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Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:47 pm
by Quaxo9
Nairn Tuckamore

"Two problems are more easily solved by two parties. We should part ways here. One group to find the next gathering of vampires and warn them while getting the information we seek. The other to find the marauding party and convince them to stop."

Their own party was uncomfortably large, though Nairn wouldn't dare to say as much. Internally, she chalked it up to the fact that the movement of fifteen adults - and one child - was not terribly easy to ignore. It was easier to blame her preference on tactics than on her personal issues. Still, splitting the party to track down each objective did seem efficient.

The Norn skirted the bodies, inspecting the ground as she did so, pausing here and there to touch the earth. She reached a point next to a large stone and peered around it as though expecting to find someone squatting behind it. At length, she turned to address the rest of the group.

"Their trail will not be difficult to follow."

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2021 12:59 am
by Monkey Kitty
Ulga gra-Shatul

"Not a bad idea," Ulga agreed. "If it turns out we need an 'army,' we can easily regroup, but for now it makes sense to divide our resources."

"Actually, a thought about that," Galenwen piped up. "It's really not safe to drag Elabeth along for this. Or good for her to see more bloodshed if it can be avoided."

Her husband nodded. "We would be happy to stay with her and protect her, if there's some reasonably safe place to keep her out of harm's way...?"

"There is," Ulga said thoughtfully. "There's... a sort of hidden island. Arteum, the home of the Psjic Order. We have connections there - I have friends, and Mikael's late brother-in-law was the Ritemaster there until his death. It's not utterly impregnable, of course; nothing that I know of is. But she'd be a lot safer and more hidden there than here."

Galenwen, Haldir, and Linlom agreed to this plan, and that they would accompany the child and protect her. Ulga wasn't surprised. She had noticed the younger couple becoming quite fond of the girl - she wouldn't in fact be surprised if they ended up keeping the child, since it didn't appear she had any home or family.

What did surprise her, though, was that Gwindor was not going with them. Apparently the solemn elf felt comfortable enough in this new fellowship that he could separate from his original companions for a time.

"I'm going to stay and bury the bodies," Gwindor said simply. Seeing a few quizzical looks, he added, "I want to. I think it's the right thing to do. I'll catch up."

He was clearly perfectly capable of defending himself in the meantime and rejoining the group, so there were nods of agreement. Sellia stared at him searchingly for a moment longer - it was not clear whether he noticed - and when she turned away, she wore an expression of gratitude for his respect for her fallen kin.

"So," Anakita asked Nairn, since it was her idea how to divide, and she presumably had a plan in place. "How do you want to get started?"

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:17 am
by Quaxo9
Nairn Tuckamore

The Norn appeared startled by the question. She blinked twice at Anakita before gathering her thoughts and answering the archer directly, without really considering the rest of the group.

"You, Stefan and I should pursue the marauders. This is a task we know well." She paused, then added as an afterthought, "Mikael should come in case we need local knowledge."

Of course, it also made sense that the Rutherfords should go with Sellia. If the group needed a face, there was little doubt in Nairn's mind that it should be Tempest's.The woman always seemed to know what to say to deescalate a situation. If the other vampire...tribes knew that someone was hunting them, they could very well be on the defensive. Nairn had no qualms about choosing Mikael over Fira, either. Anakita and Mikael had established a trust. Fira may be a friend of Ulga's, but her connection to their larger mission was still in question. Besides, Mikael didn't like vampires enough to join the other group without causing all of Tempest's efforts to be undone.

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:09 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Anakita Snakecharm

No one in the party had any objection to the plan, so they were able to move on quickly - a good thing, in Anakita's eyes. After the massacre they had been helpless to prevent, she craved forward motion.

Tracking the murderers proved an easy task. Disappointingly so. They might as well have been following a herd of dolyaks, the Ranger thought to herself. A slight exaggeration, yes, but there were plenty of broken branches and boot prints in the mud creating what, to an experienced tracker, might as well have been a marked path.

Anakita knew when they were getting closer when she heard the sounds of a camp. She dropped to her hands and knees and then crawled on her belly till she was peering over the edge of a rocky ridge, able to see but out of sight. She was quiet, camouflaged in her usual wilderness garb of green and brown. When Nairn appeared beside her the next instant, also cloaked, she pointed down at the camp wordlessly.

How the group had gotten a drop on the vampires was clear now - sheer numbers. There were probably thirty people in the glade, huddled around several campfires, making little effort to be unobserved. The vampires had fought back, but had clearly been surprised and overwhelmed by these unexpected, audacious foes.

Reconnaissance completed at leisure, the Ranger made her way back to where Stefan and Mikael waited out of sight and earshot, assuming Nairn would probably follow her.

She filled in the two men, then said in conclusion, "So anyway, there are a lot of them. Too many to just try to take them out. Also, it would be kind of nice to figure out what they want. There's too much mysterious stuff going on to add another unknown if we can help it. Any suggestions?"

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:46 am
by Quaxo9
Nairn Tuckamore

Following the trail left by the marauding party only cemented her opinion that their own party had been too large. Even when they caught up with their quarry and discovered a group twice the size of their full party. Despite the now vast difference in numbers, Nairn did not regret her suggestion. The camp clearly didn't expect retribution for their attack. No guards were posted. The fires burned brightly. The tents were both scattered and too close together. These men were not soldiers - and yet they had united.

But for what purpose?

"You are right. If we do not know why they kill, we won't know if there are more waiting to take their place. We need information. I can remain cloaked for a length of time and listen, but they may not simply reveal what we want to know. Perhaps..." her eyes drifted toward Mikael, narrowing as she looked him up and down. "perhaps if someone asked them. Someone they could consider an ally?"

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:13 am
by Monkey Kitty
Anakita Snakecharm

It took Mikael a moment to catch up. When he realized what Nairn was proposing, he looked dubious. "How is that going to work? I don't know what they want. They wouldn't believe I was their ally. What could I say?"

"Seems like the want to kill vampires," Anakita observed.

"Yes, I suppose so, but I'd never be convincing about that." Hastily, Mikael added, "Yes, I was suspicious of Sellia at first - which I apologized for, and she accepted my apology. My experiences with vampires have been mostly negative... but I was being unfair, and that's no excuse. Even then, though, I had no intention of murdering vampires. That's a horrific crime."

"It is," Anakita said. "But fortunately you're a very, very good actor. Remember how you pretended to kidnap Iliana? And Julius bought it? Just be an actor again."

"Alright," Mikael said. "Fine."

Mikael was gone for a few hours. They had expected that - it would look far too suspicious for him to approach the camp, ask their intentions, and then immediately leave. When night fell, he was able to slip back to rejoin his companions.

The Nord looked shaken. "We have a serious problem," he said. "They didn't come here to kill vampires. The vampires were just collateral damage. Their plan is to slaughter the elves."

Anakita looked surprised. "You mean the elves we met?"

Mikael shook his head. "No. Not just them. They want to kill all the elves!"

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:16 pm
by Quaxo9
Nairn Tuckamore

"While I usually applaud whole-hearted pursuit of one's goals, this trend is becoming concerning."

First it was a god-like man wanting to bring an end to ALL worlds, now it was a group of people wanting to put an end to an entire species. Certainly the latter was at a smaller scale, but still, it was a despicable thing to undertake eradication. Think of the knowledge lost. The things one could learn from these races. It made her think of the dwarves: a race that had disappeared from their own world and left behind such amazing works, but so many more mysteries. But, she supposed, the people themselves probably had more invested in not being wiped out than just what they could share with others.

"Do they have the backing of a cult as well? That is, do we need contend with another Daedra before we can end this threat too?"

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2021 4:48 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Anakita Snakecharm and Mikael Stormcrow

"Cult? I suppose that depends on how you define the word," Mikael replied. "These people are not united by any sort of religious belief. They do not follow a particular daedric prince or even a specific philosophy. They have formed a loose grouping merely to oppose those we met earlier. That fact may not make them less dangerous, though. Disorganized zealots in large numbers can cause an excess of damage too."

"So what exactly do they want?" Anakita asked. "Why are they doing this?"

"They found out about this plot to end the worlds, and as we did, they sought to prevent that outcome. Their method just involves a great deal more collateral damage than ours does. They see a simple equation: if there are elves causing a danger, wiping out all the elves will remove that danger."

"That's stupid," Anakita said, putting her hands firmly on her hips. "If a human was trying to destroy the world, we'd just stop them, not kill all the humans. Elves are no different."

"I agree," Mikael replied. "But they don't seem open to seeing that line of reasoning. To them, all elves are merely a danger to be eliminated."

"Why did they kill all those vampires?" Stefan asked - a rare contribution to a group discussion, but he was curious. "Are they trying to destroy them all too?"

Mikael shook his head. "Not per se. At least not in the genocidal sense that they intend for the elves. They killed the vampires because they learned the cult was using vampires like Sellia in their rituals - rituals that required the victim to be alive. A dead vampire is beyond their use. So they were merely... reducing the local supply, as it were."

"That's horrible!" Anakita said angrily. Mikael showed no sign of disagreement.

The Ranger paced for a moment, then said, "Well, we have to stop these people too. We can't let them kill all the elves. But we can't let the other people end the world, either. It's going to be a busy week."

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:49 am
by Quaxo9
Nairn Tuckamore

A 'busy week' indeed. But eradicating a group of unorganized zealots seemed almost like a larger undertaking due to the fact they weren't operating from a central location or theology. It made them unpredictable and worse, they would never know if they'd 'solved' the problem because there was no way to know the group's true numbers.

"How did they find out about the end of worlds? If someone told them, perhaps we need to speak to this person and this person may be able to exert some influence on these zealots. If nothing else, without identifying the source, we will never bring an end to the threat."

Re: Islands on Another World (GW2)

Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 1:47 am
by Monkey Kitty
Anakita Snakecharm and Mikael Stormcrow

"I don't know," Mikael said with a frown and frustrated sigh. "Any time I got even close to asking for that information, they clammed up and got suspicious, so I had to back off. For obvious reasons, that's going to be a closely guarded secretly. I couldn't even find out for sure if they have a leader, how they got organized, or how they communicate - though there's got to be some central tent pole. This couldn't all have arisen spontaneously. But I don't know how, or who. I guess this means...?"

Anakita shook her head. She knew what Mikael was implying - that he would have to go back for more infiltration, and he was clearly very hesitant to do so.

"I don't think that'll help at this point," the Ranger said, with a odd mix of bluntness and comfort in her tone. "It would take too long for you to get that far into their circle. They're not going to tell you that in a day. Maybe even in a week, or in a month. By then something bad will surely have happened, or they'll have figured out your bluff one way or the other. You're a good actor, Mikael. But it's one thing to fool a bunch of zealots for a few hours, or dramatically pretend to kidnap your future wife. Which - props, on both. You're too nice, though. Eventually they'll see through it... or else they'll test your loyalty by forcing you to do something awful, and that could lead to casualties, including you if you refuse. No, we can't do it that way. We have to find some other means of surveillance."

"What about that lizard thing in your bag?" Mikael suggested. "You could send it to look around the camp, see if it can steal anything."

"Absolutely not!" Anakita insisted with her hands on her hips. "That's much too dangerous for Buttons."

At the sound of her name, Buttons popped her head out of the bag. She looked eager and toothy, and not at all fearful of danger.

"Buttons is very brave," Stefan pointed out. "And we'll get her out if anything goes wrong."

"Okay," Anakita said reluctantly. "Buttons, go steal some stuff. And be careful."

The raptor scurried off.