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The Haven (RP)

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"Really?" Kolm asked incredulously, not realizing that he was pouring his drink onto the ground by holding his goblet sideways.  "I mean, that's–I didn't know that could happen.  I am very glad that you survived.  I suppose you feel that you owe it to them, then, for saving you?"

Finally the dampness seeping into his knees from the spilt drink caught his attention, to which he haphazardly brushed at as he placed his goblet firmly down on the patio table in front of them.  For some reason it really caught Kolm by surprise to hear that Galla had brushed with death briefly before her arrival.  How did it save her?  There was much he wanted to know, but he didn't wish to test the necromancer's patience.

"Might I get you another drink?" Kolm offered in the silence, hoping to take both of their minds off of Galla's prior circumstances.

-------

A soft smile and encouraging nods came from Rhiannon as she listened, both to Hektor and Reksis about the worlds that they came from.

"That sounds like a lovely place," she said in agreement to Hektor, once he'd finished his tale.  "But why the long face?  You can go back home every now and again, you know, even though you're employed here at the Haven.  You're not a prisoner."  She hesitated as the words left her tongue, though she quickly disengaged and turned toward Reksis and Ghost.

"As for you both, it seems that you've faced a fair amount of hardships before arriving here, what with having to live with never seeing a real home" she said.  "I won't pretend to understand the terminology that you just used, though a homeworld that is barely more than a mere legend is sad.  I'm sorry."

When Reksis apologized Rhiannon waved her hand freely.  "Oh, no, no, you're fine!  You didn't interrupt me at all.  It is great to learn more about you two.  I like to know my comrades."

Shortly thereafter Hektor returned the question toward Rhiannon, something that she wasn't expecting and, briefly, panic flooded her heart.  "Oh . . . my homeworld?"  What did she say?  She bit her lip and turned her head down.  "Sadly, I . . . don't remember much.  It was very green, warm in the summer and cold in the winter.  Not as technologically advanced as it is here in the Haven, but more so than some of the worlds that our friends came from.  I remember going to school.  It was very ordinary, but then I suppose everyone here feels that where they were raised felt ordinary."

Thankfully Rhiannon was saved from having to pursue the conversation and filter her words, as a robotic maid came with her tea.  Her fingers slid around the warm handle as her gaze bore into the table in front of her.  Yes, the explanation she gave would suffice.  She couldn't elaborate on The Calamity, which would take away friends and family members at random, hand-picking those who seemed to be special.  Nor could she describe her father's project, or what was becoming of her homeworld as they spoke.

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((All right, folks; it is almost time to progress, so let's see if we can wrap it up in two weeks' time and we will move on to a timeskip.  Thank you all for sticking around through the first portion of the RP, and I hope you will enjoy the second portion where we will delve more into the meat of the plot.))

- Pang -

Earlier, the white tiger perked his ears up in the direction of Lucia for but a moment, but his eyes did not follow, and both ears cocked back into position to listen to Ceres.  He merely figured it to be just another passerby, stepping into the arena to idly watch the mock fight between the Jun twins, and it was not until Lucia stepped up to them with a hand resting on her hip that he turned toward her bashfully, eyes blinking twice before he spoke up.

"Lucia?" he voiced in surprise before he relaxed his shoulders and slumped forward, putting his large hands together as if in some sort of prayer.  "I'm all right for now, and I thank you for asking.  There is . . . much for me to think about, to put it lightly, and all of that can be set aside for a run-in to the lunch room.  Like Ceres said, you are welcome to join us, of course.  Three is better than two."

With that, he rose with the crumpling of some sort of leather from his seat and looked down upon the two with a slowly building smile.

"Shall we go?  We might be able to catch Rhiannon, Hogarth, and the others if we make it in time before they head to their quarters.  It is getting late, after all."

He did not wait for much longer, stepping down the corridor to head to the exit and toward the cafeteria, hoping both Ceres and Lucia would follow alongside him.  He paused shortly and looked back at the wielder of shocksticks.

"Not a fan of parties, I take it, Lucia?" he queried, curious as to why she did not stay at the Aquafolk village to enjoy the festivities.

- Hogarth -

The bushy-haired Hogarth blinked his three eyes with great interest as each went over their home world.  Hektor appeared to have had a very interesting world that he came from, one filled with adventures and every kind of physical enjoyment.  Reksis revealed that he was at a loss of knowing much of his homeworld, being born far, far from it.  Moreover, his people sounded like they were very technologically advanced, something that drew his interest heavily.  Rhiannon was the last, regaling over wistful childhood memories that seemed long distant.  That left him as the next candidate for storytelling.

"Those sound like great places, ones I would love to visit someday if I ever go on tour when my studies cease their constant demands," he uttered with a kindly smile, getting his tea from the robotic servant as well and dismissing her with a thank-you.  "They speak of freedom, fun, adoration, and perseverance.  My world seems on the opposite extreme.  War, strife, and constant one-uppance was as regular as breathing.  Technology was constantly on the rise, limitlessly stretching its tendrils and infiltrating not only everyday life, but us as well."

Hogarth seemed hesitant at first, pausing from reaching towards his other wrist, but he continued and tugged off the glove of pseudo-skin from his left hand.  Beneath lay a complicated mesh of circuitry, silicon, and hydraulic drive systems, kept neatly within a tempered glass casing that just barely encapsulated all within it.

"I'm not all flesh and bone, as you may have realised," he continued, popping a razor-thin shuriken out of a slot in his bare hand for observation.  "It makes handling fragile things like pillows, papers, and glass beakers, er, challenging, to say the least.  Working on that is something I also am performing.

"Anyhow," he continued, replacing his shuriken into its groove and his glove of false skin, "I am very eager to learn more about you all.  I don't often get out of my lab, but if you need me or would like to chat, my doors are always open."

- Aquafolk Festivities -

The Aquafolk general lifted an eyebrow upon seeing Henry down the stiff liqueur before laughing and pounding the man on the back good-heartedly and in good spirits.

"Avid drinker or not, I welcome a challenge.  Another, Illsley, another!"

"Whatever you say, Briggs," uttered the barman, already getting started on filling up two glasses worth with the same strong drink, "but you'll get wasted before he will, I am betting."

Briggs cast a puzzling gaze at the barman that looked like it said "Then you'd better do something about it" before he took the drink.  Illsley took the hint and sighed, passing an empty-handed gesture over Henry's glass before returning back to his duties.

Henry's drink was now three times stronger in terms of inducing drunkenness, though neither the taste nor the alcohol content changed for the sambuca.  That is because Illsley was a liquor mage, one of the strangest sets of mages in the multiverse, and one of the most unknown to boot.  To change the properties of water is a strange and wondrous phenomenon.  For some reason or another, liquor mages were more prevalent in the Aquafolk nation than in any other, and as a result they practically wrote the book in terms of the practise of being a liquor mage.

"So, Henry," brought up the general anew, guzzling down his second glass in between words, "you are from another world, yes?  Besides the destruction and craziness, what is your world like, or even The Haven?  I have not left my homelands except during matters of diplomacy, and even then I do not know much beyond the border or the many worlds.  As a result, I'm very curious."

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Galla seemed to be in a trance as if the recolecction was rather heavy upon her she didnt turn to Kolm. “I owe them nothing... I despise the haven....  sorry... im carrying on. She slowly stands up, seeming having regained her strength. “I have something to attend to so i will not be needing another.” She slowly turned her head to Kolm. “May we work together another time... also... Sorry for my rudeness when i met you at your door.” She says before walking off away from the party. She looked back at Henry and his spirits then to Kolm before leaving and returning to the Haven.

“That was enough interaction for today Master” she says to the skull before staring at the battlefield and, with what little magic she had began sapping the death from the very earth. Hoping to rid the land of any poison it held from the undead’s precence. She then used the recovered magic to return to haven in a better state then before.

 

———

Ceres smiled seemingly calmer. “Say, The three of us should head out later, calm our nerves with a smaller quest. A walk through a forest could be good for our souls” 

Edited by HeartOfFerria

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The youth's eyes widened as Galla pronounced her disdain for the Haven.  "You . . . do?  But, why?" he started to ask, before Galla rose and dismissed herself.  Kolm's gaze flickered toward her form briefly as she walked away, feeling both satisfied and empty.  It was nice that she apologized for their meeting, as she had indeed been rude in his eyes, though so many questions burned away at him.  Why did she hate The Haven?  They had saved her life, didn't they?  What could they possibly be doing to distress her?  True, Kolm was disheartened that they ripped him from his home and forced him to serve in preserving world order against his will, though the folks running the place seemed like otherwise hospitable folk.  To despise them seemed surprising, though Kolm was determined to find out why.

Seeing Henry receive yet another drink, Kolm felt compelled to move over toward him, clapping a hand on his shoulder.

"Hate to interrupt like this," Kolm said brusquely.  "But . . . are you sure that this drink is, ah, wise?"  He shot a glance over to the chief and gave a polite bow.  "My apologies, good sir.  I mean no disrespect to you.  You see, we have a long journey home ahead of us, and Henry is my guide for returning, seeing as I do not know the way myself.  I am concerned for his condition."

The raven-haired boy obviously had not heard their liquor conversation previously.

(I will give @Scrapmaster and @Nero Kunivas a chance to respond before I proceed with Rhi)

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- Lucia Quinn, the Raging Tempest - The Safe Haven: Combat Arena -

A smile formed on Lucia's lips when Pang reassured her that he was fine and that he was more than up for a trip to the cafeteria, as to set his mind at ease and to talk further, thus she followed him and Ceres without delay out of the Arena, though Pang's query didn't go unnoticed. In fact, she let out a small chuckle in reply before going on. "I am more than a fan of parties, it's just that I didn't find I could join in the celebrations in good conscience, knowing that you were angered and saddened...I felt I had to make sure you were all right, first and foremost." Lucia explained, though she soon realized something. "Not that I'm condemning those who did stick around, of course. It was just that for me personally, I could not." She elaborated quickly, but calmly with a small smile of reassurance to the white tiger.

She then looked to Ceres, who had already spoken with Pang to calm him and just keep him company. "I assume you went for similar reasons, Ceres?" Lucia quizzed out of curiosity more than anything else.

 

- Reksis Sahn, the Voidstalker - The Safe Haven: Cafeteria -

The revelation of Hogarth's cybernetic limb came as no surprise to Reksis or his Ghost, both with Hogarth's world seemingly being a technological tug-of-war and the technological advancements of both Reksis's Eliksni and the Humans/Exo/Awoken of the Last City of Earth and beyond for the Ghost. The Ghost was even tempted to scan the arm, but before he could begin moving, Reksis calmly gestured that he remain where he was, Ghost understanding silently.

"Fascinating, yet, unsurprising to myself. My people have worn cybernetic limbs for years, usually our lower set of arms, though I knew of at least one who just had his upper arms lost and a fair few others who sacrificed more in the pursuit of ascension via technology, to become the Machine Gods we worship themselves, as it were..." Reksis spoke in reply to Hogarth's revelation, looking at his own limbs, all of which were 100% pure Eliksni, though he always considered himself lucky that he was able to keep them.

"It's not a belief I hold however. Our "great" machines are called Servitors, who serve a few purposes: Supply us with the artificial Light known as Ether, to sustain us as both food and a necessity for living, along with combat purposes...but with the formation of the House of Dusk, many old traditions were bucked in favor of survival, including old rivalries, rules and the worship of Servitors, instead...we use them more practically. All of this gives us more Ether, greater numbers and an intimacy our people haven't known since the Homeworld days." Reksis mused, seemingly in reply to Hogarth's desire to learn more about everyone, though even Reksis's Ghost floated a little closer, absorbing this information eagerly.

"Like I said before however. I'm a lucky one, to have this Ghost and the gift of true Light. It's what gives me power over the Void, which you saw earlier against those damned Triffids, it worked wonders, but it is only the most basic of Void Light-based powers...I've much to learn and yet, I feel a greater understanding of the power already." He went on, letting out a satisfied chuckle that his Ghost approved of as he spoke of the Void Light. "Maybe one day, my people will share in this glory...*Ahem* But that's enough from me for now." Reksis concluded, feeling he had to let others have their say.

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- Pang -

The tiger smiled wide at the thought of wandering through a serene forest as proposed by Ceres.  The pleasant feel of leaves and the breeze against his fur would definitely calm his aching soul, along with the addition to work to put his mind to better use.  Lucia's explanation put his mind to ease as well.  He was glad to be surrounded by great friends, though it too had made him somber.  He did not wish to put anyone out just because he was angry or sad, not when they could have had a pleasant time otherwise.

"I would like that, Ceres," Pang answered in a kindly manner, his expression quite happy before he turned towards the wielder of shocksticks.  "And, Lucia, thank you for checking in on me.  We will have to make up for the festivities you are missing, in such a case, when we dine in the cafeteria."

Together the three made their way out of the arena and eventually found themselves into the sparsely decorated great hall, the quintessential corridor which led to the cafeteria and had living quarters on both sides of the passageway.  Adornments decorated the outside of the scrawling padlocked doors, some mere decorations, and others magical charms or technological advances to help deter snooping people.  With Kimball Oakfast's passing and his unique skill of unlocking anything with it, security no longer was as tight, but security also served as a pretty garnish for an otherwise barren apartment door.

Pang glanced around with an interested eye, finding some new creations or acquired things in front of some of the doors.  One had dozens of dream catchers above the sill, while others had rock gardens on the outside near the wall.  He wondered if he should decorate the outside of his room instead of maintaining a clean doorway, but that seemed ill-fitting to a monk like himself, so he quickly moved on from the thought.

- Hogarth -

Hogarth was left the one surprised as he listened with great intrigue to Reksis, blinking his three robotic eyes and analysing the Eliksni's arms with great curiosity.  Part of him wondered what Reksis would look like with robotic arms, though nothing can replace his real arms any better than that of flesh and bone.

"If that is the most basic of your powers, you undoubtedly have much potential.  Improve that power, branch out in every direction, and I have no doubt that you will triumph over me and the rest of us in sparring matches within a few weeks flat.  I daresay, however," he ventured, grinning like a madman, "that it would be fun, and quite the learning experience.  Never have I fought someone who had four arms."

((I am going to wait on Winona and the Aquafolk General for now in favour of Henry's response.  That, and I am supremely tired at the moment, so more will come soon, hopefully.))

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The Haven, Segment 2:  The Stoked Embers of War, Weeks after the Attack on the Aquafolk Village

A gentle rap occurred on everyone's door at 7AM, Haven time, followed by the sliding motion of an elegant and perfumed envelope with a wax seal underneath it.  After five minutes, each one rang out with a sonorous tones of a harp and piano, its aim to attract attention to itself, and upon opening it would read such, with enormous cross-outs everywhere:

"Der Dear warriors, eye I need you're your assistance in the guest quest of taking down a draccoon dragon.  See me in the kafteer cafeteer cafeteria or the job board for the detales details.  The quest is 'Enter teh the Dragon's Lare Lair,' a silly name if ew you ask me, but it's of dire konseguens conseguens import.  I await your answer.

      --Uzumeashy xoxoxoxoxoxox"    haha XD

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Ceres smiles happily reading the note. Amused by the copius amounts of spelling errors. “It might not be a bad idea to help her with some writing lessons.” She says to herself before packing up and heading towards the cafeteria.

 

Galla on the otherhand was sickened by the mere existance of the note, from the perfume to the blatantly crossed out spelling errors. Behind her the flaming skull burned brighter and hotter then ever. Almost dangerously hot rather than the cold flame it used to give off. She decided it would be best to go to the cafeteria anyway just to, at the very least, see what it was about.

Edited by HeartOfFerria

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"Here's to a prosperous year!"

"Here, here!"

Cheers rang throughout the plaza as many raised their goblets to a toast proposed by the liquor mage, Illsley, a smile curving his lips upward.  Moments before Kolm brought the goblet to his lips, the red-haired Lucia glanced his way.  Her eyes creased in a smile and for a moment the youth forgot how to breathe.  He sputtered on his wine, and the world started to spin.

When he next glanced up, the festival of the Aquafolk was gone, and he was instead in a dank alleyway in the dark streets Adurnam, a bloodied dagger in his hand.  Before him was Galla, dying, by what seemed a blade of his own work.  His eyes widened as he dropped the blade on the ground, backing up into a tall figure.  The figure gripped him tightly against his form.

"Think you can escape us, Kolm Haranwy?" the voice sneered, wheeling him around into one of his companions.  It was them.  Those who used his magic for their own gain.  For murder.  The dark-haired mage grew cold, lips numbs, when another of their group appeared.  She wore a painted mask, concealing her features, dark hair coiled down her back.  She held a club, which she smacked into her open palm.

"You know what to do," she drawled, pointing to Galla's form.  "Kill her, and use her blood to forge our path."

"No!" Kolm glanced over toward Galla, paralyzed, before he was backhanded by his captor.  The blow knocked him back, causing him to trip over a dead body and fall not far from the necromancer.  He could not, would not, take her life,  "I am through listening to you lot!  I will make my own way now."

Snickers were returned by the others, before others thrust a spear through his friend.

"Nooooooo!"

Kolm sat bolt upright in bed, in the Haven, upon the knock rapping on his door.  His heart pounded furiously in his chest as he leaned back, closing his eyes as he took it all in.  Apparently it was just a nightmare, and a very terrible one at that.  He'd been pondering Galla's circumstances on how she'd nearly perished, and apparently his mind concocted a fragment of his past into something terrible.  The cold mage was still shaking when he threw on a robe over his pajamas and opened the door.  The note that Uzumeashy left sank in, though no real emotion other than fear could penetrate him at that particular moment.

"This does not sound like fun," he murmured, though felt that he had no choice but to see what this was all about.  Quickly he dressed in his simple black and green attire, before locking his bedroom door and making his way toward the cafeteria.  Upon arriving he noticed Galla, alive and well, and for a moment he couldn't help but stare as relief coursed through him.

"Galla, good morning!" he said, perhaps too enthusiastically.  "I am very glad to see that you are doing well."

--------------

Rhiannon sniffed the note and chuckled, before reading the contents with an eye roll.

"Oh, Uzumeashy," she said in exasperation.  "We love you, too."

It took her little time to dress in her silver armor and make her way to the cafeteria, spear in hand.  It seemed that the majority of her companions had arrived there as well, some looking more disheveled than others.  She braced her spear against a chair before sitting down, ordering a simple breakfast while waiting for her favorite battle chef to appear and explain what was going on with this dragon.

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- Henry - 

 

 

"Weak" A word he was all too familiar with, one he had to carry its weight his entire life as he always strived to do what he could not, or wasn't able to. One he was always trying to overcome, a wall that could not be scaled. 

"How do you want to serve Allen, if you can't even wound me? when im going easy on you?" Said a man looking much in his twenties, however his aura carried the weight and power of one with many hundred years on their back. Looking down on a broken, much younger, and much less wise and unskilled Henry, who was on the floor on his knees, exhausted and bleeding, his lungs punctured and his left arm smashed to bits, his heart racing with adrenaline, all that was keeping Henry conciouss was his willpower. 

Grunting as he attempted to get himself up, using his sword as leverage. Failing from how exhausted he was. Blood dripping from his forehead and onto the ground. He had been completely trounced and beaten by this simple looking man, who held one of the keys of creation of his world, this man had god-like powers. And was now testing, and subsequently training Henry in order for him to be worthy of joining the Alliance.

"You can't even stand up with your wounds, Im surprised you are even alive by now, but then again. I guess even weaklings can unexpectedly survive." He said, holding a simple shortsword in his hand as he began a slow approach towards Henry.

"Look at your sword, Mercury, the Legendary Blade of Dark, weak, crumbling and splintered. Much like its wielder." His taunting could only be retorted by Henry gritting his teeth, as he could not speak due to blood filling his mouth. "Then again I guess its not entirely your fault, you were thrown into a legacy left to you, one you would never be ready to take up." The man spoke, as he suddenly vanished in place, and reappeared with a bright flash of light behind Henry, kicking him in the back, and sending him reeling onto the floor, of the unhabited forest they resided in.

"Worst is, you have some power. You just refuse to utilize it, you are held back by your fear of it...or is it because your body cannot handle such strength? well...it doesn't matter now." The man spoke as he walked over Henry, who was too exhausted and hurt to even attempt to get himself up. He aimed his short sword at his chest, as Henry could only stare, with a broken expression. "Even in death, you are a weakling." He spoke before driving the sword into Henry's chest, taking his life in mere seconds of struggle. (This is the end of the flashback)

 

 

 

 

Henry's eyes shot open as he was sitting in a meditation position in his bed as came to, his hands shaking. "Another one..." He commented dryly with a sigh, his meditations would usualy resort in peaceful rest and recuperation, but sometimes they tapped into his memories, except it were only the bad ones, and he was stuck in them until they were over. "Power..." He commented.

"Power should never be considered the true measure of anything." Undine commented within his mind. Since he and the spirits were all linked spiritualy, they could see his memories, but the ones before he had acquired them were unnacessible, but when he meditated their link would strenghten, one of the primary motives he would do such an act. Whenever he had a memory, they'd see it too.

"Besides, what you lack in raw power, you have in skill." Salamander followed up Undine's comment. Clearly trying to reassure and comfort him.

"I know...best not to think about it." He finished as he then heard the sound of music, drawing his attention outside. grabbing his things, putting on his usual clothing and walking out of his room, alongside most that did so, and seeing the note left for them.

"A dragon? we haven't seen one in a while!" Sylph commented, appearing beside him. 

"True, lets go see her at the Cafeteria and check it out" He commented as he headed off to see Uzume about the job. It didn't take very long for him to arrive, the past week was mostly spent sparring, doing some collecting bounties for a bit of extra coin and walking around. 

"Morning" He spoke, announcing his presence and greeting everyone who had arrived there. The spirits appeared to greet them all as well, Sylph was just waving her arms around, Undine did a small wave with her hand, Salamander waved normaly, and Gnome hid behind Henry's legs, head head poking out. 

"Hey Ceres." Henry greeted her as well as she arrived. "Take it you've slept well?" He asked, trying to strike up conversation while waiting for Uzume.

- Hektor - 

"Ah, good morning everyone!" Hektor greeted all those in the Cafeteria.

"Hello there, Kolm, Galla." Hektor greeted them as he passed by, with a small bow. Nodding towards Henry and Ceres as he approached Rhiannon. "Hello, Rhiannon." Hektor greeted her warmly. As he proceeded to order a cup of tea as he waited too. 

"Must say, a dragon seems like an ambitious quest! I for one have only seen one my entire life." Hektor commented, his tone genuine.

Henry's eyes shot open as he was sitting in a meditation position in his bed as came to, his hands shaking. "Another one..." He commented dryly with a sigh, his meditations would usualy resort in peaceful rest and recuperation, but sometimes they tapped into his memories, except it were only the bad ones, and he was stuck in them until they were over. "Power..." He commented.

"Power should never be considered the true measure of anything." Undine commented within his mind. Since he and the spirits were all linked spiritualy, they could see his memories, but the ones before he had acquired them were unnacessible, but when he meditated their link would strenghten, one of the primary motives he would do such an act. Whenever he had a memory, they'd see it too.

"Besides, what you lack in raw power, you have in skill." Salamander followed up Undine's comment. Clearly trying to reassure and comfort him.

"I know...best not to think about it." He finished as he then heard the sound of music, drawing his attention outside. grabbing his things, putting on his usual clothing and walking out of his room, alongside most that did so, and seeing the note left for them.

"A dragon? we haven't seen one in a while!" Sylph commented, appearing beside him. 

"True, lets go see her at the Cafeteria and check it out" He commented as he headed off to see Uzume about the job. It didn't take very long for him to arrive, the past week was mostly spent sparring, doing some collecting bounties for a bit of extra coin and walking around. 

"Morning" He spoke, announcing his presence and greeting everyone who had arrived there. The spirits appeared to greet them all as well, Sylph was just waving her arms around, Undine did a small wave with her hand, Salamander waved normaly, and Gnome hid behind Henry's legs, head head poking out. 

"Hey Ceres." Henry greeted her as well as she arrived. "Take it you've slept well?" He asked, trying to strike up conversation while waiting for Uzume.

- Hektor - 

"Ah, good morning everyone!" Hektor greeted all those in the Cafeteria.

"Hello there, Kolm, Galla." Hektor greeted them as he passed by, with a small bow. Nodding towards Henry and Ceres as he approached Rhiannon. "Hello, Rhiannon." Hektor greeted her warmly. As he proceeded to order a cup of tea as he waited too. 

"Must say, a dragon seems like an ambitious quest! I for one have only seen one my entire life." Hektor commented, his tone genuine

Edited by Scrapmaster

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- Uzumeashy and others -

The blue-haired youth and self-designated cook of The Haven hid in the back of the kitchen with the rest of the robotic staff, whipping up a meal that did not exactly belong to anybody.  If anything, the art of cooking was a way to shed her worries and agitation, and figuring out how to make something better out of already prime material was a passion as much as a skill.  She was greatly intent on finishing her pan-fried steak with capers and garlic, and after some time she took the final portions off of the burner and out of the brick oven, sweat glistening on her brow.  It was not due to the work.  Against all odds -- and her record-setting immune system -- she was feeling feverish.

Setting aside all of her newly crafted meal, not even sliding it onto a decorative plate like she intended, she rubbed her eyes with her free hand and slowly meandered toward the gathering crowd.  She still wondered what to say and how to say it, but she was intent on doing it.  If her showing up did not happen now after all of those notes, there would be more of a fuss than she cared to let out.

Among the first she saw were her friends among the Haven, mostly women.  A few of the new faces she still had yet to memorise, but she recalled a number of them, Kolm and Hektor especially.  Licking her dry lips, she stepped out, appearance quite pallid.

"Morning, everyone," she voiced over the crowd, trying her best to look at the whole crowd but failing.  Public speech was not her best class in vocational college.  "I, um, I called most of you here to take a very important quest to me, one which I will join you on.  The quest regarding the dragon is one thing, but what I need is another:  I need the gallbladder of a dragon for, well, my health.  There is a bounty on the dragon's life, but I'd rather try a surgical approach.  As most of you might have guessed, I'm rather good with a knife."

She would have given a smile if she were any more hale than she was, but she found herself unable to do so.  She looked around sheepishly and found that someone lifted themselves up to their feet from one of the tables.

"The quest on the board I understand, but why a gallbladder?  You gonna cook it and . . . it will help cure you?" asked the burly man with greener skin than what can be considered normal, every muscle in his arm shifting as he twirled his mustache curiously.

"Not exactly.  I need a more precise medicine than something raw or cooked.  In other words, a potion, and there are precious few potion masters in the place we call home, so I will go to someone I know can cure me."  She looked around and attempted an air of confidence and noble ladyship she had been practicing in front of the mirror.  "So?  Will you assist me in this quest?"

Pang had just entered the room, wandering into the room from a recent arena match against a new model of robotic combatants and having not returned to his room.  He overheard a bit of what was discussed, however, and his ears perked up.

Hogarth was nowhere to be found, chiefly because he was still sleeping through the music of harps and violins.  Sleep had a way of overtaking the man after overworking himself in his laboratory.

Winona was there alongside the others, sitting in the mustachioed pickle man's shadow and merely listening in to the conversation and Uzume's plea for help, wondering who will chime in first.  She worried about the possibility that none would help her beyond herself, though she had a feeling that Pang would jump in with her.  Since Aprameia's death, he had been a little more serious about helping people out than before, which was a marvelous thing to witness.  She silently hoped to trump him in that regard, as she was intent to do to everyone in everything, but for now she inwardly smiled.  Everyone was making remarkable strides in such short time, though they were with their own sets of suffering too.

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Galla was a ragged mess that only got worse as more people showed up. She found a corner for herself where she could still hear uzumeashy. Her eyes shifted to approaching Kolm, Tensing swiftly before gently calming down. She tensed back up mid wave towards Kolm into a near freeze as Hektor came by. She then relaxed again, attention back on Kolm. “C-Course im doing well... why wouldnt I be?” She crossed her arms. Clearly still trembling and doing a poor job of hiding it.

 

Cere smiled and greeted the others with pleasure. Her presence was strong and gentle. Holding a willingness to help but also the strength to do what must be done. She quietly listened to what Uzumeashy had to say before raising her hand. “How long do we have?”

 

(Sorry if this post seemed bad. Its been several hours without sleep.)

Edited by HeartOfFerria

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While Galla claimed to be hale, her trembles betrayed her.   Kolm's gaze studied her face solemnly, retaining his distance several paces away.  It was awkward to regard a friend whilst trying to maintain what was a comfortable distance for the necromancer.  "Nothing," Kolm said, perhaps too quickly.  "I was just . . . ah, concerned after our visit to the Aquafolk village, I suppose.  With all due respect, you look like you could do with more rest.  While I would proffer my healing, I know that it will not heal what ails you."

He sat several tables away from Galla, alone, giving her enough space to feel comfortable, but also remaining within earshot if she chose to say anything more.  Fury seemed to tighten his muscles and set his jaw in a rigid line as Uzumeashy proclaimed her need for the gallbladder of a dragon.  For some reason amusement failed to fall upon the cold mage.

Meanwhile, the blonde girl waved enthusiastically and patted the seat alongside her, for Hektor to join them.

"So let me get this straight," Rhiannon said, folding her hands along the stretch of the table and leaning into them.  "We're going to take on the quest to take down this dragon, and bring you along with us to take out its gallbladder?  Essentially you just need the brawn to take out the dragon for you?"

"Are you even well enough to accompany us?" Kolm asked from his table, a critical glare falling upon the battle cook.  "We do not need you to slow us down, not with a dragon that we would be facing."

Rhiannon glanced over her shoulder to acknowledge the speaker, shocked by his harsh words toward Uzumeashy during her hour of need, though said nothing to him as it didn't seem like the moment to do so.  Instead she inclined her head and said:  "I will join you.  This dragon will undoubtedly cause complications for the population that it's terrorizing, and it would be good to restore your health, Berybrillo."

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Uzumeashy scratched her cheek and glanced away towards her cafeteria board in an effort to stave off the unease of both Ceres' good-hearted question and Kolm's interrogation.

"It's 'Uzumeashy,' " she replied to Rhiannon softly, wrestling with her dislike towards her name and being thankful for the lancer's concern before moving on entirely.  "And . . . I don't really know.  It's hereditary to my kind, but I've been blessed to live as long as I have.  My ability to heal is unheard of for my world, but even still death is coming for me.  The physician I talked to gave me a week, maybe two weeks' time, when it normally claims my people within an hour of showing symptoms.  It has been a night since then.

"However," she continued, perking right up even through the pallidness, "he did give me hope with this tincture.  He has all of the ingredients but this one, and I have the medical training and handy skills with a knife to perform a cholecystectomy, so I'll be coming, no matter what.  I can handle myself even if I lag behind.  Dragon fire will hurt me, but I have been through worse trials and came out unscathed."

Pang looked around the room, hoping to get a word in, and finding a chance he hopped into the conversation.  "I'll join you in humbling this dragon.  I read this request before about two weeks ago or so.  I'm surprised nobody has picked up the job yet, though on the other hand we have been busy as of late."

Winona held back on her response and raising her hand.  While she did worry about the only human chef of the bunch, there were other fish to fry, and she trusted that the takedown of this dragon could be left up to these four -- or three, if Kolm decided to pull out.

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Ceres nods upon hearing the time. “Then we shall not waste time. I too will join for the dragon hunt” the paladin says. 

 

 

“Rest is nothing compared to progress” Galla says as she listens to the others. She keeps thinking. “I will be joining them.... dragon parts are valuable to progression in necromancy. A body nearly immune to flame. Its a rare component” she tells Kolm. “Will you?”

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Kolm steepled his fingers and lowered his chin upon them.  Uzumeashy's situation did certainly hold a gravity about it, and while her obnoxiousness in the cafeteria certainly irked him, he wasn't particularly inclined to be heartless enough to do nothing and allow her to die.  He turns his head to glance over at Galla from over his shoulder.

"I suppose I have nothing else to do," he muttered darkly.  "Might as well help where help is needed."

"Well, I'm definitely going," Rhiannon said, rising from her seat, her blond hair free of its usual braid and flowing in loose waves down her back.  "Don't worry, Uzumeashy, and please don't push yourself.  Let us handle the majority of the work, and you just sweep in for the gallbladder when the time is right."

As she started to head for the shop to make some final preparations she stopped before Hektor and asked: "Are you going to join us?"

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- Henry and Hektor - 

Henry and the spirits listened to Uzumeashy's request, most importantly, to accompany them in this life threatening quest for...a dragon's gallblader? not something you'd get to do everyday, but then again Henry had done weirder stuff back in his world, like escorting items of...convenient value, all of which were rather silly sometimes. Not something he'd really get into detail, but still.

"Well, much as i'd object against you going, we would need you to extract it. But im coming too, gotta keep my skills sharp, and helping someone along the way makes it all the more worth it". 
 

"He'd probably do it regardless if he knew of your condition." Undine commented.

"Henry might try to act tough, but he's a real sweetheart in the inside." Salamander also opted in.

"Henry's so playful he can befriend even fairies!" Sylph also opted in. Much to his dismay. 

Henry sighed as the spirits spoke and shrugged. Guess he couldn't hide much. "I assume the dragon needs to be alive for you to extract the gallblader?" Henry asked, following up on Rhiannon's question.

 

Hektor stood quiet, drinking his tea in the seat Rhiannon had tapped and invite him to sit down to join them. As he listened, he was somewhat sickened by the big green man's words to Uzume, but would refrain from saying anything as to not cause trouble, he'd agree with almost everything everyone had said, especially Rhiannon's disposition to help her impressed him, no, everyone's helping disposition impressed him, these were good people. 

Hektor slowly got up from his seat as Rhiannon asked if he was coming along. "How would I be able to call myself a gentleman if I allowed the health of our precious cook to worsen? Much less allow my comrades to go fight a beast as powerful as a dragon without my assistance." Hektor explained in rather cultured words that he was indeed coming along with them.

"Plus, I quite enjoy the company." Hektor spoke, but this line was more directed at Rhiannon, as Hektor shot a smile towards her, quick enough to go unnoticed by most as just a common courtesy. 

 

Hektor was going to say something else, but was interrupted by an excitable fairy flying up to his glorious and high class hat. Picking it up with her tiny arms. 

"Whooaaa, this hat is weird!" Sylph exclaimed, much to Hektor's chagrin, but he let out a chuckle. "Well it is quite unusual to see someone wearing one." He replied to the fairy. 

Sylph would then fly around with the tophat, and eventually place it on most of everyone's heads to see how they looked. First was Kolm which caused her to giggle a bit, afterwards was Galla, before the Necromancer could really react to the fairy's shenanigans, the necromancer's presence scared her a bit, causing her to relent and pick up the tophat again. Ending up placing the tophat on Rhiannon's head, as she giggle in glee. 

"You look so fancy with it! you'd just need one of those one eye glass things and you'd look like a propper mistress!" The fairy exclaimed, prompting another laugh from Hektor. "You speak of a monocle, but a lady does not need such things." Hektor literaly played along with the fairy's antics, not annoyed in the slightest, much to the contrary.

 

Meanwhile Henry, Gnome, Salamander and Undine were just flabbergasted at Sylph's actions. Henry was just stuck with a face of quiet acceptance, Undine just had a frown, same as Gnome whose's expression, as Salamander simply smirked and laughed.

 

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- Lucia Quinn, the Raging Tempest - The Safe Haven, Several Weeks after the Attack -

Lucia had woken up earlier than most on this day, to perform a daily task of hers: Training. During this time, the Arena's Training Room was quiet, unoccupied and able to be used by anyone who desired the space until it was needed. As the sun barely began to rise above the sanctuary, the crackle of the Arc resounded throughout the arena, along with grunts of exertion from a fully focused Lucia, her body swimming in lightning, like never before as her staff and body seemingly moved as one, striking the training dummies and leaving burn marks upon them, fresher than those that already scarred the motionless figures. She sought to focus her power, to strike at distant foes as she reached out with the Arc, at first only sending out wayward sparks, but with enough time and the right motion, Lucia let her energy be unleashed with a vicious swipe along the ground, sending forth a pulsing wave of Arc energy, the power exploding several times before impacting with the training dummy, knocking it off of its stand.

A satisfied smile crept across Lucia's sweat-laden face as she slung her staff over her shoulder, resetting the dummy and grabbing her bottle, taking a deep swig of water and wiping the sweat from her brow. It was then that she received a particularly loud letter, dismissing her staff in a flash of lightning and her aura settled as she opened it up and read the contents to herself, a particular detail catching her eye.

"A dragon, hmm? Finally, a challenge...!" Lucia spoke aloud to herself, though she knew there had to be something else to it. It's not everyday one gets asked to kill a Dragon, particularly without a catch. Without delay, Lucia took herself to the Cafeteria.

------------------------

Entering the Cafeteria, Lucia was met with the many faces of her comrades and Uzumeashy, the sender of the letter. Before Uzu addressed everyone, Lucia spotted Kolm at first, giving him a smile, before listening to Uzumeashy's explanation silently. Afterwards, Pang entered the fray, happy to hear his willingness to help the cook with her woes. Stepping forward, Lucia spoke up.

"Count me in as well. If not only to help you, I've been itching for a chance to test my skills. A dragon sounds right up my ally~" Lucia proffered, her right fist raised slightly and clenched in anticipation upon mention of the dragon.

 

- Reksis Sahn, the Voidstalker - The Safe Haven, Reksis's Room -

After waking from his rest, Reksis elected to meditate on the Void Light, as his Ghost suggested several weeks ago. He had been doing so every day since, but today was when he made his breakthrough. As the Eliksni sat upon the ground, his eyes closed, his body glowing a dark purple as Void energy swirled around him gently, he could feel something as it were...the power touched his mind, just as it did when he first claimed it before The Haven took him. He saw something within him...something, that became words.

The Void sees you, Reksis, just as you see it.

You will break your opponents with a decisive blow.

Your power will shred through their paltry defenses, only if you will it.

And their lives shall be forfeit, so long as you embrace the Void.

Accept the Light. Accept the Void. Be the fighter, the scout, the stalker through the darkness, your current allies need.

With this, Reksis felt a new understanding of his power, clenching his fists as Void energy surged through them, before rising to his feet and reading a letter that just began making loud, unfamiliar sounds at him. Opening it, Reksis quickly noticed that the writer certainly needed practice, but her message came across nevertheless. So, he roused his Ghost and they took off for the Cafeteria.

-----------------------------

"I will accompany as well." Reksis stated as he came into the room, just after everything had been explained, but that would do little to dissuade him. "Little Light here has told me as much as he can about this so called "Dragon", so I believe we'll need all the numbers we can muster for such a great beast." He went on, his Ghost floating next to him, moving in a fashion suggesting he was proud of himself, before he too spoke up. "We'll need to watch ourselves. If Dragons are anything like the myths on my world suggest, or worse, like Ahamkara's, we have to give our best and nothing less." Ghost warned, looking to everyone present as he went on.

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- Uzumeashy, Pang, Winona, and Hogarth during the gathering in the cafeteria -

"The dragon does not have to be alive, but I don't like killing much, so I would like to avoid it.  If it is unavoidable, however . . . well, take no chances. 

The green giant with a mustache halted his twirling as he looked about with an air of surprise and interest.  There was an abundance of candidates in a short bout of time, and while he was tempted to test his mettle against a dragon as well he had next to no friendly relation to any of them, and had no real desire to spark a friendly relation anytime soon.  He was a lone wolf, going on quests by himself and gaining an enormous bout of self-sufficiency, so he bowed out.  Uzumeashy gave him an ugly look as he left the room, wondering how he got this way without any semblance of manners, but the bumbling oaf Pepolino, whose name sounds oddly like a restaurant, accomplished enough to be considered respectable all the same.

Uzumeashy instead focused on what she did have:  a large group of individuals both new and old, many of which took place in that battle pertaining to Aprameia, one which she had been meaning to get more information about.  With a big grin on her face, unbecoming of her nature of being sick, she bowed and swayed back and forth in joy.

"Thank you.  Thank you all, to those who would help me!  The quicker we leave, the better, so I would like to head out soon.  So, um . . . pack up and reconvene here at nine o'clock.  That is all."

With that last note of hyperconscientiousness and a sudden flutter of wooziness, she fled stumbling into the kitchen.  Numerous automatons took this as a perfect opportunity to flood out from the kitchen tiles with everyone's ordered food, deeming it a high probability that any other time would have been bordering on inappropriateness, but to Uzumeashy it came at a perfect time.  A fit of coughing shook her as soon as she turned the corner, and when she pulled her balled fist away from her mouth she found blood and tissue.  The consumption was starting.  She could not wait for this quest to be over so that she could get better.  The possibility of death had never seemed so scary to her until now when she was stripped of her immortality by the plague of her people.

Pang watched Uzumeashy as she wandered back to her favourite area of the Haven, shaking his head with a chuckle and none the wiser of her current condition.  She always was an energetic one, with a strange and unique blend of shyness and the lack thereof, but the food distracted him in the end when he was greeted by a robotic server.  He later dared to move to Ceres' table in a gesture of familiarity, invited Reksis and his Ghost to join him, and chuckled at the elemental Sylph's antics regarding Hektor and Rhiannon.

Winona, on the other hand, remained where she was where she swiftly downed her ordered food, and within five minutes left for the gate.  She had something to check in on, a lead to follow, and she felt compelled to venture on this lead alone.

Hogarth stirred to awakening finally, was annoyed by the sounds of what he thought was an alarm clock of cruel design, and fired off a series of shuriken from his palm that devotedly clove the paper into fine pieces and stopped the sound.  Pleased with the results, he fluffed his pillow and continued sleeping in, oblivious to everything but his desire to pass beyond the walls of consciousness.

[[So, there is a number of options available for everyone:

1.)  you can spend time with everyone in the cafeteria and just enjoy each other's company,
2.) combat in the arena within the two hours alotted,
3.) sneak in to visit Uzumeashy if you so wish,
4.) follow Winona on her little quest, or
5.) do whatever else tickles your fancy (within limitation of this RP's rules).

I hope everyone will have fun in this intermissive period and what will happen later.
  Also, here is Uzumeashy's battle skills if one so wishes to check it out:

Weapons:  Mincing Knife, Frying Pan (with Adamant Weave)
Items:  Elixir of Life, Grease x2, Hourglass
Active Powers:  Regeneration+++ (four stacks)
Passive Powers:  Strength Up, Heightened Smell
Signature Move:  Profound Passive Regeneration -- while not invulnerable, Uzumeashy has tremendous regenerative powers since a young age which can provide her healing beyond normal means.  This has a limit rarely tested in the arena, and never yet tested in other fields of battle.]]

 

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Ceres watched Winona, noting her haste. She decided it may be best to follow her for a bit and find out what the rush was about. As Winona reached the Gate, Ceres spoke up. “Are you sure its wise to move through the gate alone? Its not unheard of, but if put in the wrong situation, it could mean your life.” She says as she approaches at a moderate pace.

 

 

 

Galla ignored the fairy and looked towards the arena, wishing to test the extent of the powers she had gained  ever so recently. Her abilities required both intellect and creativity, and personally she needed work on the creative aspect of her magic most of her creations were knights and assassins, serpent and Giants. Simple shapes. She needed to experiment more, and in a live setting as well. She looked at the skull of her master. “Why would you have left out so many important lessons to Necromancy. How would i figure this out without w starting point?” She grumbled to the skull before heading off, arena bound .

Edited by HeartOfFerria

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An embarrassed giggle escaped Rhiannon at Hektor's praise, to which she smiled sweetly and said, "Quite the gentleman.  I enjoy your company, too, Hektor."  She fingered her spear awkwardly, uncertain of what to say next, before her violet eyes turned toward little Sylph as the top hat was placed upon her head.  A smile crept over her as she tilted it to shield her eyes.

"Well, well, I can't say that I have actually worn a top hat before," she commented.  "Hektor, how do you wear one of these comfortably?  Doesn't the additional height and rim get distracting?"

She laughed softly, removing the top hat and placing it back on its owner.  "There!"  Good as new!"  She cocked it, so that the rim covered Hektor's eyes, to which she laughed before patting Sylph's head.  "Now then, I hate to part, but I must purchase some goods from the item shop before we leave on our next mission.  Do you need anything, Hektor?"

------

Meanwhile, Kolm was rather disgruntled at Sylph's antics.  He'd already become wary of the fairies after they seemed curious about his bandaged arm, and already he was in a foul mood because he was going to have to travel with Uzumeashy for the next unknown amount of time.  At Uzumeashy's statement the cold mage spoke: "I think killing the dragon would be a mercy if we are to rob it of its gallbladder, a sentence which would leave it to either a painful existence or slow death.  Unless, of course–"

He was unable to finish, when Sylph dropped the top hat onto his head, which sank below his eyes and blinded him from the entire room.  "Get it off!" he snapped, swatting at the hat and accidentally at Sylph.  The fairy had seemed to comply, however, for she moved quickly onto Galla before he could blurt anymore insults.

They had all agreed to reconvene for the journey, to which Kolm found reasonable.  He ordered a bubbly juice beverage, which he took out to the arena.  Perhaps some quiet time focusing his magic and listening to nature would calm his nerves before leaving.

The mage hadn't been to the arena since first witnessing Galla and Pang's battle when he first arrived, but he managed to find his way.  The seating was vacant, though the arena was not so, as Galla had already made her way in to the ring, perhaps readying herself for the mission as well.  For a moment Kolm stood in the entryway, battling himself on whether to approach the necromancer.  He knew that she valued her distance from others, and he didn't want to make her uncomfortable.  Instead he placed his drink down on one of the empty seats, and called over from where he stood: "Say, Galla . . . .  What do you think?  A friendly match before we leave?"

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Winona jolted and slowly turned around at Ceres' inquiry, her dominant hand slipping to her newly garnered sword before relaxing, remembering where she was.  To those who were observant, it would seem that she was deep in thought at the time, which was quite unlike her usual flippant, jovial self.

"You forget who I am, Ceres," she replied with a casual yet forced smile, holding a flyer loosely in her hands.  "I am Winona Kissinger, best in the business, or I aspire to, anyway.  I can take care of myself quite fine, and the quest I picked up is of a low grade even for a Bronze listing.  Thank you for thinking of me, however!  Your hair looks lovely, by the way," she ended, trying to change the topic.

((Here's a small half-post.  I would vouch happily for the Galla/Kolm arena fight, and wish the best for both combatants if it is decided that there will be a fight.

As for Winona, the flyer can be easily torn away from her and would reveal that she is lying about the ranking of the job.  It is a Silver rank intelligence mission involving spying on a shady individual who comes every fourth day to a grove of trees.))

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Ceres shook her head. “The rank of the mission doesnt matter. There is dangerous wildlife and you cannot predict the actions of the residents of the other lands... let me at least accompany you, Winona Kissinger, if you’re the best in the business you certainly wouldnt turn down free assistance, free work is good for said business” she stepped closer offering her hand to Winona. “And as a conduit of my goddess I can guarantee it wont be shoddy work.”

 

 

Galla, a bit surprised she was followed, slowly nodded. “I need to figure out these spells as fast as i can. Live combat seems to be the best way to learn at this point, practicing with books wont increase my cast time when in dire peril.” She explains. “Is there something you seek to work on as well?”

 

 

 

Edited by HeartOfFerria

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Kolm considered Galla for a moment.  "I could use to sharpen my skills in all facets," he responded.  He removed his gloves, setting them alongside his drink as he walked further into the arena, the dome light overhead gleaming on his back.  "What is it like, using necromancy?  Can you use other forms of magic as well?  Galla was truthfully the only one of her sort that he had ever met, though the art did strike him as curious.  Having tampered with forbidden dark magic such as that affiliated with blood sacrifices, the thought of necromancy didn't make his skin crawl as it might for some.

He withdrew his mace, lightly swinging it before gripping it firmly with his right hand, getting into a battle stance should Galla decide to attack him by surprise.

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Galla took her position a respectable distance from him. She drew her own dagger from her side and slashed a cut into her own hand. “.......” she thought for a moment. “Where Im from... you must have had a brush with death to truthfully learn about it. To understand its strength, its power, and how to respect its guidelines... so imagine... losing someone so important to your life. Someone who taught you everything you could ever know. And watch them die, knowing that if you tried to bring them back. They could only look at you coldly, knowing you would learn no more. Imagine the very thing you could desire being a husk of its former self... so to retain their memory... you become a husk yourself.” She gripped the blood in her hand. “Imagine wanting to continue a line of work that requires so much more then you are capable of as a husk....but you cant continue... you just want it to go dark... forever....” the blood catches fire as she lets it drip to the ground. “And the moment that very wish. The only wish you could ever want is about to come to, that very moment... you wake up alive, sickened, in another realm. Forced to work to better the lives of others... out of fear of what lies beyond. Out of fear of the very thing you control.” A skeletal head begins to rise from the burning pool of blood. Jaw agape.. eyes lit with wall candle lit flames. “That is what it is like to use Necromancy. Enlightenment through fear. Knowledge from Death, everlasting Isolation. My magic can be kind to others... but it will never be respected and it will always be unkind to me” A skeleton of fire and death raises from the pool. Sigils and Runes lined its skull as it groaned to life. A robe of shadow wrapped around its form. “Are you ready to begin?”

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