Paper Flowers

DraimanDraiman Dr. DraiMember Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
Aight, I didn't realize how long this log was until after I spent all day copying it over and editing it. Sorry.

Backstory:

@Irae and @Canasius dragged Draden into the Alcazar, the part where mortals aren't allowed. Draiman stopped by for a chat, and soon after Abhorash woke up and was not having any of it. He tried to take Draden as his blood slave, but Iosyne intervened. She said that Draiman and Canasius would find a suitable replacement for Draden instead, and magicked him tf out. A little bit of RP took place here and there between then and now, but I got a wild hair today and just went with it.

Special thanks to @Nia, @Laenta, @Sebaste, and @Xenia for helping out. Shout out goes to @Teani for the plans we had worked on previously (sorry I didn't wait to play off of those!) and to @Irae and @Canasius for the previous RP sessions that lead up to this.


You say to Xenia, "You've been a Carnifex for a long while, right Commander?"

Xenia says to you, "Nearly my entirely life."

You say, "Fantastic. So you know a thing or two about souls, yeah?"

Xenia says, "I do."

You say, "I need to find a person hidden underneath a few layers of magic. And then somehow drag her out from under all of that."

(Tells): You tell Sebaste, "Hey, you busy?"

Xenia nods slightly, "Thinking I can help with that, got a few others too."

You ask, "Who else?"

(Tells): Sebaste tells you, "Hey, Nah, I'm not busy."

Xenia asks, "What's the target?"

Xenia asks, "And for what purpose?"

(Tells): You tell Sebaste, "Come to me in Bloodloch."

You say, "You remember that blood slave non sense?"

Xenia nods her head emphatically.

Xenia says, "Sounds like we may need a lot of assistance."

(Congregation): You say, "Hey, any of you lot not busy?"

(Congregation): Xenia says, "Congregants, it is time we settled this bloodslave situation with the Primus. Sounds like we've got a target in mind but will need all hands on deck."

(Congregation): Sebaste says, "This is the first I have heard of such....Do enlighten me."

*crickets*

(Congregation): You say, "Always so good to see people following the footsteps of role models such as Ilyon."

You roll your eyes.

Xenia snickers under her breath.

Sebaste utters a deep, rumbling laugh.

(Congregation): Ilyon says, "Yes."

A firework abruptly appears, soaring high along the cavern ceiling.

Sebaste utters a deep, rumbling laugh.

Sebaste says, "I so love that fireplace."

You say, "Moment."

Apianora inclines her head politely to those around her.

Xenia inclines her head politely to Apianora.

Sebaste inclines his head politely to Apianora.

Apianora wrinkles her nose and sniffs.

You say, "Oohh, a syssin. That'll be handy."

Apianora raises an eyebrow questioningly.


Apianora says, "Oh?"

You say, "Waiiitttttt."

Xenia raises an eyebrow questioningly.

You say, "Are you here to help?"

Apianora says, "I came because Xenia spoke to the city, so I s'pose so."

Apianora shrugs helplessly.

You say, "Good."

Apianora says, "Didn't realize I'd be around bloodsuckers, so was just surprised."

You say, "We'll wait on them, I'll fill everyone in at once."

Apianora puts on a fake smile and claps her hands together, "Possible bloodshed is bloodshed."

Xenia nods her agreement with you paying Apianora's complaints no attention or mind.

Approaching the gathered, Nia bows with a deep, respectful flourish of a grey-skinned arm. "Commander," she greets Xenia with a grin. "Miss Chief," she greets Apianora. "Gentlemen," she greets the others.

Apianora smiles broadly as she offers a faint tilt of her head towards Nia, "Nice to see you again, Miss."

You say, "Ugh, excuse me one moment."

"This is she," Xenia confers to you from her place at the Bloodletter's side. "I believe you may begin to explain now unless--" her brow arches, "are there more you anticipate to be making way?"

Sebaste inclines his head towards Nia as she enters, then he tilts his head saying. "Even if we have to cause the bloodshed, I do hope something of the sort does occur."

You say, "I'll explain in just a sec, one moment."

--I just realized all my clothes had decayed SO I HAD TO GO BUY SOME

Apianora nods her head at Nia.

Apianora begins to intensify slowly until she appears flesh and blood once more.

Sebaste smiles impishly and says to Nia, "The fireworks help keep some lighting about."

Apianora takes a long drag from a lit slender cigarette banded with kawhe ink.

Apianora exhales a soft cloud of smoke, redolent with roasted scents.

Xenia's green eyes flick upwards, studying the concavity of the cavern's pitted ceiling. "Perhaps," she suggests, "but close to the earth ain't so bad either."

Hollow whispers echo from within the abysmal walls, their words trickling like sand against the
stones.

Draiman inclines his head to the gathered. "Right, sorry about that. Old age and all, didn't realize I was naked," he says casually, adjusting his shirt. Nodding towards Xenia. "So, did you tell them anything while I was gone or do I need to start from the beginning?"

Sebaste snickers softly, eyeing you.

"Why, I thought it was a nice touch," Nia panders to you with a lopsided grin.

Xenia's eyes drift back to you with a casual shrug of her shoulders. "That's all you, Bloodletter,"
she answers.

Xenia looks thoughtful and says, "One straggler's on their way. I wonder if she will get here to
prevent repetition."

Apianora takes a long drag from a lit slender cigarette banded with kawhe ink.

You have emoted: Draiman nods, tossing Nia a quick wink. "Who's that we're waiting on?"

Apianora exhales a soft cloud of smoke, redolent with roasted scents.

Laenta arrives from the north.

"Greetings!" Laenta says with a smile.

With a frown, Xenia says, "A citizen I have never met but wishes to learn through participation."

Apianora inclines her head politely to Laenta.

Sebaste inclines his head politely to Laenta.

Peering at Laenta, "The citizen," Xenia says politely.

"'Lo Auxiliar," Nia says to Laenta, greeting her with a pinched dip of her hat and a ready smile.

Laenta says, "Greetings. It is an honour to participate and to learn."

You say, "Alright, awesome. Lots of people."

Clearing her throat, Xenia says, "Right, no more stalling."

Apianora sips from a leering wolf skull bottle of inky black rum.

Sebaste crosses his arms, relaxing as he tilts his head towards you.

You say, "Before we begin - if you have any issues with the following, please excuse yourself. Kidnapping, extortion, slavery, murder, and extreme and unknown magics that may or may not unravel your entire being."

Sebaste shifts his eyes towards the others gathered about.

"Welp, s'pose I should leave then." Apianora states as she turns on her heel and waves a hand over her shoulder.

Laenta shakes her head quietly.

Nia glances around the place to assess the others' stances, looking a touch out of place. Turning her carmine eyes back to you, she clasps her hands behind her back and sheepishly asks, rocking on her heels, "Will I get caught?"

As soon as you begins speaking, Xenia's gaze settles forward and over the mixture of congregants and Spireans alike. Her expression telling nothing beyond neutral observation as it settles briefly over you.

Sebaste snickers at Xenia then looks at Nia "Getting caught? We'll back you up." He nods as he looks about. "As for me, I'm definitely staying!"

Draiman turns to wave at the syssin, only to finally notice she's already left. "Ah, well. Thanks anyways!" he says to her now empty spot in the group. He turns towards Nia. "Who knows! Probably not. Hopefully not. Part of the excitement though, right?"

Brightly, Xenia says, "Only one way to know for sure, though!"
H:5260 M:5734 E:106% W:100% B:38000 (100%) | B:0 Afternoon [csdb eb] Soul: 100%agree xenia
You nod your head at Xenia, showing your acceptance.

Sebaste nods his head in agreement.

Sebaste says, "And yes, it will part of the fun."

Sebaste says, "Be rather."

To the lingering cabalist, Xenia wryly says, "What is it you all say, 'For science'?"

"Don't wanna get in trouble with 'Norian and Duiran is all," Nia explains. "Got diplomatic missions there." Peering suspiciously at Xenia and then you when the offer an exciting spin on it, her mouth soon upturns with a grin. "Yeah, alright, you sold me." She points a pair of finger-guns upwards and winks.

You say, "Ah, they're not involved. Actually, pretty sure my target hates Enorian, so this might
even be seen as a favor if played from the right angle!"

Conspiratorially, Nia says to you, "Not literally sold me though. I ain't make a real good slave,
personally, see I got a weak back and I need my hands free t'all times."

Cheerfully, Nia says, "I'm in!"

Xenia flashes Nia a grin accompanied with a wink before turning on her heels to peer at Laenta.
"What about you, kid?"

Laenta says unsurely, "I am going to give it a try".

A pair of cowled beings shuffles through the passage a short distance away, making eye contact
briefly with their glowing red gaze.

Sebaste grins as he hears of the others' agreement. "This is going to be fun." He claps his hands
together as he whispers.

Xenia's expression settles into a pleasant smile and she offers a hand. "I'm Xenia, otherwise known as the Commander of the Carnifex. Since you're coming," she pauses weighing her next words before continuing. "I guess I should kno your name. What is it, kid?"

Giving Laenta a big thumbs up, Nia commends, "Thaaat's the spirit." She flashes her a cheesy grin.

Laenta shakes the offered hand, "I am Laenta, pleasure meeting you all."

Just as quickly as it came, Xenia's expression melts right back to business all furrowed brow and serious eyes. "Now then, Bloodletter, what we doing?"

Sebaste inclines his head slightly. "Pleasure meeting you as well." he simply states.

Sebaste's attention turns over to Xenia and you as he squints his eyes, looking ready for anything.

Draiman grins at Nia before turning to face the entire group. "Alright. Quick background story. There once were three idiots. I won't name their names, Canasius, Draden, and Irae don't need that type of reputation," he says, nodding. "Two of them are vampires, fangs and all. Brought a mortal into the Primus' domain. Abhorash took a liking of sorts towards said mortal, and intended to make him a slave of sorts. Just so happens, The Malevolent already holds claim over this mortal, so there was a disagreement between them over that."

You say, "My, that's a lot of sorts."

Xenia emits a low whistle, "No easy thing if you're both the Bloodletter and a Prince," she mutters.

Sebaste nods his head in agreement.

"Why, I know Irae and Draden," Nia says with shock. Peering over at you again, she turns to confide in Xenia, ticking her head upwards, "You telling me this guy's a prince?"

Laenta listens quietly, remembering unfamiliar names.

You say, "Anyways, the Malevolent wasn't having it. In comes me. I'm also an idiot, and a Prince, yes. An Idiot Prince. I got sucked into this. Abhorash let Draden go, and She said that we'd find him a suitable replacement. Irae and Canasius have either been sleeping or basically unhelpful in this task, so I'm seeking outside help."

Xenia's nose wrinkles at the interruption, eyes darting from you to Nia briefly. For a time she does not respond, listening until the next pause.

Whispering, Xenia says to Nia, "He is indeed a Prince of the Consanguine."

Noting the wrinkle of Xenia's nose, Nia's eyes widen, and she pointedly claps both hands over her mouth. She nods her head at the clarification, and then turns to smile at you inanely, listening without further interruption.

Draiman takes an unneeded breath, being undead an all, to steady himself. "The replacement is Krisiina. Some of you might know of her, she's that mage in Xaanhal who likes to blow up the unprepared and not so smart hunters who challenge her."

Sebaste frowns a bit. "There's already a replacemant..." He sighs softly. "What makes this Krisiina suitable?" he asks, looking at you.

"Hold up, there--" Xenia suddenly interrupts with surprise. "You are saying we gotta do what now, capture Krisiina, like not kill her, but -capture- her?"

A firework abruptly appears, soaring high along the cavern ceiling.

Xenia grits down on her teeth, chewing on the thought. "Not gonna be easy considering her frailty measured against her magics. Talk about a hard storm to weather through."

Nia stares blankly up at the firework, distracted.

Sebaste smiles impishly and says to Nia, "That's what I meant by fireworks."

You have emoted: Draiman nods at Xenia quickly. "Yep. Don't worry though, think I found a way to avoid direct confrontation." To Sebaste he answers, "Her power and will. She's gone through great lengths to protect her own and she's incredibly powerful. These are the qualities-" stops short, rolling his eyes at the firework. As the lights flicker and fade, he resumes, "These are the
qualities that drew the Primus to Draden. She'll make a fine replacement."

A firework abruptly appears, soaring high along the cavern ceiling.

Sebaste rubs his chin thoughtfully and then nods at you. "I trust your word. It is time to embrace some Pain and see what this mage can do before we capture her."

Xenia resettles into her loose stand at attention, hands folding to the small of her back.

You say, "Quick tourist information about Xaanhal. The lower levels people hunt? Not real Xorani. Krisiina cast a spell over it, and what people hunt there are just shadows of the real inhabitants. But her granddaughter is down there in those caverns, and with a little bit of snooping I found out she's a bit attached."

Sebaste says, "Oh my."

Draiman claps his hands together quickly, nodding. "Right, oh my indeed. So that's the plan. Kind of. Going to work my own bit of magic, with some help from some of you, and see if we can't disrupt the spell long enough to drag Kithan, her grand daughter, out."

A firework abruptly appears, soaring high along the cavern ceiling.

Sebaste looks at you, his lips curled up into an evil grin. "I am loving this plan of yours, Bloodletter. A little grandchild to kidnap sounds perfect to get the attention of that mage and to
break her."

"She sounds clever," Nia surmises, tapping her temple to salute the others. "Can see why you want her on your side, Y'Royal Highness Bloodletter Sir."

You say, "Then, bring Kithan here, threaten Krisiina with the usual threats of torture and dismemberment of her granddaughter, hope for the best, and then hope Abhorash is pleased enough to not kill me, bring me back, kill me again, repeat until bored."

You say, "For those of you potentially worried about Kithan's safety and all that, don't. So long as Krisiina is compliant, Kithan gets to go back to Xaanhal in one piece. Or at least alive, depending on how much 'persuading' I have to do."

Sebaste snickers softly. "I'm sort of hoping it takes a bit of persuading myself."

Xenia nods, breaking from attention as she begins pacing with springing energy. "Good plan indeed. So what we gotta do, figure out how to break the magic barrier?"

Sebaste says, "Hmm, does this barrier require her concentration to keep up by chance?"

Draiman shakes his head, bringing his free hand up to his neck, massaging it roughly. "No, I don't think so. It was cast with three people in total. Don't even have to undo it. Just need to disrupt part of it long enough to grab Kithan."

A firework abruptly appears, soaring high along the cavern ceiling.

Draiman mutters quietly to himself, "These pitting fireworks are already driving me mad." He looks up again. "Right, anyone care for a change of scenery? If I see another firework I'm going to kill someone."

Sebaste nods his head. "I'm ready whenever you all are. No idea how to go about disrupting that
barrier though. But, I suppose you already have that figured out?" He looks at you , his head tilted.

"I ain't sure what I can do to help," Nia admits, scratching at her chin with an unclean, slightly too-long fingernail.

Laenta says, "I have no experience with barriers but this is the most exciting thing that happened to me so far, and I am willing to do whatever needed to help, if there is something I can do."

--travel to Xaanhal

--unicorns gets crazy here and I jump from 400 different train of thoughts about how to tackle this. I was originally planning it out all elaborately, but woke up with a day off and was like YOLO and just winged the whole thing, so sorry if it seems a bit weird.

Xenia nods from Laenta to Nia. "Hey, none of us know, figure if you folks have an inclination that goes beyond hitting it wih a hammer, you're sure to be more help than not."

Draiman glances around, making sure he didn't lose anyone. "Right, well let's figure out how you can all help real fast. Sebaste, you're still practicing Sciomancy, yeah?"

Sebaste nods his head at you "Oh yeah, I am." he says, smiling.

Draiman nods his head in consideration, turning to Nia and Laenta. "And what professions do you two have at the moment? Spinesreach, so I'm guessing you're either Syssin or Cabalist if anything?"

Laenta says, "I am a cabalist."

"Accredited Cabalist, sir," Nia bobs her head at you, then reaches over her back to produce a variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood. "And I play the violin."

Explaining, Nia says to you, "Some people have told me my playing's a true tribute to the Mistress of Pain."

Sebaste says, "Hmm, I'll have to hear sometime."

Draiman nods, doubt creeping across a fake look of optimism "Ah, Cabalists. Excellent. I'm sure you can do something or another with numbers. I don't know. What do numbers even do? I don't think Trikal even knows what he does with them, things just happen. One day they were meant for just counting and then people are...killing people with them?" His face is full of confusion as he ends his rant, shaking his head. "Necromancy will be of use, at the very least."

Sebaste says to you, "Please tell me that Necromancy part involves torture?"

"You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.

^-- hands down, scariest threat I've ever received in Aetolia.

Sebaste stares at Nia and blinks.

Sebaste starts to rub his head. "That...that is quite hard to even think about really."

Laenta says, "I am not too knowledgeble of numbers yet, but I do know a share bit of necromancy, if it helps."

You have emoted: Draiman starts to answer Sebaste, only stopping at Nia's suggestion. "Tralendar does that. Don't do that. Ever."

Xenia looks thoughtful and says to Nia, "I'm sure the possibilities are infinite when that happens."

Her expression solemn, Nia gives a slow, vaguely threatening nod of her head.

Sebaste shakes his head. "Anyhow...not sure what happened, but yeah, I'm ready."

You say, "Alright. I don't know how many of you have experience in the lower caverns, but upon each entrance it seems there is a new replica of the place created specifically for that person."

Sebaste says, "You mean like our own...illusion of sorts?"

You say, "Sure."

Sebaste says, "Hmm."

Xenia nods at you, "Aye, but can be circumvented if attuned to another person," she points out.

Draiman continues his explanation, nodding in agreement with Xenia. "You can synchronize wavelengths with another person to bypass this, like Xenia said. This way, we'll only have to handle one spell instead of five separate versions of these 'instances'. So, if you could all synchronize with me real fast.."

You say, "Everyone on the same page, so to speak?"

Nia frowns in concentration, then nods her head. "Your wavelength ain't pretty, Prince, I gotta say. Think I got it though."

Laenta nods her head emphatically.

You smirk.

Xenia asks, "Guess I better get prepared. Everyone got everything they need?"

Laenta says, "Since I do not know what to expect, I am as well prepared as I could be."

Sebaste looks about, his lips pursed. "I think so." he says.

Xenia says, "You at least got a shield tattoo, so that'll help."

Nia looks between a delicate infirmary scalpel and a variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood, evidently having a hard time deciding which is the better tool for the job.

Nia starts to wield a variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood in her right hand.

With a nod, Nia says, "Ready as I'll ever be."

Xenia frowns down at Nia. "Uh...." she mutters but makes no further comment.

You say, "unicorns it, use both!"

Sebaste grins and nods.

"Only got two hands," Nia explains to you with a dismayed frown, tapping her buckler.

Draiman nods, returning the frown as he gives Nia an appraising glance. "Right. Can't use your tail to hold the scalpel?"

Nia swishes the aforementioned tail. "And my wings don't even fly."

Nia says, "Y'know Khepri made us as a joke, right?"

You say, "Yeah, but if you'd have ever met Moirean, you wouldn't laugh at Imps much."

You say, "Alright, let's get a move on."

--more travelling

Before a gaping, abyssal void.
A massive, crackling gathering of power pools here, extending in languidly rippling whorls that
consume the earthen floor. Ghostly, jet-black light plays in shimmering arcs over the cavern walls and ceiling, flames of shadow rising tipped with silver fire in concentric waves before slowly resubmerging into the void of nothingness. The walls seem oddly thin, bowed out and scarred from some long-past explosion; the air is strikingly cold and filled with crackling static, occasional sparks snapping through the chamber. A large icewyrm is here, hissing angrily at its surroundings. Displaying rows upon rows of jagged teeth, a shark-mutated warhound is here. Impish in size but lacking in any shades but black, an inky shadeling bounces about here. Nia is here. She wields a buckler in her left hand and a variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood in her right. Xenia is here, shrouded. She wields a large flanged greatmaul in her hands. Sebaste is here. He wields a black voidstaff in his left hand and a banded shield in his right. Laenta is here. Snapping and sparking with waves of power, a protective seal hovers low across the floor of the cavern.You see exits leading southeast and down.

Xenia nods her head emphatically.

Sebaste ponders the situation.

Draiman walks towards the entrance, 'probing' the air in front of him with his runed spinal cord.

Preceded by a muttered chortling, a scraggly, insane Xorani mage hops in from the southeast.

Nia stares at the spinal cord, but says nothing.

You say, "Pretty powerful unicorns she's got going on here."

Sebaste looks around in front of him, then to you. "Hmm...We need to act fast if so."

Xenia steps towards to the steps descending downward, lowering to a squat to peer into the cavern's depths. "I don't really know how to read or pay attention to the feeling," she points out, "but thinking maybe if we can figure out which instance was the real instance..." she mutters to herself.

Draiman ignores Sebaste's comment, staring ahead into the caverns. After a few moments of quiet contemplation, he turns back towards the duo of Cabalists.

Xenia holds out a pulsing soulstone, eyes fluttering closed as the crystal slowly begins to pulsate within the palm of her hand.

Preceded by a muttered chortling, a scraggly, insane Xorani mage hops in from the southeast.

"Should've brought a different instrument," Nia laments, frowning at her variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood. She steps over to the gap, peering down next to Xenia, though she herself doesn't need to squat, being short enough.

You glare angrily at a scraggly, insane Xorani mage.

You point a runed spinal cord at a scraggly, insane Xorani mage, and whip-like tendrils of shadow explode from his chest outward.
A scraggly, insane Xorani mage erupts into a sudden panic and flees!

Nia ceases to wield a buckler in her left hand.

Nia starts to wield a sappanwood instrument bow in her left hand.

You say, "Pitting mage."

Preceded by a muttered chortling, a scraggly, insane Xorani mage hops in from the southeast.

Grinning gleefully, a scraggly, insane Xorani mage randomly tosses a red-yellow globe of fire up into the air, tendrils of flame exploding out in all directions.

Laenta has been slain by a scraggly, insane Xorani mage.

You point a runed spinal cord at a scraggly, insane Xorani mage, and whip-like tendrils of shadow explode from his chest outward.

Wild looks of pain cross a scraggly, insane Xorani mage's face as the acid eats visible holes in his skull. His body convulses rigidly, and then he is dead.

You point a finger towards Laenta and suddenly she is engulfed in a cloud of darkness. As the darkness fades to nothingness, the form of Laenta can be seen breathing once more.

You say, "The first casualties!"

Laenta says, "That was unexpected."

Laenta smiles wryly.

"Ahem," Nia clears her throat, setting down her shield for a moment to retrieve a sappanwood instrument bow. "Don't mind me." She furrows her brow, tilting her horned head towards the gap, and raises the bow to her cello. When the Xorani arrive, she lets out a squeak of fright, and scurries over to the other side to hide behind her shield tattoo.

The light of the soulstone slowly grows from dim-electric blue to a blinding white light.

Xenia is so entranced in whatever she is doing with her soulstone, the scuffles with the mage goes entirely unnoticed.

With the Xorani dead, Nia resumes her task. She brushes the bow to the cello strings, straining her ear as if to listen to something in the gap. "Detect notes of Yi down there?" she asks Laenta, while playing a soft, idle tune.

Noticing the soulstone, Draiman turns towards Xenia, forgetting what he was about to ask the other two. "Can you seek her out?"

In the pulsating light, the atmosphere about you begins to ripple, tearing into multiple images of itself.

Draiman lifts the limb body of the corpse of a scraggly, insane Xorani mage, positioning its neck towards his mouth as he bares his fangs.

You say, "No tipping off Krisiina with your insane blabbering."

You ask Xenia, "Commander?"

Nia stares at you as he feeds, giving a shiver before she puts down her bow. "This whole place is lacking in Rafic," she says, retrieving her shield. "Find where Yuef and Rafic intersect, though,
you'll find Krisiina." She looks towards Xenia's soulstone curiously.

In the flashing strobes of light pulsating from Xenia's hand, shadows are cast from below. They
depict sentries and guards, statuesque in their stand. "Trying to figure it out," she grits at you,
"I don't actuallyk now how this stuff works, trying to seek out the souls and figure the true instance will be detected that way."

Turning his gaze back towards the cavern, Draiman nods. His eyes flick back towards Nia and Laenta, waiting for them to explain to Xenia.

The shadows waver as new figures move in and old ones move out.

Xenia says, "If this one don't feel right, letm e know, can shift onto another."

"Here, listen to this," says Nia. She plays another note, light and gentle, and then points her bow towards the barrier. "That matches that," she claims, tapping her hear. "Same note. It's Number seven. Gold." She then points the bow in an arc around the cavern, saying, "But the placing's unstable. If you can use that whatever-you-got-there to seek out her soul..." She puckers her mouth. "Thrice, you should be able to get an anchor on the right barrier."

Xenia says, "All I can do is switch between them all, but I've no way of telling if it's our plane
or a copy of it."

Sebaste looks at Nia , his head tilted. "That's some perception you have there. Or that's a mighty-fine violin. Either way, that's something."

Xenia stares dumbly at Nia, she clearly is no academic. "Say that in lament terms, imp. What's that mean, this the right barrier?"

Nia crouches down by the gap, using a delicate infirmary scalpel to draw the shape of a triangle in the dirt. She places the endpin of her cello in the middle of that triangle, nodding her head confidently. "Try now," she says to Xenia. "It'll be the right barrier."

Draiman considers the information for a few more moments. He finally turns back to the group, nodding. "Alright. How about this. I'll head into the caverns and find the shadow of Kithan. Xenia, use your soulstone to seek out-" he stops, a runed spinal cord whirling at the suspicious Xorani patrol quickly.

Again Xenia's eyes drift closed. "Get the patrol before he rats us out," she says through gritted
teeth and again the soulstone is pulsing in hand.

Wild looks of pain cross a suspicious Xorani patrol's face as the acid eats visible holes in his skull. His body convulses rigidly, and then he is dead.

Sebaste says, "If they keep coming, someone is going to inform her of our presence."

"Phew!" Nia exclaims, straightening back up and swinging her arms by her sides. "That was some fight."

You say, "Alright, quickly then."

A myriad of shadows wisp over you, the helmet of the guards stretching long over the scene of
carnage above.

Slowly the pulsing settles, light dimming to cast a gentle image of the standing sentries below.

Sebaste says, "Umm, are you all seeing this?"

You say, "I'll enter the caverns. Xenia, seek me and Kithan both out with Nia and Laenta's help
after I've found the shadow copy. I'll do what I can to disrupt the spell enough to enter her actual location. Sebaste, you stand guard, blast anything that enters. Or try too, yeah? Xenia might have to multi task and help you with that one."

Xenia shakes her head, freeing herself of the focus. "This one?" she questions the two cabalist.

Unlike before, these images possess a sharpness the other lacked. Somehow more tangible, more focused, sharper on the senses.

Sebaste nods to you "Sounds good to me. I'll guard here."

Draiman looks at the gathering. "Suggestions? Quickly now. Don't need Kris getting wind of this."

Nia squints up at the shadows, then gives her D string a testing strum. "Yep," she says to Xenia,
nodding her head. "That one."

You say, "Oh, this is the right one? You lot are perfect."

Xenia blinks at the sudden echo of music. "It must be it," she concurs, "what next, Bloodletter?"

You say, "I'll be right back then!"

You say, "Knowing where to go, I can just portal to the girl."

You vigorously spin a perfect crystal sphere, and it begins to hover in the air.
You vigorously spin a finely sculpted crystal torus, and it begins to hover in the air.

Sebaste gets his staff ready as he looks around for anyone that should not be here.

Draiman tosses his crystals into the air, and then makes a forceful gesture. The crystals dive into the ground as he focuses intently on Kithan's presence. A growing rumble can be heard as the crystals vibrating intensifies.

A vertical slash tears through the air, vibrating fitfully. The portal struggles to open, expanding
and contracting as it fights to remain in existence.

Draiman tosses a cautious glance at the portal, before shrugging. "That works."

The tremors from the portal shake the very ground you stand upon. Xenia is knocked back from her crouch, forced to find balance on a bent knee. "The unicorns, Draiman," she hisses at the Azudim, "Thought you didn't want her getting wind of this!"

The portal's struggle reaches its equilibrium point, too small to enter, struggling mightily to keep itself from collapsing against the magic working against it.

Preceded by a muttered chortling, a scraggly, insane Xorani mage hops in from the southeast.

You say, "Pit."

Xenia says, "I got it."

Laenta has been slain by a scraggly, insane Xorani mage.

Sebaste closes his eyes as he protects his face with his left arm as he holds his staff. "Dammit."

Unsure of the ongoing, Nia does what she does best, and hides behind her variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood.

You point a finger towards Laenta and suddenly she is engulfed in a cloud of darkness. As the darkness fades to nothingness, the form of Laenta can be seen breathing once more.

Laenta says, "I am having bad luck with those guys."

You say to Xenia, "Ya well IF EVERYTHING ALWAYS WENT ACCORDING TO PLAN THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE."

Sebaste utters a deep, rumbling laugh.

You say to Sebaste, "Hey, embed some crystals and help out with the portal."

A violent convulsion wracks the portal, a deafening hum filling the air as it shrinks by a finger's
width.

Draiman looks back from the portal to Sebaste. "HURRY".

Xenia turns back at you, "Hey, concentrate, fix that unicorns portal. Sebaste," she shouts, "help him, do whatever it is you Sciomancers do!"

Xenia says to Laenta, "You alright there kid, stay close."

Sebaste grunts as he concentrates. "Oh come on, open up already!" he shouts.

Bolstered, the portal abruptly expands in a deafening flash of light. An unnatural breeze of air rushes through the cavern as the spell is overcome and the portal fully opens.

You step through a sonic portal.
Nesting grounds within Xaanhal.
A sonic portal, edges vibrating madly, is here. Glancing about with trustful curiosity, Kithan, a young Xorani girl stands here.
There are no obvious exits.

You say to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "Hi!"

Xenia enters from the ether, followed by Laenta, Nia, and Sebaste.
She is followed by a massive, shark-mutated warhound and an inky shadeling.


Kithan, a young Xorani girl's mouth drops open at the unexpected sight of visitors. She glances
furtively at the portal, then back to you. "...hi?" she squeaks.

"Uh..." Nia looks around, waving a sappanwood instrument bow to Kithan, a young Xorani girl in
greeting. "Hullo there. Don't mind me."

Xenia rushes in after you, ushering the others with her. She scans the nests, eyes eventually settling upon Kithan, a young Xorani girl. "This the girl?" she asks bluntly.

Sebaste grins at the little Xorani girl. "This looks like our target, yes?" He asks.

"Don't call her a target. It's creepy," Nia admonishes Sebaste with a dubious stare. "Next thing
you'll be offering her candy."

Raising his hand as if to silence the others, Draiman walks towards Kithan, a young Xorani girl, a sinister smile creeping across his face. "Hi Kithan. My name is Draiman. It's been a bit since you've seen your grandma, right?"

Faced with the crowd, Kithan, a young Xorani girl takes a few steps backwards, stumbling and
tripping over her tail.

Sebaste shrugs at Nia "I do have some candy. That's a splendid idea."

Draiman turns his gaze back and sharply states, "Shut it." before turning back to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, his smile returning.

Nia shuts it, staring up at the ceiling.

Xenia shoots Sebaste and Nia a warning as she settles a step behind and to the right of you, hands folded at the small of her back.

At the mention of 'grandmother', Kithan, a young Xorani girl brightens, rising to her feet. After more consideration, however, she frowns at you. "What's her name?" Kithan asks suspiciously.

Laenta shadows Xenia quietly.

Sebaste coughs softly then stands at attention behind you and to the side of Xenia.

You say, "Krisiina! She's sent us to fetch you for her, you see. She misses your little flowers you
use to make for her."

Kithan, a young Xorani girl claps her hands happily, taking a few steps towards you. "Grandmother! She gets so lonely sometimes, away from us." She stops again, however, hesitant. "She said not to trust outsiders..." the young Xorani ponders, shuffling her feet. After a while, however, youthful innocence wins and Kithan runs up to hug your legs. "Can we go see her?"

You shall now speak in Xorani.
Draiman continues smiling as he offers a friendly nod. When he speaks next, it's in
a completely different language.

You say to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, in Xorani, "Yes ma'am, at least that's the plan. Xaanhal
still isn't as safe as she'd like, so we're going to meet her in my city."

Draiman has completely won Kithan, a young Xorani girl over, the little girl reaching up above her head to hold your hand.

Kithan, a young Xorani girl begins to follow you.

Xenia's expression is placidly neutral, little more than a blank stare forward as she awaits your
move.

Draiman stands a little straighter, taking Kithan, a young Xorani girl hand in his own. "Commander, mind ferrying us to Bloodloch?"

--movement

"Well that all worked out for the best," Nia says with a sunny smile.

You nod your head at Nia sagely.

Sebaste says, "Indeed it did."

Laenta says, "Pretty smooth."

--travel to the Alcazar in Bloodloch

Xenia's nose wrinkles within the sweltering heat of the passage. "Wher--" she starts to ask, but
catches herself, eyes falling back to Kithan, a young Xorani girl.


A comfortable lounge area.
Carpet spills down from the eastern staircase, spreading artfully into a half-moon shape in this
open gathering area. Plush and crimson red, the soft texture underfoot is just the first of many
comforts of the opulent Alcazar complex. Several sofas, benches and chairs are strewn about the gallery, providing ample opportunity for visitors to rest, discuss, or debate as desired. The
presence of the five-tiered fountain directly west provides a constant background noise of cascading blood waterfalls, a backdrop to the muted din of discussion. At the center of the rotunda, a colossal fountain endlessly cycles blood.

Helping to break up the dreary atmosphere, Nia strums a few more notes on her variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood with her fingers, tapping the strings to create an unconventional vibrato.

Draiman glances around the room before nodding to himself. He turns to Kithan, a
young Xorani girl. "Alright. I know these folk might look a little scary but they're really not, ok?
But I need to go fetch your grandma now, so I'm going to leave you here for just a minute."

Kithan, a young Xorani girl seems overwhelmed by the sights, her eyes wide and peering. In response to you, she clenches your hand a little tighter in protest.

Nia gives you a funny look at his assurance to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, raising her eyebrows in pointed indication of the blood spattering his face.

The notes are not so unsettling once the pitches of vibration begin to weave and separate in the
acoustics of the room. It seems to have a calming effect on Xenia, who's shoulders visibly relax as she settles into a casual lean against one of the bookcases.

Xenia says to you, in Chiav, "Someone should stay here and watch over the kid."

Xenia says to you, in Chiav, "I'll do that."

You say, in Chiav, "Good, thanks."

You say to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "You'll be perfectly safe here. Plenty of guards to protect
you and nice comfy chairs to sit in, and my friend Xenia will be here to keep you safe as well. She's also knows quite a few games involving dice! But before I go, could you make me one of your flowers? Krisiina asked me to have you make one so she'd know when I had completed this task."

Becoming suddenly animated, Xenia pushes off from the shelf to pace over to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "I'll stay here with you."

Sebaste leans on his voidstaff, starting to relax as he hears Nia playing the violin.

"Might I do the same, sir?" Nia asks you brightly, indicating Xenia and Kithan, a young Xorani girl with a tick of her horned head.

Draiman glances over his shoulder at the crowd, smiling. "Aye. That sounds like a wonderful idea. Anyone else?"

Kithan, a young Xorani girl finally releases you, turning to Xenia. The Xorani girl comes to a shy
stop in front of Xenia, shuffling her feet.

Sebaste looks over at you "Need me to come with? Or am I stay here and "Guard?" He asks.

You say to Sebaste, "Whatever you wanna do kid."

Sebaste nods at you "I'll go with you and help make sure ...everything is safe, yes." he nods once more.

Xenia says to Laenta, "If you want to learn more about Her, you should go with Draiman."

Eyes drifting back to Kithan, Xenia says, "I'm just here to make sure she is treated with the full
esteem of a protected, Bloodlochian guest."

Laenta says, "I would like to go very much, yes."

Kithan, a young Xorani girl hands you a paper flower.

You smile and say to Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "Thank you. I'll be back with your grandmother
shortly."

Sebaste smiles as he sees the paper flower being handed to you. "That's a lovely flower."

You say to Xenia, in Chiav, "I'll return shortly assuming she doesn't lose her mind and blast to us pieces."

You nod your head at Sebaste, showing your acceptance.

--Travel to Xaanhal

Courtyard of the High Mage.
Staring down his long snout with a condescending gaze, a Xorani master at arms stands arrogantly here. There are 2 merciless Xorani warriors here. Authority and power pervading her tall figure, Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal stands watchfully here.

Draiman enters from the northeast, stopping a few steps in front of Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal. He offers a low bow as he introduces himself. "Hello, Krisiina. My name is Draiman D'baen."

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal stares at you without expression. "What do you want, outsider?"

Draiman smiles despite Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal rudeness, remaining professional and polite. "For you to come quietly to Bloodloch, without a fuss, and serve my Primus, Abhorash Nehekhara, of course!"

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal's grip tightens on her staff as the high mage's eyes narrow. "Impudent," she hisses as she lifts a hand, her entourage stepping forward with her.

Still smiling, Draiman raises a folded paper flower aloft. "Nuh uh uh!" he says casually. "Recognize this, ma'am?"

You start to wield a folded paper flower in your left hand.

Sebaste frowns, but only for a moment, then his lips curl upwards into an evil smile.

Laenta takes a step behind Sebaste, just in case, as she looks at the patrol.

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal sneers, fire swirling around her staff. "A shadow," she spits, sending the staff flashing at your head. At the last second, however, the fireball veers off to the
side, clashing into a wall as the mage gets a closer look at the flower. "No! Impossible!" She screams, an unearthly sound, holding her still-smoldering staff in front of your face. "WHERE IS
SHE?"

Draiman twirls the folded paper flower around in his fingers, his smile growing more sinister by the moment. "Quite the complicated spell you put around her, and everyone else. But it's been broken." He smirks before he continues, "Kithan currently resides in the heart of Bloodloch, beneath a mountain of the cities guards. You try to attack me again and she'll die before I do."

Remaining calm despite the staff pointed directly at his face, Draiman tilts his head to the side to get another view of Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal, bones cracking as he does. "Or, you can come and so as I said. Serve Abhorash, and I'll return Kithan here, unharmed."

Rage flashes in Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal's eyes, threatening to spill over as the heat of her
gathered magic sends shivers down your spine. Concern wins out, however, and Krisiina slumps, lowering her staff. "Bloodloch," she repeats, eyes wandering to the ground. "Serve? What assurance have I that you will abide by your word?"

Draiman shrugs, his features becoming less friendly as he narrows his gaze on Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal. "I serve the Malevolent, not the Manipulator. She has no use for liars, and I have no use for lies. Kithan's only part in this was to get you to Bloodloch. You go, and I will return her."

Panicked, an arrogant Xorani master at arms stretches a hand towards Krisiina. "No -" he begins.

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal swats the hand away, shaking her head. "I have failed her. My spells have failed her. I must." She raises her head high, eyes hot with hatred though she stares straight ahead.

"No," a merciless Xorani warrior shouts, leaping forward.

A merciless Xorani warrior chants in a series of hisses and rumbling growls, "Sishta mak tinal sa."
A merciless Xorani warrior calmly points his staff at you, and a pulsating blast of violet power
pours forth, brutally scouring your skin.

You point a runed spinal cord at a merciless Xorani warrior, and whip-like tendrils of shadow
explode from his chest outward.
Grief and terror rise unbroken in a merciless Xorani warrior's eyes. "I have...failed..." he gasps raggedly, before his eyes glaze over and death claims him.

"HALT!," Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal screeches, eyeing her other comrades. "You will not take action," she commands firmly.

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal begins to follow you.

His smile returning after the quick fight, Draiman looks around. "Anyone else want to do something stupid? Your lives are of no use to me."

You say, "I'll hap-."

Draiman stops, nodding. "Very well. Off to see the Primus then."

--Yay more travelling. To the Overlord/Keeper's throneroom in the Alcazar

You say, "This'll do."

(Imperial Dominion): You say, "Primus! Terribly sorry to call on you this early in the morning, but if..if you're awake..I have something for you."

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal looks disdainfully at the assembled thrones. "Slavers, kidnappers. No better than the filth in Enorian," she snarls. "Where is Kithan?"

Draiman waves a hand dismissively at Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal. "If they put up a fight instead of accepting their fate as slaves they'd be welcomed into the Empire with open arms, but that's neither here nor there. Kithan? Ah, I'll have her brought here in a moment."

(Tells): You tell Xenia, "Still with Kithan, Commander?"

(Tells): Xenia tells you, "Yes, and she knows what's up. I took the liberty to inform her of the gravity of the situation. GIve me just a moment to deliver a warning."

Sebaste enters from the south, followed by Laenta.
He is followed by an inky shadeling.

You smile at Sebaste.

You say, "Hi, sorry about that!"

(Tells): You tell Xenia, "Bring her to me after you've done so."

Sebaste smiles as he enters. "No worries." He inclines his head towards Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal. "I hope you are having a good time here? It's such a lovely place."

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal spits rather rudely at Sebaste's feet.

Sebaste looks down as he sees the spit at his feet, but does nothing more than chuckle.

Xenia suddenly appears, having travelled down the beam of prismatic light.
She is followed by Kithan, a young Xorani girl and a massive, shark-mutated warhound.

You say, "Just a few more moments and you'll see Kithan. Xenia better hurry though, I don't know how long your reunion will last once Abhorash awakens."

You say, "Speak of the devil and she shall appear!"

You smile at Kithan, a young Xorani girl.

Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal draws a sharp intake of breath as she spots Kithan.

You murmur to Xenia, "You told her everything?"

Kithan, a young Xorani girl struggles against Xenia's hand, trying to rush to Krisiina.

Xenia appears through the prism of light, Kithan, a young Xorani girl in tow. "Bloodletter," she greets, dipping her head. To the Krisiina she sweeps hand towards her grand daughter. "She understands everything which is to transpire," she says mater of factly.

Xenia asks Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "And you understand that it's all for the best, yes?"

Draiman turns quickly to Laenta, speaking quickly and quietly. "You're possibly about to meet one of the most powerful beings in existence. He does not take kindly to your kind, those of the living, but he tolerates them. Best you keep quiet if you enjoy your life, and be as respectful as possible, hm?"

Kithan, a young Xorani girl nods slowly, steaming tears now falling from her eyes.

Laenta nods her head emphatically.

You say to Sebaste, "If Ellenia is half the vampire she claims then I need not worry about you
making a fool of yourself."

Xenia looks from Kithan, a young Xorani girl to Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal, "You two may embrace," she firmly states.

Sebaste says to you, "I have met His Imperial Majesty once before and I managed to survive the
encounter."

Freed, Kithan, a young Xorani girl rushes to Krisiina, sobbing openly as she embraces the high mage. "Grandmother! I'm s-s-sorry," she blubbers.

Xenia waves a hand over her brazier tattoo and it glows in response.

Laenta bites her lip as she realizes suddenly who she might meet now, her eyes widening from
excitement and fear.

"Shhh," Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal replies, stroking Kithan's head. "It is alright child." After a long hug, Krisiina releases her granddaughter and stands straight. "I am here. Let her go," she
directs to you, stare full of menace.

Not an instant after the young Xorani girl flees into the high mage's arms, sobbing dramatically into her chest does Xenia summon Nia.

Nia shakes her head as she's summoned, loosening up her sense of disorientation. "Ma'am," she greets Xenia, straightening up to back up behind her. Her attention turns to Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal, whom she offers a sheepish, apologetic smile.

Xenia steps forward, coming to your side. "Your granddaughter will be safely returned once you have fully submitted and comply to the Primus' will," she states neutrally.

Draiman offers another smile at Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal, still emanating the fake friendliness the original had. "Of course, of course. As soon as this business is finished, I'll personally escort her back to Xaanhal."

You nod your head at Xenia.

"Then wake him up," Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal hisses, tiny puffs of flame escaping the mage's mouth. "I will tear your tyrant's eyes from his face when this is over."

"Will you now?" a voice rings out from above. Deep, regal, commanding.

Draiman lets out a little chuckle, stopping immediately at the voice. His features turn serious as his body tenses.

Xenia glances quickly back at Nia and then hisses out, "Best be nothing but respectful if you value your life."

Sebaste straightens his posture as he hears the commanding voice.

Footsteps echo through the palace. Slow, purposeful. Click. Click. Click. Louder and closer with
each step.

Nia lets out a low whistle at Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal threat, clearly impressed. She then continues backing up, trying to make herself as invisible as possible in Xenia's shadow. "Yes ma'am," she quietly defers.

Primus Abhorash Nehekhara enters from the south, wreathed in shadow and darkness.

You bow respectfully to Abhorash.

You say, "Primus."

Sebaste says, "Your Imperial Majesty."

Laenta bows her head low, respectfully, trying to blend into her surroundings.

Xenia does not scramble to attention though her eyes do train towards the stairwell, arms settled loosely across her chest. She makes no remark of greeting to Abhorash and instead, diverts her eyes towards the Primus' feet.

Copying the others, Nia bows deeply before Abhorash, flourishing her arm. "Your Imperial Maj-es-tli-ness." She coughs. "Your Majesty. Sir. At your humble service, sir."

Abhorash greets you with a slow inspection, blue eyes traveling down and back up the Prince. A small smirk crosses his lips. "Back again, Servant of the Malevolent? With new guests now." The vampire's eyes sweep across the room, staring unblinkingly at each of you before returning to you.

A worried hiss escapes Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal as she pushes Kithan back, stepping forward to shield the young girl from Abhorash.

Just as quickly as Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal shuffles forward does Xenia glide along in tow,
remaining at the xorani girl's flank.

Draiman nods, his gaze not quite matching Abhorash's. "Yes, Primus. I've returned with the substitute for Draden." He nods towards Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal. "Her magical prowess are equal Draden's physical abilities, if they're not greater, and her trials and tribulations to protect those she cared about have shown she possesses a will most mortals could only dream to possess. I hope she pleases you, Primus."

Keeping her trap shut for this long appears to bother Nia. She sucks her lips inwards, peering about, looking from face to face as she idly rocks on her heels at Xenia's side, fighting the urge to be a nuisance.

"We shall see," Abhorash answers you, his intense stare now directed at Krisiina. The high mage
snarls, though she remains otherwise motionless, eyes smoldering as they meet those of the Primus.

An arrogant Xorani master at arms yells, "Bloodloch! Return our people at once!"

You mutter, "F... sake."

Sebaste blinks his eyes as he hears the yelling. "Oh dear."

"More guests," Abhorash says. He waves a dismissive hand at the gathered ensemble, his eyes never leaving Krisiina. "Go make them feel welcome, hm?"

You say, "At once, Primus."

Sebaste says, "At your command, Your Imperial Majesty."

"See you," Nia calls out to Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal. "Nice to meet you, m'am!" She waves
vigorously before following after you at a rapid trot.

--You'll never guess what happens next.

--Yeah more travelling!

A crack in the mountainside.
A granite monument stands here, its surface polished to a shine. A huge idol of charred rubble and twisted flesh resides here. A pike with a shriveled head has been stuck here as warning to any intruder who would dare enter Bloodloch. Heads occasionally snapping at each other, a three-headed direwolf roams here. A plain tankard has been dropped here. Lying face down in the muck, a blank tarot card is discarded here. There are 10 arrogant Xorani master at arms here. There are 20 merciless Xorani warriors here. There are 20 cautious Xorani guards here.
You see exits leading north and south.

You whistle appreciatively.

You say, "That's a lot of..you."

Laenta peers about herself suspiciously.

Sebaste says, "Whoah now, What seems to be the problem here?"

Xenia blinks.

An arrogant Xorani master at arms steps forward. As one, the entire army of Xorani raises their staves with silent promise. "Release them. Now."

Smiling brightly at the assembled Xorani, Nia chirps out, "Hello! Don't hit me, I'm just here for
entertainment." She waves her sappanwood instrument bow in indication, scooting off to the side and out of the melee.

Sebaste shakes his head "Do you even value their lives?" He looks at the Xorani patrol, his eyes
looking about at each.

Xenia's eyes widen at the Xorani legion and her mouth clamps shut. She takes a step back, looking towards you for response.

Sebaste says, "I mean, really. How much planning did it take for you all to come here? None I take it. If you value their lives, you will all leave now."

Draiman tilts his head from side to side, bones cracking loudly as he does. Observing the group carefully, he smirks. "That's a lot of you, for sure. But you're a bit to close to my city for my liking. I'll return Kithan, as promised, no one else. Take her and go, or I'll raze your entire settlement, even the parts Krisiina has protected won't survive."

Kithan, a young Xorani girl runs to the army. Once she has reached the leader, she tugs urgently at his arm. "Free grandmother!" she pleads; stoically, the Xorani master-at-arms pushes the girl to the back of the army. "Take her home," he commands.

With a nonchalant look on her face, Nia absently raises her buckler to hide her face and touches her shield tattoo.

Giving her surroundings a final glance, a wary Xorani guard turns and departs to the north.
Without a backward glance, Kithan, a young Xorani girl leaves to the north.

An arrogant Xorani master at arms says, in Xorani, "Now, the high mage. You cannot hope to stand against us."

Primus Abhorash Nehekhara enters from the south, wreathed in shadow and darkness.

Draiman starts to reply, a cocky smile plastered across his face. For what seems like the hundreth time this week, his moment is ruined as Abhorash enters, and he stops, remaining silent.

Xenia dips her head and slinks back, muttering something about Bloodlochian business.

Xenia says, "Voltda."
A sulfurous portal opens in the ground before Xenia and she quickly jumps into it before it snaps shut behind her.

"Where are your manners, Childe," Abhorash chides you, his eyes taking in the army impassively. "They want their high mage." The Primus turns back to the cave, waving a hand.

Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash enters from the south, abyssal black eyes taking in every detail of the surrounds.

Sebaste lowers his head, then looks to the Xorani patrol."His Imperial Majesty, King Abhorash
Nehekhara."

Draiman nods absently, a look of surprise on his face. "I-yes, of course. How rude of me!"

"High mage!" an arrogant Xorani master at arms cries out at the sight of Krisiina. As one, the army moves forward.

Unsure of what it is she's supposed to do in Abhorash's presence when he returns, Nia takes what seems like a safe bet and bows to him a second time.

"Entertain our guests," Abhorash says, turning. He departs without a backwards glance.

Shadow and darkness receding in winding coils, Primus Abhorash Nehekhara departs to the south.

Sebaste's eyes start to gleam as a wicked smile crosses his lips as he begins to lean casually on
his staff.

Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash stumbles forward, her gait slow and stiff. Her vacant eyes stare out at her people.

For a moment, all is still. Then a screeching, high-pitched laugh escapes from Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash. On and on it goes, spittle flying from her lips.

Draiman takes a step back, regaining his guard as he raises his runed spinal cord.

"High mage...?" an arrogant Xorani master at arms asks uncertainly, striding over to stand directly in front of Krisiina.

To be polite, Nia laughs with Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash, though it is awkward and confused. She looks aside at you, Sebaste and Laenta blankly.

Laenta winces at the sound of this laugh and takes a step back.

Draiman motions for Nia to step back too, shaking his head slowly. Quietly, he says to the group, "I wouldn't stand too close."

Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash's laughter drones on and on until it abruptly becomes a scream. A moment's warning is all you have before elemental destruction rolls off the mage; fire, lightning, cold, a rumbling whirlwind of death that cuts through the standing army.

Sebaste looks at Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash, his eyes locked on her, to see what she does
next. As you speaks, Sebaste takes a few steps back, watching in alertness.

With Xenia gone, Nia finds a new target whose proverbial coat-tails to hide behind, and that target is you.

Draiman waves his staff quickly out of instinct, summoning a reflection in front of himself. Almost as soon as it's summoned, it's shattered by the magicks rolling off of Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash.

"Heh...hehe....hehehe," Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash finishes, wiping spittle off her lips. She
stops to sniff the scent of ravaging death before following her master.

Krisiina, blood slave of Abhorash strides briskly south, head high.

Sebaste's eyes widen as he sees the catastrophe. A wicked laugh begins to escape his lips as he sees elemental destruction from the power of Krisiina as the army is being wiped out. "Good gods, look at that."

Peering out at the wave of destruction, Nia now lets out an earnest giggle. "Well that turned out
for the best," she cheerfully summarises. "Good job, everyone." She punches her fist through the air.

Sebaste says, "She just took them all out...As if they were nothing to her. This mage has class!"

Laenta says, "That laugh... it was unnerving. But the result is good."

You say, "Yeah, kinda makes me really appreciate going the Kithan route, rather than trying to brute force her into it, yeah?"

Pointing a finger up at the runed spinal cord held in your fist, Nia asks, "So I take it your Primus
Boss fellow won't be turning you into that after all?"

(Congregation): Draden "the Mauler" Jibbs says, "Ahhhhhh, been an eventful day. If only the rest of you lazy asses worked as hard as me."

(Congregation): Draden "the Mauler" Jibbs says, "I taught my pigeon how to dance!"

(Congregation): You say, "You have no idea how much I hate you right now."

Laenta says, "I think she has just proved she was a good choice."

Sebaste says, "Yes...I see now why she was chosen..."

Draiman let's out his own laugh after a while, observing the wreckage. His face looks relieved as he shrugs in response to Nia. "It appears that way. But I'll probably do something or another to unicorns myself in the future." He leans casually on his runed spinal cord. "This week just started and it's already been a long one."

Sebaste sighs softly. "Such is part of it, I suppose. It has indeed been a long week, but a very fruitful one at that."

"Well!" Nia exclaims, strolling out from your shadow to survey the carnage. "Then it looks like we saved the day, don't it? All's well that ends well." She dusts off her hands, standing tall and
proud as she leans happily on her variegated Imp-sized cello of reclaimed wood, evidently claiming responsibility for the success. "I'm Nia by the way, Mister Prince. We sort of verbally met when you were shouting about a vivisection demonstration after I outran a giant frog."

Draiman let's out one last sigh as he fully relaxes. He secures his staff, grinning at Nia. "Pleasure, Nia. Name is Draiman, you can quit with the Prince stuff. Please. And you know, I actually did get to vivisect her!"

"Good for you!" Nia enthuses at you, pumping her fist at her side. "Shame I didn't get to see it."
She turns again to look at the pile of bodies, giving a wrinkled sniff. "You got uh, slaves or something to clean up the bodies to offer to your Mistress? Hoo, best not leave them rotting out in this sun."

"You don't need a Cabalist like me to tell you that's a recipe for bad alchemy!" Nia laughs, waving a hand in front of her nose in explanation.

You say, "Maybe the smell and sight will deter Lait from showing her face for a bit."

--travel to Spines, swear, we're almost done.

Sceptically, Nia says to you, "Don't think she can tell the difference between that smell and her
own underarms."

You say, "Haha, probably not."

Laenta says, "Unfortunately I need to rest."

Sebaste utters a deep, rumbling laugh.

Sebaste says, "That's so true."

You nod your head at Laenta.

Laenta says, "Thank you so much for letting me join."

Sebaste inclines his head politely to Laenta.

Laenta bows respectfully.

You say, "Well, I brought you lot back to to Spinesreach."

Grinning as ever, Nia says to Laenta, "Glad to have seen you out and about, Auxiliar."

You say, "So at least you don't have to walk far to rest."

Laenta nods her head emphatically.

Sebaste says to Laenta, "If you are interested in joining the Congregation, I am sure the
Bloodletter can assist you."

Laenta says, "I am, but I will speak about it the next time, if it is ok."


Sebaste says, "Anytime is okay, I am sure."

You nod your head emphatically.

You say, "If I'm present in realms, I'm attentive."

You say, "..mostly."

"I don't think Lady Malevolent's the right fit for me," Nia admits with a dubious wiggle of her
fingers. "Though I am mighty interested in her from a historic perspective, if there's ever a good
op'tunity for it."

Laenta gives the world a smart salute.

Laenta grows still and her lips begin to move silently.

Sebaste inclines his head politely to Laenta.

You say, "Well, I know -some- things, I guess."

The soft clank of armour fills the air as a conscripted Spirean soldier shifts her weight, scanning
the area for potential threats.

You say, "If you got a question or two for me feel free to ask. Just - not right now. I've a few
things I need to take care of before I head out myself."

(Congregation): Canasius says, "My pigeon just seems to deliver letters."
"You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



XeniaNiaIraeTedrunaiTeani

Comments

  • XeniaXenia Member Posts: 996 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is what transpired between Xenia and Kithan when the group left to collect Krisiina.
    Draiman says to you, in Chiav, "I'll return shortly assuming she doesn't lose her mind and blast to us pieces."

    Draiman nods his head at Sebaste, showing his acceptance.

    Draiman inclines his head politely to those around him.

    Draiman leaves to the southwest, followed by Laenta and Sebaste.
    He is followed by an inky shadeling.

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl seems unsure of what to do with herself; she pointedly avoids looking at the colossal fountain of blood. "Umm, hi, I'm Kithan," she says to you shyly.

    You have emoted: Xenia offers Kithan, a young Xorani girl a ready smile and steps forward, offering out a hand in greeting. "Hey there Kithan, I'm the Commander of the Carnifex." She allows those words to hang there in the air, her grin never faltering, "but between you and me, I like to just be called Xenia."

    "Hoo, that was an adventure!" Nia says with a languid exhale, moving to settle into a plush wingback chair. "Don't worry, kid, I'll keep an eye on you." She gives Kithan, a young Xorani girl a wink, but no sooner, she then starts to doze off, unlikely to make good on that promise.

    Nia grows still and her lips begin to move silently.

    Nia drops a glistening iridescent pearl.
    Nia is enveloped in translucent fire for a moment and is gone, her soul safe until she returns to Aetolia.

    "Hi Xenia," Kithan, a young Xorani girl replies, wandering closer to you. Her mood brightens as a smile comes across her lips. "I haven't seen grandmother in so long! I can't wait!"

    You have emoted: Xenia's smile tightens, jaw clenching beneath her skin. "You will get to see her, but, I'm afraid it will not be pleasant," she warns the girl.

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl's smile slips for a second, her eyes unwillingly straying to the
    fountain of blood before snapping hastily away. "Is grandmother sick?"

    You have emoted: "Your grandmother is a strong individual," says Xenia instead, settling into a leisurely side to side pace. "Capable of many great things, do you not agree?"

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl nods her head emphatically.

    You have emoted: Xenia nods her agreement, maintaining that same aura of calm she projects from herself. "She is a valuable woman to your people, is she not?"

    You have emoted: Withouat awaiting response she continues: "Well, she is a valuable person to more than just your village. She will soon be a valuable person to the Primus." Xenia gives pause here, taking in a breath with a grave node that seems to suggest great esteem at the idea. "Change is often a hard thing for people to accept, but over time, I believe she, and you, will learn to see it for the honor it truly is."

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl nods, fiddling with her thumbs now. "Yes, grandmother keeps us all safe."

    "Primus?" Kithan, a young Xorani girl repeats, stumbling over the unfamiliar word.

    You have emoted: Xenia nods this point at Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "Well, I'm sure it's a matter you can take up with the Primus," she offers after a time. "The Primus rules supremely over the Consanguine. They are the inhabitants of these caverns here, the great city of Bloodloch."

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl says, in Xorani, "Is he going to hurt grandmother?"

    Eyes drifting upwards, you say, "I would imagine not, no."

    You ask Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "After all, she is a valuable person. Do you not take care of your valuable things?"

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl nods slowly, though her eyes inadvertently wander back to the fountain of blood. She gulps, loudly, audibly, as some measure of the situation sinks in.

    Draiman yells, "Oh right, you lot just stay there."

    You have emoted: Xenia's eyes drift upwards as the sound of Draiman's voice reverberates through the caverns. "Mmmm, it sounds like your grandmother has arrived. The reunion will happen soon."

    (Tells): Draiman tells you, "Still with Kithan, Commander?"

    (Tells): You tell Draiman, "Yes, and she knows what's up. I took the liberty to inform her of the
    gravity of the situation. GIve me just a moment to deliver a warning."

    You have emoted: Xenia clears her throat and then narrows her eyes upon Kithan, a young Xorani girl, "Now listen, Kithan, when you see your grandmother, it will be in both her best interest and yours if you were to accept the circumstances. Accept the pain, soak it in and use it later on to grow."

    (Tells): Draiman tells you, "Bring her to me after you've done so."

    You say, "And I would advise you to bring up the concern for ongoing safety, given this is a purpose she once served."

    Deflated, Kithan, a young Xorani girl gulps as she nods.

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl begins to follow you.

    You have emoted: Xenia slowly begins to approach the girl, hand outstretched in a benevolent fashion, "You understand, good. Come with me."

    Kithan, a young Xorani girl hesitantly takes the offered hand.

    You have emoted: Xenia's hand clasps loosely around Kithan, a young Xorani girl as the other presses to one of her right arm.

    You touch the prism tattoo and suddenly a razor-thin beam of prismatic light shoots off into the
    distance.

    An irresistible force pulls you along to the other end of the prismatic light.

    Terrace of the Warlords.
    Y-shaped in cross section, this lofty hall soars high, with an open roof visible to the Dominion's rise. Devoid of torches, sconces, or candles, it is lit by the surrounding lava moat, visible through slabs of crystal between the pillars that make up the "walls". Beneath flying banners of black and red, five lofty thrones stand high on an elevated platform at the hall's center. Each throne is draped with a tasseled cloth, embroidered with the livery of Bloodloch's conquerered territories. Two opulent buildings, one placed northwest and one northeast, frame the open-air chamber, marked with the insigniae of the state's Keeper and Council, respectively. A member of the Dominion guard stands here, watching over the throne room. The El'jaziran Warlord's throne is positioned on the leftmost edge of the raised platform. The Kornarian Warlord's throne is positioned left of center upon the raised platform. The Vilimesian Warlord's throne is positioned right of center upon the raised platform. The Lich Warlord's throne is positioned on the rightmost edge of the raised platform. An imperious hemic savant is here, leaning upon her scythe. The Keeper's Throne is positioned in the center of the surrounding thrones. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. A glowing red flame-shaped sigil has been left here. Authority and power pervading her tall figure, Krisiina, high mage of Xaanhal stands watchfully here. Impish in size but lacking in any shades but black, an inky shadeling bounces about here. Draiman is here. He is riding on a chaos stallion. He wields a runed spinal cord in his right hand. Sebaste is here. He is protected by a reflection of himself. He wields a black voidstaff in his left hand and a banded shield in his right. Laenta is here. You see exits leading northeast (open stone door), south (open stone door), and northwest (open stone door).



    DraimanNiaTedrunai
  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    This scene was a lot of fun! Thanks a bunch for involving me, @Xenia and @Draiman. Wasn't expecting it and I appreciate the inclusivity. It was cool to get to meet Abhorash, too.

    To the Cabalists: I, uh, hope I didn't mess up too badly trying to RP practical numerology. I was making it up as I went along!
    DraimanTedrunai
  • XeniaXenia Member Posts: 996 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nia said:


    To the Cabalists: I, uh, hope I didn't mess up too badly trying to RP practical numerology. I was making it up as I went along!

    I think we're all right there hoping we interpreted what our abilities can do were not taken with too much liberty.

    NiaDraimanTedrunai
  • IraeIrae Six feet under.Member Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    That's a pretty long log. Good read, I feel kinda bad for not being there to help, lmao. Out of curiosity, how long did this event / RP sesh run for?
    Didi
  • XeniaXenia Member Posts: 996 ✭✭✭✭✭
    probably 2 hours. Very spur of the moment and taking advantage of the right combination of people around with free time.

    Irae
  • SynneSynne Member Posts: 20 ✭✭✭
    so that's where Krisiina went. this was entertaining. thanks for posting.
  • TeaniTeani Evening Sky SwedenMember Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm sorry I wasn't able to be part of it all. Was fun trying to come up with a plan though!



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