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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Court of the King in Rags

    In a dismal swamp in the wilderness, something has arisen. It seems to have happened virtually overnight, not that many people have a reason to go there and check. It seems that walls of stone rose from under the murky water - were they always there, buried and forgotten?

    The risen stone walls have been grown over by thick, black trees and vines emerging from the ground. Twisting above the structure, they form an unsettling facsimile of a peaked roof, with gaps between them letting in some faint, greyish light. The building is entered through a long hall, which widens halfway through. There doesn't seem to be any door, but it's not as welcoming as it sounds. Beyond the entrance is not the moist, unpleasant place one might expect, but a somber space of stone and wood. The court is deathly quiet, at least until someone happens across it...
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    Someone is approaching the king's dismal court.
    A couple someones, actually. A splendid chariot pulled by large flightless birds is racing along the road. Now, normally there's probably no road leading through the wilderness and into this swamp. But in this case the road is constantly materializing a bit ahead of the chariot and fading away a while after it has passed.

    The passengers are Yone and a nameless imp. Yone is a terran fey who belongs to the Outer Court, aligned with travel and desolate empty places. She is young and takes foolish risks, which is part of how she got into this situation. She looks like a lioness at first glance, but then you see the too-long neck, the eyes all blue without even a pupil, the horns, the extra limbs holding the reins.
    The imp is more mysterious, though we can tell you that Yone finds her quite annoying.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    The visitors will be greeted by silence, at first. Only several black birds stare at them from the branches of nearby trees. Then, they speak.

    "What do you seek in the court of the King in Rags?"

    The voice is coming from several beaks, but it doesn't have any reverb to it, nor does it sound like anything that'd come from a bird's throat. It's a whisper, deep and resonating.
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post
    [Cat Chariot]

    The imp shrugs. "We sided with the wrong people, the dudes that would become demons, and got whipped alongside them when the fey gods kicked their asses. The punishment would honestly have been worse if they hadn't stuck up for us though. You fey can't touch our essence as long they protect us, see? It's pretty clever."
    Well, that's very interesting, isn't it? A war between fey and demons which the demons lost. And the key to these imps is some sort of demonic protection.

    "Has this all been gathering information on your enemies, then? I don't think I'm the same as those fey."
    Admittedly, maybe it was hidden from her, and Yone's sort of fey do have some connection to demons. They do not, but at this moment she can't be sure.
    "Anyway, we're here."

    She calls out to the whispering birds.
    "We bring a warning, to tell the King of approaching danger."
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    The birds are silent for a time, before whispering again.

    "The King will grant you audience and hear your warning. Step into the court and show it the respect a dwelling of one of the Gentry requires."

    The entrance to the court lies open. But few people would call it welcoming...
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-01-18 at 11:07 AM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    "Eh, not enemies. As ya' said, yer' all different. Even the ones we know. Besides, things have changed now and as ya' said, we're here."

    The imps turn to look at the ravens. "So... what kind of 'respect' does this dude demand, eh? Lick their feet? Kiss their butts?"

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    Default [Cat Chariot]

    "You might begin by not asking rude questions." Yone suggests, imagining that the imp is going to get them in such trouble...

    She hops down from her chariot to the entrance of the hall and carefully paces inside.
    The King should make it obvious when they've arrived, she expects.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The birds offer no answer or advice on this subject. Behind the door is a long hall, lined with coarse stone walls. They're build of uneven blocks and boulders, the crevices between them filled with a thick tangle of wood and soil. There is no furniture or doors to be seen. In the distance - longer than one would expect from the size of the court - is a lonely throne made of stone, with vines climbing over it. No one else is seen, but there are voices whispering, as if from people in other rooms... but there's no visible way to get to any other room.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    "Hmph, ya' think I'd ask that to their face?" The imp remarks while crossing the arms over her chest while looking around. "So... how are we doing this thing then? Doesn't seem to be any signs here. No guides either, so it looks like you have to take charge here."

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    "I wouldn't be surprised. Just treat him nicer than you treat your own boss." Yone suggests, pacing down the hallway.

    This place is downright eerie. She's not unaccustomed to entering overgrown ruins, but it seems like this place was never in good condition. More likely, from the moment it was made it has been an uneven tangle of swamp growth and rough stone, not unmade, but only even half-made. Not to mention the voices from nowhere.
    There are no features, no turns, no options except to head down the long hall towards the throne.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    As Yone and the imp approach the throne, there's a... lurch in the air. It's like a blink, but it's not them who are blinking. They will find themselves much closer to the throne than they should be, given how fast they were moving, and there's a figure seated on it. Giving the distinct impression of having sat there for a while. Wrapped in a black cloak, its rat-skull adorned with antlers, twisted arms of black wood resting on the sides of the throne.

    "You sought audience with the King in Rags and it has been granted. You spoke of danger, when outside the court."
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The imp flies lazily after Yone, yawns, looks around- and they're suddenly right in front of the throne.

    She yelps and seem to panic as they quickly hide behind Yone when addressed by the seated being.

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    Default [Cat Chariot]

    Yone sweeps her head low in a gesture of respect, and carefully refrains for reacting to the imp's panic.
    "It is so, your eminence."
    "I have been warned of the approach, or release, of twisted elementals of secrets, which attack one's thoughts and names."
    "My companion here can tell you more." And she quickly steps aside to reveal the imp.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The dim blue glow of the King's eyes becomes brighter for a moment. It seems this news if of interest to him. He has no visible reaction to the imp's fear.

    "Speak, then. If these creatures threaten me and your warning is helpful, you will not find me ungrateful."
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-01-22 at 02:12 PM.
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The imp freezes in fear for a moment as she finds herself right before the fey king. "Uhh... um... what do you wish to know?" A beat. "About 'dem elementals of course. They're not really elementals y'know..."

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Default [Cat Chariot]

    "Perhaps you could tell the king what they really are." Yone prompts. Not being 'really elementals' is news to her also.
    "And why they're particularly dangerous to us."
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    "I would very much like to know the nature of these beings, yes." The King's tone is about as encouraging as he can manage. Which isn't a lot. "And the danger they pose."
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    "You- uh..." The imp scratches the back of her head nervously and comes to land at the floor before the Rag King. "Okay... so, I'm not an expert exactly. I just write down the stuff boss says, but that's why I have these notes. The boss notes!" She reaches behind her back and pulls out notes that are nearly as big as her.

    The imp stares at the notes for a moment before slowly shifting back her gaze to the King of Rags. "Umm... so, they come from below... kind of." The imp gestures at the floor. "'s like... a place where the mortals mortal souls are. Like, they're there and in the body somehow." The imp shrugs sheepishly. "Anyway, the souls..." The imp narrows it's eyes at the note. "...a part of the souls... go to the underworld when the mortals die, pretty common stuff so far. But 'tis place is like, super-secret for some reason, so the beings that guard it destroys anyone that even knows anything about it. All the souls are somehow down there, right? So they can just reach into anyone that knows about the place and mess them up. Seriously terrifying." The imp shakes her head.
    "But whatever this place is like there's something seriously wrong with it as it creates these opposites... like, since the entire place's purpose is to keep secrets it makes these beings that only want to spread information about it. It doesn't make any sense but it's why they're so dangerous. They're like information with a body. Forbidden information as if you know about it the guardians might reach into your soul..." The imp pauses as she seems to realize somehow. "Not your soul of course. If you... have one?" For a moment it looks like the imp could sink through the floor and probably would prefer that before spending another moment with the king.

    But then she continues a bit more. "So... they have the information of the dead within them I guess and that's bad for... fey..." She starts looking through the notes again. "...since it can contain old discarded identites of other fey which will try to get attached to you."

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    "Souls are a mortal concept. They like to believe a part of them will persist once they're dead. I existed before time did." The King in Rags seems dismissive of the notion. "What do you mean by 'attached'? I have taken titles and shed them as I needed, but never has one clung to me against my will."
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The fact she isn't dead yet seems to be a great relief to the imp, but she isn't going to give the Rag King a reason to change that now that she's come so far. "...well, like... souls and titles are different, yeah? I couldn't describe a soul to you even if I tried, they're not connected to anything... y'know, real. Titles on the other hand, they're pretty real. It's like... all this information compressed into a single word, a name. From it you get what they're all about." She could for instance make a lot of educated guesses of what the King of Rags was based on his name. "So these beings, they don't spread souls, but they do spread information. Bad information but that's not the point. But they're not just giving it out, they're forcing it on people. If you look at them your ol'think-tank gets filled with all sort of knowledge regardless if ya' wanned' it or not. To mortals that's it but to fey some information, like a title, means much so more than the word itself. So, these beings can project dead titles into your essence, basically." The imp stops and gives the king a quick pleading look before looking down at her notes once again, more to avoid the fey kings gaze than actually reading them now.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    "Souls are perfectly real. I've seen a few." Yone offers hesitantly.
    She herself is younger than time itself, and so is the fey who came before her, but she understands what that can mean. The issue of mortal souls is beneath him, regardless of the truth of the matter.

    "How do we know our own will, King, when thoughts and titles come as if they had always been here?"
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The King in Rags' eyes dim for a moment. It seems that the primordial being is deep in thought. It doesn't move otherwise, though - aside from the constant, rhythmic swaying of the branches on his back.

    "I see the danger these beings pose, now. Insidious. They could twist a fey into something entirely different."
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The imp gives Yone the old stink eye. "I think we all know what I meant."
    Then her attention turn back to the king. "Y-yeah, exactly! Imagine a fey getting some other fey's long-forgotten title, I'd be chaos which is exactly what the ones using them are hoping for."

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    The King's eyes briefly glow brighter this time. The implications of this information have managed to shake him.

    "Do these beings have weaknesses? Something that may be used to repel them?"
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    "Do tell, imp. You've warned us to stay out of the 'elementals' paths, but is there anything else to be done?"
    For all that she is worrying about, the danger of the corrupted information still does not seem real to Yone.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    Oh no, more questions!
    "Er, well, I..." This was one of the things she was supposed to know, wasn't it? "Um, the others we talked to never asked this question so..." The imp stares at the notes without actually reading them. She knew the boss hadn't written it down so she was just trying to buy time.

    Why hadn't he written it down?

    Whyyyy!

    Okay. Take it cool. Calm down.
    She could reason herself out of this.
    Just had to recall everything she knew about those darn things.

    Spirits. Information... the deep realms...

    Ugghh...

    While the imp is incapable of sweating, she swill wipes her forehead as if she were.

    Then it hits her, her whole face shines up. Of course!

    "Ignorance! Um, I mean... like, blindness! Yes, if you can't see 'em, they recoil from your presence. Just... don't just ignore 'em. Gotta be unable to see, or at least close your eyes. Otherwise they just get aggressive." A beat. "...spirit wards also work if you got 'em."
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2021-02-02 at 06:47 PM.

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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    Spirit wards... normally the King does have such a thing. But not while Amalungak is indisposed. No matter. It makes it all the more urgent to get him out.

    "I command darkness, fear and things forgotten. I should be able to shield myself against those creatures with their help, if what you say is true. I don't require eyes to know what goes on in the dark."
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    Wards against spirits. That is not a fey's area of expertise in any case. But Yone has an idea where to get some. It will be distasteful, but better than taking a risk with the elementals...hopefully.
    Actually, watching the imp...is this reliable information? She doesn't bring it up.

    "By your leave, King in Rags, there are others we should carry warning to."
    And the imp is surely eager to get of here.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    "...yeah, that's great. You'll be fine then and we'll be going. Have a good day now and all, bye!" The imp hurridely stuffs back the notes from wherever they came from, waves, and then starts to fly out the same way they came. Never looking back.

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    Default Re: The Court of the King in Rags

    [Cat Chariot]

    As the imp flies away, the King in Rags' voice carries behind her.

    "You have performed a service for the King in Rags and you will not find him ungrateful. Should you require a boon I can grant, return here."

    Only after he's done speaking will they seem to cross any distance through the corridor and exit the court.
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