before the dawn
Remi Taliesin
the Alchemist
Governor of Torchline / Alchemist
Portal Guardian
Age: 25 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 40 - Dext: 40 - Endr: 48 - Luck: 39
Played by: Odd Offline
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#15
but baby i've been here before; i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
Remi screamed. There was little to be done, against the fluttering of razor-blade like wings and needle-sharp teeth. Pitched forward, a hand clutching at the snow beneath him, Remi felt his wings shaved away of all muscle and skin, leaving him like some horrifically plucked chicken. Bones struck through what little of him remained, his blood pooling in the snow around him. Gasping against the assault having no notion of where Ronin was in proximity to his flames, the Alchemist focused only on the light and heat of his magic to keep him safe, sadly burning his husband in the process.

Sick with pain, nauseous and confused, it was only when Ronin sank heavily down next to him that Remi was able to stir even slightly. His heart lurched in his chest making bile rise in the back of his throat as well. "R..nin.." He gulped through lips tacky with his own blood. "He...a...l...m—" Reaching out a shaky hand for Ronin the Alchemist tried to drag himself across the foot or so of space between them. His shattered hand gave way however, and he collapsed heavily aside the Star, curly-hair nearly landing on his knee.


Age: 2 | Height: | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: - Strg: - Dext: - Endr: - Luck:
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#16
mary had a little lamb
its heart was black as coal
Feathers rain down upon the two men, wet with Remi's blood and some still sporting bits of the Alchemist's skin from where they were plucked. Down they fall, coating the ground like leaves or rose petals.
it crept into her room one night
and ate her fucking soul
LONGNiGht
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Preceptor / Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 7 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 29 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
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#17
RONIN
He held out his hand, blinking up at the red stained feathers that came raining down upon them with the sort of detachment only seen in the very mad. His attention was drawn by the slump of the figure next to him, Remi’s screams echoing in his mind (over and over, bouncing off walls, ringing through him always). ”Shhh,” he said softly, though whether he was trying to offer comfort or trying to tell the Alchemist to be quiet remained to be seen.

And then Ronin grew very quiet and very still, the Star gazing out across the barren wasteland that surrounded the Spire. Well, in his mind’s eye he saw it - of course there was nothing much more than darkness out there now. But inside, this was where they had arrived in Caido. This was where Ronin had fought, it was where he had died. It was where he had come back to life.

Now the lights were on, but the Star was no longer home.
one more wish for you

Coding base by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#18
Amalia
I took the stars from our eyes and I made a map
I knew that somehow I could find my way back
"What in Vi's beard- Ronin? Remi?."

It's only by luck that Amalia finds them, that she's still here at all. The cry of frantic luxeres had kept her at the Spire; it had been a few minutes before she realized the source of their dismay. And by then the screaming had begun, and the bolts of starlight and the ring of fire and sweet Mort is that Remi with skeletons for wings?!

She doesn't know if he's man or monster, and she doesn't have time to care. It's as macabre a tableaux as any she's ever encountered, the pair of them seated on the ground. One with a broken body, one with a broken mind, and Amalia feels her heart breaking as fear grips into her soul.

What happened?! What are you doing here? Dropping to her knees beside the alchemist Amalia thrusts her staff into his shattered hands, willing it to heal him, for the wounds to begin to close. I have to- you have to- we need to get out of here! Can you walk? Ronin, are you hurt?
Then I heard your heart beating,
you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
Remi Taliesin
the Alchemist
Governor of Torchline / Alchemist
Portal Guardian
Age: 25 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 40 - Dext: 40 - Endr: 48 - Luck: 39
Played by: Odd Offline
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Posts: 5,647
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#19
but baby i've been here before; i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
Would that he could see the future, Remi might not have done things differently. No, he'd never intentionally do wrong by Ronin, but for all the upset his actions were sure to cause (and had already), he had to believe that he was allowed this. If he, after everything the pair had been through, could not cross vast distances just to steal a look, a touch, a laugh two days sooner than he would otherwise have received them...then perhaps Remi truly was lost. Perhaps he deserved to die all the times he nearly did. Because if he could not love Ronin on his own terms, then it was all for not anyways.

Amalia's voice is a distant note on the breeze, one that doesn't make Remi raise his head. The snow is so blissfully cold, and Ronin is here. Finally they are together again; through the pain, the Alchemist has no idea just how far away his husband in fact is.

When his hands are suddenly thrust around something—the gesture making him wince and cry out as his shattered fingers are forced into motion—he immediately feels the healing light pour through him. "I...had to see him.." Remi manages, when finally he has the strength for words. Unable to do more this round, until he has healed himself more, Remi merely slumps his newly-healed hand onto Ronin's knee, as he pants weakly in the snow.



HP: 80/144
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Preceptor / Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 7 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 29 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
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#20
RONIN
In his mind’s eye he walked across the barren wasteland surrounding the Spire, the sky as stormy a grey as it had been on the day they had arrived. The black tower was still intact, unbreakable, sealed to the world without, and if Ronin glanced down at himself it would be to the familiar (and yet not) weight of his Storm Guard uniform. The world was a yawning open space, full of possibility, full of stories that hadn’t yet been told. Full of horrors that hadn’t yet been felt or experienced. It was exciting, almost.

The reality, of course, was a different story. Out here it was still pitch dark and screaming with monsters. The stench of blood and smoke clogged the air, and Amalia’s calls shattered the night like breaking glass. And Ronin saw none of it, reacted to none of it; not the hand upon his knee or the questions asked of him. Better that way, Safer.
one more wish for you

Coding base by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#21
Amalia
I took the stars from our eyes and I made a map
I knew that somehow I could find my way back
Whatever nightmare Amalia has walked into seems to be far worse than she initially thought. Ronin sits without responding to either she or Remi, and the Alchemist is still more dead than alive, the strong young man bleeding and broken before her eyes. But at least he is able to take the staff, to hold it, proving he is not a monster. Gods, what would she have done if it wound up being a facsimile of her friend?

Which brings her back to the question of what the fuck and why?

She wants to shake him for his stupidity, but now isn't the time. Turning to the Star she presses her hands to his cheeks, searching for a response in his eyes and finding none. "Ronin. Ronin! You need to help me heal him. We need to get out of here." And when there is no reply her agitation only grows, kept at bay through sheer willpower and the knowledge that they are doomed if she cannot get them out of the dark.

Looking back to Remi and praying her staff has done some more work, the Shield rubs her head. "Okay, Remi. I'm going to shift. I need you to help get him on my back, and then I can carry you both back to the temple. Can you do that?"
Then I heard your heart beating,
you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
Remi Taliesin
the Alchemist
Governor of Torchline / Alchemist
Portal Guardian
Age: 25 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 40 - Dext: 40 - Endr: 48 - Luck: 39
Played by: Odd Offline
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Posts: 5,647
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#22
but baby i've been here before; i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
Light and magic filled him once again, and finally the Alchemist was able to take a breath not wracked by unimaginable bolts of pain.

"He can't go inside." Remi said, shaking his head in accompaniment. "However hard this has been, however hurt I am, it will be so much worse if he fails Vanya." Pushing himself up, he looked at Ronin, who was looking steadfast out into the night. He wouldn't argue with Amalia, but nor did he think the Qilin capable of forcing the two men to do anything.

"And I won't leave him." The Alchemist added, distractedly, as he turned to look toward Ronin. Pushing a strand of dark hair from his eyes, Remi sighed softly at the utter vacancy he saw writ on his husband's features. The two handled their pain differently with Remi exploding outwards, and Ronin imploding inwards.

"I won't leave." So saying the Alchemist reached forward to undo and then open the Star's coat. Shrinking into a body made entirely of feathers (and one wing which sat awkwardly against his side), the hawk hopped into Ronin's lap, firmly placing himself against the hunter's chest. It was both warm here, but safer for them both. With Ronin's light emanating out, presumably this would be a safe haven for the hawk until the end of LongNight.

With his mind tethered to Ronin's now, he could feel the pale swirl of vacant horror that had engulfed his husband's mind. I love you Remi whispered, vowed. A thousand times and forever over, I love you.



HP: 110/144
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#23
Amalia
I took the stars from our eyes and I made a map
I knew that somehow I could find my way back
"Then he can sit on the step. But you can't stay here." Anger snaps in Amalia's voice like a whip, fueled by desperation and fear. Ronin seems too far gone for any reasonable thought, and Remi's unexpected presence still has no logical explanation Amalia can find. Frustrated and anxious she rubs her wrist, looking to where Remi is now pushing hair out of Ronin's eyes.

And now he's a bird.

Gods damn it.

"Well he's not staying." With that declaration Amalia stands, her body protesting already. She's seen Ronin through the night this far; there is no way she's giving up on him now. Glaring at where Remi has tucked himself against his husband's chest, the baker begins to strap her staff and shield to her back. "You can help me or not. But I won't leave him out here. So don't get in the way."

Without more warning the girl leans forward to grab the Star by the hand. With or without his help she will drag him to his feet, wedging his body over her shoulder and half-shifting as she does. The added bulk and strength of qilin legs and the long tail makes him somewhat easier to carry and her balance easier to maintain, but she doesn't want to fully transform unless she can be sure Remi will help to keep his husband on her back. And honestly, right now she doesn't trust his ability to reason that far.
Then I heard your heart beating,
you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
Remi Taliesin
the Alchemist
Governor of Torchline / Alchemist
Portal Guardian
Age: 25 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 40 - Dext: 40 - Endr: 48 - Luck: 39
Played by: Odd Offline
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Posts: 5,647
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#24
but baby i've been here before; i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
What difference does it make where he is? The Alchemist snaps. Outside is outside. Proximity to the temple only puts others at risk. As she shoves at Ronin's arms, tugging him up over her shoulder, the hawk is forced to drop away from where he was pressed against his husband's chest. With a screech of anger, the hawk hovered near Ronin's shoulder.

Can you stop being such a godsdamn hero long enough that you needn't pull his arm out of the socket? The hawk wants to know. He isn't yours to just toss around, Amalia.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#25
Amalia
I took the stars from our eyes and I made a map
I knew that somehow I could find my way back
"If he's near the temple then there will be other people to look help if there's another attack. I can't stay out here, and I'm not leaving him." Or you, she adds silently, despite her irritation, despite the fear and anger that are the only things keeping her from utterly falling apart.

The hawk continues to fly around, which would be a relief if she could think that far ahead but right now all her focus is on getting Ronin and getting out. "You're welcome to help," the Shield snarls from between gritted teeth, her own torn and damaged body screaming out in pain. "But he has spent a week being haunted by his dead daughter, seeing people murdered in front of him, having to kill a child, and then being exploded on. So if anyone deserves a godsdamned hero - and a friend - it's him."

With that Amalia begins to make her way toward the temple, fully expecting Remi to follow but far too livid and in too much pain to check back and make sure. It's only when the faint glow of light comes into view that she dares to think outside the real of putting one foot in front of the other. Tears of relief, of exhaustion, spring into her eyes; "The Spark Bird!" she chokes, joyful and wondering. "The Spark Bird came! We're safe."

It isn't until she reaches the line of houses and people that she lets herself collapse, but those last few steps are at least easier, basked in fiery light.

{fin}
Then I heard your heart beating,
you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you


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