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Meraxa

A Cure For What Aleth You

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As Jason moves to place a callused hand on Caeceila and does his utmost to sabotage her stealthy entrance, Cammy moves to "gingerly" place a paw on Jason and knock him into the cart beside Caeceila.

Taking a direct hit from a tiger, much less a weretiger, is nothing to sneeze at.  While breaking Jason's spine isn't on Cammy's agenda, her swift strike, assuming it lands, will probably leave a nasty bruise and could even stun Jason for a handful of seconds.  Had he heard rumors of Cammy's docility from her adoring public, this aggressive behavior might catch him entirely unawares.

All the better, Iolanda backs her sister up, her outstretched palm, trained on the center of Jason's torso, radiating sickly green energy.  Her actions could be likened to holding a gun to Jason's head as the cart lurches forward and the world blurs around her.

You see, Caeceila isn't the only creature unsettled by Jason's holy aura; the clan of weretigers aligned with Caeceila, like common vampires, are no more free from the influence of malevolent, extraterrestrial spheres.  When Jason approached, he cleansed them of their disbelief with the pain that wracked their bodies and the ache of their empty bellies.  He brought out the worst in them, that shapeless, bestial thing that wrestled for control of their bodies and minds night and day, that thing that would make slaves of them were they to sacrifice their humanity; lesser werecreatures might have struck at Jason with lethal intent right then and there if not for their almost uncontrollable instinct to flee from him outright.

Camelia, after deciding that forcibly conscripting Jason and, in a sense, adding him to their wares was the best outcome of their fateful encounter, had surrendered to this instinct, batting at Jason, as detailed above, before sprinting madly for the haunted district, her claws scrabbling upon uneven cobblestone.  Iolanda, who isn't quite as dangerously unstable as Camelia, struggles to retain control of herself, her aim unsteady as she balls the fingers of her free hand around a golden, cat-shaped amulet hanging from her neck and growls savagely at Jason.

Jason will note that "the statue" suffers from a similar affliction.  The statue beside him rattles and groans, joints tearing apart in a psychokinetic spectacle.  Iolanda's concentration is broken; a humanoid Caeceila is awakening, as if from a nightmare, in a dark, unfamiliar space.

This is so not good.  This is so not good for anyone.

Edited by The Alexandrian

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 After the briefing, Elizabeth accompanied her comrades to be fitted, insisting that she herself could not go with them. The woman pulled back the cloth from her right arm, revealing that she had no limb there, and explained to them that she had foregone as many of her cybernetics as possible in order to achieve a minimal output of traceable energies. She urged, in a sense, that they do the same; as to mask their presence as much as possible. She finished by divulging a bit more information on the whereabouts of their next meeting, and a reminder of what was at stake.

"You're on your own from here onward. There will be no aid if you are apprehended. I will not be painted as a terrorist for careless decision-making. Once within the designated zone, you will find an abandoned vineyard. Beyond it is the estate, and my study. I will meet you there. Failure to move with caution will draw attention, and we've no intent on sparking a civil war...."

 There was an odd way in which she laid the orders out, almost uncaring of whether or not the group listened. Surely, some among them were a bit put off by E.P. She hadn't divulged a name, a motive, a representative, or the like; at least to those present. They had gleaned minor incite into her capabilities in the face of former threat, Elizabeth barely phased by the situation, wasting little effort in the battle. She had smuggled them into the city of her own volition, insisting they follow along, and given hardly a thought to it, they had. It almost seemed orchestrated from the very start, but surely this wasn't possible. Still, the thought remained for any to ponder as the frail scientist and her old bodyguard took their leave, heading elsewhere for the moment by way of drawn carriage. What strings, exactly, did the Ventrix mind tug?

                     

 The pair arrived without delay, having no real need to try to bypass security or the like within the city. Elizabeth had easily validated false information which gave them the ability to move freely throughout Dougton. It was getting the rest of the group into the city which had required subterfuge. She cared little for their safety at this point, her mind already thinking of an alternative solution to her task as the two exited the carriage and approached the old estate. Without words, they separated, the old man beginning to unload and spread salts around the estate to help ward off spirits, and Patton heading inside to dig up information.

 Liz locked herself upstairs, replacing talismans along the walls and windows of a well lit room filled with old dusty books. Even without eyes, she combed them thoroughly, retaining information at an immense rate for what seemed like hours. She was searching for a name, a reference, anything, and continued searching text after text. People truly were afraid of the unknown, but Elizabeth sat, in search of such things in the meantime. The scientist was trying to find information in an attempt to initiate a spiritual binding.

Cardinal finished cleansing the area, saying a few mumbled words of prayer before heading back towards the building. Something caught his interest, approaching like a bat out of hell. An unfamiliar feline of sorts. It was still a ways out, giving the old man enough time to prepare himself incase the approaching force was hostile. Either way, it was bound to draw some kinds of unwanted attention.

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"Yeah, sure."

Argi hardly even looked back as he left Dauner and Gozen to attend to this new encounter. While he saw Dauner's gestures, he didn't especially understand them; worse still was that he responded with his own, loosely waving in a direction to follow, as if to say, 'catch up with us later'. Together, there was quite some room for miscommunication, one might imagine.

That said, it was becoming something that Argi did notice, and couldn't help but wonder upon: Their group was fracturing the closer they seemed to get to their goal. First they had lost Caeceila, who was forced to find her own way into the city. Elizabeth had gone off of her own accord, seemingly ahead of the group that had to move about in disguise. Emile had departed, presumably to obtain the information he claimed would be gathered for him. Now, Dauner and Gozen were eased off as well. These were all too disparate - and two based on decisions made by one of their own - to be actions of the enemy, he might think, but as his eyes scanned the remainder of the group, the Menjen could not help but think: He didn't like this.

 


Jason of the Lions. Perhaps the only man in the continent that could equal Odin Haze in legend and stature - at least in terms of what was supposed of him. Of course, Jason had the benefit of centuries of hindsight - of tales filtered through the fickle memory of fifteen generations and more - as opposed to those with living memory of Odin's conquests. Every town of note had its own tale in which Jason, with or without the rest of the Lions, passed through in his quest to uproot Zengi, and so did something astonishing, or astonishingly humble, of one so great. The only force that could assail him the greatest evil that the land had ever known.

Or the paw of an oversized cat, apparently.

Yes, the legendary hero fell forwards and flat upon his face into the cart, courtesy of Camelia's outstretched paw. As the weretiger bounded towards the Spectral District, spooked by the man's presence, it seemed as though he was entirely at the whims and mercy of Iolanda.

 

So it seemed, for a moment.

 

But then Jason stood, utterly uncaring of the hand that was held out towards him, or the power it focused upon him. His crimson cloak fell from his shoulders, leaving his 'mane' of similar red hair to settle upon his back.

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"Oh, the parasite is not going to like that."

He spoke frankly, remaining utterly balanced even as the cart shook and shuddered where it bounced across unevenly settled cobblestone; his feet always shifting ever so slightly as to maintain the man's stability.

"Until now it was debating whether or not dealing with you would make too much of a scene, but now that you've gone and made it one, the parasite finds it can reasonably frame the scene as one of self-defense." Jason explained, his hands going up together. Were Iolanda to try something now, she would find her attack disregarded by a barrier of shimmering light that had formed almost instantly between the two; were her effort made physically, then its holy light would seer at the touch. "Alas, it has realised the unique opportunity in one as myself: That if it allows me a certain degree of cognitive freedom, it can make use of all the abilities I possess that are too abstract and arcane for its understanding. I do apologise: The only freedoms I have here are to speak and to think, and my thoughts give away what I am capable of. Worse still, in ordinary circumstances, if I were to speak out, it would simply eliminate or capture any that heard me, with my own hands..."

 

Those same hands parted, and from them sprung a sword of the same, shimmering light. At one angle, it would seem of no substance. From another, it was clearly as sharp as any other- no, sharper than any other blade that one might have seen up until that point.

"Dodge it!" Jason would warn Iolanda before the blade was swung. Not by Jason's hand, oh no. The sword swung of its own accord, flying through the air to where Iolanda's pink little head would be, if she did not move. Whether she did dodge or somehow even deflected it, Jason's hand would turn slightly, and with it, the blade fly away, out to the sides of the cart. His fingers then bent inward, and with that, the airborne edge swept across to cut once again. Not at Iolanda, however. Rather, at cart itself; to cut where it was tied to Camelia, and to cut at each of its wheels. It would stop the cart by dismantling it!

 

And oh, should Iolanda think to try and stop that, she would find Jason rushing forward again, once more warning, "Look out!"

His hand slashed through the air in much the same fashion that a sword would; one could even see the air ripple in its wake. Even as it approached, Iolanda's instincts would scream at her not to be touched by it. If it did, then she would likely be the one to scream, for it was a touch that had been honed beyond measure to even harm the most foul creature that the Fractured continent had ever known - on 'lesser' beings associated with such evils then, it was downright destructive to the point of contact. 

"...There is an irony..." Jason would muse sombrely, in the midst of all this. "I gathered this power to fight evil, and now it is used for such. While you, spawned by such evil, fight to save this realm. I feel it in you."

 


"...Mooooh, Gozen!" Shelly pouted as the others departed, her face puffed in irritation. "Read the mood, why don't you!"

After a few moments however, she sighed, and visibly relaxed, breaking into a smile as she looked at the other young man. "It's good to see you too though. Not one but two familiar faces after so long apart..."

She sighed a second time, though this time, there was an air of frustration to it, explaining, "I'm so uncomfortable in this place I even keep my armour on. Don't want to risk someone getting me while my guard is down, you know?"

Stepping along the river a bit, opposite to the direction that the Wyrm's Bane group had traveller in, Shelly put her hands behind her back, which kept her cape from fluttering too much as she walked into the breeze.

"Ever since I've got here it's all been war and bandits and monsters..." Shelly spoke on, listing a few more things she had apparently faced besides all that, and by the end, she just seemed tired, letting out a yawn.

 

"It's enough to make a girl faint, you know." She turned, attempting to 'fall' into Dauner's arms, and rest upon his chest. A free hand would begin to draw outlines of the young man's musculature through his clothes, while Shelly took up a 'hungry' smile. "Make her wish she had someone big, strong, and handsome to keep her company..."

Briefly, she gave Gozen a bit of side-eye.

"Someone, mind you, not two."

Nevertheless, though especially if Gozen finally took the hint to provide some privacy, Shelly would begin to wrap her arms around Dauner, attempting to pull him into quite the intimate embrace - fairly firmly too, though this might not have been too surprising of someone of her figure.

 

The young woman's gaze honeyed over, and her lips parted, drawing in towards Dauner's own, a hand moving towards the back of the young man's neck to keep him from getting away. Her other hand hovered slightly above his back, and though she would try to keep Gozen from seeing it - whether from him looking away, or by turning Dauner's back away - the young man might spy something within her grip. Something bulbous, and red, and with slightly tendrils trying to reach for Dauner's tender flesh, while Shelly reached for those tenders lips...

 


 

Emile was first to return among their number, arriving just as the group's remnants set down just outside of the estate they sought in the Spectral District. It was a place that had Argi ill at ease, as though the air around him was itself that of a world unsuited for the living. The presence of the women around him seemed to help mitigate that whenever his eyes turned to them, though were he to be asked in that moment, he would not have been sure if it was for their spiritual presence, or for other reasons.

The estate in question was... similar, to those found in the rest of the Dougton - the materials and preferences of the settlement seemed to mandate as much, and of course there was the land that surrounded it, overrun by vines. But unlike much of the city, the building itself had a certain outside influence to it; multiple floors, for one, akin to what Argi had seen in cities like Ignatz. Indeed, the architectural style - so neatly measured and firmly supported - reminded much of that city, even in its old and worn state, which made it feel strange and sad to look upon. Like a physical representation of the union - or common brotherhood - that was now threatened. Something that... well, Argi hadn't done, but he had most certainly aggravated.

 

"...we've no intent on sparking a civil war..."

Argi mumbled the words under his breath as they echoed in his mind. What if that was exactly what happened? By no means did he know war, but he knew stories of it. Goizane, the woman that had raised him, had told of stories of such conflict; never was she prideful of the conflict itself, though she was prideful in her triumphs, and the sacrifices of her fellows. Even then, she would - with azure eye locked upon the flickering flames that warmed her tent - tell Argi and all the other children that battles she fought in weren't real wars. Real wars - those fought by the lowlands - were such that either you had a thousand such battles, or a thousand times the numbers of any such battle. The Menjen didn't have the numbers to fight 'real' wars; not only for the practical matter that they would risk losing too many to sustain themselves, but because each loss struck harder to each side. The lowlands, she claimed, had so many people with which to fight a war that those who commanded them would cease to care for the people, and only the numbers.

How many did the Enrele have with which to fight, Argi wondered?

 

Shaking off the memories to find himself back in the present, Argi placed a hand upon the small gate of the fence that outlined the property, After an initial push, it didn't budge, somewhat to his surprise. Looking down upon it, he realised the gate was held by a bar that slipped into a latch mechanism attached to the wider fence. Carefully, slowly, he reached his hand over it, analysing the metal and its arrangement to be sure of its function before he quite simply wrapped two fingers around the metal, and lifted it, freeing the bar from the latch. The gate came open over its own accord then, causing Argi to blink, realising that despite the house being built so seemingly methodically, the way in which the gate was seated was at an incline. Such a strange thing to focus, one might think, and he realised as much, but with the way he had thought of the house mere moments ago, it seemed to... add to it, in a particular way.

In the time he had somehow spent in thought, pausing to analyse the local architecture, Emile had returned, as Argi realised. It didn't take much prompting for an initial summary from the soldier - the Terran military believed Aleth was hidden somewhere in the city's granary.

 

"...But, angel say... subterranean." Argi recalled it so precisely, as one of the few creatures he had understood fluidly since coming down from the mountain. Before he might question the matter any further, however, he spied as Cardinal did - an oncoming cat. A big oncoming cat, with stripes, pulling behind it a decently sized cart. A big, oncoming cat, with straps, pulling behind it a decently sized cart, where a man with red hair seemed to be making a sword of light fly with his mind.

The lowlands, as ever, did not cease to... impress? Would that be the word?

"...Find Elizabeth." He uttered to Emile, figuring that she should need the information as much as anyone else. Without dropping his disguise, Argi approach the oncoming - potentially soon collapsing - vehicle, not quite sure what to make of it. There was a... familiar presence to things, but he couldn't quite pin it down. Meanwhile, he didn't recognise either of those fighting atop the vehicle, so he could not immediately claim if they were friend, foe, or if this was some utterly unrelated scuffle that they were simply bearing witness to.

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The group soon left the three to stay and catch up. Even though they clearly were together Gozen seemed a little excluded as Shelly made her lovey-dovey advances to Dauner dropping off hints for him to give them some privacy. Finally, Gozen turned around and began to walk away. He couldn't help but think that something was off. Shelly was acting even stranger than usual. this was not like her to be this lovey with Dauner. She used to act love struck around him but she never acted weak or in need of protection. She was never feeling threatened to the point of keeping her armor on at all times. She was just somehow, different. Gozen wished he was just over thinking things. That was when Gozen remembered. The only time Shelly acted head over hills for Dauner to this extent was when she was jealous and claimed that Dauner left her for another girl and was trying to kill him. What if this was just like that time? But what would make her jealous or want to hurt him? Was he really overthinking this or was he onto something? Should he do something or... no. As if by instinct his body turned around and began to run back to where he had left Dauner and Shelly. He thought Dauner could be in danger if he didn't make it in time. And if he was wrong, then at least he'd be sure Dauner was safe.


Dauner was very confused by Shelly's behavior. Even a simple minded fellow like him could begin to suspect something wasn't right given these circumstances. Shelly was not quite like this. Something was different but he couldn't get what. Before he knew it, she was about to pull him in and kiss him. That was when he realized something was afoot. Shelly's aura was somehow different even if it was just by a tiny bit. this could only be detected by someone who had an observation iroki as refined as his. He noticed an additional life sign from her. Even though it had blended in with hers, he could still sense it at this proximity. Without thinking twice, he ran away from her so fast that one would think he had disappeared and reappeared a distance from her. before he got away, he felt something touch his skin. After moving away, he noticed what it was. though he still didn't know what it was. The bulbous parasite had clearly been burned from the part that touched Dauner skin. Well it didn't really touch the skin proper as it only got very close but that was enough to burn that part of it.

"Shelly! What's that?" he asked in a worried tone as he drew his swords. This was when Gozen arrived. He didn't like what he was seeing. Dauner and Shelly standing opposite each other and Dauner armed and ready to fight. This just confirmed his suspicions. This was not the Shelly they once knew. She was still her but something was making her act weirdly. Was it that thing Dauner had seen earlier or was it something else? They were going to capture her and see how they can bring the old her back. That was what mattered at this point. Gozen made his arms turn black and coated them in flames as they prepared to do battle. "Gozen!" Dauner called out. "Yes I know. We can't kill her right?"

"No. We're going to capture her. But if you hurt her, I'll kill you" Dauner said sternly. Gozen looked at him and realized that this was one of those times when Dauner actually got mad and serious about something. He smiled turning back to Shelly. "The same applies to you". Gozen too was quite mad about this. Someone or something  had turned their dear friend against them. They were bound to get mad and even lose all desire to hold back but instead find that person and wipe his existence away. "No!" Dauner said turning to Gozen as he relaxed from his battle stance. "You are not allowed to kill me" he said with his normal face. The traces of anger ans seriousness had vanished. 'That was short' Gozen thought to himself as he concluded that Dauner was hopeless. He relaxed his battle stance as well putting out his flames as his arms turned back to normal. "Ok then. Shall we run?" he asked looking at Dauner. "Beats dying here. But i'm not leaving her" Dauner said. "Hey Shelly! I got a new girlfriend and she's way prettier than you" he said with the intention of reaching to the real Shelly if she was still in there. Shelly naturally had strong will power which got even stronger when she was rampaging due to jealousy. If Shelly began to run after them, They'd run as fast as they could towards the meeting place.

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Emile couldn't quite believe what he was seeing.

Jason of the Lions, a genuine legend in Terrenus, was engaged in a pitched battle with Caeceila and her entourage on a cart. He instantly realized the implications. The situation had escalated beyond what anyone could have anticipated. Drastic action needed to be taken now. 

With only a nod to Argi, he took off down the street, skidding to a stop when he reached Elizabeth's dwelling. Pounding on the door until it was opened. He shoved his intel into the hands of the person greeting him, breathlessly telling him to take the information to Elizabeth before taking off upstairs. Climbing out a window, he got to the roof of the building, and went prone. 

Looking down the sights, he soon had Jason in his crosshairs. He fired, ejected the spent cartridge, and repeated the process. It was unlikely that any of the rounds would prove disabling by themselves, but they would require the warriors attention to deflect or dodge. Perhaps one of the others could take advantage of this and land a strike of their own.

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 Another hour had passed in complete silence, every moment within thought. As the hour closed, however, Elizabeth had lost her thoughts. She grew weary, worn down by the world, and disconnected from the past. It was all very strange to the outsider, as if the weight of the worldly events around her was growing suddenly, grounding her foreign mind in reality. An influence of confusing emotion swept through the scientist, demanding insecurity, combating her authoritative conscious; drawing doubt in the success of her tasks. The doubt became anger, and then passion, bringing words from her mouth in response. Such acts seemed no longer within her control, but at the mercy of... A maker. 

"I will not fail the people again!"

 Elizabeth's teeth clenched, her nostrils flaring as she toppled the table before her, spilling books of taboo musing about. Her concern shined through her eyes, this time without any lights or display. It was written on her face in accost to her humanity. She felt compelled to move, heading for the door before hearing something breeze through the house. She had just missed Emile, so fast and instinctive that he had hardly seemed there at all to her. Liz headed downstairs, hearing gunshots ring out on the way down. The scientist batted an assistant to the side with her cane rudely on her way outside. The sun hadn't ever felt so good on her skin, bringing a natural smile to her face as she greeted Argi and Cardinal. She showed a strange change in character, waving her hand at them as she approached.

 "Hey guys!.. What's going on?!"

 She sounded carefree, friendly, youthful, and almost sheepish. 

                    

 "Kkkkrrrrrrrr...... Hkrrr.. Phthew."

 Cardinal cleared his stale throat and turned his head, spitting some mucus onto the dried up soil of the winding road which split through the rotten vineyard below. Dead leaves blistered the rows of festering crops along each side, spilling across the pathway as they blew upon each bank; into serene auburn piles. The vegetation sprawled throughout was unkept, spreading gnarled roots that withered along the steep uneven approach. They grew in decrepit stench along the estate perimeter, forming hedge that wove into a large fence which stretched oddly down the drive; as if the land there had suffered through an abscess of sorts. 

 It was doubtful to the old man that they'd make it all the way up the trail, expecting them to probably fly into a ditch and get attacked by some deadly possessed scarecrows that would emerge from the leaves, or something cool like that; hopefully, but maybe not. His mind wondered as he munched on more corn nuts, staring in a forgetful fashion at Arnold, or was it Gerald. Cardinal was more focused on the horizon, only waving Liz over with his hand in response before Argi headed towards the cart, the old coot pointed toward a long line of thick soot circling the estate and explained why it was there.

"It's almost sundown. You don't want to be out there at sundown. You want to be in the circle. The vineyard comes to life and commands the undead to spill human blood like wine, enriching it's soil...."

 He spit up crumbs as he rambled on.

"At sundown... Or something like that. I don't know, I mean, it's called the spectral district for a reason right?"

 The man known as Cardinal kept going as Emile laid down more fire, stuffing his face as he went on. It was getting to be passed his bedtime, and he didn't seem worried about the situation. He wouldn't be of assistance unless he had to, and was generally oblivious to the severity of the situation due to his elderly nature. In truth, he was just lazy.

 

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As the trigger-happy soldier boy was busy shooting at the unsuspecting 'hero' the two women are staying at the sides watching the scene unfold. Having split from the bigger group earlier when they entered the city, the duo had been walking rather aimlessly. In fact, the older seemed to treat this as some sort of sightseeing tour. 

"So what do you think?" asked Shishi as she eyed Jason the 'hero' while her mouth was busy sucking on a lolly. "That man looks pretty special. That stinking aura reminds me of that namless bitch of a goddess. So similar yet different."

The woman beside Shishi, her companion, breathed in a good lungful of cigar smoke before giving a reply. "My, my, that is quite the interesting fellow. What's more fascinating is that Dougton has left him unchecked. Quite the curious case, isn't he?"

Shishi's lips seemed to pout at this. "He seems suspicious though. What if 'they' have already gotten into him?"

"Wouldn't that make our 'tour' more interesting?"

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Moriamur, et in media arma ruamus.  Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.

In Iolanda's bestial mien, no compassion awaited Jason of the Lions.  By the guile of the parasite that presently infested him or by his lackadaisical complacency in his retirement, Jason of the Lions subverted his legacy, trading a hero's death for the life of a willful slave.  A warrior would rather die than fall into the clutches of the enemy.  Moriamur, et in media arma ruamus.  Let us die, and rush into the midst of battle.  Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.  The only safety of the conquered is to hope for no safety.  A victor visits conscientious torment upon the conquered in the name of justice (vengeance) and the common good (often greed, perhaps sadism).  This truth is borne out in the outcomes of modern atrocities, of deities imprisoned in magical artifacts and of villagers offered as sacrifice to ravening hordes.

Maybe Jason understands that his very existence is unpardonable blasphemy.  The absence of the gods, hollow and whole, manifests in his affliction, yet Jason has the nerve to fritter his time away highlighting the humor of his anguished state.  Were the lamentations of the innocent humorous to him?  Was it unfathomable that beings "spawned by such evil" might not fantasize, day in and day out, about universal suffering and instead rely on their gifts and fight, tooth, nail, and claw, for a better world?  Airing his earnest yet unfounded prejudices, Jason further estranged himself from his would-be saviors.

In Iolanda's hazy eyes, Jason would observe a beast constrained by a mage's will, a will he steadily eroded as he dragged her corruption, the beast she struggled to contain, into the light.  It was all too easy for Jason - or rather his puppeteer - to bring out the darkness in her.  It was necessary, once, for Jason to root out spies among his number, and watching Iolanda transform, at first, might be a mundane and uneventful show to him.

At first...

It started with a spell fizzling, sickly green light extinguished by encroaching shadows as a rickety, wooden wagon screamed through a street of boarded-up portals, moldering timbers, and shards of shattered glass.  The ruins here, overgrown with thorny weeds and slimy moss, seemed to shrink, unnaturally, into themselves.  While some buildings were supported by decaying wood and rusty nails, bones of a carcass long since picked clean, other buildings, antiquated, storied residences with decadent, now abhorred architecture, clung lifelessly to the petrifying history of the Spectral District and the tattered fabric of an ever-thinning veil.

Iolanda's resolve falters as Jason rises to his feet.  She huddles over as her bone structure and musculature, without warning, dramatically shift.  Clasped in the palm of her left hand, a golden, cat-shaped amulet, a symbol of the Elder God Bast, deforms under the tremendous pressure she exerts on it.  The fur coating her tail bristles with irrepressible rage.  A mat of striped fur covers her from head to toe as her clothing bursts at the seams.  With a savage roar, the weretiger lunges forward, evading the holy sword Jason theatrically conjured and exploiting her regenerative abilities to imperil Jason by overcoming his passive defense with over four hundred pounds of feline fury accelerating toward him with decidedly lethal intent.  Jason, initially, is standing ominously in the bed of a relatively small cart, which lends considerable strength to the argument that Iolanda's attack will knock him backward and out of the cart.  Iolanda, in such a case, land in front of him at approximately the same time as Jason's sword cuts through Camelia's harness, thereby freeing her from the cart, and continues on to destroy essential components of the cart.

All this, perhaps, is well-within acceptable tolerances from the puppeteer's perspective, but both Jason and Hivemind Aleth would quickly learn they had grossly underestimated the terrible power of the abominations that opposed them and ought to have engaged the Iolanda at her point of entry in lieu of yielding ground to her such that she could expediently spirit their agent away to a location in which Hivemind Aleth held no sway and Jason's powers were dampened by powerful hexes no living being could lift.

On neutral ground, ambient magical energies would favor neither Iolanda, Camelia, and Caeceila nor Jason and Hivemind Aleth.  Their pitched battle might, on neutral ground, be decided by each party's ability to tap dedicated sources of magical energy at any given time and the sheer capacities of their vessels.  In the Spectral District, however, Jason of the Lions and Hivemind Aleth are an interlopers.  They bear no curse, and they are not the offspring of tainted blood.  Here, Jason's blood is anathema!  This defiled land has no place for living saints!

Before him, the weretiger, Iolanda, swells in size and strength.  As pools of blood bubble up out of the gaps in the cracked cobblestone pavement and an inhospitable wind howls through the streets, a humanoid figure, bathed in chilling cerulean energy, rises from the wreckage of the cart Jason so violently disassembled.  While the uninitiated would perceive this energy as a something akin to a harmless glamour, garish magical eye candy denoting Caeceila is prepared to cast a spell, Jason might recognize Caeceila's radiance for what it is.  Caeceila is releasing concentrated magical energy into her environment in advance of devouring energy stored in an external source.  While certain spirits and certain necromancers are capable of draining energy from targets, Caeceila's habit of releasing concentrated magical energy is something of an oddity in the supernatural world.  Whatever the reason for this behavior, Caeceila readies herself to counter Jason's next magical attack while Camelia, who is growing in size at a spectacular rate, veers sharply to the left and disappears into an umbrageous alley separating two buildings that are in relatively good, if not mint, condition.

Edited by The Alexandrian

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Post getting off the ship and past the guards with Argi and the others with them, Aya had raised an eyebrow at the very concept of Dauner having a fiance. In all honesty, he didn't really seem like the type to 'settle down' just yet. Ira, who knew Dauner for all of not-even-a-single-day picked up on her sister's disbelief and put her hand behind her back to begin casting a low-level incineration spell with the intention of lighting the woman on fire and burning the enrelle off of her. She thought the woman's actions, and fact that her sister had doubts about her relationship with Dauner, meant that she was controlled; but Aya moved her staff in front Ira, silently letting her know to hold back. Neither of them knew for sure if she was controlled or if Dauner seriously had a fiance, which the second thought of that possibility almost made Aya chuckle... it was simply absurd. When they parted ways, Myuil had raised his head up from his perch atop Ira's head and let out a soft, cooing sound that was higher pitched towards the end. "Don't do anything unless he needs help." Aya said and the dragon flew off.


Much later, still traveling with Argi, Aya and Ira had noticed the wagon in the distance but neither had any reaction to those it carried. Aya could sense Caeceila's presence by means of her emotions, but couldn't pinpoint her exact location. It didn't seem like she was in too great a panic, but something was off about one of the others. A person inside felt... somewhat artificial. His emotions had a part that was too stable, and after sensing the enrelle before, Aya was more keen to look out for that. It wasn't a guarentee that he was enrelle, he could just be putting on a facade, or just have a really good internal poker face. Emile ran off to find Elizabeth, Aya and Ira stayed at Argi's side while the events quickly descended into chaos.

Aya received a mental 'ping' of sorts from Myuil. Had he been within her visual range, she'd be able to sight-share with him using her clairvoyance, but such fortune wasn't with her. She could only assume that he was getting ready to intervene with something, and trust that he would act appropriately, and not attract the entire city's attention.

With the fight now being near a newly broken wagon in a less than desirable district of Doughton, a place where evil was popular and the god's waned, Aya could see that her and Ira would have to act together. "Ira-" Ira already had one hand raised with her palm facing where Jason was. Below her, a red circle appeared that had the Constellation symbol for Sagittarius in the middle. "Oh, black devils of suffering, consume the tribute before me..." A second circle, this one black in color with a goat's skull in the middle had appeared. Her hand sharply turned to an enemy that was attacking from the shadows of a nearby alley "-Ebony Flare!" A large circle that was a combination of the two at her feet, five feet in diameter, had appeared and from it, a black flame shot out that quickly turned to a wolf's head that consumed the intruder. He fell to the floor unconscious, horribly burnt, and completely unable to move his body even if he were awake.

Aya quickly turned and put her back to Ira's. She spun her staff at the mid-point, drawing a black circle in front her that gave off a considerable amount of warmth. Three black bolts shot out from the middle, each only about as large as a softball, but having enough force to send an armored man flying back. "Looks like stealth ain't an option." Ira said in a very calm, passive tone. "Apparently." Aya said in the same tone. One man was down, and there was four surrounding the Priestess twins. Both of them had shown that their magic required some time for incantation... Would they receive help? Would they be able to handle two-to-one odds on their own? Would they *have* to handle them? 


Dauner & Gozen


Back with Dauner, Myuil had clung to the walls, rooftops, and ceilings while quietly following the party of three. While Shelly's hand was raising, enough of it had turned in such a way that the dragon with his sharp vision could spot 'something' that was worrysome to him. He began inhaling, preparing to fire off his crystal breath attack, but paused when Dauner's speed increased so much that, for a brief moment, he slipped right through Myuil's vision. The dragon slowly let out its breath, canceling its initial attack as it watched the situation unfold. Had he fired, he likely would've burned a hole straight through Shelly's hand, into her abdoment, and through to her spine and the floor behind it- resulting in an evidently unwanted death. Dauner had said that Gozen wasn't allowed to kill her, so that likely extended to any unexpected allies- or maybe he knew they were followed? 

As the chase began, Myuil let go of the ceiling and took flight, quickly moving past Shelly and darting towards Gozen. He let out a cry, which would sound like the air was shimmering. Most likely, neither of them spoke Genesaran Crystal Dragon, so it would sound completely foreign to them if they spoke any form of dragon at all. But, if they did happen to speak his language, they'd hear that he was saying 'Follow.' If they didn't understand him, they would likely understand his next course of action... He flew a good ways ahead of Dauner and Gozen and let one of his feathers break off. Using his Crystal Singing, the feather expanded to a wall that would leave the only available route as an alleyway only a couple meters wide. Quite confined, but also completely void of any bystanders. His goal would be to guide Dauner and Gozen to a place where they could set up a trap, if their goal was to capture the woman. The place he knew of was one they passed before.

 

 



@danzilla3 @Dauner Light @Meraxa @The Alexandrian @Vilhardt @Zashiii

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So close.

 

She had been so close.

 

There was a screech that came from the creature which wriggled within Shelly's grip, the concept of pain and agony apparently as prevalent a concept in whatever part of the cosmos from which the enrele had spawned, as it was here. The limbs that had brushed across Dauner's skin by the slightest breadth were now seared by his passing, and the parasite held them up towards the blonde woman's face, as to display to a sympathetic face the state in which it found itself. Shelly held the creature at arms length in response, and quickly turned her head as though to suggest disgust at it.

"I-I think it must be one of those parasites everyone in this world worries about...!" She put up a performance of dread and fear at the thing, but on seeing Dauner's drawn blades, and a moment in which she - or the thing behind her gaze - reflected, she sighed, and tossed aside the little enrele into a nearby bush, hiding it from sight and likely allowing it to scurry away. With her expression settling into an unflinching default, Shelly - really, a thing with Shelly's voice - asked a simple question.

 

"What gave it away?"

 

The enrele behind the voice seemed almost... not so much concerned with the two young men before it, but by itself, raising one of Shelly's hands to gaze upon it, and wonder, "Are you two not intimate? The host seems to think you are such."

The lads answered by speaking among themselves, agreeing to each other that they could not kill Shelly, despite the circumstances. That had the young woman's head tilt, her puppetmaster having gotten that basic gesture down to a T, and thus used it to express their further confusion. They were important, so what was the nuance here? Such seemed to be the consideration running through its mind.

Then, the boys decided to run.

"Oh..." The creature with power over Shelly's lips murmured to itself, focusing for but a moment. Then, with blood vessels bulging against Shelly's fair skin, it took on a sneer, uncharacteristic of either it or its host, "You won't get away."

 

Though Dauner and Gozen would have gotten quite the headstart, soon behind them would be heavy strike of a familiar boot against the ground. Then, silence from the ground, while a sharp gust of wind thronged the air, bouncing once off the wall that had so suddenly formed, redirecting the source to land directly in front of the pair as they sought to flee, blocking their path down the alleyway. The short cape that had adorned itself to Shelly's back came loose, fluttering in turbulence that turned to breeze, likely to pass Myuil by in the air. Where it had been upon Shelly's back, there was now revealed that which it had sheltered. A parasite of the like that Shelly had held in her hands, though fully grown, and fully integrated into its host. It ran down - and likely had grown across - Shelly's exposed spine, a horn torn into her armour to give the parasite perch. It pulsed, a largely red sac of fluid, at the end of which lay one great eye, though one that did not consciously turn to face its targets, instead allowing the face of its host to do that instead.

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"Do you want to know what she's thinking?"

 

The sudden phrase came utterly unprompted, as the form of Shelly thrust her hand into the nearby wall. Within, worried murmurs could be heard, which turned to howls of horror as Shelly began to pull back her arm, and from it pulled a post of the building, smashing it through the same wall in an effort to smash it against either young man like a two storey club. As splinters went flying, and chips of stone fragment from their shattered sources, so did the young woman's body rush forward, releasing their grip upon and skirting past the very same ad hoc weapon that they had wielded, spinning with practised grace that Dauner would find quite familiar. He had seen Shelly make these exact pirouettes - to her frustration, and at the insistence of her instructors - so many times. Rarely however did they come with an armoured gauntlet at the end, swung so as to try and backhand the nearest of the heroic pair with excruciating force. Worse still, courtesy of her spin, she would have a followup in the form of a clenched fist, intended to be driven directly into someone's skull!

 

But wait, there was more!

 

Because unless stopped, Shelly's body would keep spinning, twisting her lower mass suddenly so as to swing it upward in an attempt to get the other half of the heroic duo with her airborne heel, delivered in a roundhouse kick!

 


 

If it surprised Jason that Iolanda opted to rush forward - or that she had transformed just moments before - then he did not easily show it. Even that she chose to deliberately wear herself down against the barrier that would seek to forbid her any proximity to the man, it was hard to gauge the reaction too. Perhaps he had difficulty in emoting beyond deliberate interaction. Maybe, if all the legends were true, he had simply seen so much in life that little served to faze him any longer.
It might also be that the parasite pulling the strings on Jason's body had realised that the easiest way out of this was, quite simply, to jump.
So Jason sprung upward, clearing his mobile 'ground' by his own height and then some. The momentum of the carried him some of the way along with it, but as the cart collapsed from lack of driver, steed, and the resulting collision of the former two's absence, and his mass slowed from basic air resistance, Jason of the Lions came to land on a loose cobbles, yet somehow, perfectly found his footing as he skidded to a halt.
 
"I remember this trick." Jason mused, as his head turned, beholding Iolanda in one corner of his eye, and the humanoid coated in that cobalt brilliance. "Zengi thought to best me by setting a trap amidst a cursed battlefield, thinking it might dampen my abilities. And while it did..." Jason's hand flicked downward, bringing that sword of light similarly down against Iolanda, seeking to pin her in place as he turned fully towards Caeceila. "I overcame that as well! So watch yourself, as I'll simply hold power in this body of mine until the point of release!"
His warning came as he rushed forward, hand reared back and open, a vicious palm no doubt ready to be unleashed against his enemy!
Then, his eyes flicked, catching a glint in the rooftops. With an agility that nevertheless should have been beyond any mortal man, Jason rammed his foot against the ground, and swung back his head; a paving stone a few feet beyond him rang with the impact of the bullet just as the sound of its flight seemed to catch up. Drawing up his other hand, only to stop, appear to reconsider, and draw a knife from the back of his belt instead, Jason again sidestepped the shot that came from Emile, before he held up the blade with a slightly crooked arm. Just as one might skip a stone across a lake, the legendary warrior swung his arm, and so let soar the dagger, right towards where Emile lay prone upon the rooftop!
 
Having bought himself at least a few seconds from that, Jason turned once more towards Caeceila, set upon intercepting them before she might release whatever attack she prepared.
But, Emile had also bought time. Time, chiefly, for Argi.
The young man stood there, empty hilt in hand, between the legendary hero and his target. 
"Trouble!" Had been all Argi said to Elizabeth in the moments prior, scarcely even registering that there was a difference about her, before ignoring Cardinal's warning with regards to the grounds and rushing out. He was growing familiar with regards to the sensations of the strange power that Caeceila wielded, so he was certain that the figure in blue behind him was her, albeit in a different form. 
"...Oh. The parasite does not like you. Are you perhaps...?" Jason wondered aloud, as his body rushed forward against his personal will. With his sword of light no longer responding to his direction - a brief flick of the fingers to no result demonstrating as much - and having already tossed away their knife, the man of many centuries ago instead brought back and then thrust forward his hand, the edge of it shimmering bright!
 
"PELDUN!"
 
Argi's cry came with the expected burst of green light, and the subsequent replacement of his body with the towering stature of the automaton. Jason's hand struck against the hard blue surface to little discernible effect, both in terms of its strength, but with regards to other affairs that might have crossed through the minds of both parasite and host.
"...Oh." Jason let out a short, sharp breath as his feet flitted him backwards, before Peldun's hand might have grabbed at him, leaving it to grasp the empty air instead. Skidding once again to stop himself, the redhead remarked, "That's why. You're the one that got away. And right now the thing on neck is wondering why my light does not burn you, as it would do your companions. Only slowly does it comprehend that my power is for smiting the unholy; it sees little difference between you and the one behind you, where for me such is as clear as day." 
"...You talk a lot." Argi answered simply from within Peldun, throwing the automaton forward in an effort to keep this strange, redheaded man on the defensive, forcing them to flee away from any possibility of a straight hit.
"And I suspect you would too, if your mastery of the language were any better." Jason replied, managing after the fourth time dodging to rolling across Peldun's arm, and clambering his way up to the head. As hands pawed at the two 'horns' that sprouted either side of Peldun's head, his words shifted into speech more familiar to Argi. "Or if I knew more than a few words of yours."
 
"You speak the Menjen language?!" Argi's shock was genuine, but in reaching up for the man, Jason simply bobbed and weave from side to side to evade their grip.
"A little." Jason answered, before shifting back to Terric as he turned his body down from Peldun's back, and thus, once more gave himself a path to Caeceila. "But as noble a soul you may be... that is less impressive than one who challenges their origins to be something more. You are but a man with an unusual form of armour, not one with or that has seized power beyond mortals. With neither in your favour--" Suddenly, Jason fell; when his hands found the floor, he forcefully dragged himself - blood vessels bulging slightly at his face - free of the gnarled roots that seemed to take on a life of their own as the sun drew down in the sky; they similarly seized at Peldun, forcing Argi to free himself of them before he might pursue. Jason curled his body tight as he landed on both feet, before the man then springboarded forward, both hands shining bright as nothing was left between him and Caeceila!
"You will not overcome what Aleth has become! What it has taken from Old Man Ptolemy!"
 

Ira's senses had been sharp to see the ones that had skulked up towards them; it was equally surprising, if not surprising, that such a group that could move in relative silence. They did not at all seem the sorts to handle their weight delicately; not when blood vessels were bulging upon their face, and they had a frenzied look in the eye. A look that, in another part of town, was shared with a woman of blonde hair, and of complicated feelings. These ones however did not seem to so readily speak. There was no game of imitation to play; no leniency given for the sake of exploiting key elements. Merely puppets called upon for their purpose; when the enrele had done so - when they had first realised the intrusion to the city - was unclear. It was almost if they were drawn here by chance. By a hunch.
Regardless of whatever it was had drawn the possessed here, they were, well, here. Four still standing, one incapacitated on the ground, and with an uncertain number potentially waiting in the wings. These four had seen what happened to the first, and based on that, moved in to strike. Divided into pairs, their first moves seemed to be presumptions to incapacitate by way of brute force. From the front, the possessed would seek to seize the women's apparent implements; for Aya, her staff, while for Ira it was the hands, with which the two of them had weaved their spells. From behind, arms strengthened beyond what they should have been sought to wrap around and crush the wind pipe, in an effort to keep quiet any incantations that might have acted against them.
 
Not helping matters - at least in terms of the focus required to keep these attackers at bay - was the fact that at the edges of their perception - of the sixth sense with which they felt things in the world beyond flesh and blood - both sisters would feel... something. Something, as if probing at the likes of their presence. Something which pulsed, and the enrele upon the necks of the possessed had the exact same flicker of thought, at the exact same time, as Aya would be able to tell. Not just a common reaction borne of a common nature but... precisely alike.
But yes, the thing that probed at their presence was... familiar, in its nature. This sort of scenario had played out not that long ago, when Meryam had met them aboard the airship. Her nature as a being beyond undeniable; this was similar to that, yet, a kind of its own. A kind that neither Aya or Ira, if they could spare the thought amidst their situation, had directly encountered or experienced prior. Even if they had such a thought they wouldn't be able to focus on it, as in a sudden and surprise effort, the fifth body - despite its earlier, seeming incineration - was made to move by that which possessed it - or if a certain someone was to be believed, perhaps by forces which stirred the dead - even if only in an effort to clamp tight around the legs of the two women, perhaps even drag them to the floor.
 
This was all generally not true of the other pair of sisters, watching the whole scene nearby; they were quite free to try and make sense of this.
 
For the elder sister especially, this new sensation - equally apparent to them as it was to the priestesses - was strikingly familiar. It was something that shouldn't have even been possible. They were all gone now. Only remnants clung to this world where they could, and for many of them, that was within the elder sister's very own body, if not her... soul? Did she still have one of those? Wherever those beings resided, they lurched at what they felt here. It was familiar, but it was wrong. Desecrated. Mutilated. Twisted and turned. Reshaped and being reshaped by some thing that had no right - whether by pact or by conquest - to be there.
A thing that the elder sister could almost feel gaze upon her. Just as she would recognise its presence and its being, so too did it seem to... begin to recognise her existence. Understood the implications of it.
Thus then, did the winds shift. The tides of fate began to turn. A will began to manifest itself upon the world around it. Even those not attuned to such things would know something was afoot, and it was not good.

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As The duo ran, Myuil came flying, letting out a cry and flying on ahead of them. Dauner remembered seeing the little dragon with Aya earlier. It then flew ahead of them and let one of it's feathers break off. The feather then became a wall within mere instants with only a narrow passage in the middle. However, before the two could be able to enter the passage, Shelly jumped and landed in front of them, blocking their path. It was a wonder that Shelly could get ahead of Dauner and Gozen. She had never been able to even catch up to them in terms of speed and it was hard to believe that a parasite would increase someone's abilities this much. Nonetheless, she was ahead of them now and from all indications, the worst was still to come.

"I don't know why, but I'm really not feeling like fighting her" Gozen said.

"A battle against Shelly where we hold back but she goes all out? Not a very good idea" Dauner added.

As Shelly or the parasite which now had control over her launched an attack on the duo, Gozen took measures to ensure she wouldn't get to them. "Sky Bound Flow: Heaven Pillar". As soon as he said that, a pillar of flames erupted from the ground beneath him and Dauner, pushing them far into the air just before Shelly's attacks could get to them. If Shelly had gotten in contact with the pillar, She would notice that the flames were solid and weren't hot. "This pillar should hold for 30 seconds"

It was then that Dauner thought of something. He turned towards where Myuil was gestured towards it for it to come up to where they were. If Myuil understood and flew up, then Dauner would ask if it was possible for him to get one of those feathers it had used earlier and trap Shelly in a crystal block which would cover all but her head.

@Priestess@Meraxa

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The sunlight glinting off the thrown dagger was the only warning Emile got of the projectile flying toward him. He rolled out of the way just in time for it to take a grapefruit sized chunk out of the roof beneath him. When he looked down the sights of his rifle, he saw that Jason was being engaged by Argi. The great suit of armor that the boy wore prevented him from getting a clean shot. 

"Shit."

It was as he was figuring out his next move that he heard the rhythmic sound of hoofs on stone. Looking down below, he saw a lone horse wandering through the streets as though confused. Seeing his opportunity, Emile made his way down the facade of the house and jumped onto the beast. Once he was seated, he used the reigns to spur the animal forward as fast as it would go. The going was rough. He had to navigate the animal around people running for their lives as well as debris from the fight. By the time he caught up, Jason was lunging at Caecilia.

Drawing his revolver, he seemed to pass by the springing figure in slow motion. As he passed he unloaded all six rounds at the Legends back. From this distance there was no way he would be able to dodge all of them. Once finished he jumped off the horse, and drew his other sidearm to point at the man. 

 

Edited by danzilla3

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"It finally happened," Shishi's companion spoke. "It's coming."

Shishi's cocked her head in confusion. "What's coming?"

It seems Shishi's questions fell on deaf ears as the other woman looked lost, her eyes staring blankly into the city skies. That was only for a moment, then it hit Shishi. A foreign sensation washed all over her. It felt so wrong...so disgusting...so inhuman. So familiar.

"This is-!" Shishi cried in disbeleif, "No, no. Not this time! Not again!"

Spoiler

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The elder sister's chilling laughter shook Shishi. Her eyes turned to her sister only to see the woman succumb to hysteria at the absurdity of it all. What frightens Shishi the most is that her sister's hair has turned black now and she expected the other woman's face to change at all, change to a face identical to Shishi's own. It seems that the terrorist known as "The Mistress" has appeared once more. 

"Sister! Stop-" but her words fell short as the other woman began to speak. 

"Impressive. To reach this far, I should commend a brat like you. You have reached a stage my mother could not. For that, I must end you. The same way I did to my mother. Abominations like you should not be permitted to exist."

Shishi could only stand there in defeat. The most she can do is hope that no one is filming this live or the authorities would be on to her and her family again. That fiasco with her mother was more than enough, she did not need another disaster like that happening

"I would assume that's one of those so called gods from Renovatio. Even your choice lacks standards. Of all the possible choices, you chose the lowest in the hierarchy. I would eliminate you this instant but the Dougton- no, the land itself is resisting me, keeping me in check. It amuses me that the loci permits an abomination like you but inhibits me and my companions very existence. Amusing isn't it? The region itself seems to favor the enrele more than the ones trying to save it from these foreigners. But this handicap only makes things even more enjoyable."

The older woman- no, the Mistress herself continued talking to herself out loud as she began to move towards Jason. 

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Tell you what, I'll let you in on a little something neither you nor your new friends understand.  I'm a bloody-minded bitch.  Your opinions don't mean shit to me.  Call me a monster!  Tell me I'm unnatural and hated and feared and that I don't have a right to exist!  You won't change a damn thing.  As long as I'm alive, I'll use my power to save people.  I won't stop - I'll keep fighting until there's no fight left in this world - and if you don't like it, you and your friends better kill me where I stand!

True to her word and her ideals, Caeceila yields not an inch as Jason recklessly charges into her minor energy maelstrom.  On the contrary, she advances on him with astounding but not preternatural speed, aiming to engage the vanquished hero in close quarters combat within the maelstrom itself.  Her barrier is active, effectively shielding her from Jason's aura.  Critical inspection of Caeceila's barrier will reveal that Caeceila's barrier is presently composed of two layers, an extended energy siphoning layer sustained atop a skintight hard energy shell.  This paranormal barrier system can be likened to contemporary body armor in that it is designed to dissipate incoming energy and distribute it over an expanding area when the hard energy shell deflects.  The kicker, from the perspective of Caeceila's opponents, is that the siphon is a sustained effect that routes energy, ambient or otherwise, through the hard energy shell as it is absorbed into Caeceila's vessel, reinforcing and repairing her paranormal barrier system without demanding a significant share of her attention.  Moreover, Caeceila had, in the last round, enriched a small, hemispherical area with her energy maelstrom in preparation for devouring energy stored in an external source which directly translates into virtually automatic, if temporary, barrier system regeneration keyed to her barrier within the boundaries of the affected space.

Therefore, Caeceila remains ready to devour a fair portion of the energy stored in Jason, whether it be holy, elemental, psychic, necromantic, or merely life energy, when he dives into range.  Predatory instinct drives her forward, her execution not merely informed but directed by her much reviled inheritance.  The Heiress would catch Jason mid-dive, for she was motivated to deny him the chance to stick the landing terminating his chain of acrobatic stunts, with a vicious right hook.  Caeceila is strong, much stronger than an average Terran, and the momentum derived from her anatomy, stance, and form is supplemented by an invisible wave of force that propagates out from the proximal phalanges, the striking surface, of her fist.  Had she launched this attack against an average Terran, her target might fold around the point of impact from the sheer power behind her strike.  Jason, however, might endure this devastating strike with minimal damage, though his shield may be weakened or even shattered by the accompanying energy siphon at the point of contact.

Caeceila's primary objective is to compel Jason's puppet master to continue to prioritize her as a target.  In doing so, she will prevent Jason and his puppet master from achieving total awareness the battlefield.  In addition, by denying Jason the opportunity to stick his landing and keeping him in front of her, if only for a few seconds, she will, by a bountiful stroke of luck, keep Jason between her body and the bullets Emile may have just fired at her front.

Even a flawless rendition of this sequence does not guarantee Jason's defeat and Hivemind Aleth's withdrawal from the Spectral District.  Iolanda, in the time required for Jason to dodge multiple attacks, hurl his dagger, and scale Peldun, had cut herself free of the sword of light commanded to pin her to the ground.  It was a rapid, if tortuous, procedure.  Jason's sword was extraordinarily sharp and therefore it was extraordinarily easy to simply allow her momentum to carry her from the blade as it sliced into her flesh.  She continued to grow throughout this operation. her growth complimenting her supernatural regeneration factor.  She was now about the size of an elephant.  In consequence, she was injured, but not heavily injured, so she opted to withdraw from the battlefield along the same route as her sister Camelia, who was, alarmingly, nowhere to be seen despite the fact that she is very likely far larger than an elephant at this time.  While none of the combatants on either side, save Camelia and Iolanda, would be privy to Camelia's movements, she had concealed herself behind a large structure in a position where she might be able to ambush any Enrele reinforcements inbound from the Magistrate's Estate.

Whatever the outcome of her right hook, Caeceila is dissatisfied with whatever advantage she may have gained.  In a blur of blinding cerulean light, she rockets forward, alive with unhallowed power, and attempts to smear Jason of the Lions across the street behind him.  Her icy eyes mirror her ruthless pragmatism as she skims through patches of fog, aiming to drag Jason against the oozing cobblestone road and, shortly thereafter, lob him into the exquisite masonry of a yawning residence that lingers, empty and purposeless, deeper within the Spectral District.

Edited by The Alexandrian

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Stopping mid-flight as a cape fluttered across his range of vision, threatening to ensnare the small dragon if he hadn't stopped, Myuil turned around while staying airborne. Quick thinking on Gozen's behalf had sent him and his friend atop a large pillar where Dauner hailed to Myuil, who quickly flew up to the top and began circling them. 

Dauner had come up with a spur of the moment plan that Myuil was already mulling over. Dauner would take one of Myuil's feathers and sneak it onto Shelly's being, after which, Myuil would use his Crystal Singing ability to completely encase her in a block of crystal. The dragon would land on his shoulder if he'd allow it and pull a feather from his wing before handing it over. If Dauner didn't let him land there, the feather would gracefully float over to him.


TRMHkWr.png 


The situation for the twins was surprisingly worse than Myuil's. The dragon had a reliable ally to fight alongside, who didn't have much in terms of personal agendas when it came to being in doughton at all, and even then, his personal morals prevented him from abandoning those around him- he'd probably get killed for that, one day. Aya... well, her ally was her twin sister, who only became obedient on account of Aya sealing most of her magic. Cae and Emile were currently preoccupied, Shishi's sister had gone and chosen her foe, and Shishi herself now had her own twin to worry about- why can't she just use a divine seal on her? Seriously, it's not that hard.

The enemy that Aya had knocked back with her Light Bolt had gotten up on his own account, and the enrelle had assumed full control of the enemy that Ira had injured despite his body being made useless. Meanwhile, one of the armored men had been going after Ira's hands, and Aya's staff, with the remaining three coming for support. If they thought that the two casters of the group were so easily stopped, they would learn to fear anyone in a shrine maiden's garb.

"Göttliche Mauer!"

It was an instinctual action, but the spell would create a sphere of black energy around herself and her sister, though, not without a small issue. The two men who were trying to bind Aya and Ira had managed to grab them just as the wall went up. None of the other three would be able to break the barrier, and the ones holding Aya's staff and Ira's wrists wouldn't be able to pull them out of it, but, they were strong. "Oh sister, dearest... I believe it's time to stop being a stingy twat." Aya's expression went blank with disappointment. Ira was so close to saying something decent, but she still went and insulted her using the same gentle tone you'd expect of a priestess. "Release restraint." Aya begrudgingly said. 

No fancy transformations, no change in eye color, just Ira turning her hand and grabbing the wrist of the armored hand grabbing her. "Armor Lock!" Ira shouted, which would instantly cause the man's armor to be enchanted. The one holding her would find himself unable to move, and magic chains would appear as markings all over his body. "Oh sister, dearest... I believe it's time for you to stop holding back." Aya said while trying to pull her staff from the other's hand. 

A large, red magic circle would appear below Aya's barrier with the symbol for Leo. "Righteous spirit of damnation, bare your fangs at the fools before you.-" a circle of large fireballs appeared in the air above the outside of Aya's barrier. "-Bite down and punish them for their crime." The two men who dared to reach for the twins had already sealed their fate. Aya had even gone out of her way to say "Omae wa mou shindeiru." in a very soft, sweet, tone with a caring smile. The fireballs would turn to spears before rapidly descending on the exterior of the barrier. The two who were trapped in it would be destroyed with not even ashes remaining of everything that was outside the barrier. The other three would have the option of getting out of the way, if they could. This attack would also destroy Aya's barrier along with those trapped by it. Her and her sister would be lifted by Aya's Psionics to a second story balcony, giving them a few moments before any remaining enemies could climb their way up to them.

"Erleuchten sie die welt und geben sie unserer armee den segen eines kriegers." 

Black light would surround the team's members, except Dauner and Gozen who were much too far away for that, and empower them. Those who would reject the blessing wouldn't be forced to accept it, the magic would fade away instantly and leave them. Those who would accept it would have enhanced physical strength and greater agility, but their magical abilities wouldn't be enhanced- so is not the way of the warrior.

"Stiller Sarg!" Aya would proclaim and surround herself in a rectangular prism of energy. The spell was 'Silent Coffin' which would seal her voice in, making it impossible for those on the outside to know what spell she were casting. The fact that her power consumed the light around it in leiu of magic would make it very difficult to see through the barrier. "A pitty that your devotion earned such an unsavory reward..." Aya said in a soft tone that not even her sister could hear. "Fluch des Aufruhrs" a black mark would appear over Jason's chest as the 'Curse of Turmoil' was set on him. If even a shred of the knight he was supposed to be remained, then it would be called to accept judgement for letting himself be taken to the enemy's side. His judgement would be the rapid deterioration of his body, making him considerably weaker in all aspects. If Jason had rejected the judgement, the effect would be much weaker, but still noticeable.

 


OOC: Extremely Rough Translation "Enlighten the world and give our army the blessing of a warrior."

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