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    Default The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    The History of the Gods
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    There are and always have been four gods to rule the land: Marta, to goddess of fire; Frithen, the god of air; Lenna, the goddess of water; and Garshen, the god of earth. At the beginning of time, the four gods worked together to fashion the world and the Abyssal Plane. The Abyss was built as an entity to balance the world. For instance, if there was too much of Marta’s fire, then the Abyss would absorb the access, and if there wasn’t enough of Frithen’s air, then the Abyss would supply the deficit.

    In order for the Abyssal Plane to stay connected to the world, each god chose a specific point within their element where the Abyss would form a direct bond. The most notable of these points is Garshen’s, as it exists within the Prophetic Cave located under the city of Prophos. Some people believe this gives the cave strange properties, but only the Prophos priests know for sure.

    Several wizards, priests, and other magic-users have tried to access the Abyssal Plane with intents ranging from innocent to malevolent. However, no one has been able to travel to the Abyssal plane, or even summon anything from it, without meeting a terrible death. The theories for this vary, but everyone agrees upon one thing: planar magic is dangerous. Those who deal in it tend to stay far away from civilization to avoid the destruction of anyone they care about.

    Once the gods created the world and the Abyssal Plane, they all worked together to create the first race of people. However, it soon became apparent that none of the gods were happy with the way this Original Race acted. Marta believed they were too stiff and emotionless, but Lenna thought the exact opposite. Thus, the gods decided to each form their own separate races so each god could have a society that would act and worship them as they saw fit. No mortal being knows exactly who the Orignal Race was, but everyone jumps to claim that it must have been their own species.

    Though the gods currently get along fairly well, there are stories of the past battles that have raged between them. Many of these occurred before the world was even built, but a couple squabbles have touched the realm of mortals, resulting in monstrous natural disasters.

    Garshen is considered the most stable of the gods. He is slow to act and to anger, but once his personal limit is reached, he unleashes all his power like a mighty earthquake. He prides himself on his practicality and “down-to-earth” outlook. While the other gods may joke around and make risky decisions, Garshen refuses to take any action that he isn’t completely sure about. His priests worship his dependability – no matter what may happen, Garshen always keeps his word. His preferred tools are his hammer and scythe.

    Marta, on the other hand, has a very short fuse. Her emotions come strong and fast, but like a flickering candle flame, it is easy for her joy to transform into anger and vice versa. Marta uses her emotions to fuel her actions, and they influence her decisions deeply, but she would never be caught doing something extremely foolish out of anger or fear. Marta tends to see the world in black and white, good and evil, with little gray area in between. Her worshippers admire how she uses the power of passion to accomplish great things. Marta’s favored tools are her sword and spear.

    Unlike Marta, Frithen doesn’t feel intense emotions toward anything in particular. He may have strong opinions, but he doesn’t like to fixate upon any one issue or ideal. He tries to stay detached from a single course of action, like the wind he represents. Garshen constantly criticizes him for never keeping to his word, but Frithen claims that it is far worse to mindlessly follow a poor promise. He is one to act first and ask questions later, making decisions on a whim and then finding ways to avoid the consequences. Many of his priests try to emulate his ability to remain detached from material values and worldly concerns. Frithen’s preferred tools are his whip and bow.

    Lenna dislikes the irrational decisions and flip-flops Frithen tends to make, and she would rather think before acting. Like water flowing through a river, she is calmer and more predictable than the rest of the gods. Lenna and Marta are bitter because she thinks Marta’s emotions completely control her decisions, but Lenna believes that logic is a better choice than emotion. That’s not to say that Lenna is completely emotionless - she only shows emotions that she believes are logically justified. She sometimes appears cruel and harsh, but her worshippers often see the fairness and rationality behind her actions, glad for her ability to put the good of many above the good of the few. Her favored tools are her sling and axe.

    With such different personalities, it’s amazing that the four gods are not currently engaged in battle. Some people believe that the gods have learned something from the wars of their followers – partnership makes them stronger than opposition. Others simply believe they are tired of fighting. A few people, the highest priests of the gods, have been blessed with the true knowledge of why their deities are at peace, but they refuse to tell anyone this secret. Due to this, a few wild theories have spread across the civilizations. Whispered imaginings tell that the gods’ secret must be so amazing that it would grant any mortal great and terrible power, perhaps even enough to destroy the gods and take their place.


    Prophos – once synonymous with “wealth” and “fortune” – has been facing troubled times. The city-state used to be a gem on the Swiftwater River, nestled next to a major mountain pass in Garshen’s Spine. This made it the most powerful center of trade on the continent, drawing in sea merchants and land caravans from all over and growing a notable magic academy. Even the gods themselves supported Prophos; the Prophetic Cave still remains a major place of religious pilgrimage, and the Prophos Temple was built on top of that very cave, granting its priests an immeasurable amount of prestige.

    However, the last half a century has marked stagnation for the city, the past few years even suggesting a decline. The city’s kings have not been as active as they once were, and the nobles have used this opportunity to take advantage of their positions. Advancing poverty in Prophos has resulted in several small gangs forming from escaped slaves, orphans, and runaway criminals. The gangs prey upon the merchants and magicians, discouraging the trade and commerce that gave the city its original seat of power. The temple has not declined like the rest of the city, but it has withdrawn itself from the populous. Once champions of the common people, the priests are now a secretive bunch to be whispered about as they perform their mysterious religious rituals within the Prophetic Cave.

    This hasn’t stopped King Jarsha, the ruler of the city, from throwing money every which way in an attempt to assure everyone that nothing is wrong. The Equinox Celebration, to be held in two weeks within his castle, promises to be as extravagant as ever. Meanwhile, several caravans of goods bound for Prophos have gone missing over the past few months, spreading unease among the merchants. The city guard has worked tirelessly trying to find the cause of these disappearances, but their efforts have so far been fruitless.

    Despite the city’s unstable situation, the forest on Prophos’ east side smells of tranquility. The miserable rains of early spring have taken a break today, giving the new, tiny buds and leaves a few hours of bright sunlight. A couple scrawny animals, roused from their winter of sleep, rustle through the dead undergrowth from last fall. A few birds, back early from their migration, give the forest a weak background of tweedling songs. The day was warmer than usual, but the peak of the warmth is long past, giving into chillier winds. After days of hiding behind clouds, Marta’s sun takes the clear sky as an opportunity to end the day in a blazing orange sunset. The long shadows of semi-bare trees fall across a forest path of dried mud.

    A small group of travelers from different walks of life find themselves journeying together, traveling this last final stretch of forest road before reaching Prophos. Unknown to them, they are bound together by the ties of destiny to face an adventure they will not soon forget.

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    Knowing full well that a lone inexperienced wizard would never reach Prophos without being attacked by outlaws, Regret had hidden in the forest for days in search of a group. Many groups of travelers had passed, but Regret had waited for the right one. For a group that he could be sure would not suddenly decide to turn on him and rub him of his possessions, a group strong enough not to be targeted by every thug in the way, a group regular enough not to attract unwanted attention from those who searched for him.

    As soon as he saw this group, he knew that this was it, the only problem was that it was not a regular group at all, every member was peculiar in some way, however, their pace and interactions indicated that this group was newly formed, and would not mind another member joining them. Tired of waiting, Regret had awkwardly stepped forward at last, his body stiff from hiding so long. He had introduced himself as Regret Cypher and listened to people welcoming him, and just like that he became the new member. Now, walking towards Prophos, every step forward caused his excitement to grow for he was getting farther from the prison-house and going towards a land he had only seen in maps and read about in books.
    Last edited by shayanuser; 2012-01-11 at 04:50 PM.
    "If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia." Thomas Szasz
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    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    So here we are Kole thought. He wasn't much of a talker, it wasn't exactly encouraged in his former life. He was prone more to introspection, but the giddy high of finally escaping his bonds of servitude had long since worn off and he was beginning, as he often did, to reflect on the current situation.
    None of the others in this little group had offered up much about themselves, but then, neither had he. An observant onlooker could make some choice guesses as to his past, but that would be all they were.

    He rubbed his chin and began to wonder what he was going to do with his facial hair. It grew thick and black, although a mottling of grey was beginning to come through despite his lack of years. Odd what one thinks about when ones life is turned upside down. For Kole it was his beard. All his adult life he'd been forced to keep it short, now he was thinking about growing it out a little. A noise came to his ear and snapped him out of his musings. A hare, or deer perhaps? He was a good hunter, but taking time out to stalk some prey would slow the group down more than he deemed acceptable. And so he stayed hungry, although that wasn't exactly a new sensation.

    As a bramble caught on his leg, tearing his trousers, he was reminded that he need a change of clothes, and badly. He had done the best to obscure any identifying marks on his uniform, torn off crests and other markings, but they still looked far from anything someone may choose to dress in. And so, gripping the haft of his spear firmly he set himself forward, perhaps they would get lucky and reach the city without incident, although he doubted it.
    Last edited by Jack DeCoeur; 2012-01-11 at 04:45 PM.

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    Aleksand awoke in an empty chamber. All that was left of his memories were those of the ritual and the name he chose for himself, and curiously, that of a farm. He quickly figured the cullers had left, and tha he should do so as well. As he exited the chamber, he saw he now at a crossroads. He saw a sign which read Prophos, and decided to head that way. After a few hours of walking, he was passed by a group, who seemed like they were heading in the same direction, and which seemed to as new to this place as he was, and so he asked if he might join them. After catching up, he introduced himself as Aleksand, and that he hoped they might be novices together.

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    Punto exits the thick underbrush of the forest, with his faithful companion Starbuck, and grumbles. As much as he likes nature, he does not appreciate cold, wet vines in his face. when he finally untangles himself and reaches the road, he sees the large, diverse group of travelers nearby. Hello, do you have room for one more? he asks, with a squeaky voice.

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    Thomas had seen a group pass through his village an hour before. They seemed a newly formed group and willing to accept new members. Passing adventuring parties weren't exactly a rare sight in his village but almost all seemed unwilling to take on novices or were bandits by any other name.
    This was the moment he'd been waiting for for some time. He would finaly be able to leave his father and his village behind. They wouldn't see or hear from him again until he was somebody to look up to. Thomas waited until his father went out to make his round, sprinted to the shed where he hid his 'adventuring gear' and took anything else that could come of use with him. After a good 30 minutes of running he had caught up with the group.

    "Hhhgggg........hhhgggg......Is......there.....hhh ggg.......room......for.......one more........hhhhhggggg?, Thomas panted.
    Last edited by Mr White; 2012-01-12 at 07:01 AM.
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    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    Xing Hong-Hua, a teenaged elven sorceress was disowned by her parents when her arcane powers grew too high. So when she was homeless, she was so unfortunate as to resort to petty crimes: stealing, lying, and worst of all, prostitution, just to keep the few coins she earned flowing. But after a few months of breaking the law, she got sick of this, and quit. Instead of crime, she considered putting her arcane powers to good use and honing them so she could get it under control. With that, she became a sorceress.

    Having read a sign saying "Help Needed," Hong-Hua met up with the group beforehand, and talked of her misfortune. After a few minutes of talking, she was accepted into the group, and she began walking with those fellow adventurers on her way to Prophos, where she could finally get the money she needed to live a normal life.
    "He who makes a beast out of himself
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    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    For the most part Kole stuck to the outskirts of the smaller villages when the group passed through them in turn. He wanted to avoid any undue attention. That last one however seemed to be just that, the last, leaving only Prophos, his destination, to go. With that understanding he took stock of his current travelling companions, many had come and gone, but these few obviously had business in the city. Perhaps it would pay to know people in what he had been told was a bustling metropolis.

    He cleared his throat and spoke for virtually the first time since he had joined step at the back of the party, so many days ago.
    "Kole, by the way. My name is Kole." A pause, longer than was probably comfortable "I don't suppose any of you know much about the city do you? I need to find work and..." he gestured at his torn uniform "a change of clothes." His voice a deep baritone, matching his muscular physique.

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    "I suppose we all need to find work. Has anybody here been in this kind of situation before?" Thomas waited for a response and then blended back into the group in an unsuccesful attempt to pretend he didn't say anything.
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    Regret felt too vulnerable walking the overgrown path after having lived in a safe house among his guards for so long. He imagined bandits waiting in ambush among the trees and readying their bows. He tried to put Kole between him and the trees while Kole was stating the obvious about needing new clothes. Regret wished he knew how to cast "Protection from arrows", he wished he was strong enough not to need to cower behind Kole.

    Then he thought of the pretty sorcerer and HER magic, wondering what spells she could cast. He would ask her if he could just remember her name... Any way, even if he remembered the name he probably couldn't pronounce it!
    Hey sorcerer! would you mind telling me which spells you know so that I can prepare better for tomorrow?
    "If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia." Thomas Szasz
    "I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment."-Raistlin Majere

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    "This road does feel familiar to me. I don't remember anything though, so I don't think I'll be anymore able than either of you." As Aleksand said this, he wondered to himself, why did he decide to go in this direction? Reading the sign gave him the same kind of feeling as traveling down the road, but what does that mean? He couldn't have been from there, why would he leave only set himself up for heading back? "Perhaps we might speak about ourselves? Why we went down this road, rather than another?"

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    He was far from used to talking about himself, but the walk was long and Kole suspected these kinds of questions were likely to come up more than once in his travels.
    "For my part, I was escorting my..." he paused "employer" eventually came out, more forced than naturally. "We, that is to say, myself, my mast... employer and the rest of his bodyguards were attack by bandits. I was the only survivor" a small curl crossed his lips at this statement, but his eyes still carried a great weight of sadness within them "I have no where to go, no one to report this to, nor any family or friends of which I know. The city seemed like the logical step for a," he grasped for the correct words "fresh start."

    A moment of silence passed before he realised the correct next question "how about yourself?"

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    "I awoke in a cave a ways back, after speaking with a group of elders. I can't recall how I got there, or much anything before, aside from a few memories of my childhood..." Aleksand paused for a moment, struck by realization. "Ah ha! This road, the city's name, they reminded me of my childhood! Perhaps I was raised near here. We might even meet someone who recognizes me!"

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    Let's hope we do not meet anyone who recognizes ME, Regret thought; he didn't say anything, though.
    "If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia." Thomas Szasz
    "I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment."-Raistlin Majere

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    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    Hong-Hua replies with her exotic accent, "Oh, my spells. Well, I can shine a very bright light from my hands and can shoot magic missles." Those are just some of the spells she can describe. Hong-Hua, though she knows she has power, hasn't learned the full extent of her spells, so it's hard for her to describe right away. "And by the way, since you don't know anything about a Chinese name, you may call me... Red." Hong-Hua gives a soft, comforting look to Regret, and continues walking.

    As a reply to Kole, she says, "Yes. It's sad how life unfolds like that. Very, very sad. We could be good friends though."
    Last edited by SwordScythe; 2012-01-15 at 11:30 AM.
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    Kole listened in quiet interest as Red described her powers. He knew of mages, of course, but had never actually met one, let alone seen any in action.
    Her comment about friendship made him smile "perhaps indeed" was his only reply. Experience told him that people rarely hung around for long, but who knew?

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    Regret was thinking about Red's name. He wasn't used to forgetting any word just because it didn't mean anything in the languages he knew. And now he had to recall the name, it was like some sort of mental challenge. Then he had it, the name started with X and sounded like Bing! Xing it was! Now he could think about other things. hmm... magic missiles, and that without training. Regret felt a small tingling feeling deep down that resembled jealousy.

    "Knowledge is power", his father used to say, "As knowledge about arcane gives you control over elements, knowledge about people can give you control over them." So Red, would you mind me asking about the scar?, Regret asked Xing.
    Last edited by shayanuser; 2012-01-15 at 02:25 PM.
    "If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia." Thomas Szasz
    "I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment."-Raistlin Majere

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    Upon the mention of her scar, it froze her in her tracks. The memory associated with that scar on her cheek was dismal, and she did not want people to know; "I have no idea..." was her reply.
    "He who makes a beast out of himself
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    Kole was by no means good at reading people, but he had scars of his own, mental and physical, and could recognise in others things which he knew in himself. He placed a calloused hand on the young elf's shoulder and attempted to comfort her "I am sure he did not mean to pry, come, we have much road to travel still. Perhaps, perhaps we could talk of happier things." He was lost here, genuinely struggling to think of something, finally his mind fired and the image of flyer, posted on a road sign by one of the villages he had so carefully avoided so far floated to the surface. "Am I to understand that there is a festival on soon within the city. Does anyone know what it is for? For that matter, has anyone else been before?"

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    From the trees a young man stepped out, a large grin on his face and a basket in his hands.
    The Equinox celebration my friends! One of the most important festivals of the year! The Autumnal even more so, the last big hurrah before the quite survival of winter. It's a huge festival, I'm surprised you're not familiar!
    He laughs and cheers as he describes feasts and performers and makes a big show of himself,
    It's really quite grand! I'm on my way myself actually, how about I join you? I am Andre, Disciple of Marta.
    His grandiose gestures, warm voice, and smiling face really did make for quite the site in this dank forest. He didn't even appear to be tired or fatigued in any way, like he'd not been out for long. His monastery was but a day away, though that wouldn't really be common knowledge.
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    The night grows darker, but finally, the forest begins to thin. The trees and growth drop away to reveal a green, grassy slope into a shallow valley. At the bottom of this valley is the deep cut of the Swiftwater, but the sight of it is almost completely blocked out by the mass of buildings crowding the riverfront. Many lamps and torches have been lit in the deepening twilight. Even from this distance, you can see that people in the city are still at work; the marketplace and docks are crowded with buyers and sellers alike. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to return home before the sun completely sets. Two buildings stand out, pushing many stories higher than any of their neighbors. The first is a large cathedral set with the lively colors of stained glass windows. The second looks to be an impenetrable stone fort built for a time when war threatened the city. Green banners flap in the wind from the towers and turrets, and there does not appear to be more than a handful of guards making their rounds on the fort’s walls.

    There is a few seconds to enjoy this sight before everything goes terribly wrong. The first sign is that all rustlings and birdsong in the forest fall silent. A few moments later, the scent of wood burning fills the air and ominous cracklings and echo through the forest. Soon enough, a cloud of dark smoke can be seen through the canopy. A flock of birds and animals begin to race by, attempting to outrun the coming danger. Back along the forest path, you can make out the billowing, flickering dance of flames making their way towards you.
    Last edited by Alagaesian; 2012-01-16 at 06:31 PM.

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    Narrowing his eyes at the flames and animal's fear, Punto starts to speed up towards the flames. Seeing his companion hesitate, he says, "Come on boy, I'll get you a nice bone later." Starbuck reluctantly takes the little bribe and begins to chase after.

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    "This... cannot be good." The large man flexed his muscles and sprinted off after the druid.

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    "Shouldn't we be alerting people? Or at least bring water with us" Said Thomas. He had seen forrest fires before, although those were lit by the village farmers to acquire more fields."Is there a village nearby?"
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    "The river seems to be the nearest water source, though it is farther into the valley. I believe it to be the best option available to us at the moment." Aleksand started running as he spoke, hoping also to gather help from anyone who was near the river.

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    Those of you who run towards the fire don't have to run far - the yellow-orange flames jump from tree to tree, racing towards Prophos at an unnaturally brisk speed. Clouds of thick smoke roil off the burning green wood, stinging at your eyes and throat. The swarm of fleeing animals stops suddenly as the fiery wall swells forward faster than they can escape. Loud cracks and crunches ring out at the burning trees begin toppling over. Despite the size and ferocity of the inferno, you don't feel any heat radiating from it unless you get extremely close.

    Those of you who chose to run the other way can see Prophos coming into a state of panic. The clanging and clamoring of alarm bells can be heard. The crowds of people quickly drain away, everyone racing to the safe side of the city. Those stuck on the wrong side of the river crowd along its shore, struggling to find a way to cross. A few outside stragglers attempt a terrified sprint to this safety, even though it is almost a mile between the outer edge of the Prophos and the river.

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    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Gensokyo Asylum

    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    Seeing the speed of the flame's spread, Punto and Starbuck halt, and begin to back off. "It's moving too quickly, we can't stay here. GAH! I feel useless!" They begin their retreat to the river.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Mr White's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    "Hurry, we need to move ... NOW!"
    Thomas couldn't help it but wonder if this unnatural fire had passed through his old village.

    He started sprinting towards the safe side of the river, hoping he was fast enough.
    Last edited by Mr White; 2012-01-17 at 05:05 PM.
    Awesome Delirium-avatar by Recaiden
    Looking for friendly contact with an evil outsider in the fanclub

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Sodalite's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Two steps beyond Sense
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    Aleksand searches along the way and near the river for a bucket, all the while yelling, "Anyone who can, pick up a bucket, barrel, anything and help fight the fire!" Though he is to busy running or searching to notice that none of the city folk seem to follow.

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    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mysteries of Prophos (IC)

    He had no frame of reference for this. The fire seemed hotter than it aught to, he knew that, but the speed, the speed was ungodly.

    There was no way they were going to be able to put this out, not with water, not by smothering it and not by digging any kind of fire breaks. The river was these people's only chance.

    Staying here was pointless, sticking as closely as he could to his travelling companions, Kole ran down to the river bank, was there anything he could do to help organise some kind of crossing? He began to look around for a bridge, or a boat, or anything. In desperation he began to eye the river, he'd never been taught to swim, but how hard could it be?

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