The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Spoiler: Industrial Spoils
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebonack View Post
    [Industrial Park]

    Morning Glory will likewise allow Jaahlyn to disembark.

    Or, more properly, she'll set Jaahlyn's feet on the frosty floor.

    "Scouting ahead is a terrible plan," Morning points out. "We should keep within sight of each other at all times. And we should move quickly," she adds, trotting in the direction of the cold.

    Huh.

    She had wings a second ago, didn't she? She doesn't now. No transition. No withering away. Just there one moment and then gone the next like a bad movie cut. Weird shape-shifting things.

    "So, passphrase. One person says tail. The other person says fire. We know this. The creeps don't. Easy."

    Hopefully there aren't any horrors hovering within earshot.

    Morning Glory isn't totally sure how to feel about all of this. She gets back to the Nexus and within no time at all a crisis is cropping up. Just like old times, right? But really, when was the last time an existential threat reared its ugly head? Cauliflower, maybe? There's a bit of excitement, but at the same time a feeling like lead in her stomach. She has to take this seriously. These are real people the bugs are murdering. Or at least people who believe they're real.

    That has to be good enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post
    [Industrial Park]

    At least hooves were pretty good at withstanding cold, Jaahlyn lands softly with a clipity-clop. "Yes, and scouting ahead is for those who have time to spare, and we have none. Let's just get deeper inside, let us hope we can surprise them. Overwhelm them at a critical moment." There was only hoping at this point. They had no clue what was waiting in there so they just had to hope their clubs would be bigger than the enemies teeth.


    [Industrial Park - Beneath]

    Muun slides into Background Mode, performing abstract and off-screen contributions for the party, until such time as he becomes more connected to reality again.

    Meanwhile, Down is wondering if she should make some sort of snide remark about the dedication to flaming tails passphrase, but an oft-quiet voice reminds her that she doesn't always have to be an enormous jerk about everything. This is why she has no friends.
    So instead, she just smartly nods along with the joint decision to "move ahead quickly, stay together" that it seems everyone likes.

    Sometimes simple is better.

    Onwards they go! Deeper into the presumably natural cave tunnel presented before them, the temperature precipitously dropping with every passing moment of progress.
    It is cold. Quite past cold, in fact, straight into freezing. Any damp residue that normally would like the cave walls has long since frozen into a slick sheet, and what should be stale-but-cool air is becoming more and more awful-and-unpleasant wind.
    Bits of snow float past.
    Snow drifts begin to appear along the edges of the walls.

    This doesn't appear to be an enormously long passage and only one side path seems to exist, which veers off somewhere to the left before appearing to curve off in the same direction as this main one.
    The main passage terminates into the opening of a larger chamber, the floor sloping gently down at first, then abruptly terminating into a sheer drop of about seven feet to the floor of a broad area very lightly obscured by billowing snow.

    Contrary to Down's incredibly paranoid opinion, there appears to be absolutely no monsters immediately presenting themselves or lurking nearby.
    Approaching the open chamber close enough to see inside better, what looks like a group of humanoid figures can be seen in silhouette where the blowing snow is thickest, along with a big dark...smudge in the air. It's pretty hard to tell what it is from over here, but its shape seems kind of indistinct and amorphous, but larger than than any of the figures.

    "Big thing isn't giving off heat, that's probably our magic."
    The visor of Down's helmet has taken a slightly blue-purple tint to it, presumably facilitating whatever heat detection she's doing.
    "Figures are all live."
    With that comment, she takes a moment to confirm her weaponry and contemplatively ruffles her wings.
    "I don't have any appropriate explosives for this environment or I would recommend terminating them from here."

    [The Docks - Ruined Tavern]

    There are, of course, storm drains around. Whoever designed this particular area of the Docks' infrastructure was a fan of the things.
    Most of them aren't particularly friendly to full-sized people entering them, being smaller grates built into the sides of walkways for basic water run-off. However, for maintenance purposes there are larger and removable service grates approximately every other block of buildings.

    The tavern is on an "off block", so there are service grates located in either of its neighboring blocks for the party to consider. Not immediately present, but probably still quicker to find and access than removing all of this debris would be.

    [The Orphanage]

    Red begins the laborious process of levitating children to the floor above, which obligingly does not collapse under their weight. It's very considerate, despite the abuse she has heaped onto it previously.
    Part way through this process, the gross sound of wet, heaving flesh emanates from one of the nearby doorways (that the party had entirely skipped past). A thick, unpleasant looking red sludge begins to creep beneath the frame.

    Mo hugs the boy.
    Mo becomes a lightning rod.

    Much as a novelty plasma ball wildly flails at nothing until a conducting object makes contact, the boy's energy has been more or less just spilling out into the world and whittling away at everything absent a direct target. Ithuriel's focusing exercise narrowed in the scope of this spillage, reducing the broader effects while he struggled to control himself.
    Mo has created a target.

    From Ithuriel's perspective, the horrible despairing blanket settling over the air around her just stops. The air is cool, as a basement should be, and smells horribly of rotted meat, but is otherwise...normal.

    Mo becomes a math equation.
    1 + -1 = 0
    Anima, electricity, life, light, heat, the "positive" animating forces of the world being poured over with the "negative" finality, stillness, chill, void of Death. It is not a lethal draining, as Mo had theorized, so much as as abrupt smothering. As two opposing frequencies will cancel each other out into a blank nothing, so too do these opposing energies of Live and Die.
    For a candle, its heat and fire expire. For a man, it's the cessation of their heart and mind, their breath.
    For Mo, it is an attack on her energy reserves and production. No physical damage on anything at all.

    There is no dramatic light show or terrifying noises, to go with any of this. Simply the surprised inhale of a boy who hadn't expected a hug.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Industrial Strength Investigation]

    Misty sighs again, and rubs the bridge of her nose.

    "We'll have to go there; they're having problems getting the system to copy the footage out for us." She turns, and starts heading for the exit, mumbling something under her breath about idiots and having to do something yourself if you want it done right. "They probably triggered some ICE or something; the tech didn't sound like he knew what he was doing."
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnrlshrimp View Post
    [Hotel]

    Lucy nods quietly and steps away from Sam. He's right. Of course he's right.

    It brings some relief, actually. She could try to argue it, but it'd be pointless. And besides, Sylvess isn't out here to really dig his heels in over it. It's not her fault! It's not his fault!

    It's never quite that simple, but it helps. A few more reminders like that and it might properly sink in.

    "A-alright. Alright, I get it. Come on, let's go do something before I do something stupid." She darts around him, heading out the door.
    [Hotel]

    Sam smiles, rolling his eyes at his endearing mess of a friend. That’s Lucy for you. Sam slips his jacket back on and follows after her.
    ”So. What are we doing?”
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Quote Originally Posted by Slii Arhem View Post
    Rambling Shop - Lum

    Digging through boxes of old wiring, defunct power tools, and bags upon bags of old spare parts ensures as Fezziro salvages capacitors, circuitboards, screws, and even an old plasma cutter tip he managed to scrounge somewhere. Anything Lum asks for, he'll try to provide in short order and often succeed in doing so. His unique filing system helped him there, though he could already see this would be an expensive job. Just in parts, this commission was destroying the possible usefulness of several other future projects he could have done. Though if pressed he would admit he always had more things to enchant than he could ever finish, people being all too willing to trade away treasured memories in exchange for a discount on a useful new toy.

    Still... that would be part of the story now too. Greedy, hungry tools. Jealous too. They'd work better in Lum's hands than any other tool set, provided she kept them fed and used them before any others... He scribbles a note as he holds out a green thing with a couple of strange curly bits. Already a narrative was taking hold here, and strongly.

    When the plasma cutter is done to Lum's satisfaction, Fezziro will have to enchant it. And this... he must sadly shoo her out of the wagon for "It's not that I don't trust you, and if you wish to learn my methods while working off your debt, I'll consider it. But for tonight, I need solitude for this." He's already laying out an old granite mortar and pestle, a very thin glass rod, and several bags of strong-smelling substances, one so acrid it might make Lum sneeze. Fezziro takes no notice, likely because of his mask.
    Rambling Shop - Lum

    Lum is perplexed at why she had to leave, but before she can even really argue about it she finds herself outside the little shop, poncho and scarf back in hand from when she instinctively grabbed it on the way out. She buzzes at the door, a bit angry, but eventually she pulls her poncho and scarf back on before sitting down with her arms crossed, back against the door. Even if it took all night she wasn't going to leave her tools behind!

    Jace's Phone

    Wherever Jace is, he'll find himself receiving a text from Heather, Veronica's younger half-sister. Jace? It's Heather. Uh...I dunno what's going on, but Sis was acting all funny this afternoon after getting off work and now she's left with a satchel full of books and supplies. I don't know where she's going, but can you come over and look at what she left on the table? Please?

    She's surprisingly capable of texting out full words despite only now hitting her pre-teen years.

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Jace’s Phone]

    OMW is the only reply. Heather might remember that Jace has a habit of writing text messages like letters and being incredibly overly verbose. So a short response means that it was probably Zebes who wrote the response.
    And sure enough, exactly three minutes and fifty seven seconds later, Jace and Zebes appear at the harpies’ front door, who knock politely before entering and looking at the scene in question.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Shadowcaller's Avatar

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Industrial Park - Beneath]

    Jaahlyn pulled her coat tighter around herself and started to button it up more. This cold has to be produced by this ritual or whatever those creatures were doing down here. Either way, it probably wasn't good but at least she was wearing enough clothes to endure the cold.

    "I could attempt to counter their magic with my own." She whispers as she stares at what she guessed must be the aforementioned ritual. "Or I could shoot at them, but I'm not sure how effective that would be. Either way, it wouldn't be very stealthy."

    [Sunset Street - Night Time]

    Ghouls murdering and eating people wasn't new, but this particular ghoul had also been the landlord over the district and a advocate for the undead reformation movement so there was something that wasn't adding up in Faith's book.
    Normally, she'd take offense to be assigned to the undead news stories, but this one she was curious about. What had happened to make a well-adjusted man like Benjamin White do this? She hadn't know him personally, but she had heard about his activism through her channels and he had seemed like a good man.

    But while she had come to the scene of the crime for answers what she would find was more questions as she saw smoking raising from the district and the sound of fire sirens in the distance. Security vehicles were blocking the street and armed personnel were trying to restrain a man that seemed to be made of fire dressed in a torn chef uniform.

    Other reports were already in place and it looked like the entire situation was going to be on TV soon.

    So a murder and a arson on exactly the same street in such a short span of time? Seemed like hell of a coincidence.
    The other news teams probably had come to cover Benjamin's murderous rampage too, but now it looked like they were stuck behind the security perimeter covering the crimes of whoever the fire chef was.

    Normally, that's where she would be staying as well but this seemed like something far more than a murder and a arson. Something big was happening and she had to get to the bottom of it.

    Stepping away into an alleyway she made sure it was completely empty before she removed her gloves and put them in her pocket. Then, looking up, she took a deep breath and keeled down. With her feet pushing into the street underneath her legs were able to produce enough force to make her leap all the way to the roof, her long claws easily finding purchase as she clambered onto the roof with some effort.

    "Ouff~" Faith groaned as she found her footing and could heave herself over the edge and press herself against the cold roof plates. After a moment of recovery she put her gloves back on while looking around. It didn't appear like anyone had seen her and in the middle of the night against a black roof, it probably would have been hard to spot her in her black coat.

    Not that jumping onto a roof was illegal or anything but it still didn't feel right to be seen doing this which likely was her background speaking. It wasn't even like she was even trying to sneak past the security perimeter, she was simply trying to get a better point of view.

    From above her she could see that other people on the street of the district were acting oddly too. A couple of centaurs seemed to be performing acts that shouldn't be seen in public in the glow of the raising flames of the building while a little goat-man watched on. With a lot of the districts populace staying staring in horror at the scene from their windows.

    This was more than just a few random acts of murder and violence, this was all a part of something bigger. Perhaps it was connected to the infection that supposedly caused the destruction in the docks?

    Down below, people had started to gather at the security perimeter and she also saw flying people approaching from the sky, drawn to see where the smoke was coming from. Whatever was happening, all of Inside would probably know what happened here by the morning, she would make sure they would.

    {Plot Post 4}
    Previously: Plot post 3 - New Inside - President Sierra's Office
    Next: Plot post 5 - Sunset Street - Day time
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-04-22 at 01:48 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bc56's Avatar

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    Exclamation Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Office Building of Horror
    Open scene: heroes wanted

    This morning, it was the offices of a large legal firm. Now, it's a bloodbath. The employees who managed to escape are huddled in the street with a number of bystanders who couldn't leave a disaster unobserved. The lower floors of the building are in bad shape and a fire has broken out on the third floor and is raging violently.
    On the fifth floor, a window breaks, a security guard and a filing cabinet flying out of it and plummeting to the ground far below. Gunfire and screams can be heard from the new opening, until both sounds abruptly cut out. There's something in there, something deadly.

    Abrajin's Library

    "Do you know where?
    I cannot bear
    The creature's worries much longer."
    The Scout continues. It would really like to get moving, and the snake isn't being helpful.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Halae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Quote Originally Posted by Slii Arhem View Post
    Fezziro's - Emily

    Fezziro names his price, a reasonable one for a set of high quality cookware, influenced both by the magical nature of it and by its startling impracticality in the hands of anyone other than Emily. One raises it, and the other lowers, meeting somewhere in the middle with enough of a profit margin that Fezziro's investment and the fact that he'd lugged the case around all this time won't go to waste.

    Once he deals with the receipts and offers them for Emily to sign, he gets to the formal part, "Now young mistress, you might be wondering why I insist that nothing in my shop be used as a weapon. Especially about these particular instruments. Perhaps you are not, as you seem a very sensible sort. I'll spare you the full admonition and just say that these objects are all a least slightly aware of how they're used and treated. Neglecting them, abusing them, or abusing others with them all tarnishes their histories, and can turn their benefits into curses. If you have any trouble, I'll give you my card so you can call me and arrange a consultation. If you wish to know more, I'll give you the full spiel." Emily's lucky. Not many people get the option to opt out of Fezziro's full warning about his shop's merchandise.

    "As for other items.. Hmm. Let me take a look at you." And he appears to look her up and down, really noticing her physique and more unusual features for the first time. He takes in the fetchingly styled wig, the tail, the musculature, the hands that could probably pinch him in half like an industrial press.

    "Ah-ha! I have just the thing. And she's been looking for a new home again anyway." Going back to the wagon he goes deep into its shadowed recesses, pulling free a cardboard box and taking it out into the light. When he opens it, Emily can see that it's packed full of stuffed toys, and he roots around inside until his hand brushes up against one that purrs at his touch.

    What he pulls free is a ragged, worn, heavily mended and not very adorable anymore cat plushie. She's missing most of an ear, and one of her glassy eyes is entirely gone, replaced by a facsimile of a sewn-shut lid.

    "Now I know she doesn't look like much. Some of the stuffing has been taken out of her, so to speak. But she'd be quite grateful for a warm home and a warm body to sleep next to, and she guards the dreams of anyone she's touching while they sleep. Nightmares, demons, and other invasive mental gribblies have all learned to fear her claws. You'll notice the damage of a bad night appear on her the next day, but so long as you're ready with a sewing kit to help mend her wounds she'll love you forever. Even if, in true catlike fashion, she'll never admit it."
    Fezziro's - Emily

    Memories of a completely different one-eared cat rocket through the massive woman's mind, and her gaze turns soft at looking upon the abused plushie. After a moment in silent thought, she says, "Alright, yeah, I'll take her. I've got a sewing kit at home anyways," The plushie, when paid for, is held carefully. Gently even, as if Emily could hurt the cat should she press too hard against the plushie.

    "Thanks Fezziro. I'll definitely mention you to my friends; this is a great shop," with a final wave, Emily will turn to leave unless stopped, carrying her purchases in each hand.
    If You need me to post somewhere, drop me a message, please

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  9. - Top - End - #99
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Industrial Strength Investigation]

    "Or those thieves managed to scramble the security systems," Michalson points out. "They clearly knew what they were doin', and it'd be bad news for us."
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Office of Horror

    On the fifth floor there is a tall young man with brown hair, a goatee and moustache and green eyes, and wearing black trousers and t-shirt under a dark purple apron. He looks up from his sweeping, after he hears the sounds of a window breaking and a rapidly fading scream, and glances at the scrawny humanoid plant with the big yellow head. "Something's up, Ben. Come on, gotta go." Alfred reaches into a pocket and pulls out a bundle of keys and heads to the nearby cleaning cupboard, unlocking it and heading inside, locking it after himself. "I don't know what's going on, Ben, but I daresay you're not enough." He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a red-and-white sphere, pressing the button and pointing it at the floor. A very small steel-coated creature with a big head appears on the floor with a clang. "Hello, Arnie. Please don't eat any of the chairs, but... We might be in trouble."

    He's been visiting PokePark at the weekends, since he got caught in a random arena a few months ago. He's trained Ben a little, but he's not caught many others, most of which- not being flowers- aren't allowed out at work, much.
    Terrowin Avatar by HappyTurtle. Much thanks!

    I don't use the Registry; ask for a description if you don't know what my character looks like.

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [The Docks - Ruined Tavern]

    Provided the others agree, Calm Reed will remove one of the service grates to allow them entry. Mucking about in the sewer doesn't fill her with enthusiasm, but a monk's life is full of sacrifice.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  12. - Top - End - #102
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    UncleWolf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Golden Flock Orphanage

    Mo never had a heartbeat, but her body did have a small vibration to it as she hummed with power. Once she embraces the boy, there is a brief potentially horrifying moment when the hum of her power simply stops. She still smiles, and her embrace practically traps the boy as her body locks itself into place automatically to keep from falling, but for a moment she is undeniably dead.

    But then a distant bell tolls. It comes from within Mo but feels like it is coming from a shipyard leagues away. Two pairs of clangs, deep and distant, sound out from within the woman before a gears grind, levers clack into place, and the groan of ancient gears and cogs fills the air. The hum of power is restored within Mo, but far weaker than before and the gleam of her bright eyes is dull when she turns her head to cough out dust. She gets up slow, still holding the boy in a hug, but looks a little unsteady despite her very careful movements. "Angel?" She asks, being very careful to enunciate her words without biting her tongue. "Get the bastard now. I'm gonna be slow getting out of herrrrrrrre." Mo's voice gets stuck for a moment before another clack is heard, making her wince. This was doing substantial damage to her internals as old and obsolete analogue systems kicked on and overrode newer technology, but she was "alive" for the moment. "Need a destroyer to watch my flanks leaving here."

    Veronica's Place

    Heather opens the door even before the pair knock on it, and they might be happy to see that she's taken to Witchery quite well if her outfit is anything to say. The smaller red-feathered Harpy wore white and black knee socks, a nice black summer dress, had a brace of wands around her torso, and even wore a big floppy witch's hat. The only odd addition was that of a female tengu mask strapped onto her head, facing out to the side at the moment. She looked quite concerned though as she ushers them inside and shuts the door. "Do either of you know how to read or translate dead languages? I don't think I'm there yet." She says, gesturing to the kitchen table with a wing. "V just kinda started muttering about having finally found something to make her stronger and then gathered up a bunch of stuff before leaving. Sis seemed, like, way out of it too and wasn't really listening to me."

    On the table was an utterly ancient looking book, bound in a bark cover, with pages painstakingly made from birch bark. It's open to a page showing runic lines for script next to a stylized Harpy figure. "Gramma sent it over last week and she's been kinda digging through it. All I know is that it's old Tree-Speak."

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Veronica's Place]

    Jace stares at the book. "I have no idea what this means. I don't think I spoke to your grandmother once when we met." Jace was introduced to her briefly, once.
    Zebes crawls out of his hood to peer at the book. "Comprehend." he mutters. Zebes can only use this sort of spell for a few minutes at a time, but he can use it to read languages he doesn't normally know. Hopefully enough to get the gist.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Office of Horror

    Eating chairs is probably the least of Alfred's worries. Something is coming outside the closet, seemingly smashing and tearing apart everything it passes. Booted footsteps are heard outside of the closet, along with shouts of "There it is!" and gunfire. They are responded to by a fearsome roar which shakes the foundations of the building. The thudding steps of the monster turn into a run, and some of the gunfire cuts off with a shriek, and a horrific sound of tearing flesh and shattering bone.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Hotel]

    Out they go, Lucy waving goodbye to Pippin as she shuts the door. "I have absolutely no idea, Sam! Just, something. Whatever. Whaddya need to geet?" She enquires, already heading for the stairs.

    Someone had explained to her that there was a weird box that went up and down that was supposedly quicker than taking the stairs, but that sounded like some sort of crazy witchcraft!

    *****

    [Golden Flock Orphanage]

    For just a moment, Ithuriel fears the worst. The angelic were-rhino lets out a sigh of relief when Mo stands back out, and a heavier sigh of relief as she feels the weight taken off her shoulders. It's very draining, resisting the deathly aura of a deity. No time to rest just yet though. "Red, how are you doing with the other kids? We've got the last one and our friend's, uh, absorbed the worst of it, but she's not doing so good. I need you to cover her."

    Then Ithuriel turns and narrows her eyes at the man in the bubble. One problem down, one to go. She takes a single step forwards and slams her fist into the bubble with all the force of the living battering ram she basically is. "Get going, friend. Red will assist, and I'll be right behind you as soon as I've dealt with this individual. Do not resist arrest, bubble-man. You're coming with us."

    *****

    [Meanwhile, outside Intersection]

    At a different time, in slightly less dire circumstances, Ithuriel emerges from a portal, dressed in robes, with Brokenfang accompanying her.

    She had hoped for a less controntational end to all this, but maybe it will turn out alright? Well, fingers crossed anyway...
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Veronica's Place

    The pages seem to resist the spell for a moment, the script itself not wanting to be deciphered, but after that moment Zebes will find himself able to read at least some of it. It speaks of "The High Ones", a series of ancient deity like spirits for the Harpy race from their earliest ages. Verud, the Mother of Wisdom, Veroni the Mother of Raptors, and Versun, the Mother of Mothers. The tome speaks of them as if they were merely legends at first, but as the writer changes, it feels like they're more fact and real than just myth. The three supposedly lay sleeping in the skies, waiting to be called upon when they were needed once more. The tome doesn't seem to paint them as the most benevolent figures of myth, but neither did they seem to be outright evil. Verud was a trickster and guide, Veroni a warrior and protector, and Versun was caretaker of them all. They could be bargained with, spoken to, and even called upon in times of need by primitive shamans and oracles.

    In fact, that last few pages detailed a rather simple ritual to summon or converse with the three.

    As Jace and Zebes look over the tome, Heather goes about worrying and fretting over her family's relatively new pets. A watermelon gets cut in half to be hung up for the pair of adorabats, bedding gets fluffed and feed poured for the pudgy raticate, a water sponge remoistened for the massive hermit crab, and the funny looking(and bad smelling) Koffings get spritzed with water to keep them moist in their new window alcove where they are treated to sun and city polluted air to filter out. All in all, the Pokemon got pretty swanky arrangements.

    Skies

    On the otherwise sunny day, dark clouds start to boil forth above the Spire to spread outwards with the distant rumble of thunder. Surely this was *entirely* unrelated to the scene right above.

    Outside Intersection

    Despite potential impending arrest, Brokenfang looked entirely too cheerful. She hummed to herself, enjoyed the lights and sounds of the city for a brief moment, and then begins to just swagger into the station unless stopped. She's unarmed as much as an enhanced/cursed Wolfen can be, wearing just a pair of loose trousers. Maybe Intersection could snag her with public indecency too.

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    [Veronica’s Place]

    What have we got?
    Summoning. Racial patrons. Not Three Crones level but probably not good. We should hurry.

    Jace smiles at Heather and kneels down, putting his hands on her shoulders.
    ”We’re gonna go get your big sis back. We’ll probably be back in a few hours. Unless Veronica is being Veronica in which case maybe tomorrow.” he tells her with a wink. Then it’s time to be off. Zebes goes to full size so the two of them can head off to the Spire.

    [Hotel]

    ”Well I was thinking clothes? I think I need a coat or something more protective than this weird trinket the space guys gave me. It doesn’t always work.” Sam suggests to Lucy. She’s the more fashionable of the two anyway.
    ”Maybe you could help me figure out what looks I can pull off.” It’s easier when your friend can literally turn into you when necessary.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Industrial Park - Beneath


    "I could sneak up on them," Muun whispers. He silently draws a knife.
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    The Spire

    The way the clouds rapidly expand from The Spire is certainly ominous, especially as a wind begins to develop blowing from it in all directions. It isn't enough to blow anything off the ground apart from paper and bits of trash, but it carries with it a chill and the scent of lush greenery. As Jace and Zebes get halfway there, the stops, a massive hole opens within the clouds, and a palace of jade and gold seems to descend among unstoppable thunder until it rests above the Spire.

    "REJOICE MORTALS, AND FALL TO YOUR KNEES IN SUPPLICATION!"
    Veronica's voice calls out, ringing out through the city. At least, it sounded similar to her. It had power, real power behind it, and it sounded deeper and huskier. She also seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the moment. "I, VERONI, HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE THIS CITY UNDER MY WING AS YOUR NEW QUEEN. NEVERMORE SHALL YOU NEED TO FEAR FOR YOUR LIFE FROM INVADERS AND RAIDERS FOR THE MOTHER OF RAPTORS SHALL BE YOUR PROTECTOR."

    Well, that certainly wasn't good.

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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    The Spire - On the Ground

    Within minutes of the declaration, there's an individual here to investigate. Massive and bulky, it's everybody's favorite crocodilian woman, Emily. Despite her innate hunch, she's stretched to a full height to look up at the palace.

    "Well, that's got classic villain written all over it," she comments, more to herself than anybody else that might be present. The question of how to get up there to confront Veroni was the biggest problem, though; groundbound as she is, Emily doesn't have a way to ascend into the clouds. She'll have to look around - either for someone/something that can help her get into the air, or some phenomenon the palace is causing that'll allow her to get up to it.
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Office of Horror

    Alfred's going to stay put, turning the cleaning cupboard light out to conceal any glow that might be emerging from the edge of the door and heading to the back, Arnie and Ben in front of him prepared to attack anything that enters by slashing with sharp Metal Claws or puffing out a fog of Sleep Powder respectively. Alfred's fumbling with a balisong, but he's struggling at getting the blade out since he's holding it upside-down and pulling the wrong way.
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    [The Spire]

    Jace and Zebes continue to soar, making straight for the Spire.
    Well, she seems to think she’s benign. The thing about beings that want to rule is that they don’t usually mind someone getting close. Getting what you want and out is the problem.

    “We come in peace, Lady Veroni.”
    Jace says with a hand raised, just in case she’s listening.
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Office of Horror

    After a few moments, the area is completely silent. The only thing that can be heard are the heavy footfalls of the monster, moving away from the closet, towards the stairs. The stench of blood, fresh blood will start wafting through the door soon; it might be enough to make the squeamish gag or vomit. Whatever Alfred would see if he looked outside probably won't be pleasant at all.

    Spire: Ground

    Kothar and Achuak were going for a walk. Ever since the lizardfolk paladin and his son had wound up here, they'd been able to spend much more time together. After all, Kothar didn't need to run around keeping a pair of idiotic softskinned hooligans from accidentally killing themselves anymore. They were eating fried pastries (what had the softskins called them? Donnots?) when the voice sounded out. To Kothar, it sounded bad. Who else had he met who talked like that? Vox Vorago, that's who. This person must be just as mad as the eye tyrant, proclaiming herself a goddess. Kothar turned to Achuak. "Go home. Stay safe. I fight." He turned and ran towards the spire, not noticing his 11 year old son chasing after him instead of obeying his commands.
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Office of Horrors

    Alfred finally gets the butterfly-knife opened and holds it tight, really scared. He smells the blood, fresh but slowly clotting, and gulps- a sound that seems too loud, in the enclosed space of the cleaning cupboard. He's not gagging, though- he's a cleaner, and whilst sure he's an office cleaner now, he was a pub cleaner. Bodily fluids are a smell he's had to get used to. Granted, rarely did he smell this much blood, in fact he can't recall ever smelling this much blood, but at least it's only blood.

    He doesn't leave the cupboard, which is really a bit more like a very small store-room- it has a sink to fill up a mop-bucket, and shelves for the bottles of chemicals, and a vacuum cleaner- and contemplates taking up being a Trainer full time. Sure, beating up children for their pocket money would make him a bully, but it seems like it's safer than being an office cleaner.

    The Spire

    A jackdaw also flies up towards the top of the Spire. It's a crow-like bird, though smaller than most corvids with glossy black feathers. The face and nape of the neck are grey, and its eyes are very pale grey. This particular jackdaw is a female, but likely only an experienced ornithologist would recognise the differences. It will swoop in to try and approach from a different angle to Jace and Zebes, hoping the human wizard and their tiny draconic familiar would take all the Mother of Raptor's attention, allowing her to sneak closer undetected.
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  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    Spire/Palace

    Those who are bound on the ground will find a beam of soft white light coming down from the bottom of the Palace to rest upon the top of the Spire. Should they get to the top of the Spire, they'll feel a ping in their head asking [Do You Wish To Proceed? Y/N] If yes, they'll float upwards to the Palace.

    To those who fly, the most easily accessible entrance is at the top of that Grav Lift as there are large alcoves leading inside to the access chamber. It seems it had been mostly designed with those capable of flight in mind...

    It is the most easily accessed point for despite as large as the Palace was, the clouds seemed to obscure the edges and given how they seemed to be boiling with energy it was likely a bad idea to go into them. Inside the main entrance, those that venture in will find a two-foot tall green humanoid. He...at least it seems like a he, has a smooth spherical head covered in green skin, two large black eyes, and is wearing a bronze colored robe that obscures most of his body. A small lizard like tail pokes out of the back and he holds up a small platter of cookies to any guests, freely offered.

    They're oatmeal raisin, though it is likely only Jace who would know Veronica loves those.
    Last edited by UncleWolf; 2019-04-20 at 06:15 PM.

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    [In the Palace]

    Emily's ascent into the palace is... interesting. The feeling of weightlessness is something she likes, but at least it's over relatively quickly.

    Much like the small reptilian person within, Emily's own tail drags behind her, and she's surprised when she sees another reptilian creature. The massive woman will take one, and say, "Thank you! Lift service, greeting personnel, nice views. This is already easily an eight out of ten on the villainous lair charts. Can you point me in the direction of your resident megalomaniac?"

    She'll eat the cookie along the way, regardless of whether the little guy gives her proper directions or not.
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    Spire/Palace

    The jackdaw swoops in, apparently unopposed though probably not unnoticed and lands on the floor. She tilts her head, looking at the helper and the cookies but not approaching. She'll grow and twist, the feathers absorbed into her body as her wings shift and change, lengthening most of the limb but shrinking beyond the wing's 'elbow', as that particular joint corresponds more accurately to the wrist. Her toes move so they are no longer splayed, fusing into a pair of black steel toed boots, as the black feathers on the rest of her body disappear into a red chequered shirt and a pair of jeans.

    When the transformation is complete, an androgynous, quite short young human- or so they appear- is standing there, with short black hair, the same shade and as glossy as her feathers were, and grey eyes. Her eyes didn't change, besides getting larger. Also not changing are the second pair of wings, the feathers black, with grey eyes in the middle joint. Slung over one shoulder is a black leather satchel with a stylised crow- or possibly a jackdaw- branded into the flap. She looks like she could be twenty, or maybe two or three years either way.

    Those with exceptional senses will note that despite her apparent humanity, this person is not human. The wings are a dead giveaway, but they're an addition- she didn't hatch with those. Internally, however, she lacks an appendix but does have a gizzard, and her bones are hollow.
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    Default Re: Inside 68: Dawn of a New Season (or two)

    [Spire/Palace]

    Jace and Zebes land as gracefully as they can, Zebes seamlessly changing to his normal size and landing in Jace’s hood. He smiles and bends down at the creature, taking a cookie. Hrm. Veronica’s recipe?
    ”Hello friend. I’m looking for my girlfriend. I believe she called your Lady here. She’s not of sound mind and her sister needs her back very much. Do you know where she is?” he asks patiently.

    Though he does straighten at the other guests and raises a concerned finger at the reptile.
    ”If the warrior goddess possessed her no smashing my girlfriend, hero.” he tells her sternly. Heroes are the kind of people who say things like that. Jace would know. He says things like that.
    Last edited by Deathkeeper; 2019-04-20 at 11:16 PM.
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    Office of Horror

    Alfred isn't attacked, whatever is in the building is moving away, although it might come back. The footsteps recede away into silence, a silence every once in a while punctuated by a scream. The monster seems to be taking its time.

    Spire

    Kothar draws his shield and axe. The shining steel of the shield and the burnished platinum lightning bolt upon it glimmer in the light from the palace. He runs into the spire and climbs the stairs rapidly, but Achuak, sneaking behind, takes the elevator, if it's working. Once they've both made it to the roof, Kothar steps into the beam of light and is lifted up, shortly followed by Achuak sneaking behind. Kothar ignores the cookies and begins to size up any exits from the room, but Achuak grabs a cookie, whispers his thanks so his dad doesn't hear, and slinks into any shadows he can find to eat and watch
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    Palace

    The little green helper seems to consider the large lizard lady's words before looking over those present. He seems thoughtful for a moment, lowering his cookie tray slightly for the child, but then points at the child's father. There, he seemed megalomaniacal. Right? After the mage's request though, he moves towards the one entrance leading deeper into the Palace. It is a set of double-doors, made of petrified wood, and he pauses to look once more at the party.

    Arrive in peace. Otherwise regrets.

    With that warning, the little green guy touches the door, causing them to open. On the other side a great hallway stands, stretching off in the distance. The walls are smooth, made of dark green and black jade with ribbons of gold woven throughout. The gold glows, illuminating the passage, revealing it to stretch for several football fields in distance. There doesn't seem to be any offshoot at all. The guide pulls a lantern out from within his robes, taking a moment to light it before he sets off. He keeps the pace slow, his feet pitter-patting on the floor as he goes.

    After the door had been opened, a second helper appears. She...at least this one seemed to be a she, is nearly identical to her partner and takes the tray of cookies to await more guests.

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