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The Essenced of the I(M)bued (Axl)

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Offline readlliea

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With how large this structure was, some would dare say it was the home of the King and Queen. Perhaps it was their summer or winter home? Oh how wrong they were. This old monstrosity of a castle had stood the test of many ages with hardly a stone repaired or replaced, it housed no royalty to the public's knowledge. Within these old stone walls, rested the domain of The Imbued. A group of powerful beings that were sort of the ones to keep magic in line. Punish those who crossed the lines and threatened the lives of people as well as the kingdom. At times, prisoners that were caught in different areas were brought here if deemed dangerous enough with their magic. A blue banner rested at the top of a tower, the symbol of The Imbued. A glowing star upon this blue piece of fabric, meant to symbolize the purity of magic.

Course, no one knew just what went on in here. Maybe the King or Queen knew? Maybe they didn't. Plague didn't know, nor did he truly care. While he hadn't been brought here through the same means, the thinning man was sure that everything done in here was kept a big old secret from the royals; especially the common folk. In fact, he knew nothing of the interior of this place prior to coming. He grew up with many a story of how large and vast this place was, how old magics kept it's aging walls strong, and the moor around it ever deadly. Heck, he even heard tales of fierce wild cats that guarded the entrance. While that last part wasn't true, it was heavily guarded at the front. With all the magic here, he could understand the reason for the fortitude of all entry points.

Still, being here wasn't fun. As someone stuck with the old ways of magic, he tended to be...more unstable. The old magic required no crystal, it flowed in his blood and surged through his heart. Originally a man of medicine, he worked to create better elixirs and started to dabble his magic into it. Alchemy as he called it, making him a alchemist. Of course, he couldn't dare test things on people. These things were meant to help people and he wouldn't dare put a innocent through it. It just so happened that one said experimental elixir had gone....really wrong. To put it short, Plague fond himself with a big ol fat curse!

And that was why he ended up here. His cursed came with perks but many drawbacks. The main drawback being his other form, a monster that couldn't tell a innocent from a bad person, or a friend from a foe. Just a wild beast with abnormal power that made it harder to kill and resistant to the common pitchfork; a thick hide was to blame for that. So The Imbued came and managed to subdue him while in that form, when he turned back once morning came, well....they sure as hell weren't going to let him go. So here he was. The bastards didn't care about who he really was, they gave him a name to announce his prisoner status; at least to him that's how it felt.

Plague. A illness was serious what they were going to call him? Irritating...very irritating. Now part of him could see why they went that route, they cared not for the word Alchemist, they regarded him as a mere plague doctor. So giving him part of that seemed to be their way. Dressed in rags within the damp cell, Plague merely sat in the corner on the pits of straw. By month two of being here, he gave up on asking for new hay. They were kind enough to give him a tattered cloak as a blanket; he counted his blessings he got that.

Routine...oh how he missed his own routine. Back home, he'd go out for herbs and ingredients in the morning. By afternoon, he'd return home and work on  a elixir or two with some breaks inbetween. By evening he'd probably written some notes down and proceed to just relax the rest of the time, maybe read and do research. Now? Now his routine was sitting locked in a cell with the rare venture out to the 'Chamber' in the attempt to remove his curse. Sometimes he was allowed to treat some injured Mage Hunters. A small piece of his old life, it gave him some sanity. Though usually when that happened he was strapped into that heavy black robe and forced to wear the wolf mask that always seemed to grip his face far too harshly. Whenever he wore that thing he felt....he felt like some part of him couldn't function, like his heart wanted to beat but something was holding it to the point it was a mere crawl. At least when he was in this cell, he didn't have to wear either of those things. Just dressed in his rags for pants and a shirt.

A thin brow was raised to the sound of the heavy iron doors groaning open, a sound that came with a few possibilities. Food, treating patients, or into the 'Chamber'. Taking a deep breathe, Plague tried to ready himself for the worst outcome. The thought of food was a nice one though he was certain it would be that porridge that hardly filled him up. Another thing with his darn curse, he was almost always hungry now an days. His abnormally thin state was due to his body operating under the curse's influence, only having porridge for three meals didn't exactly..help you maintain a normal weight it seems.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 03:10:01 AM by readlliea »


Offline Axl

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The Imbued’s castle illuminated by the midnight moon’s icy glare glimmered with promises of secrets, power, and wealth. Magic trickled down its damaged stone exterior as if the structure’s disrepair could be healed by its pain laced tears. The trickling magic flowed around empty windows cut from stone, over external staircases that began and ended at seemingly solid walls, in and out of holes created by pilfered wall stone. Stroking doors that lead to the open-air, adding punctuation to the stain glass windows that overlooked the moor below, and other oddities that normal folk wouldn’t have names for. The tears finally spreading their sorrow to the straggly field of weeds and grass that surrounded the structure. Magic unable to repair its lifeless home flourished unrestrained in the moor.

The weeds and grass swaying to the wind when there wasn’t and staying as still as stone when there was. Growing and shrinking at a whim, many a visitor, Imbued and trespasser have been tripped, snared, or simply vanished during their unwarranted stroll through the magic’s wild garden. Stone pathways glittered with similar magic as the structure, keeping the grass at bay and traversal upon them safe. On one such pathway stood a young man beguiled by the wild unkept magic the structure birthed. From the tip of its blue banner, that never rested it’s movement and the glowing star that shone with an unearthly hue. To the base of the structure and further still, if legends were to be believed the structure could walk.

The young man forced his eyes from the banner above, his neck creaking as it was relieved from its straining upwards gaze. The man’s eyes settling upon the gargantuan door that made the guards standing on either side of it look minuscule. The door was a solid black wood that threatened to absorb all the light that dares touch its surface. In the middle of the door was an exact replica of the banner’s glowing star. Instead of glowing white and pure, this one glowed an ice blue and gave the man a sense of being judged. Almost as if the guards were just a formal expectation and the door was the real guardian of the structures portal. Moving his eyes to the guards with a sense of relief the young man noted their heavy equipment.

Each guard wore a suit of metal armour with the star engraved and glowing upon their chest plate, metal shields also adorned by the star and a halberd in their other hand. Metal helmets hid their faces from view but the way they stood unmoving gave a statuesque air. Similar magic to that which flowed down the structure and into the surrounding grass flowed down the guards. The magic gave off a sense of import and alertness that couldn’t be imparted to a living creature. With an audible gulp, the young man forced his feet to walk towards the imposing door and it’s metal men. The closer he got to the portal, the more he felt his worth being weighed and the guard’s unseen eyes upon him.

As the young man walked past some unseen line the guards faced him and thumbed their halberds down, crossed them in front of the door in a pathway barring X. “Halt!” both the guards commanded in a deep metallic voice which echoed through their suits. The young man stopped in his tracks in willed his legs to refrain from turning to jelly. “State your business!” the guards commanding in unison without looking at the man as if his existence was as insignificant as a bug. The icy blue star upon the door gave the air of watching instead, watching and waiting to judge his response. The young man opened his mouth to speak but his voice betrayed him with a jellified squeak.

“I’m..I”m here to..train?” The young man stammered out after a small eternity, his eyes focused on the star and trying their hardest to ignore the guards as much as they ignored him. He was close enough to the star that he could see his reflection in it’s seemingly judging gaze. Tattered clothes of wood brown and pasture green a size too big hung upon his medium frame. Either hand me downs or designed to hide things from prying eyes. Dishevelled short dirty blonde hair, whether from actual dirt or genetics only a bath could reveal and a patchy beard adorned his face. “I, I’ve travelled far” the young man’s voice betrayed his exhaustion but remained strong. His deep oaken eyes focused on their reflection as he waited for a response.

The moon no longer sat in the middle of the sky, it’s light shifting to shine down slightly upon the young man as if to provide better illumination to judge him with. The guards moved back to their regular position in such an abrupt manner that the young man jumped and lost the concentration he was giving to his icy blue counterpart. As he caught his breath a smaller door under the star yawned open invitingly. From the portal in front of him, the young man could hear voices reverbing off the interior walls and see flickering light produced from oil lamps. He looked at the guards on either side, waiting for them to command he enter. Greeted only by silence the young man tentatively walked through the portal and into the structure.

The door closing behind him with a sudden thud forced the young man to turn around and stand in awe. Where the light-absorbing black monstrosity of a door should be was more of the entranceway. Oil lamps gracing the interior stone with their illuminating light that barely reached the corners let alone the deep blue carpeted floor. A star hung from the ceiling eerily dark and foreboding when compared to its exterior counterparts. No one greeted the young man or at least no one the young man could see. Not that he was looking, his eyes focusing on the magic that swirled and oozed from every new piece of interior scenery he saw. From the bright orange magic, he assumed kept the oil lamps light. To the shimmering magic, that kept his eyes wandering over certain things he can’t remember having looked at. The young man turned his gaze towards the ceiling and met the moon and stars just as he had when he was outside.


Offline readlliea

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"Quite the marvelous sight, is it not child?" A voice would question though there was no being that was noticeable. "You've now taken a step into our world of magic, for what cause? You mentioned training yes but there are many paths to take in magic. Some roads are not meant to go down, while there are many others that are fine to go down."

A look around would reveal not a soul there, just the magic that kept everything going. Yet the lad was being watched, the gaze of those who were in charge of this place were on him. They wouldn't just let anyone truly join, no. They had to be right for this, they had to have the potential. And what better way to see this, then to let the magic of their keep be the testing force?

"Regardless you have come to be tested, to learn and grow. We, The Imbued have open arms to those that are truly worth our embrace." The voice added, the orange lights dimmed for a moment before brightening.

The brighter light revealed a set of doors, large in stature but ordinary. The star symbol was carved into the wood this time yet it held no reflective surface. The magic of the keep though was already at work, waiting for the door that the lad would pick. The route he would take was just beyond one of these doors...whatever could it be?

For Plague, the door slammed shut and the sound of something shuffling through the stone hall would reach his ears. One of the guards was now here for him, a bowl was in their hand and it merely slid the bowl through the gap that was designed for the food to be placed into the cell by. Without a word, the armored being turned and went back the way they came. A sigh left Plague as he waited for the door to close before he rose to his feet, taking the few steps that was needed to reach his 'meal', he was soon bent down to pick it up.

"Of course...porridge again.." Plague muttered bitterly.

His growling stomach made him wince before he took a seat on his straw bed. It was better than nothing he supposed..though he shuddered as the taste hit his tongue.

"Oh gods....why is it always cold..." Plague groaned.

Despite his distaste for cold porridge; and porridge in general at this point. Plague easily finished, downing the substance as he tried to ignore the terrible taste. Still, he gave a few coughs when he had finished it. His stomach still growled and a sigh left him. The man was pretty sure that at this point, maybe those people were going to see if his curse could starve him despite eating something...cruel buggers.


Offline Axl

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The sudden voice breaking the young man’s questing gaze from the unfathomable depths of the night sky. The voice gave no discernable indicators as to its source, gender, age or intent. A simple question, an observation and a command. The magic from the lamp’s light erupted and drifted to the floor below, leaving four doors in their wake. Larger than an ordinary man with the Imbued’s star engraved into the wood as if sunken in by a stamp. The young man peered at each of the doors as if he was studying sculptures in the Great Museum of Da’vernelia.

The door furthest to the left cried blue streaks of magic from the star and gave off a scent of salt and sorrow. Something terrible had happened behind that door, continues to happen and wants to add more company to its almost malleable misery. The door on its right burned with orange magical sparks as if the existence of it in the mortal realm excited it to its wooden core. As giddy as a schoolboy seeing his first naked woman. With the scent of pungent body odour, any happenings behind that door would be neverending and potentially life-draining.

The far-right door oozed with slimy green magic that puddled at its feet and smelled of a decaying forest plagued with rot. Anything moving behind that door would be fuelled by envious hunger for the living. The final door’s magic shimmered translucently like a desert mirage brought on by dehydration and heatstroke. An air of uncertain reality and begrudging existence radiated from the star as if it wasn’t sure it belongs or exists in this time and space. Whatever went on behind that door might be unsubstantial at best, which made it the best choice out of the four.

The other three would certainly provide undo emotion and tribulations for the young man. With an inkling of being watched and judged he reached out, opened the shimmering door and walked through the wooden archway. Appearing on the other side of the door the young man turned and look at the backside of the other three doors. Their tainted magic, uninviting and raw with emotion was no longer greedy for his attention. The night sky hiding the ceiling from view had dissipated during his first test. In its place was a forest floor overgrown with moss, fungi and wooden debris.

 As the young man admired the scenery he began to fall towards the ground. Before a shout of alarm could escape his bewildered lips the greenery had become intimate with his face and sudden darkness rolled across his vision. Holding on to a fleeting consciousness the young man heard a distant growl raw with hunger. With a fear gripped heart and addled mind he tried to stand but was met with a betrayal most profound, his body decided a nap was paramount.


Offline readlliea

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 "We must do something with...it..." A voice within a different chamber remarked.

"In agreement we are, but what can be done? Removing their affliction has thus far failed and consumed too many resources." another questioned.

It was a predicament but a agreement seemed to be made. As much as they knew that keeping Plague contained was a wise choice, they decided that they needed to learn more of this affliction. With the youth choosing one of the lesser doors, it was only fitting that they gave him something....to make it less safe. After all, magic was wild and could reshape itself on a whim. One minute, it could be tame and calm, the next it would be wild and enraged. Corrosive or just unwilling to be commanded. Magic was strange, fickle. So there were no true safe roads when learning to use it or even when you had years of commanding it under your belt.

The door to the dungeon groaned open and the sound of footsteps came in, heavier....Plague knew this time it wasn't the one coming back for the bowl and spoon from his 'meal'. Sure enough the hooded figures with their signature robes were there, two of em to be exact though one was holding the heavy robe that Plague always wore. His brows narrowed as he suspected the mask was just under the fabric.

"So..what's all this then? Normally I don't get to eat when you want me in that thing." Plague questioned

"YOu have a test, to prove you truly aren't one of the creatures..." they started but were swiftly interrupted.

"Look I told you already I'm not and how this happened, I'm not whatever you're looking for. But you refuse to listen to anyone but those in your club."

"We are not a club!" the one holding the heavy robe snapped back.

"ENOUGH!" the other shouted, a feeling of pressure in the air. "You have one chance and while I despise the very thought of it, you will done your guise and stay within the grounds."

With that the heavy robe was teleported into the cell and landed with a thump on Plague's legs. The heavy material felt even colder than the stone in this damned room. Slipping this thing on was draining, his weak body honestly didn’t care for it. Still the tone was one and several heavy breaths left him. Wincing as he felt the magic grip onto him, making him stiffer as the material tried to ensure it would hold if he changed. There was just one final piece and he was dreading it.

Sure enough, Plague spotted that blasted mask materilizing on the other side of the bars. Thin brows narrowed as he watched the wizard reach for the cell’s door. He didn’t want to wear that thing, he didn’t want to put up with feeling like his heart was going to burst….what could he do?

“Wait!” Plague shouted, making the Imbued pause in their movements. “You say this is a test? What good is a test when you have me bound and chained through magical means? My problem was a experiment gone wrong that has changed me, your magic...that mask combined with this keeps it in. What way is that to test me? You’ve seen me countless times in this outfit with that mask on and nothing ever happens, what’s the point of me wearing it now?”

“To ensure the safety of the new arrival and to test….” the imbued started.

“No. You’re just doing it cause you lot are just being lazy and having me do your tour of boredom, aren’t you?” Plague folded his arms, glaring at the so-called wizards before him. “You want to test me? Fine, but it’s not a test if you put on the main safety block that prevents the potential issue from even stirring.”

He was right and Plague knew that these oh so powerful people weren’t pleased with that. The Mask seemed to keep his magic contained, unable to rise to the surface. The cell door was opened and the mage holding the mask approached him, holding the mask to the prisoner for them to take.

“Very well, our test on you will be more than just seeing if you truly are one of those things. I’ll let you figure out what the other parts of it will be.” They instructured, forcing Plague to take the mask before teleporting him outside.

Plague landed on his rear on the grass, a stunned expression on his face as he sat there. The cool air hit his skin, his bare feet felt the blades of grass for the first time in months, and he slowly directed his gaze downward. It was real….real grass. He was...outside...outside of that accursed cell. The shout of alarm hit his ears and he looked over his shoulder, noticing the door closing itself before vanishing and right in front of where it used to be, was some youth. Plague’s stomach growled painful, making him wince as he took in a small breathe. Alright, they clearly fell...what was around here? Shoving the mask into a pocket within his robe, the man studied the various plants.

Swiftly he found the herbs he wanted, plucking them from the planet they grew from. He rolled the mixture in his hands as he walked over to the young man and knelt down. For a moment, Plague debated on using his magic to make this more effective but he didn’t want to risk losing himself so soon. With the mixture in a ball the size of a coin, he held it near the youth’s nose so the powerful order would reach them.

“Wake up, I don’t think this is a wise place to sleep at.” Plague instructed, rolling the herbal ball around to make sure the smell couldn’t be ignored.

Smelling salts in a way, only it was through plantlife.


Offline Axl

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The village of Freunt lay at the base of a mountainous hill deep in Glendale Forest. The villagers of Freunt lived off the land and seldom had villagers. They hunted deer, cut trees, grew wheat and barley, kept wolves away from their farm animals and held harvest festivals at each season change. For years their village prospered and was mostly left alone by the world outside their forest. Children grew into adults, adults grew into seniors and seniors grew into worm fodder. The circle of life, the routine of existence. Adults taught their children how to fill their shoes when it was their turn to take to the rocking chair out front and watch the kids frolic in the fields and village square.

Maximilian Shepard, the second son of Drake and Sherril Shepard, did not fit the shoes of his ancestors, at least the ones talked about. While his family kept a watch on the village’s farm animals and chased off any predators. Max would be on the rooftops chasing squirrels, birds and other woodland creatures. Rumours spread through the village that he was dropped on his head, that he was swapped at birth by a malicious forest sprite, that he didn’t belong and would bring ruin to Freunt. Maximilian ignored the gossip as easily as he ignored his parent’s commands to heed their ways and do what was expected of him.

They couldn’t see what Max saw, the countless threads and bubbles in everything around them. Once he tried to explain what he saw to his father, the belt was more understanding. His mother cried at each leathery snap, Max was more focused on the black beads that filled his vision. Being ostracized in a small village left the child socially inept and meek. So when the travelling merchant arrived, Max had stared a little too long at the merchant’s daughter. This time the beating wasn’t leathery or fatherly. Max had never felt such anger as the fists and boots connected with his body. Breaking his nose and ribs, his spirit broken when he caught a glimpse of his family watching as still as the forest trees.

The town healer tended to his bodily wounds but had nothing to fix his spirit. Years passed by and Max had stopped chasing the woodland creatures, had stopped talking to his family and was slowly fading away internally. Rumours of monsters and bandits soon reached the small village, though no one believed them or if they did. They wouldn’t reach Freunt so far from civilized life even the gods have forgotten them. Strangers arrived during the summer festival and were welcomed with open arms. Arms that soon were chopped off, stewed and devoured by the monsters in human skin.

Max had been locked in the townhall’s wine cellar, kept from prying eyes and social interaction. For his own good, they said, if only they knew how true that a statement that was. There Max sat and listened to the screams, smelt the smoke and heard the inhumane laughter. Untold days crawled by as Max survived off the wine and cured meat, hoping someone would be alive to remember he was down there.  The supply of candles had not lasted long enough, Max feared he’d never see sunlight again and if he did, he’d be permanently blinded.

Eventually, the sound of the hatch being opened accompanied by sunlit ash drifted through his slumbering mind. Clothed boots on creaky wooden steps gave way to a robed being that searched the cellar with hungry eyes. The disappointment at the lack of food and drink evident in the man’s defeated sigh. Max tried to stay quiet and still but the smell of ashes tickled his nose and a sneeze began to threaten his location. As hard as he tried to prevent an involuntary betrayal, he sneezed. The sudden sound caused the startled man to draw his weapon “Reveal thyself!” the man’s voice was stern and commanding. Max saw more than heard the words, beads of colour bounced around the room until they found him. His body moved without his permission and walked towards the robed figure

The robed man gave Max a weighing stare and gestured around him “Nothing left?” Max shook his head and kept his gaze focused on the ground. What little he saw of the man was riddled with multi-coloured threads, beads and droplets. The smell of weary hunger and exhaustion curled off him like smoke from a fire. “Where might food be?” the man’s stare seemed to burn a hole into the young man’s head and steal the information he sought. Max opened his mouth to speak but coughed, his throat and lips as dry as the wine cellar.

Realizing he wasn’t going to get anything useful from the young adult the robed man walked back up the stairs and into the remnants of the townhall. Max followed at a safe distance bracing himself for the harsh sunlight that was denied him for countless hours. Walls that once gave housed beautifully carved scenes of hunting were charred and blackened. Max followed the robed man outside of the building and stared in awe at the village he once called home. Buildings lay in charred remains, festival decorations trampled into the ground and bodies serving as meals for the woodland creatures who had no qualms about eating the dead.

Max licked his lips in an effort to find his voice “Where...where can I go?” his cracked voice drifted softly on the morning wind to the robed man. Who turned and looked at Max thoughtfully “One would say go home but” the man gestured around him “Home is gone”


Max was yanked out of his memory-filled dream by the most pungent smell he ever had the displeasure of coming in contact with. “Ugh, that’s, that’s, guh” he swatted the hand holding the herb away from him as he sat up and looked around. The forest he had seen above him was now all around him. Vine plagued trees surrounded the small clearing, sounds of birds and other woodland creatures drifted on the gentle breeze. Above the trees, a distant domed building could be seen. After the young man had caught his bearings and was awake enough to remember the smell that woke him, he stood and looked at the man beside him.

Clothed in what appeared to be a heavy black robe and something causing one of its pockets to bulge. “Uh, hi?”
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 12:59:19 PM by Axl »


Offline readlliea

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The herbal ball flew from his hand and the slight feeling of pain went through his hand, due to how thin he was it was easy to make pain and even a bruise. Though Plague didn't care, it was a simple thing to recreate, not even five minutes to make. So he was fine with the one herbal ball rolling away. The gaunt man watched the younger one start to get up, not making a single move as he didn't want to freak them out. Thankfully, they didn't seem to freak out any further. Good.

"Hello." Plague greeted, finally starting to stand up as well. "You alright? Does your head or anything else hurt? You might've fallen, I'm not sure. So it's best to figure out if anything is amiss before you move too much."

After all, movement could affect their condition and that wouldn't be good. Sure with his magic, he'd be able to make sure that the young man would survive and heal em. But then he could also lose control. His stomach growled loudly and a look of pain tugged at Plague's thin face. Pressing a hand against his stomach, he took a unsteady breathe. Granted....he wasn't sure on how long he was going to hold out without finding something else.

"Pretty sure you don't have any food..." Plague muttered to himself as he let his gaze roam around the foliage and plant life around him.

Some herbs and plants could be eaten without having to have a medical reason. Heck, you can even eat dandelions.....it was going to take a lot of those to do anything or him though. And that's if the stuck up buggers allowed the weed to even grow near the castle, let alone in it's walls.



Offline Axl

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The young man looked at the midafternoon sky above him, watching the puffy clouds roll by and contemplated the question; you alright?. “For now, I seem to be,” Max said to the robed man distractedly. The longer Max looked at the sky the more wrong it seemed; a greener blue, the clouds a dirtier white, the midafternoon light a touch hazy and lacking of a sun. “Wherever here is, it isn’t where there was” the young man spoke to the air around him as if it asked a question. His gaze lowered from the sky and focused on the distant dome, the seemingly only structure in their immediate vicinity.

“You can call me Max and I’m headed to that dome” he looked at the robed man and pointed in the building’s direction. “You can stay or follow” the young man didn’t wait for a response before walking into the forest. The vines that decorated the space between the trees obstructed the young man’s route into the forest. Max’s attempts to rip the vines from his way were met with resistance, the vines were thick and green with health and weren’t willing to part ways with itself. Frustrated the young man sighed and began to look for something that could be used as a tool.

The clearing he found himself and the robed man in was void of natural debris, as if something had swept the area clean before their arrival. The idea of climbing around the vines brought images of being snared and held captive for something’s dinner. “We should find something to eat, we could be here a while,” Max said loud enough for the robed man to hear him and for his words to echo through the forest. Undoubtedly alerting any nearby inhabitants to their existence and location.