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Lirrey Lines

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Lunara’s suggestion to cut the tree down easily triggered Obtenebra which rippled on his back to reveal the black steel of Oathripper. His massive arm began to reach for the deadly weapon until he noticed Sasha’s scythe deliver a potent blow to the intended target, toppling the tree over. The loud thud didn’t register for Agony as he ogled the shadow creature’s form, a tinge of respect for the power that was just displayed distracting him a bit until he heard the distinct chorus of the townsfolk. The animosity directed toward Sasha began to annoy Agony, Obtenebra still rippling along his back and urging Agony to snuff the mounting threat against the doctor’s minion. The momentary distraction was enough for Agony to be temporarily incognizant of the restoration of the tree until he shifted and noticed it. The amorphous being now began to wonder if the people before him held a similar quality to the tree and whether quartering them relentlessly would be futile in the end.

 

While Karuna seemed to cling on to the notion that they should travel further in to this place, Agony considered his next few options. While he contemplated, Obtenebra began trickling out of Agony’s right heel toward Sasha. The ooze aimed to latch on to the tangible shadows of the creature in an attempt to tether her to him in a tacitly protective gesture though it would aggressively yearn for success should the creature be resistant. Agony, while aware of Obtenebra’s wishes to protect Sasha, decided to respond to Karuna’s suggestion by letting Lunara decide its worth.

 

“If she decides what you suggest is plausible then I will move.”

 

Agony turned his head toward Lunara while speaking to ensure Karuna was aware of who he was referring to. It was not Agony’s intent to demean any of Karuna’s words, however, as was clear when he continued.

 

“Whatever links these pathetic drones is worthy of investigation. This singularity you mention must hold power….power that will be contested should we venture any further.”

 

It was Lunara’s decision to make regardless of whether or not he had any objections. Agony trusted her to wield the power he had given her with this debt wisely.

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The first to respond to her request wasn’t Agony, but the pet, in an incredible display of power. Lunara cupped her mouth with her hand in delighted surprise. She didn’t know the pet was capable of such strength, nor did she know it was so responsive to suggestions which rational beings, like Karuna, would hesitate in doing. 

But the surprise was short-lived. The tree fell, and Lunara furrowed her brow. A door was thrown open. Whoops. The faerie was going to scream at all of them to run, when the cacophony of another dozens of doors and windows being flung open stopped her. Perfectly normal-looking people peeked through the openings, but the way they stared through them and chanted in unison was nothing short of creepy. Turning around, the tree was there, wholesome and well. 

“Ummm. Well, this should prove that this village is abnormal, I.. suppose?” Lunara shook her head. “I don’t sense any illusion. This is happening for real.”

The people continued to stare at the doctor’s pet. Maybe if she made it look like something else? The faerie gathered her magic to cast an illusion over Sasha. There was a slight shimmer over her, and then it disappeared. Lunara tried again, using a stronger form of her magic. Still nothing. She shook her head. “Illusions don’t work here,” she reported.

"Maybe this place is immortal.”

“Time. Time is the thing that is wrong here,” Lunara speculated. “It makes sense, see - a village untouched even when its surroundings are wastelands. Its people, alive, when there’s no food around. A tree that restores itself when cut.”

“If she decides what you suggest is plausible then I will move .”

There it was again, Agony deferring to her judgement. The blob was different now. In the past he would have charged on regardless of what lay forward and what mess he left behind. Lunara was unused to this treatment, even if it was a good thing. It felt strange to have the responsibility put onto her.

Now that Karuna mentioned the web of power, she could feel it too. The little witch noticed it before her? The faerie was a bit sore about that. Nevertheless, she nodded to Agony. “Yes, the power comes from further in. I came in expecting a fight to gain what I want. It makes no sense to quit now that we’re close!” She had seen what Agony could do, and was confident that the combination between her magical senses and his physical prowess would be able to tackle what lay ahead.

Edited by jaistlyn

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Hardly the first time the monstrous shadow had been surrounded and beset on all sides by angry villagers, it surprised even itself when a shiver of fear ran through it.  Unwelcome memories encouraged aversion to the current state of things.  But there was little that could be done now.  The tree was cu- fine?  A subtle dread it hadn't felt since facing the Monster of Monsters with Dawen and the rest washed over the shadow.

Suddenly Obtenebra took hold of one of her shadow tendrils most unexpectedly.  It was rare that anyone grabbed the solid shadows rather than the other way around and the doctor's pet flinched as if expecting pain to follow.  When none did and intent made clear the growing uncertainty in the shadow's mind fell, temporarily abated.  She still had a job to do for Master and she'd see it done.  Trailing after Karuna, she followed the mage deeper into the heart of Lirrey.

 

Traversing the streets of Lirrey comes with no cost or obstruction.  In the direction they're headed at least.  Behind them, the villagers slowly trickle out onto the street as they pass by, steadily growing in number and mass.  They make no aggressive move, just follow, stare, and whisper.  Sinner.  Repent.

Everything seems to converge at the center of town, where old looking church awaits them, almost certainly the focal point for the webs of energy Karuna has been tracing.  Just as it comes into view though, so too does a man.  An elf with dark skin and a severe twitch and a willingness to approach closer than the rest.  Upon his arm is a tattoo of a crude eye surrounded in a pyramid, and that in a circle.  His expression frequently faltered.  This man was different.  Unnatural.  Out of synch.

"S-sinner."  

He stammered out of turn, staring at Sasha.  

"Re-repent."  

Perhaps not so different as he first appeared.  

"Sinner."

There.  For just a brief moment the elf glanced away from Sasha, his eyes imploring as they oh so briefly look towards the edge of town.

"R-re-re-Run."

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The irritation on Karuna's face when Agony referred to Lunara for Karuna's validity was as apparent as the oddity of this village and it's residents, though she shouldn't have expected any less from the Armored Mystery. But Agony followed the statement with acknowledgment of Karuna's theory, which caused surprise that not only he acknowledged her theory in the first place, but also that he shows concern for the powers that envelope this land. That in and of itself gave Karuna reason for concern and she immediately began second guessing the decision to venture this path. Still, this was what they were hired for right? And by the look of the crowd behind them, turning back may not be the best decision. And not once, did she see the library she heard so much about. The very REASON, she came here in the first place. The whole situation was very frustrating. Hopefully they can make this quick so she can have a better look around for this probably, normal looking building.

She came back to herself. Before them was the source. Like a web, the energy pooled into the building, but that was all she could decipher. A church? and an old one at that, contradicting the cottages of the town. She immediately thought of the church in Town she visited once and wondered if there were some correlation. Was it similar in appearance? could this be that odd religion that other church was in relation with? A man approached them, far closer than anyone of the other citizens did. What was peculiar was his ominous tattoo and twitchy disposition. he was different, but whether that was good or not is yet to be discerned. She tensed, taking a calculated step back in case of confrontation, but none came. Still the man put her on edge. When he spoke, it was as if he was resisting something, perhaps the influence of this land. Just for a moment his eyes darted behind them, before coming back to Sasha. She looked where his eyes darted and back at him, just in time for him to say 'run'. It wasn't until he managed to go off script and say 'run' did fear flow through her like the cold of night. Maybe this is how the town gets its victims; directing them to this 'harbor' to become one with it. Convert it to whatever religion this was. She did not want to hear this great gospel.  Hell, she doesn't even want to be here. She woudl much rather search for this library, but now that she is here...

 She gulped as she replied, though she was pretty sure he would not be able to respond in his condition. She remained prepared nonetheless.

"Is this...the Harbor? "

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When Lunara voiced her willingness to fight for the power she sought, Agony’s concern that this trip would ultimately not absolve him of the debt he owed her washed away. The faerie’s commitment to her intended goal reminded him of his own when it came to scraping whatever power he could have gotten from the Black Queen or her fluctuating consorts. Though this was not as grand an undertaking as that had been, Agony felt himself yearning for success. The myriad of townspeople emerging from their homes or places of business were ultimately ignored as the amorphous being considered them fodder for whatever true power he’d be confronted with and was confident he could protect everyone he deemed worthy of protecting within this group. Obtenebra receded back to restore the structure of the armor he wore as he began walking, juxtaposed to Sasha to ensure the creature remained unmolested by the oddity that was Lirrey at this time.

 

Agony found the constant repetition of words from the villagers annoying, wishing he could silence them all on his own terms but that would only exacerbate an already tense situation for the two ladies he travelled with so he refrained for now. Coming up to the large church, there was a tinge of expectation that caused Obtenebra to once again ripple within his large palms as well as along his back. Whether it was paranoia or excitement was unclear, even to Agony who stood firmly behind Karuna at this time while being approached by the tattooed elf. Towering over Karuna, his gaze narrowed at the man as he watched the struggle that presented itself. Defying the programmed response that the weak villagers seemingly could not escape, Agony shifted his gaze in the direction the man had briefly turned to and heard the desperation in the man’s last word.

 

Where any common weakling would have heeded the warning provided, Agony seemed drawn toward confronting whatever powerful force governed these people and time itself. The ancient entity hoped to assume this power for himself or sap whatever he could should the opportunity arise. Whether this desire was born of hubris or a renewed confidence with Lunara at his side would remain to be seen. He began walking past the man and toward the church, looking to enter the building should he not meet resistance. Agony had taken note of the specifics of the tattoo that was visible and the question that Karuna posed about the harbor but he would let the witch take care of that branch of inquiry while he remained vigilant upon his approach to the church itself. Every detail about the building was scrutinized but there was no grotesquerie or horror that would halt his progress…ever.

Edited by Dolor Aeternum

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