If you're looking for a quiet retreat, this is the place. Run by devout monks, you will be welcomed with generous hospitality. You can even take the time here to achieve some spiritual enlightenment of your own, with the sounds of the rainforest as a backdrop. (+2 Precision)

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 07/29/2017 4:53 PM

Sotani turned to him then, confusion creasing the brows above her black, black eyes.

"You don't want me to-"

And then shriek split the ear, tearing at Zefiyron's eardrums and sending his pulse racing. He stepped into place, putting himself in front of Sotani, and raised his bow.

"Here they come," he said quietly, place grim.

And come they did, bursting out of the trees in dozens, wings and legs and scaley bits rushing towards them, glowing eyes staring them down from every direction. There were close to a hundred, and all in different sizes and shapes and colors. A particularly ugly, gargoyle-looking swarm leered at Zefiyron, only to drop dead a few seconds later with an arrow in its glowing green eye.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 07/29/2017 4:57 PM

Zefiyron was moving as fast as he could, shooting at the monstrous creatures pulling in towards the temple. An arrow would fly from his bow, only to be repalced moments later by another pulled from his quiver. The monks next to them were tightening their grips on their weapons and their shields and deepening their stances while a hail of arrows and other projectiles descended from the roof onto the swarm in front of them.

He was aware that Sotani had stepped up next to him. He glanced at her, intending to warn her back, but a moment later dark purple whirling balls of pure fury were lashing out from hands, straight into the chests of the swarm.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 07/29/2017 5:01 PM

She shot a glance at him, eyes wild and smile the biggest he had seen so far. "You don't have to worry about me, Zeffie," she said, letting out another bristlingly furious energy ball. "This is what I'll live for."

And she turned away to send out a quick array of half a dozen small dark purple balls, which danced between the crowd of swarm approaching them and left a dozen more bodies on the ground.

Zefiyron followed suit, with no time to dwell on her comments, and shot down a few of the swarm who had dared to fly close to the archers on the roof.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/10/2017 12:30 AM

Sotani was powerful, incredibly so. Every swarm she hit fell immediately to the ground, dead. With her and him and the archers on the roof, there was no need for the ground fighters. Soon, they found themselves surrounded by dead swarm, many already starting to vanish, as all swarm corpses did. The monks behind them let out a great cheer. Zefiyron felt himself smile. And Sotani? She looked ecstatic.

She let out a low, dark chuckle. “Now that was fun.” She turned to grin at Zefiyron. “Thanks, Zeffie, for bringing me here. This was exactly what I needed.”

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/10/2017 12:30 AM

Sotani turned and walked back towards the temple, following the monks in. Zefiyron followed her, perplexed. She walked with her back straighter, her bone white hair swishing around her shoulder blades, exuding confidence. When they entered the main chamber, even though it was packed with people, she seemed fine. Her chains hung loose from her wrists, her fingers were calm and still.

“Now.” She turned to Zefiyron as he walked up to her. “About the metal around my neck?” She raised an eyebrow—the same bleached white as her hair—at him, expression expectant, a more tempered grin on her face.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/10/2017 12:31 AM

Still a bit startled by her sudden change in attitude, it took him a few moments to collect his thoughts. “Oh, of course, right! I know someone who can help. We’ll have to find him. Let me get my pack.”

He stepped into the weapons room and grabbed the pack he had left on the ground. He slung it back over his shoulders and put his quiver and his bow back in place. He turned to see that Sotani had followed him into the room, and was looking at the weapons as they were being returned to their racks along the walls.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/10/2017 12:31 AM

“Mmmm.” Her inflection was appreciative. She stepped forward, running a finger down the flat of a longsword. “Pretty, aren’t you?”

Zefiyron was glad she seemed a bit more, well, stable would be the best word for it. Her smile hadn’t left her face, but he thought it seemed a little less malicious. He watched her as she walked around the room, admiring and touching the weapons along the wall. What had happened to her? Why had she been lying on the rainforest floor, shackled, clothes torn? She hadn’t mentioned anything about herself, and he hadn’t asked. Whatever it was, it seemed to have been traumatic. He wanted to let her broach the subject herself. But he was undeniably curious, still. What had been done to her?

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/10/2017 12:35 AM

Strands of white hair fell down over her face as Sotani bent close to a halberd. Zefiyron wondered about her hair, too. From her pale skin and the shape of her black eyes, he would've expected it to be black. Had she been born with this white hair? Or did it have to do whatever had happened to her?

He shook himself out of his thoughts as she finished examining all the weapons and turned back to him. "Lovely, all lovely." Her smile was almost happy. "Perhaps I'll try one some day."

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:17 AM

Zefiyron liked the smile on her face. He returned one of his own, letting warmth creep into his green-flecked eyes. Sotani's smile grew almost--dare he say it? uncertain. Pale fingers flirting with the end of the chain, she swept past him, out of the room, her bare feet leaving little sound on the stone floor.

He frowned at that. First priority was to get her collar off, but after that, they'd have to see if the monks here had any extra clothes to spare. Shoes, in particular. The rainforest floor hadn't been kind to her bare soles, and he didn't expect it to be any kinder on the way out.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:21 AM

He followed Sotani out back into the main chamber, one arm bent back to stroke the wood of his bow. Sotani was waiting for him near the doorway, hands on her hips, back to him.

"Well?" Tone, demanding once again.

"This way, I think." Zefiyron smiled at her, one arm extended towards another opening in the curved wall. The commotion in the swarm's wake seemed to have died down, some monks even already sitting down to mediate again. Hopefully they'd be able to find his pickpocket and get Sotani's collar off. She seemed to be getting more and more irritated with it every time they mentioned removing it, pulling at the edge of the metal and scraping her fingernails over the lock.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:26 AM

A few turns later--Zefiyron was slightly dismayed to note that Sotani had gone back to winding her chains around her arms as they passed through the narrow tunnels--they had reached the monks' living chambers. Paper screens measured out each monk's individual section, though their silhouettes were still clearly displayed on the thin surface of the dividers.

Zefiyron raised his hand in greeting at the visible monks who looked up at their entrance. Several others stepped out around their dividers, roused by the clanking of Sotani's chains.

"Zefiyron!" one of them called. "Nice to see you back," said another. Their smiling faces cheered him. His time at the temple had been kind.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:31 AM

Zefiyron greeted each of them as he moved down the room, introducing to those he didn't recognize and offering an expression of joy at seeing those he did recognize again. Sotani stayed at the entrance, winding chain around her fingers. Acutely aware of her discomfort, he held himself back from chatting with everyone.

"We're looking for Poppy. Is she still here?" he asked the room. It was normal for the temple to serve as an extended resting place for many of the travelers who passed this area, but for most of them, their stay was only temporary. For many, the temple was a respite, a refuge, but not a home. Like himself, they had other things, other people that would, in due time, call them away.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:34 AM

"Poppy?" One of the monks stepped forward. "I think...she's likely with her sisters in the library. They've started keeping records, you know, of the swarm attacks. Abigail wants to see if she can make out any patterns."

Zefiyron nodded and thanked the monk. He walked back to Sotani, whose fingers, he noted with no small concern, were striped red from her twisting her chains around them.

"Come on." His voice was soft, and he poured out his concern through his gaze. "We'll visit the library, and we'll get that collar off you in no time, okay?"

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:38 AM

Sotani looked up at him, and the emptiness in her eyes dampened some of his hope. Her smile had taken on its edge again.

Zefiyron's only response was to smile some more, before gesturing towards the doorway. They passed through, Zefiyron's worry increasing with every clank of her chains as she undoubtedly wound them tighter and tighter around her arms. The pressure of the links couldn't be good for her bandaged wounds.

But soon enough they found themselves a large room, rounded like the entrance, ceiling curving high above them. Nearly grazing the ceiling were ascending lines of wooden bookshelves, crammed full of papers and books and small artifacts.

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Re: Here Be Monsters [P]

Postby Kestrel » 08/15/2017 2:42 AM

Sitting cross-legged around a small table were three monks, dark heads bent over a cluster of papers spread about before them. They looked up at their entrance (again, the clanking), and their faces broke into three identical grins.

"Zefiyron!" one of the cried, leaping up and rushing towards him. "Oh, it's so good to see you! Delilah mentioned you were here right before the swarm attack, but you know, in the confusion, there just wasn't time to find you, and I didn't know how long you were staying and-"

One of the others elbowed the first woman, pushing her a little bit aside. "Hush, Poppy. Give the man some time to breathe." She turned to Zefiyron, a huge grin stretching across her face. "It is so good to see you again, though. We've all missed you."

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