Recent Statuses

7 mos ago
Current The world is full of obvious things.


Current GM of World of Light. When it comes to writing, there's nothing I love more than imagination, engagement, and commitment. I'm always open to talk, suggestion, criticism, and collaboration. While I try to be as obliging, helpful, and courteous as possible, I have very little sympathy for ghosts, and anyone who'd like to string me along. Straightforwardness is all I ask for.

Looking for more personal details? I'm just some dude from the American south; software development is my job but games, writing, and helping others enjoy life are great joys. Been RPing for over a decade, so I know a thing or two, though I won't pretend to be an expert. Ready for some fun? Let's make something spectacular together.

Like my words? Maybe you'll like my pictures. I'm pretty new, but I hear the exchange rate's good.

Most Recent Posts

Considering the update is tomorrow,, it may be a little late to start a new collab, but by all means have Frog talk to whoever you feel like and the targets can respond in their next posts.
@Lugubrious I definitely will, as I'm feeling less stressed out. Anyways could you or (if you don't have time) someone else summarize what has happened thus far?

Well, the naval battle ended and we went to the Luma Pools. Yellow Team went through a crazy sandstorm tornado vortex, then reached Al Mamoon. For further details I would recommend reading, as it's quality stuff.
@Lugubrious Good news, I'm back and my life is less hectic.

That's good to hear! I hope you'll enjoy your time back with us.
I also like Jojo, and I'll say that's a novel premise for a Jojo RP. That synopsis looks like it's setting up a battle royale in an almost Death Stranding-esque situation.
I just needed to get the this off of my chest. Sheet formed because babby.

It'll be a bit before this sheet can be used, but it seems alright to me.
Ms Fortune

Level 4 Nadia (11/40)
Location: Luma Pools
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Sakura's @Zoey Boey, Frog's @Dark Cloud, Mirage’s @Potemking, Mr. L’s @ModeGone
Word Count:

As Nadia chilled, she tuned out the noise in the background bit by bit, until the argumentative chatter between Mr. L and Bowser rose no louder than the buzz of bees, and the report of naval armaments in the distance could be mistaken for, faraway thunder, the sort that heralded a soothing summer storm. A dragonfly hovered by her, close enough to make her ear twitch, but she did not stir from her reverie. Like soap, peace and company had dislodged the muck of war that clung to her, and now a thorough rinse let it seep away. Maybe it was just the juxtaposition to the nightmarish battlefield the heroes escaped, but this place truly seemed like a paradise.

Still, nothing gold could stay. All too soon the water grew too cool against her skin, and with a sigh Nadia pulled herself from the lake. She stretched herself out by where she laid her belt of pouches and soaked up the sun, watching Link dart around beneath the water’s surface. With those new changes he could really move, and even though she sported some extra mobility herself, she found herself impressed when he managed to leverage it to catch fish through virtue of speed alone. He managed to snare quite the selection of bizarre yet edible specimens. How he carried them all she couldn’t see--only blue flashes now and again after brief chases. At one point he went deeper than before, until Nadia couldn’t make out any details through the distortion except a roughly conical dark mass.

Link’s patience paid off; after a few moments of waiting the pressure inside the formation came once again to a boiling point, and a torrent of superheated gas burst from its top. He was close enough to feel the force in his chest and a momentary jump in temperature, but nowhere near enough to suffer any injury. When the resulting pillar of bubbles died out, he zoomed close to prize the crystals from the formation’s grasp, then ascended.

He emerged to find Nadia on her knees at the edge of the lake, peering at him. “Phew, there you are! I only saw the bubbles so I thought somethin’ mighta happened, but I guess I shoulda known better.” When he brought up his loot for a better look, Nadia’s locked on. She leaned as far out over the water as she dared, eyes sparkling almost as bright as the gemstone. The crystal sulphides were gorgeous, brilliant green things stained in places with a rich turquoise. “Whoa,” the cat burglar breathed. “What a beaut! I betcha could sell those for thousands!” After a moment, she composed herself with a slight laugh. With no jeweler around she knew she ought to curb her enthusiasm. She extended Link a hand to help him out of the lake“Ahem. That said, your fish are more important right now. Need a hand?” She stood and took off one forearm, which she reached down toward Link to help him out of the lake with.

A moment later the two made their way back toward the others. Nadia stretched as she walked over, noting that she felt rather more limber than before, and opened her eyes to see a giant walking right toward her with arms full of freshly-cut firewood. She almost jumped, having forgotten for a moment about Geralt’s new upgrade, but calmed herself the next moment. Gonna take me a minute to get used to that. He’d taken care of his hair just as she suggested, and didn’t seem to mind the new claws either, so everything seemed fine. In no time the Witcher had a fire going. “Ooh, nice. I’ve fried a fish or two in my time. Better let me try a bite of each one first, in case they’re poisonous or somethin’.” She was only half serious, but would certainly not object if others saw the wisdom in her joke.

“I’m doing fine,” Peach told Rika. “Inland...well, it’s hard to really summarize. The land is so varied. Some if it’s pretty rough, but it can be very nice, super pretty, basically everything. I guess what I mean is, compared to the ocean, where everything’s the same no matter where you go, you never know what you’ll get on land.”

While the others spoke and made their preparations, Peach, Sakura, and Rika had ventured off into the enchanting forest. Bella wanted to come too, but was still too weak on land to avoid being a burden, so she wished the others good luck in their search for extra food. The schoolgirl’s bag, however, turned out to be quite insufficient for what they found.

After pushing through some plantlife and hopping over narrow streams, Peach noticed a blue glow from the top of a pink grass knoll that overlooked what appeared to be a little shrine. A quick descent brought the trio to the edge of another pool. Peach narrowed her eyes. “Well, we could go around, or try swimming, or...wait.” Embarrassed, she stepped out onto the water, and of course floated on its surface. “...Right.” She led the way onto the pond, trying to reconsider the way she looked at the area. Now that she could move across water, rivers and ponds weren’t obstacles, but roads. With that in mind the three moved easily across the winding waterways, and in less than a minute rounded a river bend to a second lake, its elevation lower than the first, where they could clearly see the source of the glow.

A few hundred feet ahead lay a little floating island, and in it stood a twisted tree. Its leaves beamed a brilliant, pure white, and in the atmosphere of the Luma Pools the entire area shone a glorious azure. Peach had the thought that it seemed like a blessed place, and when her eyes wandered from the landmark she found only more evidence to back up her theory. Floating in the water on the other side of the lake, between a couple of sandbars, were a pair of unreasonably huge fruits.

The enormous pineapple and watermelon halves were a fantastical sight, but it was recognition rather than wonder that took hold of Peach. “Oh...oh! I remember these, I think. We played Mario Party here, a long time ago. Well, not here. Just on that fruit.” She glanced at the others with one half-lidded eye, anticipating that they thought she was weird. “Um. Well, I guess we’ve found what we need. Let’s carry back what we can.” Luckily for the three portions of the fruits already appeared to be carved into blocks, albeit a little bigger than Peach herself could carry. She worked to break a hunk of pineapple down to a more manageable size with her new fan.

Mirage, meanwhile, took a different route. He returned to where his simian companion from before still lounged, the ape’s bananas long since finished, to request Lanky’s aid. Although common sense would have laughed at the scene of a man talking to an orangutan as though the animal could understand him, Elliot’s impulse proved to be well-founded. Obligingly, Lanky stretched out one of his long arms toward the northwest, where the other river out of the lake flowed. He declined to move from his comfortable position himself, but should Elliot follow the graceless ape’s direction, he would stumble upon a banana tree grove about a half-mile upriver, situated on a branch from the main river that any travelers would have been unlikely to see from their ships. Predictably the grove featured its fair share of animals, the most bizarre of which appeared to be a cross between a banana split and a giant water bug that just would not stop saying ‘Scoopy Banoopy’. That particular specimen did not shy away from a fight, and possessed a chilling touch that made the other creatures stay away from it. Still, so long as he didn’t get into trouble the gunman could gather the bunches he desired.

By the time the searchers returned with their bounty, they found a cozy little fish fry in progress. Makeshift kebabs and the Cadet’s spit made the process quite practical. More than that, the gathering possessed a renewed atmosphere. Nadia herself was in high spirits, thanks to her time spent relaxing, the anticipation of a good meal, and the Cadet’s much-appreciated punniness. Anyone not just willing to indulge her but also respond in kind was more than okay in her book, and now he’d gone and shown off some serious survival skills, too! He even went out of his way to comfort Shippy too, which left Nadia feeling a little guilty she hadn’t tried. It seemed to work, with the living vessel content to trust in the possibility of her captain being rescued. As it turned out she didn’t need to eat either, so things seemed more or less sorted on that front.

The feral’s brows shot up when Peach arrived with a piece of pineapple as big as a barrel, but only for a moment. “You know, I’m not even surprised any more. Hang on a minute, I’ll grab something to put it on.” She ran over to a nearby tree to tear free another couple giant, vivid leaves. A quick dip in the lake cleaned up the leaves, and then she arranged them on the ground to provide somewhere to set the fruit. “Ooh, let’s roast the pineapple too! It’ll be super flavorful.”

As the food got cooking, a tantalizing smell filled the air. Whatever they’d been through, they were still alive, and if that wasn’t cause enough to enjoy a feast, Nadia didn’t know what was. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until that aroma hit her, which left her wondering exactly what time it was. She’d lost track of time in the fight and the canopy made it difficult to see the sun, but Nadia guessed it was about midday. A perfect time for lunch, especially with friends. “Well,” she began, happy to set the mood for everyone. “‘Water’ we waiting for? Let’s dig in!”

Morshu didn’t take his customer’s lack of affiliation with Harkinian too hard, figuring it had been a long shot anyway, but instead listened to what she did have to say with a passing interest. Different times, legendary heroes...all a bit high-minded for a simple shopkeeper, he felt. All the same the mention of a town called Lumbridge tickled his ears, since more settlements meant more prospective business, and until today the wintry village called Snowdin was all he’d known. Still, neither Morshu nor his client favored chit-chat, so the girl sorted through his wares while he stared off into space, bored.

Luckily for him someone else strolled in while Linkle rummaged around, a reptile in a yellow coat. Carrying a patchy maroon sack about as big as he was, the newcomer exchanged a wave with the shopkeeper as he waltzed right up to the counter. “Mornin’, Mr. Morshu. Got any room on those shelves for new weapons?”

“Afraid not, Sal,” the ponderous man sighed, with the air of one who said it often. “Demand is low, so mine is too. Nobody needs weapons, but if you want to sit down, feel free.”

Sal shrugged. “Ah well. Thanks as always.” The disappointed arms dealer made his way to a rug not far from the door and put down his sack, then laid himself down on it like a beanbag chair.

At about that time Linkle returned to Morshu with a question. “Lamp oil? Certainly!” he replied with gusto. “My featured product, the first I always mention. Nobody’s got it in store but me, but don’t think I price it too high! Every drop is of, mmmmm, delectably high purity, guaranteed to last. And my wrapping paper is a best-seller, very affordable, here!” He presented Linkle the rolls and accepted her rubees in return. When she inquired about paper money, he rubbed his chin. “Hmm, those greenish notes? I think I just might. It’s all a few town residents have, so we trade using it from time to time.” He turned and left for a moment. There came the sound of clanking and jingling from the back room, and after a short while he returned with three dollar bills in hand. “This what you wanted?” With a smile he completed the exchanges. “Pleasure doing business with you! Come again!”

Edge of the Blue - Atlantis Temple


Happy to leave Froggy Diver and its hideous depths behind, and hoping for no more unpleasant surprises, Sephiroth made for the next diversion. A look at her stamp card confirmed that she’d managed to fill up two out of the seven rows, indicating the presence of five more big-name attractions before the coveted platinum prize was hers. The listings on the card after ‘Froggy Diver’ and ‘Paddleboat Palooza’ provided her with clues for the rest: Floating Follies, Crazy Slides, Jump Club, Roll Out, and Making Waves. For a mind that prized efficiency, of course, there was nothing to do but head to the nearest untouched pool.

This next one was much larger than the last, and hexagonal in shape. From its corners rose tall, inflatable orange pylons, and they surrounded a rubbery donut-shaped platform elevated a good dozen feet above the water’s surface. From the center of the donut rose an axle with thick, padded arms attached, and when Sephiroth arrived the great clubs were already in motion. Everyone was hard at work jumping, ducking, diving, and dodging, all made a little more difficult by the bulbous, inflatable gloves and boots that seemed mandatory. The green spun far faster than the double-sided pink one, forcing the guests to both time their jumps and do it quickly to avoid being batted off. Anyone who timed or positioned themselves poorly might happen to find the green and pink arms aligned, presenting an unbeatable wall. Before the newcomer’s eyes that exact unlucky circumstance claimed another victim, sending a young woman with a great reddish-purple braid plummeted downward into the drink.

A few moments of frantic running and jumping later, the current round came to an abrupt end. One boy got flung by the green bar and smacked a friend along the way, sending both into the pool and leaving a sole survivor, who celebrated with an unusual dance move. “Oh yeah! Who’s the man?!” The platform started to lower, signalling the end of the game. Before jumping in himself, however, he waited for the bar to come around one last time. He leaped just before it hit and twisted midair to snatch a Sand Dollar that was stuck to the bar’s end, then hit the water with a splash.

“Alright, come over and get stamped!” the snail attendant called, beckoning the soaked participants over. With a practiced hand he took care of all the cards in just a few moments, then turned to the next bunch -including Sephiroth- to give them a quick rundown. “Okay, welcome to Jump Club! Here are your floats, put ‘em on. The rules are simple: don’t get knocked off, and while you can push and shove a little with your floats, don’t try anything funny. Sound like a plan?”

Once everyone swam or jumped to the platform, a cranked level elevated the platform back to its full height. Sephiroth got a good look at her eight opponents, which included the white-haired man from earlier, as well as a purple-haired woman with horns, a burly dwarf, an girl cheered on by little dragons, and four very blocky people. A horn sounded out, and the clubs began to spin.
Tora & Poppi

Level 8 Tora (80/80) and Level 8 Poppi (53/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Hollow Heights
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound, Laharl’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1721

Nothing relieved Tora more than finding out that his choice garnered no blowback, and he felt an instant wave of gratitude for the votes of approval from Fox, Red and Primrose, however vocal. For a moment it seemed like Sectonia was going to agree with Yoshitsune, and in so doing squander any rapport built up between her and Tora that morning, but instead the insect queen took a different tact.

Tora watched, intrigued, as she summoned a crystal followed by a pack of underlings. The former would serve as a waypoint, she declared, and the later as a disposable search team to take the risks that level heads had deemed ill advised. In one decisive strike she had struck a compromise between the opposing viewpoints. “Ah!” Tora exclaimed when she was done, flapping his wings in excitement. “Sectonia is genius! Thank you!” At the same time Poppi, just as pleased as her Masterpon that a dangerous party split would no longer be necessary, showed her appreciation with a bow.

When Yoshitsune asked the Thieves if they could provide some help of their own, Skull answered for all of them. “Nah, that won’t fly. Our Personas can’t separate from us. We’re kinda like a package deal.” Necronomicon stood out as the exception, since her own user was nowhere to be found, but it had already been made clear how she would fare inside the storm.

Extra help ended up coming from Midna instead, who lent her own minions to the cause to further solidify the plan, and after that everything seemed to be sorted. While the two royals hashed out the last few details, including reiteration of the point that Sectonia’s antlions needed neither food nor water, the rest of the party returned to the train. Mixed feelings about the situation remained, but for the most part everyone could be confident in the knowledge that they were doing all they reasonably could, without risking their own necks. Out of everyone the chocolate neopets seemed perhaps the most relieved; neither had failed to realize that the blame for the heroes’ lost comrades could be heaped on them, and considering that neither Gnorbu nor Ruki possessed any strength of their own, they feared what their passengers might do if they felt angry enough to take it out on them. After just a few moments the two got the train fired up once more, and Gnorbu called out, “All aboard!”

Though the harrowing experience over Hollow Heights made him think twice about the middle train car, Tora couldn’t imagine a second sandstorm appearing to assail the group, and even if it did he and Poppi would be better prepared this time. Besides, it would probably be cramped in there. So he and Poppi returned to the second car to climb atop the honeypot once again, while the Thieves piled inside. Braum took a seat on the pie-slice caboose, his icy shield a comfortable shelter against the late morning sun. As the heat beat down on Tora, however, he came up with his own plan. “Poppi, please keep Tora cool with ice core,” he requested, to which his companion gave a nod. Converting a small amount of her ether to cold over time would still allow her to recuperate her reserves after her time in the cyclone. Just a short time after the all-call went out, Parnasse Express was ready to roll. It lurched once, creaking a little from the sand lodged into its innards, then chugged into full motion. It took just a few moments to catch up with Fox, and with him back on board it was full steam ahead.

The remainder of the ride to Yellow Team’s destination proved to be about as interesting as the first. Every now and then a distant landmark appeared for the train passengers to peer at and wonder about, but otherwise the locomotive just rattled onward through the vast, barren waste. From their perch atop the honeypot Tora and Poppi were vigilant lookouts, but as the miles slid by neither detected any more danger laying in wait among the wildly varying elevations or branching railway paths. They did see desert ruins poking out here and there, some fairly impressive, some suggestive of far greater destruction. One ancient edifice featured a boxy vehicle nearby that would have impressively large if not for the pair’s exposure to Vah Naboris yesterday. Strange creatures could be glimpsed here and there, all engaged in their endless search for food and water.

After a good while the train took a small detour from the otherwise more or less straight line across the desert toward a high, lonely mesa shrouded in mist, so tall that snow and ice blanketed its top, and at the mesa’s feet lay an oasis. And still, one look to the north was all it took to confirm that the split mountain put this plateau to shame. In the middle of the oasis the train came to a brief stop so that everyone could refill their water. Tora took the chance both to splash some of the refreshing glacial runoff into his face and bask in the majestic monolith’s shade. The camels spotted in the vicinity, whether Dromedary and Bactrian, gave the railway a very wide berth, and Tora felt no urge to disturb them. Instead he fixated on the white, utterly round birds that hung around the oasis in small groups. He approached one slowly, and to his delight the creature bobbed right over to be pet. As Tora cooed over it, Gnorbu explained, “This is Sherbert Pools. Fresh water flows all the way down from Freezeezy Peak. Since the city’s built on an oasis, Sherbert Pools isn’t a super popular excursion, but it’s free so we always stop here to fill up.”

Panther looked around, her hands on her hips. “This is nice and all, this isn’t a tour. Are there any other stops we should be aware of?” she asked him.

“Oh, no,” Gnorbu told her. “This is the last one before the city, I swear. Just a little pit stop after that nasty storm to refresh. And the Downy Crakes here are all very friendly, as you can see.”

In fact, one particularly friendly crake had seated itself on Tora’s head, making a nest of his mohawk. It was tough for Poppi to hide her smile, but she tugged on Tora’s shoulder gently. “We’re not here on vacation, Masterpon. Everyone else waiting, let’s go.”

“Aww…” Tora looked crestfallen, but he hurried back to the train nevertheless. His new Crake friend did not seem inclined to leave, however, so Tora happily took it with him as the train got rolling once again. “So soft!” he sang as he stroked the little bird’s feathers. “Tora name him Pufi.”

He continued to lavish attention on his new pet as the train made its way across the final stretch. Compared to the previous chapters of the journey this one passed with merciful speed, and it wasn’t that long before they could see the red bricks and blue-green domes of a fortress city rising from the desert sands amid scattered greenery. Like a farm animal hurrying to its barn at nighttime the Parnasse Express raced through the last few miles of wasteland, until the main gates towered above them in all their glory. Its ramparts almost resembled two colossal milk jars, and were adorned with both enormous horns and a glittering golden bell. Together they heralded a city of riches, power, and just a little bit of whimsy. Gnorbu’s intercom crackled to life once more. “Welcome, my friends, to the Court of the Cowlipha, the jewel of the desert. Al Mamoon!”

The train hooked a left and entered the city from the side, sliding into a shady station. Ruki steered the train to a stop in a small corner of the facility, well out of the way of the larger and more important locomotives. Gnorbu hopped down from the engine and turned to face the heroes. “This is as far as our train can take you, but I’m happy to show you around the city,” Gnorbu told them as the Express let off some steam.

Tora jumped down, bounced once, and came to a stop. For a moment he’d been practically dumbfounded by this place, and only just figured out why. It was just so normal. Sure, the architecture was foreign to him, and he didn’t know any of the people minding their own business in the station, but he compared it to where he’d been so far. An isolated castle with an idle princess, a podunk medieval town in a regenerating land, a bizarrely futuristic fighting facility, ruins, a village made from candy...compared to that, this place was downright ordinary. He could see through the station’s grand entryway arch into the city, and he got a good view of marketplace stalls, haggling, stern-faced guards, chatty housewives, beasts of burden, and much more. This was a place with laws, an economy, citizens that had jobs and responsibilities and worked for a living, public infrastructure! Its bustle and atmosphere rather reminded him of Alba Cavanich, although charming rather than industrial. In a way the reality of it all intimidated him, and he found himself glad that Gnorbu volunteered himself as a guide.

It was a lot for Poppi to take in at once too, but the artificial blade kept her head on straight. She strode through the station and out into the sunlight that shone down on the thoroughfare. Ahead lay a splendid palace, but behind the city loomed the split mountain, closer and taller than ever. “So,” she began, processing aloud. “Friends need to find what lay ahead. What between here and mountain, what on mountain, so on. Everything between us and top.” She pointed a finger at the peak. “Second is find way to get there.” She put her hands on her hips just like Panther had done earlier, trying to look determined.

Her statement brought a chuckle out of Tora as he patted Pufi, since it made everything sound easy, but just as with everything on this adventure so far he assumed it would be easier said than done. With a final stroke he returned his new pet to his shoulder and rested his wings. “So, where start?”

Ms Fortune

Level 3 Nadia (26/30)
Location: Luma Pools
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Sakura's @Zoey Boey, Frog's @Dark Cloud, Mirage’s @Potemking, Mr. L’s @ModeGone
Word Count: 1175

As she tried to make out who it was that now splashed furiously around in the lake, Nadia almost didn’t register that the strange sea serpent now bore down on the new arrival with nebulous intent. When she did, helped a little by Blazermate’s questions, her eyebrows shot up. “Oh. That’s not great, huh?” She took a step toward the water only to remember that she left her rigging on the ship. Sure, she could just swim over, and a peaceful dip did sound nice, but that would just leave her in the same exact situation as the stranger: at the sharp-eyed creature’s mercy. That didn’t apply to Link, however, and the boy jumped right in. Nadia watched him make his way through the water, pausing only when he noticed the crystal-dotted outcrop sitting at the lowest point of the lakebed.

Bowser, meanwhile, seemed to recognize the newcomer at least a little, and while Nadia pondered her options he stepped forward with a plan in mind. His new rigging unfurled, the sight of which certainly took Nadia by surprise, and then aimed such a comical overabundance of cannons at the beast that the feral couldn’t help but wince as took a tentative step back. “Oof, doncha think that’s a little, uh...overkill?” She looked back to see that the Ukazeer had turned its attention to Link as he made a scene. Her gaze followed him as he tried to lead her away, but in so doing she happened to see the larger, showier creature that had presented itself, and she rounded on Bowser with a hiss. Rather blast the beast to kingdom come, however, Bowser sprayed it with jets of water. Instinctively his target averted her face from the stream, but she neither scurried like a wet cat nor pounced like a poked tiger. Instead the Ukazeer, evidently a reptile that loved the water, merely enjoyed the unexpected wash. Since by that time Mr. L was far enough to rouse neither her alarm nor curiosity and longer, she allowed herself to drift back toward her offspring, and as Bowser’s hosing tapered off the two creatures headed for the far side of the lake.

Nadia let out her breath, happy that things seemed to work out peacefully for a change. After so much slaughter it was a welcome change of pace, and it would have been a shame so destroy such a cool-looking creature anyway, let alone one with a child. “Good on ya, turtle man,” she told the kingly koopa. Peach crouched at the side of the lake to lend L a hand getting out of the water, neither of them burdened by recognition of the other. As such Nadia’s attention returned to the stranger, since she’d heard the name ‘Bottomless Sea’ tossed around and he might know something, but he seemed more interested in rekindling his chat with Bowser so she turned her attention elsewhere.

Geralt, whose sodden attire suggested that he could still use a towel, had accosted the Cadet. When he threw Nadia a complement she responded in kind, albeit with a little cheek. “Thanks, Uncle G! You weren’t so bad yourself. Gives ‘flip the bird’ a whole new meaning!” Rather than give her the chance to come up with a decent pun, however, the Witcher asked the Cadet for the spirit of the Harbor Demon. Nadia tried to picture it. “Whoa, you’re down for that? Aren’t you afraid you’ll end up with enormous...” Arms already halfway up, she paused for a moment. “Uh...hands?” She side-eyed the spirit of the fallen Abyssal. Although she did not want to be either big or slow, which the Harbor Demon practically epitomized, she couldn’t help but feel as if she’d missed an opportunity. “I mean, your call. If it were me I wouldn’t, I mean, psh, quick ‘n nimble’s like my whole shtick, but you…” she trailed off weakly. Geralt, however, neither quibbled nor quavered, and accepted the Harbor Demon’s spirit into his heart.

The prismatic light’s evanescence left Nadia blinking, dazzled, but after she shook her head she found herself staring upward with mouth agape at a transformed Witcher. “Goodness...nyeow that’s what I call tall.” As best she could tell, Geralt stood at only a little less than double her height. Her ears just about reached the level of his belly button, and she needed to reach a little to bat at his waist-length hair. “Jeez, I’d slice it right off if this happened to me. Some hanging in front of my eye after I fused was annoying enough. ‘Hair today, gone tomorrow’, right gramps?”

She was pretty pleased with herself for that one, but as always it didn’t last, so she looked around again. She watched Bella wave back to Sakura, then Blazermate play with her horrific zombies, then finally settled on a sunny patch of riverbank. She just about said something like Oh, if we’re gonna be here another moment, I’m gonna take a load off!, but at the same time, everyone could just see her do it and they probably didn’t need the extra chatter. With that in mind she jogged over to the water’s edge and lowered herself in. “Ah…” she sighed as she felt the refreshing cool seep through her lower body, while her upper half soaked in the warm rays. Once she washed away the gunsmoke and tiny wood chips on her face she allowed her eyes to slide closed, and relaxed.

In the peaceful moments that followed Nadia remembered something important. Not just that she’d fused, but what it meant. She’d taken in the essence of a whole different person who’d lived her own whole life. But she didn’t really feel that different. No voice in her head, no foreign memories, no inner turmoil. In fact, beneath the battle scars, she felt fine. Nothing more than a sort of even-keeled placidity. When she glanced down at the water’s surface, she saw a familiar face, and it was her. She was surprised to realize that her clothes were even any different. Did she even act any different since fusing? Nadia couldn’t remember doing anything weird. At the very least, she hoped that the original her would have offered the others encouragement.

In the end, she really didn’t have much of an idea of who the girl she absorbed had been. Not even so much as her name. Just that she liked sports, went on dates, and was unafraid to fight and die for what she believed in. It was sad, in a way. Hopefully, she thought, This existence brings you some kind of honor, whoever you were. Since there was nowhere else to go with that line of thought, Nadia let herself drift away once more.

Meanwhile, Peach had walked a little further away from the lake to peer deeper into the forest. “Maybe we should try to collect some fruit for the road ahead,” she remarked to nobody in particular. If anywhere was going to have food for the taking, it would be a lush place like this.

Quite unable to discern the inner workings of Linkle’s mind as she considered the situation, Albedo followed her around as she sorted through the available clothes. Were he on his own he very well might have gone with the yellow behemoth he first sighted, since it would do the job and could be secured with his newly-gained funds. Yellow was also the color most associated with Geo, the element of his Vision, so it seemed fitting. That said, he knew his limits when it came to certain subjects, and if Linkle knew better he was more than willing to trust her judgment.

They looked over coat after coat, all under the rather bored scrutiny of Morshu. Rather than insert himself into his customers’ affairs to hawk some item or another he allowed them to go over the goods at their own pace, and it turned out to be a good thing he did. Together the archer and the alchemist examined mismatch after mismatch, until after a number of attempts Albedo’s new friend turned up a fine yet affordable piece of garb that exhibited no apparent flaws. It was comfortable, warm, and sufficiently stylish, though to Albedo that meant little more than ‘not ghastly’. “Yes, that should do nicely. I would not have ended up with this were I alone.” Above all it was affordable, and after he handed Morshu back a copious majority of his own rubees he found himself with just a handful remaining. “Here,” he said as he offered the little gems to Linkle. “Your find, after all. I’m sure he has something else you might want.”

“I should hope so!” The shopkeeper exclaimed. “I’ve got more odds and ends than half the monsters in town, combined! Surely something will catch your eye.”

Albedo pulled the winter coat on over his current jacket and fastened the belt over his chest. “I’ll get us a table at Grillby’s. Come by when you’re done.” With that he turned to go, and providing that Linkle did indeed feel like spending the remainder of her windfall, left his new friend with Morshu.”

Without a moment’s delay he gave a wide smile and rubbed his hands together. “So, anything you’re looking for? Or would you rather browse?” He paused for a moment, and for the first time seemed to notice her long ears sticking out behind her bang-braids, rather than just the floppy rabbit ears atop her head. “Oho! Pardon me, it’s been so long since I’ve laid eyes on a Hylian, I just about didn’t...mmmmm, recognize you!” He leaned forward on the counter, his tone turning confidential for a moment. “A sight for sore eyes, let me tell you! I was beginning to think I was totally on my own with the monsters out here.” Straightening back up, he adjusted his hat “I don’t suppose you bring news from King Harkinian?”

Edge of the Blue - Atlantis Temple


After managing to conquer the paddleboat game in a single attempt, Sephiroth set her sights on something a little more challenging. As it turned out, the very next pool over advertised its difficulty front and center on its sign. The snail in charge of Froggy Diver, as the attraction seemed to be called, was only too happy to explain the rules. “You’ve got five minutes to get as high a score as possible before surfacing! To do that, there are three things you gotta know,” he told the new group, which included Sephiroth. He stood in front of a diagram of the pool which took the shape of a very deep cylinder.

“But first, take these. You’ll need them.” For a moment the snail busied himself distributing masks as well as plastic bags to everyone, then held up a finger. “All along the walls are ledges with miniature treasure chests on them. Some just lie there, some under rocks, some as puzzle rewards. Every chest you grab and put in your bag will earn you points when you surface. The deeper you go, the better the chests are, and the best ones of all are lying on the bottom, around this hole!”

He pointed to a dark circle in the center of the pool floor, then held up a second finger. “There are also frogs swimming around in the tank. If you send one to the surface, you also get a point! However…” A third finger appeared, and the attendant’s voice took on a menacing quality. “There are also little water moose, so beware! They’ll try and grab the frogs and drag them through the hole, robbing you of points. If they grab you, they’ll drain the air from your mask, forcing you to return to the surface sooner, so make sure you push ‘em away when they come near.”

He spread his arms wide. “You might be asking yourself, how am I going to stay down there? Well, oxygen bubbles will be rising from the hole the entire time, which your mask can pick up for you. Split your time between earning points and getting air, avoiding moose all the while, and you’ll be just fine. And don’t mess with the other divers!” Two fingers came up on each hand as he wrapped up his explanation. “To earn all the stamps, you’ll need to do four things. First, just finish the challenge. Second, bring at least ten chests with you at the end. Third, save three frogs. Fourth, find a Sand Dollar.”

With a serious expression, he crossed his arms. “Now, the reason why this challenge is the hardest is not just because it’s physically demanding. You’re also competing for the same rewards with everyone else, but even that’s not it. The Sand Dollars are at the bottom, not of the cylinder, but the area below the cylinder, where all the moose hang out. Its dark and creepy, not for the faint of heart. So don’t feel bad about missing that one! You ready?”

The five guests set to partake in the attraction were both varying degrees of ready and varying degrees of paying attention. The white-haired man in a full-body suit listened with rapt attention, while a guy rocking sunglasses indoors seemed more relaxed. The blonde girl in seafoam-green and the muscular redhead seemed to know one another, but the ginger made no bones about his admiration of Sephiroth, to his friend’s express annoyance. “Hey, pay attention!” she whispered angrily to him. “We’re never going to be able to afford a way out of here if we don’t focus on earning stamps.”

With a shrug and an easy smile, the redhead snuck Sephiroth another glance. “Hey, maybe I just like it here, who knows.”

Everyone zeroed back in as the snail attendant raised his horn. “I’ll take it to mean you’re all ready! On your marks, get set…”

I think that's acceptable.
Kudos for all the effort put into the sheet. Now that I read the full application, several of the sections are glutted by the mention of his ability to consume others, although his actual listed Power is the claws. Even if a supernatural ability is really inherent to everything about the character, like Ms. Fortune's Life Gem, that's what the Power should be. Such important abilities can't just be mentioned offhandedly in other facets' descriptions, since that's including more than starter characters are allowed to have. After making, say, 'Blacklight Consumption' the Power, then that Power and its effect on fusion can be used to rack up different natural weapons over time, like gaining claws he can manifest after absorbing an enemy with claws.
Tora & Poppi

Level 8 Tora (77/80) and Level 8 Poppi (50/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Hollow Heights
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound, Laharl’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1093

Tora’s inner battle with questions of risk, duty, and logistics left him taken by surprise when Yoshitsune stepped forward. At the drop of a hat the swordsman not only made the choice to begin the search for the entire team but started barking out orders for how to do so. For a moment the Nopon was taken aback by his audacity, seeing as the man was a newcomer to this group that already had two leaders. He could only assume that this Yoshitsune was a man of extremely rigid principles and, considering how he nearly picked a fight with Red last night, pronounced rashness. But when the man tried to take charge of Poppi, however, and separate her from Tora to throw her into extreme danger, he lost the benefit of the doubt.

The Nopon’s brows furrowed as sputtered with rare anger, flapping his wings as he tried to collect his thoughts. “Meh, meh, meh! Not going happen!” Still not done, Yoshitsune announced that the storm couldn’t possibly claim anyone else as long as they were with other people, as well as his faith in the team--a team he met yesterday afternoon and shared only a couple scrapes with. Him kneeling down to condescend to Tora only served to salt the wound, and it certainly helped Tora find his voice.

He brushed Yoshitsune away with his wing and waddled back a step, full of indignance. “Meh!? H-how nincompoopypon have faith in team if not know first thing about it, and how boss Tora and Poppi around?”

Before he could say anything else Midna volunteered herself to go along with the plan. Although Tora didn’t disagree with the spirit of the search, since like samurai apparently heroes didn’t leave anyone behind, but it was the execution that concerned him. The Twilight Princess at least gave a thought to the would-be rescuers’ safety, but it seemed like she underestimated the danger at hand. Midna going made even less sense than Poppi, and he wasn’t going to wait any longer to explain why.

He cut in without letting anyone answer Midna’s concerns about supplies. “Hold on, we can’t go in there! Did friends not feel sheer force of awful wind?” he asked, addressing the group at large. “Poppi fastest flier here, and she barely manage keep up with train long enough to grab. Fight tornado take immense power. Right, Poppi?”

Though a little embarrassed to be called out, the artificial blade gave her report. “It take Poppi full burn on jet thrusters to not be blown away, even for just few seconds fighting wind. Poppi ether so drained that try again for longer very inadvisable.”

Tora nodded with vigor. “Plus, Tora still lightheaded from air pressure! Anyone who go back in both blow away and pass out. And did friends not see underground? If blown wrong way, slam into metal supports or thrown into abyss. It death sentence if go back in!” He scrunched down his brows in as fiercely resolute a way as he could, looking for support among his teammates. He found enough in the faces of Primrose and the Thieves. “And Tora not let Poppi die!”

In the momentary but uncomfortable silence that followed Joker cleared his throat and replied to Midna. “We have some supplies left, mostly water. The food won’t be good for much longer.” A serious expression swept across the assembled heroes. “I’m sorry, but after getting clobbered by it I can tell you that Necronomicon Isn't strong enough to face that wind. This storm’s like a localized natural disaster. Bigger than any tornado I’ve ever seen.”

“We had to stop this far from it just to not be sucked back in,” Mona added, having put two and two together regarding the distance that Gnorbu put between the train and the twister before stopping.

“I’m not sending anyone in there,” Joker declared with finality. “It’s too dangerous. We can’t throw lives away over every time we lose someone, or there won’t be anyone left to save the world.” Though the rest of the Thieves looked just as grim as he, cheesy line be damned, none stepped away from his side.

Gnorby raised a leg for attention. “Uh, in terms of supplies...well, I know we Parnassians owe you guys a lot, but the cityfolk aren’t just going to shell out for free, and we don’t have any money. Whatever I get from selling treats in Al Mamoon goes directly to buying goods to bring back.” He looked mightily unhappy, both by what happened and the conflict within Yellow Team. “But uh, maybe we’ll find someone who’ll help in exchange for a favor? Or, you know, as charity?”

Mona did not look too confident. “Well, we can try. Gnorbu has to come back this way anyway, so he can bring anything we manage to get for you guys, if you’re dead set on searching.” The cat considered the communication problem brought up by Primrose. “Oh, Necro can radio fox if needed.”

“As for time, well, I can’t guess when we’ll be back, since there’s no guarantee anyone will help out for free in the first place,” Gnorbu said, his long face apologetic. Behind him, Ruki remained quietly somber. With Joker in the lead the Phantom Thieves moved in the neopets’ direction, solidifying their intentions, and after a moment’s delay Tora cast his vote by joining them.

Poppi followed him, but paused to bow to the others, her face sorrowful. “Poppi sorry. Not want to leave anyone behind, even strangers, but we only barely survive in there. Poppi not want die.”

Though he looked crushed, Braum did not move from his spot in either direction. “I know those four awhile. We fight together, die together. Not always as comrades, and since fighting was all we did, we were not truly friends. But my heart aches when I think they are gone for good.” He raised his shield and pounded his fist against his chest. “If team stays, I will search for them. If team goes, I will remember them.”

Tora looked between the others, trying to hold firm despite the doubts plaguing him. He’d never had to make a stand like this before, not against enemies, but allies. Under Rex’s leadership he’d never really been faced with a quandary like this. He hoped that nobody would hate him for it. Maybe the others would think he was selfish, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but he was going to hold tight to what he held dear. About that, the rotund inventor would not compromise.

Luma Pools

Mr. L’s @ModeGone

Though L was a man of never-ending confidence, it was only a matter of time until he found some of it misplaced. His ceaseless wanderings in the wilds and untenable hooliganism within society had eventually brought him to a beauteous forest of tall trees, hanging walls, thorny brambles, floating bubbles, underwater currents, and swinging vines. In short, it represented a paradise for platform enthusiasts, obstacle coursers, and jumpers of all kinds. Still, the Green Thunder remained unimpressed until his trip happened to bring him within spectating distance of an oddly radiant creature at work. The little guy sprinted, jumped, double jumped, wall jumped, bounced, swung, and otherwise navigated the strange wood’s challenges with uncanny grace and finesse. To a fellow of fiery bravado, there was no question; this long-eared critter thought it was a better jumper than he. After that revelation there was nothing to do but set off in pursuit, following after the glowy interloper, and set the record straight.

As it turned out, the Luma Pools didn’t make the going easy. For such a wondrous place, it offered a fair bit of difficulty thanks to both the vertical and underwater mastery it demanded. And wherever Mr. L went, just when he thought he might catch his breath, some crab or river troll or other creature would show up to give him a tough time. Falling behind poked at the masked man’s pride, driving him faster and faster, until finally an unlucky clump of slick moss sent him spiraling from the canopy of a pink-topped palm and into the mad current of a rushing river below.

What followed was a chaos of bubbling, swirling water that washed him further and further downhill. The torrent came to an abrupt end in a waterfall that deposited him without ceremony into a large river, but he soon found it to be just the first of many. L went down waterfall after waterfall until finally he shot out into open space over a glistening lake. He got only a moment to orient himself, and take in the odd craft at rest toward one side of the lake, before he plunged in.

Ms Fortune

Level 3 Nadia (24/30)
Location: Luma Pools
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Sakura's @Zoey Boey, Frog's @Dark Cloud, Mirage’s @Potemking, Mr. L’s @ModeGone
Word Count: 1707

A heavy atmosphere lay over Shippy as the captainless vessel made her way upriver. On the bow Nadia was content to sprawl in silence and let the stress trying to curdle her insides slowly drift away, but she could hardly fault poor Sakura for letting her feelings -and her tears- run freely. Though tough and clearly capable, she seemed young and inexperienced, practically a normal person compared to the likes of Nadia. An innocent soul, untouched by the pain of death. After all, even with the sort of desensitization that came from watching one’s family butchered before being carved up herself, Nadia was in pretty bad shape after the naval battle’s sheer physical and mental bombardment. She could only imagine how bad someone like Sakura might feel; then again, given the tearful misery that possessed the girl, Nadia didn’t have to.

Before dealing with that, however, the Cadet appeared. She opened her eyes to find him standing over her. Although she’d noticed and indeed used it early, she only got a good like at his new ‘do now, and snickered despite the murkiness that swirled around her. “You’re welcome. Like your cut, by the way. You were great out there. And...yeah.” She took a deep breath, as steady as she could manage. “My first actual like battle-battle, but not the worst crap I’ve been through.” She let her eyes slide shut again. “Took a loooot of hits though. The more damage I take, the weaker my healing gets. If it bottoms out...I dunno what’ll happen. Hopefully I never find out.”

She sighed again, sat up, and slid back into a sitting position against the prow. After undoing a couple latches she allowed her rigging to clatter to the deck and put her arm on the railing. For a few moments she just looked between the others, trying to get an overall frame of reference. Link looked different thanks to an absorption she hadn’t fully noticed until now, and she made herself avert her eyes from his exposed midriff and weirdly bigger hands. The punkish girl she now knew to be Rika faced both the sting of loss and guilt alongside Sakura. Sakura herself had tried to put a spin on the group’s awful experience. No pain, no gain. It was a way of coping, of making sense of the cruelty and chaos, but that didn’t mean she was incorrect. You couldn’t get something for nothing, and contention bred strength. Nadia’s eyebrows narrowed. Did that mean she was strong…?

The feral lifted her free hand, her eyes on the separation point in her forearm. No pain, no gain. The street fighter didn’t know how right she was. It had taken nothing less than the torment and agony of body and soul alike to take away her tears and make her something powerful. Was what she gained worth all that she went through--what her loved ones went through? Not one bit. For a time she would have given up just about anything to bring them back, including wish on the Skull Heart, but in the end she decided -its trickery taken into account- that undoing what made her who she was today would be wrong. That what was done, was done. Yet still she longed for what she lost, and not just the people she cared for.

Nadia took a deep breath of the clear, sumptuous air, and rose. She sat herself down on Sakura’s unoccupied side as she leaned back. “You’re a good kid,” she told Sakura in a low, confidential tone, as if she wasn’t only a few years older. She glanced at Rika. “You too. Um...well, I’m not much good at sayin’ important stuff. My uh, ‘purr-spective’ is a little warped, heh.” Her uneasy smile faded. “Too much pain. Things don’t hurt me like they used to. I guess that’s, uh, why it’s tough for me to take things seriously. I’m just saying, yeah, tough times will make you stronger, but as you keep movin’ forward, take care you don’t go numb like me.” She placed a hand on Sakura’s shoulder and squeezed. “Hold tight that precious heart.” After that she couldn’t think of anything else to stay, so she was still, and enjoyed the tranquility of nature with the others.

She did rouse herself when Link mentioned cats, but she could only shrug in reply. Although she herself meowed as some of her effort noises, she doubted the hero was referring to her, and if she saw any other felines during that battle she would have remembered. Plus, if any kitties had been on board, they probably would have been sent flying hundreds of feet over the ocean by the wave of force when the Harbor Demon’s shell slammed through Shippy’s hindquarters. It wasn’t a pleasant thought, and Nadia put it out of her mind.

How long it was before her relaxation petered out Nadia couldn’t quite say, but she found herself almost nodding off by the time an unfamiliar voice shouted from outside the boat. The feral turned around and poked up from behind the railing, pointy ears first, to see a man with an elaborate suit and quite the hairdo hailing Shippy. Her eyebrow raised when she noticed an egg of all things couched in one arm. He puzzled her for a moment with incoherence before he realized that he was stumbling over his words, at which she couldn’t help but smile. His voice, appearance and manner combined to create an air of disarming, even charming harmlessness, but the heavy-duty revolver at his hip dispelled at least part of that illusion.

She gave a cheery wave despite his warning, energetic enough to swish her longer hair around and bounce her ears side to side. If by ‘very angry living boat’ he meant an Abyssal, as well he might given her new acquaintance with that blasted species, her team could deal with it. The most dangerous Abyssals didn’t actually look like boats after all, though come to think of it very few actually did. Curious, she scooted back to Shippy’s prow to scope out the lake coming up ahead for both threats the stranger mentioned.

The man himself Nadia left for others to attend to, since the Atomos seemed to be descending among the Luma Pools’ extravagant pink fronds to land on the riverbank. At Link’s urging Shippy slowed down enough to pull up alongside the landed aircraft at the lake’s threshold. The figurehead did not look happy, and in fact seemed to be making a Herculean effort to keep herself together, so much so that there could be little doubt as to her awareness of Brineybeard’s fate.

After a couple moments of searching Nadia spotted the creature in the lake, and one glance was enough to tell her it wasn’t an Abyssal. It looked like an elaborate longboat complete with rows of oars, but that snake head on the front turned out to be more than just decoration. As for outcrops of crystals, she couldn’t see anything beneath the sparkling, almost luminescent water. As nice as it looked, she felt a keen urge to set foot on solid ground, and made for the edge of the boat. A running start gave her the clearance she needed to soar all the way to the shore, and as always the cat landed on her feet. It took her a moment to get adjusted to standing on land again, after which she promptly sank to her knees. “, I am never, ever doing naval warfare again. I’d rather just fur-get the whole thing, nyeheheh.”

She rose as the stranger got closer and was greeted with an eyeful of Bowser. Judging from his expression, he had not been prepared at all for the bizarre assortment of people he now faced. To be fair, they were an odd bunch; she counted two well-equipped men, a boy with big hands, two cats with cannons (although Nadia had ditched hers for now), a biker boat princess, three vastly different turtles, a child, a horned girl, and- an Abyssal!? Startled by the sight Nadia jerked back, which made Bella jump as well, and the Water Princess only managed to avoid falling over thanks to the monstrous tail trailing behind her. The almost comical sight, plus the realization that the wobbly-legged woman was using an umbrella to walk and that her eyes were not red, turned Nadia’s apprehension into remorse immediately. “Whoops, sorry about that! First time seeing you. My nerves are still a little...”

Bella gave an embarrassed but radiant smile as the feral trailed off. “Oh, not at all! I would be surprised if something like that didn’t happen.” Leaning on her makeshift cane, she offered Nadia a hand to shake. “Je m'appelle Bella...that is to say, my name is Bella. Pleased to meet you.”

With a toothy grin Nadia accepted the shake. “Nadia Fortune! That’s a super cute dress, by the way.”

“Merci, Miss Fortune!” Bella beamed, oblivious to the wordplay at work. “I had a hat too, but I lost it during the fight, sadly.”

Nadia looked confused, baffled as to why Bella might need mercy. Maybe she thought she was being flattered too much? That couldn’t be it. For a born killing machine she was quite the looker, and though not nearly as big as the Harbor Demon or even Midway Princess, she was no slouch in the size department. “Uh huh…”

Conversation nearby turned her attention to the tail end of Mirage’s conversation with Bowser, and with a polite bow of her head Bella hobbled toward the water’s edge. For someone with a gun at hand this guy certainly seemed nervous around Bowser. Stick around the big goof for long and that’ll clear up fast, she thought with a smile.

At that moment, something shot out from the top waterfall that fed the nearby lake. Attracted by the motion, Nadia looked over, but got only a fleeting glimpse of green and black before whoever it was splashed down. Not too far away the Ukazeer veered toward the disturbance, both curious and cautious of any potential threat. Putting her oars in motion, the serpent cruised over toward where Mr. L’s wild ride had come to an end.

Snowdin – Eastern Motel


Although as taciturn as ever when it came to showing his feelings, it was difficult for Albedo to disguise being pleased that Linkle seemed to be in good spirits. He made no immediate remark upon learning of her familiarity with coffee, since he anticipated her saying more, but he did wonder why. Perhaps his guess that their worlds possessed similar levels of development had been a little premature. It did fascinate him that so many disparate worlds seemed to have so very much in common, but he couldn’t afford to ponder creation in real worlds, unlike here in the World of Light. Rather than go off on a tangent he merely nodded his approval when his new friend said she slept well.

“I’m glad. You look well.” In the light of day she didn’t command nearly the same menace she did in the dark. Her eyes, vivid but not glowing, could be mistaken for naturally red, and without the contrast of night her paleness did not call a specter to mind. Clean hair in a neat braid and a fresh face did wonders for her appearance as well. All in all, the rime-coated, battle-worn apparition he’d encountered the night before had been replaced by quite the agreeable young lady. He exhaled through the nose in what might have been a slight laugh when Linkle made visible her distaste for black coffee, then related her first experience with an automatic alarm. “I slept well also,” he told her. “It took me a long time to adjust to this place myself. My first night I never found the switches, and ended up synthesizing Lamp Grass for light. But if you can deal with the various quirks there’s a lot of convenience to be had.”

He crossed his legs and kept talking as Linkle finished her coffee. “The drink has certainly come in handy for me. If possible I’ll take some beans when I go, although perhaps it won’t catch on in Mondstadt. That city, the City of Freedom, is where I lived, and is fond of wine practically to excess.”

Albedo accepted her gift of dust, and eyed the gemstone she presented. “This should indeed fetch a decent price,” he observed after taking it into his hands. He rubbed it, then held it against his head. “I sense some form of magic contained within. Not especially remarkable, but still there. Although I’d be interested to see what it can do, a magic stone won’t do me much good if I freeze to death, so I’ll see if I can find a buyer. Thank you.” He glanced at Linkle, his eyes apologetic, as the happy corgi leaned into her hand adoringly. “I would not want to scare you any more.”

The two got up in preparation for departure. “There’s a good store at the end of the street. The owner’s a bit eccentric, but I’m sure he’ll recognize the value in your find.” Once again he held open the door for her. A moment later the two blondes were out in the light snowfall, just enough to tickle Linkle’s rabbit ears. “That man comes around every now and then,” Albedo explained. “I think I mentioned our arrangement where he would let me try things, which was ongoing for a while. But eventually he grew bored of me, just as he did with the rest. He’s a brute, arrogant and none too sharp, but at least he leaves whatever he’s not interested in alone. Most likely, he somehow picked up on your presence and followed here to see if you could do anything to him.”

As he walked, Albedo produced his sketchbook, which featured an impromptu bookmark. “I found the list of everything I tried on him. Many attempts, zero successes. It’s as if his body simply rejects anything that would do it harm, like an extremely zealous immune system. That’s not to say his power is physical, though. In fact, it being a blessing of some kind is extremely likely. He has some sort of essence that’s extremely different from the ice magic he also possesses, which I couldn’t discreetly identify before he tired of me. Some experience so far with practitioners of both conventional and faith-based magic has led me to conjecture that -this is it on the left- that this unknown essence is divine in nature.”

A moment later, the pair entered the shop, a rather conventional medieval affair of wood in the cozy, snowed-in town. Albedo approached the counter and rang the bell. Barely had his hand touched the device before an absolute beast of a man, sporting a vest over an orange shirt and a tiny green hat, shuffled into view and stood in front of the counter.

“Welcome!” he resounded, gesturing broadly to his wares. “Lamp oil, rope, bombs? You want it? It’s yours, my friends!” From a vest pocket he produced a glinting red crystal and held it up, pinched between two fingers, as he leaned forward. “As long as you have enough rubees!” He leaned back and clasped his hands together, a froglike grin upon his face.

Albedo reached down to pull out Linkle’s gift. “Well, I don’t have rubees exactly, but…”

“Not enough rubees!?” The man looked affronted, and threw his hand to the side in an unabashedly dramatic display. “I’m sorry, mister, I can’t GIVE credit.” He leaned in again, even closer this time, his smiling countenance only mildly terrifying. With one sausage-like finger he pointed for the door. “Come back when you’re a little…” he pursed his lips. “MMMMM...richer!”

When Albedo held up the blue materia, its mild glow illuminated his veiled annoyance perfectly. “And what about this, Morshu?”

“Ohhhhh?” The shopkeeper peered at the crystal. “Well now, I won’t know until I appraise it, will I? Give it here, my boy.” Albedo passed him the gem, and he went around the counter to fetch a magnifying glass. After only a few moments he set both items down. “A fine stone, yes indeed, I think I can offer…”

“It has magical properties too!” Linkle piped up.

With an eyebrow raised the shopkeeper looked her way. “Oh? And what might those be?”

Since Albedo didn’t know, it was up to Linkle to do the best she could. “It glows in the dark.”

“In that case, I’ll give you three hundred and not a rubee more!” After a moment Morshu dropped a sack of money on the counter and extended his hand. “Take it or leave it!” Without a word Albedo took it. With relish Morshu pocketed the gem and clapped his hands together. “Pleasure doing business! Please feel free to look around my wares.”

The alchemist skedaddled over to the apparel section, its selection mostly limited to light armors, but it presented two coats as immediate options. One was a yellow monstrosity, spongy to the touch, with a spiky hood. The other was a sleeker tan trench coat with built-in belts. Albedo stood between them and turned to Linkle. “What do you think?”

Edge of the Blue - Atlantis Temple


With no idea what she’d gotten herself into, Sephiroth began to face unforeseen consequences the moment she stepped from the lavatory. Out onto the scene of a well-populated tourist destination stepped a woman of uncommon beauty, her physique sublime, her skin without flaw, and her lilac-streaked white hair -though treated by neither a full bottle of shampoo nor conditioner- full and lustrous all the way down to the backs of her knees. The repercussions of a handsome man fusing with two lovely women, it seemed, had caught up with her. Though she wanted nothing more at the moment than to fill out her stamp card and earn fabulous prizes, heads turned no matter where she went, and stunned stares followed her all the way to the shooting game.

There, at least, she could focus on her mission. Sephiroth’s stamp card featured four spaces color-coded red. One for just participating, one for reaching the end within three minutes, one for achieving a certain amount of points, and one for shooting the hidden Sand Dollar. Looking out over the attraction she found an entire section of pool decorated with toys to resemble a stony coast fraught with pirate installations. The ships themselves appeared to be pedal-powered paddle boats, with a cannon mounted on the front. As far as she could glean from the instructions board right before the starting line, the aim of the game was to get to the end while taking down pirate octopuses atop their docks or little ships to rack up points, all the while avoiding enemy fire. If her boat got hit enough it would sink itself, forcing her to swim out of the pool.

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