Title: The Shadows Of The Forest
Description: Deep inside the forest lie secrets
Serephix Vamlyn - July 29, 2009 08:16 PM (GMT)
Aumnius waked through the coldforest, the heavy fog leaving him unable to see past even several feet in front of him. The Tear of light in his right hand just incase of a surprise attack. He traveled relentlessly forward always surveying each new detail that rose from the fog. The cold air clung to his skin causing it to glisten softly. His hair too was wet and clung to his back. Aumnius continued through the fog until he came upon a small clearing, the trees ended suddenly in a large circle, even the fog had lessened. The fog had become a mist lingering around his feet. His mucles tensed as he felt an aura, the aura of a soul nearby. All through the forest he had come across one or two souls of minor creatures dwelling in the forest, this soul was sentient however, and powerful. He walked into the center of the clearing slowly stopping in the center. He jammed the Tear of light into the ground he released the hilt the blade staying in place in the rough dead earth. He sat cross legged into the ground by his blade and closed his eyes, focusing on the the soul. The mist seemed to be gathering from the forest and the dull grey sky hid any features of the time of day. Aumnius couldn't remember the last time he had slept, time held no meaning for him as he traveled. The sky in this area seemed to be a constant grey, he had no idea how long he had been walking through the forest, but he could feel fatuige at the very edges of his muscles. He straightened his back and it released several pops from his neck, back, and sternum. He relaxed and he slowly entered a resting state. His senses would awake him if the soul moved closer to him.
Cosmos - July 30, 2009 07:19 AM (GMT)
It was such a dark, gray, foggy day. How dreary. A creature like Quo-Bu did not bode well in such a moist environment, but he found himself in this thick forest regardless. The fog posed no threat to the navigational aspects of his vision, as he could easily remove himself from the most dense parts near the ground, be it with his wings, or with the climbing skills in his back legs.
Quo-Bu was an impressive creature, bearing the front of a phoenix, and the back of a lithe, yet powerful, feline. He was indeed some manner of gryphon, yet a different creature in his own right. The feathered parts of him were adorned with the same vibrant hues of the fires he so fondly called, and the top of his head with an elegant feathered crest. His feline back legs were golden, and his fur shone. His tail, like that of a phoenix, was extravagant: a typical lion's tail, decorated along its length with light, curved, flame-colored feathers.
He dozed off idly on a thick branch at a moderate height, and even though his eyes were closed, one side of him protruded into the clearing so he could feel it when the sun happened to return. With his four-toed avian feet hanging down, and his feline-avian tail swaying gently below him, Quo-Bu was quite content to lay there until he was provoked otherwise. Not even the sound of footsteps making their gradual approach fazed him, nor did the sound of their source coming to rest in the middle of the clearing. If any nearby sentience wanted his attention, it would have to call him out itself.
Serephix Vamlyn - July 31, 2009 01:49 AM (GMT)
Aumnius felt the presence of the soul get closer, he opened his eyes and saw the avian creature lying ideally on the branch. He grinned softly and stood his boots softly sounding out on the grass. He could feel it's soul, readiating in the air around it. Aumnius was about to confront the creature when he felt another presence. The presence of a spirit. He turned his head placing a hand on the Tear of Light's hilt. The air in the clearing grew cold, the mist quickly becoming froze droplets on the grass, turning the grass it's self still as glass. The spirit was growing closer and with each step toward the clearing the air grew colder. Goosebumps covered Aumnius' exposed skin, his full arms and neck that weren't covered by his black tank top, his legs brotected by his kakhi pants and heavy boots, his hair even seemed to stiffin in the frigid air. Aumnius turned his body away from the avian creature, it was not the source of the air, it's soul was still alive. Aumnius drew his blade and positioned is legs in a fighting stance as he dug his feet in place the glass like grass breaking and flying. Aumnius swung the blade behind him holding it steady with each hand as he readied himself for an incoming attack. His shaman abilities had told him that this forest was corrupted, but never expected to be attacked.
Cosmos - August 1, 2009 07:05 AM (GMT)
Quo-Bu felt the air around him go cold, but for what? He neither felt nor sensed anything strange about, but then again, his ability to simply sense something wasn't exactly the sharpest. He lifted his head and looked in the direction which the man in the clearing was now facing, but he saw nothing there. Compared to Aumnius and his readied blade, the graceful soul of the phoenix was quite a contrast. Still, his curiosity caused him to stand up and observe from the vantage point of his thick tree limb.
His countenance, though predominantly calm, showed a slight alertness, in case something malevolent really was here. The avian was quite enlightened to the dangers of the forest, and really, they were not as threatening as those in the surrounding areas made it seem. Still, anything that set foot in this place always ran the risk. Quo-Bu, however, didn't seem to be particularly concerned. If anything, he was curious to see what other interesting things would show themselves today.
Serephix Vamlyn - August 1, 2009 09:39 AM (GMT)
Tiny rings of foot shaped rings of ice began to appear in the frozen grass, like an invisbile being was slowly walking towards Aumnius. He stretched out his shaman senses and called the spirit's form into a visible state. Clear as day the mist swirled around it revealing a slender figure made of pure ice. the shape of a human, standing 5' 7'' it's extremties ended in sharp points as it "looked" at Aumnius, it held no eyes or and facial detail for that matter. It continued to stare in Aumnius' direction and keeping his blade ready to strike he adressed the creature, "Ice golem, you are corrupting this forest, leave now or Iwill be forced to send you into the afterlife myself." He glared at the ice golem, it had no place here, in this forest, some being manifested this ice golem, sealing a soul inside entombing it and bending it to the creator's will. Golem's were harsh creations, inhuman, and often, dangerous. He could feel the avian soul behind him stir, but not yet sure if this was going to be a two on one battle he held his stance.
The ice golem let out a shriek that shook Aumnius to his very core the mist in the air becoming tiny bits of ice hovering in the air and falling to the grass that now became completely encased in ice. Aumnius held his ground, digging his feet into the ground holding against the shriek that echoed and shook the entire forest in it's defeaning power. Apperaring next to the ice golem were two more identical figures of ice, one on each side of the first. All of them faced Aumnius and he gripped his blade tighter, he was going to have to force these souls down, and exorcise them himself. He doubted that the avian was a shaman, preist, median, or anyother spiritually aware being. He tensed as he felt two more figures appear behind him. All five of the ice golems simotaniously poitioning themselves in fighting stances, one sharped arm pointing forward toward Aumnius as the other pointed to him as well but was above it's head. Their feet were wide and their sharpened what could only becalled feet dug into the ground holding them balanced.
Aumnius tightend his grip and charged the power within his blade, a little exorcise always helped to shake off the cold. And he felt that if he'd have to do battle with the avian beng he would need the pump of his adreniline. This was going to be an entertaining day.
Kaidona - August 2, 2009 09:07 AM (GMT)
The ancients shuddered. The golem’s voice rent outward, rippling into the distance; its echoes replied it. Beneath the bitter rustling of primaeval flora, a muted crunch first came. A sliding shuff followed soon after, barely deigning to waft from the cover of darkness to grace the clearing, before the telltale patter of rapidly approaching footfalls rushed beyond the treeline. Within the moment they doubled, and then following the next the forest beyond Aumnius fell silent.
A dark flash resonated through the forest’s pall; a smoky black form lurched forth from the obscurity of the trees with great fervor, its trajectory intent on an intruding golem. As it came near to such a creature, however, a snaking thread of black, thick, gnarled, crackling—as though mimicking the monstrous wrath of the heavens—lashed beyond it, coiling around the frozen manifest, shaping into immense jaws, where they clamped around it, shattered it, and swallowed it whole.
The smoky form landed atop the remaining shards with an indignant flop, shaking out into a bipedal entity clad in a tattered cowl that had certainly been worse for wear. Reddish bronze flashed in the darkness cast beneath the hood, ill humor darting out to glare back whence the elemental assault had come, before the unknown creature quickly turned, setting its sights on the next soul-bearing atrocity that dared trespass on their plane. Without once acknowledging the two living, breathing beings right there with it, it shoved a slender foot out from beneath the cowl—bare sole black, heel and ankle tawny and stripe-marked—lowered fluidly on unseen haunches, and sprung, shaking thin, tawny hands from the folds of frayed cotton.
Another coil of black energy arced out from the outer edge of the clearing, however not without consequence. Quickly forming abyssal jaws jerked and reared back from the second golem, growling angrily, as a deep tenor barked in malcontent. “Jin!” it snarled.
Clawed fingers were wrapped tightly about the ice creature’s non-face, cryptically marked palm centered where a mouth may have been, while red-tinted eyes darted about to meet the voice. Tendrils of luminous blue-green raced down the respective arm, weaving across concealed shoulders, and then submerging into the chest; try as the creature, or summoner may have, the manifested body was immobilized while the confined soul was being devoured. The other hand gripped a frigid shoulder, while raised knees clamped what semblance these creatures had for ribs, and bare toes curled around jagged hips.
“Jinililavati, disengage from that! You don’t know where it’s been!”
Cosmos - August 2, 2009 09:21 AM (GMT)
Now the alertness set in. Why such creatures chose to materialize, or where they got the ability, was lost on Quo-Bu, but they, being of ice, posed so little of a threat to him that, had he been alone, he probably would have simply laid back down. The first elemental released a piercing cry, but it did not shake him. Ice, having taken a sentient form or not, was no match for a phoenix. He watched as the little batch of golems appeared, one after the other, and a smirk crossed his beak.
His first target would be the one that had appeared directly below him, and its focus on the man with the sword seemed to make things almost too easy. The avian leapt off his branch, leaving the area of bark that had made contact with him charred black. A pair of feline paws landed square on icy shoulders, and naught but a second later the creature had been reduced to a puddle in the dirt from Quo-Bu's heat. The gryphon, encased in flames, took a couple graceful steps forward to bring himself next to Auminus.
"What are you lot doing down from the mountains?" he asked the four remaining golems. Six feet at the shoulder, Quo-Bu's quadrupedal stance made him seem much bigger than they were. His feline-avian tail waved slowly behind him, his head bowed, and his wings stretched out slightly as he stared down the attackers. Then, rearing up on his hind legs and tossing his head backwards, he began to conjure his fire breath...
... Only to see his target shatter to pieces before him, devoured by some unknown dark energy. Quo-Bu's front feet hit the ground rather hard, and the slightest bit of smoke arose from his nostrils as he surveyed the stealer of his spotlight, and though it wasn't enough to make him jump, as he had seen many things similar, he still found himself quite interested. However, these two new appearances, the other of whom, much like the first, seemed to materialize out of nowhere, took no notice of him, and he didn't seem to like that very much. Again, he reared up on his hind legs, but this time did so to give a sharp cry, very much like that of an eagle.
He shook himself lightly once his feet were again on the ground, his curiosity towards these two new appearances completely distracting him from the two remaining golems.
Serephix Vamlyn - August 3, 2009 04:25 AM (GMT)
Aumnius was taken back by the appearence of the three, he leaped back and pivoted his feet spinning quickly to drive his blade deep into the ice golem's chest the glass like grass shattering as he turned his foot without lifting it up. He drove his free hand to the ice golems head his palm enveloping the golem's "face" as his blade began to pulse with energy. His hand began to glow and pulse with white light shouting out "Hoyi Gatai!" A pulse shook throught the frozen golem shattering it. It's soul lingering in the air, a mist of a blue orb. Aumnius gripped his sword tightly the center crystal shifting it's appearence from an orb of light to a small whilwind the sould drawing in and entering the crystal, Aumnius' entire body shining with light. He turned around to view the last remaining golem, the griffon, and the two dark entities. He crouched low and launched himself forward past the three sentients landing on top of the last remaining golem. Driving his blade forward the white light surrounded him. The hilt against the ice golem the blade deep withing the ground he bagan speaking deeply, his voice echoing and eyes pure white. He began chanting incantaions the grass around him shriviling and dying as white energy seeped from the earth into his body draining it of life. The golem seemed to pulse and white light, beams breaking from it's body until it's body began to shrivel and crack dissapearing into the blade until it completely vanished, a light mist of cold surrounding Aumnius. He stood and turned slowly cold air pouring from his mouth in a mist. His blade glistening softly with white light, he looked to the three who had entered the clearing his eyes slowly returning to normal his blade at his hip.
"Greetings." We the only words he spoke, his voice returnig to normal.
Kaidona - August 6, 2009 04:02 AM (GMT)
The abyssal jaws, carrying a suspiciously serpentine structure, snarled hollowly to the air and pulsed with blood crimson and deep maroon static, before rending itself, dissipating, its mock-electrical embodiment dispersing as dark vapor. A much paler form swiftly emerged from the forest’s clutches in its wake, a mixture of tawny gold and burgundy red, which made a beeline for the golem trapped in the cowled individual’s clutches. Grinding to an abrupt halt, the tall frame of a lean humanoid twisted about, pivoting on still re-centering feet, while half-gloved fingers tightened around the hilt of a long falchion, the right arm that bore it soon lashing it fiercely into the thigh of the ice beast still standing.
The golem, despite its immobilized state, shuddered, the respective leg cracking, before shattering, the rest of its form collapsing to the ground in its wake. The shrouded creature thusly attached fell with it, though not without an appropriately startled, yet distinctly feminine, yelp. Clawed fingers clenched tighter to the golem’s featureless face, the weaving vapors running along that exposed arm thickening on their way down, until they suddenly choked and died out, and both forms landed, one of which with an undignified schlump, wiggle, and flop, the other with a comically stiff tumble.
Masculine features, rune-marked, molded with peculiarly seasoned youth, leveled upon the fallen pair as a light flick of the wrist sent tenacious shards of ice flying from the sharpened edge whence they clung. Weathered green-blue orbs—piercing, reptilian—gazed upon the smoky one in harsh rebuke. A black ear twitched, cocking itself slightly towards Aumnius and Quo-Bu, at which point bits of auburn-sheened ultramarine fell before them, subtly complimenting the light copper of his complexion. A split brow twitched, furrowing with its untarnished partner, before the thin man swiveled about on his hips, sheathing slender falchion to his left, soon letting that hand come to rest upon the idle axe haft at his right, while his attention rose away from the thawing intrusion to survey the strangers his own companion had trespassed upon.
Right behind him, the cowled personage in question had deigned to sit up, shaking hooded head fervently enough to expose a tawny gold, jaguar-like face, inset with red-tinted tiger eyes. Long caracal ears flicked wildly, the fur tufts extending from their tips wiggling in and out of disarray, while disheveled hair feathered out and flashed the banded and blotched markings of a marbled cat. A fluttering blink switching between avian felid and peculiar sword-wielding human alike, a grin split that hybrid maw, before an arm rose, extending a dark palm to bear. Faded marks etched across the very heart of her hand, weaving and converging into what seemed the semblance of a glyph akin to an eye, however its observable appearance was quickly obscured by the enthused wave that followed.
Unawares, the draconic man bowed his head, pivoting about on the balls of his feet to properly face them. “Evening,” he hailed sombrely, carefully pushing the ire from his features as he rose to face.
Serephix Vamlyn - August 6, 2009 06:55 PM (GMT)
Aumnius kept his blade at his hip, not sure whether or not these two or the avian would quickly become a threat. The two dark entities seemed to radiate with dark energy, just like what he was looking for. Then there was the avian, pyrosis, Aumnius made mental notes about all three of the clearings temporary inhabitants. Aumnius bowed back to the one that had spoken to him. "Aumnius Erendeal at your service." Aumnius positioned himself to hide the dead patch of earth. "My thanks for the assistance. It is appreciated."
He looked at the two radiating darkness, he would need to keep his guard up, just as he always had. "What brings you all to this clearing?"
Cosmos - August 12, 2009 11:26 PM (GMT)
The avian seemed to have just a twinge of grumpiness about him. Had the others left the golems to him, they would have gotten to see a brilliant pyrotechnic display, but instead they all opt to be heroes. He sat down defeated as his cover of flames began to dwindle around him. Quo-Bu looked neither depressed or cocky as he tilted his head to get a better look at those who had entered the once-empty clearing. Where he came from it was rude to steal fights like that, but it was also rude to be anything but cordial to strangers.
"Greetings. I am Quo-Bu," he said in a formal tone, his head bowing gracefully as he spoke. He decided to see what the others would say first; he could tell them where he came from, or why he was here, but these people had just appeared, and he saw no point in it. He decided to investigate them first, as all three of them seemed to have abilities of a more interesting caliber than his own. His extravagant plumage shone even in the low light, and his dark eyes watched the group curiously. He did not deem any of them as a threat right away, and instead sat in anticipation of what other interesting things might happen next after the displays all of them had put forth.
Kaidona - August 14, 2009 04:47 PM (GMT)
The tall dragon regarded Aumnius and Quo-Bu respectively, his features rather intently bland for the time, at least until he slid a foot back, aligning its arch perpendicular with his opposing heel. A glance stole over his shoulder towards the jaguar-faced lass sat firmly on the forest floor, however only long enough for a solemnity rigid with militant purpose to embrace his frame. In one sharp, yet fluid motion he swung his arm out at chest level, his fingers widely extended, and then lashed it, firmly clenching his hand into a fist, into his left breast. Swiftly the other hand rose, and as the first began to draw away, his feet slid together, and his left hand wrapped tightly around his clenched fingers and thrust them to bear in salutation.
“Reldian Owarescashine,” the rune-marked fellow began, cocking his ears back and bowing forward at the hips. “The Siire—”
A loud belch interjected the thought, leading a varied number of things to happen in the following moments. First, the man froze mid-trek to bending himself in half at roughly ninety degrees. Next, his face strained into something that looked like it wanted to express that it was very, very annoyed, but instead had twisted into a rather comically contorted attempt at deadpan. He failed to stifle a frustrated, or perhaps flustered, grunt. For the next heartbeat, nothing happened—and then, he turned his head to look.
While all of that was going on, assorted other things were happening behind him, all of which only the peculiar individual he had associated himself with was responsible. Wickedly armed jaws were cocked forward and parted wide as they let the vulgar gastroenteric remark go free; its hollow rumble was accented by the thick plume of luminous turquoise wafting out between rows of hybridized teeth. Said teeth clacked shut, and then tiger eyes blinked widely at it, as though its existence were an entirely new concept. Next, the lass cocked her head. Then she reached up with tentatively extended fingers to poke at its gradually dissipating wisps. It was at about this point that she noticed Reldian looking at her, so she stopped dead, hurriedly flapped it away, shoved her arm into the folds of her cowl, and grinned as widely, innocently, and meekly as she could manage. Those teeth actually carried enough innate menace to fuel children’s nightmares.
Puffing another voiceless, slightly exasperated, grunt from his nose, Reldian returned his immediate attention towards avian-faced quadruped and sword-wielder alike, rising back to his towering seven-foot stature and withdrawing his clasped hands closer to his chest. He shut his eyes, his face flashing a very brief expression of distinct ‘Let’s try that again,’ before he reclaimed that strict composure, thrust his clamped hands forward, and cleared his throat. “Reldian Owarescashine,” he said again, his tone weighty, thickly accented, his form lowering into a low, stiff bow, “The Siiren Anriorich* of Horenda.” Hands raised level with the exposed crown of his head, the dark-haired dragon held for a long, quiet breath, before he straightened and shifted back at ease, letting an arm rest atop the hilt of his sheathed falchion.
“My presence here,” he continued, gesturing back with the other arm, “is purely by her lead.”
Long ears perking forward, the tawny lass blinked, looking up, and then glanced around at everyone else. Grinning brightly—not without more children’s nightmare fuel, of course—she raised the arm that had fanned away her burp vapors, once more waving energetically. “Hullo,” she piped, “I’m Jinililavati.”
(*Siiren Anriorich /see-ee-ren ahn-ree-oh-rick/: Ancient title given in the dead tongue of an old world race; literally translates to "Chaos Dragon King". Additional note: all 'r's are lightly rolled, because I'm just ridiculous like that. @_@ And the whole thing sounds awful otherwise. D:
EDIT: Extra additional note: A decent (but incomplete D: ) artistic representation of Reldian can be found here. Or in the arts section, if you happened to have noticed that already. <.<; His clothes are a butt-pain to describe, though I'll certainly do my damnedest when I get to it.)
Serephix Vamlyn - August 14, 2009 08:28 PM (GMT)
Aumnius's face remained unmoved, unable to show but the most basic of emotions. Aumnius bowed low in reply to Reldian's completed bow after the interruptions. He then turned and nodded his head to Jinililavati. "I am pleased to meet the three of you." His eyes shifting quickly to Quo-Bu, he straingtened his back, only several inches shorter then Reldian. He sung his blade around and brought it to his back, he hung it there for a moment, then he lifted it slightly and pushed down, the sound of metal scrapping sounded out and Aumnius released his blade, the crystal five and a half foot blade now hanging on his back. His gold with sliver ringed eyes meeting Reldian, assessing him as the bigger threat if the confrentation became hostile. "What brings you to this forest clearing?" His eyes momentarily flicking to the tiger female, the two seemed an odd pair, but he presumed that Reldian was Jinililavati's protecter. Either way, perhaps they could help him, and perhaps, he would finally be able to find what he was searching for.
Cosmos - August 15, 2009 02:50 AM (GMT)
He watched inquisitively, as these three were very unpredictable indeed. The taller male seemed especially out-of-place, and this became even more readily apparent as his ornamented introduction was so rudely interrupted. Quo-Bu, though amused, kept his composure relatively stable on the outside, though inwardly he had difficulty restraining himself from investigating the flammability of the eerie fumes that suddenly erupted forth from the hellish jaws of the girl. Perhaps, though, he shouldn't have been so eager to flaunt his pyrotechnic prowess in the middle of a thick forest. At least it looked as though it might rain soon.
"I come from the east, but I do enjoy traveling," the gryphon said, rearing up on his haunches and placing a sharp-taloned hand to his chin, "Though, what brings me to this clearing, specifically, is that this small area devoid of thick foliage seems to be the center of the marked territory of some creature that I cannot identify by mark alone."
He returned to his quadrupedal stature, surveying the area with keen avian eyes and quite a serious look on his face. He seemed pensive, as if the creature he talked about was amongst them, or close, but after a moment he shook the front part of his body, ruffling his feathers.
"Ah, but, the marks are very faint. I wouldn't concern myself with it much."
Kaidona - August 16, 2009 04:39 AM (GMT)
Jinililavati’s red-tinted eyes darted to meet Aumnius, her head cocking nigh doggishly as she considered his query. Those lengthy caracal ears further accented the body gesture, before she puckered her lip, tapping her chin with tawny fingers. Soon she shrugged, quirking feral black lips in abandon. It was entirely true that Reldian was following where she went, but she honestly hadn’t a clue where she was going. Her life trajectory was, in all actuality, quite aimless.
The coppery-skinned dragon, on the other hand, had focused on Quo-Bu during the lass’ wordless response. A split brow furrowed pensively, wandering fingers soon reaching up to scratch along the inner edge of a slit nearly bisecting his right ear down its entire length. His nose twitched slightly, and as seasoned green-blue eyes flickered about the area briefly, his brows knotted intensely. “I smell vampire,” he announced abruptly, as though the revelation had only dawned on him just that instant.
Behind him, Jinililavati extended a sparsely striped and spotted arm free of her cowl, waving her hand up towards him, as though in a gesture of facetiousness. “Hi.”
“Not you, Jin. You smell like a warped amalgamation of cats.” Twisted halfway around to look at her, Reldian paused, looking peculiarly dazed for a moment, just before jerking with a boisterous sneeze. Legs awkwardly entangled in each other, the momentum alone chased his balance awry, and quickly he found himself stumbling sideways to recover his feet, vocalizing his plight with a disconcerted grunt.
The youthful chimaera snirtled in childlike mirth, reaching up and snatching at the nearest of the man’s larger extremities with which to steady him. Both ears flattened outward as a hand planted solidly to her head, and though immense weight quickly followed suit, she seemed entirely unperturbed by it. Instead, she chortled, shaking bits of chin-length hair from her eyes as her attempt to keep her companion from toppling proved fruitful. “Lord Reldian didn’t sleep last night, did he?”
“Something to that effect, no,” Reldian began, looking slightly more flustered than the occasion should have garnered. “Now, if you please, Jin, would you let go of my ass?”
Those caracal ears darted forward, and a wide-eyed blink promptly shot to the girl’s hands, before they surveyed exactly where her fingers grasped. A long moment was spent contemplating this, before Jinililavati’s attention gradually climbed up Reldian’s slumped form to find his strain-creased face, at which point she abruptly withdrew her hands—in much the same way one would if they were grabbing hot irons—and offered an impressively sheepish grin. “Sorry.”
Serephix Vamlyn - August 16, 2009 04:48 AM (GMT)
Aumnius watched the scene before him, Jin placing her hand on Reldian's rear and him nearly falling. He glanced around the clearing before drawing his blade slowly, the sound of crystal being dragged across metal ringed out. The long rising blade rested at Aumnius' hip, "Vampire you say, Hmm..." He hummed in slight thought the jewel in the center of the blade glowing softly. He turned his body to the trees, his eyes looking uward slightly into their canopy. "This forest is being corrupted by something. Ice golems, now vampires. Or are these creatures common in this area?" He seemed to speak more to the tree's then the others in the clearing. "I can't sense a vampire, but I do sense another soul, moving quickly through the forest. It's approaching quickly, can you pin point the location of the vampire?" Aumnius turned his head to Reldian's direction as he asked the question. "Or can you only smell him?"
Cosmos - August 17, 2009 05:50 AM (GMT)
"A vampire?" Quo-Bu tilted his head in the regal one's direction, "You're good, vampirism is usually undetectable by scent."
He began to survey the area again, with a deep concentration that clearly showed on the avian features of his face. He himself couldn't feel anything around them that was worth mentioning, but he relied on animalistic, non-supernatural senses when it came to this sort of thing. He could neither see, hear, nor smell anything other than the other three in the clearing. Instinct was his only non-physical sense, and his own gut didn't think anything was wrong. These others, though, seemed to be some form of otherworldly, and they could probably detect otherworldly things much better than he could. The gryphon was distracted from his pensive state by first the antics of the others, then the inquiries of Aumnius.
"Oh my," he blinked as he spoke, mainly of the plight of Reldian by the girl's hand, "You should get some rest. Vampirism is quite widespread, and nothing to be any sort of worried about. There doesn't seem to be much else here but us."
Kaidona - August 17, 2009 11:56 PM (GMT)
Reldian’s slit ear twitched and cocked towards Aumnius, before his attention whirled around to meet Quo-Bu. Leather-clad palms instinctively brushed off the rump of his red-burgundy hakama, while a hand then shifted to adjust the sash—gradient white and faded aqua at its broad ends—that held it about his hips. His attention was rather quickly drawn right back towards Aumnius, and promptly his left hand shot up at the man’s defensive measures, a swift “Rekh!” barking out of his throat.
His features were intense, his stare focused far into the distance, that hand remaining aloft—a silent command to stand down. Reptilian orbs darted towards him briefly, before flicking back around, once more surveying the vicinity, while olfactory senses took in a deep, quiet lungful. “This forest isn’t so much being corrupted as it is always riddled with the horrors of madmen’s nightmares, so I have been told.” Rune-marked features swiveled around to meet man and beast alike, expression one moderately relaxed, about as unperturbed as Jinililavati, however much less…airy.
“Quo-Bu’s statement about vampires is very true to this world, I have found,” he added, sliding his fingers from the knot settled on his hip to the hilt beside it. “But I cannot pinpoint them. My senses are only as attuned to their presence as my instincts allow, as specialized as they may be.” Reldian’s gaze drifted towards the gryphon at that. “There is a very good explanation for this. My kind and vampires are racial blood foes; we’ve evolved over many aeons to detect them by smell, by presence, by the signature energy prints they leave behind, solely for the purpose of protecting ourselves and vanquishing them. Of course, such was a direly needed trait during a time that our race was young, and more vulnerable. Fodder.”
Lightly booted feet shifted in the thawed grasses, restless, long ears twitching back where they marked the investigative crawling Jin had taken to after a particularly fat beetle. “The kindred of the night had taken such a liking to us for our strength and ignorance that pretty soon our populations were more undead than alive, and it catalyzed a sudden change in our very foundations. By now we know what they are, and don’t necessarily need these specialized traits anymore, but thanks to the war that stemmed from it, they remain. We’ve become much harder to turn—we violently reject a vampire’s bite if they get within range to do so—our senses treat them like apparitions—as preternatural creatures they carry their own unique energy signature, taste, smell, and pulse—and the dragons we share our minds with, if we are left untrained, see their presence as a threat, empower our bodies, and will do everything within their grasp to dispatch them.
“There are few things in this existence that can run a sane Ryuakurei into an uncontrollable berserk rage. A vampire, hapless or no, and a mind lacking the training to utilize that strength and maintain hold on the dragon’s reins, is one of them.” Reldian winced in sudden reminiscence. “Terrible things have happened to very hapless emissaries that way,” he muttered.
Serephix Vamlyn - August 18, 2009 01:16 AM (GMT)
Aumnius listened to Reldian carefully, and as he spoke raised his blade to rest on his shoulder. His eyes flicked to the young vampire following the beetle before his eyes flicked back to Reldian, "If thet two of your races are mortal enemies, then why does she remain intact?" hsi eyes flicked to Quo-bu, "This land's vampires are diffrent from my own land. Where I come from vampires are calm and grow more powerful with age." Aumnius spoke softly hsi eyes flicking to the vampire and his gaze fixing there. "Perhaps, as like all species, different environments mean different adaptations." Aumnius resheathed his blade and raised his hand to his face, his hand glowing softly with white energy. "Even this land's energy feels different from my home land." He crouched low and placed his hand to the earth, the white energy radiating from his hand echoing through the soft grass of the clearing around him in a small circle. White mist began to pour from his mouth in two tendrils. His eyes begin enveloped light shining softly. The white energy began pulling back toward Aumnius' hand and as the light pulled away the land that it had been touching began to turn black, the grass dying and shriveling up as the light left it. The energy finally returned to Aumnius' hand, remaining crouched an outline of white light surrounded his form. He stood and breathed in the mist tendrils that had escaped, his eyes returning to normal and the enrgy around him dissipating. "The world, the land, no matter where you are, no matter who you are, no matter what plane of existance you walk on there is only one thing that remains the same. Energy. There is only a certain amount of energy in the world, and to create, one must dystroy. To kill is to give birth, because enrgy can not end, it only recycles." Aumnius arched his back and looked to Reldian.
Cosmos - August 19, 2009 06:05 AM (GMT)
For a good moment, a silence fell over the area. The deep-thinking avian felid truly wasn't thinking all that deeply at all, he just found great enjoyment in mulling over things. Where he came from, nearly every word spoken was profound, and he, unlike others, didn't see a break from being constantly cryptic and philosophical as a break in intelligence. In fact, he believed that sometimes, being straightforward was the most intelligent thing to do. So, he gave Aumnius quite the raised brow.
"Why did you have to go killing the grass for something beyond the current conversation?" he asked the man, head tilted in perplexion, "We are talking about the damned, and if the lot of us will be graced by the presence of one soon." He then looked to Reldian.
"It is odd, though... I don't think I've see many of your kind before." He kept in his comment about the rather large ears, assured that one of them would find an equally silly thing to point out about him, "And the Levisian War, though mostly caused by demons, had little to do with species. I suppose without dragon-kindred such as yourself, your regions would be overrun with undead, yes? Here, they've existed for so long that vampires are accepted in many places, but... They haven't lost any of their fearfulness. Unfortunately, their need to feed persists throughout the generations, and you must carry yourself with wariness around them regardless of their disposition."
Quo-Bu straightened his posture, and again directed his gaze towards the royalty it had wandered from.
"What you're detecting, is it a trace of something that passed through here previously, or do you believe the source is actually among us?"
Kaidona - August 19, 2009 11:38 PM (GMT)
For a lost moment the rune-marked dragon stared on in bewildered abandon, ultramarine brows knotting intensely as his mind tried to wrap around where, exactly, the man’s thought-train had derailed to. He was a little boggled, and inwardly wondered if perhaps an attention deficit may have been the culprit, until Quo-Bu’s voice brought his own thoughts back to the previous issue at hand, and he abruptly shook his head. “First,” Reldian began, addressing each query and point systematically, “I would retain myself solely on the purpose that I’m well learned in the art of chaining and employing the dragon’s instinctive fury. As a warlord, I have not only received this training to an utmost meticulosity, but I have borne many men and women, both soldiers and civilians, through the very same by my own hands.”
There was a moment of silence, thoughtful reminiscence wisped across coppered features of peculiarly aged youth, before they hardened in abrupt severity. “I founded a kingdom. If I could not contain myself under the sensory assault of one such creature, let alone many, then not only would I be unfit to rule, then my attempts to carry even my station as a commander would have become the laughingstock of the old world.” Sharp eyes darted sidelong. “But,” Reldian’s countenance softened, “such is not the case.
“I don’t know what Jin is, and were she not intact due to my training, then it would be for the fact that she isn’t a vampire. Even she doesn’t know what she is, and what little I’ve gleaned points to the notion that while she’s at the very least a feline chimaera, she’s also someone’s construct. Whoever made her—whether of a fresh mold, or from the remnants of a precursory host—decided to take a page from rather obscure ancient lore, and predisposed her to sustain herself like the vampire of the Earthian Orient, in which she consumes the energy of living souls.”
Behind him, without warning, a loud CRUNCH rang out. Jinililavati, having grown bored with following the beetle, had plucked it off of the ground, sniffed tentatively at it, and then popped it into her mouth not unlike a child might with a malted milk ball, where she proceeded to crunch on it once, before swallowing it whole. The pleased grin on her face was somewhat difficult to direct any lingering ire at.
“Or… live… matter,” the dark-haired warlord began to amend, somewhat disconcertedly, after a brief glance over his shoulder. “In most circumstances I would say flesh, but Jin’s favorite delicacy seems to be bugs.” Green-blue orbs watched the jaguar-faced lass hunker down on hands and knees to hunt something else to terrorize. “Vampires, on their own, are plenty sophisticated, but their disposition varies just as much as any other race. Individuals cannot be defined by a whole, and while they may seem collected, superiority gives rise to exploitative tendencies, which is what happened when they initially discovered us. The war of which I speak is not the same as this Levisian war, so you needn’t concern yourself with possibly conflicting details.”
Reldian’s attention returned to Aumnius and Quo-Bu, his ears, which were indeed large to the point of distracting—each one spanned a length equivalent of the forearm from crook of the elbow joint to the inner wrist—cocking at a peculiar angle, while his visage seemed to consider the gryphon’s last query. “The energy prints here vary in age; I cannot say for certain whether who made them is still here, specifically, but it’s obvious they’ve passed through on previous occasions. The signature itself doesn’t seem to change.”
Serephix Vamlyn - August 20, 2009 06:58 AM (GMT)
Aumnius' eyes locked onto Jin, he thought deeply. He flet something growing closer to the clearing, most likely more golems. "I didn't have to drain energy from the grass, but draining energy from living things to increase my power for upcoming troubles. As I said, energy cannot be dystroyed nor can it be created, therefore I must recycle it. If you wish, I could of drained energy from the trees, or perhaps a living creature. I need energy to survive, since energy is what my body is sustained on. Without the recycling of energy, I die." Aumnius kept his eyes on Jin, "She gives off a unique enrgy signiture. Something's coming, and it's not the vampire...might be an accomplise though. Three...no four creatures, moving quickly toward us."
He slowly walked toward Reldian and Jin but stopped still several paces from them. "May I...speak to her? May I...Offer her something?" Aumnius turned his head looking to Reldian, "You being her protector, I don't wish to cause any problems."
Cosmos - August 23, 2009 03:16 AM (GMT)
Quo-Bu could have been quiet, he could have waited for Reldian's answer, but he had spent the previous moments listening without a chance to speak, so he felt the need to finally butt his way into the discussion. He didn't know what Aumnius planned on doing with Jin, but he wouldn't allow her to get away without inspecting her himself first. With a cat-like curiosity and a rather playful demeanor, the fiery gryphon slowly trotted up to the girl.
"She must be quite the creation, to be worthy of a warlord for a guardian," he said as he gave her a couple sniffs. Indeed, she smelled of an indiscernible manner of feline. Quo-Bu found himself more interested than even he first thought, though not because of what she was, but more who she was. He stepped back a bit and again sat himself down on his wildcat rear, graceful tail beginning to sway in relaxation. He began to think whatever creature passed through the clearing prior was neither hostile nor any match for the gathered four.
"Between the lot of us, however, I simply prefer bisonfish."
Soon after he was done speaking, he nodded once, and as he looked up, his dark eyes landed on the man with the sword. He blinked, as though he was trying to remember what exactly it was that Aumnius said, before it finally clicked within his avian brain. Quo-Bu bowed his head to the others, a gesture that granted Reldian enough silence to give his answer.
Kaidona - August 27, 2009 12:19 AM (GMT)
Entirely oblivious to the men crowded around her, Jinililavati had blissfully occupied herself with bouncing after a cricket that was only half-haplessly hopping away from her. In fact, she had nearly flung herself headlong into a tree when Quo-Bu had made his approach, and, hurriedly catching herself with a startled squeak and the frantic grasping of bark in clawed fingers, she blinked up at him from her position suspended sideward a pace above the ground. It was at this angle that her cowl finally drifted away from her ankles and calves—whose tawny skin had been marked lightly with black spots and stripes—and soon the end of a thick, long margay tail peeked out from the frayed hem, curling outward, as though for balance, despite the futility of it.
Reldian, having turned to face the chimaera, stared blankly at her for a long few moments, before “She eats those, too,” came blurting out of his mouth, quickly followed by, “As a matter of fact, she’ll eat anything that breathes and wiggles, so long as she can fit it in her mouth and swallow it.” With a twitch of an ear and turn of his head, the dark-haired dragon absently eyed the gryphon nearby. “She takes it as a windfall if it still wiggles on the way down.”
Coppery tiger eyes darted up to meet the man, needing barely an instant to register the vacancy in his face, before Jinililavati dropped down off the tree with an impish giggle. Her chest abruptly convulsed a second later, knocking the mirth off her face, and a low rumble muffled out of her throat, shortly followed by thin wisps of vaporous aquamarine snaking out of her nostrils. Darkened jaguar-like brows knotted at them, intent pantherine gaze watching them slowly coil away, as though in mild concern.
Reptilian eyes, accented by the furrow of a split brow, followed in much the same manner, however with creases of worriment molded notably deeper into the warlord’s face. Weighty silence sat heavily around his shoulders and comfortably upon his head, until eventually he remembered Aumnius’ request, and, with a sharp clearing of his throat, he turned and extended an open-handed gesture towards the lass, while slit-pupiled attention locked on the man’s eyes.
“I am her guardian of my own volition. Physically I’m positive she’s capable of fending for herself perfectly fine, but there are parts of her mental development that leave much to be desired. Quite frankly, I doubt it would take much for her to kill me as I slept, but that, I think, is something best left for another time.” Light feet shuffled back, allowing the way to Reldian’s ward more open, while rune-marked features turned to Quo-Bu. “As for my station, by now I may as well only be carrying it in spirit. Some would say my claim to it became forfeit the very moments I died, but Owarescashine’s royal family holds incredible respect for the fallen.”
Serephix Vamlyn - August 27, 2009 01:50 AM (GMT)
Aumnius approached Jin slowly. He lifted up his hand as he crouched low to her, in his hand a bright ball of purple light shone shined brightly in his hand. He lifted his hand close to Jin, the ball quivering. "It's one of the many souls I've absorbed, here, I want you to have it." He spoke softly.
Cosmos - September 16, 2009 11:22 PM (GMT)
Though he could easily allocate part of his attention elsewhere when it was needed, Quo-Bu seemed to be fixated on the antics of Jinililavati. He didn't seem to be listening to anything else, let alone acknowledging it's presence, but despite the perk to both his feline and avian curiosities, he was actually quite attuned to his environment. Still, his flowing tail waved behind him in a half-wag as he watched the girl.
Idly he began to stroke his chin with a taloned foot, until finally something managed to pull his attention away from the playful chimera. Sharp avian eyes showed a sense of unease as they turned to Aumnius, who hastily offered the girl a morsel of questionable origin. Though his culture valued generosity, to see it so soon and so suddenly made the gryphon a bit apprehensive. He did not, however, vocally address the issue, opting instead to keep the atmosphere about them calm lest something jump out at them again.
"... Maybe we should hunt, if she happens to be hungry," the avian feline said as though he was a city-dweller proposing to go to a cafe, "There's a very nice river near here."
Kaidona - September 29, 2009 10:20 PM (GMT)
Dark brows furrowed again from behind the strange man, a split ear cocking back, while weathered indicolite first eyed the peculiarly violet soul, and then slid to regard Jinililavati. Discomfited concern etched into Reldian’s rune-marked forehead, his feet shuffling restlessly against the grass, until a hand habitually rose to find the hilt of his falchion, the guard about which his fingers wrapped.
The jaguar-faced chimaera, in the meantime, stared especially blankly at it, leaned cautiously away from the luminescent mass, until eventually red-amber tiger eyes rose to meet Aumnius himself. Tufted ears were splayed outward, a somewhat bewildered knot in her brow, while the rest of her features had twisted into a, perhaps, slightly discomforting expression. It was a touch incredulous, a smidgen dumbfounded; he may as well have been both stark raving mad and growing a second ass from his head.
A very awkward silence had loomed over the clearing, settling over the heads of the rag-tag troupe, if they could have been called that, where it took pleasure in making at least one of them fidget. The warlord of old, being the fidget, finally raised a loose fist to his lip and cleared his throat into it, at which point Jin’s attention returned to the presented soul, and, as he could have easily predicted, she reached a clawed finger to poke at it.
Her solidity made it wiggle, to which her ears shot swiftly erect, and she reached to poke it again. Light mirth curled her bestial lip, entertained by this new discovery, and next she tried reaching in and pulling out wisps, the idea of consuming it already entirely lost on her.
Gaining a loosely dubious deadpan to his countenance, Reldian’s shoulders slumped, before he pushed bits of ultramarine from his face, his split brow arching to attain a sharp quirk. “Eh,” he grunted, daring to venture forth, “perhaps I should have mentioned that her preferred method of consumption is, rather, not taking souls, but instead swallowing live critters whole.”
Jin looked up about then, wide-eyed and alert. “Fish?”
Serephix Vamlyn - September 30, 2009 03:17 AM (GMT)
Aumnius nodded and stood closing his fist as it snuffed out and seeped into his hand. He turned his head to Reldian "I see." He turned and looked out through the trees peering through them slowly. "A stream sounds like a good idea. We should get going before nightfall. The shadows will grow and so will our enemies. I feel something, or many things, things that will want to take what we have." He took several steps away from Jin and stopped looking up in the sky, the clouds had grown thicker. Lightning was arching across the sky and the wind was starting to pick up. He turned to the others, "the air has a scent of death in the air, I have a feeling there will be more soon enough."
Cosmos - November 2, 2009 08:14 AM (GMT)
The gryphon's feathered ears twitched not once, but a very enthusiastic twice, as a single word escaped the lips of the girl. Quo-Bu leapt up onto his back paws before happily cantering a circle around the gathered group, and stopping to bow playfully in front of Jin.
"Yes, fish!" he cawed jubilantly, "We shall fish for lunch!" The now joyous feline-avian was now waving his tail about with great enthusiasm, as he was, primarily, a consumer of fish and other marine animals. Something about having an inquisitive little chimera girl to fish with ignited a sense of happiness in him, especially since he had been traveling alone for the previous few days. More people meant not only more fun, but a larger audience to bear witness to the absurdity of a phoenix splashing about in the water after fish.
He then looked to Reldian for a second, then to Aumnius, before he straightened his posture. Quo-Bu sniffed the air a few times before nodding once.
"Right, let us get moving. I don't feel quite as much danger as the swordsman, but there seems to be a storm brewing and we'd best get our food out of the way before we need to seek shelter."
Kaidona - November 21, 2009 08:15 PM (GMT)
“Yes,” Reldian began in concurrence, his ears twitching back as a low rumble rippled across the sky. “It would be prudent to make our way swiftly.”
“Fish!” Jinililavati chirped jovially, throwing her striped and spotted arms into the air. Settling down on her hands, she waved her smoky-clad rump in the air, calculating perhaps, before she leapt forward, bounding off into the line of trees, where the heavy shadows cast by the canopy swallowed her whole.
Staring blankly after her wake, the dark-haired warlord blinked, briefly quirking his brows. If that wasn’t a demonstration of who the leader was between the pair, he couldn’t imagine what was. “Apparently the water is that way,” he remarked, turning to regard Quo-Bu and Aumnius each in turn. A moment’s consideration later, he shifted on his feet and began to stride after the speedy lass, keeping tabs on which way her distinct scent went.
Serephix Vamlyn - December 1, 2009 02:34 AM (GMT)
Aumnius nodded and followed quietly, contemplating, he focused on the area around him, clenching and unclenching his hands, they were stiff and slow to respond to his mental commands. He could feel the souls flowing through his body, granting him power, but for some reason, he felt uneasy. As his boots pressed to the grass, flattening it under his weight, his mind was scanning the area, thinking of his brother, of his blade, of his abilities, and the denizens he was travelling with now. They were interesting, and powerful, but he knew he would eventually have to leave. As he had to with all those he travelled with, either they died, or another cicumstance arose. He passed into the trees, the canopy blocking light from his body, his flesh, and his eyes. The second he stepped into the thick trees, as soon as the light was taken, his blade began to emit a low glow of white light with a slightly blue tint. His blade did have it's non-combat uses.
Cosmos - February 25, 2010 05:29 AM (GMT)
Quo-Bu stared at the hole in the leaves the chimera girl had left. The prospect of food made him playful, and he was going to propose a race, but her head start created an unfairness in that regard. At the very least, she had rocketed off in the right direction. Wordlessly, the gryphon crouched low and remained there for a second, a single slow ripple running along his body as he readied himself. In the blink of an eye the only evidence he had been standing there was the remnants of a great wind he kicked up as he sprung himself into the air.
He took a second to survey the area above the trees. Though he couldn't see the ground, as it was obscured by thick, dark foliage, he could easily see the river immediately to his north and the approaching dark clouds. A line of heavy rain blurred the sky as it slowly made its way towards the group, but despite his affiliation with fire, Quo-Bu didn't seem to be concerned. Riding on air currents high above the ground, the phoenix swiftly soared toward the gently flowing water that cut a path through the unyielding trees.