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Earth K-Eldritch-5, Geloyra.

 

The people of this Earth live by a loose set of morals, but there are heroes. And some of them are actually OK people. Oh, they'll save you, but you'll pay them for it somehow. Almost all believe in the reward for a job well done. Almost all believe in leaving a swath of bodies in their wake and taking the 'stuff' from said bodies. They'll return to small villages and towns to spend their rewards on alcohol and companionship.

 

Gorth, a marauder. He wields a giant ax with the rage and fury of a demon. He speaks very little words that don't involve the name of his ax and his clan.

Hysti, a chaos witch. A comely maiden who's lot in life is to get everything through her physical wiles or, if that fails, her magic.

Barron, a thief. Like his trade implies, he will steal anything that isn't bolted down. And you most likely won't see him do it.

Windleaf, a shaman. Turns into owls and trees and humanoid hybrids of those to heal and protect the others. The least bloodthirsty. Oh, she'll kill, no problem, but she goes down the path of least resistance.

 

Who are these people? They call themselves the Squires of Avalon. They've made a name for themselves. Minstrels sing of their deeds far and wide. They're not quite legends, but everyone has at least heard of them on their earth. Right now they are planning the end of an epic adventure that will take them to another dimension to find the evil wizard Evadsrednas! Once they have his head on a pike, they will return to the kingdom of Autumnal and receive their rewards.

 

Earth-Prime. Freedom City. 632PM. Friday. Near Federal Plaza.

 

It's just another cold January day. A week or two ago, the world came to 2018 peacefully. Business has slowed to a crawl in the busiest part of town. But people still believe in commerce, the businesses thrive! But there are other reasons to be here.

 

Mr. Murk has received a premonition that there will be a massive dying around this place at this time. He searches for answers to how and why. As if to answer the immortal's query, a giant red portal opened up. If the ancient neanderthal could see what came out of it, he's see a tall mountain of a man with sun darkened skin carrying a large ax on his shoulder, wearing nary but a loincloth made of a lion. A woman so beautiful that both man and women stop and stare. She's dressed in a revealing robe made of red and purple silks. A short man - a child maybe? - dressed in black leather armor, his hands resting on two of the multiple daggers on his person. And a woman with long sharp ears and a wearily expression, wearing a dress made of withered fallen leaves.

 

"This, this place," the leaf-wearing woman speaks with a troubled ton and a valley accent, "its the right place. The connection to the world is greatly diminished!"

 

"Don't worry, Leafy," the short guy said merrily with a British ganger accent, "we ain't gunna be here that long, luv. An' maybe we'll get some weird shyte that we can take back? Countin on it!"

 

The silken robed woman looked to the gathering crowd, she smiled and giggled before making a snowman out of nowhere and having her and it dance for them.

 

The muscle beast growled harshly, "less talk. Less play. Find Evas- Every-... Gods damned wizard." He looked to the robed woman, "talk, not dance!"

 

The silken robed woman rolled her eyes at the wall of meat. Making the snowman disappear. "excuse me, excuse me," she addressed the crowd, her voice sounded French accented, "where would we find your tower of wizards? We are looking for Evadsrednas Do you know of him?"

Edited by Cool Homosapien

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Mr Murk

 

Mr. Murk sat quietly. With the sun a distant glimmer, the Murk was summoned, and entwined in his body. He looked like an extremely old man, sunglasses, tweed suit, a visual - impaired stick tapping on the bench. 

 

He did not react to the strange arrival. Partly because he could see what was going to happen, partly because he could not see them. At least, not like one normally would. He just sensed four odd souls burning into this world. 

 

He spoke in French, just to test out the silk robed woman. 

 

"*No wizards here, madam*" he said softly, voice croaked with age. "*This is Freedom City! Wizards and witches, they don't go around living in high towers! Not for centuries!*"

 

"*What are you doing here? You don't sound American!*" he said, emphasising his French accent. "Paris, maybe?"

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A wound in reality opened in the air and a girl fell unceremoniously out of it, landing on her feet in the front of the front of the crowd. Her eyes swept over the group and caught on the woman who was standing at their head. An uneasy knowledge-without-context crept into her head.

 

The ren fair crew were from Outside, in the big, scary multiverse. And Warp's experiences with alternate worlds had never been all that rosy. "Hang on," she said, peering back at the French(?) old man Warp didn't understand, pegging him as the first person to grab if she needed to get everyone away fast. "Last time I met someone who wanted to come into our world they tried to conquer it. Who are you and what are you looking for this Ev . . .?" She scrunched up her nose and waved off the dream of pronouncing it correctly. "...Him?"

Edited by Curious Key

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Luckily the chaos witch had an enchantment on the group that allowed the off-worlders to speak and understand the languages of everyone here. Walking towards the old man, slowly with a carnal gait, she sat next to him. "But of course," she spoke in the language he thought she spoke. She had no idea what American was and where Freedom City was. "We paid good gold to come here," she said leaning towards the old man and speaking ever so sweetly, "and you're telling us no wizards at all?"

 

The small man looked up at Warp, "this realm need savin' lots, luv? We could offer our services right cheap." He nodded over to the leaf-wearing woman, "Jus' find our shaman here a nice buncha trees an' animals to meld with or whatever she wants." He grinned, "me an' the witch could use some more material things, right? Maybe some currency. Gems. Magic shyte." The chaos witch was busy studying the old man. "'e's blind, ya twit," the short man shouted to the chaos witch.The short man looked to Warp again, "as for the marauder here, 'e can drink a tap dry without flichin'. Also, 'e sure does love th' tavern wenches." The short man stopped talking for a moment and smiled, "so, we got a deal?"

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Maybelle McQueen didn’t own a automobile. With the ring on her finger, she could literally fly faster than any plane. So…there wasn’t really a point to owning one. Which is a long winded way of saying she commuted everywhere via air travel. She didn’t go that fast in town, and stayed below where airplanes flew, however. Dimensional portals opening up in the middle of town was rarely a good thing, so she dropped out of the sky to see what was going on. Hopefully, she wouldn’t have to blast anyone today. Her Southern accent was slight, but noticeable as her feet met ground. “Hey there, folks. My name’s Queenie. How’s everyone doing today? Couldn’t help but notice you all came through a portal. Since you’re from another world, you might not know how we do things here. Please don’t go attacking anyone that doesn’t attack you first, or taking anything that don’t belong to you.” She smiled as disarmingly as she could. “Stick to those two things and you should be all right here in Freedom City. Of course, if you’re interested in settling here or fleeing some unimaginable horror that’s destroyed your world, I can direct you to the Freedom League’s HQ.” She gave a soft chuckle. “Don’t worry about a thing. Folks pop in from other worlds more often than you’d expect. Now, how I can help you today?” Hopefully they spoke something resembling English.

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Whenever something obviously mystical or magical happened in Freedom, typically several people sents texts, tweets or Instagram posts to Grimalkin's website. Of course, there were other heroes in town who dealt with the weird or uncanny, but they were usually much harder to reach. After hurried consultation between the two heroic partners working out of Silberman's Books, it waa decided Gretchen could use the field time, so it wasn't long before the increasingly familiar shadow of the Shrike flew over Freedom's rooftops.

 

Landing somewhat majestically with her cloak held wide, the young woman in black leather and a silver bird mask quickly took in the situation with her dark blue eyes. Grim checked in via their telepathic link.

 

- Are you there yet? What are you seeing? -

 

- I'm seeing...oh my God, this chick is hot. -

 

- Wait, who's hot? Are they good guys or bad guys? If they're super-hot, they're probably evil! -

 

- I'll call you later. -

 

- Wait, what? - 

 

Disconnecting the link from her end (her Ring of Power maintained it, after all), Shrike strode over towards the mysterious strangers, offering nods to Queenie and Warp. Despite herself, the young barista found her gaze irresistibly drawn to the alluring witch.

 

"So....I take it you're all from out of town? I'm, uh, called the Shrike."

Edited by Heritage

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The large man grunted at the spiel from Queenie. He was not about to lower his weapon, it looked like, but he wasn't swinging it. Yet. "Looking for wizard," he snarled at Queenie, "told he'd be here." His grip on his ax tightened, "bring back his head!" In a show of power he flipped the huge two-handed ax from his shoulder to slam it on the ground, head up. He leaned on the flat top of the ax - which seemed to grow when he swung it - flexing to show his hugeness in a show of intimidation to Queenie and maybe the rest of the group that he didn't care about at the moment, "not your choice."

 

As soon as Shrike landed, the Helm of Truth almost stuttered. These people were covered in magic. Their weapons and armor and other trinkets withstanding, even their skin glowed. The list of magic mostly was attack and protection enchantments. The spell that allowed them to speak and understand. The thief had a readied silence and invisibility, and something that looked like he could grab anything from anywhere. The long-eared leaf-wearer could shapeshift. the marauder was covered in an oil that made him magically gleam and gave him enhanced maneuverability. Finally, the woman in robes was... unreadable? Like The Helm knew she was covered, but it was a chaotic mass of magic with no discernible pattern.

 

The short man looked up to Shrike, "oi, 'ow rude of me! Of us!" He laughed and then bowed, "Name's Barron. These are my companions," he pointed to the leaf-wearer, "Windleaf," he pointed to the marauder, "Gorth," and finally he pointed to the chaos witch, "Hysti." Barron looked to Warp again, "well?"

 

Hysti smiled as the newest person walked towards her. She patted the seat next to her, "have a seat, dear. Don't worry, I won't bite." She'd seemed to have completely forgotten about the old man after she heard he was blind.

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"Hm?" Warp managed to tear her eyes away from Hysti after it became clear that Barron was still talking to her. She gave her head a solid shake and turned back to him, raising her eyebrow, placing a hand on hip and recovering her swagger. "Listen short stuff, we can save ourselves just fine. I'm not saying we need your help, I'm saying you're suspicious as hell, and I don't trust you. We only got your word that this 'Everdead' did anything at all.

 

She crossed her arms. "So, how about we start there?"

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Mr. Murk

 

"Oh there are plenty of witches and warlocks" said Mr. Murk gazing blindly into the distance and squeezing out the psychic intrusion. 

 

"Like that lady there" he said, pointing at Shrike. "But they have a different flavour. Perhaps not what you were looking for, hmmm?" he suggested. 

 

Mr. Murk, still clothed in the appearance of an old man, gave a smile as he gazed off to nothing. "You are on a hunt, that is clear. But what will you ride over to reach your quarry? What will you trample for gold?" he asked the big man with the axe, looking directly at him despite his blindness. 

 

"And most hunts end in blood. Whose would it be, I wonder, and how much will flow?" he said, softly. 

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Barron shrugged, "well, you got me there. I'd be suspicious if some you kicked up in our place. But as for - yeah, you can ask the witch 'ow to pronounce that - we got a bounty for 'is 'ead." reaching into a small sack on his side he pulled out a paper. "This guy's wanted for an attempted world endin' event." He unrolled the paper. It read in some funky language that no one here could read. There was an expertly drawn face and side profile. "Says they want 'im back in pieces, as long as it's noticeable."

 

Hysti was not listening to Murk anymore. But Windleaf stepped towards him, "On-on our world, probably something you don't have to deal with, we have a rougher time. I see you're not the immediately violent type. Which is good. But kill or be killed is the law of the land of Geloyra. We measure lives in pounds of gold. Still, there are some who are not so attached to death." Her voice strained a bit, "do... do you have nature spirits? I can't feel them here."

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Mr Murk

 

Once again, Mr. Murk looked straight at the person talking to him, without seeing. 

 

"I am sorry to hear of your world, then" he said sadly. "Lives are not gold, not are gold lives. Unless you treat them as such"

 

He straightened up now, standing comfortably, quiet and subdued. "But times change, sometimes with people, sometimes because of people" he shrugged. 

 

"As for nature spirits, I am sure we have plenty. Living Ice in Greenland, Groaning wood in Canada, Strange Fungus in the Rainforests of South America. Not many in a big city!" he chuckled a bit. 

 

"If you wish to find a wizard of violent intent, I am sure those gathered today would help. But not to spill blood, no. To prevent it from being spilled..."

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Queenie folded her arms. “He’s right. Heroes don’t kill, here. We catch the bad guys and give them to the law to be put in prison.” A large, muscled hulk probably would’ve made her nervous before the Ring, but now? Nah. “In fact, heroes on this world stop killing, no matter noble the intent behind it.” She leveled her gaze at the otherworldly visitors. “We’ll help you find your bad guy and bring him to justice, but go after his life and I’ll stop you. Personally.” To emphasize her point, her translucent silvery forcefield flicked on, and she floated off her feet.

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Knowing on some level that is was probably a bad idea, Shrike nonetheless took a seat next to Hysti, feeling tingles up and down her spine. "Um, in terms of nature spirits, I...think one of them is married to one of my partner's old teammates. But I've...never, like, met her personally."

 

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Gretch just gave in and met the witch's gaze full on; to not do so felt like trying to achieve escape velocity in a go cart. "But like the old guys said, some of us...can do magic, too." And here she turned the ring on her finger, and her costume shifted into a very fetching white 'ski-bunny' outfit like something out of an old Ann-Margaret movie, complete with white fur hat. Her mask was now a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses, which she hoped might hide the hint of panic in her eyes. "But like everyone else said...no killing."

Edited by Heritage

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Hysti was impressed with the display of magical change of clothes. "It is very fortunate that you do not have to shed blood," she said moving closer to Shrike, "but I am afraid Evadsrednas will have no comulsions about slaughtering anyone who gets in his way." She touched the fur hat. "It feels very real," she spoke to Shrike in her head, looking her in the eyes, "please, teach me. I'm a very quick learner." Shrike could feel the woman caressing the back of her neck, but could only see her eyes. A deep carnal red color.

 

"She's right, ya know," Barron said looking to Windleaf, but addressing the other group of heroes. He clearly looked concerned for her, "jus' because you have us on a leash, doesn't mean old deadromancer won't pick the lot of your finest warriors an' make 'em do tricks for him!" He looked to the Queenie and Warp. "I'm not askin' you to give us carte blanche to start murderin' everyone we see, luvs, I'm just saying, Deadie ain't gonna give us the chance."

 

Gorth was annoyed at this inaction. Bored and annoyed. He swing his ax back on his shoulder when Queenie didn't back down. "Tavern. Inn," he grunted a question. "Pony up if you want rooms. Talk all you want. Going to drink. Lots."

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"Looks real professional." Warp said, deadpan. "I can't read it." Her feelings about this man's death were less clear-cut than most others here. It provoked a lot of questions. None of which were more immediately important to her than 'they want to kill a man and we're supposed to take them at their word that he deserved it.' And by the time they subdued him and got the full story, even if he'd done all those things, would he really be enough a threat to merit killing?

 

...And if they let these strangers take this man back home with them, wouldn't they be sending him into the mouth of a guillotine, whether he was alive at the time or not? One problem at a time.

 

The party was talking to everybody else, now, generally trying to convince the group to help find and off the wizard. Warp's feelings about the old man were starting to change, now that she'd actually gotten a chance to hear and understand him. He looked pretty normal, but the cryptic stuff he kept dropping on everyone didn't really sound like something just anybody would rattle off to a bunch of mercenary killers—cause that's what they were, even if Evradude was just as nasty as they said—while looking so dang untroubled by everything. Maybe he was more than he seemed.

 

Though he mostly seemed to be preaching peacemaking, so if he was a problem he was almost certainly less of one than these extradimensional strangers. "...I don't know much about spirits," Warp confessed. "But if they exist, and they're where a lot of nature is, the city's problem not a great place to find it. If you think a lot of green is enough to have them be there, then even the forests outside might be the place to be. If it's more special, maybe like he said."

 

Tilting her head, Warp sensed the opportunity for leverage. And Windleaf seemed like one of the better parts of the group, anyway. It might do good to appeal to her. "...if you wanted to go, it'd be an easy trip for me." She said. "Even if we wanted to go as far as Greenland."

Edited by Curious Key

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Mr. Murk

 

"It seems I am in the company of amiable folk" proclaimed Mr. Murk. "I can dispense with the cloak of gloom!"

 

He waved his hand idly, and shed a grey wispy fog from his body. There was a cool, unpleasant feel and the sound of flies, and then the murk was gone. Mr. Murk stood now as he truly looked. A squat Neanderthal dressed like an Edwardian Gentleman, complete with bowler hat. His eyes were milky and opaque, quite blind, but he looked at everyone nonetheless. 

 

"I foresaw this happening, and the smell of blood" he explained. "The future is mysterious and I catch but glimpses. I cannot say which road we must travel, but for myself and no doubt the merry troupe of swashbucklers that have congregated..." he nodded at Shrike, Warp, and Queenie "...we are at your half-service. To catch you wizard, but not execute him" he concluded. 

 

"I can sense the flow of Eldritch rivers and the vortex of souls. The wizard would be lucky to evade us, even in Greenland" he smiled at Warp. "Although I would like to go to Greenland again. It has been an age and more, and I hear it looks quite beautiful. For me, I can feel the snowflakes on my skin and the breathe the icy clean air. 'Tis extraordinary!"

Edited by Supercape

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 - I can't -, she replied in her mind, her shoulders arching up with pleasure like a cat being scratched. - I have no magical power of my own. I was chosen to bear the Three Gifts of the Magi. The Helm of Truth. The Cloak of Mystery. The Ring of Power. And they are bonded to me, to my life energy. Maybe my soul, if you believe in such things. I have no power to offer you. -

 

Tearing her eyes away from Hysti's, she addressed the others, not realizing that her gloved hand lay pleasantly on the witch's thigh. "We can definitely help you. Three of us are heroes of this world, and the old troglodyte seems to have mystical power, too. Tell us more about this Evad...redness. Where would he go if he was suddenly in a strange new world? What would he seek out? What does he value?"

Edited by Heritage

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Queenie remained floating. “Food and lodging are usually separate in this world. I own a restaurant if you’re hungry. If you promise not to disturb my customers I’ll cook for you for free. I have a liquor license, so you can drink too.” She tilted her head, thinking. “I don’t know any hotels that take guests that fit in like you do, though.” She shrugged. “But if we do this fast enough we can get you home before nightfall. Between…Warp, was it?” She indicated Warp. “And myself, we can cover a lot of ground in a small amount of time. So, as she said, what would your wizard be looking for in our world?”

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Windleaf smiled excitedly. There was a land of green in this nature dead place? She could not wait to see it. Notably, Windleaf was tall and proportionately thin. Not as big as Gorth - who himself was half giant, damn near 8 foot - but there was at least a foot of difference between Warp and Windleaf. The elven woman reached out to her, "cast your spell. Take be where I can rest in the nature of this world." She looked almost relieved that she was leaving this place.

 

Gorth stopped his stride away from the group. "Free food? Drinks," he turned and looked to Queenie again, "like you."

 

Barron looked at the shape change of Mr Murk with some amusement, "sure sure, y' can rest assure ol' Barron won't poke anyone. But if that wizard takes one step near us with his oogly death magic, I'm gonna slice 'im a new smile an' arse." He pulled out a piece of parchment, an inkwell, and a quill. "Let's at least get this in writin'." He began to scribble on the paper in his their lingua franca, still unknown to the Earth-Primers. "As for Evadead," he said towards Shrike, still scribbling unknown words, "we were told by Windleaf's nature buddies to seek out th' sages of the multiverse. That they'd know where 'e went. After crawlin' through fields of th' walkin' dead we ended 'ere." He handed the paper to Windleaf then Gorth then Hysti. They all jotted a signature of some sort. "There," he handed it to Queenie. "Our services. To not kill anything. Unless attacked by necromancers. Show it around."

 

The only one who could read it was Shrike through the Helmet of Truth. It pretty much said in flowery language that what Barron stated. -You'll get used to us, Shrike- Hysti spoke to her mentally. -Me at least. I'm not the leader, but Barron listens to me the most. So if you want to protect Evadsrednas, all I have to do is whisper in his ear- She smiled -oh you have much to offer me, I'm not asking you to take your magical items off right now, but I'll show you mine if you show me yours-

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Warp's eyes had been turned toward Murk when he revealed himself. She wasn't entirely sure what she'd been expecting, but it lay firmly in the realm of not that. She wasn't quite sure she liked the look or the feel of his...Magic? Sure, magic, why not. But she couldn't exactly throw stones about that, could she? "So you know where to go? Good, 'cause I don't know it. You can pick the place."

 

Without thinking much about it, Warp.grabbed Windleaf's hand and looked up. She bit on her lip, cleared her throat and turned to look at, uh, who was it? Queenie. "Yeah," she said. "It's Warp. And I can take us anywhere we need to go, just like that." She gave her fingers a snap, releasing a 'spark' of red entropy from her fingertips.

 

It was hard to focus on anything except the hand in hers now. "Anyway. If we're really gonna split up..." she said. "We should probably set, like, a place to meet up, later. Your r-restaurant, maybe? Don't really care where, just don't want to get lost." She curled and uncurled her toes. She turned back around, toward Windleaf and the strange old man. "S-so..." she said, suddenly very aware of the fact that they were all standing on a crowded street with how many eyes were trained on them. 

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Queenie unfolded her arms, switched off her forcefield, and put her feet back on the ground. “Wharton is probably close enough, Warp.” The national forest was just outside of Freedom City, and none too hard to find. “I was in the middle of my workday, so I should get back to the Queen soon…” The Southern Queen was her place, easily accessible from downtown, west or north Freedom. “Yeah, I like it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have the space to fit four adventurers from another world without having to worry about landlords or the neighbors complaining too much.” She nodded. “People are in and out all the time, so it makes a good meeting spot.”

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The group excused themselves from each other. Warp took Windleaf to a nature area. Gorth and Barron followed Queenie and Mr Murk to free food and drink. Hysti, however, stayed around with her new 'friend', Shrike.

 

-How about we find somewhere warm? I'm sure your tower city has many rooms that we could exchange notes in.- Hysti leaned her head on Shrike's warm fur hat -Also, I can teach you things. if you wish. Show you my way of working magic. I'd like to have you as an apprentice as much as I wanted to be your apprentice.- She wrapped her arms around Shrike and actually spoke out loud, "just think of a place. we'll be there."

 

Gorth carried Barron and followed Murk and Queenie to the restaurant. Gorth was a bit faster than the half-giant looked. By the time they all got there, the big man wasn't even winded. "Meat and ale," Gorth bellowed. "Nice establishment y' got 'ere, Queenie," Barron said looking around. The customers were shocked to see the giant brute wearing just a lion over his personal areas, and the short man in what looked to be leather armor and daggers. As soon as Queenie had her eyes elsewhere, Barron was scoping the place invisibly. Looking for anything that looked valuable.

Edited by Cool Homosapien

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Mr. Murk [At Restuarant]

 

Mr. Murk tapped his way into the restaurant, savouring the aroma. Whilst he could sense the souls of all around him, chairs and tables did not have souls (leastways, most did not), and he had to rely on his cane and experience to navigate, which he did - passably.

 

"Very nice, very nice. Compliments to the chef" he said, cryptically. 

 

"In such a fine establishment, Mr. Gorth, I would suggest finer fare than meat and ale. I can small fine spices and herbs. Mmmm...I have the taste for fish, myself!"

 

He sat down and "looked" at Queenie directly, whilst not seeing her. 

 

"Back when I was born, we used to hunt and kill, roast meat on an open fire. I can smell it still. Ah! it did not have the elegance of today's food, but there was a certain magic, a certain ritual, to the act which bonded souls" he sighed. 

 

"I would make sure that nothing goes amiss, though, your highness" he smiled to Queenie. "I fancy somebody has wandering fingers - born from a lust for gold!"

 

 

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With great effort, Gretchen pulled her head away from the lovely witch, and slid her shades down to meet her smoldering gaze with her intense blue one. She spoke with some hesitation, as if broaching an awkward topic. "Um, just so you know...this is all very lovely, and we can talk and we can fool around a bit, but...I have a girlfriend. A steady girlfriend, who is a hundred year old princess of the Winter Court. She's not normally the jealous type, but...she does have claws made of night that can cut through steel, so please-" 

 

And here, Gretchen managed a hint of a rebelious smirk.

 

"Be gentle with me."

 

Then she took Hysti's soft hand in both of hers and sighed contentedly. "There's a cabin in the Maine woods, far from any towns. We could be alone there."

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Warp hated it. In the instant she hated all the lights and sounds and eyes and the stupid heart beating in her stupid chest because there was just so much she could barely keep track of it. She didn't care where it was or with who, but she didn't want to stick around here any longer. "C-cool," she breathed. "Y-our p-place, later. Fine."

 

She took a steady breathe, counted to five, breathed out. Stayed steady, stayed in control. Warp raised her hands, black energy dancing around her fingers as power welled up as she willed that the space in Wharton State Forest and the air in front of her become one. "Warning y-you," she managed. "my powers can be a-a bit s-spooky." A dark opened into a gaping black maw in front of her. Completely at ease, Warp walked into it and out the other end, into the forest.

Edited by Curious Key

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