< In The Summer Palace 2 | Sol Invictus Logs | Mopping Up The Flowers >

charlequin The pleasure palace is completed. Massive bonfires burn tall as part of the opening celebration. The Solars are drawing near the end of their great presentation, about to utter their surprising proclamation to the assembled people of Chaya....

Lucent The stage is impressive. The bonfires, the blossoms all around, all reading the poems... as Lucent steps into the stage. At first, he is unimpressive - a little boy overlooking a crowd that fills the eye, almost unseen.

Lucent But then, seven orbs with the seven lights come from him, as they shine as if endorsing his words. One shines more, as he speaks. His words soft, his voice innocent.

Lucent The sunlight bathes him to the point where it seems to come only from him... covering the sun orb itself, making a four-armed masked figure appear... becoming majestic like a king.

Lucent A voice that at first touched all hearts in a soft way, not even there, begins to dominate, soon the only thing in their eyes, ears and minds. A king, a lord, the voice of heaven... and yet, still young. A voice that do not know evil, that does not know treachery or lie.

Lucent A voice they can believe, with the authority of heaven behind it, as he speaks of the Sunland's admiration of Chaya. How he wished they had their help in those troubled times, the woes of the Sunlands as they get ready to face the most powerful empire in the world, the Realm. But then he goes to what he admires...

Lucent ... as he speaks of their admiration of their virtue, the one thing the Sun exults the most. That virtue is the path to greatness, to Exaltation. His words speak of heaven, of order, and of man's dignity, and how all is tied to the soul's strength, to virtue, to that which drives the will, and makes a man great, unto a god.

Lucent How the people of Chaya had so much virtue, something to admire, in both their friends, in their foes. And so, they were honored to be there. So honored, they offered the people of Chaya a boon - let their voices call out what they most desired, and the champions of the sun would do so for them. In their honor, in honor of their virtue.

Lucent And then the golden light falls, and the lord leaves, leaving only the boy, endorsing his final words with pure, unassuming innocence... and that also leaves... leaving only the moon.. and the stars in turn.

charlequin There is a deep, pregnant pause as Luc finishes his speech, and the implications of his statements hang in the air.

charlequin Then, one Chayan raises a cry, and suddenly, his countrymen begin to move out in a great mass. Though the red blossoms are spread over much of the nation, the greatest concentration of them lie in a vast grove near the center of the city. The group begins at once to move towards them.

Zahara finds even herself mildly moved by the speech. And contemplates her various virtues.

Zahara rises, and Tantamount and Reaver fly down from their gargoyle-like perches above. Reaver mounts her shoulder, and she mounts Tanty, and they prepare to fly off to do battle!

Thirteen lets a crooked smile cross his face as he follows in the wake of the crowd, identifying those who will likely die in the upcoming battle.

charlequin From above, the trees can be seen. Their brilliant red flowers are yet to bloom in this year, so their branches are filled only with small green leaves and tiny pink buds. The Chayan people, inflamed by the speech (and already sucsceptible to poor impulse control) march steadily towards them.

Cerin sits atop the palace, melding with the shadows, watching and waiting for something interesting to happen.

Lucent "Not my best moment, but... ah well." He shrugs as the Coronal retrets into him, and walks down... the crowd parting for him, his essence blazing as he prepares for battle. /I will try to make it so few of you die now.../

Thirteen twirls his spear as he heads towards the trees, tracing a blazing circle, half bright, half dark, which swirls around him before dissipating into his growing anima.

charlequin As the Chayans descend into the grove to begin striking at the trees, Cerin notices a spot of Essence beginning to focus itself in a spot perhaps a quarter mile or a little more from the border of the grove.

Birds floats up into the air to join her companions.

charlequin As Cerin looks closely, he recognizes the Essence as having a familiar tinge -- that of Kasima the Knife. He sees it start to spread from a single point outwards to form a rapidly lengthening line of dark Essence.

Cerin ::It has started:: Cerin remarks as he concentrates more on the spot, trying to discern it's purpose and nature ::Kasima the knife is arriving.::

Birds ::Good. It will be good poetry for HER to be the edge first blunted.::

Zahara ::Lovely. I do like purple.::

Thirteen ::Mm. An ideal response. The Lily is afraid. Rightfully so.::

Kai smiles as she draws. ::Which way, Cerin? I can't see as far as you.::

Cerin ::I think it is a he, Birds.:: Cerin offers in slight correction, scanning around to check for more of the portals. ::To the south east of the grove, about a quarter of a mile::

Birds ::Lead the way, then. He will be most pleased, I hope, to see that we do not remember him perfectly.::

Kai 's solar saber flicks into her free hand. ::Let's us go make a proper welcome, then.::

Thirteen thinks nothing, but is already heading in that direction, absently pushing aside the Chayans who impede him.

Zahara ::Are you sure he is the only one we will have to contend with? I would not like to come back to a puddle where our lovely allies used to be.::

Cerin ::He is Riding a Dragon King, or was when I last saw him.:: Cerin says ::And, not yet my love. I will keep watch::

Lucent ::Give me a moment. I will be right there.:: With this, he walks into a field, closes his eyes... and from the earth behind him, Amika begins to rise, place him far, far above the commotion. He commanded her to go to the portal, the Coronal spinning readily around him...

Thirteen ::I expect he is intended as the anchor point for a larger force, set to counterattack as the Chayans assault the grove.::

Thirteen ::When reinforcements arrive, they will arrive at his location.::

Cerin ::He is certainly capable of cutting a large portal. The current one could have 10 men abreast emerging from it, easily::

charlequin All of a sudden, the air where Cerin has been looking splits wide open, like a wound freshly carved into soft flesh. Fifty yards wide and perhaps ten tall, the vast opening in space looks out into a dark and swirling land of grey and red.

Cerin ::Ah. The portal is truely open now. They are coming from malfaes, or one of the isles of ash.::

charlequin Cerin alone has vision sharp enough to see the Dragon-King, his scales now glittering in crimson and his attire deep purple, grinning widely as a horde of Exalts and beasts pour out of the tear.

Thirteen ::Interesting. They are seeking the Seals, no doubt. A hopeless task without guidance. Are they so desperate, or do they already know one's location?::

Cerin ::They might. We are next to one of the leaders sanctums, however...::

charlequin There are perhaps five flavors of God-Exalts pouring out of the tear here -- thin, pale women clad with thin rime and dead-looking lips; huge toughly-built men with grey robes; dark, short types almost invisible under thick layers of soot; ethereal types moving like fog on a cold Northeastern evening; and vicious looking, sharp-featured men with long black coats and blood dripping from their exposed hands.

Thirteen ::Lucent, are you prepared to direct the Kashaen?::

Lucent ::Yes. As soon as you and Cerin decide it is time, they will receive the order.::

Cerin relays the information, trying to give thirteen a quick but useful estimation of their strengths.

Thirteen ::Mm.::

charlequin Amongst the Exalts are beasts the likes of which the Solars had not seen before -- fiery outlines of creatures halfway between a lion and a bear; swarms of 13 increasingly large birds joined together into the shape of a man; green cubes of fire with three malevolent red eyes floating over their terrifying surfaces.

charlequin The massive strikeforce lurches towards the grove, intent on slaughtering the Chayans and protecting the blossoms.

Birds sizes up the new Hundredfold. ::THOSE are not at all pleasant to look at.::

Thirteen ::Unless Cerin countermands it, you may proceed with the attack. Use the Dragon Falls from a Tall Tree formation, with the locus to the west direction.::

Zahara ::You know, it would be nice if Reaver's brethren were to side with us.::

Lucent speaks, his voice reaching over to all of the Kashaen... "Those are the enemies, my people; Fake travesties of the true Chosen! Show them how Creation rejects their existence. Show them how Heaven rejects their existence! Rise your blades... and know the sun smiles upon you! To the west! To them! Crush them with my blessing!" ::It is done. And I must admit they are much more impressive than I imagined.::

Lucent The Scorpion Guard remaining closest to him, the rest pour foward, lights of golden and crimson as hundreds of ornate spears, trained by First Age techniques and ordered by a Twilight, rush to war, crying in the name of the scorching sands, of the burning sun, of their razed home, of the Sunlands.

Thirteen breathes deeply suddenly and exhales a glimmering dark stormcloud, disappearing into his own breath as his exhalation permeates the battlefield. One of the soot men flinches suddenly -- he feels a raindrop on his hand, though the sun glows brightly. A blood warrior similarly feels a splash of water against his shoulder.

Thirteen They look up, and Thirteen is upon them.

charlequin As the onrushing wave of Exalts pours towards the grove, they notice the Solars standing ready to fight them and parts of the group begin to peel off. Four of the fire-outline beasts lift their forelegs into the air and great fiery wings peel off from their backs, propelling them up towards Zahara; while meanwhile, three of the misty ladies lift off from the ground --

charlequin light as air -- and strike at Birds-of-Trinity with vicious yet ethereal daggers.

Birds notes the approach of the cloud women, and shifts her floating stance to accommodate their attacks.

Birds "It takes more than that to surprise the army of the Sun. Dirty bitches."

Birds sights along the darkening edge of her Solar weapon, measuring the distances between the three. Can they be taken out in one blow?

Zahara smiles lightly, and Tantamount wings bravely forward to meet their attacks. The Four Swords of Fire and Ice weave in and out, confusing the eye, and meeting the attacks with a flash of light

Thirteen appears in a glimmering mirage abruptly behind the misty ladies, swinging his weapon in a wide sweeping blow that crackles like lightning as they strike at Birds, and is gone again.

charlequin Birds swims easily in the air between bladestrikes and Zahara directs her floating weapons to protect her as 13 lays down offensive strikes on the Exalts, tearing huge bloody swathes into their skins.

charlequin Enraged by his vicious spear strikes, five of the sharp, bloody Exalts turn to Thirteen. The flow of blood from their hands increases to overwhelming gouts as their razorlike fingers plunge with incredible speed towards his vitals.

Thirteen twirls his spear endlessly in one hand, thunder rumbling from its contact with the vicious blows.. With the other he lightly reaches out to the groping claws, wetting his fingers with the running blood and bringing it to his lips.

brasslanter1 Heedless of her companions, Kai slips into the throng of God-Exalts. Her eyes are fixed on the violet-clad figure waiting just on the far side of hell. She is barely conscious of the enemies around her, moving reflexively between their strikes, lashing back at them with her twin blades. She moves with the grace of a dancer, but her eyes show none of that peace--they burn with the intensity of a lion who has been

brasslanter1 they burn with the intensity of a lion who has been crossed, and now seeks payment of blood. Her enemies cannot but part before her.

Zahara does not, in fact attack, although that does not hold Tantamount back from flinging his poisonous spines in an arc in front of them. Reaver screeches excitedly on her shoulder, flapping all eight wings and taking little hops, straining to fly. She, instead, begins to chant, the light of her anima taking on a fiery glow, building into five peaks of runes, as they flow from her mouth.

charlequin Kasima is somewhat shocked at the forwardness of the Exalt. The foul dragon pulls out a vicious flamberge of dark metal and brings it up to intercept kai's blows.

charlequin The large, brick-shaped Exalts, flanked by flaming cubes, charge at the wall of Kashaen, several of them pressing close together to slam juggernaut-style into Luc and his gigantic mount, marble fists raised up to strike with immense weight.

charlequin Meanwhile, the cubes spin out waves of fire in pulsating spiral patterns, striking everyone -- though it evaporates harmlessly off of the God-Exalts and other Hundredfold...

Thirteen flickers into view again near Luc, darting past the brick Exalts and and striking them one by one as they raise their arms to fight.

Lucent The orb of the sun explodes in five caste marks, that of the five Solar Castes, keeping an aegis to block the fists of marble, the ground breaking, the weight making the symbols bend, but not break

Lucent ... except for the symbol of the Night. It enlarges, letting the fist through, as Lucent wills the strike to come.

charlequin The one fist that slips past Lucent strikes him with some force directly to the sternum, though the mystical protection of the Zenith serves to blunt the blow.

Cerin does not leap into action like his circlemates, but instead he watches the battles, the flows of essence and the lines of power. As he watches, he slowly draws back an arrow of light across his night shadowed bow. Then he waits. An opertunity presents itself and he releases the arrow which splinters into 5 lethal shards. 5 five of the exalts of smoke and soot are hit, the sunlight burning all the smoke away on a path to their heart.

Cerin their heart.

charlequin Thirteen's spear-strikes tear into the thick skins of the bricky Exalts.

charlequin Meanwhile five of the ashy Exalts crumble to dust under the intense and brilliant onslaught of Cerin's solar arrows.

Lucent He feels the blow, and lets it flow into the scorpion. Then, he looks at the bricks... and lets Amika itself be unmade, becoming pure light and sands, the sands covering the Kashaen and the Chayans like a cushion of flaming feathers...

Lucent ....and from them, came the Sun, burning in the sand. Mars, an aegis to those behind him, Mercury, speeding their journey, Luna, her light slipping through the cubes, and finally Saturn... unseen, almost shily slipping on the back of the one that just hit Lucent. He does not move, all the while, just look contemptuously to the one whose fist is still in his unmoving form.

Lucent "This is heaven, abominations."

charlequin Staring out at the carnage on the battlefield and then noting again the single opponent within his personal range, Kasima makes an executive decision and, with a single wave of his cruel claw, the portal winks out of existence.

Zahara ::Kai!::

charlequin Kai, having passed through the portal to strike at the creature, disappears with him.

Zahara ::Cerin, do you know what Realm that is?::

Lucent ::KAI!::

Birds ::Kai!:: The look on Birds' face hardens into hatred.

Zahara thinks, but does not broadcast... shit... now they have the Daybreaker

Thirteen ::We must pursue.::

Cerin ::Not offhand. I believe I can work it out from consideration of the isles of ash.::

Lucent ::We are finally in agreement, Thirteen.::

Birds , having sighted her attack, aims three strikes at the cloud women. The first knocks the weapons from their hands; the second cuts their hair, and the third, to lay insult on injury, strips their clothes away, leaving them clad only in the thunderclouds of Thirteen's attack. ::When I'm through with you, Kasima is going to wish she never did that...::

Lucent ::Kasima will not wait, Cerin!::

charlequin The Solars don't hear any response on the rings.

charlequin Luc knocks the wall Exalts handily away from himself, rendering one who was wounded particularly gravely by Thirteen unconscious

Lucent ::The North be damned, we have to go get her NOW!:: He looks at the brick Exalts, and sighs. ::As soon as we are done with this purge.::

Thirteen ::For now we must proceed with the plan, let we waste our effort. When the battle ends we may pursue at our leisure.::

Thirteen ::This need not affect our overall strategy. I expect our jaunt to recover our comrade will be brief.::

Cerin ::Kasima will have too.:: Cerin begins to consider the isles of ash. This was an interesting problem, though one he had best not linger in.

charlequin The bird creatures begin to extend their talons and slash at Birds of Trinity.

charlequin One of the fog women falls at Birds' swordpoint and another is cut open, billows of fog bleeding from her veins as the bird creatures strike at the Solar.

charlequin Thirteen's blade strikes down three more of the under-defended Exalts of mist.

Birds again dodges the attacks casually, while Thirteen weaves in and out, cutting the attackers.

Zahara ::Reaver hops from Zahara's shoulder to Tantamount's mane, arranging his wings in an intricate pattern which deflects the flames away from the three of them. Then he hops up and down and squawks proudly!

Tags: (:tags Chaya, Summer Place, God-Exalts, Kasima, Hundredfold, Lenorsa, Keepers-in-Kind, Rfo, Kashaen, Daybreaker, Isles of Ash :)

< In The Summer Palace 2 | Sol Invictus Logs | Mopping Up The Flowers >