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    Venturing the Badlands

    Kemp
    Kemp

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    Post by Kemp on Fri May 03, 2019 7:26 am

    Amberley just chuckled to herself as Ami was busy sulking away. If only she knew. She just grinned at Ren when she tried to scold her and blew her a kiss in response. She had never seen this so-called "Jewel of Saadedge" before, so she was expecting great things.

    As the music played, Amberley was actually impressed. This took some serious skill in magic to pull off. She really was earning that title. How wonderful. She was happy to see the newcomer dance along to the music. She appreciated it when people took the time to have fun and relax a little.

    Noticing Ami's reaction to the music, Amberley approached her.

    "That instrument is an oud, you don't really see them outside of Saadedge. She's using illusion magic to make it seem like other instruments are playing around us. It's quite impressive, never seen anyone use magic like this before, especially not a bard."

    She smiled softly. "Forgive me for my earlier behavior, that was not proper of me to say such things," She said. "Though, you should have just mentioned Illeia earlier. I know exactly where her temple is. I actually live just outside of it, and I'm acquainted with the priestess. I can take you there if you'd like."
    KitKet
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    Post by KitKet on Sun May 05, 2019 2:05 pm

    After a few sort minutes, her performance was done. Ren looked around with a wide smile before bowing deeply. She was happy that one of them enjoyed it enough to dance. Hopefully this brought the mood up at least a little. "Thank you very much for listening, I do hope you enjoyed." She slung her oud around her back once again, feeling quite smug with herself.

    As it turned out, moods were lifted indeed!

    Amberley apologized for her behavior and even offered to take their angry friend to the temple! "It's safer to travel in a group no? Since we're all friends now, how 'bout we go together? We could share stories on the way!" Maybe at the end she could convince one of them to lead her to the ruin next too! Ah, today was a fine day indeed!
    Lilac
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    Post by Lilac on Sun May 05, 2019 10:14 pm

    Ami was still looking around warily when Eun started dancing and Ren continued to play. The Enkidu girl eventually explained to her it was just illusion magic being used in accompaniment to the oud.

    While some of the people at Ami's camp had Cartic magic, she had never seen real illusion magic before, and it amazed her just how specific Carta was. Sure a Cantic illusionist could probably conjure up images as well, but she had never seen anything so meticulously orchestrated. It frankly scared her a bit.

    Ami was still planning to leave now that the demon magic had been explained, but Amberley then piped in an apology in her explanation as well as claiming that she did know where the temple was and was quite accustomed to it.

    A part of Ami wanted to perk up and demand to be taken there, but the other more logical said told her to remain incredulous. How was she so sure this wasn't a trick? The Enkidu had been hostile just awhile ago and for all she knew the red panda girl just wanted to bash her face in for being disrespectful to her. Still...the offer was there and...

    Ami looked at her butterfly knife for a moment. The black glass that coated the handle showed a bit of her reflection. It was a strained one, tired from years of hoping for something people told her would not come. Flipping the blade closed, she breathed out.

    "If...that's okay," she said carefully to Amberley's offer. "I apologize too for being unnecessarily hostile. If you could show me the place, that would be much appreciated."

    Ren who had, by this point, stopped playing, suggested everyone go along as well. Aside from the creepy magic stuff, Ami was, indeed, loving this girl. If others accompanied her, there was less of a chance she'd get a warhammer to her face.

    "That sounds...like a plan, yeah," she agreed. And then, looking at the fox girl who had joined not so long ago, "I take it you want to come to?"

    Whether the fox girl continued to ignore her or not, she didn't really care. The bard woman alone would be fine as protection.

    Ami would then look back at Amberley. "So where is this temple, exactly?"

    ***

    The sandstorm that had swept Higini, Eun, and Heinrich up had been surprisingly done them a favor in placing them in close proximity to the ruins in question. The temple of Illeia, while known by many other names, managed to place Higini and Heinrich within eyesight and they were eventually carried in to be tended to.

    When the two woke up, they would find themselves in the comfort two cots with mattresses stuffed sparsely with cotton. The room they were in was filled with several more of the same beds albeit empty. If they examined the area, they would notice the walls were bare and smooth, painted a white that was now close to fading. Two small openings on opposite ends of the room let in a bit of sunlight, but most of the light came from the warm oranges of a fire in a chamber outside where they currently were past an open doorway.

    The silhouette of a girl appeared against another bare well and they would hear the sound of faint humming. Whether or not they would decide to approach her was up to them.


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    Nonsequitur
    Nonsequitur

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    Post by Nonsequitur on Sun May 05, 2019 11:50 pm

    The warmth of the sunlight and fire and the sound of music had been just enough to coax him gently awake. That was bad though. That meant he was asleep at some point and that was really, really worrying. So he sat up with a gasp and a start and produced a dagger from his boot within an instant ready to…

    Stare dumbfounded at the scene in front of them. This wasn't some sandy hole in the ground he thought he had to climb himself out of and then fend off that annoying quicksilver beast. It rather seemed like someone's residence, a young lady?

    He glanced over and saw he wasn't the only person there. Nah, he clearly died and went to hell if he was stuck somewhere alone with Higni. At least that little Enkidu was definitely to be trusted not to say anything dumb. Double-sure.

    Still he cleared his throat and put the blade away. "Beggin' your pardon miss, but where is this?"
    Silverion
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    Post by Silverion on Mon May 06, 2019 5:41 am

    The weather never had a lot of mercy to spare when it came to Eisleyn. When the winter wasn't freezing it's inhabitants to dangerous temperatures, the rest of the seasons never allowed the people to forget where they stood in regards to geographical location. Such was the case of today, where despite the spring season being only a couple weeks away, the freezing air kept sweeping the town of Lamiden like it was still the longest night. At the very least, most people were accustomed to the weather, with houses even made specifically to try and counter the merciless coldness.

    And it was in the wee hours of the morning when Higini ciuld appreciate such a foresight, as he sat at the table in his dining room, a warm chocolate and biscuits at hand. The forge today was closed, meaning a free day for him, but his parents weren't spared of their responsibilities, leaving the young man's home all for himself. For a brief moment, he felt that nothing could break this moment of peace, as he prepares himself to take the first sip of his cup.

    But then, a rather loud knock was heard from the main entrance, interrupting him. He was rather confused, not sure who could be this early, maybe they had mail? Putting the cup at the table, the man stood up, and slowly walked towards the door, letting a small yawn escape on the way. Unlocking the door, he opened the door cautiously, his lips about to utter a greeting, until his eyes focused on what stood in front of him

    It was a woman, but definitely not a stranger. Her outfit consisted of what appeared to be pants and a shirt of thin cloth, which were common for sleepwear, as well as pieces of leather armor that appeared to be hastily equipped, and even holding a sword on one hand. But the biggest feature was the state of her outfit, and herself; she was battered. Heavily. Wounds in various part of her body, cuts and slashes all around her outfit, and a lot of blood covering her. She wasn't even standing straight, as she appeared to have a limping leg, and her head was hung.

    And when she moved it to stare at him... Half her face was outright bloodied, her hair arranged in such a way that covered her right eye. And when his eyes set on the one she had left, she uttered something in a very soft, yet broken voice. It was a plea, one he never expected to hear in such a way in his lifetime.

    "Higini... Help me..."

    And thus, the woman, his best friend, fell to the ground.

    ---

    A loud gasp was heard when he finally woke up, the visage of his dream still very fresh in his mind. His hand went to touch his face, confirming what just happened. Yes, it was all a dream, but not quite. 'Memory' was more accurate. Even if it wasn't relatively long ago, sometimes it felt that way, as the image of Kassandra falling to the floor of his home, barely breathing, felt rather distant. A defense mechanism, perhaps? He wasn't used to seeing her so... Vulnerable.

    Trying to regain his focus and avoid the, rather uncomfortable memory, Higini rubbed both eyes to wipe away the drowsiness that remained. The place he was... it was unfamiliar to him, and his mind was still rather hazy to piece things together. He remembered treading the Badlands with two other people, encountering a lady, being ambushed by a monster, and then...

    "Uuugh..." He muttered, as he tried to stand up, his body wobbling a bit. There were a lot of put-together beds around, many looking like they were already deserted. Was he the last one to wake up? A voice nearby confirmed as much. When he turned, he noticed the image of a man addressing something in front of him, the position making it unclear who he was talking to. As he slowly started waking up, Higini started to move towards the man, hoping to get his bearings quick enough. "Who is... uuhh... Heinrich?" His hushed voice said, pushing the words almost automatically.
    Chidarake
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    Post by Chidarake on Thu May 16, 2019 9:07 am

    Eun stopped her movements as the music died off, a content look on her face. As she looked around at the group, she realized that it had settled the tension that was flaring up before, which was a side benefit. Moving around so much after having just pulled herself out of a sand dune had taken its toll on her though, her breathing obviously labored.

    As Ami asked her if she wanted to continue along with them, Eun thought for a moment before pulling out a piece of parchment and a writing utensil to jot down a response.

    'I'm heading back. Need a soft bed after all this excitement. Thanks for the song, let's meet again!'

    She handed the paper to Ren before waving to the rest and taking off back in the direction of town. Or at least, she hoped it was the way back to town.
    Kemp
    Kemp

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    Post by Kemp on Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:54 am

    Amberley grinned widely. "Good! We're all friends, then!" She stretched her shoulders and began looking around to try and pinpoint there location. "That sandstorm makes it a little harder to find out where we need to go, but...Aha! I know it now!"

    Amberley pointed towards the direction she needed to head and grinned again. "It's a somewhat clear stretch to our lovely little temple, just a few trees and rocks, and the occasional temperamental Incantus and ravenous fugitive Walpurgis!"

    Before they could head out, the other Enkidu decided to head out. Amberley waved joyfully at Eun. "Safe travels! Let's meet again, someday!"

    And with that, she turned to Ami and Ren, beaming. "Now, I have a few rules before we go~" She said. "Don't run off your own, or away from this imaginary trail because there's a good possibility you will die a horrific and painful death or get lost momentarily. I don't mind talking, but make sure you keep your ears open, things like to sneak up on you here. And finally, when we get to the temple, don't touch the fire because you will most definitely burn your hand to the bone and we'll have to amputate it, I've only amputated a body part four times and only two of those people lived, so let's not risk it!"

    She clapped her hands together. "So, any questions before we head out?"
    KitKet
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    Post by KitKet on Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:25 pm

    "Excellent!" Ren beamed as Ami agreed to join them. 'The more the merrier' she always said! Sadly, her fan didn't seem to think again. Ren visibly made a face, but was quick to smile and wave as the girl trotted off. Wait, wasn't that kind of bad move here?

    Bah, whatever. It'll probably be fine.

    Probably.

    She nodded along as Amberley gave tips on how to NOT die on the way back. Dearmad seemed fairly...completely hostile."Well I, for one, don't intend on dying anytime soon...Or ever if I can help it." Maybe one day she'd find the secret of immortality. Hell if the crow or the witch can do it, so can she. "Lets all stay close, yes?" She looked back and forth with a small smile. "I'm sure this will make a grand story once we're back!"
    Lilac
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    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:27 am

    Ami gave Amberley a brisk nod before looking at the road ahead.

    "No questions here," Ami said as she sheathed her knife and picked up her pots. "The faster we get there, the better."

    The fox girl had decided to leave, even giving Ren a small note (guess she wasn't the only one who liked her), and headed offward. She didn't know if it was a good idea to let that small thing go off on her own, but she had bigger priorities, and, if they didn't start moving, they'd be Incantus chow.

    Ren mentioned staying close, at which Ami turned away, mostly to hide her own blushing.

    "Err..yeah. It'll be safer that way for sure."

    Still, she kept a few feet from Ren, half out of bashfulness and half out of wariness.

    ***

    When Heinrich went out to approach the humming figure, he'd see a small figure stirring the contents of a cooking pot over a fire. About five feet in height with long lilac hair, she appeared to be a priestess based off of her blue and white robes. The girl turned around, her face cherub-like with large blue eyes.

    "Oh , you're awake!" she exclaimed.

    She quickly abandoned the pot to approach Heinrich.

    "I was worried for a moment that you and the other boy would miss dinner!" she said. "I don't get to eat dinner with people too often, so I made sure to make tonight's meal reaaaaally nice and--oh, right! You asked a question. I'm sorry!"

    The girl would chuckle and scratch her head.

    "A-anyways, you're at Elleia's temple!" she said happily. "My friend brought you here when you and your friend were found passed out in the middle of the desert. How are you feeling? Sore? Thirsty? I healed your wounds, but muscle sores from bad sleeping posture is different. I can't control how people sleep, now can I? That'd require me restraining people to their bed posts! Wouldn't that be silly?"

    The girl's flight of ideas and rapid fire speech were quickly painting the girl as perhaps not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    ***

    It wouldn't take too far before Amberley, Ren, and Ami would see a a series of temple ruins overtaken by an undergrowth of bushes and vines that seemed to come from out of nowhere. While some structures such as a few square buildings and pillars were damaged, others appeared to be still standing. Some broken pillars were surrounded by odd pink and orange blooms, while tree trunks gnarled and twisted around others. Passing a cracked path towards the ruins, the group would come to a square where a round pillared structure, a tholos, stood and sheltered a large hearth with blue fire. A little further back they would see a larger pillared building with light on the inside.

    Out here on the square, a table had been set with a cloth, plates, tankards, and cutlery. Bowls of fruits and pitchers were also there.

    "Is this...it?" Ami said staring about curiously.


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    Nonsequitur
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    Post by Nonsequitur on Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:18 am

    "Uhh-huh." For just a moment, Heinrich wanted to make sure he had a dagger on hand when this idiot was talking about tying them down.

    No sense wasting more time here. He got up and started stretching. "Sorry to do this, but I'm here on business, y'say this is a temple? Obviously this one's ah, in use. But I was sent here to find one that was abandoned, have you heard of anything like that? Got turned around in a sandstorm."

    He somehow doubted this gal could find her own feet with two hands and a torch, though.

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