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    Evolution or Death

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Sun 5 Apr 2020 - 18:40

    Mission Details Here

    Even at noon, the Mysterious Canyon had certain crevices and crags that were almost completely hidden from the scorching sun. It was an unpredictable place; some places looked like an idyllic painting of lush meadows and serene lakes, other sites featured jagged rocks that looked like demons' teeth and gullies that one couldn't successfully peer into. Most of it had not been fully explored by cartographers, and it was a good place to build a nest, far away from the noise of civilization. In most cases, those who fit such a description were shady people, people who had reason to hide from the law. Or they were just people who wanted to, or had to hide from the general populace just because they were ostracized.

    Behind her mask, Levinia's eyes slightly darkened at that word.

    It was something she hated, for she had been the brunt of it all her life, and for reasons that were neither her fault nor of her making. It had built a complex which she often had to struggle against, whenever she had to achieve something good or useful. Today, she stood on a very crucial and important threshold. Today was the day everything would change. She was going to do something drastic that would shatter that one thing that caused people to shun her. The thought alone was enough to make her feel very elated. She had not really thought about what she would do after she had shed her curse, and honestly, she didn't think that it would be an issue. She would just continue her life with less masks and more options.

    But Levinia was also no optimistic fool. She had considered what would happen if the whole thing were to fail. If it failed, there was a very high chance, above 80%, that she was going to die. She found that preferable to the stigma she was forced to bear. At this point of her existence, she was determined that by sunrise tomorrow, Earthland would look upon a new Levinia Arx Creuset, or her corpse. Most people found it macabre to speak of death. It was more unsettling when a young person addressed the issue with a calm indifference. Levinia had reached the point where she was desperate to break her curse. She had seen hope, and she had grasped it with both hands. And if she could not see the hope fulfilled, she would die reaching for it.

    A soft breeze blew from behind her, rolling down the gentle slope that led into the valley. She filled her lungs with the fresh air that made her waiting in the shade more relaxing. Levinia sat on a large black rock at the mouth of the valley, enjoying the calm and waiting for one of the few persons who had not treated her like a plague bearer. She felt that Beira would be interested in seeing her protegé step into a new chapter of her life.

    She turned in the direction of Andhaft's fortress, as she liked to call it. It was well hidden in the valley, but she knew how to get there. Andhaft would be expecting her, as would Dorn. She didn't know whether Merise would be warmer than she had been the last time, but Levinia felt it did not matter either way. She wasn't exactly looking to be friends with the woman, if she wasn't interested in it. Friendship was by choice.

    Levinia was sure that, strange choice of apparel aside, Beira would be warmly welcomed by Andhaft. She chuckled to herself. This was probably going to be a conference of weirdos. Hopefully by tomorrow, it would be a conference of human-looking weirdos.

    WC: 615/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Sun 5 Apr 2020 - 22:09

    The geographical location known as the Mysterious Canyon was indeed quite mysterious to behold, with the way the sun and the shadows played over the vegetation and the miniature land forms that covered the entire region. It was beautiful, in many more ways than one. Somewhere far below, Beira could hear a river running through the foot of the canyon, though the sight of water was lost to her eyes, due to the extreme lack of straightness which the geography presented. It would be a serious nightmare to attempt to build a road, or a long wall in these parts, although interestingly, building fortifications would be relatively advantageous in these parts, even if the construction of said fortifications would be a work of architectural mastery, whose difficulty in building would be well rewarded by its imperviousness to the average machinations of a siege attempt.

    Speaking of fortifications, Beira had been summoned to this interesting landscape because of such a thing. A fortification. Andhaft's Keep. She had absolutely no idea who this Andhaft was, nor had she any idea, before receiving the summons, that there was such a place in the Mysterious Canyon. All the same, she had come because of the sender of the summons. Her strange protege, Levinia the Masked One. All along the journey to the Mysterious Canyon, Beira had wondered how her ward had been faring. For her own part, the Utgardian did not consider herself to be a nurturing person, but her disgust at the activities of bullies had made her bond with the younger girl. Beira would have preferred to see herself as simply a friend to Levinia, but there was no denying the fact that Levinia seemed to look up to her a lot. Of course, Beira found herself unconsciously trying to live up to Levinia's expectations, even though she wasn't quite certain what these expectations were.

    Why had Levinia asked Beira to meet her here, in such a place as this, where someone could get killed and their body hidden forever, never to be discovered? She was sure her friend and protege would have a cogent reason. If anything, Beira trusted Levinia, and she was quite certain Levinia trusted her as well. However, a place such as the Mysterious Canyon, despite its surreal beauty, was a place which housed great danger, and as such she was glad Levinia had called for her aid, as she was quite keen on being around to support Levinia through whatever it was the girl had to undergo. Maybe it was the fact that Beira had no younger siblings that made her attached to the strange girl. She would have explained it away as having been conditioned to be a leader via her upbringing, but Beira's interactions with Levinia were more filial than official, which was how she had been trained to behave with followers.

    Putting aside thoughts of leadership, the God Slayer made her way towards the edge of the canyon, walking with ease down the gentle slope towards a lone figure sitting on a black rock. Beira was sure the ground was deceptive; it would get rather more treacherous once advancement was made into the canyon proper. In any case, she felt up to the task. She was confident of her skills as a climber. Walking up to the seated figure, whom she recognized as Levinia, Beira made no attempt to conceal her approach. "Greetings, Levinia," she said calmly, though the pleasure at seeing her friend was quite evident in her tone of voice. "It has been a while since we last parted ways. I hope your existence has been relatively fair to you. Now, what exactly are we getting ourselves into? I'd like for a better explanation as we proceed." Yes, the letter Levinia had sent Beira had given some information, but the Utgardian wanted more details. There was nothing bad about having more details.


    WC: 650 words
    Total: 1265/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Sun 5 Apr 2020 - 23:02

    Levinia looked up as Beira approached, a hidden smile spreading across her face, as she jumped off the rock on which she was perched. As usual, Beira acted somewhat coolly, but Levinia could discern the fondness in her voice. It was like her mentor to often act just like the element she wielded, even though she was warmer to people who knew her better. At least, that was her perception of Beira. She was aware that Beira was affiliated with a dark guild, but she had not bothered to ask why. If there was anything her life had taught her, it was to never judge a book by its cover. After all, while "Light" mages considered her to be of an ill-favored look, a "Dark" mage had extended protection and friendship towards her. It wasn't like she was going to join any dark guild as a result. Beira probably had her reasons to have chosen such a guild, and perhaps the answer would reveal itself, or she would ask Beira when curiosity got the better of her. But right now, she was projecting much too far into the future. The "now" held a very important matter.

    "Yeah, it's been a while, Beira. Good to see you." Levinia skipped over to her mentor, her excitement barely concealed. "I'm so glad you could make it. Thanks so much for coming. I felt you would be interested in what I'm about to do... or at the very least, you would have been offended if I didn't tell you. First..."

    She waved her 'new' right hand at Beira. Not satisfied with having only one arm, Levinia had finally succeeded in inventing a prosthetic limb that worked just like any other arm. "I made it myself. To be quite honest, I never even thought I could manage such a thing, but not only does it react to my synapse commands, like the rest of my body, I managed to imbue it with some... abilities. Cool huh?"

    Beira did not need to see her face to know that she was grinning from ear to ear; her voice and body language were enough to express just how she felt. Then almost suddenly, she stopped. Her voice became more serious, but it still held an excited flavor.

    "Also, Beira, I think I'm close to getting rid of my curse."

    She paused for a while, to allow her words to sink in, then continued, so as to answer any immediate questions, as they were imminent. "I mentioned Andhaft in my letter to you, right? Well, he's a potions expert, and knows a lot about mutations and the effects of physical and mystical substances on physical, mental and mystical conditions. Heh, I've told him to write a book or something, but he doesn't seem keen on it. Oh, sorry, I digress.

    So, he and I have been working together on something. I didn't want you to bother with any of the details before, as at some point, it didn't seem feasible, and I wouldn't have to waste your time on it, then. But now, it's done. A potion was concocted, very very powerful stuff, which has a 55% chance of success. I gave such a percentage, because it has never been tested on human beings. It was tested on plants and smaller animals, though, and the success rate was 82.6%. I'm going to try out that potion today, Beira, because I'm tired of being a monster."


    She turned and pointed into the canyon. "So, we're off to Andhaft's keep," she announced, as she began to lead the way. "I'm sure you've got a lot of questions, but I'm fairly positive that it will work. No, it must work. There is no other option." The last statement was said with an edge of dangerous decisiveness in her voice.

    WC: 637
    TWC: 1902/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Tue 7 Apr 2020 - 23:48

    Beira stood silently as she listened to her expressive friend go on about how glad she was that the God Slayer was here. Sometimes she wondered why people were so talkative, but had to admit that if everyone in the world had a similar behavior to hers, there would be a great deal of silence. Besides, it seemed that most people appeared to get somewhat uncomfortable when in the presence of another, and there were no more words being spoken from one person to another. Having someone like Levinia, who was willing to speak, was most probably the proof against moments of awkward silence between the two mages, although as far as Beira was concerned, she saw nothing uncomfortable about the moments of silence that wormed their way between people when conversations came to an end.

    Despite Levinia's apparent garrulousness, the Utgardian Winter Goddess knew who the younger girl really was. On the social spectrum, Levinia was quite introverted, and to most, would appear to desire to just get out of the way of most, seeing the spotlights of social circles as rather daunting. Maybe the social reticence of the girl was one of the many things that made Beira find common ground with her protege. Why Beira had decided to choose a grease monkey to take under her wing was a matter that needed some consideration, though. For starters, the Utgardian had initially thought herself still too young to become someone else's guide through life, and would have said, if asked, that she did not desire a human "pet", as she probably would have worded it. Interesting how, with the advent of the strange masked girl into her life, she discovered a more protective, maternal side which she didn't think she had. Oh, and she didn't consider Levinia a pet, in any case.

    The prosthetic arm being displayed before the God Slayer was intriguing. She was not, as she had gotten to realize a long time ago, a fan of what people called technology (to her it was just the idiosyncratic magic type of Fiore, or Bosco, or whatever clime it belonged to), but some aspects of it were still quite mesmerizing to her, being the curious individual which she was. She walked over to Levinia and gently took hold of the prosthetic arm, momentarily studying it with quiet interest. "Does it feel? I mean like normal flesh?" It was one of the blessings of having a natural organic body, the ability to feel things. One of her teachers had once told her that, for a warrior, the ability to feel was a great disadvantage, but Beira was sure that she hadn't come to this plane of existence to be a warrior alone, and whatever else she wanted to be found the sensation of touch to be a necessary faculty.

    "I hope my question does not bother you," the Winter God Slayer said, releasing her hold on Levinia's hand. There were people Beira knew, who were quite adept at taking insult over trivial matters, as much as her opinion was concerned. Though Levinia didn't seem to be of the sort, Beira knew she was still a sensitive person, and it was not wise to seek to offend someone she considered a friend, especially when there was no rational cause for such a behavior. "In any case, despite my lack of... specific excitement concerning the branch of magic you people refer to as technology, I must admit that this piece of work is particularly splendid to consider. That it responds to your mental commands is quite impressive. But lest my brain begins to cook up unnecessary and perhaps foolish questions on the workings of your new arm, let us move on to more present matters...

    The matters of lifting your curse."


    Levinia had mentioned that the proffered solution to the curse that had plagued her was in form of a potion. While the Utgardian maiden was wont to consider the concept of drinking a potion as a means to lifting a curse, she realized that it was probably just her being paranoid over the safety of her friend. Levinia seemed to trust this Andhaft, so Beira would not be all suspicious and scrutinizing of every shadow and curtain and article that had the potential to conceal a potential or actual threat. All the same, that Levinia would invite her to partake in this event, though it pointed at the trust the younger woman had in her, Beira could not help but fear that there was the likelihood of danger beneath the apparently harmless matter which was being undertaken. And while there was the possibility that the potion might kill Levinia, the solution to someone being poisoned by potions was not to defenestrate every single soul in Andhaft's keep. She would just hope that the potion worked, and Levinia was safe. But one thing was certain: any external threat would have to answer to herself.

    Beira followed Levinia as the latter led the way into the valley, her blue eyes roving around for signs of the fortress, even as she replied to Levinia's comment about her having questions. "I just have two questions, Levinia. Firstly, do you know who may be responsible for your curse? People are not naturally born with curses. And secondly, I know the nature of your curse shows in your skin and blood variations from the norm, but is there any other way in which it displays its effects?"


    WC: 912 words
    Total: 2814/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Wed 8 Apr 2020 - 11:18

    Levinia had held up her prosthetic arm and wiggled the fingers, when Beira asked whether it could feel anything. "Well, yeah. It can feel, just like my left hand, but I must admit that the experience is somewhat different from real skin. The lachryma-weave within the 'arm' generates a field that transmits the sensation to my brain. I won't say this arm can get me to feel pain as we know it, but I get an uncomfortable sensation when something that should cause me pain is inflicted on my arm. So, I guess it's the next best thing." She grinned behind her mask. "And don't worry, Beira; your question wasn't in any way offensive."

    Levinia had been of the opinion that people who usually did not like technology tended to belong to the older aged "traditionalists", who were not usually thrilled with new inventions and innovations. That was until Beira, anyway. She supposed that Beira had been brought up in a society that highly valued customary heritages, and preferred magic over physical laws. Be that as it may, Beira was right, in a sense, only Levinia thought of it the other way around: magic was science, and science was magic, but magic was that aspect of science that had yet to be proven and successfully analyzed by modern technology.

    As the two of them walked further into the canyon, picking their way past and through gullies and rocky paths, Beira wanted to talk about the phenomenon that plagued her, what she called her curse. Her questions seemed purely scientific and investigative, like those an interested journalist might ask of someone with a captivating subject matter. Yet, Levinia knew that beneath the calm exterior and passive curiosity, her mentor was concerned about her safety. She never wanted anyone to carry her burdens on their shoulders (if she could help it), and she had considered not informing Beira, if only to save her the stress of worry. The reason she ultimately decided against that line of thought was that she had a feeling that Beira would be offended, had she gone ahead with the purification process without telling her.

    Her mentor's questions were direct, but Levinia was more or less past the point of feeling ashamed talking about the subject. She was desperate, a feeling that had made her virtually embrace her condition, so as to learn every single thing she could about it. And although Beira's questions brought back memories, painful memories, she was learning to meet them head on. Something told her that in the future, she would come up once again face to face with her past. And when that happened, she hoped to be inured to a point that some "revelation" would not throw her off balance enough to make her a liability.

    "Oh, I certainly know who is... or who are responsible for this curse. It's both shocking and sad to say, but they're supposed to be my kin. Well, maybe not direct relatives or something, but I think we all have a common source or ancestry. I've borne this thing for almost as long as I can remember. I think my parents were leaders of sorts, then they were usurped. I can remember the silhouettes of the people that stood around my father's fallen body, brandishing weapons. I can't tell if he survived that day, but I never saw him again."

    She noticed that she had still not gotten completely over those events, as her eyes were beginning to well up with tears, but she forced them away through sheer strength of will. With all those bandages on her face, it would be difficult for her to wipe tears, and wet bandages were uncomfortable. Besides, she would be forced to take off her mask, something she didn't like doing, even when she was alone. "I was with my mother when they came for me... or at least I think I was the one they were ultimately after. She put up a splendid fight. I still remember the earth shaking, the loud thunderclaps... but they were too many for even her. And like my dad, I never saw her again. I think I was barely three or so."

    Even though she had been very young, the events were still as vivid as though they had been yesterday. It was believed that even little children could remember important memories, whether good or bad. "The next days were full of horror and pain. I remember being injected with something, and I fell very sick. I can't remember how long the sickness lasted, but I know it was what changed me into this." Her voice suddenly became hopeful. "Andhaft told me it was a sort of powerful mutagen, and based on his research, it can be reversed, seeing as it seems more 'magical' than mainstream biological. In essence, I'll be mutating my body back to what it originally was... or something like that."

    "To answer your second question, I think the most serious effect of the curse is on my magic. I've been unable to learn magic for a while, but then as I grew older, that effect seemed to weaken, and someone taught me to harness chi. He said that I might be able to learn it, since it had something to do with manipulating natural energy and not focusing on my own energy reserves alone. I managed alright, even though it did take me quite some time. Always, I feel like I can do more, like there's some power within, brimming, struggling to come out. But something alien, very foreign, always suppresses it. Also, I keep getting the feeling that there's something in my psyche, monitoring me, and it is clearly not pleased that I am kicking against this curse. The older I get, the weaker that suppressing feeling is, and the more disgruntled this... monitoring thing becomes. And that is all the more reason I must see this through to the very end."

    Their journey had taken them deep within the canyon, and on rounding a bend formed by a massive granite bluff, they espied a grey castle, built into the wall of the canyon. It would not be very easy to notice it, even from above, thanks to the lush vegetation that cloaked it. Still, Levinia had been here numerous times, and Andhaft had shown her secret ways by which one could easily get to the fortress.

    "Here we are!" Levinia announced as they approached a narrow walkway that led over a deep crevice that formed a waterless moat for the fortification. "Don't know how Andhaft found this place, but I think it's a million jewel find."

    Silently, in the trees above, a figure watched the two women approach the fortress, armed with a sword and three daggers. It was concealed in a dark cloak that perfectly blended in with the foliage that concealed it. Quietly, like a shadow, it drew two of the knives with a gloved hand, and aimed. It made no move until Beira and Levinia were on the stone walkway, then it threw the daggers from behind, a single armed motion with impressive accuracy, at the back of their necks.

    WC: 1198
    TWC: 4012/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Fri 10 Apr 2020 - 21:08

    The Utgardian God Slayer watched as Levinia wiggled her fingers, then reached out once again to touch the fingers of the prosthetic limb. As expected, it felt artificial, foreign, but Beira was not inclined to express any displeasure on the nature of the arm. If she had been as disadvantaged as her protege, who knew whether she wouldn't have set aside her misgivings towards the 'strange magics of technology', and found some sort of prosthetic as well. Given what she knew about trying to get an arm replacement via magic, there were many options, of course, but most of them often tended to involve some clause that did not settle well with the Errings Rising mage. If it wasn't making a pact with some otherworldly being that actually was not interested in your well-being, it was end up being a symbiote with some amorphous magical creature that grafted itself to where your missing limb had been. Or even worse, having the limb of something else grafted to you. Levinia's technology seemed much... cleaner, by comparison.

    "Consider me rather impressed, for what it's worth," Beira said, letting her own arm fall back to her side. For the younger woman to have announced that she had created the arm, that sounded like a rather impressive feat. It meant that Levinia was very knowledgeable as far as the witchcrafts of Fiorean technology were concerned. For someone that young, being able to create one's own personal arm seemed like a big deal to Beira. True, she knew that Levinia was a genius when it came to the workings of tech, but even geniuses were not often inventors. Beira could not help but feel a momentary sense of pride concerning Levinia's work. She hadn't made it; as a matter of fact, she had had no input whatsoever in the creation of Levinia's arm. And yet, the young techie, for some reason she was yet to figure out, looked up to her with a great deal of respect. Something about that made the Utgardian more eager to live up to the expectations placed on her by her protege.

    The journey into the canyon was relatively uneventful, though the road was not the most comfortable, and without a very amazing map or adequate knowledge of the area, it would be quite difficult to wend along the road on which the two mages walked. As they did, Levinia began answering the questions Beira had asked. Initially, Beira had expected the curse to have been the unwitting conclusion of some accident, or perhaps the result of the actions of a mortal enemy, either of Levinia, her parents, or those with whom she had affiliations. The revelation that the curse was afflicted on the girl by those who were supposed to call themselves her people brought a bitter taste to Beira's mouth. There was a similarity between the two mages, in any case. Both had been raised by the rulers of their people, and life had drastically changed with what Beira could only refer to, especially as far as her case was concerned, as an upheaval in government.

    The curse was an affliction of form, what Levinia referred to as a mutagen. Beira was sure they meant the same thing, more or less. Also related to the curse was Levinia's inability to use conventional magic. She had made up for it by learning to harness natural energy. The name she called it sounded Midian, but Beira was not in the present mood to discuss names and their associated semantics. The idea of something monitoring the curse somehow rang a plethora of alarm bells in Beira's head. Whatever was monitoring Levinia was eager to see her curse maintained. The Utgardian hoped that whatever it was, it would reveal itself. She was eager to introduce it to the various ways by which she was capable of putting an end to things. She was, after all, not referred to as a Slayer for no reason.

    "Well, if indeed we should meet members of your... clan," the God Slayer said ominously, her tone as frigid as the element she commanded, though Levinia would know that the animosity was not directed towards her, "do show me any that you still feel partial towards. The rest might just be the combat practice I've been looking for in a while...." Truth be told, Beira had no idea just how powerful these members of Levinia's clan were, but she was proud of her combat prowess, and even in the face of overwhelming odds, she had been trained to give as excellent an account of herself as she could, as far as matters of the sword were concerned. A part of her hoped they would meet these strange folk. Aside her desire to fight them, Beira had a feeling that they were not your run of the mill, garden variety, standard humans. Another interesting matter to document, in any case.

    By now, as the two mages walked, a great granite outcropping of rock was traversed around, and an incredible vista opened itself to the eyes of the God Slayer. A large space opened out in front of them, and at the far end of the space was what initially appeared to be some interestingly formed formations of rock, which, on closer scrutiny, was revealed to be an actual castle, seemingly dug out of the side of the canyon. It was ingenious, the structure, because the foliage and vegetation that grew around, beneath and on top of it, made it rather difficult to observe, unless one had sharp eyes. Beira had to agree with her friend; the fellow named Andhaft had been rather fortunate to have found such a sanctuary as the one before the two mages. The causeway that led to it seemed like the path towards the front door, and while Beira had no issues with knocking like reasonable visitors, she was also interested in seeing one of the hidden passageways.

    "And speaking of combat..." the Utgardian maiden said, pausing in mid-sentence, as she activated her Winter God Dominance, before grabbing the dagger aimed at Levinia, while her motion made the one aimed at her miss by a hair's breadth, "someone doesn't seem too pleased with us coming here to say hello, and I, for one, am not at all pleased either with this lack of hospitality." As she said this, the God Slayer flung the dagger back in the direction from which it came, having been made aware of the hidden assailant by using her sixth sense. Whatever response the cloaked adversary made towards the flying dagger, they would suddenly notice that someone was behind them, as Beira used the opportunity to teleport from beside Levinia to behind the attacker, having formed a blade of nether rime in her hand, which she pressed against the assailant's throat.

    "Now, be a dear, and tell me why you attacked us," Beira whispered in the person's ear, "or we'll just have to see how well your dark cloak can hide blood stains."


    WC: 1172 words
    Total: 5184/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Fri 10 Apr 2020 - 22:14

    Levinia was mildly surprised at Beira's intense expression, when she talked about her curse and those responsible for it. She was not uncomfortable, however, as she was aware that her mentor's ire was directed at her people, but was actually relieved to see that if the worst should happen, and her past return to hunt her (no spelling error there) in any way, she would have strong support in Beira. She was not yet aware of the full capabilities of her mentor, but Levinia knew that as far as mages went, Beira seemed to stand among the stronger ones, and she was pleased the Winter God Slayer was on her side. In reply to Beira's offer to harm the members of her clan who had been responsible for her ailment, Levinia said:

    "I'll keep that in mind, Beira. I suppose I don't really have any fond feelings for any of them, save my parents, and who knows whether they are still alive?" Her voice became more subdued. "That would actually be nice; to be able to see them again and maybe even save them from whatever mess they're in..."

    She sighed and shook her head. That was wishful thinking at best. It was more likely that they would have been killed off, since they would be more difficult to control and oppress, being adults with immense powers. For now, she would just take things one step at a time. No point getting ahead of herself. If she was even going to try to look for them, she had to clean herself up and get stronger. Levinia was absolutely sure that if this mutagen did its work successfully, and she was rid of the curse, she would get stronger. It wasn't like anyone told her this, but she was confident of it.

    Approaching Andhaft's Keep was always a delight for Levinia. She found the scenery very calming, and the way the fortress blended in with the surrounding area, shaded by herbage, was nothing short of a work of art. Often, she wondered how old the place was, how many years ago the masons had worked on the stones. She believed that magic must have been involved in its creation, or perhaps there were wondrous creatures that had used special technology or innate abilities to complete this work. Whatever the case, she believed this work could not have been done by modern humans, as it had seemed abandoned for a very long time, according to Andhaft, and was empty and forgotten.

    As she stepped onto the walkway, she suddenly realized that Beira started emitting an aura of her dark ice magic, and in a flash, almost faster than Levinia's eyes could follow, definitely faster than her body could move, Beira had snatched an airborne knife out of mid-air, while avoiding another one aimed for her. Levinia quickly took a defensive position. They hadn't even gotten into the keep, and they were already being attacked? She had been hoping that today would be rather uneventful, save for the party that would come after her curse had been lifted, but it seemed like the presiding congress over human events had decided against it. As she managed to get a glimpse of the dagger before Beira vanished into thin air, she could have sworn that there was something familiar about it, though she couldn't yet discern what it was. And speaking of Beira's disappearance, it seemed to be a sort of magic that utilized runes quite unrelated to the dark ice magic Levinia had seen before. Whatever it was, it was a very nifty spell, though it left her wondering whether the spell had transported her mentor, or just caused her to pass from the senses of the physical plane.

    In a heartbeat, that question was answered, as she heard Beira's voice come from a tree that faced the keep's stone causeway. Looking up, she saw the Winter God Slayer, armed with a blade of dark purple ice, which she used to hold their assailant captive. Behind her mask, she smiled, impressed with how her mentor had so quickly figured out the position of their attacker, and the speed with which she had responded. Their assailant, for their part, was obviously surprised when the blonde haired woman was suddenly behind them, questioning their motives.

    "Looks like you got me there, beautiful," he said (for the voice was male), raising his hands in surrender. However, there was something mirthful about that voice, as though he saw all this as some kind of sport. "And I really don't like washing blood off my clothes, so I'll oblige you. I hold no ill will towards you, see? I only want..."

    Suddenly, he pushed backwards against Beira. His physical strength was that of an average male given to physical exercise, but his intention was not to knock her off balance. Rather, it was to simply put as much distance between his exposed neck and the knife, so as not to get cut when what was to follow happened. In the moment he did so, the branch beneath Beira and himself snapped with an explosive sound, causing both of them to plummet. The next thing, his cloak detached and blew into Beira's face, while the man performed a strange aerial maneuver that propelled him through the air, faster than gravity, to land a safe distance away from the Winter God Slayer. He now stood between Beira and Levinia, a tall man, completely covered in leather armor, with a bird-like mask concealing his face. He drew the final dagger and pointed it at Levinia, although his eyes were still on Beira.

    "Where was I? Oh yes, I have no business with you, Goldilocks." Her gestured towards Levinia with his head. "Let me have her, and I'll be on my way, nice and easy. I'll even give you my cloak. I know you've got your own, but admit it, mine is so suave and velvety. It's an offer you can't refuse. So, what do you say?"

    Levinia remained in her guarded stance, but she said nothing, did nothing. She wanted to see what Beira would do. Her mentor's actions would determine hers. Whatever the man wanted with her was unknown, but he seemed to consider Beira a bigger threat... which was true, anyway, but Levinia was not defenseless. If it came to it, she would show this troublemaker what she was made of...

    WC: 1071
    TWC: 6255/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Sun 12 Apr 2020 - 22:53

    Beira's maneuver had worked pretty well, as far as she was concerned, having gotten to the position she had wanted on the branch behind the assailant. The tensing of the muscles of the fellow in the tree was proof that he had not expected that she would have covered the distance between the two of them so quickly, and this was an obvious sign that Beira had surprised him. This meant that she was probably faster than he was. Most people of her similar speed level would have been alerted to the weight of an extra organism on the tree behind them, and would have made a response concerning her. If they were feeling confident, they could easily choose not to move, but their confidence would have been given away by the lack of tension in their muscles. Of course, it was not wise to just make an assumption based on this; the fellow probably had no idea that Beira could teleport. Still, it made a good deal of sense to take note of all responses made by the enemy, for Beira already considered this fellow such.

    But there was no reason for the Utgardian to attempt to kill him... yet. She was curious about his motives. Why did he aim daggers at herself and Levinia? Unless he was a hostile, and wanted to kill, or cause serious damage to, the two mages. A warning shot would have obviously been made to go wide, and the fact that he had targeted two small targets, said targets being the backs of their necks, meant that, if anything, his skill with throwing daggers was not lacking at all. Beira surmised that if he was stronger or much more skilled, he would have been able to throw the daggers with greater speed, making her response more difficult to pull off. Since she had been able to react to the daggers swiftly enough, he was not that good, or he knew Beira would be skilled enough to respond to the blades without sufficient threat to the two young women. This was unlikely, seeing as Beira could bet she didn't know this mysterious fellow from anywhere.

    The fellow proceeded to begin some small talk, which mattered little to Beira, before shoving himself backward against her to avoid her blade, and breaking the branch upon which the two of them perched. His antics did not surprise her, nor did they amuse her either. She was beginning to get irritated, to say the least. As the man's cloak billowed into her face, she snatched it out of the air, while performing a graceful flip, placing the clothing article beneath her, so that she landed in a graceful crouch on the spread cloak. Then she rose  from her crouching position, her eyes on the masked man who was pointing another dagger at Levinia. Another mental note: he could probably use magic. Maybe some air-related magic, or telekinesis, a guess Beira made from her observation of his way of getting to the ground. Also, a normal person would have landed at the foot of the tree, well within throttling range of the Winter Goddess. That he was out of arms reach proved he hadn't just let gravity have its way.

    She would have been in more of a bantering mood if Levinia didn't seem to be in some degree of danger. Even though her eyes were fixed on the mask of the much taller man, she could see that his position towards Levinia was threatening. That, she would not abide. Unless the event unfolded in which he somehow did not prove to be actually a threat, the Errings Rising mage had no intention of just letting him leave this place with his life. Beira disliked threats, to herself and those close to her, and she would not take it lightly with this fellow. "Goldilocks? Do you even have an idea who you're addressing?" the God Slayer asked, her face calm, but with a dangerous edge to her voice. This was a side of Beira she hadn't realized she had. Normally, she would not be so stern and harsh in her response; he had even called her beautiful, after all, but one didn't just threaten those dear to her, and think she would respond flippantly or not attempt to express her evident displeasure.

    The temperature began to plummet alarmingly as Beira silently exhaled, while a long shaft made of dark purple ice slowly formed in her hand. At the end of the shaft, resting on the ground, was a large, wicked-looking barbed axe-head. As the effects of her Winter God Breath kicked into effect, the masked man would feel the hurt from the magic-laced air, burdened with the powers of ice and death. He would also feel strange, like something in the air was draining his life away. Beira wanted this to be a warning to him, as well as a malevolent show of what she could do when she was displeased. What the man’s response to her was would determine whether she would get to spill his blood or not. ”Now, you would be wise to pay attention to my words,” the God Slayer intoned, walking slowly towards the man, as the barbs on her axe made a menacing screeching sound as they scraped on the stones of the walkway. ”You will explain to me what you want with the wee lass yonder…” a part of her mind laughed at her; calling Levinia a wee lass made her sound so old; ”and it had better be well to my liking, or by all the twinkling stars beyond your firmament, washing blood from your clothes would be the littlest of mercies you shall have, if you survive this encounter. What makes you think I’d be eager to just let you have her? And to insult me by exchanging her for a cloak? That paltry, little, wasted, flea-infested rag?!” She paused to laugh, a rather mellifluous, yet malevolent sound. ”You must be either quite brave, or rather bereft of your rational senses. If it will be of any consolation to you, since you so much want me to have your rag, I shall use it to wipe myself clean of your blood when we’re done here, because,” at this point, she hefted her axe and took a ready stance, ”between your reprehensible lack of manners and your apparent inanity, things are bound to get messy.”


    WC: 1074 words
    Total: 7329/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Mon 13 Apr 2020 - 0:21

    The masked figure tilted his head slowly to a side as Beira seemed to take insult at the moniker he had given her. "Come now, beautiful, I meant no disrespect..." he said with a placatory tone of voice, before stopping short and watching Beira, his former attention on Levinia now focused on the Winter God Slayer. It was obvious her tone of voice and inclement magic had surprised, maybe slightly alarmed him, but it was difficult to tell, what with the mask that hid his facial expressions. If anything was obvious, it was that his jocular nature had diminished with the realization that the blonde mage was indeed powerful.

    On the other side of the masked menace, Levinia involuntarily shivered. The temperature of the air had suddenly plummeted, and no one needed to tell her that this was Beira's doing. She noted, with no little amount of interest, that the man did not show any outward appearance of being affected by the cold. He just stood there, watching Beira, but Levinia noticed his muscles were slowly contracting, like he was preparing himself to spring, or take some other locomotory maneuver. She considered making an attack while he was distracted, perhaps throwing a Senkinomi at him, or attacking him with a close quarter technique. The projectile energy ball would probably be more advantageous, seeing that the man seemed to favor physical techniques himself, and would thus likely be more harmful the closer she was to him. Besides, his speed was impressive, and if there was anything she knew about a quick opponent, unless they favored ranged attacks, it was best to keep them beyond arms length, unless one could match their speed. Nevertheless, there was something else that stayed her hand, and it wasn't because she would probably lose to him, if they fought.

    There was something rather familiar about his persona: the way he moved, his voice (even though it seemed different in some way), his choice of weapons and their design... but it was really difficult for her to place her finger on it. She felt she was supposed to know who he was, but for the life of her, the information just refused to sit still and let her brain catch up with it. By this time, Beira had formed a rather menacing-looking axe, and she slowly approached the man, obviously intent on causing him some serious hurt. Beira seemed not to be a very patient person, and the man's fooling around had only served to incur her wrath. It was at this point that he would probably draw his sword, and engage the blonde mage in weapon combat. And as if he was bearing witness to her unspoken thought, his free arm, the one not wielding a dagger, slowly began to rise upward, the trajectory of his open hand following the line that would lead it to the sword strapped to his back. Levinia would just have to step away and watch the proceedings, because if he was so sure of his skill, then he might just be able to go toe to toe with Beira. And she might end up being a distraction, if she tried to interfere.

    But he simply laughed, twirled the dagger, put it away, and held up both his hands in surrender.

    "Okay, okay, I give up... give in... whatever it is people do to quit. No, I'm serious. I'm not fighting, nor was I really looking for one, anyway."

    Levinia's eyes widened, and an eyebrow (actually the skin at the point where her brows would be; she's completely hairless) arched as high up as it could go, her face the perfect expression of incredulity... but of course, it was hidden by her mask. Still, she couldn't help but blurting out the only word that came to her brain:

    "Really?!!"

    "No joke, Lev." The man was definitely speaking to her, but his face was still turned towards Beira, just in case the woman was feeling bloodthirsty on this day. "You didn't tell me she was this fierce..." Levinia's mind zoned out the man's words, as the realization hit her: he had just called her name, and he had even used a diminutive of it. Hardly anyone knew her by name; she was a nameless freak to most, who was better off kept out of the public. Then the realization hit her, not like a sudden wave, but like the coming of a roaring storm that is driven towards one by the wind.

    "Dorn? Dorn! You idiot! You oafish, silly, stupid thing! You...!"

    Levinia, momentarily forgetting at that point that her mentor was drawing ominously towards the man, ran at him and clawed at the mask, hitting him on the head and chest as she tried to pull it off, and he tried to hold her at bay.

    "Hey! Hey! Easy on the leather, short stuff. You'll tear my princely garb..."

    Levinia, for her part, railed on him as she assailed him with both hands, then suddenly broke off into a cackle of relieved laughter. It was sometimes surprising how events turned: one moment, it was like a bloody battle would be imminent, the next, the realization came that the supposed enemy was a dolt acquaintance, trying to play a practical joke. Then the low temperatures reminded her that there was some explaining to do, and many questions to ask. She turned to Beira, her laughter finally abating, but her voice still very much amused.

    "This nitwit here is Dorn. He's one of Andhaft's pack, and a denizen of this keep. He's always acting like an idiot, so don't bother asking why he pulled such an act. Still..."

    She turned to face Dorn, all stern, her hands on her hips. "What kind of crazy prank were you trying to pull? Throwing knives at us? Seriously?"

    The man pulled off the mask with his left hand, revealing an intelligent face with dark eyes and a light beard. From his looks, he would not be much older than Beira, if he was, at all. "Well, you bragged a lot about your mentor, and come on, I had to see for myself whether she was as cool as you described her." He glanced at Beira, a slight grin on his face. "She's not cool, Levinia. She's cold and dangerous."

    Dorn gave Beira a courteous, low bow. "Kindly forgive my lack of manners, beautiful. I needed to verify some things. Two things actually. And I have been impressed by the answers I received. As penance for my foolish ways, I will answer any questions you wish to ask... except how much I have saved in my secret stash."

    He winked at Beira, prompting Levinia to roll her eyes and kick him in the calf. "Don't go easy on him, Beira," she offered, as she looked towards the large doors of the keep, which opened of their own accord to usher them in. "Ready when you are, Lev. The old man and Grumpy are all set."

    Dorn looked at Beira, and gestured at her to come along, a penitent smile on his face. Beyond the walkway and the double doors, a wide courtyard stretched beyond. At its far end stood a grey building, its door slightly open.

    WC: 1209
    TWC: 8538/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Wed 15 Apr 2020 - 23:17

    It seemed the masked fellow was not interested in getting into a fight with Beira, a problem that he had all to himself. Beira was not, on a normal day, eager for fights and bloodshed, but one could be sure to get it if she, or anyone she felt inclined to protect, seemed threatened. In actuality though, the only reason she had not attempted to lop off the man's head immediately was because she wanted to see if he would attempt to surrender or run away. If he surrendered, well she had no reason to kill him... yet, but she would make sure he was interrogated, so that she could get to the bottom of this whole matter. If he chose to run away, however, she would not give chase. Her interest lay within the hidden keep beyond the stone causeway on which she stood. As far as she was concerned, this fellow was a distraction. An annoying one.

    The man seemed to be reaching upward with his free hand. It was likely he was attempting to reach for his sword. Beira was one for preemptive attacks, but for some reason she was unsure of, she wanted to wait and see what exactly this fellow wanted to do. What he did was quite different from what Beira had in mind. He sheathed his weapon and held up his hands in a gesture of concession. Beira straightened into a more relaxed stance, her facial expression one of utter confusion. "What are you doing, exactly?" Beira asked, though she did not let up the cold weather, nor stop her approach. He could be simply faking it, trying to lure her into a false sense of security, before suddenly attempting to attack. After all, he had not barred their way on the stone bridge and demanded Beira to hand Levinia over, which was what, in the God Slayer's opinion, an honorable opponent would do. He had opted to throw knives from a hidden position, and Beira was already thinking of him as a sleaze of sorts.

    It seemed that the man's response would not be the only thing that Beira would find surprising. Whoever he was, he actually knew Levinia. Now she was totally lost. As her protege rushed at the man, comically attacking him, Beira just stopped and stared at them, the confused expression on her face deepening. She stood in silence and watched until Levinia was done laughing, and introduced the masked fellow to Beira. Confusion changed to slight suspicion, evident by the raised eyebrow on Beira's face. One of Andhaft's pack would mean that he was an ally, and while Beira was not so devoid of humor so as to be irritated by the man's antics, she still thought it was quite stupid to make an attack such as throwing knives at people's necks. Though Levinia excused his behavior by mentioning that he was always doing things like that, the God Slayer was not completely mollified. Life and death issues were hardly a subject for jokes.

    Realizing she was still holding the terrible-looking axe, Beira sighed and released her grip on the weapon, causing it to dissipate into thin air. At the same time, the cold temperature returned to normal, as fast as it had dropped. It seemed the fellow, whose name was Dorn, had merely pulled a prank because he wanted to see if Beira was as good as Levinia said she was. "So, I see someone has been talking about me," the Utgardian replied, casting an amused glance at Levinia. If the girl was comfortable around Dorn, half-idiot as he seemed to be, there was little reason to be hostile. He seemed to be around her age, at least as far as appearances went; she was probably older than the fortress which stood at the end of the bridge. She decided to take the 'cold and dangerous' as a compliment, though she decided to have the last word.

    "Well, if you had actually been hospitable enough to welcome a pair of weary travelers to your keep, you may not have had to describe me as cold and dangerous," Beira said in a light tone, shaking her head at Dorn. The offer to answer her questions would be taken up by the God Slayer, though she stared blankly at Dorn when he winked at her. Utgardians did not wink... maybe unless they had something sour on their tongues. She knew what a wink was, though she was feeling a bit more mischievous than was normal. "Did something fly into your eye, Dorn?" the Utgardian asked with a very innocent, wide-eyed expression on her face, maybe a bit too innocent. "As to your offer to answer my questions, I'll gladly accept it with thanks, though I'm not sure why I should be interested in your 'secret stash'... unless it's a Fiorean euphemism for... never mind."

    As the group walked into the keep, Beira listened to Dorn as he mentioned that some people were waiting for them. "Who's Grumpy?" she asked, suspecting that the appellation was actually a nickname. And the mere fact that Dorn had used a nickname for the person was enough to make her curious. But she was sure that this person called Grumpy was not going to be the sunniest person in the world. As long as this Grumpy didn't try to be mean to her, Beira was sure she wouldn't have issues with the person. She was just here to see the strange curse lifted from Levinia.


    WC: 921 words
    Total: 9459/16000


    Last edited by Fraag on Fri 17 Apr 2020 - 0:05; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Thu 16 Apr 2020 - 23:42

    As the former duo now turned trio walked into the courtyard, Dorn, in answer to Beira's question pointed to a low bridge that spanned across the courtyard and connected two towers. Resting on the parapet of the bridge, and watching them as they approached, was a dark haired woman, probably in her mid-twenties, who observed them with an indifferent scowl. Her eyes lingered on Beira for a few seconds and completely ignored Dorn, even though he waved cheerfully, before shifting to Levinia, whom she fixed with something a little more benign than a glare. At length, she gestured with her head towards the building in front of them and behind her, indicating that they were meant to head there. And then she straightened up and marched into one of the towers.

    "Well, that's our darling Grumpy- all bright and cheer and sunshine," Dorn said with a sound that seemed like a mixture of a scoff and a chuckle. "She hasn't really taken to Lev, no idea why, but at least, she respects the big boss' wishes."

    "Her name's actually Merise," Levinia said to Beira. "I'm not sure she'd smile at the nickname, so I wouldn't call her that..." The last statement was made with her casting a sidelong glance at Dorn, who shrugged apathetically. "Eh, she doesn't smile at anything, so what's the point trying to get her to do so? Besides, getting under her skin is fun."

    Levinia was going to say something about how that habit of his might get him injured or worse, when the doors ahead of them opened, and an elderly man walked out, squinting in the midafternoon sun as he observed the three of them. Then he smiled, a slow, demure, almost hesitant smile, evocative of a person who has seen a lot of tragedy in life and never wears his heart on his sleeve. He was dressed in leather armor, like Dorn, over which he wore a brown apron with many aged stains. His hands were gloved, and he wore thick boots. His hair, which was long enough to extend a little beyond his shoulders, was done in a pony tail, and his beard, which was done in a designer stubble, was grey with age, like his hair.

    "Ah, you've arrived. Good to see you, Levinia, Dorn. This would be Beira, I believe?" His voice was deep, and he spoke slowly, as though he measured each word. The man pulled off his gloves as he walked towards them, stuffed them in the pocket of his apron, and extended a hand to Beira. "Levinia says a lot about you. She told us you would be interested in our 'curse breaking' endeavor, and she wanted you to come. Pleased to make your acquaintance. I'm Andhaft."

    Dorn handed the bird-like mask he had worn recently to Andhaft. "The mask's ability to hide identity worked for the most part," he said with an air of satisfaction. "Lev couldn't recognize me, even with my blades, until I called her by name..."

    "And I'm guessing you did a good job of riling our guests while you tested your experiment, yes?" the older man replied disapprovingly, as he received the mask. Dorn answered with a nervous chuckle and made no comment. Shaking his head, Andhaft turned back to the two young women. "Please, make yourselves at home, Levinia, Beira. We can begin at twilight."

    "Um, any reason why we can't start now?" Levinia asked.

    "Yes. You don't like siestas."

    When Levinia looked confused, Andhaft explained: "You're going to sleep for a while, after the potion is administered. Since you seem to always like making good use of your day, evening should be better. Besides, you just traveled. Take some time to rest. The potion sits in the laboratory and isn't going anywhere. Let's meet here when the sun falls beyond the outer wall." He paused, like he was trying to remember something, then he added: "That would be six."

    Thus saying, everyone was left to their devices. "Let me show you around a bit, if you don't mind," Levinia offered to Beira, "though all I'm really conversant with is the pantry and the bedrooms."

    Some while later, Dorn came around to socialize with Beira, and ask questions about magic in general and the rest of Fiore. Levinia wandered about for a bit, until she happened on the "rummery", the place where the potions brewed in the keep were stored. To her surprise, the door was left ajar, and she walked over to it, curiosity getting the better of her. "Well, isn't this my lucky day?" she wondered to herself as she pushed the door open and entered. She knew Andhaft would not be there as he was upstairs in his lab, probably ensuring that everything would go smoothly. A mischievous grin crept across her face.

    "Where did they put that Pixie Ale?" she wondered, as she looked at the shelves neatly lined with bottles. The Pixie Ale was a drink she had always wanted to taste ever since she turned eighteen, but for some reason, Andhaft had not allowed her to even sip the stuff... Her eyes focused on a bottle sitting at the end of a table near the wall, and the first thing she saw was the label. "Aha!" she said exultantly, as she skipped to the bottle and opened it. She sniffed delicately at it and screwed up her nose. It did smell like alcohol, but it had some other odors which were difficult to identify. Well, Dorn had mentioned that the taste was grand, and she was going to show them that she was an adult and could hold her liquor. So, she took a sip at first and frowned.

    "The peppermint taste is not bad, but Dorn must really have issues with his taste buds, if this is what he calls 'grand'," she muttered, as she swirled the contents of the bottle. Then, she drained it to the last drop and wiped her lips.

    "If this is what the 'adults' are always crazy about, then that's too bad. I've tasted better stuff."

    She placed the empty bottle on a shelf which contained other empty bottles, then crept out of the rummery, and went her way, whistling. Suddenly Merise bolted past her, an intense look on her face. Levinia considered asking her what was going on, but ultimately decided against it, as she was sure the older woman would not answer her. Surprisingly, Merise paused, just as she reached the doorway, and said over her shoulder:

    "We might be under attack, kid." And with that, she was off.

    Levinia picked the pace after Merise, following her to the top of a battlement, which gave an impressive view of the entire valley. Andhaft was already there with Dorn, and his face looked troubled. "What's going on?" Levinia asked, as she tried to espy any would be intruders.

    "There's something... or things in the valley," Dorn explained. "Sneaking about is all they can do, anyway. We've got a ward that won't let them in, unless we approve."

    From the battlement, one could see about five or six strange creatures scramble towards the walkway far below. The sunset made it difficult to tell their exact color, but they seemed to be whitish. Dorn chuckled. "Watch them bounce off the ward as they..."

    The creatures ran on unhindered and traversed the walkway with no incident, causing Dorn to stop in mid-sentence with his mouth gaping open. On finding the doors shut and barred, they began climbing the walls.

    "We're being sabotaged!" Andhaft said darkly. "Dorn, find out what happened to that ward, and get it back up. The rest of you, follow me down to the courtyard. We have a job to do."

    As he said these words, a ram suddenly materialized, connecting the high battlement with the courtyard below. Andhaft ran down the ramp, with Levinia following close behind. Just as he got to the ground, he suddenly turned and looked at Levinia with an uneasy suspicion on his face. "Why do you smell of peppermint?" he asked. Levinia sighed. "Wow, your nose is sharp, Andhaft. Okay, you got me good. I wanted to prove to you guys that I'm also an adult, so I sneaked into the rummery and drank some Pixie Ale..."

    Now, Andhaft looked alarmed. "There is absolutely nothing peppermint in Pixie Ale," he replied. "What exactly did you drink?"

    Before Levinia could answer, one of the creatures jumped from the top of the wall, snarling and hissing, right at Andhaft. There was a flash of silver, and its head and arm rolled harmlessly past the elderly man, while its decapitated body hit the ground with a dull thud.

    "Now might not be the best time for answers, Andhaft," Merise opined. "These things are obviously hostile. We can start interrogations when we're done with the pressing matters at hand."

    Levinia readied herself for combat, but the question Andhaft asked her had become a query of her own. "What exactly did I drink?"

    WC: 1506
    TWC: 10965/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Sat 18 Apr 2020 - 22:49

    Beira turned to look at the scowling woman on the bridge, who stood watching the group as they walked through the courtyard. Without Dorn having to make any commentary, Beira could guess that this was the one he referred to as Grumpy. Frankly, the Utgardian could not be bothered about what made Grumpy tick; as long as she did not bring herself into Beira's personal space, the God Slayer was sure everyone would be able to have a workable, peaceful existence. The discovery that she did not like Levinia, and for no particular reason if Dorn's statement was to be believed, was more than enough to make Beira unfavorably disposed towards her, although Beira would not be the first to go trading blows with this Merise. Still, if Merise proved hostile towards her ward, Beira was sure that Grumpy would have the God Slayer in her face.

    Shortly after the scowling woman disappeared, an elderly man dressed in armor, over which was worn a leather apron, strode out of the building which stood before the group, someone Beira quickly assumed to be Andhaft. Approaching them, he greeted the trio, extending a hand to Beira, which she daintily but carefully took, hoping that was the way Fioreans did their hand greeting gestures. "You are correct, I am Beira. The pleasure of meeting you is mine, Andhaft." Hopefully, the greeting was correct. Someone that old, in Utgardian culture, did not greet a younger person by hand contact. Hand contact was for mates, but if this dignified old fellow was not complaining, she saw no reason to be bothered about the deviation from a culture which nobody was aware of in the present age.

    It seemed the bird mask had an enchantment of a kind, allowing the wearer to avoid recognition. It seemed to have worked rather well, seeing as Levinia had not recognized Dorn. And as Andhaft had guessed accurately, Dorn had been fooling around with the mask. Beira smiled slightly as the old man shook his head, although the smile faded to a slightly confused expression when Andhaft mentioned that the whole curse removal process would begin just before nightfall. In Beira's opinion, that was strange. She was expecting that the whole issue would be attended to immediately. It seemed Levinia was of a similar mindset, as the younger girl voiced Beira's unspoken question. Andhaft's response, while not too convincing to Beira, did have its own merits, and as such, she chose not to make a response. Though making herself feel at home in a place like this would probably be a task, unless everyone was fine with the Utgardian wandering across the grounds unchallenged.

    With nothing left to do, Levinia offered to make herself Beira's tour guide, and the God Slayer was glad to accept the offer. Seeing as she would not be looked on with a suspicious eye if she was found roaming the premises along with Levinia, Beira proceeded to enjoy the tour as well as she could. Having done this, and subsequently secured herself a meal space at the dining area of the fortress, Beira wondered, while she ate, whether this place was inhabited by only Andhaft, Dorm and Merise. If so, the three of them seemed to be keeping the place well maintained. Shortly after, Dorn appeared, interested in small talk. Beira decided to oblige him and answer his questions, having no reason to antagonize him. She bore no ill will towards him for his stint on the causeway; he had just been fooling around, and that was easily forgiven, seeing as he had no malevolence intended.

    There was an alarm of sorts that suddenly seemed to ring across the keep, muted but clear enough. Dorn rose with an concerned expression, excused himself and rushed off. Having finished her meal, Beira left the dining table and followed him. The plates would be attended to later. For now, it seemed there was an emergency. When she got outside, everyone else was there. Someone had said it was stylish to appear late, but entrances were on no one's mind at the moment, maybe except for the entrances being made by the strange white humanoid things scrambling up the walls. As if things could not get any better, Levinia had drunk something that was NOT Pixie Ale, whatever Pixie Ale was. While Merise didn't feel now was the best time to attend to whatever Levinia had drunk, Beira had different thoughts.

    "I disagree," Beira announced, two short swords of nether rime appearing in each hand. "Unless your rummery does not have anything poisonous nor toxic in it, may I suggest that Andhaft please ascertain what it is Levinia has ingested? Myself, and anyone else who is not interested in loafing around, should be able to rout those things yonder." As she said so, one of the creatures scrambled over the wall. Quite ugly too, as far as physical descriptions were concerned. With a single thrust, one of her swords went through its head. She drew her weapon out of the being, as it fell backwards down the wall. Another followed it, its head cleaved in two down to its neck. "And is there any way we can ascertain why the wards on the keep aren't working? What is their function? Are the wards even functioning at all?"


    WC: 888 words
    Total: 11853/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Mon 20 Apr 2020 - 22:38

    Merise didn't seem to take to Beira's words very nicely. She leaped up the outer wall, then turned and gave the blonde mage a dark look. "I hope you're not insinuating that your sickly friend's life is more important than any of ours," she nearly hissed, as she swiftly smote one of the climbing creatures on the neck with her sword, cleaving its head from off its shoulders. "Andhaft is by far the best of us when it comes to close quarter combat, and we need all the hands we can muster here. We run the risk of being swamped, especially if Dorn doesn't get that ward up and..."

    Her sentence was cut short as a pale flash brightened the quickly darkening sky, before stretching itself over the entire fortress, like some sort of blanket. "Well, he certainly took his precious time," Merise muttered, although it was obvious she was relieved that the ward had been restored. At that point, the creatures seemed to stop their onslaught, but a few could still be seen on the walkway down below.

    "Now is not the time for arguments," Andhaft said sternly. "You both have a valid point. However, I believe we need to sort all this out with tact. As important as it is that we keep this fort, and our lives, safe, someone has to attend to Levinia. She is in very great danger, and as far as I'm concerned, nobody dies on my watch, not if I can help it."

    "Uh, boss?" Dorn's head peeked out of a window on a circular tower. "I think we should brace ourselves for the monster edition of 'Storm the Fort'. Most of them ran into the ditch, and the ward starts at its outer edge, as we all know."

    Andhaft sighed. "Any idea who took down the ward?"

    "No, but it was taken down from within, not outside. That much is obvious. oh, and our other defenses are fried. It will take a bit of a while, but I should be able to get them working."

    Merise eyed Beira and Levinia suspiciously, but did not say anything. Andhaft, for his part, was not interested in pointing fingers. "We'll sort out who did it later. Right now, let's work with what Dorn has told us. Merise, flush them out of the pit. We will force their hand, so that whatever they are plotting will be stopped at best, or at least botched, hopefully." Merise nodded, and started preparing a spell. "Beira, you seem very handy with your weapons, and from what Dorn told me, quite powerful, too. Could you please aid Merise? I will join the both of you shortly." He turned to Levinia, his expression grave. "The only thing that was made of peppermint here was your potion. And I noticed it was gone some time after the both of you arrived. I didn't want to raise any alarm until I was sure I hadn't misplaced it due to my occasional forgetfulness."

    Levinia's eyes widened. "Uh... so that was the potion? Then why was it in a Pixie Ale bottle...?"

    "That worries me too, but a more pressing question stands. How much of it did you drink?"

    Levinia squirmed uncomfortably. "Uh... all of it?"

    Andhaft swore under his breath in Bellumese. "That's enough to kill an eight hundred pound Vulcan..." When he next spoke, his voice was filled with urgency. "Quick, we must get you into my lab. There are some devices there that can ensure you don't die before you're healed."

    Levinia nodded and took a step after Andhaft. And then it was like something wrenched her insides viciously. She gasped and clutched at her belly, then sank to the ground writhing in pain. She felt very nauseous, and the need to throw up was increasing rapidly. Despite her pain, she realized that her condition posed a serious problem: her face was covered with bandages. Knocking off her mask first, she began tearing at the bandages as she rolled about in agony. he was vaguely aware that Andhaft was yelling something, but her ears could barely register anything. Whatever was churning in her insides could not be held back anymore, but fortunately, she had released her face enough to permit access to and from her mouth by the outside world.

    She retched violently, and was horrified to notice that what came out of her mouth was a copious amount of whitish, tarry gunk. Revulsion twisted her gut further, and she threw up more of the stuff. She began to feel the world spinning around her, and her body felt heavy like lead. The last thing she remembered was Andhaft picking her up and running...

    Meanwhile, Merise charged up a brilliant ball of light and cast it into the long pit below. The sphere descended, illuminating the depths, where many of the strange creatures lurked. Then the orb exploded into a brilliant flash, frying many of them instantly into ash, and forcing the rest to start pouring out of the pit. She heard Andhaft's voice, and looked over her shoulder momentarily to see Levinia cough up some strange stuff.

    "Eww..." she muttered, as she turned back to face the creatures, who had resumed climbing the wall. They were close to twenty or so remaining, and they climbed different areas, as though they wanted to separate the mages. All of a sudden, ten robed creatures rose out of the pit, humming and chanting as they raised their hands in unison, and began channeling some sort of dark energy. They looked like the crawling monsters, but seemed more intelligent and definitely capable of magic. Each one was surrounded by a strange dark ball, before they started making circular motions with their arms.

    "Why in the abyss do those things look like your friend?" Merise said to Beira, before charging at the creatures scaling the wall. There was going to be a lot to do, because while there was the swarm climbing the wall to contend with, the strange floating creatures continued their chant. If they were allowed to finish, who knew what would happen?

    WC: 1019
    TWC: 12872/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Tue 21 Apr 2020 - 21:51

    Beira met Merise's angry look with a cool, unbothered one. In her opinion, the grumpy woman's argument was moot. As at the moment, the defenders on the keep's walls were nowhere near being swamped, and while they certainly weren't idle, Beira was quite sure that with her included in the whole equation, Andhaft would most likely have no need to get his hands dirty, while the others kept him safe as he attended to Levinia. What irritated Beira was the fact that Merise seemed to have absolutely no consideration for Levinia's life, seeing as whatever Levinia had drunk could probably be rather toxic, and if such was the case, the masked girl stood the risk of dying. With that risk, Merise was still comfortable enough to ask Beira if she thought Levinia's life was more important than any of the others. Beira concluded mentally that she did not like this woman.

    Merise was forced to cut short her tirade when what seemed to be Dorn's ward suddenly sprang back into existence, creating a field between the advancing monsters and the keep, although some of the ghoulish things were on the inner side of the ward. A problem that, Beira was certain, could be fixed without too many hassles. The monsters beyond the ward stopped their advance, but Beira was sure they were probably just waiting for an opportune moment to resume the attack. The mere fact that the ward was down when it should have been up was enough reason for Beira to begin to feel that something was not right; she was beginning to have worries sneaking about in her mind, yet she could not identify any particular reason why she was to be worried. The ward was probably down because Dorn may have been negligent; he seemed like a rather goofy sort. Then again, Andhaft had mentioned sabotage; maybe that was why Beira was getting concerned. There could be a traitor....

    The old man probably guessed that Beira was going to have a few words with Merise, and was quick to prevent that, mentioning that both women had reasonable points. In any case, the Utgardian was pleased that the man had respect for the lives of those close to him, unlike Grumpy over there. She snorted dismissively at Merise and turned away, her eyes returning to the space beyond the edge of the section of the keep on which they stood. Beira had no idea of what 'Storm the Fort' was, but she was going to assume that it was probably some sort of Fiorean military game, one which did not involve the maiming and dismembering that those white aberrations seemed to be so interested in. If she had her way, it wasn't any human who would be at the receiving end of the dismemberment.

    Dorn's words confirmed Beira's fears: the wards had been disabled by someone from within. Beira caught Merise watching herself and Levinia with suspicion, and she began boiling inside. All the time she had been present in the keep, she had never been alone; Dorn and Levinia had seen to that. And she was also certain that Levinia could not have been behind the disabling of the wards; there was no reason for her protege to dispel the wards, especially as she had come to the keep for an important reason and it would be much safer for her if there were no hostiles trying to complicate matters while she got rid of her curse. There were a lot of things that did not add up, but Beira did not presently have the luxury to start thinking out how the loose ends were tied in.

    The next task was for Beira to join Merise in getting rid of the white aberrations, said task given to her by Andhaft. She shrugged. "I was almost thinking my job would be more along the lines of mooching around with Dorn," the God Slayer replied, flexing her neck. "Ah well, let's hope this will be fun." So saying, she placed a foot on the edge of the wall and looked down at the white monsters, while she attempted to listen to the discussion between Levinia and Andhaft. Things were beginning to sound rather deliberate now. It appeared someone had placed the potion designed for Levinia inside a Pixie Ale bottle, and Levinia had drunk all of something that was meant to be taken in a much smaller dosage. Beira turned to look at her protege, a worried expression on her face... and then the convulsions began.

    Through it all, Beira did not move. Despite her desire to help her friend, two things stayed her hand. Firstly, she had enough sense to know that she had a job defending the wall. Leaving the wall might mean that enemies might not be kept at bay, thus jeopardizing the keep because she could not control her concern for her friend. Secondly, Andhaft was the most appropriate person to deal with Levinia's poisoning. Beira was not certain that her healing spell could help Levinia in any way, so she said nothing and left Andhaft to carry her protege away. Whatever Levinia had thrown up didn't look good, but Beira was sure it wasn't natural; probably some alchemical distillation. On a less tense day, she might have expressed interest in observing the substance, but now was not the best time.

    As soon as Andhaft took Levinia away, Beira sprang into action, throwing daggers of nether rime at the climbing ghouls with terrible precision. But it seemed that whatever these creatures were doing, they were trying to distract the defenders on the walls from a larger threat. Beira saw it almost immediately: ten robed things that looked like clothed ghouls. And they were casting magic! She created a huge statue of ice which exploded into dangerous razor sharp shards and rained down into the valley, slicing everything they struck. She scored some hits on the chanters before, to her irritation, one of them cast a spell that created a shield of shiny black rock, against which the shards of her Winter God Barrage struck with helpless fury, chipping splinters of the shield but doing little else.

    "I was hoping you'd give me an answer to that," Beira replied to Merise's question, as she began drawing magical energy for an attack. "You've known her longer than I have. But maybe if we get close enough, you can ask one of them yonder." Having said so, she created a large corkscrew-like spear from nether rime, which she flung at the shield. The spear rotated like a drill as it dove home, driving through the shiny black stone with relative ease. For a moment the shield remained, but then it shattered into a thousand fragments, with the reason for it being made known: Beira's Winter God Horn had skewered the ghoul that had set up the shield. The creature remained airborne momentarily, struggling with life, before it lost the fight and fell into the ravine below, taking the screw spear along with it.

    "Only nine more to go," Beira said nonchalantly, dodging a ghoul which swiped at her, and impaling it on a jagged shard of ice. Still, she thought they were progressing rather slowly.


    WC: 1208 words
    Total: 14080/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Wed 22 Apr 2020 - 22:23

    In the laboratory, Andhaft gently placed Levinia's limp body in a strange stone vat etched with ancient runic symbols. Then he stepped back and watched, a concerned expression on his elderly face. Levinia's body had begun to exude the strange viscous liquid she had coughed up, the stuff running from all her pores, and were the vat not enchanted by restorative and protective magics, she would have been completely submerged in the gooey substance before long. Instead, the vat began draining out the liquid, ensuring that the girl did not suffer the risk of drowning, while the fluid gathered in a draining pit behind Andhaft, dug to gather the drainage from the vat. Levinia was curled in a fetal position, and Andhaft could not see whether any physical changes were occurring. All he knew, from the vat, was that the girl was still alive, even though her lifeforce was faint. And so he clung to hope that she would recover, trusting that his comrades without and the newcomer Beira would be sufficient to quell the danger that sought to break the keep.

    As far as Levinia was concerned, she was dead, or so she thought. First, there was the pain, sharp, unrelenting and excruciating. Then everything stopped, and she felt herself slip into darkness. Everything was completely empty, so much that she felt she was even unconscious. And then her senses returned slowly to her, even in the midst of the darkness, and she found herself in a strange adventure of her own, far in dimensions unknown, yet with no less danger involved (interested persons may read about it here).

    Meanwhile, the battle raged outside. Beira and Merise had done the impressive job of cutting down virtually all the crawlers that had scaled the walls, but now gate ghouls had appeared, protected by powerful barriers and casting unknown magics. Beira had managed to slay one, but nine others remained, who continued their gesticulations with nary a care for their fallen comrade. Then a tear in space began to open in the courtyard, much like a black mirror, between the wall and the laboratory. Merise swore loudly. "Summoners! They're summoning something!" She channeled another bright ball of energy and flung it at the ghouls, who paid it no heed and continued their work. It burst violently, and two of the defensive orbs shattered, their inhabitants falling into the darkness below.

    Three down, seven to go.

    All of a sudden, the ghouls made a thrusting motion with their arms in tandem, and their shields shuddered and failed, but their summoning seemed complete. As if waiting for that moment, there was a loud twang from somewhere far behind the two mages on the wall, followed by a volley of arrows which found their marks in fatal positions on every floating ghoul mage still alive. As one, they dropped silently into the gloom. Nevertheless, their work was done: the tear cracked further, as a large brute pushed its way through, and flexed its muscles. It was completely covered in black, plate mail, and it wielded a huge hammer made of obsidian glass. Another gate burst through time and space nearby, ushering another hulk into the courtyard. It was similar to the first, but it wielded a sword, instead. Once again, there opened a third portal, and a wraith-like creature with flowing garments pulled itself through the rift and levitated itself a few feet above the ground. Looks alone would indicate that this one was a magic caster.

    The three creatures, Mirror Walkers, turned slowly and observed the two women on the wall with unconcealed malice. Like the crawlers and the ghouls, their skins were rough and chalk white, looking like they had been struck with the same disease that inflicted Levinia. But just as they were about to move, there was a twang again, and the ghost-like Mirror Walker shuddered, as two silver arrows protruded from its neck.

    "Dorn," Merise muttered, as she smirked, even though there was appreciation in her voice.

    As the creature sank to its knees, the other two roared and charged at the wall, before a strange unseen pall fell over the entire fort. Everyone present would feel a sense of dread, as some unseen power seemed to have cast a baleful eye on the fort. Then an invisible, inaudible command was uttered, everyone feeling it in the depth of their souls, as one of the creatures whirled and charged for the laboratory. The one with the sword struck the ground, and a burst of black crystal spiked violently out of the stonework, rushing towards the mages on the wall until it cleaved into the fortifications themselves, ripping through ancient stone as though it was cloth. The Walker wielding the hammer charged with surprising speed, until it burst through the doors of the laboratory and straight at Andhaft's back.

    "No!" Merise shouted.

    Andhaft looked over his shoulder, obviously surprised, but then moved even faster than the attacking Walker, drawing his sword in one smooth stroke and slicing through one of its arms. As the creature drew to a halt in shock, Andhaft attacked again, but it managed to fend off his attack, even with while missing a limb. The elderly swordsman now took on the offensive, baiting it to attack then dodging around it to perform a strike with his weapon. And everywhere he scored a hit, a glowing orange rune appeared. After a series of flurries which would be hard to detect by many save the very swift, Andhaft clicked his fingers, as each rune splintered, gouts of rusty blood pumping out of numerous injuries caused by both blade and magic. The Walker groaned, then fell face first to the ground, dead.

    With all that distraction, the Walker that had been shot with Dorn's arrows suddenly raised a bony hand and gestured. From the clear sky, a large bolt of lightning struck the tower in which Dorn had occupied, rending through it with a fearsome fury and destroying even the adjacent structures. Fortunately for Andhaft and the unconscious Levinia, most of the laboratory was still intact, but unless Dorn had some pretty nifty on-hand teleportation spell, he would surely be killed. Merise shrieked like a banshee and threw herself off the wall at the mage Walker, completely ignoring the sword wielding Walker as she savagely attacked the mage. Not fast enough to fly out of her reach, the creature found itself being shredded into bits.

    The Walker with the sword hefted its weapon over its head and rushed at Beira, its intentions obvious. And at that moment, the uncomfortable atmosphere around the keep intensified.

    Every corpse that littered the courtyard began to jerk and shudder, manipulated by an unseen malevolence that melted their bodies until they were nothing but the same goop that Levinia had thrown up. As they dissolved, their lips juddered and spoke, a myriad of sounds and intonations all saying the same thing:

    "Godling Dragon!"

    At the same time, the draining pit behind Andhaft began to boil and bubble, as it contorted and took shape to form a reptilian head. The head had barely formed, when from its open maw issued a blast of intense fire at the vat which cradled Levinia's body. Andhaft threw himself between the vat and the flame, holding up his sword to block the attack. Interestingly, while blades do not make for very good defensive arms that can protect large areas, Andhaft's sword seemed to cast a ward that defended against the fire, even though it was obvious he was hard pressed by it. As if drawn by an invisible force, the mess caused by the melted bodies began to coalesce towards the head, which grew higher and higher on a serpentine neck, all the while not relenting in its torrid onslaught. In a moment, another head grew up, similar to the first, but from the maw of this one issued forth a terrible frigid blast. Even if one would expect the fire to cancel out the ice or vice versa, it somehow did not do so, further barraging Andhaft's defense with overwhelming force.

    While the remaining Walker did its best to ensure that Beira would be too occupied to interfere, the creature's body began to form, a humongous lizard-like aberration with gigantic wings that resembled those of a bat. The wings burst through the roof of the laboratory, flinging rocks and debris all around while its final head rose up to join the others. This head belched out a golden sizzling bolt of lightning against the target of the other two heads, while its long, whip-like tail slashed back and forth, dislodging walls and ruins with ease, and forcing Merise away from it. Screaming with frustration, she channeled more of her luminescent bombs against the dragon, but it completely ignored her and focused on ensuring that nothing would be left of Andhaft, Levinia and the vat when it was through.

    After what seemed like an eternity, the dragon stopped, drew back its heads and monitored the thick plumes of smoke that rose before it, blinking through three orange eyes, one on each of its heads, as it waited to see how perfect its work had been.

    WC: 1536
    TWC: 15616/16000


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Incarnata of Nine Souls
    Position : None
    Posts : 457
    Guild : Errings Rising
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 984,508

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Winter God Slayer
    Second Magic: Percipience of the Deep Atheneum
    Third Magic: Demiurge of Primal Matter

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Fraag on Mon 27 Apr 2020 - 2:50

    Everything had become busy all at once. With the summoning of the three Walkers, and Dorn using his arrow attacks to skewer one of them, as well as the floating mages down below, from an undisclosed location, Beira’s work seemed to be cut out for her. As one of the monsters attacked Andhaft, eliciting a worried response from Merise, Beira could not shake off that intense dread that seemed to permeate everywhere. Evading the sharp spikes that protruded from the walls to damage her, thanks to the ability of the sword-wielding Walker, the Utgardian God-Slayer certified that Andhaft was taking care of himself, before turning to face the Walker with the sword that was bearing down on her.

    She stood quietly and immobile, a thin, jagged sword of nether rime in her hand, as she awaited its approach. With its build and movement, it was probably a strong, heavy hitter. She would use speed to overwhelm it. As the monster drew in for the kill, its sword held above its head, Beira suddenly leaped forward, stabbing upwards and forward with her weapon. She caught the monster in the throat, even before it had brought down its arms. If it had to gain an advantage over her, it would have to draw back to strike again with its weapon, or it would attempt to rush forward itself to knock her over with its body mass. It opted for the latter idea, but Beira had anticipated this, and nimbly leaped out of the way, slashing again with her sword and making another ugly gash on its throat. As rust-colored blood sputtered out, the creature stabbed the ground with its sword, trying to catch the God Slayer in a wave of obsidian erupting from the stones in a lateral direction towards her, but Beira rolled to the side out of the way, opening a hole in its knee as she righted herself. The Walker staggered back and fell to one knee, then tried to rise, but Beira had leaped into the air, delivering an upward slash as she jumped, before gracefully flipping over it and descending behind it, making a wide deep gash in its back as she did. A final stab through the back of the creature’s neck finished it off for good.

    All that time though, what was called the Godling Dragon had manifested itself, and attacked Andhaft. Beira could not get herself to assist Andhaft or the defenceless Levinia, until she had taken care of the Walker with the sword. By the time she was done, the Godling Dragon was through with its assault. Fearing the worst, but unwilling to let despair do her in, the God Slayer channelled her magic, summoning a gigantic sphere of ice behind her, which shattered almost as soon as it was formed, its pieces raining devastation on the draconic monster. Screeching, one of the heads turned to face her, as lightning issued out of that head’s mouth, smashing into rocks and walls as it sought to tear her to pieces. She narrowly evaded it, and responded with a blast of spiralling nether rime from her mouth, nailing the head with her Winter God Bellow. The other two heads of the Godling Dragon swivelled round to face her, its attention fully on the Utgardian. One head blasted fire at her, and the other ice. Beira managed to evade both, tearing off chunks of ice from the wall and gobbling them down, not bothering about what people would say about her unladylike eating habits. Then she fired another Winter God Bellow at the monster, scoring another hit on its fire-breathing head. Its disadvantage was its size, which made it a much larger target, and as such dodging Beira’s attacks was rather difficult for it. Still, it was eager to crush her quickly. Turning its massive body, the dragon swung with its tail, but Beira stamped her foot, and between herself and the swinging tail rose a wall of ice. The dragon’s tail smashed into the ice, but ended up getting frozen there, as it was unable to smash completely through the wall.

    Seeing this opportunity, Beira charged the dragon, creating a huge hammer out of nether rime, which she swung with bone-crushing force into the dragon’s side, hoping to deal some serious damage to its ribs, if it had any. The dragon shrieked and swung its wing at her, the appendage slamming into Beira and knocking her clean off the wall and down into the ravine below. Apparently rid of the little gnat that had pestered it, the three-headed monstrosity turned its attention to Merise, just before, in a silent blink of black smoke and runes, Beira appeared airborne over the dragon, a jagged spear of nether rime held above her head in both hands. As she fell towards the dragon, she screamed an Utgardian war cry, catching its attention. The lightning breathing head looked up, only for Beira to thrust her Winter God Spear, as far as it would go, into the monster’s eye, through its head and down its throat.


    WC: 846 words
    Total: 16462/16000


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    Digit v2
    Digit v2

    Player 
    Lineage : Genes of the Godling
    Position : None
    Posts : 181
    Guild : None
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Beira III of Utgardr
    Experience : 497,910

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Abjugation Grimoire
    Second Magic: Royal Arms Grimoire
    Third Magic: TBA

    Evolution or Death Empty Re: Evolution or Death

    Post by Digit v2 on Mon 27 Apr 2020 - 5:00

    Levinia awoke with a start, her mouth opening with a gasp as her lungs took in a deep feel of air. The air felt witheringly hot, causing her to shield her face with her hands as she sat up. Her bandages hung off her body in tattered strips, reminiscent of a battered mummy, but they still managed to cover her entire body, except for her face. For a moment, she remembered the weird "dream" she had had, but her eyes rested on a kneeling Andhaft with his sword held aloft, and she forgot all about her visions. She noticed that the elderly man's blade had projected some sort of force field which kept the elemental barrage at bay. Andhaft suddenly looked over his shoulder and smiled, but she could not return the expression, for to her alarm, she noticed that his face had been severely burned. Still, the man held the burden, only allowing his hand to drop when the attack ceased.

    Uncaring about her safety or state of body, Levinia lurched forward to catch Andhaft's body as he fell. She succeeded, but it was a little awkward, as her body felt different, perhaps somewhat lighter, but her fear and grief did not permit her to dwell on this fact, and on the possibility that she had been healed. Andhaft had been very badly injured by the power of the Godling Dragon, and she knew that his life was surely slipping away.

    "No, no, no, no, no... please stay with me. Don't die. Not yet..." she murmured, as tears filled her eyes and she cradled his body, her mind desperately trying to remember the spells she had accessed in her vision. She was sure she had seen something about healing somewhere, but it seemed like there was a shroud over her mind that made thinking difficult, possibly a side effect of the cure, or perhaps something else. She was suddenly distracted by a hand softly caressing her cheek. Her prosthetic hand grasped it tenderly as she opened her eyes, to see Andhaft regarding her with a weary smile.

    "Don't worry, Levinia. Let me go. I've had many regrets, but this... this is the best I've done."

    He laughed, then coughed. Levinia shook her head vigorously, unable to say anything as tears filled her eyes and choked her voice; she couldn't give up without trying. She was barely aware of the runes that had formed around her, and currently encircled the both of them, glowing faintly as they revolved, like the lights of a psychopomp that were meant to ease Andhaft's passing into the afterlife.

    Determination suddenly showed up in her teary eyes. She remembered the grimoire! Quickly, she placed a her other hand on his cheek and focused, her runes glowing a bright golden as they began congregating, but Andhaft shook his head wearily but firmly.

    "No."

    The tears began to fall freely down her face. "Why won't you let me help you? I can. I can!"

    "Perhaps, but this is what I want. My life was about ending anyway, but yours has just begun." He smiled. "It worked. You've been healed. Now, survive the night..." He coughed again. "Survive, Levinia... and live."

    His eyes faded, but the smile remained. Levinia bit hard into her lower lip as her body shook with sobs, as she tried so hard not to bawl into the night. She could have saved him, but he refused, and she had not enforced her will on him. Perhaps she should have, but if there was anything she never wanted to do, it was force what she wanted on others. There was still a part of her that blamed her for letting him slip away, but she knew she had honored him by respecting his wishes. She briefly wondered what he had done in his life that would have made him embrace death so readily, perhaps as penance for his past sins. Perhaps he had wanted to prove to himself that he was not all bad, and a sickly, deformed child had been directed to him as his act of redemption. Well, he had succeeded in lifting her curse, so she hoped that whatever redemption he sought would be given him. She tenderly laid him on the stone floor and closed his eyes.

    And then it came. A wave of anger so intense, it almost threatened to halt her breathing. She was certain that the attack on the fortress had been mostly targeted at her, and had placed her friends and herself in mortal danger. If she had her way, she would find out who was at the bottom of this, and she would avenge Andhaft. She rose to her feet, instinctively stretching out her hand for her mask. Drawn by an unseen force, it flew through the air and planted itself in her palm. She placed it over her face, being more comfortable behind its visage especially when she was fighting, and strode outside the ruined laboratory, her eyes smoldering.

    It was not hard to locate the Godling Dragon; the beast was so huge that it virtually filled the courtyard. Beira had done a good number on it, and she was holding her own against such a being of might. It was a good thing she was here, otherwise, Levinia might not have had a fighting chance to see the dawn. Noticing that the monster had received serious damage to its side, Levinia attacked that point, just as Beira shoved a spear into one of the creature's heads. Wreathing her prosthetic arm in a bright golden flare of energy, she put all her power into a closed fist blow that virtually sent her flying through the air.

    "Ryūseiken!"

    She punched clean through its side, and found herself in the body of the Godling Dragon. Disgusting, slimy, bloody innards were all around her, but still the dragon thrashed and began to lift itself off the ground, despite its many injuries. It was expected that wherever it wanted to escape to, Levinia was neither interested in following it there, nor was she intent on even letting it get there alive. Thrusting out her palms on either side, as far as they would go, she released a massive burst of destructive chi.

    "Kakushō!"

    A blue-white explosion ripped out from within the Godling Dragon, bursting its torso and flinging rusty gore in all directions. The monster managed a feeble croak, before it fell back onto the courtyard, shaking the earth with the power of its fall. It twitched one or twice, then was still. The Godling Dragon had been slain.

    Levinia picked her way out from within its corpse, thoroughly drenched with its blood, and looking like a strange creature herself. A bath would be in order before she could actually see what she looked like. And then she saw Merise. The woman looked shocked to see her, then a dark, upset expression came next, as she slowly drew her sword. Was it bitterness Levinia had just noticed? Why did the woman hate her so much?

    "This is all wrong! It wasn't supposed to end like this," she muttered. "You're supposed to be dead!"

    Supposed? That meant what, exactly? From what Merise had just said, she seemed to have known that the attack would come. Levinia said nothing, just watched her as she approached slowly. "Now Andhaft and Dorn are dead because of you!" She raised the sword, but Levinia threw up a hand and stopped her in her tracks. "Because of me? You seem to have been aware that this would happen, and yet you didn't inform anyone. And I'm to blame?!" Her voice was rising, as her mind considered many options. Merise struggled against the unseen power that held her in place, but it was futile.

    Levinia took a deep breath, and when she spoke again, her voice was calmer. "Who is responsible for this, Merise?" But the woman only screamed at her. "You're a monster! A demon! A destroyer! He was right about you..."

    "Okay, this is crazy and uncalled for. I'm 'a monster, a destroyer'? She's either run mad, or..."

    Levinia focused on Merise, as she reached out with her mind into the other woman's thoughts. It was almost instinctive, almost so easy to the point it was frightening, but Levinia had to know exactly why the woman detested her so much, and what she knew about her...

    Ah, there it was! Merise had been contacted by a creature which had called itself a god, and got her into believing so. It had filled her mind with terrible visions of the future, of the mayhem and death that would be unleashed if the "Godling" was to be awakened. The Godling had to be killed in incubation, before its powers were restored. Big surprise, Dorn was also in the know; that would explain why the wards had not been working, if he had disabled them himself. Looked like both of them had been informed of the attack of tonight, and when everyone was distracted, the deformed creatures would kill Levinia. However, Beira had not been included in the plans. Levinia pushed further, intent on finding out who this "god" that had appeared to Merise was, when she suddenly sensed an eerie but familiar malice. It filled Merise's mind and spoke through her mouth.

    "The Godling has finally been born. Humans are rather disappointing, can't get anything done right..." Merise raised her head, her eyes filled with a strange, evil light, as she peered at Levinia. "That mask... I should have liked to see..."

    Levinia recognized it. It was the same robed humanoid she had seen in her last dream, the one with the tentacled horror, the one who had possession of her right arm. "You!" she snarled.

    Whatever it was, it seemed very surprised and disturbed that she could recognize it, and it tore away from Merise's consciousness with a jerk. However, it did more than just leave, as Merise's body shuddered violently before hanging limp. There was nothing there anymore. The woman was dead. Shaking her head slowly, Levinia dropped the body gently.

    She could sense Beira was alive and around, but the resultant debris and corpse of the dragon obstructed many things. The sky at the far east was already turning purple, dawn breaking out against the darkness of night. Levinia's mind was filled with questions as she sought out her mentor to ascertain the older woman was fine. She wanted to leave this place of death and mayhem immediately, but first, she had to see to the burials of Andhaft, Dorn and Merise. For Andhaft's sake, she would not leave their corpses out in the open.

    After that, she would find out the extent of her new powers... and hunt down this so called god who feared a girl barely more than a child. He had a lot to answer for.

    And she would get her arm back. Definitely.

    WC: 1825
    TWC: 18287/16000
    ThReAd CoMpLeTeD


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      Current date/time is Tue 27 Oct 2020 - 7:48