Monsters And Misfits Chapter 1: Tides and Turbulence

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#21
More than one pair of eyes locked on Gilgaloth as he entered the mess; no small surprise, given the size and sense of presence innate to the aasimar. He gave a respectful, though reserved, nod and smile to the merfolk - dreadful creatures, those - as he passed the man by; his eyes reflected a sense of decisiveness and purpose that seemed somewhat out of place for a passenger of the Horace, though made the brevity of the "meeting" less strange. The woman that he was looking for caught his eye immediately; her elaborate clothing stood out a great deal, and the horns that were narrowly visible from beneath her hood even moreso. The devil had to force himself not to clench his fists; he suspected that she was a tiefling, a product of a damned bloodline that was, no doubt, a blight on the world. The hypocrisy of that thought process, thankfully, didn't register; devil or no, he was still both saint and king, and in a form that befit that lofty title (even if his clothing was, for the moment, unfortunately lacking in grandeur).

A second woman, with dark skin and curls, met his gaze for but a moment before she headed to speak with the devilspawn that he had come to challenge, whose nose was buried in a book. Gilgaloth gave her a warm smile; she was pretty, if nothing else, and humans who didn't have sticks lodged very deep and firmly up their behinds were always a welcome sight. There were only two more passengers in the room, and so he quickly began to cross the room - and stopped just as quickly when he heard the girl's voice mumble her surprise at seeing an aasimar. It occurred to him that, perhaps, his choice of form was uncommon enough to attract the wrong kind of attention, but he was more than willing to work with instead of against it. He turned to face the two humans with a warm smile, taking just a few steps toward them before offering an explanation. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I couldn't help but overhear what you said. It's complicated and no doubt sacred and mystical beyond my knowledge, young lady, but the blood of the divine shows itself at strange and fortuitous times. I've heard it said that lands in need of heroes begin to breed them, and for all of our sakes I hope that I can fulfill that role," Gilgaloth said, with the tender and patient tone of an elder brother giving a beloved sibling a lesson. His voice dropped slightly, and he gave the two a conspiratorial wink as he added, "Of course, if I'm to become a true hero I must learn from whoever I can. Wish me luck."

With that said, he left them to think about his words and precisely what he intended to do, heading directly for the table in the corner where the two women were speaking. He heard some mention of a book as he approached, but deemed it best to ignore it for now; if the horned woman wanted his opinion, she would doubtless ask. "Excuse me, miss..." The aasimar gently cut into the conversation with an apologetic glance and boyishly sheepish smile at the brown-skinned woman, then the heroine (not a tiefling, he realized - thank the gods!) who sat before him. "I've been told that you're a h- er, an excellent and reputed warrior by the captain, and rarer still one with a just heart. I hope to be such a person one day - the excellent and reputed part, I mean, I'm definitely a warrior and I think I'm doing a good job with the just heart - and was wondering if you would be open to teaching me a little of what you've come to know." He said softly, though with the excited air of one who was trying not to gush over a meeting. Despite his previously-apparent confidence, the man took a deep breath before continuing, his warm but curiously intense golden eyes watching the woman's reaction closely as he made a suggestion. "And failing that - o-or even if not... perhaps we could engage in a little bit of friendly competition? There's no better way to learn than by doing, right?"
 

Elliot

Confirmed Robot
Member
#22
When the horned woman speaks, she is softer and kinder than Six had anticipated. Less standoffish. The tones of her voice are already falling into place for Six, but there's that slightly-intoxicating feeling of wanting to hear more, to get it 'just right' so that it clicks in their mind, even if they don't plan to actively use it. There's a joy in that sort of understanding all of its own. "Phlox Walter," Six reads, curious. "Is it a philosophical text or an academic one? I wonder how to talk about the 'magical' universe without talking about the universe in its entirety."

They might have continued on, except that the man from earlier -- the hero-knight who'd smiled at them -- cuts into the conversation. Six sits back, narrowing their eyes slightly. It's not a hostile expression, but rather an interested one. They snort a little with amusement at his attitude; apparently he's not grown into his appearance. But his words only make Six more interested in the horned woman. "Oh, are you famous?" they ask. Enough that she's well-known, but her form stands out very much; it can't be very easy to hide, looking like that. "Man, that must be rough -- can't even catch a break in a place like this, apparently." There's real sympathy in Six's voice, and they cast a glance back to the would-be hero. Sharp eyes. That's interesting. There's something more to him than his puppy-like front. It remains to be seen whether it's a good or bad 'something'.
 

coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#23
~Six~ ~Gilgaloth~

As Gilgaloth walks up to the human couple he gets a look at them as they both turn their heads at him. An average black haired boy with a few small scars and a short, pale, white haired girl. While the boy is fairly plain looking overall, as Gilgaloth gets a look at the girl’s face under her hood he notices she has a certain beauty to her. In a time where malnutrition, injuries and stress is common, such a thing could suggest nobility, or something entirely different. They both seem around the same age, somewhere from late teenage years to early adulthood, it would be hard for an aasimar to say for sure. The young man gives him a polite and cheerful smile, while the young lady appears to be trying her best not to glare at Gilgaloth. “Best of luck.” The boy says with an earnest smile as Gilgaloth leaves them for the horned lady in the corner.

The two return to facing each other, “What a load of crap. Heroes? There are no heroes in war. The only reason aasimar exist is because some stupid angels got too horny and started fucking people. Fate? What a joke.” The short girl mumbles with a scowl as she fiddles around with a coin.

The man across from her lets out an exasperated sigh, “Hey hey, there’s no need to be so… blunt about things. Fate or not, whatever the reason someone doing good is a good thing right?” The two continue their chatter. The others in the mess hall won’t hear it unless they were eavesdropping. The mess hand starts to pack up and leave for the night, saying a few words to the bored looking guard by the door as he leaves.

“It’s an academic text aimed for the layman without losing out on information quality. Although there are some philosophical parts.” She speaks a bit slow, as if carefully choosing her words. The horned woman turns her head to the newcomer, the jewelry on her horns sways a bit as she turns her head. Her eyes narrow as she sizes up the tall man before her. “Ah um… was that old sea dog running his mouth again? I’m not that special really.” There’s a faint blush that creeps onto her face as she averts her gaze a bit. Her hand scratches at a horn while she speaks, “I do wish I didn’t draw so much attention… especially from…” She takes a pause, as if considering whether or not to say something, “Certain types.” She lets out a sigh as her grey-green eyes turn back to them with a soft expression. Although she spoke gently, there was a certain part of her that was hard to read. “Well, in any case. I am not sure what I could teach you, but I am always happy to assist someone in need. However… in my opinion the most important thing for a hero isn’t strength, power, or fame. It is a kind heart. When I think of the most heroic person I knew, I think that is what truly made him a hero.” A small smile forms on her face for a moment before her normal expression returns. “I am Lily Malachite of the Copperroot Clan, but everyone calls me Lily. Was there anything you had in mind mister future hero?”
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#24
Azureoth stared for a moment, and then nodded. He wasn't sure how 'used' to her new body the creature really was, given how unnaturally she used it, but, well, it wasn't in him to argue the details. "One moment," he said, opening the cabin door and stepping in just long enough to grab his staff. (Next time some big oaf started threatening him, he'd hate to yet again find himself caught without it.)
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#25
"Alright! Let's go!"

Saya leads Azureoth to the mess deck, not considering her role as a follower. She walks a bit faster than Azureoth expected, not quite a power walk, but he might struggle to keep up if it were a great distance. The speed of her movements makes the peculiarities of Saya's walking pattern all the more visible.

Saya and Azureoth enter the mess deck.

"So, Lord Azureoth, who would you like me to fight?"
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#26
Gilgaloth batted aside his annoyance at the girl's presumptuous comments; what he had said was quite true to the best of his knowledge, even if it was an entirely inaccurate description of why he was an aasimar himself. Though the origin of aasimar was in angels breeding with humans, the fact of the matter has always been that the blood appears in their more distant descendants when it appears, not through any easily-foreseen link. Further, in general aasimar have been known to appear in times of great hardship or upheaval - sometimes as the cause, but more often as fighters against them. Of course, he couldn't expect some petty human girl to understand the nuances of history, especially one so obviously sheltered as she had been. Perhaps he would have the time to explain more of as such later, though he doubted it... and it may have come across as somewhat suspicious in any case.

A slight - and sincere, to boot - blush spread over the handsome warrior's face owing to the curly-haired woman's comment, thankfully obscured by his bushy beard. Embarrassment was a feeling that Gilgaloth had never managed to become accustomed to during life or since, but he did his best to push it from his mind, reaching up to scratch the back of his neck while he thought over Lily's words. What sort of idiot of a hero would think that kindness was the greatest quality a hero could have, when a sense of justice and overpowering will were necessary to become one to begin with? Expressionless fury coursed through him for a moment before he remembered his purpose, and the decision he had come to - Isonzo Adellon was meant to be precisely the kind of idealistic fool to take and apply that advice. His shy expression transformed to a broad smile, and he took the seat across from Lily, still nearly as tall as most in the mess while seated.

"I see... well, thank you for the advice, Lily. My name's Isonzo, Isonzo Adellon! As much as I feel that I'm devoted to the cause of justice, I can be pretty harsh about it sometimes. I've been working on being a bit more friendly and understanding lately, though!" He said brightly, sounding pleased that he had to some degree already been following her guidance. "Thank you for your advice; I'll make sure to keep it in mind. As for anything in mind, well... not particularly? I thought maybe a sparring match would be nice, but I wouldn't want either of us to be hurt accidentally and Phoenix really doesn't lend itself to non-lethal injuries. That's, uh, my sword, by the way. Maybe we could spar unarmed on the deck? Certainly we can't do it here - we'd break stuff - but I bet you'd have a lot to teach." His eyes flicked towards Saya and Azureoth as they walked into the mess, and he heard the feminine creature ask - all too loudly - who Azureoth wanted her to fight. "...Oh, this could be trouble. Let's hope he's not feeling confrontational, eh?"
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#27
Azureoth's senses, unlike his magic, had become a great deal more powerful since he'd undergone the process of indefinitely extending his expiration. "Did I hear that right, mister Isonzo?" He called across the mess hall, trying to strike a pose with folded arms, before realizing that it was very awkward to hold his staff that way. He settled for thumping it down on the stair instead, and reached (quite far) up to lay his other hand on Saya's shoulder. "You're looking to spar, hmm?"

"It just so happens miss Saya here was thinking of doing the same! Why don't we make an event of it?"
 

Elliot

Confirmed Robot
Member
#28
There forms a faint sort of amusement on Six's face when both Lily and Isonzo are blushing, albeit for rather different reasons. There's a sharp contrast between the way the two of them sound. Lily has a gentle murmur, like a brook in a forest that's hiding a waterfall a fair ways off, just a little out of earshot. Six supposes they could extrapolate that sound for themself, but finds themself wanting to hear it anyway. Isonzo is,more like a bright, clear trumpet, but there's an odd note in the way he speaks, almost like a muffler around the sound. He's restraining himself, even while appearing to blast away on the instrument. It's an odd thing to hear. They find themself wondering if they could play that trumpet more easily, more fully, than Isonzo himself.

"If we're introducing ourselves," they say, curiously, "some people call me Six." They make an accompanying gesture on their hands, the number Six. It's the real name this time; they aren't sure why they give it, but it feels somehow significant.

The entrance of two newcomers to the mess hall draws Six's eye. The older man has an aura that Six is very familiar with -- the sort that demands one's attention and proclaims one's authority to the world by right rather than demonstrating it by fact. Probably a minor noble. Ah, yes. "Lord Azureoth". Their glance slides off of him and onto the girl he introduces as 'Miss Saya', and stays caught there. There is something deeply unsettling there.

"My lord," Six demurs, tilting their head and turning their hand in the way they'd show sincere but mild deference in the complicated body language of the Gilded Court. Immediately they reproach themself for their mistake -- that's giving something away unintentionally, whether anyone picks up on it or not -- and pass their hand over their face. They'd been on that job for too damn long. They clear their throat and try again, more irony in their affect now. "My lord, is a tired wooden boat really the best place for a gladiatorial spectacle? Your ward looks barely more than a child; I'm sure she's eager to test her valour, but I wonder if there isn't a more appropriate sort of contest." They cast a glance at Lily for a cue at defusing the situation. "Like an arm wrestling match."
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#29
The devil gave a small smile to Six as the woman revealed her name, idly wondering what secrets she might have had; despite its strangeness, he dismissed her as a potential cohort in his (hopefully soon-to-be) group of misfits. The woman was simply too normal to crave the validation and respect that rejects like Lord Azureoth (and, seemingly, Saya) were desperate for. It was a shame, really; she could have been quite useful, at least from a social standpoint, to convince others that his cause was just. Few others in any retinue he built would be, after all. He focused more on her than Azureoth as she turned to the little man - and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he saw the signal she made with her hands. It was... something. Not Girasine, he was sure, but decidedly elven, and she had less-than-successfully tried to play it off. One hand tightened into a fist at his side, thankfully not readily visible to anyone in the mess - and opened after he silently rebuked himself. While all too natural for Gilgaloth, anger was unbecoming for his purposes, and this meant that Six was more worldly than she let on. Perhaps she could prove valuable after all.

His thoughts moved to Azureoth and Saya; not only their pitiable arrogance in coming to challenge him, but in assessing methods to overcome them - together or alone. His studies in life had only touched on magic and its place in the world; fighting the Blood War had given him practical, if rudimentary, knowledge. The golden eyes of the aasimar brushed over the onyx-tipped "staff" the lich held, and a plan came to mind. He knew that more powerful spells often required ritualistic components or a focus to channel their power through; seizing and breaking the stick would be more than sufficient to neutralize Lord Azureoth's most powerful spells, and restraining him would likely take care of the rest. Saya, however... he was unsure precisely what manner of creature she was. He was sure of his ability to defeat her, armed or not - but she could prove enough of a hindrance for Azureoth to take the advantage if worse came to worse. Both at once was unworkable without backup, then.

Gilgaloth had hardly picked up on what Six was saying until the end, mentally mired in the problems that the monstrous pair could cause for him were they to become hostile. He perked up slightly, though, at the mention of arm wrestling: it called to mind years of his previous life spent in Leeg, when Vishkeos Teshrad had been the name of a skilled and admirable warrior-in-training instead of a monster confined to the history books. He rarely lost then, and his new body boasted strength that few mortal men could dream of achieving. It would do nicely. A broad and beaming smile spread across Gilgaloth's face (contracting only slightly in apology as he looked to Lily, clearly wishing they had been able to speak more without interruption), and he set a hand lightly on Six's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze in thanks. "That sounds like a splendid idea! Far better to avoid any injuries to one another, after all!" He called confidently across the mess, making it apparent that he was much more worried for Saya than himself. "Come, Saya, Lord Azureoth - take a seat, perhaps we can make this even more interesting!"
 

coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#30
The ship rocks back and forth gently, only the sound of talking and muffled waves breaking the silence. The guard lets out a yawn before turning to head out. “Cause no trouble,” he says to no one in particular as he leaves.

The horned stranger’s eyes dart between the newcomers, eyeing them up. “Six hmm… that is a nice name.” Her eyes seem to narrow slightly as her head tilts to the side, the rings on her horn swaying gently when Six makes her hand gestures. She keeps her stoic composure as she watches the scene unfold. Her face not giving away any of her thoughts. “In any case a test of strength such as an arm wrestling match would do quite nicely I’m sure.” She sits back in her seat, a hint of a smug look appears on her face as she watches the scene unfold.

On the other end of the room the cloaked young man speaks to his companion. “Want to call it a night yet? We have a big day tomorrow. You know how important this is for me.” He speaks with a tired tone, a hint of dread within his voice.

His companion shoots him an annoyed look, “Just when something happens you decide you want to leave? When something happens you need to stick around, that’s how adventuring is done. C’mon, you only live once.”

The boy let’s out an exasperated sigh. “Riel...” She only stares him down for a moment before he gives up. “Fine, fine.”

The young girl across from him smiles smugly, “Good. Two gold says mister aasimar wins, you want in on this action?”

“Sure sure. Not like I have a choice.” He lets out another sigh as he turns his attention to the others in the room.
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#31
"Hah!" Azureoth scoffed at the suggestion, scowling. But he nudged Saya forward anyway, acceding to the request, albeit with rather bad grace. "A clever suggestion, mister Isonzo" he declared in that nasal whine of his, somehow contriving to really accentuate the lower case 'm' of the 'mister' part of it. "But there's more to my minion than meets the eye!" The half-smirk to his expression, at this point, suggested he thought he'd been the only one clever enough to realize that there was something amiss with her appearance.

"Go on, miss Saya. Let's give the boy a demonstration, shall we?"
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#32
Saya smiles and nods at Azureoth. She sits and places her elbow on the table. At this point, Gilgaloth can get a good look at Saya's face. Saya is looking at him, but her gaze is obviously not meeting his. If her eyes were any less focused, she'd be wall-eyed.

Both Gilgaloth and Saya begin the arm wrestle using far less than maximum strength, knowing they could both snap a normal man's arm. After a few moments of slowly increasing the force of their arms, it becomes clear to both that the other far exceeds human strength. Realizing that she might not be able to beat the devil with strength alone, Saya reins her strength slightly, allowing Gilgaloth to get within inches of victory, before maximizing her strength and pushing him back. This effort is in vain, though, as Gilgaloth eventually triumphs.

Saya certainly gave him a harder time than most would have expected, but the devil is simply too powerful for the mimic. As their hands part, Gilgaloth notices that her hand was slightly sticky. Saya had tried to restrict the adhesive nature of her skin, but was only partly successful.

Realizing Gilgaloth had far more power than an Aasimar ought to have, and wanting to take the spotlight off herself after her failure, Saya says "You're not really an Aasimar, are you, Isonzo Adellon?"
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#33
"Oh, without a doubt - I'm sure that she'll prove quite a challenge!" Gilgaloth replied in the warmest and friendliest of tones, smiling no less broadly for the smugness with which Azureoth confirmed his approval of the compromise. What a fool... anyone can see that there's something strange about this girl, if she can even be called that. He might be able to hear a conversation from across the room, but he's got no experience at reading people. I suppose books are too interesting to make the time for anything more.

"That said... I'll put five gold on myself, for anyone who'll match it." He steadied himself as the girl sat in the chair across from his, setting his elbow on the table and rolling his shoulders for a warmup that he didn't really need. He couldn't start at full strength; it might break the table, and worse - possibly his opponent - and so instead slowly worked up to it. His other fist clenched and trembled as he went harder, working hard to give the illusion of fighting an intense but ultimately winnable battle before coming away with a triumph, panting softly (it was extremely easy to fake when you didn't have to breathe at all; when he began the real trouble had been remembering to inhale in the first place). Gilgaloth had to give it to her, though: the girl was monstrously strong.

He rubbed at his hand gently after pulling away to remove any trace of stickiness, then looked up at her with a smile. "Great ma-" The devil had just begun to speak before she accused him of not being an aasimar. Gilgaloth's eyes went wide with surprise, and a dozen possibilities ran through his mind in the instant before he lowered his gaze, suddenly looking sullen - indeed, even his halo had disappeared. "I am... and I'm not." He whispered. It had been a very long time since he had cried, but he managed at least to get his bright golden eyes to water heartbreakingly. "I didn't become who I am today without spilling any blood. I'm older than I look, and I've fought more battles than you would expect. Done terrible things and-" His deep voice broke for but a moment. "-and seen even worse. All I can do now is face my past, and work to overcome my failures."

All present felt like they had been privy to a great and deep truth about "Isonzo Adellon" - and in reality, they had, though its vagueness hid ones far darker and more damning. He sat up, gulped gently, and forced a smile to those around him. "I'm sorry for the, er, change in mood. Like I was saying, that was a great match - you're very strong, Saya. Stronger than any other young lady I've had the good fortune to meet, that much is certain." The aasimar perked up somewhat just from speaking, though the undercurrent of pain was difficult to forget. "Say, Azureoth - what was it that you were intending to demonstrate to me? Are you willing to hand over that five gold, with how confident you were just now?"
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#34
Azureoth's eyes narrowed with suspicion. Decades of poring over dissertation after dissertation had not gifted him with much in the way of social interactions in general, but they had taught him the ability to distinguish a real answer from a long, drawn-out lack of such. Ultimately, he made up his mind and nodded.

"Of course," he said icily, and reached his free hand into his robes. He reached for the heavier of the two bags held to his chest, then paused, another idea coming to mind. Instead, he passed it over, and grabbed a fistful of coins from the sack adjacent.

"I trust this will do?" He asked, bringing out his hand and gently tipping the mass of silver pieces onto the table in front of Isonzo.
 

coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#35
The table shook as the match came to its resolution. “Pay up” The pale white haired girl says to her companion, a small smirk on her face as she pockets some of his coin into her cloak. At the strange girl’s words she raises an eyebrow. At that moment if anyone happened to be looking directly at her, they would have noticed her eyes changing, only slightly for but a moment as she scans the room, but changing nonetheless before they quickly went back to normal. She chuckles, and leans in close to her companion, whispering something into his ear with an amused expression.

The plain scarred boy lets out a sigh, looking tired. “So what? I’m sure they all have reasons. Not like you’re any better. Can we go now?”

“Hey, it’s the small things in life. Anyways have some patience. Things like this are why everyone treats you like a kid.” She smiles smugly at him, before turning her attention to Gilgaloth. “So mister aasimar isn’t an assimar after all. Quite the opposite in fact.” She pauses for a moment to give him a friendly smile. “Well, in any case my opinion of you has increased. I’ve never liked aasimar, especially not after that one asshole decided it would be a smart idea to try and commit mass genocide. But I should apologize for earlier, now that I know you’re not one of those like that idiot.” Despite being the shortest in the room, there is a certain confidence in her words. The confidence of someone either brave or stupid. “Anyways, that’s enough entertainment for one night, I bid you all a good night.” She gets up from her seat, gesturing at her companion to get up with her. Contrary to her crass nature there’s a certain grace to all her movements. “C’mon we’re leaving.” With the grace of a noble woman she begins to move over to the exit, stalling slightly to wait for a reaction.



At the other end of the mess hall Lily claps her hands politely at Isonzo’s victory. She then takes out five gold pieces and places the stack on the table beside him and lets out a sigh. “Well that will teach me for betting against you. I had hoped that there was more of an ace up her sleeve.” Her voice has more emotion in it than usual for a passing moment, before she raises an eyebrow at the mimic and young girl’s words. “Aasimar or not, your race has no bearing on being a hero. Heroes come from all sorts after all. In the end it is up to you to make the most of the opportunity we call life, regardless of your birth.” She yawns, covering her mouth with her hand before muttering quietly to herself. “Still… who have thought I’d see that woman again in a place like this. Seems like her mouth hasn’t changed a bit.”

At Azure's actions she raises an eyebrow, but does not speak. Her face clearly saying “Really?” without needing words.
 

Elliot

Confirmed Robot
Member
#36
The fact that they follow Six's suggestion is a bit unexpected, but what follows is a real surprise. Instead of placing a bet, which they might have done ordinarily, they keep their focus on the two contestants. There's still something deeply off with the Saya girl, which Six might have been able to figure out if they had the opportunity to speak to them alone, but what happens with Adellon is even more interesting. He 'is and isn't' an aasimar? There are any number of things that could mean, and his explanation -- while clearly emotional -- is not entirely satisfying.

Six glances back at Lord Azureoth, and then at Lily, still wondering what sort of thing she did to make her into a 'hero', and takes in the reaction to Adellon's "confession". He hasn't admitted to being something other than he is, really, but the others seem to take it that way, but also to accept it. Interesting.

Only a moment has passed in reality before Six claps in celebration, smiling at both of the contestants. "Well done! I suppose that's our entertainment for the night, hm?" They cast another glance at Isonzo Adellon and fold their hands behind their back. What a weird group of people to have run into. "Are all of you ending your journey at Ralith, or just stopping over? I'm staying here; I wonder if I'll be seeing any of you around." But then if so, they probably wouldn't recognize Six.
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#37
When the girl looked at Gilgaloth through her altered sight, she saw more - far more - than she could have counted on. Superimposed over the pleasing and heroic (though, to her, translucent) form of Isonzo Adellon was a hulking, and absolutely horrifying, devil, one that looked to be of sufficient strength to tear the ship asunder. Its fang-lined maw moved alongside the words he was speaking, but that was far from the strangest thing that she saw. That shape, too, could be seen through, though only if one looked closely: deep within the two shells was a smaller aasimar with a clean-shaven face and more noble bearing and features. Though that man's halo and eyes both shone brilliantly, a yawning darkness seemed to emanate from him, like she were looking into the mouth of Hell itself. Despite her confidence, she had a niggling feeling that it was very good that "Isonzo" hadn't seen what she had done.

Gilgaloth frowned, though only with the slight irritation of a good-natured man who was being all-too-purposely inconvenienced by an extremely sore loser. "Better I carry them than you, I suppose," He joked as he quickly counted them out, making sure that they really would cover their bet. He raised an eyebrow and glanced at Azureoth across the table, shaking his head slightly as he slid them to his side of it. "Forty-three. If you were going to be spiteful you at least could've counted them out beforehand..." Gilgaloth said with a sigh and an exaggerated shake of his head, mostly to get on Azureoth's nerves and test whether or not it would be worthwhile to continue in a more dangerous fashion with the mage.

The grin returned to his face when the girl called him out for not being an aasimar - and more plans began to whirl about his head on how to deal with her when she said he was the opposite. It was impossible for him to know how she knew, and even less possible for him to fathom why she would give such a thing away, but there was nothing to be done for the moment, or even for the remainder of their trip on the boat. "I think 'opposite' is a bit of a stretch... I'm not your stereotypical storybook hero of an aasimar, but I'm far from what you would call a 'genocidal asshole', too - I'm looking to do better for myself, is all. I appreciate your candor, though, young lady. Goodnight." He said warmly before turning to face Lily, and happily pocketing her offer of five gold before hearing her out. "I appreciate the money... but your advice and encouragement are worth a hell of a lot more. Thank you for talking with me, Lily, but more than that for hearing me out."

He looked last to Six, to answer the seemingly-excited girl's questions before asking a few inflammatory ones himself. "Heh, I suppose so - a lot better than risking somebody getting hurt for nothing, especially if I can make a little cash on the side. Good for, uhm, financing hero... stuff, like the occasional drink or several. I'll be staying in Ralith for a while, but unless I can find a way to deal with other problems from there it won't be my final stop. Of course, I can't imagine it would be where the great Lord Azureoth settles!" Gilgaloth didn't turn his head, but rather his gaze to give the lich a self-assured smile and sidelong glance. "Say... I just defeated your strongest minion, right, so I'm your equal? How does this work - do I get a title too? Can I officially call myself Lord Isonzo Adellon? And would that be Lord Isonzo or Lord Adellon, for short?"
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#38
No magic was currently employed in formation or alteration of the lich's appearance, so odds were that any spell used to show his 'true' form would have shown the user... Azureoth, albeit with arcane energy glowing blue from his orifices and crackling around the cheap gemstone on his staff, and a frown souring the lines of his face this time.

No, wait, that last one wasn't because of any magical vision enhancement at all. He was just quite peeved about what Isonzo had said. "Mister Adellon-" he began, standing, only to be cut off by the devil's next slough of artificial gregariousness.

The anger apparent in his expression deepened further as the fiend continued ignoring him to practice his farewells. One would almost be surprised that his face didn't progressively deepen in hue at all, as this was exactly the sort of man who would generally be imagined, when angry, to take on the visage of a particularly human-looking old radish, with the ring of thinning hair around his bald taking the place of the withered patch of leaves atop such a hypothetical vegetable specimen.

Instead, all that happened was that the lines of his face increased steadily in both depth and number, while his spindly set of shoulders trembled more and more with restrained anger. But for the strange sense of dissonance to be experienced by those observing, as the usual color-coding failed to accompany this shift in body language, nobody would have been even remotely surprised when he exploded at the sound of the words: 'Lord Isonzo Adellon'.

"That is it!" He cried out in a high, wheedling shout, leaning slightly over the table and thoughtlessly jabbing his staff across it at Gilgaloth. "Mister Adellon," he ranted on loudly, shaking the rock-stick roughly at him for emphasis. "You were bold enough to try collecting on a wager I never made to begin with, and even more so to push your luck in the matter. But now you've really done it! Equals!? You think we're equals!? You simpleton! You think I'll stand here and be insulted by the likes of you!?" His voice had escalated into a frantic screech by the end. Thankfully, as before, he somehow avoided spraying spittle everywhere regardless.

Nor did his undoubtedly foul-smelling breath wash over the object of his complaints, though no more than a few feet were separating their faces at this juncture and he had begun shouting at the top of his lungs - or what one would assume to be around the top of them, anyway. Likely this had to do with the nasal character to that voice of his, a theory supported by the excessive amount of flair his hair-packed nostrils went through as his shoulders moved up and down, suggesting that he was mostly breathing through his nose.

Now, there were some mages that could transition quite smoothly between the acts of conversation and incantation. Such people had rich, booming, almost musical speaking voices, and Azureoth was about as far from one of them as a person could get. Those unaccustomed to seeing a spellcaster in action would have been quite shocked to witness the sudden transition as his voice went from harsh, grating whine to full, resonating melody in the space of an instant, as Azureoth began to cast the single most powerful spell in his arsenal for the day.

"Die nam h'file iesh che tylko mo-"
 
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Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#39
The smile on "Isonzo's" face seemed to disperse into surprise and, more than anything, disappointment as the tiny man before him began to screech his fury and indignation - a sentiment thoroughly unshared by his infernal mind, to the degree that had the young noblewoman still been watching through her eldritch sight she'd have seen two disturbingly gleeful smiles. This was Gilgaloth's chance to overcome whatever will Azureoth possessed - the first which had readily presented itself, at least - and it gave him the bonus of looking like he was in the right for putting a halt to the smaller man's anger, despite any "unintentional" provocations. He wasn't precisely sure how the others would react to the show of force, but it would be impossible to call it unjustified against a powerful wizard, even if said power was purely self-declared.

It took only a moment after Azureoth began to speak for the devil to act; the insecurities of the man before him were as predictable as they were evident, and spelled disaster when coupled with his incredibly foolish decision to stand at arm's length of a man far stronger and more physically fit. Gilgaloth grabbed the lich's staff and the elbow of the same arm, then swung him in an arc over the table and to the floor with such force as to knock the non-existent breath from his lungs and issue a dry crack (though whether it was wood or bone was hard to say) through the room, as well as dislodge said staff from Azureoth's grip and send his gaudy crown clattering across the floor in thoroughly undignified fashion.

Never one to be incautious - at least, certainly not after his (un)timely demise and subsequent century fighting howling manifestations of cosmic savagery - Gilgaloth immediately tossed the staff towards a corner and dropped to his knees, resting most of his weight on Azureoth's chest with one while leaving the other hovering over his throat, the threat obvious. "Forgive my prior rudeness, Lord Azureoth - but I can't allow you to hurt anyone on this ship, myself included, and I worry about your indiscretion in such a matter. I'm sure that we can sort this out some other way, I would prefer not having to hurt you, either." He said sincerely, almost warmly - as though, despite the obvious danger the two posed to one another, it was still well within the reach of words to solve.

A different offer echoed in Azureoth's mind, however, concurrent with the gesture of peace. Gilgaloth could have communicated telepathically with any voice he desired, but he chose that of Vishkeos Teshrad: one which Azureoth had little hope of recognizing, but which brought to bear the sharp, cool, and clear image of polished steel, far more noble and precise than Isonzo's brash, booming baritone. As with you and your subordinate, there is more to me than appearances may suggest. Your knowledge is deep, but lacks breadth; we could learn much from one another. If you seek power and prestige, I can offer you the path to both.
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#40
"-mentus"

Opening a temporal rift was never easy, but it was hardly complicated. A massive amount of energy, and the right incantation to help one focus it properly - nothing else was required. The last half a century's worth of magical experiments he'd performed had been as volatile as they'd been deadly, and he uttered the last of the incantation uninterrupted as he was thrown through the air and to the floorboards. It was nothing compared to the multitude of explosions he'd already survived this way, after all.

Time slowed to a standstill, for everyone but himself. Adellon hung suspended, apparently in the middle of falling down on top of him. A number of bystanders were frozen in the act of gasping, and one particularly disturbing visage was halfway through a blink at this juncture. That two-faced brute's hand was still locked around his elbow, though. Damn. There was only so long he could keep this active, and disturbing a separate consciousness would end it almost immediately...

Another incantation, and Azureoth was across the room, bending over to pick up his staff. Damn the man! His idiotic, half-baked plans had only served as an annoyance. He'd hoped to make so much more of an impression...

As he strode over to his discarded crown, Azureoth chanted yet another lyrical incantation, this one accompanied by several complicated gestures with his free hand. Seven bright, white-hot pinpricks of light appeared in a circle above his head at the end, and started orbiting steadily around it. He stopped at the crown and bent over to pick it up, setting it atop his head again, the orbs of light causing it to flash brightly and erratically as they passed over it.

Not much longer left now. He'd hoped to complete the look with a materialized suit of armor, but Adellon clearly wasn't going to give him time to put it on. His regular wards would have to do. That, and... a shield, yes. Why not?

He picked up his staff and chanted. One spell, two, three. A plain, unadorned oaken shield and steel cutlass appeared at the floor by his feet, and then a surge of energy flooded through his body. He let the staff drop and picked up the blade and shield instead, walking back over to the table a few paces away from Adellon, and then the time stop ended and everyone went back into motion again.

When a series of sounds are created within a generated temporal pocket, the soundwaves themselves are effectively experienced by all proximal parties outside of it simultaneously, resulting in a sonic boom or 'cracking' noise. Isonzo apparently mistook this for the sound of Azureoth's snapping bones, or something similar, because he started running his mouth without even noting the fact that he wasn't atop of him anymore, and certainly wasn't holding his arm.

"Ahem." Azureoth cleared his throat loudly, and rapped the flat of his blade against the table, cutting the larger man off. "Kneeling and apologizing was a good start, Adellon, but you seem to still be under the illusion that we are equals of some kind."

Although the crown atop his head had merely seemed gaudy and overdone on its own, the slowly-revolving orbs of light around it now lent a rather more impressive character to the whole thing, as it gleamed and flashed brightly with their reflections. He pointed the cutlass at Isonzo, holding it and the shield in hand as if it came entirely naturally to him.

"You wanted to practice your swordsmanship, yes? Come on, then. You have approximately ten minutes to fight me this way... if you dare."
 
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