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Rise of the Phoenix



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Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:32 am
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Featherstone says...



The Place

Spoiler! :
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Image

The sun glimmers on the horizon, its shape distorted by the shimmering of heat rising from red-gold sand. Your throat is dry and scratchy, skin burned and cracked, the last ray of hope shining on the sand - a reflection of water. Or, rather, a fantasy of it that you will always stay tantalizingly out of reach.
A body collapses on the sand. Your strength is gone, likely forever, and the few creatures that can stand the heat skitter over you on their hasty journey. Eventually the yellow dunes are turned a soft silver under the moon’s light and a ghostly shape moves across the endless desert towards the fallen figure, pale as the stars.
Welcome to the Forbidden Land of En.

The Story

En was once a vernal paradise where civilization thrived along the Cyr River. Then, without explanation, the river began to dry up and left a dying forest in perpetual drought. Eventually it died and the desert prevailed forevermore. The people have moved to the edges of the Forbidden Land where food is scarce, but at least there is life. They say that the Cyr Civilization was destroyed as a punishment of the ancient people and so, to appease the gods or spirits or whatever is thought to dwell within, four humans are cast into the Forbidden Lands: the Warrior, the Druid, the Healer, and the Trickster.
As time passes the desert has begun to spread into the Cyr-people’s new lands and they’ve performed the ritual early in the hopes of appeasing the desert so that they aren’t forced out of the last green lands of En.

The Characters

There are a maximum of six characters that will be in the storybook: the Trickster, the Warrior, the Druid, the Healer, the Mystic, and the Guide. The first four are offered up as tribute at the beginning and encounter the last two (the Mystic and the Guide) once in the desert. Below is a short description of each role.
The Trickster: The clever, rogue-like brains of the party. They’re sneaky, smart, and use their wits.
The Warrior: The brawn: a combatant, whether this be with weapons or hand-to-hand combat.
The Druid: A character that utilizes natural elements to power their magical abilities.
The Healer: The support character of the group. They may or may not have magic.
The Mystic: A mage-type who has abilities that are more based around psychic/spiritual abilities instead of elemental (or healing) ones. The Mystic is also a native of the Forbidden Land.
The Guide: Another native of the Forbidden Land, the Guide is a survivalist who knows the desert like the back of their hand.

Players
The Trickster: @Sae
The Warrior: @Danni88
The Druid: @Synnoev
The Mystic: @FalconerGal9086
The Guide: @Sheyren
The Healer: @rebelpilot

Character Template: (note: please delete anything in parentheses)
Spoiler! :
Code: Select all
[b]Role:[/b]
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Age:[/b]
[b]Physical Appearance:[/b]
[b]Backstory:[/b]
[b]Personality:[/b]
[b]Abilities (if applicable):[/b]
[b]Other:[/b]



"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."





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Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:47 pm
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Featherstone says...



Kanasu Swanasundari
by @FalconerGal9086


The sun set over the horizon in a blaze of fire, an inferno that she would never get tired of. It lit the desert up a million different hues of orange, red, and gold, as though the sands themselves were molten lava or the feathers of a phoenix itself. Kanasu stood underneath scarce shelter as she watched the silver lamp of the moon begin to rise, her mind wandering back to when she was a small child, frustrated and lost, when Aridoni had taken her under his wing. She wasn’t sure what she would’ve done without him; it’d gotten so severe that she couldn’t even leave her room lest she be bombarded by other minds of the village: their pasts and futures, dreams and hopes, struggles and pains.

His stern face had gazed down at her with that quiet-yet-piercing look of his. His voice was calm and comforting, and that day was their first lesson: how to silence the other senses so you could focus on one. Over time, his teachings had become more and more difficult, but she still valued her time with him despite the constant struggle.

Or so she tried to tell himself as his soft, firm voice cut through her reverie. “Stop it.”

“Stop what?” she asked confusedly, unsure of what she’d done.

“That.”

“What?”

“You’re not focusing,” he explained, exasperated. “You’re letting your mind go off a million different directions. I said quiet your mind, not let it run rampant, child.” Aridoni’s voice was still hardly more than a whisper but she’d found it was never volume that proved his point or drove it home, simply tone.

“I’m trying,” she protested.

“Try again. This is meditation, not an intellectual lesson. You aren’t supposed to be thinking. You’re supposed to be feeling.”

“I can’t, my brain just keeps on yammering at me again,” she grumbled.

He sighed and sat down beside her. “Then find something to focus on. Let it become your world. You love the sunset; use that. See the colors, feel the breeze, notice the scents, and by the stars, hush your mind or this exercise is pointless.”

Kanasu let out a long breath and tried again, allowing herself to perceive it all. Aridoni’s grounded presence, the scuffling of ants in the sand, the sound of a bird crying in the distance, and pushed herself to quiet her mind. . .

~<**>~


“Kanasu Swanasundari, get in here, child! You’re going to be late!”

The girl in question jerked to consciousness and fell out of bed. She’d been up until almost sunrise with Aridoni on the last night’s lesson (which she hadn’t fully succeeded at, apparently), and at the rather ungraceful and demeaning awakening found herself starting off the day on a decidedly wrong foot.

“Coming!” she called back to her mother, pulling herself to her feet and grabbing the comb off the side table before beginning to brush her hair before she was even fully awake. No doubt Aridoni was already outside waiting for her. She wondered if she was going to get one of his soft lectures on timeliness as she pulled on her robes with haste.

It took her a good ten minutes before she managed to trip into the small living room of their hut with her hair and attire in order. Sure enough, her mentor was already seated on a blanket across from her mother. Her father must’ve already gone to help care for the scant animals the village had.

“Sorry, mother,” she mumbled. “And you, master,” she added at his raised eyebrow.

“Just don’t make a habit of it,” her mother replied.

“You are forgiven,” Aridoni said with a small shrug. “Tell me, Kanasu, do you remember what happens in the few coming days?”

“Yes, master,” she answered before she fully registered the question. “Er. . .Tributes? They’re coming early this year, are they not?”

He dipped his head. “Good, yes. Do you remember what that means?”

Kanasu blinked. “We. . .have to go find them. . .?”

“And. . .?”

“Try to get them to help us?”

“Are you asking me or telling me?”

“Try to get them to help us.”

Aridoni nodded. “Yes. That is correct. We will be leaving tomorrow morning. I expect to see you this evening for our lessons, and I expect you to be ready to depart by then.”

“Yes, master.”

“Good, good. Have a good day, Ms. Swanasundari, Kanasu,” he said as he stood before slipping outside through the clattering curtain of beads.

She sighed, rubbing her face in her thinly-tattooed hands. It was going to be a long few days.
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."





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Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:10 pm
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Magestorrow says...



Darunia Vain

The Trickster


“You know,” she started, leaning up against the wall behind her as she glanced over at her cellmate, “I'm actually quite the good planner. I've robbed countless people before, and they've never caught me. Except now, of course, but there's always going to be that one time a plan goes horribly wrong.”

Her comment was met with silence.

She had expected that much. The other occupant of her cell wasn't exactly a talker. But she had been down here for nearly a day already, and she was bored out of her mind. She'd gladly engage in some small talk if it could distract her from her impeding doom. And intense boredom, because that was honestly a bit more concerning at the moment. “I had this absolutely glorious plan laid out. You see, the mayor of this town always goes out to the bar. He gets so drunk spending the dollars of the people in town that he takes his sweet time getting back home. And he always does it at the same time every night.”

More silence. Tough crowd.

She stared up at the stone ceiling above her. “So the plan was to sneak into his house and rob him of all his valuables when he was out drinking. I spent hours staking out his house – or mansion, rather, because this place is gigantic. And when he finally left the house at exactly the time he goes to the bar, I made my move! I snuck in there and started filling my bag with everything I could get my hands on. I was almost done with my sweep of the house when he returned. Apparently, it was the one night where he hadn't gone to the bar. Someone had just passed away and he needed to give their family his condolences.”

She hopped to her feet and started pacing around the cell, casting the occasional look in the direction of the area out in front of her cell. No one had come to get her yet, which she guessed was a good sign.

“So now I'm here in this dungeon with you, waiting for whatever punishment they decide is fit for a thief,” she said, waving one of the knives she had hidden in her boot around as she walked past her sole companion. “I'd say they'd cut my hands off if I'm lucky, but this mayor is one nasty guy. I've heard he threw a kid into this place for trampling his garden when playing a game of catch. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?”

There was no response.

She plopped back down beside him and slung her arm over his startling cold shoulder. “I'd say that my bad luck started when I was just a girl. Alas, my mother – if she truly was – was a druid who became corrupted by her own magic when I was but a baby! And so I spent my life dreaming of the day I could escape, and I finally managed to do exactly that when I turned seventeen. I was so excited for the world that was before me. If only I knew then that I would end up in this cell for a heist gone wrong. I just believed there was so much good out there, but now I've only got myself, my wits and my charming sense of humor. And you, of course. You've got to be some of the best company I've had in a long time. You're a great listener, and you never interrupt.”

She gave his shoulder a tight squeeze with one hand and leaned up against him. Then she promptly fell to the floor, followed by a loud noise, because leaning up against her cellmate wasn't exactly the best idea she had ever had. Seeing his skull roll off of his skeletal body was a good reminder of that.

Just as she was in the middle of trying to put his skull back where it should be, people entered the dungeon. Dropping her knife back into her boot, she hopped to her feet once more and eagerly stood at the front of the cell. The skull lay abandoned on the ground beside her foot.

“Hello there, captors of mine,” she said, giving a cheerful wave and a smile when the two goons came to a stop before her. Calling them a police force would be too much – the mayor lined their pockets, and they followed his every beck and call. “So, what's the punishment? Hard labor? A missing hand? Maybe just another week in this place? I admit I wouldn't quite mind that last one – me and my friend over there have been getting along quite well.”

The taller of the two looked over at who she was pointing at.

“That's a skeleton,” he said.

“Obviously,” she replied. “What, do you think I'm stupid or something? I've seen enough of them to know what they are.”

“...That's a skeleton,” the smaller one repeated.

She shrugged. “You must have never been stuck in a cell with one before. Trust me, they make excellent company. Now, what's the punishment for my not-so-terrible crime of robbing your mayor?”

The taller goon held up a pair of handcuffs as his smaller counterpart began to unlock her cell. The moment she was pulled out of it, the handcuffs were thrown onto her wrists. “You're being sacrificed,” the taller one nonchalantly said as he began to lead her towards the door of the cell.

“I'm what?”

“You're being sacrificed,” the smaller one clarified.

She raised an eyebrow. “Do you just repeat everything your pal says? Because I haven't heard you say anything original yet, and the question was just meant to express my shock.” She tried to break free of her bonds. Unfortunately, the goons had a good grip on her and she had no idea how she'd get out of her handcuffs even if she managed to escape. “So, being sacrificed. Not how I expected to go, but I guess you can't be picky in a world like this. Where's the sacrifice going to happen?”

“The Forbidden Lands,” the taller one said, confirming her theory that the smaller one was incapable of original thought and relied solely on his companion for that. “The mayor says it will appease the gods and take care of a criminal at the same time.”

She groaned. Why that? If it had been any other sacrifice, she probably could have figured a way out of it. But no one ever survived being sacrificed in the Forbidden Lands. It was just a rule, and one of the few rules she couldn't break.

As the door to the dungeon closed behind them, she looked over at the taller of the two goons. “Well, if I'm getting a punishment like that, I get a final wish, right?” The two men exchanged looks, and then the taller one nodded. A second later, his fellow goon did the same. “Then I wish to keep these clothes on me, because they're my favorite outfit and I'd love to die in them.”

“That can be arranged,” the taller one said.

“Great,” she replied, hiding a sly smile as she ducked her head down. Then she had a chance! They thought they had gotten rid of all her weapons when they captured her, but had never bothered to make her wear different clothes – meaning that all of her hidden knives were still exactly where they should be. And with them at her disposal, she could easily survive in the Forbidden Land. At least, that was the plan.

And hopefully this one wouldn't fail her.
“You cannot get through a single day
without having an impact on
the world around you.

What you do makes a difference,
and you have to decide what kind
of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall








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