The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    They came from the skies.

    A massive tear in reality opened one day in a remote portion of Outside, a massive mountain range home to a host of small villages of various races, though none were particularly notable. From out of the portal, though, came doom. Four massive machines, things which were based upon, or perhaps were, at one point, dragons. But these machines were far larger than most normal dragons.

    Kilometers in size, and each of a different design: the smallest, an elegant work of bone, brass and black leather, foul black smoke pouring from its nostrils. The next largest, a work of glowing green crystal and black steel, leaving a grating wail in its wake as it soared over head. The second largest, a blue monstrosity, seemingly both organic and mechanical, grey armored plates attached to a writhing blue hide that crackles with electricity, thunder following in the awful beast's wake. The largest, however, is almost a mockery of the majestic form, its limbs and shape simplistic, almost a caricature in nature, but no doubt in the shape of a red dragon, crystalline eyes fueled with hatred and intent. They descended upon the mountains; and each quickly razed a massive area, before landing, and disgorging an army.

    From the black dragon came bronze and black automatons, golems constructed in an old manner, clockwork soldiers all of them, merciless and conscious-less, and led by a cackling madman clad in black and gold, augmented with crude mechanicals in the same fashion as his soldiers had been constructed.

    From the green dragon came sleek machines constructed with utmost care. Fewest in number, but packing the most fearsome of weapons, these machines of war were not led. Instead, they set about constructing a massive base for the others to use, reaving the area of resources to fuel their needs.

    From the blue dragon came more blasphemous creatures, flesh merged with machines, sometimes in gruesome fashion. These creatures were not led, either, but instead, seemed to have infested the surrounding lowlands, acting as scouts and early warning systems, that no one would be able to approach the area of occupation without the forces entrenched there knowing about it.

    And from the red dragon came a massive army of machines created in caricature of other creatures, or in designs merely meant to intimidate. Some, however, were more accurate to their inspirations than others; and among them were a number of androids that seemed mostly humanoid, save for their heavy armor. Leading this army was a raven-haired woman in the same style as her humanoid underlings.

    Once landed, and, having established a beachhead, these armies quickly spread out into the surrounding countryside, taking village after village, bringing their inhabitants back to their base, never to be heard from again. Slowly, rumors have begun to spread through the Nexus about a new group, one focused on the eventual conquest of the Nexus. Whispers have reached even the underground of Inside, Skyside, and Riverside, rumors of villages and loved ones who had been living in the mountains having disappeared, along with many of those who have gone to investigate.

    And among those rumors, is one of opportunity, for those ruthless enough to join these invaders in their quest, and one of ominous portent: there is a third, and final leader, rarely seen, but possessed of power, both in leadership and physical might, that leads the overall forces, who call themselves "The Alliance". For those who impress him, great power awaits...

    Spoiler: Locations
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    Located in the range locally known as the Batwing Mountains, CAVE's HQ is actually spread among four peaks and the valley between them. Each of the Dragons have claimed a peak, and rest somewhere near the top of each mountain. Each mountain is also home to a tunnel system, connected to the main base in the Valley. The mountains form something of a square, with the valley reaching up to an nigh-impassable range that has to be flown over towards the rear. All of the following locations possess heavy shielding, including a barrier to teleportation that deposits those who try to teleport directly into the base without authorization into an open area near the entrance to the valley, where CAVE's forces patrol extensively.

    Northeast Peak: Tallest peak, home to the Red Dragon and its forces. Was once an extensive dwarven mining colony.
    Northwest Peak: Second tallest peak, home to the Green Dragon and its forces. Was once a small goblinoid enclave.
    Southeast Peak: Third Tallest Peak, home to the Black Dragon and its forces. Heavily garrisoned with the clockwork forces, also home to a massive lab complex employed by the leader of the Black Dragon's forces.
    Southwest Peak: Smallest peak, home to the Blue Dragon and its forces. The proximity of this peak to the rest of Outside has allowed the Blue Dragon's cybernetic creatures to infest the local countryside.

    CAVE HQ: The base in the valley. Perhaps not as impressive as the VIGIL Skybase, or even AMEN's mountain home, but fortified with every manner of weapons, and patrolled regularly by CAVE forces. Is constantly under construction and enlargement, both above and below ground, as the invaders spread out and acquire or manufacture more forces. Decidedly technological in nature, complete with automatic doors that open with an ominous hiss!


    Spoiler: Membership Information
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    Joining CAVE is relatively simple: characters need to show up, and have an interview with one of CAVE's leaders. If the applying character is possessed of an army of some sort or another, it's highly encouraged to bring them, or at least, a sample of them, so that they can be inspected and battle plans can be made that incorporate everyone's forces, but the lack of lackeys isn't necessarily a barrier to joining CAVE.

    Current Members:
    Character name Role Player
    Chaeron Leader Nova_Eclipse
    Kaydara Lieutenant, Leader of Red Dragon Forces Nova_Eclipse
    Balthius Volgin Lieutenant, Leader of Black Dragon Forces Nova_Eclipse



    Spoiler: THREAD RULES
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    • Conflict is great! It's the heart to any good story and lots of fun to play! But please, don't destroy the entire place. Damaging portions of it is fine, but anything involving destroying the entire organization should be run through the OoC thread first to give all players a chance to decide if they want to participate.
    • No godmoding/godmodding. It's not allowed in other acronyms, and it's not allowed here, unless specifically noted.
    • Please keep curtains to a reasonable amount.
    • Please, for the love of everything, label your scene's location! There are a lot of locations possible in this thread due to the size of CAVE's base, and it's better to be clear where events are happening so that players know where scenes are.



    Spoiler: About NPC Henchmen
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    CAVE's forces have a number of NPC henchmen in various forms described above. More detailed descriptions will be coming, but the main thing players should be aware of is that unless they are named, NPC henchmen can be godmoded as needed. Named henchmen will either be listed as members, or noted above, along with their players, as they become relevant, and will be considered PCs.
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    A woman who went by Nemo was among the captured villagers from one of the small villages. None of the other villagers really knew her except as 'that one woman with wings who I sometimes see at the marketplace'. Kept to herself.

    Her wings are probably her most defining feature. Large, red demonic wings. She's also got orange hair, braided with a green ribbon at the bottom. She's got a boring gray dress, however.

    "So you think this is how it'll end this time?" she says, pretty much entirely to herself. "Looks like it could be it."

    Join them. "No, wait, but..." Show off to them. It will be better for you. "No, I'm okay with -" She moves forward in the line. Everyone's waiting to be 'processed'. Most people are dreading what will happen, hoping someone will save them.

    She has a pained expression on her face, like she's trying to hold something back. Like it hurts, it's something she doesn't want to do, and it's enough to make a tear run down her face. And then, as quick as a flash, her right hand extends and consumes one of the other villagers. Don't hold back. It's been a while... One by one, the other nearby villagers waiting to be processed begin to vanish. Devoured, the same way, leaving no trace behind.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    The two soldiers doing paperwork at the table at the front of the line take notice as some of the other villagers start to panic. One of them is one of the clockwork automatons of the Black Dragon, the other, one of the humanoid androids from the Red Dragon, his face that of a man, though the rest of his body seems to be heavy armor. The guards standing nearby are a mix of clockwork automatons, some of the more animalistic robots from the Red Dragon, and a few of the cybernetic creatures of the Blue Dragon. The guards move back, slightly, away from Nemo, giving the villagers a chance to move behind them, putting the guards between Nemo and the villagers, who are mostly trapped behind them, against the holding area's fence.

    Although they've drawn weapons, mostly energy rifles of some kind, none seem inclined to fire, simply assessing the winged woman for a moment.
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    "N-no, wait, I-" Nemo looks around at the space given to her, and the now-drawn weapons.

    She slowly raises her hands above her head, trying to avoid any sudden movements. "I-I didn't think that you would take this long to shoot, but I'll do whatever you say, please don't shoot."

    She closes her eyes and...waits. Anticipates the coldness she'll feel if they fire.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    The coldness doesn't come. Instead, a calm, steady voice sounds out, closer than it had been, but coming from the direction of the registration table.

    "Put your hands down, miss." A few footsteps of heavy boots coming closer, cautiously. "Now, are you able to control yourself for a bit? If so, there's someone who'd like to talk to you."

    He waits for an answer.
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    Nemo carefully opens her eyes, noting that nothing has happened yet.

    She quickly nods, and then lowers her hands. "Yes, I, of course," she says. "I can do that." See?

    She'll comply with any orders.
    Last edited by 5a Violista; 2019-10-13 at 11:48 PM.
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    ALSO! Come roleplay FFRPG in the Nexus!
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    The humanoid android from the registration table is indeed standing closer to her than the guards when Nemo opens her eyes. He looks a bit tense, but seems to relax slightly as she lowers her hands and complies. He nods at one of the other guards. Some of the remaining villagers peek around the guards, but none of them dares to say anything.

    "Take over registration, I need to take her to Commander Kaydara," he says, then looks back to Nemo, and bends down slightly so he's closer to eye level with her. "Follow me."

    He doesn't seem to be worried about her doing the same to him as she did to the villagers as he leads the way deeper into the complex of CAVE HQ, instead striding confidently in his heavy black armor, but not so fast that Nemo can't keep up with him. Curiously, he doesn't call for other guards to help escort her, either. But then, the number of randomly patrolling soldiers they come across in the course of the trip means that the likelyhood of Nemo escaping successfully should she attack him is very low, so it's not like he has terribly much to worry about.

    The base is large enough that it takes the pair a solid 20 minutes of walking before they come to what seems to be a training facility of some kind. Various soldiers are practicing various exercises, from weapons familiarization and marksmanship to hand-to-hand techniques. When they eventually stop, it's in a training gym where a raven-haired woman is practicing against 5 machines at once. She herself might be one, too, given her slightly glowing red eyes, and the two small antennas on domes where her ears should be. Nemo's guard salutes her as she turns to look at him, and the drones in the room pause.

    "Ah, the girl of interest, yes, Donnelly?" She moves around Nemo, looking her up and down, appraising her. "Doesn't look like much. But I guess looks are deceiving." She gives Nemo a friendly, but challenging smile. "What's your name, child?"
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    Nemo doesn't even allow herself to consider trying to run. It all seems...inevitable, you know? Like, no matter what she does it's going to end up the same way no matter what, so there's no point in fighting it. Where the only question is how long, not whether or not it's possible to resist.

    But she does try to keep her wings folded back and out of the way as much as possible. She looks around at all the facilities they pass. They seem interesting, she figures.

    "It's Nemo, ma'am," she says, trying to figure out who this woman is and what kind of mood she's in. Trying to figure out what she's going to do next. "But I'm not a child."

    ...
    She says that, but she's only seventeen years old. Hardly an adult.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    CAVE HQ Airspace

    [Is there nothing I might say that could turn you from this path? The road ahead leads to death, fool child. You are as a moth to the flame,] says the disembodied head of Grigori Rasputin, his messy black hair bobbing along in the formaldehyde jar that is his eternal prison. Rasputin isn't too keen on any of what's going on here, quite understandably, but he especially hates the way the fluids shift and sway when his jar is in motion. It reminded him too much of the frigid waters of the Malaya Nevka, accursed be its name.

    "It does not, and I'm not a child, Grigori. Jury's still out on the whole 'fool' thing, but I'm more than old enough to be making my own ridiculously stupid decisions," Malice answers, rolling one red eye at the Mad Monk perched atop his shoulder. Can you believe Griggs wanted to walk the whole way? Walk! Like one of those dirty peasants, with their villages burned to pieces! I suppose it's not ideal to have the spidery robot legs of Rasputin's containment jar digging into his shoulder like this, but come on. What kind of amateur hour villain needs to use their legs to get from place to place? That's the kind of thing that marks you out as henchman. That's how you get one of the dragon's underlings waving a membership form in your face.

    [So you agree then, that this foolhardy venture is both unwise and unwarranted?]

    "Absolutely not. Look, Raz, we're just saying hi to the new neighbors. You really think they're going to shoot us just for saying hi? We're just seeing what they've got, what they're doing, if what they're doing here is going to conflict with any of our goals later on. A harmless fact-finding mission. If they don't like it, we can just melt a few hundred of them and go home. Easy-peasy."

    [Our goals?] The Russian raises a bushy eyebrow. Malice was hardly ever one to speak of goals. He mostly just sat around and let life pass him by, waiting to see if that stupid superheroine girl was going to emerge from deadtime. It was good to see him speaking of the future again. A shame they would almost certainly never live to see that future, because someone's bound to take offense to this red-robed cyborg drifting through their airspace, a visage of pink flesh and golden brass hovering overhead like he owns the place. Malice is many things, and could become so much more under Rasputin's watchful eye, but a slayer of dragons, he is not.

    "I mean mine, of course. You're a disembodied head, Grigori; you don't have any ambitions. I'm going to take back what's mine, and maybe these big dragons will be part of the bridge of bodies I tread upon as I pass over the raging river of fate below. Maybe we'll be business partners, archrivals, best friends, or allies of convenience. Perhaps they might even join up with the forces of good someday, in a desperate gambit to curtail my own greater machinations. Who knows? Not us, that's for sure, and that's because we don't know a single thing about these lizards or their robots. Now shut up, I think we're getting closer to their main base and I can't have you sassing me in front of strangers."
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
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    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    Approaching CAVE

    A woman rides into the valley where CAVE is located. She's short, not even 5 feet tall, her hair is chin-length and dyed pink, and she wears a long, black dress slit for riding. Following behind her horse is a donkey laden with packs full of clothes, household implements, and more unusual things, like what appears to be a stone lintel from a door. Once in a while, she looks over her shoulder as if checking for anyone following her. As she rides, she speaks to someone. "We've almost arrived."
    "No, no. We're here to talk, not to loot the place."
    "Have you seen how many guards there are? And the size of those dragons? No, we're doing this the right way."
    After a moment, it might become clear that there's something else following alongside her, a roiling cloud of black smoke out of which three malevolent orange eyes like embers stare. Despite its being in plain sight, onlookers will find it hard to notice nonetheless; something unnatural about it causes attention to slide off it. The pair continue towards the headquarters, the woman riding along the path, while the creature flits from shadow to shadow.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village]

    "Oh?" The woman says, quirking an eyebrow. Her tone isn't patronizing, though, just simply curious. She nods at Nemo's guard. "Thank you, Donnelly, you can return to your duties."

    The guard salutes and quickly strides off. The woman gestures towards the mats on the floor.

    "Please. Take a seat." She seats herself on the mats, crossing her legs. "I am Kaydara, leader of the forces of the Red Dragon of Terra. Tell me about yourself, Nemo."

    CAVE HQ Airspace

    Malice will find that Griggs is right to be cautious, because as they hang out observing, no less than two dozen aerial drones, in both clockwork and futuristic styles move in. None move to attack them, however. Instead, one of the smaller ones comes to a stop about 2 meters from them, and plays a holographic message. A man in an officer's uniform appears to greet him, though it's clearly a recording.

    "Greetings. We would be honored if you would grace us with your presecence. Please, follow these craft."

    The drones turn, and begin to make a slow descent toward the base in the center of the valley.

    Approaching CAVE

    Soon after entering the valley, the rider and her companion will encounter a checkpoint. Half a dozen clockwork automata, along with two large hovertank droids, and a single animoid android, a massive creature with wings of an eagle and the head of a lion on an otherwise humanoid frame. The gryphon-droid calls out to her as she approaches.

    "Halt! This area is off limits!
    State your business here."
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    Approaching CAVE

    "Are you sure this is the right place?" Gem asks the smoky spirit. It doesn't reply, at least not audibly, but she relaxes a little. "You're with CAVE, right? I heard you were hiring." She doesn't look concerned about being outnumbered and outgunned at all.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village - Red Mountain?]

    "O-okay."

    Nemo looks at the seat on the mat. If she just sits down, then her wings will get in the way considering how low they go. Sitting is always a pain, and sitting on the floor gets uncomfortable quickly.

    So she comes up with a plan of attack to sit. She first crouches, leaning forward, until she can get on her knees. She adjusts her shoulderblades until the wings are out of the way. Then, she sticks her left hand down to the ground so she can 'sit', leaning to the side with both legs together, off to the other side.

    "So, yes, I guess I only recently arrived in that village," she explains. Tell her about - "To be honest, I don't really know what sort of things you want to know, but I'd be fine with joining this group, if that's a thing you want."

    Nemo talks a bit more about herself, however. She also starts playing with a bunch of her hair that had fallen loose from her braid. "I've been through a lot," she hastily adds, "so it would probably work out. Like, it sounds unbelievable but I've survived through the destruction of this world so many times but every time that happens it's like somebody pushed a big 'undo' button and changed what happened." With no idea about what Kaydara is looking for, she just keeps on talking.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    [Captured from a small village - HQ Training Gym]

    Kaydara listens intently, making mental notes. When Nemo finally pauses, she interjects.

    "I think you would fit right in. We are an alliance, built from many dimensions. Conquest is our primary objective, but the Dragons themselves have longer plans that we aren't always privy to. Even now, there is a longer game being planned out and put into action. Your knowledge of these other worlds that have ceased may be useful in those plans. But right now, I would like to know more about your abilities, and what you might need, from day-to-day. Anything special we should be aware of, beyond what you've already shown?"

    Approaching CAVE

    The gryphon seems to relax, slightly and nods.

    "We are always interested in capable warriors to aid in our conquest. I will summon a Commander. They will ascertain your worthiness." He puts one of his rather massive fingers to an ear. A few moments later, a rotund man clad in a black lab coat, trimmed with brass and gold arrives on what's best described as an aerial contraption similar to a cross between a helicopter and a motorcycle. One eye is a green glass lens with an obvious focusing mechanism that clicks and whirs as he looks Gem up and down.

    "You're the applicant? I see, I see," he says, nodding to himself. He gestures towards his contraption. "Come, my dear, let's take a ride to a more fitting place for a discussion of business."
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Approaching CAVE

    Gem dismounts, more or less gracefully. She leaves her horse and donkey behind, apparently trusting the soldiers to watch them. "You're one of the commanders here?" She looks the man up and down approvingly. He looks like a commander. "Of course. I'll follow your lead." She moves to follow him to the unconventional aircraft, and the black cloud drifts along silently behind her, or nearly silently. Anyone within a few feet of it will be able to hear faint whispers coming from it in a mocking tone, but no discernable words.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Approaching CAVE -> Southeast Peak

    The contraption is loud, shakes like a leaf on a tree, and smells faintly of goats while it's running, but it manages to whisk the pair up to a rather large, hidden hangar on the Southeast peak. Clockwork robots abound inside of all shapes and sizes, most of them constructed of brass and various stones. Gem's host leads her to a small conference room just off the hangar, and shuts the door, before flopping into one of the large, leather chairs and putting his feet up on the table.

    "Please, make yourself comfortable. I am Dr. Balthius Volgin, leader of the forces of the Black Dragon of Europa. We are always looking for...exceptional individuals to add to our ranks. The Alliance, that is. So, Miss, your name, and perhaps an explanation of your abilities and why you think you'll be a good fit here?"
    Last edited by Nova_Eclipse; 2019-10-14 at 09:25 PM.
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: CAVE: Conquering Alliance of Villainous Evil!

    Southeast Peak

    Gem seats herself across from the commander. The cloud settles itself into her shadow, still whispering ominously. "Gemma Altural. The real Gemma Altural. I am a summoner of no small skill. I can call upon a wide variety of spirits for tasks ranging from infiltration and sabotage to siege warfare."
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    CAVE HQ Airspace

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova_Eclipse View Post
    CAVE HQ Airspace

    Malice will find that Griggs is right to be cautious, because as they hang out observing, no less than two dozen aerial drones, in both clockwork and futuristic styles move in. None move to attack them, however. Instead, one of the smaller ones comes to a stop about 2 meters from them, and plays a holographic message. A man in an officer's uniform appears to greet him, though it's clearly a recording.

    "Greetings. We would be honored if you would grace us with your presence. Please, follow these craft."

    The drones turn, and begin to make a slow descent toward the base in the center of the valley.


    "You hear that, preacher? Honored. It's not quite all four dragons bowing down to me in unison, but that's fine. This is acceptable for now. We'll work our way up to that," Malice smugly smirks at the undead creature atop his shoulder, who remains silent as ordered, but couldn't possibly be rolling its eyes any harder. They follow along as requested, though Malice does wonder if maybe he should've made some sort of spectacular show of force along the way. Maybe a pillar of hellfire should appear behind him, next time he needs to say something important and dramatic. No wait, three pillars! Yeah, that'll move him up the chain and show everyone exactly what they're dealing with!
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    [HQ Training Gym]

    "Food and water. A place to sleep. Dresses that have low backs." She answers the 'what you might need' questions. Honestly, nothing special. "Those are the things that I need to survive."

    Nemo tries to decide what else in the questions she'll need to answer. Show her. "I can do a couple of small tricks myself," she says, "but the biggest thing I can do is turning other people into puppet monsters."

    She pauses, as if debating within herself if she should explain.
    "I-I can show you, if you'd like."
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    Southeast Peak

    Balthius pauses for a moment, and nods.

    "Show me, if you please. We haven't had anyone with that capability for awhile."

    CAVE HQ Airspace -> HQ Courtyard

    The drones lead Malice down to a wide-open area in the center of the HQ base. Along the way, Malice can see a number of checkpoints and physical barriers that have been erected in the mouth of the valley, along with each of the dragons curled around their respective mountain peaks, slumbering. Only the black dragon shows signs of life, two small curls of smoke wafting up from its nostrils.

    In the center of the base, several squads of troops have been hastily assembled from the armies of the Red and Black dragons, all standing at attention in front of a tall man wearing what seems to be some sort of power armor. The collar, shirt, and parts of his jacket are visible from the armor's gorget, along with the cap he's wearing. Black jacket and collar, with a slate-grey dress uniform shirt underneath, and a red cap. The man himself seems to be the one from the message, though now that it's not a blurry hologram, Malice can see that the man is conventionally handsome, with a square jaw and egalitarian features. He stands at attention until Malice has landed, or is at least hovering closely enough to the ground that normal conversation can be had. Then he looks Malice up and down with a curious expression, slate-green eyes sparkling with amusement.

    "Welcome! I must say, this is an unexpected pleasure. We were not expecting a visit from the notoriously diabolical Lord Magtok so soon."

    [HQ Training Gym]

    Kaydara nods, but holds up a hand before Nemo has a chance to start.

    "I would very much like to see, but before you show me, a couple of practical matters: how long does that last, and does it change the person's size? If so, how much bigger do they get?"
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

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    [HQ Training Gym]

    Nemo considers those questions. Honestly, those aren't questions she's thought about before. What does size have to do with anything, she wonders?

    What should she say, she thinks. Can it even end? "They've always died first but I'm sure it's possible to make it end," she says. "I've never tried."

    Actually, thinking about it, that's actually a reasonable question. 'Temporary monster' is quantifiably different from 'permanent monster' and should be used on different people.

    "Sometimes they get bigger? But they might get smaller too." Nemo says, still unsure about the purpose of the question. "Sorry, but I don't see why that's relevant."
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    "Well, if you're able to turn a person into a monster that's large enough to smash buildings, I'd rather see that somewhere where we won't need to do a lot of reconstruction, you see," Kaydara says with a small chuckle. "If you can control the size, then it's not a problem, but if not....we should do the demonstration outside, then, just to be safe. Practical matters, as I said. We've had people with...similar abilities before, though none currently, and not exactly the bit about making other people monsters, but able to turn into them themselves, or able to control their size to those proportions."
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    [HQ Training Gym]

    "Oh." That also makes sense. She supposes there are town-sized monsters, and so that would be a reasonable concern. Since she's never done anything even close to that, it didn't even cross her mind. "No, they usually stay around the same size." In fact, trying to significantly transform something that size could likely kill her.

    "Oh. That reminds me, this is probably relevant: I can't control them, it's not like that. If their will is-" No, don't tell her, that's boring -er, willpower is too weak they'll probably just try to kill everything around."

    Well, if they are going outside, she should probably stand up, right? Luckily, standing with wings is slightly easier than sitting with wings so she twists her body so that her wings are above her, so that she can stand.
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    [HQ Training Gym]

    Kaydara stands as well, and stretches.

    "I see. Well, let's go out and see it. This way, please." She leads Nemo out into a practice area, where a few captives have been brought up, along with a couple of volunteers from the human and goblin settlements that CAVE has captured. There's perhaps a half-dozen people, some bound, others standing, waiting for orders. She nods at Nemo.

    "Whenever you're ready."
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Gem shakes her head. "The ritual takes a couple hours, and requires an appropriate sacrifice." She nods to the cloud of smoke, which billows angrily. "I took the liberty of bringing one I already summoned along. Reveal yourself fully." She commands the smoky spirit. It drifts upwards until it floats at about head height, the effect making it difficult to see vanishing and its whispering growing in a crescendo of harsh words in a language never spoken by human tongues. "Don't worry. It is perfectly under my control."
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    [HQ Training Gym]

    Nemo follows her out to the practice-area.

    "Okay," she says. She looks over the potential victims. I'll pick them out for you.

    After a moment of pause, she heads towards a captive human female. Her hand reaches out and she drags her towards a human male volunteer and a goblin volunteer. She plans on 'converting' all three of these at the same time because she's not sure if doing it to one at a time will allow her the time or space to do it to the others.

    First, one of her wings snaps and breaks and folds out at a very odd angle, until it wraps the goblin. At the same time, she sticks her left hand out so it touches the human female's back, and places her other hand so the palm's on the guy's neck. Soon, her hands seem to sink inside of the two humans like they're just an extension of herself, and meanwhile the goblin's visible legs seem to desiccate and grow thin.

    After a moment, Nemo starts to feel light-headed and grow a little pale. Her breathing becomes shallower and her heartrate quickens. Her wing starts to return to its original position, and her hands pull out of the two humans. They leave handprint scars where they were touching. The woman looks like her veins are popping out, and the guy is bulging in all the wrong places under his skin.
    And all three victims collapse to the ground, including the dried-up goblin. Nemo backs up away from them before the changes happen. And she keeps on backing away, allowing as much space and people between her and those three.

    The goblin starts moving again first. The dried skin folds and shifts, forming scales at first which then turn into metallic feathers all over his body. His eyes, all dried up, start dissolving but then several eyes start to pop up all over his body. Dozens of them, all bloodshot. The metallic feathers demonstrate themselves to be sharper and harder than knives, and the goblin can fire them out at high speeds. And he feels an immense need for sucking up liquids of all types through its eyes, but especially blood.

    Then, the human male. All his body hair grows thorny and sharp, and his facial hair becomes ropes that he can move around as well as any limb. The handprint on his neck glows painfully red, and his jaw unhinges and dangles down to his chest. In addition, he starts releasing pheromones such that anyone who's not concentrating on something will find their attention drawn towards him and will feel slow and sluggish. And, of course, he feels an unending desire to consume warm flesh...and doing so will stitch together injuries he may receive.

    And, finally, the woman starts to move as well. From the hand-scar on the back, metal spikes start to grow, which then move up her spine. They'll attract electricity and charge up her muscles to high amounts. Her veins glow with yellow energy.
    The impulses in brains run on a type of electricity and ion movement. When she touches someone with her palms, she'll consume those impulses, draining their mental faculties and transferring them to herself, so she'll gain their knowledge, skills, personality, and thoughts which will all combine with her own. Of course, she feels a driving desire to feed on electricity and energy in this way.

    Of course, their ability to resist their desires depends on their willpower and their desire to overcome or reject their bloodlust. Once they stand, these desires will hit them like a truck and, unless they can stop themselves, they'll immediately start attacking those in the vicinity - and even each other if everyone else flees.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova_Eclipse View Post
    CAVE HQ Airspace -> HQ Courtyard

    "Welcome! I must say, this is an unexpected pleasure. We were not expecting a visit from the notoriously diabolical Lord Magtok so soon."
    "Lord Magtok," Malice repeats, all the fun and merriment draining right out of his face as his feet touch the ground, his red robe trailing along the floor behind him as he marches up towards the ignorant lout. Lord Magtok. The name that was ours, that should be ours, that was soiled and tainted and torn to pieces by those disgusting perverts and feckless do-gooders. Malice never should've let himself die, all those years ago. If a distinguished MagClone, a proper MagClone, a despicable and dastardly supervillain MagClone had been around to shepherd those wastrels and fools that dare share his blood and lay claim to his lair, the world would not be what it is today. He would not be here today to sight-see, but to destroy, for all of the Nexus would be under his banner, and these dragons and their followers would be crushed under his heel for their impudence, stealing villages and villagers that belong to the one true Lord of the Nexus.

    "Lord Magtok is not who stands before you today, mortal," he answers, hissing that last word as if it were some extremely foul racial epitaph, and not one that could just as easily be used to describe himself. Then again, maybe he isn't strictly mortal anymore. He might not have a small army of clones like Magtok, but he does have five pillars of hellfire placed behind him for dramatic effect, a swirling whirlwind of death rising up towards the heavens. Each pillar is roughly five feet in diameter, burning intensely enough to hurt the naked eye, and really, really bad news for anyone who gets too close, as hellfire usually is. I hope there wasn't anyone lurking right behind him when he did that, because ouch.

    "Magtok is a legacy of failure, a petty charlatan and a sniveling coward. You will not mistake me for my lesser again, or I will boil your eyes in their sockets. I. Am. Malice." the drama queen declares, getting right up in the officer's face to say that last bit, hovering just high enough to loom a few inches over the taller man.
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; Today at 02:45 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

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