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shotgun wedding...

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For all its splendor the Masonic temple was hidden on an island off the Golden Coast. In truth, the Temple was the island, considering the monolithic citadel was built into the surrounding landscape and took up a majority of the landmass. If fairy tales and legends were to be believed, the Masons built this temple after putting down the  cult of some sea deity. The story went that some of Riva’s earliest followers destroyed the cult’s entire civilization and built this temple as a reminder of the Masons devotion to their messiah and the cost of denying her. Regardless of its beginnings, the location currently operated as something of a black site for any and all illicit religious dealings that required the sanctity of the Crystal’s light absent its judgement. 


One such fell bargain played out before Oz’s very eyes. Though late to the ceremony proper, Ozymandias was by no means the last person trailing in. 


With its base built into the surrounding island, the epicenter of the temple housed a large body of water that fed numerous streams in all directions. Stone bridges and walkways served as a testament to the founding Mason’s ingenuity and determination to celebrate the Island’s ecosystem whilst also conquering it. The waterways were wide enough for several boats to pass through and ferried the ships to the epicenter where the large body of water served as a raised dais, allowing the ships to sail around the large pool or navigate into one of any number of manmade docks that were then sealed and permitted to enter the dais by flooding the chamber with water. Gargantuan stained glass windows stretched upwards to the vaulted ceilings. Their depiction of the Masonic triumph over the fish man cult, culminated in a mural unfolding across the ceiling, a mirror of the cult’s temple descending into the depths. Illuminated by a vast number of alchemy lamps, the interior of the expansive temple emanated a bright radiant glow; its wonder only magnified by the fact that its splendor was a man-made fabrication. Garbed in a finery that belied the remoteness of the location and bathed in the faux sunlight,  the temple’s guests continued to trail in via walk and waterway. Some stood along the stone pathways peering up at the elevated pool, but far more sailed in on small skiffs, perfect for maneuvering the narrow and rapid currents.  Whether by walkway or waterway, the people all gathered around the pool and the figures standing upon a small barge that operated as a floating dais. Three figures stood upon the dais, two men and a woman. Thin, with a fading salt and pepper hairline and a decidedly pinched face the first man wore the raiment of a Masonic priest. His watery eyes passed over the crowd in silent judgement before returning to the man and woman before him. 


Bearing the white and blue of a traditional Masonic wedding dress, the woman was a picture of perfection. Pristine golden hair was pulled back and braided, save for a few strands strategically placed to frame her soft angelic face. Radiant blue eyes peered at the man kneeling before her. 


The groom was young, but tall for his age, even on his knees his head brushed the bottom of his brides breasts, but there was a decided lack of fullness to his features that marked him even younger than he appeared. He wore a fine suit, but it’s disheveled state suggested that he did not dress himself and the shackles upon his wrist and binding about his mouth made it abundantly the youth was here under duress. 


Oz blinked rapidly, giving the silent commas for his bionic ocular implant to zoom in. Comparing the young man to the image of the boy in his heads up display, Ozymandias grunted. No mistaking it, that was Wells Harrison XI, but he was at least a decade older than his six years of age. Oz closed his left, right and left eyelid again in quick succession altering the eyes vision. Judging from the strange aura surrounding the groom, it stood to reason that something had been done to increase the youth’s age, if only in appearance. The sporadic pulse of the aura seemed to indicate that the transformation was most likely temporary. 


Long enough to wed and bed, Oz thought. He wondered if the bride knew her groom’s true age or if the priest and her family were keeping her in the dark in order to speed the nuptials along. Not for the first time, Oz scanned the citadel. There were plenty of hired guns, mostly black fire raiders judging from the black flame emblazoned on their gear; a few Poor Sons, no doubt making money on the side ( and work for a Masonic priest was part of their day job, right?); and the odd wandering Mercenary scattered about. 


Ozymandias moved atop the citadel’s upper ramparts. At one point these sections were for spectators unworthy or unable to attend the services below, but given that the Masons had all but abandoned this site, it was uncommon for this citadel to have more than whatever gathering the Masonic Priest using he black site demanded. Judging from the looks of things, this particular priest had called in half the nobles from the Zompac region to witness the illegal wedding. Far more witnesses than Oz liked, but that couldn’t be helped. The Harrison family was a decent name in the Setroth province and that meant they could pay...a hell of a lot. 


Oz moved into position directly over the dais and waited. A team member was expected to cause a distraction, allowing Oz to swoop in, grab the kid and get out before blood had to be shed. 


{In position.} He said, over the private comms.

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Dauner stood at a corner witnessing the wedding that was taking place. Although that was what he was doing, that was by no means why he was here. like always, he was seeking for adventure and happened to have stumbled upon this place as he journeyed. He had a desire to travel around Valucre and was prepared for any challenge that came his way. The more, the merrier.

Standing in the hall, he noticed that the groom had shackles on his hands and that was in no way how a groom should normally attend his wedding. He also noticed the great number of guards who all had a black flame mark on their cloths and finally was the most worrying. The strange aura he felt coming from around the groom spoke for itself. He deduced from these that this wedding was not consensual.

In as much as crashing a wedding was not his favorite activity, watching someone helplessly do something this crazy was an even bigger no. He decided to aid this unwilling groom to escape an unwanted wedding. Normally, one would be very cautious as to what to do such that he doesn't make the hordes of guards rain on him but Dauner wasn't one to let common sense stop him from doing what he planned to do. In fact, on could say he was constantly at war with common sense.

While the priest was reading from the book in front of him, Dauner jumped from where he had been watching the wedding unfold. He used his powers to adjust himself by skipping on air molecules and landed at the alter where the bride and the groom were. He couldn't imagine himself picking up a grown up guy in a pick and dash so he grabbed the bride and dashed off towards the pool. Whether he had picked the groom or the bride, his initial objective of not letting this wedding push through would still be fulfilled. While the guards, priest and audience were still caught up in the moment, he jumped into the pool with the newly abducted bride and hurriedly made his escape. The guards had their guns pointed at Dauner but they couldn't really risk  shooting or they could also hurt the bride. Dauner used his magic to propel himself forward in the water moving at the speed of a speedboat towards one of the many rivers that flowed out from the pool.

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Alas, as our brave hero sped towards his destiny, fate (the fickle thing that she was) intervened. The moment this intrepid youth @Dauner Light set foot upon the dais and grabbed hold of the bride, the guards acted with such alacrity, that it would appear as if the entire ordeal had been prepared for, well in advance (which, by the corrupt Masons' design, it had been). The guards, after raising the various portcullises seemed less than interested in the bride and more intent on surrounding the groom. The bride, for her part, was no less glowing than she'd been a moment before, but instead of the radiance of purity that she originally displayed, she was not a bright red of rage and frustration. With no shortage of rancor, she kicked and slapped and pinched and bit and fought her would be hero for all her strength, lavishing a stream of curses and expletives upon him that put the most experienced of sailors to shame. 

To his credit, Oz remained unmoved...if only physically. Was this the other operative for the job? Or was this some vigilante interloper just in the right place at the wrong time. Loath to kill an innocent, even those deserving of it, the slight figure in the stonework above reached out a gauntleted fist and fired a grappling line at the ceilings apex. It wasn't a simple smash and grab anymore...the Mason's built their temples to last, which meant magic and other metaphysical means of blasting out were off the table. Oz was gonna have face this thing head first, guns blazing. 

Swinging forward, Oz cast out a free hand, a beam of onyx light collecting beneath the groom's feet to form a large black square with an arrow pointing upwards. The groom barely had the time to whimper before he was launched into the air, leaving a trail of sweat, urine and tears before settling into Oz's grip as the pair settled on the opposing stonework and rafters. The guards beneath their captive noble, were showered by more than bodily fluids, however. The moment the youth was sent airborne, the vector plate dissipated and in its place was a large black orb, a single red light blinking at its center. The guards had little time to react before the concussive bomb sent them all flying in a multitude of directions. 

"Hey, water walker!" Ozymandias called to the would-be hero. "Clear one of those gates of civilians and I'll get us the hell out of here!" A large gauntlet gestured to one of the newly raised portcullises where crowds of onlookers and guards swarmed in an effort to escape and prevent an escape, respectively. 

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The unexpected assault on Dauner was quite expected as he did not think a lady would like to be snatched away on her wedding day. With his way out blocked as well, Dauner didn't really have many ideas on how to get out of his spot. Then Someone asked him to clear one of the gates in exchange for a way out. A suggestion he welcomed rather heartily as he left the bride floating in the water and began heading towards the closest gate. The sounds of the girl trying to stay afloat made Dauner feel bad about leaving the poor thing down there. 'She's no poor thing' he said to himself. 'Poor things are harmless creatures. But she's wild' he continue trying to convince himself that there was no need to rescue her. In the end, he plunged deeper into the water only to resurface beneath the flying bride as he thrust her with his sword from below. She landed on one of the guards above almost unharmed. Dauner smiled at her saying "Catch you later" ignoring her angry yelling.

He plunged deeper into the water not worrying much about avoiding incoming bullets as his magic made his cloths a bullet proof attire. He resurfaced just beside the gate flying out of the water with his swords ready for some slashing. "Demon Bladeless Twister" he said as he spun upon landing creating a twister of blade-like air currents that pulled people towards it and knock them away as soon as the touched it. The twister made quick work of the guards at the gate although a bunch of guests were also caught in it. The twister died down about one and a half second after it's creation. The rest of the guests decided to stay away from the gate which seemed to have been hijacked.

Dauner could hardly resist the temptation to run wild and fight till he could no longer but he restrained himself simply throwing long distance attacks with his sword and the aid of his magic decreasing the enemy numbers.

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