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Chapter 2: Meld Over Magic.


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#281 Copaman

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 01:39 AM

((Why are you always the one to make things way harder than they should be, SWG?))

"Alrighty then, we need to get moving. Vithar, try the best you can to heal Rindar up. Rom, do you think you can throw Shava and Bazric over the chasm?"

They both nodded their affirmative and set to it. Shava braced herself to be flung across the pit, but Rom simply put her on his shoulder instead and began to cross from pillar to pillar. Bazric murmured a few quick words and was soon levitating across the gap, making doubly sure not to look down.

After Vithar had finished his heal job on Rindar, the two jumped their way across the gap where everyone else was waiting.

"So, I guess the big old spider opened the door for us. Who wants to go through first?"


Almost laughing as he did it, Zhar was the first to go through the door. The rest of the group followed shortly after, and the door closed behind them. On the other side they could hear scratches coming from untold numbers of spiders. On their side of the door, blackness greeted them.

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If you meet me:

Have some courtesy,

Have some sympathy,

And some taste.

Use all your well-learned politesse,

Or I'll lay your soul to waste.


#282 Vortigern

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 04:42 PM

Theria did her best to shepherd the group across the pillars, darting back and forth, natural elven poise serving her well. She unslung her bow from her shoulder, grateful for a chance to use it again, happy to feel the string between her fingers once more, the light yew stave comfortable in her practised grip. She launched her first arrow directly into the eye of one of the larger spiders, the cloud of green spray missing the arrow as it zipped through the air. The spider shrieked, a horrific, unnatural sound, penetrating to the core of Theria's mind, but she shook it off, nocking another arrow to her bow as she leapt lightly through the gloom of the cavern from column to column.

She was the last through the door, rolling through on her shoulder as she pushed her bow in before her. The darkness that swallowed her then was complete.

"Zhar?" she murmured to the bleak air. "Could we have a little light, please?" The mage muttered a few words and a sliver of light extended from each of his fingers, trailing out like stardust to join together in the air, easily illuminating the whole room in which they now found themselves. "What in the name of all that's holy...?"

The group found themselves confronted by a legion of doors, portals, veils, archways, porticoes, nooks, crannies, windows, gaps, entrances and exits of all varieties, carrying on into the far distance.

"Which one do we take?" asked Illyriel, dismayed and taken wholly by surprise.

"Whatever we do, not the one we just came through," said Shava fervently. "Can we mark it with something?" Morion obliged, withdrawing a piece of chalk from one of his many pockets and drawing a large white cross on the age-darkened oak.

"This is magnificent," breathed Zhar, looking around in admiration more than anything else. "Whoever built this place really knew what they were doing." Theria fixed him with the look that demanded an explanation. "If I'm right, which I almost certainly am, no door will lead to the same place twice. Which means we could quite happily go back through that door. Marking them won't help in the least."

"Do you know which one we need to take?" she asked wearily.

"Not a clue," chuckled Zhar, happy as a clam, the way he always became around particularly impressive feats of magic. "This will be pure chance. My suggestion is to pick a door and all go through it, otherwise we'll be stuck in here forever." He looked around at the group, grinning like a madman. "So who wants to pick?"
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#283 Fire Ze Missiles!

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 05:13 PM

"OK then," declared Illyriel, rubbing his hands together, "let's have a go shall we..."
Turning on his heel he pulled open the now chalky door again. His face paled visibly and he ducked as a shard of jagged metal flew over his head. Slamming the door rapidly, Illyriel put his back to it as if whatever was within might try to escape.
"Right. Different door."
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#284 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:28 PM

Rindar was next to select a door, still limping slightly on his healed leg. It opened into a dank, dripping tunnel. "This seems as likely a place as any," he said, stepping inside and brushing aside the weeds hanging from the ceiling. He pulled his hand back as one of the plants snapped at him. Several tiny beads of blood appeared on his hand, and he shook them off.

"I guess we'll have to stay away from the plants, then," he said as lightly as he could. "Shall we go on, then?"
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#285 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:05 AM

"Ah, Monasteriense Dionaea Muscipula... i have some of these growing back near my tower, well had, not sure if they are still there or not now, aren't they just gorgeous?" the plant quivered as one of the 'mouths' closed further.
The others all walked in, very careful not to get too close to any of the twisted plants.
a wicked little twinkle came to Zhars eyes
"Say Shava, you're fairly small... come here a minute" The little gnome looked uncertain
"whats the matter you don't trust me?"
"what is it? said Theria stepping towards the mage
Suddenly from under their feet two sides of a large plant mouth snapped upwards, Theria managed to jump out of the way just in time, Zhar however got eaten.

Shocked for a second, Theria said nothing. Tom ran to her "are you ok?"
"yeah" she quickly nodded, then looked back at the plant "Zhar?" he called somewhat uncertainly. For a lingering moment there was no sound, then,
"dammit why'd you have to jump out of the way?" It was Zhars voice, Theria straightened slightly and blinked. Suddenly he stepped out of the plant, phasing straight through it as if nothing was there
"it wastes energy when you set them off for no reason like that"
"wh- i di..."began Theria, then suddenly realisation dawned on her features "You knew!"
"ofcoarse i knew, but then why'd you have to jump out of the way like that? I called Shava anyway, not you... she wouldn't have been able to jump out of the way" he said it like an accusation, pulling a face as he did so. Therias face hardened
"no, she wouldn't have" she glared at Zhar, crossing her arms
"hey, i should be angry at you-"
"why would you do that?" she demanded, her voice going up an octave
"plants need food, Theria-"
"so you thought you'd feed Shava to a plant!?" there was extra emphasis on the lat word
"hey, you're all looking at me as if I've done something wrong!... I mean come on the plant hasn't even eaten shava yet"
"Hey!" cried Shava, "how dare you try to feed me to a plant!"
"i was doing it for the good of all. The plant gets a meal, you don't have to live your crappy life any more, and we don't have to look at you. Come on, everyone wins"
Tom basically slapped his forehead, "are you insa-" he caught himself, realising who he was talking to "never mind..."
"just don't do it again" cut in Illyriel firmly
"yeah, you try any more funny business, and we'll... we'll... cut your heart out!" Concluded Theria somewhat akwardly, pointing an accusative finger at Zhar
"If you even have one to cut out..." Said Bazric. Zhar laughed, as if at some personal joke, although it twisted to become more maniacal towards the climax. He then shuddered, and blinked a few times, a change coming over him. When he opened his mouth he spoke differently
"shalt we class this matter as resolved and proceed onwards? Our final destination doth await, and we shalt not reach it if we continue to standeth, bickering so."
The group stared at Zhar, although by now they were less surprised by Zhars odd behavior, and soon shrugged it of to continue through the room, although many glanced back at Zhar, especially Shava (who had now placed several bodies between where she walked and where Zhar did), making sure he wasn't about to try anything else.

((so, Zhar tried feeding Shava to a plant. Whats going to happen in this room besides that?))

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#286 Fire Ze Missiles!

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:12 PM

After a few minutes of silent, wary trudging through the darkened tunnel they came across a door in the wall, swathed in vines and creepers. Tom ignited the plants covering the doorway until it could be safely opened - Illyriel obliged. The group blinked in the brightness of the jungle sunshine, beaming down upon them in a clearing to the side of the huge temple. Illyriel frowned.
"Outside," he observed, "do you think we should...no, no point leaving now. Maybe leave this door open though." Doing so he stepped back and they reluctantly moved on from the freedom that beckoned.
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#287 Copaman

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:45 PM

((Let's get a move on.))

The group moved back through the hallway and into the central, door filled atrium.

"Ok, so we know not to go through those two. That only leaves a billion and a half. Who wants to pick next?"

Rom pointed to the only door he could see which would fit him comfortably. The group willingly obliged, only to be faced with a solid wall twenty yards into the darkness.

"Awesome," a voice mumbled.

They headed back.

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If you meet me:

Have some courtesy,

Have some sympathy,

And some taste.

Use all your well-learned politesse,

Or I'll lay your soul to waste.


#288 Vortigern

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:49 PM

"Enough o' this tomfoolery," growled Bazric, striding towards a tall stone door. He swung it wide open and stepped back, mouth agape at what he saw within. Tom sauntered over and stared through the door. He froze, eyes peering deep into the recesses of the space within. Apparently wondering what all the fuss was about, Zhar came to stand by them. Theria watched, more than a little confused, as the dwarf, deathknelf and demoniac stood shoulder to shoulder staring obliviously at whatever lay beyond the door.

"Pretty," murmured Zhar. Curious to see what effect it would have, Theria began nudging the heavy door closed with her foot, being careful not to look at whatever it was lay beyond the portal. Tom was the first to be released from the effects of the mystery. He shook himself before cursing under his breath and turning away, blushing slightly. Theria pushed the door to with a hefty shove and Zhar and Bazric were released from the spell.

"So what was in there?" she asked.

"In where?" replied Zhar, apparently entirely unaware that he had been standing dead still for nigh on a minute. Theria could only smile, but a brief thought flickered across her mind: what if they had all looked within and become dead to the world, stuck here in this endless room, staring at some unknowable mystery in dimensions unexplored... She turned and opened the door to her left, a solid-looking oak job. It swung smoothly on silver hinges to reveal a sight that made them all breathe a sigh of relief. The door led through to a chamber in the familiar greenish stone of the temple complex. Zhar stepped through behind Theria and sniffed the air.

"Magnificent," he breathed. "We actually found the right place. The chances must have been something astronomical." He leaned back through the door and waved the others in. Rom stooped and barely fit through, but soon enough they were all free of the room of doors and ready for the next challenge. Theria motioned Tom to the front of the group and he led them on through the tunnels. After maybe fifty paces a click resounded through the dimly-lit passageway and Tom paused. He was still for a moment before bright white light burst forth from the walls, illuminating the tunnel right to the end, to where they could see it open out into some kind of cavern. They hurried on towards their destination, footsteps picking up the pace as they sensed the end of this journey was near.

"Wow," said Tom, as he reached the end of the tunnel. He stood on a wide, open platform, the ground falling away all around him to a level far below, where the base of the cavern began to roll up in a green, grassy hill towards a stone circle on the very top. Zhar stepped forward to Tom's side to survey the area.

"That's the henge, deathknelf," he murmured. "Within those stones lies the crystal we have sought."

"I can't see it." Zhar sighed theatrically, patting Tom on the head in a manner most condescending.

"That's because it's magical, dear boy," he said. "It will only be visible once we pass under the arches of the henge." Tom scowled at the mage before looking away and around.

"So how do we get down there?"

"Jump?" Zhar grinned madly at Tom for a moment before turning away and sprinting to the edge, whereupon he hurled himself into the empty space. With a jaunty wave he disappeared from view. Tom ran to the edge, eager to see what the mage knew that he didn't: apparently not a great deal. Down below Zhar bounced and rolled uncomfortably over rocks and grass to come to a rough stop at the foot of the little valley caught between hillock and cliff. Slowly the mage picked himself up and began dusting his shoulders off.

"I don't recommend you try that!" he shouted up to them. Then he squinted up at the cliff face, noticing something. His face fell as he took in what it was, but then he shrugged. "There's a staircase to your right!" he called. "Lean over the edge and you'll see it!" Tom chuckled heartily as he found the staircase and called the others over.

"Just lower yourselves down and then walk. Simple as any challenge we've had so far," he advised, tenderly helping Theria to find her footing. She smiled up at him gratefully before loping lightly away down the narrow, winding stairway.

Down below Zhar was sat on the ground, watching the group descend. He brushed at his foot as something ran over his toes, then again as it came back. Only then did he look at the ground. His expression froze momentarily before a wild grin settled upon his malignant features. Around his feet scampered dozens of little lizards, each no longer than his foot. Zhar plucked one off the ground with a flicker of his will and held it unmoving in mid-air. He lifted a finger to tickle its belly for a moment before the finger ignited, flames coiling around the little reptile, burning it to a cinder in a matter of moments.

"How delightfully sadistic," he murmured happily to himself, sinking into a brief reverie from which he was rapidly awoken by a deafening roar. He scanned around for a moment before his eyes alit upon what appeared to be a drake, but substantially larger than any Zhar had ever seen before. Or even heard of, for that matter. Curiosity warred with panic as the giant lizard came galloping towards him, taloned feet ripping into the soil, sending chunks of mud and grass flying up behind it. "Oops," he whispered.

((One final challenge, lads and lasses. By the way, this drake has been here for a while and has several grown children to help defend its realm from the likes of us. All your awesomely skills will be called upon for this task.))
I hope I am a good enough writer that some day dwarves kill me and drink my blood for wisdom.

#289 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:03 PM

Rindar gritted his teeth in frustration. Of course, the idiot mage had to go and incinerate a baby drake... and now we need to deal with its mother. Brilliant work. He strung his bow and quickly loosed an arrow at one of the beast's great eyes. However, it blinked, and the arrow shattered harmlessly on iron-hard scales. How convenient: not only is it armored all over its body, but even its eyelids are like shields, he thought savagely, aiming another arrow. This one had the broad head of an armor-piercing shaft, usually used against knights in armor. He sighted again and loosed.

The drake roared in agony as the shaft pierced its armored scales. Even so, the shaft barely nicked its eye, but every time it blinked a fresh scratch appeared on its retina from the arrow stuck fast in its eyelid. Steaming blood ran down its scaled face from the injured eye, and the talons gripped the soil even harder. Even with one eye all but blinded, the drake was still a fearsome foe.

((Do these things breathe fire?))
((No, but their blood and saliva is toxic to us. Kinda like in Alien.))
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#290 Vithar-133

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 02:12 AM

Vithar noticed that Rindar's arrows didn't do much against the scaled monstrosities.

:This does not bode well in light of my current gear...Looks like I'm going to have to rely on dodging and some other skills...:

He spoke aloud so that the others could hear him. "Does anyone here know if a sword of any type can do anything against these creatures?"

:If not...well...that renders me quite useless...:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
((So...can anyone think of anything Vithar could do to help? He's got almost no magic and his arrows aren't armour piercing.))
((Sure can. Go for some acrobatics, or a bit of distraction techniques. There's always possibilities, man. :p))

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#291 Copaman

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 04:48 PM

"So, Zhar, you burned one? I can do that..."

As Tom's words trailed off, his face grimaced for a moment before the brilliant blue flame graced his twin swords, which he had drawn at the first sign of trouble.

And the big ass drake in the middle doesn't help. Time for some a-game, but I need a bit to warm up.

He stomped his way around the outside of the henge, knicking the small drakes with his razor sharp blades as he went and not bothering to watch as they were engulfed. A slightly larger drake, perhaps three feet in length, charged towards Tom only to be dodged. It swiped, and was parried. A lunge, and it met its untimely end as Tom riposted. His sword slid under a scale by the beast's shoulder, and the fire began to kill the beast as soon as it met the thing's softer flesh.

Two more drakes, whose haunches were about the same height as Tom's eyes, began to close in as Tom started to find his "groove," nearly inaudible whispers of the Ebrion on his lips.

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If you meet me:

Have some courtesy,

Have some sympathy,

And some taste.

Use all your well-learned politesse,

Or I'll lay your soul to waste.


#292 Fire Ze Missiles!

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 07:01 PM

Lacking the magical fiery swords of oblivion that Tom exhibited so freely, Illyriel was less than thrilled about the idea of fighting every living creature in the whole damn cavern. But his face was set and his skills untarnished by the passage of time, so as the enormous monster with Rindar's shaft through it's eyelid charged towards him and Theria (having been of the first to descend the staircase) he ran directly towards it, blades flashing in the mysterious light. The creature roared, spewing a torrent of phlegm and saliva that turned the very ground to ashes. But Illyriel was already under the belly of the beast, having ducked beneath the ferocious jaws. Thrusting his twin sabres upwards he scored a long gash along the mother's white underbelly, leaving red streaks of gore that emptied blood and innards copiously. The elf did not wait to see this as the drake roared in agony, continuing his run out beyond the creature, grabbing hold of its tail and clinging on for dear life as it thrashed in all directions, the death throes of a colossally old being. It seemed almost to turn in upon itself in the effort to devour the flimsy being which had felled it.
As the creature slowed, blood loss taking its toll, Illyriel leapt clear of it. A wise move, as its plaintive cry seemed to have attracted many of the larger creatures from across the tremendously large cave. Charging headlong underneath it they seemed heedless of their own safety as they ran at the wound. Inexplicably they all began to spray their vicious toxins on it. Illyriel looked on in incomprehension for a few moments, before he realized the wound was closing up...
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#293 Copaman

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 10:01 PM

((Magical Fiery Swords of Oblivion, eh? I like that...))

The two drakes who closed in upon Tom posed much more of a threat than the smaller ones, albeit a significantly smaller threat than the enormous mother.

Tom's first plan of action was to engage one while the other stood back - he soon saw this would not work. As he lunged towards the first, the second came in on his exposed back. While he was able to recover quickly by rolling out of the way, he knew he would need a tactical change.

I don't know if I can handle both of these.

Starting towards the first, he waited until the second came in towards his back to feign an attack at the first. The second took the bait, and raised its large clawed foot to remove Tom's head from his shoulders. At the last second, he whirled around and parried the blow, while using the off hand to take a giant swing upwards at the thing's throat. The blade bounced off the scales with a disappointing clang, and Tom bit his lip quickly. He rolled out from the enraged beast, and came up to face the two. One had opened its mouth, and Tom could see a host of glands contracting just before he ducked under the acid spittle. Where he had stood was now charred, and he could see the steam rise as the last bits of spittle fell from the drake's mouth.

Not good. Definitely not good.

He focused his mind a bit more before beginning his next attack - as the Ebrion began to get louder, he could feel its energy course through his veins and he could see how he would kill the first drake. As he ran towards one, the other opened its mouth to prepare an acid launch - it was all the queue Tom needed. He dove left, rolled, and popped upwards just in front of the beast's mouth. As he pushed off, he righted his sword and inserted it perfectly into the beast's mouth. Using his momentum to spin around his wrist and the handle, he landed upon the beast's head. The soft thud he felt was all that he needed to know the beast was finished - the sword had penetrated directly through the roof of the mouth, through the skull, and into the cranial cavity. Even if it hadn't made it that far and killed the beast directly, his fire began to spread and the thing would soon be a pile of ashes.

The second, slightly startled, began to approach the flaming carcass with caution. Tom leaped up from behind the flames, and caught the beast off guard. With both swords poised on either sides of its head, he brought them together with his full force, penetrating the scales and entering into the bony skull at least. The thing flinched, before collapsing as its brain boiled.

Tom walked away, and quelled his fire for a moment. He looked at the mother and knew he was going to need his abilities to take it down. He spoke the Ebrion as he walked towards those who were engaging the thing.

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If you meet me:

Have some courtesy,

Have some sympathy,

And some taste.

Use all your well-learned politesse,

Or I'll lay your soul to waste.


#294 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:57 AM

The young drakes attacked in numbers, while the tiny babies scattered and fled. In the center the Mother Drake could be seen bellowing its defiance at those who would attack its family, fully healed from any previous injury by the young who even now clung to their mother, on her back, belly and one holding around her neck.

"Seems almost cruel to murder her children like this" Said Zhar emotionlessly, a resounding thud ringing out as he blasted one of the creatures from existence. Again he seemed almost uninterested, clearly ignoring bazrics plight as the dwarf wrestled one of the drakes by hand when its friend had knocked away his weapon. Acidic spittle narrowly missing the dwarfs flesh, but burning through the side of his sleeve. eventually Bazric was able to overpower the creature and retrieve his weapon, Zhar however had merely watched, blasting another drake that decided to go after him from behind.

Vithar used his psychic abilities to push a cluster of drakes, scattering them with Shava's help. a small one, no biggger then medium sized dog, leaped towards him, but he carved it in half, quickly flicking the acidic blood of his sword so as not to corrode it. Shava was doing her best, and while not a great fighter, she used her mental abilities, just as vithar, in order to combat her opponents. The drakes were impressionable, meaning her emotion imprinting effected them, unlike so many enemies they seem to face. She did not even notice the drake crawling up behind her, or its horking sound as it gathered acidic saliva in its glands.

"Shava!" cried Zhar, shava turned and let out a cry, noticing too late the immediate danger, she flinched backwards, ready to be bathed in acidic spit, eyes suddenly closing tight. However the burning acid never came, and Zhars cry ringed out as the acid burned his flesh away. In an instant he had teleported himself between shava and the acid, having it instead slash across his chest and face instead of hitting Shava.

It was a gruesome slight to behold as skin and flesh melded away horrifically. Shava cried out, gaining the attention of some of the group members. Vithar leaped forward and dispatched the drake with a fearsome blow, followed by two more just as fierce.

Shava was rushing towards Zhar, watching as his chest cavity evaporated in a sizzling steam, his scream wheezing out of breath. Shava made it to Zhar, but he pushed her back, clinging at the holes being eaten in his flesh
I must go! echod the mental cry, and in a flash Zhar was gone. Shava stood, shocked into immobility.

--------------
A thunder crack echod in a town on the mainland, and from around a corner Zhar stumbled, facelessly and with a hole so large you could climb through it straight through his chest, sunlight moving through unhindered, He flicked between physical existence and a dark shadow, like a flickering lightbulb. Zhar was litterall short circuiting in his attempts to continue life.

A startled cry came out of a horrified man as the terrifing acid decimated corpse called Zhar stumbled into his arms.
The faceless head of Zhars moved up, eyeless sockets stairing into the mans eyes, as even bone began to melt. In the mans mind came the unbidden words "nothing personal".
Then Zhar once again flickered into his shadowy wraith form, returning in the blink of an eye to have the kriss firmly wielded in his hand. With a swift desperate movement he stabbed the man, and even as the life drained from the startled peasants eyes, Zhar began to regenerate.

A scream echoed out as others, equally stunned by what they had just witnessed, began to realise not only that a corpse had just appeared in the town square, but that it had then stabbed an innocent man and before their eyes was regaining its vital organs. In Zhars chest organs began to fill out, dead organs, but organs all the same, his face began to flesh out once more, then layers of flesh began to fill in his chest, and before long he was back again, the only evidence of his horrific injury was the acid burnt clothing his still wore. He looked down and pulled a face, before disappearing with a flash.

--------------
Then he was back, appearing on the opposite side of the cavern, pulling on a new mage robe, very similar to his last but with a few noticeable differences giving him a more ostentatious look then before. with an angry finger he pointed at several drakes, one after another, each of which began to decrepify instantly, becoming old and ragged before becoming nothing by dry, dead bones, small pieces of flesh shrivling before turning to dust.
"I never want to have to do THAT again" he cried angrily, pointing a finger at shava, luckily no decrepification resulting from that same accusatory finger this time round. He turned and angrily killed of a sveral more drakes, before letting out an angry, huffed growl.

((ok, so Zhar just made up for trying to feed Shava a plant by nearly killing himself to save her life. See, who says he's a bad fellow?
Now, the rest of you need to get posting again))

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#295 Vithar-133

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:46 PM

((This is it... Although, SWG, Vithar's Psychic Abilities aren't that strong, at least, not yet. Although, they'll not be growing any stronger after this post... I imagine that these young drakes are a fair bit larger than a house cat.))
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Vithar stepped over Shava's immobile form and struck out at the (relatively) small drakes. He would not allow the gnome to suffer the fate of the mage. He fought off several waves of the drakes, noting the unusual level of apparent intelligence. His naginata slipped from his hand, rolling into the foot of one of the drakes. Vithar continued to fight, apparently unfazed. He stuck heavily, ignoring the number or size. His only thought was to defend.

Vithar struck out, landing a glancing blow on a drake, which jumped back, avoiding the blade in the hand of the crazed being. Vithar struck out again and again, landing blows that hit as often as missed. Vithar found himself surrounded by drakes somewhat larger than the rest of what he'd been fighting.

:This...this is it. This is the end...I must...for my friends...: Vithar's thoughts were broken and forced with the amount of mental energy that he'd gathered in his body. He prepared to unleash it, looking around at all of the people that he'd been adventuring with for the past few months. He unleashed the waves of mental energy, frying the minds of the drakes, but not that of Shava.

Vithar stood, slumping slightly. He grinned weakly and then collapsed. Shava, having recovered from her shock, checked on Vithar. Only to discover that he was well and undeniably dead.
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((Awesome enough?))

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#296 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 11:43 PM

"Vithar!" screamed Rindar, sprinting over to the collapsing half-Furya. He flung his bow to the side and cradled Vithar's head in his arms. "No... Vithar, wake up!"

The only thing that answered him was the fallen warrior's blankly staring eyes, never to see again.

Rindar wept hot, angry tears, staining the fabric of Vithar's tunic with water as he rocked back and forth. He had come to think of Vithar as a friend: the only person who had supported him when he'd become attached the the group by the caprice of fate. And yet he had to die... why?
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#297 Copaman

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 01:47 AM

Vithar? Dead? Shit.

Tom watched as the elf fell, no, slumped to the ground. From where he was standing it looked as if the man had simply collapsed with the drakes around him.

This seriously isn't good. We have no healer. Shava, Rindar, Morion, Illyriel, Theria, his mind paused. Theria. He tried again, and managed to get past the thoughts clogging him, Bazric, Myself, Rom, and then Zhar. That will be the order. If Zhar can even die.

Theria. Dead.

He wrinkled his brow, and the swords he carried erupted violently.

Theria. Dead.

He could feel his vocal chords moving, but did not hear the incredible elfsong of Ebrion over the rage pounding inside his head.

Theria will die in here. Fix this.

He stood still and watched with wonder as his soul manifested itself outside his body. A sphere of eerie blue words floated around him, following his every movement. At his feet, a ring of fire marked the outer limit of this sphere, and a small crown above his head marked the top.

The first drake to try to pass through the sphere was, to Tom's surprise, simply cut up to shreds as it attempted to enter the ball of energy. These shreds were decimated (rather, cremated) further by the unseen flames inside of Tom's ball.

This is interesting. Were I a god this is how I would walk constantly.

As he moved, the ground glowed slightly blue behind him. His blades were swift in delivering the end of a half dozen drakes before he made it to Vithar's body. With a whisper, he said a sending-off prayer for the halfling before nodding to Rindar, who held the body in his arms. The elf watched in horror as Tom planted a sword in the ground and then reached down with a glowing hand to close Vithar's eyelids. As soon as the hand was away, flames began to spread - slowly turning Vithar into a pile of ash without heat nor odor; elegantly returning a unique creature to its makers.

A single heated tear, half-flame half-saline, dropped from Tom's face and sizzled its way into the ground. Rindar looked up at the man with glowing stripes, as if for direction. Tom violently yanked his blade out of the ground and pointed at the largest drake in the arena.

It was his new target. And even in this incredible state, he would need help. Lots of it.


((EDIT - Dr. Manhattan mode! Not really, but...))

Edited by Copaman, 19 September 2009 - 01:48 AM.

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#298 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 02:07 AM

As the last ashes of his first friend spiraled into the air, Rindar shook himself free of the paralysis that had gripped him and stood up with an effort. Nyrsavi still lay on the ground where Vithar had dropped it, and he seized the hilt. It felt warm in his hand, like an extension of his being, and without a conscious thought he swung it, slashing across the face of a drake leaping towards him.

This is strange, he thought as the world seemed to blur.

Something broke within him, and suddenly the blurred vision in front of him became clear. Although the memory of Vithar's death still hung over him like a black shroud, he felt utterly at peace.

He lifted the blade in an ancient, time-honored salute known only to those well-versed in the way of the blade. A feeling like cool rain washed over him, filling him with the knowledge of every warrior who had used the blade. And although his mind was swamped by memories of ancient battles, part of it watched from a distance, wondering.

It is the air of this place... it brings forth the ancient potential present in all of us. I never knew that I could use a blade... until now. What sort of magic is in the air? I cannot tell what it is... but it seems to fill us with power. If those of the mainland knew, many would make a pilgrimage here to gain this power.

And none would survive.

Rindar's newly-gained magic prompted him towards the shape of the golden naginata upon the ground. He lifted the long polearm, wieldy even one-handed in his state of battle-mind, and hefted it in front of him.

He strode towards the monstrous drake, following Tom's flaming footsteps.

((Magic is in the air...))

Edited by {IRS}Athos, 19 September 2009 - 02:12 AM.

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#299 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:40 AM

((one problem people, part of vithars ending involved frying the mind of all the drakes. By saying they are still alive you ruined his epic finale quite a bit... I guess i'll sort it out then so it makes sense?))

All but the drakes furthest from Vithar had been destroyed, their limp forms still falling to the ground like rain as the bodies fell from their perches on ceiling and walls. Even the mother drake had succumb to Vithar's mental storm. What few were left scurried around, some musling their fallen family members, and others seeking to attack those who wronged them. Tom and Rindar sought these out, side by side the two figures were an unlikely couple.

While Tom appeared more aesthetically stunning both approached with vengeance in their eyes. Bazric was at Vithars side, the others making their way around. Illyriel killed a small drake, and Rom crushed two together to be knocked senseless to the floor. The others were being attacked by Tom and Rindar, who saw fit to mourn their friends loss through slaughter.

Bazric bent down to the ashes of Vithar, and futilely tried to heal him, a vain attempt to somehow transform the ashes back into their friend. They all knew it was useless, but he poured out his healing magic all the same. Tears welled in some eyes, others were closed in solemn respect and sadness. Bazric knew it was hopeless, and eventually, his eyes closing tight and his fists bunching up to clasp the ashes of Vithar, he began the prayer of the fallen.

Tom and Rindar came back, and a look which might have been jealousy flashed onto Toms face as he saw Theria clinging to Illyriel. Bazric had his arm around Shava comfortingly. Suddenly Shava looked up at Tom, anger in her eyes.

"you burned him" she said accusingly. Tom seemed shocked, not understanding the gnomes anger
"twas distasteful of ye, Thomas. I know ye' meant only respect, but your burial ways are not necessarily what another would desire"
"and you burned him" said Shava again, starring intently at the ashes, absently touching her face. The thought of cremation was obviously something she did not like, but it was no wonder when you considered her experience with fire.
"i... i. I'm sorry, i didn't think that..." said Tom, not knowing what to say,
"Done now" rumbled Rom, shrugging
"lets gather the ashes" said Theria quietly
"we can scatter them in the forest when we finally get back"
Morion stood next to Tom
"They're right you know, not everyone wants to be cremated when they die" he whispered "but don't feel bad, no harm is done, Vithar was an easy going person, i'm sure he doesn't mind. We all know you meant nothing but respect..." he sighed and watched Illyriel, Rindar and Shava scooping up the ashes.


A slow clap sounded from behind, and everyone turned to see Zhar, in the middle of a prelonged stretch, clapping. A large yawn shaking his body
"yes yes, everyone cry for Vithar" said Zhar somewhat sarcastically
"poor Vithar, we barely knew ye, and yet we will all act as if he was our bestest buddy, our closest friend. Funny i don't recall you acting that close while he was still alive. I however am not partial to such false shows of loss and friendship. Goodriddens to bad rubbish, he was the idiot who went and killed himself, he was never that useful anyway. All in all i'd say his life amassed to one big failure. Even his final act was pathetic! Tom and Rindar had to finish the job he was incapable of doing on his own."

"Now if you're all done putting on a show of blowing your noses, then i suggest we get going. I'm sure Vithar doesn't give a rats ass about any of you any more, he's out being a burden to someone else now." Zhar let out snort
"If i'd have know the idiot was just going to die anyway then i could have used him as a sacrifice... saved myself the effort of teleporting to the mainland to find a victim. Even in dieing he manages to be useless!" and with that Zhar strode from the room, not looking back.

Some angry grumbles came from various members of the group, but soon enough the ashes were all gathered and the group moved on, a depressed, solemn air surroundings them as the realisation sunk home. They were not invincible, any one of them could die at any given moment, until now death had hardly even been a consideration, but now it weighed heavily at the forefront of everyone's mind.

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#300 Vortigern

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 08:30 AM

The group made their way up the hillside towards the stone circle. Theria and Illyriel reached it first, neither having exerted themselves to quite the extent of Tom, Rindar or Bazric against the drakes. Illyriel smiled gently at Theria and passed under the stone arch before him. Theria wandered around the outside, marvelling at the ingenuity of whatever ancients had placed these standing stones here, aeons in the past. Illyriel let out a small gasp, jaw slightly agape. More than a little confused, Theria looked around: the stones stood around her, long grass at their feet and all around, running down the hillside in the opposite direction to that which they had come. Above was nothing more than the ceiling of the cavern, lit by the same mysterious luminescence that had guided them this far.

"Look at that," murmured Illyriel, eyes fixed on a point above the stones before them. Theria could see nothing. Zhar followed Illyriel's footsteps to come up beside him, and he too seemed keen on whatever stood before them.

"Go under the arch," he instructed, and for a moment Theria did not realise what he meant, but then she strode back out of the circle and stepped through the grey stone archway by Shava's side. The instant she did, she realised what it was Illyriel had found so fascinating. Beatiful, multi-hued light swirled above the stones, coalescing and dissipating into shapes and ideas of images half-formed. Theria could not resist breathing out a sigh against such a wonder, and she heard Shava do the same beside (and below) her. One by one the rest of the group arrived, and as Tom and Bazric stepped through, bringing up the rear, Zhar uttered the first words since his orders to Theria.

"The crystal is here somewhere," he announced. "And I can smell Winter Vayu on it." He sniffed the air, drawing deeply, eyes rolling back into his head. "Aha," he murmured, and raised both his hands to the air. The light from above the stones drew in closer to Zhar's hands, shimmering and slowly forming into a solid shape. "Smart man, that Vayu," pondered Zhar as the crystal reformed in his hands. "Hidden from the outside and takes quite a trick even from the inside. A worthy foe indeed." Zhar trailed off, eyes returning to the sight above him, lips pursed in concentration. From where Theria stood, all she could see was a glowing ball of... something, in Zhar's grasp. Light reflected from the shape, giving her the only clue as to what might be going on. Bazric, though, watched in rapt admiration of Zhar's skill, knowing and recognising enough of the mage's art to see the intricacy and delicacy of what went on now.

Bazric could see Zhar drawing in the very elements around him, tiny strings of fire, air, earth and water holding the minuscule molecules of crystal together, drawing them into the form that Zhar desired, his will pushing them on. After perhaps two minutes the crystal sat in Zhar's hands, fully formed, opalescent, translucent purple in the light and perhaps a foot long, almost cuboid in shape but ridged and crested like a vein of ore, purified beyond all recognition and bearing magic stronger than any present had before witnessed, with the possible exception of Zhar.

"I was expecting some kind of diamond," whispered Theria.

"This is a purer form," explained Zhar in an enraptured montone, his attention on the crystal and the crystal alone. "Cutting it into a diamond would have wrecked any resonance with the earth and it wouldn't have been half as powerful. Wouldn't have looked very good, either," added Zhar, focusing on Theria for a moment. "Have you ever seen a noble lady wearing a weirdy purple gemstone?" Theria shrugged, and Zhar returned his attention to the object of their searches. "Remind me what I'm doing with this?"

"Making the melds smart enough not to just kill everything."

"Can't I just kill the melds?"

"I'd rather you didn't," said Theria. "They deserve life too."

"Do they really?" wondered Zhar. "Vayu made them as tools of his empire-building, so do we really need to keep them alive?" Theria simply raised an eyebrow and glared at the mage. "Fine," he muttered, uttering several curse words under his breath. Even given the circumstances, Theria could not help but grin at Zhar's antics. "Right then, let's set to!" Grinning widely, Zhar gripped the crystal firmly and closed his eyes. A frown crossed his forehead, then deepened. He opened his eyes.

"What's wrong?" demanded Theria.

"It's emotionally sensitive," said Zhar, disbelief flashing across his features. "Oh, Vayu is very clever. If I use this it's just going to make them kill even more, because, in all honesty, I'm a complete arsehole. If you want the melds to be nice, someone else is going to need to do this. I can guide you and lend you the strength for it, but I can't touch the crystal itself while the process goes on."

"I'll do it," declared Shava, stepping forward. Zhar shrugged.

"She'll do. Actually, she'll probably do a very good job. Here you go, then," he said, tossing Shava the crystal, which was nearly half her size. "Just relax and I'll help you through. Do exactly as I say and whatever you do, don't get angry with me. That's the last thing you want to do with this baby." Zhar sat down next to Shava and reached out a hand, touching her on the neck. She slumped to the ground immediately, but her hands remained tight around the crystal.

"What did you do?" shouted Bazric, stepping forward, unsheathing his longsword as he did so.

"Quiet, shortstuff," ordered Zhar, eyes still closed. "She'll be fine. You'll just have to carry her when we're done. Me too, most like."

* * * * * *

Outside the temple complex the Vyre waited, howls of fury still rising up from the trees at the presence of the intruders, but the howls ceased the moment the light erupted from the ziggurat in the centre of the courtyard, a roiling shaft of lilac energy rocketing into the sky. Magical essence fell like rain across the isle of the Vyre, seeking out and touching each one of the ferocious animals. They lay down uniformly, slipping into unconsciousness as their minds were rewritten by the strength of the crystal that had first given them life, springing them up above the other life of the isle to evolve into the hunter-killers as which they had garnered such infamy throughout Arsencia.

The light rose higher into the heavens, arcing across the sky towards the mainland, seeking out the Vyre and the melds, the beings of the crystal, spread far and wide across the world. Wherever the blossoms of gentle violet energy landed, they laid down their subjects, bringing their minds forth to such enlightenment as they had never known. For the first time in their short existence, the melds knew true happiness, more and deeper than the simple euphoria of slaughter, more satisying and fulfilling than having a full belly, as it came with the knowledge that this mood, this feeling, would not dissipate and disappear with the contents of their guts.

* * * * * *

Shava and Zhar floated side by side, spirits high above Arsencia, so high that the vast continents of the world seemed small enough to fit in even Shava's tiny hands.

"This is how it must feel to be a star," breathed the gnomess, heart leaping at the sight of the wonder around her. Streams of purple light shot across the heavens around them, leaving bright, elegant trails that Shava did her best to trace and remember. She felt so wonderfully privileged to be able to witness this moment from so marvellous a viewpoint, such a miraculous sight that even Zhar seemed caught in rapture.

"Quite a vista, huh?" agreed Zhar. "Hey, you can see the Maughold from up here," he added, squinting down at the narrow land-bridge that made the Maughold's location so important to Envael's success as a nation, providing views of the ocean on both sides, large ports playing host to thousands of triremes, galleys, caravelles and fishing craft. "Send some happiness their way." Shava did as she was bid, reaching out with her agile mind, made all the more flexible by the distance she now felt from her body, taking hold of the lurid streaks of purity and sending them forth to the mighty fortress. The beauteous purple magnificence spread far and wide across the Maughold, and a moment later Shava felt the joy erupt forth from her compatriots in the Arap Datrebil, emotions reaching forth to her, sensing her presence in the sky and sending her their love. Shava redirected it, spreading it amongst the Vyre and the melds, enjoying herself immensely.

"Time to go, sweetheart," announced Zhar, suddenly translocating himself to float beside her. "You're tiring something awful. If you stay up here much longer your body won't be able to bring you back. Besides," he added, a twinkle present in his so often dead eyes, "I think our work here is done."





((There we go. Conclusions. Zhar and Shava have given true sentience to the Vyre and the melds and made everyone's day a bit nicer, though they're now both going to be out of it for a while. Time to head on out (the way we haven't been yet) and we'll see where that road leads. ;)))
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