Personal Quest underground, the stars are legend
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#1
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
As soon as the sun rises, Amalia begins to prepare.

She has been waiting, yearning, itching to begin, to take the task granted by Safrin and fulfill the expectation, express her gratitude for the gift of seeing Vi. Though still recovering from her brush with death, Amalia is stronger than she was, gaining energy every day. Flowerbirth's bloom invigorates the girl; the bursting flowers and buzzing bees make her believe in the beauty of Rae, the hope of new growth. There is still a wound within her soul, but she is trying to recover- or at least cover it up.

The provisions she gathers are modest, but purposeful: food, of course, a hearty loaf and a hunk of cheese; a knife, in case of necessity; her new staff, a vast downgrade from the one she lost on her last foray into the Underground, but sufficient for the time being; and the luxere antler, a talisman tied to the top of the staff, something of a security item for the insecure girl. Inside her bag is a box which occasionally buzzes angrily, the paper wasp queen secure within. A small lantern hangs off one prong of her staff, its golden light combining with the red glow of the antler to create a halo around the girl, a comforting beacon in the upcoming dark. For it will be dark, this Amalia knows: and while she was the only one to bring a lamp on their last foray into the bowels of Caido, it will not this time be the case.

It is a modest crew which accompanies her, but one she is glad to have by her side. Jigano, the Lorekeeper a stalwart presence, almost as comforting as the antler in her hand. Seiji, the sweet man a surprising addition, but his curiosity and optimism bolsters the girl, makes her feel that she can manage this new challenge with something approaching grace. Lily, entirely unexpected but not unwelcome, the redhead sort of falling into the plan through a series of circumstances. As planned, the quartet meets after dawn, the warm glow of Flowerbirth coloring the sky. They have all been instructed to bring a light, and Amalia smiles as they come into view, shy and impassioned and uncertain and proud. A small pang of - what? - pierces her as Rory does not appear by Jigano's side, but she swallows it down, refuses to examine what it might mean. The weight of responsibility hangs heavy in her heart, an unfamiliar load on her narrow shoulders, and one she is not sure how to wear.

"Are you ready?" the girl asks, her black eyes flickering between the small assembly. She is a little uncertain, a little lost on how to proceed. There is an awkwardness to leadership, a sense of undeserving which permeates her soul. She swallows hard and shakes her head, the long gold braid bobbing in time. She can do this. She can do this.She has been chosen by Safrin for this task, and though they have chosen to accompany her, it is she who must take the first step.

Opening her eyes, the girl nods, clears her throat, and speaks. "Safrin," she calls into the darkness, alto voice ringing through the silence like a bell. "We have come."


This is a PQ! Kinda! I would ideally like rounds to take no longer than 48 hours, but I know life comes up!
Jigano
Seiji
Lily
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
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#2
A satchel of food was tucked into his pack along with his flute, some rope, and a basic medical kit he'd assembled from the Infirmary - just in case. His rapier and a dagger were at his side for much the same reason, though he hoped they wouldn't need to fight. He'd sewn a hood onto the back of his overtunic - not so much to pull over his head as to give Isuma a place to rest and nest when she got tired of balancing on his shoulder or frolicking at his feet. She was curled there now, dozing beneath the warm curtain of his pale hair as the bard yawned in the early morning light. As welcome as the sunrise was after the terrors of Long Night, he was still not an early riser by choice.

For Amalia, though, he would do so and smile about it as he reached her side. His own lantern was made of metal, the fiery feather within held delicately clamped in place by the base of its shaft. Its light was faded in the sunshine, but soon enough its warm glow would come in handy, he suspected. He chuckled ruefully at the buzzing coming from his friend's bag, then turned to greet the other members of their merry band. He gave Seiji a smile, welcoming and glad to see the gentle young man joining them on the underground adventure they had once discussed. Lily was mostly a stranger to him, but he gave her a polite nod, assuming Amalia had chosen her to accompany them for a good reason.

Warm blue eyes watch Amalia with quiet pride as she took charge of their adventure. He, too, would have liked Rory to be by his side for this, but the ponies and dogs had needed tending to after the stresses of Long Night and he didn't begrudge his friend the time and energy needed to set his home to rights. He would be there still, but one of his loreseekers needed him, and what sort of friend and guildleader would he be if he didn't answer her call? "Ready when you are," he agreed easily, giving her a reassuring smile and falling in at her shoulder as she faced the darkness
Seiji Okura
Musician

Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
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#3
He is called.

Dawn casts a pale halo on the horizon as Seiji slips between the streets, his soft steps purposeful. Night still clings to the world, but it is a night filled with promise. Stars lingering above, sunlight on the way. Seiji carries enough provisions for the day ahead in his pack, along with the nearly-completed flute(good luck, if nothing else), extra fuel, a spark. Even a couple of candles. Nearer at hand is a knife he hopes he shall find no reason to use. And in one hand he carries a small lantern, borrowed from home. Its glow is soft but reassuring, and something about it fills his heart with unexpected ease. As he moves, he feels almost as if he has done this before. As if he retraces the steps of a dream, of a play enacted many times before.

He feels no fear.

Seiji smiles as he joins the group. Amalia with her staff is a figurehead of eerie light, at once brave and otherworldly. Jigano is a welcome comfort, quiet and reassuring. Seiji does not recognize the last member of their party, but he offers a smile and a brief nod to Lily. “Ready,” he tells Amalia with a nod. His voice is one note of a song, light and cheerful, as if they do not face darkness. As if this is any gathering of friends.

Despite his demeanor though, Seiji arrives prepared. He knows Caido is dangerous. He has survived Deepfrost. He has learned much. He will be an asset, however he can. He grips his lantern, taking comfort in the warmth of the glass cage, the dancing of flame.
Lily Balfour
Entertainer

Age: 27 | Height: 5'9'' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 12
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#4
Lily
sing me a song of a lass that is gone
They were a series of circumstances, indeed. When Lily heard the Spark Bird song, she became curious about it, wondering if there was, perhaps, any sheet music for it - or really, any native music - lying around. Somewhere? Amalia is really the only Natural she knows AND the only one who seems to enjoy singing.

Lily was visibly disappointed by the answer, but when Amalia said there might be a hidden chamber of old books somewhere, she couldn’t help but ask if she could see it. Slash come along. Well, that was implied. And Amalia, bless her heart, said yes. So for better or worse, the redhead is there, complete with lit torch, a small knife (just in case), a snack or two, and wearing some of Bastien’s clothes in layers, cause fuck dresses right now and besides, he doesn’t need them any more.

She is probably the least prepared of the four, but she is full of newcomer eagerness and anticipation. Smiling to both Jigano and Seiji, she is simply a quiet, flaming presence, letting Amalia lead the way. Lily falls in somewhere in the middle, green eyes shining in the flickering torchlight.


merry of soul, she sailed on a day
over the sea to Skye

This is shit, I'm sorry but MOVING IT RIGHT ALONG


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#5


At the sound of the goddess' name, a small bouquet of stars appear. Together they cluster, gently throbbing with a magical light that casts a warm glow all around. There seems to be far away laughter, like the gentle chime of bells hidden within the light, and almost playfully they dart forward into the darkened bowels of the underground.

The claustrophobic darkness is no match for this light, and while not all of the oppressive shadows can be completely doused, it is more than enough to see by.

The tunnels branch off below sporadically, though there are two major arteries that the group could take. Most of the stars go down the left path, buoyantly seeming to be caught in some unseen stream. One however, goes to the right.



Will the group follow the stars in? And if so, which path will they choose?
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#6
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
The comforting heat of Jigano at her shoulder bolsters the bashful girl, and for a moment Amalia's body drifts toward him, the slightest brush of her hand on his. Silence, for a moment: nothing but the breath of four lungs, the beat of four hearts. And then, starlight. It gathers before them like a halo of light, illuminating the reverence on Amalia's face. Laughter, warmth, like a familiar friend. She knows what this means, and it swells in her heart. "Safrin." A smile blooms across her lips; she looks to her companions, eyes bright with wonder, before taking the first step beneath the ground.

The last time she was here there was terror: today, there is nothing but nervous delight. Awash in the glow of heaven on earth, the cavern no longer feels oppressive, but fascinating, wondrous, a brave new world for them to explore. Her companions are friends instead of strangers, their purpose determined instead of unknown. Still, her heart beats nervously in her chest as she follows the starlight, the crimson antler adding to the ethereal quality of light: she cannot completely shed her insecurity, the constant misgiving that lives in her bones.

Eventually, a crossroads, and Amalia stops as the flock of stars splits into two separate paths. This feels eerily familiar, and the girl is unsettled by the similarity to last time. Uncertain, she glances between the two tunnels: the left, well lit and lively; the right, dark but with one lone star. Something about that solitary point of light strikes a chord in her. Perhaps it is her own innate loneliness; perhaps part of her is bolder than she knows. There is a clear choice, for the girl.

Turning to her companions, Amalia squares her shoulders and tries to appear confident, secure. "We should look down both. Safrin would not offer two choices without reason," she states, trying to mask the uncertainty in her voice. "I will follow this path," Gesturing toward the single star. She does not make any requests for companionship, though her eyes flicker toward Jigano, a wish within her heart.
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
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#7
Touch was still something he was relearning, though he had never been one to seek it out, even as a child. He had discovered the pleasure of a friend's touch once, but with the loss of that friend he had denied it to himself from guilt. It had taken Rory's gentle reassurance in his foxform to begin to open himself up to it again, but thanks to the hunter it was coming easier to him now. When Amalia's hand brushed his, he pressed back, a reassuring nudge of knuckles against the back of her hand - a silent promise that he stood with her, come what may.

The bard sucked in a breath at the sudden appearance of stars, eyes narrowing at the magical manifestation, but Amalia was reassured and he took his cue from her. His only interaction with Safrin had been through Bastien, but he doubted his friend and fellow Loreseeker would grant such respect to a god of such shallow beauty as the late priest had painted.

But the stars called to him, as they always had. His world had been awash in them, his life shaped by the ancient Rain of Stars, and all that had come from it. Though it took courage to do so, he glanced back with a reassuring smile to Seiji and Lily before following Amalia down into the depths.

He looked around wide-eyed at the cavern, impressed and intensely curious. Later, he thought, he would want to come down here again to do some exploring, as he and Nairi and Seiji had once promised to do together. The memory had him glancing over his shoulder again to give the dark-haired young man a lopsided grin, but he stayed quiet so as not to break the silence more than their footfalls already did.

At the split he hesitated, looking to Amalia for guidance as the one who had been down there before. Because he was watching her closely his sharp blue eyes caught both the hint of uncertainty and the unspoken glance. Smiling gently he stepped to join her, then looked at Seiji and Lily, with their normal sources of light. The journey should be uneventful... but...

"Here," he said quietly, offering his lantern to Seiji with a smile. "Do you want to trade lanterns until we see each other again? This one holds a feather from the spark bird. Its light might keep certain dark things at bay, but be careful - its vanes can set just about anything on fire. Until we know what's down here I'd feel better if one group has at least one source of magical light, and one mundane."

Jigano is going with Amalia.
If Seiji accepts the trade, Jigano will temporarily hand over his Spark Bird Feather Lantern and take Seiji's normal lantern in exchange. Otherwise he will keep his own lantern.
Lily Balfour
Entertainer

Age: 27 | Height: 5'9'' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 12
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#8
Lily
sing me a song of a lass that is gone
Safrin.

The name has been thrown around a lot lately, and with Bastien getting himself killed during LongNight, there are some questions Lily has for - and about - this deity that need to be answered. Like specifically, what does she stand for? She only has the Christian God to go on, and so despite being non-religious, she is rather rigid in her thoughts about how deities operate. A trip to a shrine is in order, because how can she - she? - endorse casual sexual relations and hide a bunch of books down here?

The laughter and stars make Lily think that Safrin is benevolent, playful even, like a gentle mother perhaps. She watches the magical lights split and is immediately drawn to the larger group, if only because she knows she isn’t as well suited to taking care of trouble if it comes their way. But there’s a certain thrill in it, isn’t there? Adventure, goddesses, magic, even the craziness of LongNight is more than she could ever have imagined a month or two ago!

“Definitely,” she saids with a head nod, agreeing with Amalia. “We’ll take this one, then,” quickly follows, with a hand on Seiji’s arm, as the pairs and paths are settled. Jigano then offers the two of them one of the magical lanterns, and though Lily knows they should take it, she waits to see what Seiji will say - ready to play the damsel if he decides to be all macho and decline it. She takes a quick peek down the left-hand path, and as it looks wide enough for the two of them to walk side-by-side, waits until her partner is ready to go.

“Good luck! And be safe!” she says to the other two, when everyone is ready to split off.


merry of soul, she sailed on a day
over the sea to Skye
Seiji Okura
Musician

Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
Played by: kae Offline
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#9
A thrill of wonder blankets Seiji as Amalia speaks the goddess' name, as the soft light of miniature stars illuminates the tunnel. He cannot help but feel as if some ancient power answers Amalia's soft voice. As if it lingers here in the tunnel with them, calm and protective. He returns Jigano's smile with a grin, optimism spiking in his breast. Am auspicious start to what he hopes will be a successful outing.

Seiji remains silent as Amalia suggests splitting their small party. Despite his optimism, he worries about testing their luck too far. Worry dims the light of his excitement, a shadow in the soft darkness od his eyes. But he does not speak agaonst the idea, merely nods when Jigano agrees. They both know more than he does. He will respect that.

He does extend a hand when Jigano offers the enchanted light, his expression curious. "Yes." Seiji nods. "Thank you." He feels a little better with the bird's light enhancing the glow of the stars, and nods as well when Lily speaks. It seems his path is set.

"Be careful," Seiji calls to the others. "We should plan to meet back here if… Just in case." His concern for his new friends is palpable, not doubt in their abilities or the goodwill of their goddess but concern about what the darkness here may hide after the horrors of Long Night.

Turning to the path ahead, Seiji extends an elbow toward Lily and holds the Sparklight out ahead of them. "Let's go," he smiles, his doubt replaced by a quiet resolve. He will have faith, though he cannot trust it blindly. If Amalia's goddess guides her, she must guide him as well.{/b}{/b}


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#10


THE LEFT PATH

Seiji and Lily go towards the left. Distantly they can hear mumbling. The voice sounds old...or is it young? It seems to be having a conversation with itself, though the pitch of its voice keeps changing, perhaps to mimic others? Is it a way to lure them in, some sort of strange trap? It seems so obvious though ...

What do you do?



THE RIGHT PATH

With just the one star to guide them, it remains close, as if sentient somehow and aware that its light can easily be lost in the dark. With the light that they've brought however, they can see that there is writing on the walls. Some seems like mundane graffiti, but part of it seems like it has been intentionally carved in, but in a language neither the baker nor bard knows. The starlight pushes on however, not noticing (or perhaps not caring) that the pair might want to take a closer look.

What do you do?
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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#11
"Care and safety to you as well," the bard wished Seiji and Lily, bowing his head solemnly in acknowledgment. With a more mundane lantern in his hand he might have felt a little less comfort, but in truth he trusted Amalia's antler-staff and had no wish to see the young man or lovely woman run into trouble because they lacked the protection a magical light might provide. "We'll see you back here soon." With a smile of encouragement he turned to join Amalia and follow her lead down the darker tunnel.

As soon as he was out of sight of the others he nibbled his lip, then let his eyes shift to those of a fox, iris widening to displace the white of his eyes and pupil lengthening to more of a vertical slit that then widened to take in the dim red light of the antler and the gentler glow of Seiji's lantern. At the sight of the carved-in graffiti he paused for a moment, raising his fingers to trace the lettering in the air. The light of the star began to swiftly dim and he bit back a protest. "This might be a warning - or directions," he suggested to his companion, his voice a little wistful, but he obediently followed behind her and their glowing guide. "Perhaps on the way back we can stop and take a few rubbings and notes..." There was a pair of cracked spectacles in his pocket that might help to decipher some of the writing, but since the starmote was in a rush he reluctantly continued on. His eyes scanned the walls as they walked, however, studying the carved words in particular and trying to discern a pattern or similarity between them - or a growing emphasis in how deeply they were carved.
Seiji Okura
Musician

Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
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#12
Seiji isn't sure when it begins. Only — he glances at Lily, only to see she is not speaking. Something else is. Something further down the tunnel, he thinks now, though it echoes and changes, almost as if whoever it is speaks aloud to themself. Or does it call out to them? Try as he might, he cannot quite make out the words. Tension coils through him; he stands up straighter, walks on lighter feet. And holds the lantern aloft before them as if its light is a shield.

"Hello?" he calls, his voice even despite the care he takes to scan the breadth of the tunnel before them. He sends a quick, questioning glance toward Lily, wondering if she has any idea what might await them. But he does not slow. The voice itself is no direct indication of danger. It may well be someone — something — useful to them.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#13
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
A nod as Jigano offers the other his light; another, when Seiji suggests reunion. The smiles they offer, the unhesitating acceptance of her tenuous place as leader fills the young baker with something like pride, a strange sort of fluttering feeling in her chest. "We are looking for a tomb of books." A reminder of their purpose, the goal: not that they should not stop for other points of interest, but Amalia's primary concern remains the pursuit of the knowledge Safrin offers, and the fulfillment of her pledge. She nods, again, black eyes scanning them each in turn before following her guiding light, the single dancing star.

As the group breaks up in wayward pairs, Amalia cannot help but feel a soft relief with who walks by her side. She is familiar with Lily, fond of Seiji, but it is Jigano with whom the girl has forged a chain, bound herself to through darkness and blood. He pauses as they pass a wall of writing, and Amalia does too, one slender hand extending to caress a concave and indecipherable word. "Yes," she agrees quietly, peering through the antler's glow at the foreign writing on the walls. She would like to stay and observe more, but the star that guides them continues on, and Amalia shivers at the thought of being left behind in the dark. She hastens after it, grateful when Jigano follows, too. "Safrin said the books were written before the Ruins collapsed," she murmurs as they walk, black eyes bright in the flickering light as they scan Jigano's face. "Do you think they are from before the bubble? That they will help us understand what happened?"
Lily Balfour
Entertainer

Age: 27 | Height: 5'9'' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
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#14
Lily
sing me a song of a lass that is gone

She meets Seiji’s gaze at the same time he looks to her, and both come to the realization that the other isn’t the one mumbling. She blanches a bit in the torchlight, casting a skeptical eye down the tunnel, which they keep making their way down. But her companion seems to straighten up, to forge onwards without any discernible hesitation. So Lily steels her insides and fishes for her little knife, taking it in the other hand for comfort.

After Seiji calls out to the person, or thing, it’s hard to tell - Lily places a worried hand on his arm. Should he have done that? She doesn’t want to seem like a scaredy cat, and she is brave, she just isn’t a fighter. “I’m not sure…” she begins in a whisper, but doesn’t want to chastise him. All of a sudden she has an idea and takes a hard little ball of seeds and nut butter and rolls it out in front of them and into the darkness as a peace offering.

What else is there to do but keep creeping along, and try to be ready for anything?


merry of soul, she sailed on a day
over the sea to Skye


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