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Thread: Skyside 4

  1. - Top - End - #1201
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    The blast appears to strike the wing of the bird which starts rapidly descending towards the streets below.
    However, as it falls, the bird appears to change shape, appearing as a humanoid for a moment before it changes into something else. It is difficult to tell exactly what it is from this distance however.
    It is also difficult to reach the location where it fell, not only since it was far away, but also since there are a number of buildings in the way, the manor only one of them. The question is if she wants to just go by the streets or run across porches and gardens of some rich people to reach the location where the shapeshifter landed.

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    Default [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    Alni takes shortcuts. She races around the manor, breezes through a porch containing a nice old lady on a rocking chair, tears through a garden, jumps to grab the edge of a low roof and flip herself up onto it. All the features of the city are more of an obstacle course and collection of passageways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    The guard dogs, both flesh and metal, are not amused by this tomfoolery, and neither are their owners, or those owners guards. Turns out rich people invest a lot in security in a nearly lawless city.
    Alni is going to get chased and yelled at, but she does reach her destination eventually. However, she can't see the fallen shapeshifter. But there are tracks, like a small pool of blood and drops of it leading away from the scene.

    The blood trail does not end far away though, looks like whatever wound Alni inflicted have somehow healed, or at least stopped bleeding.

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    Default [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    Alni tosses her last distracting dog treat over her shoulder, and laughing, glides over the last fence. There! That bloodstain, this is where it crashed.
    She follows the trail for the short distance it leads. Hmm. It turned into a human, then something else...something to hide as? But it must have kept the wound, or there wouldn't be this trail. Did it molt and emerge whole again from an empty snakeskin?

    She looks for clues: taking a sample of the blood, turning her investigative abilities on it to try to determine what type of creature it was from, and looking to see where someone would end up if they kept going in the direction of the blood trail. Of course, it's almost too much to hope they haven't changed direction. But maybe there were more witnesses, close by?
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    Judging by the blood patterns, whatever animal it was, it definitely slithered. In addition, if Pazuzu use his sense of smell, he can tell that it was a snake, but of a different kind than the one at the manor. Which begs the question what kind of shapeshifter that would bother having two different shapes of the same type of animal.

    There is more than enough blood for a sample, though Alni need something to keep the blood in.

    There are also a number of people nearby. A huge eagle falling out of the sky, all the while shapeshifting into a number of other animals, have managed to draw a small crowd of onlookers.
    A small rock-person even steps up to Alni, aiming a gun at her. "Hand over that blood, I saw it first." He demands, and then, after a pause adds. "And, uh, all your money too."
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2017-06-23 at 06:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl of Purple View Post
    Rugged Warehouse

    When black goo is extracted from the maggot, it doesn't react. But when confronted with the dog, the maggot springs to action, wiggling and it seems to be trying to escape; except other maggots, in less risky situations, have travelled faster. It's trying to goad the dog into eating it; and the dog, after barking at it, and sniffing it, complies. The maggot wriggles itself down the dog's throat faster than the dog can chew, making the dog retch- but it doesn't vomit. What it does inside the dog is harder to determine- unless Jonas has a spell or piece of equipment that functions similarly to a Magnetic Resonance Imager.

    Spoiler: MRI Results
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    The maggot has managed to lodge in the dog's esophagus and burrow a short distance into the throat, where it is dark, moist and warm. The perfect conditions for the maggot to pupate... Which it does. The pupae stage lasts for a fortnight to a month, though I doubt the dog will survive that long, even if Jonas leaves it be.


    Arkant's Lab

    In humans, the black blood-goo causes far more rapid mutations, though as before, most are tumours and teratomas, both of which grow far faster than before and always produce maggots, though only one in a hundred of the maggots is able to survive. Which is still far better than in animals, where none of the maggots are viable. One of the humans will have their entire left long devoured by tumours, teratomas and thick, black goo- oddly, after half the lung is rendered into tissue that cannot store or extract oxygen, the patient's ability to breathe starts to increase again, until the mass of tumours and altered tissue functions slightly better than their nearly unaffected, human lung. All the humans claim to feel things wriggling inside them, and moving unnaturally, though none will associate the sensations with genuinely affected areas of their body.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celticbear View Post
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    Like I suspected, these things are baby-makers. says Jonas after considering the results.

    he then looks at Arkant, and says: Now then, we got two options at this juncture. We can strain a new virus that targets these little black f**kers, or we can try and look for their ma. From my experience with these types of creatures, they have an original parent. From past examples of creatures like this, the parent acts akin to a queen bee, governing these creatures through a sort of hive mind. If we take out the queen, it stands to reason that the hive mind will deactivate, and these creatures will be no more dangerous than worms. However, my theory about a queen could prove incorrect.
    Rugged Warehouse

    Arkant seems to be gone for some time now, but when Jonas tries to addresss Arkant one of the guards comes closer and speaks up.
    "A hive mind?" he says in arkants voice. "An interessting thought. That may clear up how they managed to feign death. The main Problem might be how to find it. We might ask someone with more knowledge about maggots and other Hive minds. Maybe those guys in riverside can help." ((I don't got the name, but it's the religion Earl got))

    Arkant's Lab

    "Most interessting."
    Akant says as he watches them. The fact about the lungs is most interessting so far. Yet he got trouble taking a closer look since that would mean to kill those guys.
    "Does any of you got a strange desire like attaking other humans or such?"

    Since Arkant is a master of mind effekting spells his words carry magic with them. The magic is used to force the people to speak out everything, even thoughts. He might hear something interessting, especially if they are a hive mind.
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    Default [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post
    Judging by the blood patterns, whatever animal it was, it definitely slithered. In addition, if Pazuzu use his sense of smell, he can tell that it was a snake, but of a different kind than the one at the manor. Which begs the question what kind of shapeshifter that would bother having two different shapes of the same type of animal.

    There is more than enough blood for a sample, though Alni need something to keep the blood in.

    There are also a number of people nearby. A huge eagle falling out of the sky, all the while shapeshifting into a number of other animals, have managed to draw a small crowd of onlookers.
    A small rock-person even steps up to Alni, aiming a gun at her. "Hand over that blood, I saw it first." He demands, and then, after a pause adds. "And, uh, all your money too."
    If anyone would keep multiple different snakes in their shape library, it would be the leader of a snake cult.

    She has little glass spice jars in her basket; those will do. And she was actually just restoppering one of them when the rock-person mugger came up.
    "Uh, okay. I'm getting out my wallet now."
    Alni reaches back into her basket slowly, no sudden moves that would lead him to open fire. Buying herself a little time-

    Pazuzu peers at the little rock person, looking deep through the mugger's eyes, and pushes. A hundred tangled reinterpretations of what's going on should fill the little guy's brain. Actually, we're mugging you. Actually, you're helping us catch the snake. Actually, you're putting that gun to your temple and ending your miserable life. Actually, you're fighting that goblin over there after he insulted- Actually, you're the snake-monster; quick, slither away!
    This is a risky move. Who knows what people will do when you unmoor them from reality and dunk them in Confusion? And maybe this guy is level-headed enough to throw the visions off. Anything could happen. But it seemed like a great distraction at the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Outside Stormcloud Manor==> Streets of Skyside]

    The rock person first looks confused, then afraid, then angry, and finally his gun goes off as fear is taking over. However, the bullet misses as he wasn't actually aiming it and ricochets off the pavement instead. There are cries of panic as the gun goes off and the observers scatter. Best not to get involved here.

    After that the mugger struggling with indecision, just what should he act upon? He didn't know anymore, he just wanted the voices in his head to stop. Finally he starts covering his ears in a futile attempt to stop them.

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    Default [Streets of Skyside]

    It worked! Although Alni is wishing the gun hadn't gone off at all. It almost sort of got close to hitting her!

    She was never really getting her wallet out of the basket to hand over, of course. Alni snaps her arm out towards the mugger and tries to do the same sort of thing she did to demonstrate her seriousness to that poor human kabalite: Throw him way up into the air. This time, it's not left to gravity to bring him back. At the apex, Pazuzu reaches out with his powers to grab hold of the rock-person and pile-drive him down into the street.

    The little elf is shaking.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2017-06-24 at 12:12 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: Skyside 4

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    If the maggots created by the black goo are 'baby makers', why have they all sought to hide rather than contaminate people with the mutagens within their biology?

    The Cult of Dalachrech does deal with invertebrates and insects, yes. But since the maggots aren't of any recognisable origin, they may not be too useful. Also, I'm not overly interested in bringing them back.

    Arkant's Lab

    The answer to Arkant's question is usually 'I desire to go outside again', but that might be because they've been cooped up inside for too long. One claims he doesn't want to hurt anyone, but does find himself wondering what people's eyeballs taste like; examinations show several teratomas in his skull, including a molar growing into his brain pan. Two wish to go hide somewhere 'cool, dark, and damp', but don't know why. Everyone uses slightly different word order and syntax; if the things operate via a hive mind, these mutating wretches aren't included, despite the fact that some of their thoughts are being affected by the maggots.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Streets of Skyside]

    The rock-mugger goes up....

    And...

    He goes DOWN.

    Ouch, that will leave a mark, quite literary actually as there are small cracks in the cement.

    Have Pazuzu and Alni considered a career in wresting?
    If there were any others waiting to mug them, they probably lost all the interest now. The streets around them are nearly completely empty with the exception of what appears to be a drunk goblin and some punk-teenagers of various races that is letting curiosity getting the better of them.

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    Default [Streets of Skyside]

    Somehow, that's never occurred to them. But it's a good idea. They could be like Spiderman!

    "The snake probably got away, huh?"
    "Zhu~"
    "Well I don't accept it! We can't give up just like that! Now, before we were interrupted, we were trying to follow the trail...that way!"

    Alni races off down the street, not even stopping when she asks the curious punks "Did any of you see a shapechanging snake-bird-person here?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Streets of Skyside]

    "Um." The goblin punk is not going to argue with the tiny mind-elf, no matter how child-like it looked. Not after that. "It, uh, went into an alley?" His friends snicker and he suddenly appears even more nervous. "Yo, I did not see much, k? Just that direction." He points, but it is difficult to tell what he is trying to gesture at.

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    Default [Streets of Skyside]

    "Thanks!"
    They're a little suspicious, but it's the only real lead they've got.
    Pazuzu spins around to look where the punk is pointing and they try to follow!
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Streets of Skyside]

    There is an alley, well, several alleys, though if the follow the scent, they will be able to pin-point the shape-shifter with some more accuracy. The trace ends at a small entrance to the sewers however. Looks like the snake went through the bars.

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    Default [Streets of Skyside]

    Alni at last crouches down and takes hold of the bars, looking into the sewers.
    Ew.
    There's no way they can keep tracking the scent down in there, if they can even maneuver.

    With a sigh, she straightens back up and makes her way back towards the Manor. Goodness, the place is probably a bloodbath without her.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Streets of Skyside==> Back to the stormcloud]

    The sewers does smell pretty awful.

    As Alni is walking back, two silvery eyes watches her from the sewer entrance, slowly narrowing until they finally disappear into the darkness.

    Back at the manor, Alni will see that Nimix is sitting outside on the porch, waiting for her. "Back so soon? I was told to wait for you, apparently you chased some pretty hot tail." He smiles as he stands up. "So did you get it? The tail I mean."
    The smell of blood is pretty apparently, the mercenaries simply bothering to pile up all the bodies in a big pile in the porch.

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    Default [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    Alni looks this way and that, avoidant.
    "Nah. Got one shot hit, but it got away into the sewers."

    Still smells better than the sewers.
    "Any trouble here?"
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    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    "And it just kept running? Shucks, must been a real snake." Nimix says with a frown. "We ain't had any trouble 'round these parts though. Just cleaning up duty, that and figuring out what to do with the, er, statues." He gestures at a petrified mercenary that is standing leaning against the wall. "Already word that the big boss wants to blame everything on MERC. They got a gorgon, you know."

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    Default [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    "Yeah, it kept changing shapes: snake into bird into person into different snake - so it was real hard to keep track of."
    Alni allows herself another sigh before going over to the poor petrified mercenary.
    "They might be right; how many gorgons turn people to this?"
    Her words are punctuated by careful knocks on the jade victim.

    "Whatd'ya you do with all the babies upstairs?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    Nimix shrugs. "No clue, you'd have to ask the higher ups. Speaking of which, they're in there, and they want to talk to you." The goblin gestures inside the manor. "That's what I was supposed to tell you."

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    Default [Outside Stormcloud Manor]

    "Oh, okay. Thanks."
    Is that a good sign or a bad sign, that they want to see her specifically?
    Better get it over with.

    Alni heads right inside the manor. to find these 'higher-ups'. Probably Tellysandra and the ethereal?
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2017-07-03 at 03:01 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    "Great, now I can finally take a smoke..."
    Inside a couple of mercenaries are busy cleaning up the place, it seems like they're intending to settle down. The gnoll that was send with her earlier notice her and points at the stairs, apparently the leaders are up there?

    If she walks up the stairs, she will be further directed into a larger room she haven't been in before. She can't see any signs of the cultists, or their children, but they ought to be around here somewhere.
    It appears to be the master bed room judging by the huge double bed taking up half the room. There is a desk there too, currently occupied by Shazhan the ethereal who appears busy staring at a bunch of holographic symbols and pictures that are floating around them.

    Tellysandra is sitting in the bed, smiling as Alni enters the room. "Good work, recruit. We saw that you did a great job leading the second group. You are guaranteed a place in our organization... Alni was it?"

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    Default [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    Alni smiles at the gnoll and takes the stairs as indicated. He didn't die horribly in the ritual chamber or anything!

    Inside the room, she looks to Tellysandra (Shazhan seems busy).
    "Oh, yay!"
    She does a happy little jump and claps a few times.
    "Yep, 'Alni', that's me!"
    "Um, did you know that was going to happen? All the people turning to statues?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    Tellysandra first smiles, but as Alni mentions the whole jade incident, it falters. "We did not." She declares coldly. "And I prefer to not hear such accusations. Our informants, if you pardon the phrase, ****ed up. Head will rolls, be sure of that." The archwarlock gets up from the bed and walks over to the only window in the room, overlooking the overgrown garden outside. She can't actually see it better than while she was sitting at the bed considering her mask, but she still seems to be drawn there.

    "Still, the manor is ours, even if it was at a greater price than I originally expected. But we might have gained something more in this, tell me Alni. Do you believe that MERC ran this cult?"

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    Default [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    "I just thought, since, you know, this was a test for us, maybe it was a really hard one? It's really good to hear you say that, though."

    Alni purses up her face, thoughtful. She stands near the corner of the bed, thinking.

    "No, I don't think it was MERC. The cultists we spoke to seemed like this was their normal life. Not part of a trained fighting company. And their security wasn't what I'd expect from a MERC hideout. It's possible that the leader was an agent of theirs, though? But it's hard to see what this cult would have to offer MERC that they couldn't get by sending one spy up into Skyside."
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    Tellysandra doesn't reply right away, instead she simply nods at Shazhan who nods back and presses a few buttons on their holographic keyboard.

    Suddenly holographic images of photographs appear before Alni. The photographs are all of a certain gorgon, Alni might recognize her as one of MERC's directors, Dena Xifhara.
    The photos all seem to have been taken with a fairly advanced camera, but always far away. They're of her walking around in mallside in civilian clothes, but also while wearing her full adventure gear while walking around on the streets of riverside.

    "Of course it wasn't run by MERC. Intelligent people like you and I realize this pretty quickly. In fact we haven't found anything that suggests that here." She turns around, smiling once again. "However, in this business 'the truth' is a rather complex concept don't you think? I mean, these cultists seemed to have been rather obsessed with one of MERC's leaders. We found these at that altar you located. It would seemed that they straight up worshiped her. or rather, they worshiped what she was, and I believe they somehow channeled her petrifying gaze out there." She gestures out the window at the garden outside of it. "However, I want to tell people 'the real truth', that this cult was indirectly led by MERC through the worship of this woman. That they had this cult massacring innocent civilians by petrifying them in the most gruesome fashion to spread terror among the people of this city so that they could swoop in and save the situation, for a price of course. However, KABAL, at the prize of many of our members managed to shut down the operation before it could even begin." She pauses. "I believe it a convincing enough tale for the masses."

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    Default [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    Alni looks over the pictures. She's never seen this person before, but she can imagine who it is. Snakes-for-hair is so gross, so creepy. On the other hand, having a cult like this... Back on the first hand, look where it got them.

    "That sounds like the kind of thing they might actually do. MERC will deny it, of course, but that's what they'd do if it were the truth. We have the statues and the altar and things to show; all they would have is their word."
    "I like it."

    The newest KABAL member breaks into a broad smile.

    "But...what now?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  29. - Top - End - #1229
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Shadowcaller's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Avatar by Gulaghar

    Default Re: Skyside 4

    [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    The archwarlock turns to face Alni once again. "First, I'd like to know what happened to Shanti. Shazan was tracking you, but we missed a few details in the chaos. Did you manage to get your hands on her blood?" Tellysandra asks.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2017-07-05 at 05:49 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #1230
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Recaiden's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Texas
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    Default [Inside Stormcloud Manor]

    Maintaining her smile, Alni reaches into her basket and gets out the little phial of blood.

    "We shot her out of the air, but this street criminal got in the way - tried to rob us - and that slowed us down enough that Shanti got away into the sewers. Turned into a snake and slithered through the bars of a drain where I couldn't reach."
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
    Spoiler
    Show


    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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