Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
Recordkeeping / Re: Character Mirrors
« Last post by thephantom on January 16, 2020, 05:42:31 PM »
Androcidis - The Witcher (Video Game)
I want to reach out to Sir Redway to see if they will let me use some of - Henry Cavill's pictures from the TV-show only. Only interested in Henry Cavill as the Witcher to use from time to time.
2
Uhrwerkstadt / Re: A summoning in the forest.
« Last post by Witchcrafted on January 16, 2020, 06:03:34 AM »
Eltard

Eltard was blasted away through the trees and branches. but with every impact felt upon his body, he just smiled, more and more. When he finally landed about thirty feet away, he took the time to stretch before getting back up as if he was waking up and getting out of bed. Today was an interesting day.

Back on his feet, Eltard begins to jump instead of walking leaping for six feet at every jump making him reach the position, where he was before he was sent flying away pretty quickly. As he arrived, he could feel a chills all over his body. Kristine sword was making him shake almost from how uncomfortable the feeling was. He was not loosing magic, nor did he knew from what it came, but he could feel it. He then looks at the newly arrived kris looking creature. "Are you the one causing this strange feeling?"

He had asked, wondering if it was her doing. If it was, he would probably be useless in a fight and preferred to keep his distance.
_____________________________

Summoned one

”Struggling so much you can’t even respond, whelp?  Oh dear me, perhaps you and your rogues gallery shouldn’t have summoned me while I was on a job!”  She exclaimed, and forced her energy harder upon Kris’s sword.  She was faintly aware of Acacia coming up on her side but deemed her less of a threat than Kris as she continued to pour what she could into overwhelming her.  The resulting blow to her thigh broke her concentration enough to howl in pain.  All of her careful planning for tonight had gone out the window, but at least it hadn’t been entirely in vein.


Rather than answering Eltard, she took that pain and rage and converted it to more energy, causing her to float and  this time sending it out in a pulsewave, striking each of them with the same force as she had with Eltard.  She needed to buy herself at least a few seconds of breathing room, faced with so many unknowns.  Maybe she’d get lucky and one or more of them would be sent into a tree hard enough to lose consciousness.  She remained floating in the air, not willing to try and see just how well her wounded leg could handle her body’s weight.
_______________________________

Kristine

The feeling was completely indescribable.  Her insides felt like they were shredding from the energy that courses through her body.  The wolf unable to release the blade as the doppelganger pushed all her magic into the blade.  The knight opening her mouth to scream but instead the blood dripped down along her mouth.  It wasn't until the dagger hit the other Kris leg and the energy broke off that the sword fell to the ground.  Kristine shifting as she fell back too.  Her head rolled to the side and she closed her eyes.

With the sword not in the wolfs hands, well the magic blast would go off..
_________________________________

Acacia

With her back to Kris, she hadn't much of a clue what state her lover was degrading into. She wrenched the dagger from Negakris's leg and made to strike again with her other dagger when she realized the miscalculation in her over zealous attempt to stop the woman.  She took that shock wave, which felt like being hit by a wall, full force and was sent flying back into a tree, her head snapping back with a sickening sound as she impacted the tree then fell limp to the ground, holding her daggers and with some small luck, didn't impale herself on either one of them.
_________________________________

Eltard

Eltard was hit by the shockwave once again and was sent flying. As he was in the air by the impact of this newcomer shockwave, Eltard saw that he was not the only one this time. In but an instant, all the energy stored in his hair and eye create a golden, magical, zone around him. His hair were of pure white and the color of his eyes disappeared entirely leaving only the white of the eye. The zone was small and Eltard stopped moving right about as he was going to leave the zone. A relief came when he stopped but he knew well it had been a close one. the magic goes back to his eyes and hair and he falls on the ground.

He walks back to the summoned one. "I must admit... I admire your strength. But I can't tolerate this fight to drag on any longer. I need more strength to defeat you and I will make the sacrifice."

While he was looking at the woman in front of him a sudden expression of pin came to his face. Without any sleeves covering his arms, anyone could see that his skin, his flesh, his blood was disappearing from his left arm. He could feel his body torn appart but as it happened, the glow in his hair was getting more and more intense.

His left arm was gone leaving only the bones remaining and without any muscles, it was useless and yet he could still feel pain from it. "This... will be in the way and painful." With his remaining arm, he grabs the bones hanging causing a bigger expression of pain in his face. He takes a moment to breath and violently tear off the bones away. He began to scream in pain. His core felt the removal of something that shouldn't have been removed and cause the pain to appear. He screamed for a while, knees now on the ground, curled up and in pain.  After a moment, he stood back up.

"Want to do a little one on one with me? With your strength...." He pauses as all the magic that was in his hair was released, creating an even larger zone from than before. The zone was seventy feet of radius and the center was on him. He could feel the woman in it. He could feel everything, her breathing, the wind, the movement of her fur, he could feel it all. Looking toward her with his blank eyes, he ask. "It will be very exciting." He finish.
_____________________________________

Summoned one

That was two down, or at least incapacitated enough to not be a problem. Good.  Her training from the past decade or so was coming into full swing now, and unless these buffoons had another in hiding, she was confident she'd be able to finish the last one off quickly and start the process of her revenge.  This was definitely a deviation from her plans for the evening and even for the next few years, but she was flexible.  She could adapt, retreat, and figure out her next step, but first, she had the boy to deal with.  With a flick of her fingers, she sent Kris's sword flying off into the woods, away from any grasping hands for good measure.

"I came prepared.  Not for you all, but very clearly far better than you lot can muster.  Such a shame, really.  The knight used to be so much more vicious," she commented, purposefully giving Eltard the only verbal clue she would intentionally drop tonight. "I'm no egotistical fool, child," she stated plainly as the field he created was expanded around her.  That clearly wouldn't be a good thing.  With another gesture, with both of her hands this time, both Acacia and Kris would be lifted off the ground by their necks and their breathing almost entirely restricted.  "You have two choices. You can save them, and your own life, by incapacitating yourself. As a trade, I'll bring no more bodily harm to any of you for the next,  say... week. Or, in faster than a thought I destroy what parts of the mind I stole from the shape shiftier and if you're not fast enough after that, I crush their windpipes and suffocate them from the inside out with my second thought and ether way, you lose what you brought me here for,"  she said, her face neutral but her mind ecstatic that the foolish knight tipped their hand, their purpose.  Surely if Kris was still conscious enough to hear her, the regret of her actions would dig deep at this point. And to drive it all home, she took in another breath, mixed in a second spell with it, and released her Suggestion, trying to impact Eltard's mind with it.  "You all had your chance and executed it poorly.  Why not retreat, lick your wounds, and try again?  Better that than to watch your friends die."  She said, finishing off the suggestion and banking on the mental image she implanted of the two of them struggling and suffocating to death would be enough to get Eltard to disengage.
_______________________________

Eltard

Eltard was surprised when the woman said she had come prepared. "Really? Then why didn't you fight against me when I tried to summon you?" He raise himself in the air to be on the same level as her as he readies himself to fight. Then a single word caught his attention, making him entirely drop his guard but not the zone. "You just...... child....... how do you know?" His blank eyes were wide open, trying to see how she knew that despite his physic, he was but twelve years old. Then as he felt the woman gesture, he quickly felt the 2 bodies of those who was with him get lifted up. "STOP THIS!" He shouts as he was clearly getting mad at the woman now. His muscles were tense, his right fist was clenched but then she was making her demands. This was frustrating Eltard even more but after a moment, he looked a bit more calm and made his choice. The field began to disappear slowly as the color was coming back to his hair and eyes. As the field was gone, he tell fell on the ground as he didn't had the means to fly anymore. He turns around.

"I can't believe it.... mothers were right...." He puts a knee on the ground and punch the ground. "A friendship is only something to get in the way.... I hate this......" He was getting mad at himself for this. This was the one time he did not listen to his mothers and it caused him to lose a fight. After punching the ground a few time, he just sigh. It was then that the woman casted another spell at him but this was sure to cause a surprise. As the spell affect Eltard, a sudden burst of pain suddenly appear on his back, fire erupts and begin to burn his clothes for a moment. It was brief but painful enough to make him scream in agony. He falls on the ground face on the dirt. The clothes kept burning, bringing more pain to Eltard as his internal organs was taking damage. "Look.... I don't care....... what you do to me but.... spare them." He was talking very slow as he tried to talk over his screams. "I'm the..... one who summoned you.... not them." As he talked, the fire was going away as his clothes were burnt revealing a now disappeared back. It was similar to his left arm but there was still some flesh over the bones and it hadn't gotten past than 3/4 of the heart who clearly shows it was burnt and yet, was still beating. More curious would be the glowing orb inside the ribcage section that glowed there. Mustering some strength, with his remaining arm, he turns himself around so he could see her. "Do what you please....... with me..... but spare them." He begged.The few roots and leaves that were around him began to catch fire.
_____________________________________

Summoned one

Ah, it had worked. Good.  She most certainly would have done it, even if it meant denying her an ultimate satisfaction against Kris and losing the strange body that belonged to Acacia.  But, if one such as Acacia existed within the many worlds, she was bound to run into a second if she so needed to.  "Did you now?  Well, kudos, boy.  I imagine summoning someone like me is no easy feat.  Go on," she said, nodding at him, "either burn yourself up to a crisp or whatever but I'm not letting them go until I am absolutely certain you're no longer conscious."  At that, she gave each of them a tighter squeeze with her powers, the front of their necks indenting more but still not enough yet to cut off air... at least she was pretty sure.  Hard to tell when she wouldn't take her focus off Eltard.

"Despite what vile things these ladies may have said about me, I keep my word.  I'm sure I've probably sworn at oath or 12 to kill at least Kris, but that can wait.  I have just as long as she does to make that happen.  So go into whatever oblivion of your choosing knowing that I won't bring any harm to their bodies, the purple runt's mind will be safe, and you all will have a week to lick your wounds and scurry away before you have to start worrying about the shadows.  So please do finish....whatever this is to render yourself unconscious.  You're making me wish you summoned a bag of marshmallows along with me."
________________________________

Eltard

Eltard was on the ground and suffering from his injuries and the flames that slowly burnt him. "Sure did...." He was talking slowly. The pain was almost unbearable. "To be honest with you, it was much more easier to summon you than I thought it would be. You didn't even get the chance of fighting against it, if you had.... it could had been a problem for me. I would had used much more energy but, it didn't happen." As much as he knew he had failed this fight, he was actually taking merit from his accomplishments prior to it.

The fire that had started was spreading. With his strength, he begins to draw a magic circle on the ground and place his hand on top of it. The weather change quickly as dark clouds arrived, lightning appearing all of a sudden and water falling from the sky. "I will make sure I don't damage this place much before I go...." His strength was almost out and with one more look towards the woman he ask. "You will find out the truth about me soon enough. Not even them knows it for now." With struggle he places his remaining hand on his face and says. "Dispel magic." It took but a moment and his body was gone. All that remained was a skeleton and a glowing golden orb floating inside the rib-cage.
_____________________________

Eltard

"I'll make sure to shore up that defensive measure. Thanks for the tip."  she said, fairly casually as if they were two warriors exchanging suggestions.  Really, her leg throbbed and while she hadn't lost a lot of blood yet, she needed to get it taken care of.  And then, he was saying something else then he was, poof, gone.  Mostly.

"Huh...  Well," she said, clearly stupified by that action.  She shrugged her shoulders  and surveyed what was wrought int he past five or so minutes. "Well.  You'e fucking lucky," she said, walking up to Kris and taking a knee down beside her.  "Granted, you better hope someone wakes up soon, judging by the look of you.  But!" she said with joy and venom in her voice as she placed both of her hands around and hovering over Kris's skull.  "Have I got a present for you."  She took a deep breath and took her sweet time, readying one complicated spell in her mind and unwound it into Kris's own.  It took several more minutes for her to cherry pick and specialize the spell just for Kris.  With an satisfied exhale, she smiled and limped off.

"Might as well take the sword too.  Damn thing makes a mess of thing," she muttered to herself, heading off in the direction she flung it, and would eventually disappear.
__________________

End
3
Uhrwerkstadt / Re: A summoning in the forest.
« Last post by Witchcrafted on January 16, 2020, 06:02:34 AM »
Acacia

"Okay," Acacia said, with a heavy hesitancy in her voice.  She had a feeling something like this would eventually need to happen, but she could scarcely prepare herself for it without losing herself to one of her fits of unbridled emotions.   "Kris, be at the ready," she said, taking her lover's hands in her own and squeezing them, looking her in the eyes.  It only lasted the moment, ye even then so much of Acacia yelled out to not let go and do this. " I can't promise what my mental state will be  in by the time this is finished, but perhaps is the day we can put this to an end."   She turned and walked to Eltard, holding a breath until she was square behind him.  she spread her feet apart, to give her the most balance possible in case she should risk falling or fainting from this, and placed a hand on both of Eltard's shoulders.  "Alright, friend.  Let's do this," she closed her eyes and mentally unlocked the part of her mind that she kept so much of the misery, anxiety, and negativity bottled up  about that being.  Eltard would be flooded with sights, sounds, smells and so much more of the lying shapreshifter.  Innocent laughs, gentle touches, seeing the town, sharing stories that now she knew meant nothing to the shapeshifter and then the fateful night where so much was stripped from her in just a few minutes.  Grimace turned to bared fags turned to deep frowns and around and around those emotions went within a few seconds of beginning this part of the ritual.*
______________________________

Kristine

Kristine took Acacias hand and gently squeezed.  She knew the woman needed to do this. Still the knight wished she could do a little more for her friend, no, her lover.  The wolf only released the shaman's hand when she had to.   A little sigh and nod of her head.  For now she simply stood ready.  Kristine wasn't quite sure what to expect but she knew this being.  A psionic assassin.

Kristine grimaced, the varying emotions that played across Acacia's face was hard for her to watch.  With a little twitch of her head and her hand moving to touch her blade, the wolf paused.  Kristine sighed holding to the blade but keeping it from interrupting the ritual
______________________________

Eltard

Eltard remained quiet, he held the circle active in front of him. His eyes were blank. There were no Iris or pupil in his eyes. It was white. The golden aura was on the ground making the circle. It was when Acacia grabbed his shoulder that he took a deep breath. "Close your eyes. Visualize her." He would give her time to think deeply of the one she sought before continuing. "Imagine, she is there, in front of you, she is looking at you but she doesn't move. Approach her, grab her." He was calm while he spoke, Acacia wouldn't even feel him shake at all. As time was going as he used magic to keep this active, the golden glow in his hair was slowly vanishing anyone looking at him could see it took a lot on him but he didn't move and was doing his best. He waited for Acacia to finish visualizing what he said. As soon as she would mentally grab the person she sought he would release as much magic as he can to make it.
______________________________

Acacia

Picturing  that locked shapeshifter took some mental effort.  She hadn't forgotten, and had she not been dredging up her negative emotions towards the creature, thinking about her proportions and fur and visage would have been quite difficult, given how Acacia had worked so hard to compartmentalize it all.  But hose emotions were the key into that locked box and soon visuals of their brief travels, views from behind and in front, and from so many different angles started pouring in. With it,that brief glint of happiness that still existed at having thought she was reunited with her love.

So it was that she helped  Eltard learn of that psion and hopefully be able to grab her from where she stood, or rested, or wherever it was.   So long as she wasn't dead already, Acacia had a chance and even if the worst came to pass from this, she'd find a new way to hunt down what was hers and rend it from whosoever possessed it.   She hadn't felt this solid determination in so long, and it showed as she righted  her posture, grinned , and started to feel like she had an air of dominance about herself again.  "This is going to work" she told herself, and gave Eltard all that he needed.
_____________________________

Eltard

A large smile appear on Eltard face as he knew it was time. He had been managing his power on the magic circle to save as much power and was going to keep doing it for the entire thing. With a moment of smiling, he then say. "My speciality in magic is offensive enhancement and I will also make it apply for this!" Taking a deep breath, he smiles and in one go, use one third of all the magic he had saved. He did this to avoid having to fight against the one who they were summonings will.

With barely a moment, the one that was visualised was now standing before them. Having used too much power for one who was ignorant they would be summoned. He smiles as he felt foots on his magic circle who would then vanish and bring a tiny glow back to his eyes. His hair lost some of its glow as he used two third of what he had. He stands back up with a smile on his face. "Didn't expect this?" He ask the newcomer.

_______________________________

Summoned one

The figure was a wolf woman standing a little over 5 ½’ tall in the hells she was wearing.  Her fur should have been whilte from head to toe, but an initial glance would show faint red splotches and an odd black mark at the top of her cleavage that was still actively smoldering.  She was clearly still in a brief state of shock from the sudden traversal and attack; her hand still raised up, holding the remnants of what had been a wine glass, her hand soaked in whatever hadn’t shattered and been sent flying on her person.  If she had time to reflect on this, she’d be thankful that it none of the shards had impacted her vision or senses.
 
Around her body was what one might have called a dress just a few second ago, but were now pitiful scraps of tattered clothing clinging to her well toned body..  At her feet was what was left of a pendant, also smoldering as if it had exploded for some reason and was most likely the reason that the woman was still standing.  The muffled voice of Eltard reaches her ears, which were still ringing from the blast.  Her eyes focused, her guard was up, and with a flick of the wrist she lifted Eltard up and sent him flying through the tree canopies.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” she cried out loud, giving herself a once-over check, seeing small spots of blood starting to pool in her fur where the protection charm hadn’t been able to completely keep the blast or shards of glass at bay.  Her blue eyes took in her surroundings quickly.  Trees, wolves… familiar smells.  Her eyes narrowed as memories flooded back and the rage with them.  “You.” She said, focusing in on Acacia, not yet spotting Kristine behind her, but the smell, old in her memory was nagging at her.
______________________________

Kristine

o many things happened so quickly.  It was why Kristine was always so touchy with magic.  It followed its own laws, often times, it wrote its own laws.  And here was another time as a being was ripped from one reality to another.  Even though Kristine was low on pity for this being.  Those blue eyes narrowing as she heard the voice, her own voice, addressing Acacia.  Kristines hand reached for her blade as she pushed forward to put herself between Acacia and the doppelganger.  "You indeed". The Knight spat as she brought the blade to bare.  They were two halves almost..

In the years since Kristine left her home she had changed.  Blue streaks adorned white fur, blue hair matched her eyes and she had wings.  The other wolf was white with that gray saddle and streaks along her cheeks.  An image of what Kristine had been.. "you tried to hurt someone I care for deeply.  You will undo this!". the knights words rang with authority and power.  A confidence that showed her stations she once held.  Yet there was something else at work here too.  The knights blade gleamed, the metal would pull in any magic cast since it was drawn.  In effect cutting Eltard and Acacia from casting at the present.  They could try of course...
________________________________

Summoned one

 it took a moment of recognition for the gray furred female to truly catch what was happening.  If not for the blade she may have not caught on as fast.  The doppelganger grinning from ear to ear as she stood before Kristine.  "You have no idea how long I've waited to see YOU again.  Having this little unicorn body of your girlfriend fall into my lap was like a heaven send.". The imposter winked to Acacia as she stepped closer to Kristine now.  "You trapped me like this.  A bring meant to be pure energy, able to assume any form and you stuck me like this.  Do you know what that does to someone like me?  And then this wonderful morphic body just falls into my lap.  It was peotic justice I figured."
________________________________

Kristine

*Kristine growled as she gripped the blade and brought it upwards.  "No games, undo your damage.".
________________________________

Summoned one

Those words met with a rather genuine laugh. "You know there are advantages to living as someone else this long too.  You start to learn about them.  About their life.. like your time at the temple with Marcus and William right?  Or the smithy Talia.  All those stories and connections.  But there's so much more isn't there?  A connection even fewer know about.  Your father.  How he favors you.  Yet you.. you aren't him are you?".
"so indeed, there will be no games.  Because I know the rules now.  I know...". Those eyes lit with bright blue.  "..how to BREAK you". The spell was simple, a psionic attack that she could keep going as long as she had the energy and she had lots of that.  Her mind attuned to the astral plane, the mind spell lit up and continued to fire.  A cycle that may have even been lost to Acacia and Eltard, perhaps felt best by the two spirits.  Psionic energy just poured from the doppelganger.

________________________________

Kristine

For Kris the pain was a minor sting, that quickly turned to something else.  She should have raised her sword, she tried to but the sheer amount of energy, the magic her sword absorbed directly from the mirror image made her fingers tighten as if she electrocuted.  Her eyes squinted and her maw parted in a scream.
_________________________________

Summoned one

"You can't handle the transfer like him.  You also can't control it.  Your biggest strength, can literally kill you!  And it's so easy..." Her hand rose to press the sword away.  So focused on the wolf as if none of the others were there
_________________________________

Kristine

The angelic wolf on the other hand stumbled back.  Her eyes rolling back a bit as blood started to trickle along her nose.  Her breathing growing a bit erractic.
_________________________________

Acacia

Seeing Eltard being dismissed through the trees so readily after unleashing such a blast took Acacia's nerves to a heightened level she hadn't felt in years.  She had no clue the full extent of his durability, but would have to trust he'd be fine and check on him in a minute if he didn't reappear.  She drew her daggers but faltered in her poise when Kris took the front line. They were both incredibly strong willed women, but this might have been the first time she'd seen Kris in action, let alone taking charge in a battle situation. Acacia knew bits and pieces of Kris's history, but a lot of what the impostor said left her baffled.  It was clear that just how far back this relationship, for better or for worse, was downplayed initially, but Acacia knew she didn't have time for questions.  Her hesitation left her when she saw Kris starting to struggle and took her opening after a small curse under her breath. She knew enough not to get caught up directly between the two, so she ran in a semi circle to the opposite side from where Eltard had been thrown from in order to stay out of his way if he was charging right back in  and  moved to stab Sene's dagger into the Impostor's leg.  They needed her alive, after all.
_________________________________
 To be continued
4
Uhrwerkstadt / A summoning in the forest.
« Last post by Witchcrafted on January 16, 2020, 06:02:11 AM »
Eltard

Eltard had been gone for a while. Now coming back from the warded cave that was home, he comes back with much greater knowledge.  Following the mark he had put down, followed his sense and made his way back to the exact spot he had last met with Accacia.  He waited for a while, sitting in one of the highest branch of the tree, waiting for the one he was going to help. She was the key to this.
_______________________

Acacia

It had been a strange sort of conversation to have with Kristine, at least on Acacia's side.  "so some weird magi user I sort of know  from out int he woods has offered to help us with my me problem and I want you to come with me to make sure it's dealt with well."  Well, that's not exactly how the conversation went, but it was something close, probably.  Part of the problem for them, was not knowing how long it was going to take Eltard.   They had to have given it some time, though, in order for this meeting to occur.
_______________________

Kristine

Any conversation that began with "some weird magi user" and Kris was bound to start off on the wrong foot.  Of course in the end, Kris would do anything to help Acacia.  There was no hesitation in the knight at all, though she voiced her concerns.  In the end, she was happy to go. It was time to do something.

That being said the wolf lacked her old gear.  Instead she was wearing plain clothes with just her fathers sword.  "So, where are we going?" She asked, one hand intertwined with Acacias own.
_________________

Acacia

Of course there had definitely been some conflict in the initial explanation. Acacia's ability with words, among some other things, just wasn't what she needed it to be.  Senegalia's intervention in the matter helped to as much extent as a conversation that sounded like "but I've fought him and he's a pretty good guy and on the level," could help the situation.  As they walked, hand in hand, Acacia was able to answer Kris's question.  "There's this spot int he forest that he told me to come back and meet him at.  It's not too far away and he's supposed to have taken safety precautions and be absolutely certain that this is going to work."
____________________________

Eltard

Eltard was sitting, waiting for them, sitting on a branch high up. His golden hair and the golden gaze glew and illuminated his surroundings.  He was like the north star of his surroundings, a small secondary sun that waited and was there both day and night. He was glowing more than ever before. He knew he was going to need as much magic as he could that it was even a risk but a risk he was willing to take to see someone smile around him. These woods were a bit lonely to his taste and the encounters he has are more grumpy than one would usually like.

He hoped she was going to arrive soon.  He knew someone else was supposed to join but if the time kept going,  he would not be able to keep this extra magic he had stored in him at the chance of getting an unstable body. There were many reasons he was willing to help, first was to experiment on this world, how it worked. Then there was simply to have a more active life than stay alone in the woods doing nothing for an eternity.
____________________________

Kristine

fingers squeezed gently. "I see... Literally." the wolf's gaze morning towards the small low sun in the tree branches ahead. Kris oddly did understand people fighting to,get to know one another.  The soul of a fighter personified in their fists.  It was an unspoken belief among fighters.

still she held her breath as they approached,  this was dangerous on many levels and shs wondered if her presence would only make it worse. The effect she had with magic was often,. Disruptive.,
___________________________

Acacia

"He can be pretty bright, at times," Acacia agreed.  She had wondered why there seemed to be fewer animals in the area as they got closer to him.  A super bright and rather unnatural light would do that.  Acacia knew to some extent of Kris's "affliction," but had expressed that having Kris present was definitely a necessity.  Things hadn't worked so well last time this being had been near Acacia, so having as much support as she could get was important.  To that effect, she had both her daggers on her person  and her mind was a mess of stress and excitement.*  "Eltard!  Thanks for showing us the way!" she called out to him, hoping that it might get the light bulb of a man to dim a little.*
__________________________

Eltard


Eltard heard a voice calling in the distance and a familiar one at that. Looking down bellow, he sees two little being, mostly due to the height he was at. He moves carefully and stand up on the branch he was resting on. He jumps down the branch to some lower branches and kept jumping. Eltard held his fighting strength in his agility.  He makes his way with agility down, quickly spotting his way branch to branch to avoid knocking himself out or getting on a branch that would break. Eltard lived in the forest for years and had learn from experience.  Arriving down he would take the time to properly stand. "Hi there." He then noticed the one who Acacia mentioned she was going to bring. Acacia was right, he had met her once but only for a short moment.

The light did not stop to glow. It was not something that he could control. The light was the accumulation of magic he carried.
______________________________

Kristine

Shifted a little as they approached the man.  Kris had indeed met him once before.  Her ears perked as he made his way down from branch to branch.  "Greetings again"  her head tilted a little  "you've stored quite a lot of energy there.."

it was residual and Kris could see it, almost feel the static of the energy around her.  Her fur almost standing on end from the charged air.  "are you hurting from this?"
______________________________

Acacia

It was difficult for Acacia to recall the day-to-day and whom met who and for how long that most ordinary people could seem to call up quickly.  Thankfully, that saved her from needing to do introductions, and having already said her greetings, she was rather distracted by Kris's words. "Is that a thing?" she asked to Kris, before quickly looking over at Eltard, feeling a bit worried, her ears drooping sightly "Is that a thing?" she repeated to him, just as quickly as she had to Kris.
______________________________

Eltard

Kristine was not exactly wrong. She was indeed on the right track but then acacia  seemed worried. It was an emotion he did not understood but when she ask if it was a thing. He sat on the ground, his leg crossed. "I am a being of pure magic. What you may think to be flesh or blood. You are sadly mistaken. My body is a body made of magic, magic given form, shape of a mortal.  My hair is also magic just like everything of this body but they are mostly used to store the magic I can gather to cast my spells and the same goes for my eyes. The stronger the glow, the more magic I can spare. If you don't mind, I would like to hurry. I don't know how long I can maintain this much magic and remain stable."

The thing he was worried the most about was the stability of his body. He knew once he lost this stability, never will he be stable again without some help. Death could come if it was to happen. Using magic was safe even if using all he had. He gets up to place a knee on the ground and a hand on the ground in front of him.  Suddenly, the glow in his eyes fade. Leaving blank white eyes as a golden glowing magic circle appears in front of him. He could not see what was happening anymore and raise his head to look where the two use to be before he lost sight.
_________________________________

Kristine

Kris gently squeezed the hand of the beautiful shaman.  It was a reassuring gesture.  "It can be a thing, but every person is different.  Everyone has their own limitations and most good mages know theirs. So, I trust if he says he is okay, he is okay."  She smiled again to Acacia before looking back to Eltard.

the sudden release of stored energy had her stand on unease.  Trusting he knew his limits was one thing, bemy comfortable with this kind of reality warping power was another.  Even though she had been about to ask him if she could help.  It would have been little for her to siphon some magical energy to,hold just until he needed to draw on it.  For now all they could do was watch, and wait.
________________________________

Acacia

Acacia took a step back, making sure she was out of the reach of the magic circle.  Kris's words were reassuring, but she would have hoped to hear them from Eltard's mouth.  It made a bit of sense that he would want to get straight to the point, if he had been holding onto that much energy for so long.  "I wonder if we there's something we need to do from our end or if he has everything under control.  Maybe try and picture the devious woman in our minds or..."  she let that sentence drift off, not really know what else to possibly suggest unless given direction in this case.
________________________________

Eltard

Eltard took the time to picture the circle in his head. Correcting every single bit of the circle to make it perfect. Having studied it for hours nonstop, he was determined on making it perfect.  After some time, he raise his head to look toward where he was last seeing Acacia, he dis not knew if one of them moved as he trafed his sight for the circle. "Come place a hand in my back and think really hard about the one you wish to bring here.Everything you can think of this person, her looks, her habits, everything."
He the waited to feel a hand on his back.
________________________________

TO be continued
5
Recordkeeping / Re: Character Mirrors
« Last post by V0LK3 on January 15, 2020, 04:16:38 AM »
Reull Male - Adult Dimitri (Fire Emblem Three Houses)
6
Uhrwerkstadt / Re: Death After Death
« Last post by Marietta on January 05, 2020, 12:14:19 AM »
Posted by Marietta   
With the hound and bow put away she lowered her hands and stood firm, not daring to look behind her to know whether anyone was alive or dead. Her stance was that of someone ready to fight, her feet just under a shoulder width apart and slightly askew to give her a more natural appearance. Everything he said cemented some things, opened her eyes to others. More things to digest under pressure.

"We did not. I set her free and she killed many on her way to my home, where she killed MY family. SHE struck the first blow." Marietta snapped back with very little decorum. This was personal by far at this point. "...Cold blooded murder? Hadn't she converted as well, becoming a danger to the very city she built?" Then a pause before she added, firmly: "Still, my people are centuries removed from the ones who did that."

It brought up questions. Did this mean Meizarae was dead? They won? For once this was a victory she wanted to take back. She considered bargaining tools at her disposal. He wanted her line to pay for it all, which could mean years of suffering or a sudden death. She could offer him her womb, ensuring her line would end with no heirs... and she could live and work on other things. Would that even be worth offering though? The gears kept turning, grinding at speeds that slowly built a foundation for a headache.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Havelock   
"Maybe she did, but then that is the work of the Skald, twisting a sweet, simple herbalist in to a cruel being. Not that she is half as cruel as your murderous, treasonous ancestor and his ilk. Murder in the name of dynasty and lies. Berenice was a fool, but not so much as to deserve being stabbed in the back - funny that she died before this great 'mass turning' of the virtuosos was even knowledge to the public. Cecily was one of the best among us, and they burned her to death... I could smell it, taste it as she cooked, then burned... Then charred. I heard her scream, and for that, I will end you all." The tone was icy in a way that was impossible to convey normally, dispassionate when it was not that glacial tone to the point of sounding like he was talking to an object, a meaningless thing. "While you might be centuries removed, I am not, and I will see that you enjoy the fruits of your ancestor's work. I am not a tragic herbalist, a noncombatant. And you merely stalled the Lady from continuing her work. Fixing her seems beyond hope now, but I can direct her, at least, you have willingly put the ligature around your neck, all I have to do now is tighten it."
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Bass   
Where he had been jumped, and there was no armour on his body, he had been raked pretty badly, torn clothing and openly bleeding wounds. He was not so bad as to not be able to stand or move, but he was certainly far from fresh for a fight at this point. He pulled himself to his feet and gripped his sword as he tried to process all these differing pieces of information.

Strangely, her affection for the man that they had just now been party to murder of, was the one that was sticking in his mind the most, and he had to push past it to make sense of things. The allegations of the virtuosos being the defending party rather than the aggressors was hard to take, even if he was lying, he had been there, had lived all these years, he had more credence than it was comfortable to admit. Bass understood conflict, and if he was going to remove something like the maestro's he could see the sense in the way it was done. "Prima... We are out in the open, Ben is down, dying... We cannot stay here to argue who struck who first..."

The hounding... if it came now, that was it, the crown and all its immediate supporting members dead at a stroke. It would be an easy win...
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
"Prima, I have seen this before, you will not talk him out of his opinions, but the songs have been called for a reason, those that sung the first below the ground, this second sought his end from a few." His thoughts moves to the songs, considering any that spoke of fire in a good way, and he would begin to sing, his voice nothing special, not bad, technically on pitch, but little beyond that.

~ ~ ~ ~
Posted by Marietta   
She still refused to look away, treating him like the dog. But she listened to the advice and notice of the ones behind her. "Then we will strike a treaty, a bargain. Opinions take longer than anything we can do in this moment." She was confident that Havelock's hounding would be at bay until he felt he had enough of this, but it would be best that the wounded got a head start away. Her attention to the sword on the ground, kneeling to pick it up, slowly.. and in a manner that was more presenting than brandishing.

"Take yourself and Ben away from here, Bass. I'll be here with Shen until we absolutely must." She noted the singing and a little unsure what Shi Shen meant in his explanation, and considered more of what Havelock had told them. All the information they sought, readily given. It was a dream... if only they could get him on their side again, a Maestro to provide knowledge in combating any future awakenings. "Is all you want the end of the Arturos?"
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Havelock   
"While it would be gratifying, that is merely an alternative to what I want. I want Cecily not burned to death, which of course, is pointless now, and why you will suffer. The Lady of Ysteria is far from dead, but inert right where she was left, in a different form at least. I want her restored... Truly restored. Perhaps even one such as you can appreciate that sentiment." There was a slight thoughtful tone to his voice on that last point, but the ice never left his manner of speaking. Of course, there were other things, but he knew how this played out better than all of them, knew the hand that guided all of this did not care for their wants or needs beyond how entertaining they were. The thing he had been holding in his hand for some time now took on a more dense shape as the dark misty mass clarified itself in to the shape of a hunting horn.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Bass   
He wasn't about to leave her, but he did go to check on Ben, kneeling down next to him and seeing the awful wound with the equally awful twisted arrow that stuck from his chest. Was this something they could help with? It would be folly to move him, but folly to stay too. "I won't leave, and I cannot leave with him like this - I cannot carry him alone. He would die before we got out of the fields. We all need to leave before none of us leave..."
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Shen stopped singing giving a frown, then a sigh. "Bass is right, your strategy here will not accomplish anything we should go now before things get worse, Running with a body is not something that I should like to do considering the hounding coming as often as it is."
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
"Hmph... Fine, we leave." The princess was startled in a way. Shi Shen had stopped singing and agreed to a retreat. How could they be sure they would get him here again? She backed, sword in hand. The girl had been in a prime position to try and strike him, but the sword was weighted more suitably for someone less delicate than her. It was weighty, moreso with her current grief she was keeping tight and stuffed down. "She's not dead... then what we've learned we can try. Restoring her? Was that an option, is it an option?"

Could they restore Havelock? Her haughty confidence was at maximum: "Stay your hand, see what comes of it."

Of course, he could just opt to kill them all. The horn had gone mostly unnoticed by her until now, a sign that he was ready to call them for the night. The red sky, she wondered, already a set up. Did the rest of the villagers see it? Were they going to get access anywhere with the sign so clear?

 "Do we need anything?" She asked of both conscious men.Three mounts to race with, but bouncing around wouldn't be good for the wounded. Her grip tightened on the sword, intending on taking it with her. In a way it was all she had of him now.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Havelock   
"Indeed - were she dead, I would have peeled open your little houses and destroyed your civilisation over night." He regarded her and her baffling confidence, or perhaps just arrogance, as she asked these questions, but his mind turned it over - that would be entertaining, surely. It was possible to game the Skald, in the short term at least, he had done it with the sword. Maybe this was stupid enough to be indulged. "Perhaps. Perhaps not. She deserves a life more than any of you, so maybe she will be granted one. Go then. I know where she is, and every inch of her being - if she perishes, your world dies that night and the tree will have its fill before you join them."
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Bass   
Shen was on the bandwagon too, now, so he beckoned to the man to come help him with Ben, however they might achieve that. Beyond carrying him and hoping Bass didn't know what else they could do though. "Help me work out if we can move him.... Come Prima, we are beyond fortunate, let's not waste it. We will have to carry him, so you will need to lead the mounts.."

But also make sure you are on yours, so you can flee if this changes, he thought, but didn't say aloud in case it encouraged the being to indulge the idea. He didn't understand what any of this meant - they were going to help the other virtuoso now? All he cared about what keeping Marietta safe right now, so if they had to run away, making weird deals as they went, he would accept it for another day for her to wake up unharmed.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
He was fighting in his own quiet way, struggling to keep conscious, assuming the blurry slats of red in his face was his reward. Or maybe he wasn't awake for half of those, and his fading mind only thought so, clinging to one small goal at a time.  He didn't know how long he had been there by this point. Not that it mattered. The panic his body was going through left no energy for quick thinking, not enough rushing in his head to allow anything but slow, mundane thoughts. He was cold, terribly so, fingertips on the way to blue. Maybe he wouldn't have shorn his whole pelt like that. His limited vision was smudgy; he knew he should have had breakfast.

His tune would change of course, as soon as the first attempt to move him was made. He'd grasp weakly at whoever it was, a wheezed excuse for a growl crammed over foreign words. Something akin to Hell on your mother, though he was cut off by his vocalizations of pain.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
He was not really on the bandwagon, but the Prima seemed to focused on distractions, less on the big picture, it was something that he had hoped would have proceeded differently, the songs the battaglia clearly had a power, especially when sung by her, but she seemed to want to banter instead, that was a loosing proposition here for the man was consumed by hate and driven to revenge.  Perhaps they would not have worked, he looked to Bass older and worn from the fight, Shen took up a position behind Ben, ready to take the top half of his body as Bass directed, not sure how to do so without further injuring him. His own eyes distant in thought.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
The stubborn girl had hit her capacity, though she had not quite started shaking and trembling just yet. In that respect she was actually doing very well; keeping Havelock talking and just piqued enough that he hadn't blown the horn in his hand. She might have actually won them something on her own, made the right decision on her own. Though how perfectly would be yet to be seen as she seemed to have signed them up onto another wild goose chase. At least this with more direction and focus. They also had far more information to play with than before. The braid behind her throne, the very first banner. The cause?

"Secundo... what about you?" He shouldn't be lifting at all, but as Shi Shen maneuvered to the front she figured the same, the least heavy end at least. "Can we not just... prop him in the saddle?"

Bass instructed her to handle the mounts, so she went for the horse first, then her raptor, and lastly to Bass' in order to slide the blade into whatever ring or loop she could figure it into. She would let the men guide ahead, providing some buffer and keeping herself of the same pace.

"We won't make her kindling." Marietta noted aloud, if only to ensure Havelock that she had heard what he said. The pressure was on, but she was already finding herself with little to lose. She was silent from then on, falling into herself the closer to town, talking only when spoken to.

END
7
Uhrwerkstadt / Re: Death After Death
« Last post by Marietta on January 05, 2020, 12:03:56 AM »
Posted by Aleksandr   
Whatever tranquil moment had been there was removed entirely as Ben slashed at him, the sword seeming to pass right through him for a moment, until the black mass that made up his skin tore like fabric, fraying where the sword had landed. Whatever power held him here started to unwind to even the most cursory of supernatural sensitivity checks. "Thought it would have been Azalie...Thank you, he never would have let me go otherwise. Say hi to Dovosh for me." The black material peeled away slowly, revealing bones that had been brutalised, gnawed by animals of some sort, nothing left by the gnawed and cracked marks in the bone.

"Maybe in crowd, maybe the champagne.. Definitely the wine. You meant that, didn't you? A shame there's not more time for us...." His body seemed to lose its animating spark, sagging to his knees as the blackness peeled away and drifted in to the air like vapour, eventually leaving nothing but bones that clattered to the floor, devoid of life and meaning.

The red sky changed to a deep, bloody red, and a moon like a half lidded eye appeared, in the same hue, casting a grisly light over everything it touched, washing out colour and tone until all that was left twas the deep red. At that same moment, the hound struck and Bass toppled, hacking at the creature with his sword, reaching for a wedge of his broken shield to jam in the creatures mouth when it lunged at him again. Something moved so fast as to be barely visible, flashing through the air with a menacing glint.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
He braced himself for a counter, only to find the man unraveling. He stayed alert, Marcato brought up yet again to defend himself, chest heaving, eyes wide as he stepped back, the realization of what he had done sinking in, finally. The Prima yelled at him, but he only bore his teeth, not that it was seen behind his helm, and snarled, "None! He wanted this! Azalie - where?" He shut up as Alek continued, addressing Mah now, glancing between them until when he looked again, Alek was little more than a pile of bones.

Bass fell, and with a sharp turn, he tried to go assist, leave the Prima in her grief, only for a sudden force to nearly knock him over. Ka-thunk. A sound he knew well, but had never heard rattling through his own skull. The image of the last deer he shot came to mind, the sound, the second of stillness, realization...the break for the woods. But he wasn't running, something was off with this sound. The sharp metal hadn't crashed through both ribs, tore both lungs, just one, thanks to his twist, and bit into the ground behind him. He sank to the ground, first trying to settle onto a knee, a metal-clad hand scrabbling at the new hole in his armor, blood quickly spilling out the chinks, before a gargled attempt at a breath had him fall over in agony.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
"Prima.." The warning fell short, the leader not the target, but rather the man that had wielded the sword against Aleksandr, the Prima lost something he ahd worried about when the pair was separated, The man that wielded the sword, likely lost as well unless a healer got to him quickly. The hound on Bass more than a match for him, he focused there, for it would help the most. He brought the seven section staff down then foreward letting it build up motion as it swung back behind him, the next foreward swing crossing in front of his body then comeing down behind his right side. As it was crossing down his right side he stuck out his arm letting it start to wrap around it before withdrawing it letting the motion of the pointed end carry it darting foreward, toward the hound's head, doubting the beast so distracted it could not dodge, but perhaps he could give Bass a moment's respite.

"Prima, he is here." Shen stated, once again the obvious, though hoping to catch the Prima's attention and draw her back to her duty.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
"Who even is Aza-- WE WILL TALK LATER." The fact that he had thanked Ben absolved him of her anger, but only for the moment, too surprised he responded at all. The fact sprouting a hint of tears as the gloss thickened and billowed along her lower lids. A hasty nod, her voice low since she was by his side at this point. "Yes, definitely the wine," She might have laughed, gritting her teeth because even now she was refusing to show herself, though anyone here would find that about as effective as a two-way mirror with her on the wrong side."Mulled wine will never be the same. The smell of it will take me back, every time."

Her hands cupped his cheeks with the pads of her fingers rubbing the hairline along any flesh that remained currently. A press of her forehead to his, nose to nose, feeling him fall apart, his body getting heavier and clattering to bits. Each one falling from him broke her. Without a body she wasn't sure how she could get him back. In her mind there was only the one option that he would take, ready and willing or not. "Find me again in the crowd, or maybe its my turn, when you are remade. If I manage to not anger you first... maybe I can know it sooner, say it better. I tried to tell you, but, I would have been cruel to offer myself when I should not." She bit back a groan, she was no better than Amara in the end wasn't she. "I know I needed you. Things felt normal and right despite all of the... yelling, but I think I love you. Not unless I got you titled, remember?"

And when he was gone-gone, she froze there a moment and uttered the scripture of the Oratorio that spoke of their beliefs beyond death, a prayer that it would apply and one that would be said many times by many people before this was through. "The Great Skald attends each final repose and hears out each requiem presented. Speak, the loved and the hated, speak and breathe life back into the legend. And the bard may compose an aria for them, too. The artist may remember their image in a greater pointillism. The writer may record them still. Recycled stories into new reprisals: the lost are found again." Her shoulders heaved, her back shivered, and the only thing distracting her from her own sadness was the fact that things had started. Her uncle had fallen, fighting the large stalking hound. Panic set in, driving her even with the fragment of relief that Shen had stepped in. Both hands up with a glow in the dip of her palms. Still heaving, still angry. Not very powerful, but she can be a nuisance.

She looked for its master as the world went even more drastic. "Call off your hound and lower your bow." A bow that had already let an arrow loose, at Ben. A quick look, a step in the man's direction but then she refocused. Shi Shen or Bass will deal with it as soon as they get free. "Whatever my family has wrought in a past... I have no intentions of paying for it with more blood than this already. Tell me the crime that sours you. Expose us entirely or go back to suffering in silence."
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Havelock   
The dislodging of the hound was more to do with Shen's skill, and physics, than injury - if the beast was bothered by the strike, it gave no exterior expression of such as its head whipped back from the force of momentum applied.

"Suffer in silence..." The voice was cold, blisteringly cold, but contained a wry, disdainful amusement at her words as he stood by the tree as if he had always been there. One arm seemed to sprout in to a long, curved bow, impossible to tell if it was part of him, or just looked that way from the darkness that surrounded him, his one eye narrowing slightly as he spoke again. "Your pet beast masquerading as a man - he suffers. Your ragged, worn out uncle - he suffers too. And it would be a lie if you said you don't, after killing my pawn. I am quite comfortable right now."

The hound peeled away and seemed to turn in to smoke as it vanished in to the grass, presumably to start the whole dance of its approach again when required. Havelock himself stood as if a statue, the long arms of the bow fading away like mist as well and replaced with a smaller, curved object that could have been a curved blade, or all manner of other tool of injury. "You will pay for the Lady of Ysteria. Your line will pay for striking the first blow. Your people will pay for the cold blooded murder of Cecily, whose buildings mark the traitor's empire your squirming ilk have built on the blood of me and mine. Does that satisfy your curiosity?"
~ ~ ~ ~

Ben rolled a 3 out of 4!
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
The Virtuoso's words were backed - quite annoyingly really - by wet, racking coughs and strained wheezes. He hadn't moved other than to writhe, flipping onto his back, still scratching desperately at the metal that kept him from saving himself. He knew what needed to be done...but was incapable of it. His ability didn't cover lungs.

Airy, cut-off groans announced his final move, possibly. He could hardly raise his sword arm, Marcato quickly taken into grip again, but yet, with the last of his strength, he pushed it over his chest, took it in his other hand, and loosely tossed it. It landed just shy of two meters in the Prima's direction, a largely pointless move, but the dizziness and blackness overtaking his vision wasn't lending to clear thought.

His arm dropped, and he fell entirely still but for his sabotaged breaths and quaking in shock, bleeding him dry.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Shen heard the words spoken, The first spoken, then a place, he noted that as well, waiting there where the hound had come in her vision, he listened for Bass, to hear what he was doing. Shen knew nothing about how to treat a wound such as the one Ben had, in a practical sense anyway, there was some knowledge of the basics, but this was well beyond that. He had seen even a wound strike did little more than nudge it aside, still that was the dream, turning to find it there, He would assure that did not happen so long as there was nothing he needs do more to safeguard her.

"A world stolen. I have spoken to those that have had such happen. Some as you chose death, blood and violence, others chose once again unity. I have seen those that chose death sealed away again. The Prima knows her duty and will not let pain turn her from it." He would wait to see what the Prima's next action held before moving further, his thoughts seeing something in the moment, beginning under his breath, "Once there was a maiden in pain,"
8
Uhrwerkstadt / Re: Death After Death
« Last post by Marietta on January 05, 2020, 12:02:52 AM »
Posted by Marietta   
A knot in her throat caused her to break the song, the hand that had been pointing to the sword now rubbed at her collar bone, swallowing firmly. Where was Havelock in this... his hound was here, so he had to be nearby?

"Listen, join the words. I want to free you... not hurt you." Aleksandr had spoken, this was the only thing working; if only to buy them time. Risking seconds to lift her gaze from the wolf to the burning, inky man, and then to Shi Shen hoping he'd look her way. There was a lot to watch and take in, though. "What do we do? Where's the virtuoso? His hound!" she mouthed silently to her adviser if he should look her way, her eyes bouncing nervously between him and the wolf until then.

And her uncle, alive and managing. His age and wear-and-tear not interrupting his dance. She hadn't told him explicitly not to kill the man as she wasn't sure if that had to be off the table, but she hoped he was going for busy-ing than destroying.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Aleksandr   
*Once again, post combination*

Bass' arm throbbed angrily at him as he dropped the wrecked shield, glad the shield had absorbed the blow - he did not think he would take such an attack and be much use for anything afterwards. He had heard Marietta singing, but his mind had just paired the singing with all the old battle hymns that Battaglia used - he hadn't realised until now that she was doing something with that song. The skill of the old bards was not something he really had - he could sing, and pretty well at that, but he couldn't sing like she seemed to be doing. There was something more to it, even if he didn't understand it, recognising a little piece of folklore tied to his family for what it was. As such it gave him pause in combination with Ben furiously accosting the tree to grab at something, and Shen's seeming to back up that action. "What is happening? What are we doing...?"

Aleksandr swayed as if being pressed upon by a great weight, fire rising and falling, almost like a heartbeat, or like the rhythm of breathing as he clutched his head. The fire flared as she spoke of freeing him, not hurting him, nearby vegetation wilting away under the intense heat as his body started to regain some of its feral posture.
"Hurt... You revel in my hurt...Plan it...No disdain too small to show..."
His teeth gritted and gnashed, and once again cinders started to shower with every exhalation of smoke. Fire started to flourish along his arms and shoulders again, one hand pulled from his head and flexing murderously.

The hound had moved in the long grass... Again, and again, and again... its presence more felt than seen now, even as the eyes remained ever visible, its presence like an unwanted touch in the dark, when expecting to be alone.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
"Aleksandr thinks he knows how to stop this, or him specifically. The sword? Marcato?" Azalie's words came to mind as he grabbed it, then let himself half-fall, half slide down the tree, his descent was harsh, a loud clanging as he barely landed it, and with hardly a pause, slapped at Molly's side to order her away.

He almost expected it to burn his hand off, or explode, or some other violent cause of his demise to happen with all the awful things told to him about it, from the Prima and Alek, only heightened by his paranoia. Still, nothing seemed to happen so far, and with a shaky breath, he indulged in superstition.

"Marcato, regard me." He didn't know if speaking to it did anything, having never seen Alek do it. Still, it wouldn't hurt... I'll help. Hadn't he said he'd help take down Alek? The horse out of his way, he raced to defend Bass, and by extention, the Prima.

"I apologize." Whether it was for his delay, for having the audacity to touch the sword, or to Alek, he didn't know.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
As Ben reached the tree he looked back, coming from behind, watching from the grass was the dream of the hound. Always from behind. He caught the last of the Prima's call, what she was asking and he saw no point in running after the other two.

he was no slouch in combat, but his weapon worked best in large numbers of behind a single shield, more would limit his attacks, and there was a threat, the one that always was the end. He was not one to fight with weapons, when other methods could substitue. Switching the staff to his left hand he let it unfurl as the Prima mouthed to him a warming.

He followed her gaze to where the hound was and projected his voice toward it, calling out. "Harbinger, hear me! I the priest anointed first by Maiden Jupiter, then spoken to by sight of The Skald."

His right hand came up to his forehead where the mark had burned that night, focusing in case it flared ready to block the searing pain should it come. "Marked by the one you foreshadow. Bring him here, for it is not you that belongs here. The Sword and those marked by its saga are present, the tree of old lore too casts it's shadow here even in the dark for storms. Let him come forth, lest the Hawenddyion reveal more than he wishes seen."
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
Most things were in control now. Shi Shen working on getting to the root of the problem and with his attention on the wolf, or at least it gave her confidence that despite the feeling of being watched, she was less likely to become dog chow. Ben had recovered the sword. Bass was still ready and capable. He asked for a plan, and still she really didn't have one, instead trying to ensure all potential pawns were accounted for.

The conversation with Aleksandr, while he could think semi-normally, was given more of her attention now. Blubbering slightly as his words both wounded and frustrated her. They've been through this, up the hill and back down it a few times. How was she going to talk sense into him between the verses of a song? Change songs? But this one was working, what if another didn't. It was hard to think, she couldn't multitask like this.

Hopefully he could hold it together. She stopped the song and inhaled. "I do no such thing... you asked to be left alone and I did that, I really tried... insisted no one go after you to respect your wishes... I shouldn't have listened, clearly."  She huffed, then continued, the usual strain on keeping still present in her neck and her fingers and the small of her back. "I came here anyway. Not knowing what I was going to do when I got here... but hearing what... happened." Her lips pressed a thin line. Another breath. Every time she spoke her words seemed to struggle and wave between too fast and too strained. "And I'm... so... angry... with you. When I confessed what I had been hearing you jump on me about not coming clean sooner and yet armed with that knowledge you..."

Her head bowed, wiping her face with her wrist. She had been determined not to fail anything, and by default she seemed to have cursed herself to only do that. "Aleksandr." Words failed her at this point, her vision bouncing with every breath she took. A loopy look toward her uncle, a check on Ben, and Shen-- expecting to be interrupted at any moment. "I did it again. I never wanted to... and I did not expect it to be so hard. If we had not--" she paused there, that was a little too personal, though at least two people present were already suspicious. "No... I do not think our encounter would have made a difference... it would have been hard even if it were only the moment you spilled my champagne."

She gritted her teeth. Surely by now he was weakening without the song aiding the painful suppression. Marietta couldn't risk losing any of the people currently in this field. Each for different and special reasons.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Aleksandr   
He looked at her like she was speaking another language, like all the things he had pointed out had not existed in her mind; that her lousy attitude had been something he had imagined and had the audacity to imply she had been engaging in. The longer she talked though, the more he seemed to slow as she skirted around a lot of things that made no sense to him, because she was so vague about them as to mean absolutely anything. Some of it he understood though - it was easy enough to see she was here, and the oblique reference to something else she was hiding from other people was impossible to miss even if she was once again so vague as to mean anything.

He could hear Shen's voice in the background, but it seemed distant somehow, far away as he watched Marietta, vaguely aware of the fire in her belly, not sure when he had started perceiving it, only noticing now. None of it really cooled his anger though, not until her speech came trembling to the end, woven inbetween her singing, where she referred to the very first night they had met. It seemed forever ago now, but what she admitted even without saying it was easy enough to understand, all the rambling before it unnecessary if she had led with this, and just spoke it plainly. The fire dimmed.

"Since..then...?" The surprise was in his voice even with the raspy tone, his body seeming to sag under its own weight as the flames banked and the metallic orange glow in his eye cooled like campfire embers.

"Since then..." He seemed to trail off and almost seemed like whatever force animating him, had left his corpse there to be a statue, but for his eye on her, watching her intently now, feeling something different there about her. Something about her admission and the way she spoke...
~ ~ ~ ~

Havelock has arrived.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Havelock   
The sky has taken on a vaguely red hue....
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
Aleksandr slowed, and for a second he felt a desperate hope in his chest, that maybe, somehow, the Prima was fixing him. Maybe they could avoid a true battle after all...

He had stopped his run when he noticed that, taking on a cautious approach, somewhat behind Marietta, where he could be partially seen by Alek, in case his sudden slowness was taken as an attempted attack.

He hoped...but as his gaze flicked up his heart ran cold. So subtle a change, but so, so, foreboding. Perhaps it was only the arrival of the Virtuoso? No. Aleksandr was suffering. He wouldn't want this. In fact, didn't Azalie hint that he wanted to be re-killed? He reached up slowly, pulling down his visor, then tensed before making a savage spring for the corpse. Marcato in hand, he'd attempt not to stab him in the chest, suspecting that wouldn't stop a dead body, but cruelly slice him across the middle, in half, if he was lucky.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Shen pulled the fingers of his hand away from the center of his forehead eyes on the hound as he moved a set of paired fingers in front of him, drawing a circle in the air, the red hue to the sky a sign he had gotten something's attention. The hound hunted, those that hid lived, those that fought and those that ran surely perished lest they find shelter.

The finger's finishing their circle ht brought them between the hound and himself. "Virtuoso of the Red sky, of the bloody night, come, Virtuoso of the red blade, of emotion's bleeding come, Virtuoso of the black sap of the Baron land, I call upon your vassal to bring you here." His mind focused on the circle he had made he held the thought of it in his mind, around it the sound of the Prima's words, that power that filled the air in his mind. He had no use of essence as he once had, but hoped the simple workings such as this would work the same here, the Tapestry was different, but he hoped that the songs of the Battaglia would be enough to hold it a moment for the Prima to find her voice, for the Sword to whet itself and for The Skald to play what was stopped when last he prayed to her.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
Her eyes left him, looking somewhere in the middle distance toward the ground. "Possibly... or maybe it was finding me in the crowd after." A frown here. Her largest secret being that she had released all of this on the land in the first place. They would all behead her personally and publicly if they knew. Her fingers betraying this thought as she stroked her neck, feeling a far off twinge, a reminder of that same feeling she had felt sparks of here and there, the most recent being the other night at the Gala. She was startled when Ben ran past her suddenly, cursed sword ready to rumble and she realized too late to stop him. "N-NO!"

She wasn't aware of the instruction from an outside source. She only saw one of her soldiers strike down someone she was trying to convince and prove that she wasn't trying to hurt him. She pushed forward hands intending to yank away the weapon from him even though it was a said and done deal. Her eyes wide and glossy as they looked over the nearly unrecognizable wreck of a dead man. "Y-you can heal... burn the edges together... like last time," she muttered, mostly to herself despite how it sounded for him. "WHAT ORDERS HAD YOU?" A broken growl before the natural sign had her heed to the now. "Be alert," she ordered with a crack in her voice. Alek's blind rage wasn't going to be used back against the Virtuoso like in the dreams. His rage capable of disregarding the pain of the arrows... the rest of them there for back up. That couldn't happen now. It was them... and him. She tensed, checking the status of her uncle, Ben, and the summoning Shen and waited for the arrival of the virtuoso physically... or some sort of smiting from someplace they couldn't reach. Half expecting to be surrounded by the phantoms that raided the night.
9
Uhrwerkstadt / Death After Death
« Last post by Marietta on January 04, 2020, 11:59:54 PM »
Posted by Marietta   
A second attempt at leaving for Uhrwerkstadt... foiled, but probably for good measure since it allowed her to show face at one of the more important events to her more personal slice of the country. She was astride the raptor and reliant on a mixture of nuts to get her by as they made way to the place that Shi Shen had given her cartographer. A place he felt was the place, or at least their best guess of it. Marietta was losing track of what details she knew and did not know these days.

From first light they rode, rushing, exhausting their steeds. She was dressed in a gear best described as something that absolutely wouldn't pass for armor, though it was leather... at least. Pants for riding and her hair pinned up in a <i>messy</i> manner she'd never go for otherwise, just so it could be stuffed better under hood. Of course a hood wouldn't keep her from being singled out. Both of them, her and Bass, were well known. Especially together. She paid someone to enter the Zeithalle and send word that certain Battaglia members were to join her at 'the tree' if they were free and able. She didn't state a when, or how long she would be there.

The raptor was reined to a stop on the arrival and she looked around dropping the hood off her head. "This is supposed to be it... "
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Bass   
He knew her plan, it had a deceptive elegance to it - she had no idea what she was doing. Only what she wanted out of it, and even that was obscured in the mist of her being difficult and standoffish, even if he could well guess what she wanted now, given what Ben had told him. He still couldn't really believe it, but seeing was believing, and today they would have the chance, if her confidence in this was not misplaced. He had a raptor of his own, a surly, surprisingly bulky female that looked as weathered and scarred as he did. He preferred a horse, but he wanted something with literal and figurative teeth, something that wouldn't hesitate to inflict horrible injury if required.

He eased his mount to a stop as Marietta came to a rest, looking around at the nearby terrain features and frowning slightly. This seemed pretty unremarkable to him, but he had to trust her, if only to stop himself from accepting she was as mad as her father, and losing his last relative, in his mind, if not in reality. "What are we expecting to see...?"
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
Ben hadn't arrived much later, though it was from the opposite direction. Not that that had to see him first to know he was coming...

The rattling of metal was surprisingly good at riling him up. Plate armor he hadn't worn except to practice in all the time it was his, and only possible in the colder seasons. Scraping, clinking, the burden of carrying a shield while trying to lead Molly around...he was already furious behind the visor when he came to stop by the others.

"Prima, Grand Conductor." He dipped his head low and placed a hand over his heart in place of a bow, then straightened up to await their order, gently patting his horse's neck.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Shen rode later in the day, it was a dark time that he would have to be out at best, but he left a few hours time to get back if he did. He stopped as he reached the field and scanned the area. He had brought with him a seven section staff tied to the belt that held his robes closed. He stayed atop Hasi he recognized the figures overlooking the area below. Hasi for her part seemed to sense the importance and was being far less obstinate than usual coming to a halt where he directed her to. Not all he had directed were there and so he wondered just what had caused the Prima to call all here, and now.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
For once, she wouldn't pretend she had a plan. She just knew she had to be here... whether she had to be here or not. Her attention silent, and one might have seen the gears at work as she tried to figure out what would be the next step.

"I was hoping him. Or the Virtuoso. We will wait maybe, til dark if we have to," she approached the tree to stroke its bark, pausing before to acknowledge the First Chair of Brass with a grateful nod. There was a reason she didn't bring an army; intending to not tread down the path of last time. If dealing with Meizarae by force wasn't the right way, and the hounds were immune to the same... an army wouldn't do anything. Havelock didn't seem to be interested in talk, either though. There were ideas in her gut; or rather her hypothetical reactions depending which direction things went. Her fingers actually touched the bark now, tracing the small crevasses. "I cannot even confirm this is the one we saw, its so hazy..."

A look up now that she was under its gnarled branches, free of leaves... either because of winter or its otherwise spooky nature. How'd any of them miss the sword, the sword. "Ah!"

When Shi Shen arrived she felt a little relief that she was at least at the right place. "This is it... how do we get him to pay attention to us without... complete provocation?" Because she was going to scream and throw rocks at this 'blessed' tree if she had to.
~ ~ ~ ~

Bass rolled a 5 out of 20!
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Aleksandr   
He was beckoned here, knowing that the sword was in the presence of someone, although he didn't understand how he knew that, just an abstract feeling - tooth ache was pain in your tooth, but why it ached, who could say? He stood in the grass as if he had always been there, on the far side of the tree from the other people gathered, a brief hope in his heart momentarily.
"Azalie...?"

His voice was raspy, dry like dead leaves, his hope souring in his stomach as it wasn't Azalie at all... Of course it would be her. Who else could it be? That was it, then, his wish denied because Azalie had been too slow, or too unlucky perhaps.

"You... It would be you..." He could feel it welling up inside him, an awful pressure and heat that felt like it was swallowing his reason, eating up his mind. The fire that leaked out of his body illuminated him, revealing him to look very much like the riders that followed the hounds, his body made up of an inky gauze, his one white eye staring at them all as the fire spread along his arms. "Tell Azalie... Tell Ben I am sorry..." His hands clutched at his head, tearing out strips of black, inky mass that revealed a skull beneath, a deafening roar as fire flourished over his body, his one white eye molten gold as another roar escaped his lips, howled at the air as smoke and cinders billowed from his mouth.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Well it seemed that the Prima was discussing things with Bass. Shen, for his part, was staying atop the hill when the familiar form of Aleksandr approached. There was a straight answer to the line of question by the Prima if there ever was one. He loosed the tie from the seven seciont staff, letting the sections fall into his hand as he started down the hill and toward the Prima, clicking to Hasi and signalling for her to return to the stable, she'd end up there eventually, likely to shelter before dark he was sure. The mount getting killed would do little and he had none of the magics of Journeys that would protect her from such if things came to be problematic.

Shen spoke in old realm, a language he knew did not resonate with this place as it had Creation, but still he would say the words, a prayer to His Maiden. Then he would look between the two guaging the distance between Alek and Mah to see if there was time to reach her side before the man reached her.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
His ears raised under his helm at the sound of his voice, different from the grouchy man he had traveled with, but his all the same. Scents through the visor were impeded, but it was Alek, alright. As far as he could tell, it wasn't some illusion meant to distract.

His hand found the hilt of his khopesh as Alek began to light up, prepared to launch himself off Molly in an effort to keep her safe. Let her run, if worse came to worse.  Alek spoke his name...he swallowed hard, raising a gauntlet to push up his visor, staring back at the man with his own single eye. He made his peace. He said his goodbyes. Why bottle up his feelings now?  "I forgive you, Toasty! Whatever you do here! " He shouted at the end of Alek's roar, determined to be heard, even if it meant nothing. Face exposed, his pained wince was clear at the sight of the skull.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
"I heard, so I had to... My vow will have to break the promise, both to you and neither final to this moment. " Fear coiled around her like a thorny vine, but she was frozen not because of it but the surprise that so simple a thing had summoned him. She didn't balk from the pressure, the warmth in this cold at least bearable for the moment as he was transitioning out to something out of control. Ideas, she needed ideas. Also, who the hell was Azalie?

"Secundo," she hissed before sucking air to her diaphragm her free hand reaching toward Alek's chest, fingers intending to touch, not grab nor push. "There's a spark inside us, that we can all ignite..." She began, the words well known to those under her colors. The first verse had many meanings in this moment. Her eyes focused on his molten core.

She'd not last though, that roar shook her enough to step back, her grip on the sword lost to the tree. Her fire, however, sparking on the failure to hold her ground. Determination growing, her hand toward him still reaching even as she backed off and tried the next verse of the song, and the verse after that. Trying to yank him out of the hold of the curse, even if temporary. It worked before, she recalled, back in the manor when the very wall came alive to get him. A lift of her free hand to point toward the sword urgently. Someone needed to get it.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Bass   
He was seeing it with his own eyes, and even now he didn't believe it - watching the man, a ghastly spectre of the one they had sent to fight Meizarae, now reduced to a monster, and wild, unstable one at that. The fire, that had been explained to him, sort of, but the darkness, the partially torn face that revealed the skull beneath.... This was wrong, on so many levels.

The wrongness could wait though, as he dismounted in one swift motion - he wasn't sure how this man would even behave, and if he was unseated then that might just kill Bass at one blow. When meeting a new foe, exercise caution. His sword came free of its scabbard, shield pulled from where it rested on his mount, and his was running up the hill towards Marietta, her urging him needing no repetition.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Aleksandr   
He lurched forwards, driven by a terrible impetus as fire rolled off him in sheets, anything flammable beneath his feet springing to life, anything within arms reach starting to smoulder and smoke. There was no reaction the first time, but as Marietta back pedalled and attempted again, he seemed to trip over something, staggering and listing to one side. The mindless roars of fury that escaping from his gnashing teeth mingled with something else as he he flailed around for a few moments, the sound agonised, mournful even before it was swallowed up in blind fury and he was running again, eating the distance up the hill in long, lunging strides.

Nearby, the grasses whistled and whispered, and soundlessly, a pair of luminous, canine eyes settled on the group, it attention impossible to ignore...
~ ~ ~ ~
   
Ben rolled a 4 out of 4!
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Shen had ground to make up and running was not something he oft took in stride, his own words sung out echoing the Prima's in the chorus of the Battalgia's songs, those words poer laced into the world was something that he was familiar with, for it was the words of the four languages that held the edges of reality together where he was from. He had sensed the strength of the powers that they were in opposition of and did not wish to go without something such as ancient rights protecting him, at least so far as they could.

His hand stayed curled around the seven section staff, glad to have someone with a shield in front of him knowing it to be much preferable when it came to fighting in that sort of style.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
There was a second of hesitation as the Conductor dismounted, his first thought being to urge his horse to follow, keep between Aleksandr and the Conductor as a living shield, or at least to hamper his view. But would she? Already she was showing subtle signs of her distress, forcing her up the hill until finally she bucked him off would be worse than if he dismounted now, though slower for it.

The man with the staff got down, and without another thought, he moved, barking a sharp order to Molly, racing her up to block Aleksandr from Bass. The closer he got, the more she observed the flame, the less obedient she was, threatening to break away without him.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Marietta   
Things were feeling familiar. This was the dream realized, and she was in the path rather than watching him destroy the hunters. Or maybe... they were the hunters. Her stomach knotted with the many paths this could take. But the song had made him falter, kindling hope that they can subdue him with the very thing he wouldn't have thought would have a hand in it.

Her voice wasn't alone either, which aided her blood-given gift in strength. A boon, especially as she was trying to multitask with something she was even less proficient at. Trying to coax his fire under her control, trying to get her own to rise up and meet him half way. His speed by the grace of his stride alone was unnerving her, she was having trouble having faith this would work, especially with the eyes on her from who knows what. Her gaze slipping toward it, trained by the months of dreaming to not look away or end abruptly.

Another verse, her voice strained. It was the last verse of this very short song, chanted to the cadence of a march. "There's a strong inside us, that tells us wrong from right; becomes the song inside us to chase away the night."

From here it would repeat, stronger, if applicable. Her heart was pounding, nerves taut right down to her fingers. 'Work, dammit. Bolster yourself...' she thought. Another gesture at the sword, this time more aggressively.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Aleksandr   
*condenses down Bass and Alek to one post for convenience/ narrative making sense*

Bass had wasted no time in setting himself before Marietta, shield held before him as his one blue eye and one scarred, cataract filled eye met with the blank and molten metal of Aleksandr's. With a howl of fury Aleksandr lunged, and Bass moved like water, under and around the wild swing, his sword flashing out. A long ribbon of inky mass was flayed from Aleksandr's back, cinders spitting out as he roared and flung a fist out with reckless abandon.

Bass lifted his shield, and was staggered almost off his feet as the metal crumpled and the wood splintered in to match sticks, a grunt of pain wrenched from him as he wheeled back, the leather strap in his hand all that stopped the pieces of the shield from falling to the floor.

It had stalled Aleksandr's momentum though, who now raged at Bass, at the sky, at the rest of them as smoke coughed from his mouth in oily black gouts, the heat from the flames licking off his body oppressive, akin to a roaring bonfire. And again Marietta sang, and he staggered, lurched heavily, his fingers hooked and tearing at the black mass that made up the 'skin' of his body as the awful soul-numbing wailing emitted from him again, the crackle of fire punctuating the sounds. "I can't... Stop..." The words were strangled, coughed out between fire and soot and embers, but he hesitated, seeming as if about to snap, uncertain as to which direction it would go, though, hovering on a thin line between one madness or another.

The hound that watched was patient, and saw Marietta watching it - and it knew how this would play out. She had seen it so many times before, and even if she watched it, it did not necessarily matter, if others were not...
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Ben   
Bass had the Prima, just fine. With a quick glance back at the man with the staff - What was that thing?! The eyes staring at them, his gaze locked on them for a second, before he risked it and turned away, urging Molly to the tree, not Aleksandr or Bass.

He'd use her height and bless his old hangouts with his brother, climbing trees was no difficult task to him, though the branches of this one might have proven a challenge otherwise. He had to trust that Bass would protect the Prima, right now, his full focus was grabbing that sword...and hopefully, not getting sniped from the grass as he lunged.
~ ~ ~ ~

Posted by Shi Shen The Eye of Dreams   
Shen was following Bass well behind, he saw the other man going for the Sword, one that seemed to know the man of fire, the Prima had ordered the Sword the target of their attentions and as he closed in he saw his initial plan was not going to work, not with one such as the man Bass was facing. The adaptability of him and the struggle, adding odd might anger and focus him, that was not something he wanted to do, then the dream, lurking in the grass it always ended at the tree that way. Shen broke to follow Ben, it was not something that he thought he would make, a distance to the tree No, too far to reach the man before he neared it, close, but never reaching, that was what the perception he had from their descriptions. What would happen would be beyond his reach, but he stayed alert, Hearing focused behind him, listening for a rustling of the grass as his eyes looked ahead to the tree and to the man running for the sword.
10
The Choir / Snitch!
« Last post by Ben on January 03, 2020, 02:41:34 AM »
Posted by Bass
Bass was in the same place he almost always was, when he was overseeing drills or inspections - in his office dealing with various paperwork and plans. He had a perpetually tired sort of look at a first glance, but looking at his expression and his posture suggested a more driven, focused person, whether or not fatigue was thrown in to the equation.
He had a lot of things to consider, a lot of things that needed doing, and countless complications to take in to account, with more that he wasn't aware of lurking nearby, he was sure.  He lifted his gaze from the papers he had been looking at, grimacing and rubbing his temples before exhaling a sigh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Ben
Well, there he was again, on a Marathon-like sprint from Uhr to the Choir. Sans getting tired enough to inadvertently drink horse spit. No, he took better care of himself this time despite the urgency. To the point where his meeting with Bass was delayed by a stop at the bath house to make sure he didn't smell like wet dog.

His request for audience was certainly less request and more demand this time. He knocked harder, three times again, calling out in a voice that was a far cry from his last visit to Bass' door.

"Conductor! I need a minute."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Bass
His brow raised at the hammering on the door, leaning back in his chair as he pondered what the fuss was, and what made them presume this kind of thing would be acceptable. He indulged it for now though, his voice cutting the air like a whip crack as he spoke and prepared himself for whatever this was about.

"Come in."

He waited for the noise against his door to make its way from outside, to inside, regarding Ben with his brow raising further up his head - well this was interesting just based on who it was. He rested an arm on the arm of the chair and gestured to the seat on the other side of his desk.

"Sit down. What is this about?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Ben
"Aye, Conductor."

He wasted no time in sliding into the chair before Bass, giving him a cursory nod before glancing away, still willing to loosely follow some sort of formality.

"I don't mean to be rude, Sir, but I imagine we can't waste anymore time." He hadn't finished his sentence before he was fishing the bundle of parchment out of his front pocket, flipping through the pages until he came across the symbol on Sam's box.

"I'll start with the less important one only so it isn't forgotten. The demon that attacked the Manor? Hardly worthwhile, now. I hear- maybe not accurately- that you've asked for his head. I gained his trust instead. He's gone to further isolate himself, however-"

He was speaking so fast, all without looking at the Conductor aside from a second to place the scribbled serpent around the bundle of grapes before him. "He's looking for Aleksandr, and he's our next problem..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Bass
For now he was giving the man the benefit of the doubt as to how urgent this was, waiting to see how the information unfolded, his arms idle on the arms of the chair but for the occasional drum of his fingers as the report was given. The beast that had run amok a few times now - that was something he wasn't really expecting, but he made a note of the fact that Ben had documented some of this information down, and nodded his head sedately. It was not the top of his list right now, but he would certainly look in to it at an opportune time - he hadn't forgotten about it, not at all.

"I see."

And then Ben continued, and his brow rose as this continued, and the mention of Aleksandr came up, and that the mad beast was looking for him. Marietta favoured Aleksandr in some way (he suspected he might know that better than she did, or she was playing really badly at denial) and he was willing to lend the man some credence, given what he had been through since he had arrived in the Tapestry. He leaned forwards in his chair a little, as it was known to him that Shen and maybe others were looking for Aleksandr too, and he felt it would be best served if Marietta knew this new information first.

"Go on... Be comprehensive, please."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Ben
"Right, I'll get to the point now." He dragged the picture back to himself, keeping it there, flipping to the next page so he could decipher the doodled notes he left for himself. There wasn't a word in the entire book, having not learned how to write yet.

"I found Aleksandr in Uhrwerkstadt's forest about four nights ago. Speaking to Azalie of Handel...Hadelsglide? Anyway, I'd say we got along on our trip bringing Gawain back, but when he saw me..." He shook his head. "Azalie was able to block him, somehow. Apparently a second Virtuoso's given her a task. And killed Alek... He's moving, but he isn't right anymore...as she put it, he's the 'Hounding that can cross thresholds.'"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Bass
He inclined his head as Ben assented to getting to his point, listening as the information was imparted, some sort of malady having stricken Aleksandr, which by itself was regrettable but not really news-worthy, at least, not to him - the prima would have a very different view on this, no doubt. But the parts that didn't add up made him uneasy - why was this girl blocking him, and how? And more than that, the allegation that the man had been killed, and somehow raised in to service again as some sort of... Addition to the hounding? Did he still have the sword? That was enough to make him very anxious, his brow furrowing deeply, trenches carved in to his face as he leaned forwards now.

"You are telling me... The man is some sort of... Revenant now? Could it be anything else? Are you sure?"

The prima would be devastated, he thought. He would have to tell her, he couldn't avoid it... But maybe it would be better to hedge his bets for now, tell her that he had been sighted and that something was seriously wrong. It was not the whole truth, but there was no lie in it either. She was suffering as it was with lack of sleep and lack of... Something else he couldn't put his finger on. Telling her that this man, whoever he was to her, was dead and raised as some sort of ghoulish monster would be too much.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Ben
"I don't know, I'm telling you as she told me. They were talking just fine before I made myself known..." He paused a "Reminded me a bit of when he first fought that demon. A lot of ashes and anger... I don't expect a close-quarters fight to go well with his fire. So!"

Each point was emphasized by him counting his fingers. "Azalie's gone to tame a beast that impresses the Virtuoso by the end of the month, this Virtuoso's after 'revenge and restoration', I believe. Not much else on that. And..."

He drew out the note, scowling before he looked back up at the Conductor. "Apparently the Hounds aren't really stopped by the painted doors. It's up to the Virtuoso."

He dreaded the massacre that could be should the Hounds be left to their own devices. As far as he knew, they weren't corporeal.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Bass
"I see..."

His expression made it seem like it was hewn from gravel, rather than flesh and bone as he considered what he had heard - it sounded like a messy resolution was likely to be the only way. He had better get this information to Marietta first then, lest this weird interaction she had with the man cause her to slip off in to madness if he was killed.

"Revenge."

His expression became even more serious with that revelation, his marred eye seeming the perfect likeness of a stone statue as his emotive range and gesturing seemed to all fade away. Was this what Marietta was concerned about? Had they struck the first blow? The implications were staggering. For now there was no way to know, but a motive for this virtuoso that hid beyond their reach and bled them a day at a time was significantly more dangerous than the previous one, in potential scope of destruction.

"They aren't what?"

His tone had an acid bite to it that he hadn't intended, disrupted from his thoughts about the virtuoso by this clarification on the hounding. Could they really just walk in if they wanted? He had trouble believing all the different old wives tales that kept people safe in the hounding, but that one at least seemed to hold true. If all that was stopping them, was someone simply instructing them to raid houses... He felt his chest tighten in grim anticipation.

"How much do you trust this information? If it's true, I don't need to tell you... We could all be killed in a single night. They don't seem to tire, or even get injured. It would be the end of everything if all that stops them, is that they haven't been told to ransack homes..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Ben
"I'm aware. As far as trusting her, I don't know. We're near strangers, and I'm afraid I already made her uncomfortable enough to hide any signs of dishonesty."

He leaned back in his chair in a near-casual way he would never dream of allowing, had he been entirely 'there'. After returning the half-book to his pocket, his hand found its way to his jaw, resting there as he chewed his lip for a moment.

"Azalie doesn't seem too fond of her involvement in all this. But I doubt the Virtuoso is raising a foil for himself. I'm sure he has some use for her that we won't like...The reason I insisted our time might be ticking-- four days isn't too late to track, disregarding of course the restraints of the night, and then even if I did find her, then what?"

He was silent for a beat, yet still appeared on the verge of continuing.

"Sir, it's far-fetched, I know. But do we know of any true witches? Azalie has my tooth. And it's not unheard of for my kind to find such things, with a little human help..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Bass
"I appreciate your honesty, but I might have liked it more if you had lied a little, in this instance."

He probably would have known if Ben had lied, but hearing the woman was not a vetted person was not encouraging. Ben was though, and if he believed all this had merit, then he had to trust that it was, and that it would lead them to something meaningful.
He was silent, almost intensely so as Ben continued to rattle off information and speculation, none of it concrete in its use except one thing, but he would come back to that when the man was finished talking. Speaking of witches and the like made his expression twist slightly - he did not like trusting to magic and whimsical powers to get his job done, even if it was necessary sometimes.

"I do not know any such person, but I have a greater priority in mind right now. We know you have seen Aleksandr, and we know he is being looked for right now. He has a connection to this virtuoso that bleeds us dry a day at a time, and Azalie has some sort of connection too. We should secure her, before our foe decides to do whatever it is that is planned. If she knows something useful, she will be vital. If she does not, we hamper the virtuoso by taking a piece off the board, which is in itself valuable to us... The chance to strike back rather than just sitting here, waiting for the hounds..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Ben
He nodded, still as the Conductor spoke, half-hearing all he said until the end, the vaguest an command could get, perhaps.

"I'll find her, if that's your order."

He almost continued, visibly hesitating before settling back, looking to him for a confirmation.

He had his doubts on dragging her back. Surely it would hamper the Virtuoso...but would it be the best choice? Perhaps it would only enrage him to the point of letting the hounds out sooner rather than later, before they could come up with anything. If they had any more time, that was.

There was also the question, one he dared not voice, why? In this case, the houndsman did seem to be antagonizing the Tapestry, but had he always? What drove him to do it? Could the situation be mediated? An agreement made? Thoughts that led him to his secret sympathy for the first virtuoso despite witnessing her massacre first hand.

Had Battaglia made any truly good decisions, lately? Their cold Prima had sent the cursed man to die. For all he knew, she sent one man after the artifacts. One man that could easily die and not be discovered until some brigand made off with their prize. Had nobody been sent to scour the battleground for survivors?

Doubt soured the only small speck of pride he had for the guild. He didn't like to think himself disloyal, but he had never truly swore himself to them...

Perhaps the Virtuoso had a better plan. If he found her, he hoped Azalie would know.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10