Clowning Around 12/28

JWaldman Jan 16th, 2020 (edited) 54 Never
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  1.  Cal says, "Yeah! Ghede invited me. I thought the cost would be reduced... to Free."
  2.  Lio Sartre exclaims, "Pay up and go enjoy yourself!"
  3.  Lio Sartre asks, "Oh?"
  4.  Deimos says, "Nah.. fuck that shit."
  5.  Dun exclaims, "The spirit of joviality is the spread of coin!"
  6.  Deimos says, "-"
  7.  Deimos says, "Kidding."
  8. Deimos says, "Go."
  9.  Lio Sartre exclaims, "Go on!"
  10.  Lio Sartre asks, "What are you waiting for?"
  12. Cameo makes a heart with his fingers when called lovely.
  13. (Cameo Orn Octavius)
  15.  Dun would hop from left foot to right with a fool's cheer and candor as the jester waddled forth upon the successful entrance of the pale haired youth, releasing a deep voiced chuckle as he hopped before the line. Removing a small coin patch from his clown's robes, the jester would bow before politely tossing it towards the doorman with a jingle of the bells that adorned his form.
  17. "Yes, coin, the music of commerce, the spritely vigor of life! Oh joy, oh joy, the music of its clank!"
  18. (Dun)
  19. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  21.  {ITEM} Traded 150 coins to Lio Sartre
  22.  Lio Sartre says, "Very good! Go ahead."
  23.  Dun exclaims, "My thanks good sir!"
  25. -Later on in the party----->
  28.  That was more like it. The lights in her mask brightening to indicate her increased enthusiasm, she skipped out of the crowd, breaking apart from the mundane party to join the more interesting one Cornelia had going. It wasn't what she wanted, still - not the fools who had promised to come arrest her - but it would, at least, prove to be far more interesting than drunken revelers.
  30. "Fiiiiinally," she called excitedly, in a voice that was way too enthused for someone who showed up late and didn't have to wait long for this moment anyway. The fun, clownish facade dropped in an instant, however, as the red-and-blue gaze narrowed.
  32. "You know they won't," she said in response to Cornelia's question, as if to answer in Solon's stead, "That's the answer to both of those questions. But hey," she told him, "Don't feel bad. They told me they'd come too, and they're not here. Really, I'm probably more disappointed than you are. You should be showing me some sympathy, right?"
  33. (Jingle Jangle)
  34. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  37. Dun would hop from foot to foot across the expanse of the gathering's dirt dance floor with an idle spin, bells clanking about as the stench of wine and cheer hung upon the crimson robes of the clown. Cackling as he watched Cameo smash the guitar in his truly powerful display of musicality, the jester would clap his calloused hands together loudly and appreciatively as he slapped the clangoring, decorative plate that sat beneath his robes.
  39. "Ahahah, a bard, a bard! The bunny that sings, a hare that hasn't, the cacophony of chaos, the crunch of ordered timber, what a delightful song it is! The music of life, finite and destructible, the absence of order is the presence of spice!"
  41.  Dun would not miss a beat as the alcohol was deposited, the crimson clown cackling in celebratory cheer as he popped the bottle's cork before beginning to empty it directly into the right eyehole of his mouthless mask.
  43. What a sight! What a show! What glorious celebration!
  44. (Dun)
  45. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  48.  "Are any knights hiding behind masks here?"
  50. The Supreme asks, her icy-blue stare directed ahead. She watches as many of the attendees cease to dance and drink, their attention focused on her instead. She has yet to notice anyone in particular, but deep inside, Cornelia hoped that someone-- anyone would reveal themselves to her. If only to raise false hopes in the heart of Solon, who was so sure of his death to come.
  52. "I suppose not, Solon. I am afraid no one is coming..." Her hand raised to brush his hair gently and lovingly, almost as if Cornelia herself was his worried mother. "Do you have any final words you'd like to share?" She's said that before. "Someone you'd like to tell goodbye to? Apologize for something?"
  54. What a shame. She had warned Elijah and he refused to listen.
  56. His hair is stroked and brushed by the woman some more, until she gestures for him to face her.
  58. "..Tell me then. I'll deliver your message."
  60. A smile touches those wicked lips of the witch, and then the same hand that was used to calm the man down by brushing his hair shoots forward towards his rib cage. The Supreme's intention was to penetrate through his body, and reach his beating heart. She holds it within her palm for a moment, refusing to move.
  62. The next moment?
  64. She withdraws the hand, the Knight's blood splattering everywhere as it stains her mask and turns it red entirely. Solon drops to the ground, and his heart...
  66. His heart remains held by the Supreme's hand.
  67. (Cornelia)
  68. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  70. Dun would hop from foot to foot with a spontaneous, wild cackle of celebratory cheer as he continued to down his tasteful bottle of wine through the left eyehole of his mask. The tall, broad bodied clown appeared to only add to the spectacle of the heart ripping, heartless revelation, spinning slowly around in a circle as he hopped foot to foot, clapping his hands together with a progressive jingle of the bells that lay about his form.
  72. Artfully beside Jingle Jangle, in fact, who in contrast was not jingling at all.
  74. For shame.
  76. "I've heard of heart attacks, but this is downright ridiculous. Ohohohoho! The spill of blood, the ichorous flow of cheer, the lapse of life and breadth of death! What fun!"
  77. (Dun)
  78. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  80.  The more serious of the two jesters gave a small cough in response to Dun's jest, though it was clearly meant to be laughter cut short. The immediate shake of her body afterward was the first time the bells jingled, too; this masked jester she accused of 'aping her style' nailed the persona way better than she did, that was for sure. She seemed to be more of the 'sad clown' archetype, if anything - or at least she would be, if she wasn't so clearly excited to witness the death before her.
  81. (Jingle Jangle)
  82. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  83.  Dun whispers: Ohohoho, how heartless...
  84.  Jingle Jangle whispers: Ah, but it's /beautiful/, isn't it?
  85.  Jingle Jangle whispers: ...You're aping my style but I respect that.
  86.  Dun whispers: There is a beauty in it, the ebb and flow of life!
  87.  Dun whispers: And nonsense! You are short, I am tall, we are clowns together.
  89.  He is given a sincere smile in return moments before his death. It was a way for the Woman to send him off right, or perhaps make these moments lighter for him-- or... She simply enjoyed all of this.
  91. Who knows?
  93. The heart in her bloodied hand ceases to twitch in the matter of moments, but those with the sight knew that it was anything but empty or useless. In the hands of the right person... No, the right witch? It could do wonders.
  95. And so, Cornelia tosses it towards Atreus.
  96. "You may begin now."
  97. (Cornelia)
  98. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  100.  "It's us and them."
  102. In the midst of all the gasping and crowd commotion over the death of Solon, the host of the party raises a finger up and takes a few steps forward, shaking his hand to and fro.
  104. "Don't act surprised, my loves! This is just a part of the celebration. Y'see-" He twirls about dramatically and gestures to Solon, pointing long fingers at his heartless chest. "When our village was first discovered, this man and his unit of knights came to our doorstep. Disrespected ou' culture. Attacked our people with the intent to harm and murder us just for bein' what you've seen tonight!
  106. A bunch of cool cats."
  108. Another twirl as he leaps up onto the stalls, both hands now tucked into his pockets.
  110. "Most of you came t'this party tonight to cut loose. To get away from Osrona. Because we're outcasts, and they don't get that. They don't WANT that." He stops on a dime and pulls his hands out to remove both his hat and his mask.
  112. The ghoul beneath is just as handsome as always.
  114. "But we do."
  116. Heavy drums begin to play in the background and dark clouds roll over the village, only for the hollow masks with empty eyes around the area to light up with various, vibrant colors. They were voodoo masks. And for this one night only, they were singing.
  118. "Y'ain't got to live in fear of bein' who y'really are no'more. You beautiful, bodacious, berfect babes. Join Moonfall and come with us into the new era of Esshar. One where the highest powers aren't a bunch of Queen loyalists that ain't neva' even seen how real people live."
  120. Noticing that many magi and non-magi were still focused on Solon's frame, he catches the heart as it is lobbed to him and pulls out a golden needle from his coat pocket.
  122. "This wasn't the end of the party. Oh,nononono beau. We just gettin' started."
  124. And without concern for what may follow, the Loa plunges the needle into the depths of Solon's heart and twists it thrice. "Down with the knights. Down with the Queen. This world is ours now!" The heart is dropped into the hat in slow-motion. Once it hits the bottom, the entire city seems to come to life.
  126. "I hate to pressure you beautiful people, but now is the time to decide. Will you stand w'freedom? With Moonfall and live y'life the way it is supposed to be? Or are y'gonna stand against us and our friends on the other side?"
  128. Right on cue, the Gateway begins to open.
  129. (Atreus Ghede)
  130. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  131. Dun would blink steadily in frank and utter surprise at the sudden presence of the demonic nobility, the jester hopping in place for a time as he took another bottle of wine from the ground before immediately emptying it into his mask's left eyehole in cheer. Why, what a turn of events!
  133. "The guest of honor, the lord of unlordly desires. A crownless king, born of earth with desires of flesh! What a show, what a dance, an unthinkable turn of maddening events!"
  135. The clown would cackle with reverbating joviality as his bells jingled and jangled about, the jester continuing to spin in celebratory circles as he hopped from foot to foot, firmly patting his companion clown upon the shoulder with a bark of laughter and excitement.
  137. "Who dances first with the man of the hour? Who dares?"
  138. (Dun)
  139. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  142. Now that any pretense of this being a normal party was gone with the public execution of Solon and the recruitment pitch by Ghede, the jester took a small step forward. She seemed to be respectful of the main attraction, and though it may not have been the optimal time with the optimal amount of eyes on her, she was still quite keen to make her move. It was why she was here to begin with. Not the booze and dancing - not even the sacrifice, not really. She was here for something a little more... catastrophic.
  144. "So much life," she said, "So much energy," she went on in a lilting, sing-song-voice as she looked to the masked Ghede for a moment. "What a wonderful present, just for me..." Her voice was longing, dreamy even - the sort of innocent tone taken on by an excited little girl stomping down the stairs on Krausmas to see what bounties lie under the tree. "I won't let this go to waste..."
  146. Taking yet another small step forward, both of her hands came up in front of her, then above her. It had a flourish to it, like the beginning of a dance - but once the bells stopped jingling, even as the wind struck her red-and-blue sleeves, it was clear she wasn't about to break into dance. No, no - that wasn't her scene. She was a clown in name and aesthetics only.
  148. She proved it once, without further delay, she slowly began to clench both fists inward. The partygoers would feel something like a gust of wind - weak at first, and then getting stronger the closer her hands came to being fists. Specks of shimmering black stardust appeared during the gesture and were carried gracefully on the wind, navigating dextrously through the crowd in order to rush to the jester's position.
  150. It was the sort of thing that may have been cute or exciting, if it was any color other than black. Rainbow stardust or confetti would have been awe-inspiring - but there was something far more morose about this just by virtue of its color. It was sinister.
  152. ...And it proved even more sinister as that curious blackened stardust passed through the crowd. Everyone it brushed past would feel a curious sensation, the feeling of running your tongue along an entire row of batteries. It wasn't painful, but it was distinctly off - and if they were even more astute, perhaps they'd even notice that each speck of stardust seemed to grow slightly as it made contact with people.
  154. Each one grew fat with mana, in small, trace quantities - even the slightest touch of the black stardust was enough to lose at least some mana. Those with less mana - all the non-magi and civilians in the crowd, some who had come from outside and some from Moonfall themselves - wouldn't get out so unscathed.
  156. It seemed she was going to drive home just how important it was to take Ghede's offer into strong consideration.
  158. Baron Kriminel busting through the gate would be the last thing all those unfit non-magi would see. The paralyzing touch of blackened stardust, those tiny little balls of nothingness, finding no mana to siphon from the unworthy, would have no choice but to take their lives instead.
  160. People who had just been drinking and dancing mere minutes ago hunched over, the color leaving their face as they began to shrivel up like raisins, hitting the ground and breaking apart. Dust to dust - and all of that dust got caught up in the stardust-tainted breeze, rushing to Jingle as the center point.
  162. "So nice of you to join us, Baron!" she called out excitedly as she absorbed all that mana and life she just stole. "Look!"
  164. "Look at all we can accomplish! No knights to save them! No gods, no stars to protect them!"
  166. She let out a certified cackle then, the mouthless mask giving it something of a layered quality.
  168. "...Look- and join us, if you're still alive. It's the smartest option, right?"
  169. (Jingle Jangle)
  172.  "Happy Krausmas, everybody!~"
  173. (Jingle Jangle)
  174. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  176.  Dun would continue to dance about in a jingling storm of spins and hops, leaps and flops, the clangor of bells about his sanguine robes jingling about all the while in celebration of the festivities. The clown's visage is masked, the cracks lining their expanse dripping with wine as the clown cackled in celebration. The baron had arrived, and what a welcome he received!
  178. What a maddening celebration.
  180. "A handsome noble if there ever was one! With fangs such as that, no cheese could escape its gullet!"
  181. (Dun)
  182. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  185. [20:58] "Oooooo-oooh! Now that's the voodoo I like to see."
  187. Ghede sways from side to side as the Baron arrives, fully clad in cloth and still oozing might. A spiritual terror if there had ever been one.
  189. But even as the crowd parted and stirred to get out of the way, the man that had been deemed insane by Actaeon long ago kept his wit about him. Witches to his left and right. The Supreme behind him. It was the most powerful he had felt in some time. Yet, it wasn't right.
  191. They had a very specific enemy - opposition that they had to overcome to survive. And none of those hunters or knights were currently present.
  193. After tapping a finger to his chin, the stitched man makes his way around to stand at the Baron's side and waves a hand this way and that.
  195. "Not today, my Baron. They know now who we are, and what can be done. They see that it doesn't have to be Osrona's way or the highway! Hel, hopefully they see past appearances and understand what it could mean to become our allies." He speaks in that drawl of his, eyes bouncing about the crowd to weigh their reactions.
  197. But eventually, he shakes his head.
  199. "But our enemies are the Knights. Those who would kill us just for livin' differently than them. And until those enemies come knockin', you're free to do as you please, fella'." The warlock speaks to the titan of a spirit with respect, yet holds the tone of an authoritative figure.
  201. "We'll call you when we need you. And for the rest of y'? This boogie is over, but the party is just getting started. Make sure to grab a giftbag on y'way out." A wicked fit of laughter follows before he glances back to the Supreme.
  202. (Atreus Ghede)
  203. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  204. "Every single one of you," the clown growled, empowered by all of the insignificant lives she just stole, "How annoying - running, drinking, shouting... it doesn't matter," she said, shaking her head. "No no, it doesn't matter." She produced her staff, slamming it against the ground a few times as she rose her free hand high above her head once more.
  206. Her pale hand, skin cracked and scaling, caught the moonlight - and looked even more pale in it, still. Long, slender fingers extended upward, inhuman black talons pointed at the heavens.
  208. "Shut up about your drinks and kneel. All of you!"
  210. One of the few non-magi that hadn't been instantly slain with Jingle's life-draining ritual crawled forward, perhaps to ask for help, perhaps to pledge her allegiance. The jester stared down, head tilting, red and blue lights masquerading as eyes regarding her in the same way a hunter might be shocked to see he didn't make a clean shot.
  212. She gave a sigh, fishing around in her vest for a small, ceremonial dagger.
  214. "It's a new era on Osrona tonight!" she called out. "Do whatever you want! Take whatever you want - even lives! Have fun!" She spun on her heel, tossing the dagger into the air and catching it by the blade, holding the grip out to the other jester, Dun. Though her hand clearly pressed down a little too hard, it drew no blood. Perhaps she didn't even have blood to give.
  216. "Come, come, experience this joy with me! You'll finish this one off, won't you?" she asked him, free hand gesturing to the dying citizen.
  217. (Jingle Jangle)
  218. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  220. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  224. Raising a fleshy tentacle to the sky, a tugging felt by those around, mostly those lesser citizens that were of no real importance. Draining them, and visibly becoming gorged on their essence. The cloak puffs out!
  226. In an instant the flesh of the earth and the spirit separate. The accumulated mass spills over the marketplace making a terrible mess that someone would have to attend to. While the Brown Cloak, and the spirit of the Baron itself, flutters off excitedly. There was much to see.
  231.  When the black particles of mana began to leak out, Vasilios immediately puts up an extremely thin barrier of blood. Blood he had stored in his shirt; not opening a wound to allow anything this spirit gave out to get in his body.
  233. At least, not physically.
  235. There's a look to Ororo, his eyes behind the mask trying to grab her attention as for an explanation for that this is. Though, he honestly should've seen this coming, it was still enough of a surprise.
  237. He did his best to avoid the blackened starlight. He himself would be in control over his own mind; even if their goals would collide. However, his attention would move towards the other jester.
  239. And his all-familiar mask.
  240. (Vasilios Quinn)
  241. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  243.  Dun would cackle as the tempo of the crowd shifted, half in unhinged delight and the other half in horror as the spectacle reached its pinnacle. Heart's blood spilled upon the ground, wildness thick in the air, the clown could only dance about with amusement, bells jingling on and on about his form as the red cloaked jester spun in circles over and over, hopping from foot to foot with a bark of laughter.
  245. Asked to kneel, the clown would immediately perform a handstand, bending his elbows in a reverse gesture of both undignified respects to the baron, and yet still the eccentric joy of the hour as the celebrations were had.
  247. "Arms are legs, legs are arms, upside down is up, but why be down? The celebration stands, mirth flown from the cup of life, emptied now so others may glut!"
  249. And then, of course, his clown companion of the hour would offer him the handle of their sacrificial blade, gesturing to the dying citizen before the clown with clarity.Dun would remain silent for a moment, before taking a deep breathe as he released another, well practiced cackle as he took the knife from Jingle.
  251. Flipping it over in his hands a few times, the clown would juggle the blade briefly as trails of ethereal energy would flow about its form. Tossing it up again and again, the jester would increase the flow and spin of the edged dagger before, in a sleight of hand, the knife would be released with accelerated, energized force directly at Jingle's gestured sacrifice.
  253. The things one did for theater.
  255. "Ohohohoho, a headache goes!"
  256. (Dun)
  257. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  261.  For now, her attention was singularly focused on Dun; perhaps it was because he was similar to her, and she thought of him as something of an understanding soul. She definitely wasn't disappointed, either, when her fellow jester executed the suffering, crawling woman. Her monstrous hands came together, rubbing together excitedly as the last of the woman's life left her eyes, as her blood flowed.
  263. ...All of it to Jingle, defying physics. The trace amounts of life that Jingle had yet to steal, sure enough, became hers in time.
  265. Another senseless death completed, her red and blue gaze shifted sidelong. People were fleeing. People were still standing around. Nobody was kneeling. Perhaps by sheer bad luck, her gaze lingered on Grendel slightly longer than the rest of them.
  267. "...None of you are kneeling. You absolute morons- you insufferable idiots- you miserable buffoons."
  269. Perhaps it was because she saw him before - he feared her, and she saw him flinch and freeze up every time she ever said anything even remotely morbid. Careful, jingling steps brought her before the giant of a man, and the tiny jester stared up at him.
  271. "You're not kneeling for us. For me."
  273. Her patience was at an end; the lights on her mask went dim, and a shockwave of raw occultic energy reverberated through the marketplace. Sand was kicked up first, then the many corpses of the deceased.
  275. "Last chance."
  276. (Jingle Jangle)
  277. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  281.  "Feeelton! She asked nicely." Anabelle said as if the knight was a puppy she had to reprimand. That and Jingle had definitely not asked nicely. Jingle's aura brought about a flare of confidence in Ana, and her own bubbling dark magic came to light as she stared at Felton through her mask.
  283. A telepathic message was sent into his head as Anabelle raised her hand and lowered it with a single command.
  285. "Kneel."
  286. (Anabelle Lockwood)
  287. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  289.  Dusting off his hands as Dun whistled in satisfaction at the successful aim of his spinning knife, the jester would turn his mask's visage to the distant present of Jingle, his clown compatriot of antics and shenanigans! They appeared to be putting on quite a show in the near distance, and the fool certainly couldn't complain about the theatrics present. They had a talent for addressing the crowd the jester could appreciate, of that there was no doubt or uncertainty.
  291. Clapping his calloused hands together, Dun would dance about with a hop of one foot to the other once more, clasping a bottle of wine in each hand as he poured driblets of the grape liquor into each of his mask's eyeholes at interims of the semi-circles he span about, the jingling bells of his red cloak clangoring all the while in mirth and vigorous cheer. Oh, what a celebration of life.
  293. Oh, what a celebration of death.
  295. "Kneel, oh kneel for the baron in waiting. Off with the heads of standing, pat of the heads those willing!"
  296. (Dun)
  297. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  298.  The lights came back to life in her mask, just for the red one to twitch in response to Tonashi's refusal. "You must not understand, no no," she said, shrill voice full of sheer fury - she had been ignored and defied enough today. She'd not stand for it anymore. Perhaps Ghede was content with revelry and mockery, but the jester had her sights set on something bigger.
  300. Before she could make a move, however, Grendel came in-between them and kneeled as she had ordered previously. It was unfortunate timing, though; Grendel no longer had her interest. The Moonfall resident that cowered every time he saw her wasn't her target anymore.
  302. No, no. She wanted the others, the outside world to fear her, too. She wanted to send a message to Osrona. She stepped forward, sharpened talons rising to press against Grendel's shoulder. It was an admirable gesture on his part, but one that had come far too late.
  304. Her touch was inherently draining, especially when flesh came into contact with flesh - but it wasn't anything too debilitating.
  306. "You'll roll over for me, you sheep in wolf's clothing," she said, trying and failing to push the giant of a man aside. She swiftly gave up, stepping around him instead.
  308. "I told you," she said, "It's a new era. All of you look at me and see a clown - you ask 'oh, oh, is the circus in town?' You go 'haha, mommy, look at her bells! Look how she jingles!"
  310. The red and blue gaze narrowed, venom seeping from every word.
  312. "Never again."
  314. Never again, never again, never again. The dark aura around her and the swirling vortex of black stardust to accompany it increased in intensity.
  316. "Never again! You'll all know me. You'll know what I am- not a clown, not a joke, not your godsdamned traveling circus. Eudocia Mim├ęs - the one who will tear the constellations themselves asunder."
  318. Her hand finally, mercifully left Grendel's shoulder and poionted at Todashi - and in an instant, she fired off a beam of pure black cosmic from her fingertip right at Tonashi. How he'd respond, of couse, was his call to make.
  319. (Jingle Jangle)
  320. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  321. Felton would look up at Anabelle, was this happening? Her reaction's it seemed so genuine, she wanted this. She was just playing with him. Everything he felt, the darkness, coming from here, it wasn't what he was used to. The screaming in his head, her telling him to kneel, why was he following her commands?
  323. "I-" Felton would open his mouth, saying something, a gasp, how could he mutter those words? Everything he worked for was to become a knight. "I-" He would try again, almost choking, why couldn't he say it, Felton's breathing become deeper visible, he began to sweat as he was about to throw everything he knew away. Right?
  325. "I..... am.... no..... longer..... a.... knight.... he would barely be able to gasp out, his head while he was saying this would slowly lower.
  326. (Felton Vassemeur)
  327. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  329. Her head tilted almost innocently, childlike, as her beam was deflected. She responded only by lifting both hands, splaying her fingers outward, and firing off a black ray from each finger. She didn't care who it hit - any surviving citizens on the outskirts, fleeing - whatever, it didn't matter anymore. "I hate it," she muttered quietly. "This worthless, miserable society, Leonaus, the stars, the constellations that you all stare up at every night... I hate it!"
  331. Even if Tonashi had nothing to do with it - and Grendel certainly didn't, either - her rage was an aimless thing. Like the star she tethered herself to, the only thing she was interested in was aimless destruction. The mass sacrifice she committed earlier had given her a momentum she wasn't willing to throw away. As she said - it was a new era on Osrona.
  333. And this was her renaissance, too.
  335. One of her scattered beams bounced off the lantern of a nearby stall, the ricochet ideally perfect to cut off Tonashi's escape.
  336. (Jingle Jangle)
  337. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  340. [22:01] "Oh nooo." Anabelle said, her spell disrupted, the connection severed long enough for the spell to be repelled just a tad. "You're not supposed to do that, FELTON! You're supposed to listen and do what I say! You're messing it ALL. UP!"
  342. If Felton was going to fight her, then the little occultist was going to give him a fight. She had to see this spell through, she had tasted it once before, if only briefly, and such a power was not one that could be so easily forgotten. A staff was withdrawn from Anabelle's back, and with her eyes still aglow with that spiritual energy and Jingle downing someone amidst the crowd, Anabelle struck at her guest, her friend who had come to this party under her own invitation.
  344. "Come on, Mister Blu!" Anabelle said, her shadow striking up once again, the snake head now enshrouding her right hand, its fangs bared as it was no longer bound to the ground. "He's all yours."
  345. (Anabelle Lockwood)
  346. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  348. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  349.  Perhaps befitting her unhinged outburst, Jingle's fighting style was downright chaotic. Each wave of her corpselike hand sent beams and orbs of occult-tainted cosmic energy, each one of them bouncing off every surface they could to hunt down the defiant wolf. Black stardust followed in her wake, and even when she disappeared behind people, stalls, balloons, and corpse piles, it was never hard to track her thanks to that trail she made.
  351. At a distance, Tonashi was outclassed - so perhaps he thought he could match her at close range. It turned out that she was waiting for that, too; when the wolf rushed in with his blade, Jingle met it with her staff to block him.
  353. Anabelle and Ghede had seen her just the other week, when she was too weak to parry the strike of a cadet. The strength given to her by all the life and mana she stole from the unwilling today, however, had made her more than a match for any swordsman. The blade was deflected easily, and Jingle created distance between the two of them with a wave of her staff and a palpable miasma of darkness.
  355. Nobody could see through the purple mist, and by the time it cleared Jingle was simply missing.
  357. The only hint of her location came when it was too late: behind Tonashi, one of the corpse piles shifted as a pale, clawed hand rose from it, shoving one of the bodies aside. Jingle emerged from her makeshift hiding place and grabbed Tonashi by the hair, jerking his head back. Talons dug into his scalp - the crown of his head, one of the connecting points of his circuitry.
  359. Occultic energy seeping in from her fingers strummed at the poor wolf's mana circuits like they were strings of a harp, and each reverberation swiped more and more mana from him until, in simple terms, the circuits shriveled up, failing to pump any more mana through.
  361. The clown gave a satisfied sigh as her free hand rose, removing her mask and revealing her face: skin as white and cracked and scaling as the flesh of her hands, empty black eyes that seemed to catch and kill the light itself, and a pair of lips so thin and colorless that it looked for all the world like she didn't have them.
  363. With the ookami weakened and the mask clasped onto her belt, the clown lifted her hand and kicked at the back of his knees, forcing him into a kneeling position. She told him she'd make him kneel.
  365. She'd move to lay claim to his sword - and anything else in his possession that took her fancy, assuming nobody stopped her - and she dragged him by the hair across the marketplace, tossing him at Cornelia's feet.
  367. "Look what I found."
  368. (Jingle Jangle)
  369. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  372.  Dun would not cease his perpetual performance at the beginning of Jingle's invigored bout with the unkneeling attendee, nay, taking it as merely two spectrums of the same grand, intoxicating celebration in truth. All part of the same wonderful show in the clown's eyes. This was the way of things.
  374. Continuing to jingle about with the bells that clung to his sanguine cloak, the jester would cackle as he began to lightly cartwheel with surprising agility for his size, landing soundly on his feet before the stall as he began to clap his hands and shake his bells in celebration of his fellow fool's success.
  376. "A sad clown smiles like a broken clock, twice a day, twice a day!"
  377. (Dun)
  378. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  379. ---After the fighting
  381.  Dun says, "Friends made, hearts shared, drinks had."
  382.  Jingle Jangle says, "You ever killed anyone before, jester? That was a /really/ nice sacrifice back there."
  383. Dun says, "Life is but a sleight of hand. Easily made to disappear."
  384.  Jingle Jangle says, ". . ."
  385.  Grendel Beo says, ". . ."
  386. Jingle glances off to the side, to the still-discarded corpse. She lifts her hand and, without much fanfare, fires off a black cosmic ray from her fingertip to double tap the sacrificed peasant woman. Just in case 'sleight of hand' was Dun being sly, or something.
  387. (Jingle Jangle)
  388. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  389. Dun did not studder, his tone in that moment deep and entirely monotone. Creepy...
  390. (Dun)
  391. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  393.  Mink Fox asks, "What the hell?"
  394.  Victoria Olgimskaya says, "What the Hel indeed."
  395. Jingle Jangle asks, "By the way, where's a girl get magibane around here?"
  396. Dun asks, "A twice killed corpse has two lives, or two halves of one?"
  397.  Jingle Jangle says, "One, two, one, two."
  398. Vasilios Quinn says, "...Enough of this outfit. "
  399. Mink Fox asks, "Twice kiilled corpse?"
  400. Dun says, "But, to answer your question."
  401. Dun says, "Yes, this was not my first kill."
  402. Dun says, "Nor my last, in all hope."
  403. Jingle Jangle says, "We should hang out sometime, you're /fun/."
  404. Jingle Jangle says, "...But the magibane question. Really. Need to get my hands on some of that."
  405.  Dun says, "Likewise, you throw a mean party."
  406. Dun asks, "As for magibane....a trickster asks a poisoner when they seek poison...perhaps your new mercantile acquaintance?"
  409. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  412.  Dun says, "And now, the clown rests, the curtains called, awaiting the light of the next day's crowd."
  413. The boy twitched as he was pat upon the head. Doubly so upon the mention of subjugation, assuming it to be toward him.
  414. (Provol Endore)
  415. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  417.  Jingle Jangle says, "Anyway! I'll be holding onto the wolf for awhile. Toodles."
  418.  Dun says, "Until then, my fellow charalatan. "
  419.  Mink looks at Raven in particular.
  420. (Mink Fox)
  421. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  423.  Vasilios Quinn says, "Where are you staying, jester? "
  424.  Jingle Jangle says, "Me or-"
  425.  Vasilios Quinn says, "The non-jingly one."
  426.  Dun says, "Where the winds take me, of course. A fool goes where he pleases."
  427.  Dun says, "..."
  428.  Dun asks, "Non....jingly?"
  429. Vasilios Quinn asks, "Is your name jingle?"
  430.  Dun would shake about, jingling with vigorous spite.
  431. (Dun)
  432. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  434. Jingle Jangle says, "Mine isn't either."
  435. Jingle Jangle exclaims, "Anyway!"
  436. Jingle Jangle says, "I'm going to show this guy to his new quarters."
  437. Dun says, "My name? A simple thing."
  438. Dun says, "Dun the dim. Dim the Dunce."
  440. Only when the jester was far to the north of the depths of Moonfall did he at last take a deep breathe, leaning against the tree as he removed his mask with a grimace. Task stared back at the grim visage of Crowley, adorned with the familiar burn mark and hole upon its forehead where the constable had executed the man. The same as he had killed that innocent civilian to maintain his disguise in the belly of the beast.
  442. Innocent blood was on his hands.
  444. The commander would glare at the mask as he grit his teeth, the evil of its mantle present even now within his palm. Ser Valero and him had discussed the prospect that the mask had made Bertand Volgin the actor become Crowley the killer, but in the guise of the clown, he had not hesitated to kill. It felt almost like a natural impulse in that moment, a mere physical reaction the same as a good stretch.
  446. Had he enjoyed it? Did he enjoy ending others lives?
  448. Task's skin would grow pale as he began to slowly make his way back upon the rode to Osrona, his mind haunted by the blood on his hands. The mask might have freed his inhibitions, but it was Task that acted, not Crowley. Not the demon. Not Jingle. The commander of the city watch had executed a victim in cold blood. Were these the sacrifices he was willing to make in his pursuit of justice? It didn't scare Task because killing felt hard.
  450. It scared him because it felt easy.
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