minutes and gave Zeric a set of her spare worn clothing and told him to stuff them full of grass and do whatever he could to fashion them to look like a real human. They took one of the wedges of wood Vasin had cut out of a bigger tree to direct where he’d fallen it, and painted a charcoal face on it using a bit of coal from one of the new fires burning in the firepit inside the pavilion.

When everyone was secured again, Moth back on the high line with the other new horses and Tack, Kelski called for a break and a meal. They’d been working hard for hours since the boat had unloaded and the beach was now virtually empty. She passed out jerky and fruit ration bars, water, and looked around at all they’d accomplished. Everyone had done their part. Even Mosa had kept Caitlyn occupied walking the beach quietly until they’d caught a ride up on Moth’s cart for the last light load up the hill. Caitlyn was napping, and Kelski suspected Mosa was as well.

She made sure Alexander had extra rations. He was half starved from the trip and had worked hard today.

The only things left on the beach were Gilthas’ lab and animals. Kelski decided they’d bring the animals up the hill to the outdoor complex for the night. Gil had an idea where he’d wanted to settle. While he was part of the Midnight Gem group, the mage liked his privacy and had been determined to explore a set of ruins on the edge of the Demesne land that he claimed were of vital interest. He’d told Kelski to watch his stuff – which in truth was almost as much as The Gem Folk had – and he’d be back in the morning for it.

“We need to get the wagon put together. We’ll need it to haul loads down the beach for Gilthas if he decides he wants the ruins on the western edge of the land. I think that’s more of a job for tomorrow though.” She said, looking at everyone.

“It’s going to be dark soon. We should divide up the night into watch shifts. There’s enough of us that all of us should get some good sleep
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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Kelski on July 7th, 2019, 7:04 pm

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Kelski was like a Kelvic under a strong hypnotic compulsion. She was flat out driven to get the Pavilion up and didn’t rest or do anything else until its canvas was in place and it was tucked into the sheltering bows of big trees up on the hill. It wasn’t in an ideal build space which was fine to the Kelvic since she wanted to leave all the ideal build spaces for the buildings that would be permanently placed. For now, all she wanted was shelter for the night and the temporary time being for everyone.

She didn’t bother Anja and Alex or their meeting. Both men and the boy were working hard, and a break to chat wasn’t begrudging them anything. Kelski didn’t try the Sea Urchins. She’d scrounged for them before and much preferred the meaty bites of clams and scallops over the delicate fragrant yellow insides of the urchins. She didn’t like eating animals that she had to slaughter dozens and dozens of to feel full. But she was glad everyone was enjoying them. Muscles, big clams, even geoducks were better meals though. And she knew the beach held all of those. She’d seen them scouting the location initially.

Those not putting up the Pavilion were busy hauling supplies and crated goods up the track Vasin had helpfully widened and turned into a cart track. Then Moth’s cart had been assembled and the horse was drafted to haul pile after pile of supplies up the bluff. To Kelski, it seemed that just as soon as the canvas was in place the inside was being filled. Caitlyn was directing Ebon and Dess to put together beds and had divided off the octagon ends into what Kelski decided must be a male and female side. Beds were assembled and even with the help of Moth, the piano was moved up and into the pavilion. Kelski looked at it with distaste and decided she’d best learn to play it if she was going to haul it around with her wherever she went.

That garnered her a slight laugh and she shook off her trepidation and went back to work. Vasin had fallen a number of trees that were six to eight inches in diameter. She used her axe to cut them to seven foot lengths. As soon as most of the supplies were in the tent, Dess and Ebon joined her and even Gilthas had stripped off his tunic and was lending his back to the work. They cut fence posts and pointed the ends like spears. Then, making a series of shovel holes three feet apart, the men started driving the new posts into the ground between the arms of the two octagons. The fence slowly went up, with smaller saplings nailed in place across its front to act as rails. Kelski dug out a huge tarp that she’d used as an awning at the front of the Pavilion for the party, and strung it halfway over the new enclosure. That took some doing, climbing both on a latter and later on Ebon’s shoulders to attach it to the guidelines of the main pavilion and secure it against brisk wind. At eight feet tall and slopping down to seven feet at the front with the edges guided downwards towards rain barrels at each pavilion wall to catch rainwater and automatically give someone a place to dip a bucket to replenish animal drinking water… Kelski looked satisfied.

Ebon and Dess fashioned a secured gate big enough for the horses to get through for they would be staying with the goats and chickens for a while at night. And when that was done, Kelski drafted little Zeric to help her cut armfuls of grass and once more transfer the water buckets to the pen and then release the goats and chickens within.

Caitlyn had nodded at the setup, but then had appeared after vanishing a few minutes and gave Zeric a set of her spare worn clothing and told him to stuff them full of grass and do whatever he could to fashion them to look like a real human. They took one of the wedges of wood Vasin had cut out of a bigger tree to direct where he’d fallen it, and painted a charcoal face on it using a bit of coal from one of the new fires burning in the firepit inside the pavilion.

When everyone was secured again, Moth back on the high line with the other new horses and Tack, Kelski called for a break and a meal. They’d been working hard for hours since the boat had unloaded and the beach was now virtually empty. She passed out jerky and fruit ration bars, water, and looked around at all they’d accomplished. Everyone had done their part. Even Mosa had kept Caitlyn occupied walking the beach quietly until they’d caught a ride up on Moth’s cart for the last light load up the hill. Caitlyn was napping, and Kelski suspected Mosa was as well.

She made sure Alexander had extra rations. He was half starved from the trip and had worked hard today.

The only things left on the beach were Gilthas’ lab and animals. Kelski decided they’d bring the animals up the hill to the outdoor complex for the night. Gil had an idea where he’d wanted to settle. While he was part of the Midnight Gem group, the mage liked his privacy and had been determined to explore a set of ruins on the edge of the Demesne land that he claimed were of vital interest. He’d told Kelski to watch his stuff – which in truth was almost as much as The Gem Folk had – and he’d be back in the morning for it.

“We need to get the wagon put together. We’ll need it to haul loads down the beach for Gilthas if he decides he wants the ruins on the western edge of the land. I think that’s more of a job for tomorrow though.” She said, looking at everyone.

“It’s going to be dark soon. We should divide up the night into watch shifts. There’s enough of us that all of us should get some good sleep.
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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Alexander Slade on July 9th, 2019, 2:38 pm

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As everyone worked diligently, Alexander and Zeric would commonly be found together. The young boy would often times ask the Kelvic for help or a simple question about the land, the people, or the animals. Alex quickly realized that Zeric was a very curious soul, always wondering and observing. He had certainly blossomed into a much more confident, happy person within the small amount of time.

Alexander, at first, was mildly skeptical about Anja offering the two of them to eat- as he called it- a strange fish. He examined it, inhaling deeply to gain the smell. It certainly came from the sea but didn't have a sharp fishy smell. "Okay, sure," He took some ration of the meat for him and Zeric (which wasn't a whole lot he came to find out.)

"What do you think?" Alexander asked, watching the brown-haired boy pluck and pick at the orange-tinted meat.

"I like it, it tastes like the ocean," Replied the boy. The Kelvic nodded in agreeance. It was a pleasant taste and texture, but something within Alexander craved bigger, heftier bites. Denser meat, prey that wouldn't come down without a fight. Still, he appreciated Anja for supplying mostly everyone with a decent meal.

What kind of game did Zeltiva have? Alexander knew Kelski had warned him about mountain lions and bears. Did it have deer? Seals like the pair had hunted awhile back? There were so many things the jaguar was excited to find out, prowling through the wilderness on a new land, claiming it as his own.

When Zeric scampered off to help move the livestock, as well as provide them with more grass and water, Alexander helped with moving anything he could. He was determined not to be marked as dead weight this showed through his strives. He found himself lending a hand to Ebon and Dess as they secured the gate for the horses.

Alexander then pitched in to helped Zeric make a humanoid figure with the grass and the spare clothes.

"Make the chest area a little bigger," Alexander suggested, handing more grass to the young boy.

"Like this?"

"Yeah, that's good. Just work on the legs a little more and you should be golden."

Another break was called and everyone settled down to rest and eat. Alexander graciously took his share and more, digging into it without hesitation. He much enjoyed the fruit bars but the jerky always pleased him the most. Alexander's muscles ached, he was coated in sweat and dirt and still weakened by the trip across the water. He was ready to drift into a sleep uninterrupted by too-close-for-comfort livestock and moaning of the ship.

Listening to Kelski's announcement, Alexander volunteered to watch on a later shift after he got some well-deserved shuteye. He wasn't too worried that anything would sneak up on this many people and these many animals. If it were a wild animal, Alex wouldn't hesitate to take on the challenge, siding with the other people who itched for a fight. He wasn't quite sure who those people were just yet but he would have plenty of time to figure out who preferred what. Who liked peacemaking, who liked to battle it out.

As the sky began to darken, Alexander became uneasy. Almost as if something had changed in the wind. He could have blamed it on his first night on a foreign land or the fact that his gut-instinct was right. Danger lurked by... Watching, waiting...


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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 10th, 2019, 4:38 pm

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Once the Pavilion had been raised, Anja found that he was able to finally relax a mote. He celebrated by ging to check on the horses. Maisa seemed in good spirits, and snorted at Anja's approach. She pressed her head up against Anja's chest, and the man stroked his companion's ears and forehead. "All good so far, I take it?" Anja asked. Maisa snorted again, this time directly into the Drykas' shirt, provoking a chuckle. He turned from Maisa and went to go check on the other horses. Their bodies were tense, and their ears were pinned down clear nerves shining in their body language.

"Poor friends," Anja called out to them as he approached. The Drykas was not so foolish as to approach them from behind. He came at the side, speaking constantly in a low, reassuring tone so that they knew precisely where he was at all times. Even the horses who Anja hadn't known well had gotten to know him during their trip from Sunberth, due to his frequent visits down in the hold to bring them treats and company. His voice was familiar to them by now.

"I know it's been a long, hard day," Anja soothed. "A long hard few weeks. But before long, all of you will have lots of room to run around, more space then you could have possibly dreamed of. You just have to hang in a little while longer." When Kelski came to take Moth to run the cart for supplies, Anja spent some time speaking to him before guiding the horse over to his cart to be hitched. He joined in the efforts to haul all the bits and pieces of their home into the Pavilion, and paired up with Caitlyn to try to create some form of organization for which of the objects went where. There was limited space, but fortunately the Pavilion was good sized. Most of what needed to be figured out was the items that would need to be available for immediate use, and those that they could keep packed away until the larger home was ready.

While the family worked to put up the fence, Anja spent more time tending to the horses. He watched the process carefully, though he couldn't quite shake the strange feeling that the fences gave him. The people of Endrykas didn't build fences. What was the point of making a fence if you were always on the move? Anja was used to living out in the wilderness, but this style of living was different than what he was used to. It would take some work to learn how one went about things when your living space was permanent instead of transitory. It would take even more work to become used to it.

When a break was finally called, Anja fell to the ground with a this, and ravenously tucked into the food. His entire body was weary, but it was a good kind of weary, the kind that one felt after hard work done well for the day. Battle and Sayeth came up to join Anja where he rested on the beach and curled up next to him. The two were worn out from playing up and down the stretch of the beach all day. Anja was glad the pair had so much space now. He wondered if they could be taught to keep an eye on the animals, perhaps even herd them? That could give the animals more space to roam around. The Drykas talked his two dogs through some basic obedience before giving them their share of food. The family would need to take down something more substantial soon, but everyone was weary. That would be better off left for another day. Morte joined the group soon after, and fell asleep in Anja's lap. He had kept busy exploring the coast. Anja would ask him about his findings another time.

When Kelski announced the need for a watch, Anja considered, before offered to take the first watch. He was tired, but so was everyone else. It was better to get his watch done early so he could get more sleep.
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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Kelski on July 17th, 2019, 2:33 am

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Kelski excused the very old and the very young from watch, seeing to it that Mosa and Caitlyn got put to bed. She didn’t know Alexander’s friend enough to know if he’d be responsible enough to keep watch and stay awake during his allocated hour. That left Anja, Vasin, Dess, herself, Ebon, Alexander, Ember and Mercy to take watches. Gilthas, not needing sleep, volunteered to stay up all night and keep whomever was on watch company, which gave them all a bell long watch to make sure everyone got at least eight hours of sleep until they knew what they were dealing with.

Zeric she asked to sleep with the goats and chickens, not to exclude him, but for the animal’s protection. She made sure he had extra blankets, a lantern, and extra lantern oil in case anything went wrong. The watches she made sure would walk by and check on the horses, pass where Zeric was sleeping, and walk the perimeter of their camp during their bell long stint.

She assigned the watches in order that she made the list, knowing that Ember probably wouldn’t go back to bed, nor would Mercy because they were going to make a big breakfast for everyone in the morning. They didn’t have the furniture all put together in the pavilion yet, but they did have mattresses laid out, unwrapped from their canvas oilskin protective coverings, and bedding unboxed. That helped. Sleeping on mattresses on the canvased ground of the Pavilion was a lot better than stretching out on hard ground. She had turned the two arms into bedrooms, one for the ladies and one for the men. It wasn’t that she wanted to separate them or anything, but the men tended to stink after working hard all night and without showers set up or any sort of plumbing nothing was going to fix that anytime soon.

Kelski would deal with showers and a hip bath in the morning. They needed to have something set up to fill a tub, empty it quickly, and refill it for the next person. Reimancy would heat the water. She wasn’t an expert on the magic yet, but she certainly could adjust water temperatures with a bit of djed no worries.

Kelski made it a mental note to start that project in the morning after food, and figure out how to get water to the tub as well. It wouldn’t be easy, but with each project completed, Kelski felt a little better about what they were doing. Conditions weren’t primitive. Not in the least. The beginnings of the plan rattled around in her head – where they would set up a bath and set of showers, and quickly putting a few of those together… and how they would do it. Showers were a problem. She wasn’t exactly sure, but maybe suspended buckets would work. The Kelvic ruminated on it more as she crawled tiredly below the covers in her assigned mattress. She wasn’t awake more than five chimes before sleep overcame her.

She trusted, as she did so, that everyone would take their watch and wake others if there was any problems.
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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Alexander Slade on July 23rd, 2019, 4:46 pm

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Zeric had went down easily. Once he aquired all of his items he would be taking from Kelski, he happily made his way to sleep near all of the smaller livestock. The young boy knew that with so many able-bodied, focused people, he was very unlikely to be in any sort of danger. This helped him sleep soundlessly through the night, as others took watch.

Alexander had also slept without much stir. It was a wonderful break for his sore muscles and weakened system, a nice change of pace from the creaky ship. He had a place he belonged, he no longer had to spend every conscious moment worrying about being thrown overboard or beaten to smithereens if seen. He had a productive day and tomorrow would also prove to be a challenge. Soon, Alexander was sure he would earn back his lean muscles and endurance, especially with how much protein and nutrients he was getting day-to-day.

Although waking up for his turn to watch over the land was difficult, he rose without protest. The sky outside was still an inky black color, however, a few creamy streaks of light suggested morning would breakthrough soon. It was peaceful outside, surrounded by the noises of nocturnal insects and a soft breeze rustling through the grass. His feline eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness which wrapped around him. He was alert, sensitive to any movement within the area as he began his walk towards Zeric and around the perimeters.

Peering at the little brown-haired boy, he was buried beneath several layers of blankets, lantern and its oil within arm's length. Zeric was snoozing away peacefully, face as pale and innocent as they came. Alexander felt good knowing the boy was treated well here and had duties he enjoyed upholding. The jungle cat didn't want to imagine what would have happened if he never decided to leave Sunberth. Zeric would still be on the boat and Alexander would be surviving without any food nor water.

Departing from Zeric, as to not linger and startle the animals, Alexander began his perimeter walk. His footsteps were soft, lightly crunching underneath twigs and grass. The wind changed direction and with it, a new scent filled his nostrils. It was something unfamiliar and excreted danger. Alexander came to a halt and skimmed the tree line with his narrowed, suspicious eyes.

The scent grew stronger within the few moments he stood his ground. It was as if the land took in a deep breath and held it. Everything fell silent, nothing moved for what seemed like for miles. The air he breathed was hollow and stagnant, even the insects stopped chirping. The Kelvic was captived, set on finding out what was lingering nearby. He took a few steps in the direction the scent was the richest.

Though, he didn't need to stray far. Carved out from the shadows were two humanoid figures. However, they smelled far from normal people. One was male and the other one was female and protruding from their back were enormous bat-wings. Glimmering in a patch of moonlight, elongated claws were present.

Alexander's heart lurched in his chest so powerfully it hurt. He nearly stumbled backward, letting out a sharp breath before he fled away from the predators. The Kelvic's feet pounded against the ground, flinging up soil behind him. He didn't stop until he skidded right up to Zeric who had heard him approaching.

"What's wrong? Alex?" The boy's eyes rounded with concern, beginning to stand up.

"Get up, go warn the others that there is danger- Ziths" Panted Alexander, "Get everyone up."

"What about you?"

"I'll watch the animals while you go."

Hesitantly, Zeric nodded before turning and running towards the Pavillion where he would shake people out of their dreaming, frantically informing them that Ziths were on the land. Meanwhile, outside, Alexander watched the pair draw closer, hoping the cabin boy would carry the message swiftly. He shed his clothing before shifting into his black jaguar form, ready for a battle. He had never seen Ziths before, he had only heard about them. Alexander was ignorant of their fighting style but knew the wings and razor-like claws could be a death sentence if he didn't play his cards right.


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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 24th, 2019, 10:12 pm

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Anja's watch had passed without incident. The Drykas took several minutes to listen to the sound of waves crashing against the shore, and the whisper of the tree leaves being swirled by the wind. When Anja's mind was still, he opened his eyes and looked at the rainbow of auras dotting the near-silent landscape. They cast dim glows in the otherwise monochrome landscape of darkness. Anja supposed them to be birds, plants, and the like. Nothing was intricate or particularly complex, and Anja didn't attempt to examine them with any kind of scrutiny. He simply let the colors wash over him as he walked the perimeter that Kelski had laid out.

The horses were resting peacefully, despite the stress of the day, or maybe because of it. Maisa woke up briefly to nuzzle Anja's hand against her cheek before the mare fell back into a doze. Anja walked quietly around the young boy sleeping next to the goats and chickens, giving them a quick glance to make sure all was well, then continued his perimeter walk. The cool wind blowing up off of the sea, along with the darkness of the night meant that even at his brisk walk Anja wasn't becoming overheated. The man repeated the perimeter walk several times, and all was quiet.

As Anja made his final pass before heading to wake up Vasin, a flutter of wings and a familiar auristic flare of black and white pierced the silence. A moment later, Anja felt a heavy weight land on his shoulder.

"All clear Chief," Morte mumbled. The crow's voice was heavy, weary.

"You should have been asleep bells ago," Anja said. "What are you still doing up?" Up until now, Morte had always been asleep as soon as Leth rose, as if Syna's fall drained every bit of energy out of the bird's body.

"Just wanted to check some things," Morte mumbled. "Saw something I didn't like. But it's fine."

"Something you didn't like?" Anja didn't like the sound of that, and his expression tightened. "Show me," the Drykas murmured.

Morte led Anja to a stretch of rocky beacha fair few strides away from the camp. Anja took a few long, deep breaths and connected the line of magic from his core to his eyes. When Anja studied the area, he could see trails of color weaving in and around the sand, flickering and fading in the dim light.

"Is it a predator?" Anja asked.

"Dunno." Morte sounded uncertain. Perhaps it was the exhaustion muddying his tired mind. Anja's eyes followed the trail, leading past the beach and up towards the trees in the near distance. "How old do you think it is?" Anja asked.

"Few days." Morte was now nearly completely asleep. His white capped head was folding forward and he looked like he was about to topple off of Anja's shoulder.

"Go to sleep Morte," Anja said with a sigh. "We'll investigate more in the morning." The Drykas felt a touch of nervousness not investigating further, but his Pathfinding wasn't good enough to track the trail without Morte's help. They would have to leave it for the morning. And if it was a few days old then there might not be any danger at all. Still musing, Anja took the skull crow in his hands, woke up Vasin, then went to bed. Battle and Sayeth had already found his bed and curled up on it. Anja put Morte at the head of his bed, tucked himself in, and curled up beside the hounds. His exhaustion overcame him in a matter of chimes.

Bells later, the Drykas was woken by the hissed whisper of a familiar, terrifying word. Zith. So this was their greeting for their first night in the Wildlands. Anja was awake in a tick and seized his bastard sword, put on his magical items and raced out the door, leaving Morte and the twins blinking blearily at the empty bed. All the rest of the Pavilion was stirring and it wouldn't be long before everyone was roused to action. Already cries of warning were ringing up through the tent as everyone swarmed like a nest of ants. In spite of the danger, Anja felt a flush of satisfaction that there were many capable warriors to defend them. This wasn't like getting ambushed by a gang in Sunberth. Everyone was ready to fight to protect their home.

Anja had never fought Zith personally, but he knew the dangers. The Drykas could feel the weight of his own fighting inexperience as he scanned the area from the edge of the tent, seeking out shapes in the shadows, hand tight against the hilt of his sword. In the beat of a breath he has pulled his Auristics into his eyes, and gave the monochrome shapes in the darkness substance. Anja's immediate worry was for the animals. Zith were no better then very clever, very vicious predators, and would have zero qualms snatching a goat or a horse. Even without considering Anja's personal attachment to the animals, the Pavilion was going to need the animals for its future. Anja had already walked the paths of the settlement at night, so as quietly as he was able to the Drykas slid through the darkness towards the animal enclosure.

When a bright light sparked in the shadows, Anja froze and focused on the shape radiating fumes of bright white. Anja almost thought that the shape was Ebon for it was distinctly cat-like, but the shape was nowhere near the size a male Night Lion would be. It's aura was too complicated for a mere animal as well. Anja's instinct said 'kelvic', though the only experience he had with kelvic auras was Kelski's. The big cat was staring intently into the shadows, and Anja followed the creature's gaze. Almost immediately, a discordant note sounded in the air and made the Eiyon flinch. Different types of death sang different songs. Ghosts were melancholic, or violent depending on their nature but always with a trace of sadness. The undeads' songs were hardly music at all, more rotten and unnatural noise like the squelching of meat. This song was one Anja had not heard before. It was a heavy, violent beat, like the sound of war drums. There had been melodies like it in Sunberth, but this one was far more focused and violent. Goosebumps rose on Anja's skin. There was no doubt to the Eiyon that they were in the presence of recent murderers.

Maisa, ever vigilant, screamed a warning. Without thought, Anja threw himself to the side and felt a rush of wind brush past him, and heard the clap of wings against the air. A hiss rasped through the air, and Anja saw the flare of a blood red aura light up the darkness.
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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Kelski on July 26th, 2019, 11:11 pm

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It was a very lucky thing that the denizens of the new camp put up a watch and that Alexander was on duty. The cat was vigilant and made his rounds dutifully. They should have expected trouble – be it intelligent life or wildlife or even something in between like the Zith. Everyone – people and wild creatures alike - was trying to survive and to do that they needed to acquire food and resources. That’s what the mages and settlers of the new demesne had brought. That was obviously what the Zith wanted.

To the wild Zith, it looked like easy pickings. And whether or not these were scouts or a lone pair out for a moonlight flight or even some advanced members of a larger group – no one could guess. But Alexander sending little Zeric to rouse the sleepers in the pavilion probably at the very least saved the horses, goats and livestock from being quietly and systematically stolen away in the night.

His attention to detail on his watch probably saved the sleepers as well, certainly sending Zeric to rouse them did a fine thing. No one could help if no one knew about the deadly situation.

Kelski woke with someone shaking her. She rolled upright, dagger in hand, before she could blink the sleep from her eyes. “Is it my turn for the watch?” She asked, feeling like not enough time had passed. But the boy – Zeric – was breathless and barely had air to spare to speak. “Zith!” He said, pointing frantically before noting she was awake and moving on to wake Mercy and Caitlyn. Mosa was already climbing out of bed, irritated, but nonetheless getting armed. She walked over to where little Caitlyn slept and picked up the baby that was only groggily awake. Toddlers were fickle and when they didn’t want to sleep they were up at all hours, but when they were out like a light it was hard to rouse them.

“I’ll stay with the little one.” Mosa said, gesturing for the two women to leave them. “We’ll go to the main living area where the beams will keep them from coming through the roof!” She said, balancing the little girl on her hip and walking in her strange shuffle walk calmly towards the kitchen area. Kelski had nodded in agreement when she’d suggested this and she figured Mosa would soon be armed with kitchen knives. She, however paused at the doorway to their octagonal sleeping area. “Kelski, Zith can’t see in bright light. We used to be plagued with them in Denval. Light up the area if you can. It will hurt their night vision.” She instructed, before vanishing through the doorway into the main area.

Kelski glanced at Mercy who nodded. They didn’t have torches set up – a fact Kelski needed to remedy in the morning – but they did have plenty of fire going. Not taking the time to put armor on or anything, the Kelvic only grabbed her quiver of bolts and her crossbow, a brace of throwing daggers, and a lantern which she turned to full illumination and unhooded. “There are more lanterns… I think we have seven… maybe nine?” She said… her weapons and bolts slung over her back the brace of daggers around her chest… Kelski took off at a run with Mercy at her heels and together the two women gathered all the lanterns they could find.

They tumbled out into the main ‘yard’ area of the enclosure and Kelski sat down the one lit lantern they had. She took a twist of the cut grass they’d left for the goats and lit it on fire from the one lit lantern they had in their sleeping room. Turning the twist of grass into a punt, she lit another lantern and then lit one for Mercy. The two girls took off with the two lit lanterns – leaving one burning in the animal yard – and split up in opposite directions to place the next two. Kelski set her second lit lantern down and lit another when she was getting outside the circle of light the previous lantern left. She did this, leapfrogging lighting lanterns and creating a circle of light around the horses and area the people were actually in.

Behind them, Mosa was lighting candles and other things inside the Pavilion as well. Before long, the swiftly working women had a lit area around the perimeter of their camp. She was trying to make it easier for the fighters to take on the flying menaces and harder for the flying creatures to take on the fighters that were grounded. Plus if the ground was too bright to actually see clearly… the goats, chickens, horses, and people were all safer.

Mercy and Kelski hurried – circling in opposite directions - passing Anja and Alexander, hoping the two men would be okay until they got the area lit.

When the area had been well illuminated, Kelski backed up to the pavilion, concentrated, and poured djed into her eyes. She carefully formed her well-practiced second special eyelids, utilized her well-practiced infravision and drew out her crossbow. She carefully armed it, cocked it, and leveled the sight to stare up at the warm shapes sailing through the air. There were more than two – Kelski saw that immediately – but it wasn’t a bigger number than they were a group.

The Kelvic picked a target, fired, and cursed as her shot went wide. She wasn’t good with the crossbow nor with targeting with her infravision. She loaded again, targeted, and picked a flying shape to aim at. She was about to fire when she saw one winding back its arm and throwing something at her. She dove out of the way, not sure what it was throwing with her confusing vision, and tried to dive roll to save her body a crash. Kelski fumbled it, blaming it on her vision, and instead of diving and rolling to her feet, dove and came to a halt on her ass.

She scrambled up, moved to retrieve her crossbow which she’d dropped and tried to fire again.
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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Alexander Slade on August 8th, 2019, 5:22 pm

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Zeric was clearly discombobulated and confused, but he knew his part of the job was fulfilled when people began to leap into action, loading themselves up with armor and weapons. He pressed a small hand against his chest, feeling his beating heart and took in a few slow breaths, attempting to calm himself down from the chaos. He didn't dare to look outside because he was afraid of what he might see. Blood, gore... Zeric knew it would soon become a battleground for the adults who knew what they were doing. The last thing he wanted was his first night off of the ship to be teeming with casualties and horror. If this was only night one, what other perils were in store for the future?

Zeric stayed back within the pavilion and to keep himself busy, he offered to help watch over and even help defend the children, this including himself, if need be. In this time of frenzy, he didn't want to stand around dazed, waiting for it all to stop. He wanted to do something, keep his mind fresh and thinking. He fiddled with his thumbs, big brown eyes darting around. How long would this battle go on for? Did he wake everyone up fast enough, he didn't waste any time, right? For some reason, the young boy felt guilty. He wanted to be out there brawling, without fright. Viciously defending their part of the territory but he was too young, too inexperienced. Therefore, Zeric made sure to do anything he was ordered to do quickly and effectively.

Alexander guarded the animals, his eyes fixed onto the predators which lurked in the shadows nearby. This caused his fur to bristle; all along his spine and around his neck. He could hear muffled conversation and shuffling around from within the pavilion as everyone was awoken but dared not gaze away in fear of an attack. From the corner of his eye, he saw streams of light carving out sections to illuminate. He couldn't guess why; Alexander had only heard briefly of Ziths, he had never seen one, heard one, let alone knew how to fight one. Of course, they had to be lighting the yard up for a reason. The Ziths chose to attack at night, perhaps they were nocturnal creatures. Therefore, was the light to throw them off? This was the only thing the jungle cat could conclude.

The animals- primarily the horses- started to get restless and uneasy. He couldn't blame them, tension crackled and popped within the air, almost so thick Alexander felt as though he could reach out and grab it. The black jaguar swung his head over his shoulder, seeing the animals nervously trotting around and whinnying. Alexander wouldn't be able to stand the thought of the farm animals being snatched away or unable to escape due to the enclosure. However, he began to notice every time he approached closer to inspect the animals they grew more frightful, more flighty. Then, it dawned on him. He was also a predator and they were prey. It took a moment to decide but that was when Alexander shifted back into his human form and slipped on what clothes he had discarded on the ground. Even if the animals could still sense he was still a big cat, they were much more at ease when staring at a person rather than an enormous black jaguar.

The Ziths took to the sky like buzzards, their wings beating the air and their elongated claws glimmering. Panic filled Alexander's head and chest; the blood roared in his ears. He had no weapons, no idea what he was up against. At this point, he was a sitting duck. He needed to find Kelski; she would know what to do. The Kelvic left momentarily, stumbling out into the clearing with Ziths overhead. They had yet to land an attack on him but Alexander knew his luck would not last as long as he would like. Alexander spun in place for a few moments, trying to collect his bearings when something suddenly whizzed past his face, rustling his head full of dark hair. Whatever it was, it landed itself in a tree right behind him with a solid thud.

With startled, grey eyes, the Kelvic followed the object and gazed at a crossbow bolt, buried within the wood. That was when he saw Kelski and not far from her; Anja. Alexander took a step to go speak with Kelski now that he had her located but that was when a dark figure dropped down in front of him. Its wings stretched out to the side, blocking out the light. Alexander's heart started hammering in his chest, so violently he was scared it might just rip out. The boy took a few slow, steps backwards, ripping the arrow out of the tree trunk. The Zith's clawed hand was cocked and ready to slash. Alexander knew he needed to act first before his skin was torn open with bloody lacerations. Squeezing his terrified eyes closed, the jaguar stabbed aimlessly, hoping the sharp end of the bolt would strike true. When he felt it land and sink into flesh, he witnessed the Zith's hands scrambling to pull the arrow from its neck before collapsing onto the ground. Alexander wasted no time pelting over to Kelski, head ducked, and helped her up from the ground. He was visibly trembling from all the chaos. Perhaps he would have been more confident and ultimately useful if he knew what he was fighting.

"I don't know what to do," Alexander declared breathlessly, "I've never even seen these things before." He pressed his palm against his clammy forehead where small beads of sweat had formed. He hoped that the fellow Kelvic would be able to point him in the right direction, station him where he was needed the most. Or even give him a few pointers. The jaguar happened to peer over at Anja who was also ready to fight with weapons Alexander was unclear of. When he stole the look, his jaw fell open. To the Kelvic's dismay, a Zith crept up behind man, preparing to attack.

Alexander extended his hand, "Anja! Watch out!" He wailed, hoping to catch his attention in time.

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[Empyreal Demesne] Welcome To The New Reality

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on August 12th, 2019, 6:39 pm

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The moment Anja spotted the Zith, everything slowed. The flashes of blood red auras in the moonlight gave Anja an edge, but only just. The flares of light only let Anja know where the Zith were, not where anything else was, a matter Anja quickly became aware of when he flung himself out of the path of the monster and onto a bed of rocks. The Drykas hissed in pain and rolled onto his back just in time to see the flare of red withdraw and launch itself high into the air above the Pavilion. Gritting his teeth through the fresh bruises, Anja shoved himself up with his elbows and onto his feet. He lifted his sword above him and tracked the flying Zith with the tip of his blade, waiting for one of them to swoop down at him again. The red lights flickered ominously in the dim light, sparks and flashes resonating with the low drums of murderous intent.

A burst of color flared behind him, ripping Anja's attention from the sky for a flash. Anja turned only just enough to see a familiar aura knotwork of violet and gold charge past him, followed by a less familiar weave of seafoam green. Anja let out a soft breath of relief. Kelski. One by one, lights flared up around them, creating a circle of white lantern light. Anja heard a hissing of displeasure from above them and returned his attention to the skies. The auras high above flared with frustration. But whatever troubled the monsters was not enough for them to halt their attack, and one of their auras flashed with intent, followed by a brief movement. The creature's arm reared back and threw something towards the ground. The aura of whatever was tossed was too faint for Anja to track, but a moment later Kelski had flung herself to the ground. There was the snap of a crossbow being reloaded, and another flash of red light.

Anja followed the light in its dive, but once more the Zith did not aim for him. In slow motion, Anja saw the beast move towards the unarmed boy Alexander, and then Anja was already rushing towards him, sword hefted onto his shoulder to put the full force of his swing into the blow. His feet didn't carry him fast enough and Anja felt his heart drop into his stomach, but the boy acted first. stabbing something into the creatures' neck and sending it reeling to the ground. As the boy fled towards Kelski, Anja covered his retreat, and swung his sword down against the collapsed Zith's neck. A distant and ethereal scream of rage echoed, followed by the fade of drums. The Drykas wrenched his sword out of the monster's corpse and cringed from the sickly scent of unnatural blood. Anja barely had a chance to take a breath when he heard a frantic cry.

"Anja! Look out!"

The Drykas spun on instinct towards the nearest flare of light. Before Anja could bring his sword to bear, the Zith had pounced. The monster's wing slammed into him and sent him spinning to the ground. Anja landed on his back, but didn't lose his grip on his blade. Blinded by the light, the creature did not see the bastard sword held parallel to the ground. The monster pounced on Anja, then screamed as the sword slid in between it's ribs. The Zith screamed and it's aura flared up bright. Sharp claws slashed into Anja's arm, and the Drykas shouted in pain. A flash of familiar light, followed by scream of rage Anja knew well pierced the night. Maisa charged forward, rearing onto her back legs, and struck the monster with the full force of her powerful hooves. The blow forced the monster further onto Anja's sword. A moment later her teeth had seized the monster by the neck and dragged it backwards. The beast spasmed in the dim light as the murderous drums grew fainter. Anja rolled from underneath the monster, calling for Maisa as he did so, and wrenched the sword from the monster with his non-dominant, uninjured hand. He retreated for Kelski and Alexander, panting, eyes turned back up towards the sky.

The only coherent thought in Anja's mind beneath the adrenaline pounding through his veins and the pain surging through his arm was that he really, really needed a godsdamned long distance weapon. Anja gritted his teeth and stared at the sky. He counted two more of the monsters circling above. Two of their comrades were down, one dead, one likely dying. Were Zith creatures to retreat in the face of unlikely odds? Anja wasn't really sure. Beside him, Maisa stood vigilant, all but daring the monsters to come down and fight her.
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