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Gentleman March 4, 2013 06:46 PM

The Fires of Jasmine (Open, if you dare)
Era XX. Spring.

This is the BLACK post. It signifies the start of a tale of horror and darkness. It may signify nothing else.

The third fire in the third night in the Jasmine District was like a wake-up call for the constabulary of Nexus Prime. Homes of men and women of wealth burnt to the ground.

And always their crying son or daughter outside with soot covered hands and a spent match in their burnt palm.

Things quickly got out of hand. The Jasmine District was one of the more influential and wealthy places in the city, and the deaths of those who lived there was considered a matter of some great seriousness. The Guards were encouraged to handle things quickly and quietly, before the Church picked up on accusations of demon possession or ghost hauntings.

But rumors spread, as they were wont to, that the fires in the Jasmine District were related to a series of incidents that had occurred over sixty era ago. Some began hearing that the guards were offering a reward for the ending of the threat, even if they did not publicly admit to any connection between the fires.

And all the children who survived their parents immolation had the same story, that they were told to by a man dressed all in black from head to toe, who smiled but did not have a mouth.

OOC:This is an open adventure of horror and pain. Join at your own peril. The rewards for resolving the mystery will be great.

Gloan Hammerfist March 5, 2013 05:52 PM

Gloan heard the rumor of these crimes from a couple of guards standing in a more secluded section of the Thane's mansion. "There was another fire not too long ago," a guard whispered. He listened carefully before continuing on as if nothing was amiss.

He continued on to the scene, curiosity driving him more than anything. He was dressed in his usual green woolen jacket and pants and tan leather boots. On his back was his dwarven steel bearded axe and upon his hips swayed a dozen custom made throwing axes.

He approached the scene, the area still heavy with smoke. "Who is in charge here?" He asked in a firm tone.

OOC: Permission was given by Gentleman to overhear about the new fire.

Redwulf March 5, 2013 06:23 PM

With a stoop of his shoulders, Redwulf eased himself out of the tavern’s door, his bulk passing from the room’s ember glow and into a black, cold night. Using one hand to turn the edge of a heavy cloak against the wind, he used the other to shut the heavy wooden door behind him with an idle gesture that mocked the door’s heft. He straightened, head rising above the door way. The light from a lantern beside the tavern’s door caught Redwulf in profile, casting a monstrous shadow on the wall opposite. As he looked towards the sky, the inky shadow became as a giant black wolf ready to tear down the whole building in terrible jaws. Adjusting to the silence after the rowdy tavern, Redwulf drank a lungful of cold air through open canine jaws, and then let his breath hang for a moment in the lantern-light before he heaved out of its glow and into the deep shadow of the street.

Still fairly new in the city, Redwulf had heard the Jasmine District was where the rich lived. One of the districts he’d need to know, and know well. For a cunning Dorin with Redwulf’s ambitions, this district would be home to just the kind of political favours and purses of money he’d need. So he’d decided to stalk it, drink it’s smell, listen to its people. He wanted to taste this city’s fabric, find its soft throat, and when ready, to tear it open. Salivating slightly at the carnal image, Redwulf had earlier that afternoon taken his hulking form for a walk around. Tiring of daylight hours and the stares, he’d waited for nightfall in a hospitable tavern, waiting for a time more to his liking. Now was the night, when human eyes were dimmed, people slept, and his sense of smell came into its own.

The fur on his jaws ruffling in the breeze, Redwulf sniffed his way down the darkest routes and the quietest avenues as he moved. He was hulking, strong, but quiet. A childhood of scrapping had torn at his long, wolf-like face, given him a chewed-up shagginess and a mean snarl. But his eyes were keen, golden yellow, and sensitive. These eyes kept close watch now on all the houses he passed, noting doorways and guards and places that weren’t illuminated by their torches and lanterns. His smell told him a lot more – how busy the road was, which houses liked to cook (and could afford) rare spices and fine meats, and how many guards sat watch by dark gates.

At one point, sliding unwatched through a narrow alley between two buildings, he stopped. Ahead of him, two of the city’s guard passed. From habit, Redwulf froze against one wall and tried to stay only a dark shadow that drew no attention. His ears pricked, straining to hear their conversation. He picked up only loose words.

“...another tonight.... or maybe.... no reward,” said one. “But what.... fires... rumours,” replied the other. “Rumours? Don’t.... or we’ll both...”

Redwulf had not yet decided how much he needed to fear the local constabulary. Now might be a good time to find out. Choosing his route carefully, he crouched low and decided to follow these two. For sport, if nothing else. After all, if would be good to know what the local law enforcement standards were like before he really needed to find out...

OOC: First post, just jumping right in here!

Primith Cruzore March 5, 2013 09:48 PM

Primith didn't often visit the Jasmine District. It was beyond her social class and her income bracket and the Moraden found that the people there were quite...stuffy? Perhaps that wasn't the right word, but whenever she had passed through the wealthy neighborhood, the people there had looked at her with disdain, like she was some filthy vagrant who had crawled out of the sewer to invade their homes. Which was slightly true, since she actually did live in the catacombs beneath the city, but that didn't mean that she liked the wealthy citizens' contempt any more, so she didn't go through there unless she had to. But the rumors of the strange immolations had reached her ears, piquing her interest several brightenings before this darkening.

She hadn't left the catacombs much recently, but there was only so much time that she could spend below ground before she ran the risk of going stir crazy. Still, she wouldn't risk showing her draconic features in broad daylight so she waited until the darkening before stealing outside and taking a walk through the deserted city streets. The Moraden hadn't been outside long before the wind shifted, the scent of smoke tickling her nose. She glanced in the direction the breeze was coming from and saw a pillar of smoke.

Mindful of the disturbing rumors she'd heard, Primith made her way towards the hazy cloud, winding her way quickly through the back alleys and avenues. The dim light of the darkening made her cerulean scales appear almost black, the light of the street lamps glinting off their silvery tips. Despite the fact that it was spring, the draconess wore her heavy winter cloak, tucking her wings in close to her back and pulling her hood up over her head to disguise as much of her draconic heritage as was possible. With only her oaken staff and her dwarven steel dagger, she didn't have much to defend herself with if things went awry.

The Moraden drew up to the crowd of observers and lingered at the edge of the throng, craning her neck to see over the other people's heads. Prim was dying for a closer look at the scene, but was mindful of her appearance. A dracon in her natural form on the scene of a crime? Yeah, Primith didn't see that ending badly for her...

Gentleman March 5, 2013 10:53 PM

Fire, blood, fear, pain.

it hurts

it hurts

it hurts

The man with no mouth waited for more stray souls to cross their fates with his own.

Zahkin March 8, 2013 06:13 PM

Zahkin... He was taking a little walk around Nexus Prime just enjoying the city, and greeting people as he passed by because he really liked some of them, they were nice... He was thinking about the tournament he won a few time ago and was smiling when suddenly the scent of smoke crossed his nose and that bothered him. It was still not a strong scent but he wanted to see what was happening. The scent was getting stronger and stronger as he walked across Nexus.

"What is this smell... Smoke? Probably yes. I better hurry."

Zahkin started walking faster and faster until he got to the Jasmine district and he felt himself surpisingly depressed and annoyed.
He could fell that a lot of people have died there and the houses burned to the ground were horrible to see.
But what bothered him the most was that this reminded of his childhood where a big fire destroyed his villaged and killed most of it. What's left of it today are memories that still haunted Zahkin, along with the screams of people dying because of the flames but he couldn't have done anything, he was a child.

"Wait... This is the Jasmine District. I think I have heard about it but can't tell for sure. There are quite a few people in there, what's happening? Better take a look while I'm here."

Zahkin went to see the "thing" that was getting people's attention.
He shoved people's shoulders gently to pass by, but the scent of smoke was bringing back his memories again and he hated when that happens.

OOC: First open thread! Hope it goes well!

Gentleman March 8, 2013 06:55 PM

The gates of destiny shuddered closed, no more souls enraptured themselves in this night of horrors.Thread closed to more players.

A few guardsmen attempted to keep order by pushing back the growing crowd of onlookers while others poked through clues among the ash-shattered ruin of the house. Beyond a fire, an inferno had swept through, taking to dust all that had once been a home.

Two guardsmen were comforting a crying child, a boy of perhaps nine, when the Power-Addled DwarfGloan approached, pomp and vanity following like twin hounds. One of the guardsmen directed Gloan to the Fire-Hunting Detective as a harsh spring rain started to fall.

The Detective was a sharp, squirrely man with a constant nervous tic: He was forever turning his head to look behind him. This seemed to be beyond his ability to control, and none of the other guardsmen took note of it. "I am in charge here, my L-l-lord. Just an accidental fire. The boy," He indicated the Tearful Arsonist, "Accidentally burned the house down. Parents dead, of c-c-course. Tragic, but nothing the Thane would need to concern herself over." He left no room for interpretation in those meek eyes.

The Uncloaked DragonPrimith found herself drawn far beyond her will through a side street adjacent to the tragic devastation, where an open grate revealed the sewers that ran, like choking black rivers, beneath the city, there a man was standing, staring up at her, pleading for help. The sewer water was running high, and he was bound and tied and could not move nor speak for a cloth was wrapped around his lips.

The Dreaming ElfZahkin found that the closer he pressed against the crowd the further away he seemed to get from the scene of the fire, and the more curiously and infuriatingly strong grew the scent of burnt wood and ash-stricken bones and the voiceless dead until the grim sight overwhelmed his fragile senses and he quite suddenly collapsed and found himself only coming to when smelling salts were passed under his nose. His vision had not yet been restored but he heard the murmur of a quiet voice and the distant sound of a sob-choked scream.

The Red WolfRedwulf followed the two men, but they lead him on a merry chase, through alley and under bridge, until he began to suspect their destination was not in the Jasmine District at all. He nevertheless found that he knew that no matter where they were going, it was imperative he follow, until at last he found himself deep in a vine-choked copse in the untamed central park of the city, with no sign of the men he had pursued and without great certainty how to find himself a way out again. In the murky half-dusk, he tripped over a wet sack of some kind.

Gloan Hammerfist March 8, 2013 09:12 PM

"The Thane?" he cocked a bushy eyebrow towards the man. Why would the Thane be concerned with such a thing at all? He pushed the thought away for a moment. "Has the boy said anything else? I have heard of a couple of these accidents in this district recently. Enough so to draw my attention."

He did not let on about the conversation that he had overhead from the guards.

Redwulf March 13, 2013 05:16 PM

Redwulf stalked the night like a houndish death.

At first, he’d simply followed the two constables as they strolled. At first, he found it easy to keep his original purpose firmly in mind. He’d hung back, swept his gaze about, smelled the air, trying to learn everything about this Jasmine district with its odours of wealth and power and fine food. The two constables, keeping confidently to the centre of a wide street, were easy to follow and Redwulf had no trouble using this simple diversion as a way to learn the area.

Did the moon call for the Hunt? Did that pale eye, glimpsed between two gloomy mansions, bring forth a terrible canine single-mindedness?

Redwulf didn’t quite remember quite how or why, but as he followed, he became more and more interested in the Hunt. The two constables strolled on, and Redwulf’s jaw clamped. Crouching lower, keeping to inky shadows, he eased closer. His lips raised barely, not even a half-snarl. His eyes narrowed. He inhaled deep, seeking the scent of the constables and blocking everything else. Eased closer. Quiet now, quiet. An olfactory tunnel – no scent mattered now, no scent was possible but that it led closer to the constables. Once, a constable seemed to glance back, feeling the back of his own neck to smooth raised hairs, but Redwulf merely oozed his crouch into the inky shadow of a gatehouse before the constable’s eyes even turned.

He’d had no intention of violence. His canine instinct for tracking prey, not killing it, was at work. The important part of this game was to be close, closer than the prey thought possible, as close as could be without raising suspicion. It was an almost trance-like state for Redwulf, total fixation on the Hunt, the Chase, the primal feeling of being the hunter.

It was easy at first, while the constables kept to the open, but at one point they turned down a narrow avenue. Redwulf, keeping cautiously back, had followed. The constables, somehow already at the far end of a long wall, were turning again. Redwulf had to move fast to keep up. When he got there, he pulled back in surprise for the pair were very close, though his nose hadn’t warned him. Looking again, he realised his mistake, for while the two constables were again turning down another lane between two trees, two nearly-identical shadows were cast onto a near wall by the moon shining through a weathervane. He shook himself, and kept his mind on the Hunt. Only the Hunt. Hunt.

And so it went on. Turn after turn, Redwulf sometimes close but never close enough, though he strained every sinew of silence he had to stay quiet. He thought of nothing but the Hunt, even as he had to avoid long tree branches in his path. With the scent of the constables ahead, he slipped around a thorn bush. A muddy rivet almost tripped him as he pushed his way, following the scent, following, following... to... nothing. Redwulf tore at vines around him, sniffing the air but getting only the musky, deathly air of stagnant woodland.

Vines?? He looked around. Where in hell had he come? How had he lost them?

Stepping forward, Redwulf’s foot hit a wet obstacle that made a sound like a wet sack. Looking around and smelling the air, he reached and dragged the object toward a patch of moonlight between two trees.

Primith Cruzore March 15, 2013 03:57 AM

A compulsion prompted Primith to turn her attention away from the carnage and chaos that surrounded the mysterious fire and head down a nearby alleyway. She couldn't identify it, couldn't explain it, she just knew that she must obey it. Having experienced such strange callings before, the draconess knew that it could only lead to trouble of the worst possible sort, and therefore it was a terrible idea to heed it. But despite that thought at the front of her mind, Prim didn't have enough will to resist it.

The unmasked Moraden crept down the narrow side street, uncertain of what she was looking for, but aware that whatever it was lie ahead of her. She felt her stomach sink as she saw the opened sewer grate. The rather innocuous sight filled the draconess with a dread that she couldn't put a name to, a dire premonition that became clear as soon as she caught sight of the bound and gagged man standing in the sewer below the iron cover, filthy water lapping up around him at alarming levels.

More than anything else, of all the myriad ways she could think of dying, Prim was the most unnerved by the possibility of drowning. The idea of her chest burning from the lack of air, her desperation mounting as she struggled to escape her murky grave, the searing pain of water invading her lungs...

Prim almost took a step away from the grate, every muscle in her body tense as she resisted the urge to flee. She stared into the man's eyes and saw the desperation, the fear of death...the silent plea for help that overwhelmed everything else. Feth! The last thing that the Moraden wanted to do was jump down into those murky depths and risk the same fate. But she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she left someone like that. Feth her anyway, but Primith just couldn't bring herself to do it.

Releasing a deep breath to steady her nerves, the cerulean draconess drew Charin's dagger and jumped into the open hole, forcing herself to ignore her mounting terror. Pulling the gag from the man's mouth, Prim set to work on his bindings, working quickly to saw through the ropes that held his hands in place and tethered him in place. "Diana's breath! How on Telath did you get into this sort of situation anyhow?!" Fear made Primith's voice harsher than she meant it to be, but she was in no state of mind to worry about that sort of thing.

Zahkin March 15, 2013 05:49 PM

"H-Huh... I can't see...I-I can't see! What's happening here? Where am I? I can hear this quiet voice whispering... But I don't understand a thing."

Zahkin felt really warm and kind of confortable even without seeing anything. The smell of salts was still irritating his nose. He was a little scared and didn't know what was happening because he only remembered being in the Jasmine District and trying to walk through the crowd. But when he pushed forward he seemed to get more far and far away from... the "crime" scene.
Was he dreaming? Because then, he remembers the smell of burned wood and corpses. It was horrible, and then here he was. He still couldn't see but he had a bad feeling about all this.
After thinking about all this, he then got really scared because he didn't know if he would regain back his vision. All he could see was black.

Zahkin was thinking about the Jasmine District. It seemed to be a place where a lot of people have died. But there were burned houses. Did the people died from the fires?
He didn't know but right now he was more worried about gaining his vision back.
He tried to talk to see if anyone would answer:

"Is anyone there? I can hear you, whoever you are! Please help me, I can't see! Please! I'm really frightened..."

OOC: There were some important changes in my CIR - background.

Jade Alanon March 22, 2013 10:22 PM

OOCI was given the go-ahead by Gentlemen to join

Not their business. That was Jade’s first reaction when she had first heard about the fires. Wealthy people being burnt to death by their children, it was almost poetic in a very dark fethed up sense. The children’s description of a dark man with no mouth had caught Nymira’s curiosity and though Jade sought to ignore her sister she found she could not. Leave it to Nymira to lead Jade into a nightmare… Literally.

Of course Jade had the option of staying out of it and leaving her sister to her own devices but Jade wouldn’t. Their connection in life caused the pair of them to be very protective of the other and also their bond as sisters kept them close even when they disagreed. The scent of charred bodies had caught both their sensitive senses rather quickly even before they caught sight of the large crowd gathered around the latest tragedy. Death was a part of life so the sight of the life lost at the hands of a terful child did little to move the former Sanguine as she kept a small distance from the crowd.

Nymira was in her Virkyn form, black as night and the size of a small pony, Nym was the sort that intimated most that saw her as she had no form of lead that would bind her to Jade. Often people mistook Jade for a druid because of her staff and her bond to the large animal but Jade was no such thing. Wearing an ebony leather dress, Jade had a fierce look all her own, her shuriken sling around her waist like a belt and her staff in hand. Vivid green eyes took in the scene before her with a lack of sympathy for those who suffered. It was over for them now but could such a thing be prevented from happening again? Brushing a strand of hair from her face, Jade glanced down at her sister who stood next to her.

“I’m not sure what we are looking for here. It may be a waste of time being here.” Jade spoke through their telepathic connection as she knew most would find it odd that Jade was having a one-sided conversation with her 'pet'. Nymira looked up at Jade but chose to say nothing. Maybe they were wasting their time, there was no way of sniffing out a malevolent man who supposedly caused children to burn down their homes.

Gentleman March 24, 2013 12:48 AM

The Dreaming Elf awoke, and found himself on a familiar Nexus street. He'd been here before. Wasn't he investigating something? The Fires of Jasmine? And yet he couldn't bring himself to care. It was a silly thing.

Zahkin has been eliminated from the thread.

The Power-Addled Dwarf's insistent line of questioning seemed to leave the Fire-Hunting Detective flustered and he simply waved his hand. "Certainly, there have been incidents like this recently. You must understand that it isn't uncommon. These old houses can just go up like matchboxes. I've seen it happen any number of times."

He wiped his sweat-covered forehead with a handkerchief and coughed. "You're welcome to interview the boy yourself, but of course, he knows nothing. Feigns ignorance. What the doctors would call a mental block, I'm sure."

He indicated the Tearful Arsonist, a boy no older than nine ordinations, with bandaged hands hiding his burn marks.

"Really the best thing for everyone, you included, is probably to leave this incident to the constabulary."

The Red Wolf dragged his prize out into the moonlight to get a better glimpse at whatever he had found while hunting his prey. He may have lost the two guardsmen, but perhaps he had gained something else. The bag left a trail of a dark liquid as he dragged it, and he could smell the blood.

The bag came apart and revealed the two constables he'd been following just moments ago. Their heads, at least, were recognizable. Their bodies had been dismembered and hastily stuffed inside the bag. At least, the Red Wolf could only assume it was their bodies. There was certainly enough pieces.

But the chilling final revelation was that judging by the savagery with which the men were ripped apart, some sort of wolf or dog must've done it.

In the moonlight, the Red Wolf could see the blood glinting off of his own claws and he knew what fate had befell these men, but he could not remember why. Suddenly, footsteps! Someone was coming.

The Uncloaked Dragon slipped down into the black and rancid water to release the Drowning Hostage. The Uncloaked Dragon managed to slip the bonds from the Drowning Hostage's arms without much difficult. He pulled the cloth from his mouth and spat it out. "I'm sorry." He said, staring up at the open grate which revealed no one else was watching the two of them.

"Smile." He said, although his own features showed no such inclinations, and mirthlessly, he grabbed her hand that held her weapon with one hand and with the other he pushed her head under the rancid water, a mouthful of the sewer water instantly filling her lungs as he held her down.

The Oath-Bound SistersJade and Nymira had their ruminations interrupted by a rather unusual pair: A man and a woman priestly vestments who bowed as they approached.

"Good evening, the two of you are causing quite a scene. I hope you will understand if we ask you to come with us. We think you might be able to help with this awful matter..."

Jade Alanon March 25, 2013 06:41 PM

Unaware of the events taking place around them, the sisters remained close to the crowd in an attempt to tell if there was anything there that they would deem interesting or valid. Nymira believed they were wasting their time and perhaps they were. Maybe all this was exactly what it appeared to be, children killing their parents in a rather nasty way. Did the reason behind it matter? Perhaps but did it effect Jade in the long run? Most likely not since she had no children to fear burning her to death while she slept. Though Nym could be childish at times…

Nymira might have retorted given she could read her sister’s thoughts but the moment was interrupted by the presence of what appeared to be religious people. Jade was the sort that didn’t give a feth about religion and who hated the gods for various reasons, mostly because most if not all of the gods above and below were a bunch of omnipotent pricks who played humanity like a chess game when they were bored. They manipulated people into carrying out deeds in their name when It wasn’t even a necessity. They were evil no matter what anyone said and Jade had no interest in any of them.

Causing a scene? Jade peered around and then back at the person who had spoken, dark green eyes narrowed and arms crossed. “My companion is the sort that catches attention wherever she goes, this cannot be helped.” Nymira remained at Jade’s side, dark eyes watching the pair carefully, wary of their presence.

They wanted them to follow? As tempting as that may be, which for Jade was not at all, that just didn’t seem to be the best idea in the world. Two complete strangers come to them and ask that they come with them? How did they believe Jade and Nymira could help with this matter or even wanted to? What ‘awful matter’ did they speak of? The fires or was it something else? Jade’s mind was abuzz as she stood there and she shook her head. “Actually I don’t understand so you’re going to have to explain it to me. What makes you think we should follow you two?”

Primith Cruzore April 2, 2013 03:07 AM

"Smile?" Primith asked, utterly confused. The word was barely out of her mouth before the man she thought was a hapless victim snagged her wrist and thrust her head down into the murky water. Prim opened her mouth to scream, filling her mouth with the vile-tasting substance. A seering pain lanced through her chest as the liquid invaded her lungs, causing her to panic.

The Moraden thrashed uselessly against her attacker's hand for only a moment before she realized the futility of the act. Instead, she quickly changed her tactics and attempted to duck underneath the man's hand, deeper into the black depths before bunching her legs beneath her and surging forward towards the man's body.

Her horns were a constant source of irritation for her, forever getting snagged on clothing and bedding amongst other things. Prim couldn't imagine how Diantars like Links lived day to day dealing with them. But they were sharp and thick, making for quite an effective natural weapons. With the arm that held her dagger pinned, butting the man and impaling her attacker on her horns was the only defense she could think of.

And she really needed to think of something to escape...Primith was already keenly aware of the lack of air, the pain of inhaling the water making it much worse than it already would have been. No! I don't want to drown!

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