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Thread: Crag Noir (IC)

  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    Seeing her sister like this pains Natalya, but there is still hope as she looks closer. "Silistra has abandoned Lolth." The noblewoman waves Kalrissa and Evindress closer, pointing. "First, no amulet. She used to have a pendant of the Spider Queen she would never part with. Second, she had five spider tattoo right here." She points to her own left wrist. "They are not there anymore. I can see the woman buried below the pain and torture. You scouted me before House Kil'Ratha was wiped out. You stand to gain a woman who makes me look like a mere shadow. Power and beauty like you have rarely seen. But she will not last much longer."
    Last edited by Ridai; 2021-02-26 at 08:20 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Kalrissa appears to consider the situation. A priestess/witch is the most favored class for a Nocticulan, she would never forgive us if we didnt try. And I personally am not happy with this development, I dont want to see the Karns adding enchantments to their arsenal. But the Karn compound has powerful anti-intrusion and detection magics protecting it and we cant afford to be seen snooping around.
    You can attempt a rescue but you may not enter the actual Karn building. You have to make contact outside the house. You cannot teleport away, not only would it not work, it would alert them to our interest, you will have to convince her to come willingly. Once back here, you will have to trust that my heals and restorations can bring her back. And I would prefer you not invoke the name of Nocticula until we have her back here, we cant take the chance that she refuses you and takes the knowledge of our existence back to them. Do you accept these terms?
    Last edited by MikelaC1; 2021-02-26 at 10:21 PM.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    Natalya nods. "I do. What information do we have where Silistra may be allowed to go or sent to? What security looks like around the house?"

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    As far as we can tell, they never let her leave the compound grounds, but she does take out the trash on occasion. She makes a face at the thought of a priestess/witch being used as a garbageman. The security measures seem concentrated in the compound itself, as if they feel pulling their perimeter in to the house only allows it to be stronger...defying someone to launch an attack from outside the walls, but making sure someone cant teleport into the fray. Derith'Karn does specialize in blast magic, so its a strong strategy, anyone who tried to move a sizable force against them would be sitting ducks.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    The disgust about what Silistra is forced to do is mirrored by Natalya. "Concentrated troops, choke points and kill zones inside the compound makes sense for them, yes. But it also means thinned security outside the house walls. Silistra will need to go to the edge of the compound grounds. Long-distance scouting will reveal their patrol routes, magic detection should provide insights into the nature of their magic security. Since they have divinations on their grounds, I only need to be within a hundred feet to contact Silistra. Getting her out once she decides to come with me is more difficult and will most likely involve imbuing her with spider climb and leave over the walls, nondetection and invisibility should buy enough time to briefly get to Silistra, imbue her with the spell, and get her out."

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    (So what is your plan?)
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    The plan:
    1) Scout the compound grounds. Imbue herself and Evindress with ebon eyes to be able to see beyond the range of drow darkvision, see what security is like, patrol routes, where the trash is taken to, how to get close to that point to be within 100ft telepathy range. Also see if there is a place (ideally near the trash) to enter and leave the compound grounds (a wall scalable with spider climb also acceptable).

    1b) If possible, get close enough to the grounds undetected to scan what detection spells they have active there with detect magic.

    2) Get into position, either within 100ft of where the trash is put (if they can safely wait there undetected), or wait more than 120ft away from guards to move into range of where Silistra will go.

    3) Contact Silistra via telepathy, tell her that her sister is here to save her

    4) See where it goes.
    4a) Should Silistra be lucid enough to respond and be willing to leave with Natalya, have Evindress ready to cover them, Natalya casting expeditious retreat, nondetection, invisibility, zone of silence, and if necessary, spider climb, on herself. Get onto compound ground, make Silistra invisible and, if necessary, imbued with spider climb, escape with her. If Silistra has ideas how to extract her more ideally, incorporate those.

    4b) Can't convince Silistra to leave with Natalya yet. Retreat for now, make another attempt later.
    Last edited by Ridai; 2021-02-28 at 03:42 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Scouting the compound, Natalya finds that the dumpster where the trash is placed is built as part of the wall around the building itself. It seems like the dumpster can be accessed from either side, the trash deposited in from the house and then emptied from the street. The patrols are infrequent, but hard to predict because of that. The detect magic does reveal magic protections on the walls and grounds, some of them are beyond Natalya's understanding, but they do seem nasty, and she does identify spells that interfere with teleportation spells, either redirecting, preventing or delaying arrival to allow guards to form up in place.
    They are able place themselves within telepathic range of the dumpster, and settle down to wait, after some time they do see Silistra coming out with two bags of trash, there are no guards around her nor does she have anyone with her. Natalya attempts to communicate telepathically with her, but is totally unable to make contact, its like she comes up against a blank wall, reading nothing.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    Ah hells. Telepathy either blocked, or more direct interaction is necessary. I need to go in. Keep watch. Telepathy might cut out once I pass the wall. If necessary, give me a sign if I need to get out. Walls look dangerous, will try through the dumpster, she tells Evindress. In situations like this, Natalya is glad that her bardic sorceress has her back. Natalya is not exactly thrilled to try and get through the dumpster, but it is a gamble either way. She has no indications about the security beyond the anti-teleportation measures, so she cannot tell whether going through the dumpster or flying over the walls would be more dangerous in terms of magic discovery. There is also no telling whether there are measures against invisibility. This leaves the only variables she does know: the dumpster provides her with cover while talking with Silistra while visible. If she flies invisibly over the wall, she will need to reveal herself, thus either requiring a disguise of potentially dubious accuracy and most likely conspicuous positioning (and hoping she does not trip any measures against disguise self), or hoping only her voice suffices.

    Thus, dumpster diving. Normally unthinkably far below her station. But she needs to reach and save Silistra. A tiny bit of dignity is easy to sacrifice for that goal. She will need a very thorough scrubbing by Evindress afterwards.

    Thus, in this order, Natalya imbues herself with: zone of silence, invisibility, nondetection, expeditious retreat. (spending 50gp for nondetection) While doing so, she moves towards the compound walls, avoiding people, then in a quick moment of not being observed, opens the dumpster lid, casts a swift fly, and basically tries to quickly glide along the top to reach Silistra, as absurd an image that will lead to, the zone of silence eating the noise. Moving within 5ft of her to move her into the zone of silence, Natalya says "Silistra, it is me, Natalya. I am here to save you." And she undoes the invisibility, hoping her voice and face might reach her sister.
    Last edited by Ridai; 2021-03-03 at 12:40 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Natalya's spells serve her well, getting her to within 5 feet of her sister. When she drops her spell, there is a bit of startled reaction from Silistra, but not as much as one might expect with someone appearing out of nowhere in front of them. She speaks quickly to her sister but there is no response, no sign of recognition
    Na...tal...ya? Do...I...know...Na...tal...ya...who...is...Sil...i st...ra
    She also appears to shrink back just a bit, as if afraid of being hit.
    Last edited by MikelaC1; 2021-03-04 at 04:20 PM.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Natalya does not break easily. Many have tried. Regardless, seeing Silistra reduced to this hurts. And it hurts so much.

    "You are Silistra. My sister." Natalya voice is soft, and as she reaches out to Silistra, her motions are gentle, seeking to tenderly take her hand. If her waking mind does not remember, perhaps her body remembers their closeness. Seeing Silistra shrink away from her is another jab right in the heart.

    "I love you, Silistra, I would never hurt you." Her first words feel... strange. Saying such things and meaning it feels dangerous in the world of the drow, like baring one's neck for execution, even among family. "I know you are still in there. I want to take you aware from here. Away from the pain. You were always there for me, for my whole life. Let me be there for you now." There is no time to consider how to best handle this. She has no precedent. Just desperately trying to reach and save her sister.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Not sure if it would do anything, but perhaps it helps with putting broken Silistra at ease at the very least
    Diplomacy (1d20+24)[37]

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Natalya knows that Silistra's will was always equal to hers, maybe even more. And she knows that the "angels" of Nocticula use pleasure and temptation to lure their victims. But not all demons are like that, and the terrors they can induce are beyond even those of the worst nightmares. And there are magics that Natalya has never faced that would warp her mind almost beyond repair. Natalya doesnt know what has been used on Silistra, its only been 4 or 5 months since their family compound was overrun.
    When Silista hears the words "take you away", she shrivels and takes a step back...no...not away...I am not allowed to go away...I will be punished...Barcella says I will be punished The name Barcella is said with pure fear.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    Natalya raises her hands in a soothing manner. "I will not do anything you do not want, Sil. But who is Barcella? Did she lay a curse upon you?" In a way, Natalya hopes this fear of punishment is "just" fearing the woman in general, not the indication of a binding spell. If Barcella is a noble of the House, saving Silistra will become so much more difficult. There will be no quick and easy infiltration into this fortress compound, and a slavemistress of the second-most powerful house of Crag Noir would be a fearsome individual indeed.

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    The use of the name Sil provokes the slightest reaction from Silistra, the briefest spark in her eyes, before it dies away again. Barcella is my mistress, I obey all of her commands. I am her personal slave. The more Silistra talks, the more lucid she becomes, or at least it seems that way.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Progress. Her sister is still in there after all. Natalya shakes her head. "Barcella wants you to be her personal slave. Like our previous mistresses and masters we endured together. I cast off those chains of people and a goddess that wanted me to stay on my knees. But what do you want, Sil? Do you still dream? Do you still desire?" Nights spent together, sharing secrets and wants and happiness. Silistra was a haven for her. She was hope. And Natalya for her in return.

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    Natalya's words bring a flicker but they dont last long enough. And suddenly in her head is another voice.

    Guard coming. Either leave with her, come back tomorrow or kill the guard.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    The notion of leaving her sister here with these savages is revolting. But as the flicker dies in Silistra's eyes, she knows she does not have the time to reach her. Trying to take out a guard would put them on alert.

    "Protect yourself. Do not mention we spoke, but do not forget me. I will come back for you, Silistra, please hold on a little longer. I love you." Natalya strokes her sister's cheek, planting one last seed in her mind of how things used to be, with her, before turning herself invisible and retreating, back to Evindress.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Evindress feels Natalya's pain at having to leave her sister behind in the Karn compound as they make their way in silence to the Nocticulan compound. She knows Natalya will probably not sleep tonight and will be pacing like a caged animal waiting the 24 hours until they can try again.
    When they arrive at the safe house, they are greeted by Kalrissa who leads them back to the room with the crystal ball. The inside seems to be just full of clouds. We've made some modifications to our scrying by concentrating only on Silistra, it just needs one more thing She guides the hand that Natalya used to touch Silistra's cheek to ball, and the moment it touches, the image clears up. Although, with what she sees, maybe Natalya would not want it.

    Silistra is kneeling in the middle of a bedroom, in front of the biggest drow she has ever seen. Certain features of the drow mark her as female, but the bulging muscles and misformed female body certainly lead one to question it. Barcella The woman is haranguing Silistra by the way her mouth is moving and the gestures she is making, unfortunately there is no audio to hear exactly what she is saying but it is likely just a generalized listing of perceived or invented flaws. But that isnt even the worst of it. Chained to a wall is a terrifying sight, it is shaped like a man but is over 12 feet tall, with a body wreathed in flames. It strains at it's chains, snarling and foaming at the mouth, clearly insane, even beyond "normal" demonic standards. Balor Its not clear whether the beast wants to kill Silistra or Barcella...or both.
    The woman finally finishes her lecturing and begins to gesture, then clapping her hands on either side of Silistra's head. Her expression goes completely blank, her eyes go dead, and then she collapses. We have no idea of what spell she is using but its likely what she is using to keep her docile. Breaking that will be #1 on your list of things to do.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  19. - Top - End - #199
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    When people get angry, you tend to notice it soon. Boiling to the surface, twisting the features, hands balling to fists, shaking, shouting. Natalya, meanwhile, gets very quiet, very still, almost like a statue. Cold, cutting, eyes dark and piercing. Barcella singlehandedly managed to get to the top of Natalya's list.

    "Silistra was barely able to speak at first. The more we talked, the more lucid she became. I could see her true self stirring, like when I called her Sil, but it always died back down. This spell appears to be responsible. A dispel will be difficult. This is powerful magic, mine is still weak. But the spell's hold is imperfect. I had hoped to break the spell across two days, but I need to do so in one shot. Hypnosis to dig her mind out of the spell is an option. None of my family could resist me, and I have plenty experience with Silistra." Natalya's voice matches how she is carrying herself. Calm, even, like a mirror lake covered in thin, black ice. She looks to Kalrissa and Evindress. "I will confer with Calista whether this is a viable approach."

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Dont underestimate yourself and just as much, dont over-rate Barcella. I dealt with her in my previous life. Shes a loudmouth bully, but theres nothing to back it up. She is the third daughter of the house, so thats her first limitation. Shes not a priestess either and if my hunch is correct, she isnt even a sorceress or a wizard. Some intel calls her a...warlock The word is said with contempt. She also fancies herself a fighter but several years ago at a society ball, she was trying to play poke-chest with Shandis, until she pushed too far and got the beat down of her life.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    "I am not saying that that I cannot dispel the effect. I am saying it is difficult. I have barely managed to breach the third circle of arcane spellcasting, and much of my mental capacity for said circle is used to infiltrate the compound grounds and cover my escape. Silistra is suffering from outright mental subjugation or suppression, which is beyond the third circle, and also the lesser strata of invocations, to my knowledge. This makes Barcella more capable, even if she lacks the strength of personality necessary to make her spells difficult to resist, as the latter simply does not matter for this. And in turn, this makes my dispels not impossible to succeed, but unlikely. Thus, I need a backup solution in case luck is not on my side. I will not return to Silistra only to play the lottery twice, lose, shrug, and leave her at the mercy of those savages for another day." Natalya does not comment on the comparison with Shandis. That is like saying any given woman is ugly because she does not compare in looks to the most beautiful drow woman, and her physical prowess is irrelevant to Natalya.

  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Once the meeting with Kalrissa is over, Natalya bows to the priestess, once again thanking her for her generous aid and faith in her, regardless of the coven also benefittng from Silistra joining their ranks. The priestess is could hardly complain about Natalya's trust in her or her obedience when it came to orders thus far, but she is definitely scoring points with the noblewoman above and beyond what is already there.

    Restless, the mental images of Silistra at the mercy of Barcella as well as how mentally diminished she is in her current state haunting Natalya, she leaves the priestess with Evindress, heading partway to their room. "I will go ask Calista for an impromptu audience, and join you later, love." Before she goes, she caresses her lover's cheek, cupping it a moment after. Evindress puts a hand over hers, kisses the palm of Natalya's hand, and smiles to her, the latter gesture returned by the noblewoman, even through the anguish boiling inside.

    Heading to Calista's chambers, Natalya knocks on the door, doing what could be described as a Nocticulan curtsey as she opens the door (or after Natalya is called inside). "My apologies for the unannounced visit, mistress. I seek your wisdom in the matters of hypnosis to break a woman's mind out of dominating or enslaving enchantment spells. My eldest sister is alive and magically held as a slave by Barcella Dereth'Karn, and while Priestess Kalrissa is confident I will be able to dispel the effect, I wish to possess a backup solution in case my spellcasting fails me, so I do not yet again have to leave her in those savages' claws for another day." Regardless of her relationship with Calista and being her only student ever, Natalya does not take it for granted that Calista can or currently wishes to make time for her. Her mistress' time is extremely valuable (and likely currently involves setting her workshop back up), and while it would be disappointing to be sent away again immediately, Natalya would understand.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Feel free to make this as long or as short as you like. This is mostly to show how Natalya operates and how important this matter is to her, absolutely wanting to maximize her chances of success and wanting to learn if her hypnosis can serve as a backup means. Whether this becomes an in-depth training session, a summarized meeting, or simply a few words of advice and/or encouragement from teacher to student (mirroring Kalrissa's advice to not underestimate herself) before moving on to the next day, it's all good.

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Heres the problem as I see it. While you could hypnotize her, and its likely to be easier given her diminished mental capacity, it will not override whatever thrall the spell is placing on her faculties. You would have a hypnotized woman who still is not in control of her mind. And the main problem with that is with hypnosis, it cant be used to do something completely against the persons nature. So depending on how strong their conditioning is, you wont be able to convince her to leave.
    But I do have a little something for you
    She hands you a scroll With your ability to manipulate magic devices, you should have no problem casting the spell off this scroll and its a bardic one, called improvisation It gives you access to a 'floating pool of luck' which you can call on the moment you try to do something above and beyond your skill level. Cast it on yourself before you show up, and the moment you cast your dispel, call on all of this luck to boost your casting. I think you can beat Barcella without it, but its always nice to have a backup plan in store.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    "So the true personality cannot be accessed via hypnosis, only the current magically imposed," Natalya comments in regards to the limitations of hypnosis.

    Accepting the scroll, she once again hears confidence that she can beat the spell even without the help. "As you and Kalrissa are in agreement in regards to my abilities, I will make my first attempt without the luck. Should it not work out, the second will receive all the luck. Thank you for the scroll and your trust, mistress. Let me know how I can repay you." Natalya bows once more and unless Calista has need of her, excuses herself to leave and prepare for tomorrow, also learning all ins and outs of the scroll (and also giving it to Evindress for a moment to identify and understand, to aid her training with her talent).

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    You can play it however you want, but if I were in your shoes, I would use the luck on the first try. You dont know when a guard is going to happen onto a situation, and you want to be done as quickly as possible.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    "Even better." Honestly, Natalya prefers it this way.

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    Yes, thats it, come in strong...because you are strong...so very, very strong...and Barcella is weak...very strong...
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

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    Female

    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    As the pair make their way from Calista's room, Evindress remarks...I looked at that scroll and understood it fully, I could have casted it if I had wanted to, but it wasnt in my normal repetoire of spells that I know. But the funny thing is now, after being with Calista, it is. I dont know if she had something to do with that or not....you will still have to cast it for you because its a personal spell, but its weird.

    Your choice as to doing something else or heading back on the operation.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

  29. - Top - End - #209
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ridai's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Germany (GMT +1)

    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    "Much like you, Calista is a very special woman," Natalya comments, clearly impressed by Evindress, a sorceress no less, seemingly being able to learn spells from a scrolls. "Love, please do me a favor. Should you have a scroll of a spell you cannot cast yourself, read it again, and see if you can cast it. Even if that is not the case, what we did gives us plenty of methods to experiment with." Naturally, she is there to aid Evindress in her first attempt, perhaps putting her into the right "mindset", but her focus quickly returns to Silistra. Not nervous anymore, now anticipating having her sister back. And introducing her to the coven, and her lovers.

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Titan in the Playground
     
    MikelaC1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Female

    Default Re: Crag Noir (IC)

    (assuming you are heading back to the compound)
    The pair make their way back to their hiding spot and take up a vigil once again. It is over an hour, but eventually Silistra emerges, carrying two bags of garbage. In contrast to the way she came out the last night, she is not trudging as much, and her back appears straighter. She is still a shadow of the woman Natalya remembers, but the slightest hints are starting to show up.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house - Klingon proverb

    They say "may you live in interesting times"...Ive tried interesting and now I'll take boring.

    I am not trusting my research paper to some millennial. They'll put unicorn emojis on it and post it on social media.
    - Sheldon Cooper

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