Alacritis awoke on the day he was to leave his home, the coral castle called Undarx. When he stepped outside, he found a whole promenade of Agna that ushered him to the edge of the city. He was led there with cheers and cries that wished him well. Reaching his destination, the young octo-humanoid, met with his family and King Altum himself. The monarch gave him a gift bag and also wished him well. He gave Alacritis his blessing, but reminded him that if he left that he could never return through the barrier.
Knowing this already, the words of his king barely phased him. Even so, he tested them by sticking his arm though the barrier and trying to pull it back through. When he could not, he knew the truth and pressed on. Outside the barrier, the water dweller met the true sea. It was not the calm waters of his home, but a rough and tenacious storm. Barely able to swim as it was, Alacritis was swept away by the powerful current and deposited among a field of Sea Urchins.
Seemingly trapped, he tried to escape back up and into the wide waters above, only to be dropped back down. With no other options left, he used his bombs to dispose of one. With a pathway opened before him, the young Agna traveled on. The path ended before a Giant Sea Anemone. Not wanting to battle this creature as well, he tried to swim over it several times and was finally deposited on the other side, within the mouth of a cave.
Entering the cave, Alacritis heard voices and could see light beyond a curve further ahead. As he rounded the bend he found a small settlement of Agna that he never knew existed. One of the residents approached and welcomed him in, offering his home to the new arrival. Ready for some rest after struggling against that current, he accepted. Once in his room, he had an idea and used Detect Secret Doors, from beneath his bed a trap door began to glow.
After wrestling with the door, he finally pried it open with his dagger and descended into darkness. The darkness did not deter him as he had something to fix that as well. He made his way to the end of the hall, which ended in an another hall that led in both directions. To his right the faintest of voices came, but from the corner of his eye he saw a light to his left. Moving down the left option, he tried to catch up to the quickly fading light, but was unable to find it.
Another Detect Secret Doors and he felt a tug back down the way he came. Puzzled but without any leads to the light, he turned around and headed back. The magic led him past the hall he had entered in and down the other hall. Turning a couple corners he found the door, between himself and two swordfish type Agna who stood at the end. Sneaking up to the outline of the door, he entered in and found small room with another door. From it he could hear other voices too muffled to make out.
Opening the door he found himself looking at two mocking squid-like Agna that immediately set out to kill him. A few wise words spare Alacritis and he was offered a job, he simply needed to remove a parrot fish by the name of Shadar. He agreed to the terms, his life for that of another, and returned to his room to rest.
The following morning he asked his host about Shadar and got odd words about a weird one. Pushing the subject as he ate his breakfast, he was told that Shadar used to be totally normal but simply went mad one day. He started screaming about not belonging here and chewing at the meat of his fingers. Eventually, he was muzzled and left to rave by himself.
With his morning meal finished, Alacritis left in search of the lunatic. He found him in a run down looking park area. Still raving Shadar sat atop a rock with wild eyes. The first bomb hit Shadar and sent him flying from his spot. Circling the rock, Alacritis threw another and the crazed one leapt away. Two more bombs later and the parrot fish lay dead. Occupied with the death of Shadar, he failed to hear the little girl sneaking up behind him. Pain shot through his back as she stabbed him with all her might.
Turning around he tried to talk to her, but after a few words she ran away. He followed her to a house. Bursting inside, he swiftly murdered mother and daughter before looting the home. Alacritis found a strange object and used Identify on it. The object began to emit a myriad of colors, right before he lost consciousness. When he awoke, the object was nowhere to be found.
Returning to those that set him to the task, Alacritis found only one within the hidden room. He reported his success before creating an extract in front of the wary Agna. Drinking it, he spewed spider silk upon the face of the other tentacled one. Producing his dagger, he cuts a small hole for the captured one to breathe and answer questions, but keeps the dagger close to his throat. The answers he gets are few, but they tell him much, the settlement was created to serve King Altum with information gathering about the Land Without Water.
With no more information to be had, he moved on to searching the room. His eyes fell on a wall and they told him something was off. Moving closer and giving it his full attention, they soon told him it was not a wall at all. Another Detect Secret Doors revealed that it also was not a door. Realizing what it was, Alacritis moved forward and through the wall, into the a room in Undarx.
Behind him was a mirror, and apparently a portal. He began to search the room. Moments later, the queen entered. She deduced what had happened and offered Alacritis the position of the man he had subdued. He accepted it and she made preparations for him to have a room for the night. Late that night, as he slept, someone entered the room and woke him.
His eyes fluttered open to see King Altum there and he wanted Alacritis to do him a much more important job. He wanted Alacritis to go to the Land Without Water and learn all that he could. If he did, the king would pay him for every piece of information he found useful. Unable to deny his king a request and still obsessed with the surface, he agreed to the offer. The king left him to sleep, but told the younger Agna to meet him in his study.
The next day, Alacritis made his way to the study and Altum was waiting for him with another pack. He checked the contents and then was led to the king's room. There he went through the mirror and into Relictas, where he saw his first land walker. It hissed at him in an unknown language, but Alacritis had something prepared for that. Another extract later and he could not speak the language, but he could understand it. He was led before Dein. Then he wasgiven a place to sleep and someone to teach him the common tongue.
Having spent several years at the Temple in Caustu with the Luckbringers, Dimitri finally decided to return home and search for his father. He left the city and traveled the path up the mountain to transportation square. Arriving there, he is stopped by two guards who demand to see his papers allowing passage into Inve'col, the city in the sky. Completely blind-sided by the request, the young man declared that he is simply returning home to his father. The guards cracked up laughing.
Flabbergasted, Dimitiri continued to try convincing his fellow humans that his father lived atop the upturned peak. When it finally seemed like the young man would never return home, a great shadow fell over the three of them. As they looked up their eyes fell upon a large floating ship, a big balloon-like thing with massive engines on the sides and back that were spouting magical flame. Before he could say anything else, cannons fired upon Inve'col and the guards leapt into the transportation square.
A few seconds later and Dimitri stood in the transportation square in Inve'col. He looked around for any he might know and found someone, but before he could say anything the little bird man screamed and ran away. Confused but unable to waste time, the young man turned toward the residential area and moved on. All around him pirates fought the guards of Caustu and killed the peaceful Pe'inni inhabitants.
Sounds from above caused him to look up and he found three of the pirates falling in his direction from the sky. The two Pe'inni pirates landed on their feet and began to cast spells, while the human landed and brandished a pair of nunchaku. Leaping at the young man, the human pirate fumbled and dropped his weapon. Landing on the cylindrical weapons, his feet flew out from under him as he tripped over them.
As the novice pirates bumbled, Dimitri took the chance to get away. Leaving them behind he continued toward his childhood home. He reached it and burst inside, scaring a little girl. She screamed as he grabbed hold her and shook her demanding to know the location of his father. When that did not work, he picked her up and tried to comfort her, which seemed to settle her down.
Menura was enjoying his morning when a cannon fired into his home in the residential district of Inve'col. He looked through the new entrance to see two Pe'inni rushing at him with large swords. He pulled out his dagger as one fell past him, tripping over the crumbling wall. The other's blade bit into his belly and let loose a small loop of his innards. He fell to the ground and pretended to play dead. The two pirates proceeded to pillage his little house.
Dimitri & Menura
With the girl calmer Dimitri asked his question again and almost got a full answer, but something seemed to cross her mind. Then she was screaming again. He left her there and proceeded to follow what directions he had. After that he wandered until he found a house with a large hole. Inside laid a man that could be his father and two pirates taking everything they could find in the place.
Silently, he crept in and placed his dagger in closest one's back. The other one heard the cry of his companion and moved in Dimitri's direction. The fallen form rose and moved just as soundlessly behind the second pirate and used his own dagger to draw a line of death across the pirate's throat. Like father like son, without missing a beat, Dimitri also slit his opponent's throat. The two pirates hit the ground with a thud.
Enemies dead at their feet, the father that thought his son dead from the test of flight cried out joyously and the son that had not seen his father in years did the same. They embraced, Pe'inni and Man, father and son. Such a happy reunion was short lived as more pirates came to investigate the house. Escaping through the window, the two fled through the alleys. As they ran between the small houses of the bird folk, a group of three pirates fell in behind them.
There feet still moving, they continued to run as another group of three appeared. Just as it seemed the duo might escape, they trip and find themselves surrounded. The two decided to fight and worked together to quickly dispatch one of the pirates. With one down but five to go, they realizde the trouble they are in and Menura tried to bluff the pirates into believing that they are all on the same side.
Not quite convincing enough, his bluff failed but the pirates offered to take them to Coel, the leader of the pirates. Menura and Dimitri believed this option to be much more beneficial than death and readily agree. They are led to the first pirate ship, which landed on the far side of MageTech Industries where the other flying ships were kept. Once on board they were escorted to the Captain's quarters and left there.
Coel offered them a place on his ship with a contract decreeing that half of all of their plunder as pirates in the first year belonged to the captain. Both father and son signed on to serve under the Sovereign of the Skies. They were given a tour of the ship's rooms and left in the entertainment room. Menura left to scope out the lower deck as Dimitri tried to charm a captured slave. Not domineering enough, the slave passed and he moved on to gambling. Unable to make more than a few coins, Dimitri decided to glean information and dicovered the purpose of the attack. The pirates wanted a second ship to fly.
Meanwhile Menura found two chests, he tried to pick the first one's lock but set off a small trap. Acid burned his hand and he quickly moved on to the next one. Successful at picking the lock on that one, he opened it. Inside was some gold, a silver dagger and a blank scroll. With the one chest emptied the Pe'inni turned around to find a Saurlien watching him.
Backing away, he tried to open the door between the chests but it was locked. He fumbled with his thieves tools and set off a second acid trap, but this one melted the lock. Swinging the door open he dashed inside to a small room. Followed in by the big lizard, Menura is able to outmaneuver the bigger creature and dashes out.
When Kallex wakes, he found a sealed note on the floor in front of his door. Being the assassin he is, the leopard type Therian instantly recognizes it for what it is, an offer for a contract. He opens it to discern the meeting location, a fairly public area on the first floor of Vellrra. Without hesitation, he headed there to meet the potential employers.
Upon arrival he stayed off to the side, not entering the exact location but watching it from a distance. No one came, but before he could leave, someone called out from the shadows behind him. Kallex entered the darkness to meet the three who awaited him, all three were vermin, two rats and rabbit. They did indeed have a contract to offer him, one for which he would be greatly compensated…if he could complete it. The vermin wanted him to assassinate the Lord General of Vellrra.
Being a beast more of action and less of thinking, despite his keen intellect, Kallex accepted it without any consideration. The vermin told him the target would be alone in his room at one in the morning and then they left him to do his work. Like the professional he was, the Therian set out to the first part of his task, finding a way into the upper levels. He scoured the lowest level for one who looked to be of good means, someone with access to the upper levels.
His eyes landed on a large rhinoceros sort of Therian and Kallex began to talk with him. He walked him to a bar and proceeded to get him drunk. A bit of sly talking led, the drunken one to let slip some information. By the end of the interaction, a rather sloshed rhinoceros agreed to lead the leopard to the stairs that would take him up.
As soon as his guide entered the hidden stairs on the sixth floor of Vellrra, the assassin tried to follow. His skills failed him as he bumped into the rhinoceros who forced him back down. Kallex waited the minimum amount of time he felt necessary before attempting the hidden stair again. He climbed them past the first two floors of the third level and found himself at the door to the ninth floor.
He attempted to kick it open with all his might, but the thing was not latched. When his foot hit it, the door swung open and bounced off the nose of a large gorilla of a Therian. The beast angrily tried to grapple him and crush him. Scooping Kallex up into his arms, the beast found his strength lacking, instead he held the leopard gently. Kallex returns the embrace for a moment as he consoled the beast. One of his hands reached for a dagger and tried to stab the guard in the gut. It glanced off of the armor of the gorilla and fell to the ground.
Hearing the clash of the metal, the gorilla's nostrils flared as he tightened his muscles, but he found for some reason that he really liked the cat. This sentiment left him unable to use his full strength. Kallex took the opportunity presented to unsheathe his katana. With a swift slice, the left arm of his opponent fell to the floor. After that it was little trouble to dispatch the gorilla guard.
With the guard dead, the cat looked through the doorway. He saw that the room was a large corridor leading both left and right. Choosing left, he followed it down to the end and around the corner. Two Therians stopped him to demand they see his pass, certain that he did not belong there due to his garish outfit of a poncho and a scarf. He removed the scarf and proceeded to choke the two to death.
Two more of his people lay dead at his feet, but now he could see the error in this decision. He could both hear and see more guards coming for him. Kallex darted forward and nearly ran into one such guard. For a moment they battled, then that one also laid in a puddle of his own blood. Rounding the corner he continued on, as the guards behind were closing the gap.
Ahead of the assassin stood another such beast. Not stopping, he tried to dash past the guard but tripped and bashed into the wall. Standing up, Kallex just continued on halfway down the corridor, where the stairs to the fourth and final level of Vellrra lie. Climbing them rapidly, he bounds into the midst of a group of guards surrounding the stairs.
The sun rose over a disheveled but pretty young thing, and the bird made of metal on her shoulder, which sat in front a burned down workshop in Opagus. The night before had been a terrible accident. Lydia's long latent magical power, a thing she had barely dabbled with, tore its way out of her to destroy everything she cared about. She had sat there all night and still would not move for several hours.
When she finally did, the only thing she sought was solace from the silence, solace she would find in a bottle. Walking down the road toward the nearest bar, she passed an alleyway and heard the hissing beckon. She ignored it and moved on, the next alleyway also beckoned her in the same manner. And the next and the one after that. Soon Lydia was moving quite quickly to reach her destination.
When she did, the young woman burst inside and made her way to the bar. Sitting, she inquired about the price of drinks for the night. She was offered drinks, a meal, and a room, but had no intention of staying another night in the large town. In the end, two gold pieces got her drinks for the night and a meal. As she received her first drink, Lydia was approached by the first of several, a large burly Saurlien. She quickly sent him away.
The lizard would not be the last, others would approach and likewise be rejected as she sat there drinking. After the first couple, she called the bartender back over and asked to buy a flask. He complied, though hesitantly, even topping it off. A young man with decent looks and charm pulled out the seat next to her. He tried striking up a conversation with her, but she was not having it. This did not seem to stop him as he just kept talking. She quickly ordered her food and sat there grumbling. Occasionally, the bird would make a sound at the man.
When the food came, Lydia gobbled it down. The food finished, she stood and started to stumble away. Behind her the man said something to her about missing the magic he could show her and she stopped. It was just the thing she wanted to hear. So she turned and came back, but it turned out to be a really bad line. Unable to take it anymore, Lydia slammed her prosthetic fist into the man's face and sent him flying out of his chair. He slid across the floor to the wall and his jaw hung loosely to the side.
Intimidating nearly everyone in the bar with her outburst, the young woman turned around and left. As soon as she stepped outside, she heard that hissing beckon once again. Turning her head, her eyes met those of a snake-like Saurlien only inches away from her. Annoyed, she tried to get him to leave her alone but he seemed to have a warning. He insisted that she follow him into the alley as it was not safe in the street.
Lydia sent the bird, Armand, up to scout the area but only the one with the warning occupied the alley. And so the girl followed the snake into the dark. Once there he tried to tell her that she was in grave danger that they were after her. When she asked who it was, she got an ominous mention of The Fates, but he seemed to have little information beyond that. Done letting the snake waster her time, she turned to leave. His words stopped her, words proclaiming that it was The Fates that killed her master.
The sting of the wound inflicted only the day before was too fresh. She was certain of her own part of the death of the man that had taught her so much. Lydia left the snake wishing he had never said a word. The nearest gate did not take long for her to reach, but when she got there, the guards asked for her exit papers. Not having any she turned around and tried another. In the end, all four were guarded and required these papers.
Turning back, the intoxicated young woman headed back to the bar and burst back through the doors. An expletive cut through the air as the man with the dislocated jaw started to cast a spell. Pulling out her dagger pistol, she leveled it at the sorcerer, knowing that he could never know she only had one shot. His words caught in his throat. Lydia demanded to know if anyone had papers, but no one offered them.
Walking back out into Opagus, she looked for someone that looked friendly enough to approach. She asked the man if he had his exit papers on him. The man told her that he did not, but if he needed them that he would just go to the main office and ask for them again. Sobering up just a bit from this fact she should hve known, Lydia headed to the office.
The line was long, but the workers efficient, so she did not wait much more than a half hour. With papers in hand she strolled to the east gate and exited the town, never planning to return. She walked the path of trampled grasses that skirted the edge of the desert. Fifteen minutes into her journey, she is struck by a Magic Missile as the former pretty boy she punched rises from the grasses of the plain. Two of his friends also reveal themselves as one casts Obscuring Mist and the other Mage Armor upon the slack-jawed one.