Hint: Hover over a field name if you want to know what it's for.

Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:30 AM, Post Subject: No Rest for the Wicked (Open, R)

Contrary to her bearded, carefree guise–she heard them long before they showed their mad faces. In fact, she had already begun using Gestalt to distort the perception of anything that entered within thirty feet of her. And so while the blood-stained elves came crawling out of the woodland, they ran headlong into her trap. The whistling stopped as frenzied cries now filled the air and the 'old man' narrowly avoided a crazed swipe. From an outsider's perspective, the madmen suddenly were acting unusually clumsy in their attempts to kill the harmless wagon driver, tripping over themselves while not even realizing it. This was how Gestalt worked, they suffered a delay in seeing and hearing what existed. Their attacks were just a tad slow and their reaction time was thrown off to leave themselves wide open. In the span of a few seconds the tables were quickly turned as the bearded man struck the elk-headed elf in the back hard enough to knock the wind out of his lungs, then proceeded to systematically deal with the rest in an unusually efficient manner. Blows to the head and joints disabled the elves before they could attack again or utter magic words.

There was a brief silence before the wagon driver pulled out a pair of enchanted shackles and clapped them onto old Elk-Head, then tied up the rest with some ropes. "Mmm….should've brought a few more of those." Shiloh muttered to herself, her voice disguised and word choice kept in-character. The disguised woman resumed whistling again, lifting the tarp of the wagon to reveal it had been completely empty before loading the unconscious elves into the back. Tilting their heads so their mouths were open, she poured a mouthful from two dark flasks into each elf. The droughts would ensure they would stay still and quiet for a little longer until they were transported back to the Machinarium.

She wrapped the elves in blankets as makeshift straitjackets and covered their heads with flour sacks. The sacks were coarsely woven enough that they wouldn't suffocate, though this just made her 'cargo' look even more questionable. Then the tarp was pulled back down. The elven countryside was peaceful once more as she checked that everything was covered up before settling back into her seat, reins in hand. As the wagon began to move again, and one could hear the driver sing: "One for the road and two for the 'morrow, three little mice in the hollow. Four little blackbirds for the coop; the Wicker Man, the Wicker Man comes to your stoop…"  

She had originally thought of grabbing maybe one or two individuals, but if they all wanted to come so badly, she had no complaints. It wouldn't be good to take more than she could handle back, lest she draw attention to a larger force. After all even madmen could form alliances under the right conditions. Ending Gestalt, it would be a while before she could use it again. Taking a swig from a flask that didn't contain drugged liquid, there was the odd taste of a watered down mana potion. Disgusting, but she had tasted worse. Shiloh planned to find a nice area out of sight from the road to open a portal and drive her freshly recruited 'volunteers' in. Just like fixing a smashed vase, fixing a broken mind was going to take a lot of work. The wagon moved at a leisurely pace as she mulled over the next steps she had in mind. Maybe she could ask her employees if they had a bottle of Angela Wan Tou…

Unbeknownst to the deity, her actions had been seen in plain sight by two other individuals of sound mind. She hadn't expected anybody else to be down here due to the knowledge of the marauders in the southlands being so widespread, and Gestalt had taken all of her concentration to maintain. Naturally she assumed she was alone, and didn't have aura sight on as she waited for the haze of her previous spell to fade. The horrible stench coming off the lunatics wasn't helping either. 

Author: Reaver, Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:01 AM, Post Subject: No Rest for the Wicked (Open, R)

It felt like hours to him that he wandered about on this large island, unsure of whether or not these cretins actually existed or if it was just some sort of propaganda spread about by the elves to keep outsiders away. He would find his answer, but not in any way he wanted to imaginable. It would start when he started to notice a dirt path, likely one of the routes to the actual city but then there were some abnormalities that could be seen once he started onto the path. Namely animals, mainly deer and elk, that were slaughtered about with heads missing. A gloomy feeling overcame him as he strode past this sickening display before he heard the bizarre hollerings that came several hundred meters away.

And then a caw came from above him and Reaver saw the crow circle around him twice before heading into the directions of the yelling. Taking a deep breath to steel himself, he plunged towards the direction only to stop as he hid among some bushes. What his eyes saw was about the strangest thing he’s seen in this woods, let alone his life. There were four elves, though he would use that term loosely as they appeared to be savages with dried blood stained onto their bodies, torn remnants of trousers barely on their person, some appearing to be wearing crowns of thorns and a particular one was wearing a skull of an elk on top of his head. But they were armed with daggers and the elk helm one had a long spear.

“It will be me who wraps my fingers around Daevy’s neck and make it go snap snap!”, proclaimed one of the elves.

“No no! Daevy is my playtoy! I wanna play with him”, the second one hooted and slapped the back of the first’s head.

“Nay, I have to! I need his face for Mother!”, the third interjected but then the elk helm one spoke and poked at them with his spear. He then threw a gopher’s head onto the ground and pointed, “There! Daevy’s dead. I am now the king of Endapano! I, Skinrod, am the king, you jackasses!”

They all started to hit one another until one of them shushed them. “Fools! Your king hears more playthings to go into the toybox!” As if they were just foaming at the mouth, the group scurried onward elsewhere while Reaver looked on bewildered. The crow landed beside him and shifted back into his companion. “What the bloody hell was that?”

Maalik moved passed him and onto the gopher head and kneeled down to inspect it. “When madness takes someone, one doesn’t know how much over the edge they can get. What I think they were saying was that they wanted to kill the king of Endapano. Daevin Tyrneanddare, or as they so put it, Daevy. He then picked up the head and before long dropped it and sighed. "But the one called Skinrod or maybe all of them thought that this was him.”

His black eyes lifted up to stare at Reaver. “I’ve told you that they weren’t sound of mind. Now I suggest you follow them and see what else they are up to besides killing animals for their outfits.” He led the charge and the assassin followed. As they tailed the obnoxious group, they could hear what sounded like whistling close by.

“Poor bastard’s about to get himself killed if they had heard him already.”  Reaver readied his sword and kept as low to the ground as he possibly could in trying to locate the killers before it was too late to stop their arrival. 

Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Sun Dec 1, 2019 9:02 PM, Post Subject: No Rest for the Wicked (Open, R)

Now that the world wasn't immediately ending, there were still old messes to clean up. She had never agreed to what Xunatar and Dalanesca did, but then again she rarely agreed with the other Conclave members' actions. Egjora and Adeluna were still bleeding from the way they were hit when the two deities turned their sins against them. Instead of teaching them a lesson, the damage had exacerbated what was already there. It was annoying. The acts of deities always left marks on the world that would take centuries, maybe millennia in order to fix–if they could be fixed to begin with. While the duchy's merchant monopolies were licking their wounds, Endapano was still a shadow of its former self. A large portion of the kingdom's former population were still violently delusional, making recovery efforts twice as hard. Although not one of the main areas she serviced with her business, goods normally sourced from the elven kingdom were now in short supply. If trade flowed freely between the continents, business improved–and the same went for the opposite. It was like a stopped up pipe in a hydraulic network. 

If only the 'blockage' could be that easy to clear. Unless something was done about the violently xenophobic paranoiacs this would just continue to fester. But first, how would you even start? Logic and reason were pointless at this stage. The only workable solution was the use of force. And while murder would be the 'easier' option, Shiloh had some sympathy for the deranged. They never asked for this madness, so why not try to fix whatever had gone out of alignment? Re-calibrating one's mental state went both ways. She could select a few random participants and bring them back to Antikythera to see what made them tick, then when they were back in order she would return them to Endapano. Catch and release–that was how she saw it. And if she couldn't fix everything, at least she could make them more civil. 

Opening a portal in the southlands, she drove out her wagon and checked that everything was in order. Acting as a decoy wasn't her preferred way of planning, but it was a bona fide way to get a bite on the lure. There was nothing of value in the cart anyways, and she had multiple contingency plans in case anything went wrong. Bandits couldn't resist the temptation of mugging a lone wagon out in the middle of nowhere. Her Reynash's mimic potion would fully conceal herself as an aged, bearded man in plain clothes. Beneath the potion's magic she had every layer of armor on imaginable, not willing to take a chance on getting any injuries. As the horse pulled the wagon along, she began to whistle an old Highland ditty to grab the attention of any nearby raiding parties. With a dagger in her boot and heart pounding in her ears, this would either be the most drawn-out ploy or the shortest one. 

Author: Reaver, Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:54 PM, Post Subject: No Rest for the Wicked (Open, R)

The business had been blooming for the Volkov, or it would be in recent weeks. International trade was their game with investors across the realm, and none were as important as it was in Endpando. Despite the racial intolerance that the city had portrayed, there were very powerful families that could turn a blind eye if they could also profit greatly. Nemesis could see the greed in their eyes as they sighed multiple deals for his goods and it had been going steady until the money flow ceased. At first, he believed them to be holding out on their end, only to be informed that it was not by their doing, but that of their demented kin, forever changed by the last King of Darkness and former Queen of Death. Their shenanigans had led for insanity to be planted inside the minds of the elves, reducing them to not better than bandits. These “tribes” have since been the ire of the city and outsiders. Trades have suffered from the money and goods being pillaged and those standing in the way ending up dead.

And as the ship found its way to the outermost port of Endpando, that’s where Reaver came in. He was sent in a show of faith to the family and his God to end this problem, and he was given expressed permission to end it any way he saw fit. If anyone had known the man previously, then they would be in a bit of a shock to see him garbed in leather armor and strapped to the teeth in steel while all of it was being concealed beneath a large black overcoat. Close behind him was another male, a bit smaller but with piercing dark eyes. Unlike his companion, he bared no armor, not that he needed it.

“According to our investors, the camps are spread out, but the ones that seem to be causing us the most grieve is in the southern part of the island. Make sure that the entire route is clear”, Maalik spoke as he handed Reaver the map. The new vaewolf still felt odd being alive again, but he was grateful for the gifts that his brother gave him. Now he would return the favor to Nemesis. He took the parchment and tucked it into the pocket of his coat. “You sure that I will be enough to solve this problem?”

“Frankly, I think tossing you into this, while you are still coming to terms with everything, isn’t ideal. However, I can’t question my master’s will and he thinks highly of you enough to task this”, Maalik replied plainly. “I will fly on ahead and scout the area. The bandits tend to roam in search parties of three to six, to locate their targets. Turn these predators into prey, Reaver.”

He nodded before he shifted into a crow and took off into the skies, flying through the wooded area until he disappeared from sight. The man stood by and watched into that happened before he set off on his way with a falchion in hand to cut away at the vegetation that got in his way. The old him would have likely sought to end the conflict through some sort of settlement, avoiding bloodshed altogether. But there were two key elements that made that solution impossible- one was that there was no use in using words on creatures that no longer could be swayed by fancy delegating.

And second, this wasn’t the old Reaver.

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