Training Keep the faith
the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#29
What Maea managed to damage with claws and heat, Hadama regenerated with fresh ice, even as he used his shoulders and bowed head to brace the dome from within. It was not a comfortable defense, but it was an effective one for a short time. The cold bothered him not at all thanks to his passive magic, but he knew enough of Caido's eldest and most recently awakened race to know how uncomfortable the harsh chill would be to an Ancient. And while he would normally have been content to wait the younger woman out, confident in his own stamina...

The night was not young, and he would need to return to the Eye before moonset.

If she had kept her distance he would have had to thin the ice to see her, weakening his shield and putting himself at risk for a counterattack. But she had conveniently placed herself atop the dome, where the heat of her body and the molten metal of her stripes ate into his ice. He could tell from where it needed reinforcement where she was at, and his eyes gleamed sapphire with satisfaction.

Blunted spears of ice suddenly sprouted from the dome as it became a pufferfish rather than a turtle's smooth shell. They were rounded at the tips rather than sharp, punching outward with strength enough to bruise without cutting. Maea would have a moment's warning that something was shifting beneath her before the dome went from defense to offense, and once the heat was no longer pressing down on the shield Hadama would turn it back to water and straighten up, leaning on his trident once more as he considered the molten tiger calmly.

"You are strong enough," he decreed, head held high and ignoring the small gathering of late-night onlookers who stood outside the barrier, pointing at them and whispering like a midsummer chorus of cicadas in the dark.
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#30
MAEA
Sensing the rumble of the ice before it punched up beneath her, the tigress had a split second to move away before it happened. Leaping off, snarling with displeasure at the stalemate, she paced restlessly back and forth until Hadama broke free of his shell and rose up.

And apparently that was it? She hadn't landed a single blow, had not even scratched the surface of his true skills - much like Deimos hadn't needed to even lift a hand when facing her.

Shifting back where she was, the Ancient still had a feral look about her where she crouched on the ground, an elbow on the knee and tail slashing agitated patterns through the air.
"Am I really," she bit back, finding it a queer statement to make when she hadn't achieved anything. "Strong enough for what, exactly?" Dying a slightly less pathetic death than someone who couldn't fight at all?

She wasn't sure where the simmering anger came from, but Maea suspected it stemmed from disappointment in herself. She really had thought she would be stronger than this.
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the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#31
Hadama was unperturbed by the lashing of tails or the temperamental growls that emerged from the Ancient. He considered her calmly, emerald eyes gleaming in the moonlight that reflected off the shattered ice and pooled water around them. True, she had not landed a blow on him. But neither had she allowed him the chance to launch any attacks of his own until the very end. She had used her weapon and her shift well, and was clearly no stranger to combat.

In short, she could be dangerous when she put her mind to it.

'Strong enough to be a threat," he rumbled, standing tall and dismissing the witnesses around them without a single look or word, but by the simple expedient of ignoring them. As the show appeared to be over the little group began to disperse, muttering and chattering animatedly as they did so. "If you are overtaken by the Void." And not nearly so easy to 'put down' as she had seemed to think earlier.
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#32
MAEA
Far too intent upon the mer king to even notice the crowd, Maea didn't spare the stragglers as much as a glance even when they disappeared. Numbing cold did register in her limbs, but in the balmy Longheat night it was of little concern; even dampened from icy residue, the pavement was comfortable beneath her hand and the thaw seeped through her veins with every heartbeat.

Pale eyes drained of all color by the waning moonlight lingered on Hadama. Narrowing at what seemed a roundabout way of saying she shouldn't do what she was planning, protests rose to her tongue, only to be swallowed back down again. Eventually a faint snort issued from her, and in a fluid motion the petite Ancient stood up and tucked her hands away in the deep pockets of her coat.

"I'll just have to avoid being overtaken, then, won't I," she told him, with a crooked smile. "I'll fill you in if I find out anything useful... as a thanks for the concern." Irony colored her tone; she couldn't believe it more than a passing worry, given that they hardly knew each other. But it was a nice sentiment, so why not. She didn't mind sharing.
Lost in a world full of non-believers
Searching for smoke in a still water pond
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the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#33
He did not offer her a hand up. She was fully capable, and he would not demean her skills by implying otherwise. Then, too, was the awareness that she might well try to continue the fight, and Hadama was disinclined to lower his guard and take that risk. He had not been lying when he said that she was strong, and it was a strength that he respected. But he did not know her well enough to be able to gauge her next move, and so he held himself relaxed and confident but not too close.

She gained her feet quite ably without his intervention, as it turned out. And her own confidence was no less than his own. He met her eyes squarely even as she smiled and reiterated her decision, leaving Hadama no other alternative. He inclined his head in acknowledgment - if not acceptance - a second time, though her offer was met with a pragmatic hum of gratitude. "Mmn. It is appreciated."

He glanced up to check the position of the moon and stars, then back to Maea once more. The Longheat nights were far too short, however pleasant the temperature in Stormbreak this time of year. "Will you walk with me back to the Eye?"
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21 - Int:
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#34
MAEA
Fortunately for the both of them, Hadama didn't say more about Maea's planned experiments, and she accepted his silence without demanding any further support - after all, she had never asked for permission, so why would she require his approval? Finding herself in a peculiar mood, mercurial and torn between pleasure at her own independence and a petulant wish to hear someone - anyone - express concern for her safety, it was hard to swallow the desire to snap back at the man. Maybe it was hunger. Maybe dregs of battle rage simmering in her veins, still. Maybe she would go hunting. Escorting Hadama to a body of water would be a good excuse to leave the Temple; she nodded, and collected her weapon from the ground with a swipe of the prehensile tail.

Toying with the chakram as they walked, she kept the pace slow enough that the mer wouldn't have trouble keeping up. For a time she was silent, sucking on sharp fangs until her tongue sored and the taste of metal grew too strong.
"It has been nice. Having someone to talk to," she murmured eventually. Not quite soft, but very honest; as was her way around recent acquaintances. "Would you mind... if I keept in touch anyway - even if I don't find anything?"
Lost in a world full of non-believers
Searching for smoke in a still water pond
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
♦ Violence, magic, thievery is permitted with Maea at all times. DM me if you have any ideas ♦
the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#35
He had expressed his concern in his own way, subtle but stalwart in his preference to see no one put at risk by the strange creatures of the Void. But he respected the independence of others, and did not pretend to know their strengths and weaknesses better than they did. If Maea said she could handle it, then he would trust her until consequences proved otherwise.

And she was acting not unlike Kaiden in certain ways, at least at the moment. Opposing her plan would only cause the stubborn Ancient to dig her heels in further and make her less willing to listen to whatever voice of reason might whisper in her ear at the eleventh hour and delay her decision to put herself at risk.

With their weapons retrieved and the ice barricade now melting under the warmth of a Longheat night, Hadama set a slow but steady pace through the quiet but well-lit streets. "It is welcome," he assured her, glancing over to the petite woman with the pale horns, his trident tapping quietly on the cobbles with every other step. "A visit. Or a letter." He didn't smile, but there was a slight crinkling at the corners of his eyes, perhaps hidden in the nightdark. "How long will you stay in Stormbreak?"
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21 - Int:
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#36
MAEA
Quickly glancing at Hadama, her eyes returned in a quick double take when his reply came so quickly and easily. Maea felt that she had been difficult tonight. Talking about subjects that shouldn't concern her, sticking her nose into leadership business, planning dangerous experiments and then going so far as to duel in a city that was famous for it's apprehension of magic. All in all, not a very charming display. But perhaps mer had other ways to measure such things. Or perhaps Hadama har peculiar tastes.

She didn't mind, really. It was just strange to be accepted without being asked to change.

"Letters, sure. Visit... we'll see." A flash of teeth in the garhering dark revealed her awkward smile. "I won't be here long, I don't think. Need to get home, somehow, and then... not sure. I asked Danta for a job. Maybe he has something for me to do, maybe not."  A new glance at Hadama took in his legs and the measured strides, recalling unnecessarily that he wouldn't be returning to a house as the thought of it.

"Where do you live, more exactly? In case I do drop by?" She imagined it was difficult to surprise a King, but it would be boring to not at least try.
Lost in a world full of non-believers
Searching for smoke in a still water pond
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
♦ Violence, magic, thievery is permitted with Maea at all times. DM me if you have any ideas ♦
the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#37
Asking another person to change was like trying to alter the course of a current. The current might well shift in time, but it would not be due to the exhortations of one Mer. And yes, some Mer did measure things differently, but Hadama's tastes in particular were known to be rather broadly catholic. He called both Kaiden and Andromeda 'friend', after all, though it was hard to conceive of two less similar personalities.

"Mmn. I will look forward to them," he assured her solemnly in regards to her letters. As for her plans in the near future he simply nodded acceptance. He could not offer her transportation, and he was not headed to the Hollowed Grounds after this in any event. Home to Torchline, to grab a few hours of sleep before the new day began...

Ah, but what about his home? Emerald eyes gleamed with good humor as he continued his stately pace over the cobbles, the site of their spar well behind them now. "Sometimes I can be found in the Court of Stars," he informed her. Though now that Flora was Queen she often handled the landward side of things. "But often I am in the Underwater City. Have you been there?"
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21 - Int:
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#38
MAEA
"No, I have not. I wanted to... but that was before land folk were allowed." Considering what she had heard about the city, Maea tried to imagine what it was like. A whole city, all submerged, full of mer who lived their lives to a rythm she knew nothing about. How much was different? How much was the same? The Loreseeker in her was dying to find out, and the rest quivered in her boots at the thought of going into the sea.

"Is it dark, in your city?" Though she tried to hide it, there was an almost childlike worry running undercurrent in the question. Like one afraid of something they had once loved dearly, just a little bit wistful. It wasn't that she didn't want to. But if it was anything like the sea where the ghost whales roamed...

Pale hands closed tighter around fraying cuffs, bracing against memories that never quite left her alone.
Lost in a world full of non-believers
Searching for smoke in a still water pond
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
♦ Violence, magic, thievery is permitted with Maea at all times. DM me if you have any ideas ♦
the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#39
He did not miss the past tense, but she had mentioned ghost whales before. She would not be the first to forswear the sea after encountering the vast, dangerous cetaceans, so he merely nodded. He had no wish to test her fear or push her towards a situation where she would be uncomfortable. The landfolk had always been curious about the seafolk...

Which made it all the more difficult for him to understand why so few chose to travel to the City now that it was open to them. Something to do, perhaps, with the allure of the forbidden being so much stronger than that which was permitted?

His musing was refocused on the Ancient who traveled with him as she asked her question, and he considered it with thoughtful gravitas. "Mmn. There is always light. But it is not bright. It is like the Celestine. Eternal twilight." He considered a bit more before adding: "The plankton light the waters." A further pause before asking: "Can you swim?"
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21 - Int:
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#40
MAEA
Any light was better than no light. While she didn't fear darkness on the regular, it was different when it came to being submerged in the open sea. Trauma could be so very specific sometimes...

"Decently," she replied, on the subject of swimming. "Not as well these days, when I can't control the water. And the ocean is different from the Glade, where I learned it." Waves and tides and currents - she shrugged lightly. "I should probably practice."
Lost in a world full of non-believers
Searching for smoke in a still water pond
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
♦ Violence, magic, thievery is permitted with Maea at all times. DM me if you have any ideas ♦
the Tidebreaker
King of the Merfolk / Chef

Age: 38 | Height: 6'6" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 4 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 35 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 0
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#41
They were approaching the Eye of the Storm as they spoke, the tangle of greenery just peeking into view beneath the lamps that lit Stormbreak's streets. Hadama glanced down at his companion with a gleam in emerald eyes as he gave an amiable nod. "Indeed," he agreed to her intention to practice her swimming skills. "The Bubblestream makes travel between Kaiholo and the City very swift. You will not need to swim in the open ocean. And the City's currents are tame things compared to the Reef." Or the Maw, for that matter.

And then there was the recent troubling sightings of enshadowed delphinids and void-tainted tumseas. The sea was not the refuge it had been in previous times of trouble, though it had never been particularly safe - as Maea knew as well as anyone, and perhaps better than most. "But I hope you will visit soon."
Maea Valair
Hollowed Grounds Ambassador / Loreseeker

Age: 29 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Ancient | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21 - Int:
Played by: Chan Online
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Posts: 3,092 | Total: 5,852
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#42
MAEA
Nodding thoughtfully, the slender Ancient barely registered the city around her. Lost in visions of the city he spoke of and waging war against her own fears, it caught her by surprise when their destination came upon them.

"I will try," was the most she could promise. "Until then, I hope you will be well. If you need anything, I'll be in the Grounds."

Turning to face Hadama in the failing moonlight, Maea's smile was faint but unexpectedly warm. As far as chance encounters went his was among the more pleasant ones, and not only because he didn't try to tell her what to do. The quiet humor and calm consideration in his manners appealed to her, and she really hoped it wouldn't be too long before their paths crossed again.

"Don't be a stranger, yeah?" Saying goodbye was difficult. Even 'see you later' carried a note of finality she had come to resent. Better to just not say anything at all.
Lost in a world full of non-believers
Searching for smoke in a still water pond
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
♦ Violence, magic, thievery is permitted with Maea at all times. DM me if you have any ideas ♦


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