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Main - The Kitchen Table (Role Play Forum) - Trial by Dragon Blood
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Trelior
Posted on 12-28-19 07:08 AM (rev. 2 of 12-29-19 03:21 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 153341
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"I think you may be right, Bel." Zarik says, still shaking his hand from the moisture, "On the other hand, Neris is pretty much as good as she's gonna get without rest and a crazy bulk-up diet."

Aren perks a brow at Zarik's wrist flicks, "What's that about?" he asks, mimicking the gesture.

Zarik hesitates, and says, "It was finally time to repair that, and she insisted I be the one to fondle her. Long story short, it was like the female version of blue balls releasing a torrent."

Blatantly ignoring the discomfort cues from his business partner, he jokes, "I bet that was amazing!"

"Normally, I'd agree." Zarik says with a mild shudder, "But I'm not interested in her like that. At least not in the shape she's in now, because she's still kinda gross to think about like that. Visible skeleton from undernourishment, and a sickliness to how pale she is."

Taking an opportunity to take a pot shot at Bel, Aren says with a chuckle, "Yeah, she probably isn't the kinda hot pale that I think a certain someone likes about Cai."

Zarik throws his hands to his ears and shouts, "Ah! Shut up! Keep those thoughts about my sister where I can't hear them! Thanks!" then pretends to not be able to hear him anymore.

All of a sudden, dark smoke begins welling up out of Neris' hut. The doctor staggers out of the door and is visibly coughing heavily.

The townsfolk sound the alarm and begin scattering frantically to gather their tools to fight the imminent blaze.

Zarik motions to the others to follow, as he mutters to himself, "Shit! shit! shit! shit! shit!"

Aren and Zissou follow on his heels. Zissou shouts, "What is the meaning of this!?"

"The worst-case scenario we prepped for is likely happening!" Zarik shouts back, "Take a position at the perimeter and prevent anyone from throwing water directly onto the house!"

"Why though?" Aren asks, "Don't we want to stop the blaze?"

Zarik places two fingers between his lips and lets out a shrill whistle, "Because when a phoenix is immolating, you don't want her extinguishing by any means than on her own! I mean, I'm not an expert, but consider it a hunch!"

Roff rushes out of the inn and bolts over as well, crying out, "Control th' blaze! Dinnae touch th' buildin'! Let tha hoose burn, but 'alt the fire from spreadin' aut!"

The next several minutes are filled with a cacophonic roar between the blaze engulfing the structure, Zarik and co shouting constant reminders to not do anything stupid, and the townsfolk panicking while trying to follow their orders.

After what feels like hours, the inferno finally abates with a fireball rocketing into the sky that explodes into a distinct bird silhouette. The building is, surprisingly enough, torched flush with the ground it was built on. Very little of the grass and dirt around it had been touched, so it left a nearly perfect perimeter of scorch marks.

"Everybody! Stay back!" Zarik shouts over the bristling murmurs, "In fact! Go back to your duties as if nothing out of the ordinary happened here today!"

"Aye!" Roff reinforces, "Lestin tae th' lad! Nothin' tae see 'ere! Off with ye! Sca'er!"

Zarik rushes to the medic and shouts, "What the hell happened!? You were supposed to be monitoring her!"

"I don't know, Chief!" the man stammers, "She was fine until a few minutes after you left! Then she just plummeted to oblivion!"

"Fuck!" Zarik shouts, "I don't know if she's going to reappear here from the ashes, or if she was that fire bird we saw at the end of it, and disappeared into Author knows where!" He rushes to the edge of the scorched earth and scans the ashes, he then shouts, "Roff! You have the pull with the town, get the most trustworthy guards together to monitor the remains and make sure no one steals any of the ash for any reason. I need to search around for clues if Neris ended up somewhere else!"

"Aye lad!" Roff shouts back, "Do wha' ye need tae do! I got this under mah control!"

Zarik gives a saluting wave and takes off. Summoning his wings, he leaps into the sky.

Over at Cai's lean-to, the dragon girl begins to show faint signs of stirring.

ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 12-29-19 02:37 AM Link | ID: 153354
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Bel ignores the jab by Aren and looks over towards Neris's hut when the smoke starts welling out from it. He rises from his seated position, raises an eyebrow and says: I think you made her too hot, Zarik.

He continues to watch the townsfolk running around like headless chickens and shakes his head. (Panicking is never a good idea in these situations.)

He follows the fireball into the sky aswell as the following explosion. (Hmm. Then the question is if she's still here somewhere or if she landed in another town like an artillery grenade.)

Noticing the rustling of the hay around Caionna, he quickly snaps his head back in her direction.


Bel: Hey, guys. We have movements over here. I'd assume she sensed what happened to Neris.

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Trelior
Posted on 12-29-19 03:40 AM (rev. 2 of 12-29-19 10:09 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 153357
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Zissou shakes his head, and says with a laugh, "Too hot? She apparently blew off a lot of steam."

"Dad!" Aren exclaims, "How can you make jokes and laugh right now?!"

"Simple, Arendal." Zissou states, "No matter what has happened to Neristhana, she is surely perfectly fine. She is a phoenix after all. I only wish I was able to help look for her. Instead, I must standby for--" He cuts himself off and says in a surprised tone, "Come again, Belgarion?"

"If Zarik heard you say that, he would probably freak out!" Aren exclaims, "Although, it does seem strange that he's so impassioned by wanting to save her if he's so disinterested in her."

"You miss the point, Arendal." Zissou responds, "He refuses to reciprocate her lust. He still cares greatly for her."

"Do you think she understands that?" Aren asks.

"It is difficult to say." Zissou shrugs, "Zarik has confided in me his plan for her. He will prompt her with an ultimatum. If she succeeds, he will concede to her because it will mean she has built a bond he would be content with. If not, he will not abandon her, but he will not entertain her advances. Much like he has thus far."

"But why is he confiding this stuff to you?" Aren seems confused, "He usually talks about personal shit like this to me."

"He has decided to take up my tutelage offer, and between fizzling spells, he candidly speaks." Zissou shrugs it off, "I feel he is uncertain of the course he is taking, and wishes to speak to someone with the life experience. He also may fear your judgment. This is a trying time for him."

Aren is visibly taken aback. and he says, "He's worried about me judging him? That's uncharacteristic of the Zarik I know."

"This past week has had an effect on his outlook on facets of himself." Zissou postulates, "Much of his concern is centered on Neristhana, and what those around him will think about his involvement with her."

"Normally, he doesn't give a shit about anyone's opinion." Aren says wistfully, "Maybe he's afraid of showing a side that isn't a 'gives no shits' hard-ass, and it would show a side of weakness. He's not exactly a universally liked guy."

"When you are not only involved in a phenomenal force in manufacturing, but also an unparalleled martial force... You tend to make fierce foes." Zissou says, "Surely you have your fair share as well, being an equal partner in the endeavor. If the wrong person sees he has a soft spot for the girl, she will likely become a target, especially if her true identity is revealed."

"Good point..." Aren concedes.

Caionna lay still once again. It is clear she is back, but hasn't come to quite yet.

ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 12-29-19 07:52 PM Link | ID: 153362
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Bel: I said Caionna began to move ever so slightly. She's back to being completely still now, though. I assume it was Neris's reraise, so to speak, that may have triggered Caionna to start moving.

You didn't think I meant my comment about Zarik, did you?

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Trelior
Posted on 12-30-19 03:34 AM Link | ID: 153371
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"It seems awfully convenient that she seems to be coming around with Zarik finishing up with Neris." Aren says, "You do't think she was pulling the strings, do you?"

"Whatever do you mean, Arendal?" Zissou inquires.

"I dunno. It just seems a little too coincidental that Neris goes up in smoke and Cai waking up." Aren shrugs.

A low groan comes from Cai, as if in response, but nothing else happens.

Several hours later, Zarik comes back empty handed. He lands very gracelessly among his friends.

Covering his face; he says into his hands, forlornly, "I don't get it, guys... I searched everywhere. I can't find Neris anywhere."

ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 12-31-19 01:16 AM Link | ID: 153377
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Bel looks like he's deep in thought.

Bel: Hmm. Let's go over the signs again then, shall we? First there was smoke, then the building caught fire and lastly the fireball with the phoenix explosion at the end. Did Neris leave the building during any of this? Could she have? Or is there something to this whole "rise from the ashes" thing? We never saw the firebird take off in any direction.

He walks over to where the building was and carefully examines the area.

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Trelior
Posted on 12-31-19 02:32 AM Link | ID: 153380
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Zarik just lays where he crash landed, defeated.

As Bel looks over the soot and ash, there is a rather noticeably out of place mound in the center of the perimeter. It moves ever so slightly, and faint coughing can be heard.

ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 12-31-19 03:55 AM (rev. 3 of 12-31-19 03:56 AM by ゼンガー・ゾンボルト) Link | ID: 153381
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(Well, that was easy enough.)

Bel: Hey, Zarik. You can stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick yourself up. It actually baffles me how easily you give up. And you may want to start digging over here. I can't imagine dirt being that healthy to swallow.

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Trelior
Posted on 12-31-19 04:52 AM (rev. 2 of 12-31-19 05:39 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 153382
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Zarik gets up and dusts himself off, "I dunno why you're being so snarky about giving up! I was actually actively looking for her all day!" he begins walking over to Bel as he speaks.

"Gonna have to agree with Zarik." Aren adds, "What would you have done if you were in his shoes?"

Zarik reaches the hut-made-dust and wades through the ashes. Spotting the mound after hearing it cough, he rushes over and starts digging.

Several minutes pass as he sifts through the dense soot, he finds what he's looking for. Wrenching Neris gently out of the grit, there are things immediately noticeably different about despite being caked with sediment. As he cradles her in his arms; she is still markedly short, her mass has significantly increased meaning no more visible skeleton through her skin, her breasts are fuller and appear as if they will fill a narrow B cup, and most importantly, her feathers glitter with a beautiful iridescence in the sunset.

She lets out a deep cough, spewing heavy soot directly into Zarik's face, "What happened?" She says in a choked voice, but with a markedly fuller voice, "Why do I feel so weird?"

Zarik coughs in response to being peppered with a lung full of ash, then says, "You went through a rebirth cycle thanks to your phoenix heritage." Giving her an outward jostle in a kind of rebuke for coughing on him, the ash falls off of her, giving a better view of her assets. Averting his gaze, he says, "I wish I had known you were here all day! You had me worried sick!"

"How was I supposed to know?" she protests, "But what does it matter now? You saved me again!"

"Don't get too used to it!" He jokes, "I thought you flew off like a rocket because your fire flew into the sky and exploded into a bird shape!" Carrying her to Cai's lean-to, he calls out, "Let's get her something to cover up with!"

"I wish I could have seen that!" Neris says, awed, then she looks over herself, then coyly at him, "But what if I want to flaunt my healthy body around and give you a show? I feel great now, and probably meet your visual standards."

He gives her an intense angry glare, and says, "Knock it off! Did you forget what I told you this morning? Grow up, and I'll think about taking you up on your peep show!"

"Oh..." Neris says flatly with the realization he was serious.

Roff pops out of the inn with a blanket to swaddle Neris in. As Zarik puts her down onto her new talons, he swoops in and wraps her for modesty purposes. He quips, "Och, lassie, yer in need o' a bath! Ye may have been able to rattle out yer plumage, but yer normal lass bits are a mite filthy!"

Neris merely gives a thousand yard stare, not understanding what the dwarf was saying.

Zarik chimes in, "She likely doesn't understand what it means to bathe, why she would need to, and how to do it."

"Wot ye mean, lad?!" Roff exclaims, incredulously.

"We found her on the Reach in absolute filth." Zarik hesitates to say the next part, "She was little more than a cum dump for the dragons, and they likely rarely fed her, gave her water to even drink, and she was filthy until Cai cleaned her up with magic. I thought I told you about that."

"Och tha's righ'." Roff says sheepishly, "I dae recall sayin' how she looked like she was on death's doorstep."

"I'm right here!" Neris coughs, "Was I really that bad?"

"Did you think I was kidding when we said you were disgusting to be around before you were cleaned up? Then you were not exactly nice to look at?" Zarik questions, "While it was incredibly rude, you weren't exactly giving us room for tact."

"Oh.." She says, feigning not being upset at the combination of his words and the reflection on her behavior, "Can I plead that I wasn't myself, and it was before Caionna's influence?"

"Only to an extent." A familiar feminine voice rings out, "While you were under the influence of Aesalth, you were acting on instinct and what you had been instilled with. You are still partially at fault."

"Caionna!" Neris practically screeches, barreling toward the dragon clumsily, but for different reason than before. Unable to free herself from Roff's blanket, she unceremoniously tackles her. "Thank you for everything!"

"Thank me by fulfilling Zarik's demands." Caionna snorts.

"Hang on... What?" Zarik asks, not quite able to connect the dots.

"I'll explain later." Cai says shortly, "I believe there's someone who has something to say to me." She glances in Bel's direction.

ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 01-01-20 09:31 PM Link | ID: 153418
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Bel: I suppose it was a bit harsh but my comment should indicate what I'd have done. Even after looking for that long I still wouldn't have given up. In any case, it was just an attempt to spur you into continuing, Zarik.

Bel watches and listen to the conversation for the time being, finding he has nothing to contribute. At least not until he suddenly hears Caionna's voice behind him.

Bel: I do? The wizard questions after Caionna finishes talking.

Bel: I suppose. Three things, actually. First, I should probably apologize for my behavior in my transformed state. The initial pain was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. I wasn't entirely myself, fueled by hatred as I was. Nearly robbed you of your prey.

Second, you don't have to feel like my telepathy is an intrusion. I wouldn't use it to try and spy on you. I only use it as a means of communication if I feel it's necessary. Or if there's no other way to communicate. Like earlier. Besides, telepathy is a two-way stream.

Third, it's nice to see you're okay. Not that we ever doubted you'd make it.

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Trelior
Posted on 01-01-20 10:24 PM (rev. 2 of 01-02-20 03:18 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 153420
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"Be that what it may," Caionna begins with Bel's first point, "As harsh as this will come across, you must know what fights are yours. Assistance is one thing, but trying to butt in as primary assailant is overstepping boundaries." Seamlessly moving to the next point, she continues, "I understand that telepathy is a two-way street. I know I need to work on my trust issues, and will probably start by being less stringent about your chosen communication method." With some hesitation, she concludes, "I should probably note that I could have returned to my body at any time after being rent from it. Seeing as I had an idea of what Zarik had in mind with Neristhana, I stayed astral and sought out not only our father, but hers."

At this point, Zarik interrupts, "Wait. You deliberately sought them out? How did you even find her dad?"

Neris cranes her neck back to try to meet Cai's gaze, then gives her a quizzically confused expression.

"Of course." Cai says flatly, "Papa wan't hard to find since his spirit was released when Aesalth's physical form was obliterated. He told me that he was proud of me for succeeding where he failed, and imparted that because of his freedom, you were granted access to your magical inheritance from him. He didn't go into detail, but he said that you were deprived that part of your human heritage because of his imprisonment."

"That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but okay... I guess." Zarik scratches his head.

Neris nudges Caionna's neck with her head and says, "What about my dad? How did you find him? What did he say?!" Her excitement increasing with every question.

Cai nudges back gently, the mass difference between the two women causing Neriss to stumble backward. "I simply plane shifted to the Elemental Plane of Fire and and inquired about a phoenix that ended up being summoned to our material world to mate with a harpy woman. Evidently, he had gained some notoriety for the act and I was taken directly to him. Pharos, his name is, spoke to me about what transpired leading to his summoning. It's a bit of a long story, so maybe we can chat about it later. He also inquired how I knew about what he had done. I mentioned that my brother saved a prismatic harpy, and that she was in his care." Looking directly at Neris, she continues, "He was ecstatic to learn that you are in the care of a good man, and he loved the name we gave you. He gave his blessing for me to forward to you, and he said he hopes you grow to be a fine young lady."

Zarik narrows his eyes at the last part, skeptical if Cai is actually telling the truth, or just spinning a yarn to get Neris to behave herself. Cai takes notice and perks a brow knowingly.

"I wish I could meet him!" Neris cries.

"You would have to visit him, because he swore to stay on his home world in the interest of not having another incident where a terrible fate is met by the people he meets." Cai says gravely.

Zissou scratches his nose and questions, "This all seems a bit too convenient. Wouldn't you say, Caionna?"

The dragon turns her attention to her mentor and replies with a question of her own, "How so?"

"I could tell that you had an influence on Neristhana's life force before the fracas this morning." Zissou begins, "However did you have the time to do all of that while maintaining a tie to the girl while having so little experience with such magics?"

"Mister Zissou..." Cai begins, "You can see we are surrounded by concentrated aether that belongs to me."

"I am aware." He says flatly.

"Then why do you doubt that the heightened amounts of my power would heighten my abilities?" Caionna rationalizes, "The crystals heighten my abilities, why is it outside the realm of possibility that I'm capable of lending my power to the life force of a weaker being?"

Zissou thinks for a moment, "I suppose that makes sense, but why did you choose to wait until mere moments after she was made whole to allow her to slip from the mortal coil?"

"I don't understand why it sounds like you're accusing me of sudden negligence." Cai states, taken aback, "I simply began to lose focus, and Neris even communicated to me that she was satisfied with the experience of having a hale and whole being. Granted in something of a state of euphoria, as Zarik is well aware."

Zarik cringes slightly at that remark.

She continues, "She told me to just allow fate to take its toll, and then the day unfolded. I took the hint and returned to my body shortly after." with a shrug of her large shoulders, she concludes, "It seems to have worked out in the end, so I see it as a win for everyone involved."

Zarik looks at Neris and asks, "Is this all true about today?"

Neris thinks hard for a moment and replies with a bewildered, "I don't know!"

Aren chimes in and says, "Maybe it was a case of her soul speaking, and not anything processing through her mind."

Zarik perks a brow and cocks his head toward his friend, "What now?"

"You know that gut feeling you get when you know something's going to happen?" Aren proposes, "That's your instinct, yeah? Well maybe her soul did that, but without telling her body."

"You could say that." Cai replies, "You did give her her soul back after accidentally fatally wounding her to purge Aesalth. Her body was likely beyond the pale."

"But she was clearly feeling he pain, and other sensations, of being put back together." Zarik attempts to rationalize.

"Try not to think about it too hard." Cai says to assuage her brother, "Just accept it and don't fret."

Zarik sighs gruffly, then says, "Yeah. Tell the scientist to just accept something. GREAT IDEA!"

ゼンガー・ゾンボルト
Posted on 01-02-20 01:00 AM Link | ID: 153421
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Bel: There are things that can't be explained by rational means. Bel says in response to Zarik's outburst.

Bel: As for me overstepping in that fight, Cai, I apologize. Everything I did I did for your sake, though. Regarding how I was able to transform like that, I don't know how it happened.

So. What now?

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Trelior
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"Frankly," Caionna says, "I think we should rest for the rest of the evening. I know Zarik would likely appreciate it."

"I mean, sure." Zarik begins, "But me needing time to de-stress after a day like today would be great and all, but why would you guys need me to do whatever you had planned anyway?"

"To be perfectly honest." Cai responds, "I would appreciate a bit of privacy, and didn't want to be so blunt about it."

"Fair enough." Zarik replies, then says, "C'mon Neris. Let's go."

"No!" Neris cries, "I want to spend time with Cai to thank her for everything she did for me."

Zissou shakes his head and rigidly says, "You will do nothing of the sort! Caionna said she wishes to be alone! That includes you!"

"Besides," Aren chimes in, "Roff said you need a bath, and I don't think any of us are in disagreement with that."

"Fine." the girl says, aggrieved, "But only because she insists!"

Roff laughs and says, "I thought she'd be jumpin' at the idea of being taught tae bathe by her man-crush."

Zarik shoots Roff a Dude! Shut up! look.

Neris thinks a moment and says, "That sounds like fun!" she says in a seemingly innocent tone as she staggers to her feet because her arms are still bound by the blanket.

As the group turns to leave, Cai calls out, "Can you please have someone come and build some kind of privacy curtain for me? Before you get too comfortable, that is."

"Consider it done, lassie!" Roff says with a whistle, followed by a shout, "Och! Ye heard the lass! See to it tha' she's given 'er privacy!"

As Zarik and the others disappear inside the building, a few of the men of the town begin scurrying around to find suitable materials to fulfill Cai's request. The trio of doctors Zarik called in merely, collectively, roll their eyes and go to their supplies and gather their medical partitions and set those up before the townsfolk can muster much of anything. The medic that had been assisting Zarik all week lets out a whistle and shouts, "Calm down, everyone! We have it handled! Enjoy your night."

Caionna winces at the shrill whistle as the people disperse, she says, "While appreciated, the whistle was rather harsh given proximity to my acute sense of hearing."

"Sorry, Caionna." The man replies, "But it was the fastest way to get everyone's attention."

"Fair enough." Cai concedes.

The medics then take it upon themselves to begin cleaning up the ash of the torched building.

Some time later, inside:

The group is sitting at a table in the pub area due to Roff continuing to enforce his rule against Neris, whom is now practically shining clean, sitting at the bar.

"Man," Aren says, "I still can't believe Roff won't let us sit at the bar."

"Us?" Zarik questions, "He only doesn't want her over there because she looks like a child because of how short she is. You can go over there if you want."

"I guess when you put it like that..." Aren replies, "It kinda makes sense."

"Let us not forget that Neristhana lacks the maturity of personality to sit near open alcohol." Zissou interjects.

Neris just sits between Zarik and Zissou with a malcontent grimace on her face. She scowls at the plate of food placed in front of her, silently. She is dressed simply in a plain shirt and shorts, likely a quick solution from Zissou's magic catalogue.

"What's her problem, anyway?" Aren hazards to ask.

"Zarik insisted I be in the room while he helped her bathe, and she could not have her way by having 'fun'." Zissou replies, "She is unhappy with us both as a result."

Neris turns up her nose and huffs.

"Let's not forget that she's ignoring that this is the third time today alone I told her that she needs some personal growth first." Zarik says, to Neris' chagrin, "You don't have to like it. I gave you a goal to work toward. Cai even told you to follow through. Be mad at me for standing strong, or be mad at yourself for disappointing her. Think about it."

Neris wordlessly considers Zarik's words. She rescinds some of her sourpuss expression, but remains pouty.

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Bel gives Caionna a hand-signal that says "I'll leave you to it then" and follow the others towards the inn.

Getting inside he goes to the bar and takes a bottle of ale, uncorks it and then proceeds to sit down at the table near the pub where Aren is also sitting. He takes a swig out of the opened bottle and, as a result, a sound burp comes out but not of his own accord.


Bel: Sorry about that. Leaning backwards in the chair, holding the bottle down the wizard relaxes, thinking of nothing in particular. At least until Zarik and Zissou comes back with a much cleaner Neris.

Bel: Well, someone looks a lot cleaner now.

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Posted on 01-02-20 10:28 PM (rev. 2 of 01-03-20 03:20 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 153443
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Neris hardly acknowledges Bel's remark. Instead, choosing to be dour and pissy about her bath.

"Don't mind her." Zarik says, "She's mad at me because I didn't give her a toy to play with in the tub, and made it abundantly clear she was strictly being soaped up for cleanliness."

"And she was distinctly nonplussed that I was also present to ensure behavior, and provide assistance if she became assertive." Zissou adds.

"Don't you mean insertive?" Zarik jokes.

"Quite so." Zissou jovially agrees.

Neris breaks her petulant silence and meekly chirps, "You said you weren't going to mention any of that!"

"And miss out of giving you a hard-knock lesson on feeling shame?" Zarik retorts, "Hardly! You break your promise of behavior, I won't hesitate to make sure you feel some remorse for it."

Neris gasps, abhorring Zarik's remark.

The wait staff, having taken notice of the newly emerged trio, comes out from the kitchen area with drinks for Zarik and Zissou, a refill for Aren, as well as a small meal for Neris.

The men take their drinks and tip their glasses in a toast, then drink deeply of their alcohol. Neris merely scowls into her food.
Outside, Cai lay on her bed of hay, thinking to herself, 'Now that I'm awake, I should think about mustering the energy to reclaim my human form...'

Focusing to transform, she begins to glow softly as she shrinks to a size approximately where she was in her humanoid form prior to falling into her unconscious state. She has significantly more mass in the form of more definition of her arms and legs, as well as a more shapely abdomen, and a slightly larger bust and hips. Looking over herself, she murmurs to herself, "I'm looking better than ev--" cutting herself off, she notices that her wings and tail are still visible in this form, as well as some of her scales.

Finding this revelation to be unsatisfactory, she attempts another shapeshift. This time, she succeeds in obfuscating her draconic features for a moment before they burst forth, and the scales reappear in even more unsightly areas, in her opinion.

"Oh! This won't do!" She says to herself, "I can't let the guys see me like this! I'm hideous!"

She continues to attempt to maintain her old shape, to no avail.
Back inside, the guys are bantering back and forth, trying to enjoy themselves.

"So, I gotta ask, Zar." Aren hiccups, "What's on the itinerary for tomorrow?"

"I dunno." Zarik belches, "Maybe start a training regimen for Neris to break her into her natural abilities."

Neris seems to have calmed down a bit more from Zarik rebuking, and she questions, "How are you going to do that?" she is unfazed by any of their increasing degeneracy.

"Again, fucked if I know!" Zarik says boisterously, "All I know is that you're a phoenix, gotta do things that make you want to fight. Make your fires burn, in the literal sense."

"While bearing in mind that she can easily be injured if you are not careful." Zissou adds.

"Yeah. That!" Zarik slurs, looking into his tumbler, he continues, "Has it been that long since I drank that I'm losing tolerance, or is Roff's brew just that strong to fuck me up this quickly?"

Zissou takes a sip of his wine and says, "I would say a little of column A, as well as some of column B. This malboro wine vintage is quite the anomaly."

"I don't know how you drink that shit." Zarik says brashly, "I hate those bastards when they're alive, i don't know how you can stand to drink that sewage."

"I will have you know," Zissou retorts, "Their fruit is rather succulent if you can get past the cantankerous odor."

"No thanks." Zarik burps, "If I wanted to bite into trash fruit, I would look for a rotten peach in a landfill."

"Suit yourself." Zissou shrugs dismissively, downing the rest of his glass.

Neris shoots Bel a nervous look.

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Bel: What? Afraid Zarik's gonna get so plastered he can't distinguish you from his grandmother? Bel asks in response to Neris's glance. He takes few more gulps from the ale bottle he opened earlier and continues to exhange words.

Bel: So you're gonna have Neris fight one of us then, Zar? As in, unless she wants to get knocked on her ass? I mean, play-fight. If she does get hurt, we have a band-aid extraordinaire here. Bel says, shooting a glance at Aren.

Bel: And malboro wine? Glad I didn't take a wine bottle then. Normally I enjoy wine. *BURP*. Ops. My apologies.

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Posted on 01-03-20 04:48 AM (rev. 2 of 01-03-20 05:02 AM by Trelior) Link | ID: 153447
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"Depends on which grandma you think I'm gonna confuse her for." Zarik slurs, the pace of his drinking catching up to him quickly, "If it's Cunty McCuntgon, I don't think she was small enough to be confused for Neris. My other grandma was a sweet old lady... I think. hic There'd have to be something seriously wrong with me to want to hurt her, so I think Neris is safe on that front."

"I may or may not resemble that remark." Aren slurs, his increased intake hitting him harder than Zarik.

"Heavens forfend you three!" Zissou says, markedly less intoxicated than the others, "I feel now may be as good a time as any to retire for the night. All of us! Before any of you eejits cause a ruckus beyond what you have already!"

He looks at Neris' plate of untouched food and frowns, "Are you not hungry, girl?"

Neris half-heartedly shrugs and replies, "I am, but I don't know how to go about feeding myself without looking uncivilized, like Zarik and Caionna would want."

"Oh! That's easy!" Zarik bumbles out, and clumsily grabs for the fork beside the plate. Haphazardly stabbing one of the sausage links with it and poking her in the face with it, "Just pretend it's dragon schlong, and bite a chunk of it off like you're getting revenge on Zerilisk's cock squad!"

Neris recoils from the sausage and says, "Please stop. I'd rather not be reminded of that, since you seem so insistent I forget."

"Then pretend it's his!" Aren slurs, "Except you want to bite it."

Zissou gets up and walks around the table and swats both of the men on the head and says, "Despicable! The both of you!" Hitting Zarik again, he growls, "Especially coming from you!"

"Ow! Fuck!" Zarik yells, "Oh, so I guess it's okay when she does it! As soon as I reverse it on her and make her feel like she's been making me feel with her advances, suddenly I'M the asshole!"

"Go figure. Right?" Aren agrees.

"You ought to know better!" Zissou scolds, "Drunk or not! This is no time for such behavior!"

"Just trying to give her a turnabout of her own bullshit!" Zarik protests, then turns to meet eye contact with Neris, which she avoids, "Not fun when the roles are reversed, huh?"

"You're right..." Neris says, on the verge of tears, "I guess I never really thought about how I was making you feel!" looking at Zissou, she says, "If I may be excused!" She runs off toward her room before he can even respond.

Roff notices the commotion and walks over. "Awreight lads, I been keepin' an eye on ye the pas' few minits. Ah alse heard ye harassin' the lass." He begins, "While ah can' blame ye fer wan'in' tae get yer poin' across, ye dinnae ha'e tae be sae gross 'bou' it! Time ye packed it in laddies!"

Zarik slouches down into his seat and mutters, "Yeah, you guys are probably right, but I can't help but still feel some vindication with the remorse from watching her run off."

Roff nods, and replies, "Aye. Ah cen understa' tha', but ye still wen' overboard a wee bit." Scooping his inebriated friend from the chair, he continues, "Now, off wit ye! Yer nae doin' yersef nae favors after tha' display. I be cuttin' ye off fer tha nigh' Get yerself off tae bed!"

Zissou nods and says, "You take Zarik, and I'll deal with Arendal." Taking the comparative hulk by the horn, he drags Aren off as Roff begins taking Zarik upstairs.

Moments later, the two sober men return to the main floor.

Zissou nods to Roff and says, "Thank you for your assistance Roff. I shall part way with you, as well."

"Och! dinnae worry, sir." Roff replies, "Ah ge' it. Ge' some rest nae."

"I certainly shall try." Zissou says as he turns toward his room, adjacent to Neris'.

Roff swings by the table and deftly plucks the jug of ale from Bel, "Tha' goes fer ye too, laddie. Off with ye! Get some rest, ya elf-y bastard!" He says with a serious, yet jovial tone.

Zissou stops before retiring to his own room to rap gently on Neris' door.

She can be heard crying on the other side, and she yells, "Go away! I don't want to hear your apology right now!"

"Very well." Zissou speaks loud enough to be heard through the door, "Do get some sleep, and try to not let his behavior spurn you. He was merely speaking his mind."

"Just go away!" She shrieks.

He nods and makes his way into his lodging, silently. He soon reemerges and walks to the bar to Roff. He whispers something across the counter to the dwarf.

Roff nods and gives an equally silent affirmation, then sends the old man on his way.

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Posted on 01-03-20 05:47 PM Link | ID: 153448
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Bel: Hey, now. The only ruckus I caused was that accidental homage to carbonic acid. Besides, I haven't been drinking as quickly as these guys. You're probably right, though. Bel says and puts the jug of ale down on on the table.

He facepalms when Zarik, less than tactfully, explains to Neris how to feed herself.

(Smooth one, Zarik). The wizard sits quietly, watching Aren and Zarik get what was coming to them, resting his head in his right hand. At least until Roff comes by.


Bel: Yeah, I know.

Bel makes his way into his room and gets settled for the usual meditation routine.

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Morning comes eventually, Zarik and Aren seem to awaken and emerge from their rooms simultaneously. Neris and Zissou are already up and partaking in breakfast.

Zarik makes his way to the bar and groggily greets Roff, "Morning." His face contorted into a miserable grimace due to the light and his dehydration headache.

Aren isn't far behind, and has a similar discomfort on his face. He merely gives a half-hearted wave in salutation.

"Morning, lads." Roff responds, "S'pose ye got somethin' tae say tae the wee one, don' ye, Zarik?" As he motions to Neris, sitting at the usual table.

"Yes and no." Zarik says, without turning, "I know what I said last night was something of an id-fueled tirade. While I'm sorry about how it manifested, I'm not sorry that I said what did."

"Dinnae say it tae me, lad." Roff says flatly.

"She can hear me." Zarik says with equal bluntness, "It's been a constant string of sexual harassment from her since the moment I picked her up in that jail cell. Up until that point last night, I had held back what I really thought because I decided it would be better for me to lead by example. Her little outburst because Zissou assisted me in getting her cleaned up, then getting drunk, was my breaking point."

Zissou perks up from assisting Neris with her table manners and says, "You know she is too maladjusted to society that she has no idea what contexts are appropriate for things."

"Stop making excuses for her!" Zarik says, agitated, "She's never going to learn if her fuck ups keep getting swept under the rug!"

Neris pipes up and defends herself, "As soon as you started waggling that meat in my face last night, then what you told me to imagine it to be..." She hesitates, then continues, "It reminded me that I really didn't like when they did that to me."

"And yet," Aren butts in with indignation equal to Zarik's, "When Zarik was preparing to fight Zerilisk, you tried pushing yourself onto me to do just that!"

"Look! It was a different story when it was my idea!" Neris cries in response.

"Then what possessed you to think that when we said that we were going to change all that, that it meant we were going to let you do whatever just because you were into it?" Zarik rebukes, "Didn't you realize that you were doing to me and Aren what the horde was doing to you?"

"More you than me," Aren admits quietly to Zarik, "but that's a case of pedantics."

"When you say it like that." Neris babbles, "I guess you're right. How did I not figure that out from what Caionna taught me? I'm sorry!"

"Apology accepted, with a caveat." Zarik says, having calmed down slightly, "Absolutely. Under no circumstances. PERIOD! Will I tolerate any more unsolicited advances from you until further notice. If ever! Understood?" He then grabs his temple from the adrenaline pumping exasperating his hangover.

"Let's extend that to me as well." Aren quips.

'Le's jest put a blanket 'any man' clause on tha'." Roff butts in.

"Yes, Zarik." Neris whispers.

"What was that? I want to hear you!" Zarik says, near drill sergeant level shouting, "Are we understood?"

"Understood!" Neris shouts back.

"Good!" Zissou finally adds, "Now that that is settled, perhaps we should finally have breakfast and see to Caionna."

"What' can I get ye, boys?" Roff asks, as if there wasn't just a shouting match in his common area.

"How about an IV drop of coffee." Aren jokes, "I think I need hydration and caffeine before I can even think about putting anything solid on my stomach."

"Ditto." Zarik says with a nod, "Maybe an ice pack, and maybe some aspirin. My head is killing me after getting heated like that."

"Comin' righ' up." Roff says, then jokes, "Maybe I should make ye suffer without the willow fer yer display las' night."

"We literally just resolved that, albeit poorly." Zarik says, "And if I don't get some kind of headache relief, I'll see to it you have an ass pain to match it!" The tone of the end making it unclear if he said it in jest, or as a threat.

"Righ', righ'." Roff chuckles. "Gimme a moment." then he heads into the back.

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Posted on 01-04-20 04:24 AM Link | ID: 153453
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Bel comes out from his room and makes his way to the bar area, seemingly without any form of hangover from the night before. He notices Zarim and the others, aswell as Aren and Zarik's grimacing faces.

Bel: Morning. How do we feel today then? He asks, obviously aiming the question at Aren and Zarik. He keeps listening to the bickering between Aren, Neris and Zarik while he picks up a plate and a serving of sausage & eggs with some gravy, then sits down at the nearest table to eat.

Bel: Actually, some coffe does sound nice. Bel says before taking his first bite. Continuing to speak, he says: As for the elephants parading in your heads, you got yourselves to blame for that one.

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