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Latest revision as of 01:57, 15 January 2020

This is a Warrior's Guild RP.


Part of the Dissonance Theory Arc


Summary: Surprising Lionel with additional talent, Quintessa translates the runes inscribed on the obsidian stone which Rorin has brought to the Warrior's Guild from Coreliant's shrine. The runic translation is worrying, prompting Quintessa to suggest involving the terramancer Odhranos and Rorin to mention Lanara. Before Lionel can order his allies to action, a pair of strange elves who had driven the carriage carrying the stone assault both Quintessa and himself. Despite the changeling's rapid response, the elves turn into ash rather than surrendering, choosing a bizarre form of death over revealing any secrets. Lacking answers to pressing questions, it's all Lionel can do right now to promote Quintessa for her handiness and make ready for yet another journey into the unknown.

Warrior's Guild

Quintessa's shouts can be heard throughout the training grounds for the Warrior's Guild as the newest member practices her katas with her Catalian katana. The exercise was something she'd been in the habit of doing for months, since she joined the Mage's Guild months ago. Her form had improved drastically since then, as had her command of magic, to the point that even her katas could be dangerous if somebody got too close to her. "Tân!" echoes her voice, her katana slicing through the air as a trail of fire followed behind. "Ton... tân!" She swings again, this time the flames leap from her sword to scorch the earth a few meters before her. Steam still drifting from the metal, she brings her sword to her inside right before she prepares her next spell. "Iâ!" she roars, a fog of cold energy swirling around the blade of her katana before she thrusts outward and adds "Sbigyn rhew!" and a large spike of ice grows from the tip of her weapon to reach out a full meter from her sword. She pulls her weapon back and thrusts again, repeating the spell with more emotion, causing her spike to fly from her weapon an impale the wall on the other side of the training yard. Proud of her improvement, the changeling smirks and rests her sword on her shoulder turning to gaze at the small crowd that formed to watch. Quintessa grins and gives them a cheeky bow and some give a friendly laugh at her theatrics while others clap, impressed with her mastery of arcane magic and it's application to melee combat.


Rorin watched Quintessa for a while, liking her form- no, her combat form-nonono, just, well, anyway, he got distracted midway through busy completing a complex series of brotherly handshakes with a red haired half giant man before shoving some almonds in his mouth and applauding. Rorin gave her two enthusiast, crumb covered thumbs up, merrily jingling the biscuit tin on his belt as he did so. Geez, she sure was good at being whatever she is, he remarked thoughtfully. Oh yeah, and Lionel was there too. Rorin had nearly forgotten on the long walk after he’d confiscated the uh... Stone of Promiscuous Nature from those thieving monks who stole it from that dirty naked sex cult. Yep, sure had been a day for them, what with talk of ascendi and immortals and seeing that one Kasyr guy- ya know, that sword guy who did that one thing to the bugs, yeah, he was something, and he was there to defeat those lizards that one time too, now that Rorin recalled. Anyway, what were they here for? Oh yeah, to tell Quintessa about those cultists they were going to go uh... talk some sense into. Yep, that was it. Rorin remarked on all of this internally, just sort of standing there staring about, looking rather like someone who was pretty sure of what they were doing and not unhappy for it. The truth was comparatively mixed. Nobody knew anything about these cultists but Rorin sure felt an approaching sense of absolute bloodbath on the air. Wonder what that was all about…


Lionel stretched his arms and gave his neck muscles a good massage. It was snowing today, a light dusting which clung to the loamy soil and coated the farm’s winter crops in a thin blanket of white. The Warrior’s Guild’s frost giant nurse, Rose Tico, was busily ordering a few conscripts to tend to the fires inside the tents, so as not to freeze the poor people to death who had made the trek in hopes of survival. “That would be counterintuitive,” Tico bellowed, “and also I will kick you all in the head.” That seemed to get the conscripts moving more quickly and efficiently. Lionel chuckled and reminded himself to find whomever it was that determined payroll and give that nurse a raise. After observing Quintessa’s katas for a moment, he chewed the rest of his sweetroll and licked his lips to revel in its fine flavor. He wasn’t quite sure who was doing the cooking these days, either, but they probably deserved a raise too. “Hey,” he said simply, approaching the changeling that he and Rorin had returned here in order to speak with. He wasn’t sure if Quintessa would hear him, what with all the clapping going on, so he slunk his way through the small crowd and cleared his throat toward them. “The cool thing about being the leader is that I get to tell you all to go be productive,” he told them. “What should I do,” a youthful halfling asked uncertainly. “I don’t know. Go eat a sweetroll. They’re good.” The halfling perked up and nodded, hastily rushing off to the cafeteria. The rest of the crowd decided to follow suit. “Some weird stuff is going on down in the outskirts of the Southern Sage,” Lionel told Quintessa. A snowflake fell on his lip mid-sentence and he swallowed it. “There’s this cult, and they had a big stone, and the stone’s got runes on it, and I’ve seen two of them so far, and there are small earthquakes whenever they glow, and frankly I’m not sure how much of this is gonna be in one ear and out the other for you so the important part is that I think there may be killing so you’re coming with us because you like to fight.”


Quintessa places a hand on her hip as she spots Lionel approaching and slowly saunters in his direction as he speaks to hear him better. Before responding to the commander, however, she'd cock her head at the halfling and call out. "You better save one for me or you'll end up as my new practice partner." All the other recruits had already quit after a few rounds with her. Quintessa snickers before returning her katana to her sheath, stopping a few feet short of of LIonel. "Southern Sage?" she asks, thinking back to the day she, Karasu, Lanlan, and Odhranos were investigating some strange occurrences in that very same region. Immediately her demeanor shifted to one that was much more serious. Could this have something to do with that mysterious amber egg that had been hatched? "Cultist? Worshiping who or what?" The hex blade shakes her head at his comment about all this going in one of her ears and out the other. "Runes? Do you have this stone? I might be able to translate it. I studied runes at the Mage's Tower for months, y'know." The mention of killing would have sealed the deal if the excitement of arcane discovered didn't already captivate her.


Rorin determined at last that there truly would be some killing. It’s a shame he couldn’t somehow use diplomacy but he supposed this was the warriors guild and not the poets guild. Rorin shook his head as Lionel ordered someone to go eat and looked at the small cart being pulled in with the covered stone on it, motioning them over here. “It’s somehow related to large carnivorous plants, and the cultists are all gathered in some kind of Crimson... uh...” what was the word, “pavilion or pagoda, South of the Xalious Mountain Ranges. “We don’t really have many answers than that.”


”Some weirdos were having sex on top of it,” Lionel blurted out as the cart’s pair of fair-haired elven drivers tilted their route to bring the stone over for closer examination. “But I digress. We aren’t sure who or what these cultists are worshiping; we acquired this stone from a group of monks at Coreliant’s shrine who simply happened to feel like it’s pretty enough to pilfer. But from what we’ve gathered through aggressive diplomacy with said monks, the cultists are probably not great people. They’re free to do the deed wherever they wish, I don’t care about that, but their pagoda’s supposedly surrounded by those plants which Rorin just mentioned, and that’s just creepy. Also, they don’t sound like they appreciate visitors. Which, hey, I can empathize, but something about a cult loving the hell out of a stone that seems to trigger earthquakes just doesn’t sit right with me.” By now, the cart had arrived beside them, and the elves had lifted the cover from the stone, revealing it in all its smooth obsidian splendor. This was the first time Lionel was made aware of Quintessa’s familiarity with runes, but he was thankful for the assistance. If she were to read the text, it was likely that she would be able to identify at least a few of its words. It was written in an archaic script not commonly known among contemporary Lithrydelians from any corner of the continent, though certain ancient tomes at the Mage’s Tower contained the known traces of the lost language. In full, the runes read the following: “Hallowed Xicotl, First and Only. Underworld’s Champion. Singular Lord Beneath the Earth. Rise, Xicotl, and Claim Also The Surface World and the Skies Above. We Are Yours. All Are Yours.”


Quintessa furrows her brows as she approaches the cart and uncovers the rune stone hidden beneath. "Sex? Well, certain magics are good for that kind of thing. You can learn more from the Temple of Delisha if the subject interests you that much." A smirk is thrown back at Rorin and Lionel before she climbs into the cart to get a better look. She has no issue straddling the stone in front of them and crawling around on it to read the runes. Quintessa wasn't the greatest at it, but she'd memorized the bulk of magical theory before so with some time she managed to read most of it out loud. "Xicotl? Claim the surface world? I don't like the sound of this." The changeling slides down the length of the runed rock and lands on the ground, her spiked-heels digging into the snowless surface. "I don't know much about Terramancy but I can put you in contact with someone who does. These earthquakes aren't something to be taken lightly." Quintessa couldn't help but imagine using these stones to crush the drow living in Trist'oth. "And these plants? We should definitely deal with them too."


Rorin blushed a little, he just couldn’t help it, and did one of those slow chews again. “Yeah,” he said equally slowly and after a moment continued it with, “I mean, what if it’s not earth quakes- what if it’s like, giant roots or something, burrowing down there, and maybe they’d lead us back to whatever the source of it is?” He recalled something he wasn’t really allowed to ask about as a boy concerning an unusual book that contained mention of plant women but disregarded it, although he was attempting to cover up his increasingly reddened face as Quintessa... did her thing. “A-anyway, uhm, well, ya’see, we’re, uh, gonna go deal with these people. And by deal I mean discuss, and by discuss I mean interrogate - you get the picture.” He stuffed a biscuit in his mouth and hoped the snow would cool him off.


Lionel cringed even more at Rorin’s facial redness than the gloomy-sounding text that Quintessa recited, which made a certain degree of sense given how often he and Rorin had gone up against alleged god-like entities over the years. “Quintessa, pardon me a sec.” Lionel turned his head toward Rorin very briefly, and in a terse tone and at a brisk pace, he said, “Will you quit blushing like a schoolgirl in Cenril already? Quintessa is a woman. You have previously been around women. Just fetch her a sweetroll later and see what happens. Anyway.” Lionel climbed up onto the cart and grimaced as he ran his left hand across the stone. There was no visible reaction, nor did he feel anything especially out-of-the-ordinary, but he knew now that it foretold something menacing. “Not another would-be deity,” he grumbled to himself. “You said you know some sort of terramancer, though? Yeah, might not be a bad idea to pay them a visit, especially if we can squeak by en route to the Southern Sage. The sooner we tackle this cult, the better I’ll sleep.” The two elven drivers had exited their seats at the head of the carriage now and watched the tents housing the homeless with peculiar interest.


Quintessa's mismatched eyes flicker back and forth between Rorin and Lionel and she catches on quickly to what they were talking about. "Yeah, fetch me a sweetroll and you'll certainly be in my good graces," The changeling giggles as she brushes her hair back, giving the paladin a little wink before returning to the task at hand. "But this whole thing about roots is quite interesting. I guess there are more of these plants? I haven't encountered any on the road between Vailkrin and Xalious so they are a bit of a mystery to me. No matter, I'm sure they'll burn like any other plant." She nods her head at Lionel's question. "Yes, Provost Odhranos is a very talented terramancer. He's usually busy doing administrative tasks but I can convince him to leave his desk. I can be -very- persuasive." The young changeling giggles again, "Once I tell him about this I'm sure he'll want to find out what he can."


Rorin went off on a bit of a tirade. “I would like to think of myself as a person of chastity, thank you very much - I was raised in an environment that precluded such acts of sensual passion outside of an established familiarity and intimacy that while you may not understand-“ and then there was Quintessa again so Rorin snapped his mouth shut and looked elsewhere till he had something smarter to say. “Hey, I’ve been working with a few druids lately- Lanara and the like, out of the Devouts Guild. Should we bring them in to consult on this, Commander? Their advice could be valuable.” He also mentally logged a note to go get sweet rolls since everybody was talking about the damn things so much.


Lionel made it a point to listen to Quintessa’s response with greater interest than Rorin’s now that she had proven herself handy for the task at hand and the lad, on the other hand, was stammering about sexual attraction. What was it lately that had everyone in such a mood? Was winter so boring to these people that sex was the only answer? ‘No,’ he thought to himself, ‘it’s just Rorin being Rorin.’ “We’ve encountered exactly one,” Lionel answered the changeling. “And I don’t even have any hard evidence that it’s linked. But a couple of weeks ago, over at Lake Frysta not terribly far from here, Rorin and I watched a carnivorous plant of some sort hop out of the ground, feast on a beast, and then dive down into the earth before we could blink. It was an ochu, I think -- a breed of big-mouthed, sharp-toothed vegetable monstrosities with several tentacle-like appendages.” He shrugged. “But I don’t think I’ve seen one of those in years, and certainly not during wintertime. So there could be a correlation -- or maybe there’s no correlation at all. Just one more reason why this ‘Provost Odhranos’ of yours will come in handy.” Lionel decided not to think too deeply about the woman’s claims of extensive persuasiveness and start listening to Rorin again. “Lanara,” he said with a nod. “The Devout’s Guild is a bit out of the way, and we should act reasonably fast, but I would like Lanara’s opinion when possible. Her smarts are well-documented.” The Catalian took a few steps further into the training yard as snow began to fall in heavier doses than before. Squinting, he placed a hand on his forehead and chewed his lip. “I reckon we’d best get packing. The wyverns aren’t fond of long flights this time of year, so we’ll go by horse.” He was just about to suggest they leave at dawn when the two elves who had driven the carriage approached the back of the carriage and -- in a swift and graceful leap that was as sudden as it was flawlessly executed -- drew knives upon both Lionel and Quintessa simultaneously. Lionel twisted his legs and ducked but rather than paying back his attacker in kind he selected the one who was aiming for his partner. A powerful uppercut struck the elf whose knife neared Quintessa, causing an audible crack to sound.


Quintessa finds her giggles changing into a loud chortle as Rorin speaks. "Chasity? What a concept. I'll not deny myself the pleasures I desire. Delisha teaches us this. Sensual passion is but one of many hedonistic pleasures that are entitled to me. I deserve to be happy after all the things I've done." At the mention of Larana's name the changeling quirks a brow, "You mean the witch? I like her. If you want to bring her on I would not protest." Quintessa was about to tell Lionel that a horse for her wouldn't be necessary, as Bloodbeak was stabled here already, when the murderous intent from the two knife-wielding elves catches her attention. Her left hand grips the sheath of her sword as she steps back, giving her commander room to uppercut the the one who had attacked her while her lithe form twirls around Lionel. She presses her back to the Catalian's and pivots in place, her right hand drawing her katana and making a downward slash at the wrist of the elf that had attacked him, aiming to disarm him quite literally for trying to stab her guildmate. "Are you serious right now?" She asks rhetorically, bringing her blade against his throat. "Surrender or die, elf. Those are your options."


Rorin thought it might have been a Marlboro, but he could be wrong. “Odhranos,” He chewed thoughtfully, for it was a name he felt as if he’d heard before, but had not yet a face to go with. He can only sigh, having already experienced another cultist of Delisha and knowing there was no way to convince them otherwise in a world with magical cures for venereal disease. As soon as the elves drew their knives though he snapped out of it, flinging a knife of his own at one before getting his shield in hand. What in lythridel had gotten into them - and more importantly - were they alone?


“Incorrect,” breathed the elf whom Quintessa had trapped at the point of her katana. “There is no death in true sacrifice, girl.” Whether or not these cryptic words spurred Quintessa to further action, they were delivered at a decisive enough pace that she would be unable to prevent the sudden -- and disgusting -- transformation of the man from elf to ashes. The sight was made gruesome by the short-lived reveal of all the elf’s innards; skin was first to ash, followed by meat and then organs and lastly bones. The haunting image of a skull, stripped of its flesh and almost mocking her, was the last thing that Quintessa would see before it was all just dust in the wintry wind. Rorin’s knife landed squarely in the shoulder of the other elf, who yelped and fell backwards into the snow. Seeing what happened to the attacker’s ally, Lionel leapt on top of the survivor and reached for his neck to keep him pinned down. But such actions were to no avail, for the elf merely smirked at him and spoke three words: “Xicotl sees you.” And then both elves were ash. Lionel spat in the sourness of defeat and kicked the snow beneath those ashes, hurrying them on their way into the wind. “Whatever,” he answered their remains simply, and then he gave Quintessa a glance. “I’d ask if you’re alright, but I’m guessing the answer’s a resounding yes. My other guess? These were a fine pair of cultists.” Other members of the Warrior’s Guild had come running, the shortest among them with half a sweetroll lodged in her mouth, and an infant was crying from inside of the tents. “Scout the area,” Lionel ordered multiple men and women of the ‘Journeyman’ rank, and they were off to do just that. In moments, they would return with the unfortunate news that not another elven suicide striker was to be found. Lionel used that time as wisely as he could, pulling a silver pin fashioned into the shape of a hawk from out of his pocket and handing it to Quintessa. “I think you’ve earned this today,” he told her. The word ‘Journeyman’ was etched into the silver. He wasn’t going to explain why he just so happened to have one of these pins in his pocket at the time, because he didn’t want to admit to Quintessa and Rorin that he just really liked the hawk design. “I’m good and spooked, and we now have more questions than answers -- though I daresay we have one distinctive answer. This ‘Xicotl’ thing‘s a real tool. Let’s gear up. We leave at dawn.”


Quintessa glares at the elf as he speaks, ready to remove his head from his body in an instant. Instead, the odd girl was left gawking as his body suddenly metamorphosed into ash that she could not harm any further. She growls, robbed of her chance to kill him as her blade idly swats away the ashes. "Rubbish," she says, returning her katana to her sheath once more. "Yes, cultists of this Xicotl. They've made a personal enemy of me today. I'll-" she cuts herself off as she turns to Lionel, her mismatched eyes widening in disbelief. "This is what?" Her question didn't require an answer. "Journeyman?" The corners of her mouth twist upwards, the changeling showing legitimate happiness at being promoted. "Thank you, commander!" She takes the silver pin in her hand, gracefully accepting her new rank. It was no Mage Commencement Ceremony but somehow she liked it better this way. "I can celebrate later," she says as she pins the hawk to her invisibility cloak, "I'll be ready to set out in the morning."