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File: 1542153136422.jpg (209.18 KB, 1277x721, tumblr_o4ti8ceOFI1uqcakjo10_12…)

Morning Light: Thread 1: In Media Res The Foreword!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550358[View All]

#ask/invite #canon: lost light universe #era: six hours before high noon #no but for real it's a fantasy au #era: morning light

It is a time of legends.

The world has never known more peril than it does in these halcyon days, nor has the sun above it ever shone brighter for the brave and noble souls that stand against the forces that want the mortal world for themselves.

Twenty years have passed since the greatest of Man's princes turned traitor and took up the mantle of the Lich King, sitting in his citadel of ice and bone in the far north of the world, plotting the downfall of all things good and pure in existence, and yet all his necrotic might and icy hatred has been for naught against the heroism of the cities that were once his and the arms and armies of other cities still that never trusted him, even in the days where he yet possessed a soul of his own.

It has been ten years since the disaster at Kaprika, an entire civilization vanishing overnight, sucked screaming into the realm of Chaos and leaving behind a frigid hellscape of capering demons and embittered, haggard survivors, a place where the veil between material and immaterial is treacherously thin and the unknowable things that wish to gnaw on the bones of the myriad mortal races and spit the gristle out claw feverishly at the bars of their cages, shrieking and gibbering where none can hear, but for every demon that bursts through reality like a swollen, diseased pustule, there are twenty silver-armored figures of the Seventh Legion to stamp it out, purple bolts of witchfire splashing off their armor like greasy smoke and tortured, inhuman shrieks falling on deaf ears as these few elite among Stormwind's countless defenders condemn the beast to another eternity of seeking an entrance into the materium.

It has been five years since the formation of the Orders, fraternal organizations that seek to look beyond border disputes and age-old blood feuds to protect their various homes and ensure all are ready for the next inevitable crisis, for there are always more crises, more than could ever be put into words; those named are but a few among innumerable, just as the glories and honors of these days. The orcish warriors of Orgrimmar raise a shout of joy and pride to rival any cheer of Stormwind's human sons at news of slain titanic beasts or repelled demonic incursions; the archmagi and nether-scholae of the College work tirelessly to bring new arcane wonders into the world just as eagerly as the dwarvish blacksmiths and runesmiths of Ironforge show off their newest inventions to the merchant-lords of Reeve. Every war sees new wonders created and discovered in tandem, every spat between Horde and Alliance is in spite of how well their soldiers have overcome the Fallen Son's latest plans. It is a world of contradictions and sureties, myths and mysteries.

Rejoice in what it means to know honor and glory, for these are words that mean a million things to a million beings but have never been more universally understood. Marvel at the wonders of the age, for to live here is to witness an epoch of discovery and remembrance, to see gods and science existing side by side.

It is a world where adventure can be found wherever it is sought, and where the battle must never be forsaken, no matter how dire.

It is merely a matter of time.
77 posts and 46 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

Hazshara!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550676

File: 1542948182825.jpg (119.27 KB, 900x754, lady_scorpion_by_la_sera-d694o…)

>>41550603

Hazshara's pincers clicked and clacked slowly and uncertainly as she eyed the oversized drifter, but it was't much longer before her mind was made up and she moved outside with a cautious scuttle. That caution was quickly forgotten as she saw the sack of gold that was supposed to pass for payment; the aqrabuamelu's eyes flicked from the coinpurse to the giant, her entrepreneur's spirit almost immediately overriding her warrior's zeal. "Indeed you have," she noted at that penultimate comment, arms crossing over her chest even as her pincers lifted the opening of the bag and held it open for her to inspect. Her poised stinger swayed idly behind her as she thought over the offer, but not quite as idly as she chewed on her bottom lip, lost in a realm of possibilities.

"Well," she resumed after a moment's contemplation, "It would depend on what you are looking for in particular, if anything." She let the bag slump back shut as she returned her attention to Caelia, arms still crossed. "If what little I've heard about Northrend is any indication, you don't need any help with traversing any harsh elements Kalimdor might have to offer." She tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Metapod or Kakuna excretions could harden a leather exterior enough to protect against arrows or javelins if you're going through kal'dorei territory..." If Caelia offered a blank expression at the name, Hazshara would offer a helpful: "The night elves." That done, she resumed. "It's a tricky enchantment, but there are creatures that can disguise themselves with their environments... if you're trying to draw less attention to yourself, I could give camouflage enchantments a shot." Her pincers raised up to chest height and clamped together, giving her a nice convenient surface for her to clasp her hands together in a business-like gesture. "What are you looking for?"

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550684

>>41550646
>>41550648

>alright, now it was starting to click. granted, Notty wasn’t making any more sense, but at least Alhaz was starting to get a feel for her particular flavor of weird.


Eheh, not literally toasty, Notty. I just meant it’s really warm. Buuuut…

>she paused to shrug off her backpack, briefly checking for any small food she’d had left over since she’d arrived in this town. some dried fruit, some bread, some – oh! she still had some of that really good beef jerky she got a few stops back, that should be perfeeeeeeeccccccc…


>Alhaz froze in place for a moment to glance back at Tesya out of the corner of her eye, then to the dried meat in her backpack. on second thought, Alhaz elected to just give Notty the bread instead.


>anyways, back to the subject at hand. she did find Notty’s mention of having more than one dad a little peculiar, but, I mean, it’s not like she was closed-minded or anything. it’s just not something you hear about every day, right?


>...more importantly, why did she say “one of my dads”? that phrasing was a little weird, right? why wouldn’t they be living together? wouldn’t she just say “either of”? did she have multiple dads? this girl’s whole family situation sounded very strange, but one thing at a time.


Well, um, anything more specific that you can tell us? Does your village have a name? Anyone important or well-known you can remember? The nearest city, recognizable landmarks, anything like that?

Notty!q3zXVe21B.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550685

File: 1542985853251.jpg (55.68 KB, 480x480, I dont know.jpg)

>>41550648
>>41550684
>"Not literally toasty, Notty."
<"Whatrally?"
>before she could really pose a question, the sight of food snapped her out of her curious state
>Notty quickly held out her hand towards Alhaz, hopping slightly in place as her fingers made "grabbing" motions, eagerly waiting for the bread
>as soon as Notty took it, she brought it up to her mouth to begin hungrily nibbling on it
>"Anything more specific you can tell us?"
...

...

>silence...


>"Does your village have a name?"

...

...

>silence...


>"Anyone important or well-known you can remember?"

...

...

>more silence...


>"The nearest city..."

>still silent
>"...recognizable landmarks, anything like that?"
...?
>this actually gave Notty pause amidst her silent breakfast
>she stopped her nibbling on the bread, bringing a finger up to her her bottom lip in a gesture that very clearly indicated she was thinking
...

...

Well... there was the obelisk outside the village. Everyone gathers there once a week and prays for a while.
>another pause, Notty actually trying to remember any more details
Dad says it's there to protect the village; that the Suzerain of Storms is able to watch over over all of us through it, and guide us in our times of need...
>she looked down at the piece of bread, growing silent for a few seconds
...I never understood how He could see us if the obelisk was underwater though. You can't see the village at all from it.

Baraquiel DiogoCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550686

>>41550664
>Oh? Now his interest was piqued. Why would this young healer feel the need to hide her name? He hadn’t missed the skip... but he wasn’t going to pry either. He owed her that much. Sitting up in the bed, he seemed to relax, the healing magic doing its divine work. Now all he needed was a drink.
“So, Miss Gwenalle... how has a blind woman such as yourself stayed safe with all these ruffians about? I imagine little Cosette’s been doing his part to keep the lady of the house safe?”
>He said, giving a questioning look at the serpent. He didn’t quite speak the language, but he knew enough about the body expression to know when the snake was protective.

CaeliaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550688

>>41550676
>Caelia gave a small snort at that. The idea of smallfolk arrows giving her anything more than pinpricks was absurd, but the enchantments she spoke of would help...
“You misunderstand, artisan. My armor will already deflect a giant’s blade.”
>Indeed, it was nearly a foot thick in places, and the shiny bronze-brass metal looked sturdy and strong as iron. Even if unenchanted, it had to be at least a ton of protection.
“If you have anything that will protect against chill weathers, I would be grateful... But my reason for coming is to have an undergarment fashioned.”
>She said, before she leaned down and tried to whisper... the thing was, it was a giant trying to whisper. It wasn’t very quiet at all, and everybody for a dozen yards could hear her voice.
“My nipples have chafed since Northrend. I would very much like something to wear that is not Celestial Bronze armor.”
>She said, not having the good graces to look embarrassed. Going by the fiery red mane of hair, and the slightly ashen tone to her bronzed skin, she was a fire giant. Equally at home in this desert as they were in the heart of the fire lands. No wonder she’d asked for cold weather gear in a place like this...
“If the gold is not enough, I can pay in services. I’m sure there is some task which would benefit from strength and resilience.”

Tesya!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550690

>>41550684
>while Alhaz was starting to get a rhythm for understanding Notty, Tesya was however, not that clever. Too straight forward of a thinker.

Yes, I've been all over the country, name a landmark and I should be able to recognize it.

>but, it looked like Alhaz was starting to get the hang of things.. >>41550685

>even though Notty was taking some time to respond.

>Wait... Did she say underwater?

>scratching her chin, Tesya hummed.
>Well shoot, that is quite the search... For all she knew, it could be somewhere in the whole ocean.

Heh, well, that certainly narrows the search down.

>she said, nodding, punching her fist into her open palm for emphasis.


Got to look for any large bodies of water that are deep and big enough to have a village. Might just run into some murlocs along the way. Is your home in salty water or not salty water though?

GwenaelleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550702

File: 1543034070031.png (71.53 KB, 224x306, daydreamer.png)

>>41550686

>Almost as if she had read Diogo's mind, Gwen got up from her chair and carefully made her way over to a nearby kitchen area, where she then proceeded to gather up various herbs and boil some water. Once that was done, she went back over to Diogo and held the cup of hot tea out to him, the pleasant smell of peppermint and lavender coming from it.


Here, I know the potion wasn't all that pleasant, but this should help get the taste out of your mouth. It will settle your stomach and help you rest too.

>At his question, Gwen brought her hand up to the little viper still very much clinging to her neck and gently pet its head, the moody expression on her face never leaving.


By giving into their demands... And she did, but she is just one little creature and some of them even threatened her if I didn't give them what they wanted. The ones that got a little too handsy did learn their lessons though.

>When she said this, the viper almost looked smug, or at least as smug as a creature like that could look anyway. Gwen on the other hand looked as if she wanted to ask something, but was hesitating, even if she tried not to show it.

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550708

>>41550685
>>41550690

>Alhaz tried (and failed) to suppress a smile at Notty’s little grabby-hands display. she had already figured out that Notty was a bit strange, but only now was it starting to click that she was kinda super darn cute, too.


>she similarly tried and failed to resist the urge to gently pat Notty on the head like a puppy while she ate in silence. maybe she would take offense, Alhaz didn’t know. but dang it, she just couldn’t not.


>she was so distracted by this that she hardly even noticed Notty wasn’t answering any of her questions, only snapping back to reality when Notty finally spoke again.


>…


>hang on, what?


>Obelisk outside of village, everyone goes there once a week

>Obelisk is underwater

>Alhaz paused in her Notty-petting to take a second look at her with a curious expression. a few things were possible here; either Notty misspoke, her village has some sort of magic capacity to go underwater, or she’s not as human as she initially appeared.


>not that anything would be wrong with that, of course! it would be kind of bizarre for a girl with no drop of human blood anywhere in her to have that kind of bias. it was just surprising to think about is all.


Uh, Tesya, I don’t think she meant the village is underwater.

>did she take everything on face value like that? guess she and Notty were like meets like.


Still, that helps narrow it down a lot! So we’re looking for somewhere along the coast that worships the, uh, “Suzerain of Storms”, you said?

>Alhaz put a finger to her chin in thought, unconsciously mirroring Notty’s gesture.


I can’t really say I’ve ever heard of them, but I’m sure if we do some research, we can narrow down our search area!

Notty!q3zXVe21B.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550709

File: 1543073467535.jpg (26.5 KB, 184x478, you shouldnt have.jpg)

>>41550690
>"Is your home salty water or not salty water thought?"
My home is wood.
>she quickly answered
>>41550708
>as Alhaz began her thinking, Notty brought her own finger up to her bottom lip at the same time
>she slowly lifted the bread for another quick bite, just letting the conversation mostly fly past her
...

Ah. There was a river nearby too...
>she spoke up again, slowly remembering some more details
Yes, the Suzerain of Storms. He keeps us safe.

Dad also called him the Sultan of Sea. But dad called him the Father of the Foam, while dad just called him Lord of the Sea.
>she tossed the last bit of bread into her mouth, munching it up quickly and swallowing
...but more names is a good thing, right? That means we have more stuff to ask people.

Sax (Mobile)Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550712

>>41550688


"Ah." Hazshara pursed her lips, doing her best to keep her cool in the face of a very private proclamation that had been made in a very public place. "Rrrrright." She clapped her hands together, her pincers clacking sympathetically. "So! An under-armor piece, light frost enchanting. Should be simple enough." She took a moment for another once-over that probably took a few seconds less on her usual clientele. "Possibly a bit time consuming, however," she tacked on. "I can likely fashion the beasts' fur into something presentable as well, should you fancy a cloak or clasp." The last comment, though, got a thoughtful look from her. "Nothing that requires my immediate attention, thank you; if you're looking for a way to soften the hit to your coinpurse, though, you could probably look at the announcement board at the intersection deeler inside the canyon." She nodded further down the opposite direction from where Caelia had come. "All sorts of job postings and monster hunter requests on there. Some of them even come from Warchief Thrall, I've heard. No idea if it's true," she finished with a wry snort. "I've always made do with what those adventurers bring me."

CaeliaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550716

File: 1543115846398.jpg (12.73 KB, 225x225, do you know how hard it is to …)

>>41550712
>Caelia shook her head, beginning to take out the rolled up hides with a gentle hand, to make sure she didn't rip them in haste.
"I do not need smallfolk currency. I've found they are more than willing to take Jotun gold. I simply did not know how much I was paid by the butchers for the meat."
>She said, reaching deeper into her travel sack to retrieve something a bit more delicate than Hazshara might be expecting. It was a clamshell coin purse, but the giant clam it was made of showed to be filled with coins the size of dinner plates when she popped it open. The loud metallic clang of the iron prongs said it was secure enough as she closed it again. Putting it back in the sack, she relaxed against the canyon wall, and crossed her legs to keep from blocking traffic. As for the conversation...
"An undergarment only. A cape would be ostentatious."
>She said, pulling a bushel of apples she'd bought from the market place, taking them a small handful at a time and eating them like one would sunflower seeds or some othersuch food. Thoughtfully, she looked down.
"You seem to know a lot about the board. Do you act as signpost only, or do you have experience with adventuring yourself?"
>She asked, a little brusquely but interested enough. She seemed to be staying in case Hazshara needed measurements, though she'd likely need a few more meters of measurement tape.

CaeliaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550717

File: 1543116708934.png (1.09 MB, 1920x1080, A drink in bed2.png)

>>41550702
>Diogo took a deep drought of the tea and seemed to relax. Leaning against the headboard, he seemed to stare off into space listening to her story. Damn him... if he'd gotten here just a little sooner. Oh well... Seeing the hesitation on her face though, he gave an encouraging smile.
>It was only after several seconds of learning curve he remembered she couldn't see, and said, blushing deeply;
"Ahem... well I'm sorry to hear that. You shouldn't of been left to their devices as long as you were. I can see the questions you still have, and I'm going to be bedridden for hours. Might as well pass the time."
>He said, before giving her a few seconds and in a softer voice.
"Trust me. There's nothing you can ask that I'm embarrassed to disclose, my lady."

GwenaelleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550721

File: 1543127562250.png (52.95 KB, 229x231, melancholy.png)

>>41550717

It's alright Sir Diogo, I assure you I have had to deal with much worse circumstances...

>Gwen just trailed off with that statement, a positively jaded expression on her face as she sat back down in the chair by the bed. There was very clearly much more to the young woman than just being a simple healer in a quiet village, but she obviously wasn't too keen on talking about herself too much. She flinched slightly at his statement and stared down at her lap as she fidgeted with the hems of her sleeves.


Oh, I... I'm sorry, it just seems selfish of me to ask, especially since you came in here nearly bleeding to death. It's just... I know you adventuring sorts sometimes tend to collect the ill-gotten spoils of those you defeat. Most do anyway.

>She glanced back over at him, making a fairly large circular shape with one of her hands. Might as well just ask the man about it.


One of those bastards took a necklace of mine during a time I couldn't pay them in gold. It was really important to me... It has a rather good-sized medallion with an intricate knot pattern and a gem inlaid in the middle of it. It's pretty worn too. You... didn't happen to see anything like that, did you?

Tesya!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550723

>>41550708
Maybe it is underwater! Dwarves have villages underground, why can't we have underwater villages.

>she said, idly twirling one of her hair braids.

>she was very glad that Alhaz was with them though. Tesya was always more of a follower than a leader; either she worked on her own or she listened to someone's orders, never giving them.
>with Alhaz being both nice and smart, this quest would certainly gain some traction.

>>41550709
...Right...

>Guess Alhaz was right in that the village wasn't underwater.

>Nodding, she listened to the various names, each following the trend of (male leader) of (ocean thing)

>Crossing her arms, she put on a determined expression, as if placed with a difficult task.

I know one place we could use... But it's a place I rarely visit... One I get a lot of mean looks when I go in. A library.

They should have something on our Suzerain of Storms.

Hazshara!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550731

File: 1543199291200.png (7.21 MB, 1883x2509, Ульдум.png)

>>41550716

That brightened Hazshara up considerably. She'd been given an opportunity to talk about herself, and Caelia had opened the floodgates. "Not adventuring per se, but I have been hired on with war parties for armor repair and remembrance work!" she exclaimed, one hand going into a sack tied around her waist as her pincers briskly zipped off a tie of thin rope that had been around her lower and/or rear carapace. The show of multitasking was, quite simply, astounding: at the same time her lower, more chitinous limbs tossed the measuring tape over and around and crossways of Caelia, Hazshara took every second she was anywhere resembling in front of the recumbent giant to show off scrolls that had been painstakingly woven and painted, presumably by herself, to show different vistas across the globe.

"This one is from an expedition the Warchief sent to investigate the re-emergence of the continent of Draenor," she explained, the panorama in front of Caelia showing a shattered expanse of dust-choked land, watched over by a yawning portal with robed stone guardians standing to either side to form the pillars of the towering archway. Just from what she could tell of the environment around the gateway and the way even the armored orcs in their makeshift forward bases were dwarfed by it, it wouldn't be difficult for Caelia to surmise that it would be easy for two of even her kinsmen to march through that stone doorway two abreast. "It was once a lush country," the scorpion woman explained further for her client's benefit, "before Chaos got its claws into the orcs' ancestors and their enslavement to their dark magic killed the land itself. I hear tell Chaos planned the same fate for the rest of us, before the first Alliance was formed and held them back long enough for the orcs to break their bonds of the dark gods." She shrugged. "No one even knows what its name used to be. It only goes by Draenor now; no guesses as to who gave it that name." The scroll zipped shut, the rope tugged uncomfortably tight around Caelia's waist, and another of the remembrancer's archives was procured.

"Ah, this is from when I had the honor of accompanying Silvermoon archaeologists to the ruins of Uldum! They were rumored to have been constructed by the Titans themselves, and the stronghold of Al'akir the Windlord himself is theorized to be in the highest reaches of the sky-palaces to the south..." It certainly seemed a reasonable enough theorem to look at the place. Hazshara herself certainly sounded like a well-traveled merchant.

Now the question was how much longer she would keep proving that.

CaeliaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550734

File: 1543209699734.jpg (9.39 KB, 252x200, that hair tho.jpg)

>>41550731
>Caelia was remarkably still as Hazshara crawled around, and on her. It'd be impossible to measure her arms or neckline without her helpfully offering a hand to stand on. As she spoke though, Caelia's smile slowly dwindled into a flat, deadpan look.
"Oh. She's not an adventurer. She follows an adventurer around and writes down what they do."
>Once she was completely satisfied with her measuring, she looked to Hazshara with an inquisitive eye.
"You have been to Draenor, and seen Chaos? It is... more than I expected."
>She said, avoiding the end of that statement and avoiding saying "from someone like you."
"Al'akir, Ul'duum, these names are unfamiliar too me... but you seem far traveled. Tell me, slæger, where would you go, if you had help to lend?"
>She said, seeming thoughtful. She wanted to help, she really did. The scourge was consuming the land, travelling south quickly... it had to go somewhere, stymied as it was in the north. She'd had to wipe the muck off her boots more than once.
"I came here not for odd jobs, and bounties. I came to help any force that would oppose the Master of Icecrown."
>She said, looking at this city, prepped and primed for a fight on their terms. Perhaps it was mighty to smallfolk, but it seemed tragically undefended. The thought of what would happen to this city should the Lich King take Theros made her shudder. What a force of half a dozen her brethren turned death knights could do, she daren't think.

Baraquiel DiogoCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550735

File: 1543210164299.png (1.23 MB, 1920x1080, Don't insult me.png)

>>41550721
>Diogo turned red as a beet. Of course he'd taken his payment from them. Dead men carried no coins into Cocytus, and he'd carry them to the nearest brothel. There was a momentary flare of draconic greed as he thought of the necklace. She didn't need to know he had it... he could lie, take it, add it to his hoard of riches...
>And just as deeply, that thought was quashed as Diogo reached into the pocket of his jacket, and retrieved a drawstring bag.
"You're in luck Lady Gwen. I had hoped to return the riches these men hadn't spent to the town..."
>He'd hoped no such thing.
"And you will be the first to have your belongings restored."
>And the last.
>Taking out the pendant with a sour look on his face, he handed it over with a begrudging smile, glad she couldn't see his regret. He was a gentleman after all. It hadn't been his to claim.
"Other than the gem being worth some small fortune, what exactly is the value to you of the bauble, miss?"
>He said, curious, and a little envious as he got up to lay it in her hands.

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550736

>>41550709
>>41550723

...because most people can’t breathe underwater, Tesya.

>despite the rather obvious correction, Alhaz’s tone didn’t carry any real judgment; more just genuine confusion.


But, uh, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, Notty.

>...and speaking of confusion, just how many dads did Notty have?


>still, despite that strange assertion, Tesya was on the right track, though she definitely seemed a lot less comfortable with the idea than Alhaz was. she could definitely relate to feeling too big for such a space, but she’d still spent most of her life prior to her growth spurt buried in a pile of books; no amount of awkward stares could make libraries feel any less like home.


Mhm! Either libraries or any sort of religious centers are probably our best bet. I’ll start looking for any sort of lead we could use, but in case we don’t find anything –

>Alhaz turned a bit, pointing back to the road, then to the east.


– if you two don’t mind a few days’ walk, there’s a city down the road that has a pretty huge library, and I’d bet good money they’ll have what we’re looking for. I was actually already heading that way soon anyways, so it’s really no inconvenience for me to try to help!

>sure, helping a weird lost little possibly-a-fish girl find her way home wasn’t exactly the glamorous start to Alhaz’s adventuring career that she’d daydreamed about, but she wasn’t about to turn down the chance to assist someone in need!


>...plus, it helped that Tesya seemed pretty nice and Notty was sort of adorable, in kind of a “weird puppy” sorta way.

Hazshara!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550758

File: 1543288276511.jpg (259.33 KB, 1564x1600, Girtablilu_Aqrabuamelu_Scorpio…)

>>41550734

Hazshara's briefly upbeat mood withered quickly once Caelia invoked that hateful title, as if she'd felt a brush of cold wind from the halls of the damned themselves. The giant didn't need to say the name itself for the gut-punch effect to be roughly the same.

Arthas.

He had a million titles: Master of Icecrown was one of the more incidental among them. Lupercal, Warmaster, the Arch-Traitor, Elfbane... and of course, the Lich King.

"If I had help to lend, I would be right behind the first landing party that managed to make a beachhead fortress on Northrend's ghoul-choked beaches to the south and follow the Warchief all the way up to that wretched black ice throne and put an end to the undead once and for all," she grunted, her many legs criss-crossing over each other as she got back down to ground level and re-evaluated her measurements based on the markings on the string and eyeballing Caelia to cross-reference what she'd gotten by good old common sense, even as she talked. "Of course, as soon as we did that, the High King of the Alliance would swoop right in and take everything from Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff, just as we would take Stormwind to Ironforge if they committed themselves to all-out war with... with him." She sighed. "The only time we're not at each other's throats is when Chaos deigns to throw another mass of their aberrations through the Tomb of the Mad Titan, and by the time Icecrown can focus enough to throw that scale of assault at our shores, it'll probably be too late for any level of cooperation."

Her train of thought was interrupted by a mighty, lowing war-horn somewhere in the distance, its echoing bass finding a few pebbles that hadn't yet been shaken loose from cliff faces to clatter to the ground amidst thin trails of dust. "Who knows?" she finally admitted. "Maybe Rotan amassed the military might to rival the Dominion and the Alliance at the same time while I wasn't looking. Maybe the College or the Reeve or the Ferasans are hiding an ancient dragon amongst their leadership." She snorted, looking back to her measurements. "Maybe the Guardian will get his bony ass out of Kharazan and wish Arthas away," she finished with a surly mutter, the tone of voice of someone who'd stopped believing in the promise of progress and cooperation a long time ago and decided it was easier to just go with the flow until the flow had been sucked completely down the drain.

GwenaelleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550760

File: 1543293043368.png (50.29 KB, 219x261, ohdear.png)

>>41550735

>Gwen was actually taken aback in surprise at hearing this, mostly expecting Diogo to tell her that he hadn't seen anything of the sort, whether in truth or a straight up lie. Honestly, he could have easily taken the necklace for himself and she would have been none the wiser about it, something that was unfortunately a common occurrence to those in her condition. A ghost of a smile seemed to cross her usually somber expression for once.


Oh, thank goodness, I thought for sure it was gone for good! It truly is a blessing that you arrived when you did and I'm sure the other townsfolk would be grateful to you. The world needs more people like you, Sir Diogo.

>Sure enough like she had described, the necklace was a good-sized medallion, which was clearly made of gold, attached to a simple chain. Etched into the medallion was a pretty complicated knot pattern, which surrounded a beautiful and deeply red ruby in the dead center. Upon closer inspection, one could see the medallion was indeed worn, little nicks and scrapes here and there and even the ruby having some tiny chips out of it. Even still, it was a very beautiful necklace.


>The moment Gwen came into contact with it, she felt the enchantment attached to it immediately take hold and she breathed a sigh of relief, the constant hum that was always in her mind finally quieting down to a more tolerable level. She nervously hoped Diogo wouldn't take notice of the flow of magic that seemed to surround her suddenly cutting off... if he could even sense such a thing to begin with. She gently ran her fingers over the medallion as she listened to him, a little hesitant on answering his question. But what were the chances that this random adventurer would even know the crest of her family, especially since the noble house of Valerian was all but gone by now? Or so she figured anyway.


It's priceless. It might seem like a simple bauble to you, Sir Diogo, but it's more than that to me. It was my father's.
This post was edited by its author on .

CaeliaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550762

File: 1543297736358.jpg (133.53 KB, 960x540, glitz.jpg)

>>41550758
>Caelia seemed puzzled. They were stuck here. This canyon stronghold was mighty, yes, but they were rats in a trap, with enemies on all sides. It was a sobering proposition, how trapped these people felt... but they couldn't do anything to escape it.
>But she could.
"You have Chaos to the south. Enemies to the east. The Scourge to the north. Uncertainty to the west."
>She said, before smiling down at her half scorpion friend.
"Do you know what my general, Kalemne, would say in this situation?"
>She said, leaning back and chuckling as she did so. Deepening her voice, and putting on a scowl, she grinned.
"Gather your allies, and march. For when there are enemies on all sides, there is no direction you can go where you will not find victory."
>She said, a plan set in motion at that very moment. Reaching into her bag, she retrieved a writing kit; A leather tube about five feet tall. Within was a cauldron sized ink pot, a bottle tall as Hazshara, a brush that had to have a whole horse's worth of hair, and a few sheafs of paper, appropriately sized. Caelia then began to write, in a steady, even, practiced hand, even if the words were overlarge.
"Are there rules about the job board, Hazshara? What can be put there?"
>She said, suddenly knowing how she could put her knowledge to the best use. She'd been leader of a phalanx once... She could be again, even if they were a bit small.

Notty!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550767

File: 1543334228828.jpg (36.85 KB, 286x389, tell me your story.jpg)

>>41550736
>"...because most people can't breathe underwater, Tesya."
...

...

They can't?
>she looked up at Alhaz, her empty look of confusion never actually changing from its default position, but actually feeling appropriate for the situation
>her eyes blinked, Notty tilting her head slightly as she thought
I guess that would explain why nobody wants to go dragonfly hunting with me...
>>41550723
>looking up at Tesya when she offered her suggestion, Notty actually nodded
Hey, yeah! That's a great idea, Tesya! We just have to go to the library and find everything we need!
>she placed her fists on her hips, nodding again with a confident tone to her voice
This should be easy!
>another nod, before her head turned to Alhaz
What's a library?

Tesya!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550788

>>41550736
>A few days walk
>A huge library
>Perfect, they were on the right track for adventure
Do I mind a few days walk? Let me tell you, these hooves were made for walking!

>she said, lightly stomping her hooves on the ground. It went without saying that minotaurs were a tough species. Walking around and traveling far were second easy, no matter the terrain.


I'll even carry stuff if needed.

>>41550767
A library is like a place where they take a bunch of books and put them all in one place.

>she said, reaching her hand as high as she could for emphasis


Shelves as high as you can reach! Books about all sorta things! My favorite book at my village's library was the cookbook.

>she could read that recipe on how to make fondue over and over again.

Hazshara!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550803

>>41550762

The merchant pursed her lips at the proclamation. "Sounds like your general knew what she was all about," she mused, but she couldn't pretend that there wasn't something admirable in the saying... something that the Warchief and his generals would probably appreciate, at least. Her latest question, however, replaced that burgeoning patriotism with confusion and maybe a slight bit of trepidation.

No, definitely a slight bit of trepidation.

"I honestly never thought to check," she admitted. "As far as I know, if you have a quest or a job that needs to be done and you can- and do- pay the amount specified upon the job's completion, then you have carte blanche." A brief pause. "Wwwwwhy?" she dared to venture.

Baraquiel DiogoCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550804

File: 1543377742011.jpg (26.93 KB, 604x338, What in the....jpg)

>>41550760
>Diogo sat up, interested. The magic in this room, which he'd attributed to the shrine in the corner, suddenly damped as soon as she put the medallion around her neck. He gave a smile as the mystery deepened.
"And who would your sire be, My Lady? I need to send them a token of my thanks as well."
>He said slyly. He didn't recognize the crest on the amulet, though it looked familiar... He was sure he'd heard whispering of a girl like this, if only he had a name. It was killing him now, and he had to know.

GwenaelleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550805

File: 1543384120426.png (50.84 KB, 131x359, quietnod.png)

>>41550804

>And just as quickly as it had appeared, the faint smile on her face immediately vanished and she was once again in her usual gloomy mood, her sightless gaze turned away from him as she stared out at nothing in particular.


Then you would be sending thanks to the dead, sir. My father passed from this realm a good number of years ago, as well as my mother...

>And the entire Valerian household, including her elder sister, in one bloodstained blaze in a single night. Gwen's hands clenched slightly as she still remembered everything - from her father's shouting at herself and her sister to get away, to the smell of smoke and the feeling of the flames as they scorched her flesh. And this was all because of the existence she was forced into - a living relic of immense magical power.


>Just the thought of being chased after again by those that merely saw her as a tool to be used made her stomach twist. Not wanting to dwell on all this anymore, Gwen took a deep breath and tried to clear her mind before speaking up again, a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes appearing as she glanced back over to her guest.


It is rather late. I really think you should get some rest now, Sir Diogo.
This post was edited by its author on .

TychoCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550838

File: 1543541347370.png (1.3 MB, 1920x1080, That was great.png)

>>41550805
"I don't think I'm the only one!"
>He said, relaxing back in the bed, annoyed that his roguish good looks hadn't won him the maiden fair. Still though, he wasn't bleeding out in the street, and that was a fair improvement over what could have been! He couldn't complain about a mystery, especially when she had saved him.
"My physician knows best Ma'am. I shall get my bedrest, and we can hold a better conversation in the morning, no?"
>He said, settling into bed with a sigh. He'd been so nicely treated here... he'd need to bring a gift to the town, next time he visited. Perhaps something shiny from the vault...
>He dwelled on these things as he rested, and slowly drifted off... normally he wouldn't feel this welcome in a stranger's home, but for a knight, he wore no armor she could steal, just two simple daggers that he'd put on the table. If she wanted to kill him and steal his stuff, that'd be all she got... Ultimately though, he'd helped her, and that was enough to earn him a good night's rest anyway.
"Goodnight, lady Gwen."

CaeliaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550839

File: 1543545748025.jpg (143.32 KB, 1280x720, Brighttomorrow.jpg)

>>41550803
>Caelia continued writing, the brushstrokes short and brusque. Seems she could write in Common, but it wasn't elegant. At the size of the letters, it was easy to read as she wrote it.
To all warriors in Orgrimmar not currently stationed; Giant in area requests soldiers for expedition into Scourge territory. Pay will be rendered up front, weapons and arms made by Jotun hands. Vengeance against the Lich King is, naturally, its own reward.
>She was going to gather allies, and march.
"I plan to take action with a small group of men. I plan to harden them the way I was, and arm them the way I am armed. I will then carve a path for this city to follow."
>She said. Caelia was not a woman of words, or inaction, and just as swiftly as she'd made her decision, she began making her way to the bounty board, though she stopped and turned her eye to Hazshara.
"How long will it take to finish the garment I have requested?"

GwenaelleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550921

File: 1543700619439.png (299.86 KB, 490x590, working.png)

>>41550838

You are right, perhaps I can sleep easier now that those dreadful thieves are gone.

>Or she would at least try. The bandits hadn't been the only thing that would trouble her sleep at night, but that was yet another thing she kept to herself. She really didn't say much about talking with him in the morning, other than a little 'hm' in response. Debating on whether or not to sleep in the chair near the bed, she made her decision and got up to prepare for sleep. She figured he was bedridden enough to not go snooping around while she tried to get some much needed rest and she was mindful to keep any personal things very hidden.


>Before making her way upstairs to the small room where she slept, she made sure to put the fire out and gently deposited her little viper companion onto her shrine dedicated to Pharika. Cosette seemed to hesitate for a brief moment as she watched her mistress, before slowly vanishing into a hidden crevice within the shrine. Gwen then gathered up an extra blanket and brought it over to her patient before finally making her way up to her sleeping quarters.


Goodnight Sir Diogo, rest well and don't be afraid to call for me should you need help.

Hazshara!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550924

>>41550839

Hazshara blinked at the missive being written in front of her, then blinked again as she looked up at Caelia and struggled to process the question while she simultaneously marveled at the sheer display of audacity. A lone giant, walking right through the front gates of the heart of the Horde, to declare her intent to take the fight directly to Arthas Lupercal. She was insane; worse than that, she'd be lucky if the Warchief or one of his generals didn't see this as some sort of attempt to usurp power!

... wouldn't she?

"Erm," her answer began helpfully, "if I can focus on just your order, I can hopefully have it done by this time tomorrow. Should give you plenty of time to..." She trailed off, glancing at the crude proclamation again. "... find some hopefuls," she decided on after a while.

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551054

File: 1544308251353.jpg (450.92 KB, 1280x542, Kung_Fu_Panda-5.jpg)



>Kuka.


>A great island that lie off the cost of the mainland which had the distinction of being 90% mountains and valleys. It was difficult to imagine that anything could live on the island, and yet nobody had managed to tell the inhabitants that. For the island thrived. Farmers, merchants, chefs all. A simple life was eked out by those who lived there, and they had very little to complain about. There was no real technology or advancement, and even mages were on short supply.


>But what Kuka had in return was Mugen Temple.


>'Temple' had been a misnomer for a very long time, but that's still what it was referred to. More accurately, it was a Martial Arts academy. A place for men and women to hone their bodies and minds, to transform themselves into stronger and better people through martial knowledge and discipline. One of the most important tenants of all martial arts is that one should use their skills to defend the weak, and Mugen took that particular idea to heart.


>For as well as a Martial Arts academy, the students were also there to aid those who needed it. Be it as a bodyguard, manual labour, pest exterminator, anything you could think of. Some money went to the student, some went back to the academy, a sustainable method of paying off the cost of learning at the college, as well as gaining worldly experience and the chance to apply their talents, as well as continually train.


>Which is why the temple was no strangers to visitors. Prospective customers coming in to see whosoever might wish to hire one of their students to help however they wish...As long as their intentions were pure and without harm.

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551057

File: 1544312098190.jpg (45.27 KB, 470x650, __mata_hari_fate_grand_order_a…)

>>41551054
>A lone traveller climbed up the stairs to this great temple. This traveller did not wear the attire suitable for a traveller, the light orange fabric that barely clung to her curves exposed most of her figure to the world and left very little to the imagination of onlookers. It was clearly the flowing frills and enticingly minimal outfit of a dancer.

>Yes, a dancer who had come a fair ways to this island determined to buy the services of one of it's many great martial artists. Someone with her looks and charm needed a good strong arm to keep onlookers for breaking the golden rule of "look, but don't touch." Only the best would do.


Finally... so many stairs here, I think my legs got more of work out just getting up here then anything I did back at the college.

>Thus Sherry Palomino, a fresh graduate of the Claudia Augustine College of Prefomance Arts Excellence, found herself at the doors of the this great temple. Who would she end up hiring? What would they be like? Were the allowed to drink wine? All very important questions she hopped would be answered...

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551059

File: 1544314825827.png (1.13 MB, 1264x536, PalaceArena.png)

>>41551057

>The main courtyard of the temple bustled with activity. Some students at practice in corners, going through kata in quiet sequence under the watchful eye of their trainers, other students in smaller groups, quietly talking among themselves or engaged in practice of their own. Some were simply reading in the shade of the trees that grew around the courtyard.


>As Sherry walked around, it was plain to see the effect that her...attire was having on the courtyard. Students mid drills would find their eyes wandering over to her, faltering in their exercise. Even those who weren't in the middle of practice would find their gaze caught, staring at the provocatively dressed newcomer. All eyes were on her.


>It took a master, a powerfully built man in his 40s, to approach her and clear his throat, bowing his head low.


Excuse me miss, would you be a visitor to our order? I can help guide you to your destination, if you are.

>Cool headed, calm gaze and not even the slightest hint that he was ogling her alluring form. This was certainly a martial arts master all right.

Karazhan!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551061

File: 1544317790103.jpg (106.65 KB, 1200x495, worldofwarcraft-ed.jpg)

It was a fundamental rule of the world that magic, no matter its school, required mana. Whether the spellcaster drew it from the world around them or from pre-made holding gems, funneled it directly from a nearby leyline, or were fortunate enough to be the eighth son of the eighth son of a mage and were blessed enough to generate their own stores of mana, the end result was the same. No fireball could be cast without it, no scrying spell could peer into the aether in its absence, no would-be lich could raise their undead armies in a land tapped of the ethereal stuff.

Imagine, then, the potential of an eighth son of an eighth son that had been chosen as the Guardian of Sylvestrun, installed into a position of power that bestowed upon him the might of six fellow archmagi, situated in a tower of ancient arcane history that sat atop a leyline convergence point. One could be forgiven for not being able to comprehend the arcane might of such an individual; those that tried often regretted doing so, for it indirectly opened their eyes to the horrors that faced their world. Chaos was one thing, yes, as was the Lich King in the far north, but these were mortal affairs. The Guardian might lend his strength to ward off the latest black crusade launched by the Ruinous Powers, but he spent most of his days sequestered in the great tower of Karazhan, vigilant, silent, ever watchful for those that wished his world harm. There were few in the world that comprehended the full scope of what visitors from 'Outside' were capable of, in the absence of the Arch-Traitor and He Who Sits on the Throne, and so the plane's Guardian sat atop his lonely tower, peering into the swirling pool of nebulous magic, alone in his knowledge and content in that solitude, his dark, sunken eyes staring intently as a swirl of mana curled into a shoal of void energies, creating a small, lazy maelstrom of deep blues and black-purples that would have taken the breath of anyone who was a mere bystander, marveling at the beauty of the crystalline pool that glittered and reflected in the grand library at the top of the Guardian's home; to him, however, it was a portent, a sign that an ancient, unspoken contract had been breached, and that his attention was now required.

The Guardian turned without a word, his feathered black cloak billowing around him as he strode to the balcony overlooking the surrounding countryside, flipped his cloak in a grand gesture... and disappeared in a swirl of black feathers and sundered magic. In his place, an unassuming raven took flight, soaring quickly up and away, in the direction of what his obscure readings had told him of...

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551062

File: 1544318810888.jpg (145.37 KB, 850x637, __jing_ke_and_mata_hari_fate_g…)

>>41551059
>Sherry knew everyone was looking at her but she didn't mind one bit. She was use to that sort of thing, she was basically paid to let people look at her. What was more important was that she know had someone to help her!

Ah yes, I am a visitor here! I'm looking to hire a bodyguard! Someone big, powerful, and intimidating.

>She gives the older man before her with inquisitive eyes.


Kinda like you maybe? Yeah, arms like tree trunks and legs for days. That'll work.

???!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551063

File: 1544318977850.jpg (516.5 KB, 850x500, c4rd4r7_l81pau8ydn.jpg)

>>41551061

The mortal world had a complicated relationship with Hell.

This is hardly a controversial statement, and probably requires elaboration.

The Circles of Hell were a known phenomenon, and their reputation as a place of suffering for deserving mortal souls was indeed a well-earned one; torture and slavery weren't at all out of the question, and more often than not an infernal city-state would function on a brutal system of meritocracy where the slightest gaff could result in a high-ranking demon either being humiliated and stripped of their power to become a lowly, gibbering imp, or outright annihilated mind, body, and soul so their arcane makeup could return screaming to the mysterious primordial soup from which the Hells had been born. This gave the denizens of those cities a vested interest in amassing their own bases of power, and that often involved amassing enough mortal souls and riches to place a comfortable buffer between themselves and their enemies. Of course, there was also nothing stopping them from trying to undermine their enemies and taking their belongings as well. It was a place of backstabbing and politicking and paranoia, pocked by hedonism and reveling in what one has managed to accrue.

Small wonder that several demons chose to try to strike it large in the mortal plane, or maybe even swear themselves to the enigmatic powers of Chaos... or even the Lich King's lieutenants, if they were truly desperate. Such runaways fell under the purview of the Guardian, and most of them were either banished back to their home realm or allowed to go about their business once they'd been made to squirm a bit: more often than not, a scheming demonic entity would slink back to the Circles of their own volition once they knew Medivh was watching them. Of course, not every demon sought to bring ruin to Sylvestrun, and some of them even truly desired redemption: the draenei, the self-named 'exiles,' were examples of this.

The ones that felt guilt were the outliers.

Deep within the alleyways of the magical hub of Mox Nine, a jagged hole in space itself was ripped open, crimson lightning dancing madly around the haggard edges and nothing visible within it but a roiling maelstrom of black-red smoke- at first, anyway. It wasn't long before a lithe figure stepped out, red horns curling down to frame an equally crimson face from which yellow eyes glanced around. "Looks clear enough," he mused to apparently no one, the figure hopping out and brushing his long, black-leather duster to make sure it was clear of the portal before looking down to the curious metal pendant clutched in his fingers. "Hope this thing works," he continued, but this time a little more to no-one in particular; he'd been promised by a friend of a friend of a friend that it was an artifact of the legions of Chaos, a bauble that could obfuscate the Guardian's gaze and allow them to go about their business, whatever that business might be. "Give us free reign of a city of patsies, right?" Mox Nine had something of a reputation for being more tolerant of their kind than fanatical cities such as Stormwind or Orgrimmar; now it was time to take that trust and abuse the hell out of it.

Pun possibly intended.

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551064

File: 1544321101847.jpg (563.38 KB, 1920x816, JadePalaceSky.jpg)

>>41551062

>The older master doesn't balk at Sherry's appraisal, he merely shook his head apologetically.


I'm sorry Miss, while I would be honoured to serve as your bodyguard, as an instructor, I am currently not able to take requests.

>He slid aside to point at the gigantic doors leading into the building itself, large and imposing and towering over the courtyard grounds.


However, you would be most welcome to seek out some of our students who are currently able to take on your request. Please go through the main doors, and speak to one of our members inside. Outline your request in full, and we will be able to point you in the direction of a class of students most eligible to take the request, before we enquire further as to your eligibility.

I do hope it all goes well.

>With that, he bowed once again, and walked back over to his class, which hurriedly began going through the exercises once more, all trying valiantly to pretend that they hadn't been staring at Sherry like an adolescent drunk on their first crush.

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551067

File: 1544325829238.jpg (200.91 KB, 850x1063, __mata_hari_fate_grand_order_a…)

>>41551064
>Oh well, it seemed she couldn't hire him. Though that's fair, if he was a teacher here then he couldn't very well abandon his students or lessons.

Thank you sir, I'll head right over!

>And thus she was on the move again, to serve as a walking distraction for more people within the temple itself. Her mind was racing with what type of person should hire. Would it be one of those blind monks who shoot lasers from their hands, one who's mastered a thousand weapons, or maybe one who can do the legendary one inch punch?!


>Or perhaps she'd read too many books on the way here and let her imagination get carried away. Regardless! She will find out soon enough, as she pushed open the main doors and walk inside.


Hello? I was told I could make a request of a bodyguard in here?

GaleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551068

File: 1544326614529.jpg (116.63 KB, 1280x1380, Gale.jpg)

>>41551063
>Greed.
>Greed was a driving force in this world, and any other. It could drive men to kill, it could drive kingdoms to ruin, and it could drive the world to disaster. How fortunate then, that in this case greed had driven two immortals to something far more noble, and far more destructive... Love. Stepping through the same rent in reality, the lightning rimming the edge went from red to a brilliant blue as the sultry form of a winged genasi stepped through. Wind whipped through the alley, electricity arcing between her horns as she stepped into place behind the red horned gentlemen. A black and svelte jacket was about the only hiding her modesty, and she seemed gleeful to be in a place that wasn't floating islands and roiling storms.
"Seems we made it sugar. Let's hope this plane's songbird hasn't flown his coop~"
>She said, strutting forward as she took in the warm desert sun. A marked decrease in temperature, all things told.

Azma!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551069

File: 1544329751483.png (5.96 MB, 1250x1249, 451922_syringes_d-d-character-…)

>>41551068

Azma wasn't fond of going by his real name, frankly. It sounded silly and had far too many consonants in it and wasn't nearly as easy to make witty ice-breaking puns with. And so he did with it what he did with everything else about himself: he masked it. He put it behind a layer of subterfuge and parlor tricks and deflected attention from it.

As it turned out, that was easy to do when you were part changeling, part incubus, and had enough magic power in you to make an entire room take part in an impromptu masquerade ball with the lights off if you could get a little room to concentrate and were willing to deal with the mana hangover the next day.

He usually wasn't willing to deal with it.

"Here's hoping," he grinned at his partner in crime, fangs briefly glinting in the desert sun as he did so. "And if he has, probably not anything a quick shadowstep can't fix."

He pursed his lips after a brief pause. "Also if he has, that guy in the bazaar probably owes a bounty being put out on him." He leaned his weight back on one heel and used the momentum to lazily pivot to face Gale, toothy smile returning and hands spread to either side in a plaintive shrug. "So, two options: either we find a mark now to start making our scratch after Medivh bows up to us to kill the guy what screwed us, or... we find a mark to celebrate getting away with it."

How did his fang glint like that?

"Sound like a plan, sugarplum?"

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551070

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>>41551067

>One of the other attendants noticed Sherry as she came in, coming over to hash out the details of her request. Of course, just as she was before, the foyer of the temple seemed to grind to a halt as everyone stared at the Dancer's ample...talents.


>Sherry would be lead up many flight of stairs, and from one room to the next. Filling out her request formally in paper, the nature of what she was asking and the length of time, before she was lead into a room with a much older man looking at her cryptically. The silence would ring out for a long time in the room they were in until he nodded at the attendant that came in with her, thanked her for her time and allowed her to leave.


>Lastly and finally, the attendant lead her down a longer corridor, leading to a room at the end of it as she turned to talk to Sherry absently while they came along.


Sorry about all the fuss, we have to be sure about a great many things before any request is carried out, but since you've been approved by one of our elders, then we'll be able to cut right to the heart of the matter!

>She pushed open the doors to the class, and Sherry would be greeted with a similar sight to what she'd seen in the courtyard with the students practising their craft. It was deathly quiet here, not even the faintest sound of muttering or talking amongst themselves from the students, though there was a lull in their activity, as they all halted their actions, more than a few staring bluntly at the dancer. The attendant bowed low to the teacher.


I apologise, Master Kinok. This young lady here is looking to take out an extended request for a bodyguard position, and I was made aware of your class being on. May she have a look?

>The Master bowed his head in response, a warm smile crossing his face as he turned to Sherry.


Of course not, we're most welcome of your patronage! Class, cease with your katas at the moment, and please refrain from staring at our guest!

>He chuckled, his class echoing that with a touch more embarrassment, while they returned to a more relaxed posture, some chattering amongst themselves, most trying to covertly stare at Sherry. The attendant smiled respectfully back at their guest.


Please feel free to go and talk to the students, see which suits you best.

>Tall, short, martial arts uniforms of varying colours and shapes, all very very muscled. The men and women that stood in varying levels of ease waited with baited breath, to see which one of them the pretty newcomer would find interest in, and wherever that may lead...

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551079

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>>41551070
>Sherry took the whole process in stride. The novelty of the experience and the beautiful architecture around her made up for the paper work and such

Oh no it's fine, I understand that you have to be thorough.

>Entering the class and looking around at all the students she had the pick of, Sherry's hand come up to her chin as she pondered on who she should talk to first. They all looked so interesting and strong, any one of them could do the job well. It seems that it'll all be up to who she resonated with the best...


Hmmmm. . . Well, when it doubt... go with luck.

>Sherry placed the palm of her hand over her eyes, spun around twice and them pointed her free hand out in front of her in random directions.


Eenie meenie miney... you!

>She removed her hand from blocking her eyes to see who she was pointing at.

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551080

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>>41551079

>Eenie meenie miney, you!


>And what greeted Sherry's gaze was a man. This might already have been a misstep.


>Specifically, a tall man, not quite as heavily muscled as the Master she had seen before, nor as lean as the one teaching the class today. His build wasn't uncommon among the other students, but his uniform certainly was. Bright orange, compared to the whites, blacks and other muted shades of his classmates.


>It seemed to take him a while to realise he was being pointed at, the man looking left, and then right at the nearby students, before finally leaning forward slightly and pointing at himself dumbly


...Me?

>The rest of the class grumbled and groaned as Sherry had made her choice, sighs of disappointment and muttered grousing among classmates echoed out in the room, while her lucky pick merely blinked in surprise, shock having taken the place of his previously mesmerised face.

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551082

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>>41551080
Yes you!

>Sherry strides up to the man and inspects him carefully from all angles, walking around him as she "hmmmm"ed and "aaaah"ed at the young man. While she does so, she starts asking him questions.


So, have you ever on bodyguard work before? Do you know what it entails?

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551085

File: 1544391765572.png (231.17 KB, 418x767, Bodyshot.png)

>>41551082

>He immediately straightened up, allowing Sherry to take a closer look as she walked around. From every angle, he certainly looked like a martial artist, if one garishly dressed. He also answered her questions with the practised ease of one used to enquiries.


Uh, yes ma'am. Never on an extended request, but I have served as a short term member of a guarding detail before for merchants on the mainland in caravans. Typically I was to remain on horseback at a distance, survey the area for possible threats, and eliminate any who would seek to pillage the cargo.

>Clinical, clear cut. The man recited off his experiences with familiarity, though his eyes still flitted about the room with nervousness, occasionally alighting on Sherry herself whenever she came around his front again. For someone as trained to attract the gaze as she was, it'd be all too easy to see exactly where his nervous eyes were going, though only for a few seconds at a time before he went back to staring as straight as he could.


...I believe my combat experience and capabilities will be more than adequate to guard you.

>Soft spoken, but determined. There was an iron in those words that didn't bend, even under scrutiny. He stood tall and proud, even against the jealous stares of his classmates, and some reproachful looks from some of the elders. Even despite his nerves, the iron would not melt, even under the heat of a woman such as her.

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551088

>>41551085
Very good very good...

>He was too the point and professional, some glaces at her but not outright gawking, which was fair.


Though under my employment I imagine the most common thing you'll have to deal with is drunken men who want to get too close to me. It comes with the territory for a lady of my profession so having someone... imposing. Not many of the patrons will push the issue when up against someone like you between the floor and the stage.

Aside from that, it's all the common hazards of travelling with a beautiful young woman apply!

>...was she talking about bandits and monsters or something else regarding "hazards."

!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551091

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>>41551088

>...What did that mean?


>His gaze faltered in confusion as he tried to figure out what precisely she meant by 'hazards.' Attacks on the road, the same drunkards she'd mentioned? Or did that mean more particular to travelling with a beautiful woman? Would they be sharing a room? Did she sleep naked? Did that mean that she was likely to do untoward things to him and he'd be powerless to resist?!


...I can handle any hazards or drunkards that you could think of, ma'am.

>He responded almost a little too fast after Sherry spoke of the 'hazards' that might befall him, to the sounds of more grumbled disapproval. Aside from his...active imagination, it seemed like nothing less than he could handle, to act as a strong body between the crowd and the dancer, and to keep the handsier members at bay. Yeah, he could do that, he could do that easily.


I'd be honoured to accompany you, if you'd have me, ma'am.

>He bowed his head low to Sherry, eyes unwittingly but not unhappily drawn along her exposed legs until he was looking down at the floor. He would be fine with it, no drunkard could beat him, no bandit could outfight him!


>...And any other hazard, he was far too curious to see...

GaleCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551100

File: 1544409650905.jpg (552.42 KB, 600x800, Bless this chest.jpg)

>>41551069
>Gale was far too happy to think of anything but the positives. She was here, she was out of that Mirran hive city, and she had a city full of wonderful, shiny things to take! Wrapping him up in a hug, she spun him around, and around, only to let him go so that she was in front now. This way she could stride out of the dark alleyway and bask in the sun!
>There was only one on this plane, how neat!
>Turning back to look at the love of her life, she smiled, and nodded.
"Perhaps, yes. But getting away from the stinking hole of mana burn so we're not followed would help? No offense love, but we both stink like ozone."
>She said, before waltzing back into the street, her tail the last thing to turn the corner, beckoning him as it did.

Sherry Palomino!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551115

File: 1544445503713.jpg (191.35 KB, 768x768, 67449545_p0_master1200.jpg)

>>41551091
>Sherry stayed quite for a few moments as she seemed to finalise her thoughts on her selection. Yep, he'd be perfect, plus their outfits matched!

Then you're hired!

>With a bright smile on her face, she holds out her hand to him.


I'm Sherry Palomino, I just know this will be the start of a wonderful partnership~!

Castell Rayaki!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41551118

File: 1544482370871.jpg (89.64 KB, 649x636, Ohdear.jpg)

>>41551115

...Castell. Castell Rayaki.

>The monk reached out and warmly shook her hand, face changing from that of nervousness to a hearty mixture of relief and gratitude. The echoed disappointed groan this time couldn't be drowned out, accompanied by the chuckles of the class's teacher.


...I'm sure it will be. Forgive me for just one moment, I need to discuss with my teacher.

>Castell abruptly turned on his heel and walked back over to his master. Not that Sherry could see it, but once he'd turned around from her, the relieved smile had abruptly shifted into the widest smile that anybody could have ever hoped to make. The jealous stares of his classmates washed off of him like waves crashing against the smuggest beach imaginable until he got to his teacher. They exchanged some hushed talks, before the master patted him on the back, and handed him some scrolls, which Castell tucked underneath his arm.


>As Castell rejoined with Sherry, he bowed his head to her respectfully, face back to business.


Once I have packed some of my belongings, we will be free to depart whenever you so choose, ma'am.

>This brought another collection of mutterings and murmurs, though this time, with a shit eating grin of his own, the Master spoke up from his position.


Be mindful of your temper and your spirit, Rayaki. Try not to look too excited, hm?

>Castell at least had the good grace to flinch at the call out and look suitably embarrassed, his eyes broke from Sherry and he looked to the side, blushing profusely.


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