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 Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread] 
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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
(OOC: You forgot a bit of dialog there, Yomu.)

-

It was big. Its body glimmered unnaturally under the fires that now marked the ruins of Fort Frenga and a large section of the village proper. And it was way beyond their capabilities to even match. With this in mind, they focused on helping those retreating from the creature's rampage - avoiding the ire of this multi-legged monstrosity that towered over the village.

As they managed to rendezvous with the remnants of the Cyndar Knights who were now cycling the fight, she began to see a change in the monster's movements. At first so sure and battle-frenzied, now it was being cornered by a large contingent of troops being led by a blond-haired person in a suit of brilliant white. Assault after assault landed on it, with each strike harder than the last - the mechanical nightmare's wear and tear starting to significantly slow it down.

The Knight Commanders' adjutants looked at her party nervously as they approached.

"Who're you?" he asked, exhausted from treating so many wounded over such a short time.

"Magus guild..." she managed to croak. "We were at Cyndar when..."

His eyes grew wide. "Commander Aodhan will want to hear about this. Help yourself to my rations - and do not join the battle."

"Thank you."

Natsuki and her small band of followers sat down at the makeshift campfire, thankful to be surrounded by their own once more.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
For all its dire weapons that had once rained down terror upon the people today, it was helpless against the attacker now ripping his way through its innards like a chestburster gone berserk - chewing through tendons, flesh, armor paneling and complex machinery in a frenzied rage. Here and there, plates of armor loosened from its attack broke away from its body in chunks and pieces as it desperately tried to extricate the invader from its body, but to no avail. At last, he reached the heart of the beast - a black orb of evil energy sitting upon a greenish stack of panels with black crystals on them.

Yemhelch ripped into this orb with his weapon, following up with his teeth and nails - and the monster howled in agony as it lost control of several of its appendages, misfiring several of its weapons this way and that as the nerve signals began to crash and jumble under this direct attack to its 'brain'.

"You will not escape me this time, my prey." he smiled grimly as he dug in.

-

The ARK must've suffered some serious damage - that one lucky trebuchet shot had brought it to its 'knee' equivalents and now it thrashed around in a frenzy, howling in pain. Now was her chance! She ran up one of its shattered legs and leaped into the air - broken sword in hand as she dived on the prone figure of the titan that once brought so much death here.

"HHHRRRYYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" A war-cry escaped her lips as she brought down her sword on the exposed fleshy organ she thought looked like a brain. As if in unison, the monster screamed in pain, all 3 of its remaining legs shooting up into the air as the blade pierced through its brain, cutting off several vital nerves and arteries.

A sudden silence filled the air as the legs suddenly fell slack, crashing into the rubble. As the dust cleared, Ahnbein finally pulled the sword free from the rapidly-melting flesh of her quarry and turned to face the small army gathered here.

"Looks like its game over for that thing, so... I'll just go rest for a while..." the voice in her head mumbled. "That was fun, though. Perhaps we'll talk later?"

She felt her body ease down, the surging power in her muscles slowly fade away as her breathing slowly returned to normal. However, her tongue did not fade away - a gift? She was still unused to speaking, but for now, it would do...

It was Commander Aodhan who broke the silence. "Three cheers for Lady Ahnbein!" he shouted, a gauntleted fist in the air. A ragged cheer went up from the mob in response, the tension and horror of the battle finally lifted from the battle as they all surged around her, back-slaps and handshakes all around.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
Thankfully, their emergency first aid had prevented the seer from bleeding out. As the healers attended to her, she sat at the Cyndar Knights camp. The battle had ended at last, and now the titanic monster lay in the what once was the central market of Frenga Farms, its fleshy innards slowly dripping from its massive armor plates. Even now, shot to pieces and some smiths carefully removing the large armor plates, it was a sight to behold. A soft rain had put out the infernos the monster - the 'ARC' as the locals were calling them, had gouted out.

At first, people had recoiled in fear at the rain, fearing 'death and rot from above' - but no, this was pure water softly drizzling down putting out the forest fires and the ravaging inferno the monster had unleashed.

"Perhaps Lumbra has not forsaken us after all..." a healer sighed as she collected water to prepare the healing herbs.

From her vantage point, four magefires had been lit - the drops of water feeding the magicked flames and as night fell, the searing light of the inferno was replaced with a calming, soft reddish-orange glow that bathed the village. It was truly the end of Frenga Farms.

"Shame, huh?" one of the knights who had survived the ordeal at Cyndar Castle stood next to her as they surveyed the wreckage of the former farming village. "But you know what, we're are a tough bunch. We'll have this place up and running in a fortnight."

"Can't be a village anymore, though..." she replied. "We'll need better walls, and bigger ballistas, and perhaps spell towers and warding..."

"Damn right, this place is gonna be the stronghold of those who dare."

She felt better now. The hot meat stew had banished her crippling hunger and the herbal tea prepared by the healers left her sharp and alert.

"I'm going down there, see if I can help."

"Much appreciated, ma 'am." the knight smiled as he tipped his helm. "I'm gonna go do the same."

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
His body would not move - pushed to beyond the limits of human endurance and now his short, ragged breath echoed in the 'brain cavity' of the monster. How long had he stayed here? Weeks? Minutes? Time seemed to quiver and turn asunder as he stared up at the ceiling - a blackish wall that once had been metal. At the very edges of his hearing, he began to sense the soft rasp of a hacksaw, then the voices of people shouting - plates being carved by steel, banging, crunching sounds...

Suddenly, pale torchlight flooded the chamber as the wall he was staring at was taken apart and several people stared right back. His addled mind couldn't recognize any more faces for a few moments, but then...

"You're a lunatic, mercenary." Commander Aodhan grinned as he held out a gauntleted hand. "But you're the gutsy sort of lunatic a soldier can admire."

Oh right... he had managed to tear his way into the beast that had attacked Frenga Farms... nodding, he grabbed the outstretched hand and they heaved him out of the monster's head, now almost hollow now that the fleshy innards had seeped out...

"We saw everything." he continued as he easily lifted Yemhelch clear off the corpse. "Pretty smart of you to attack the thing from the inside. So, what's your name, soldier?"

Name? Name... his name... what was his name?

A younger man waved at him. "Farmer Yemhelch, now a demonslayer!" he grinned. "You've sure moved on up in the world!"

That was his name. More memories of the battle began to flood back into his head.

"Y-yeah, thanks for the backup, Alvus. I'd be fine ash if it wasn't for you." he replied with a weak smile. "So, thanks."

"Clan Fernvolk always watches out for the people." Alvus replied with a thumbs-up. "Help one another and we all will move forwards, right? That's how we roll!"

"Smart plan to assail the monster from all directions, though." Aodhan continued, the sheer euphoria of winning such a deadly battle putting on a large smile on his normally serious face - as was the case with the others who were now congratulating each other. "Come on! It may not be much, but we've saved the breadbasket of the Mainland today. Tonight, we feast... tomorrow, we build the new world of Fort Frenga!"

His stomach grumbled in response, earning a laugh from the gathered soldiers.

"...That would be great. Thanks, Commander."

As he stepped out of the corpse of the machine-like beast, he saw a girl with soft light blue hair wearing a ruined robe walk down the path from the Cyndar Knights camp to the ruins of Frenga Farms, a satchel of medical supplies in hand.

"Is that..." his eyes narrowed for a moment before recognition hit. "Hey! Natsuki! You're alive too?"

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
The two had rode through the night through the Siren's Path, already, Samurai were scouting the new roads, redrawing their maps as they did. Eiryk and Karliah had made it through easily thanks to his efforts earlier. Karliah herself weighed heavily on the words passed onto her by the necromancer, now more kin than kind. Jabchiel was right. She could never hope to rejoin the circle, even if she wanted.

Her faith to the Lord, however, remained, even if it was more accepting.

"I wonder..." She began, as they made their way along the ruined roads in the North-West Corisca mainland, "If Lumbra loves all life, why does he shun the sinner to damnation? Is it like the relationship between parent and child? If so, why is the punishment eternal?"

Eiryk shrugged with indifference, "Whatever the case with god, I just want him to leave his hands out of my destiny."

"Don't we all?" She asked with a grin, but her thoughtful gaze returned as she looked to the stars, "I do wonder if God planned this. What purpose does it serve? Is this the end of the world as foretold in the final chapters of the bible?"

"Maybe." Eiryk remarked once more with indifference, "Whatever the case, those guys were pretty curious about my markings."

They eventually reached the farmlands. Many of the fields were scorched, embers here and there, and burnt earth in black lines painted the landscape. Yet the people were busying themselves in the sunlight, using wooden cranes to lift the heavy stones from the new northern quarry into place, building great walls like those in Cyndar.

Eiryk and Karliah dismounted their horse and lead it to the local stables. They met again with Commander Aodhan, directing knights on their patrols and scouting missions. Farmhands worked to till the fields once again, and workers dotted the landscape to show where the inner stones would lay. Aodhan then began to speak to Altans on the status of Selk.

"Commander, we've returned!" Karliah shouted out.

Aodhan smiled, waving her over, "Karliah, good to see you've made it back in one piece! Captain Altans here of the Meridian Army has recently given word that Philena has assumed rulership of Selk, and has sent a few scouts back to the Meridian lands to bring back any other survivors."

Altans did a double nod, "You missed all the action. Two of these... ARKs, as they've been named, they showed up and started blasting the place. However, everyone pitched in their efforts and did them in."

"Truly?" Karliah asked, "We ran into one-"

"Two." Eiryk interjected.

"Right. We ran into two ARKs on the Siren's Path. Seems the Ninja Clans have been listening into what the locals have been calling them."

"Autonomous Relic Keepers... Just what are they after?" Aodhan thought for a moment before shaking his head, "Well, in any case. We've decided to fortify the breadbasket of the Corisca Mainland. It will become a new fortress for the survivors of Cyndar. Fort Frenga!"

"Fort Frenga? Has a nice ring to it..." Eiryk noted.

"Truly." Karliah agreed, "I also checked with the Church of Lumbra, as well as the Circle of Umbraria."

"The Circle?" Aodhan remarked, "How in the world did you-"

"It's a long story. Anyways... Neither of them have any clue as to what happened. The most I have to go on is that Pope Donaris sees it as a divine act."

"I see..." Aodhan rubbed his chin, "Well, good work you two. The only question that remains is, what will you both do now?"

Karliah smiled and answered, "After getting settled in, I would love to help out. I do not seek to place any religious sect here, but what I do hope is that I may assist in fortifying the defenses of this place."

"Splendid! Head on down to the tavern. They've finished setting up there. Get some food and rest, we'll start your work tomorrow." He then turned to the Meridian, "Altans, do you plan on heading back with your troops?"

"I do, commander."

Aodhan nodded in agreement, "Alright. Go then, please assist your people, and tell Queen Philena that we seek an alliance."

"I will see what she says and send a messenger between our cities." Altans nodded before heading to where his troops rested.

"Eiryk... You've had a rude wakeup call, and you're so young to boot. If there's anything we can do, let us know... What do you plan on doing?"

"I want to learn how to survive. That's what matters to me right now." He mentioned, "Also, I want to learn to serve better to our people."

"Hmmm... You've taken up bow training I see..." Aodhan gave his next words some thought then smiled, "I suggest joining Altans. He's heading back to Selk, and if you seek the Assassin's Guild there, surely they can give you some tips. They are in service to the Altena Kingdom, always were, always will be."

"Thank you, I will be on my way then." Eiryk said. He now had a goal in mind. With Excalibur still at his side in silence, perhaps he would find a means of awakening it as a weapon. Until then, he would need to hone his mind and body, and achieve greatness through his own works.

He joined up with Altans, who agreed to have him, and they went on their way.

Karliah, however, gazed at the amulet that was given to her. What were these characters? They were unlike any seen on Jungalore, unlike the ancient texts she had once gazed through, and the pattern was intriguing.

"Isn't a paladin supposed to remain sober?" A female knight asked, sitting next to her. She was taller than Karliah, but not as tall as a titan, and her azure eyes reflected the candle-light of the newly established tavern of Frenga Farms. Her body was lightly built, likely from swinging the claymore around on her back, and a honey-gold braid of hair fell down her left shoulder, clad in steel chainmail and a surcoat.

Karliah smiled with a light chuckle before answering, "Yes. I am not of The Inquisition any longer, however."

"Truly? Don't they execute those who fall out of their ranks?" She continued asking.

"Yes, this is true." Karliah answered calmly taking a drink, "You don't see female knights much."

"We used to be forced into office work." The lady-knight answered, "Men got all the glory, no room for us in the old knightage. It's a good thing a man like Aodhan survived. Without him, most of us girls would still be in the office, without any training, and we would have been wandering the Cyndar Sewers for ages."

"I see, so not exactly an egalitarian position... Much like my own."

"'Tis true." The woman answered, "The name is Ruuta. I've been a knight for only a few months, and you?"

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
"Check it out." the metalsmith demonstrated the strange properties of the metal as he bent the metal with his hands. "It's like the entire metal is hammered solid like a diamond, yet built into a ringmail pattern that can only be felt by the touch of the fingers. Flexible, yet hard." To drive home his point, he took the sharp end of the ingot and carved a smiling face into his anvil.

"Do you think you can rework it into armor?" Yemhelch asked. "Would it be good?"

"No, it wouldn't be good - it'd be supreme!" the smith replied with a grin as he slapped down the ingot. "And yeah, I can start working on it right now."

"How much do I owe you, then?"

"Eh, naw. Keep your coin." the smith replied with a grin. "Instead, you give me the rest of the metal you carved outta that beast and we'll call it even. Deal?"

"Heh. Art of the deal, huh?" Yemhelch grinned back. Ahnbein nodded as well. "Allright, one plate-mail set for my friend, and a light combat armor set for me. Rest of the metal's yours."

"No prob. Come back this evening and I'll have things ready for you."

Ahnbein and Yemhelch went their separate ways after that, after agreeing to meet back at the field blacksmith's forge at sundown. She was still unused to speaking, it seemed. At least she was slowly getting to it after years without her tongue...

Turning the corner, he walked into the central marketplace - or what was left of it. Smiths were busy using pulleys and rams to slowly take apart the corpse of the beast, but it was slow going, and some workers still shot nervous glances at the black eye that lay half-buried in the dirt even now, a longsword smashed through it. Natsuki was nowhere to be seen - she had waved to them and headed south to help the survivors.

He could go for a drink right now.

-

The tavern was, thankfully spared the carnage of the ARK's rampage aside from a large section of the roof missing, turning it into an outdoor facility. It was here that several adventurers and survivors were gathered, sharing tales of their battle and tactics. Some enterprising soul had even set up a quest board (most asking for surveyors and food gathering). As he entered, a few soldiers raised their ale mugs and gave him a hale cheer. "The insane mercenary! Gutted the beast good he did!". He raised his fist and grinned back at the other adventurers.

At the mention of 'insane mercenary', a woman at the corner of the tavern turned her head to stare.

"Oh, hey Karliah." Yemhelch waved to her as he walked over. "Good to see you're alright. So, what's happening?"

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
It had been a busy day, but at last the stream of injured and wounded finally abated and she found herself sitting alone in the emergency aid camp that had been set up around the well. The light rain had eased off into an overcast sky that now provided much-needed shelter from the harsh light of the twin suns. It'd almost be normal aside from the red tinge in the sky surrounding the horizons.

Standing up, she realized her waterskin was empty and she walked down to the still-standing tavern for a refill. As she entered, she spotted the man that had waved to her from the corpse of the metal beast about to take another seat next to two people that wore the garb of a ranger and a knight respectively... she finally recognized him as her traveling companion from her expedition to Selk.

"Oh, you're alive." she smiled wryly as she walked over. "If anyone survived the breaking of the world, it'd most likely be you."

The woman in the armor grinned at this, and the woman in the light armor groaned - and that's when she finally recognized her. The prosecutor from the murder case in Vel Da Ir!

"Yes, I remember you." Karliah responded. "I suppose that's one way to put it..."

"So, what's with the outfit shift? Job change?"

"Long story." Karliah replied. "And yes, I suppose... anyway, who are you?"

"Oh, just the first person to hire that mercenary for his first real job." Natsuki replied. "Wasn't a bad decision, except that he sleepwalked out to a nearby oasis on payday."

"Hey! You said you weren't gonna mention that again!" Yemhelch mock-protested.

That lightened up the mood. Even Karliah cracked a smile at that.

"Well, if we're introducing ourselves, I'm Ruuta." the knight replied. "Nice to meet you all."

After some more introductions, Natsuki sat back and sighed.

"Hm, so now all we need is to find those two meridians made it out alive as well..."

"Ah, if you're going to New Meridia, don't bother." Ruuta spoke up. "They had to abandon it because they can't swim in the red ocean anymore. Last I heard, they took up residence in Selk because similar to Frenga Farms, there's a nearby source of clean water."

"Clean water?"

"Pretty much. Its like gold coinage now." Yemhelch nodded.

"You haven't heard?" Karliah interjected. "Well, most of the world's oceans and wellwater is a disgusting mash of blood and gristle. Aside from a few places I've heard - like the well here in Frenga Farms, and perhaps up north in Selk as well. There's a new town with clean water as well up north as well. What rock have you been hiding under?"

"Ah, well..." Natsuki replied. "Me and a small group from the Cyndar Knights and the Magus Guild, along with reinforcements from the Lumbraic church were trapped in Cyndar, when... the place was attacked." She paused, trying to recall, then continued. "The castle is the enemy stronghold, and we foolishly rushed in, and got lost. Days, weeks? I had no clue."

"So it is true..." Karliah gasped. "I had heard the rumors, but to hear it like this..."

"How did you escape?" Ruuta asked, eagerly leaning forward.

"We would have been killed. We were trapped in a supply room, when..." she paused again to take a sip from the apple cider that had been brought over. "When one of the creatures from south of Frenga Farms showed up and showed us a hidden tunnel leading out into the plains."

At this, Karliah, the knight and Yemhelch fell silent.

"The demonic creatures from the area south of Frenga Farms?" Karliah finally spoke. "How did you know?"

"Well, since Cyndar is taken over by the undead and demons, it doesn't really matter." Natsuki replied. "Still, if you want to know, we conducted an expedition and collected some passive creatures. The ones with the rabbit-like ears and the round, quiet ones. Here's the weird part - not a day before Cyndar fell, they all vanished. Poof, outta their terrariums. Looking back, maybe it was some kind of warning."

Suddenly, a girl with a pair of dowsing sticks sitting at the next table turned around. "Demonic creatures with rabbit-like ears?" she inquired. "Boy, have I got a tale for you..."

-

"They did WHAT?" Karliah exclaimed.

"Damn right, fixed me up real good." the mage nodded. "See, I've even got the bandage on because it feels pretty comfy."

"So they ARE intelligent..." Natsuki gasped. "I had a hunch, but no real way to prove it... I wonder, were the other beasts intelligent as well?"

"No way to know." the mage sighed. "There's been no sighting of them lately. Like as if they KNEW the world was fucked and were on the way out."

The waiter arrived with their drinks.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
((Been a pretty stressful week, but I should be coming back around with posting.))

Eiryk arrived in Selk by dawn. He looked himself over and gave a sigh.

"I really ought to do more than just go with the flow of things." He complained to himself. He gave a look around the town as he entered with the Meridian troop. Already, quarried marble was being shipped in, and the people worked hard on bettering the town.

"Just what did Lady- ... I mean, Queen Philena do?" Altans wondered. He decided to move with his troop to the Assassin's Guild, which Eiryk saw taking their signs down.

"Huh. So the fish lady has decided to take over..." He thought as he followed them over. Scorpio looked over to the boy and gave him a once over.

"I do vaguely remember your face... You're that Eiryk fellow, yeah? The one who hung around with Mikkael."

"... I suppose, sir." Eiryk responded, "You look to be in charge, what exactly is going on?"

"Changes." Scorpio answered, "Plenty of changes, in fact. But enough about us, what brings you back to Selk?"

"I was told that I could better learn to use the bow here." Eiryk responded. Scorpio raised an eyebrow and then smiled, "Certainly, we Assassins can teach you quite a lot about using a bow. How many quests have you been on, son?"

"Twenty-one."

Scorpio gave a sigh, then responded with reluctance, "Sorry kid, but you'll need about four more quests before we can admit you into any form of training..."

"Tch... Damn."

Eiryk began to walk away, once more he was too weak to do anything. However, before he could leave, Scorpio hollered out, "Hey! Kid! There may be something you can do!"

Now at the docks, the men and women were being boarded onto an exploration vessel, provided by the pirates of Selk, and were being instructed in accordance with the lecture given by Bellamy. Selk could be seen in all its improvement from here. The once-sandy city of blistering temperatures now took on a more tropical climate, with deserts still stretched out to the south and far north, and the old buildings being demolished for new marble buildings. Of the old buildings, the Assassin's Guild was receiving the biggest makeover, being turned into a castle, leading up one incredibly long stairwell.

Yet Eiryk only spared a few moments to look over the city, as the lecture was nearing its completion.

"... and based on those maps, we suspect unexplored shores are to be found. We don't know what's there, so we have plenty of people coming along. All in all, protect one another, and don't wander off."

Unfortunately for the exploration captain, that was precisely what Eiryk intended.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The trip across the dead, cursed sea took many hours, and most of the people were tired of waiting by the time they arrived. Due south of Selk was the unexplored island. None but they had ever set foot upon it. When they arrived, Eiryk stuck with the group, quietly, and they treaded carefully through the forests.

It seemed that no corner of the world was safe from the cataclysm, with even these shores stained red with the gore of the sea. Yet oddly, they did see life. They saw birds flying, squirrels gathering, and even bears. The team decided to head east, but Eiryk took this chance to head south. For in the distance he was sure he could spot a tree towering above the rest.

Carefully, he made his way through the forest, wandering and navigating as best he could, when he found something very peculiar for the setting. A dirt road, bending. Yet he found that he was not alone. Somehow, he felt a piercing gaze on him as he moved along the path. He stopped at a straight path. Surely, by now anyone looking for him would have made themselves quite noticeable - he'd been walking for far too long, and yet no sound was made. Yet the birds were no longer present as they had been.

He readied an arrow, and proceeded forwards, slowly. Then, he began to speed up to a run. As he continued, he entered a sprint. By now, he could only hear his footsteps and then the sound of rustling leaves and grass. Left. Behind.

He spun around and let loose his arrow. It missed, but it forced his pursuer to roll out of the brush. A man with long silvery hair in a green poncho, with a gilded crest on said garment. He carried a bow and pair of swords at his side. He didn't quite have an aggressive stance to him, but he wasn't exactly relaxed, either. Yet the most peculiar thing about him was...

"... Pointed ears?"

"..." The man stated nothing at first, but then spoke, "... I have not seen one such as yourself before. One without our ears, who doesn't bear the necklace."

"Nor have I seen a human with pointed ears. Who are you?"

"What I am is not human, and who I am... I am unappreciative of such ill manners." The man stated.

"Ill manners?" Eiryk questioned, "Sir, I wasn't the one pursuing someone acting like I was going to kill them."

"Perhaps, but I am a guard for my hometown of Demeter." The man spoke, "In Demeter, among my people, the Elvine, we do not ask for names. Names are given by tradition. If a name is given, it is because of the gift of fate known as encounters. Such is our belief."

"That makes no sense... But alright. In any case, my name is Eiryk. I come from the mainland. That's all I really know." Eiryk stated with annoyance. Just what are these haughty Elvine anyways? Regardless of his annoyance, the Elvine smiled.

"That is much more well mannered. You say you are human, yes? We haven't heard of a human in many years. Not since the ancients who first settled this island. If you wish, I will escort you to town where you may be approved for entry."

Giving it thought for a moment, Eiryk agreed.

"Then come, it isn't much farther."

As they walked, the Elvine remained silent, Eiryk had many questions, but he decided it best to keep to himself. When he finally arrived with the guard, the other Elvine blocking the one bridge looked at Eiryk quizically, as if studying him.

He felt a shock as one suddenly sprouted bat-like wings and flew to the top of the giant tree, and in a few short moments, the guard returned with a noble-looking Elvine, strong of body, wearing a green cape and tunic, with brown slacks and leather boots. Atop his head, a golden crown adorned with glowing white gems. His long blonde hair was well-groomed, and his blue eyes gave off an aura of beauty in the light.

"Welcome, Eiryk. I was just informed of your entry. This is the town of Demeter, and I am king of the Elvine, Ortza."

Eiryk stood there for a moment and the king laughed, "You probably have questions, no doubt, and I'm sure with our customs being different than that of humans, you were stifled. However, you are free to ask questions once names have been given."

Eiryk scratched his head and looked around before asking his question.

"Well, um... What are you guys exactly?"

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
Waving goodbye to Karliah and Natsuki at the tavern, Yemhelch set out towards the makeshift supply depot that had been hastily assembled by the returning citizens of Fort Frenga to serve as a central supply area for the reconstruction efforts that had already begun at the crack of dawn. There, he was greeted by a familiar face.

"Hail, demonslayer!" Alvus grinned as he hauled a large leather bag onto the back of a waiting wagon. "Off traveling again?"

"Yeah. There's places I need to get to."

At this, Alvus nodded. "Those were the days, huh? I still remember you setting out to Cyndar before the world ended like this... say, did you find what you needed there?"

"Sure did! It was quite an educational experience."

"So, you're not going to Cyndar again, are ye?"

"I'm afraid not." Yemhelch replied, shaking his head. "Well, not as long as those things using it as a stronghold aren't cleared out."

"Good plan. So, where are you headed off to?"

"Selk. I need to find someone there."

"Just so you know, my friend..." Alvus said as he finished hauling a barrel onto the wagon. "The route's a bit off from the old world. So, how about this? You and a small platoon of Knights escort this supply wagon to Selk, I get to open trading with the new kingdom they're establishing there, you get some backup in case one of those super-morphos jump you. How's that?"

"Super-Morphos?"

"Aye. Seems like the great morphos of the old world have grown stronger from the corruption and death that flowed across the world. They might not have been much, but now... best watch yourself. They're not to be trifled with."

"Then, lets help each other out. I accept." Yemhelch smiled as he reached out a hand for a shake.

"Thank you. Here's a map to help guide the caravan." Alvus shook his hand and handed over some parchment with a detailed route marking with landmarks marked in black ink. "And please, be careful out there."

-

"Young master Alvus said you were the demonslayer." the old man at the wagons waved Yemhelch over. "I'm Tonou Treekeeper, the Fernvolk clan's warden. It's an honor to meet you in person."

"Well, I couldn't have done it without Lady Ahnbein and everyone in Frenga providing backup..."

"And modest, too." Tonou grinned. "I believe we'll be alright if people like you take up the challenge of keeping this world safe. Anyway, let me explain the purpose of this expedition. Clan Fernvolk has decreed that we are to establish diplomatic relations with the new Meridian kingdom established in Selk. I, Tonou Treekeeper will be discussing the mutual defense alliance and supply routes between our city-states with Selk's new leadership... what's wrong?"

Yemhelch had a blank look to his face, but recovered quickly at the question.

"Uhh... I don't know what half those words you said means at all..."

"Then, this trip will be quite educational. I'll tell you all about the clans, and explain everything I said just now. I guarantee that by the time we arrive in Selk, you'll have a lot more knowledge about worldly affairs."

"You have yourself a deal. Lets go."

-

As the caravan left the fort under construction, Yemhelch tried to contact his counterpart... and all he got was silence. As if the connection had been cut. Did he get wounded in the previous battle? A sense of unease settled as he found himself feeling very alone again.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
"It's sizable and seems quite active." Eiryk noted as the two of them climbed the winding path of the tree at the center of town. Demeter was a sight to behold, untouched by the modern civilization for hundreds of years, potentially thousands. How anyone knew to come here, or how the Elvine arrived there was nothing short of a mystery. Perhaps it was out of sheer luck that they found this place.

The treetops hung over the majority of the town, and the town itself was surrounded by a moat of gore. Yet the town was still well populated. Eiryk thought for a moment as to why this could be the case, but Ortza intercepted the thought.

"What troubles you?"

"It's just... So many are dead on the mainland, how is it that everyone here is alright? How did you all survive?"

Ortza tilted his head and calmly answered, "We lived, as normal. The waters one day turned red and undrinkable. Yet we are still able to live here thanks to our goddess."

Goddess? Eiryk's eyes widened slightly. The work of Umbraria? Would Umbraria save people? Her followers took interest in him, but the goddess of darkness herself intervening and saving these people?

"King Ortza, are you suggesting a worship of Umbraria saved your people?"

Yet the king shrugged, shaking his head before responding, "Umbraria worship was said to be banned here for ages. We decided it harmful for our society, along with Lumbra worship. Such is written in the ancient records. No, our worship is of the goddess we found in our past, who appeared to us with the saving grace of our kind, that we may never become demons."

They soon reached the top of the tree, where the king sat in his throne of wicker. Eiryk stopped in the center of the room, and the king began speaking once more, "Eiryk, you don't remember things, do you?"

"How could you...!?" The boy wondered, a bewildered look now adopted.

"Your soul, I have gazed it over, and I see it. A blight swirls about you. Darkness seeped into parts of your mind." The king explained briefly. He smiled, "You were a lot different then, it seems."

"I don't know... I have some memory."

"Then may I advise this. Follow the road leading northwest. In doing so, there is a great stalk that holds onto an island in the sky. This island houses the temple where our goddess watches over us. She will be able to help you."

"Seems too easy." Eiryk said with a grin. The king smiled back.

"Our lady requires an offering, thus we ask that you bring with you said offering of the finest syrup and honey. It should be at the entrance of the town with our farmers."

Eiryk nodded in agreement, "So just bring these offerings to her and she can help me, huh?"

"That is correct. We will offer to you free lodging and food if needed before you embark." King Ortza declared, but Eiryk put a hand up.

"It's fine, I'll be on my way." However, before Eiryk left, he remembered something, "Oh, there should be some other explorers out there. Don't let them die."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He followed the crudely drawn map provided by the farmers. It wasn't so bad, and the land was untapped save for minor flooding. The cart provided made the walk much easier, and the lack of hostile creatures near the road caused the whole ordeal to be a simple trek.

As described, at the very top of the large stalk was an island, suspended by the branches of this plant. By the looks of it, the stalk wound upwards and could be walked up. At its base was a small campsite manned by one Elvine trader. He gave a wave over to Eiryk.

"Hail friend! I haven't seen you around these parts."

"A-Ah... Yeah, I come from the distant seas." Eiryk answered briefly.

"Hmmm... Interesting. Well, friend, it looks to me as though you're partaking in a noble task, climbing to the Temple of Youth..." He stated, giving a double nod, "Tell me, what brings you to the Elvine homeland?"

"I need to be come stronger. That's all. I was told I could do so if I came on this expedition."

The Elvine merchant nodded. He seemed to have a habit of doing so. "Well, you'll find plenty of means to do so... Just be careful up there. As you can see, there's no railings leading up. Plus, there's a lot of... monsters on the way there."

"What do you mean by monsters? Why the emphasis?"

"Erm... Well... Look, just be careful. Here." The merchant stated, dodging the question and handing Eiryk a bottle of...

"It's juice. Blackberry Juice. It tastes great and offers a nice bit of healing." The merchant stated, "I'll be around here, gathering more fruits for making juices. If you manage to get a whole bunch of them, I'll pay you triple the market price for the whole."

Eiryk swirled the bottle around a bit and nodded, "Right, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the info."

QUEST START: To the Temple!
<<The Temple of Youth rests atop a giant beanstalk. The beanstalk can be broken into 1d4 + 2 layers. Reach the top of the beanstalk to complete the quest!>>

ROLL: 3
TOTAL: 5

<<Starting on the first layer, 1d2 enemies may attack at a 50% (1d2) chance. For every wave of enemies cleared, there is a 10% less chance of enemy attacks. If you lose to the enemies, you may either choose the normal terms of defeat, or fall down one layer and survive with 10% of your max life and will. For every layer above one, there is a 5% increase in falling, and every defeated wave of enemies decreases the fall chance by 5%, due to your heightened confidence. Always roll for the fall chance before rolling for the enemy chance.>>

----- LAYER 1 -----
ENCOUNTER ROLL (50%, 1d2): 2
Eiryk traverses the first layer of the beanstalk without issue.

----- LAYER 2 -----
FALL ROLL (5%, 1d20): 16
ENCOUNTER ROLL (50%, 1d20): 1
ENEMY NUMBER ROLL (1d2): 2

As Eiryk moves up the second layer, he begins to hear the sound of...

"... Wings?"

He moves slowly, but before he can advance further, arrows come flying at him, and landing in front and behind him are two stone beasts with powerful horns and wings. They give a fierce howl and growl at him!

<<The enemies during this quest are always scouts, hunters, snipers, or rangers, depending on your highest leveled party member's class, followed by the second highest, third highest, and fourth highest. They have the Elvine modifiers, and are always under the effects of the Gargoyle Transformation.>>

FIGHT: Elvine Gargoyle Scout x2

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
He sat on a soft chair, in this room cut off from the world, staring at the woman who had brought him here. For what seemed like hours, neither chose to speak - but at last, the blonde woman broke the silence.

"Why did you save me?" she asked.

His hands clenched over the massive wound on his upper body that was even now slowly folding shut, he grunted, then cleared his throat. "I... can't put it to words. Not one year ago in your time, I would have gladly tore my way out of this prison and consumed every living being on this world to empower myself for my quest to escape to the stars. But now..."

Silence.

"Then, why did you consume those who fell to the Abyss during the apocalypse?"

"No. They called me for aid. Absorbing them during the first was an accident - one that I will not repeat ever again."

"Then, why not release them?"

"... It's not that I cannot, rather - they have pledged their loyalty to me in exchange for safety from the utter defilation of their souls. If they truly want to return to the world of the living, they must do so by their own free will."

The disembodied souls writhing within the form of the man all sprang to his defense. "Indeed, if Lord-"

"I am not a Lord, neither I am a God. I have asked that you refrain from such language."

"Sorry..."

"It is the act of a malicious god-wannabe that has brought this cataclysm to the world." the man continued. "If we are to stop it, then we must work together. Titles and heirship matters little in battle - here, we are all soldiers."

"Soldiers, huh?" Ahnbein asked. "What are you fighting for, then?"

"To protect this world that we have come to love." the man grinned, despite being in immense pain. "Isn't that right, everyone?"

Every last man, woman and child gathered in the chamber nodded.

She smiled for the first time in a while, and it was a radiant sight to behold.

"I would be honored to join forces with you." Ahnbein continued. "So, what's the plan?"

To this, the man stood up and pulled out a large map from his interdimensional pocket. She looked it over - and quickly recognized it as a map of the new world of Jungalore.

New Title gained: Ahnbein the Demonslayer.
Ahnbein received 3000 Legens from the grateful townfolk of Fort Frenga.

-

Those souped up Great Morphos had given him some trouble - their skins had gone from soft jelly to rough gelatin, and their combat abilities were on par with a skilled maceman. Yemhelch groaned inwardly as he patted the bandage on his head.

"It's like a cosmic joke or something..." he mumbled to himself as he rested his head on a sack of flour.

"What's a joke?" Tonou popped his head from the pile of clothes he was using to keep warm.

"UAAoh, I meant... it's funny." Yemhelch quickly adjusted the flow. "I didn't have so much problems with the local wildlife until now."

"Best you start getting stronger, then." Tonoe replied with a sagely nod. "This new world isn't one for foolish mistakes. We needed an army to take down a monster - you, no... we all have to grow stronger if more of them decide to show up."

The knights all nodded - all of them sporting various slight scratches and injuries from battle.

"You're right." Yemhelch nodded.

"Selk sighted, straight ahead!" the watchman yelled, adjusting his hat against the sunset glow.

This was a sight. Despite the battering it took from - perhaps a battle? Or the ocean waters? Reconstruction efforts were well on the way, and they passed through a great gate and into the city proper. Just like how he had left Fort Frenga, the people of Selk were all working together to rebuild their city. Ahead in the distance lay a large castle still being built. Despite it's obvious unfinished state, it was a stronghold. Guards, gunmen, archers, cannoneers, ashigaru and assassins stood ready to deal with any monsters or demons that could possibly breach the walls.

Walking through the streets, he noted how even the businesses and residential areas were being rebuilt. He tried to locate the Golden Sand Dune, but had no luck. The caravan trundled through the main road and approached the castle.

"Perhaps they've made contact with our friends in Vel Da Ir..." Yemhelch mused as he was waved through to the castle grounds. He looked around, and the fortifications were freshly built and solidly placed. Marble lining replacing sandstone for resistance against the waters of death, solid granite backing for extended defense purposes... this was one hell of a castle. At last, the caravan stopped at the castle gates and they were escorted in.

A grand hallway, with a new motif on the pennants that he didn't quite recognize. The announcer, in his toned voice, spoke. "My Queen, Fort Frenga's peace ambassador and his assistant have arrived."

"Indeed, we're here to discuss our mutual defense alliance and trading deal." Tonou knelt before her. "Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to allow us an audience with you, milady..."

Yemhelch stood there, eyes widening in recognition and Tonou stared bloody murder at him for not kneeling - the Queen's guards tightened their grip on their lances and tridents as the atmosphere suddenly turned tense and a sharp silence fell over the hall. The meridian Queen suddenly smiled as she recognized Yemhelch as well - and before the guards could intercept him, he was at her side - easily dodging a swung lance, a friendly hand on her shoulder and their fists bumping to each others as she stood up from the throne.

"Garandoo!" Yemhelch exclaimed, a grin on his face.

"And boomerang!" Philena replied, with a joyous smile before both of them broke into laughter. "How HAVE you been, my rival?"

Silence fell upon the castle court.

"And your child?" Yemhelch asked. "Is everything allright? I really didn't know you were royalty, though..." then casually backhanded a guard about to put him in a chokehold with a sharp rebuke. "Oy, have some manners. Don't interrupt a lady's conversation while she's speaking."

"Of course! You were the stork that delivered the baby after all." Philena smiled happily. "If it weren't for you..."

A gasp went up from the courtroom and the guards fell back. "You mean... this human..."

"...is one of the heroes who saved my life, along with my child's father Mikkael - a Hero of the Meridian people, no - perhaps the world. So, stop trying to arrest him, please." Philena smiled sweetly at the guards. "Although, he has no sense of court ettiquete~"

At this, Yemhelch did a dummy punch on himself.

The tension of the court drained away as Philena reassumed her queenly personage.

"Anyway, there are certain matters of State I must discuss with you, Yemhelch. Therefore, I ask you to stay as my guest..."

He recalled his conversation with her before, and nodded. "Of course." he said. "I promised, didn't I?"

"I will join you after my discussions with the Fernvolk Clan are complete." Philena nodded. "Guards, please show him to the palace guest room. Serve him as you would serve me."

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
The sands of the Chaos Desert, abrasive as they were, were a welcome change to Mikkael as he chased over the dune one of the remaining knights. Without hesitation he slaughtered fifteen men on his own, letting the armor drink of their blood and souls. Slowly, the pieces began to change, reflecting the nature of his kills, sharp ridges forming, and any cracks the enemies could make healing at every drop of blood.

Baphomatt walked up alongside him, applauding him. "You are doing as well as ever, Mikkael."

The meridian turned, not saying anything. Baphomatt gave a swirl to the cup in his hand.

"... Oh, would you like a drink? They've a supply of orange juice in one of the-"

"No."

Baphomatt shrugged, continuing to drink.

"I do hunger, though."

At one of the encampments Baphomatt set up a table and chairs for them. Mikkael looked down at his meal. Dried bread and a glass of milk. The mouth piece of his armor peeled back, revealing his mouth. He took a drink of the milk until the glass was empty.

Baphomatt ate of a dried fish sandwich, one at a time. Mikkael gave a grunt and proceeded to eat the dry, hardened bread.

"Something the matter?"

Mikkael shrugged, "The food is terrible."

"I rather like these rations. Despite the humans living in isolation, they do have such fine quality to them." Baphomatt smiled. Mikkael emptied the jug of milk into his glass, drinking it promptly. He dug into another bag and pulled out some pork. Juicy, this was and Mikkael gave a smile.

Baphomatt, however, wouldn't have it, so he proceeded to snatch it from Mikkael's hand.

"H-Hey!" Mikkael growled, but Baphomatt maintained his composed smile.

"Pork is my favourite." He mused, "But human flesh is a lot like a pig's flesh I hear."

Mikkael smiled and left the table for a moment. In a few seconds he returned with an arm, slicing the flesh off with the edge of his buster sword and them proceeding to make himself a sandwich of the dried bread and human flesh.

"You've always treasured that greatsword, haven't you?"

"I suppose I treasure it more these days."

"Why is that?" Baphomatt asked, looking puzzled as Mikkael bit into the sandwich.

"It's the last thing that reminds me of what or who I was..."

Mikkael promptly finished the sandwich before getting up and smashing the glass into Baphomatt's head.

"Ack-! WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR YOUR INSUBORDINATE-"

"Don't take my food again." Mikkael stated, walking back towards the dune, "It's rude."

Gritting his teeth, Baphomatt followed him, forehead bleeding from the shards of glass. He was in no mood to continue his rampage here, and felt the need to get the last part of their venture over with.

The two of them arrived at a gathering of wood and tarp, and on top of it, a number of knights and mages tied up to a large pole. Struggle as they may, they demons and undead gathered around kept them from unraveling the ropes. Mikkael's mouth piece reconstructed itself around his face as he hid a smile from one of them missing an arm. Baphomatt noticed this and grimaced at Mikkael.

"A sacrifice needs to be whole."

"Well tell your goddess that I took part as payment."

"... Very well... They'd probably try to scurry off if I tried to replace that one anyways. Plus, he's at least alive."

Mikkael grabbed a nearby torch, and without a word, tossed it into the stack of wood, the demons around them seemed to erupt in cheer, and Baphomatt entered into a prayer as the screams echoed among the camp. Mikkael, however, couldn't help but to be reminded of a city long gone. He perished the thought as soon as it came to head, however, and turned away.

As Baphomatt finished his prayers, he looked over to Mikkael, "Hey! Were do you think you're going!?"

"Stragglers, we should rid of them."

"Nonsense, Mikkael, they'll perish out here. We have bigger targets to move towards."

Mikkael turned his head, then gave a sigh. A large demon moved before them and they both mounted its back.

"We head for the five clans of Remnvald now." Baphomatt stated as the demon flew high into the sky. Mikkael looked back on the ruin the two of them had left, bodies strewn about the camps and both undead and demons wandering the blood-soaked desert.

The desert was a welcome change, and yet Mikkael felt all but welcomed by the end of their venture.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
It wasn't obvious at first, but now that he had a chance to sit there and look at the greenery, he began to see the fibers at the very edge of his perceptional ability piping life energy into the the green plants, every leaf glowing with health and vigor. His counterpart was alive... and growing even stronger if he could reach and alter life forms this far away from the entry point.

As he looked on into the garden, he suddenly realized that a pair of eyes were staring back at him - so concealed was the owner of the eyes that he had passed over without even noticing. Now that he did, the form emerged from the trees, a subtle shine of magic to its skin - the dragon fledgling he had 'adopted' back in Vel Da Ir.

"Cool, you're alive too." Yemhelch smiled. The dragon almost seemed to smile back - but he really couldn't tell with that stoic, calm face. "You know, I have this feeling you've been watching out for Phi-chan and the others. If it's true... then thanks. This world is fucked up but good."

They sat together, staring at the fireplace for a bit before the dragon quickly scuttled off after a strange striped insect flying by the window.

He closed his eyes and tried to shift his wavelengths - but again, the connection wasn't responding. For all intents and purposes, he was just a mortal man now. He felt a worrying mixture of regret, relief and concern as he checked his pulse and vital signs.

A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts and Philena's soft voice emanated from the heavy oaken doors. "I'm coming in."

"Sure."

The doors were opened and Philena entered, a vision of stately grace befitting that of a queen. Yemhelch gave a short bow to her - more to stop the guards from becoming more suspicious than they already were. Thankfully, she dismissed them and sat upon the chair as he took a seat on the bed.

"There's something important I must do." Philena started, in a matter-of-fact voice. "Check to see if anyone's listening by the door."

"Understood."

On padded feet, he snuck up to the door and wrenched it open - but aside from two guards at the end of the hallway, there was no one to be found. Flashing an OK! signal to Philena, he closed the door shut and turned the keys.

"Good, because this regalia's killing me." Philena groaned as she began to strip off her queen's multi-layered outfit. "Whew! These are way above just the usual tunics and robes I used to wear!"

Yemhelch fell in with some smalltalk as she shifted her clothing configuration to something a little more comfortable.

"So... you said you'd explain." Philena began after a bit. "That's why - first of all, I want to know who you truly are and why you ate the Scepter of Selk."

"I suppose it can't be helped. I did promise, after all." Yemhelch sighed. "Allright. I'll try to explain in a way you'll understand."

He took a deep breath and began. What he truly was, his original goals, meeting them, his newfound friendships, the reason why he ate the artifacts and his true form - all this he told her. Philena sat back and nodded as Yemhelch continued to explain the source behind Frenga Farms' outbreak.

"Interesting. So they're a mirror equivalent to adventurers exploring a new world. Weak and little at first, but growing stronger and stronger with each fight..."

As the discussion continued to the artifacts, Philena offered her own line of thinking. "So, you think that absorbing all 5 artifacts will allow you to fully enter our world?"

"That was the theory - until we discovered the sixth one. My counterpart seems to have absorbed her, and the power was so immense that I'm currently unable to telepathically connect to his world."

"World?"

"Indeed. Beyond the abyss lies the last stronghold of our existence. Should worst come to worst, I'm thinking we evacuate all we can to the city below the abyss. One of these days, I'll take you there and show you around."

The direction of the conversation changed to Mikkael and the cataclysm, and Yemhelch nodded. "Here's what we know so far. Baphomatt, you know him, right? He used some kind of artifact to rip the very soul out of Mikkael's body. Thanks to the sixth one, a human girl with overwhelming Willpower reserves and latent magickal power, we managed to salvage a bit of the shattered soul. Imagine our surprise when the most powerful artifact turned out to be not a weapon, not a god - but a human girl."

"I know about Ahnbein, too. Also, this artifact you mentioned... I've heard about it. The Book of the Dead, according to lore in Vel Da Ir." Philena answered. "Historical records found here also refer to a Tome of Shadows which may be the same thing."

"So, my plan is to track him down, then eat the artifact he used - and use it to return the souls he stole."

"He's become strong, huh?"

"Indeed, but so have I. That, and I have new allies."

"So I've heard. You sure gave that old geezer a fright back at the throne room, though." Philena laughed. "So, this abyss - is that where you're keeping Mikkael?"

"Yeah. I don't think there is a force in this world that can break in there." Yemhelch answered. "Don't worry, I always succeed with my crazy plans."

"Thank you for being honest with me." Philena smiled. "Even if you're not from this world, you're my honored friend. How'd you like to meet the child you saved that day?"

"... I'd like that very much. Is the little one doing well?"

--

The fibers were spreading.

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