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Juryoku

11 y/o large Male
Xenon, Female Wood stork
JurYoku
At the edge of the world, you will still float.

There was a god? Well, of course, but had it been true that one appeared upon this mortal world? As always, a little bird chirped in his ear. Not little actually nor a true avian in structure. The woman dressed in black and red with lofty wings to her sides had informed him of a gathering where the fire god stood present. A riddle Maui left behind for the mortal’s to pry and ravage for an answer—insight. It was blatant what the little puzzle hinted at. Could he trust what Sonja has told him? Strangely, his faith in her was more steady than any other soul he’d put any worth on.

He was quietly lazing around in Brisbane Valley these past few days. After offering a few lessons to the young chap, Fayre, Juryoku was back alone with his own thoughts for a little while. Xenon circled the sky above him, keeping an eye out for anything. He could see a storm brewing over the mountains yonder as it seemed the blizzard took its place. The leviathan hoped Fayre had long since left that area as not once has the blizzard showed mercy to the incompetent. As remnants of the storm’s gales rushed over the valley, his whiskers caught scent of something. Not only that, but a charming energy.

There was a force mixing here between the peaks and the sea. It had him by the throat. Juryoku began following where the source of the beckoning was coming from. Over the course of several days, he ventured south while keeping close to the shore. About halfway through the journey did he cross paths with Sonja again and not long after was there Fayre. He knew not if they could sense the same force he felt, whether this was personal or universal. Juryoku would still try to persuade them along anyhow as something deep within him craved the need of company.

Oddly, the need for water seemed to be suppressed within him. The trickery—was it fear that gave the illusion for his dependency or did something else relieved him of his necessity? He was entranced like a turtle hatchling following the brilliance of a starry night sky. Although instead of leading him into the safety of the sea, it rest an area littered with sinful stones and the faint despair of lost spirits.

It grew here. What pulled him was close here. His algae was as bright as a dying star, providing a light source under the heavily clouded and dusky skies. He was not afraid of the slippery stones beneath his claws, but the roaring waves had him a bit hesitant. “Why out there? Have you not asked enough?” Juryoku looked out at the gloomy open sea, snorting afterwards. The smell of the saltwater sea was horrid to him. This was the real deal. He looked back for any other eyes—to know he was not alone.

“Perhaps we must”

Drive kicked him. He jumped down with uncertainty no longer cloaking his back. He could feel his body tense as the waves swallowed him. He could feel the water grip him, but it could do naught to suffocate the leviathan. As he tried to get himself in a better position to emerge, Juryoku thought he witnessed something large swim past him. There was a rising panic to move away from where he saw this shadowy figure. Getting past the more rougher waves, he could finally float atop the water with little disruption. That’s when his eyes widened.

Vastness. His heart drummed against his chest, and his gills constricted at the exposure of sea salt. The... lure. He began drifting farther out to sea, and his whiskers filtered through the many different scents and vibrations throughout the water. The leviathan tried to pinpoint where a particular pulse reverberated while looking back at the beach in rising worry.



@Sonja , @Fayre, and then three additional characters are welcome to join!
This first round will end on Feb. 22.
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Sonja

7 y/o medium Female
Bezalel, Male Crow
" open your wings, evil angel; "

Today she would need to tuck away the chaos of her personal life, for she would be called upon for a greater purpose, she had begun to linger near the oceans edge - that was where she found Sohvren. Perhaps the gods had been beckoning her for more than the purpose which concerned herself, Juryoku and a wolf by the name of Fayre - she didn't know the man, but Jury had put in a good word for him. She knew little, but that Jury had trusted him and asked that he tag along as well. They had crossed paths, and she'd been glad to join him, resting in the still water cave for the night with Sohvren before moving on to the destination that Jury believed to be theirs - the black rock beach. 

But not the beach itself, except off the shore, which if they were right; which they were certain they were and it was the god Atlahua this all made sense. Where else for a turtle to call home but the open sea? The woman would give a huff as her thoughts churned, beginning more and more to get caught up in what could come of today rather than her turmoil of emotions between her mate and her best friend. That was what she needed of course, she couldn't be distracted. 

Large wings tucked close to her sides as she strode just slightly behind Jury, allowing him to lead their charge, he must feel something for his god? She however; lacked the connection to the turtle, but none of them would be here if it weren't for the gods, so helping any god was her honor. She sighed, crimson eyes flickering over to the man as they came upon the shore, slick, sharp stones beneath their paws. Her gaze sweeping over his the blue upon Jury glowed, seeming to get more and more vibrant the closer they came. Amplified by the setting of a dark overcast, was this natural? It was winter in Nidria, but perhaps this was another sign that they were close. This had to be it then. She was certain of it, but...where exactly? 

Garnet audits flicked back as she slowed her pace until she paused near him, eyes shifting in question between the two atlahua wolves. "Why out there? Have you not asked enough?”  eyes shifted back to the open; stormy sea and then to Bezalel who nested on her back. "Scout ahead Bezalel - see what you can find" the crow gave a sharp caw, before rising from her back and flying out to open water. Her own wings opened, allowing her feathers to rattle on the wind — about to take to the sky herself. 

“Perhaps we must” gaze would snap to him, ears drawing back. His words held such certainty, but doubt clung onto her, was he really sure? "...Juryoku?" before she was able to get the rest of the words from her maw he was surging forward. And before her eyes he was becoming engulfed in relentless waves. It was that look — the look of oncoming panic that held his gaze that allowed her to remain on the shore no longer, "Dammit!" eyes snapped to Fayre before large wings opened, a single grasp of the wind sent her to the skies pushing herself hard to meet up with Bezalel and hopefully give Jury some kind of direction. The winds seemed just as violent as the sea, strong gusts threatening to push her back — but she would not have any of it. 


"Speaking" | "Bezalel speaking"


 
Table by Centience. Art Nikkayla @ DA

@Fayre
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Fayre

5 y/o medium Male
Ikhael, Male Spirit Fox
In the days that followed after meeting Juryoku, he had come to further respect the man as he grew his own craft. Eventually, he reached a point where he too could manipulate water into ice in order to create devastating structures and needle sharp projectiles. Although he had found that his body preferred it when he hardened the molecules of water around himself to create armour of ice, so in between lessons he had been practising that. They had parted ways not soon after his discovery of his own talents in ice, and Juryoku had decided they were at a sufficient point where he had to train on his own and become in tune with himself. As he had left, he felt a pang of sadness at being alone again with his familiar there to belittle him and drive him back into the anxiety driven hole he had just dug out of.

When the leviathan had crossed his path mere days later, he was surprised at the urgency and excited to meet another in the form of Sonja. Wary of the brand of magicka that she hosted, he stuck close to the scaled man as a child would in the presence of a stranger. It was indeed immature of him, and he found himself being chastised by Juryoku for behaving so rudely and in time he had come to find himself comforted in her presence as well. The weird raggedy bunch that they were following the man's intuition that he was needed somewhere.

The weather hadn't relented, with the continuous gloom of grey clouds and occasional dowsing of rain, he felt unwelcome as they stepped onto the rocks of Black Rock Beach. In his heart, he too could feel a tug, but his connection with Atlahua wasn't as in tune and his lack of celestial encounters and prayers meant he was almost better off a mundane. Fayre had never been one to show much respect, even though he tried to, he just wasn't as godly as those around him. Coming to a stop on the edge of the rocks, he shivered and looked upon the horizon with the ocean like steel glass once your vision drifted past the churning white caps of the shore. "I mean, I guess we coul-" Before he could finish speaking he watched as his mentor dove into the water.

Fayre's stomach rolled violently as he watched the wolf disappear among the violent waves. Everything in him froze and panic began to set in. Immediately, Sonja cursed and took to the skies while he just stared like a lost pup as she too took out in the direction of... nothing? Ikhael appeared beside him, tail curling over his paws as the black fox looked to the horned boy questioningly. In the distance, he could see the blue glittering head of Juryoku poke out and break the illusion of the glass-like water. "God fucking damn it," in two bounds, he too found himself diving into the depths, swallowed by his home element.

Water was definitely better than ice, and in a few kicks under the surface, he was away from the worst of the swell. Breaching through the water with a gasp, he found himself paddling out to where Juryoku was, buffeted by the few waves that were rolling in, but he was safe. That honestly hadn't been all that bad, and he was thankful that his time spent practising his magic in streams had lakes had evolved him into the strong swimmer he was today.

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Winnie

3 y/o medium Female
A storm was brewing and she could feel it in the water. The water itself was churning and acting as if it were angry with the world, ready to devour it whole. Her body wiggled and dodged the worst of the angry claws that aimed to sink her father down and take her to depths she wished not to go and inside she swam closer to shore. She knew when the waves were acting like this is was easier to sit out the sotrm closer to land that ti was to be out there. As she approached the sides of the land she noticed an odd feeling dwelling within her. Like.. Something was calling. Calling for what she did not know and was hardly courageous enough to want to figure it out. Instead she ignored it and wiggled about trying to catch her next meal. 

Her eyes were set on a puffer fish who seemed to be lazing about on the sea floor. Its body relaxedly being pushed to and fro by the undertow of the storm. She didn't really have to sneak up on it for it didn't fear her at all, but when she came into its comfort zone it tried to dart away. Only her gaping jaws stopped its efforts to flee. Being smart about her favorite snack though she'd snagged it by the head and torn the body free from its roots. Giggling with a giddy pleasure she gobbled up the rest of the fish and left its poisonous head to float to the surface. Her eyes were following the fish as a strange shadow fell over the top of the water. Curious she started to investigate when a weird looking creature fell into the water and wiggled around like it was trying to attack the waves. Fear struck her first and the little fish girl swam out of its reaches but had to get somewhat close to get around him. Waiting a few minutes she realized the poor thing was being pulled out to sea! Quickly she began to swim after him but yet another shadow seemed to fall over the ocean. This time she wasn't at all confused and swam straight out of the way. What were these creatures up to? Why were they falling out of the sky? Slowly she waited in the murky shadows now available to hide in thanks to these lovely gentleman. Winnie waited for her eyes to adjust to the darker visibility and then headed up after the other two. Her head reaching the surface but still hard to see since she blended in so well. Quickly she kicked out her webbed toes and caught up to the second wolf swimming straight up to his side. She recognized him as being one of her own kind but from the land like the fire dragon one. "What's ya doing swimming out in a storm like this?" she asked point-blank her expression bright and almost too curious.
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Sohvren

5 y/o large Male
Reeva, Female Cat


She'd asked him to come. He'd been hesitant; after all, he hadn't been there when the giant god had spoken of the riddle. 

But she'd asked him to come.

Too many thoughts swirled within his skull clad head, whispers and rumors that had been spread thin for years among the ranks of the guild. An endless waterfall of information, pouring through him as his tried to analyze each and every silly and debased rumor he could muster.

He had mulled over these thoughts as he made his way to the shore, forgoing his return to the Black Forest and the responsibilities that waited for his hasty return. Of course, if Sonja was right and this adventure brought back one of the lost gods no one would fault him.
She was much faster than him, and at his hesitation had taken off as she was want to do. She knew he'd follow, of course. Or at least when they'd been pups she would have known.

Coming upon the black, rocked beach with it's torrid currents and unforgiving storm of a swell, the ombre male with the skull crown and no gills or wings of his own could only watch the events unfold. He wasn't fast enough to see the first of the group dive beneath the waters, but he saw Sonja take for the sky and then another wolf he didn't know brave the current. 
Not for the first time did he curse his lack of wings. But he eyed the frozen waters with both distrust and distaste.

No. Hell no. 

With a trained eye he found a grouping of rocks that seemed to create a narrow path. Gritting his teeth, he began his trek across their slippery slopes, the waves crashing against their smooth surface leaving him soaked with the residual spray, following the others into the storm ahead.



“Sohvren Speaks” | Sohvren Thinks


Sohvren
Table by Shadow ♛ Art by Nikkayla
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Polareis

5 y/o large Female
Absinthe, Female Southern White-Lipped Python
Venturing west had been a little adventure that Polareis hadn't enjoyed per say, yet Absinthe had been insistent on moving in that direction. She mentally cursed the damned snake for convincing her to travel, but at the same time there was something in her that was thankful.

"It looks like a storm is coming." Absinthe commented from her perched around Reis' neck. There was a soft grumble from the woman as she looked in the sky, "You don't say." With a roll of her eyes, she trekked on. Her legs were growing tired and she had seriously misjudged how much work it would be to carry her so called familiar around.

Looking out onto the horizon, Reis' finally noticed a body of water, and it was much larger than that one lake. "Where are we?" She asked herself softly as her speed picked up, she didn't love water, but at the same time it wasn't absolutely terrible to have a swim every once and a while. "I don't know, some beach maybe?" Absinthe perked up as she adjusted her position in an attempt to see ahead of the wolf.

The beach was coated in black and the water appeared angry. It thrashed about and the waters seemed to compliment the incoming storm. If it hadn't been for the wolf that seemed to dive into the depths, the white woman would have refrained from coming any closer. Yet she had hauled her body forwards, and made a poor attempt to sprint towards the waters.

The closer she got the more she could notice. There was a dark wolf in the sky, the first wolf she had seen to have wings but with all that she had witness up to that point she wasn't going to question it. As her eyes followed a cluster of rocks into the ocean she noticed another wolf, seemingly making his way into the fray.

"What's going on?!" She shouted out, although she had no doubt that over the crashing waves that her words were drowned out. She looked between the two wolves and the water, remembering the one she had witnessed diving down.

"Don't you dare!" Absinthe hissed as she quickly unwrapped herself from Reis' body and made her way onto the rocky shore. Reis only took that as an invitation to go, and quickly looked towards the rocks. Although unsure of what she was doing she made an attempt to move towards the man further ahead. She tried her best not to shiver as she focused on moving from one slippery rock to the other. She kept her eye on the waters, growing ever more cautious of the waters.

As she moved there was only one thing going through her mind, what the hell was going on here.
"Polareis speaks." "Absinthe speaks."
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Arcana

y/o xsmall Male

The god Atlahua



The ocean waves continue to churn, getting angrier and more violent as the sky darkens. The situation is getting worse - and quickly. Large waves roll up and over @Juryoku  and @Fayre  shoving them deep under water and dragging them further out to sea....perhaps...closer to what they seek? @Winnie try and help them the best you can! But it means trouble for @Sohvren and @Polareis the violent waves ride up over their rocky platform, soaking them to the bone, coming up so high that they are within danger of getting swept off into the ocean. 

Above them the winds; like the sea below are becoming more violent, they push in almost every direction primarily shoving against her @Sonja is in danger of being kicked out of the skies if she cannot keep herself under control; if she is not strong enough to fight the force of the winds. 

The air is beginning to change. As you get further out to sea you begin to enter a thick fog, and there is something in the distance! But most of it is enclosed, enveloped in this dense mist...it's huge...and what is that? Are those....tree branches you can see? 

You must press on! Face your challenges and try to reach it! 


Please maintain your posting order! Round will end February 23rd


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Juryoku

11 y/o large Male
Xenon, Female Wood stork
JurYoku
At the edge of the world, you will still float.

This was different. Quiet lakes and forgiving rivers—Juryoku never faced the wrath of an uprising sea. He was becoming distraught as anxiety held greater power over him than any god could drag him forth. He would begin to snake back around in a halfhearted attempt to shoot straight for the beach. But, that is when he saw Fayre struggling to catch up with the whiskered beast. He would have questioned the young fellow as to why he was out here, however, he held his tongue as he himself swam a fool for listening to his instincts rather than reasoning.

The waves were only getting larger and far more aggressive. They sought to shove him under, but his tail fought to keep the leviathan at least somewhat above water. Juryoku made a beeline for Fayre before the next billow would roll them over. He tried to let his body collide with young male and pull him close before a wave could pull them away from each other. With his tail now preoccupied trying to keep his pupil close to him, the leviathan could do nothing to fight against the sea any longer. As a tsunami-like wave came rolling towards them, Juryoku would emit a sharp sound that was close enough to an ear-piecing whistle. Before anything else could come out of his maw, he noticed a third wolf in the water with them.

However, the wave has already yanked him deeper under the water before he could react to them.

Although the strong winds whipped and tossed her, Xenon tried her best to power through as she heard a call from Juryoku. She was in a panic as she could feel the leviathan’s overflowing fright. As she called out to him in hopes of a response, the wind nearly knocked her into Sonja. She recognized the dame and immediately stuck to her for a minute. The wood stork was vocal about her worries as if asking the winged wolf to help her search. Though before she waited for any response, she rushed forward into the deep fog.

Under the water, Juryoku seemed to be paralyzed. He wasn’t sure if Fayre was still with him, but his mind was stuck in a moment of shock. All he could see was a deep blue and hear the muffled sound of waves hitting the water’s surface. The glow from his algae was virtually the only light around. His gills were tight, refusing to take anymore salt from the sea; but he knew if he didn’t accept it, the leviathan would suffocate. So, with each bubble from his nose, he let in water through his gills. He wasn’t comfortable, but he had to let it go. Finally, he snapped out of his frozen state as deep crimson fluttered. Silence. He regained control of his body and began moving downward.

The scaled wolf spun around, scanning everything around. It all was still blue. The energy that entrapped him earlier was no longer strong, however, he could still feel its presence. Juryoku trilled out as the sound echoed throughout the sea. He finally drew still, floating in the endless blue. Seeking eyes continued to look around, a mixture of concern for Fayre and for where he was.

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