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  1. There! An opening! The barbarians before him, the duo, they attacked the Ghoul, lowering their guard. He splayed his arms forwards, palms outstretched, as a stream of fire welled up from its spiralling state and streaked towards the duo. Were it to hit, they would alight with a flame that could not be extinguished by mere water, only by that which had been hallowed and blessed. Jalafrax took another few paces back, turning around to gaze to Constans. His eyes locked with his, and he spoke, again. "May you achieve concord." He pushed his hand out, again, and the second twirl of fire burnt over, rushing towards him. He stood his ground, now looking about as he began to summon another twisting snake-like emanation of fire. The undead were not incredibly frail. But they were weak, and stupid. They charged forwards, thrashing with their hands and arms and biting and kicking and screeching. The Blightfire Servants had the gift of being able to spread the flame, but even then it was no sure thing. And the ghoul was stronger, sturdier, quicker, but it was just as dull, and it would simply take blows until it perished, just as the Servants would. But perhaps, just perhaps, in the few moments they had before a few well-placed blows struck them, they would bring down one, maybe two of Jalafrax's opponents.
  2. Jalafrax did not bother to respond. He remained silent, walking forwards, until his path was blocked, coming to a stop and blinking. He looked forwards towards the two who would stand against him. The dozens of blightfire servants staggered forwards, tilting their heads. The ghoul crawled next to him, gibbering and blinking, rapidly. "Kill anything that isn't me." He said, and the undead would move to begin executing the plan. The blightfire servants scattered, charging aimlessly towards whichever being they first saw. Some for barbarians, one or two for Constans, and one for the duo standing before him. The ghoul leapt forwards, screeching as it lunged, aiming to tackle the barbarians before him. Jalafrax stepped backwards, pacing rapidly away, clenching his fists. The bright prismatic flame leapt up in them, going to twirl around him as he retreated. He spun around, analysing the area as the fire began to grow and grow. All the while, he said nothing, and watched, and waited. There would be an opening. There always was.
  3. A noise. Multiple noises. And then someone calling. Jalafrax looked up, turning his gaze towards Constans. He rolled up the map, and went to place it into his belt. "Greetings." He responded, before seeing his fists. His face. This one was angry, Jalafrax noted. The servants around him, stood, motionless. The ghoul gibbered and screeched, pawing around Jalafrax, crawling on all fours like some sort of animal. Jalafrax pointed at Constans, and all the undead turned. They watched, burning, the ghoul pacing forwards, gasping and twisting, but hitting some sort of invisible wall. It pulled itself back, stalking over towards Jalafrax. "I have no quarrel with you." He said, as simple as could be. "I am not going to harm you. I am going to leave. There is a young girl behind me, and she deserves a proper burial. I was going to give it to her, as is proper for all who truly sacrifice, but..." He sighed, looking a little annoyed. "You have arrived. That is not proper. No." He turned, looking away, for a moment, before looking back. "This place...is done. I wouldn't bother trying to save it. I suggest you leave, stranger. Do not follow me." He turned, and issued a command. Perhaps Constans could hear him. "If anyone follows me, kill them." He said. The undead followed after him, but they kept their eye on him. Clearly uncoordinated, a few of the servants fell down, their everburning flame still smouldering as they picked themselves up.
  4. Jalafrax knelt down to the weeping girl, placing his hand on her cheek. "I'm so sorry, little one." He whispered, as the village around him burnt with chromatic fire. His small force of undead, headed by a disposable Death Knight had all perished. The villagers had burnt in his blightfire, and now all that stood was the girl and him, surrounded by a smouldering ruins of some place that didn't matter, in some lands that nearly did. He rose to his feet, looking across the village. The destruction. His destruction. "I needed to do this..." He explained, as if it would comfort her. "I've seen - I've seen something terrible come from this place. A long time ago." There were corpses all around the two, the flies evading them. The fire they burnt with was immutable and eternal, bright and hypnotically colourful. He stepped towards one of them, staring down. "I don't think you'll care. I promise I'll end this quickly." He said. The corpses began to twitch, as the fire wormed its way into their souls. Soon, they would return, flimsy and frail, but they'd do. He turned to the girl, pointing a finger at her. It began to go dark, darker than darkness. Wreathed in some sort of false-light, everything around it twisted and bent. The girl choked, gasping as she clutched at her throat. With his free hand, Jalafrax slowly took a jar from his belt. He opened it up, popping the cork onto the ground, as a faint fog began to ebb out of the girl throat. "...help..." she whispered. Nobody came to save her, though, and the fog drifted into the jar. Jalafrax corked it, sighing wearily. Slowly, he turned to the corpses. One of them wasn't covered in fire. He knelt down, and placed his fingers upon the creature's temples. "...wake up." He mumbled. The corpse's eyes shot open. It slowly scrambled up, growling, drooling. "Hrmph. A dozen servants and a single ghoul. It will be enough." He rose to his feet, looking about the area, the destruction slowly dying down. Idly, he began to search his pockets. "Now, where did I keep that map...?" He asked himself, as the corpses wreathed in blightfire began to stagger to their feet.
  5. Apologies, I aim to annul this alliteration annoyance. Anyway, after an attempt at attaining and activating the adventures of two additional allies, I found that intrigue involving either of them was infinitesimal. This thread, through thorough thought and prompting proposals, and attempts to aid in interest gathering. Saila silently stalks cities. Such a scamp! Dangerously, this devil drinks magic. Mayhaps this makes her a malicious murderer? Or a tragic, terror, tortured by terrible torment? Either way, I hope to see if anyone would like to involve her in a plot in some way. Jalafrax jealously japes...heroes. Haughtily, he has not heard a word of whether or not his wicked ways could cause his consecration. Nevertheless, this nihilistic necromancer never gives in. A veritable villain for venerable ventures. If one wishes to face Jalafrax, I think he'd be good as either a villain for a hero, or as a part of some sort of magic research team. Nevertheless, I'm mostly fine with anything. If either of these characters pique your interest, please inform me.
  6. Pollst stumbled forwards into the party as it was blocked. He blinked once, glancing around. Ever the side-character of his own adventures, Pollst smiled blankly and waited, and heard that there was a creature ahead. Something dangerous. He paused, considering everything he knew. Everything he knew from his stories, and from his tales. What would make the best story? Were they the doomed adventuring party, to be found by the heroes in the future? Were they the heroes, here to explore and find victory in the impossible tomb? Well, what better way to test than with fate... Pollst snapped his fingers, and disabled the Cone of Light. The sound was not loud, but not quiet. Perhaps that creature would hear. Perhaps not. He scantly knew what was ahead, but a 'mummy with a weapon'. It could be a great horror, wrapped in bandages, ready to violently end them. Or perhaps it was just a dusty old man, one mildly strong gust of wind away from falling apart. Regardless, he reached down to grip the hilt of his blade, snapping his gaze over to Azytzeen as he whispered. He slunk over, going to give the man a short and simple shake, as requested. Simultaneously, he peered out into the darkness, whispering. "Avoid, distract, or fight?" He mumbled, trying to figure out what the proper course of action was, always wishing to simply support. Glory was not his fate. Assistance was. Pollst narrowed his eyes, simply trying to get a better view, clenching his free fist as embers began to flick and form around it.
  7. I'm all good with interjecting, though should I assume I should still make my post this round?
  8. Jalafrax stepped out of the area as asked. He did not care for Eldwine's intent. His was a far higher goal, and this was a stepping stone and so- Well, that didn't matter. Best not dwell on iit. He looked left and right and waited. And eventually, Jalafrax looked as Eldwine stepped over. "Of course we can." He said, stepping over towards the newly animated undead. He looked over the being, of which he didn't even know its name, frowning to himself. "But first." He placed his pointer finger on the corpse's temple, a swirling vortex of rainbow fire burning around it, before it pierced into the undead's skull and had it collapse down, still smouldering slightly, the flame changiing from cyan to red to green. "I cannot guarantee this being would not break free of me and butcher me in the street, and also, cause you trouble by being able to leak the information you so desperately want to keep hidden. Therefore I have ended its undeath. Please provide me with my full payment, as previously discussed." Jalafrax said, smiling simply and waiting, as he flicked his arm, the fire extinguishing, slowly placing both hands behind his back, waiting politely.
  9. Jalafrax twitched at the question, looking to Eldwine. "Because...the palm is the proper way of things." He said, humming as he took the reagents, including his blood. "It must be done...properly. If it is done improperly...it will not end well." No further explanation needed. What he had given was proper. It was the way of things. Jalafrax began..the ritual. The reagents were specific. Carefully prepared. He took them, slowly, carefully. Draw a complicated runic circle with the dyes, first. It must be done slowly. Each symbol had to be done perfectly. There was no chance for flaws. Place the corpse at the centre of it all. It is what the ritual must affect. He took another reagent, or rather, a tool, and went to begin scooping out the eyes of the man. He took the blood, pouring a few drops into the eyes, one after the other. Slowly, he stepped back. The last reagent, the candles. He carefully began to light them up at the edge of certain points. There was no perceptible rhyme or reason to the selection, though surely there was a purpose to them. Slowly, Jalafrax stepped back, raising his arms up. The circle lit up. The corpse spasmed. He spoke. "To ye who sleeps in endless deep, hear my voice, rise 'gainst thy choice, shatter now the veil of death, return the gift of mortal breath, step within our world once more, return to flesh, and cross the door!" The corpse shook all the while. It twitched. It was writhing. Slowly, carefully, it rose up, looking about with its eyeless gaze.
  10. "No compromise? Mind blank? Hm..." Jalafrax nodded. He considered this, as he walked, ignoring what Eldwine had said. He took no other offence, nor did he think of it as particularly important, merely following the man through the market. He wasn't particularly interested in the sights, or the sounds, or the smells, only interested in beginning the ritual. Soon, he followed the man into the trailer. "...understood." He said, nodding. "Understood." He nodded, once more. Jalafrax took the reagents, nodding to himself, now. Slowly, carefully, he moved over towards the workbench, setting the reagents down. He took a small dagger, and vial, from his belt. Idly, and without hesitation, with all the mundanity of going to bed, he cut into his hand, and placed the vial underneath the incision. He got a few drops of blood, just a few, before drawing a set of bandages and tossing them over towards Eldwine. "Please bandage my hand, and then...we can begin." He said, grim and giddy.
  11. Pollst was...careful? No, attentive. No, observant. All three, perhaps. He arrived punctually, he made no comments about the desert, he just watched, for a while. He smiled, and as the archaeologists explained everything, he noted them down on a scroll. Perhaps, one of his party was perceptive. Or perhaps they were a mind-reader, because maybe they knew the scroll was empty, and was beginning to be filled with descriptions. Of the party. Jotted notes. Descriptors. "Armoured man - determined. Quiet. Scary! Anti-hero?" "Armoured man - determined. Quiet. Scary! Anti-hero? Again! What? Who is first to die, then...?" He glanced at the others, going to begin noting another thing down on the screen, however he was interrupted. Someone was requesting he take a match. "Oh." Pollst said. "Oh...no, I - I don't need one!" He said, smiling. "I don't need it - I can just cast Cone of Light or Minor Flame..." He said, brushing off the suggestion, before all of a sudden he was being ushured into the ziggurat. Never one to falter when it came to adventure, Pollst descended, stepping into the first room with the others. He clicked his hand, and - not surprisingly - a cone of light burst out from his fingertip. He stepped back, beginning to shine it around the room. "Perhaps...a bit...redundant, since we have lanterns." He said, nodding to himself. "...but this is more...focused." It was so. Wherever he pointed at, it was brighter. Quite brighter. Useful for navigation. And even more useful for trapseeking, so when he heard the comment about 'no traps yet' all he said was. "I'll shine ahead as we walk. Give us a better...chance of spying those traps."
  12. Jalafrax watched as Eldwine motioned over, nodding as he went to begin walking. "Soundproof AND airtight? Mm. Good idea. The revival can be...traumatising. Arcane leakage? Even better. Don't want any...lost spirits latching onto stray powers. Very good, very good. Now - one last thing - I have some bandages with me. I'm going to need you to be ready to assist me in using them. I have none of my blood contained and ready for the ritual - so we'll need to get it...fresh from the source." Jalafrax explained, blasé about the whole affair. As he walked, he looked about the market. Charming little thing, he supposed. Rather droll, too. He'd be going far, far away from it once he was done. Didn't want his...employers to bother him once he was done. There were greater issues, and besides, in a world where vigilantes roamed, ready to attack and kill, Jalafrax knew that spending too much time in one place would lead to him being attacked for being a 'vile monster drawing from forbidden powers in a hideous mockery of the circle of life'. That was not the proper way of things. But it was what would happen. Well, he merely walked, heading with Eldwine. "Is there anything else I should know before I begin?"
  13. Jalafrax nodded. "Mmm...a specialist. Well. My work is extremely specialised, I'll give you that." He nodded along, listening and listening to his explanations. Each word was useful, perhaps. And then a phrase 'your pay gets slashed' and he looked, eyebrow raised, imperceptibly. Jalafrax paused. Listened. Considered. And nodded. It wasn't worth offending this man, or his 'House'. Just accept the deal. It's a good deal. A great deal, for both of them. It was rare such good deals came along, all gift-wrapped and prepared. "It sounds perfect. If this...person is a dangerous combatant, I'll happily leave my fee cut. I'll consider it a...payment for resources. If not, well, you never gave me said resources. Reasonable. Fair. Fine." "Now." Jalafrax said, coming to a stop. "Let's find a little place in this lovely market, and do some shopping, hm?" Jalafrax smiled honestly, and truly. There was no malice, now. A deal had been struck. He would come to the end of it. That was the proper way of things. "Let me begin writing..." He rummaged through his coat, taking a tome from it. It was thick, worn, the pages within were stuffed with notes, different colours of paper - it was not a printed book. It was not a copied book. Jalafrax had not even opened it yet - but it was known merely by its sight, this was a book that held every thought a man had ever conceived off. "...the list isn't...particularly long, say. It's more - of...uh, specifications. Ink that's specifically from this flower, not that. Chalk ground on a whetstone of stone with an iron tool, not a brass tool. Very possible to achieve, if...slightly annoying." (I'm alright with an auto.)
  14. Jalafrax blinked once, twice, thrice. "Poss...ibly. I could do that. I've a few experimental...spells. But those aren't particularly...reliable. Eh...I mean...you only need to ask questions and tell lies, hm?" He asked, a tiny grin growing on his face. "You care not for this person...just information? And that they wont trouble you." Jalafrax netted his fingers together, tilting his head towards Eldwine, bowing a little as he spoke. "Perhaps, then, this is a good idea for you. I can have a Death Knight formed in merely a day? Give me the appropriate reagents, a place with no proper dangers. Calming. Soothing. And...it will retain its mind." Jalafrax's voice seemed to become sinister. Well, more sinister. He felt he had a brilliant deal. One that could not be refused. "But its mind will be slaved to my will. It will obey and serve me. And...likely hate me. But, that's neither here nor there. The point is - it will have its mind - it will obey me. You ask it your questions - you give me my money - you tell it your lies - I walk out with it, and it follows me. And if it ever breaks free of my control it likely executes me or I execute it. So, your...sordid business with a practitioner of the profaned arts is wrapped up in a neat bow. Your assassin - and the horrible person you had him brought back by...walk out of your life. And if ever one of them slips up, they kill each other." "I just want a powerful corpse. An assassin works as a bodyguard, you understand? If this idea...displeases you, well, I can try some other incantations for you. Either is fine with me."
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