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    The Masked Woman's Request

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    The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:59 am

    Note: This is an import of a thread from the old Zetaboards site found here


    A few days worth of travel from Parrada would find oneself in the small settlement of Sahdia. It was obviously meant to be a small respite for travelers who would brave the harsh region, having been built next to a small oasis and consisting of not much more than a general shop, a few scattered houses, and a tavern, all of which had seen better days. If one were to wander inside the tavern, though, they would receive a warm welcome and an invitation to the bar, regardless of age.

    At the corner of said bar, an odd-looking woman sat sipping her ale. She wore a dress weaved with intricate patterns that combined both black and white, and her long hair was colored to match; the left half was black as night, while the right was white as snow. The most peculiar part about her, though, was that if one were to get a glance at her face, they would find that she wore a small mask that covered just her eyes; the mask shared the color scheme, but this time the right half was white and the left black.

    In front of the woman lay a large tome, open to a page somewhere near the middle. She seemed to be studying it intently, only taking breaks for a sip of ale. A curious guest asked her what she was reading, and her only response was "The answer. Unfortunately, I doubt you can help me reach it, as you do not seem capable."

    As she shooed the man away, she sighed. She had filled out a request offering a reward for exploring what could only be described as a nearby dungeon, even including an extra reward for any items of note that they retrieved and brought to her, but so far no one of any particular note had shown interest. Had she worded the request wrong? Maybe she'd try a different approach next time.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 am

    "Reaching answers are not enough," the somewhat aloof voice of a girl would see.

    If the masked woman looked up, she would find herself in the presence of a rather petite young woman. In comparison to most of the people in the bar who wore adventurers' gear, commoner's clothes, or desert-fitted attire, the girl in front of the masked woman was one wearing an outlandishly Saoirsian dress with a bell-shaped skirt, frills, and a blue smock coat and bonnet. She had the face of a doll: cherubim cheeks, porcelain skin, bright glassy green eyes. Her hair was the color of gold thread and cascaded down past her waist and barely just above her ankles. Despite having a child-like appearance, the girl carried a sense of refinement and haughtiness. She had a silver pipe to her lips.

    "An answer is often the result of gathering the fragments of chaos which the divines have so carefully laid out for us."


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 am

    You don't receive a letter inviting you to Saadedge very often.

    That was inside Goibniu's mind, as he examined the strange letter that befell on him. A letter that instructed him to take a trip towards a settlement in Saadedge called Sahdia. Why exactly? It would appear that the sender needed help with exploring a nearby dungeon, and that they required qualified people to do the job. What might have been the reason of his selection? Maybe his status as an officer was recognized? Or perhaps it was his intellect? Or maybe he got this letter by complete chance? Too many mysteries waiting to be solved, and only one way to unravel them.

    Once he reached the settlement, Goibniu's first stop was the bar, as the letter instructed him to go there first. Whatever conversation the masked woman and Mirai were having would soon be interrupted by the appearance of a new patron, who greeted everyone big a smile. The enkidu wore a cloth around her head, and a long light brown garb that covered most of his body, both to fight off the Saadedge heat, and to protect his finer and more common getup underneath. What first caught his attention was the masked lady with the spiffy dress, and the tiny girl keeping her company. Were those two the ones that sent the letter? He wondered as he made his way there.

    "Good day, ladies!"
    Goibniu announced, his moustache moving alongside his mouth, as he took a seat next to the masked woman. "Sorry to interrupt your conversation, but I came for the letter!" And with that said, he took out the letter he had in his pocket, it covered with a little bit of sand from his trip.


    Last edited by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 am

    The woman turned when Mirai began to speak, a thin smile appearing on her lips at the girl's last line. "Yes, that is quite correct. And it's one of those fragments that I hope to find soon," she replied, finishing just before Goibniu made his grand entrance. An Enkidu this time. Pairing one such as him with what seemed to be a scholarly type might just do the trick.

    "Ah, do not worry. I am glad you came," the woman said, turning to face him for a brief moment before looking back at Mirai. "Perfect timing, in fact, as I assume this young one is here for the same reason. You two are the only ones with an air of competence to show, so I suppose this little errand will be run by the two of you," she continued, grabbing her book before shifting in her seat so that she could see both of them. Flipping back a few pages, she pointed at a small map of the nearby area, where she had circled what appeared to be nothing but a patch of sand to the north.

    "If my research is correct, there is an ancient temple in this area that, rather than being destroyed, has simply been lost to the sands over time. My ask is that you locate and map this temple, and to retrieve any possible items of note you may come across. Anything at all; a worthless trinket to you may yet be a jewel mine for me," she explained, adding a bit of soft, cheerful laughter to the end. She then moved to turn the page, but stopped her hand after it grasped the paper, moving head head to make eye contact with both of them.

    "Before I go into further detail, however, I would like to conduct a simple test. Purely of your own consent, of course, as I do not wish to intrude. However, I wish to see for myself what you are capable of, but rather than having you demonstrate and potentially destroy half the town, I have a simpler solution. I would simply take a small peek into your heads, only far enough to see the extent of your abilities. You are free to decline, and I will not judge, but it would ease my mind to know that I am not sending you two to a possible death," she continued, this time her mouth forming and keeping a small frown.

    If either or both of them consented, the woman would then proceed to mutter a small incantation, her hand resting on a small jewel sewn just below the collar of her dress, producing what anyone with the knowledge would recognize as a mix of both mental and divination type glyphs. The spell would allow her to see flashes of memories of either Mirai performing magic, or Goibniu in combat, as well as attempt to predict if what she finds would be sufficient enough for them to survive the trip.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:02 am

    Mirai wasn't really impressed with the woman's answer with regards to fragments as Mirai liked to believe that all fragments were available at all times.

    There was a quick interruption by an Enkidu, a deer one with antlers who looked more or less like your typical adventure considering his garb. However, she did notice his arm. She heard of prostheses, but she had a feeling there was more to it than what met the eye. She didn't greet him with words, however, and merely gave a polite nod. She could get to know him later. Right now, she was just interested in learning about the quest at hand.

    Mirai started at the woman blankly as she listened to the woman brief them in on the task at hand. The task seemed simple enough: the typical dungeon hunting, that sort of thing. Mirai had been on them before, and so this definitely was no exception as something within her abilities.

    Speaking of abilities, the woman asked if she could view their abilities by looking at their memories of combat. Mirai's bright green eyes narrowed.

    "A psychic, are we?" she asked. "I'm afraid I find it a little odd that one would need to do that as opposed to just asking. But then again, I suppose it's not too out of the ordinary. And if I'm honest, I have nothing to hide."

    She said the last part rather a little too confidently. When the woman would indeed try summon the marks needed for mentality and divination, she would oddly not see Mirai performing magic. Instead, Mirai had been making use of weapons just as that would explode on contact in brilliant elements or using a dagger or swords. That was to say, it would occur to her that Mirai was not a mage-type at all. She would also often see the form of a large gray wolf who accompanied her, most likely an Enkidu companion in a bestial form.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:02 am

    Oh boy, an trip towards some sort of dungeon? That sounded rather interesting, and even exciting, according to a hidden, dashing part of Goibniu's mind. "An expedition? That definitely sounds like a challenge!" He announced with a smile, as if he was actually looking forward to the challenge. But before they could continue, the masked lady asked them for a test of their abilities, and the way she wanted to do it was by apparently, peeking inside their minds?

    "Ah," He let out, a bit apprehensive about this. He had no idea what sort of magic the woman was going to use, or what would be the extent of her vision. But since it's only him and Mirai who were seemingly bestowed this quest, it would be in poor form to decline. "Well... alright. I trust your vision will be harmless." He said. Once he made his choice, he noticed the masked woman perform incantations on him and Mirai.

    The glyphs were ones he could recognize, which made curious of what the masked would be looking at. It is unknown what the woman expected of him, but she would notice him sparring with various different melee weapons, from swords to maces, with mostly the same partner. His form wasn't one of an expert, and his skills showed that he had still much to learn. But what would stuck out would be various memories with him utilizing a pistol, and his performance would drastically increase. Skill and luck would combine themselves into a display of accuracy and dexterity, which showed that Goibniu was definitely a noticeable marksman when using firearms.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:03 am

    She closed her eyes as the visions began to appear, opening them after a few moments and giving a soft smile. "Very interesting," she said, mostly directed towards Mirai. "You two should work well together as a team, especially if you stick to your strengths. Now I can rest easy while I wait for your return," she continued, turning the page of the book to one full of text, but more noticeably an innumerable about of notes, circles, lines, underlines, and other marks that she had apparently made. Her smile then faded as she continued her explanation.

    "Now, from what I gather the entrance shouldn't be too hard to find. However, it is not your everyday temple, as you probably could have guessed by now. It was apparently constructed for the purpose of testing people that wished to join their cult. As for what kinds of tests, I can't say... but the number five came up quite often when I was researching, so I can only assume it has some importance," she said, pointing to different parts of the page where four instances of the number five were indeed circled, each connected by lines. The lines seemed to form a lopsided star shape, with the bottom left point missing.

    "Unfortunately, that's all the information I was able to gather, but I hope it comes in use somehow. Now, on to the reason you're here! I'll offer you both five hundred denars to locate and create a map, or at the very least a descriptive log, of the inside of the temple. If you find any items of note, I'll add on an extra five hundred for each one that catches my eye, again to both of you. And don't be afraid to bring back as many things as you can find; what may seem like trash to you may be a treasure to me," she said, smiling and giggling slightly. [color:27dd=#000]"And if this all turns out to be rumor and the temple does not exist, I will still give you compensation. But I will be double checking if you return with that claim," she said, lightly tapping the side of her head.

    "Now, if that sounds acceptable, I shan't keep you any longer. Here, use this," she said, handing Mirai a small copy of the map she had drawn out beforehand," [color:27dd=#000]"to help guide your path. It shouldn't be more than a day's journey, but as I'm sure our Enkidu friend here knows, the desert can be harsh. I hope to see you both return safely!" she finished, speaking as if they had already accepted her offer.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:03 am

    Mirai listened quietly as the woman talked, trying to take in everything from the little brief. While the price was less to her liking, she money was never an issue for her. No, information in itself was prize enough. She was, after all, here to perform a reconnaissance of Saadedge.

    When offered the map, she would examine it carefully and then look at Goibniu.

    "Shall we proceed, Herr? she asked.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:03 am

    There was a flicker of excitement as the woman went over the specifics of this endeavor, mainly because of how they would have to cross it. Did that mean the people had to go through many trials to enter? Would they have to decipher puzzles, or maybe fight various monsters? It was good that he came armed with his trusty sidearm, kept safely put on his holster attached to his belt. [color:5b9f=#fe0]"Ha, this sounds like quite the adventure. Fear not madam, we'll be back in no time!" He proclaimed, before turning to the little girl.

    Ah, that was the second time her was called Herr, how educated. [color:5b9f=#fe0]"Indeed. Oh, how rude of me, I forgot my manners. My name is Goibniu McCrae, and I am eager to team up with you in this expedition in order to see it to fruition." He said, as he moves his hand to give her a handshake, his moustache gently moving cheerfully. He would make a comment about this girl was too young for an expedition like this, but if the masked woman deemed them both worth of this adventure, then maybe Mirai had something he didn't know.


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    Re: The Masked Woman's Request

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:03 am

    The woman, seemingly satisfied with the conclusion of their discussion, nodded at Goibniu before turning the pages of her book to a different section to begin reading anew. A few moments later, a figure so heavily covered in cloth, goggles, and other gear apparently made to protect him from the sand came in through the door, making his way towards the small group after noticing them.

    "You the folks that needed a guide through the desert? You got my-" he started in a gruff and grainy voice, his throat obviously dried out, when a small bag suddenly flew through the air into his hands, tossed to him by the woman, who gestured towards the two in front of her. After opening the bag and counting the coins inside, the man grunted before continuing. "Eh, it'll do. You two, come with me. I'm taking you to that temple place, but the wind's picking up, and I'll be damned if I let someone die in a sandstorm on my payroll. I got extra gear, we'll grab it on the way out," he said, jabbing his thumb towards the door before heading that way himself.


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