First, Moi is really protective of her daughter, cuz shadowplague and the threat of Severn snatching her away looming over her constantly. So!
<<We're at a lesser fight. Enorian wipes, but Cole escapes. Moi taunts him.>>
You shout, "Farewell, coward Templar."
The crashing of waves resonates throughout the atmosphere as the Maelstrom's words echo, "Ironic from one who relies upon the souls of others and mongrel hounds to fight. Wear My blessing well, Templar."
You shout, "Oh, ha. He's Your CHAMPION?! No wonder you're sidestepping his abandonment of his teammates in battle, and trying to paint me as weak instead. Easier to try to discredit, instead of admit the truth - but we all learned about that when You fled from Your realm and cast out Your strongest."
You shout, "Congratulations, life and spirit - even your own divine know that your cause is a lost one, and reward those of you who flee instead of fight."
The crashing of waves resonates throughout the atmosphere as the Maelstrom's words echo, "My strongest? My goodness what a tall claim for such a short woman. I'd hardly give yourself that much credit."
You shout, "Yes, Your strongest - myself, Tralendar, Tyrak, all of us could best any of those who huddle to You now."
Your pupils suddenly dilate to the smallest of pinpricks as a deep cerulean fills your minds eye while the feeling of a crisp, sea-scented breeze flushes your senses. An endless ocean falls gradually into view, each roiling wave, every gull that flies by, and the enormous open-mouthed shark at its center all entirely focused.
Just above the shark's hungry, open maw dangles a small form that at first is too blurry to entirely make out. Slowly but surely the image begins to flesh itself out before the image is quite clear: a small Imp child bearing auburn hair dangles upon a rope that extends indefinitely into the air, her form precariously hanging just a foot beyond the shark's reach.
You shout "Oi!" at the top of your voice.
Exayne follows you to the up.
A spacious common room. (Shadow Keep.)
A beautifully carved chess board is attached firmly to a heavy stand here. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. His thick robes covered in talismans and runes, this aged shaman leans on his staff. Scarred and covered in battle trophies, this muscular minotaur exudes a cold demeanor. A massive stone fireplace dominates the room's western wall. Shadowy motes flicker in and out of perception around the small form of Sevryla. Merely a pup, a warhound runt gambols about here, small and yapping and as brutal as a butterfly. A slate leather couch has been placed against the south wall. A thick rug lies here, patterned with the crest of the Shadow Keep. A murky darkness has settled in here.
You see exits leading north, east, and down.
You have emoted: A cloaked figure casts a quick, frantic glance at Sevryla, and then harshly snaps to Norak, Speaker of the Runes, "Watch her MORE. Useless cows."
Raised sandbank at a seething geyser. (The Slyphian Grotto.)
This perch is the highest within this beautiful grotto, leaving the brilliant sapphire waters clearly visible in a gently rippling circle of softly lapping waves. Little here remains of the illusion of normalcy; this stretch of land is a V-shaped expanse of pale white sand, the pristine surface devoid of moisture or any marks of passage. Overhead, the stalactites cluster thickly, knife-edged serrations shimmering with a venerable hum of echoing power, casting cascades of tinted light akin to springtime dawn spun through priceless gems. Standing solitary amid the broad swath of snow-hued grains, a quiescent geyser sends questing coils of seething mist high into the air; these fade swiftly out to the north, veiling the unforgiving stone in whorls of tenebrous fog. Large torrents of water burst upwards periodically from a sizable geyser here. His hands held behind his back, a scarred Xoran man stands here. Someone's valuable personal journal has been carelessly left behind here. A shimmering ball of energy hovers here above a multi-colored coral pedestal ornamented with seashells. An abstract coral sculpture of a swirling maelstrom stands here.
You see exits leading northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest.
"The image was an illusion," comes a raspy voice within your ear. "This time."
Exayne shrinks back, then casts a frightened glance at his surroundings.
You yell, "I can cast illusions, too. How about I "illusion" harming someone YOU care about?"
You pull an obsidian dagger from your weaponbelt fluidly.
You start to wield an obsidian dagger in your left hand.
Rather tall for those of his race, Jarvan seems to be a man quite capable of maintaining a presence. The majority of his scales are a dark green in hue save for those on his chest which seem to be quite a few shades lighter. The man wears a pair of brown trousers and a long, navy coat - neither garment flaunts any aesthetic embellishments, their design evidently purely utilitarian in purpose. The Xoran's most distinguishing feature is a jagged scar that starts at one side of his neck, trails down in a wavy line across the front of his throat, and ends directly across from where the scar started.
Jarvan, a scarred Xoran man almost glows with nearly god-like power.
He weighs about 141 pound(s).
He is loyal to Slyphe, the Maelstrom.
Exayne asks, "Require assistance?"
Slyphe seems to step out of the air before you, His brow arched.
With a wink, Slyphe says to Exayne, "Assist her. Certainly, do try."
You have emoted: A cloaked figure slides in closer to Jarvan, a scarred Xoran man, palming a dagger in her hands. Her eyes are narrowed, face twisted in sheer rage - she's not desperate, or bargaining, but something far more gone than that, an almost feral look on her face, like an enraged creature defending its cub.
Exayne says to Slyphe, "My courage and faith her the Chairwoman is not as weak as some of Your followers Lord."
"And just what do you think you are going to do with that?" Slyphe asks, His head tilting as He steps towards Jarvan in a leisurely pace. "You do know that I could merely resurrect him - it wouldn't be the first time."
You have emoted: Moirean shakes away her hood, her harsh expression highlighted even more by the tangled curls spilling out from beneath the cowl. "Just an ILLUSION," she snarls, and the air before her dagger twists and distorts, a ragged line of red forming across the Xoran's neck, as if his throat had been slashed.
Jarvan, a scarred Xoran man offers a grunt in response, one of his hands lifting to trace the jagged line across his neck. "Sorry hun, wouldn't be the first time I've had a cut here," he retorts with a snort.
Snapping, a clap of thunder accenting His words, Slyphe says to Exayne, "Make one. More. Comment."
Exayne inclines his head humbly towards Slyphe. "No offense intended Lord. But I believe we both know my comments are not 'Made up'."
Shifting His attention, His tone like ice, Slyphe says to Exayne, "Or would you like Me to ignore your conversation with Catty on the grounds that she's begged Me to accept her back when she's finished her "job" in your city and cure her of her condition."
You have emoted: Moirean's hand jerks, shoving the Xoran away from her, and the illusion shifts. A familiar face swims upwards, a Yeleni with distinctive aquatic features, proudly cloaked in Slyphe's own symbols - Benedicto - and his eyes shine with pride, gazing at Slyphe in worship...and then the image twists. The man glances sideways, towards the Imp, and her expression sharpens...and now there's a different glow in the man's eyes. Something more vital and integral than the devout draw of holy adulation. He steps towards her, and her mouth twists in a cold, tight smile.
Exayne addresses Slype "My likes and dislikes in this matter are obviously irrelevant, however if You feel the need to eavesdrop and to try and taint our trust in Catty by telling us truths from the past who am I to stop you." before trailing off as the display unfolds in front of him.
Slyphe's attention is only distracted momentarily by the illusions before He draws a hand to His mouth to stifle a bored yawn as His temperament abruptly shifts. "If you came to entertain Me it's hardly working," He comments with an idle wave of His hand that seems to distort the illusory image just slightly. The familiar visage of Benedicto shifts and contorts completely, bearing the resemblance instead of Toz. As the figure of Toz wears the same smile Benedicto just wore, he turns on his heel with a sneer to completely disregard you entirely.
His attention still focused upon the illusory image, Slyphe says to Exayne, "Ahh... past. A year or so would be past I suppose. It certainly wasn't long ago."
Pointing at the image as if speculating, His lips forming a feigned gasp, Slyphe says, "Oh - oh, look at that! Another loved one chased away by Moirean. What a surprising ending."
You have emoted: "If the Malevolent couldn't tear him away, YOU have no chance," Moirean grunts and she waves a hand, banishing the image, and another illusion blossoms in its place - Catty, yes, as if conjured by her name, blooms into being. There's darkness in her eyes and bitterness in her voice, as she murmurs, "He forgot those who served Him. He cast aside those of us who were loyal." Her voice deepens, echoed by another lost follower, a second figure appearing behind her, face indistinct, and then there is a third, and a fourth...a shadowy group builds, repeating the words in a low litany, voices echoing vastly through the large cavern.
"I never thought I'd find Myself saying this," Slyphe bemusedly remarks, His head tilting at the image as if a skeptic observing a piece of art. "But I like your tricks." Resolved, He straightens His posture before subtly plucking at the air before the wavering image as if the string of an instrument. Gradually the characters present begin to tangibly step forward through the image, leaving nothing behind but a slight distortion in the air.
Appearing at first as little more than enormous shadowy mass, further inspection reveals the forms of several faceless people each garbed in black. Only the face of the person in the forefront is familiar - a woman's, with dark eyes cast upon those nearby with a sinister grin.
A dark, shadowy group of faceless individuals seems to be unafraid.
It is strangely weightless.
A dark, shadowy group of faceless individuals steps towards you in one synchronized step, their motions ominous in action. "You betrayed us," they echo in unison, the sheer volume of their voices together nearly deafening.
Exayne slams his hands over his ears as the ensemble makes their statement.
You have emoted: "IT'S JUST AN ILLUSION!" Moirean calls out, her voice shrilly bouncing upwards in a mad, wild skirl, manic, eyes wide, and she shreds at the air before her, slashing her own conjuration to tatters, although Slyphe's apparition still remains, taunting, advancing, dully relentless. "JUST AN ILLUSION!" she repeats, lifting her hands and sweeping them in front of her - and everything changes. The world is drawn before you, a sheer canvas suspended in the air, resolving into a grim, stark image. The Spires sit empty, Ankyrean armor discarded outside the gates as if a battle, a long-distant ancient battle, has ended days before, and then the view draws back, soaring across Sapience to skim over vacant, vacuous denizens, lost in their thoughts, movements a daze.
Exayne's eyes flicker to you as concern crosses his features, soon to be replaced by wonder as yet another image is formed in front of him.
You have emoted: Finally, the illusion stills, painting out a scene of the sea - a shrine is there, toppled and broken, but not from attack, no...it's dusty, and worn, its foe simply time and neglect and off in the distance, there's a shimmer of seafoam, dancing and swirling over the waters. A nymph-like creature, leaping and diving, carefree and aimless, Her shape clearly some facet of the Divine, but Her motions....empty. Moirean's hands twist, claw-like, guiding the illusion, and she lets out a pant of exertion, as the scene sharpens to crystal clarity - it is Slyphe, sketched out here, a Slyphe of long ago, when memory was stalled and the mortals forgot Her very existence. She is lost. She is nothing.
Catty enters from the southeast.
Catty crosses her arms as she enters, tilting her head slightly as she watches silently at the image that appears before her, blinking instantly.
Exayne wraps a comforting arm around Catty.
A dark, shadowy group of faceless individuals approaches you, seeming to pay no attention to the illusion that twists and contorts around it. "You betrayed us," it echoes again, their heads tilting in unison. "It's only an illusion," they parrot as they take another eerie step forward. Every so often the face of a familiar loved-one seems to replace the faceless figures that make up the group before it disperses no more than a second later.
"Ahh, and Catty arrives," Slyphe drawls out with a slight exhalation of breath, His head shaking. "How lucky we must be."
Exayne stands watching helplessly as the group moves on, his grip around Catty tightening somewhat as Slyphe addresses her.
You have emoted: Moirean lets out a sudden gasp, visibly drained from the effort of the sustained illusion, and it slowly begins to melt around her, color and sound fading away in wisping trails to leave the woman standing alone on the sandbank, her small form still stiff with a visceral, primal sort of rage. Her eyes narrow, focusing only on Slyphe, and - for once - she seems oblivious to her self-doubts and insecurities, even when personified tangibly before her.
Her voice dropping to an icy, steely note, you say to Slyphe, "You threaten my daughter again, and I will find a way - I swear it - to wipe You from mortal minds, even if that means restoring the Grand Artifice itself."
"Why would you leave us?" a dark, shadowy group of faceless individuals collectively asks, the clamor of their voices jarring. They take a step closer to you. "Don't you love us?" They take another step forward. At one point the ever-shifting faces portray the small, just-mentioned Imp girl before that too shifts.
You have emoted: Moirean's rage only intensifies at the mocking, twisted image of her daughter's face, and - it's too much - the cold moment of hatred has passed into something transcendently worse, all semblance of reason wiped from her. Slashing at the air with her dagger, she mindlessly dives at Slyphe, letting out a scream as she hacks and slices futilely, her motions jerky, uncoordinated, instinctive, fueled by her anger to a furious dervish of sheer, chaotic attacks.
"It's just an illusion," the shadowy figures chant, their voices echoing powerfully. The group takes one step forward at a time, repeating the chant before releasing an eardrum-shattering shriek that resonates so loudly within your mind that the last thing you see is a blur of motion as your body crumples to the ground.
You have been slain by a dark, shadowy group of faceless individuals.