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*Heirs of the Nether Realm (Rated-R)*

GoldenHouou

antagoonist
Crown Prince Aeon the Feared
Dwarven Cave


Famine's hiding place didn't go undetected for long.

Just as he thought he'd escaped Aeon's sadistic grasp, the woman whose legs he was using for cover noticed his presence. Famine's ears perked in surprise - and startlement. Would she hand him over to the demon?!

As the siren begun to crouch down to his level, Famine's ears, along with the rest of his tiny body, flattened against the floor so as to appear small and hopefully blend into the floor. Needless to say, it didn't work. She reached towards him, hand pressing against his soft fur. For a fleeting moment, Famine didn't move as she petted his head. It felt kind of nice, actually. Aeon never pet him.

But then the demon in question shifted his gaze towards them - and all of a sudden, Famine's eyes went wide and instinct kicked in. His cute little bunny mouth opened to reveal a gigantic maw, lined by teeth as sharp as daggers - which promptly chomped down onto Tassie's offending hand. The blood turned the fur on his face partially red.

Aeon tilted his head, curious about the scene. An instant later, his pet was unceremoniously flung across the room with a gust of wind, and he reached an almost lazy hand to grab it before it hit a wall somewhere.

"Now, now," he mused, dangling the poor bunny by the scruff of its neck, sword now held to its fluffy chest. "That's no way to treat a lady."

He didn't try too hard to hide his amusement.
 

VampirateMace

Internet Overlord
Laun (Jötunn) & Muninn (Falcon)
Location: Dwarf Caverns

Laun tugged on the straps of his new rucksack, trying to loosen them, needless to say a dwarf sized backpack didn't exactly fit a Jötunn properly. Vestus started ushering members of their group forward, and handing out equipment. Unlike the rucksacks these things seemed more fitted to the needs of each individual. The dwarf handed him a set of dark grey scythes bound by a chain, with handles wrapped in off-white leather. They reminded him of a traditional Jötunn weapon made from the rib bones of a large animal and leather, but they were heavier and seemed like they'd be much more durable. Testing the weight, he struck at air with one of the scythes, before nodding, and addressing the dwarf somewhat formally, “Thank you, I will utilize these noble weapons well.”

He stepped out of the way and watched as others received weapons and armor. The fairy got a shiny new shield for example. Occasionally he glanced back down at the scythes in his hands, considering them once more. They managed to be both familiar and new at the same time. A familiar shape, but an unfamiliar weight and material. Eventually he noticed some letters of dwarven script etched into the base of the blade. Tuning out from the rewards other were receiving he rubbed his thumb over one of the symbols. He didn't know what was written there, but suspected magic might be involved from the fact that the symbol glowed purple for a split second after being touched. He wasn't quite sure what to make of that.

Looking back up, he saw the demon now had an ebony blade, which he was using to slice open his own finger. Laun had injured himself in fights and on accident several times, but the thought of intentionally harming oneself still made him a little uncomfortable. Should someone try to stop this?

His attention however was pulled away when Tassie asked for help. Turning quickly, Laun found she was indicating a pair of bracers she'd obviously just received. Draping the scythes over a shoulder by the chain, Laun stooped a little and gently tugged the straps tighter, knowing he was strong enough to break equipment built for a smaller frame, or pull them too tight. Better check on that. Finished adjusting them, he asked Tassie, “How's that feel?”

But instead of replying she crouched down to inspect the creepy elf prince's rabbit as it ran over. Laun didn't blame it, he'd run too if that guy was his caretaker. But the creature went on the defensive, biting down on her hand, to which she used her magic to blast it across the room. The demonic elf picked it up and scolded it, and holding his new sword to it's neck. Laun was torn emotionally, that animal was a nuisance, but he was pretty sure it was because it was being abused, or possessed. . . maybe both. . . probably both. He ended up snapping at Aeon, “Maybe if you didn't mistreat it, it wouldn't be such a brute!”

Laun turned his attention back to Tassie kneeling down beside her. He tried to get a good look at her hand, “Honey, are you okay?”
 

Tangeh

Well-Known Member
Princess Tasoula “Tassie” Kasiani Eliades
Location: Dwarf Caverns

The small fluffy creature pressed itself into the floor as Tassie reached toward it, but once it was unable to flatten any further it tolerated Tassie's curious fingers rubbing around its fur. "You are soft ~ " Tassie cooed. It was cute smooshed into the floor like that. Tassie wished she remembered what it was called. She slowly broke into a smile -

A flash of razor-sharp teeth, and before Tassie could react the creature had sunk its entire jaw into her right hand. Tassie shrieked and tried to shake it off, but the animal held on. "ωκεπνίζσία! Πρίαμος!" she cried instinctively, holding her hand away - the trident in her other hand vibrated at the command. The creature literally blasted off her hand from the gust of wind, which was twice as strong as she'd meant it to be. She didn't see where the animal had ended up as she was too busy wincing and examining the damage. The wounds formed a mouth-shaped crescent across her palm and back of her hand. Blood was dripping onto the floor. Tassie whimpered and propped the trident into the crook of her elbow as she desperately tried to quell the bleeding with her other hand.

Tassie looked up when she heard Aeon start speaking - and he was holding the crazy used-to-be-cute thing! That was his pet?! He almost seemed to be... mocking her? Tassie bristled at his nonchalant tone, and had he been literally anybody else, she would've had several choice words for him. As it was, she was too intimidated to say anything, so shivered and let Laun do the talking instead. She let him look at her hand when he asked if she was okay. "I will be okay, thank you for asking," Tassie sweetly insisted. "I just need water." She said it as if she wanted a glass of water, but really she needed an entire pool of it.

As that thought crossed her mind, the aquamarine stone on the bracers that Laun helped her put on began glowing. How odd, yet pretty. She hesitated, then moved her left hand off blood clotting duty to touch the glowing stone. Tassie felt a gentle tingle on her palm - it felt just like it did when the water healed her, but she was above water? She watched as the wound slowly began to heal over. The bleeding slowed down and then stopped, and then the wounds began to steadily close. Relief washed over her as the pain subsided, and she opened and closed her hand a few times, checking for residual injury. "I have healed..." Tassie mused to herself, then ran a curious finger along the bracer...
 
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Skillfulness

Well-Known Member
Garnet Culture-CouncilSon-Scholar
Hall of the Dwarven People


“Well aren't we the curious little one?” The older dwarf addressed him and Garnet blushed, suddenly aware of his forward curiosity. “Our people have lived in this mountain for longer than anyone can remember, certainly longer than I've been alive. The Oracle has been here for that long a well, maybe longer, giving prophecies about times to come. . . but unfortunately they are rather vague and so I can't really tell you that much. . . I do know your journey will be long and hard, but we will prepare you the best we can, and pray for your safe return.” He jotted down a few notes, then thanked her for her time and knowledge. He also gave her a small bobble from his cloak. Though most other species didn’t follow the same customs as Kenku, he still found it polite to return a gift of knowledge with another gift. This one was a small stone with strange reflection qualities he thought she might appreciate.

After that, he wandered back to the group he arrived with. They were being led to bed chambers and Garnet sighed in relief, just now realizing how tired he was. He shuffled to a bed near the corner of the room and started snuggling up. There was a great danger now that he was stopped. His mind would start to analyze everything that happened and anxiety would take him over. Unfortunately, there was no stopping it. While the others slept, Garnet was up late, unable to relax and get rest. All he could do was fret and worry about what happened to his parents. There were so many possibilities and none of them seemed like good ones. Sure, his family hay have escaped that dreadful scene just as he and these others had, but the odds were not in their favor. Garnet was still young and wouldn’t be able to get by without his parents, they were everything to him. He may be in training to one day take up the helm as a Council Member, but it was too soon. There was no way he could handle that kind of responsibility! Besides, he was more concerned about his parents’ health. If they were dead, he- he couldn’t go down that road. Instead, small pools of tears started forming and he blinked harshly. It had been many, many years since he cried from fear. Even though his panic was rising with every silent moment that passed, his determination to be strong was greater. He curled up tighter under the blanket and tried to think about the phrases in his book. Garnet repeated phrase after phrase in his head to distract himself until, eventually, darkness and sleep took him.

~ The following day ~

In the morning, Garnet awoke feeling like a disaster. It didn’t take long for him to remember where he was and the circumstance he was in, discontent quickly washing over him. Looking around, it seemed he may have been one of the last to wake up. It made sense, considering how he was up so late fretting and crying. Forget about all that, just move forward, he thought. Pushing himself out of bed, he could smell food from down the hall and his stomach rumbled in response. Remembering how little he ate last night, the hunger was a welcome distraction. Garnet hurried to where he remembered the feast hall to be. Still shy and wary of the others, he picked over the food he considered edible and sat around the edge, minding his own business. He eyed the orc and scooted close to her, but was otherwise silent, nothing uncommon for Garnet.

Once finished eating, the group was presented with some supplies and then led to a workshop. That piqued Garent’s attention so he glanced through the contents of the bag before excitedly following. He kept pushing his sad thoughts away by trying to think of all the positives of this new experience. His parents would be proud he was meeting new people, learning new things. It was the whole purpose of their position on the Council and the kind of thing Garnet grew up being passionate about. The problem of not knowing what happened to his parents could be solved at a later time. Besides, he had no way of gaining any extra knowledge on that right now so best to focus on the present. These were the thoughts holding off his extreme anxiety while they were shown to the workshop. The room was spacious, yet cluttered. Equipment was scattered about and multiple benches with tables were set up as workstations. There was a heat that forced Garnet to lower the hood on his cloak coming from lava that dripped through the wall. He was fascinated by just that fact and inched towards it to get a better look while they were introduced.

“Vestus here is our forgemaster. He's personally overseen the creation of the gear we have for you today.”

“Aye, I was starting to doubt we'd see it in my lifetime,” replied the new dwarf, “The Oracle never was good at giving dates, or details, but from what we gleaned, there will be combat. And if that's what y'all must face, nothing better ya can have than gear forged in our mountain.”

They started handing out weapons and objects to the group and Garnet found himself holding a silvery crossbow. It was lightweight and had beautiful golden accents. There was a silver bolt already loaded into it and he started to inspect the weapon, trying to discover how it was forged and how it worked without yet using it. He was fascinated to discover the bolt always seemed to stay in place. After his thorough investigation, Garnet realized something had happened with the others and tentatively approached.

Everything ok?” His voice came out as a gentle, younger woman, a human nurse he met one day. He hoped he sounded calm and inviting, but he knew that hearing a different voice each time come out of the same creature could be disconcerting. Rather than saying anything else, he gave a small smile and wave.
 

Vern

Why not both?
Shura Deadeye
Dwarven Cavern


“Is that an orc saying?” The siren asked, going on to talk about some of the words of folk wisdom common in her culture — and then suddenly being overtaken by a certain sense of melancholy, concerned about whether or not she’d be able to return to her homeland. She seemed to snap out of it soon enough, though. “Um, what is your name?”

“I’m Shura,” Shura replied with a laugh, “And it’s not an orc saying, but it’s a me saying — words of wisdom from a teenager.” That was a small joke she’d learnt over the years — typically, for most other races, someone of her age would still be considered an adolescent. She reached over and once again gave Tassie a pat on the shoulder, “In orc culture, when we die, we simply leave to another world. So we’ll all see everyone again. Even if you don’t make it back alive, it’s just a matter of waiting a little.”

She left out the part about dying honourably in combat being a requirement. Somehow, she got the impression that the siren wouldn’t appreciate that particular detail. “Oh — don’t worry though,” she added with a wide, hopefully reassuring smile, suddenly remembering the inherent fear of death most other races possessed, “We won’t die. I’ll make sure of that.“

“It doesn't seem like there's anything more we can do tonight, we might as well appreciate their hospitality.”” Blue boy said as he slid himself into the conversation, gravitating towards his lover. Shura let out a breath of relief — he’d probably be able to comfort her better than she would. Better than an orc would, really. As much as she loved her people, and as much as she was proud of her identity, there was a part of her that hated the wall of… different-ness it put between her and seemingly everyone else outside of her tribe. Taking another swig of alcohol, she quickly shoved the negative thoughts out of her mind — no point dwelling on those things.

“Yep,” She assented, “Let’s enjoy ourselves!”

And she did. Dwarven food was good, and dwarven ale was even better. That was about all she could ask for, really.

///​

Night came, and everyone went to sleep in the same room. The beds were a little cramped, and the room itself a little crowded — some of the others may have found it uncomfortable, but Shura felt right at home. If anything, the blankets and such were far more luxurious than she was used to. She slept blissfully well, and was only awoken by the smell of breakfast, a good bit after most people had already left.

She set off at a quick jog, entering the hall where breakfast was set. Many of the other heirs didn’t seem to have had the best night, or be in the best mood — but Shura herself was feeling pretty good, and the general atmosphere didn’t really get to her. She consumed her breakfast — a large amount of it — with her customary cheer. She eagerly thanked the dwarves as they passed out the rucksacks, slinging it over her shoulder after quickly inspecting its contents and giving an approving nod. Her ears perked up when she heard the word ‘workshop’ — that meant armour, and weapons. Shoving a few more biscuits into her mouth, she quickly trotted off after the others.

“Vestus here is our forgemaster.” Their guide said, motioning to an authoritative-looking dwarf “He's personally overseen the creation of the gear we have for you today.”

“Aye, I was starting to doubt we'd see it in my lifetime,” replied Vestus proudly, “The Oracle never was good at giving dates, or details, but from what we gleaned, there will be combat. And if that's what y'all must face, nothing better ya can have than gear forged in our mountain.”

Shura eagerly accepted her gift. It was on the heavier side for a warhammer, but that’s just the way she liked her weapons — the grip itself felt natural in her hand. On top of that, it had many markings on it, which made it look quite pretty. It didn’t feel quite as comfortable as her halberd, but for a new weapon, it wasn’t half bad. Shura gave a gleeful smile. Although she had managed to sneak a knife with her, it felt good to have something more substantial, especially when conflict seemed to be brewing. “Thank you for the gift,” she said, giving the smith a respectful bow of her head, “It is a good weapon — I will use it well."

Then, she turned towards the others, oblivious to the conflict brewing between some of the other heirs. After all, the best way to get used to a new weapon was to use it, and that was on the forefront of her mind at the moment. "Hey!" she called, experimentally swinging the hammer back and forth, "Does anyone want to spar?"
 

VampirateMace

Internet Overlord
Laun (Jötunn) & Muninn (Falcon)
Location: Dwarf Caverns

Laun nodded lightly as Tassie reassured him she was fine. Sure she was bleeding, but if she didn't think it was serious, then he was going to trust her. At the very least, it was nice to know she could be strong, especially considering what lay ahead of them. Then to both of their surprise, her bracers started glowing and her wounds healed. He looked from the bracers to the symbols on one of his scythe, this was confirmation that their new weapons and armor indeed seemed to be infused with magic. He muttered to himself, rubbing his thumb over the text that glowed purple again, “Interesting.”

Meanwhile the others continued to receive their gifts. Garnet came to check out the situation afterward, while Shura requested a sparring match. Their dwarven guide stepped forward again, indicating their crowded surroundings, as he requested, “Not inside the forge please, there is quite a bit of potential for damage. . . besides, I've been informed that the oracle is requesting your presence.”

“Oh,” commented Laun looking around for whatever messenger had relayed the oracle's request to him. Not spotting anyone he thought fit the role, he glanced over their group instead. Everyone seemed to be well geared for whatever journey they were about to go on now. He shifted his weapons into one hand and scratched his neck, “I suppose we ought to go then? Do you. . . er. . . can you show us the way back up?”

Location: Mountaintop

The grizzled dwarf lead them through the tunnels once more, out into the bright light of day. Crossing into the temple, the group found themselves facing the oracle once more. Her floating form drifted softly in the center of the temple and after a moment, she began a new verse:

“For peace and balance to resound,
the objects of legend must be found,
Each has a place that it belongs,
now only know in myths and songs,

Take the stone that glows in hand,
and be whisked off to a distant land,
There you'll find the first of many,
if it can be discerned by you or any,

Mind now that some relics have guards,
but don't forget your victory is in the cards,
Put each piece in it's place without delay,
only then you'll keep this shattering at bay.”

Laun searched his jacket pockets, finally pulling out the dull blue crystal. He turned it over in his hand and the held it up, addressing the oracle, “Glowing stone? Do you mean this?”

The oracle didn't answer in words, but instead nodded ever so slightly. Suddenly the crystal flashed and started to glow and pulsate with light, which grew stronger by the second. . . until it engulfed them entirely.

Location: Frozen Waste

When the light faded, it was replaced by a just as blinding expanse of white and grey. It was cold. The group was now standing in about a foot of snow, with heavy snowflakes whipping around them. What they could see of the sky was full of dark stormy clouds. The mountains on which they’d just been standing were far to the north, obscured by the clouds. But much closer, a little to the east, through the snow flurries, large rounded off-white hide tents could be seen.

Laun squinted. The tents looked somewhat familiar and alien at the same time. He had an inkling of what that meant, and relayed it to the others, “I think we're in Yeti territory.”
 

GoldenHouou

antagoonist
Crown Prince Aeon the Feared
Dwarven Cave


It was clear neither the siren nor the jötunn were fans of what had just occurred, but only the latter found the courage to voice it. Much to Aeon's surprise however, it wasn't the siren's fate that angered the man, at least not directly. Rather, the jötunn criticized him over his treatment of Famine.

Aeon chuckled.

"Don't let the fluffy exterior fool you. At heart, this thing is no less a demon than I am," he dangled the bunny back and forth, "It's just a little-- hm, shall we say, simple?"

He watched Laun rush to the siren's aid, referring to her affectionately like one would to their partner. The demon cringed.

Speaking of simple.

Aeon shook his head, ready to divert his attention from the lovestruck jötunn to anything else, when something curious happened. The bracers Tassie wore begun to glow blue. When the glow faded, no new blood gushed from her injured hand. In fact, it no longer looked injured at all.

... Fascinating.

Even the little bird, usually so very shy and reclusive, dared venture closer to see what the ruckus was about. The voice that came out of his mouth was feminine, and had Aeon not known how kenku worked, he would've likely mistaken the bird for a female. Kenku were not Aeon's favourite species to possess due to their lackluster physical prowess, but oh, were they interesting to observe.

Shura's sudden, loud invitation snapped Aeon from his thoughts. A spar with an orc? Aeon contemplated it. He had no delusions of matching the orc in armed combat - his hands were his real weapons, after all - but he was keen on testing out the sword. He wanted to find out what manner of magic dwelt within it.

Before he could make a decision one way or another however, a dwarf thwarted the orc's plans. Supposedly, the oracle wanted to meet them all - for another puzzling prophesy, no doubt. Aeon sighed and dropped Famine on the ground.

"Heel," he told it, then followed very close behind the others.

--​

Frozen Waste

What was it with the oracle and cold locations? Compared to the wasteland they found themselves in now, the windy mountaintop from earlier seemed like a summer paradise. Even he felt the cold this time, though no doubt to a much lesser extent than many others.

All the same.

Aeon waved a hand, and fire sprung to life atop his palm. While it struggled to live in the snowfall, the demon's entire body started to gradually warm up. He needed it; the sky above was heralding a storm.

"You don't suppose they have the first of these... relics?" He pondered out loud, "If so, let us hope they aren't particularly fond of it - or aware of its existence. Few things can separate a yeti from his heirloom."

Behind the demon, Famine was half-sunken into snow and visibly trembling from the cold. Aeon ignored it.

"Shall we?" He asked with one of his wicked smiles, ready to keep walking.
 

Monster Guy

Fairy type Trainer
Prince Sky Sparkledust (Fairy)
Dwarf Caverns


The Vampire Prince didn't even acknowledge Sky. Meanwhile Tassie got herself bitten by the demon's equally demonic rabbit. Before Sky could offer his help, Tassie basically healed herself. Then more stuff happened. Sky didn't pay attention. He was busy scolding the vampire prince. "How dare you ignore me! I am the Prince of Fairyland! We are best friends! We danced together, and you're gonna stand there and not respond to me?! Fine, be that way!" Then the Orc called everyone to the top of the mountain. They were going to be on their way to... Wherever they were going... Sky flew off of the vampire's shoulder, and stuck out his tongue at him. "Meanie!"

Frozen Waste

After delivering yet another vague prophecy, there was a flash of light, and all of a sudden they were in a new place entirely. A new place that was very cold, and covered in snow everywhere. It was absolutely freezing. He sat on Tassie's head, and wrapped himself up in her blue hair. "I am I'm not dressed for these conditions! Keep me warm please!" Although now he noticed she wasn't exactly dressed for the cold either...

Laun explained that they were Yeti territory. "Yes that's nice. Can we hurry up and find whatever it is we're looking for so we can get out of this cold?!" He shouted while shivering from under a pile of Tassie's hair.
 

Tangeh

Well-Known Member
Princess Tasoula “Tassie” Kasiani Eliades
Location: Dwarf Caverns

As Laun watched in shock as Tassie self-healed and ran a thumb over his own artifact, the little kenku hurried over to the commotion, inquiring in a soothing female voice if everything was alright. Strange, she thought she remembered her mother saying the heir to this new-to-the-ball kingdom was male, but perhaps she was mistaken. Tassie did not have much knowledge on the kenku, as her mother didn't think it worth wasting time learning of a species that, well, lacked proper hardware. So she smiled at what she assumed was a female child and reassured her: “I am alright, little one. ...Um, what is your name?” The question felt awkward in Tassie's mouth, a primitive part of her wondering why she was even bothering to ask.

Shura requested a sparring match to the group in general, which even if Tassie had any interest in joining in on – Shura looked quite intimidating with her new giant hammer - was quickly shut down by the dwarf, who informed them that the oracle was requesting their presence. Laun asked the dwarf to lead the way, and Tassie followed – keeping a good breadth between herself and Famine, who had been dropped back onto the ground.

Location: Mountaintop

They were led back in front of the oracle, who recited another verse. Tassie listened as best she could, and struggled to discern the meaning hidden in the words. They had to find … the first of... something? And it was guarded? What was it? Guarded by what? And they were to put it in its place, but where? Tassie wasn't sure if her common language skills were failing her or if the riddle was as twisted as it sounded in her head. Laun at least caught onto the “stone” being mentioned, and randomly pulled out a crystal from his jacket. Where had he gotten that...? Tassie thought she'd been doing a pretty good job at keeping an eye on him, but clearly her attention had lapsed somewhere. Without warning, the crystal pulsated with light, which engulfed Tassie's vision until -

Location: Frozen Waste

Tassie blinked, aware of the freezing temperatures before she could properly see where she was. She wrapped her free arm over her bare skin and exhaled a cloud of steam. This was... this was... what was it called? Oh, right! “χιόνι...!” she exclaimed, and her trident vibrated and produced an extra flurry of snow that whipped across the stormy tundra. Tassie flinched back, completely forgetting her trident was still awake. “Ah, no, no, Αφήυςουςται...” she muttered, and the trident stopped glowing and went still in her hand. Snow! That's what it was called in the common language. She very rarely saw snow at home, and had never felt the wind's cruel knife cutting into her like this. She was used to the consistent waters of the siren kingdom, where her outfit would be much more appropriate. She shivered and pressed herself close to Laun, remembering somewhere in the back of her mind he'd said he could regulate his own temperature.

She felt something land on her head and pull at her hair, and instinctively went to swat whatever it was away when the fairy prince's voice floated very close to her ear. Well, alright. She would tolerate this. Perhaps he would return the favour later and keep her warm as well...

Laun spoke up, snapping Tassie out of her fantasy. He was looking pointedly in the distance and insisting they were in yeti territory. Now that he mentioned it, Tassie did see the tents he was talking about. Relief washed over her. “O-oh, good,” she sighed, her voice trembling with cold. Even a primitive civilization was welcome at this point.

Aeon made a worried comment about the yetis possessing the relic they were searching for. That made sense, right? Tassie slowly broke into a smile. “Oh, I believe they can be persuaded...” she mused. Maybe it wasn't okay to use her voice on her fellow ballgoers, but surely it was acceptable here. She gently pulled Laun forward, anxious to get out of the snow.
 
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VampirateMace

Internet Overlord
Laun (Jötunn) & Muninn (Falcon)
Location: Frozen Waste

Several members of the group seemed to have gone quiet and Laun suspected they weren't adjusting to the cold very well. It didn't help that a snow flurry lashed them almost immediately after arriving. The abyss-eyed elf with the monster rabbit was the first to speak, well in the common tongue at least, asking if the yetis might have the item and noting that yeti were not keen on giving stuff up. He suggested they move on, and the little fairy boy, who'd once again lodged himself in Tassie's hair agreed with both statements. Laun wasn't sure what to make of this hair burrowing behavior, but it seemed innocent enough, especially compared to the stuff Aeon tended to pull. He nodded, “I suspect they do. . . I. . . I think we might be looking for something 'out of place' since the Oracle said we were supposed to put them in their places.”

Tassie suggested they could be persuaded, tugging on Laun's hand to urge him forward. Laun nodded again, picking up the pace. The group moved in relative quiet, ever closer to the village as snow drifted down around them. Muninn flew off ahead, rising over the village in a circular flight.

As the group got closer they became aware of an assault of sensory information, despite the village being as pale as the snow fields it sat in. A large fire was burning among the tents, casting dancing light and long shadows everywhere, as well as releasing the scents of smoke and roasted meat into the air. Banging, clattering, and chanting could be heard. When they got closer to them, they could see the huge tents were clearly fashioned from the hides, bones, and tusks of some large (probably pale colored) tundra beasts. The yetis themselves were huge, a little taller than Laun even. And covered in pale fur of white, grey, blonde, or silver. They wore little clothing, a few having hide loin cloths and or fur shawls and capes, but most were wearing jewelry fashioned out of the same materials as their tents, and a few had jewelry made of pounded soft metal, such as gold.

The yetis caught sight of their colorful forms fairly quickly, though with a fair amount of surprise, and the chanting changed to murmuring. A few of the seated yetis got up, and some even grabbed for weapons (if they weren't already holding something that doubled as a weapon, such as a hatchet). A particularly large yeti, wearing a lot of jewelry with a fur draped over his shoulders like a cape pushed his way forward. His voice was gruff and booming, and his common was not well practiced as he demanded, “What business have you here travelers?”

Laun felt something inside him falter. It was much like looking up at his father, the most powerful Jötunn he knew. He looked downward and took a deep breath before explaining their cryptic mission, “We've come for the thing th-that doesn't belong here.”

“Ha!” scoffed the yeti in his booming voice, “I should known one of your kind would come for Nightbreaker's Axe. My grandfather, Nightbreaker, won that axe 'fair and square'. If you want axe, you fight me!”

Laun was wordless. The yeti chief laughed again, more sincere this time, “I see, you already know you lose. . . Well, come, warm you by the fire before leaving, travelers.”

Laun closed his eyes and sighed deeply as the chief walked back towards the fire-pit. Other yetis were watching them curiously, but no longer seemed on the defensive. Laun looked back at Aeon, “You were right, this isn't going to be easy. Any ideas?”
 

Monster Guy

Fairy type Trainer
Prince Sky Sparkledust (Fairy)
Frozen Waste


The group arrived at the village. It was much warmer inside than it was in the wasteland surrounding it. Mainly due to the fire burning among all the tents made from animal hide. In Sky’s opinion it was all very primitive looking. Like, could they not have built some buildings? Did they all have to live in tents? Well, at least it was warm.

The furry yetis saw all of them at once, and came out to greet them. They were huge! Bigger than Laun even. A few of the Yetis even got their weapons. The biggest yeti led the group demanded to know what business they had here.

Laun told them what they were here for, and the lead Yeti laughed them off and said he would have to fight for it. The prospect of that appeared to concern Laun which... was a surprise... Laun didn’t seem like the type to be intimidated by anything.

The Yetis let them in to get warm by the fire, and Laun asked the demon guy for advice. Now that it was warm, Sky flew out of Tassie’s hair. “You... might actually have to fight him...” Sky answered matter of factly. “But honestly, why does everything have to be solved with violence? Between the creepy guy, the beautiful woman, and an adorable fairy like myself.” Sky ran his fingers through his hair, grinned and used magic to make himself sparkle. “We could probably just persuade them to give us what we need.”
 
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Tangeh

Well-Known Member
Princess Tasoula “Tassie” Kasiani Eliades
Location: Yeti Village

The group walked through the yeti village. It looked rather primitive; they lived in huge tents that could not have done much to protect against the fierce cold, and they started up a loud racket as they walked closer. The yetis themselves were even taller than Laun, and - to Tassie's delight - wore very little clothing, though they were coated in pale fur that didn't allow many of their muscles to show through. Laun was definitely preferable in this regard - but they were still men, so Tassie still smiled at them and winked as she walked past, even as she glued herself to Laun's arm and tried to use him to shelter her from the wind. She'd already lost feeling in her feet.

The yetis drew weapons as they came closer, and Tassie drew closer to Laun. Sirens were not used to being overpowered by men, and especially not outnumbered - but these people were very large, and very angry, and there were a great number of them. The largest of them approached, and Tassie's eyes widened as he boomed out “what business have you here travelers?”

There was a hesitation where none of them spoke. Finally Laun recited what the sage had told them - that they needed the item that didn't belong here. Then the yeti challenged Laun to a fight over it - Tassie was about to step in and stop him, but Laun didn't take him up on the offer. The yeti chief laughed at what he deemed to be a loss, and encouraged them to warm themselves by the fire before leaving.

Laun inquired to Aeon for ideas, but it was Sky who piped up first, pointing out that they had more in their arsenal than just brute strength. Tassie smiled sweetly at Sky as he called her beautiful. "Prince Sky is right," Tassie cooed at him, "but, the biggest yeti said 'fair and square'. If we are too obvious about it, he might not give us the axe." Tassie looked dismissively around the village. "Though, I do not think they know much about the outside world. I do not remember seeing a yeti at the ball." She glanced back at the yetis, noting a few males warming themselves by the fire. She bit her lip and turned back to the group. She glanced at Aeon. "Um, perhaps Aeon could..." Tassie made a rolling gesture with her hand, as if struggling to come up with the right word. She hesitated as Aeon looked at her when she said his name. The void where his eyes should be sent a shiver through her, and she rubbed her bare arms, trying to blame it on the cold. "Er, he could, do - that." She looked back at the yetis - ohh, there was one looking at her - she winked at him, then remembered she was in the middle of a conversation and quickly looked back to the other heirs. "I mean, um - the chief seemed so confident, what if he was not? It might make the fight easy. Are you understanding?" She glanced back between the yetis by the fire and the heirs, and took a step toward the yetis. "Um, excuse me, I would like to warm myself by the fire."

The yetis - including the chief - stared openly at her as she walked over. Tassie smiled at them. Men were the same in any species - that was what she had been taught in school. But as she got closer to the fire, they started grunting to each other in a language Tassie didn't understand. Okay, they were even bigger up close. They weren't even all male after all - the lack of clothes helped more with that than anything, though the females were a little smaller - but the ones that were -

Tassie was pretty sure no siren had been blessed to see something like, well, that.

But they were not royalty. A forbidden fruit at best, and - as they all started drawing curiously toward her - more than she could handle at worst. But she could not physically help herself, and ran a hand curiously over the closest male. The fur was softer than she'd expected. He grunted something at her, and Tassie nervously smiled. "Um, so sorry, do you speak any common?"

The yetis hesitated and muttered to each other, then the one closest to Tassie grumbled out, "yes. Hello. Pretty woman."

Yep, same in all species.

He reached toward her and Tassie smirked - but his hand went not to her body, but toward her trident, which Tassie rapidly pulled away from his grasp. "No no," Tassie said teasingly, and the yeti furrowed his brow and followed her trident with his eyes. "This is a powerful siren heirloom. It is not - "

"Powerful?" the yeti asked, making another grab at it, then fluffed himself angrily when she pulled away. Tassie took a few cautious steps backwards. "You fight me for it?!"

"U-um, no - no thank you - " Tassie tightened her grip on the trident, her eyes beginning to glow -

"She is small human," the yeti chief said dismissively. Tassie bristled - human?! "Not fair fight. You leave her alone." The yetis grumbled, then collectively sat back down at their chief's words. Tassie exhaled a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding and gave an exasperated look back at the other heirs.
 
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Skillfulness

Well-Known Member
Garnet Culture-CouncilSon-Scholar
Hall of the Dwarven People


The demon prince seemed to have reeled in his pet so that the siren princess was safe as she used her new arm-gaurds to heal. It was rather fascinating. When she asked his name, Garnet quickly flipped to the first page of his notebook and pointed to his name scribbled there in intentional handwriting. Though he had his name memorized, he wasn’t a fan of the nasally voice that had said it for him so more often than not he would simply point it out to people. Perhaps one day he would have someone with a better voice give him his name, but he was still young.

Before much else could be done, the dwarf announced the oracle wanted to see them again so he led them back up the mountain and outside at the end of the tunnel. The sun was bright compared to the darkness in the mountain, but his eyes adjusted quickly. Garnett took notes and tried to quickly sketch the temple. Not soon after they arrived, she began a new verse and Garnett was swift to switch to a new page and scribble madly what she was saying. Once again, he memorized the phrases that he thought were important. Once the Jötunn prince brought out a crystal in answer, she nodded and the group was surrounded by a light that she emanated.

Frozen Waste: Outside Yeti Camp

Opening his eyes and lowering his wing, Garnett realized the oracle had transported them. He recognized the Frozen Wastes, if not based on the triangulation from the other mountains around them, then by the shocking, aggressive cold that engulfed them. Fortunately, his down feathers were a good block against the biting wind and his clock was thick as well. He threw on his second cloak and shivered slightly. The Jötunn prince suggested they were in Yeti territory while the fairy prince complained of the cold from the siren's hair. She simply said they could be persuaded and Garnett blushed once he realized the implication. Sirens were recognized for something significant that he was embarrassed to think about.

“I suspect they do,” the Jötunn said in response to the statement the demon made. “I think we might be looking for something 'out of place' since the Oracle said we were supposed to put them in their places.” Garnett had no idea what these relics could be, but he loved a good puzzle and would keep his keen eyes peeled the whole time. The group, huddled against the cold, made their way towards a village on the mountain. The tents were circled around a fire which sent a smokey smell into the sky, allowing them to smell it long before they felt its warmth. As they got closer, the forms of multiple yetis were visible around the fire as well as their chanting made audible. Fear was starting to rear its ugly head again within Garnett as he realized these creatures were roughly 3 or 4 times the size of him. He hoped they were as slow as they were big.

When they were close enough, a caped yeti addressed them and asked what their business was. The Jötunn answered in an anxious manner that caused the yeti to laugh, mentioning the Nightbreaker's Axe. Garnett's fear abated as his curiosity took over. He quietly pulled his notebook out to flip through and search if he had heard of the relic before. The group was led to the fire while he frantically moved through the pages. There it is! He knew his teachers had mentioned the yeti clans. Nightbreaker was an infamous clan leader that terrorized the mountainside of the Frozen Wastes. He took territory after territory, weather in inhabited or free land. Many innocents were driven out or fought against him, but the axe he wielded made him undefeatable. All anyone knew was that he stole it from a Jötunn when he took over their tribe on the mountain. After he passed away, peacefully in his old age, his son took over the clan and focused more on building up the structure of the clan from the inside. Rather than rampaging across the mountain like his father, he helped build up the community and the axe was mostly forgotten, just a mantlepiece relic to tell stories over. That was where his notes ended.

After Garnett figured this out, he looked to the group. Who should he relay the information to? The demon prince still scared him and the siren princess looked occupied with a few yetis, but the Jötunn prince seemed eager for help so he scooched along the log to side beside him and gave gentle nudge. Smiling through his beak, Garnett pointed at his notebook and held it out for the prince to read. He didn’t let the Jötunn take it since the little book contained so much of his valuable knowledge, but it wasn’t much to read in the first place. It seems none of his people had been here recently to learn more about the current clan leader, so Garnett would have to start taking his own notes for when he eventually returned home. He assumed the rest had at least a base level knowledge about their culture like he did because surely the heirs would have been taught these things being the next in line to rule their kingdom.
 

GoldenHouou

antagoonist
Crown Prince Aeon the Feared
Frozen Waste


Onward they went, slowly trekking towards the settlement in the distance. The wind howled in their ears, the snow crunched under their feet, and the fire atop Aeon's palm crackled in the cold. The snowflakes that happened upon his bare skin melted in an instant, leaving his skin uncomfortably wet over time. A rare sensation to be sure. He hadn't ventured this far north in ages.

Part of him regretted taking the lead as far as marching order went. Apart from the jötunn and the kenku with his down and cloaks, the others didn't seem accustomed to the cold. Their struggles against the chill could've provided him at least some amusement during the seemingly endless slog. Failing that, there seemed to be something of a love triangle forming between the siren, the fairy and the jötunn - be that they each seemed to have very different definitions of 'love'.

Quite amusing, really.

Laun's falcon flew ahead as a guide and a scout, and after observing its flight for a moment, Aeon glanced down at his feet. Famine was struggling to push his tiny body through the snow, barely able to keep its head above the drifts.

Aeon regarded the poor thing with disappointment. "If only you were half as useful as the bird, I might even consider feeding you every once in a while."

Famine mustered whatever strength it had left to glare up at the falcon in the sky. From that moment on, it marked the avian as its sworn nemesis.

---​

Yeti Village

As endless as the vast snow dunes seemed, they did eventually give way to a village of sorts. Rural and shabby as it was, it certainly didn't lack character. Aeon eyed the tents made of beast parts with particular interest, while Famine started salivating at the scent of meat. The yeti themselves were huge, and seeing them Aeon couldn't help but miss the feeling of inhabiting a body with raw strength. His own was lackluster in that department, much as he adored its powers. Perhaps his next catch ought to be a yeti...

With that thought in mind, he started to idly browse the selection with his gaze, only looking up once they were directly approached. Well, Laun was, to be precise. It made sense; considering how much weight the yeti placed on physical prowess, they must've seen the jötunn as the worthiest of them all. Their leader, the one that business ought to be conducted with.

The jötunn's stutter suggested he didn't think quite so highly of himself. Fascinating. Was this a chance to taste some of that exquisite jötunn fear?

Laun turned to him as if on cue, and Aeon made no attempts to hide his grin. "Ideas? Yes, plenty." His grin grew wicker. "None which you'd like."

When you had no morals, your imagination tended to be boundless. But the others did not share his complete disregard for laws and the wellbeing of those around him, so he had no delusions of not getting vetoed. Besides, the others seemed to have ideas of their own. Sky suggested a go at persuasion - and so did Tassie, in a way. Aeon found her difficulty of maintaining eye contact amusing, and made sure to stare directly into her eyes, feigning ignorance for as long as he could.

And then, just as Aeon had gotten a taste of her fear, she scurried off to find company in the yetis. Or attempt to, anyway. Aeon watched with open amusement as she struggled to win over men more interested in her heirloom than attempts at seduction.

After watching her for a while, he turned to the others with raised brows. "Well then, I suppose we can rule out persuasion. No doubt I would face similar issues. Besides, our generous host already offered a splendid idea. What was it now... oh, yes, 'you want axe, you fight me'."

Technically, the yeti had not specifically forbidden magic or foul play, both of which still seemed like better alternatives than trying to force a win through sheer strength alone. In which case, most of them could have offered to fight. The fairy had his irritating dust, flight and capability to change size and zip around. The siren had her questionable means of persuasion in the form of a song, which might have been more effective than words alone. The kenku... hm, Aeon was not quite sure what he was capable of yet, come to think of it. Something he should rectify as soon as able.

And himself? Why, his hands could rot the flesh and his presence rot the soul. He wasn't sure how well his intimidation would work on such simple creatures, but it was something he should have liked to try. Just not here, not now. After all, where was the fun in alleviating the jötunn's fear of failure this quick? It was such a rare treat.

"I fear it is as the fairy said," he whispered, looking at Laun expectantly, "You might just have to fight and win. Or lose, and watch the world burn."

Aeon placed a hand above his heart in a mock gesture of sincerity. "Ah, but I, for one, have complete faith in your victory, O Fearless Leader."
 

VampirateMace

Internet Overlord
Laun (Jötunn) & Muninn (Falcon)
Location: Frozen Waste > Dismal Swamp

Muninn glided over the fire, circling on the heat of the rising smoke to stay aloft with little effort. He attracted little attention from the group or the yeti villagers. Down below, Laun listened to the opinions of his fellow travelers. Aeon was way less than helpful, suggesting Laun wouldn't like any of his ideas. While Sky was of the opinion there were two paths, either Laun fought the chief or they all collectively used their talents to seductively change his mind. As cute as the fairy was, Laun doubted the stubbornness of yetis would yield simply for that. And though Tassie seemed game to try and seduce them, Laun did not relish that part of said plan. But she offered an alternate solution as well, before excusing herself to get closer to the fire, what if Aeon messed with the chief's emotions while they fought?

Laun pondered this. It was a dirty way to fight for sure. . . feeling something bump him, Laun looked down. The little Kenku was holding something out to him. Sitting down, Laun looked closer. It was a book. Though not particularity fond of (or good at) reading, Laun obliged and looked over Garnet's notes. He didn't understand all the words, but the gist of it made sense, to the yetis the axe was the heirloom of a number of conquests. He nodded at Garnet, though not that he was sure how this information was helpful, but it was something. . .

Laun looked up, realizing Aeon was talking still, suggesting fighting the yeti was the better option. Somehow it was far more unsettling when he said it, and he was clearly fishing for reactions when he talked about the watching the world burn. But Laun felt something else, a tinge of annoyance when he referred to him as 'fearless leader'. Maybe Tassie was right, maybe Aeon was somehow the key? And maybe Aeon was right too, even if he was being fictitious? Laun's eyes narrowed and he instructed Aeon, “Shut up, come with me and follow my lead.”

Laun got up, heading towards the chief once more. The chief seemed to be talking with some of his villagers, not far from Tassie. He turned as Laun approached, “You change mind? We fight?”

“Actually chief, I was wondering if I could talk to you, leader to leader? It is a matter of importance, so if we could talk somewhere more private, that would be beneficial. You may bring advisers or guards of course,” commented Laun, before gesturing back at Aeon to indicate that he 'would be taking the demon's counsel'. The yeti chief tilted his head, “Oh, fancy words now, come my tent. Howzin, join us.”

A grey yeti rose with a nod, turning away from the group near Tassie and followed the three of them into the tent. It was sparse inside, with bare rock and dirt for floor and everything being easily portable (at least for a yeti). A bed of furs, a trunk, and a little table covered in knick-knacks, weapons, and pottery. The yeti men plopped down on the bare floor and the chief reached for a clay jar, unstopping it and taking a swig. Laun looked at Aeon, then sat down himself. The chief passed the bottle to his companion and Laun begun, “The reason we came looking for the Nightbreaker is because Nexus has fallen.”

“Heh, what do we care of affairs of Nexus?” commented Howzin before taking a swig from the bottle. The chief nodded, equally incredulous, “Nexus invaded? What has that do with Nightbreaker?”

“What Nexus has fallen to was not an army,” explained Laun, watching their expression carefully as he talked, “Nexus has fallen to a curse, and the curse is spreading. It will spread across the land until balance is restored.” The yetis listened silently, though Howzin held the clay bottle out to Aeon now. Laun continued, “It will spread to here someday too, though I cannot say how soon. But there is something we can do. If we return heirlooms like Nightbreaker to their rightful places the curse will be undone.”

“This is Nightbreaker's rightful place!” objected Howzin. Laun nodded, “I understand you and the chief feel that way, but for the good of all the Nether Realm, for the good of your tribe, we must break this curse. . . I do not wish to fight you, but I will if it is the only way. However, maybe we might trade for it?” commented Laun before realizing he didn't have much to offer, “Uh, I know it is no Nightbreaker, but I can at least offer my scythe in exchange. It is of dwarven make, sharp and powerful.”

“You are quite right it is no Nightbreaker,” replied the chief eyeing the weapon strapped to Laun's side. His gaze fell on Aeon, but only briefly. He seemed to have a similar reaction to Aeon as everyone else, Laun hoped that was a good sign. Then he turned to Howzin and they talked in the yeti tongue for a few minutes. Finally the chief rose and moved over to his trunk, pulling out a large leather wrapped item. He set this on the floor between them, instructing, “You will take and you will go. If my people in danger, you put it right. If you lying, I come for your head.”

“I understand. Thank you,” replied Laun nodding. He picked up the bundle and made his way out of the tent. Approaching the group, he whistled for Muninn. As the hawk landed on his shoulder he pulled the stone out of his pocket, hoping it was going to do it's magic again. It was indeed glowing lightly. He called to the others, “It's time to go. We have to return this and find the next relic.”

When all had properly gathered around, the stone flashed and the group found themselves in a new location. The temperature was not hot, but very warm in comparison to the icy waste, and there was a lot more plant and animal life around them. Plus they were standing ankle deep (or deeper) in murky water. Among the swamp trees, small tan and brown structures could be seen in the distance. Laun smiled, this was home. He turned and looked down at Garnet, “That book doesn't happen to say which tribe Nightbreaker belonged to, did it?”

(Next item up will be from Sky's kingdom, so Mon if you have in idea for the lost fairy relic let me know. Otherwise, I'll just make one up.)
 

Tangeh

Well-Known Member
Princess Tasoula “Tassie” Kasiani Eliades
Location: Yeti Village

Tassie scanned the other heirs briefly after her incident with the yetis. Laun hadn't even noticed and was distracted by something little Garnet was showing him. She bristled at the lack of attention. She looked instead for Sky – he was difficult to see from this distance – and her eyes met Aeon's instead. He was staring at her and – was – was he laughing?! Smirking at the very least. The gentlemen from siren children's tales their group certainly lacked. (Perhaps for the best – those stories never ended well for them).

Tassie did her best to experiment with glaring back, her pale eyes meeting his eternally dark... things. The strange wave of fear was not as powerful from this distance, but it was curious how it returned when her eyes so much as brushed over his face. ...Ah, right, she'd nearly forgotten her new mantra. She shifted her gaze toward his chest and a very different feeling flooded through her. She inhaled, letting it spread deep from her chest to the rest of her body. The fear was still there, but entirely overpowered. She was far away enough that she had to repress the instinct to sing. As if she truly wanted him closer... This was so different than how she felt around the other sirens. She looked back at his eyes. Then his chest. Eyes. Chest. The yoyoing emotions this created were… intoxicating.

“Erm... small woman?” Tassie blinked and broke eye contact with Aeon, her focus quickly landing on a nearby yeti – whom she was apparently stroking the arm of. She looked him up and down, her smile returning. No fear now...

“You are so soft~” she cooed, her hands deliberately shifting to his chest -

“Hey!” a sharp yell snapped Tassie out of her stupor and she nearly fell over. Instead, she stared wide-eyed at a very large, very angry, and very decidedly not-male yeti. “You stay away from husband!”

Tassie cowered away as the female yeti literally growled and stalked closer. Tassie clutched her trident closer. Okay, there was the fear again. “U-um, y-yes ma'am.” The yeti huffed at her and turned away, grabbed her stunned husband by the arm, and literally dragged him off. Tassie's eyes narrowed as she turned her back. Not being allowed to have someone made them so much more enticing... she could totally have gotten away with it if she wasn't so afraid of being smashed into siren dust. No, no, the fear was good – causing a fight bad – not worth it when they needed to get that artifact. Blatant logic always helped clear her head.

The other yetis by the fire were now staring at her disapprovingly, so she made her walk of shame back over to the group. Well, by group she meant just Sky and Garnet. They seemed extra tiny after her encounter with the yetis. She looked to her right, then over her left shoulder. “Um, where are Prince Laun and Prince Aeon?” The yeti chief was also gone. Tassie anxiously shifted her trident back and forth between her hands. “Are they fighting?” Well, at least Laun had listened to her and brought Aeon. ..

Tassie spent the next couple of minutes pacing around and rubbing her arms to keep warm. She was partly hoping Prince Sky would get the hint and help her warm up, so she continuously pouted at him.

Eventually Tassie heard a sharp whistle and felt a flood of relief as she turned and found Laun, not only in one piece, but with the relic! Oh, and Aeon was there too. She shifted her gaze – his chest was still lovely. How were her comrades not cold? She was trembling worse than the last sailor they'd captured. Laun called the others toward him, and Tassie was more than happy to oblige, cuddling close to him for warmth. The stone Laun held glowed again, and -

Location: Dismal Swamp

Water. Tassie could feel it on her feet and smell it in the air. It wasn't salty, but it had a very... unique scent, not like the rivers either. She could feel her heels sinking into the mud, so knelt down to remove them. Well, that and an excuse to smile and run her hands through the odd water. It was dirty, she would ruin her clothes if she played too deep in it. That was a shame. Well, at least it was here if she absolutely had to drink it. She stood, shoes in one hand, and looked around, seeing trees decorated with lichen – just like in storybooks – plenty of low lying ferns, and the occasional rustle in the plant-life or splash in the water. “I like it here,” Tassie decided. It was not home, but it was much better than frozen waste. Well, except maybe the lack of excuse to use the others for warmth.
 
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