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Thread: The Crucible (F)

  1. #81
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    "We're Homunculi!" The creature in a flask on the right and close to the door said proudly its voice high pitched and had a echoing reverberation thanks to the flask.
    "Check out the rack on the blonde one!" another laughed.
    "Haha, they're scared."
    "They don't know what we are. How sad. They must not be very bright."
    "You can come inside, Father already knows you're here." Said another. "He's been expecting you."

    Theresa seemed stunned and busy trying not to vomit. "O-Or-Oriel..." she managed, "go inside. We'll follow behind."

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  2. #82
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    Oriel's eyes remained wide at the sight of the encapsulated creatures, helpless against the sensation of her stomach beginning to churn. She'd fought and killed alot of sick things before, but... These 'Homunculi' had just that level of 'almost human' to make them grotesquely relatiable. The heart asked for pity, and the soul asked for purigation.

    Was this feeling... Malice? Unwanted benevolence?... No....

    Her hands shook and grasped the bindings of her heavy blade with a new found ferocity. The sweetness fleeted, and the warmth of her posture dried up. She gave a new look to Theresa, but it was no longer one of obedience.

    "...P-put... Put them out of their misery, my lady?"

  3. #83
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    "Misery?!" One of the Homunculi shrieked. "We're not miserable you crazy bitch!" "Yeah!" "If you hut us Father will be upset!" "You don't want to upset Father!"

    Theresa was clearly not sure how to handle this. Fortunately for her, she didn't have to take charge, because someone else did.

    "Darlings." A voice rang out from behind. A woman's deeply sensual, but equally authoritative and arrogant. It was an Infernal Angel of some sort. A stunning woman in a revealing bustier and loincloth. She had dark red hair, and feathery wings that seemed almost blade-like at their ends. "I am Delilah, and your presence is both expected and welcome. I shall take you to see the master of the house. I promise you that if you behave yourselves, you shall be treated accordingly. You will follow me." She began down the hall.

    Theresa was sweating. "Listen. We can take her, I think, if things get bad. I think maybe we should do as they ask? We know where this place is - we can come back later with more help. Gudonis and others. But I'm not unreasonable, if you think otherwise, I'll follow your lead." She whispered towards the group once Delilah was reasonably ahead - mostly towards Ramirez.

    "Please, ignore the little ones. They can be bothersome, but they shall play a vital role in His grand design. Blessed be."

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  4. #84
    "I think we should see the head and get as much information from him as possible. It's probably what the Saint would want."
    Olivia whispered, although she figured the Devil could hear her anyway, what with her big Devil ears.
    Last edited by Superdooperphailmachine; 10-26-2011 at 09:00 AM.

  5. #85
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    A Man of Wealth and Taste (F)

    The place was enormous. Delilah led the group through twisting tunnels and great halls. In many areas there were 'mature' homunculi millig about, the nature and purpose of their labors unknown. There were other creatures, too, strange androgynous human-like creatures with chalk-white skin and heads devoid of all features save for mouths.
    The decor had changed now, too. It resembled a grand palace, or a temple. The pipes were still everpresent, but so too were masterfully carved statues of fallen angels, devils, and of the Enemy himself.
    Eventually the group came across what seemed to be alchemical laboratories. There people here. Dozens of men and women going about their work, paying no heed to Delilah or her wards.

    ***

    "Here we are," Delilah sighed happily, the group standing before an enormous pair of adamantine doors upon which was carved a blasphemous relief of the Enemy with the Saint kneeling before him.

    "It would be unwise to keep him waiting. He has been a most gracious host."

    And, at that, the doors opened of their own accord, Delilah ushered the group within, and then the doors closed behind them.

    ***

    The room was enormous and poorly lit. The walls and ceiling could not be seen. The room was full of the strange luminescant blood-like liquid that the Homunculi were bathed in.

    Several dozen feet from where the group stood, ankle-deep in the blood(?) was a raised adamantine platform, a foot or two above the surface of the liquid. Atop the two-tiered platform was a table (also wrought in adamantine) upon which sat numerous alchemical apparati and a flask containing a Homunculus. Above the table hung numerous pipes, presumably used to dispense alchemical materials.
    Besides the table was an enormous adamantine throne Countless pipes connected to its base, rears, and sides.
    Atop the throne was a figure in white. He wore a featureless white mask adorned with a crown and two large, swept back, horns. There were eyes painted on the mask, but no visible holes.

    "Welcome to my home." The figure said with the most sincere, caring, and paternal voice the group had ever heard. "Please, allow me to introduce myself; I am a man of wealth and taste, and you may call me by the title by which I am perhaps best known - The Tyrant."

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  6. #86
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    After Lady Theresa told them to cool off, Oriel just swallowed her revulsion and took up a defensive position ahead of the woman. She had to admit that there was tact in going for the head of the snake first, at least, and woe be it for her to question orders in the first place.

    Walking in these unholy ornamented halls, her bare feet felt... Dirty. The kind of caustic, infectious grime that you could only remove by limb amputation. To her, these vast hidden riches represented nothing more than an utter uncleanliness of ideals. A sickness of thought which desperately required malice, even to purigate from her own mind.

    Then, the chamber of... Well, blood-esk liquid. The slippery feeling of it inbetween her toes nearly made her gag, never mind the smell.

    "No, embrace it." She told herself, a hollow whisper on the edge of hearing. Her eyes dared not look at the inhuman man on the platform, both covered by contorting hands. "Take the disgust inside and let it purify you. In total depravity you'll find your true soul, that's what he said... The wind is saturated with sound. Only with an ear to the ground, can you hear the saint whisper..."

    Twitching with discomfort, she at last set her eyes on him. The inhuman priest with the most human of voices.

  7. #87
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    Ramirez was fighting a creeping, malignant smirk that threatened to overpower his self-control. As a consequence, his face was set into an unnatural, blank expression that failed to convey any of the disgust that he ought to have been feeling at the sight of the complex's decor.

    It was nice what they'd done with the place. Ramirez enjoyed the irony of having the passages beneath a sanctuary of the Saint be despoiled by the workings of the Enemy, and the corruption implicit in this irony not only amused him, it put him in awe of the might and the glory of the great corrupter. Innocence and purity had been broken by superior force and intellect.

    And what a ruler sat at the heart of this palace! Although Ramirez didn't recognise the figure, he knew what he - it? represented. Power. Domination. Subjugation.

    He didn't dare speak. Some tiny drop of admiration might mingle with his speech and make his true feelings obvious. Besides, Theresa was their leader - she could take the responsibility and the blame.
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  8. #88
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    The Tyrant rose from his throne and began to speak. "Ah! But where are my manners? You must be tired and weary after your trip here!" The Tyrant stepped down onto the pool of blood. Not into - onto - the ruler of the Horned Society walking atop the blood as though it were solid ground.

    He approached and gently touched Oriel on the shoulder. In an instant she could feel the minor but present wounds she had sustained in the fights with the Undead along the way healing. "Rejoice, for mine faith has made thee whole." The Tyrant stepped back and produced - quite literally, for it seemed to grow out of nothing - a small dagger in his hand. He proceeded to cut one of his hands, whereupon the dagger became a golden goblet which he used to catch the blood (which was identical to the faintly glowing blood-like liquid which the group stood within and he stood upon) from his wound, which promptly healed itself. "The blood is the life." He explained, handing the goblet to Ramirez. "Drink and be healed, my children."

    Theresa was eying Ramirez. She wasn't quite sure how to handle this.

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  9. #89
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    Oriel squirmed under his touch, and backed away as soon as she was able. A panicked hand parted her chest armor for a second, as she realized that her minor cuts and grazes had been healed. It made her feel twice as bad internally. Close to four years of avoiding healing magic altogether, ruined by a single moment of carelessness. Infected by a debt to some monster, however small the gesture was...

    A worried look shot to Theresa, then back into the floor. Please, please let me atone for this. Her expression projected her troubled thoughts. I don't want to get everyone killed, but this is unbearable... unforgivable... unholy...

    "Excuse me, sir... That... t-that wasn't right of you... Y-you can't just heal a stranger like that..." Her hands grasped at her sword, but her voice was trembling with nervous frustration rather than hate. She couldn't make eye contact. Infact, she looked damn close to tears trying to keep her bitter resentment internal. "Life is pain, you know... The injuries were... They were earned..."

  10. #90
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    "I can, and I did. For those with faith all things are possible." The Tyrant said calmly, his mask twisting to form a serene smile. "Believe you not that I am able to do this?"

    "Don't call him sir, shithead!" Theresa spat at Oriel. "Such language." The Tyrant responded, his mask twisting now into a grimacing half-snarl.
    "You don't scare me." Theresa said, mustering all the confidence she could manage.
    "Yes, I do." The Tyrant smiled, his mask twisting once again. "You will mind your manners and be respectful."
    "Make me!"
    "As you wish." The Tyrant did not so much make a move as Theresa's mouth sealed in on itself, the flesh twisting and molding. Shackles of adamantine shot out of the blood and bound her, silently down, her head just above the fluid. "Much better." The Tyrant's smile faded and the mask became impassive again. "Now where were we?"

    His voice never, not even once, wavered from it's tone of ultimate paternal concern.

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