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  1. An Audience with the Damned

    Arthur listened intently to Akako, pondering over things as he was instructed on the political going-ons of the Scarlet Region and its governing council. The mutant had to admit that it wasn’t a surprise that he had disobeyed the Queen’s direct orders, not that his friend was insubordinate by his own nature, but that the magus was certain that Xartia would disobey any order when it came to the dark-haired woman who sat next to him. It was probably too easy to say that Red shouldn’t have trusted the Cambion especially in hindsight. That said, Xartia’s history with the kitsune and his feelings for her likely needed to be examined before being given such a sensitive responsibility. Otherwise, a problem like this could arise, and here they all were. Arthur grumbled to himself, unsure of what to really make of the situation. In his heart, he wanted to feel as if Xartia’s heart was in the right place, or that his friend was at least trying to do the right thing. But the circumstances certainly made believing that difficult for the mage. He was depriving Akako of her soul, and he was endangering the political stability at the highest rungs of the Scarlet government. If it became any worse, Red would likely prove lenient with her squabbling friends and subjects, but would the Carmine Emperor be so amused of fighting lords and ladies within his territory? Indeed, this could turn out to be an out right disaster if it wasn’t solved by finesse. “I doubt Red is very happy then,” The mage stated, continuing to mull over the knowledge the daiyokai had imparted on him. “The Queen’s next visit ought to be very interesting and dramatic. I hope, for all of your sakes, that it’s resolved as well as it possibly could be. I know you’ve had to appeal to the Emperor. I doubt he’ll be happy if your government keeps giving him reasons to be upset.” Personally, he didn’t care for the authority of emperors, queens, or even chairman for that matter. But the mutant didn’t live in the world of politics. Akako and her compatriots did. “My only advice would be to keep these internal matters as private as possible.” His keen eyes, wolffish and burning menacingly like a pair of suns, caught her reaction to his kiss. It proved a boost to the mood. It was an accomplishment after all. Not many could get a rise out of the Queen of the Yokai, particularly not by some human mage who had lived his life in over his head. Despite the whisp of a smile, Akako turned the conversation back to its sour roots, albeit it was good to know that Xartia hadn’t taken full liberties with the kitsune’s Orb. Still, he could see the toll the words she spoke and thoughts undoubtedly racing around in Akako’s head had on her. When her body shivered as she spoke, Arthur pulled on the folds of his robes, peeling them off in a single swift motion before draping it onto Akako from above like a blanket. “You shouldn’t have to and you won’t have to. I don’t know if you have other contingincies, but if they don’t pan out consider myself at your disposal. I’m sure Xartia will listen to me or my sorcery.” As he spoke, he reached out with his free hand and brushed Akako’s cheek softly. His calloused fingers caressed her soft flesh for a soothing moment before he leaned away to take up his saucer again and drank the rest of its contents. Automatically, the bottle floated off the ground and refilled his glass just as Akako’s servants entered the sitting room once more. This time, they left behind food which was great for wolffish man who always seemed to have room for just a little more food. “No, I think I have everything I need right here,” he replied, lowering his glass and reaching over for a slice of strawberry. He popped the juicy morsel into his mouth and chewed slowly, enjoying its tartness as his other hand settled itself into the small of Akako’s back. @Akako Akari
  2. An Audience with the Damned

    The mutant only smiled disarmingly at the reaction to his magical pull on the wine bottle. He probably should have asked permission before charming inanimate objects, especially if they were already gripped in someone’s hand. Arthur figured that the demons would be used to supernatural abilities and the like. And, of course, they would. But they don’t necessarily expect it from human visitors. Most human beings proved powerless and targets of mischief for Yokai and other spirits. Humans like Arthur were aberrations as strange as the wildest of beings. He lifted his hand in an apologetic gesture, showing the hawk retainer that he didn’t mean to startle her. With his quiet apologies extended and the three objects pursuing him like diminutive satellites, Arthur took to his feet and turned to accept Akako’s invitation inside the castle. Arthur relished the sensation of having the demoness at his side, walking briskly across the garden with his hand firmly gripping her own. It was a dainty, little thing with creamy skin. Deceptively soft and delicate, and yet deadly if he didn’t watch himself. Though his enjoyment wasn’t necessarily derived from a need to provide and protect the daiyokai. No, in his mind and likely Akako’s own, she was perfectly capable of doing that by herself. But rather, he enjoyed the game as it were, getting closer to the alluring otherworldly being with every passing moment. Like Icarus and the sun, Arthur would draw closer until her celestial radiance melted his wings and sent him plummeting to Earth. Or, as he hoped, until she rewarded his daring. Leisurely, Arthur stepped onto the planks of the shiro first, using his body weight as an anchor for Akako to step onto the slightly elevated platform after him. As they walked into the castle proper, the mutant listened to the demoness’ words closely, piecing the situation together as more information became available. Shock crossed his handsome features as Akako explained that a kitsune’s Orb was a receptacle for the spirit’s soul. Naturally, it became clear why it was such a problem for Xartia to be in possession of it, especially if she didn’t trust him as the daiyokai had already stated. “How was Xartia able to keep your Orb after your resurrection? How was he able to convince the nobility of the Scarlet Region that this sort of bondage was necessary? Surely, the Queen wouldn’t want a council member to have more power over another council member than she does?” Arthur stepped past the open shoji doors and entered the exquisite study. The sight of books and scrolls nearly made the mage forget the conversation at hand, and he hadn’t even noticed that Akako’s attendants had left them to their own devices until they had reached the plush sitting area. It was just Akako, himself, and the various objects that floated around his head like an alcoholic solar system. The mage folded his legs underneath him as he sat, his robes billowing outwards like dark wings when he took a seat. He held onto the demoness’ hand as well, noting that she made no move to release him,and he certainly didn’t plan on being the cause of their separation. As she explained further, his eyes narrowed dangerously before filling with sympathy. Of course, he had expected the implications of her Orb’s possession including the loss of her free will, but it was still heartbreaking to hear nonetheless. “The threat of compulsion is terrible enough,” Arthur shook with slight revulsion at the idea of being controlled. He swallowed hard as he continued, seeking the answer he didn’t want to hear but knew he had to. “But has Xartia compelled you to do something against your will?” Arthur watched Akako intently, awaiting both for answers to his questions and wanting to find out what was in the scroll she retrieved from the shelf. Meanwhile, the animated objects settled themselves on the ground. The bottle refilling the saucers as Arthur picked up his own with his free hand and sipped heartily. His fiery eyes settled on the scroll’s illustration soon after and quickly things began to make sense for the mage. “I see your dismay at being collared and chained,” the mutant as he looked up from the ancient portrait. He lifted her hand in his own and planted a soft kiss on the back of it. “A proud kitsune shouldn’t be tethered but free. Please, let me help you regain your freedom.” @Akako Akari
  3. An Audience with the Damned

    The mutant wasn’t attempting to hide his wandering gaze either. On the contrary, he wanted to display his interest, if his flirting and flattery hadn’t already done so, but more importantly he wanted Akako to know of his desires. He wouldn’t stare distastefully, however, keeping his glances brief and in response to the kitsune’s own sensual movements. The conversation at hand wasn’t conducive to too much oogling; an air of seriousness and tension falling over Arthur as the woman revealed the sudden, shocking, and violent cause of her death. Arthur’s mouth hung open momentarily in a ‘O’ shape, contemplating the new information and imagining how it must have been like. He didn’t know what her assailants looked like, but he imagined a smaller Akako as silly as it was. ”Fair enough,” the mage replied, both to the idea that Akako didn’t need protecting and to her clarification that she didn’t trust his fellow magi. His confusion and shock didn’t falter though. It only hopped elsewhere, particularly upon Xartia’s possession of Akako’s Orb. Arthur knew little of Kitsunes and didn’t fully understand the implications of her statement, but the tone of her voice spoke volumes to be sure. The implications had to be bad. ”I’d love to,” Arthur finally responded, only just realizing that his saucer had been refilled earlier. Taking hold of his drink, the mage centered his fiery gaze on Akako’s saucer then the bottle still in the hawkish servant’s hands. A magical tug would be exerted upon the objects; the cup floating up into the air to follow after them and the bottle attempting to float out of the servant’s hands. Meanwhile, Arthur stood to his feet and offered his free arm to the daiyokai. He would wrap the crook of his elbow around Akako’s arm before taking her hand in a gentle grip. ”I know nothing of them,” Arthur shrugged his shoulders, beginning to walk towards the castle proper before adding, “Save that This One is beautiful, though don’t let my unabashed flattery keep you from instructing me on the topic of your kind.” @Akako Akari
  4. Death Marks The Spot

    Arthur wheeled about with the sorceress still locked in his arms, feeling pain radiate from his right leg (proving he had surely hurt himself during the fall) as he moved to face the creatures who had been assailing the stranger. Fortunately, for them both, the mutant's bomb had proved far more successful than even he had envisioned; the streams of holy water having vaporized entire sections of the undead bodies, leaving the small host in shambles upon the sands. And all thanks to the black-robed mage who had vanquished the entire lot of them. Arthur thoroughly enjoyed basking in his accomplishments; a tad self-indulgent for one so well-versed in the Art and apparently wizened from the experience, but such indulgences of the self and breaking of taboos were the life blood of the Left Hand Path and the magicks that surely came from the adherence to its precepts. The mutant wouldn't distract himself for long, however, as he painfully turned his way back around towards the horde of undead that were rapidly advancing on their positions. He shifted his weight upon his damaged foot, allowing the limb to throb painfully in order to gauge the level of damage sans a full inspection. It was harder to move on but it certainly wasn't impossible. For that reason, Arthur doubted a fracture was the culprit, and was fairly confident that he could walk it off given the opportunity. "Keep them off me then!" Arthur called back to Xartia, jogging or rather hobbling towards a stone section of the broken bridge that laid on the sands beneath the old bridge's shadow. "I enjoy battle as much as the next violent reprobate but I'm certainly not invincible nor immortal for that matter!" The mage added, dropping the sorceress unceremoniously onto the ground without warning. A sharp protest sounded from the sorceress in response and she would have likely stood to give the mutant a piece of her mind if they weren't already in the midst of a warzone and she hadn't been nearly killed. Arthur paid her little mind in any case, turning back to peer around the side of the broken bridge and stood gingerly on his right leg. Thankfully, his companions entered the fray just as Arthur had to take a momentary departure, allowing him to take the time to get his second wind. Woe to the undead creatures who stood against them if that were allowed to happen. The sight, of course, was impressive to say the least with Xartia and his powerful command over conjuration magic. The application of the disc that hovered over them was lost on the mage, but he guessed (with his own biases leading the way) or perhaps hoped that the cambion would drop it like an anvil upon their foes. Akako, on the other hand, glowed with the radiance of the sun, practically humming with preternatural strength and otherworldly beauty. Arthur found himself nearly mesmerized but the commotion all around them kept the mutant more or less sharp. "Wait here," he told the sorceress, limping around the corner of the bridge and positioning himself somewhere behind both Akako and Xartia. He knew that the woman would be safest in hiding, being that she'd been nearly killed and her offensive magic had little effect upon the undead before. Ultimately, the sorceress would prove most useful safe and out of sight, and alive so she could divulge her story and whatever other useful information that could be gleaned. Arthur snarled ahead, eyes narrowing dangerously upon the approaching undead. His allies hadn't as of yet launched their own attacks, but Arthur hoped they would come sooner rather than later. He wasn't one for such patience and laxness in a combat situation, though admittedly his reckless maneuvers weren't particularly sounder if his pained leg was any indication. @Twitterpated @Akako Akari ((So sorry for the wait. Feel like shit for taking this long to get the thread rolling again.))
  5. An Audience with the Damned

    Arthur took the assurance at face-value, not that he didn't believe that Akako's miniature kingdom were loyal to their mistress, but he preferred to keep himself safe through his own caution and skill. Not that the mutant was too worried about the snake-like demoness, but as notoriety went, demons were a wicked bunch indeed. Internally, Arthur laughed at himself as he pushed the thoughts from his head. Were demons the wicked ones, really? Or was the mage's initial thoughts polluted by the projection of humanity's own treacherous and malicious nature? Or could the concept of 'natures' even be broached without a firm understanding of the environment that produces them? Worthy quandaries for thought, Arthur had to admit, though it was neither the time nor the place for a philosophical exercise. Indeed, almost as soon as Arthur distracted himself, his eyes focused upon the woman with particularly great timing; Akako was leaning forward at an appealing angle in response to the answer to her query. His eyes only panned low for the briefest of moments, enjoying the purposely offered sight (clearly Akako was as much a seductress as her reputation stated) before returning her smile and lifting his own sake saucer for a drink. Of course, the change in level didn't manage to make Akako less alluring, rather the sensual motion of her tongue across her lips only served to further tantalize the mutant. Despite the distraction that was the demoness, however, Arthur still maintained some degree of his wits about him, and her strange reply was not lost on him. Why did she invite him to her castle? The more Arthur asked himself the question, the less he was able to say that it was simply her desire to speak to him. Instead, the topic of discussion would seem as if it would revolve around Xartia and whatever his relationship was with the kitsune. It wasn't the exact pair of people that the mage wanted to talk about, but he would oblige the demoness for now. "He's told me virtually nothing of your history, so I only know what I could glean from the few interactions I've been unfortunate enough to witness," Arthur replied with a chuckle of his own, finishing off his saucer before lowering it to the blanket to be refilled by Akako's servant. The woman's next words were incredibly telling. Not that his fellow mage had appointed himself Akako's protector. That wasn't surprising in the least. But the idea of being 'collared and chained', which at first rung with erotic connotations, but seemed to vaguely prod at the very heart of the issue itself. "Your protector? I can't say I'm shocked. From the little I know, you were recently killed and he's absolutely crazy about you. But you seem to absolutely despise him, so I can almost see what the problem is." The mage paused momentarily, giving him opportunity to breath before he did some prying of his own. "But you seem incredibly comfortable here in your castle. What could Xartia possibly do that would keep a free and deadly spirit such as yourself under bondage?" @Akako Akari
  6. Lirrey Lines

    Seated among the others of the newly-formulated band, the last of their number, a black-robed man with the garment's fur-lined hood pulled over his head, gave the impression of the deepest of slumbers. That said, appearances could certainly be deceiving. As the doctor approached the companions, the mage lifted his head to meet their eccentric employer, eyelids opening to reveal the optics of a dangerous beast underneath. They were composed of narrow, circular pits of the blackest coal at the center of his eyeballs; the predatory pupils sitting within the sea of the rest of his eye which shined a luminescent orange, reminiscent of wolves and their bestial kin. Arthur pulled the rest of his hood off, seeing no point in keeping his features obscured any longer, not whilst there was work to be done and potential allies to coordinate with. It revealed that monstrous eyes otherwise belonged to a human face, handsome albeit not pretty, and rugged with the beginnings of a beard after a couple of days sans the touch of a straight razor. Underneath the black velvet fabric of his robe, Arthur was dressed for the adventure that laid before them. The opening in the front of his robes displayed clothing made for traveling; a grey long-sleeved, breathable shirt was buttoned most of the way to the top though its sleeves were rolled up neatly past his elbows. Meanwhile, black trousers adorned his lower half, tucked into a pair of boots that were worn with use. No weapons could be seen on the mutant's person, although he wasn't totally lacking in equipment as a thick belt was wrapped around his hips and they were outfitted with an assortment of pouches and bags. Arthur's gaze focused on the Doctor as he gave his brief explanation of their purpose, his attention shifting to the shadowy creature once their employer had introduced the wretched thing. The mage, who considered himself an expert on monsters and beasts, couldn't say he'd ever seen anything like it though it didn't exactly surprise Arthur either. After all, the strange humanoid seemed almost shy and timid, and the creatures that Arthur studied typically were not so meek as to accept being bullied or called a cretin. At least not without some sort of occult binding, a thought which made the mage ponder as he considered the underlying relationship between the cloaked creature and the Doctor. As questions were asked of the Doctor, the mutant waited for theirs to be answered before positing his own. "An expedition to Lirrey is simply too enticing for me to resist based on my short readings on the subject, which isn't to say that I know much about the region, but I know enough to know that the Order have banned such things. Do they know where we're headed or should we proceed in clandestine fashion?"
  7. Yh'mi: Lirrey Lines OOC

    I'm here. Sorry, I should have a post up by tomorrow at the latest.
  8. Yh'mi: Lirrey Lines OOC

    Yeah, I just don’t have a profile written up for him.
  9. Gotta Get This Alligned Just Right

    I’d be up for joining you guys with my character, Arthur.
  10. Yh'mi: Lirrey Lines OOC

    I’ve been itching to do something in Yh’mi for a while. Count me in.
  11. An Audience with the Damned

    Arthur watched the Daiyokai closely, noting the amusement that was clearly etched onto her preternaturally beautiful face. It was the intention, of course, why else attempt such flattery? However, there was always that undertone that the mage was playing with a flame that would eventually burn him with as much amusement she showed at his words and antics. It was a risk the mutant was clearly willing to take. “I can’t really help it,” the Black Magus admitted with a lopsided grin, uncharisteristically scratching the back of his head from his sitting position on the ground. It was the truth, he couldn’t really help his desires and neither could anyone else. Not without seriously harming their own psyche anyways. The only thing one could do was choose whether to act on said desires or to wither away with regrets. Arthur existed within the former spectrum undoubtedly. Arthur turned his attention towards the hawk-like servant, unsure of what to think of being called ‘lord’. He certainly didn’t like it, but it didn’t show upon his features. He couldn’t fault the heirarchal demons for their instilled decorum. So instead, he took his saucer with a respectful nod before sampling the gift he had brought Akako. He slowly swished the sip’s worth of fluid across his mouth, savoring its complex bouquet of flavors before swallowing. Immediately, he took another sip, lifting his gaze back to the kitsune’s, noting that she too enjoyed the drink. However, the vibe in the lavish garden had changed. Akako’s teasing comment towards another of her followers seemed to hit a nerve in the snake woman, who apparently was the in-house brewer. The perceptive mutant felt Aiyoku’s eyes narrow like the points of daggers, not at all appreaciative of the comparison Akako had made, so much so that she turned and departed for the castle proper. ”Should I worry about her?” Arthur asked with a smirk, his words spoken mostly in jest but with an edge to them that illustrated that the question wasn’t entirely rhetorical. The mage chuckled to himself, finishing off his saucer before lowering it to be refilled, as he did so he caught a glimpse of Akako’s silky locks blowing in the breeze. It proved quite distracting and left him exposed to her question. Momentarily unable to parse the connotations and nuances of her question, too distracted by the alluring demoness who was stretched out on a blanket likely for the exact purpose of disarming him, he answered in an aloof manner. “Just in the last year or so, mostly. He’s been facilitating my travels here on Valucre.” @Akako Akari
  12. An Audience with the Damned

    The Mage was aware that his entrance could have been misconstrued as an attack on Akako and her domain. But he entered the garden with an air of confidence about him, not just for himself but for the kitsune’s own sharp senses which he figured would single him out (especially since he made no effort to mask his presence) before he even scaled the wall into the castle’s courtyard and gardens. Fortunately, it didn’t seem as if Akako had any guards on retainer who would take the initiative in dispatching the robed newcomer. That or the Yokai Queen kept her servants on quite the short leash. ”Reassuring? My Queen certainly means inevitable,” Arthur replied in flattering fashion, maintaining his low bow as he added, “This One’s call has an allure that your most humble servant could never and would never resist.” Grinning, Arthur stood back up to his full height, his eyes surveying the vixen who was sprawled across a silk fabric looking like a horde of gold and precious gemstones. He didn’t know what was the purpose for summoning him, but certainly it couldn’t have been for nothing. Women like Akako, an infamous demoness known for her propensity for trickery, were definitely always thinking several steps ahead. She was playing some sort of long game indeed. Though that said, Arthur didn’t meet the situation with reluctance, rather he was game to participate as well. As the vixen invited him to sit, the alchemist held both gifts in one hand and lifted each foot to undo the laces of his shoes before pulling them off. He joined Akako on the blanket, dropping onto the cushion she set out for him without ceremony. His legs immediately curled into the Lotus position during his descent, displaying a level of flexibility that bordered on the preternatural. “Very well,” Arthur nodded, ready as he’d ever be to hear what the vixen had to say to him. When her servant approached, the mutant passed both gifts to the hawk attendant. “Please, pour some for my hostess. It’s a vintage sake of demonic make, distilled here in the city.” As if to add to his statement, the Mage pulled on the voluminous sleeve of his robe; a sake saucer falling into his hand followed by a second a few moments later as though by sleight of hand. “Sorry,” he snorted in amusement as he set both saucers on the blanket, “I’m a magician through and through, but please discuss away.” @Akako Akari
  13. An Audience with the Damned

    Wind swept through the canvas of the windlass as Arthur was ferried across Port Caelum’s bay, as the name implied the vessel flew through the air carried by the winds of magic, traversing over top the seafaring vessels whilst carrying its passenger to his destination. Arthur stood upon the bowsprit of the sailing airship, his sharp eyes staring ahead in awe whilst they approached the site of the massive castle. It was the second of such buildings within the port city; the other was where the Regent Xartia Pendragon lived and where Arthur sometimes crashed whenever he passed through the city on his near constant travels. This structure, however, which stood imperiously over much of the city, casting a shadow nearly as wide as Xartia’s own residence; it belonged to the infamous Yokai Queen, deadly powerful, and an otherworldly beauty to boot. Admittedly, though the alchemist would never say so aloud, Arthur spent far more time wondering (more like day dreaming) about the latter than the supernatural implications of the former. Arthur needed to be careful or else he go the way of Icarus, for it was as Akako had said, she was not a plaything. And yet, the Black Mage couldn’t help but advance onwards towards the kitsune’s domain, answering her surprising summons, and hoping she’d respond well to his gifts. When the windlass crossed over the harbor, the wooden vessel’s crew immediately fed power into the trim crystals in the engine, allowing the ship to ascend through the air and over the top of the ocean front buildings. Arthur turned his gaze downwardly from his vantage point, examining the city from below as he contemplated on when was the proper time to jump ship. Shrugging his shoulders as if it hardly mattered, the Mage turned back towards the foredeck look out on duty and gave him a short wave. “You won’t need to pick me up,” he stated matter of factly, tossing a small pouch filled with coins to the man before stepping off the narrow beam and down to the city below. The wind rushed passed him as he descended at near terminal velocity, his eyes closed and his mind focused on the arcane formulae that flashed across his vision. The spell came to him in a flash, tapping into the beast trapped within. With the Rokurokubi awakened, Arthur launched his left arm in a long, serpentine stretch that reached nearly twenty meters before gripping onto a nearby structure’s spire with a vice grip. He pulled himself along with preternatural strength, altering his trajectory in abrupt fashion, and catapulting himself towards Akako’s castle. As he made his dynamic approach, the famialiar scent of the demoness reached the mutant’s powerful nostrils, indicating that she was beyond the castle’s wall but not quite inside it either. Arthur drew back his arm with an elastic snap before alternating with the other, using his right arm to scale the curved wall of the estate before propelling him into the estate’s luscious gardens. The Black Mage landed upon the lawn with a resounding BANG! He skid over the grass for the briefest moment, sending his black robe into a flurry of velvet fabric and jet black fur. Arthur stood in Akako’s garden too nonchalantly for one who crashed in like a non-destructive meteor. Under his robes, he wore a black dress shirt with a red tie that was clipped halfway through to his shirt, black slacks and a pair of brown dress shoes. And though, at first, it seemed as if Arthur had arrived empty-handed. He shoved his hands into his robes and pulled a pair of items from seemingly nowhere. A bouquet of red roses situated in his left hand whilst a bottle of rice wine was gripped in his right. “Greetings, Great Queen of the Yokai. Your humble servant has arrived,” Arthur smirked, dipping into a low bow before making any other move. He would approach when Akako gave the say so. @Akako Akari
  14. Death Marks The Spot

    A fierce grin tugged at the mutant's lips when he made his titanic landing, the rocky shore and the bones of four of his undead enemies crushed under the sheer mass of the mage's altered body. It was an incredible rush, his blood pumping furiously and passionately in the heat of battle as he displayed his ferocity and might not just to the skeletons and whoever controlled them, but to all of his companions and the runaway mage who he had dived headlong to save. Given another chance to restart his magic tutelage, Arthur couldn't imagine finding a truer and more authentic expression of his spellcraft than what already came so naturally to the alchemist and to quite the effect. Certainly, his opening blow would prove a purposely self-tripped alarm to any and all who weren't already aware of the companions' arrival, beckoning the undead to come forth and face the black-robed alchemist and his allies if they dared. Burrowing a crater into the ground and crunching the bones of the erstwhile undead soldiers, the tension within the mage gave and he quickly found himself rebounding back into the air like a massive ball of death. In a blink of an eye, Arthur had ascended over ten feet into the air and counting, offering the perfect vantage to watch as the rest of the skeletons continued to charge after the trapped sorceress. Despite his attack, she was no safer than she had been when he had begun, but he would soon remedy that. After all, with the rest of his allies taking less proactive approaches, it fell upon Arthur to fill that gap. Arthur released the dweomers of his current spells; his body suddenly deflating to normal size whilst the black substance on his flesh and clothing dissipated in a palpable black mist. Still in midair but making his way back down, the mutant rummaged through a pack on his belt with his right hand, and produced a small alchemical bomb before launching both his arms in a serpentine stretch towards the sorceress and skeletal creatures who were nearly within reach to devour her. His arms stretched unnaturally across the full distance, lashing out from above like a pair of attacking vipers, though instead of attacking the enemy he grabbed ahold of the sorceress with vice grips and pulled her forcefully off the ground and towards the rest of him as he reeled his arms back in. But not before he primed and dropped the alchemical explosive at the skeletons' feet, knowing he would have to distract and deter them somehow as he made his rescue attempt. For a second, the explosive did nothing at all, giving the impression that it was a complete and utter dud and that perhaps Arthur wasn't as skilled an alchemist as he claimed to be. However, it soon glowed a shining white as holy water began to spray and jettison from various orifices that opened up in the initial explosion, spreading the safe albeit otherwise volatile (to the enemy) liquid across several feet and likely drenching many of the skeletons who were near the alchemical bomb. Arthur doubted that it would make work of all seven of the beasts, as surely some of the victims would act as barriers for some of the others, but he knew it would devastate their number nonetheless. The holy power within the bomb more than a threat to the undead arrayed against them. Meanwhile, if the mutant were to find success, the sorceress would be pulled along for a ride and crash bodily against Arthur's tightly muscled frame. His arms quickly rearranged themselves to cradle the woman for ease's sake as they descended the rest of the way to the rocky ground; Arthur's boot-clad feet impacted the rough terrain forcefully, sending sharp pains along both of Arthur's legs though he managed to remain upright and prepared to continue where his bomb had left off. The determination on his face was clear, his wolfish eyes narrowing dangerously upon what remained of the first troupe of skeletons, and growled as his nose picked up the scent of more enemies who were steadily making their way over. @Twitterpated @Pseudonym @Akako Akari
  15. Death Marks The Spot

    Arthur peered over the edge of the ruined bridge, scanning over the destroyed docks as he and his companions gathered to begin their adventure proper. The place seemed utterly barren and devoid of life, not even gulls could be seen flying over the waves, but the mutant still couldn't shake the feeling that they were being watched though he had no evidence to prove such a suspicion. The every day person would have heeded the terrible vibe and turned away from the seemingly dangerous situation; however, Arthur thrived in the face of unforeseen danger and he found himself stepping closer to the edge of the stone bridge to view the immediate area below better. As Xartia and the mutant continued to survey the area, their third companion joined them and the alchemist couldn't help but be distracted. His wolfish eyes studied the newly-returned kitsune closely, especially as she stepped past them towards the edge of the structure they stood upon. She wasn't dressed in her usual lavish fashion though she added some flair to an otherwise plain adventuring garb, but the mage was no less impressed by the yokai's figure and preternatural beauty than he had been when they briefly first met at her coronation festival in Port Caelum. And then she'd been dressed to kill, albeit figuratively as the katana on her hip could be described by a similar turn of phrase but more literally. During their travels, Arthur had little to no time to catch up with Akako, but it was possibly for the best. Arthur knew little for it was none of his business but it seemed like a confusing time for the woman, for he knew at least that she had been killed and brought back. He never asked for the details as he figured it wasn't his place to ask, but his sympathy remained nonetheless, and therefore it seemed apropos to not pry. Perhaps a good fight and time would help her along in the process. And just as Arthur had that thought, a fight did find the trio. His dangerous eyes unglued themselves from Akako and turned in the direction of the female mage's yells as she retreated from a pack of hungry undead. Arthur grimaced, knowing that the woman was surely doomed (particularly after her attempt at a spell had little effect on the small horde) if no one intervened on her behalf. An opportunistic party would have attempted to glide over the battle, departing and leaving the woman to act as a temporary distraction for the skeletons, and considering the three of them and their skill sets. Leaving the woman behind would have been incredibly easy. That said, Arthur scowled at the very thought, having no intention of leaving a fellow mage much less a woman at the mercy of the undead scourge. He could see the hesitation in Xartia, however, as he seemingly sought the answers within himself before speaking out loud to the rest of the party. "The latter seems the more likely of the two. Why else would she come here alone and how? Did any of you or the crew see another working ship as we flew in?" Arthur asked his questions curiously, seeing as he had been working in his makeshift lab during the landing and hadn't seen the lay of the land from the deck's amazing vantage point. "You suppose?" the mage asked in disbelief though not in a tone that could be characterized as argumentative, but just mildly annoyed by the flippant remarks. "I don't know how much of an asset she'll be but I won't allow her to be eaten regardless." With the hard words spoken, a look of determination crossed the mutant's facial features as he wondered what the best approach would be. If he called upon the powers of the Rokurokubi, his arms would be able to stretch far enough to seize the woman by her robes and pull her up onto the bridge, but he didn't want to play tug of war with the sorceress as the rope if the skeletons managed to get ahold of her. It wasn't a real solution to the problem. The undead would have to be met in pitched battle. Fortunately, Xartia understood as much and had magically transported himself to the docks below to serve as further distraction. Arthur grinned at his foppish comrade, knowing he could take care of himself, and knowing that Xartia's actions would be the catalyst for his own. "You're looking especially charming this morning," said Arthur, stepping to Akako's side as he prepared to walk off the edge and plummet to the ground. "And yet you're still liable to destroy me utterly if I wrong you. It's a jarring juxtaposition but still impressive." The alchemist chuckled and without another word initiated his own brand of strange magicks. He took in a deep breath of salty air and his body and clothing began to expand several times their original size like a balloon, appearing as if he'd suddenly donned a sumo suit. However, most sumo suits didn't tend to make one float in the air, and Arthur had already lifted himself ten feet into the air within mere seconds. Floating past the bridge's edge, Arthur aimed himself at the enemy below, utilizing the opportunity Xartia gave him by appearing below first to land the heaviest of blows. Quite literally. Understanding that the undead would be split between charging and eating the sorceress and the newly-arrived Xartia, Arthur worked quickly as he enacted a second spell with a quick incantation. Suddenly, the flesh on the front side of his body was covered in a black substance which hardened like steel, adding an incredible amount of weight to his hot air balloon-esque frame, and causing him to plunge downwards like a stone. Many had heard of mage's conjuring up meteors against their foes, but not many mages had ever elected to become a meteor themselves. Dropping downwards like a human piece of military ordinance, the unorthodox mage attempted to crush a grouping of three skeletons under his tremendous weight. The impact would prove to be titanic whether Arthur struck his targets or not. Like an anvil, he would leave an enlarged depression in the ground where he landed; the undead creatures likely smashed to pieces and their bodies driven to the ground if they were unfortunate enough not to escape the sudden and vicious ambushing. But like a metal spring, Arthur would bounce away from the impact crater, leaping back into the air and ensuring he wouldn't be a sitting target for the other monsters. @Akako Akari @Twitterpated @Pseudonym