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She deigned herself worthy of adding conditions to the proposed agreement, as if her own life were not on the line. Or perhaps she was just that desperate to get to whom ever it was the Dolos had in their possession. While Koji could sympathize with the small Vampire's request, he had his own reputation to uphold. Terrenus was very much ignorant of his existence as opposed to trails he was blazing over seas both in Genesaris and Renovatio of Tellus Mater. As he got his toes wet reacquainting himself with Terrenus, it was important to set the standard from the beginning. Naturally, he wouldn't allow himself to lash out in belligerence, instead he renegotiated the terms altogether. Considering how carelessly she placed her life on the line. He hoped sincerely that whom ever they wished to save was worth it.

"You can have whomever is in their possession, and I'll allow you both a safe retreat so long as I get at least one of each founding family, though more are favorable. If this simple request cannot be met, then the two of you will return to Jigoku no Toshi with me in their stead."

With his terms delivered, he mused over the mystery of just how old this little one was. Was she young and stupid, or old and cunning, abusing her appearance to look weak? Either way, she appeared to be no threat to him. Her display previously was enough to tell him that she couldn't compete in his league, at least not this day. Lifting his right arm of lurid, ebony scales, he turned his smooth palm up and offered his hand to the girl. Otherwise his body remained motionless and otherwise unchanged. His indigo gaze lingering on the girl as she was given the location of another one of her friends. As for his own three men remaining, the Emperor was feeling generous. The Emperor commanded the Tatsuo into retreat with nothing more than his mind, in which they would tell the Tengu Knight of the Heika's orders. The three of them had seen enough action for today and were far too slow to be of any use to him now that he was directly involved himself. The other team of a dozen however continued their pursuits elsewhere.

"Tell me where, and I shall take us there."

thin film of vantablack enveloped his profile. Shortly after, the manifest began to transmute, stretching and tearing as tendrils of shadow blossomed around him, not unlike the nature of a lotus. The appearance of the veil brought with it a drop in the immediate temperature of the room, as well as a subtle dampening of the available light. Whether she was familiar with the sensation of Shadow was beyond him, though considering her heritage, he would imagine that it would feel quite inviting and might actually boon her power however temporarily from her exposure to it. If she were tired or injured, a brief journey through the Plane of Shadows would certainly restore her potentially to some former glory.

"Do not be afraid child of night, you'll find that shadow and the dark have a lot in common."

@bfc @Aleksei @-Lilium- @amenities

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Ribbons of sparkling copper stream through the air and splatter against flesh, stone, carpet, and tapestry alike. The unnatural pairings soon left with searing indentations if only to further scream the lament buried deep within the young woman's bones, ‘I am not human, and now you've done it.

It takes only seconds for the exposed fluid to smoke and burn away, leaving char as the only evidence that something strange has occurred.

Pinpoint accuracy aligned with severe focus leads her to the moment all chaos breaks loose. Her grasp on the situation fraying in snaps of bone, blood, and screams. Which began with an explosion, or perhaps just before.

When she and her crazed army hit the final steps against the one-hundredth floor of the tower, her mental notes on the schematics she was given prepared her for what she would need to do. And perhaps this was her initial mistake. Or maybe it was just a lack of foresight in the frenzy she tosses herself into...

Vampires, newly infected and in the throes of their own rampaging twists and writhing stand in scattered positions throughout the foyer just outside the throne room doors. The remnants of Dolos’ guards that retreated to the area in order to protect their master, or perhaps in search of protection alongside him. Although it does not keep her from her attack on the frame of the door, it does engage her upon release of her personally crafted munitions.

Out of her periphery, she watches as one bounds out of the shadows to her left. But the Apprentice doesn't stop her motions, her arms crossing over one another abreast of her chest, to expand, then roll like waves so the bombwraps are released from the gentleness of her fingers holds.Skulls by Miko�aj Cielniak

As they glide through the air, she loses her left arm. The awkward twist and rip of flesh and the tension against the joint excruciatingly exquisite before it is completely severed from the socket. Like a decorative fountain, copper explodes from the opening, shortly followed by the stark black of abysmal darkness. Those tendrils collected throughout her garments and skin converge on her shoulder, wiggling with crazed ferocity until they're woven together and solidified into the grotesque form of a long black clawed appendage.

Thank you.

Anything for you, my darling.

Although the ghosts of words are clearly exchanged her mental link to her companions is riddled with amused lunacy. Contorted bouts of laughter echo freely and without control across the channel. The true battle for Black Tower has begun. @vielle @bfc @Aleksei @amenities @danzilla3

Carnage fills the area as beings of all types attempt to tear one another limb from limb, many of them succeeding. Howls of agony and enthrallment are the orchestral sounds the Apprentice dances to. Her body turning and spinning, leaping and falling in a bout of actions further propelled by the new growth of a darkly dangerous arm. Razored nails tear into flesh like scalpels to remove body parts, her favorite being the heads. Their point of penetration being at the base of the skull where, with the assistance of her palm and strength of her new arm, pull and peel it from the shoulders of the body in her way; like popping the lid off a can and pulling it back to reveal the contents within.

It is a chaotic frenzy of movement that is momentarily muffled in the face of explosions. Stone and wood suddenly burst from the wall surrounding the door, and are followed by the painful creak and groan of metal as the entirety of the steel door begins to fall inward towards the throne room. This is the Apprentice’s disengaging exit from the fray, as she springs her small body upward and on to it, to ride it in. An entrance made grand by the trumpeting sounds of death and destruction as they funnel into the room and bounce from wall to ceiling, to floor, to wall again.

The infected continuing their rancorous battles, not yet aware of the fresh opening. She lands with the top of the door in a cloud of ash and rubble. The vibrations of which quake the foundation of the entire floor and travel down the tower to die somewhere below. Standing tall and firm in her resolve as her heels clap against the throne room floor, her outline becomes a realistic persona as it is emitted from the remnants of the explosion she’d caused to enter.

Beyond the now stained white of a hooked beak, her eyes roll in the shadowy sockets to pinpoint a cage with a familiar face set behind it. The scent of his essence powerful enough to draw her complete attention.

| Schrei… | @bfc As if more words are needed to express the sight before her. Their extraction target is in danger, and she is saturated in the sensation of ‘other’ in the room. The aura of a monstrously powerful something making itself openly known. Heretic’s position above Nica in an attempt to render him in two, the triggering event of her newfound rage. Realization is evident in that she knows now, that the Heretic had felt their presences and had been waiting all this time for them to make their appearance. Deep down she feels the anger it must feel at not being able to come across Nica’s twin. Her movements are an instantaneous reaction to the threat the vampire poses. As she springs forward she removes her mask, unshoulders the pack, and takes hold of the umbrella she’d tucked beneath her natural arm sometime earlier. Dropping the mask and bag on the floor next to the caged and wounded prisoner as she springs herself toward the infected Dolos. Her currently favored umbrella gripped now in both hands against the horizon that is the floor. The collision of her frame into Heretic’s intent on knocking the vampire away from Nica. @amenities

Without a doubt, her expression states to the Dolos vampire, that she is not, in fact, Cain, but is very much her own entity in service to him as an extension. The Apprentice, though her exposed face is marred by rippling shadows of twisted memory, prepares herself to face off with the purple ringed irises of the crazed being before her. Leaving no room for the maddened creature to strike Nica down without her permission to do so.

During this moment, something intrusive and unkind begins to shred away the layers armoring Nica’s mind its efforts to penetrate his wavering conscious in an unyielding and unforgiving manner. The telepathic communication playing on repeat until it is acknowledged. @amenities

Put on the mask, put pressure on the wound, get up. She says we’re getting you out of here and wants you to know… Cain says ‘hi’.

The message soon ends its cyclic manner as the cloud of debris begins to settle in the blasted doorway. Those Maleficence dripping beings not too distracted by one another find a brand new opening in which to flood their bodies through. Entering the throne room just as quickly as they’d poured through the hallways.

Without so much as a thought, if Nica isn’t already attempting to clamber to his feet. The Apprentice is laying a gloved hand upon his upper arm to assist him. “It’s time to go.”


8 Bombwraps each consisting of: BombinoStrips|Combustible + FlameleafIncendiary + Foolish FireIncendiary + BaneweedPowderBindingAgent|BlackSmoke

Edited by -Lilium-

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San recovered on his feet just as Shikai did. The Problem Solvers were a veritably trained unit meant for high-impact strikes, but the Zombie was evidently not just some crazed citizen. San realized this man was likely more than simply a symptom here; he might be part of the reason everything was so upside down right now.

“Why are you doing this!?” San roared as he charged into Shikai.

Able to block the first strike with his left forearm, San was caught off guard by Shikai’s backhand strike. The piece of mask that remained was dented into his face with the impact and he was jutted to his right. lSkidding on his right side just for an instant, San turned into a kneel and took another slash upward with his left forearm blade at Shikai’s incoming onslaught. San’s weak spot was definitely his face, as the suit embodying the rest of him largely cushioned him.

With his right hand, San opened a compartment on his thigh and withdrew a pair of spiked knuckles, his fingers already slid into the holes.

From the center of Tia, it could easily be assumed the apocalypse had come. That fire and brimstone would rise at any moment from the cavernous openings ripped into the ground by Mine shafts Aidni, Ramesses, and Ozymandias. The giants after whom the shafts were named were nowhere to be found; the corpses of Fuererkonig’s pets cooling in the settling dust and purple mist.

The owners of the giants dealt furious blows upon one another. Cain had issued his signature, whooping battle cry into the fated voids, and Feurerkonig responded.

Cain’s body was framed in black, unnatural foliage that intertwined with the fire king’s chains and forced them ever farther from the Earthbreaker. Now, with chains and vines intertwined into a great tree of industrial despair and a veritable jungle hyper-blossoming around the swelling bulb of steel and Gaia’s defiled flesh, stone crawled from the source. Sand crawled from Cain’s skin and eyes and emerged from beneath his baring fangs. Dark green was painted obsidian with the archevil Cain’s blood, and black sand climbed down and down the chains toward Feuererkonig. (1)

Cain’s staff collided with Fuererkonig’s shoulder plate, resting against the spot where his helmet ended and his armor began. The fire king issued his defiance into the void Cain had created for him; well, he began at least; and Cain answered.

"What a weak attack. You truly ha—”


It is not often Cain asks something of this world; but when he beckons, it is not as a request, it is as immutable a command as time. The roar that issued from the devil’s mouth was that of a dragon— that of a dying star filling the space between Rose and Feurer. It drowned out Feurerkonig’s voice, blew out Cain’s own eardrums to fill the decimated Watch Fort’s courtyard, bulged and billowed through their deathly cavern and uprooted to send flying the unnatural wildlife without. With the issue of Cain’s command unto Feurerkonig, stones— all of them ranging from the smallest grain of sand to the greatest amalgam of enstoned vines— flew away from the fighters. When the stones flew, Cain pulled back with all his might and the blades of PsyFun were born unto the battlefield from his staff. All the geomantic strength Cain had gathered was released in one detonation of the same magic that had powered the giants dueling outside Tia. It reeled away from the place Cain’s black hand held PsyFun, pulling the scythe with all of the power hehlad made to bend earth. The staff had been positioned within the crook of Feuererkonig’s neck, so when Cain pulled the scythe blade that was born of it would slide within whatever part of Feuererkonig’s armor allowed his neck to move. Whether it met armor that strengthened with each blow or chainmail PsyFun, powered by all of Cain’s unimaginable might, would obliterate one tyrant’s armor at the blackened hands of another. PsyFun would decapitate Feurerkonig right there. (3) (4)

And if the uncertain king’s fist did continue, it would be met by Cain’s black palm. The spikes of the king’s knuckles would stab into his palm, gushing black, black blood from the wound that would pour down Feurerkonig’s fist and wrist. (5)(6)  And what he would be looking at was Cain, eyes crusted with blood and body lurching with silent, unspeakable laughter at the petty king. This was no battle of mortals. This was the boogeyman coming in the night to drag Feurerkonig into the abyss.


Active Advantage: Vines restraint

Summon PsyFun

Active Advantage: Troll power

Expend 3 Preps + 2 Active Advantages (see 1 and 3) to behead Feurerkonig

Quickdraw Defense + 1 Active Advantage (see 3) to catch Feurerkonig’s fist if it still comes

Gather Troll Prep


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In the far Northwest of Tia, multiple blocks passed where group A had originally been deployed too, the ground trembled. Many of those in the area had already evacuated, for once living on the outer areas of Tia was a blessing, but those that had steadfastly refused or were in the middle of doing so suddenly caught their breath. Was the fight finally coming to them, even as they were in the process of leaving? 

Some thought yes and others thought no, but when they looked, not a single one could even see the violence. On the towering plants as they swarmed the districts in the distance, coming toward them but not on them. Not yet. 

So what was the-

Again, the ground rumbled. The force that moved the floor beneath their feet shook the foundation of many houses, some even collapsing under the earthquake like shifting. Cracks spread like wildfire throughout the district, running through homes and streets and shops. Out of the splinters rose a black haze and bony hands. An army of white, broken hands. Then cracked heads and eyeless skulls. Screams rose in pitch and volume as people tried to escape yet another danger coming to Tia in the city's darkest hour. The occasional got away. But more often than not the hapless civilian either fell victim to one of the undead skeletons or became doused in a fury of the black haze. The black fog ate away at their skin like acid, leaving nothing but a mindless skeleton in its wake. 

Deep below the ground, maybe hundreds of feet, a woman stood in the middle of a magic circle with a faint smile. Tens of magicians were gathered around the circle, their brows set in determination as they chanted various forms of magic from restriction spells to death curses. But nothing worked on the woman. The gauntlet her right hand was clad in seemed to almost absorb their magic into whatever endless abyss it had spawned from. 

Red eyes settled on the ones who'd cast the death spells and the gauntlet dropped to the ground. Her lips moved, ancient sounds falling from them with power beyond their abilities. It was inconceivable that there was a magic completely foreign to them. As protector's of the Church of Three, there knowledge of the magic arts was an ancestry passed down from times before even Zengi. For a magic, one unknown and seemingly overwhelmingly powerful, to have slipped by them for so long was simply beyond their comprehension. 

One by one they dropped, black fog rising from their bodies as had been down with their fallen brothers and sisters. The woman, in comparison, stepped over them with nary a thought to their suffering. Again and again she walked over the bloodied and crumpled corpses, crushing the weakened bones under the sole of boots as if they were less than the dead leaves of autumn. 

And thus the process went until finally she stood at prize. The underground labyrinth had taken longer than she'd expected but not anywhere near the time she was willing to put in. Held up on a black-gold mannequin was a single piece of armor: a chest plate. Its design was old. Almost ancient in construction, the front and back plates connected only by what seemed like black leather. To the touch, however, the connecting piece was as cool and tough as the rest despite its increased flexibility. 

Lilith raised her hand and ran it along the armor's cold edges, the faint smile from earlier blossoming into one of success. 

"At last," she murmured, grabbing the armor and removing it from the mannequin with a sharp tug. Another piece of the Witch King's war suit. Upon her snatching the armor, unfortunately, the black-gold statue collapsed to the ground with a groan and the whirring of gears was suddenly audible. "Seriously, Zengi, the Church of Three?" Spitting wouldn't be enough to relay her disappointment at the Witch King's choice of protector's for his armor. Or at whomever had found the armor and placed it in the hands of the Church. Lilith gazed at the fallen prey scattered throughout the final length of the labyrinth and snorted. "Pathetic."

At her words that ceiling and walls of the labyrinth collapsed around her. 

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Edits have been made @amenities

Once more he had experienced the cold cruelty of defeat, and at the hands of a mortal being of pathetic flesh and bone. Why did this keep happening? Was he not the ultimate warrior? Why did he struggle so much at defeating these bastards in combat. Perhaps...he was not the warrior he believed himself to be...

His helmet clattered to the ground, and for a moment, the body simply stood, until it began to waiver and tumble backwards. With a mighty, heavy thud against the ground, Feurerkonig had been defeated for a second time within the lands of Terrenus. The fires went dark, his body still, but his spirit was deeply entrenched in the recesses of calamity.

Even without a head, the fiery tyrant still yet lived, the shock too much for him to continue on for a time. Trapped within the depths of unconsciousness, Feurerkonig became reclusive, giving up on the fight, his mind filled to the brim with sadness and despair.

He was no warlord, he was no great conqueror.

He was a failure.

Edited by Grubbistch

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The mill hasn't been taken care of these last years beneath the vampire rule, their interests clearly more fixed on the production of steel and steam products and nothing else. A shabby place to be locked away in, though she can give them some credit keeping Girdy here in the one place no one would find it strange. Plus, it made acquiring the woman easier for Riforte. 

By the time she was barged in on, the woman had her gun in her hand, having just counted the bullets seconds before. Before that Riforte had eyed the bodies of her assailants with a bemused tip to her broken lips, satisfied they were easily disposed of but a bit disappointed in their deflated bravado. Not a single nerve in her body flinched when these intruders shouted, their words falling on uninterested ears. Who are they to tell her what to do? Koji has no demand over this land, whether he be a helpful hand or not in the demise of Tia it mattered little to the woman who did not turn around. This is her mission and she will see it through, their failures have nothing to do with her and she refuses to be part of the Emperor's political games. 

She felt Girdy shift uncomfortably inside her cage, feeling the strangeness oozing from the other woman. Unable to see the destrutivive individual and her company, Girdy was left to imagine the kind of wild hell has errupted beyond the door. The men's screams are burned into her mind and the streams of blood wiggling towards her painted a picture she'd rather not see. Her discomfort fed the hungry Skeleton that's now driven by its own injuries, Girdy's fear, and the voices whispering in her head. It would appear that she is not the only one reaching the plateu of the mission. 

A moment can be anything from seconds to a minute; the unspecified time stretched between herself and the group before a move was made. Riforte licked the inside of her lip again, the sigil burning brightly upon activation was the first domino to fall. Secondly, her finger nestled in the trigger of her weapon and pulled it with commendable swiftness when she turned around on her heels. Down towards the feet of the soon-to-be firing group of individuals, two bullets were released to shatter before the group of twelve. They were not aimed to hit anyone in the group, the risk of missing (impossible) was one she couldn't take. 

Shots would ring out from the group, but the instant her own bullets hit the ground they'd all be stifled out of existence. The bullets, also known as Buster Shells, have unique abilities; these ones, in particular, exploded into a maelstrom of savage winds when coming into contact with any surface. The winds have enough force to lift a car several meters clean off the ground; Riforte had fired two. Enough wind to lift them all off the ground and push them backwards, enough force to knock weapons out of their hands and scattering them. These affects would not touch Riforte, her being on the opposite side of the bullets landing, she witnessed the group being thrown backwards and away from her. 

After her weapon was fired, she rolled backwards and back up to her feet. Feeling the bite of the first few rounds shot at her, the woman was considerably slower than she would have liked to of been. Beaten raw earlier, these injuries certainly did nothing to promote her hurried demeanor. Thankfully the armor she wore protected her most of the way. A simple, tight-fitting, black tunic made from a flexible synthetic component (same thickness as leather armour) can resist both magic and physical damage. Unfortunately, anything physical conveys a 50% reduction over her torso, head, and neck, just enough room to impose some damage on her person.  

All that said, with the commotion left behind her, she rushed towards the door which lifted the instant it felt her presence near. Sliding into first, Riforte slipped beneath the door, crashing into Girdy's protective cage before the door slammed down mightily and locking. Sigils that match the one scarred into Riforte's bottom lip freckled the locked door, creating a barrier in case she was interrupted once more.


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Momentum driven by the Tower’s destabilization could be felt exponentially greater near the top as it swayed back and forth. The feeling was lost on Serafino, whose arm was raised in cocksure confidence. With the death of his most influential puppet, he thought, Cain would surely be forced to respond. What the Heretic failed to account for was that, this time, Cain might not be alone. He might not be weak, like he was with an open gunshot wound to the chest that one day and all of Tia risen against him. No, instead Cain came forward with a lion’s hunger for revenge. He came with key, loyal individuals of unspoken power.

In fact, to the leather tower that was the Dolos patriarch, the arrival of someone besides Cain was utterly unheard of. He whipped around at the sound of his barricaded door going down, lashing his left forearm out with bone crushing force to meet the Apprentice’s umbrella— but hers was a greater, more poignant evil. An arrow of conviction will always pierce a thin veil of misunderstood desire for greater, and pierce the Heretic’s defenses she did.

With the sound of stone breaking in several places, Fino’s forearm shattered and he was utterly lambasted into the back wall of the cell. By putting his broken arm between him and the wall, the crazed Dolos only experienced further damage.

“Gods! Karalanos!” Serafino cried as he attempted to resolve himself in a pile of the cell’s bars and the debris of a crater he’d made in the wall. He was still crying out, to where the purple-eyed monster knew not. His voice boomed out from and back into crevices all down the tower, bright with foreign panic.  “Karalanos, get them!”

Nica was utterly lucid for a man with blood pouring from his stomach. His eyes were wide, every color bleary as he focused on… not-Cain. The mask. The bag. The overall commotion. The purple mist…

Nica’s head whipped this way and that as he pressed the dressing provided by Ina to his wound, the mask pressing over his face just as the purple mist began to take him over. The discomfort of intrusion on his mind was something Nica had had bred into him by his master. This discomfort, this intrusion, he had been denied so long that now it actually felt pleasant as it leered in his mind’s eye.

“Cain..” he said, standing using Ina’s arm. The pause beneath the mask made his attitude evident. It was the half humorous ‘you devil, you,’ expression that Nica so relished from his pre-prisoner days, and now he tasted it shaping his lips beneath the mask in all its bitter glory. There was one single utterance, a question, that emerged from beneath the mask. “Dead?”

Just as his words met her ears, Serafino flew from the rubble he’d been thrown into. A pair of detached immaterial jaws emerged just before his outstretched right hand as it came downward to strike her. Meanwhile, roughly five of the infected Dolos cronies began pouring in. Something about the continuation of Fino’s movements told Ina his attacks were becoming unfocused. As powerful as the Dolos Patriarch might be, the stratagem behind his movements were becoming sloppy.


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Shikai allowed the blade to slice through his left eye, suppressing the pain as he seized the opening in his opponents guard to finish the fight. He stepped in and retracted his claws, converting them to knuckleduster form to deliver a punishing right uppercut to Zero's stomach. Following up, he grabbed the Problem Solvers arm on it's upswing, turned in, and threw the other man over his shoulder, slamming him into the cold ground with bone shattering force. Now he kept hold of the arm as he rolled the stunned man onto his stomach, moved to stand over him and grabbed his other arm before placing his foot between his shoulder blades and pulling. PS4's arms came free of their sockets with a sickening pop.

"Ah," he sighed, letting the limp appendages fall to their owners side, "That was the best fight I've had in a long time."

The zombie crouched down in front of PS4, blood still flowing freely from his eye and grinned, "In gratitude for the fun, I'll let you live. Come see me sometime if you want a rematch."

With that, he stood up, and began jogging down the street, "Now where was I going... ah! The Embassy!"

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"Dead.” Stated with cool finality; the Apprentice knowing further branches of knowledge will have to be sprouted later. Actions are not considered before they’re born. Automatic maturation of shadowy hands are expelled from her body in the protective nature they normally do. But these hands aren’t empty. The flicker of metal in the light telling of their armament.

The Apprentice shifts into the second well of her power, the first depleted in the rush to cross paths with Nica. Ocean hues flicker towards a lavender spectrum, transforming their ethereal glow as she excites the surge of power beginning to form. Pure momentum and surprise had deflected Heretic on her first initiation against him. This time, however, she can feel the rippling fury of his demeanor in acknowledgment of her interruption.

A collision is inevitable at this point, or so she believes until distracted by the attack of infected. Periphery plays an important role as does the continuous thread of information she feeds to her counterpart. @bfc Suddenly, recalculation produces action sets on an unordinary scale. With Nica in hand, she drags him across the floor, taking advantage of the incoming members of the Dolos’ guard into the room. All they need do is appropriately time it. One step, two steps, three, then four… Charging towards Heretic with the infected at their backs. Only to divert their movements. Giving the creatures a new target to alight upon.

Her movements are swift, using what little remnants of the power she was trying to call upon to boost their speed towards the arched windows of the tower. Hands immediately cover the two of them, pickpocketing and diving from her frame to his. Where she takes back the bag, leaving both the mask on his person and a new object in his free hand. The umbrella. From hers is another round of bombwraps...two removed and grasped in the palm of her black clawed hand. It would be more than enough.

| Pick him up for me. | @bfc

Before Nica has time to be afraid, before there can be a twinge of hesitation...they’re falling from the 100th floor of the Black Tower. The click of a spring sounds and the umbrella in his hand opens, gusting him upwards while the Apprentice plummets. @amenitiesPurposely taking the form of a diver with both natural and gloved hands outstretched before her. If one could focus in just enough, they would see the roll and collision of her lips as something unheard is whispered into the wind. A contrast of light against her person developing from the left heel of the cup of her shoe before her body tenses with the anticipation of her chosen fate. What events unfold afterward are temporarily lost on the young woman. The last things she sees are the cracks in the riddled along the stone floor of the street before there is nothing but darkness.

In the wake of her frame colliding into the ground are residual explosions. Two incendiary bombs in the palm of her hand having made the first connection of her person with the ground. Reducing the area into a torrential cloud of billowing smoke, dirt, and rock. Unremarkably, there is an intensive amount of ash flitting through the air along with it.

When the smoke clears, and what little confusion is caused in the already bloomed chaos in the area dies down and the fighting ensues… There is an overwhelming emptiness at the center of the impacted and split circle where the explosion took place. All that decorates the small crater is the black char and embers left behind from the incendiaries and the sudden exposure of her corrosive and now nonexistent blood. Along with a short-lived hush of silence that seems to follow in the wake of a bomb going off. As evident by the present lack of a body, the Apprentice's entire form had obviously been obliterated by the blast.

And so exits the Apprentice.

Seal of Avonlea

2 Bombwraps each consisting of: BombinoStrips|Combustible + FlameleafIncendiary + Foolish FireIncendiary + BaneweedPowderBindingAgent|BlackSmoke

Edited by -Lilium-

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Perfect timing.

It was required, to pull off a job like this. Timing, synchrony, coordination so strong it was almost eerie. That was why the Dead had gone into the trouble of forming their telepathic connection: so that no matter where they were, no matter what the circumstances, they could all act as one, long fingers on a skeletal hand.

Information streamed down into Schrei's mind from high above as The Apprentice prepared to make her play.

A short message shot back. Good. I'll deal with the company. And Schrei prepared to make hers.

(And of course, anyone who happened to be eavesdropping or peeking in would hear none of this exchange, for the small vampire was a master of deception to match any master of insight, her lies painted in thick layers to ward off even the keenest discernment. I'm coming, she seemed to say, Keep Nica safe, we'll need to negotiate. A second message, intended only for prying eyes—)

As the Emperor laid out his final terms, her thumb tapped out a reply on her little screen. Fine. And she slowly crossed the distance between them, withdrawing her other hand from her pocket. Taking his offered hand, accepting his wishes and his generosity.

This was her play. Nothing more. For all intents and purposes, it seemed that the Heika had won.


Far above, the Apprentice crashed through a window, escaping the Tower with the newly freed hostage—

—and all at once, time was on their side.

Nica was out, floating down through the air on a magical umbrella. The Apprentice had accomplished her task. Already, on the streets below, Skeletons were rushing into action, tracking the falling puppet and moving to intercept him as soon as he landed. Unlike the other forces at large in the city, the Dead were packing antidotes to Maleficence, and could move freely, reaching their target and squirreling him away before anyone else had a chance to get close.

The vampires were dying, Maleficence coursing through their veins and driving them to greater and greater insanity. Even if the Apprentice had not killed them all, the infection was doing its work. It would not be long before every last noble in the Black Tower was either dead, or driven to a madness so complete it eradicated any fragment of their former selves.

The Dead had won.

Only one possible disruption to their objectives remained: Koji and his arrogant interference. And Schrei was holding his hand.

And she was not letting go.

The dragon's blood that had let her unleash fire so brilliantly on her previous adversaries yet coursed through her veins, and as it turned out, flame was not the only thing she had stolen. Strength, too, enough to take a grip like his and hold it. But that was not the most important thing.

No. The most important thing was what now lay pinched between their palms.

What had come with her hand, expertly palmed, when it came out of her pocket. Concealed from all senses supernatural with her manipulative Lie, concealed from the mundane through simple expertise. At least, until their hands met, and Koji felt it.

Two tiny spheres, translucent and fragile.

Would he hold her hand tight? Would he try to pull away? Would he strike her down outright? Would he yank her along with him?

The king was in check. What was his move?

@-Lilium- @Twitterpated

Edited by bfc

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“We could handle him together. Finding your employer and leaving together appeals more.”

Belladonna smiles up at the orc, almost childlike and innocent in its nature, if such benign traits can still apply to a killer such as she. “I like the way you think, Xavier,” she responds to him, turning to the Peacekeeper once more, trying to scope out the current situation in order to distinguish the timeframe needed for them to make their escape—

The sudden light radiating from the man is sun-blinding, visibly scorching, and Belladonna has to look away, shade her eyes from the glare. Mere seconds pass when she looks up, and the bolt of lightning strikes her, electrocuting her once again.

Her body rocks against the electric impact, her stance swaying under the blow of the attack. She is vaguely aware of the suited woman further in the distance taking most of the bolts onto herself, absorbing the impact and crumpling down onto the ground, most likely unconscious.

In the midst of earth-trembling pain, warped laughter echoes throughout the mental link, as if in mockery. She does not quite know where it is coming from, but she has a mind to tell off whoever had done it later on.

Something sparks in her mind: an idea, perhaps, wild and unimaginable as it is. With the Mistress’ power flowing through her veins, Belladonna sucks in a long gulp of air, releases it as an acid cloud, straight in the direction of the Peacekeeper advancing towards them. She isn’t sure that it truly works, but a distraction is a distraction: one they must take advantage of at this very moment.

“We need to go,” she tells Xavier, one arm cradled to her torso, the other wrapped around the orc’s own. “Party’s over. Time to meet the organizers.”

Belladonna casts one look behind her shoulder at the Mistress: a silent beckon to follow them and escape towards the other members of the Dead. They need not expend their strength and resources on what could be a losing battle, not now. They have bigger fish to fry, so to speak; Xavier and the Mistress must be brought to Cain.

Should the Mistress refuse to follow, Belladonna shrugs and leaves without her. There is nothing she can do about another’s reckless desire for personal harm. Should the Mistress follow in their footsteps, Belladonna leads the way out into the murky, restless night, onward to another chapter.

En route to the chessmaster, she sends through the mental link, and everything else—the ghosts that trail her, the memories that bind her—fades into the background after that. @amenities



@Dolor Aeternum @Thotification @Ataraxy @Flame Hero: Endeavor


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The smaller and weaker girl was smart. Her compliance however, came all too easy for one that tried to flex and scare the opposition away. Not like Koji trusted anyone or anything, a trait acquired by the many slights upon him from family, both of blood and otherwise. His caution in this case proved to be his saving grace, considering Schrei had successfully masked her intent with a masterful sleight of hand that Koji couldn't have seen past any sooner than he would now. As she moved to place his hand in his Draconic one as intended, she would briefly touch something else before his physical limb would be met by her touch. Shadow. Perhaps she was mistaken that his limitation and prowess with such was on par with those native to this world, or perhaps she herself was a master of shadows and knew completely well what she was doing...Perhaps she was nothing more than a fool. Touching the Shadows beneath his influence allowed him to perceive her concave palm, as well as the solid objects within it that failed to match the the profile of how a vampire felt themselves. With his Empress being of the vampire variety, his knowledge of their physiology was an intimate one. As his fingers curled around the back of her smaller hand, she would feel a coldness colder than her undead self already enveloping her hand palm and objects within it first. With his applied grip upon her hand, the shadow spread around her entire hand beyond his fingers grasp before continuing menacingly up her conjoined arm. Likewise, the tendrils of shadow that had manifested prior moved to secure her other three limbs, as well as her neck before spreading in a similar nature. Though of course her face and head would be saved for last.

"There is a saying among humans that comes to mind, "

He began as the captured objects were secured leagues away from either of them, lost to the plane of shadow that reflected the reality of where they stood, albeit in a twisted, ruined state. The fact they she wasn't to helplessly cast to the plane with them might raise concern in regards to her survival by his hand, though if he wished to kill her, she would already be dead. As the shadows consumed her, they raided her being for anything and everything she held in her inventory, in which those contents too would be cast aimlessly into the plane of shadow. She however, would ultimately be packaged for shipping to different location of shadow. Separate from the plane he damned her goods too, yet one much more intimate and familiar to himself. Schrei was scheduled to be placed in his Personal Dark. At least until he was certain of just what he would do with her. In the least he would attempt interrogation, though depending on his opinion after such and event would determine with he would keep f***, marry, or kill her as bait for her friends, kill her, or simply release her to do as she pleased. He was not impressed at her attempted deception, though in the first place he never truly cared about Tia or it's citizens, only what benefit they might hold for him regardless of how much he was actually able to help them.

"You can't bullshit a bullshitter."

@bfc @-Lilium-

Violent, torrential bursts of wind assaulted the group of Imperial Forces threatening Riforte. While the Tatsuo failed to lose their held weapons, some of their inventory was knock free of their personal. Just like the rest of the soldiers human or otherwise though, they were all thrown wildly into one another as they were forced away from her. A few of them lost immediate consciousness, others sustaining actual injury via crushing from their allies. By the time they managed to recover from the assault and evaluate how to proceed, Riforte was already momentarily secured with her intended audience. Without the proper tools or time to evaluate her where-abouts, the Imperial Forces continued with their intended task, not knowing if she was truly a foe to begin with. Find survivors of the founding families, they was the main objective. Continuing their search, the troupe would be weary of seeing the previous suspicious figure again, in which they might attempt to communicate with her once more. The Commanding Officer was perplexed at how she might have been considering an enemy or a terrorist when she so blatantly used non lethal force to escape them. Still, without proof otherwise, she would be tagged as just that, the enemy. Just like any other person that wasn't of the Datsuzoku variety, presumably.

@Aleksei @amenities

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Oh that smile. He could bask in it for days, perhaps weeks. Then came the compliment which for an orc meant far more than she might have realized. Sure, he benefited from the fact that Blob Boss’ gift allowed his synapses to fire that much quicker but he was already an anomaly to his tribe long before he had ever decided to venture out in to this wide world full of opportunity. He was so engrossed in the beauty of Belladonna now even as he shifted away from their position that the blinding light only served to anger him as he lost sight of her and was forced to close his eyes. He grunted and looked unprepared for the ensuing attack but Obtenebra soon proved itself useful once again.


Having already suffered enough pain due to the previous attack, Obtenebra soon realized the shortcomings of its current attachment to this host and had prepared itself for a following attack for pain always seemed to come in waves throughout its centuries of existence. The primordial ooze had begun slithering further down Xavier’s frame, having learned from its experience during the ship acquisition and from what had just occurred. It could no longer rely on the orc’s sturdy physique and now had to remedy that weak point. The Peacekeeper’s blinding speed was enough to beat this makeshift armor’s sudden change but the decision to shoot the bolt cleanly at Xavier’s chest proved very fortunate for the formidable orc. The lightning soon collided with Obtenebra’s black surface and thus would never make it on to the orc’s flesh as the racing electricity slid all over its increasing surface area and then just dissipated.


Xavier’s eyes recovered now to see Belladonna release a potent acid cloud in front of them that managed to glaze off of his arm slightly. The sizzling sound it made along Obtenebra caused the ancient symbiote to warp its shape but then it quickly returned to latch on to the muscular arm that she had just decided to wrap around. The orc shifted his own arm just slightly so that his massive hand would press on to her side and pull her closer to him even as they attempted to make their escape. The orc’s supernatural speed would come into play here, using his strength to keep Belladonna so pressed against him that he would inevitably elevate her should she not choose to resist.


“Just tell me where to go.”


Xavier’s face was full of purpose now, his hardened face evident with how his cheek muscles tensed and his eyes narrowed. All that mattered right now was getting Belladonna to safety….then he could worry about what he really came here to do.


@Thotification @vielle @Ataraxy @Flame Hero: Endeavor

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@amenities @Twitterpated

How did kings die?

Almost always, it was because they let the power get to their head. They gained strength, whether personally or indirectly through their authority, and started to think that they were invincible. Koji had apparently fallen victim to this same hubris.


Touching the Shadows beneath his influence allowed him to perceive her concave palm

Because he certainly hadn't been paying attention.

On 1/21/2019 at 5:50 PM, bfc said:

Any high-profile target in a place like Terrenus would have some form of magical or high-tech threat detection, and any assassin better than a thug would have some means of slipping under all those supernatural radars, but Schrei took things a step further. Cain could have sent a hundred assassins to the Tower who knew how to keep their mouths shut, but she was one of those very few who could tell a lie.

On 2/12/2019 at 1:31 PM, bfc said:

What had come with her hand, expertly palmed, when it came out of her pocket. Concealed from all senses supernatural with her manipulative Lie, concealed from the mundane through simple expertise.

On 5/16/2015 at 9:12 PM, bfc said:

- Lie: An essential skill in Schrei's line of work, a form of counter-magic that is very hard to master. Allows her to detect when she is being perceived or tracked by a supernatural sense or spell, and allows her to feed false information to said sense or spell.

Koji wasn't perceiving jack shit, unless she wanted him to.

Oh, he'd feel those two little spheres, if and when his very own skin came into contact with them, by which point it would already be too late. Before that? Only a hand, the physiology perfect down to the last detail (you could say that Schrei knew it like the back of her hand, even). She could have made him feel cotton candy there, or a herd of miniature unicorns, or the words 'LOL GOTCHU' engraved in her skin, or any number of more outlandish lies. However, Schrei was not generally one to tend towards humor, and simple deceptions were often the best.

But then again, sometimes something more complex would also do...

His shadows would perceive a hand, the physiology perfect down to the last detail. A hand that was empty, as promised.

A hand that was no longer there.

Because the instant Schrei detected that 'perception' reaching even so much as a fingertip of hers, her hand moved. Not that it seemed to move, to whatever shadow-sense or energy-sight or spiritual awareness or mugen-me he thought to turn upon it, though his boring old regular sight might catch something, if he still bothered to use it. Her fingers snapped inwards, crushing the tiny spheres before the shadow could so much as brush against them.

And at the same time, her teeth snapped closed, smashing the one held between them as well.

That was it. No minimal movements, not a whisper of offense. Schrei went from 'cooperation' to 'murder' in the bat of an eye, and though Koji had a long, long list of abilities and tricks, 'enhanced reflexes' didn't seem to be on there. Schrei didn't know this, of course, and so not even this had been left to chance— there was a reason the little vampire had been eating spiders earlier.

So what was in those two little spheres? What godlike power had she mustered to kill this stranger with power not 'on par with those native to this world?'

Sound. That was all.

Schrei's abilities were really quite simple, when it came down to it. She was a vampire, hard to kill, and could strengthen herself by draining the blood of other organisms. She could hear incredibly well. And she could make orbs, little crystal spheres that produced specific sonic effects when shattered. Amplifying sounds. Playing back recorded sounds. Or hushing sounds into silence within a specific range.

As evidenced by the way she'd murdered her way through much of the city's security on her journey here, Schrei could apply these abilities fairly well in mundane situations. However, a simple powerset and a dash of cunning could only go so far when a self-admitted 'bullshitter' noticed your attack from across a city, teleported over, and proceeded to threaten you with forces that were not 'on par with those native to this world.'

This kind of shit was why Schrei traveled around with vials of pre-gathered blood, and orbs packed with pre-recorded sounds. This was why she had prepared so extensively for this mission. If she was to face bullshitters, then she had to become the anti-bullshit.

Consider once more the abilities of her Audiomancy orbs. Amplify. Record. Silence. Now consider, for a moment, what one might do with those abilities, given time to prepare.

A sound could be amplified, and then recorded. The recorded sound could be played back, and then amplified again. And then the amplified version could be recorded, played back, and amplified yet again. And again. And again and again and again and again and again.

Of course, Schrei had to be quite close to the source of a sound to record it at its full potency, and by the time her recorded sounds grew loud enough to be dangerous, they were dangerous to her as well. That was where the Silence orb came in. By hiding within a silenced radius near the epicenter of a loud noise being played out, she could avoid its effects, while placing her hand at the very edge of said radius to create a new orb, recording said loud noise and readying it to be amplified again.

Even with this, she could only go so far. Even when she did her work deep underground, the amplified sounds would eventually reach the point where even a reinforced bunker wouldn't be able to contain them, where the destruction done to Schrei's surroundings was enough that it could harm her even within the protective radius of her Silence orbs. But by that point, she already had what she wanted.

Because sound didn't merely bust eardrums and annoy the neighbors. Turned up loud enough, it could shatter glass, and cause one's body to shake. Turned up even louder, it could cause organ damage, temporary loss of vision. Still not too impressive, but turn it up even louder, and sound could liquefy your organs, casually tear buildings to shreds, melt concrete from the sheer pressure of the wave—

It was essentially a bomb. A pretty powerful bomb, compressed into a very small and easily portable form. Energy-sensitives would probably have been able to see it glowing from across the city, if Schrei and her coat weren't there to hide it. The other orb of the pair she'd made her attack with was an amplifier, which magnified this power by three times.

The one between her teeth was a Silence orb, which was there to keep her from being blown apart by her own weapon. Obviously its radius was small, so as not to prevent the weapon itself from taking effect. Wide enough to protect her body, but unfortunately not her hand and arm, the former of which was in direct contact with the aforementioned spheres. That limb was instantly blasted to shreds. It was a necessary sacrifice, one she'd been prepared to make in order to defeat an enemy more powerful than her.

Speaking of 'blasted to shreds,' however, that would probably be a good way to describe Koji at this precise moment.

As mentioned before, his sensory and predictive powers couldn't arbitrarily bypass Schrei's equal and opposite deceptive ones. His reflexes weren't quick enough to prepare a defense, not that he'd have time to muster up anything much when competing against the speed of literal sound at point-blank range (unlike Schrei, who'd had both weapon and self-protection ready for their entire interaction). Even if he was tougher than most, innate toughness wouldn't do shit against this kind of power.

Would he survive? Perhaps. Some sheer luck might keep him alive. However, not even his overly inflated power, supposedly beyond 'those native to this world,' would keep him from getting hurt, and badly. He certainly wouldn't be in any state to pursue Schrei, especially given that he no longer had any hold on her, and with the floor, ceiling, and walls around them being sound-nuked into a cloud of debris that would make it impossible to perceive pretty much anything with the usual range of (enhanced or otherwise) senses (and as for other means of perception, he really ought to know not to try those by now). A solid chunk would be blown out of the Black Tower, enough to make the structure teeter, though not fall.

The detonation would be heard all across the city, and beyond.

It seemed apt, that on the eve of Tia's final demise Cain's agent should convey in such blatant terms his message to the powerful:

No matter how strong, your strength will not protect you.

No matter how grand, your authority will not preserve you.

The Dead are coming.




Edited by bfc

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