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charlequin The Solars' plan is clear: attack the Lily's stronghold in Crystal in order to disrupt their war effort.

charlequin Now, with their forces overcommitted after the feint in Chaya, is the perfect time to strike!

charlequin Gathered outside the gate, they prepare -- at LONG last -- to finally journey to the frigid north.

Zahara brings along a contingent of demons; she's been a bit cranky with them since their trip to Hell, and does not arm nor armor then as she had been planning to do previously.

Thirteen "Remember, our goal is to seize the Lily's secret weapon, not to get overly embroiled in combat. Please allow Zahara's...companions...to engage the enemy while we proceed as rapidly as possible. There will be plenty of time for amusement later."

Zahara "I'm sure they will be a fantastic distraction. I have instructed them to be." she glances over her shoulder at them. They look unhappy.

Kai joins the group quietly, bundled in a heavy black cloak, her new blade at her side.

Lucent has the Bugs out of Amika already, and is currently too busy shivering.

Lucent "... the North sucks."

Zahara "If you but will it, the cloak I gave you will warm you."

Cerin leaps down from atop the small building he was standing on, the crimson ribbons flickering in the breeze. "Well, it is quiet for the moment."

charlequin The arrival gate leaves the Solars in a cold, icy cave, the remnants of some wild animal's last meal bloodily covering the ground. Though a heavy blizzard blows across the land and reduces visibility, the outline of Crystal itself can be made out....

Zahara "Hmmm. It is an unpleasant Pole, though, isn't it?"

Birds untangles her arms from an overly voluminous coat.

Thirteen "I have seen worse, but it is certainly not among the most amusing places to visit."

Lucent closes his eyes... and feels the warmth. He opens them with the pools of gold appearing to dance, "They... do!"

Lucent jumps and hugs Zee, "Thaaank you!" then steps away. "Erm sorry... and hell was nicer, 13. No cold!"

Zahara blinks, and eyes Lucent strangely. "You're.. quite welcome, Lucent."

Zahara smiles, then

Thirteen ::Zahara, can you spare two demons from your coterie?:: This thought is for her alone.

charlequin The city of Crystal, with its brutal and sharp-edged buildings, becomes more clearly visible for a moment as the blizzard briefly ebbs. The buildings are functional at best and arrayed on an unforgiving grid, and smoke pours out of various odd locales.

charlequin The more sharp-eyed members might notice something more unusual -- the rather large, rough-edged metallic animals patrolling intently up and down the city streets.

Cerin seems unphased by the cold, and even by Luc's strange action. He leaves Zahara's side, walking ahead of the group, turning his attention on the hundredfold before him.

Zahara ::For what?::

Thirteen ::Kai. She is aggressively flightly, and exposes herself to unnecessary danger. Please detail them to covertly accompany her, with orders to sacrifice themselves without question or qualm if she seems to be under an attack she is not ready to face. I will not have her kidnapped again.::

Lucent watches Cerin, "How can you be like that even in this cold...?"

Cerin "The cold?"

Cerin grins shortly after he speaks

Zahara ::Heh. An excellent idea.:: She selects two of her demons and instructs them well.

Thirteen "Hm. More metallic Hundredfold. I wonder whether they are related to the Aalorai, or whether it is just a popular building material."

Thirteen ::My thanks, Zahara.::

charlequin The creatures clank roughly up and down the streets of the city. They appear to essentially be a collection of rough plates and scraps of metal, held together with the finest traceries of ice-cold air essence, and tiny tendrils of rime coat their edges and fall into icicles on their faces.

Zahara "Hmm I wonder what a Counterspell would do to them... I don't believe I've tried that on Hundredfold yet. Probably nothing, though." she frowns slightly

Cerin "They bear no relation."

Lucent makes a face, muttering "Damn you."

Thirteen "The gods are uncreative."

Zahara "No?" she focuses her Essence sight on the creatures, to see if they look to be magical constructs or some such."

Birds "If I were to make Hundredfold, they would not be so...conspicuous."

Cerin "Well, they are hundredfold. But not of the same maker as the Aalorai."

charlequin A living Essence definitely animates the creatures, and a cold intelligence lies behind their eyes.

charlequin No one human in shape is particularly visible anywhere in the city today.

Kai "If you made them, they would be fifteen foot tall biscuits who wandered around singing ballads."

Lucent "Now, Cerin needs to draw that."

Birds contemplates this.

Birds "Biscuits -are- delicious."

Kai "You would porbably bake them little hats."

Cerin grins. "Kai speaks the truth."

Kai "and then I would feel bad for eating one of your divine minstrels."

Thirteen "If she made them as pastries, presumably they would be intended to be eaten."

Thirteen "They would probably take it as inspiration."

Birds "Once they are fully baked, of course."

Lucent "To sing songs about their own deliciousness?"

Birds "The adulation of the masses browns them with its spiritual heat!"

Kai "Well, then. I should like my divine minstrel with rasberries, and maybe a little frosting."

Cerin "Perhaps if we can get back into the matter at hand?"

Birds nods to Cerin. "Please, lead the way!"

Cerin "Well, I would think if Zahara had the bulk of her demons charge the lions, and then we move past, unless we are to attack them from here?"

Thirteen_ "Indeed, Cerin. We may proceed at our leisure."

Zahara unleashes the demon hordes!

charlequin Large groups of demons pour down the slopes towards the city. It doesn't take long for the first of the creatures in the city to notice and begin to charge upwards to meet them.

charlequin As they grow closer, it can be seen that they're more like some sort of horrific lion-spider, with serrated spines running down their backs and onto their long and flexible tails.

charlequin The crunch as the two forces encounter each other echoes loudly across the vast and empty snow plains.

Birds smiles.

Birds "Ah, the sound of battle."

charlequin As the demons begin to screech their horrific battle wails, a strange, muted glow begins to arise from the city below. Something is happening.

Cerin studies the glow with curiousity as it builds

Birds "What's that?"

Birds floats closer to it.

charlequin There's some sort of intense artificial Essence buildup going on within the city. Fire, air, and celestial Essence all slip past each other rapidly in the rapidly growing field as Crystal becomes more intensely suffused.

Lucent watches, cursing himself for not having the ability to sense essence... ::Cerin, just what...?::

Thirteen "Quickly. We must disable and seize the superweapon. This is no coincidence."

Cerin "No, I don't believe it is." He starts to flow down the hill.

Kai "I am really sick of mysterious glows..." Kai mutters.

Thirteen darts rapidly towards the city, swatting absently at a few lion-spiders who turn their attention from their demon assailants to him.

charlequin As the Solars begin to charge, a point of light appears beyond the outskirts of the city, brilliant reddish-white, and it spreads in two directions, cutting a jagged, fractal shape -- like an elaborate snowflake -- into the earth, the glow from this new fissure growing more and more intense as it grows to encircle the entire city.

Lucent closes his eyes, and Amika begins to rise from the snow and ice under him... "Anyone wants a lift?" Thirteen and Birds could fly and blink, after all...

Kai hops on the great beast, no match for its speed in this weather.

Tags: (:tags Crystal, Haslanti, Hundredfold, Rimeladen :)

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