Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


 Content Type 




Lagrimosa Lore


Posts posted by jaistlyn

  1. ~Epilogue (Fidelitas)~

    He placed the sword on the table that was between himself and Chastity. The rending in his heart far outweighed the pain of using his bandaged hands to move the weapon. Beneath the bandages, there was ruined flesh still oozing with pus. His hands had been burned badly by Vlad’s flamethrower, then by the combining of his ability with Ilene’s incompatible power. There had been no time to properly treat the burns while they found their way out of the caves, and no proper supplies when they finally made it out. Whether he would ever be capable of holding a sword again, that was still unknown.

    Even when the other paladins tried healing his hands, it did not work. It a further sign to Fidelitas that Gaia had abandoned him, for one reason or another. With each failure of him calling upon Gaia’s powers, his heart grew colder.

    Dressed in travellers’ clothes, Fidelitas looked a shade of the formidable paladin he once was. He had left his armor back in the Xer cave, too injured to carry its weight back out. 

    “Are you sure?” Chastity asked, his sightless eyes gazing at Fidelitas’ own, as if piercing into his soul. “There’s still a place for you here. Even not as a fighter for the moment, we could use someone with first hand knowledge of Yh’mi’s creatures. Your achievement in securing the Furthest Point is acknowledged.”

    “To be honest, I’m not sure of anything anymore,” Fidelitas answered. “Faithless. Never thought that would ever happen to me.” He scoffed. “That’s why I think this is for the best. I need to find my purpose. Find myself again. Otherwise.. otherwise all I’ve lived for up till now would have been for nothing. Perhaps I will be back at some point. Maybe a year from now, maybe five years from now. I still believe in our cause, but perhaps I need a different.. approach. Maybe it’s a sign given to me. Who knows the workings of the divine?”

    “I pray you return to us sooner rather than later, and with good health,” Chastity said, holding up Fidelitas’ sword in a salute.

    Fidelitas bowed deeply. “I thank you, brother, and all the brothers and sisters of the White Hand from the bottom of my heart. This place has been a home to me, despite its dangers. I am not good with fanfare and farewells, pray tell the rest my thanks, and that... I’m sorry.”

    Fidelitas turned and walked alone, away from the shrine of Gaia, out the gates of Inns’th, and away from his sacred oath. 

  2. Fidelitas thought that it was a trick of the eye at first when Ed shimmered into view. He believed that nothing had survived Ilene’s cleansing black flames, and he had not even expected there to be a body to retrieve. Ed’s ability was an enigma, but Fidelitas took what he could get. He couldn’t say the same for Ed’s clothes, but modesty was a non-issue when you were facing your own mortality. More importantly, he could tell that Ed was doing some weaving of his own, which seemed to have an effect of bringing their target closer into focus.

    Fidelitas nodded to Ilene as she added her own power onto his. He held the energy steady, shaping hers around his. Sensing Vlad’s uncertainty, he turned to the engineer. “Your will is what we need,” he reassured. The power of the mind, to deal with a foe who manipulated the mental realm. The orb grew in size and power, sizzling with energy. 

    On the other side, the larvae were kept at bay by Charlie, Gormaric’s blade, and the archers. The rest lended their own strength to Frederick. Fidelitas met Frederick’s gaze, and together they released the blast of immense proportions towards the Queen. At the same moment, a surge of dark energy rose from Dan upwards in a column, ensuring that she had nowhere to retreat.

    An unearthly shriek of rage and pain rose above the sound of the explosion. Then, one by one, due to Ed’s weaving across the dimensions, the larvae shrieked in response and burst open, leaking with remnant energy of light and darkness. In the cave, the dopplegangers were torn apart from within, spattering gore everywhere. The cacophony became almost too much to bear, then suddenly the whole realm collapsed upon itself. Ilene, Vlad, Ed and Fidelitas were knocked backwards off their feet, as if from recoil.

    For a moment, Fidelitas could not tell up from down and left from right, the world was spinning around so much. He coughed, and tasted blood in his mouth. He had never longed for a moment’s rest as much as he did right now, but he was not done, not yet. He felt around blindly in the darkness. Finally, his hand found purchase on a cavern wall. He pulled himself into a sitting position against it. 

    “Everyone okay?” he asked. He gathered enough strength to stand, then moved out of the Queen’s chamber. The ground was slick with gore, and there was just enough light flickering from the chamber beyond to make out that the eggs had all been destroyed, along with the abominations that wore their faces. He picked carefully across the ground, and to the rooms which held the rest who had been stuck in the illusion. 

    The eggs that held them had broke, and many of them were just waking up from the nightmare. Similar to the others who had woken up earlier, they would find themselves severely weakened, and stripped of weapon and armor. Luckily, a short search revealed that their equipment were piled up in a nearby chamber. Getting out of the caves was of paramount importance, and their reduced strength meant they had to leave certain items behind, but what mattered was that they were still alive.

    Alive, and that the Furthest Point was theirs.

  3. Also @Delicious Steak since you're newer to Val, if I were to give a bit of a tip of how things work, the original poster usually (but there are always exceptions) takes on the task of organizing players, making the decision of when to skip people, and sometimes to push the plot forward a little if it's starting to stagnate. It can be something as simple as being the first to step out of the gate, etc. You're doing a great job so far though!

  4. I'll just point out that you don't necessarily need a storyteller for this quest, everyone can contribute to move the thread along. For threads in Yh'mi specifically, when a Storyteller is required, it means I have specific checkpoints in mind for the quest that I don't want to reveal to all participants, that's why I ask for a storyteller for me to pass these secrets to 😄 This quest is fairly straightforward, so a storyteller is not necessary!

  5. The chamber turned into a confusing mess when flames alternately lit and went off, leaving afterimages in Fidelitas' vision. He continued to struggle against Ilene's copy, relying on his strength rather than his sight to keep her lethal claws away from him. 

    "GET DOWN!"

    The voice came from behind him, directed at him. He wished to comply, but letting go wasn't an option. Instead, he suddenly pulled the mutant Xer in closer in an almost hug, then pivoted around her. This spun both of them around so that the Xer's back faced Vlad. Fidelitas used her body for cover for his head and torso as much as possible as Vlad pulled the trigger on the flame thrower. The flame splashed over the Xer, as well as Fidelitas' bare forearms. The intense burn was a shock of agony for the paladin, but he forced himself to withstand it for another second, until the Xer started to fall away. He pushed off and fell backwards, grunting. His entire body shook with the adrenalin pumping through it. He probably should have blacked out from the pain of the deep burns across both arms, but luckily his body decided that survival came first. 

    "By Gaia, am I glad to see you!" Fidelitas exclaimed as he allowed Vlad to help him to his feet, then gave the engineer space as he wielded the flamethrower. "Look out!" he shouted, but it was too late when one of the Xers knocked Vlad down. Luckily, the engineer's reflexes were refined enough to block his doppelgänger's attack. The brief break in momentum of the Xer was enough for Fidelitas to deliver a swift kick to his face. It wasn't a refined kick, but if the mutated Xer had copied the anatomy of humans, then it stood to reason that their head was particularly sensitive. This hopefully drove the Xer back enough for Vlad to regain control over his borrowed weapon.

    With Vlad keeping the creatures at bay, Fidelitas started to move to the entrance of the back room, where Ilene was. Over the Inanis' shoulder, he saw Ed disappear, then the queen in the center exploded. It was a terrifying power, his shadow magic, that burst open the queen, sending her innards flying in all directions. This would have killed any other creature, instantly, but unfortunately that was not how a Sri Maash worked - it was a creature that was capable of manifesting illusions as reality, and it existed across both the physical and illusional realms. To kill one, they needed to attack it from both realms. Somehow, the queen had fused herself with one of the foul creatures, and had gained its abilities. The queen that Ed had attacked was an illusion.

    Ed's attack was not futile, however. It may not have been the queen's real body that he had phased through, but he had damaged some part of the Sri Maash's body. A low, garbled cry emerged from within the chamber, and the room changed in subtle ways - the tentacles came from different directions, and the remains of the queen's body were erased. 

    Fidelitas saw Ilene hold her hand up, and felt the power that she was amassing. Then he saw her release it in a devastating attack that engulfed the room. His eyes widened. Ed was still inside the chamber! "No!" He cursed at both at her madness, and his own inability to stop it. Even if the whole chamber was decimated, the Maash-Queen hybrid would not be completely destroyed, only injured, until they managed to weed it out in the illusory realm. Even so, he held his breath. 

    The chamber echoed with the cries of the Maash-Queen, as its tentacles and body were burned in the dark flame. A blackened and withered tentacle fell off the wall and onto the ground. A lump took shape into something with wings, and from it spewed a haze that enveloped them. Figures started to form in the haze, and resolved into the ethereal silhouettes of their comrades, as if two dimensions had overlapped with each other. They could see, but not touch them. Their comrades were standing in a snow-blanketed space, surrounded by wriggling pale larvae with sharp rending teeth. The larvae were breaking through a barrier around them, though large swaths of them had been killed by infighting and laser. In the air was an unexpected sight - the war elephant brought by the Aligorians was flying, armour and all, its ears flapping like wings. On the ground, looking mighty pissed, was the Hive-Queen, minus the tentacles of the Sri Maash.

    So it seemed the rest of their party had been fighting as well.
    Ed's and Ilene's attacks had weakened the creature and caused reality and illusion to blend into each other. An orb of dark power grew and glowed in the corner of the illusion, fuelled by the commander of the Subversors, Frederick. A notion passed through all of their minds - Ilene's, Ed's, Vlad's and Fidelitas'.. that this was the one chance they had, the final blow through both dimensions that would end this nightmare. 

    But still an emptiness gnawed at Fidelitas. He fell to his knees, overcome by crushing exhaustion. The absence of his goddess meant an absence of power, and in his current state, he was nothing more than a simple man incapable of the feats his comrades were showing. They would do this. They didn't need him.

    No. A voice whispered at him, almost a gentle caress. We need you, Fidelitas. 

    Videntia? His fellow White Hand paladin had the gift of Farsight, but he hadn't known her to be able to communicate psychically. Or was that just in his head? Fidelitas grasped at the final strands that could stop him from falling into despair. He thought of the brothers and sisters of the White Hand, how they had stood by each other through numerous battles. How young Volentia had weeped in his arms, privately, after they buried Diligence. How much strength and confidence Chastity had showed when he gripped his arm and told him to take the Furthest Point. Gaia was his goddess, but she wasn't his all.

    Fidelitas fought against the fatigue and rose to his feet yet again. He reached out to join his ruined, burnt hands with Frederick's, closely overlapping with the Subversor's own. Feeling the power in the orb, he poured his own desires and hopes into it. A twin orb of white flames and light swelled between his palms, manifested in the physical realm. "Join your powers to ours!" He called out to Ed, Ilene and Vlad.

  6. "Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul." - Ezra Taft Benson

    The larvae had overcome the snow. Frederick's barrier had slowed their advance, but was starting to wear down under the weight of their onslaught. Hundreds of tiny mouths tore holes at the barrier, and the maggots wriggled through, flopping onto the ground like pale, fat rain. 

    The larvae swarmed towards the most vulnerable prey - Charlie - until his blue flame engulfed them. Time paused and stretched, as if both parties were trying to figure out what had happened. Then movement started again, but this time, it became chaotic. The larvae turned against their own brethren, sharp teeth sinking into tender flesh. The writhing creatures bit and tore at each other, leaving swaths of maggot juice in their wake. At the same time, Dan's laser beams cut lines of death through the swarm. If the sight of the creatures had drawn disgust before, it was downright revolting now.


    Soryn's deep meditative state bore fruit when he found himself being gradually aware of his physical self. His body was folded into a fetal position and restrained within the egg-like structure. He wasn't able to move, but his consciousness straddled the line between illusion and reality. Sensing her operator's will, Celene beeped to life in the dark chamber and moved toward the egg that held Soryn, awaiting instructions. Perhaps the device could be used to facilitate communications between Soryn and those who had awoken in the caverns. Light from a fire a short distance away reflected and danced around the exit to this chamber.

    However, the price to pay for establishing a connection with his physical self was that Soryn was immobile in this state, exposed to the advancing larvae swarm. If no one protected him to keep them away, their bite would jolt the journalist back into the illusion - if they did not devour him whole first. 


    Each of Dan's laser line that killed the larvae was like a knife carving a wound into the Hive-Queen's chest. She could sense the confusion of her young, and the struggle of those who had turned against themselves; for their minds were connected to hers. She focused to wrest control of them back. The blue fireballs Charlie shot were dissipated by the barrier that protected her. 

    A disturbance against her barrier. The Hive-Queen's attention shot towards Sheryl, who was holding her hand outstretched towards her. The Majeure knight was attempting to manipulate the  fabric of this realm. The knight had made a breakthrough in her mental state, but crushing her would not be as easy as restoring some pieces of clothing. After all, she had sacrificed her self to fuse with a more powerful being. Reciprocating the gesture, the Hive-Queen raised an arm in Sheryl's direction, intending to crush her windpipes. There would be one less prey to be eaten, but it would not matter much. In a battle of mental will, the Hive-Queen had the upper hand.

    A darting shadow at the corner of her eye, then an impact that knocked off her focus. Again, and again. The dark knight on the wyvern was nothing more than a mere annoyance, but it was like a buzzing fly around her face, causing her to lose concentration.  She switched targets from Sheryl to Gormaric. She made a downward slamming motion, using her control over this realm to force the airborne Eri to the ground. 

    RI... IIIIP

    The queen's action would have succeeded, had there not been a sudden tearing sound that everyone felt in the depths of their souls. One of the queen's arms ripped from her body, with a force that threw it across the space. She shrieked in pain, and both Eri and Gormaric suddenly found themselves free.

    The ripping sound was more than that, however. From the open wound of where the Queen's arm was, the very fabric of reality leaked through like a haze, enveloping the area around them. It was as if a hologram had wrapped around them, projecting figures that they could see but not feel. Both familiar and foreign figures surrounded them - it was the vision they had seen earlier, but now they saw that Vlad had joined Ed, Ilene and Fidelitas. The engineer was wielding a flamethrower against the mutants wearing their faces. The four were standing in a cavern chamber that was charred by dark magic. Long, burned tentacles crawled along the chamber's walls, and on the ground lay a burned creature with wings that resembled the Queen. For now, they could do nothing to touch or communicate with the rest.

    The sight of the flying war elephant added to the list of impossibilities. Just as Jorge's magically enhanced arrow had been effective before, the Queen was unable to withstand the sheer force of Suru charging into her from above. The impact slammed her into the ground, though it was softened by a blanket of snow. With Sheryl's continued pressure to crush her, the queen was surrounded on many fronts. 

    Despite it, the queen clawed her way upright again, her eyes glowing an intense yellow. The larvae around became frenzied, and clamoured over each other to launch themselves at their enemies, aiming for their eyes, throats, faces. If they were to secure a victory against the queen, now was their best and only chance.

    The image of Fidelitas stood, and joined his hands with Frederick's. Between his hands, a corresponding orb that glowed with light grew to match Frederick's. To completely destroy the queen and free themselves from this nightmare, they had to kill her from both sides of this divide at the same time.

  7. Darah nodded, satisfied by Shikai’s variety of skills, and Ash’s impressive display of agility. She passed Shikai’s mask back to him, then looked over the map. 

    “The First Temple. The original temple built by Odin Haze. The spiritual energies will be strong, for certain. The tour will be bringing us there.”


    It was a day with fine weather. The tour group had a total of twenty-odd people, and the three Dead members arrived separately, with the aim of quietly identifying or acquiring a significant item that could be fashioned into a totem, and seeking a location where they could place it for worship. The guide, Wenna, was a bob-haired lady with a pleasant voice. She brought them through the customary introduction, talked about the history of Gaianism, then started off the tour at a museum containing paintings and artifacts. The First Temple was to be the second stop on the tour. 

    Darah’s gaze lingered on the statues in the middle of the floor they were on - impressive figures immortalizing Jason of the Lion’s fight with Zengi. Close by, Wenna strode up purposefully to a display case holding a white mask. “This is a replica of the mask Odin Haze wore in his campaign against the desecrators. The location of the actual mask remains a mystery, though rumours of its sighting have surfaced, even in recent times. Are there any questions?”

  8. -The next morning-

    There wasn’t going to be an audience of four hundred; heck, it wasn’t even forty, it was just four, but still Delistair felt a tinge of excitement and nervousness as he prepared for the demonstration. He turned the piece of auranite he had enchanted around in his hands.

    “What we have is definitely enough to show, but you know, there is one more thing I would like to try. I spent some time in the library yesterday before I slept, and refreshed my knowledge of some of these materials we have our hands on.” He bent down to the sample of metals from yesterday, and retrieved a green specimen. 

    “Negabjurium, the brother of auracite, and repels anti-magic. Sounds the opposite of what we want, but may just be the thing we need. It’s an expensive material, but we wouldn’t need a whole lot. Just enough to serve as the intermediate contact between the auracite core and the uru mesh. The anti-magic enchantment stays where it is in the core, and the energy of the spells are dissipated into the mesh. In theory, we wouldn’t have the magicks reacting with each other in this way.”

    He stroke his chin in thought. “We have time to make it before the demo, but no time to test it. And we will need someone like Leo so that we can try it with magic of different elements. Do you think we can pull this off at the demo, or do you think it’ll be too risky?”

  9. “Yes, that is my thought. Put the totem where they worship,” Darah said. “We will need to identify a suitable location, then fashion a totem that is indistinguishable from its surroundings. Using something that they already worship can increase our success rates. The tour will bring us to places with exclusive access - we will have opportunities to whisk away items of significance.”

    “Now is a good time to familiarize ourselves with each other’s abilities.” Darah reached into a fold of her dress, then took out something and placed it on the table. A doll about six inches tall that picked herself up and looked around the room. “A semi-autonomous puppet. She can act by herself on my orders, or I can control her directly. If we need anything small taken, she can do it.”

    Darah moved her fingers ever-so-slightly, and suddenly the mask that Shikai was wearing was in her hands. “Or I can.” She allowed the candlelight to gleam off thin strands of thread that were connected to the mask.

    She turned to Shikai. “You seem to have much experience in subterfuge, given how you made your way into this room. Any particular form that you will be taking that will aid our quest?”

  10. “Well, I’m glad I got to know this single cell,” Delistair said, gulping down the drink they shared. It was not exactly beer, and they were not exactly in a bar, but the gesture was the same nonetheless. “Metireal or not, your ideas are your own, and don’t ever lose that.”

    ”Is your sister, finding your sister, why you're still in all this?”

    Del’s eyes followed Cadmium’s gesture. “Perhaps once it was the only reason,” he said. A nondescript canteen, in a mundane camp that was neither luxurious nor illustrious. Unlike Cadmium, he hadn’t been a soldier for his whole life. He could have been, and could still be, something entirely different. His hand inadvertently went to the tattoo on the back of his neck, the symbol of a covenant of mages he had once been a part of, but which had since disbanded. He could be an adventurer. Open an enchantments store in Blairville? Del knew that these options were what Cadmium had lamented as lost to him. But the man was still young, contrary to his view of himself, and one day, he might find his own path.

    “I will admit I joined for the information network. But over time, this has become a part of me. The friends I made along the way. The people who thank me. The people who may hate me.” The military worked for the people, but there were always those who would curse them for their inefficiency, curse them for not reaching their loved ones in time, curse them for their failures. “I will continue to seek, but at the same time, protecting our own is a noble cause to take up.. Though on most mundane days, it doesn’t feel at all noble.” He chuckled.

    He poured Cadmium another cup of tea, then poured the last bit into his own cup, surprised at the speed at which it was emptied. Time passes too soon in good company. “To family men,” he held up his cup.

  11. A throbbing pain in his head, that slowly resolved to the sounds of a skirmish. Fidelitas opened his eyes a crack but kept still. It was hard to make sense of the situation; he saw many spindly limbs, the disturbing likeness of the enemies’ faces, heard the cracking sound of eggs hatching, and spied Ed a short distance away. 

    You assume we travel here by choice. A voice spoke in his head, presumably in reply to something Ed had said. No, our home was uprooted one day, from the place you know as ‘Taen’. Fidelitas almost jerked in response. The Taen portal? There had been reports of mutated Taen creatures being spotted near the Unknown Territores, but he did not know that there was a sentient species among them, nor would he have imagined that they had made it through the Narrow Pass into the Broken Plains. Had they been building on top of an ant’s hill all this time?

    Most of our original hive were massacred by predators. Some few of us escaped, and eventually made it here. This is a cruel land - and among those that hunt us include your kind. She said this with some contempt as Ed consumed the shadows of his copy.

    The other princess turned towards Ilene. You expect us to stay still as you eradicate us like pests. 

    Fidelitas’ hand closed upon a rock on the ground. It probably wouldn’t do much damage, but it could distract. He didn’t have a sword, but a desperate man could use his fists. What the Xers said was probably true, but that did not mean they were suddenly friends. Who knew how far these creatures had already been corrupted by Yh’mi. 

    His chance came with the chaos of three Irenes sprinting through the room. One dimmed ‘Charlie’s fire and returned the shadows of the chamber for Ed’s manipulation, and one acted as a decoy. Fidelitas sprung up onto his feet and headed in the same direction as the last Ilene - towards the princess guarding the room at the back. As he ran past the eggs, a couple of them broke, spewing slimy ichor and  the tangle of newly hatched creatures. One of them wore the face of the engineer Vlad. It was deeply disturbing, but while the newborns were still finding their legs, Fidelitas focused on his target. The princess was focused on Ilene, and did not see him coming from the side. He hurled the rock at the her eyes. She reeled back in pain, and Fidelitas tackled her bodily into the ground. 

    “Go!” Fidelitas grunted, while pinning down the princess’ limbs. “I can’t hold her for.. long!”

    Ilene would have the power to break through to the hidden chamber, just as she did before. Within it was an abominable sight that she would not have expected. Long, bloated purple tentacles extended from the walls, binding a creature in the middle of the chamber. The Queen, a more humanoid form of the princesses, with magnificent wings. The tentacles were not just holding her, they pierced into her body through her chest, like they were feeding into her. Fidelitas’ eyes widened in recognition. Those tentacles belonged to a Sri Maash, a creature known to exist across dimensions, and was capable of creating illusions that had a physical form. “Find the main b— Gah!”

    While he was distracted, the princess used her telekinesis to fling him away, and right into Ilene’s copy, which had managed to pick itself out from the rubble. The paladin narrowly dodged a sharp claw aimed to cut his neck. He grabbed the creature by its neck to attempt to bring it down. With a lack of weapons to pierce through its hard carapace, he was running out of options.

    This was the chaos that Vlad stumbled across when he followed the voices through the caves.

  12. “Hah, arrogant human. You would assume that our anatomies are the same,” the Queen snorted to Charlie’s offer for sexual education. His next display of power, though, drew a sharp inhale from the queen. The larvae closest to him became frozen hard, and the malady spread to one fifth of the approaching creatures. She wanted so badly to go to her babies, shield them from harm with her body, but that would defeat the purpose of incubating them in this manner in the first place. No, they had to adapt themselves, fast, and what didn’t kill them would make them stronger. 

    Luckily, whatever plan the fire-wielded had in mind was extinguished halfway when he over-exerted himself and fell unconscious. Already, the Queen could see those at the furthest reaches of the ice field start to thaw themselves, by learning to raise their own body heat. 

    A golden gleam appeared from one of the corners, and the Queen turned to look upon the glory of the Super Saiyan Dan. Snow materialized in the void and fell down upon the slime, making the area more slippery than before. This was soon rectified when more snow fell, covering the slime and burying the larvae. All seemed calm for the moment, but soon, the snow vibrated and writhed. The larvae, having started to adapt to the cold from before, were gradually recovering. Their movements were slow, lethargic at first, then slowly regaining energy. One particular area remained still - a large swath of area around Charlie, where the larvae had already been frozen stiff and dead. Charlie himself was still, but was in no immediate danger as the larvae attempted to dig themselves out of the piling snow.

    Dan’s laser beams lit up the area briefly as he tried to blast through the void, but as there were no walls in the area, they disappeared into the distance. It served to prove that this was not a realm the group could muscle their way out of. 

    “No villain ever asks their enemies to stop "futilely" struggling unless their enemies are already harming them or their plans..”

    The Queen turned towards Gormaric. “How quick it is that you label someone as a villain. Do you consider yourself as a villain when you raise and slaughter creatures for their meat? Consider it a mercy rather than a plea to stop.”

    “Also consider what if you and your soldiers are thrown into a hostile, unfamiliar environment against your will. Would you not do your best to survive, whatever the circumstances? What if many of your best have died to this environment, and the only way you can ensure that your people survive is to place all your hope into an evolved generation? What if the only exit out of this environment was occupied by self-righteous knights that only saw you as pests, as abominations to be killed? Don’t put yourselves on a high pedestal; you would have done the same thing in our shoes. Today, it’s either yours or mine who wins, and the prize is survival. Enough talk.”

    The Queen lifted her arms and let out a shrill cry. This seemed to resonate with the larvae, which had started to make their way out of the snow, and was picking up speed again. 

    A charging elephant was easy to spot. As there was nothing to hold the Queen down, she spread her wings and leapt into the air to avoid it. The barrage of arrows that followed after was not very effective, at most they struck against her barrier and obscured her vision of the battle field for a while. 

    Frederick, Sheryl and Soryn took a moment to assess their surroundings and try to reconnect to their physical selves. They became dimly aware of their physical bodies, but also became conscious of the fact that they could not move their bodies, much like suffering from a severe form of sleep paralysis. Their minds were being imprisoned in this realm. There was technically one simple solution for leaving - and they had witnessed that their comrades who had fallen in previous realms were still alive. But the risk was great, and would they be playing right into the enemy’s hands?

  13. “Hmmm that might actually work, but let’s shelf the thought till later. My brain’s fried right now.” Del laughed as he took another bite of the stew. As a studious person himself, Delistair rather enjoyed the company of the enthusiastic Cadmium, but fresher minds would come up with greater insights. 

    He paused for a moment before asking the next question. “How is it like to be in a military family?” It was no secret that Cadmium was from the illustrious Metireal family. “I suppose it must be very strict.” 

    There was something about Cadmium that encouraged an easy trust between them, and this made Delistair comfortable about sharing his own background, something he didn’t do very often. 

    “I lost my parents when I was twelve,” he said, staring out the window at the lights of the camp. “Still trying to figure out what happened. My memory’s pretty hazy. My sister.. she, she’s still alive somewhere- I refuse to believe otherwise- but as her older brother, I failed to protect her.” He relaxed his fist, which he didn’t realize he had clenched. “That’s why I resolved to learn protective magics. So that I can prevent further tragedies from happening.” 

    “Some things, however, are sealed in fate, and that is a hard truth to take.” Their victory in Last Chance had been hard won. He had gotten over the self blame, but parts of it still lingered. He shook his head to clear them of such thoughts, then smiled. “But enough about me. What about you? What’s the story behind the man who rose to the rank of officer at a young age?”

  14. Fire, wind, darkness, and sharp steel. The Queen expected no less from those who had survived the nightmares, drawn from their own trauma and memories. Her babies had fed on their fear as they traversed through the nightmares, and now the final step was to assimilate their minds completely, and her young would evolve into a new, intelligent species capable of conquering this new, strange land they found themselves in. Even if only a handful survived, it would be enough. Even so, she could not help but feel pangs of hurt when so her larvae were stricken down; the renewal of the hive would be built on countless sacrifice. These larvae had not yet been fully formed, and if they were defeated here, they would be unviable for hatching.

    As Frederick’s shield was forming, the wriggling larvae latched onto its surface and climbed over it. Until the shield was fully formed, it was not going to stop their advance. 

    The Queen made no move to avoid Charlie’s attack. Fire splashed across her, the impact obscuring their view of her for the moment. When it cleared, the group would see her unharmed, and protected by a transparent purple barrier. The arrows from Captain Jeorge and his archers sped towards her, and she turned around to face them. Jeorge’s arrow met her barrier head-on - and the impact was great. A force equivalent to Suru’s charge propelled her into the ground, splashing up the liquid which had climbed to a few inches above their ankles. Several heartbeats passed. Did they get her? Would they dare to believe that?

    “Impressive. But I told you it would be easier if you accepted this.” The Queen’s voice resonated in their heads. She rose up from the ground, the purple barrier protecting her from harm. “There is no point to your struggles - I’ll show you.”

    Images appeared in their heads, of a series of dark caverns, then a room with egg-shaped objects suspended from the ceiling. The view in their heads rushed into the interior of one of the eggs, and they saw themselves inside, surrounded by the same liquid that was lapping at their legs. Each one of them was trapped and in pain. “You are being devoured at this moment. Your powers are being assimilated into my young. These larvae, they are representations of them in your mindscape.” 

    The image in their mind moved through a cord from the top of their egg, then snaked across a ceiling to another room, ending in another, different pod. This pod held a creature with an uncanny likeness to their face, but with no other resemblance to them. They were insectile creatures, with long limbs and a hard exoskeleton. Charlie’s copy, in particular, was lit up with flames similar to his own ability. There was some sort of commotion outside the pods. 

    The view changed - and suddenly they saw familiar figures in the room. Ilene and Ed, battling more of the same creatures wearing their faces.. and Fidelitas lying on the ground. “Your companions, whose flesh will provide suitable nourishment. Stripped of their weapons and sapped of their strength, their struggles will be nothing more than a game for my newly hatched. They will not survive for long, and neither will you.”

    “Attacking me is futile, for I exist across realms. When one half is safe, the other half will not be damaged. Do you understand now where you stand? Give up your fight, and this will go easier.”

  15. Fidelitas

    Physical means did little to deter the insects attempting to enter his body. His panicked attempts to draw on the power of Gaia came up empty. Desperate, he clawed at his face, tearing at both the Wispereds’ wings and his own skin. Get away, get away![/i] He shouted internally to himself as he ran towards the light. Despite his best efforts, the Wispered continued their assault on him, and to his horror, he could feel them wriggling down his throat. 

    The light source in front of Fidelitas grew brighter, and he drove himself to move ever closer, closer.. until he turned a corner and burst into the next chamber. The change in lighting made him unable to see anything while his eyes adjusted, but he could feel the Wispered pulling away. He dropped down to all fours and forced himself to retch; the more of those darned insects he could flush out of his system, the better. Someone moved in front of him, waving around a candle to banish the rest of the insects back into the darkness. Fidelitas caught a glimpse of chitinous legs, and snapped his head upwards to look - but before he could, a strong blow landed on the back of his head, knocking him out.

    Two Xer princesses stood over the prone form of the paladin. One bent down and ran a spindly finger over his cheek. Hmph. Do you think Mother’s plan will work? These creatures.. they are weak and fragile, and I doubt anything that is crossed with them will survive any better than us.

    Do you have a better idea then? Our numbers are dwindling by the day, and Mother’s the only one who gained the power of the many-limbed god. She alone can create the new species that will save our hive. Come, he should be ripe for the babies to feed now.


    Ilene & Ed

    Ilene’s makeshift weapon smacked against the wall of the translucent contraption, but its impact was absorbed by a fluid that surrounded the creature. A tear formed in the egg, perhaps from Ilene’s blow, or perhaps it was already time for the creature to emerge from its shell. The tear appeared as a crack at first, then yawned into a gaping opening, spewing out viscous slime. The creature wearing Ilene’s face tumbled out and landed on its insectile legs, wearing a - her disturbing expression of hunger. The creature was smaller than the Xer soldiers that they had fought earlier, but it gave a sense of being faster and more agile.

    Ed sought out his doppelganger, and swung his shadowblade at it. The nature of shadows was that it warped and changed its form in light, and light was what threw the shadowblade off its original mark. The blade sliced into the egg and took off one of the doppelganger’s legs, instead of splitting it in half. An uncannily human screech of pain emitted from the creature as it was dumped onto the ground. The light source came from one of the other pods. If they looked closely, the creature within bore a resemblance to Charlie, though this one was visibly less physically developed than Ilene’s and Ed’s copy. 

    Ah, see, the babies are hatching. A female voice spoke directly into Ilene and Ed’s heads. Two Xer princesses had entered the chamber, and between them, they dragged Fidelitas in and dumped him on the ground. The paladin stirred and groaned. 

    You understand what you are, don’t you? Food. Your fears have shaped them, and your flesh will be the nourishment that completes them. As we are, we cannot last for long in this environment. There was a hint of resignation in her voice. Only by evolution will we thrive.

    Another voice chipped in. We travelled for days, and lost so many. Just when we have reached our wits’ end, finally - finally, we found a species that Mother could combine our young with. You. We are not cruel, this is just a necessity. Now, this will be a quicker process for you if you don’t struggle.

    One of the princess stood guard at the small entrance that they had entered from, and the other moved deeper into the chamber, and stood by a wall that looked to be of a different material than the rest of the cave walls. At the same time, the abominations wearing Ilene’s and Ed’s visages prepared to spring, while movement stirred within the other eggs suspended in the room.

  16. I am loving the idea of this! Mark me down as a potential participant. There’s some time away from the event so I’ll check back in on my actual availability later. 

    Oh question -

    1.What happens if other participants in the same thread have to drop out/go MIA? Do we continue the story alone? 

    2. Is each round an elimination round, or everyone gets ‘points’ for each round and these are tallied when all the rounds are done?

  17. To be trapped in a series of nightmares, not knowing if you would ever wake up; it took a toll on the mind. Though there was no bloody slide with dangerous obstacles this time, nor was there a sense that any of them had stepped through a portal. They were just there, standing. It was a different group again this time, but those who had been killed in previous nightmares were conspicuously missing, along with others unaccounted for. Were they forever lost within the nightmares? Could some of them have had been saved?

    They each carried their wounds, be it physical or mental. It could be said that the fear of the unknown was the greatest fear of all, and for long moments of unknown length, the group would stew in the emptiness. If they tried to walk away, they would inadvertently end up where they were. Time seemed to warp and stretch, and it became impossible to tell if hours had passed, or a day, or a month. Perhaps it was them who had died and returned to the infinity of the universe. 

    Despair, or peace, or both, might have set in on them individually before something happened. The space around them seemed to flicker and distort. There were murmurs, soft at first, then becoming louder. Not words, but almost visceral, like they were listening to something underwater. Liquid sloshed underfoot, a viscous, organic fluid that clung to their armour and clothes, and was slowly rising. The slipperiness made it difficult to move about. There was the sense that things were moving in the periphery. Outlines turned into shadowy figures into shapes, and the group found themselves surrounded by misshapen larvae each the size of their forearm, hundreds upon hundreds of them, crawling and writhing upon the liquid on the ground. They paused, a distance away from the group, as if waiting for an order. 

    “This is nothing personal,” a surprisingly normal female voice spoke in their heads. A beautiful creature appeared in front of them, a wispy creature that resembled what a Xer Queen would look like if she had grown wings and extra hands.

    “It’s a matter of survival, as I’m sure you know.” She turned to the assembled larvae. “Now, devour them, and become stronger!” The Queen trembled in anticipation of the outcome of her carefully laid plans. She knew that the prey would struggle, and many of her babies would die in this difficult process. But those that remained, those that conquered these prey, would grow into formidable consorts and princesses, capable of surviving in this new, foreign environment that her hive had been unwittingly thrust into.

    The wriggling creatures swarmed at the group, their tiny feet grasping hold of the fabric of their clothes and the grooves in their armour, their sharp teeth gnashing for their flesh.

    @HollowCipher @Zashiii @Fierach @zackrobbman @Tyler @Dolor Aeternum @EpicRome23

  18. I am interested in entering for the fun of it depending on the format of the challenge and the length/commitment necessary. (I will wait for the FAQ!) I really don’t think we need to go into elitism/favouritism/etc serious discussion for a challenge held on a casual, mostly anonymous, non-business roleplay forum with a little bit of cash prize just to make things a bit more exciting. 

    Thank you to Rob for starting up and organizing something a little different from our usual RP format!

  19. Fidelitas

    The light wasn’t just Fidelitas’ imagination - it grew slightly brighter when he followed along the cavern path. Squinting, he could see that ahead, there were many pinpricks of light in the next chamber. Slowly and cautiously, he leaned one hand on the cave wall and put one foot in front of the other, until he stood at the nape of the chamber’s entrance. 

    The sight made his breath catch in its majesty. A multitude of tiny lights twinkled across the ceiling, like stars in the galaxy. Below it, a body of water rippled and reflected the light. The lights were only just faint enough to give the illusion of figures in the dark, where there were none. Fidelitas licked his parched lips. Perhaps a drink of water would restore his strength..

    Before he was aware that he had moved forward, cool liquid was already lapping at his fingers. He reached in deeper to scoop up some of the water, but his hand touched something hard and smooth. His eyes trailed over the surface of the water, then followed a shell-like exoskeleton, to make out the carcass of an insectile creature, which had stopped dead when it came to take a drink. Fidelitas stumbled backwards away from the water. Now that his mind had recognized the shape of this creature, he suddenly saw more of them, strewn around the pool. All dead. Xers, he recognized them from the records of Taen’s creatures. A sentient race, with intelligent queens who could communicate psychically. These bodies were of soldiers, who were less intelligent, but were connected to the hive-mind. Ever since the reports of sightings of mutated Taen creatures around the mountain that had been portalled into Yh’mi, Fidelitas had memorized the names and appearances of those native to Taen. 

    He approached one of the carcasses. It was a possibility that the water was poisoned, thus killing the Xers. He could make use of one of their sharp limbs as a weapon. He lifted one of the limbs to test its strength, and was surprised at its lightness. Something clicked in his mind at that moment, and he quickly moved away.. but it was too late. A dark cloud poured forth from the carcass, seeking their next victim. Fidelitas’ eyes widened. Wispered. The deadly beautiful butterflies of Yh’mi that entered a person’s body and devoured them from within. The lights were from the larvae of their young that resembled glow worms. The Xer soldiers had not been poisoned. They had been lured in.. and eaten.

    The Wispered landed on him like flies. He slapped a bunch of them from his face, but their numbers were too great. He could feel them wriggling and digging into his ears, his nose.. the best way to deal with them was with strong light, as they stayed in the shadows, but he had no light with him. Blindly, he started running across the chamber to an exit on the other end, covering his nose and mouth as best as he could. By a stroke of luck, he saw light beyond, light that looked to be from a torch. “Help!” he yelled, having no time to care whether it was friend or foe he was calling for.

    Vlad and Tim

    Tying a handle to the sharp object was a good idea, but unfortunately there was no material to be found that fit the bill. Vlad’s luck, however, held out when Tim’s torch light fell on something with a recognizable metallic glint. A flamethrower - no doubt Melanie’s. A dangerous weapon to use untrained, but it wasn’t as if Vlad had time to train himself on its usage.

    ‘Help!’ Vlad would hear the yell. The person seemed to be relatively close, but the echoes off the walls of the cave made it hard to judge the exact direction.

    Ed and Ilene

    On observation, the eggs were opaque, and the shells were hard. Even trying to cut through the broken pieces laying across the ground with their current makeshift weapons could be a futile attempt. A possible weak point seemed to be the tendons connecting the eggs to the ceiling, but if any of them attempted to strike at it, a human-like shriek of pain would emit from it. Whether this meant that it was hurting whoever or whatever was inside it, there was no way to know.

    Ilene’s visual sweep of the chamber would bring her attention to the ceiling, where the tendons intertwined to form what looked like veins that fed into an almost-hidden exit at the side. If they followed the veins, they would find themselves in a room with more eggs, except these were smaller and translucent. There were obvious signs of activity - pulsing, a slight shifting of limbs. They would catch a glimpse of chitinous outer shell, like those of the Xer soldiers they had fought, but there was something wrong about these arthropods. They had faces, and familiar ones at that. The visages of the ones who were holding the Furthest Point. As the duo reeled from the sight, the eyes of the unborn creature nearest to them snapped open.

    Eyes that looked just like Ilene’s.

  20. Darah turned her head to the door when the man entered, waiting for him to make the first move. The voice coming from his bag piqued her interest, but what came out of it was not a run-of-the-mill contortionist, but something rather less elegant. Darah smiled beneath her mask. “Unusual, and there’s no need to apologize. I appreciate your efforts in arriving here ..unseen.” She stood up and stepped away from the table, giving a respectful curtsey. “Darah, at your service.” Given her newer status in the Dead, it was likely that Shikai was above her in the command chain, or had been with the Dead longer. “Please, make yourselves comfortable. We are expecting one more,” she addressed Shikai and his unnamed retainer both.

    They hadn’t long to wait, when the knob turned and the knock came, almost like an afterthought. She had deliberately left the door unlocked, to facilitate the smooth entering of the other agents. The less they lingered in the common corridor, the better it was. She was also confident in her ability to drive away curious eyes. Besides, those who were competent enough to truly spy would not have been stopped by a simple lock.

    A man entered, and tore away his mask to reveal a youthful visage. Perhaps it was simply his age, or perhaps it was a purpose that drove him to impatience. ‘To hell with formalities’, would probably be something expected out of him. “Well met,” Darah said, not answering him immediately. “My name is Darah. For the long term, we want it in the best place possible and in a form that is least likely to be found out, so this is something that should not be rushed. In short, no, there is no location decided, and nothing has been built yet.”

    She spread her hands out, to signify that she had more to say. “There is a reason we are here, in the holiest city in Terrenus. Pilgrims come from all over, and if we can siphon their spiritual energy, we can strengthen Alignak. Our first step is to identify where people offer their prayers.”

    “So, I have signed us up for a religious tour happening tomorrow.” She paused, gauging their reactions to this mundane task. But what better way to know the city and ask questions than to pretend to be tourists?

    “If we like the guide, we can even get them to... cooperate with us.” She took off her mask, revealing a pretty, ageless face with a sweet smile.

  21. Vlad and Tim

    (Vlad's d10 = 7 search is taken as an attempt to search for and turn on Tim's flashlight. The attempt is a success.) Tim's flashlight blinked to life and illuminated the area they were in. It was a cavern chamber, with paths that lead on to other areas on the north and west. Several large egg-shaped objects stood in the chamber, tethered to the ceiling and floor by tendrils of an unknown, but organic material. Pieces of the same material lay strewn about the rocky floor where Vlad first stood. 

    One piece of debris in particular stood out - one that had broke into a triangular shape with a pointed end. The organic material it was made from was hard, and it could possibly be used as a tool to dig, scrape or even harm. The only issue was that it was difficult to get the slime off of it, so there was a possibility that it could slip out of grip.

    Pointed shell debris obtained, 0.5HP damage, but if d3 = 1, it is a fumble and attack fails.

    Ed and Ilene

    Ed's creative use of his gifts fashioned himself two decent clubs out of the Xer carcasses' legs. He would find, however, that manipulating the shadows from a continuous piece of chitin was more difficult than cutting through the joints of the legs, and as such the tool that he was building would be more crude than he envisioned. Ilene's methods were probably a distraction as well, as instead of managing to rip the Xer's leg off in one piece, it seemed more like she was trying to crack it into pieces, generating significant noise in the process. The prospect of danger loomed over them both, as there was likely to be more where the Xer soldiers came from. They did not have much time.

    Two leg-clubs obtained, capable of dealing 0.7HP damage.Crude cutting tool obtained, not suited for combat but can be used in a pinch for 0.3HP damage.


    Pathetic. He scolded himself. Weak. Powerless. Coward. Would he rather have sacrificed himself in Diligence's place? Was the fake Remissio a figment of his imagination? The harpies, the little boy? Fidelitas picked himself off the ground, clenching his fist against the aching emptiness in his chest. He was not dead, but where was he? Was this a prison of some sort? What happened? So many questions, but he couldn't trust voicing them out. Splaying his hands out in front of him, he moved forward slowly, until his fingers touched a cold and solid surface. 

    d10 Search = 2. Rocks. His hand searched across the wall, testing to see if there were any loose ones he could pry out, but they were all stuck fast. Moving along it, he came to what seemed to be a break in the wall, with cold air flowing from beyond. There seemed to be a faint glimmer of light, though he could not be certain if it was his eyes playing tricks on him in the unending darkness. Nevertheless, he continued cautiously into the corridor.


    Stats for Fidelitas


    HP: 3/3
    Sanity: 3/3
    Normal skills: Attack, Meditate, Heal (no longer available through calling upon Gaia)
    Special skills available: Mass Rally (1 use), Advanced Buff (0 use), Passive Defence (1 use, but no longer available through calling upon Gaia)


  22. The cover of night was suited for the theme of The Dead. The furnishings in the room were adequate, the table adorned with a single candle. The soft, wavering light acted as a veil for the presence of those whom she waited for. She had paid for a room in an average inn of little renown in a less-populated corner of Ignatz, its owner having no interest in where his customers came from or where they were going. In truth, she was not going to spend the night here, but only use it for the purposes of this meeting. 

    Darah was sitting on a wooden chair at the table. Her black dress was business-like and impeccable as always, fitting to her petite physique. She did not exhibit any signs of impatience; no twirling of her pen, no tapping of a finger. She merely sat still as a doll, with her hands folded into her lap. The only anomaly to anyone who could have been watching was that she was wearing a mask, shaped with the appearance of a skull. This was both to obscure, and to verify her identity to foe and friend.

    Prior to this meeting, those coming would have had received information that their mission was to plant a totem in Ignatz in order to strengthen the power of Alignak. In her message, she had told them to enter discretely. From what she knew of The Dead and its variety of personalities, they could very well appear from anywhere. Perhaps their creativity could impress her.

    @amenities @Rin @danzilla3 @Michael Bloodfang

  • Create New...