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/qst/ - Quests

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Portal technology is definitely not an exact science, especially not when given only thirty seconds to change a portal from one to another within a short span of time.

Performing such a dangerous act causes a singularity - known as a portal prism - to form. The portal becomes erratic and unstable, and only allows for a few passengers before it implodes and then explodes - quite like a supernova - with destructive force. It is not advised to try and speed portal production, nor to rapidly play a portal roulette.

But Thaelasan didn't have time to worry about that advice. He only had time for one thing - his and Flora's shared survival. He grasped the blue paper firmly in his left hand, the other two clasped in his right hand alongside the roots of Flora's neck. The rune glowed blue as he spoke two words to activate it.

"Shalavara Ca'hen."

The rune brightly flared as the vellum began to tear apart from the spell's force. The portal reacted as Thaelasan expected and began to fire sparks in all directions. One grazed his cheek. Flora yelped a moment as one zapped the ground in front of her. But she did not stop charging.

Behind them, he could hear Thaniel yell something but blood was pumping through his body too strongly for him to hear anything but his own heartbeat. All he knew was that it probably wasn't something good. He clutched her roots tighter, the paper under his hands wrinkling slightly from the force.

And then, there was nothingness. There was a silence at the edge of the universe. He felt the familiar grasp of space lifting him slightly from Flora's back. But he would not let go. If he did, there was a chance they would become separated.

She slightly lost her footing as she realized what was happening. Panicking, she began to flare her wings out and kick her legs frantically.

Thaelasan leaned forward, grabbing her neck a bit comfortingly.

"It is over now. Relax, or you'll disrupt the magic." he warned softly, patting her shoulder.

Flora's muscles (if they could be called that in her current state) obeyed slightly. As flesh began to replace wood and stone, female hands clutched his waist as she turned to face him, exhausted.

"....I did not mean to scare them." she said softly.

"No. You did the right thing. I knew you would." Thaelasan said, moving his hands through her hair. "So don't worry."

"But now your home is gone, is it not?" Flora asked.

"That was never truly my home. My home is at your side. Wherever you are, I feel at home." he assured. "But, that aside, I honestly have no idea where we're going.."

"I thought you did." Flora blinked.

"Can't recall. I know it was some sort of island nation outside of the human empires..." Thaelasan pondered.

"What about the shackles?" Flora asked, changing the subject.

"Ah? Those are easy." Thaelasan said, moving his fingers slightly against her stomach as they floated. She had him in a tight grip now - whether because of fear or adoration, he wasn't sure.
Soon, the shackles began to shatter from his arms, just as the exit of the portal began to come into view. He could smell the ocean now, hear the sounds of the waves. Well, even if they were no longer welcome in Leywind, he could at least enjoy this small pleasantry.

"Oh bugger." he said, as the two drifted closer to the portal.

"What is it?" Flora asked.

"Well.. for one, our lunch." he said, reminding her of the apples he'd had prepared in their home. "But also... er..."


"I believe I had originally made this portal during low tide." he said, grasping her tightly with his free hands. "Brace yourself!"

The two plummeted from the portal's threshold down into the water. It wasn't too deep but it was filled with brine and salt, and it stung Flora's eyes. She had never seen an ocean before. She closed her eyes tightly under the water and shut her mouth, the pressure pushing against her chest and stomach. She felt Thaelasan release one arm from her and she panicked, clutching him tighter. He patted her under the waves and tried to calm her down.

When she opened her eyes again, she found that she could see, and breathe. Thaelasan gazed at her from a bit away, swimming with his free hand as he carried her with the other. She blinked as she realized that he had formed some sort of bubble around her head, her horns barely touching the top of it. As her mind adjusted to this thought, she nodded at him in understanding.

The two of them began to swim towards the shoreline, moving with the current. The sand was within their view now, and Flora could see small homes. They weren't anything exciting, just simple houses adorned with palm wood and brick. A fisherman gazed at them as they approached. He stood up from where he had been fishing and looked down at them, frowning.

"Well, not that it be illegal to drop from the sky or swim here but I'd like ta ask that ya kindly not scare the fish 'way." he said, his voice heavy with the accent of the western human kingdoms.

"Sorry. Wasn't our intention." Thaelasan said, pulling Flora onto the sand.

"And that ain't right to swim in, neither." he said, pointing at them both. "You guys live round here?"

"No, but..."

Thaelasan paused a moment, looking at Flora as he began to ponder their next course of action.

>Ask the man where you are. It'd be good to have a basic idea of location.
>Ask the man for food. You didn't eat much besides those apples from earlier, and swimming has made you hungry.
>Introduce yourselves and tell him of your situation. Maybe he can help out, but he's also part of the human kingdoms. He could send word to Thaniel of your location.
>Ask the man where you are. It'd be good to have a basic idea of location.
"I say, dear friend, can you tell us where we are?" Thaelasan asked.

"Sorry about the fish." Flora added.

"Eh. Ain't nothin' bitin' any such way." the man shrugged, wiping his forehead with his shirt. Thaelasan had now gotten a better look at him, and it was obvious he was some sort of boatsman or fisherman by trade, not just for hobby. Though Thaelasan would never say he wasn't fit in some degree, the man made him feel slightly self-conscious. His muscles had been toughened by years of rigorous pulling and rope braiding and knotting. His hair was braided down his back to keep it out of his vision. Unlike Thaelasan, who kept his beard clean and trimmed to four inches, the man had probably never seen a razor. All in all, it was as though he was seeing a completely different world from the one he had known thus far.

He was sure he had been here before. He'd had to have been. Otherwise, he couldn't have written the scroll. But where was "here" anyway?

"Well yer on part of the Debais Isles, Lan, to be exact." the man said, as though it should be common knowledge.

"Ah... Lan, then..." Thaelasan tapped his chin. Memories were beginning to return to him.

The human nations had always been full of explorers and seafarers. Most of the humans who lived in cities were descendants of one of the many fishing families and farming groups that dotted the landscapes. People were always quick to speak proudly of their fisherman heritages (notably the Seabraid and Tideweaver families) because it was actually very respectable to be part of their bloodlines. It was because of them that most of the trading ports had even been able to survive - at least, the ones closest to the oceans.

However, this had also led to an influx of fishing villages that housed certain families and not others. There was no open rivalry, but it was taboo to fish in another man's part of the ocean. It just wasn't done. As such, several of the outlaying archipelagos had been divided among the families to avoid disputes and confusion. The borders had been accepted and the islands had become almost their own country by themselves, barely governed by the main human kingdoms. They brought fish, they traded, and they were left to their own devices.

Lan, however, was the furthest from the continent of Galron, being on the very edge of the Sea of Madness. As a result, not many wanted to visit it. Only the fishermen of the Grandcatch family seemed to frequent it. It was said you could catch great, wonderful, and exotic fish from the Sea of Madness, but it was also (obviously) fraught with danger and peril. Many adventurers tried to bravely cross it to reach the fabled Isle of Treasure, only to return slightly insane or scared (if they were fortunate) or never return at all.

Thaelasan remembered why he had written the scroll now.

"Are you part of the Grandcatch family, by chance?" Thaelasan asked, intrigued.

"Lesley Grandcatch, atcher service." the man nodded. "Call me Les."
"Well, Les, again, sorry to trouble you. But I wish to ask - is your grandfather Wilson Grandcatch?"

"Ol' Will? Yeah. He was." Les replied, blinking. "Ain't many from outside the islands that know us that well. Who'd ya say you were?"

"Oh. I'm... Thaelasan, and this is my fiancee, Flora."

She blinked at him a moment but Thaelasan gave her a small look. She nodded at Les.

"Hello. Pleased to meet you." she said politely.

"Well, Thael, Flora. What business do you have with my dead granddad?"

"Dead?" Thaelasan looked surprised.

"Yeah. Couple years back. He passed like he wanted, out on a boat. He knew when he was gonna go too. Told me to take his favorite line and give my brother the reel. Said it would make us finally get along. Ol' bastard." Les grinned. "He said 'Boy I'm gonna go get that great catch on the horizon and show yer grandma.' and of course grandma had passed a few years 'fore him so I knew what he was sayin' minute he said it."

"I'm terribly sorry. I had a business deal with him but we weren't simply business partners. I remember when he was just a young boy."

"How'd ya know him? Aren't you human?" Les asked, confused.

"Er, no... I'm half-human. I hope you don't have any quarrels with elves." he said, holding up his hands in surrender.

"Nah. I don't quarrel with anyone but my brother." Les shrugged. "What was the deal about?"

"Well... there was a key he had in his possession while he was alive. He told me it was meant to keep the doors to the temple on this island closed."

Les' eyes narrowed and he let his arms relax slightly.

"...Did he ever tell you what was in the temple?"

"Nothing good. In his words, 'a fish he'd wished he'd never caught.' I promised him I would find a way to destroy that fish before he died. But when I did, I became distracted by other matters, and forgot a very important promise."

"Come with me." Les commanded, pointing. "We have business."

He began to walk off, heading in the direction of something further down the beach. Thaelasan looked at Flora. She looked at him.

>Follow him, at a distance. Something's not right...
>Obey him and stay close. Trust is important in all things. (Angelic)
>Refuse and ignore him. You can find out more yourself.
>>Obey him and stay close. Trust is important in all things. (Angelic)
Les spoke as they walked. During the entire time, his eyes were slightly shifting as though he was keeping an eye out for something - or someone. It was a drastic, terrible change from the kind man they'd met only a moment before.

"Ever since Will passed... we'd been having strange nightmares. The kind you don't forget. The kind ya wake up from... in a really cold sweat. The kind where when ya think about them, it's like cold hands clutch yer heart."

He put a hand to his chest as they walked, his footsteps hastening.

"Course, we thought it was jus' superstitious nonsense. Prolly the despair o' his death. Nothin' major. We all just started to brush it off and keep on fishin'. But that's when it really got bad."

Lan was never a truly habitable landscape. As they walked, Thaelasan noted the spikes along the shoreline, leading out into the currents. If it hadn't been for how close to land they'd been, they could have been dashed upon the rocks when they'd been dropped into the water earlier. But Les seemed to be leading them closer to the water's edge, where the Maw of Madness began - a great strait of shallow water, sand, and mire leading out into the sea. It was the only connection the Sea of Madness had to land, and was the only way into it safely. The Grandcatch family decided who was allowed to go or stay.

But as they approached the Maw, Thaelasan noted what he had seen them walking towards was no rock as he had previously assumed. It was a behemoth of a boat, capsized and torn asunder. Pieces of driftwood covered the sand, making it hard to traverse. But what truly gave him and Flora both a small lump in their throats was the shape of the hull.

It was unmistakably a bite mark, a gap gnawed into wood by the teeth of some massive beast. And as their eyes fell upon the landscape that was revealed by the last rays of the sunset, they could see bones.

Bones... Bones everywhere. Human bones. Elven bones. As if they'd been licked clean. As if they'd been consumed meticulously, not by creatures, but by calculated consumption. It was strange to describe but it was a feeling they conveyed, not simply through appearance, but through how they had been placed.

*As though they had been sleeping there, and all of their flesh had just been torn from them within a moment.*

"Ma found this... few days hence." Les said, gesturing to the ship and the corpses around it. "And this ain't the only one. We'd never had this happen before. Sure, ship's returned from the Dark Sea, but ne'er like this... ne'er so... Well it just don't sit well, ya know? Ya can see it, right?"

"...I wish I didn't." Thaelasan admitted as Flora clutched her hands to her chest. He watched as she stepped in the sand quietly, then knelt down to one of the bones. She cradled a skull in her hand a moment, her eyes going blank.

She whispered something. Les backed up a moment, concerned. Thaelasan stepped towards her, leaning to her level.
"He knew they witnessed Him... so they had to be silenced... The thousand hands grabbed them.. Cold but welcoming... Welcomed to His side..." she murmured.

Thaelasan patted her shoulder, shaking her a moment. She looked up at him, her eyes seeming to stare into nothingness.

"You have witnessed Him too... and He seeks you... He seeks us... He knows of what we are... He will find us... He is patient.... Waiting in the dark..."

Thaelasan heard something beyond her whispering but he wasn't going to let that phase him. He grabbed the skull and threw it to the ground. He clutched Flora's shoulders, tightly but without all of his force, and stared at her.

"Flora. I am here. Calm yourself. He cannot harm us. Not here. Not where he cannot tread."

She shook her head, blinking. There was a long moment of silence. Les stared at them both as he waited for some sign of normalcy.

"Are ya... witches er somethin'?" he asked. He was definitely perplexed and anxious about the situation. Thaelasan shook his head, standing to his full height as he helped Flora to her feet.

"Simply a thaumaturgist and his assistant. Or rather, his greatest treasure." Thaelasan promised, rubbing her shoulders. "I'm sorry to worry you. She's very in tune with memory and emotion."

Les paused. Now, a normal man would have been second guessing his choices at who he decided to ask for help. But Les had seen some of what the Sea of Madness had to offer. He'd had the nightmares. He'd seen the greatest and worst catches in those waters while he'd been alive. He knew what magic was.

He took a breath and sighed.

"Well. Ya came here sayin' ya knew my granddad and what he'd been keepin' secret, so I gotta know - can ya help us with this? We're tryin' not to upset the rest of the family on the other parts of the island."

"We can help you, yes. But you seemed to have more than just this to show us." Thaelasan noted, pulling out a small notebook. He thanked himself for enchanting his bags to be resistant to water and heat. But what sort of mage DIDN'T do that? With how awry their experiments could go, it was almost a necessity.

He wrote down a few notes as Les crossed his arms. Flora watched with interest over Thaelasan's shoulder, pointing as she added a few more things. He nodded and wrote several more notes at her behest.

"Well, other than that, we've found letters that say they're from Ol' Will. They get sent in the dead of night, only to a few of us that I know of. They always say the same thin', o'er and o'er." he did a spin of his fingers to enunciate. "'He watches. Return it to the water.'"

"Well, we're definitely not doing that." Thaelasan stated flatly. Flora nodded, crossing her own arms and frowning.

"Wait, ya guys already get this? What's going on, then?"

"Simple." Thaelasan held out his hands.

"Your grandfather fished up a son of Van'Sogoth."
"A what?" Les said.

"A son of an Old One. Your grandfather long ago fished up a son of an Old One and sealed it within the temple on this island." Thaelasan repeated, finishing his notes. "And I can help you with your problems, but will need help in return. It won't be much."

"What will ya need, then?" Les asked, curious.

"A boat into the Sea of Madness, with you at the helm, if possible. I need you to take me to the Shattered Isle."

"Never heard of it." Les said firmly.

"Neither have I." Thaelasan smirked. "We both have never heard of the island. I was definitely never told of it by your grandfather in return for my services, should I ever have succeeded in my goals of defeating Shan'Gal."

Les cursed a moment, then sighed.

"Yer really gonna make me take ya there? At least let me wait a week."

"I can agree to that. And don't worry, other than Flora, I've never told anyone else of your secret fishing spot." Thaelasan held up a hand in surrender. "Nor do I care to. Your grandfather was a good man and a trustworthy friend. He got me out of many problems. In return.. well I was the one who helped his vote to get control of Lan over the Tideweavers."

"Bullshit." Les swore, absolutely in disbelief. "Alright, that tears it. After you handle this, I wanna know what else ya know about Ol' Will. He normally kept to himself. Our family kept askin' him and he just kept promisin' he'd tell us even'chally. But then he goes off and dies."

"Trust me. Much of what he would have told you would have been better off unknown - like this. If it had been possible, I wish I could have done it without getting your family involved." Thaelasan put his hands in his robe pockets. Flora had wandered off to look at the other bones.


"Yes, dear?"

"This one has a stone!"

"Does it? Grab it then." he said, pleased. "That's a good sign."

"I don't understand what ya mean. She found a rock?" Les asked, baffled.

"Huh? No. A stone... Er, rather, a Focusing Stone. It's what happens when a large amount of magical energy - ill or good - concentrates in an area. That means where we find it, we'll find a clue as to what's behind THIS disturbance. Van cannot do anything in our world on his own. He requires his Thousand Hands to do that for him.
Which.. particularly, would normally be a very bad thing if left unchecked. But thankfully, I know how to find them and deal with them. Just leave this whole affair to me. You get home and to safety. Also.. as for the nightmares, leave a small chain above your window made of silver or soaked in saltwater. Tie it so that it's hidden behind the window pane. When you awaken in the morning, grab the rope and quickly step on it."


"Because there will be a Brain Leech stuck within it struggling to break free and devour more of your thoughts." Thaelasan said matter-of-factly. "And the best way to kill the little buggers is with a good stomp of your foot and a scrape against stone with your boot."
"Brain... leech?" Les seemed completely lost.

"Just.. don't think too hard about them, alright? That just makes them hungrier. Deep thoughts, I mean. They like those with a lot on their mind. " Thaelasan tapped his forehead. "Which, I mean, is quite flattering for you and the others they've been cursing, if you want to look at it that way. It means you're quite intelligent. They don't bother with idiots."

"...I don't know how ta feel about that sort o' flattery." Les said, scratching the back of his head. "But... if ya don't need my help... I'll leave ya to it then."

"Don't feel bad, Les. You've helped quite a bit. But I need one last thing from you."


"Your grandfather's key. Where did he put it?"

"...He took it with him, I thought. I hadn't heard anythin' about it otherwise." Les said, pondering. "But I can ask Ma, or my brother."

"Please do. Just try to find an excuse for why you want it. I don't think telling them 'to release an old god's spawn' is a good way to make them give it away."

"Yer prolly right.." Les nodded. "I'll see what I can scrounge up."

He stepped off back through the darkness as the last rays of light left the beach. Thaelasan turned to Flora as finally met back up with him, holding the stone aloft.

"It is quite large!" she said, seemingly pleased. "That is a good sign!"

"Or a very bad one. I'll hope it's the former." Thaelasan said, placing the glowing, crystalline orb within a special place in his belt. "For now... we should begin with..."

>The corpses. Using a rudimentary scan, you could find the residential vestiges of the Thousand Hand and try to find the direction he went in. (Intelligence Roll.)
>The boat. There might be information as to the previous owners aboard. (Perception Roll.)
>The stone. It may not have been large enough for a scan of who cast the spell, but it could tell when it was cast. (Intelligence Roll.)
>Explore further up and down the coast for more clues. (Perception Roll.)
>Ask Flora to use her abilities to glean more information from the bones. It could be dangerous if she went too far into their memories but it could shed some light on the spell's user.
>The stone. It may not have been large enough for a scan of who cast the spell, but it could tell when it was cast.
>Thaelasan, Flora, and the War of the Tree #2. ShogunRyuusha
>War of the Tree
This is War of the Tree, not War of the Free?
Yeah. There is a fuck huge tree of life the eleves and humans are fighting over.
(Sigh.) If someone gets a chance, roll for me. I keep forgetting how to do it. I'll post later tonight either way.
Rolled 36 (1d100)

What story is this? OC?
(( My own story, yes. ))

Thaelasan pulled the crystal from his pouch and stared deep within its depths but unfortunately the magical power within it was not enough to glean any useful information. Worse, the action reminded him of the small gash in his arm from where Thaniel had stabbed him and he winced. He was feeling slightly hungry as well. He assumed Flora was the same, considering her interest in small fruits along the shoreline.

Oh well. There were still other ways to glean information.

>The corpses. Using a rudimentary scan, you could find the residential vestiges of the Thousand Hand and try to find the direction he went in. (Intelligence Roll.)
>The boat. There might be information as to the previous owners aboard. (Perception Roll.)
>Explore further up and down the coast for more clues. (Perception Roll.)
>Ask Flora to use her abilities to glean more information from the bones. It could be dangerous if she went too far into their memories but it could shed some light on the spell's user.
>The corpses. Using a rudimentary scan, you could find the residential vestiges of the Thousand Hand and try to find the direction he went in.
(( Ok. I yield. Someone roll this again. I'm going to be a bit more active tonight, anyway. Kinda want to make progress on the Thousand Hands arc. ))
Rolled 95 (1d100)

Use the option field
(( Thank you and nice roll. ))

Thaelasan knelt in the sand of the beach and began to closely observe the corpses. On closer inspection, he noted several of the corpses clutching their chests if they still had arms connected to their bodies. He also noted that all of the bodies were facing the same direction, no matter which way they were laying.

He wrote down the notes in his little book and nodded. Flora approached him and jumped up and down, holding a pair of strange fruits in her hand.

"No, Flora. Those are poisonous." he stated firmly, rubbing his cheek with the pencil. Marvelous invention, it was. Originally meant for gnomes, it was a bit odd for human hands to clutch. But it made it quite easy to fix mistakes (which many gnomes made in their large-scale engineering operations).

"Are you sure?" Flora asked, staring at them with eagerness in her eyes. "They look like honeydews..."

"They're carchuks." Thaelasan said, rubbing his cheek with his pencil harder as he tried to consider the evidence. "They're fruit that only grow near the Sea of Madness. They drive those that eat them insane. They've led to the death of many a sailor, dear."

"Oh.." she looked crestfallen, dropping them on the ground and sighing. She fell to her knees, looking at the skeleton in front of her and poking its cheek.

"Careful. You'll enter-"

"I will not, so long as I keep my mental thresholds up." Flora promised, looking it over. "Why are they all facing the same direction?"

"That's what I'm trying to figure out." Thaelasan said, though his voice showed he was happy she noticed such a thing. "Why don't you help me think?"

"I would but I am quite hungry. Can we not eat before-"

"Guraldamash!" Thaelasan whispered with great force. "Of course!"

"Who?" Flora asked, cocking her head.

"The tempter. He's one of Van's Thousand Hands. Guraldamash is also known as the hungering swarm."

He trailed his foot through the sand a moment, certain, as he pointed at the direction all of them were facing - towards the village.

"He is the embodiment of hunger within the minds of man. He must have taken the visage of something delicious for sailors lost at sea, and thus led them to an endless search for him until they were weak and dying of starvation. Then, he consumed them instead."

"How cruel..." Flora said softly, nodding. "But it makes sense. So where would he be now, then?"

"Wherever they were last looking. He must be seeking Van's son. But he cannot open the seal without the key." Thaelasan said with certainty.

"Then why do we want to open the seal?" Flora asked, standing to her feet and brushing sand from her legs.

"Because then we can be done with this sorry affair and I can make true a promise I made to a man a long time ago - to free his children from the wrath of a fish he should never have caught."

"That was.. a very nice promise for you to make." Flora commented.
"Then, do you want my help with dealing with this creature or do you want to be the hero and have me simply cheer you on?"

"Of course I desire your assistance. I would like to think I could beat the demon alone but there's no reason not to accept your gracious offer."

He bowed to her a moment theatrically. He loved the sort of relationship they had, after all. She would always be his Queen, and he would gladly be her Guardian. Within the world of Fae, she had never known trouble, but had been sought by Van'Sogoth and the other Dark Ones for her abilities. He, escaping from Van'Sogoth, had found her, while he was afraid and alone, and the two had escaped from the Old Lost One's grip and fled the Outer Realms.

But that was a story for another time, possibly when they were not so hungry, nor so pressed for time.

"Well, the current plan is to follow the path to Guraldamash, kill him without any of the Grandcatches getting involved, clean up the mess, teleport the bodies to proper graves deep in the earth, defeat and banish Van's son, and then eat."

"Why can we not eat FIRST?" Flora questioned, grabbing his shoulders. "Surely you can fit that part of your plan before everything else!"

"You are quite dramatic, Flora."

"I learned from you. Does it help me to fit in?" she asked, pulling back from him. "It is still strange to walk among this world. I have not yet had long to adjust... I am also saddened that we cannot return to that beautiful city..."

"Ah, do not worry. There are far more beautiful cities than Leywind anyway." Thaelasan waved his hand dismissively. "And remember, I can take us anywhere. But for now, I feel I should hold true to my old promises."

He held out his hand and his fingers waved as they usually did. However, as he did so, something began to materialize within his grip.

A long, bladed staff, with ornate decorations down its length. Polished ivory led to a strange metal that had been quite hard to come by. It was obviously Elven in make, the blades covered in their runes. Down the shaft of the weapon ran a single word - "Ruudai."

He hefted it to remember its weight and then stabbed it into the ground next to him, leaning on it.

"That... That was the weapon that came to you when you saved me." Flora said, putting a hand on it as she walked around it.

"When I saved US." Thaelasan corrected, beginning to walk while using the staff as a cane. "To be honest, I've felt quite naked without it."

"Why did you not use it in the city?"

"Because it's Elven, dear Flora, and I had to work very hard to convince the people of Leywind I had no ties to my old people, nor any love for them. I spent years... dedicated years... making them believe I had given up all of my desire to return to my empire."
"And did you?"

"No... No I don't think I ever did." he admitted truthfully, stepping over one of the bodies and sliding a bit of sand over its face in some form of respect. "Somewhere in me, there was some part that yearned to see the meadows again, the hills, and the trees with my own eyes, to tend to the flowers and hunt alongside the warriors of our people. You never truly leave home, after all.
No matter how much I told myself I was happier away from them, it was all a very crude lie."

"Then why did you never go home?"

"Because as much as I wanted it, it didn't want me."

He remembered the faces of those who saw his human features, who feared him. As the years had gone by, and the attacks upon them by the human nations had grown more vicious, he and several like him were accused of subterfuge and sabotage... He had told her some of the stories before... But some of them were better left untold. She knew the general idea, and that was enough.

"Why could they not forgive you?"

"There was nothing I did to be forgiven." Thaelasan replied, turning slightly back to her. "No act I personally committed. It was simply the way of keeping themselves safe, no matter the cost. If I could have possibly, even for a moment, betrayed them, it was the knowledge that I COULD HAVE which truly scared them. It was the knowing that one day I would rule them, as well."

Her eyes widened, and he stopped, concerned.


"Rule them?"

"Oh...." he said, looking away. "It is nothing now. I am nothing. And let's leave it at that."

Flora walked a bit slower behind him for a moment, considering if she should press the matter, but she realized the mission was far more important. Besides, she knew him - he had told her the truth before, and trusted in her. He had taken her where she wanted to go and shown her beautiful places. And even before that, he had saved her life and worked tirelessly to bring her to his side.

So, if he wanted a bit more time before he told her more about himself, she had secrets of her own - or at least, things she considered secrets, such as one time taking someone's fruit before they could grab it, or pulling someone's hair and pretending it wasn't her. But that was when she was far younger.

However, the innocent Fae had no idea of what Thaelasan had truly gone through as he had grown up. She was from an entirely different world, both literally and figuratively. She had come from a world where the idea of causing harm for anything but mischief wasn't a conception. She had come from a place where food and water were plenty, where all things felt the same pain, and where all minds were almost entirely linked.

She didn't understand what it meant to lie. To be unable to trust. To not know if someone felt the same about you. About the true meaning of the words "I do." About the pain of leaving someone, no matter how badly you didn't want to. Because to her, she could always run fast enough to catch up to them.
At the end of the day, she didn't realize she was the only one who he had truly opened the barriers of his heart to, the only one he had put all of his faith into.

She could never understand that.


The two of them arrived on the outskirts of a small cropping north of the homestead of the Grandcatches.

It was a small, fishing village, which - in retrospect - made a lot of sense. There were small shacks that sprung like flowers all over the hills below them. Fishing nets were currently hung above doors and from rafters, ready for the next day. Two men were still awake around this hour, chatting with each other near the homes.

"Do you see Les?" Thaelasan asked, turning to Flora.

"I sense him but I do not see him. He is in one of the homes." she said, holding out her hand. "....To the north. That one. There."

A lithe finger pointed at a house that didn't look much different from the others. Thaelasan, however, chuckled a moment.

"What? Am I incorrect?" Flora asked, slightly indignant.

"No. It is the fact that Will never changed where he lived in all the years he was alive." Thaelasan pointed his own finger near the house, at a small rock facing the ocean. "We used to sit there and discuss the sea."

"Why did you come here in the first place?" Flora wondered.

"I washed up here... quite fortunately I suppose. It was Will who pulled me ashore and gave me food after my exile." Thaelasan explained, nostalgic. "He had a grand vision of sailing until he ran out of sea, into the Sea of Madness, against all odds. He kept claiming the only reason he didn't was because of his beloved. If it wasn't for Maria, I don't think Will would have lived nearly as long. The boy would take long trips into the Sea to go to his favorite fishing spot - the Shattered Isle... He took me there once. It's a beautiful island... but.."


"....We don't have time. He's here, isn't he?" Thaelasan stopped, putting his hand on Flora's shoulder. "As night approaches. You have to act quickly. Do you know where he is?"

Flora closed her eyes, and Thaelasan waited patiently before her eyes opened again.

"He's below us." she gasped, pointing downward.

He followed her gesture to see something only described in eldritch novels.

A black shape began to take form from a cave below the outcropping, silent and invisible. Yet within it, one could sense a mass far older than anything known to man or beast. It desired form. It desired shape. And it craved a shape which all others desired. Twisted tendrils grasped the sand below as it began to move forward towards the village.

"Those two men.. if they gaze upon him, they will not be able to resist. But we can't fight him here. If any of the villagers lay eyes upon him..."

Thaelasan quickly began to think of a way to try and stop the creature before it was able to take form...
>Teleport the two men away. They may be shocked for a moment, but perhaps they're drunk, and will later talk about it as a bartime rag.

>Attack the creature and try to draw it into the cave. But if too much noise is made, villagers could spot the Thousand Hands demon and be driven mad with hunger. It would be innocent lives lost.

>Attempt to force the creature into a portal itself and have it teleported to the other end of the island. But trying to teleport those of the outer realms was always risky...

>Use one of you as bait to draw the creature away to a better area to fight in. But you'll have to try and be quiet... (Agility roll.)
>Teleport the two men away. They may be shocked for a moment, but perhaps they're drunk, and will later talk about it as a bartime rag.
First things first
Thaelasan gazed at the two men. With his free hand, he gestured at them, wiggling his fingers a moment before two things began to materialize beneath them.

Before either of them could speak, they had been teleported to a safer location on the edge of the island, far from the city. Both of them looked at each other with confusion, but thankfully were - as Thaelasan had assumed - drunk, and continued to talk as though nothing had happened.

"Musta walked out here ourselves..." one of them wagered, rubbing his head.

"Yeah... uh... maybe?... I thought... Nah... Must be right.." the other said, nodding. "Wanna sing?"


Meanwhile, Flora was watching the mass with interest as it continued to move...

>Attack the creature and try to draw it into the cave. But if too much noise is made, villagers could spot the Thousand Hands demon and be driven mad with hunger. It would be innocent lives lost.

>Attempt to force the creature into a portal itself and have it teleported to the other end of the island. But trying to teleport those of the outer realms was always risky...

>Use one of you as bait to draw the creature away to a better area to fight in. But you'll have to try and be quiet... (Agility roll.)
>Use one of you as bait to draw the creature away to a better area to fight in. But you'll have to try and be quiet... (Agility roll.)
Rolled 52 (1d100)

Testing this damn thing. ))
File: tegaki.png (35 KB, 500x500)
35 KB
Flora nodded to Thaelasan as he rushed off from the top of the cliff, teleporting to a location just short of the great beast's formation.

What greeted him was not human. A hungering maw, with two massive hands, connected by nothing but tendrils that slithered and eased like tendons without flex. Great teeth, serrated and pointed, to tear into flesh and bone alike. But flesh was all it desired.

It had eaten much, and had become strong. It would soon have a presence in the world, and then all would be for naught.

"Guraldamash! I speak your true name!" Thaelasan said, with a voice barely above a whisper, but with the force to reach the creature. "I know what you seek... But you will never have it so long as I stand!"

Twenty eyes turned to stare at him as the creature slightly moved to look at the new source of disturbance.

There were no words before it charged at him, barreling quicker than it should have been capable of. Thaelasan quickly threw up a portal and moved himself farther from the creature, and then farther again, back to the corpses. It took a few leaps, but soon he was standing where Les had lead them, and the creature was furious.

"Here is a perfect place to destroy you..." Thaelasan said, holding his staff at the ready. Guraldamash charged at him again, and the beast connected with Thaelasan's weapon, both of them feeling the energy from the strike. The Thousand Hands creature actually seemed stunned by the strike, uncertain about the battle it had chosen to undertake.

>Wait for Flora. She would catch up soon, and she would probably appreciate being part of such a grand undertaking.

>Attempt to fight the beast yourself.
>Wait for Flora. She would catch up soon, and she would probably appreciate being part of such a grand undertaking.
Our guy would probably want to show off in front of her
(( The new thread is up.

>>2847601 ))

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