Islands on Another World (GW2)

A fantastical world filled with action and adventure, where the land can be both beautiful and deadly. An RP world based on the Guild Wars game, individuals and groups of people battle deadly creatures, powerful nemeses and each other to maintain a balance between good and evil. Professions of the land include Monks, Rangers, Warriors, Elementalists, Necromancers, Mesmers, Ritualists, Assassins, Dervish and Paragons. Ocassionally humans will seek aid from the 5 gods, Balthazar, Melandru, Dwayna, Grenth, and Lyssa when confronting a powerful foe beyond their abilities.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Nairn Tuckamore

"I will chaperone." The Norn gave no indication that she was joking, though there was a hint of a smile on her lips before she winked out of view. Anakita's persistence in training raptors for organized battle was an admirable endeavour, but despite her progress, she refused to allow them to be put into harm's way. She had a suspicion that the Ranger had simply wanted to have some small lizard 'friends' and had found a plausible reason for why she should be allowed to bring them home from the jungle. Little matter. Buttons was indeed stealthy and Nairn had noticed the lizard had a penchant for collecting shiny things.

While Nairn was also stealthy, she had a paper obsession. She and Buttons would be after entirely different items - even if they searched the same sacks, they would come out with a different prize. The elves had been able to at least sense her cloaking, if not perceive her, so she stuck to the edges of the camp. Not that there would be any elves here, but she couldn't be certain that any of the races represented here wouldn't have the same ability.

She noted that a few mob members were erecting crude perimeter alarms and traps along the edges of the camp. Ridiculous. It was far too late for that. Still, she skirted them and crept along the lines of tents, looking for one that might look a bit better quality than the others. If their ensemble wasn't a religious one, then the ones with the most money tended to be in charge. There was indeed a very nice tent in the midst of the them all - it was set apart from the others by a slightly larger gap that she'd have to cross under torchlight. She decided it was worth the risk.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Buttons Snakecharm-Baruch

Buttons was - perhaps - not the ideal scout animal. She was indeed brave, and stealthy, and quick, and she was undeniably loyal to Anakita. There were several factors against her, though. For one thing, Buttons was a source of pure, unmitigated chaos when left to her own devices without the Ranger's direct supervision. For another, Buttons had a fairly narrow range of interests, and it would not have occurred to her that what the party was hoping to find in the tents might be different than the raptor's own preferred targets.

There were two main goals in the life of Buttons. Secondarily, to seek out shiny objects of all kinds. And first and foremost, beyond nearly all else, Buttons lived to obtain cake.

Ever since an incident at a wedding a few years back (which Anakita had duly apologized for,) Buttons was obsessed with finding and eating cakes, pastries, and baked goods of all types. But especially cake.

Buttons cruised around the camp, ducking under tent flaps and through open doorways, swiping the odd necklace or signet and draping them over her short forelimbs or snout to take back to the Ranger, who would surely praise her.

What had Anakita said? Papers. Yes, look for papers...

But there, in all its splendor and majesty on the table, sat a beautiful cake. In an instant, Buttons had hopped from the ground to a bench, and from the bench to the large cake platter. She sniffed the air briefly, then plunged her full face into the cake.

After a few moments of peaceful eating, Buttons heard a shout. "There's a lizard in the cake!"

One of the men picked Buttons up by her scruff... then screamed and promptly dropped her, as she sunk her sharp teeth into his forearm as he lifted her. For the next few moments, utter discord was sown by one small raptor as she ran back and forth, dodging legs and benches as they all attempted to chase her.

Eventually she tired of this game and made for the exit. The silly humans, too busy grasping ineffectually at imaginary raptors and each other, didn't even notice. On the way out, she remembered the papers again, and grabbed a stack of parchments at random.

She appeared to Nairn covered in cake, still draped with a few necklaces, and gently clutching a stack of slightly chewed and damp papers between her jaws.

Her large, dark eyes glittered, and you would almost swear she was smiling.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Nairn Tuckamore

She'd left the central tent with a sneer of disgust. Nothing inside but ordinance. The ring had only been to give clearance between torches lighting the way between tents and the large objects within that smelled similar to gunpowder. As she'd left, she'd thought it strange that there was such a thing here when she'd seen no evidence of pistols or rifles thus far, but ultimately forgot about that bit of trivia upon seeing Buttons. How had she managed to find cake all the way out here?

Kneeling, she reached out and offered to take the stack of now sticky paper from the creature, using the same sort of cooing voice she'd noted Anakita using. It seemed to work for the Ranger - perhaps that was because she was a 'Ranger' and thus purportedly good at the whole animal thing - and though she noticed some slight hesitation, Buttons ultimately gave over the stack. The little raptor's tongue began exploring her snout for stray icing and Nairn had thought to start reading the papers while she had light, but both of them stopped and looked up when the shouting started getting closer.

Nairn looked down and whispered, "It's time to go." and began her invisible march back out of the camp. Buttons ran off ahead, but she wasn't too worried. If it had taken the camp's denizens that long to get going in the right direction - they would likely be fairly safe to get back to their little party unseen.

Upon arrival, she dropped her cloaking spell and brushed the edges of the pages under her arm thoughtfully. " Buttons did well. She found these pages. The camp is in a bit of an uproar, though. We should rejoin the others ... and find some light."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Buttons Snakecharm-Baruch

Buttons scampered happily back to the Ranger, in a great mood. The tall friend was carrying the papers, but Buttons would surely be praised anyway - she had left her own teeth marks as proof, after all. Her belly was full of cake. And her snout still carried some remnants for dessert. It was a good day.

When she saw Anakita, she took a flying tackle leap. Anakita caught her and kissed her snout. Buttons opened her mouth in what looked uncannily like a grin, then head-butted Anakita so hard the Ranger was knocked off balance and had to take a step backward to steady herself.

Anakita didn't seem to mind at all. "What a good girl! What a good raptor! Look what you found!" Buttons grinned again as Anakita cuddled her, then scratched her tummy. Buttons stretched and wiggled with delight.

Turning a little more serious, Anakita said to the rest of the little group. "We need to find the others. It will take awhile to sort through the papers, and in the meantime we have to warn them. They have no idea they're a target."

Although Anakita understood Nairn's concern that the larger group would draw more attention, it worried her a lot that the rest of their friends thought they were on the trail of mere vampire-hunters, not knowing that the elves among them were actually in the primary line of fire.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Arteum - The Elves

Back on the hidden island, the passing hours had been much less eventful... at first. They ate a nice dinner, then entertained Elabeth with some stories and songs. Elabeth still didn't speak - it wasn't clear yet if she actually could - but she could certainly smile, and her whole face was lit with mute appreciation of their efforts. When the child began to look drowsy, bedtime was proposed, and the little girl nodded without hesitation - which surprised Galenwen a little. She had heard that small children were resistant to being put to bed. It had been a long day, though, after all, and she was surely tired.

Elabeth was old enough to bathe and dress herself. She emerged in borrowed nightclothes, and Galenwen and Haldir sat on the edge of her narrow cot, singing her one last song before bed. In mere moments, Elabeth's eyes closed, then her breathing became soft and even.

The couple smiled at each other, then crept out of the room.

Sitting by the fire, their eyes met again. Galenwen sensed they had the same thought. Tonight had seemed so... natural. Elabeth seemed to have no family, and they had so easily fit into the parental roles she appeared to crave. Though they had been married for several years, Galenwen and Haldir had no children as of yet. That was alright - they were in no rush, especially with how long Elves were expected to live. But if circumstances had dropped a needy child in their lap, so to speak, then perhaps...

Galenwen was about to voice that thought aloud, when she heard Elabeth cry out sharply. "Probably just a nightmare," Galenwen said. "Today certainly provided her with plenty of material for bad dreams - and who knows what happened to her before that? I'll go check on her, though."

When she entered the small chamber where Elabeth was resting, it was clear this was no mere bad dream. The child was tossing and turning, seemingly half-conscious rather than soundly asleep. Sweat beaded her brow, and her chest rose and fell heavily and with great labor. When Galenwen pressed her hand to Elabeth's forehead, it was blazing hot.

"Adar!" she called urgently, waking the child no longer a concern. "Come quickly! She's ill!"

Galenwen knew little of diseases, but her father, a healer, would surely know how to help. She smoothed the covers over Elabeth... and drew her hand back in shock. She had felt something through the covers and the nightclothes. Something startling. The girl's abdomen felt hard as rock. Not just swollen or strained, but harder than flesh should ever be. It had to be some sort of tumor or growth. Galenwen gingerly lifted the edge of the little girl's nightshirt, and gasped again as she saw a shape straining outward, pressing against skin from the inside. It felt hard as stone!

"Adar, hurry!" she cried, increasingly desperately. "Something is horribly wrong!"

But what afflicted the poor child, she could not even begin to speculate.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Nairn Tuckamore

She'd tucked the papers into some semblance of order, brushing the stickiest bits off as best she could. At least they were no longer in the middle of a swamp. She should be able to preserve the lettering without the added barriers of cotton and leather that she carried her sheets in. They moved out quickly, and Nairn took a moment to satisfy herself that they'd left little enough trace. It wasn't so difficult - they had used the marauders own trail to disguise their own. It would be difficult for them to catch on that anyone had been there, let alone how they'd come.

Getting back to where they'd left the others was an equally simple matter. At least, it was a good start toward reuniting the two groups still out and about. Nairn had no doubt that Anakita would find enough sign to follow the other group's trail if need be. If nothing else, perhaps they could aid Gwindor with any bodies left remaining above ground.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Tempest Rutherford

Tempest was relieved to see the rest of their allies safe and sound.

By the time they all met up, Gwindor had rejoined the vampire-seeking group, having laid the dead to rest. He was with Sellia, watching as she idly let a sparrow hop back and forth between her hands. For a moment, Tempest wondered where Sellia had gotten the bird - then it struck her that this was the injured bird from the tower. Tempest had assumed that was a snack. Not only was the bird still alive, though; its injuries appeared fully healed. Interesting.

Once they had come together, she didn't hesitate to relay what they had learned. "It went well. We found the vampires."

Tempest was an experienced diplomat. It hadn't taken her long to establish a friendly rapport... especially with Sellia to vouch for the party's good intentions.

"We warned them about the people who are after them," she went on. "They appreciated the information - and they weren't entirely surprised. This isn't the only massacre of their kin recently. Individuals are getting picked off as well. And... several are missing."

She took a breath, unsure how the others would take her suggestion. "I think we should assist in finding them, although I know it's a digression from our mission - which is already a digression from what brought us here in the first place. It seems the right thing to do, though. And in addition to the moral implications, it would have practical benefits as well. A vampire who has been kidnapped but lives to tell the tale would be able to provide far more information than just examining a corpse."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Fira-Nar and Nairn Tuckamore

She'd been impressed by how an outsider could make such fast inroads with a community as tight-lipped and suspicious as vampires. Perhaps it was partly due to the fact that Tempest was an 'outsider' that conversation happened at all. Tight-lipped, sure. But also curious. The information they'd gained had been...interesting. Certainly, Fira could understand the odd vampire getting hunted out of revenge, but this sort of concerted effort was unusual. And a recipe for disaster if this group extinguished enough servants to annoy the daedric prince who claimed them - at least in legend. Fira was of a mind to go on this rescue mission regardless of what the other group wanted to do. She wasn't sure about the end of worlds, but an angry Molag Bal could definitely be the end of this one.

"What's one more digression."

The words were little more than a muttered whisper just off her her right shoulder. Fira turned to regard the oddly tall northerner who was squinting at a piece of parchment by the light of a road marker torch tucked under her armpit. A small pair of gold-rimmed glasses glinted in the flame light. The Templar couldn't tell by the woman's countenance nor the tone of her speech whether or not she was being sarcastic. She decided to ignore the comment and focus on the more important issue.

"You pulled up a road marker...to read by? That's an offence! Someone could get lost..." Fira's voice dropped off as Nairn's piercing gaze moved from parchment to argonian.

"There are more lights."

The Norn's simple reply left her completely bereft of a defence. It could have been argued that if these papers carried the information she hoped they did that they could prevent a whole nation from being 'lost'. Of course, Fira didn't know about the discovery their group had made. Nairn had either forgotten or simply didn't think it was her job to relay the information.

"Put it back."

The argonian's voice had a bit more of a hiss to it than it had before. Nairn lifted her gaze once more, and along with it, an eyebrow. It was clear that the Norn had no inclination to comply. Fira was about to take a more physical approach when the Norn woman spoke.

"Do you have a torch?"

Fira, in the middle of reaching for the marker torch's handle, paused. "Yes?"

"Then you may place it just there, if you are so concerned." The Norn pointed with a finger at a square stone with an empty cast iron holder before returning to her reading, stepping away from Fira to an empty spot of earth.

The argonian Templar was stunned. Her mouth opened and closed several times, making nothing but a few clicks for sound. While the impertinence of the woman was maddening, she had to admit - it was a reasonable solution. With one final glare in Nairn's direction, she lit her own hand-torch and carefully set it in the holder by the shamble of a road. She may look like a Nord, but there was definitely something odd about this one.
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Tempest just watched and blinked as Nairn and Fira seemed to be on the verge of coming to blows. The mage couldn't quite understand what was happening - on either side. Nairn was going to steal a road marker? And Fira was prepared to attack an ally over said road marker? Had everyone suddenly gone insane?

Before Tempest had a chance to gather a reaction, the tension dissipated as quickly as it had arisen. She breathed a sigh of relief... but it pointed to a note of caution she couldn't ignore. There was a fault line here. Such fault lines were weak points that would tend to surface again, at the most inconvenient of times.

For now, though, the problem seemed solved. There was light to read by... and the documents revealed some interesting things.

Buried beneath some mundane account ledgers was an older-looking parchment, well worn, clearly copied, and annotated. There were some odd symbols at the top: a large blot of black ink that looked deliberate, followed by a crude sketch of a tree, and on the line below, a simple sketch of a knot, followed by a rough depiction of an ocean wave.

"I think those symbols are a location!" Ulga said breathlessly when Nairn showed the paper to her. "Black... wood. It's a place in Blackwood. And then the place is knot... um... not? Not what?" The Orc thought for a moment, then shook her head. "No! Tied! Tied water... Tidewater Cave, in Blackwood. I know where that is. It's a perfect place for someone to hide nefarious deeds. In fact, many someones already have."

A simple code, certainly, and easy to crack - but it was clear that this group of adversaries was large and only loosely organized. They would need to have something fairly accessible for their members to know what was going on.

Below the sketched code symbols, a much more fluid and orderly hand had written in red: My brethren, if you activate the destroyer knife prematurely in error, the process may be delayed. You will need a healer, a scribe, a paladin, and a priest. These four may bind it until you are ready to work your will--

The note was torn there. On the back was hastily scrawled: Stolen from the damnable elf cultists. If we can find what we need, we can stop this. For now, at least.

The next note was in the same handwriting, with the same careless haste: Nicodemus, you fool. This priest will not do. Can you not see that he has been compromised by the daedra? We cannot use a so-called holy man who has been tainted by Molag Bal. Find another, and be quick.

Then another, equally terse, on half a torn sheaf: Stop your sniveling. I am not ordering you to kill a priest of Stendarr. Yet. Keep him hidden in the cave with the vampire prisoners for now. We may need to make use of him if we cannot find something better. No more wasting time! Get to it.

Ulga turned to the others with a raised eyebrow. "So? To Tidewater Cave, then? Sounds like we have some hope. But the rescue may have gotten a little more complicated."

It sounded like they had a lead on their vampires - and perhaps another clue to what they had learned at the tower with Elabeth - but also the wild card of a possibly corrupted priest. At least life was never boring.

***

The cave was dark. The dremora's eyes could adjust to that better than the human's, but she had looked for a way out with no avail. She had heard there were other prisoners - vampires - but she could see no sign of them from where the two were imprisoned. Probably for the best. She had little to fear from vampires... but not so for the human priest, especially in his badly injured state.

She glanced down at him, and frowned. He was asleep, or maybe just dozing. His clerical vestments were long gone, and he had the overlarge garments she'd managed to scrounge wound tightly around him. His injuries weren't healing properly, and he looked cold - but there was sweat on his brow. How much longer would he survive here?

The dremora knelt and touched his forehead, and his body relaxed slightly with the influx of the magic. There was only so much she could do, though. She was not a healer - far from it. He needed someone who was.

He opened his eyes and tried to smile at her. She tried to smile back. Neither wanted the other to see the precariousness of their position written on their face. They had to keep hope.

Suddenly, there was a ruckus from outside. Angry shouts of their captors. Maybe hope wasn't so unreasonable after all.

"Look," she said hastily. "We need to talk. I think rescue is coming... rescue for you. Maybe not for me."

He was clearly about to object to that but she shook her head.

"No. It doesn't matter. You need to survive. You only have one life. I don't have that problem. Do you hear me? You survive. No matter what it takes."

She would do her best to make that happen.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Five Days Earlier

Drina could hear the Xivkyn laughing. Their laughter was never a good sign. It typically meant they had found a weaker being to torment, or were planning to do so - possibly even including a Dremora like herself. She walked a little faster, just in case.

The Xivkyn were not natural creatures, even to the extent that any Daedra were considered natural by the people of Nirn. No, the Xivkyn were a hybrid race of Dremora and Xivilai, bred by Molag Bal as his personal guards and servants, seemingly unfailingly loyal to him and most like him in their aims of domination and subjugation. They despised both their parent races, the Dremora and the Xivilai.

On this particular occasion, though, they had a different target. As Drina passed unnoticed by the open doorway, the conversation drifted up the hall - the Xivkyn indifferent to who heard them.

"...Priest of Stendarr. Priests are always my favorite. I haven't had that much diversion in a long time."

"What fun, seeing them grovel."

"I think this one broke all his vows."

"Shall we kill him now?"

"No. Leave him to think about it for awhile. Not much life left in him anyway."

There was another burst of cruel laughter, and Drina hurried on her way, not wanting to be present if they lost interest in rehashing their past depredations and decided to seek a new target.

Best to forget about it.

But somehow, she couldn't. What she had heard lodged in her mind - and to her own surprise, her response was anger. She had no reason to care what happened to a priest... especially a priest of Stendarr, who would surely show no hesitation in attacking her on sight if he had the upper hand. In this case, though, he very much did not have the upper hand, and she could only imagine how brutally he'd been treated. Anything to dominate. Anything to make him submit. The anger flared again. She was so tired of this. How long must they bear living under someone's boot?

That anger made her defiant. She couldn't stand up to the Xivkyn directly, of course; it would end badly for her and would serve no purpose. She wasn't strong enough, and never would be. But she could oppose them in smaller ways. Ways they would never notice, but she would get some measure of satisfaction from.

Drina crept down to the lower halls, a small bundle of cloth clutched against her body. She had no explanation for her actions, but fortunately she was undisturbed. No one seemed to be paying attention to her today. That was certainly for the best.

The prisoner wasn't hard to locate. He lay facedown on the flagstones, his naked skin a patchwork of bruises and dried blood. Drina assumed he was already dead, and was about to turn away, when one of his hands twitched.

"Priest..." she whispered, just a murmur in the quiet halls so as not to be overheard, easy to mistake for the gust of a draft.

He looked up - barely able to raise his head - and met her eyes. Drina knelt beside him and lifted him enough to wrap the blanket she'd brought around him. The injuries looked much worse up close, and she had to resist the urge to wince. She lifted a water flask to his parched lips.

This was as far as she had planned to go. Defy the Xivkyn by providing their victim with some anonymous comfort, and then forget the whole thing and never think of it again. But as she sat there with the priest leaning against her, seeing him rapidly succumbing to shock, unable even to support his own weight - a strange feeling came over her. She realized just how much power she had. Power - an alien sensation for a weak Dremora serving Xivkyn. This priest's life or death was completely in her hands. For once, she had someone at her own mercy rather than the other way around.

Drina saw that the priest's holy symbol was still hanging on a chain around his neck. She was surprised the Xivkyn hadn't taken it from him - then she saw that the chain had been repeatedly twisted into his neck, leaving bright red welts as it choked him. Of course they had left it on him... as a mockery. She carefully unfastened the chain and pocketed it. He would probably need it later.

"Lean on me," she whispered. "I'll get you out of here."
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