• Event • Moondream

The expansive wasteland of the Northern Region is both beautiful and inhospitable. Viden, though isolated; it is not a solitary city. Satellite towns, which are little more than fortresses, surround Viden and are both ancillary to, and autonomous from, the citadel of Viden.

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Moondream

Postby Caius Gawyne » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:31 am

"Maybe?"

Caius' tone was incredulous and pained at the same time, but there was real terror in his expression and in the unfathomable darkness of his irises, squeezing her delicate hand tightly, he could only be quietly honest, "No, the whispers of Ziell's leftover lineage in my watered down existence are somehow linked with this place ... which is why I've only attempted to study things about Treid's Sanctum from afar, Darcy. Filling my room with books and papers and grasping at straws for almost an entire season now. For what? It's not like I've sarding managed to learn a thing. And now I'm here? How? I had no plans on coming here, not for a long time, no matter how much it tempted me, I—" and she knew why. If there was no other reason why he'd not followed his curiosities here no matter the end, it was her,

"I was not ready—am not—I am not ready. Not now. Maybe not ever. I don't sarding know!"

But Mae knew, too, and he sighed. She knew quite a bit, of course, about himself in ways that would in the present situation be somewhat strange and awkward to explain. Now wasn't really the time to discuss past relationships and his choices and his failures or current relationships and the future he was sure he wanted. The matters of his heart were not important here or perhaps they were too important and too precious to discuss, and so he said nothing about the past nor the present, swearing he wouldn't unless he knew he had nothing else left to talk about. This just wasn't the time to open dusty tomes or to savor freshly bound ones. The young Gawyne didn't miss the emotion in the familiar Eidisi's voice, and while his words were not weighed down by guilt or regret in the moment, he wasn't without feelings at all when he answered,

"—I have no idea if I can escape what I've seen my whole life in some form or another. This understanding of sorts that my prophetic gift feels like has only come into focus the more I've attempted to know. The closer to truths I've touched in my research, the clearer everything becomes."

He frowned at that sort of clarity, preferring suddenly to be the sort of Gawyne that defied prophecy.

Just once.

Still, Alucard snapped him from any emotional reverie he would have wanted, and Caius was far too out of his comfort zone and far too afraid not to snap back. What he didn't actually expect, no matter how much the strange man threatened, was actual physical retaliation, and the smack of his hand more than once with his words truly caught him off guard. He groaned angrily, raising his arms in defense but resisting the urge to stoop to the older, uglier man's level. Instead, the northern noble narrowed his pale, silvery gaze at the Ranger and said nothing, jaw clenched, confused.

No one else was here for the same reasons as himself. No one else had any sarding reason to be here at all, either.

The First Ranger turned to Yolande, who had grown quiet, and Caius watched him pull something from his pack but not yet hand it to her, no, Alucard just had more to say about their group's propensity for studiousness. Who the fuck cared? No libraries for miles. He hissed at the older man's continued warnings, impatient and afraid, confused and burdened, but it was when the man moved and the map rolled to the cold ground that he felt suddenly warm. The young Gawyne stared in anger and horror at the blank sheet of vellum that had been passed as important, and his mouth hung open a little, ears ringing, heart fluttering, dizzy.

He really was going to fucking die here.

And so was everyone else.

Molten lead, fresh from the stove in the Rynmere Gazette's sweltering print room, was poured into the cavity of his chest and it formed inside the mold of his ribs, wrapping his heart and searing his lungs. Had one cracked his frozen corpse open, they would have found the most exquisite matrix of his heart ready for casting. If Caius had anything to say, he didn't say it. The Seven weren't here to hear him either, so far into the middle of nowhere north of Viden, so he didn't have any prayers, either. Perhaps in Ashan, when everything thawed just a little here in the sarding far north, when Ziell made his way through the city and the Videnese welcomed him, perhaps some other intrepid explorers who longed for a good hike and some sunshine would find their perfectly preserved, terrified, out of place bodies—

Caius was still holding Darcy's hand, but the flash of white light dragged him from his morbid confusion, blinking and scowling. Yolande had disappeared and left the four of them behind, the crystal she'd used as a magical exit clattering onto the floor.

Why her? Why not Darcy or Mae? Who got to make that choice?

"What the—Where's Yolande?! That's it!" It took everything in the northern noble's power not to lunge for Alucard's sword when he bent to pick up the crystal that had just given one of them freedom from their maddening predicament. He twitched, ink-stained, gloved fingers sliding from the delicate pianist's as he almost reached, body tensing, arms moving, ready to spring into violent action because at this point, nothing else made any sense. He snarled in frustration and tugged on his hood instead, Caius' expression one of furious terror,

"For Fates' sake, no more lies!" He growled, though he moved to herd both Maebella and Darcyanna after Alucard toward the cave with an angry wave of his hands. Shelter was better than staying out in the horrible cold anyway, no matter how much colder it had begun to feel the closer they got to the entrance, no matter how the breaks and bits and trills whispered through his thoughts.

Still, he followed, no longer feeling at all afraid. Trekking toward the cave and desperate for a moment, he felt the weight of everything begin to settle with chilled heaviness on his shoulders. Was this his fault? Could he fix it? Where else could they go?

"Whatever the fuck you're not telling us, Ser I Have a Map but Don't Really, or Ser I Have a Teleportation Crystal up my sarding arse, now is a good time for some sarding real honesty in our group. Any more tricks up your sleeve?"

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Moondream

Postby Darcyanna Venora » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:16 am

91st Zi’da, 717

“You shouldn’t be ready Caius, no one should be fekking ready for this. Not now, not ever. It should be unexpected and when you’re old and grey. Not....not yet.” She said angrily, as though by saying it she could make it so.

Darcyanna nodded at Maebella’s words, grasping at anything that made more tangible evidence that this was not the beginning of the end for the northerner. As they trudged through the snow, stopping briefly at camp, the blonde Venora smiled at the blue skinned Eídisi.

“Not at all, please don’t apologise. There’s much more important things going on right now then worrying who says hello to who out here. I...I take it you know Caius then? And her?” She nodded to the other woman, feeling a small pang of jealously. First Valeria, now Mae and Yolande. It appeared the Gawyne had no objections to sowing wild oats before tying himself down.

Would she have been the same if her life had not been so cruelly stomped on by Pythera? Would there have been other lovers?

Maybe. The logical thought swept some of the bitter feeling away, allowing the musician to focus on the freezing path before them. Fates she was cold, teeth chattering cold. Her arms were wrapped around herself and her breath fogged thickly in the air before her.

Balking away from the First Ranger as he rounded on the Gawyne, she blinked with each slapped word around the taller diri’s face, shrinking further still as the hard man fixed her with a determined glare. What had she done?

Oh. Oh ok.

Pressing her lips together, Darcy blushed and looked down with pale blue eyes, extremely certain she was not going to tear up. No ser. As the man moved to Yolande, the pale woman frowned. She couldn’t use a sword, but she had other...vices...she could use. Maybe they would help? Maybe they wouldn’t.

A map fell then, poetically unrolling as it landed, and Darcy stared wide eyed at the blankness before them. What map had no map on it. Her stomach sank. What the sarding fates was going on? They were dragged here without knowledge or consent, to follow the most horrible excuse for a man, in a frozen wasteland, with no map??!

At least she was here with Caius, if it was the end. At least she could try something.

Clinging to his too warm hand in hers, the noblewoman watched Alucard more to the other blue skinned companion. He handed her a stone, and suddenly, Yolande was gone. The blonde gasped. Magic? That was...it was...that was forbidden. Illegal. Wrong. Unable to say anything more on the matter, she scrambled as all but herded by Caius into the cave, escaping the rapidly dropping temperatures.

As the Gawyne continued to rant, something in the blonde snapped. She spun around on the taller diri and stared up into his angered face.

“Caius Gawyne, shut the fek up, for fates sake!” Frowning at her own angry outburst, she put her hands on his chest and held the clearly terrified man’s gaze. She knew fear, inside and out, like an old and unwelcome companion.

“Just...just stop okay? Take a breath and get your bog together. We’re all confused, and as far as I can tell you’re probably the only one between us three that has any sarding skill with a weapon. So pull it together, keep your sabre at the ready and stop taking this all on. You didn’t bring us here, but you damn well need to help us get out of here. Alive. All of us. I need you to get it together, okay? If you could face my sister and live, you can fekking well face this.”
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Moondream

Postby Maebella » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:08 am

This situation just kept growing stranger and stranger. It was already odd enough that they'd awoken in a tent in the Tundra with neither recollection nor clear indication of how they'd gotten there, but now they were dealing Caius claiming that he was here to die, a man who seemed highly unstable and hardly fit to lead them, and to top it all, Mae had decided to catch feelings. In truth, they were old feelings although not as aged as she would have liked. What was more, she'd been sure that she'd buried them or at least had deluded herself into believing that she had. In reality, it seemed that she hadn't dealt with the problem as effectively as she would have liked, which was to be expected given that she'd repressed it rather than facing it.

So she was forced to watch Caius and Darcy share their moments of intimacies, telling herself that she shouldn't care and couldn't do so. After all, the Rynmere noble had never looked at her that way or spoken to her like that. No matter how he might have acted, her feelings had been very one-sided she saw and ultimately, pining over the past wasn't going to do her any good. In fact, instead of feeling sorry for herself, she'd be better off feeling sorry for Darcy because this talk of her love's impending death must be quite traumatic for her. Plus, she'd probably picked up a certain tension between the man and the Eídisi, but she hadn't shown any sign of recognition when she'd given her name so this was news to her and probably not the pleasant sort. Her inquiry was genuine, it seemed. She honestly didn't know of their connection so she decided to adopt a policy of careful neutrality. There was no sense in causing additional pain if it was avoidable.

"I knew Caius when he was studying in Viden last arc. He was kind to me, which isn't something to which I'm accustomed. He was my friend when I had none. I met Yolande once but I can't say that I really know her," she admitted, hoping that her reply offered some reassurance to the blonde; kindness and friendship didn't sound too problematic.

The scholar tried to turn her attention to something other than Caius, her gaze focusing on the First Ranger and trying to glean what she could from his features and what he'd been saying. His temper ran high and it was quick to rise to the fore but she wasn't sure if that was his normal temperament or a result of their present circumstances. After all, it seemed that he bore quite a grudge against Caius and while the young man had certainly been an arse, that wasn't the true cause. There was a certain hostility that had also been aimed at Darcy and the reason was clear from his snapped words: they were nobility. She didn't know if it was useful information per se, but it might be handy to know. It wasn't the sort of thing that she'd ever been keen to announce in any case but it appeared that it would be wise to keep her own heritage to herself just in case he counted her as aristocracy by proxy.

When the First Ranger began to smack the Gawyne about the head, Maebella flinched, the unnecessary violence of it horrifying to her, even more so because it brought back relatively recent memories. Caesia had whacked her about the head in a similar manner at the Academy, infuriated at the idea that her boyfriend showed greater interest in the Eídisi than her, as if that had been the blue-skinned woman's fault. As such, she didn't agree with Alucard's actions but she wasn't going to confront him either; she didn't want to earn his ire as well. Too late, however, for her question seemed to set him off. It hadn't been an unreasonable query at all and the girl set her jaw, pressing her lips together hard so she wouldn't point that out to him. Making a logical argument, even if it was in her own defence, wouldn't do her any favours here so the part of pansy she would play.

Glaring at the ground, she saw the map fall and unfurl, its startlingly pristine surface eliciting a gasp from the youth, white eyes reproachful as they turned on the First Ranger. There was no map, no sarding map at all! He'd dragged them out into the Tundra with no information at all! They were going to die! Her mind caught up, soothing her panic as she considered the matter. If there was no map then how had Alucard gotten them this far? The only logical conclusion she could draw was that he'd known how to get here, map or no map. Perhaps he wasn't as clueless as he'd let on. However, she didn't think confrontation would do the trick but it was a suspicion that she filed away, deciding to watch the man to see if there was any evidence to support it.

There was a silence after the map unfurled, all of them too stunned to say anything but in this silence, the First Ranger stepped forward, offering something to her fellow Eídisi with a whisper whose content was to remain a mystery. The next moment, Yolande was gone, all that remained in her place some sort of crystal. Without any explanation of what had just occurred, the man picked up the shard that remained and handed it to Maebella who regarded him with her mouth agape. No more magic? The pointy shard that she now held had contained magic, presumably the kind that allowed transportation, but its power was now gone. Yolande was probably safe back in the city while Mae was left standing with a pointy stone! A soft but high sound issued from her throat, brief as she strangled it again but it was the beginning of a keening noise. There'd been a form of escape in an emergency and now it was gone. She couldn't exactly blame the nobleman for reacting the way that he did but she was sick of it. She was oddly grateful to Darcy when her patience seemed to snap and she turned on the Gawyne, hopefully enough to knock some sense into him.

Pocketing the crystal in her coat pocket so it was easy to get to, she followed Alucard, giving Caius a dirty look as he tried to herd her. "Do us a favour and shut up, Caius. If there's something ahead that might eat us, I'd appreciate if you didn't give it advanced warning. Pretend you're in the Prime Atheneum and modulate your voice if you have to speak. If it isn't pertinent then say nothing," she informed him softly and coldly, almost seeming to look through him before she turned her attention from him altogether. Her fingers curled around the crystal in her pocket as she set off after the First Ranger, hoping that she wouldn't have to use it.
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Moondream

Postby Djinn » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:49 pm

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"I never said my wishes were supposed to do any good," said the Djinn...

91 Zi'da 717
The Tundra north of Viden


Alucard's cold eyes never turned to look at the trio again, instead focusing on moving into the mouth of the cave. Caius' defiance continued to echo around his head, though, stoking the flames of anger to a purple-and-black rage. The young noble was mouthy, that much was true, but he just couldn't see that Alucard was only there to protect them all. He didn't know why he was there, just the same as them...

Well, that wasn't entirely true, was it? Alucard had a sense, as he often did about these sorts of things. A hand went up and brushed the fabric covering his chest, a subtle and quick gesture, as he slammed foot after foot into the quickly-freezing blanket of snow, leaving heavy footprints in his wake. The temperature was dropping rapidly, a biting cold that seemed to seep into their warm gear and strip them of any comfort. They weren't in serious danger of freezing because of the provided material, but all comfort they had, even the slightest modicum, was sucked from them like a greadl sucked the marrow from the bones of its prey. Alucard felt the change, each step taking him closer to the mouth of the cave, and each step assuring him that he was traveling in the right direction. He just had to convince the three behind him that following him into the cave was their only option.

Which it was. That much he knew.

As he came upon the cave, he stopped, turning around. His white skin had paled even further, attempting to blend chameleon-like into the snow below him. His jaw was set and clenched, tight against the stinging winds that ripped at their exposed flesh, biting noses and searing ears with extreme cold. It was like the cave was breathing a cone of cold onto them, each wave of icy air as cold as the next, repeatedly. Alucard stood in the entrance, face colder than a grave, as they approached. First, his freezing glare stopped on Caius, as frigid as the air around them, then to Darcyanna and then Maebella. His lips were a thin line, the horizon between life and death, and when he spoke, his voice was low and guttural, almost lost to the howling winds sending swirling clouds of icy snow around them.

"A'right, listen up. From here'n out, we're in this together. No more sardin' talkin' about yer deaths, or missin' yer warm beds. No more bein' a little shit an' tryin' to undermine my every fuckin' word. From here, we're a unified front, or we're four fuckin' corpses, freezin' beneath the cold, hard ground in this Saints-forsaken cave. I don' care if'n ye don' give a sardin' shit about me. From here, your survival depends on our survival, understand?" His voice was barren, rivaling the landscape for the bleakest experience in their lives. Each flicked between each, Alucard nodding.

He'd given a variation of that speech thousands of times to thousands of faces, plenty of fresh recruits in it for glory or money. He'd said the same thing so many times that Alucard had started to believe it... He started to believe that they could survive if they worked together, but he knew the Frozen North better than any, and the barbaric landscape didn't give two shits if you worked together. But in Alucard's experience, a fractured team was the surest way to leave men and women behind, and he had no interest in that on this occasion, even if one of them was a mouthy shit.

"We gotta get inside an' figure out a base camp, so's to ensure we have a place to rendezvous should we get sep'rated." He turned and trudged into the cave, the others following him at a close distance. Heading into the unknown, distance could prove a serious adversary, and so they clung close to the more experienced, and strongly scented, First Ranger. Together, the four of them trudged through snow growing to cover their feet entirely, each step taking more and more energy to take. Alucard looked back every few steps, to make sure one of the prissy nobles weren't face down in the hardening powder, or to ensure that the Videnese girl hadn't just turned and left. They needed each other now, he knew that. All of them... Losing the other Eidisi had ensured that their every decision was critical now, no room for any errors.

The last time the situation was as dire, Alucard had lost his team. Not this fuckin' trial, though. He promised himself that he would lead these three through this, whatever that cost. Each step reminded him of the gravity of that conviction, but it was one that he was willing to confront when the time came. Plenty of missions had come and gone, plenty of life and death, struggle and success... And Alucard had never feared more than he did in that moment.

But the narrow passageway had an opening at the end, though from their distance they could not tell if that was the extent of the cave system, or perhaps just some sort of antechamber. Or, for all Alucard knew, it could be the lair of some snowbeast, intent on snacking on a delivered meal. He paused, hand raising with all the fingers standing straight up, indicating a stop. The trio behind him noticed his left hand was missing the ring finger, the fabric of his glove sewn there so that there was no excess fabric. He turned, pointing to their positions, then held up the palm of his hand.

Ye stay here, the gesture indicated. If the three could be amused in the tense situation, they all heard the command in his voice, in their heads. This was no time for amusement, but life was about a series of moments, and if theirs were at an end, this would not be the worst moment to remember as they died. Still, though, Alucard offered nothing else, crouching and crawling forwards towards the opening maw that extended beyond their vision. His steps made no more noise the the rustling of sifting snow, and as he approached, he offered them no parting glance. Coming up the opening, he paused, then slipped through. The cold grew, and they each felt it in a unique way, though none more than Caius.

The cold was never a problem for the Northern Noble, the Gawynes always being born of snow and Ziell-blood. But this time, the cold was intense, seeming to come from within him. Caius didn't feel it, but the girls did. Radiating from him was not warmth, but instead cold, surrounding him like a suit of frozen armour. Caius, he felt the cold, sure, but not the absolute frigidity he was putting off. He couldn't shake a feeling, either, like his heart was itching. He stood there, considering the feeling, until a sharp whistle floated down the passage to them, landing on each of their ears simultaneously. It was clear the intent.

C'mon. And they did, trudging forward into the freezing cave. The girls had to allow Caius a few steps to himself to keep from shivering, the cold of his aura compounding with the natural cold around them. It took them a few bits to reach the mouth of the chamber beyond, but when they did, they were overwhelmed, each of them.

Standing there in the center of the antechamber, Alucard stared up at the ceiling. It was comprised of a magical prism of colours, the natural light of the cavern echoing off the spiky stalactites to shred the light into colours, patterns both irrational and pleasing. Violets mixed with greens, swirling around reds and oranges, creating rigid dawn-dusk hybrids. Blues mixed with greens, mixing with the other mixtures, to create the phantasm of brilliance. To each of them, there was something different in that ceiling. To Caius, he saw the beauty of winter, the light refracted and coalescing to create the truest tapestry of natural light. For Darcyanna, she saw the ocean of emotion, coloured by the lights above her, seeing each variation and shade as the slightest facet of the next emotion, each bleeding into each other and forming, ichor-like, into a gestalt of feeling. Maebella saw the cold, hard light of intellect, seeing each colour as its constituents before seeing them as a whole. Her mind dissected the colours, seeing each as a part and whole.

But it was Alucard who was the most stricken, staring above him. Each colour, distinct or combination, was a face he'd covered in dirt, allowing them to rest eternally in the place of their choosing. Each red, whether deep or blood or wine, had a name to him. The yellows and greens and blues, they were the spectres of his past missions, echoing in the darkest recesses of his heart and mind. Tears rimmed his eyes, threatening to freeze in the cold, as the room pulsated like a beating heart, a dull thump coming from behind a wall.

Sitting against a wall, close to the opening that led further into the structure, sat a wooden chest, frozen in time by the freezing of its wood, sticking out against the shining glitter of the ice that covered the room. Within the chest, a long and thin sword sat. Next to it, a bow strung with eight arrows in a quiver next to it, made of smoothed and polished wood. Underneath it, a heavy fur cloak, appearing to be made of white reindeer fur. Alucard removed the contents, laying them on the ground in front of the three.

"Take yer picks, an' let's be off." He growled, the miasma of memory swirling above him souring the awe of the chamber. Turning back to the chest, he lifted the final item from it, a small leather-bound journal. Scratched on the title page, "Field Journal" was legible. The item mostly detailed the trek of the rangers from Viden, through a battle with a tundra beast, to the mouth of the cave, to the extreme cold of the entrance of the cave. Its author, Galius Sipender, was a ranger that Alucard knew. Well.

"A'right, well... Looks like we're not the first here, in an' case. Galius, good lad. Led a group of... seven here, three arcs ago. Never made it out, apparently. Fuckin' Kata's bloody rag, what're we doin' in this boghole?" The last bit was to himself, the ghosts still staring into him from on high.

"Ye picked? Let's fuckin' go." The beating heart continued, rhythmic in the walls around them. Alucard's eyes fell on the far wall, examining it for a moment before turning back to the three of them, impatient. He was ready to be done with this place and the ghosts of his failures.


"In fact, I swore they would always do as much harm as possible."
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Moondream

Postby Caius Gawyne » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:42 pm

My sister.

Caius' face twisted at the words and his free hand moved to dig the gloved palm of it into his shoulder instinctually at the memory, fingers curling against his coat where the deep, puckered scar lay hidden across his chest. The chill made it ache anyway, but it was the act of remembering that hurt just enough. Dark irises paled, the visual effect not unlike some deep lake frosting over,

"Bogs." The word was more of a long exhale than an actual collection of sounds, coming into focus with heated reluctance, looking at the delicate pianist gripping his coat, familiar words the first ones his mind could put together coherently after such a reprimand, "I'm sorry, Darcy. I'm sorry."

The young Gawyne blinked slowly, ears ringing, blood slowly solidifying lead in his veins—not even his too hot nature, not even his indignation felt to be enough to keep the frozen North at bay. Both hands moved to grip the blonde Venora's tightly for a selfish, encouraging moment and he kissed her shamelessly, not at all ignorant of his audience, the weight of such a visual transgression in the eyes of someone else he'd been much more than casual friends with not a heavy enough anchor to keep him from the needful act,

"I'm fucking alive." He whispered against cold lips: an acknowledgment that he was necessary, an acknowledgement that he'd made promises he had every intention of keeping. Holding Darcy's gaze for a purposeful, wordless trill more, he leaned away and let her go, clearing his throat as if the noise cleared the frigid air and cleared the ashes from his previously angry soul,

"And so are you—both of you—all of us. Us. We are fucking alive." Caius narrowed his eyes on the last syllable, glancing to Alucard, avoiding for a heartbeat or two looking at Maebella because he felt the itch of guilt for hurting her, "And we're sarding well going to stay that way."

Even if he didn't.

Inhaling sharply, he reluctantly looked to the Eídisi, desperately hoping it wasn't cruel to place a hand on her arm, "I'm sorry, too, Mae. For things." The northern noble offered a specific apology awkwardly, uncomfortable giving something he'd otherwise consider private in front of an audience such as he had in a moment that was the same terrible timing he was sarding infamous for. For, in his strange mind, it was much more difficult to have such a heartfelt conversation in front of curious eyes than it was to kiss the human he'd all but proposed to just a handful of ten-trials ago while staining the inside of a carriage red with his own life. His jaw clenched and he made as if he had more to say, but instead his narrow shoulders sagged and his hand slipped away, turning at their First Ranger's rousing, sarcastic words of so-called encouragement and leadership.

Together.

With nothing else to say, standing around in the growing cold unbearable, the only thing left to do was follow. Caius' choice was to offer assistance, making sure both Darcy and Mae trudged through the snow without slipping or falling. While his blue-skinned friend was far more familiar with the frozen environment of Viden, he knew that his future Gawyne was not, and so he chose to sacrifice his speed for efficiency, making sure that he was available as an extra hand once the snowdrifts clawed at their knees and the wind had tried its best to strip skin in icy layers from their faces.

He didn't keep his eyes on their destination so much as their guide, unwilling to make comparisons of distance for himself lest he become discouraged and afraid to judge the relative safety where they were headed based on his admitted lack of knowledge otherwise.

When they paused to wait on Alucard, however, he began to notice subtle things—Darcy taking a few steps away from him. Mae's concerned glances. He felt little different except that he was forced to dig the heel of his gloved palm into the left half of his chest where his heart was hidden under layers of clothing and flesh and bone because an annoying sensation had become something he couldn't ignore. The strange itch made him uncomfortable, reminded him of the whispers that haunted his subconscious thoughts. Caius scowled once the First Ranger waved them forward, wanting Darcy and Mae to go before him but noticing they hesitated,

"What? Is something wrong? Go on." Confused, he finally just went first and let them sort out their snow struggles if they didn't speak up about what they felt that he couldn't. Nothing could settle right in this place of so much cold, and as the four of them entered the antechamber, the young Gawyne was both amazed and afraid. Taking in the colors and lights created by the ice and sun, he sighed, feeling the weight of the present like the cold and the longings of his future like a needful warm breath stolen from his already burning lungs. His face stung and his ears were ringing, the deep ache in his shoulder awake in such heavily frigid temperatures, gnawing at his confidence.

The lights filtered naturally through the ice and Caius was left for a trill or two to chase his curiosities into the depths of his ever-busy, sleepless mind. How did they get here? Why was it them? Was there a purpose? Was this some Immortal's cruel joke?

A strange place to wake up.

A stranger place to die.

His mind wandered through all the things he'd yet to do, the plans he'd made but would be forced to abandon, the people he didn't want to leave behind. Why now? Who decided these things? He'd not lived enough. Not done enough.

He felt it then, the strange pulse of the room, and if it was at all possible, Caius felt colder, more afraid.

There was a chest, and the sight of it interrupted his wandering thoughts, thoughts he was desperate to tuck away and not dwell on, for he'd been asked to be brave, to stay alive instead of resign himself to the prophetic promise that drifted through his distracted thoughts. He glanced over the three items in there, all of which would have aided one person better than split among three, but aware that no one else had his skillset, he chose the sword on principle, his own having decided to stay at home when he woke up here for whatever sarding inconvenient reason.

"This'll do." He eyed the book that the First Ranger chose curiously and listened to what Alucard had so colorfully to say, hissing in displeasure a near-crystalline cloud of heated breath and whispering, "Seven? And they never—fuck those odds. Let's beat them soundly."

Caius didn't like the sound of that, didn't like the sound this cave was making, and didn't like the way he couldn't scratch the itch that writhed in the cavity of his chest. Seven help them, he was terrified.

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Postby Darcyanna Venora » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:21 pm

91st Zi’da, 717

He kissed her, as though not a soul stood with them, and for a moment in time in the bitterly cold wasteland Darcyanna saw only him. The words echoed in her mind, a stark memory that even now competed with any of the fear this place brought. She held back the agonising feeling that formed a lump in her throat, and as he pulled back she nodded a little.

“Yes. Yes we are fucking alive.” She whispered in encouragement, averting her gaze from Maebella to the snowy ground before them. There was a past there, as clear as the trials of a Ymiden sky in Venora, but Darcy knew her future was with the Gawyne. Pasts were what they were, and whilst she didn’t have relationships before Caius, she could acknowledge he had and could accept it.

Bogs it was sarding cold, the pianist thought as they trudged with great difficulty through the snow. When Alucard stopped to speak, her bright blue eyes connected with his and she nodded firmly. The man was an arsehole but he was far far better suited to the task at hand than any of them, and so what he said she would take to heart.

On they went, snow so deep and thick in the passageway the short blonde struggled to walk. If offered assistance, she would unashamedly take it, and her sigh of relief was nearly audible when their guide held his hand to signal a stop at what appeared to be an opening. He crawled through and disappeared, and the cold got colder.

Fates did it get colder!

Darcyanna shivered, tucking her hands under her arms even in the cloak and hugging herself tight. The cold it seemed, was radiating from the northern noble, causing the blonde to move back closer to the blue skinned Maebella, shooting her a confused look. A sharp whistle sounded, their cue to move onwards, and it was not without a frown that Darcy waited for Caius to go first, unable to get closer than a few feet from him. The cold that came off him hurt, it made her skin feel like it was burning. He noticed their hesitation, and the musician shook her head.

“Cold Caius. You’re...you’re making cold.” How else could she describe the sensation that he was physically throwing off in biting waves? Walking through into the antechamber, Darcyanna’s gaze was pulled up with a gasp of wonder as the icy ceiling split the light into a breathtaking prism of effervescent colors. Each one spoke to her, of happiness and sadness and anger, so many emotions in each iota of the spectrum. She felt it, sighing with wonder at the unfathomable magenta of love or catching her breath at the bloodied red of hatred. Seven, she could barely think for all the emotions that gripped her, tearing her eyes away finally with a sting of tears. It was too much.

Blinking rapidly, it was then she noticed the room’s pulsating.

Tha-dump.

Following Caius’ form as he crossed to the chest, the blonde followed suit at distance, her nose and cheeks hurting from the frigid air between them. Looking at the items, she considered the reindeer fur. It was gorgeous, but she already wore fur. There was left, a bow and eight arrows. Darcy had very little skill with the weapon, at best Charlie had taught her how to draw an arrow, and yet she picked it up from the ground and gripped it in one delicate hand whilst slinging the quiver over her chest like she’d seen the Sergeant do.

At the least, she could always stab with the arrows and beat things with the bow. Right? Yes. Right.

Glancing up at the First Ranger as he read the journal, the Venora swallowed her fear at the words. Seven in, zero out?

Tha-dump.

Drawn from her inner thoughts, Darcyanna turned to the far wall with a frown. She wanted to go it, wanted to touch it and see if it was truly moving. Truly pulsating. Perhaps it was merely a trick of the wind through the passageways. Then again...

Seven in, zero out.

Perhaps not.

“Lead the way, ser.” She said softly, standing away from Caius reluctantly, wanting nothing more than to hold his hand.

Tha-dump.
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Postby Maebella » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:16 pm

She was trying damnit! She was trying really sarding hard to keep it together and be reasonable here. Caius was with Darcy and regardless of what Mae had shared with Caius in the past, it was over and done with and the young man had made his choice. It was fine and she was dealing with it. However, she did have feelings and she could only deal with so many things at once. As such, when the couple embraced right in front of her to kiss, it was too much.

It was like she took a blow to the chest, a whole arm across it so that a shock went through it. Then the initial vibration became a painful thump as her heart beat within her, each pulse of the organ seeming to circulate an ache through her torso. It felt as if she didn't have enough air and all of the blood vessels in her torso were screaming at her in panic. It wasn't a logical reaction, it wasn't something that she could make sense of and yet if she was asked to describe it, she'd say it felt like her heart had literally broken in two. The physical pain was unreal, a manifestation of the emotional agony that had just been induced within her.

They had a touching moment, the pair seemingly wrapped up in one another, but when the Ryn noble looked her way, she had things reasonably together. At least, she could smile softly at him and only appear a little bit sad, otherwise, her expression was rather wooden. The pain continued but she endured it because she had to put up with it; what other choice did she have?

His hand on her arm was... a lot but while she stiffened, she allowed it to remain, counting slowly in her head. It wouldn't be there for long, it couldn't remain for long, something of which she felt certain. Once it was over, they moved on and she was able to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, almost marching through the snow as she followed Alucard. There was a grim determination to her steps and when the Gawyne offered assistance, she shooed him away, determined to carry on without him. The scholar knew that she didn't require his aid to navigate some snow.

The First Ranger brought their group to a halt, his hand raised in a silent gesture. She found herself staring at the point on his hand where he had a missing finger, unable to look away until he withdrew it and disappeared ahead.

While she stood waiting in the passage, the young woman stamped her feet in an effort to improve her circulation and bring some warmth into her body. The chill was something else, growing in magnitude, almost seeming to seep into her bones as she stood there. It was like it was getting colder with each moment, as if there was a source of cold that was-

Her hand reached out, feeling the air and testing a theory. The closer her hand grew to Caius, the colder it got. The man who was always hot now seemed to be putting out an intense chill. It seemed totally unreal. Her gaze fixed on him, searching for any visual sign of change but she couldn't see anything obvious. She glanced at Darcy to see what she made of it and she too seemed to be feeling the cold.

When the whistle came, Caius waited for them to move but the pair of them stood and kept their distance. Darcy explained it to him in a very blunt way but it probably sounded ludicrous. What was apparent though was that he didn't seem to feel it himself.

"Don't ask me how it's possible, but you're emitting serious cold, Caius," she explained. "It's quite uncomfortable for us although you don't seem to feel it. I think we'd both prefer to keep our distance."

They carried on, moving into a new chamber that seemed to hold every hue on the colour spectrum. It was a kaleidoscope of colour but she could differentiate each individual shade as well as the whole, gazing at the ceiling in fascination. She was rapt, wondering what caused the phenomenon but also simply enthralled by its aesthetic beauty. It wasn't just visual though but something she could feel. The thump of something in the air, a pulsating vibration that made her feel as if she'd been hit with a tuning fork, as if there was some important aural part of this experience that was just below her range of hearing.

She was slow to gaze around the room, slow to engage with what Alucard was investigating. He was setting out various items and she wandered over to look as he flicked through some sort of journal. Her eyes trailed over the three items that had been set out, eyeing the weapons uneasily. She was not a violent sort and disliked having the ability to hurt, especially as weapons had the potential to hurt her as well as others. If she wielded a sword, she'd probably slice herself open. As for the bow... well, she had no idea what to do with that. In that case, if she had to take something then she settled on the fur cloak. It might be useful later and she could appreciate its beauty in any case.

Folding the cloak carefully over her am, she hugged it to her, listening with lips pressed firmly together as Alucard explained that an expedition of seven had been here previously but never returned. "Ah, how helpful. I'm sure if you found any other relevant information in there, you'd tell us, yes?" Mae questioned dully. "You said we had to work together if we want to get through this so that includes communication, right? Providing each other with as much information as possible. I'm sure if there was something important in that, you'd tell us. It's not just in your own best interest but all of ours. You're one of us now after all."
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Postby Djinn » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:23 pm

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"I never said my wishes were supposed to do any good," said the Djinn...

91 Zi'da 717
The Tundra north of Viden


The three picked exactly as the First Ranger had thought they would, a fact that would have comforted him in a place less dire. Here, though, the only thing that comforted him was finishing their task, and returning to the relative warmth of the Viden Zi'da. The Tundra was no place for the four of them, not now, not with the cold winds rising. Alucard wanted to succeed where Galius' party had not, but if he were being completely honest, he was not sure that they could. Still, though, he had to push forward. They'd come this far, and he had a mission.

Alucard's eyes bored holes through Maebella, so obviously convinced that there was more to the little field journal than the man was letting on. Of course, there was, but her astuteness was something that dug at him. He should have known, after the map became public knowledge, that they would question him. It was the reason he didn't divulge that the map was blank to begin with. Sighing, he ran a rough hand over his grizzled face, one eye closing ever so slightly as they all stared at him, expectant. He could tell them a lie, could tell them that the journal said nothing more or that it merely cautioned against going further in. But he didn't. Instead, he weighed his words carefully, making sure that they were as normal, for him, as they could be.

"Aye, there's more. But if'n ye think it's an excuse to turn yer sorry arses around an' run, yer wrong. We're this far, eh, an' we're fuckin' movin' forward." Alucard's fiery gaze singed each of them, temporarily warming them with the fire of his determination. Well, except Caius. He was still radiating cold he could not feel. Maebella, though, found that if she donned the fur cloak, she could no longer feel the cold. In fact, she was as warm as if she were sitting in front of a fire in the hearth of her home. Alucard looked as if he knew this, but said nothing.

"Galius was a meticulous guide. The fucker knew 'is sardin' way around, and when he got to the cave, there's none better to spelunk it. 'Cept at the bottom here, he keeps writing Two to One, Freezing. Over, and over, and over. The handwritin' is gettin' more erratic and blocky, like he couldn' keep control o' the pen. I dunnae what it means, but it ain't good fer us." Alucard's tone was grave, his look more so. He grimaced, his rotten teeth showing just barely through a slit in his lips. Caius and Darcyanna got a shiver, unrelated to the cold, at this revelation. But Maebella felt no shiver, no cold, bogs... Barely any of the trepidation.

The room pulsated again, the thumping quickening as if in relation to Alucard's own heart. Ba-dum, ba-dum... Alucard once again stared at the far wall, then sighed and shook his head. He stowed the journal in one of his many pockets, then turned back to the group. A frown had replaced the grimace, seemingly frozen there. Piercing eyes followed down the only exit out, and he shrugged his shoulders against the encroaching sense of dread. Thumbing towards the hole, he nodded.

"If'n yer all done askin' me questions, let's get the sard on. No sense freezin' yer balls an' lips off here," the gruff man said, turning and heading down the corridor. The ice that composed this too was crystalline and colourful, like watching a rainbow dance on the surface of a frozen lake. But for all the intensity of the pretty colours, that feeling that each step was taking them closer to something extraordinary grew. In Maebella, it manifested as a hunger for knowledge, to see what perhaps no woman had seen before. For Caius, it was a walk closer to his destiny, that exact trill looming ever closer. For Darcyanna, it felt like she was moving a step closer to something that could help her, could make her stronger. And, for Alucard? Redemption.

The walk to the next cavern was short, shorter than they had anticipated. As they arrived, Alucard spread to the left, the frown tightening to a thin-lipped mask of disapproval. The room, if one could call it that, was a massive area with a gaping hole in the center. Where they entered, there was fifteen feet of room to walk forward, and the room was twenty feet wide. From the ceiling hung massive stalactites, looking like the shimmering maw of some faerie beast that the four might have heard stories about as children. Each was razor sharp, as if falling and piercing was its sole objective in the world.

Through the center of the cavern, two heavy cords of rope had been stretched along the length of the room, tied to a stake on the far end that mirrored the side they were on. The rope looked taut, but certainly not sturdy enough for one person per cord. Perhaps they could move one at a time, using both for balance or leverage, but not two at once. Along the left side, a path had been carved from the wall, four feet wide and slippery. The right saw a path six feet wide, but also slippery. Alucard frowned, turning to look back at the three of them.

"Well. How'll ye like to die this trial? Ye wanna fall from the left, right or center?" Two to One, Freezing. Alucard bit his tongue, trying hard to keep from postulating. "I'll go last, to ensure if any of ye do fall, I can read yer rites so ye don't Anchor here." And also, because he wanted to see which path was the best.

One didn't become the First Ranger by being an idiot.


"In fact, I swore they would always do as much harm as possible."
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Postby Caius Gawyne » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:42 pm

"I'm sarding what? Cold? Making cold? I don't feel any different. That doesn't make any sense—" Caius was incredulous, concerned, confused, and somewhat angry. His eyes drifted in an accusatory fashion toward Alucard as if the man was still hiding something, once pale irises dark like spent coals. He lied, though, about how he felt. He felt a little different, he felt something, but the Seven only knew how he struggled to keep it to himself as a gloved hand once again strayed to scratch at the thick layers of clothing over his heart as if he could scratch the itch that had reached a level of annoyance that bordered on the uncomfortable. Scowling, he wanted to blame their location, but when both Darcyanna and Maebella said the same thing, he knew they weren't lying.

The First Ranger spoke up about the book he'd snatched for himself and the young Gawyne did his best to keep a sneer of frustration from creasing its way into his wind-burned face,

"Freezing, huh? Is there more on this sarding 'Freezing' business in those pages there? Maybe one of us scholarly types should look at that book because I think we'll be needing to understand it soon enough if what you all claim about me is true—Alucard? Do you feel cold from me, too? From. Not toward, mind you. I don't have any warm feelings about you, either." His tone was as even as he could manage, coated thinly with his caustic defensiveness, but he barely hid the rising panic that clawed from inside the cavity of his chest, desperate to tear him apart and let the chill in. The math was poor—seven in and zero out—with only that journal to go by.

Two to One, Freezing.

He mulled that over, considering himself in the equation.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

Whether he had an answer for that or not, they all pushed forward, following Alucard as if somehow he was more trustworthy. Caius felt he had no choice but take up the rear, whatever kind of chill that was radiating from his person that he couldn't feel obviously uncomfortable for everyone else. It wouldn't matter what place he was in line for it—whatever was waiting for him was bound to a time, not a position. First or last, death cared not. He sighed, not at all encouraged by the weight of destiny that came to rest on his shoulders, crushing his spine.

The next cavern that they spilled clumsily into was somehow more terrible than the last, and yet it was the northern noble who gladly, carefully, precariously walked to the edge of their small ledge to peer into the darkness, already so afraid the risks he took in that moment paled in comparison to what lurked at the edges of his thoughts,

"Well, fuck."

He grumbled into the gaping hole, reaching to test the cords of rope as if he'd dare to cross in such a way. Leaning as if he didn't have a care in all of Idalos against one of the stakes, his dark eyes drifted past Maebella and Darcyanna to linger on the First Ranger as he pessimistically announced they could choose their deaths. Blinking expectantly, Caius waited for the man who'd sold them on following him by his experience and merit to come up with the plan they all needed to survive.

And waited.

And waited, watching the clouds of their breathing remind him that they were still alive.

Silence and cold filled their intimate space and the older man didn't speak up. Done with waiting after a few bits, the young Gawyne assumed a role he'd never felt comfortable taking. The northern noble cleared his throat,

"Right, then."

He stepped away from the edge of their platform-like piece of cavern and began to slide his pack off of his shoulder, wincing at the movement in the cold and the dull ache that reminded him of the ugly scar hidden beneath so many layers, "I'd rather not die, to be fucking honest, no matter what the Fates have stacked against me. Or the Immortals. Or both. So, let's actually do something with ourselves instead, shall we? I'm not even going to suggest we take the ropes over that sarding hole to nowhere, but I think one of the paths should do. Maybe. They're both probably crumbling and unstable, but one of them is surely better than us all putting on a sarding circus tightrope act while freezing our faces off."

He'd been a boy in Umbridge once, climbing rocky cliffs and exploring ice-filled caves near his mountain home, running wild in the snow. He and his brothers had done some sarding stupid things in their youth, and Caius let his mind wander through all of his mistakes and misadventures as he dug the crampons and the bit of rope from his pack. Shoving the dagger in his belt as well, he waited to see if anyone else had anything to say while he put on the claw-like grips over his boots and re-shouldered his pack with a grunt.

Coiling and uncoiling the rope nervously in his gloved hands, he outlined his plan,

"So, I think we should tie ourselves together. I'll go first. Then Mae because she's perhaps more sure-footed as an Eídisi. Then Darcy—" Did he want her out of reach in case something happened? A little. Did he really want Mae so close, either? No, but if Alucard wasn't going to step up, then he wanted someone who he trusted to be more objective in a dangerous situation. And that someone would always be an Eídisi, no matter where their hearts had been in the past. His expression betrayed his fear, pausing at the women's names to bite his lip before he looked back to their self-proposed Guide, part of him desperate to trust the man and part of him still burdened by a strange sense of betrayal, "—and our heroic First Ranger turned priest ready to send our souls to rest last. That way, he and I can act as anchors of sorts if anyone slips—not if we sarding die, thank you. You can use a dagger like an ice pick, I'm sure, or your hands to find grips, and we can take our time. What's a few more bits in the grand scheme of things?"

For him? At this point? Nothing. Not a single thing.

His time limit didn't fucking care.

"My vote's for the narrower path. Single file, one at a time at as far as the rope will stretch so we can make sure we can do our due diligence to distribute our weight accordingly. Everyone's got a bit of rope, yes? If someone has a fucking better idea, let's hear it—now or never."

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Postby Maebella » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:09 pm

She'd asked a perfectly reasonable question. If they were to carry on then any and all information that they could gain beforehand would be advantageous. It was quite sensible in fact so she couldn't understand why Alucard was glaring at her as if he wanted her to crumple into a sobbing heap before him. Considering some of the things that she'd had to deal with over past seasons and how many times she'd had to deal with Virikai staring icily at her to have built up something of a tolerance. Actually, she didn't give a damn about what the First Ranger thought of her so the chances of him making a dent in her defences was slim indeed. Instead, she met his stare coolly, lifting her chin a little defiantly as she did it. When he growled out that there was indeed more and that he wasn't going to give them an excuse to run away.

The Eídisi threw her white eyes up to glare briefly at the ceiling as she sighed. "Obviously we're not going to leave. We've already established that the four of us are reliant on one another and even if we ran, what good would it do us? We'd probably be dead by the trial's end," she retorted, feeling as if she was speaking to someone with the intelligence of a child. No, it was more accurate to say that the man was as petulant as a youth, a toddler perhaps, apparently willing to become cantankerous for no real reason and withhold information out of spite. The young woman didn't believe in resorting to violence unless truly necessary but by Yvithia, she didn't think that the First Ranger could accept any sensible information until he'd received a blow to the face. Someone needed to smack some sense into him and Maebella was becoming sorely tempted.

"If you tell us information then it allows us to make informed decision rather than flailing around aimlessly and having pointless discussions - well, arguments - with one another," the scholar continued, examining the cloak that she'd picked up as she spoke. Slipping her pack from her shoulders, she wrapped herself in the material and found her body shuddering appreciatively as she felt a warmth that she hadn't since they'd awoken in the Immortals' forsaken Tundra. It was a surprising change in fact and the woman found herself flapping the material about, exposing parts of her again to the outside in order to experiment. She rubbed the fur between her fingertips, searching for anything unusual about it, curious about what caused the unnatural effect. Magic or some innate property of the fur? There didn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary about it but what did she know? Her subject was literature, not zoology or arcana.

Still, as she returned her bag to her back, she had her wish granted as the First Ranger explained what else he'd found in the journal. The Eídisi couldn't understand why he hadn't simply parted with the information in the first place. It was in his own best interest to share after all. Not that the information he provided offered any immediate aid.

Two to One, Freezing.

It seemed quite cryptic, potentially useless but it was more likely that they simply hadn't reached the point where it would be useful. That brought a question that mind that she almost voiced but the words died before they could drop from her lips. If Galius and his party had found the information useful further ahead then that would suggest that they'd manage to come back, except... if they'd died out in the Tundra while returning to Viden, wouldn't Galius have had his journal with him? It didn't matter if they'd died somewhere up ahead or had managed to get back out because either way, someone had been able to neatly place the man's notes in a chest for them to find. It was a disconcerting thought, sending hairs prickling uncomfortably on her skin, and she wasn't going to pass it on to the others. Let them draw the conclusion themselves if they would.

As they set off again, the scholar drifted closer to the Gawyne, curious to see if the fur cloak she wore afforded her any protection from the abnormal cold that emanated from the young man. It was strange but she didn't seem to be able to feel it anymore. Very curious.

Once more, they found themselves in another colourful area, Maebella peering around herself with great interest as she moved down the corridor, feeling better about the situation than she had since they arrived. This place was one of mystery and now that she didn't have the cold to bother her, she felt suitably thrilled at the prospects that lay ahead. Each step brought her closer to answers and if this was Treid's Sanctum, a place effectively forgotten in this area of snow and ice, then the knowledge that this place might hold! It was the opportunity of a lifetime! So yes, it was dangerous and they might die but they were already here, stuck here really, and if there was the chance that she might find something amazing here, something that she might be able to bring back-

The new room that she found herself in made some of that hope die, the sight of a huge hole successfully dampening her enthusiasm as she gazed at it apprehensively, searching for ways to skirt it. The options didn't look particularly appealing and Alucard's words might have been bleak but he might have had a point. Her gaze swung back and forth between the two paths on either side and the ropes that hung in the middle. It wasn't something that she regarded in an eager light. Cautiously, she crept forward so she could peer into the hole. The closer she got to the edge, the further down she could see and- nope, she didn't need to go all the way over to see that falling down that hole would be bad. Just wonderful.

She regarded the First Ranger with some disgust although she couldn't fault his logic. He was letting them go forward to test the way, that was the truth of the matter and if they died well, he'd know what way he shouldn't take. In fact, he might even be able to turn around and march back to Viden, put together a more suitable crew and come back at a later point to get to the bottom of the situation. What did the man care after all? Perhaps, if she'd been in his position with three strangers, one of whom had done a great deal of antagonising, then she would have done the same. However, she was one of the test subjects and thus, she didn't have much appreciation for the tactic.

Caius decided to take control and with the way he was shooting his mouth off, Maebella couldn't say that she was particularly happy with him either. She covered her face with her hand.

"Caius, must you be so unbearably loud? I know that it's quite cold and probably unlikely but I'd rather your voice didn't bring a bunch of stalactites down on top of us to skewer us to the floor?" she remarked coolly, taking her hand away so that she could frown at him. Her gaze moved from him to their options, watching him as he took out an interesting array of equipment. She walked over to him to examine the crampons as she listened to his plan, thoughtful.

"I'm wary of those ropes but mainly because I'm not sure how secure they are. As for the paths, they seem slick and while these will help you to grip, the rest of us don't have that luxury although... it might be a good idea to thoroughly check our packs before we do anything. It's not like we'll have the option to make a new decision when we're splattered at the bottom of that pit," she commented. "Still, if we don't have anything like these then if one of us falls, we'll all go. If Darcy went for instance, her weight would pull me down and Alucard as well. If Alucard goes then I'm quite sure that you'll be gone as well, no matter how well you can grip. Plus, you can't feel it and to be honest, I can't feel it now that I'm wearing this cloak, but you're cold, Caius, very cold. It's coming off you in waves and considering that it hardly seems natural and well... that path's slick and it might ice over. That wouldn't exactly improve the situation."

Her gaze turned to the room at large again, Mae sighing deeply. "There's no guarantee that you'll be able to ice everything in your path, Caius, but it's a risk that yo- we need to consider. Maybe the ropes are the better choice after all but with a tether attached to whoever tests them and everyone else staying here as anchors. Honestly, I don't know. I don't particularly want to die either. I vote for checking our packs rather than eagerly going to our deaths, although someone sounds happy enough to have us go to do so." Her white eyes fixed meaningfully on the First Ranger.

"If this is to be a democratic decision where we all choose to undertake the same action then you know what my choice is. If you decide to carry on regardless, well... I'll choose to delay the inevitable, thank you very much and approach this sensibly. If I'm going to die then I want to have had a good go at not dying. And nobody point out that it won't matter either way if I'm dead because I'm not dead yet," she added irritably, shooting a quick look the Gawyne's way, knowing that he might well be willing to come out with something along those lines. The man had a tendency of making a greater ass of himself when he was nervous, she'd noticed.

She looked to the other woman, her expression softening a little. She wasn't angry at her. She hadn't been acting stupidly like the other two, who really did seem to have allowed some competition in masculinity to have gone to their heads. She hoped that she could be sensible about this. Just because she was close to the nobleman didn't mean that she'd follow him blindly or at least she hoped not. "What do you think, Darcy? I feel that you should have a say in this. You shouldn't let others decide matters for you when there's some choice in the matter. It's not like we're in immediate danger; we don't need to acquiesce to the decisions of any one person. No one's an expert in this situation so I think it's only fair that we discuss this a little."
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Maebella
Ice Queen
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:08 pm
Location: Viden
Race: Eídisi
Renown: +49
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