The Door of Life

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Thysbae
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue May 07, 2019 2:34 pm

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Normally, the glint of a blade might produce some form in interest, but it was revulsion Adora felt instead. That this woman would think she was a worthy replacement for the other was sacrilege. Heresy. She wanted her savior and she wanted her back now. She drew back from the woman, form rigid as she questioned the mortal born. You two, she said. The mortal born had forgotten about the little stick man, who was now nowhere in sight. Where did he go?

The mortal born frowned. Now there were two desired companions missing. Was it this woman’s fault? “The least you could do is introduce yourself.” It was delivered sullenly as Adora turned to look at the routes available to them. The woman was sure to take charge of this whole thing, and she would be left to follow her whims or be left behind. Neither of those were desirable. The woman said something else, to someone else. A name. Max? Max. Was that the woman’s name? Her savior? Max?

Excitement bubbled up in her. She didn’t much like the woman but if she knew Max - if that was her name; it felt like an appropriate name - she would be useful. Or maybe not. The people that approached them did so with a hostility so obvious they might as well have written on their faces. The man leading spoke to the woman - was she a soldier? It seemed like it - and there was some kind of recognition there. Not good. This was supposed to be a bad place with bad people.

The logical jump to violence ahead was not a far one. The mortal born swallowed, moving closer to the woman as her hand went back to the hilt of her weapon. It wasn’t quite fear that had Adora staring at the mage that countered the woman.

“Are they escaping?” If that was the case… “Maybe you should be thanking me, then. I made the walls tumble, tumble down so that you could come out. And you say thank you by coming to threaten my escort and I?” At this, she nudged the woman, wrapping fingers around her elbow. Hopefully, she would get the message or the general idea of what she was trying to do. “That’s poor form.”

“Wouldn’t you want to thank the person that helped you get out?*” The mortal born cocked her head to the side, a smile on her lips. It probably didn’t do much to making her appear harmless, face covered in dirt and clothes mucked up by whatever was down there. The illumination of the shadows on her face, dancing over her features, would be unsettling. “I can think of a few ways.”
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*Adora has used Lead Me Unto Temptation!
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue May 07, 2019 3:22 pm

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There was a time for valor and courage, when evil needed to be stood up to face to face, eye to eye, swords crossed and battle lines drawn.

This was not one of those times.

Kisaik had one skill that he was almost good at. He was good at remaining unnoticed. Granted that was hampered a bit by his shiny armor that was all scratched up and scuffed from having barreled through the rubble that had fallen on the treeman's remains and the Sessfiend. But he knew his principles. Light would attract notice, light would need to be obscured in order to pass undetected.

So he removed a small satchel from his shoulder, and brought it forward as he crept toward the small acorn.

This was his chance, his chance to make things right! He may have murdered a score of trees under the spirit's protection, but he could make that up in other ways. It'd be a quest!

He came forward on the acorn, and wrapped his satchel around it. THen the area would likely go dark, and he'd make his way toward the nearest crevice to try and crawl out of the rubble.

All the while, he tried evading the notice of that horrible eye.

And while he did all of this, he kept Rabu in his thoughts. He would see their wedding day in early Ymiden. He was determined. And the tree spirit's acorn would bear witness before they brought it back where it belonged, to replant in whatever devastation had been wrought by his absence.
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed May 08, 2019 6:41 pm

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The man snorted at Sephira, "Of course I don't. That's down. We're headin' up." There was laughing from many of his compatriots. Sephira's words, tinged with threat, caused a slow smirk to grow on the face of the fiery handed leader. He knew the Special Assistant, even if she didn't know him.

But then Thysbae opened his mouth.

"You brought down the mountain? Color me impressed." The man bowed with a flourish of the hand, "Thank you very much, good sir." The man stood up straight, tossing out the flames from his hands. This was not an aggressive act, as the fire ball split into smaller ones, and helped to illuminate the entire area. "Yes, you're right. I think we should thank you. I don't know what the Special Assistant is blathering on about, but if you all are in here, we're stuck together. We just want out, nothing more. We'll happily help you all to leave as well, if you want."

Meanwhile, in the rubble, Kisaik was still trapped. But he'd at least managed to hide the acorn from the eye of the Sessfiend that was still attempting to struggle. A struggle that was becoming noticeable to the people from Level Six. "Let me prove how much I wish to help." The man conjured up new fireballs and slung them at the roots and bits of the Sessfiend that were sticking out. They caught flame and began to burn. The Sessfiend was shrieking loudly, completely having forgotten Kisaik and the acorn. It was wriggling all about, and debris in the pile was shifting and moving and opening and closing.

"Can we get going? Who knows how long this might take? It's a lot of fuckin' stairs."
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue May 14, 2019 1:40 pm

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Kisaik could feel the sap seeping from his bark as he struggled and squirmed against the rocks surrounding him. It came in rivulets of sweet licorice-smelling oozing fluids that might’ve resembled the sweat of exertion. But really this a product of the abject terror he felt, emanating from that horrid fiend he was engaged in a battle of wills with.

He saved the acorn, and had it in his satchel. Now, all he needed was an opening, any opening.

The knight had found a crevice nearby to crawl into, as the Sesserfiend struggled against its grave of rocky rubble. He stared in the darkness into its multi-pupiled eye, dreading as it seemed to grow in size the longer he looked at it.

However, then there was a sudden change in the air. The tunawa saw a great fire soaring through the air, knocking a huge chunk of rock out of the pile, and setting the Sesserfiend on fire!

This was his chance! If it was a magical fire, he thought he could be safe from it. Tunawa all had magic resistance of a sort.

The fiend tossed, turned, and threw about in turmoil. It’s exertions gave Kisaik the opening he needed, in the form of an opening in the rubble that widened and then narrowed in intervals.

Kisaik waited, bided his time, until the opening appeared wide enough that he could leap through it. Then, at the critical moment, clutching that acorn in its satchel, he pumped his little legs as hard as he could manage. He leapt through the opening with as good a timing as he could manage.

When he emerged on the other side, he would find the nearby tall-folk, and climb onto the thin lady’s pant leg. ”Hey! Madam! Down here! Can you give me a ride?! That fiend is about to break loose at any moment. We must away!”
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue May 14, 2019 7:29 pm

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Every instinct within the soldier told her to stop those men. They were criminals, they had killed, stolen, raped, and who knows what else. They were...

The Special Assistant tensed with her had on Wyvern’s hilt as her eyes fell on their emaciated bodies and caught the desperation in their eyes. Suddenly it was as if she was no longer in the depths of Level Seven, but instead standing back in the den of Kura’s home. Back when a certain convict had escaped Slags Deep and come to call on them.

Max.

She had looked much like these men. Like a starving animal who had been beaten into submission. They had been thrown down here into this pit, sometimes even by her hand. She had never even thought about them once she arrested them and turned them over to the other Elements.

Sephira was shaken into another memory as the men spoke to the stranger who had linked arms with her.



It was like her mentor Elias was standing right in front of her with that telltale scowl of his. She remembered the conversation they’d had on Faldrass on her eighteenth birthtrial. They had been sitting on the beach enjoying a batch of fried squid she had bought in town to celebrate. Her Attunement lesson with him that day had been briefer than usual when she had told her what her plans for the future were.

“I’m going to do it you know...join the Elements.” the notably shorter and younger Sephira said to the old man. Elias frowned at her, his upper lip stiffening in irritation.

"Then you are more of a fool than I took you for.” He muttered in reply before taking a swig of something foul smelling from his canteen.

“You think being a soldier is going to be so wonderful? All you will ever do is take someone else's orders...and do terrible things in the name of duty.” The gray headed mage replied with a dark glance toward the saber laying in the sand beside his weathered right hand. The blade glinted like fire in the light of dusk, illuminating the winged drake that wrapped around the hilt.

“You don’t know that.” his pupil replied grumpily, bringing her knees up to her chest and gazing out across the darkening water. Sephira glanced at him out of the corner of her notably clear and bright Biqaj eyes; the colors of her irses shifting between shades of blue and scarlet.

Elias frowned, growing silent and withdrawn for a couple trills as the sounds of the waves rumbled in the distance.

“I do know that.” He finally uttered flatly, looking at her with his impossibly keen indigo gaze.

“You think you can make a difference? You think this world cares about you and your aspirations?”
He said mockingly before easing up to his feet and towering over her. Sephira knew only little bits of her teacher's past. She knew he had returned from Etzos some time ago after arcs away from Scalvoris. He had been a soldier, just like she had wanted to be. But for some reason he never wanted to talk about that particular part of his past.

“They will chew you up, spit you out and just turn you into another tool that they can use. You won’t be any better than the people you are ordered to put down. You will be worse and you won’t even realize it until it’s too late. ” The much older Rupturer growled, snatching his sword Wyvern up from the sand. There was a shuddering boom as a bright violet portal opened in front of the man.

“You will never speak of this to me again.” Elias uttered coldly before stepping into the swirl of indigo light and vanishing.





The memory was over in a flash, and the young Rupturer stiffened as she looked at the desperate prisoners standing up the ramp. Slowly her hand fell from the hilt of her masters old weapon. She had been ready to kill those men and women. She could have done it and she knew it. It wouldn’t have been hard. The realization shook her down to her core.

For so long her life as an Element had been about upholding the law and protecting the good people of Scalvoris. It had been her duty. But what defined good from evil?

Death had always followed her. Although she hadn’t meant to, her actions had led to the deaths of hundreds back during the docks collapse. She had even been given a promotion that night for her acts in discovering the cult and saving those women. But in the end she had been rewarded for killing...so many. What made her so special that she was rewarded when others were punished for the same crime.

Then there were countless dozens who she had put to death or condemned to Slags directly.

Max she had arrested and so many others she had killed because she had deemed it necessary. All in order to do her duty.

What really defined good people from all the rest?



Something then changed in her, it wasn’t more than a tiny shift, but it was enough.

“I’ve seen what this place does to people.” Sephira spoke almost as if she was in a daze, breaking into the conversation she had clearly been mostly oblivious to.

“And it isn’t right.”

Her pitch black eyes seemed to sharpen then on the Defier.

“I’ll help you to the surface, but swear to me that all you want is to escape this place. I won’t stand for the people up on the surface to be hurt. Do you understand me?” She asked sharply, with that threat displayed clearly in her eyes.

If all these prisoners wanted was to escape this pit of starvation and isolation then she would do all in her power and authority to help them move on to better lives. Maybe she couldn’t assure them their freedom but she sure as hell would have words with the Militant about the treatment of their prisoners. Seeing Max hadn’t quite driven home what it was like down here. Now she knew, and she was done being a good little soldier.

"If anyone does not want to agree to those terms then I will ensure that they stay down here. Dead or otherwise." she added grimly. She wouldn't mince words with these convicts. Any who couldn't agree to her terms would be stopped from leaving.

Sephira lifted the little tree man up to her soldier when he tugged on her leg.

Assuming that she and the Deifer along with her followers had a deal she would begin moving forward up the ramp. They would have a long walk ahead of them given that Rupturing to the outside world has almost no chance of working in here.
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed May 15, 2019 5:02 am

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It would seem that things were moving in a direction that Adora could handle. The man agreed with what was said, going so far as to show his willingness to cooperate. Impressive enough; Adora had never been present for magical displays, but this. Fascinating. The soldier - Special Assistant, the man had called her - seemed to agree to the plan. The little tree man had also reappeared, freed from somewhere and spouting off a warning of some sort. Something to do with a fiend. Was that was that big beast was called? Fitting.

Regardless, they had all the pieces back where they ought to be now. Except maybe Max. Adora would like to see Max again. “You said there were a lot of stairs? I might not be able to keep up with you if I tire out.” Head cocked to the side, Adora seemed to consider something. If the little tree man could be piggybacked up those stairs, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the mortal born was no different?

“I’m sure there’s one of you strong enough to carry me up. I’d rather not get left behind and if I am, I can just as easily block your way out as I’ve created it.” A bluff, but maybe it wasn’t. Not to Adora. If it had happened one way, it would happen another. “But, we should get moving. Treeman seems a bit worked up so it must be big and there are guards. Aren’t there?” The mortal born stepped forward, expression expectant. “No time to waste, right?”
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed May 15, 2019 1:24 pm

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The Defier's eyes narrowed on Sephira's as she made her demand. The eyes were cold and calculating, illuminated by the burning carcass of the Sessfiend that Kisaik had just escaped from. Then the gaze softened, "Understood, Blackwood." He spread the word to the many others that were following him. And so, him and his people helped Sephira, Kisaik, and Thysbae up to the next level as much as they needed. One particularly tall and muscular man volunteered to carry Thysbae. "None get left behind. Or forgotten."

And so, the ragtag military company made their way up through the levels of Slags Deep. It was chaos and hell all around them. The soldiers helped to protect Thysbae and Kisaik and Sephira alike from any who attacked them first. They did not attack any others. They moved swiftly and with military precision that appeared to exceed that of the current Elements above. They reached the sixth level gate, finding it shattered, and so, they began the ascent.

Every level was devastated, every gate broken and askew. The higher they traveled, the less violent it became. The higher levels, filled with the weaker criminals, many didn't even attempt or consider escape, preferring to hide in their holes. The group faced no major issues up until the final gate. The one that separated Level One from the administrative areas of the prison. And it was unguarded, and left open.

The Defier, the leader of this motley crew, looked at Sephira. "We will honor our word. You probably shouldn't be seen helping a bunch of criminals." He nodded at her, as the troupe began to file out the gate, the big man depositing Thysbae. As they departed, a door rose up out of the ground in his wake. It was large and wooden, with a single metal ring that served as knocker and handle.

Where there had been opportunity for death, life was found. And so, the Door of Life was found as well.

If the knocker was knocked, the door would open, and Number None would be standing there with a greeting, "Welcome, do come in. I hope you're here to help."
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Questions are always welcome. I will post again on May 22nd.
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed May 15, 2019 3:12 pm

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To find life when death could have so easily taken hold again was a sweet relief for the Special Assistant. She was tired of her hand bringing an end to the lives of so many. It weighed heavily on her soul.

But to-trial, for the first time in a very long while, people lived. The moment that the Defier spoke the words. “Understood Blackwood” Sephira felt just a bit of weight lift from her soldiers. So many times everything had gone wrong, and mistakes had been made, but not this time.

So together, with the Tunawa riding on her shoulder, Alora being carried as they went and the criminals all around her the soldier went with them through the long ascent to the surface. The men and women led by the other mage were better disciplined and skilled in combat than half the Elements Sephira had seen. Who were they and why were they down here?

Sephira didn’t know, but neither did she press them for answers. Their truce was delicate as it was and she didn’t wish to endanger it. Instead she found it easy enough to fall in beside them as if they were fellow comrades in arms. Together they fought off any threats that approached them during the long climb. Confrontations with other prisoners were rare, but more than once she and the convicts were forced to defend themselves and the other members of their group.

The long walk itself was grueling and more than once the mage was faced with how this had been for Maxine. She must have been terrified and desperate.

Sephira should have never let them put her down here. But she hadn’t known then what she knew now. Still, that excuse did nothing to dissuade the shame she felt. Elias had been right all along. Maybe she wasn't a mindless tool, but she had certainly let the military and the council use her as they pleased. It was easy to claim that terrible things were acceptable when done in the name of the greater good. Especially when you were making decisions for people who had no voice of their own. Something had to change, and maybe she would have to make that happen.

After what seemed like hours upon hours of ceaseless climbing, the light of the final gate gleamed in the distance. A weighty pit grew in the Element’s stomach. So many had already escaped, whatever had caused the prison to open had clearly allowed an untold number of convicts out and back into Scalvoris. She was too late to stop any of it or even blunt the damage. All she had achieved was ensuring that the group of ex-soldiers didn’t hurt anyone once they left Slags.

The Defier turned to Sephira just before heading through the shattered gateway, and met her onyx hued eyes. He would keep his promise.

“Thank you.” The Special Assistant replied heavily with a mixture of relief and weariness. She meant those words, them keeping their deal was only a small victory, but it was a victory all the same.

The ex-convicts slipped through the exit, leaving she, Thysbae, and the treeman alone on the stair. Without warning the dark shape of a door suddenly emerged from the fabric of the stairs themselves. The door was quite large and wooden, with a large iron knocker at its center.

All of the strangeness was starting to make some very odd sense to Sephira. First she had heard the Call, then she had been teleported into that chamber full of mages. Now she was here, at the summit of Slags Deep where a door had suddenly appeared.

Something was happened. Something she didn’t understand, but equally something that she knew was important.

Carefully the mage delicately pulled her right glove off, taking her time as she examined the Door of Life with a steady gaze.

“I think we are meant to go through.” she whispered somberly before glancing back at Thysbae then looking over her soldier at the Tunawa.

Gingerly Sephira set her bare hand on the rung of the knocker and lifted it before releasing it. The metal clanging against the wooden surface of the door and almost instantly the Door opened revealing an unexpected face made from metal and gold.

“Welcome do come in, I hope you are here to help.” He said all too cheerfully.

“Apparently I am.” Sephira replied with a twitch of a smile as she headed through the Door.
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed May 22, 2019 3:57 am

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They had not mentioned the amount of stairs in jest. Adora was pleased to have thought of someone carrying her up the stairs. The large man scooped the mortalborn up - an easy feat, considering her stature - and they set off. Each level felt like an eternity, and the mortalborn had very quickly been lulled to sleep by the rock of each step taken by the burly man carrying them. The violence around them did not do much to stir Adora from her deepening slumber, chest rising and falling with easy breaths the higher they went. Until they reached their destination and the mortal born was awoken by the quiet. Rubbing the remnants of the nap from their eyes, Adora blinked groggily up at the man and smiled. “You should come with us; we might need someone other than Blackwood.” Because as useful as it was to have someone of some skill around, it was even better to have two capable persons. And if their earlier animosity was any clue, Adora might not be so keen of trusting the woman with her life just yet.

Latching onto him for good measure, the mortal born turned in time to see the door rise up from the ground. There had been a number of oddities already and that had started from the very beginning - so what more was a door?

Blackwood knocked on it, saving Adora the trouble of suggesting the woman do it. It could have had some kind of trap attached to it, and the mortal born had no intentions of risking that. Beyond the door was...more strangeness. “What she said.”
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed May 22, 2019 4:07 am

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Kisaik accepted Sephira’s handling of him and placing him on her shoulder. Normally he’d climb the big folk himself, but didn’t want to be too forward with a stranger he’d only just met. Besides, it appeared the danger was behind them, which meant the good get going. As they made their way through the corridors, he almost dozed several times, having really nothing useful to do other than keep watch on Sephira's six-o'clock. Which he reminded himself was an important duty, to watch the commander's back for threats.

He watched the other convicts that were escaping en masse. It wasn't right for anyone to be caged, but Kisaik had to wonder if they had a really good reason for being down there, so far under the sun.

So as the door opened in the middle of a corridor, he went along as Sephira stepped through the door. This all was a bit strange to Kisaik, whose experience in magic didn’t often extend beyond the simple magics of friendship, alchemy, and adventure. There was of course that business with the First Tree, and the Court of the Fairies. He hoped sometime to return there, but for now he’d have to cross the threshold, which he did, while riding on the shoulder of that tall soldier lady.

He smiled at the strange face, that appeared fashioned of metal and gold. Strange.

Kisaik hopped off Sephira’s shoulder, sliding down her arm until he was a few feet off the ground, then dropped to the floor.

He hopped up to Number None and waved, smiling. ”How do you do? I’m Kisaik, otherwise known as Mädärä Ciuruọrun. Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”
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