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The Hell Hole that is Home

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Post by Demonhunter April 1st 2022, 8:45 pm

Niccolo gives a bit of a side eyed stare as Cebra claims to be a merchant. He did look like he was dressed finely, albeit weird. He was also rather clean and seemed to have all his teeth and his limbs still attached to him, thus he must have been able to afford both protection and access to clean water on a regular basis. The part of Niccolo that wished his business well couldn’t help but be thankful about it as Cebra definitely had the coin to pay for the room, the other half was suspicious. A clean man on the back of a filthy devil spawn? Was this some sort of trick the clergy was playing on him? A way to fool him into blaspheming? With a stubborn shake of his head, he stashes the thought out of mind, choosing to take the option that kept the inn running.

“I guess that’s as acceptable as any. But… What is cotton?” Niccolo asks, having never heard of the new world plant. Most clothes here were made of wool or flax and only the rich could afford silks.

Xxxx


Meanwhile, Rai found herself outside the gates of Terni with another group of Reavers, most of which hadn’t even earned their cloaks yet. She takes the opportunity to set them scouting elsewhere while she follows up on their drop-site. Rai settles in his saddle, if not a bit uncomfortably. While they were away, the horrid energy in the area only grew denser.

Rai follows past their original point as she begins to notice more evidence of recent travel. Some of the trees their warping had brought with them into dis had been felled and dragged away, as if timber men had come through for lumber. This was so recent some of the trees were still wet with sap. The horseman dismounts, dispelling Grimmorah to track on foot, following the trail of imprinted tracks through the flax fields, across a low grown forrest and then into the beginnings of the foothills of the Apennine mountains. Just as visible movement hits her eyes, she freezes for a moment. This place was crawling with demon trails, snaking all over the place. All of which led over a particular hill.

Rai would have to play scout, as ducks down into the sparse undergrowth as she creeps up the hill just one step at a time. As the peak of the hill grows near Rai freezes, only now realizing what she is looking at. This was not just a demon den, it was a damned camp. There were tents, demons and devils everywhere, some of which were organized and armed. They kept their fires low to avoid detection and seemed to be building things from fresh chopped lumber but she couldn’t make out what. She chose not to stick around too long to find out. Although every bone in her body urged her forward to fight, she was not dumb enough to charge into a camp alone, especially not one that seemed to span an entire hillside.

The reaver turns tail, summoning Grimmorah and spurring him back into a dead gallop back to where she’d left the fledgling Reavers only to find ravaged corpses of the horned. They’d been set upon by something that’d been equipped to handle reavers, silver halberds wrenched through breastplates and some reavers had even been fully reduced to dust.

She couldn’t wait around here, if she’d been discovered and killed as well, the information of the camp would die with her. Rai had barely stopped to discover her slain companions before she was off again, straight back to Terni at a pace that shouldn’t be possible by a horse. Thundering through the gates she skids to a stop, turning to the doormen asking for the nearest whitecloak hang out.


XXX

The Black Crane was a run down dump of an establishment. The dirt road had turned to mud from the water run down from the sloped streets. The sounds of drunken men roaring from the inside and drunkards littering the yard, as well as the occasional reaver only a modicum less uptight than usual. Rai hurriedly waits by the door, only hoping Cebra had found the same information as she had and didn’t end up god knows where.

She leans back against a wooden column, just waiting as a group of white cloaks passes. She avoids their gaze as typical, however one stays behind. His armor a gleaming bronze with a while cloak delicately drawn below his pauldron. He was in slightly more movable platemail than the bulky dreadnaughts, however she didn’t register him as a frontliner at first. Upon closer inspection Rai realizes he was a skirmisher, a very well armored one at that.

“Hey. You look like shit.” He gruffs in reaver with a light smile. His white hair is cropped short and his markings were sparse compared to Rai’s, but there was still a resemblance. “What do they call this one, girl?”

“Sa’ Rai Osgh’ol.Erm, Rai… I need help.” Rai sighs, not comfortable putting all her trust in another reaver, but if there were anyone who would help them, It’d be a white cloaked reaver. “More like we. I have a companion but…”

The reaver gives a blank stare. “I am not helping you cover up a tiefling, girl.” He crosses his arms and shifts his weight, choosing to hear her out.

“No no, God no.” A very flustered Rai quickly refutes. “I will wait until he gets here buuuut… Wait, what do they call this one?”

“Mol’ ShaRai. Molly. I jest about the teifling. I assume he is human?”

“Aye.”

“We will pull him into the back then. Go. What am I looking for?”

“Fuzzy, kind of dim but still strong. Strangest one you’ll see.” Rai barks, slinking into the back of the Black Crane as the barkeep lets her into a back room with the other reavers, all battle-hardened white cloaks, one of which pulls out a chair for her.

Meanwhile Molly assumes Rai’s position, leaned against the support beam, watching for Cebra.

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Post by Cerek April 9th 2022, 12:10 am

Cebra responded without hesitation "Material from down south, guess it hasn't arrived in these markets yet."

Despite the room already being payed for Cebra had no intention of staying the night now that he had the info he needed. There was no horse available to him unfortunately, he'd have to make his way by foot, fortunately for Cebra his leg implants were working just fine despite numerous system and part failures. He could easily dash the distance he needed to, but he also remembered Rai said it was important he not appear inhuman in any way. Thankfully there were few eyes around him at the moment and none directed at him, he managed to turn a small amount of metal from a fire poker into more coin for himself and before slipping away left thirty silver for the man. The sky was always disconcerting in this world, he found it uncomfortable to look upwards and kept his eyeline on the horizon.

After making sure no one could see him Cebra stretched out his legs like a runner and took a starting position before taking off like a rocket. He moved with enough speed that anyone along his way would see nothing but a blur, his energy reserves were taxed greater than usual though. Cebra had suffered a reduction to his ability to generate and store saxon energy, this new degenerative effect (as far as Cebra could tell) was brought on by some anomalous energy or wave in this world.

It wasn't long before Cebra reached his destination, a rowdy looking tavern place that certainly wasn't Bullshacks by any means. Cebra could already hear folk inside the Black Crane and they sounded either merry or furious, it was hard to tell with all the yelling, screaming and foul language. Cebra made sure to stop a decent distance away and walk up to the entrance with great care, avoiding eye contact with any of the less than savory people around. Upon entering the Black Crane Cebra for the second time in less than two days is at the bar but not really wanting for drink. He makes his way to the back past the riff raff and has a seat by himself as he watches the other patrons and watches out for Rai, not that he could talk to her apparently.
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Post by Demonhunter April 9th 2022, 12:56 am

Rai had been ushered in the back by the other white cloaks. There were three, a large dreadnought, who held his black helm under his arm and a beer mug in another, a battle scarred scout with a bow strapped to her back and another colossus slayer. Each with white cloaks beneath their pauldrons, clasped on with iron crosses on their armor, denoting the color of the cloaks to the color blind reavers.

“Girl, have a drink.” The scout chimes, her accent muted with time as she slides Rai a mug of beer. “You are in the Crane. It is safe here.”

“I, um thank you… Today has been strange.”

“No worries. We are reavers. Every day is strange. I am Ari- ShoGai. Ari. That.” The pokes to the dreadnought who was already on his second mug. “Is Ro Lithghol, We call him Roth. And that is Hayseed.” Ari nods to the colossus slayer who was busy eyeing Rai in a suspicious manner.

“Why do they call you hayseed?”

Hayseed simply replies by shifting the stalk of straw he had between his teeth. Ari lets him stare off into oblivion for a moment before giving a sigh. “Hayseed pissed off a cleric a long time ago as a fledgling. Almost got burned for it. He hasn’t said a word since out of spite. He is friendlier than he appears. So what is your problem, girl? Molly sent you here for a reason.”

“I am waiting for someone. I have been away for a long time. And I’ve returned with a human man. Um.” Rai grips her own cloak as she begins to try to figure out where to start.

“ You growing a tiefling, Girl?” Roth booms with a hearty roar of laughter.

“No- No, It’s-”

“Roth, Leave her alone.” Ari raises an elegant hand to shut the dreadnought up and then urges Rai to continue with a gesture. “Why is this man important?”

“I-... Can I tell you when he gets here? He is better at explaining things.”

Ari falls silent, looking to her two compatriots before giving a heavy sigh. “This man better not be clergy. But if you trust him, we will hear you out.”


Xxxx

Meanwhile Molly watches the passers by, observing for the man Rai had described. This was probably some fledgling drabble and a waste of his time, however the black cloak did bring a bit of legitimacy to Rai’s claim. It at least had him willing to hear her out and take the risk of getting caught in a bar. His eyes lift to a dark and cloudy soul, like he was looking at some kind of crackling storm of static. It sure was strange but, nevertheless, it was what he was looking for. As soon as Cebra enters the bar Molly returns to the back entrance joining the other reavers.

“Your man is here. I’ll have a barkeep retrieve him.” Molly huffs, lumbering through the curtains into the kitchens.

XXX

A cute blonde barkeep prances out of the back with a plate of beers, passing drinks out all over the bar to any rowdy man who asks. This place was just as dirty as the inn, just much livelier as it was full of Dis’s scum. Drunkards, prostitutes and the morally obscene all gathered here for debauchery and liquor. Meanwhile the barkeep moves to the man Molly had described.

“Hey. Your reaver is in the back.” She whispers. “Come.” She pulls Cebra's hand in an obvious manner which has other men in the bar whooping and cheering for Cebra. This woman wore a red ribbon in her intricately braided hair, as did several other women, however these women were accepting coin in exchange for their time and sin.

The woman leads him through the steaming kitchens and into the back through what looked like a cellar door to the motley crew of Reavers. Rai immediately perks up and gives a sigh of relief.

“You have your man, now spill it.” Molly gruffs.

Rai takes a deep breath before deciding to start from the top. “I was in the unit sent after the Striggan. All of us were killed but me, but I ended up in some other world. Well the Striggan came back and we ended up here. So I left cebra here and went on tonights scouting mission-”

“Have they not yet come back?” Roth interrupts, realizing he hadn’t heard the hooves of the reavers coming back in the gates.

“They are dead. There’s a camp about twenty miles south.” Rai’s eyes lock on to Cebra, hoping of all people who would understand it’d be him.

“Calm yourself, girl.” Roth’s voice dips to something less loud than a booming rumble for once as Hayseed retrieves more alcohol, offering some to Cebra and then refilling Rai’s mug with something stronger. “How many? What kind of equipment did you see?”

“The camp spanned for at least a mile. Maybe five thousand. I know I saw ballistas and siege towers.” Rai breathes, searching her memory for anything else. “Many hellknights, but other than that, I do not know.” The whitecloaks met eyes for a moment.

Molly finally speaks up. “The clergy needs to know of this. I will bring it to them tomorrow morning. Ari, Can you scout the area? I want an exact headcount on how many soldiers they have.” Molly’s mind is going a mile a minute commanding his posse. “Roth and Hayseed, you’re coming with me. We need to convince the clergy to tighten defenses until we find out where they intend to attack. We need to stop any more scouts from leaving until this is done.”

Molly glances to Cebra then to Rai, trying to figure out why a reaver was so dependent on a human man. “Cebra, is it? I am Molly. Obviously someone a reaver trusts is more than just a man. What is your strength here, mere man?” The scirmisher sits himself back in a chair, mug of beer lifting to his lips, hinting at his suspicion of Cebra not being a ‘mere man’ like he had been told.
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Post by Cerek April 14th 2022, 5:05 pm

Cebra was all ready to order a drink, he had a look around over his shoulder while keeping hunched over the bar. The people of Gratten were at some times quite ornery around the bar, many times Cebra would have to break up the particularly nasty brawls even before the cops arrived. This place seemed an orgy of chaos and violence of which the patrons seemed accustom. Before he could even talk to the tavern owner he was addressed by arguably the only pleasing thing to look at, a young bar maid with blonde hair and a bounce in her step.  "My reaver?" Cebra thought of the implications of that sentence, not for long though as the young woman took him by the hand. The one thing he was trying to avoid was making a scene but it seemed his efforts were in vain with all the hooting and cheers. Cebra was at a loss for words at the moment besides "ok" and an uncomfortable blush.

Upon entry to the room Cebra got a good look at what he could only assume were more of these Reavers, he thought them strange in a way. They certainly did stand apart from the normal human populace and Cebra now had something to compare Rai to. He sat quietly and listened to their conversation while taking in as much information as he could. Given his extensive knowledge of military strategy and tactics in a broad sense, Cebra surmised a great siege was on the way to one of their major settlements. Cebra met Rai's eyes with his own seeing something on her face that could be desperation, he was cautious not to give her away though and give a slight nod.

Cebra turns to Molly and takes a moment of contemplation, even tilting his head towards Rai looking for some signal that it was alright to disclose more about himself. From what he could tell Rai seemed to be giving him the go ahead to reveal himself... At least somewhat, he would not mention being a machine man from the future just yet. He also considered how his abilities were diminishing in ways,  but also how he could be of great help regardless. "I have strategic knowledge of siege defense, leading soldiers in combat, martial training and..." He wasn't sure if he'd be persecuted or not in this Gothic old world, but never the less he came clean as these people seem to be Rai's companions. "I have powers and strength beyond a mere human, to explain them would be tedious and time consuming. Though I suppose the best way to state these abilities is metal magic. I can manipulate metals to my will."

Cebra takes out the gold coins from his pocket, they liquify with a charge of energy and mold into the shape of a dagger.
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Post by Demonhunter April 27th 2022, 7:33 pm


The reavers were quite for a second before Molly leans back in his chair, as if deep in thought. “You really are trying to get yourself killed, girl.” Roth suddenly chuckles.

“Lay off her, Roth.” Molly snorts before he leans forward. “You can be very helpful with that, boy. We will do all we can to procure all the ore you could need through the night, I have an idea.”

“You and your ideas Molly. If he gets caught we all burn.” Ari groans before shooting a catty glare to Rai. “I’m going to go see if this camp of yours is really as big of a problem as you say. Then we talk.” The scout groans, pulling up her hood and leaving with the heavy slam of a reinforced door.

“I-I’M Sorry I-”

“Don’t fret about her, she is a bitch when under pressure.” The skirmisher interrupts with a waive of a gauntleted hand. Looking back to hayseed, Molly turns his attention back to Rai and Cebra. “You two will have to make the ride to Rome in the morning. Our Clergy here are powerless to rally a large defense this quickly. The papacy needs to know about the possibility of an invasion.”

“Ands they’ll listen to me?” Rai asks incredulously.

“They have to. I’m sending you with my cloak pin.” Molly removes the pin holding his cloak to his pauldron and slides it across the table. It was a gleaming bronze with a heavily engraved cross and on the back looked to be a rudimentary serial number etched into the bronze. “They’ll treat you with the respect they treat me with that. Now go. Also, you.” Cebra points back to Cebra. “When you’re in the capital, whatever you do, do not do that.” He motions towards the newly formed golden dagger. “I will have ore waiting for you by the time we get back. We’re going to try to reinforce the palisade. Either through your magic or a smelter and hammer.”

Molly stands as if to leave before he suddenly seems to remember something. “Ay, Mariza.” He barks. Some time passes before the blonde woman with the ribbon returns to the back.

“Ay, what you want you damn fucker.” The woman huffs with a heavy eye roll.
“Is this man dressed as though he’ll be stoned as soon as he passes the capital gates.” The reaver gruffs.

“Ah… absolutely yes.” Mariza suddenly laughs, as if trying to figure out what Cebra was wearing. “Need a change of clothes?”

“Yes, please.” Molly adjusts his cloak back over his shoulder, pinning in back to his pauldron with a spare pin that lacked the embellishment of the one Rai currently had. “Again. Don’t get yourselves killed.”

There was a brief silence while Roth, Hayseed and Molly all filed out of the bar as Rai just holds on to the cloak pin. “I- I never thought I’d be back here.” Rai’s voice begins to trail off into an odd shaking taints it’s normally even tone. Crimson tears threatening the edge of her eyes. “I get dragged back to hell and now have to go back to the heart of hell, how fitting.”
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Post by Cerek May 6th 2022, 10:58 pm

Cebra cocked his eyebrow at being called "boy", perhaps it was his clean shaven look or just the clothing. Cebra often felt nebulous towards age as he wasn't even sure if he had a natural expiry date. He nodded and contemplated exactly what he'd be tasked with, if he was asked to take the place of a whole city of smiths then that was out of the question now. His energy reserves had sunk significantly and he couldn't do everything. But he could help increase productivity a lot.

Cebra was still trying to come to grips with his situation, his mind through the talking and plans had begun to circle back to home. The reality that he might be trapped here and even that he travelled through some portal to this world was seriously starting to unnerve him. The voices in the room slowly stopped being a muffled mess as Molly breaks through his shroud. "Ride to Rome?" Cebra said to himself, wondering if the empire was still standing in some form in another world. Judging by Molly's order not to show off his abilities he reckoned that reavers were the only ones he could be open around, whether that was true for all reavers was still up for debate and cyco felt otherwise. Indeed the entire time Cebra was involved in his own conversation with Cyco who had deep reservations about everything happening. Cyco had ideas of leaving Rai and searching for that great work on their own, Cebra reminded the unsympathetic program that they knew nothing about this place besides what Rai could provide.

Cebra looks at his clothing , he knew he stood out and would need something more appropriate. Although seeing the people around here didn't give him a good feeling that his new clothes would be comfy. He'd wondered if he could have disguised himself as a Reaver a while ago but thought better of it. These beings seemed able to see some radiation or energy that was inherent in the body, probably could sniff him out.

Through all of this Cebra watched Rai, she seemed out of place here oddly enough, at least to Cebra. She may be a Reaver but for the distance between her and her kin, Cebra could perceive Rai had become more anchored to his world. There wasn't a single moment here where she wasn't on edge and it was heavy on her in this quiet room. Cebra slowly and quietly raised from his seat behind Rai, his eyes softened and a deep sigh leaves his breath. He stood and stared at her as she proclaimed her hate for this "Rome". He can feel her for the first time about to show her deeper feelings and let cry, he stands behind her now and comforts her, putting his hand on her shoulder... Or would have if not for the knock at the door, seems the bar maid had some clothing for Cebra. Cebra curls his hand back to his side before Rai can see his intention and approaches Mariza.

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Post by Demonhunter May 27th 2022, 10:17 pm

Rai pulls herself together as Mariza returns to the room, making a swift motion to sweep away the small drop of bloody tears at the corner of her eyes, leaving a red streak from the side of each eye which disappeared into the inky black markings on her skin. No human had ever seen a reaver act out any feelings as if they were made of stone as far as she’d seen, better safe than sorry and to suck it up. She was back in Dis, love it or hate it, and these people needed her as they always had. Thus her life was back on the chopping block, like the sword of Damocles, death looms over a reaver constantly.

She takes a deep breath, still as ever and unshaken by her moment of weariness. “ Long day tomorrow and we can’t leave together.” Rai stands, wiping the last stain of red from her eyes. “You should sleep and I’ll resume my duties from here. About an hour past dawn meet me three miles from the gate. Should be a safe distance away, no one will see us meeting.”

Rai fixes the pin onto her own cloak as she stands, black shroud cascading back into place as she moves to take her leave heavy oak door slamming shut behind her.

Mariza rolls her eyes as Rai seemed to make a less graceful display of it than typical of her kind. “Who pissed in her oats?” She grumbles, shaking out a clean shirt of undyed flax. It was plain and a bit of a stained shade of white, but it was still clean and wearable. As well as a grey pair of trousers, perhaps a bit large in the upper legs, but as was customary of the style. She also adds a wool cloak to the pile with hide trim that should withstand sudden rainfall. "Anyway, this should be good enough to help you not get fucked up... where the hell did you come from anyway?"

------

The next morning Rai found herself waiting beneath a tree just off the road, settling down into the grass as she stared into the sky. Darkened clouds threatened rain but otherwise was actually a nice morning as far as Dis was concerned. Grimmora paws at the dirt beside him before shifting to push his nose into her.

She waves him off with a dismissive gesture before groaning. “You never just let me sit, do you?”

He replied with a soft snort and another hard nudge to the side followed by a stamp of his hoof. “Oh be still. I’ll get up in a minute.”
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Post by Cerek May 29th 2022, 1:38 pm

Cebra was silent as she gave him instruction, he had no idea why she would want to stay here and do all this what seemed like illegal activity. She was going through an awful lot by the sounds of it to protect people that didn't seem to give too much care for her, was it some kind of knightly Chivalry thing he had to wonder. For the first time he really saw the huge gap between the two of them, this was her world and it's rules and ways were so old. He was now determined to get her away from this place, even in his brief stay he could see how miserable this place was. But maybe the capital was different. He nods his head to Rai and watches her leave with a deep worry that he may not see her again, everything gnawed at his anxiety and he had a need to know more.

Mariza and her comments were almost beneath Cebra's notice but for a side glance that could have cut down an oak tree, he didn't much care for her attitude and knew quite a few of the girls back home like her. He took the clothing from her with a cold shoulder and merely answered "Don't worry about it." Before taking his leave to his room and getting changed, there wasn't much sense in keeping the old clothes and they got tossed into the fire; burning evidence being second nature to someone involved in espionage. Sleep was not necessary at the moment, his physiology let him stay awake for a few days at a time if need be. He spent his time gathering any piece of metal he could find and running diagnostics on himself, there was something strange going on with himself and he needed to know what it was and how to reverse it if possible. But beyond that there were odd new possibilities with this anomalous effect. He worked long hours into the night and tinkered silently with what powers he could summon.

The day was about to begin when Cebra was already on the road, the clothing was not the most comfortable material but it blended in, not that he was being observed at this early hour. He knew the direction well enough and made his way out of town, the sky was disconcerting as always and even the blue sky of his home world was something he took for granted. He made his way over rolling hills and fields of flax and other grains of the farm. It wasn't so bad here actually, walking through farms gave Cebra a bit of relief in his mind as he daydreamed about home. His eyes were glazed over as he seemed to drift off into comfortable memories over his many decades in the small town, the only bothersome thought was all the time he felt cut off from people, all of the... His thoughts are cut short as something in the distance rustles the wheat. A rapid dark object darts by him on his six as he pivots, but it's way too fast... Silence fills the air save for the shifting of dirt under his feet and morning birds.

WHAM! Something slams into Cebra's side and throws him to the ground so hard he goes skidding through the wheat
thirty meters breaking every stalk on the way. "Uhnn that was bad." He quickly shifts his gaze to the point where he was attacked, there stood on all fours a great blackened form. It was hunch backed, broad and tall with features like a wild boar. It looked at Cebra with a ravenous anger and rabid hunger. Oddly enough the creature had a saddle on its back but no rider was seen. He didn't have much time to think before the creature made another go at him charging full on. Cebra got to his feet and dodged the beast by diving and rolling to the right, he immediately started to run towards the farm house in the distance for some cover. The creature was hot on his heels and tackled Cebra into a grain silo collapsing it and the contents. Cebra found himself less resilient to pain and damage as he was in his world, he had to pop his shoulder back into place quickly, just long enough for the great hog to bear down on him and pin Cebra under its tusks trying to gore and bite him.

Cebra luckily still had power enough in his limbs to resist the creature but not throw him with ease as he would normally be able. Suffering a bad wound now could really keep him down and out, he couldn't afford such a set back or worse, death with no regeneration. The beast gave Cebra a huge gash near his ribs and forcing out a pained yell. He manages to give the creature a brutal kick to the snout with a loud crunch, it squeals and flails backing off to recover. Cebra runs to the home with the black boar once again giving pursuit with a renewed anger for its prey. He makes it to the door when he's once again caught by the creature on one side and a closed door. The hog would have had Cebra had he not whipped around and revealed two flintlock pistols with unique all metallic design. The sound of it firing was a loud metal clang and high pitch whistle of steam. Two bullets sped out and pierced the boar with amazing penetration and stopping power. The creature instantly turned and started to flee, but the damage was done as it wobbled about and stumbled to the ground. Black blood flowed from the wounds.

Cebra stood there on high alert, aren't things like this supposed to be far from towns and people? He looked at the saddle and finally he got an idea of the kind of thing these people might be up against. He turned around to see the home he was trying to take cover in, it was oddly quiet. He steps inside investigating the home and calls out "Hello? Is anyone in here?"... Silence. He notices the home looks ransacked, there are streaks of rather fresh blood and damaged walls. When he reaches the stairs he finally puts it together. Resting at the bottom is some humanoid creature, probably what they call demons. Another body rests upon him, looks like the home owner and man of the house as they have a fire poker in their hands and imbedded in the demons eye. At the same time the demons spear pierces the old mans chest. The top floors are a sight Cebra is familiar with but never used to, strewn out and evocated lay dead two children held by their mother. Bodies senselessly mutilated.

Cebra had seen enough, he couldn't be caught here anyways and have himself arrested for some archaic law breaking. He raised his cloak again and left the home hoping that these Reavers would find out what happened, it would certainly do well to convincing this papal authority. He continues on his path through the fields keeping himself beneath notice hopefully.
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Post by Demonhunter May 30th 2022, 12:19 am

Rai passes the time with minor thought, staring blankly into the dingy gray skies, almost as if she were capable of seeing the constant hazy clouds grumbling by like a rippling bed sheet on a clothesline.

The reavers mind swarmed in a horrible haze of questions, mainly, what if they were stuck here? Rai had pretty much accepted she was going to be in the non-hellish version of dis forever, hunting down whatever small fry managed to squeeze their way there. Just as she began to process the new reality she is thrown back home, and this time she accidentally dragged Cebra in too. And there was the part that worried her most, would her stubbornness force Cebra into a world he didn’t belong in?

Grimmora takes the liberty to force the bridge of his nose up under Rai’s ribs and shove so hard that he’d damn near rolled her down the slight hill she’d choses to rest on, causing her to jolt from her thoughts. “Nine hells, can you just leave me be you stupid- oh.” Rai breathes as she sees a familiar soul shuffling down the road. A light sigh of relief that he seemed to make it to the meeting point but she stiffens at the familiar smell of copper and the glimmering of silver running down his side.

Rai plops herself down into her saddle, taking up a brisk trot to meet him at the intersection. “You made it, but not in one piece. What happened to you?” She asks, sliding off her saddle. She knew Cebra was a great deal tougher than normal humans were, but she had no good gauge of how much more he could take or if Dis’s lesser medical capabilities would be worse for him. “I’m not the best medic, How bad is it?” She asks, as if trying to inspect what the hell pig had done to him, even if she wouldn’t be able to discern flesh from bone.
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Post by Cerek June 2nd 2022, 7:40 pm

Cebra comes over the hill and finally see's Rai with her steed relaxing in the distance. He closes in holding his side as blood pools and makes his clothing wet, his ability to heal being diminished as it is. At his current level of regenerative ability he can recover faster than a human but the time needed is greater. The man is sturdy enough to bear this wound and still be combat ready if need be, though some needles and thread wouldn't hurt. He starts to slow down as she made her approach and relax his posture "Rai... Yeah. I mean it's not so bad, worse than it looks I'm sure.  Some strange creature attacked me in the wheat field back a ways. Some large swine all in black, looked like some war beast to be honest. "  He walks up to Rai with a little cringe of pain every few steps.

Having Rai examine him was a curious experience, she seemed comfortable being this close to Cebra when she was attending to business. Her touch was cold but gentle, more gentle than he thought she could be. He lets this continue for a short moment, strangely liking this morbid but close moment. "I'll recover given a little time but ugh... I'm sorry Rai." A stressed and frustration takes over his demeanor. "Seems whenever you need my help I happen to be weakened by something. I'm not sure what it is but something has diminished my abilities, I'm not recovering like I should and my weapons are... Less than before." It's true in past incidents he hasn't been able to perform at one hundred percent for a few reasons, his pride was hurt more than anything, he knew what he was capable of and if he had his full arsenal he'd be so much more useful.

"I um... I'll do my best to help and not get in the way, hopefully I can still help you-er DIs, both of you." Even if she can't see his eyes it's hard for Cebra to meet her gaze, being of no use was something Cebra loathed.
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Post by Demonhunter June 15th 2022, 1:14 am

Rai’s mind flips through all the stored memories of the thousands of demons she’d fought and slayed over the years but the only thing she could think of that matched the description was a hell pig. However, the hell pigs were rarely ever alone and with no mention of a rider she was on high alert, glancing back down the road to ensure Cebra wasn’t followed.

Her touch, although gentle, still lacked the warmth and give of human flesh, her hands much more akin to the dead, just trying to discern if he was telling her the truth on how injured he was actually. Cebra was a good man and good men tended to push themselves until they died more often than not and she wasn't about to let that happen.However, the news that Cebra’s abilities were not working as normal did raise some more alarm. Alarm that had her pushing herself up under his side and waiving Grimmorah over who wasn’t thrilled at having a passenger as was currently voicing his complaints with high headed compliance.

“Nonsense, You are helpful. Even if it is just keeping me from losing my mind. I will worry about Dis, that is my job. Your job is to worry about you. Now on the horse.” Rai hauls him up as if he weighed nothing, keeping all pressure on Cebra’s good side to avoid stressing his injured side. Pulling herself into the saddle, she Kicks Grimmorah mercilessly into as quick of a stride as she can coax him into. “If I take you to a nun to fix you, is there anything she may be suspicious of?” Rai asks, considering that nuns were as close to doctors as they had, but she didn’t know anything of what Cebra looked like. She ascertained he looked like a regular man on the outside, but did the same hold true on the inside?
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Post by Cerek July 2nd 2022, 3:51 pm

Cebra did not at all mind her touch, it was pleasing in a selfish way to have her show concern. It was rougher than he expected, getting up on the horse. It seems even the sedatives his nanobots would administer are not there anymore. Cebra has been able to deduce that some effect of this realm is rewriting his level of technology by some means, he's lost a great deal off his functions and has less than half of his abilities and power available. "You're kind to say that. I'm not quite dead yet though, just need a little patching up." His words broken up by labored breaths. "I was um... I was made to be as human as possible. There won't be anything strange. Well I mean unless she splits me open like fish." Bearing painful injuries was common for Cebra, at the same time there was never a point where he got used to it. Pain is always pain, it always feels the same. The only thing he could control was his response. Cebra had developed a steel resolve when it came to ignoring his injuries as they would heal in time, this was different.

"You... Do you um. Why is it you defend this place? You always seemed so happy to be away from Dis whenever the subject came up. I can't help but wonder what makes you stay here." He also recalled the things the inn keeper had said about Reavers, it was apparently common place to discriminate against these people. "There are people back home who don't like what I am but they are few and far between."
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Post by Demonhunter July 12th 2022, 12:57 pm

“And if I can get you to an abby you won't be dead at all.” Rai glances back, mostly to make sure Cebra was secure into the saddle. Riding a horse with rib injuries was never fun but luckily Grimmorah had a relatively smooth gait and wouldn't jar him around too much. She wouldn’t be as concerned if she didn’t feel warmth spilling from him in a somewhat steady stream.

There was a bit of awkward silence as she tried to figure out how to answer Cebra’s questions. Chewing the inside of her lip as she thought about how exactly to word it. “I’d be alright leaving if Terni wasn’t about to be attacked. I can’t let all those people die undefended.” With a roll of her shoulders she finds herself unsatisfied with her own answer. “You were built to look human, I was built to shield them from demons, and I can’t go against what I was created to do. If I refuse to do my job I- it will bother me forever.”

Rai glances to the side as the stench of death that surrounded Rome began to assault her senses. “Have I ever told you how Reavers are made?” Rai keeps her pace quick up, but makes it a point to slow down a bit as the tall fields turned to raw dirt and a field full of what appeared to be rotting dead horses as far as the eye can see, each split at the sternum and stitched back together. Most seemed fresh but others began to decay and had a faint glow from the crack in the corpse. “This is the “graveyard”. Every horse you see had a child in it. A child killed in a demon attack. Soon every horse here will be a new reaver to defend against the evil that killed them. This is why humans are uneasy with us.” Rai picks her pace back up opting to get Cebra into the city as quickly as she could but the graveyard was huge and expanded almost as much space as a city would. “Our creation is an abomination before their god, yet they depend on us. The least they can do to stay clean in Gods eyes is through disdain… and we constantly remind them of their lost children.” As they near the gates, Rai lifts a hand signaling them to open as she rides through without so much as a pause.

“Ubix Coenbi?” She calls to the gate keeping Reavers who simply point down a road.

“Villa et ad dexrium” He calls back as she hangs a hard right headed straight to the gates of an old building with a rather strange looking nun in the entryway. She was still dressed in the typical black and white garb as the nuns from modern day, but instead of being plain, her gown was adorned in many jewels, mainly pink opals, beryl of many colors and onyx. She was tall and oddly young for a nun, yet her face was just as hardened with stoicism as ever.

“Mother superior.” Rai greets, screeching Grimmorah to a halt. “He needs help. A hell pig on the road.” Rai slides herself off Grimmorah, offering to help Cebra off.

“I’ll take care of it, girl.” She barks, taking over and pushing Rai away. Her touch was soft and far less dead than Rai’s as she offers a helping hand with one arm and rings a silver bell with the other to call a few more nuns.
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Post by Cerek July 28th 2022, 8:39 am

Cebra tries his best to understand her way of thinking, the innate need to just do what you were made for. When your purpose has been predetermined it makes it easy to go through life letting yourself be carried along. But he'd seen how satisfied Rai was having absolute freedom from this world and it's rules. He had a strong desire to get her away from this place however he could, his gut told him nothing good would come of either of them being in this world. Convincing her to leave was something he was relatively sure he could do, though it might be a bit of arrogance in the strength of his diplomacy. There was an empathy there when she mentioned doing what one was made to do, in a sense Cebra was still locked in that mind set. He found it incredibly frustrating when things didn't work properly, he had an obsessive need to repair/replace objects and sometimes people.

Cebra was hit by the smell long before arriving at the field of corpses, it was something so macabre and twisted Cebra stared intensely never having seen such a sight. "This is... Hm." A brief distorted memory plays in Cebra's mind in still pictures. Vats of blue liquid lined in rows, inside each an amorphous blob of flesh each different sized. Around them all people in lab coats working machines and taking notes. Cebra comes back from his memory and sighs a tired sigh "I see, it makes a little more sense now why things are the way they are... But you still don't deserve this kind of treatment."

Cebra was thankful for the Nuns help, he wasn't fond of her treatment of Rai but showed no outward sign of it. He understood it was common place, many times he had been to countries that were less than kind to his particular skin complexion. Cebra gets down off the steed with a little help and watches as a gaggle of nuns comes out to help him. They all start to grab at him as Cebra awkwardly gets pulled away while looking back at Rai unassuredly. Cebra was thankful for the help but they were very handsy and getting too close to the waist line. One of them was already lifting his shirt and looking at his wounds including the big gash. "Oh excuse me. OW! That hurt sister, hey I'm not wounded that low, where are you taking me? Er uh Rai? Rai!" Before they drag him around the corner for urgent care.
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Post by Demonhunter August 20th 2022, 12:52 pm

The nuns that came to treat Cebra all seemed oddly young, some even seeming to be no older than 13. All in the white novice robes of the order, some stained with dried blood. None were nearly as ornate as sister superior, lacking the jewel encrusted hibits but they did seem healthier than the average peasant.

The young ladies quickly swept Cebra through the heavy wooden doors and through what looked like it was at one point a beautiful cathedral, complete with stained glass windows and what was left of a ornately carved pulpit, however rather than bibles it held clean bandage wrappings and some sanitized medical instruments.

“He needs stitches. Celia go find Lucia.”
“Why can’t I do the stitches?” The younger nun groans under her breath.
“Because Lucia does the best stitches. Besides, you have to go change the leper’s dressings.”
“Aw, why do I have to change the leper?” The same nun whines, showing her immaturity and stamping her foot into the stone floor indicative of her pre-teen nature.
“Because I changed him last time, Jude. Don’t complain, just do it.” The oldest nun snaps in a manner that commands the respect of an elder, despite the fact she was just barely an adult herself.

The young nun looks as though she is about to argue but with another stern look she scampers off to do as she was told while the rest helped get Cebra into a cot that sat where the pews of this old cathedral should be. Only a few seconds pass before another woman in white comes scurrying to the bedside clutching a small case.

“So sorry, mother superior had me cleaning the kitchen.” The bows nervously.
“He needs stitches. He’s yours until he’s better.” The oldest nun orders as the bell at the front rings once more, sending the nuns into another hurried trip to the front doors to receive another patient.

Lucia gives a heavy sigh before pulling up a stool to the bedside. “Apologies, today is busy.” She was young, probably around 16 with dark wisps of hair peeking out from her blood stained wimple. Down the row of cots came the youngest nun yet, hauling a bucket of steaming water to the best of her tiny ability and setting it by Lucia’s stool. This earned her a ruffle of her hair as Lucia took the time to adjust the cloth to cover her head before washing her hands in the water and preparing her stitching needle.

“I’m assuming this has been a rough morning for you too? I’m going to need access to your wounds but I am giving you the opportunity to save your dignity by removing your shirt yourself. I understand not liking to be undressed by a nun.” Nun gives a light laugh before averting her eyes to both give him a bit of privacy and to send the small girl off on another easy task that the toddler could accomplish.

Xxxxx

Rai could only watch as the nuns took Cebra. Part of her wanted to rescue him, but she really needed them to help him. She cringes under the judgmental gaze of the superior nun who seemed to be assessing her for any subpar behavior. She turns to leave just as another group of men carrying a bleeding man through the streets and to the same nunnery. Seemed everyone was having a hard time this morning.

She remounts Grimmora, ignoring the metallic smell of blood that now stained her saddle. The reaver had to bury her thoughts and continue on to the capital alone if she wanted to get reavers dispatched quickly enough to ward off an invasion.
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Post by Cerek September 4th 2022, 7:44 pm

Cebra was taken back by the scramble of girls around him, an uncomfortable situation to say the least. When finally he got a moment to settle himself it was already time for an examination. He was alright removing his own clothing for medical purposes as it were "Thank you sister, your modesty is appreciated." Putting on a front of mild frustration as he would assume a man of this era would. His body was bruised in several places and his gash bled still, It was good Rai got Cebra here when she did because his blood loss was reaching a dangerous point. His form was strong under all the clothing as one might expect, though oddly flawed in some ways for a cyborg. He had some scars and blemishes, just small things across him that made his body look a little more like aged. A form of blending in his body implemented.

He let the nun do her work and stitch his wound as well as apply various poultice and salves to his other wounds. He laid in the hospital bed now alone as he looked out the window down to an herb garden where some nuns were picking plants. Curiosity ran through his mind at the functions of if not the world as a whole then to the kingdom, dutchy and county he was in. The entire situation with Rai going off to perform all these military tasks bothered him as he could often feel a situation and when there was a flaw in logic, when things didn't work correctly. He pondered over the fields of corpses and how a religious organization so similar to the Catholics are alright with the arrangement they have made. Fortunately Cebra was fairly certain that the security of this era wasn't ready for his abilities. He spent a good deal of the time resting and watching the nuns go about their business while he was a good out of the way patient plotting his stealthy leave.

Perhaps some of the nuns may have found it odd when he casually asked about the church and more specifically the Sistine chapel that he remembered Rai mentioning in one of their past conversations. Since the church seems to be the primary authority in this land Cebra reasoned the largest church might keep the deepest records, he was curious as to the official records on the birth of Reavers if those records existed. Furthermore any information he can find on the bloody worm creature that brought the pair here, Cebra's wounds still healed faster than a normal human and would be quite noticeable. The remedies did provide some relief from the pain and quicker healing of the flesh, but Cebra couldn't wait, his mind had worked itself into a mission. As the sun lay twilight Cebra made his escape silent and unseen. He was armed and clothed again, now with bandages wrapping some parts of him and patched wounds.

He got the directions from one of the nuns and began his trek towards the chapel in Rome.
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