The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

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The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Aug 25, 2005 8:00 pm

It was one of those days in Doma city. The sun hadn't been seen in the sky all day and the streets were wet from a perpetual drizzle of rain. Through it all Jesiah Black trudged up and down the streets of the city he had come to call home over the last several years posting flyers.

It was ironic he thought; Posting these when he had been the one to answer a very few of them. A typical mercenary wanted for travel and exploration flyer. His pay was perhaps a bit higher than what was generally offered at 4000 gil a person, but then he honestly didn't expect many of them to come back alive. Normally he would have been content to stay at the library with his nose stuck in whatever research problem he felt like dealing with at the moment. That was Doma for you nothing stayed normal for long here.

Jessie glanced once at the last of the lot. Exploration and ruins survey, edge of the Barren desert, 4000 gil, contact Jesiah Black at the imperial library, that was the bare bones of it. There certainly was quite a lot that he wasn't telling these prospectives. Hell, every single one of these things he'd ever signed up for didn't cover half the crap he'd ended up getting into. As far as he was concerned it was the way these sort of things were done.

With a heavy sigh. Jessie headed back to the library to wait. The flyers had been posted, people would come or they wouldn't. All he could do was wait.

- Blackwind.

Edited by: Blackwind Isao at: 8/25/05 20:07

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Thu Aug 25, 2005 9:29 pm

A few people liked the smell of Bulworth passing by. The smell of wet leather had the likelihood of appealing to at least a small percentage of Doman citizens, if not more. But, for at least one citizen, it was appealing as a heap of horse leavings.

The person in question also had the poor fortune of being the smell's carrier.

Bulworth was a miserable mountain of fur underneath his Chuushiman hat. With a satchel on his back and his hammer on his shoulder, he clopped his way to this library he was supposed to go to.

I wish they came up with some form of transportation that wasn't walking or an animal... Hate the rain, wouldn't want to subjugate an animal... or subject it to my weight... Oh well. I can still hope.

He arrived at the library, and had himself a look around. Jesiah was the only one around, so he approached him, and asked, "'Scuse me. Are you the guy who posted the ad?"


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:03 pm

Jessie had not been expecting a response from anyone as soon as he got one. As it was he had been in a state of reverie until the stench of wet leather came to assail his sense of smell. That could only mean one thing here.

Jessie turned to face the prospective hire settling the tangle of blue robes he wore in the process. Next to this hulking mass of muscle his 5'10" frame was diminuitive. Nonetheless, he studied the minotaur for a full minute, his grey eyes half-hidden behind a pair of half-moon reading glasses before he responded.

"Yes. I am Jesiah Black. You are here to apply for a position in our enterprise I take it?"

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:48 pm

Bulworth was expecting anything but the grandiose terms Jesiah used.

Position? Enterprise? Didn't realize this was such a serious thing...

"Uh... yeah, I guess. Do I... need an application, or a resume, or something? Cuz I didn't think I needed one..."


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:03 pm

"No, nothing of the sort. I'm certain that you are quite capable of handling yourself. We leave from the west gate at sunrise tomorrow morning. I've requisitioned basic supplies for our journey but I suggest that you bring anything that you feel would be helpful. On that point I would note that we'll be traversing a rather long stretch of mountains before we even get to where we're going. Was there anything else you needed from me at this time Mr...? Dear me, I don't think I got your name...."

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:13 pm

Rain was one of those things that had a number of varied effects on James, and like the weather patterns itself, the impact on his mood was somewhat erratic. If he were already in a good mood, rain sometimes accentuated it, especially when he could marvel at the beauty involved in the simple, yet simultaneously infinitely complex, chaotic patterns produced by a storm. On the other hand, if he were already somewhat depressed, rain tended to further potentiate the half-incubus's sadness, particularly if the only perceived means of alleviating his ill feelings was to get out of the accursed castle and walk the streets for a while, head held high, while he compared himself joyfully to the inferior peasantry in hopes of raising his spirits and self-esteem by dragging the rest of the known world down with him.

Today, he was bored, and as such, the rain's general impact was to make the entirety of Doma grey and washed out, driving most sane people from the streets and giving the city a bleak air. While not particularly encouraged by this particular set of circumstances, James knew that nothing interesting was going to happen today unless he made it happen, and since the probability that adventure would find him was relatively slim, he had decided that the best place to seek out entertainment was likely at a local tavern or gathering place, somewhere indoors--there, people would be finding shelter from the rain, and he might, if nothing else, be able to eavesdrop on conversations that were more interesting than the typical back-and-forth of the castle personnel.

At this moment, he was imagining one of such conversations idly, just for comparison's sake.

"So, seen any demons today?"
"None that aren't allowed to be here, sir."
"Right. Still raining?"
"Yep."
"Well, keep up the good work. Just because there are many guards in the castle doesn't mean any one of you can slack off."
"No, sir."
"When I was your age, the men and I used to get together for ales after duty..."


Boring. Excruciatingly so. And talking with his father would be no better, James knew, as their conversations often degenerated into his father's lengthy tirades about how proud he was that James was growing up to be a tremendously great wizard, almost as good as he was at James's age, and how he knew someday James would have an important job like he did, and maybe his son would meet a nice girl like he did. It would continue this way until James became tired of listening to how much his father was pleased that his son was just like him.

If anything, James had tried his hardest to be completely unlike his father, but apparently, his attempts had gone unnoticed. He was some sort of vague shadow, "the General's son," and at this rate, always would be. What he needed now, more than anything, was a way to make himself distinct, some way to show the world that he was James Paynus Silvar, a self-made man, not just the product of Hakaril's seed.

He was just thinking this over when he spotted a flyer tacked on a nearby building.

"Mercenary work?" James said aloud, reading the poster and blinking. He flicked his wings a bit as he studied the flyer, curiosity piqued. Sounds like it might be just what I'm looking for, mused the mage. Get a client, give him just enough information to do my job--and worry about precisely who I am after the job is done. That way, I'll be evaluated based on how awesome I am. Which, incidentally, is pretty damned awesome. The young man grinned smugly, scratching his head and nodding resolutely.

With that settled, he started to head in the direction of the library, muttering an incantation and using his arcane talents for manipulating air currents to throw up a basic barrier over his head that would redirect the rain in order to keep himself dry. Showing up for a job interview soaking wet and dripping on the library carpet like some untrained dog would simply not do. Despite his youth, the mage definitely had a sense of professionalism--something he had learned from his father, to a relatively minor extent, but moreso from an acquaintence that had taught him the very same magic he was now utilizing to fend off the pesky raindrops that threatened to wash away his very credibility.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:17 pm

"Bulworth. The name's Bulworth."

Bulworth extended an oversized hand for shaking. "Nice to do business with you, Mr. Black."


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:28 pm

Jessie looked at the minotaur briefly before shaking his hand. While Jessie wasn't exactly what you would call a weak man he was far from being what you would call a strong one. Bulworth on the other hand looked as if he could crush the bones in his hand with what to him would be a good firm handshake.

IM: Got to trust the help sometime. Now would be a good time to start.

"Please Bulworth, Jessie will do just fine. I'd hate to be in a fight and have people shouting 'Mr. Black' at me in warning. Until the morning then."

Having his first hire, and apparently little time to spend resting Jessie wandered into his favorite reading chair and pulled down a book at random. He'd been in this library for over 30 years and he could still grab a random book and have a significantly greater chance of not having read it before. It was a pastime of his that perhaps one day he'd make some sizable dent in. With nothing else to do after Bulworth's departure Jessie settled down and began to read.

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kai » Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:12 am

Zea slung her axe across her back, rather a large weapon for such a young girl, but it was the one she favored. She walked out the door of the house she'd appropriated three nights ago, noting that the door needed to be repaired. She wasn't too worried. That's what she got for taking over residences which were hardly fit for human habitation. At least, they tended to look that way from the outside. Her rare visitors were often surprised at the contrast between the exterior of her house and the space in which she actually lived.

She closed the door behind her and looked over the soil of the small garden in front of the house. Something of a much lighter color than the dirt was pushing out of the topsoil. She bent down to inspect it, and it took her a moment to realize what exactly it was. She extended one hand to brush the dirt off of whatever was protruding. As soon as she touched it she recognized it for what it was. She was clearing off the tips of a set of human fingers.

Damn. I thought I had that buried completely. Must be the gravel. Makes it harder to dig.

She pushed the fingers back under with her toe and turned to face the street. This neighborhood was convenient, but hardly offered an inspiring view. Sometimes she came home from a day of work to find some intruder or another rifling through the few belongings she had spread out through the house. She wasn't surprised or disappointed. After all, it was the reason she chose these kinds of places. An intruder here and a trespasser there were generally not missed by anyone. If she couldn't think of an immediate use for them, her general practice was to kill them. Well. She always killed them. But if she had no need for one more dead body, they ended up digging themselves a space in the garden where they could be kept until needed. Such was the case last night, and Zea wasn't at a place in her research where she needed raw materials. She had to figure out what had gone wrong last time and plan her next approach before she even though about what kind of corpse she'd want to use. But Zea was not a wasteful young woman.

She picked her way along the weed-grown pathway to the street ahead and looked up at the sky. The rain was already forming a layer of moisture on her robes, the small droplets looking like condensation on the heavy black fabric. She sighed. There wasn't much she could do about the rain, and nothing else she owned would offer better insulation from the weather. Zea pulled the hood of her robe up over her head so that she at least wouldn't have to deal with wet hair for the rest of the day. She knew she must have looked a little ominous, drifting down a backstreet in a Doman slum in hooded black robes. Fortunately, the only people in this part of town who cared what a lone sixteen-year-old girl was up to were currently in Zea's garden.

She hadn't been in the city long, and didn't know her way around just yet. But it wasn't hard to get around here. Maybe her aunt was right. Maybe this was where Zea belonged. With "her own kind." Zea smiled grimly at the memory of her mother's sister. She'd never approved of Zea, mainly because she'd never understood how anyone could stand humans. She'd certainly never stoop to breeding with one, an opinion she shared with her niece a little more often than Zea would have liked. But Zea didn't answer to her aunt. Her mother made that quite clear after Zea, having been brushed off for the last time, evened the score with her aunt Shelly. Shelly owned a rather unpleasant and dull-witted demon housepet. Zea killed the spoiled creature, reanimated its body, and commanded it to wait in Shelly's bed to attack her when she retired for the evening. Shelly was never in danger, but when she stormed into the living room of the house they shared with Zea's grandfather demanding that Zea be punished, her mother only laughed. Zea had a problem and she solved it. Shelly left her in peace after that.

Still, Zea sometimes wondered whether or not she had any place with her family in their realm, or whether those whom she generally considered "her kind" were the people she belonged with. It was something she still had to sort out, and it was part of the reason she was in Doma.

Zea hadn't known her father growing up. She knew who he was, but she also knew why he was never around. Her mother knew that her father wouldn't have been happy being someone's father. Someone's dad, pop, daddy, or whatever children called the male component of their creation these days. He wasn't it. Zea didn't hold it against him. From what she'd heard, Quinn was probably right about him. Just the same... it was time for her to at least find him. He, by all reports, was pretty mobile, so she started her search somewhere he was likely to turn up eventually-- Doma. A lot of mercenary work seemed to start or end here.

With that thought, something caught her eye. Oddly enough, it was a notice offering employment to local mercenaries.

I'm hardly a mercenary, but it couldn't hurt. Rather like looking for a chef in a restaurant. Eh. Reshtaha knows I could use the money.

She grabbed the top of the flier, tearing it down so that she could reference it as she made her way to the library.

When Zea turned the corner and stepped delicately into the library, she was keenly conscious of the fact that the ends of her dark blue hair were just wet enough to come to points around her face, and her robes were covered with a thin coating of water. Yet another thing she could do nothing about at the moment. She pulled her hood back behind her head, turning her large violet eyes on Jesiah.

"Are you Jesiah Black? I saw a notice posted that a Mr. Black was hoping for some temporary employees."


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:23 am

Jessie calmly marked his page and put his book aside before turning to the girl standing before him. He studied her for a full minute from behind those half-moon glasses before he spoke.

"I am indeed Jesiah Black and I am indeed also looking for capable, shall we say help. You are?"

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:12 am

It was at this point that James, dry as a bone thanks to the miracles of vaccumancy, casually (but professionally, somehow) waltzed into the library, noticing Zea standing with Jesiah. At this point, two thoughts immediately skipped across his synapses.

The first thought was something along the lines of damn, I've been beaten to the punch by a girl.

The second thought was damn, I've been beaten by a cute girl.

Once thought number one connected to thought number two, James's rather sharp mind began considering a new possibility, one most easily termed "thought number three." That particular notion went something like this: Perhaps this isn't a one-mercenary job, and perhaps she would appreciate some backup. He grinned cooly, stepping forward and straightening his posture a bit. Somewhat involuntarily, his wings fluttered a bit, potentially from nervous tension.

"I apologize if I'm interrupting anything," James interjected, not giving Zea a chance to respond to Jessie--but then, he had entered nearly immediately after he completed his question, and his entrance had apparently disturbed the situation just enough to delay her response sufficiently for him to interject in the first place. "My name is James, and I'm here about the job you're offering. You're Jesiah Black, right? I'm willing to offer my services, whatever it is you need, precisely. Unless, of course, the position's been filled." James grinned charmingly, showing an array of teeth that might have incited jealousy in a vampire.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:28 am

Jessie turned his head to look at this new and rather unexpected visitor all the time gazing rather calmly from behind those glasses. He spoke slowly, like a man who had all the time in the world though he sounded more than a bit tired.

"There is still more than one opening available. Our current funding allows for four or five 'helpers' at the rate I'm paying. One of these positions has been filled. Both of you may join as well. We leave from the west gate at sunrise. I suggest you both pack for a legthy travel in spite of our requisitoned stores."

"As it is you'll be travelling with someone called Bulworth for now. There may or may not be one or two others when you arrive. Unless anyone had anything else I suggest you both prepare for the journey ahead, it will likely take a few months just to get there even if the weather is favorable."

- Blackwind.


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Account theft. This is Kai.

Unread postby Archmage144 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:28 am

Zea didn't comment on James' intrusion. While he hadn't done anything offensive, his entrance was still a little rude.

Doesn't really matter. If he's an ass I'll find out soon enough. Same goes for Black.

She ran a hand through her hair, tucking it behind one ear. It probably wouldn't stay there for long, but it was only a token effort anyway.

"My name is Zea," she said with a nod to those present. Couldn't hurt to introduce herself to potential coworkers as well. So far everyone seemed harmless enough. "I'll be there."

Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=archmage144>Archmage144</A]&nbsp; Image at: 8/26/05 1:34

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:45 am

Today also saw Cerene Sonelle making her way to the Imperial Library. Ordinarily, this was the sort of place that her bookwormish brother would be frequenting rather than her, but today it held the promise of adventure. Exploring a bunch of random ruins, again, was the sort of thing that Keros would normally be doing, but he was apparently busy with something.

Besides, the 4000 gil on offer told her that this wasn't going to be some dry, dusty archaeological expedition where the most exciting thing was a bunch of broken pottery and perhaps some bones. And if it was? Hey, 4000 easy gil wasn't to be sneezed at.

This was going to be fun. She could feel it in her bones. The sort of experience she'd be telling her grandchildren about one day if it weren't for the rather obvious flaw with that idea.

The rain was a bit annoying. Just bad enough to make flying or walking anywhere an uncomfortable experience. Still, a little rain never hurt anyone, and Cerene was quite happy to brave the elements with a light coat to fend off the worst of it.

Ah, here we are. Imperial Library. Shouldn't be too hard to find this Jesiah guy. He'll be somewhere near the entrance, waiting for volunteers.

And so it proved. Though it seemed that Jesiah was actually talking to volunteers at the moment. Still, with a bit of luck there'd still be an opening or two.

Cerene's entrance was a little more polite than James's, though perhaps not by much. It constituted the cheerful, direct approach of, "Hi. My name's Cerene, and I'm here about the ruins expedition?"


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:50 pm

Jessie had little choice but to be surprised by the morning's turn of events. It had been little under two and a half hours since he had put up his fliers and he had seemingly filled the 'expedition'. Zea and James were hardly taken care of and here came another prospect, he might end up beating them off with a stick at this rate.

Jessie turned slowly to face this new person and take her in as he had all the others with a steady gaze from behind his half-moon reading glasses. It was more than a minute before he responded. "Very well, miss Cerene you are hired. We leave from the west gate at sunrise. Bring whatever provisions you feel you will need for a several month journey."

**********************************************

Sunrise saw Jessie directing a team of two men loading carts at the west gate of Doma. His clothing had changed from a mess of robes to a much more practical combination of a black shirt and pants combination with a blue cloak. Belted at his waist is a short sword that from the looks of it hasn't seen use in more years than half of the books in the library he worked at.

One cart carried nothing more interesting than a healthy supply of food. The other carried a host of intruments and tools, some as common as a shovel, others that even James could only guess at their function.

Last morning's drizzle had cleared and with no clouds in the sky the day seemed to promise fair conditions for travel. For now there was little for Jessie to do but wait for his 'assistants' to begin to turn up.

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:41 pm

As James headed toward the Doman gate the next morning, he found himself preoccupied by yesterday's events in the library. Unable to shake the recollection of his meeting with his coworkers the day before, his mind lingered in particular on the girl he'd met, the one wearing the black robes--and that fantastic blue hair. There was the other girl, as well, and the "Bulworth" character he had not yet been introduced to, but at the moment, James was fixated on the girl who had referred to herself as "Zea." And no matter what he did, nothing could stop him from thinking about the conversation that they'd had.

"So, what do you do, anyway...Zea, was it?"

"Yeah. You're James. You... you need something?"

"Yeah, an answer to my question would be nice. What do you do?"

"Necromancy, mostly. I have a couple of side-projects going on, but that's my specialty." She had turned out of the doorway to the library, as if waiting for James to follow. "A lot of people have problems with it, but they deal." She had glanced back at him, perhaps trying to see if maybe he would be one of those people.

"Problems? I can imagine that. It's unfortunate, the way people are so quick to reject talent just because it's a little...unconventional." At this point, James had grinned again, clearly showing his cocky side. "I think genius should be respected, no matter what form it takes. And you and I practice similar arts." To demonstrate, he had created a little flare of black energy from his fingertips, then snapped his fingers and blew a little, as though snuffing out a candle, and the "flame" winked out of existence.

She'd smirked a little. "I don't know if I'd call it genius, but it's good to know we're not going to have problems resulting from my choice of magical habits. Now I just have to worry about the others. I'm still getting used to being up here, so I try not to run around screaming 'I animate dead people! Isn't it great?' if I can possibly help it."

That last bit caught James's attention as being somewhat unusual. "Er. 'Up here?'"

"Yeah. I'm actually... kind of from the Netherworld. And by kind of I mean born and raised."

James had blinked at this point. An odd thing for him to remember so discretely, but it was associated with the slight shock of learning his companion's origins. "You're from the Netherworld? You're...you're a demon?"

"Not really. For a place with such a dark and ominous title, there are people other than demons there. I guess I'm related to a few, but you can hardly call me a demon."

This was the part that had caught his attention. The girl was right, for the most part--she hardly looked demonic. But blood was the source of power, and if her lineage really was ultimately demonic, somewhere down the line, she was likely a fairly talented sorceress, not to mention the fact that she definitely had a noble background. If nothing else, he had definitely met someone worth knowing. "Really!" Looking back on it, James realized he had done a very poor job of containing his excitement. "My mother's a demon, too. If you couldn't tell." Fanged grin. Wing flick. Accentuate your best features, James, you brilliant demon boy.

"Believe it or not I could tell. My mother's side of the family is the demon side as well. She's a half-demon, and she spends a hell of a lot more time up here than I do. She... really really likes it here." She'd grimaced a little. Perhaps her mother's social habits did not provide the most fantastic of mental imagery. "I grew up in my grandfather's house, but I thought that maybe I ought to come see what this particular locale has to offer."

"Doma is a decent place to grow up," James had noted, waving a hand somewhat dismissively, "but it's a lame place to hang out. People are always telling me that so much is happening here, but I get bored, personally. So whenever I get the chance, I go out and do something exciting. Like this. I'm in it for the adventure. What good's the money if you're not having any fun?" That was the key, he had decided. Make sure she knows you're an exciting guy, full of enthusiasm and wit.

"Makes sense. To tell the truth, I like money, but it wasn't my main motivation either. Signing up here seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Whether I regret it or not remains to be seen, but I don't think I will. For now I'm just trying to get a handle on the routine, figure out how things are done." She'd shrugged. "Besides. Everyone should do the adventuring thing at least once."

"Have to make a name for yourself somehow, right?" Things seemed to be off to a decent start. If nothing else, Zea would be an interesting travelling companion--and he had no doubts that he could count on her to kick a few asses in a tough situation. "Anyway. I suppose we'll be able to talk more tomorrow, when we're actually on the mission. It'll be a pleasure working with a fellow demon. We're always so much more talented than the surface-walkers up here, you know."

"Demons are just people, like anyone else. I for one don't think I really count as anything other than human. There's nothing wrong with being a demon... but there's nothing wrong with humans either. My father is a human and my mother's half-human. It happens. Humans get around." She had frowned a moment in thought, then grinned a little as she spoke. "Though, since you grew up in Doma... doesn't that technically make you a surface-walker? If I'm a demon for being from the Netherworld, I think maybe you're a surface-walker for being from Doma." She'd raised her eyebrows playfully, obviously baiting him a little.

He'd been a little hurt by the comeback, but decided not to let it bother him too much. "Yeah, I guess. You've got a point, anyway. Humans aren't terrible. I am half-human, after all. I can't really berate them all that much. If you want to think of me as a surfacio, feel free. I don't get the impression you're going to hold it against me, anyway." He wasn't going to blow this opportunity. Even though he felt that Zea should take more pride in her demon side, he did, from an honest perspective, understand her point, and in the moments when he was being true to himself, he knew she was right. Being human was hardly the worst thing that could happen to you, and he had certainly known some very talented humans. Perhaps he was just a little bitter that the world seemed to primarily recognize the half of himself that he personally found less impressive.

"I'm just making the point that your race isn't about who your grandparents are or where you're from. It's how you choose to think of yourself. I consider myself human. You consider yourself a demon. Both are completely valid. As far as I'm concerned that's enough."

Worried that he might be losing ground here, and furthermore worried that he might offend Zea and lose the opportunity to call her his friend (a rare thing for James, certainly), he had simply nodded at that. "Yeah. You're right. As long as you're happy with your decision, that's what ultimately matters." He would have to give the matter more thought later, when having too contrary an opinion would not ruin his chances for a friendly relationship. "Well, whether you consider yourself a human or not, I'm going to be judging your level of talent by demonic standards." He had winked at Zea, trying to let her know that he was, to a certain extent, joking. To a certain extent.

She'd chuckled at the compromise. "That sounds fair. I hereby submit to being judged as though I were a demon even though I'm only quarter succubus." She'd winked back at him. "Though the demonic talents of that particular strain are not something I'm willing give a demonstration of until I know you much better than I do currently. You'll have to settle for displays of necromancy, if that's not too much to ask, James."

Whoa, James had thought. That's SOME innuendo! Having been momentarily distracted, it took the half-incubus a moment to regain his composure. "That," he had noted, smirking, "will be more than sufficient. I'm looking foward to seeing you warp the astral to serve you."

She had laughed with an amused shake of her head. "Great. I'm glad you're so enthused. I'll have to animate something interesting just for you." She'd paused, and her eyes flew open wide at some sudden epiphany. "Actually! One of my side-projects is hybridizing undead with live plants. If you use shadow magic you might be able to help me out sometime. I'm still having some trouble with it, but you might find it interesting at the least."

"That," James had said, "sounds positively fascinating! I'll have to see that, sometime. I imagine you're having difficulties with the shadow energy sapping the life force from the plant matter too rapidly...a shame, because I can certainly see a few advantages to such a hybridization." And this was no exaggeration or lie--he was fascinated, because magical research in general was a fairly interesting subject, especially when it involved his preferred schools. "However," he had added, somewhat regretfully, "I think we ought to part ways for the moment so as to prepare for tomorrow's journey. We're going all the way to Baron, and that could potentially take a good bit of time, so I want to have prepared myself properly."

"Yeah. Probably. I still have to fix the door to my house. But I'll see you in the morning." She had then made her way to an outside door and pulled her hood over her head again. It was odd the difference a simple hood could make. One moment she was a pretty blue-haired girl, and the next she was just another black-robed mage. She'd stopped at the doorway and waved a short goodbye to James before heading outside.

These were the memories that persisted, it seemed, no matter how hard James tried to think about the job ahead. But today, he had to focus, at least a little bit, on the fact that he was going to be doing a mission. That was when he spotted Jessie, and, walking over toward his employer, James saluted him with a cool smirk.

"James, reporting for duty," he announced. "I hope the rest of our companions show up relatively soon. It would get somewhat boring, waiting around here all day..."


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby White Charisma » Sat Aug 27, 2005 5:04 pm

Jessie looked over to the crisply saluting James with a grimice of distaste. He'd never been anywhere near any army and with good reason, outside of his spotty backround he'd have never gotten on very well with someone ordering him arround. Either he'd have to deal with that sort of thing or try, somehow, to make this relationship a bit less formal.

"Please none of that saluting nonsense. I'm no officer and, if your want to get technical about it I don't even qualify as your employeer. As it is I suppose I'm the acticg representative and 'in charge'."

"Anyways, I'd like to introduce you to my two assistants, Baldesar and Ignazio, they'll be travelling with us as technicians. That's them loading the wagons. Once that's finnished we should be ready to set out. As long as everyone else has shown up that is."

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:54 pm

Thankfully, Cerene had enough experience with hiking to know what her priorities were when preparing for a walking trip. Food, water, shelter, a good pair of boots, clothing for bad weather, and possibly a walking staff. Oh, and rope. Her father had always said you'd never regret bringing rope. Unfortunately, she'd never really gotten the hang of condensing all that down into a light, manageable pack.

Thus, Cerene arrived on the scene carrying a decent-sized pack which was certain to start weighing her down after a while, and hoping that there'd be a cart or something she could put it on. Otherwise, she was going to have to start making choices.

Her prayers were answered in this regard, with a cart being loaded not too far from where two people she recognised were standing.

"Morning, people," she said, giving the pair a cheerful wave before making a beeline for the cart.


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Was out of town for a bit. Should have said something. Sorry

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:57 am

The sound of hooves behind Cerene were accompanied by the sound of Bulworth saying, "Good morning indeed."

On Bulworth's shoulder was a long, cylindrical pack the size of a normal man. It looked heavier. It also seemed uneven, as if one had crammed more stuff on one end than the other. It also had an uneveness to its side, with poking bits and crinkly parts and holes all over. Bulworth shifted it slightly to adjust for its imbalance, but overall, he looked quite at ease with the unwieldy satchel.

With a rub of his large eye, he added, "How did everyone sleep?"


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Boo.

Unread postby Kai » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:33 am

Zea looked around her temporary home, knowing that anything she left behind probably wouldn't be here when and if she came back. She'd also forgotten how much she tended to spread out in her dwellings. She travelled light, but depending on how long she stayed, she often ended up summoning all sorts of items from wherever she'd last left them. The night before she'd taken an hour or so to pull everything together that she intended to take with her to Baron, but it wasn't everything in her house by any means.

However, anything she'd summoned to her house had been marked and could be summoned again. Given that, she'd decided to make some use of the current residents of her garden. She'd commanded them to pull themselves out of the ground, noting with the same pleasure she always felt the ease with which they dug themselves free of the soil. It fell to them to dig her a decent-sized hole in the backyard while she'd gone inside and wrapped anything she wasn't taking in a black sheet to be buried. Her habit of squirreling away the things she no longer needed resulted in Zea leaving deposits of her belongings everywhere. Every now and again she'd summon it all back to her grandfather's house, but for now that wasn't going to be possible. She only had the one place to store her property. She didn't leave much to be carried on her person for the trip.

Zea left in the morning carrying her axe, a small pouch of plant seeds, and a business card she'd borrowed from her mother that she put in with the seeds. The soil of the garden was smoothed over again, her undead servants awaiting her return with the patience no living person can manage.

She didn't relish the thought of summoning plants throughout the trip only to eat them or give them to others for the same purpose, so on her way to meet her new coworkers, Zea stopped at a small shop and marked some dried goods when the shopkeeper wasn't looking. She wouldn't be able to summon them if they'd already been bought and eaten, but she might need them later if she didn't find an opportunity to mark more someplace else.

She arrived at the gate after Bulworth, not announcing herself with anything but the sound of her footsteps. She looked around her at the others gathered, a little uneasy at being in the company of so many people and not quite certain of what was expected of her at this point in their mission. She noted James, and gave him a smile and a polite nod by way of a greeting. She was glad she'd gotten to know at least one of these people beforehand, as she was much more comfortable talking to one stranger at a time than in a flock of them.

Zea still wasn't sure about James. She couldn't tell whether he wanted to get under her robes (as was the case with most of the young males she'd met in the Netherworld), or if he'd simply struck up a conversation the night before out of professional interest. Maybe he just wanted someone to talk to. She could understand that, and didn't mind. However, it seemed as though the others were ready to go and if she wanted a chance to figure them out as well, she'd have to wait until they were already on the road.


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Re: Boo.

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:54 pm

Jessie waited for the group to exchange pleasantries before he started. "All right, this is everyone. I'd like everyone to meet Baldesar," he said nodding to one of the men who had just finnished loading the wagons, "and his brother Ignazio, as they'll be travelling with us. Otherwise we've got plenty of time on the road to get acquainted with each other."

The wagons had enough room for everyone to squeeze together and ride in, though Jessie for some reason decided to walk instead of ride. The hours dragged by as the wagons creaked down the road and towards the mountains that loomed in the distance.

It was near midday when the party came across a small stream and Jessie called for a stop. "Looks as good a place as any to take a break and get some lunch in us. I suppose we should also get the business of watches and that sort of thing out of the way as well, but that is an issue for you four to work out amogst yourselves."

'Lunch' consisted of a healthy portion of bread, a fist sized piece of cheese and a hunk of tough and overly salted meat. Jessie sat slightly apart from the mercinary group, neither eating or drinking and aparently lost in his own world.

- Blackwind.



Edited by: Blackwind Isao at: 8/30/05 16:18

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The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kai » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:21 pm

As Zea sat down on the ground with her bread and cheese, choosing for now to ignore the salted meat.

I'm sure that'll be great when I'm really hungry, but now is not the time.

She looked around her at the dry food and again over to the stream. She looked up from her inspection of her food to address the others. "You know, if we're going to be living on bread and cheese... does anyone want anything to drink with this besides water?" She set her food down in her lap. "I could get us some wine to go with it. I'm not suggesting we get ourselves trashed, but it would certainly help to keep some variety in our meals."


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:08 pm

"You enjoy. I'm fine with water..." Bulworth said. He then eyed the little bit of what he assumed was beef.

"Does anyone want my meat? I'm not keen on cannibalism today..."


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Archmage144 » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:36 pm

"I have never been known to refuse good wine," remarked James, tearing viciously into his bit of salted meat. "And if you're not going to eat that, last I checked, none of my ancestors were cows, and I'm starving." Despite his relatively noble upbringing, James had never really learned "proper" table etiquette--he had resisted the idea from the moment it was suggested, and General Silvar never really seemed to care that he learn how to behave at fancy dinner parties anyway. On one hand, James had considered the possibility that this was because Hakaril never intended for his son to attend fancy dinner parties, but this could hardly be perceived as a slight--indeed, Hakaril himself rarely did, and when he did accept an invitation to an important castle banquet or diplomatic dinner, he almost inevitably offended someone by doing something far worse than using the wrong fork.

Then again, from another perspective, James had little need to worry about fancy table etiquette on a wagon full of hired mercenaries, so he could eat in an undignified manner if it pleased him without having to worry. On the other hand, he had no desire to appear completely uncouth with an attractive girl around. However, he was hungry, and at this point, that was his primary concern--that, and perhaps getting himself a drink of the aforementioned wine.


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kelne » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:57 pm

Cerene was a bit disappointed with the food. Oh, she knew that this was the sort of stuff that would keep pretty well indefinitely, and hence made perfect supplies for a long trip, but surely they could've brought along a few perishables for the early days. After all, there would be plenty of time later on for people to become thoroughly fed up with the standard fare. Still, food was food, and she wasn't one to turn her nose up at anything that wasn't a crime against nature. Cultural conditioning be damned, snails were not a delicacy. Although she would have a similar reaction to Bulworth if someone suggested poultry or eggs as part of a meal.

She was sure she'd seen the minotaur before at some point, though just when this might have been eluded her. Probably she'd passed him by in the streets or something.

"Wine sounds okay," she said. At least someone had brought along something other than the essentials for the early part of the trip. She could always go and get something if the monotony got too much for her, but supply runs would get old fast as well.


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kai » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:21 pm

Zea handed her meat portion over to James, careful not to lose any digits to his enthusiastic eating habits. She didn't mind him, but she had no desire to contribute her fingers to his lunch.

She had no idea what kind of wine the others might enjoy, so in the absence of suggestions she checked her grandfather's wine cellar for a good crisp white wine. A lighter beverage might help to balance out the heavily salted food.

Zea leaned forward and propped her chin on her hand. She closed one eye as she concentrated on the location of the bottle she wanted. To Zea it felt as if the air in front of her tightened with the magical strain of connecting to her home plane. When it seemed as though the tension must either fail or snap back on her, a dust-covered bottle blinked into existence on the ground in front of her. She smiled, glad she had estimated the contents of the cellar correctly.

"Does everyone have something to drink from?"


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:45 am

Bulworth's eyes went wide. "Oh. That's a neat trick."

Despite all his years in Doma, despite all the spells and incantations he'd seen, at his core, he was still a minotaur. And that meant magic put him ill at ease. The feeling went away immediately nowadays, but still, deep inside, there was a part of him that said it was an abomination that should be wiped out of existence. He knew that it wasn't true, but that didn't make the feeling go away.

And as he handed over his meat to James as well, he said, "And, uh... glasses? I don't know. Did this food come in a bag, or something?"


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Archmage144 » Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:00 am

Polishing off the donated meat products, James grinned, highly satisfied with his meal despite its relatively low qualtity. If he was going to be an adventurer, after all, he would have to deal with the idea that not all of his meals were going to be prepared by top-notch goblin chefs in the kitchen of the Doman castle. He had, to some extent, gotten used to fending for himself at Gunnir, but conjuration was never his strong point--and, from another perspective, his father was a practiced conjurer, so learning even the most basic of summoning spells would have gone against his highly rebellious magical student credo.

"I'm always happy to eat whatever isn't going to be eaten by someone else," James noted, grinning. "No sense in letting it go to waste." He rummaged around in his belongings and produced a metal flask, filling it with the wine Zea had conjured and drinking enthusiastically. "Damn. This is a good year. If I had to guess, I'd say 1278, probably Monte Blanc vineyard special reserve. A Baronian label. Wonderful notes of apricot and peach with a fabulous, crisp finish. Excellent choice, Zea."


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kai » Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:39 am

I'm surprised he didn't have some remark about the meniscus.

"Always ready to lend some liquor to new acquaintances. I'm glad you like it," Zea answered. Though that might be the most pretentious praise I've ever received for my choice of alcohol, she finished to herself. "Anyway, there's more where that came from. When you live with a drunken master and a demon who's just plain drunk all the time, liquor is never hard to come by."

Zea was reminded of the last time her grandfather was totally lucid for an extended period of time. It was just after her mother had bound a certain inconvenient ability that was causing Zea problems. He'd insisted that limiting Zea that way was a damn shame and the rest of the subsequent argument was a blur to Zea. she was too young to remember it clearly. It involved lots of things smashing and Zea being sent to bed. The end result of it, however, was her grandfather submitting to her mother's judgment and limiting Zea's contact with the dead to an education in necromancy.

"If we don't finish this during lunch, we can just keep it until dinner. There will probably be enough. ...That reminds me. Do we want to figure out watch rotations and all that now, or should we wait to worry about that until later tonight? I'm usually up pretty late doing... stuff... so it doesn't make a difference to me. Whatever is easiest for everyone else is fine by me."


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:44 am

"Well," Bulworth said thoughtfully, "we'll want to get, what? 6 hours each, at least? That means we should all take 2 hour shifts over an 8 hour period. If that's the case, I'll take first watch. I'll even sleep standing and be menacing as I snooze, like a scarecrow. That sound good?"


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Archmage144 » Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:46 am

James blinked. "A drunken master? And who might that be? That's a relatively uncommon art, if I remember correctly. Highly uncommon. And a very interesting divergence from traditional--typically unarmed, but not always--fighting styles," he remarked.

"And as far as watch cycles, I suppose if you want to go first, I'll be more than willing to relieve you."


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:10 am

Cerene grinned in appreciation at Zea's trick with summoning the alcohol. It wasn't really the sort of thing that she'd put effort into learning herself; after all, nobody she knew kept much alcohol on hand, and she was a lightweight drinker anyway. But she could definitely appreciate skill in someone else.

"I'll be happy to take the last shift," she said in response to the discussion on watches. She wasn't naturally an early riser, but it certainly beat getting your sleep interrupted halfway through the night and then trying to catch up on it afterwards.


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kai » Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:25 am

"The drunken master is my mother. Her name's Quinn. Rather tall, black and grey skin, big black wings. Short black hair. If you've met her that's really all you need because odds are, if you've met her, you know her a lot better than I even want to think about. Also...I guess I'll take the third watch. That'll give me time to get some things done and maybe even sleep a little before I take my turn. Sleep is always fun."

She finished the last bit of her bread and wiped her hands on the grass. She stood and stretched, a little stiff from sitting in a wagon all day. "I think I'm going to take a couple of minutes to stretch my legs. I won't be long, I just need to walk around a bit to get the blood going again." Zea laid her axe in the back of the wagon, seeing no reason to carry it at the moment.

Ah, Balance. I don't get much chance to use you, but damn do you ever carry good memories.

After stowing the axe in the wagon she pulled her hair back into a ponytail. She couldn't quite get all of it, as some of her hair simply wasn't long enough to reach all the way back. But, it was good to have it off of the back of her neck at least. Once her hair was out of the way she pulled up her hood to keep the sun off her face and headed out toward the stream, intending to follow it for a few minutes, just long enough to banish that tingling feeling in the leg she'd been sitting on all morning.


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Archmage144 » Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:40 pm

Quinn? James swore he had heard the name before. In fact...yes! He had! And, more amusingly, he had seen the woman in person once on a jaunt through the park one afternoon. Quinn's demonic features had been much more apparent and far more feral than Zea's--apparently, Zea inherited very little of her physical traits. Perhaps her appearance was more likened to the father's side of the family, whoever her father was. He was likely far less important, anyway, not having any demon blood in him.

Oddly, James swore that when he had seen Quinn in the park, the woman had made eye contact with him. And winked.

Somehow, in retrospect, this was completely unsurprising. As he understood it, Quinn was at least part succubus, and that, frankly, meant that probability suggested that she was rather...gregarious. James, of course, had no problem with the idea, but it would have been somewhat awkward to meet Zea and then later find out that he had slept with her mother.

It was probably for the best that Quinn had been distracted that day by other people. Thinking back on it, James could have sworn that one of them was the mercenary who he had made a brief professional acquaintence with when he was learning his fighting style and the usage of vaccumancy. The two seemed as though they might have known each other--but then, this was hardly a surprise, either, seeing as how the man in question was quite the philanderer himself, which somehow failed to detract from his professionalism. James had to stop and reflect for a moment, marvelling at that fact.

Perhaps, thought James, it might not be appropriate to question Zea much further regarding her family.


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:08 am

Bulworth took the nugget of info in. "Well, at least she's not spoken of in harsh tones. A mother should be appreciated."

And remembered, Bulworth thought to himself. It had been a long while since he'd thought on his own mother. It was.... more than hazy, the memory. It was almost broken, a flash of her face, her hand on his muzzle... but it was pleasant. She was a good woman, that...

... what was her name? Did he ever know?

Bella. That was it. And his father was... Stierden. That shouldn't have taken so much effort. It had been so long since he was home. And at that instant, he began to pine for ...

For...

Nope. It was gone. His home's name was gone. That was unsettling.

"So, how shall we pass the time before we rest? Charades?"


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:00 am

Cerene shook her head, "It probably won't be that long before we're back on the road again," she said, taking a break from demolishing her lunch. She went on to contemplate the idea of spending the rest of the day rattling along on the cart and decided it didn't appeal to her all that much. She'd be much better off stretching her wings a bit.


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:43 am

"And how long will that be?" Bulworth wondered. "I can stay idle for a while, but I would prefer not to. My mind tends to race."

He began to clomp, stomping the earth beneath his feet. A paw was thrown in there as well. It was not good to leave Bulworth idle for too long...


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Re: The cheese stands alone

Unread postby Kelne » Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:23 am

"Well, you could always go for a bit of a walk or something," Cerene said, finally polishing off her lunch. "Might do that myself," she continued, standing and stretching.


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high ho the derry-o

Unread postby Kai » Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:38 pm

When Zea reached the riverbank, she puller her hood aside a little to enjoy a bit of a breeze that was coming across the water. She could hear the others' voices until she got to the stream. Then, whether she could hear them or not, she was listening only to the river. Quiet was something she valued, but at her own home it was a rare thing in most areas aside from her laboratory.

I told them I'd be right back. I should probably head over.

She turned away from the easy noise of the current and started back. She nearly stepped on it, but stopped herself just in time to notice. Slightly off bank of the river was a small growth of clover. It wasn't an odd time of year to be finding it, but clover didn't generally grow where this... seemed to be growing.

"Hi, there," she said to the plant, bending to inspect it. "This isn't where you belong my little friend. In fact..." She paused to poke around the soil underneath it for a brief moment. "You shouldn't be able to grow here at all. Someone must have missed you." She smiled maternally and plucked the bloom off the flower and put it behind her right ear.

Plants aren't hard to kill. Really no effort at all for a little one like this. She touched her finger to the clover and sent a small pulse of negative energy into it. It wouldn't have been enough for a larger plant or even a small animal to have been bothered by, but it was enough. The plant turned a sickly grey and sank into the ground slightly as its root systems decayed rapidly.

I'll take care of this one, but someone around here isn't paying attention to detail. That shouldn't have been able to survive. It's a good thing I was there to cover someone's ass on this. Wouldn't want some poor busy plant reaper to get in trouble for not paying attention to every environmental stress. Come to think of it... She looked around at the larger plants nearby. I don't think those ought to be here either. But I do not have the time or energy to kill everything here. Maybe some other time.

She adjusted the flower behind her ear, now the only surviving trace of the parent plant she'd killed. Looking up to the sky, Zea wondered if the rainfall here might just be drastically different than she'd previously assumed. It might explain why the local vegetation behaved so unexpectedly.

As Zea took a look, she noticed some... what might be really large birds.... No. They were way too large to be birds. In fact, they were moving faster than birds, too. In this direction. As they approached, she estimated they might even be as large as she herself was.

"Uh... guys?" She pointed in the direction of the questionable things and snapped her fingers twice to get everyone's attention. "Someone else sees that, right?"


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Re: high ho the derry-o

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:08 pm

James blinked curiously and stared skyward. "Say, those are...rather large, whatever they are. Much too big to be birds." Running through a number of possibilities in his head, the half-incubus flicked his own wings disdainfully. "And they seem to be more or less headed in our direction."

He glanced around at his companions, grinning slightly. "They could be celestials...or demons. And not all demons are particularly friendly. Which means that we might have a fight on our hands here in a minute." James' expression was anything but disappointed.


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