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THE_BULL

[Quest] To BECOME DEATH...

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Shanna takes in his appearance, the noticeable changes, the way he doesn’t enrage at her earlier insults…It’s different, and different isn’t something Shanna particularly cares for. At least, not in the present. Instead she pauses at his words, mouth agape like a fish out of water.

“Ten thousand years?! That’s so long! Why would they hold you that long? How are you still alive after all that time?” Shanna questions with a dubious look. The ever-changing visage shifts as she barrages him with her questions, before her cheeks puff quite a bit, making her look like an angry chipmunk.

“I’ll beat them up for you!” She offers sincerely, even as she deflates. “I had noticed that you moved, but I didn’t realize why…this place seems nice enough! I like your trees, anyway!” She prattles on for a moment, pausing to accept a beverage of some sort and guzzle it as they move. “Oh, Brutus?” Here Shanna frowns, brows furrowing deeply as the woman contemplates the best way to explain the absence of her once familiar, turned traitor.

“I…banished him.” She states plainly, though there is sorrow and pain etched in the lines of her face should one look closely enough. The loss of a familiar to a witch or mage was as though losing a piece of their own soul. Though Brutus had not been her full familiar, the loss had been great. “A true familiar can’t hurt their mage or witch…” Her hand moves to her wrist, drawing back to reveal the scars of the hellhounds’ giant maw. They are gnarled and vicious, wrapping up her forearm like a vile tattoo. “When he attacked me, I knew then that he wasn’t my true familiar and banished him. Not before he left some marks, though. Of course, that was after the banshee ruptured my eardrums, too….Queen Gabriela fixed that, though. She’s so nice.”

Shanna pauses to take another drink, peering up at Bull for a long moment. “I like the beard.” She finally decides. “It fits you a lot better than not having one.”

Priscilla stands vigilant at the head of the hall, awaiting her son and his strange companion. When they finally arrive, she manages a pleasant enough smile to Shanna.

“Welcome to our home once more.”

“Ah! Thank you!” Shanna gasps, before turning to Bull.

“I always forget how pretty your mum is. How did she turn out you?” She teases.

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Her being here had an unexpected but appreciated bonus. Earlier conversations with his mother on the topic of Expanding Taurus' dominion throughout Xaengri-La hadn't gone well. His mother preferred things to occur at a natural pace, where as Proteus preferred to force the issue. Why wait for the inevitable? If it is in fact inevitable, best to face it on your terms then theirs, or so he thought. "Theirs" being the other powers that exist within the limitless vastnesss of Xaengri-La which in essence was in-fact an ethereal realm for this domain. It's heaven, it's hell, it's purgatory--it was here. This lands would be gods, deities and celestials----It's here. His wasn't so much a quest to become "DEATH", but more so to RULE this place in it's entirety and be equally as important. A FORCE of reality with little to no equal and here, in this limitless expansion there were WAYS to do that. Ways his mother did not approve of any better then she did the absolute goal, alas perhaps with Shanna present she;d be LESS intense about it, and easier swayed.

Her joke actually managed to tug chiseled and almost rock like facial features into a smile "Pretty sure you aren't the first to ask that. Give it time, you're around long enough you'll see her say or do things that'll confirm confirm our kinship". His mothers domain in the castle had a different feel and presentation to it. Softer, more regal. A Stark contrast to the cold earth tones of granite or marble and metal that Proteus favored his mother utilized surfaces with greater luster, even if they were of the same composition. Things near her residence had a shine about them. Flowy fabrics, tapestries, statues, glass cases filled with artifacts that believe it or not are items of power that shouldn't be on display---but due to them being more likely to kill one foolish enough to take, then anything they were their own security in and of itself. She had a staggering presence, and being an Elder Celestial in some ways her quantifiable prominence, or energy signature rest for rest, dwarfed Proteus' own. He'd go no more then 3 steps into her main hall before motioning to one of her servants to make her aware of their arrival---if she wasn't already.

 

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It was unlikely that Priscilla would bend simply due to company, if Proteus truly believed such silly notions, then he did not know his mother very well at all. While she might concede an argument in front of pleasant guests, that passiveness would only be tolerated for so long.

Shanna cants her head to the side, first to the right, then to the left as though she is seeking some sort of affirmation across his visage, or perhaps simply seeking something that isn’t there any longer.

“You seem…tired.” She comments after a moment. Afterall, where was the man who raged in violent tornado like nature who promised death and destruction wherever he had gone? The person that sat in his place was calm, deliberate, and in comparison, well thought. Shanna found this ideal more terrifying than the one who leapt head first into even the most ridiculous of situations.

“You should drink more caffeine! I recently discovered coffee, and it’s uuhhhh-mazing!” She chirps, making a grand motion with her arms, as though the last thing in the world she truly needed was caffeine. The servant motioned does not move, instead stays rooted to the spot. He did not need to move, for Priscilla was already there, awaiting them. She stood regally, her hands clasped in front of her as the ever familiar cover over her gaze is set into place.

“I see you’ve brought your friend, Proteus. It is a pleasure to see you again.” The woman states, and Shanna offers a dubious look. The last time they had met, Priscilla had threatened Shanna’s very existence, forgive her for doubting the sincerity of the Queen’s words.

“IT’s a pleasure to meet you again as well!” She curtsies, despite her suspicion. Priscilla seems content with this course of action for now, as she motions.

“Do you intend to stay long?” The Queen asks, peering at both her son and the strange mage beside him. Shanna’s power fluxes, and her visage shifts once more as a vapid smile caresses her visage.

“Only if I’m allowed, of course. I am still technically on a mission, afterall. I just was in the neighborhood and wanted to see how my ol’ buddy was doing!” Her hand slapped onto Proteus’ back, though pathetic and weakly in comparison to his larger stature.

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He hadn't given Shanna a verbal response, his face contorted a bit and he found her comment unexpected but amusing nonetheless. He scoffed out a chuckle before running knuckle of his index finger beneath his nose---in truth he was hiding his smile. She internally questioned where the Proteus of Old had gone, and internally he constantly struggles what he's grown into. 10,000 years changes people. It can and will change anyone, and for him it provided alot of growth, understanding, maturity and above all-----Power and composure. IF there was any insecurity in him now, as his hardened face softens to smile at her as it used to before----It's only because he now he remembers how much he actually missed that time spent with this unpredictable and much appreciated friend. So it was of no surprise that he'd have chimed in after her, "Stay as long as you'd like, you know id never turn you away..."

He'd have taken a brief look at his mother before staring out through the window out onto the Kingdom, "There is quite the mission brewing actually. Me and The Queen are at a crossroads as to how it should be handled. Perhaps another's perspective could shine line on an angle we both missed." He'd have turned and looked to the center of the room and raise his right hand in the simplest of gestures, triggering a minute spark of anima---the likes of which reacted with the technology present here to trigger a full, almost planetarium like scenario the likes of which both of them were now immersed into. If Shanna' was amazed at Proteus' nature up to this point, she'd be outright floored at the notion at Proteus' capacity for manipulating free flowing mysticism, and spell casting and rendering with or without runes, or technological assistance.  "As i've told you before one of the things I did upon my return was literally move the kingdom from Genesaris to a place called Xaengri-La. At the time I was unaware, bewildered and exhausted and at a very weak point, yet and still i mustered up enough effort to transport the entirety of this place into a safe-zone of sort, beyond and out of the reach of man."..

He'd sigh as Images of various creatures, Demons, Hollows, Devils, Deities and Gods were shaped in the Quasi-Fiber Optical display with information rendered on each specimen based on intel gathered on encounters. "Or so I thought. I merely traded one domain for another, and sat thing kingdom onto a vacant lot within a limitless expansion of this worlds equivalent of the "Spiritual realm". Heaven, hell. Gods, Angels, Devils and Demons, the after-life. It is all here, and these inhabitants can be far more unruly and far more dangerous then any mortal. " He'd pause a moment before continuing. "I've had my encounters. All with success. In comparison to most or the majority of things here, I am vastly superior in every aspect and measurement of power and potential but as they always say, there is always something out there....someone....that may have your number, and I believe we have met on at least one occasion. A figure. Unrecognizable. His signature read like nothing else i've encountered here and while he was not my physical match, he utilized power and mysticism on par and I could not EASILY dispatch him...dare i say he wielded might on par with my own mother. "

He'd let that moment sink in, as most in this kingdom would believe that Proteus was the most powerful inhabitant of Taurus and depending on what was being measured, one would be correct. Physically, he has no equal here. However his mother, AN elder Celestial FAR greater in age and experience then he, far eclipses his TALENT for Sorcery and Spell casting, and the manipulation of mystical energies with almost no limits. It was his MOTHER after-all who placed the brands on him as a child to keep his power in check as he grew. It is said that she has snuffed out entire solar systems on a whim. Quelled black holes and stripped the dark-matter from entire galaxies as she fought side by side with Proteus' father for their survival, and he knew...better then most, especially after coming into his own, that to think she anything near diminished would be folly. Celestials Get more Prominent with time, more vibrant, more vigorous, more capable. 

"Whatever it is, it needs to be dealt with before it decides to deal with us, and worse still I believe that the same mysticism utilized to keep ME, due to my elevated stature from directly interacting with the realm of man, applies to it. Except that when I came upon the figure it was actively attempting to break it, and may have had some degree of success. I reckon that wouldn't be any good for the realm of man...about as bad as if I myself were unleashed with ill intent upon them, and so....some form of action must be taken."

 

 

 

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Shanna’s gaze widened in surprise and awe as the world around them shifted into a different view. She looked upon it in curiosity as she considered the weight of Bull’s words. Twirling a finger through a planetary system, Shanna furrows her brows and contemplates.

“Well…if you wanted to be proactive, I guess you could go after this thing first…” IT was Priscilla’s turn to frown, knitting brows together as hands clasped tightly in front of her waist. “But, are you absolutely sure? What if, and just amuse me for a moment, you’re wrong?” Shanna’s dark gaze settles on Proteus then, with a seriousness unlike the chaotic woman.

“What if it’s their purpose? To become food or fodder for this creature?” Her head cants to the left, and then to the right as a finger raises to tap her lower lip. “Maybe that’s all they’re meant to be, why interfere at all?” Though the jovial woman remains, something sinister and dark had wound itself into her soul.

Or perhaps she was simply trying to play the devils’ advocate. Priscillas lips purse together as she considered the words of the mage. This had been her stance, it was not their place to get involved – perhaps it was selfish, garnered from the fear of losing her son – but she saw no reason to stretch themselves beyond their own kingdom at the time being. They had much to solve here, without reaching beyond their means. She is quiet for a moment, before her hand reaches out and daintily plucks a single strand of Shanna’s hair from her head. Shanna blinks in surprise, staring at the sightless woman for a moment before leaning forward a tad.

“If they challenge you, however, …I vote you burn them to the ground.” A sinister smile worms its way along her visage. Priscilla sighs heavily.

“I must disagree. We have much to do here, and your friend is clearly not thinking straight. Perhaps more thought should be given to the problem at hand instead of being rash and simply spewing the first thoughts that come to your silly little head.” The Elder snaps at Shanna, who gives her a vapid stare before that smile curls along her lips once more.

“Why? The first thought is usually what you truly believe anyway.” It was clear the two might argue around one another all night if they were allowed. Priscilla was not intent on amusing this train of thought any longer, however, and her hand fell to her side, allowing Shanna’s hair to fall back to her shoulders as her sightless gaze moved towards Proteus.

“This is ridiculous. I refuse to entertain this notion. Destruction begets destruction,  and someone will lose, and when that happens another creature will be there to fill the void. This is how the universe works. Vacuums of power rarely stay empty for long.”

“Of course they don’t. The powerful will always have places in the universe, but I don’t see any reason to keep Bull from doing what he wants. But then, this isn’t my land, So I don’t really care what happens. My God keeps us safe in Genesaris.” Shanna states, her tone nearly scathing. “Why would you make it so Bull is devoid the chance of doing the same?”

“You are so small and young, you don’t understand anything. Much less anything of love.” Priscilla hisses, her temper nearing it’s peak. It is unlike his mother to become riled and short with anyone, much less a guest, but Shanna presses on buttons that Priscilla had thought to be better buried. Shanna genuinely looks hurt for a moment, and Priscilla presses forward.

dColuOR.jpg“Afterall, how could an orphan know of the sacrifices a parent would make?” Shanna visibly winces at that slung insult but does not back down. Instead, she lifts her head a tad higher, and stares down the Celestial as though she has discovered something distasteful on her shoe.

“I understand hindering, and preventing someone from reaching their potential well enough, parent or not.” The mage states, her fingers dancing along her palms in an itch to cast. She refrains, only barely, out of respect for Proteus. “But that’s not the matter at hand, is it? You don’t want him to face this creature.”

“Of course I don’t, you stupid girl.” Priscilla states. “It is a foolish endeavor.”

“It’s not. Not if that’s what he wants. Who cares if he dies? He died doing what he wanted, at least.”

“Still your tongue, wench.” Priscilla hisses, a serpentine, terrifying sound as the shadows of the room seem to grow – menacing and dreadful. Priscilla rises to her full height, a deep breath drawing into her lungs before she casts her magic. “You should not speak of such things you do not know.”

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This was a jousting session that he did not want to spectate. He barely had the constitution to sit idle and hear their points. Sifting through the malice and venom laced verbal lances, hoisted and thrown at one another. Wicked linguistic javelins sailing through tension thick airspace seeking out the warm bosom of a would be target, yet each time meeting a superior defense. Save for a 1 or 2 moments, where he could see his own mother's resolve shaken briefly and Shanna's jubilant nature soured and darkened by a touched nerve. From each of their relative stances he had found a point of clarification but would have to halt this tsunami before it built to much momentum, empowering his voice so that it resonated from all directions and all places, rather then just to be heard from his mouth. "ENOUGH..."

The word came briefly, and explosively. Felt in the floors and walls which shook, albeit subtly. A word in which it's sound displaced the air in the room temporarily, forcing a wind over the two women at odds. A few scant seconds of silence after their clothing and the curtains rested again and he'd have spoken his points, first to Shanna. "In truth my friend, you're god is in as much danger as anything else here, for when and if this thing was to have it's way and cleansed this place of all possible resistance, and spilled into the world of man and across all , do you think it will ignore your gods? you? No. To be truthful, beings such as this thing....myself included. Deities.  We are BOUND to places like these because our prominence is a threat to EVERYTHING left uncheck and so, EVERYTHING should be treated with at least that much more consideration, and not so easily written off..."

His arms would cross behind his back and his eyes would move to the floor before sweeping upward to stare at his mother. 10,000 years out of her sight and guidance. 10,000 years a slave in their Native realm where the remnants of their race, opposed to his fathers Ideals and his sworn enemies conspired and contemplated revenge for their failure, unleashed upon Proteus every punishment, trial and tribulation they could muster. He emerged from Terrestia-Prime, reforged and born anew. No longer a Juvenile of his race but a matured Adult, prominent and improved in every way over the form that left his mother then. 10 years to her....10,000 to him, and it hadn't dawned on him until now that her apprehensions toward sending him off into combat were at an all time high. Maybe he had been looking to far into things, or maybe his elevated perception was ringing true, but ontop of understanding what her son was NOW, was combined with an superior understanding of whatever the being abroad was, put her in an awkward state.

His voice was like gravel. Low, rough, almost as painful to hear come together as it was for him to speak the words being unearthed. "If I may mother, I have to say that i have learned something today. As a child, and the transitions afterward it was you who'd watch me face trials and tribulations of varying magnitude. I was 5 when you sent me to Tartarus. 6? I climbed to the top of Mt. Olympus from the pits of Hades itself. The Ents of Ewyron. The Forgotten One....I can go on and on about how many confrontations i've went head long into where death was almost certain and you never batted an eye. Until now, until now i've never seen you Question it. Until now i've never seen you in denial. What do you know mother, your powers of perception far outweigh mine, what do you know of the enemy that you are not sharing?...

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As hair twisted this way and that, Shanna paused with the viscious jab she had prepared for Priscilla, only to stare blankly at Bull before she drew back her lips into a grimace, which turned into a laugh.

“Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes Gods need to die too. Everything must end, right?” She states, though there is bitter truth in the words. Priscilla scowls at this, arms folding over her chest like a petulant child.

“Still, I never said I disagreed with you. If anything, I do agree that something should be done. It was your mom that would argue otherwise. Though…if you say it’s as strong as it is, maybe you need more than just yourself to take it down?” She offers, the hamster wheel of her brain working into overdrive.

“This is nonsense.” Priscilla huffs, before opening her mouth, only to snap it closed as Proteus’ addresses her. With a sigh, her arms drop to her sides and a shrug accompanies the motion.

“Why do you even bother to ask, Proteus? You will simply do the exact opposite as what I have recommended, as you always do. As must all children, I suppose.” This is accompanied with an irritated noise. It is unlike his mother to be so irritable and bothered. One might assume she is even uncomfortable in her own skin as her form shifts once more.

“I know of powers greater than yours, of power that remain untested. Even while bound this creature is a match for you. I know that rushing headlong into this will be the death of the man I call my son.” It is curt and cold, her unseeing gaze settling upon his proud form.

“Maybe that’s the problem,” Shanna quips. “Maybe you don’t want to see how strong Bull is now.”

Be Quiet.” Priscilla growls at Shanna, who merely offers her hands up in a ‘whatever’ motion. Priscilla draws in a deep breath before speaking. “This is…beyond the scope of my perception. I cannot fully perceive what it is, or the powers it possesses. I cannot see who the victor will be when the hammer falls.”

And the truth of her despair is brought to light for her son and his friend to see. This, however, she is unashamed of. Several times has his mother admitted her love for him having been the sole reasoning behind decisions – it was no different now.

Shanna softens a bit, her gaze settling on the celestial for a moment before turning to Proteus.

 "I suppose that's answer enough, innit?" Shanna asks, straightening as she twirls a strand of hair around a finger. 

"Still...if you're gonna do it....ya shouldn't do it alone." 

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The totality of their words realized he slowly waved his hand and with it dispatched the display and permitted himself a moment to display some sort of frustration. The moment came and went at pace, He'd have stood there and displayed an action scarcely seen, that just earlier perplexed his friend to whom which was perplexed by the man before her now. Perhaps his mother had not realized but her son had changed in more ways then one.-----He thinks now. If we may go back to the moment that Proteus had returned from his entrapment in Terrestia, not more then tick swing on the clock after moving this realm from Genasaris to where it resided now, he, The King went on a warpath like none had never seen. It was unlike anything ever seen, not due to the intensity or magnitude of any destruction or violence accustomed to Proteus' previous outburst, no. It was because of how much destruction and violence it LACKED. Proteus had retreated to his throne room and coldly and methodically called forth over 175 officials, soldiers, council, law enforcers, servants and clerks-----who' were discovered to be part of a growing CANCER in his kingdom, and with a surgeon's prowess CUT THEM OUT.

The look on his face. The poise of his posture. The unfathomable calm washing over him. They'd expect him to move so violently in one direction would they be alarmed to see how smoothly he swung in the total opposite direction. All that came to mind was one thing. One statement. One thought process. Before he would do anything, be it nothing and ignore the being, or engage him head on in total disregard to his mothers wishes, he would-----"Know thine enemy....."

It was imperative that Proteus KNEW who or what he was dealing with and knew specifically one way he could find out JUST that, and with that the King took his exit, storming out of the room, and toward his own domain within this massive castle...

 

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Priscilla pauses when her son sweeps from the room. Instead of deterring his movement away from her, the Queen merely clasps her hands in front of her and lets him go, knowing full well the weight of his path.

Shanna, however, bounces after him and offers a soft noise as she leaps, scrambling up his massive back to perch herself upon his shoulder. Dangling her feet down his chest, Shanna wiggles until she is comfortable.

RRnYLGF.jpg“So where we going?” She questions as they travel through the monstrous hallways and tunnels of the castles. While Priscilla’s domain is brighter and more welcoming, Bulls has become darker since his return. The difference doesn’t seem to bother Shanna as they pass gated windows and closed shudders. Instead, the woman shifts and hums a bit as they progress towards the Well of Infinite Knowledge. This will be the fourth time she has witnessed a God, and she looks forward to whatever adventures Bull intends to pull out of his pockets.

She twists, head dropping down into his peripheral as a grin lights her visage.

“So what’s the plan? Are you gonna take on the big baddie?” She questions, even as she leaps from his form, catapulting in front of him. She tumbles with her landing and rolls back into a stand, hair askew atop of her head.

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She was perched and he was on the move. His footsteps had purpose, many of the grounds keepers, servants and clerks were well aware of his impending approach before even seeing the Titan round the bin. Without any fear that any of them would linger in his path lest they be trampled where they stand his speed and direction carried on without deviation. It had been quite some time since anything had aroused his interest, let alone set him on the path of discovery and having Shanna at his side yet again brought about an welcomed nostalgia. "As far as where we are going, it's to the Earthern Realm, more specifically the Egyptian Patheon. To seek out Thoth, the God of Knowledge.  Seems counter productive to ask a being less powerful then I for help with such a thing but Thoth is unique even among his kind and is blessed with Universal Knowledge and Omniscience on a whole other level, he truly does keep with his namesake. I do intend on taking on the big baddie, but i have to know WHO and WHAT it is im facing to do so, i learned next to nothing the last time we fought save for the fact that physically he is NOT my match in any way shape or form, but he has other gifts.....spectacular ones I can't quite get around and barely could neutralize. My mother could very well tell us WHO or WHAT and WHERE, but she isn't, and im sure she has her reasons. I'll find out on my own..."

When and where needed Proteus would hasten their travels, such as the grand stair way he cleared in a single leap. As well as the bridge running from the main tower to the 4th, where at the highest point in the said tower they'd find themselves entering another room which was alot like the one they left recently in audience with the queen. This was different however. Where as the room prior consisted of refracted light, and energy constructs to mimic the presence of space, this room----was literally outer-space. An anomaly. A phenomena of quasi-mystical construction and design. It served the purpose of keeping just anyone from being able to utilize this place as if someone could not survive the vacuum of space they couldn;'t even enter this airless, soundless, lifeless place, let alone spectate the stars and wonders it had. At the center of the room was a circular opening in the floor with clear waters moving around in a whirl. "Stay close to me.." he didn't want to risk finding out if Shanna could infact survive the void, instead he'd rather be assured she stays within the confines of the protection spell around her due to her proximity to him. The two of them would approach the waters of the well where upon kneeling, the clear liquid would conform into a swirling mass of obsidian and purple hue's and bathing them both in an almost "Black Light" like illumination. "We will travel through the Well-Realm to gain Audience with Thoth....any other way and he would see us coming and lock himself away. I don't want to have to beat half the patheon into a pulp over a simple question and misunderstanding. We aren't on good terms..."  If Shanna was ready...they'd step into and down into the aperture, transversing themselves into Well Realm...

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