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    Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

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    Ninetails Derpfox

    Moderator- Developer/GFX Artist- Chatbox Moderator- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Coming Storms- A-Rank- Rich- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Character History!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Join A Faction!- Get A Pet!- Obtain A Lineage!- The Being- The Sacred- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Banana- Be on Venir's Friend List- Have Aiyanna On Your Friend's List- Have Alye On Your Friends List- Have Lord Fredericks On Your Friends List- 1 Year Anniversary- Player -
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    Character Name: Niyol
    Primary Magic: Soul
    Secondary Magic: Ice

    Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Ninetails Derpfox on 28th February 2016, 12:29 pm

    T
    hunder sounded off above the black cathedral as a young wizard laid far below it, chained to a strange device that seemed to be attempting to siphon the sources of his power from him to no avail. Unable to break free, unable to move due to the nearly unbearable pain he was enduring, Niyol remained helpless as his strength began to grow thin. He knew not how he'd got there, only that he woke up to hear voices just before the pain started. Amidst the pain, a wish came across his mind as arcs of white lightning flew up and down his being... the wish was that he had someone that would save him from this contraption.

    Spirits filling the room, remnants of the living he'd saved that followed the youth through his travels after dying, refusing to leave his side and enjoy a peaceful afterlife caught the tear containing that very wish. Niyol felt them depart, a smile growing on his face as his head went limp. 'So even the spirits leave me to my fate...' he thought, not knowing what had actually transpired.

    Flying through the wakusei portals, bursting about the land the spirits sought out someone who may assist their ally. A grand amount of mages with the ability to converse with souls were present in earthland, but not all were ideal. Some were corrupted, and would kill Niyol on sight just to control his power. Some were weak, and would die before reaching the portals let alone make it to the guardian's aid. At last, the spirits had found their emissary... a female with white hair that posessed some skill. While yet to be truly tested, the spirits could tell she was indeed of worth to their cause, and by far the most qualified they'd seen. They'd also found a young male who's observational skills were without match so long as the room had light. They appeared before both of them, beckoning the two to come through the portals to assist their guardian...


    ((OOC: We're gonna be doin this one like a social, but each post by you two has to be minimum 300 words. Though I don't really see that as a problem since TFS is known for godzilla sized posts... except Almy...

    You may choose whether or not the other is present when the spirits beckon to you. You may choose HOW they do it as well. Once you reach the other side of the portals a trail of spirits that only you both can see/sense will lead you to a massive set of double doors with a mess of rune markings on them. The doors will contain four masks with the words "Power, Knowledge, Love, and Security" written under them. Once each of you has chosen a mask, we'll continue to the next part of the exam))

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    Nao

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    Mentor : Nao (Primary) Gem of Time (Secondary)
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    Character Name: Nao
    Primary Magic: Water Dragon Slayer (First Gen)
    Secondary Magic: Chronokinesis

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 1st March 2016, 4:21 pm

    The portals would be where the spirits arrived, and yet would also (conveniently) be where the two mentioned would be near, albeit with a different reason to be there. As their teammate, bossy boss Anastasia, was interested in using these portals to use their ship (a transport ship with 1 ordinance weapon mind you) as a pirating ship. Nao had decided to tag along for a little while, before stationing in a town to wait for Ana to return.

    He wasn’t by himself however, as he had been accompanying Ashe as well. Though he didn’t really know her too well, he figured that by spending more time with her that he would be able to at least develop some more interactions with her. After all, he had been doing a lot of missions with just Anastasia, and had hardly spent any time with just Ashelia, or Almyra. And being this team that had gone through ruins together, fought against thieves and pawn shop bosses? How did he not know their favourite colours, or what they were afraid of. Why did he not really know anything about either of their magics? Well maybe this was going to be the time they got along.

    The town itself, close to one of these portals that had been made a long time ago, wasn’t really full of people. Though portals would be seen by some mages as a fantastic place for exploration, the threat of otherworldly critters seemed to deter people over the years. But in a sleepy inn, not far from the entrance to the town, was where the two of them would be.

    Nao wasn’t really one who was really in tune with the spirits, unlike others who were present with him, so currently he wouldn’t really know how to react when he would notice a little blip in his vision… while he was sat at a table in a quiet inn where no one would really bother anyone. He wasn’t really quite able to work out what it was… psionic energy? Or maybe he was just getting a migraine, but he figured he would have to talk to Ashe.

    ”Hey umm…” He wasn’t sure if she had noticed what it was. Nao was pretty terrible at seeing anything that wasn’t of physical nature besides illusions. ”Can you see what I’m seeing?” He wasn’t too sure on whether it was just his imagination; he would get himself another opinion. ”I-I’m not really good at seeing things beyond the physicality.” He would have to get a second opinion, seeing as she was better at seeing beyond what was there. It made them an interesting duo. Something Nao would have to eventually write in his journal.


    HP: 100%
    MP: 100%
    Status: Spooped already?
    WC: 452 words


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    Kamsa

    1 Year Anniversary- Player -
    Lineage : Corruption of the Ancients
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    Character Name: Ashelia
    Primary Magic: Spirit Ruler
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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 3rd March 2016, 2:30 pm

    "Some people say that coincidence and convenience are a lie. That everything happens for a reason through some great plan, or at least through the meddling of one or more deific hands. 'It's too much to believe this is all chance' they say, pointing to how eerily some events match others, or to solutions that somehow arrive in the nick of time. Of course, this is impossible to prove or disprove. Certainly some instances of circumstance are brought into existence through the will of one or more beings, but how can we apply that label to all without proof? It is with this thought in mind that I traveled to the Wakusei portals, drawn by the legends of serendipity in their vicinity. Though great portals to worlds far beyond they may be, no will seems to govern them. They do their job and no more. Yet, despite this, stories abound of those who found themselves drawn through the portals to tasks only they could complete, to legends only they could take part in..."

    Ashe slipped the bookmark into place and closed the tome, figuring this as good a place as any to stop for now. Anastasia had brought them here to this small town near the Wakusei portals, then left them at the inn citing a job she had to do with her father beyond the portal. It was hardly an inconvenience for Ashe, as she had been staying on George for quite some time now. This was simply a chance to rest on solid ground for a while and take in the dubious pleasure of local custom while catching up on the history. In book form, of course.

    She was about to get up and fetch something to drink when a rush of spirit energy swept into the inn, swirling around her and Nao-also awaiting Ana's return-before coalescing into a vague cloud of wisps. There was a sense of urgency about them, a desire and need for something that gave them enough energy that even Nao could sense them, albeit barely. He questioned her to see if she was experiencing the same thing, but she simply held up a hand to indicate he should wait.

    The congregated spirits were hardly what one might call ghosts or specters; these were mere wisps, barely sentient balls of emotion. Much like her Ghost Half would be, were it not a direct extension of her soul. However in a mass like this, a concentrated cloud of directed energy, they could achieve a sort of collective thought. Ashe reached out to that, making a connection not with her hand, but with her mind and soul.

    What came through the link was a flood of images. Flashes of raw thoughts and feelings without substance. Alone they would be meaningless, impossible to decipher, but through the deluge she could make out a pattern.

    The need for help, the need for haste.

    A spirit mage, a friend in danger.

    Another world, full of magic, and a dark cathedral thrusting against the sky.

    Magical binding, bonds and tethers, and the breaking of chains.

    And dire consequences should they fail.

    "Someone...needs our help." Ashe said slowly as the link faded. "Beyond the portals, in..."

    She glanced at the book she'd been reading. It was a history of the Wakusei portals and a study of their strange effects on time and causality, in particular their effects and role in various legends. And on the cover was a depiction of a planet swirling with energy that increased magic tenfold. It's name, of course, was-

    "Kyoka."

    The last passage from the book immediately rose in her mind. "Yet, despite this, stories abound of those who found themselves drawn through the portals to tasks only they could complete, to legends only they could take part in..."

    That is...a bit uncanny.

    A fellow spirit mage, trapped in a cathedral of darkness, beyond the portal to a world rife with magic. It has the sound of a grand adventure, does it not? The old king seemed pensive, though a glint of excitement could be seen in his eyes.

    "Yes, but..." She turned to Nao. "They seem to want both of us to come. I will go regardless, as the spirits need my help to free...whoever they speak of. Others who traffic in souls are not often the sort of people you want to place your trust in. But Nao, are you willing to do this? It could be very dangerous for yo-for both of us, and you have no stake in this."


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    Nao

    Quality Badge Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Get A Pet!- Obtain A Lineage!- The Sacred- Ninja- Player -
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    Age : 25
    Mentor : Nao (Primary) Gem of Time (Secondary)
    Experience : 49,325

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    Character Name: Nao
    Primary Magic: Water Dragon Slayer (First Gen)
    Secondary Magic: Chronokinesis

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 4th March 2016, 1:35 pm

    ”What could this b-“ Nao was quickly hushed by Ashe with her hand, as she had stopped reading her book, and instead had found that she too could see whatever these things were. Though Nao could only barely make them out, even when he activated his eyes would he only be able to see the energy, and not a full form. Whether that was what these things actually were, and not fully made being wasn’t what Nao would be able to determine from all of this. He would hesitate to guess what it was they actually wanted here with them. But it seemed Ashe would know more about it.

    With Ashe being able to see them clearly (much to Nao’s envy that someone saw something better than he could), he would watch her express some concentration on her face as the balls of energy swirled around them, and were making some kind of patterns. While he felt a little helpless by not being able to work out what they were trying to say, it seemed like it was an important message as he was reading how Ashe was reacting to it. It seemed like she was off in another world, and as if she had made a connection with these spirits as if they were able to… talk?

    Waiting a while for it to finish, he would be there pondering for a little while, moving his back and forth between the energy, and the mage in front of him. At this point the innkeep was starting to wonder what was going on, and Nao would just shrug it off, and usher people back to what they were doing. Maybe it was just his eyes that were freaking people out, who knew. After all it was a sleepy town that wouldn’t see many mages activating their magic all that often. Usually when a mage activated their magic, trouble was bound to come afterwards. But Nao’s was only half trouble, and the rest was for scouting and studying.

    Eventually Ashelia would talk, making Nao jump out of his concentration, and have to listen to her more intently as she looking over to the book she was reading. Something about the book, and where this person was seemed to make a connection. Kyoka.

    Nao hadn’t heard much about Kyoka, besides it being a land where you magic was increased by so much, that even someone who was on death’s door could be brought back to the same health as they had when they were in their prime. Though he was amazed that somewhere that gave someone so much power… could actually keep someone trapped there? Whatever was keeping them there was definitely something to be prepared to face.

    ”Funny how the book, and the portal were…”
    he would just pause for a moment, realising that making an observation wasn’t really important right now. ”N-nevermind.”

    He would listen to the white-haired woman, and think for a moment as he listened to what she had to say. The fact that she was giving him a warning about what could be going on beyond the portal. He was offered the chance to just leave and let her get on with saving this person. But that wouldn’t be what a teammate did when it came to having each other’s backs right?

    ”I appreciate the concern, and if we weren’t teammates maybe I’d consider just leaving you to it. But since we are teammates, and that I have never been to Kyoka before… I think it’s worth the risk of perishing horrifically to whatever we free.” He nodded, and got up from the table, ignoring the fact the spirits were still there. ”Well lets head out towards the portal, and see what there could be on the other side of them.”

    Nao would leave the sleepy inn with Ashe, moving towards where the portal was going to be situated. The spirits always ahead by mere metres as if to guide them. Though Nao could only see them as if they were auras in his eyes like the ones you’d get in a migraine, he was able to work out where they are by using this as a reference.

    Eventually the two would arrive at the portals, and Nao would turn to Ashe. He seemed a little nervous at best, and maybe because he wasn’t sure how to expect going to another planet was going to be. He hadn’t even gone to another country, let alone a whole new world. It was actually kind of terrifying to him.

    ”I guess we better ready up before we go in,” Nao remarked, before checking that he had everything, and that his eyes weren’t too focused forward as they went in. He began to feel a little nervous as he stepped forward, but he was surprised that going through a portal only took a couple of seconds, instead of a huge loading time.

    Instead what Nao found was that he felt a lot lighter on this planet, but not in the way of weight and mass, but as if the restrictions on his magic had come undone. He didn’t feel as if being a newer mage meant anything while here, because everything felt so much clearer. He could see in so much detail, and see the colours and forms of the spirits. Is this what Ashe was able to see when it came to ghosts? Unlikely because the spirits were just showing themselves to the two to make a path, and it was different to how Vendrick and Ashe were.

    He would follow the spirits, with almost a spring in his heel because of how great he felt. He wasn’t feeling nervous at all anymore, and instead starting to feel a little more confident. And maybe that was because they were not swarmed at the gate by monsters or creatures.

    They eventually cam across some massive doors made of a strange wood, with odd markings on them. Nao wasn’t really able to tell what they meant or where they came from, but he could tell what was written on the masks. The masks seemed to have a different strength on them. Potentially this was what the spirits wanted them to don while traveling around this place.

    ”What a strange place,” Nao remarked, looking around and taking note of the green sky. ”But these masks seem to be the strangest and most out of place bit… Are we supposed to choose one? If so might I suggest you pick one, and then I’ll choose afterwards, seeing as you seem to be more involved in this place as I am so I think you better pick first.” Nao had already made up his mind, based on two he liked. Had he chosen first he’d have gone for knowledge, and had Ashe chose that, he’d instead choose security. But it was up to Ashe to choose first.

    HP: 100%
    MP: 100%
    Status: Empowered, bewildered, just good vibes yo.
    WC: 1142

    (OOC: Nao will choose Knowledge or Security, with Knowledge being his number 1 choice but is allowing Ashe to choose first. I don't mind what you choose ^^)


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    Kamsa

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    Lineage : Corruption of the Ancients
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    Posts : 128
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    Character Sheet
    Character Name: Ashelia
    Primary Magic: Spirit Ruler
    Secondary Magic:

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 7th March 2016, 9:42 pm

    Ashe sighed with relief at Nao's answer. She was still growing accustomed to having teammates around she could depend on, and she didn't want to force Nao into something he would regret. He seemed more than willing to take on the spirit's request though, citing their team and a desire to visit Kyoka, which was enough for her.

    "Good, good. I confess that it will be...n-nice to have y-you along. F-for safeties sake, I mean!"

    You should just admit that you will be glad for his company. It will not hurt you, and will certainly make him feel better than being told you only want him around in case something goes wrong.

    "Shush you! Ahem! That is, I...what I m-mean is..." Ashe coughed and turned away slightly, muttering "I'mhappytohaveafriendwithme. Yes, m-moving on!"

    Vendrick couldn't help but chuckle as she continued. "As to 'perishing horrifically to whatever we free', I seriously doubt that will happen. Wisps, or the spirits you are seeing here, don't really communicate with words you see. They use a combination of thoughts and images to communicate, which makes it hard to falsify things or lie, and the person they've shown me does not seem the type who means us harm. The spirits recognize him as a friend, and have sought us out from a desire to help, not because he sent them."

    She paused, glancing at the wisps and trying to recall what they had shown her. "While it is technically possible, we shouldn't have anything to worry about. If anything, we should be worried about what placed him in this predicament."

    Nao seemed to accept that answer and indicated they should head out. The spirits danced ahead of them as they headed to the portals and hung over the correct entrance when they arrived. After a small bit of hesitation Ashe stepped through...

    ...And emerged seconds later in another place altogether. She knew of Kyoka from the guide she'd been reading, but the real thing was something else. In theory the huge increase in ambient energy, and thus magic in general, sounded amazing, but in person it was beyond words. Literally. The feeling was impossible to describe, as if her being bloomed beyond her body like a flower, or as if she could suddenly see beyond the horizon. Neither were accurate comparisons, but they were the closest she could imagine. It also seemed that the increased magic flow deepened her connection to the spirit world: she had a feeling that if she tried, she could step wholly into the spirit world here. Or conversely, bring spirits all the way across in a physical form...that would be something she'd have to try at least once before they left.

    After a few minutes to gather their senses the pair set out to their destination. Whether it was a trick of the spirits, the magic of the portals, or the world's peculiar magic they seemed to arrive in no time at all. A set of huge, rune-inscribed double doors stood before them, adorned with four masks between them.

    "Vendrick." Ashe whispered, her voice nearly breathless with surprise and amazement.

    I see them Ashelia. The ghost king spoke quietly, seeming oddly somber. What coincidence or twist of fate is this? After searching for so long, to find them here?

    "I think...according to some of these runes, it seems we each need to take one of the masks. Me and Nao, that is. I don't think you count Vendrick."

    No...no, you are correct. This is your task, not mine. Please, give me time to think on this. Just...remember Ashelia, what we are seeking for. With that said the ghost king faded from Ashe's sight. She could still feel him there through their bond, and no doubt he would respond if she called, but she would try her best to leave him to his thoughts.

    "I...alright Vendrick."

    Ashe knew exactly what she had to do. Her first instinct was to choose Knowledge, in which she spent so much time in pursuit of, but knowledge alone would only go so far. Security meant nothing against a god's anger, and Love brings no comfort when all you have has been reduced to ashes. No, she, they, needed Power. Power to end this injustice, and Power to ensure it never happened again. Her hands were surprisingly steady as she pulled the mask from the door, studying the harsh lines and jagged teeth.

    It was a fitting start.


    ___________________________________________________________________

    Ninetails Derpfox

    Moderator- Developer/GFX Artist- Chatbox Moderator- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Coming Storms- A-Rank- Rich- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Character History!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Join A Faction!- Get A Pet!- Obtain A Lineage!- The Being- The Sacred- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Banana- Be on Venir's Friend List- Have Aiyanna On Your Friend's List- Have Alye On Your Friends List- Have Lord Fredericks On Your Friends List- 1 Year Anniversary- Player -
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    Character Sheet
    Character Name: Niyol
    Primary Magic: Soul
    Secondary Magic: Ice

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Ninetails Derpfox on 10th March 2016, 3:17 pm

    T
    he masks would both break free of whatever restraints they were in, be it the door, or the two mage's hands. The ones that weren't chosen would glow as the door opened slowly, emitting a loud creek before slamming on the stone behind it, echoing the deep sound throughout the entire building. The two masks quickly moved across the room, adorned with shattered rows of chairs and breaking, or already broken pillars over to an altar. Light shining through the mosaic tile windows would illuminate a large stone carving that was highly detailed. The wall would depict two men removing each other's eyes and inserting them into a pair of slots on the wall. On the altar would be a pair of crystallized eyeballs roughly the same size as the holes. Soon, a rather small chandelier would give way and fall on Nao's head and covering his eyes. Pulling it off would be next to impossible, and since it's metal, burning it off would hurt like crazy...

    The two masks would sink, phasing through the floor with ease before the floor itself became perfectly solid. For some reason, if anything or anyone other than the two masks tried phasing through, it wouldn't work. Once the two eyeballs were situated in the wall, a large hole would open up on the floor. Should anyone instinctively dodge, the entire room would become a massive hole in the ground that would let Ashelia and Nao fall quite some distance before landing on a huge pit of sand. On the other end of this pit would be a golden chalice of sorts, and between the two mages and that, a massive sliding puzzle. There's also a rather large crawly thing with a key on its neck that someone should probably catch and take the key from....


    ((OOC: 300 words minimum like before, except I'd like a minimum of 3 posts from each of you. The details of the picture puzzle are up to you, as well as anything else that happens if you don't have enough words to finish the 3 posts. That said, if you finish feel free to make something up like another puzzle, an enemy, something for filler... anything really.))

    WC:
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    Nao

    Quality Badge Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Get A Pet!- Obtain A Lineage!- The Sacred- Ninja- Player -
    Lineage : Clone of the First Clone
    Position : None
    Posts : 444
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    Age : 25
    Mentor : Nao (Primary) Gem of Time (Secondary)
    Experience : 49,325

    Character Sheet
    Character Name: Nao
    Primary Magic: Water Dragon Slayer (First Gen)
    Secondary Magic: Chronokinesis

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 11th March 2016, 3:52 pm


    It seemed like choosing a mask was the trigger to set up the next part. What was interesting is that though power would be desirable for most mages, Nao thought that knowledge lead to the acquisition of power, and that was surely the path to take. But Ashe’s choice of getting power would be probably the shortcut of why he chose the mask he did. Having the power to get what he wanted would surely shortcut the quest of knowledge to get what he wanted.

    The rather plain, yet rune printed mask would leap from his hands, and instead fly around the room as if they had some kind of phantasmal power to them. Possessed masks? Good thing he didn’t try and put it on his head, else the risk of possession would have been incredibly strong. And while this was the case, the masks not chosen would open the large door in front of them, to lead to another room. It was kind of cool to see how someone had laid this puzzle out.

    Or this would be Nao’s thoughts in his head, until he stepped closer into the room, and began to look at the mosaic tiles depicting the barbaric picture of people gouging each other’s eyes. He felt a little queasy, as he touched the skin around his eye sockets and gulped a little. Something seemed a little unsettling about having a cult that would give up their eyes to whatever it was. But he couldn’t turn back now, and especially not when it was to help Ashe.

    Though from stepping in, and looking around he could see that there was some eyeballs already prepared and made of some kind of crystal. It seemed easy enough, but as soon as he stepped in further he must have somehow set a trap off which would make some kind of chandelier land on his head and block his sight.

    ”Hey! What the hell happened?” Nao shouted shakily, trying to pull off this large metal object, before trying to use his magic on it. He would feel an incredibly sharp sting around his eyes as the object forced his magic back at it. ”Ow fucking dammit.” He would curse again and again to try and pull this off. He should have looked where he was going when it came to looking for traps.

    At least he would still be able to hear and talk, but the fact that he couldn’t do magic, couldn’t see, and was starting to feel his fears grow more. His breath started to become shaky, and he felt a little woozy. His arms were now outstretched as if this was a comedy. But it wasn’t a comedy for Nao.

    It was torture.

    WC: 456


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    Kamsa

    1 Year Anniversary- Player -
    Lineage : Corruption of the Ancients
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    Posts : 128
    Guild : Guildless Green
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    Experience : 1650

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    Character Name: Ashelia
    Primary Magic: Spirit Ruler
    Secondary Magic:

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 13th March 2016, 11:08 pm

    Much as she had expected, as soon as the two of them had chosen a mask the door swung open. The twin stone slabs gave way ponderously at first, but picked up momentum and slammed into the walls behind them one fully opened. The inside of the cathedral was nothing special; although Ashe suspected it may have once been quite a sight, as was often the case with ruins and bygone temples very little of its former glory remained.

    What held on through the ages were the carvings and statues made by whoever had once worshiped here. The masks they had chosen swept in, illuminating those works briefly before sinking into the floor. The main point of interest, and likely their way forward, was the fresco depicting some sort of ritual that involved placing eyes in the carved indents on the wall. Fortunately they would not have to use their own. A pair of crystal eyes sat upon an alter, but as Ashe stepped forward and reached for them a yelp sounded from behind her.

    Is that...a chandelier?!

    Indeed it was, as Nao had triggered some sort of trap upon entering the room. The chandelier, apparently rigged to fall, had dropped down and wedged itself firmly upon his forehead, blocking his sight. While this was a very serious matter, as Nao couldn't see where he was going much less use magic with his eyes blocked, Ashe couldn't help but stifle a giggle at her friend's predicament. Once she had control of herself she tried to help him with the fixture, but to no avail.

    "Well...while I admit it is a somewhat unorthodox trap, it seems to be rather effective. We may have to just forge on until we find some tools to remove it. However..."

    Taking her staff in hand, Ashe found a roughly door-shaped space between two of the pillars and planted the Bough between them. Once it had grown to full size she pulled it open and whistled inside the pocket dimension, then waited. A scarce few moments later a pinkish blur came barreling through before skidding to a stop on the dusty stone.

    "There you are my brave little behemoth!" She cooed, ruffling Ban's mane affectionately. "I have a job for you! See, silly little Nao went and got a chandelier stuck on his head and can't see! Could you be a good, strong behemoth for me and help him out until we can get it off?"

    Ban huffed and glared at Nao appraisingly, then snorted as he trotted over imperiously. He butted up against the mage and forced his back under Nao's hand as if to signal that he should take hold. The implication was that Ban would serve as a sort of seeing-eye behemoth for the time being. Perhaps even a mount if the situation called for it...

    "That's a good behemoth! Now, about those eyes..."

    Picking up where she left off, Ashe took hold of the crystal eyes and inserted them into the sockets on the wall, prompting a massive hole to open in the floor and swallow them all. After a few seconds time a pile of sand broke their fall however, so they sustained no injuries aside from perhaps a couple bruised egos. Their surroundings immediately captured Ashe's attention; the enormous puzzle dominating the room and the chalice on the far side in particular were intriguing, but the lizard skittering about the room did not escape her notice, nor did the key around its neck.

    "Hmmm...Nao, are you alright?" She asked as she dusted herself off. After ensuring he hadn't injured himself further, she continued. "There is a small lizard moving about the room with a key on its neck. If you would, could you and Ban try to catch it? I know this is a lot to ask right now, but there is a large puzzle blocking our path forward that I need to focus on. Otherwise we may not be able to get out of here."


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    Nao

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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 15th March 2016, 3:13 pm

    Nao’s body began to shake more from the fact that he couldn’t see more from the fact that he wasn’t able to use any of his super empowered magical abilities during the time that he had something blocking his view. The fear began to crawl over him faster than he was able to mouth the words “help me” to anybody in the room with him. He felt that this was all a little too much, and if he just turned around now, and back out through the portal he would be able to get someone to help him remove this.

    In the midst of him trying to find somewhere to put his hands like a wall or a big spike; Nao would hear the chuckles of Ashe who had found the predicament funny.

    Yeah laugh it up Ashe, but as soon as you see any artefact get crushed by anything you’re going to feel the same way I do. He tried making a frown and a look of disgust at Ashe, but all he could make was faces as if he was hyperventilating. And though she did try and wedge it off him it seemed that it was to no avail, as with all the current methods exhausted. He would just have to try and understand where he was going without having to use his eye magic. Luckily if Ashe remained within about twenty feet or so then he would be able to sense her aura of being a mage. All mages had this ability, and just because Nao used his eyes for everything didn’t mean he couldn’t just try using his ability to sense mages.

    He would cross his arms, almost losing his balance. He would also listen to Ashe say it was rather effective. Yeah he knew, as he felt his balance was all off with his little object on his head. He couldn’t even see through the object. All he could see was the metallic surface covering his eyes. But at least this would hopefully be removed some time via some kind of tools or surgery or something. Hell probably even some lard or a stick of butter would be able to do it.

    But Ashe managed to summon her pet from the other world, bringing it here to assist them. Nao had yet learnt how to summon Charlie from elsewhere. Had he brought the griffin maybe it would have saved him from the chandelier that fell on top of his head.

    The creature would move Nao’s hand to its side, allowing the shaky Nao to have some sort of guide through their journey until they found something to remove the object from his head. Between Ban and the aura of Ashe, he could at least see a little bit of the way. But the fact he couldn’t see properly was causing him to become fidgety, nauseous, unorganised and quite sluggish. Something about having to rely on his eyes all the time instead of other people’s was causing a lot of problems in his psyche.

    For now that they had found a way to make him a little more comfortable, it would only make sense that they threw him completely off balance by throwing him off balance via a pit trap. Down he went with the behemoth, landing on his head with the chandelier protecting him from serious head trauma. Luckily it was a nifty and very hardy object that couldn’t be removed even by the strongest of spells. Now Nao was beginning to feel like he was wearing a piece of knight headgear… but without the vision part.

    ”Y-yeah I-I’m fine,” he said a little shakily, picking himself back off from the ground. ”This object I have stuck on my head protected me from serious injury to my head and eyes. It’s not so bad now that I’m getting used to wearing it, but I wish I could see again… Heck I’d give up my magic just to be able to see again… Not that I can use my magic right now anyway.” He could sense Ashe was near him.

    ”I’ll get right on that,” he said, taking out his bow and arrow, and preparing to notch it before realising that was probably a bad idea for now. ”If it’s a riddle just let me know, and I might be able to help since they’re my favourite kind of puzzle.” If Ban would let him he would use the Behemoth as a mount.

    ”I’m usually used to writing griffins but I’m sure we’ll get along just fine Ban. Maybe we should try and see if we can catch up to it first.” Off they went to try and chase after the lizard thing that was holding this key. If the key were important to whatever they were doing then it would be best to get it.

    However it seemed that chasing after the lizard with Ban proved to be less effective. The agile lizard was able to turn corners instantly while Ban would require a larger turning circle. This was certainly causing a bit of a problem because the lizard could just run underneath them. And it was always moving, never stopping to catch a moment of breath.

    Nao would just frown as he realised that bouncing up and down on this baby behemoth was just going to lead them running around in a wild goose chase. And after a few minutes of running around it was obvious they weren’t going to just out speed it despite Ban’s size.

    ”Hey Ban the creature is a little too fast for us to catch up to it. We either need to corner it into a wall, or find a way to possibly trick it and make it think we’re going one way but actually we can catch it off guard. Just… give me a moment to think. You have a small rest for now.”

    WC:986


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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 22nd March 2016, 6:37 am

    Ashe kept an eye on Nao long enough to make sure that Ban was going along with what he said before she turned her attention back to the strange puzzle. It spanned the fully half of the room they were in, and was constructed in such a way that it would be impossible to get across without stepping on it. At a glance, the puzzle seemed to be formed of large plates forged of bronze inlaid with white marble; each of the plates rested on a series of bronze gears that could be glimpsed through the gaps. Interestingly the marble inlay seemed like it could be more than mere decoration. Ashe knelt down to inspect one of the plates, but jumped back quickly as a flash of harsh light shot up from the plate.

    "Oh! Well, that was interesting," she exclaimed as she landed on her behind. Crawling forward just shy of the plate this time, she took a closer look. "This is Dwemer manufacture, the bronze is a dead giveaway. But I've never known them to work in marble, and that light was more than mechanical...that was definitely magic. Oooooh I wish I had time to study who made this! It belongs in a museum!"

    She huffed in irritation before returning to the task at hand. First she tried going ethereal and very carefully approaching the tile, but the same light flared up again. Next she tried tossing a rock to the other side but once again the light flared, only this time it vaporized the rock.

    Ashe gulped. Well, good thing I didn't just jump in I guess. Just where is that light coming from?

    Another idea struck her. Using the front of her dress as an impromptu bucket she gathered a small pile of sand, then flung it over the plates. As before the light vaporized it, but this time the cloud was enough to dim the flash, revealing the light originating from the marble sections.

    "Mhmm...so the marble is magically charged, but what does that...oh! A negation rune! Of course! The marble threw me off at first, but this is Dwemer artifice after all. But how to move the plates...hrm. Knowing the Dwemer, there should be...aha!"

    After a small bit of searching Ashe found a catch in the floor that, when she uncovered it, revealed a bronze keyhole.

    "Tch...always with the secret keyholes. Nao, have you had any luck catching that lizard? It seems to have stolen the key to work this mechanism."


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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 24th March 2016, 5:06 pm

    After a little rest from trying to get the lizard; the two would be set to try and get the lizard again. This time he knew that they were not going to be fast enough despite  being on top of this behemoth. The lizard was just a little too fast for the pair of them, and they could never just keep running. It seemed to just have this huge amount of stamina but it did seem to not really be all that interested in doing anything clever. It would just run around the room in the same pattern. Maybe Nao would be able to use this to his advantage. If the lizard would just keep trying to escape in a circle or square in the room then it would be easy to intercept it with say… a projectile?

    ”Hey Ban? How about you try and keep up the lizard, and when you feel like we’re at a good distance from it the move to the left a little. I’ll fire an arrow from my bow and hopefully it’ll hit the lizard.” With that the two (with Ban begrudgingly compliant) would be off to try and get the lizard once more. Surely with this plan it would require a lot of effort and probably the typical third time being a charm. But he trusted Bam to move when he thought he was close enough.

    Pulling out the bow and an arrow from his back Nao would notch it to the flax string. He wasn’t able to see, and he certainly couldn’t really focus on where he was going. But he was good with animals, and no matter how terrifying Ban was he was still an animal. He had pretty good empathy, and oculd even just slightly control and get them to do things. If only he could have talked sense to the lizard. And then it hit him.

    ”Why are we chasing this lizard? I can talk to animals and get them to do things if I’m not attacking them!” He laughed it off, before using Ban to get close to the lizard. He wouldn’t have to play the silly game of trying to hit the lizard with the arrow while blind.

    ”Hey! You with the key!” He called out to the lizard. It caused the lizard to stop in its tracks as if it saw a ghost. Not once in its lifetime had it been addressed by anything.

    “What you want? This is my key mine mine mine mine!” It became frantic and ran around in circles. Nao would just shake his head, but almost losing his balance because of the weight of the object on his head. At this point Ashe was caling out to him about using the key somewhere, or so he thought.

    ”Sorry Ashe you’re gonna have to speak louder, I’m wearing a chandelier!” From there he would just try and talk to the lizard. ”You can keep the key, just use it when I ask you to.” The lizard had to comply. Being a greenseer was a real benefit in these situations.

    ”Just use it on the keyhole on the floor where my friend is, and then you may go.” At this point the lizard would scramble over to the floor where the keyhole was and would use the key. He didn’t know what was going to happen and nor did Nao in this situation. But at least they would be one step closer.

    He would move back to Ashe with Ban, and would try and give her a thumb up, instead looking more like a hitchhiker because he was facing the wrong way. Oh the joys of being blind. Never again! He was not letting that happen again!


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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 30th March 2016, 11:00 pm

    Ashe watched in bewilderment as Nao seemed to have given up chasing the lizard and began...talking to it?

    Has he lost his mind? Maybe that fall hit him harder than he let on...I should probably check on him after...what?

    Strangely enough, whatever Nao said to the lizard appeared to have actually worked. The little creature skittered erratically across the floor as if agitated, cocking it's head at Ashe accusingly as it neared the keyhole before skittering away. Clearly it wanted her out of the way, so she obliged. The moment she stepped back the lizard grabbed the key in it's mouth and jammed it in the lock, ran awkwardly in a circle to turn it, and darted away the instant the lock hit home.

    At first there was no change, prompting Ashe to put an ear to the ground to make sure the machinery would still be working. Sure enough she could make out the telltale sound of Dwemer gears turning beneath the floor, and she stepped back just in time to avoid getting smacked in the forehead by a console as it rose out of the floor. As expected the console shared the same aesthetic as the puzzle plates, including the strange marble inlay. It settled at about the height of a podium, presenting several buttons and dials that corresponded with the positions of the plates before them.

    "Yes yes, just as I expected. You see Nao...er, th-that is...ahm...well, the trick to this puzzle is that it is based on Dwemer runecraft. The Dwemer were an old race that never developed magical abilities of their own, so they created runecraft to channel natural energies in order to accomplish similar things. The problem is that it relied on things like steam and electricity to function, so it was limited in application."

    Ashe began using the console to manipulate the puzzle, using the buttons to select the proper plate and the dials to change their position.

    "One of the most common ways runecraft was used was to enhance architecture, to add strength, functionality, and in some cases special defenses. Of those, the negation rune shows up prominently in what little Dwemer ruins remain intact today."

    As she began to work through the puzzle a pattern started to emerge, the marble inlay matching between plates to form the beginnings of some design.

    "It's function is two-fold: in it's inactive state, like this, a negation rune trap is charged with energy that is usually lethal to anything that tries to cross it, but while in it's active state the rune channels that energy to actually negate magic within it's boundary. The Dwemer popularly used them in places of importance to restrict access, and ensure that those who were allowed entry weren't using magic to deceive them. Ingenious really. I'm not sure why this one uses magic as a power source though...or how they got it to work with magic in the first place. I wish I had more time to study it."

    The last few plates slid into place, the sweeping curves of marble coming together to form a singular rune. Immediately the marble flashed, filling the air with a low vibration for a moment before both the sound and light dimmed to the point that they were barely perceptible.

    "Alright Nao, Ban, follow me. This will be...unpleasant, to say the least. If you remember the Neutral grounds, it will be like that only much more sudden. Fortunately it will only last a moment. Here we go."

    Despite her steady tone of voice, Ashe stepped onto the rune with just as much trepidation as Nao did. The moment her feet made contact with the plates her sense of the spirit world was cut off, the feeling of all her friends made null by the negation of the rune. Her only consolation was that she had braved one of these before, and that she knew Vendrick was still with her by the fact that she was still human. Their bond transcended magic after all.

    Once across she breathed a sigh of relief, likely echoed soon after by Nao. Ban of course simply huffed, completely unbothered by the lack of something he had none of in the first place.

    "Oh...okay. Now that that's over with, let's see about this chalice..."


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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Ninetails Derpfox on 4th April 2016, 2:08 pm

    T
    he puzzle was solved, and the chalice had remained untouched for the duration of the endeavor. The chalice was a trap however, the simple fact that Ashelia had even motioned to touch it caused the floor to cave in below the two. Instead of them falling to their deaths, the two would find themselves not falling, but rather slowly being lowered down. A rather strange trap indeed that would gently lower individuals to their death instead of dropping them. Upon the machinery stopping, a loud clicking sound would be heard followed by a series of braziers would light in sequence on after another to reveal a large pointy rock formation in the middle. The formation would glow bright orange, yellow, and red in some parts and begin moving. It would quickly morph to a massive creature that slams one of its fists on the ground and releases a terrible roar at the two.


    On the other side of the room is a large door the two masks they chose earlier placed in them. The doors are locked by a type of puzzle, and the beast would require someone to distract it. If Nao would feel around the chandelier, he would notice a very small pin he could have pulled earlier to remove it from his head. The puzzle on the door will be a sliding block puzzle consisting of 100 pieces arranged in a 10 x 10 pattern. The options are kill the best and then do the puzzle, or distract it while someone does the puzzle.

    Once the door is opened, the room inside will be completely empty aside from some chains dangling from a metal housing. It was obvious that something was being held captive here, and that something broke out... glass would be strewn about, metal pieces blatantly ground away at instead of shattered, the entire room in disarray.

    ((Once you get through the door and realize your efforts only yielded a pair of masks, and your presences weren't even necessary this exam will be done with. I'll ask for a minimum of 2 posts from each of you, 300 words each.))


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    Nao

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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 6th April 2016, 5:07 pm

    Nao wasn’t entirely sure what was happening with his surroundings. Being completely blind to the majority of the world was a huge problem for the Ocular Mage. He needed his sight to allow him to focus, and even though he was able to control the lizard thing? It wasn’t enough to stop his shaking in his body due to his fears crippling his full functions. It would not help that he would feel his magic completely drain from him for a moment or two, before returning to him in full fold.

    He would yelp for a moment, as he would stand there and shake some more; nearly falling from Ban and landing on his head. Instead he would just grip on tighter, and wait for Ashe to touch the chalice. But instead he would find that they were both slowly sinking. Though he couldn’t see it he could definitely feel that they were sinking down even further into the floor like it was some kind of… elevator? Either way he had to rely on Ban’s reactions and gauge if they were about to end up in certain peril.

    As soon as the group would land however it seemed that there were some shakes and quakes. Causing Nao to look towards what he thought was the direction of the creature.

    ”No no no! We can’t have to be facing a creature when I’m stuck like this?” Nao cried out, shaking his head in nerves. This would cause a pin in his head to click in place, splitting the chandelier in half on either side of him and Ban. ”W-well… that was very coincidental!”

    The mage would get off of the creature, and pat it on the side as a gesture of thanks, before looking at the large creature, and a relatively large puzzle too. Though Nao felt like he could probably do some damage to the creature; his beams of magic wouldn’t do too much on this one.

    ”I might be able to slow down this beast, but I think my best skills would be on how the puzzle fits together. Mind if I take that one?” Nao asked, pointing to the puzzle, while looking towards the creature that was before them. It was no problem though… Just kill it, right?

    Nao would flicker on his eye magic, and use one of his newer moves on the creature quickly to buy them some time. Using fear induction would cause the rock creature to possibly feel some fear of its life. Maybe it was once a human that got turned into a rock creature and was experiencing the horrific mutation. Maybe its little rock children got kidnapped and sold off as pet rocks. Maybe it was used in some kind of house, and trapped for a very long time? Whatever it was would cause the hulking beast to slow down a little bit.

    This would buy them a little more time, as Nao would focus his eyes on the puzzle to begin the analysis of the puzzle pieces. There were so many of them… about 100 pieces in total and they were all similar but different. It would have to be a little while before Nao really worked this out. What else seemed to be interesting about this puzzle was that there was a start and an end piece with a transmitter and a receiver. It looked like the 100 pieces would have to fit perfectly to make it so that the signal went from one end to another. More Dwemer puzzles? He wasn’t entirely sure but he knew that it would take a little while to work out with this puzzle.

    HP: 100%
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    WC:610
    Spells used: Fear Induction (0/2 posts duration)
    Status: I CAN SEE =D


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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 18th April 2016, 9:07 pm

    Of course, nothing could be easy. Ashe's knowledge had served well in making the negation rune puzzle a breeze, yet the chalice itself proved to be yet another trap. It was as if the malevolent force behind all this had taken offence at the ease with which they were progressing and decided to spitefully throw another trick at them. No sooner had Ashe leaned in to examine the chalice than the ground split open beneath the group, gravity pulling them unavoidably down another drop. Curiously, while this drop was significantly longer than the other, their rate of fall was much lower than it had been before, as machinery kicked in and lowered them softly to the bottom.

    After a few minutes their elevator ride came to an end, braziers flickering to life as the gears came to a stop. The light revealed two things in the enormous hall: a large set of double doors set with the two masks from earlier, protected by an even larger puzzle that suggested their goal lied beyond, and a huge stone formation in the center of the room. True to form, it was no simple matter of solving the puzzle either; the minute their feet made contact with the stone floor the formation stirred into life, twisting and breaking chunks of itself free to form a monstrosity of animate rock that roared in challenge at their entrance.

    Nao flew into a panic at the roar, the idea of facing anything capable of making that sort of noise while blind too much to take. He shook violently enough that, against all odds, he caused a pin to click into place and release the chandelier's lock on his head...which prompted a chuckle from somewhere to Ashe's right.

    I swear, I disappear for a short while and this is what I come back to? Oh, the frenzied flailing of youth never ceases to entertain.

    "Vendrick! You're back!" Ashe exclaimed, no small amount of relief colouring her face. "Did you..."

    I believe so, yes, as well as something else. You may have felt it as well; there is a chance that here you can...I see we have company.

    The ghost king broke off as he noticed the lumbering stone beast making its way towards them. Nao suggested that he should focus on the puzzle, as his magic would prove mostly ineffective against the rock monster, to which Ashe agreed.

    "Go ahead, I should be able to handle this. I've Ban with me as well, so it will be two against one."

    Actually, on that note... Vendrick cut in as Nao took off, casting his fear spell on the beast while maneuvering around it. Ashe took a step forward to draw the monster's attention but stopped, eyes going wide, as Vendrick leaned in to speak in her ear.

    "What?! Are you sure?"

    As much as I possibly can be. I have faith you can do it. Now, focus, and listen closely...


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    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Nao on 19th April 2016, 3:35 pm

    It seemed like the beast would be slowed and distracted for now as the Ocular Mage instead focused his attention on the puzzle that was in front of him. It seemed that even though a lot of the pieces had similarities that each one would have to be perfect. And finding the place for the gap to be counted in the puzzle would make it even more difficult. And with so little time to focus since there was this giant beast would make Nao have to think fast or suffer a fate worse than having a chandelier on his head.

    Nao would start by pressing the button on one side of the sliding block puzzle, causing a pulse to flicker through the first piece. It would go straight up before flizzling away as the track ended. It looked like the second piece wasn’t going to work as the next piece of the puzzle, and instead he would need to slide it would to find either another straight piece or a turn that would match facing north. This was going to be a pain in the butt…

    Eventually Nao found a piece that goes north in the puzzle that was close enough to the first piece. He then would find another piece, a turn to the east, and place that onto the next part of this puzzle and then try and see if that would work. However upon pressing on the button would find that upon reaching the third puzzle piece that it would stop.

    Huh… now why would it stop there?
    he asked himself in thought as he decide to look deeper at the puzzle. And he could then see that upon close inspection the tracks would actually divulge slightly in their formation. Even if it was a few degrees off it would make the circuit stop dead in its tracks. This was becoming a real pain to deal with now that they were having to deal with a creature as well.

    ”Right… lets find a piece that matches the grooves with piece two. We need to find piece three and hope that it works… I hope that looking at 100 pieces wouldn’t take too long.” Nao’s eyes would begin reluctantly searching for the next piece. Looking at grooves on the edges of the puzzle pieces and memorising each and every one. He would also categorise pieces in their direction and how many angles the pieces were off by. He hated having to remember such trivial parts of this puzzle, but the last ten minutes of having a chandelier on his head was a good enough exchange.

    Once the pieces were categorised then it was just simple to try and remember what goes where. Of course there were some pieces where the grooves would match and one would veer north, and another would go east. These would make it a bit more difficult in trying to work out where they would go. If every piece had to be used then it would only make sense to make the circuit snake.

    Each puzzle piece would fit slowly but surely into their respective place. Each button press would make the pulse go even further into the puzzle. At about piece fifty however he noticed there was something odd.

    Hang on… I think there needs to be a second pulse going the other way… and they need to meet up. There doesn’t seem to be an end to this puzzle The hole in the puzzle must be where the button will be… Nao would begin just sliding the last puzzle pieces around to try and find the hole where the button was.

    Eventually he would find himself a switch camouflaged in the puzzle, and would then check the groovings around it to work out what the next piece would be. However he realised that because of this new revelation… then he would have to move the pieces around so that they matched somewhere in the middle…

    With this news Nao would set off and start redoing the puzzle as if the second button mattered now, changing up where similar grooved puzzle pieces would match. If he could just get them to work together in this sliding puzzle, then maybe the door would open up. At least Ashe was able to keep the beast busy for a little while.

    Constantly moving pieces together for the grooves to match was working, and finally he made it so that the puzzle on the door looked right. It was an odd glyph-like shape but the strips that ran through the blocks linked the two buttons.

    Upon pressing the two buttons a pulse from each of them would slowly run through the blocks, and eventually would touch in the middle. This would hopefully cause the puzzle to be completed. Hopefully it would be good enough for them.

    ”Ashe lets get out of here! The puzzle has been completed… I think.” He would just wait and see if the door would open.



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    Kamsa

    1 Year Anniversary- Player -
    Lineage : Corruption of the Ancients
    Position : None
    Posts : 128
    Guild : Guildless Green
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    Experience : 1650

    Character Sheet
    Character Name: Ashelia
    Primary Magic: Spirit Ruler
    Secondary Magic:

    Re: Chains of Fate Pt. II; Ashelia, Nao, and the Masks

    Post by Kamsa on 29th April 2016, 1:45 am

    Vendrick spoke quietly and hurriedly, well aware of the imminent danger, but unlike Ashe Ban had no patience for such things. The little behemoth waited approximately half a second before huffing in frustration and charging the rock beast, head low to bring his horns to bear. It was a comical sight; the small pig-like creature rushed towards the colossus of stone with such fervor that it seemed like an an ant charging wildly towards a boulder.

    "Ban, no! That thing is-"

    Hush, he will be fine. You must focus Ashelia, this is important.

    True enough, Ban seemed in little immediate danger. The rock golem was simply too large and slow to react to his charge. The little beast drove his horns into one of the construct's legs, the loud crack of shifting stone following him as he bounded away. Twice more he charged, each time striking the same spot a little harder until a fissure formed just above a joint.

    Of course, this was exactly what the young behemoth wanted. Instead of jumping away after the last charge he swayed in place as if stunned, only to jump away at the last second as the colossus slammed down it's leg. Instantly the fissure worsened, tearing a howl of pain from the construct that turned to a full blown roar as it slammed into the ground, its incredible weight tearing its own leg apart.

    Now, Ashelia. There will not be a better time. Focus, breathe deep, and pull me through.

    At his insistence Ashe poured every ounce of her will to the task, concentrating on the sensations not of this world, but the one that lay along side it.

    There.

    As she focused, she could feel it far more clearly than before. The bonds that tied her to the spirit world, to Vendrick, to her friends, and to the spirits she knew so well felt solid now, where before they had been wispy, insubstantial things. It seemed so simple like this, with so much power flowing through everything. Without moving a muscle she laid her will on Vendrick's and pulled him through the veil, her mind and mana giving life and form to a being that had long since moved beyond the mortal coil.

    The strain was immense, as if she were pulling against the weight of death and time combined. She held on while the bond ate away at her strength, hungrily devouring it until she could no longer stand. Hazy black fog crept into her vision, but just as she collapsed a pair of hands caught her. A pair of hands she knew well, but had never imagined she would feel for real. They lowered her softly to the hard stone floor and brushed the hair from her face, comforting her as she drifted off.

    "You did well. Get some rest, I will take things from here."

    Stepping away from the unconscious Ashe, Vendrick briskly rolled up the sleeves of his coat. It was a strange feeling, being able to do that after so long. This false life was only temporary, but it was exhilarating nonetheless.

    "Now then, I suppose some stretching is in order. It has been far too long, after all. I would not want to pull a muscle."

    At a wave of his hand spectral blades formed in the air around the downed golem, some harrying it while others struck fissures in its hide as Ban had. It howled in anger but there was nothing to be done; losing one leg had hobbled the already slow creature, and in short order its remaining limbs crumbled alongside the first.

    "Ah, good. I was worried I had lost my touch," Vendrick quipped, enjoying once again having vocal chords. Looking past the beast he noticed Nao was approaching the end of his puzzle, and decided he might as well end this. His time was limited after all.

    "For the finish then. Aelum orus. Selah min tas, kolah min rol. Mien tae, et siura min taivos." He slowly moved his outstretched hand in a circle, a trail of pale blue glow following its wake that swiftly coalesced into four points of light, each surrounded by a small halo. Each shimmered with barely restrained power, highlighting the strain and fierce determination on Vendrick's face.

    "Kalora bin soh!" He shouted, and each of the four points flared brilliantly as streams of blue light lanced out, converging into a single beam that punched clean through the rock golem's head before arcing down to cut through its body like butter. Then, in an instant, it was gone. The spell was short lived, but in that brief moment it had torn a hole through the ceiling and gouged a terrible path through the creature and the stone wall behind it. Exhausted, he took a moment to catch his breath, but his eyes were on the glimmer of sky through the hole he'd made.

    "Let that be a warning. Prepare yourself deceiver, for soon all the lies in the world will not hide you from me."

    After a bit of rest he gathered Ashe in his arms and joined Nao, the door finally opening to reveal that whoever had summoned them had long since left. Unconcerned, he gathered the two masks and addressed Nao.

    "I am Vendrick, in the case you had not guessed as much already. I am most certain Ashelia has mentioned me before, and with your memory I would be very much surprised had you not. Regardless, I deeply appreciate you risking yourself for Ashelia's sake. She has had far too few friends to rely on in her life. That is largely my fault, so it falls to me to give thanks that you have stayed by her side."

    The ghost king raised a hand, noting that it was beginning to fade away. "I have little time remaining, so I am afraid I must ask you to pass that thanks on to the others. I would tell them myself, but why would they believe me? After all, ghosts are just superstition, are they not?"

    Vendrick winked, then faded out of view completely, leaving a probably very perplexed Nao to bring Ashe back through the portal with only Ban for help. Curiously, the two masks seemed to have disappeared as well. For all intents and purposes it appeared coming here had been a waste of time, but perhaps appearances were deceiving. Fate does work in mysterious ways, after all.


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