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Mr Stark I don't feel so good [Relic Quest]

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Samael follows the Commander’s gaze as she scans the cliffsides, a portion of his focus firmly affixed on the towering creature in the middle of the dark crevice. As of now, the group is split between those on the swamp side of the pit and those at the forest side of the pit, and so perhaps the only course of action left is to—

Lilith pushes him away from a Nightmare’s furious path, and he watches from the sidelines as she punches the monster and flings it into the crevice, Samael looks to the Commander and pointedly does not sigh.

That glint in her eyes as she gazes into the pit speaks volumes of what she is about to do.

"Shout or throw something up if you live."

There is nothing else to it; Samael is thrown off the ledge, greedy fingers of darkness crawling up his diminutive form as he spirals down into the abyss, wordless in his descent without nary a scream of terror.

For a few breathless moments, he is suspended in vertigo, weightless by air and weighted by gravity, and just as he’s wondering where the fatal drop ends and he goes splat on whatever hard surface he is to meet at the bottom of the cliff—

—harsh and cold waves envelop him, sucking him down to the depths of a lightless sea.

Not for the first time this day, Samael wonders if he is about to die.

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After a moment of watching the small body flip through the air, her force giving it momentum right up until the point it didn't and gravity kicked in- once that scene had past Lilith turned her gaze back toward the Nightmares and the Cthulhu. She didn't enjoy retreating or backing down from a fight. Others should back down or bow down to her; not the other way around. But the Soul Stone was powerful, powerful enough to block all of their abilities. So she'd deal with the momentary weakness. The strength and fortitude of her mind and identity would not be beaten down simply because she knew there was a fight she could not win. A mortal body can only do what a mortal body can do, after all.

Raising her voice as loud as she could, not giving a fuck about the Nightmares or anything else, Lilith shouted, "Jump in the void!" 

Whether they trusted her or not, that was up to them, but those that didn't would most assuredly die a most gruesome and painful death. Without waiting to see who did or didn't choose to follow her, Lilith turned toward the pit between cliffs that she'd thrown Samael into and jumped into it herself. 

For a moment there was nothing but the woosh of air as gravity took control of her body. Then there was cold. A lot of cold. And a familiar wetness. 

Water. 

A few kicks brought Lilith to the surface of the water and gasped for air as her head surfaced. It wasn't as refreshing as she'd thought, however. Power suddenly returning to her, warming and cooling her body with its presence. 

And finally, once again, she could feel the Soul Stone. Much closer this time. And land was maybe a handful of minutes away if they swam fast. Giving herself a second to spot Samael, she dove under the water and latched her arm to his. With a tug she brought it above the water, waiting a second for Samael to get ahold of himself, and then let go. She wasn't going to drag him all the way to shore and if he couldn't survive a bit of water without her holding his hand, literally, why would she put in so much effort. 

"To shore!" 

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Shane was about to turn and run, as figured the two younger girls must be doing now, when something caused him to do a double-take. What was the commander doing?

"Jump in the void!"

Wait, was she serious?

A moment later, Lilith plunged into the abyss, leaving Shane momentarily flabbergasted. But then, she was their leader, and seemed to know way more than he did, or than most of them did for that matter, so he probably should trust her judgement. Also, he kind of had to obey orders.

"WAIT! Not into the woods! Into the gorge!" he called after Mercury and Cerin, "Commander's orders!"

Quickly checking to make sure all his weapons were secure on himself, he ducked a flailing tentacle, then made a running jump over the side. This seemed like a terrible idea... And when he hit the cold water below, he really began to think it was a bad idea. At least, he did until he felt his power returning, his blood beginning to simmer once again from the internal flame that had been lit in the distant ruins of Everrun. After he managed to get back to the surface and sputter out any water that forced itself into his mouth or nose, he spun around in place to fully take-in his surroundings. Lilith and Samael were not far away, already swimming toward the shore.

"Right."

Fortunately, Shane had learned to swim many years ago, despite having grown up in a semi-arid climate. Thank Gaia that Norkotia had been built on the shores of Sidereal Lake. In any case, he promptly swam after the two, albeit much more slowly thanks to his armor and weapons weighing him down.

Edited by Tyler

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Cerin stopped short and turned with incredulity displayed across her face as the paragon that had so recently told them to run was now yelling for them to jump into the chasm. Surely Lilith wasn’t desperate enough to send them leaping to their doom like lemmings. She sighed. “Is there any chance everyone else has gone mad?” She asked, not expecting a reply. She knew they were serious. Probably. Despite the clear contradiction to common sense, she felt strangely compelled to do as the commander ordered.

Pulling Mercury along, the woman retraced their steps back to the chasm, running faster and faster until she cleared the tree line and and the pit loomed ahead. Her feet hit the edge of the cliff. With no powers to catch her fall, the necromancer would have liked more assurance before jumping into a gorge that was occupied by Cthulhu, but she had little else in the way of choice. She could stay and get crushed or she could wander, powerless around the marsh before being eaten by something hungry. Fuck it. Without stopping, Cerin let her momentum carry her past the edge and into free fall.

The air whipped past her face and she fell for what seemed like an eternity. Cerin wondered if all missions with this group would end in falling.

Splash.

 Cerin sank into the water and floundered for a sense of direction. Up and down lost all meaning. At that moment, Cerin felt her dormant power shift under her skin. Information flooded her mind, giving location to the small pockets of decay far below, a large body on the edge of her sense, and something solid to her right. She broke the surface with a gasp and found the other paragons nearby.

She swam after the group and reached out her power to the dead mass resting beneath the waves. Old bones stirred on the sea floor as the connection clicked. It would take time for the new undead to reach to nevromancer- time enough to get to shore. Even though her skirts dragged behind her and she could feel her arms beginning to tire, Cerin was a strong enough swimmer to keep a steady pace.

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THE MISTRESS BLACKHEADwallhaven-579131.jpg


As Khakina and the other ex-cartel paragons joined the necromancer Lilith in jumping into the chasm, they would all fall headfirst into the cold water. Now that the worst part is over they would all swim for shore. What they did not nor expect was that someone was already waiting for them at the shore.

There was a woman on the shore. One can say she was waiting- had been waiting for a long time now. Her smooth fair skin was now showing the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun. Her snow white hair has long lost its original luster after being subjected to the sun's unapologizing rays. There was a thin sheet of perspiration all over her but she was not one to care for such trivialities. She merely maintained her militant pose, while she rested both arms on the hilt of the sword propped before her. Her eyes were still trained on the far waters, watching and waiting.

She knew the time has come for her to return what she owed. The Heaven's armor was a thing of the past. She could have kept the artifact but the blade in her hands, Baeoi, was not one to share. Even now, she can still feel the blade tugging at her, reminding her to set the armor free.

Soon. She kept telling the blade. Soon.


 

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Ankou was woken by the sounds of battle and chaos somewhere in the distance, muddled somewhat by the ringing in his ears. He opened his eyes to see that he was now near the water. The blow from the creature must have driven him most of the way through the cliffside. The thought made him look down to see that he was still impaled by the monsters tentacle; his scythe just a few feet away from him. He reached out as far as he could, but to no avail. A similar lack of success awaited him when he tried to summon up a wave of necromantic energy. Even those meager efforts exhausted him, and he went limp once more. 

Then he remembered Mori, the armband of red jade on his right arm. For the first time ever he attempted to channel power through it; reaching out blindly into the planes of existence for something that might help. That was when he felt a great heat well up within him, and then grow hotter and hotter. Eventually he burst into flames, but strangely enough, he didn't feel any pain, nor did his clothes burn. With a small effort, he called up ever more heat, and the tentacle impaling him was burned to ash in a few seconds.

The display caught the beasts attention, and it looked in his direction; sending more tentacles whipping toward him. Ankou let loose a blast of flames that scorched the appendages before they could reach him. Now he rose into the air, a blazing star illuminating the darkness.

"Burn."

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tumblr_nfxbo4xJQK1qhttpto7_1280.jpgTime slows to a crawl, and in the silence of the infinite abyss, Samael can hear his heart thumping steadily on, a loud drumbeat rhythm in his ears, and he has half a mind to simply let go, to not fight and struggle against the depths, when—

A strong hand wrenches him free from the pull of the waves, faintly reminiscent of the manner in which he had been pulled out of that dark crevice in the caverns of Taen, and when his head breaks free into the air above, Samael takes a moment to breathe in a long gulpful of air, made all the more sweeter since its long absence in the vicinity of his lungs.

The Commander is here. She had jumped in and followed him into the pit.

Had he any heart left in him, Samael would have felt something akin to affection.

"To shore!"

Pulling himself together, he paddles after Lilith, keeping himself near her in case something dire happens once more. Eventually, he feels the violent surge of power flooding his veins once more, and after a few moments of treading water, Samael’s form disappears in a dark fog that arcs its way to shore, a ray of smoke shooting out of the waves and onto the jagged stones beyond.

Blinking the last of the droplets from his eyes, Samael turns his gaze to their surroundings—and stares, a bit overcome. He deliberates that it would be best to wait for his Commander to get to shore before doing anything to explore or otherwise, however.

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