You look between the two of them, taking in their bickering and lick your lips. \n\n"Hey, can I ask you guys a question?" you say. \n\n"Yeah," Geoff says. "Shoot."\n\nYou point to Geoff and Mercer respectively, and say, "So, I seriously hope you don't mind me asking, but..." You pause. "Are you two...a thing? Are you like, together?"\n\n"What?" Mercer says. You run your fingers through your hair before finally saying, "Are you two gay?"\n\n[[Swallow nervously and wait for their response.|Wait]]
You look between him, and before you stop yourself, you blurt, "Are you two gay?"\n\n[[Freeze and panic, hoping you didn't offend them.|Wait]]
Geoff nods. "I hate to say it, but Mercer's right. It's a Drakken."\n\nYou swallow. You've heard of Drakkens before. [[There's an article on them in the book you purchased,|Drakken article]] and they're numerous in campfire tales. \n\n[["You're kidding, right? Right?"|Kidding]]
"Sounds good," you say, and you suddenly realize you have much more to say than that. "But if you guys think I'm some little kid who is in way over her head, or doesn't know what she's doing, or is expecting way too much, or disillusioned or something, then you better hand me back my money now, because you need to get that I'm dead serious about this."\n\nYou startle even yourself, and Geoff looks bemused. Mercer's silently asking you where the hell that came from. \n\nSuddenly, Geoff laughs and claps your shoulder. "I knew I'd like you. Remind me of yourself when I was your age."\n\n"Yeah, and how long ago was that?" Mercer quips. Geoff scowls at him. \n\n"Shut up, Mercer," he mutters. \n\n[[Hint at what's on your mind.|Hint]]\n[[Blurt it out.|Blurt]]
Geoff shakes his head. "No. And I'd hate to think that one's woken up." He shakes his head. "We're too little for it to care about us. Let's just keep going."\n\nYou like that idea. However, Mercer goes back to looking at the sky. \n\n"C'mon," Geoff says, tugging on his sleeve. "Mercer, let's go."\n\nMercer jumps and turns back to him. "What? O-oh, yeah."\n\n[[Try to start a conversation.|Start talking]]
You're violently awoken by banging at your door. "Up and at 'em, kid!" a voice unmistakably Geoff's bellows. "We got stuff to do!"\n\nSlightly indignant at being awoken in that manner, you walk over to the door (still in a state of half-undress), opening it and demanding, "Is that any way to wake up a girl?" You suddenly pray that he takes it in the joking way it was meant. When he does, you let out a deep breath. \n\n"You're gonna have to get used to it," he chuckles, but then he wrinkles his nose. "And put some clothes on, would you?"\n\nYou walk over to your bag. \n\n[[Ask what you're doing next.|Ask about next]]
You bring your knife up to your shoulder, trying to hold it as if you know what you're doing.\n\n"What the hell was that?" you demand, knowing that if you were any closer to the city, you would be able to hear the commotion from inside. \n\nMercer swallows deeply, and says, "That was a Drakken." And, when he sees your knife, he says, "And there's no need for that."\n\n[["Drakken?"|Drakken]]
A motion born of fear, you step behind Geoff just as the howling of the creature intensifies. And you see Mercer lunge forward, terrifyingly fast as the two creatures meet in a clash of fangs and claws. From behind Geoff, you can barely see the creature, other than its short fur and the huge tusks that rip and tear through its own flesh and bone. \n\nYour knife suddenly feels terribly inadequate. \n\nThe Rekker--you assume it's a Rekker, there's no time to think if it's a Sorgen--lets out a horrible yowl as it shoves Mercer away from it, ripping into the scales on Mercer's neck, blood trailing down his throat. \n\nGeoff grabs your arm, pulling you violently to the side as the blade of his machete collides with the Rekker's neck. It slices through the flesh and bone with ease, until it catches on the spine and sticks. The Rekker's eyes go dull, and it slumps onto the dirt road, blood pooling around its body. \n\nYou're left to stare at the body, knife in hand as Geoff shouts, "Mercer!" and runs to him.\n\n[[Go to Mercer.|Go to Mercer]]
"The Rael family is bizarre due to the fact that despite not having a Biest, and, therefore, no patron, the class does include a Sorgen. Known for their warlike nature and incredible mental abilities in relation to other Rekker, the Rael is definitely a creature to be feared.\n\n''Characteristics''\nRael are typically the size of a large human. While Sorgen are born (due to their ability to take human form), actual Raelrekker are made through a ritual performed by other Rael. Rekker resemble human skeletons pieced together with small bits of sinew and flesh, and are commonly mistaken for the entirely-fictional zombie. \n\nRaelsorgen are rare, as many are reclusive due to their overly violent nature.\n\n''Habitat''\nDue to Raelrekker not being truly alive, they can live almost anywhere, and are particularly dangerous in the deserts. Raelsorgen are known to take up occupations as Hunters in order to curb their violent appetites. \n\nHunter Rating: X3\n\n[[Back|Talk relationship]]
You pull your knife out of your bookbag, just holding it in your hand as you see Geoff's hand resting on the hilt of his blade. Neither of them seem to notice, as Geoff is busy fretting over the cracked scales on Mercer's cheek. \n\nHowever, Mercer eventually tells him to piss off and that they "better start walking if we want to get anywhere today."\n\n[[Start walking|Walk]]
Geoff murmurs some sort of soothing babble as he helps Mercer to stand, checking over his shoulder to make sure that there are no other Rekker around. You can hear Mercer wheezing, the scales on his neck punctured and shattered. \n\n"It's okay," Geoff whispers. "I've got you, it's okay, I'm here."\n\nGeoff looks over at you to make sure you're okay before almost-frantically looking over Mercer's neck to make sure anything important wasn't severed. \n\n"Are...are you okay?" you ask, looking over at them. \n\n"He'll be fine," Geoff says. "He's breathing at least." That's obvious--Mercer's chest is rising and falling like he's hyperventilating. "Help me."\n\n[[Help Geoff with Mercer.|Help Geoff]]
You look behind you at the market and ponder over it for a while. \n\n"No," you say after a while. "Not even close."\n\nGeoff stands from the bench and puts a hand on your shoulder. There's iron behind his grip.\n\n"We'll do everything you can in order to make sure you make it back home," he says. Mercer collects his bag, glancing over at the two of you. \n\n"Yeah," you say. "Thanks."\n\n[[Go to the city gates.|Go to gate]]
You walk into the magic's shop, the bell above the door jingling as you do so. The man behind the counter welcomes you, and you suddenly realize that this man is definitely a Sorgen in disguise. It's strange, but you smile politely at him. He smiles back, and the sharpness of his teeth affirms your suspicions. \n\nYou don't buy anything--everything is far too expensive, and it would be bad form to not give at least a little bit of this money back to Geoff. But you allow yourself to marvel at the wonderfulness of some of the things inside.\n\n[[Go to the food stalls.|Food stalls]]\n[[Go to the blacksmith's shop.|Blacksmith]]\n[[Go to the book seller.|Book seller]]\n[[Finish shopping.|Finish shopping]]
You hand Geoff the key to your room as he walks back over to the bartender. There's a new one on duty, and this one is a woman in her fifties. \n\n"Thank you," she says. \n\n"Welcome," Geoff says. "Sorry about the altercation yesterday."\n\n"It's fine," she says, taking the keys from him and hanging them up behind the counter. "Haven't had Hunters in here in a while, a few still haven't grasped the courtesy aspect." \n\n[[Ask about the 'altercation.'|Ask altercation]]
Geoff doesn't answer for a few seconds, as he's busy making sure Mercer's steady on his feet. Mercer looks at you, blood staining his chest and shirt. \n\n"This is the closest I've ever seen a Rekker to a human settlement," Geoff says, hand lingering on Mercer's arm. "Something is //very// wrong."\n\nEND CHAPTER TWO
Sorgen: Chapter Two
Yeah, a conversation would be nice, to take your mind off things. What do you talk about?\n\n[[Their families.|Talk family]]\n[[Their jobs.|Talk job]]\n[[Their relationshiop.|Talk relationship]]
Mercer and Geoff look at each other. After a second, Mercer's face goes completely and utterly red, and he slams his forehead against the wall. \n\n"We are," Geoff says, a bit more composed than Mercer. "Is that going to be an issue here?"\n\n"No," you say. "I mean, I was just curious. I..."\n\nGeoff shook his head. "I get it. Understandable. No offense taken."\n\n"Oh, thank God," you sigh. " Wasn't expecting that." You laugh. "And now I know not to flirt with you."\n\n[[Laugh again at Mercer's mortified expression.|Laugh at Mercer]]
"Drakkenbiest are large and reptilian and are the Biest patrons of Drakkenrekkers and Drakkensorgen. They are currently the largest known species of Biest, and are known for having the most recognizable Sorgen.\n\n''Characteristics''\nDrakken are absolutely massive creatures. When hatched, they are the size of a horse, and they grow continuously throughout their lifetimes. Due to their lack of a natural lifespan, Drakken have reached sizes of up to a twelve hundred feet tall. Most Drakken are a shade of green, grey, or brown, and that color lightens with age, the oldest being almost completely white. Drakken eggs are laid one at a time, and are hidden away in caverns or mountains. \n\nA Drakken can only be killed by rupturing one of its six false eyes, which lead directly to the brain.\n\n''Habitat''\nDrakken are known to live almost anywhere, but prefer warm climates with definite seasons. Hatchlings spent much of their time in old-growth forests, while adults prefer the Southern Wastes or the Dkaoi Mountains. \n\n''Hibernation''\nOnce Drakken reach a certain age--this age is unknown--they spend much of their lives in a state of hibernation. This hibernation is a blessing, for if they didn't, massive Biest the size of mountains would wipe out the human race. The easiest time to slay a Drakken is when it is in hibernation, and it cannot close its false eyes. \n\n''Domestication''\nDomesticating a Drakken is nigh impossible, but doing so is the source of many legends and stories. One story tells of a young woman who was present at a Drakken's hatching, and was immediately mistaken for the creature's own mother. \n\nHunter Rating: X5\n\n[[Back|Drakken]]
You walk through the city, none of you talking as there is nothing to speak of. Once you arrive at the gate, a guard stops Geoff. \n\n"Declare party and intention," the guard says. \n\n"Party of three," Geoff says. "Two Hunters plus client."\n\nThe guard glances between them, his gaze landing on Mercer. He frowns. \n\n"Identification, please."\n\nYou hear Geoff mutter a "seriously?" under his breath as you search for your ID card. You pull yours out, and the guard collects all three, holding them up to the light to see the watermark. He gives Mercer another suspicious look before handing the cards back. \n\n"Go on," he says. \n\n[[Go through the city gate.|Go through gate]]
"Why'd you become Hunters?" you ask.\n\nMercer looks down at the ground as he walks. "For me, it was a form of rebellion against my parents. For Drakkensorgen, they were pretty high up in the social ladder, and they wanted me to have some sort of job like a doctor or accountant or judge or something." He snorts. "I was smart enough for it, but, ah, sitting still all day isn't the best thing in the world for me."\n\n"I would imagine," you say. "I've always wanted to be a doctor, though."\n\n"Respectable," Mercer says. \n\n"Well, Geoff?" you say. "What about you?"\n\nGeoff shrugs. "It runs in the family."\n\n[[Their families.|Talk family]]\n[[Their relationshiop.|Talk relationship]]\n[[Finish talking.|Finish talking]]
You walk over, a bit dizzy and sick to your stomach, having to step over the dead Rekker to get to them. You put your knife in the strap of your backpack and help Mercer stand as Geoff wipes away the blood and tries his best to bandage up the wound without suffocating him. \n\nEven though Mercer's okay, and you let him go to stand on his own, Geoff still looks worried. \n\n[["What's wrong?|Ask what's wrong]]
"Really?" Mercer says. "Most people go for disgusting." He looks down at his clawed hands. "Sorry if you don't like it. It's just better to be safe so I don't have to worry about shifting later if I really have to."\n\nYou still think it's pretty creepy.\n\n[[Notice the massive cracks on the scales on Mercer's cheek.|Mercer's cheek]]
You walk to the clock tower a little before the half-hour is up, not wanting to be late. Your bag is a little fuller than it had been, and you feel a bit better for it. Geoff and Mercer are already there, however, chatting. At Geoff's side is a weapon that wasn't there before, with a hefty, leather-wrapped handle and a thick, heavy blade made for sheer strength along with precision. \n\n"You ready?" Mercer asks.\n\n[[Yes.|Youre ready]]\n[[No.|Not ready]]
"As ready as I'll ever be," you say, gaining a chuckle from Geoff. He and Mercer stand from the bench, shifting their own bags. \n\n[[Go to the city gates.|Go to gate]]
When your conversation falls into a lull, something else fills the void.\n\nIt's a deep, gutteral growl, low in the throat and far in the forest. You hear yourself squeak, hand tightening around your knife so harshly that your knuckles go white. Geoff pulls his blade from its sheathe, a two-foot machete with a terrifyingly thick blade. And Mercer looses every bit of humanity he had, hunching over and his lips curling up to give an answering growl, just as loud and just as deep. \n\n"Stay," Geoff tells you.\n\n[[Move behind Geoff.|Move behind Geoff]]\n[[Stay still.|Stay still]]
The blacksmith's shop is at the end of the market, no doubt due to the heat and noise. It's labeled, in large letters, ASHER. A young woman is sitting at the counter, and behind her is a door leading into the forge itself. A young man is working at the anvil, and he's talking that Geoff and Mercer? Huh. The market's pretty small, so you're not surprised to bump into them. Mercer notices you and nods his acknowledgment. You nod back, and buy a knife and sharpening stone from the lady behind the counter. Compared to the bulk of Geoff and Mercer's weapons, it's not much, but you'll take what you can get. \n\n[[Go to the food stalls.|Food stalls]]\n[[Go to the magic's shop.|Magic shop]]\n[[Go to the book seller.|Book seller]]\n[[Finish shopping.|Finish shopping]]
"Yeah," you say to Mercer. "What was up with that, you going all lizard-man and everything? Who was that guy, anyway?"\n\nMercer chuckles. "Just somebody I know," he says. "He used to be a Hunter, and he's just an all-around asshole. Sorry you had to see that, really."\n\nThe apology sounds slightly patronizing, but you let it go. Geoff walks back over, and the three of you walk out the front door and onto the city streets.\n\n[[Go to the market.|Market]]\n
You're frozen to the spot as the howling of the creature intensifies. Mercer lunges forward, terrifyingly fast as the two creatures meet in a clash of fangs and claws. You can see each and every disturbing detail of the creature the creature, from than its short fur and down to the tusks that rip and tear through its own flesh and bone. \n\nYour knife suddenly feels terribly inadequate. \n\nThe Rekker--you assume it's a Rekker, there's no time to think if it's a Sorgen--lets out a horrible yowl as it shoves Mercer away from it, ripping into the scales on Mercer's neck, blood trailing down his throat. \n\nAnd then it sprints at...//you.// \n\nGeoff doesn't have nearly enough time to react. With Mercer bleeding out on the road and you barely out of arm's reach, the creature meets you with terrifying speed. \n\nYour inadequate knife does nothing.\n\nYOU ARE DEAD. \n\n[[Retry?|Finish talking]]
You look up at the sky, and so do Geoff and Mercer, paused and staring up at the blue-grey sky. There's a low droning in your ears that makes you want to grit your teeth. \n\n"What the hell was that?" you demand, knowing that if you were any closer to the city, you would be able to hear the commotion from inside. \n\nMercer swallows deeply, and says, "That was a Drakken."\n\n[["Drakken?"|Drakken]]
"Hey," you say. "What happened to your face?" \n\nGeoff seems to react more than Mercer. Mercer frowns and glances over as if he can somehow see his cheek, but Geoff leans over and takes Mercer's chin, turning his head gently. \n\n"Since when do you get punched in the face?" Geoff asks. Mercer shakes his hand away with a grimace. \n\n"Since we started staying in cities for more than three days," Mercer mutters. \n\n[[Get your knife out of your backpack.|Knife]]
The massive doors are wrenched open, and the three of you step through. \n\nThe world stretches out before you, and your breath catches with awe. Twisted trees rise high above you, branches interlocking like threaded fingers in an attempt to hide the blue-grey sky. The grass is dried and brown, growing through the light layer of ash. The dirt path is laid out in front of you, with a sign listing off various towns and Hunter outposts. A flock of birds is sitting in a tree, chirping and twittering. \n\n"Home sweet home," Geoff says.\n\nThere's a cracking noise from where Mercer's standing.\n\n[[Look in Mercer's direction.|Look at Mercer]]
You walk over to the food stalls--there's no such thing as too much food. You buy a loaf of bread that's easily stored in a smaller compartment of your backpack. Might help with the rough diet you're sure to go on outside of the city walls. You buy a canteen as well, making sure it's already full. Perfect.\n\n[[Go to the magic's shop.|Magic shop]]\n[[Go to the blacksmith's shop.|Blacksmith]]\n[[Go to the book seller.|Book seller]]\n[[Finish shopping.|Finish shopping]]
"So..." you say, drawing out the word. "What were your families like?"\n\nGeoff and Mercer glance at each other, and Mercer laughs nervously. Geoff reaches over to pat his shoulder. \n\n"Rough," Geoff says. "For both of us." He chuckles. "I mean, there's no other way that we could've gotten this messed up, killing things for a living." \n\n"Really?" you say. "I think you guys turned out fine."\n\n"That's a first."\n\n[[Their jobs.|Talk job]]\n[[Their relationshiop.|Talk relationship]]\n[[Finish talking.|Finish talking]]
And the three of you begin walking. \n\nTo be honest, you are nothing short of terrified. You take a glance behind you at the towering city gate, and wonder absently if this is the last time you'll ever see it. You're walking with Geoff on one side of you and Mercer on the other, and you feel safe. You fiddle with the knife in your hand. \n\nIt's eerily beautiful in the Outlands. The trees are ancient and ornate, and the ground rolls like frozen waves. For some reason, you expected Biest and Rekker from the get-go. And the fact that the only animals you've seen were a flock of birds doesn't calm you. In fact, it's just making you more uptight. \n\nFor a split second, the world becomes incredibly dark.\n\n[[Look up at the sky.|Look up]]\n[[Hold out your knife.|Hold knife]]
You pause for a second before asking, "What's it like, you know, being...together?"\n\nGeoff and Mercer look at you at the same time, and suddenly you feel very small. But you had no reason to fear, as Mercer just cocks his head ever-so-slightly to the side. \n\n"It's comforting," he says. "Having another Sorgen besides me around."\n\n"Wait," you say. "Geoff? You're a Sorgen?"\n\nHe gives Mercer a quick glare that only succeeds in making him laugh. "I guess you could say that," he says. "You know the [[Raelrekker?|Raelrekker article]] Well..." He snorts. "That's me. My other form isn't very pretty, and I'm not very fond of it."\n\n"Well, if it counts for anything," you say, "I think you're very pretty, Geoff."\n\n"Be careful," Geoff says. "Or Mercer'll get jealous."\n\n[[Their families.|Talk family]]\n[[Their jobs.|Talk job]]\n[[Finish talking.|Finish talking]]
"So what do you we do next?" you ask, pulling on some pants.\n\n"We go into town," Geoff says, "get some supplies, and head out of the city."\n\nYou've never been out of the city before, so the idea both terrifies and excites you. You're not even sure what it looks like out there. \n\nGeoff leans out into the hall and calls, "Mercer? You have some idea what we're doing, right?"\n\n"Yeah," Mercer says as he walks out of the room, handing one of the bags to Geoff and locking the door. \n\n[[Assure them you're not a baby.|Assure them]]
Standing in Mercer's place is the Sorgen you had seen for a split second at the tavern. His skin is covered in cracked, olive-colored scales, some mottled or broken. His eyes are pools of liquid gold, but you can feel them staring at you. His fingers don't end in nails but in ivory claws, teeth grown into fangs and large, off-gold plates running down his throat and what little you can see of his chest. \n\nWhen he sees you looking at him, he spreads his hands. "Well? Like it?"\n\n"You need to do this more often," Geoff chuckles. \n\n[["It's creepy."|Creepy]]\n[["It's pretty cool."|Cool]]
"What?" he says, glancing from Geoff to you. "Did you just say that?"\n\n"She's kidding," Geoff groans. \n\n"Still!" Mercer protests. "We're fifteen years older than her! Just..."\n\nGeoff pats Mercer's chest. "Buck up, let it go." You snort as Mercer gives you another strange look.\n\nThe two of you start downstairs, and you say to Mercer, "You know how great it is you two are gay, though?"\n\n"I can't imagine," Mercer mutters. "You don't..." He stammers for a second before shaking his head. "Alright, fine, just don't freak me out like that again. It's weird, alright?"\n\n"Alright," you agree. Geoff snorts. \n\n[[Hand Geoff the key to your room.|Hand Geoff key]]
The bookshop is a great place--you would come down here often when you had free time to browse the selection. You're sure that many books' spines are worn from your touch alone. The owner sees you, but doesn't say anything--you've never heard him speak before, anyway. \n\nYou find a strange, undated book about Sorgen, Biest, Rekker, and other monsters. It's incredibly dusty. You buy it, because you feel like you should brush up on these things now that you're involved with it.\n\n[[Go to the food stalls.|Food stalls]]\n[[Go to the magic's shop.|Magic shop]]\n[[Go to the blacksmith's shop.|Blacksmith]]\n[[Finish shopping.|Finish shopping]]
"Really?" Mercer says. "Most people go for disgusting." He looks down at his clawed hands. "At least you're not creeped out. I'll be staying like this for a good while, at least."\n\nYou don't mind. \n\n[[Notice the massive cracks on the scales on Mercer's cheek.|Mercer's cheek]]
You, Geoff, and Mercer make your way to the open-air market in the center of the city. It's early on a Saturday morning and bustling with people of all kinds. \n\nGeoff hands you a few gold coins. "Meet us back by the clocktower in half an hour, yeah?" he says. "Only what you really need, though. Can't be dragging around dead weight."\n\n[[Go to the food stalls.|Food stalls]]\n[[Go to the magic's shop.|Magic shop]]\n[[Go to the blacksmith's shop.|Blacksmith]]\n[[Go to the book seller.|Book seller]]\n