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Mar 18, 2019 7:36 PM
Yvette and James in Tyria
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Vetareh isn't sure how this mess happened. It shouldn't have happened, if everyone involved had been following appropriate safety protocols, it wouldn't have. What she does know is that she is in the unenviable position of being the smartest mesmer available to attempt to disentangle this catastrophe, and...

Well, to be quite honest, she's not sure what to do. She's not entirely sure what it's doing. Clearly someone was trying to create some kind of transportation method, but it's all... warped and twisted and tangled. Crucial seconds tick by as she stands in indecision, and it twists itself further into knots. It's not clear how to safely untangle it. It's not clear how to unsafely untangle it. It's not actually clear how to disrupt it at all. She risks making it worse by meddling without any proper understanding.

Then it... blurbles strangely. Oh. Oh, that's a bad sign. She doesn't know what it's a sign of, but she is smart enough to know it's bad.

"You know what," she says, feeling like she really should have said this earlier, "I cannot fix this. Everybody out."

She goes to follow her own advice, but there's a gaggle of idiots in the way, and she has a split second to curse each and every one of them for their inane desire to look at dangerous out of control magic. Then there is a bright flash of light and a strange feeling of sliding, like she's slipping down into a muddy ditch. But she's not going down, is she, she's going sideways

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She's definitely somewhere else.

Hard, uneven stone can be felt but not seen underneath her feet, hidden by a thick, low fog spreading everywhere. Light comes from something akin to a moon, its blue light filtered through clouds that cover the entire sky. The landscape around Vetareh seems to be nearly unbroken sameness, with the occasional dead tree the exception that proves the rule. She can't see that far, though; even if not as thick as the fog covering the ground, there's a thin mist everywhere that blurs and covers the more distant parts of the landscape. Through the mist, she can spot mountains in one direction, and what might be ruins but might also be a village in the other.

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She glances around herself with slowly growing alarm. Is. Is she dead? She doesn't feel very dead. Just to check, she glances down at herself, and—nope, flesh and blood, pulse and everything. Okay. So she's... not dead. So that's one set of good news for the day. Except, well, actually death might be a bit more solvable. It's not like there haven't been accidents before, and her parents would certainly make sure she was resurrected. This... might not be so easily solvable. She thinks she might just be in the Mists. The Mists are not precisely known for being what one might call 'navigable.' Or what one might call 'safe.' But maybe she's not in the Mists. Maybe she's just in a very boring, very samey, very flat, very misty... no it's the Mists. It's definitely the Mists.

First order of business: no, there is no leftover weird magic phenomenon on this side of the weird magic phenomenon. Damn. There goes the faint hope of just being able to jump back through and go home. No other apparent easy solutions are making themselves known to her.

For a few seconds she tries to think of one anyway, then decides that standing around indecisively didn't exactly help her the last time she tried it. The ruins-or-village might perhaps be promising. Hesitantly, she begins walking toward it, trying not to make a sound. Trying not to breathe too loudly. It might not help, but it makes her feel slightly better. Something to manage instead of just her completely justified bubbling panic.

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It turns out to be fairly easy to not make sounds - the air is unnaturally still, and the fog seems to absorb sound better than it by rights should. Her steps sound hollow and muffled, and she herself can barely hear her own breathing.

As she approaches the structure, it becomes clear that they are in fact ruins - few enough buildings that this is either only a displaced fraction of a settlement, unfamiliar architectural style and all, or a simple roadstop that might be more common farther into the continent than in her country of origin.

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Great.

Okay, what does she have on her. Her scepter, her knife, clothes, boots, some money. No water or container for water (does she need to eat and drink while she's wandering the Mists? she doesn't know.) so she's going to need to try to find one of those. Then, hopefully some kind of food. If she turns out not to need to eat and drink while wandering the Mists, then they're for when she gets out of the Mists. She does not by any stretch of the imagination believe that she will be lucky enough to wander back into Tyria in Orr. She'd consider it lucky if she landed in Ascalon, or even Elona. Or anywhere in her world at all, really.

Cautiously, she begins looking through the ruins for things that a person wandering the Mists might perhaps want to have. Do these ruins have anything of that sort available?

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No. These ruins seem to be ancient enough that anything of the sort that could have survived whatever event brought their destruction about would long since have rotted off or gotten broken, lost, or stolen. A tall stone archway lies half-crumbled on top of what might have been a house but could as well have been a commercial building of some sort; what was probably once a plaza is now only a mostly-circular open space with the vague memory of a fountain in the centre. There are no living plants, here, but evidence of wild growth abounds on the dark walls and scattered debris; possibly the Mists neglected to transport them in this echo, when it did.

And then, in the edge of hearing - a scraping sound, no louder than a whisper, with periodic pauses just long enough to maybe lead her to believe she'd imagined it all along.

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Well, that's about what she expected, really, but the Mists are weird, so it was worth checking. 'Try to find useful things to salvage' is a set of habits she would like to do more of. It could get her useful things that could keep her alive in or out of the Mists, and it's something to do that will keep her from going mad from wandering aimlessly in the Mists. Good things all around. As long as it doesn't get her eaten by something dangerous, anyway.

She freezes when she hears the scraping sound. Speaking of something dangerous. That doesn't sound like the sort of sound a portal might make. That sounds like the sort of sound a dangerous denizen of the Mists might make. While she can defend herself, she'd really rather not. On the other hand, she'd like to know what sorts of creatures she might get ambushed by in the future. Maybe she can get some more information about what's going on and then sneak away. At the very least, knowing where the thing is will aid her in sneaking away from it.

Her knife's reflective; a pretty (and practical) thing polished to a mirror shine. Key word there being 'mirror.' She draws it, slides closer to the nearest wall, edges quietly to a corner, and carefully turns the blade to look around the corner.

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The mirror shows her... nothing, beyond the ruins she's already been exploring. Now that she's close enough, if she adjusts for how strangely sounds propagate in this place, the sound is very definitely coming from something she should be able to see through the mirror. It continues, stopping and resuming at regular intervals, and sounding like it's moving away from her.

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Okay. That's terrifying, and she kind of wants to curl up in a corner and have herself a very quiet cry, but okay.

She thinks she'd like to stay right where she is until the sound goes away. That sounds like the thing to do that will not attract the attention of the whatever-it-is. She will be so very quiet and patient and watchful for ambushes.

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It takes a while to go away; it's very very slow.

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Slow is good, objectively speaking. It means that it's less likely for her to get ambushed by a fast thing. It means that if she gets chased she might be able to outrun it. It means that the thing is probably not suspecting anything is strange or wrong, and there's no reason for it to speed up. Slow is good.

... But also incredibly, indescribably boring. There's not even anything interesting to look at, she's just. Here. In a misty, boring expanse, hiding behind some ruins and jumping at shadows. Even the terror gets a bit dull, after a while. She clamps down on the urge to fidget with her knife, her clothes, her hair, her scepter. Damn her inability to sit still. It very well might get her killed. She has the sneaking suspicion that things in the Mists are very patient. Too much impatience might very well lead her right into a trap. Then again, that very fact means that she's not going to win in a contest of patience, either. Maybe she should treat her impatience and sense of time as an asset to be taken care of, not a thing to be suppressed.

Maybe she's just thinking herself into knots because she's scared and alone and in an indescribably strange and dangerous place.

Eventually, impatience wins out. Her own sanity is an important, precious resource. People go mad from wandering in the Mists. She is not going to stay sane by doing... whatever it is that she's doing. There is clearly nothing she wants in these ruins, so that settles that. Time to go. She can just... sneak away from the scraping noise. Somehow she doesn't think it matters very much which direction she goes instead, as long as it is away.

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The sound does not meaningfully change when she starts moving, and eventually she's far enough away to be unable to hear it altogether.

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Good.

Okay, are there any landmarks that she can wander her way towards? She would like a change of scenery.

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Now that she's gone past the ruins the mists in that direction are thick enough to also cover the mountains she'd seen when she arrived. But other than that, no, there are no other discernible landmarks. The dead trees seem to be fairly randomly spaced and not indicate anything other than an aesthetic.

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Wonderful.

She briefly considers trying to keep track of where she's been so she can navigate back to it if she needs to, but she suspects the Mists aren't going to stay still. Why would they do that? They're the Mists. (Very quietly, a voice in the back of her mind informs her that she's doomed. She resolutely ignores this voice. She's only doomed if she gives up.) There are no regular landmarks to navigate by, anyway. Probably best not to worry about it.

This decided, she picks a direction at near random and walks. Something will probably come up eventually.

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It takes a while. It's not clear how much of a while; after enough walking the ruins, too, disappear behind fog. The temperature is unchanging; neither cold nor warm, almost uncomfortably lacking in differences. The unevenness of the ground is random enough to eventually become dull, itself. The muffled, repetitive sounds of her steps might be enough to lull her to sleep, if her body felt the slightest inclination to get tired. It doesn't seem to. Her muscles are neither awake nor asleep, they merely are, which might be good if one plans to walk for a very long time without stop but feels as uncanny as the stillness of everything else. At times she is able to hear sounds, but they're rare enough and faint enough that those might, in fact, just be her brain playing tricks on her.

The first hint of change comes in the form of the sound of her footsteps getting slightly less muffled, with a slightly different clacking than what it's been.

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So that's the 'does she even need to eat' problem sorted. She does not need to eat. Or drink. Or sleep. Just as well. It's not like there's much to salvage here. What a silly thought that turns out to have been. All there is to do is walk, or not. Go towards what might be sounds, or not. Just to mix it up a little, she changes her mind on which it'll be. It doesn't really change anything. As she's rapidly discovering, the tales of dangerous things in the Mists are the exception, not the rule. Mostly the Mists are just... very boring. Very dull. Very themselves. There's nothing to do. She can sit down and cry, and does so sometimes, but it's hardly very fulfilling. Or she can walk.

She does quite a lot of walking. She has no way to know how much, she doesn't have the patience to count her steps or count her heartbeats. She instead lets her mind drift off into amusing itself with logic puzzles of her own creation. Or the minutiae of songs half-remembered, or the layout of the streets of Arah, or her own home, or the college that she studied at. She thinks of stories her parents told her, of their time in the Guild Wars, of how the sacred streets of Arah had run red with blood, how they'd left and helped and decided to stay. Eventually, despite her reservations towards attracting attention, she starts toying with magic, creating little idle illusions to break up the monotony. That proves to be the best of the lot, with puzzles that stay still when she's not looking at them and don't change on a mind's idle whims.

The fear bleeds away. The anger at the idiots that caused this fate bleeds away. Her nervousness towards meeting unfortunate denizens of the Mists bleeds away. If anything, that last one sounds kind of interesting, at least it'd be something to do. She wonders, idly, if everything she feels is just going to fade into a general apathy, if the only thing she'll care about is stopping this unending monotony. She wonders how long she's been here. It's not like she knows. Less idly, she wonders if she should stop. She does have her knife, and she's starting to think she'd rather be in the Underworld than this fucking place. Would Grenth catch her if she died here? Or would she just wander some more in the Mists, her fate ultimately unchanged? She doesn't know, so she doesn't entertain the thought for very long.

What she does know is that she doesn't want this to be her end. She doesn't want to be the girl who killed herself in the Mists because going on was too dull. She wants to claw her way out of this godsforsaken place, breathe real air again, move her limbs and feel them tire, to hear the unmuffled sound of her feet beneath her and the breaths from her lungs and the wind around her. She wants to see something other than mist. Wants to talk to someone besides herself. Wants to hear song and dance to it and smile and laugh and be held by someone, anyone, and see her parents again, and see Arah again, and, and, and—

She goes on.

And on.

And on.

And then

The sound changes. At first she thinks it might be her imagination finally beginning to unravel into madness, but—no. No, she's not imagining that, or if she is, it would break her heart not to act upon it. She sucks in a breath, and then she seizes the moment. She fumbles to the coins at her hip; who cares if she's without money at the end of this, she'll be out of the Mists. Which way is the sound getting less muffled, if she throws these coins in these directions which way makes the most noise?

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Straight ahead, apparently. And the light in that direction seems slightly - bluer? No, the light itself is actually whiter, the ground reflecting it seems to be bluer.

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Forget caution, forget self preservation, if running straight towards the light is going to get her killed then good, at least she won't have to live for another eternity regretting not going towards it, like the mountain or the scraping sound—

She sprints.

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Definitely different! The ground is harder and the unevenness more - purposeful. Actually if she's not careful she might just trip on a bit of ground that looks just a tiny bit too much like an ocean wave.

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Okay, good, purposeful is good—she trips, and corrects herself, and keeps moving, she has no idea how long this phenomenon will last, she has no idea if it's a way out or not. Please be a way out. Please let this end. If it isn't, then—then she still wants to sprint towards it, at least it's more interesting than everywhere else she's been to. But please be a way out. Please. Pleasepleaseplease, Dwayna, Lyssa, anyone, anyone at all that can hear her and listen and get her out, please, let this be a way out.

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If it's a way out, it's not obviously so. The fog covering the ground remains, but the mist in the air starts dissipating, and she can see farther away. She seems to be standing on a frozen sea, turned to jade somehow. There are ruins of ships stuck in it, pieces of them frozen forever in the stone. She can even see, if she looks, sea life, encased in and preserved by the jade.

Sea life that's familiarly Tyrian.

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Well now she kind of just wants to collapse to her knees to cry from relief. She decides she can do that later, she needs to not die of exposure on a sea of—jade? Why would there be a sea of jade? Whatever, doesn't matter, she doesn't care, she's out she's out she's out

Is there some kind of, of landmark, in this strange jade sea, some direction that will get her towards people?

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There's... voices? That's definitely voices, a bit distant but not too much.

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Aaaaaa yes talking talking people people yes please—

She is going in the direction of the voices. Yep. That's a thing she's doing right now.

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There are people, yep. And... turtles. A couple of very, very large ones, carrying cannons on their shells, and a bunch of smaller ones being escorted.

"...with us," one of them is saying. "We'll need all the help we can get."

Another one - he has what's recognisably a necromancer's Flesh Golem following him - replies: "Your fight is my fight."

"Watch yourself out there. The Kurzicks are a dastardly bunch."

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