Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

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Oram Mednix
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Fri Sep 03, 2021 5:37 pm

Just wait until the *real* villain reveals itself…

Throwing a fireball into Audrae’s face had been briefly satisfying, but not all that effective. None of their attacks had been all that effective. Effective for what, though? It was unlikely that their thrown-together party could take out three Immortals, especially with one of them apparently augmented by a world-shattering ascension thingy. So what were they trying to accomplish, anyway?

Lots of things happened while Oram’s mind raced through tactical options. Cassion and Daia appeared, and began to fight Audrae and Tentacle Lady. Both declared that they might be able to weaken the malicious pair of Immortals enough that the mortals could finish them off. Faldrun sprang his champion from Tentacle Lady’s grasp. Some Other Lady appeared and offered to help, declaring that yet more assistance was on the way.

Things looked grim, though, especially with Kata. She seemed breathtakingly powerful, even by Immortal standards. She managed to warp the magical effects Varlum had unleashed, and had kicked the ithecal with devastating force, sending him reeling and to his knees. She grabbed one of Nir’wei’s wolves and cut it in half.

Oram’s eyes flicked anxiously to Choir. The song wolf wasn’t one of the ones engaging in frontal attacks on the crazed Immortal; he was more the devious sort, circling around the back, eyes steadily on the backs of Kata’s dangling legs, looking for a chance to clamp teeth onto a vulnerable calf or hamstring. A classic pack tactic, Oram recognized.

But Oram himself was not part of that pack fighting Kata just then. He faced another foe, a more familiar and personal foe. Audrae had recognized him and Zoro alike, and had declared her intention to kill them. For now, Daia had the Immortal of Shadows and Deception, and her whip and knife of darkness occupied, but they needed a way to get rid of her. Faldrun had gifted them with power. Varlum, too, though in his case he needed to decide on the exact form of that gift. Strength? Speed? Skill with his spear? He was not sure that any of those skills would carry the day.

Some Other Lady had said that more aid was on the way. They had but to last and keep fighting until that aid arrived somehow. They had to endure. Endure, yes. To keep attacking, to stay in their enemies’ faces until hopefully the tide turned for them somehow. So he used Varlum’s gift to augment his enduranceExpert->Master.

Oram summoned another fireball. Only this time, instead of throwing it, he tried something different, something he wasn’t sure would even work. He had heard tales of great champions wielding flaming swords to defeat mighty enemies. The hunter didn’t have a sword, of course, but a spear. And while setting the wooden shaft on fire didn’t seem like a good idea, perhaps he could do something to the head; experimentally, he passed the fireball in his hand over the spearhead as one might smear oil or venom over it to coat it.

What else had power? Oram looked to his patron, wrestling with Tentacle Lady. Stories had power. He had not forgotten the tale that Cassion had woven in the Heart of Scalvoris, how the events recounted had taken on reality. Oram was no Cassion, but he was Marked by Old Dust, and he had told a tale or two of his own in his time, sometimes with good effect. Perhaps he had another story in him yet.

”The huntsman faced the Immortal of Deception, armed with a flame-headed spear,” he declaimed loudly, as he raised the weapon over his head. Eying the whip, Oram had decided that holding his spear out in front of him and using it as a pokey stick wasn’t the ideal tactic. He raised the polearm all the way back over his head, so that the tip pointed behind him, and rotated the lugs so as to strike with them, like an impromptu axe. ”Side by side with the brave biqaj with his swift, shining scimitar, he fought Audrae. He *struck* with mighty blows…” Oram twisted and swung the spear overhead, crashing down Audrae’s head.

As soon as he could, the hunter retracted the spear back overhead, taking a breath before continuing. He would shout out snatches of the story as he struck each blow, the way some warriors would accompany their strikes with a shout. ”…again and again. The spearhead blazed…” he pulled the spear back, took a breath, struck again. ”…as he wielded it like a halberd…” another retraction, another breath, another strike: ”…while Zoro slashed and swirled like a brilliant whirlwind of light…Fire rained down repeatedly from overhead in heavy blows…while razor-edged death darted and raced from every quarter…”

As he inhaled and poised to strike once more, Oram noticed that Varlum was starting to grow into monstrous size. He also noticed that Choir was taking his shot, leaping at Kata’s calf. Then he turned attention back to his adversary and struck once more, and continued to shout out his tale in snatches as he did: ”…fire and light pressed the being of shadow sorely…his already-great stamina augmented by gifts from Faldrun and Varlum...the hunter beat Audrae back and beat her back…while the biqaj’ blade clove her shady minions into shreds…she could do nothing here…her shadows could not withstand such onslaught of light and fire…”

Would the story come true as he told it? Even in part? Oram didn’t know, but he would persist as long as he could. Maintaining story and onslaught alike took stamina, but stamina he had. His goal was to vanquish Audrae, beating her into retreat, or submission, or whatever happened to Immortals when they got beaten, and then turn to Tentacle Lady. Cassion had said something about using fire on that one once she was worn down, had he not? But that was for a future chapter.
word count: 1013
Villains are powerless against story beats.
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Fri Sep 03, 2021 6:40 pm

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Timestamp: 35th of Saun, 721
Location: The Heart of the World
These people were nuts! Completely off their rockers! Was he the only one in this room who didn't look at a jacked-up goddess of ruin and think 'yeah, this is someone I want to pick a fight with' ? The world would have celebrated them as heroes if they'd ended the threat of the most feared Immortal on Idalos. Instead they'd chosen certain death!

One of the other summoned mortals, the man with bowl-cut brown hair and weathered skin, grabbed him by the shoulder and blew a whistle in his face. The shrill, peicing note grated against Cad's ear drums like the claws of a panther down a chalkboard, causing him to recoil and block his ears in pain. Still perhaps the sheer unexpectedness of the situation had done some good after all, because if anything it seemed to snap him out of the trance of fear he was caught in. "Oww! That hurt you bowl-cut baffon! But... you're right, I need to do something. I can help."

To not just the Immortal's surprise but Cad's as well, the corpse of mastes did actually rise to the command of his spark. It should have been a thrilling experience to wrest some level of control over a god, even the deceased husk of one, but whatever pride Cad would have felt was overshadowed by the unpleasant tug of way more ether that he'd been expecting being dragged through his soul at once. It burned in his core, as if his stomach was aflame.

"Blastphemer! Defiler!" Hissed an unfamilair voice in his head. It was the voice of a man; snide and venomous, and backed up by a chorus of phantasmal echoes. "You dare use my remains for your vile schemes! I will see you suffer for this."

Were he not under the effects of Oram's whistle Cad would have been freaked out to the point of catatonia, but thankfully all his fear had been so muted that all he felt was a grim resolve. As the warmth of Faldrun's empowering flames creapt over him, Cad snaped his fingers sent Mastes' husk charging into the battlefield. Meanwhile he backed away from the thick of the action over towards Faldrun. As fearless and empowered as he was right now his body's fragility meant that direct combat could never be his forte, so it best to let his minions get into the thick of danger for him while he stayed further away to control it.

A the span of a few seconds the state of combat had taken a drastic turn. Two more Immortals had materialised out of thin air to join the fray, and Valtharn made a reappearance by Faldrun's side to guard him and inform them that the imperial legion would soon arrive (and that his reward would be tripled). Between the lizard-man turning into a giant, Syroa turning into some kind of giant bear-thing and Faldrun's champion raining down pillar of sunlight and fire like it was going out of fashion the battlefield was beginning to look like a fever dream by now, but Cad narrowed his eyes and forced himself to observe everything, calling upon his own inherant gifts to find him the edge he needed.

"Show me their weaknesses." He murmed gently to himself as his eyes flickered back and forth between every god, mortal, wolf and any freakish mixture of the three present in the room.

Magic/Abilities/Items Used

Hamartia - Everything has a weakness. It could be a physical one, like an old injury or a crack in a wall. It could be a psychological one, like a fear or a nasty secret. It could even be a supernatural one, like a mutation or a curse. As long as Cad can see his target and consciously wishes to activate this power, a disembodied voice will whisper in his ear telling him what the target's current greatest weakness is. It does not come with the knowledge of how to use this information to his advantage; he must figure this out himself.

It would be greatly appreciated if everyone could let me know, either via PM or a note in your next post, what are currently the biggest weaknesses of every character you control.
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Zoro Astrian
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:55 pm

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It was strange, in the maelstrom of all that was going on with the Immortals arriving and Mr Mayhem being let loose, Zoro was living his best life. He’d never moved so quickly, thanks to the speeding of time by Varlum. He never fought so well, as his sword skill had improved as a boon from Varlum, also. Zoro believed he even thought more speedily. This was his moment! This was his time! Zoro Astrian was fully committed, all in until the end. The blessing from Faldrun thrilled through him and he felt invincible. Well, as invincible as he’d ever felt before. Now was the time, Zoro knew. He was as able to act here and now as he would ever be. Thoughts of death and fear had fled his mind and Zoro was completely in the moment.

Then, Oram began his tale and it spoke to the very essence of Zoro’s being. He had purpose. What was Oram’s story? It was the story of victory and Zoro added to it, added his own words.

“The mortals gathered are warriors of light, fighting alongside Daia the Great. Destined to banish darkness and shadows. The mighty Oram Mednix struck again and again with his flaming spear! Each attack became truer and stronger than the last! Individually, they could be beaten, but the mortals had been brought together as one with Daia to perform this perfect task and their names resonated with their ancestors, who watch over them and guide them”

Zoro thought of his Uncle Zaphod telling him that if you truly want to become a sailor, you must become the ship. At the time, this had been rather too abstract for Zoro but now he understood it. Zoro became the dance, he became the story and he became the sword. Zoro slashed and swirled like a brilliant whirlwind of light, just as Oram had said. The fairy blade was overlaid by the weapon of light and it smote the darkness again and again and, dancing with the attack, Zoro struck and aimed his blow. He was the light and he sought to strike off Audrae’s head.




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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:29 pm

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Sometimes, Nir'wei forgot what Immortals really were. So often they took the forms of ordinary mortals, doing ordinary mortal things. They spoke like them, shared their emotions, discussed topics, made mistakes. If stories were to be believed, they even fell in love among themselves and with mortals as well, as if they could somehow relate to us. It was so easy to imagine that they could almost be close to mortals in some way, that they imitated mortals so perfectly in so many ways, that they could be treated like them in kind. Then Syroa mocked him even as the arrows he'd embedded in her flesh were spat out again like rotten food, showing not even a bruise beneath the surface. The combined force of his familiars' lightning, somehow sliced by a mere sword-strike, and one of his largest wolves plucked from mid-air and cleaved until his physical form disappeared, reverting back to a spirit that slunk back to Nir'wei to watch from over his shoulder. They were nothing close to mortal. They didn't even seem to show a hint of concern for the weapons levelled against them, nor the forces that wielded them. Even amassing everything at his current strength, there was no chance of even wounding them, it seemed.

Syroa in particular seemed to revel in the knowledge. Mocking him and his past mistakes. Karem, how it made him seethe with a familiar fury. Like she was trying to antagonise him. "She probably is," Archailist whispered in one ear. "Trying to draw your attention. Keep it focused where it's least effective." Could that really be the case though? "How do you know it isn't? Because you're making assumptions? Or just believing what your eyes tell you, at face value?" The anger aimed squarely at Syroa suddenly turned inwards. How could he have been so blind, even for a moment? To rise to playground taunts, just like before, with Maxine. He swapped tactics and hopped back when she lurched, just before Cassion caught her and slammed her backwards. First instinct, again, told him to rush forwards and assist the Immortal, but something about his words to her felt different. "No vital organs?" the squirrel-spirit muttered in confusion. Immortals really were different. He didn't have a chance of even slowing her down.

Did that mean, if it was such a unique trait for her to have no vital parts... the others did?

Audrae was tangled in Daia. Cassion battled Syroa. That left Kata, only, she'd already proved herself more than able to match his strongest. It was time to let Varlum take over. As he grew, the remaining six wolves focused, and each one activated its own Pack Mirage, disappearing into a crowd of identical wolves that overlapped and spread out in a half-circle around Kata. Hiding within the crowd of illusionary wolves, they shot out with more bolts of lightning from their maws, dancing close to bite at her ankles and knees wherever possible. In truth, a distraction tactic to limit her movement and take advantage of any attacks she might try to throw out on Varlum, throwing off her aim and concentration, or at best forcing her to expel some of her power in a wide sweeping attack to dissipate all the wolves at once.

Nir'wei, meanwhile, made full use of Faldrun's Immortal-granted speed to further multiply his own Enhanced Capabilities and Werewolf form. When he raised his bow again, the barrage of rapid-fired arrows each went straight for the face. Even if he couldn't injure her, he could block her vision. Even if he couldn't remove her sight, he could keep her attention focused squarely forwards. There was a strange idea blossoming in his head, one born of curiosity and desperation in the frantic moment of energy. "All that power," he spoke back, "and you're still just talking." She'd shown on Varlum that her blows could land through even the strongest of natural armours. Could he entice her to try her power against one with speed multiplied far beyond human capacity, to see if she could land a hit on a moving target? "Come on. Show us what a real Immortal is made of, and stop holding back for our sakes. If that's really not everything you've got to offer." Of course he could. He just needed to appeal to her overinflated ego a little bit more. Make use of his speed and range to maintain a healthy distance from her blade at all times, counter-attack when she next tried a move, use Vabina to offset the attack or bodyguard the blow if it came too close, and then back off to keep her distracted while Varlum finished powering up. If all else failed, a word to Cyshe and she formed over his body in a flawless suit of Spiritborn Armour.

And keep her from turning her head around. For all the wolves and creatures at his disposal, he wondered if she'd notice Sage slinking underfoot as an inky black shape, forming up behind her, and launching straight for the back of her head, morphing into the shape of a single razor-edged knifeblade. She might be insane, but Sage was a thing that thrived off chaos. Emean against Emean. Mind against mind.

"C'mon. All of me against all of you. Two Immortals against Immortals. All we gotta do is just keep you distracted just a little bit longer... all we gotta do is peel away that stubborn outer shell and find the sweet spot to stab, don't we," he growled through gritted teeth. "Oh Karem, how I'd do anything to rip you down right here and now." It was a vain wish, he knew. A petty and vain thing, but... oh, how something had ignited within him in this battle. The deaths Kata had brought. The arrogance and pride as she stood there, lording over them all as she butchered to her heart's content, even after murdering her own kind for personal gain. Kata was more than just evil; she was everything that he wasn't. She deserved everything that was about to come her way, and more. "C'mon. C'mon." If he positioned himself just right, he could put Kata between himself and Varlum. Striking from either end, wailing on her where she couldn't protect herself with that damn sword...
word count: 1093
Mess with me, I'll fight back. Mess with my pack, and they'll never find your body.
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Cail Qy'Jihai
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Tue Sep 07, 2021 5:06 am


Cail Qy'Jihai


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Cail looked over at Faldrun when he moved over to her. The woman felt her blood run cold thinking he would attack her till he agreed to protect her while she checked the bodies. Taking a deep breath, she cleared her throat and bowed her head. The woman would do her best to make sure to treat the bodies with the utmost respect.

“I promise you, Faldrun. I will treat their bodies with the utmost respect. I was tasked to stop you from getting the artifacts. I was not brought on this adventure to kill anyone,” Cail stated.

The woman put her arms around the body and tried to move it out of the way so that she would not be as big of a target out in the open. When she was more comfortable with her position in response to the battlefield the woman began to look over the body. It seemed normal at first, but the strange way the body seemed hollow, and brittle unnerved her. Something was not right, Cail looked up when Faldrun talked about his followers in the field draining his energy.

“That is good to know. You must find a way to tell the groups we all came from. Perhaps if they ignored your followers that would act the exact opposite?” Cail asked looking at him, “can you tell me what these shackles are? Why were they wearing them?”

Cail needed as much information from the Immortal as she could from Faldrun. She would not draw her blade against him unless her turned on her. That was her way no matter what would come of it. She would not betray who she was, nor would she rob her companions of any vengeance they felt entitled to.



Biqaj Female

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“Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.”
~ Jerry Cantrell
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:28 pm

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As the battle raged, the heroes, and also Cad, could tell that they were still on the back foot. Nothing they had seemed to be doing real damage, and even with Cassion and Daia added to the fight, their enemy held the upper hand. In addition, there was a lack of synergy between Varlum and Falkia. If someone were to take particular notice of how they moved, it would appear that Falkia was particularly unfond of Varlum, as she seemed to have no instinctual desire to work with him, requiring her to put more active thought into covering him than was ideal.

This, however, became significantly less of an issue as Varlum grew to a truly impressive 24 feet tall. He was right, however, in that it wouldn't be enough, and so he called on his patrons and on his father, seeking their power. However, an Immortal had to be present to make him a Champion, so the only option available was Faldrun. The Immortal of the Sun's power erupted and flowed into Varlum, boosting him all the way to Champion Al'Deurn. "For this fight alone, Varlum." he said, a clipped and pained note in his voice, under the clear frustration. He wasn't any happier about this situation than Varlum was, but he recognized the necessity of it. Then the giant Ithecal charged the Immortal of Ruin, aiming for her death.

Then Oram called on Cassion's Domain and tried to weave a story, a story of the fall of villains and the triumph of heroes. Oram joined him in the tale-telling, and the two of them worked with Daia to drive back the Immortal of Shadows. Cad sent the purloined corpse of Mastes into the fight, and called on his own powers, seeing the weakness of everything there. Faldrun's weakness was clear, he had been very badly hurt by the Ascensions overload and was not really recovering. Valtharn's were her cruelty and apathy, she would not fight unless the fight was brought to her and she would instinctively fight to hurt rather than kill. Syroa's was her hedonism, she did things because she wanted to rather than for any higher goal. Audrae's was her dislike of direct confrontation and her relative weakness in such. Cassion's weaknesses were his love of a good story and his compassion, as well as his lack of a focused fighting style. Daia hadn't fully recovered from her own death, nor was she a combat focused Immortal. Kata, however, only had one weakness remaining, and that was that she was incredibly arrogant, especially following her ascension.

Nir'wei sent his wolves into overdrive, creating an illusion of way more wolves than their were and keeping them on sneak attack duty while he did his level best to fill her with as many arrows as he possibly could and keep her attention off the wolves and Sage. As for Cail, she was very well protected right now as she studied Belaera's corpse. When she asked questions of Faldrun, he looked at her, then shook his head. "I don't have the power left to communicate long distances right now. But ignoring my Aukari would only let the drain persist until I can recover them and remove it. I gained some power back when Varlum killed my agent in Quacia, though I didn't recognize it at the time." he said, before Valthan laughed slightly.

"Just let them be, then. Both the Aukari and the heroes have orders to try and take each other out, yeah? So they'll come to blows of their own accord." she said, her tone amused. Faldrun just scowled at the Mortalborn for a moment, then nodded. "Yes, they will. As for the shackles, those bound them to the Ascension, an artifact that Anox made to steal power. Kata used it to steal power from Mastes, Belaera, and Aelig, to empower herself." he said, shaking his head. "I thought the Ascension unusable. So did my siblings. Else we would have destroyed it after Anox's death." he said, his voice clearly showing a regret that they hadn't done regardless of it's seeming unuseability.

As the battle raged on, Kata's arrogant expression never changed. She seemed to be utterly self assured, even as Varlum doubled in size and started spitting lava, even in the face of Nir'wei's illusion hidden wolf pack and barrage of arrows. Of course, she quickly showed that she had reason to be arrogant, as she dodged the lava spewing with ease and called on the new powers she had stolen from Mastes. Where there had once been only one of her, there were now three, and they left echoes as they moved, so that determining where Kata actually was proved to be very difficult. On top of that, each defender of Idalos, including Cad, began to feel the darkest parts of their personalities start to pull more on them. Anger, cowardice, vengeance, hatred, all pulled at them, urging them to give in.

That wasn't to say they weren't landing blows, however. Varlum and Falkia were both getting hits in, for all that Falkia wasn't working well with Varlum, and Varlum's images of the past were getting into Kata's mind. Her reaction was probably not what he expected, however. "Such a rough life you've had, Varlum. But why take it out on me? After all, I'm not the one who's been causing all your suffering. We both know I'm not your real target." she said, as her powers pulled at him, urging him to give into his desire for vengeance on Faldrun. Falkia, however, snarled and breathed fire onto Kata before speaking.

"Don't let her into your head. She wants my Lord dead and she can't do it herself. She'll still go after your family, because you didn't do as she asked when you first got here." she said, her blade cutting a brief gash into Kata's shoulder. However, like all the other wounds they had inflicted, it was healed almost before her sword had fully left they wound. Meanwhile, the wolves tore at her legs and tried to pepper her with lightning. They were keeping her from focusing on her offense against Falkia and Varlum, but she didn't seem that bothered. She did, however, take out the one wolf that hadn't been protected by Nir'wei's illusions. She dodged one of Choir's attempts at her legs, then stomped hard on the wolf's head, crushing its skull. Choire wasn't dead, but the wolf reverted to the spirit form that Velduris wolves had and returned to Oram's side. As for Nir'wei's arrows, she took quite a hits from those and even had to stall for a brief second to pull one from her eye before she could heal, but she still wasn't slowing down. They were doing damage, just not enough.

As for Sage, when the Emean launched at her, he did so at the same time that Mastes corpse joined the fight against Kata. Cad hadn't given it a specific target, and perhaps some of Mastes anger at Kata's betrayal remained in the corpse, because it attacked her relentlessly. Sage, however, tried to attack Kata's mind, as befit its nature. This, however, turned out to be not very effective. The Emean briefly touched Kata's mind, then recoiled in horror and fear, fleeing back to Nir'wei's side from whatever it had seen in that moment.

Then there were the other two Immortals. Cassion fought alone against Syroa, and while the two were at first evenly matched, Syroa's sheer bulk was starting to show. Cassion was giving ground to the Immortal of Fury, though he wasn't out of the fight yet. However, things were going quite differently with Audrae. With Cassion too distracted to give power to Oram's storytelling, all it really accomplished was a morale boost. However, sometimes, a morale boost was all that was needed. Daia wasn't a great melee fighter compared to some, but neither was Audrae and the two were evenly matched. Which was enough to give Oram and Zoro the advantage. The two landed several heavy blows in quick succession on her, their fire and light indeed driving her back. The final blow was Zoro's, which wasn't as clean as he had been aiming for. He didn't decapitate her, but he left a long, deep gash from her temple to her chin, and it was healing very slowly.

Audrae stepped back and shook her head. "No." she said, and loosed a cascading wave of darkness that rolled over Oram, Zoro, and Daia. When it passed, the Immortal of Shadows was gone, having retreated from the battlefield rather than risk dying for Kata's Ascension. Daia took a deep breath, but none of them had time to rest. She charged Syroa, fighting alongside Cassion to try and weaken the Great Fury. With Audrae gone, Zoro and Oram had to pick their next targets.

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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Tue Sep 07, 2021 5:45 pm


For a moment the assault worked. Even as she dodged the magma she was hurt. Yet with each injury she gained it healed quickly. There was anger in his eyes as he watched, as the voice of Faldrun echoed in his mind, the blatant power flowing into him as he felt his new abilities appear. Those of his father. It filled his blood with a bitter hatred, one that was clearly present in Faldrun's tone too. Yet he knew he had to do it. No matter his pride, no matter his desire to destroy all that Faldrun was, this was the only way now. If Kata was going to be stopped his revenge would have to wait.

Yet despite the harsh swings and visions she was seeing, Kata was more than unmoved - she was confident. For a moment the Ithecal wondered what she had planned, until he found out. A feeling of rage burned inside of him as she spoke, unnatural. Varlum's attacks stopped and he stepped back a moment, his head rushing with the memories of everything Faldrun had cost him. The quest he had given Auya that had led to her assault, to her death. The story Vega had told of the harm Faldrun had caused her. The memory of Hart's face as he had found out Auya was dead. Her voice echoed deep inside of his mind as she pulled at his lust for vengeance, the Ithecal hissing at her words.

Falkia spoke up as Nir'wei's wolves tried to hold Kata in place, allowing slashes and arrows to land in her. Battle waged inside of Varlum's mind, his hatred of Faldrun sparking stronger and stronger as he felt his new power in his mind. He knew Falkia was right, yet every time his head focused on Kata, her words echoed and pulled him back to Faldrun. It was hatred, deeper than any emotion he knew. It was anger that ripped his mind apart every night, craving the death of his father. It was pain and loss that never went away, wishing he could feel Auya's hands against his own again, wishing he had her words to reassure him now. It was turmoil, his father's domain. Which meant one thing.

It was perfect.

Quiet words left his body, not aimed at Kata, not an attempt to argue. Not Common. Speaking the ancient tongue, Varlum gave in to the power of Faldrun. The son of Turmoil, Mortalborn of Ferocity and Violence, combusted into flames as the hatred he already felt grew further, filled with a desire to see the world around him turn to ash, calling on Faldrun's Rage to surround him as the heat he emitted near to doubled, an explosive show of fire. Every power he could call on burst out now, all in that one moment. A spirit of turmoil appeared at his side, as a part of Faldrun's blessing, a giant demonic hound with torn flesh and glowing red eyes, roaring as loud as Varlum did in the moment of bitter hatred. All of the Earth around him trembled as he called on his Defiance, preparing for his assault.

Charging with the spirit at his side, strengthened by all of the turmoil and chaos in the room, Varlum's blind rage caused him to cry out in anger. Despite how strongly he loathed Faldrun, how much he hated his father, his power of Inner Turmoil gave him some resistance to her manipulation - enough that he could ignore her taunts and focus on the target that mattered. Reaching for the Earth in his spark, he attempted to meld with it, going for a grab on Kata as he tried to feel for vibrations, to know which Kata was real. All he needed was an inch of her held. Enough to get a grip. His jaw would clamp down, his claws would hold her close, anything it took. He called upon his Heavy Burn to give himself more strength and faster reflexes. As he did the Spirit of Turmoil would attempt the same, holding her in place for him to pull her down into the ground. As Prae had done in a fight against the Flameborn, diving into the ground for an advantage after jumping off his mount.

Thirty seconds.

Once he had a grip on her he would pull down into the ground, should it work. Whether he managed to enter the floor or not he called on Fire Fall, a 300 foot radius of fire and flames dropping from the sky, exploding and erupting on impact with anything it hit. Varlum didn't want to kill his friends, he didn't want others to be hurt. But with Faldrun's buff, most would be immune to the flames. The others would need another way. He had one goal now, his anger overwhelming his mind enough that he was willing to risk anything now for a chance at Kata. For a chance to save Idalos.

Twenty-five.

If his grab was a success he plummeted through the Earth, his head remembering Vega, the story she had told of her being pulled through the ground, her body shattering with each moment. He didn't know if it would work on Kata, he didn't know if the plan was hopeless. Yet he knew he was on a timer. Heavy Burn took a toll on him, which meant he had one shot. If he could he would pull her deeper into the ground, stopping at least ten feet below the surface, his jaw clamped to ensure he never lost grip of her. Even if she stabbed at him, or beat him. He would not let go, whether stuck on the surface or under the ground. To ensure it, any defensive power he had from Ethelynda activated, granting him increased resistance to damage.

Twenty.

Wherever the pair stood, he remained clamped onto her, bracing for half a second. Even with his magic at the level it was, he was always cautious with his power, worried he could kill innocents if he was reckless. None of that mattered now. Idalos was in danger. Everything he knew was in danger. These people were heroes, fighters that had grouped together to save the world. Which meant they would forgive him for what came next. Varlum summoned a small ring of flame around them both with Defiance, before calling for both his Fire Kin and Faldrun's Mark simultaneously, a combination that drew off the strength of each other perfectly. Rather than expand the flames wider, he instead collapsed it in on himself, his Elemental Manipulation from Faldrun's power strong enough to melt flesh, stone, and even heat metal. The white flames were boosted by both magic and mark alike, enveloping the pair, Varlum only resistant because of his Defiance and Faldrun's mark. A sphere of flame fifteen feet wide surrounded them both, flooding with intense heat.

Fifteen.

If the pair were up on the surface and his attempt to pull her down had failed, he would call on Solar Purge, dropping a beam with the power of the sun directly onto himself and Kata. Even if it killed him. Even if she killed him. Death didn't matter to him so long as she went down with him. So long as he protected the world as he had promised. His head continued to rush with all of the bad memories, but it had been a mistake. Kata had tried to turn him on Faldrun, tried to draw the anger out of him, and the anger had come to life as she envisioned.

But deep down he knew what he fought for. Faldrun was an obstacle, he always had been. There was no end goal. As long as Idalos had danger, Varlum had a battle, a place, and purpose in the world. That was what he had sworn to do all those Arcs ago. He had promised Auya life, to protect the world and to make it safe for her. He had sworn to keep his sisters alive when he had met them, telling himself he would never lose them. He'd trained with Elisabeth and vowed to be her friend, told her that the world was worth fighting for. He has wished for peace in Rharne when he had met Hart again. All of the people he had met, all the heroes, shared one goal. The good of Idalos.

Ten.

As a final gesture of his anger, he expelled the magma from inside of him, not wanting to risk any disruption of his defiance casting. Using the mutation, he breathed it out over Kata, his hound and him trying to hold her in place as he did. Even if it missed now, it was a last resort, all the fire he could muster still surrounding them both. It blocked off his team, it isolated him, it might have endangered his own life. But it was power. Perhaps enough of it to kill Kata. If it failed, he had used everything. Every power he had, his last resort. If it wasn't enough, if his time ran out, he would drop to his knees in pain, too drained to continue. That was the cost, the risk he faced. But he couldn't hold back now. He had to fight with all he had.

Five.

Feeling his ability coming close to an end, he closed his eyes, still doing his best to hold Kata close. Fire wrapped around him, scorching and blinding flames, white hot and tearing at anything that tried to enter. Earth trembled under him. Thoughts flooded his head, anger. But in an attempt to focus, an attempt to resist the final few seconds of power he had, he focused on one face. One name. One memory. One embrace. The only thought now that would calm him enough to remain controlled.

"Hey, big guy."
Last edited by Varlum on Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1671
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:13 pm

You may feel a slight pinch…

Oram’s words could not imbue his story with the same sort of realizing power as Cassion’s could, but the hunter still felt that the telling helped. He took heart as his and Zoro’s blows struck home, and as Zoro chimed in with his own contribution to the story. He was really cheering for the guy’s flourish about decapitating Audrae to come true, yet although the cut the biqaj threw was nasty, and would have incapacitated a normal person, it was not quite enough to finish off the Pitch Bitch.

Audrae brought down a wave of darkness to envelop them; unable to see where he was striking, Oram paused swinging his spear. A few moments later the darkness swept past, and Audrae was gone, because of course she was.

Other things were happening. Varlum was as tall as a tree and there were three Katas. Fire was everywhere. A suddenly countless pack of wolves bit at the crazy Immortal’s heels, yet she dispatched his own wolf, Choir, with a skull-crushing stomp that made the hunter wince in a vicarious pang of pain. The element wolf, being of Song, careered back into the spirit realm, not with a simple yelp, but with a drawn-out, elegiac lament.

Feeling Choir’s dejection and pain, Oram told him soothingly: You did good, Choir. I’m proud of you. I bet Karem is, too. She had better be, the hunter added silently, a bit of anger edging into his thoughts. Other bad emotions, too, and ideas of defeat, seemed to fill the very air and pull at his mind and heart. He was willing to bet they weren’t spontaneous thoughts and feelings, either, but rather were somehow given off by whichever one of those three Katas was real.

Oram willed himself not to dwell on that, and to instead focus on things he might best affect. Turning his back on Kata for now, he concentrated on Tentacle Lady, who looked now more like Bear Lady, and her struggles with his patron, Cassion. He had previously decided Syroa would be next, and that decision had not changed. Either of their remaining Immortal foes could be their undoing if left unattended, and Oram intuited that he would have more impact, and find more favor with his patron, if he helped with Syroa, instead of adding his widow’s mite to the fight against Kata.

”The darkness cleared, and revealed that Audrae had retreated before the heroes’ onslaught,” he declaimed aloud, after just a couple trills to catch his breath. ”Oram’s brave wolf companion, overwhelmed by the immense power of the foe he had taken on so fearlessly, was driven back with an angry, defiant cry into the spirit realm; thwarted but not shamed, there he would heal, to hunt again some other trial.”

Oram changed how he held his spear as he approached his next target, now holding it in front of him. ”Coming now to Cassion’s aid,” he called out, ”as the Man of Roads grappled with the shifting Beast Woman to keep her immobile, Oram brought down his flame-headed spear to meet his adversary’s surging fury as he would the charging boar for which the smiths of Scalvoris had forged his weapon.” The hunter plunged the tip of the spear into Syroa’s beastly form, then braced its butt with his foot, the better to anchor and immobilize Cassion’s struggling opponent.

He was just pondering his next step, his next sentence to narrate when everything exploded into flame. Everything. Light dazzled his eyes, heat blistered his nose and lungs, sound pummeled his eardrums, mighty tremors and convulsions shook him to the core and tried to yank the ground from beneath his feet. Something enormous had just happened. It remained a question whether it would be for good or ill, whether he himself would be alive to tell whatever tale was left to tell.
word count: 666
Villains are powerless against story beats.
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Zoro Astrian
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:58 pm

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Audrae brought down a wave of darkness to envelop them and when the darkness swept past, she was gone. Zoro was beset by powerful emotions that conflicted him with equal measure being both elated and horrified at what they had just done to the Immortal of Deception, Secrecy, Shadows and Fear. “Zonks!” Zoro exclaimed. “She’s going to be really angry!” He could not believe that he, a young and inexperienced biqaj had done this and some of the elation and flow of morale granted by Xiur dissipated and left behind fear and doubt. Something did not feel right.

At this point, one of Great Aunt Zelda’s popped into his mind. What do you take me for? Some kind of no-brained one-eyed winkie-wonkie that came down in the last shower of frogs? Zoro thought. Remembering his Aunt refreshed Zoro’s confidence and morale and jutting out his chin his eyes and then his skin swirled in shades of purple. He held his light-encased fairy sword ready and proclaimed to the world, “I ain’t no winkie-wonkie!!”

Saying this he drew out the crystal star glowing with hope, given to him by Xiur, and he activated the ability on it. Starry Eyes,Zoro believed, would show him if the Mistress of Deception and Shadows had actually gone, but he did not believe for a single moment that she had. “In Xiur’s name, I will see you!” He prayed fervently to Xiur to help him now. Deception and Secrecy and Shadows were Audrae’s meat and drink and Zoro was convinced that she had not disappeared off and was in fact simply watching from a different shadow. She would wait, she would watch and she would bide her time, Zoro was convinced. After all, it had been what she had done with regards to Joy and Qylios in the Forging.

He would not allow this! So, he activated the Starry Eyes ability and scanned the area, also using the light currently encasing his sword, and bidding Maureen to do the same as he prayed to Xiur for help in defeating the Immortal of Fear. “Hope is the death of fear!” Zoro Astrian exclaimed, even though his knees were knocking together and his heart beat so loudly he thought that Audrae could probably hear it. Still, he was poised and ready to move. If he was right, if he could see her then Zoro would blast her with light from the fairy sword and he and his fairy diri, Maureen, would charge at her with the full intention of killing her and finishing the job he had started. If that did come to pass, he would do so shouting at the top of his voice in order to make sure that everyone knew that Fear was still in the room.


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Cad Revel
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Re: Ruin's Dawn: Ascension

Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:28 pm

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Timestamp: 35th of Saun, 721
Location: Somewhere Spooky
Things were getting pretty loud inside Cad's head.

"You are weak and afraid! A coward quivering behind the backs of greater heroes! What difference can such a pitiful cretin make?" Sneered the voice of Mastes, spiting words of bile through his mind.

"Why linger in the presence of such danger?" Questioned the voice of Kata, fighting against the effects of Orams whistle to bring his fear surging back. "All you need to is turn and run. Run far from this place. Let the others strain against the tides of change alone, for they are better suited to bear it."

Cad would be lying if he said that the words did not effect him. Each one chipped away little by little at the artificial resolve keeping his cowardice in check, creating tiny cracks that would soon shatter the wall holding back the flood. Yet he forced himself to focus his attention on the third voice; the one that whispered away in his ear, spilling the secret weaknesses of the other players in this nightmarish scene. It spoke to him of the insecurities of the mortals, the arrogance of the mortalborn, and the obsessions that ruled the Immortals. And as the voice whispered away, Cad waited for his opportunity.

By this point he had retreated far back enough to stand by Faldrun's other shoulder, and watched the batlefield shake as demi-gods struggled with all their might to land so much as a glancing blow on this new, improved Kata. There was a stab of jealousy in his heart as he watched them unleash earth shattering powers that he himself would never be able to harness, yet it was mollified somewhat by how little it meant to Kata. The arrogance he saw in her was well deserved, for truly there was nothing else in this world that could hope to match her strength. Was there only hope for victory really to delay her long enough for the imperial army to arrive? Even with the blessings of the other gods at their backs, cad wasn't convinced that even an army could stop Kata now.

Suddenly Cad spotted his opportunity.

Audrae unleashed a wave of purest darkness that swept over Oram, Zoro and Daia, swallowing them up like a great beast of ink. Cassion and Syroa were too engaged in fighting each other to disengage, as were Kata and those wolf and lizard heroes. If there was a time to act it was now, in this brief moment where all eyes were elsewhere.

It was a risky gamble, Cad had to admit, but one that Oram's whistle had inadvertantly supressed the fear of taking. For where he looked at their weaknesses, Cad had seen that Valtharn's was her love of cruelty. How could her attention not be focused on the fight infront of them, where not only did the most danger present itself but where gods and heroes alike were inflicting pain and misery upon each other? So too had he seen that Faldrun was not recovering despite the gift of fire he'd been offered. If there was ever a moment where the god of fire could be vulnerable to a weak mortal like him, it was now.

As Audrae's darkness washed across the hall, Cad struck. He still held the axe Nathan had loaned to him in the Heart of the World, and whilst so many others had their eyes focused elsewhere he suddenly swung it with whatever strength he could muster at Faldrun's unguarded neck. Would Valtharn notice in time? Even if she did, would she be able to block where Faldrun himself was positioned between the two of them. That was Cad's gamble. Because thanks to Oram he did not feel the fear of Faldrun he once did, nor did he truly care which side won in this fight. All he cared about in this moment was that he was sided with the winner, and right now he couldn't see anyone but Kata claiming that title.

And if, in this moment, he killed Faldrun for her, he felt Kata would be able to reward him far better than Faldrun could.

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word count: 733
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