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Earthsong: The Sapphire Guard RPG
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YatesOfYore
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Earthsong: The Sapphire Guard RPG Reply with quote

It has been observed by the generations of historians, librarians, and general noters of odd miscellanea that have graced Earthsong's surface that the lull between the thrusting green of spring and the deep snows of a crisp winter is almost universally disliked. The memory of a damp and dirty chill lingers in the bones of most of Earthsong's visitors and readily conjures up a shiver. Melancholy loves a good cold mud in the boots.

The tundra feels the pain of this halfway seasonal stretch more than most environments, barren of trees to soak up the excess moisture or just to break the visual monotony of the soggy landscape. It should come as no surprise then that the Sapphire Guard were hardly enjoying this time of year - the dampness even managed to seep its way into their underground abdite fortress. No arrival had come even close to their territory for weeks and the Mandragora hadn't been seen in months. They found themselves secretly hoping for some trouble - anything. Even a cockatrice* to chase out of their lodgings would have been welcome.

The Bunker, as they called said lodgings, was a mere shadow of the Haven's grandeur. Covered in liches, shrubs and dirt, there were only a few windows of clear abdite to look out from. Decorations were sparse and its furnishings few - it was a "working" home, to say the least. It's allure at the moment was simply that it was not as bad as being outside. But cabin fever was beginning to outweigh the discomfort of the muck of a dying winter.

They were thrilled then, to see Ailurin scurry into their lair with news that he had spotted a figure flying in from the NorthEast.



*Note: Cockatrices are not deadly on Earthsong - they're just pesky, like mice.

[Note: Edited for clarity's sake]
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Last edited by YatesOfYore on Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ailurin found a few of the Sapphire Guard in the kitchen, having lunch -- bean soup and bread, again. Towards the end of winter the fare tended to get repetitive despite the best efforts of Ailurin and the other gardener types. There's only so much you can do with plants in mid-winter.

The others naturally asked for details. "Well, I can't say much about it yet," Ailurin told them. "I was up in the observation hill keeping watch, as usual, and I spotted someone flying in from the north-east. It's definitely not a bird or a griffin, and it's headed more or less in this direction. Beyond that I can't say much; still too far away."

He turned and scurried out again, calling back "Just thought I should sound the alarm so everyone can make preparations. I'm headed back up to the lookout to keep an eye or three on it. Feel free to join me!"

((See OOC thread for a description of the lookout))
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sunshine



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ariel adored cooking, and even if she wasn't some kind of culinary virtuoso she'd lived on Earthsong's surface long enough to know at least a hundred ways to cook beans. So even if it was bean soup again, it was a different kind of bean soup than yesterday's, or the day before, with kale and squash and as many other vegetables as the growers' could coax from the ground, the bread a fresh-baked sourdough to compliment it all nicely. Or so she thought, anyways. With so many different kinds of people and diets, just trying to find something everyone could eat was a quest all on its own.

She'd just finished passing around slices of rhubarb pie to those in the kitchen when Ailurin burst in to tell them his news. "From the northeast? The Haven's that way, maybe it's a messenger from the Guard there?" Hands were wiped off on her apron, which was untied and hung on a peg by the pantry doors. "Ailurin, wait! We should tell the others first before doing anything, don't you think? Could you tell how fast it was moving, how long it will likely take to reach our position?"
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thespaceinvader



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cochinell unfolded lanky frame from the chair he'd been occupying. His joints crackled uncomfortably as he moved, but the feeling soon passed. He took his walking stick from a corner and made his way gently towards the lookout spot. "I! will be joining you, Ailurin." he said buzzily. "But it might take me a little while !to get up there."
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The Resident Fool



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Bean soup." In one hand, the gnome held the small bowl. He lifted it, bringing it to eye level. With one eyebrow raised, he leaned forward, examining the mediocre meal. "Bean soup. Again." He held the small spoon in his other hand, stirring the brown mixture. He lifted the spoon, smelling the stale concoction, frowning slightly as some of it slopped off the spoon.

"Well... It's food, I guess." he shrugged. His lips were curled downwards only slightly as he popped a spoonful into his mouth. His eyes took on a thoughtful gaze as he chewed, leaning against the dirt wall as he pondered the taste. He swallowed, and looked at the soup in a different light - the slightest of smirks could be seen on his face. "Well. Not bad. I've definately had worse."

It was odd, really. Dimble could never remember a specific time he had sat down to a truly grand feast. Yet he still found the quality of the food on Earthsong lacking. Sure, it was nice. It was homely. Yet it was the oddest of little jingles in the far back of his head. A strong desire for the good stuff. The stuff of nobles, of important people. Important people did not eat homely food. But for the life of him, he could remember nothing but homely food - or the disgusting slop that was barely edible in his Remnant. Food meant to keep him alive - no, they fed him less than that. He was sure of it. His lips curled into a dark frown again, as he forced another spoonful into his mouth.

Remnants were odd that way - giving you your last memory, no matter what it was, for good or ill. In his case, ill. He could remember the pain, the torture, the fear. There was truly nothing that could compare to it - it had taken him weeks to even start to mention the slightest detail. But even now, after four months, nobody knew the full extent of his remnant. there was simply no way he could put it into mortal words.

He scowled, forcing the soup down his throat. Memory turned the food to ash. Dimble suddenly wasn't hungry anymore.


"Hmm?" Dimble dropped the spoon into the suddenly-rotten soup, looking up as he heard the commotion. The four-legged one - Ailurin - was worked up about something. He overheard their excited talk from the next room; meals and melancholy were suddenly forgotten.

As quickly as short legs could carry him, Dimble trotted back into the kitchen. He strained a bit as he reached up, putting his bowl back on the table, next to the rest of the soup. He left it there, fully intending to forget about it as he hurried to Ailurin and Ariel.

"Ailurin, Ariel's right. We need to talk about this first, decide what this might be. Sure, it might be a friendly messenger, in which case we're all just fine and dandy. But what if it isn't?" Dimble looked up at Ariel, and then down to Ailurin. He folded his arms, cunning in his eyes as he processed the situation.

"We haven't had any contact in ages, really. Nothing to speak of, anyway. We haven't been DOING anything. Why would Earthsong choose now to send us a messenger?... I'm not completely sure I like this. It's probably nothing, but..." He sighed, shaking his head as he looked down. "None of us should go off and do anything on our own. That would be ridiculous and risky. I think that we all should go up to the watch tower together; three heads together are better than three heads apart."

Dimble glanced at Cochinell, just registering his presence. Four heads were even better than three; but no way was Dimble going to wait up for someone who could barely walk. "Ariel, you should help Coch here up to the lookout. I would, but I am somewhat vertically challenged. Ailurin, I'll join you and see what we can see while we wait for everyone else to be informed..." Dimble's eyes darted this way and that every now and then, fingers slowly clenching and unclenching on his dagger, short legs speeding him off toward the lookout.
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sunshine



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I meant everyone, Dimble, not just the four of us. Wait just a moment, please?" Wincing as she watched the diminutive man already striding out of the kitchen, though still her voice was calm, impeccably polite. Resisting the urge to rub her forehead in exasperation at the dwarf's commanding tone and over-eager swagger Ariel found a smile and put that on instead, spreading her hands in a gesture of compromise.

"I'll admit however that it's important for somebody to get back up there and keep an eye out on whatever's approaching but really, the others need to know, too. So..." The Hyperborean paused for a moment, tapping her chin thoughtfully as she tried to quickly come up with a simple fix. "Ah, I know! Ailurin, how about you and Cochinell go find everyone and let them know what's going on, and Dimble and I will go back up to the lookout to check on it? I can fly up higher and get a better view, and just in case it isn't a friendly, Dimble can keep me hidden from sight, yes?" Ariel smiled brightly, pleased with the solution she'd come up with.
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theBSDude



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jagger had entered the kitchen just in time to hear Ariel's plan. He took a sip of his soup, strait from his bowl, and nodded in agreement.
"Sounds good, BlueSky. I'll get Lily. Anyone know where the little Vamp-guy is?"



OOC@sunny: If you don't like Jagger's nickname for Ariel just send me a PM and I'll get rid of it. Alternately, if you don't mind, but Ariel would, he's probably teasing her, so just smack him or something. This goes for everyone, too, when it comes to your characters.

EDIT: I mis-read sunny's post; sorry.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kassandra had fallen asleep in an armchair she'd moved near the hearth. She hated the cold, mud got everywhere and you spent all day shivering and ill or, as was the case now, curled up next to the fire encased in lethargy. A book lay face down on the floor where it had fallen through suddenly nerveless fingers, the occasional small twitch of which betrayed life in their otherwise immobile owner.

A giant pie was chasing her, screaming something about vengeance, she tried to protest all she'd eaten was some sort of bean stew, and after all the stew was surely the enemy of all life. But the pie wasn't listening.

"Wait just a moment, please?"

Something was afoot; pies didn't say please, especially not when they were planning to eat you. Unless it was a particularly polite pie, or an overly clever one.

She swam back to consciousness to the sounds of people moving around accompanied by excited voices. Kassandra winced as light cracked into her world, people were talking about pies but what they were saying didn't make sense.

"Ugh. Gwah?" Bits of half heard knowledge started to slot themselves together to form a cohesive whole. It wasn’t much but the fire seemed to have gone out and if she was going to be cold and wet she’d take the offer of excitement over whatever that bean thing was any day.
“I guess I’d best make sure they don’t go do anything stupid.” Or in Dimble's case anything at all, a small voice whispered. She shook her hair out, secured it again and set off after the gnome.
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The Resident Fool



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The gnome had just left the room, yet he was still able to hear some of what Ariel had said behind him. Dimble stopped, turning back to face Ariel. His left eyebrow was slightly raised, his lip a very slight smirk. "You know... that's actually not too bad an idea. I mean, the disguising you bit. That way, we could know what kind of threat this thing poses, if any, and how to prepare for it." Dimble's right hand reached up to his chin, two fingers fussing around with his pointed beard. He curled it around his fingers as he spoke.

"Of course, I don't see a reason to bother everybody yet right away. We don't even know yet if this thing really means anything to us." Dimble shrugged, however, letting that issue drop. "But, I guess as he started to turn around again. He started to walk away, continuing on his path towards the lookout. However, before he completely dissapeared from sight around a corner, he called back to Ariel.

"I'm going to go ahead and get to the lookout. Catch up or join me up there as soon as possible!" and with that, Dimble was gone. His little legs struggled to speed his progress up the much-too-large stairs. His hand went back to his dagger, his eyebrows narrowed in determination. What if this was a real threat? An attack? On the one hand, it had been a long time since he had seen any action more appealing than the latest version of bean soup. On the other hand, was he ready for a real challenge? A real fight, of life or death? "Pah!" he smirked to himself. "I've faced worse than these cretins anyway."
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unusually for Tethys, she had been sitting cross-legged near the hearth, just opposite from where Kassandra had been curled up in her chair. It wasn't often that she sat down idly in the mess/rec room while the others ate, but she had decided to do so today. Due to the damp weather, in addition to the customised catsuit top and breeches, she had her duster on as well to try and keep out the chill. She didn't mind damp, but she didn't care for the cold particularly.

When Ailurin had burst in, she had had her nose buried in her notebook, jotting things down with a piece of charcoal*. She hadn't been writing down anything of great import... She knew better than to actively try to work on her endeavours with her team mates around her. It was nothing personal against them, so much as it was personal to her.

She glanced up at her comrades and listened to them chattering. So someone had been sighted? And there was no confirmation as to whether they were friend or foe. Tethys gave a grunt and pulled herself up to her feet, shunting her notebook and stick into an inside pocket of the duster as she joined her team mates' gathering.

"I'd rather it was Haven trying to contact us... But don't they usually come in teams?" she added - she wasn't 100% sure on this point though.

"You guys want me on stand by in case our visitor it turns out to be not friendly?" Tethys offered.

((*What's the equivalent of charcoal sticks on ES?))
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samson huddled at the table, resting on his knees and bent over as well to present himself at all. Even trying to make himself as short as possible, he could have been mistaken for one of the walls. The giant didn't complain as the bean stew was presented, though of course he didn't have to eat it either. It would have fermented in his stomach, and caused quite a stench while the slow digestion of his people fretted over such complex organic matter.

Instead, Samson was snacking on a long shard of rock that he had recovered from outside. Nothing extravagant, just a piece of boulder that was still left from their last encounter with the Mandragora. His thoughts had already drifted to the last battle when Ailurin came bounding into the room with news. Exciting news.

Sliding himself from beside the table, Samson sunk his shoulders and bent his knees so he didn't hit the doorway into the kitchen. Ailurin and Ariel were discussing something about a flying visitor, which piqued Samson's curiosity. The dwarf... What was his name? Oh yes, small like a thimble: Dimble! The dwarf was ready to go already, as small creatures usually were. Samson couldn't help himself but to smile at all the commotion. Even the giant insect, Cochinell, was up and about.

They're all so excited, but then it has been a long time since any of them have been able to be energetic.

Standing off to one side, Samson watched the conversation with quiet interest. Lapis Lazuli rings around onyx centers watched the group as they went back and forth, some moving about while others stayed behind.

"I meant everyone, Dimble, not just the four of us. Wait just a moment, please?" said Ariel. Samson's eyes hesitated a moment on the interaction between Dimble and Ariel. Impatience and elegance, though both had more than their reasons for those qualities.

Samson understood Dimble's impatience more than he cared to admit, though. That urge lived inside of the rock giant as well, though his physiology helped him to contain it. All that the guard knew, and all that was pertinent, was that Samson's entire world was now a dead planet. Samson was, and would always be, the very last of his kind. Samson sighed, shuffling his bent knees toward the two.

"How can I help?" he spoke softly. Even lowering his voice as best he could, the gravelly ((pun intended)) tone and deep bass of his voice was enough to shake the liquid in nearby cups and bowls. Samson almost winced, his brow and lips furrowing a bit.
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sunshine



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Oh, hello Tethys, and... Kassandra." Her smile warming as she watched the one woman starting awake, a nod given to acknowledge each. "Yes, I'm hoping it's a messenger as well but... well, we shall see, won't we?" Ariel's shoulders lifted in a breezy shrug and she turned, only to stop herself just shy of barreling straight into the rock giant in front of her. "Samson!" She grinned brightly up at her dear friend, nodding at his offer. "Yes, could you also make sure everyone knows there's a figure flying towards us from the northeast? I'm going up to get a better look, or I would do it myself. It may be nothing, but it's more than we've had in a long time." Another of her endless warm, breezy smiles was given and she patted his massive shoulder, then whisked lightly past him.

She transitioned from walking to flying with barely a thought, the action a smooth movement as natural to her by now as breathing. It would be easier to catch up to Dimble this way, which she did just as the dwarf was beginning his determined struggle up the ladder. With an airy chuckle and a slight shake of her head she simply glided up behind him, hooked her hands under his arms, and flew them both up to the top.

When they reached the landing she set Dimble on his feet, her own dangling a few inches above the ground as she hovered beside him. Raising a hand to shield her eyes she scanned the skies for the figure Ailurin had spotted. "Do you see it?"
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a bow of his head, Samson let the hyperborean glide by him effortlessly before he turned to move as well. He was by no means the fastest of the guard, though he would serve well enough as a messenger. Long strides gave his hunched over form the speed to move through the dormitory section quickly.

Pausing at the first door he came to, he reached one hand forward and tapped the door with a single finger. Never mind the single finger could have passed for a full fist of any "normal" size member of the guard.

((Let's assume that this is Lilith's door))
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Maeniel



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chet had gotten his lunch and retreated to the library, looking up Gulliver's journal. The guy had a bunch of insights on art and music and odd mechanical things...and, of course, bits and pieces of fighting people both larger and smaller than oneself. Which is, of course, why Chet was reading his travels.

Chet had, unfortunately, not heard anything about the flying object; he was too preoccupied with the music theory of the Laputa. So fascinating... His tail swished in satisfaction. He was standing several aisles away from the door so he'd be quickly accessible. He munched on the cockatrice leg happily, turning the page.
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YatesOfYore
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The few who were within earshot of the lookout heard a collective sigh of relief from Dimble and Ariel.

"Don't worry!" called down Dimble, "It's only-" and he was cut off by a loud ruckus at the Bunker's entryway. A few curses, half muffled by the abdite walls were heard from outside, followed by an impatient scrabbling and finally a solid and definitive click. The moss covered abdite door rumbled open and most of the Sapphire Guard waited below in anticipation.

Their visitor leapt down the tunnel and landed lightly for a creature of its size.

"Jeez, I think it's colder inside!"

Felucca rubbed her arms and shivered. "Hate this stupid weather," she muttered, "Don't know how you all stand it down here - at least it's dry in the air".

She was as warmly dressed as her anatomy allowed, with layers of different clothing which she had "borrowed" from other members of the Guard - Nanashi would not be pleased to discover that she now had room for a tail in one pair of her pants. And if there had been a human in their midst, they would have been torn between amusement and revulsion upon seeing her wearing the Earthsong equivalent to a fannypack.

"Anyhow," she so elegantly segued, "If you could all meet up in the library, I'd be much obliged. And could somebody get me a mug of something warm?".
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