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Thread: Quest For The Lyre Of Orphaeo

  1. #21
    Lyre-Bearer
    EXP: 57,039, Level: 10
    Level completed: 28%, EXP required for next level: 7,961
    Level completed: 28%,
    EXP required for next level: 7,961

    AP
    56
    GP
    6,605
    Philomel's Avatar

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    28
    Race
    faun
    Gender
    female
    Hair Color
    violet (dyed)
    Eye Color
    grey
    Build
    6ft / 156kg
    Job
    Assassin-Whore, Matriarch (Gilded Lily), Master of Secrets (Crimson Hand)

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    "Well," Philomel said after his harmless moment of laughter. The sounds of his merry chortling still rung about her ears. Strangely, it was a pleasant sound, and neother mocking nor irritating. In fact she seemed to grasp some hnour and pride out of the fact he found her funny - even though her egoism caused her not to comment on this fact, or even show it in her expression.

    "Well," she repeated, a couple of seconds later, for the effect of not seeming easily impressed. "Shall we continue on our way?"

    Breaker paused and looked rather pointedly at her unconcious beast of burden. Pursing her lips, Philomel had to confess he had a point, and so simply nodded, and sat right down where she was.

    "We shall go when he wakes then?" she suggested, but really ordered. After all, her furry rear-end was already on the soft earth.

    The maul-slayer inclined his head and agreed, taking his time to sit opposite her. It was done in a graceful way, and the faun could not help but be impressed by this god-favoured being. Certainly, he had the air of glory about him, a feeling of strength diginity. In her pleased heart she quietly contemplated him, his figure and demaneour, quite taken by him - but by no means taken aback. Rather, it was a joyous thrill to watch him - watch the bend of the knightly knee, the exquisite fold of the nimble hand. As her lips pursed and the faun lost herself in the measure of percieving him, Veridian chose the time to sidle up beside her.

    Yes, he is very pretty, he muttered, somewhat in a sickened tone, into her head.

    Softly, she blinked, and pushed away his pointed muzzle from where it gestured to her. Meanwhile did she never take her eyes off Breaker's seated form.

    You can be quiet now, replied she, but in a high-strung, non-chalant tone.

    Veridian snickered away. Brushing his tail against her knee he moved his head away from her, choosing instead to curl up near her hoof. In this position he was between her and the mighty horned head of the sleeping tera'k, purposeful to come to guard when the animal awoke. Likely to hefty bellows and copious thrashes.

    ~*~

    Not too far to the north, hidden away in a chamber beneath the forest's darkness, there sat a man and a woman. Her face was half hidden in shadow, for the fabric of a cowl was thrown over it. He himself had little to hide his identity besides a mass of wild hair framing a strong-jawed face. Whilst she was thumbing the ridge of a maple elf-made bow, he dug the end of the shaft of a mattock into the ground. Across from each other they were positioned, between them nothing but a space of earth and small stones.

    "So," said he in a very low, husky, but booming voice. "We are 'ere."

    His accent, an urban backstreet one by the best of guesses, rolled into the gloom of the cave and tickled the curving, upwards entrance. A few mindless mites were sent scattering by the volume.

    It caused the female archer to arch an eyebrow before she replied.

    "Indeed we are," her voice was far more proper. Born and raised in a noble house it only made sense. "We finally meet."

    "I am Feardon."

    "And I am No-One," she quickly responded, the bright flashes beneath her hood that were eyes glaring at the man. "And that is what I am, and that is what you will know me as."

    For a moment the man was tempted to burst into laughter, but something of the way she stared, and something of the way she fingered her bow and the nearness of her full quiver told her it would be a mistake. Pride placed aside, he inclined his head.

    "Fine, then No-One ye'are, and no one ye shall be. 'Tis a pleasure to meet ye."

    "And you too, I suppose," No-One raised her chin slightly, using her spare hand to scratch underneath it, eyes though never leaving him. "There is a lot I have been told, and a lot I am expecting."

    Feardon smiled a small bit - or perhaps it was more of a smirk. His massive hands ran down the shaft of his mattock and hit the cold steel edge of the metal heads.

    "Well it takes a lo' to be in service to a demon-god," he said in a sort of testingly idle way. At the sound of his frustratingly loud, irating tone No-one siezed, and it took more willpower for Feardon not to burst into laughter. Quickly, he continued his sentence to avoid her wrath. "... So I am guessin' you are rather expectan' of many people. Tell me, 'ave you ever worked with a professional barbarian before?"

    "No, but I have killed your kind before," she said with no hesitation, "And I will do again, if you get in my way."

    "But-" pointed out he, fast, before she could even begin to be tempted, "If ye do, then you will be alone in this. And the reports say there are two of them searchin' fer the lyre."

    "The lyre which we will get to before," No-One said, her chin jutting up in pride. "Which we will take and track before they do."

    "To use fer your god's purposes I suppose?"

    Her head bobbed once, a decline and an incline to signify her acception of the question. "All for his purposes. As soon as my temple received word the whereabouts of Orphaeo's tomb has possibly been discovered, we knew we had to act. I was sent here, to work with you, my hired help, in order to get it before any others do."

    "I am yer hired help am I?" Feardon raised a brow.

    No-One pointed in a direct manner to the large, heavy pouch at his belt. The barbarian chortled somewhat, finally for a legitimate reason, as he cupped the clinking bag of coin with a hand.

    "I guess I am," his grin spread across his magnificent, scarred face, "I guess I am then."
    Last edited by Philomel; 04-03-17 at 04:52 PM.
    "Tol. Mela. Othor." "Versh. Sai. Memnae." Come. Love. Conquer. - Philomel in Tolkein Sindarin, Faunish and Tradespeak

    Very grateful winner of 2015 Althies Awards: Friendliest Member, Mrs Althanas, Best IC Rivalry (with Doge), Best Judge and Most Helpful/Friendly Mod and Admin Award of Moderator of the Year.

  2. #22
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,639, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,361
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,361

    AP
    82
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

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    "We could pass the time with a game, if it would please you." Breaker waited awhile before speaking, for they had finally found a moment of peace amidst the journey's many perils. A breeze tousled his hair and danced in Philomel's longer locks. It swayed the long grasses and waved the dangling vines. The grasses did not try to grasp them, and the vines did not try to suck their blood. They just were. Breaker and Philomel sat together, and they were, as well.

    "I am faun'd of games." Philomel said with a slow smile. "Usually. How does this one work?" She leaned forward, shale eyes examining him expectantly.

    "It is called two lies and a truth," Josh explained, mirroring her movement like a panther perking its ears. "First I make three statements about myself; two of them must be false, and one of them must be true. It is up to you to decide which is which. If you can guess the true statement on your first try, you win. After that, our positions are reversed."

    In the distance a bird gave a harsh cry, either dying or killing, and they both flinched toward it. He chuckled again, and after a moment she joined in his laughter. They shared a long look and then the faun placed her palms on her hips and straightened her spine.

    "I like the sound of this game," she declared, "proceed."

    Breaker grinned, and the dimples behind his Y-shaped scars caught the sun. "In Fallien, I rode between the wings of a griffin." His smile broadened. "In Dheathain, I rode between the wings of a dragon." His expression became somewhat somber. "In Salvar, I was arrested for being thick with ale." He held his hands out, palms splayed, and his smile returned. "What do you think, lyre-bearer?"

    Philomel wrinkled her nose. "The dragons of Dheathain do not fly, to my knowledge," she said, "and you do not seem the type to overly imbibe. You have made this far too easy. Go again. Although I must ask, what is it like to ride a griffin?"

    Breaker's dimples returned. "Like being a god," he chuckled, eyes glazing with the memory. "Very well. I did not realize you were so remarkably astute as well as magically gifted. I will go again." He took a deep breath and cast his mind back, and a cloud of sorrow passed over his face. "In Salvar, I slaughtered dozens of native warriors because of a misunderstanding." He waited a beat to allow the statement to sink in. "In Dheathain, I lost the love of my life to a mountain king." His eyes swam for a moment and then cleared. "In Fallien, I made a woman pregnant, and will soon return to her." He smiled again. Each statement appeared as true as the last.

    The tera'k stirred and lowed softly.

    Breaker raised his eyebrows and tilted his head to one side. "Shall we continue playing along the way?"
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  3. #23
    Lyre-Bearer
    EXP: 57,039, Level: 10
    Level completed: 28%, EXP required for next level: 7,961
    Level completed: 28%,
    EXP required for next level: 7,961

    AP
    56
    GP
    6,605
    Philomel's Avatar

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    28
    Race
    faun
    Gender
    female
    Hair Color
    violet (dyed)
    Eye Color
    grey
    Build
    6ft / 156kg
    Job
    Assassin-Whore, Matriarch (Gilded Lily), Master of Secrets (Crimson Hand)

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    She pursed her lips as she thought, running her hands deep into the matted fur of her tera'k. The beast of burden, now calmed amid the absence of danger, lumbered beneath them as he carried them to their destination. For the current moment at least they were out amongst the cleaner area of the forest - a place that seemed to have been touched by the beginnings of the magical healings. After Pode had died it was said that certain parts of the woodland had begun to cling back to a more peaceful and natural existence. Here, birds sang high in the branchs, and the leaves of the trees were emerald green and saffron yellow. A soft breeze fluttered against their naked skin, and a silent satisfaction fell over the companions.

    "I have never been to Dheathian," Philomel mused, having continued the game for some time now. The great continent had been mentioned several times, and she had begun to be impressed by the amount of travelling the demigod had done. "I have not had a reason to go at all."

    Breaker smiled at her comment and kept looking ahead at their path. It was a clear one, for the trees did not grow thickly here, but rather sparsely. There was still enough of them for the landscape to be considered a 'forest,' yet few enough to see the gentle sun's rays softly encouraging life. "It is a place different to this one," he said, simply, but truthfully, "Full of jungle, danger and new races."

    She nodded slowly, "I have seen such strange creatures. New beings that legend only speaks of." She carefully brushed a hair from her face, and then laid down her hand again to cup around the form of Veridian. He curled up on the head of the saddle before both of them, chest rising and falling as he succumbed to a leisurely sleep. "Of course some would call Veridian and I mysterious and strange, but it is dependent where one comes from."

    As if in response to her the tera'k suddenly let out a long, mellow low, huffing into the air. Philomel felt a smile come to her face and she breathed deliberately slowly to take in the cold, but refreshing air.

    "Your company is well worth it, Breaker," she finally admitted, "And I thank you for it. The great Drys has been generous with gifting you to me as a companion."

    ~*~

    "So ... the people comin' fer this ... thing are a man and a woman? A single man and a woman?"

    Not for the first time No-One glared around at her 'hired help'. With a scarf pulled up around her mouth and nose and the rest of her head shadowed in a well-fitting cowl, her dark gaze was more intense. There was little hair or skin to be seen elsewhere on her body, and it caused him to feel slightly disturbed in the fact that he still did not know if she really was a 'she' ... or anything at all.

    "Yes, now stop asking stupid questions."

    "They're no' stupid if they give a needed answer," he shrugged. Pulling up his arm he hefted his mighty mattock and rested it against his shoulder. "And I needed tae know tha'."

    "You needed to know what I had already told you?" she snapped in a cruel-barbed tone.

    Undaunted by her, Feardon nodded, "Aye. Ye migh' have said 'a man and a woman' and mean' them with all their armies. Ye never know, do ye?"

    "I said a man and a woman, and that is what I meant!" sharply, she turned back around, focusing her mind forwards.

    Over the ground her feet trudged, wrapped in leather bindings and made her as silent as a hunting owl on wing. Feardon walked slightly behind her, larger by far in stature and size, but still feeling lesser. It was not common for him to feel so, despite the fact he lived as a professional barbarian for hire. Usually, in some way he could feel stronger - whether it was by strength, fighting ability or simple mass. Yet, with No-One there was an air of constant failure. There was something about her, by the way she talked, or acted, or was presented, that made him feel, in all ways, so very underwhelming.

    "Are ye magic or somethin'?" Feardon spoke the thought that had awoken in his head.

    No-One didn't stop. But neither did she cast her malicious stare. Instead, she kept walking, her pace exactly the same.

    "Yes," she admitted, though she did not sound guilty. In fact she sounded proud. "I have magic from my god."

    His eyebrows rose. He thought of her, and where she had come from - from the religious fantical culture of the demon-god Bark'al'tol. For those who had seen his hellish temple, and lived to tell the tale, there was everlasting prowess, but also darkness. He was a god of chaos, of horror and torture, worshipped by the angered few who thrived on such things. If No-One was a gifted one of Bark'al'tol it certainly meant for Feardon one thing - he should not cross her at any moment. It was said that his mage's could raise the dead, kill a man with a look, and fill your mind with false thoughts. Dire thoughts. Fearful thoughts.

    "I see," he murmured quietly, and he looked away.

    And for him that was that. The die was cast, the model set. For though he regarded himself as someone of power, of might and fear, he knew in that moment who led his expedition. And it was not because she had paid him.
    "Tol. Mela. Othor." "Versh. Sai. Memnae." Come. Love. Conquer. - Philomel in Tolkein Sindarin, Faunish and Tradespeak

    Very grateful winner of 2015 Althies Awards: Friendliest Member, Mrs Althanas, Best IC Rivalry (with Doge), Best Judge and Most Helpful/Friendly Mod and Admin Award of Moderator of the Year.

  4. #24
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,639, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,361
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,361

    AP
    82
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    "Suravani was equally wise in guiding me to your side," Breaker said. He did not deny himself the pleasure of being pressed against Philomel astride her tera'k. He could have kept pace easily afoot, but the faun seemed to welcome his close company. "I feel we may become connected beyond our hunt for the Lyre." Josh had seen two birds hunting in the loam seize on the same worm, and took it as an omen of his future with Philomel.

    Perhaps one day we will have a chance to share a cup of whisky.

    The tera'k's broad back shifted beneath them as they rode, following an overgrown trail, but a trail nonetheless. Weeds and vines choked the dusty path, and the trees that bordered it reached toward the companions with branches that swayed in the breeze. The wind touched the natural green leaves, making them chatter at the strange trio traveling below. It combed through the long grass, making it hiss with pleasure.

    "We must be drawing near," Philomel said as the path broadened, touching the hilt of her sword. Josh breathed deeply and allowed his great perception to venture ahead of them. He could smell danger on the wind, wafting through the earthy aromas of the forest. He could hear tiny animals skittering through the loam and larger beasts lurking at a distance. He could sense some form of magic being used... still far away, but drawing nearer with each of the tera'k's lumbering steps.

    "I can sense some magic ahead," Breaker murmured, sliding out of the saddle to lope beside the beast of burden like a stalking panther, "I do not know if it comes from sorcerers, or from enchantments... only that it waits for us." As he moved Josh loosened his muscles, rolling his ankles and shoulders and twitching his hips. Hesitation did not touch his gait; only deadly anticipation.

    Philomel's enchanted violet cloak streamed behind her as she heeled the tera'k slightly, increasing its pace. The cloak reminded Breaker of his purpose.

    "I will defend you with my life, lyre-bearer." He said as they approached a bend in a path, "Hold there." He added, raising a hand. "It may be wise to leave your beast here," he said, gesturing at the nearby trees. "There may be more monsters ahead, or creatures even more terrifying. If the tera'k spooks again, we may not be able to control it, nor chase it down."

    The faun considered for a moment, and then nodded. Her hooves thudded to the ground and she led the beast into a protected copse of trees. She returned to the path brushing hair behind her shoulders, her face a determined mask.

    "From here," she declared, "we travel by hoof and boot." Veridian swirled about her ankles like wildfire, chattering his agreement.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  5. #25
    Lyre-Bearer
    EXP: 57,039, Level: 10
    Level completed: 28%, EXP required for next level: 7,961
    Level completed: 28%,
    EXP required for next level: 7,961

    AP
    56
    GP
    6,605
    Philomel's Avatar

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    28
    Race
    faun
    Gender
    female
    Hair Color
    violet (dyed)
    Eye Color
    grey
    Build
    6ft / 156kg
    Job
    Assassin-Whore, Matriarch (Gilded Lily), Master of Secrets (Crimson Hand)

    View Profile
    Securing her sword in its sheath against her side, Philomel readied herself. Fists clenching and unclenching she breathed in as she looked around her. By her side Breaker stood, equal in prowess and in tension, and trusted beyond all measure.

    Before them, admist the pale red and grey trees, was a low-lying building. Unimpressive at first glance, it had no place amongst the Red Forest, yet had harmlessly merged with the vegetation. Strong vines grew up its single-storey walls, then onto the tiled roof. Spare, ugly flowers burst into bloom at corners and on the verge, as if attempting to fill the world with joy, yet not quite having the personal enthusiasm to do so. The entrance was an arched, doorless gloom, and beyond that nobody could honestly know. Overall the building, nestled within the forest, had the doomed appearance of an aged tomb, a constructed barrow of terrifying delights, and were it not for the plain wording above the doorway that read, 'ORPHAEO,' Philomel would have guessed they were in the wrong place.

    A flickering movement beyond, and the faun tugged Breaker deeper back amongst the cover of trees. The tomb was not so much built within a clearing as it had been shoved amongst the trees already there, and thus there were shadows aplenty around. It meant that the two warriors, plus their vulpine companion, could approach from a covered sighting.

    Philomel crouched lower now, Veridian smoothly taking a place between her hooves. From the darkness of the area behind the tomb a shadow moved, lumbering slow. With baited breath she waited, Breaker close by, as the being, or beast, continued. Dim beneath the tree cover it was not certain who or what it could be. The form was somewhat difficult to make out, as if it was actually made from shadows itself, and so it took time beyond minutes as the companions waited.

    Slowly ... finally, the form became real, stepping out from the gloom. And as it did, a lump formed in Philomel's throat, as ugly and as uncomfortable as a dead baby in a womb. Her body tensed, and very slowly she turned back to Breaker, catching his eyes with hers. Catching it, as another creature came, and then another with that. Three definite beasts that were horribly, horribly familiar. Beasts that skulked around the tomb entrance and roared with a low, dark rumble in the back of their throats.

    Very slowly, she mouthed the word.

    "Maul."

    With as much unease as her own, Breaker nodded. Veridian slunk back against her, his tail between his legs. Silence fell between them all - stark, utter silence, that was eclipsed with a horror full of ages past. And it was not good. It was not light.

    Nor was it delightful.

    ~*~

    From the entrance of the tomb there was a ramp that began. It was a sharply descending, slightly twisting tunnel that led deep into the earth. Long was it, and lit by nothing but the natural light emanating from a trail of glowworms and fireflies grouping in their nests. Sometimes the flies would be spiralling in swarms, lighting the path in a brillance of glory, and other times there was no way of light save for a distant shimmer.

    No-One, however, had other ways of illuminating their path. With her gloved hand outstretched before her she willed a small orb of white intensity. Floating above the heads of her and Feardon it provided the way with which to see by. Feardon noticed the individual rocks in the walls of the tunnel, and saw the few skulls littered about. He noticed the cobbles that made up the ground, placed their by whatever smiths had built the tomb in the first place, and also small written inscriptions on the walls. As they walked he picked out a few: "Take me home," "I am free," and, "Life is an adventure."

    Finally they descended into a flatter floor and the tunnel ended. Instead the space now expanded out into a huge, natural cavern. No-One's orb floated gently upwards at her command as she gave a flick of her wrist - and then it brightened up. Like a minature sun it pulsated gently, glowing more with each new beat. From where they stood a raised area extended out, a sort of natural stone dyke, surrounded by a sea of rocks. The platform drew away from the tunnel for a long thirty metres ahead - then it ended. And at its end there was a stone altar.

    "We are here," No-One finally spoke out. "We are finally here."

    Feardon looked over to her, his hands around the hilt of his mattock tightening. He breathed slowly in, eyes wandering around the collosal cave.

    "We are," he said quietly.

    Slowly, she turned around to him. Her singular eyes were glowing with a joy quite unlike any other, and beneath her mask she smiled, slowly.

    "I will thank you, my companion, for coming here with me. You have been very helpful so far."

    Feardon nodded slowly. He watched as her hand twisted, and the orb that lit their way twirled around.

    "Yeah," he mumbled, "I wasn' too sure when ye summoned those Mauls from the fores', but I guess i' got you here."

    Her eyes glinted, "It got us here, Feardon, and that is what important."

    Confused at her sudden inclusion of his importance the barbarian paused, but nodded back, a small gesture in terms of it all. "Yeah, I guess. Us ..."

    "Exactly," she nodded, now curling her hand into a light fist. The orb floated down, lower, making the light around them dim, and her appearance be lit by a more unearthly, uplit resonance. Feardon watched with cautious eyes. "Exactly." Underneath the mask, she slowly grinned. "Exactly. Us."

    His eyes widened as he watched the fist suddenly tighten. Then close. The light shot out, straight at him, and it was the last thing he saw. It was the last thing he did. Feardon the barbarian fell, down, the orb becoming physical on contact and able to hit straight through him, outwards at the back. Blood splattered, the world went dark, leaving him to hear the last thing to his ears a dark, empty laugh.
    Last edited by Philomel; 04-04-17 at 05:56 PM.
    "Tol. Mela. Othor." "Versh. Sai. Memnae." Come. Love. Conquer. - Philomel in Tolkein Sindarin, Faunish and Tradespeak

    Very grateful winner of 2015 Althies Awards: Friendliest Member, Mrs Althanas, Best IC Rivalry (with Doge), Best Judge and Most Helpful/Friendly Mod and Admin Award of Moderator of the Year.

  6. #26
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,639, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,361
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,361

    AP
    82
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    The ground shook with the footfalls of the three mauls, and all the while Tap energy radiated from the tomb. Someone channeled powerful magic in there... someone else seeking the lyre. The calculation was a simple one; Josh and Philomel would need to separate in order to address both threats simultaneously.

    "Some type of mage lurks within the temple," Josh whispered to Philomel, uncertain whether the faun could detect arcane signatures, "surely they seek the same as us. I will draw the giants away so that you may enter, lyre-bearer."

    The matriarch stayed him momentarily with a hand on his shoulder, but then nodded. "Be steadfast," she said softly.

    Breaker nodded and then wound through the trees which grew as densely as teeth on a comb. He stepped carefully, keeping his black boots away from dead leaves which would crackle and betray his presence. Dangling vines swayed in a breeze that slipped through his short brown hair, as if giving a tactile warning of the danger ahead. Breaker crept as near as he dared and then parted the broad leaves of a red fern to peer at the monsters.

    The mauls stood in a rough triangle near the dark, gaping entrance to the tomb. Each stood taller and broader than the last one Breaker had slain, and each gripped a great warclub in their massive hands. The four mandibles of each of their mouths dripped putrid saliva, and their backs bristled with deadly spikes. They communicated in a dull, grunting language. It was odd to see three such creatures gathered together, for ordinarily they were highly territorial.

    Whoever is within must have summoned these to guard the threshold. I will draw them away.

    The demigod took a deep, steadying breath, and then stepped through the ferns into the open.

    "Ahoy there, you too-many-jawed monsters! Fancy a ration of this?" He spread his arms wide.

    For a moment, the dim-witted giants did not move. They exchanged labored glances, confused by Cronen's boldness. And then, almost as one, they hefted their studded warclubs and sauntered toward the intruder.

    "You'll have to move faster than that!" Breaker crowed, and ran a neat loop around the mauls, forcing them to turn awkwardly, leading them away from Philomel. Their gait accelerated to a thundering run. If Josh thought the ground had shaken when the first maul gave chase, it positively quaked with three in his wake. The monsters tore directly through the trees and shrubberies which Breaker dodged around, gaining on the martial artist until he stopped in an open meadow and turned.

    Got them away from the entrance. Now I must dispatch them and assist the lyre-bearer. It would be much more difficult this time. There were three mauls, and they were not moving at a headlong dash which Breaker could harness to crack their skulls. Where to find a weakness on such beasts? They were all cordlike muscle and leathery hide, and Breaker had only the dagger sheathed in his boot.

    The mauls showed a surprising amount of acumen. They did not charge directly at their quarry. Instead they slowed and surrounded him in a series of long, loping strides. Their warclubs dragged in the dirt, tearing up earth like a trio of plows. Their eyes glared slow-witted anger, but somehow, a modicum of patience.

    They waited until they had three distinct angles, and then hefted their clubs and with air-shattering roars, attacked.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  7. #27
    Lyre-Bearer
    EXP: 57,039, Level: 10
    Level completed: 28%, EXP required for next level: 7,961
    Level completed: 28%,
    EXP required for next level: 7,961

    AP
    56
    GP
    6,605
    Philomel's Avatar

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    28
    Race
    faun
    Gender
    female
    Hair Color
    violet (dyed)
    Eye Color
    grey
    Build
    6ft / 156kg
    Job
    Assassin-Whore, Matriarch (Gilded Lily), Master of Secrets (Crimson Hand)

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    Very slowly Philomel took in a breath. She watched as Breaker ran into the clearing, bellowing and cheering outloud to distract the mauls providing cover for the tomb's entrance. Just what forces had enchanted three of the most territorial beasts would be here was daunting as a simple thought, let alone a reality. Whatever, or whoever, had brought those things there was a high probability they were incredibly dangerous. And they were within the tomb. Right where Philomel was bidden to go.

    Breathing in slowly she reached down and stroked a single finger down the length of Veridian's snow-white ear. He flicked his ears, and glanced up at her with gentle golden irises.

    Are you ready?

    Very slowly Philomel nodded, and she pulled her long white blade out of its sheath. Into her other hand she fitted The Lover, her not often now used emerald green dagger that could burst into flame. Flame and a mythril sword seemed to be the most apt to prepare for what foes lay within. That combined with the living hope of Drys, the knowledge that her goddess was with her, and the cloak of swirling purple majesty, gave the faun just enough willpower to believe that she could survive - and win.

    So therefore, setting off at a low pace, as the sounds of Breaker's chants filled the air, she ran. Rapidly, and fluidly her hooves went from tree root to grass to earth and onto stone, making the noise of clattering but too fast and too distant for the mauls to attack. Behind her, and unlike her silent on paw, paced Veridian easy and gentle. His muzzle was agape, his eyes flickering around the entrance.

    Still they went fast, straight into the mouth of the tomb, and down into the passageway. With it long and lit only by the natural light of the invertebrates, it was hard to percieve the correct direction. Yet the way was straight and obvious for the most part, and as they neared to an area that seemed darker, Veridian began to change.

    Pounding ahead of his beloved he allowed the fire within to take over. Running all the while he began to expand in size, baring through the pain as easily as he did death. Common practise made it common pain, and he kept pace as his legs extended, muzzle grew wider and longer and his fur began to burn. The agony wracked down his spine as it split into shards, then reassmbled itself; but all in the easiest ways to allow him still to run.

    Run, as his form transformed into something larger than a beastly wolf.

    Run, as fire spiralled out from his coat.

    Run, as Philomel built up the passion to yell their coming, and run - run as they charged into the battle for their lives.
    Last edited by Philomel; 04-06-17 at 05:18 PM.
    "Tol. Mela. Othor." "Versh. Sai. Memnae." Come. Love. Conquer. - Philomel in Tolkein Sindarin, Faunish and Tradespeak

    Very grateful winner of 2015 Althies Awards: Friendliest Member, Mrs Althanas, Best IC Rivalry (with Doge), Best Judge and Most Helpful/Friendly Mod and Admin Award of Moderator of the Year.

  8. #28
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,639, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,361
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,361

    AP
    82
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

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    Breaker dove between one of the mauls' legs as three clubs obliterated the ground where he stood an instant earlier. The demigod rolled to his feet as dust rose, having earned a moment's respite. As the giants turned laboriously toward him Josh raised a hand and a stream of brilliant white light shot forth, followed by another, and another. Like a trio of mythril-headed crossbow bolts they struck the maul on his left, two in the chest and one in the head, right in the space between its eyes. The beast fell like an oak, muscles still rigid as it hit the ground.

    The two remaining mauls paused a moment to process what had happened. Great rusted gears turned within their thick skulls and, in rough tandem, they dropped the clubs they'd wielded so awkwardly. With feral roars and bared fangs, they charged the slayer together. Their many heavy, clawed hands snatched at him, their bulky bodies driving to crush him.

    Breaker leaped up and over the slow-witted creatures, flipping above their spiked backs and landing heavily at the edge of the clearing. A towering red rywan tree stood nearby, its broad trunk rising two stories before splitting into branches. Josh picked up a small stone as he scrambled toward the tree. His enchanted boots clutched at the gnarled bark as he ran straight up its trunk, arching his back to watch the latest charge of the furiously roaring monsters. As he ran he poured a measure of his might into the simple stone, turning it into an impact grenade that packed a better punch than any Alerian gunpowder concoction.

    With a backwards flicking motion he threw the stone, and then leaped off of the tree, somersaulting in the projectile's wake.

    The stone struck the ground near the first maul's feet and exploded, tearing up a chunk of turf and obliterating the beast's lower leg. It fell with a roar of anguish. Breaker flipped past and collided with the second monster, once again matching his magic boots against the thickness of the creature's crown. Once again, his kick won out, splitting furred skin and cracking thick bone. The slain maul shook the earth one last time as it tumbled to its death throes.

    The last monster, the one with the ruined leg, roared as Breaker approached. The demigod thought he saw fear behind the fog of pain and stupidity obscuring the thing's dark eyes. He pulled the dagger from his boot and cut its throat. Despite the black diamond knife's keen edge, he had to lean into the action, sawing heavily until he severed an artery. Thick black blood stained his hands, and he paused to wipe his blade on a fern before returning it to its sheath.

    Back the way he had come, the presence of magical energy swelled.

    I must assist the lyre-bearer... if I am not too late.

    Slaying three mauls had taken him mere minutes, but in that time anything could have transpired between Philomel and her unknown adversary. Breaker turned and ran, out of the clearing, through the forest, and into the darkened maw of Orphaeo's tomb.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  9. #29
    Lyre-Bearer
    EXP: 57,039, Level: 10
    Level completed: 28%, EXP required for next level: 7,961
    Level completed: 28%,
    EXP required for next level: 7,961

    AP
    56
    GP
    6,605
    Philomel's Avatar

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    28
    Race
    faun
    Gender
    female
    Hair Color
    violet (dyed)
    Eye Color
    grey
    Build
    6ft / 156kg
    Job
    Assassin-Whore, Matriarch (Gilded Lily), Master of Secrets (Crimson Hand)

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    A soft giggle, filtering through the illuminated gloom. Bright, gleaming eyes from under the hood gazed back, as the lone figure stood atop the ancient stone coffin. Beneath her leather-wrapped feet the sarcophagus lid was cracked one third of the way, the remainder of the stone pushed back to shatter on the ground. Pieces of it littered around the thirty metre long avenue that was the road to the last resting place of Orphaeo, the praised bard of old Tel’Eldalie. All was uplit by a pulsating globe of white light, that hung by itself in the empty gloom behind the figure. Philomel ground to a halt, hooves carving a skidded path through the dust as she faced the horror that was No-One, and beside her the great firey mass that was Veridian bared his teeth, similarly coming to a stop.

    "Beloved of Drys, I suppose," cackled the dark mage, sounding like the gnarled witches of legend. "Here to stop me?"

    Breathing in a sharp intake, Philomel stared, eyes narrowing. Searching over the form of the unknown villain before her she tried to figure out who or what she might be, any clue to her allegiance or religion. For the first time viewer this woman was a tall fellow, with bright blue eyes and whisps of silvery hair peeking from under her hood. She wore dark, had the curves and build of a human, but with the proud baring of a noble. Carefully Philomel unsheathed her white glorious mythril sword and let it hung by her side, glowing with the shimmer of light with the flames dancing over Veridian's back. He was a behemoth beside her, nearly five metres from nose to tail, and, she hoped, a suggestion of the power she held. A suggestion that may leave this situation without bloodshed.

    However, the faun was stunned to hear that the human girl seemed to know she was Drys'. That was a matter that Philomel had not even told her closest friend Vaeron when they had first met, until a couple of months into their companionship. And here was a complete stranger, telling all the truths.

    Our enemy is powerful, Philomel whispered to Veridian through their mindful connection. The fox inclined his head, never taking his eyes off the enemy.

    "Don't answer me then," the woman continued, dropping a long bow to the ground with a light thunk, "But know that I have conquered already. The lyre is for my god, not yours."

    "The lyre belongs to no man, but to those who granted the bard it in the first place," Philomel declared, tightening her hold on her blade. "As it is written, Orphaeus is a servant of the Ancients, and it is those who chose who to gift it to."

    Slowly the woman's eyes glowed, and she seemed to resonate with joy. "Ahh! You speak!" she cried, raising a hand. With a flurry of movement she threw back her hood, exposing her mane of beautiful hair. The curve of her face could now be seen, showing young features and sharp lines. Her mouth was a curve of amusement and quite suddenly she became animated in her speaking: "So glad to see you, my dear enemy who I am about to kill! For too long we have been following one another."

    "I do not know who you are," Philomel hissed darkly, the violent tendancies showing in her eyes, "But you are treading very precarious ground here. My goddess sent me here to ensure the lyre did not fall into the wrong hands. And yours seem very wrong indeed."

    Philomel! Veridian barked, Do not be hasty! Do not you see the globe of light? This woman is a mage, and we do not know where she gets her power from.

    The faun growled, but knew he was right. She bared herself a little, and began to open her mouth again to try to rectify what anger she may have placed in - but their enemy was faster. A fake pouting frown appeared on her face, and she crossed her (now) free arms.

    "Oh that is not very polite is it?" she crooned, "Neither was my travelling companion. He knew too much, so then I had to kill him. Send him right into nothingness, into dust and ashes. Just what I will do with you."

    Philomel's tactic of trying to be nice was forgotten then as soon as it had come. She knew she stood on dust - probably the same matter that had been this mage's apparent friend. Raising her sword, she stepped forwards, the new clock of brilliance flapping around her.

    "You will do nothing of the sort," the Matriarch screeched, "The goddess will be praised!"

    And with that she slammed down her hoof. The pathway, the cave, the tomb - everything - was suddenly flung into violent reverberations, the rocks clattering together as she shook the world.

    The woman gasped slightly, eyes widening as she saw the world beginning to shake and swoon. Glancing around her she looked as if she feared the ceiling might cave in. Philomel saw her do so - so she was being distracted. Good.

    Thud. Vehemently, she banged her fist this time on an upraised rock, making the very stalgamites shiver in their hold. Then, gathering herself, the faun blessed of Drys steeled herself to become what she had always desired. Powerful. Maginificent, beautiful and -

    Suddenly, the witch-mage of whatever species was not so distracted. Standing at the end of the pathway platform, near the not splintered top of the great poet's tomb, she turned her attention back to the faun. Even though the stones from ground to ceiling sung of destruction and mortal end, she still would not be faltered. A slow grin appeared on the mage's face, as the caverns shook, and she cried in the loudest voice:

    "You will not take me so easily ..."

    And she beat her hands together. As Veridian bared his teeth and sped forwards. Down by the side of the dyke, as low as he dared, as fast as he dared, as the other mage turned her attention fully easily to Philomel. From her hands a golden light began to glow, as bright and as glorious as the mage light above. Except - well. By her words this was likely a spell, a weapon of some sort and it would only be beaten by equal magic.

    Drys magic, honoured magic. The light streaked. Philomel fell to the ground as her beody began to write from being overtaken by the beast that resided within her. The beast that longed to get out, to cause destruction and chaos. All the while Veridian ran, so small and secret that the light that was not aimed for him never got to him.
    Last edited by Philomel; 06-11-17 at 12:07 PM.
    "Tol. Mela. Othor." "Versh. Sai. Memnae." Come. Love. Conquer. - Philomel in Tolkein Sindarin, Faunish and Tradespeak

    Very grateful winner of 2015 Althies Awards: Friendliest Member, Mrs Althanas, Best IC Rivalry (with Doge), Best Judge and Most Helpful/Friendly Mod and Admin Award of Moderator of the Year.

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