• Graded • The Guardian of Orimar

Patrick's expedition gang reaches a peculiar site.

With the escalation of hostilities between Etzos and Rhakros, a series of small walled towns is being established as a network of early warnings and defenses against Rhakros' reprisals. Only the very bravest and most formidable of characters should risk themselves on the Witches' Wilds frontier.

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• Graded • The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Patrick » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Cylus 10th 718, Late
Location: Somewhere between Ne'haer and Etzos territories...

It had been an incredibly long and increasingly daunting search out here, and the more time they'd spent scouring ruins in this place... the more it began to felt like they were chasing a myth. Crowley had worked twice as hard to decipher more of the texts Pat had found in the ancient crypt over an Arc ago. Meanwhile Pat himself had been determined to try and keep the moral of his group in better standing, even if he started to feel like this whole venture had been a wild goose chase. Cylus had been far too cold for his liking and quite often he found himself ready to quit, pack his bags and just determine Orimar a fable at best.

However with the moons high in the sky and the endless night looming over them, he knew it had to be either now or never for them to locate the ruins... because the chalice itself had taken on an eerie if not mysterious luminescence ever since Cylus began. So the proof was there... all that remained was for Crowley to crack the code while they combed the southern ruins, and tried to remain out of Raimeus's reach since his own goons were further up north. Thankfully Crowley had managed to compile an assortment of notes that pointed something out, something that implied the Orimatsu had put together a series of trials to undergo.

What these trials were remained to be seen, however their first step was to locate the Guardian of the Gate somehow. Even weirder the texts seemed to translate an unusually sound riddle, one that wouldn't make any sense to the crew in general unless Pat could figure out it's meaning.

Come and seek us, the faithful, hidden within our bastion
search for the Guardian who hides our entrance,
And look to the sky to light the way beyond,
for only the light shall reveal our way home


While they didn't have any clues about what this 'Guardian' was, their search on this particular night brought them to an amazing discovery. One that Patrick himself believed to be no mere coincidence...

Within a somewhat mountainous landscape they came across a valley, the group in general present as they came to inspect the surrounding area. To the greater side of the mountains where there were more cliffs, an incredibly large and weathered statue seemed to reside in a man made alcove. The statue appeared to be that of a three faced human being with six arms, each stretched out and in possession of peculiar items Patrick didn't know of. One he recognized to be the chalice of course and the other a dagger, but... the rest were too worn and weathered to determine what exactly. However out of all six items being held, four of them seemed to be of a crystalline structure instead of stone; chalice and dagger included.

This had to be it! As they stood at the base of the statue looking for an entrance however, there didn't seem to be any signs of a hidden door anywhere close by. Frustrated with the search effort Patrick had to take a Bit to cool off and think over it, and several yards later he'd come across something rather interesting... a carved platform had almost been buried in the snow.

"Found somethin, over here!" He called as he kicked and brushed snow off it's surface with his feet. It appeared to be a stone slab of a sort, with carved rings delicately outlined all the way to the center.

"What is it?" Crowley asked as he walked among the others that gathered near the slab.

"Some kind of... tablet of a sort, looks like they might've used this for rituals." Patrick guessed as he inspected the designs more closely, and discovered at the center of it all a triangle shaped hole... a shape that much resembled the dagger he'd brought along for this journey. "Or maybe..." He muttered as he pulled the object out from behind his belt, the three bladed piece felt cold and heavy in his hand. He held it above the hole at the center briefly, and then injected the key into the slab beneath them as the metal scraped against the stone. Once he pushed the dagger all the way in, everyone would hear a loud click as something tapped beneath the slab. Something large.

With a slow twist of the dagger in a counterclockwise motion, a few more loud and heavy clicks rattled underneath their feet. Until finally on the fifth and last click to come, the slab itself seemed to pop loudly as something pushed it from the ground. Then the elaborate rings started to rise together, each one stopping at a point until the centerpiece itself rose to a height. Now the dagger seemed to be rested within a pedestal instead, as more loud and unusual knocks were felt beneath their feet. The terrain felt as though it shifted a little, as four new landmarks started to rise from within the ground itself.

Towers.

Four stone towers and all rested in a particular compass direction, while the statue they were at earlier remained unchanged entirely.

Their first trial had begun.


OOC Notes



So first and foremost, sorry for the incredibly long and elaborate intro to this; had to make up for the account of reducing too many group threads with this plot. Our first trial in this plot has started, and we'll get underway once everyone grouped with Patrick has posted. I've brought it up as a discussion before but for sake of record keeping, here's the lowdown of what everyone's seeing as of right now:




At the center of this map there are two things to note, the first being that unusual symbol and the second the ? you see near it. The ? is the statue considered the Guardian of Orimar's entrance, and will only reveal the way once this trial is complete. The other points of interest (A, B, C, D) are the towers that just rose from the landscape, they're a good fifty feet height so they're quite noticeable.

The towers are however located on a terrain that's difficult to navigate without some skill in climbing, so bear in mind if you're determined to choose a tower to inspect then you'll have a bit of arm/legwork to do in order to reach them. Tower A is the highest and most difficult to reach, while B and C vary between mildly and somewhat difficult, and of course Tower D is the easiest to reach as it's down an incline at ground level (where we are basically)

It is points A-D we have to activate in order to complete the first step in this puzzle, which will be explained and underway once everyone has chimed in with their post about the discovery of the statue and the appearance of the towers.
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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Finnegan O'Connor » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:20 pm

The Guardian of Orimar

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10th of Cylus, 718

There had been plenty things that could’ve gone wrong. This band of relative strangers could turn out to be murderers, bandits, rogues, leeches. In fact, some of them probably were. They could’ve gotten lost on the road, the chalice could’ve misled them, they could’ve misinterpreted the signs on the road, there could have been no treasure at all and this was simply some ploy to rob a few greedy treasure hunters.

Yet of all the things that could’ve hindered them, the only real present concern was the bitter cold. He hadn’t many clothes and those he had were thin and ill-suited against such extreme weather. While the cold wind pulled its punches against defiers, the snow had a way of seeping into his boots, freezing his toes. His ears and nose and cheeks glowed red, his breath froze in the air as soon as he exhaled. It was only thanks to the woolen cloak that Patrick had given him that he’d made it thus far.

Shivering he watched in silence as the tower rose, sending a low rumble through the rock. The tallest tower was the one above the presumed entrance and looked particularly dangerous to scale. Fortunately the red-haired halfblood carried wings on her back. He figured she’d have no trouble reaching the structure. Hugging himself tightly he turned around. The other towers didn’t seem much harder to reach than climbing a stretch of vines, though the cold and snow would make the ascend a little treacherous.

“I’ll take that one,” he said, his voice shaky and frail, drifting away on the wind. He hoped they’d manage to open the entrance soon, it’d be warmer inside. Not that anyone had asked he’d go inspect one of the towers, but it only seemed natural. The dagger had caused the towers to rise, but the entrance remained closed. It only stood to reason that something would have to be done with the towers to proceed.

A cold pain shot through his fingers as he started the ascension toward the second-highest tower. It wasn’t until he was about halfway up that he started to regret his choice while his fingers grew stiff and numb, but there was no turning back now.
OOC: I chose tower B!
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A frigid, salty air accompanies Finn, his hair is dark as if wet and his skin is clammy to the touch.

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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Ellen'wyn » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:37 pm

Ellen herself wasn't particularly bothered by how long it was taking to find clues to this treasure. She'd had quite enough excitement to keep her entertained. From clashing on the boat near Fordwell, to breaking her contract when she realized what a dangerous asshat Raimeus was, and now scouring ruins the likes of which she'd never seen. For someone who'd spent the majority of her life in one place, the mixed-blood was quite pleased. The valley they were in was quite deep, and Ellen turned in a slow circle as she walked, neck craned to examine the mountainous cliffs surrounding them. Niv sat perched on her shoulder, warming herself in the heavy fur secured around Ellen's neck, and they both mumbled a little in shared appreciation for the interesting terrain.

Her back was turned when Patrick called out, and she quickly whipped around to follow. Her moccasins crunched through snow and she slipped once or twice on some ice, but managed to keep her footing in the pursuit. She stopped well away from the eerie statue though, leering at it, curious but a little apprehensive. Its faces and arms left her with a strange sense of foreboding, and the hairs on her neck stood on end--not from the cold.

"That looks like his glowing cup," Ellen mumbled absently to Niv, who'd managed to hang on by clinging to her braids. She pointed her nose in the direction of one of the outstretched hands. "What do you thi--" Click. "Dẹọdọ anou--?" A pillar rose from the ground where here Patrick had been investigating. It seemed he'd had a key to unlocked the way. Or at least partially. The redhead felt the faintest of trembles under her feet, and heard the soft rumble of stones that for years had been dormant and still. Peddles and snow dislodged from the cliffsides, sliding and tumbling down in a shower of dust and hail.

There the four towers rose, reaching up high from their perches around the valley. Ellen watched them, turning again in a slow circle, eyebrows raised. You didn't see that every day.

"Huh," she grunted, sounding almost matter of fact.

Translation
Dẹọdọ anou--? - What the--?
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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Oberan » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:35 pm

Cylus was damned cold, and damned dark.

He might be the spawn of the Immortal of Shadows –which were kind of like darkness, right?—but that helped very little to alleviate the dark, and didn’t make him feel any warmer. At least his clothes were able to stave the cold off, even if it was just a little bit. He wondered if the feathers of their newest companion would make for a better insulator. They stuffed duvets with plumage, right? So a making a coat of feathers might just be able to keep him a little warmer. Or maybe he should just nick the blanket from the brat, but that would only make him more annoying afterward. Maybe he’d take revenge by screwing things up or by whining to his sister or something else snot nosed brats like him liked doing when they were being bullied. Or the Flapper would step in; she seemed like the type to do so.

Still, he’d gotten a tent from Patrick, so that was pretty good already.

And they had finally gotten to the presumed entrance to Olimar’s ruins, or whatever they were called. Some sort of ancient and mysterious civilization, or race, or something along the lines. Not very important, really. Still, it was pretty intriguing they were something lost to time, to the point that no-one remembered them, and they were only mentioned in … where did Pat get that lead on the ruins? Some dusty old tomes, half eaten by rats, and made into the nesting grounds of a rather literate species of worm?

That too wasn’t very important though. The fact that the adventure could finally begin was the real treat, and though the treasure at the end of it all might not live up to the hype, Oberan was mostly in it for the kick, not the gold. Treasure was a nice added bonus, but not the main attraction. Big statues of six-armed guardian deities though? Hell yes!

However, having found the guardian did not mean they had found the entrance yet, and Bran scrutinized the area around the alcove for clues, excited all the more by the mystique surrounding the whole affair. This wouldn’t be some simple walk in and out kind of deal, no; it’d have puzzles, and traps, and mazes, and pressure plates, and rolling boulders, and precarious walkways… oh, and don’t forget the villains that would show up the moment they found the treasure! This would be great!

Oberan didn’t find anything during his hopeful fantasies, but Patrick and Crowley did. The Mortalborn joined them at the base of some altar, which looked like it was a bit on the low side. Maybe the Orimartians were really small, or had their feet stuck to their butts or something? Or perhaps…

Patrick inserted the stone dagger in the weird hole in the slab, like some child with a ‘match the geometrical shapes with the right hole’ puzzle. Oddly enough, it worked out rather well, the ground rumbling as the telltale clicks and groans of clockwork gears pushed the altar out of the soil, raising it up to it’s actual size. The dagger itself remained imbedded in it, now stuck in it as if on display, and all around them large towers emerged from the underground, shaking the earth as their massive forms reached their full height.

The Mortalborn whistled in awe.

”So, there’s four of them, and there’s five of us,” Bran noticed, forgetting to count the tiny Tunawa on the Flapper’s shoulder, mainly because it wasn’t walking around by itself, ”you want us to spread out and go check on the towers while one stays behind to keep an eye on the dagger?” He turned from tower to tower, assessing the accessibility of each. ”Dibs on the big one!” he yelled, then taking off laughing towards the one that was the most high up of them all.
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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Niv » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:17 pm

ImageNiv was curious about the ruins like everyone else, how could she not be. It wasn’t every trial that you stumbled onto strange ruins with multiple armed statues and glowing artifacts. Although instead of looking around she was mostly finding confront from the cold in Ellen’s fluffy fur coat. With Ellen slipping about on the icy ground, Niv also had to make sure she didn’t fall off from her perch.

The Tunawa nodded to Ellen’s observation but before she could open her mouth to respond, the earth began to shake violently underneath them. She looked up to see massive towers growing from the ground like giant gophers made of stone. Niv clung to Ellen’s braids even tighter than before and only released her death grip when the rumbling subsided.

What deh fuck!” Niv cursed loudly. Her time with Gangui and Patrick had clearly rubbed off on her.

Houses don’t grow from deh ground?” Niv paused in contemplation. “do dey?” She whispered into Ellen’s ear for confirmation.

She turned her head to Oberon with a raised brow of objection after he stated that he would scale the highest tower. “You don’t have wings do you?” She asked knowing full well he didn’t. “Cause my friend Ellen’wyn does so it makes more sense dat she be deh one dat fly to deh highest point.” She pushed back the fabric bunny ears from her hood and turned towards her men.

Sons of justice would you mind accompanying him and seeing that he has a safe journey.” Niv tried to hide her grin as she had succeeded in killing two birds with one stone. She was certain that her and Ellen could be free to have some quality girl time without any silly boys to muck it up.

<<Eww don’t go to the highest one, it's too dangerous for a pipsqueak like you.>> Came a telepathic message inside Niv’s head.

<<Shut up Freckle.>> Niv groaned but knew it wouldn’t shut up the persistent fairy that haunted her thoughts. <<You’re small too.>>

<<What? I’m like at least a full head bigger then you,>> Freckle shot back. <<That means I know way more than you dumb dumb so you better listen to me if you know what’s good for yah.>> The glowing fairy boy shook his glowing fist in Niv’s face.

Niv massaged her temples, the last thing she needed right now was for freckle to show up and pester her. Regardless of the fairy's interruption, Niv knew she was right and that Oberon and her men would understand her authority and do as she said.

I think the places we go are already predetermined but I couldn't help have Niv be a sassy pants. Also the green text is dialogue and the blue and purple stuff is telepathy.



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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Gangui » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:55 am

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Peleus frowned at Niv, but trudging forward anyways. Young and unable to understand social nuance, he really wasn’t in a position to question the words of the tiny Tunawa. The entire journey had been a complete breakdown in communication between Niv and the guys.

Peleus was just beginning to resent this fact, when a hand fell upon the greenhorn’s shoulder. It was an older guy, a merc-vet turned Turkey, “Hold up boy,”

The remaining soldiers looked at each other and all nodded. Niv hadn’t given them a direct order to follow Oberan, but merely suggested it. Instead they left the black haired man alone and gathered around the statue. Standing eye to eye with Patrick, the spokesman for the soldiers stared him down. It was the first chance they had alone with the quest leader, now that Niv had gone aloof with Ellen’wyn. Peleus really had no idea what was going on and just went with the flow of the more veteran members.

“We stay here Patrick.” the grizzled veteran said. He pointed at the child-like members of the quest (and a literal child) running amok amongst the mystical towers. They were all trying to climb them with no plan, “This is a disgrace,” he shifted his gaze from chaotic scene of Finn climbing a tower alone, to Patrick, to his advisory Crowley, “You’ve brought a bunch of children to do men’s work.”

Peleus couldn't help, but say something, "What about Niv though?"

"Fuck Niv, she doesn't care about us!" The same grizzled leader that rebuked Patrick now rebuked Niv, "Little cunt hair of a tunawa hates us, so why should we let any more men die for her sake. This is a disgrace."

Peleus and the men sat around the statue with their swords at the ready. Seems like they wouldn't abandon Niv just yet (perhaps for fear of Gangui's wrath, perhaps for honor's sake), but they had absolutely no morale to act, nor respect for Patrick and Crowley.


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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Patrick » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:37 pm

With one final brief tremor felt under their feet all the towers seemed to reach their peaks, each distinctive location a peculiar sight for the lot of them to investigate. Patrick's lips were a a grin when he could hear Niv on Ellen's shoulder, but his eyes narrowed as he looked to each tower individually. Four towers... Six arms... Yet four items seemed to have crystalline objects instead of stone. The Guardian had to be connected to these towers somehow... Patrick had to think over the puzzle once more in his mind.

"Come and seek us, the faithful, hidden within our bastion. Search for the Guardian who hides our entrance, and look to the sky to light the way beyond. For only the light shall reveal our way home." It was a riddle he played over and over again in his head, the symbolism of the towers a plausible reference to the sky. So what did they mean when they wrote "light the way beyond" in their text? "Look to the sky to light the way beyond..." He muttered with a finger curled under his chin. "For only the light shall reveal our way home."

"Figured it out?" Crowley chimed as he looked at Patrick with eyebrows raised.

"Maybe." Patrick answered with a look to Crowley first, yet he then watched as both Finn and Oberan started off. "Guess we'll find out soon enough." He muttered to his companion just before he cupped his hands to shout to Finn first. "Hey! Be careful climbing up! When you reach the tower see if you can find something, a brazier of some kind that you can light a fire within maybe!" When he finished that he looked back over towards Oberan, his hands once more cupped to call out to the man who strove for the greater challenge. "Oberan! Those cliffs are pretty steep, watch your footing when you climb up! And be sure to do the same in regards to looking for that brazier once you reach the tower!"

So far there remained two more towers and from the looks of it one still required an adequate amount of climbing, if Pat were quick enough he could catch up to Finn and see he had help getting up to his as well. But there was also the fact Ellen could just as well fly up there to make sure the boy made it up alright. Which left the lowest tower to reach if she decided to go with the other tower, which Pat wouldn't mind inspecting himself come the decision to do so. "What should I do?" Crowley checked as he watched Pat with a curious look.

"Watch the dagger, see what happens when we activate those towers." He instructed with a brief look to the older man, then to the other two that also deemed it best to stick around. "Play nice you three." He remarked as he looked to Crowley once more, still unsure how Niv's men would act around the dagger. It wouldn't hurt to have a couple of body guards near Crowley at least, since he could see any feasible changes with the Guardian first. "Be careful you two," He then suggested with a look to Ellen'wyn and Niv, "No tellin' what we're gonna find after all." But they'd all soon figure it out for themselves. With a turn to his designated tower Patrick started in a jog through the snow, his pace somewhat slowed by the knee high snow he had to traverse through.

Snow... He hated it so much. Why couldn't they find Orimar during Ymiden or Vhalar... Patrick pushed himself through and onward to the hill of the first tower, his hands grappled the edges of the subtle incline before him as he pulled himself over the edges. Admittedly he had to admit he drew the bigger straw of the bunch, since he wound up investigating the lowest tower compared to the rest of them. He definitely felt more qualified for one of the higher towers, but given everyone else had chosen what tower they wanted to investigate; he wasn't going to argue whether or not they had that privilege. "A disgrace." He scoffed as he walked his way closer to the landmark that rested a few yards away, already he felt like Niv's envoys were going to be a right comical addition to the bunch.

"Let's see here." Patrick muttered to himself as he drew closer to the tower's base, from the looks of it there was in fact a brazier within the tower. A large brazier with what appeared to be blue resin, and next to the brazier on the stone ground was some sort of pulley gear he could turn... For what though? "First let's light that brazier..." He suggested to himself with a tuck of his hand into the pocket of his leather gear, quite easily he pulled out the tinderbox he had tucked away for something like this. Fire. There was always a need to start a fire somewhere apparently. With the flint and steel taken from the box he held it over the resin in the brazier, a strike made with the two as sparks fell down onto the resin. Nothing. He tried again and yet the spark didn't catch fire, but when the third strike came the spark seemed to catch a portion of the resin. "Perfect!"

He quickly placed the items back in the box and tucked it back in it's place, a few soft puffs fed the faint signs of fire air to help give it more life. At last the resin started to burn brightly, with a brilliant blue flame now eerily heating the air around him. By the seven it felt good to be near heat! And it looked as though they were onto something now.

Finn


The cliffs that the boy clung to were indeed quite cold when he clung to them, and depending on how he climbed he could either head straight up the cliffs to his designated tower... or conserve his energy by utilizing cliffs from the neighboring tower to help make his climb a little easier. His choices were to either sacrifice more stamina to save time, or to sacrifice time but attempt safer passage up to the tower he chose to investigate. The ravine between the two towers would shutter as something else started to move, a final structure that seemed to rise out of the snow and ice found within.

A stone pillar with an unusual platform found rising just a few feet from the pillar's base, closer observation would reveal that this platform was a mirror embedded in stone. The mirror itself appeared to be heavily cracked, however, still intact as it faced the direction of the statue... and somehow in perfect alignment with the tower that Oberan planned to scale up to. Once Finn would reach his chosen tower to investigate he would find at it's base the large brazier within, as well as an ancient pulley system that looked weathered but still intact near the base. Within the brazier remained vividly light blue substance, a sort of resin that seemed capable of lighting even after all this time underground.

Ellen & Niv


With their chosen tower being particularly easy to get to thanks to Ellen'wyn's wings; they'd be the first to reach their landmark with ease in mind. Though the winds are quite cold to endure, they will find that their tower resembles the same as the others. A large brazier rested within it's base and and within it the resin, the pulley system next to it a sure sign that this next part of the puzzle required some elbow grease.

Gangui


Admittedly while the others were out checking out their towers Crowley remained both cautious of his bodyguards, but more or so intrigued with the fact one of the towers had not only a blue light at it's base... but something rotating the tower's peak as well. "You know for men who think a bunch of children are doing their work for them, you two seem pretty adamant from actually jumping at the chance to investigate one of these towers." He boldly pointed out as he watched Patrick's tower mainly, however his eyes often went to where Finn was in hopes the boy wasn't going to fall. Oberan too. The risks weren't worth lives in this case, even if treasure had to be waiting beyond the Guardian.

"As disgruntled you two are, surely you can look past your 'pride and honor' and just worry about getting everyone home safe?" The older man remarked as a beam of light, originating from Patrick's tower, slowly twisted counterclockwise towards the Guardian's location. "I'm sure the boss would be very appreciative if we reduced any casualties along the way?" He made idle conversation mainly but when that light shone on one of the crystal items, the Guardian seemed to tremble just a little with a faint series of clicks felt underneath the stone. By the Seven... were they actually onto something?

Oberan


Admittedly Oberan had, without a doubt, chosen the more loftier challenge of the four, his tower residing high above the others with a series of cliffs and overhangs to climb. His starting point being a little ways south of the alcove where the Guardian resided, he'd find the stone edges cold and even slippery. Risk of slipping would already be high this close to the ground, and wouldn't likely lighten up the higher he ascended in his climb. There would be little places for him to rest in his climb, save for when he would reach the top of the cliff in general and would be midway to his chosen tower. It would be at this point the cliffs would also become increasingly unstable, as portions of the rock would crumble away under his weight.

As he'd climb the others would also be reaching their towers and activating them, the first tower being the one lowest to the ground of course which could be observed from his angle. Bright vivid blue flames would burn at the base of that tower, and somehow the top of the tower looked to be twisting around slowly. Finn's tower also. Were they causing the top's of the tower to move? The lowest tower seemed to stop spinning as a porthole at it's top shone light in the Guardian's direction, as though a mirror at the tower's peak seemed to redirect the light of the tower's base within. Voices of Patrick and Crowley echoed within the distance. "That do anything?"

"One of the objects in the Guardian's hand is glowing now, I think we're actually onto something here!"

"Alright, at the base of the towers are some weird contraptions to turn them around. We need the lights directed at the statue in order to open the way!"


Whether Oberan could clearly make out the long distanced discussion, he would soon find out for himself what they were referring to. He just needed to reach his tower without falling, and in turn turn the beacon towards the place where his designated light needed direction to.
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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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Patrick
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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Oberan » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:36 pm

Just as he started to run towards the highest tower, he heard a small voice try to persuade him to do something else. Oberan turned around but kept running, not planning on doing with some Tunawa was telling him. “Well, then she should have called dibs first, don’t you think!” he called, “And if I didn’t hear it, it doesn’t count!” He swiveled back around, stumbled over a rock hidden beneath the snow in the process, and nearly faceplanted right then and there. He recovered quickly however, and continued his dash as if nothing had happened.

After that short jog, the Mortalborn reached the cliff upon which the tower sat perched, and looking from up close Oberan found it to be taller than he had expected. Steeper too. Maybe this would be a bit of a problem… Still, he wasn’t going to give up the challenge, just so the flapper and the twigling could fly up and do whatever it was that needed doing. Just because she had wings did not mean Oberan would step aside and let her steal the fun away from him. No, he had claimed this cliff, and he was going to climb it!

He wished he’d brought some gloves though, since most of the cliff was covered in snow. Considering the Cylus temperature, it was almost certain that it wasn’t the soft dusty kind of snow, but the frozen half-ice kind. Yet, he would not back down.

A deep breath in and out, a couple stretches to loosen up the muscles and joints, and a popping of his neck later, Oberan dug his fingers in the snow as he grabbed a handhold, immediately feeling his body warmth being drained away. His feet searched for a place that could hold them, one for each. The locations he found were a bit far apart, but not too far for an acrobat as himself, who wasn’t limited to the orthodox way of doing things.

He began to climb then, slowly making his way up one limb at a time, thoroughly scanning the surface around him for crevices and protrusions he could hold onto. Generally speaking, where there was snow, there was a potential hand or foothold, but the wetness of the white powder combined with the freezing cold had made the otherwise rough stone treacherously slippery, and the longer he spent climbing, the less feeling he had in his fingers.

Trying to hurry up wasn’t a good call though, as when Oberan attempted it, he misplaced his toes on a bit that was too slippery. He lost his footing, dangling on the side of the cliff only by virtue of his grip and arm strength, but he knew well enough that it wouldn’t last. The fright from slipping had pumped adrenaline into his veins, giving him enough power to hold on…for now.

Oberan knew he needed to get his feet back in position as soon as possible. He knew it was crucial. He knew he would fall if he didn’t.

His mouth was a snarl, teeth gnashing. Sweat on his brow.

His legs kicked desperately for purchase, searching the cliffside for something, anything that could hold him. He swung his legs around, scraping his knees on the rocks, willing his fingers to dig into the stone itself. And then… a ledge. Enough for his left foot to stand on. Enough to relieve his arms, to let them rest a little. A sigh as he tensed the muscles in his thigh, slowly putting his weight on it.

The Mortalborn heard a crack, he could feel it, even. The weight that was lifted from his arms suddenly was added back to them. They pulled taut, muscles screaming, joints giving a little as once more he fell down a little bit. His fingers felt as if they were about to snap off. Oberan grunted.

Below him was the cold, hard ground, rocky and uneven terrain hidden by a blanket of snow. Perhaps he wouldn’t die if he fell from this height, but he’d certainly break something. If he was lucky, he’d be able to continue this adventure.

Sweat ran down his face. His fingers were slipping.

He needed to find a foothold, and soon!

But, he shouldn’t panic. He shouldn’t make haste.

Oberan took a deep breath in, and held it, feet searching for a protrusion they could stand on. He looked down as much as he could in his position, trying to locate one with his eyes as well, and finding one… though it was a bit far. The angle would be awkward, and it wouldn’t be good for climbing. In fact, any experienced climber would tell him to keep his hands and feet close to his body.

Pain shot through his fingers, sharp and familiar. Bad time for cramps, really.

He’d have to risk it, then. With a more controlled motion than he’d used before, Bran swung his leg onto the protrusion, his heel finding support there. His other foot still dangled into nothing, but by using his leg as well as his arms, he could reach a higher spot than before. He pulled himself up with his arms, feeling the burn in his forearms. His leg pushed, and his foot found a crack in the wall he could use.

Slowly but steadily he managed to straighten up, taking the pressure from his hands and arms, though the climb was not yet over. There was a ways to go, and despite the tiredness of his upper limbs, Bran couldn’t just quit and walk away. Climbing down would take longer than climbing up at this point, and he wasn’t going to prove the flapper and her tiny friend right.

Fortunately though, he stood stable enough to take a short rest to let his arms and fingers recover. Oberan did exactly that, and as soon as he thought he was all right again, he got back to it. Scaling the rest of the cliff went slower than before, but Oberan paid more attention to where he placed his limbs, as well as to how stable or instable those protrusions were. Slow but steady wasn’t a bad thing, and it got the job done just fine.

When he finally cleared the cliff, his arms felt like lead and his fingers like icicles, but he had made it. His chest heaved and his heart pumped and his limbs trembled, but he had made it. Now to see what was up with these towers.

The base of the tower housed a brazier with some blue stuff in it, which probably was flammable. Mumbling to himself, Oberan searched his pockets for a tinderbox, but dropped it in the snow instead of holding onto it. He whispered a curse, blew hot air onto his fingers before rubbing his hands together quickly, then bending over to pick up the fallen object with both hands. Grabbing hold of the small firestarters within was a difficult task though, and it took many tries before he managed. When he finally did, and the resin was lit –another pain in the ass to do—he sighed contently and warmed his hands at the flames after slipping the box back into his clothes. Damn, this felt real good. The tiny pinpricks dancing on his skin as the heat drove the cold out of his bones was a welcome reassurance that his fingers wouldn’t be falling off any time soon.

In the meantime he looked around, seeing the others had also lit blue fire, and that some towers were turning around, reflecting light to the location of the statue. The objective was clear then, wasn’t it. With his hands sufficiently warmed, he took hold of the pully system.
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Oberan
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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Finnegan O'Connor » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:52 am

The Guardian of Orimar

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10th of Cylus, 718

The ascend wasn’t as straightforward as climbing up a drainage pipe, or scurrying down city scaffolds. His footing was unsteady, the ledges small, his digits numb with cold and the fall seemed a great deal steeper from his position halfway up the jagged rock. Gritting his teeth, Finn opted for the safest route possible. Just when he reached to continue moving upward, the ground shook again and he leaned forward against the rock face with all his weight. A mirror rose from below and he kept still until the ancient structure came to rumbling halt.

A few deep breaths later he mustered the courage to continue upward until he finally reached the top of the rock and hoisted himself over the edge, a great deal more tired than he cared to admit. He inspected his pale, almost blue-ish fingers for a moment, as if to make sure he hadn’t lost a pinkie on the way up. When he was certain he still had all his fingers, his gaze fell on the tower and the brazier within. Uncertain what to do next, he looked to the other towers and soon spotted Patrick at the base of one, kindling the brazier with flint until a happy flame rose from the foot of the tower.

He cupped his hands to his mouth and blew some hot air into his hands. How was going to light a fire? For a trill he was genuinely puzzled and worried he’d have to climb down to fetch flint and steel, but then a quiet, distant voice sounded. Only he was privy to the quiet, teasing laughter of the flames. Of course! He smiled at his own foolishness. The cold had clearly numbed more than just his fingers.

Not wasting anymore time he turned to face the speck that was Patrick and stretched out his arms. A trill passed, and then another, and all he heard was the beating of Ellen’s wings and the idle chatter coming from below. He closed his eyes and redoubled his effort, focusing his attention on the faintest, most distant voice instead, beckoning it to leap up. But fire wasn’t so easily commanded, it had a stubborn little will of its own. And so he coaxed it and lured it with the promise of happily eating away at the resin. A few more trills passed in relative silence before it happened. The fire near Patrick flared up with a mighty roar before one of the blue tongues split away from the brazier and shot through the cold winter air like a falling star, rapidly diminishing in bredth and brightness as it traveled from Patrick’s tower to the one Finn had chosen. But before the flame died completely, it splashed down near the brazier with all the accuracy and grace one could expect from a ball of fire. Accuracy didn’t matter however as even the slightest spark was enough to light the resin and bathe the ground in bright, blue glow.

When Finn opened his eyes again he stumbled a little and quickly reached for support at the tower’s wall to catch his breath. Still, he managed a bubble of laughter, overjoyed that his trick had actually worked.

“What now?” he shouted in Patrick’s direction. The pulley seemed the next logical step, but he wasn’t to keen on pulling ropes or pressing buttons whose purpose was unclear to him.
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A frigid, salty air accompanies Finn, his hair is dark as if wet and his skin is clammy to the touch.

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The Guardian of Orimar

Postby Ellen'wyn » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:05 pm

As the others disbursed, she glanced briefly at Patrick, drawn by his voice.

"You too," she mumbled a little too quickly and quietly, and then she was off. "Hang on tight Niv," she ordered before breaking into a brisk jog. But when the redhead made to leap into the air, her feet slipped and she slid several wobbly moments. "Oh--!" She spread her arms and wings wide, bracing low, feet shoulder width apart until she came to a stop on the snow-covered patch of ice. Ellen sighed heavily, but gave Niv a little grin out of the corner of her eye. "Let's try this again."

Another tactic was necessary. She'd never taken off without a running start before, but it seemed now was the time to learn. Tongue sticking out slightly from between her pursed lips, the mixed-blood squatted, ruffled her wings, and then jumped as high as she could from a standstill. She beat her wings hard and fast, straining to gain lift, wobbling briefly but managing to suspend herself in the air. As her wings found the rhythm she finally pulled up from the ground, breathing hard and a bit red in the face, but finally moving.

"Well that was easy," she lied to the little Tunäwä companion clinging desperately to her hair.

When she was finally stabilized, they closed the distance to the tower quickly. Ellen circled around it, scrutinizing the icy ground for several laps before finally easing down to a flat space near the tower's base. She flapped heavily in the descent, wings churning the air in a backwards paddling motion. They landed easy enough, and she bent her knees on impact to absorb the shock of it.

"Right then. Let's open this door, shall we?" the redhead mumbled, moving to examine the tower itself. It was very very old. That much was obvious. The architecture was strange though. She'd never seen anything quite like it. Not that that was saying much--Eztos was built partially out of mud and Desnind was a bunch of treehouses. But this was... something unique. Ellen squatted by the brazier and swiped its interior with a finger. Blue gunk. She smelled it and gagged. "Don't touch this stuff," she warned Niv. "Maybe you should move back."

The mixed-blood carefully grabbed her friend and sat her in the snow, motioning that she move away. Retrieving the tinderbox from one of the pouches on her belt, she held her flint and steel over the barge bowl. Apprehensively, she struck and unleashed a shower of sparks. Nothing. She struck again, but this time it ignited in a furious blue ball. Screeching in surprise, she fell back on her rear in the snow, blinking from the blast of heat to her face. Nervous and itchy from the sudden burst of adrenaline, she looked at Niv.

"Do I still have my eyebrows?" Fingertips probed uncertainly.

Both were still intact it seemed. Ellen crawled wearily back to her feet, grabbing a handful of snow on the way up to pat her singed cheeks. She sighed from the immediately soothing relief. Now that the fire was going, she looked to the rest of the group. Patrick was lighting his, so she watched. The mixed-blood glanced back at the pulleys of her own tower. The young Finn had reached his now as well, and Oberan hasn’t died yet, so there was that. Ellen grabbed the old thick rope and gave it an experimental yank. Nothing. She leaned back, pulling harder, feet starting to slip on the snow and ice.

The redhead cursed and grumbled quietly under her breath. Turning around, she lay the rope over her shoulder and clung tightly to it. Leaning forward, she walked and pulled, stepping slowly and carefully over the snow, using what leverage she had the best she could.
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