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26 days ago
Current I'll sing my message loud enough so you may hear me.
7 mos ago
My characters surreal dream experience was one of the most fun things to write.
7 mos ago
Note to self. Look for the source image of character references.
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8 mos ago
Spent around seven hours doing Collab. Time flew!
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8 mos ago
Signed up for my second game. Same GM. No idea how he squeezes all that hard work in one day, but he is good. Called Oriflamme, check it out.
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Bio

Current Games:

Sipentaverse (roleplayerguild)
Order of the Hourglass - Ayla Arslan, Ashon'Amar'Loiyang, Maura Mercador.
Oriflamme - Asier Arslan

TTRPG (roll20)
Lumberjack City, Terminator - Legend.

One-One Roleplay
Non-Official.

Potentially Seeking:
Sci-Fi Settings
Wuxia/Xianxia themed Martial Arts/Cultivation
Steampunk / Diesel Punk

Most Recent Posts



Event: Zaqhoria Nightmares | Location: Bedroom, Ersand'Enise




"The rest of you," Jocasta quickly murmured, "get out of here. Now."

Ayla tossed and turned; she curled up tighter upon the bed. The linen sheets wrapped so tightly around her, as if clinging desperately for their warmth.

Heart hissed. "For that, I shall extract a toll."



Asier had moved over to Ayla as he licked over her face to wake her. The poor girl woke up to the aroma of puff lion cub breath and drool over her facial features as she looked up at him. “Cielos, Asier, how do you keep escaping.” The lion cub looked toward her, before he started to puff up again. Ayla quickly put up the sound dampener around the room before she was blasted with the roar. “Asier! No roaring when people are sleeping. Jocasta has already threatened to turn you into a pair of mittens, and never heard her threaten twice before.” She sat up as she hooked the lion cub under her arms as she moved him over to his bed. “Now stay.” he looked up towards her expectantly as she stared toward him. She sighed as she moved over to the counter where she had some leftover chicken, bringing it over. ”Good, Stay Asier.” she cast the chicken into the food bowl beside his bed. The cub ate upon it greedily.

Ayla went over to the handbasin as she starts to wash down her face. Every night. The exact same nightmare. That monster rears its ugly head. That snarling grin. Those long sharp teeth. She returned to the bed as she made an observation, The candles were already lit again came the thought as she moved to dampen them. She peered over searchingly to the lion cub who seemed to retire happily to his bed after his fill. Perhaps one simply forgot.

She slipped under the linen covers again as her head rested against the pillow after a drink of water and valerian root. This last week has been one trial after another, mentally and physically, with both her and her peers unable to rest. She wondered about her friends, if they are suffering or afflicted with the same nightmares or worse.

She breathed in the scent of lavender upon her pillow as she returned once again to a deep slumber.


Then, it stalked towards the group, incandescent with eagerness. "Nnnnow, mmhhhhy turn!" A wicked smile split its face. "Deeeatttth!" hisses the monster.

Ingrid who tried hard, desperately pleading for their lives was caught unaware, the monster came after her and it decapitated the Eskandish girl with a single slash of her inhuman claws.

Ayla called out after Ingrid, though there were no words. She wanted to help. It was as if her mouth was sealed shut, her access to sonic magic appeared completely cut. Powerless. Helpless. The tall girl’s body just dropped to the floor with a thud.

Heart turned towards Ayla, that damned smile formed upon her lips as she grinned evilly at the girl paralysed in fear. "Not even a challenge"

Powerless.

Jocasta had been angered and is now using her overwhelming power, as immense energies converged upon the monster. The being with a flick of her wrist shattered Jocasta's kinetic hold, treating her as if she was nothing but a fly as the blonde was swotted across the floor of the arena in return.

Jocasta looked up scared, she was truly frightened, "I have met her before, or a... version of her. In the desert. A demon.”

The being tilted its head to the side at Jocasta's comment. "A demon!?" It shook its head. "I am no demon, girl." She glared.

A demon...

Heart raised her hand towards Jocasta as the blonde pulled into the air. There was an ear-piercing screech from her mouth as her body started to contort, as if being crushed by invisible talons. "You are strong enough to be insolent. Perhaps I should break your arms too" she hissed. Jocasta was flung against the wall like a rag-doll, her body crumpled as she lay unconscious.

You are strong.

Desmond looked toward Heart as his body shook, the pistols trembling in his hands. “Aww Shiet, son…” He turned to Ayla, “I will distract her, help them. Get out of this.”. He grabbed a hold of his guns tighter, as if building his resolve. ”Hey, big and ugly. Over here.”.

Heart bemused by the significantly weaker Desmond challenging her, the being is now distracted. Ayla made her way over to Jocasta as she checked her airways, breathing shallow, weak pulse… she is alive. Barely. Zarina came up to the pair, looking very concerned, though softened at the signs of life. “I’ll take her, Kitty Cat. You’re too weak and powerless.”

But you’re weak.

Heart having grown bored with Desmond hurling iron pebbles at her. "Learn some decorum, child. Strike me again, and you shall know suffering, truly.”.

Desmond smiled wide, and mischievously at her. “Yet, sadly, some things must be done”

The boy draws back upon his hands as he begins to summon an artefact. A great, significant shape appears before him, almost dwarfing the monster herself. The shape of a 20ft 17tonne, magnificent super cannon.

Ayla with almost no knowledge of warfare instantly recognized it for what it is. La Llama Sagrada! The Great Torragonese Bombard of Varrahasta! Even Desmond would be unstoppable with that.

Zarina called over to Ayla as she carried Jocasta upon her back. “Hurry, you are only slowing us down.”

You slow them down.

“Those who are dead have no fear." Desmond saluted with his hand towards his friends, chopping it downwards as he fired the super cannon.

La Llama Sagrada released a fierce explosion as a jet of fire erupted from the muzzle depicting a Roaring Lion’s head. The 25 inch (63cm), 1 tonne (2256 lb) iron shot propelled at hypersonic speeds towards Heart.

The being attempted to brace as she was thrown through the wall of the chamber, leaving a massive crater in its wake. Everyone in the room were thrown to the surrounding walls themselves also, as the arena fills with smoke, debris and dust.

There is a deafening silence as it begins to clear, there was hope. The group takes a moment to rest before a silhouette of the Being begins to appear within the dust cloud. Heart flinched for a moment, flaring its nostrils. "Not bad, boy."

Desmond began trying to stand up shakily until he is fully erect as looked at the being, "Well fuck." After a few more breaths, she raised her head and looked right at him. "Well, fuck." she mimicked.

Heart reached out as the cannon seems to crumble within her grasp as if it were made of paper, scrunching it up into a ball then crushing the wreckage on top of Desmond.

Ayla was in shock as she looked towards the being. Such unfathomable power within her hands that it even stopped the La Llama Sagrada itself. It would have to take someone like Alizée herself to stop something like this.

“Kitty cat, wake up!”

Wake up.

Zarina looked up toward the being as she kissed the platinum Darhannic pennant around her neck. Her fingers wrapped upon the hilts of Il-Halim and Il-Kabus as she kissed upon the blades.

"Your friend does not seem to agree," she hissed. With the snap of a finger, as Ayla tried to stand up, the being flicked her back upon her behind as she slid back against the wall. "Do not presume."

Zarina drew her blades as she moved at a great speed, attempting to distract the Being with an assault upon her senses with chemical magic. The Virangish girl's body flicks, bobs and weaves, moving with great finesse.

Heart appeared frustrated as her attacks missed their mark. The claws attempting to embed themselves into the shadows where she once were.

Zarina sensing the opportunity, moved to strike. “Eat this!”. She hopped onto the beast’s arm, using it to springboard into the air with a twirl, the blades primed as she delivers death from above.

The points of the blade stab into the monster’s neck from both sides as Zarina attempted to decapitate her upon the spot.

The metal only grazes, only the tip sticking as they became stuck

Zarina uses all her might to try to finish the job, pushing everything into her kinetic abilities.

“I do enjoy fast food.”

Heart wrapped her claws around Zarina to keep her still, her jaw dislocating and stretching similar to that of a snake as she lowers the girl like a Virangish Pepper into her maw.

“No no no!… If you just listened … Ayla, you idiot!”

If you just listened.

The voice of Heart once again echoed through her mind as she watched in horror as she begins to consume her best friend. "I am no demon, girl."

“But I am.”




A new mysterious being appeared in their magnificent glory. A woman whose hair and body is clothed in fire, sporting what appeared to have long curled horns like a ram upon her head. Her mouth appeared in a cruel reflection of what is meant to be a soft and gentle smile.

“So why don’t you stop her?”

The woman stood there, looking towards Ayla expectantly. The scene of Zarina continued at a pace slightly slower than what would be expected as the bones in feet and shins crunched as she is being compacted, consumed alive. It spectated the sight of Zarina as she commented upon it. “Ooo, that would have hurt…”

Ayla looked toward this new Being incredulously, one which seemed to spectate and take delight and treat the situation as if it was one big game. “There is nothing this one can do. My friends have died because of me.”

The being clicked her tongue, “You are not wrong. Kind of what happens if you don’t listen and deny your birth right.”. She wore a coy smile as she moved around as she leans against Ayla’s back, perching upon her as a makeshift resting post in this new position. “You even ruined that beautiful hair of yours.” she pinched upon it, examined it then cast it aside as she expressed a look of disgust.

”We do not deny who we are. For this one is Ayla Arslan, the Lion Cub of Varrahasta, the Unburnt…”, “... Alizée Arslan reborn, yes, yes, so cute of you.” she moves her fingers to pinch upon Ayla’s cheeks like an overly tactile aunt and gives them an overly rough tug.

Ayla shivered, “That is not one of my titles”, she pushed back against her, breaking free as she moved in front, turned toward her angrily. ”Aww, little lion cub baring her fangs. Shame you are too occupied with being weak to bother saving your friend… who… oh, won’t be using her legs for a while.” The woman wagged her finger as she updated the situation.

Zarina is seen to fruitlessly try to push back against that snake like mouth, crying out, cursing. “... Kitty Cat!”

The woman grinned widely, “So much for being the lion cub, more like a petulant kitten who is just walking around purring and hugging everyone.” Ayla, frustrated as she shouted at her. “Save her! You are clearly able to do something.” her voice turned pleadingly towards the strange woman.

The woman responded with a sigh as she moved her hand upwards to examine her finger nails in a bored manner. “You are weak and pitiful. You brought your friends into this mess, and you killed them. It is your duty to make this right. If you are weak, make yourself strong. Might makes right.”

Taunted, Ayla strutted over to Heart as she made her attack, and for the hundredth time failed again. She finds herself standing in the dark void again, though this time not waking up from her nightmare. Behind her is the sound of clapping, it seemed like she wasn’t alone in here.

“Woo hoo! You go kitty cat, you tried again. Though, you know, the definition of a fool is constantly repeating the same mistakes.” She walked around before her as she waved her hands as if sealing up the mysterious dark clouds that were present last time. “We don’t want any interruptions this time. Told Ipte to take a rain check and that you were with me today. A daughter of Eschiran preaching love is just yuck. So unbecoming of an Arslan.”

Ayla raised her eyebrow, “You give the Gods orders?” the woman only smiling sickly sweet in response to this question. “So, what could be different? Not even Jocasta could stop Heart, and she is the most powerful student in the academy.”

The woman clapped her hands together and points towards Ayla. “Now, if you were not being obtuse, you would recognize that answer.” she uses her hand to cast aside the cloud to display a scene of a woman with a child, surrounded by nurse maids. “Let me walk you through it little one, back when your mother held you in her arms after you were born and proudly declared you to be Alizée Arslan reborn, a naturally gifted lil’ Arslan Arsonist who was born a fireblood. They were so proud of you.” She sighed as she dismissed the scenery, “Such a waste of potential, a squandered gift.”

Ayla bristled at the statement, I chose to go a different path. I wanted to be something better.”. The woman waved her hand dismissively side-to-side, “More like Maura chose it for you. Boo hoo, she was so frightened you would burn her like those others.” as she mimicked crying. Ayla shook a moment as she could feel her emotions rising, “That is cruel.”, “It is not as if they didn’t deserve it.”, “They did not deserve that. No one does.”

The woman smiled as she clapped her hand as if reality was being rewound in front of them, the pair being brought back into the start of the scene. “Good, use that fiery temper of yours and roar for me, kitty cat. Allow me to show you what you could have been.”




Ayla looked down upon her figure as she was now burning brightly, her appearance taking the manner of the strange woman as her own figure is clothed in fire. She could sense an overwhelming surge of arcane and chemical energy burning through her veins as she has been blessed with a significant amount of firepower.

Now take this for a spin. Imagine how things could have been different

Then Heart stalked towards the group, incandescent with eagerness. "Nnnnow, mmhhhhy turn!" A wicked smile split its face. "Deeeatttth!" hisses the monster.

Ingrid who tried hard, desperately pleading for their lives was caught unaware, the monster came after her and stopped in its tracked as a wall of flame shot up between her and the Eskandish girl. Heart flinched as she stopped herself from entering it.

“Who gave you permission to harm my friend, Demon.”. Ayla stepped forward as Alizée Arslan reborn, she flicked her hair as tendrils of fire start to spread along the floor of the arena.

The being tilted its head to the side at Ayla's comment. "A demon!?" It shook its head. "I am no demon, girl." She glared.

Ayla’s smile spread upon her face widely as she acknowledged the Being’s comment. “How unfortunate for you. I am the daughter of the Grand Demon Hetraxa herself, Alizée Arslan, the Daughter of Eschiran, the Vengeance of the Tourrare.” She stepped forward as the tendrils flick along the ground as they scorch the stone flooring.

Ooo liking these titles a lot more.

An immense fang-filled maw opened before her. "HHHHHHHUUUUUUUMMMMAAAAAANNN." She could feel great nostrils snorting towards her. The voice was immense, sepulchral, regal. Heart has transformed herself into the beast they first encountered as they entered the arena.

Jocasta, Desmond, Zarina, Ingrid… the four of them stood back as they watched in horror at the monstrous form before them with only a petite fiery haired girl standing between them and certain death.

Ayla tilted her head back towards her friends and smiled warmly towards them. “Sorry for having kept you all waiting. It is my turn now.”. Jocasta nodded appreciatively in return, ”Right.. Everyone stays behind my shield as we let her do her thing.”

"DEATH!" screamed the monster. "DEEEEEAAAATHHH!!!!"

“Then I have to grant it you!”

A cyclone of flame engulfs Ayla as she burns brightly, the hot air making her rise in the air and floats, looking down towards the beast defiantly.

Heart inhaled as she took in a deep breath as powerful energies start converging within her maw. Ayla responded by doing likewise, as flames spiral into her hands as she gathers her magical energy. There is a moment of silence, then a boom as a highly charged explosion of atomic fire headed towards Ayla.

The girl closed her eyes for a brief moment as she prayed. She prayed for her to have the strength to overwhelm her foes, to have a determination to do what is needed, to have the courage to overcome all obstacles.

{Shift in Tone.} Granted!

Ayla opened her eyes as the atomic fire headed towards her and drew harder. The flame pulled into the swirling mass of Ayla’s making it larger, stronger, as it ignites into an inferno. Heart giving everything she has into the atomic fire blast, attempting to overwhelm her with flame.

“Ugh… it is so hot.”
“Kitty cat, it is too much! Jo cannot keep up”
“I am feeling so thirsty…”
“Hotter than your mama in here”

Ayla turned towards them, I am not a kitten, I am a Lioness… Hear my ROAR!”

Heart could only look on as Ayla drew back upon her hands, lifting the inferno above her head, the vortex of fire burning brighter than five suns as she slams it down upon the Monster.

The Being roared back defiantly as it braced, doing its best to hold off the empowered meteor strike, “WWEEEAAAAKKKKK!”

Ayla continues to struggle, as she concentrates to directly contain and control the energies against the creature. Heart steps forward as she is holding ground, the pair of them hand to hand with the massive fiery vortex held between them.

Don’t Waver
”…too much.”
You have the strength!
“... my friends”
Will be spared from the Beast

Ayla grits her teeth as she reforms her resolve. Her eyes burning brightly as she draws upon the strength of her ancestor. The flaming tendrils run along the floor towards the abomination as they impale through her scales, one after another, burrowing deep as the flame pours into her body. The dragon’s scales smoking and burning as they start to ignite.

“Become Ash!”

The deep soulless blackness of her eyes stared piercingly towards Ayla as it screamed out in its own terror, it’s maw splitting apart in anguish, ”NOOOOOOOOO!!!”

The blaze of five suns crash down upon the Being. It’s flesh boiling, hissing, and steaming as all that remains is an ashen crater where she once stood.

Ayla smiled brightly in triumph, I did it! I defeated her! I saved everyone! Jo, Zazzy, Ingy, Des, it is over!”

{Maniacal Laughter}

Ayla puzzled, turned towards them.

No.

She screamed.



Asier clawed at Ayla again in frustration, the puff lion cub breathed in to release an almighty roar once again towards the girl.

Ayla groggily wakes up as she feels the pain shooting along her body, the trickles of blood from the scratching.

”Asier…”

The air thick with smoke and burning. The linen like charcoal all around her as the room is on fire. The Puff Lion cub looking towards Ayla with desperate eyes.

Ayla uses her kinetic magic to draw in the air quickly and suddenly, depriving the fire of its much-needed sustenance as she extinguishes it, as she casts the blazing heat out of the room.

She tugs Asier into her arms as she cuddled the puff lion cub close, soothing it as they take their moment to breathe in the far cooler air which rushes in from outside.

”… we have been igniting the bed again, haven’t we?”

She sighed out. It has been years.









Characters: Ayla x Evander @RezonanceV
Location: Ersand’Enise, Arboretum, Lake
Time: Dusk

Ayla came to a rest as she put away her flute and released a soft sigh. She often took a moment to admire the peaceful beauty of the well-maintained gardens of the arboretum. As she was about to depart, she glanced over to notice the boy reading a book, recognizing him from class and from that moment during the trials. She moved over towards Evander to introduce herself, “Do you like to swot books when you are not running off with other people's fresh produce?” she offered him a playful smile, “If you were hungry, we could have shared the melon together”

Evander carefully thumbed a page in one of three books. The one in his hand was titled, “Black Devil Rising” in Avincian language. The other two stacked by his hip next to the base of the tree were “Iron Shapes Our Future By Cutting History”, and “Reshta’s Famous.” He was studying three different questions. The first was to give him insight into what was needed to bond and raise a Black Devil. The second provided an analysis of Ironshaper’s impact on the fall of Avince to his influence over time leading up to the Eskand-Revidian relationship. The third was about Yasoi beliefs, specifically about a theory of Reshta being the reincarnation of a Yasoi goddess named, Vyshta. A name that caught his eye while scanning the library because of the list he found in the statue of Iona on his desk.

He looked up as if a little annoyed at being disrupted. Yet this point of tension was relieved as he crossed his gaze with the lovely Ayla. A young woman from Torragon, House of Arslan, a notable noble who lived in a place aligned with Revidian politics. Her family was strong, drenched in warriors, and rooted in history. Evander once heard his father speak of a man named Asier from when Eskand enflamed the countryside of Parrence about 800 years ago. His father talked of him in high regard and highlighted that if he ever ran across Torragonese men and women - to show them the utmost respect for their courageous spirit, “You never want to step on a lion’s tail.” He was always reminded after hearing of Asier’s legacy.

Evander cracked a smile back, “An invitation?” His eyes crested like a waning moon turned on its side. He folded the page he was on to save his place, stacking it back on top of the other three, and then moved all of them to the otherside from where Ayla was standing, “I am thirsty; maybe we could share this instead as a token of my apology?” Evander pulled out a fancy globe jar with Ellermane Blue. Patting the ground next to him to invite her by his side.

Ayla curiously eyes the globe as she moves down to occupy the space previously filled by the books next to Evander. One did wonder if you were a wine connoisseur, secretly Perrench, or you were not paying for the wine. One has her answer." she smiled as she waited for the wine to be poured before accepting it as she eyed him curiously with the suspected answer.

"This one is perspective, and able to tell a read a lot into a person… she stroked her fingers upon the books as she glanced upon the different titles, a playful smile appeared upon her lips. "Your goal is to have lady luck look upon you with fortune as you raise your Black Devil strong and then be able to enact a thousand-year revenge on Eskand for the glory of the Empire?" her tone continued as a friendly tease.

Ayla sat down, expecting a cup. Lucky for her, Evander had brought one for himself. He handed it over to her and smoothly poured the Ellermane inside. With a left hook of humor, Ayla punched Evander in the cheek where it tickled, and he burst out laughing at her string of logical conclusions about the titles of his books. He twisted his head to the side in case he spat up any wine but reverted to choking on some instead.

“Wise you are!” Evander enthusiastically replied as he gained some composure from his sudden burst. He zeroed in on her knowledge of Vyshta as the lady of fortune, a key point made in the book about Reshta, “I’m curious Princess, what do you know about lady luck?”

Ayla smiled even wider at the question, an answer she already knew. "You are in luck, she may still be amongst us now. Tyrel of Vyshta's favoured is the Goddess reborn. Yasoi girl from Tarlon, one leg, surrounded by bad luck." She moved her hand to tap upon the book cover, "You might get more from the horse's mouth than from the book.". She drank from the cup as she proceeded to solve his other problem too. "As Eskand is currently divided, my Prince, perfect time to enact your revenge." With a playful tinkle in her eye, she noticed the unmistakable sight of Ingrid in the distance. "Wouldn't start a fight with that one, though. She will probably seat you suddenly upon your princely behind."

Evander listened closely to Ayla’s wisdom about Tyrel, Ingrid, and Eskand. He turned his head to face Ayla, “There is no revenge plot looming in my mind, it is no secret that as a Revidian my loyalty lies with Revidia, which has asserted its stance against Eskand, and I do see them as lost sheep in a large field, but, my real priority is Perrence. As a Torragonese, you already know this fact.” He looked at the book, then Ingrid in the distance, ”I hope that if I can better understand Eskand, they can be useful against Revidia’s imminent threats; that woman might be the key.”

He could feel the relaxing effects of the Ellermane take a subtle hold over his senses. Leaning back against the large, old tree. He traced the tree’s branches with his eyes as each stretched wide. The trunk was thick and gnarled, with deep roots anchored in the ground with some creeping above to provide natural spots to sit, lean, or walk on. He followed the roots to the grass as a gentle breeze rustled the tree leaves and grass below. The water was calm and still. Reflected above was a crystal clear sky. The evening birds began to turn their chirps into whispers, and the traffic across the lake near the road started to dissolve.

As Evander contemplated the peaceful and serene scene in front of him, he wondered, what was Ayla’s motivation for being at Ersand’Enise? She was a Noble, Torragonese, and she chose to engage him in conversation, not to mention her immediate thoughts were to help Evander. What was she looking to gain from this? He paused his mind and followed his thinking by asking a sincere question to cut to the heart of his queries.

“Ayla, playfulness aside, what do you dream about?” Evander was curious about her dreams, for he realized his dreams were never his own; they were only ever intertwined with that of his ancestors. He accepted this truth, but what about Ayla? As a Noble, did she have dreams of her own?

Ayla mulled the comments as she casually relaxed, swirling the glass within her hand as she sipped gently upon the wine. "Playfully aside, as your faithful ally, we wish to inform you that the Doge overstepped, putting us all closer to a war we won’t win.” Her eyes fix upon Evander’s own as she examines him with scrutiny, appearing to read for his expressions for a moment before softening to a smile. "Imagine the look on the Doge Prospero’s face if King Sancho said that to him. Would be worth painting a portrait of.”

She moves her hands back as she loosens her hair ties, allowing the curly long hair to drop and rest against her back, coming along the side like a carpet rolled out before royalty. Ayla curls up within her seated position as she instinctively looked upwards upon the discussion of dreams, "Ipte tends to bless me fortunately with dreams, recently not as much, though imagine it is not these you were interested in.” She brings the cup towards her mouth as she drank more deeply from it. "My dream sounds simple, a flight of fancy… but one wishes to change the world with a song. My wish is to move people deeply, to reach their core, their essence, in order to change the world and make it a better place. Might have succeeded during the trials, but your Reshta had other ideas. Not going to give up so easily, however,” finishing her statement with a wink. "Now what does a Prince of Revidia dream?”

Evander continued to gaze at the lake as she spoke the truth about the Doge’s recent actions. The Doge further irritated his enemies and stressed his allies. Enemies were scheming, and allies may be waning. He brought the globe jar to his lips, sipping the sweetness before checking Ayla’s cup. Without asking, he topped her cup off and sipped again from the globe jar. Except his eyes did not fully return to the lake. Ayla’s charm caught his deep blues as she let down her hair. Followed by her dream of changing the world with a song. Evander replied, “Who thought Torragonese could be poets, and Arslan’s would make a bird instead of a lion.” He winked back at her. Her question eluded him, Revidia is not my kingdom, he thought. He did not see himself as a Prince of Revidia, no. He was heir to Avince.

“My dream Princess? Similar to yours. You speak of changing it with a song, to deeply move your people.” He closed his eyes, nodded, and softly raised his eyelids to greet her kindly, “admirable, endearing, and noble, truly the best dream for a just Queen.” He acknowledged, praised her, and finally answered her question, “My dream? To protect the world from burning to the ground,” He paused to let the claim weigh in the air between them, “I agree with you, the Doge made an error, and the Central Alliance feels stressed because of it, however, regardless of the Doge’s mishap in judgment, I think there is something else that is coming.” He reached out to hold Ayla’s free hand, “something our nations will not be ready for, something bigger than a war between Parrence and Revidia, something….” His other hand came beneath the one he was holding to cup Ayla’s, “you and I will need to prepare for if we are to make sure our families and our interests don’t burn, and your song is heard.”

Ayla feels her eyes widen in response to his hands cupping her own, the corners of her mouth spreading into a warm smile. “Now this is that fabled Revidian silver-tongue.” she moved her hand to join his in return, as she cups upon them, listening to his words with a light blush upon her cheeks. “Truly, the only way would be for our houses to unite as one. If only one was not betrothed to another, we may be brought together.” She could not resist the urge to act brazen towards his advances, though the blush betrayed her true self.

On the topic alluded to, she responded with a more attentive manner. “You are referring to the Traveller?” She paused for a moment for confirmation. “The Traveller… is not wrong. That is what makes their teachings taste foul to our senses, however, they are far from the cure. Those with power should use it responsibly, and those who do not, cause the growing discontent as they see themselves above all moral responsibly.” She gauges Evander’s response to this radical statement, “They are right in only that something needs to change; however, to cut off the nose to spite your face is not the solution. We don’t need more violence; what we need is more love and compassion to truly make a difference.” She leaned closer to Evander, her face invading his personal space in that teasing and tantalizing manner as she held his hands within her own. She whispered softly towards him, “What does my Prince think of his noble Queen now?”

Evander was surprised at the Torragon’s knowledge of the Traveler, she is not wrong. But Ayla’s natural inclination to advance on him was the real blindside. He was attempting to emphasize the gravity of their partnership in the coming times. Ayla seemed to grasp an entirely different affection. Did she just propose to him? Taken back, he remained calm. He did not want to seem as if he was rejecting the Princess. Calmly, he reminded her of her situation, “Ayla you are sworn to someone else; what does that mean to you?”

Ayla blinked at the response, then giggled with a soft laugh. “It seems the rumours about your character are a true injustice. We are pleased by this development.” She pulled back from him and she removed her hands from his as they moved to finish the cup of its wine. She held upon the empty cup as she looked down and smiled sadly, “Every girl grows up dreaming of marrying for love, though that is not the world we live in. Some are fortunate in that they find love with who they are chosen to be with, like Queen Eleanor of Oriflamme fame. Perhaps Ipte will bless me with such fortune.”
Evander remained silent for a few seconds as he let her statement hang in the air. Her intelligence, sincerity, and courage were all things he found attracting him. Of course, her natural beauty was obvious to anyone who caught her at a glance or a staring contest. Love… Evander asked, “How would you know if you found it?” Before she could answer, he added, “Betrothed, what would you do if you did find it?”

Ayla gently looked towards him, “Given how my betrothed spent the majority of his betrothal speech admiring the characteristics of the Virangish Striped Manatee, don’t think we would be finding out the answer to that question.” She turned to humour to respond to that question as she stroked a hand through her hair with a coy smile, declining to further answer what he may have been truly asking. “What about you, my Prince. Will you marry a girl for her status and station? Perhaps even Doge Prospero’s daughter, the newly crowned Empress Namiri of Belzagg, or would you feel led by your heart when it comes to selecting the one you desire”

Odd, the more this Tourrare spoke, the more interested he became. Then she mentioned the “Virangish Striped Manatee”, Evander laughed and recoiled, “My apologies, I did not mean to laugh at your arrangement. I understand where you are; it is a precarious promise you had no say in, and the man you are sworn to fails to recognize even your worth as a Torragonese noble, except through contract.” He paused, awful waste. Followed by his answer, “Maybe both, perhaps if the Pentad favors me, a woman of status and station who also leads my heart.” He smiled, looking into Ayla’s eyes, sympathizing with her unfortunate situation.

“My, aren’t we the optimist. Perhaps when my betrothed chooses a fish over me, we may be so fortunate to find one another again.” Ayla responded as a tease to the flirtatious Revidian, then her face dropped a moment “Please don’t tell him that we called it a fish…” gave a playful look of disgust as recalls having already been corrected upon that statement.

She moves to place the wine cup next to Evander, as she moved to lift herself back up again, “Too much of this 300 Magi wine.” She cupped upon his hand as she wished him farewell. “Do me a favour and tell Jocasta and Yalen that their company is missed”

Evander listened to the pain that struck through her comments about her betrothed. There was a tug at Evander within to pull her back into the conversation, Am I enjoying her? He refrained from saying anything as she pulled herself up, “Sure…” as she turned, he instinctively reached out for her hand but clumsily stroked her back leg as she stepped forward to leave. Ayla turned around, Evander asked, “...say, you know a good deal of what I am studying, and Torragon and Revidia would do well if we better understood our situations here in Ersand’Enise. Would you like to meet here, same time next week?”

She was caught off-guard as she felt the hand rub stroke against of her leg, glancing down towards him in surprise but also curious manner. ”If one is available, follow the sound of the flute.” Ayla smiled toward him as she gave a light curtsey, moving away once again.

Evander leaned back against the large, old tree. The sun finally kissed below the horizon. What a pleasant surprise… hope to see you soon again, Ayla Arslan. He thought as his interaction with Ayla was surprisingly enjoying and enlightening to his situation. It’ll be wise to keep her close. He placed the “Black Devil Rising” on his lap and grew light in the palm of his hand to illuminate the pages to read, Upon the hatching of a Black Devil, the infant needs to feel two things, it’s nurturer and it’s home. Evander lifted his head off the page to look at the now moonlit sparkling lake, ”Home.”




For the record, Yalen has acquired the following items from the Trials treasure hunts:
-A pair of sea goat babies from Thalakos (makes nourishing milk that can be made into cheese that restores manas?)
-A clockwork airship (stolen prototype, used and thrown away for Thin Air)
-The Gamer's Pointer (won in a pool game, slightly boosts kinetic drawing and containing by 3% and has minor defensive properties)
-A Kampe Ko coat (won by Colette in a drinking game)


Put in your character sheet!


Event: The 'Leaky Ladle' | Location: Ersand'Enise





“Another happy customer!”, Maura smiled brightly as she give out another portion of food. Ayla is still looking rather worse to wear from the very many and active experiences in the last week. The bed just calls her longingly like a Siren to join within that soft cushiony embrace. Trade seems to be flowing well through the ‘Leaky Ladle’, a rather small establishment based in one of the poorer districts of Ersand’Enise. It offers good quality food at very reasonable prices, including the option to ‘Pay for your Neighbour’ which allows free servings to be given out into the community. In reality, the enterprise is losing a lot of money, relatively speaking as a business, but it is actually a charity and most of the money is paid out of pocket by the two girls. They do have some regular volunteers though from the Fraternity helping out, including Jamboi who despite his offers of bennies, he is encouraged to be more hands on.

Whilst the society head was welcoming to the students, being a noble, nay, a high noble, did make it difficult for Ayla to get along with the others. If it wasn’t for Maura and Jamboi, they probably wouldn’t be interacting with anyone else. They did rope in one of the exchange students, Oksana, but she will most likely be going back home soon herself.

This problem isn’t limited to the society either, despite their very reasonable rates and good intentions, Ayla being the brainchild have made a few quite reluctant, especially with the teachings of the Traveller being spread around and hatred towards the noble classes, she seems viewed with suspicion. Thankfully, a 7ft Yasoi tends to keep the peace in dissuading more active actions against them, and the Societies reputation for good work does bolster the places reputation.

Despite all the negatives, there is a lot of promise. There have been a slow but gradually increasing number of those who regularly use the services. The ‘Pay for your Neighbour’ has been a big hit too, with people giving names and addresses, and payment, in order to help a fellow commoner in need. This is greatly appreciated by those bound by the confines of their property. There is recognition at the good quality of the food too, people enjoying themselves, though there had to be scaling back in this department as people disliked the over generous attitude. They seem to be progressing at a happy medium, a learning curve, of knowing what people want and need, and how much to provide or allow them to use their own resources to solve the problem.

“That is good. These games are so exhausting, it feels like there is never an opportunity to stop and sit down.”. Ayla perches upon a stool as she turns off the oven, the last of the baked dumplings are completed as the rich aroma fills the kitchen. “You are telling me. My legs are aching from that action.” Maura gave a cheeky smile over the choice of words, Ayla couldn’t help but smile towards her. “Nothing like that ever slips by you, you catch me out every time.” “Well, Ayla Arslan cannot too perfect now, she needs a good dose of hulimity.”

One of the regulars Antio made their way towards the front, “I saw you both in the colosseum! and.. oh… how is your head?”. Ayla cracked a smile as she rubs upon it. She never expected Jocasta of all people to do a cheap shot like that against her, a full powered shot aimed for the back of her head. Thankfully she was able to slow down the shot enough or she may not been simply beaned by it. “Trying to decide if it knocked more sense into me or out”, making light of the situation. “Definitely out, you are not kidding anyone” mused Maura. Antio laughs at the pair, as he holds his hands out to pass the cooking pot over to be served. “My Ma keeps questioning me on the food. She thinks I have snuck a woman in the house”, “Wait till you tell her you have two in your kitchen”, not missing an opportunity. Ayla moves to fill the pot with the beef stew and dumplings, kindly passing the food back over. “It would be lovely to meet Mrs Antio one day”, Ayla replied with a smile. Antio scratched his head with a light blush, “My Ma is unable to attend, so I can keep the ruse going a while longer of her thinking she has a good son.”, “and she does, you could actually be cooking for her!” Maura gasped at Ayla, and Antio looked shocked, Ayla’s eyes widen as she stammers out an apology till the pair burst out laughing. “No no, you are entirely correct, the Century shall charge me for poisoning my Ma if I gave her my cooking”,

As Antio walks away, she turns towards Maura. “You frightened me. Thought we deeply offended him then.”, “There is no ‘we’ about it. You were merciless!”, Maura shines a big smirk towards her. “My goody-two-shoes apprentice may graduate one day after all.”

Shadier figures decided to make their entrance today, and with the usual protection out spending time with a certain Perrench girl, it leaves the matter to Ayla and Maura to resolve. The ruffians decided to take a look at the kitchen as they started passing judgements about the quality of the establishment, especially the sewer rat special, a truly novel creation they came out with.

Ayla simply sat there with a smile plastered upon her face as she deadpan replied, “Unfortunately we do not have this on the menu, but would beef and dumplings work as a suitable substitute? We can offer a taste so you may see if it is to your liking”. The makeshift leader cocked their brow at Ayla’s response, “Are YOU being FUNNY with ME?”, he raises his voice towards her. Ayla shakes her head politely, “It is freshly made today, and we put a lot of effort into it. Would you care to taste it? I would appreciate your honest opinion. Your friends too. Have a seat and make yourselves at home.” The ruffians kind of look towards eachother, making jokes, “Yeah, you better SERVE US, huh” with emphasis upon her nobility. They slapped upon eachother arms as they made themselves comfortable. Maura soon pulled up towards them, serving from a tray upon her lap. “Here you are, enjoy yourselves!”. They dig into the food and appear pleasantly pleased, though the makeshift leader has some more words to say “GRAVY? More like SOAP WATER, right boys?”, they all chuckle and laugh. Maura, still in proximity bowed her head, “We are sorry to hear you disapprove. Please hand over the bowls and we will dispose it for you”. The table became silent, as they looked towards the ringleader “Boss, it is rather good actually.”, “If you don’t like it, I could take that soap water off you”. The ringleader starts to flush red in embarrassment and anger. “You’re NOT having ANY OF IT” as he snarls, “Now CRIPPLE, why don’t-'' though the words cease despite his talking, the others taking note as the ring leader shows awareness. Ayla claps her hands together, “Now now, as my Ma used to say. No talking whilst you are eating. There is plenty more if you need it.” She releases the sonic dampening as the Ring leader opens his mouth to speak again, as she then quickly clicks her fingers to silence him as quickly. “I think he is trying to say he would prefer a spoon”, the meeker up speaking up for him. Ayla simply smiles as she stops the dampening, “Then why didn’t he say that with his inside voice, we can gladly provide him with a spoon”. Maura uses her magnetic magic to bring over a spoon, then politely hands it over. The Ruffian chief grunts as he enjoys the food, the group getting a second helping. At the end of it, the majority of the group even paid their fair share before walking away without much ruckus.

One of them even came to the counter afterwards, Enthish tang to his voice. “We were well rude there, you did us good. We heard this place was ran by a noble bird taking advantage of us and we came to see her out”. Ayla politely smiled, “One was born a noble, you are correct.” The gentleman looked towards her rather puzzled, “If you don’t mind me asking miss, but why you here of all places and not in your fancy castle?”. Maura couldn’t resist but chip in, “Don’t ask her that if you want to be home before Dawn.” Ayla blushed a little as she replied, attempting to give a briefer response. It seems to have a growing reputation about long winded monologues. “To put simply… those who have, should help those who have not.” she moves towards the ‘Pay for your Neighbour’ jar. “People who are poor in coin are not poor in heart, they freely offer to help out their neighbour. The nobility have lost sight of this, and become poor in heart. This needs to change.” The gentleman looks towards the jar, as he grasps the meaning, “So the Traveller is right. We must cast them down and burn down their castles… yours excluded Miss, obviously.” Maura couldn’t help but giggle at the exception. “The Traveller isn’t right. The Traveller preaches that Justice is an Eye for an Eye, but all this would achieve is making the world blind. If helping someone who is in need of a coin is answered by giving them a coin, wouldn’t helping someone in need of heart, by showing them heart?”. The Enthish lad did look very confused and irrate at this, “So we respond to their brutality by rolling over like dogs?!”. She shook her head as she moves her hand upon his. “No, you respond by showing them how to treat someone properly. Firmly but fairly. You show them that you have heart. You show them they are in the wrong, not you. You win by changing their heart, making them see the error of their ways. You don’t drop to their level, you raise them to ours.” The Enthish lad looks a little confused, but definitely calmer. “So yer saying… we treat them good then they start treating us good?”, Ayla gives a nod, “When you came in earlier. Were you insulted? were you thrown out? were you treated bad?”, the lad shakes his head, “No Miss, you were mighty fine”, “And now, you and your friends have full bellies, feeling happier, and we were not escourted to our fancy castles. We get to have this chat instead, a far better outcome!”. Maura shakes her head, “Oh, is that dawn on the horizon?”.

The lad takes that as a cue as prepares to leave, “I don’t follow all them fancy words, but you are sound like a pound Miss.” Ayla takes the hand and holds it, “Wait, what is your name, you never gave it. My name is Ayla Arslan.”, “Maura Mercador''. The lad looks a little embarrassed, “Erm.. Smith, John Smith. My father is, you know, the smithy.” Ayla beams widely, “An important occupation. May Ipte enchant you and your family”. “You two too, Misses.”




Event: Victors and Vanquished | Location: Saint-Jean de Glane & Solenne.



Asier spent the first days arriving in Saint-Jean de Glane taking the time to feel more Perrench. He was frequently being seen as an Eskandish spy with his appearance which started to grate, so slipping into some tourrare leathers made him feel more comfortable even if he was now seen as a different kind of stranger in these parts. Snorri, now also dressed up as a Perrench priest boy to disguise his origins, the pair make their way towards Solenne to prepare the capital for war from the advancing Kressians.

Along the road, the pair come face-to-face with the all too familiar sight of the walking mountain of iron with a kitten perched upon its shoulder. He waves towards the kitten knight, ”Sasha, you are a sight for sore eyes!”. He moves close to give the big hunk of metal a big embracing hug.

The kitten wasn’t so much an infant as it was just minuscule - The sort that was found on that island North of their lands - and it meowed at the sight of Asier. It seemed Segu had come for the ride and took a backseat when big dragons were involved. It was funny that Asier noticed the cat and not the massive monster of a horse Sasha had been travelling upon, along with two Tourrare envoys behind them with quite large beasts too. And of course there was Sasha, clad in layers of iron that were frankly overkill.

The not-so-big pseudo-knight hopped off the mighty steed with a loud thud that cracked some of the stone beneath their feet. A quick strut toward Asier made it seem as though the kitten knight was coming for a hug, but just as they got in arm’s length, they snatched the bearded knight’s wrist and attempted to hurl them toward Arriscat, Sasha’s steed, ”You are required in Hierbamonte, Asier.” there was a LOT of power behind this ‘assault’, ”The King and Queen are gone. Your duty is elsewhere.”

Asier takes the throw as he is hurled towards Arriscat, taking advantage of the situation to start taking a hold of the squires horse for himself as he leads it by the bridle. ”As much as you are lovely to greet as always. My duty is in Solenne. We have to deliver the boy and warn of the impending advances from Kressia.” He guides the horse to come alongside his own. ”Now as your superior, you are instructed to follow my commands.” He offers Sasha the biggest toothy grin he can muster.

The bundle of metal remained stoic, whilst the little cat appeared unbothered by the increase in movement, scurrying to the less active shoulder, or even onto Sasha’s massive chestplate if needed. Again, Segu meowed, ”Lovely?” Sasha paused, head tilted as they witnessed Asier’s usurping of Arriscat, ”And a boy?” and then they acknowledged the previous inconspicuous Pentad representative, ”Who is this? What is his name?” the tone was almost as accusatory as the gauntlet pointed toward him, ”It was told you would only have a small, armed entourage. What is this?” they definitely seemed agitated. The stress of being outside the routine was already bad enough. This was enough to let Asier’s attempt at a jab get lost to the aether.

Asier pats upon the squire’s saddle as he encourages Sasha to stick their big metal behind on it. ”Hello brother, it is so good to see you. Hope the Eskand slave owners treated you well.” he mimicked in a gruff voice with a notable tone less stoic than Sasha themself. He responds to himself, ”Thank you for asking. The Eskand didn’t appreciate my big bonfire, so they hauled me off in chains. Managed to break free with some fellow prisoners, raided the Palace, and made it out with the crown prince of Eskand, Snorri. The boy wishes to know more about the Pentad in Solennes and meet Arcel himself.” He put his hand in his pocket as he pulled out some ration to hand over so Sasha may feed Segu for comfort and simply waved his hand as he instructed Sasha to follow him. ”The boy is important to our mission, prioritise his life.”

Sasha just stood there, shifting attention between Asier and Snorri, ”You’re talking to yourself again.” remarked Sasha with a very implied deadpan face behind that big helm. Segu was very curious about Snorri, enough to actually crawl off his owner’s shoulder with a calculated hop that came with a few butt wiggles, and gave the kid a few sniffs, ”An Eskandish. A Royal. A Hostage. Segu!” a high-pitched whistle followed the call, a change from the metallic and very slightly distorted voice coming from the mass of metal. The cat obeyed once the whistling happened and hopped back onto its safe space, ”He shall not leave this one’s sight, then.” and with that, Sasha ascended with the help of the gift back onto Arriscat.

”A higher authority has set a new mission upon you, Asier.” said Sasha whilst bringing their mountain of a horse onto a trot to match the Knight’s pace, ”Solenne does not need two Tourrare. Leave the burden and return with your escort home. That is the mission given.”

Asier waves his hand dismissively at the instruction, ”Your sister would simply send me to bring you back home as well. It will turn into a never ending cycle of escort missions till we are both there at the food table.” Sasha was quick to cut off Asier, ”Giselle is the higher authority. Family first. Tourrare first. Home first.”. He simply smiles, “Giselle is the highest authority in my heart, but render to the King which is owed to him.” takes out a neskal and flicks to the metallic hulk. The coin sticks onto the piece of armour it falls upon. ”Safety of Parrence is important for the safety of Giselle, family, and the Tourrare.” Asier does muse for a while as he mulls on thoughts of his family, ”How does my wife fare? How is Maëlle?”. Sasha answered promptly, ”She is well. She has brought young Timéo to this world during your absence.” they mentioned without a hint of social tact or consideration, ”Your presence would be greatly appreciated by the family.” Asier scratched his beard as he cringed a little, ”Is how you are going to tell a man that his wife bore him a son? You are now bound to tell me all about the little Horselord and describe him well for me.”

They continued marching forward, with Sasha keeping behind Snorri with their concerns and suspicions made clear from the very start. They would, eventually after pleasantries that were entirely one-way, arrive at Solenne with minimal breaks. They were there before the Kressians at the very least, and they were to have an audience with the higher nobles that ruled in Arcel’s stead during his wartime absence. The Tourrare were seldom welcomed with open arms in the Grand City, especially with the King and Queen away from their thrones.
”Solenne! The Capital of Parrence and the seat of power. You will probably be spending some time here, my young devotee.”, he smiles warmly towards Snorri as the boy continues to keep a low profile, whereby his true identity could cause trouble if discovered. “Some food, some lodgings, then we approach the palace to speak to the lords that rule in King Arcel’s stead.”




The decision makers in Solennes behaved as one would expect when the fate of their King was a gamble with a lot to win and just as much to lose. Asier pleaded his case - they needed to pull in reinforcements and seize the initiative against the Kressian rising. However, the lack of good will the horse people held toward at court and the politics that ruled Solennes led to a slow and ineffective processing of information. Before long, scouts began to report the breaching of their border by a Drugunzean army they had believed to be stonewalled by their ally Otto.

Most of the decorated fighters and Generals were in Chamonix or at the front against the main Eskandish threat, leaving Solenne, a capital thought to be far too remote and grand to be touched, was in great peril. Asier was one of few that could potentially lead this, with Gèrard Castel bolstering their ranks. They did have another weapon at their disposal, although Sasha had omitted to mention it, until now.

”We have a dragon.” they claimed out of the blue, for what seemed to be no apparent reason, as they stood by Asier. ”A Monsigneus-turned-Gehenna Tyrannus. Tamed by Maerec de Solennes. He is on his way here.” Segu was busy grooming himself while Sasha overlooked the fields beyond Solennes from the top of the city’s walls. Fields that would soon be flattened, scorched and repainted with blood. ”They cannot be trusted - The men and women you spoke to. The way they look at us puts me off.” the armoured Squire reached over to give a couple of pets to the cat with the leathered underbelly of their otherwise massive gauntlets, ”Be prepared.”

Asier twirls the moustache part of his beard, “There is doing this the Tourrare way, of course, dear Sasha.” He smiles brightly towards the chunk of iron and its kitten, ”We appeal to the people directly. Brother Castel can get the church on side. We get the commoners, and the nobles would be swayed into action. We will get some of the locals on board, then we will go out to slow down the advance and by the time they reach the walls, we will have an army fit enough to face them”. He gives a wide mischievous smile, ”What do you say to that, my squire?”

“Okay”






Event: Roses and Neskals: The Treasure Hunt | Location: Various places around Sipenta





The Adventures of Ayla Arslan

Picodon Supreme
Ayla, being the charitable one, spent most of her time in Bernières-sur-Lac helping some Nun’s at a small convent move some very stinky cheese, despite many temptations offered by the gods to go exploring and abandon the Nun’s to their hardship. However, that was not her way, as she was persistent, and even Ymiico came along to help out too! They were rewarded with a big cheese wheel as a response. Then Silas, full of wine and eager for cheese, decided to trade Ayla for her cheese in return for an old pretty flute he found. The trade was accepted.

Flute of the Winds: a beautiful porcelain musical instrument, stunningly complex and yet oddly simple, that plays a peaceful but haunting tune every sunrise and sunset when left in the wind. The craftsmanship is excellent.

Teufelsumpf
In the Teufelsumpf, Ayla went to a mysterious island and found a Sirrahi outpost! This was surrounded by a host of dangerous creatures and an initially hostile snake-people. However, she befriended the snakes who called themselves “Silly” and “Willy”. She also taught them how to use an oven as they only use these strange devices that go cook food nearly instantly and go ‘ping’. They provided her with some BBQ sauce as a thank you.

Nixie Five's Bull BBQ Sauce: warm, sweet, and spicy

Villa Sparviento
In Revidia, Ayla took to seeing the Animals in the Doge’s personal zoo and menagerie. It was full of lots of varied animals; A troupe of bespectacled howler monkeys from the jungles of Southern Virang, A trio of monkeybirds from the same area, A juvenile Dusty Thresher - the only known extant land-dwelling species, A brine whale in a tank, A giraffe from Belzagg. Ayla being the animal lover she is, saw a rather distressed Zoo keeper. It appears that people keep gifting an increasing number of animals to the Doge and there isn’t the appropriate space for them. Ayla offered to help out, which was politely declined, but there seemed to be something she can help with.

A pride was gifted and a little puff lion cub was rejected from it! It was definitely the cutest thing ever, especially when she first met it. In an indoor holding area is a smallish dog-sized pinkish-red furred animal with a great shaggy coat, large black eyes, a little button-snout, and a subtle spotted pattern. It takes in a deep breath and appears to... more or less inflate as it does so, particularly around its neck. It then lets out a terrifying roar that would seem to come from a creature ten times its size. It deflates as it tails off, finishing with a small mew. Ayla being as Ayla is, roared back at it! In the end, she ended up taking it home with her. She named him Asier, after the legendary founder of Casa Arslan.

A Puff Lion cub in a kennel, abandoned by its mother. Pale pinkish-red and very fluffy.

The Adventures of Ashon'amar'loiyang, also known as Jamboi

Picodon Supreme
In his search, Jamboi came across a perfect beach to bring Penny to view one day when he came across a strange seaweed creature who was hostile and frightened. Once he calmed it down, he discovered it goes by the name of Asheemo and it appeared to be one of the rumoured sil'siisoi. After patching up the creature, she took her bag with her and swam off.

Encounter: Asheemo

Baobab
Jamboi heard about ‘Monkey Castle’ and as the self-proclaimed Monkey King, it was only natural for him to head to this location, only to encounter a true Monkey King! Jamboi with his sleight of hand technique as he pulls bennies behind his ear and other magician illusions, earned himself the title of Monkey Emperor and received the appropriate tribute from them..

A hoard of rare Avincian-era coins buried beneath the roots of a very old and recently upturned tree, including some of Zandonius, the emperor who wasn't.

Faulty Towers
It seems that exploring old ruined towers was not Jamboi’s best exploits as he simply evaded one trouble and straight into another. From also being eaten by a mana slime, to being threatened by a huge sloth, he managed to escape the encounters and come away with some trinkets.

A book of sketches of soldiers preparing for a battle, titled "The Days Before'. Appears very old: collectors' item.
A sample of manaslime. It's nearly dead. Not very useful for anything except eating it. High chance of illness. Temporary power boost akin to a mana brew


The Adventures of Maura Mercador

Anghazi Floater
Maura explored the old ruins of the stadium that was upon the canyon floor. She uses her mixture of binding and kinetic energy to mobilise the best she can and find an axe for her trouble! Now to work on being able to wield it…

A massive battle axe, ancient and ornate, stashed in a crevasse on the cliffside. Engraved on it are the words, "With this, I conquer", and a name: 'Aheri'. A collector might be interested in this item.

Rising Waters
After plenty of thresher warnings, she managed to make her way to the shop on the back of the Halassa.She went on a spending spree as she started picking out gifts for her friends.

Papa Carlito Eleven's Original BBQ Sauce, a sharp, herbal BBQ sauce with a lot of aroma. (
- A small guidebook on how to mix Torragonese drinks.
- A packet of assorted seeds.
- A small framed picture of a girl in a wheelchair from behind staring peacefully out at the sea.
- A pair of grippy fingerless gloves made of a strange material.

Blue Meanie
Maura being the shrewd merchant tried her luck at the mystic markets. The first thing she noticed was the beautiful hat upon one of the stalls, though expressed some disappointment as everyone else seemed to have the same idea and rushed towards it. Rather dejected she ended up in an argument with a very aggressive and incredibly shady individual who started throwing trash at her and calling her a gimp. Though she got the last laugh within that trash, she got herself a treasure.

As the others had cleared from the hat. Maura couldn’t resist the urge to go and investigate herself. She was informed that the gentleman wasn’t selling the item, and it was precious. Maura being cunning could easily weasel for it… however, she did find herself really drawn to it, finding herself to be far more sincere than intended.



What Maura finds in the wand is ... An oval-shaped stone resembling the pearls found within a Royal Sand Wyrm, albeit much smaller. It reacts differently to magic than other materials do.

The Zonneheksenhoed (Solar Witch's Hat): A white and gold witch's hat with a wide brim. Gives off a warm aura and lights up with runes at night. Increases casting power by 2%


The Adventures of the Spratz Sisters

See @jasbraq‘s post for details.
Summary:


Runic Crown of the Grandmaster Sorcerer: An ancient black wizard hat of magnificent design. There are metal bands stitched into it with glowing runic symbols. Casting power increase of 5%

Real Prize: Ayla, Maura, and Dory are going to set up a group together! Hold this space for the Spratz Sisters.

The Adventures of the Monkey and the Snowball

Far less exciting is that Jamboi and Oksana go fishing in a very smelly pool in the sewers! Amidst the turds, they managed to find things of worth.

Oksana’s Reward: The Pearlescent Cutie - A Cousin of the notorious Green Meanie, it is capable of living both in water and dry land, although it cannot actually breathe in water. Like the green meanie, it has a very potent slime that can be corrosive, however if worked by a competent chemist, it can be turned into a strong medicinal ointment. The stuff sells for a lot, and a slug is considered extremely valuable. Very mild temperament unlike a meanie, and its mucus over its pale flesh reflects an iridescent colouring that is very pretty to see.

Jamboi’s Rewards: A mass of Bennies that accumulate to around 1500 of them, making over 1 magus of pure bennies for Jamboi to use!
Busted Hang Drum - A quality Hang Drum that has been dumped in the sewers recently after its mistaken use as a cooking pot. The metal is mostly fine but its gained some additional dents and bangs during its disposal and could use some repair. If restored, it does make a decent instrument and collector's item, albeit not at the level of a Seoul Sistas instrument!





Ashon'amar'loiyang


Event: A Penny for a Kiss | Location: Ersand’Enise


The Betting Hall


Penny would've headed to the wall, and places like that would be natural for her yasoi partner to frequent, but there were already people headed there. Conversely, she had less than zero interest in the sewers, no matter what might be found there, and Ashon didn't strike her as an aficionado of claustrophobic spaces. It was between the Betting Hall and the Grønhalle, then, and the latter was squirming with Eskandr in all of their sweaty, beer-soaked, piss-smelling glory. She'd have rather bathed with a shark. Gambling was connected with Reshta, for what it was worth, and her pointy eared - Is he a friend? Was that a date that we went on? - seemed to be into that, at least. "Hey Jammy boy," she chirped, "wanna check out the Betting Hall?"

Jamboi scratched his head. He is not into the greed and material wealth that flowed through such places, and the concept of debt is rather foreign to him, but he sees that she is interested. Besides, he does love playing games, perhaps they could get a few bennies to rub together and have some fun at the same time.

"I heard that if you win, they reward you with a chicken dinner.", he gives her a large smile, "Cannot say no to some free food." He gives her a wink, as if he had already decided they were going to win already. "Let's see the journey that Vyshta and Reshta takes us both, Pen Pen"

The betting hall was CROWDED. The Streets were crowded too, and asphyxiating. Perhaps not the best space for a Yasoi, but as they got closer to the hall, the herd of people seemed to thin into three distinct rows to get their turn with one of three bookkeepers. As they arrive, they notice that outside, on the curb, was sitting a man with a cheap cigarette, weeping and clearly down on his luck. Everyone seems to be ignoring him too.

Penny may be playing the part of an unremarkable merchant girl, but she still feels that she should uphold the standards of behaviour expected of those of royal blood. She twists to look at Ashon, who appears a good deal less thrilled with this place than she'd hoped, though he's being a gentleman about it... in his own way.

"I'll buy you a whole turkey, Jammy. It's a fitting bird for you," she teases. "But I'd like to check in on that guy over there first." The mirth falls from her face as she gestures subtly in the direction of the crying man. "Loneliness is a crappy feeling." She rises onto her tiptoes for a second. "Please?"

Jamboi simply tilted his head towards her as he plastered that damned smile upon his face. He was hoping he was keeping up appearances but this was honestly a very much a first for him. Penny definitely seemed excited by the place and what caught his interest the most was the compassion she is sharing for the gentleman who is crying. He hasn't seen this side of her before and this revelation certainly did catch his interest, "You know what they say, more the merrier... and perhaps some of our luck rubs off on him, he looks like he could do with a chicken dinner right about now."

Penny creeps up to the crying man. "Not having your best day, hmm?" He's not far from the small, scuffed-up statue of Reshta on the establishment's outer wall: a superstitious staple at every gambling house. He looks utterly beside himself. She crouches in front of him, trying to keep a supportive look on her face.

It was as if he had zoned out everything around him, as he ended up very much startled by Penny's arrival, "Ah!" he nearly drops his cigarette. A quick brush of his face removes the tears from his cheeks, "Understatement." he claims with a light Revidian accent. He wore the typical worker's outfit and the coal stains on his cheeks and hands were more evident than that they were closer, "You don't look too fortunate yourself." he looked over at Penny and noticed her leg, or rather lack of.

Evidently, being some sort of avatar of Reshta didn't carry as much cachet as Penny had been starting to think. A silly, fleeing notion that had been anyhow. "I have food in my stomach, a roof over my head, and mana to fill my veins." She smiled, leaving out the negatives and things for which she yearned for now. "And I have him." She glanced back at Jammy, who was fidgeting and squirming in the background as only a yasoi could.

"Though it was not always so, I am fortunate enough," she assured the crying man, "permanent state of hopping aside. Now how about you?" she prodded, "What seems to be your loss?"

Gianni takes a long swig of his cigarette before taking it out of his beak and exhaling a large cloud of tobacco. The ashes are left to slowly drop into the stone pavement as he stares absently before him. "Just now, I thought I'd got as a last resort a safe bet on that Ice King fellow." he mentions, gesturing aggressively at the general direction of mudville, "But you know what that turned out." The same hand goes to press against his temple, holding back his emotions now that eyes are on him, "Now I've got nothing to help support my brother's family - MY family!" he continues, his gaze still directed forward, "And our mama. We can't get her the medicine now." he whimpers, doing his best to keep the tears in. He does eventually twist to look over at Jamboi, "I have to take another shift in the large smithy. Our dye business just doesn't make enough with my brother and I. And now it's just me ..."

Jamboi nods his head, as he looks over towards Penny. He isn't sure what she had in mind, but clearly helping this gentleman is a priority for her. "Well, what kind of medicine does your Mama need? Perhaps we can recreate it or find a way to get some for you". He does have some proficiency with chemical magic, he can put some of those issues short term at ease, perhaps.

He looks towards the Reshta statue, then towards the man, then towards Penny. He shrugs. "I tell you what... We will help you out, and in return, I will share you a secret and you make me a promise." He stands up as he rolls some bennies between his fingers.

"The secret to good fortune is..." He leans next to the statue, "make it yourself". He places one of the bennies upon the pedestal before it. "You are a good man who is taking care of a good family. You throw good out into the world and the world throws good back at you."

"So we will win you one of those chicken dinners, our good deed to you and your family. In return, you never step foot in here, for you will only find a fool's luck here, and you will also do something else, it will be very simple for a man like you..."

Crouches lower towards him again. "When you see someone in need of a good deed, and you are able to do so, give them a helping hand. Let's spread that good fortune, eh?" He gives the man a big goofy grin and holds his hand up for a high five.

Penny arched an eyebrow at the attempted high five. Dye Making was usually a fairly lucrative trade. If they were struggling, then something was amiss: illness, injury, or foul play. "It is as he said: gambling is a fool's luck and you do not appear a fool." She paused. "If you don't mind me asking," she prodded, "What is your specific misfortune? If I can help, I will."

Jamboi rubs his head as he notices that she didn’t read between the lines, perhaps that was more of a yasoi observational trait. He was tempted to try hand puppet communication but feels that may fall even flatter. Decided to go for something more on the nose. He high fives himself then moves around to Penny as he slides an arm around her, bringing his head to her level. "He is a family man. He is admirable taking care of his Ma and brothers family alike. He has my respect." He gives the girl a big smile.

Gianni just stares blankly at Ashon. The Yasoi boy really came off as tone-deaf and it didn't help with the man's mood. He answers Penny's question with an undertone of frustration directed toward Jamboi, "My misfortune - My family's misfortune - Is that the best of us are cursed to be blinded by the will of the very Gods!" he spits a glob of saliva that reeked of damp and cold tobacco onto the ground. He shakes his head in a pacifying manner to try and regulate his growing anger, "Last night, my brother ended up with holes for eyes and a tarnished face, making him as good at dyeing as -I- am." the cigarette is flung as he stands to then step on it, "Now he can't do what he loves. Provide for his new family. And Mama can't get the medicine for her Gout. I'm the only one left that can work." he looks over at the betting hall, "And I'm not the man my brother is. Fool's luck or not, what choice do I have?" he whips out a new cig and non-verbally asks through gestures if they could light it.

Penny conjures a bit of flame and the tip of Gianni's cigarette starts to burn. She shoots her rather-too-significant other a bit of a look. "Ashon," she says sweetly but firmly, "you are such a nice guy. Really, but let yanii handle yanii things, mhm?"

She turns back to the smoking man and narrows her eyes. "He woke up with holes for eyes? Just... out of nowhere? Nothing else whatsoever happened?" She had a bad feeling about this.

Takes the cue as he withdraws from the conversation as it seems he is falling flat despite his best intentions. His fingers squeeze upon Penny's side in a comforting empathetic manner as he hears the words. He has already seen what has passed. A curse more than a blessing. He simply decided not to say anything.

Gianni shakes his head, "I don't know. Fiorella and Mama didn't see anything. Paolo ... It's hard to get him to talk, he is so scared." he calms down, taking a few huffs from his tobacco, "I'm usually at Mudville at nights." he pauses, "With a friend." and then he clears his throat, "But I remember there was some noise and a fire towards the Quarter. No one said anything about it so I thought it was just something about the games."

Penny can see that Ashon is feeling awkward. She pushes up onto her tiptoes. "Hear about or notice anything unusual last night?" She turned back to the man and remembered to hold out a hand. "I'm Penny, by the way. He's Ashon, but we call him Jamboi." She smiled faintly. "It means 'monkey' and I think it's rather fitting. I didn't get your name."

"Gianni." he replies and takes the offered hand, and then offers it to Jamboi now that he has calmed, "You two aren't from around here, aren't you?" it was quite obvious for Jamboi, but Penny was another story, especially with her 'condition', "I was almost thinking of asking if you had lost your leg yesterday too. I know our neighbour had a similar accident, actually." he offers a recently rolled cigarette to both of them.

Takes the offered hand with a smile and a nod confirming the obvious statement and raises his hand to politely decline the offer for the cigarette.

Jamboi tried his best to present as pleasant to the pair. Trust Penny. Yanii problem, Yanii solutions. Trust Penny. A fight for the overwhelming urge to say something is strong, but doing his best to leave it to his better half.

By Penny's fourth birthday, her inquisitive little eyes had recognized that every other person she saw had two legs where she had only one. If she had grown up understanding that she was different and yearning not to be, she had also grown up in a very sheltered environment, allowed to go few places and see few unique people, lest the shame of her existence become widely known. It had always struck her as a gross overreaction on her mother's part. The result, however, had been few stares and fewer questions. People had become used to her and she to their casual non-interest.

Coming to Ersand'Enise had been jarring: the eyes that followed her, the leans into a partner's shoulder and murmured whispers, the sad faces and glances back, the gawking from children, and the questions. Oh, the questions! Some were reasonable and others... had certainly not been. She was just some girl with one leg. She'd made up a good few stories: she'd lost it in battle with a savage tribe deep in the jungles of Palapar. A strange illness, incurable by magic, had claimed it. She'd sold it to pay off a crushing debt. A wildblood had attacked her and paid with its life. She was actually Talit'yrash reborn. By Eshiran, it had been a shark!

This question did not precipitate the usual inward eye roll, however. Between Jammy's offhand observation and the fact that a neighbour of this man had also woken up with a similar grievous wound and no memory of it, her instincts found themselves pricked. There were advantages to having grown up as permanent scenery within the deep and tangled pit of vipers that was the Perrench monarchy: she was good at sniffing out conspiracies, and she was beginning to catch the reek of a great big one here. "I apologise for imposing." She politely declined the cigarette and reached into her coin purse. "Might you be able to lead us to your brother and this neighbour? I am not sure yet, but I'm starting to get an inkling that this was not an act of Eshiran. I will, of course, compensate you for your time." She shot a glance Ashon's way to see if he was on the same page as her and was starting to piece it together. She could sense that he was struggling with being quiet. She felt both guilty and bothered. There was something significant going on and she was going to get to the bottom of it one way or another.

For a moment, Gianni went silent. The smoke is exhaled from his nostrils this time. There is hesitation when it comes to bringing in outsiders close to home, especially when most know there was something abnormal going on, and almost anything abnormal could be attributed to them: those with power. Still, Gianni is young and clearly still taken by the gravity of his family's situation, to the point of impulse gambling, "... Two incantors. For my family and the Lotti's." He is firm on this one, arms crossed and eyes like a hawk as he begins to scrutinise them both quite thoroughly. If it weren't for Penny's disability, all things considered, he likely would have dodged this altogether. But if anyone could maybe get the pain of the families, it could be her. Or at least Gianni thought.

Jamboi sensing the focus upon Penny's leg, he looked down towards it instinctively as he did an eye-roll of yanii problems. Yasoi culture took a different view, as the example of the name Vyshta's Favoured. Superstition around it being viewed as both a great blessing, and a potential curse. Admittedly, he tends to forget it is a thing, and never actively thinks of his partner in crime as the 'one legged girl', simply another aspect of her being such as the shape of her nose and the creases in her face as she smiles. Even whilst standing next to a statue of Reshta, which is viewed as some kind of one-legged demi-goddess, such a viewpoint is taken. Even if it is going to be viewed as tone-deaf, he couldn't stop himself as he plants a soft peck against Penny's head, "Mh? She's perfect, like the sun breaking out at dawn."

Against all his better judgements, it seems like he is getting roped into these affairs, despite his well intentioned way of attempting to avoid the situation from the start. If he knew he could walk away at any moment, yet he felt compelled to stay by her side, even if she could currently squish him like a bug in terms of raw power. An awkward and nagging feeling.

He moves his hand into his pocket as he brings out a fistful of bennies. Given his reputation around being a little clueless around money, it might be far simpler for Penny to pay the man despite his best intentions.

"Too bad I'm usually sleeping in," she teased. Indeed, it was a bad habit that she'd picked up. She'd been late for a few classes. "but thanks." She hands Gianni his coin and exhorts him to lead the way. She flashed Ashon a grateful smile.

Gianni raises a brow at Ashon's presentation of bennies with Penny again coming to the rescue with four coins to cover the entry costs, "Okay, follow me." he locks his cig between his index and major fingers as he begins to escort the two through the crowds and alleys, eventually leading to a block where textiles were treated with various businesses that held residences over them. Gianni gestured toward his dyeing establishment, "Welcome to Bruni's. My family's business and home." then turned toward the opposite building, "And the Lotti's." although it is a cotton working business, that family is more oriented toward wood carving and some metalworking. Their decision to reside in the area likely had to do with the Revidian dominance in this street in particular.

Just as they approach Bruni's, a woman steps out on the small balcony facing the street. Her features are illuminated by the candle she is holding, emphasising her long brown hair, olive skin and brown eyes. She is also very pregnant from what they could see, "Gianni? Who are they?" she asks, to which he promptly replies, "These are people interested in knowing about the accident, Mirella." he answers, "They want to help." he adds.

"Accident? Help?" she inquires with clear ire, "What happened was NO accident, Gianni. Why are you bringing strangers to our home? You KNOW this was the doing of outsiders." she squinted at the Yasoi in particular, "And you bring a Tree-ape. Those with the magic. They're going to cause even more trouble, Gianni."

At the mention of Tree-ape, he did put his hand to the side as he tried to discreetly comment to Penny. "I have a reputation". He simply gives a wide goofy smile and a wave towards the woman on the balcony.

He was soon finding himself with the urge to talk, perhaps provide an alibi, an accident in the dye works, a much needed desire to dye his tunic violet as he cheers from the stands, with some coin and a pair of hands, help put some bread on the corner. Such a routine could easily slip from his tongue, he could talk himself out of any troublesome situation as good as he can talk himself into any troublesome situation.

He allows Penny to take the lead. Yanii problems require Yanii solutions. His idea was to simply to treat the old Ma, rig a few games for a jackpot, then shove the coins in the man's pockets and set him free, get him spreading further goodness out in the world, but this was not the way in the yanii lands, and probably not even in the yasoi lands either. Maybe in Jamboi land though where he is the King.

Penny bristles as Mirella refers to Ashon as a 'tree ape'. She narrows her eyes, fighting a momentary urge to put this rude nobody who threw her goodwill back at her into her place. Fortunately, it passes quickly, and the big precious seems to be grinning and bearing it, taking the slur relatively well. Still, she isn't. "You're right, ma'am," she replies, sympathetic but firm. "It was almost certainly no accident." She shook her head. "People with magic - people like us - are almost certainly behind it and Ashon and I don't think that's right. We're here to see if we can figure out who, how, and why. Having manas doesn't give one the right to be awful."

Mirella keeps quiet while Gianni steps back a little, clearly way over his head with this situation and just enjoys his smoke. "You're damn right it's not right." concedes Mirella, now that the steam is unleashed she could think for a moment, "What are you going to do? You're kids." she leans over the metal barrier of her balcony and crosses her arms over it, "It's not the first time people want to get back at those with the power." She has no trouble articulating her grievances and with how she speaks seems to be decently educated despite her social class, "Not even your Century can stop this, it looks like. Maybe if you weren't all too busy searching for those that actually fight for us, this would never have happened."

It occurs to Penny that the damage likely lies irreversibly deep here. These people are already radicalised if they're referencing the Traveller: a figure of careless and tireless evil who stirs up nothing but hatred and senselessly feeds commoners aberrations in the hopes of making an army to - What? She thinks, start a bloody war and lop off the heads of people like me? How many will die? she wonders. What real change will come of it? It was foolish of her to come here. She feels for their plight and the wall of apathy and feigned innocence that they run up against daily, but they clearly want their pound of flesh more than they want any help. Her eyes narrow. Stepping back, her crutch catches on a cobblestone and she stumbles momentarily, but she recovers quickly. Reaching into her cloak, Penny pulls out a large coin purse and thrusts it into Gianni's hands whether he's ready or not. "I did not come here in good faith for myself and my friend to act as objects of mockery," she says to the woman on the balcony. "If you don't want my help, you won't have it. I feel for your family and the injustice you faced. I hope this coin helps you find your way in the coming days." She turns on her heel and begins walking. "You were right, Jammy," she added quietly and brusquely to her partner, "Simple coin was the best remedy after all. These people are unsalvageable. Let's go."

Jamboi simply blinks as Penny takes a sudden sharp turn out of the situation and starts to walk away. He has certainly missed something that has transpired between them. He speaks up, perhaps fruitlessly. "If the tree-ape can speak", he simply taps the bottom of the man's hand, taking the coin purse within his own hand, as he simply robs it back, temporarily, probably earning everyone's ire and attention at this moment.

"The world is unfair. Some are tall, some are beautiful, some are caring, others are protective" as he highlights those present, "We are all different, and yet whilst some call this a weakness, I see it as a strength. We all bring something we can offer each other in our own ways. It is true, there are those who are cruel, there are those who are selfish, these make us feel pain and hurt."

He easily makes his way up the wall as he moves upon the balcony giving the pregnant woman the coin purse. "She may have had this coin, but she wanted to share it with you because she cared about his story and wanted to help.” thumb in Gianna’s direction. ”Your fierceness to protect your family, your child, admirable, and this is important" he waves a hand over to reference the bump, then pointing to Gianni "and he has the kindness to want to care for you all and take on that responsibility, despite the desperate circumstances. In this unequal place, by helping others, we only can truly help ourselves and become whole."

He hops down upon the street, "So be fierce, like a lioness to protect your cub, but importantly, be mindful of others and don't be quick to dismiss them, as they may require your protection the most."

He makes his way towards Penny as he waves them off. He scratches his head as he gives her a wide toothy grin as he approaches her, speaking softly. "Cannot have him gambling it all away again, Pen..."

Penny twisted to regard Ashon. "I know, Jammy." She glanced down at her foot. "But I'm not sure she should have it either. They're in bed with the Traveler. He wants people like me - like us - dead. He purposely creates aberrations and feeds them to his brainwashed followers!" She shook her head. "Think about what those have done to your people... And someone like that? That 'cause' is her only comfort now. Half of the funds will end up in the hands of that maniac." She was angry, irrationally so, and she knew it.

Gianni's cigarette is left hanging over his lip, bound only by the excess saliva that made the butt of the stick damp. What just happened? Mirella is sneering at the kids and he was left with a purse filled with coins. It is a great score, but it all feels wrong. Like the world just got a little darker despite the win. And then Jamboi just snagged it. That brought back the confused young man back to Sipenta, and the monkey-boy definitely earned the glares of everyone involved, probably even Penny's.

His speech is, well, dramatic and rose tinted, but it definitely worked on the more naive Gianni. Mirella is ready to shoo him away, but the prospect of money with their current situation was too good to pass-up. She held the purse, but didn't utter a word. She couldn't. She had lost everything, and all because of those that consistently stood above them. Even above her, an educated woman who could have been so much more if she just had magic. She too felt it 'wrong' to get this money and end it like this. But she could live with that. Mirella retreated to her home, but Gianni, after a quick exchange with his sister-in-law, rushed over to the two.

"Hey! Hold up!" he calls out. He caught his breath after making it - the cigarettes didn't help his stamina at all - and raised his hand for them to wait a little more, "Sorry. Ahem. Look, I know how she sounded but ..." he scratches his cheek. He is having trouble formulating sentences, like he had a feeling but couldn't find the words, "She's angry. She- We lost everything, in a way." he plainly explained, "And she wants someone to take it out on. But she is a good person. My family is." he reaches within his vest and whips out a small bag containing a dried herb of sorts, "I was going to save this for the festival at the end of the trials, but ..." he chuckles, "You take it. As a thank you. At least for trying."

Penny was going to refuse. She didn't want or need some nice tobacco, but it was his way of feeling like more than a beggar, a dependent. He wanted to have something to offer in return and she knew that feeling well. "Thank you," she replied, managing a faint smile. "Don't gamble on it, please. Invest it in something you do well. There's enough there and you're not just your brother's shadow." She felt like a fraud saying it, but perhaps a bit less than usual. "Oraphe crafts all of us with a chance to thrive, else why would we be here? Make your own luck instead of relying on others." Then, when she and Jamboi were on their own, she leaned suddenly to the side, snuggling into him. "Thank you for being awesome. I know that wasn't fun. I feel like I owe you a drink and a show. Soul Sistas tonight?" she chirped.

As Penny shared her words, he did adopt a rather dark look in his eyes. One that he would have to actively turn away as he hides it from her. There were things he knew well, too well, and... those are perhaps left for another time. He was in no mood to discuss those things.

As he heard that shouting, Ashon turned as he smiled widely again as the man came. It seems his message did get through and despite those misgivings, there was some real decency in these folks, even if they are misguided. Even if it wasn't even a yanii, or even a yasoi solution, there is some merit to the jamboi-solution even if it is not immediately obvious.

Jamboi on the other hand does take the tobacco. Opening the box as he takes a sample of the leaf inside, "My friend loves plantweed" as he closes the box again. He gives a big grin as he departs from Penny a moment to whisper into the man's ear, putting his hand in his pocket as he ends up putting a bunch of bennies upon the top of it too. From all appearances, he just used the box of tobacco as payment for something else entirely. He clasps the man upon the shoulder as he sends him off. As Penny gives him a quizzical look, he simply gives one of those cheesy smiles. "I believe you call that a barter".

He gratefully accepted the snuggle as he escorted her back towards the colosseum, it is her game soon after all, even if he had all the free time in the world. He didn't need to be a genius as to why a Perrench girl would want to watch a show done by Green Fields academy, but fully willing to amuse her all the same. "and if you cannot wake in the morning, perhaps we should wait for the sun to break instead" he mused in return.

"Pffft." Penny gave him a raspberry and a punch on the arm. "I shall awaken like a goddess!" she chirped, spinning a full three-sixty on her heel. "For now, running time, or I'm gonna be late!"

Concert at the Five Thrones Tavern

Standing tall on the corner of Parade Street is the Five Thrones Tavern. Having been founded early in the city’s history, the establishment is a major tourist attraction in Ersand’Enise. The high quality food served here brings in a sophisticated clientele that wouldn’t normally be seen around commoners, and the venue is exceptionally spacious and clean compared to other establishments in the area. Thanks to the tavern’s reputation the price to dine is higher than the competition, but it is still reasonable for commoners to treat themselves here a few times a year. It is rumoured that Zenith once came here to celebrate her birthday.

Tonight there is a special occasion being advertised for the students and residents of the city. Thanks to the sponsorship of a particular Perrench nobleman, all drinks are on the house until sunrise. Furthermore, there is a music show being put on tonight courtesy of the internationally famous Seoul Sistas. One can easily see them through the door as guests exit the establishment; the all female troupe, stunningly beautiful even by Callanasti standards, appear to have an otherworldly glow to them as they set up atop the dimly lit stage.

Before you are allowed to enter the tavern, you are stopped at the door by a pair of tough looking Centuries. One of them is a two handed swordsman with a frog mouthed helmet. The other is a polearm user wearing a steel bucket. It is difficult to see their eyes, but you can certainly feel their hard gaze as you approach them. They regard your presence by firmly tightening their fingers around their weapons.

"Alright kids, I'm gonna need you to stand there for a sec." The swordsman, or woman based on the voice emanating from the helmet, stepped towards the students while her partner stood close by with his weapon at the ready. "I hate to do this to ya, but I gotta search your pockets before you go inside. No need to spread your arse or anything."

The Century pats down the crew in order starting with Ingrid. Despite her humorous demeanour the lady takes her job seriously, rubbing down every inch of people's clothes for things the students can only guess at. She pauses after giving Penny a pat down, but does not openly comment. Marci's wheelchair earns her no pity, for she gets searched just as thoroughly as everyone else, bust and all. Desmond's hidden weaponry is quickly discovered, but are not confiscated. Weapons for self defence seem to be allowed within reason. Zarina and Ingrid may find a sliver of amusement in the fact that the Century, who could probably crush any of their Zenos in a no holds barred duel, is forced to look up at the freakishly tall women as they get frisked.

After a few uncomfortable minutes the knightess backs off and resumes her post at the door. "Sorry for the fuss. You kids are good to go." She gives them the big thumbs up. The Century are more talkative than they look! Maybe it would be worth shooting the shit with them before going into the tavern.

Those who proceed inside are greeted with the sounds and smells of clanging beer mugs, rowdy bar patrons, and delicious food aplenty. The indoor lighting is tastefully measured so as to not hurt the eyes of the night time crowd. The entire venue is bathed in a calm orange glow. The Five Thrones Tavern is packed to the walls with guests both from Ersand'Enise and from afar. It is likely that the establishment is close to capacity. One has to raise their voice quite high just to hear themselves talk over the booming echo of the hundreds of guests.

The ones who take particular interest in the main event will spot one of the famous Seoul Sistas pacing back and forth near the stage. It is Ms. Hong, and she appears to be in a state of distress.

Ashon was approached by the door staff, they didn't even bother to start frisking him down. He puts his hands upon his hips as he tilted his head towards them. "I am Yasoi, my weapons are part of my religion."

In the land of the Pentad, that seems to only infuriate them further as he is led to a lock and storage box, provided with a key, as they encourage him to remove anything that could be remotely classified as a weapon from his person. He will be permitted to access them again after the show.

He takes a long time, in a display that would make Desmond green with envy. Straps, knives, his climbing kit, a hair pin, a coils of rope and wire, his belt, anything remotely metallic including his fistful of bennies... blatant discrimination.

He eventually makes his way up to Penny, looking sheepish for taking such a long time. He does show the girl that he managed to smuggle in his wooden tie for his hair braid. "Yanii's never learn."

Penny snorts, feeling it in her nose. "I guess they took all of your money too?" she teases, rolling her eyes. Not that she particularly minds, but Jammy never seems to have any money. "So, where we goin', big guy?"

He smiles widely towards her. "Eeh... you know these guards so well." Perhaps it was the Centuries special way of telling him to 'sod off' being without a benny to spend, or even use the excuse of him being light with his fingers as perfectly valid grounds to drag him out of the building. Fortunately for him this time, he is in the company of a rather rich merchant girl who... who...

Jamboi paused for a moment as he looked down towards Penny. "...we have no money." Whilst Penny may have forgot in her haste, she donated her pocket money to the victims of yesterday's conspiracy to help them get back on their feet. "It seems we are doing tonight Yasoi style." He shoots her an extra large grin.

"Oh for fuck's sake," Penny whined. "No good deed goes unpunished." She rolled her eyes. "At least the drinks are free. Don't need much more than drinks at a place like this." She headed to the bar to order a Honey Mead. "How 'bout you? Whatcha having and where d'ya wanna go?"

Jamboi was already midway about to swipe someone else's drinks in his Yasoi concept of finders keepers when they played loose with property law, as Penny gentles corrects and guides him into ordering like a civilised Yanii. He lifts two fingers up towards the bar keeper indicating a second drink as he mirrors Penny's choice, ultimately enjoying the party in a truly Yasoi manner of having an open bar!

"You know the short one (at the auction)?" as he attempts to strike up small talk with Penny, "She was practising a song with the Sistas. (perhaps they will sing it tonight)" He attempts his best at trying to speak like a Yanii, leaving half the sentence missing as to leave the listener guessing as to their intent.

"Ayla?" she questioned. "Sounds like her kinda thing. Big stage for a small girl." Penny grinned. "Now, what say we don't just sit here? We're either getting drunk or we're finding something interesting to do."

Jamboi tilted his head to the side. "I thought her name was Palmtop Lion Cub..." he recalls an interaction where he overheard Ayla getting addressed as such, it seemed to be a cute nickname for her, because she is small and she is adorned with lion jewellery, as he gives a smile.

Jamboi could certainly get rowdy, and without much prompting, he would easily have her seated upon his shoulders to give her the best view in the house. "Perhaps she is with them. Might be able to get her VIP Access to the Sistas" He leads Penny over towards Ms Hong.

Jamboi and Penny creep up just in time to overhear the leader of the Seoul Sistas give Desmond her request. Perhaps they can beat him to the punch, and find the culprit behind the missing hairpin before he does!

Desmond started to try and clam the woman as he said, "It's okay, I can find it. What does it look like and where did you last see it?". Desmond kept calm with a smile, this was exactly what he was looking for.

Xiulan holds her hair up in a mock bun. "Hairpin. It's a hairpin. It's made of pink diamond and looks like a peach flower. It just... fell out of my hair somehow! I think someone may have stolen it."

Desmond now has to figure out who might have snatched the poor girl's pin. There are plenty of people in the tavern worth asking about it.

Desmond gave her a smile and a nod as he said, "I'll get it back for you, don't you worry". As Desmond heads off to start his search. the first person he would ask would be a person he knows would have an eye for things, the Respectable Bar patron.

As Desmond made his way over to a more crowded area to lose sight of those who could possibly be watching, mostly lamplighters who were probably trying to catch people. He was much more wary there as the moment he stepped in, the Respectable Bar patron could be alone, or they could have multiple running around, either way he always made sure to keep his possessions tight. Desmond took off his badge before exiting the crowd.

Jamboi and Penny exchange a glance as they overhear the request. Not that they have seen a hairpin matching that description, it is that 'Luck of Reshta' moment as the only sharp item of his he managed to smuggle in was in fact, a wooden hair tie. same difference

He moves towards the girl as he gives her a goofy smile. "Couldn't help but overhear you both. Take mine till yours is found." He pulled out the far more simple wooden hair tie of his own and offered it to the girl.

"I know it won't replace the one you have," Penny chirps, "but hopefully it can help in the meantime, until we find it!"

"Awww, that's sweet of you. I'm sorry, but that hairpin was special to me. It was a gift from my best friend. Not just any old pin will do." Xiulan gave Jamboi and Penny an apologetic bow.

Penny takes a moment to consider. "Hey Jammy," she says, leaning in conspiratorially. "What if that sketchy person who was pickpocketing has it?"

He accepted the refusal graciously as he returned the item to his person. "When did you last notice you had the item, and when did you notice it was missing, and what happened between those two points of time?"

Whilst Desmond appeared to go on his goose chase, he tried to narrow down the search to the most likely candidates of who and where when it came to the hairpin.

Penny nods at Jamboi's question. "Yup. If we can narrow it down, see if things match up..." She trails off, twisting to face the famous bard.

He tilted his head to the side as he pointed towards Desmond in response to Penny's question, the sketchy gentleman who had just left. "That one?"

Penny facepalmed... hard. "No, Jammy boi, the one he was just talking with."

He grins even wider towards her, he knew that she knew he was right. That is why she made that reaction.

"I don't know..." Ms. Xiulan frowned and crossed her arms. "I was walking from the bar back to the stage and then it was just... gone! I didn't even have a second to see who grabbed it. They might have used magic."

"Want to go with good Century, bad Century?" They decide to follow the trails of the other as the pair of them start to approach the local Rusty Blade to gather further information.

"Sure!" Penny chirps. "But um... if it turns out she actually has it, how good are you at... helping yourself to free things?"

It seems that Vyshta has a great sense of irony in this moment, considering the events elsewhere when it comes to being able to read the rune scratchings on the base of a table leg but struggles to find the person within a very crowded room... of course. Sensory overload.

Jamboi is full of bravado, but it is because of him that the little pickpocket nearly escapes. She saw his goofy yasoi self coming from a mile away. Luckily Penny is there to save the day, and she manages to ambush the girl from around a corner.

"Hey, what gives!? You guys with the guard or something? I'm clean!"

Jamboi decides in the absence of his answer he plays the role of bad cop. He holds his hand out towards the chair as he indicates for the Rusty Blade to sit upon it as he has the assistance of his beautiful assistant to encourage her to sit down.

"A little birdie told me you like to collect hair pins", he brings out his wooden hair pin as the shows the sharp end of it towards the pickpocket. "So I wanted to play one of my favourite games with you. If you give me the missing hair pin, you win and you can run away..."

He pushes the pickpocket's hand upon the table with a flat hand palm down and fingers spread. "I'll give you a tip, keep those fingers spread", he says lowly before returning to the game rules, "If I don't get the missing hair pin, you'll lose, and I'll give you mine"

A free hair pin for losing? What is the catch?

Jamboi moves the hair pin in his other hand as he starts to tap the table in a slow rhythmic motion. He taps it next to the hand, then between the first finger, then next to the hand, then the second finger, the tempo slowly speeding up. "I am still practising this trick, I think my highest was twenty in a row..." as he says that, the wooden pin taps harder upon the table. If he misses with that thing, it is going to hurt.

"Gemmy, nooo!" Penny squeals, purposely providing a false name for him. "Come on. I'm sure it was an honest misunderstanding. Girl's gotta make a living, you know! She couldn't have known it was yours!" She turns puppy dog eyes first to Jamboi and then to the thief.

"Hey, hey, take it easy man! I admit it, I nicked the damn hairpin! Just take it!" The rat bastard struggled out of the yasoi's clutches and stood up. Her jaw moved around until a piece of metal poked out of her lips. She spat the missing hairpin on the floor right on top of his shoes. While he and Penny were distracted, she dove low to the ground and sped off, determined not to get slapped with cuffs for her thievery. She was quick!

Quest Item obtained: Ms. Hong's stolen hairpin. Quite valuable, but no special properties on its own.

Jamboi waves the hair pin towards Penny. "It looks like your Gemmy was shining brightly today, just like his Pretty Benny." The groan he will receive would be worth it. He obviously makes his way back to Ms Hong as they cash in her valuable hair pin

Sometimes, Ashon was a doofus, an idiot, even. She found herself rescuing him again and again, but he was so unlike anyone else she'd known. Penny found herself grinning. Unpredictable in a world full of predictable people. When he won, he won big. The Perrenchwoman grinned and hurried along behind him. "Hey you," she prodded, catching up. "You know, sometimes, just sometimes, you're the best." She smiled, cheeks growing warm.

"Ohhhhh!" Xiulan looked like she was about to cry as she graciously attempted the hairpin with both hands. After putting it back in its rightful place in a Rettan style hairbun, she gives Penny and Ashon a big hug. "How can I possibly thank you two!?"

The pop star rifles around her pockets desperately for a suitable reward, and then a light turns on in her head. She slides one of her rings off her hand and offers it to the pair. "Here. Take this. I have a box full of these thanks to daddy always buying stuff for me."

Reward - An enchanted jade ring. +5% drawing speed from arcane energy sources. The gem catalyst appears to be removable.

Jamboi smiled widely as he was given the jade ring, he couldn't help but beam at the fact it was this jewel that was gifted to him. The fact it matched his eyes was clearly a noticeable fact. He turns towards Penny, giving her that almost speechless smile. As he tries to quickly fill her in. "You would believe this. I met the actual Monkey King in Baobab. He paid tribute to me when I declared myself the Jade Emperor."

He points the ring right towards her face. Yes, that is very clearly jade. Without thinking, he takes Penny's hand as he pushes the ring upon her finger as he gifted it to her.

Penny gasps. "Oh my Ipte, Jammy..." She looks up at him. Then, standing on her tiptoes, she leans in for a kiss. She has never kissed a boy before. She's not sure if she's doing it right. She doesn't think, though. She just does it. Jamboi would dumbly accept the kiss because he didn't expect that reaction, kind of freezing on the spot a moment as she locked upon him as his eyes widened.

A very imposing presence suddenly arrives, somewhat late to the party. Zarina, in her infinite grump, is here, "BOO!" she attempts to freak out Jamboi from behind. It seems Vyshta's luck struck again...

The kiss doesn't happen. Penny whirls on the spot, shooting Zarina an incredulous look. She... doesn't really have words. Is it intentional sabotage at this point?

"Hah! Found you, Non-Yanii." it appears she did not actually know what was up and just wants to address Jamboi in particular, "You and I," she wags her index between herself and the Yasoi, "we got something to discuss. Big, important thing, yeah?" if he focuses enough he could notice just how thick and sharp her nails had got. It was quite lucky that he didn't get cut there!

He looks between Zarina and Penny, looking rather confused at this interruption. He looks towards Penny as if asking Is this a yanii thing? with his eyes as the strange girl approached him. He scratches upon his cheek as he is not sure how to respond. "I thank you for your interest, but I am currently with some one..."

"Zarina," says Penny, pivoting on her heel, "I was about to kiss this big doofus." She purses her lips and blinks, not taking her eyes off of the intruder. "You just interrupted a girl's first kiss." She sighs. "About par for the course for me anyhow." There's an eyeroll. She tries to hide the size of the letdown. her heart is still hammering. Now she'll never know. "So, what seems to be the big news? It's okay. I'm only slightly pissed at you."

Zarina's attention span in her current state simply doesn't have the capacity to focus on something for too long. Penny got her attention, and Zarina cocked a brow, "Hey, you snooze, you lose girl. The Gods have deemed it so, or something." she shrugs with a slightly smug look to her, "The news can now wait. I have dishonoured you and ruined your precious first kiss." she cracks her fingers and grins wide, showing off her slightly changed teethed - just barely sharper than normal, "It's about time you get back at me for being a major cunt. Twice! And I heard there was an arm wrestling game full of pansies."

Penny scowled determinedly. "Alright, beanpole, you're on."

Jamboi witnessed first hand the changeable nature of yanii's in action. Going from the importance of a first kiss to arm wrestling within the blink of an eye. Apparently the other girl had something super important to say too, which has now vanished.. Compared to the passionate pursuits of Yasoi and their aloof disinterest in anything they find remotely boring, they were far less unpredictable.

Seemingly abandoned for the moment, as is the way of love, he turns to Ms Hong.

"Is the girl small and fierce like lion cub performing with you tonight?" When he gets her attention, he makes a song request and a lyric change. Perhaps the girl would be generous enough to fulfil his request.

"Eh?" Xiulan tilted her head in a puzzled fashion. She slammed her fist into her palm when she realised who the yasoi was referring to. "Oh! I'm sorry, but this is an official concert from the Seoul Sistas. Our song schedule is set in stone. I'm afraid your friend won't be joining us on stage tonight."

He understands. "If there is something you can do, I know to rely on you."

The night grows old, and everyone has had their shot at a good time tonight. The drinks flow, games are won, and friendships are made all around. This is a night of celebration, and there is indeed celebration aplenty. Regardless of how everyone's little adventures turned out, this will be a night they will remember. Despite all the excitement though, the party isn't quite over yet.

Over the cacophony of clinking glasses and boisterous laughter, the low note of woodwinds begins to rise ever so slowly. Everyone who was in the middle of a game or conversation is alerted to the buzz of music and drops what they were doing to look in the direction it was coming from.

Dressed in a shimmering blue hanfu, Liu Ai took the stage with a paixiao flute in hand. Weren't the Seoul Sistas supposed to be a single unit? What was she doing up there by herself? It was a good question to ponder, but rational thought flew out the window when she began to hit her high notes. Despite being the least glamorous of the five, it was clear this girl was practicing until her lips bled.

But then another instrument joined Liu Ai's solo performance. The air on the stage shimmered like water, revealing Seong Ji-Woo and Nazari Nia. Their matching yellow hanboks matched up well with their makeup, and the dim orange lights of the tavern complimented her appearance. Kneeling on a pair of cushions, the two plucked their hearts out on the strings of their handmade kayagums, filling the air with a crisp and clear sound.

Then a strange lady does a backflip onto the stage, landing on a pillow in a perfect seiza. It was Kimura Mio, dressed in a flamboyant shiny kimono with a shamisen cradled in her arms. How she was able to be so athletic in her restrictive clothes was anybody's guess. As she took to the stage, an unseen entourage of background performers began beating on their drums in accompaniment.

Finally, the whole room explodes into a flash of color. A blinding light momentarily obscures everyone's eyes, and when they are finally able to see again, they are able to witness the sudden arrival of Hong Xiulan. Where there was once a tearful, timid lady, there was now a performer full of confidence. A few kind souls were able to retrieve what she thought was lost, and the positive energy came through in her explosive lute playing. Her beautiful peach flower hairpin shone under the light as she danced around the stage, singing a program of traditional songs from each girl's homeland.

It is almost impossible to hear oneself think in the midst of the orchestrated performance and the frenzied cheers of the gathering crowd. It became so heated within the Tavern that people nearly started climbing over each other to get a closer look at the Seoul Sistas. This was a rare spectacle after all. One could not move between countries overnight unless they were a master temporal mage. Some people went their whole lives without seeing a musical outfit on the calibre of these five ladies.

The hours passed, and the performance slowly wound down. The final number was approaching, and as they tended to do the Sistas chose to end the night with a song that the locals were likely familiar with.

"Walkin' holdin' hands, you say you're mine all mine
Then soon another face steals your eyes away~"


It was an unusual sound, but an uplifting one. It was also rather amorous, and the mood within the room began to take a turn as couples leaned further and further into each other. The romantic lighting and generous distribution of liquor meant that people's inhibitions were breaking down, and many loving displays were shown off in public view.



”𝆕 So here’s a benny for your thoughts, a Penny for a kiss, a hugo if you tell me that you love me~ 𝆕” Xiulan winked at someone in the crowd as this line left her lips.

The song lasted only minutes, but it felt like the closing act was almost an hour long. Maybe it did. The free drinks made it hard for anyone to remember the time. But like all good things, the show had to come to an end. Hitting one final note on her instrument, Mio hops to her feet and chucks her shamisen into the crowd!

The lyrics had been changed, only a minor one during the chorus but quite a significant one when it came to a certain someone... A Penny for a Kiss. It was upon that certain lyric that Jamboi places his hands upon Penny's cheeks, as he guided her face towards him. His thumb caresses them as in that very moment as he leans in as his lips connect with her own.

And Penny leans into it, and it is good.

Penny’s first kiss.



Ashon'amar'loiyang


Event: A Prickly Situation | Location: Ersand’Enise



As Jocasta came for the introductions he crouched in a sitting-like position to make himself eye-height to her. “You must be Ayla and Maura’s friend. So, I have some messages…", he starts to count on his finger as he tries to jot his memory. "Ayla would have loved to be here herself but cannot, it appears she sustained a concussion during the final, so she sends you a big hug…", he scratched his head as he avoided stating the obvious reason for that outcome. He didn't think anyone missed the resounding thwack as Jocasta beaned Ayla hard, ouch.

Maura wanted to see you importantly about something as well… there was probably something else, but long story short, they sent me.” he finished counting upon his fingers then he scratches head as he tilted it to the side looking towards her with a big charming cheesy smile. "Ashon'amar'loiyang, but you can call me Jamboi for short."

Pleasantries out of the way, he narrows his eyes a little as he looks towards the temporal disturbances, and subsequent offerings of temporal magic for a magus caused him to raise his eyebrow. His remain his own on the matter.

On the plus side, Ashon certainly looked a little less out of place then he thought, with two red-heads and a boy in red. Perhaps we are the Red flags he mused.





Event: The Test, Enough is Enough | Location: Fountain, Arboretum




Ayla was surprised at the crowd that had gathered for this meetup. She awkwardly twiddled with her red ribbon amongst her blue ribbons, thinking she may have somehow stumbled in the wrong place, but with the others adorning ribbons similar to her, it seems they were all here for the same purpose.

She moved to look over the posters that adorned the wall:
“When, if ever, is it acceptable to break the law?”
“You have two minutes,”
“...I’m listening.”

That last one did make her smile, stating such a thing to a sonic mage was tantamount to a taunt, but she understood the objective, it was to assess their character. In some ways, she wonders if what is said was actually important. She carefully considers the question, two minutes each, she purses her lips, as if daring to speak first.

“Nothing is as simple as breaking or not breaking a law. First, we have to clarify, what is a law?”, she starts a more whimsical and philosophical approach. “Why have laws in the first place? What do they serve? There are many types of laws and rules, and their intention is important.”

She has often witnessed the courts in Varrahasta to see justice served. Whilst her father was very cut and dry, you broke the law, you obtain the punishment, then onto the next. There were many others such as the wise city elders who seemed to serve with a wisdom and grace beyond typical comprehension. The good ones always seemed to examine and account for things like circumstances. There have been many a time people have had a literal slap on the wrist where there is typically a severe punishment through their mercy. She always liked to listen to the old men, often creating a story, a narrative, and a punishment fitting of this.

Ayla starts to share with an example from her homeland, “Zaqhory Desert tribes believe that if you eat shellfish, you profane the gods and are cursed with sickness by them, and so by religious law, prevented to consume shellfish even outside the Desert. However, in Varrahasta, we eat fresh shellfish all the time. Is it a case that their gods hold no power over the city?” she mused the question, “The answer is, shellfish very quickly turns into a deadly poison, especially in the desert. So why does the law exist? To prevent those in the Desert from succumbing to sickness and death. As a consequence of the law in those conditions, it is to save peoples lives, however, such a law is not absolute. If the conditions change, shouldn’t it be okay to eat shellfish?”.

She ponders the concept further, “Laws are a tool. A blunt one, but their purpose is simple, protection and order. People know where they stand and what to expect. Though like all tools, it depends on who is wielding them. A hammer can be used by a blacksmith to create a cooking pot to feed a family, or it can be used to injure someone. Laws are not fundamentally just in themselves, and tyrants have often shown us this. Laws have limitations. It is for the wise and just to apply these appropriately.”

“With this in mind…”, she clicks her fingers as she directs towards the lake. “There is a law that says you should not swim after dark. In the water, you see a child drowning. The only way to rescue it would be to enter the water. Do you follow the law, or do you follow what you know to be right? Which is more valued, the law or that child’s life?”

“So my answer is simple. There are fundamental values, as transcribed by the gods that transcend the laws of man. They move us to act and do what is right. At times, laws follow these values as a general rule, for one should not steal, one should not murder, but there are times where the law is not enough and doing what is right is paramount and takes priority. In those moments, there is an obligation to disobey.” With her own little speech finished, she finds a nice place to relax as she leaves the floor to the others to continue with where she left off.






Event: The Dragon | Location: Various places around Sipenta

Maura - Deep Blue Sea

Maura adorned in her swimming costume, goggles over her eyes, some ribbon wrapped around her legs, and a body board to help keep her afloat. She is going to do poorly in this race, but she is going to do her best to defy those expectations.

As she dives under the water, she watches side to side as they kick with theirs legs. She rolls her eyes as she moves her hands behind her, and with an explosive initial thrust, she propels herself forward at speed as she fires Oxygen and Hydrogen gas behind her as jets.

“This is a Magic contest, folks!”

Maura blasts into ninth place, as she leaves 247 other teams behind in the dust. Not bad as she looks at it this way. In terms of points, they came in joint fourth place.
Ayla - Burdensome Beasts

Ayla has prepared herself and Yo’ldoshoy with a clear plan for victory before the rumours start to circulate of treasures in the Desert. She decides to detour to pick up on the signs, soon coming across a blue square box.

Ayla polishes the device as she tries to examine it, wondering what it could be. She decides to continue ahead, coming up in the rear in thirteenth place. Though her companion followed her instructions comfortably coming fourth.

“My special number.”
Jamboi - The Dragonspine

Jamboi was already prepped for this. Rocks? Walls? Trees? It was all the same to him. No matter what the others claimed, none of them could compete in this challenge like him and it was blatantly unfair to the rest. To make it somewhat fair to the rest, he decided to carry his team-mate across the finishing line with him.

Memaru was wrapped around his body like a koala-bear, the Eeaiko who are vulnerable to the cold pushed up against his back as they shared an overcoat.

“Please… feel free to leave me”, the girl was very embarrassed to be placed in this position with the Yasoi.
“No worries, we will come first and then second together like peas in a pod.”
Her cheeks flush red, “Can you not describe it like that?”
Jamboi chuckles as he looks up towards the steep face of the cliff, and with a tug, it is up on the wall.

Jamboi ducked and weaved as he was facing the barrage of assaults from the one known as Augusto who constantly kept changing the landscape whilst the Hegalen took advantage of his relatively pain-free climb as he moved with machine-like efficiency. However he was not a challenge for the Monkey King himself as Jamboi was able to keep pace and even overtake him, with Jamboi even having time to blow a kiss to the Yasoi known as Chad as well as he ran circles around him on the way up.

As Jamboi is sliding down upon the home stretch, the unexpected happens. The Hegelan comes riding down upon a massive snow tortoise and blasting ahead of him. He detours as he slides down the ski-jump, hurling himself into the air as he fires out his dervisher pegs to pull him down at increased speed.

No matter how close he gets, he just missed first at the finishing line.

”That was a good race!”
“Can you find somewhere to let me down? It is very hot under here.”
Oksana - The Dragonspine

Oksana gets to the top of the peak as she sees how some had already made it to the finishing line. There was no way she was able to keep up with a hegelan, nevermind whatever that yasoi had been smoking prior to the match.

Another comes up beside her as he looks out towards the horizon. She turns to look towards him, in a quizzical manner.

“JUSTICE”

She looks out towards the horizon herself, nodding solemnly in agreement. She signs towards him as her hands pull towards her as if cold, then waves her hands down in a diagonal manner as she brings a finger to her eye then clenches her hand.
“Ice and Snow as far as the eyes can see.”



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