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      Vote for Valucre [June]   05/16/2017

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Ghastardly

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About Ghastardly

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  • Birthday 06/20/1996

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    I enjoy writing (obviously), and quite a few other things. Just ask me and I'm sure we'll find a common interest in something.

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  1. If you win you get some pipin' hot mushroom pizza, if you lose you get some nasty athletes foot that no amount of tinactin can cure. High stakes hombres.
  2. Jotnotes Sétanta the Hound @Big Boss Ghastardly Robbie Rotten TheWilySpookster
  3. Oof
  4. I rate Somar's chances fairly high. The man's a god damn hero and an international treasure, but that sand of his tends to get stuck in all the wrong places.
  5. @Jotnotes Sétanta the Hound Big Boss Ghastardly Robbie Rotten TheWilySpookster
  6. Jotnotes Sétanta the Hound Big Boss Ghastardly Robbie Rotten @TheWilySpookster Also, wily, I hadn't noticed until now but that new Vechy sig is pretty neato hombre.
  7. lol, I just copied and paste and forgot to change your name is all. No worries, I noticed the change.
  8. Made a few edits before posting this, but my post is done, sorry for going over the time limit again. At least it was because I was busy putting together a post I've owed for a while though, right? According to this it's Robbie's turn, but I'm pretty sure Wily hasn't gone in a cool minute too right? Didn't the posting order get a bit mixed up? Not that it matters to me, so long as it doesn't step on any one else's toes. Jotnotes Puranetto Ueivuzu Big Boss Ghastardly @Robbie Rotten Wily Spookster
  9. As the Kaantus thrashed and screamed amidst the intense heat of the smelter, there was only one way for the monstrosity to escape, the way it came. Unfortunately for the beast, Ivas' request hadn't fallen on deaf ears. The sound of metal slamming against metal signaled that it's one potential escape route from the torturous flames it had become engulfed by was now gone, and the one responsible stood on the other side of the now shut smelter door. Perhaps even to a beast such as the Kaantus this man's voice would have been familiar, provided it wasn't too distracted with the scorching heat and pain that continued to consume it. "Stop all that damn screaming already...", he began, grabbing a fistful of steel rope coiled around his chest, "... and die." yanking the bundle of cord from his torso, a pulse of electricity would flow from Sage Athos through the metallic rope, magnetizing it and allowing him to move it according to his whim. One end of the steel rope shot forth with incredible speed, white electrical sparks flying off of its surface, meanwhile, Sage's hand remained firmly grasped around the opposite end. Under the effect of his guidance, the steel cable would swiftly encompass the wrought iron contraption before Athos himself moved forward to tie the tightly wound knot which ensured beyond a shadow of a doubt that the beast's rampage had finally come to a fitting end. Still, it wasn't as if the credit of killing the beast had gone to any one person within the group. Had it not been for their last collaborative effort, it was unlikely that they could have managed such a stunt, let alone if any of them were working on their lonesome. Still, I suppose it was good that I thought ahead earlier. Sage thought to himself, as he leaned over, placing his metallic hands upon the roaring smelter in front of him as he looked down at his feet that weren't currently touching the ground. Underneath the soles of his boots, the white arcs of electricity that Sage seemed to rely on quite often danced under his feet, acting as temporary magnetic "crutches" to aid him in traversing the distance between where he was standing earlier and the smelter. If it hadn't been for him taking a moment to gather the charge necessary instead of rushing, as he had with the lightning, Sage doubted he could have closed the distance at the blistering speed he had. "Patience." Sage whispered to himself as he lifted his gaze and peered through the small slits in the smelter door from which the pained screams of the Kaantus escaped, "I'll need that when I finally find him. I thank you for teaching me that much." Of course that wasn't all he had learned from the Kaantus, if anything he now knew that he still had quite a long road ahead of him to reach his full potential as an Aster and the Philosopher of War, years even. It also made him wonder if he was even capable of defeating that man, not to mention his Lords of Purgatory. He continued to deliberate what had happened in the battle and how he could learn from it, how he could improve so that he was as ready as possible. He became so absorbed that he started to feel dizzy, or was that just the entire world spinning? Speaking of, Vechynacht's pitch black sky seemed like it was getting even darker now and- Sage's half closed eyes suddenly sprung open upon hearing William's voice. Straightening up, Sage realized that the Kaantus' screams had already died out and that he had been slumping over as if he were about to collapse, leading Athos to believe that he may have suffered more than just a few bruises and fractures. Lifting his hand to his head, Athos ran his head through his hair, wincing when he touched the spot where he had evidently sustained a head injury. Sage lowered his hand, seeing that his fingers were now covered in blood, the same blood which now covered one side of his head. "I should probably start wearing a helmet." Sage muttered to no one in particular with a small grin, recalling he had received a similar injury in Dougton, before finally turning towards where he heard Enshim's voice coming from. The battle with the beast was over, but Sage still needed to stay awake until Cid arrived, for his own sake and the girl's that William and Ivas were both hovering over. Athos hated to admit it, but she was perfect. Or rather, the quills sticking out of her like a pin cushion were, or perhaps he meant the fact that she was lying on ground defenseless was perfect? Then again, her lying on the ground with those poisoned barbs sticking out of her was the perfect scenario in one regard, as it at least gave him a way to stay awake. He needed to make sure this concussion he had didn't turn into a coma, and she needed those barbs removed, it was a perfect situation as far as he was concerned, probably less-so for Ominas. As Ivas sobbed into the shoulder of William, Sage would be slowly approaching from behind, a limp in his step which was quite obviously not the only injury he had sustained. "She's still breathing you moron." Sage noted as he forced William and Ivas apart to make room for him to work on Ominas. "Oh, that might have come off a bit harsher than I intended. No worries, it's probably just the concussion talking." Dropping to his knees, Sage rolled his shoulders as he continued to speak, "I'm afraid that I'm not in any shape to talk about that wanted poster or any 'partnership' at the moment William. for now let's focus on the problem at hand, speaking of, I believe that Cid said she would be monitoring us from the Jenkins overhead,though we should still try to get in contact with her if we're able to." Athos would then reach down and swipe the brick-sized radio from the belt of Ivas, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't have faith in your ability to use this properly, so if you don't mind, or if you do, doesn't really matter to me..." Sage's voice began to trail off as his eyes slowly began to close before they suddenly shot open again, "Somar! Do we have a Somar present!?" Sage shouted at the top of his lungs, looking around with eyes as wide as saucers until he finally found where Pulventum had ended up during this mess, "Why don't you give her the good news, Sandman?" The Philosopher began, "Meanwhile, I'll start pulling these babies out of our resident baby. Oh that reminds me!" Raising a finger in realization, Athos continued, "Be sure to tell her that a few of us are injured, and that she could cook up a healing potion, or some type of healing magic, maybe a glass of bone fixing juice? Just for the sake of specifics, we've got a hole in my head..." Sage pointed to the spot of drying blood in his hair, "One little girl, turned pin-cushion..." Athos motioned towards the still prone Ominas, "And one wet pussy." Finally, Sage pointed his thumb back at William, who's fur was still soaked from Ivas' tears. As soon as he had said that however, Sage's eyes widened in realization at what he had just said as he began waving his hands defensively, "Oh! Uh, not the girl's, William's, er... I mean William, his fur... it's uh, it's wet..." Sage's voice trailed off once again in a series of mutters, as he turned his attention back to Ominas. At this point, though, it was quite obvious that Sage was concussed to some extent, now one had to wonder who in their right mind would actually allow him to attempt removing the barbs from Ominas' skin!? Despite how obviously bad of an idea it was though, Sage leaned forward and inched his hand towards one of the quills sticking out of Ominas' face. "Now if I can just dull the nerves for a split-second, I can pull it out with little to no pain, of course since this is also on her face there's always the possibility of affecting her brain in some way too but- Bah! I'm sure it'll be fine..." Slowly Sage inched closer and closer, sweat forming on his brow. Was no one going to stop this man!?
  10. "Just an agreement? No emotion attached to this? My dear Anafeliz, how can you be so cold?" Lucian said as his lips curled into a wicked smile. The fiend's eerie gaze drifted towards the tricolored eyes of the Seelie fae at his side, "Aren't you vastly underselling our arrangement my little fae? And I do mean my little fae, because that's what you promised me, remember? Or must I remind you?" The expression of Petros suddenly fell flat as he spoke and the eyes which peered into those of Anafeliz became adopted an icy gleam that gave no indication of a soul behind them, eyes that seemed to be boring into the very soul of the fae,"It seems that you are trying to put these men under the impression that you have no emotional investment in our relationship, but I'm sure lives of certain members of the Casper City Guard are weighing on your conscience even now. Of course, if what Kallias told us is true, if you've just been acting helpless, useless, and hiding something from us, from me..." One of the fiend's hands ascended from the top of his cane as he continued to speak, his words becoming more sinister with each syllable, "If that's the case, then perhaps you are telling the truth, perhaps you don't care about the lives of everyone you left in Casper, and perhaps I'll pay Captain Inshim a visit and personally enlighten him as to your sentiments about his well being? But not before we've had a lengthy discussion about what it is you've been keeping hidden all this time." Petros had exposed the one detail that Anafeliz had wanted to keep a hidden, unintentionally or not, and now the malicious aura radiating from the devil looming over her seemingly threatened to consume her as Lucian's hand slowly inched towards the fragile neck of Anafeliz. It was unlikely that Kaalis had intended to do so, but his slip of the tongue had caused Petros to slip into one of his infamous violent mood swings, the recipient of which was never fortunate. Unnatural muscle contracted under the surface of the false pale skin that covered his unnatural flesh as the inhuman cold demeanor Petros wore began to show seams of fury until an odd click would cause Lucian to give pause and turn his attention towards the source of the sound. "I would advise against that." The voice belonged to Sage Athos, who now stood with a very large revolver in his right hand, the barrel of which was pointed right at Lucian's head with the hammer already pulled back. "Ah." the fiend remarked indifferently, his eyes only briefly glazing over the chambers and other intricacies of the firearm now held in Sage's hand before pulling his away from the fae and to the collar of his coat, his chest rising with a soft sigh as he regained his composure, "It seems that this is a conversation best reserved for a more private venue." "Save your breath." Athos retorted, his gaze unflinching as it met the predatory the eyes of the wayward devil before him, "I don't give a damn about whatever this Gaia thing is everyone keeps going on about or whatever warped relationship you two have, but that woman is right about one thing. She certainly doesn't have a choice in the matter. I am going to kill you and put a stop to your trail of carnage, and then I am going to take her back to Casper no matter what poison you've fed her mind. So you'll have to forgive me miss, but I'm putting a moratorium on your little 'arrangement', I'll be damned if I let him leave this square, let alone this city, just so you can continue slaughtering innocents. So do us both a favor and stay out of the way." "Oh? I take you're not a native of Terrenus then?" Lucian responded calmly with a coy grin, drawing Sage's attention right back to him, "Though from the way you're waving that useless weapon around as if it could do anything leads one to believe that you two aren't even from Valucre." "'As if it could do anything? How about I turn your head into a fine past-" "Of course if that's the case..." Lucian interrupted without missing a step, as his lifted his hand to his chin and took a moment to observe and ponder the two men before him, "then this is a very interesting encounter indeed, one that seems to bear quite a few implications, but..." Lucian's face fell flat once again as his hand fell limply to his side, "...one not entirely interesting enough to tolerate your trite rhetoric." Sage's left eye twitched, his jaw clenched tightly, and finally his finger pulled the trigger. Unbeknownst to Lucian, the revolver that Sage held in his hand had been given the name of "Big Bertha", an apt name given its effect on the typical humanoid physiology, and a weapon that Sage valued very highly because of his own sentimentality and her effectiveness against hard-to-crack opponents. However, unbeknownst to Athos, Petros did not bluster when he claimed "Big Bertha" would be useless, though it certainly wasn't because of any particular confidence in his own abilities. Yet, there was still a distinct difference between the two which would determine how events would unfold within the next few moments; only one of them had spent their entire natural life and beyond upon Valucre, and only one knew the effect the Terran Arcanosphere had on gunpowder, but soon the other would become quite aware. Big Bertha's hammer slammed forward, causing the firing pin to strike the chambered bullet's primer within. Sage's eyes then went wide in shock as he was met with an empty click instead of the resounding thunder and violent kick the sizeable revolver usually responded with. Athos glanced down at the gun with a stunned expression, trying desperately to figure out what devilry Lucian had employed to render her inoperative, but he couldn't conceive how the fiend would have done such a thing without him knowing. Sage did know one thing for sure, relying on Big Bertha was off the table now, and at a moment when he might need her most. Big Bertha had been silenced. "Such are the wonders of the Terran Arcanosphere. Next time perhaps you might consider taking a native's advice, tourist." Petros said mockingly as his lips curled into a sadistic grin and his eyes became wild with a wicked sheen, but Sage stared directly back into those with the piercing silver of his own alight with an inhuman focus on the fiend speaking before him, "Unfortunately, as much as I'd love to stay here and personally dismantle you while listening to Meryam's chorus line for that pain you caused me earlier, I'm afraid we're a bit pressed for time at the moment. I've already gotten what I need, and the last thing I want is to run into another dilemma like I did in Casper when the City Guard decides to investigate all of the commotion we've stirred up, so I'm afraid we'll have to cut this little get-together short before Meryam gets us both singing." Enough words had already been exchanged for Sage's tastes, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to say anything over the sound of all that... singing? Come to think of it, Sage had been so focused on Lucian that he neglected to realize that what was initially the low hum of that strange woman had now become a multitude of voices emanating from the people of Dougton. There was undoubtedly some variant of sinister ambient spell about that was assuredly related to that woman's voice, that much Sage could tell. though it only seemed to be affecting the townspeople at the moment, Sage didn't want to find out what the effects of her hypnotic song were if it was allowed to continue unabated. What's more, the strange fog lingering in the air had grown noticeably thicker, but hadn't managed to climb up the steps just yet, but that didn't stop Athos from quickly and tightly wrapping his shemagh scarf around his mouth and nose. The soldier's that had accompanied Sage and Shogun, however, were fully exposed to the arcane fumes mingling with the smoke from their earlier grenades, and it was evident that several were already beginning to feel the effects. Their dire situation was compounded by the fearsome enemies they currently faced, and though the Angels seem to have temporarily withdrawn from combat to participate in Meryam's strange ritual, the Gaian subjugation squads were still subject to the violent onslaught of Rinoa who was already putting her new weapon to use. the sight of what was occurring below was enough to leave Sage dumbstruck for a moment, but his expression of horror clearly communicated his thoughts concerning what his eyes beheld. Unfortunately, Sage had also lost sight of what was most important at the moment, and had fallen for Lucian's cheap ploy as the wayward devil finally spotted the familiar face he had been waiting for ducked down and lurking within the crowd of followers Meryam had entrapped in her haunting chorus. "Ah, I see our escape route has finally arrived, and not a minute too soon." It was Lucian's voice which reminded Sage of the danger that lurked behind him, and it was then that he noticed a soft orange glow out of the corner of his eye. Athos would turn to face Petros far too late, and was instead greeted by his sneering visage and with an orange glowing orb radiating intense heat levitating less than a meter away from where Sage and the Shogun stood. Assuming Shogun hadn't fallen for Lucian's trick as Sage had, then he could have gotten out of the orbs explosive radius before it detonated, had he not, though, Sage did have a single moment to deliver one rough shove to his companion in the hopes that he would minimize whatever damage the swordsman would likely suffer. On the other hand, Sage could only hope that covering as many vital areas as he could with his two metallic arms and bracing for the inevitable impact would be enough to save his life as the orb ruptured and exploded with hellfire and tremendous force. The impact was more than enough to send someone as heavy as Sage flying, and though Shogun shouldn't have suffered injuries that were especially severe, Athos was sent careening violently down the stairs into the poisonous smog awaiting him below. Each thud against the steps sounded even more painful than the last, but Athos could only allow himself to fall minimize the damage at this point. He would finally come to a stop at the bottom of the temple steps and lied there motionless. Luckily, the Philosopher was still breathing, but in spite of being unable to take the lives of the shogun and his comrade, Lucian had accomplished his goal nonetheless and opened a way of escape. "Graves, now!", Lucian ordered with a shout, unknowingly exclaiming a name that had a very specific meaning to one Fedora Shogun. However, Shogun would not have been given a moment to process the name he had heard before Petros' orders went into devastating effect. From amidst the crowd following and chanting at the will of Meryam arose the towering frame of a figure who was hidden beneath a ragged brown cloak loosely tied around his neck. Though the cloak did well to hide much of his appearance, including his face, sections of the worn bandages which covered his flesh underneath the billowy cloak could still be seen as well as the malicious full-tooth smile that his lips were already curved into. The mysterious figure did not utter a word nor did he wait to receive another order before locating a victim upon which he would exercise his bloodlust and attempt to satisfy that maddening itch clawing at his very being underneath his skin. The unfortunate soul that his focus settled on was one of the magitech riflemen who now lurked a safe distance behind Meryam, attempting to line up a shot and end this madness that would only spread throughout Dougton if left unchecked. this Gaian soldier was quite a distance away, far too distant for any typical swordsman to close the gap before he could get a shot off. It was an unfortunate circumstance that the man who had marked him as a dead man was by no means "typical" or "ordinary" in any sense. The cloaked figure would bend at the knees before launching off the ground in blinding sprint past Meryam, bowling over several members of "goddess'" chorus and leaving behind cracked cobblestone where his seemingly superhuman legs pushed off of to traverse the space between him and his target in only a few strides. The rifleman was not an individual who would typically be caught unawares and was certainly a skilled warrior in his own right, but he had nary an instant to realize what was descending upon him. the Gaian soldier's natural reaction was to defend himself, and so he adjusted his aim to attempt to fire at Graves, but just as his finger began applying pressure to the trigger, his arms from the elbow down went limp. It wasn't hard for the soldier to comprehend what had just happened, the glint of metal in the moonlight just moments before he lost all feeling in his arms was more than enough to know exactly what happened, but that didn't stop him from screaming in more shock than pain as his arms fell lifelessly to the ground. However, his screams would not be allowed to persist as the sound of metal scraping against cobblestone echoed throughout the square just before the now hapless soldier was suddenly ran-through with a sword ablaze. The rifleman's limbs had been severed in one clean stroke, his assailant's inhuman strength allowing him to rend through armor, flesh, sinew, and bone. The adrenaline pumping through his body had not permitted him to become acquainted with the pain of having one's arms removed from their body, but in the moments before his death pain would find him again as the cloaked swordsman hoisted his victim overhead as if the nodachi he wielded was meant to be Pike, blood trickling down and quickly being consumed by the roaring fire along the length of the blade. As if in response to the taste of blood, the inferno seemed to grow erratic and leapt from the sword to consume the defenseless soldier choking on his own blood as he tried to plead for death. He would be mercifully granted his wish as the intense heat of the unnatural blaze which enraptured him turned his body in a coal husk of a corpse. His next target was to his left, a cleric who had seen the entire ordeal and was still scrambling to prepare to defend himself after seeing his ally handily defeated in such a brutal fashion. However, the swordsman didn't invest the effort whet his blade with the cleric's blood, and instead used the man skewered upon his sword as a flaming projectile, viciously whipping his nodachi and sending the corpse hurtling towards the cleric at a speed that couldn't have been suspected, and the cleric didn't, the corpse of his ally landing upon him and allowing to writhing flame to spread over his squirming form and seal his fate. The battle still continued though as a swordsman rushed from the front and a Paladin from behind with a mighty roar that must have instilled fear, or at the very least alarm, in opponents past. However, the swordsman seemed dauntless in the face of their assault, unflinching as he went about his next method of dismantling those who would dare enter into the theater of battle with him. The swordsman would be the first to fall, his eyes widened as he attempted to stop upon seeing what the cloaked warrior held in his free left hand: the magitech rifle retrieved from the "death grip" of his fallen ally's arms. A surge of raw magical energy surged forth from the rifle and easily tore through the armor of the swordsman's cuirass, bringing his attempt to avenge his comrade's to an abrupt end before it ever began. Finally, the unknown warrior would divert his attention to the Paladin charging from behind, throwing the magitech rifle aside and standing perfectly still as the warrior closed in on him. Then, just as the Paladin's morningstar seemed as if it were going to descend upon the head of the cloaked swordsman, the stranger turned on his heel in what seemed like the blink of an eye for the Paladin, the gleam of steel appearing for an instant before his eyes before the sound of something heavy and metallic impacting against the ground met the ears of the Gaian soldier. He didn't have time to realize it, but the swordsman had sliced through the chain of his morningstar long before he had ever connected, and as the Paladin swung through the small portion of chain dangling from the handle of his weapon bounced off of the shoulder of the cloaked swordsman uselessly. Before he understood what had occurred, the Paladin's head fell from his shoulders and rolled across the ground as his body crumpled to the floor lifelessly before being engulfed in the unnatural flames that consumed his allies. Only the cloaked swordsman was left standing there, amidst the blazing bodies of those who had fallen before him which basked him in their eerie glow like torches, the swordsman known as Graves, a fitting name to be sure. However, the jovial, albeit sinister, smile which had adorned his visage seconds earlier had now faded and given way to what seemed to be a crestfallen expression, as if he were dissatisfied with the "battle" that had only really lasted a matter of moments for him. Now looking at the remainder of soldiers on the battlefield, all of who were either engaged with Rinoa, attempting to battle Meryam's angelic forces, or struggling to cope with their symptoms from the poisonous arrows. Now looking at them, he secretly wondered why he ever thought they could offer him any resistance, let alone combat worth his time. Graves gave a heavy groan and a rather disappointed sigh as the flames coursing along hi sword abruptly extinguished on his whim. The swordsman then lifted his gaze towards the middle landing of the temple steps where his master stood, meeting the eyes of Petros, and signaling that it was time to leave. Lucian had not simply sat idle and wasted the opportunity he had afforded himself, though. While Sage and Shogun had been busy recovering, Lucian put his knowledge of geomancy to work, and in an instant, the portion of stone underneath the feet of Kallias, Black, Anafeliz, and himself separated itself from the rock of the stair landing they stood upon. In an instant, the group was airborne and levitating towards one of the alleyways on the opposite side of the that seemed devoid of any enemy presence. Graves perceived the trajectory of where the stone was headed, and swiftly bolted towards the destination where the stone platform would land. As he dashed through the smoke and smog, any poisonous fog in the air seemed to be diverted and consumed by his still drawn sword before he could ever inhale it, what's more, Graves didn't bother to cut down any more soldiers either and instead passed by them or ran them over as a person may an ant as he sprinted through the dense smoke in a blur. Meanwhile, Lucian and company glided over the smog, soldiers, and even Meryam below without injury or cause for worry, until the stone slab they stood upon suddenly jerked as if it had been thrown off-balance. Petros glanced over the side to where the new weight was evidently coming from, his eyes widening when he saw Sage Athos dangling off the side with his metallic digits dug deep into the stone. As the fiend looked down upon the man gripping the side of what should have been his escape route, it was evident that Sage had sustained injury from his fall down the temple steps and the earlier hellfire bomb. Sage's clothes, specifically his leather trench coat, were littered with holes which still exhumed smoke. Underneath, his body bore the scars of intense burns in several spots where the hellfire had reached. The Philosopher also seemed to have suffered a blow to the head while tumbling down the steps, as a small portion of hair had already been caked in blood. And yet, the most noticeable thing the fiend could discern about this man were his eyes, eyes that were still alight with an inhuman determination that was wholly focused on Lucian Petros. It was the determination in those eyes that had allowed Sage to tap into his superhuman strength and make the leap necessary to catch Lucian's slab of stone before the devil escaped, and it was that gleaming determination and unfettered focus that filled the revenant with the smallest amount of fear for the first time since he had returned to the land of the living. It was that sensation, that inkling of hesitation that Athos instilled within him that caused Lucian's blood to boil, and now it was Lucian who was beginning to become enraged, as his brow furrowed and nose crinkled in disgust at the sight of the man dangling almost helplessly. "Maybe I wasn't clear enough earlier for someone like you to understand." Lucian with venom almost seething from every syllable as he drew his sword from the cane he held, "You're 'adventure' with that samurai friend of yours ends here, and if he wants to keep his life then he won't make the same mistake as you have and will forget about the Lords of Purgatory altogether." Lifting his sword with a wide sadistic smile and the tip pointed directly at Sage's maw, Lucian intended to skewer the length of his blade through the head of Athos as he hung there with so seemingly no way to defend himself, not unlike how someone may impale a fish left to dry on the land, but Sage was not as defenseless as Lucian believed him to be. With a single mighty thrust, Petros plunged his sword downwards at the Philosopher, but its edge would never meet the flesh of Athos but clash with metal instead. Sage had stopped the sword mid-thrust with his own free hand, catching and grasping the blade tightly until the piece of metal began to twist and bend in his iron grasp. Lucian's crimson eyes stared down at Athos in shock, and for the first time since he had arrived in Dougton Petros feared for his own life for the briefest of instants as he gazed into the piercing silver of Sage's eyes, Philosopher responding with a threat of his own, "I will never stop hunting you. Wherever you go, whenever you lay your head down to sleep at night, know that I'm out there and I'm coming to kill you, Always." It was the first time the fiend had ever had a chill run up his spine, but, much to his contentment, he would soon be rid of the Philosopher. Almost as soon as the words had left his mouth, Sage's eyes opened wide as a sudden jolt of pain shot through his side. Glancing down, he would see that a small dagger had found itself lodged between his ribs, "W-what!? How did that-!?" Gritting his teeth and grunting in pain, he felt his grip on the side of the stone slab weaken as his body strained against the piece of metal shifting inside his guts. Sage could only presume that the knife had been thrown and looked towards where it appeared to have originated from, but he didn't have to look hard to see exactly who the culprit was. Still standing just outside the small alleyway where Lucian's stone was headed towards was none other than the mysterious swordsman, whose name Athos still did not know and his arm still outstretched after throwing the knife. Graves stared back at up at the cybernetic warrior hanging from the side of the levitating stone, not aware of his name either but in silent admiration of his perseverance. Sage had bigger problems at hand to deal with though, which he would become aware of as the sound of metal scraping against metal hit his ears. The sound drew his attention back to Lucian who taken advantage of the Philosopher's loosened grip and freed his sword from his grasp. Petros would not offer Sage an opportunity to strike back again, using his geomancy to shatter the portion of stone the metallic fingers of Athos had entrenched themselves within. Without a means to keep him anchored to the slab, and far too preoccupied with his injuries and pain to come up with a solution on the spot, Athos fell from the levitating stone and plummeted into the smog below, the revenant's crimson eyes watching Sage's descent with disdain for the man but relief for being rid of him as well. The stone slab would reach its destination from there without incident, gliding across the top of Kallias' poisonous smog and landing just outside of its range within the alley. The stone that the Lords of Purgatory and Kallias had been standing on crumbled apart upon landing, and just as soon as they had sure footing, Lucian began speaking once again as he helped Anafeliz off of the pile of rubble, "Well as much as I'd love to sit here and chat, I don't believe that man and his friend are through pursuing us, so we should begin moving as swiftly as possible." Once Anafeliz was on sure footing, Lucian turned to Kallias, "I do not particularly care whether you follow us, decide upon your own escape route, or return to the square to be serenaded by Meryam's choir boys, but from here our business is concluded and I will make no special effort to ensure your well-being." Petros turned towards the hulking man standing at the entrance of the alley, "Graves, if you could be so kind as to seal the entrance from our pursuers, that would be most kind of you." Graves promptly followed orders, allowing Kallias to pass should he have decided to return to the square as well as Rinoa should she have decided to follow Lucian and company in out of the square. Before sealing the path, Graves' gaze found the man who was known as Fedora Shogun, who was undoubtedly recovered or at least recovering at this point. The cloaked swordsman's eyes lingered upon him for a moment, and the glint of teeth could be seen from under the hood covering his face, whether in a smile or barred teeth was unknown. It was then that Graves would quickly drag the edge of his nodachi across the cobbled street underfoot as if it were a flint striking stone, causing sparks to fly just before a roaring wall of flame erupted from the stone to keep any would-be pursuers at bay. Finally, Graves would turn from the entrance of the alley and rejoin his comrades, hoisting the unconscious form of Black upon his back as the Lords of Purgatory disappeared into the night... Back in the square, Sage lay prone in the midst of the smoke riddled with poisonous fog. Whether he was near one of the points where an arrow had landed was pointless now, he knew he had inhaled the smog at some point. He did not know if his usual constitution could withstand this arcane inhalant as it would a normal poison, but he couldn't allow that unknown to cause him to hesitate while that fiend attempted to escape. With a pained groan, Athos forced himself to his hands and knees and took hold of the knife within his gut. Athos took several breaths in preparation, but that still didn't stop him from wincing and letting out a small cry of pain as the piece of crude metal slipped out of his abdomen. The blade hadn't penetrated deeply, and it had luckily missed his kidneys and liver, it was only a flesh wound. Still, Sage didn't want to be bleeding all over the place any longer than he had to. Throwing the knife aside, Athos placed his right hand over the injury in his left side, his aura, or electromagnetic field if you prefer, began to condense in his palm, slowly gathering the necessary electric potential until finally a small plume of searing hot white plasma erupted from his palm and towards the stab wound, cauterizing it in an instant. A restrained yelp of pain escaped from Sage as be briefly fell back to the ground before picking himself up moments later, now sweating bullets from the pain. The pain would subside in time, though, now that the wound was sealed. But now he now he had a decision to make, and a tough one at that. Sage looked up from the cobblestone towards the woman, the supposed "goddess", Lucian had referred to as Meryam, below her an assembly of what were no doubt hypnotized residents of Dougton now under her influence. Yet even as he looked upon her and the helpless people under the influence of her hypnotic siren song, he also knew that Petros and his Lords of Purgatory were creating an increasingly large distance between them and Athos, and would only go on to bring about tragedies like this and the events in Casper wherever they went. Athos couldn't leave these people under Meryam's sway and allow the situation here to further deteriorate, but he couldn't allow the Lords to escape either. However, just as he seemed to be struggling with the decision most, a familiar voice spoke to him, "Athos! On your feet, we haven't lost yet!" Lifting his gaze to his right Sage saw him, the Commander of these Gaian soldiers, the man that Sage had pushed to engage these monsters. By now the toxin in the air should have brought this man to his knees, but the glowing runes tracing across his armor were the telltale signs of a ward, a ward likely cast by one of the many Paladins or Clerics on the battlefield, or perhaps the Commander himself. It was this ward which now kept the poison at bay, but for how long was uncertain. "Come Athos, we haven't got all night! That bastard is escaping, we have to pursue!" The look in the Commander's eyes as he looked down at Sage was filled with desperation, and it wasn't hard to see why. All across the square, his men were either dead, dying, or struggling against the enemy as poison pumped through their system. It was a losing battle that had already cost this Commander many good soldiers today, and the target they had all died trying to pursue was escaping. And at the end of the day, the blame rested solely on Sage for dragging them into this mess, and he knew that. It was a burden that weighed heavily on him as the Commander of dying soldiers looked down at him with frantic, reckless eyes. Sage's own guilt and the way this Commander looked at him made the next thing he was about to say even more difficult, "Retreat." The Commander's eyes widened at what he heard as Sage managed to get to his feet, clutching his side as he looked at the Commander with a forlorn expression that somehow seemed as if it had grown used to seeing that sort of shocked reaction the Commander had. "No." The Gaian soldier softly said at first, "W-we can't turn back now, not after everyth-" "Stop." Athos suddenly interjected, "Save me the lecture about sacrifice, I'm already well acquainted." The words of Athos were at the surface cold, soulless, but the expression on his face lent one to believe that actually saying them was something he truly didn't want to do. "how can you say that when you're the one who told us to charge into this quagmire?" The Commander looked at Sage's seemingly depressed demeanor with one of rage, "I should have never listened to a vagabond like you in the first place! You've led us to ruin!" "Call your men back." Sage said calmly, in spite of the visibly mounting fury on the Commander's face, "Your men aren't the last defense for this City Commander. The city guard should be here within minutes, if not sooner, but they don't know what they're headed into. Regroup with them so that they can prepare to retake the square." Tear's of anger, frustration, and regret began streaming down the Commander's face, "Defend Dougton, make sure no one else dies who doesn't have to. The Shogun and I will pursue the target and company." Hatred boiling forth, the soldier finally snapped and rushed forward, dropping his weapon before taking Sage by the collar of his coat with one hand and another drawn back to strike Sage, "I knew it, you just wanted to capture him for yourself then huh!? It's all about that reward money on his head then!? It's always about the payoff with your type, and I'd just get in the way of that!" Then just as he was about to put his fist to the jaw of Athos, the Philosopher spoke, "I just want to make sure he doesn't cause any more pain in this world, Commander." It was then that the Commander noticed it, Sage wasn't resisting in the slightest, Athos was just staring down at him with that same forlorn expression. the Commander clenched his teeth, and Sage did the same as the soldier's fist finally came into contact with his jaw. There was no attempt made to avoid or soften the blow on the part of the Philosopher, all except for that same desolate stare aimed at the Subjugation Squad Commander. "Stop looking at me like that, damn it!" The Commander said as he finally released his hold on Sage, who limply fell to the ground as the Commander looked down upon him with a still clenched fist, the soldier's tears dried now, "I'm not a wounded puppy, I don't need your pity." Athos sat up from the ground, wiping a small stain of blood from the corner of his mouth "Then why are still standing there like you don't already know what needs to be done?" "Tch!" The Commander spat, "You're a real piece of work, you know that?" the Commander angrily picked up his sword, his anger spent and exercised upon the jaw of Athos. Sage didn't bother to look at him now as the Commander paced past him, leaving the Philosopher with a few parting words, "If you do manage to catch up to Lucian, I hope he tears both of you apart." "Be careful what you say, Commander. For the sake of people like your men and those in Casper, I hope you're wrong about that." The Commander stopped, his grip silently tightening around his sword before he turned to look down at the vagabond who had convinced him to throw his men into this madness, but Sage was not. Looking up, the Commander saw that he was already several paces away, dusting himself off and seemingly unfazed, and he was unfazed, at least physically. But, underneath the surface, a tempest was brewing and beckoning for retribution, and Sage was determined to get it no matter how much of Lucian's black blood he had to spill. The Commander huffed and turned, deciding Sage wasn't worth any more effort than what he had already said and done, before finally calling to his men to retreat. Some hesitated, but all would follow their Commander's orders, and soon the square began emptying as the soldier's retreated, leaving Meryam and her choir of indoctrinates to their machinations. Meanwhile, Sage went about trying to find where Shogun had ended up in this mess. "Shogun!" Sage shouted out into the smog, "We have to hurry, the guard will arrive soon to take care of this mess but we have bigger problems!" The air around Sage suddenly began to heat up before snapping and crackling with electrical energy laced with his own aura's influence, forcing the choking poison in the air away from him as he continued to shout out towards wherever Shogun was...
  11. I'm working on one final post I owe before I get started on this one. My due date is tomorrow correct?
  12. Rocks fall, everyone dies, the end. Canonize it.
  13. I apologize, I hope what I wrote makes up for it in some capacity.
  14. A wave of relief washed over Felix as he sensed the presence of Kaylia's consciousness approaching, and then began to get a bit nervous as it increased in speed. "Oh-wha-wait a sec! I haven't made enough room for the two of us yet! I still have to move the pool table and-" Before Nevallis had the opportunity to finish his newest eccentric and inane rant, the body he was currently inhabiting was abruptly invaded by the she-elf's spirit, or rather it was simply repossessed by the rightful owner. Luckily for Kaylia's patience, the sudden surge of her psychic energy blasting into her own body creating enough "white noise" and confusion for Felix's bizarre rhetoric to be cut short, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the Philosopher was just drowned out; without the need to ask first, the invasive presence that was the consciousness of Nevallis had been instantly forced away from the metaphorical controls of the elf woman's body in favor of its natural administrator before she ever had the opportunity to ask. Of course, none of this was actually her fault since she couldn't have stayed in Felix's body given the circumstances, but that didn't make it any less terrifying as Nevallis' consciousness wrapped itself around Kaylia's just so he wasn't flung to gods-know-where by the psychic whirlwind her sudden entrance had caused. Thankfully, the metaphysical tempest didn't last for too long, and Nevallis was able to release his vice grip on the elf's spiritual projection. Unfortunately, now she could hear everything he said once again, "Well, you certainly know how to make an entrance, even if it was at my peril." "That spell you cooked up seems legitimate to me, so you definitely won't have to worry about me getting in your way, at least not on purpose." Felix said rather indifferently, offering no resistance when she began seizing full control over her body, "Just don't blame me if you have to change your pants after that stunt you pulled, I was still technically in control of your body at the time." With that last nugget of "wisdom" provided, Felix began to recede into the arcane channels of Kaylia's body, hopefully avoiding any more psychic tempests but certainly giving the elf woman the ample amount of "space" she required in this non-physical projection of her mind; it seemed that the more prevalent his presence was around her, the more discord he threatened to cause within her own body, but as he did he heard her voice echo throughout the channels of this strange ethereal realm they now drifted through within her own mind... "I'm afraid I can't do that at this juncture miss." Felix said with an unusually stern voice for the typically jovial individual, "The only magic that I have access to at this moment is that of your body's, so any magical boost that I might offer would only hamper our battle against time." What's more, the Philosopher was nervous that if he attempted to lend any type of aid that he would incidentally cause an aberration in the spell structure, which could potentially turn all of the parties affected by this body switch into a puddle of steaming flesh gelatin. Of course, Nevallis would never communicate this to Kaylia, she already had quite a bit of pressure on her shoulders as it was. "You wouldn't need my help anyways miss!" Felix began, his voice and demeanor once again whimsical, "This is your body, and you've cast thousands of spells with it already, I'd only get in the way anyways!" It was obvious that Nevallis was trying to calm Kaylia's nerves, but his words also felt genuine, and that was because they were. Felix wholeheartedly believed that this woman could pull this spell off, she just needed to prove him right.
  15. I guess that means it's my turn again. I'll post as quickly as I can within the next three days.