The Guild City

The Tides
Chaos is freedom

The little drow boy sits on ship. Cramped below the deck with dozens of other people just like him. Slaves to be. Stolen from their homes and now smuggled to the islands as property. Half the people below deck are dead. Sickness and infection growing on their bodies as much as the inside, and the men running the ship are not experienced enough to know how to keep more than thirty percent of their haul alive. The boy hates them.

He sees the looks in the other slaves eyes. No hope, and no will to live. They’re all ready to die and accept their fates. He pities them. He wonders which one of them is laughing? He doesn’t see anyone who would laugh like…this. Part womans laugh and part booming thunder in the middle of the storm.

A chance of freedom, a risk of death?

Or a life in chains?

“The first.” He says odd like the answer should be obvious. And as he does the ship tilts and shakes. The slaves and crew all scream alike as a whirlpool pulls them in and tears the boat apart.

A day later the boy washes to shore surrounded by the dead bodies of the crew and slaves. Guards come out to investigate. They pull their spears out, and the sea leaps out from the shoreline and swallows them too.

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Petros - Journal 11
In which Petros gets scared

Petros hears what the champions of Riella have to say, and his heart leaps in his throat. She’s a child! She’s been through so much already! Why force her to make that kind of decision? When it comes to his turn, he speaks without thinking, berating them, and then he can’t speak any more. This is an impossible situation.

Then Vindis tells her to kill herself and rage flares up inside him. He glares daggers at Vindis. She is a CHILD. His emotions overwhelm him. He struggles uselessly, unable to speak, his heart sinking helplessly as Ruka brings the dagger to her chest.

Then it dissolves, and he sees Vindis smirk. Of course. It’s a test. Vindis analyzed the situation and acted. He planned. He took the best option instead of just reacting. Just like Petros had told himself he was going to. Is Vindis the person the he should be following? The idea gives him pause.

Even if it wasn’t a test, she’s chosen by her goddess. This is her destiny. Her goddess will grant her great power, make her a force for good in this world, and bring her to untold heights, but she will demand things in return. Ruka will have to embody her goddesses’ ideals. He’s incredibly proud of her for doing so. Petros will have to do the same. It’s the way things should be. It’s the way things are with those chosen by the goddesses.

All of these thoughts pass by in a moment, more a feeling than distinct words. A deep discomfort sits in his chest as he walks back to Asha.

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Journal 10 - Vindis Florel
Potions & Ponderances

Three- Yes, it should be three drops of Mandrake Essence. Complimented by a, hrm~ What was it? The earthroot paste? Possibly.

Reaching over with a steady hand, the Half-Elf gently gripped at the edge of the mortar, maneuvering it over to his working area—the tiny amount of burbling tincture protesting to the open flame before him. Reaching down he gripped at the pestle, and began to mash the Earthroot, silently adding the petals of several Peaceblooms to the soft paste.

“Hmm…” He mused, “I can’t say I expected there to be so much moisture contained within the root. Perhaps, I skipped a step.“ He muttered outloud, reaching forward to the oil reservoir at the base of the burner to slightly tone down the intensity of the flame—

”You know, it really is unbecoming of you to be toiling over ingredients like a common cook.”

Shaking instinctually at the familiar presence, his fingers lurched up and brushed against the burning edge of the glass, accompanied by a sudden shriek, “AHH- Fuck, fuck, fuck-“ He said, recoiling like a beaten dog as he took the punished side of his finger back towards his center, “How disingenuous of you, and, do you mind perhaps not interjecting at key moments? It’s not like I’m letting a stew simmer here.” He said, clutching at the throbbing index finger.

”Hmph. As a product of your growing delusions, I reserve the right to inflict pain whenever I please. Not to mention, my point stands: Why are you bothering with such trifling things as a-“

“A poison.” He said, finishing the sentence, “A rudimentary one, yes, but a poison none-the-less.”

”I don’t recall an interest in alchemy.”

“Hard not to be when you have someone like-“

”I retract my comment.”

“Regardless… This is more or less a test. As you can imagine, I used to do this quite a lot, but, it seems the skill has come somewhat back into play. Not to mention the wealth of information at my fingertips.” He mused, “It seems fitting, to be frank.”

“That being said, I hardly think it will become anything more than a minor weapon in my arsenal.”

”Your time would be better spent deciphering that book.”

“With what, might I ask? A rusty spoon? If I didn’t know better, I’d assume she was slowly revealing it to me- You know…” He paused, “That could actually be the case. Perhaps, I should take that under consideration.”

”Far too late for that.”

“You’re right, but…” He sighed, “I do hope that every single thing I touch doesn’t turn into the worst case scenario.”

He paused for the moment, thinking on those words. It was certainly a terrifying thought if the book was watching, but, was it? Would he know? Almost certainly not—How about Jin? Perhaps, he should inquire with her… Though, that would be—Well, that would be catastrophic. That being said, why would she let this fall into his hands? She seemed so unconcerned.

Was she really just that aloof—

”The tincture is on fire.”

“… FUCK!

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Journal 9 - Vindis Florel
Rosewater and Daisy Petals

Simplicity was a thing that brought comfort.

By definition, it had not many a component- Nor, any particular significance or the benefit of parts working in unison to provide a better whole.

No, rather, something simplistic was good in whatever sense because it intrinsically contained that quality.

Like, for example, honey. A perfect sweetness, good on its own. Or, perhaps, a sunset- That moment when the colours reach the zenith of their vastness across an ever-darkening sky.

Or, perhaps, the feeling of green grass beneath curious finger tips.

All of these things, such simple pleasures, and yet, they bring comfort to people regardless, as it was in their very nature—Infused in it—No, radiating from it from every pore, as if the world was trying to squeeze the last drops of its wonder from a seemingly infinite core.

These weren’t thoughts that Vindis Florel was prone to thinking, but, regardless, he took comfort like any other individual in these pleasures even if he hadn’t pondered as to why. This was a rarity for such a curious mind, but, perhaps, the magic lay in the lack of knowledge.

Looking down to the desk in the depths of the Flower Shop, the Half-Elf gently twirled the particular white-and-yellow flower between his finger tips, the delicate petals holding onto whatever light made it into the basement.

“It seems I’ll be leaving again.” He mused to the empty room, his eyes glancing across the well-used training area that Sabiya had been frequenting- and, presumably, Bellinda… No, Shade before her. “I don’t think it will be for as long this time, but, I’ll return in due time. Perhaps, she’ll beat me to it.” He said, looking to the room one last time, before placing the daisy into the tiny filled vase.

Turning towards the door, he wandered up the stairs, a dull, hollow thing as he found himself stalling midway, his hand tightly gripping the railing. He closed his eyes. He took a slow meandering breath, before turning back to take one last glance at the hideout.

Of course, only his Shadow was there to greet him.

He turned towards the door, clearing the remainder of the stairs, and stepped out into the City.

The Lonely Daisy, sat in its Vase.

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Petros - Journal 10
In Which Petros Ponders

Petros sits through dinner with everyone at the temple, laughing and enjoying himself. For a moment, he forgets his situation. Afterwards he does some quick chores and heads back to his room. He gets ready for bed, carefully taking off his outfit and changing into his sleeping clothes. He’s only been here a few weeks, but this temple is starting to feel like a new home to him. That’s good. He’s going to be here a while.

He’s never been much a of a thinker or a planner before, but he’s going to have to learn how. This situation is going to demand the best out of him. If he’s going to defeat Thia, he needs to be better than he has been. The silent reception he’d gotten from his companions told him how close he was to losing that particular resource. Every possible avenue of attack has to be explored. Every possible ally has to be cultivated. He’ll have to be more careful with them in the future.

He’ll have to be more careful with everybody. He really is not the type who likes planning, but of the people in his group, is there anyone who does? Vindis, maybe, but for some reason Petros is not sure he can trust whatever plans Vindis would come up with. Sabiya? Who knows. He still knows so little about her. He’ll watch them all and see if anyone’s going to step up and truly lead. Is that something Petros could do? He doubts it – at least, he’s never done it before.

In the morning they’re all going to see Ruka. Ruka, chosen by her goddess. He knows what that’s like, and he’s so proud of her. She and Petros are both meant for great things – vessels that goddesses will use to shape the world. What could be more important than that? He’s going to be Dolora’s instrument against Lyssa, and she – well – who knows? It cannot be a coincidence that they had met. It’s part of a plan. It has to be.

His mind turns to the resources he has at his disposal. He has his goddess behind him – that’s the one thing that’s going to make all of this possible. His fellow brandees. Myra and Taras, in their own way, seem to be helping. Reyland – he smiles at the thought of Reyland’s handsome face. Yes, Reyland seems like a solid ally. The priestess of Seiya had given them a large hint, but she doesn’t seem to willing to do much more than that. Could the wizard Thalia be convinced to help them? That’d be a huge risk, but perhaps an even larger reward. And what about his family back home?

What about his family back home? It’s not like they don’t command considerable resources. He should ask them for help. They’re family. Why shouldn’t he?

Why shouldn’t he?

He’ll talk to Ianthe about it. He’s a planner now, a thinker, someone who navigates his way through troubled waters instead of being swept up in the current. He gets into bed. Within minutes, he’s fast asleep.

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Ariyra - Journal 2
Ariyra tells Ruka a story

Once they arrived at the temple, Ariyra had to ask around for a bit before they could get someone to take them to Ruka. While they waited, they thought ‘Well this is annoying. Next time I should make an appointment.’ Eventually, they were led to Ruka’s room where they found her practicing prayers with a priestess.

“Ruka!” they exclaimed, rather loudly considering the size of the room. “How have you been?” They walk up to her and give a quick hug.

“Oh, I-I’m doing fine. T-the priestess was just t-teaching m-me some prayers.”

As Ruka gives the priestess a pleading look, she sighs “Well I suppose we can continue later. I’ll leave you two be for now. Ruka dear, please come find me once you are done.” With that she gets up and leaves.

Ariyra sits down next to Ruka and clears their throat, “So, I promised you yesterday I’d tell you some stories of my time studying to be a druid. Would you like to hear one now?” At Ruka’s nod, they begin. "A few months into my training my druid teacher Heinorin decided I was ready for a hunt. Now I had hunted for myself before, but not since I had started my studies. It was a bit different than what I had done before as well. I wasn’t allowed to use traps, lures, or even weapons aside from this knife he’d had me make a few weeks prior. Anyway, finding a herd of deer was pretty easy. However, securing the kill was much harder, and I scared them away without even getting close the first couple times. By the time all was said and done, I had been following them for almost 4 days, learning their behavior, studying their patterns.”

Pausing for a moment, Ariyra gathered their thoughts. “It was … much harder to actually end the life of the one I had eventually caught than when I used to do it with a bow, and not just physically, but emotionally as well. I had spent more time observing these deer than I ever had to when hunting from a distance, and it was much more intimate plunging that dagger in its neck than loosing an arrow ever was. But by that time I was starving, as I had only brought a day’s worth of food with me, anticipating an easy kill. Of course I had also been scavenging berries and nuts along the way, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me considering I was following the herd. So, I had this carcass and was about to start field dressing it when Heinorin stepped out of a nearby oak, she actually scared me a bit with that. She made a small cut in the ribs, reached through and after a bit, pulled out the heart. Presenting it to me, she gave me some spiel about my first successful hunt and becoming as swift as a deer by eating the heart. I asked her about cooking it first but was told that would interfere with the ceremony, so I reluctantly took the heart, bit into it and started chewing. That was about when she started laughing at me. After she was done catching her breath and cleaning off the bits of heart I had thrown at her, she explained that it was almost a tradition to prank your student on their first hunt, and that it was ridiculous to think eating a piece of meat would do anything other than satiate my hunger.”

Ruka laughed at the mention of it being a prank. “Yes, looking back in hindsight, it was rather funny. Should I ever have a student, it is a tradition I plan on continuing.” After another round of giggles, they resumed, “There were several lessons I learned during that hunt and in the days that followed. Like to respect the animals that are providing you sustenance, but not so much so that you will let your food escape, how to use pretty much every part of an animal, not just the edible parts, and also not to trust people who hand you strange things promising you power if you would just eat the stupid heart or something like that." After a few minutes of small talk Ariyra gave Ruka another hug and left.

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Excerpt from the Diary of Reynard _Ghostslayer_
Barnes

This world seems made to taunt me too dramatic? or does it make me sound deep? Every time things seem to be looking up, life comes and kicks me in my furry sack knocks me down again. We won the tournament, the town loved us, the serial killer was apparently dealt with, I met my brother, and we were off to our next mission. Then Barnes happened.

We arrived in Barnes to investigate strange sounds and happening coming from beneath the well. I We had found out that Barnes had once housed a cult, and they had worked underground, so we knew there was probably something below the town. After asking around town we decided that our best course of action was to head down there in the morning and investigate. darn townsfolk are either unhelpful or evil

Of course drama happened that night mostly caused by Vindis because its always Vindis First he asked about Ra’ala and her consuming blood in front of Gerard (Gearard and Karim accompanied us on this mission) and being a paladin had to inquire into it. I think I successfully dodged his questions but I’ll have to be more careful talking about her in the future.

The other problem was Jin showed up in the middle of the night and somehow blinded our tattoos. too freaky that they were watching us the whole time Apparently Vindis had set this up as part of some deal he made with Jin involving another evil god and the serial killer. This freaked out Karim and Gerard and we all had to have a midnight chat to sort things out.

In the morning, everyone reassured, we headed down into the well. We were immediately separated by some kinda of magic and all fell into illusions Carmine <3.>s been more helpful than I expected. And I cannot deny her powers have been useful. Maybe I should give her the benefit of the doubt and stop holding back with her.

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The Jade Roadtrip 1
An intermission

The onyx staircase stands at at least a good fifty feet high, leading up to a throne that looks as if it is made out of pure salhire and silver glimmering from the aurora lights leaking in through the completely glass and floor. The only disturbance in them are arcane runes buzzing with power.

At the bottom of the stair a figure approaches. A tall Orcish man of six feet with a shaved head and worn and wrinkled green skin. A tiefling woman in chains being pulled by him.

From the throne a hooded individual stands pulling it down to reveal an aged man with long white hair and more runes scarred into his skin.

“I had hoped for a match of my skill amd wits when I heard the legendary Jade Witch had come to my tower…how cruel of you to destroy my hopes so…”

Myra keeps her head down, saying something through a quiet and hoarse tone.

“Excuse me?” He asks. She repeats and he glares motioning for the orc to being her forward. He pulls her on the chain to march up the stair and the man on the throne leans in.

“Care to repeat yourself girl…” He sneers.

She leans forward with a blank expression and whispers. “I said…I can’t believe he’s falling for this.”

He has no chance to respond as a dagger has already sprun from his guards sleeve and punctured the artery in his neck. A pray of red pours out and droplets cover both Myra and the orc’s face.

“We could have easily just fought him you know,” The orc says non chalant as they take out a hankerchief and wipe the dagger.

“This wasted less time,” Myra said the chains shattering to dust around her wrists and the blood vanishing from her face with a snap of her fingers. “Also less of my magic…which is better spent not on megalomaniacs who think they’re the next Y’nan.”

“Are we describing him or you?” The Orc scoffs.

“You can keep the blood on you for that one,” Myra glares and jingles a bag she pulls out from her cloak. “And I’m keeping your gear until we leave. Have fun smelling like Orc corpse Dear Shade.”

The two walk side by side up tpwards the throne perfectly in sync as the orc shakes their head.

“This is why we never hang out anymore…people die, I end up covered in blood, and you get cranky.”

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Journal 8 - Vindis Florel
Abyssal Tidings with a Side of Trepidatious Tea

It is said, there was a realm that dwelt between wakefulness and sleep.

People have called it Dream, but, perhaps that wasn’t a nuanced enough notion. To call it a state of mind would be accurate only in part. While, it was true that such realms sparked a very special kind of magic – some might say, the most powerful illusion magic on earth, or, perhaps it was divination? Who knows. The jury was still out – to say that it was only a realm of fictitious happenstances and vague imagery would be near an insult, and, frankly, woe was to become those who wished those words upon the shifting shadow of one’s psyche made manifest.

Vindis Florel was one to believe it was more of a Void- Empty in part by the will of nature, yes, but it housed a duality nonetheless. Persona, memory, hopes, and dreams were all made manifest in the chaotic sea of one’s own personal abyss, and even when there was no moving imagery, they always sat there, perhaps tossing stones at one another in the vague hope of a modicum of entertainment.

But, fuck that.

Vindis Florel sat down at the tea party in his honor, elegant white jacket over vest, shirt, and bowtie, emblazoned with nigh on Argenti levels of frivolous expenditure (read as: Gold). “I must say, friends, the Tea is wonderful.” He said to the gathered group.

A rabbit, a Djinn, an Iguana, at least two other Vindi, and the image of his younger self seated next to a human mass of ever-sarcastic shadow.

“This is a little fucked up.” Said the Shadow.

“I’d agree.” Said Vindis, taking a sip of the tea.

“Is there a reason…?”

“Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know, is that we’re not of stable mind at the moment. Perhaps, we’re afflicted with something keeping us occupied.”

“I see.”

“Dream is a valuable sanctuary, you know.”

The Shadow sighed, before snapping at the monocle-sporting rabbit. Hopping up onto the table, Peter Cottontail tightened his smoking jacket before pulling up the circular presentation tray shade, to present a shining black soul gem upon the silvered surface where a cake should have been.
The people showed a level of being quite startled, as tiny Vindis leaned forward into a cupcake, narrowing his gaze at the thing.
“Ahh… I suppose we should discuss that, shouldn’t we?”

“That’s what I thought.”

“Hmm, well, we don’t have much of a choice, you know.”

“Unlike you, but I suppose your head’s not in the right space.” said the shadow, slipping a black top hat onto his head. “… Never subject me to this again.” It said, grumbling though, all-too entertained by the hat.

“Well, here’s what I have thought about:” He said, leaning forward as he placed his empty teacup on the porcelain plate in front of him, “We’ll go through with it, but I plan on playing my hand towards Jin. She can be useful, I’d think. I’m resolved to see Thalia to her end. If we get her free, that’s one more ally against her—Not to mention, I don’t want to walk into that party with only old, short, and crazy on our side.”
The Shadow hadn’t a face, but Vindis could somehow feel it’s audible cringe.

“I’ll accept this reasoning-“

Light began to suffuse the room.

“Seems we’re waking up.” Said one of the ‘Vindi’.

“I’ll see you all later.”

“Don’t die.” They all said.

“Don’t be late.” Said the rabbit.

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Mother's Little Monster Final
New friends

He has the prettiest new friend. Her eyes the most lovely yellow, like sickly sap leaking out of a dying tree, and her wilted green hair with bits of rot. So perfect, so decayed. He smiles to her and shows her the gem. Mother was expecting it, but she won’t be getting it. His new friend smiles.

“I think my bosses will be happy to have you,” his new friend giggles. She whispers where to meet them, the leaves growinv from her hand brushing over his face.

“Now get going…we can’t let my new neighbors see you.”

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