Mini Event who tells your story

Age: 29 | 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: 395
Rory wasn't one who read the Notice Board very often, and that day was no different: he just knew what the notice said because it was read out loud, time and time again.

The words became daggers. Poison. Northwind. Ronin. Captain. Destroy. Destroy. Destroy

His heart was a strange and heavy thing in his chest. While Rory hadn't known Ronin all that much, he had instinctively liked the guy, and despite his desire to see the Outlanders punished for their impatience and stubbornness .. he hadn't wanted any of them dead. Rory didn't want anyone dead (every rule has exceptions, though).

When the notice came up some time had passed since the Demon's defeat, and Rory had drifted into the Settlement on errands, listening to the hushed talk, hushed voices, smelled the fear and the confusion. Some were excited, chomping at the bit, eager to get out

But many felt mournful. This was the end of everything they had known. And time did not soften the blow.

There was dissent. Unrest. Unease. Who were these Outlanders, who had come to their home? Who charmed their Gods and were at the heart of so much change? Who defeated their Demon?

And who now spoke of breaching the Spire. Who spoke of destroying the barrier, no matter the dangers it could pose. Who gambled with the lives of thousands, who didn't even wait for Ronin's family and friends to finish grieving, and: who dared pretend to have Caido's best interests at heart.

That was the bit were it got ugly. That was the last drop of a too-bitter brew. The crowd outside the Temple was uneasy, frustrated, restless, dry kindling very close to sparks.

So much mumbling, some raised voices, but not much else. Not much .. direction.

The whole thing tasted bad to Rory, who saw a few familiar faces in the crowd, Wessex among them. At that point, it was almost a small mob that had formed. Jigano was by his side as they had bumped into each other previously, but with the amount of dislike for Outlanders running rampant around them .. it made Rory a little nervous.

But one thing was clear: no one was pleased with the idea of an Outlander rushing to destroy the Spire's secrets, without a regard for gods or people. Jigano said as much as well: they should study it, and they should have plans, not just smash it and hope for the best.

"You might want to be a bird for this," Rory murmured to Jigano. "And I will say things I don't quite mean. I just.. this needs to end before we all die. You understand that, don't you?" The gaze he gave his friend was worried, imploring; Rory had to play the Outlander vs Natural narrative, or this would not work. But that did not mean that he meant it; that did not mean that he disliked Jigano.

But Jigano would be at risk. No one would know he was an Outlander if all they saw was a white bird. He reached for the bard's hand and gave it a small squeeze, hoping the white-haired one would know to keep himself, and his gryphon, safe.

He made his way to the front of the mob. He was no speaker. No leader. Not a man fond of crowds. "People of Caido!" he began, and a hush began to fall over those gathered. "Former Captain Roana Steadman of somewhere that is not here is willing to gamble with our lives, for.. what? Pride?" A spooked horse needs little reason to spook more. A vexed crowd needs little reason to become a mob, once you give it a target. "Glory?" They knew what he was doing. And they went along with it. "Barely have they begun to understand the loss of their friend, and already they invite more death." The silence was more of a murmur, his pauses filled with some shouts of 'aye' and 'fuck 'em' and the likes.

"And not just death upon themselves! But death upon us, too. It's right here! They will 'destroy the power sustaining the barrier, regardless of the possible dangers posed'. Do you hear that? Regardless of the possible dangers posed." He let it sit in their minds.

They didn't need his imagination when they had their own.

"She claims it is in service to the people of Caido to do this! But she does not speak for us! She does not make decisions for us! We are Caido, and we say no!"

And when you have successfully created a mob, what do you do with it? How do you control it?

Very carefully.

"The Spire is our past, our present, and our future: it is ours to study and to know. It is not theirs to destroy on a whim," he went on, with a little less fire in his voice. "We must protect it from those who would seek to destroy it for glory. We must protect it, so that we may know and understand our Gods! We must stop this idiocy!"

He breathed in. The air smelled of fury.

"People of Caido! Are you with me?!" Cries of agreement. Shaken fists. He roared at them again, "I said, are you with me?!" and they roared right back.

He was on fire.

"To the Spire!"

And that was how the Spire found itself guarded by a mob, through the long hours of the night, into the pale morning mists: more and more joined the cause. The hour of high noon approached.

They would not let brashness and impatience be the end of them. They would not sit idly by and watch the last shreds of the lives they had known be taken from them in such a reckless, disrespectful way.

They would protect the Spire.

Summary: the day Roana's notice goes up, Rory works the unhappy crowd into a mob to protect the Spire. They camp around he Spire during the night, think of it being set up as a little camp, honestly, with cookfires, someone's got supplies for some tents, etc. More and more keep joining as words spread and by the time of Roana's announced foray into the Spire, about a hundred Naturals (at least) have gathered to guard the Spire.
as if you were on fire from within,
the moon lives in the lining of your skin.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Emmett Palmer

Age: 21 | Height: 5'9" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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Posts: 328
Emmett's day was proving to be emotionally eventful. His relationship with Phoebe had wobbled and pivoted, changed course irreparably, his grief had finally begun to spun out into something tangible. It was late when he left his house, only just having the mind to make sure the kids were looked after before he was headed down the road.

He didn't know why, not really. But he had to get out, had to find something to channel it all into. With his fist curled around the neck of a bottle he eventually came across Rory and the crowd, only to catch the end of the speech. But he had already decided he hated the Outlanders, needed to get back at them. He didn't need much convincing to raise his fist, roar with the people. It felt good to be a part of something. Less lonely.

Gladly he followed to the base of the Spire, helped to set up tents and drive down supports into the ground. Shaking the hands of strangers and staring up at the Spire, it felt like a purpose.
The sun went down beyond yon hill, across the dreary moor
Weary and lame a boy there came up to the farmer's door
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 4 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 31 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 1,097

Wessex is a very busy lady right now. Rather than feeding the mob with her own words, she settles herself into a support and logistical position for Rory and his ragtag mob of Caidonite rebels. Following the blonde man to the Spire, Wessex toils through the night, giving her less bright friends a chance to rest (if that’s even possible) so they can take up the watch when the sun rises.

She’s lucky she just fed from The Lady. Her energy tank is full and her Night Vision allows her to see things others cannot. Constantly moving, Wessex has one eye and ear on the perimeter and another directing the Naturals to various places around the big, black spire - keeping the spacing even and distributing ‘assets.’ Whatever that means to this group of farmers, hunters, and crafters. They are hardy folk, most of whom know how to use a knife or something for killing, but not necessarily great at wielding it.

Still - would the Outlandes be willing to mow down people just to blow up the Spire? They’re betting hard on the fact that that they won’t. And Wessex is also betting on being able to get her own studies of it going.

When dawn comes, Wessex turns it over to her more daylight-capable companions and turns in for a rest - just a little one - before she has to go out and find the rest of her kind to spread the word. There is much afoot, and she would have the Ascended in the front, doing their part to get them safely out of the bubble. Safely being the key word.

Unless it involves killing Outlanders, and then she’s unapologetically game for it.

She whispered back, I am the storm
Evie Wordsworth

Age: 27 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 218
"You heard the man." Evie said, reaching for a rather oblivious looking Nathaniel 's hand, gripping it tight, and pulling him along.

Once, Evie would have followed Rory to the ends of Caido (or at least, the barrier). Though that youthful romance had burned away the oil of her passion, enough love for him remained that despite the fact that her parents were most certainly going to kill her, she followed him anyways. Flashing him a stern oceanic-blue stare and a white grin, Evie followed (with Nate in tow, whether he liked it or not).

She even flashed a smile at Emmett, the awkward bumbling farm kid. She didn't know much about him, but she knew of him of course.

"I couldn't find Amalia.." Evie would whisper the first chance she had to get Rory alone (or with a white raven joining him, perhaps). Her eyes spoke of uncertainty and worry, both because Ama would be furious she'd been left out, but also because what all of this represented. The most pious of them all, she would never abide the spire being breached, and whatever was within being let out.
Don't read the last page
But I stay
when it's hard or it’s wrong or you’re making mistakes
table by sky!
Nathaniel Sterling

Age: 30 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 1 - Strg: 14 - Dext: 9 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
Played by: kae Offline
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Posts: 63
sons could be birds,
taken broken up to the mountain
Well, it sure was a party.

Nathaniel never expected Rory to be the one starting all of this. He remembered Rory and quiet and soft-spoken, good with animals, not meek but not… this, either. Not the controlled fire of a revolutionary, stoking their anger, driving them to ignite the sparks crackling in the air. Nathaniel wasn’t sure if he approved.

He knew he wanted those lunatics away from the spire, though. At least until they, the naturals, got to have a say in what went on in their own goddamned home. So he didn’t resist — much — when Evie dragged him toward the mob. Just sighed and followed in her wake, a large shadow behind the brilliant ginger of her hair. He had might as well be present, he decided, if everything went to shit. He could heal some scraped elbows, at the very least.

So Nathaniel found himself at the camp. After a while, he really thought he missed his dog, but it was just as well she stayed at home, being the responsible one. Who knew what Adam would get up to without supervision. That was the least pressing of Nathaniel’s concerns, though.

He was a little more worried about what might happen when day broke and the Outlanders finally arrived. He had seen them fight — they were nothing to laugh about. And if they wanted to force their way in… Would the group here stand a chance? Or would it just be even more bloodshed, even more chaos, even more pain?

If he had the opportunity, Nathaniel would try to find Rory, and at least get out the question he had weighing on his mind. “So. What happens when those Outlanders decide to protest back?”
Maea Valair

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
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Posts: 2,069
She had not been sure whether to come here or stay away. Joining the crowd felt like a slap in the face to the outlanders she had met and spoken to, who had become more than a word and a strange face in the crowd. What about Jigano? What about Peter, and Phoebe, Kiada, Adam and Vai - they hadn't done anything wrong. Nor had those who fought and defeated the demon, the only reason any of them were able to stand here in the first place. What had they done, except been dragged here, tried to leave, and lost a friend in the process?

But, Maea supposed that was the whole issue. Ronin was not the only one who had died lately. This past Longnight had claimed an unusually high amount of lives, and not only among the Outlanders. Her family, and the Palmers, and others she had not known but heard the names of in passing, with pain and regret. Isla...

So maybe that was why she joined the mob as it headed for the Spire, and perhaps that was why she remained, even when common sense told her that it would be better to head home, take care of the animals and mind her own business. This was her business, and if this action could make the outlanders pause for just a moment, include the Naturals in their plans and actions and thinks things through before they did something else that might cost more lives... Then it might make up for the slight against those others who had just as little choice about being here as anyone born beneath the bubble.

Like so many others, she tried to reach Rory, to ask questions and hear his answers. Nate asked one that had Maea nod - indeed, would they be forced to fight over this - and more importantly...

"What is it that you want to accomplish here, Rory? We block the Spire, alright. What comes next? We will never be able to keep everyone out forever..."

There  had to be a way to settle this disagreement between the factions peacefully. It went so much deeper than merely the fight against the demon, but perhaps with this, people could find a common ground to start communicating.
you're so cold, but you feel alive.
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
Kristopher Neculai
Craftsman / Artist

Age: 303 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 0 - Strg: 8 - Dext: 10 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 5
Played by: Sage Offline
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Posts: 15
   This was adorable. By the goddess, these new people were remarkably entertaining. The ones that had been around when he was entombed within the ground... Well, they just didn’t have the spark that these people did. It was so refreshing. A little inconvenient when it came to trapping and killing them and whatever, but hey, he wasn’t against a challenge.

   His approach to the spire was drawn by the sound of a mouse squeaking. Oh, wait... No, that was just Rory yelling. Calling Naturals to action to barricade the spire or something. He didn’t care; the attempt was futile anyway.

   Kristopher stood nonchalantly, clad in black and covered entirely, as was necessary for him now in sunlight. A little less then preferable, but he had done it before and would do it again without protest. And he seemed to be the only without protest in the area.

   His eyes landed on Wessex first, recognizing the fellow ascended, then rested on Maea when she began her questions. Stepping forward with a slow gait and daunting eyes, Kristopher approached the tiny girl. “This young one is correct,” he spoke, flashing a fanged grin to her. “Forever is quite a long time to continue spewing to the rabble. Even I would find that exhausting, and I hardly tire. You are an insignificant speck in the eternal life of the one you attempt to hold captive, but please...” This time he flashed his grin to Rory and the people gathered. “...carry on. I’ve not had this kind of amusing futility in centuries.”

I may be heartless,
but you're naive.

Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 4 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 31 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 1,097

Ugh. All she really wants is a nap. But no, they come with their questions - just as she would - and so she can be irritated all she wants, but there is some sense of pride at them for not being sheep.

Wearing her full-length cloak again, Wessex drags herself from the tent she’s pitched for herself and brings herself before the three of them - Nathaniel, Maea, and Kristopher - a bit of a glower in her gaze. She might be wasting her energy, but ultimately, this is where she needs to be, near the Spire and learning about it. “Not forever. Forever is futile, as you say. But enough to make them think twice. Enough to say this thing you do is not okay. If they are so good, they won’t want to hurt us just in order to blow up the Spire.” She looks at Kristopher, specifially. “We,” she says with heavy emphasis, “Can't let them destroy it when we don’t know what’s in there, what it does. What if the key to our freedom is inside, and they just fuck it all up because of some emotional response?”

Days may have passed, but grief does not run its course so quickly.

Looking out towards the settlement, Wessex gives a bit of a half-shrug. “We could derail it all by threatening Roana’s kids. I’m not above that,” she says, looking at everyone around her, “but you’re all better than me.” And she will acquiesce to what the group wants. For once.  

She whispered back, I am the storm

Age: 202 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 0 - Strg: 8 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 12 - Luck:
Played by: Odd Offline
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Posts: 47

I am not normally want to find myself in these types of situations, and yet here I am. I am not so drawn to idle poetry that I would say my feet have somehow brought me here without my knowing. I came of my own volition, and the reasoning why should be quite obvious.

All that I am is within that Spire. And so it is that I am here.

I nod to Jigano, the pale-haired man I recognize from our midnight discourse. I recognize only Kristopher otherwise, but of this I am not surprised. I do not seek to engage in social discourse often.

How hearing the speeches being given, I find myself drawn to object.

"The way forward is clear. The Outlanders have no place within this holy Spire. It is a place for us first and foremost—" Here I touch my chest, and gesture to both Wessex and Kristopher. "—and to you second. It is your heritage, your burden. It is you who have endured this place for generations. The Outlanders, frustrated though they may be, have not even been here a full season. They can wait. This moment is not for them."

Drawing forward, I look towards Rory. His blue gaze matches mine, but like with Jigano, I read nothing into this. "We cannot hold them off, but we needn't. Forever is indeed a long time, but that is not what we need. Let we who have been made enter. It is for her that we protect this Spire, it is she who cannot be destroyed, not simply this blackened stone."

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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: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 40
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,506
The world was still in shock about what had happened at the spire on that fateful day. Blood, they had expected. Death, the naturals had known was inevitable. Freedom, the Outlanders had held out confidence for. In the end, they had all been right, but no one had foreseen the rifts that would crack like chasms between the naturals and outlanders during the fight. Even if Ronin had not died, the tensions would have remained. Why in all the hells Ronin had brought only Northhaveners to the battle Jigano could now never ask or know… but the late guildmaster’s choice had broken wide the resentment that had been simmering below the surface for all of Deepfrost. People needed time to come to terms with how their world had changed… and time to mourn the man who had bought that change with his life.

Perhaps this could be a chance for new beginnings, new bridges to form as those within the barrier found similarities in their shared experiences before they gathered to invoke a change that would affect all of them, natural and outlander alike. Jigano had been tentatively hopeful, giving the moment time to breathe and letting those affected mourn and recover before he tried again to bring up the possibility of plans and preparations. In fact, he had been taking a break from poring over Safrin’s books in the Guildhall to visit his favorite teahouse – and bumped into Rory on the way.

It might have been a good day, if their path hadn’t taken them past the Temple, and the Notice Board just inside its doors.

”I wish I could stand beside you,” he had murmured back to Rory, giving his friend a wry smile. ”But I know why you need to do it. And that I can only get in the way like this. It’s strange to think that we need to incite a mob in order to let cooler heads prevail…” he hesitated, then shrugged ruefully, twining his fingers briefly through the hunter’s and returning the squeeze with firm reassurance before he let him pull away. ”But you have my support, no matter what shape I wear. Be careful, please.”

He had caught 108 ‘s eye and nodded in return, a wry smile of acknowledgment before he faded back into the Temple, fierce pride in his friend battling with worry for what was about to happen and guilt that he wasn’t able to do more to help. Once he had been the one to give inspiring speeches and lead a legion…

And the orders he had given them, at the end, had broken him in ways no enemy nor would-be god had been able to accomplish.

Once, he would have sent Isuma to the Infirmary, to play in Isla’s office and sleep in the basket the gryphon’s godmother had kept for her there. Now that place was run by a succession of magically-inclined and half-trained healers, natural and outlander alike, rotating through as their schedules permitted. Some were friends, but many were strangers, and none had the rapport with the gryphlet that Isla had. Though she was still often in residence, the office was no longer hers, and Isuma no longer had a place there. Instead he sent the little one down the Rathskeller steps, to find Chunk and Edy and cadge treats from the kitchen with Bobi.

Jigano himself went to the Infirmary, slipping into an empty treatment room for privacy and opening the window to the fresh Flowerbirth air before transforming into a raven and taking wing, circling around the imposing building to witness Rory’s speech.

The man was good. The bard could appreciate that in a professional way, even as his little avian heart pounded in his feathered breast for the risk the hunter took in whipping up the crowd. Perched on a gutter, all he could do was clench his taloned toes in anxious worry and a wild exultation as his friend chose his words as carefully as a general marshalling his troops, laying them out with a precision that might have made Jigano want to fly down and kiss him if the situation hadn’t been so dire. Rory was bright and fierce and beautiful in the spring sunlight, a tawny wolf of a man calling his pack to the hunt.

And, gods most fortunate, they came to him, wild and angry and baying for blood.

There was no place for an Outlander bard among them, that was abundantly clear. But a raven messenger for their sun-blessed leader? That, he could be. He wrapped his thoughts close, tight as armor, and followed the mob to the killing ground. So many of his Loreseekers were naturals that he thought some of them would surely make their way to the gathering. Amalia and Maea, at least, if not Sam. The bookmaker had his own worries, and this conflict could only wound him more.

The raven spent the night on Rory’s shoulder, dozing when his friend was still and providing a silent warmth and encouragement when it seemed like the enormity of what the naturals dared might become overwhelming to the man who had become their de facto leader. Content – for now – to watch and listen, the raven took note of the worries and concerns of those who approached the hunter. Some were eager for conflict, others – like Maea – seemed interested in seeking a more long-term solution. And then there was the way the Ascended naturals sought to set themselves apart and claim the same glory Roana had… with no greater patience than the Outlanders had shown. There was something suspicious there, something that would have raised the hackles of a fox, but the raven only shifted his weight uneasily, talons prickling gentle warning through the leather of Rory’s greatcoat as he continued his silent vigil over the history unfolding around him.
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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Posts: 1,971
I took the stars from our eyes and I made a map
I knew that somehow I could find my way back
Amalia has been processing.

The knowledge from Safrin's library left her reeling; the destruction of the Spire Monster left her stunned. She did not stay to watch the chaos, preferring to escape into solitude than remain among the crowd. But she heard- oh, she heard, whispers in the streets, a hush within the air. It is dead, and one of them with it- Ronin, I think his name was? Does this mean the barrier will come down? What do you think?

She does not know what to think.

Part of her yearns to make an escape. The outside world is a thing of promise, a wonderful and terrible mystery of which she now knows slightly more. The taste of it gained from Safrin's knowledge eats at her mind like fire, burns a hole in her heart and soul that she knows cannot be filled so long as they remain trapped.

Another part is afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of losing all she loves.

Afraid of dooming the rest of the world, as their ancestors doomed them.


When Evie comes to find her, Amalia is not home. She has spent the night in the snow leopard form, pacing circles among the shrines, lost in anguished discontent, her mind shifting wildly between brooding and prayer. It is not until the latest hours that she finally sleeps, fitful and restless and plagued by half-remembered dreams.

In the morning, she knows what she must do.


Change hangs heavy in the air, stifling and electric, tangible on her tongue. Walking up in the early morning light, Amalia looks as tired as she feels, her golden hair tied into a halfhearted braid, her antler staff clutched in a white-knuckled hand. Yet there is a hardness in her face, a stubborn set to her slender form which speaks of determination and the fire within her breast. Ignoring the rabble, the anger, the threats, she makes her way to where Rory stands, a strange yet comforting figure to head their resistant regime.

"We can't let her out."

The others are barely a flicker in her mind, save the white raven on his shoulder, who she blinks at in silent comprehension before turning her earnest gaze back to Rory's face. "Safrin told me - the barrier was made to protect the rest of the world from The Ascendeds, and their goddess, The Voice. If the Spire is breached - if the barrier falls - we could be dooming the rest of the world. And the world-" and here she pauses, glancing among the assembled naturals with the bittersweet tears of the condemned in her eyes, "-is beautiful."
Then I heard your heart beating,
you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
Maea Valair

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
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Posts: 2,069
Maea felt herself shrink under the gaze of the tall, sharp-toothed man. That he agreed with her - that so many seemed to acknowledge her words - gave her pause. She looked from one to the other and saw the similarities between these bundled up people that shied away from the sun, noted the colloquial we as an expressionless woman indicated herself and the man and Wessex.... and she hesitated.

Amalia's voice broke in then, and Maea couldn't help the slight grimace that twisted her face as she turned to look at the woman. Of course Amalia would have all the answers. Of course the lady Safrin would speak to her... sweet, perfect little Ama who was never wrong and always did and said the right things...

She was so annoyed by the unfairness of it that Maea couldn't work up any real excitement about this unprecedented revelation. So she had seen the outside? And now decided that no one should ever think about leaving this bubble ever again because of... what? A threat no one has ever cared to explain? What was it about the Voice that was so terrifying?

"And how do you suggest we stop them?" she asked, not quite managing to keep the bite out of her voice. "The Ascended wants out, the Outlanders want out... a good deal of us wants out too. If you know a way to keep that from happening, do share."

At least half the bitterness stemmed from guilt. Abandoned, her mind kept whispering, you are abandoned. All of this, all because of what your kind has done. Really, what she should be doing is glue herself before the entrance of the Spire just like this, and make them walk through her if that was what Safrin wanted. Maybe that way she could atone. Somehow.

As if. Her life did not mean enough that throwing it away would ever matter.
you're so cold, but you feel alive.
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.

Age: 29 | 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: 395
Though Jigano had expressed his understanding—and his support—Rory worried: worried, because as they parted in the restless crowd, the other man had not yet heard his words. What if he would change his mind during the speech? What if they had somehow misunderstood each other? What if—what if...

What if he was about to lose everything in this one, mad moment?

As he walked with his people to the Spire he scanned the skies for signs of white, but it wasn't until things had settled that he was rewarded. The white raven swept in, landing gently on Rory's shoulder. At that point he was alone, and he found his breath sticking in his throat even as tears of relief glistened in his eyes.

He had been so, so afraid, and it could be heard as his uneven breath slipped from between parted lips into the cool Flowerbirth night.

He just stood like that for several seconds, eyes skyward.

Then he swallowed. Licked his lips. Blinked to clear his eyes; dashed what tears had escaped from his cheek with the heel of one hand. "Thank you," he whispered, curling the same hand around the white bird, stroking the feathers along his neck. "For understanding."

~ * ~

He did not sleep much that night; he slept as much as he could, but he paced among them too, not talking nearly as much as he listened. He was no leader. Power was not something he desired. And as he wandered in the dark he found it strange to think of how easily it had come to him, at least on that night. For now, they still adhered to his will and his word.

Rory was not a fool. He knew that his spell would be broken sooner or later.

Evie found him in the dark, and Rory's gaze sharpened. Amalia wasn't here? That was true, he hadn't seen her, but also .. odd. "Maybe she'll show up," he murmured to her, but it was clear from his tone that he shared her concern.

And he could only hope that he was right. Just like the white raven on his shoulder gave him strength, so would Amalia's presence. He needed her, needed her guidance, her fervor, her piety. Rory had so very little of it himself.

~ * ~

It was approaching the hour of high noon when Nathaniel sought him out. Rory looked resolute, if a bit worn; he had re-done his braid after sleeping for most of the morning, and the fire and fervor of his eyes had cooled to embers. Nate asked a relevant question. "I'm hoping we'll talk," he said calmly, but nothing about his tone suggested he was naive enough to believe that was the only way it might go. "And if not, well.. then this would've happened sooner or later anyway, wouldn't it?" His voice was sad, and he spread his arms helplessly as he shrugged and looked meaningfully towards the Spire. "But is it worth dying for?"

Rory could not ask anyone to die for this. For him.

Maea added hers to the morning air. "I—" he began, but another voice spoke up, and Rory fell back on old habits, and stayed silent.

He didn't know this man, and everything about him had Rory's gut turning over on itself. He felt cold, and the words.. were everything Rory had learned to hate, to fear, to run from, and he tensed.

It was Wessex who came to his rescue, answering in his stead, and she said what had been on his mind anyway. Rory was both mildly relieved and annoyed, but he didn't stop up to examine it further. There was no time for introspection, no time for feeling left out in a conversation that had never really been about him or his plans anyway. The people had needed a voice, a uniting factor, and Rory had merely stepped into that role.

That was when a third joined the cadre of Ascendeds he had in front of him. Wessex was the only one he knew, but as the words of the most recent spilled out—oddly deferential to Rory's sham power in the situation, though he suspected it was just a facade to placate him—he found himself wondering where her allegiance truly laid.

And at last, the Ascended asked to be let into the Spire.

Rory was not a brave creature. Rory was known in certain circles to be an easy target; he did not run, he did not defend himself, he merely curled up and took his beating. Rory was mellow and non-confrontational. Rory did what you asked, if you were scary enough, and three Ascended, one who had confessed to being centuries old, were scary.

And Rory said: "No."

He did not get further, did not get into his justifications, how if they entered the Spire it was to be together, all races, all nationalities, and only to learn. He meant to say more, but Amalia's voice finally joined theirs.

Nothing else in the world mattered: it narrowed to merely him and the raven and Amalia, and the words she spoke first chilled him to the core. Stilled him. The Spire had been made to keep the Ascended from getting to the rest of the world? But why? What had they done? And he thought of the stories he had heard, of how some had blamed it all on them, had called them monsters and abominations, how at some points in history they had been hunted, as if purging them could reverse this curse, but nothing had ever come of it and Rory had never believed it.

And now Amalia was telling him that Safrin had said that it was true. That they couldn't let them out. And the third Ascended's words twisted in his memory; was the Voice itself within the Spire, sealed into an eternal tomb?

But none of that mattered anymore.

He saw the world in her eyes.

Everything stopped.

His heart was tight and painful, his head, his thoughts, his plans, in shambles; he felt the memory of the wind across his skin and the scent of spring flowers and the feeling of a horse sweating beneath him as it ate up the terrain at a gallop under a harsh summer sun. He was fifteen again, wanting nothing else but to break through the barrier, and into the world beyond.

But the moment fractured, pierced by Maea's biting, bitter words, falling to pieces like a rain of glass shards around him. Bold, he thought, of her to speak like such in front of three of them.

"We talk," he said calmly—too calmly, too recently damned. "All cards on the table. No dishonesty. No trickery. Can anyone invite the gods?"
as if you were on fire from within,
the moon lives in the lining of your skin.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Roana Steadman

Age: 28 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 24 - Luck: 11
Played by: Grant Offline
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Posts: 758
Roana was prepared for war. Her mind was honed on her task, feeling the weight of Ronin's last words heavy on her shoulders and conscience. Get these people out of here. Such a simple request with a complicated path if it was to be accomplished well. She had sought out the help of those who she knew supported her cause. She had gone to Safrin for guidance and wisdom. She needed to see through Ronin's last wish, putting all of her being into planning and executing it successfully. Ronin's death would not be in vain, lest her own be also.

She had donned her armor, hair in a tight braid, Krosis on her hip, as she walked towards the Spire with her small group of combatants at high noon. As the base of it came into view though, her blue eyes narrowed, fighting against the sunlight in her eyes. What on earth was this mob? She scanned the crowd, still moving forward with her head held high. She only vaguely recognized some of the faces, and all of the ones she did recognize were that of Naturals. Well, well, well. What an unexpected road bump. What an unwanted road bump. She frankly could not imagine what this was all about. So she would ask, stopping a few feet short of the group, within speaking distance but far enough back to not pose a physical threat.

Besides, there was only a handful of her group and roughly a hundred or so of theirs. It was pretty obvious who had the upper hand here.

"What is the meaning of this? Are we not friends of the same cause?" Roana called, lifting her hands to show she held nothing, her sword still sheathed on her hip.

Those who would join Roana in the PQ are welcome to post here as well. It does not guarantee you a spot in the PQ but I will give you first pass at the spots when it opens.
'Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

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