< Saving the Golden Light | Red Ice Logs | The Spider's Tarnished Web >
Leaving Cizin in the care of Iron Horse and Glory, the other two Exalted made their way back down the upwards sloping tunnel. Iron Horse was unhappy about not returning himself to finish the job, unsure if Charon might not like it, but he stayed with Glory to guide her back to a safe place to keep Cizin.
Alone in the anima-lit hall of the sacrificial well, Kinqueduran and Jaom slowly return to the place where the other lights were flashing in the hallway.
- Jaom keeps on rubbernecking, making sure to get in as much sightseeing as she can. "... so, Kin. Is this all business as usual for you? I have this feeling it is, and if so, you've got a wild life."
- Kinqueduran shrugs a little, rubbing the back of his neck. "Nah, this is kind of a slow day..."
A rumble comes from the ceiling above, in front and behind the two. It grows in volume as they walk forward.
Jaom: "... this is *slow*? I don't think I'm ready for fast."
- Jaom looks up nonetheless, getting all tense again.
- Kinqueduran also looks up, sighing. "I think it's about to speed up."
With the ceiling still rumbling ominously, Glory returns to the group! As the Solar regained his senses, he and Iron Horse were fast out-pacing Glory and she had let them head off on their own.
- Jaom chuckles. "Ah, well. At least we'll have a bit of fun along the way, eh?"
- Kinqueduran mumbles some obscure curse involving allergies, a certain Immaculate, and bloodstained genitalia. It didn't make much sense, mostly because he made it up on the spot.
Glory: "Your comrade moves very quickly."
- Kinqueduran shrugs. "We all have our talents."
Jaom: "I imagine yours is a constantly sour, gruff disposition?"
Kinqueduran: "I think of myself as a chipper ray of sunshine in a bleak and sad world."
- Jaom can't help but snicker a little at that.
The ceiling's rumbles grow louder.
- Glory rolls her eyes. "We should probably get out of here."
Kinqueduran: "Probably. We also probably shouldn't have embarked on this business to begin with. Now, let's retrieve these other two, then get out."
- Jaom nods. "Faster, the better. I really do not wanna know what's rumbling at us."
Kinqueduran: "I don't think we'll get a choice about meeting our rumbly buddy."
A few feet in front of Kin, a large block of stone falls from the ceiling.
- Kinqueduran pokes at it with his spear.
It lands without chipping nor shattering, simply falling into place, standing vertically on the floor. The top of the massive cube almost reaches the hole it vacated so recently. A few seconds later, preceded by a shower of dust, another block falls to the floor. Another. Another. Five more. Ten.
Kinqueduran: "Shit like that makes me nervous..."
- Glory grabs Jaom by the arm and starts to run for the stairs.
A veritable storm of thunder rolls through the hallway, echoing and resounding until all their pairs of ears are ringing like gongs. The last two blocks to fall block Glory's path of escape.
- Jaom is yanked, dragged along, then stopped as the way closes. "... yyyeah. I think our friend wants to meet us personally."
None of the three Exalted are touched by a falling stone, nor has the hallway been totally blocked. Instead, a number of obstacles have been placed in the hallway, which has somehow expanded into a vast cathedral like space.
- Kinqueduran walks calmly to the sources of the anima-lights, weaving around the falling stones.
Jaom: "Hoi, Glory. Might as well not leave Mister Sunshine alone to face the big nasty thing by himself, as amusing as the image would be."
- Kinqueduran calls back. "I'm sure I've faced worse."
- Kinqueduran continues the remark much more quietly, "Although, at the time, there was a team of Celestial Lions and Sidereals to deal with the problem."
Kin has no difficulty finding the source of the closest anima-glow, the silver sheen of a Lunar's flare. The block that holds the lunar in the ceiling is surrounded on all sides by fallen blocks of stone and in front of one, a man waits.
- Glory nods, releasing Jaom's arm as she turns to follow Kinqueduran. "Oh, thank you. Now it's certainly worse than you've ever faced. Besides, you're more useful alive."
- Kinqueduran smiles thinly and gives the guard a friendly wave.
- Jaom tags alongside Glory, making a face the entire time. "... huh. So much for big and nasty. So far, anyway."
- Guard does not smile or move. Just as naked as he was when Kin first saw him, hanging from the ceiling of a sacrificial chamber, the middle-aged Dragon Blood is in rough shape. Like all the others he has numerous holes in his body where his arteries were re-directed to spill his blood and fluids into the collecting basin. His brilliant blue eyes stare vacantly forward into Kin's red-orange gaze.
- Kinqueduran coughs slightly. "I need to retrieve the shiny silver guy. I'm sure you don't mind ... right?"
Guard: From a bloody rent in his once-smooth stomach a pair of bright yellow eyes stare out. A tentacle extends itself from the ghastly nestůsomething has made in the dead man's gut. At the end of the tentacle waves a goateed mouth. It smiles.
Guard: "You know the rules. You must answer my questions before seeing the prisoners."
Kinqueduran: "Right, right. Answer me these questions three, ere the other ... let's get on with it."
Guard: "Lean down so I may whisper the first question to you."
Jaom: "Um... that's not a good idea, Kin."
Kinqueduran: "I'd rather not. Bad back, doncha know."
- Guard sighs and strokes his goatee with smaller tentacles that extrude from the corpse's navel. "Step closer at least. You alone must answer. You know the rules, Abyssal!"
- Guard blinks yellow eyes at the air somewhere in the general vicinity of Kinqueduran, not focusing on the man's form.
Kinqueduran: "I think you have me mistaken for somebody else. I'm not Abyssal."
- Glory coughs politely, holding up her hand. "Over here."
- Kinqueduran glances over his shoulder briefly, then back. "Oh, right. Yeah, her."
Guard: "No? What are you then? A servant? Why is a servant talking to me? Be gone servant! Or I will make my next home in your belly!"
- Jaom pauses a moment to blink, then chuckles into her hand.
Guard: "Abyssal! Come and lean close!!"
- Glory walks up to the guard, giving Kin a pat on the shoulder.
- Kinqueduran somehow withholds the urge to try to strangle the thing, replacing it with a grin. "Better horrific monsters than you have tried."
- Guard screeches in rage!!!! "How dare a servant speak to ME, Dobrinastevoski the Visceral Guardian in such a TONE!"
- Jaom sidles over to Kin and pats him on the shoulder. "Your 'Abyssal' impersonation is impeccable, sirrah."
Guard: "Abyssal, punish this fool!"
- Kinqueduran rolls his eyes. "Really now, do you have to raise your voice?"
- Glory looks over at Kin, and slides her eyes up and down. "..I think I can arrange something appropriate later."
- Kinqueduran inches away from Glory just a little, "Don't give me that look..."
Glory: "Heh heh heh. Now, go stand over there. We'll talk afterwards."
Kinqueduran: "Oh no. No, no. I'm staying right here, and if Tentacle Jones has anything to say about it, I'll tear his damn face off."
Guard: "They boil me alive. My middle skin clothes the rich. I small and green."
- Jaom looks between the two. "Kin, really. We're trying to get out of here."
- Kinqueduran shrugs. "I'm not all that worried."
Guard: "You may only answer once, Abyssal."
Kinqueduran: "How many times can the rest of us answer?"
Guard: "SILENCE SERVANT!"
- Kinqueduran dons a falsetto and a momentary limp-wristed mannerism, "I'm a tentacle-monster! You be quiet! Pooty-pooty-poo!"
- Glory reaches over and firmly grasps Kin's neck with one hand, rubbing her chin with the other.
- Jaom groans a little and runs a hand through her hair. "Adults these days..."
Kinqueduran: "Ow! Hey!"
Guard: "Your answer, Abyssal?"
- Kinqueduran pries himself from Glory's grip, settling the shield on his shoulder again.
Guard: "Blue as the spring sky. Clear as water, eye of cats. White star in a stone."
Glory: "Star sapphire."
Guard: "Red bile from his lips. Cool waste brings life to tiny things. Belches like thunder."
- Kinqueduran rubs the bridge of his nose. "It's a damn volcano. Let's move on."
- Jaom taps a finger to her lips, thinking about that one.
Guard: "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ANSWER, SLAVE!"
- Kinqueduran gives Tentacle Jones the finger.
Guard: "I will allow another response, FROM THE ABYSSAL. But as a penalty, I shall unleash my most difficult riddle upon your rebellious heads!"
- Kinqueduran sighs. "Do either of you mind terribly if I just kill this thing?"
Jaom: "I mind. Let's not cause any more trouble than we have to... I'm tired and I sorely need a bath. More gore won't help."
- Kinqueduran gestures dismissively. Clearly, gore doesn't bug him too much - after all, he's drenched in blood, some of it his own.
- Glory sighs heavily, produces both of her daiklaves, and launches them at the dead man's stomach. The blades cross over each other in mid-flight, spinning rapidly in a kind of makeshift drill.
With a disgusting, sucking slurp the demon coils back into the dead Terrestrial's abdominal cavity, sealing his flesh and muscle behind its trailing tentacles. One section of the abdominal wall doesn't close in time and Glory's blades snick through, slicing the belly back open to allow the next strike a clear shot at the creature burrowing quickly into the better protection of the Exalt's chest cavity.
- Kinqueduran lunges forward, his shield rolling off of his shoulder and into his hand before the burnished brass face slams into the Exalt's chest, sending disorienting vibration and ringing through the corpse to shake the demon as K's right hand darts forward, ripping into the gut of the DB to clutch the demon's wriggling "throat"
- Jaom draws forth the Lady... but makes a face as Kin actually reaches in and *grabs* the damned thing. Whatever she was about to do goes out the window, and she just stands at the ready, sword up. "... you're a loon, Kin."
- Kinqueduran withdraws his arm rapidly, yanking the demon forcibly from its host, and then slams the creature against a nearby fallen stone block a few times, pausing to glance at Jaom. "What? What'd I do?"
A scuttling, crablike creature with blind, solid yellow eyes waves clawed, chitinous legs in the air impotently. The mass of tentacles that extrude from the "head" area of the crab's hollow body whip to and fro.
- Kinqueduran shakes the demon vigorously while speaking to the other two. "Do you think it'll have any useful information for us?"
Glory: "It's worth a try."
- Kinqueduran continues shaking the demon, addressing it. "Well, Tentacle Jones, do you have anything to say for yourself?"
- Jaom just... stares at Kin like he did something quite nuts, if relatively safe, and got away with it.
In a high, squeaky voice the creature begins screaming. "NIMBUS DEMONS! NIMBUS DEMONS! TRAITORS! ROGUES! VILLIANS!"
- Glory flips her swords back onto their bracers. "So melodramatic."
- Kinqueduran sighs and begins beating the demon against the rocks again, but this time actually slinging the poor thing around hard enough to injure it.
- Kinqueduran continues slapping the hapless demon against a rock as he glances at his circle, shrugging. "If he'd just been a little more polite. I tried being nice, you know, and look how it turned out."
- Jaom sighs and shakes her head. "What ever am I going to do with you?"
Waiting for Kin to be distracted, the tiny demon grabs onto the wall and starts attempting to scuttle away to give warning of the three villinous intruders
- Kinqueduran keeps a tight grip and just swings harder.
Glory: "Of course. 'Pooty-pooty-poo' is the height of refined manners."
Jaom: "At this point, I'm not sure whether he's trying to kill it or just take out his anger on it... Glory, what do we have to do before we can leave again?"
Kinqueduran: "That was after the rudeness, not during." Shrugging again, he keeps bashing the demon brutally against the rocks.
- Guard is foiled in his escape attempt. In a last ditch hope to save himself, the little tentacle crab lunges its goateed mouth toward Kin's scowling face, attempting to kiss him. No doubt, the intentions behind the kiss are dire.
- Kinqueduran 's other hand comes up in a fist, greeting the kiss with steel-encased knuckles.
- Glory smiles a little. "Well, first we watch Kinqueduran's life-and-death struggle against something a tenth his size.."
- Kinqueduran shrugs. "Well, I'm having fun."
Jaom: "I'm ready to get out of here. Enough madness for one day."
Kinqueduran: "We should probably retrieve the shiny silver fellow. And the other light."
After another ten seconds, Kin gives the visceral guardian a particularly nasty bash against the wall and it explodes. Soft, mucus covered tentacles fly everywhere in a spray of sharp-edged chitin shell and yellow-brown ichor.
Glory: "Yes, we need to acquire the two other Exalted. And then meet up with the other two, hopefully more competent, Synodics."
Kinqueduran: "We love you too."
- Glory takes a moment to spit out a hearty mouthful of the ichor, pulling a cloth out from her pocket and wiping the remainder of the gunk off her face.
- Kinqueduran frowns, looking down at the new spattering of gore on his armor. "I think I'm just going to have to throw this suit away."
Glory: "Oh, I'll get you a new one."
- Jaom attempts to avoid the mess, momentarilly whipping about not unlike burning grass in the middle of an inferno. Nonetheless, she ends up as well-slimed, charred grass.
Jaom: "... nasty!"
- Glory continues to wipe the ichor off. Curiously, the nasty stuff just slides right off her dress.
Kinqueduran: "How very kind of you, Glory. I'm sure you can guess what color I'd prefer."
Glory: "Oh, but soulsteel would set off your eyes so nicely."
Kinqueduran: "Maybe so, but it would clash with my shield and lance."
The orange in Kin's eyes flickers slightly.
- Jaom then walks over to Kin and hands out a generally-harmless swat to the back of the head. "Rrrrr."
Above the three and the dead demon, the Lunar's prison shimmers.
- Kinqueduran blinks, gives Jaom a 'what was that for?' look, then turns to the altered light with renewed focus.
Glory: "Hm. I'll have to consider this. Something appropriate for your station.."
- Glory muses, apparently lost in the word of fashionable equipment.
- Kinqueduran reaches over and snaps his fingers in front of Glory's face.
Jaom: "The mess. You'll pay me back later."
Kinqueduran: "Not likely, I'm not getting paid anymore."
Jaom: "I'll figure something out, trust me."
- Glory starts. "Right! I think I have something in the Mountain, but that's a fair distance away."
Kinqueduran: "Things like that also make me nervous."
Kinqueduran: "Anyway. Business."
- Kinqueduran prods the Lunar's prison experimentally with his lance.
Identical to the Solar's prison, the block of stone TIN Gs? like stone.
Jaom: "I don't think you're supposed to kill this one."
Kinqueduran: "I wasn't planning to."
- Jaom can't help but smile a tad.
- Glory stands back. "..So, Kinqueduran, get to it."
Kinqueduran: "Oh, I was going to let you have at this one."
Glory: "No, no, it's okay."
- Kinqueduran shrugs, moving into a lower stance for leverage, then drives the lance upward at a possibly-imagined fault line in the stone.
- Kinqueduran frowns slightly, running the tip of his tongue along his teeth. "Alright...all of us try."
A corner of the rock falls away, landing in a splatter of fragments at Kin's feet.
Jaom: "Need a hand, glorious warrior man?"
Glory: "I can cut away the ceiling again."
- Kinqueduran ignores Jaom. "Please do."
- Jaom flicks Kin off behind his back.
- Glory begins the long and arduous process of slicing away large chunks of the ceiling with her chain-swords.
Between Glory, Jaom and Kinqueduran the Lunar's prison is swiftly crashing to the floor, smooshing the already smashed remains of the tentacle crab. After another several minutes of fast and difficult blade work, Kin and Glory release an elderly-looking and very confused Lunar.
- Kinqueduran takes charge, frighteningly enough. "No time to explain, you need to come with us, don't ask too many questions."
Jaom: ".... yeah, what he said. And quickly. This place isn't the friendliest."
- Gorbin looks startled. In a thick northern accent, the man nods, brushing thinning grey hair out of small, bright eyes. The gesture reveals a shimmeringly silver birthmark on his forehead.
- Kinqueduran moves past the Lunar to the one remaining light, glancing up at her.
The faintly pulsing yellow light seems somehow familiar to Kinqueduran. But his ears pick up the fast-approaching thunder-rumble of the nimbus demons, coming to the many loud crashes and screams of the tentacle crab.
- Kinqueduran sighs, looking over his shoulder at the other three, then back at the light. "This one! All three of you, we need to hurry!"
Jaom: "Oh, hell, sure, after you kill the fucking thing! Face up to your messes, pal!"
- Jaom is smiling, it should be noted.
- Glory grunts, hurls her swords physically into the stone prison, and wrenches downward.
Jaom: "... nonetheless, we need to hurry up. *Now*. I can hear 'em coming!"
Kinqueduran: "I agree, now let's go! You!" He points at the Lunar. "Lend us a hand!"
Glory: "A.. little help would.. be appreciated!"
- Gorbin blinks blearily. "But should we not be leaving?"
- Kinqueduran takes hold of one of the chains and puts all his strength into it, pulling the prison down as he calls back at the Lunar. "I said help us, dammit!"
- Gorbin shuffles over to the three others and looks up. Reaching for one of the chains he too lends his strength to pulling it down.
- Jaom throws in as much as she can as well. "Damn it all!"
- Kinqueduran grunts, hooking the slim head of the starmetal lance through a chain link, and uses the weapon as a lever to throw more force into the endeavor.
Jaom: "You figure... this would be easier with... certain doom close at hand..."
With a spectacular maneuver, Jaom tangles herself in Glory's arms as she yanks backwards. The still bleary Gorbin tries to assist the women, only to be kicked in the teeth by a struggling Jaom. Kin is momentarily stunned by this insane spectacle, losing his concentration.
- Kinqueduran groans, irritated, and drops his lance. He leaps up, catching the chain and spinning to plant his feet against the ceiling, using his legs to push as his arms hold tightly to the chain to pull the stone down.
Jaom: "Fuck! Sorry!"
- Glory leans down, giving Jaom a quick peck on the lips before tossing the Fire Aspect into the air, wrapping the chains around her arms, and giving a mighty yank before catching the young woman as she falls.
- Kinqueduran releases the chain as he pushes off of the ceiling in an inverted backflip, landing on his feet behind the two women.
- Jaom doesn't even have time to think about blushing as she gets a good grip on a chain in midair and pulls all the way down with a mighty (and somewhat unladylike) grunt. "Rrrrrgh! Stupid..."
Gorbin: From the shattered ceiling block falls Kinqueduran's old partner, Nine Roads Sojourner. The matronly Yellow sighs but remains far too tired by her ordeal to open her eyes or move herself.
- Kinqueduran blinks, very human concern suddenly upon his face. Forgetting his lance, he is immediately at the Yellow's side, shaking her gently. "Nine...?"
Jaom: "It can wait, Kin. We need to be out of here, *now*!"
- Nine Roads blinks her eyes open. "Carmine? Is that you? Oh..Carmine..I'm so glad.."
- Glory retracts her daiklaves, mounting them on the bracers. She seems oddly unexhausted. "Yes, happy reunions can be performed later."
- Kinqueduran glances back at Jaom with a small nod and unceremoniously drapes Nine-Roads over his shoulder, then kneels to grab his lance. "No time to explain, we'll talk later."
- Nine Roads whispers softly to Kin's gorey back. "They took my...
- Nine Roads falls fast asleep, head nestled between Kin's shoulder blades.
Gorbin: "We ahre leaving now?"
- Kinqueduran glances back at the others. "Yes. Now. Go."
Glory: "Oh yes."
- Glory heads for the exit with all possible speed.
- Kinqueduran beats a quick path as well, though he does try to avoid shaking Nine excessively.
- Jaom busts as much ass in trying to keep up with the group as her legs allow.
< Saving the Golden Light | Red Ice Logs | The Spider's Tarnished Web >