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

Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:58 PM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

Where was it coming from? Where did it start, or where did it end? Those were the questions that ran through her mind as she found herself caught in an invisible network of distortions that was sending her to different points. There was only one thing worse than a maze–it was an invisible one. But unlike a standard invisible maze where you could work out the boundaries through brute force, this one was just a series of sequential teleportation. And it was a pain in the neck. Regardless, there was a pattern to everything, no matter how chaotic. Slowly but surely she picked a way out that didn't send her right back to the beginning. Finally, she was back to where she had been before the teleportation began. Pulling out her wayfinder's widget, she saw the path she had painstakingly uncovered for herself.

"Clever…and a few hours gone thanks to that." From what she had experienced firsthand, the closer one tried to go towards the center the stronger the distortions became. While the distortions themselves weren't dangerous, she was worried that they'd become less stable or even overlap if she progressed inward further. There was no telling what you could run into here. After all, space and time was already affected.

Falling to your death from this place was the least of your worries here. When you ventured into the great unknown, you could never say you were truly prepared. And while she had gotten out of the displacement maze with much difficulty, that didn't fully explain everything about the strange phenomena people described of Naebele. How exactly were these things happening? What was causing it? If it were mere space-time distortion alone, that would cover getting lost for days or even years. However people would figure things out and form maps of where the distortions connected to after many attempts. Delirium, confusion, and sensory hallucination on the other hand–had to be explained by something else. Maybe it was just the effects of prolonged isolation.

Or what if…it was something in the atmosphere? What if the magic that allowed the ruins to stay afloat was tainting the air, causing symptoms of delusion the longer you were exposed to it? If magic was essentially the distortion of the laws of nature to achieve specific ends, then it wasn't a far cry to assume that it could have lingering side effects on the mind. And since the magic creating a floating landmass atop the clouds was especially potent, it was likely warping the senses of anything that came in from the outside.

Taking out a plague doctor's mask, she held her breath before strapping it on. She wasn't sure if her theory was true or just speculation, but there was only one way to find out. Exhaling as much air as she was able from her lungs, Shiloh then began breathing through the mask and repeating the deep exhalation to purge as much of Naebele's air from her body as possible. Now it was time to see if her experiment would work. If it did, then things would start to become much clearer around here. Normally she wouldn't believe anything unless she could see it, but even sight and senses can be fooled with the right tricks. It was time to head back, but first she wanted to find that man she met earlier to confirm if her suspicions were on the mark. If her 'hallucinogenic atmosphere' theory held water, then he'd be experiencing increasing bouts of auditory and visual illusions now. Even so, she might not be in the clear yet either. Purging hallucinogens from the body took time.

Author: Raize, Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:58 PM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

With the confirmation that something was happening, the traveler made it apparent that while she was willing to provide her airship as a means to escape the ruins, that she was in no mood to have a companion at her side whilst she explored the area. This was preferable to the hunter as well, as he had a less than pleasant attitude at most times. Not that certain people couldn’t handle it, or even curb it. But it was all beside the point. Rhenakos waited for the woman to leave, and then turned his attention to the building he had decided to enter.

There were a variety of questions coming to mind. Had she already explored the ruin, or had she been put there by whatever magics held sway over the land? Did Rhenakos risk going in? Were the points of distortion fixed? If he walked in, would it put him wherever she came from?

The hunter crossed his arms. No good will come of me trying to figure this out. All I gotta do is take a step. He took a deep breath, and took the first step. Nothing. A second step into the building produced the same result. It was, for the time, safe.

So far so good.

The hunter took his time exploring the first building. It was, from what he could tell, an old house that was once lived in. The beds were made of similar materials as the house, but the sheets were of a natural fabric. Rhenakos wondered where they could have procured such materials to make these things, but he was far from the smartest man, and decided to drop that train of thought. It was for the best. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder what an average family would have looked like living here.

Oh sweetheart. Don’t forget, I’m your family now…, a sultry voice echoed in the back of his mind. He ignored it. Even though Osiria had forgiven him, his own psychosis had not. The voice was something that he had come to terms with, and promptly ignored. However, hearing it in this place was something more. It felt more real here…as if it could reach out and touch him. It was unsettling.

Rhenakos did not find anything of worth in the building, and returned to the main street. He had only searched the building for about an hour, but something felt off as he exited the building. The lighting was vastly different from when he had entered.

The sun is…He looked up, confused. Is…the sun going backwards? He blinked. That couldn’t be right. According to the sun, it was a few hours before midday. Did…I just lose a day? That was concerning. If the airship had left him here, he would be stranded for Gods knew how long.

He started to run towards where it had moored. Running, though, was a bad idea. The clouds did not make the best points of contact, and his first few steps ended with him falling forward, hitting the ground softly. He had shut his eyes in preparation for the impact, but when there was none, he opened them.

“Oh right…Clouds.” He stood up, and dusted himself off out of habit. He blinked. What…? The lighting had changed again. Two hours after midday. He crossed his arms. Did I lose time? Or… He thought back to the woman. Spatial distortions had been happening. He had heard a legend about a mirrored world at some point, a crackpot theory about how two mirrors together made some infinite reflecting world or something, but Rhenakos had tossed the legend aside as something of a crazy ramble. But here and now, he wondered if a part of it was true. A powerful enough distortion to warp the perception of space.

“Great…that’s the last thing I need.”

Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:45 PM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

"Midday…huh. I arrived in the morning, so that does sound like it'd match up." The man took out a trinket she was familiar with, and when the dowsing pendant started spinning in circles that basically confirmed another of her theories. Both of them came to the same conclusion. When he mused if his portal was a one-way trip, she answered his rhetorical question. "I wouldn't jump to that just yet. Spatial distortion doesn't necessarily mean you can't get out. This place might turn us around or shift us from one area to another." Then again there was one time where teleportation and portal spells had failed due to something actively disrupting their casting. But that was only in the Void…right? "If it's a small consolation to you, there should be an airship docked on the edge of these ruins. So even if magic doesn't work like usual, there's still a way off." Aside from falling through the clouds of course. Positive thinking really didn't suit her, now that she was listening to herself attempting to convince a stranger that things weren't going to end horribly just like how the other horror stories of previous travelers had concluded.

The silence must be getting to her, as she said: "Well, I'll be on my way then. It'd be great if I could map out this entire place for future reference. That's what I'm here for." Having spoken more words than what was normal for her in a single day, she gave a salute to the armed man before slowly tapping her way back whence she came. This distortion didn't happen until she tried to go in further, so if she could find her way back to the ruins' edge she might be able to avoid getting caught up in it. It would be foolish to try to get the entire layout in one attempt; she was only here to map out the perimeter so she could put the boundaries on a map. For a while now she noticed her aura sight was becoming less and less reliable. Her detection of the man only registered when they were relatively close to each other, and Shiloh wasn't even able to tell if the previously unknown presence was friendly or hostile. There were no persistent headaches like what she had suffered in Kanuri, but in that case it was due to an overwhelming number of spirits and residual magic. Whatever magic this place had was a lot more subtle, and maybe much more discreet. 

An hour passed from the two travelers' first meeting. 

She was having trouble finding the outermost rim of the azure buildings. From her mental point of reference she was sure she was moving out towards the edges, using the broken-down walls and towers as her reference. But something must had moved her around. Her wayfinder's widget was showing odd parts of recorded data that weren't adjacent in position. There were spots of areas where she had been in the middle of a big blank. Expanding the projection complied from the total data, she found herself farther from Naebele's edge. All this time she had walked in complete silence. Not a single soul had crossed paths with her since her last meeting. Now she was starting to realize why people had gone missing for so long. Even if there weren't enemies present, the distortion of this place messed with their sense of time and distance. She'd have to walk with a stick in one hand and her widget in the other. Maybe there was a pattern in how the teleportation happened. Her next concern was whether or not the past inhabitants of this floating enigma had left traps behind…

Author: Raize, Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2019 11:37 PM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

The fact that the woman was almost relieved at the sight of Rhenakos set off a red flag. Not about her, but about the off putting feeling he had been subjected to ever since setting foot in the ruins. The fact that someone else was experiencing similar things to him was more information.

While Rhenakos could be considered ‘stupid’, he was actually far more brilliant than he let on. For every answer he couldn’t provide, and for every stupid comment he made, his observations and instinct caught things that many would miss. So when the woman started to speak about her worries, about ‘things’ happening, he understood very well what kind of situation he had stumbled upon. Her reactions were genuine, at least to a degree.

He lowered his hand, letting his drawing stance drop. For the moment, at least, she wasn’t an enemy. In fact, he seemed much more preoccupied with the mystery of her sudden appearance in the building that he had just about entered. Even Rhenakos had been taken by surprise at her sudden appearance, but her statements made sense. She had not been there. Rhenakos was sure of it.

“When I got here it was about midday. Sun was directly above me. Been wandering for less than an hour.” He reached into his coat’s pocket, pulling out a small, indigo pendant with a metal chain. “It’s not a compass, but…” He held it in his hand. For the longest time, Rhenakos had used the Arc of Want to search for the demon he wished to exact his revenge on. Ever since he had moved passed it, the Arc had always pointed towards one person.

Os.

The pendant started to glow, slightly. However, instead of pointing in a direction towards land, it simply started to spin in a small circle, as if confused at which direction it should go.

“I would assume spells and the like would not work either…” He sighed, pocketing the trinket. “Great. Does that mean the portal was one way?” The hunter crossed his arms. “I told Drake it would only take a few days.” Can I assume I’m stuck here? Unless of course this lady here will let me stow away…. He glanced at her. A problem for later. For now, focus on finding some treasures. Maybe I can find whatever’s messing with the magic here and stop it.


Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2019 3:04 AM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

There was an audible sigh when she saw him. "Oh good, so I'm not losing it. You're not a figment of my imagination." Based on the answer he gave her, she was sure he was real. A mirage would have adapted to her expectations instead of doing something she didn't expect. Some people would answer the riddle but fail to give the expected answer, but this man questioned the point of responding to it in the first place. "Now if you did answer the riddle, I'd be a lot more worried." Unfortunately the real person in front of her did not look like a tourist, as his body language, voice tone, and appearance said otherwise. Heterochromia, a curt attitude, and a very strong magical signature told her he was indeed capable of using it. Both of them were not at ease and were mildly distrusting of each other. A completely normal reaction.

He mentioned an airship, and unless there had been another vessel docked around the ruins–that'd be the Clepsydra. "Yes, they gave me a lift. Not taking chances on using a portal to a place I've never been to–especially with an acrophobia hazard." While they were exchanging basic information, she was reading his expressions. Hesitation, discomfort, unease, defensiveness, worry, and even anxiety underlying the more prominent emotions. And while he had every reason to doubt her, she wasn't exactly well-defended from a sudden charging attack. More preoccupied with standing on solid ground, she had put aside being openly armed. Survival was always the first thing on her mind. Staying put, she craned her neck while not moving her feet. The puzzled look on her face told that something was off about her new surroundings, to which she clicked her tongue out of habit. "What the–? Wasn't I just coming out of a more open area?" 

Why on earth was she now coming out of a building when she swore she had walked through a free-standing arch? "Oh no. Don't tell me it's happening. This is what they were talking about, isn't it? I should've brought a timepiece or compass–wait no, magnetic fields would probably mess with the calibration." Looking at the armed man again, she shouted back: "Did you come here in the afternoon or morning? How long have you been here anyway?" These were totally harmless questions, as she saw it. Keeping away from any personal information should avoid triggering a fight of flight response.   

Author: Raize, Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2019 2:23 AM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

His words seemed to hang in the air for quite some time. The silence and eerie feelings that surrounded him caused the small hairs across his body to raise. The tension in the air felt near tangible, but still he waited, hand at the ready to draw his blade. Then, a voice seemed to respond.

”What is greater than everything but less than what doesn't exist?” The feminine voice asked.

Rhenakos rolled his eyes. For the love of the Gods… He turned around for a moment, trying to pinpoint the location of the voice. “Why don’t you stop asking dumb questions and just get to the point already!” It was like the trials to get his magic unleashed all over again. A stupid, pointless riddle. He turned back to see a very plain looking woman walk out of the building, looking ready for a full on adventure.

In contrast to her, Rhenakos looked very ragged and unprepared, only armed to the teeth with his usual hunting gear and torn clothing. His left eye seemed to almost be permanently dilated, glowing an ominous red, while his right eye was a shimmering green. To most, this made him look slightly deranged. In their defense, Rhenakos was, for the most part, also slightly deranged, but only when it came to his hunts.

In this instance, he was entirely lucid, though having the woman sneak up on him so effortlessly made him doubt that.

He knew better than to let his guard down, though. While he did not draw his blade, he did keep a steady lock on her. “I take it you’re with that ship over there?” he asked. “I don’t want a fight…I just came here for a job. Nothing more.”

Depending on her answer, he would either draw his blade or lower his guard. He knew that, if it came to it, he could always run. What worried him most was her ability. If she could sneak so quickly and quietly, and mask her presence so well, then he might not even begin to stand a chance against her in a fair fight.

I drew the short straw in this…

Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2019 2:05 AM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

Panic and suspicion are the enemy. Fear is the enemy. Wayward thoughts and assumptions are the enemy. These words were what she repeated inside, over and over to suppress her natural instincts from going wild. The rumors she had heard didn't have many points in common, so maybe there was more than just primal elemental magic at play. What if this place was magical itself, reacting to the fantasies and idle thoughts of the beholder? It wouldn't be too far out of line with the things she'd seen over the years. "Do not jump to conclusions. Do not assume. Keep an open mind." Easier said than done. To assume potential threats and rationalize relative safety were the same as breathing. It was human nature. And so you couldn't blame her for nearly leaping out of her boots when she heard a voice 'answer' back.

“If you are in here, show yourself.” She waited for a few seconds. Was she hallucinating already? Auditory distortions weren't unheard of in absolute isolation. With the absence of stimulus, sometimes you would end up hearing the pulsing and beating of your own heart… To test the voice and her own sanity, she replied: "What is greater than everything but less than what doesn't exist?" Depending on the answer, she would be able to tell if it was a living thing or an echo. Unless the thing happened to capable of reading minds, it was impossible to receive an answer that was in the exact words of what she was thinking. Tapping the 'ground' all the way, she slowly approached the general direction of where she had heard the voice. With terrain like this, getting ambushed was a terrible thought…not to mention if the enemies could fly.

The brazen hunter would meet a rather ordinary looking woman dressed in plain clothes and light leather armor. Her dark hair and eyes were nothing special, and she was using a stick to prod the cloud layer after every few steps. A full backpack was slung over her shoulders and there was a rope with a grappling hook wrapped around her waist. This was where the oddities began–while Shiloh was sure she had passed through an open archway between buildings, to Rhenakos he would see her step out of the building he had almost walked into. Neither of them were aware of this spatial discrepancy yet. 

Author: Raize, Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2019 1:44 AM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

It had been up to a coin toss in the end. Raile had two places he wanted explored between Drake and Rhenakos, and it had been the coin’s choice for Rhenakos to head to the Azure Ruins. That having been said, Rhenakos had no way of getting to the floating ruins by himself, and thus required a little aid from the draconian, whom had a particularly useful spell.

Much to the hunter’s surprise, he stepped out of the Gate next to a docked airship. Docked, being a strong word, as the ruins held no real point to hold a stable tie down, and was moored in a rather open area. But Rhenakos neither knew the concept, nor really cared. So docked it was. The part that did strike him was that it was a live crew that had come to explore the ruins. Whether it be treasure or more, it was technically competition.

Will they be friend or foe? His demonic left eye seemed to burn at the thought of a potential battle, but he ignored the pain and focused on the ruins themselves. The blue stone was near immaculate, which only added to the strange feeling that he had gazing upon the structures. Besides the few sounds he could hear coming from the airship, he couldn’t hear signs of anything else. It was unsettling to say the least.

Deciding it was best to ignore the ship for the time being, Rhenakos made his way into the ruins, noting that the very ‘ground’ he was on was less solid than he would have liked. Still, he made his way to one of the entrances of a ruined building. At first, he felt brazen, and took a step forward without a second thought, but he felt something, and he hesitated.

What was that…? His left eye burned, as if warning him that there was something nearby. But he couldn’t sense it with his human side, something that he had honed for a vast many years to detect anything and everything. His foot lingered in the air, mere inches away from stepping inside the building. Finally he pulled it back, and reached for the sword at his belt.

“If you are in here, show yourself,” he said aloud. He felt ridiculous calling it out, as if a child trying to face his unreal nightmares.

Author: Shiloh Kyrie, Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2019 12:03 AM, Post Subject: Repeating Actions [L:3]

Onnen was still uncharted, and if you wanted to map the world you had to see it for yourself. There were rumors of a mysterious place beyond the southernmost point of the continent, well away from the edge of the ancestral lands of the dragons–ruins that defied gravity and at times seemed to blend in with the sky itself. Some came with hopes of treasure, others for power, and others out of curiosity. Shiloh was in the latter, simply passing by out of a routine sweep of the south of Onnen to fill in as much of the aerial map as possible. When she had an entire topographical scan of the 'new' lands, they would be integrated into an improved navigational system that would show the terrain as a three-dimensional projection instead of a flat image. It would be necessary, as there were floating settlements and landmasses all over. It would be a new age of sailing for airships. 

It was a bright and sunny day when she approached with the Clepsydra. The skies were clear of any clouds and there was a light breeze blowing. The angle of the light was just right so that the ruins were visible so they avoided any accidents. They knew they had arrived when they saw the floating mass sitting atop a dense cloud layer isolated from any other naturally formed ones. Just like the rumors the ruins truly were azure, and the stones were unlike anything she had seen. Once the crew found a relatively open area to dock, she descended and had them wait on standby until she finished mapping the place's perimeter. She wasn't intending to stay long, after all there were no noticeable signs of habitation from the silence. With the ruins' dimensions she could create a visual model within a projection to aid airships from colliding into it on days with poor aerial visibility. It was unnerving to be literally walking on clouds, but Shiloh told herself not to think about it. In the worst case scenario she could protect herself from falling to her death into the vast depths of the ocean.

Little did she know that the rumors of Naebele had just begun upon setting foot into the abandoned citadel. If she had thought her experience with Kanuri would leave her fully prepared, she was wrong. Naebele's secrets would not be so easily unraveled or understood… Silence was her companion as she picked her way carefully about the outer layer of buildings, where the ground was as stable as thin ice. Tentatively she tapped in front and around to tell what was capable of supporting her weight. She was alone, she reminded herself. There were no signs of life from her previous scans with aura sight. 

Who is Online

We have 1753 registered users.
Our users have posted a total of 46704 articles.
The Newest registered user is Lucie Mannette


In total there are 680 online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden, and 680 Guests :: Developer | Administrator | Moderator | Deity
Registered Users:


Not all features on this website work with your plebian choice of web browser.

Please see the light and download either Chrome or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.

Continue?