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  1. #1
    Nuclear Rage

    EXP: 55,143, Level: 10
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next Level: 9,857
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next Level: 9,857


    Flamebird's Avatar

    GP
    208

    Name
    Felicity Rhyolite
    Age
    19
    Race
    Neanderthal/ Human Hybrid
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile

    Monsters and Men

    Since the volcanic eruption and meteorite strike of the previous year, Corone had been plunged into chaos. Natural, economic, and faunal chaos. Indeed, the paper flier fluttering from the wind, hung tightly to a wooden pole, was a sign of this. On the poster read:

    WANTED:
    At least two people required. Clear out den of World Eaters and Faceless. In the ruins of the settlement Bluevale, south of here. The World Eaters and Faceless are Eldritch creatures from who knows where, who somehow appeared in Bluevale after it was wiped out by disease.

    Reward: 1,000 coin per person!


    Standing in front of the poster, a young woman reached out and signed her name on the parchment. The redhead lowered the pen to the tray hoisted below and took a step back. She had been a bit obsessive with these bounty missions as of late. In the Coronian Ranger outpost of The Red Clearing, outside Concordia and between the town of New Brookshaven and the ruins of Whitevale, Felicity Rhyolite had been frequenting. Of course she did, since her mentor had left her for more important things... again.

    The small outpost took up a single, dry clearing with only a handful of buildings. The makeshift inn and tavern with no name to the right was where people ate and slept. A sloppy equipment shed was at the other side of the clearing, with three outhouses visible at the very edge of the encampment. The final building was a business collection rep and office for the Rangers who set up this place, for the pure purpose of setting up a bounty board to help with duties. Felicity adjusted her gear, knowing fully well that with how overwhelmed the Rangers were, they were actually reliant on increased mercenary activity to get the dirty jobs done. That way, they could focus on guardian duties and relief efforts. Felicity, obviously, has become one of those mercenaries. The rewards had become inflated due to this, with higher coin offered than usual to bounty hunters in these troubled times.

    Felicity turned to go to the tavern, until she was summoned to the office to pick up the job she had signed up for.

    ~~~




    Monsters and Men.
    [Closed to Aldritch the Pale.]
    "You’ve got power, and you’ve got skill. What you don’t seem to have is control." ~ Shinsou Vaan Osiris, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "Your hair reminds me of when I was a little kid, helping my mom pick oranges in the forest. When life was simple, easy, and I actually felt something.” ~ Leoric Blackwell, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "I can't be proud of anything. I am ashamed of everything." ~ Felicity Rhyolite.



    Felicity Playlist.

  2. #2
    Newcomer


    Aldritch's Avatar

    GP
    200

    Name
    Aldritch
    Age
    22
    Race
    Half-Elf
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    I had the canvas flaps thrown wide, praying for a breath out of the east. There was hardly enough wind to stir the trees. The wagon rattling over a rough road was nearly enough to shake my teeth out of my skull. I swabbed sweat off my brow and did my best to ignore the mock-sensation of loosening enamel. This was one of the rare times I found myself longing for the cool zephyrs of Pale's harbor, pungent fishy odors and all. Not even the odd fecal aroma my memories associated with those winds would have bothered me. It was hot, stagnant, and humid enough to make my clothes stick against my skin like glue. I fanned my face with a limp hand like a lady on the town, trying to find even the smallest shred of comfort.

    The coach came to a halt some half an hour after the peak of my discomfort. I climbed out, rested Soulcatcher over my shoulder, and moved around to the front of the wagon. I looked up to the coachman; a short, rotund man with the largest nose I think I have ever seen on a Coronian. "Thank you," I signed, voicelessly miming the sentiment with my lips. He had drawn the incorrect conclusion I was deaf when he witnessed me trying to negotiate a ride with a different coach. I'm hard of coin rather than hearing, thus my first choice of passage had denied to take me anywhere. He offered to take me for free. I sussed out his intention after a fake game of charades between myself pretending that I was in fact deaf, and him, not understanding a single gesture of my communication method.

    I think he may have been close to someone deaf at some point in his life were he not still. His offer appeared more of empathy than pity, so obviously I wasn't inclined to clarify my ability to hear and had to keep up the charade. He gave me a smile, a nod, and a small wave goodbye, all of which I returned in an echo of the charades we had played back in the city. I almost felt bad for taking advantage of someone's soft spot, but had I walked the trail I would have likely been stricken with heat illness. What mattered is that he had done me a great kindness, even if the source of his motivation was dubious in credibility. It gave him a sense of fulfillment, and it saved me the last few coins I had to my name. Deluding myself into a constructed morality helped keep the guilt at bay.

    Once the horses began to canter away, I made way for the outpost proper. Halfway to the nameless tavern I stopped, stared north, past sparse, faceless, and unfamiliar pedestrians, at a poster that clung to a board held aloft by two posts. I approached, slipping past ramblers until I could read the print. It was a listing for the extermination of abominable creatures that had made the remains of a former settlement their lair. There were two hand-drawn depictions of the monsters in question on the poster. They called one a World Eater, and the other was given the monicker of Faceless. I've done my share of similar work but never had I heard of these critters in particular. Nor had I ever seen any so ugly which I could easily recall.

    I retrieved the pen, intent to sign my name before I noticed another had already been scribbled onto the first line.

    Felicity Rhyolite.

    I felt one of my brows cock upward involuntarily as a read the name. A quick sweep around the vicinity, but I didn't see anyone who looked like they might fit the name. I didn't see anyone who looked capable of the job at a glance, either. As much as I would have preferred to go it alone, my purse was far too starved for the luxury. I signed my name directly beneath the first and promptly tore the poster from the board. I'd take it to the inquirer myself to avoid another signup and thus eliminating the possibility of the poster going back on their word and splitting the pot due to overemployment. I was too hungry to have much of a care for why anyone else might need the money.

    I shouldered my way through travelers and natives toward the chancery. I wouldn't give so much of a knock as I barreled my way into the office of whatever earlman or other official had issued the job posting. I never paid much attention to the titles of who was running what. If you asked me the difference between a Duke, a Viscount, and a King, I'm not sure I'd have the answer. I slipped around a ginger-haired woman whom I had not yet made the connection with the name on the poster. With a loud thud, I slapped the poster down onto the desk of the issuer. I pointed to my name on the poster, and then to myself. "I'm in. You won't need any more than two," I signed, fully expecting the individual behind the desk have not a clue across Am'aleh's blue seas what I was trying to convey.
    Last edited by Aldritch; 05-12-2021 at 09:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Nuclear Rage

    EXP: 55,143, Level: 10
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next Level: 9,857
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next Level: 9,857


    Flamebird's Avatar

    GP
    208

    Name
    Felicity Rhyolite
    Age
    19
    Race
    Neanderthal/ Human Hybrid
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    The office was stuffy from this hot weather. With a sigh, I leaned against a wooden beam of the room as the issuer turned a page in one of the many books on his cluttered desk. With a sigh, the elderly looking man pulled his reading glasses down. He looked up at me as another person entered the room. Before we could talk about the mission I had completed beforehand, the third person barged in front of the desk. A tall, pale man with jet black hair, he looked both healthy and unwell. He threw his arms around in a fluster of random signs I had no idea how to read. The issuer looked at the man with an exhausted, done expression. He pulled his glasses up and peered into the paper. Then, he sighed again.

    "Too many hunters want to do it alone these days. Not much I can do to change that, I guess." He learned back in his chair, blinking several times as he pulled his glasses off again. Leaning forward from the beam I was against, I recognized the poster from earlier today I had signed. Was this pale man trying to steal my job?

    The issuer rested his head against the back of his chair, "I suppose luck will have it, lad. I do believe you and Rhyolite will do just fine for this mission."

    Relief flooded me as I leaned against the beam again, crossing my arms. My muscles rippled under my heavy gambeson as the man looked at us from the chair. "Aldritch, Felicity Rhyolite, you two are tasked with wiping out the abominations at Bluevale. Now, I can understand sign language quite well. Aldritch here seems to be mute." He turned his head towards me, "You think you can work with that, lass?"

    Mute? Well, that would make things a little difficult in communication. Especially since I had no idea how to use sign language. Still, I could work with it. We could bring pen and paper perhaps, for communication. I nodded, some of my carrot red hair falling in front of my face.

    The man gave a hint of a smile, "Good, good. The mission is yours. Once it's darker, head out. This heat wave so soon after winter's end is bizarre. Until then, gear up and take some time to cool off at the inn."

    I nodded, pushing myself off the beam. The wood groaned from my weight as I motioned to Aldritch to follow. I had plenty of equipment in the inn, and a meal would be nice. I was still getting used to feeling hungry again after my magic affinity waned, unable to make my own energy.

    Turning towards the door, I turned my head back to Aldritch. We could use this time to become somewhat familiar with the total strangers we were. I could work with people. Of course, that did not mean I would so easily bond with people. Not anymore. "I have stuff at the inn. We should probably get some paper and pens too."
    "You’ve got power, and you’ve got skill. What you don’t seem to have is control." ~ Shinsou Vaan Osiris, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "Your hair reminds me of when I was a little kid, helping my mom pick oranges in the forest. When life was simple, easy, and I actually felt something.” ~ Leoric Blackwell, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "I can't be proud of anything. I am ashamed of everything." ~ Felicity Rhyolite.



    Felicity Playlist.

  4. #4
    Newcomer


    Aldritch's Avatar

    GP
    200

    Name
    Aldritch
    Age
    22
    Race
    Half-Elf
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    It worked.

    I didn't waste too much time being pleased with myself. Not that I could have said anything smug in my moment of mini-triumph. Well, I could have, but that would have complicated things beyond what I was willing to work around. One-thousand gold on the line made me far more humble than I might have been otherwise. I may not speak, but money talks, and I'm little if not a damned good listener. For the second time in a day, which was probably a record for the year, I looked to the man behind the desk signed: "Thank you." I left out the part that said '-for seeing it my way.'

    I was too beaten from a day's heat to go through the motions of trying to convince him that I was all he needed and that all other commissions, which in this case, was only the single other, would be better thrown my way. There's not a lot I imagined I wouldn't do for two-thousand gold in my current predicament. If I wanted to make any money, though, I made the executive decision that my energy was better saved for the task at hand. For something that gives life, the sun sure did have a way of sucking it out of me on the hotter days. I'd blame it on my Elven half if I had any good clue where it actually came from.

    "I have stuff at the inn. We should probably get some paper and pens too."
    I whirled around toward the voice, finally catching a good look at the person who'd managed to sign up before me. The same tilt of my brow that had come when I read the name echoed across my face. Somehow this wasn't what I pictured in my head when I read the name. Though, I suppose very few of my preliminary mental images ever come close to the mark. I certainly didn't expect a woman who appeared as if she could throw me clear over the outpost wall. Not that I am particularly scrawny, far from it, but that should speak volumes of the person I beheld.

    I blinked in a rapid flutter before nodding in agreement. I immediately drew the conclusion that she didn't understand my finger speech. It wouldn't be the first time someone had suggested pen and paper in order to overcome the barrier. I suppose I was thankful she wasn't illiterate, otherwise, I'd be back to playing charades like a deaf jester in the street. Degrading as it sounded, I am unfortunately forced into such a song and dance more often than I am proud to admit. It was unrealistic to expect everyone to learn finger speech when those who required are the vast minority. Reading, at least, would have some virtue in mandating.

    I followed Felicity toward the Inn, dreading her attempts to un-strangerize me that I somehow felt were inevitable. I've never claimed to be a seer, but these premonitions were more damned accurate than any fortune I had ever been told. In my head I prayed to no god in particular that she was at least tolerable.

  5. #5
    Nuclear Rage

    EXP: 55,143, Level: 10
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next Level: 9,857
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next Level: 9,857


    Flamebird's Avatar

    GP
    208

    Name
    Felicity Rhyolite
    Age
    19
    Race
    Neanderthal/ Human Hybrid
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    I walked across the clearing, pale man in suit, and stepped into the shabby inn. It was more like a shed than a building. The open shudder windows and uneven board walls let a ton of hot air in. I sighed, uncomfortable in my gambeson in this weather. Yet, I had to wear it here, to avoid getting cut. At least it was not humid. I walked up to the counter, more like a table, and ordered two glasses of water. As the unfortunately room temperature water was handed back, I pushed one to Aldritch and addressed the waiter again, "Pen and a notepad please?"

    He nodded and went to get one. I sighed, looking around at the room. The holes in the walls caused light to awkwardly pour in, with the shadows making it pitch black. In this weird lighting, all other people were like phantom shadows. Uncaring for these others, I ignored anyone else here. A notepad and pen were slid to me, I just pushed it to Aldritch. Taking my glass of water, I took a drink before placing the cup down. Then, I spoke.

    "We'll need an idea of how we fight to get out of this alive." I took a look at the zweihander, then looked back at him, "That sword is all? Do you know any unarmed combat?"

    Meanwhile, I had a diversity of weapons and equipment. Most of them though were currently stored in my room here, save the switchblade currently tucked under my shirt.

    I took another drink, waiting for him to scribble. I had no intention of getting buddy buddy, getting too close. If I did that, I would likely only get hurt again. I was only here for the thrill and the coin. Though mostly the thrill.

    "Yet, you try to play the hero. You said it yourself, you are a failure. Why bother being a hero when you can just take a few jobs whenever you please to make the money to live and do your own thing? Do what is fun! Life is too short to get hurt for strangers."

    Well, look what you made me become. This is me now, Leoric...
    Last edited by Flamebird; 05-14-2021 at 12:18 AM.
    "You’ve got power, and you’ve got skill. What you don’t seem to have is control." ~ Shinsou Vaan Osiris, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "Your hair reminds me of when I was a little kid, helping my mom pick oranges in the forest. When life was simple, easy, and I actually felt something.” ~ Leoric Blackwell, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "I can't be proud of anything. I am ashamed of everything." ~ Felicity Rhyolite.



    Felicity Playlist.

  6. #6
    Newcomer


    Aldritch's Avatar

    GP
    200

    Name
    Aldritch
    Age
    22
    Race
    Half-Elf
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    The Inn, if you could really call it that, was far more crowded than I would have expected. Relative to the outpost, I would have thought it much sparser than the almost-mob that resided within. Their collective presence gave the Inn a vague, musty smell while making it noticeably hotter inside than it needed to be. I slipped onto a stool before the counter where Felicity had led me. Out of my peripheral, I caught more than one pair of eyes staring my way. Turning a glance, I saw nothing. The gawkers had better reflexes than I expected for some middle-of-nowhere outpost rabble. I scowled their direction before returning my gaze forward to a clear beverage I hadn't asked for. I shot Felicity an inquiring glance just a half-moment before she spoke to me directly.

    "We'll need an idea of how we fight to get out of this alive. That sword is all? Do you know any unarmed combat?"
    I nodded at the first inquiry, then shrugged at the second. If the images sketched upon the poster were at all accurate, one would assume being unarmed would be little good even as a last resort. Unless she was a martial artist in one of the more esoteric disciplines. She looked strong, but I wasn't certain if she was on the level of breaking bricks with her fists. I wasn't. Not even close. I've put men to sleep with a firm enough strike, but a brick would be doing the breaking were I ever to strike. I doubted 'World Eaters' and 'Faceless' were hard as brick, but something told me my fists wouldn't be much more than a tickle to them.

    I nearly began to sign something before I remembered the pen and paper. I held up a finger to indicate that I needed a moment and began to down the water I had been offered. My waterskin had run dry this morning, and even at room temperature water was refreshing on days like this. I let the cup clack loudly onto the wood before dragging the parchment toward myself and scribbling on the paper. I stopped writing my first sentence halfway through and scratched it out. I was more deliberate with my second attempt.

    I slid the paper in front of her slowly. 'I manage well enough with just the sword,' I had written. Soulcatcher was an old blade, long wrung dry of its oldest enchantments, but it had yet to fail me.

  7. #7
    Nuclear Rage

    EXP: 55,143, Level: 10
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next Level: 9,857
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next Level: 9,857


    Flamebird's Avatar

    GP
    208

    Name
    Felicity Rhyolite
    Age
    19
    Race
    Neanderthal/ Human Hybrid
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    Upon reading the paper, I raised an eyebrow. Even if I was apathetic these days, I had always been an expressive person. Still, this man was confident in his abilities. I knew from looking in the mirror never to doubt someone's skill based off of appearances, or age, or anything. I decided to watch my own back, but to give this Aldritch the benefit of the doubt.

    I sighed, leaning against the counter as my hyper metabolism beckoned. With a sigh, I called to the waiter, "Hey, you know those high protein high calorie high everything bars? Get me an entire box - oh, and make sure it's the sweet kind. Not the disgusting trash that pretends to be chocolate until you taste it."

    The waiter wordlessly nodded and turned to get them. My elbow against the counter, chin in my palm, I reached up and pushed back my sweat drenched hair. "And more water!"

    I then turned my attention back to my new partner. "I have an arsenal. Two arming swords, a trident parrying dagger, a stilleto, a-" as two more glasses of water were slid before us, I brought the glass to my lips and chugged it down. Setting the glass on the counter, I continued, "-katana, war bow and arrows, these tactical gloves, a M.A.D. don't ask where I got it from I hate looking back, this gambeson, and a metal bird with gunpowder that I can telepathically control and make go boom."

    The small wooden crate of protein bars was set before us. I immediately pulled one out and tore the wrapping off, shoving the first bite into my jaws. Good, this was that sweet vanilla coated one. With my mouth still full, I mumbled, "You can take some. Hurry before I eat this whole box."

    After a massive bout of shoving the rest of the bar in my mouth like a snake, then loudly chewing and swallowing, I asked my second question. "Do you have magical powers or anything? Mine are basically don't make me bleed, I boom worse than my bird. But I'm wearing armor and heavy clothes so I should be fine. And you?"
    "You’ve got power, and you’ve got skill. What you don’t seem to have is control." ~ Shinsou Vaan Osiris, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "Your hair reminds me of when I was a little kid, helping my mom pick oranges in the forest. When life was simple, easy, and I actually felt something.” ~ Leoric Blackwell, to Felicity Rhyolite.

    "I can't be proud of anything. I am ashamed of everything." ~ Felicity Rhyolite.



    Felicity Playlist.

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