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Kodos
01-03-2011, 01:24 PM
CAMPAIGN A ARCHIVE 1 (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7DMD6D9F)
CAMPAIGN A ARCHIVE 2 (http://mangatutorials.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=26)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZOuy4YM0AI

Regantor
01-04-2011, 10:10 PM
Handing Emi to Mathias with a hugely disgruntled shrug, Veldan desided that she'd better intervene before the boisterous little Chitine managed to get herself killed. As much as the musclegirl hated to admit it, that was pretty much her job summed up.

"Alright then, come here you moldy freak..." She spoke into the black, side-stepping to use the natural cover of the wall, then smashing in the face of the zombie that moved to intercept her.

Melee attack;
1d20+9=29 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2826553/)
Melee damage;
1d4+4=8 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2826571/)

((The zombie has 19 HP remaining.))

It didn't quite die, despite now having the upper half of it's face looking in the other direction. What really disturbed Veldan was how normal this was becoming, through.

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/3278/2h6dkyb.jpg

Kodos
01-05-2011, 02:32 PM
Just a reminder of the initiative order. I arbitrarily bumped up Veldan to go right after Ulow since Reg is now rollplaying both of them until Windy returns. Also, Reg, just noticed. Silly Reg, you can't do critical damage on Undead! :D
INITIATIVE
Makoto - 23
Saiza - 20
The Butcher - 19
Ulow
Veldan
Mathias

Duskyduck
01-13-2011, 03:47 AM
Mathias attempts to recall information (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838193/) regarding Morghs.

To quickly take control of the room, he produced a small candle and ushered words of power...casting Summon Monster IV and producing 3 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838069/) Celestial Bisons in the room.

They act immediately, tackling the nearest zombies...
The first one hits (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838226/), goring the zombie next to hit, doing 6 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838244/)damage.
The second bison strikes (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838245/) the zombie pushing it against the wall for 7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838246/) damage...again failing to do significant damage.
The third bison tackles (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838247/) the zombie north of it a little harder for 8 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2838248/) damage, but the undead still stands....


http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/9120/2h6dkybcopy.th.jpg (http://img18.imageshack.us/i/2h6dkybcopy.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Kodos
01-15-2011, 11:36 AM
Mathias recognizes that the thing he's fighting is a Mohrg, a type of corporeal Undead born from the corpses of unrepetant mass murderers or similar villains who died without atoning for their crimes. They are cunning, intelligent, and stealthy killers with long, prehensile, jaws tongues capable of paralyzing victims with a bite. Those slain by a Mohrg rise as Zombies within a few days of being slain.
Lovely.

Shozag
01-15-2011, 11:47 AM
Makoto groaned.
This was turning into another fine mess.

She dashed through the open door where all the fighting was going on, taking note of the rather large bison engaging the zombies. The second bison seemed to be in the best position to use help from the scantily clad warrior, so she drew her weapon and struck at the zombie.
Attack and Damage
1d20+6=15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2841342/)
1d6+1=6 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2841364/)


http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/2581/bisonsssmannnn.jpg (http://img535.imageshack.us/i/bisonsssmannnn.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Alexander_Hamilton
01-23-2011, 11:27 PM
For a moment, Saiza stared blankly at the large bovines trampling zombies. After a moment, he recoveredhimself and rushed in after Makoto. If he had this protection spell on him, he'd might as well put it to good use.

Attack & Damage
1d20+11=13, 1d6-1=4 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2853962/)

Zombies health is 9

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/379/mapuz.jpg

Kodos
04-05-2011, 07:16 PM
The Morhg was still hiding, giving no sign of its presence.

***

The three zombies in range of the Celestial Bisons all attempted to hit them. Two of their attacks completely missed, while the third's attack just glanced off the magical beast's hide.
http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/379/mapuz.jpg (http://img689.imageshack.us/i/mapuz.jpg/)
http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2968229/
I didn't bother rolling damage for the one that hit because due to the DR it would be, at most, 1 damage. I see no point in adding another thing to keep track of.

Regantor
04-06-2011, 10:20 PM
"...Gwer... Horny fat glowy horn horses?" Ulow hadn't seen a bull yet, and thus just assumed that Mathias' new helpers were entirely rediculous not-earthly thingy-ma-jigs. Similar to standard surface animals, through, the look on her face suggessed she was more terrified of them than she was of the walking skeletons. "Why'd you have to do thad, Madhias... They're horrible..."

Standing and keeping an eye on peoples' backs, she had lost her appitite for going into the room now, it seemed...

Total defence (+4AC)

///////////////////////////////////////

Veldan was rather too busy to talk, instead just swinging at the same Zombies' head again, in an effort to make it more dead...

Attack Roll
1d20+9=11 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2969960/)

...but completely missing due to the surprise giant magic bovine intervention, regardless.

Duskyduck
04-13-2011, 02:59 PM
Mathias feels that he had already expended his share of spellpower - for now. Until the real threat shows itself, he decided to simply stand by and try to scan for the Morgh.


Spot Check:1d20+2=19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2979641/)


All of the summoned bisons pressed on their attacks, fierce tackling the zombies to the best of their abilities. The first bison gored the zombie next to Veldan. The second turned to assist Makoto in taking down the zombie next to her, and the third drove it's horn against the zombie adjacent to the second - unfortunately, not connecting.


1st Bison Attack:1d20+8=27 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2979643/)
Damage:5 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2979646/)
2nd Bison Attack:1d20+8=22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2979651/)
Damage:7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2979655/)
3rd Bison Attack:1d20+8=14 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2979653/)

Kodos
04-24-2011, 09:50 PM
YOU ARE ALL HORRIBLE AND CANNOT HAVE NICE THINGS.

And so after what seemed like an eternity, you managed to destroy the Zombies and the Mohrg (who mostly went after Makoto) and collect the key. Yaaaay.

The rest of you decided to rest so Mathias could regain his spells. Maybe it was the presence of so much Negative Energy, or maybe it was some Other thing, but for some reason you all did feel a bit tired here, especially Saiza. Couldn't hurt to nap for bit, right?

Ulow stood guard. Hopefully she wouldn't wander off and/or eat Emi.

***

Mathias dreams.

Dreams?

Remembers?

It is Brookhaven. It is 6 years ago. Pierre Vacher, a local priest of St. Cuthbert and - secretly of course - former Hierarch of the Brookhaven Horned Society, has just been found guilty of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Sabina, Claudia's parents.

This is one crime he did not commit.

It is the Brookhaven prison. Claudia is visiting the man who is held responsible for her parents murder. She is visibly distraught, weeping heavily, as two guards escort her to a holding cell so she could meet with Vacher. They leaver her alone with the prisoner, who is safely bound in chains and on the other side of a barred cell.

As soon as the guards leave, Claudia's tears stop. She always was quite the actress.

"Claudia - you have to understand! It wasn't - It wasn't me! It was the Dominus! He did this! He killed them! He wanted - he wants - my position! I'm the Hie-"

"Oh, shove it, Pierre. Giovanni - and yes, Pierre, I know all of you - didn't kill my parents. On a related note" she was beaming, "I'm in the inner cabal now, Pierre. Seems He found my offerings more than acceptable and Giovanni - the new Hierarch - was more than happy to have me aboard."

"You me-"

"For fuck's sake, yes you idiot. He got your old job, Raphael got his old job, and I got Raphael's." She turned to face him, and shrugged, smiling slightly as a wave of realization washed across the former Hierarch's face. "If it's any consolation, I'll have Raphael's, then Giovanni's, jobs too, soon enough." She laughed. "Why do you think I helped Giovanni? He's an idiot, just like you, and - as He would have it - Raphael, besides being another moron, has a thing for redheads and big breasts." Claudia gave Pierre a flirty smile while winking and tossing her hair back.

"You won't be able to kill me and get away with it. They'll find out. There will be an investigation an-"

"No, Pierre, no there will not be. Giovanni had nothing to do with what happened to my dearly departed parents. I already told you this. He's almost as much of an idiot as you. I framed you for that, and I'll get this pinned on you too, darling. After all, a fanatic like you would prefer death to imprisonment." A laugh. "All Giovanni did before was help during the trial, what with his position as our fair and just chief judge." Claudia snickered at the irony. "And don't pretend like you suddenly forgot how many people we have working for Brahm here. No one will know but us in the society, and no one else will care, anyway. You're a dangerous fanatic who murdered two people of great wealth and character. I don't think you will be missed, Pierre."

She rose from her seat, producing a key from within her cleavage and a small but extremely sharp dagger from one of her stockings.

"This is the way of things, Pierre, and you should know this. The strong thrive and the weak are trampled underfoot. I won, you lost. All is as it should be. All is as He has willed."

"His will be done."

*

It is some time later. Claudia is in a torture chamber of some sort within the Asmodean Temple near Brookhaven. There is a man strapped to a table, and a large array of torture implements.

Mathias can smell the blood in the air.

"Why did you leave?"

"I... I wanted to be with my fami-"

Casually and still smiling Claudia dips the man's left hand in the jar of acid producing a horrible scream. She holds his hand there for a few moments before pulling it out.

"You had us, James. You had Him. You did not need a family." Claudia leans over towards him with deliberate and mocking sultriness. "Was it love, James? Did you love her? Is that why you left us for some woman and then proceeded to add insult to injury by getting the whore knocked up?"

He says nothing. Claudia gives an exaggerated frown before suddenly grabbing an extremely sharp cleaver from the table nearby and bringing it down hard and fast on his left hand, severing the appendage. As he screams in pain Claudia continues to speak to him, talking loudly over his cries.

"I asked you a question, James. Did you love her?"

"YES!"

"That is unfortunate, James, most unfortunate. Do you know what love is, James? It is a sin worse than weakness; it is weakness that proclaims itself loud and clearly. It is to shout aloud 'I am weak and unable to manage on my own!' You are a parasite, James. A parasite. There are, in this world, James, predators and prey, and do you want to take a guess as to which category parasites like you fall into?" Another smile. "I bet you loved your little brat, too."

"W-w-what did you do with them?"

"The smart predator, James, learns from their prey. I once dated a butcher. I've been with several alchemists. I've learned how to handle knives, James, and I've learned how to be very precise."

"I don't-"

"You'd be surprised how long a person can live without their skin." Claudia gave him a smile as a look of horror washed across his face. "You'd also be surprised what we fed you last." She frowns as he begins to cry hysterically.

"Crying really isn't very manly, James. You can try and have some dignity about all of this." She said plainly, hiding well the laughter in her voice.

Claudia took a seat on a stool besides the large table the man was strapped down to. She removed his unmarred right from the bindings and gently rubbed it once across her face and cleavage before speaking, pausing now and again to kiss or suck on one of his fingers.

"Most torturers have a habit of going straight for the genitals or face, James. That's silly. I'll get to those," she said with a laugh, "don't worry, but that's no place to start."

"Our hands," she explained, "are enormously important. Such sensation in them! And they are, after all, one fifth of how we experience the world, and the greater part of how we interact with it." Another smile.

Claudia reached for the thumbscrews on the table besides her.

***

Makoto sees Kusanagi-to. It is roughly 3345 years ago. A great plague is sweeping across the city. In the more densely populated areas, the streets are literally flooded with corpses - some of which haven't stopped moving yet.
The Emperor, Narihito, himself has fallen victim to his plague. He is nearly constantly surrounded by his attendants, physicians, and consorts. This Makoto sees.

His favored consort stands out immediately to Makoto. Sogi Shiranui. She's an ancestor of Rin's, apparently, but Makoto would think it was her, if she didn't know any better. Or her twin. But not some distant ancestor from a few thousand years ago. She even radiates the same aura of irresistable sexuality, beauty, and effortless grace that Rin does.

But also something darker. More predatory.
Her, dress, too, is far more ostentatious than Rin's. Much more showy and flashy. She clearly enjoys the material benefits of her favored status.

*

In the palace harems, surrounded by several other consorts (most of whome are also Shiranui clan, judging by their golden eyes and Rin-esque physiques), Sogi is confronted by Yasuchika, one of Narihito's court Onmyoji.

"I know what you are, witch." He states simply, almost without malice.

"Oh?" She smiles.

"Yes. I'm giving you your first and last option to end this peacefully. Leave this city - this country - and never return. I don't care if you go bother some other nation, or go back to whatever Abyssal pit you crawled out of, but you will leave this nation and you will take your she-demons and your plague with you."

"Yasuchika, dear," she purrs, "I have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps you are ill? I understand mild delirium is not an uncommon symptom of the plague. Should you really be out and about? Why, you risk contaminting myself and these other fine ladies!"

"Play coy all you want, Demon, you had your chance." He states simply before leaving.

After a few moments have passed, one of the other Shiranui women turns to Sogi. "Shall I kill him?"

"No." Sogi smiles. "He has a wife and small child."

The other woman is already on her way out when Sogi calls out to her.

"Be creative." She laughs.

***

Veldan sees St. Melinde.

It is before Therion's plan involving his towers was put into motion.

The party had already been assembled and traveling together for some time though. Long enough that Melinde and Yumi have already become lovers.

This Veldan knows.
Remembers?

The party had been fighting an Abyssal Cult and had tracked them to the abandoned castle that was their headquarters. Yumi had went on ahead into the castle to infiltrate it and report back.

Except she got captured.

"We'll kill her! We'll kill your exotic little harl-"
"No you won't." Melinde says simply and without a hint of fear or anger.
"Wh-what?" The cultist is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a bit confused.
"You won't kill her. If you kill her, you will have no leverage left. If she dies I will suffer, and I will suffer terribly, but in time I will come to understand and to accept that her soul is safe. And you and your associates will all die. I will see to it that those who killed my beloved are brought to account. Not vengeance, but justice. I will find out who they are, I will track them down, and I will see them pay for their crimes.
Nothing will stop me. Not oceans or deserts, not storms or wildfires. No matter what stones they may hide under, or holes they may crawl into, the light of my righteous cause will fall upon them and they will be found and they will be punished. I will fill my heart not with fury or rage, but with steadfast determination and unyielding tenacity. My faith in the Archpaladin will nourish and sustain me, and he will ensure that my purpose remains pure." Melinde gave a little smile, leaning in now on one knee. "So do you still wish to try my patience, or will you cooperate?"

*

It is later. The party is relaxing at a tavern, their heroism for the day behind them.

"Faggot."

"Gods dammit, Grignr, I'm not a faggot!" Is Ischaldir's response, taking the troll-bait.

"Nay, lad, I'm pretty sure ye are."

"You never call Melinde a faggot!"

"Aye. The lovely lass is a homosexual. Ye're a faggot. S'different."

Grignr's teasing is cut short when Melinde calmly walks over and proceeds to punch him hard in the shoulder. "Quit teasing Ischaldir, you." She says calmly before sitting back down and returning to her drink.

PALADINS, FUCK YEAH.

Something in Ischaldir, dark and ancient, laughs at the Elf.
And Veldan knows it.
It is not unique to Ischaldir.
It is ancient and sick, terrible and alien.

The Truth (http://i.imgur.com/ZfvJO.jpg) will make you free. It purrs.

It lies.

***

Saiza was falling. (http://tindeck.com/listen/cwgc)

Saiza was falling through time and space, through darkness and through memories.

And he was, as always, alone.

Not alone.
Not alone. As always.

Never alone.

Always alone - but never alone.

It was with him. Always.

It was was with him.
It was watching him.
It could see him.
Always.

But he could never seem It.
Never.
Could not look at It.
Would not look at Them.

Never could look at the Truth. (http://i.imgur.com/9bV2z.jpg)

Never never never never never.

Gods no.

Nononononononono.
No.

It sees him.

*

Saiza is no longer falling. (http://tindeck.com/listen/nikb)

He is sitting down. In a chair.
There is a table in front of him. With a setting.
It is tea time.

Sitting across from him is a woman. (http://i.imgur.com/pa9t2.jpg) She is like an Elf, but paler, her skin a pure white, and taller, at least six feet.

He is dreaming. He knows this. Nothing has ever felt so surreal, so dreamlike.
He is not dreaming.
He is dreaming?

"Oh, hello Saiza." Her voice was soft, somewhat monotone, and with odd stresses. "You're just in time for tea."

Alexander_Hamilton
04-25-2011, 11:48 PM
Saiza did not respond at first, shifting in his seat and trying to regain anything resembling his bearings. Experiencing the abyss was still traumatic, though he was getting better coping with it. It was depressing that confronting cosmic monstrosities in a dream-space was becoming commonplace enough as to not surprise him.

So. He was dreaming, and drinking tea with some kind of tall, elf-like woman who was probably neither an elf or a woman. Saiza took a deep breath.

“Haven’t had tea in a while. Sounds nice.” He poked a teacup, half expecting it to disintegrate into nothingness. “Mind telling me who you are?”

Kodos
04-26-2011, 12:09 AM
The teacup, like everything else, felt completely and totally fake and dream-like.
Yourenotdreamingnotdreamingnotnotnotdreamingnotdre amingatall

It even smelled fake.
areyousosurethatthisisthedreamandoutthereisthereal ityhowcouldyoutell

The Elf-thing laughed, her bearing regal but her voice somehow hollow and odd. It was sing-song and dead-inside at all once.

"You show up to tea and don't even know who I am? Where are your manners, Saiza?" She laughed. "I'm the White Queen, of course. You probably just forgot." She smiled. "It's easy to forget."

"Or am I the Red Queen?" She mused, apparently genuinely confused. "I could be the Red Queen, now that I think of it. Am I the Red Queen? No. Yes? No."

"Of course you know to watch out for the Red Queen. One cannot trust her."

She paused for a moment and tilted her head to the side, apparently in thought. "Well, I mean, you can trust her. It just wouldn't be a very advisable course of action. Trusting the Red Queen, that is."

Alexander_Hamilton
04-26-2011, 12:35 AM
"You're a strange woman." Talk about an understatement. "Who are you, really, and why are you here?"

Kodos
04-26-2011, 12:47 AM
She responded before he even opened his mouth to speak, answering his questions before he asked them.

"We just went over who I am, silly. Do try and keep up, dear." She laughed. "And this is my house. I live here. Why are you here?"

Alexander_Hamilton
04-26-2011, 01:44 AM
All right. She could read his mind. Or see the future? This seemed to be a kind of dream, so who knew what rules of reality applied? "That's a good question. You're more likely to know the answer than I am." Whatever this woman, if it could be called a woman, was, she seemed like she might be cooperative, if only due to her strangeness. "Where are we, really?"

Kodos
04-26-2011, 01:50 AM
"We're here, silly! My but you're a bit daft, aren't you?" She laughed, apparently back in sync or something, as she didn't respond until after he'd spoken this time.

"And you're here because you're not in other places. Or are you in other places? The Many-Angled Ones have been getting frisky lately. They tend to around this time, of course. The Veil is lifting, as I'm sure you've noticed." She smiled, drinking some of her tea.

"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again." She shrugged. "So it goes."

Alexander_Hamilton
04-26-2011, 09:09 PM
Saiza barely repressed a groan of frustration. He wondered if h should have been scared instead of annoyed. In any case, it was better for his sanity to be the latter.

"So, uh..this Veil. What will happen when it lifts? Who are these guys with many angles or whatever?"

Kodos
04-26-2011, 09:19 PM
Once again, she was answering his questions before he asked them.

"What a silly question." She muses. "The same thing that happened the last|next time the Veil lifts|ed." The conflicting words came out at the exact same time. "The same thing that always happens when the Veil lifts and the stars are right. The Inevitable."

"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. So it goes."

"The Many-Angled Ones? What about them? Why do you bring them up?"

A fish flew out of Saiza's ear, into the air, burst into a mass of tentacles, and then exploded in a burst of multicolored light. The White and/or Red Queen did not react, still drinking her tea and smiling blankly.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-26-2011, 09:29 PM
Her information was frustratingly useless, in addition to being given before he had requested it, but Saiza was too preoccupied with frantically feeling at his ear to be irritated.

He paused, collected himself, trying to construct like logical thought in the bizarre atmosphere. "O...kay. Listen, I don't know anything about what's going on. At all. This seems to be some kind of crazy dream hallucination, but I'd appreciate it if you could actually explain something, because you do seem to know things. I don't know anything about the Veil, or what it does or what happened when it lifted before. Give a guy a break. What's the Inevitable? It's sounding pretty apocalyptic."

Kodos
04-26-2011, 09:34 PM
She was still responding to things he hadn't said yet.

"Dream? Hallucination? Oh, no, no, no. Out there is the dream. This is reality." She smiled.

"Real as it gets." She added grimly, before pausing, apparently confused again.

"Or maybe it's the other way around? It's easy to forget." She gave a shrug. "And the Veil is the Veil, silly." She smiled.

"Oh, hello Saiza." Her voice was soft, somewhat monotone, and with odd stresses. "You're just in time for tea."

Alexander_Hamilton
04-26-2011, 09:40 PM
"All right. I'm done." Saiza stood up carefully. After the ear-fish, he had become almost too aware of his body. If he made another sudden movement, who knew what orfices fishes would be popping from next?

"Er...Thanks for the tea, Miss....Red Queen. White Queen. Queen."

He looked around for a place to head off to.

Kodos
04-26-2011, 10:21 PM
"You can't trust the Red Queen!" She warned again.

"Oh!" She remarked as Saiza got up. "He|They|It sees you. Goodbye Saiza! Maybe you can come for tea again!"

And then Saiza was falling again.

Falling in an(his?) endless black abyss.
So cold. So dark.
No sound.
No sight.

No sense of anything.

Not even himself.

*

Asul is burning. (http://tindeck.com/listen/oqke)

Gods and Mortals, Devils and Demons, all are desperately fighting. They are not fighting off an invasion, they are fighting a revolution.

They are fighting the rulers (http://i.imgur.com/TyvRg.jpg) of Asul.

*

Saiza sees Devils and Demons fighting side by side. Mortals fighting alongside strange metallic men (http://i.imgur.com/y6NJz.jpg), Golems scores of feet tall, strange ships which sailed through the skies (http://i.imgur.com/5jqTm.jpg), and even the Gods themselves.

Against the Illithids (http://i.imgur.com/Z5xbj.jpg) and their creations.

Tentacles hundreds of feet tall rend the sky.

The Gods are dying.

Asul is burning.

*

The Multiverse is burning.

As the war to liberate the Material Planes rages on (In Visek (http://i.imgur.com/219Ty.jpg) the sky was shattered, the Veil partially lifted, and incarnations of the Elder Gods loosed. (http://i.imgur.com/Ckn9k.jpg) Saiza doesn't know what any of that means, but he knows it happened.) so too does the war ragein other fronts.

In their blasphemy, the Illithids have even turned to the Outer Planes for fresh conquests.

The Blood War put on hold.

When Asmodeus set foot in Arcadia, he did so not as a conqueror, but as a liberator.

The Multiverse is burning.
The Gods are dying.

This is the way the world ended.

Almost.

*

I̡̠̦̣̼͓͕̦͆͗͌͛ͣ̚͢͞|̡̢͉̮͕̙͖̦̍ͤͨͩͫ͗́̕͠ͅH̶̨̬͖͗͒̃ͫ̍̏͛͊͝ ̦Ę̳̳̖̘̱͇͇̱̟̣̥̣̗͕̗͕̜̌̃͗ͤ̎̓̇͛͌̇̈ͅ|̢͉̹ͭ̅̽̄̈ͨͭ̍ͪ̀̚͞͞͠ ̲̺̹̭̙̙̜̼W̴̛̦͇̗̹̺̞̘̠͔̰̻͕̔̋ͣ̅ͫ̆ͥ̓͆͋͌̋̃̀̚̕͞E͛͒ͩ́ͩ͌͋̐ͥ ̸̶̰͕̱̰͕̳̣͈͉͎ ͫ̃̚͏҉̸̡͔̳̦̭̻̹͖̼̞̼̬͠S̩̝̼̝̹͕̞͖̼̞̔͛̃͛͗̇̀͘Ȩ̛̍̐͌͛͌ͩ̾̀͜ ͔̹̺̹̻͖̩̠͙̱̜̺̫͇̻̥ͅȄ̸̛̜̩͎̼̖̼̄̒̀ͩ̏͘͜ͅ ̡̭̘͕̰̘͍̺̙̀̒̐̽̃͑̆ͫ̎͞Y̧͍̪̣̝̟̘̭̮̙̞̼̟͔͈̼ͩͪ́ͦ͆̊͑͒̓ͫ͐̀̚O ̢̞̫̤̙͇̖̫̦͔̤̙͎͎̺̜̰̯̟͙̓ͩͬ̓̀̚͟͟͝U̗͉̥̖͉̤̳̟̻̫͖̔ͨ͐ͩ̆́̕͠͞ ̗̖̲̥̪͍ ̵̼̯̘͔͇̭̹̫͓͉̖̩͓͉̟͇͑̋ͮͣͭ̎ͪͥ͊ͫ̃̀̀̂̎͟S̵ͭ͆ͦ̂͐ͧ̈́̓̆͂̂͘҉̥͠ ̗̲̲̦̺̣͇̗ͅA̡ͨ̓ͫͬ̾̎̔̈́ͭͬͥ̌̃ͨ̋͞͏̬̗͔̼͙̫̻͈͙̗̝͔Į̑̀̊̂ͮͯͫ͡ ͖͓̥̖͙̥͍Z̶̸̙͓̺̞̐̿͌͐̌ͥͭͯͮ̋ͫ̈́̽͂͊͋̆̆Ą̵ͨ̿̈̑̅ͥ̍ͣ̿ͩ̉ͣ̿́͢ ̟̝̲̼̱̰.͔̞̰͚̟̒ͪͪ̍́́

*
Saiza is no longer falling. (http://tindeck.com/listen/efrx)

He is in an endless, featureless, white void.

Before him is a large monolith, about 10 feet tall, and 6 feet wide.
It looks like a hole in forever.

Sitting in front of it on either end are two beings. Both are small and childlike with apparently humanoid bodies.

One has featureless and perfectly black skin with what can only be called a vaguely luminescent green outline. He is wearing a golden crown and a strange white mask with three large holes in it - two for the eyes, one for the mouth. The holes are perfectly round and seem to go forever, an endless black abyss.

One has perfectly white skin with what can only be called a vaguely luminescent green outline. His skin is covered in cracks that seem to be oozing a black mist or vapor. He is wearing a gnarled and horrifying mask of an Illithid.



Y̵̢̌͐ͬͭͪͩw̸̷̢̿̈̋ͮ̽̔ͦ̉ͣ̓͑̊̑͌͡a̔́̊ͧ̓ͭ̊̐̚͏̷̶̧̡q̑ͦ̉̑̆̑ ̵̷̑̒ͧ̐ͩ̆ ̴̶ͧ̃͊̓ͩ͗ͮ̆̌̾͑͂ͤ̒̀ͦ̋̚̚m̷̵͒̎͐̅̎̚͘͢a͒͗̀͊̀͝͡q̒̓̾̓̀ͥ͋ͥ̍ ̴ͥͭͤ̀͐̌ͩ͠͡ ̶̾ͫ̎͐̿̇̾̋ͯ̓͋͑̈̆͂̂́͞o͒̓͑̒ͯ̽̒̏̄ͬͩ̊ͮ͌̇́̚͞͏óͨ̂̂ͥ̏̀ͬ̾͐ ̨̈́ͫ̽́ͮ̕͠͠u̵̧ͬ͂͛ͩ͆ͣ̉ͭ;̶̡̃̆̑͗ͭ͂̾ͮ͒̆̓̾ͩ̚ ̿ͩͭ̌̑͊ͮ̒̋ͥ͑҉̀y̧ͫͯͦ͋ͧ̇͗ͫ͐̌̎̌̅ͣ̌̆͗̔͗w̵̐ͧ͛̔̃̏͛҉͞ăͤ̈́̎ ̶̴̢̒́̕q̶̢̛ͮ̏͊̑͒̋̄ͨ͛̋̅ͤ̅ͧ̅ͪ͗́͜͞ ̶̑ͪ̈̋̊ͩͩ̅̉͐̓̎ͦͬͭ̊̊ͤ́̚͞m͌̌͐̊͝҉̢͟â̾ͬ̂̇͊̋̿ͨͮ͂͒́̓ͮ̑̈́͋ ̶̕͏̷̀q̧ͤ̆ͥ̾̍̽ͫ̇̓͑̾̅̈̍͗͌ͧ̊͑́͟͝ ̶̧̢ͤͦͭͥ̽̿ͣ͌̅͊͂̂̀s̊̎̏̓͂ͥ̾̾̽ͤ̃͛͘̕s̈́ͪ̏ͣ̚͏̵̡a̴ͬ̈́ͬͬ̽͒͝͠ ͏̀g̸̨̎̍ͧ͆̒͑̑ͭ̓̈́ͤ͂̎͠ģ̨̒͊̊̈́̂̈͑̍ͨ͏̛͢hͮ̉͋́͗ͪͭ͌̾ͥ̒̑̔ͣ͊ ̷̸̔͛̈́̏͠͡҉.̴̶̋̊ͨ͐̑ͧͮ̎̓͌͐͂ͪ̚̕͟ ̷̵̧ͮ̔͊̀͌͆ͩ̅̾̄̑ͦ͒͝Y͋̐ͦ̍̏ͤ̅̏ͤ̚͏͢w̸̢ͭ͌̐͐̀̐ͦ̆̑ͣ͆̔̈́̏̚͠ a̶̸̷̛ͣ̔̇ͮͮ̑̓̅ͨͪ̂͟q̾͒͗ͭͩ͋̌̀̍ͥ͊̎ͮ̓ͩ̐҉̛ ̵̡͐ͤ̽ͪ͋̀͞͞m̴̴̡͂ͭ̊̄ͭ̒̃͢͞a̡̽ͣ̎̈̈ͫͣͬ̀͒̐̚͜ ͥ̌ͨͬ̈́̈̒̿͆҉̴s̨ͮͥ͒ͣ̎̐̓̈ͪͮͬ́̕͞h̸̶̍ͧ̎̄ͤͯ͋ͥ͗̑̉̑ͩ́g̔ͧ̉̋̊ ̴̴̉̿̐'̸̉̌ͥͣ̕f̷̛̎͐̒͂̅̈́ͬ͌ͨ̀̕͟ḩ̸̧̃̾̇ͩ͘͟nͭ̇̀͆͋̾̇ͨ̎̑̈̋ ̴̴̨͑̉̈́͘.̧̈́̉͋̎̆͆́ͨͯ̓̎̓ͥ̐́̚̕͘͟
̶͑̽̀̅͗̈́̌ͩͬ͑̒̓͒̎H̨a̵̷̴͘s͜͟t̸̨̀͞ù̴̶r҉ ̵̸́ḿ͠à̸̸҉ ̸̨͘͝p̢̢͞h̷͜͟g͡w̵҉̷͏a̸̢̕͜'̧͢͞͡͝c̨͜͞u͢͠l͏́͠ ̶h̵̕ǹ̵a҉́͘k̡f̴̢̢̛̕.̸̷̕
̷̢͏N͝y̷̧̛̕͞a͘̕ŕ̡͝ļ̛͟͢a̧̛͠t̸̴̷͟͢h̴̨͝ò̶t̡͘҉è̵̛p̨ ̨͟͠ ̸҉̵̢p̴͞͏ù̸̕͜ú̀͜ĺ̷́͞ ̵͘͟s̷̶̛ḱ̕͘͝s̷̛͜h̡͞҉̕g҉n̢̨͟҉̀:̴̴̴͟ ͞͞o̷̧̨n̵̛͝'͟m̡͟a̵͟͟ ̨̀͢͝y̷̴̵e͘͡͝h̵̡̀͠'̀͘͏̡̕g̡̀l̷̕͞u̸͏̵ ̷̶͢͡z̴̀͜u̢̡͞q̕.̨͟͝
T̴̵̛̫͔̬̬̤̪͓̞̬̻͖̯͉̗̦͕͉̕ͅḩ̵̻̭͓͈͔͎̼̘̠̗̻͉ǫ̴̠͈͇̹̙̻̮͡ͅ ̞̟̖͇͇̙̜o̢͔̤̗͚̞͙̼͎͚͢ͅņ̭̺͖̰̗̻͓̩͕̫̥͍̱̗̮͡ͅ ̛̪͙͙͔̱̞̰͎̹̖͡w̛̙̞͎͖͇͎̻̠̖̜̣͉̱͍͢͟͝͠g̷̭̘̩̟̬̪͖̥͔̩̩̰̯̱͘͞ ḁ̠͚̻̀͘ẖ̨̟̜͇̳̩̟̣̯̯̗̦̫̞͡ͅ'̶̡̺̱̱̝̝͕͓̱̱̲̘͞n̸̢̙̥͈͞͞ͅͅ ̬̙̘͇̹̟̬̥̩̦͖a̧̜̺̹͢͜͝ͅg͜͏̶̟̫̥̜̹̩͉̠̗͇͇̝̟̠͎̀͠l̨̲͘̕ ͖͙͓͙ ̵̡̘̬̦̮͖͔f̨̜͚̝̯͇̤̼̜͚͠ḩ̶̥̻͍̣͖̬͚̲̬̱͖̙͈̥̩̞̥͢͜͜ͅt͞҉҉̫͚ ̹̖̱à̡҉͝͏̳̺͈̹͙͕͇̰͈̜̥̰̫̤͈͙̞̪͓ģ̡̧̙̩̖͟͜ͅņ̮̼̗͕̗͔̕͜͡͞ ̼̻̺̦.̶̢̻͇̜̫͈͖̲͈͟͞

Alexander_Hamilton
04-28-2011, 07:25 PM
Saiza look from the first figure to the second to the monolith, his overloaded mind trying to catch up with what he'd just experienced. He had been with the green eyed elf-like woman...then he had seen everything. A war against illithids, a place called Visek, enormous...gods? How could he address the situation before him when he was trying to process something like that?

But he didn't have much choice. The shock from the entire experience had left Saiza sprawled out on pure white. Hesitantly, he got to his feet. The things were grotesque, and he avoided looking into their faces. A swallow, and then. "Mind telling me who you are and why I'm here?"

Kodos
04-28-2011, 07:28 PM
The response came from nowhere and everywhere.

From without.
From within.

Y̵̢̌͐ͬͭͪͩw̸̷̢̿̈̋ͮ̽̔ͦ̉ͣ̓͑̊̑͌͡a̔́̊ͧ̓ͭ̊̐̚͏̷̶̧̡q̑ͦ̉̑̆̑ ̵̷̑̒ͧ̐ͩ̆ ̴̶ͧ̃͊̓ͩ͗ͮ̆̌̾͑͂ͤ̒̀ͦ̋̚̚m̷̵͒̎͐̅̎̚͘͢a͒͗̀͊̀͝͡q̒̓̾̓̀ͥ͋ͥ̍ ̴ͥͭͤ̀͐̌ͩ͠͡ ̶̾ͫ̎͐̿̇̾̋ͯ̓͋͑̈̆͂̂́͞o͒̓͑̒ͯ̽̒̏̄ͬͩ̊ͮ͌̇́̚͞͏óͨ̂̂ͥ̏̀ͬ̾͐ ̨̈́ͫ̽́ͮ̕͠͠u̵̧ͬ͂͛ͩ͆ͣ̉ͭ;̶̡̃̆̑͗ͭ͂̾ͮ͒̆̓̾ͩ̚ ̿ͩͭ̌̑͊ͮ̒̋ͥ͑҉̀y̧ͫͯͦ͋ͧ̇͗ͫ͐̌̎̌̅ͣ̌̆͗̔͗w̵̐ͧ͛̔̃̏͛҉͞ăͤ̈́̎ ̶̴̢̒́̕q̶̢̛ͮ̏͊̑͒̋̄ͨ͛̋̅ͤ̅ͧ̅ͪ͗́͜͞ ̶̑ͪ̈̋̊ͩͩ̅̉͐̓̎ͦͬͭ̊̊ͤ́̚͞m͌̌͐̊͝҉̢͟â̾ͬ̂̇͊̋̿ͨͮ͂͒́̓ͮ̑̈́͋ ̶̕͏̷̀q̧ͤ̆ͥ̾̍̽ͫ̇̓͑̾̅̈̍͗͌ͧ̊͑́͟͝ ̶̧̢ͤͦͭͥ̽̿ͣ͌̅͊͂̂̀s̊̎̏̓͂ͥ̾̾̽ͤ̃͛͘̕s̈́ͪ̏ͣ̚͏̵̡a̴ͬ̈́ͬͬ̽͒͝͠ ͏̀g̸̨̎̍ͧ͆̒͑̑ͭ̓̈́ͤ͂̎͠ģ̨̒͊̊̈́̂̈͑̍ͨ͏̛͢hͮ̉͋́͗ͪͭ͌̾ͥ̒̑̔ͣ͊ ̷̸̔͛̈́̏͠͡҉.̴̶̋̊ͨ͐̑ͧͮ̎̓͌͐͂ͪ̚̕͟ ̷̵̧ͮ̔͊̀͌͆ͩ̅̾̄̑ͦ͒͝Y͋̐ͦ̍̏ͤ̅̏ͤ̚͏͢w̸̢ͭ͌̐͐̀̐ͦ̆̑ͣ͆̔̈́̏̚͠ a̶̸̷̛ͣ̔̇ͮͮ̑̓̅ͨͪ̂͟q̾͒͗ͭͩ͋̌̀̍ͥ͊̎ͮ̓ͩ̐҉̛ ̵̡͐ͤ̽ͪ͋̀͞͞m̴̴̡͂ͭ̊̄ͭ̒̃͢͞a̡̽ͣ̎̈̈ͫͣͬ̀͒̐̚͜ ͥ̌ͨͬ̈́̈̒̿͆҉̴s̨ͮͥ͒ͣ̎̐̓̈ͪͮͬ́̕͞h̸̶̍ͧ̎̄ͤͯ͋ͥ͗̑̉̑ͩ́g̔ͧ̉̋̊ ̴̴̉̿̐'̸̉̌ͥͣ̕f̷̛̎͐̒͂̅̈́ͬ͌ͨ̀̕͟ḩ̸̧̃̾̇ͩ͘͟nͭ̇̀͆͋̾̇ͨ̎̑̈̋ ̴̴̨͑̉̈́͘.̧̈́̉͋̎̆͆́ͨͯ̓̎̓ͥ̐́̚̕͘͟
̶͑̽̀̅͗̈́̌ͩͬ͑̒̓͒̎H̨a̵̷̴͘s͜͟t̸̨̀͞ù̴̶r҉ ̵̸́ḿ͠à̸̸҉ ̸̨͘͝p̢̢͞h̷͜͟g͡w̵҉̷͏a̸̢̕͜'̧͢͞͡͝c̨͜͞u͢͠l͏́͠ ̶h̵̕ǹ̵a҉́͘k̡f̴̢̢̛̕.̸̷̕
̷̢͏N͝y̷̧̛̕͞a͘̕ŕ̡͝ļ̛͟͢a̧̛͠t̸̴̷͟͢h̴̨͝ò̶t̡͘҉è̵̛p̨ ̨͟͠ ̸҉̵̢p̴͞͏ù̸̕͜ú̀͜ĺ̷́͞ ̵͘͟s̷̶̛ḱ̕͘͝s̷̛͜h̡͞҉̕g҉n̢̨͟҉̀:̴̴̴͟ ͞͞o̷̧̨n̵̛͝'͟m̡͟a̵͟͟ ̨̀͢͝y̷̴̵e͘͡͝h̵̡̀͠'̀͘͏̡̕g̡̀l̷̕͞u̸͏̵ ̷̶͢͡z̴̀͜u̢̡͞q̕.̨͟͝
T̴̵̛̫͔̬̬̤̪͓̞̬̻͖̯͉̗̦͕͉̕ͅḩ̵̻̭͓͈͔͎̼̘̠̗̻͉ǫ̴̠͈͇̹̙̻̮͡ͅ ̞̟̖͇͇̙̜o̢͔̤̗͚̞͙̼͎͚͢ͅņ̭̺͖̰̗̻͓̩͕̫̥͍̱̗̮͡ͅ ̛̪͙͙͔̱̞̰͎̹̖͡w̛̙̞͎͖͇͎̻̠̖̜̣͉̱͍͢͟͝͠g̷̭̘̩̟̬̪͖̥͔̩̩̰̯̱͘͞ ḁ̠͚̻̀͘ẖ̨̟̜͇̳̩̟̣̯̯̗̦̫̞͡ͅ'̶̡̺̱̱̝̝͕͓̱̱̲̘͞n̸̢̙̥͈͞͞ͅͅ ̬̙̘͇̹̟̬̥̩̦͖a̧̜̺̹͢͜͝ͅg͜͏̶̟̫̥̜̹̩͉̠̗͇͇̝̟̠͎̀͠l̨̲͘̕ ͖͙͓͙ ̵̡̘̬̦̮͖͔f̨̜͚̝̯͇̤̼̜͚͠ḩ̶̥̻͍̣͖̬͚̲̬̱͖̙͈̥̩̞̥͢͜͜ͅt͞҉҉̫͚ ̹̖̱à̡҉͝͏̳̺͈̹͙͕͇̰͈̜̥̰̫̤͈͙̞̪͓ģ̡̧̙̩̖͟͜ͅņ̮̼̗͕̗͔̕͜͡͞ ̼̻̺̦.̶̢̻͇̜̫͈͖̲͈͟͞

Alexander_Hamilton
04-28-2011, 07:33 PM
"Ywaq...maq...whatever..." Saiza threw his hands up. "Of course! It's so obvious! Thank you for clearing that up! I'm so glad you brought me all the way here to give me that vital and highly useful piece of information!" He shook his fist at...everything. This whole environment seemed bent on harassing him to no purpose. "I am so tired of this!"

Kodos
04-28-2011, 08:30 PM
T̛̲̭̜͑̽͢H̴̴͚̼̼̯ͫ̉̍̋͛̿͝E͉͈̱̙̖̯̖̹̐͑ͫ̕̕͘ ̬̖̦̹͕͕̭͚̮ͬ̄̿͝V̛̓̒̽͒̚҉͏͓̰̖̠͎̙E̱ͩ͜I͔̹͂̕͟L̷̨͕̥̣̜͕͋̐̅ͤ ͚ ̴̓̾҉͓̖̳̗͙I͉̍̌ͭ̍̂ͦͫS̪̹̙̜̬̟ͭ͗͟ ͖̲́̒ͪ͂̅L͗ͮͨ͗ͩͣ̃҉҉̩̼͖̟̣̭̜͖̣Ị̸̭̠͍͎̆ͩF̳̩̆̽́̀̕T͗̅̍̒ͬ̚ ̨̯̦̗̻̬İ̷̻͕͓̈́̅ͥͤ̇͊̽ͣ͘͠Nͯͯͮ̈ͪ̑̉͏̦̞G̵̨̺͖̥̋ͭ,ͭ̓̆͑̓ͩ̍̑ ̷͙̰͢ ̷̴͇̺͙͂̌̓̂ͅS̩̣͇̼̾͡A̸̢̳̭̯̖͖̝ͫ̔̽͊̾̚̕I̡̱̘͙̖ͦ̂ͪͭͮ͐̾ͦ͝Ẑ ̱̖̳̙̳͈̭͌̿ͦ̏͑̅̓̑ͅA̶̸̶̤̹̜̟͍̎ͫ ͉͚͖͔̳͆ͪ̉͒̐͊̚A̺̖͓̭̥͇ͬ͐͒ͨ͑ͧ͢͡Ȗ̶̡̧̗͎ͧͥ͂̋͆L͋́́͏̙͓̖͝A͂ ̢̜̹̝̩̮̫̳͇͘͠Z͇̰͖̯̽̈́̏͐ͧ̕͟ͅ.̯̜̠̞͉̹ͬ̾ͭ̕͢͠



I̸̮̦̼̻̜̠̫̫̙͖̫͎̠̬͕ͨ́̾̄͂̑͛ͬͫ́͟͜͝ͅ ̶̡̹̲͈̳̻̪͇͛͗͋͊̍͡ͅS̸̴̈́̄̊͒ͥ̅̀͜҉̥̰͈̟̣̼̼̼͙͓̳͍̖̠̭̠ͅËͥ͂̃ ̌̂҉̨͚̹̞͙̱̱̣̩͍͙̥́E̵̝̺̜̲̰͔͍̒ͦ̽̅̇̈́̍͜ ̞̙̺̲͖̠͈̻̗̜̙̗̄͌̽̀͂͛̈ͪͫ͂͑͂͌̉͑̾̚͡ͅͅY̧̿͛̍͗̂͛̂̊̎̀̍ͫ̓̚҉͢ ̸̙̦̞̗̤̥̰͈̙̦͎̻̰͕̯̜͚̗͖O̷̭̩͚͓̰͖̮̟̦̪͔ͥͧ͊ͧ̒ͣͧͮ̊̿̄̕U͑ͮͬ̆ ̧̢̻͖̟̩̪̭̾̾͋.̈̐̍̋̔͛ͪ҉̡̦͙̘̭̫͞ (http://i.imgur.com/bLWBM.jpg)

Scores of black tentacles shot forth from the Monolith/Hole In the World, grabbing and entwining around Saiza.

There was a buzzing in his head.
The noise was unbearable.

Music. Music now.
So beautiful. So horrible. (http://tindeck.com/listen/gprt)

Don't you hear them?
They're singing.

BEYOND THE VEIL, T͏̡̧͟H̴̡̕E̷͡Y̶̷̡͡.̴̸̢͠͡ SING. (http://i.imgur.com/CMJjI.jpg)


G̷̷̥͔̱̲̹͑͋̾͊̚̚Ǔ̠̩͖̯͓̖͇͖̩̊̆̊ͣ͑̓L̫̳̜ͬͬ̌ͭ̀'͙̪͈͕̂̎ͮͫ̏ ̳̰̼K̵̟͍̥͍͚͆ͨ̐͗̃͠À̢̯̠͉͚̪̦̲̠̚ͅF̤̺͉̹͔͛ͣ͛͐͌͑H̸ͨͥ̿̍̽̾̚ ͕̺̠̩̣̪ ̴̦͓͕͇̯̑͂̂͊̽̅ͣͭ̏A̶̞̤̥̼̙͖͇̰ͤ̂͂̊̓̔ͣŇ̟̻̮̭͉̗̬͚̜̉͟'̽̍ͬͬ ̵̳̗̣̤̦̈́ͭͩͮ͂́S͚̜̼̗͙̖͌̋ͩ́͟H̴͑ͪ͆́̆̿̋҉͈̜̳͚̻E͓͕ͬ̋̑ͬ̚̚͠L ̜̰̘̥̙ͪ̽̋͋͞!̵͎̝͓̹͓̜̲̇̕͝ ̘̱͕̝͍ͬͮ̓͗ͬ͠Y͎̼͓͕̞̯̭̔͌́́ͅO̥̺̩̭̪̰̲̹̅ͯ̓́̑̀Q̵̛͌̌͌̍̊̐̎́ ̲̰̭̥'̡̠͎͚̮̦̟̦̅͗͑ͨ̀̕A̾ͣ̇̏͋ͧ҉̰̝̬͈͉̖͖̯ͅL̶̺͙̠͎͂͌̃ͧ͂́̚͘ ̗ ̢̮ͥͥ͌̚S͈͍̺̼͎̺̺͖̑̆̒ͬH̴͍̪̘̟͔̉̈́͗̃ͨͪ̈ͅN̵͓̘͉̙͒̚ ̵̧̪̻̠̺̥͚̩̥̟ͮ͗͞Ķ̛̗͙̱̅͂̇̍̋̏Y̡̯̺͓͎̔̋̊̈ͥͧ ̓͂͐͆͘͏̙͇̥̼̲̻̤͔͟Y̡͈̣̥͇̪̔ͭ̅́ͥ̿̂ͯ͟W̷̠̣̍ͥͣͅA̶̳͎̠͇͌̌̿̑ͮ ̺͔ͅQ̬ͬͫ̑̑ ̲̼̞̐̇̉̂̀ͧ͞N̞̲͈̪̬̮ͮ͊Ṵ̼̬̠̭̪̟͐͆̅ͯͥ̅̔ͦ͢Ǘ̹̩̝̺̜ͯ̌͌͛̓ͨL ͙͖͓͋͌!̹̙͈͙͊ͨ͊͠


His head was going to explode.

His head exploded.

Then the tentacles tore him apart and pulled the pieces into the monolith/hole.

Then he was hole again.
Then he was whole again.

Then he was falling again.

*

In Korshim (http://i.imgur.com/UrlhJ.jpg), the Plague of Flesh roils across the metal plains.
In Nidor (http://i.imgur.com/Vhxew.jpg), the Great Poison bleeds across the world.
In Ugarit (http://i.imgur.com/hjmDM.jpg), the Deep Ones ravage across the deeps.



Ǎ̄̔҉͠L͗͂ͣ͐̐ͤ̍̃͌L̡ͭ͟ ̨̧ͬ͑̒͗D̶͑̓̂̍̾͒ͮͦR̐̍̔̋̚É̷͌͌ͦÁ̸̴́͟M̛ͪ̏͊̿̌҉Sͩ̓͡ ̅W̑ͮͮ̅Ǎͫ́ͥ͐͠K̢͌ͥ͂͒I̷̶̅͆͛͊͢Nͧ͛ͦ͢G̒͑͒̎ͬ͠.̾̐͐̾̒̽ ̵
T̷̯̜̳̣̜͇̦̳͉͓͍͙̲̙̙͖̠́ͅH͎̼̮͎͘͠E̢̫͍͓͖͢͝ ̜̪͇̺͖̱͎͙͓͉͢͝ͅV̩͇͔̟̱̣̲̺̠̖̬̙̺̫̰͘͜͝ͅE̵҉͕̺͕̭̦̟͓̥̣̖̻̻͓̙ ̠̻̥ͅI̡̫̘̭̼̣͓̜̦͕̜̰͕̬̹̯͇L̸̛͇͉̲̲̙̖̞͇̰͖͉̯̼̠̝̪̭͜͞ ̛͇̪̠̰̖̳͇̤̟̥̺̣̻̻̳͍̱ͅI͖͖̘͈͉̣̟͟͠ͅS͕̥͓̩̠̗͝ ̸̧̨̖̘̳͍̗̥̣͖̘̳̪̕͢L͍̗̝̟̝̪̲̤͘͠I̛͇̰̬̟̯͕͓̙̤͉̤͘F̷̸̭̻̳̭̠͠ ̜̦̹͉͍̥̟͕̖̺̩̙̻̭T̶̘͈̭̪̜̕͟͡I̛͔̥̝̖̗̖͕͇̞̮̹̖̰̼̘̼͢ͅN̶̰̪͕͞ ̠̳̞̜͙̭̗͔͕̖̠ͅĢ͉̤̗͝.̷̨̖̲̠̘̞̣̞͔̘͠ͅͅͅ



And then Saiza woke up.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-28-2011, 11:36 PM
Saiza didn't want to get up.

What the hell had just happened? Why was this happening to him?

As sickened as he was, there was less angst in the thoughts than usual. Elder Gods, Ilithids, and warfare across the planes... These dreams were making him miserable, but they looked minuscule compared to a possible apocalypse.

He needed Mathias. He crawled over to where the mystic slept and gave his shoulder a shake.

Kodos
04-28-2011, 11:41 PM
Mathias melted. The walls melted. Everything melted away into an endless black abyss.

Except Saiza. He was falling. No sense of anything.

So cold. So dark.

Tentacles were holding him, now - although he could not see them. Something enormous was here, with him.

Saiza was so small.

A great voice addressed him coming from everywhere without. It was similar to, but not identical to, the horrific voices from earlier.

Y̦̐͐̂͒̃̎̽ͅo̷̪͙̦̿ͤ͑͗̈́̾̑ú̷̮͓͈̬̝͈̔̓̓ͣ̒͗̚͜ ̶̋ͯ͒͑͂ͯ̀ͦ͞҉͎̦̰̙̖̬̜ą͙̥͕̭̟́̍̾͐͜͞ͅr̴̻̘̯̜̳ͫ͂ͭͣͮę̍̈͗͡ ͎̩̗ ̻͙͎̤͚͗ͣn̸̳̼͔͍̞̩͖͍ͣ̈́̽̍ͦ̄̇̐͜o̷̧͔͔̝̪̥͗̈́̒ͧ̓̐̌ͨ̚͠t̸̸ͪͯͅ ̰̘͔͍͎͍͙ ̵̢͓̰̱̤̠͒̓̀̕Sͨ͑́͒̑̏̋͏̸̼̳̯͇͓̬͔a͔̦͚͑̒͜r̛̭̝͙̖̰͈͔ͬ̈͘n̆͑ ̢̙̝̹͒͞ḁ̠̯͓͕̆̀͑ͨͯt̡̹̲̻̙͆͌̃̌̃͛ͬ̈ͅh̷̻̼̙̻̍̄͗͊ͬ̊͗̂ͤ̀̕. ̀҉̗̱͓̲

Alexander_Hamilton
04-28-2011, 11:58 PM
Saiza screamed as the world collapsed. Though he had just recently been pulled through a vast and endless abyss of existential despair, falling into one while (apparently) awake was not something he expected.

Twisting fruitlessly among the tentacles, Saiza snarled, "Fuck you and goddamned Sarnath!"

Kodos
04-29-2011, 12:05 AM
The tentacles seemed to be turning Saiza over and around (it was hard to tell in the featureless void).

T̴̶̴̲̖̍̑̎̉̏i̷͕̮̬͓̬͗͘e̵̞̙͆̄̒f̓ͩ̃ͬ҉͔͚͕̜̙̙͎̀l̇̀ͨ̿ͤ̌͗̉ ̤̣̈́̀̀ī͙̱͖̟̭͔̖̞͓ͧ̃̆̽͑̂͝ṅ̶̘͓̦̙̈́̾̉̂ͣͫ̚͟g̷̝̣̜ͯͣ͜.ͮͨ̽ ̥̩̤̣͙͈͐ͣ̉ͪ͞ ͙̪̙̠̝ͣ̽̊͑ͭ̇ͩ͢H̷̻̮̙̍̑ͬṻ͙̻̝͚̱̣̝̭m̛̖̖̪͈̘̞̂̋̍̉̄̍̏͛͢a ̎̄ͬ̄̇͊̑ͩ͞҉͏͕͈̖̣͔n̸̢̻͍̱̬̙̍ͩͬ͋͠-ͥͪ҉̸̲̟B̨̝̚̕͜a͑̌̃̓͒̔̚͏̺̩͈͓́͠a̹̬̹̳̩͈̜͙ͯ͌͗̽̉̏͋ṯ̶ͭ͊̚͡ ̦͔͍͈̱̰̖ȇ͎̹̱̣͖̦̩̾̚ͅz̵̸̖̯̜̐ͩͣͬ͒̍́u̧͙͆ͤ ̼̳͈̼ͪ́ͣͫ̑h̓̄̈́̋̆͏̵̗̺ŷ̼̭̭̬͎̱̪̠̯ͣͮͩͪ̚̚b͓̩̯͙̻̀̍r͑̒͊̃ͨ ̨̛̤̮͈̬ͯ͢ḯ͇̬̬̟̱̹ͮͫ̐d̵̻̘̲͋̉̎ͫ͌͋͐̿-̯͚͉͙͇̤̰̯͖̌̓͟c̗͍̻̓̃̊̏ͭͣ͒ͪ͢ͅṟ̢̖̯̺̥̾͊̓̃͋̎̂͐͞ẽ̢̜ͭ͆̇͡ ̠͖̯͔a̻̥͍̜ͬ̓̽̅͗̏̃̚͜ͅt̤̺͒̓̽ͫ͛͡ư͓̰̰̙͙̮͚͋̆̈́̏ͤ̚͘r̔̈́ͦ̿͗ ̧̧͖̺̩͝ȇ̵͎̥̠̱͕̲̦̽̒̚.̣͕̖̜̙̼͊̋̈́ͦ̕͠͡ ̥̄̂͆͌̊͟͜

The great voice said simply.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 12:16 AM
Saiza managed to give one tentacle a rather impressive kick to the....tentacle, but that was the most he could do. He stopped struggling as the initial rush of rage and fear dissipated. Somewhat. It wasn't as if he could get away, and if he was dropped there was probably just more abyss.

"Yes. Saiza the Tiefling at your service." His voice was taut. "Who is Sarnath?" Who knew? If he kept asking questions, maybe he would eventually get a satisfactory answer.

Kodos
04-29-2011, 12:26 AM
Y̻̱͕̱͎̓̃̏̏͜͜͜ͅo̵̭̰̬̩̠͓̪͔ͩu̡̨͖͖̟̦͔͉͋ͥͭ ̴̲͕͚̫̲͕̖͖̔ͩ̍̈͞a̴̠̪ͨ͆ͦͭ̓̆͟͜r̳̯͚̬͉̺̖͂̌̈́e̫̝͙̯͛̒ͣ̅ ̞ ̡̬̺̓ͬ̊̌̐͟n̹̞̟̙͈̠̼̖̂̂̌͠o̵̷͔̼̟̳͇ͮͬ̏̀t̛͓̝͚̫̱̘̞̿̓̾̓̽̋́ ͖ ̵̡̼͉̓͞S̴̮̭̻͖̑ͩǎͦ͌ͭ̓̍҉̤͡r̟̺͓̩̭̗ͨ̄ͣ͐͗̑ͫͬͩn͚ͦ̑́̋̓̊ͯ͟ ͔̯̭̰a̵̷̹̦̥̫̲ͪͦ̄ͬ͐t̗̭̟̗̝̊̎͛́ͣ̈́͟͢ḥ̺̣͇̥̱̖̥̓̾͂̓̈́̔̂̏́͟ ̩.̷̤͓̜̗̰̻̱̥̎͑̿̈͌

The god-voice repeated.

Saiza could feel it, in his mind. There were tentacles there, too.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 12:29 AM
Saiza jerked his head, as if he could somehow rid the thing's probing tentacles from twisting through his thoughts and feelings. "Stop."

He started flailing again, again without much point. "We've...only met each other a few times! Isn't it a bit early in the relationship to bring in the mind reading and tentacles?!" Could he bite a tentacle? What would it taste like? At the very least it would make him feel a little better. "Maybe if you tell me about Sarnath, I can help you find him? Who is he? Why are you expecting him?"

Kodos
04-29-2011, 12:39 AM
T̘͓̜̄̒ͦ͛̿ͥ̏̓͐i̙̥͓͉̫͉ͤͣ͛̋ͦ̓̐͂̕e̴̴̬̹̞͍̦̝̽̉ͪͧͪͥf̢̽̊͝ͅ ̘ľ̶̖͖̦̳͍͒̏̽̿̽̊i̤̺̣͍͖̬̋̄̑͛̌͝n̠̔͂̓g̴̻͉̮̦̤ͪ̒͗ͬͯ̇ͥ̓͜͞ ̪̖̠.̛̠̺͍͉̳ͤͅͅ, the great sonorous voice droned, y̻̲̳̱̲̬̟͕͋ͫ̿̌̊ͬ́ͅo̡̰̞̟͚̪ͧ̿ͬͬ̇ͩ̾̓ũ̹̣̣̩̋̂ͤͩͭ́̔̇͡ ̠̪ ̝̩͖̖̪̆͊̃̐ͧ̈́ͯ̿̚͘͠ͅt̷ͣ҉̜̦ō̖͖̱͖̟̃̔̔̀͠u̦̰̯̞̗͉̮̾̾̐̓ͦ͟͠ ̠ͅc̢͎͈͖̥͚̆͑̔͡h̳̤̗͑̈́ ̲̺ͪͦ̒m̧̲̤̖̭̮̪̒̔̌̓̓͋ͧͯẏ͙̻̬̃̅́̀̕ ̭̰̪̙͉̲̮̿̽̓̄̍͂̚͝m̵̥̖̤̂̀̉͟ȩ̲̠̖͉̲ͯ͗̇͐̿͋ͤͦ͝m̷̶̹͙͐̔ͣ̔ͯ ̦̜̫̘̱̝o̪̥ͤͥ͐́̈́̀r̨̛͈̱̱ͫͪͭ̉̿͝iͨ͆͏̻̥ȩ̮̠̂̏ͯś̶̡̹̠͌ͫͭ̾ ̟͙̻̱̰ͅ,̣̮͉̂́ͪ̍ͦ ̜̝̝̹̪ͦͪ͠f̡͖͖̖̳̘ͤ̿͊̄̈́u̹ͨ̈́ͮ̿̒̈͑m̢̦̖̠͕̜̜̻̌ͥ̊͋͒b̒̀͌̈́ͬ ̶̷̳̰͔̦ͬͫ͒l̜̰̳̜̿̆̅ͯ͗i͉͔ͧ͛̾͂̀͑͐̔̿ṋ̣̜̰̰̫͎ͤ̿̑̓́̑̄g͆ͣͦ ̡͚̼̪̫̞̘̙͒͟͝ ̷͔ͦͬ͑ͨ̑i̦͚̙̞̔͆̆̏́̽̅͘͟͝n̳̼̻̺̙̘̬̮̳̑ͮ͂ͮ̈̽̾̓̂̕͠ ̣͇͖̟̹͈̟̿͋̄͛̚ͅį̮̖̆͛ͤͬͫg̷̡̦̎ͮ̇͛ͤͣ͒n͔͖̹̱̘ͤ͗̕͡ȍͨ̉̐̊͆ ͔̺̘͙͕̻͔r̫͖̪͉͛ͩ̒̾ͣ̏̀ͥ͠a͉̖̼̤̘͔̲̪̅̂̆̉̈́ṅ̸ͨ͋͏̲͔̥c̵̨̹̾̃ ͖e͎͖̣̜͉͔ͮ̾̎̓̈́̓ͮͅ.̲͔͍͙̟ͬ͌ͥ͆ͯͣͤ̂͆́͡ ̧̢̰̱̌ͣ͜

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 12:45 AM
"Well, maybe I wouldn't be so ignorant if people told me things! Or...whatever you are! So fuck you!" A tentacle squirmed near his face, and Saiza jerked forward, biting down hard on it.

Kodos
04-29-2011, 12:47 AM
There was no reaction to him biting the tentacle.

M̢̀͟y͢͝ ͘҉̨k̨̡i̶̕҉n̶͜ḑ ͠͏t̢́r͞a̶͜͏nsc҉͞e̡n͜d̴̵ ͡y͏our̢̡ ̡͜v̧͝e̡̕͡r͜͜y ͢͜͜un̷҉d̷͟e͟͝r̷̕͟s̴͡t̢͘a̛͘n̢d̸̷į͏̴n̴̵̡g͡.̸́͝ ̷W͠e҉ ͏҉a̧̕͢r͜͞e̡ ̵e̶͠a̧̨͢ćh͟͞ ͟p͏ȩ͡r̷͘fe̡c͞t҉,̷̛̛ ̢e͞͞ter̡ņ͢á̶̡l̶͟;̷ ͏f͏̶r͢ȩ̷e̴ ̡o̵͡f́ ̶͢a̶ļ̨͘l̛ ͡͝f͞͡la͟ẃ̕,̡̀ ̴́c͜͝r͏͡ȩat̸e҉͏̢d҉̵ ̧i͟n͏ ̕͟t̶́he̡ ͞l͞͠íkȩ̴͜n͢e̛͟͞s̸͡҉ş͝ ̢a̛͜n̵̵d̛͠ i̵m͡͡a͘g̶e̡͞ ̧͟o̵f̧́͝ ҉̢t̷̡̧hé͢ ̕I͝ņ̧e͞v̨͘ìt͡ab̕͡l̛͞e. ͘Y̨o͏͘u̵͝͝ c̴̨ą̵̶ǹ̷n̷ó̢t͟ ̸̨̨ev͜e͝ǹ͏ ̶͏͠ǵ̡rá̧s̷̨̕p̡͟ th̵̨͠e̛͡ ̨͘n̕a͢͡t̶u̢̧͟r̡͠͡é ͜o̕͝f o̸úr̛̀ ̢̧ę̡x́͡ist͠e̸n̕͏̧c̛͟͢e̶̛.̛

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 12:58 AM
Biting the tentacle did not make him feel better.

Saiza wondered, vaguely, what his body was up to. Was it lying still and quiet, curled up just where he'd left it? Or was it thrashing and screaming in horror? Or was this his body?

It was a strange thought, but a giddy, panicky feeling had long since overtaken Saiza and his ability to think very rationally.

"I don't care what you are! I want you to leave me alone! Why won't you leave me alone?! I'm just an thief from Shalebridge! Why are you doing this to me?"

Kodos
04-29-2011, 01:01 AM
The god-voice gave no response, still apparently examining Saiza, within and without.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 01:07 AM
"What the hell are you looking for, anyway? I'm just a fucking guy! It's not goddamn exciting! I'm not smuggling Sarnath in my large intestine! Doesn't a perfect being like you have something better to do all day? We've already gone through this! Don't you remember!?" Saiza went limp, catching his breath. "Least you say more than Ywaq maq whatever...Who the fuck is Sarnath...?" the last question was aimed more at himself than the thing.

Still no response. Saiza grimaced. "What is it going to take to get you to let me go? What am I going to have to give to you or do for you? You must want me for something. Or are you bored? Are you one of those things I saw? An Elder God?"

Will Save
1d20+4=7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3001027/)
1d20+4=18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3001046/)
1d20+4=9 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3001053/)
1d20+4=19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3001055/)
Failure

Kodos
04-29-2011, 01:31 AM
È͡l̵̡͜d͜͠e̷͢͜ŕ̨̛ G̵ǫ͝͠d́̕҉?̀ ̡̛Ýǫ̷u̢͘ ̧̕m͏işt̛͡a͜k̢͞è ̴t҉̵h̶e m̶a͜s͞t͝e̶̛͘r ̀f͢͝ó̵r̶͟ ͝͏t̵̛ḩ̀e͜͞ ̡s̢͟l͝á̢͠ve̡͟. the great voice replied.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 01:37 AM
"What the hell is that supposed to...Are you saying you're a master of Elder Gods?" Saiza really, really hoped that wasn't the case. "Or a slave to them? Are you from behind the Veil?"

No answer.

"You're a jerk." Not his most scathing insult, but true. Saiza's mind was too foggy to come up with much better. "I guess you're the one who keeps bringing me here in my dreams? Thanks for that, asshole. Did you gang up with the Red and White Queens and the spooky black and white creatures with the masks?"

"Is there a point to any of this?"

Will Save
1d20+4=6 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3001057/)
1d20+4=13 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3001065/)

Kodos
04-29-2011, 01:46 AM
N̛o̡.͝ ̧͜Y͝ou̧͜͏ŕ͝ ͟e͞xis͠t̶҉e̷n̴c̡͡e͟͡ ̴̀i͘͠s ̷̡̕w̵͟i̛t̛͜h̸̕͟ơ̷ừ͠t̡̢ ͡͠p̕o͡ì͡n҉t̸ ̵o͠r̡ m̀ea̷͟n̛̕in͟g̴. Án̛ ̧̛a̷̛͜ç̡c͢i͢d̶͟en͜t̷̡.̨̀͜ ̢̛͡Y̢̨͜o͞ú̡͟ ex͏̢i̛͡s͢t͡͞͏ ̧̕b̡e͜͞c̸̡au̕s̸e̡ ͟we͏̴ ͞a̧̧͡l̨҉l͟͡͝o͠͠w̛ ̷̨͟í̶́t̡͝,̡́͝ ̶a͘nd̸ ̨͘yo̴͜͡ú̷ ͜ẃ̢͡il̨l̛ ͏e͘͠n͘͜d̶̴ beç͟au̶şe҉̷ ̕҉͝w̛͟e̢͏́ ̷͠d͏e̸̛m̧͘͝an̨d̡͜ ҉it͏̡.̵͠ was the god-voice's reply. The tentacles had retracted now. Saiza was falling again - but it was still here with him.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-29-2011, 08:25 PM
Saiza gasped when he was abruptly dropped. He wasn't terrified of the falling itself; he had fallen so much in this place that he did not expect to hit something. The infinite blackness made it something of a challenge to really perceive the movement, which could almost be considered a positive if it wasn't terrifying in its own right.

"You asshole!"

Will Save
1d20+4=23 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3002254/)

"Stupid...thing...You are...Ugh! If you're so powerful, what are you doing harassing me! Why aren't you destroying the world or some shit? Can't even find your goddamn Sarnath. Stupid, stupid, stupid....thing!" He paused for a while, falling silently. After a moment, he said, "So...are you related to the Ilithids?" Trying to make conversation while plummeting. "Making that Veil lift?"

Will Save
1d20=13 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3002296/)

Kodos
04-29-2011, 08:57 PM
Wh̸a͞t́̕͘ i̧͢s͜͡ ̢͠͠a̡͟ ҉͞͠d̷ro̶̧͢p ̸̴̡o̶͠f́ r̢̨ain̸̨ ̴͟c͢͜o҉m͢҉p̨̀a̶͠r̡̛͡ȩ͞d̷̀͟ ̸t̵o ̧́t͜h͜ȩ͘͡ s̵̢̕t̷̴́o̧͞r̀͘m̴҉̧?̶ ̴̴̛Wh́a̴t ͘is̸̢ ̵̨͡a͢ ̸̕t͘h͞o̵͜u̢͜g͜ht̡ ̴c͟͜͝ơ̢͡mpa͘͟r̸͡ed͞ ̀̕͜t̡o͘҉ a̕͠ m̵̨̡í̡n̶̢d͏͟?҉͝͡ ̕͠
̸̷T̸he̴͘r̶e͘ ̕͢i͡ś͜ ͘a͝ ̀͟s̡͡t̛a̵̕t̴̶́e̷͘ o̢f͠ ͏͢ex͞҉i҉st͝ę͢n̕͡c҉͠e̵̸̶ ̛͘͜s̡͜o ̧̨f́a̴͜r͏ ̴̶be̛͜ỳ͟͢o͘͟͞n̷̡̢d̸ ͢oẃ̨ǹ̸͝ ý̡͞o̸ú̴͡ ca͢͢n̵n̵̢̛ò̸̡t̕͟ ̵̸e̴͘͡ve̴̢͡n҉͏ ̷̨͜i̢͠͠m̧͞ągi̶̡ne̢͏ ̴i̧t̸̴́.̨
̸I̴̕͡ ͏̷̧a̕m̷ ̵̧b́e̸̶y͟on̢̧̛d ̢͘y͝ǫ̨ur̨ ͠ć͘o͝m̴p͘͜r͡e̸̴͡h̡̡͘e͢͠n͡҉s̵ión̴͝.̀̕
͏҉I̸̛ ̴͟͜a̸͢m ̶̡D̴͝͝u͜ev͜͞v͏̸e͞r͟͏͢a̶k̷.̛͢

T̨́h̢e̶ ̨҉V̕e͏̕i̴̧̧l̸҉ ̡i̧s̶ li̛͘f̴̛͏t́i̛͘n̴g͘.͏̀͞
͘͢T̸h̷e c̶͘y͢͠c͘l̛ę̴̶ ͘h͢a҉s̡ ̧͡r̶͡e̛p̴e҉aţ̷e͢͏d ́͡í̴́ts̶̴͝e͞҉l͡͡͞f ̴̀͢ḿ̶̨ore̡̛͘ ̶͢t̸̨́i͠ḿ̵́es̨͏ ̵̶̀t̵̶͡h͡a͝n ҉̵͢yo̸͞͏u҉͞ ͘͜c҉a̢͝ń͟ ͜͠i̶̶͜ḿ̡agì̢n͘͘e.̴̢͜ ̵̵͟Yo͟ù͏ ̨̡͠a͘re no͢t҉ t̸́͢h͝ę͠ ҉f̢̀i͢r͟s͠͞͠t̕ ̨̛a̛̕n̨̛d̸̨ ͏y̶o̴̵͠u̸̧ ̧̕w̶il̡͟l̴͟ ̡́n̨o̶̧͞t̕͘ ̴̡b̴e ̛́th̡e̵̵ ̛las̕͏t̶.͜͢͞

Alexander_Hamilton
04-30-2011, 09:21 PM
“I am not the first? The first what? Do you want something from me? That is what I want to know!” Saiza loathed this helplessness. He couldn’t do anything but hope that he might get some enlightenment out of this nightmare. “There’s got to be a reason why I keep ending up here! Is this some kind of accident? Am I not supposed to be here at all…? Great management skills there, Duevverak.” He closed his eyes. It felt a bit better than staring out into infinite emptiness. “I’m getting rid of that fucking monolith.”

Will Save
1d20=17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3003743/)

Kodos
04-30-2011, 11:07 PM
Yo̡u͟r̨ ̨͠q̨̨ues͘ţ͜i̡ons҉ ͟aŕ̀͏ȩ̸҉ ͜a̵̕s̶̡̨ ̴i̡͠nsìg͏͟͞n̶if̴̧͟ica̧ń̨͘t̶̛͝ ́̀a̛ś̕ ̕y͟͟our̵͡ ̶̛҉e̢̢̕x̸̴į̴ş̷t̨e͠n͘͞͝c҉e.̢ ̛T̸̛҉ḩe ̸̶c͏y̶c̶̨l̛ȩ̢ ̧̀͏cąn̨͡͏n͝͏o҉t̶̡̨ ̡̨b̸͞ę̶ ̢͞b҉ŕ̵͟o̕k̀̕͢ę͝n͘͝.̴ ̡Ẃ̀e͠ ̸͠c͏͏̢a̡̕n̴̵͠n͏ot̡͏ ̢͡b͘ȩ҉͠ ̡̧s̸̸͞t̡̨͞op̷̨p̕҉̀e͡d̸̀.̛̛
̸̛͝Y̢͜o҉̨u̢͜͟r͟ ͘̕ex̕ti͜͢͝n̵c̴̕͠t҉̵io͢͞n͡ ͏̸is͘ ͏í͡n̴̡ev͠i̵͜t͘a̡̛͘b̴̛͜l̷͟e͏.
̕͟W̕e̕ ̷a̵̢͜ŗ͡͠e҉͏ ̨͜i̛n҉̶ev͢i̢͜҉ţ̛͟a͏b͠͡l̀e̷̷.
́We͞ a͏r̨̧é͞ ̸̕͝t̸̕͜h͏e̛ ̀e̷nd͘ ̧̀̕ǫ͡f͡ ̶e̸̸v̸ęr͜yţ͜hi͘͢͏ng.̴͜͠

Y͘͟҉ò́͘u̕̕͡r̴̛̀̕͢ ̸̀͟͏̧ẃ̸̵́o̡̕r̡̢̕d͟s̶̴̷͞ ́͡͝a̷͟͟r͡͏̴̛e͠ ̛͟͢a̷ś̀͟ ̡͢͠͝͏ȩ́͠m̷̡̛͘͞p̢̨͟t̢͜͝y͏͘ ̧҉̸͜a͏̵̡̧̀s̀͜ ̷̶͘͝y̷̧͢͠o̸͘͏̕u͠҉̛̕͢r̴̵̛͜͠ ̶̢́͏f̢u̷̵̢t̴̸̢̛̕u͏͞ŗ̸́̕͟ȩ̸̷.͜͜͡ ̷̢͘͜
̵͜I̡͠ ̢̕͝a̧̕͞ḿ̶̴͠ ҉̢͝͡͝t̨͠͏͢͠h͝͝ȩ͘͘ ̀͜͠h͏̨̛́á̴́͘͝r̵̷̴b͜͝͡į͝ń̸̛͢͞g̴̵̷͘èr҉҉̢̢ ͢҉̷̷̀o҉͠f̵̸̷͢ ͢͝҉͏y̧͘̕͝o̧͠҉͘u̕̕͟r͞ ̷͢͜d̀o̕҉͠o̢͢m̵̢̕͜͏.̴͠ ̛͏͏
̧͟͝T҉h̨̧̀í͟҉͢s͏̸̡̛͞ ͏̵͘͜ȩ̡x̵̢c̷̢̡̀h̡̕a̧̛͘͝͡n̶̵͘g͘͏e̶̕͞ ̷҉͘i͏s̕ ̸́͢͏͘ò̸̴̴v̨́͝͡e̡r̨̛̕.̵̕͢

Duevverak was leaving, Saiza could tell. Saiza could feel the great mind withdrawing from this place.

Alone now.

Here in the cold.
Here in the darkness.

So lonely.

But Saiza was not alone.

I̷͟͜͝͝t́̕͢ was here with him.
I̢͠҉͞t̴͘͡ always was.

And though he could never face it.
neverneverpleasegodsnononononono
It was the T͘҉̷̧͢r̶͘͡͝u̷̡͟͟͠t̡́͜h͘͏̕͘.́͝

But that was no company.
No comfort.

Never any comfort.

Just Saiza.
Alone.
Forever.
In the dark
And the cold.

Alone with his own creature darkness.

And though he can never face it.
Never look at it.
Never acknowledge it.

It sees him.

***

Ulow is suddenly started, and everyone else startled awake, by the sound of Saiza screaming at the top of his lungs.

He's screaming.
But he's also very clearly still asleep.

Regantor
05-01-2011, 12:13 AM
Ulow jumped in place from her seated position, red eyes wide and fixed ahead, myraid hands crushing the half-eaten sandwich in their grip. The sudden impact of Saiza's frenzied howls was enough to make her body flinch and refuse to look over for a second. When she finally overcame the sensation, it was replaced with an expression of confusion and a loss of what to do about it. Saiza's nightmares were nothing new, but this one was differant...

Quickly, but causiously using an unthreatening posture, the chitine grabbed him by the shoulders and gave him a firm shake, whilst simultainiously giving him a light tap on the left cheek. "S-Saiza... S-Sai...za... w-w-wake yourself up...."

What did he see this time? Was she doing the right thing waking him? Was she about to get punched in the face by his defence reflexes? Too much panic was still thundering through her chest to let her to think straight.

Kodos
05-01-2011, 12:22 AM
Saiza woke up from Ulow's touch.

He remembered all of the horrible nightmare.

Except for his conversation with Duevverak. He remembered none of that. Just the horrific soul numbing cold.

He was alone there, in that place, for what must have been years.

~HAMMY CHECK YOUR PMS BEFORE POSTING~

Alexander_Hamilton
05-01-2011, 09:47 PM
"Where...am I?" Saiza reached up to rub his throat, which had become sore from. He didn't seem to see Ulow, at first. Slowly, he pulled himself into a sitting position. His expression was that of someone who had just received a severe blow to the skull. "The...hell...was that? Ulow?" Rubbing his eyes, Saiza continued, "The monolith. Can you bring it to me? I...I need to see it for a second." He had no idea why he was saying that, but in his light headed, barely sensible state, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Regantor
05-02-2011, 12:20 AM
Ulow glanced over to Mathias' satchel, then back to Saiza, her face now a blank. It's a key to something. I know that. Convoluted thoughts, scrambling through her mind faster than she could grab at them. My freinds think it's bad, and it is bad. Bad but a big sea, and too big to contain only bad. What did he see? Did he know how to use the key in the dream?

Frantically, she dove at Mathias' bag and removed the jet black stone before the drowzy young wizard could react. With it in her hands, she stopped just shy of the prone tiefling and gave him a new expression. I know this is bad. It said. But if it helps me find him, then...

"...Whad you did see?" She remained still, her eyes unblinking with intensity. The stone was his to take, but the girl felt wrong to outright put it in his grasp... Something was off. But if it helps me find him...

Alexander_Hamilton
05-02-2011, 06:30 AM
"There were...I saw something. That happened in the past." The images were there, but jumbled. In truth, Saiza really did not want to force himself back into the memories of the dream yet. His mind felt painfully frostbitten, and he did not want to delve back into its recesses until it had thawed.

Saiza's bloodshot eyes fixed on the monolith. "That damned thing his caused me so much...Gods I should have destroyed it ages ago!" He crawled forward, and snatched it from Ulow. Painful, empty cold washed over him. Like a piece of his dream put in material form. He glowered at it furiously, and tensed, as if he was about to smash it. Then, his shoulders relaxed. Methodically, Saiza placed it on the floor in front of him, rested his crossed arms on top of it, and buried his head in his arms. "What did I do to deserve this? No one deserves this."

Regantor
05-02-2011, 08:14 PM
His body language was scaring her. Ulow held out her hands in a wary defense, alrough her heart already stung with guilt.

"You didn' see-..." Ulow spoke after a second, but cut the question short, warry of showing off her perceived selfish intentions. "...I'm sorry."

Doing all that she could think of to comfort him, she just sat adjacent and made a slow, deliberately visible move of softly caressing his hair. The woman couldn't cure him. She couldn't even explain what was happening, exactly. But she could at least relate to his torture, and she hoped that Saiza could understand that.

Lord_Windy
05-03-2011, 08:01 PM
"Well, maybe you should start by walking away from the..." Veldan's concerned voice trailed off as she stared at the monolith. Looking at the monolith was mesmerizing, the soul crushing loneliness of nothing was all that washed over her. Time slowed, there was no passing of time when there was nothing to measure it against. An instant felt like an eternity amongst the despair that the monolith just threw off like warmth from a fire.

It all came crashing back to reality as her little Emi bit her on the finger, sensing that her pack horse and friend was wandering off with the depression fairies. "Yes, that... thing. You won't feel better unless you put it away again, dwelling on it will just hurt"

Alexander_Hamilton
05-03-2011, 09:39 PM
Saiza lay still for a moment. Ulow's touch was surprisingly soothing, and he didn't want to move yet, and start addressing all of the shit he was in. Finally, he lifted himself off the monolith, though he kept his hands resting on the top of it.

"I guess you're right. I'll throw it in my pack in a minute." Actually, as horrible as the monolith was, its presence was somehow relieving. Like getting into a bath so hot that it burns, but not quite. "In a minute, but..."

"I saw things in my dream tonight. I have no idea what they mean, but they sure as hell mean something." As he spoke, Saiza's energy level shot up. "Something big is going to happen...something that happened before. I think? I saw Ilithids in control of Asul. Everywhere. I mean, even the other planes. Everyone was fighting them, even gods. Even Asmodeus. It was...it was insane. Something's coming. The Veil is lifting and something bad is coming out. When it was partially lifted, some kind of....incarnations of old gods came out? I have no idea what that means."

Saiza wrapped his fingers on the top of the monolith, eyes wide with disbelief at what was coming out of his own mouth. "And there are these two entities. They do that weird chant. And I saw an elf woman with glowing green eyes."

Regantor
05-03-2011, 10:34 PM
"Headclaspers in... control? Our goddess said tha' dreams whure lies, but..." Ulow spoke softly, looking at the ground. Dissagreeing with her 'goddess' Rin was not somthing she took lightly. "Voices from the stone oftan lead to truths."

"Who were entities? Elvth woman?" The chitine asked blankly, not really expecting him to answer. More than anything, she just seemed bitter and tired. "...Somethingy badness... We should finish this task in quick, and tell Miss Shurwiunae, I think. You feel good for id, Saiza?"

Alexander_Hamilton
05-05-2011, 01:52 AM
"But why what's the point of lying about something like that?" Saiza, finally ,took the monolith and shoved it into his own pack.He lingered over it briefly before turning back to Ulow. "You're right.We should get out of here. Get things over with."

A pause.

"In the...'kitchen'. There were so corpses but, they were...fresh. Relatively speaking. Does...I mean...This lich keeps people here doesn't he? And that psycho butchered them."

Regantor
05-05-2011, 03:25 PM
"Maybe she think some truths better not knowin'..." Ulow replied somberly.

The chitine meekly examined (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3011447/) the rest of the kitchen for any more details that might help them, looking back the group every few paces for moral support. It was full of butchered human meat and skeletons.

Duskyduck
05-12-2011, 12:34 PM
"We talk about getting this over with, but we've no idea how" Mathias mumbled, still half asleep. The mystic rubbed his eyes as he followed the chitine. Here and there, he'd almost tumble over the corpses. "I doubt there's anything for us here, Ulow. No need to force yourself. We've still got more than our fair share of dead things we'll be needing to deal with"

"Even if I had proper sleep...waking up again into this castle will rob me off my sanity"

Kodos
06-21-2011, 08:21 PM
You made it to the third floor library without any other significant incident, just lots of undead on the way. Nothing too hard to handle.

***

The library was an enormous room, about 300x100 feet, and with the walls literally lined with bookshelves, from the floor to the 20 foot high ceiling. 24 other bookshelves of varying length but equal height were also present.

It might take a while to find the Liber Ivonis...

The air was rich with magic here, you could all feel it. It felt charged with life and power, with untapped potential waiting for release. Rin was right, you realized. The books seemed to resent being held here, their knowledge largely hidden and unused. You could almost hear them whispering...

Regantor
06-21-2011, 08:50 PM
"Somehow more big make feel more empty." Ulow remarked, half to herself. It almost felt worse being in here than it did being outside. Too much open air meant too many directions to attack from. Rather than take the lead as before, she seemed to lurk as close to Mathias and Saiza as possible now, alternating between using the both of them as cover whilst she looked around.

"Methuhias... You magic-see whadh book? I can climb and find..." She whispered, tugging on the wizard's cloak whilst mimeing the act unconsiously. "You all miss hands and notd climb like good person as me... Notd ill fence..."

The psionic equivilent of looking through a key hole, Ulow took the procaution of trying to sniff out for any headclasper buisness, as useless as it might seem.

Ulow casts detect Psionics.

Alexander_Hamilton
06-22-2011, 10:40 PM
Hands on his hips, Saiza scanned what he could of the room from his position. All this way and so close. It was a miracle that they'd gotten this far without being eaten.

Spot
1d20+10=12
Listen
1d20+10=19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3082751/)

"This is gonna take a while," he grumbled he shifted his bag of supplies of the floor. He shoved his hand blindly in, and after some rummaging, he removed a scroll of parchment and a little box of chalk. He handed both to Ulow. "Think you can write down the title? Don't know the language, so I'm going to have to go by how the words look."

Lord_Windy
06-27-2011, 05:55 AM
Why, Saiza my dear. Please allow me to help! Veldan smiled while talking in a very proficient if stiff Undercommon, taking the scroll of Saiza. Little Emi popped up to stare at her beast of burden talking in moon language.

Veldan plopped her bags down to the ground and got to work writing out a couple of ways of spelling Liber Ivonis key terms for Horror, Necromancy and Books of Unspeakable Horror. She also put down on the piece of paper anything regarding Psions and more importantly soulknives (can't hurt to know a little more about this subject).

She also wrote down Fox in Undercommon, maybe the Lich couldn't be too bad if he had anything about the gorgeous little Emi in his library. Even the Worldsmasher had to have books about cute little critters

Alexander_Hamilton
06-29-2011, 05:23 AM
While Veldan scratched out the terms, Saiza went back to his discarded pack. He gave the monolith a touch, reassuring himself of its location, buckled the pack up, and tossed it over his shoulders. He took the paper and gave the terms a good hard look.

"Let's get going. This place is huge, and we're gonna have to get a good look at every book so that we don't miss it."

http://i53.tinypic.com/2jewvhl.png
Search Check
1d20+10=30 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3090076/)

Duskyduck
06-29-2011, 10:10 AM
If only they had more time. A public library holds a lot of content, no doubt. But this. This is different; The Lich's collection would contain lore he himself would selfishly keep from anyone else.

But there was little time for that - what good are a bunch of old tomes to a dead man?

"I'd give you all a hand, but I'm really not the best at this." Mathias resigned. "I'll stay close, just in case"

Kodos
06-29-2011, 05:02 PM
Search check! Also where the fuck have you been Duck? Get in touch! I was getting worried. x_X

And add me as a friend! I still can't fucking pm you!

Regantor
06-30-2011, 10:10 AM
Ulow was distracted whilst Veldan was actually writing the terms down, but hoisted herself up by Saiza's forearm to have a look afterwards. "Naw, naw! Nay!" She objected, grasping the paper and producing a fist full of her own chalk, mostly toned yellow for some reason. "Words of things notd existd!"

Her prefered translation of 'Liber Ivonis' was 'Librarypeice Whiteish'. The next thing she crossed out was Veldan's 'Thouxkz' approximation of 'Fox'; They barely even had dogs where she came from, so she thought 'Nice beady redhair bug rat' was better.

"Zowy-dyube-jybguoj-dah-juq!" She proclaimed, awfully proud and holding it up like a child's painting. Probally would have been a good time to tell them that she'd never been to school....

None the less, her interest was sparked in proving that she was actually good at something, so she wandered westwards and kept her eyes out for any titles in undercommon.

Search

1d20+5=14 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3092339/)

Decipher Script

1d20+5=11 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3092340/)

Kodos
07-17-2011, 05:18 AM
There were scores of books on necromancy, countless books that contained things that could be called horrors, and a few bits on foxes in books regarding different applications, recipes, and histories for the spell Fox's Cunning, among other things. Plus some stuff on fox veneration in Southern Izumo in general and Kusanagi in particular.

All that said, no Liber Ivonis yet.

Hopefully Klarkash wouldn't come down and find you rifling through his stuff. That'd be pretty awkward.

Alexander_Hamilton
07-19-2011, 01:34 AM
"Ugh..."

Saiza wasn't happy with how long this was taking, but how the hell else would they find the book?

He continued searching.

Search
1d20+10=16
Spot
1d20+10=14
Listen
1d20+10=12 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3114776/)

Regantor
07-20-2011, 08:15 PM
Ulow continued to clamber through the isles, taking elongated glances at anything she seen with an undercommon title, or bound in the hide of something clearly not from the surface. It made a welcome change, being able to read more than one or two words strung togeather; Reading uppitycommon made her feel like a child.

All this sudden determination sparked memories of Fillis and Rin. The spindily chitine girl dearly hoped all of the effort was bringing them closer rather than further away...

Search;

1d20+5 =8 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3117352/)

Spot;

1d20+1=2 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3117356/)

Decipher Script;

1d20+5=15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3117354/)

...Being so caught up in the moment, through, she failed to spot a stray book in the middle of the isle. Now the only things becoming closer where her face and the floor. :<

Regantor
08-08-2011, 10:56 PM
Makoto could read like the best of warrior-poets, but the kind of arcane, obtuse literary bricks that layered the walls here just bored her to no end. Even if she could read half the more obscure langauges, it's not like she knew anything about magic in the first place...

Regardless, she kept quiet and soldiered on, cautiously gandering through the next isle east of the main group.

Damn, do I need a drink...

REG REJECTS YOUR MAKOTO AND SUPLANTS HIS OWN ('Cause Kodos told me to. :p)

Spot and Listen tests respectively;

1d20+15=21, 1d20+15=23 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3143135/)

Alexander_Hamilton
08-12-2011, 10:29 PM
With a snarl, Saiza shoved the last book in the last shelf of the case back into its place. Gods, how would they ever find the damn thing? All they had to miss was ONE book. Maybe it would be hidden in shadow, or the titled would be rubbed off a little, or one of them would look away and look back and accidentally skip a volume.

He turned away and-

Screamed, staggered backward, fear and horror roiling up inside him. It was horrible, just horrible, so he screamed again-

"Huh?" Saiza reached for his forehead, which was lightly beaded with sweat. His entire felt tense, coiled up like a spring, but he couldn't imagine way. The fit of fear and shrieking been completely forgotten, like book titled swept over from an imperfect gaze. He started to inspect the shelves again with nary a thought to his unexplained tension.

Lord_Windy
08-13-2011, 08:55 AM
Unbeknownst to our buxom heroine who had yet to re-read the revisions that Ulow had made to her impeccable translation of Undercommon, Veldan was probably the only one with any shot of finding the book.

Of course, the only one in the group who knew how to read the stupid language had neither the common sense to narrow the search down in what was obviously going to be a very organized library (Hey, Liches have a lot of time on their hands and are anal retentive enough to care) or the searching instinct of her friends.

Still, maybe she might get lucky



Spot and Search Check
<a href="http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3148542/">1d20+11=14, 1d20+1=9</a>

Or perhaps she'll haphazardly glance over the books so she could pay attention to whatever the hell Saiza was doing

Regantor
08-14-2011, 10:05 PM
A monochrome mutli-armed blob hit Makoto at full speed, and she only just managed to keep her footing due to her well honed reflexes... Fur and pockets... Oh, it was Ulow using her as a ride again. Or, more correctly, Ulow using her as a pedestal so she could lean around the corner and see what was wrong with Saiza.

"Don'd scream he realize?..."

"He looks fine to me. That was super weird..."

"...Walky closer please..."

Shrugging again, Makoto just approached the tiefling from the behind and tried not to startle him any further. "Erm... Saiza honey, you okay?" The ninja whispered, instinctively cautious. They were in a liches' library. There was no telling what could come over any of them, so Makoto kept her guard up.

Ulow, on the other hand, had no such qualms, tugging violently on his sleeve. "Why you noisyboy? We're try'na sneak here!"

Kodos
08-14-2011, 10:17 PM
The group was suddenly aware that it was much colder in the room.

And they were not alone.

It was horrible, and it was standing right by the entrance. The thing had been a man once - it had been alive once - but now it was no longer either of those things. It's body was skeletally thing - literally - and its flesh was leathery and clung to it tightly in some places, while hanging loose or off in strips in others. His eyes and most of its face had long since rotted away, but scraggly black hairs still hung from its skull. It was wrapped in decaying clothes, and carried an ornate arcane staff in one skeletal hand. It reeked of death and magic, horror and inhumanity.
(http://i.imgur.com/xqS6j.jpg)
Klarkash Ton, the Scourge of Basarab, was visiting his guests.

Behind him, and to his side slightly, was a skeleton in armor. It was cradling something wrapped in sheets in it's skeletal hands.

Klarkash spoke, his voice hollow, empty, and complete with a ghostly reverb. It hurt to listen to. There was nothing human in him now, and there probably never was anything human to begin with.

"A Tiefling, a Chitine, three Humans, and a fox. You're not the usual fare. Who are you, why are you here, and why should I put off killing you long enough to hear the answer?"

Lord_Windy
08-15-2011, 05:37 AM
"I'm Veldan, a soulknife and I'm looking for a really evil book in your possession as a present for someone I don't really know because someone really important asked me too," Veldan blurted, obviously being scared and concerned about the situation didn't help much. She put Emi down and tried to move her out of the way towards Ulow with her foot before making a sad smile at her friends.

"My friends followed me here and don't know what they were up to." Veldan started again, finding a bit of confidence in what she found to be sacrifice. "I'm the only one who is interesting anyway, I can do Psionics. So you should let the others go because they are utterly useless; you don't want them to keep you from something interesting. They can see themselves out."

No-one was getting out of this situation, and again the same reason she made a deal with the Devils was the same reason she was happy to die for her friends. Perhaps Saiza would take the lead and run like shit.

Emi had none of Veldan's selfless spunk, instead deciding to do the intelligent thing and began to get outta there. Fluffing up and fleeing under the weighty bookshelves

Kodos
08-15-2011, 05:54 AM
"You say you are looking for 'an evil book.' Be more specific; what book are you looking for? Who is this important person who has asked yuo to obtain this book, and who is this book to be a present for? Finally, two additional points: First, you are lying about something. Lie to me again and I will track down your family and I will kill them. Second, you did not answer my question: why should I not kill you?"

The Lich waved a hand, annoyed. "And be quick, woman. I do not have the time to waste hearing your insipid lies."

Lord_Windy
08-15-2011, 06:02 AM
"Liber Ivonis, Rin and the present is for Armitage." Veldan squeaked, wishing she could follow Emi under the bookshelves. "And I don't know why you shouldn't kill us. You might have to get rid of those godawful monoliths if you do and I doubt anyone, even one so far gone from what it is to be human, would want to deal with the monoliths as much as we do."

She looked at her hands and unleashed her bright green Mindblade to show the grotesque lich. "But I wasn't lying about being Psionic, I'm far more interesting than most of the others in that regard."

Kodos
08-15-2011, 06:03 AM
The moment Veldan said 'godawful monoliths' the Klarkash Ton cut her off.

"Shut up. Monoliths? What monoliths?" It sounded like it might be interested, but it was hard to tell.

Lord_Windy
08-15-2011, 06:19 AM
"I...I...I'm sorry," Veldan stuttered at the 'man', "But I don't know what they are and I can't deal with them. Saiza is the only one who had any hands on experience with them I can't deal with it anymore. I feel like my first night away from my father again, I feel like watching Lina die."

Merely looking at her feet now in chaste silence. "I'm sure the others can handle it, but I'm not strong enough to deal with it. Not even you are going to be able to and you're dead"

Alexander_Hamilton
08-15-2011, 09:40 PM
Saiza stared, eyes wide and rounded at the Lich before him. He had never seen a lich before, and he wasn't relishing the experience. "Uhhh..."

Okay...that didn't come out right. Try again.

"The monoliths are...uh. Monoliths. Mysterious, dangerous, psion related objects?" He gained some confidence as he spoke. "This doesn't have to be a nasty experience. I'm sure there's all sorts of things we could do to make this work. If you let us borrow the book, have it professionally copied, we could probably work out something worthwhile in exchange. Anything you're interested in? We could give you some information on those monoliths."

Kodos
08-15-2011, 09:44 PM
Saiza had barely started talking when Klarkash interrupted. "Shut up you idiot, I know what they are. You have one? You have more than one? Where have you found them? How long have you had them with you? Have you touched them? Have you been having nightmares? Hallucinations?"

The Lich turned its attention to Veldan. "And you; Rin? Rin Shiranui, the demon-whore empress of Kusanagi? Armitage? The Armitage? I had believed he was either dead by now, or at the least still eccentric. It's been well over a century since he went eccentric."

It turned to Mathias. "You. You stink of amateur magic, but magic the same. You are a Wizard and yet did not find it strange that you were tasked to steal a book from me for a woman supposedly as a gift for a man who you ignorant outsiders believe has been dead for over a century? Has the world become so degenerate and backwards since I shed the itchy wet prison of life?"

Regantor
08-16-2011, 02:57 PM
Makoto seemed to realize that Emi would have just disturbed the chitine more, and thus fetched the small creature from out of the bookcase herself whilst the others were distracted. The ninja's moves were slow and subtle, acting complacent, but in reality, not missing a single gesture from the powerful rotting humanoid before them. It felt wrong in every single capacity... How could they hope to kill something that was already so utterly dead?...

Ulow wanted to stop Veldan from putting herself on a platter so blatantly, but was frozen in terror gazing into the horrid form of Klarkash. "...R-R-Rin's notta deemon! She's a... She's a goddess!" The small thing managed with great difficultly to break her silence. "If... If you don'd know Fillis, then... then... she's the only reason I'd..."

"Damn black blocks are cursed-er than the one back home. They curse your mind... It feels like the headclaspers, and... Xgoq..." Ulow was torn between a host of burgeoning emotions. This decrepit, disgusting thing was an abomination, but he clearly knew more about the monoliths than any of them. No beating around the bush, he actually knew about things that could help her...

"...Lich... Sir... I'm sorry we broke into hardbox yours, really, budt..." The chitine quickly shoved her way in front of the others, and tried to gain eye contact with it first hand. "Please... Please tell me... Who is idt?... Whadt is idt inside?... I need to... I need to know..."

Kodos
08-16-2011, 04:09 PM
"You will silence the Chitine or I shall silence it for you." Klarkash said, without a hint of emotion. "I asked questions. Your lives literally depend on timely and satisfying answers to these questions. Do not waste my time."

Alexander_Hamilton
08-18-2011, 12:25 AM
"We have one," Saiza said, with more effort than he expected; the words had almost felt stuff in his throat. "In an Ashfied asylum with a psion. A few months. Yes, yes, and I don't think so."

Kodos
08-18-2011, 12:56 AM
"A few months? And you've not killed yourself yet? Interesting. I suppose it's possible you are just very stupid - have you tried killing yourself?"

Lord_Windy
08-22-2011, 09:12 PM
"I don't know anything about being a demon whore," Veldan sadly said, still looking at her feet so she didn't have to face the horrifying visage of Klarkash. "Or anything about a eccentric wizard. I just know we were asked to get this book as a present for him."

Veldan looked up for a split second only to immediately put it back down. It didn't look any better with time. "And those monoliths, horrifying as they may be I don't want to kill myself just because I have to be around one"

Kodos
08-23-2011, 07:57 PM
"It's not about the horror, you idiot. It's about what the window represents, and where it leads to, you simpleton." Klarkash said annoyedly, waving a boney hand dismissively.

"Some atrocities are so profound that the flesh itself remembers them." The abomination gave what appeared to be a shudder. "And some memories outlive even the flesh."

"Tiefling, you will give me the Illithid relic."

Duskyduck
09-09-2011, 11:17 PM
"I did find the quest odd, but I could care less. I'm not here because Rin, I'm here because I'm responsible. These people are my friends...but you would not understand." Mathias managed to get his words out. His body had stiffen as soon as Klarkash entered, but as his comrades begun to interact, so did he.

"Saiza, give him the monolith. We can't do anything less if we want to get out alive."

Kodos
09-09-2011, 11:49 PM
DUCK HOLY HELL WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN

Regantor
10-14-2011, 08:41 PM
Ulow continued to gaze right at Klarkash, in the way that one might look at a scab to insure it didn't become infected. Disheartened, disgruntled and a little sickened she was, certainly, but the Chitine had come such a long distance and seen so many awful things in the past few months. Jaded was the only expression that really came across.

"The Liber Ivonis... Whad would you trade for id?" She remarked solemnly, trying to ignore the looks that such a proposition would surely generate. The silhouette of Fillis hung in her mind, always. "These... monolith only few. Believe you wouldn', the things I see..."

Alexander_Hamilton
10-22-2011, 09:35 PM
Kill myself...?

"How do we know you won't just kill us if we do give it to you now?" Saiza said, trying to keep his tone practical instead of defiant; the goal was not to antagonize the crazy lich. This was their leverage. He might kill them to get what he wanted, but it at least seemed more likely that he'd kill them afterward. And...he...he didn't want...the monolith...of course he would have to give it up. But-

"Let's make a deal."

Kodos
11-04-2011, 02:34 PM
The Lich seemed almost amused, judging by the look on its horrible face. "Trade? Deal? Why shouldn't I just kill you and take the Illithid artifact and keep my book?"

Duskyduck
11-24-2011, 08:31 AM
"I'll be a bother" Mathias blurted. "We won't be worth your time if you tried to kill us. Who knows what damage we will cause fighting for our lives. I for one know it would be minimal, considering your magical prowess - but it's worst than none at all..."

"You want the Monolith, right? So you know something about the Illithids. But not everything. Perhaps we can lend you a hand in the matter, but we'd be absolutely useless in death and we'd take a few more of your collections with us before we go down" Trying to not sound too challenging, Mathias simply kept up a monotonous voice; "I'm truly just being logical here"

Kodos
11-30-2011, 07:35 PM
The Lich made a horrible hollow sound that may have been a laugh. "Hah. You are, or at least pretend to be, a student of the arcane. I am aware of what has happened to Brookhaven. There are precious few libraries left on the surface of this world that have half a collection as vast as my own, at least outside of the private control of Dragons, Eccentrics, or otherwise inhospitable entities. You would not destroy this knowledge."

The Lich waved a withered, mostly skeletal, hand dismissively, bits of leathery, ancient, skin flaking and falling off as he did so. "I have forgotten more about Illithids than you will ever know, boy."

Regantor
12-17-2011, 05:53 PM
"-But do you know those things, or did you just read them?" Ulow's emotions began to boil over. What most of them heard was just spiteful, slurred gibberish. The Chintine was relying on this Lich actually knowing undercommon so she could get her point across. "Ever seen an entire village stormed by the headclaspers in the flesh? Ever met the abominations that wander forth in their wake? Or do you really trust the lame, senile, forgetful old drivel writen down here by mere mortals more than your own eyes and ears? You think that if we can get in here, the headclaspers cannot? Your brain is isolated, never mind your damn castle!"

It wasn't a logical or coodinated plan running trough the small woman's head, but she figured he could hardly do worse than kill them. Perhaps, just perhaps, she could make them appear fearsome enough to be valuable. In turn, as always, Ulow had thoughts of sapping information about Fillis on her mind. "So there! You have loads of corpses, we can see that... But, do you get many offers from people to protect your interests outside these walls?"

Alexander_Hamilton
01-04-2012, 07:14 PM
Saiza had no idea what Ulow was saying,naturally, but it sounded pretty angry, though too long for just profane cursing. He wished she'd spoken in Common; it was impossible to coordinate some kind of group action without clear communication.

But what the hell kind of action could they take? They could try to get on Klarkash's good side, and hope he'd let them out. Or they could...well...really that was the only option. What were the odds that they could take him down or even successfully run away at this point?

He didn't want to be killed. Not by this thing, not by devils, not by nightmares. But every direction was looking pretty deathy now.

But...maybe there was something he was missing? He scrutinized the lich. Was he as confident as he looked? Or was there any anxiety for the object in his pack or the information inside their heads?

Sense Motive
1d20+4=18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3317247/)

Kodos
01-15-2012, 06:14 PM
The Lich didn't seem to react to Ulow's little rant at all. "The Chitine's shrieking are bothersome. Silence it and give me the Illithid artifact and I may let some of you live."

The Lich seemed pretty confident, as far as Saiza could tell. I suppose being an immortal and nigh-invincible wizard horrorterror builds confidence.

Duskyduck
01-16-2012, 08:58 AM
"Saiza. Give him the monolith" Mathias resigned. "Nothing we come up with is something he hasn't formulated a counter to already. He's a lich, and he's been around for far longer than most mortals. We've failed, and we'll be lucky if we are allowed leave...alive"

No hesitation, no doubts. Whatever trace of confidence he had in his companions and himself not utterly crushed beneath the lich's cold, true, logic.

Kodos
01-16-2012, 10:05 AM
The Lich gave a Look. "Place it on the ground. I am not a fool. I shall not be touching the artifact until I have studied it at length and from afar."

Regantor
02-24-2012, 10:36 PM
Ulow slowly dropped her hands, looking jaded. Either it hadn't understood her undercommon rant, or just outright chose to ignore it. There had to be something they could do to talk their way out of this...

"Mister... please... please lisden to us. You know tha' we know the goddess of Izumo." She felt shame even using that self-given title in such a context. Death could come down on her head all it likes, but just giving up on the others seemed selfish... So she said the one thing none of them were probally willing to sink to for themselves. "S-she's a goddess you knows. Really truely. Wouldn' you want a favour from her glory?"

Kodos
02-24-2012, 10:43 PM
The Lich paused for a moment, apparently considering the Chitine's words. "The Shiranui harlot, whatever she calls herself these days, is a Tanar'ri, a Demon. Demons are not known for their trustworthiness. I admit I am intrigued at the prospect of her owing me a favor, but I do not have any confidence that she shall honor her debt to me."

"If I give you the book in exchange for the Illithid artifact and allow you to live, what guarantee do I have that Shiranui shall repay my generosity?"

Duskyduck
03-02-2012, 04:12 AM
Well that certainly wasn't expected...

But this could be their ticket out, so he didn't waste any time entertaining about the idea that he had been completely and utterly fooled by Rin. He didn't like it when his capacity for knowledge still left him so vulnerable to coercion and lies...
"You will get the Illithid artifact anyway, and she'll always owe you a favor - repay it or not. Isn't it a good idea to be on good terms, considering her age and influence. Demons are also known to be volatile. They act upon emotions, and at a whim, so one more thing she can remember you by...in a good way?"

Kodos
03-09-2012, 06:52 PM
The Lich glared at the group. "I will grant this, however if I am not rendered recompense for my generosity within a reasonable time, I shall begin with your families, then with yourselves, and then with the Tanar'ri bitch. I am immortal, ageless, and require not the prison of sleep or rest. You are not. You could not escape my punishment any more than you could your own shadows."

Alexander_Hamilton
03-23-2012, 09:09 PM
Saiza, slowly, barely thinking about his actions, shifted his backpack to the ground. Removed the monolith. It rested between his palms a if it were supposed to be there. Time to get rid of it. Why had he even kept the thing around so long?

As the terror of imminent death by lich poured away, it was replaced with a deep, stone-hard anxiety so deep his bones ached. The threat of death or torture felt...far away. Miniscule. This was a bad situation, but they could still get away, right? They could do it.

No. Don't be crazy, Saiza.

Still, he hugged the cold thing close to his chest. "Here's our piece of the bargain."

Kodos
04-07-2012, 02:34 AM
As it did so, it proceeded to cast a spell, summoning forth a skeleton. The skeleton proceeded to move towards one of the other bookcases, out of sight, before returning with what was presumably the book in question. "Place the artifact on the floor, back away from it, and I shall give you the book." Evidently even the Lich was unwilling to touch the monolith.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-11-2012, 11:24 PM
Saiza grimaced, feeling the slight weight of the monolith in his arms. He didn't want to let it go. Remarkable, considering.

He took a cautious step forward, placed 'Lithy' on the floor, then moved back, as instructed. So they were either getting the book or losing the monolith and getting killed. Hopefully it was the former.

Kodos
04-21-2012, 11:14 PM
FUCKING FINALLY.

The skeleton proceeded to take the monolith with what appeared to be a shudder, before handing Saiza the book.
The Lich waved a hand dismissively. "Now piss off. I have work to do."

***

The trip out was mostly quiet and awkward. When the group returned to the graveyard, at least their horses - and Blueberry - hadn't been eaten by monsters.

Back to Rin, now, I guess? Hopefully she wouldn't mind that they kind of indebted her to a horrible Lich.

Alexander_Hamilton
04-27-2012, 06:32 AM
"Well. Hello there Blueberry," Saiza said, and even he was surprised by the unrestrained misery in his voice. They were alive, which was great. First priority on their list. They also had the book. But...

Ugh.

"Least we have the damn thing," he said vaguely, trying to ignore the fact that it the weight of the book in his arms was no replacement for that of the monolith. Who knew what kind of crazy plans the damned lich had planned for it? He wasn't looking forward to explaining to Rin that, by the way, Klarklash wanted payment. She'd might as well have sent him a polite letter asking to borrow the damned thing.

He mounted Blueberry, who was more interested in a clump of tasty grass than his return. "Let's get the hell out of here."

Regantor
04-27-2012, 09:59 PM
They were alive, but Ulow felt that using her 'goddess' as a bargaining chip really wasn't worth it somehow. The idea of simply demanding such a burden from her seemed pretty decrepit. Pathetic, even. She suspected the others were thinking the same thing of her, too. Stupid, weak little thing can't even manage not backstabbing her deity, never mind taking care of her only son...

///

Makoto was just annoyed that yet again, they had only just about managed to escape with their lives, and she had barely even removed her blade from the scabbard during the whole ordeal. "Let's just get back to Rin already, guys..."

Distantly, she examined the condition of her horse, then looked around for her miniscule riding partner...

The chitine was several dozen feet away, crouched in the dirt. All of her hands were muddied, and at least one was in her mouth.

It was just all too much. The ninja didn't even want to know what the thing was thinking. Silently, she just pulled Ulow's hands away from her face, and hoisted her up into her arms apathetically.

Kodos
04-27-2012, 10:26 PM
Makoto smiled at the little Chitine. "Oh, come on, Ulow. Cheer up. We got the book, no one died, and even our horses and Saiza's mule are okay." She pulled Ulow's hands away from her face again. "And just think of the wonderful reward Rin will have for us when we get back, eh?" She gave Ulow a flirty little wink.

Regantor
04-27-2012, 11:28 PM
Ulow appreciated the ninja's sudden change of mood and gave off a bit of a forced smile in return. Even if talking to Rin again would have extra stigma from now on, she could always count on a drink with good ol' Makoto. That was something at least.

An affectionate four-armed hug only got the larger woman a bit muddy, so Ulow quickly flinched away from it again, and concentrated on cleaning up the mess rather than try to think of an upbeat lie she could spout.

"...Sorry Makodo... Bed all'ya good cloths are back in Kisanugi... foolish..."

Kodos
05-06-2012, 12:20 AM
As the group made their way back to Kusanagi, they found their nights free of the strange monolith fueled dreams - if indeed dream was the appropriate words.

Still, something wasn't right. That incident, at the library, when Saiza had suddenly screamed and freaked out - there were more. And as time went on, it wasn't just Saiza. Makoto would scream and suddenly find herself holding her nagato, having no recollection of either screaming or drawing her weapon. Likewise with Veldan and her mindblade. It was if they group was seeing something, but forgetting about it.

Then it started happening with Blueberry and the horses - and Emi too.

***

The group was over halfway to Kusanagi when it happened. They saw. They all saw it, this time, and this time it didn't vanish, and they didn't forget.

They knew, somehow. All those times they had reacted and forgotten. This was it. This was what they were seeing.

And it was horrible.

The horror (http://i.imgur.com/pCpZj.jpg) was roughly the size of a large Orc, although it lay on the ground. It's upper body was humanoid in most vague of senses, while its lower body was a writhing mass of oozing tentacles. And it was wrong. So wrong. So horribly, horribly wrong. It felt like Brookhaven. Like the Wrongheads and the Starspawn and the fog and the great and terrible Other. The group knew. They knew in every fiber of their being. This was something wholly and utterly alien. It did not belong here. It did not belong anywhere on the Great Wheel. The very grass beneath their feet seemed almost revulsed by the creature's presence.
And their heads hurt. There was a buzzing sound. In their minds. Like something scratching to get in. Or maybe to get out?

There was no slime-trail behind it, however. As far as the group could tell, the abomination has simply come into being right in front of Saiza, as the were riding.
Blueberry and the horses reacted instantly, before even Makoto could draw her weapon, bucking wildly and generally freaking out. The group managed to stay atop their mounts, but it was obvious they would have dismount quickly if they wanted to engage the horror, as there was no way the animals were going to stay anywhere near the thing.

Surprise round. The creature gets to act next round. Getting off your mount is part of a move action if you move, but if you just want to get off and not move, that's a move action in and of itself. No map because why bother? You're in a field on your horses when BAM! Horror out of nowhere.
INITIATIVE
Saiza = 25 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3504609/)
Veldan = 14 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3504613/)
Ulow = Did not roll. Reg is playing both so for convenience's sake.
Makoto = 10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3504608/)
Mathias = Did not roll. Duck is never around so he goes last.

Alexander_Hamilton
05-12-2012, 04:44 AM
The terror that whipped through Saiza left a numbed coolness in its wake. It was too much, all put together. After the hell the party had been going through the last few days, the appearance of...this was almost a relief. He staggered off of the bucking Blueberry, who fled back the way they'd come as he slipped on his eagle claws.

Too empty of emotions to panic at what he was about to do, Saiza leaped forward and dug the blades of the metal claws deep into the abomination.
Attack
1d20+11=17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3514615/)
Damage
5d6=24 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3514634/)

Regantor
05-16-2012, 11:24 PM
Ulow didn't seem to believe what it was before her eyes at first, perhaps preferring the explanation that she had instead just finally gone truly, irredeemably insane. The rotten feeling it exuded was all too familiar by now. All too familiar. But just another unwelcome dream.

What made her scream, shiver, and quake was the fact that this time the others seen it too.

She had to resort to begging with herself to stay and face it, not to abandon Saiza. Her legs had pulled her off of the horse, but she wouldn't let them move any further.

If it was already within her head, how could she possibly conceive of fighting it with her powers?

A wispy ball of string gained presence within her hands, almost on it's own. She threw it at the thing, and simply preyed it would make some tiny contribution to slowing it's advance. A prayer for Saiza to change his mind.

Ulow used Entangling Ectoplasm!

1d20+9=22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3521223/)

It hits!

"An entangled creature moves at half speed, cannot run or charge, and takes a -2 penalty on all attack rolls and a -4 penalty to Dexterity."
The orb of web burst rather satisfactorily and knotted sever of the thing's limbs together. The effect might have looked as pathetic as Ulow felt, but there was just no will within her to fight it at all.

"...Saiza... Pleaze... Pleaze dond fighd... Pleaze dond... Id's already.... Pleaze..."

Kodos
06-24-2014, 12:17 PM
Kinda shitty, but, eh. I just want this moving again. Duck, Reg, you're welcome to post.

The horror was not as dangerous as it looked. Upon the things death it exploded into a shower of gore, each and every bit, from the black bile to the solid chunks, then proceded to fade away. As though it was never there at all.

Although it was.

Right?

***

The rest of the trip back to Kusanagi was, for better or for worse, without incident. The only event of note, in fact, was that Saiza's nightmares - if nightmares they were - had finally stopped.

Maybe the monolith had something to do with it?

***

Rin Shiranui was, evidently, busy when they had arrived in Kusanagi. Dealing with some 'urgent matter.' Wonder what it was? Knowing her, probably an orgy. Still, a clerk in the palace gave the party their fee for retrieving the book, and instructions about where to deliver it for further pay.

But, sadly, Saiza wanted no part of it. Eldritch terrors from beyond the Nine Hells, near constant nightmares, skeletons, death, and a Lich had taken their toll. He took his money, and he left.

Veldan, too, left. There was lots of crying, from her, and hugging, and promises to stay in touch, if she could. She needed to find her prince and, you know, was really worried about everyone back home.

And then ther were three. Makoto, Mathias, and Ulow.

***

Evidently Armitage's retreat was sufficiently far from Kusanagi, and civilization in general, that the party was given a direct teleport there, and a scroll of teleport for their way back.

The instructions were clear: give Armitage the book, tell him Rin is sorry and sent them, and to head back. Armitage was a paranoid, excitable, and Eccentric Wizard in all senses of the word 'eccentric' so careful choice in words and actions was advised. Good thing Saiza wasn't there, I guess?

***

Armitage's tower was a, well, towering affair, wrought of iron and devoid of any visible windows. The large entrance was guarded by two large Iron Golems, that regarded the party but did not attack.
And then, as the party approached, one of them spoke, it's voice metallic and echoing from within. Except, you know - or at least Mathias did - Golems can't speak.

"Outsiders You Approach The Residence Of Armitage, Archwizard, Artificer, Conjurer, Master of Artifice, Scholar Of The Planes. State Your Business Here. Aggressive Action, Deception, And Subterfuge Shall Be Met With Violence. Know, Also, That The Artificer Does Not Take Apprentices, Petitioners, Or Guests. State Your Business, Or Leave."

Regantor
06-25-2014, 09:00 AM
The booming voice startled Ulow, and the pale scraggly thing grappled around behind Mathias rather than face directly with the mobile hunks of metal. Her cold hands found ways inside his coat and robbed his warmth. She had pretty much been like this since Saiza and Veldan had left; The chitine's nerves were long gone. If Makoto wasn't around to drag her off the floor, she probably wouldn't have ate or bathed.

But... Well, at least, she was still here. Her stern eyes had determination in them yet. Her thoughts were of protecting Mathias, not of using him as a shield.

He would still probably have to do the talking, through.

Dusky_Duck
06-28-2014, 05:23 AM
Mathias stepped up to the golem, though his new long cloak still comfortably covering the top half of Ulow. "We're envoys from Rin Shirunai, come bearing gifts of knowledge" he stated it plainly, unsure if courtesies would be expected or an annoyance.

"We've been inside Basarab and out, alive, to deliver you Liber Ivonis. I hope you will find appreciation for our efforts to let us in, if for a little while" he waited for the response from the archmage.

Kodos
06-28-2014, 11:08 AM
The Golems were silent for a few moments, evidently 'thinking.'
"The Grand Artificer Shall Grant You Exception, on Behalf Of The Shiranui Woman," The Golem rumbled from within, as the grand door opened and the party, made their way inside Armitage's tower.

Once inside, the group were greeted by another pair of Iron Golems and a third, crystal, one that Mathias recognized as a specialized anti-Psion golem often called a Psion Killer. Probably for Ulow.

"You Will Follow Us. Touch Nothing Without Being Told Or Suffer Violence." Instructed one of the iron ones, as the massive door sealed behind them.

***

The ground floor was, evidently, some manner of golem foundry. There were forges and furnaces, clay ovens and moore, all being worked by golems as they toiled at producing new golems. In display cases, here and there, were strange constructs (http://i.imgur.com/y14oall.jpg) the likes of which Mathias had never even heard of, apparently being partially wooden in their construction. They looked quite ancient, and also quite inactive.
Strangely, there were also many large crystals, here and there, of the same design that Viktor had in his office. Some manner of psionic dampener? Protection from Seers? Something altogether more sinister?
"This is pretty cool, huh Ulow?" Was Makoto's attempt to cheer up the terrified Chitine. "Maybe you should do the talking, Mathias. You're good at this nerdy wizard stuff," she smiled.

"You Will Step Into The Circle." Intoned the golem, gesturing towards a magic circle, presumably a teleport circle.
And it was.

***

There were no windows, so the party had no idea if they had moved up or down in the tower, or how far. They could easily have been in an entire different building in fact. There was another pair of Iron Golems waiting for them. "You Will Follow Us. Touch Nothing Without Being Told Or Suffer Violence."

This time the walls were lined enormous bookshelves, each stretching scores of feet upwards until they touched the ceiling. Spider-like constructs with hands at the end of their spidery limbs Crawled along the towering shelves, restocking or reorganizing the books. Here, too, were the crystals, as well.
The golems led the trio to a shriveled and ancient old man in thick glasses (http://i.imgur.com/8eXfEDB.jpg), standing with a cane and flanked on either side by a quartet consistent of 2 Iron and 2 Crystal Golems. The Crystal Golem that had accompanied them there waited besides Mathias with outstretched hands.

"Well? Don't just stand there gawking. Give the book to the golem! I'm not touching it. Gods know what disgusting juices the old fox got on it." He sounded as old as he looked. "Who are you idiots? What do you want? Wait, no, I don't care. What's the old fox want? And don't tell me 'just to give you a gift' because she always wants something. They always do."
What a charming old man.

Dusky_Duck
06-28-2014, 12:30 PM
Mathias produced the book and placed it on the ground. "It's a gift" he assured, not recalling any wording otherwise. But words are wind.
"I'm just a fledgling student of the mysteries, and an errand boy. Mostly the latter, as of late. If Lady Shiranui meant anything by 'gift', she didn't care to give me any hints"

He stepped back to make space for a golem to retrieve the book. "...and it's an honor to meet one such as yourself, Grand Artificer" he added moments later. As a student himself, Mathias had great respect for any who study the art to this degree. He knew it was taxing on the heart and mind firsthand, and even the evil wizards who has accomplished so much were respectable in their own way. His mouth brimming with a sort of excitement he didn't feel since long ago, when he looked up to these masters instead of envying them. In a way, he'd grown into a cynical boy, only to soften up as a man. He kept his mouth shut though, suspecting he'd been speaking a few words too many.

Kodos
06-28-2014, 03:58 PM
"Eh, wha? An honor? Oh my, yes." The ancient Artificer seemed a little confused for a moment, there. Rin did say he was old and kinda out-there. Then again, what Wizards weren't?'

"Lady Shiranui? Oh, fuff! The old fox is a treacherous whore. She wants something. That's just how her kind are. Oh my, yes, they always want something from us. It's how they are." I guess he didn't have a very high opinion of women? "Student of the mysteries? What, you're a Wizard? Ah, that takes me back. How many centuries has it been, now, since I taught, back at Brookhaven. Longer, still, since I was a student there. And then there was the old fox. Treacherous she-devil. You're her errand-boy now, but you won't be forever, youngster. She'll get bored of you and cast you aside. Or you'll say 'the wrong thing' because they always hate to hear the truth, and she'll cast you aside! And then she'll cast you aside!" He seemed rather agitated, until he cooled down. "Er, uh, what was I saying?" He seemed to zone out for a few more moments before finding his footing again as the golem stomped over to show him the book. "Good news, everyone, I accept her gift. You may leave." He then paused for a moment. "Er, uh, wait. You didn't uh, read the thing, did you? And, good heavens, certainly not aloud? Because that would just be disastrous. Oh my, yes. "

Dusky_Duck
06-28-2014, 04:31 PM
"Wait, um" the words tangled in his throat. "We never opened the book, master Armitage, but if I might ask... did you perhaps know of a student by the name Viktor?...or, uh" Mathias squinted his eyes a little, trying to discern Armitage's age to discern is station back at the academy relative to the conjuror. Sight did him little then, with Viktor, and it proved no more useful here.

Enhanced age and vitality was a typical persuit for master arcanists with their facilities, knowledge and power now on a surplus, and damn me for it because thats about all I know.

"Or instructor" he said weakly, giving up.

Almost forgetting that they were already dismissed, he added a little something just to catch the archmage's interest, but leaving out enough so that it might be inquired. "Its gone, by the way. Brookshaven was swallowed whole"

Kodos
06-28-2014, 05:09 PM
"Weiss?! Weiss." Armitage repeated the name as though it were the most venomous slur imaginable, which seemed like the sort of thing most people who knew Viktor might do. Viktor was kind of a douchebag.

"I know the bastard. Young asshole know-it-all. 'Oh, oh, look at me! I'm Viktor Weiss! I'm going to be just like Armitage and go study under Lord Ilafive! Oooh, I'm such a young hotshot! Go home, old man Armi, leave magic to the 229 year olds!'" Armitage's little tantrum and mock-rant was accompanied by all manner of old-man flailing and squirming.

Ilafive... Mathias recognized that name from his studies. Lord Aldos Ilafive, better known by the common form of his surname; 'Starfury.' A surviving member of the royalty of old Anasteria* and, by general acclaim, one of the greatest Conjurers in the history of Asul. Last Mathias had heard he'd gone Eccentric generations ago. Then again, given how old Armitage and, apparently, Weiss were, it was certainly possible, I guess? Or maybe they were brilliant enough that even an Eccentric would tolerate them.

"Er, uh, where was I?" Oh, he lost it again. "You were talking about Viktor." Makoto offered, helpfully. "Eh, wha? Oh, yes! Weiss?! Weiss! What about the young upstart? What's he gotten on to now? Does the old fox want me to clean up one of his messes, because I wont! Oh, sweet zombie Aoskar, is the filthy whore seeing him now? What, got bored with the grumpy old man and decides to go for the younger model? Robbing the cradle, is what she is!" More flailing. And spitting. Old man spittle.
I guess Viktor was probably one of those subjects they maybe shouldn't have brought up?

*Anasteria was one of the High Elven kingdoms Therion destroyed during the Wars of the Dragon, and now part of his domain, making up the region of Therion known as Carrion Lake. As Anasteria was a magocracy and one of the most magically advanced places on the surface of Asul, Mathias would know at least a bit of it's history, just as a result of his education.

Dusky_Duck
06-29-2014, 04:43 AM
"Perhaps this is a bit of a longshot, but I had stumbled upon Viktor Weiss's works master Armitage. Or the by-products of his experiments, I can't tell for certain. The terrible things that took Brookshaven, it felt...similair. Of the same veins, same. . . sensations. I belief a power is stirring and I know not what, where or when. I think Viktor is involved"

"Rin didn't inform me to ask anything of you, but I'm here on my own volition as well. I'm stupid and young, and in need of wisdom" he spole with conviction. He decided that cutting corners weren't wholly efficient, if he could be dismissed anymoment, better to have taken a shot. "Your wisdom"

Kodos
06-29-2014, 12:32 PM
Armitage, still in mild tantrum mode, seemed dismissive. "Weiss? Do that?! Oh, fuff! Please! He's a pompous, dumb, arrogant, young upstart, but he's not that dumb! Or that good. He has neither the means nor the will to rend the Veil, at least not on that scale..." He seemed to trail off again, in his own thoughts, muttering to himself. "Ilafive, perhaps... although he's worse than Eccentric, now, crazy old bastard... Aryyna, certainly, oh my, yes... with Underdark in disarray, evidenced by Chitine on surface, though..."

"Hello." Makoto gave a friendly little wave, apparently snapping him out of it. "Eh, wha? Oh, you're still here. No, it wasn't Viktor. What? Oh, no. Gods, no! I don't take apprentices! Shoo! Shoo! Away with you!"

As the group, still escorted by golems, started off. "Oh, eh, uh, wait! Tell the old fox I accept her gift, but promise nothing.

Dusky_Duck
06-29-2014, 02:07 PM
"I meant no such thing. I just, desperately want to fix things. Someone has to do something. But..."

"I'll trouble you no longer, then. And we'll relay your message to Lady Shiranui" Mathias memorized the names uttered by the archmage. They ring bells, but it was too blurred to make anything out of the information. Perhaps Rin will know more. Or the libraries. Probably not much on the latter, though, unless it was, say Basarab. Let's not, though.

Kodos
07-04-2014, 06:47 AM
The trip back to Kusanagi-to was a fairly literal non-event given that it was accomplished via teleportation scroll.

***

Rin Shiranui (http://i.imgur.com/6zZ8PIK.jpg) met with the part in much the same manner as she had in their handful of prior encounters - in the palace's harems, in a room heavily scented with incense and lazily covered in luxurious cushions, pillows, and so on. And, of course, she also greated them with tight, too friendly, hugs - given the height difference between Rin and Ulow, the Chitine very nearly found her head lodged in Rin's ample Rinness, but one imagines probably found little cause for complaint, there, asphyxiation danger aside - and with kisses that were also much too friendly. Makoto, at the very least, certainly seemed to enjoy both.

"You're back! Again!" Rin laughed, taking a seat and pulling Ulow down next to her. "I was worried sick about you lot! I was so worried about all of you! I'm so glad you're all okay!" She hugged Ulow tightly, before noticing that Ulow was still wearing the necklace she gave her. "Oh, you've kept it safe!" Rin laughed, positively beaming. "It kept you safe too, I bet. Yes, I'm sure of it. I told you it was special. Just like you." She gave Ulow an almost non-sexual kiss on the forehead. One got the idea that, with Rin, that was probably about the bst she could do when it came to trying to do something without sexual undertones.
...Not that they were really undertones when it came to Rin.

"I'm sorry I couldn't meet with you all before. I was very busy with my new girlfriend." She stopped, catching herself. "Oh, oh! I got a girlfriend I forgot to tell you all! She's great! She's from up north, right? Huuuuge tits, like, almost kinda as big as mine!" The descrption of the nameless girl from Northern Izumo's chest was accmpanied by plenty of illustrative hand gestures from Rin, her own bouncing, jiggling, twin peaks being used for a point of comparison. "And, like, thighs? Gods, you won't believe her thighs. We really should do an orgy sometime. The five of us. Oh, and she's a really badass martial artist. She's really kind of the best. She acts like a cunt sometimes, but she's totally just pretending. She's really fun. And wild in bed. I guess my thunder thihs is kind of like you, eh nerdy boy?" She laughed and crawled over towards Mathias, resting her head on his lap and smiling up at him. "Hey, handsome. Missed me?"
SUrely the fact she had angled herself at just such an angle as to give Mathias a perfect chance to look down her cleavage was just a strange coincidence. Ditto the fact that Uow got the chance to do the same but with the bottom of her dress.

"Anyway. Tell me all about it! I'm so excited, I could just burst! What'd old grumpy-golems say? Did he say anything? Oh, gods, tell me he didn't make you kids talk to fuckin' golems?"

Rin then giggled. "No, those aren't things. I mean, I've tried, but trust me, they're hard, but that's about it."

Oh, Rin.

Dusky_Duck
07-04-2014, 08:51 AM
"He's convinced you want something from him" said Blythe, trying to look away, but Rin seemed to be everywhere at once. "I...we talked very briefly Lady Rin, and I had a chance to learn about Brookshaven. He said something about the Veil."

"And it sounded like he really . . . dislikes you. Did something happen?"

Regantor
07-04-2014, 10:02 PM
Ulow held out Rin's pendant before her eyes for several moments. The fog of her mind had always been heavy, but her expression as of late had remained in a somber, unfeeling porcelain mask. The goddess was always in such a good mood. It made her feel awkward, alrough she didn't have the mental strength to show it.

Right now, the she-foxes' words only made her realize that she had entirely forgotten to ask Armitage about Fillis... Or, perhaps, deep down, she was afraid to ask because she didn't want to hear the exact same answer yet again. It made her feel like he never even existed at all.

In that moment, the pale thing remembered watching Saiza's disturbed sleep. She remembered the taste of his nightmares, and how familiar it had seemed.

Slowly, she took the necklace from around her neck, smoothly grasped and placed it into one of Rin's hands, and then took a comfortable seat away from the orange sunflare billowing through the paper blinds. There was a massive pile of cushions in the corner, but it still wasn't half as dark as she would have liked it.

As much time as she had spent on the surface, it still hurt her eyes.

Kodos
07-05-2014, 02:03 AM
"Veil? What veil? Like, what, the dance of the seven veils? Yeah, I know that one. Is this a request, hando-" Rin's happy little digression was interrupted by Ulow placing the necklace in her hands before scurrying off. Rin seemed confused, sitting up. "No. It's yours, Ulow. I want you to have it." She smiled softly as she walked over to the Chitine and placed the necklace back on her. "I know you will take care of it, and because I know you will take care of it, that means I know that as long as you wear it, you will take care of yourself." She smiled and gave Ulow another chaste-by-Rin-standards kiss on the forehead. "See? I'm pretty clever for a hooker."

Laughing, Rin sat down besides the Chitine and turned her attention back to Mathias. "Oh, you know how grumpy old Wizards are." She said, rolling her eyes and laughing. "He said something cruel and utterly untrue about me, and I responded by calling him out on some of his failings. He reacted poorly." Another eyeroll and a dismissive shrug that left Rinbits moving about well after the rest of her had stopped. "You now how grumpy old men can be, and how insufferable Wizards often are. No offense, handsome." A wink to Mathias. "That is why I worry about you, though, Mathias. Don't lose you way. You don't want to wind up a grumpy old wasting away in their tower, surrounded only by unfeeling golems and shutting out the most beautiful woman in the world because you're a big dump know-it-all who thinks they're just so-smart." Rin seemed almost annoyed by the end there, as she whined about Armitage.

Dusky_Duck
07-05-2014, 04:15 AM
"It's a big world, and not everyone is born big. I think wizards are just trying to even the playing field. If I can do good works while going grumpy for it, maybe that's not such a bad deal. No offense to you, Lady Rin. When Therion killed Amawasa, it wasn't that the good in my heart wasn't pure enough, or that I didn't have the conviction, no. It was because I was just a fledgling wizard who still mispronounces arcane jibberish every so often. I stumbled on one letter. One letter!, and Amawasa would still been here. . ." his voice began shaking, though if he was angry at himself, or Rin, or the world, it wasn't quite clear.

"We weren't exactly friends. But he was someone, with goals and dreams and aspirations, and my incompetence snuffed it. It's a big world, and I'm just small"

"I'm saying I respect the old man, and I'd like to belief there is good he has done, or would still do, by merit of his hard-earned powers. Is that wholly false? Did he just waste away in his tower and accomplished nothing, truly?"

Kodos
07-05-2014, 04:32 AM
Rin gave Mathias a sad smile and crawled over to him, sitting down in front of him and placing a hand gently on his face. "It is not your fault. What happaned to Amasawa is not your fault. It's my fault, Mathias, not yours. Never yours." She kissed him softly. "The world is very big, Mathias, but that doesn't make you small. Nobody is small. Everybody matters." She smiled at him. When Rin Shiranui smiled, it was like the sunrise. Everything was. Blinding and beautiful and somehow warm and reassuring. "And you don't need magic. You only need to do the right thing, handsome." She took Mathias' hands in hers, her merest touch somehow insanely arousing and erotic in a way most kisses weren't. "Your magic didn't save Claudia from that place, didn't save Claudia's life. You did. You, Mathias Blythe. Therion has forgotten more magic than you will ever know, love, but somehow I don't think he's ever saved any lives. You have. You saved that girl back in Brookhaven, too." She hugged him close. "You are stronger than you know, handsome." Letting go of him, Rin looked him in the eyes and cracked up. "Although you are kind of like the most boring nerd ever. I mean, seriously, saying no to not only me, which is fuckin' crazy to start with, but an orgy with Ulow and Makoto too? I mean, come on!" Makoto responded by giving Mathias a flirty wink and blowing him a kiss. Given her facial expression, it was probably her just teasing and playing along. Rin just laughed.

Oh, Rin.

Regantor
07-05-2014, 01:53 PM
Ulow grasped the string as it was being put back around her neck, and refused to let Rin put the necklace back on her. There was a small tingle of weightlessness as the chitine dragged herself to her feet using her mindgift, and then slowly came to a stop in the middle of the room. Her feet uncurled and flattened themselves rather awkwardly, taking a moment to remember how to stand.

~"What exactly would you have us do, Rin?"~ Her voice was more clear and concise than seemingly possible, a soft whisper in the ear, alrough her lips didn't move as she spoke at all. The ability was nothing new to those who knew her, but the sentiment was. She sounded... awake.

~"I'm fine with just following Mathias and Makoto wherever. I don't know what I'd do without them, really..."~ A multitude of hands hid her face. For a thing that slept constantly, she still always seemed so tired. ~"...But... But you still should have found the time to tell me, if you didn't think Fillis was real."~

"I'm tou tireyd to be angrye." The voice came from her mouth now, but it sounded like a husk compared to the strength of her mind. "Just don' taulk to me like a child."

She thought about Klavier. She remembered his company, but she couldn't remember his face at all now. She wished Makoto would still take the time to play her flute. She wished that she could have helped Mathias with his studies all this time, instead of hiding away so uselessly.

Kodos
07-06-2014, 04:42 AM
Rin looked at Ulow with a sad and sympathetic look on her gorgeous face. "Oh, Ulow." She breathed, touching a hand to the woman's face. "We need to talk." Makoto hugged Ulow and kissed her cheek. "I'll be waiting outside the harem, if you need me." She said to Ulow before making her exit.

Before Mathias could leave, Rin stopped him. "No, wait. Ulow, you wait here. I will be right back, okay? You can make a pillow fort if it helps?" She gave a little laugh, largely joyless, and walked out with Mathias.

"Claudia's been... well she tried to kill herself once - no, no! Relax! Only once! That's like, really good. I think. I don't know. I've, uh, you know, never really had to deal with this sort of thing before. But she's strong. She's stronger than she knows. You saved her life, Mathias, truly, you did. She wants to speak with you. I guess that now's as good a time as any. I have the joyful task of telling Ulow her son is dead." Before Mathias could respond to that dramabomb which, in fairness, he likely knew as much as Rin and Makoto did - it was always kind of hte elephant in the room - they reached some room in another area of the palace. "You, wait here." Rin instructed, knocking on the door before entering. "Claudia, babe? S'me..."

Rin was gone for a short while before re-emerging. "Claudia would like to see you." Before Mathias could enter, she stopped him and pulled his face up to face hers (I'm assuming Rin is probably a bit taller than Mathias. If nothing else since she's wearing geta). "You're a good kid, Mathias, and I meant that. I meant every word I said to you. But you're also kind of a dumbass sometimes. Claudia needs you. I'm not asking you to lie to her, or make her promises you do not intend to keep, but I am telling you that if you break her, I'll break your fucking legs." Rin sounded fairly intense and serious, although somewhat sabotaged by the fact that her voice was so insanely erotic she could make a spellbook sound like the most tantalizing erotica. Still, she only held for a moment before laughing. "Well, I mean, I wouldn't break your legs. I'm just a hooker, and not like one of those beefy agony aunt ones. But Makoto probably could. Probably would, too, if I asked her." She gave a wink. "But, seriously, Mathias, don't be a shithead to her okay? She needs you more than you know. And I think you need her too. Fuck, we all need each-other. I dunno. I'm just a hooker." She gave him a kiss to the forehead and made her way back to Ulow, leaving Mathias outside Claudia's room.

***

Claudia was seated upon a divan in a rather lavishly furnished guest room. It was the capital palace of Kusanagi, after all. She was wearing a revealing kimono - her taste in attire evidently hadn't changed, and still took enough care in her appearance to ensure her make-up was immaculate although Mathias knew from traveling with the red haired beauty that she really didn't need it to look stunning. She was, of course, wearing a bandage around her right thigh to hide her brand.
She gave him a weak but sincere little smile as he entered the room. She looked as stunning as ever, but Mathias could see it in her eyes as he, at her silent motioning, took a seat besides her. She looked okay.
She wasn't okay. She wasn't okay, and she was terrified she never would be.

She put a finger to his lips. "No. Shush. Don't talk. I'm sorry, I-I shouldn't tell you what to do. But, please, let-let me talk, okay? I need... I need this." Claudia said softly before taking a deep breath and a deeper sigh.

"I've done... I've done terrible things, Mathias. I've killed people. I've tortured people. I've damned people to an eternity of suffering they did not deserve. And I enjoyed these things, Mathias. I enjoyed them. I did them because I was asked to, sometimes, but always because I wanted to. I liked it. It made me feel good." She turned away from him and went on, evidently unable to look at him, her long crimson hair obscuring her features, her voice shaking. "I had planned to torture you, Mathias. Planned to torture and kill you. As an offering. As an offering to him. I would have killed your friends too, Mathias. All of you.
This, too, I would have enjoyed. I would have enjoyed the boons these actions would have afforded me, but I would have enjoyed the acts themselves, too. I would have enjoyed torturing and killing you, Mathias." She was weeping now, as she turned to face him, sobbing heavily.

"I don't know why I did these things, Mathias. I don't know. Ma-may-maybe-maybe I was scared. Or I was greedy. Or I was just a stupid bitch. I don't know. I was trying to excuse the inex-I don't know. I-I-I-I I don't know. I don't know, Mathias. But I know that nothing I can ever say or do will undo what I have done. Or make up for them." She was sobbing more heavily, now.
"I'd like to tell you that I am a different person now, but I can't. I don't believe that. How can I be? I'm still me. I remember doing these things, Mathias. I remember how good they felt when I did them. What's it matter how I feel now? I'm still me? I did those things, Mathias. Me. Me, me, me, me, me. All me. No one else to blame." Claudia took Mathias' hands in her own shaking hands. "I've changed since then, Mathias, oh gods please believe me! But-but-but! But I'm still me! I'm still her!
I know I don't dese-deserve your sympathy, Mathias. I-I know this. And I-I, I, I don't bl-blame you if you hate me. You should hate me. I know I do. Ri-Rin told me that all of that is in the past. That I don't need to carry all that I have done with me. But-but-but I do, Mathias. I do. Every-Every night. Every night it comes back to me. All of it. I hear the screams. I smell the blood, and the sweat, and the tears. I see all that I have done and all that I would have continued to do." Claudia took a deep breath, holding Mathias' hands tightly still, but seeming to at least get her crying under control. She let go for a moment to wipe her tear-soaked face with a nearby cloth, before taking his hands back in hers once more. "I'm... I'm sorry. I think I can continue, now." She said after a slew of sniffles.

"I understand that part of repentance involves accepting the just consequences of one's actions. I do, Mathias, I do. I know what I have done, and what I deserve. But... but you-but you showed me a little kindness, Mathias. You showed me a little kindness and-and that's so much, much more than I deserve. You-you took me wi-with you. You took me with you even after all that I have done. And you knew. You knew, and you took me with you. I am a monster and still you didn't leave me," Claudia started to shake more intensely, closing her eyes tightly shut, "didn't leave me back at-back at-back at that place. You took me with you. You saved me. Back at D-Dore you even shared a bed with me when-when I was too afraid to sleep-to sleep alone. Even after all I did to you. Even after all you knew. Even after everything." Claudia leaned in close to him, her forehead nearly resting against his.

"I... I know you're a fair deal younger than me, Mathias but... I don't care. I don't care, Mathias. And I know I don't deserve to be forgiven, and I know you of all people shouldn't forgive me let alone... let alone... Mathias... I... Mathias..." She had begun sobbing heavily again.
And then she kissed him.

Rin and Ulow stuff coming later. I figured this deserved it's own, and it's not like Reg will reply before Duck does, anyway.

Dusky_Duck
07-06-2014, 10:16 AM
It wasn't that Mathias hadn't any issues of his own. Moreso, it was precisely because of his issues that he is hardpressed when dealing with Claudia. When he entered the room, he had almost try to approach her as cheerfully as possible, but that was cut short when the redhead started crying and eventually kissing him.

He took it, reluctanly at first. Then he brought his hands over her ears, brushing them down her thick locks of hair, grabbing them firmly. It was now Mathias who was kissing Claudia, and it was all he could do not to press her down, not to tear her dress open.

She needs me, more than anything. I don't want this, but I do. She is my trophy, my proof, and that's why I don't want this. I don't want her because I just want her. It's sickening. I'm sickening. I need her, fuck.

He drew his face out, but his hands still held her firm and close. "You," he kissed her again "You're strong. Stronger than anyone I've known. Stronger than me. You don't have to take this alone. I'll take it with you. Tonight. Tommorow."

I'm in love

"I want you, I miss you, I care about you, s-so don't go away. Don't run away. I..I love you. Claudia." he pushed her down, looking at her tearful face, wiping wet trails off her face with his hands.

Should I let Claudiapost happen?

Kodos
07-31-2014, 11:03 AM
Claudia just wept on Mathias for a while before finally calming down enough to talk. She gave him a half-sad smile. "No. No, you don't." She put a finger to his mouth, shushing him before you could respond. "Don't. You think you do, but you don't. You barely know me." She sighed heavily, adjusting her chest in her kimono and absent-mindedly fiddling with the bandage on her thigh. "But you will." She kissed him again. "I want this, I want you; I want to give you that chance to-to love me." She was starting up again, but managed to calm herself down.
"I know that where-wherever this goes, you won't leave me." She was starting up again. "I don't... I don't know that you can love me. You think you can, because you are kind, and stupid in your own wonderful way," she gave a joyless little laugh and paused for a bit, taking deep breaths and collecting herself. "I'm a terrible person, Mathias. Rin says I'm not; that I need not be constrained or defined by the things i have done. I don't believe that. Gods, fuck, I'm repeating myself." She shook her head, red locks cascading about. "Maybe you can. I think she does, in her own strange way. I don't, I don't know. Maybe you can learn to love me, Mathias. I don't think I can. I don't think I can forgive myself. I think I'm too weak. I don't think I can. Move past what I have done. Or maybe you and Rin and Veldan are just, you know... wrong. Maybe I don't deserve this. I don't know... I don't know much of anything anymore." She sighed, looked like she was about to start weeping again, but caught herself, fixed her hair, adjusted her chest in her kimono, and forced a smile. "I'm okay." Claudia put a hand to his cheek. "But... I do know that I want this. With you. To try. We'll just... see where it goes... I guess?"

Claudia gave a tired laugh. "I've lived my life so far believing that there was a grand cosmic design, a plan for everyone and everything. I knew where I was going. I was good, you know?" She perked up a little. "At what I did. I was real good. Among the best." She sounded equal parts proud and revulsed. "The Tyrant himself took an interest in me, I'm told." Nothing but disgust and terror, there. "I knew, Mathias. I knew where I was going. I knew that everything was going according to plan. And now... I don't. I don't have that anymore. I don't have my pride, or my certainty, or much of anything." She was quiet for a short while, just resting her head on his shoulder.

"But, you know. I have you. And Veldan. And Rin. And that's not all so bad." She sounded genuine enough. She kissed him again. "And I still have my looks, so I guess there's that." She gave another little laugh. "Gods, I really am the worst." Claudia gave him a smile, she looked, well not happy, but the closest she'd come since all this began. "I don't know what's coming next. I don't know that you will be able to love me, or I you. I don't know that I will ever be able to be the person you think I am capable of being. I don't know. But I know that I want to try. And I guess, here, now, the trying is good enough
It's all we really have, anyway, right?"

***

Rin sat down and took the little Chitine's hands - all four of them - in hers. She forced a smile and took a deep breath. As always, her touch was more sensual and intimate than a kiss with, well, anyone who wasn't her really. "Ulow, love," Rin began in perfect, unaccented, Undercommon, "I love you. I love you very much. Because I love you so very much, I am going to tell you the truth. Truths I have kept secret from you for the protection of both of us, and truths I think you already know but could not face because you are so very beautiful and the world is so very ugly.
Well, uh, to start with... how old did I tell you I was? 24? Eheha, that's, uh, well..."

Rin told her. About how she had come to be, about Da Ji, about Sogi, about Hoji, and about a great many other things. Unsurprisingly for something that was far closer to a goddess than to a mortal and who had lived a life that was literally as old as civilization on Asul, Rin left out much. But she didn't omit Genno, her first love. Or the story of the children they shared. Or of many of her other children, before and after Genno helped her learn that she need not be the monster she had been.

Rin had been a mother many times over the ages, but not at all in anything one might consider recent - even by her lifespan. It had become, she explained, far too painful. So many of her children died of violence, some in service to their mother and her goals to make amends - to make the world something less ugly than it was - and some died in unrelated things. And so very many died because they were mortal and she was not. And Rin was very many things, fox, Human, goddess, monster, mortal, woman, whore, empress, and more, but so too was she a mother. And maybe it was a weakness, she explained, weeping openly and holding Ulow's hands tightly, but she could not - she would not - bury any more of her children. She could not bear to watch her beautiful babies go where she could not yet follow. The goddess could not bear the pain.

When her story was finished and she had calmed down somewhat, and Ulow had had the time to process it - although Rin would not let her respond just yet - Rin continued, still holding Ulow's hands in hers. "Ulow. Fillis is dead." She was weeping again as she told her. "We-we both-we both know this. That is what the monsters-what the monsters do. They destroy people." She pulled Ulow in close, embracing the other woman tightly. "I am so sorry, Ulow. I am so, so, so sorry. I would bring him back, if I could, if it were within my power. I would go with you, down to the Underdark, I would rain my wrath and my fury and my grief and I would not rest until we had found him, were he alive. I would risk everything and anything, Ulow, because I love you and because no mother should ever have to outlive her child. But I can't. I can't give you your Fillis back," the goddess was crying heavily practically slumping against Ulow. "I'm sorry, Ulow... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... please, I, I'm sorry..." After a few moments of hysterical weeping she calmed down enough to continue. "I can't. I can't help him. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. Ulow, I please... I..." She stoped to take in some deep breaths. "I can give you justice. Ulow, Ulow Zygiella my brave, beautiful, strong little one. I can give you justice. I promise you. I will. I will help you punish the monsters. The monsters that took away your beautiful Fillis. I swear to you, Ulow, by everything that I am and may one day be. I will never stop punishing them for you. And just as important, Ulow... we can stop them. Stop them from ever hurting anyone the way they hurt you and the way they hurt Fillis." She was sobbing heavily again. "I can't do more for you. I want to. I'm so sorry, Ulow. Please, Ulow, please forgive me, I'm so sorry... I'm sorry... I'm not-I can't-I want to but I can't... I'm sorry... Ulow, please"

Regantor
08-01-2014, 07:08 AM
Ulow was silent for a long time after Rin had finished talking. She didn't resist having her shoulder rested on, but the small porcelain thing's face was a completely blank, sombre facade. It was like the expression of someone who hadn't slept in months. Her clothes were hanging on her shoulders, merely disguising the unhealthily thin, half-starved frame underneath. She weighed almost nothing.

"I think... I knew." The voice was dim, and just as unfeeling. Undercommon. Her hands stroked the woman's soft black hair. "It's been... so long, but.... but..."

A small jolt of motion as she came across a bad thought, accompanied by a grimace. She looked along the floor rather than towards Rin now.

"What do I even do? These things, they.... I'll never know who specifically... No matter what I do, they'll never know or care what they did to... him..." The hands used her companion's form for strength. It pained her too much to keep saying his name. "I keep looking and looking because I don't know what else to do. He's gone, and... He's gone and I have no heart left to give... In the end, it is like I have already died."

There weren't any tears. All of the crying in the world hadn't changed anything, and for the last few weeks she had just felt utterly empty.

Her thoughts turned back to the story of Rin's origin. She had sort of predicted that, too, alrough not quite the extent. That was the gift of her outside perspective, and why she had called the woman a 'goddess' from the start. Ulow didn't take the strange features of others for granted, because chintines were so different from humans in comparison. There was nothing to make her assume that the woman was human in the first place, unlike the others, and the messages that her mindgift gave her only backed that up.

In other words, she knew better than anyone that there was no rhyme or reason to the forms that the universe gave it's gifts.

"How... How do you continue?..." The voice picked up again. "To... To be honest I... I don't want to die, but... I can't think of any other reason to be alive, either."

"So... How do you do it, Rin? I was wrong to assume you were my own guiding light, but... If you could just answer me that, then... at least I would... I would know what to do."

Kodos
08-01-2014, 09:59 AM
"I don't know, Ulow. You just do. Because you are strong? Stronger than you know. Stronger than they think. Because life goes on. You will always carry that pain, that loss. You never really bury your dead, I don't think. I haven't." The goddess sighed. "Because life goes on, Ulow. Every day is a new day. Because as terrible as our pain and our losses are, and as much as we are shaped and carry them, we are not defined them. Fillis is dead. You are not. Because you should live for you, because you are beautiful and deserve your happiness. And because you should live for Fillis, because the brave little boy who loved his mother would not want her to die simply because he did." Rin kissed Ulow on the forehead. "Because you are strong and you can help make sure justice is done, that those who hurt Fillis and you are punished. That no one else is ever hurt like you and him again. Because if you let them break you, then Fillis died for nothing and the monsters have won." Rin embraced Ulow tightly.

"Because you are not alone. I am here for you, Ulow Zygiella, my brave little warrior." Rin lifted Ulow's face to hers. She was like the sunrise. "I am here with you, for you, Ulow. Now, always, forever. Always. You are going to get through this. For you. For Fillis. I am going to help you. I promise. You're going to get through this, exactly like I did. With the help of people who love you and with your own strength. Because you are so very strong, Ulow. I wish that you mortals could see yourselves the way I see you. You are all so very, very, beautiful." She was crying, but smiling. "We're going to get through this, Ulow. Together. I promise. And I promise, too, that we'll make them pay. For Fillis. For you."

Regantor
08-02-2014, 09:21 PM
Ulow closed her eyes and gripped onto Rin tightly for a moment, not really giving off any outward signs of emotion.

When she opened them again, it was to allow her to softly wipe away the tears from the woman-godess' face.

"I don't really know what to think anymore. I never really cared about being strong. I'm not a fighter. I was never a mercenary." It clearly pained her, thinking about all the horrible, disgusting situations they had gotten themselves into. Crawling through sewers, destroying the undead within their crypts, standing around a vampire's coffin discussing how to sabotage it... Whither she liked it or not, there was no going back. Even if her village was still there, and Ulow could find her way back down into those murky depths, things still could not go back to how they were. "....But... I'll stay."

"Just... please don't cry. I don't want to pain you." The hug was slow, and her hands were awkward, as if struggling to remember how to be affectionate. As if afraid of the very concept. But the heart was honest. "This is all I have now, Rin."