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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    There you stand, poised over his prone body, hands wet with blood, though whether it is yours or his, you know not. The blade slips from your fingers, clattering to the ground. It splashes in the pool of blood that has oozed out around him, and some of it gets on your leg. You are annoyed, but you know you had to. It was for vengeance! It was for power! It was for knowledge! It was part of the job! He forced my hand! It was necessary, I had to escape! It had to be done, I had no choice!

    Or did you?

    No matter now.

    You are worthy, it says. You are in the right, but first you must prove yourself. Take me unto you, and I shall show you the end. The right end. The correct end, where all is as it should be. His blood begins to boil, and a steam rises from it, enveloping you, embracing you, caressing you. No, not steam. Smoke. Black as coal, black as night, it grabs you, seeps into you, invading your nostrils. But it smells good, and you breathe it in. It laughs, but you don’t mind.

    You are right. You know you are right. But what if you’re wrong?


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    You wake up with a gasp, clammy hands clutching at a blanket that seems to stick to your body. As you throw it off, you are greeted by a cool breeze, and through the open window your senses start to pick up on the beginning of a new day. From outside your room in the repurposed inn, the smell of freshly baked bread wafts into your nose, and the yelling and laughter of children outside acts as the soprano in the city symphony, the various sounds of the nearby market rounding out the alto, tenor, and bass. Though it has only been ten years since the War, it feels as though things are back to normal again.

    But they aren’t – buried knowledge and untold secrets still pervade the land, and as a Seeker, it’s your job to find it. In fact, your next expedition begins soon, and the Lead Seekers have reassigned you to a new team. You recall that they had asked you to take a little time to get ready, and to meet early in the administrative office downstairs to get acquainted with your new party. However, one look at the clock tells you otherwise. There’s no time to prepare, there isn't even time to grab breakfast.

    In fact, you’re late. DON’T
    Last edited by OhMyGodImOnFire; 2013-07-25 at 08:18 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Ho'yal wakes, drenched with sweat, keeping his body perfectly still save for his eyes which now dart around the room searching for the owner of the voice. Finding none, he remains motionless, thinking back on the dream, not for the blood that had dripped from his hands as surely as the sweat did now, nor for the smoke that rose from the body and invaded his own, but for the words themselves. Who could ever think that he was worthy of anything? Who had the right to tell him his actions were the ones that needed to be taken? Such words infuriated him beyond anything else. He deserved no praise for his actions, least of all for actions he didn't even remember. Then again, maybe the voice wasn't wrong--

    Ho'yal closes his eyes and concentrates on driving the thought from his mind, thinking I am not worthy; I do not deserve praise. over and over until he is positive such a thought is completely smothered by his forced thought process. He opens his eyes and stares at the blank ceiling, debating whether he should ever pretend to be a murderer, just to make people that much more uncomfortable. No matter, that is thought for later, and today is an important day.

    As the rest of the city wakes up, Ho'yal looks into the mirror in the room to make sure Alice is looking perfect as ever this morning. As always, her white dress and blue eyes perfectly match the light brown hair that falls to her shoulders. She does some early morning stretches, making sure to remain, at all times, a cute, frail girl who could ask anyone for help and they would accept. She turns and daintily drifts toward the exit of the room. The handle is at eye level, so she has to raise her hand from its position holding her sun dress up. She maintains her slow walk down the stairs: a proper girl never hurries even when she's late. As she reaches the base of the stairs, she looks back up, hoping to see that one of the others is even later than she.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Gisara woke up in her element, her mind already grappling with a problem. She couldn't even remember the last time she'd dreamed about killing - let alone the last time it had bothered her. Of course, a blade at close quarters was...not her usual idiom. Far better to send in an ectoplasmic minion, or lacerate the target with shards of crystal, or abandon finesse entirely and fry them with energy.

    No, the disturbance had to be coming from the second part. As distasteful as killing at close quarters was, it must sometimes be the optimal solution - making an unknown bargain with an unknown being would almost never be such. As she could think of no possible reason her mind would conceive of herself as making such a clear mistake, she resolved to assume it was an attempt to influence her subconsciously and keep an even closer eye out than she normally would for such unacceptable risks. And, perhaps, to research a way to protect herself from further intrusion. She couldn't help feeling disturbed, and...violated, and reassuring herself that that was a perfectly rational response did nothing to assuage her nervousness.

    She took a moment to meditate, clearing her mind and then her body, replenishing lost resources, reinforcing her systems, correcting a few slightly out of balance hormone levels. She then reached into her pocket - she had, as always, slept fully clothed - to stroke her fingers across her psicrystal as she focused her concentration, first to recover her full powers, then to establish the customary link between them, allowing her trusty if exuberant assistant to shoulder a share of any injury she suffered. The arrangement had saved her no end of injury in the past, allowing her to prepare her defenses far more quickly in an emergency.

    The crystal fairly pulsed with its typical eagerness, and a thought not her own came gently to mind. What about that meeting this morning? Are you still planning to attend?

    Oh. She supposed she was, at that. It was always amusing when the Seekers as an organization came to her with specific jobs - either they were absurd trifles and she got the pleasure of putting them in their place, or, once in a while, they came to her with genuinely tempting leads. Though of course, Alex had been handling the organization for them recently, saving her no end of headaches. She was genuinely curious why she was even invited to this meeting - everyone involved seemed happier when she skipped them - but perhaps it had something to do with the extensive list of other guests. Perhaps they were putting Alex in charge of a larger group? That would be...frustrating. She didn't work well with groups. It was a miracle she could even work well with Alex, though he was significantly less useless than your average being.

    Perhaps they would try putting Alex formally in charge of her, as well. That would be entertaining. For the look on his face, if nothing else.

    Anyway, there was still that meeting. A glance out the transition space of her shelter told her that she was, in fact, late for it. She rose from bed, straightened her skirt, and stepped through, heading downstairs to the designated meeting place.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Alice sees a tall, beautiful woman at the top of the stairs, her natural height augmented by the length of stairs between them. She has sparkling green eyes and neatly braided hair that any girl would want to have. She waits for this beauty to pass before starting to follow, about a yard behind, keeping the same steady pace as the woman in front of her. Surely the way to become so beautiful would be to follow directly in this woman's footsteps.

    If Gisara turns around, she will see a little girl beaming, matching her footfalls precisely, in such a way that it is hard to distinguish them from her own.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Ariel's vibrant purple eyes snap open and she stares dead ahead. That was new... Her meditations rarely allowed the entry of such strange visions, and at first Ariel assumed that that was what had upset her. Then she returned to ponder what had happened in the 'dream'.

    She had not had such surety of purpose since the first battles of the War, when she did as she was bid and killed their enemies with every strike. But that surety, blind self-righteousness was gone, gone with her mother's death and the death of Mordrin.

    She rose and slowly paced the small room, donning her light elven robes. She waved a hand and the water she had used to dry them immediately vanished. She could only think that the vision had been sent by the figure she had met almost a year ago, when he had appeared to her and hinted at the future. She had thought of him many times since then, and she could never forget him.

    "He shall be 'Saern', 'ghost' in my mother tongue," Ariel whispered to herself. "I shall not be twisted by your phantasms Saern." For all her quiet bluster, Ariel felt hollow, and her grim mood only worsened when she noticed the height of the sun: late as well!

    She darted down the stairs and headed out into the street, glancing back wistfully at the newly baked bread. Ahead of her, there was a small girl following a beautiful woman, but she didn't have time to deal with pickpockets. She couldn't pass them either though, so she simply placed herself a few feet behind the suspiciously acting young girl and followed them.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Edwin panted as he remembered the dream that woke him. Would he kill for the knowledge of those that came before? Not merely a maddened guardian or a monster, but a person, with thoughts, emotions, and aspirations? He had thought the answer was obvious, but he was suddenly not so sure. He looked out of the window in contemplation.

    ... Was the sun really that high already? "Why couldn't the Rememberers have remembered something to tell the time?" He muttered as he leapt from his bed.

    He pulled on his clothes like a man possessed, rapidly strapping the metal breastplate onto his chest. It was a unique item, covered in arcane runes, some of which may have been cast by the smith who forged the steel, but most were drawn by Edwin himself, to add to the aethestics. An impressive sight, if you were impressed by armour covered in doodles. Over the top of his armour, he threw on a long coat. A belt with sword inside was swiftly added to the repertoire, and finally a overfull bag jangled as he threw it into position.

    The door of his room flew open, and Edwin burst out with an audible clatter, rushing in his excitement to see what new treasure the Seekers would be sent to find today.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Hearing the approach of one in a hurry, Alice turns around to see another young girl. While this newcomer was nowhere near as young as she, Alice still greeted her with the familiarity of a child, "Good morning. I hope you slept well." As she says this, she beams and falls out of pace with the woman she is following, taking up a place at her side. She looks up at her, eyes betraying her expectation, "After the meeting, would you like to go outside and play with me?"
    Last edited by Diful Takveh; 2013-07-25 at 09:18 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    (Ariel looks similar to a human child half her true age, a girl of ten or eleven)

    Ariel had thought this girl a pickpocket, but it seemed she was more than that: a true Seeker then? I wonder what sort of gathering this will be then.

    "You're going as well?" Ariel asked, with a smile at the girl's playful insistence, "Yes, I bet there are loads of places to hide here."
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

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    Well she's five, so she's still half your visible age.

    She affirms, "Uh-huh." She looks at Ariel and smiles, "I look forward to it."
    It had been such a long time since she had played with anyone, for to a child, a few days is such a long time. They were always too busy or too old to listen to her, but now she had found someone who would play with her. She felt like she could grow to like this other girl she had found. She was, in fact, pretty with gorgeous silver hair and odd but alluring purple eyes.
    She matches the swinging of her arm and grabs her hand. Keeping her face forward but throwing a glance over to Ariel, she says, "I'm Alice by the way."
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

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    Yeah, I just thought it would be worth mentioning in case people just saw her age and assumed she was a full grown adult.


    "Ariel," the wavekeeper replied grinning, surprised at the girl's childishness, and surprised by her own response: she had never had a friend her own age growing up.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    "It's nice to meet you, Ariel." She maintains her steady pace, but swings her arms higher and more energetic than normal, taking Ariel's with hers. She continues smiling, often changing between looking forward and looking at her new friend. "Would you mind if we played at the beach instead? Hide-and-Seek is fun, but it's not as much fun if you only have two people." She looks down at her feet and mumbles, "I guess we could find more people..."
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    "I love the sea," Ariel answers grinning and allowing the ebullient child to continue her energetic walk. "I'm not sure how many of these people will want to play as well."
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Alice battles her desire to jump up and down with excitement, nearly losing before she lets out her excitement with her voice rather than her body, "Yay!" She continues on, "There should be lots of children there too. Maybe they'll play with us." Her eyes look into the near future where she sees Ariel and herself swimming around in the waters of the hilt among a sea of other children.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Nollauk throws off his sheets, perturbed that he had not awoken with the sun. Karlak and Ihal denied responsibility, though Nokahha was still asleep. He'd ask when she woke up--the leech on his calf is easier to deal with when she's sleeping.

    It was probably just the bed. He should have slept on the floor with Miut.

    Nollauk realizes he will be late, and Karlak and Ihal sqeal and quiver with rage when he decides to skip breakfast: they are all ravenous. As he jumps out of bed towards his gear and clothes, he rubs his sore muscles.

    He dresses himself with some difficulty. With obvious reluctance, Karlak helps wrap Nollauk in his generous cloak before disappearing up the sleeve. Before shouldering his pack, he spends a brief moment holding a hat and regarding it with disgust. He moves as though to put it on, but his arm changes direction and he stows the hat away.

    "Miut!" he calls, and the beast crawls out from under the bed, hissing and sniffing. His master gazes at his reflection in a pool of water, as does Ihal. With some stroking and silent bargaining, he coaxes the living eyestalk to hide as he pulls up his hood, shadowing his exotic eyes and concealing his impossible hair.

    Nollauk Grimaces and, they all move towards their destination.
    Last edited by Cyclopean; 2013-07-25 at 03:40 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    3SecondCultist's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    The right end. As he sits up in bed, Alexander thinks back to the nightmares that have preceded this one, and cannot help but take inventory of the different characteristics, of which there were many. The first thing that leaped to mind was the familiar phrasing, emphasis on the second person pronouns indicating a long or quickly established connection. Usually his phantoms revolved around well established archetypes, but it was a struggle almost seen from afar, the darkling glass of the subconscious doing its job to minimize any trauma. The next thing to cross the mind was the lucidity of the events, again coming back to cross-examinations of the same set of sleeping images that had haunted him for the better part of a year. And then there was the obvious: the Prisoner and the Other had been replaced by this new figure, whoever he was. Even in the dark of half-sleep, Alexander found himself running over the various possibilities in his head. Most of what he had said was nonsense, but he mentioned a job. Perhaps... Banishing that line of thought, the psion rouses himself up to his full height, taking in the quarters that until very recently had likely belonged to some vagrant. There were spots of dirt ground into the floorboards, a thin but inexcusable layer of dust on the mantle, and the less said about the state of the lanterns, the better. It almost made him wonder why he had moved out to join the Seekers in the first place.

    Of course, he knew the real reason: it was easier to deal with Tychus from here, he could keep the old man at arm's length. It might not work well in the long run, but for now he was willing enough to experiment. Besides, being away from the house gave him a chance to stretch his legs. When he begins his morning routine, he finds the stretches and exercises coming to mind too slow, his body clumsily taking its time. Fool, what happens when an enemy gets too close and you can't protect yourself? Get it together. Redoubling his efforts, Alexander finishes his rotation and begins to get dressed. He can feel the inward flow of psionic power as he completes the last movement, the current rushing down to fill the familiar emptiness at the center. A signal beckons from the bedside table. He ignores it for now, opting to get himself his usual clothes and address the psicrystal only once every buckle and strap is in the right place. It wouldn't do to appear unclean. As yes, he had nearly forgotten about the meeting. He had tried to put it out of his mind, but his new post did come with some responsibilities, even if he had a difference of opinion on a few key matters. He wipes his hand on the wall in faint disgust as he heads down the stairs. Hopefully Gisara would be there.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2013-07-30 at 05:39 PM.
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    You divine bastard.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Nix: Wakey wakey...

    Everyone Else: Without much time to talk, you all quickly make your way to office, the flow of citizens and other Seekers alike flowing around you, each heading for a different destination. Some are walking to the mess hall for the breakfast all but one of you so crave, while others head for the Great Hall of Aureon to pay their daily dues to the Gods they believe are protecting them. Despite the early hour, Seekers like you seem to have just arrived at the haven that is New Sharn, some dirty, bruised, and tired, while others hurry excitedly for Morgrave University to bring some new find to the Scholars.

    The bustle doesn’t stop even as you reach the command post, as scribes and squires run in and out of the office, the lifeblood of the entire endeavor flowing to and from the heart of the operation. The six of you manage to squeeze yourselves into the space, and a brief look around tells you that this room has not seen the grace of organization for a long, long time. Shelves filled to the brim with random bits and bobs line the walls, and where those end, piles of papers are stacked haphazardly, almost two or even three deep in some places. In the center of the room is situated one of the Lead Seekers, a dwarf too big for the utilitarian wooden desk he sits behind, fending off the suppliants that come to have him sign off on papers. A small group standing before his desk stands out, resisting the tide just as you are. Two aides stand scribbling furiously into notepads as a third stands between them, gesturing at the Lead Seeker and saying things that seem important, but fall short of your ears as they are drowned out by the noise around you. The two seem to eventually reach some kind of agreement as they shake hands, and as the fellow turns around you get a better look at him.

    Tall and lanky, the man wears a set of robes that are one size or three too big for him, the rolls of fabric falling loosely around his body. A mess of black hair tops his head, and aside from the pair of small, round glasses that rests precariously on the bridge of his hawk nose, his other features are unremarkable. His eyes sweep lazily over your group, and come to a rest on Gisara. “Madame Strainer,” he acknowledges, approaching the elan and bowing before her. “I hope I find you well. There is some final paperwork to be processed concerning your… change in occupation, that requires your attendance.” He seems repulsed by the idea of being hands-on, judging by the way he refers to her choice, and the way he seems to shy away from the sweaty men and women that continue to stream in and out of the office. “If you would come by my office some time in the near future, I’m sure it would be most convenient for us both.” Before he leaves, the man gives the other psion in your group a once-over, and sniffs. “Alexander,” he says curtly, as if the only reason he thinks to address the changeling at all is by virtue of his father. Before he can respond, the man disappears out the door, his two assistants trailing him as he barks orders to them.

    The dwarf at the table seems to have also noticed your arrival, as he beckons you all forward. “Good! You’re all here,” he exclaims, typical dwarven exuberance thick in his voice, but surprisingly devoid of any of the rugged accent. “However, it has been a terribly busy morning, and at present there are some urgent matters I must address.” He refers to all six of you when he waves his arm and says, “Introduce yourselves to each other while you wait – this is your new team. Well, most of it, anyway. Apparently, one of you wishes to doze, and has yet to arrive…” TRUST

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    Everyone aside from Alexander and Gisara, DC 10 Knowledge (Local) check to know that that was York Findlay, prime secretary to Tychus Idrian. It's not important, so only if you want to.
    Last edited by OhMyGodImOnFire; 2013-07-26 at 12:00 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    OOC: Sorry 'bout the late post. Not totally happy with this either, but I'll settle.

    IC: Nix awoke, thrashing wildly on the floor of her room. Her bedsheets had twined themselves between and around her limbs, giving physical form to the nightmarish terror she had just escaped. Finally she managed to free herself, and sank against the wall in exhaustion, her sweat-slicked hands barely stifling the whimpers of fear that were trying to claw their way out of her throat.

    The dream had begun as it usually did. Nix, standing over top of a dead body, blood everywhere. Though she couldn't see who it was she had killed, she instinctively knew that it was her sister's murderer. That abomination of magic that had shattered her mind, and then her life. However, as she stood there savoring the triumph, something foreign had invaded her thoughts. Those alien voices, each justifying Nix's actions. Each speaking as though they had been the ones to kill him, when it had clearly been her. And then the final voice spoke, with a power and authority that dwarfed the others in it's significance. It tried to assure her, tried entice her and tempt her with it's words. But Nix was not one to fall for such obvious ploys, and denied the voice her cooperation. Then the smoke began rising from the blood in front of her, twisting up and around her body, slipping into her mouth and nose like a coiled snake. Everything had turned stunningly black when the smoke covered her face; she had felt it worming it's way behind her eyes before she woke.

    "It was only a dream. Only a dream. Only a dream..." She mumbled to herself, as if speaking it out loud would somehow make it reality.

    Slowly, Nix calmed herself, pushing back thoughts of the nightmare. Dwelling on the experience would gain her nothing. No new insight. It was only a dream: insignificant and inconsequential. She gradually became aware that she had, in her fear, slipped out of her human form. Pale gray skin, smooth as silk and the colour of smoke. Hair of a silver coin, and eyes as white as bleached bone. From her haversack Nix retrieved a small mirror, and observed her face as it shifted to hide her true self, into the form she knew so well. A moment later it was no longer Nix kneeling on the floor, but Delilah Blue, the human. Delilah Blue, the Seeker; alive again, if only in spirit. Nix's homage to the one she so dearly missed.

    Rising shakily to her feet, Nix regained her bearings. Sunlight peeking between the drapes told her that it was late morning. Late morning meant...

    "Damnit!" She exclaimed loudly. She was supposed to have a meeting this morning. Something about being reassigned to a new team. No doubt she was late. Way to make a first impression, idiot. As fast as she could, Nix pulled on her clothes and armor. The pale blue mithril links matched her eyes perfectly, and contrasted neatly with the chaotic splash of bright red hair that surrounded her face. She didn't bother changing it's appearance. Her teammates-to-be had no right to her past, but there was no point in deceiving them about her equipment. Strapping on her weapons belt, and slinging her haversack over her shoulders, Nix exited the room with a hurried air and wound her way through the bustling crowds as quickly as she could.

    She moved through the press of humanity with little trouble. The trick was to read the crowd, follow it's ebbs and flows, and move with the people instead of against them. Trying to push past and across people would more often slow your trip than speed it. It took her mere minutes to reach the command post, though her stomach growled irritably the entire way there. Breakfast had, of course, been missed. A little snack from her ration pouch, after the meeting, would be enough to sate her appetite until a proper meal could be found.

    Scanning the crowds, Nix quickly picked out a group of six Seekers speaking to a dwarf that she failed to recognize. This must be it, she thought, as she approached the group.

    "Apologies," Nix called out as she neared them. "I lost track of the time while I slept. I am Delilah Blue. Most people call me Nix. It's what I prefer."

    Two of those assembled looked to be no older than ten, though one of them looked to be an elf, so it was possible she was still older than Nix. She regarded the two girls carefully; unless she was being assigned to protect or escort the two of them, then they would likely be skilled mages of some sort. Rarely did anyone accompany a group of Seekers if they couldn't pull their own weight. That meant these two girls would, somehow, be able to match everyone else. Magic was the only thing Nix knew of that could bridge such a disparity.

    Another two were human men, one about her age, another slightly older. the younger was carrying a sword and wearing a breastplate. Well, he probably doesn't have any magic. The older carried only a small crossbow. And he probably does. Damn it. There was a human female marked with a displeased countenance, and carrying a light crossbow. What is with all this magic? The Lead Seekers know I don't like it. What do they want me for? The final person Nix saw was shrouded in a heavy cloak. She couldn't determine what race, or gender, though something about them struck her as familiar. It reassured her to see a sword hilt, and the bulge of a mace underneath their cloak.
    I live in an igloo, in the icy wastes of Canuckistan. At the crack of dawn, I ride my polar bear through four feet of snow (up hill, both ways) to the maple syrup mine. On my way home I kill a cougar with my bare hands to feed my sled-wolves, so they won't eat me overnight. On weekends I don traditional Canuckistani garments (flannel button-downs and blue jeans) and go lumberjacking. My beard is strong as steel wool, and doubles as a whetstone for my axe.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Eberron Awaits (New Dawns IC)

    Alice maintains her grip on Ariel's hand as she enters the hustle and bustle of the Seekers' office, making sure to keep track of her friend so neither of them got lost in the crowd. She pulls Ariel through the crowd, dodging between any opening that presented itself. She knew it wasn't proper for a young girl to push through a crowd like this, but she didn't care. She was late, something that was even less proper than her current actions. She dodged people and food stands, churning a wake through the surprised populace for her new friend to follow in.
    As she nears the office, Alice slows to smooth out her dress before entering. Wrinkled clothing was not proper and most certainly wasn't decent enough to wear to a meeting. She composes herself, her smile brighter than ever before, before walking into the untidy room that was supposed to house the meeting. Oh well, at least I'm the cleanest thing here. With that thought, she sets her eyes on the one they were to meet. She gives him a wide smile before she notices the three standing about him. The middle of the trio turns to talk to the woman she had idolized that very morning as a pillar of beauty and acceptable nature. Alice doesn't pay attention to his words, but the tone he had taken was most certainly unacceptable, especially when he talked to someone so wonderful. As he pushes past her, she makes a note to make sure he would understand what he had done wrong. There were many of these lessons she had vowed to teach, but she forgot most of them when she started playing. It couldn't be helped; grudges were too heavy to carry when you had to run around all day.
    At the dwarf's words to introduce themselves, Alice immediately runs up to the woman she had seen earlier that day, letting go of Ariel so she could grab her arm in both of hers, giving it a loose hug. She turns her face upward, a glistening smile and sparkling eyes greeting the woman if she looks down, "Good morning! My name's Alice. What's yours?"
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  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Alexander walks over to the desk with a singular purpose, seating himself right next to the dwarf and inviting the others to join him with nothing more than a few quick glaces. The shroud of his coat falls around him, a second shadow on the scattered floor. His gaze pauses on Gisara, as if to communicate his anger at Findlay's apparent spite. It was wrong of the secretary to address him in such a way - not on any moral level, it was more a matter of ambition than anything else. The man had to realize that Tychus was not going to be around forever, and that Alexander himself had long since been considered to take his place on the Topaz Council. After all, that was why he was here: he needed the field experience, and of course branching out into an organization like the Seekers will help put his name on the map, get him the renown he will need in the coming years. No, Findlay's distaste was only a symptom of the real disease. He resolves himself to put an end to that eventually, but he almost needs to remind himself that his father's lackey is boring, while there are others here who are already proving to be delightfully interesting.

    On the verge of speaking, Alexander's carefully selected words are silenced by the interruptions of Nix and Alice. Concealing his irritation with a small smile, he thinks back to his training, to the very first exercises. State of play: seven Seeker agents converging with a Lead Seeker in order to create a new task force. Diverse group by all appearances, likely with a good number of complementary powers. Probability that either Gisara or Alexander will end up leading the force: roughly 60%. The Seekers would not be consolidating such a team without a reason, most likely possibilities include: going on some form of expedition across the surface of Eberron, searching for a lost relic or relics, and starting a hunt for fugitives or dangerous criminals. He finds himself hoping for the first, if only because it would put more distance between him and the shackles of New Sharn. Of course, there is also the matter of these new Seekers. Between the two giggling children who no doubt wielded tremendous powers and the cloaked figure who was obviously hiding his features, the psion finds his interest somewhat piqued. The notion of spending more time on the road with them doesn't seem to annoy him as much as it should. Or maybe that's just Gisara's presence.
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    Gisara stares after Findlay in disbelief for a moment, barely noticing the others in the room even as they speak. Some sort of small child wraps itself about her arm, making some sort of noises that are probably intended as communication, and she automatically tunes in her awareness to the contents of her pockets, making sure she can't feel anything leaving. That would be the clearest rational motivation for this invasion of her space, if she had any hope that this was a remotely rational being. She lifts her arm slightly to move the child further away from a few particularly valuable or dangerous objects - the two dorjes she's managed to scrounge up since the Forgetting, her alchemist's fire - and makes a visible effort to tolerate the situation. "Child, I am Gisara Noteheart, not your mother or guardian. Why are you clinging to me like a spar after a shipwreck? Perhaps you have some paperwork you believe is worth my time as well?" She looks over at Alex, wordlessly beseeching him to come to her rescue.

    Finally, however, her brain catches up with her panic at the social situation, and she realizes that these must be the two "child" Seekers she got into a screaming match with several other Strainers over not long ago. The ones who were bringing in fantastic, if poorly presented data, and even more incredible relics. She had advanced - rather forcefully, if truth be told - a rather compelling argument that results were results, regardless of who was providing them, as the - how had she phrased it? "As you credulous slaves to your own prejudices are aware on at least some level, as you seem willing to tolerate me." Perhaps these two deserved more of her patience, then, as kindred spirits in the face of such pointless hostility. She takes a moment to make a reasonable guess as to which is which, before remembering that this one has already identified itself.

    "My apologies, Seeker Alice. Your work has been most useful to me. It is good to meet you at last." There. Hopefully that sounded more human.

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    Edwin scratches the back of his neck as he speaks, clearly discomfited and confused. "Ahehe. I'm Edwin, by the way."

    He looks over the collection of people assembled by the Seekers. Mostly human, nothing that looks too unusual about most of them. Except that the Seekers were apparently recruiting from the local orphanages, by the looks of the elf child and the tiny girl. Most people would assume that the Seekers knew what they were doing. Would keep their mouths shut, avoid offending anyone. Unfortunately for Edwin, he had always lacked a reliable filter between his brain and his mouth.

    "They uh.. they let children join the Seekers? Isn't Seeker work a bit dangerous? " He hefted his bag and tried to look reasonable. "I mean, there's a reason they make me show up with the sword and the armour."
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    Alice giggles, "Thank you, Ms. Noteheart. It's been a pleasure helping you, even if we've never met before." With this, she loosens her grip and asks, "Who was that man talking to you like that?" There is the slightest hint of a grudge in her voice as she asks Gisara, a thing barely noticeable save to those who understand her resentment. She does, however, keep her smile intact, not wanting to seem at all improper or lacking in composure.
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    Ariel let Alice bound off to accost someone else, and noticed that the tall woman appeared to be checking her pockets: so Ariel wasn't the only one who had been suspicious. She shared a knowing glance with the beautiful lady but tried a relaxing smile, hoping to assure her that Alice was friendly. It would be pretty stupid to steal from your potential crew mates, but then, five year old humans were not known for intellectual brilliance. Though there must be more to Alice, Ariel supposed, if she were a Seeker.

    "I am Ariel Reithe, Master Edwin," she answered the armoured warrior, fixing him with a stare from her glowing, violet eyes. "The War was dangerous, but I fought then." She could not repress the surly arrogance that her kin had possessed: only her mother had been humble. Ariel knew she should strive for that humility and so bowed her head trying not to seem too proud.
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    From his seat at the table, Alexander surveys the interactions of this little group. There were the two girls, one preoccupied with making herself seem aged and the other doing the exact opposite. Based only on her response to the warrior figure - Edwin, he would endeavor to remember the name - Ariel appeared to be someone used to dealing with misconception, and proving herself countless times over. In the meantime, this 'Alice' character was having no trouble latching onto Gisara, a fact that he notes with some satisfaction. It was looking more like 70% now. He returns the glance of the fellow psion with equal traces of pity and amusement: she would have to get out of this situation on her own, perhaps even turn the momentum of the scenario to her advantage? He has no doubts that such a feat is within Gisara's power, and that she would exercise it should the need arise. At the moment however, he finds his attention being carefully directed towards the two other quiet figures standing around the table. There was the late woman, the self-proclaimed Nix. At the mention of the second name, he can feel something stir. A paroxysm of discord ascends over the otherwise harmonious pool of his soul. He quells it quickly and quietly. He barely gives himself time to register the last cloaked adventurer, taking in little more than the cloak and the glint of the eyes beneath the hood. Alexander realizes that of the seven gathered here, they are the only two who have yet to speak. He could use that.

    Alexander then turns to the Lead Seeker seated beside him, asking him deferentially if they have some sort of timetable. Spreading his arms wide above the surface of the table, he gestures at the chairs so as to have the others sit with him. Movement: dramatic, meant to inspire action. Expectant without being demanding, as there is no need for all or even any individuals to adhere to the request. In most social climates such a movement precedes some form of embrace - such positive associations are fundamental in establishing trust. It also has the added effect of forcing the last Seeker's hand: his options are now limited to staying silent and potentially alienating himself from the rest of the team, or introducing himself and revealing more about his nature. Either option would suit Alexander just fine. It was perhaps also time to speak something aloud, lest he catch himself in his own snare. When he does finally speak, his voice is light and surprisingly melodious, with no added inflections or traces of force. Actions speak louder than words.

    "Good morning. As previously mentioned, my name is Alexander Idrian. I believe our dwarven overseer has something pressing he wishes to discuss with us. Shall we begin?"
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    Edwin turns to look at the figure who finally spoke. Then in a moment of indecision, back to Ariel. "I.. Yeah. Alright. "

    He grins guilelessly at the little elf. "It's nice to meet you, Ariel." Finally, he turns away and walks towards the table, his bag coming to rest with a clatter as he takes his seat. However, the tiniest of frowns is noticeable on his face, and he occasionally steals curious glances at the tiny children that would apparently be joining the Seekers on whatever dangerous and interesting mission they would undertaking.
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    Alice whispers to Gisara, "You can tell me later. Right now it's time to get our job." She tightens her grip on Gisara's hand and tries to lead her to her seat. Of course, the thought of such a small child being able to pull anyone anywhere is outlandish by far, and the pair will only get anywhere if Gisara acquiesces.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    The dwarf holds up a finger to ward off Alexander’s request, signaling he needed just a few more moments to finish off what he is doing. As he personally signs off on the few forms still remaining before him, a stamp that seems to move of its own volition presses itself against each page in a stack of forms, and moving them into another pile on the other end of the table. It takes only a few more minutes before both finish their tasks, and as the dwarf sits back, massaging his hand, the stamp sets itself down, and doesn’t move again. Satisfied with his handiwork, he shoos the rest of the people out of the room, the door shutting by itself after the last of them have shuffled out. He then beckons your group forward.

    “It seems all but one of you have introduced yourselves,” he starts, eying the figure in the cloak, “so that saves me the trouble of having to introduce each and every one of you. Your last companion there is Nollauk, a ranger, hailing from the Shadow Marshes. He was brought here as a Stripped only a few years back, and was Restored and allowed to join our ranks two years ago.” He pauses to think if he had missed any other pertinent details, and decides that his introduction would have to be enough. “I don’t believe any of you have met me before, so I shall introduce myself as well. I am Brom Goldore, Lead Seeker in charge of administrative duties. You’ve all been gathered here today because you’ve proven yourselves at one point or another, and the other Leads who have been observing you felt that you would all work, uh, well together.” The awkward pause speaks for the real reason – that, whether you’re new to the organization or have been a part of it for a while now, you’ve had a difficult time fitting into other groups for any length of time.

    “As you can see,” Brom continues, pointing out the window at the gathering, fidgeting crowd, “I have only a little time to tell you what we need you to do.” He flips quickly through a pile of folders, and pulls out one marked with the symbol of a unicorn, and hands it to Alexander, signaling for him to pass it around as he speaks. “With the recovery of old technologies well underway, we’ve recently discovered that we have yet to restore use to the lightning rails. We have engineers and artificers working on maintaining the coaches that run along them, but the air elementals that once propelled the vehicles were released when the Forgetting occurred, and conductor stones that had been on the rails were ravaged when they broke out, so as of right now we have very little else in terms of material advances in this project.” He gets up, and walks to one of the shelves, pulling down a scroll and spreading it on the table, revealing a map of Khorvaire, roughly sketched in charcoal, with the most detail in and around New Sharn, becoming less and less intricate in concentric circles spreading outward of the city. He points to a region on the map marked Aundair. “We’ve been able to scavenge a few stones from the House Cannith warehouses in and around New Sharn, but not nearly enough to restore the rails to anywhere close to its former utility. Fortunately, one of the few surviving half-elves we were able to Restore happened to have been an ambassador of House Lyrandar, and claims that House Orien may have kept a stash of the stones in Aundair. We currently have another group heading that way to confirm its existence and location, but we haven’t heard back from them in quite some time, so we would need you to either see to their current condition, or complete their mission for them, if need be.”

    Not letting the somber tone of his last statement rest in the air, he shifts his hand, and points to a region much closer – Zilargo. “Alternatively, we’ve had sightings of air elementals still wandering the plains to the north of the region.” To make his point, Brom produces a shard of crystal and lays it on the table. It has a smoky complexion, with colored veins of midnight blue running through it like streaks of lightning. “We need to re-capture a fair-sized elemental, and bind it to this receptacle. Of course, one of our artificers would accompany you to complete said task." Explanation complete, he leaves the shard on the table for one of you to take, and sits back down in his chair. “I believe that is everything. Now, if you could kindly vacate the office – perhaps go and grab some food for yourselves, I understand this meeting has delayed that pleasure – I have to attend to the growing horde outside.” He stares out the window with a sour look, dreading the end of this brief respite he had been allowed. “Come back to me once you have all decided where you would like to go, and I shall provide you with additional documentation. Like I said earlier, it appears I shall have an incredibly busy morning, so if you could also save your questions until, say, noon, I would very much appreciate your cooperation.” Then, with a flick of his wrist, the door opens, and soon the room is flooded again by a constant stream of people, vying for the Lead's attention. THE
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Nollauk moves toward the table, Miut at his heels. Before taking a seat, he pauses and speaks: "Edwin. We work with these?"

    Upon receiving some form of affirmation from the young warrior, the cloaked figure glances at the closed door before pulling back his hood. A strand of flesh uncoils; it appears to be connected to the back of the man's neck from the base of his skull on down. A bulbous eye at the end of the greenish tendril opens and begins to examine those in the room. Its gaze seems to linger on Ariel before it turns away with a shudder.

    The man himself sits down in the chair that allows the most distance from the others in the room. He places an arm on the table, and some thing snakes out of the sleeve. He reaches down with his other arm to move his fingers through his rat's fur. Though he watches intently, he says nothing.
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    Ariel listened intently to the Lead Seeker's words, nodding along as his path of thought became clear. Yes, if it was too dangerous for one group it would make sense to send a group like us: potent I imagine, but misfits also, misfits that won't likely be missed. It turned out racial prejudice also ran against her kind.

    As they sat around the table eating, Ariel drew the stopper from her waterskin and released Argent, her Water Elemental Familiar, who floated out of the confines and landed on the table beside her. "It feels wrong to enslave elementals," Ariel pondered out-loud. "I would prefer to undertake the other task: finding and rescuing this previous band of Seekers."
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    Edwin gave Nollauk a quick nod, then returned to listening to the mission briefing. At the mention of lightning rails, his face practically explodes into a guileless grin. "Both tasks involve restoring the lightning rail, Ariel. The question is whether we catch the elementals wild or get them from the warehouse. I agree that the warehouse seems more promising."

    His glee at the prospect of seeing a real live lightning rail in operation is obvious. "Haha! Imagine, journeys that would take days, weeks, by foot, taking mere hours! Wondrous."

    He suddenly seems thoughtful. "And in Aundair, no less. I think I come from Aundair. The maps aren't very good and my memory is vague, but it was definitely somewhere in that direction."

    "This will be first lightning rail restored since the Forgetting! This will be fun!" Edwin looks around at the group after his display, half expecting them in be the same fits of excitement.

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