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Saiba Aisu

Saiba Aisu

Member Since 19 Nov 2007
Member ID: 13,132
Currently Not online
Offline Last Active Oct 27 2018 08:28 PM
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#7079294 Cyber Angel Shiva (Written + Image)

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 15 February 2018 - 12:29 AM

Cyber Angel Shiva

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Image Credit: Pinterest Search Engine

 

Cyber Angel Shiva

Level 10

Light

Fairy-Type/Ritual/Effect

ATK 3000 / DEF 2500

You can Ritual Summon this card with "Machine Angel Ritual". When this card is Ritual Summoned: You can target up to 2 Spell/Trap Cards on the field, +1 for every 2 "Cyber Angel" monsters in your Graveyard with different card names; destroy those targets (if any). Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 LIGHT Fairy-Type monster you control; shuffle 1 Ritual Monster from your Graveyard into the Deck, and if you do, that target is unaffected by your opponent's Spell/Trap effects until the End Phase.

 

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So I recently found this cool image while browsing on Pinterest and I thought it would make for a really good fit with the Cyber Angels. As someone who plays a pure Cyber Angel Deck pretty often (though I don't have anything against the more popular Herald of Perfection variant), I have noticed that as an archetype, they often struggle when it comes to clearing out the opponent's backrow... So, in keeping with the archetype, I decided to create another Level 10 Cyber Angel as an alternate boss monster to Vrash, one that would be capable of providing options to deal with those pesky Spell/Trap cards.


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#7024491 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 24 July 2017 - 06:08 PM

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Fortunately, Chloé didn't have too long to dwell on Old Roving Tom's grisly tale. Within moments, she had regrouped with the other members of Ithaca outside of The Drowned Maiden, listening intently as they each shared the information they had gathered regarding The House of Neykia and the deathless horrors that awaited them inside. A soft but insistent pinging alerted the group to the fact that the objectives of their current mission had been updated as a result of their efforts.

 

Active Quest:

House of the Dead

Current Objective:

• Enter The House of Nekyia.

• Kill all Undead inhabitants.

 

Suddenly, the idea of crossing the sea in a ramshackle boat wasn't quite so frightening. Better dead at the bottom of the ocean than dead in a haunted house, right? Unfortunately, however, the rest of the guild didn't seem to share her feelings.

 

"Let's get this over with," Cass declared, taking charge of the situation with her usual no-nonsense attitude. Clearly, the idea of fighting off hordes of ghosts, zombies, and who knew what else wasn't enough to bother her.

 

The wooden door swung open with a faint squeal, revealing a shadowy entrance leading into the depths of the building. The House of Neykia seemed almost alive, bathed by the red light of setting sun, opening its mouth wide, hungry for new victims. Chloé was the last to cross the threshold, pulling her blue silk ribbon loose from her hair, her heart beating rather faster than usual. The door slammed shut behind her of its own accord, plunging the group into darkness before several candles came to life, illuminating the room with flickering light.

 

Things started happening fast. Very fast. A spectral silhouette appeared before them suddenly, its head crowned by a wide-brimmed hat, only to vanish and be replaced by two bloodstained corpses strewn across the floor in a macabre display, their hands pressed together in one final gesture.

 

A vow of undying, everlasting love. A vow so powerful, it would withstand the very trials of time...

 

"Vassar. Ilyena."

 

The girl murmured their names, feeling tears well in her eyes at the sight of the slain lovers. The two corpses snapped into motion as if in response, their sightless eyes latching onto them, their withered lips twisting into snarls as they transformed into undead creatures. Hunchbacked, slavering, and utterly hideous. Greater Ghouls. The ghastly apparitions leaped at the group with low moans, eager to tear them limb from limb. Chloé screamed—she couldn't help it—but Stacks reacted as smoothly as clockwork, putting her sword and shield to work as she singlehandedly rebuffed the pair.

 

"Chloé and Do'j, don't get yourselves killed in the house, 'kay? If you don't feel comfortable searching on your own then we might wanna stick together as a group," the Paladin suggested coolly, as if she made a regular habit out of fighting zombies.

 

"Y-yes, please, if you don't mind!" Chloé replied, taking a step to the side and brandishing her whip, trying to master herself. She couldn't afford to go pieces, not now! "Contract Summoning! Come forth, Heljä!!"

 

A crackling hum of magical energy, a burst of smoke, and Heljä stood at her mistress' side, her dark eyes flashing as she caught sight of the Greater Ghouls. The room they were currently in was fairly spacious, but who knew what the rest of the house was like? Something told her that the polar bear's massive bulk wasn't exactly suitable for fighting in cramped quarters like these. Better to stay together for now.

 

"Winter's Breath!!" Chloé commanded with a flourish, urging her mount to unleash a concentrated stream of ice breath at the monsters, hoping to freeze them solid.




#7022593 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 15 July 2017 - 10:07 AM

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"Lads, lasses, your attention, please!" the gentleman commanded in his ringing voice, clapping his hands together and stomping upon the wooden floor. "The Tale of the Two Lovers!"

 

It was, without a doubt, both the strangest and the most familiar story Chloé had ever heard. At times, she almost wondered whether the bard was making up the details as he went, so outlandish was his tale, filled with unlikely characters and even more unlikely magic. Yet only moments later, she couldn't seem to shake the impression that she had already heard it somewhere before. Hardly surprising, truth be told. The girl had spent most of her life confined to her hospital bed with only books to keep her company—it was extremely unlikely that she'd run across a story to which she had absolutely no frame of reference.

 

Vassar... And Ilyena...

 

Two star-crossed lovers, bound by destiny, doomed to die painful, tragic deaths. The tale was obviously a nod to archetypal figures within Western literature, like Romeo and Juliet... Or perhaps Tristan and Isolde. In any case, it was clear that Bluefire's game designers hadn't come up with it on their own. But what was the connection with The House of Neykia?

 

"And with their dying breaths, the two lovers pressed their bloodstained hands together and swore a vow to each other. A vow of undying, everlasting love. A vow so powerful, it would withstand the very trials of time. And so ends the tale... For never was there a story so mournful and so bizarre, than this of fair Ilyena and her gallant Vassar."

 

Chloé blinked as the gentleman came to the end of his recital with another flourish of his arms, her ears filled with the cheers and applause of the couples gathered around her. And just like that, the spell was broken.

 

"Please, sir," she murmured softly, speaking to Old Roving Tom while the crowd shifted in their seats, calling out for another round of drinks. "Is that story true?"

 

"Of course, princess!" he replied, chuckling to himself as he twiddled his whiskers. "Weren't you listening?"

 

"But I still don't—"

 

"The Tale of the Two Lovers is one of the most famous legends in this region, little lass. And I'll tell you why. Because it took place in this very city, in this very district, not so very long ago. In the house next door, to be precise."

 

Chloé's voice trailed off, her eyes widening as the title of the guild's newest mission took on a sinister new meaning. House of the Dead.




#7022283 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 13 July 2017 - 06:39 PM

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Chloé blinked as a wave of golden light, roaring laughter, and pungent smells rolled over her, welcoming her into the packed interior of the Drowned Maiden. It would appear that the townspeople of Niska enjoyed their ale as much as they enjoyed the sea—if not a tad bit more. As the girl stepped into the pub, she was painfully aware of the male gazes that turned towards her, some hungry, some curious, yet all of them appraising. She looked down out of instinct, suddenly overwhelmed by a desire to turn back the way they had come. Maybe killing a bunch of monsters wasn't so bad, after all.

 

"Alright, so here's the game plan," Cass began, splitting the team up and sending them on their separate ways.

 

Moments later, Chloé found herself edging towards the fireplace, determined to get closer to the old gentleman clad in green. As she approached, she was able to get a better look at him—tall and thin, with arched silver brows and a matching mustache and goatee. Despite his age, the gentleman seemed incredibly spry, prancing about at regular intervals, his hands fluttering in complicated patterns, busy telling a story to the drunken couples gathered around him in a circle, hanging upon his every word. A bard, or a storyteller of some kind, perhaps? The man's voice and facial expressions seemed to change endlessly as he spoke, using them to embody mannerisms of the different characters in his tale. Chloé came to a halt at the edge of the group, doing her best to listen intently.

 

"And THAT'S why you should never cheat on your woman with a mermaid, especially if she's a Niskan fisherwife!! Am I right, lads? Wahaha! Thank you!"

 

The gentleman came to the end of his recital with a grand flourish of his arms, throwing back his head and laughing uproariously as his public cheered and burst into applause. Still chuckling to himself, he executed a deep bow, clearly relishing the attention. Looking up, however, his gaze seemed drawn as if by magnetism to the one face not grinning ear to ear: Chloé's.

 

"Ohoho! A newcomer, then? Step right up, lass, step right up! Don't be shy!"

 

The girl squeaked like a mouse as the crowd split before her like the Red Sea, urging her to draw closer. Before she could react, several individuals reached out and literally pulled her into the throng, passing her along like a piece of merchandise before finally depositing her at the gentleman's side.

 

"That's better, isn't it? Wahaha! Now then, my pretty lass... What's your name? Wait, no, don't tell me! Let me guess! Princess Chloé!"

 

Chloé's first reaction was panic. How did the old man know her name?! Then she remembered. Like player characters, NPCs were capable of reading player's names... though this was the first she had ever heard of one choosing to comment on them.

 

"Just Chloé," she murmured, almost inaudibly, feeling her cheeks flush pink under so many strange gazes.

 

"What's that?" the gentleman inquired loudly, bending over and raising one hand to his ear in an exaggerated gesture, provoking fresh laughs from the audience. "Speak up, my dear, speak up!! My hearing isn't what it used to be, don't you know!"

 

"My name's Chloé," she managed at last, practically wincing at the sound of her voice, which suddenly sounded unbearably shrill to her own ears. "I'm not a real princess, it's just a nickname..."

 

"Not a real princess, eh?!" he replied, while the crowd groaned in disappointment. "Nonsense! Anyone can see you're of right noble stock from that fancy silver dress! Wouldn't you say, lads? Isn't she pretty as a sunrise, with that golden hair?!"

 

The men gathered around them cheered enthusiastically, several of them wolf-whistling in agreement. The women, on the other hand, contented themselves with loud sniffs and sour expressions, apparently unimpressed.

 

"Well then, Just Chloé. What brings you to The Drowned Maiden? Have you come to hear the tales of Old Roving Tom, the most renowned, most beloved, and most handsome storyteller to ever wander the world of Bluefire?"

 

"Well, I..." she began, floundering, looking around desperately for someone—anyone!—to help her. "That is, I... Yes. Or rather, I wanted to ask you. Please sir, what can you tell me about the abandoned building next door? The House of Neykia?"

 

A heavy silence fell suddenly upon the group at her words, leaving her to turn around, even more flustered and confused than before. Had she said something wrong? And then...

 

"The House of Neykia? Aye, there are a few tales I could tell you about it. But none more famous than this... Pull up a chair, kick back your feet and make yourself comfortable, lass! Let Old Roving Tom tell you The Tale of the Two Lovers!"




#7021704 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 11 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

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"Stay close, now," Cass warned, leading the way as she plunged headfirst into the mass of vendors, sell-swords, fishermen, and sailors that filled the city streets.

 

No need to tell Chloé twice! The girl fell into step behind the Oracle, trying to simultaneously keep her eyes on Cass' shoulders while also managing to take in all of the dazzling sights surrounding her. Weapons, potions, armor... It seemed like one could spend days and days shopping in Niska and still not see everything that was for sale! Still, now wasn't the time to dawdle and gawk like a tourist. There would be time for that later.

 

The group finally came to a halt on the edge of the city's dining district in front of a large house, perched precariously on wooden stilts, only a few feet away from a rather battered-looking pub known as The Drowned Maiden. Accessing her HUD, Chloé watched curiously as Cass pulled up the digital display linked to the property, apparently known as "The House of Neykia," and attempted to confirm the purchase. Unfortunately, however, it would appear that their new home wasn't for sale—at least, not quite yet.

 

"House of the Dead?" Chloé murmured, her lips tracing the title of the guild's newest mission. "I don't like the sound of that..."

 

She wasn't the only one struck by a sudden sense of unease—Do'jhera and Melethil didn't take long to voice their concern, opting to speak to the barkeep of The Drowned Maiden rather than risk breaking into the building. True to form, Stacks' first reaction was to go in guns-blazing, but she eventually let herself be convinced by the others.

 

"Tch! You guys are no fun. Fine, let's go to the bar. Just one thing: if the monsters in there are low enough level, I say we let Chloé and Do' do most of the ass-kicking. I'd probably just set the place on fire, and those two need the experience the most anyways."

 

Monsters? Ass-kicking? Did all of Bluefire's quests resolve around killing things? Couldn't they ever just... negotiate, or something?

 

"I agree," Chloé added, speaking up at last. "There's no harm in exploring all of our options, right? Let's give The Drowned Maiden a try."




#7020118 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 02 July 2017 - 06:16 PM

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For their final night in Adrale, Ithaca decided to lodge at The Glistening Lyre, a small yet surprisingly cozy inn. Chloé surprised herself by sitting close to the main group, giggling in spite of herself at Brando's crazy jokes and seemingly endless appetite. After a long day of fighting, the wayward dwarf's antics were a soothing balm to her soul, aided in no small part by the flagon of ale she sipped throughout the night. Another first, one that managed to get her pleasantly tipsy before too long. Antoine wouldn't have been pleased.

 

Every now and then, however, her gaze would drift towards Stacks, uncharacteristically stiff and quiet, barely touching her food. Even with alcohol dulling her senses, Chloé couldn't help but feel a sharp stab of guilt at the sight of the Paladin. Part of her was still desperate to properly apologize, but deep down, she knew it wasn't the right moment. It would be selfish—almost cruel, even—of her to bring up Eidolon and Harvest so soon. More than anything else, Stacks needed time to heal, and Chloé intended to make sure she got it. She owed her that much.

 

As the hour grew late and the guild's festivities came to an end, the girl got to her feet unsteadily, her eyes heavy with sleep and her mind still swimming from the ale. She murmured a soft goodnight to the others before traipsing off towards her room and collapsing into her bed, plunging into a deep dreamless sleep.

 

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Niska. Where to begin? Chloé took a deep breath, savoring the sharp salty perfume that hung upon the air, her ears filled with the cries of seagulls wheeling in the sky high above them. The city was as different from the Haven of Adrale as it was possible to be! Everywhere she looked was a bustle of activity as sailors, merchants, and fishermen swaggered by, crying their wares, while children laughed and chased each other through the streets. And the sea! An undulating sheet of bright blue, gently rolling with the tides, shimmering with reflected sunlight. Virtual or not, it was still the most beautiful sight she had ever seen.

 

"Okay, we're going to divide and conquer," Cass ordered, explaining how she planned to split the group. One team would head to Tafi'i Island in order to decipher the mysterious book, while the other, headed by Cass, would stay in the city and hunt for a new base of operations.

 

Chloé's initial instinct was to go with the first team, but she pulled up short at the thought of crossing the sea in a boat. Scary. Better to stay on solid land with the others for now. After all, there was still plenty to see here, so why rush things?

 

"I'd prefer to stay with you, Cass.... If you don't mind, that is," she managed at last, doing her best to speak up. Hopefully the Oracle wouldn't mind being saddled with the guild's resident damsel in distress.




#7019328 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 28 June 2017 - 04:35 PM

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Not for the first time, Chloé was a bit late to the party, so to speak. The Founding? The Memoirs of Lhoris Magterian? Niska? Faced with so many unfamiliar names, the girl couldn't help but feel overwhelmed, to the extent that she didn't even notice she had leveled up until one of the others pointed it out to her. Everything was moving so fast, yet everyone else seemed to take the new developments in stride. Better for her to fade into the background for the time being and let the others make the necessary decisions.

 

I can't let myself fall any more behind than I already am, she chided herself, wrapping her arms around her knees as she sat down on a nearby rock, head bowed. Especially not after...

 

Her eyes flickered towards Stacks, sitting alone near the mouth of the cave, still busy polishing her weapons and armor, though any traces of blood had long since been eliminated. Most likely, the Paladin was trying to keep her mind occupied rather than dwelling on other more unpleasant matters. The Beast Master quickly averted her gaze, still feeling guilty over what had happened earlier.

 

Why didn't Heljä listen to me? Why couldn't I stop her from chasing after the assassins? She's never disobeyed me like that before.

 

Chloé struggled mutely for a moment, failing to come up with answers. Until today, she hadn't known it was possible for Contract Beasts to disobey a direct order from their master. And to make matters worse, she hadn't even been able to discuss the situation with Heljä before dismissing her. Was it because she wasn't properly geared? Or because she wasn't experienced enough? Or perhaps some other reason entirely? If only Antoine were still here, he'd know, she was sure of it. Antoine, who always had all the answers and always knew exactly what to do...

 

He's not here, though, she thought, burying her face in her arms so that the others wouldn't notice the tears beginning to form in her eyes. Crying over him won't do any good, either. It just means I've got to figure things out on my own, without him. And... And I will! I swear it.

 

The blonde took a deep breath and closed her eyes as she silently swore the vow, adding it to the list of promises she had made in the months following her older brother's disappearance. She couldn't be sure, but something told her that going to Niska would mean venturing outside of Skryx's North. Frozen, barren, and inhospitable as they might seem to the others, the snow-covered wastelands were all she knew. She was loathe to leave them behind... but if it meant staying with her new friends, it was worth it.

 

"So," she asked brightly, looking up, both surprised and relieved to see that her eyes were dry once more, "when do we leave?"




#7018944 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 26 June 2017 - 01:00 PM

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And just like that, it was over. Eidolon was gone without a trace, fading once more into invisibility, as if swallowed whole by the surrounding shadows. As for Harvest... The assassin lay spread-eagled on the ground, limp and lifeless, his eyes rolling back in their sockets, staring at something that only he could see. Dead.

 

Chloé froze in shock, feeling a cold numbness steal over her that had nothing to do with the surrounding ice and snow. She had never seen a dead man before. Sheltered, sickly child that she was, she had never seen a dead anything before. It was only when Heljä whimpered again—still plagued by the poison's effects—that she was finally able to tear her gaze away from the ghastly sight.

 

"Oh, Heljä my dear, I'm so stupid! Forgive me!" she cried, tears brimming in her eyes as she accessed her HUD and began to sift through her inventory once more. Moments later, a bottled potion—the right one, this time—materialized in her hand, releasing a soothing fragrance as she administered it to the she-bear.

 

With her partner safely out of danger, Chloé turned towards Stacks, still standing over the corpse with a blank, haunted expression that she had never seen before. The Paladin had once again come to her rescue, risking her own life to save hers... but at a terrible price. Murder.

 

"Stacks, I—" Chloé began hesistantly, struggling to find the right words to express everything she was feeling. Remorse. Shame. Gratitude. Sorrow.

 

I didn't want it this way, I swear! It's my fault for losing control of Heljä, if only I could have...

 

"We should head back to the others," Stacks interrupted, her voice weak and almost strained. Without looking back, the warrior turned and began to walk slowly back the way they had come, leaving the Beast Master to stare down at her hands, her vision blurred by her tears.

 

"Chloé."

 

"W-what?" the blonde sniffled, wiping her eyes, resisting the urge to break out into sobs.

 

"Check the body. There may be something of worth, or at least some kind of clue that will tell us more about the Deceivers."

 

"Heljä! No, I couldn't possibly—!"

 

"Do it. Now! There isn't much time left."

 

Before she quite knew what she doing, the girl had slid off her mount's back, her legs moving jerkily as if they had a mind of their own, carrying her towards Harvest's body, faintly illuminated by the holographic skull and countdown floating in the air above. One step, then another, until she was crouched down beside him, squeezing her eyes shut as her hands rifled through his pockets, closing firmly around several different objects.1 Not even bothering to check their nature, she got to her feet and began to run after Stacks, clutching her ill-gotten treasure to her chest.

 

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"Cass, I'm glad you're alright," Chloé murmured a few minutes later, addressing her words to the guild leader, relieved to see her looking much better thanks to Melethil's expert healing. "Please, I... I found these items. One of the Deceivers was carrying them. I don't know if they'll be helpful, but... You will take them, won't you?"

 

The diminutive blonde handed the other woman all of the items she had obtained, including a bulging money pouch, the coins inside clinking merrily as she did so.

 

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#7018233 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 23 June 2017 - 02:14 PM

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"Eidolon! Dammit! Help me!" Harvest howled desperately, his voice breaking in pain as Heljä's claws laid waste to his HP.

 

Before Chloé and Heljä could deal the finishing blow, Eidolon emerged from the shadows behind them like a white-faced spectre, launching another deadly spread of silver daggers at the pair. Chloé cried out as one of them grazed her forearm—tracing a thin line of blood in passing—while the other two sank deep into Heljä's back. The she-bear roared in pain and half-turned, snapping her jaws at the masked assailant, only for him to vanish into the treetops once more, safely out of reach. A few seconds later, another volley of blades whistled towards them from another direction, forcing Heljä to swivel and duck out of the way.

 

CRACK!!!

 

"No!" Chloé cried, clutching her injury with one hand, her eyes widening in horror as Harvest—finally freed from the "Frozen" status ailment—took advantage of the distraction to break through the ice, slipping from their grasp with a quick backwards dodge roll.

 

Wasting no time, he pulled a glowing green knife from his belt and hurled it in their direction, aiming for the ground in between the polar bear's paws. A sinister hiss and a cloying smell filled the air as the blade unleashed its inner venom, drenching the surrounding snow with poison, causing Heljä to whimper in pain.

 

"F***ing b****. I can't wait to kill you and your ugly beast!" Harvest sneered, brandishing his wicked dagger.

 

⚠ STATUS ALERT: CONTRACT BEAST - HELJÄ POISONED ⚠

 

"Oh no, Heljä! Are you alright?" Chloé yelled, tugging on her reins, trying to pull her partner back to safety. A persistent whining beep began to sound as the poison started taking effect, draining Heljä's health and mana bars at a slow but steady rate. "Hang on just a little bit longer!"

 

"Game over, brat!" Harvest snarled, charging forwards through the snow, raising his weapon to deal another toxic blow.

 

"Winter's Breath!!" the Beast Master commanded, urging her mount to unleash another burst of frigid air at the assassin, forcing him to dodge to one side with a curse. The move had granted them a temporary respite, but at a high price—as a result of all the time that had elapsed while battling the Bane of Adrale, coupled with repeated uses of Winter's Breath and Harvest's Scorpion's Nest, Heljä's mana bar was deep in the red, while Chloé's wasn't much better.

 

"I've got a potion for this somewhere, I know it!" the girl cried, fumbling clumsily with her HUD, trying to rapidly sort through her inventory, causing a bottled orange potion to appear in one hand. "I... Here! Wait, no, not that one!"

 

The smell of fresh herbs briefly filled the air as the haphazard potion took effect, boosting Heljä's stamina recovery rate instead of curing the poison. Harvest threw back his head with a cruel laugh, advancing once more.

 

"Time to die, little girl," Eidolon whispered, suddenly materializing in the air in front of them, his voice colder than any ice magic could ever be. For a moment that seemed to last an eternity, Chloé locked gazes with the masked assassin, as if transfixed by his soulless eyes, even as another barrage of silver daggers shrieked towards her... And then...

 

Fire. A roaring, blistering wall of flame blossomed into existence between them, reducing the airborne blades to ashes. That attack, it could only be—!

 

"You stay the hell away from my friend," Stacks growled, lashing out at Harvest with her blade as she advanced, forcing him to stumble backwards, cut off from Eidolon by the paladin's Sunwall. "You're not getting away, motherf***er. Not in one piece."


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#7017074 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 19 June 2017 - 11:54 AM

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Chloé bowed her head in shame as Cass berated her for—once again—foolishly endangering herself and making things harder for the others. For once, she was grateful for the curtain of pale blond hair falling over her face, making it hard for the other woman to see the tears forming in her eyes.

 

Why can't I do this? she asked herself in despair, clenching her small hands into fists around the reins. She blinked, feeling the salty sting of her tears, trying to push them away. Virtual or not, they still felt very real.

 

... Almost as real as Heljä's anger. The she-bear was practically trembling with indignation, and from the low growl forming in her throat, it was apparent that she still had one or two choice remarks for Cass. Fortunately, it seemed that the guild leader had more pressing matters at hand—like saving a certain reckless dwarf.

 

"Why did you do that?" the blonde girl murmured quietly, once Cass was safely out of earshot.

 

"What?" Heljä snorted, her nostrils flaring angrily. "Stand up for you? I suppose someone has to, since you won't do it yourself. Why do you let them treat you like that? Like you're not good enough?"

 

Because they're right! I'm not good enough! Chloé thought, wishing she were brave enough to voice her words aloud. She held her tongue, though. She knew all too well that remarks like that would do nothing to improve the bear's mood.

 

Unfortunately, Heljä was surprisingly shrewd when it came to deciphering her mistress' thoughts.

 

"Listen, Chloé. Not every Beast Master is capable of taming a glacial ice bear, especially at such a low level. There is great power in you, buried somewhere deep inside. I feel it. It's one of the reasons I chose to come with you on this journey. I chose you, little one, because I believe in your potential. Now it's your turn to believe, too."

 

"Thank you, Heljä," the girl replied softly, straightening once more and tucking her hair behind one ear. "But, perhaps we should focus on the current situation...?"

 

"You mean the giant ice cube?" the she-bear snorted dismissively, turning back to the Bane of Adrale, looking much worse for the wear after Reebus, Brando, and Girasol's combination attacks. "Very well. But this conversation isn't over. Not yet."

 

Before Heljä could move in for the kill, however, the Bane let loose a tortured scream and pounded the ground savagely, unleashing another series of seismic shockwaves, forcing her to stand still and brace herself so as to not get knocked down. When the chaos cleared, they could make out the giant crashing haphazardly into the trees, trying to retreat but slowed down considerably by its crippled leg.

 

We did it! We're alive. I can't believe it...

 

Chloé breathed a deep sigh of relief, glad that everyone had escaped unscathed. It seemed almost too good to be true... And it was.

 

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"Leader down! Leader down!" Brando yelled, hurrying in the direction of the backline casters as fast as his short legs would carry him. "Melethil! The f*** are you?!"

 

Only a few steps away, Cass was down on her knees in the snow, shuddering feverishly as her health bar began to tick rapidly downwards, clutching at her shoulder with one hand. A throwing knife seemed to have sprouted there like some kind of bizarre flower, buried hilt-deep, shrouded in a sickly green aura. Wait, sprouted? What was going on?

 

For a moment, Chloé's childish mind struggled to make sense of the scene. The idea that someone could have purposefully tried to kill her friend was impossible for her to process. It was only when she caught sight of the two assassins, fleeing further into the forest, that she was finally able to put two and two together.

 

The Deceivers. They had walked into a trap.

 

Suddenly, Heljä roared and charged in pursuit of the pair, dodging past Cass and into the shadow of the trees, leaving the others far behind.

 

"Heljä!!" Chloé screamed in horror, pulling on her reins, trying to control her unruly mount. "Stop! Please stop! We have to go back! Cass—!"

 

The girl's pleas were lost as Heljä roared once more, louder this time, giving voice to the full extent of her fury.

 

"Murderers! Cowards! Traitors! You won't escape!"




#7015862 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 14 June 2017 - 01:48 PM

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"I guess it pays to be a Disney Princess, after all," Cass teased, making a lighthearted jab at the girl.

 

Chloé smiled shyly, stroking the bushy-tailed squirrel perched on her shoulder. Although her cheeks were still flushed bright pink with embarrassment from earlier, she was grateful to the guild leader for her words of praise. Somehow, Cass always knew exactly what to say to keep the group's morale high, even in the most stressful situations. The Oracle was firm when she needed to be, but her remarks never crossed the line into unkindness, unlike those of a certain hairless cat...

 

"I'll lead the way. Follow me!"

 

Finally, a chance to be useful to the guild!

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Almost an hour later, however, Chloé wondered if she had spoken too soon. The group had managed to stumble upon another Dzu-teh, frozen to death within a mysterious icy prison—since then, however, the trail had gone, well, cold. No pun intended. The squirrel she had charmed seemed very eager to help the group find the cave, and no doubt it was doing its best... but then again, squirrels weren't exactly known for their sense of direction. Or their attention span.

 

"See that tree? Do you see it? Well, do you?! That's where I stored a whole stash of acorns a year ago! Wait, maybe it was two years ago! Yeah! Right there, between the fourth and the fifth branches! Unless it was between the fifth and the sixth branches! Anyway, acorns are my favorite, they're really—"

 

"That's lovely," Chloé replied, nodding along patiently. "But, as for the cave...?"

 

The worsening blizzard certainly wasn't improving matters, greatly reducing the team's visibility and slowing their advance through the snow-covered forest. While the girl was unaffected by the cold, it was only a matter of time before the others started complaining.

 

And then, suddenly, through a gap in the trees...

 

"There it is!"

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Unfortunately, the guild's relief was short-lived. Before they could even savor their victory, a new foe emerged from a nearby snowdrift, revealing itself to be a massive crystalline giant, its entire body carved from glistening deep-blue ice. The Bane of Adrale.

 

Chloé gasped, her eyes widening in horror, even as her teammates leaped into action around her, determined not to go down without a fight. Oh, she had heard the legends. It was impossible not to, once you spent enough time in the Haven of Adrale. But seeing it with her own eyes, here, now... How could they possibly hope to defeat it?

 

There was only one way to find out.

 

"Contract Summoning! Come forth, Heljä!"

 

A frenzy of streaming blue silk, a billowing cloud of smoke, and once more, the glacial ice bear stood at her side, snarling in the direction of the advancing monstrosity.

 

"Heljä, dear, I hope you're still in the mood to fight!" Chloé cried, leaping astride the beast, settling behind its shoulders. After what happened earlier with the Dzu-teh, she had no intention of letting her friend fight alone. They were stronger together. Using her knees to keep her balance, the girl quickly murmured another spell, tying her ribbon into a series of interlocking coils, forming a make-shift pair of reins to help guide her mount—and reduce her own chances of getting thrown off.

 

"Finally, a worthy foe!" Heljä growled, her eyes narrowing in anticipation. "Hold on tight, little one!"

 

The she-bear charged with a savage roar, the diminutive blonde on her back leaning forwards as they headed towards Stacks, Brando, and Cass, already locked in battle. At a twitch of her mistress' reins, Heljä changed course and swung around in a wide loop, opting to attack the giant from behind, aiming for its tendons.




#7013374 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 03 June 2017 - 06:47 AM

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"Chloé, no!"

 

"Chloé, what the HELL are you doing down here?!" 

 

To Chloé's utter dismay, her teammates seemed less than thrilled to see her fighting alongside them in the thick of battle. A heavy mantle of shame and disappointment settled upon her, even as she struggled to keep the Dzu-teh subdued for Stacks' finishing blow. She knew she had done something wrong—but what? Had she only managed to make things worse?

 

Antoine... If only you were here, you'd know what to do...

 

In any case, the girl didn't have long to brood on matters. One moment, she was watching Stacks deal the coup de grâce, slicing through the monster with an elegant stroke, flames streaming like feathers from the edge of her white-hot blade. The next thing she knew, she was face-down in a nearby snowbank, still clutching her whip, instinctively curling her petite frame into a protective ball as a deafening boom and a wave of blistering wind rolled past her. The air was suddenly filled with an acrid, unpleasant smell, akin to scorched flesh, accompanied by a deep roar of outrage.

 

Chloé kept her eyes closed and took a deep breath, trying to will the world around her to stop spinning, her ears still ringing from the blast. She could feel someone next to her—Stacks, perhaps?—getting back up with a clink of metal, crushing the fresh snow underfoot.

 

"Chloé! Open your eyes!"

 

The girl rolled over at the sound of the familiar voice. Heljä stood above her, her large dark eyes filled with concern as she nuzzled the girl's shoulder with her snout, her lower jaw still stained with the Dzu-teh's scarlet blood.

 

"Heljä!" the girl cried, getting to her feet and hugging her companion. "I'm so glad you're safe!"

 

"As am I, little one," the she-bear replied, humming deeply in her throat. "You gave me quite a scare. Are you alright? What possessed you to charge in like that?"

 

"I'm fine, just a little dizzy, but... Oh, no! Heljä, you're hurt!"

 

Chloé gasped, tears welling in her eyes at the sight of the deep gash on the bear's neck, a parting gift from the slain Dzu-teh.

 

"A minor scratch, don't bother..."

 

But it was too late, Chloé had already accessed her mana pool, pressing a small, trembling hand against the injury. A current of light blue magic flowed from her fingers, sealing the wound within moments. Only when she finished did she realize she should have thought to ask Melethil instead.

 

"Little one, don't push yourself too hard..."

 

"Don't worry about me, I'm fine," the girl lied, trying to keep her legs from buckling from exhaustion. "Not much mana left, though. Will you be okay now?"

 

"I would've liked to taste snow monkey for the first time," Heljä growled, torn between amusement and exasperation. "But it will have to wait. The battle is over and my work here is done. You may dismiss me."

 

"Thank you for your help, friend. Rest now," Chloé murmured, kissing the bear's forehead gently. She took a step back and twirled her whip, forming the signs of dismissal, watching as Heljä disappeared in a cloud of billowing smoke.




#7012924 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 01 June 2017 - 02:51 PM

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Thank goodness! Chloé thought, relieved to see that Heljä had managed to floor the first Dzu-teh before it landed its killing blow, creating an opening for Cass to use her telekinetic powers to pull the wayward pair of players to safety. Girasol, Reebus, and Brando had also put their skills to work, crippling the second monster with a series of ranged combination attacks and... shoving an explosive grenade up the rear end of another?! Charming.

 

Still, they weren't out of danger quite yet, especially Stacks, whose bold charge had carried her the farthest away from her teammates, right into the middle of the pack. Chloé bit her lip nervously as she fumbled with her HUD for a moment, her heart sinking at the sight of the Dzu-teh's massively buffed health and stamina bars. As Cass forged ahead, opting to reinforce Lichiethro, Chloé began to run down the mountainside, only too aware of how foolish she must have looked to the others. A little girl, practically unarmed, heading straight for the enemy?

 

"Please don't trip, please don't trip!" she murmured to herself, tightening her grip on the flimsy ribbon that was her only weapon, grateful for her outfit's ability to facilitate movement across frozen terrain—without it, she'd have been on her ass in moments, with a mouthful of snow for good measure. Even after four months training and fighting in Bluefire's virtual world, she still wasn't completely comfortable with running. For some strange reason, at times, her body seemed to think she was still in reality. A cripple, frail and powerless, confined to a hospital bed.

 

The old Chloé might have hesitated before leaping into the middle of a fray. Not anymore. Now, there were people counting on her, giving her a reason to fight. A reason to win.

 

She hurtled past Heljä in a blur, busy ripping out the throat of her downed prey, only pulling up short when she was in range of Stacks and the remaining monsters, still fixated on the female knight's flame-wreathed form.

 

"Subjugating Strike!" Chloé cried, swinging her arm behind her in a wide circle, weaving her silk whip into a cyclone, its blue lengths crackling with magical energy. She lashed out at the closest Dzu-teh, catching firm hold of the monster's bulging forearm from behind, pulling with both hands, her petite form hunched over as she heaved with all her might. To everyone's surprise, the beast howled as it was yanked abruptly off-balance, collapsing to its knees.

 

"I can't hold him for long! Stacks, now's your chance!!"

 

 

Note




#7012654 Bluefire [IC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 31 May 2017 - 12:06 AM

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The howling wind intensified as the members of Ithaca came to a halt on a high ridge, their boots sinking slowly into the fresh snow underfoot. The proud, jagged spires of the Adralian Mountains seemed to surround them on all sides, twisting savagely into the air, superbly disdainful of the mortal drama unfolding at their feet.

 

I hope we're not too late...

 

Chloé bit her lip as she scoured the clearing below, straining to make out the wayward trio of missing players, tugging on her long blonde braid with one hand—a bad habit of hers, particularly when she was feeling shy or nervous. Like right now.

 

Unlike most of her fellow guildmates, grumbling and cursing under their breath at the harsh weather, the bitter cold had no grip on Chloé. On the contrary, it seemed to slide off her like rainwater, thanks to the enchanted raiment she wore. For the umpteenth time, she closed her eyes and murmured a quick prayer of gratitude to her older brother, thanking him for the gift. Without his protection, she wouldn't have survived a day in the brutal world of Bluefire. Without his guidance, perhaps she'd be one of the brash players somewhere below, lured to Mountaineer's Refuge by false promises of rare items.

 

Antoine...

 

A primal roar shattered the silence, bringing her reverie to an abrupt end. Two figures burst suddenly from the cover of the forest, sprinting desperately. Only a few paces behind, a pack of huge simian monsters crashed through the trees in pursuit, catching up to their prey within moments, forcing them to turn and fight.

 

"Oh no!" Chloé murmured softly, her eyes widening in horror as she recognized the beasts. Dzu-teh. Nasty ape-like carnivores armed with superhuman strength, sharp claws, and even sharper horns. Not to mention territorial. Very territorial.

 

"Let's go!" Cass declared, her voice ringing as she urged her teammates into action. The guild sprung into the fray without hesitation, as if they had been doing this their entire lives... which, to be honest, most of them had. As far as Chloé was aware, she was the group's least experienced member, an impression heightened by the sight of her fidgeting with her braid once more.

 

"Ha!" the girl cried, yanking the light blue ribbon from her pale blonde hair, leaving it free to tumble over her shoulders. Twisting her fingers around its small wooden handle, she twirled it like a conductor's baton, weaving a complicated pattern with its silken lengths, a magical hum accompanying her movements.

 

"Contract Beast Summoning! Come forth, Heljä!!"

 

A billowing cloud of smoke consumed the girl, hiding her from view. When it cleared, she was no longer alone—a massive she-bear stood at her side, her glistening white fur illuminated by the shining pentacle beneath her. The beast snarled, her large dark eyes flashing fiercely as she took in the scene.

 

"Heljä, my dear!" Chloé cried, running forward and throwing her arms around the creature's neck, burying her face in its fur. "Friend, lend me your strength! We have to save them! Please!"

 

"Chloé!" Heljä growled, arching her neck as she returned the embrace. "You summoned me... to battle a pack of overgrown snow monkeys?!"

 

There was a brief pause during which Chloé only tightened her grip, as if pleading with her.

 

"... Very well. Stand aside, little one. My claws will make short work of them."

 

With an earsplitting roar of her own, Heljä charged down the mountainside like an avalanche, gathering speed as she went, barreling sideways into one of the Dzu-teh, knocking the creature onto its back. Before it could recover she was upon it, using her superior weight to keep the beast grounded, dealing a series of brutal blows with her forepaws.




#7012170 Bluefire [OoC][R-16]

Posted by Saiba Aisu on 28 May 2017 - 11:02 PM

Interested. Using this post to reserve a spot for a later application.

 

EDIT: Application is complete.

 

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