Personal Quest should I choose the smoothest course?
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
Played by: Astor Offline
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#1

Reckless and stupid, perhaps. Bold and independent, always.

Wessex would have liked to run some thoughts observations past the Lady, but managed to get over her disappointment with a sigh, a mental thanks for a new gift, and a mental-check. She’s never needed guidance before. She doesn’t technically need it now. Onward and upward and… away from the Hollowed Grounds. The Greatwood is done. Time to turn her sights elsewhere.

Unlike her last adventure, Wessex is locked and loaded as she makes her way to the Outskirts. A long knife rests in a sheath at her hip, another is in her thigh-high boots. Bow and quiver on her back. Talons… well, those will never come out. As the sun dips beyond the canopy of trees, she doesn’t need a cloak, but it’s rolled up and tied to her back, just in case they’re out beyond the known lands during the day. The light grows dimmer and she patiently waits for two others to join her, eyes searching the horizon for whatever might be out there - friend, foe, or maybe nothing at all.  

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

This is a PQ to explore what is WEST of the Hollowed Grounds. It takes place at night. Rory has first dibs, but if he fails to respond in 48 hours, someone else may take his place. Will consider opening it up to more people if there's interest.

1. Rory
2. Adam
3. Cera

WESSEX
She whispered back, I am the storm
please tag in all replies | force and magic allowed
please ask if you'd like to kill
if Wessex has started a thread, it takes place at night
Adam Pikely
Guildmaster ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 28 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 16
COFFEE - Mythical - Dragon (Firebreathing)
Played by: Ryan Offline
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Posts: 455
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#2
ADAM
Skulking around in dark forests at night was any sexy rogue's bread and butter, though Adam was actually lost. He had decided to go for a walk while under the influence of...he'd forgotten exactly what, but several things had passed his lips and entered his lungs in the day preceding his wander. He nearly found the edge of the trees, hoped it would go back home, when he heard footsteps and stopped, hid instinctively to see what was going on.

After a moment he saw it was Wessex, the rather severe woman that had helped him to clear his basement. She'd seemed an odd sort, but he hadn't pegged her to be the kind to be standing about suspiciously in a forest.

Far too full of substances to be anything but bold and stupid, he sauntered up and put his hands on his hips, grinning at her. "It's a bit late for a woods rendezous, innit? Who's the lucky fella? Or is it a lady...?" Either away, he was sticking around to find out.
good evening, misadventure.
farewell morality.
it's time for another risky venture,
into the depths of depravity.
Please note Adam has 5 large scars across his neck and chin.
Leatherworker
Age: 28 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 372
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#3
Reckless and stupid: surprisingly often, yes. Bold and independent: not quite so often. That was Rory with the same characteristics applied, so perhaps they balanced each other quite nicely into a mix that didn't entirely have their best interests at heart.

He had been out mending some fencing in one of the furthest fields when he'd seen Wessex walk past in the distance, looking resolute and determined and heading straight in an entirely useless direction. Why go west? There was nothing there. Jigano had told him as much. If you were unlucky, you found short and angry people that wanted to kill you, though Rory certainly hoped there was only one of those and she had already been found, so...

With a sigh he had retreated back to the farm, tacking himself up: hunting leathers, bow and quiver full of arrows, hunting knife. Small pack with supplies, like smoked and salted meat, some apples and water. He told his ponies and dogs and goats that they were all good, and then he set off after her.

Worst case scenario: he wouldn't find her, or she'd turn out to not be up to no good. Then he'd just take off on a hunt, was the right time of day for it anyway. He might be hard-pressed if he didn't find any trails fast and the darkness came in, but eh. It was okay.

When he found Wessex she stood around as if waiting for someone, and maybe she was. With her was a stranger, someone Rory had seen around a couple of times but had never really interacted with. Cocking his head to the side Rory hung back a few steps, looking warily from one to the other. "Am I interrupting something?"
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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#4
-CERA-

As fresh to the land he had found himself dragged into, Cera did not keep a diurnal cycle. There was much to discover and categorize, and he could not ignore the changes that twilight brought to any biome. To say he wandered with any kind of purpose would be giving far too much credit to the wandering soul - really he just picked a direction and began to walk, brushing his fingers against the various trees he passed until they thinned and dropped away. It left the horizon clear and oddly...vacant. Dead in a way he had never seen occur naturally, especially so close to thriving forestry. A shiver trailed up his spine, but Cera's pace did not falter. Bravery to the point of endangerment was a trait he hadn't managed to shake, no matter how it had - at times physically - scarred him.

Figures in the distance caught verdant eyes, and Cera frowned quietly to himself. He did not want to impose upon some sort of meeting in the dark of the night but...he had to admit his curious nature was gnawing at him like a particularly hungry wolf. So with a sigh, Cera shouldered his small satchel of various food he'd scavenged, hunted, and bartered for and continued forward. Though he would have felt more comfortable with a weapon, he had slowly become accustomed enough to his wolflike form to feel confident in his fighting and fleeing abilities.

Conversation drifted towards him in snippets, and Cera's hand clenched around the strap of his satchel to chase away his social anxiety. Though he stood on the outskirts of the little group, he at least ventured to speak himself. "I hope I'm not interrupting, is there anything I can help with?" Perhaps they were gathering for a particular reason? At least one of the others seemed unsure or somewhat lost, which bolstered Cera's confidence a little.
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 610
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#5

Three blondes and a brunette walk into a bar. No, that’s not it. Three men and a woman? No, still not it. Ah, yes - three blondes and a brunette walk out of the Hollowed Grounds at dusk and what could possibly go wrong?

In truth, she’s not waiting for anyone in particular, people just have a way of showing up when you need them. She’d wondered if Rory might follow her, having deliberately passed by his place again, but it hadn’t been a ‘hey come explore with me’ kind of invite. Ok, fine, she manipulated him, knowing that if saw her heading in an unusual direction, he might come and see what’s up. But he isn’t the first to arrive; the first is the guy with the golem in his basement. Wessex narrows her eyes, trying to remember his name even as he’s insinuating that she’s here to romance someone. Which absolutely ridiculous if you know anything about the hardened woman at all. “You,” she replies, just to fuck with him a little bit.Adam, right? Didn’t you get the message?” A brow arches, she purrs the words out, and then laughs. “You and me and -”

A slim, blonde man appears out of the forest behind him, and she gestures impulsively to him.Rory. No, not at all.” Beckoning him over with a quick gesture and a flash of a smile, Wessex finds she is quite pleased at his appearance (first, that he came), as prepared as she is (second, Naturals ftw), and is beginning to think that if they find anything, they may be all right. Present drunkard excluded. She’s about to reveal what the two men have gotten themselves in to when a third shows up, and Wessex does a double take between Cera and Rory.

They look like they could be related. Long blonde hair. Slim. Angular face. But she knows all the Naturals, if only by sight, and this guy isn’t one of them. She gestures between the two of them and then decides to let it go. They can discuss portals, three centuries of isolation, and mysteries later. Now, they’re going on an adventure. Nothing like getting out of town to clear the head.

She shrugs to the newbie. “Sure. You can help. I’m Wessex and you’ve all stumbled on my exploration of what’s beyond the Hollowed Grounds. To the west, if we don’t get off course. Don’t know what’s out there or how long we’ll be, so you’re free to opt out now, otherwise... let’s go.” No need to waste time. Without waiting to see if the weird group is with her or not, the Ascended woman starts forward into the empty land before them, happy to lead with her superior eyesight. They can make always make torches later if need be, with Rory’s fire.

---------------------
No posting order. Decide whether you’re in or not, any questions you may have, and then off we go!

WESSEX
She whispered back, I am the storm
please tag in all replies | force and magic allowed
please ask if you'd like to kill
if Wessex has started a thread, it takes place at night
Leatherworker
Age: 28 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 372
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#6
The wave in his direction had him feeling like he was being pointed out for something, included in something he hadn't caught—he arched a brow curiously, choosing to feel amused rather than alarmed. He didn't think Wessex was going to sacrifice him to a (probably intoxicated) stranger.

But before she had any time to either sacrifice him or explain what was going on, someone else showed up. He was shorter than Rory, and his chin was narrow and pronounced in a particular way, but they had the same kind of blond hair and.. honestly, it was a little bit disconcerting to notice, and Wessex seemed to think the same as she gestured between them. Rory blinked a couple of times, glad the newcomer's eyes weren't blue. That would've been a bit too much.

He seemed nice, though, if this wasn't all just a front. "I've been told it's mostly a nothing you can't pass through," he said as a response to Wessex, distant and thoughtful, adjusting the satchel he wore as a backpack and setting off after her. "But I'm curious to experience it for myself."
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 79
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#7
-CERA-

In the weak light of the autumn moon, and distracted as he was by focusing on the clear leader of this little entourage, Cera had not bothered to give the other two men more than a cursory glance. Clearly a mistake, as his curiosity strike when Wessex stares between himself and one of the others gathered. As he turns his eyes to the stranger, a small gurgle of a surprised noise surfaces in the depths of his throat. It is like staring into a warped mirror, and Cera gives a shy, amused smile to the stranger. Not wanting to draw unnecessary attention to it more than the initial shock, Cera returned his gaze to Wessex as she introduces herself.

Well, herself and the task at hand. He gazes out across the barren land, scouting its shadowed horizons with a practiced, keen eye. Exploration is no strange event for him, though he is particularly...fleshy, now. Adjusting his bag strap and running an idle thumb habitually against the tail end of the scar on his chest, Cera hums softly. More to himself than anything. He knows regardless of his hesitations about how little he knows this world that he will come along. What better way to get to know it?

A slightly mischievous smile curls his pale lips, and his shoulders settle more firmly back. "Sounds like a fun challenge," he quips, partially in reply to his look-alike's comment on the area's impassable nature. He won't be left behind on this particular expedition.
Adam Pikely
Guildmaster ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 28 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 16
COFFEE - Mythical - Dragon (Firebreathing)
Played by: Ryan Offline
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Posts: 455
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#8
ADAM
Adam wasn't expecting Wessex to be the type to joke along with him. With a surprised smile he winked and bowed towards her. "Oh, well, I'm honoured. If you'll accompany me behind this tre--" His offer was cut off by the arrivals of Rory and Cera, probably for the best; he did not know either of the men but greeted both of them with a friendly wave. He was too drunk to get into proper introductions.

Wessex said they were off on an explore, and Adam was just fine with that. Maybe, maybe, just somehow, to the West would be his home. Even though he'd learnt this was another world, when inebriated he could just about make himself want to believe the road was right behind the trees.

"Lead the way." He said amicably, gesturing for Wessex to set off before him.
good evening, misadventure.
farewell morality.
it's time for another risky venture,
into the depths of depravity.
Please note Adam has 5 large scars across his neck and chin.
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 610
MP:
#9

Ok. So they’re all in. Excellent.

She shrugs at Rory’s hearsay, having heard absolutely nothing of the sort - but then a lot of people don’t talk to her, so she could be easily out of the loop. Besides, how can you not pass through nothing, unless there’s… what? Another barrier beyond the one they’ve been living in? It’s something she has to see for herself.

Eventually is is clear that Rory is partially correct - there’s a whole lot of dark nothing for a couple of hours, other than the night sky and whatever natural light the moon and stars might lend to their human and not-human eyes. Just dirt and rocks. They should be careful not to roll an ankle.

However, for those who can see further in the dark, they might find that out of the monotonous, flat nothingness, there are a couple of rises - what seem to be little bumps at first, but as they trek on, grow in both size and length, until it seems to take up the entire horizon and is already at least twice their heights. Wessex stops and looks at them critically, her face scrunching up into something resembling a person with a dilemma. “Looks like we’re going to have to climb… something. Can’t tell what it is yet, though. Or if there’s anything guarding it.” She turns to face the gang and as she doesn’t know two of them rather well, asks a very blunt question. “What can you guys do? I’m really fast, can see in the dark, have these babies -” the shwing of long steel talons erupting from her knuckles can be heard before she lifts a hand to show them. “And a neat little trick you don’t want to be near me for.”

If they run into trouble, she needs to know what she’s dealing with. And so do they. Teamwork is only effective if everyone knows how to play safely with each other.

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

No posting order. Put your cards on the table!

WESSEX
She whispered back, I am the storm
please tag in all replies | force and magic allowed
please ask if you'd like to kill
if Wessex has started a thread, it takes place at night
Adam Pikely
Guildmaster ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 28 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 16
COFFEE - Mythical - Dragon (Firebreathing)
Played by: Ryan Offline
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Posts: 455
MP:
#10
ADAM
Adam followed along, the drink in his mind drifting him in and out of awareness. The forest was dark and the air was still warm with lingering Longheat atmosphere; it was tempting to just curl up and nap, let the others come back and tell him what was beyond.

But then Wessex asked them to show what they could do, and well, he never turned that down.

"If it's climbing we're doing.." Easily, he tipped forward into a handstand, wobbling a little from side to side but still with impressive form for one inebriated. "And I got enough skill with my guns to fuck up anything that wants to fight." He was a little lacking in the ammo department, but...no one else needed to know that.
good evening, misadventure.
farewell morality.
it's time for another risky venture,
into the depths of depravity.
Please note Adam has 5 large scars across his neck and chin.
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 79
MP:
#11
-CERA-

One of the men seems rather...peculiar in his behavior. Not that Cera would judge him on his personality, but he seems off-kilter. To someone who had never encountered alcohol, the medic in the boy can't help but want to escort the man from this little adventure to preserve the integrity of his body and mind. But he seems rather intent on accompanying them, so he keeps mum. It certainly wasn't his place to police the stranger on his limitations, no matter how he desired to.

It's enough to occupy his mind as they travel. That, and observing the ragtag group around him. They are all so interesting, and Cera can't help but bite down on his glee at their easy inclusion. He is so thirsty for knowledge of this realm and its people, it's a perfect little midnight outing to quench it.

Wessex turns to them in time, as the hills grow steeper and their combined breaths turn more labored. Her claws draw his eye more than her words, the forger in him immediately enamored and intrigued by their mechanics. Adam's wobbling is a more amusing distraction, but he's not so taken by the wobbly acrobatic display as to ignore Wessex's question. "I'm fast and am faster in my wolf form, it's quite tall. Helps to see in the dark as well." Cera's hands come forth to rub against each other, fingering old burns and callouses. "Climbing is no problem, I've strong hands from metalworking," he confirms as well. While not as much use in a fight when he was so unused to his two-legged form, he'd not let himself be left behind or leave the others to a battle either.
Leatherworker
Age: 28 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 372
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#12
It was relatively pleasant company to travel with in the dark; they kept to their own thoughts and questions, eyes on the terrain and eyes on the horizon. Rory watched Wessex from the corner of his eye, following her lead but keeping most of his attention on the uneven ground to avoid mishaps. Sometimes he looked up at the surroundings, but to be fair, they were mostly nothing.

Then their progress was blocked by something, that to Rory's topographically inexperienced mind, looked like the cliffs around the Crimson Cataract. He wondered if they were mountains, but he'd always thought mountains were bigger, so maybe not.

Rory had seen Wessex's claws before, so his reaction was mostly to glance in her direction. Few things beat her dramatic resurrection last Leafchange, and the role of her claws in it. Then one by one they said what they could do—the drunk man wobbling into a handstand and then talking about something Rory had no idea what it was—and the other confessed to a wolf form and Rory instantly felt all the complicated things he usually avoided feeling.

It was like his motherfucking lucky astral twin, or something, and irrationally he wanted to hate him.

Then he put it all back under the lid, and sighed. "I can create animals and play with fire," he said, turning to look back at the rockface they needed to climb. "And climbing shouldn't be a problem."
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
Played by: Astor Offline
Change author:
Posts: 610
MP:
#13

Adam’s showing off is laughable, and the blonde woman raises a critical eye at his back while he teeters on the edge of control (also what the fuck is a gun?). She shoots Rory a look. Welp. In theory he can be sacrificed as a distraction if need be. She takes in the new guy’s information and Rory’s additional skill with a nod of her head. “Great. Stay alert.”

She’s clearly not one for a lot of small talk.

They move forward, the dark shadows growing ever larger until they become incredibly high - too high to scale safely by themselves, and they seem to go on and on in either direction. It’s another wall. They’ve reached something else that’s trying to keep them penned in and there’s no way to go around. After pacing back and forth for a bit, quite open to suggestions if they have any, Wessex walks up to the barrier and puts her hand on it, trying to see if it’s solid and stable  enough to dig her claws in to - cursing herself for not having a bird shifter or something useful on the team. Well. Wait. She turns to Rory. “These animals. Can you -”

A rumble vibrates through the ground around them. Hard enough to surprise the Ascended, causing her to jerk her hand back and look to see if there are any falling rocks… or dirt, or whatever (fuck that little rescue mission). There isn’t. But then there’s another vibration, and another, and it almost feels like there’s something coming towards them in the dark.

Something big. Something that doesn’t want them there.

For those who might be able to see - A very large, hulking shadow is making its way towards them.

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

No posting order

WESSEX
She whispered back, I am the storm
please tag in all replies | force and magic allowed
please ask if you'd like to kill
if Wessex has started a thread, it takes place at night
Adam Pikely
Guildmaster ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 28 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 16
COFFEE - Mythical - Dragon (Firebreathing)
Played by: Ryan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 455
MP:
#14
ADAM
Adam didn't notice everyone's rather disparaging looks as he showed off, sure in his drunkeness that he had impressed them all. Maybe, he entertained himself, they would come up to him later and ask him to show them how he did it.

He continued to walk along happily, looking at the shadows with the same passive pleasantness as he might market stalls, occasionally yawning and wondering how long it would be until they could head back to the village so he could nap...for twelve hours or so. With that looking to be a while away as they went further, he took a little bottle from his bag and swigged, keeping himself topped up.

The ground suddenly began to shake and there was a shadow before them - Adam, despite his clumsiness in his state, pulled out his gun quickly. The motion was simply muscle memory by now. He held it, swaying just a little, towards the thing before them. "What is it?" He asked, wanting to know before he shot.
good evening, misadventure.
farewell morality.
it's time for another risky venture,
into the depths of depravity.
Please note Adam has 5 large scars across his neck and chin.


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