< Asking After A Ring | Sol Invictus Logs | Meeting With Selonis >
- Markuran stands ready to rush forward, unless someone makes a move showing him something else is wiser.
- Birds addresses the clump. "Stranger! We greet you."
- Zahara clears her throat, "Greetings, guardian of Denandsor." she says, slowly and clearly in High Realm. "We have come to speak with you."
- Cerin places a restraining hand on Marku's shoulder. He sends restraint through the unity
- Zahara repeats herself in Old Realm, just to be sure.
- Birds is now known as Birds-of-Trinity
- Zahara mutters to Cerin, "show that pin again"
The creature's tentacles writhe in response, with the human anatomy within shifting and changing as they do.
- Cerin steps forward, all three badges on display. This, he thinks, will have one of two results...
- Markuran shivers, standing his ground with great hesitation. The others would certainly notice such a dramatic change in the normal bluster and bravery of the husky warlord, as cold sweat beads on his brow and his eyes dart.
- Zahara notes such with amusement as she brings her mental strength to bear, fighting off the fear, letting it sweep over her and slide off like blood on her specially treated dress.
The giant eyeball begins to glow malevolently with a red and black light as it gazes at Cerin's display. A voice like ten thousand children whispering at once answers from somewhere deep within the beast: "Soooolaaaaaar."
- Cerin shines the castemark on his forehead "I am he who was once Ymir."
The eye gazes at him intently, and the voice rises again. "You have returned."
- Cerin nods "We have returned. We have need of the city and it's resources. What is your role here?"
- Markuran twitches, taking a step back.
The creature rises upon its tentacles and begins to walk, its one giant eye swinging much closer to the Solars' position. "We came crawling here, out of the light of the sun, long ago."
It slides its way up to Cerin, its eye almost touching him.
- Zahara places a comforting/restraining hand on Markuran's shoulder, sending to him through the Unity a sense of support tinged with the barest hint of irony.
- Cerin meets it's gaze without flinching. "And before that?"
<TentacleMonster?> "Do you remember us?"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "US?" Birds does not notice that she is projecting intense fascination through the Unity.
- Markuran flinches at Zahara's hand, looking around hurridly to be sure it isn't the tentacle monster.
- Zahara smiles slightly at Marku's reaction before returning her full attention to the creature in front of her. It recognizes Cerin's pin, so surely they had met them before, in their past lives. She stares unblinkingly at the monster, fixing its giant eye, its various appendages, its tentacles and the way it moves in her mind, then searching for a correlating memory.
Zahara has a sudden flash, of the kind she's grown only too familiar with lately.
She sees a field, with a city jutting upwards from it -- a city of emerald and glass, with gleaming towers reaching for the sky; winged men and women astride brilliant steeds of light swoop above it, striking vicious blows at the shimmering blue insects that buzz around it.
On the ground, the tentacled creature -- larger still than now -- moves towards the city. In his wake, the grass withers and dies. As it reaches the wall, one massive tentacle rises up and smashes through with little effort; soldiers begin to scatter at its advance. A single tendril reaches out and touches one, and his body becomes fused almost instantly with the beast....
Zahara returns to the present.
- Markuran takes a deep breath and lets the warmth of the sun flow through his body and mind, flooding outward. The confidence and valor of the barbarian warlord is made clear for all to see and such is the force of it that it restores even the badly shaken Markuran. Knowing that his magic can work only because he himself has these qualities in great measure, they return to him and his heart and mind calm until he matches the image he shows.
<Zahara> "You fought in the city of emerald and glass."
The eyeball shifts to look at Zahara, again closer than would be comfortable. "YOU remember us."
- Zahara stands her ground, wondering slightly at how the creature seems so eager to endanger its gigantic jellylike eyeball. "I do. For I am Talmuda reborn." as she speaks her own castemark flares to life.
- Zahara steps forward in order to make the distance even more uncomfortably close.
The beast's eye flashes brilliantly, nearly blinding the Solars. "YOU!"
- Kai mutters inaudibly, "Oh Hell."
- Cerin doesn't blink, but does shift subtlely into a more combative pose.
- Zahara closes her eyes briefly, and at the end of the blink there is a daiklave blade perilously close to the vitreous eyeball. "Me."
- Birds-of-Trinity twitches nervously, and adjusts her footing.
The eye's color shifts suddenly from brilliant red to bright, awful green, and a single tentacle rises up to strike at Zahara.
<Zahara> "I wouldn't do that if I were you." she says softly, but clearly.
- Cerin blazes with whitegold light as his bow appears in his hands.
- Birds-of-Trinity places a hand on her forehead and pulls out a sword of crystallised smoke.
The tentacle rips downward faster than Zahara could've expected, its mouths crying out painfully as it does so, its fingers reaching out to pull at her....
- Markuran does not hesitate, bellowing a fury-filled howl and launching himself at the tentacled monster before it can strike Zahara. All the humiliation and rage Markuran felt at the fear this beast inspired in him is repaid in blood and slime as the beast's tentacles shatter under his blows.
Marku's blows strike the beast with a great ferocity, tearing deeply into one of the great tendrils. What seems to be a mixture of human blood and vile, purple ichor shoots out with explosive force, coating the barbarian instantly.
As its thousand voices howl with the pain of its injury, its tendrils lash out, striking at the Solars viciously.
- Zahara 's ice blades leave streaks of ice behind as they intercept the tentacles aimed her way with a crystalline flash
- Kai slips between Markuran and Zahara, as Daybreaker glows a dim black. As the tentacles whip towards the group, golden light suffuses the blade, and it whips up, and as it neatly catches each tentacle, it bites visciously back, moving to sever.
- Markuran sneers as he smashes away one of the writing tentacles, but the second takes him in the chest despite his efforts to block it's oncoming slimy mass.
- Cerin flickers and blurs, twisting aside from the flurry of tendrils, essence pushing through the channels in his armour, warping space around him.
- Birds-of-Trinity shrieks as tentacles fall around her.
- Zahara 's twin blades of Flame move to intercept the appendages that attempt to end Birds.
One of the tentacles strikes Birds square in the gut and flings her across the room, where she slams violently into a dusty wall.
After the first barrage of tentacles, Kai darts toward the obvious target, growling visciously as Daybreaker lunges at the sickly green eye.
- Zahara flicks her arm backwards, towards Birds, and a sesselja flies out of her hand, towards her.
The beast shifts slightly and Kai's blade misses the eye, but plunges deep into the knot of tendrils it is exuded from. More ichor shoots out to coat the Solars and the screams grow yet louder.
- Cerin strings motes of golden light from his anima across the bow of sunlight before him, streaking through the strobe flashes of the primordial thing's tenctacles.
The beast attempts to bat away the arrow, but it strikes true nonetheless, exploding the single eye in a brilliant shower of green fluids.
- Birds-of-Trinity grabs the sesselja and thrusts it into her stomach. Then she staggers to her feet and snarls, "You did NOT just get DISGUSTING BEHEMOTH ICHOR all over me!" She vanishes in a bird-shaped blur of darkness as she runs up to the beast. "NOBODY gets disgusting ichor all over me!"
The beast's remaining tentacles flail wildly throughout the room, crashing into the walls and sending dust pouring down over the Solars
<Zahara> "I TOLD you not to try that, didn't I? But No, you just couldn't bother listening." she scolds as she wipes ichor from her eyes and mouth in disgust. "Why does no one ever listen to me?" She wades through the gouts of sticky bloodgoo, her Daiklave raised high, then slashes five times in quick succession, her blade seeming hungry for the flesh of the being. Behind her, the bell tolls its doom.
<Zahara> "Do you surrender?" she demands as a single blow strikes through its defenses.
The beast shudders as the cold clang of the bell washes over its primeval body.
<TentacleMonster?> "Why do you come to destroy me again?" the creature manages to say, through bleeding and bruised mouths.
<Zahara> "You are the one who attacked us." she notes reasonably.
- Markuran wipes ichor from his face, snarling. "The question is why are we stopping.."
<Zahara> "We came to gain the use of the Hematite Legion."
<Cerin> "And of the city itself."
- Zahara nods, flicking some of the creatures blood off of her arm. "We WILL destroy you again if you give us reason. OR you may work WITH us. It is... your choice."
The creature heaves, blood and ichor continuing to spurt from it in thouroughly improbable quantities.
- Markuran flexes his wrist and the ichor covering his arms ignite into burning golden flames, blazing like naphtha until they burn away entirly, leaving Markuran clean. "Your decision is required now."
<TentacleMonster?> "I withdraw from this place. I cannot keep it from its... former masters. You will allow me to leave, if you wish to make use of anything within."
<Zahara> "To where will you go?"
<TentacleMonster?> "Down, into the roots of the world, where your hideous kind will never trouble my slumber."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "We have no need to expel you, unless you wish it of something born in your own heart."
<Zahara> "We were quite pretty before you bled all over us."
<Markuran> "I still am."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "At the same time, I don't suspect that any of us will plead with you to grace us with your continued company."
<Zahara> "From the back, maybe."
- Markuran glowers at Zahara.
- Cerin sends a brief flicker of ..concern though the unity, though nothing too serious.
- Zahara smiles serenely at Marku, sending a flicker of questioning back
<Markuran> "You must swear never to return unbidden by one of us here to the waking world of Creation."
- Cerin idly fingers the night caste seal, and thinks back to when he found it...
- Zahara raises a brow at this highly unheard of intelligent thought from Marku.
<Markuran> "Swear on your Name, behemoth."
- Zahara places her hand on the eyesocket so he can swear properly
<TentacleMonster?> The beast pauses. "I will not return to the surface world unless bidden."
<Zahara> "On your name."
<Markuran> "Bidden by one of the Solars standing here."
<TentacleMonster?> "By one of these five Solars. I, Endu, swear this."
<Zahara> "Then you may leave. Perhaps our next meeting will be a pleasant one."
The creature slides towards a sizeable crack in the far wall. It untangles its central tentacular mass, revealing how little actual mass it has -- then it slips into the crack and is gone.
- Zahara squeezes out her hair. "I think that went well, personally."
- Markuran nods. "Now, we have a legion to recruit."
<Kai> "I think it went gross..."
<Zahara> "That too."
- Markuran smiles brightly, utterly devoid of sticky ichor.
- Zahara walks over and gives Marku a big hug.
- Zahara lets go, slightly cleaner.
- Markuran gives Zahara a thump on the back that sends the slime on both of them flying off into the air. "I like you too, Zahara, but Cerin's watching and he's still dirty."
- Cerin 's Crimson Armour is now more burgandy. He walks over to the crack the creature left through, peering down.
- Zahara chuckles, "Yes, yes he is."
The crack continues downward indefinitely.
- Zahara walks back to Cerin and gives him a much better hug.
- Markuran steps to Birds's side. "Are you well, Birds?"
- Cerin sighs "Another..." he turns as she hugs him, his voice brightening "One."
- Zahara smiles, smearing his hair back out of his eyes a little. "One of what, dear?"
<Cerin> "A tunnel that leads down, without apparent end. There was one in the mine too."
<Zahara> "Ahhh, but no tentacle creature in the mine?"
<Markuran> "You think to find your ancient self in the void below the bowels of the world?"
<Cerin> "One of the hundredfold ... A type I had not seen before, with a body of flame, and obsidean claws. The claws are on my desk.."
- Zahara frowns thoughtfully, "I wonder if there actually are a hundred types"
<Markuran> "Why else be the "Hundredfold"?"
<Zahara> "Wouldn't it be fun to combine them into a new sort of behemoth?"
<Zahara> "Well, some people just like to exaggerate. For instance the eightysevenfold doesn't sound as nice."
- Cerin laughs
- Birds-of-Trinity takes Markuran's hand. "I have been better, and also worse."
- Markuran pats Birds free of the ichor with a solid smack, then gives her a quick hug. "I am glad.
<Cerin> "Now that everyone is alright...We still need to find the General."
<Zahara> "I would like to see those claws of yours, Cerin. I have an intriguing idea."
<Zahara> "Perhaps we should take a bit of time to meditate and regain our energy."
<Kai> "And clean the goo off."
- Cerin nods. "Yes..."
- Zahara finds a clean spot, and arranges herself in a meditative position.
Some time later.
- Cerin unfolds from his meditative position and stands.
<Zahara> "I feel much better." she stands and stretches, feeling her muscles loosen.
- Kai stretches. "Are we ready?"
- Cerin nods.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "We're ready."
The fearful aura that permeated the city before has evaporated almost entirely; the solemn walls hold a new joy that seemed impossible just hours ago.
- Kai breathes deeply. "It even SMELLS better..."
<Zahara> "That's because Markuran stopped sweating so badly."
<Markuran> "I do not smell. Most of the time."
<Zahara> "It's a good thing we found that water." She wrings a bit of out out of her still damp hair.
- Cerin grins inside the helmet of his armour, now crimson once more "It was."
<Zahara> "Now, on to that glimpse of red and blue." she declares
<Cerin> "Green. Red and Green."
<Zahara> "Green, then. Lead on." she gestures.
- Cerin does so, extending his senses out to their fullest, looking over all the automata he can see, and the essence links between them, seeking the general
<Markuran> "Do you see anything, Cerin?"
<Markuran> "I'm certain I saw something in one of those bigger statues, hiding."
Cerin follows the finest traceries of Essence from one soldier to another, anxiously seeking the nexus that controls them.
- Zahara trails along behind him, looking for likely loot along the way
- Cerin strides swiftly and with purpose, avoiding the patrols as soon as he has determined the direction of the links. "It's up there." he says softly. Then he ignites his castemark and starts to climb, flowing up the side of the building.
- Zahara ascends behind him, though her footsteps fall not on the building but the air next to it.
- Markuran shakes his head, dubious, but follows, punching hand and footholds into the wall as he goes.
The building rises two hundred feet into the air, ending with a narrow platform.
Atop it stands a single automaton, in an outfit of brilliant red and green. Unlike its fellow soldiers, it is built of finer metals -- orichalcum can be seen in many places about its body.
<Zahara> "Ah, there's our boy."
- Zahara picks up speed.
- Cerin nods, and then makes sure the badge, now gleaming once more shows. Then he climbs faster, almost running up the side of the building.
- Markuran follows quickly
The platform has room for the Solars to stand around the general, albeit uncomfortably.
- Zahara inspects it for large red buttons, or anything else that looks like it might help to activate it.
- Birds-of-Trinity wanders up the platform and sits on the edge, swinging her feet.
- Kai pulls herself up onto the platform.
Cerin notices a small indentation upon the General's back -- just about the size of one of his pins.
- Cerin leaps lightly onto his shoulders and leans down, slipping the Solar pin into the indentation.
The general's gait quickly swings from bent over to sturdily upright, and its eyes glow with brilliant Solar light.
From across the city, a dull, clanking sound can be heard
<Markuran> "Good job Cerin!"
- Markuran claps the smaller man heartily on the shoulder. Then, warry. "Will he listen to you?""
- Cerin leaps lightly down from the generals shoulder, and lands before the general, castemark still lit, badges showing.
The general does not move from its upright position.
<Cerin> "General of the Hematite Legion, I am Cerin who was once Ymir, and it is time for the legion to march again."
The general stares solemnly forward. Its eyes crackle with sunlight.
- Markuran taps it sharply on the forehead. "Wake!"
There is no response.
- Markuran lets a bit of sunlight creep into his face, the mark of the Noon Sun glowing. "Wake! The Son of Sol Invictus at Meridian commands you!"
- Zahara places a hand on the automaton's shoulder and feeds it a bit of Essence
<Markuran> "Wake and tell us of your legion!"
- Markuran raps it in the face again.
<Cerin> "Marku, stop hitting it."
<Markuran> "It might help."
<Cerin> "It won't. Nothing gets better after you hit it."
<Markuran> "Tell that to the women from the Jubu Tribe..they give you these wonderful massages that involve beating your back until all the crincks are gone.."
<Zahara> "I could beat your back until the crinks are gone. And everything else, too."
- Markuran lightly taps the machine one more, unhappy. "Wake and rally your Legion and command them to follow us back to the Sunlands to defend against the invading God-Exalted, you stupid, broken machine.."
<Zahara> "But the sesseljae do a remarkable job as well. It's rather strange at first, but the are quite excellent at kneading your muscles from the inside."
<Cerin> "They are.."
- Birds-of-Trinity turns her head and says to the statue, "Would you mind carrying me on the way back, as well? I am terribly saddlesore from the dear agatae."
The General suddenly strides forward and beginsd walking down the outside wall of the building, towards the ground.
- Cerin leaps onto it's shoulders.
Looking over the edge, the Solars can see the massed regiments of the Hematite Legion rising and walking to meet it.
- Markuran turns to look at Cerin. "I told you hitting it would help."
<Cerin> "That was the intruction you gave it,,,"
- Markuran shakes his shaggy head. "The hitting."
- Cerin shakes his head slowly. How...
- Zahara shakes her head and walks over to Markuran, giving him a whack on the back.
- Markuran straightens. "Thank you, Zahara. That feels better."
<Zahara> "Mmmhmm. Now come on."
- Markuran drops down off the building, moving to inspect the rest of this highly unintelligent legion.
- Zahara loots!
<Cerin> "Zahara my love, would it not be more wise to leave things here, rather than carry them all the way to the sunlands. We can use this city a s base."
<Markuran> "Zahara, don't desecrate the city."
<Zahara> "My workshop is in the Sunlands. I have a much better chance of discovering how these things work there."
<Zahara> "And Markuran, I'm not desecrating it. *I* didn't leave great holes in the walls, now did I?"
<Markuran> "There's probably a better one here, if you don't break it by stealing it's powersource or something."
<Markuran> "Walls are unimportant."
<Cerin> "He does raise a reasonable point."
<Markuran> "Explain my point to her more clearly."
<Zahara> "I'm NOT taking powersources, I'm taking single items that look useful. Quit annoying me."
<Markuran> "And what if the single item IS a powersource but you dont KNOW it?"
<Markuran> "Or what if it's a boobytrap? A bomb?"
<Markuran> "Or a weird egg that implants larvae in your intestines?"
<Zahara> "You're just jealous taht I thought of it first." *she shakes a weird egg at Marku*
<Markuran> "I prefer to eat larvae, not incubate them.:"
(:tags Endu, First-Age Flashbacks, Hematite Legion :)
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