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The Battle Beneath (Tiffanian)

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    #76
    "Like dolphins?" Ilona asked, tilting her head a little. "Hm... I suppose you could use your mouth to make sounds that were sort of like the words as we think them. I've never tried before." The merchant chuckled at her as she asked him to come with her, denying her pretty quickly. Apparently there was only the one person left, someone who would speak her language anyway. "Only one, huh? That's sad. Have the formori really harassed the surface dwellers so badly that all of them are gone?" As they conversed she slipped the necklace over her head, looking down as it settled into her cleavage. A pretty cute pickup really. She had really had much that was flashy, or at least not that she had been allowed to wear most of the time, so it was nice.

    If that covered everything Ilona would bid the odd merchant farewell and head out to the rest of the market again, checking to see if there was anything on sale that would work as travel rations, perhaps something to strap to her to carry supplies with, and anything else that might suit her fancy.

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      #77
      Spoiler


      "Yes, a tragedy indeed... Perhaps when the formori are expunged from the sea, they will return?" The portly merchant replied, a chuckle echoing through the words. "Yes yes, all gone... All gone. Taken, beneath the surface. Some might live, if they have forced the taken mer to cooperate, but that I do not know."

      Departing from the merchant who had sold her the supposedly lucky necklace, Ilona could drift among the other mostly abandoned places where the people of Clyons had once done their trading. There wasn't much on offer, unfortunately, but she could pick up a few other things that might help her from a pair that had seemingly banded together to continue trading the waning supply of food available.

      Spoiler


      When her shopping was finished, however, Ilona was left with the choice of what she wanted to do next. She could simply go off, collecting Galo or leaving him to wait in the chambers they'd been gifted with, or go and see the guard captain Taron or Treyzine's apprentice, Aegea, if she wanted to reconnoiter with them first.
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        #78
        Ilona's expression grew downcast as the man mentioned the reason there was only one living person above the waves... The blasted formori, destroying all life in their path. She clenched her fist, replying "perhaps. I hope to see that day, when we can all live in peace and the formori are nothing but bones on the sea floor." She said her goodbyes then and swam off to look around the depressingly abandoned market. There were still a few shops that were selling what she wanted, though. Two coins fetched her a nice pack that would help her store her supplies, and four coins bought her plenty of rations, or so she hoped.

        That done she would head back to the house she had been allowed to use and fetched Galo, feeling a little bit of nervous embarrassment as she thought back to the seer's vision of their sexual exploits she had seen earlier. With him in tow she would head back to Aegea, wanting to discuss her next move with the two of them together.

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          #79
          Spoiler


          When finally she returned to the house she'd been allowed to stay in, Galo was initially nowhere to be seen. The octopus descended onto Ilona from above, having used his natural camouflage ability to hide in the corner over the door when she swam in. Ilona was briefly entangled and made to endure the multilimbed cephalopod's affectionate cuddling, including another brief bout of feeling his sucker-coated tendrils slipping under her bra to massage her breasts, before she headed to the home of the seer's apprentice with the octopus in tow.

          Aegea was home, drifting about her dwelling with the expected melancholy. The layout hadn't changed, and when Ilona entered she glanced at the warrior with a questioning expression but didn't immediately reach out and touch Ilona's mind with her own.
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            #80
            Ilona swam to the house and entered it, looking around for a moment. No sight of Galo... Well, she had told him that he could look for her if he felt like it. Maybe he was out wandering Clyons to find her. Of course, he was also an octopus... so really she could have been staring right at him without realizing it. Sure enough he had been hiding just over the door, and his falling on her shoulders jolted her a little bit in surprise. No more than she was used to from him, of course. His tentacles wrapped around her upper body, rubbing against her in a show of affection, even working their way beneath her bra and teasing her breasts. She let out a silent gasp into the water, opening up a mental connection with him. "You little devil you" she teased, playfully slapping one of the offending tentacles. "Come, we need to go see Aegea. I have something I want to discuss with you two" she continued, and off they went.

            The poor healer was just floating about her home when they found her, just as depressed and depressing as she had been last time. Illona added her to the mental connection she had kept up with Galo and looked between them, just a tiny bit apprehensive. "I've made a decision about my next course of action. I want to go to the surface, to find the last of the fae and enlist her help. There's no way Galo could come with me up there. Would it be alright if he stayed here with you until I returned?"

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              #81
              Spoiler


              Aegea's expression grew dubious as she glanced from Ilona to Galo, who was steadily floating downwards to settle near the floor. "Very well.... I will look after him while you are away... But please tell him to keep from doing any mischief! There are delicate things here that ought not be disturbed," Aegea replied, her gaze darting to one of her many shelves of valuable glass jars containing herbs and medicines. Galo wrapped a tentacle around the base of Ilona's tail in the meantime, his bulbous body pulsating regularly as he breathed.

              "The island on which the last surface dweller is nearby, but it won't be easy. The formori hunt the beds of seaweed that lie along the most direct path to it, and if you go that way you'll have to go around or through a dangerous reef. There are sharks and eels living among the coral and stone, and poisonous fish... But if you wish to go around it, you must go East through more seaweed fields where the formori hunt as well, or West... Over the depths. Larger sharks, and whales, and less savory things that sometimes come up from below hunt there, and do not go that way if darkness is near unless you absolutely have to."
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