The Final Stand of Kauria

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The innkeeper was pleasant enough this morning, all things considered. Tekki had anticipated that perhaps the man would be a little put off by their conversation the night previous. However, no such mood change was evident, as Adin once again took on the role of resisting extra payment. A knowing smile spreading across her countenance, Tekki spread her palms wide, in a submissive gesture. "It looks like I will have to admit defeat in this instance. Your reasoning for not receiving payment is sound enough." The Nuseni returned to her original stance, before continuing wistfully, "I've never met a businessman with as little concern for money as yourself, Adin. You are truly an example to be followed. If only everyone in the world were as caring and giving as you." Tekki ended her appraisal with a grateful smile, before turning to Anna. "Of course, dear. I can smell the cooking from here! Dawn must have been busy to have made such delicious-smelling food!" Taking the young girl's hand once again, the Nuseni councilwoman inclined her head to Adin. "I am touched by your actions, Adin. Your commitment is to be admired." This said, Tekki gently pulled Anna towards the waiting food.

With their plates laden with the succulent food, Tekki quickly tucked in, eager to fill her stomach after the distinct lack of nourishment in the latter half of the previous day. Whilst she ate, the woman considered the best course of action to take as far as Anna was concerned. For what seemed like the millionth time, the same thoughts whirled around her head. She could not keep the girl in her possession. There was too much for her to do. Anna would only get in the way. To compliment that argument, she had never taken care of a child long-term before, and this was certainly not the right time to begin doing so. On the flip side, Anna clearly wanted to stay with her. The human had grown to trust her, and whilst that was potentially a good thing, it would be harmful if that relationship continued. Once she had devoured approximately half of her plate, Tekki posed a question to Anna to bide time. Furthering the relationship was bad, but at present it was necessary. "Anna, what was your favourite thing to do before you came to Torpolis? What did you enjoy doing the most?"

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
So it seemed that Jokir was looking more into the attacks, which made sense. After all, it was becoming apparent rather quickly that they were a serious threat, having had directed attacks across Torpolis. And it also made sense that Jokir wanted Roni's help, since she had made it rather obvious she knew more about them than he did, which again only fit. Just...did it have to be now? When she was tired and hurting from numerous injuries that had only yesterday threatened to end her life? No, of course it did...waiting was foolish. She knew the threat, the more time they had...but then again would knowledge really be the key? After all...

Roni's train of thought was cut off by a newcomer who introduced himself as Uwe, and he had had an 'interesting' conversation with Feronia and Kitten, and wanted to continue it. Feeling herself start to slide down the wall a little, she nodded at the man. "Roni...they're in there...or out here..."

Indeed, Kitten had appeared out of the door, as had Feronia. "Don't mind us," the Kitsune grinned, though her eyes were locked on Roni, looking worried. "We're just going to go get breakfast to bring up. We'll be back in a second...and I'll fill in for Roni when I get back up if you're not done." And with that, the pair departed, heedless of any arguments.

The injured Stillblood glared halfheartedly at her girlfriend's retreating form. "I can take...oh, what's the point..." She turned her attention back to the two men in front of her. "Look...long story short, we're in a lot of trouble. A lot. We're talking world ending here. Shades, dead. Every single one confirmed annihilated. Dramora, Nyf, Havren, all gone as far as I know. Drinden, Nuseni, almost completely wiped out. Humans, Stillbloods, Kitsune...not much better. Kitten and I are survivors from that, I'm sure there are more elsewhere judging from how many went in after 43...but they followed us." With a last, failed effort, Roni hit the ground, unable to hold herself up anymore. "We've got to go through it again...and unlike last time...there's no least if the eggheads are to be believed." She looked up with a grin that didn't match the haunted look in her eyes. "So've got our help out of necessity. Only problem is, we failed. Big time. But we and the other survivors are the only help you've got." She trailed off, looking down and breathing hard for a moment. "I was hoping I'd get to not watch Kauria burning for at least a little while..."


Anna had dug into the food provided with gusto, showing none of the pickiness that a child normally would when exposed to various culinary areas. She didn't surface or talk until Tekki asked her her question about what she had done for fun. Looking up, she frowned, thinking hard. "I didn't have a lot of fun. It was scary a lot. But I liked helping Mommy and Daddy when I could, it made me feel good. It would have been nice to have had friends my age." She looked wistful for a moment, then began eating again. "This shelter must have a lot of food if I can eat all this at one time...I want to stay..." this was said mostly to herself, almost not loud enough for her Nuseni friend to hear. Regardless, this didn't seem to keep her from going back to eating, enjoyment plain on her face.


As Roni began to introduce herself to the newcomer to their Cycle, Uwe, her statement of Feronia and Kitten’s (two more of the sources of confusion within the Cycle) location was undercut as the pair in question appeared at the door before leaving the room, heading off to fetch breakfast. Now that the pair had been openly exposed to his Cycle, he was able to note the physical differences between the pair and the two he had integrated into his Cycle. This pair, it seemed, were headed downstairs, to fuel their Cycle for the day ahead. Roni was exasperated by this, but continued regardless, explaining the situation of her own Cycle that had led to her abandoning her world’s Cycle, and integrating with the Cycle of the world Jokir found himself within. The picture of her world’s Cycle that she painted was most certainly not a pleasant one. Jokir paled at her description of the various deceased races. He wanted to deny the death of the Shades, declare the end of the Cycle as an impossibility. Such an event would be truly cataclysmic, it would mark the end of the Cycle of Protection, the Continuing Cycle, the everlasting flame upon which this world burnt. For all else, the core Shade value was that the Cycle must not end. For it to have done so… This danger was greater than Jokir could have ever comprehended. Struggling to maintain herself, Roni slid down the rest of the wall, hitting the floor with a soft thud, struggling to continue. It seemed that the Cycle of Jokir’s world now lay within the hands of a group of desperate survivors, of whom Roni and Kitten were two. He wanted to quiz her, to interrogate her Cycle until nothing was left unexamined. He wanted to know every detail of her Cycle, every bend, every fold, each slight crease, and shimmering turn. He wanted to know her Cycle so well he might as well have merged with it, but that was not an option, not one he was willing to consider. So, instead, he bowed his head.
“I am sorry for those departed from your Cycle, and know that entrance into this Cycle is likely little consolation. I fear I have impinged upon your Cycle for too long now, and you grow weak as a result. If you wish for my assistance in terms of helping you to a more suitable place to rest or anything else, then my Cycle is yours to command. If not, I will return to your Cycle within an hour or so, and, if you would desire it, will hopefully be able to bring you to some people better able to implement your desired changes to our Cycle, to give us the best outcome of surviving the events beginning to be inflicted upon it”. His part said, Jokir paused, uncertain of how to act. In retrospect, he’d slipped into his more naturally formal self, a form even slightly more formal than the usual Shade, given his days in the ambassadorial service. That probably would not do much to engender his Cycle to Roni’s, he pondered. What had passed, however, had passed, and Jokir could not rewrite the lines of his Cycle to be as he wished them to be. Instead, he would continue to alter the shape of his Cycle based on the influences of the past, to best mould it to a path that fitted his desired destiny. Of one thing Jokir assured himself. He would not allow the Cycle to be broken in his world. Jokir Azal resolved, within that moment of his Cycle, that the remainder of his Cycle would be determined to the preservation of the Cycle as whole. What had occurred elsewhere would not here come to pass. The Cycle would continue, perhaps disrupted, but it would continue. And until Jokir’s Cycle reached its point of renewal, he would ensure with this temporary form that it would do just that.
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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Roni let out a soft groan as Jokir went on about everyone's Cycle...they used it for so many things it became largely impossible to discern what exactly they were going for unless you were paying incredibly close attention, and sometimes not even then. And then he went on about wanting her to go with him in an hour to help the Shades start preparing for the coming conflict. "An hour?" Her biting reply was offset by how soft it sounded, even to her own ears...she was weak still. "I don't know about you...actually I took a whole damn day to recover after everything, I get an hour? Besides, I'm not the one who'd know what happened to the Shades, not exactly. I heard about it afterwards. Saw the aftermath..." The Stillblood shuddered, grimacing. "I was just trying to survive at the time when that happened." She sighed. "Look, I'm not saying I won't help. I live here too, not like I want to see the place burn again. Or for the first time...or whatever the hell it is, the eggheads always talked in terms no normal person would understand. But you have to realize how close I came to death yesterday, before you and Kat found me. I don't think I would have lasted more than a half hour longer, asses that attacked us notwithstanding. For mere mortals, that means recovery time. Days where our medical people tell us we shouldn't get out of bed, much less journey across the city back into a place that would by any rights be considered a high-stress area to engage in a long meeting in which everything I say is ultimately discarded anyway, because people are damn good at ignoring anything they don't want to hear." She glared at Jokir for a moment, then winced and dropped her gaze. "I'll help. But don't expect me to be a hero. I'm not." She looked over in the direction Kitten and Feronia had gotten off to, frowning...why were they taking so long? She was hungry, damn it!

(OOC: I'm gonna say Uwe wandered back to his room in the middle of this, Johann can come back in upon his return)


Things seemed to be alright now in that room; everyone was still alive and in one piece, and the immediate danger had passed, confined to a quick and messy death. Before much could be said however, Kitten and Feronia both exited the room, and stated that they were going to grab breakfast. They then left, disappearing down the stairway before Uwe could even say good morning. Then Roni, the other Kitsune stated something that caused her to collapse. She seemed thoroughly convinced that there was an extinction event happening, with the Dramora, Nyf and Havren having been completely annihilated, with all the other sentient races quickly following. It was quite a thing to believe; the implications of such an event would be nearly incomprehensible. So incomprehensible that it was nigh impossible to believe. But Roni seemed to believe it wholeheartedly, judging only by her collapsing reaction. And Jokir the Shade seemed to invest fully in the idea as well, wishing to take Roni to the Shade embassy, or at least bring a diplomatic delegation to her to discuss how to preserve the Shade cycle from this calamity that she seemed certain was happening. Roni was, naturally, opposed to the idea, having just recently been attacked. "This extinction event is... well, it's extremely difficult to take in one setting," Uwe began, trying to express his views on the matter without causing offense to someone who was very clearly traumatized by such experiences. This would definitely be one of the most delicate subjects Uwe had ever dealt with. "An extinction event on such a large scale would most likely have very visible economic and sociological signs. I just haven't seen or heard of much to indicate that a third of the sentient species in our world are gone, with the rest quickly following. I'm not saying I don't believe you; it's entirely possible that the effects just haven't had enough time to reach Torpolis." Uwe now turned to address both people. "I'd like to investigate this more before we make any official diplomatic resolutions. I only ask for a couple days at most to determine the effects of this kind of event. I don't want you to think that I don't believe you, but I would like to know the full effects of this before we move on. I admit there are strange things happening in this city." Uwe then turned to address the Shade. "I recommend a day of investigation before you get your political figures involved. I don't know what's happening, and I doubt you know exactly what's happening either. I think we should both use our resources to gather as much information as we possibly can about this situation before we make a final decision. I'll devote today to gathering as much information as I can about this, and I ask that you do the same. I also ask that we meet somewhere this evening to compare everything we've found." Uwe then turned back to the exhausted Kitsune. "And I'll ensure you get all the rest that you need. Can everyone agree with this?" Uwe hoped that he would be able to negitioate this particular event. The subject matter was definitely one of the heaviest thing he'd ever had to deal with, but at the heart of it, the gathering of information and then deciding on how to act on it was the same as any business deal he'd ever dealt with.

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Roni sighed as Uwe said he couldn't take in how this was possible, that someone wold have noticed, wishing that she felt better and could think clearly...the pain and lack of rest were getting to her ability to talk. "It hasn't happened here...yet. It will. Or...something. I'm not sure how to explain..."

"Hey now, what did I say about harassing her?" Kitten had returned with platefuls of food, her tone playful but firm. Feronia ducked into the room Kitten had rented briefly and returned one plate lighter in short order, handing a plate to Uwe before sitting down with her own against the opposite wall. "I'm not going to claim to understand it any better than her, but the way I had it explained to me, think of it like a pair of glasses with a bunch of lenses that overlap each other. A person might change what lens they're looking through at different times to do different things, but they all exist on the same pair of glasses. And if two overlap for any time, you would see both. That's what we've got right here. Our lenses overlapped, and we used that to get from our lens to yours. Unfortunately, they did as well. And from what I've seen and heard, they're good at jumping between lenses." She handed Roni her food, then slipped down next to her, careful to leave exactly no space between them.

"Yeah...that's as good a metaphor as any," the older Stillblood agreed as she dug into her food. "And they're bent on shattering every lens. No idea why. They broke they're looking at doing the same here." She glared halfheartedly at the merchant before turning back to her food. "Hope that clears that up for you?"


Jokir listened as the Stillblood women told her story. Her Cycle was fraught with pain and hurt, and he was impressed that she still attempted to move forwards with it. She may claim that her Cycle was not that of a hero, but the heroes Jokir knew of had Cycles much like it. Before he could express this, however, “Kitten” returned, bearing food for the others. As the others nourished their Cycle, Jokir remained leant against the wall, shadows continuing to gently absorb into his body as he rebuilt his strength. It seemed that the travellers and the creatures came from a different world cycle, one that overlapped with this Cycle, but did not quite fit perfectly. The creatures were here with the intent of destroying the Cycle, which meant that Jokir was here to stop them. “Thank you for making the truth of your Cycle plain to me. I understand your reservations about wishing to meet with those in control of this world’s Cycle, but your story is an important one and the sooner we can push the changes of our Cycle into motion, the better our chance of saving it. I know you did not wish to place your Cycle at the Alueille but I would at least ask that you allow that we keep some guards around this place, the hole in your bedroom proves your Cycles are still very much at risk.” Jokir continued to lean against the wall, awaiting their response. He wanted to push his Cycle to its limit, to hunt these creatures to his fullest extent and use the remainder of his shadow testing himself to the end of this loop of his Cycle, but he knew that his duty to the overall Cycle came first, however boring that might be. For now, focus on protecting the Cycle of these four and making sure that the world’s Cycle was prepared for the attempted break.


Roni must really have been tired, for she was talking nonsense. First, she was talking about how all these things had happened to her, yet saying that they hadn't really happened yet, at least not here. It just didn't make too much sense to Uwe. It usually did take quite a while for news to get around, but an event on the level of a mass extinction would have been known throughout the world in a relatively quick time. Fortunately, Kitten returned, bringing several trays of breakfast foods. Uwe accepted his plate, then leaned against the bedstand to listen to Kitten's explanation of everything. She kept talking about lenses, trying to convey that each lens showed different things, almost as if they were entirely different worlds. It was posslble to get to these different viewpoints, and Kitten's group had managed to do that, along with the creatures that had attacked the inn last night. Jokir seemed to understand the situation fully, willing to get Shade guards to protect them. It was obvious that something was going on, but Uwe still didn't quite understand what that thing was. "I'm afraid I still don't quite grasp the situation. Different lenses don't show different things. It's all the same object; the light just gets bent differently. So, these things come from a different way to bend light and want to destroy everything? I can understand that these creatures are trying to destroy everything. I'll probably just need some time to think about it. The important question is, how do we stop these creatures from pulling off their scheme?" Before Uwe could hear the response, Uwe got up, grabbing his plate with him. "I'll have to excuse myself for a moment. I'll return presently." Uwe walked the few feet over to his room, and entered. "Lensni, it's time to wake up now. I brought you breakfast." Uwe set the breakfast food on the nightstand, then sat down on the bed, gently shaking the Nuseni awake. "There might be more to that attack last night than I initially thought. I don't get it all myself, but it's much, much deeper than anything I've heard before. I don't think you would want to be involved with this sort of thing. There's going to be a lot of combat. I'll take you back to your restaurant, or wherever you want to go." Given the situation, it wasn't as good an explanation as Uwe would have liked to give, but it was about the best he could muster with his limited understanding of everything.