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Main - The Kitchen Table (Role Play Forum) - The Edge of Reality
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Trelior
Posted on 10-23-19 06:30 PM Link | ID: 152071
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"They would have to be storing it and stockpiling it for something." Zarik begins to muse, "Although, from the rate they're siphoning from what I was able to gather data on with an aetheromoter I borrowed. Extrapolating the data I gathered to roughly the time Caionna has been here, and taking what I know about things that require such immense amounts of energy to execute... I'd say we have a big problem on our hands."

"A Primal?" Zissou inquires with urgency, "Surely they don't mean to..."

Zarik shakes his head, "They don't plan to summon one, no. They intend to make one of them ascend. And from how much they've gathered, this is gonna cause a calamity that makes Bahamut's escape from Dalamud look like a matchstick by comparison. The entirety of the plane of Henozal will be obliterated in short order if it isn't stopped."

The gravity of the situation is finally sinking into Caionna. Hearing Zarik speaking so matter-of-factly: without his typical jovial tone, or laced with profanities. Her face loses what little color it has from her pale complexion, and she timidly says, "You're scaring me. It sounds like Mother is trying to unleash a doomsday upon our home... And it will be my fault." Tears welling up in her eyes.

"That monster may be flesh and blood to us, but it is not our mother." Zarik says with a tinge of anger in his voice, "I refuse to acknowledge such an evil being as having any familial tie to me, and neither should you. If we were so godsdamned important to her, she wouldn't have left us for dead all those years ago. We are a social pariah on that mountain, naught more than tools to them. That bastard proclaimed as much." The anger in Zarik's voice grows as he speaks.

Taking the shift in his statement, he snaps the topic over, "As for Zerilisk, himself, he's part of the noble class on Twilight Reach, the caste at about the level we would belong to if we weren't outcast for being, in his words, half-human filth. Pompous and holier-than-thou toward everyone he deems inferior to him. The kind of lowlife that would kick a puppy to gleefully listen to it cry out in pain. It's unlikely that someone like him would actively call to arms, he'd be too busy being a hedonist, whoring on slaves, and discarding them when he's done with them."

Zissou perks a brow and says, "How do you know this if you are disallowed to be anywhere near the aerie?"

"You'd be surprised what you learn as a street urchin. Especially when there are frequent kidnappings of girls and women from the ghetto you shack up in." Zarik takes a deep breath, "When you're in a city that's so close to the Reach that it's subjugated into what boils down to mafioso 'protection', things add up pretty damn quick. Word gets around. These dragons look benevolent to any outsiders, but the truth of their malevolence shines through when you're crushed in their talons."

Shaking his head, he adds, "It wasn't a matter of overpowering him with the proper weapon, it was about fighting on even footing. If I were to fight him with a weapon I haven't hone my proficiency with, I would have been easy prey for him."

By this point, Caionna is trying her hardest to not burst into fearful crying. Taking notice, both Zissou and Zarik glance at Bel and subtly dart their eyes from him to her and back, repeatedly.


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-24-19 05:30 AM (rev. 2 of 10-24-19 05:44 AM by ゼンガー・ゾンボルト) Link | ID: 152083

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Bel has been listening in and silently become more and more upset with what he's hearing. Not only for Caionna's sake, but because of the sheer vileness of the atrocity that's obviously been commited. At one point the bar area might have been shaking mildly from the sheer force of Bel's anger. This, however, disappeared as soon as it started as Bel did his best to control himself. Bel notices Caionna growing more and more agitated and walks over to her by the sofa and motions her to sit down, if she's not already doing so.

Bel: Easy, Cai. Take deep breaths. Look at me. Bel says as he places his hand around her shoulders to comfort her and looks at her with a serious yet calm look in his eyes.

Bel: Zarik is right. This isn't your fault. None of it. None. You understand? It may be your power they're draining but you're not giving it up willingly. You've just been here the whole time. You're not actively taking part of what they're doing. You're the victim here. Not the culprit. They're taking what does not belong to them. Your power is yours alone.

Bel takes a moment to catch his breath and notices that with each passing second, his hatred for the ones behind this evil scheme grows ever stronger.

Bel: They may have been your family before but no longer. No family worth the name would do this to their own flesh and blood. They don't deserve you. They don't even deserve to breathe the same air as you. I know it feels like your whole world is crumbling, I really do. You've been lied to and abused in a way no one should be. But try to not let this break you down. Don't give them that pleasure. I know it's easy for me to say this, but...I just hate seeing you like this. It may feel like you don't have anyone but...you have us. You have me. You always will.

We're your true family and I promise you we'll do everything we can to help you get through this. We'll destroy those responsible for what they've done. I wish I could talk about this in a less aggressive manner but there's just no lesser punishment that'd do it justice. They have to answer for this.

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Trelior
Posted on 10-24-19 09:25 PM (rev. 2 of 10-24-19 10:01 PM by Trelior) Link | ID: 152100
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Caionna grabs hold of Bel and cries into his chest, "But I'm more or less complicit because I stayed put and allowed it to happen. How could I have been so foolish?"

"To be fair, Cai, Aesalth is known to be deceitful with her words. She knows how to manipulate people by telling them what they want to hear, or making it sound appealing in a way that makes them think it's their idea." Zarik states flatly, his racing mind not giving him time to realize he shouldn't be using such a cold tone, "I should have known she shouldn't be trusted, but she got me in on the idea, too. I should have known that something was up when she waited 60 years to try to reach out to us again."

Zissou interjects, "I do not mean to be dismissive, but you must keep in mind: to a dragon that is isolated to living with other dragons, the passage of time feels negligible when compared to those who live their lives around mortals, as you do. Surely, you remember the Dragonsong War, Hresvelgr said that the millennium the war raged for felt like a brief period to him, and Nidhogg's horde."

"So what you're saying is: We weren't forgotten, it just happened that her chance to use 'her tools' in a new way took, essentially, several minutes." Zarik pieces together aloud.

With a nod, Zissou responds, "I feel that is correct."

Finally addressing Bel's postulation, Zarik shakes his head, "No. We were never family wo that thing. I remember the village elder saying that the brood of eggs we were born from was exiled immediately. The counsel didn't like the affair between Aesalth and Derigan, our father, and she was given an ultimatum to exile the man and their children or suffer excommunication, herself. I think that she never loved him, and knew that if she had his children and offed him, that she could fashion one of us into a tool to be used remotely. Well, things didn't go exactly as she had planned, so she thought of a way to get us into her thrall after all."




Far away, a shadowy figure gazes into a scrying crystal. Watching and listening to the conversation.

"That one is far smarter than he looks." The shadowy figure rumbles, "He may not have the exact details, but he is putting the pieces together far more quickly than we had anticipated. We must act quickly, before they have time to mobilize against us! Zarilisk!"

"Yes? Your orders?" Another shadowy figure responds.

"Bring me the girl. But ensure she is not harmed. She is too useful to me." the first voice crows.

"What of the men?" Zerilisk questions.

"Do what you must. The male is too savvy to us to be trusted. The elf is of little consequence." the voice growls.

"As you wish, Mistress Aesalth!" With little hesitation, he leaves to make his preparations.


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-25-19 04:29 AM Link | ID: 152109

Larry Koopa
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Bel: Not true. You didn't allow anything to happen, Cai. Don't blame yourself for this. You didn't know. None of us did. Sure, it was pretty obvious something was wrong but we could never have anticipated this.

Bel spends a few moments thinking about various things.

Bel: Since Caionna's power is being siphoned, would there be a way to make it a two-way stream? And allow her to take it back? Also, we're gonna need allies for this. And weapons. Specifically the dragon-killing kind.

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Trelior
Posted on 10-25-19 06:31 PM (rev. 2 of 10-25-19 11:12 PM by Trelior) Link | ID: 152111
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"To get it back through their means would require us to not only know where it's being taken from her here, but also where it's going to on the other plane." Zarik says, "And since I can't help but feel they may be mobilizing soon, I think we need to preemptively put tracking signals on ourselves to help us locate each other if we get separated."

Zissou nods, "That sounds wise. I will get started on the preparations for that posthaste." He then walks toward his room in the inn loft.

"As far as dragon-killing weapons, nothing comes to mind that is wield-able by you and Zissou that won't also hurt me and Cai. A Dragon Slayer sword is a heavy bastard, so it's unlikely you guys could handle it. I'm not sure what interaction Cai has had with it, but Dragonsbane gives me one hell of an allergic reaction. Likely because I'm part dragon, and trying to use it with either of us around will give the tactic away. It may just come down to wit and luck to win this."


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-25-19 09:17 PM Link | ID: 152112

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Bel: Well, that's just lovely. I'm gonna have to see if I can find a spell that allows me to temporarily change proficiency/class or other types of weapons that may work then. I refuse to rely on luck for this.

Also, seeing as they've been able to interdimensionally draining power from Cai, it's also possible they've been able to spy on us. Should've thought of that sooner.

Bel spends some time in thought before turning his attention back to Caionna.

Bel: How're you holding up? Is there anything else I can do to help?

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Trelior
Posted on 10-25-19 11:40 PM (rev. 2 of 10-26-19 03:07 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 152118
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"I can't say I blame you on that. It's not like any of us are Joseph Joestar." Zarik jests, with a short laugh. "As for a transformation, I know Cai can use one of her spells to trade her intellectual attributes for physical ones, but I don't know how that could turn the tides for us. It's one thing for getting a fighting chance in a scuffle where magic is otherwise not permitted, but when you're fighting creatures that can be as big as five times your size, it seems unlikely that you'd do more than a bee sting to them, if you can even scalp any scales off."

Suddenly, Zarik, Bel, and Cai glow with a red light that fades after a few seconds, and they can suddenly sense a distinct signature coming from each other, as well as a minutely fainter signal coming from Zissou's room. "That was fast." Zarik notes.

Cai doesn't respond to Bel, but she has stopped crying. She is holding onto him tightly, uncertain if it's to make her feel secure, or to maintain balance with how she's leaning off her stool to hold onto him. She's nuzzling his chest, and seems at peace. Unable to help himself, Zarik puts on his best smug-sounding movie trailer announcer voice and says, "Belgarion Liadon: Dragon Whisperer. Able to calm the tumultuous emotions of typically dangerous creatures." Dropping the voice, he bursts into quiet laughter, to not wake her.


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-26-19 11:18 AM Link | ID: 152120

Larry Koopa
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Bel doesn't say anything to respond to Zarik. He wraps his arms around Caionna to make it more comfortable for her. It should be obvious to most at this point that everything has been to make her feel secure.

(You deserve some rest after that. It must've caused you feel even more exhausted than you already did. I won't go anywhere. I promise.)

He looks at Caionna, content that he's been able to help. However, it'd be a lie to say that it was solely because of that and not also because he was able to get his feelings through to her. But that's not important right now.

(I wish rest was all you needed to get your strength back. But this is just the calm before the storm. I know they're coming. I can feel it in my very bones. And we have to be ready for them.)

Bel unwittingly looks in exact direction of the scrying crystal with an expression that'd make even the most evil creature flinch, if only for a moment. He's not aware of this expression himself. Perhaps something in Caionna is beginning to stir something within him.


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Trelior
Posted on 10-26-19 07:50 PM Link | ID: 152128
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From the darkness, Aesalth meets Bel's gaze through the looking glass. Unfazed, a crooked smile crosses her face. "Good," she rumbles, "The elf's anger brings me much joy. Seeing him fly into a rage over the girl is amusing to me. Perhaps he will give me a fight worth relishing."

After a moment's pause, she says, "Now if only that bumbling buffoon I sent to collect the girl would hurry up. The longer he takes, the more preparedness time they get, which only plays into their hands."


"Alright," Zarik says, "We need strategy now. Anti-dragon warfare isn't exactly in the cards, as I stated. i know what you three are capable of. Given the enemies we're likely to face, you guys may get the majority of the heavy lifting, unfortunately. If Zerilisk is even half as intelligent as he pretends to be, he would instruct his forces to steer clear of me. Range isn't my strong suit, and they know I have brute strength that can overwhelm the drakes in his command."

Getting an idea, he calls upstairs, "Hey old man! Hurry up and get down here! I have a question for you!"

Shortly after, Zissou emerges from his room and makes his way back to where Zarik and the others are. With an eyebrow raised, he inquires, "What is it?"

"Something I should have asked ages ago, if I knew you actually had this tracking power you just remotely imbued us with." Zarik begins, "Any chance you could tag Aren with another shot of it? I mean, surely, you can pick him out and make him easy to find. He's your kid, after all."

"If only it were that simple, Zarik." Zissou retorts, "There is the limitation of the range of the spell. You three were close enough for me to identify and forge the link. Arendal is in a hitherto, and as of current, unknown location. Simply knowing his aetheric signature is insufficient." Shaking his head, he quips, "Truly, range is not your forte, boy."

Zarik winces at the jab, the truth hurts, "Well, my plan was to have you, Bel, and Cai on full-force firepower. Since Aren is more or less a dedicated healer, he would have to back us up. But I guess I should have expected a hitch in my idea..."


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-26-19 09:21 PM Link | ID: 152129

Larry Koopa
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Bel is still keeping a lower-than-average volume of speech so as to not wake Caionna.

Bel: I suppose I shouldn't just prod at them with middle-tier spells first but go with the biggest spells I have? The only problem with that is that there's gonna be a lot of collateral damage to go with it. Gonna have to think outside the box for this one. I'm already getting some ideas.

I don't suppose it's possible to bait Zerilisk into attacking where we want him to? If he's their commander, taking him out should demoralize the rest of them. Then again, that goes for any battle. Or should. I'm pretty confident that I can keep him in place long enough for Zarik to get some hits in.

Bel looks at Caionna for a few moments and realizes he doesn't like the idea of her fighting now that her morale has pretty much been torn apart.

(Gonna have to do something about that. I don't wanna talk out of my ass, though. Worst case, I'm gonna have to fight for both of us.)


Bel: Question, though. How much can Caionna put out in her weakened state? I don't doubt her power but a broken spirit is really bad. I just hope I was able to mend some of that.

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Trelior
Posted on 10-27-19 03:05 AM (rev. 3 of 10-27-19 05:56 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 152137
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"I don't like the idea of forcing her to fight either, but this is a case of having to fight for what's ours. I think it would be more detrimental to her in the long run to sideline her in this." Zarik says at length, "If she were to look back on this and see herself doing nothing while we did all the fighting, it would likely break her pride. She didn't fight to become the best she could be to be brushed aside in a trial where that, for all intents and purposes, would be her chance to prove herself. Not that she has to prove anything to us."

Taking a moment, Zarik says abruptly, "We should gather our things to prepare to leave. There's no guarantee this place will be here if we win. It'd be a shame if someone lost something of theirs because it got erased from existence." Turning to go back outside, he says, "I'll be in my workshop, come back when you're ready." He then disappears through the threshold.

"That seems wise." Zissou starts, making his way back toward his room to gather his things, "Please gently wake Caionna and brief her on our plans, Belgarion."


From a distant, dark corner of the room, Zerilisk observes, thinking to himself, 'Aw, these fools are making this easier for me than I had anticipated. Shouldn't look the gift horse in the mouth. This should be easy with the brute and the mutt predisposed. I'll strike once the girl gets some distance from the elf.'


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-28-19 06:41 AM (rev. 2 of 10-28-19 06:41 AM by ゼンガー・ゾンボルト) Link | ID: 152155

Larry Koopa
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Bel: On it. (I don't like the idea of not having a plan B, though. We should at least have a backup strategy given that the enemy might already know what we're going to do. )

Bel: Hey. Cai. I'm sorry about this but you're gonna have to wake up now. It's time. Bel says with a loud enough voice to wake her but not scare her in the process.

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Trelior
Posted on 10-28-19 08:45 PM Link | ID: 152166
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Hearing the sound of Bel's voice, Cai wakes up and realizes that he was subconsciously clutching onto him. Her face turns a bright red in embarrassment. She lets go and hops to the opposite edge of her stool. Using her sleeve, she wipes the corner of her mouth subconsciously to dry it in case she was drooling. Avoiding eye contact with Bel, she hands him a nearby tea towel to do the same for where her face was pressed against him.

Still so bright red, she's practically glowing, she says, "I guess I should gather my things, then." Laughing nervously, she adds, "Can't go unprepared, right?" With the embarrassment, or just the weakness she is experiencing, she gets up and takes uneven steps toward her office.

Suddenly, from the corner, Zerilisk's eyes flash, and he says to himself, "Now's my chance!" his words dripping with a noxious excitement. He bolts from his camouflaged position in the shadows. With blinding speed, he launches toward the bar and jumps at Bel.

Making contact, he kicks off the elf's chest to attack and change direction toward Cai. The force easily knocking Bel back. The dragon tackles and grapples Cai. Making a swiping motion with a clawed hand, a portal opens and he disappears through it with an obnoxious cackle. Caionna begins to scream in terror, but it is suddenly silenced as the portal closes instantly behind him.

All trace of Caionna is gone from the room, save for an envelope slowly falling to the floor where she was standing.


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-29-19 11:06 AM Link | ID: 152173

Larry Koopa
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Bel lands on his back halfway across the room with a thud, but isn't hurt. Sitting up, pretty much how he landed, he annoyingly taps the fingers of his right on the floor as he contemplates what just happened. Actually, he knows full-well what happened but the sheer annoyance of not being able help Caionna prevents him from doing anything else for a few moments.

He slams his fist into the floorboard so hard it nearly cracks and exclaims a chain of curses so loud it's almost heard at Zarik's workshop.


Bel: DAMN!

He picks up the the towel Caionna gave him and stares at it for a while. (Really, Cai? A towel? What good's that gonna do now?)

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Trelior
Posted on 10-29-19 06:36 PM Link | ID: 152177
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Zarik and Zissou rush back to the main hall, Zarik taking far less time than would be anticipated. Assessing the room, Zissou cries out, "What is the meaning of this?!"

Zarik notices the distinct lack of his sister immediately, followed by Bel sitting on the floor. Saying nothing, he walks over to where Cai was upon being grabbed. Seeing the envelope, he reaches down and picks it up. Opening it up, he withdraws the letter from inside and unfolds it.

Several moments later, Zarik slaps the letter down onto the counter top, and wordlessly follows the instructions. There is a menacing shadow over his face, and his anger is noticeably peaking. Grabbing the novel from the table, he moves to the door to Cai's office and disappears.

Zissou helps Bel to his feet, then wonders aloud, "What has gotten into Zarik?" walking over to the letter on the counter, he picks it up and reads it.

Guys,

I don't know what's happening, but I've been kidnapped by a dragon. I need you guys to to hurry and rescue me. I don't know what they plan to do with me, and it terrifies me. I didn't see much, but this place reeks to high hell. Must have been a group of black dragons. Be careful.

I thought I heard you say something about getting ready, so go into my office. In there, you'll find three large tomes and my bag. Put my tomes and my novel into the bag and envision a second letter.

Hurry, I'm scared.


Moments pass and Zarik emerges from the office, second letter in one hand, reading it, the bag in the other. Tossing the bag at Zissou, he tersely says, "Old man, here!"

"What is the meaning of this?" Zissou says calmly, despite his obvious panic.

"I'll explain on the way, we don't have time. This is worse than I anticipated." He says as he makes deliberate steps toward the door. Looking at the paper in his hand, he snaps his fingers. The nameless patrons are all suddenly pulled into portals to their home worlds, and Bakk is enveloped in a bubble that follows Zarik. The page in his hand glows, then returns to normal.

Reaching his shed, he walks inside. Zissou follows, carrying the bag over his shoulder.


NSMB bubbling Bakk for when Robbie comes, he can join in seamlessly.



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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 10-29-19 07:10 PM (rev. 3 of 10-29-19 09:33 PM by ゼンガー・ゾンボルト) Link | ID: 152179

Larry Koopa
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Bel mumbles incoherently as he's being helped to his feet. He dusts himself off and stretches eventual aching bodyparts before he begins explaining as he follows Zissou and Zarik.

Bel: The meaning of that was a stinking sneak attack. I was just about to start filling Caionna in about the plan when she jumps over to the other side of the stool she was sitting on, obviously embarrased about clinging to me. Before I could say anything, she went off to get her things. That was the idea, at least.

That no-good low-level excuse for a dragon Zerilisk was already here. There was no magic signature. And despite my reaction time, I wasn't quick enough. But that was only because he got the jump on me. Next time I see him, he'll die.

As for my things...I have all of it on me. What else do we need?
-----------------------------
Continuing here.

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Trelior
Posted on 02-03-20 10:20 AM (rev. 2 of 02-04-20 04:42 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 154355
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Continuing from >>154354


The party comes through the portal to a strange platform in an expanse of pitch black flecked with blips of white light in the extreme distance.

The platform they appeared on is framed with a tall golden fence that has a singular opening straight ahead. Outside of that fence is a short stairwell that leads to another similarly fenced area with a pavilion with picnic tables situated under it. Street lamps punctuate the corners of the fenced area, while ordinary lamps illuminate the pavilion.

From the perspective of the stairs down, the corner to the left houses a door frame with seemingly nothing behind it. A placard hung lazily and lopsidedly reads 'Rest your weary soul, traveler.' In the corner to the right leads out to a viewing platform that overlooks what appears to be the forming of a planet with a large pot with what appears to be a small sapling sitting as the focal point in the center. The sapling is orbited by six colored orbs of red, yellow, green, blue, gold, and silver. The purpose of the sapling and orbs is not immediately apparent. And finally, the corner straight across leads to what appears to be a darker, more peaceful, seating area that more closely resembles the tavernesque nature of the pocket worlds the party had hitherto been accustomed to.

Cai walks down to the pavilion area and says as she turns to the group, "It isn't much, but it should help feel like home. As you can see, I still have a lot of work to do... But I feel we can get back to business as usual with what we have now."

Pointing to the door to her right with the sign, she says, "If you need to retire to a room, just approach the door and it will send you to a room tailored to your needs. While intended to be solo, it can... Accommodate... for pairs or groups." Shooting a glance at Zarik and Neris, then locking gaze with Bel. "The rooms are even magically segregated such that they are entirely private. Surely I don't need to elaborate why." Glaring daggers at Aren.

"Oooh! Sounds exciting!" Neris chirps, "C'mon Zar! I can't wait!" Grabbing his arm and trying to drag the comparative behemoth toward the door.

"You most certainly can." Zarik states, standing firm. "If you were too tired to socialize and had to be woken up, you're too tired to do anything else." This is a clear attempt to get time alone to rest, himself.

"Okay, fine!" Neris squawks in protest. Then heads to the door and disappears behind it.

Zarik follows suit, but goes into his own room.

Zissou steps down and toward the observation platform, "I wish to admire your handiwork. I shall be gazing upon the fledgling world if needed."

Aren shrugs and says, "I guess I should piss off, too. Cai probably doesn't want me around more than I have to. Not gonna push my luck, either way." Heading toward the door, he says, "If you need me, you know where to find me."


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ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 02-04-20 04:50 AM Link | ID: 154381

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As Bel steps through the platform, he immediately walks over to the edge of the platform to get a better view of things. He looks carefully in each direction to get a good impression of things.

(Yep, definitely far from done.)

He follows Caionna down the stairs to the pavillion area and waits for her to describe her creations. He nods towards when she locks gaze with him. He watches the others walk to and disappear behind the door, waiting to get some words in with Caionna.


Bel: Ok, that looks really weird. I know you're most likely gonna remedy the...uh, absence of things around that door, for instance, at a later point. And from your description, it sounds like each room is a pocket-dimension of sorts.

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Posted on 02-04-20 05:29 AM Link | ID: 154383
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"Not exactly pocket dimensions." Cai tries to explain, "More instantiated rooms. It's hard to explain, but you don't leave this plane in any sense to enter."

Looking at the doorway, she shrugs, and says, "Is it really all that strange? What do you find harder to believe? The fact we're floating around in space, or the fact that the inn is incorporeal?"

Sitting down at one of the tables, she puts her head down. "Maybe it'll strike me as odd after I've had the chance to sleep a bit. I'm absolutely exhausted, but I can't fall asleep."


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Posted on 02-04-20 06:38 AM (rev. 2 of 02-04-20 06:39 AM by ゼンガー・ゾンボルト) Link | ID: 154384

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Bel: Just said it looks weird. It's not like walking through a normal door, after all.

Bel walks over to Caionna and sits down next to her. Then he wraps his arm around her.

Bel: Why can't you fall asleep? Is it because of the loneliness you spoke of before? Maybe it's best if we went to a room of our own so you can get some rest.

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