Closed Strict Roleplay [o] Realm Of The Stag Lord [o] (roleplay Thread)

Discussion in 'Non Canon Roleplay' started by Kibaa, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Kibaa

    Kibaa Bartolomeo da Cana|| Muhaŝŝiŝ

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    "Reaped from the hearth of my flesh and soul, I ventured, stalwart and proud, deep into the confines of his shrouded Realm. With me Genghis and Fatima of the Dewdots and Nimblers respectively, we met the Darkness, unbeknownst of its intent to keep us. A fervor- embroidered by our false God. Heed my ink- wayfarer, for His dungeon is no place for Mortals. To be reaped is to perish from Time."

    ~Chronicle of the First Glean, excerpt from the lost journal of Boris Lycht


    !MANDATORY AMBIANCE!

    Across an insurmountable valley of unique beauty and location, masses of clans gathered eagerly for the largest event to be hosted yearly on Oiros, filling the Chasm of Audiences with ever greater numbers.

    The Reaping.

    Each year, clans set their differences aside to assemble for the most venerated occurrence of all time (rivaled only by the yearly pie festival). With wanton swagger and boastful tongues, they take their designated corner of the Valley, hoping that their chosen Man is neither too weak to laugh at nor too strong to be a detrimental loss to their armies. A true hero to be reaped, kind and brave yet sensitive and not without flaw.

    Music and drums serenade the Chasm, brightening up this massive festival until the long-awaited reaping. Food and games are shared between clans en masse, encouraging friendly socialization and story-telling between everyone. At the forefront of the Chasm, a gargantuan entranced is bored in perfect symmetry right into an artificial looking mountain. The entrance to the Challenge of the Stag, which no living eyes have ever ventured into. Groups of young children and brave warriors are seen trying to charge into the entrance in search of adventure and answers, but they are only gently pushed back by a magical force, the living Darkness within the cave. Even with their bravery, however, they are all eventually forced back into their clans- not by the darkness, but by a change in the surrounding sounds. The music has stopped, save for an all too familiar beat of the drums. Moreso, it would seem that this drum beat was accompanied by simultaneous footsteps, the footsteps of a giant. All eyes no doubt perched towards the large entrance, where the footsteps only seemed to get closer. Citizens of each clan nudged each other's elbows, grins forming along their liplines, for this could only be the sound of one entity. And as white gulls and the Wisps of The Stag began to float out of the cave, everyone's anticipation was confirmed. The Wisps, which were small orbs of Dark Matter coated in long, elegant white robes, began to fly outwards into the crowds, greeting the excited fellows with chirpy sounds. Maidens and Brothers may have cried at the sight of these, following the legendary rumor that the Wisps are in fact ghosts of those who have fallen to the Challenge of the Stag.

    Then, silence. Only those large footsteps, and a silhouette casts itself at the entrance of the cave. The shadow of antlers, and, a foot. Then another. Gripping one curve of the entrance with furry fingertips, another hand bracing itself with his iconic wooden scepter, The Stag Lord emerges from the Darkness. In an instant, the entirety of the Chasm erupted with roars, cheers, drumbeats, trumpets, and the screams of glory, making the ground explode in a small rumble. The occasion was loud and glorious, and the Stag Lord proudly beat upon his chest, releasing a noisy roar of pride and power. At his feet, young children gathered to greet their God-king, climbing over his toes- using his fur as handle-grips for their journey up. Some fell quickly onto the dirt, others flung out by sharp movements only to be caught cheerily by wisps or plushy clouds conjured by the Lord himself. Those who made it to the top were greeted by a proud, deerish smile from The Stag, granted the privilege to remain over his shoulders or antlers for the time being. A small and amusing race before the main event.

    With a mighty hand perched on his waist and another on his Scepter, the Stag commences the ceremony.

    "Ha, ha, ha, ha!"
    He boasted in laughter, his voice gruff, deep, and majestic in all ways imaginable. Occasionally a child could be seen losing their balance and falling down several stories before being caught by a small cloud.
    "Clans of Oiros! Your God-king has summoned you today for an election most special. A tribute! A demand of your loyal worship."

    The Stag leaned in as he spoke, black eyes glaring proudly over his creations.

    "From each clan today, I demand one warrior! To participate in the legendary Challenge of the Stag!"

    The Lord's decree was met by another outburst of cheers and roars, warriors banging their weapons over their shields in anticipation of the event. For many, if not most, there could be no greater honor than to give their life for the Stag. For others who valued life over legend and glory, nerves wracked their persona.

    A wiry bellow emanates from the Stag Lord, followed by a hearty laugh.

    "The Reaping!"

    He exclaims, the crowd screaming it out in unison. It was the same phrase every year, at the same time. Everyone once more explodes into cheers and screams, proudly charging up for the main event of today. Gripping the scepter between two large hands, the Lord raises it, only to then swiftly slam its tip down on the ground, lifting layers of dust among a powerful boom that resonates across the chasm. The impact makes the ground tumble, the children over his shoulders unable to keep their balance as they spring out and land on plushy clouds. Incessant, the rumbling continues, but it was all in consequence of tradition- for the Stag had begun to lift his Royal Throne from a chamber in front of the entrance. Folks laugh and cheer as the ever famous Throne begins to ascend from the confines of the manipulable Terra, an enormous sitting place crafted by the God, for the God- of materials not present in this universe. Metallic and flawless in appearance, it stood about as large as the entrance to the Dungeon, though its unfathomable size was countered by an entirely simplistic appearance, a simple throne with but two arm rests and a back rest. With a big thud, the Lord sits back on the throne just like every year, grinning proudly over the amalgamation of his local creations, the clans in unison for a massive cultural event. Splendor.

    "Who shall give their life for the Stag this year?!"

    The Lord proclaims loudly, his mighty voice echoing acres throughout the chasm. In an instant, scores of warriors from all around jump ecstatically, exclaiming their names and pleas to be selected. A futile attempt at a bargain, but who could blame them? Nonetheless, it was finally time. Slamming his forearm down on an arm of the throne, a small opening protruded from its metallic surface. As if propelled by raw magic, a massive roll of parchment began to ascend from this new orifice. The Roster. A legendary scroll containing brief information about just around every citizen of Oiros. Truthfully, the Stag Lord needed no such thing, for he knew more than all combined, but he also enjoyed the tradition of this legendary document- as did everyone else in the crowd. A well-executed show, to put it simply.

    Taking the wingspan of the scroll with two hands, the Lord made quick work of its seal, allowing the document to unfold neatly over his lap.


    "Clans!"

    "Ready yourselves, for today, one of each ascends to glory!"
    "Praise your God-King!"


    As screams for glory gradually fade out, every being in the Chasm, whether it be beast or Humanoid, takes a knee and bows for the Stag. Silence for the Reaping. It was time.

    "On this day of reaping, I select..."
    The Stag's voice had changed. It was deeper, its undertones echoing enthusiastically throughout the Chasm. As if empowered by magic, it gave everyone a brief sense of inspiration and excitement.
    A very slow beat of wardrums began to sound out slowly from hidden corridors across the mountains. It was dramatic, creating suspense for the oncoming decisions. It would gradually become louder, yet slower, taking the elements of a traditional drumroll with a twist.

    After a brief pause the Stag's voice suddenly boomed out in an utterly euphoric calling for the first warrior reaped. The sound of his voice brought absolute ecstasy for everyone present, inspiring great love for The Challenge, and life itself. Loud and powerful, the first calling resonated for all to hear.

    "GALLANT KEENBONE, OF THE KALLENKH!"

    Rocked by a fiery pride for their selected warrior, the entirety of the Kallenkh clan explodes in absolute joviality, jumping, screaming, blowing horns, rocking their entire section. Hordes of flying cattlebugs, massive, beautiful butterflies, and other insects of their calling suddenly spring out in a euphoric flight, dotting their skyline with colorful spores in celebration of the selection. Affected by the euphoric enchantment as well, other clans clap happily for the first choice, eager anticipating their own picks. It was a massive day for the Kallenkh, their entire section covered with jumping and screaming citizens dancing to the uncoordinated melodies of even happier horns and drums, legions of flying rainbow insects decorating their skies. From a balcony perched in the mountains, the leaders of the Kallenkh (perhaps joined by a larvae queen) clap proudly as they overlook their clan.

    After enough celebration, a new circuit of drums demands new silence. The second choice. The steady beat of drums controlled the eager heartbeats of all those awaiting below, with Wisps flying about, overseeing that everyone once again takes a knee in respects for the Stag (except for the Kallenkh, which were still trying to control their swarms as well as find Gallant in the middle of the crowd). Enthralled by the drums himself, the Stag began to slam his fist down on the armrest of this throne in unison with the percussion, before all sounds ceased, and he looked out over the clans.

    "TENSIN TSOGYAL, OF THE AJARNI!"

    The second call was met by a massive roar from the Ajarni section, who shot up in similar fashion to the Kallenkh, yelling at the top of their hearts in warm admiration for their reap. Massive Archons of elemental magic summoned by Ajarni archwizards begin to shower the area with sprinkles of Blessed Water and ice, others lighting up the celebration with waves of fire. Cheery elementals float and fly alongside the wisps, cheering in all their might for the pride of the Ajarni. Although smaller in population in comparison to the other clans, they were certainly just as loud, filling the chasm with a furious display of drums, horns, and magic to celebrate. Bannermen run along small spaces of their clan's section, displaying the Ajarni flag alongside proud young fellows who yell and jump in small puddles created by elementals. A glorious day for the Ajarni.

    However, the drums began to ring again. Silence was once more demanded of each clan. As the Ajarni settle down and the other clans cease their clapping and friendly acknowledgement of the reaping, the percussion from the mountains begins to pick up again. In unison, the Stag Lord follows the percussion with his fist pounding over the arm rest, and scores of clan members begin to chime in with their own stomps, or even banging their shields. It was time for the third selection. The drum beats culminates its loud escalation with a final beat, allowing the Stag Lord a brief pause before he announces his third choice. Looking yonder over the Roster with his decision already made, he makes the third announcement. His voice equally as booming and euphoric as the last two times, it inspires awe and fantastic joy in every being present in the Chasm, regardless of clan or affiliation.

    "ZIU, OF THE KITANI!"

    Fueled by the bellowing of tamed fauna from the Twilight Forest, a massive roar overtook the chasm in celebration of the Kitani clan. From their section, loud horns and animalistic roaring emanates loudly, cheering for their candidate. From a balcony perched on an elevated hill, the leaders of the Kitani nod approvingly as they sip on their tea, overseeing their clan before them. Basilisks tamed under huge metal chains are instructed to roar at their mightiest, further enthralled by the euphoric tones of the Stag Lord, resonating among every being. Bubbles of Twilight Darkness are cast upwards, materializing a cloudy and celebrative shroud over the clan. Huge poles of Kitani flags are raised in an act of showboating, the streets of their section absolutely blaring with the screams and yells of every clan member in celebration while ushers do their best to find the candidate among the crowds.

    Drums.

    The list was getting shorter. Only three clans remained, each now more anxious for the revelation of their candidate. Nails are bitten nervously among many, as the Stag Lord resumes the steady beat, banging his fist over the arm rest. Drums and the stomps of many followed in unison, building up the suspense for the next choice. A grandiose roster so far, three powerful and skilled warriors to face the Challenge of the Stag. It was time to wrap things up and complete this year's squadron, all at the beckon of the Stag. The drum beats escalate once more, beating heavily, its melody audible for miles beyond. Even those who were not present at the Chasm currently knew what was going on.

    The beat comes to a halt, as do the stomps, and everybody looks in the direction of either of the three clans remaining. Who was next? The Stag Lord had made it a habit to select his candidates in no particular order every year, which kept things suspenseful and dramatic for every occasion. Silence ensues, mostly everybody once more on their knees, patiently awaiting this selection. Then, the boom of that voice.

    "ACHAEUS, OF THE DIMAKOS!"

    Aside from the friendly clapping offered by all of the other clans, silence overtook the chasm. Normally, a massive boast of sound and power was the proper response to a reap, but this one was different in all ways imaginable. For decades, the Slaves of the Dimakos have always been the warriors selected for the Challenge of the Stag. This time, for some reason, a hierarch had been reaped. And not just any, but rather, Prince Achaeus, royal heir of the Dimakos. At the balcony where the leadership of the Dimakos stood, Achaeus's father looked to his side, a ghastly, pale expression of panic instilled over his features. He looked yonder at his fellow bureaucrats who looked just as shocked and confused, and looked even perhaps at his own son Achaeus if he was there. Otherwise, ushers are immediately sent to go find Achaeus if he was in the crowds of the Dimakos. After a brief silence, a handful of the Dimakos begin to clap, reasoning that although the reap is much unorthodox and unprecedented, it is still a mighty and righteous choice. Who better to represent Dimakos in the challenge than the prince himself? Soon the Chasm began to fill with celebratory horns and yells from the Dimakos, making a large uproar for Achaeus. A traditional dance by slaves is commenced, celebrating their reap, and white birds are released to dot the skyline with proud avians in representation of the Dimakos.

    "My lord..." An usher spoke to Achaeus's father, clearly confused on how to proceed. How could the Dimakos just give up their heir like that? This changed everything. The leader remained silent, baffled at what had just occurred. Not even the resuming drums could snap him out of it.


    Again, the Lord beats his fist over the arm-rest, building up momentum for the next reaping. This could only be one of two clans. So far, this squadron looked like it was the strongest to be assembled in quite a few years. Valiant figures from each clan have been selected, and while nobody expects anybody to ever complete the Challenge of the Stag successfully, it's always glorious to witness strong groups be sacrificed in legend for the Stag. If the previous reaps were any indication of today's righteousness, these next two choices should be just as grand. The loud drums finally come to a halt, and the Stag announces his selection.


    "RAND, OF THE WIGHTCLAN!"


    Instead of orthodox clapping, what instead roared out from the Wights of Ithaka was a peculiar sound. They did not clap their hands together, but rather, they began to clack their jaws loudly in a skeletal orchestra, making sure to be as loud as possible. Colossal constructs of bone and sinew, skeleton giants, if you will, pound their bony feet over the ground in the absence of drums, roaring loudly as well. The choice made by the Stag Lord was most certainly one of high tier, for this selection was a very accomplished warrior- but there was controversy behind it as well. It wasn't exactly another prince that had been reaped, but still someone of such high tier that the choice is questionable. The Reaping of a Wightlord is not unprecedented, but even so it is a rare deed from the Stag. As glorious as the Reaping is, this was clearly a loss for the Wights.

    "Damnit! I'll have your skin, you damned elk..." Ithaka murmured from her balcony perch over the Wight balcony, Dark Matter bubbling out of her mouth in anger. Flanked by 2 Tombmonarchs and a Rotten Minotaur, they look over the Wight section in dismay. "A calamity..." One of them mentions as they all turn to return into the corridors. "I concur." They fade into the darkness of the corridors. "Summon the Necropanel immediately."

    Banshees wail in a ghastly song for their reap, while undead horses proudly gallop across the section with bannermen at their backs, showing off the pride of the Wights.

    Moving on, only one clan remained. At the far side of the Chasm, legions of Homunculi bounced and hummed in anticipation for their choice. Being the last clan left meant they had time to prepare their showboating. Even as drums once more began to ring, they could hardly contain themselves. The Challenge of the Stag was peculiar for this clan, because many of them were in actuality artificial creations not directly linked to primary creation by The Stag Lord, yet they were still recognized as a functioning clan by all means. When the drums halted, the Homunculi could hardly contain themselves. From a mountain balcony, the Homunculi elder gazed with a pleased expression over their clan.

    A brief silence before the Stag's voice rocked the chasm once more.
    "XYTOR, OF THE TIKI!"

    In an entirely unexpected occurrence, the Stag Lord found that there was no reaction to his calling. Despite his omnipotence, he found himself slightly surprised at the situation. This silence was not in protest, nor in misunderstanding- rather it seemed more like nobody had actually heard him. It was not ignorance, though. It was almost like if the reap he made has been invalid. Nobody paid attention to it.

    "XYTOR, OF THE TIKI"
    He bellowed again, empowering his voice with an even greater incantation of euphoria and inspiration, yet still, no reaction from any of the clans. Sighing in defeat, The Stag Lord dropped his head, rubbing his brow. "Fine..." He murmured to himself. Rolling up the Roster, he inserts it back into the slot of the Throne, a steady hand once more gripping his wooden scepter. He rises in a sudden burst of energy, stomping energetically over the ground.

    "XYTOR, AND PICO OF THE TIKI!"


    Certainly, the crowd explodes. In the most volatile reaction yet, loud screams of joy and cheers fill the entirety of the chasm. Massive amalgamations of artificial Homunculi projects, turned sentient by magic, stomp happily across the section, held together by papier mache, scrap metal, and a little bit of wizardry. Huge Tiki cannons of war are summoned forward, firing bouts of confetti into the air, not just in celebration of their reaping, but to celebrate the culmination of this year's ceremony as a whole. Wisps fly about happily over each clan, ensuring that all the candidates selected are present and moving forward.

    Laughing heartily, the Stag lord stabs the tip of his scepter onto the ground.

    "Warriors! Be proud of this day!"
    The Lord proclaims.
    "Reaped, you have been. Present yourselves to me."
    Although the actual Challenge is not to happen for a handful of days from now, the candidates are still required to come forward and be presented in front of all of the clans.
    "Let this year's Challenge of the Stag... Begin!" The loud yell finalizes, signaling the commence of the Challenge, to take place a few days from now.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
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  2. Lord_Aza

    Lord_Aza The voice of truth
    1. Federation of Sochinja

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    Achaeus Dimakos


    The Reaping


    Hearing his own son's name made Lord Gennadius Dimakos, the famed patriarch of the family, drop his jaw. The normally gentle and intelligent man was now burning with fear and fury, fear for his son's life and the future of the clan, and unquenchable fury towards the Stag Lord, the god in whose name he'd been praying for his entire life. Was this a statement, had his clan somehow wronged the god-king? And there really wasn't another Achaeus within the clan's warriors, that was for sure. Gennadius was unable to join the crowd's cheering and clapping.

    The ushers basically pulled Achaeus from the midst of the younger members of the clan's aristocracy. He seemed very reluctant to go but complied after a while. Nothing could be done to stop the wheels of fate from turning anyways. One of the girls began crying.

    "Warriors! Be proud of this day!"

    Warriors? Proud? Achaeus felt anger towards the clan's champions, those who'd been specifically trained for this occasion since childhood and had never been so embarrassingly rejected before - the fault must've been at least partially theirs! He would make sure each of them got a whipping later.

    Descending the stairs of the Dimakos stand Achaeus pondered the reasons behind his fate. Had the Stag Lord finally succumbed to the bribes of his father's unjust and slanderous rivals? Had he been set up for political reasons? Or... Maybe this was meant to be? Yes! That seemed like the most reasonable explanation. There was a deeper purpose behind his reaping, and he would rise above the others in the challenge and be the first one in history to come back alive. This was his chance to prove himself, like one of those ancient elvish heroes he'd read so much about. What would be the rewards for such an accomplishment? Power? Immortality? Who knew.

    "Reaped, you have been. Present yourselves to me."

    As he got to the lowest floor of the stand, his glance met that of an older man in full ceremonial armor. It was Ambrosius Gregoras, captain of the family's guard and a very old and trusted friend of his father. Having been widowed early on with no children, Achaeus was like a son to him. There was visible sadness in Ambrosius's eyes, and he opened his mouth to wish good luck but couldn't get the words out. Instead, he offered his sword. It would not be appropriate to salute the Stag Lord as a warrior without a weapon. Achaeus only knew the basic theory of sword-fighting, that which was still required for members of the aristocracy for traditional reasons. Never had he had to duel with anyone and the object felt strangely heavy and cold in his gloved hand. Yet, he was grateful for the offering and accepted it gladly before walking forth towards the other unfortunate tributes.

    Ah yes, the others.

    At first, Achaeus took notice of Amadeo Buffone, representing his father's most notable rivals, the Bellucci clan. Buffone was a veteran of many wars and son of the tyrannical governor of the Ostore province. Clad in the traditional red tunic of his clan and wielding a large mace, he seemed more than happy about his nomination. What's more, he seemed drunk. In addition to him there was a bunch of insignificant and generic-looking warriors from lesser clans. And a handful of more... interesting characters.
     
    • Educated Educated x 1
    #2 Lord_Aza, Sep 29, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  3. TinySnowcloud

    TinySnowcloud Growing Blizzard of Dreams
    1. ⚔ La Ganga/El Beneficio ⚔

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    “Gallant Keenbone, of the Kalhenkh!”
    Gallant’s eyes had gone wide with shock as her name was called. Was this real? Was it a dream? As the rest of the clan exploded around her, Gallant remained kneeling for several moments, grasping at her own mortality. She’d trained her whole life for this exact moment! If only—just a year or two more...No—NO! Gallant gave a violent shake of the head, almost simultaneously receiving a few thumps on the back as those around her realized she was right there! The young woman rocketed to her feet with a triumphant, hoarse cry as she raised her sword into the air, feeling her pulse thumping loud and strong throughout her being, in synchrony with the rest of the clan. The Stag Lord had chosen her because she was ready. And by His name, she’d be far from alone on this quest. All her friends, family, her clan—they went with her, guiding her sword. The warrior thumped her chest, roaring again with the roiling rage of a warrior ready to go to battle.
     
    • Educated Educated x 1
    #3 TinySnowcloud, Sep 29, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  4. Aeruscator

    Aeruscator Ignis aurum probat.

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    Wightclan

    Ithaka had something of a self-inflicted disease. Soul bloat. The intake of hundreds upon hundreds of souls, all of varying power and age, had forced her body to grow to compensate.

    She was a spilling vessel, yet near immortal.

    Her palanquin, flanked on either side by feigned aristocrats bent to her will by her magic, was carried by the rotted minotaur and the tomb-monarchs. They were figureheads. They answered to the Wightlords who spoke for Ithaka.

    The Wightlords themselves, of which there were eight, road in the palanquin with Ithaka. They were her honor guard and her generals. What their mistress could not do due to the soul bloat they would do for her. Without hesitation they would all sacrifice themselves for her. That was the way things were.

    Over decades they had become her confidants and her servants. Her only friends, created by her hand through strife. Indignation had long faded, however. They had memory of little else. It had all faded away. Every death brought the struggle to remember harder, as their own soul’s connection to their bodies was weakened and replaced by Ithaka’s darkness and the stolen souls of others.

    That was the thing that was perhaps most peculiar. Ithaka could not kneel. She was in fact left ensconced behind several curtains, where she was kept comfortable against a reclining seat. Her arms and head and neck could pivot and move but the Wightlords were watchful from their shaded positions in the nooks and corners of the palanquin. Injury could come at any moment. She was fragile, even if she was immortal.

    They had arrived first to the valley. Any celebration and victory had been bypassed by the dwindling Wightclan, which numbered only nine hundred. Most of those were veritable warriors and wights while the rest were thinly chained vessels made to do heavy work.

    Rand, amongst his kith, was perhaps the most faithful. He loved Ithaka. Not because of the second life he had been given, or the power that he shared with her and the other Wightlords.

    Instead, her kindness had showed itself to him in a time of personal strife. When his memories were worsening and the image of the child that he did not know was his was leaving him in pieces, he had cried. It was, as he saw it, his only connection to who he once was and the only thing reminding him of his loyalties and who he cared for now. It was the ashes of a fire that had burnt out. He was the ember left behind and Ithaka the flame that burned. She had tied the memory to the darkness that strengthened him. She had given him, once again, the drive to serve of his own volition.

    For the longest time, all things had been done in memory of the girl that had cared enough to soothe him in a time of death and destruction. Now, his actions carried the memory of his queen cradling him as if he were a child and tending to his mind to bring him happiness. The child was ashes. His faith in the fire had been rejuvenated, however. Stronger than ever.

    It was these events that brought him to where he was today. General. Lord. Speaker for his lady. Fellow soldier. Loyal to a fault. Badass soul-stealing murder machine.


    The Wights did not kneel, despite the convention. Ithaka was outspoken against the Stag Lord as a cruel God and a heinous ruler whose only intention was to draw humor from his creations. This was in part her motivation for feeling herself a liberator of those she had brought from death into undeath as wights or the other abominations she kept on hand for parlor tricks and scare-factor.


    "RAND, OF THE WIGHTCLAN!"

    Rand had been holding onto one of the rails near the entrance of the large palanquin and watching the Stag Lord, describing events as they unfolded to his Lady and his brethren who sat deeper in. It was time for dinner, and so she was being fed from a platter of foodstuffs found in the Wightland.

    His first response. He was shaken. Uncertain. He had lost focus. When he released his hand from the railing above his head he had to catch himself. He had been reeling back towards Ithaka without realizing it.

    When she sputtered her curse against the Stag Lord he steeled himself. Remembered again the fire which he fought to maintain. The symbol of hope against the Stag Lord’s twisted oppression and reaping of common folk and warriors who wanted nothing more but to live.

    The first thing that he thought, he spoke: “My lady, beware. Thy tongue is cursed by blackened bloat of souls unending. Speak not lest ye wound thyself.”

    Her response was a saddened frown. Her huge-brimmed hat cast deep shadows across her face and as such only the tip of her nose, the glint of her green eyes, and her lower face was clearly visible. The Wights below where making a racket, shouting and pushing back and forth amongst themselves. What terrible things Ithaka could not wish upon the Stag Lord, they could. Those few true undead, skeletal and rotting things, clacked about and masked the treacherous heresies spoken by the wights.

    Rand grabbed hold of the railing above him, and used it as a pivot point from which to sling. After a moment of air-time fueled by the immense strength of the wightlord, he landed on the balcony railing. The wights almost immediately went hushed as they turned back towards their Wightlord. The rest of the convention didn’t matter to them. They knew that this year seemed to be a reaping of the aristocracy and expected more pompous and sheltered children akin to the Dimakos noble. They could not pay more attention even if Ithaka were to speak herself.
    The Wightlords were beloved.


    “Fellow dead, I present myself to th-...”

    He paused. The wights looked amongst themselves.

    My fellow Living and Ripe! Look not at me now as an emissary of Ithaka speaking in her flowered tongue but instead as Rand. I am of you. This year may be my last among you and I wish to look upon you with my own eyes and speak with my own way.”

    His voice had lost the light-touch calming tones with which he had spoken to Ithaka. The flowered, archaic twists of tongue had been abandoned in favor of a bittersweet and common mannerism. To many his voice sounded foreign this way, and yet so infinitely calming in their vulnerability.

    Rand’s right hand, looking clawed by effect of his gauntlets and armor, grabbed his skeletal-plated hood and pulled it back. His face was shown then to his people. A certain dedication to his duties left him ever vigilant and ever-adorned in his gear. This moment was special to his people. It was, to them, humanizing. Their steadfast favorite hidden behind mask and steel was revealing himself to them.

    The wight’s left hand, again clawed in appearance, grasped the Wightlord’s breastplate at the center and wwrrennched it open in a single violent swing. Not only had the plate been pulled away, but so too had the gambeson and chains beneath.

    He was flaunting.

    His face was of a rather calm demeanor. A poorly shaven beard and close-cut hair kept out of the way of firm brows and a strong jaw. The large handprint burn-scar across the right side of his face told of how he came to be. Like most of them he had been created by chance. Not by the direct grace of His Lady. A groundling high in the rafters. Rags to riches. Ash to embers.

    “Today is the day that we all live darkly.”

    The wights had turned their backs on the Stag Lord as the god struggled to bring the Tiki clan into an excited celebration. They now were extending their hands to meet each other’s. When all was said and done five hands sat on top of Wightlord Rand’s own extended hand.

    “Because we do live. Despite what they all whisper...” The crowd of wights were pulling their own masks away. Rand locked eyes with as many as he could as he took his sword from his belt and held it into the air.

    “They stand as our neighbors and paint us twisted as evil. Our Queen as unjust and deadly when they bend their knee so willingly to an unjust Godking who earns not their favor, NAY, he DEMANDS by virtue of creation.”

    “We, however, know...” His voice fell to a whisper. The other undead took up the phrase with vigor. As did Rand when he heard his people with him.

    The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.


    Ithaka’s right hand, extended and pulsating with magics, hushed her folk so as to prevent the sound from spilling over and interrupting the festivities. A thin blanket in which they could speak and cheer as loudly as they pleased undisturbed.


    “So, by Ithaka’s covenant, I will fight for you. Our womb is tired and dreadful, and belongs to an old Stag worthy of no respect. Only fear. So know that tonight Ithaka shall feast upon us so that we may finally bring an end to this challenge. When I win. When I bring us forward, I will wish the Dread Stag God out of existence so that he may pester us with his hatred of his children no longer.”

    The mass of wights poured forth their stolen and excess souls through the Wightlord Rand. As the crowd began to cheer outside the barrier of magics, Ithaka lowered it.

    The wights picked up their screaming and hooting and hollering as Rand pointed his blade towards the palanquin above and a blast of loose souls flowed directly into Ithaka. The light show might easily have been mistaken for a normal celebration had it not been the Wightclan partaking in it.

    The wights parted and Rand, still oozing with a total of three contained souls, sealed his armor back together in the same way that it was made. Blackness and shadows pulled it together and mended it. His hood pulled itself back over his head.


    To the wights, the shadows and blackness that fueled their own souls and patched them together were symbolic. Dark magic was them denying The Dread Old Stag God in favor of the new god.

    Humanity.

    Condensed. Pure. To be truly Human was to be dark, and to accept that. To be truly Human was to be powerful, and use that. Dark and powerful. Dark, and most importantly, loyal to their fellow man.

    Therefore: Good.

    Ithaka gave them the tools to do that.
     
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  5. _Electra_

    _Electra_ Imagination is magic, so all dreamers are wizards

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    The Tiki Clan

    Xytor was excited. Not just because this was another Reaping, which seemed to it just another holiday. The homunculi didn't really celebrate the Reaping nearly as much as the other clans for, as artificial creatures, they were only indirectly crafted by the Stag Lord and only then because he made the materials that would eventually be put together as homunculi. He didn't create them as he did the other clans, so the homunculi didn't really feel much obligation to celebrate how great he was. Instead, they made their own holidays both to parody the others obsession with tradition (Which is a bit of a running joke among the homunculi; to find all the things other people think of as immutable facts of life and point out how they're just artificial constructs, like themselves), and to emphasize their own values of independence and rejection of the ordinary. No homunculus is satisfied with mediocrity, with something being "Just OK." If it's not extraordinary, it's finished yet, the world at large included.

    But no, this excitement was different, it was special; today was the day Xytor and Pico completed their very first party cannon. Not only that, their very own project was going to be displayed before every single clan AND the Stag Lord himself! What better exhibition could a little artificer hope for?

    As the names of the many champions were called for the Reaping, Xytor was only listening with half a gigantic ear as it obsessively checked and rechecked to make sure all the supplies were set properly. It had spent far too much time on this party cannon for anything to go wrong now. In fact, Xytor was so focused on priming the cannon, it didn't even notice when its own name was called by the legendary Stag Lord!


    Only after Pico, the tiny one-eyed frog-like construct that served as Xytor's pet and best friend in the world, crawled town the shaft of the cannon that it was polishing to poke Xytor on the shoulder that it looked up and realized something was wrong.

    "XYTOR, OF THE TIKI"


    The Stag Lord's second bellow shoots a thousand questions through Xytor's head. "Me? Did I hear that right? Is it really...? But what if I'm not ready yet?" But in the silence that still surrounded the homunculus, Xytor realizes the announcement itself brings up even more problems than that, "What about Pico? I can't go without Pico! Doesn't the Stag Lord know that? But he's got that huge Roster!"

    "Fine... XYTOR, AND PICO OF THE TIKI!"

    Whew! Relief floods through the tiny homunculus as it finally sets off the party cannon with a satisfying "BOOM" while others, all around it activate their own partifacts (party artifacts) that send confetti, streamers, and even some fireworks into the air. Xytor still wasn't quite sure it was ready for this huge adventure, but with a supportive nod from the Tiki elder seated above it in the cockpit of a miniature thopter, a successful party cannon launch, and Pico by its side, this beginning couldn't have gone much better.

    As the two constructs begin making their way down to the omnipotent and still quite intimidating Stag Lord, a sense of confidence buoys their hopes. Sure nobody has yet returned from this challenge, but that just makes it all the more exciting! All the mysteries, the magics, the questions that have never been answered, all to be seen for the first time ever by Xytor and Pico's two collective eyes! A little bit of danger, a tiny sprinkle of risk is nothing compared to the sheer potential!

    As they strode out towards the great Stag Lord they knew.

    They were ready

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Lord_Deadpool

    Lord_Deadpool the bugmaster of roleplay

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    Clan Kitani
    The reaping. The event that every warrior of every clan was preparing and waiting for every year, an event that has gone down I legend as the most honorable and prestigious thing a warrior of the clans could hope for, some have even prepared for this wary event sense the day they could hold a weapon... or most would have you believe. Some clans did not like the event one bit, others openly showed there hate to the Stag Lord and the event it self, as it most likely interfered with there own plans and designers for there life and the world around them, tho most of this did not matter to Ziu all that much, as he was not a leader of his clan, but a mere twilight guard of the clan Kitani leadership. Tho the only reason why he is not of a higher position is his tendency for jokes and such, newer the less, he did his job well. Ziu was not surprised at all when his name was called, as his clan was one of many clans that had there warriors picked every year, even he new that it would be sooner or later be for he him self was picked in one of the events, and that time had come at last. As the clan roared as one, Ziu left his post by the clan elders and started making his way down that the center stage, the main platform where the stag lord was, as he passed by members of his clan, they all cheered him on as he made his way to the center stage, his long staff d sting idle on his right shoulder, " SHADOWS PART FOR THE LIGHT TO SHINE!" Was a cheer one could hear most of the clan calling out as he passed the members of his clan by. By the time he bad arrived at the center stage where the stag lord was, most of the other chosen had already, or where still, arrived, " Let the games begin" Ziu said to him self as the last of the chosen had arrived as well, as the stag lord announced that the challenge of the stag had begun. @Kibaa
     
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  7. BlotBokt

    BlotBokt Perpetually Confused

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    "TENSIN TSOGYAL, OF THE AJARNI!"
    Tensin shouted with the rest of his clan for a brief moment, it still hadn't registered to him that he was the one who had been chosen. His mind ran thousands of miles per minute. He stood up slowly, his mind echoing back to him that he wouldn't be ready for this, but, he couldn't help fora smile to be etched onto his face as he stood up next to his clan. The slamming of hands on his back and shoulders, the cheers and the elementals celebrating his name banished his doubts. He stood a little taller, took time to brush off his shoulders and straighten his robes. He would do his part in representing the Ajarni, and he would do it well. "Reaped, you have been. Present yourselves to me."He took the little time he had, coating a small portion of his body in ice as he loped towards the podium, surged on by the cheers and drums. As the stag lord said the final words, his heart stopped for a moment and he felt faint, the power in those words terrified him, but it was now his duty to fight, and fight he would. He nodded in greeting to the contestants around him, and settled into the group, they would need each other in the coming days.
     
  8. Kibaa

    Kibaa Bartolomeo da Cana|| Muhaŝŝiŝ

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    [​IMG]

    Corralled by a herd of floating wisps, each warrior was eventually forced onto the flat, stone platform where which the Lord's throne stood tall and proud, just in front of the entrance to the cave. As each warrior took a stand adjacent to the Stag Lord's feet, each facing their own respective clan section, their God gave the platform a final thud with the butt of his scepter.

    He lowered himself, almost in a squat, facing each warrior as they in turn turned to face him.
    "Achaeus."
    In the prince, he saw only trivia and controversy. A nobleman, to participate in the Challenge for the first time in history. He was truly a milestone.
    "Keenbone."
    The young woman appeared as collected as one could be, yet the Stag Lord saw within her a roaring fury. Not anger, nor wrath, but a fury which was overwhelmingly eager to prove to everyone that if anyone could defeat the Challenge, it'd be the Kallenkh. And it would be on this year.
    "Tensin."
    A marble swirl of emotions was what the Stag Lord picked up within him. Fear, anger, pride, duty. An unquestionable motivation to see his life to the very end displaying nothing but love and charisma for the Arjani and the world within which he lived. Jealousy, regret. Thoughts of a brother.
    "Rand."
    Contempt for the Stag Lord, perhaps. Obedience to Ithaka. The Stag Lord found difficulty in analyzing this Wight's thoughts. Much like Tensin, he sensed mixed feelings within him. The undead had a tendency to be unpredictable, and certainly, much was racing through Rand's mind right now.
    "Xytor."
    As the Stag Lord glared into the Homunculi, he saw... nothing. Darkness. He could not read into something which he himself did not create. Fueled by artificial magic and the untamable ingenuity of other living beings, the Homunculi were one of the only beings on this plane of existence which the Stag Lord had no power over. Of course, no one knew this. Nor will they ever know about it, as long as the Stag's omnipotence has something to say about it.
    "Ziu."
    A contender, eager for the games. Within Ziu, a bright flame burned with a passion rivaled by few. A great urge to purge the shadow that is the Challenge of the Stag using the light of the Kitani. This was going to be interesting.

    "You are the warriors that will represent the living. May Oiros guide you, and ensure that you return with that very title. Representatives of the living."

    With no more words, all that could be seen and heard was the Stag Lord turning around and retroceding into the darkness of the cave, his Throne once more sinking into the ground, never to be seen again until next year.
    For the Warriors, their mission was clear.
    They had three days until the Call of the Blades, when they will arrive early in the morning at this very location to be tossed right into the challenge.
    @Lord_Deadpool @TinySnowcloud @_Electra_ @BlotBokt @Aeruscator @Lord_Aza
     
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  9. Lord_Aza

    Lord_Aza The voice of truth
    1. Federation of Sochinja

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    Encampment of the Dimakos delegation, one night until the Challenge



    Like every year, a city of tents had been set up for the Dimakos delegation, on the flat side of one of the mountains. A rocky path connected it to the valley down below and influential people from all corners of Oiros were pouring in, carried by luxurious carriages that were slowly dragged forwards by enormous ox-like creatures. Some arrived with their fancy and modern hot air contraptions. This place was like a beehive - at the center of it all was the purple tent, which belonged to Lord Gennadius. Truthfully, calling it a tent was a huge understatement. The man's temporary accommodation could maybe better be described as a mansion, maybe even a castle, its walls made of the finest fabrics the world had to offer. It could easily house Gennadius and his wife, but also some two hundred service staff and security guards. On the right side of it was a tent occupied by religious authorities - one could hear the praising of the Stag Lord's name in ancient and dead languages, for evening service was taking place. At last (if you don't count the hundreds of tents populated by buzzing merchants, friends and political allies), there was the tent of Gennadius' son Achaeus, the one chosen by the Stag Lord. Inside it were also staying a dozen of the family's most proven strategists, martial artists, philosophers and mages. The purpose of them was to ensure that the family's golden son got the best possible training before taking on the challenge. However, none of them had seen young Achaeus anywhere...




    His hand slid through Aurelia's flowing gold hair as the two laid on a haystack at the rocky outskirts, behind the stable master's tent. The night sky was clear and covered in glimmering sparks of light. They'd made Achaeus think of life, eternity and what was on the other side.



    "I don't want to go, you know.. I'm going to die."


    "It is.. likely. But you mustn't give up hope, you don't know what awaits you. I can only pray for you, and I will."


    "I know, I know. Uh.. What happens to me should be the least of our problems. I'm just imagining how bad things will go when... if I don't return."



    Aurelia Dimakina was Achaeus's first cousin and the next in line to inherit the family's wealth, titles and lands should he not return. Conveniently, she was also his mistress. What complicated things was her betrothal to Sergio Bellucci, the greedy, barbaric and antisocial head of another clan. The infamous Bellucci were long time rivals of the Dimakos and had come to own all of the countryside surrounding Sestos. They were known as prominent explorers, fighters and slave traders and feared among their peasantry and other clans alike. Luckily to the house of Dimakos, Sergio had laid his eyes on Aurelia some months back and heads of the two families had agreed on a marriage connecting their bloodlines and tying them together politically. Now, with Achaeus's life under threat, the Dimakos were in danger of losing all of their wealth and worldly possessions to the Bellucci.



    "Sergio? Don't worry, my love, I'll take care of Sergio", she spat out his name like it were some vile and forbidden curse.


    "I truly pray for your courage."


    "And I pray for yours... and I promise to wait for your return, every day and every night."



    Achaeus leaned forward to kiss her. She slid something to his hand.



    "...What is this, a rock?", asked Achaeus in confusion.


    "No... It's a powerful talisman, take it with you and hold on to it. How I acquired it doesn't matter, but I hope it will be of use on your journey."


    "How does it work, how can I use it?"



    The conversation was cut short by the approaching footsteps of guards. Curses, Achaeus thought. It seemed that his absence had been noticed. And yes, at the helm was marshal Gregoras. Aurelia had already made a run for it when the men arrived.



    "Alright lad, get up. You're wanted back at your tent, we'll escort you. And see that you won't wander off again."



    And he hadn't even gotten to say goodbye.
     
  10. TinySnowcloud

    TinySnowcloud Growing Blizzard of Dreams
    1. ⚔ La Ganga/El Beneficio ⚔

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    Gallant Keenbone
    Champion of the Kalhenkh
    In the hours following the reaping, Gallant found herself heartily partaking in the revelries of her clan—giving great cries into the afternoon air, wrestling her friends and allies, and...sadly, not getting drunk. No, she needed her head in the days to come, and so while her compatriots slowly got hammered, she remained sharp in mind. By early evening, Gallant had slipped away from the revelries, into the cool air. It chilled her just a bit, as she was at this time wearing her hemp tunic, trousers, and a dagger fastened to the back of her belt, though the chill was not unwelcome.

    The warrior began striding in the direction of the Homunculi camps. She wanted to confer with those who would become her allies, and she chose to begin with Xytor...and, of course, Pico.

    @Kibaa @_Electra_
     
  11. Aeruscator

    Aeruscator Ignis aurum probat.

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    Wightclan

    The first rule was always to remain calm. Eyes forward. Considering information as it came forward. Never getting hasty. It was this haste that he struggled most to control. Within fifteen minutes of returning to camp he was already looking for something to cut up. All while remaining near Ithaka's palanquin.

    Her palanquin served as the center of activity. The spoke of the wheel. The wheel buzzed violently with activity. From above it looked like a militarized settlement. From the ground it looked like a war-zone. A no-man's land. This was a perpetual fact of life in Wightclan territories. Bodies and corpses being buried or stacked or ordered or set out in rows. All of this so that they could once again be brought back to life. Out of every one hundred wights, about one worthy of being a general could be found. So the lower wights made their duty to find a hundred such replacements so as to prepare for Rand's potential death.

    With their first year at such an event they had settled somewhat permanently. There was always at least fifty wights garrisoning this area. The buildings had been tents at one point, but had grown to be wood. Then stone. Now a proper wall was being erected. What wasn't already cast in stone was still wooden fortifications that did their job well enough.

    Walking into the structure from the East or West gate, or South entryway would pull into one's view a grand earthen overhang. The fort had been constructed with its back to a steep incline of sharp stone. From this, much had been carved out to ensure the circumference was equal. It was about the only landmark distinguishing one portion of the camp from another. It was entirely symmetrical from all directions. A purposeful attempt to confuse any individuals that had chosen to take extreme interest in the activities of the wights. Quiet traces of Ithaka's magic were the only milestones in the facility, and they were meant explicitly for use by the wights and any other spawn of Ithaka.

    The facility spiraled inwards and bent off in odd directions at queer moments that churned the gut. The only orientation point being the cliff, which itself seemed to shimmer unnervingly as if it were ever-shifting. In truth, it was crawling with bound-up creatures of shadow. Twisted, warping, infinitely self-contained objects of a nearly crystalline persuasion that were not actual objects themselves but non-material flutters of Ithaka's magic. It wasn't just here that they existed. She seemed, to an extent, to lack control. Corpses twitched as spiders of otherworldly magic danced across them before snipping once more out of this reality and into another darker place where such a shape could function.

    Inwards, as the spiral continued, one would find the palanquin. Several tables had been set out around it, and the seven hundred or so off-duty wights were feasting on breads and sweet meats and fruits and vegetables. They would feast like that, rotating shifts, for the next three days. On the first day the Wightlords patrolled the facility and managed the men. On the second day they ate with Ithaka.

    It was on the second day that Rand disappeared. For six hours he was gone. In truth, however, he was with Ithaka in the dark. Rather than feast he had chosen to fast that day and rest with the individual he served. Entire conversations and arguments were had as he spoke to her through his fragment of her soul and her magic, blackened and edged. When he returned to meet the other wights his resolve, previously melted, had been made once again of steel. He feasted and won duels and executed a criminal. A bountiful celebration.

    The evening before his departure and the last day of their period of preparation, however, the Wightlords and Ithaka traveled the distance to the Dimakos tent city. The palanquin walked on six legs of bone and flesh as it entered camp. It had abandoned the beasts of burden that had previously been used in operating the thing, in favor of the magic of two of the Wightlords.

    Carefully, the thing crawled towards the small camp while Rand's compatriot and close friend Amari announced their arrival in a rather booming voice. The figure hung outside of the palanquin for a moment from an obscured rail, before falling back into the shroud. It would be clear enough, perhaps, that the goal of these undead creatures was to meet with the other tribute.

    @Lord_Aza
     
  12. BlotBokt

    BlotBokt Perpetually Confused

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    Later that day, Tensin found himself within a circle of hundreds of his fellow Ajarni. His eyes focused on the dancing fire in the middle, a group of fifteen or so Ajarni clad in flame and spark standing out against the darkened sky as they danced, surrounded by the stomping feet, shouting and loud and sharp instruments of the supposedly scholarly and reserved Ajarni. Tensin sat with them, singing but almost shouting the words to one of the more popular songs among the tribe, worries almost completely forgotten. He had a couple of days before he needed a clear mind and prepared body. He allowed himself this one night of revelry. He had spent the last couple hours in a storm of congratulations, continuous pats on the back and rough hugs. It might have been too much for some, but for him it was exactly what was needed. He had wandered through the In one hand he held a horn of one of the stronger drinks the Ajarni had to offer, Ugal, made from the root of a hardy plant growing in the mountainous North. The other hand came up and down on his leg, thumping out the same beat as the drums on the coarse fabric. He stayed up with the last of his revelers, spending the night talking and playin cards with others his age long into the night. The flameforms had dulled down to mere embers and the darkness had crept in completely when he called the night. His mind not especially coherent, he slowly stumbled his way through the herds of packbeasts and the small tents. He took his time, partly because walking quickly would only end poorly and the night air refreshed him a bit, providing a bit more clarity to his thoughts. Approaching the edge of the encampment, he snagged a lantern from a post and crawled into his tent, being careful with the fire in his hand. He quickly stripped of is outer layers, neatly folding them and resting them on his pack in the corner for tomorrow. He curled himself within blankets on his cot, and satisfied, let his minds rest.

    The following morning he woke with a headache. After spending an hour or two getting ready and clearing his head, he deemed himself ready to meet with some of the other challengers. He walked with purposful strides, nodding to guards, smiling and greeting all the Ajarni he ran into, and headed towards the camp of the Kitani.

    @Kibaa @Lord_Deadpool
     
  13. _Electra_

    _Electra_ Imagination is magic, so all dreamers are wizards

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    The Tiki Clan
    Not long after the Reaping concluded, Xytor and Pico found themselves whisked off to the homunculi's encampment. Or should I say, whisked up the homculi's encampment. The many large magical constructs that accompanied clan Tiki weren't just for show, after all. After the ceremony, various artificers simply commanded their creations to climb atop each other and compact themselves as much as possible. The result is a tall totem-pole tower whose appearance is very reminiscent of the clan's name, atop which stands our dynamic duo, being hoisted up into the air by their homunculus friends in celebration to the sound of frenetic drums from the lower levels.

    That's only the first event of the night, however. For the homunculi, there are few better opportunities in life than knowing exactly when it'll end. If you know when you'll die, which everyone readily acknowledges will probably happen in the Stag Lord's challenge, you can do whatever you want until then. Party like there's no tomorrow because there really isn't one! Unless the two adventurers really did make it out alive in which case they'd be welcomed back as heroes. A win-win, really.

    It's only during the super-skyscraper-skydive-athlon portion of the celebrations that Xytor, upon landing gently on the grassy ground beneath the oversized totem pole, notices a distinctly out of place adventurer approaching, one that looks very familiar in fact...

    "Oh hello!" Xytor exclaims as it hops towards the adventurer, dropping its neon rainbow-colored feathery slowfall cape into the grass behind it. "You're Gallant, right? The one with the oddly perfect name for questing?"

    @TinySnowcloud
     
  14. Lord_Aza

    Lord_Aza The voice of truth
    1. Federation of Sochinja

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    Achaeus had already been dismissed by his tutors when the Wightclan arrived. The merry singing and music fell quiet the moment the undead made their announcement. People looked nervous. Some left the area. Out of a particularly large and well guarded tent marched an older man with an eyepatch.

    "We welcome the Wightclan to our encampment. What brings us this honor?"

    @Aeruscator
     
  15. Aeruscator

    Aeruscator Ignis aurum probat.

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    Wightclan

    Amari, masked and indistinguishable from any of the other Wightlords while clad fully in his armor, seemed a twisted visage of a human corpse. The armor was dreadful. A matte scar on the world, shrouded in black and dread. He hung there for a moment, with only the sharp tip of his boot hooked on the bottom of the palanquin. For a moment he looked like a monkey, covered from head to toe in bones and hair and twisted geometry. Given a moment, he dropped onto the ground in front of the palanquin, which lowered. Three more similarly clad figures, more Wightlords, stepped into the light and pushed away shrouds of thin fabric. They stood and watched as Amari spoke.

    "The Eight and One Lady have determined it necessary for us to make allies for our Fallen Son, Wightlord Rand. We demand he be given time to expose his nature and his methods of blade to the Young Lord of the Dimakos. Two sacrifices that should break bread before they are stolen away by the Dark Lord. Shall they commit to dinner and then to an evening at blade? He is young, is he not? Diversification of swordsmanship is... beneficial. And a good meal is as well." Amari kept on his knee and hand, head low.

    @Lord_Aza
     
  16. Lord_Aza

    Lord_Aza The voice of truth
    1. Federation of Sochinja

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    Unlike some of his men, the guard captain didn't flinch at the sight of walking and talking corpses. Being a veteran of many battles he'd seen and fought wights before. Now they were here for an alliance.

    "Lord Achaeus has already withdrawn to his quarters and we've been ordered not to disturb him. However, considering the high nature of your request I shall inform Marshal Gregoras and re-"

    Several approaching footsteps and the faint sound of singing could now be heard out of the otherwise quiet crowd. From it emerged Lord Achaeus together with three guardsmen, two other young noblemen, a wealthy slave trader's son and an aged traveling bard clad in rugs, each of them in different stages of intoxication.

    "Look at what we stumbled upon, the SPOOK CLAN is here.. Hehe.. he..."

    Achaeus nearly fell over when his friends pushed him forwards. The captain was visibly cringing. Despite of his initial inappropriate comment, Achaeus seemed to be aware of the seriousness of the situation and the diplomatic possibilities it brought - at least as aware as he could be. Waddling forwards he bowed theatrically and walked to the wights. He tried to stand still as a soldier as he continued.

    "Ackshully, my friends... I'm very sorry we got off on the - hic - wrong foot. If that's how you see it, at least... I mean, formal is my third name. Except... when it's not?"

    The young man noticed he'd begun wobbling from side to side again and straightened his posture. He also adjusted his wig's positioning.

    "So if I've read the situation correctly, which I think I have as I'm a general - hic - genius, I was asked for.. Oh, sorry. Achaeus Dimakos, at your service. Yes. I was about to say something but I forgot..."

    He turned first to the captain and then to his friends. The bard was nowhere to be seen and one of the soldiers was laying head down in the mud.

    "Oh yes. I was about to say, I gladly accept your invite... invitation... invite... I'll gladly meet with your tribute. Shall we go then?"

    He walked in a circle and waved the people goodbye. Faces in the crowd looked either shocked, tired or amused. Some all at once.

    @Aeruscator
     
  17. Kibaa

    Kibaa Bartolomeo da Cana|| Muhaŝŝiŝ

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    [​IMG]

    Somewhere in the near vicinity of both the Dimakos and Wightclan delegations, a nimble shadow carefully wanders the outskirts of the territories, as if observing closely. A quick and curious creature, appearing to be passive in nature. Although the shadows hid it well, it appeared also like a cervid. A stag, watching quietly from afar.​
     
  18. Aeruscator

    Aeruscator Ignis aurum probat.

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    Wightclan

    The Wights all took solace at the offenses in their knowledge that they had at one point all tasted a Dimakos Clan soul, either through brutal combat during their clan's origination period or through a more casual violent encounter. Regardless, Amari stood and saluted the young Lord. As was customary he threw his faceplate and hood back with the gesture, so as to create a sort of clawing upwards that revealed the face. The man's features were settled and calm. He had not a hand-print scar like so many Wights tended to. This Wight was of old blood. Perhaps one of the originals.

    Regardless, this moment was a who's-to-say grab bag of questions regarding Wightlord Amari. His olive skin seemed out of character compared to his kin, but perhaps that was all a part of being a wight. Deception and ambiguity. Squarely and with tangible respect that ebbed and flowed at the Dimakos Clan members in front of him, he went at ease. Then spoke. Rhythmically.

    "We shall go to neutral territory. West by an hour's walk, betwixt the two camps by some amount. You are pleased to bring as many men as you will, but the truest supping is reserved for the young Lord Of Dimakos and our Fallen Son Rand. Your men ought bring the night's rations." He, placid, stepped to the side and shifted to remain pointed at the Dimakos delegation. The middle figure of the three danglers took down his mask and hood and revealed himself to be Rand. The brand upon his face said as much plainly. He turned back, in momentary council with his Lady as a few choice words were barked back at her. Namely, "Yes. As you wish. None tonight." Then, back again he turned and dropped down to Amari. Amari clambered up and took his place and donned his mask once again.

    Now Rand spoke, with a short-lived grin that acknowledged the boyish intoxication of the young noble boy and his friends. "Spook Clan, while disrespectful, remains one of the more entertaining slights we have received. Elegance and decor are for those that loathe not their coming death at the hands of the Dark Lord. Pray tell why we would bend to his false decadence when he throws us to die so soon? I'd like to walk to the feast with you. Speak for the moment before we partake in the ritual meal that has been prepared, and the learning that is to be done afterwards. Preferably alone. I dare not risk slighting the Dark Lord this night with your blood, so consider us bound forcefully into friendship by the Elk as it stalks us, its prey." The winding path that had been his statement drifted, before picking back up once again and cutting itself down. "Unless you require a man to come with you, though I ask that he keep some pace back. We keep no secrets from the Stag, but we may keep secrets between kith approaching death, methinks."

    ~

    Ithaka, reclined, sighed while the business was attended to outside. She felt it not as a deep sigh but instead as a choked, sad mess as her own bloat nearly took her breath away. The sacrifices she had made for her people in resentment for the Stag Lord were apparent. They were not without their boons. Immortality and an unending supply of lives to draw on for her dark magics were no thing to scoff at. At one point this had been a selfish endeavor. Especially during the wars when she was young and could still flow and move as the river of death. Dragging behind her a train lifted by the dead and devoured. That time was not now. Now she was rotted. Left to rest and incantate while her people, who she had learned to love, went about their equally long-lived lives. Nine hundred names, she knew, with ten thousand more facades she maintained. The little rambling skeletons that bumbled about, or the zombies that the others feared so greatly.

    She missed the wars. But not enough to give up what she had gained in the eight Wightlords. Where she lacked it, they taught it. Honor. Hardship. The fundamental basics of governing, economics. Politicking. Love, not the false kind that makes children but the true kind that slays them when it must. A twisted sense of the world twisted deeper until it barely but did resemble one more sane. And then he took her favorite. And watched.

    And she felt it, too. So distant. So intangible but seen. Alas she was mute. She chose not to tell the wights anyhow that He watched. His shadow cast deep over the camp. Even were her hunch false, she knew he were all things. Even her. It sickened her. More than once she had considered purging herself and as many as she could in a violent affront to his creation. That would not end his tyranny, though. For that she needed more. More time. More magic. More souls. And a victory in this hellhole gauntlet her lovely Rand was being forced through.

    So she thought. She'd learn to think. And think loudly. A projected, singular, Mind your own damned business you filthy False-God. Clean as the animal you take on. Taunt me not with your eyes upon my child which you steal without so much as a pretending at empathy. Killing. Maiming. Murdering. These are your spheres. Dark God of death.

    Then she let her head roll back in her rage. Svakni adjusted her so that she might lay more gently, and offered her a morsel of dried ham. She took it and chewed it, imagining herself ripping the Stag Lord to pieces for an eternity in her mouth like so much gum and wax. Then her anger calmed when Undyr popped a grape in her mouth and color burst into her mind.

    Grapes made everything better.

    @Lord_Aza @Kibaa
     

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