Forum rules
The City of Lanterns Balefire is a city shrouded in eternal darkness. Viewing the city-state and surrounding Gloomwood from the outside is foreboding at best: a storm of pitch-black haze that appears ragged and ripped at the edges, and these energies constantly rotate around the city center. Even after so many years away from the Shadow Plane, the tough shrubs and gutter-beasts of Balefire are still mutated by the shadow energies that permeate the city. One of the only universals in Balefire are streets lit by a variety of colorful lanterns that give the city its nickname. These lanterns are all that stand between the city and the almost suffocating darkness around it.

From Balefire's center a great clocktower looms high above an otherwise low skyline. Its glowing faces are the only real way to tell time in the absence of the sun. Many neighborhoods keep different hours despite this, leading to the possibility of it being as lively as noon in most cities in one neighborhood and as deserted as midnight just a few blocks over.

Balefire's urban sprawl is a patchwork that notably lacks planning. Centuries of different factions building, destroying, rebuilding, and remodeling -- coupled with the large populations of foreign immigrants -- have led to Balefire being the biggest melting pot of utilitarian building design in Imythess. One might easily see architecture with Norwood, Tarisian, Istani, Cascadian and other influences all next to each other, or perhaps even incorporated into the same hodgepodge design. Every square foot of the city is utilized, including the rooftops, as businesses and homeowners vie for limited space within Balefire's ancient, dilapidated infrastructure.

Family [P - Wynne]

Joined: November 15th, 2016, 7:48 pm

March 24th, 2018, 3:05 am #1

The Black Hunter had found his way back to the City of Lanterns.

The place was as dirty as always, he thought to himself as he stood on a hilltop overlooking the city. The city was inundated in orange lamplight, and in the dark autumn night, it looked like hell. Smelled like it too.

Sen stepped forward, his feet crunching on the dry vegetation of the hillside as he made his way to the gates where the guards were. The dullness in his heart propelled him forward, like an alcoholic looking to find a drink to ease his pain. Where there was once the spark of adventure in his eyes, a listless expression remained, the light sucked away from his very being.

He entered the city gates undisturbed, feeling a twisted sense of being at home in the maze of scum-ridden tenement buildings, the streets filled with grime and lost children. He continued forward, his eyes fixed on a forward path. His body seemed to know better than his mind exactly where he was going. His dual scabbards rustled gently against his cloak as he shoved past creatures of various races. In another time, he might have picked up conversation, or asked if there were jobs available. This was not one of those times.

He kept on, his boots clapping against the wet pavement as he recounted the past few days in his mind. Dexter was rumored to be dead. The Hunters had been disbanded. Ned was alive, looking for him.

His fondest memories had shattered into a million pieces, and the light in his eyes had been destroyed along with them.

As he continued walking, quietly immersed in memories of another time, another place, his shoulder bumped up against someone - or something. He scowled and glared down at the offending party, his words abrupt and quiet. "Watch it."
Smoke Hazard: Level 5
Risen Fiend-Bound Level 3

Aetherist: Level 3

Infernos: Level 3

Spellblade: Level 2
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 23rd, 2018, 11:35 pm

March 24th, 2018, 3:57 am #2

Wynnesteria simply wished to disappear.

The well-known maiden of Balefire moved through the streets at a steady pace, seeming to float through the streets in her long, white gown, covered mostly by a deep brown cloak. The hem of the dress stuck out like a sore thumb in the dark streets- the exact opposite of what Wynne had been going for, but it was the plainest dress she owned, the only thing she was alright with ruining on her journey.

Who knew what one would find in a search of one's parents?

Of course, this had been much more of a split-second decision than she would have liked. It had only been planned an hour before, on the far other end of the City of Lanterns, but it wasn't anything anyone wouldn't expect out of her. In fact, she'd be surprised if her aunt and uncle didn't show up within the next three days. Hopefully she'd be quick and clever enough to leave without a trace in time- anything to get rid of those damn high elves and the past nightmare of a year. Seventeen seemed to have brought none of the happiness she'd been promised.

She self-consciously pulled up the hood over her face as far as she could without the points of her headdress pressing through the back of the cloth. Any trace of herself could tip someone off.

Keep your head down. Keep your face covered. Don't make eye contact.

She repeated her own advice to herself with such fervent she'd totally zoned out, moving on autopilot through the streets of Balefire, that she barely noticed when her entire side bumped against someone. She blinked for a moment, looking up, for a moment, her hood nearly falling back. Panic flushed through her as she looked up at him, forgetting her mantra instantly and blinking up at him with her pale, mismatched eyes. She froze still and quickly turned around, hoping he hadn't seen her long enough for him to register who she was, if he knew at all.
"Holy light over the night,
Oh, keep the spirit strong.
Watch it grow, child of war,
Oh, keep holdin' on."




Current Stories
Two Healers Walk into a Bar - Bast Rose
Finished Stories
Family - Sen Montague
Blood Bonds - Sen Montague
Character Stories
N/A
Celestial Infused - Ophan, Lvl 4
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 15th, 2016, 7:48 pm

March 24th, 2018, 4:02 am #3

Sen stared down at the girl. She seemed completelyout of her element - a white snowflake in the midst of an ashen graveyard. He sighed and looked down at her, recognizing something within her eyes - something he'd seen before. He knew that expression - it was the one that remained on his face 24-7 before his life had fallen apart.

He stared quietly down at the girl, gauging her ability. She seemed weak of body, but certainly not of magic. While on the surface, most other magicians would have deemed her ordinary and passed on, he sensed something deeper - something hidden from the surface. He looked down at her quietly for a bit longer.

"You're looking for something."

The statement was simple, and to the point. Over the past weeks, Sen had learned how effective cutting down his statements in such a fashion could be. He stared at the oddity in front of him, noting her headress and manner of dress. A devout practitioner of some religion, perhaps? No. No priestess would spend her time in the city of Balefire, he'd met enough to know they were an uptight and wound-up bunch.

The question remained, then. What exactly was she?

He stared down at her blankly, waiting for a response, when he realized he did not care what she was. All that mattered was that she looked like she needed assistance. And he could use some extra money.
Smoke Hazard: Level 5
Risen Fiend-Bound Level 3

Aetherist: Level 3

Infernos: Level 3

Spellblade: Level 2
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 23rd, 2018, 11:35 pm

March 24th, 2018, 4:30 am #4

She looked back at him silently for a long moment, before quickly pulling the hood back over her face quickly. The panic and confusion on her face quickly settled to a set, stoic expression, trying to hold the expression for as long as she could force herself to. When she spoke, she spoke with a thick accent, bright and melodic throaty tone a stark contrast from the city she came from.

"So whot i' I am? Whotsit to ye?"

She had a slight indignant edge as she spoke, though her sharp edge seemed to drop almost immediately after, as though it had taken some sort of effort to put up the front and hold it.
"Holy light over the night,
Oh, keep the spirit strong.
Watch it grow, child of war,
Oh, keep holdin' on."




Current Stories
Two Healers Walk into a Bar - Bast Rose
Finished Stories
Family - Sen Montague
Blood Bonds - Sen Montague
Character Stories
N/A
Celestial Infused - Ophan, Lvl 4
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 15th, 2016, 7:48 pm

March 24th, 2018, 12:51 pm #5

He cringed slightly at her tone. It sounded awful. He returned himself to his stoic expression, wondering to himself. What was it to him, indeed. He had never met this girl before, nor did he particularly care for her. She seemed rude and put-offish, almost as if she was trying to make up for her diminutive stature. Sen sighed, his cloak shifting in the breeze, which did little to offset the stale, smoky, humid air.

"I may be able to help." Again, short cookie-cutter statements. His tone was dull, flat, seemingly uninterested. "For a price, of course."

He paused for a moment, then decided to go off his unwritten bounty hunter script, his words more ominous-sounding then he meant them to be. "Someone like you shouldn't be wandering around here, anyways."
Smoke Hazard: Level 5
Risen Fiend-Bound Level 3

Aetherist: Level 3

Infernos: Level 3

Spellblade: Level 2
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 23rd, 2018, 11:35 pm

March 24th, 2018, 4:38 pm #6

"I'm naut waunderin'. I know exactly whaur I'm goin'."

She paused for a moment. That was a simple, blatant lie. Maybe she knew Balefire well enough, but she had no clue at all where she'd be going outside of here. She rarely left her residence, after all. She wasn't her parents. She'd no idea how to disappear easily. Perhaps some help would be a good idea, after all. She sighed softly and looked up at him again, the sharp edge in her voice now completely gone, replaced by a slightly more casual tone.

"...Awright, whit's yer price?"
"Holy light over the night,
Oh, keep the spirit strong.
Watch it grow, child of war,
Oh, keep holdin' on."




Current Stories
Two Healers Walk into a Bar - Bast Rose
Finished Stories
Family - Sen Montague
Blood Bonds - Sen Montague
Character Stories
N/A
Celestial Infused - Ophan, Lvl 4
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 15th, 2016, 7:48 pm

March 24th, 2018, 4:55 pm #7

Sen looked down at the girl. She was clearly lying - she probably had lived in Balefire all her life. Judging by the look of her, probably somewhere nice. He remained silent for a bit after she finished speaking, before nodding quietly. "It's a bad idea to talk business on the streets. Let's go to a bar, or something." He looked around, before walking quietly, beckoning quietly for her to come along. "I have no desire to hurt or kidnap you, by the way."

He sighed as he continued walking silently along the streets of Balefire. In another time, he'd be scurrying between bars and job boards, picking up the highest ranking jobs he could in order to get new weapons, grimoires, and find places to stay. Maybe even pick up a lady he fancied here or there.

Ned had taught him how to pick up women, he remembered with a hint of a smile as his leather boots clapped against the wet stone streets. "It's all in the tone of your voice," he'd said, a long time ago. "Be yourself. But change the tone of your voice."

Sen shook his head. Ned was a different person now. Both of them were.

After a few more moments, he found himself at his old Balefire dive. He shook his head, opening the door to a surprisingly quiet bar. He reminded himself that evening had just fallen - it was still too early for the low-class scumbags to come wandering in and find their seats, drunken and arrogant. He took his seat at the bar, looking up at the bartender - a humanoid, constantly shifting slime-like figure. "Ch'aarak. Your true form?"

The slime seemed to turn, then the head (or what could be assumed to be the head) nodded. Sen gave a short nod. "Give me a shot of your oldest mead." The bartender nodded as it turned around and began to get to work, as Sen took a look around the bar. It was small, the walls covered with pictures of women and swords, and memorabilia from war. There were multiple tables with wooden stools at each one, and tables with booths along the wall. Behind the bar was an exquisite display of various bottles, glasses, and the like. Ch'aarak slid a jug of rich, yellow mead across the table and Sen took a sip as he looked up at the girl. "Tell me your business."
Smoke Hazard: Level 5
Risen Fiend-Bound Level 3

Aetherist: Level 3

Infernos: Level 3

Spellblade: Level 2
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 23rd, 2018, 11:35 pm

March 24th, 2018, 5:18 pm #8

Wynne looked around the bar from underneath the shade of her hood silently, shifting uncomfortably in the change of scene. She'd never seen a place like this before, even with them being as common in Balefire as any other building. She pulled the hood up further silently. She couldn't risk anyone seeing her face- her family was too well known to risk. As she spoke, she suppressed her accent as much as she could, even with as awkward as it felt. She'd taught herself in front of a mirror how to imitate her Aunt's voice, in case of situations just like this one.

"I wish to disappear. In eny wey possible. I need outove here in any waey I can, as quietly as I can. South or North works, considering wea' somewhaur in the middle, and I don' have any specific place to go. I just need awey. Yea?"
"Holy light over the night,
Oh, keep the spirit strong.
Watch it grow, child of war,
Oh, keep holdin' on."




Current Stories
Two Healers Walk into a Bar - Bast Rose
Finished Stories
Family - Sen Montague
Blood Bonds - Sen Montague
Character Stories
N/A
Celestial Infused - Ophan, Lvl 4
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 15th, 2016, 7:48 pm

March 24th, 2018, 5:28 pm #9

Sen listened quietly. "Yes. You want to be escorted away from whatever you have here. 500 gold and we leave now. 250 up front, if you please. The other 250 will be paid upon our arrival." He sat quietly and looked at her. A runaway little girl? He was reminded a bit of himself, the pleading desperation. He guessed it wasn't financial troubles, most likely. Perhaps escaping a kidnapper? Or an abusive family or spouse. Either way, Sen felt like this would be a job worth taking on, even if he didn't let it show immediately. He got Ch'aarak's attention with a raised hand, then turned to the girl. "I prefer to start jobs by knowing my client. Call me old-fashioned. Name, please? And preferred drink."
Smoke Hazard: Level 5
Risen Fiend-Bound Level 3

Aetherist: Level 3

Infernos: Level 3

Spellblade: Level 2
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 23rd, 2018, 11:35 pm

March 24th, 2018, 6:02 pm #10

She blinked at him for a moment, then sighed softly, lowering her voice slightly as she spoke with her regular accent. "Ma name's Wynne. Scotch." She gave a pleasant smile and sighed as she looked at the floor and closed her eyes. She'd really never had much of a taste for scotch. It simply felt right to say. That was typically how she operated- she'd say the first thing that came to mind, whether it be true or not. She'd learned to restrain it a bit on her aunt's request, give a fake smile and a proper 'hallo', 'good day', 'whit like are ye?', and the like. That was one of the exact reasons she'd left in the first place, them over controlling lot. She tapped her foot on the bar stool before pulling a well-sized sack of gold and counting out the pieces in her hand, sliding them over to him. "Iv I maey ask, whit do they call ye? Seems proper, since ye asked mine."
"Holy light over the night,
Oh, keep the spirit strong.
Watch it grow, child of war,
Oh, keep holdin' on."




Current Stories
Two Healers Walk into a Bar - Bast Rose
Finished Stories
Family - Sen Montague
Blood Bonds - Sen Montague
Character Stories
N/A
Celestial Infused - Ophan, Lvl 4
Quote
Like
Share