A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1411
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Earl of Purple's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    Wastelands Campsite

    Makes sense, goblins live underground. They've got a healthy fear and respect for cave-ins. Frigate, meanwhile, doesn't need to breathe and might even survive a roof collapse. He's not eager to test it, because if he does there's no guarantee he can dig himself free. He'll set up at the main entrance to the cave, leaning the swivel-gun against a rock whilst he unslings the Nock gun and starts to load it. He'll ensure all his guns are loaded and ready as the goblins approach, so if anyone tries to come out he has multiple options for dealing with them.
    Terrowin Avatar by HappyTurtle. Much thanks!

    I don't use the Registry; ask for a description if you don't know what my character looks like.

  2. - Top - End - #1412
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Murkus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathkeeper View Post
    The Green

    Artie seems unsure.
    "Oh, wow. I've never even considered that sort of thing. I plan on continuing my studies and get a job. But I wouldn't wear something this lovely to a laboratory. What sort of things do you normally put on things?" she asks. She's clearly not used to magic just being something you can weave into clothes.
    The Green

    "Well... Some people like to ask for things like the ability to disappear from sight, or to withstand blows from weapons. Or fire. Lots of woodsfolk fear fire..."
    Savarins considers. "It all depends what you think you'll be doing when you're wearing such a thing."
    My avatar was done by Gulaghar. Thanks again!

    "If you meet a spirit walking,
    Incline your head.
    Do not meet their gaze.
    Do not follow after."

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  3. - Top - End - #1413
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    The Green

    "Well, as you have no doubt seen, I am quite difficult to miss. And while it's by design, I suppose it could bite me at some point. Perhaps something to help me be subtle if I need take my leave of an event? I think I will need something more plain for wearing at work, but such garments would not need enchantments!" she giggles a bit but her point stands. This dress seems like more of a statement maker and not something she'd wear to work.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  4. - Top - End - #1414
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Murkus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [The Green]

    "Then I'll make it so," says Savarins, scuttling back to his work.

    Vivi finally glides back in through the front door of the house, a number of spidery children in her arms. "Here we are, dears." She tells the babies. "And how are you two doing?" Her eyes alight upon Savarins and Artie.
    My avatar was done by Gulaghar. Thanks again!

    "If you meet a spirit walking,
    Incline your head.
    Do not meet their gaze.
    Do not follow after."

    -Things Our Mothers Tell Us

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  5. - Top - End - #1415
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lord Magtok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    The Hegemony Flagship

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulaghar View Post
    [The Hegemony Flagship]

    The shuttle takes off and Magtork departs to his untimely demise. Or that's the idea at least. At about thirty seconds after departure, whatever connection the flagship had to the shuttle is cut off. Odd. Another thirty seconds and the shuttle pulls a sharp U-turn. It's coming right back around toward the flagship.


    "FULL SPEED RIGHT NOW, WE NEED TO GET OUT OF RANGE OF-" The admiral flinches, realizing that running away isn't going to happen without a functioning engine. The engine that Magtork ripped out. The engine that Magtork butchered, mutilated, and turned into a hideous forcefield-projecting monstrosity. The engine we haven't replaced yet, meaning all we can do is drift ineffectually while the greenskin bastard accelerates towards the landing bay. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap...

    "****, uh...rotate the flagship! Seal off the landing bays! Bring all available weapons around and focus all fire on that lander! Ready the teleporters and have an attack squadron ready to repel all boarders!" the miserable MagClone screams, grabbing a passing officer by their uniform collar and stealing the (largely ceremonial) officer's cutlass that'd been tied to their hip. That forcefield might stop projectiles, but something moving as slowly as a sword should pass right through, shouldn't it? After all, we were able to swing our legs ineffectually and try to bonk Magtork with the ruined gun earlier, so a blade should be fine, provided the big green bastard comes close enough to shank.

    Meanwhile, as the commanding officer contemplates a duel to the death on the bridge, the flagship slowly begins to turn and try to position itself to open fire with its impressive array of turbolaser cannons and missile bays. There might not be enough time to get the heavy hitters aligned before Magtork closes in, since he's only about a minute away, however.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    Unhooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi
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  6. - Top - End - #1416
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [Wastelands Campsite]

    One of the goblins crawls through the one of the holes, to look more closely inside. The shafts offer more than enough light for goblin eyes. They need to find out if the rest of the knights are in the cave or not, before committing to anything.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
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  7. - Top - End - #1417
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Ironsmith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    Quote Originally Posted by Earl of Purple View Post
    Wastelands Campsite

    Makes sense, goblins live underground. They've got a healthy fear and respect for cave-ins. Frigate, meanwhile, doesn't need to breathe and might even survive a roof collapse. He's not eager to test it, because if he does there's no guarantee he can dig himself free. He'll set up at the main entrance to the cave, leaning the swivel-gun against a rock whilst he unslings the Nock gun and starts to load it. He'll ensure all his guns are loaded and ready as the goblins approach, so if anyone tries to come out he has multiple options for dealing with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    [Wastelands Campsite]

    One of the goblins crawls through the one of the holes, to look more closely inside. The shafts offer more than enough light for goblin eyes. They need to find out if the rest of the knights are in the cave or not, before committing to anything.
    [Wastelands Campsite]

    The goblin who pokes their head through is in for a nasty surprise; as soon as they get into the cave, they're going to be hit with a nasty, all-over itch, as though they'd inadvertently walked into a cloud of mosquitoes or maybe a small sandstorm. Nothing will physically be all that different, and the sensation will fade if and when they step back into the light.

    If, after that, they still have the presence of mind to look around, they'll see other people in the dark, most of them unarmored, laying in various places around the cavern, apparently asleep. Though a few of them rather clearly aren't; they're laying rather awkwardly, like discarded dolls.
    Who're you? ...Don't matter.

    Want some rye? 'Course ya do!


    Here's to us.
    Who's like us?
    Damn few,
    and they're aaall dead.


    *gushes unintelligibly over our cat, Sunshine*

    [Nexus characters, grouped by setting:
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  8. - Top - End - #1418
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathkeeper View Post

    Fort Aegis Resort

    Spako snorts.
    "Yes, I was the voice of reason when it came to names. And yes, I did become a dragon. My people are mature when elves are still babes and humans are still in school. But I assure you that my gift made me a dragon of my appropriate age and not my literal age." What method that gift was he doesn't seem to be saying right now. Drassing snoozes in his arms, oblivious to the conversation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post

    Fort Aegis Resort

    Ambrosia gives Spako a curious look. Become a dragon he said? Must have been quite a gift and a surprise. No wonder Sylvess was so awkward about it.
    She wanted to ask more about it but she didn't want to suddenly jump down that rabbit hole of a question before finishing with her current line of inquiry.

    "I named my son Iseal-Su." She adds to what seemed to be the growing baby-name pool. The tone she uses probably more akin to Thariza's than Spako and Sylvess as if there was more than just physical distance between her and the child. "A bold name for a bold son." It's a loving phrase but it doesn't seem to bring even a smile to her face. Instead she simply moves on as she gestures to Spako. "But speaking of humans, how old would you say they are if we're to compare them to human-babes? Since I get the feeling you don't age as quickly mentally as humans." Ambrosia glances at Sylvess. "Or at least socially considering your underage comment."
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post

    [Steelbite Canyon]

    Calm Reed walks alongside Atreyu, ready to strike if danger appears. Though it seems that this danger might not be something martial arts can easily affect, if the crystal is behind that door.

    [Fort Aegis Resort]

    Thariza looks over at Ambrosia when she talks about her son. She definitely sounds more like a Charr than another race when she talks about him.

    "My cubs were growing up strong by the time I left home." Not very voluntarily. "Well on their way to becoming soldiers. But we're not really supposed to pay too much attention. We raise kids... differently."
    Quote Originally Posted by Earl of Purple View Post

    Steelbite Canyon

    Whoever or whatever is inside the drystone shack, it's not in there willingly. There's a bolt on the door, which is stopping them from getting out. The door's old, and there's a few gaps in it. Peering through the gaps reveal that there's a crystal at the far side, on a windowsill. It casts its sickly purple light out the back, where the world looks... a little wrong. There's a cliff back there, and the rocks meet in unusual ways. Also in the bothy are four dead people, more glowing crystals in their bodies. Three are standing; one, with a facetted crystal emerging from its shoulders instead of its head, bumped into the door. Another is lying face down, the crystallisation replacing the zombie's legs. One of the others has a facetted shape emerging from its chest, and the last was obese in life and the entropic shape is in its lower abdomen, a hole carved most of the way around it.
    [Fort Aegis Resort]

    Sylvess makes an awkward forced laugh, embarrassed at bringing up the whole age thing at all. He was supposed to have got past all that. No no, he has got past all that, it's just the anxiety at having so many guests around, talking to him. He subconsciously shifts his position a little further round behind Spako.

    "O-oh, yes, um, a-a-anyway, the way wyrmlings age i-is a little odd. Our children a-are a matter of months old but, um, they're much more advanced than an equivalent human in, um, some ways at least. Th-they're able to hunt as soon as they're out of their eggs a-a-and they can fly pretty quickly too and protect themselves and stuff, so i-in some areas they're more capable almost immediately than, um, I don't know, a two year old child maybe? I-I guess they're not much quicker at learning to talk initially, and their development sort of...slows down at some point a-a-and then it takes them a long while to fully mature." Life is complicated like that. It's hard to compare like for like accurately here.

    "M-maybe more similar to some elements of how her cubs grow then? I-I think part of it i-is that not all dragons stick around to look after their young, o-or some are left to be raised by servants, or...bad things happen to the dragon. B-but we don't have children that often, s-so it's important they're able to be self-sufficient very quickly."

    *****

    [Steelbite Canyon]

    "Ah. Hells." Atreyu mutters, take a step back from the door. "Ain't much space in there, and there's four of th' damn things. Reckon that crystal leg one ain't able to walk though." He frowns and looks across at Calm Reed. "Not got much left in th' tank, mahself. If we can maybe try'n disrupt 'em, we could grab the crystal real quick in somethin' and leg it."
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. - Top - End - #1419
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [Steelbite Canyon]

    "I can try to keep them down long enough for you to grab it." Calm Reed doesn't sound convinced, however. "But there's not enough room in here for both of us and these creatures. We could try to lure or drag them outside."

    [Wastelands Campsite]

    It takes some reflex for the goblin not to make any sound at the sudden itching, which would very likely be dangerous or at least very inconvenient in this situation. They quickly scurry back and report what they saw to the others.

    "It sounds like easy pickings, but it could also be a trap. And their leader might be a match for us on her own anyway."
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
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  10. - Top - End - #1420
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    Quote Originally Posted by Murkus View Post
    [The Green]

    "Then I'll make it so," says Savarins, scuttling back to his work.

    Vivi finally glides back in through the front door of the house, a number of spidery children in her arms. "Here we are, dears." She tells the babies. "And how are you two doing?" Her eyes alight upon Savarins and Artie.
    The Green

    Artie smiles at Vivi's re-entrance.
    "Quite well, Vivi. Sir Savarins was just helping me by going over the sorts of glamours he might place on the piece he's made for me."
    Artie's not sure if he planned on only making her the one thing. Even if she no longer sweats she'll probably need at least two things to wear.

    Fort Aegis Resort

    "Dragon growth is decidedly odd. If they were kobolds they'd be mostly functional by two years, but dragons are capable of usual physical activities right away but can't talk for a while, as Sylvess says." Spako reiterates.
    "From the sound of it once they figure out their talking and their basic magics they'll be children for longer than a kobold would be alive." Luckily the babies have been making friends with the youngest kobolds. Especially since the latter will probably end up taking care of the former one day.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  11. - Top - End - #1421
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Gullara's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    The Hegemony Flagship



    "FULL SPEED RIGHT NOW, WE NEED TO GET OUT OF RANGE OF-" The admiral flinches, realizing that running away isn't going to happen without a functioning engine. The engine that Magtork ripped out. The engine that Magtork butchered, mutilated, and turned into a hideous forcefield-projecting monstrosity. The engine we haven't replaced yet, meaning all we can do is drift ineffectually while the greenskin bastard accelerates towards the landing bay. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap...

    "****, uh...rotate the flagship! Seal off the landing bays! Bring all available weapons around and focus all fire on that lander! Ready the teleporters and have an attack squadron ready to repel all boarders!" the miserable MagClone screams, grabbing a passing officer by their uniform collar and stealing the (largely ceremonial) officer's cutlass that'd been tied to their hip. That forcefield might stop projectiles, but something moving as slowly as a sword should pass right through, shouldn't it? After all, we were able to swing our legs ineffectually and try to bonk Magtork with the ruined gun earlier, so a blade should be fine, provided the big green bastard comes close enough to shank.

    Meanwhile, as the commanding officer contemplates a duel to the death on the bridge, the flagship slowly begins to turn and try to position itself to open fire with its impressive array of turbolaser cannons and missile bays. There might not be enough time to get the heavy hitters aligned before Magtork closes in, since he's only about a minute away, however.
    [The Hegemony Flagship]

    The shuttle is rocketing directly toward the landing bay. Will it seal in time? The guns certainly can't get trained in at the speed it's going. It's not even bothering to slow down. In the final moment where it appears that the shuttle is going to careen into the landing bay at top speed, it suddenly veers upward. One can almost imagine the ork's laughter as it goes for a full loo over and around the flagship before heading toward the planet surface again, very much in full control.

  12. - Top - End - #1422
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rebonack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [The Dread Gazebo]

    In a forgotten garden choked with weeds, dead trees, and melting snow; sitting atop a small knoll of dead grass and patchy mud, there is a gazebo.

    Or, perhaps, the ruins of one.

    It's made of stark white stone, likely marble or limestone, though in spite of its age there's no sign of pitting or clinging lichens. The monument is almost startling in its immaculate appearance, pure as the driven snow. Atop its peak stands an emblem of something like bronze in the shape of a stylized sun, though without a hint of green patina that something so old should bear. At first glace, considering the broken stone pillars nearby, one might assume that its roof had fallen in at some point in the past.

    That would be, however, a mistake.

    There's a pulse from the peak of the tattered gazebo, a feeling of warmth and a brief flash of sunlight. And then, with a sound of well lubricated stone surfaces sliding against each other, the roof of the gazebo rises. Within stands a brass basin atop a pedestal filled with crystal clear water.

    The water ripples.

    A voice echoes.

    Distant.

    Distorted.

    The water ripples again, the disturbance reaching out into the very air within the gazebo.

    A second time comes the voice, clearer this time. A woman? The words are still impossible to make out, but the tone sounds alarmed.

    A third time the water ripples, causing the very fabric of reality to splash like a stone thrown into a still pond, a woman stumbling out of the gazebo backwards in its wake. She trips over the gazebo's stairs, topples over, and lands flat on her back in the damp, cold mud. With a damp splat the leather helmet she's wearing goes bouncing off her head and rolling through the dead grass, leaving grey hair exposed.

    Normally that would be associated with age, but she's a young woman in her early twenties at the absolute latest. Her build is mostly hidden by the leather brigandine she's wearing, though at a glance she's a bit on the short side. Between the armor and the heavy cloak, she must have come from somewhere where both danger and cold abound. The only thing about her that seems immediately remarkable are her golden yellow eyes and black lips.

    "That could have gone better," she summarizes, deciding that it would be best to just languish there in the mire for a few moments until the world decides to stop pitching and whirling under her feet.
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  13. - Top - End - #1423
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    The Dread Gazebo

    She really should have straps on that leather helmet. That's why they fall off. Also if it's just leather it's really not much of a helmet. More of a padded hat or a coif.
    The flash is witnessed by an onlooker, who comes over to her. Towering over the lady soon comes an extremely strong-looking dragon-man in a flannel shirt and jeans, a golden bracelet on his wrist and spectacles on his nose.
    "Hey, are you okay?" asks the not-actually-dragonborn.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  14. - Top - End - #1424
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rebonack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [The Dread Gazebo]

    It has a strap!

    It's just... Not that comfortable. If Fenris is expecting a fight then she straps it on but otherwise it can just hang out on her head. And the helmet's make is rather akin to her armor. A layer of leather on the outside, metal plates riveted to the leather in the middle, and padded cloth on the inside. It's a 'studded leather' helmet. Not as heavy as a heavy metal helm but it gets the job done.

    So!

    Yes.

    A perfectly fine helmet.

    That's laying in the mud over there and not doing Fenris a great deal of good. But that's fine. She isn't fighting anyone at the moment.

    Definitely not fighting that very strange looking argonian, since he's asking if she's fine. Typically bandits and sell-swords don't inquire about one's well being before dispensing with a hearty helping of shanking. At least not in Fenris' experience.

    "By most reasonable objective measures, yes. I'm okay," Fenris admits. "In so far as laying on my back in the mud with a splitting headache passes for okay."

    Most people probably wouldn't consider that okay, Fenris thinks. But most reasonable people don't get caught up in absurd adventures where their life is put at risk on a regular basis. The part with the vampires certainly came as something of a surprise. And the dragons, too. Goodness, she really should have just stayed in Cyrodil. What a terrible time to try sneaking back home.

    With a groan, Fenris braces one hand in the mud and pushes herself up into a sitting position. Ugh. It feels like her lunch got left behind at the other wayshrine and just decided to lurch back into her stomach. She manages to keep it down. Barely.

    "Could you hand me that?" she asks, pointing at the helmet nearby. "And... maybe tell me where I am? I was aiming for Northwind but judging by the lack of scenic cliff-side overlooks and the stunning lack of skeletons trying to murder me I'm guessing I missed?"
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  15. - Top - End - #1425
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    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    The Dread Gazebo

    The reptile nods and goes over to the helmet, handing it over to her.
    "There you go. You're a few miles east of the city of Inside. I don't really know how far that is from the place you're talking about." G'nichi avoids small towns when he's out jogging.
    Ever since
    the incident.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  16. - Top - End - #1426
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rebonack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [The Dread Gazebo]

    Fenris gratefully takes her helmet back and ruefully wipes the mud off it.

    Definitely not her day.

    Once the helm is at least passably clean she puts it back on and actually bothers to tighten its strap this time. She's mostly operating off intuition here. Every time something this unexpected happens it means the gods have another 'fun' surprise for her. Because apparently there haven't been anywhere near enough of those just yet.

    "The city of... Inside? Really? I would wager that's some kind of khajiiti pun that doesn't translate well considering Elyswhere but it isn't anywhere near warm enough. There's no city by that name I'm familiar with in Cyrodil or Skyrim so that wayshrine must have tossed me further afield than I would have guessed."

    Fenris puts her hands on her hips and takes stock of the surroundings.

    Ruined... garden? Courtyard? Of some kind? With dilapidated, hollowed out buildings of an architectural style she really isn't familiar with. Marshy earth. A perfusion of luridly crimson thorny vines overgrowing just about everything. And-

    She slaps at an offending insect.

    -too many mosquitos for her liking.

    "Well," she begins, turning back toward the wayshrine. "I suppose I can just retrace my steps, that shouldn't be too-"

    The crystal clear water in the basin has been replaced with rancid, coagulated blood. It oozes over the edge of the bowl and drips onto the floor in snotty rivulets.

    Fenris pulls a repulsed face.

    "Typical. Probably vampires. Again."

    She's really beginning to hold great personal distaste for vampires in spite of the fact that she tries to avoid holding people to account for what they are rather than what they do but that has been growing increasingly difficult of late.

    Our heroes have several options here, of course. Maybe the most prudent would be to retrace G'nichi's steps and get the heck out of here as quickly as possible. Or they could try to get the shrine working again. Or explore the ruined garden they find themselves in.
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  17. - Top - End - #1427
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    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    The Dread Gazebo

    "Well, you may be in another world. Hard to say. Does the Nexus ring a bell? Um, we should probably get out of here. Odd things happen when I run into magical events while on my morning jogs." Hey, at least no death fog this time!
    G'nichi got here easy enough. He could see the flash of the gazebo from the road. Retracing his steps should be easy...
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  18. - Top - End - #1428
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    [The Dread Gazebo]

    "Another world," Fenris replies, a bit skeptical.

    Which, frankly, seems reasonable to her.

    Not another plane.

    This is obviously not Oblivion. Nor is it Atherius.

    But an actual other world.

    That alone would have some interesting implications about how well traveled the snow elves were if they built a wayshrine here as well.

    "No, I can't say the name 'Nexus' means much to me. I- ah!"


    She slaps at her neck again.

    "These infernal mosquitos are a plague. Shouldn't it be cold enough by now that they're all dead?"
    she grumbles at the offending vampiric insects.

    Always vampires these days.

    Even if they're only very small, very annoying ones. At least these ones don't spread vampirism.

    She hopes.

    Fenris decides to walk in a circle around the gazebo, observing it from all sides. She occasionally flails her arms at persistent insects. "Hmm... just pillars on this one. The design is a bit different. All the core components and underlaying spellwork appears to be the same BUT the defiled basin is definitely troubling. One more mystery for the pile."

    The woman stands in silence for a few moments before coming to a sudden realization.

    "Oh, right. Fenris Gray-Mane," she says after deciding that chatting this this weird argonian without introducing herself is kind of rude.
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  19. - Top - End - #1429
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    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Outside 50: Meeting nature halfway

    The Dread Gazebo

    G'nichi's scaly hide protects him from small insect proboscises.
    "My name is G'nichi. It's nice to meet you." G'nichi suppresses his desire to point out that her name is basically Wolfy McWolferton.
    "If you want to leave it was just a minute's walk down the road. But if you want to stay and try to get back I understand." Though he's not sure how successful that might be.
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  20. - Top - End - #1430
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    [The Dread Gazebo]

    What if they go after the softer spots BETWEEN the scales?

    These mosquitos are very persistent.

    "It may just be intuition, but I suspect getting this wayshrine to function again would require cleansing it of whatever curse has turned its water into blood,"
    Fenris says as she pauses to eye the basin again. "And if it's true that I'm not on Nirn anymore then I would be doing myself a disservice not exploring at least a little. All in the spirit of scholarship."

    Not in the spirit of killing monsters and bandits and taking their stuff.

    Definitely not.

    That isn't the sort of thing that Fenris spends time doing.

    Something she DOES spend time doing is flailing at these awful mosquitoes some more. This is one of those times when she wishes that her talent for magic wasn't quite so... bifurcated for lack of a better term. Being able to wreath herself in searing sunlight would be very useful right now since she's pretty certain the insects wouldn't survive it, beastly little things that they are. But unfortunately the more harmful applications of the Restoration school are the wheelhouse of her much furrier, much angrier, and always much hungrier alter ego.

    So flailing and swatting is about all she can manage, alas.

    Given the nature of the trails she has endured Fenris has entertained the idea that this might be some sort of colossal joke being carried out by the gods, one with a punchline she isn't privy to.

    Another mosquito gets swatted.

    "Well, I'm not the sort to decline exploring a ruin that has seen fit to thrust itself on me, nor to ignore companions that I fortuitously encounter. I stopped being troubled by coincidences like these months ago,"
    Fenris admits as she eyes the gutted buildings nearby. "I don't suppose you're some well known hero blessed with an artifact forged by the gods themselves?"
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  21. - Top - End - #1431
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    The Dread Gazebo

    G'nichi adjusts his glasses.
    "Would you accept an obscure hero in possession of an artifact forged by some manner of higher being that hasn't been made clear to me?" he inquires.
    He's not really sure who "mother" was but her daughter is powerful enough to pretend to be a god so...
    "I'm also a junior paladin." he adds hopefully. He hasn't officially swore any oaths yet.
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  22. - Top - End - #1432
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    [The Dread Gazebo]

    "Close enough," Fenris laughs.

    Oh, by the gods she called it, didn't she?

    They were still up to their old games, tossing people like herself into wild situations to resolve persistent problems. How long would it be before she turns over a rock and a Daedra pops out imperiously demanding that she clean up a mess for them? A day? A week? It might be a bit impious to think of the immortals in these terms but she probably wouldn't be so tempted to if they didn't treat her as a very capable errand girl.

    "Well then, I believe the first order of business will be finding a way into these ruins,"
    Fenris says as she steps away from the wayshrine and toward the crumbling building's facade. "You said you often encounter magical mishaps on your morning jogs? You aren't familiar with this specific location, are you?"

    Now...

    What's going to be the source of the bloodied water?

    A curse?

    An artifact?

    It's going to be something, certainly.

    Usually the sorts of 'dungeons' Fenris encountered were inside or otherwise underground. Barrows, crypts, caves, Ayleid ruins and the like. Ruins that are wholly outdoors are something of a novelty. She steps around a bit of crumbling wall, careful to avoid stepping in a marshy patch of earth that she suspects is much deeper than it looks.

    "So G'nichi was it? What talents do you bring to an adventure? You called yourself a paladin? I wasn't aware the argonians held to such orders," she says.
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  23. - Top - End - #1433
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    The Dread Gazebo

    "Oh no, argonians are thinner with less lustrous scales and plantigrade feet. Sometimes. I'm a weird bipedal dragon-person. Dragonborn with a tail? It's unclear. Potion mishap. I was supposed to just be a strong, tall lizardfolk." he explains with a shrug. With a flash a large staff with a pink heart on the end appears.
    "Oh, hello Belle. My bracelet supplies me with one magical artifact per day. This is Belle, she does lots of things as long as those things are pink. She also talks a lot but only in my head. She says hello." It doesn't bother him at this point.
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  24. - Top - End - #1434
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    [The Dread Gazebo]

    Dragonborn?

    Huh.

    That phrase must have a different meaning here. One not tied up in the idea of a mortal born with the soul of a dragon thanks to the blessing of Akatosh. It sounds like G'nichi is just talking about a race of mortals? One that is, admittedly, dragon-like. Vaguely. Fenris can't help but notice that G'nichi has arms instead of wings.

    "Ah, a potion mishap. I can't say that I've heard of an alchemical concoction having such a dramatic transformative effect but I'm sure there's no lack of subjects to puzzle over here, I think-"

    And then there's a magic rod.

    With a great big pink heart on the end.

    A rod that, apparently, does magical things. So long as those things are pink.

    Huh.

    This only further reinforces Fenris' suspicion that the mortal realm is meant to be a cosmic joke of some kind.

    "...hello Belle?" Fenris replies after a few minutes of awkward silence. She manages to avoid walking forward heedlessly, which is likely a good thing. The marshy soil is treacherous. "Do you, ah, have any explanation more detailed than 'pink things?' Usually paladin orders have a focus on martial prowess with a side of restoration expertise."

    And speaking of!

    "I am, as it happens, something of a mage myself. Specializing in restoration. My practical and academic knowledge of the school is broad, so when it comes to warding and healing I'm quite accomplished. I'm a fair-hand at enchantments as well, so if it comes to defending ourselves from aggressors I'm no dead weight."
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  25. - Top - End - #1435
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    The Dread Gazebo

    "Um, no not really. I haven't found limits for her yet, other than that using her magic summons a frilly pink outfit. You'll see it soon I'm sure." he shrugs.
    "Properly speaking most of Bahamut's paladins have sword or spear or hammer expertise, but the bracelet's weapons tend to fill in the blanks of training for me. I admit I ought to really get a weapon I can rely on normally." Or armor, but he wasn't expecting to run into trouble today. Maybe the ruins will just have a relatively calm magical problem and not anything that will involve combat. He did promise several people he'd stay out of trouble as best he can after his abysmal opening performance.
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  26. - Top - End - #1436
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    [The Dread Gazebo]

    "Learning to lean too heavily on an artifact probably isn't wise," Fenris agrees as she steps out into a paved pavilion that is mercifully NOT sinking into the mire. Her boots might be sturdy but she would prefer not testing them against getting dunked in a freezing marsh. "If it's lost or destroyed or usurped at an inopportune moment then you can be left helpless. A backup of some kind is never a poor plan. I'll admit that I haven't a great deal of expertise with weapons as such, much to the chagrin of my entire extended family. Most Nords are suspicious of anything that can't be gripped firmly with two hands and used to split a skull."

    The amount of fuss over her moving to Cyrodil to continue her education rather than learning to smith under her grand-father's tutelage was still a point of contention. Even after everything she had accomplished!

    It never ceased to be galling.

    "Though... ah..."

    Should she really mention this part?

    It's been an odd observation, on her part. Most folk spotting her cloaked in beast would flee or attack on sight. But people sent by the gods to cross her path and join her adventures never seemed to have any issue with that fact.

    "Though should the situation get hairy-"

    The gods would not forgive her for that pun.

    "-and overwhelming violence become prudent I can supply that as well. I'm a, ah, a werewolf. Not one of those feral beasts you hear about slaughtering goats, mind. I keep my wits about me, mostly. So long as I ease into it, just a little. Things get harder at night, though. But we still have plenty of daylight left so I doubt that will be any issue."

    It was, after all, a morning jog G'nichi went out for.
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  27. - Top - End - #1437
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    The Dread Gazebo

    "Yeah but I've already been spending the year on every other skills I need for heroics." Like basic combat training, wrestling, proper cardio, and inventory management.
    At the news she's a werewolf G'nichi just kind of nods?
    "Okay, I'll stay out of your way if that happens." he wouldn't want to get bit.
    Then he might wake up one day to find himself in the Boofers.
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  28. - Top - End - #1438
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    [The Dread Gazebo]

    Ah HAH!

    She knew it!

    The gods caused this aspiring hero to cross her path, which means the fact that she's cursed with beast blood by The Lord of the Hunt is met with a nod and a dismissive comment.

    Because of course that's how it unfolds.

    Fenris does her best to grin a grin that isn't too wolfish.

    "This always happens when I meet fellow adventurers along the road. If anyone else so much as catches a glimpse of me the screaming starts and the swords come out. But when it's these auspicious crossings? The strangest was when I was climbing to the top of the Throat of the World in beast shape on account of it being the dead of night and freezing to boot when I met a traveler reading one of the marker stones. He warned me to be careful on my climb since there were wolves about. It was all so surreal I stood there a few minutes while he waxed poetic about the mountain until I awkwardly slunk off."

    Had it been too dark to make her out? She still isn't sure to this day.

    Further confirmation that the gods find great amusement in all this madness.
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  29. - Top - End - #1439
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    The Dread Gazebo

    "Well, sometimes I get that when people talk about dragons. I look like this because a pair of precocious dragonlings popped through the window after I imbibed a potion requiring a strong mental image. It's hard to properly appreciate speeches on the merits of dragondom with that."
    But he wouldn't be anything else.
    Sometimes he regrets losing his wings. Even though they made clothing such a hassle and he kept banging them on doorframes.
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  30. - Top - End - #1440
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    [The Dread Gazebo]

    Banging wing-wrists on door frames has got to be awful.

    "Dragonlings?" Fenris replies curiously as she ceases her walk across the pavilion. "As in dragon children? By the Divines what a strange place. I'm going to have to make several trips with as many reference volumes as I can carry. So dragons aren't unchanging immortals created by Akatosh here? They're mortals that breed and sire children like anyone else?"

    This is a topic of some interest to Fenris, especially since dragons were something of a timely topic when she left home.

    Sadly before she can inquire further the sound of droning wings is joined by a deeper, more papery thrum echoing up out of a dilapidated cellar with an entrance like the throat of an open tomb.

    That...

    Definitely sounds like trouble.

    Our heroes have several options here.

    They could stand their ground and meet their foes! Or they could try setting up an ambush near the cellar entrance. Or they could find somewhere to take cover and get a better idea of what they're dealing with.

    What will they do?
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