Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Sunwolf007 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:06 pm

Owen knew that the next actions he took would make or break this opportunity. He studied what he could about the group along the way. He didn’t pick up on very much. Just the fact that he already knew, that this group wasn’t ready for another fight yet. One interesting thing did happen besides the initial interaction where everyone went for their weapons and Owen let the ax wielder flank him. The monk was the only one to verbally imply that he was a threat which implied to Owen that there was only one monk here. If they all were monks the only thing they would tell him was to get out of their way and that they didn’t talk with exiles. How fortunate. Now I just need to stop him from revealing any real details about my past. I hope this monk is one of the ones who is highly intent on his duty to the Order. He also assumed that there was some connection with the youngest kid here and the girl. They both seemed about the age of the manifestation of their abilities. This told him that this girl was more than likely the new Goddess. He didn’t like working on so many assumptions but so far he seemed right.

When they arrived at the hotel Owen remained close to the monk so he could pay for whatever but not to close to threaten anyone. Not that distance mattered when it came to firearms. Then the bombshell hit. “Anyway, you heard Sam; let’s head upstairs where we can sort this out. It is time we hear Mr. Colston’s story.” I don’t have a story! I am just a salesman! He quickly organized his life and then went through the details he couldn’t tell them. Now he just needed to make sure the monk didn’t say anything. He quickened his pace and caught up with the monk before they entered the room.

“I don’t hate you, but know that if you expose certain details about me that are against the Order’s wishes to be public knowledge I will expose certain details about the Order that will lessen the trust of the public. Let’s not throw stones at each other.” Owen spoke in a low tone so that just the monk could here. He didn’t want to have to expose his entire past right here and now. It would make him look like he couldn’t be trusted. He would just let them know the details that were true and were his motives for this adventure. He pulled a sheet of paper and a pencil from his coat pocket after he entered the room. He wrote down a few sentences to explain his disappearance from the Colston company.

While he was thinking about what to write he noticed that no matter the location of her stance the older woman always stood within striking distance of him. Another monk? No he would never have let me join if there were two of them in on this. Maybe the monk and her are both summoners. I think they can communicate without talking. Maybe… He hated having so many assumptions and no facts. The youngest girl was obviously not used to traveling and was already complaining. The ax wielding man took up a position at the door blocking Owen’s only quick means of escape. The way everyone is protecting her and her lack of traveling skills screams that she is the new Goddess. I just need to be careful.

When he heard the ax wielder confirm the door was locked he held up his piece of paper. “Well if you are all ready I suppose I could tell you a little about myself. First off this message reads ‘I will be taking that vacation we talked about. I need to come up with some ideas about our new advertising campaign. I will contact you with ideas when I have them.’ It should be sent by telegraph to the address at the bottom if I am to be joining your group protecting the new Goddess.”

He could feel the tension grow at the mention of the girl being the Goddess. He knew that this would only work if they believed that he was doing this purely for the advertisement value of it. It would take way to long and he would expose himself to much if he told them the whole truth.

“I am from the Colston family which runs Colston Weapons manufacturing. I am going to take over the company when my father retires. My younger sister is not the business person I am. She is more into art and history then making and selling weapons. So in order to prepare me for taking over the company I became head of the division of nonessance weapons. Fancy title for making and selling nonessance weapons all over the world. I have lots of contacts in the smaller towns and villages where these weapons have helped many people survive in this drought. I always wanted to broaden business to the bigger cities but am having trouble due to the intense competition. If I assist the Temple of the Goddess in protecting the new Goddess on her journey to the Temple I can use that as an advertisement. No one would be able to compete with weapons that protected the Goddess.” Owen spoke in a casual businesslike tone trying to keep to the fact that he was a businessman. He was also trying to keep his excitement in check because he knew that this ad campaign would be one of the most effective ads the company ever used.

That should satisfy them. It is half the reason I am here. The other half is to hopefully get myself killed and dye a legend from the Colston family.

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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:12 pm

So quick to jump to conclusions… Tsume thought after Owen whispered the warning to keep his identity a secret. My concerns are regarding his interest in this quest and his affiliations at the present. Albeit, exiles are not my preferred company; so long as he is not a threat to the others, his skills will come in handy. The monk sat on one of the chairs at the table and listened to the banter among the group.

Tsume’s eyes narrowed and a small chill went down his spine when he heard Raewyn’s demands. Such behavior is common among most children, but they aren’t usually this direct or commanding; to strangers especially. Looks like we will have our work cut out for us once we return to the temple. Many view the Goddesses as beings that are flawless both physically and emotionally, which is definitely not the case. If it wasn’t for their powers, they would be simple humans just like everybody else. All the vices that afflict the typical person can just as easily afflict the Goddess; the only difference is that the latter is capable of having more disastrous side effects. The Temple of the Goddess does much more than provide protection to the Goddess; it provides guidance in every sense of the word to help ensure that she grows up understanding the importance of the balance.

Once the merchant began speaking, Tsume’s focus landed solely on him and his expression analytical. The fabricated story about his past was not the concern; he wanted to know the true reason behind his intentions of joining the group on this dangerous mission. Tsume’s instincts told him that something was omitted from this reason, but it also told him that is was not malevolent in nature. Colston’s exile was based on a technicality combined with doubt and the monk knew that. For several minutes, he weighed his options and he could feel several sets of eyes upon him.

“Advertising, huh?” Tsume spoke frankly, a hint of amusement in his voice. “Either you are foolishly reckless with your business planning or you are hiding an ulterior motive. Fortunately, I get the feeling that your intensions are noble. Unfortunately, we are going up against an enemy whose most powerful weapon is deceit. Regardless of your intentions, you will be coming with us; we can use your help if you are on the level and we can’t allow you to head off and report our whereabouts if you are not. Trust will come in time, but until then you must understand that we will be somewhat suspicious of you.”

The monk stood from his chair and walked towards Owen extending a hand to shake his. “Welcome James, you may call me Tsume.”

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Hours passed and tensions between the newcomer and the group eased slightly as casual conversations provided a bond among them. After a while, Loki began to regard them more as distant relatives rather than strangers. Considering his family life for the past several years, he had developed more of a connection with these strangers than he had with his father. This realization disheartened him and it wasn’t long before somebody inquired about his somber attitude. Although he was reluctant at first, assertion from the group eventually caused him to open up and share his lonely upbringing, the discovery of his powers, and even his recent exile.

Shortly after introducing himself to the merchant, Tsume moved to a corner of the room and summoned Alco. The gryphon was now the size of a medium-framed canine since it’s more experienced body had been destroyed earlier that day. Together, the two of them meditated in silence until the sun set over the horizon. By the time they were finished, Alco nearly doubled in size and was now as large as some of the larger breeds of dogs. Tsume dismissed his creature and excused himself from the room to submit ‘payment’ to the Innkeeper. A little longer than an hour later, he had returned with a small tray of sandwiches and offered it to the group.

Eventually, the wariness of the day’s events caught up to the group and they all slowly succumbed to the comfort of their beds. Night passed and Tsume had awakened shortly after the first rays of sun had found their way over the horizon and left the room to meet with Sam. After a few minutes he had returned with six small backpacks that contained the basic necessities for their journey. Each one had a few days worth of rations, canteen of water, a spare set of clothes that were sized as best the monk could by inspection, tinderbox, disinfectant salve, and a small roll of bandages.

“It’s time to move.” The monk spoke in a gentle, but stern voice as he aroused everybody from their slumber by tossing a pack at their feet. “We need to get clear of the city and the main roads as soon as possible, before the enemy has a chance to set up an effective network to sniff us out. Anonymity is our best weapon at this point and we need to take advantage of it while we have it. The plan is to head northeast of here and go around the lake to our north. I'd rather not take a boat across if it can be avoided, the organization will know that we will be heading toward the Temple and will be keeping an eye on the quickest ways there. For that reason, we will be sticking to back roads and wilderness until the pressure eases up on us a bit.”
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:58 pm

Eri returned Jake’s smirk with an even glare of her own as he walked over to take up a defensive position at the door. She mentally chastised herself for giving him the satisfaction of getting under her skin at the market and was determined not to repeat that mistake in the future. He seemed like the type who would find plenty of excuses to make smart comments without her giving him additional fodder.

She listened to James’ story with a mix of interest and skepticism. He gave off the vibe of an honest merchant, but could his only motive simply be to help advertise his company? She silently inquired of Arashi to get his opinion, as he was better at reading people’s emotions than her. ‘I sense no outright deceit from this man. Time will tell if his intentions are truly noble.’ Tsume’s apparent confidence in James’ character set her mind somewhat at ease. However, even if his intentions were to cause the Goddess harm, they would still have to bring him along. He had already figured out too much on his own and would be dangerous if his information fell into the wrong hands.

As the evening progressed, Eri’s initial distrust of the group mostly faded as people lapsed into more casual, comfortable conversations. She mostly kept to herself at first, speaking only when addressed directly. However, she also noticed Loki sitting in a corner and finally got curious enough to ask him about it. Hearing his story gave her a new sense of respect for the young man. Eri had endured much persecution at the hands of Therians. Therians had nearly killed her father. She could not imagine what Loki had gone through having a Therian for a father while trying to keep his Saturate abilities a secret. Before she could stop herself, Eri said, “I don’t pretend to speak for the others, but I don’t think anyone here is going to judge you for who you are or your powers.” Now she was utterly convinced that she had gone soft.

After hearing Loki’s story, Eri lay on her bed with her head pillowed in her hands as the day’s weariness caught up with her. However, her interest was piqued as she watched Tsume summon Alco and meditate with him in the corner. She remembered all too clearly how Marinik had defeated Alco earlier in the day. She and Arashi had fought their fair share of battles, but they had never been so difficult that they put Arashi in mortal danger. Marinik was by and far the strongest opponent they had ever faced, and no doubt they would face him and other equally strong foes before this journey was over. She dreaded to entertain the all-too-real possibility of Arashi being defeated in the same way. ‘You are curious about his meditation techniques, I take it?’ Arashi asked.

Yeah,’ Eri replied. ‘We’ve never really worked on meditation because the situation never called for it. We’ll need to be prepared for anything on this particular journey.’ She made a mental note to ask Tsume about it when she could find a moment to speak with him one on one.

Eventually people started drifting to their beds for a well-deserved night of sleep. Eri strategically chose a bed next to the only other female member of the group while making sure to keep some distance from Jake, lest she invite anymore of his obnoxious comments. She slept fitfully at best, frequently tossing and turning during the night while trying to not disturb the others in the room, especially Raewyn. As the least experienced traveler, she needed the rest more than anyone. Eri attributed her insomnia to a number of reasons. First, she was sleeping in a hotel when she would much rather be outside. Second, she was in the same room as people she had only known for a few hours. Finally, she missed having Arashi around as a near-constant physical presence. That was the main reason she enjoyed camping outside regardless of the weather. If it rained, she would rest beneath the protective circle of his wings. If it snowed, she would nestle into the warm feathers of his chest while his body kept the chill at bay. It was only thanks to his presence in her mind that she was able to get any sleep at all that night.

Eri easily awoke the next morning at the sound of Tsume quietly stealing out of the room. She lay motionless, feigning sleep, until he returned. “It’s time to move,” he spoke, awaking those who were still asleep. She was surprised at his generosity in providing supplies for the journey and combined them into her own backpack while he explained the plan to head northeast while avoiding the enemy. “I'd rather not take a boat across if it can be avoided, the organization will know that we will be heading toward the Temple and will be keeping an eye on the quickest ways there. For that reason, we will be sticking to back roads and wilderness until the pressure eases up on us a bit.”

The plan sounded logical, but then Eri had the feeling that no one doubted Tsume’s ability to lead the group. “Arashi and I can also act as scouts from the air if you so desire,” Eri offered. She had done quite a bit of thinking during the parts of the night where she couldn’t sleep. Maybe, just maybe it was time she started trying to let go of the lone wolf act and open up to the idea of working as a group.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Sunwolf007 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:18 am

"I prefer the term 'bold strategy' but to each their own." Owen said as he firmly shook Tsume’s hand. He’s worried about trust? This can’t be a good sign…

Owen made sure the telegraph was taken care of before mixing in with the group and chatting a bit. He did end up hearing Loki’s story which brought from the group a feeling of empathy with the exception being from Owen. That’s nothing compared to what I went through. Hell that’s normal compared to my life. He didn’t offer any advice because there was really nothing he could say or do to fix the situation without revealing details about himself, details that he didn’t want them to know. His guess was that everyone in this group had an essence ability of some kind. He only got confirmation on two but he figured with the Goddess being around it was a sure bet that the rest had essence abilities. Owen talked a bit about some of his marketing travels and told a few funny stories but overall he didn’t reveal anything that mattered to the group.

Right before the last of the group was turning in a knock was heard at the door. It was a hotel employee running up a telegram for James. It read ‘Request granted. I wont expect to hear from you for a while so take care.’ Since we never actually talked about a vacation I think he got the message about me working on something big in the advertising department. He has no idea how big though.

He ended up sleeping close to the inside wall farthest away from the door just to prove to these people he wasn’t a threat. He would try as best he could to show this group that he meant what he said about the advertising. Owen never slept for more than a few hours a night. Mostly it was because he forced himself to become used to less sleep than the normal person. It came in handy while traveling alone but when with a group it was more of a hindrance. He didn’t go to sleep right away just because he knew he would be awake before the rest of the group. He thought about the enemies the group kept referring to. At the beginning he thought it would be just a simple side trip but now he was excited at the prospect of strong enemies. They must have been good to take out the monk’s summon. I can’t wait to fight these guys. It’s been a long time coming. He finally drifted off to sleep late in the night.

He was mostly awake when Tsume ‘woke’ him up. He had heard movement in the room so he was conscious but not moving. He didn’t want to be ambushed by anyone and it was a habit of his to be the last one asleep and the first one awake when traveling in a group. He was a light sleeper anyway so it was relatively easy to keep tabs on people after he ‘went to sleep’.

He picked up and put on the backpack provide by Tsume. He appreciated what Tsume was doing for the group but Owen wanted to hold up his end of the deal. He listened to Tsume’s speech about being watched by this shadow group and to the suggestion of a scout. It was a good idea to have a summon watching over them or taking a look ahead of their travels.

“I agree with getting out as soon as possible but that’s only a short term solution unless we have an actual destination. I suggest we move in a direction completely opposite of the way they think we will go to gain more time and to get out of their dragnet. Then when they least expect it we can hit them hard and battle our way across or, the better option, sneak ourselves through.”

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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by quakernuts on Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:44 pm

Listening to Owen talk to the group, Jake instantly knew this was not the reason that he had joined them. Jake may be a fool and a clown on the outside with somewhat an itchy trigger finger, but he wasn’t as dumb as he acted. If he were really here for the advertisement as he claimed, then how had he known exactly who Raewyn was, and how had he known to talk to the monk directly. No, there was something definitely under the surface here, and until he knew exactly what it was, his primary concern would be making sure this man never stepped out of line. Tsume trusted him enough to stay with the group, so Jake eased up for the moment. T was the boss, so what he said, went. Jake removed himself from the door, and slapped Owen on the back. “Welcome to the party buddy, once we get some booze and women, we’ll be all set!” Jake gave a small laugh, and went about not really doing anything but trying to find openings where he could irritate Eri some more.

As the night wore on, Jake simply leaned against the wall, and made small talk with everyone else. Though his comments were more towards just trying to be a smartass, the others quickly found out they could hold an actual conversation with him if they really wanted to. Jake had also listened to Loki’s story, and although he knew about the later half of it, he had been wondering what had happened before. As Loki’s story came to a close, Jake was about to say something, then quickly stopped himself. No, there was no need for these people to know his past. He didn’t even want to know his past. “You’ve had it tough kid, but trust me, you’ll only get stronger from here on out. Maybe you can teach Eri a thing or two!” Jake flashed a wide innocent smile towards her just to try and get a reaction. He knew she would try not to give him the satisfaction, but it was fun watching her try to hide it.

Finally, it was near the time where everyone was heading off to bed, but Jake was the last one to fall into bed. He wandered out of the room for awhile and back down to the lobby. The innkeeper was surprised to see him, but didn’t question him. While everyone was sleeping, or at least, trying to sleep, Jake sat in the lobby. The fight from earlier today was still fresh in his mind, and he was looking for any weakness that might help him if he were to fight Marinik later on. He knew he was powerful, he was quick, but he was predictable in his attacks. He always wound up right before a huge blast, so that would be an obvious sign. Also, that sucking the air out of your lungs thing, he had to make sure he was always within arms reach of the guy so that he could bash him until he let up the spell. It was around three in the morning before he finally went back up to the room. Everyone had managed to fall asleep, so Jake quietly slid into the room, placed his axe underneath the bed, and fell asleep in an instant.

It seemed like only a couple of hours before someone tossed something at the edge of his bed. Instantly he was awake and reaching for his axe, but stopped himself just short of bringing it out. He listened to Tsume as he spoke of what was going to happen while they tried to move to the temple. He heard both Eri’s and Owen’s suggestions and thought that they were both good. Having someone in the air would be great, and moving in an unknowable pattern would keep the enemy guessing. However, there was a flaw. “They both sound great, but if we are going to use the wilderness, as you suggested T, then an aerial scout wouldn’t do us much good there. I would suggest letting me take over the scouting once we reach the wooded areas. I’ve been around the continent, and know my way around fairly well.” Anyone could tell by his attitude at the moment he was not trying to snub Eri, but give an honest opinion to the situation. However, his cockiness soon returned. “That, and if I run into anybody, you get to see my imitation of a lumberjack!”
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Digital Muse on Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Raewyn virtually fell unconscious while Loki was finishing his tale and she felt horrible for him. A little. She hadn’t known of her gift, so her family life had not been changed in any way at all\. Not like his. She couldn’t even imagine what it would be like. She idly listened to Owen, Tsume and Jake talk, but then fell asleep before any plane had really been solidified. That night she dreamt of shopping in the bazaar and being chased by faceless assassins, then by Eri and Tsume and Marinik and Jake while Loki stood frozen in place. She tossed and turned muttering all through the night but never really woke.

The next day came far too early. She was still scraped, battered and bruised. She needed a bath and more suitable traveling clothes. Dragging herself from her bed with a great deal of whining and grumbling; she listened to the plans with growing distaste. “No.” She announced flatly. “I want to see the city, to go shopping and I want a bath. I hurt everywhere and I am not carrying a backpack!” She’d certainly awakened in a foul mood. Being contrary seemed to be the order of the day.

Raewyn look disdainfully at the backpack Tsume had placed on her bed and literally sniffed indignantly at it. “It’s completely unacceptable.” She observed without so much as looking inside. “I want to choose my own things after a good breakfast and a bath.” Then, as if a switch had been flipped, she smiled charmingly at Owen, “I’m sure Mr. Colston would be so kind as to assist us in the procurement of what is needed?” She dragged herself from her warm bed and plucked at her torn and dirty dress, “This will certainly draw more unwanted intention, surely?” The 14 year old knew when to use logic when it suited her purposes.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:48 pm

The words of encouragement that followed his story not only helped his confidence, but for the first time in years, Loki was a part of something. Throughout the entire day, he watched the others interact and emit personality like a beacon while he remained mostly a mystery. A fleeting presence was a more accurate description in his mind. Now that he had finally conversed with the group, he had wondered why he was so nervous to share his story from the beginning. Although his introverted personality may have made it hard to notice, that sense of belonging made him happy. Loki slept well that night.


*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Tsume listened to the input from the others and began working strategies in his mind. “An aerial scout would certainly be handy, especially one that resembles natural wildlife.” He said as he faced Eri in response to her suggestion, “That is something that Alco isn’t able to do so easily. However, we will only be resorting to it when necessary; there is a chance that we haven’t seen the last of Marinik and he knows what Arashi looks like. The longer he stays in the air, the more likely somebody will get suspicious.”

A thought struck Tsume suddenly as he remembered that the location of the Temple of the Goddess wasn’t common knowledge. It certainly wasn’t a trade secret or anything, but it has been intentionally omitted from maps distributed to the general public. Without that visual certainty, the true location quickly became obscured by wild guesses and rumors. “Just to be certain that you all know the location of the Temple, it is north-northeast from here, almost directly east from the city of Rurik. Most of our journey will take us through planes and forests, but the last leg will carry us into the heart of the Egas Mountain Range to the north. I’ve traveled through them many times and will be able to guide us along the safer routes. Jake’s understanding of the wilderness will be valuable to get us to that point. Ow---”

The monk caught himself before he let slip the entirety of Owen’s name. His voice became apologetic as he tried to play it off as if he had simply forgotten the merchant’s name rather than alarm that he had given something away. ”Sorry, your name slipped my mind for a second. It’s James, yes? Anyway, James, Loki, and Eri will recon roads and cities as we get close to them. Our supplies can last a few days, but there is no doubt that we will need to return to civilization somewhere along the way.”

”No.”

Tsume’s attention snapped to Raewyn, mouth gaping slightly by the sudden objection. Although his voice was reassuring, the surprise of her protest took away whatever weight it would have had. “But Young Goddess, we must---“

” It’s completely unacceptable. I want to choose my own things after a good breakfast and a bath.”

This comment only took the monk further off guard. Such behavior from a young girl was shocking enough, but for it to come from a Goddess brought a twinge of fear along with it. If left unchecked, it could have devastating results for the whole world as her powers develop further. Of this, the Monks knew all too well. Even though it would be easy for the group to take her whether she wanted to or not, such an action would only bring distrust and possibly be another leak in an already questionable dam. Tsume was silent for several minutes as he weighed his options very carefully.

“So be it, here is what we are going to do.” Tsume finally spoke; the strength and determination in his voice had recovered. “Jake and I will remain here to map out a reliable path. I will also try to get in touch with a few contacts and see if I can’t send word to the other Monks and the Temple of our situation. Eri, James, Loki, and Raewyn will return to the marketplace, doing your best to resemble a common family wandering the shops. Eri, look through the things I had provided and keep an eye out for anything else that I may have overlooked that we may need along the way. James, would you mind helping Raewyn get the things she needs? I’m sure you know your way around markets well enough to blend in while still being able to procure what we need.”

The Monk then turned to face Raewyn directly, his expression unyielding and absolute. “You have ninety minutes to take care of what you need to, not a moment longer. You are still young and you do not yet fully understand the situation you are in, even if it isn’t one you desired. I compromise with you as a sign of friendship and trust, but do not get greedy with my generosity.”

With that said, he dismissed the group to take care of any loose ends while he gathered a map of Rothmor and set it upon the table and began looking it over with scrutiny. All the while, one particular detail about his assignment repeated in his mind. ”If the Goddess becomes corrupted beyond the possibility of redemption…” The somber expression of Tsume’s captain as she addressed the assembly of Monks was still clear in his mind, ”It is your duty to see to it that the threat to the world is eliminated before she has a chance to come to power.”
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:51 am

Eri listened intently to Jake and James’ suggestions for strategies, though she resisted the urge to grimace when Jake opposed the idea of an aerial scout. True, his points were valid, but it always grated on her nerves when someone else found a weakness in one of her plans. One of the many reasons she had avoided traveling with other people until now…

However, Tsume quickly put her mind at ease. “An aerial scout would certainly be handy, especially one that resembles natural wildlife,” he said, facing her directly. “That is something that Alco isn’t able to do so easily. However, we will only be resorting to it when necessary; there is a chance that we haven’t seen the last of Marinik and he knows what Arashi looks like. The longer he stays in the air, the more likely somebody will get suspicious.”

“Understood. Our wings are at your disposal,” Eri replied with an affirmative nod. Once Tsume looked away, Eri shot a smug look at Jake. After all the times he had looked for chances to annoy her, it was nice to finally have a little payback. As Arashi had often said, don’t tempt the eagle, lest you invite his talons. Eri may have aligned herself with this group, but she wasn’t afraid to flex her metaphorical talons to burst someone’s overinflated ego now and then. Besides, she and Arashi specialized in scouting. Such a habit was necessary when traveling alone and entering places potentially hostile to Saturates. Arashi’s keen eyesight allowed him the freedom to fly higher so that he appeared the size of a dove to human eyes on the ground. When Eri didn’t ride him, he could fly higher into the cold upper atmosphere so that his white coloration let him blend into the cloudbanks almost effortlessly. The tiny black feathers hidden beneath her hair puffed up proudly as if having a mind of their own, and Eri had to resist the urge to smooth them down with her fingers. That was one little detail she wanted to keep secret for now.

Eri pulled out her well-worn map and consulted it while Tsume described the location of the Temple. Directly east of Rurik…by the Goddess, they would have to cross nearly the whole continent to get there! She could make the journey in a fraction of the time by air, but going by foot would be a long trek indeed, especially with Raewyn along and unused to the rigors of travel. Ah well, Eri had gotten spoiled as of late by flying everywhere. Some good old-fashioned foot travel would do her some good. Tsume’s strategy for making the trek seemed sound, but then she wouldn’t expect anything less from a Monk of the Temple of the Goddess.

However, the air of business and the group’s resolve to get moving was quickly shattered by Raewyn’s little tantrum. Whatever sympathy Eri had felt for the girl last night flew out the window as she rattled off her ridiculous list of demands. Did she not understand the seriousness of their situation, that her life was in danger the longer they stayed in one place, that she was also risking their lives by insisting they tarry? Eri’s hands itched to grasp the petulant little Goddess by the shoulders and shake some sense into her, or at least some respect for her elders. And the worst part was that Tsume actually gave in to her demands. “Eri, James, Loki, and Raewyn will return to the marketplace, doing your best to resemble a common family wandering the shops. Eri, look through the things I had provided and keep an eye out for anything else that I may have overlooked that we may need along the way.” She hoped that Tsume’s last warning about not getting greedy would sink home for the young girl.

‘Great, how did I suddenly get stuck babysitting?’ Eri thought as Tsume dismissed the group. Her initial instinct was to rebel against the order and tell the Goddess to go fend for herself. However, Tsume was the leader, not Eri, and the decision had already been made. Now was the time for action. In those aspects, Eri already respected him as a leader. He could adapt to unexpected changes and make decisions quickly, and his unyielding personality meant that people would obey his orders without a lot of complaint or deliberation. Opening her pack, she quickly rifled through the supplies Tsume had provided and took mental inventory of what she personally carried. Tsume had covered the basic necessities, but they could do with a better variety of medical supplies, especially since they were making such a long trek without any kind of healer.

Shouldering her pack again, Eri hesitantly approached James, forcing any lingering suspicions about him to the side and portraying an air of confidence. No need for him to see that she was still getting used to this new group dynamic… “I would like to see what kind of medical supplies are available at the marketplace, like for treating burns and poisonings. And we may need some more bandages, especially if we run into someone like Marinik again.” That said, she waited for Loki and Raewyn so they could depart. The sooner they finished, the better.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by quakernuts on Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:16 pm

Jake listened to Tsume talk as he formed a plan in his head. It wasn’t long before he had made up his mind that they would use Arashi to scout ahead of themselves. Jake caught the smug look coming from Eri, and gave a shrug. It might have looked like he was trying not to show anything close to annoyance, but he honestly didn’t care. Scouting wasn’t his forte anyways. Tsume then told them where the temple was, and only then did Jake realize that he had no idea where it was either. Nodding in recognition and understanding, Jake seemed to lose all the cockiness as the plan started to form and he listened intently to what would happen once they started going. He didn’t agree with sending Loki to scout the roads, but he was probably one of the better choices with his unique power and Eri watching his back. As much as he hated to admit it, she was a talented fighter, and had confidence in her to get the job done. It wasn’t until he heard a little something from a little girl that made his arrogance return.

Upon hearing Raewyn complain and demand things from the group trying to protect her, Jake decided it was put up or shut up time. He was not going to be dealing with a spoiled little brat who would rather get a new pair of shoes than than save their lives. Before he could talk however, Tsume interrupted him, and gave into the Raewyn’s demands. As the plan was set forth to start in exactly an hour and a half, Jake glared down at Rae, and made sure she saw it. “Do you really think that your comforts are worth more then our lives? Maybe you should think of that the next time we’re fighting your battles goddess.” Jake’s voice was low and serious. He was not scared of any repercussions that may come of this from Tsume; he simply wanted to get his message across. He would rather have her dead then corrupted. Watching as they went, Jake turned back to Tsume, his collected manner back in place of the angry one.

“I don’t like this T. I’ve heard what happens when a Goddess becomes corrupted. As far as I can tell, she needs a serious attitude adjustment.” Jake had waited for them all to leave before he had said anything. It was only him and Tsume now, so he thought if he couldn't reveal his thoughts with T, then who could he talk to? However Tsume’s expression revealed that he knew the exact things that Jake had just voiced aloud and they sat in silence for a moment. Finally Jake went about laying a plan. He was not used to using a map, and had to rely on his internal map rather than the one laid out before him. However, he did remember a few things, which was weird for him considering that he didn’t usually remember anything.

“If I’m right, then there are a couple of uncharted Therian villages that we’ll have to steer clear of here and here.” Jake made a circling motion with his hand in two separate places. “I’m not pointing out their exact locations, just general whereabouts. I would suggest simply moving as far as we can out of those two areas. Also, there is another thing.” This time he took his finger, and marked a line that would end up being just a couple of miles from the nearest plain. “This here is what I like to call the big ass tree line. These trees are absolutely huge, I mean, even I can’t budge them from their spot.” Given Jake’s strength, that meant it was a big ass tree. “It won’t be a problem for us to pass through on foot, but the trees are so thick up top that it gets incredibly dark here, even in mid afternoon. Arashi would be completely useless to us here, and another thing.” Jake looked up so that Tsume could get the full weight of what he was saying. “We have to pass through here in order to continue where we need to go, and this is the best place for an ambush I have ever seen.” It meant that even Jake was not too keen on entering the big ass tree line, especially now that he knew they were being hunted. “Now, you’re in charge here, not me, but I’m telling you, if I was hunting you, and knew where you were going, I would definitely put a few guys here.” From there, Jake closed his mouth, and simply studied the map layout. He would wait for T to lay out a plan, and see if he could remember anything else about it.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Sunwolf007 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:37 pm

Owen was shocked at the reaction of the new Goddess. That little bitch is going to kill us all if she keeps this up. He was utterly speechless and then she tried to explain her logic by showing them the destroyed clothing she had been wearing. All she needs is new cloths not all that other nonsense. Now she is trying to use me as a moneybag to try and get on my good side. This is intolerable!

That wasn’t half as bad as what the monk almost did. He caught himself before using Owen’s real name but now Owen knew the monk was knowledgeable about the specifics of his banishment. That would mean explaining way to much to this new group. To much he didn’t want to remember. If he lets my secret slip I will have to let the order’s slip as well. One of the many secrets that I carry with me that shouldn’t be public knowledge. The fact that the Order knew about this threat years before now and yet didn’t prepare because they didn’t believe one of their own members. Owen’s hand clenched into a fist at the thought of having to explain the whole situation. He remained silent.

Then the worst thing that happened that morning took place. The monk caved into the Goddess’ demands. It was right then Owen remembered the dual protection that the Order offered the public. The protection of the Goddess from the evils of the public was a known protection but the one he remembered that instant was one that fewer people realized. The fact that the Order protects the public from the Goddess. Even if we make it all the way to the Temple it’s for nothing if she doesn’t behave like a proper Goddess. If that happens my name will become synonymous with ‘traitor of the public’ which is not the way I want to be remembered. Owen waited patiently by the door for the rest of the group and once assembled he led the way to the lobby. Along the way he questioned Eri about Marinik. He had been curious the night before but didn’t want to look like he was prying into the group the instant he came in. He got the overview of how the entire group had fought and it was practically a stalemate. Plus he got a better idea of what everyone could do in a fighting situation. It made him feel slightly better about their chances when he heard that 3 of the others could fight as well. When they reached the lobby Owen reached into his pocket and pulled out a few gold coins.

“Well, first things first you spoke of a bath. I am sure the facilities here will be sufficient enough. But before you slide off I got a few things to say. Tsume spoke about posing as a family while running around buying supplies and the like but there is a huge problem with that, which he overlooked. Everyone in this town knows I am not married and that I for sure don’t have kids. If I am seen running around with a group it will raise questions. My point is that if we split up it would be less conspicuous but that wouldn’t be how the monk wanted us to do things. We should think things through while Ms. Raewyn takes her bath and eats breakfast. Now Ms. Raewyn I’ll allow a half hour for that. If you take a second longer I’ll send Eri in there to drag you out. That’ll leave us an hour to purchase what we need from the shops.” Owen said before leading Raewyn to the bath house.

“Now Ms. Raewyn please understand what I am about to say. The ability to think about others and act in the common good is the highest noble ability. Remember that.” Owen said as he showed her the room her bath would be in. He paid for her bath and arranged for her breakfast to be brought to her while bathing. He then found a bench just outside the bath house and joined the others in waiting. He also arranged for them to be brought breakfast as well. He leaded back as he drank some coffee and tried to think about a solution to the problem he pointed out moments before.

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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:03 pm

Loki sat up lazily once he felt the weight of the pack fall at his feet. After wiping away the crust that built up on his eyes, he began peering through his gear out of curiosity while listening to Tsume’s plan. The monk’s words had trouble processing in Loki’s mind that still hadn’t fully awakened yet. Am I the only non-morning person among us?

The sleepiness had already been shaken off by the time Raewyn threw a mild tantrum. Looking around at the reactions from the others, Loki realized that he was the only one who hadn’t been taken aback or offended by her words of protest. His perspective of youth was different from the others, he was in at the point in his life where he was transitioning between age groups and maintained a tie to both categories. Not to mention that the young Saturate had spent most of his public life watching others around him while staying out of the limelight. Goddess or not, Raewyn was still a young girl. The type who typically gets what she wants as a topper. Such behavior is not only typical for such people, but it is practically to be expected.

Then again, Loki had lived his entire life in a Therian village that did not spread facts and knowledge about Saturates and The Goddess; at least not without bending them to serve their own purpose of demonizing the lot. Once he came to terms with his abilities and even grown to love them, he quickly dismissed those teachings as ignorance. Although, the reactions of those around him suggested that some of those lessons might not be far from the truth. Then again, she did pretty much just spit in the faces of those who are trying to help her…

As Tsume went over the new course of action, Loki became suddenly aware of an empty feeling in his stomach. With the plan laid out to everybody, he wondered if it was wise to split up the group. Then again, we did stumble across a straggler last time we traveled in mass… Perhaps the smaller group would be better at allowing us to remain incognito. It’ll certainly be easier without Tsume’s tattoos giving us away. Then again, if she throws another tantrum in public… will the other two be able to put her in line as well as Tsume did?

Without saying a word, Loki got dressed and followed the others to allow Raewyn to take a bath. For several minutes the three of them sat in silence as they waited until Loki’s stomach made a audible rumbling sound. The sudden involuntary outburst caused him to blush deeply, but managed to speak in a shy voice.

“Uh… Mr. Colston… Would it be alright if I got some money to get something to eat?”

Before Owen could even respond, a tall, lean woman wearing an apron entered the waiting area balancing a small stack of plates with skilled grace. Loki’s eyes lit up once the aroma of the food hit his nostrils, his mouth already beginning to salivate. Upon receiving his plate, he graciously thanked the merchant and began eating as quickly as manners would allow.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Digital Muse on Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:02 pm

Raewyn weathered the growled warnings and indignant reprimands against her behavior and its potential consequences. The entire episode was barely real to her because it was so outside her life experience. It might have been a dream but for the scrapes and bruises that reminded her otherwise as she slipped into the deliciously hot bath water. She knew she only had a half hour and she thought it best not to test Colston’s promise to have Eri come in to drag her out if need be. Besides, she was excited to go shopping.

Bathing quickly and practically wolfing down her breakfast, she dressed in the serviceable pants and sweater that Tsume had bought. It was a bit large, but surprisingly close to the right size. It was, in her eyes, completely dull and boring, of course. She emerged from the bathing closet with 5 minutes to spare, clean, hair gleaming and tied back and offered those waiting a brilliant smile. “Thank you for that. I feel so much better.” Her eyes slipped from one to another of her escorts as she listened to Colston’s adjustment to Tsume’s plan. She smiled again, she was glad only she and Eri would go to shop, she assumed the men and Loki would have a dampening effect on the fun anyway.

The group exited the Inn and Raewyn was so excited, she didn’t notice Eri’s discomfort in the thickening crowds in the bazaar. Raewyn’s eyes must have been wide as saucers as she moved from stall to stall, squealing with delight at the bright colors and lavish silks. It was a good thing Eri held the money given for shopping or Raewyn would have squandered it all within the first 10 feet. Despite her lessons from Tsume, Raewyn’s enthusiasm leaked out almost unchecked. It made shopping quite an experience as merchants within her unwitting sphere of influence were caught up in her emotional bleed-over and were incredibly easy to bargain with.

From a distant balcony a pair of eyes peered through binoculars to watch Raewyn and Eri move through the throngs. There was no emotion behind the watching; merely observation.

With some reigning in necessary on Eri’s part, Raewyn purchased a pair of pants with stylish stitching on them, a pair of good quality boots and a light sweater with a warm woolen jacket. Added to the bumdles, were some more medical supplies, under things and herbs. They then headed back to the inn only a few minutes behind schedule.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:31 am

“I don’t like this T. I’ve heard what happens when a Goddess becomes corrupted. As far as I can tell, she needs a serious attitude adjustment.”

The monk’s expression became grim for a moment, wondering how best to answer such a statement. Given the circumstances, Tsume felt it best to be truthful about this particular omission the Temple keeps from public knowledge. Not telling those involved would only make tensions greater than needed to be.

“Your concern is not entirely unfounded, but such behavior from Young Goddesses is not unusual. It is true that they are born with a power that has the potential to reshape the world around them, but that does not change the fact that they are still children. No Goddess is exempt from all the emotions and needs of a normal woman, or in this case, young girl. It is times like this where the Temple’s role is most crucial. At her age, Raewyn’s personality is still very malleable; still looking to be shaped from life’s lessons like any other child. It is the Temple’s job to see that the Young Goddess is raised to understand the importance of the Balance in all aspects of life before her powers fully develop.” There was a pause to allow Jake to process what was said before continuing.

“All of that is common sense, but it is something that the general public is wise to believe that a person of such power is free from such influences. Could you imagine how people would react if that bubble of ignorance was to burst, allowing them to see that another Eraclea could come to power in a moment’s notice. Granted that is not entirely the case; even at a young age, corruption takes time to take root and blossom. It is not something that happens overnight. If corruption does take root, then it is up to the Temple to either guide the Goddess back to the Balance, or if that is impossible, to execute her before she could bring harm to all that is around her.”

“Unfortunately, irrational fear will overlook that fact as most of the world’s population is more likely to remove the potential threat in the way of killing every potential Goddess and Saturates before they come to age. Both are needed to maintain balance within the planet and both are the conduits that allow Seed to flow more freely into the world to promote life. That is why farm output is so greatly reduced by the Goddess’s absence, at such times, Saturates are the only conduits. When comparing the two, Saturates would be capillaries while the Goddess would be a major artery. If the people were to turn to genocide, those conduits will be cutoff and the world will quickly wither and die. Eraclea is a distant memory at this point, but she is still a memory nonetheless. A repeat to her rule will likely be all the excuse that is needed for the public to hunt all of us down and kill us; that is if we even survive the rule of another corrupt Goddess.”

Tsume met Jake’s gaze with fearless dedication to his task. “That knowledge is one of the lesser secrets that the Temple keeps, but a secret it should remain for obvious reasons. Do be wary about spreading such knowledge that I have entrusted to you. With that knowledge, you should be able to see more clearly the importance behind our mission. We do not know what this organization wishes to do with Raewyn, but it is safe to assume that failure in our task will likely result in the loss of countless lives.”

Although the silence in the room only lasted for a moment, the weight of the knowledge passed felt as though it lasted for minutes. Eventually Jake proceeded to share the knowledge that he had gathered of the land and Tsume considered all. “We will likely need to stop by some of those villages for supplies. For the most part, Therian’s are wary of Saturates in general, with exception of the righteous minority. Despite their beliefs, they are still bound to the laws of their government; they know better than to interfere with Temple business. We will still be cautious in those areas, but I doubt we’ll encounter any confrontations… That is unless they hold a grudge against an individual in our group.” Tsume arched a brow at Jake in amusement rather than accusation.

Jake continued recounting his experiences with the territory as he went on to describe the massive trees. “Interesting… Most trees don’t grow as large as you describe, at least not in such density. Sounds like you stumbled across a ley line.” Tsume noticed the uncertainty in Jake’s expression. “A lay line is a fault in the land that allows Seed to flow through easily. Those trees are so big because they’ve never felt the effects of famine, allowing them to live longer and more heartily than everything around them. Which means that fighting there could be very dangerous, especially if it is other Saturates that intend to ambush us. Our abilities in the Seed-rich environment will be magnified ten-fold and our supplies of Essence will last much longer than usual. If we come across a group of users as we cross through the ley line… Let’s just say that it would be best if we took the fight away from that area if we wish to be victorious.”

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

“Is she the one?”

“I’m almost certain. Marinik was the one who made contact, but the matches the picture in her file.”

“I’ve got all I need then, I will begin preparations immediately.”

There were two clanking sounds as two sets of binoculars were set upon a nearby table. The two figures that stood peering out the window facing the marketplace receded deeper into the room.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Jake and Tsume continued to work out the details in their route as they waited for the rest of the group to return. Tsume became nervous as the deadline came and passed without word, but they returned before he chose to seek them out. He didn’t speak a word as they filed in, but it was obvious that he was not pleased by their tardiness. After a moment, he regained his calm demeanor and went over the route they had decided upon while the new supplies were handed out. “We’ve remained here long enough, it is time to make our leave.”
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:34 am

Eri grudgingly followed James, Loki, and Raewyn to the bathing facilities. The arrival of breakfast soothed her foul mood somewhat, as she had forgotten how hungry she was in light of the morning’s events. She spared a little half-smile at seeing Loki dig into his food with the enthusiasm only a boy his age could muster. ‘Enjoy it while you can. Who knows when we’ll have such luxuries again.’ Not that it bothered her. She felt more at home traveling in the wilderness than a crowded town anyway.

After finishing breakfast, Raewyn still hadn’t come out of the bath, so Eri thought she might as well kill a little time and freshen up a bit as well. “Excuse me for a moment.” She left James and Loki and went into another empty room in the bathing facilities. She changed into the clothes Tsume had purchased that morning, since her own were in pretty rough shape from yesterday’s fight. The tunic was of a slightly heavier fabric – suitable since they would be heading north into cooler temperatures – and was just a little bit loose on her frame. Luckily, her black leather belt cinched it in at the waist for a more comfortable fit, and Tsume had chosen well with the spring green color. The gray pants were made of a soft, yet durable material that fit snugly yet allowed for freedom of movement. After performing the basic morning necessities, she rejoined James and Loki right before Raewyn finally returned from her bath.

In the end, the group decided to go with James’ original plan of splitting up so that Eri and Raewyn would be the only ones shopping. Despite her chagrin at the prospect of babysitting the young Goddess alone, Eri had to admit that James made a valid argument for this arrangement. She accepted the money he provided for their shopping excursion and departed the hotel with Raewyn in tow, idly wondering how James and Loki would pass the time. As the duo neared the crowded marketplace, Eri clapped a hand on Raewyn’s shoulder to stop her and get her attention. Pinning her with a stern gaze, Eri warned, “This may seem like a fun little field trip to you, but we don’t know who may be watching us. Stay close to me and don’t run off, or else I’ll drag you back to the hotel and you’ll be stuck wearing your current attire for the rest of the trip. Got it?” Eri didn’t wait for a response but instead led the way into the pressing throng of people.

Eri was never one for crowded marketplaces, and this trip was no exception. She had to divide her attention between keeping a watchful eye on Raewyn and scanning the stalls for medical supplies and other necessities for the group. Her warning had clearly gone in one ear and out the other, as Raewyn flitted delightedly from one stall to the next faster than a hummingbird between flower blossoms. She finally had to forcibly restrain the young Goddess with a hand on the arm to keep her from running off until she finished purchasing supplies. More than once Eri had to rein in Raewyn from blowing their spending money on some useless bauble or piece of jewelry that would probably break after a day of hard traveling. She also found herself repeatedly apologizing for her “little sister’s” manners as she tried to use her Goddess-like charms on the hapless merchants. She was secretly grateful that James and Loki had opted out of shopping with them. It was hard enough acting familiar with one person. She was sure any attempts at trying to act like a “normal family” with those two along would fail miserably.

Arashi interrupted Eri’s train of thought. ‘Forgive me, Mistress, but I fail to understand why such a thought would seem so repulsive to you.

What are you talking about, Arashi?’ Eri snapped, her mental tone of voice a little harsher than she had intended. Raewyn had already pushed her patience nearly to its limit, and she instantly regretted taking it out on her summon partner.

Arashi continued, unfazed by her tone. ‘I’m referring to your aversion of the notion of a family. If I am correct, young women your age normally start thinking about building their nests and raising fledglings of their own.

And…your point?

Well, I noticed that our group has several young men about your age. Have you ever thought about possibly taking a mate?’ he asked in a completely serious, matter-of-fact tone of voice.

WHAT?!’ Eri gave a visible start and nearly tripped over her own feet in shock. ‘No! Absolutely not! I barely even know those guys!

Arashi shifted his wings in what could only be a shrug. ‘I was not trying to insinuate that you choose one of them. I merely thought that being in their company would have awakened those kinds of thoughts. It’s not good for you to be alone all the time, Mistress. Even the strongest dwellers of the sky survive best by working with their partners.

I appreciate your concern, but I’ll have you know that those thoughts couldn’t be further from my mind,’ Eri replied firmly. Glancing down, she noticed that Raewyn was giving her a puzzled look. Eri carefully blanked her face and answered the unspoken question, “It’s nothing. I just tripped.” By the Goddess, what was wrong with her? ‘I’m getting way too emotional, and I’ve only been with these people for a day.’

Eri suddenly realized that they only had a few minutes to get back to the hotel. Raewyn had just finished buying her last article of clothing, so Eri hurried her back to try and make the deadline. As they walked, she got this vague feeling of eyes boring into the back of her head, and the feathers hidden under her hair stood up on end. ‘Calm down. You’re just being paranoid,’ she told herself.

They met up with James and Loki at the lobby and headed back to the room several minutes late. “I apologize for the delay,” Eri offered with a pointed glance at Raewyn. Still, she wasn’t going to offer any excuses. After all, Eri had been in charge of the shopping trip and failed to meet the deadline, so she would accept responsibility for their tardiness.

Eri noted Tsume’s displeased expression, but he quickly hid it and went over the route while she distributed the newly purchased supplies among the group members. “We’ve remained here long enough, it is time to make our leave.”

As the group headed for the town’s exit, Eri couldn’t shake that nagging feeling that someone – or something – was watching them. Finally she caved and asked Arashi what he thought. ‘I’m getting the same feeling, Mistress, but I cannot pinpoint a source or location.

Eri sighed in frustration. ‘Okay, could you pass the warning along to Tsume? It may be nothing, but it wouldn’t hurt to be overly cautious.’ She reached for that place in her mind where the monk had opened a mental link yesterday, gritting her teeth against the inevitable headache. Once Arashi had delivered the message, she let the link collapse with a relieved breath and set her thoughts toward the journey ahead. She desired nothing more than to leave civilization behind in favor of the relative peace of the lush forests.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by quakernuts on Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:35 pm

During his talk with Tsume, Jake showed a surprising amount of understanding in his dealings with the truths coming from Tsume’s mouth. It looked uncharacteristic to see this muscle bound moron, some would call him, understanding such things with such clarity. Jake nodded, and put his hand up to his face. “Yeah, I can see where a public panic would come into play. That could be the end of the world as we know it.” Jake’s voice was low, and leaked hidden wisdom as it spilled from his lips. There was something Jake was hiding under the surface of a joker, but he didn’t hold that moment of perfect clarity for long. “No worries boss! Your secret is safe with me.” Jake continued to listen as T continued to talk about the Therian villages, and gave a laugh as Tsume looked up at him, hinting he may have had a run in with the locals. “I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them tried to throw me out of the village. I’ll try and keep things…civil.” That last word coming from Jake sounded more forced than anything. It was easy to tell he wasn’t one for diplomacy. Continuing to listen, T told Jake why the trees were so big. It made sense; if they had an unlimited amount of seed to flow right beneath them, it was no wonder they were a magnificent sight. “I still prefer to call it the Big Ass Tree Line.” Jake shrugged as he spoke, and he tried searching his thoughts for more clues as to what was out there where they needed to go, but his memory was a blank.

It was about this time that the group that went out shopping came back. Eri was the first to speak, and Jake gave a smile. “I’m sure we can forgive that beautiful face of yours.” His smile was friendly, but his eyes sparkled more with mischief than anything else. Turning back to the map for a moment, he let out a side note. “Nice clothes by the way.” He sounded distracted as he said this, so it was unsure whether he meant it as a compliment, or just to get on Eri’s nerves again. Jake wasn’t good with maps, so he wanted to make sure he could try to remember the layout as best he could before they went out. Running over their path once more, he folded up the map, and carried it with him. Jake took a couple of flares but nothing else. If they needed him to be the pack mule, he would do it, but not until someone else asked. There was no need to act like the white knight in this crowd, only to do what they needed you to do, and be done with it.

As they moved out of the hotel and into the crowded streets once more, something bugged Jake. His hands curled into fists and uncurled as they walked through the streets. He hadn’t gotten as far as he had without some sort of intuition, and now it was coming onto him full force. Jake’s head twitched back and forth, looking at windows, doorways, merchant booths, anything that someone could be watching them from. Jake looked very much like a caged animal, ready to leap on anything that happened to threaten him, and it was easy to tell that he could sense something was wrong. With effort, he visibly forced himself to relax. It would not work in their best interests for him to start hitting random people and hope the feeling went away. No, they had to lay low, the very opposite of Jake’s being.

Looking at the others to see if they had the same nagging feeling, he spotted Eri, who was just letting out a sigh of some sort. Jake knew she didn’t think the world of him, but he had to know. Tsume was near the back of the crowd, and Eri was the closest one that he could trust the most. James was closer, but he didn’t think he could be trusted with knowing, especially since he could be the one planning something to break them from within. As Jake came closer, he said in a lower tone of voice so Eri would be able to tell he wasn’t kidding around. “Is it just me, or is something wrong? Just in general, I can’t tell what it is, but something isn’t right.” The way Jake’s eyes darted from place to place would be proof enough that he wasn’t kidding around, and he was actually edgy. The sooner they got out of this crowded market, the sooner he’d be able to tell innocent from enemy.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:49 am

Loki and James wandered through the marketplace, while being sure to keep an eye on the women as they did their shopping. The young user was amazed by all of the wares and technology that he had never seen before; he was lucky to hear of devices that utilized Essence to make life easier, not to mention actually see them when he still lived in the village. His excitement wouldn’t have been any less if he had just walked into a candy store, though he made sure not to actually handle such items even if they were offered to him. Experiences had taught him how to better handle his energy transfer ability, but he was still not sure he could completely control it and the stakes were much too high to take such a risk.

The rest of their time in the market was uneventful, though Loki did purchase a small sewing kit to mend the holes in his clothes from where he was shot and where his wings had thrashed their way through. His father rarely bought him new clothing, so he had to learn how to stretch the longevity of his wardrobe lest he allow even more room for ridicule among his peers. The result of which had allowed him to become quite talented with a needle and thread, capable of mending holes while leaving only the slightest indication that they had ever existed. The time spent waiting on Eri and Raewyn was utilized to do exactly that, having just enough time to finish. With their return, the group headed upstairs where Tsume reviewed the plan before they departed from the city.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

A wave of pain formed in Tsume’s head just as he heard Arashi’s voice, or at least the mental illusion of it. Once Eri’s message was relayed, the monk broke the mental link and only nodded back at her in response. He too felt the presence of another’s gaze and was glad to have the reassurance from another, but he didn’t want to allow himself to become distracted by a telepathic conversation that would only serve to distract him.

It was unlikely that anybody would make a move in such a crowded venue, but it was still wise to be wary. Not long after, the northern city gate stood before them with armed guards standing at either side. Nothing was out of the ordinary and the feeling of being watched faded shortly after they were outside of the city walls. After traveling a few miles down the heavily traveled dirt road, they paused and scanned the horizon for the presence of any other travelers. Once they were confident that nobody was following or watching them, the group left the road and ventured into the thick forest that was nearby.
The woods were lush with life and the scent of summer. Light was able to filter through the canopy, illuminating their surroundings in an almost angelic hue. Much of the ground was covered in shallow grass and was mostly free of debris or tripping hazards. For hours, they traveled without incident; the only sounds were that of scurrying woodland critters and the breeze stirring the leaves and branches. It was difficult for Tsume to remain vigilant; the tranquility of their environment did well to lure him into a feeling of safety. It wasn’t without warrant, for they were the only ones around for miles.

Eventually the sun had grown low on the horizon and Jake had found a small clearing for them to set up camp. Bedrolls were laid out, a small campfire was built just as the last rays of sunlight faded, and the stars began to reclaim the sky. The moon bathed the clearing in a soft light that allowed them to see with relative ease; despite the night, there were no sounds of threats unless one happened to be a field mouse. The joyful chirping of birds gave way to the gentle cooing of night owls and the soft crackling of the campfire.

Soft voices filled the campsite as conversations began, covering a wide array of topics while they ate. Eventually the night grew deeper and it was nearing time for the group to turn in. “We should take turns keeping watch.” Tsume spoke as he sat with legs crossed upon his bedroll. “I’ll take the second shift since it is more taxing to those who are not used to it. Who will volunteer for the first and third?”

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Maeve sat with eyes closed inside of a circle of lit candles, her pose was what one would expect from one who was in deep meditation. Her chest raises and lowers in rhythmic sequence as she takes long, slow breaths. A smear of crimson runs from the top of her forehead down to the bridge of her nose.

“Any update yet, Maeve?”

Her lips arched into a shallow frown from the distraction the voice provided. Maeve did little to hide the annoyance in her voice.

“I can feel her fatigue; I assume they are about to rest. You best get your team in position and leave me so I can concentrate.”

She heard the sound of heavy boots on the wooden floor as Rayne turned and walked away, though Maeve never bothered to open her eyes to check if he left the room. Once again, she focused her will and waited until the young Goddess fell asleep.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:11 pm

The pain in Eri’s skull from her telepathic communication had just faded when she caught Tsume nodding at her in response. Even if she were just being paranoid, at least Tsume seemed to agree that her concern was valid. However, what was even more surprising was when Jake started to shift closer to her as they walked. Dropping his voice to a hushed undertone, he asked, “Is it just me, or is something wrong? Just in general, I can’t tell what it is, but something isn’t right.” For once he wasn’t trying to make a wisecrack, and his expression and body language conveyed seriousness to the matter at hand. Eri noted how his eyes darted back and forth and his body seemed wound up like a rubber band, ready to snap at any second.

Eri leaned her head closer to his so she could speak softly and keep her words private, though her eyes maintained a guarded, serious expression. “Yeah, Arashi and I sense it too, but we can’t get a fix on its location. I just alerted Tsume, so he’s on standby too.” As soon as she finished speaking, she finally took stock of their position and how it must look to any bystanders. Her face was close enough to Jake’s that he could no doubt feel her warm breath on his ear. Eri quickly pulled her head away, fast enough for it to look awkward, and looked in the opposite direction to hide the slight rosy flush on her cheeks.

Mistress, do I detect a hint of embarrassment?’ Arashi teased with an uncharacteristically mischievous glint in his eyes.

Zip it, Arashi,’ Eri grumbled, casting her gaze in various angles as a pretense of keeping alert for danger. ‘And stop calling me Mistress.

For once, Arashi pressed his case instead of heeding her request for silence. ‘We have a strong connection, Mist..er…Eri, and I know I didn’t imagine your heartbeat increase when he complimented you.

Ugh…don’t remind me,’ Eri replied. Arashi had looked positively smug in her mind’s eye when Jake made the remark about her “beautiful face,” and he actually gave a little victory screech when he complimented her outfit. Her ears were still ringing from that one… Luckily for her, if Jake picked up on her discomfort, he didn’t make any sarcastic remarks.

Any lingering annoyance or embarrassment, however, quickly evaporated once the group left the city behind and entered the safety and solitude of the forest. The sights, sounds, and smells reached out to welcome Eri like the embrace of an old friend. The soft rays of sunlight filtering through the leafy canopy bathed the forest floor in bright patches of color. The sounds of birdsong reverberated from all directions and provided an oddly suitable counterpart to the sound of their footsteps. The scents of freshly packed earth, pine needles, and wood filled her nostrils with their pleasant aromas. As they passed under a particularly large patch of sunlight, Eri tilted her head back and let her eyes drift shut briefly as she inhaled deeply the bouquet of scents and allowed the warmth of the sunlight to warm her face and the birdsongs to fill her ears. The smallest of smiles touched her lips as she exhaled in a contented sigh. The beauty of nature could get past her walls in ways that people had never accomplished.

Eri was perfectly content to travel in silence, speaking only if spoken to, until the setting of the sun signaled the time to pitch camp for the night. After spreading bedrolls and building a campfire, Eri wordlessly volunteered to cook dinner by moving toward the fire and unpacking her rations and cooking supplies. The meal she prepared was simple but filling, with wild berries that she found near the campsite (and knew from experience were perfectly safe for human consumption) providing an extra touch of flavor. Once she was finished, she motioned toward the food and said, trying to inject friendliness into her voice, “Here, help yourselves. It’s not exactly gourmet, but there’s plenty for everyone.”

Quiet conversations started up among the group members as they ate, and eventually Tsume called everyone to order as weariness started to lull people toward their bedrolls. “We should take turns keeping watch. I’ll take the second shift since it is more taxing to those who are not used to it. Who will volunteer for the first and third?”

Silence pervaded the clearing for a few moments as everyone gave his question some thought. Finally Eri spoke, “I’ll take the first watch.” After traveling on her own for so long, she was no stranger to making do with little sleep. Besides, she wasn’t quite tired enough to sleep yet, and she could use the extra time to think and work on meditating with Arashi.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Sunwolf007 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:14 am

Owen decided that it would be way to risky to just let the girls out of his sight in the crowded market. He didn’t want to be left behind nor did he want to be accused of neglection of duty by the monk. The last thing he needed was a reason for the monk to bring more attention to his presence.

“So kid you ever tail people in a crowded market before?” Owen spoke rhetorically and then not waiting for an answer, “Well, we can’t let them out of our sight but the idea is to not look like we are following them around. Just follow my lead and we should pull this off all right.”

Then he began leading Loki through the packed market while keeping the girls in sight. It was easier at first and then Raewyn kept pulling Eri to all the out of the way shops and it became annoying. Owen kept having short conversations with the local marketers and shop owners. He had a bit of a public reputation to uphold but he made sure to not let it get in the way of his shadowing the girls. While in the market place he stopped by the bank and pulled out enough money to hopefully cover the group for a few weeks. He then quickly caught up to a comfortable following distance again. He made it look easy but it helped that he sort of knew the layout of the shops and the places that the group he was following would likely visit.

He arrived back at the hotel with the girls to make it look like he had been by their side the entire time. He thought they were on time but he knew that they were late once they entered the lobby. That’s not going to make the monk happy… He listened silently to the plan and took the new supplies. He knew the rout somewhat but not better than what he figured the other two knew about it. He had a good idea that this would be a tough trip but now he was getting a better idea. Is that little brat going to even make it past the first day?

He followed the group back through the town but that was when he noticed that half the group seemed more tense than the first time that they had met. Tsume looked strict as always but Jake looked completely on edge and Eri was whispering with Jake and that, James thought, was not the norm. He had been quick to pick up on the group dynamic because he was a good study of human interaction. He was a salesman with many years experience in watching how people said things and figuring out what they were not saying in what they were saying. He was far from the best at reading people but he wasn’t a complete idiot either. His senses were telling him something was up and he went on like he didn’t notice but he used more caution in his steps than before. It was only slightly noticeable but he wasn’t walking as fast as he had been and kept his eyes open for any threats.

It was a long day of travel but not a hard day compared to some of the other travels James had been on. He assisted with organizing the camp and performing duties because he was now in his element. He was a traveler as well as a salesmen but he was as comfortable out in the woods as he was in the marketplace. He chatted with his fellow travelers but again kept a poker face. He appeared to be happy and without edge even though he could possible be attacked at any moment by anyone in the group, as he knew he would not be trusted yet, but they all could be attacked at any moment by their elusive enemies. He figured no one would envy his position but he had been in worse ones before. He enjoyed the dinner Eri made for them because it was as good as anything he could cook. He had went many nights on burnt food and was glad at least one person could cook. Well, at least the little Goddess made it through the first day. Maybe she isn’t as weak as I thought she was.

Then he was interrupted by talk of watch and he knew which one he wanted. He was used to traveling long days on low sleep but he didn’t want the rest of them to know that. The best way to hide that was to take the shift where everyone is guaranteed to be asleep.

“I’ll take last shift. That is if no one else wants it.” Owen said. No one protested so he walked over to his sleeping area and climbed under his covers. He wanted to get as much sleep as he could before he was woken up for his round. Then again they might decide that I am too much of a threat to actually have on third watch. I might not even get woken up at all.

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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Digital Muse on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:54 pm

Tsume’s dark, disapproval was all but wasted on Raewyn’s enthusiasm for her new clothes and embroidered boots. She changed quickly into her sensible, albeit ornate new purchases and pronounced herself quite ready. Her bright smile didn’t seem to penetrate her companion’s general edgy paranoia. While she had been completely oblivious of the apparent watchful eyes, Eri and the others all had their neck hairs raised.

Managing to unload a good part of her pack with some sweet cajoling among the others, she followed the others back out of the inn and into the city again. Following Tsume’s lead, the group left the relative security of the city for the countryside. Having rested, bathed and eaten, Raewyn’s mood was chipper. The fact that she was also the center of the group’s attentions only helped buoy her already dangerous ego. She chattered away throughout the morning’s walk. But as the afternoon wore on, she grew more silent as she simple did her best to keep up with the long strides of the others.

When they finally stopped to camp for the night, Raewyn dropped her far lighter pack and flopped onto the ground next to it. She was very tired, but the morning’s angry admonishing from Jake, Owen and Eri had ensured that she didn’t complain too much. Her eyes slipped from one to the next as dinner was prepared and the night’s watches were set. She looked to Tsume once more as she tried to get comfortable on the hard ground. “When can I talk to my Momma and Poppa?”
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by quakernuts on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:24 pm

Jake continued to walk right out into the forest. He noticed that Eri seemed to loosen up as soon as they entered the forest. It figured, a loner like her would love it where their would be as little people as possible. To Jake, the forest simply spelled mystery. You never knew what was around the next tree line, or beyond the next ditch. For him, he was always hoping for a fight, but his personal wishes would have to be sidelined for the moment. He didn't doubt they could hold their own in a fight if they all fought together, but that was the problem. While they now were able to get along on a professional matter, he doubted everyone but the monk would be so willing to help the others. It was hardly normal for him to be traveling in a group, and having others watching his back was just a weird sensation. He had always looked out for number one, but now he had to look out for two, three, four, five, and six.

Jake decided to leave these doubts for the moment. For the moment, he was content with blazing the trail for the group as they started for the forest. For some reason, if you asked Jake to tell you where to go in the forest, he wouldn't be able to tell you. However, if he was to lead you there himself, he almost never got lost. His selective memory would always shine through for him when he needed it most. He made his way through the forest very carefully, trying not to leave a very noticeable trail, which again, was very unlike Jake. Normally he would simply bulldoze anything in his way to get where ever he was going. The frustration in not being able to bash things was starting to show in him as he angrily brushed tree limbs out of the way. He was ready to kick over the nearest tree when he found a clearing that would suit them for the night. He couldn't believe it, he had gone an entire day without destroying something. That was an all time record since, well, he didn't remember the last day he didn't destroy something.

"See, told you I could get you..." Jake looked around a bit, doing a full circle before turning towards the group. "a place I don't remember!" His cocky smile all but shining during the final hours of the day. Seeing as everyone was giving him weird looks, he simply shrugged, and wandered around the clearing while everyone else did what they wanted. While sleep sounded good right about now, he still couldn't get over that gnawing feeling that was crawling up the back of his neck. He still somehow felt caged even though they were in the forest with supposedly no one around for miles.

When Eri started making grub, Jake couldn't stop himself and grabbed a large portion of the soup. Tasting it, he made sure he saw Eri licking his lips. "Better than my beans in a can and...beans in a can!" Laughing to a joke only he understood, he walked towards the edge of the clearing and sat down in the roots of a large tree. Everyone else was off doing their thing, but Jake couldn't sleep right now if he had wanted to. Hearing Tsume talk about standing guard, he was about to offer when Eri and James take the mentioned positions, Jake simply shrugged where he sat. "Whatever, I'm positive nobody gets by ol' eagle eyes over there!" This comment was just meant to get a reaction out of Eri, and as Jake looked over at her with all the innocence of a mass murderer, the meaning behind it became clear. Turning back towards the forest, he overheard Raewyn say something about wanting to talk to her parents or something like that. Instead of sympathy, or understanding, a wave of anger came over Jake, and he had to fight just to remain in control. He wanted to feel sympathy, really he did, but that emotion was all gone.

Years of hard travels, brutal fighting, and living for the moment had drained him of sympathy. He had seen some of the worst that the world had to offer, and she was nowhere close to that mark. As his fists clenched and unclenched, forcing himself from the wave of anger that had suddenly threatened to overcome him, he gave a cocky smirk. "Maybe later, like after I kick some ass!" Punching the air to prove his point, it was more to let go of the anger that still remained in his system. Why did he suddenly get angry? He didn't understand. Thinking about it for awhile, he finally came to a conclusion.

She still had parents to go back to.

Her asking when she could talk to them was like hanging a candy bar in front of a kid's face, and then eating it right before his eyes. He couldn't stand it, and his agitation continued to grow. A mixture of his intuition and restlessness kept his eyes from falling into a slumber. The sun had disappeared from the horizon, and the moon and the fire were the only things lighting the small clearing of people. Jake had not moved from his spot under the tree, and to others, it must have looked like he was sleeping. His chest was moving up and down in slow draws, but his eyes were still wide open, despite having managed little sleep. He knew he would feel it the next day, but for now, he couldn't sleep.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:45 am

The fact that several of the group members seemed on edge before they left the city limits did not escape Loki’s attention, though his senses were not honed enough to feel the presence of prying eyes. All the same, he did his best to remain alert even though it would be unlikely that he would spot something before the others. Eventually, tensions subsided as they left Fuuren in the distance and the massing of people dwindled to the point where nobody was in sight. It was this obliviousness to what the others sensed that once again allowed doubt to fill his thoughts.

What am I even doing here? I’m clearly out of my league in every aspect possible. That trick with Marinik was nothing but luck; it very easily could have gone very wrong. I don’t even know the first thing about fighting… Loki became aware of the weight at his hips from the steel Katars that hang at his sides.

As the group progressed into the woods, Loki’s mind wandered away from his doubts as he allowed himself to take in the serenity of their surroundings. The forest brought back fond memories of his time in the wilderness near his old home and the thrill of first discovering his abilities. Much of the rest of his day was spent by allowing his mind to wander aimlessly as he walked. When they finally set up camp, Loki sat in silence as usual while he watched the others interact. The smell of Eri’s backwoods cooking only hinted at the deliciousness of the dish, and he was sure to let her know how much he enjoyed it. As night set in, Loki had already begun to settle in and listened to the others for a bit longer and felt a pang of understanding with Raewyn’s eagerness to be reunited with her parents.

I wonder if I’ll get a chance to see my mom again, now that I’m no longer in the village…

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

“When can I talk to my Momma and Poppa?”

Tsume didn’t pay any mind to Jake’s comment; although it wasn’t entirely unlike him, he get the impression that there was other factors that added the callous tone to it. Instead, he walked over to the Young Goddess and sat next to her with his legs crossed and spoke to her, his voice had a compassionate tone to it.

“I know all of this is new to you and I completely understand your want to be with your parents again. Under normal circumstances, we would be bringing them along to the Temple with us until you get settled in. Unfortunately, this organization that is after you is denying us that opportunity for the time being, but do not worry. As we get closer to the Temple, I will send word to an Acolyte Monk to meet with them and escort them back there. With any luck, they will arrive shortly after we do where we’ll all be safe within the Temple’s fortifications until we can get all of this sorted out. Until then, I ask that you please be patient with me.”

The Monk stayed by Raewyn’s side for a little while longer to help comfort her and cajole her to sleep. Once she began to drift asleep, he returned to his sleeping bag and allowed himself to slumber while Eri took the first watch.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Loki remained silent until he was one of the few who remained awake. Nervously, he slipped out of his sleeping bag, grabbed is sheathed weapons, walked across camp towards Eri, and knelt next to her. Loki’s face had a slight red hue to it and his soft voice clearly reflected his embarrassment.

“Uh… Eri? I need some help.” He paused for a brief moment to clear his throat and remove some of the nervous tone from his words. “You see, I’ve never actually been in a fight before; that thing with Marinik was nothing more than dumb luck, as I’m sure you guessed. I don’t even know the first thing about wielding these things.” Loki said as he gestured his katars towards her. “Jake has much more power than I, and I doubt he would be able to teach me the type of combat that I would even stand a chance at being effective at. Your style, however, has much more finesse rather than raw strength… I guess what I’m trying to get at is I was wondering if you would be willing to teach me how to wield a blade so that I’m not just deadweight in this group?”
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:50 pm

Whatever newfound respect Eri had developed for Jake’s more serious side flew the coop along with his table manners. She successfully resisted the urge to roll her eyes when he purposely licked his lips in her direction upon tasting her soup. “Better than my beans in a can and…beans in a can!” Eri quirked an eyebrow as he laughed to some private joke and sat down in the roots of a tree to enjoy his meal in relative privacy.

Note to self: never let Jake cook.

“Whatever, I’m positive nobody gets by ol’ eagle eyes over there!” he added as he grinned at her in mock innocence. Now she rolled her eyes.

‘Greaaat… now I have a nickname…’

Eri turned her attention to Raewyn when she mentioned wanting to talk to her parents. She could sympathize with the young girl’s wishes to see her parents; Eri still missed her father on occasion. However, her sympathy was somewhat dulled by the less-than-thrilling adventure in the market earlier that day, courtesy of a spoiled young Goddess. Maybe this journey would help her to mature and learn to think of other people’s needs other than her own.

As the stars and moon started to dominate the velvety tapestry of the night sky, the rest of the group started drifting to their bedrolls for some well-deserved sleep. Taking her night watch, Eri sat cross-legged by the fire with her sword across her lap, her left hand resting lightly on the hilt so she could grab it quickly in case of an attack. She allowed her mind to slip into a slightly meditative state, allowing her thoughts to meld with Arashi’s so their thoughts and emotions could transmit freely across their link. She could see him in her mind’s eye casting out with his keen senses, keeping alert for danger along with her.

Eri tensed slightly as she picked up the sound of approaching footsteps but relaxed upon seeing that it was only Loki. She wondered what purpose he had in approaching her, seeing as they hadn’t really spoken much since meeting. He knelt next to her, and the firelight betrayed the embarrassed blush on his cheeks and nervous expression on his face. “Uh…Eri? I need some help.” He clutched his two katars more firmly in his hands as he cleared his throat to steady his nerves. “You see, I’ve never actually been in a fight before; that thing with Marinik was nothing more than dumb luck, as I’m sure you guessed. I don’t even know the first thing about wielding these things.” He held out his katars for emphasis. “Jake has much more power than I, and I doubt he would be able to teach me the type of combat that I would even stand a chance at being effective at. Your style, however, has much more finesse rather than raw strength… I guess what I’m trying to get at is I was wondering if you would be willing to teach me how to wield a blade so that I’m not just deadweight in this group?”

Eri’s eyes widened in shock, the only betrayal of emotion on her otherwise neutral expression. Of all the things he could have asked, she had NOT been expecting that. Her first instinct was to say no, that her style of swordsmanship was completely different from what Loki would need to know to wield his katars. Furthermore, she had no experience with teaching people anything. And yet, something about his request made it inconceivable to say no. The fact that Loki bucked up the courage to make such a request to someone he barely knew and no doubt found intimidating…well, Eri had to respect that. And she wouldn’t be going into this completely blind. Her father had made quite a few sets of katars as a blacksmith, and Eri had always delighted in trying out all the different kinds of weapons he made when she was a child.

Eri met Loki’s gaze as she gave her answer. “Sure, I’ll give it a try. I don’t really have any experience with katars, but I think we can modify my style of fighting to suit you.” This time, Eri couldn’t hold back a genuine smile upon seeing the relief and gratitude on Loki’s face as he thanked her profusely. Eri gave an amused smirk. “Don’t thank me yet. First we have to see if this even works. Now get some sleep. We’ll start tomorrow after dinner.”

Loki returned to his bedroll and fell asleep shortly thereafter, leaving Eri alone with her thoughts. She still had a couple of hours left for her shift, so she decided to pass the time by walking around the perimeter of the campsite. Her enhanced eyesight allowed her to see farther into the dark forest than most people, so she was confident that she and Arashi could foil any potential ambushes. When that got old, she stayed by the campfire and went through some basic movements with her sword, experimenting with the stances and trying to figure out how to adapt her fighting style to complement Loki’s katars. Arashi chimed in with advice as well, as he shared her memories of her father’s lessons through their link. While they practiced, Eri noticed that Jake was still sitting under the same tree. In the dim light, it was hard to tell if he was asleep or not, but Eri didn’t want to disturb him and invite any of his sarcastic comments.

Fatigue from the day’s travels finally started to catch up with her by the time her watch ended. She was actually relieved to waken Tsume for his shift so she could get some sleep. She crawled into her sleeping bag and drifted into a deep, dreamless sleep for the first time since joining the group.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Digital Muse on Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:35 pm

Eri’s soup or stew was eaten with no complaining from anyone. It was obvious the girl had been on her own for some time and fended for herself quite well, thank you. Jake couldn’t resist a tease, of course. But, Raewyn had come to expect that. His sense of humor was mostly lost on her though. Raewyn couldn’t tell if Eri really was irritated when Jake teased her or if she just pretended. She wished she had more control of her Saturate abilities. It would be so neat when she could read people’s minds. She couldn’t wait!

As the others set the watch, she was amazed to see Loki approach Eri with red cheeks to ask her help in learning to use his new weapons. She felt a pang of jealousy, though she really had no logical reason why she should. It turned her mood sour and Tsume’s assurances that her parents would be sent for as soon as they were at the Temple fell upon deaf ears. This whole Goddess thing was most definitely not going the way it should. She was uncomfortable. She was tired. She still hurt everywhere. Is that what it was like? If so, she didn’t want any part of it. Laying against her backpack, Raewyn drifted off to sleep almost immediately.

The dream started innocently enough, Raewyn was at school, chatting with her friends, being cruel, as girls are, about what someone else was wearing or how they had styled their hair. But slowly the dream evolved and became more current. Raewyn saw the fight with Marinik. But things became fuzzy in the sequence of events. Marinik was defeated. But the Monk had no interest in her and had simply left her. Jake, Loki, Owen and Eri had chosen not to involve themselves. It had been a personal vendetta and it hadn’t mattered to any of them. They had all left her in the forest near Marinik’s wrecked car. Alone.

In her dream, she heard a musical,beautiful voice calling her name. Light poured from the dark tree tops to fall upon Raewyn. “Raewyn. Have you forgotten what Marinik told you? You must find Rayne. Only he can protect you. Only he can save your parents. And you can save the world.”

Raewyn tried to shield her eyes from the bright light that poured down upon her in her dream. “W-who are you?” She asked fearfully.

A woman walked out of the dark forest, but she glowed with an unearthly light. “I am called Maeve. I am the Seeker of Truths of the Udonis Magi, Raewyn.” The beautiful woman took a knee before Raewyn in humble supplication that struck a lovely chord within the impressionable girl. “I have found you through the distance of the true Temple to warn you. Tsume is false. The tattoos he showed you are nothing more than trickery he controls as a Saturate. Remember, Marinik did not use violence to ask you to accompany him. Tsume attacked first. Marinik did not try to kill, only to defend. Remember, Raewyn? Do not allow Tsume to cloud your thoughts. You are wise for your years.”

Raewyn frowned. Everything this woman had said was true. What was she doing being so trusting of the monk? He’d yelled at her. In fact, they all had…except Loki. They didn’t really want to be there with her. What had she been thinking? She looked back to the woman who had found her in the forest. “How do I know you aren’t lying too?” She asked belligerently.

Maeve smiled gently, as if proud of Raewyn’s question. “What has the monk taught you of your abilities? How to suppress them, if I am right?” Seeing Raewyn nod, she continued. “You are a danger to him, Raewyn. You are far more powerful than even he knows and he fears you.”

That thought sent a thrill up Raewyn’s spine. He fears me? Yes. That’s what it should be! She was the Goddess. People should start treating her like a Goddess. Raewyn looked back down at Maeve who had respectfully bowed before her. Exactly, Raewyn thought. Just like that! “Can you teach me more?” Raewyn challenged.

Maeve smiled gently, “As the Seeker of Truths, I can show you many things. But we are far removed. I can show you how to touch the power of the world around you, however. You are the Goddess. Everything is linked to you and through you. Reach out with your senses. You can feel it. The vibrancy, the life, it responds to you. Can you try?”

Raewyn quirked a brow skeptically, but did as she was told. After a few seconds, she could indeed feel the very essence of life around her. It was warm, invigorating and made her feel so connected to the very world around her.

Her growing smile seemed a signal for Maeve. “Yes, you can, can’t you? Remember to find Rayne, Raewyn. Remember Marinik’s words.” As gently as the dream had started, it ended with a rush. Raewyn jolted awake. Her eyes flashed open and she felt...incredible. Strong, in control and sure of herself. She'd show them.


Last edited by Digital Muse on Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:01 pm

Second watch was easily the most taxing of the three shifts by denying the watchman a uninterrupted sleep session. Despite his training, Tsume had to struggle at times to fight off his wariness, but refused to allow himself to shirk his duty. He had considered using his time to continue meditating with Alco, but concluded that it would only serve to distract him; instead, he paced around camp at various intervals when he would feel himself start to feel drowsy. It was now the deepest of night and only an hour until he would be trading shifts with Owen. The moon bathed the area in a brilliant soft light that removed any need of firelight, though the small campfire was kept to a low flame to deter any potential animals from wandering into camp. At this time, the Monk noticed an odd sensation in the air and his instincts suggested that something wasn’t quite right.

For several minutes, he waited in silence, allowing his senses to search for anything that could be the cause. Nothing. There wasn’t even a breeze to cause leaves to stir, which means that nobody’s movements would be able to remain absolutely unnoticed. The only sounds were the light crackling of embers and a few who stirred lightly in their sleep. Minutes passed and the sensation slowly grew, eventually Tsume noticed that it was radiating from Raewyn. The monk watched in bewildered silence, unsure of whether this was a normal occurrence for a newly awakened Goddess; it wasn’t something he recalled hearing about while he was instructed at the monastery.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

“What the hell was that?!”

Maeve sat in her meditative pose, breathing heavily with a steady layer of perspiration on her brow. Ever since she had first gained full understanding of her abilities that was the first time she had ever had ever lost the link without the other overpowering her grasp with shear willpower. Raewyn had made no effort to resist her; instead, it was as though static built up in the link between them and jolted her out of the Goddess’s dreams.

She jumped to her feet and reached for a shortwave radio that lay on a nearby table.

“Rayne,” Maeve spoke into it, her voice full of worry, “something has happened. I don’t know what exactly, but you should get your team into motion.”

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Raewyn abruptly awoken from her slumber with an involuntary gasp and her abilities reacted to her subconscious desires. A light shockwave spread from her and passed over everything within a mile; Tsume felt the gentle pulse of air pass over him, leaving a tingling sensation over his flesh as though he had suddenly become statically charged for some unknown reason. Along with it came knowledge, a simple understanding of the Essence that flowed through the earth and how he could utilize it with his own energy.

Tsume’s expression was that of shock as he looked at the Goddess. There was no doubt in his mind that what she had done was involuntary and it was obvious that she had no idea as to what had just occurred.

“Raewyn…” The monk’s voice carried a gentle tone of astonished alarm, similar to how a mother sounds in response to seeing a deep wound on her child. There was no harshness to his words, only concern.

The shockwave was actually Raewyn’s will reaching into the world around her. Maeve’s interference with the Goddess’s dreams stirred emotions of want and desire that were enhanced by the dream weaver’s power. As with a person who jolts awake by making a misstep in their dreams, Raewyn’s dormant power acted out of pure reflex. In reaction to her desires, Raewyn’s subconscious pulled in the Essence of everything within a mile of her and channeled it into the Saturates within that boundary, herself included.

Soft thuds could be heard all around the clearing with the rhythm of a building rain. One of which was emitted only a few feet behind Raewyn; in the grass behind her laid a withered owl devoid of life. Such was the fate of all within the range of the burst; there is no life without the Essence to sustain it. The lush grass in the clearing faded to brown and became brittle, eventually crumbling under its own weight. The leaves changed into their autumn colors so quickly that it appeared to have transitioned from summer to fall in the course of a minute; they too fell to the ground and crumbled in a similar fashion to the grass. Only a few moments after the leaves fell, the entire forest began groaning as though it was a timber structure being loaded to its failing point. The monk paused for a moment and became aware of the ground loosening beneath his feet. With a quick glance down he realized that the ground was also suffering from being deprived of Essence. Instead of layers of firm soil, stone, and clay; the earth was quickly turning into sand and silt. It wouldn’t be long until sinkholes would appear where the soil was loosely packed or held groundwater and even shorter before the soil will no longer be able to support the roots of the large trees.

Tsume didn’t bother to look around to see if the others were awake, there was little doubt that anybody would have remained asleep through the shockwave. His voice was level and expressed an air of urgency as he began stuffing his sleeping roll into his pack. “We have to move, now! The trees will soon be coming down around us and we are going to be running through them. Remaining here will only leave us as easy targets to anybody who may be following.”

The monk looked at the young Goddess and became concerned about how she would fare. “Eri… Would you mind having Arashi carry Raewyn above the falling trees along with our packs? Alco is not yet ready to carry a load.”

”I can take care of the packs.”

Surprise washed over Tsume’s face as he looked towards the volunteer and found Loki standing with an excited smile on his face. His enthusiasm was undoubtedly because of the ribbons of energy that are usually wrapped around his frame were now intertwined in the form of two large wings that seemed capable of flight.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:34 am

Eri, wake up!

Said Summoner was brutally yanked from the peaceful respite of a restful night’s sleep by Arashi’s mental cry, his concern overriding his usual penchant for decorum. Of course, even without his warning she would have awoken from the shockwave that radiated from the Goddess. Each breath Eri took felt…charged in a way. She was suddenly acutely aware of the air around her, how it moved around her and swelled to fill her lungs. It was life in its purest form. In a brief moment of awed stupor, she held out a hand and watched as a tiny current of air swirled around her fingers, as if answering her mental call.

Tsume’s voice brought her back to awareness and banished any remnants of grogginess. “We have to move, now! The trees will soon be coming down around us and we are going to be running through them. Remaining here will only leave us as easy targets to anybody who may be following.”

Eri’s limbs moved automatically, folding and stowing her bedroll as the earth groaned and shifted beneath her, punctuating Tsume’s warning. Around her, the others were scrambling to do the same. Dozens of twigs and smaller branches started to fall to the ground in a steady cadence, and she knew it wouldn’t be long before the trees would start to give way. She wanted to ask Arashi what the heck was happening, but this was neither the time nor the place. First they had to get out of here alive.

“Eri… Would you mind having Arashi carry Raewyn above the falling trees along with our packs? Alco is not yet ready to carry a load.”

Luckily, Loki volunteered to carry the packs, which may have been taxing for Arashi if he had to worry about an inexperienced rider in addition to the extra weight. Before she could pose the mental question, Arashi said, ‘I would consider it an honor to bear the young Goddess to safety.

Right, then let’s get to work.’ Eri held out her left hand. “Gale Cleaver!” The black and purple sword leaped into existence, its summoning expedited by the extra surge of Essence flowing through her body. “Arashi, come to my aid!” She made a sweeping motion with the blade, as if slicing the air, and the majestic white eagle appeared before her from a cloud of pure white feathers. He could sense the imbalance of Essence in the clearing and screeched his distress as a sinkhole gave way under his right foot, forcing him to flap his wings to regain his balance. Eri hastened to his side and cupped his beak briefly in her hands, trying to soothe him with her touch.

Once Arashi regained his composure, he dipped his head toward Raewyn in greeting and forced open a mental link with her so he could communicate. ‘Greetings, Miss Raewyn. It is my pleasure to see you to safety.

“All right, enough of the pleasantries. We’ve got to move,” Eri stated with a sense of urgency. She half-helped, half-hauled Raewyn onto Arashi’s back while briskly instructing her on how to seat herself. “Kneel between his shoulders blades, right here,” she said, patting the hollow between the joints that worked his massive wings. She placed Raewyn’s hands on Arashi’s neck. “Just stay low, don’t look down, and hold on tight.” She could plainly see the apprehension in the young girl’s eyes, but they didn’t have time to debate. The decision had been made already, so now was the time for action. Eri met Arashi’s eyes, and he gave her a confident nod. “All right. Go!”

Hold on tight, young Goddess!’ Arashi gave a shrill screech as he pounded his wings to lift off from the ground. Taking off was difficult in these close quarters but not impossible. He gained altitude and tucked his wings close to his body to squeeze through a gap in the shifting canopy, Raewyn hanging on for dear life. Once they were above the canopy, Arashi quickly leveled off while taking care not to accidently throw Raewyn from his back. He wanted to fly low for several reasons. It would allow him to keep a better watch on Eri, it would be less of a distance if Raewyn should fall, and there was less of a chance of being spotted by the enemy if he stayed near the shadows cast by the forest. He could feel the young girl’s hands shaking as she clutched his feathers and attempted to distract her through conversation. ‘Are you doing okay, Miss Raewyn? I can assure you that you are perfectly safe with me.

Once Eri could see that Arashi and Raewyn were safely above the canopy, she joined the others who were still land-bound in getting away from this area. As they ran, foot-sized sinkholes formed beneath every step they took and threatened to throw them off-balance while dead leaves floated to the ground in a disturbing, lazy dance. Eri clutched the hilt of Gale Cleaver in her left hand while her regular sword bounced against her hip. She was instantly grateful that she didn’t have to worry about the additional weight of her pack on this treacherous ground.

The tremulous groan of dying wood was the only warning Eri got before a towering oak tree started to crash toward the forest floor, right where the group was positioned. Acting completely on instinct and a wave of panic, Eri gasped and swung her sword. Wind swirled around the blade and flew toward the tree in a blade-shaped shockwave, slicing the trunk cleanly through the middle so that the halves fell safely on either side of the group. Eri’s mouth hung open momentarily in shock. ‘Whoa…did I just do that?’ Before she could react, another tree – albeit smaller but still easily capable of breaking a leg – started to fall directly toward her…
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by quakernuts on Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:40 pm

Jake had been sitting underneath his tree for some time now, and still his eyes refused to cooperate with the feeling of his body. They were half closed now, but it was an effort to shut them, and not let them open again. For all of his stubbornness, he couldn't even get his body to do what he wanted. Jake had managed to hear what Loki had said to Eri, and somewhat bristled at the 'raw strength' part. Yes, it was true, but do they really think he made it this far by simply bashing everything in his way. Wait a minute, yes he did. He smiled to himself as he thought this, and listened as Eri said she would teach him and sent him back to bed. Jake remained awake for a little while longer, long enough for him to notice the switching of the guard. Finally, unable to fight him any longer, his eyes closed, and he managed to get in maybe an hour of sleep before he was forced awake again.

As a shockwave rolled over everyone and everything, Jake didn't jolt awake, but lazily opened one eye. "What happened?" Jake asked, his voice groggy and slurred from having being awakened so rudely and quickly. Looking around, he was quickly able to grasp what exactly was happening around them. It seemed like the forest was dying, and trying to take them with it. What had done this, or how it happened was irrelevant at the time being. Slowly climbing to his feet, his adrenaline started pumping wildly, and woke him better than anything else possibly could have. He was an adrenaline junkie, and he knew it, and loved it. Jake slapped himself in the face a couple of times to make sure he was fully awake for the time being, and casually walked over to everyone else.

Looking around with a smug look on his face, he seemed completely at ease with what was happening. "I have to say, I haven't seen this before." A tree threatened to fall on him, and he casually wiped it away as if it were a piece of paper. The tree landed a few feet away, and began to sink into the ground. That was what started getting Jake serious about the current problem. He didn't really like the whole idea of sinking into the ground and never being heard from again. However, he could think of a few people who wouldn't mind him shutting up once in awhile. Tsume rapidly shouted out orders, and Jake said nothing as he moved to comply. Simply put; get the fuck out of dodge.

Jake felt weird. It felt as if almost he had too much to eat, and his stomach weighed a ton as it sank to his feet. He tried to run, but found his movements slowed. He didn't understand, what was going on? Jake looked down at his feet to find them covered in mud, earth, and random material that was laying around the ground. His first thought was that he was sinking into the ground, and panic threatened to overwhelm him as he struggled to move his feet. Then he quickly saw, he wasn't sinking, the earth was climbing up to greet him. Panic took form, and he tried desperately to wipe the earth off of his feet. However, to his apparent dismay, the earth he removed only redoubled its efforts to climb onto his body. "Get this shit off of me!" Jake yelled to the others as the earth reached his waist. It was too late for him though, the others had already moved on. Somewhere in his panic, Raewyn had been hauled upon Arashi, and he had been left by himself in the confusion. He was going to die here, and it was because of something he couldn't fight. It made him angry, and sad at the same time as the earth came up to his neck. Finally, the weight of the earth dragged him down, and covered his face.

Jake closed his eyes, sure that he was going to die. Then he realized, he couldn't feel the dirt and muck on his face. Jake opened one eye, and found out that the earth covering his face was actually a couple inches off of his face. He released the breath he had been holding, and found he could breathe normally. It was like wearing a gas mask, and Jake could see tiny air holes that were slits where his mouth should be. Taking stock as to what was happening, he tried to move his arms. There was an unusual weight to them, but they were far easier to move then when the earth had been climbing onto him.

Carefully, and very deliberately he tried to climb to his feet. It was awkward, like he was farther from the ground than he should be, but he managed it. Only when he looked down did he realize that he was at least a couple more feet from the ground. He had to be at least eight feet up now, and everything felt distorted. Looking at his hands, he found that the earth had formed a thick crust around his entire body, giving the impression of a golem. On the outside, his eyes were showing through slits in the earth around his body, but they glowed an earthly green. As the essence in his body contorted to control the armor now surrounding his body, one of the side effects was completely green eyes.

Jake pounded his chest, and found it to be hard as rock. The earth that had formed around his body as mud had solidified and formed a very useful, and very unnerving armor to those watching him approach. Jake was now eight feet tall, encased in brown and black golem armor with green glowing eyes. He didn't know what was happening, or how it had happened at all, considering he was a manipulator, but he didn't have time to mess around with it. The ground around his foot gave way, and Jake would have fell and trapped himself had he not had the reflexes to step up before falling completely down. Deciding to find out what happened later, he bulldozed his way through the forest.

It was hard to keep his speed up, especially since he probably weighed about three times as much as anyone else here now. Jake wondered exactly what everyone would think when they saw him, hell, he wondered what he would think when he saw him. Moving as quickly as he could, he rushed to create a path for the others. He noticed Eri slash a tree with...wind? Well, he didn't know if that was native to her, although how she reacted, it probably wasn't. He also noticed the tree behind her falling, but he was too far away to get there in time. That twig wouldn't hurt him, even without his armor, but it could probably do some damage to someone who wasn't as physically inclined.

"Eri! Falling tree at six o'clock!" Was all he was able to manage as he rushed forward ahead of the main group. His voice sounded weird, it was a lot deeper than it should have been. Jake chalked it up to the cramped space his head was enveloped in. The echoes from his voice bouncing around in the helmet, for lack of better words, created a deeper sounding voice than that which was normal. Jake managed to get on a stretch of relatively stable land where he managed to surge ahead of the main group. He couldn't see Tsume, but he guessed he was somewhere nearby. Jake took it upon himself to create a stable path through the forest gauntlet.

Jake simply lowered his shoulder, and charged the rest of the way through the forest. The trees flew to the sides as their already weakened roots gave way to the eight foot muscle house. The large trees simply fell down before Jake as he continued to the edge of the tree line. However, to his great relief, he finally saw the end of the forest. bursting into the clearing of the prairies, he threw up his arms in victory. "Oh yeah! Bitch, stick that in your juice box and suck it!" Jake threw his arms at the forest, and allowed himself a moment of rest before getting back to his own personal matter. Where did this armor come from?

Well, it was obviously essence powered, didn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out, but how did it come to him? He didn't exactly know how to get it off either. maybe if he simply willed it off? He focused on the armor coming off, and felt a weight from his arm go away, but the rest stayed. "What the...?" Jake looked over to see his arm, pathetically scrawny compared to the bulk of the earth surrounding him, and waved it around. Frowning inside the armor, Jake willed his armor away some more, and felt his leg go light in weight. "Oh shit!" Flailing his arms as his left leg met nothing but air, he fell backwards with a giant thud. A litany of curses painted the air around him with vivid colors as he tried to physically rip the armor off. "Of all the powers to get, I get the non-responsive shit-colored armor that makes me look like a fucking statue!" The more he struggled, the more the armor fell off, and climbed back on. His chest would go bare, only to be covered again, and then his legs would go bare, only to be covered again. More curses escaped from Jake's lips as he struggled with his newfound power. To anyone watching, he knew, it would be hilarious to see him in this state.


Last edited by quakernuts on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Sunwolf007 on Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:57 pm

Owen was sleeping well enough until his senses kicked in and woke him up. He felt a pulse or rather a sudden change in everything which made his eyes fly open. His hands grasped his weapons. He was ready for anything but not for what he saw. The Goddess seamed to be standing there just waking up but he somehow felt, knew and understood that whatever happened was her doing. He felt changed somehow, in an unknown way but he didn’t have time to think about it. From what limited distance he could see by the fire he could see that things around him were dying rapidly. He didn’t have time to digest the information but he knew that when the monk said to move he wouldn’t argue. He packed up everything as quickly as he could and threw his pack to Loki who said he could take them. He grabbed his rifle and swung it diagonally across his back so he could run easier still trying to figure out what was happening.

Eri summoned her creature and flew the Goddess out of the immediate danger. Jake seemed to be swallowed into the earth which terrified Owen. He would rather die fighting something than being smothered by some inanimate object. What the hell is going on!? What did she do!? Owen now knew that they shouldn’t try to figure it out here and that the monk was right in moving. Eri sliced a gigantic tree falling on them in half. This is utter madness! Owen whirled around to see a mass of humanoid looking earth running through the woods and a tree falling on Eri. He was finally snapped out of his daze of disbelief.

“Don’t move Eri!” He yelled as his fighter’s instinct took over as he aimed his left arm at the falling tree. He crossed his middle finger on top of his index finger while elevating his thumb. His hand resembled a gun as he pointed his crossed fingers at the falling tree. Lighting blinded everyone as it lept from his fingers in an arc to hit the tree. It exploded into splinters down the middle pushing the two larger halves away from each other. The larger halves safely landed on either side of Eri.

“Ah!” he gasped in pain as part of the falling tree struck his left arm. Without taking a moment to check his wound he created six balls of lightning to light to see. In a second he found what he was looking for. It was a tunnel through the falling debris that was left by what he thought was Jake.

“There! Let’s move!” Owen yelled as he illuminated the path by having three balls of lighting on each side of the tunnel and dispersed through the group to create enough light to see. He traveled with the group as fast as they could run through the collapsing forest. It was complete chaos complete with the dodging of fallen branches, watching for sinkholes and the danger of being crushed all in one. Suddenly two large trees started falling ahead threatening to block their only path out.

“Cover your eyes!” Owen yelled as he sent one of his balls of lightning forward towards the falling obstacles. He covered his eyes and waited only half a second before detonating the ball lightning. The sound filled his ears and he felt the concussive force fling debris in their general direction. Since he was leading the charge he caught most of it with his leather jacket. He made it through with a few small cuts on his hands which shielded his face. He created another ball lighting to illuminate the path ahead. It was indeed clear of obstacles with a small crater. The two trees were launched opposite directions by the force of the explosion.

“Keep moving!” Owen yelled as he continued to lead the way out. They finally arrived to where Jake was trying to free himself from the earth that had swallowed him. Owen was glad to see that he had made it because they needed all hands on deck to deal with their enemies or more falling trees. What did the Goddess do to the land? Owen collapsed in order to catch his breath. His left arm had blood flowing from under the sleeve of his left arm where he was struck by the falling tree. It’s a good thing Eri is a summoner like I thought she was. Wait… She used a user trick to slice that tree open… And Jake has no control over that earth absorption ability… Did she … somehow give us… new abilities? Owen couldn’t believe the solution that his logical mind had come up with. It was impossible for people to get a new ability they just had the one they were born with. He didn’t care if his next question betrayed how logical his mind was. He needed to know. If I gained a regeneration ability I could be dead in a few minutes because of my illness. My disease could replicate incredibly fast cutting down my year to minutes.

Owen stood up and walked over to Tsume and stood a few feet in front of him with a serious look on his face. He thought about how he was going to phrase his next question.

“Did the Goddess… give us a new ability? Was it at the cost of all living things around us?” Owen didn’t care if it was to direct he needed to know right now if he could be facing his last moments.

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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Digital Muse on Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:05 pm

Raewyn clung to Arashi’s neck feathers and squeezed her eyes shut when he took to the air high above the forest canopy. She held her breath for so long in pure terror, that lights started flashing behind her lids. Finally, when she dragged air into her lungs it was only long enough to scream. Suddenly, the Summoned Eagle’s voice came to her ; “Are you doing okay, Miss Raewyn? I can assure you that you are perfectly safe with me.”

Arashi leveled out smoothly trying to radiate a calm serenity to the goddess. A few quick, terrifying peeks down quickly cured Raewyn of her curiosity. Instead, she squeezed her eyes shut once more and nodded. “I-I think so. What happened? What’s going on?” She shook her head as if to clear it. “I feel so…powerful and strong and….what is happening to me?”

Arashi had no real answers, but he could make an educated guess. Somehow the goddess had drained all the essence within the area to the point that the others all gained new abilities. But, at what cost? Everything for as far as he could see was dead and turning to dust. It was appalling and terrifying. There was so much power within this child on his back and so little control. His thoughts were interrupted when he saw a huge tree falling directly toward Eri. “Mistress!” He called to her in warning. But luckily Owen was close enough to dash the tree to bits before it struck.

He followed the rough path of the Gollum-thing that Jake had become as he plowed his way through the forest, making a path for the others to follow. It was clear from the way he struggled and shouted that the mud that covered him was a shock and not an entirely welcome new development cause by the Goddess’ gift. More evidence of his logical conclusion of what had happened showed in Loki’s ability to fly and Eri’s control of wind.

As the group managed to clear the dying forest, Arashi spiraled in lazily to touch down lightly off to one side of the clearing where Jake was busy trying repel the earthen armor he’d unwittingly gained. “Miss Raewyn, I believe we are out of immediate danger. He crouched slightly to make it easier for the goddess to alight from his shoulders. Raewyn finally peeked now that they wind was no longer rushing past her ears. Finding herself blessedly on the ground once more, she slid from Arashi’s back and stared blankly at the dead trees which leaned against one another drunkenly and continued to decay before her very eyes. “Oh…oh…” She was stunned by the destruction, not having any idea what had just happened.

Her eyes then sought out the others, Jake first. His hollering was impossible to ignore. Was he being attacked? Had the death of the forest been an attack? What had happened? She just couldn’t fathom anything. She then remembered her dream; remembered the alluring voice and presence of Maeve. She heard again Maeve’s warning and instructions to try to find Rayne. Marinik had given her a choice to come or not, offered his help. Tsume had ordered her around. Everyone else had yelled at her…well…everyone except Loki. Tsume had attacked first…just like Maeve had said. Raewyn’s brow furrowed in deep suspicion. Was she among the enemy or…true allies?


Last edited by Digital Muse on Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Loki on Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:56 pm

Loki was awakened with a jolt by the odd sensation of energy surging over the surface of his skin. His initial thought was that they had been discovered and attacked in their sleep, but was surprised by the sudden flood of knowledge that rushed into his mind. It wasn’t at all like being told how to maintain flight, more like it was inherited information that came as naturally as learning how to walk. In response, the tendrils of light unraveled themselves from his frame and began weaving and melding into one another until they had formed two large pure white wings that only had the slightest glowing aura about them.

The rest of the world was toned out as Loki marveled at his new wings that flexed and moved as naturally as his own arms. Reaching out, he touched them and realized that they actually had a texture and weight about them as though they were actual feathers rather than focused Essence. Acting out of curiosity, Loki plucked one of the feathers and felt a twinge of pain as though he had just pulled hair from his head. The freed feather gradually lost its gentle glow, but remained in existence despite it being cut off from its source of Essence.

There was so much more he wanted to do to explore his new appendages, but his wonder was distracted by Tsume’s words. Only then did Loki look at the land around him and realized that it was rapidly decaying. Finally, there was an opportunity for Loki to carry some of the group’s burden. Literally.

”I can take care of the packs.”

Loki stretched his wings and was excited at the prospect of being able to fly, even with the extra weight of a few packs. Once he had all of the packs, he raised his wings and swept them down in a motion that jolted him up towards the sky. Despite his burden, flight wasn’t too difficult to maintain and he watched as the others works their way through the dead forest wishing he could do more to help.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Tsume struggled his way into the falling forest, lacking an ability that would provide him aid in deflecting or destroying the dead trees. The ordeal was made all the more difficult because the loosening ground inhibited his movements, slowing his darting and dodging to a significant degree. With another dampened leap, the monk narrowly avoided being crushed by a tree that was easily the width of two men. Although he managed to avoid it’s crushing mass, the splintered stub of a broken branch caught his leg and left behind several shallow cuts that allowed blood to slowly seep through the wound. Tsume gritted his teeth in response out of frustration rather than pain.

If it wasn’t for this damned sand, I would have little trouble with this otherwise simple obstacle course!

There was a loud crack above the monk and his instincts told him to dive rather than seek the source. Without hesitation, Tsume leapt forward with all of his might and found himself going much further than he had expected he would and noticed that the ground beneath his feet did not give way this time. It was most fortunate, because even with the extra distance a broad and heavy branch landed where he stood, missing him only by half of a foot. It was such a close margin that he would have been pinned in place had the ground given way as it did countless times before. Tsume became aware that the ground beneath his feet was much sturdier that it had been moments before and realized that he stood upon two flat stones just a little larger than each foot that was no higher than the sand around it.

One of the stones dissolved into sand the instant Tsume removed his foot from its surface only to reappear when it returned to the surface of the ground. There was another loud crack that distracted Tsume from his observations as he easily avoided yet another falling tree. No matter where he stepped upon the earth, these stones would always form beneath his feet making his stance and movements much more confident. This allowed the monk to escape the dying land without incident now that his footing didn’t hamper his agility. He was relieved to see the others had made it out relatively unharmed if not winded. Loki was still flying several yards in the distance heading towards the group, slowed by his burden.

“Did the Goddess… give us a new ability? Was it at the cost of all living things around us?”

Tsume looked at Raewyn, his expression gentle and acquitting.

“Yes. All Goddesses are capable of drawing in the Essence that surrounds them, though this is the first time I’ve ever witnessed it. Do not be harsh with her because of it. She was asleep the entire time and it couldn’t have been done intentionally. In all likelihood she wasn’t even aware ---”

The monk became distracted by a short yelp from above and his gaze snapped to Loki in time to see him struggling to maintain flight.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Loki was beginning to feel the distance and load begin to take its toll as exhaustion set in, but he could see the small group ahead of him and felt confident he could make the rest of the short distance. By now, most of the land had folded in on itself; even the fallen trees began splintering and dissolving much like the earth did. Upon that realization, his instincts cried out to him that the lack of cover placed him in a dangerous situation.

No sooner had he thought that than a pulse of green light raced towards him from the tree line about four-hundred yards away from the groups position. Loki didn’t have enough time to react as the shot caught the calf of his left leg and carried through to clip his right wing. A cry escaped his lips as his vision blurred from both pain and tears as his concentration began to falter. After a few panicked flaps of his wings, Loki’s strength gave way under his burden and he fell towards the ground, slowed only slightly by the drag of his wings.

By that time, he had passed the dead land and fell through living branches that snapped and crackled as he crashed through them just a short way from his group. A phantom of white light flashed on the inside of his eyelids as he hit the ground hard. The packs provided enough cushion to his landing to prevent any serious injuries, but the wind had been knocked out of him and he felt a dull throb in his head from being jostled so violently. He could feel himself trembling with fear. He had been shot, injured, and was now vulnerable as his attackers were undoubtedly gaining ground.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

Post by Silvan Arrow on Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:51 am

“Eri! Falling tree at six o’clock!”

“Don’t move Eri!”

Mistress!

Jake and James’ shouts caught her off guard, but Arashi’s panicked cry froze her in place. She turned her head to see a large tree falling directly toward her, and she didn’t have enough time to get out of the way. Before it could crush her, a strange jolt of lightning struck the tree, its illumination blinding her and forcing her to cross her arms in front of her face to shield her eyes. As the light faded, two cleanly sliced halves of the tree fell harmlessly to either side of her to reveal James, his left hand held in front of him like a pistol. He cried out in pain as part of the tree struck his outstretched his arm, further compounding Eri’s surprise. ‘He saved me…at the expense of his own injury…’

The gravity of their situation forced her to turn her back on her injured rescuer and keep moving. Jake ran in front of the group, plowing through the dead and dying trees in his strange golem armor like they were twigs. ‘Sheesh…things just keep getting weirder.’ Her own steps were clumsy and stilted due to the ground giving way under her feet almost like quicksand. Beside her, Tsume was experiencing similar difficulties. Somehow James got between her and Jake, using floating balls of lightning to light their path. “Cover your eyes!” he ordered. Eri shielded her eyes with one arm as he detonated one of the lightning balls to blow away two falling trees that would have blocked their escape. “Keep moving!”

As they neared the outskirts of the dying land, Tsume pulled ahead of Eri and dived underneath a falling tree that nearly crushed him. She jumped over the obstacle, propelling herself forward with one foot on its trunk, and caught up with the others in a clearing that was unaffected by the sudden loss of Essence. The first sight to catch her attention was Jake on his back, limbs waving in the air like a flipped turtle while he tried to forcibly rip his earth armor from his body. Loud curses accompanied each failed attempt as the armor kept disappearing and re-forming. Eri clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle a giggle. Yes, a giggle. Not even stoic, no-nonsense Eri could ignore the humor in seeing the man who couldn’t resist a sarcastic jab at her flailing around on the ground like a turtle and cursing up a storm.

Eri tried to cover up her lapse in decorum with a cough, and luckily Arashi took that opportunity to make his entrance. He made a slow descent, mindful of his young passenger, and touched down gently a few yards from the still flailing Jake. Raewyn slid shakily from Arashi’s back as Eri dismissed Gale Cleaver and hurried over to her summon partner. She cradled Arashi’s face in her hands, and he cooed contently and circled her with his wings almost like an embrace. ‘You frightened me, Mistress. I’m relieved you are safe.’ Through their physical and mental link, their thoughts from the past few minutes flowed freely to the other, so Eri got the run-down on what Arashi and Raewyn had discussed about her new powers. Before she could ask any other questions, Arashi lifted his head and folded his wings to peer curiously at Jake’s unusual situation. Cocking his head to one side, he asked, ‘What in the name of the Goddess happened to him?

The Goddess happened, apparently…’ Eri replied.

Arashi gave her a knowing, almost teasing look. ‘So that’s what you found so humorous a minute ago.

Eri turned her head away to hide the embarrassed blush on her cheeks. ‘Consider it payback for all his idiotic remarks…’ She turned her attention to the other members of the group. Tsume was sporting several gashes in his leg, while James clutched his left arm from where the tree had struck him…the one that should have hit her. Eri felt rather self-conscious. She and Raewyn were the only ones that weren’t injured or otherwise incapacitated at this point – she didn’t know how Loki was doing, as he was still airborne. She hesitantly moved over to James and said quietly, “Thank you…for saving me from that tree. I’m sorry you were hurt at my expense.” She wasn’t used to thanking people for their heroism or apologizing for what she considered her own carelessness. At the very least, James had earned a good deal of Eri’s respect tonight.

While Tsume was explaining what had happened with Raewyn drawing in the Essence and giving them new powers, a pained cry from above drew everyone’s attention. Loki crashed through the living branches in the forest canopy and landed roughly on top of the packs he had been carrying, his wings flailing in every which direction. Blood flowed from a gunshot wound in his left calf, while his right wing also seemed to have taken damage. Arashi screeched in alarm at the same time Eri cried Loki’s name in shock. An odd mixture of feelings surged through her – alarm at the prospect that their enemies were close, outrage at what they had done, and a sense of…protectiveness? Eri had promised to train Loki, so now she felt somewhat responsible for her new “student.” She knelt next to Loki and carefully slipped an arm under his shoulders, mindful of his wings, to help him sit upright. “Easy…take it slowly…” She turned her head to the other group members. “Whoever did this undoubtedly knows our position and will be here any minute. Do we fight or retreat?” She searched their faces with a piercing gaze, awaiting an answer as her free hand drifted unbidden to her sword hilt.
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Re: Viemera: The Essence of Deceit [Complete]

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