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“Every hour wounds. The last one kills.”

It's a saying very familiar with the adventurers of Fantalius. Where every day comes with its new struggles, its new dangers, its new ways of fighting death.
And for the veteran adventurer, Bradock, it seemed this would be the last hour.
The situation looked grim. The aging warrior had been separated from the rest of his group; the group that was sent to the damned Restless March to get some fool “Chosen” and bring them back to the Mage Tower. His long, greying, hair was matted down from the rain that was falling in this small, open, area surrounded by twisted trees. He had been injured while escaping from a group of Ghouls; zombie-like creatures who were faster, though less durable, than their undead kin.
Knowing he would never be able to fight them off on his own if he didn’t find some solid ground he had rushed towards the first, rare for the swamp, clearing he had come across.


Panting heavily, clutching his wounded sword arm, Bradock turned to face his pursuers.
Two average, for a human, sized figures crashed through the treeline. Their skin was a mottled brown, full of sores, and oozing blood. While their shape was human their faces were decidedly less so.
Long, oval shaped, heads with large, lidless, eyes and unnaturally wide mouths that showed two rows of sharp teeth as they hissed and groaned. The noises they made were low, eerie, and seemingly designed to unsettle.


They didn’t look strong, but Bradock knew from experience that if those clawed hands got a hold of you they’d tear you apart in moments. He had only barely escaped such a fate earlier, and only by tearing his arm out of one of these creature’s grip. This had left a serious wound on his upper arm that limited his ability to raise his sword due to the intense pain he felt whenever he attempted to.


Yet he had to bear with it. Even wounded his right arm was better with the sword than his left and these monsters wouldn’t give him time to patch up his wound.
In fact that they hadn’t rushed him yet was a miracle. Which made Bradock uneasy. Miracles didn’t exist in Fantalius.


A slight noise, a splash, from behind alerted him to the truth. He turned to confirm his suspicion. The two ghouls in front of him weren’t attacking simply because they were waiting for their third ally to attack from behind. The monster was already too close for Bradock to defend himself and he knew he would die right then and there.

The ghoul was suddenly stopped as a whip wrapped around its waist and yanked it off its feet. As Bradock looked on in disbelief he noticed droplets of water hovering in the air for a moment before falling.
Out of the woods came a young, brown haired, girl with a witch’s hat. She said nothing as she approached Bradock. Instead just moved her hands in a rhythmic fashion and the water from a nearby puddle rose up. She flicked her wrist and the water crashed into the waiting ghouls, knocking them over.


“What are you waiting for.” She said in a voice which cracked with the effort of speaking.
Bradock nodded. He didn’t know what she was doing here or if she was actually on his side but she was right. There was no time to waste, now that there was an opening.


He hurried towards one of the downed ghouls and stabbed through its chest. He pulled back and stabbed again through the head, knowing these creatures needed to take enough damage to their bodies that they wouldn’t be able to regenerate from. So two kill shots usually was the only way to ensure they don’t get back up.
The other ghoul hadn’t been as stunned as he’d hoped and it grabbed onto his leg and went to bite it.
Then the creature suddenly paused and Bradock thought he saw a glimpse of what seemed to be a jellyfish appearing above the ghoul’s body.
Whatever the case, the ghoul was staring into the distance with a slack jaw and wide eyes, sufficiently distracted, and Bradock took the opportunity to lop the creature’s head off.

As soon as he did the young girl came up to him and walked past. She paused, and motioned at him to follow, before going into the trees.
Shaking his head, Bradock headed after her. “Who are you? You don’t seem like no witch I’ve ever seen.”
She didn’t respond, beyond glancing over at him, and Bradock surged forward to touch her shoulder.
Pain shot through his arm, coming from his wound, as he raised it and he hissed at the sensation. The girl paused and turned to him and raised her hand towards him.


His grip tightened around his sword and she looked at it with an annoyed expression.
She mouthed some words silently and water from a flask at her hip came out and hovered in front of her hand.
Bradock narrowed his eyes but did nothing as she raised it to his wound. After a few moments he felt the pain leave him and he let out a sigh of relief. “Healing magic, just what the doctor ordered.”


The girl shook her head. Bradock gave her a confused look and she sighed. “Temporary...”
Bradock nodded. “I’ll go with you for now girl but I gotta know who you are. I’m looking for the Chosen, was here with some others but we got separated, you have any idea where they might be?”
The girl stopped, gave him a strange look, and pointed at herself. A moment of silence passed and she groaned. She gestured to her side, seemingly pointing at nothing. And then a creature appeared. A strange, slightly glowing, jellyfish. The pieces started to fall into place and Bradock began to laugh.
“Well funk. Ran right into that one.” He gave an exaggerated bow. “I am Bradock, a mercenary from the council. I’m supposed to bring you to the Mage Tower, Miss Chosen of Water.”

The Mage Tower. Keres leaned back and looked out of the wagon as they approached the massive structure. 50 stories tall, each large enough to fit a hundred people, and made entirely out of a special black, magic-resistant, stone. It was an imposing, impressive, and commanding structure.
And Keres was not happy to see it in the slightest.


She had saved Bradock because she thought him a simple adventurer without realizing he was an envoy from the Mage Council. She wasn’t surprised they didn’t send a Templar after her, given her history with them, but she wouldn’t have guessed the escort would have been someone like that.
Granted she learned he was a very capable man, as was the three others that they had regrouped with while leaving the swamp, but it almost felt like an insult. Perhaps that was the point “You may be a Chosen but you’re still a witch.”
Whatever the case she had gone along with them because it fit her plans. She was just on her way to search for the other Chosen when stumbling across him, and if they were all going to be here, it was for the best.

She had found that Bradock and his group were quite friendly despite that she stayed as far away as possible while observing them the whole trip. She hadn’t seen many actual people in a long time and it was oddly fascinating to watch them go about their day.


Whatever the case was, had they Council meant to mock or not, Flux seemed to be quite excited about the tower. However what he was excited about, which the others besides Keres couldn‘t hear, was a bit off. ”Look at how the sun reflects off the wall, isn‘t that cool...ooooh the grass looks so green!”


“Well here we are. That was one hell of a ride.” Keres had noticed that Bradock was constantly emitting this air of calm, despite that of the five people who had left the swamp, only three had made it here. “Guess I’ll knock on their door then eh?” He shuddered. “I know it’s important but this place gives me the creeps something fierce I’ll tell you what...” Keres hopped out of the wagon and followed Bradock to the front of the tower.
The wall was entirely smooth but for an indentation in the shape of a door. Bradock placed his hand on the indentation and spoke. “This is the mercenary captain Bradock here to deliver the Chosen of Water.”


There was a pause, and then a voice sounded from inside the tower. “We accept your delivery. However until the other Chosen arrive we will not open the door. You may camp outside our walls until that happens, after which you will receive your pay.”
Bradock stepped back and sighed. “Damn paranoid bastards...Well whatever we could use some rest. Why don’t we set up camp, eh Chosen?”


“Keres.” The girl said without explaination. Bradock nodded, having started to get used to her way of talking.
“Finally got a name eh? Well Keres let’s hope these others show up soon, time’s money after all.”
[spoiler=OOC]And so we begin! The idea is to introduce your character, meet up at the Tower, and wait for everyone to arrive. Remember that you can include whatever you want before this, in regards to meeting the spirit and escort. But keep in mind a few things.
1.) Keres was the first to arrive
2.) Feel free to include battles or encounters but nothing too big and keep in mind that most fights will be difficult. Obviously you won’t die here but don’t make your character out to be OP
3.) The escorts don’t know exactly what you look like
4.) You haven't been Chosen for a long time. The longest is Keres at a week before the start of the RP.


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A ship had arrived a harbor near the bridge connecting Flomest and Haven on the Haven side of things. It was of modest size and looked as though it had gone through quite the storm to get to where it had. The sails displayed several noticeable tears and the mast itself seemed to be missing a chunk here or there particularly towards the top. But this was not the work of any storm in fact the weather had been mostly cooperative for the journey. This was instead the usual state of things when a ship came sailing from Blagos. It was not uncommon for one of the island's winged monstrosities to attack ships nearby the shore of their mountain home. And so it had happened here though the crew of the ship had been expecting such an attack. Most of the passengers had taken to hiding below deck while the crew handled the beast but there was always that one passenger that thought themselves able to take on the beast. The fight with the beast hadn't taken all that long to ultimately drive it away but it had left its mark on the sails, the mast, and just about everyone who tried to fight it including the brave soul among the passengers.


Thankfully that was the end of such encounters for the voyage and the ship was largely okay despite everything. It was a relief then for the occupants of the ship to make landing in Haven where things were bound to be somewhat safer. A bit of an odd sight ensued as a young draken charged off the ship and nearly threw himself onto the ground. The constant motion of the ship at sea had made sleeping rather difficult for him during the journey and so despite having gotten himself hurt trying to fight off the monster off the shore of Blagos he hadn't been able to rest much at all. To be on land again was comforting if only because nothing was moving. There was one however who even happier to be off the ship. A young woman who was dancing with joy at no longer being at sea. Not that she actually appeared to anyone. This was the chosen of fire Reinaan and his spirit companion Ziiyol.


Finally focusing on his surroundings Reinaan took in the sights small harbor town. Not many lived here as the large city of Naporia was not terribly far away. There seemed to be an inn at the least for travelers to rest and eat and various other stores for resupplying. Before he could take a step further he was called out to by one of the sailors who told him he'd forgotten his belongings. With the bag and spear in place across his back, his jacket in its usual style of being unzipped and showing off the entirety of his front side he was ready to go. Ziiyol tugged at him, or rather attempted to tug all it resulted in was Reinaan feeling the typical warmth of the fire spirit at his arm, urging him to step further from the ocean.


"Relax, we don't even know where we're going yet." he said as he began moving into the town. Reinaan was curious about the stores and such but quickly learned that the humans here demanded something they called money in exchange for their goods and having none of that Reinaan would be unable to do much more than look. As the draken continued moving about the town he noticed he was getting some strange looks and felt a bit uncomfortable about it. The people here had seen draken before on rare occasion before perhaps but it was still strange for them. The talk of the town seemed to all be how the Templar were pretty active today about all of Haven and there seemed to be notices posted about town detailing the reasons and such but Reinaan was unable to read any writing outside of that of his village so it was lost on him.


"Well now what? We made it to the 'middle of the world' you talked about. Where do we go from here?" he asked realizing he had no idea what he was really doing here.


"I don't know" Ziiyol began yet sounded very cheerful, "I simply assumed if we were to find the others going to the middle of things would make the most sense" she said smiling. She began twirling some and Reinaan couldn't help but groan a bit at how unhelpful she could be at times despite this important mission of hers. But soon Reinaan's ears caught hold of something interesting. It seemed to be a lot of metal rustling about other metal. As he looked to the edge of town he caught sight of a group of five or so armored men coming in on the main road, only one wasn't a man. It seemed like a Draken, but it couldn't be could it? Sure enough it was, an armored tail protruded out behind the figure and the claws on his hands and feet were prominent. His armor seemed more decorated, less tarnished that that of the men accompanying him. It seemed the draken had caught sight of him too, he stuck out rather well in a crowd of humans. Soon the armored draken was standing in front of him.


"And what do we have here? A child running about human towns on his own? Where is your village boy?" the figure stated with a bit of a growl to his voice. He towered over Reinaan nearly a full foot and a half.


"I'm not a kid, I'm nearly an adult!" he yelled back as he turned to face the figure who addressed him fully. The draken scoffed at the statement.


"One so tiny almost a man? And putting on this shameful display?" he said in reference to Reinaan's style of dress or overall lack thereof. The scales that were visible on this armored draken were a deep blue, no doubt tied to the water element. "I don't have the time to lecture you on proper behavior but go home to your parents boy. I don't need you causing any trouble in these parts." he said as he turned to the men with him. "Continue the lookout for the chosen, two of you to the bridge two of you to the town's exit." he said as the men saluted and departed.


"Chosen? Isn't that what you're always talking about?" Reinaan said turning to Ziiyol who seemed absolutely thrilled to hear someone mention the word. In fact her excitement got her carried away and in a small burst of flames she became visible to the town. Gasps went out and a nearby stand nearly caught fire but there she was. The armored draken turned in disbelief looking at the woman back to the boy.




Reinaan and Ziiyol had been escorted by the Draken who introduced himself as one of the Templar from the small port town to the Mage Tower where they were told the other Chosen would be gathered. After several forceful requests Reinaan had agreed to zip up his jacket for once as the Draken accompanying him felt it shameful for a draken, the chosen of fire no less, to display so much of his body so shamelessly. Reinaan as a result grumbled to himself most of the way and ignored much of the attempts at educating him of the long history of the mage tower and the templar knights and other such things. He was rather amazed as they approached the massive structure that was the Mage Tower however and soon his focus was on that instead. The Draken Templar approached the structure and placing his hand on a part of the outer wall spoke


"The Chosen of fire has been found." he said after stating his name and rank. A voice from inside the tower commended the draken for his work and excused him to attend to his other duties.


"Alright bo- I mean, Chosen of Fire. I have other matters to attend to as do my men. You are to wait here for the arrival of the other chosen, the tower will not open to you until the time that all nine of you have gathered. The Chosen of Water has arrived ahead of you. Don't get into any trouble while you wait please." he said as he departed. Reinaan was happy to have him gone so he could stop being treated like a kid. And once the templar was out of sight he not only unzipped his jacket but removed it and his other gear in protest for having been made to cover up on the way here. The entirety of his scaled body was now exposed to the rays of the sun and it felt wonderful.


"Reiny he told you not to cause any trouble." Ziiyol said almost giggling in response to the disrobing. She always liked how different he acted with things like this. He danced however he chose to like the flames she so loved.


"I'm not causing any trouble I'm just getting comfortable while I wait." he said as he folded up his jacket neatly and gathered his gear in his arms. Looking around he saw a sort of camp set up not far from the tower where unbeknownst to Reinaan the Chosen of Water was waiting with her escorts. It seemed like a nice enough spot to wait and so he approached figuring that at the least he could lie down on the grass nearby.

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"What's he like anyway? Are the stories true? About him go-" The young templar was silenced by a wave of his superior's hand as the pair continued their journey through the dense fog that had overtaken the forest. It had been two days since they were dispatched to locate the Abyss Seeker Captain and bring him to the Mage Tower, and the young soldier had begun to question the chances of the lightning chosen still being alive after having been exploring this monster infested forest for five days in search of a witch that had been known to attack travelers who passed through the area. 


"He's an odd one." The more seasoned templar spoke in a gruff tone as he hacked away a vine that impeded their progress. "I've worked with him on a number of cases... both before and after the... incident." His eyes narrowed at the sound of twigs snapping a few yards ahead of him, causing his young ward to visibly tense whilst raising his shield slightly. 


Moments later a woman who appeared to be in her early thirties bursted from the nearby under brush, her beautiful features contorted with fear as she quickly registered the two men and shifted her course so that she was no heading towards them. "Quickly! Y-You must help me!" Her voice was oddly attractive despite her obvious panic. "He's gone mad and has carved up the rest of my conv-" Her plea was suddenly cut short by another burst of movement; though this time one that came from the canopy of trees above the trio.


"I'm growing tired of this game..." A voice sounded from the shadows of the trees, followed closely by an ornamented iron dagger that twirled through the air before finding it's mark in the woman's left shoulder blade. A spray of brown liquid took to the air as the woman reeled back and let loose an inhuman screech, prompting the younger of the two templars to take a large step backwards. 


The veteran however was ready for combat. Though just before he could leap forward to make a move towards the exposed witch, a dark blue blur descended from the trees, landing directly behind the woman with a flash of sliver. 


"Damn, another decoy." A young man mumbled dryly as he brought himself to his feet and inspected the mound of mud that sat in place of what would have been the corps of his target. Returning his sword to his belt and plucking up the dagger he thrown and cleaning it off, the man blew a strand of his matted hair out of his face in mild annoyance before bring his hand up to his left shoulder to apply pressure on what appeared to be some kind of wound. 


As the two templars continued to observe this strange man, even the youngest of the pair was able to note that he had apparently been in this forest for quite some time. His clothing was in tatters, with blood caked on his boots and cloak, and aside for the wound that he seemed to be nursing, there seemed to a plethora of smaller gashes all over his body that appeared to covered with makeshift bandages. 


"Hey, don't give that. I specifically recall you saying that you '100% certain that this was the real one'..." The man with the eyepatch glanced upwards, speaking as if he were talking to someone above his head. "Aren't spirits supposed to be wise?" He chirped, only to wince in pain as an invisible force knocked him in the back of the head. "ouch!"


"Master Lindow." The veteran templar finally spoke up, nodding his head respectfully as he did so. "I have orders escort you to the mage tower to meet with other chosen. You are to call back your men, and return with us immediately..."


Lindow studied the other man's expression for a moment. "I'm due for an execution in a nearby town tomorrow... Something about a male enchanter and his accomplice. Is there anyway we can stop by there on our way?" A small smirk formed on his lips as he heard a tiny groan from the top of his head. Glancing up the small being of living electricity that laid miserably atop his matted locks of hair, Lindow couldn't help but wonder what the other spirits would be like.


"I'm pretty sure you'll being meeting those two sooner than you think anyway..." Lily sighed as the gravity of her situation suddenly became more apparent. The chosen of dark was nearby, and more than likely the witch that Lindow was meant to burn, but that wasn't really the issue... Shifting her gaze down towards Lindow's smug face, Lily groaned once again. She had one job. Choose a Chosen, and keep them safe... But apparently she couldn't even do that right! Now she was stuck with this one eyed psychopath, and would probably be the laughingstock of the rest of the spirits. 


"Huh?" Lindow arched an eyebrow, but before he could inquire any further, the templar spoke again. 


"Afraid not sir... we were told to locate you immediately, and we've already wasted too much time tracking you down."


Sighing, Lindow raised his hands in defeat. "Fine, help me locate what's left of my squad so we can be on our way. I guess someone else will have to take care of this contract..."   







"We are you acting like this now?"


"Don't look at anyone..."


"The main reason I agreed to being your partner wa-"




Lindow let loose lofty sigh as he forced himself to walk past the small camp, and the Draken that was resting in the grass nearby without talking to his fellow chosen. Since they had gotten near the tower, Lily had been frantically trying to clean up his appearance, even going as far as to force him to change into a fresh set of clothes.


"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were embarrassed of me, Lily." Lindow cooed as he yanked the lighting spirit away from the collar of his cloak as she desperately tried to adjust it. Placing his back against a nearby tree, Lindow closed his eye to take in some some late afternoon sun. 


"Of course I am!" The lighting spirit cried as she let her self drop down to the man's lap defeatedly before hiding her face with her paws. "All the others are going to think I'm a failure..." Her voice was heavy with dejection.


"We'll if it makes you feel a little better..." Lindow stroked Lily's fur gently, feeling the slight tingle from the static that comprised her form nip at his skin as her ears perked expectantly. "You are a complete failure. Totally let your first partner get killed..." Chuckling as Lily groaned what sounded like "I hate you" into his leg, Lindow continued to stroke his spirit as the pair waited for the rest of the chosen to arrive. 

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Raucous music filled the air, sharing the space with the crackling of fire and joyous laughter. The scent of dirty bodies was masked, though not completed, by the aroma of cooking meat. Earlier in the day a hunting party had come back with a Kall-vîma, a massive boar that rarely comes down from the mountains. It's savory smell wafted through the camp, bringing hungry eyes to stare as it was slowly cooked over the bonfire. Hardly was there ever a time around Coombe where someone wasn't fighting with another, but the prospect of feasting on the tender meat of the Kall-vîma had everyone in high spirits. 


Still, the reason for this gathering was not in celebration. This particularly group of individuals consisted primarily of warriors, they were a war party meant to return the message that the opposing city of Kelna had sent just a few days prior. Albeit, they planned to make a much bigger statement. Of course, it wasn't like this sort of thing was new to the area. The two cities had been warring for quite sometime. However, time only seemed to be deepening these wounds.


The banging of steel on steel rang through the camp, slowly quieting the clamor. All eyes turned to a massive orc, who, despite having stopped for a rest, was dressed in full battle armor, carrying a sword and shield. Most people in the crowd knew her immediately by the severed heads that hung at her waist and the crimson plume that rose from her helmet. Her real name was never spoken, she was only known as Mal'brik.


She let out a guttural bellow, throwing back her head and banging her sword on her shield several more times. The numerous orcs in the crowd answered her cry, as did several of the non-orcish population(though the orcs no doubt found this amusing and would laugh at them in private later on). Silence then fell over the assembled and all that could be heard was the crackling of the fire.


"Four days ago, those uptight bastards stole from us 14 brothers and sisters." Mal'brik waited for the mumbling of anger to make its way through the crowd before she continued. "I have led the Eldris tribe for 6 years and every time I lose a piece of my family it is like I lose," Mal'brik paused for a second, she seemed to be searching for the right words,"a piece of my Dua-laka so tomorrow we will show them what it is like!" The crowd cheered in agreement. "Take from them what they took from us. Destroy them completely. Let us reclaim our Dua-laka!"


Before the crowd could react, however, Mal'brik's speech was interrupted. The sight of several orcs carrying men that were tied up lumbered into the orange glow of the bonfire. Mal'brik faltered, recognizing these particular orcs to be on perimeter duty. "What is this?" She demanded.


"We found them at perimeter." One of the orcs said, a his slack-jaw expression causing a bit of drool to slide down his chin. 


"Then why aren't you just bringing me their heads?" Mal'brik demanded, causing the bound men to squirm uncomfortably. 


"This one say they not from Kelna." The orc said, pointing to a prisoner that previously hadn't been in the fire's light. Held by two orcs, a draken with a freshly made wound above its right eye was brought before Mal'brik and the assembled fighting party. The draken's mouth had been bound so that it couldn't hurt anyone with it's magic breath, but it looked far more alert than any of the other prisoners despite its obvious wounds.


"Oh, is that so?" Mal'brik said, stepping over to the draken. "I'm going to take this binding off and if you hurt me, you will die. Nod if you understand." The draken bobbed its head. "Then where is it that you come from?"


"We come from the Mage's Tower, in search of a Chosen. We mean you no harm." The draken said in his raspy voice. 


"To me, it sounds like another Kelnese trick. You people all think we're dumb, don't you? Well how about I just cut off your head? Then you'll really be the brainless one!" Mal'brik growled, readying her sword. The draken pleaded with her, as did the other men through their gags but she just laughed. Their groveling is what made it fun for her. 


"With the greatest humility, Chieftain. I do not believe it is a trick." A burly voice from the crowd stopped Mal'brik's raised sword arm. Turning, the tribe leader faced the speaker. She recognized him as a healer, a fairly notorious one at that and one that she owed a debt to for saving the life of her brother during the last siege. Of course, all debts had their limits and Mal'brik did not tolerate disrespect. 


"And what makes you think you know better than I? I have led our tribe for over half a decade. Longer than any other orc. It is my strength and my smarts that have has seen us through such hard times. I will forgive your foolishness once, healer, but mind yourself." Mal'brik warned him.


"I cannot in good conscious let you go through with this. You may be a good leader, but I know this is not a trick. I know because I am the Chosen they speak of."




"Look at it. Isn't it beautiful?" Kha asked, holding a single white daisy in the palm of his hands. Kal'bri sat on the orc's shoulder, loftily staring up at the sky. 


"Yes, flowers are really, really pretty. But didn't we establish this 40 minutes ago? How long do you need to stare at a f***ing plant?" 


"They are my favorite."  Drezzar, the Templar that had come to find Kha, said. Of course he couldn't see or hear Kal'bri, but she made quite the rude gesture when he said that.


"Dirty lizard." She mumbled. 


They, along with the rest of the men that had come with Drezzar, were riding in a set of horse drawn wagons. Kha and Drezzar took up one wagon, the 4 other men rode behind in the second. Kha had found that Drezzar liked his silence. Or maybe he just didn't want to talk because just a few days ago his head had nearly been chopped off. Either way, the trip had been made with little conversation. Now that they were approaching the Mage Tower, he looked as though he wanted to say something. 


"You know I owe you my life." Drezzar said.


"How do you mean?" Kha asked, letting the daisy go in the slight breeze.


"If you hadn't done what you did, I'd be dead." Drezzar reasoned.


"Yes, well I was also the one that endangered your life, so I helped." Drezzar raised an eyebrow at this assertion, clearly confused as to how it was Kha that had put him in harm's way. "If you hadn't been sent out to find me, then you never would have been in threatened by Mal'brik. If I didn't exist, your life never would have been endangered. I merely rebalanced the scales." 


"Right...well thanks for rebalancing the, uh, scales. I know it couldn't have been easy to stand up to your own people like that."


Kha nodded along. "Yes...the next time they see me they will probably try to rip out my tongue."


"...I am sorry a-about that."


"Don't be. Whatever will be, will be." Kha assuaged. "Besides, Mal'brik needed to learn her place." Kha laughed loudly, scaring Kal'bri so badly that she fell off of his shoulder. 


The silence comfortably settled between the two as the giant, spire drew ever closer.


"Take care of yourself." Drezzar said as Kha clambered out of the wagon, dragging his sword behind him. 


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"Get your fresh croquettes here! Bring an appetite!" on a broad marketplace street in the city surrounding the Mage Tower, a merchant peddled his wares.


"Hey mister, can I have one?"


"Sure, just--huh? I could have sworn somebody just spoke..." the salesman sweatdropped. "Never mind then."


"Hey mister, is this enough?"


"Huh? Why do I have coins in my hand? Oh..." the man, having dropped his eyes to stare at his hand, finally noticed the short girl beside him. "Oh! Sorry, missy, didn't notice you there."


"It's fine," she waved him off before taking a bite. "Oh! Yummy in my tummy!" she did a little dance. "Can I have ten more?"


"Ten...?" the merchant blinked. "Um...sure! Yes, go for it! You can pay for them, right?"


"Sure can. I got a buuunch of money for helping out that one couple against the bandits, but then again, that was mostly Hob, hehe," the girl rubbed the back of her neck bashfully.




"Oh! Did he wander off? Hob, Hob? Hey, Snowy, can you find him?" the girl tilted her head to the side. "What, he's over by the vegetable stall? I guess I'll leave him then, cuz he's probably enjoying himself."


The merchant blinked again. This girl was...strange. But she was a paying customer, so far be it from him to comment on it. When the girl had eaten her fill, she skipped off, and the merchant pocketed his coins. Immediately afterward, a group of people, a couple of them draken, approached. He recognized their garb. The Templars. "Have you seen anybody strange pass by?"


"Why yes I did. A young girl, talking to herself she was," he replied truthfully.


For some reason, this seemed to grab their attention. "We found them," they muttered amongst themselves.


"She went that way."


"We thank you for your cooperation. Have a good day," one of them spoke to him before the group departed in the direction he'd pointed. Hopefully he hadn't gotten her into trouble, but there was no refusing the Templars. Missy, I sure hope things turn out well for you. After all, she had been his best customer so far today.




Said girl was walking alongside a giant ram, unknowing or uncaring of the stares she attracted. "What to do now? Maybe try some of the new tarts the bakery by the fountain is selling? I heard there's even a surprise flavor. Oh boy, a surprise! Do you think if I eat it then I'll turn into a surprise, but then what am I talking about, oh maybe I should give one to Snowy, do you want one Snowy?"


"No," came the terse reply from her shoulder. A white rabbit that nobody else could see.


"Awww, why not? They're good. You're just a big meanie stinkypants sometimes, Snowy, you know that?"


For the twentieth time, please don't call me Snowy. That sounds undignified. My name is Snow, coldest of the spirits."


"You keep talking about spirits and Chosen and I don't have any clue what you're saying, but it's cool because you're 'cool,' get it cool? I wonder who the other ones are though. Do you think they're cool like you or hot like pepper, mmm pepper, makes me hungry, which, speaking of, I'm hungry, when's food time? I think I'm going to go find a stuffed pepper stand right now."


"You last ate ten minutes ago," the rabbit pointed out without inflection.


"Well, yeah, but that was ten minutes ago! I'm hungry now. Ooh, what's that, is that a soldier? Oh hey, they're coming this way, heeey mister soldier what are you doing?" the girl started waving.


"Do you think it's her?" muttered one of the Templars.


"I doubt it," another replied. "A halfling, a Chosen? And she seems kind of...simple-minded. No, let's move on."


Snow's ears perked up at that. "Gillian, they're looking for you."


"Ehh, me? And for the last time Snowy, call me Gilly. That's sooo much better than stupid ol' Gillian. Oh, ooh, look, that guy's selling meat on a stick! Imagine that, meat on a stick. Do you want one, Hob, oh wait, you're a vegetarian, aren't you? Silly me, I forgot."


The Templars glanced at each other. "She's...talking to herself, sir," one of them spoke up timidly.


"I see that," the leader of the group sighed before approaching the halfling. "Miss, we are looking for one of the Chosen. Have you seen them?"


"The Chosen? Wait, that's me isn't it? Snowy said so and he's usually right but he's usually grumpy too and oh, hey, meat-on-a-stick guy, I want one of those!" the girl ran away from the soldiers to buy a piece of meat on a stick, which she munched on happily.


"You're a Chosen?"


"Uh-huh, that's me, at least that's what Snowy said. Hey, wait, why are you looking so surprised, but oh, you're looking for a Chosen huh? Wait, does that mean I have to go with you? Will you feed me? Where are we going? How far is it? Are we there yet?"


And thus it continued for the better part of twenty minutes until they reached the Mage Tower. By then, the Templars were exhausted, drained from listening to the girl's endless chatter.


"Huh, hey are you guys more Chosen like me? Huh, wait, who am I talking to...uh...yeah, you the big orc guy and the dark and gloomy guy. Oh wait, looks like there's a camp over there, wanna head over? You think there might be more Chosen there?" Gilly bounced on the balls of her feet while talking to them. Hob gave a baa of greeting beside her. Meanwhile, Snow glanced at the other two spirits before giving a nod, though he sent a narrowed-eyed stare Lily's way as well. 

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“Squawk! (Are we there yet?)”

“That damn bird can’t stay quiet, can it?”

“Call her ‘that damn bird’ again and we’ll turn around and leave you now.”

It had been five days since the time Anastacia came into contact with Shirin, the so-called Spirit of Nature. The small grass snake thing that thought it was a colossus kept on nagging at her and her partner so they could go to this certain tower of Magi? Truthfully, Anastacia didn’t pay the snake much attention. Being formerly a shaman, she’s used to have contact with otherworldly stuffs, but none was as irritating as the snake that chose to coil itself on her hand now.

“You know that this is just for the good of you. And hey, maybe coming here would help you actually stop sucki-“ Shirin’s comment was abruptly interrupted as Anis gripped its neck with her other hand, all while Ileca stared at it, clearly with a hungry look.

“I know your physical body can be remade with ease, hence I would rather you to stop complaining about my so-called “weak” magic - else you’d be stuck as Ileca’s daily snack for the nights to come.” Threatening others was not really Anis’ specialty, and she was aware that the impression she made was probably more silly than actually carrying any gravity. Nevertheless, she was there to keep Shirin on the ground, figuratively. The snake was a huge fan of grandness, basically anything as big and excessive as its own ego, and Anastacia, having only small-scale control of nature with her magic even after bonding and channeling Shirin, was seen as pathetic by the snake. She wouldn’t really take it as a big issue usually. Anis was aware that her magic was quite a lot weaker than other magi especially considering how long she had used it. However, Shirin couldn’t stop yapping about it on the past five days, and it was starting to get on her nerves.

“By all that is sacred and holy, I honestly wonder whose decision it was that you should be paired with me.” With a tired sound, Anis tried to voice her annoyance to the situation she was in.

“Yeah, why can’t I be paired off with someone that can sprout a tree on demand instead of someone that had a hard time to even conjure a rat?”

“Kwaaak! (An-an, can I eat this snake now?)”

It took them several hours of travel before they decided that it would be a good time for some rest. They found a good opening on the forest, and once Anis was sure that there was no goblin settlement or other potential troublesome elements nearby, she hopped off her bird partner, and let Ileca to roam around so it could get some lunch. Meanwhile, Anis went into a nearby tree, noticed that it was flowering, and channeled a little of her magic to some of the flowers to increase their growth rate.

“You know, I would rather not do this, but my supply’s getting thin due to this journey you forced me to follow through.”

“Why wouldn’t you use your power for something as mundane as this? It’s really convenient, y’know? And-“

“The fruit would be tastier if you let the tree grow it on its own. With localized growth spurts like this,” Anis took the apple she had just grown, and took a bit from it before offering it to Shirin. “you’d also mess up the tree’s natural clock. I’m not creating this fruit from scratch with my magic, so the tree would need to devote its nutrient and resources towards these fruits.

Look, some parts of the tree withered so I can do this without exerting too much of my energy. It is a saddening sight, and yet another reason why I’d rather not do this. I
'm telling you this so you can stop asking why I don't just make my own food with my magic.”

“Well, you’re right; this fruit’s not as sweet as usual. Though perhaps, the issue’s not on the concept itself, and more on how you can’t even use your magic here properly. Since otherwise, well you know, you should be able to avoid the backlash.”

Anis decided to not bother responding the latest of Shirin’s jabs at her and continued to enjoy the rest of the apples, while harvesting the rest and putting them on her bag. Even if apples weren’t especially sweet, Shirin was right that it was quite lacking in taste. However, it was still quite fresh, and it was what she really needed after the long path she and Ileca had gone through the last few days. She recalled the first day of her meeting with Shirin, where she refused its direction for a whole day, seeing no reasons to trust a snake spirit that spoke snidely to her. If it was not for Ileca convincing her that she should follow Shirin’s words, then she definitely wouldn’t be here.

It was odd, in a way. Ileca, a complete rarity for her, went out of her way to convince Anis that Shirin was someone that they should trust. She couldn’t even perceive Shirin if it was not in its corporeal form, but she still decided to put her trust to the snake. Was it an oversight from Anis’ part? Perhaps, despite what she might thought, Ileca had knowledge that she couldn’t really grasp just yet. It would probably be better if Anis didn’t jump to conclusions just yet and try seeing the true value from this snake.

Though to be honest, Anastacia was only here because Ileca pressed her, nothing more. If it’s not for her life partner’s request, she wouldn’t even bother putting up with Shirin after the first day.

“Kwak kaaahk, kyawkaa haaww! (I think I saw a tower or something over there! Gotta go gotta go, don’t waste time!)”

Her thought was disrupted with Ileca’s call for her to continue their way. Anis was a little bit too proud to admit it, but she and her group had gotten themselves lost during their journey towards the so-called tower Shirin told them. If it was really close to where they were now, then it would actually just take around one day of travel to reach it instead of the five days they ended up having right now. Perhaps that person that tried to look around for her was actually a guide sent to help her reach the place instead of someone that got their stuffs eaten by Ileca like usual.

“Oh well. Alright, let’s go there and do this.” Anis whistled to inform Ileca regarding her position, and once she came over, the woman went on to board the bird and rushed towards the direction Ileca found. In other times, Anis would think that Ileca was really just leading her to a place where she could eat, however Anis trusted her to lead her to the right place this time.


Fifteen minutes of Ileca sprinting, and a structure could be seen on the distance.

“Cawkwakwakwak! (We’re here, we’re here! You got any treats for me?)”

“Here you go!


Thank you for not leading us to another ant mound, Ileca.” In the face of her destination, Anastacia disembarked from Ileca, and gave her one of the apples she had grown earlier. With her partner eating it happily, Anis went forward and waved at the people that already gathered there before her, although she was not exactly looking forward the fact that there were non-humans amongst the people there. Nevertheless, she should still look friendly. No points in making rifts between this supposed group from the very beginning.

“Uh…good to see you all. I...well uh, this is the place for the so-called Chosens to gather, right?”

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The short cramped cell was starting to get to Ayden. He sat there, bored out of his mind. There was nothing in here, save a chamber pot in the corner. No running water, no bed, just a cold, concrete floor. To make it even less comfy, his arms were bound in cold metal, preventing him from moving them. Runes dotted the floor, blocking his use of magic. The precautions to bind this so called warlock seemed a little extreme. He glanced up to the spirit, leaning against the bars near him. The spirit had saved him from execution the previous day, and promised to do so again, but it seemed hopeless. Still, for some reason Ayden believed in the spirit.


"So, how can you be sure we wont die here?" Ayden said for the umpteenth time. 


"How many times will you ask the same question? You mortals have no patience." The spirit responded, with a huff.


"Well, I'm bored. You don't seem to be trying to make any conver-" Ayden was cut off when Nocturne suddenly brought a finger to his mouth.


"Silence. Someone is coming." The spirit said, now eyeing the door.


The door to his chamber slowly opened with a creak, though instead of the warden, a muscular man entered the room. He placed a key into the cell door and turned it. He then turned the key into the cuffs binding his arms. Ayden raised a curious brow, before rubbing his wrists. Nocturne just continued to stare at the man, as if this was a normal incident. The spirit seemed unfazed by anything happening. Before Nocturne could even stop him, Ayden started running his mouth.


"Well, it is about damn time someone came to there senses. Did everyone finally realize I was behind none of this?" Ayden aid to the man before him.


"...No. They all still hate you and want you dead. They were quite upset by this revelation actually. You are still public enemy number one, so if you want to survive I suggest coming with me. All of your confiscated gear is out here. What'll it be, pretty-boy?" The man's tone was not one of amusement. 


"Geez old dude, no need to be hostile. All ya had to do was ask to be  graced by my presence. Maybe even a please?" Ayden prodded.


"There is a time and a place, Ayden, and this is neither!" Noctune snapped at him, causing Ayden's mouth so close and color to drain from his face. This was new, he hadn't seen Nocturne act like this before.


Ayden walked out to the door, where his stuff was sprawled out. The warden shot him a very angry glance, to which Ayden responded by flashing a smile and waving. He took up the doll, and the sword. Nocturne looked to the sword, and grimaced. 


"Ayden, did you do this? I thought you said you only had limited knowledge of dark magic." The spirit inquired.


"No, I don't even know what you're talking about." He responded, rather confused.


"Your blade is blighted." Ayden's rescuer explained. "Now quit dragging your feet, we have places to be." 


"Can I at least get the name of my new best friend?" Ayden asked.


"Darek, and we aren't friends."



Darek had been leading Ayden and Nocturne for a while. They werent too far from there destination, about 10 miles from the tower. However, Darek halted them. He drew a crossbow, and began looking around. Following suit, Ayden also drew his giant sword. Nocturne just stood there, curiously watching them. It was then that a large Dire Rat, the size of toddler, began charging them. Derek let loose a bolt, but missed the target. Ayden swung his blade at it, but the rat dodged with ease. Derek put away his crossbow, and drew a dagger. As the rat lunged at him, he stabbed it with the dagger. The weight of the rat still brought Darek down. Ayden kicked the rat, but it didn't budge. Its gnashing teeth were just inches from Derek's throat. For the longest ten seconds of his life, he thought he was going to die. Any minute, the rat would have overpowered him. But just then, the rat's force against him softened. Derek pushed the rat off him, so see a purple aura glowing around it. Ayden was there, focusing on finishing a spell.


"Well, what do ya know? You do have some curses in ya." The man said, driving his dagger further into the Dire Rat.


"So I know one or two. It doesn't mean I mass mind controlled a bunch of nobles and commoners to overthrow the city!" He retorted, his temper getting the better of him. He slashed the Dire Rat with his sword, and strength seemed to flow into him. He slashed it again and again, stealing the strength from the rat. Finally, he beheaded it. After it died, the newfound strength left him.


"What a rush." He said with a grin, realizing he had decapitated the rat.


"Right, well kid looks like were almost there. Play along nicely."


They traveled the rest of the distance, with Ayden pretty much admiring himself for the death of that man. Thankfully for Derek's sanity, they arrived before he ended up punching the egotistical man he was escorting. 


"Hell~o everyone, Ayden has arrived." He announced to the encampment, as loudly as possible. Nocturne drove his hand into his face.

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There upon a road, one that seemed none too different from others, rode a wagon en route to a rather important place. While the passenger of the wagon was one of much, alleged, importance, the wagon itself did not seem to be any different from what one might see being wheeled around a marketplace. The passengers, for there were two of them, were sitting on either side of this wagon. The one whose back was to the horses was a man, someone who looked to be in his late twenties of early thirties, who had an imposing air about him. He had several scars strewn across his rather muscular body, counting only the ones visible at the moment, and had a large great axe to his side. "So," the man had spoken up. "Were you always some kind of special dirtflake and didn't tell me?"


This question was directed towards the girl sitting opposite of him. Her physique was one that was rather well toned as well, and even in the drab and raggedy clothing that she was currently wearing, it was still a figure that most people wouldn't want to mess with, if not for the look on her face that betrayed this appearance. With half of her face covered by her long hair, the girl's already anxious and nervous expression was only exasperated by this. Facing the man, with a look as if she were being accused of something by her boss, she tried to assure him, "I told you already. Ackrin just kind of appeared one day and said I was Chosen, isn't that right Ackrin?" She turned, looking outside of the wagon, only to then nod her head saying, "see?" 


The man's expression didn't change as he said, "you know you're talking to yourself, right?" The girl looked back to the man, a shocked expression across her face, only to then come to some sort of realization and hang her head in defeat. The man sighed wondering what this was really all about. This man was quite the experienced adventurer, hailing from Naporia, beating the odds in the awful survival rates that adventurers tended to have. He had gotten by following a rather simple idea; if the last hour killed, then he made sure he always left with just wounds. Someone who was as equal parts strong as he was a coward; as famous for his capabilities and achievements as he was infamous for his camaraderie, or lack there of. Nevertheless, he still someone that was reliable in getting many a job done, and so when a certain council had been on the lookout for these people called the "Chosen" this adventurer was given the quest to do such finding. The ordeal was easy enough overall, as a fellow adventurer from the same city, he had been able to locate this girl easily. And stories of an odd goat like creature appearing as if from nowhere were fast circulating among his peers, making the girl easy to pinpoint and bring her to the tower. 


Yet while the man might have been slightly skeptical of this whole "Chosen" business, the girl herself wasn't entirely sure on it either. It had only been a few days since she had met the creature, who went by Ackrin, and was informed about this whole thing. She didn't really feel any more special, being labeled a Chosen by some goat like creature. However, this only lent itself to her feeling as though she were going crazy, especially given that the creature known as Ackrin rarely made himself visible to others. Looking out of the wagon, she saw the creature simply walking alongside them, keeping pace with the horse drawn vehicle, and wondered if it had made some kind of mistake in picking her. Despite all of this, though, there was something that was bothering her. "Hey, Ackrin," she spoke towards him, "you know you could just sit down in here, right?" 


The horned creature turned its head, almost immediately, in order to face the speaker. It looked directly at her, with its stern unwavering gaze and began to speak back. It's tone was a monotone, yet it still seemed to have an incredible amount of certainty and purpose in it. "I enjoy this concept known as trotting, more than I do the concept known as sitting." It raised one hoof off the ground before finishing saying, "it feels good on these things called hooves." With that, the strange creature continued to march alongside the wagon. 


"Oh. Okay," the girl muttered, unsure of how to properly respond to what the creature said. Turning back to face the man, he seemed to have an eyebrow raised at the girl, still looking like she was talking to herself, and so she immediately turned her own gaze elsewhere. Looking directly ahead, she noticed that the tower they had been heading toward was far closer than it had been prior. Looking back to the man, who was now lost in his own thought, she said, "I think we're here." 


Looking back, seeing the tower in plain view, he said, "so we are. Guess it's time we part ways here." As the wagon stopped, the man disembarked from the vehicle and looked around seeing others already gathering around the tower. "Well then, I got my own payment to collect and then I'm out, so you just go do whatever your magically given destiny tells  you to do. See you around kid." With that, the man walked towards the tower, meeting up with the people who had similarly escorted their chosens there. 


The girl had similarly gotten off the wagon, taking a crate that had been beside her during the travel with her. Lugging the thing with her and away from the vehicle, Ackrin and her walked towards the large collection of people who seemed to be gathering as well. Looking at them, the lot of them seemed to be in all kinds of different clothing, or lack thereof, and some of even different racial backgrounds. Yet, Ackrin was neither disuaded nor slowed by this fact. He walked towards the group before stopping and declaring, "hello fellow spirits, it is good to see you all didn't die getting here." 


The pink haired girl, setting the heavy crate down besides her, sighed a bit at her spirit's greeting. Nevertheless, though, she would have to follow suit, and so she looked to the group of people who had gathered here. "Um, yes. Hello. Nice to meet you all." 

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Keres' head was practically spinning with all the new faces. She had subconsciously withdrawn herself behind Bradock as more and more Chosen appeared. They all seemed so very different, besides the obvious connection, and Keres immediately went on to analyze them all. It was her way of dealing with the entirely foreign experience. She automatically broke out her pen and paper and began to write down notes.


First was that woman with the bird. She seemed to be some kind of animal tamer, and her Spirit companion reflected that. Perhaps the Nature Chosen, then. It would make sense. Her greeting was somewhat awkward, though her apparent age should mean she was more experienced with people. Perhaps she doesn't like people in general, or maybe something related to a fear. Keres would have to learn more to decide.


The obvious Chosen of Fire was a strangely small Draken. How young was he? Keres hadn't expected children to be allowed to be Chosen but she supposed it was just a matter of talent. She wondered if the others would pick up on his size. After all many might not be experienced with Draken so it was likely they wouldn't think too much of it. Feres had been around Draken often however, in her earlier years. Though it was quite...er...awkward to see what a Draken looked like without the armor the Templars were always wearing. She found herself staring and had to break eye contact to avoid any misunderstandings. It was bad enough that Flux seemed to be hiding from the Fire spirit.


The Orc stood out. However there was such a calm about him that she almost missed him at first. He hadn't greeted them quite yet so she had a hard time judging his character. She didn't want to make snap judgements but she had only ever read about Orcs and never really met one. Figuring his element was a bit trickier until she noticed the glowing creature. Was that Light then? Interesting. Her studies would suggest this an unusual combination, which led Keres to believe this man was extremely remarkable. She couldn't help but be curious about the muscular Orc.


There was a girl, probably around her own age, carrying a large shield. Keres smiled slightly at her demeanor. The girl seemed quite unsure of herself, and it awoke inside Keres an urge to approach her and tell her everything would be okay. She seemed more nervous than the rest of the group, which made Keres wonder at the element. The others had been easier to notice and, despite the fact that the girl's spirit made itself known, she still wasn't sure. Flux seemed to not mind this one so much, though, as they hurried over to the goat creature to excitedly greet him and, it seemed, attempt to give the equivalent to a hug. Likely not Thunder then. Despite that they weren't directly opposites like Water and Fire, Thunder and Water often had many issues interacting.


The next Chosen was a rather energetic and...friendly? Man. Either that or he was incredibly stupid. The man and spirit were both extremely human in form, and it was hard to tell which was which at first glance. She wondered if this "Ayden" was as incompetent as he appeared. Keres made sure to make a note in her writings to "stay away from Ayden during battles". She decided she would avoid making eye contact with this one.Simply because she was unsure she could handle such a personality in her current state. Though there was something about his face that reminded Keres of something.


Her attention turned towards the other human man. And she almost ran. She had seen this man before, only once. He had butchered a group of witches in the swamp. She had been looking for ingredients when she stumbled upon the fight. She didn't interfere due to not knowing the situation, but the way the man had killed them was so savage that she couldn't help but be uncomfortable looking upon his visage. She clutched her hat suddenly, knowing it was common garb for a witch, and debated removing it. But no, that wouldn't be right, she couldn't hide who she was. Even if she didn't wear the hat because of a connection to the witches, it was still part of her history.

This man surely couldn't be so vicious he'd attack a fellow Chosen like that, in front of the Mage Tower, right? And after all the spirit apparently trusted him enough to make him their Chosen so...Keres moved on.


The last of the group was also the most energetic. And, as opposed to Ayden, she was entirely certain the girl's energetic nature was completely legitimate. It made Keres both happy and sad to see such a kind soul as part of their group and she determined that she would watch over this one from here on out. It was this girl's appearance that made Keres relaxed enough to stand up and make herself noticeable.


Though it seemed the Wind Chosen has yet to arrive. Which was disappointing. She knew from her studies that Wind and Water were supposedly a good match so she hoped that the Wind Chosen might be someone who she could interact with comfortably. As it was she had to do something other than sit around, right? Then again...flashes of her past experiences went through her mind. Perhaps calling attention to herself was a bad idea?

She decided her best option was to approach this Orc. He, oddly, seemed the least aggressive of them all and so would likely be the safest. Though she had a feeling the others wouldn't pick up on this as easily.

She walked up to him, stared up at him, without speaking. She stood there for several moments, having forgotten how to actually greet someone properly, before blurting out a, somewhat louder than she had intended, "Keres" and awkwardly gesture at herself. That should be sufficient to get her point across, surely? Keres believed this to have been a most successful greeting and wondered what the result would be.

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Finally having a chance to really relax, Reinaan took a moment to really stretch out. His muscles were still a bit sore and tensed from helping fight off the winged monster that had attacked the ship off the coast of Blagos. But now stretching out in the sun without anything restricting him was a great relief. He thoroughly stretched each limb including his tail, striking several silly looking poses in the process. If there was shame in anyone here it was not Reinaan. After a bit of that he took to lying down on the grass as he hadn't seen so much in one place that was flat in a long time. The grass was cool and refreshing as he lied down on it on his stomach while the rays of the sun beat down on the black scales of his back and warmed them. The contrast in sensations sent a surge of relief and even pleasure through his body. Ziiyol simply looked on smiling as her partner took to relaxing. But it wasn't all that long before more of the chosen started arriving. Ziiyol could easily tell the presence of other spirits. And though Reinaan had taken to relaxing somewhat near the makeshift camp she didn't approach as much herself. A water spirit was nearby, best to just keep some distance. Reinaan would have probably ignored just about everything around him as he occasionally swapped what side was on the grass and what was taking in the sun. A strange noise interrupted the activity and sitting up Reinaan realized it was his stomach growling.


"Huh, haven't really eaten lately have I?" he mumbled out loud. He'd have to take care of that soon. Upon looking up he noticed that several more of the Chosen and their spirits had arrived at the tower some with more energy than others. He first glanced to the camp where a girl seemed to be staring at him. She looked away after a brief moment of eye contact.


"How long was she looking at me?" he asked of his spirit. Ziiyol simply twirled a bit in place laughing for a bit. "Took you long enough to notice. The girl was captivated with you for a few moments. Here I thought I was the only one who loved the look of your scales." she said as she casually approached and ran a hand over the length of Reinaan's exposed back to the base of his tail. Reinaan particularly liked that but always seemed flustered by it. Sure enough the draken jumped to his feet in response. "Hey, cut that out!" he yelled at her. The spirit did nothing more than giggle in response and turn her attention to the other Chosen. Reinaan too now looked at those who like him had had a spirit appear to them out of the blue speaking all sorts of nonsense.


There was a very large creature which Reinaan could only assume was an orc from what he had learned of the other races from the elders of his village. Knowing very little about orcs in general he felt it best to be the most careful around him. A girl had arrived alongside what seemed to be a very large goat. But the goat talked which was something goats didn't do so far as Reinaan was aware. That must be her spirit then. Two men had arrived, one in particular with a bit of a loud greeting. Reinaan had no idea what to make of either of them. A human woman arrived with what seemed to be a large bird and some sort of snake. There was a very energetic and small girl there too. But closer by now resting against a tree was a man and what looked like a cat of sorts. The draken wanted to talk to him and admittedly in recognizing a lightning spirit Ziiyol was at first intrigued herself. Seeing that his gear and jacket was all in one spot and figuring that no one would want to take it the the unclad lizard decided to go talk to this duo first. As Reinaan moved to approach Ziiyol held out her hand to attempt to grab his to stop him. Of course there was no physical weight to the motion but it caught the boy's attention all the same.


"Wait Reiny perhaps you should leave them alone." she started. Reinaan's nostrils flared a bit as he exhaled heavily. "What? You were the one who wanted to see everyone so badly. You're not gonna tell me to put my jacket on are you?" he replied. The spirit simply shook her head. "No, nothing like that. Something is off with them. I don't trust it." she said with a concerned tone that was rare for her. "Well that's only natural with people you don't know yet." he said as he proceeded to Lindow and Lily's side despite the spirit's objections.


"Uhh... hey there!" he all but shouted out at the two. Not very smooth but it could have been worse. "You guys waiting on the big tower thing to open up too?" he asked as he himself sat down not all that far now from them. Then he seemed to take to thinking for a bit. He had clearly forgotten something. "Oh right, name's Reinaan Malyol, a draken from Blagos. And this is Ziiyol, a fire spirit or something like that from I don't really know where." he said motioning to his partner at his si- behind him? That was odd she usually couldn't wait to introduce herself. What could be throwing her off like this? What's more had he done this right? Did humans like to be approached without first speaking themselves? Were drakens scary to them? Would they be as weird about his clothing habits as that templar draken had been? Why did this human cover one of his eyes? There was a lot the young man wanted to blurt out all at once but thankfully he was able to contain himself.

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"Do you feel it?" Kha asked, inhaling deeply, his eyes closed.


"I definitely feel it." Kal'bri responded, her voice sour like the taste of fruit gone bad. 


"So much spiritual energy in one place. It is intoxicating. I can feel it in the air. It is wonderful!" Kha carried on, apparently overwhelmed with the sensation that the Chosen gathering in one place brought. Kal'bri, however, didn't share his feelings. Rising from his shoulders, the pixie-like spirit buzzed angrily around his head for a few seconds, tracing figure-eights in the air before coming to a stop a couple inches in front of his eyes.


"Oh, I'm sorry! I thought you were referring to the itching I was getting on my skin because that filthy thing was here." Kha turned his head to see that Kal'bri was pointing at a Halfling not too far away. 


"You shouldn't talk about her that way. You d-" Before Kha could finish reprimanding Kal'bri for her comment, a human girl with a very distinct hat approached the two of them. 


Kha paused, politely waiting to make the girl's acquaintance. After seeming to struggle to find the words to say she settled on clearly and confidently, if not somewhat overzealously, stating that her name was 'Keres'. However, before Kha could respond in kind, Kal'bri took the initiative. Gently hovering down to be at eye level with the girl, Kal'bri began to speak. 


"I am Kal'bri. Spirit of Light. Patron of the Chosen of Light. You're charmed, yes?" Without waiting for a response, she continued. "Now, I assume you are here because you are also a Chosen. Oh yes, that is your Patron Spirit I assume. Ghastly thing if you ask me. Anyway, were both of your parents huma-"


"That is enough, Kal'bri! We shall show respect to our fellow Chosen, as they have shown respect to us. This is the cycle of things." Though angry about being cutoff, it didn't look like the light spirit was in the mood to argue. Instead she simply flew off to hover a few feet above Kha's head in indignation. The orcish healer wasn't too worried about his spirit's attitude though, he had seen enough of her temper tantrums in the last few days to know that it wouldn't last long. 


"I apologize for her, especially if she said anything that offended you. My name is Khadba Dulaga Eldrison...actually now it is just Khadba Dulaga. Kha, if it pleases you. I am pleased that the fates have brought our meeting, Keres. I have sacrificed much to see this day." 

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After the girl had given her small greeting to the group of odd people, she wasn't entirely sure of what to do now. The obvious course of action here would be to continue past the greeting and get to know these people who were in similar circumstances to her. However, that was far simpler said than done, as, looking around, the group didn't entirely seem like the most approachable of people. The only person who would possibly classify as not unapproachable was the little girl, the one who seemed to have some kind of ram accompanying her, and while she might have gone over to this person, her attention was immediately drawn towards some kind of floating creature making its way over to Ackrin. As its weird feeler like things wrapped around the goat like creature, Ackrin seemed utterly unfazed by the it and simply looked at the creature saying, "a pleasure to see you as well spirit of water. The short, hatted one would be your chosen, correct? " 


After the odd creature's response, the girl looked to who Ackrin had been referencing, seeing her standing next to the large hulking figure of the group. The girl briefly wondered how she had missed her, not having seen her until now, but she could have just looked passed her earlier, so she didn't linger on it for too long. Nevertheless, given that everyone else seemed to have some kind of otherworldly creature about them except for her, she was most likely who Ackrin was referring to, and so taking a deep breath first, the girl went over to approach the hatted one. As she made her way over there, she tapped her on the shoulder before saying, "um, excuse me, Miss. But uh, are they," she pointed over to Ackrin, who had been walking closely behind with the floating creature in toe. "Are they yours?" 


After she asked this, she then looked up to see the large figure up close and personal. Her eyes widened as she saw the monstrous visage of the creature, and given that she had lowered herself to be more at equal height with the apparent chosen of water, the already towering figure appeared colossal to her. Jumping up in a bit of surprise, quickly looking away from the beast and putting her hands up as if to cower behind them saying, "o-oh. Sorry, I didn't realize you were talking with her. I'm sorry for interrupting anything you were in the middle of. "


Conversly, the spirit of Earth looked at the orcish creature, completely stone faced in expression and then their eyes wandered over to the glowing wisp like creature. "Hello spirit of Light and their Chosen. Hello to you too Chosen of Water." 

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They had been sent on a wild goose chase. Who knew that they'd be running all around Naporia, which was basically right at their doorstep, for several days getting one clue leading to the next one. From the red light districts to the merchant guilds, they followed the trail of notes left behind by a mysterious informant, and all they while, they felt like they were watched. Finally, their hunt lead to a cave just outside the city.


"Who dares so brazenly tread this sacred ground?" A voice resounded ahead of the three Templars, deeper in the cave. Two of them were about to draw their weapons, but their leader stopped them.


He was a young man, but open-minded and level-headed, and his patience was the only reason they were able to see through to the end of this hunt. "We are Templars, emissaries of the Mage Tower, here to seek the Chosen and escort them to their duty!" he called out into the cave. He was about to step forwards when the same voice sounded behind them.


"I would not go further, you have trespassed into the domain of Snorr, one of the old forgotten gods known the bane of the night. You have already been cursed with fitful sleep and to proceed would only further incur far, far worse things." The Templars turned to see an elven woman with bright violet hair, walking confidently towards them. On her shoulder was a glowing blue parrot with ghost-like quality. "To remove his curse, you would have do a ritual of greetings and good tidings with one blessed by the Spirits."


The three of them seemed at a loss. The leader was the first to overcome his surprise. "And what is this ritual?" he asked.


"Your right hand please," said the elf, holding out her own. "I will show you."


After a moment of hesitation, the young Templar leader held it out. The elf snatched it.


"By the old traditions, you hold the others hands, and you move it up and down, and up and down. Like this," said the elf, shaking the Templar's hand. "My name is Qali Kvallen, I am a former princess exiled from the lost elven homeland of Emohfle far across the sea to the east. I was brought here by an adventurer named Fladnag when I was but a child and have passed many years here in Fantalius. More relevant to your purposes, however, I am the one Chosen by the Spirit of Wind."


The young Templar seemed to catch on quick. "I am called Lief Ostorrien, a Templar. I am the son of a nobleman, but decided to take up the pursuit of justice and order."


"And thus the ritual exchange is complete," said Qali smiling. She seemed about to continue and offer a handshake to the others, when she looked at the second Templar and thought better of it. "Come along now, dears, I have waited a long while now. It took you guys soooo long to find me. I had considered going on my own, but it would be more polite to wait for the invitation. Oh dear, I haven't been invited like this in a long time, not since I was invited the ball of the chickenfiends!"



It was a relatively short coach ride to the Mage Tower. A very short ride for Qali, who was delighted to have new listeners to her fantastical stories and spoke nonstop.


"The Mage Tower! We're just about here!" cried Qali. She seemed as excited as a child going to the fair. "O Baal Mercurius, Grand Fury of the Wind, what do you think the other Chosen will be like?"


"I'm afraid I don't know, but I'm sure you will find something interesting about each of them," replied the parrot.


Qali nodded. "Hm. Will there be any dragonslayers or demigods?"


"You may be setting the bar a little high, young Qali," said Baal. "Doing so robs you of the opportunity to appreciate the smaller things."


"Certainly, certainly," said Qali, nodding again.


"I dare say those are your companions there," said Baal, raising a wing to point at a group that had gathered outside the Tower.


Qali looked up and suddenly, there was a gust of wind as she disappeared from the carriage, appearing right in the midst of the group. "Yahoo!" she exclaimed to the others. "That, by the way, is the traditional greeting of the Yohoho pirate clans, so yahoo, fellow Chosen, my name is Qali Kvallen. I was once but an urchin on the streets of Shell, until I was picked up by a passing man-witch named Ender who saw my potential and made me into who I am today. I had walked the world in the pursuit of knowledge and adventure, until destiny has brought me to you guys, my new travel companions. I know not what the future holds, but may the norns grace our journeys to come."

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As Kha was happily enjoying a conversation with Keres, he noticed that Kal'bri flutter about fitfully above him and though she still had not forgiven him for his reprimand, and thus was not speaking to him, she had drawn the orc's attention to an approaching human. Another girl, but this one had rosy hair and wore clothes that wouldn't be out of place on the street brawlers of Coombe, albeit with less bloodstains and her nose seemed to still be in it's original position. A resolute-looking ungulate followed a short distance behind the girl, attached to its horns was a strange gelatinous creature. Assumedly one of them was this girl's spirit companion.


Tapping Keres on the shoulder, the pink-haired girl asked her something that Kha didn't quite make out. However, he could very clearly so the look of surprise that was on the girl's face when she noticed that Keres had been talking to someone. Somehow the poor girl had managed to miss the sight of a nearly 7 foot tall orc when walking up. Kha cocked his head, slightly confused as to why the woman appeared to be so frightened. Sometimes he forgot how the other races perceived him and his people, quite literally forgetting how much bigger he was.


"It is no problem." Kha said in his baritone voice, revealing his teeth and tusks in a smile that would hopefully put her at ease. "I am just pleased to be meeting more Chosen,"Kha's gaze wandered to the hoofed creature nearby, "and spirits." The orc bowed deeply in greeting to Ackrin and Flux.



"Don't fall for that flattery s***. He's just as bad as the rest of his kind. I can't even remember why I chose him now." Kal'bri spat zipping down in between Kha and Ackrin. 


"I apologize." Kha amended, paying his spirit no mind. "It is an honor to meet you. I am hoping you won't take Kal'bri too seriously. She is upset from a previous disagreement."


"Disagreement? Ha! That's not quite what I w-"


"Kal'bri! Please." Kha's voice was surprisingly soft and yet seemed to crack like a whip. The wisp-like spirit seemed to relent, raising her miniature hands in a huff but then  slowly floating down to rest on Kha's shoulder.




Looking around, Kha noticed another member of the group making quite a commotion not too far away. "Was she here a moment ago?" He was pretty sure he would've remembered seeing an elf.

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Ayden sat there for a moment with a rather dumb look on his face. Keres gave him a quick glance and looked away. That was more than the rest. Even the new girl just walked right past him, paying him no attention. The expression on Ayden's face so was priceless, Nocturne couldn't help but snickering, which Ayden looked over at. He thought someone was choking a mouse, this noise was so new for Nocturne. His snicker surely wasn't pleasant to the ears, and Ayden was sure to comment on it.


"What is so funny there, bud?" He inquired of Nocturne, slightly irritated.


"How foolish you look right now! You showed up all bravado, and not even a second glance!" Nocturne pointed out, before returning to his stick up the ass composure.


Ayden rolled his eyes and turned his attention to the group. It seemed like the Orc was getting a bunch of attention. The brutish thing didn't look half as charming as himself, yet got more attention. Without a second thought, Ayden made his way over there, eager to steal the show. His spirit on the other hand, was not as thrilled. Nocturne begrudgingly followed Ayden's leader, observing the other spirits more so than their companions. Ayden pulled up by Kha, and threw his arm over the orc's shoulder, though it ended up going rather poorly for him, as Kha was taller. Instead, he was in an awkward lean on the Orc, one movement away from falling.


"Hey bud, I'm sure you heard my name, though I haven't caught yours. I'm Ayden, over there we have Nocturne. And who might this be?" He asked in an obviously fake voice, referencing the small spirit on his shoulder.


Nocturne just shot Ayden a dirty glare, and went back to observing the group in silence.


"He ain't much of a talker ya see."





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Everybody had started to cluster together, and Gilly had been largely ignored. She thought she had caught a couple of the other girls her age glancing her way, but they hadn't made a move to talk to her. And Snowy's being antisocial as usual, she thought, pouting. The rabbit had remained on her shoulders, coolly assessing the other spirits, though his gaze kept coming back to the thunder spirit. He did seem a fraction less frigid toward the earth spirit, however.


Gilly didn't care that she wasn't the most popular person here. Because there was a giant bird! And a person with it, but giant bird! She ran for them, ignoring the way Snow seemed to tense up on her shoulder. "Nature..." he muttered.


"Huh? You say something, Snowy?" the halfling stopped, tilting her head.


"...Nothing to concern yourself with," the rabbit answered after a pause. Still, nature and ice are notorious for not getting along. And yet the one person my Chosen runs toward is that very one. Though I guess it's better than that thunder Chosen. There's something...off about him.


Oblivious to her spirit's concerns, Gilly ran headlong for the brunette with the giant bird. Or, more specifically, the giant bird. Hob trailed behind her, a bit more politely, greeting the woman with a baa. Gilly, however, immediately started to talk. "Hi hi, my name's Gilly, what's yours? Ooh, I suppose you can't talk, can you? Or at least not so I can understand you. But I bet you can talk, pretty lady. What's your name? What's your friend's name? My friend is Hob. You look cool. What's your spirit? Mine's Snowy. He's being antisocial right now, but he's a rabbit. Wait, maybe I can just show you. Hey Snowy, come on out. Don't be shy!"


"I am not shy," the ice spirit replied, but manifested himself anyway. "Greetings," he said stiffly. "Despite what my Chosen may have led you to believe, my name is Snow, the spirit of ice."


"Eh, I prefer Snowy, though. Anyway, how did you meet your friend? Oh wait, am I being rude? Sorry, my daddy always said I could let my tongue run away if I weren't watching it. Then again, how do you watch a tongue when it's in your mouth? He could be kind of silly sometimes. Oh, what do you think we're here to do? You know, I asked the nice soldiers, but I think they were ignoring me. They looked kind of out of it, though. Well, I hope whatever it is, it's fun! I hope you like fun too, because fun is fun!"

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"There's...an uncomfortable amount of non-humans here."


Anis was not really feeling all that well seeing the group of people that had gathered before her. She wasn't really feeling up to work with non-humans, and some of them somewhat made her cautious, like the Orc and, even more worryingly, the elf. During her travels she always avoided elves, and tales on how untrustworthy elves were had been passed down by word of mouth back then among the Sanira people, and Anis didn't see any reasons to believe otherwise. It seemed that during the time she stood there awkwardly while watching the others interact though, Shirin had left her alone, probably looking for something that caught its interest.


However, a baa from a sheep made her notice that someone had decided to approach her. The first that Anis noticed was of course the sheep, one bigger than the ones she usually saw on the plains. However, the owner of the sheep soon approached her, and started to greet her...well, she greeted Ileca first. She looked like a really young kid...although, it didn't take her long to realize that she was a Halfling, especially since there wouldn't be any human kid with the girl's kind of proportion.


"Hi hi, my name's Gilly, what's yours? Ooh, I suppose you can't talk, can you? Or at least not so I can understand you."


"Squawk! (The sheep looks tasty, can I eat it? Yes? Thank you!)"


"But I bet you can talk, pretty lady. What's your name? What's your friend's name? My friend is Hob. You look cool. What's your spirit? Mine's Snowy. He's being antisocial right now, but he's a rabbit. Wait, maybe I can just show you. Hey Snowy, come on out. Don't be shy!"


"Hello there...uh...how should I call you? I am Anastacia, but you can call me Anis. This girl over here is Ileca. She's pretty rude, but she's usually means well. RIght, Ileca?


My spirit...well, it's a sneaky snake, it's probably somewhere now, doing whatever it likes. If you see a suspicious snake that tries to look like a flower, that's Shirin." As she answered this, she also slid a glare towards Ileca, pretty much saying 'not now, be quiet' to her. The bird looked at Anis back and tilted her head, but ended up shifting her gaze back to Hob, still looking at him hungrily.


"I am not shy," the rabbit spirit didn't seem to be approving of what the girl just said to them. It looked just like a normal cute rabbit, and Anis somewhat worried that Ileca might thought on eating them immediately, although she seemingly was still preoccupied by Hob. "Greetings. Despite what my Chosen may have led you to believe, my name is Snow, the spirit of ice." The cold reply was a contrast to the halfling's more energetic one. Did the spirits intentionally chose people that were completely opposite of them? That felt to be quite contradictory.


"Eh, I prefer Snowy, though. Anyway, how did you meet your friend? Oh wait, am I being rude? Sorry, my daddy always said I could let my tongue run away if I weren't watching it. Then again, how do you watch a tongue when it's in your mouth? He could be kind of silly sometimes. Oh, what do you think we're here to do? You know, I asked the nice soldiers, but I think they were ignoring me. They looked kind of out of it, though. Well, I hope whatever it is, it's fun! I hope you like fun too, because fun is fun!"


"Well..." the halfling really ran her mouth uncontrollably. That would be quite a taboo back in Anis' place. "Ileca's been with me since years ago, she pretty much grew up with me. She's my closest friend throughout these years, and we're traveling together because of that.


And to tell the truth, I don't really have much idea either, as I am simply here because my spirit nagged at me to come here, and Ileca thought it's a good idea to follow it."


And, to think about it, whatever they were supposed to do here, Anis really didn't think that she would contribute much anyway.


"But, while it's fine to be quite as excited in asking questions like that, once again I believe I should remind you...can you tell me your name?"



While Anis was still dumbfounded earlier, Shirin decided to slither away too look around at the other spirits and Chosens more closely. It was mainly wondering about which one was supposedly the Dark Chosen, as it was of the element that would complement it well. It did not take Shirin long to notice a knight with his hooded companion, and it got a hunch that the two were the Dark pair here. As they went towards the Orc, Shirin silently followed them, and as the Dark Chosen started his conversation with the Orc that was apparently the chosen of Light, Shirin climbed him, and decided to greet the hooded figure on his shoulder.


"Greeetingsssss, art thou the Dark spirit?


I sssuppposseee that thou hast chosenth quite the person over here. Gladsss to meeteth thou."


Sounding pretentious was harder than Shirin thought, although Shirin could simply blame it on lack of practice due to Anis' dislike of that habit of them. Nevertheless, as it was in its physical form right now, Shirin started to wonder what kind of reaction would either the spirit, or more amusingly, the chosen would have when they realized a talking snake had climbed on them.


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Lindow smiled as the large group of chosen began to gather around him. He nodded in greeting to those who addressed the entire group, though chose to keep his mouth shut for the time being in favor of taking this time to observe them all. From what he could tell, they were a quite a lively bunch; with more young women than he would have anticipated when he was told that they would be embarking on a journey to save the world.


From the all those that had arrived, he found that the majority of his interest fell on the young witch that moved to approach the Orc. Perhaps it was simply a predatory instinct? Nonetheless, the man observed air of discomfort that she seemed to exude when their gazes met, and found his lips curling into a sly smile.


Meanwhile, Lily did her best to go unnoticed by the other spirits. However try as she did, she couldn't escape the cold glare of the ice spirit. "H-He knows..." The cat hissed into Lindow's ear; having used the first opportunity she had with the rabbit's attention else where to crawl into the sleeve of his cloak and climb up to his shoulder.


"Hm? The rabbit right?" The distraction was evident in Lindow's voice as he watched a pair of men join the group. "Yea, I could sense the tension. But it definitely didn't feel like bloodlust or anything- Do those two look familiar to you?" His brow furrowed in thought as he tried his best to recall where he had seen the knight and hooded rogue.


"Uhh... hey there!" Lindow was suddenly broken from his thoughts by an obnoxiously loud voice from his blind spot. "You guys waiting on the big tower thing to open up too?" Shifting his head to the side, he was met with the dwarf of a Draken that seemed to have an aversion to clothing. "Oh right, name's Reinaan Malyol, a draken from Blagos. And this is Ziiyol, a fire spirit or something like that from I don't really know where." 


"Reinaan, and Ziiyol." Lindow repeated in a low friendly tone before closing his single eye and flashing the pair a quick smile. "The name is Lindow, and..." He paused as he glanced down to find that Lily had retreated back into his cloak again. Smirking, Lindow swiftly plucked the thunder spirit up by her tail and lifted her so that Reinaan and Ziiyol could see the entirety of her dangling static form.


"TRAITOR! I'LL KILL YOU BASTARD! LET ME GO!" Lily flailed and wiggled as she tried to swipe at Lindow's face without success.


"And this ray of sunlight is Lily, a lightning spirit." 


Sighing in defeat, Lily turned he gaze towards the fire spirit and their proper chosen. "Hi." She said flatly, still hanging upside down from her tail with her paws crossed in annoyance and embarrassment. With any luck, the fire chosen was as smart as he looked and wouldn't be able to tell that Lindow was... whatever circumstances of their relationship made him. Though she was sure that his spirit could sense something was amiss. 


Much to Lily's displeasure, it also seemed that Lindow didn't plan to leave the interaction at that. "You can tell your friend to come out. I don't bite much, and Lily here was scared that she wouldn't make any friends..." There was a desecrate moment of tension between the pair as Lily shot Lindow a nasty look, to which he responded with a cheeky smirk. He was well aware that she wanted no part in any interactions with he peers.


Just then, and female elf suddenly appeared at his side, causing Lindow's gaze to narrow and his posture to shift as if preparing himself for combat. His friendly demeanor gone as fast as the woman had arrived, those around would have a brief glimpse of what a true Abyss Seeker captain looked like before he relaxed himself upon realizing that the elf was another chosen. 


"Yahoo! That, by the way, is the traditional greeting of the Yohoho pirate clans, so yahoo, fellow Chosen, my name is Qali Kvallen. I was once but an urchin on the streets of Shell, until I was picked up by a passing man-witch named Ender who saw my potential and made me into who I am today. I had walked the world in the pursuit of knowledge and adventure, until destiny has brought me to you guys, my new travel companions. I know not what the future holds, but may the norns grace our journeys to come."


"The Yohoho pirate clans?" Lindow cooly addressed Qali with an amused expression whilst leaning back against his tree. "Ah, I think I've heard of them... frequent the flim-flam ocean, don't they?"

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Reinaan watched curiously as Lindow introduced himself and his spirit partner. The cat like lightning spirit named Lily seemed especially feisty and angry about something or other. Maybe she was just shy about meeting fellow spirits like Ziiyol was proving to be. Or maybe if he'd spoken to any of the others first he'd have realized how remarkably uncomfortable this pair was with each other. Lindow at least seemed really nice and Reinaan liked that he didn't seem to be bothered by his appearance. Seeing as Lily had been dragged out into greeting them Reinaan felt it only right to have Ziiyol do the same as Lindow suggested.


"Come on, you can't talk to anyone if you just hang behind me." he said motioning to his partner to get closer. As if he could somehow push her out any faster he swung his tail through it's horizontal range of motion along the ground. It at least seemed to get her attention and hesitantly Ziiyol stepped out from behind Reinaan to face the man and lightning spirit who had mostly given up fighting her partner. "Hello Lily and Lindow." she said quietly. Reinaan was admittedly becoming quite concerned at this point. Sure the pair seemed a bit tense with each other but Ziiyol was so strangely uncomfortable around them even after they'd started talking to them. The young man was about to question Lindow as to whether something was wrong when the group as a whole was addressed by another new comer. Another woman had appeared though Reinaan wasn't sure she was human. The ears led him to believe he was looking at an elf from what had been described to him. Qali spoke of some group of pirates and Lindow seemed to recognize the name.


Regardless the young draken stood and sort of waved to the elf to return her greeting. Ziiyol however seemed to be taking the opportunity to go greet the wind chosen or maybe it was to get away from the lightning chosen. "Hello Qali, I am Ziiyol spirit of fire. The Draken Reinaan over there is my partner I should love to introduce you two. He'll want to meet you and his scales are so beautiful in the sunlight." she said pointing over to Reinaan. She seemed to be trying to actively distract herself with about anything she could with the girl other than the lightning duo she had just been with. "May I take it that you are the chosen of wind?" she questioned of the elf. It seemed Ziiyol had been keeping track of the elements that had thus far arrived leaving only wind left. Her usual energy had returned rather quickly.


Reinaan sat back down by Lindow and Lily rather perplexed at the whole situation. "Well, sorry about that Lindow. That's how Ziiyol usually is" he started in reference his partners introduction to Qali. "No idea why she was weird with you and Lily. Do fire and lightning spirits not like each other or something?" he puzzled aloud. Soon his attention turned back to the man he had been speaking with though. "So Lindow are you some kind of adventurer or something? You look like you could be. Well not that I've seen a ton of humans but you know. You've probably seen more of the world than I have, what's it like out there?" he began with some excitement building in his voice.

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"Hey bud, I'm sure you heard my name, though I haven't caught yours. I'm Ayden, over there we have Nocturne. And who might this be?" Kha couldn't help but notice the human man that seemed to awkwardly cozy up next to him. His chauvinism and bravado seemed to only be matched by his companion's apathy. The orc didn't quite know what to make of the two. He, after all, made an effort not to judge people, for inflicting judgment only brought judgment upon oneself, but this Ayden seemed quite...disingenuous.   


"I'm Kal'bri, but you can just call me, Kal or Bri." The light spirit said, obviously infatuated with Ayden's good-looks. "This is Kha, but don't pay him any mind, sweetie. Let's get back to you." Kal'bri giggled, her entire body twinkling as she did so. "You wouldn't happen to have any noble heritage in you, would you?


"The name is Khadba Dulaga, but as my spirit patron said, you can call me Kha, if that is easier. It is a pleasure Ayden. And, an honor, Nocturne." Kha bowed his head towards the Spirit of Darkness, but did not stoop too low, afraid that Ayden would fall off of him. 


"You always have to be so courteous with your 'pleasure'-this and your 'honor'-that." Kal'bri mocked him. "What kind of orc even talks like that? Can't you see that Ayden and I were trying to have a conversation."


Stifling any retort he had, Kha simply took on a serene composure and nodded. "I will try to have more patience next time." He nodded, trying not to start another argument with her. 



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"I'm Kal'bri, but you can just call me, Kal or Bri. You wouldn't happen to have any noble heritage in you, would you?


Ayden perked up upon hearing this Spirit's keen interest in him. He knew he was going to get along swell with her. She seemed to have a little argument with the Orc, though he didn't retaliate. Kha and Bri, what an interesting duo. He had thought this light spirit would have been kind, compassionate, and sweet, but this little one was feisty. He liked that.


"Actually, as a matter of fact, I do. My Father was an excellent smith, best in Izalton. Money rolling in an everything." He boasted, to the spirit and the orc. When it bowed to Nocturne, he almost lost balance. Almost. He set himself apart from the Orc, not wanting to eat dirt next time Kha decided he had to move. 


"I'm a pretty big deal ya know. Everyone in Izalton knows my name." He added, flashing a s*** eating smile.



Nocturne sat there, unamused by Ayden's antics. However, he did catch Kal'Bri's comments. He rolled his eyes, knowing full well what attention was going to do to Ayden. He decided to just let Ayden be, and from the looks of things he had company. A curious green snake poked its head by his. He glanced at it, curious what the spirit was about, then glanced back at Ayden as his chosen continued to run his motor mouth. The lack of reaction to having a snake slither around him was almost comical. It seemed as if nothing could impede on Nocturne's focus.


"Greeetingsssss, art thou the Dark spirit?


Noctune simply nodded.


I sssuppposseee that thou hast chosenth quite the person over here. Gladsss to meeteth thou."


"The kid's potential is the size of his ego." It was the perfect backhanded compliment, though he said it without even cracking a grin in his monotone voice. "And you nature? It is an honor." At this, he finally turned his head to the Nature. "You wouldn't mind telling me your chosen, would you?"


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It had started off so splendidly, the Orc responded politely and their spirit, while abrasive, seemed to only want to know about her heritage. "Yes, human..." She said in response. "Nice to meet you?" That was the correct answer, right? It's been a while since she actually introduced herself. Even with Bradok she hadn't done much in the ways of introduction.

But that's when it all went down the drain. More and more people came up, all talking over one another, all pestering with questions and answers. While Keres' face remained disturbingly devoid of emotion, on the inside she was starting to panic. How could she keep up with all of this? Instinctively she began writing more, taking notes about what they all said, their names, their element, their Spirits, and so on.
Then a new voice rose above the rest. "Yahoo! That, by the way, is the traditional greeting of the Yohoho pirate clans, so yahoo, fellow Chosen, my name is Qali Kvallen. I was once but an urchin on the streets of Shell, until I was picked up by a passing man-witch named Ender who saw my potential and made me into who I am today. I had walked the world in the pursuit of knowledge and adventure, until destiny has brought me to you guys, my new travel companions. I know not what the future holds, but may the norns grace our journeys to come."


Keres' head snapped up above her journal and she saw a most whimsical-appearing elf girl. Given the rest of them currently there Keres assumed this must be the Wind Chosen. She wasn't sure how she felt about the one with the Spirit most compatible with hers. But perhaps it would be helpful to learn more.

Unfortunately one of the people to respond to the elf was the one Keres least wanted to encounter. However...

"Ah, I think I've heard of them... frequent the flim-flam ocean, don't they?"


She couldn't just leave it like that. "Actually." Keres said, looking at Qali. She kept her voice level, and her gaze away from the Thunder Chosen. "It's Flam-Flim. According to the myths..." She stopped talking suddenly, nodding firmly, believing that she had said enough for this interaction. She didn't need to explain what the myths said specifically, just that there were myths, that'd surely be enough to get across her point. Which was "It's only a myth, I didn't know many had knowledge of them, it's certainly fascinating that someone knows so much about them. Though it's still uncertain if they really existed or not.". Keres had no idea that none of this actually got across, but she wasn't concerned about that.


Carefully, but obviously, she started to back away. She hoped to get some distance and be able to observe without having to worry about so many people talking to her. She was so focused on the group in front of her, though, that she almost ran into Bradok.
"Dunno where you're going Keres." He said quietly. "Ya know you'll have to get used to them eventually...not that it's my place to say." He spoke up louder for the next part. "Figured I'd let y'all know I'm gonna inform the Council you're all here, you'll be able to get inside soon enough." He walked away towards the tower muttering "Still don't know what all the hold up was for."


Meanwhile Flux was nodding, as best as a jellyfish could, to the Earth Spirit's question. It floated there for a full minute, observing the Earth Chosen, before saying. "They should be friends." towards Ackrin. "She's quiet, wouldn't bother Keres much."

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Okay, maaaybe she was a little excited here. But she had a right to be. It was a bird! A giant bird! And not only that, the person with the bird seemed pretty interesting too.


"Hello there...uh...how should I call you? I am Anastacia, but you can call me Anis. This girl over here is Ileca. She's pretty rude, but she's usually means well. Right, Ileca?"


Ooh, so her name was Ileca? And her name was Anastacia or Anis? Anis was nicer, though it would've been even better if it ended in an "ee" sound. Like Gilly or Snowy! But maybe she was just one of those people that didn't end in an "ee" like Hob. "I guess I could call him Hobby, but I like Hob too," she mused. "What about Anisee though? Anisee hmm...I think it works better like Anis though. Or Stacy! Can I call you Stacy? But no wait, Anis is nice, kinda sounds like Alice. Dang, decisions decisions."


My spirit...well, it's a sneaky snake, it's probably somewhere now, doing whatever it likes. If you see a suspicious snake that tries to look like a flower, that's Shirin."


"Shiriny? Shiny? Shiny the snake!" Gilly bounced on the balls of her feet. "Sounds cool!" And then the nice lady started answering more of her questions. Wowzers, this lady was cool! Nobody else even listened all the way through her speech, except for her parents of course. "Well...Ileca's been with me since years ago, she pretty much grew up with me. She's my closest friend throughout these years, and we're traveling together because of that."


"Golly gee, that's neat!" Gilly squealed. "You guys sound like great pals! Like me and Hob! Except Hob's a boy so not exactly like that, but y'know what I mean."


"And to tell the truth, I don't really have much idea either, as I am simply here because my spirit nagged at me to come here, and Ileca thought it's a good idea to follow it."


"Oh I see. So you came here because of your spirit too? Snowy led me here too, but then the soldiers came and they did the rest of the leading. Oh, did you get led by them too? Do--"


"But, while it's fine to be quite as excited in asking questions like that, once again I believe I should remind you...can you tell me your name?"


"Ooh my name, yes! My name's Gilly! I guess it's short for Gillian, but I prefer Gilly cuz Gillian sounds dumb. I think I said it earlier, but I might have spoken too fast. I think I tend to do that, or at least talk a lot, but I don't know, talking is fun right? Do you like to talk?"


And then the movement of a man caught her eye. "Oooh, is he going into the tower? What for? Do you think he's gonna tell them that we're here?"

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Recoiling away from the orc man, she didn't quite know what to expect from him. She knew very little about orcs, as they weren't exactly commonplace in the surrounding area all she knew about them was from stories and tales. None of them flattering to the orcs. And even if the man was civil enough to talk with the others, that didn't mean he didn't posses the savage and brutish nature that the rest of his kind was known for. As such, the girl didn't exactly comfortable, nor any bit wanting to be near the large orc when she realized that she interrupted his conversation. However, as she awaited his response, the voice and tone that she got were far different than what she was expecting. His voice was definitely low and deep, but far more calm and collected than one would have expected. She turned her head back to face the man, looking up to see that this voice did indeed belong to the orc. As he and his spirit continued to speak, she became more at ease, only to then start to feel a bit terrible about the snap judgement she had made about him.


As she was about to try and make amends to him, though, a loud voice rang throughout, as another Chosen made their presence known. As the orc questioned if she was there before, the girl simply shook her head saying, "no, I don't think so." Only then did another person seem to come up to the orc, seeming rather friendly with the man and making the girl a bit more uncomfortable. While the man was handsome, there was something off putting about his expression to her. It seemed to remind her of a less than honest kind of people who she used to see at home, and thus managed to make herself feel only more uncomfortable. Ackrin seemed to think something to this effect as well, as when the girl looked to him, his usually stone face seemed to have a bit of a glare towards the man before he shifted his eyes away. 


Finally, the other girl that she had talked to her earlier seemed to speak up, though it was in a sort of matter of fact tone directed towards the person who had just shown up, and it only managed to make the pink haired girl confused. As the other girl seemed to dismiss herself from the conversation, the pink haired girl looked to the orc and blond haired man, seeing that they were probably in the middle of something now and decided to follow suit, backing away from the others and just waiting for them to be let into the tower. As she did, Ackrin looked back to the water spirit and nodded his head at its comment. "Companionship between them would form quickly, most likely. Your Chosen seems to be docile and of few words as well."

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"You wouldn't mind telling me your chosen, would you?"


"My...Chossseeennn? It's that biggeth birdth overeth therethssss." Now it was just murdering the language. Shirin pointed itself towards the direction of Ileca, despite she was not really its Chosen. Perhaps it just wanted to mess around with the Dark spirit as a gesture of friendliness. "Speakingeth offeth, art this manth thoussss Chosssenth?


Oh screw it, I'll stop talking like that. My tongue feels really weird now."


Shirin coughed a bit, as much as a snake could cough, before continuing to talk in a different tone than before. A more...flighty and mischievous tone as befitting to its true nature.


"It's quite funny don't you think? He doesn't realize I've slithered around his neck and shoulder, and kept on chatting. Maybe I should try making myself more known~"


Being a snake and all, of course what Shirin did next was taking a bite on the exposed part of Ayden's neck.


Shirin had no regrets.



"Ooh my name, yes! My name's Gilly! I guess it's short for Gillian, but I prefer Gilly cuz Gillian sounds dumb. I think I said it earlier, but I might have spoken too fast. I think I tend to do that, or at least talk a lot, but I don't know, talking is fun right? Do you like to talk?"


"GIllian...sounds like a boy's name, so perhaps Gilly fits you better.

And no, no, but it's fine. I'm not opposed to it, nope. I'm always ready to listen, because that is what I do."


The halfling girl was somewhat quite a bit too much for Anis to handle, although interacting with the girl reminded her of the fond times in her village when she played around and chatted with the kids there, and her own kids too. Thinking about it, her daughter would've looked pretty similar to Gilly if she's still around now. That thought brought a smile on Anis' face. It was quite nice to be reminded of pleasant memories in a time like this, and while she was still uncomfortable with the presence of the other non-humans, Gilly's antics gave her some comfort.


"Oooh, is he going into the tower? What for? Do you think he's gonna tell them that we're here?"


"Wait...uh...you mean you don't know either?


Isn't it...kind of silly? Didn't your guide or spirit tell you about it?"


Either Gilly was just inattentive to what her guide and spirit told her, or everyone here didn't get too informed of their proper reasoning to go to this tower. Either way...


Awkward silence from Anis ensued as she realized where Shirin was.


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