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Trenchant Cogency

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  1. Return.

  2. Mina's encouragement was unnecessary. Even as the white-haired woman turned, Shalia's bare feet were tearing across the earth. Her rush to the door was partly out of the urgency of their situation, but in truth she also wanted to create distance between herself and... whatever Cassandra had become. The transformed woman's serpentine form brought up dark memories. Shalia hurried past Mina as the woman finished speaking. "Take your own advice!" Shalia shouted as she passed. Some of the undead had already come to their senses and were beginning to shamble towards them. The group gathered here was monstrously powerful, but Shalia didn't look forward to fighting an entire city's worth of undead. The circle of undead was slowly closing. Shalia hissed a breath between her teeth, and brought her left arm up, channeling her inner flame into it. Now wasn't a time to be reserved. Within her the flame of the Old Chaos stirred, aching to consume her body and everything around her. The call of it was elation, as mad as it may seem. Shalia's inner flame urged her to give in, to reunite it with the fire of Chaos. But she did not. From her empty left hand an orb of fire formed, and within it churned the incredibly bright fires of Chaos. Their neon-like orange glow made it difficult to look directly into the orb, and slowly became brighter as Shalia surged more of the Old Chaos into it. The Pyromancer had her teeth clenched hard, fighting to keep the spell cohesive as well as resisting the urge to let it consume her. It took only a moment more of effort before it was fully formed, and Shalia wasted no time going into action. Without stopping, she swung her left arm forward, hurling the flame into the nearest grouping of the undead. As it flew, it expanded outward, becoming as large as a human body. It shrieked as it sailed through the air before slamming violently into the undead. It destablized on impact, the outer coating of Shalia's inner flame giving way to the fires of Chaos within. The Old Chaos was free. With it came death. The flames spilled out like a thing alive, grasping hungrily at the undead nearby. The explosion alone had sent half-rotted bodies flying into pieces, but those were the lucky ones. The Chaos fires clung to everything they touched and devoured it. The undead flesh it touched didn't so much burn as melt, and the flames became only more hungry for it. The undead moved through it heedlessly, but it ate their very legs from beneath them and pulled them down. It hissed and churned like magma, slowly spreading itself as it gained more fuel from whatever it touched. It had become a self-perpetuating trap against the undead, but it was slow. It was only impeding a certain area, and the group was surrounded. Chaos Flame was not something she used lightly. Shalia noted with fearful reverence that besides the undead, it was slowly eating into the earth, turning it into more molten Chaos. If it went unchecked it would slowly spread, destroying all in its wake. It would have been a death sentence for this place. But the city was already long lost, and the Whispernight was coming. Chaos could eat its fill here. "Come, swiftly! And don't get near the fire!" Shalia shouted over her shoulder at the others. Hopefully they wouldn't make her charge the gate alone.
  3. The world around Shalia had devolved into a shrieking mess. The contraption her compatriots called an 'airship' was screaming as it flew, carrying them miraculously through the air, juddering on occasion as the winds buffeted it. Beyond that was the outside world, and what she had been told was their intended destination; a horde of the risen dead, surrounded by an inferno, with the last few living survivors scratching and clawing for their lives. Shalia's guts churned at the occasional leaps their vessel took, disrupted by turbulence from the flames below. It was certainly rougher than the ride across the ocean had been. But while she had been disturbed greatly by that previous voyage, this ride was much less distressing. At least here all that waited beneath their ship 'sinking' was a quick death, without the unknowable horror of the Deep, and Shalia had died before. It wasn't an experience she would recommend, but it was better than whatever terror waited beneath the endless waves. While the others made small talk on the ride over, Shalia found a small space to sit upon the airship's floor. The dark-haired woman folded her gauze-wrapped legs beneath herself in what some called lotus posture, and placed both her hands against her breast, pressing firmly. With a deep breath she shut her eyes, and focused. Within the depths of her bosom she felt the stirrings of her flame. It flickered some with each lurch of the airship, the instinctive fear of a long fall with a sudden stop disrupting her focus briefly before being swiftly quelled each time. Those present in the airship with her would feel a subtle heat emanating from Shalia's body, turning the cold steel structure around them warm to the touch. Over time, her inner flame was disrupted less with each bout of turbulence, until finally it flickered not at all. Human concerns slowly fell by the wayside, and all that was left was fire. Dove opened the door, and the familiar scent of ash filled Shalia's nose. The city below was being devoured by the undead, and the defenders' resultant inferno. The fire had begun spreading exponentially due to the natural greenery. Either the undead would destroy whatever was left, or the fire would, followed by the dark cataclysm called Whispernight that was sweeping the land to utterly consume what little remained. The fire outside called to her own, singing its sweet free song as it happily ate whatever it touched. Gluttony, pure and simple. Shalia would not partake of its heedless feast. There were much more reserved methods of destruction. Distantly Shalia could hear Dove explaining the specifics of their mission. The lich explained about her counterspell, intending to harness the apocalyptic force of the Whispernight for the new Empire as a weapon, to hang over any foe's head. Sorceror's work, something Shalia could vaguely understand, but wasn't formally trained to participate in. The plan was overall simple; enter the Tower, reach the top, move to the others, place the counterspell's components, and avoid dying. The last was easily accomplished for Shalia. The shard of her Bonfire was buried in the earth back at the Imperial camp. The moment finally came. While the others readied themselves, Shalia left her meditations and rose to her feet. Reaching into one of the pouches about her waist, she withdrew four Rings, thoughtfully placing two on each hand. The fear of what was to come was now a dim murmuring in her mind, her inner flame brought into a calm warmth that emanated off her almost visibly. As she stood by the door, awaiting the word to exit, she rose one hand to her mouth, gently kissing one of the rings; a tiny silver cat wrapping her finger, its little sapphire eyes gleaming in the light. "Time to take the plunge," Shalia said softly, as much to herself as those around her. Then the door flew open, and Dove was shouting something inaudible over the rush of noise. Shalia took a deep breath before leaning forward out the airship's door. Without a parachute, she fell. The chaos of it was incredible. The wind screamed in her ears as she fell, as all around her flames devoured the landscape, casting ash into the air as heavy as snowfall. The undead writhed upon the earth like a mass, and even from this high Shalia could see their hungry, hate-filled eyes gleaming up at her. Her clothes whipped around her, the skirt about her waist billowing away from her body and revealing that at least she had the modesty to not be nude, even if it were nothing but more tightly wrapped bandages. After a few hundred feet, the peculiar sensation of weightlessness took over. The pull of gravity and the weight of the wind had reached a compromise, and Shalia's fall was no longer accelerating. Suddenly added to the din was the shriek of warping steel, and it was no small shock to see the blades from the airship they had just been riding go hurtling by, humming as they went. In the distance she saw them fall like the Reaper's own scythe, reaping through the undead milling at their landing point like grass. The ground rushed up at her, and even the calm her meditation had brought her was disrupted by the sheer insanity of what was happening. The Silver Cat's eyes glowed, and Shalia's body was encased in a barely visible layer of magic, almost like bubbles. Her descent rapidly slowed as she neared the ground, the ring's magic fighting an unwinnable battle with gravity. Even with the magic active, this would not be a gentle landing. Shalia's body struck the ground hard, the ring's magic coalescing visibly around her wherever her body met earth. The dark-haired woman tumbled, the rebound of force sending her uncontrollably skidding across the ground, each a hammering blow that drew gasping sounds of pain from Shalia. After a moment the violence ended, gravity taking as much of its due as it could. Shalia lay unmoving. But after a moment she stirred. Shalia rose to her feet, and from her came what at first seemed to be a cough. But slowly it became louder, fuller, turning into laughter. The madness of what she had just done broke through the pain, the calm from the pyromancer's meditation long forgotten. Shalia's mirth shook her body, peals of her laughing echoing in the dead and dying city. She lifted her right hand, and from it erupted flame. The fire twisted in on itself, shaping itself into something that looked nearly solid; a curved sword of pure flame, the Demon's Scar. There was something unnatural about the flames composing the 'weapon. They writhed like a living thing, and even compared to the inferno around them they seemed hungry, ready to devour whatever they touched. A touch of the Old Chaos. The Demon's Scar hissed as the rain began to fall, and where drops landed on Shalia they slowly steamed away. Shalia paid them no mind. They went unheeded, the same as the small cuts and bruises across her body granted her by gravity's brutality. Instead Shalia brought the Demon's Scar forward, gesturing it at any of the undead nearby. Her laughter slowly died, and she found her voice again. "Gone hollow have you?! Well there's still life to be found in this corpse here! Come take it from me, will-less fools!"
  4. Dark Souls, yes. Excellent.

  5. Shalia, Lost Flame of Londor

    (INCOMPLETE) Character Name: Shalia, Lost Flame of Londor Age: Unknown even to her Height: 172 cm Weight: 55 kg Race: Human (Hollow) Special Abilities The Undead Curse "Young Hollow. How you grapple, without falter, with this dreadfully twisted world. Peace grants men the illusion of life. Shackled by falsehoods, they yearn for love, unaware of its grand illusion. Until, the curse touches their flesh. We are bound by this yoke. As true as the Dark that churns within men." As one who is Human, who holds a bit of the Dark within her breast, Shalia is cursed to be Undead. Though her body can die and be utterly destroyed as any mortal's would, she will always find herself rising again, as if from a dream, at her [Bonfire]. This is not without cost, however; resurrecting will take time, and upon doing so she is greatly weakened for an additional period, requiring her to rest and regain her strength. Shalia must also deal with the mental trauma of her 'death', as she has no resistance to the pain and mutilation that may bring her 'life' to an end. Though Shalia technically counts as Undead because of this, she is not susceptible to mind affecting abilities that target Undead creatures unless she has recently died and been resurrected. Other abilities which target Undead for the intention of dealing damage or other combat effects still work properly regardless of her status. Soul Transposition "Now bring me a twisted soul. Transposition is the art of extracting, and coalescing the essence of a soul. In transposing a twsted soul, its true power transferreth to thee. Thy purpose is to seek Lords, and slay them. What's to fear in a little transposition, now?" Occasionally when a being of great strength dies or is destroyed, it will leave behind a Great Soul, a manifestation of all its power. Shalia can gather and store these Souls within herself, and when given time to work can produce wonders from them. These things can be objects, such as weapons or armor, or even spells. Whatever they may be, the things created in this manner always have relevance to the Soul's origin, reflecting the great power they came from. Pyromancy "Pyromancy has a, well, rather primitive aspect to it. It meshes poorly with advanced culture, and pyromancers are considered rather unsavoury. Which is fine, as I never got along with anybody anyway. So, for me, turning Undead didn't change a thing! Hah hah hah hah." Pyromancy is the art of channeling the user's inner flame, born of the Witch of Izalith's power, and using its strength to cast spells. Though anyone can do this to an extent, Pyromancy is reliant upon the user's willpower to be most effective. Though powerful, Pyromancy is also dangerous for those without the will to control it. It is easy to get lost in the power of the flame, and those who lose control will be consumed by it. Because it draws upon the inner flame, the life force within the user's body, Pyromancy can be very draining. It takes considerable willpower to manifest one's flame while also keeping usage of it efficient, being mindful of one's limitations. Expending all one's energy in this manner will not be fatal, but it is supremely exhausting. Pyromancy List (WORK IN PROGRESS) --- Equipment Enchanted Rings In Shalia's possession are a number of magic rings, usually stored within the pouches she carries around her hip. Each one mysteriously adapts to perfectly fit upon the wearer's finger, but only four can be worn at once before they begin to interfere too greatly with one another. There is no penalty to taking off one ring and putting on another unless otherwise stated in their individual descriptions. Sun Princess Ring "Ring associated with Gwynevere, princess of sunlight and eldest daughter of Gwyn, the First Lord. The ring is vaguely warm, like a beam of sunlight, and gradually heals the wearer's wounds. Gwynevere left her home with a great many other deities, and became a wife and mother, raising several heavenly children." This golden ring increases the wearer's natural healing, halving the time it would take for a non-fatal injury to heal. Superficial wounds, such as minor cuts, heal at an even higher rate, visibly scabbing over and closing over a few minutes. Witch's Ring "The Witch of Izalith and her daughters, scorched by the flame of chaos, thaught humans the art of pyromancy and offered them this ring. Every pyromancer is familiar with the parable that tells of the witches espousing the need to fear the flame, and teaching the art of pyromancy to men in hopes that they might learn to control it." This dark ring resonates with the wearer's inner flame, giving them greater control over its usage in Pyromancy and enhancing its strength. Fire Clutch Ring "Ring depicting a hand grasping a red stone. Increases fire attack, but compromises damage absorption. An old fable in Londor claims that the lure of the clutch ring reaches out to the crestfallen, who might otherwise be overcome by despair." This ring increases the power of the wearer's flame magic from any source, but in turn physically weakens them, rendering them more susceptible to harm. Sage Ring "A ring given to Farron's Undead Legion by one of the preacher twins, known more commonly as the Crystal Sages. Shortens spell casting time. The sorcerers of Farron's Abyss Watchers were known to be lonesome warriors who would only rely upon more pragmatic spells." This ring, faintly blue in color, shortens the time needed to cast a spell by half or by two turns, whichever is the lesser reduction. If the spell takes less than two turns normally, it becomes instant while wearing this ring. Spells that were already virtually instant are unaffected. Ring of Steel Protection "Ring of the Knight King of ancient legend. Increases physical damage absorption. The Knight King was said to be lined with steel on the inside, such that even the talons of mighty dragons did him little harm." This ring affects the wearer's clothing and armor, rather than them personally. It increases the durability of all their currently worn attire, allowing simple cloth to absorb light blows or heavy plate to become virtually impregnable. This ring grants no resistance to magical or elemental effects; it only defends against physical damage. Silvercat Ring "Silver ring depicting a leaping feline. Prevents damage from falling. In the Age of Gods, or possibily following it, an old cat was said to speak a human tongue, with the voice of an old woman, and the form of a fanciful immortal." This ring cushions the wearer's body when landing from heights, preventing them from taking any damage when landing unless the fall would normally be fatal.
  6. Daoda | To Erect an Empire!

    Shalia seemed to have largely escaped notice, which was fine with her. Attracting others' attention was an excellent way to get oneself killed, especially with so many utterly strange 'people' involved. The number of them, each with unknowable motivations, made the dark-haired woman nervous. She idly flexed her fingers, clenching and unclenching them slowly. None of the people she crossed the sea with had attempted to kill her on their ride over, so it was safe to assume she wasn't wanted dead just yet, but the new group? Wild cards, excluding who Shalia assumed were the Emperor and Empress. The man certainly barked orders like one in charge. 'Names, names, remember names,' Shalia thought to herself. She watched carefully to see who followed which orders. Shuyi and the spell eaters she knew, and dimly the names of those who had crossed the ocean with her. One of whom, the white-haired woman called Mina, was now being poached from her group by the presumed Emperor. That rankled her somewhat, though she wasn't sure why. She did want to avoid undue attention, but she had been standing right along with Mina. Surely she was just as interesting to behold? Mina turned and gave her a nod of acknowledgement before she left, entirely surprising her. They hardly knew one another, yet Mina had taken the time to acknowledge her. Shalia awkwardly returned the nod, her interest piqued enough for her to take a moment and remember the woman's features. Well, perhaps she was more intriguing than Shalia. More attractive, at the very least. So, orders were given, and though some were discussing the specifics of those orders, everything seemed set into place at the moment. Miraculously, Shalia avoided receiving any direct orders herself, which at least would prevent her from having to do extra work. Of course, those around her probably knew little of her capabilities, so it was understandable if they didn't know what to do with her. She wordlessly kept her distance from the imperial entourage, almost-bare feet treading the moist earth in silence as she walked about, getting a general sense of her immediate surroundings. Lightning split the skies above, thunder roared, and rain began to fall. All this went largely unheeded by Shalia, even as the rain poured down upon her. Oddly, those around her who were attentive might notice that the rain seemed to be steaming off her body as it fell. Shalia took the moment to delve into one of the pouches around her waist. There was the implication that they would meet resistance, so now seemed as good a time as any to prepare. From said pouch she pulled a pair of Rings, quickly slipping them individually onto a finger on each hand. She let out a slow sigh when that was done, shutting the pouch they had come from. Shalia's fingers finally stopped their flexing. Now she was ready for anything. The woman's muddy red eyes, like the color of brick, slid across each of her 'compatriots' subtly. She was taking in minor details, particularly looking for any weapons she could see. It would be important in a fight to know who was going to cast spells, and who would be in the thick of things. Well, there seemed to be a moment of peace for now. Shalia would watch, and wait. If nothing else, she would be able to defend the Imperial Couple should something unexpected occur.
  7. The Datsuzoku Empire - Help Wanted

    I don't mean to come across as pushy, but the lack of activity in-character does concern me. Has something happened that I am unaware of?
  8. The Datsuzoku Empire - Help Wanted

    Apologies for the somewhat barebones post. I figured I should get moving into things rather than ramble, at least for the moment.
  9. Daoda | To Erect an Empire!

    The ride on the ship had not gone well for her. It wasn't the company, no. In fact, it was much more what sailing actually entailed that had disturbed her so. Where she once hailed from, the ocean, the Deep, was an unknowable thing. Supposedly filled with teeming horrors beyond her imagination, it was something she had never dared to brave before. Though certainly she was no coward, the threat of the unknown weighed upon her during the long voyage, and the appearance of solid land on the horizon drew a soft sigh of relief from her breast. With the others she disembarked, heedless of the dead and dark around her. She was Shalia. Just Shalia. Her family name, whatever it once was, had been lost long ago. Shalia was an unimposing figure, to be sure. Those looking for charisma or obvious strength would find none here. She was only mildly tall, roughly 172 cm, and quite slim. Her attire was even less impressive. Upon her torso was simply made, though sturdy, black leather armor, its only adornment being a mantle that came up into a dark leather gorget about her neck. Though the armor was in a decent state, the mantle was frayed and faded, hanging poncho-like about her shoulders until it stopped just short of her waist on each side. There were an assortment of pouches on her hips where the armor ended, carrying who knew what inside. Equally unimpressive was Shalia's skirt. No, certainly worse. It was dark as well, and even worse for wear than the mantle of her armor. It opened freely in the front, just at her knees, and behind one could see her legs, wrapped with with what appeared to be simple linen. Indeed, that was all she seemed to be wearing as lower attire from what could be seen. Even Shalia's feet were without shoes or boots of any kind, just more wrappings, stained with dirt and god knows what else she had trudged through in them. From the look of her feet this seemed to be a regular occurrence, given how heavily calloused they were. Her arms had much the same treatment, with the linen wrappings beginning where her arms left her armor's short sleeves and going all the way down onto her hands. Even each finger was wrapped, and they too bore callouses. The dark skirt swayed as she walked, made of sturdy but rough material, its hems a frayed mess all around. As they left the ship she hung back, attempting to avoid drawing notice. Her eyes, a deep brown-red, flickered swiftly between each individual who strode forward onto land, trying to grasp whatever small bits of information she could. Shalia was uninterested in drawing too much attention to herself. Considering what she understood of this voyage's purpose, it was better to be the unseen nail than one who sticks out and is swiftly hammered down. Ah, how she longed for home now. Dimly she recalled soft voices and silver hair, conversations that seemed endless, the heat of open flame so close at hand... But that was gone, for now. Perhaps this journey would end back there, if she gave some effort. If there was one thing Shalia had plenty of, it was her will. Idly she drew her fingers through her coarse black hair. Once a moment had passed she followed, though cautiously, behind Shuyi and the rest of her shipmates. With each step she made a point of digging her toes into the earth beneath her, reassuring herself that the Deep was behind her. For now, anyway.
  10. The Datsuzoku Empire - Help Wanted

    Perfectly acceptable. I'll get a response up as soon as possible. Thank you.
  11. The Datsuzoku Empire - Help Wanted

    Thank you all. I'll find an appropriate way to insert myself into the group shortly, then.
  12. The Datsuzoku Empire - Help Wanted

    Your collective help is much appreciated. Just to be certain I'm correct in my assumptions, everyone has disembarked the ship and are gathering in the forest to establish a camp, correct? Just in general, I mean.
  13. The Datsuzoku Empire - Help Wanted

    Perhaps I'm a bit late to the party, but is there anything open at this point? I'd prefer not to cause issues with anyone's work, so if there is currently something rather free I can unobtrusively get involved with I would be interested.
  14. The Free Company [OOC]

    That is a significantly more reasonable response than the initial reaction, and it's completely agreeable to me. I don't know how Reaver will react, and I sympathize with him having his involvement removed, but from what I've had explained to me there was a mis-step regarding the rules of Valucre. When rules are violated something has to be done, so I can agree. This decision is certainly more in-line with someone who doesn't fully know the rules stepping out of bounds for the first time. I appreciate your efforts to have a calmer and more civil discussion than what came with the initial reaction. I'm sure there is significant friction considering the difference in the backgrounds between Valucre's and Gaia's roleplayers, so I'm glad cooler heads prevailed and we can discuss this with maturity. Hopefully in the future we can avoid such conflicts before there is even room to become contenteous.
  15. The Free Company [OOC]

    I don't believe I ever even made that statement, nor any statement even remotely close to that. I have stated that Anastasia will kill the ones attacking Lovotovna, and I'm quite sure she's capable of doing so considering the both of them are within her realm of influence with her being a quite powerful sorceress. But that 'ultimatum' is simply in place to prevent the opposing ultimatums from Akris and Bigfatcat from occuring. I have already stated that I was here to roleplay, not fight to prove my e-penis' length relative to others. That being said, you have stated yourself you have no actual involvement with the roleplay, nor the out-of-character events which are occuring. If that is the case, I should hope you can restrain yourself from pointlessly antagonizing people you don't know, in a situation that doesn't involve you, where your input is neither requested nor valued.