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  #76  
Old Aug 13th, 2021, 08:17 AM
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Dad Joke Interlude
Sorbo groans at the Governor's song. He holds his paintbrush like a cigar and waggles his eyebrows, saying confidentially to Gramps, "That guy should quit while he's a head..."

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  #77  
Old Aug 15th, 2021, 03:02 AM
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Fimbulvetr
An exit post


Eleath, former Scythe of the Harvest Queen
Catching a mirrorOnce again they had succeeded. Not flawlessly perhaps, but nonetheless they were able to overcome the daunting task put before them. Sir Ether was unconscious, the City Guards were safe and had even returned to their true senses while the Grey Guard were now scattered. Before the final blow, Sir Ether had called out something about the Bishop. It now seemed clear that some of the Companions fears were realized, the bishop had been a part of this the entire time. No matter. They had overcome everything so far, and they would continue to do so for as long as they needed to. As usual though, they had no time to celebrate whatsoever. The ground began shaking with a terrible rumble. This was not coming from the chapel falling apart, it was something different, unseen. As the Companions started to scramble, Eleath's eyes were overcome by darkness once again.


A cold welcomeEleath's heart was pounding so hard it felt like it would break out of his chest. This was far too soon. The Dark Prince had already come to tease him today, there shouldn't have been another visit for at least a few days. This felt different, cold, damp. He could feel eyes on him, he could feel hands grasping at him. A dim light appeared in the distance and quickly faded, like a candle in a storm. The crushing presence of He of Hungers made itself known immediately with the same scrapping and grinding feeling as always, from inside his bones outwards to his skin. The abomination was swirling in and all around him, taking ever changing forms in Eleath's mind.

"It is time my sweet Star Eternal." snarled a massive grey dog with 3 overlapping mouths.

"Leave me beast. I told you, you will not have me this day!" he shouted back.

"There is no need for you to fight anymore..." a sickly old woman with 1 eye coughed.

As the pressure built around him, taking air out of lungs, Eleath gasped. "I will fight you! I will never lay down!"

"It will not be any more or any less painful either way. You can rest now." a faceless child giggled.

The darkness grew colder and colder as Eleath struggled to keep his focus. His breathing felt so laboured his lungs felt like they were on fire. The visions of the Dark Prince paraded in Eleath's mind in a never ending carousel of horrors and marvels. Trying to focus himself and force the demon out like he had done before, Eleath closed brought to the front of his mind a single image. He used this image to push and strain the demon out of his mind and, like the last time, it worked. No more pain, no more pressure, no more voices. The darkness lifted slowly, and a gentle touch startled Eleath. The swamp witch was most probably worried again.

"I apologize again wise one...we should leave quickly." he said.

To his horror, the image he had conjured to help combat He who Hungers was standing before him. The golden fields were flowing in the wind, and the scent of apple blossoms was almost overpowering. His great love, Laisal stood before him, a hand on his shoulder.

"No...NO!" he cried. "Leave me demon! Leave me!"

The apparition gently put both hands on his cheeks. He knew this was not his lost flame, but her eyes were just as beautiful as he remembered. The Dark Prince spoke through her lips as if they were his own.

"Its time to come home my sweet Star Eternal. There is no more fight in this war of ours. All of your lashing out only makes things so much worse on you. There is nothing more you can do now. Come...sleep..."

There was a finality to those words he had not felt before. He knew them to be true, but simply could not accept them. "I...I won't...I...I..." he mumbled, more afraid than he had ever been in his life.

"Enough!" she raised her voice at him, glaring. "You have to stop now Eleath. You need to stop." she continued, embracing him tightly.

As she let go Eleath broke down crying, unable to speak any more words of opposition. The apparition took him by the hand, and for the first time since the Dark Prince came to him, Eleath moved. He felt his legs step forward, following the image of his only love into the Golden Fields. He knew what awaited him. An eternity of damnation in the maw of He of Hungers. But it had become undeniably clear to him, there was no way out this time. This was the end, but it needn't be a peaceful one. Eleath began reciting his oath over and over in his mind, with every step he took.

"Those words mean nothing now." the demon barked, annoyed at Eleath's mental repetition.

Eleath continued, and slowly began muttering to himself. To his surprise, he could truly speak here now.

"By the great covenant I swear
For all time never to err
To Surrender myself to death's beckoning shoals
For my brothers and sisters' souls
To Keep them safe, wherever they lay
From the darkness, see them away
To Strike the taint, near and at large
To never falter from my charge
And guard them from the fall
Until last winter's call."


Again and again and again, he repeated the words to the Dark Prince's ever growing anger. Now free to move in the realm of the Dark Prince he conjured his reaping blade from thin air.

"...until last winter's call!" he shouted, and in a last act of defiance, struck down the apparition. The whole canvas that the demon had painted fell to dust, leaving only darkness again. A raging storm of curses and blows were thrown at Eleath, battering him from every angle at once. The demon had spoken truth...it wasn't any more or any less painful, despite its rage.



Last Winter's EndWith tears streaming down his face, Eleath stood still amidst the violent quakes. He had beaten back the Dark Prince, but there was no time left for him. His winter journey was ending with the great Winter. He had wished for things to go otherwise, but he was still proud of all he had accomplished. There was regret though, he would not be at the sides of his brothers and sisters when the great battle took place at the end of times. He felt helpless, and angry that he had to leave now. But maybe...just maybe, he could fight the Dark Prince from within. Invisible to all, a clawed hand grasped Eleath's heart and began to squeeze, draining him of everything he had left to give.

"Wise One, Cousin!" he shouted, extending his hand to Magna and Aegaras. "Tell the others...tell Phayekaen..." he stuttered, visibly losing all his strength. "...tell the little one I'm sorry." he continued, his voice slowly descending into a choking silence. Weakening by the second, Eleath appeared wracked with a voiceless pain. As he began to crumple in on himself, a bright light burst forth from his entire body, so bright his fellow Companions had to cover their eyes lest it blind them. Just as suddenly as it had appeared the light died. With one last tormented look at the few members of his newfound family who stood before him Eleath felt himself fade.

Out of nowhere a wall of air blasted right through the terrified elf with frightful force. In the blink of an eye an abhorrent transformation unfolded before his friends, as a thick bluish smoke was being blown away from Eleath's body. Collapsing to the floor where he stood, and without a sound other than the crash of steel on stone, he was gone. His body was not recognizable as the stoic elven warrior they had travelled with this past year. His reaping blade was bent beyond repair, his armor burnt into his flesh, his ring fused to his bones, his silver hair bands scattered behind him, his raven mane now disheveled and snow white, and his eyes empty of all colour. Nothing was left. The Dark Prince finally had his prize.

Eleath the Star Eternal, former Scythe of the Harvest Queen, Executioner of the Great Courts, defender of Elvenkind, son of Selanis the High Dawn and Zyonna the Ivory Keeper, lover of Laisal the blooming night flower, child of the Ruby Forest and the Golden fields, was no more.



OOC:I wanna say a big thanks to everyone in my brackets for the amazing time we had.

Thank you to everyone who participated, there was lot of great stuff to read through, and hopefully I gave as good as I got lol.

And finally another big thanks to Bhelogan and all the judges for organizing and directing this event. You'll definitely see me here again next year.

Cheers to everyone, and good luck to the finalists.
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Old Aug 15th, 2021, 05:58 PM
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The Losses Hurt the MostWith tears running down her face Muffie walks over to the counter and orders an ale from Fu. She sets it on a table and lights a candle. "You will not be forgotten Eleath. You fought hard and were a brave adventurer, we will all miss you."

Muffie reaches for her compact to fix her running mascara and reddening nose. Reminding herself that not every adventurer makes it to see the next day, but somehow she must continue to fight for those who do. She puts on a brave face and looks again at Sorbo. "Do you think we should take down the Governor's head? I do think it is entirely in bad taste to have him up there circling around as a disco ball at a time like this."


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Old Aug 15th, 2021, 07:57 PM
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Toast to a Fallen Hero
Sorbo stands and solemnly bows his head at the passing of one whom had only recently become a friend. "First Rhun, now Eleath. He kept his thoughts and feelings close to the vest. But his eyes told the saddest story I've ever encountered, and he fought like a dancer. I regret that I didn't know him better." He raises his mug in salute, then drains it in one go and quickly orders another.

At Muffie's query, his eyes drift to the governor's head. "Alas for Brick. First the Crossing Companions make him lose his head, and now we're making his head spin." He nods a bit drunkenly. "Yes, take the poor fellow down, and place him in a vat of apricot brandy. It's what he would have wanted." With a sorrowful sigh, he downs his latest mug, and signals the barman for a replacement.



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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 02:12 AM
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A Story to Pass The Time
"Sorbo, getting drunk certainly seems like it could be the answer, but it is not. How about you come and sit with me, and I tell you a Long story I once heard about a young dwarven boy who was looking for love in all the wrong places. It is a fascinating tale filled with romance, unrequited love, family reunions, and a young man who finally gets the family he always wanted. Just remember, no interruptions, that would be rude during story time." Muffie leads Sorbo back over to the couch and sets him down gently. She gathers anyone else who wants to hear the story before rummaging in her bag to pull out a leather-bound book to read speaking loud enough that she is sure Gramps can hear.

"Let's see... Every good story should start with Once Upon a time, in a far away land. However, we are already in that far away land, so I guess we can start with... "
Once Upon a Dwarven Lovestory
Many years ago there was once a couple of middle aged of dwarven men who had arranged with one of the spinsters of the town to bear them a child. The two men had been living happily together for many years and felt the only thing missing in their lives was the cooing of a young child of their own. All the other young dwarven families had children, someone to pass along the family name, the family ax, and the family occupation to, but not these two dwarves. They had searched for years to find someone to agree to help them conceive of a child. Even now, this child was going to cost them a year's worth of gold, Great Uncle Hester's Ax, and the coveted second shift at the mines. But for the two soon-to-be fathers it was worth it.

The day of the birth came and both men were filled with overwhelming excitement and nervousness. They had picked the best dwarven name for their child. Groommar for a strong male, and Yardaebella if they got a blushing bearded girl. After several hours of pacing, both men welcomed Groommar into the world, vowing to keep him safe and give him the best life he could ever have as their son. He would always be loved and would be reminded every day how perfect he was no matter how the world shaped him.

Life was bliss for the family until Groommar was a year old and it was time for his first trip to the mines. It was a joyous occasion for both of his parents to show him off to all of their colleagues and their community. Or it should have been. When the family entered the mines, everyone shunned them since they were not like their peers. It was sad and hurtful talk and made the men return home to pack their things vowing to flee to the woods where they could raise their son away from such hatred. During the night they packed a wagon with everything they could and left town. It was a cold night, and rain was moving it, causing the treetops to sway more than normal. While the parents took shifts driving the wagon Groommar slept between them wrapt in a blanket for warmth.

As dawn approached the family was nearing the edge of the elven woods. The rain had started and was picking up power now. Each drop felt like icy daggers as it fell from the sky. Seeking shelter the family saw a small village across an old river bridge about half a mile to the right and decided to take the detour to get out of the downpour. It would end up being the worst mistake of their lives. As soon as the wagon reached the top of the bridge a large wave of water came from upriver at a rapid pace and push the wagon overboard. Both parents struggled to grab for Groommar, but the blanket made it impossible to get purchase as they both tried to also stay afloat. Floating downriver for what seemed like hours, when in reality was only minutes, the parents washed up on shore thinking their son was lost to them forever. Taken by the water and long dead.

Here dear reader is where our story takes a sidetrack. For both of the parents went their separate ways for a long while. Lost in their own grief thinking their only son was lost to them. There was a time of many years when they lived separate lives, had different families, and became much different people before the fates brought them back together... you will see later. However, Groommar was not lost to the water. The little one-year-old dwarven boy was simply floated down the river to the elven village where he safely washed ashore and was discovered by a moderately well-to-do elvish family.
Ah, dear reader, are you catching up now? Good, good. I am glad you have pieced together one part of our story now. So we can skip ahead a bit for the sake of brevity, this is not a five-part mega-series as it were, but a nice sobering story to tell by the fire in a bar or at an inn. Where were we... oh yes...

The Painter, The Detective, and The Dancer
At this point dear reader we get to what you most already know. We have met nearly all of our adventurers already. The painter is someone who is also just a kindly soul and wants to help those with troubled minds. The detective has a past that has split his mind in two, causing chaos and horror when he is reminded of his abusive father. Then we have the dancer, our lovely Dwarf, raised by elves who thinks little of himself. Throughout the passing of their adventure you have watched them grow and bond. But there is more to their story you may have missed, and I will tell it to you now, again with some brevity.
Sorbo had been working with Jeremy on controlling his anger and not beating himself up when he grew frustrated for months now. But what Sorbo didn't know was that poor Jeremy had been keeping a secret from everyone around him. Each time Rammariel mentioned finding a beautiful dwarf to settle down with it made Jeremy's skin crawl because it meant that the poor fragile boy was just going to be alone in the end that much longer. Why would he ever voice his desires for the striking dwarf with the well-groomed beard if he knew they would never be returned.

So even now during lessons with Sorbo his mind wandered and wasn't paying attention. Letting Occam fill in for him so he could instead play out what it would be like to be happy for just this once. Seeing Jeremy happy, Occam was more than willing to play along until Sorbo called them both out on the ruse. "Jeremy, you can't just hide behind Occam whenever things get hard. You must face things on your own as well. I know it is easier to just let him handle the complicating things in life, but you owe it to yourself to take the bad and the good. It is part of the healing process." Jeremy blushed, thankful that Sorbo didn't know what he was thinking, and then telling Occam that it was okay, Sorbo was a friend, and the only real father he had ever really had.

Jeremy was still unable to tell Rammariel how he felt, especially after he found a new dwarven lady friend at the governor's party. There was always hope when it was just talk of a lady, now there actually was a lady involved and Jeremy was devastated. Knowing that he had nothing left to lose he decided he would at least tell his secret to Sorbo, hoping it would free his mind. The next time the two had their lessons Jeremy was extra nervous and the room was more cold than usual. Even the window had an extra layer of frost. Sorbo knew the boy was troubled and proceeded with caution. "Jeremy, what is on your mind today? It must be troubling you greatly because the entire room is covered in frost." Jeremy shook and started apologizing over and over. "I am sorry, I had something I wanted to tell you, but I don't know how you will react and it has me nervous." Sorbo gave a calming smile to Jeremy, already knowing how to make him feel better. "Well, you told me you could kill people with the help of Occam, and I still like you just fine, I don't think much else will scare me off." Jeremy thought of his own father and his reactions to what he really was before taking a deep breath and telling Sorbo of his thoughts for Rammariel and how it made him feel knowing nothing could be done about it now. "Well nothing is wrong with feeling that way Jeremy, and I don't like you any less because of it. I know it hurts, and perhaps you should still tell him how you feel. You never know how these things may play out. Dwarves have been known to have very open relationships at times. There was once a relationship between seven dwarves and one human woman. So you never know unless you say something. It all goes back to not hiding behind Occam when things get scary or make you nervous. The worst thing that happens is that Rammariel doesn't share your feelings, but then you move on and you find someone who does."

Jeremy looked at Sorbo for a long moment, letting the dwarf's words sink in. He was clearly expecting disgust, or rage, or some other expression that he had gotten in the past from his own father. "Sorbo, my own father was never this kind to me. I have spent my whole life trying to prove that I wasn't some demon sent to curse my family. I think had you been my father, my life would have been much easier. I am only sorry we did not get the chance to meet sooner in life. Thank you for all of your teachings, I will always cherish them."
Little would Jeremy know dear reader what these few words would mean to Sorbo. Especially coming from such a troubled boy like Jeremy. Sorbo had spent many years tormented by his past, and now it seems like helping him find his path forward may have righted some of the wrongs he had committed. And truthfully if I had my own guess. Sorbo liked the idea of being Jeremy's surrogate father. The past few months of adventuring together had grown their bond and Sorbo looked forward to whatever the future held for them.

My Two Gay Dads
Oh yes, I nearly forgot, the two gay dads who went their separate ways after the tragic loss of their son. Well, I had not actually forgotten, but this seems like an appropriate time to bring them back and wrap up the story don't you dear reader?
On the banks of the river washed up and full of misery both men decided that they would go their separate ways. If their lives were truly meant to be together then surely fate would bring them back together at some point. They could not return to their home since it had been the true cause of their heartache in the first place.

The first man went off to the west, deciding to follow away from the village and head towards the kingdom's center. He had been a jovial man once, and maybe he could find his happiness if he could make others laugh. He spent most of his life attempting to make those around him laugh, but his jokes were just mean-spirited and hurtful. No one really knew why. Everyone just assumed he was a bad jester. No-one stopped to ask questions and discover that it stemmed from his own loss so long ago.

The second man went into the village, where he stayed for a good bit of his life. He was taken in by a family who gave him shelter. The woman's husband died suddenly of heart failure and so the man had stepped in to help raise her children and take care of the family. The children grew up and had children of their own who were unkind to the man. Now his only real companions were his two pet crabs, who were themselves quite obnoxious.
Both men, having grown older and living mostly full lives, decided one day to go out and become adventurers in their golden years. One by choice, and the other by the aid of his grandchildren. Through their travels, both men happened to join with the Crossing Companions, and through fate were both reunited. And it is by now good reader that you should know them as Sal and Gramps. It is also by now, dear listeners, that you should know that here in this place, on this very day, there should be the most joyous of family reunions. Because now, two very proud gay dads, can finally tell their son that he is just perfectly fine, just the way he is, no matter what he looks like, or who he loves, or if he runs out of hair products. Because he doesn't need shapewear to keep his stomach flat, their son Rammariel is a Dwarf, and their son Rammariel is Groommar and their son is perfect.



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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 11:14 PM
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Xue-Mihun, Enrapturing Sorceress of Unsacred Rites and Forbidden Knowledge
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When Brinehonz offered the magically conjured wyrm food, it only tilted its scaly head and then dissipated in a cloud of red mist that left the smell of iron hanging in the air. Xue-Mihun had manifested her weapon to humour the elder dwarf but after her performance, her appetite for humouring the companions in regards to celebrating or nursing their sullen mood had been thoroughly abated, and the wyrm had no real need for sustenance anyways. It could have maybe digested the offered fry if she willed it to, but only if its existence hadn't been limited to a mere minute at the same time. The crimson lines reappeared on the elven sorceresses body and completed her look of detached beauty.

And from that point, she was just as thoroughly detached from the conversations around. Xue-Mihun had not forgotten that her mission had been the only reason for her to journey to Orchardbrick and now the missive to stay under Fu's hospice had thoroughly scratched any dates with cultists or their magical achievements out of her schedule. And why would they then leave me behind as the next part of the mission requires rough adventurers to eliminate trouble at a soiree. Have I not proven myself as meticulous, distinguished and surgical? Let's hope that Rhun can keep everything on track in my place. Or possibly the young Winthorpe... But of course Xue-Mihun didn't let the simmering of agitation show on her face. It's not like the Companion's couldn't function without her and she'd already secured valuable information without ever letting the possibility arise that the cultists could have discovered her party of four. Maybe the Bishop did catch wind of my arts... That would be a scrupulous pity...



But from there on as the blood sorceress focused on Fu's illusionary projections of her comrades' progress, it only went downhill. And in time Xue-Mihun lost any smile that she had carried around her lips. She was thoroughly absorbed in the mission that she had been so recklessly excluded from and as new visitors to the bar arrived and others of the Companions started griefing, the red-haired elf didn't let herself feel any such emotions. But from a slight crinkle around her nose, one could tell that she was thoroughly displeased. Shenanigans abound. Reckless tricks, premature decisions and open dilettantism in so many corners!

The work that the blood mage was witnessing not only left Rhun as a speck of flesh on the ground or possibly as leyline energy in the air, but not only his loss was aggravating, also the Grey Guard was uncontested as they spun the narrative of what happened and framed the Crossing Companions without any counter-arguments raised. Xue-Mihun glanced over to Brinehonz who resumed his pleasure cruise upon his return from the man that he had let be murdered by his crabs, and while for curiosity's sake alone she'd have liked to confront his reasoning for such a deed, the Companions still out there quickly stole her attention. She wasn't truly in the right state of mind to start an argument about sensible efficiency at this moment, and even her miscalculation about the one now called Rammar was truly wiped away in face of more pressing matters. And yet here I still sit unable to aid. She looked over at Fu but there was no call to arms or to come to the rescue. With a flick of her wrist, Xue-Mihun pushed a crimson lock out of her face and returned to her useless vigil. Not playing into the Grey Guard's plot was the supposed reason why they had all gathered here and seemingly that part went according to plan. Even as she couldn't see any sense in it...



When Sorbo managed to make his safe return from the clutches of cultists and Muffie called out for Xue-Mihun's attention to regroup in face of things outside growing from bad to worse, the enrapturing elf was looking into a silvered mirror inside the only bathroom. Even this room wasn't free of automatons and while the reasoning behind mechanical aid at the privy was one more of the things that escaped her understanding in this Orchardbrick spectacle, the sorceress was beyond caring. Who was this Fu anyways? He might know her, but he was not Sir Ethan and what authority was he even supposed to hold over her? If this wasn't underground, I could simply burn myself through the wall and leave this dwarf to his patrons who immerse themselves in darts and rolling heads that are animated for no proper reason! Xue-Mihun's anger at the others not sharing her spirit seemed even unjustified to her, but for the sake of brilliance, Liu once had let herself be made into an outcast and as much as the Crossing Companion's were a group of rejects and oddballs, Xue-Mihun was shielded by her pride to feel bad about being somewhat of an outcast even among this merry band of hardened adventurers.

And while it was one thing to be compelled by magic to sing and dance in uninhibited and shameful fashion, at least that amount was still among things that Xue-Mihun could forgive. Among all the seven dwarfs that had been at the garden topiary it was plainly on Sorbo to put her under his spell for his dwarven amusement, but as much as it had infuriated her in the moment, admittedly the blood sorceress herself had bent people under her will to do far more outrageous things that violated the sanctity of their being and in Sorbo's case, Xue-Mihun knew that whatever had happened to him in the past had both placated his temper and in all likelihood even his mind. At least if he hadn't just been like that in the far past as well. So the tattooed elf was quite aware that he hadn't maliciously targeted her and his other proclivities were enough of a reason that Xue-Mihun had decided to forgo revenge even before her group of four had reached the docks. It's one thing to be compelled to sing...

But it was quite another thing in the elven sorceresses mind to be compelled to while away inside an underground bar that had a ridiculously unnecessary amount of mechanical waiters at the same time as nefarious forces were sending the city into turmoil, even at the cost of lives of those that Xue-Mihun had decided to be her Companions. Now that was a compulsion that fueled what little rebellious spirit the one that had been called Liu had and even as breaking out of the bathroom was in the end a useless prospect, the symmetrical face looking back at her in the mirror was smiling so little that Xue-Mihun's resolve was only ever-growing. Her time at the bar had run its course and Fu would be just another dwarf that could look up to her as she forgave his idiotic proclivities as she was so generous not to blame him for the death of one of the few and rare Arbiters in this world.



It was just in time that Xue-Mihun returned to the main room to witness as Eleath was extinguished and while she had lacked the preamble to his death and also held little to no allegiance to the elven Courts, it didn't rightly matter as it just accentuated the reasonings behind her decision to abandon her patience. The bitter sad faces of Companions around the bar as they grieved once more and once again chose liquor over action should maybe have infuriated the blood sorceress to a degree of rage, but she felt bitter coldness inside herself where maybe once other parts of herself had been that she had cut off for the sake of undeterred ambition. But for what ambition has the former Scythe of the Harvest Queen now been cut away from our midst? Xue-Mihun frankly didn't care that it might just have been that Eleath's dwindling time had just run out like it was meant to happen, but his passing was one more marker that following schemes that she hadn't come up with herself resulted in undesirable outcomes today and the elf had rightly grown weary and was now done with following that pattern.

"Rise!!" From imagery on her pale skin arose her wyrm once more, wrapping itself around its controller and mistress as the sword and shield that it was; bright beady eyes staring out into the taproom as automatons creaked among the tables and the dwarf Fu stood behind his bar. The female blood mage's reappearance among the others came unannounced before she had evoked her unsacred manifestation that was the result of arcane science that had cost more lives than Xue-Mihun would ever openly talk about. It had made sense at the time and the spell was now a vestige of her power that she carried into the world. And while others may have feared her craft, this elf knew what she had gotten in return for the parts of herself that she had been made to vaguer and in return she was allowed to dress herself in power and prominence. Maybe not arcane prominence that made her equal to the sages of this continent, but then again she would always choose not to be a plain monster. And while adventurers were grey, in Orchardbrick they were seemingly the only capable good guys. And while that concept didn't matter to Xue-Mihun personally, she wouldn't let an opinion from one such as Fu stop her from being what she thought an adventurer ought to be. The red-haired elf had her head held high as she wore a mysterious, albeit grim smile on her ethereal face. "Well then, Master Fu! Thank you for your hospitality so far! I will take my leave now!"
 
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 11:27 AM
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Muffie closes her book and looks up at Sorbo just in time to see Xue trying for a dramatic exit. "Do you think we should tell her she's stuck here, It seems rude to let her just try to poof herself out over and over?" The couch girlfriend turns to Xue across the bar trying to make a most regal exit and says, "Xue, dear, I am afraid you are stuck here. Once you enter the bar there is no leaving it, the only way out is to be summoned by Bartholomew. I don't think that is bound to happen any time soon, knowing now that he is with team bad guy."
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 06:43 PM
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Sorbo leans a little closer to Muffie and says conspiratorially, "Don't worry." He winks, then hustles a bit unsteadily to intercept the blood witch.

He looks up at the captivating elf then glances sheepishly off to the side, his fingers fidgeting in a worried fashion. "Say, Xui-Mihuan, I fear I owe you an apology. Um, it was childish of me to have a joke at your expense. Just trying to keep the morale up among the dwarves, you know." He looks up at her imploringly, then appears to wither under her gaze.

The painter clears his throat and adds hurriedly, "Well I hope you are not leaving. I was just saying to Muffie over there that the one crowning testament to my prowess as a painter would be to do your portrait. Well if you must know, Rammariel bet me that no mere paints could ever reproduce your..." he blushes, "your unearthly beauty, you see. And of all of us, he knows elves the best. Well I took the bet, although maybe that was prideful of me!"

Sorbo puffs his chest out, then gives a half-laugh before continuing. "And since this is a rare chance for us to have a session uninterrupted while our friends tie up loose ends out there, I was hoping you would do me the honor of a sitting. Let's say, over there on the sofa?"
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Old Aug 18th, 2021, 04:02 PM
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"Hey guys, I don't think I feel so good. My brain feels kinda fuzzy."
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Old Aug 19th, 2021, 01:49 AM
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Stell
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Stell crawls over to CG and hands her a glass of water with lime.

"Yeah, it's the current world’s increasingly organized and catastrophic refusal to face, accept, and live with absurdity—that will make your brain feel kinda fuzzy fosho. Drink this, it might help."

He takes a sip from the glass if CG is suspicious. He doesn't blame her. Crabs and poison, you know.

"Anyway, gotta go and make sure all the banners are hung and all the corners are ripe with dilettantism. Judging by the rumbles and roars, the Great Crustacean Awakening is almost upon us. Question is: Will Xue-Mihun escape out the doors before or after the heavenly claws descend?"

As he scuttles away, anyone who bothers to look can see the seat of his new pants, embroidered with the words: It Gets Juicy at the End!


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Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 12:23 AM
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Time for some Chaos
"Stell, Stella, Piddles and Good Sir Governor how about we create some good old-fashioned chaos? All of these robotic waitresses and waiters, I think they may be helping to keep us inside this bar and maybe causing whatever is happening to our friends! They don't look so well, and they won't stop screaming. Everyone start doing whatever they can to take them out. Sever the connections however you can!" Muffie rambles on to the last standing beings in the bar who don't seem to be falling victim to the evil bishop's spell. Cabana boys don't have souls either. She needs more of them. At least two sets will do. Lifeguards with strong muscles, strong enough to whack a robot's head off, that's what she needed right now.

Now, what can I do to help? Muffie is temporarily baffled at what great chaos she can do. The lifeguards are wandering about smashing robot waiters in the face with chairs and making dodges. The waitresses are still lingering about, even soulless lifeguards seem to have issues hitting robot women. Then it hits the couch girlfriend like a frat party flashback! Robots... Water... Wet Tee-Shirt Contest! She runs to the stage grabbing the mic from a screaming companion, she should have really done that earlier, and makes an announcement to the room, "I need all the female waitresses to the stage please, I will not be happy or content until you join me here. I will forever be saddened. Only you joining me will give me pleasure." Muffie hoped that they would fall for this seeing as she was the only one not screaming and thanks to her phone she now knew why. As all the female robots made their way to the stage smiling and bringing trays filled with ale Muffie chuckles softly to herself. This should be fun, even if it is going to ruin her tracksuit for certain.

"Alright, this is going to be the most fun anyone has ever had, are you all ready? The rules are quite simple," Muffie says taking an ale from the closest tray and looking at the row of automatons. "The thing I have been missing most about home is called a wet Tee-shirt contest. Everyone must take an ale, and throw it upon their chests with great force at the same time. The one who gets the biggest splash and the wettest is the one who wins. I haven't had any who I thought was worthy competition in a while, and it would give me great joy to play against all of you. On the count of three, we will go. I wish for you all to join me, and fill my heart with such gladness. Ready? One... Two... Three..." As soon as Muffie says three she sloshes the closest waitress with the ale as the rest also douse themselves sparking and short-circuiting. This was the best idea ever. And she didn't even have to ruin her clothing.

The couch girlfriend hears a loud clatter against the wall and figures that the crossing companions outside must still be trying to help free them. She cannot give up now. There is a row of sparking bar wenches on the stage that need to be taken care of, so Muffie picks up a chair and starts hitting them to make sure some real damage is done so they cannot just dry out and stand back up later. She makes a mental note to also take care of anyone that Piddles has just peed on, they would need the same treatment. Hopefully, Stell and Stella are doing something helpful because this seems like something the two crabs would enjoy to no end. Muffie did want to create some chaos, and that she did. Looking around at the sparks she realized she hadn't seen the governor in a while, where did that shining head get off to now?



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Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 01:12 AM
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CG, Unchained
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The Baron, Gramps and Stell sit on barstools in a row, each of them equally gobsmacked by Couch Girlfriend unleashing her inner murder hobo on the robots.

"Did you ..."

"Yeah ..."

"Wow ..."

"And ..."

Was all they could say, overcome by admiration each of them.

"This is the most unexpected thing to happen all week!" exclaims Gramps.

"This has nothing to do with this week", clarifies Stella, as she crawls up and takes the fourth barstool. "I believe what we are witnessing, boys, is the opening shots of Outplay 2022 ... and Couch Girlfriend just staked out her position as the one to watch."

They each took a swig of beer as the bar, giving into the inevitable, collapsed around them.

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Old Aug 28th, 2021, 04:16 PM
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Xue-Mihun, Enrapturing Sorceress of Unsacred Rites and Forbidden Knowledge
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Xue-Mihun strut out towards the exit, her wyrm writhing around her torso and glaring in all directions as the blood sorceress expected the automatons or any other trick that Fu might have in store to attack and attempt to stop her. When Muffie called out to her, the red-haired elf decidedly ignored the other woman. No matter how friendly the blonde was, she had quite openly declared herself to act apart from the Crossing Companions and Xue-Mihun wouldn't take her word into account as there were her colleagues risking their lives outside the bar and inside here everybody seemed to be struck by blissful ignorance. This whole situation is so bizarre... Why am I the only one thinking of helping the Companions outside? Shouldn't it be reversed?

But as much as Xue-Mihun recognized more and more the strangeness about the happenings in Fu's bar, her resolve had been already forged, her magic unleashed and she was ready to fight her way out of this place if that was what it took. With grim, yet elegant steps she continued approaching the exit undisturbed by the automatons, and everybody except Sorbo seemed to merely watch whereas the seemingly drunk dwarf stumbled after her and began a rambled apology about what happened earlier today. For the first few sentences she managed to ignore him and kept her focus on her intent to leave and to be the adventurer that she had decided to live as, but at the audacity of his request under the current circumstance, the fair elf finally came to an abrupt halt without ever having reached the door. Her determined smile from before had turned into a cold one and her gaze bore down onto the painter's skull. Her tone was melodic but her words came out uncharacteristically chiding. "Listen here you oblivious dwarf..."

But before she could follow through on the verbal cruelties that she had been about to unleash on Sorbo who had made himself an easy target for today's frustrations, a wave of fatigue coursed through the entire bar in response to events on the outside that Xue-Mihun had no longer been following since she had come to her decision to leave. A chorus of screams was raised between the collective of Companions and the enrapturing sorceress herself was interrupted mid-sentence as a pulse of suffering shot through her entire body. And while she didn't join in with the cries of agony, it still left her to lose her posture as weakness befell her and she inelegantly stumbled into one of the tables nearest to the exit. What's happening!! The fatigue seemed all-encompassing, not just her flesh but also her mind had been weakened and Xue-Mihun's thoughts were racing as she began a self-assessment on what had just hit her. Her own vision was swimming but perceiving through the eyes of her wyrm she could see that both the automatons and Brinehonzes crustaceans seemed largely unaffected and strangely enough, Muffie as well seemed to feel much less impacted compared to Xue-Mihun, who only wasn't left screaming in agony because of her acquired tolerance for pain. Almost everybody is affected, is it the bar itself?! Over the years of her studies as a blood mage and through imbibing stolen wisdom and practices, Xue-Mihun had gathered much profane knowledge that had nothing to do with her own magic. But following the clues, despite her current state, she managed to analyze their predicament. Soul magic! We're being drained!!

But even knowing what dark magics had gotten them into its grasp and even connecting it to the bar itself, Xue-Mihun wasn't much better off than the other Companions, and as prepared as she had been to fight her way out, this effect was nothing that her wyrm or other spells could defend her from. And although she had corrupted herself enough to possibly have more energy to give, at this moment she couldn't even gather the strength to get up as she leaned disgracefully against her wooden table, holding on just to not make a more intimate acquaintance with the bar's floor. Fu's establishment seemed to be its own little isolated hell, filled with the wails of the subdued Companions and shut off from the outside world that not even any call for help from any elementals reached to the adventurers inside. Xue-Mihun tried to come up with a scheme, any play that she had left to save herself, but for her it was hopeless. Only one irregularity was left. It made sense that soulless beings weren't affected by whatever was abusing this congregation of hardened adventurers, but Muffaletta Joans who had been a mystery since her arrival was also barely affected, something about her origin seemingly making her resistant to this elaborate prison. So Xue-Mihun watched in agony as Muffie summoned some strange fellows and started a surprisingly effective rampage amidst Fu's marionettes that were in most likelihood their prison wardens. The red-haired sorceress would never act so undignified as to cheer her on, but finding herself at the end of her rope, Xue-Mihun found herself placing her hope in this strange blonde that had rejected being called an adventurer before.



The chaos kept going for just a bit longer until things that happened on the outside upturned what had been happening inside, only announced by the splintering of the heavy door that had posed as the seal to this prison. Muffie's crusade against the automatons had been largely successful, but it hadn't done anything against the magic that had kept the adventurers in their throes of woe. As Xue-Mihun was still holding on to her table, her wyrm already dispersed and its drawing adorning her skin and hiding the scars of her rituals once more, the weakened sorceress found her body flung into the air, and together with everybody else inside the bar she was sucked towards the exit and expelled to witness the ends of a glorious battle that had been lost to the red-haired elf at least. Xue-Mihun was still too weakened to brace her fall as she was thrown harshly to the ground and when she looked up, disheveled and her silks disgraced by earth and dust, she saw the large demon that she would later learn to have been Bishop Bartholomew as he was felled by Magna the swamp witch, one of the most renowned among the Crossing Companions and quite the accomplished woman to enter her story among the likes of heroes.

It took Xue-Mihun still a bit longer to recuperate from what Fu's bar had done to her, but eventually, as all the Companions gathered after the battle and began to exchange stories, the ill-fated elf once called Liu managed to get up as she listened to the voices that started to congratulate each other. She remained on the sidelines, brushed off the dirt from her dress in a futile attempt to regain some dignity, but it became quite clear that she had let herself become a damsel in distress and it was only thanks to Rocky, Magna and even The Drunk, who in their combined effort had done their utmost to save the day. And while Xue-Mihun was quite thankful that her Companions had been their great and reliable selves, possibly saving everybody that had been inside Fu's bar from certain death or eternal slavery, the beaten sorceress still couldn't eliminate the bitterness that falling for Fu's and Bartholomew's deceit accompanied. When others looked in her direction they found Xue-Mihun smiling her usual mysterious smile and eventually she added her congratulations and thanks to the rest of the choir, but in the blood witch's mind this day marked a notch in time that she would remember and not fondly. Looking over to where the demonic form had been defeated, the elven woman tried to discern what remained of Bartholomew. "Everybody, have any of you seen Fu or what happened to the impostor Ether? What of Bartholomew himself?" She let herself sound cordially in her inquiry, but Xue-Mihun's thoughts were quite a bit darker. Any of those three seemed responsible for the happenings in Orchardbrick and if they found their way on Xue-Mihun's altar, well then she would be only one ritual away from learning why and how she could have let this day happen to her...
 
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