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 Routes du royaume

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MessageSujet: Routes du royaume   Mer 10 Fév - 17:53



" Bandits, beasts, rebels, necromancers! Darkness at every turn of the road, not because we want it, just because there is! "

Psarosoupa est parcourue par quelques grandes routes principales passant par ses plus grandes villes et village. Elles vont des frontières continentales jusqu'aux réputées villes ports du pays. 

Le royaume est également remplit de plus petits chemins et passages, parfois les uns plus dangereux que les autres en fonction de la région. En règle générale, plus vous vous écartez des routes nationales, moins les alentours sont gardés et plus il risque de vous arriver malheur!

[A moins qu'un autre sujet pour une trajectoire spécifique soit créé, c'est ici qu'il faut poster pour les voyages entre les différentes villes.] 




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Lun 18 Avr - 6:27

[Venant de: Psarosoupa - Axladi]

La route de One avait été calme. Elle avançait à bon rythme grâce à sa monture et aux routes qui, sur ce segment-ci de son chemin, étaient assez fréquentées pour qu’elles soient pavées et maintenues. A l’occasion, One campait de nuit, lorsqu’elle trouvait un endroit adéquat: cet-à-dire facile à défendre en cas d’attaque.
N’ayant aucun besoin physique de chaleur ni de cuire et préparer sa nourriture(elle dispose de vivres, certes, mais n’a aussi aucun problème à manger sa viande crue), One ne préparait pas de feu de camp de nuit, par précaution. De même, One dormait (était-ce réellement du sommeil?) moins qu’une personne normale. En vérité, la nature de One faisait d’elle une soldat parfaite à recruter lors d’une campagne militaire: un individu qui n’était que partiellement en vie avait des besoins nettement amoindris par rapport à une vraie personne vivante.

Par conséquent, le voyage de One se faisait sans ralentissement, et avec une sécurité relativement bonne pour une personne qui voyageait seule sur les routes de Psarosoupa.
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mer 4 Mai - 1:45

La router vers le village de Psarokokala n'avait rien de particulier si ce n'était le fait que les chemins à emprunter devenaient de plus en plus petits étroits et durs à trouver.

Pour les premiers jours de son voyage, One longea comme indiqué la grande route pavée qui menait vers le Nord où se trouvait le mont Pangée et les fameuses mines d'or de l'empire. Sur cette route elle croisa de nombreuses patrouilles qui la laissèrent tranquille une fois qu'elle leur présentait l'enseigne de son ordre. Bien que pas avant d'avoir demander où se trouvait son superviseur.

A part ces incidents mineurs, elle croisa de nombreux marchands et plusieurs voyageurs. La route était à la fois bien entretenue et bien gardée ce qui faisait d'elle le chemin favori de quiconque devait traverser cette région. Pour la majeure partie c'était une ligne droite qui pus est ce qui ajoutait à la rapidité des transports. 

Grâce à sa nouvelle monture, le progrès de One fut plus rapide qu'anticipé, au bout de quatre jours elle avait ravalé la majeure partie de son voyage. 

Ce qui l'amena à se faufiler dans des chemins bien moins rassurants que la grande route qu'elle avait été obligée de quitter. 

Ici il n'était plus question de route, au mieux il y avait un chemin à peine visible tellement il était peu utilisé. Par instant toute indication de la route à suivre était absente, laissant One deviner où elle devait aller. 

Ayant avancer vers le Nord du pays, le froid était ici plus présent qu'aux alentours d'Axladi, mais ce n'était pas un problème ni pour la mort vivante ni pour sa monture. Toutefois, les nuits étaient devenues nettement plus dangereuses. Même si One ne nécessitait pas beaucoup de repos, ce n'était pas également le cas de son cheval. De plus, des mouvements commençaient à se faire sentir dans les ombres de temps en temps. Des bêtes sauvages airaient autour de la voyageuse.

Vu que One, par précaution n'allumait même pas de feu la nuit tombée, c'est uniquement par chance et probablement aussi à cause de leur peur de sa véritable nature que ces prédateurs ne passèrent jamais à l'attaque. Ils restaient tout de même dans les alentours, loin dans les ombres des arbres, attendant le moindre signe de faiblesse ou l'instant où la maîtresse s'éloignerait de la monture. 

Alors que le soleil de la quatrième journée commençait sa descente finale, One tomba assez étonnamment sur un autre voyageur qui semblait au moins aussi peu assuré de sa route qu'elle même qui n'avait pas eu la moindre indication de si elle allait dans la bonne direction depuis ce matin.

Ce voyageur était seul, voyageait à pied et ne cherchait pas à dissimuler ses caractéristiques clairement elfiques. Quand il remarqua One s’approcher dans sa direction, il vint la saluer les mains en l'air en signe qu'il venait en paix. 


???: " Bonsoir mademoiselle. Pourriez-vous me dire ce qui se trouve dans la direction d'où vous venez? Je crains avoir perdu quelques uns de mes repères! "




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Dim 8 Mai - 2:56

La partie de son périple sur les routes nationales s’acheva assez rapidement grâce à la cadence de son cheval. S’en suivit la partie la moins agréable de sa route, sur les sentiers oubliés d’une nation qui avait oublié ses roturiers.

A partir du moment où elle avait quitté la route nationale, elle avait prit soin d’armer son arbalète et de la garder en main. Si bien que quand elle croisa le voyageur elfe sur sa route, machinalement, en l’espace d’un instant, elle avait braqué son arbalète sur lui. L’elfe eût le bon réflexe, levant les mains en l’air en signe de paix avant de commencer à s’approcher.


One: “Vous êtes assez près, l’ami, restez où vous êtes.” dit-elle, baissant son arbalète juste assez pour que le carreau soit pointé aux pieds du voyageur.

???: " Bonsoir mademoiselle. Pourriez-vous me dire ce qui se trouve dans la direction d'où vous venez? Je crains avoir perdu quelques uns de mes repères! "

One: “Bonsoir. Derrière moi, à environ une journée de marche se trouve la route nationale Psarosoupienne qui part d’Axladi vers le mont Pangée… Que faites-vous à Psarosoupa, l’ami? Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir que les elfes sont… mal acceuilis, en ces terres, j'espère?

Et de quelle direction venez-vous, d’ailleurs? J’aurais aussi besoin de directions...”
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Lun 9 Mai - 23:33

One... N'avait pas l'aire ravie de tomber sur quelqu'un dans ce coin des bois. Même après s'être approché les mains en l'air, l'elfe vit que c'était là toute la confiance dont il allait bénéficier. Il resta donc à distance bien que baissant les mains, celles-ci restant loin de ses armes pour bonne mesure.

One: “Bonsoir. Derrière moi, à environ une journée de marche se trouve la route nationale Psarosoupienne qui part d’Axladi vers le mont Pangée… Que faites-vous à Psarosoupa, l’ami? Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir que les elfes sont… mal acceuilis, en ces terres, j'espère? 

Et de quelle direction venez-vous, d’ailleurs? J’aurais aussi besoin de directions...”


L'elfe sembla surpris.

Elfe: " La route nationale vers le mont Pangée?! "

Il eut un soupire.

Elfe: " Semblerait que je sis allé beaucoup trop loin vers l'Ouest... Oh, je viens du Nord-Est, voir de l'Est à ce niveau je pense. Excusez moi je ne suis pas entièrement sûr d'où on se trouve à vrai dire. Je pense que la meilleure chose qui me reste à faire et de regagner la route d'où vous venez et me rendre à Axladi... Après quoi je vais revenir à mon point de départ en complètent un cercle? Hmm... "

Il resta pensif pendant un instant, ne réalisant qu'après coup qu'il n'avait pas répondu à l'autre question de l'étrangère. 

Elfe: " Haha, vous n'êtes pas la première à me mettre en garde mais j'apprécie le geste! Il est vrai que les Psarosoupiens ne semblent pas dotés d'un profond amour envers mon peuple mais au moins, jusqu'à présent personne n'a chercher à m'abattre ou à "m'éduquer". J'ai juste eu une ou deux tentatives d'arnaques mais rien de bien remarquable. Quant à la raison de mon voyage... Je suis une sorte de barde-chercheur. Je suis ici en quête des éléments à l'origine de plusieurs comptines et contes de fées et légendes qui proviennent de cette nation. Techniquement, en ce moment je cherche un village où j'ai entendu que je pourrai rencontrer quelqu'un ayant converser avec le fameux "voyageur de l'Est" du conte avec le même nom. Mais ce village se trouve dans la région de Piateles supposément. D'après ce que vous me dites je dois en être sacrément loin à présent. Et vous? Vous n'avez pas l'air d'être une chasseuse... Ou un arbre. " 




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mer 18 Mai - 12:20

L’elfe se montra plutôt coopérant avec One. Intelligent. En guise de récompense, One abandonna l’idée de transformer l’elfe en hérisson inquisitorial: Elle baissa son arbalète.

One: “Un chasseur de légendes, hm? Intéressant. En général, les comtes psarosoupiens ont tendance à finir mal. Et les creatures magiques ont tendance à être brûlées avec le feu des bois magiques, par ici. Enfin, bonne chance dans votre recherche, avec un peu de chance vous allez tomber sur autre chose qu’une poignée de cendres. Quel est votre nom, par hasard?

Qui est ce fameux “voyageur de l’Est” dont vous parlez, d’ailleurs?

Par rapport à moi… Disons que je suis un… “résolveur de problème inquisitorial”. D’ailleurs, petit conseil, la prochaine fois que vous voyez quelqu’un avec les mêmes emblèmes que moi sur sa personne, à votre place, je ne m’approcherais pas. A vrai dire, vous avez une chance de cocu d’être tombé sur moi plutôt qu’un autre…”


Non, décidément, One n’avait aucune confiance en cette personne. Serrant son arbalète en main, qui était toujours armée, elle attendait le moindre faux pas de l’Elfe pour lui coller un carreau entre les deux yeux.
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Sam 21 Mai - 0:44

Le barde ambulant acquiesça aux dires de One. 

Elfe: " Oui, il est vrai que de nombreuses histoires en provenances de ces régions ont des fins assez, macabres? Désagréables? Etudier pourquoi ceci est le cas fait également l'objet de mon voyage. Pour partager la version courte avec vous, c'est principalement à cause du contexte historique et social de l'empire. Il est souhaitable que les gens sachent leur place à fin d'éviter des soucis à tout le monde. Sous peine d'avoir des choses peu enviable vous arriver. C'est un moyen détourner de contrôler ou d'avertir la population si vous voulez. 

Je me nomme Antonio Balderas, pour vous servir mademoiselle!

"Le voyageur de l'Est" est un comte des moins connus de ces lieux. Peut être par-ce-qu'il ne sert pas d'avertissement comme il en est coutume justement! C'est également un des rares comtes avec une bonne fin! Ou du moins c'est ce que la fin un peu ambiguë laisse penser.  

Pour ne pas prendre la journée, je vis simplement vous dire que c'est l'histoire d'un étranger aux cheveux blancs, qui est venu à Psarosoupa depuis l'Est. Ce dernier aurait progressivement traversé à pied le pays, réalisant exploits et merveilles dans les pauvres villages où il s'est rendu. La majorité des histoires suivent le format "héros arrive dans un coin en difficultés, héros résout dites difficultés et se casse sans récompense". C'est une histoire qui a naquit il y a quelques années et pourtant, il est plus difficile que prévu de trouver le nom de ce fameux voyageur ou ne serait-ce que s'il a véritablement exister. Je trouve cela fort étrange. Sinon vu que la fin de comte est un départ du héros comme un autre, avec un peu de chance il ne devrait pas être mort, il était assez jeune d'après les descriptions que j'ai pu lire. "

La discussion continua tranquillement pendant quelques minutes. Vint enfin le moment où One expliqua son rôle.

Antonio: " Je vois. Je vais vous croire sur parole et me presser d'évacuer les lieux. Je me disais bien que cet endroit avait une atmosphère lugubre. Je pensais que c'était juste mon imagination mais si il s'agit de "problème inquisitoriales" plus loin je me trouverais le mieux ça sera. 

Sur ce, il ne reste plus beaucoup de lumière, on ferait mieux tous deux de reprendre la route. Faites attention à vous mademoiselle et bonne chance. "

Ainsi l'homme se pressa de quitter les lieux en direction de la route nationale. Il n'y avait pas l'ombre d'un doute qu'il allait profiter des derniers rayons de soleil pour s'éloigner le plus possible avant de trouver un endroit où il pourrait se réfugier pour la soirée.  




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Jeu 26 Mai - 4:22

La discussion avec l’elfe Antonio Balderas fût informative, sans être déplaisante, ce qui était rare pour One. Si elle avait encore été sujette aux pulsions typiques des mortels, elle s’en serait peut-être réjouie.

One: “Si jamais j’en apprends plus sur votre individu et que vous n’êtes pas sur un bûcher la prochaine fois que je vous croise, je vous tiendrais au courant.” dit-elle, neutre.

Antonio: " Je vois. Je vais vous croire sur parole et me presser d'évacuer les lieux. Je me disais bien que cet endroit avait une atmosphère lugubre. Je pensais que c'était juste mon imagination mais si il s'agit de "problème inquisitoriales" plus loin je me trouverais le mieux ça sera.

Sur ce, il ne reste plus beaucoup de lumière, on ferait mieux tous deux de reprendre la route. Faites attention à vous mademoiselle et bonne chance. "


One: “Oui, vous feriez bien de partir. Continuez comme cela, et vous vivrez probablement assez vieux, même pour un elfe… Moi je dois retourner au travail. C’était plaisant de converser avec vous, Balderas. Bonne route.”

Et sur ce, elle relança son cheval, croisant l’elfe qui partait en sens inverse.

One: “Ah, oui. Si vous avez un jour un problème avec le Necessarius, dites que vous connaissez One. Au revoir.”

Quand, plus loin, elle ne sentit plus l’elfe derrière elle, One se demanda pourquoi est-ce qu’elle avait bien pu dire cela.

One: “Je suis donc toujours capable de spontanéité.” un léger sourire s’afficha sous sa capuche. “Quelle blague.”

One lanca son cheval au trot. Plus elle arriverait à couvrir de terrain avant la tombée de la nuit, mieux cela vaudrait.
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mer 26 Avr - 22:05

[RP d'Apollo, d'Axladi à Provatina.]

Everyone's favourite warden left Axladi in no rush, departing with a full belly and a mind brim with memories of new friends. Funny enough when you think about it, how everything can evolve into an adventure. Technically, he shouldn't have been to Axladi at all! The plan was for him to chase Von Tessen who was reportedly in a dire spot after having left the, ever dwindling, group of heroes in Nanonephar.

But that's when his teleportation presumably got hijacked and things went to shit. He found himself facing, well, whatever 101 was, and ultimately failed to find Tessen or get back in touch with the harbingers for that matter.

And then it was party time!

There were also some other minor incidents, Apollo succeeded an original enchantment  (which hey, it's quite the feat), a second civil war almost got sparked during some political blabla, and the warden also got to acquire a fair amount of information in matters of his interest.

But that party though, right?

Moving on to when he actually got to leave the town now!

Perhaps unsurprisingly enough, Apollo did not manage to get a hold of Kayné. The icristal rung for a while, but there was no answer whatsoever. That said, In the good news section, he did not get the "this device has likely been destroyed" automated message either. So yeah, silver lining!

[This is now the default outcome for all calls to Kayné.]

Now then Apollo's journey from Axladi to Northern Piateles  goes something like this. An event happens somewhere in the middle of it, but aside from that, both halves of the journey are peaceful (as far as I am concerned, you are free to do whatever you want).

Apollo is moving towards progressively more and more mountainous terrain. For a long while he travels in and out of forests which thankfully have clear enough roads crossing them, it is only when he nears the border between regions that the road becomes steeper and the temperature gradually falls to a cooler average.  On his travels he took occasionally main roadways as well as smaller pathways. On his way, he came across a fair number of both travellers and merchants, as well as representatives of the forces of order. That said, he did not run into any inquisitors, so far as he could tell at least.

Regarding the necrosphere during this travel:
- ghosts are once more a thing once the siblings have left the vicinity of Axladi.
- there is a fair amount of them spread around during the journey, most are victims of bandits or wild beasts.
- there is not a single victim of necromancers among them.
- some should be easy enough to (purify? elevate? that thing) get rid of, should the siblings so desire. That said time IS counting, so keep that in mind regarding what you want to do.

In the villages and outposts (though not many) Apollo visited, the necrosphere was somewhat kept decent. They were not as clean and soulless (lul) as Axladi but there was nothing in danger of causing significant harm either.
Now then! Regarding that there event!

It went down like this:

It was 13 o'clock.  

Apollo was on horseback and on the road, doing whatever the warden does to kill time in similar situations.

The horse was slowly walking along a slightly pent up road, a bit after the border between the two regions. The path was large enough but unused and unguarded. A dirt road zigzagging between the peaks of rocky mountains.  In the current segment where the traveller was, the road was covered on both sides by high, naturally formed stone walls. In other passages the road narrowed down and only had one wall, where it was strongly encouraged by common sense to hug it, seeing as how the other side of the road, at best a meter large, was a cliff leading to certain death should anyone fall there.

The weather up until that point had been nice enough, the sky was a bit cloudy and the air on the fresh side but nothing to be worried about. The route was thoroughly  empty though. Quite literally not a soul. To be expected somewhat, after all Apollo had chose a rather direct road to his destination, opting for speed over the comforts of a proper roadway. Seeing how this pathway could be difficult at times, it was not much of a surprise that not many people used it. Crossing it with a cart would have been impossible for instance. As a matter of fact, ever since the warden had taken that right turn to set on this dirt road, he hadn't crossed anyone. Which likely meant he had all the time in the world to get bored.  

All of that changed drastically however, a thick white fog rolled in with unnatural speed. As if he were currently crossing a cloud, Apollo in avertedly found himself in a world surrounded by white. After a bit, the horse started showing signs of uneasiness, it kept going none the less but it showed more and more that it was not about to pick up any speed in these conditions. The scenery had changed radically after all, this was a casual mountain trek no longer. The wind could still be heard blowing through the passage Apollo was engaged in but that was all the proof the world was still out there he could find. Visibility had been reduced to an alarming degree, it was not longer possible to see jack shit 8 meters away. Everything other than the wind had fallen silent, drowned in white.

Had they been in a more dangerous segment of the path, the siblings would have had no choice but to stop, for safety reasons and the like. Tumbling horse and all in a nearby ravine would have been no joke. Thankfully they could still see somewhat the path and it seemed to go on with the same width for now so they didn't have to stop just yet.

They didn't have to but they did.

Suddenly the horse's fear picked. It stopped in its tracks, tried to turn around, but the rider would have none of that! Ultimately it took a few panicked steps backward before throwing in Apollo for an impromptu rodeo sequence that ended with the Anansi being catapulted over the front of the horse and landing flat on the ground before it.

It was painful. Not only had his pride taken a hit (then again he wasn't much of a rider was he) but he could also feel the cold hard dirt he was now whole bodily embracing. Heck, he could even taste it! Bloody thing had even found its way inside his mouth, tasting nothing like the delicacies he had eaten a few days ago and a lot more like what one would expect dust, earth and stones to taste like.

As if to add insult to injury, a good part of the warden's supplies, including his personal bag, had landed right there along with him, offering a magnificent, loud, "CRACK" to break the silence that reigned supreme till then.    

[If Apollo still had any kind of potions, they just broke and spilled everything in the bag, other items (especially papers and the like) have sustained light damage from the spillage.]

Also the horse ran off.

[But will actually come back soon thanks to its good training! Anything cheaper or less disciplined would have left permanently.]

Apollo had barely any time to get his bearings after the shock with the ground before hearing something coming from a few meters ahead of where he'd landed. It was a voice! A man's voice!

The owner of which was not long to step out of the fog, only a few meters ahead of the still earth hugging  face of the warden.

Ambiance:
 

The man frankly did not look like much.

He was somewhere between his thirties and his forties, had long, black, filthy hair which stopped a bit before reaching the shoulders.  He was harbouring a lifeless look on his face, midway between despair and depression. Said face was covered in equal parts scars and wrinkles. Rather big bags could be noticed beneath his eyes which they as well lifeless and dry, told the story of a tired man who had not seen a decent night's sleep in a long while. Furthermore, as if to add to his ragged looks, his left eye was completely covered by a black patch, much like the ones Apollo imagined the pirates would be sporting.  

Not much could be seen of his body, he was fully clad in black leather travelling gear, gloves, boots, cape, the whole package. Most of his figure was concealed underneath an equally black gabardine but it was obvious the man was on the thin side. His shoulders were down, his back arched forward, his footsteps were slow and crawled along the floor. Even his voice was tired and unmotivated. It reminded a bit of the voice of an old man and would start getting less clear and audible towards the end of sentences.  

" Ho...! Boy am I glad to have found someone. "

He took a few steps forward to better examine the curious state of this fellow traveller.

" Is that you Jack? "

He asked with disbelief.

As soon as the stranger managed to get a good look on Apollo's face, he rectified himself apologetically.

" Ah, sorry, I apologize young man. It seems I've mistaken you for an acquaintance. "

He made a pause, followed by a deep breath. He almost seemed in pain, ever so tired.

" Say, young man, would you kindly give me directions to Axladi? I have been travelling for a while and getting lost at this point will not do. I have enough work as it is. "

The request was earnest, if not oddly phrased.


[ Apollo uses 30 dormns for his last meal in Axladi, new total 44377. ]

Terror unchanged at 21.






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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Jeu 27 Avr - 17:24

Apollo, Emilia and the horse were a few days into their journey, now. Nothing much had happened, between the occasional encounters with travelers which would turn into a discussion and maybe a shared meal, or other, more exoteric encounters with specters and lost souls, which would end when Apollo materialized his Lantern and allowed them passage to the world beyond.

Emilia: “So yeah. The use of the Major Arcana of Tarot is efficient, as the cards and their symbolism make them into great magic focuses, much like dwarven earth runes. It’s also more common than we imagine, though, as many cultures, old and new, have their own representations of the Major Arcana, often related to depictions of the Divine.”

Apollo: “I see. But why are you so interested in weaving the Major Arcana into your own spells, though? I get it, it’s quite potent, yes, but greater focus into one school or sphere of magic would wield better results, wouldn’t it?”

Emilia: “That’s a great point, but it’s just not my style. I don’t like restricting and engaging myself entirely into one school of magic from which i’ll only like a handful of spells and completely disregard the others. I’m into Disruption with a capital “D”, brother, and in order to be efficient at it, a true mage should peek into different styles of magic, in order prevent counterspelling. That’s where the Major Arcana comes into play: 22 cards, reversed or upright, that’s 44 potential spells to draw from.”

Apollo: “Not exactly. Upright Arcanas generally are good omens, not bad ones, hardly appropriate for disruption magic. And as you said earlier, the Major Arcanas are known around the world, meaning you are more likely to find someone who knows how to counterspell you.”

Emilia: “Your first point is valid. However, while the Arcanas are known, each region has its own representation of them. The Daenian “Chariot” card is represented by the old asgardian god of thunder, for example. As long as i do not repeatedly throw the same Arcanas, an enemy mage wouldn’t have the time to recognize the card and prepare an appropriate counterspell.”

Apollo: “Right… Good thinking, as long as…”

The already fairly perilous road Apollo and Emilia were travelling was suddenly covered in a thick mist which seemingly rolled in instantly. Without a second thought, Apollo cast his Spiritual Lantern spell, revealing dead and living souls through the mist, but there was nothing...yet.

As they continued, Apollo suddenly lost control of his horse and flew to the ground, his backpack quickly following. Apollo cursed as his horse galloped away, leaving him to realize the few mana and health vials he had bought were now broken and spilling his bag. Luckily, except for his writing and sketching set and his food, he didn’t have much in the first place. Throwing away the broken vial pieces, Apollo took a sip of water to clean his mouth.


Apollo: “Just my luck. Now what.”

" Ho...! Boy am I glad to have found someone. "

That man had, hopefully, seen better days. He didn’t seem like a bad guy though, and so Apollo didn’t immediately feel threatened by him, and played along.

Emilia: “This guy is creepy as fuck. He doesn’t seem bad...He could try not looking like an undead, though.”

Apollo: *Look who’s talking.* “Greetings. You are the first living soul i see today myself, few are the people travelling this particular road.” Apollo said.

" Is that you Jack? "

" Ah, sorry, I apologize young man. It seems I've mistaken you for an acquaintance. "


Emilia: “Do you think dehydration is hitting this guy and he’s seeing things? I mean, there aren’t many young men with long, dark hair and wearing long, black coats travelling this road, are there? Did this guy see the Reaper or something?”

Apollo: “Not a problem. The name’s Apollo, nice to meet you, mister…?” -Apollo said, in a tone suggesting for an answer.

" Say, young man, would you kindly give me directions to Axladi? I have been travelling for a while and getting lost at this point will not do. I have enough work as it is. "

Apollo: “You are in luck, sir, I come from Axladi myself. Just follow the path behind me, and turn right to join the trade road when you’re at the bottom of the hill. Should take a few hours by foot, at most.”

Emilia: “Apollo, say, wanna learn a bit more about this guy? I don’t think that one’s a normal traveller. Let’s try’n learn a bit more, shall we?”

A fair call from his sister.

Apollo: “Sir, mind if we talk a bit more? The road’s long and lonely, surely we could both spare for a few minutes, perk up our minds a bit.”




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Ven 28 Avr - 23:38

Ambiance:
 

Emilia: “This guy is creepy as fuck. He doesn’t seem bad...He could try not looking like an undead, though.” 

That was a hell of a rude thing to say to someone you just met! Then again people were not supposed to be able to hear Emilia, and sure enough, the traveler did not bat an eyelash at her comment. Instead he started a nice little chit chat with her brother.

Emilia: “Do you think dehydration is hitting this guy and he’s seeing things? I mean, there aren’t many young men with long, dark hair and wearing long, black coats travelling this road, are there? Did this guy see the Reaper or something?”

It was honestly a wonder Apollo could keep a straight face on, most of the time. Or get anything done. People had been driven to madness for less than a ghostly sister constantly reminding them how funny their lives are. Because while the siblings who have been together for so long might not realise it, but there's something inherently creepy about a ghost silently laughing and judging life through someone else's viewpoint. Almost like being at the cinema. Even then though Emilia would be the kind of spectator to shout and throw pop corn.

Which in a way was what she was doing right now.

Apollo: “Not a problem. The name’s Apollo, nice to meet you, mister…?

The answer did not come swiftly. There was a pause, perhaps thinking.
The stranger was looking at Apollo with ever lifeless eyes (or eye in his case), not looking at something specific but not looking away either.

There was something in his eye that conditioned people to expect him to drop dead at any moment.

Still, in the end he answered before his silence gets the chance to pass a rudeness.

" Glad to meet you Apollo. My name is Nikolay. "

Then he proceeded to ask for traveling directions, Apollo was all to happy to oblige. For a split second, he could swear he saw the bottom of the man's lip smirk. Was it likely though? His eyes must have been playing him tricks in the fog.

Nikolay: " Why, thank you very much mister Apollo! You just saved me a lot of time wandering around! I'm sure I wont have any trouble finding my way now. "

Emilia: “Apollo, say, wanna learn a bit more about this guy? I don’t think that one’s a normal traveller. Let’s try’n learn a bit more, shall we?” 

Well, that was out of the blue.

Then again, it is the spectator's role to scream at the screen when something shady goes on isn't it?

Apollo: “Sir, mind if we talk a bit more? The road’s long and lonely, surely we could both spare for a few minutes, perk up our minds a bit.”

It is fair to say, Apollo's request came as a surprise. A surprise eloquently shown by Nikolay raising an inquisitive eyebrown.  

Nikolay: " Sure. Now that I know the way I'm no longer in as much of a hurry as previously. Plus, I'm heading there for work, and it just so happens I hate working. "

His eyes finaly left the warden to stare blankly at the sky. Or rather where the sky should be, as it was utterly impossible to see in the current weather. This realization did not take long to settle in, and with it, returned the eye on Apollo. To be fair, in the all covering whiteness that surrounded them, there was litteraly not much else to look at.

Nikolay: " Well then. Might I ask where you are headed young man? "

[ Emilia, who'se face did not get re-acquainted with the ground, ends up catching a glimpse of something which upon further inspection seems to be a magic power concealment seal. ]




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Sam 29 Juil - 19:20

Emilia was right, there was definitely something wrong with this man. He didn't seem bad, morally speaking. He just seemed so...tired. Unnaturally tired. And Apollo didn't forget for a second that the fog settled just before he met this man, and his horse ran away a minute ago.

A remark by Emilia confirmed his/her sister's suspicions.


Emilia: "His belt. Right side. That's a magic seal. On himself?"

The man seemed friendly enough. And Apollo was curious. Quite frankly, Apollo couldn't picture him as a direct foe. It was a gut feeling. And an information broker's gut feeling was more reliable than a mithril blade. This man was no immediate threat.
The stars aligned for another kind of discussion. Not a cold war of words, of hidden interrogations and of information gathering. These silent battles were for enemies. This man was not an enemy.
The stars aligned for a proper, true discussion. Or at least, that's what Apollo wanted to go with.
His muscles relaxed just slightly. And his smile became just that much truer.


Apollo: "Okay, look... You're obviously a mage, or someone touched by the eldritch in some other way. I see that seal on your belt, friend.
I don't mean to pry or to corner you! I'm a mage myself. I just thought we could have a real discussion here. To be honest, I am quite curious as to who you are. But it would be impolite for me to ask about you without talking about me.
The name's Apollo. I'm a Soul Warden. I'm here looking for colleagues. That's why I'm headed towars Provatina. Please don't mention any of that though, I have more enemies than allies in these parts, as you can imagine.

So, may I ask who you are now?"


Emilia: "... HOLY SHIT!"

Emilia had stayed silent through what Apollo was saying. But Apollo's complete disregard for safety measures finally hit Emilia after her brother had stopped talking.

Emilia: "WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. PAZAAK. BROTHER?! FOR ALL WE KNOW, THIS GUY COULD BE WORKING FOR HELLPOEMER, YOU DUMBSHIT! DRESSED ALL IN BLACK, A FRINKING MAGIC SEAL ON HIMSELF?! HE'S PROBABLY USING THAT SEAL TO LOCK A DAEMON IN PLACE! HOW FUCKING OBLIVIOUS CAN YOU BE?! THIS IS WHY YOU NEED ME AROUND, THE SECOND I DROP MY GUARD, YOU GO AND DO STUPID SHIT LIKE THAT! THIS WILL GET YOU KILLED, I FUCKING SWEAR THIS WILL GET YOU KILLED EARLY! AND I WON'T FUCKING HELP YOU TURN INTO UNDEAD WHEN YOU DIE YOUNG YOU SHIT! YOU WOULDN'T LAST A WEEK!"

Apollo was frankly quite alarmed at the intensity and frequency at which Emilia employed swear words. She was still his little sister, after all.
But something struck both of them when Emilia finally stopped talking.

Nikolay hadn't interrupted Emilia. He had carefully waited for her to finish before saying a word. Exquisitely polite, compared to Emilia. But that meant he DID hear her.

Emilia: "Oshit."




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Ven 4 Aoû - 22:43

The date was what it was, the time of day was still 13’. Though the little gathering of people in the mountain pass had no real way of noticing this, the time was gonna be 13’ for quite a while. At best, it could become 13:13.

Apollo’s journey had once again taken a turn towards the paranormal. An altogether common event in a life full of ghosts and adventuring. That said, the world never ceased to amaze. Just a bit of fog, just a few questions answered wrong and you could have a recipe for disaster. Was this the warden’s current predicament though?

It was not all that unusual for an information broker like Apollo to dig for juicy intel on anything and everything at every given chance. Stopping random travellers who seemed intriguing was of course absolutely on the table. Special people have special things to share after all. But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t so wise to stop everyone one came across in such a manner.

The price that followed valuable intel was rarely a joke. Curiosity killed the cat. Secrets were often paid in blood. How much would it cost if one stumbled on some terrible secret by mistake? Death by curiosity of all things…

Such may have been the things going through Nikolay’s mind as he waited for Apollo’s reply. Much like before, he did not seem eager to pursue his journey, but neither did he seem to be into their idle chatter whole heartedly. He himself was probably wondering why the siblings have had the sudden urge to investigate him. He was even doing such a great job with his usual poker face, not revealing he could totally see and hear the dead Emilia. His only intent had been to ask the two for directions and then send them on their merry way.

And yet, fate, or perhaps even other, more sinister powers willed it otherwise, for this is what Apollo had to say to him:

Apollo: "Okay, look... You're obviously a mage, or someone touched by the eldritch in some other way. I see that seal on your belt, friend. 
I don't mean to pry or to corner you! I'm a mage myself. I just thought we could have a real discussion here. To be honest, I am quite curious as to who you are. But it would be impolite for me to ask about you without talking about me. 
The name's Apollo. I'm a Soul Warden. I'm here looking for colleagues. That's why I'm headed towars Provatina. Please don't mention any of that though, I have more enemies than allies in these parts, as you can imagine. 


So, may I ask who you are now?"

And where could one start with this?

Was it reckless? Damn right!
Out of character? Absolutely!
Foolish? Definitely.

What devil had taken hold of the till then secretive Apollo, a Crow, a Warden, a mage in Psarosoupa of all places, to make him spill his guts like so to a stranger, remains to be seen. But what was said, could never be taken back.

Nikolay was listening to the warden’s coming out, with his usual stone cold and half indifferent expression. In truth however, his brain had just fried. Initially, he even thought he had misheard, but as Apollo kept going, it became painfully clear to him that this wasn’t the case. From that point on he was mostly trying to put order back into his thoughts without breaking his poker face, which he managed, despite ultimately being unable to answer the most prevalent question: WHY?  

But before anything more could be said between the two men, Emilia, who was way faster on the uptake due to her usual support role (and her acquired resistance to her brother’s bullshit) went in a well-deserved outburst over her brother’s revelations. Nikolay, still half lost in thought, could only shut up and listen to her, albeit still taking care not to look directly at her. Everything was just too sudden and too what the fuck for the poor Nikolay. A single drop of cold sweat of awkwardness had ended up finding its way on his fore-head, despite his best efforts.

Emilia: "WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. PAZAAK. BROTHER?! FOR ALL WE KNOW, THIS GUY COULD BE WORKING FOR HELLPOEMER, YOU DUMBSHIT! DRESSED ALL IN BLACK, A FRINKING MAGIC SEAL ON HIMSELF?! HE'S PROBABLY USING THAT SEAL TO LOCK A DAEMON IN PLACE! HOW FUCKING OBLIVIOUS CAN YOU BE?! THIS IS WHY YOU NEED ME AROUND, THE SECOND I DROP MY GUARD, YOU GO AND DO STUPID SHIT LIKE THAT! THIS WILL GET YOU KILLED, I FUCKING SWEAR THIS WILL GET YOU KILLED EARLY! AND I WON'T FUCKING HELP YOU TURN INTO UNDEAD WHEN YOU DIE YOUNG YOU SHIT! YOU WOULDN'T LAST A WEEK!"

Ambiance:
 

Well, at least one of them had a brain. That gave Nikolay some peace of mind, it was a return to more normal things. Sadly, taken into the sister’s rant, he had also let the cat out of the bag by not interrupting her where in appearance there should only have been a long silence. Fuck.

And with that, the trio had a real, awkward, silence now on their hands.
Between a sigh and a deep breath, Nikolay became the first to resume talking. Thoughts seemingly back in place, he had perked up a bit, losing the very slight nervousness present during Apollo’s presentation of himself. The man, if still blazé and tired, had now also found it in him to be confident, giving his voice a livier tone, adding to it expressions of relief and possibly of false honesty.
   
Nikolay: “Well… Where to start with this?”

He contemplated the question for a couple seconds.

Nikolay: “Your sister is right you know. You should probably keep these kinds of things to yourself. But hells, I take it that’s no longer how young people do these things anymore huh.“

With slow and unalarming motions, he pulled from one of his pockets a pack of cigarettes. A black cat could be seen on the picture on its cover, right below some letters in italics which probably read Black Cat themselves. Nikolay took his times to light a cigarette, before tucking the pack back into his coats pocket. He then drew on the thing, releasing afterwards an all too common grey smoke, which funnily enough was not entirely unlike the white fog that still surrounded the trio.

Nikolay: “Name’s Nikolay Henji, I’m an Apostle in Helpoemer, a member of the Calamity Trio and one of the lesser Fates. I am not sealing a demon, you can rest assured about that. This seal is here to assure anonymity and stealth while I travel to my next destination, which is Axladi like aforementioned. “

He spat another small puff of smoke.

Nikolay: “So young man, you’re a Warden huh? How very unusual to meet one of you like this! But I guess we did expect a few of you guys to pop around soon. Are you strong? I do not think I have ever heard of you. Would you say I could get in trouble if I let you go now? Thing is I am technically not working right now. Not yet at least. I also hate work, so please don’t make me work young man. I would be thankful for it.”

Gauging quickly his interlocutor’s reactions, he pressed on, adding quickly an unusual offer, before giving the chance to Apollo to speak his mind. Terrible things happened when Apollo spoke his mind after all.

 Nikolay: “So here’s an idea. How about instead of lunging at each other’s throats like savages, we simply engaged in an honest act of commerce? Here, take a look!”

He reached inside his coat, grabbing a small object which he casually threw at Apollo at a speed the Warden would have no problem catching. The object was a small pin, no taller than three centimetres. It featured a flattened, golden skull with no particular detail.

Nikolay: “It’s a good luck charm. Handmade! Make them myself. How about it? I’ll make you a good price! “    
 
[As discussed, “lesser Fates”, “Apostle” and Nikolay’s name, do not mean shit to Apollo at this point. Oh and btw, if anywhere, the magic seal is on the eyepatch, will just pretend you got it right.]




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mar 8 Aoû - 10:19

Spoiler:
 

Psarosoupa. Land of the damned. Plagued by undead, bandits, beast, and other... unnameable horrors.
What had the Anansi done to deserve such a fate, so cruel that it brings them back to this forsaken land?
What sin had Apollo commited in the Infinity of the Pathway for it to bring him back here, always?

But here they were. Dragged by the damnable designs of gods, demons and older things still...


Nikolay: “Well… Where to start with this?”

Apollo and Emilia were silent. On guard. He had seen. He had listened. He could see. He knew.
Apollo had chosen the Damocles of Truth. And now the fabled sword was on the brink of falling.


Nikolay: “Your sister is right you know. You should probably keep these kinds of things to yourself. But hells, I take it that’s no longer how young people do these things anymore huh.“

Fear gripped the hearts of the Anansi. Not A paralyzing fear of death, wielded by the agents of evil as their sharpest blade.
This was a sane, logical fear. It was the fear that pushes the deer to run faster than the hounds. The fear of the rabbit as it realizes the shadow on the grass belongs to an eagle. The fear the fishermen in a tempest.

The fear which brings out the best in one's self. The fear which makes one perform above their limits.
The will to live.


Nikolay: "Name’s Nikolay Henji, I’m an Apostle in Helpoemer, a member of the Calamity Trio and one of the lesser Fates."

Emilia:
 

Spoiler:
 

Emilia: "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

An endless howl of lamentation came of Emilia's throat, as her lifeless eyes pointed towards the foggy, unseen sky. She seemed to be begging for divine relief.

Apollo's face turned white. He done goofed, this time, and he couldn't blame it on Emilia or Kayné.


Nikolay: "I am not sealing a demon, you can rest assured about that..."

Emilia: "...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..."

Apollo: *OFUKOFUKOFUKOFUKOFUK*

The ambient temperature seemed to drop by one or two degrees. Probably because of Apollo's ice cold sweat.

Emilia: "...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..."

Apollo: *OFUKOFUKOFUKOFUKOFUK*

Nikolay: "...This seal is here to assure anonymity and stealth while I travel to my next destination..."

Apollo:
 

Had he gotten a grip earlier in the conversation, Apollo would've seized the moment to ask him was Lesser Fates were, what the Calamity Trio was, and generally speaking, what was Hellpoemer. But for now, he was just glad his information broker hunch was somewhat right... This guy did not want to immediately bash his head in with a mountain.

Nikolay: "which is Axladi like aforementioned."

Apollo: "I see..." started Apollo, still a bit shaken by the surprise. "Well, for what it's worth, it's a pleasure, sir." Using Nikolay's own tabacco-puffing pauses, he calmed his breath to an acceptable level.

Nikolay: “So young man, you’re a Warden huh? How very unusual to meet one of you like this! But I guess we did expect a few of you guys to pop around soon. Are you strong? I do not think I have ever heard of you. Would you say I could get in trouble if I let you go now? Thing is I am technically not working right now. Not yet at least. I also hate work, so please don’t make me work young man. I would be thankful for it.”

Apollo: "As much as I hate to say it... No, I'm not strong. I'll be honest. I am officially a Warden, probably their most recent addition, but I still barely know anything about them. I was told to watch out for their Nemesis, Hellpoemer, though, as you might have figured out from what my dear sister said... Actually, would you mind telling me a bit about you and your organization? I'll probably have a better description from you than from my side..."

Emilia: "...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..."

Apollo: "So yes, let's keep this encounter hidden from our superiors. Frankly, I would rather be in a big city, taking the time to cook myself a proper, hot meal than working around here. I'm curious though. You're going to Axladi on business, is that it?"

Nikolay: "So here’s an idea. How about instead of lunging at each other’s throats like savages, we simply engaged in an honest act of commerce? Here, take a look!"

Nikolay: "It’s a good luck charm. Handmade! Make them myself. How about it? I’ll make you a good price!"

Apollo turned towards Emilia.

Emilia: "...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..."

...But she was in no state to give her usual advice.

Apollo thought for a minute. If he wanted to kill him, this man from Hellpoemer would've done so by now. Apollo still got the feeling he didn't want him no harm. Nikolay could've enchanted this baubble as a surveillance device, though. Keeping an eye on an enemy intern could yield good results, after all. Apollo didn't want to anger Nikolay...but he was going to examine the baubble and dissect it for enchantments later on.


Apollo: "Sure, I'll take one! Are these magic? How much?"




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Jeu 10 Aoû - 19:54

Ambiance:
 
Truth be said, Apollo was on some kind of a streak. In no more than a few days, he had met two people most persons probably would have been lucky enough not to meet at all in their lifetimes. Three if one counted Losstarot. At least this time, unlike the deceased mage and whatever Arsi was, Nikolay was not openly hostile to him. Yet.

It was funny a thing to consider too, technically they were enemies. Members of opposing factions with no love for each other. And yet, right now, with none of their bosses watching, these two were more than eager to switch out the usual fighting to the death in favour of a casual talk instead. If only Haerii could solve all of its problems that way.

In the end, Nikolay’s identity was not much of a revelation. It boiled down to him being Helpoemer, as feared by Emilia whose brain was now fried. Would be hard to blame her too. At any rate, the siblings did the smart thing and chose not to immediately engage this new foe. Nikolay too, was rather chill about the whole thing, casually talking as if he had met a random stranger during his travels. This was bound to be an enlightening, if not entertaining smoke break.

Apollo: "As much as I hate to say it... No, I'm not strong. I'll be honest. I am officially a Warden, probably their most recent addition, but I still barely know anything about them. I was told to watch out for their Nemesis, Hellpoemer, though, as you might have figured out from what my dear sister said... Actually, would you mind telling me a bit about you and your organization? I'll probably have a better description from you than from my side..." 

Yes, this one lad was definitely one surprise after another. Refreshing. Apollo’s honesty and overall attitude did make Nikolay laugh on the inside. Not an entirely wholesome laughter. The man answered eagerly though, displaying more vigour and friendliness than previously. Apparently, he found Apollo agreeable.

Nikolay: “My, how very polite you are young man. And humble to boot too. If only more people were like you, things would be running much better in this here world. Yes, knowledge of one’s own abilities is paramount. In this case you may indeed rejoice of your weakness however. Had you been strong, we probably would have had no other choice but to fight, and what a drag that would have been. See, your people have been a thorn in Helpoemer’s side for centuries to say the least. Usually, when you do show up, it is to utterly destroy one plan or another. People on our side are expected to kill you on sight. Luckily, I am high ranking enough not to have to deal with any and all of you. You probably wouldn’t catch me dealing with your Forsaken for instance. "

Said he while dragging his eyes towards the still screaming Emilia. Who probably had started to get somewhat on his nerves as this point as he hurried to add in a still, calm and polite manner:

Nikolay: “Miss, would you kindly quiet down a little? These mountains don’t have any snow on them just yet, but a rockslide is not entirely out of the question. And that is something none of us wants to deal with I believe.”

He released another breath’s worth of smoke before carrying on answering the Warden’s questions.

Ambiance:
 

Nikolay: “I have to admit, I am rather surprised at how uninformed people seem to be these days. The young man I initially mistook you for, also had asked me for information on Helpoemer. Even though he was on our side. Seriously, people need to start reading what their signing. That or I need to have a talk with our recruiters. Though now that I think about it, it is true that we keep most people in the dark about nearly everything. But I digress. Sure, I’ll tell you something about us you’ll never hear from your bunch.

We are the loyalists. The ones who carry out the will of the true god of death. But that likely does not tell you much. In your eyes we are unmistakably evil, that is not something I care to go against at this point. After all, in our members we do have an alarming number of criminals and deranged people. Comes with the craft I guess. Suffices to say we act in accordance with the will of Vekel. That alone carries us in many places. In the end, there are quite a few things that could be said. You could call us a cult, murderers, zealots, madmen, evil. And yet, to your question, at this point in time, I can offer no better answer than the following: what are the Wardens?”

His tone was nor threatening nor ironic. Instead, he spoke almost with a trace of pity in his voice. His words had a cold rationality, it did not help that the latest member of the wardens knew so little of his organization. Obviously, Nikolay knew much about both of the factions. Obviously, he had no intent to share much more with poor Apollo. It was not his job after all.

Ambiance:
 

Nikolay: “As for my work in Axladi, it’s nothing more and nothing less than what I’ve just told you. Probably not something an upstanding man such as yourself would condone so let’s leave it at that. I’ll do what I have to do in Axladi, you’ll do what you have to do at Provatina. If we are lucky, we will never meet again. Soon enough we’ll be throwing a party, from our side, I would advise staying clear, if at all possible… Though I don’t see it happening.”

On the subject of their little exchange, this is what he had to say.

Nikolay: “It’s 44000 apiece. Though as promised, you can have it for… 43800. No, let’s make it 43750. What do you say? I accept both Dormns and imperial coin. With a preference for the latter, I will be in Psarosoupa for a while after all. I should probably point out at this point that you are in no way obliged to buy one. I will not attack you nor rat you out to Helpoemer if you don’t. Ah, and no. These things are not magical at all I’m afraid. They are dumb good old fashioned good luck charms. But if I’m allowed to say this, for their lack of magical properties, they are that much closer to the true essence of a good luck charm.”

True enough, the small pin had no magic whatsoever that the siblings could detect.




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Dim 20 Aoû - 10:04

Nikolay was a very interesting character. And despite risks, Apollo's huge bet on truth had, in fact, paid off.
Apollo learned a lot. Large amounts of raw data he could not piece together by himself had been obtained.
And as insignificant as he was, Apollo had used his one relevant talent here.
He had gained critical information, without giving away anything of value. After all, few could match a broker's ability to learn things. Or maybe he did give away critical information... Or maybe the information he got was not so critical after all. No matter, he would relay the danger to Axladi posed by Hellpoemer. Nikolay's warning was grim, and something bad was going to happen in the city. Surely there was something to do about this.

Apollo was slightly shaken by Nikolay's revelation concerning Vekel. Apollo had not really thought about his loyalties towards the gods. Apollo had some suspicions on Vekel's stance on necromancy, seeing how prosper the dark arts were in this era, and how tiny and powerless the Wardens seemed to be compared to necromancers and other dark mages. After all, barely a few novice adventurers showed up to defend the largest capital in Daena less then two weeks ago. Where were the heroes? Where were the defenders of justice and life?
Doubt, always doubt. "Question all things, for even the unquestionnable deserves the honor of founded conviction." Someone had told him this, and the quote seemed more sound than ever. If he was going to take sides in the battle between Hellpoemer and the Wardens, he needed to know what he was fighting for, really. He remembered his discussions with Terkio. Princess Ophelia's plea. Where was righteousness? Damn it all. As always, there was no black and white, only grey in this century-old conflict... Or so it seemed. Apollo wondered if he would ever get out of the rabbit hole.

In the end, the discussion shifted towards the purchase of the charm.


Nikolay: “It’s 44000 apiece. Though as promised, you can have it for… 43800. No, let’s make it 43750. What do you say? I accept both Dormns and imperial coin. With a preference for the latter, I will be in Psarosoupa for a while after all. I should probably point out at this point that you are in no way obliged to buy one. I will not attack you nor rat you out to Helpoemer if you don’t. Ah, and no. These things are not magical at all I’m afraid. They are dumb good old fashioned good luck charms. But if I’m allowed to say this, for their lack of magical properties, they are that much closer to the true essence of a good luck charm.”

Apollo: "Fourty-thousand dormns?!" The price was absolutely ludicrous. "With all due respect, I may be new in Psarosoupa, I am not an Izashian merchant-prince on a tourist trip! Fourty-thousand is enough money to live comfortably for more than a year, especially here!"

There was no way Apollo could afford such a huge price. He barely had 60 000 dormns, and he was considered rich. To spend so much money on an unenchanted baubble would be ridiculous.




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mer 23 Aoû - 14:03

Ambiance:
 
Nikolay was taken aback by Apollo's protest.

Maybe he had been deep in thought, maybe he didn't actualy care about the price.
Maybe it was something he had mouthed off randomly.

At any rate, the protest in and of itself did not seem to surprise him at all as he promptly resumed unphased.

Nikolay: " Yeah, I suppose this could be a lot of money. Not that I would know mind you. Still, not much I can do about about it I'm afraid. I already cut some of the price off for you, as afore mentioned. 

If I'm allowed the sales speech however, and what I'm about to say is especialy true if you are headed to some dangerous place, you are probably better off trading whatever gold you have for a chance at good fortune. Money is no good to you when you're dead after all and it probably wont save you from dying either.

Well that's just my two grains of salt of course. Maybe these kinds of things appeal more to the gambling hearts than the common folk.

Well, if in the end you do not want to buy one, that is entirely fine. That's commerce for you. It just means that I'll have to come up with a better offer in the future. "

The man's reaction was all things considered, pretty bland. While in appearences he did seem slightly disappointed not to have succeded in his sale, he wasn't pushing for it enthusiasticly either.


[Oh, and you dont have barely 60 000 dormns. You have exactly 44377. Razz ]




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mer 30 Aoû - 21:04

Absurd. It would be absurd to take the charm. Apollo had sold unenchanted baubbles too, back when he was in the streets, but even he never thought of selling one for more than a hundred Dormns, even to the worst kind of tourist.

There weren't any tourists in Meridia anyways.

But nonetheless, something was telling Apollo to buy it. The voice of Fedorah telling him to be bold and reckless, perhaps? Or maybe Orgwath's, telling him to abandon reason for the act itself.

In any case, he pulled out his bags and started counting his platinum and gold coins, moderately satisfied of the transaction. Apollo made sure to keep the rest of his money in imperial coins.




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Jeu 7 Sep - 16:25

Ambiance:
 


An unmistakably right choice. The correct answer.

Had he been told that, would Apollo grieve his money any less? The cost of this deal had been high to say the least. 

Nikolay had not told him a single lie. Though mind games were not to be excluded.

Was this what this whole thing was? Was Appolo the victim of some elaborate scam?

In the end, what did convince him to buy such a thing? 

It certainly was not any force of logic. 

Was it instinct? Did he feel obliged to the man after asking him for information on his organization? Was it his information broker's gut feeling once more? Or perhaps was it dumb, sheer luck?

It mattered little, it mattered not.

Apollo's change of mind put a radiant smile on Nikolay's face. A look most unnerving on him. 

He gratefully accepted the warden's money and gave him the now all too precious golden pin.

Roughly looks like this:
 
 
Nikolay: " Thank you for your business! "

He had put more emotion into this single line, than he had for the rest of their entire conversation.

Perhaps he did care about making the sale after all!

Maybe, just maybe, Apollo had just made someone's day.

Shame that someone belonged to their mortal enemies but hey, baby steps. 

The transaction finished and Nikolay now in an obviously slightly better mood, he found it in himself to throw in a little something extra.

Nikolay: " Since you're such a fine young man and I've come to like you, let me tell you something more as a special bonus. This slightly relates to our previous talk about our factions. You might find it enlightening to look behind you with a mirror when you have the chance. Water and other substances which show your reflection wont do however, it has to be a mirror. Your whole body must be reflected in it too. "

A small, parting gift. 

A kindness? 

Nikolay: " Well then, it has been nice meeting you young Apollo but I fear it is about time for me to get going again. Always more work to be done. "

He started moving with all the grace and convinction of a turtle, slowly walking past Apollo, only to stop again a few meters away from him, half hidden in the fog. 

Nikolay: " If we are both lucky, we will never meet again. Goodbye young Apollo! "

And he was gone. Lost in the all consuming white.

Oddly enough, or perhaps entirely as expected, the heavy fog, took but a couple minutes to clear after Nikolay's departure. Though of course, when it lifted, there were no longer any signs of the man, or for that matter of the phenomenon itself. No traces of either further down the road Apollo had travelled.

Apollo's horse came back though!

[Apollo is free to do whatever he wants, including resume traveling to his destination. If you want to do a post describing his travels or an event during them, now's the time. If there's nothing to be said, just let me know and I'll spawn the next place of interest for your quest.]

Apollo has spent an astounding 43750 on a trinket, which leaves his new total at 627 Dormns (in imperial coin).

[Horror evaluation is pending...]




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Ven 8 Sep - 18:09

Slightly bothered by the transaction he just made, Apollo didn't say much after handing the money to Nikolay. He took note, intrigued, of Nikolay's advice to look at himself in the mirror next time he could.

Nikolay: " If we are both lucky, we will never meet again. Goodbye young Apollo! "

Apollo: "I concur. Goodbye, Nikolay."

Picking up the rest of his stuff on the ground, Apollo continued on his way. Soon enough, he pulled himself out of the thick fog.


Apollo: "As expected. The fog was following him."

Emilia had recovered from her mind snap, and walked besides her brother. She had remained silent for the rest of the encounter, discreet as safety dictated.

Emilia: "Send Tenjin to fly over him, or rather the fog following him, at least until he is far enough."

And so Apollo's familiar was sent to survey the man's trajectory. But the owl came back soon enough, stating the fog had dissipated, and that Nikolay was nowhere to be found.

Apollo: "I see. Tenjin, please scout ahead of us. Tell us if we should expect anything."

Tenjin: "As requested."

Apollo looked over the pin he bought from Nikolay. It was indeed completely devoid of magic. No device on it, nothing. He attached the pin on the inner layer of his coat.

Emilia: "Wish you didn't buy it?"

After that encounter, Emilia was careful with her usual sassy comebacks.

Apollo: "Actually, it still feels like I didn't have much of a choice. Don't know how to explain it."

Emilia: "Right."

Apollo's horse eventually came back.


Emilia: "These Eden mounts really are well trained! I mean, except for the part where they panic and leave you on your ass fighting a necromancer."

Apollo: "Still better than losing the mount for good." -he said, as he saddled the horse.

As they went on their merry way, Apollo pulled out his iCristal. This small ordeal might help him do some good. If something could be done about Hellpoemer's plan, whatever they went through in this encounter will have been worth it.


And so he called his Crow contact in Psarosoupa.

Apollo: "Greetings, Mr. Barks." Calling someone by name on an iCristal was not acceptable between members of a broker network. It was especially useful when one did not remember the name of another broker. "I have information to share with you, this is very important. We can discuss the fee i owe you or you owe me after we're done, if you wish."

"I just met a member of Hellpoemer. Presented himself as "Nikolay Henji", an Apostle, a Lesser Fate and a member of...Havoc? Destruction? Calamity? Yes, it was Calamity... I do not know what all of this means, and I could use an explanation as to who he is. But that's not the alarming part. He was headed for Axladi, said something big was going to happen there. He told me to stay clear of the city for the coming days, and that they were going to "throw a party" there. Some sort of gathering, probably of Hellpoemer members.

That's not much to go on, I agree, but I don't like what hints I've gathered one bit. Something big is about to happen in Axladi, broker's flair... But what do you make of this?"


Apollo hoped they could piece something together. Emilia was carefully listening to the conversation, perched on the horse behind Apollo. Tenjin was still ahead of them, scouting for threats and opportunities on the road ahead.




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Sam 9 Sep - 1:36

A much welcome return to normalcy occured after the strange man's departure.

For all the good mood Nikolay gained by the end of their discussion, Apollo was now that much grumpier. Even though there was no such thing taking place, the bitter taste left from their transaction made it seem as if the young warden had lost some sort of duel.

In the end, suffices to say no heart warming farewells were spoken.

Shortly after picking up his things and resuming his travels, Apollo had the excellent idea of sharing his magical adventure unusual encounter with his Crow contact, who was likely not too far off Axladi, assuming he had left it at all.

[Fun fact: if Apollo had bitched about the encounter instead of rationaly presenting it as info, it wouldn't have counted as sharing "an unusual encounter" but as sharing his "missfortune"/"misery" instead. That would have resulted in Nikolay promptly popping up in front of the dude, which would totaly suck for the Crow. ]

However, something unexpected and of note happened right off the bat, as soon as the Crow picked up and Apollo begun talking. 

Apollo: "Greetings, Mr. ...."

A gust of wind, an unintelligible sound.

Apollo definetly said something, and he knew what he had said. Or rather, he knew what he had intended to say. Instead there had been a noise as if someone had blown in a telephone, or in this case an icristal.

Suddenly, the young warden had a much better idea of why he hadn't managed to grasp the Crow's name during their previous chats. 

Still, the man himself was unphased and the flow of conversation carried on.

Apollo: "I have information to share with you, this is very important. We can discuss the fee i owe you or you owe me after we're done, if you wish."

...: " Damn, I did not expect to hear from you so soon! I am all ears. You were looking for necromancers, going by how worried you sound I'd say you found them! So, what did you uncover? "

His voice was deep and soothing, much like it was when they had met in person. Funily enough, just like then, the background noises of a café could be heard from the other side of the line. 

Still, there was a certainty to be had, that he was listening carefully, despite his little sass, even if he was indeed enjoying another cup of iced tea at some establishment like the one they had met in. Perhaps it was even the same place!

Apollo:"I just met a member of Hellpoemer. Presented himself as "Nikolay Henji", an Apostle, a Lesser Fate and a member of...Havoc? Destruction? Calamity? Yes, it was Calamity... I do not know what all of this means, and I could use an explanation as to who he is. But that's not the alarming part. He was headed for Axladi..."  

The mention of Nikolay's destination caused an immediate reaction. By the sound of it, the Crow had just spat a good mouthful of tea, some of it possibly landing on his device, the rest likely on his table. He spent the rest of Apollo's phrase, coughing frantically, landing a swear here and there where his breaths would allow it.

...: " Shit! " Cough, cough. " God damnit! " Cough cough. " Gimme a second! "

Apollo: "...said something big was going to happen there. He told me to stay clear of the city for the coming days, and that they were going to "throw a party" there. Some sort of gathering, probably of Hellpoemer members."

Silence ensued, probably partly because ... must have been busy cleaning up after the mess he had just made.

Apollo: "That's not much to go on, I agree, but I don't like what hints I've gathered one bit. Something big is about to happen in Axladi, broker's flair... But what do you make of this?"

The broker did not answer immediatly, he was probably taking a moment to process everything Apollo had just said. 

...: " Wait, I'm sorry but before we get to this, I have to ask you a really important question. This is crucial so please try to remember! Did this man ask you for any kind of directions and if so, did you give them to him? "

Apollo gave an affirmative answer.

Another long winded silence followed the warden's reply.

The Anansis could almost feel the tension rising, as every second added to the blank, foreshadowed the revelation of terrible truths. 

Ultimately, the information broker resumed talking, with the seriousness, convinction and despair of someone about to face Death himself. 

...: " I need to hide my money. "

It was, all things considered, quite a sensible reaction, albeit not the one the siblings were probably expecting. 

Having gone past his initial shock and his thoughts once again in order, he carried on in his regular tone.

...: " I'm sorry! This just came as a surprise. A bad one. You did very well in calling me though! This is very important indeed. "

He took an additional moment to consider. Whatever it was that Apollo had dropped on him, it seemed to require planning or at least careful handling.

...: " There is much to be said about this and I do not know from where it would be best to start, so I'll just try to take things one by one.

First of all, regarding rewards. This situation has a very real sense of urgency, we will have to call it quits with an exchange of information. Bear in mind though that information about this person is extremely valuable so I may not be able to answer all of your questions. That and time is of the essence. After all, that person is probably already here. Hard as it may be to believe.

Now then. That guy must have tried to sell you something. Did you buy it? This is also really important so please answer truthfully! "

The Crow was obviously alarmed by all this, yet he still brought forth calm and professionalism. When Apollo informed him that he had indeed bought the pin sold by Nikolay, the man breathed a sigh of relief.

...: " Good. Not buying it would have had terrible consequences. Consequences which could have very well spiraled out of control, resulting in your death. This has been avoided for the most part. Listen carefully now. How long has it been since you bought that trinket? It is of the OUTMOST importance that you keep that thing for at least 24 hours! This is IMPERATIVE! If you cast it aside, gift it, lose it or missplace it in any way before that time is over, it will count as if you hadn't bought it at all! 

Also, pay close attention, this is still important for your survival, you will have the absolute worst luck for a day after meeting that person. This is irrelevent to wether you bought the trinket and wether you still have it on you or not! My advice? Find the safest place within your immediate vicinity and hunker down for 24 hours. The effect probably wont be strong enough to kill you since you made the right choice and all but I seriously do not recommend traveling while under the effects of that "curse". 

Some further instructions pertaining to survival and on how to deal witht hat man. Avoid saying his name, especialy the full name as much as possible. Never, ever, EVER, give him your full name. I hope you didn't. Do not EVER look for him. When he asks for directions, do not answer! You can either lie about directions, say you dont know, whatever will dot he trick. Always, ALWAYS buy his trinket. Hopefully you will never run into him again, but if you ever do, BUY the trinket, again and again, as many times as it takes. If you ever know that you are about to run into him, store most of your money somewhere safe. If there is no safe place on hand, you can always drop most of your cash on the ground and relinquish ownership. If you do that however, he tends to pick it up claiming he "found it lying on the street" and there's not much you can do about it then. 

Finaly, his left eye is terrible news. It can curse you with what is probably one of the most powerful curses in Haerii. "

He stopped, allowing time for Apollo to take it all in. 

...: " I really hope I covered all the important stuff, there is so much! To be honest I am not sure I remembered everything just now, but at the very least we covered the basics! Bottom line to take away from all this is the man is bad news, never meet him again if you can help it.

As for who he is... Well you pretty much know his identity down to a T with all those titles. I'm surprised you actualy got him to say stuff like that for you to hear and walk away with just like that.

I cannot discuss the Fates and Calamity Trio under our current agreement.

As for him being an apostle in Helpoemer, it is true.

Apostle is basicaly a rank in that guild. It roughly translates to grand general in a common army. It is the rank of people right beneath the organization's leader. They are for all accounts and purposes, the guild's top dogs. There are very few apostles and all of them are beings of immense power. We are talking S class stuff. And that is only the leaders themselves, there are other ranks beneath them and each of the apostles has pretty much an army of his own to work with.

Now that I've said all of this, and maybe even from your own experience with him, you must have probably guessed by now that the guy is not human. " 

The man went temporarily quiet. 

An image of him drawing on one of his peculiar cinamon cigarettes sprung in Apollo's mind.




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Jeu 14 Sep - 19:33

Apollo now had a better idea of why he hadn't picked up on the Crow's name. He was concealing it, probably through some sort of magic. The man's discretion was quite exemplary, in particular for a Crow. Apollo was impressed by the magic tricks the man was able to pull off to safeguard his anonymity.

As Apollo explained what had happened, the Crow's soothing voice lost its calm. In fact, to Apollo it seemed like he had lost his shit when the name of Nikolay was mentioned.
Even Emilia, who was listening closely, let a whistling noise and gave Apollo one of these "dayum." looks.

And then, the Crow spent a good couple minutes explaining all the things NOT to do in the company of the creature named Nikolay Henji. No calling his name, hiding his gold, buying his trinket... The list went on.

In fact, Apollo had been terribly, terribly lucky. Or rather, the encounter couldn't have went gone better, considering how unlucky he was to have met the creature named Nikolay.

Apollo felt elevated. With this last encounter, he felt like he had landed his feet in the lands of both insanity and epiphany. He felt like he had won a poker game against the world.
He was both terrified that a S-ranked monster now knew his name and knew him as a foe, and exalted that he had managed to squeeze precious information from his arch enemy and come out of it alive, despite the enemy having the power to level entire cities. He was terrified of his enemy, but considering the difference in power and the outcome, he had definitely outplayed the odds.

Apollo starting shaking, his eyes wide open. He was excited. For a moment, he was lost in thought.

As the Crow said, Nikolay was not human. Then what could he be? He employed extremely powerful curses. Actions and countermeasures to the Creature called Nikolay were extremely specific and lacked any logic. Always buy the talisman. Be cursed for one day exactly, or one week exactly. Don't call out his name... All of these instructions had terrible consequences that defied hard sciences or magical disciplines, profane magicks of the mages and divine magic of the priests alike.
The Creature called Nikolay was already in Axladi because Apollo had indicated the way... Had he given another direction, it wouldn't have worked.
Yes, thought Apollo. All these clues point to one form of energy. Nikolay was an entity bound and feeding on Faith, like the gods. A powerful djinni or a demigod, perhaps? Or another creature feeding on its own legend?


Emilia: "Back to it, brother." his sister said, gently snapping her fingers in front of Apollo, pulling him out of his torpor.

Apollo: "Yes..." He started, as his concentration went back to his iCristal discussion with the Crow. "Thank you for this information... Now, what do you think should be done about this? Is the any way to spread this intelligence outside our current scope? Ideally, contacting a White Guild and informing them that Hellpoemer is on the move is Axladi would be a good thing. Maybe the Riskbreakers? The Nab' Rogues don't really operate in Daena... "leaking" this information to local authorities could impede Hellpoemer's plans, too. I'm sure the Imperial Army or the Inquisition would do something in Axladi. A city on high alert is bound to make things difficult for Hellpoemer... Anything else you can think of?

I'm trying to piece together what we have, but we don't have enough information on what exactly is going to happen there. There is a chance I'll have a better idea of the situation if I come across necromancers in Provatina, but that could take days, and for all we know something could happen in Axladi tonight. Actually... Are we even sure all necromancers work for Hellpoemer in Psarosoupa? If that's not the case, I could be going in the wrong direction already."


As always, too many unknowns. And Apollo had a bad habbit of gathering more information than he needed.




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Jeu 21 Sep - 21:51

On a rocky mountain path, 28th of October, 4846, 17:56.

Progress.

Maybe not the most significant kind, but at least young Apollo wouldn't die for nothing as if he had randomly caught a particularly nasty strand of flue. 

As his crow contact kept going on and on with the list of "dos" and "donts" regarding interacting with Nikolay, it became painfuly obvious that our little warden had dodged a bullet.

Despite that however, it was not a breath of relief that had taken a hold of him! Rather, excitment. How odd. Yet odd as it may seem, it also makes some amount of sense, in a way excitment is always present when one's life is in danger. Furthermore he had seemingly one upped his opponent, scrapping himself some sort of victory over someone he couldn't have possibly defeated.

As Nikolay's true nature slowly began unfolding in his mind, the weight of their encounter started settling in. It took Apollo a moment before he was ready to continue his chat with the informant.

Appolo: "Thank you for this information... Now, what do you think should be done about this? Is the any way to spread this intelligence outside our current scope? Ideally, contacting a White Guild and informing them that Hellpoemer is on the move is Axladi would be a good thing. Maybe the Riskbreakers? The Nab' Rogues don't really operate in Daena... "leaking" this information to local authorities could impede Hellpoemer's plans, too. I'm sure the Imperial Army or the Inquisition would do something in Axladi. A city on high alert is bound to make things difficult for Hellpoemer... Anything else you can think of?

I'm trying to piece together what we have, but we don't have enough information on what exactly is going to happen there. There is a chance I'll have a better idea of the situation if I come across necromancers in Provatina, but that could take days, and for all we know something could happen in Axladi tonight. Actually... Are we even sure all necromancers work for Hellpoemer in Psarosoupa? If that's not the case, I could be going in the wrong direction already."

Apollo was really eager to capitalyze on what little information he had gained. It was commendable, albeit a bit rushed and possibly clumsy. 

Indeed, he was speaking under the assumption that the Crow would actualy give a fuck. But why would an informant care? What was in it for him beyond selling this info and moving on to richer, or at the very least less dangerous pastures?

Luckily, that man was the kind of person to care indeed, but Apollo's forwardness on the matter did give him pause. 

...: " Before we get to what I think, could you please clarify your intent in giving me this information? The way to deal with this if you're hoping to make a quick buck of it is quite different than the way to deal with it if you want it to be used for good. "

Just a friendly slap on the wrist, a reminder to be carefull in one's interactions with others. Not everyone was necessarily on the same team after all. Still, he resumed quickly and with a softer voice.

...: " Do not worry, you did not strike me as the type to make profit on people's misery. I am the same. If I know people are in danger, I want to do everything in my power to help them. What little I can, at least. "

Apollo heard him exhaling a puff of his cinamon smelling smoke.

...: " Still, I am afraid this situation is nothing but trouble some. Spreading intelligence is one thing, though even that could become costly. The problem is what can be expected of doing so? You mentioned white guilds. Although some of them definetly have a bone or two to pick with Hellpoemer, saddly their intervention is largely out of the question. You might not have gotten used to things here since you've only recently arrived in Psarosoupa, so let me be clear on this. Guilds, wether they be white in aligment or otherwise, are considered foreign military organizations. The smallest intervention would spark a dipplomatic crisis. On top of everything else, if it were discovered, not only the guild would suffer severe penalties from the Council of mages but their members here in Psarosoupa, would be in all likelihood burned alive for witchcraft (assuming they could use some forme of magic). While guilds are a thing in Psarosoupa, it is only so for craftsmen, merchants and the like. There is no structure that could allow for the existence of a guild like the ones you are thinking of. That said, even if such a thing did exist, and there had been a guild of fighters certified "magic free" and with a permit to act freely in Psarosoupa, I fear they would have still been of little use to us in this specific scenario. Only people with pure fighting skills would be able to act in Psarosoupa, yet people with no magic skills stand virtualy no chance against Nikolay. He is not an opponent that a warrior, skilled as he may be, can overcome effectively. "

His explanation flowed effortlessly, this was nothing new, not for the Crow at least. 

...: " This kind of thing is one of the main reasons why necromancers have such a solid grip on Psarosoupa. "

When you thought about it, considering the empire was a territory where neither the council of mages neither the guilds had access to, it was actualy fairly surprising this place had not fallen in the hands of one or another dark guild ages ago! Especially since its defenders used little to no magic. Grim as the thought may be, the inquisition was definetly doing its job!

...: " As for alerting Axladi's authorities, do not worry, I have this covered. I have a proper channel set up which can be used at times like these. I will give due notice to all forces present in the city. And yes, I can only hope this will throw a wrench in whatever Hellpoemer has planned. Maybe dissuade them enough to call off the whole thing. If we're lucky. " 

A sigh was heard shortly after he was done talking. He then proceeded to add in a low voice, talking to himself more so than to Apollo.

...: " Which we definetly wont be. "

More of certainty than a guess, all things considered.

...: " What to do... What to do... There's not that much that we CAN do for this... "

He went quiet, in deep thought over the best course of action. Ultimately resuming with a despair induced complaint.

...: " Raaaaah, why did she have to leave just before shit hits the fan? I dont have the man power for this! No one is around! Sure, I'll send word for them but they'll never be here in time! Assuming anyone shows up at all.

Once again, he was mostly lamenting his own fate, not really speaking to Apollo.

...: " Though... "

Perhaps not everything was as helpless as it seemed?

...: " Yes... Those people are still around. This could work. "

A plan conceived.

...: " Yes sorry my friend, was just thinking aloud there for a moment. I have an idea. I will try to assemble some eh, "uncoventional" troops to further assist the town's defenses. Fuck, I'll have to hurry though, if any of them leave this will be a blow. I'll also set up whatever wards I can before nightfall. "

He had found renewed hope and confidence, perhaps it was yet possible for Axladi to weather this storm. 

...: " Yeah, we'll do something for Axladi. What? If all necromancers work for Hellpoemer? It's tough to say. Elsewhere this isn't the case, there are several black and a couple white guilds with a hand in necromancy accross the continents. Here in Psarosoupa though, Hellpoemer does reign absolute, they've been meddling with this country for centuries. I cannot imagine a necromancer here with no ties whatsoever with them. The thing is however, Hellpoemer has done a lot of things here. The consequences of some of their actions might still be around if you catch my drift. It is not impossible for something with its origins in Hellpoemer to have become independent. Or evolved... Bah, suffices to say we've seen some shit over the years. Any other questions? I'll have to go real soon, time is still of the essence. Do you remember all the warnings I gave you about that guy you met? Do you need me to repeat anything? I know it sounds like crazy talk but those are really important! "




Terror: Previously at 21. 

Still being watched...: The lingering eyes have followed Apollo ever since that day at Axladi.  (+1)

Enemy paragon: You have met something vast, something terrible. (+10)

Tranquil travels: You have not been murdered while traveling the roads of Psarosoupa. (-1)

Success(?): You managed to live through it, even acquired a reward. (-2)

Threat in the distance: Something will happen... (+2) 

Terror: 31

Unrest. Disquiet. A hint of nervousness?




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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mer 27 Sep - 22:03

The Crow was quick to remind Apollo that discretion and restraint were qualities, for a broker. It was fair, considering how gung-ho Apollo was in this unusually animated call between brokers.

Apollo: “I understand, Captain Flabbergast.” The name was, once again, erased. Good. “And this is why I said we can discuss a price later when we started the call. I apologize if I was not clear enough. For all intents and purposes, for the duration of this call and in matters following and related to this call, consider yourself hired for information providing & handling services, as well as advisory services. I spoke openly because I considered you employed to my service in this particular matter.”
Between information brokers, this kind of deal was common and in line with their services. Apollo’s statement was somewhat bold, considering he had basically said “I’m buying your allegiance.”, but his actions were in line with those of a broker - one with a good alignment.
But considering his current situation, Apollo had very little to back up his boldness. Indeed, he had just admitted all his gold had been used to buy a trinket from a possibly faith-bound visitor ten minutes ago.


Apollo: “I’m glad we agree on how to use this information, though. I can appreciate a bit of gold in my pockets but we’re in a position to do some good. Well… to be honest, you are. I’m just an information provider in this matter. And I hope I hope we can make something work.”
And the Crow delivered, barely. White Guilds were out of the question, and that was understandable. He would alert the authorities, and muster a force to help against Hellpoemer. Apollo couldn’t have hoped for more, he realized that. Now nothing more could be done except pray and continue with his current objective.

Apollo found it interesting that a broker would assist personally in the defense of Axladi against a Black Guild. “Raaaaah, why did she have to leave just before shit hits the fan? I dont have the man power for this! No one is around! Sure, I'll send word for them but they'll never be here in time! Assuming anyone shows up at all.” The Crow had just dropped a few juicy morsels for any broker worth his gold. Who was “she”? Who were “they”? Apollo would’ve inquired further, had the situation not been so critical. But it unfortunately was. Suffice to say, the Crow was probably in contact with a magical fighting force operating in Psarosoupa. Maybe he was even a member of such a group, considering how he talked about not having the “manpower” … But Apollo would inquire another time.

Apollo: “Right. Well, in that case, good luck. Won’t hold you any longer. Call me when shit has stopped hitting the fan and everything is fine… Until next time, captain.”

With this, Apollo hung up his iCristal. Done.

Apollo: “Now, to survive the coming day.”

Apollo ordered Tenjin to scout the road ahead, in search for some sort of cover where Apollo could hunker down until the curse wore off. Eventually, after some time, Tenjin found a small cave where Apollo decided to rest. After making sure the cave was not another creature’s dwelling and was free of any dangers, Apollo went out in search of wood. After gathering enough firewood to keep a fire going for a day, the warden finally came back to his cave and settled down. Starting a fire near the cave’s entry and far from his possessions which were further inside the cave, Apollo started his watch, accompanied only by his spectral sister and his familiar, vigilant, who kept watch outside the cave in search of any form of threat.

Eventually, Apollo went to sleep, leaving Emilia and Tenjin to watch over him. However, his sleep was plagued with what Nikolay had told him. “We are the loyalists.”, the Creature had said.

In that case, who did Apollo serve? In who’s name, or in what’s name, was he giving salvation to souls?

What are the Wardens?




"Le bien, le mal peuvent-ils être quantifiés? Le destin d'une âme n'a-t-elle pas une valeur si inestimable qu'il n'est pas possible de la réduire à une simple mesure? Telle est la question..." -Apollo Anansi

"Ne jouez pas à saute-mouton avec une licorne!" - Emilia Anansi

"Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n'en sont que des acteurs. Et notre vie durant, nous jouons plusieurs rôles." - ???
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MessageSujet: Re: Routes du royaume   Mar 24 Oct - 19:28

Captain Flabbergast, the captain part actually went through, the Flabbergast got erased.

 The discussion was about to draw to a close, Apollo had been brought more or less up to speed regarding the Crow’s plans, both men had decided to act for the greater good rather than their own profit. A very noble thing to do to be sure.

After a brief farewell, with both parties wishing the other good luck, Apollo was once more officially on the road again. And alone. If not for his ghostly sister. If not for his magical owl. If not for his newly acquired horse. If not for the voices in his head?

Funnily enough, Apollo’s last “captain” also got muted, something the warden had not failed to notice. Food for thought for the long road ahead of him. After all, they were still a few days before he reached his destination.

That said he would not go much further this day. Caution dictated he hunker down, as his colleague had suggested. And that is what our friendly guide decided to do.

Apollo’s great precautions might have seemed excessive to a random onlooker. That onlooker would have been dreadfully wrong. In lots of ways, when facing the paranormal, the best thing to do was to always follow the manual, assuming there was a manual for you to follow in the first place! This time there was! What luck. Or at least luck would have been what one could have called it if knowledge surrounding Nikolay had not been painstakingly earned piece by piece at the price of lives.

Still, in the now, that probably mattered very little to the young Apollo. He knew what he had to do and had set out to do it. He would live through this.

A cave was found, a temporary refuge made. Guards were set up in the guise of a sister and a pet.

Come what may, that was the best they could manage on this day. This cave was empty, it would not necessarily be the case of any other ones they might have found. If they were any. If Apollo had not been caught in a terrible rockslide on the way. If he had not been done in by mountain brigands. 

The place was dry enough and kept him out of view and away from the cold winds. Fire had been lit, a meal consumed.

This was satisfactory.

This had to be satisfactory.

This had to be satisfactory for there was nothing else to be done.

This had to be satisfactory for there was nothing else they could have done.

This was ok, the situation was fine. Yet there was tension in the air which simply refused to fade away.

In a way, Apollo had no other choice than to stay there, in that cave. In a way, he had been trapped there.

In that cave.

By Nikolay.



This was a roundabout and warped way to look at their present situation for sure, but there was tension. Anticipation for what might happen, something that was expected to surely be bad.

Doubt all around.

But safety, yet.

With all said and done, in the end nothing happened. A whole, lot, of nothing.
Apollo and company peacefully hid away in their cave for the rest of the day, and even when darkness fell, nothing befell them, terrible or otherwise.

There had been no unannounced visitors, no monstrosity looking to make the cave its den. The ceiling did not collapse on Apollo and his fire warded away the cold without going out of control.

Everything had been quiet. Dreadfully uneventful.

For the best.

After an ultimate check that all that could be well, was indeed well, Apollo was not long to turn in for the night.

Yet it was not to be, for him to enjoy his hard-earned rest.


Ambiance:
 

Was it a few minutes after he went to bed? A couple hours? Hard to say, and truthfully the least of his worries.

What matters is that young Apollo was brought to his senses in rough manner in the middle of the night, when the temperature around him dropped drastically.

The warmth of his sleeping bag quickly faded away, the heat of the flames started feeling ever more distant. It was not long before his surroundings became so cold Apollo was forced awake out of discomfort.

Slowly opening his eyes, Apollo saw the cave was now pitch black and had lost what little homely vibe the siblings had managed to establish during the day. The fire was dead, Emilia and Tenjin were nowhere to be seen or heard. His cheeks felt frozen, his nose had begun going numb from the cold.

What a terrible way to wake up, he thought.  This was surely going to make him sick. As if risking life and limb to fight necromancers was not enough, he would now have to deal with a cold on top of everything else.

Lamenting his present living conditions, he slowly rose up to be seated. His eyes slowly moving around the obscure cavern, trying to adapt to the lack of light, trying to make shapes out of the shadows. A good ten meters away from him, a feint pale moonlight poured through the den’s entrance, barely casting enough light to prevent complete darkness.

Apollo took a couple of minutes to gather his courage, to properly dispel his drowsiness. Then, as it became quickly apparent that no servant would waltz in to offer a warm and comforting breakfast, he half-heartedly resolved to get up for a midnight stroll. To move a little, warm up as best he could, stop the shaking.

Let’s find Emilia.  

She could not have wandered very far after all.

Apollo found himself struggling to get up. Even the deed done, his movements were stiff, sluggish even.

Maybe it was that he found it difficult to navigate his surroundings in the near total darkness of the cave. Maybe he was still half asleep. Maybe the cold had started to get the better of him.

As he slowly made towards the dimly lit exit of the cave, he was made aware of a sharp pain from his right leg, increasing in intensity with each step he took. It felt almost like part of it had been broken.

Had he been wounded in his sleep? That felt odd, impossible even. Surely such an attack would have woken him up. Could this be just a nasty cramp?

With every step towards the outside growing more challenging, Apollo found himself befallen with an utterly eerie feeling. His awakening had not been an emergency one by any means, so he had not been particularly alarmed up until that point. That however was now quickly changing, the more he was becoming alert to the details around him, the more the feeling that something was terribly wrong gnawed its way into his mind.

Every inch of distance gained, seemed to drain his world of colour. Not that there was much to be had in the darkness of the cave, yet he had that distinct feeling, that everything around him was slowly turning in shades of grey. Could he be bleeding? Impossible to tell!

Maybe when he reached the outside, some light would be shed on his current predicament.

Maybe the world would make sense again.

No such luck.

Leaning against the wall, he managed to mitigate the pain long enough to reach the exit.

As he drew near it, he could have sworn, was that singing?

Yes.

Emilia’s voice.

Somewhere far.

Above?

With great effort, Apollo hurled himself through the exit and into the wilderness outside, only to find himself in a foreign and outlandish landscape.


Ambiance:
 

Gone were the Psarosoupean summits. Gone were the rocky slopes, gone were the trees and the mountain paths.

In their stead, nothing but an endless desert to be seen, the horizon hidden away behind dunes of grey sand. Endless.

Emilia’s voice could be heard clearer here, but no matter how much her brother called for her, he received no answer.

With nowhere to go but forward, Apollo started a painful journey forward.
The cold was ever more intense outside, even with the complete lack of wind, he could feel it down to his bones. Staying still would cause even his very soul to freeze.

Poor footing and an abrupt slope near the cave however, sent the warden face first into the sand a few meters away from his starting point. It was the second time something like that happened today. Would he ever catch a break?

Apparently not.

The sand itself seemed unnaturally cold, almost to the point of draining his tired body of warmth.

Most importantly however, his little tumble in the sand had revealed another crucial piece of information. His left arm was missing.

For the longest time now, the cold had made him numb to everything but the pain in his leg, but now that he was outside, now that he could see a bit better…
Just a bit below the shoulder, a now severed trunk of flesh, slowly dripping blood onto the sand, slowly freezing. The gruesome realization came with an excruciating shock.

Pain.

Cold.

Anguish.

Soon frostbite.

Soon death.

How had it come to this?

Come to think of it, he had lost an arm during his talk with Arsi hadn’t he?

That was probably his left arm too.


Pushing the ground with his remaining arm, Apollo turned over, lying on his back.

What a desolate place he would die in. Even the sky was dark and empty.

And it would have been the blackest night the man had ever seen, if not for the odd occurrence that he could see clear as day. As if the sand itself had lightened up to contrast the darkness of the heavens.

The moons were gone, not a trace of them to be found in the sky, and the stars fared no better, gone.

All gone.

Except for two, little ones, huddling close to each other at the centre of the pitch-black sky.

The two last stars in the world.

Twinkling ever so faintly, they looked so weak, as if they would fade any second now.

But not dead yet.

And neither was Apollo.

Grasping whatever courage he had left, he forced himself back onto his feet and resumed walking.

His balance was awful, his feet buried deep into the sand with each step, each breath chilled his insides. His mind felt like it could break from exhaustion. The singing was endless.

A couple minutes went by, and then some.

In the poor state he was in, he had not managed to get very far, still, he had now reached the top of one of the sand dunes and therefore a half decent vantage spot. From there, a mere hundred meters away from him, he spotted what could very be his salvation. A structure. Civilization.

Or so he thought.

It only took him a few seconds to realize, with some degree of horror, that this structure was all too familiar to him.
 
The structure:
 

That place.

He was back here again.

Still, from where he stood, it was still the only landmark in a seemingly unending emptiness. If anything was to be done about his situation, if anything was to be made sense of… It would probably be there.

He was drawn to the pyramid, compelled to climb its steps.

Reaching it proved no small task.

Even in this world devoid of obstacles, it took all but the last sliver of Apollo’s energy to reach the building.

He was now at its bottom, trying to catch his breath before the climb. The cold air pierced his lungs, breathing had become so difficult. Almost as if oxygen itself was going extinct.

He was running out of time, in all manner of ways.

Better get going.

One by one, blood stained steps were conquered.

It wasn’t his blood though.

No, if this were his, he would have perished long ago.

Looking more carefully, the structure itself was now macabrely decorated by big red splashes here and there. Had people fought here? There weren’t any bodies around though. Yet no one could lose so much blood and live…

Apollo reached the top as his eyelids had begun weighting down uncontrollably. If not for the pain of both missing arm and wounded leg, he would have probably passed out a good half hour ago, and died.

Still, here he was.

The already poorly kept pyramid ruins were in an even worse state than the last time he had visited them. Though by looking at them now, he had now the certainty that a battle had taken place here. 

Some columns had been cut in two, others crashed. The ground beard marks of claws and lashes. The kind that could cut these ancients stones to pieces. To top it all off, each sign of the battle, each proof left behind, was punctuated by an all too vivid splash of red. Almost as if this whole place was in truth some elaborate set piece, some gruesome painting someone had left for Apollo to see.

If only it had been so.

How heartbreakingly funny, that in a world of black and white, red was still a thing.

It wouldn’t be long now however. Apollo had no time to examine the scenery further.

He wanted to see the altar.

The balance which showed the condemned versus the saved. His life’s work.

It took him but a few additional steps to be close enough to see what had become of it.

The balance itself had been broken in several parts and had fallen over backwards. Whatever pieces of its main body remained, were either stained by blood or rust. The dish on the right side of the balance could be barely seen by Apollo, it was now crushed underneath a massive cubic stone, thrice as tall as himself. Onyx as black as the night around the warden. Even squinting, Apollo could not see a trace of the white writing on the stone. That too was gone.

As for the balance’s left dish…

It was here alright, although thrown further away, bruised and empty.

Where it used to be, close by the balance, the only thing left of the white stone were some tiny fragments, scattered on the floor, barely bigger than the grains of sand that could be found in the surrounding desert.

The implications, although devastating, could not have been made clearer.

Emilia’s singing went quiet. The man’s eyes begun shutting down. It was about time to stop.

Ambiance:
 

Just as Apollo was about to fall into despair, just as he was about to cry his life away, a nearby voice snapped him back to reality.

From somewhere further on the right side of the pyramid a voice called out for help, pained and terrified. At first it had been like a whisper, but as the person despair grew, his yells became louder and louder. Apollo himself had no strength left to shout back, but he slowly made his way towards the man, following blood trails on the ground. Whoever that was, he had already dragged himself a good portion of the way to the edge of the pyramid’s platform.

And there he found Ryner, siting back against the wall in a pool of his own blood.
 
His clothes were torn and drenched in red.

His body filled with holes, his insides ready to fall out of gapping wounds.

Help! Help! He screamed.

Appolo summoned all of his remaining strength, lunging himself near his fallen comrade, falling on his knees next to him. He tried his best to invoke healing magic, to no avail. Nothing came of his chants.

Ryner, feeling his presence, lifted his face, revealing two bleeding gaping holes where his eyes should have been. They appeared to have been violently gouged out, eyelids and all, leaving this hollow mask of a face behind. Distorted by pain. 


“It was you…”

His until then yelling voice finally fell to a whisper again.

“It was you.”

He tried to raise a hand, trying to touch Apollo, to feel what remained of his warmth. To feel someone. Instead, he vomited a batch of blood.

Finally, as the last strand of life left his body, with his last breath…

“Your dream has failed you.”

And Apollo was left with no one to hear him scream.

Far above, one of the two remaining stars fell down and disappeared.

From the horizon, a thundering roar, the sound of splitting earth, of shattered continents.

The sound of the end. 




Horrific nightmare: You will never wake up the same again! (+20)

Terror: 51

You are now officialy half way to becoming bat shit crazy! Congratulations!


I would get that checked out if I were you though.




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