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Friv
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Breath Between Ages, Part Three: Righteous Fury

24 Sep 2007, 14:31

“I don’t like this.” Sesus Lahore glanced around the ruined balcony, looking over the ancient Solar portraits. “It’s too… still.”

“You don’t like anything that puts your skin in the slightest danger.” Tepet Lisara’s voice was filled with scorn as she glanced around with more interest. The two of them had been instant enemies upon meeting each other, and spending a week tramping through the snowy wastes of the Northeast had not improved their dispositions. Even in the height of summer, the area around this forsaken ruin was cold and dour, and the demon-blooded creatures that had decimated their army and left the four Dragon-Blooded practically the only survivors of this expedition had also forced them to camp inside this ancient ruin.

“If you two could stop bickering for just one moment, we have a bigger problem.” V’Neef Mahina and Tepet Cassus, the last two survivors of the expedition, rejoined their companions. She nodded to Cassus as the two turned their attention to them, and sighed.

“I have good news and bad news. The good news – I know where we are. It’s the Invisible Fortress.”

“That old legend? I doubt it.” Lahor scoffed, only to fall silent at Cassus’s look. After a moment, he added tentatively, “That was a Shogunate fortress, though. Not this… Anathema monstrosity.”

“Ozmandius Pal was the one who wrote the Invisible Fortress letters. That’s his portrait.” Cassus gestured to it, and then shook his head. “But that’s not the bad news. The bad news is we aren’t alone. Someone beat us here.” Without waiting for a reply, he stepped into the next room to continue exploring.

There was a pause, and then Lisara swore, rounding on Lahore. “You and your damned wendigo hunt! You just had to…”

“Enough.” Mahina gritted her teeth to keep from screaming. “We need to work together. If someone is here, then…” They were cut off at a shout from the other room, and as one they dashed across. The room was empty, devoid of furnishings save for one of the ubiquitous mirrors that were found in every room, and there was no sign of Cassus. Mahina swallowed, calling out softly. “Cassus?

Safely behind the glass, hiding unseen within the mirror’s reflection, Malakin Verr clutched the still faintly-struggling Dragon-Blood. “Do you see it, traitor?” The mirror hallway was tinted gold and green with his tainted castemark. “I returned to my lair, and found you despoiling it. They will rue that, though. Oh, yes. I left a message here, in another lifetime. This lair is sanctified to Biraszha Haisz, the Mirror Within The Mirror. And now I will have vengeance. I will hunt you one by one, and I will break you. Oh, yes. You will suffer as we suffered, and it will be beautiful…”

-----

The dust settled around the city of Lookshy, as the people looked around aghast. Karal Vienn staggered towards the ruins of the city’s great Academy and the armories beneath it. Grabbing a soldier, his face bloodied, he yelled over the roar from the pillars of fire bursting forth. “What happened?”

“I don’t know, sir! Someone murdered the guards and descended below the Manse, into the old factory-cathedral!” The soldier gestured wildly. “Karal Fire Orchid took a fang of Dragon Armors down after him. The last thing that we heard was a Wind-Carried Words. She said that “the Conduit of Talavos was dead, but he overloaded the Manse.” She said to evacuate. It was only ten seconds later that this happened.

“Dear gods above.” There was no trace of the great Manse that had stood above the old cathedral. The area of devastation, Vienn considered, must cover over a fifth of the city, including the airship hangars and the greatest armories. There was no telling what magical dangers were unleashed when so many devices were destroyed, and the former Manse still looked unstable enough for another, larger explosion to occur at any moment. He came to a decision, nodding slowly. “Evacuate the city.”

“Sir?” The soldier gaped at him.

“I know!” Vienn barked out the words. “But we have no choice! Start the evacuation. Every person, any resources we can recover. We have to fall back until this settles.” He shook his head, still half in shock himself. “What dark times are befalling us now…?”

-----

Raksi crept, in the form of a skittering spider, through the ruins of her throne room, staying hidden deep within the shadows. This upstart akuma thought that he could destroy the people of her city, and take her Book? She would show him. She would show everyone who mocked her, who believed that she was anything but the best, oh yes.

Her plot paused as she heard this supposed Conduit of Hegra speaking. Peering upwards, she saw a faint, wavering image sitting in the air before him – some advanced form of Infallible Messenger, allowing extended communication at a long distance. Preparing herself for this ultimate spell shaping that she was planning, she listened silently.

“Cytherea betrayed us, and led the Conduit of Kagami to his death.” The Lunar Conduit sighed and shook his head. Raksi rubbed her fangs together in anger. She had taken Kythan Seven Splendours in as a pupil, and he had betrayed her, turned to the Yozi for power. Unforgivable.

“Unfortunate.” The silky-smooth voice of the Scarlet Empress echoed across the link, and Raksi nodded thoughtfully. It was surprising that she was of the Yozi, but not entirely so. “With Talavos lost in Lookshy, that leaves our alliance with only five supporters.”

Kythan laughed. “Five is enough. I am coordinating with Oramus to control the East, and Biraszha Haisz controls the Invisible Fortress. With Gatanaris spreading unchallenged through the west…” He trailed off with a nasty grin. “Cytherea is his only true opposition. She will pay for siding with Sacheverall’s alliance against yours.”

“I hope so. This Eclipse is proving hard to pin down.” The Empress paused. “Splendours, your Book appears to be glowing silver.”

Kythan looked across at the Book of Three Circles, the prize he had won upon driving Raksi from Sperimen, was indeed glowing with a pale silver light. He did not think that was possible. Standing quickly, he searched the throne room, and his lip twisted. “Raksi. Old teacher, you should not have returned.”

Raksi, still in her spider form, limbs twitching as she shifted her spell into its second stage, did not responde. Kythan shrugged, his own anima shining pale light to counter hers. “Whatever spell you think you are casting…” With a wave of his hand, he spoke the three words of a Sapphire Countermagic, sending it out to blanket the room. “It will fail. Really. Did you think that you could…” He trailed off as he realized that she was still shaping the spell, despite the field that should have caused it to wink out like a light. “What in the…”

Raksi grinned triumphantly, chittering the last symbols of the Essence Inversion. It had taken her a great deal of effort to tattoo the Book of Three Circles, tying it irrevocably to her Essence, but she knew that it would be successful. Now, by sending her Essence through the Book, she would cast a spell more powerful than Kythan could counter. The most devastating magic she knew, and one that he had no way to avoid.

Kythan, staring at the book in horror, saw the runes burning on its cover, and he saw them waver as they strained to hold a power that a Lunar Essence was never meant to wield. “You fool, Raksi! You’ll destroy…” He was cut off as the Book exploded violently.

The Conduit shielded himself as the waves of destructive Essence swept over Sperimen, collapsing its towers and instantly destroying anything and anyone within ten miles who could not defend themselves. He fell, as wave after wave buffeted him, crashing to the ground as the dust that was once a great city settled. Looking around desperately, he began to search for the Book, and for his mentor.

He found Raksi’s skeleton, still glowing silver from the power she had tried to wield, but of the Book there was no sign.
Last edited by Friv on 24 Sep 2007, 15:35, edited 1 time in total.
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von Schabov
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Re: Breath Between Ages, Part Three: Righteous Fury

24 Sep 2007, 15:13

Hmm Sesus Lehore and Tepet Lisara? You know Deled and Lyta are hated to the point when you start loving them. This two no one cares about so its not so cool as previous story. This ones will be better of dead so its win win situation

Also Lookshy went boom. Fine less opposition for realm in the future. Now realm has to survive events that will follow

Raksi dead. Splendid

>:) :greensun:
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Dinosaur
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Re: Breath Between Ages, Part Three: Righteous Fury

24 Sep 2007, 15:17

Poor Fire Orchid. So un-Sue like, for she was older than Dace and had the misfortune to be in Castebook: Zenith.

Also, I'm getting the most hilarious images of Lahor and Lisara in the same room for more than five minutes. The former aspires to be his own Pyramid Head, the latter trying to find ways to make him go first into every hazard and cursing when he survives... it's a wonder they're even still there and Mahina didn't leave them out to freeze in frustration. <^_^>

Raksi rubbed her fangs together in anger.


Spiders don't have mandibles, as they are chelicerates. And even with her mutations, I don't think that it would change that much. They might bend backwards, but they'd still be fangs.
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Friv
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Re: Breath Between Ages, Part Three: Righteous Fury

24 Sep 2007, 15:34

Dinosaur wrote:
Spiders don't have mandibles, as they are chelicerates. And even with her mutations, I don't think that it would change that much. They might bend backwards, but they'd still be fangs.


Oh. Didn't know that. I'll go back and change that, then.

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Re: Breath Between Ages, Part Three: Righteous Fury

25 Sep 2007, 23:39

This saga continues to surprise and delight.

Interesting, that Raksi tried and failed. We know there are Lunar Sorcerers who found ways to use Solar Circle Sorcery with Artifacts and what not. I'm surprised that Raksi of all Sorcerers made a mistake on what was possible there. Still, explosions are great.

And you doing the Invisible Fortress makes me want to write a murder mystery there...
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Re: Breath Between Ages, Part Three: Righteous Fury

26 Sep 2007, 00:09

The existence of the Invisible Fortress makes people want to set murder mysteries there. It's practically a required part of the adventure.

Addmittedly, the end, where they rip off the mask and discover that the murderer was actually the fortess itself is a bit unusual, but...
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