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Thread: The Ritual of Ethereal Restoration - PG15 - IC

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    Fantasy The Ritual of Ethereal Restoration - PG15 - IC

    Smoke rose from the market district. Screams could be heard from below as many fled the city. A royal attendant hurried into their sovereign's quarters, a thin sheen of sweat upon their face.


    “Your Majesty,” they greeted breathlessly, offering a quick bow, “how goes the evacuation?”


    The towering figure of the elven queen of Thorolas, Ludmila the Third, mournfully turned from the window to face her attendant.


    “The aberrations have spread far swifter than I had hoped,” she said, her voice low and remorseful, “My soldiers are doing what they can, but we need heroes. Have you found any?”


    The attendant straightened their back as they recovered their breath.


    “I am pleased to announce, Majesty, that I have eight of our bravest citizens awaiting your presence in the throne room. However...” They leaned forward slightly, as if sharing a secret. “I may advise using your gift for some of them. I worry not all have their nation's best interests at heart.”


    Ludmila nodded once and clasped her hands together.


    “I had fully intended to do so,” she informed, “I sense great turmoil within this castle, as well as what lies beyond its walls. I shall need to prepare my heroes for the challenge ahead, and warn them to not allow their personal demons to hinder their quest.”


    Queen Ludmila dismissed her attendant and gracefully strode to her throne room. She held her head high, as she always did. Ludmila was widely known for being a benevolent ruler, having been chosen to lead as Queen twelve years ago by the emissaries of the Great Ones, the spirits that watched over the balance of the world and had brought the land to life. She took her position extremely seriously, but never hesitated to spare a smile or a kind word to her fellow people.


    Upon entering the throne room, she saw her heroes gathered near the center, some making conversation, others pacing, and others still seeking to avoid all interaction.


    “Brave heroes!” Ludmila greeted,approaching the group, “I sincerely welcome you to Morningstar, and thank you for answering my call. I trust you all have questions, and I will answer them to the best of my ability. But first, I must explain your quest and speak with each of you privately.”


    Her black and golden speckled eyes swept over the group, her gift picking up unease, impatience, and curiosity.


    “The balance has been disrupted in Thorolas. As you know, the Ether, the world of the Great Ones and all beings without a physical form, is tasked with maintaining the balance of our world, using monarchs like myself to act as a medium between realms. I'm afraid I have lost contact with the Ether, and this disturbing loss happened to occur around the time the aberrations began appearing.


    “I have read in the castle records that such a thing has happened before, long, long before any of us walked the land. The records do not explain what caused this to happen, nor do they detail a means to prevent it. But, in the case of it happening again, our ancestors have prepared a ritual for ethereal restoration. This task, however, is not easily accomplished.


    “You must travel to each of the four regions, beginning with the Summerlands to the west, then the Winterlands to the north, then the Autumnlands to the East, and finally the Springlands to the south. In each of these regions, you will find rare, magical artifacts to use in the ritual. I do not know the items by name, but our ancestors have provided clues to locate them, which I will provide copies of to each of you. Once you have collected all four items, you must swiftly return to Morningstar so we may perform the ritual and bring an end to this madness.”


    Ludmila paused a moment in her speech,then turned her eyes to the Air Genasi, whose presence brought a lovely breeze to the usually stuffy throne room.


    “Xsuni, I would speak with you first,” she said, “Please follow me to the antechamber.”
    Misty day, remains of the Judgement...


  2. #2
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    She nodded, slightly giddy. For one, she was meeting with the queen. "Yes ma'am." She stepped forward, the slight breeze that always accompanied her ruffling her hair and robes. She followed the queen to the antechamber and she couldn't help but notice the flowing beauty of the queen. Once inside, she bowed. "What did you need to talk to me about, my queen?" She smiled. As she looked into the supernaturally beautiful elven eyes of the queen, she realized she might just have the hots for the queen of Thorolas.

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    Talvon sniffed dismissively as the Queen and the breeze born girl shuffled out of the audience chamber leaving him and the other six alone to await her pleasure. "Her grace seems to speak at opposed goals. First we must hurry to collect her treasures, then we have to follow a set order and path and NOW we must wait!" He growled keeping his voice level but didn't bother to keep the edge from it. Talvon turned from the doors the two had left through to observe the others his eyes flicking over them all but never lingering overly long. "Yes yes I know, this whole ordeal is a means to an end. I have no interest in watching the world burn without at least reclaiming my birthright." He said to no apparent person in the room
    "Though I have to question her certainty over the Etherals, simply because she lost contact we cannot assume they are gone.
    Talvon strode across the room to one of the many large windows that looked over the queens kingdom and the lands beyond. His tall lean frame obscured by the coat he wore but even they couldn't hide the practiced posture he carried himself with. His shoulders back and chin high, it wasn't the forced posture of someone trying, it was just how he carried himself.
    Idly the fingers of his left hand drummed a staccato rhythm on the hilt of his sword his impatience barely concealed if only for the appearance of propriety.

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    'Have I gone mad? What am I even doing here,' Tebryn thought to himself, awaiting the arrival of the queen of Thorolas. And not just any queen, but a darthiir queen of all things. It's not like he had any vested interest in protecting this land, except for the riches that might be awarded for being a savior Thorolas. It would surely be enough for him to procure his own land where he could be left alone. However, as Tebryn stood among the seven others that the queen had summoned, he was seriously starting to doubt that it would be worth dealing with this...

    The dark elf stood in the darkest corner of the room, leaning back against a pillar with his hood up to keep his features hidden, except for the piercing lilac colored eyes that seemed to glow from underneath the shadow of his hood. They wandered around the room to the rest of the party. He counted four women, the other three men being a tu'rilthiir, a satyr, and... well he wasn't exactly sure what the third was. Bloody Hell...

    His purple-hued eyes then shifted to the queen as she finally entered the room, though he didn't budge from his place against the pillar. They narrowed the slightest bit at her presence and his lips pulled down into a contemptuous frown. However, Tebryn was mindful to keep himself in check. He didn't like the way the queen's guard have been staring at him since the moment he came into the palace. He would just have to play the part to get what he wanted out of this and then he would be gone from this place forever.

    Their task seemed simple enough, though Tebryn knew it never was, but when the queen mentioned that she would like to speak to each of them privately, he tensed. He knew nothing of this queen and didn't trust that she wasn't plotting something. They always were...
    Last edited by Midori-Hime; 09-13-2019 at 08:01 PM.

    "If you could only see the beast you've made of me
    I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
    Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
    Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart



    My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
    You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl"


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    A look in consternation
    Do you like what you see?
    Its a lot bigger than youd assume
    I only charge a fee
    Come take a gander
    come take a peek
    I washed it just yesterday
    So i know it doesnt reek


    Taav gave the lute a final strum with a flourish, and bowed. The handful of dirty peasants that stood before him stared. Taav smiled, despite the response.
    "YOU CALL THAT A BALLAD?!" Some heavily accented arse called from the back of the meager crowd. "MY MUM WRITES BETTER GARBAGE!"
    A titter of laughter broke out among the peasants before they began to wonder away from the grove. Taav watched them go with a flush of anger. "Ill be singing that before the queen today, you dirtclods!"
    The returned gesture from the closest man made Taav gasp. "You pleasure your wife with those hands?!" He yelled back, shaking a fist, but the villager was already out of hearing.
    Taav sighed. "What a crock."
    He turned and loaded his lute into a plain leather pack, swung it over his head, and then reached down to pick up one more necessity.
    The wine bottle sloshed half empty as he held it up to the sun. "Still enough to make a Satyr a knight." He said, peering into the dark glass. He gave the bottle a loud kiss, popped off the cork, pressed the neck to his lips and drank deeply.
    Swallowing, smacking, and sighing he started off toward the city just on the horizon, singing all the while, "We're off to see the Queen! The wonderful Queen of this hell."

    Taav was shown to a large state room. His gaze swung deliciously around the room, hooves clicking loudly on the tile. "Oooo so this is where all the world's money goes, huh? Women am I right?" He said, chuckling to the room.
    Taav's hands felt depressingly empty. The wine bottle had been taken at the door, but luck had filled his belly shortly before arrival. And now his mind, and breath, swirled with sour elation.
    Taav tapped his way across the room, hefted himself up onto a table, took in hand a piece of fruit from the bowl, and began to chew loudly.
    He regarded the gathered people with a careful eye. All of them seemed to suffer the disability of being born without a sense of humor and the tall dark guy just had to be a ball of fun.

    After a moment, the doors opened and the Queen entered. Taav's eyebrows lifted. He sat quietly while she spoke and when she took the one girl with him, he dumped the fruit bowl from the table, into his satchel and jumped off the table.
    His hooves made a resounding CRACK upon landing. As eyes glanced toward him he held up his hands, "Look, at first I thought this was some sort of sales gimmick but now Im convinced we're secretly being put down. I mean think about it, why are any of us here? You have a special super power elf boy? How about you?" He pointed to a random woman. "I dont. I play the lute and sing trash. Im not some fantastical savior. Im not just going to wait around to be killed. Im an arse but Im not a rabid dog, so-" He gave them a sarcastic wave before starting toward the door.
    ~~~Um...No?~~~

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    After a long grueling week of stalking, scenting, laying low in the mud for hours, the stealthy kitsune had the perfect opportunity to take down her crazed target with a clean blow to the eye socket.The poison tipped arrow had sliced through the soft tissue with little effort, making it's new home in the back of the chimera's skull. The brute had been slaughtering livestock and rampaging through the local small village and it's bounty had caught Aiko's eye. Although she thrived off the grid and had no major need for money, her supplies of glass vials had been running low and she was in need for some new clothing. After taking a few tokens of proof and some strips of meat to dry, she took down the coordinates of the corpse and set off on light feet through the branches of trees towards the run down guild of the small town she had been passing by.

    To say that the small gnome at the counter was flustered at the way the blood-dripping hempen sack was haphazardly slammed onto the wooden counter would be an understatement. Rage would have washed over his features at the brutish mannerism if it hadn't been the surprise that overcame him as he looked at the small girl responsible for the carnage. "I uh.. I'm not interested in buying whatever ye' hunted lassi. You could try th-" An eye-roll and a scoff is all that came from the girl as she pivoted on heel and made her way towards the door. The man thought that would be the end of the strange interaction and went to poke at the contents of the sack as a torn familiar sheet of paper is smacked down next to it and stuns him in his actions. "I'm here for what I've earned." Aiko hisses with dismay as she has to show the little moron his own advertisement to skip all of the derogatory bickering so she could be on her way. "I.. you're tellin' me..?" The dark haired girl, far fairer than most forest dwellers, sighs once more as she opens the sack and tilts it down to show the contents to the shorter man. He has to stand on the tips of his toes but the shock on his face is satisfying enough for the predator instincts in Aiko to flit with smug glee towards the surface of her mind as she flaunts her triumphant kill. Upon inspecting the pristine head of a snake far larger than those normally found in the forest the man's eyes skim to the telltale horns and cut-off claws that had been responsible for the destruction in town, much to almost everyone's dismay. The carpenter guild was the only exception, being more than happy to offer their services with coin in mind. They're the only group that hadn't donated towards the cause of hiring an adventurer to slay the savage beast. Said donation was currently sitting heavily under the counter. Aiko clears her throat once more and the gnome shakes himself out of his reverie and hops to his locked cabinet, sweating as he pulls out the key to unlock it. He get's the sturdy little pouch and bows his head, handing it to the young woman who turns as she sets it in a pouch on her thigh and makes for the door wordlessly. "W-Wait just a minute missy!" With a sigh, she glances over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow.
    She should have just kept walking.

    The gnome had led the stoic fox girl towards a few knights that had been seeking any worthy 'heroes' that could take down such beast. The rest of time twirled before Aiko as she was lead along with promises of treasure and fame. She didn't care about any of this, but her instincts were telling her that this was something that was going to need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. The sooner this vague threat had passed, the sooner she would be able to return to her wanderings and hunting of her special variety. Grudges never did sit too lightly on the tongue of beings with magic such as hers. Magic of souls and spirits played before her eyes, giving her soft senses and empathy towards people's true intentions. This often lead to her being in the right place at the right time, or preventing the wrong thing at the right time. Luck fell around her like a heavy cloak and her mother had taught her to follow her insights. This had thus far lead her on a crusade against those with evil intentions towards others for their own gain. It had been for her own satisfaction and morals so this whole 'hero' thing left a bitter taste in her mouth, especially as she stood in the grand hall in nothing more than her light dark clothing she flitted through the trees in. The tile felt cold to the bottoms of her feet and her nose wrinkled in dismay as she took in her fellow... heroes? She quietly observed from being to being, subconsciously skirting closer to the human who smelled strongly of the forest. It worked to settle her nerves a bit and her tails wrapped closer to herself as she turned her eyes to asses the lot with her senses. Her glare turns to the drow and she unconsciously frowns as she stares him down, feeling his bad attitude on her skin like sticky tar. Her fur bristles and her ears pin back defensively as she turns to the loud cracking noise that echoes throughout the room with wide eyes. Fear turns to deadly rage in her belly as her eyes narrow at the foolishly loud goat making a fool of himself. Her tail swishes angrily as she's pointed to before she steps back and bares her fangs subtly. "Rather than make a fool of yourself, goat, perhaps think about how desperate the situation is if they would ever dream to ask the likes of you for help!" It was rare that her anger bubbles past the porcelain mask of control she wore but something about rude outburst in the tense room and chaotic energy the Satyr oozed brought it out of her. After righting herself and taking a deep breath, she crosses her arms and forces her body to relax against the nearby wall. "Besides, if anyone were to kill you, I'd imagine they would have done it well before allowing your dirty..." a quick glance down to the floor and back to the frustrating man's face "hooves... to grace the floor of the palace." A huff is her last word as she silently turns looks out the window and swishes her tail dismissively.
    I don't know how to use this hellsite

  7. #7
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    Ludmila smiled at the girl as she closed the door, feeling her innocent emotional response.

    "I'm flattered, Xsuni, but I must disappoint you in that I am not interested in any kind of relationship. That and I sense there may be another nearby who is more likely to give you the attention you deserve. Don't worry; I know my gift can be startling, but I cannot hear exact thoughts.

    "I wished to speak with you about your concerns of being without a place or a people. These are valid concerns, and I support your seeking of community, but you need not trouble yourself for the duration of the quest. The future is uncertain, but I sense the group you will travel with will become closer to you than you expect."

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

    Thistle glowered at the others from her position against the west wall, her arms crossed over her narrow chest. She had only heard the queen's call in the form of a partially obscured notice on an inn's message board, after the delivery of her most recent bounty to that same town's authorities. Many scoffed at her reading the call, as many had any time she took a bounty request, but nothing dissuaded her once she had set her mind.

    Thistle was small - very small. She was used to big folk doubting her strength and skill.

    "A halfling bounty hunter? What's next: a siren mountain climber?"

    She usually ignored foolish commentary. She had far more important tasks to concentrate on...far bigger scores to settle...

    When the argument between the satyr and the kitsune arose, Thistle's ears perked up. What nonsense is that moss-brain spouting about being killed? she wondered, What good would it be to murder eight random warriors who may be the only chance this world has of being saved?

    She kept her thoughts to herself. She was curious to see how this played out, if only to scope out her party's skills before they began their adventure.
    Misty day, remains of the Judgement...


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