• Open • The Tides of Change

Down with the Elements!

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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• Open • The Tides of Change

Postby Max » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:20 pm

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65 Ashan 718
Afternoon


A storm was coming and it had nothing to do with the clouds overhead. Max was back on her feet after nearly a full season of being set back by her grievous injuries. Without the need for her cane or crutch, she was beginning to feel like herself again, and that was a perilous notion for her to realize. Her wrath had placed her in a uniquely concentrated state. She did nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe this intense desire for revenge. By now it had consumed her, and now that she'd connected herself to a powerful entity that would spare no resource to see the Elements collapse, there was truly nothing stopping her now. Nothing. No one.

Her boots splashed through the puddles of water that filled the uneven streets of Scalvoris Town. Her hood was tugged up over her head to ward off some of the rain, and each rumble of distant thunder felt like a beating drum encouraging the Rusalka down her war path. Her tavern speeches in the beginning of Ashan had spread the story of what happened in Cylus, ensuring the citizens knew the truth straight from a survivor before the Elements could control the narrative themselves. The people knew of the masks and the true volume of traitors that had thrived within the military ranks when they sacrificed Vega. Max made sure they understood, at least in her eyes, that there could only be one thing left to do: wipe the organization and its guilty members off the face of Idalos. There could be no middle ground. Not anymore.

Maxine's purposeful steps followed the sound of cheering citizens in the near distance. A smirk tugged at the corner of her lips. It had seemed another angry gathering had manifested for some sort of public forum. Their appearances had become more and more uncommon in the city. It made her work for the Red Ravens almost too easy. Max was no leader. She couldn't inspire warriors to fall upon swords for her any more than she could persuade coins from a stranger. The Rusalka was good at anger. It was a significant part of who she was now, so when the angry mob formed and demanded blood, it was an easy thing to be the first aggressor that coaxed the rest into violent action.

She was close enough to hear a speaker's voice echoing off the buildings now. Her brow lifted and her steps became more hurried. She knew that voice almost as well as she knew her own. Maxine rushed around the bend to join the mess of bodies captivated by the man standing above the rest. The excitement and emotion he stirred within his audience was palpable. Something was happening here. Something big. She could feel the friction and the swelling of unrest, the civil folds of society ballooned to a breaking point. And he was going to be the man to do it?

Maxine shoved her way to the front of the crowd until she was looking up at him. Her gaze might've been one of confusion, but the pride and inspired awe was far more evident. She lifted her cupped hands up in hopes of amplifying her voice and shouted, "Mercedes!" Fully set in her black leather armor, cloak, and Merces Embrace sheathed on her hip, she very much looked like a woman preparing for a fight.
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The Tides of Change

Postby Mercedes » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:51 pm

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“Yeah those fucking elements man! Let me tell ya, they're about as spineless as they fucking come! I watched some of the cowards flee as the events took place. They ran, and rather than make a single attempt to save the lives of your young, they let em' die!” Mercedes spoke aloud as the crowd grew increasingly passionate. They were still upset at the very thought of losing their beloved family members, and friends. The events only took place a few trials ago, but the elements offered no explanation. They had yet to answer for their own crimes, and explain why there were cultists within the organization. The Elements allowed treachery to occur within their ranks, and the cost had been several lives. People needed to know the truth, and understand that the military could no longer protect them.

The crystals requested that Mercedes continue his path, and speak out in public against the Elements. They needed the sorcerer to speak to large crowds of people, and that he did without hesitation. Max suffered an injury, and he would not allow that to go unanswered. Those in the group alongside her could provide no explanation as to what occurred. They allowed his beloved Max to fall victim to a cultist. The elements would pay for what they had done, and Mercedes would not stop until he was either killed, or forced to cease his actions. Yet, “The Mask Breakers” talked quite a good game too; they wanted Mercedes to join their side too. Thus at the end of this presentation he wanted to do just that.

After all, a single familiar face among the already rowdy crowd stood directly in front of him. Rain poured heavily, but that did not stop Mercedes from speaking the truth. Black clad in his leather armor; The sorcerer listened to the impact of several rain droplets as they struck him. The sorcerer continued to yell at the top of his lungs. “They could not even stop a single man from attacking my love! She suffered an injury to the foot! When I charged through the field of battle, I hardly managed to pull her out of the collapsing area! There were rocks six times as large as myself and you combined that fell!” Mercedes continued his speech but paused when he heard a familiar voice call out his name.

The very woman he just spoke about had entered, and with an extended hand he grasped hold of her and quickly directed her to his side with a whisper. “Make sure none of them get to me.” Mercedes spoke as he continued from his moment of pause.

“I had the courage to save her with my two bare hands! Yet, not a single element showed up until someone sent for reinforcements! Where they PRETENDED that they knew nothing of what took place! If several of you heard the explosions, and some of you reported being disturbed? One of you tell me how the fuck The Elements had not a fucking clue!” Mercedes yelled at the top of his lungs loudly, and proudly enough to attract attention.

“We should raise our fucking blades! If the Military is not going to protect us who the fuck will other than ourselves!? Who is with me?!” The sorcerer completed his speech and watched as some of the crowd goers raised what weapons they had available. Some knives, pitch forks, and sickles had been woven about. Although the crowd was massive; there were obvious pro-element supporters who seemed to leave or remain silent.
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The Tides of Change

Postby Max » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:57 pm

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That feeling she got for Mercedes the day he gave her that gladius stirred within her again. Even separate from her, working his own agenda, they were remarkably on the same page. He was churning the pot of rebellion against the Elements that had hurt her to pay them back in kind. All she wanted was to see this brutal, collective justice come to fruition in Scalvoris Town. Of course it would be her lover, the man who knew her best, that would make her dreams come true without so much as a voiced desire for him to do so.

Max quickly took his hand and let him pull her in. His voice in her ear only hardened her sturdy resolve. She turned her head to face her lover, eyes darkening at the thought of anyone laying a finger on him let alone bringing their cause to an end. Her hand gripped his bicep and her gaze locked with his. "I won't let anyone touch you," she voiced her covenant with sharp conviction. "I'm with you. Always." She released her grip on him to cast her eyes to the crowd, her spirit soaring as she listened to the raw, rousing nature of his speech to a crowd that already shared his sentiments. Her hand fished for the handle of her gladius. The crowd seemed to grow and multiply with each passing bit.

"Oi, he right!" a man in the mix ripped the flour-ridden apron off and hurled it upon the ground.
"Aye! Raise our fucking blades!" Another voice shouted among the masses.
"Fuck the fucking Elements!" A third cried from the front row right in front of her. Max turned to the sound of the familiar voice, only to spot the face of the man who had encouraged her to tell her story to Scalvoris in the first place in the tavern. Aidan's black hair was slicked back just as before and his hand clutched his longsword. He was just as ready as she was, and with a nod in her direction, it seemed Max and Mercedes weren't the only ones who had already made up their minds. "The man speaks true!" Aidan announced loudly, pointing to Max where she stood beside her lover. "The woman he loves is the one standing next to him! I know her! Everything they say the Elements have done, it's true! Haven't we fucking had enough, lads! Haven't we the balls to defend our mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives?" The crowd was roaring now in time with Max's racing heart. Aidan turned to catch the eyes of the angry men and women around him. "We know the cockroaches are hidden on house arrest in their homes! Let's go kill the cowards!"

Could it be? Is it really happening?

Max unsheathed her gladius, eyes wild with desire as she desperately seized the moment before it passed. Merces Embrace elicited a handful of whistles and "ohs" from the crowd. Its dancing blue flames cast an ethereal light through the dark of the oncoming storm. The rain began to pelt the ground harder as though Chrien herself had arrived to soak in the spite that saturated the scene. "You heard Mercedes!" she all but shrieked her battlecry in the pouring rain. "Raise your fucking blades!" Aidan unsheathed his longsword and willed his constituents to do the same, and before anyone knew it, a variety of weapons of all shapes and sizes were raised toward the blackened sky.
"Kill the killers!" was Aidan's last command before he and his friends rushed off to do what they'd fantasized about for a whole season. It didn't take long for the rest of the angry mob to catch the fever and disperse in giant, sweeping groups about the immediate vicinity.

Everyone knew someone that was an Element. They'd be at doorsteps before anyone knew a section of the city had risen in open rebellion against their military. What's worse, the volume of house-arrested males meant that the Elements that were on the streets were likely severely unprepared to meet the threat to their comrades. All that was left was for Max and Mercedes to join the bloodshed they'd been working toward all season.
"Come on," Maxine ran a hand through her lover's hair, a wicked yet thrilled smirk upon her face. "I've been waiting so long for this moment." Since the purge started, Mercedes likely noted this was the happiest he'd seen her since the end of Cylus.

Off Topic
Hey, guys!

Mercedes and I decided to switch this topic to open, so although we both have two posts down already, feel free to jump in! This thread is of high importance as we plan on submitting this as an impact on Scalvoris. The next post from Mercedes will take place on 4/18/2018 if you have not posted at that point you will be skipped. If you post before hand he will post in advance too. Have fun. Choose a side. Stay alive.
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The Tides of Change

Postby Volker » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:29 am

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Trouble was brewing in Scalvoris and Volker didn't like it one bit. Things like the crowd gathering around an annoyingly familiar face were dangerous. Riots often got out of control, and Volker didn't like his assets hanging around waiting to be a side casualty. He was in the crowd, on the fringes, listening to Merces ramble on about how his precious girl had....injured a foot. He was mildly surprised the crowd hadn't turned on him then for trivializing the sacrifices of those who had died. 'My god, I heard someone broke a ring finger. Another got a small bruise to the upper arm. This injustice shall not stand.' Oor said dryly in his head. Volker tended to agree. The cultists had merely exploited a hole in the Elements that they were now working to close. Volker liked the Elements being weak and scattered...and most importantly distracted. He hadn't had to hide so much.

This was dangerous. He eyed the pair of them up there. Merces was clearly working for the madwoman at this side. Was a broken foot worth starting a riot over? Volker didn't think so. What was worse, they were encouraging the citizens to run amok. If Volker's horse or cart were compromised he'd have the pair on the hook to replace them before they could blink. He had half a thought for Sephira, and Amaris. He didn't want to see them become casualties either. The crowd's rage could just as quickly turn on the council and a female Element. He snorted. Merces and Max had not thought this through in the slightest.

Volker watched the crowd disperse. He was left standing there with a foul glare aimed at the pair. He had his arms folded across his chest. Oor stood next to him with the crowd firmly distracted. "All this. Over an injured foot." he called to the pair. "Are you mad?"
'You've got to admit this is a little excessive.' Oor agreed.



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The Tides of Change

Postby Alistair » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:13 pm

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"Aren't you dapper today, Mr. Riley?" the man asked.

"Yes, Ser Noch, I'm very dapper. I'm adoring the musty stench emanating from the streets, the damp and rank climate, and the freezing cold air still permeating despite the fact that it's bloody late Ashan," he complained, grumbling as much as seemed feasible. Venora, this time of Ashan, was gorgeous. It was warm, with flowers blooming. The lands were evergreen but with colorful trees decorating the vistas upon the hills, and the sun shined far more often than not.

Here, there was nothing but rain and fog. It felt that way, at least. So of course, as the clouds cast overhead, his mood once again turned sour. Damien didn't care considering he was dead anyway - weather conditions meant little to him.

The two of them decided to go to Scalvoris Town for a round of gossip and tea, typical of the two girls they were despite being considerably powerful mages and warriors. They discussed Coven gossip, which they entirely pulled from their rear-ends due to the fact that they were both exiled and without informants. They discussed how Venora must be looking like, this time of year, with Willow and Kaleb managing it without the crutch of their son.

But then, it only got depressing, and amidst their silent staring at the small table prepared for their tea and toast, a voice began to boom out into the crowded streets.

"Oh Gods," he sighed. "The politics never escape me. What even are the bloody Elements?" he asked. Damien shrugged.

"Military or something," he answered. "Everyone's probably just bitching because it's rainy and depressing. They'll get over it by Ymiden," he stated, confidently.

But they... weren't going to get over it by Ymiden, the two of them quickly learned. Raise your fucking blades they yelled, commanding the commoners to engage in violence. "Thetros fuck me," Alistair cursed, standing from the delicate chair he'd sat on and viewing the crowd as it began to erupt into violence. What was this?

"Aiyr fyr hal touna em gaed wayn," he spoke in Haltunga, Damien nodding his head. These streets will very soon see blood. Kian reached forward, and beckoned a small portal to appear before him, spitting his spear into his hands. Shadowsong. If anyone had intentions to wrestle him down, or add him to the piles, he'd show them what.
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The Tides of Change

Postby Patrick » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:36 pm

Within the throngs of the crowd cheered the camaraderie for rebellion the likes which Patrick never seen, as the locals cheered and raised their fists or weapons in the name of death. 'Kill the killers' they exclaimed as the mob gathered en mass, all while the whore himself kept to himself outside the mass. Already there was so much to remember when it came to the two he came with, and here he was trying to make sure he remembered more for the road ahead.

Scalvoris had been a chilly place for the whore to linger within ever since they arrived, the rain just a mere complimentary to add in on the cold. The cursed smirked however as he couldn't help but enjoy this, the hood of his cloak drenched as it clung to his forehead. He could almost see his breath in the chilly moisture of the air, the rain pattered on his shoulders like no tomorrow as he felt the storm rattle his inside. "More..." Deep down inside him the beast within enjoyed this as well, the excitement found in the rally an appeal that Patrick himself never anticipated.

Maybe it was the Rharnian inside him just wanting to stoke the fires further, or maybe it involved a more personal reflection of his very nature deep down. The whore scoffed before he looked away from the crowd, in the direction he felt his lover standing at with his friend Damien. But it was Ser Noch while they were here at least. Patrick didn't know if he should be careful to come up with aliases as well, then again he never really had the knack for actual subterfuge either. Regardless the cursed man walked closer towards the location of the two, his leather armor slightly visible beneath the cloak he wore.

Clearly Pat wasn't the only one enjoying the weather here... Kian as he was known elsewhere didn't like the cold either, and preferred to be someplace warmer and maybe even dryer than this. "We'll still have a nice warm bed to share later." He reminded the Rupturer as he approached them from behind. Sure enough the two knew just as well as he did that this was no small mob, that these were people truly upset and out for blood. Kian remarked something in a language Patrick never heard, and it seemed his friend Damien could agree with the statement. Interesting.

"What. This isn't just a bunch of angry nappers upset over the weather? They should all have a drink and simmer down." He mused with a cross of his arms, unsure where the two stood really stood in all of this. Quite honestly Patrick thought it a little healthy for them to be rioting, although the demand to raise blades didn't sound to exciting...

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Rharne Slang: Napper:
Used to refer to a lightweight drinker, meaning that it doesn't take much alcohol for them to be passed-out drunk.
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OOC Note: As of Ashan 717 Patrick has been cursed with Sesser, therefore once a season he's at risk of turning into a Sessfiend. Should the occassion actually come to occur, PC's are warned to consider the extreme risk of injury and even their life; before proceeding to participate in the event. Looking forward to the potential plots and threads to come!
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The Tides of Change

Postby Amaris » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:37 am

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- common / murnasian

The weather did not agree with them this trial. A particularly tall mixed blood had tasks they needed done, and while the rain would not stop them, it wasn’t exactly the optimal weather for them to be walking about town. But the dreary weeping of the skies didn’t seem to deter a growing congregation of people. The councilor drew back their hoodless cloak - which they’d pulled further up to cover their head - to get a better look. They were tall enough to see over much of the crowd, eyes dragging over the faces and taking in the discontented mutterings and shouts as they rose. This was the beginning of a riot, brewing right there on the street.

Finally, their sights landed on the pair up front. They had to squint, but the two figures were recognizable. At least one mostly. There beside a man who seemed to be instigating all of this was Max, the stranger they’d chanced upon last season while looking for Icarus. She’d been involved in the debacle on the docks, and she’d been injured? They knew of Kura’s involvement, and a few others, but they had not seen much of Max. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that they’d been indoors most of the time, and situated far enough from the docks to miss the explosions.

Their brows drew together as the crowd continued in their growing dissent. There were many calls to arms and taking to self-policing. From bad to worse, was where this was going. Glancing around, they spotted several others who were standing at the edges of the crowd, observing with mild interest. And then they heard his voice, surprisingly one of reason. Amaris locked up, frozen in place for a moment. Maybe they hadn’t been spotted. Stray hairs stuck to their face with the rain, eyes wide as they turned in the direction of where they’d heard Volker’s voice. Once they’d found him, they looked away immediately, attention back on the two up front.

They could have done a number of things. They could have turned and run, or stepped out of the crowd to await the results. They could have called for the same Elements that the crowd was festering with animosity for. They could have stayed still and simply been a part of it all, but they could not. The chaos would give the murderer a chance to come for them, perhaps even provide him with food if he felt so inclined to capitalize on all of this. They couldn’t allow that.

Amaris was moving before they could think of what to say, one foot in front of the other as they murmured apologies and forced their way up to the front. They could feel water seeping into the legs of their pants where rain rolled off those around them, feet trampling over their own as they moved forward.

“You’re going to get innocent people killed,” they shouted, voice shooting up an octave with their distress, “This won’t end in anything more than useless bloodshed! Someone else’s family - the same people that mean so much to you - will die. It’ll be an endless cycle of grief and all we’ll have is death. A parent will grieve their child, a lover will grieve their other half. Is that what you want? Someone else to go through that just because someone else says it’s the solution?” They sucked in a breath, shuddering at the realization of how far up they’d come. Their height alone would have attracted some attention, but such open disagreement with the cause would surely incite a less than favorable outlook on them.

“Why should we resort to violence to solve our problems? Do you mean to say the whole lot of you are incapable of thought? Reason? There are other ways to do this! Attacking Elements on the street will do nothing but cause chaos where we don’t need it. If you’re all so concerned about this, why don’t you protect your families? Go to them, rather than stand in the street and yell about something that is done and passed.” Their chest heaved, frame shaking. Regret seeped into them like the rain into the collar of their shirt. The blinked the water from their eyes, surveying the crowd with the worst in mind.
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The Tides of Change

Postby Mercedes » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:26 pm

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Without a vestige of sympathy; violence erupted, and bloodshed began as some of the citizens went in search of violence. Blades were raised, and with high adrenaline some of the common-folk turned on one another. Righteous retribution would be had, and this trial aqua de vitae would likely stain the pavement. However, just as the crowd began a drastic shift a single voice spoke out against the riot that nearly broke out. Some of the individuals ceased their actions, and lowered their blades as to listen to the voice of reason. Someone, a strange female; one that had been unusually tall and possessed an idiosyncratic hair color projected loudly. She spoke words of peace as opposed to conflict; had she been one of the elements too? There certainly did have to be more pro-elements among the crowd that followed suit. Some civilians were seen hidden behind the various obstacles that littered the streets.

They listened to her every word, and while some agreed they refused to speak. For obvious reasons as there were weapons raised. Butchers had been armed with their meat cleavers, and there were other civilians with various occupations and weapons common among their communities. The crowd had been an ocean of people from different backgrounds. Some grew up as farmers; made obvious by the presence of curved scythes, pitchforks, and horse-shoes. There were mercenaries armed with blades of several types, from long-swords to small daggers.

There had been a moment of silence which seemed to follow the beginning of her speech. She mentioned that nothing would come other than bloodshed. Yet, what was the other solution? How could the people be appeased for their lost loved ones? Peace would not alleviate the grief stricken Men, and women. If her child had been the victim of such a brutal death; would she have the same opinion in regards to peace? Mercedes took an extensive moment of pause, and remained silent as she spoke. Just who was this woman, and why did she have the audacity to speak? The people deserved freedom, and if they wished to riot they should have the ability to. Scalvoris appeared more corrupt with each trial that passed. First there were treasonous elements, and then there were people who wished to keep the peace. Death had no names, and did not discriminate regardless of age, gender, race, or social status. Violence shared several similarities, and these people had a reason to be upset.

In order to manipulate the crowd; Mercedes thought up a tactic. If the woman was one of reason; could Mercy not turn her logical speech against her? Perhaps the questions, and suggestions were to be counter-argued against. The crowd needed to decide for themselves whether or not to go to war with their military. War would be the perfect opportunity for Mercedes to make an attempt to ascend in social status. The sorcerer had stolen from the merchants guild, attacked and killed members of The Kennel, and been forced out of Almund. He refused to allow such a series of unfortunate events to occur again.

To not only answer Volkers question, but argue against Amaris; He spoke with all of the might buried within the confides of his lungs.

“What if one of those casualties had been one of your fucking family members? Would you be so quick as to say peace is a solution? Will peace, and harmony bring back the dead? How about you tell me why your solution is any better? Do people not have a right to exercise their own will? Who are you to take away our freedoms?!” Mercedes beckoned the woman aloud, took a breath and continued.

“What if you are one of those fucking Elements that betrayed their own interests and attacked their own people? What if they sent you here to make peace and protect them from the wrath of their own citizens?!”

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I will be posting again on 22APR2018 If you have not posted by then you WILL be skipped.

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The Tides of Change

Postby Volker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:49 pm

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Volker listened. It was one of the few things he was good at. He didn't like this tension. He was a creature who enjoyed his haunts. He had little desire for change. So much of his life had been focused on surviving between the cracks that he genuinely didn't know what to do with a riot. On the one hand it was making his predatory instincts go mad. His knee-jerk desire was to begin taking down and storing as much food as he could possibly larder for the summer. Except for the fact it would be difficult, wasteful, and he couldn't get to half of it before it spoilt. Not only that, but his attention was quickly taken off of the idiots in the crowd. A certain tall, leggy councilwoman was speaking, and Volker listened.

'Oh shit.' Oor muttered. Volker was already ahead of him. He pushed through the crowd toward her. This time, he didn't need to be focused on being normal. With all the chaos, he could act as he chose, and what he chose was instinct. He used his teeth to hurry people along. A man moved to engage him and got a ferocious bite to the cheek. Volker shook him like a dog, then released him to confusedly stumble off. He wasn't striking to kill, just severely bruise. If he wanted to, he could have taken three or four of them down by the time he reached Amaris. Instead he hissed, snarled, bit, and elbowed his way through them.

He stood at her side. Oor appeared on her other side, arms over his chest. "Councilwoman Amaris speaks clearly." he roared toward Mercedes. "You wish for retribution bought with the blood of your countrymen. This is not the way to enact change. It is a fool's errand. The Elements might be slain, but who will be slain along with them? Who will take advantage of the chaos to loot and rape? You have no control over this, Mercedes. You will be burned by your own forest fire. These people are not your weapon. If you want to destroy the Elements, hunt them down yourself!"

'Translation: using a bunch of peasants to get revenge over your woman's injury is a chickenshit move!' Oor bellowed, though he really didn't need to. He wasn't of this world. Every word he said could be heard clear as a bell.

"I will help you hunt down the corrupt Elements. But we do this reasonably. We do this logically. We do not sacrifice those who have not deserved it. They are already cornered in their homes, awaiting your justice. You do not need to use others as a foil, or are you so cowardly to not face them yourself with your grievances?" Volker finished. "You claim to be reasonable. Listen to reason now."

'This is more words than he's spoken in six months. I don't know whether to give him a gold star or run for the hills.'
Oor told Amaris. 'Speaking of, I'd clear out of here. Even Volker's fear has it's limits and he's not skilled enough making those bridges for me to cross over to keep you safe in the middle of a riot.'

Volker stepped forward. "I will help you, Mercedes. Just not in this way." His eyes were focused on the man and woman inciting the riot. "I understand the want and need for revenge."



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The Tides of Change

Postby Max » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:44 pm

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The crowd had rallied to their cause, their darkest, most primitive desire for revenge finally being catered to. Scalvoris didn't want this. Its people needed this. Trust in the Elements had been shattered, its people shaken to their very core. The treachery on the part of those meant to protect them had left a lingering despair over a peasantry that felt as powerless as they felt grief-ridden. All those intense emotions of anger, woe, and righteousness were gathered in one place. Each tortured soul was feeding off their neighbor, fueling a perilous bonfire that begged with roaring flame to bring someone to burn. Max's eyes narrowed upon Volker with his undead pet and Amaris when each party raised their voice in hopes of reasoning with an emotion-driven crowd. This pot of rebellion was one she'd been carefully stirring. Not even a familiar face, no matter how kind, would keep her from watching it all boil over.

Damn you, Amaris. You should've stayed home!

"Innocent people have already been killed, families already put to ruin!" Max voiced her rebuttal over the sound of pelting rain and hushed tones to follow Mercedes' own response. "But why should I be surprised you defend murderers, Councilwoman? All we've seen so far is men released instead of men punished! Maybe its time Scalvoris had a governing body that protected its people instead of its enemies!" The steam lost in some of the crowd was quickly regained in the front row. They nodded and whooped their agreement, and her apparent confederates following Aidan's lead were sure to do likewise from the outskirts.

Volker's efforts to bolster Amaris's voice of reason were met with no more approval. She'd envisioned the moment to follow every trial since she exited the collapsing warehouse with Mercedes at her side. When she'd felt weak, her uncompromising vendetta had kept her strong. The trepidation Volker and his Harvester might've enjoyed seeing in her were long gone when she cast her gaze their way. She'd danced with more fearsome monsters since they'd met, and any that stood in her way of slaying them were decidedly making themselves her enemy. The Rusalka had had enough.

Fuck this bullshit.

"Enough words!" she snarled before brandishing her flame-wrapped gladius. "I'll hear no more from people who were not there, from people who neither bled or lost! Either you're with us or you're against us!" Not every word Volker had spoken had fallen on deaf ears. That hearing was simply selective. Perhaps there would be one point in his speech he'd wish he'd never spoken. "But if you stand with your neighbors and you are not afraid like these cowards....if you want to take your revenge? Come! We'll hunt those fuckers down." With a scathing glare Max bore her sword before her and shoved her way through the crowd. These people were not just her pawns. If the rioters served as a foil, Max was the piercing point of the sword.

As she moved she could feel the overwhelming weight of each and every grudge surrounding her. Some were stronger than others, and as she passed those whose grudges burned the brightest, the Rusalka grasped them one-by-one by the shoulder with enraged eyes boring into theirs. It took little focus to find the root of their dissent with brief concentration. "Your wife and unborn child, buried while they slept awaiting your return!" she reminded one man before moving to the next. "Your little sister was down underground like me. Most of her didn't come back, and you can see the damage they did to her by the marks on her wrist and her screams in the night." For those the Rusalka couldn't read so clearly or whose grudges seemed less personal, she employed yet another tactic before she'd reached the edges of the crowd. With a single touch of a hand she'd whispered "justice" into, some members of the crowd found themselves sown with a seed of spite. With emotions running high and the rioters becoming more like angry dogs tugging at the ends of their chains, she trusted mob mentality to nurture it accordingly.

"With us, Scalvoris!" Aidan's voice rang out nearly piercingly. His friends began shoving those around them in the gathering with ear-splitting battlecries, not to quarrel but to hype their emotions up to their own levels. "Take the justice they won't give us!"
"For Eva!" one of the men in the crowd shrieked with teary eyes, his carving knife thrust toward the weeping sky. His dedication caught on like a plague.
"Martha!"
"Naomi! Wren! Daren!"
"For Scalvoris!"

Max didn't wait for them to rally. She simply began her war path, storming down the street with her gladius at her side. Aidan and his constituents led their large wave of followers down an adjacent street to lead a separate charge while majority of the crowd swelled and began to rush in behind her. Their deafening screams for vigilante justice and bloodshed filled her ears. She felt the wind of the bodies that sprinted past her in the direction of known addresses, leading the charge in the wake of her initiative to take the first step toward the inevitable. Her eye caught a few men standing off to the side of the crowd, noting one stood ready with his spear.

Fight with me.

Her focus turned to the chaos at hand. Her quick strides turning into that of a run that matched the men and women on the hunt beside her. She followed the swell through the water-logged streets, and it wasn't long before an Element home was sniffed out. Surprised shrieks echoed from inside the home when a pair of pitch forks smashed through one of the windows to circumnavigate the locked door. The glass was cleared away from the edges, and Max was the third body to climb her way into the residence. Her thousand yard stare fixed on the man who proudly wore his flame pin. A dagger was in his hand, but it did little to deter the angry mob that had intruded. He'd only managed to cut one rioter before two seized both of his arms. Max jammed her sword through his middle with more force than necessary. Blue flames erupted through the other side of his back.

Blood filled his mouth and he sank to his knees with wide eyes. The Rusalka gave her sword a twist before she yanked it out, sending her heel into his chest with a defiant cry. His body hit the floor, and when it did, the inspired mob fell upon him to take turns burying their own makeshift weapons into his unprotected flesh. Her expression contorted with frustrated fury. She'd thought killing would make her feel better, that it would soothe the unrelenting desire to punish and get even. Relief didn't come. Another Element had fallen, but it wasn't Earth Mask. It hadn't been his eyes, his wails, his death rattle before giving up the ghost. Her hands shook. She could feel the warmth of fresh blood on her face beside the droplets of cold rain.

With the rest inside the house she emerged back into the street to rejoin the stream of rebels. Whether the rest of the original mob had joined or not was besides the point. Some with like minds had stirred to her cause to skewer fear into the hearts of people who inspired it in them. It was enough. Max's gaze was abyss-like as she approached the next residence. Thunder echoed from above as though it were Chrien's applause. She was the the embodiment of this violence in the pouring rain, and she'd keep hunting until the search exhausted her to collapse.
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