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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Fira-Nar

She'd excused herself to get cleaned up shortly after their arrival. It seemed...rude to be bloodspattered in such a beautiful place. A peaceful place. As she washed her face, she caught her own eye and took a moment to study her reflection.

Those priests. She had been willing to slay them on the spot. Truly, some of them may not have survived the day. What did that make her? At the time, it had seemed like the right thing to do. The priests had treated Angus poorly - had threatened him and Drina - it was right to protect them. Wasn't it?

It was. It had absolutely been the right response. So what was it that was bothering her?

The way the blood drummed in her ears. The smell of it in her nostrils. Hot. Steaming. The taste...

Fira scrubbed at her face. She didn't know what to say to her thoughts. Besides...there was a child who needed their help. And she needed to be ready.
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Drina and Angus

"Are you ready?" Drina asked.

"I think so," Angus replied. "It's hard to be sure, when so much of this is guesswork. Bury a book in water and stone? But I have an idea, at least. They had an old stone box in one of their storerooms. If I put the book in it and place the box under some rocks in the stream - with the proper words of the burial ceremony, of course - I hope that will suffice."

He self-consciously brushed his hands over the borrowed robe. It was a little too large for his frame. His own robes were long gone, though, torn and defiled in Coldharbour. He wasn't sure if the robes mattered or not, but he wasn't taking any chances. Not with at least one life at stake... and maybe many lives, if this went wrong.

"What about you?" Angus asked, the concern in his voice turning to obvious worry. "Your role in the ceremony..."

"I know," Drina said. "The blood of a daedra. But I'll be alright. Fira and I talked back in Leyawiin, and we have... an understanding. I don't believe she'd hurt me. Not now." For a moment, though, her own features clouded with worry too - but not for herself. "There's only one thing, Angus. Accidents happen. When blood is being spilled, sometimes... things go further than intended. If that happens, don't try to find me in Coldharbour. Don't even think of it. Forget about me and go on with your life."

Angus looked at her in shock. "You know I can't do that. I... I love you. I'm not leaving you there."

"I love you too," Drina said. "And that's why you need to stay here. They'd hurt you again. They could kill you. It's not worth the risk."

"It's worth it to me. To save you. It's worth it. I'm terrified of the thought of going back there... but I would, for you. How could I not, after you saved me? You risked everything for me..."

"I wasn't going to." As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Drina regretted it, but she pushed on. He needed to know the truth. "I didn't go there to save you."

Angus looked unconvinced. "You just... happened to be wandering through the prison cells with a blanket and a waterskin?"

Drina shook her head. "Of course not. But I... didn't intend to spare your life."

"I know," Angus said quietly.

She was taken aback, and stared at him for a moment, startled. "You... knew that already?"

"Of course. I knew it at the time. I was expecting to die. I didn't expect meeting you would change that."

"But you acted so grateful...?"

"I was grateful. I was so cold. I was so thirsty. And you were so... kind. You were the first person who wasn't there for violence or violation. You came to make my death easier. I knew that."

"I'm sorry..."

"No." He took both her hands. "No. Don't be sorry. It was a kindness. A kindness you could have died for. I understood. I still understand."

"I could have lost you..."

"But you didn't. You didn't lose me. You kept me alive. And you didn't even know me then. Now..."

"Now I love you."

"And now I love you too. Please don't hold any guilt over the past Drina. None. You've always been there for me."

Drina hugged him. "I always will be," she said. Then, "I can't make you promise not to try to find me in Coldharbour, can I?"

"No, you can't."

"Very well, then," she said. "I suppose I'll just have to try not to die."
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Sellia and Gwindor

Angus wasn't the only one who was concerned about the wording of the ritual.

"Are you sure about this?" Gwindor asked Sellia. "A fountain of blood. That sounds..."

"I know," Sellia said, then admitted, "Tempest is worried too. But we have to. We have to save the child."

"There has to be another way..."

"There's no time," Sellia said. "Elabeth won't be able to hold on much longer. They need a vampire. They have a willing one. If this is what is needed from me... I'll do it."

Gwindor frowned. "I know. I know, I just... your life shouldn't be sacrificed either."

Sellia shrugged. "That's no great loss. I have no ties. No one waiting at home for me. No one would would be devastated if..."

"I would be devastated," Gwindor said.

The words hung in the air between them. Sellia wasn't quite sure what to say. Surely he would feel differently if he knew... a lot of things.

To break the tension of the moment, Sellia changed the subject. "And what about you - do you have people waiting? Family?"

Gwindor shook his head. "Not anymore. I had a brother, but he died. A long time ago. And I was engaged, but she..."

"Died?"

"Yes," he said, his voice calm and even. "She is dead. I tried to save her, but I was unable to. That wasn't what ended our engagement, though. She... left. She chose someone else. What I had suffered during my captivity... was too much for her. I was too changed."

Sellia had not been prepared for that. She had assumed all of Gwindor's loved ones were dead - and of course that was still true. But the thought that someone had casually abandoned him first dumbfounded her.

"I don't understand... how could she do such a thing?"

Gwindor shrugged. She could tell how hard he was working not to show any pain. To act like what had happened was normal. "It was only natural. As you can see, I'm no longer completely able-bodied. Of course she felt she deserved someone who was--"

"She was an idiot." Sellia said bluntly, the sound of her voice more raw than it should have been. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to speak ill of the dead. Especially someone you loved. But she was an idiot. To have thrown that away..."

She was jealous. So jealous she burned with it. If she had half of what this woman had thrown away, Sellia would have clung to it with all her might.

The vampire forced herself to take a few deep breaths. "I'm sorry. I... I need to prepare for the ritual. Will you... uh... will you be there?"

Gwindor nodded. "Yes. Of course. If you want me to be."

"Yes. I do. Thank you." She gave him an awkward nod, then disappeared behind the door of her borrowed bedroom and leaned against it when it closed behind her.

If only she were alive. Maybe she could have had a chance with him. If only she were still alive. But something that had crawled out of a grave could never be loved by someone like him.
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Tempest and Cullen Rutherford

"Are you alright?" Cullen asked, concern evident on his face.

"I'm fine," Tempest assured him, giving him a smile. "Truly. Just tired. Physically and emotionally."

Cullen nodded. He wasn't surprised. She'd been using a lot of magic the past few days, doing a lot of healing... but it wasn't just the magical exhaustion. He could see it in her eyes. Tempest had been providing emotional support in a lot of directions. And Cullen had no doubt that the problems she was helping with were dredging up pain from her own past, memories that would never quite stay buried.

"After the ritual, I'll want a good long nap," she said, and squeezed his hand.

"An excellent plan," he told her, returning the smile and hand squeeze. "I'll be there."

He didn't have to ask if she'd need his company. Tempest didn't sleep well without him. Even with him by her side, she had difficulty falling asleep and often rose before dawn. Without him...

Well, before they met she seemed to have existed in a perpetual state of exhaustion, getting only the minimum amount of sleep that allowed her body to continue to function. When they first began dating, Cullen had been puzzled that Tempest tended to fall asleep if they sat still for too long. At first, he had worried he was boring her, and she had been embarrassed and apologetic. Eventually, though, he clued in to the fact that their time together was the only time she actually felt safe enough to drift off, and her body simply shut down out of sheer desperation for rest. After that, he had just let her sleep, and enjoyed the feeling of her head resting on his shoulder. Now that they shared a home and a bed, Tempest was actually getting sleep at night - at least, most of a night's sleep.

Cullen had no doubt she was going to need lots of rest after the ritual... but knew his wife well enough to realize she wouldn't truly relax until it was done and Elabeth was safe.

***

The ritual circle was cast. The party waited in various states of apprehension... for many different reasons. Tempest knelt down in front of Elabeth, who was wide-eyed and scared. The little girl held Galenwen's hand in one of hers, and Haldir's in the other.

"It's going to be alright," Tempest promised the little girl. "After we do this, you'll feel better. I promise. But it may be a little scary. I think you should keep your eyes shut, and hold tight to your parents' hands, alright?"

Elabeth still looked apprehensive, but nodded.

Tempest stood and took a step back. "Nairn? Are you ready to begin?"
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Nairn Tuckamore and Fira-Nar

Nairn had counted her part of this endeavour complete once she'd handed over the script she'd recorded from the church's archives. She was surprised to find that she was expected to play the part of the 'scholar' and had been about to protest when the lizardine woman cut in.

"This whole realm is a realm of scholars. Surely we could pick anybody."

The Norn had bristled at the slight. As a people, they were known for being proud and pigheaded, and Nairn was no exception despite the difference in values she held. Well, there was no way she wasn't going to do it now, even if someone else offered. Besides, writing with fire sounded like exactly the right challenge for her. At first, she'd thought it was simply allegory, but no - she'd been assured by the priest - the spell was altogether serious. She'd puzzled over it for a moment, and her mind plucked at a memory from the day before. The grocery list in the tower. The words 'fire salts' had been on the list and she wondered just how descriptive that name was...

Hours later, she'd practised on several pages. As she thought, mixing fire salts in with writing ink could, in fact, cause the words to catch fire. The tricky part was the proportions and the lettering. Too much fire salts and the flash was too intense - igniting the page along with the letters. Too little and the fire died before it could reach the next letter. Her spacing had to be just so to carry the flame over the whole spell. At last, she was satisfied. She readied her ink pot and took the offered tome to the circle.

Nairn looked paler that usual, dark circles prevalent under her eyes, but she simply nodded to Tempest and placed the book on a pedestal. She took the cork out of the ink pot and readied herself.

The argonian stood in the circle with Drina, arms folded over her chest, looking very uncomfortable.

"I thought maybe I could just cut the back of your arm? It's less sensitive back there and it'll still bleed. It just...won't hurt as much."
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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"Well done, Nairn," Angus said. He was impressed by the creativity the Norn woman had shown in interpreting a daunting passage of the ritual - and it seemed to have worked.

He had little time to dwell on praise, though, because he had his section to complete next. As if by rote, he began funeral rites; he had never done so before for a book, but if they needed a priest to bury it, that seemed the most obvious course of action. After he had intoned the the words of commitment, instead of entrusting the book to the ground or a waiting tomb as he would a corpse, he carefully sealed it in the stone box he had prepared, waded a short distance out into the nearby stream, and solemnly found it a resting place deep among the stones at the bottom.

As the silt settled back into the streambed, Elabeth gasped with what seemed to be surprise rather than pain, and the scene was suddenly illuminated with a faint, magical green glow.

"Yes, I... think that will work," Drina told Fira, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice. "Thank you... I didn't expect such consideration." Hastily, lest Fira get the impression she carried some lingering resentment for issues they had resolved, she hastily added, "I'm just not used to people being considerate. In Coldharbour it wasn't... well, you can imagine. So, thank you. I appreciate it."

The dremora smiled, and offered the paladin her arm. As the cut was made, a blue glow joined the green, blending subtly as the light focused on Elabeth. The child's eyes widened, then she squeezed them shut again.

Sellia, meanwhile, faced Tempest with resolve on her face. Gwindor stood nearby; his expression was unreadable, but his proximity suggested intense concern. Sellia gave him a nod, then told Tempest, "Well, here we go."

The ritual had not specified who was to draw the vampire's blood, so she did it herself, piercing her wrist efficiently with sharp teeth. If the act was painful, she didn't show it. She squeezed the wound until droplets of blood beaded up, then tilted her arm so the drips fell on the ground. "Now," she told Tempest.

Tempest began channeling healing energy through Sellia, through the trickle of blood, into the circle and into Elabeth. It was difficult - it took intense concentration - so she couldn't let her focus slip. Still, the healer couldn't help but notice that the drip turned into a gush, and she frowned.

"Don't stop!" Sellia insisted. "Keep going! We're almost there."

Tempest's brow was still creased with worry, but she gave a businesslike nod and kept channeling. Another light began to glow, this one red. It mingled with the blue and green, then turned a blinding white. For a moment, Tempest couldn't see, then slowly her eyes refocused on the scene.

Elabeth screamed. Her body contracted and her hands were wrenched out of Galenwen and Haldir's as she levitated, bathed in the harsh glow of light. Her screams continued as the light was absorbed into her body. Then the light was gone, and Elabeth collapsed on the ground, utterly spent.

Her grandfather rushed to her side. He checked her pulse, and nodded reassuringly to his terrified daughter and son-in-law. With Elabeth's continued survival confirmed, he pressed his hand to the child's abdomen. It felt ordinary, yielding to his fingers as it should. Whatever malicious unliving 'parasite' had been within was no longer tormenting the child. "It worked!" Linlom pronounced with relief. Haldir picked Elabeth up from the ground, and together with his wife held her close. "Thank you," Haldir said sincerely. "Thank you all so much."
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Sellia, Gwindor, and the Healers

All was not quite well, though. Sellia's bleeding hadn't stopped, and she was wobbling on her feet. Tempest eased her to a seated position, then tried to heal her. "It's not working!" the healer called out. Tempest couldn't imagine what was wrong. Was she just too tired? All her mana exhausted, even if she couldn't feel it?

Linlom stepped in beside her and attempted to help, then shook his head. "It's not you, Tempest," he confirmed. "Our arts will not work on this wound." Together, they began tearing strips of cloth from the edge of his robe and binding the wound tightly with conventional means.

Gradually, the bleeding tapered. But Sellia had lost too much blood. The healers could tell that easily. Her skin was pale, and her eyes were sunken and feral.

Apparently they weren't the only ones who had noticed. In an instant, Gwindor was kneeling by her side. "You need to feed."

"I can't..."

"I'll help you."

Sellia shook her head. "No. There's no one..." Hunger rose in her, and she clenched her jaw tightly and took a few deep breaths before she could continue speaking. "I don't feed on animals. Or on good people. Only on human predators. And there are none here..."

"Make an exception," Gwindor said firmly. "This is an emergency. Make an exception just this once. You can feed on me--"

"No!" Sellia's voice was harsh. Ragged. Insistent. "No. I'm not going to hurt you."

"You aren't going to hurt me. I do this willingly."

"I won't be able to stop."

"I'll take my chances."

The elf deftly moved his knife across the wrist that ended in the stump, and offered it to Sellia.

"I... I truly won't be able to stop!"

"I think you will. I trust you." Gwindor lowered his wrist to her mouth, and the temptation became too great. She drank desperately as the warm blood seeped from the wound. Her pallor faded. Her eyes grew bright.

Tempest, Cullen, and Linlom watched carefully, ready to pull her away the moment she lost control.

That never happened. Once her thirst was slaked, with effort Sellia pulled away on her own. But she had not entirely escaped temptation - she leaned against Gwindor's chest, letting his arms encircle her as she rested against him. She closed her eyes, and for just a moment allowed herself to exist without fear, without caution.

The moment passed. Sellia's sense began to restore itself. She remembered the world around her again. Her eyes widened with horror and self-hatred as she felt how Gwindor's heart was pounding, how rapidly he was breathing. As she realized that even as she rested her head against him, his blood was still on her lips.

Gods, he must be terrified. His heartbeat and the sound of his breath assured her of that.

"I'm sorry!" she said, abruptly pulling away from him. "I'm sorry. I'm a monster. Forgive me."

With a flash of vampiric speed, she leapt to her feet and tore away from him, lost in an instant down the path.

"Sellia!" Gwindor called helplessly after her.
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Sellia and Gwindor

"Sellia..."

He found her sitting in a grove of trees, alone except for the rescued sparrow that perched on her knee.

Sellia looked up at him apologetically.

"What happened?" Gwindor asked her.

The vampire gestured vaguely toward the sparrow. "She won't leave," Sellia explained ruefully. "She's healed now. She could fly away. But she's decided she prefers nesting in my pocket to fending for herself."

"I don't blame her," Gwindor said with a smile. He sat down beside her beneath the tree. "But I didn't mean the bird. Why did you run from me?"

She looked at him in confusion. "Because I frightened you. I left before I could scare you more."

Gwindor raised an eyebrow. "Frighten me? I wasn't afraid. I've never been afraid of you."

"I drank your blood."

"I offered my blood willingly. I pushed you to take it - and I apologize if I was overbearing in that, but I was worried for you. I wasn't afraid of you, though."

"You were," she insisted. "After. I could hear your heart beating. I could feel you breathing fast. I don't blame you for being frightened - you held a monster in your arms."

"Sellia... no. No, you misunderstand. I wasn't afraid. You're right about what you heard and felt, but not why. It wasn't fear. It was that I held you in my arms. A beautiful woman, inside and out. Who risks her life for other people and heals birds. I was so happy to be near you. I was so shocked that you let me hold you. It certainly wasn't fear."

She stared at him, open-mouthed. "You... feel that way about me?"

"I do," he confessed. She saw him physically brace for impact, as if the expected rejection would do bodily harm.

"Oh, Gwindor," she said. She was overwhelmed by the enormity of this - and sad that it couldn't be. "I wish... that we could. That I could offer you what you're offering me."

"It's alright," he said. His eyes had suddenly dulled, his face set in an expression of resignation. This wasn't the first rejection, and he was determined that would bear it graciously now as he had then. "I expected nothing. I understand."

"No!" Sellia couldn't bear this. She had to tell him no. But she couldn't leave him thinking it was any deficiency in him that kept them apart. "No, it's not you. You're perfect. If I had met you when I was still alive, the answer would have been yes. But I'm not alive anymore. I'm dead now."

"You seem alive..."

"I know. But I'm not. They turned me into this, tried to make me powerful... it didn't work. I was... a failed experiment. They tossed me in a grave. I crawled my way out. I tried to go home, but they didn't want me anymore. No one did. No one wants a dead thing. No one wants a monster. I'm not alive anymore. I'm just... waiting for my body to catch on to that fact."

"Oh, Sellia..." Gwindor met her eyes and saw so much pain there. So much trauma. It didn't frighten him - he knew the same stories were written in his own. "You aren't a monster. You aren't dead. I'm sorry they rejected you. They should not have. They were fools. But I was rejected too. I know how it feels. And maybe together we could... heal? If you wish it."

"Are you sure?" Sellia's breath caught in her throat. She hardly dared to hope. "Absolutely sure?"

"I'm certain. Sellia. Kind, lovely Sellia. Allow me to show you your worth..."

She clasped his hand tightly, and there were tears on her cheeks as he kissed her gently.

"Yes," she whispered. "And let me show you your worth as well, my dear Gwindor."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Nairn

The norn leaned heavily on the pedestal, her forearms crossing the width of it, crossing at the wrist. The spectacle she'd just witnessed was unlike anything she'd ever seen - unlike anything she could have imagined, even having read the scroll outlining the ceremony. Best of all, at least, she supposed it should be best, the child was saved. The fact that the Destroyer Knife was bound seemed to be secondary in everyone's minds.

Her head popped up in a jerking motion. A cold shiver ran down her spine as her brain informed her that she'd fallen asleep standing up. She couldn't imagine why she was so tired. Certainly, she'd been up studying and writing for the last couple of days, but that was perfectly normal. Perhaps it was the strangeness of the surroundings and...other excitement. Nevertheless, Nairn was determined to continue to make the best use of her time here. She straightened, steadied herself, then started walking back toward the main building and the library she'd had to leave behind to fashion this work of ink and flame.

She found the pile of books in the aisle just as she'd left them. The denizens had wisely decided that it was best to leave the norn to do what the norn pleased. Choosing a tome, she happily picked it up and began reading from where she'd left off - or rather, would have, if the letters hadn't been so blurry. She rubbed at her eyes and squinted at the pages without much success. Perhaps she needed to give them a bit of a rest. But where?

Nairn hadn't given much thought to asking about accommodations. In fact, she hadn't thought she'd leave the library until they were forced to leave Artaeum to continue their search for the cult trying to destroy the elves and the other one trying to destroy the worlds. She took in her surroundings and settled her gaze on a set of bookcases set into an alcove. Behind the facades, there was a gap beneath the stonework. A gap just large enough for a norn of her build. Looking about for spectators, she scurried up the shelves when the coast was clear and slid between the wooden case and the cool stone. She was asleep in seconds, the little book hugged close to her chest.
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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

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Tempest Rutherford

Tempest was starting to wobble on her feet, and she was having to fight to keep her eyes open. The amount of magic she had used had visibly drained her.

"Time for that nap?" Cullen suggested.

Tempest shook her head and tried to convince her fuzzy brain to form complete sentences. "I can't... yet... Drina..."

"I think Drina's alright," Cullen said, and gently steered her toward the guest chamber they would be occupying. Tempest glanced over to offer her own professional opinion on this - but she saw her husband was right. Drina's injury had been minor, well within the dremora's own ability to heal. No one else seemed to be in urgent need of assistance. She gratefully allowed herself to be led in search of rest.

Once she was tucked comfortably in bed beside Cullen - who probably wasn't particularly tired, but wanted his wife to be able to sleep well - she felt her eyes started to droop, and finally allowed herself to relax. She nestled beside him, tightly, almost as if she was hiding against him from the world. She drifted off to the feeling of him smoothing her hair.

Later that night, Tempest woke with a start. Cullen was having a nightmare, shifting restlessly in his sleep and muttering incoherently. Tempest was used to this. "Cullen, it's alright," she whispered. "You're safe." She gently touched his face, stroking his cheek soothingly. Cullen said something else she couldn't quite catch, then seemed to calm as he drifted deeper into sleep.

Fully awake now herself, it would take Tempest a few minutes - and that was an optimistic estimate - to fall asleep again. She didn't mind, though. She just lay silently in the dark, enjoying the familiar feeling of Cullen beside her. He was a good man. She was lucky to have him.

"I am so blessed..." she whispered aloud to the darkened room.
Last edited by Monkey Kitty on Sun Mar 06, 2022 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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