8/23 Ash Can't Rot

JWaldman Aug 24th, 2019 (edited) 129 Never
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  1.  Nyx says, "Gather followers then unseal the twelth apostle."
  2.  Garrick says, "That sounds like something."
  3.  Garrick says, "Also what."
  4.  Garrick asks, "Why not....the nineth? Or the thirteenth?"
  5.  Nyx says, "There is no thirteenth."
  6.  Garrick says, "Not with that attitude."
  7.  Phyre says, "Hmmm, I'm certainly interested in seeing what this "Belial" will do...If we can even summon him that is."
  8.  Nyx says, "To bring him forth..we need his generals."
  9.  EiraVunde says, "... Good lucks, Nyx. The main summoning sites for Belial's stuffs is in Britannia and Gehenna."
  10.  EiraVunde says, "And Ark means, the continents."
  11.  Garrick says, "The "main" being the key word."
  12.  Garrick says, "Need some place obscure then."
  13.  Nyx says, "If theres a will..then theres a way. We have something that will make it, much..much easier."
  14.  Phyre says, "You seem mighty confident Nyx. I hope you're right. I've been itching to see those vermin destroyed."
  15.  Phyre says, "No more demi-angels, no more psychotic occultists. "
  16.  Garrick says, "I mean, if it burns this island to ash, all for it."
  17.  Nyx says, " most certainly red, though..the world being turned crimson may be a new color."
  18.  Phyre says, "You know honestly Garrick it's a bit surprisingly to see this side of you. You do a very good job of playing innocent and sweet in Gehenna."
  19.  Garrick says, "Everyone's got a mask. Some just fit better than others."
  20.  EiraVunde says, "Ark thinks, the gods just change the island, not completely destroy it... Would have to explode a Spire to do that."
  21.  Phyre says, "Hmmm, anything that involves no more oscuri and mo more phoenix cult is good in my eyes. Everyone else is tolerable. I just wish I could have been there to see Lupo's demise myself. Oh how beautiful it must have been."
  22.  Nyx says, "Its..something else. Not quite perfect, but not /too/ perfect."
  23.  Garrick says, "One spire, two spires, all of then. Or just a bunch of fire."
  24.  Garrick says, "Either or."
  25.  Garrick says, "Island's got a sickness, ash can't rot."
  26.  EiraVunde says, "One Spire alone could theoretically power a whole Perfect Yokai, so."
  27.  EiraVunde says, "Probs just one."
  28.  Garrick says, "Close enough."
  29.  Phyre says, "Hmmmm. I look forward to seeing this Nyx, you seem very smart, so I'll trust you know what you are doing."
  30.  Nyx says, "More than likely but belial is..something truely else."
  31.  Phyre asks, "Oh?"
  32.  Nyx says, "But we've done our research. We've done the cost."
  33.  Phyre asks, "Good. Besides we have our new friend here to help us. Isn't that right Ark?"
  34.  Garrick says, "Hmm, my chaos senses are tingling."
  35.  Garrick says, "Be back in a bit."
  37. -A few minutes later, during a smoke break outside the chaos cottage.
  39.  Despair says, "Garrick."
  40.  Garrick says, "That's me."
  41.  Garrick says, "Lord Ultovex."
  42.  Despair says, "I need ya assistance wit' a special order."
  43.  Despair says, "Come wit' ma."
  44.  Garrick says, "Sounds like a plan. Bonus points if it helps burn this island to the ground."
  45.  It was not the typical tear of reality. A rift would be opened, and stepping through would be a world in the center of a void. Death magic poured through, making the world more foul as he floated beyond it, landing in the worldscape and quickly leading the drakanite through.
  47. "It's a bit o' a special order. Ain't gon b something fer ma directly. Garrick, this is Rindou. She'll need ya assistance creatin' a special ring. An' in tha' long run?"
  49. "Ya. Should mess wit' 'em Demi angels."
  50. (Despair)
  51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  53.  Garrick would pass through the rift into the foul dimension with an idle puff of his raggedy cigarette, molten eyes trailing about the worldscape with idle wonder as the crack scaled smith hummed to himself with an idle clack of his jagged teeth. He'd heard of the place in rumors and whispers, but few things beat personal experience as far as the drake was concerned.
  55. Crossing his spider webbed, split scaled arm over the navy cotton of his engineer's cloak, the fire drakan would nod his head to Rindou with a steady puff of his smoke.
  57. "Cozy place, really. Gives me the end of the world sorta vibe. Big fan. Rindou, I am Garrick the Drake, and it looks like we're going to be working together. Mess with the clucking chickens huh? Gonna make'm fry, or should I bring the oil myself? No preference really, all the time in the world."
  58. (Garrick)
  59. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  60.  "It is real cozy." The Agreement was voiced as the Ultovexian floated slightly forwards, narrowing eyes slightly as Rindou seemed to have fallen asleep standing. His lips formed a line, considering various deeds to bring her back to reality.
  62. "This one will b less direct. I 'magine it'll b a slow burn if thangs continue like they are. I ain't think she'll make 'em fry right away, but it's like puttin' butter inna pan ta help heat thangs up."
  64. The Ultovexian looked back towards Garrick. "She'll show ya a gem she'll need fitted inta a ring. An' latta on I mite need ya help on a separate project. Real recent found a real rare metal."
  65. (Despair)
  66. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  68.  With Rindou distracted, the woman turns away from her.
  70. Ahead, a rift forms and from it an unfamiliar face presents itself. "Welcome to our little abode." An island floating in a star filled abyss. Not the most comforting of places, but it had a charm to it. "I'm certain your work will assist in plucking some... chicken feathers."
  72. She smirks. Just for a moment.
  74. (Melody Ultovex)
  75. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  77. [21:45] Garrick would nod in appreciation to the references towards cooking, a personal hobby of the smith in truth. And if a bit of fried chicken required some spice, a bit of effort and commitment on the kitchen staff's part? Well, that just came with the job, didn't it. Taking a slow drag from his raggedy cigarette, the fire drakan would turn about as his glowing eyes glanced about the void that surrounded the island in the depths of the worldscape, a slow nod issuing forth from his nub horned head as he took a moment to just...embrace it all. The alien nature of the place.
  79. It smelled far less like the shit filled air of the island's hypocrisy, the crack scaled smith could not deny.
  81. Returning his gaze to Melody, Sors, and Rindou with an idle hum, he'd take a step forth to fleck his molten eyes briefly at the fortress before him, admiring the architecture as only an engineer could.
  83. "Wouldn't be a dinner show without a bit of prep work. I'd be a poor smith if I was impatient, I'm content to watch them wait and suffer as long as the endgame is their ashen remains. Won't put out the fire burning inside, but there's a sense of relief in shared discomfort. Real nice like that, I am."
  85. The fire drakan would return his attention to Lord Ultovex, nodding steadily once more.
  87. "Gem huh? Something special about it? Guessing you're not proposing to the chicken emperor, bet he's a real priss when it comes to shinies anywho. And another project, huh? Never complained about good work."
  88. (Garrick)
  89. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  90.  Rindou looked at the new arrival for a few moments. While the oppressive darkness around them felt as vile as ever the young woman kept a rather warm glow to herself - more dim than ever before but still present. Her lips parted as she spoke, nodding towards Garrick.
  92. "I'm sure we'll have a pleasant time. As long as you're competent." She said.
  93. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  94. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  95.  The Ultovexian takes a step back, floating next to Melody as Dusk and Aurum affixed themselves to the blacksmith and their customer.
  97. "I hav' ta say, enjoyin' ya company mor' wit' every minute Garrick. Lot o' people real abrasive ta wha' we do, so everyone willin' ta help is real such a plus."
  99. "Prospin' ta tha' chicken emperor, tha'd b a riot. But ya, help her out wit' her plan an' jus' a heads up, she's a lil abrasive. B ready fer tha'." He waved, then smirked just like Melody.
  100. (Despair)
  101. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  103. "Competent? Yeah, sure. I'm a fire drakan with flames leaking out of me like a rusty spigot. If I couldn't shape a bit of metal with gravitic pressure, the heat of lava, and some bootshine? Well, I'd be a mean fuckin' lamp."
  105. The fire drakan would grant Lord Ultovex a two clawed salute as he nodded to Rindou, cracking his back briefly before crossing his crack laden, bulky smith arms over the scaled plate and cotton of his adornments, molten eyes falling once more upon his work partner to be with a steady hum as he chewed lightly at the end of his raggedy cigarette.
  107. A small ring of smoke would emit from the drake's jagged teeth as he gauged the woman, before at last he seemed content.
  109. "Dealt with abrasive, nothing new. How's she factor into this anywho? Got some fancy talent I'm unaware of, or she just gonna yell at me until I get the job done? Not that I'd complain, white noise is a helluva thing."
  110. (Garrick)
  111. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  113.  Rindou Sakamoto asks, "..?"
  114.  Garrick says, "Hey, honest inquiry."
  115.  Rindou Sakamoto asks, "Are you asking how I factor into a ring for me using my resources..?"
  116.  Garrick asks, "Uh, yeah. Did I studder somewhere?"
  117.  Garrick says, "If the answer is "just using my resources", that's an answer."
  118.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "No. I'm just surprised at the unusually useless question."
  119.  Despair says, "It's her ring an' she knows tha' specifics it'll need."
  120.  Garrick says, "That simple, thank you Lord Ultovex."
  121.  Garrick asks, "See, all friends here. Now what's the particulars of this ring?"
  122.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "From a blacksmithing point? Nothing special."
  123.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "It's just a crystal attached to metal."
  124.  Garrick says, "Makes sense. So the crystal's properties are the important component, you just need a ring to serve as a conduit for it. "
  125.  Garrick asks, "Question of the hour then. What are this crystal's properties?"
  126.  Rindou thought about for a few more moments. Was this guy really as trustworthy as Sors claimed? She wasn't sure just yet, thus, she left things rather vague for now.
  128. Hopefully he wouldn't ask more until the process had begun.
  130. "It was taken from a Nethradin."
  131. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  132. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  134.  Melody Ultovex whispers something.
  135.  Garrick would tilt his head with a squint as Rindou answered his question with immense amounts of detail. The fire drakan was clearly overwhelmed by the amount of information he received, at least if the impassive expression upon his face and idle picking of his teeth with his claws was any giveaway. With a light shrug and a yawn as the crack scaled smith glanced between the woman, Sors, and Melody, he'd take take yet another pensive drag from his cigarette with a nod.
  137. "Incredibly informative. Gives me an excellent idea of what I'm going to be working with. Very generous of you. Gotcha, dark spirits, that's a start I guess. Guessing it ain't from our side of the park then, neat Helheim trinket. I'll factor the presence of such energies into the design then."
  138. (Garrick)
  139. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  141.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "It's more than that."
  142.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "I can show you, if you wish."
  143.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "Although I'm not sure if we should tamper with the crystal before attaching it."
  144.  Garrick says, "Yeah, don't wanna destablize anything. Magical objects have a real bad habit of being finnicky."
  145.  Garrick says, "Or explosive."
  146.  Garrick says, "Sometimes both."
  147.  Garrick says, "Could hold it up for me real delicately, I reckon. See what I can gauge with just my eyes."
  148.  Rindou gave the proposition a thought, looking far beyond Garrick's form and into the dark abyss. If she had the talents he possessed she would not require help from someone like him. It was despicable at best. Her lips parted for a moment, yet no words came out. She nodded.
  150. Her hand reached into her pocket, pulling out a pitch-black crystal. It was as if whatever she held it in front of had completely vanished, giving a direct look into the endless abyss laid around them. An empty void, one that did not allow light to come through.
  152. Terrifying artifact.
  153. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  154. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  156. [22:40] Despair whispers something.
  157.  Garrick would glance into the abyss itself, it seemed. The fire drakan's molten eyes hung upon the darkest of gems with intense curiosity as he felt the occultic cracks that spread up his scaled form ache lightly at the mere presence of the crystal. The fire drakan, usually a bundle of sass and wit, seemed genuinely silenced by his examination of the abyssal manifestation, gazing into what appeared like the true blackness of night itself as he puffed away steadily at his raggedy cigarette.
  159. The drake would stare at it for a long while without a word, clacking his jagged teeth together with an idle hum as he seemed to tilt his head a few different directions to gauge if there was even any dimensions to the arguable hole in the otherwise lit confines of the worldscape. There was dark, and then there was that which was completely absent of light.
  161. After a time, and about half the length of the crack scaled smith's cigarette, Garrick would finally begin to nod as the gears turned within his head.
  163. "Well, well, well. That is something. Like shutting your eyes while they're still open glancing at this thing. Huh. I'm guessing we need to reempower it, siphon some dark energy or...honestly seems like any energy would do. From what I reckon, this kinda thing could take all the light out of someone. Even a white winged chicken. I love it."
  164. (Garrick)
  165. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  167.  "That is the idea." She said, pulling the crystal closer to herself once more as she spoke.
  169. "To take all the light out of me. I intend on... trapping what remains of Jiuweihu's blessing into that crystal and alter the darkness within to have it expel that light outwards. To create harmony between light and dark and provide a glow in the darkest of times."
  171. Unsustained harmony. It was bound to fail at some point, wasn't it? With the pitch-black emptiness activated again who knows how it would react when all the light was gone?
  173. "I believe it would be best to work on that first and foremost. I have arcanium for the ring itself; forging it and attaching the crystal should be easy enough once everything else is done."
  175. Her amber gaze shifted to Sors.
  177. "Have you thought of a way to have this light trapped within?"
  178. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  179. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  181.  The Ultovexian seemed not to be paying as much attention, letting the blacksmith and the to be ring's owner discuss the details among themselves. Dusk and Aurum simply stared out into the void before hearing a question voiced at him instead of anyone else.
  183. "Ya could manifest tha' whole rest o' the light. Then ya could encase it in tha' crystal. Make a lil hole innit, put tha' light inside, tha' sort o' thang. Bes' I can tell, tha' crystal absorbs any light tha' meets it. But if tha' light was comin' from tha' inside, I'd believe it'd expel it."
  185. "Wouldn't b real keepin' tha' light trapped within' but amplifin' it. If it shines light outwards while absorbin' external light, should make ya look brighter in comparision ta all else. But tha' would only last as long as tha' light did."
  186. (Despair)
  187. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  189.  Rindou Sakamoto asks, "How do you believe I'll be able to make a hole in it?"
  190.  Despair says, "A real hard tool."
  191.  Melody Ultovex says, "A physical hole would just allow all of the energy to dissipate through it."
  192.  Melody Ultovex asks, "I would suggest Adonis, perhaps?"
  193.  Melody Ultovex says, "If he can form a microscopic portal into it then the light could be released that way."
  194.  Melody Ultovex says, "... Through runes, of course."
  195.  Despair says, "Tha' is an option. O' ya could make tha' hole face inward. If it's pressed inta tha' ring less chance o' spillage."
  196.  Rindou Sakamoto asks, "Sors can tear things apart to make shortcuts. Wouldn't it be the same?"
  197.  Melody Ultovex says, "No, it would not."
  198.  Melody Ultovex says, "Rifts produce foul energy, no matter the size."
  199.  Melody Ultovex says, "Wayfinding does not have this side effect."
  200.  Despair says, "Rift wouldn't work if I ain't able ta see tha' destination. Unless ya want ma ta rift tha' crystal in half. But the crystal ain't the lifestream. it won't heal itself."
  201.  Despair says, "Wayfindin' wouldn't work either. Wayfindin' does not cut thangs."
  202.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "... I'd rather not add more people to this, either."
  203.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "The less know, the better."
  204.  Melody Ultovex says, "I suggest using a portal to access the light stored within it, ensuring no leakage whatsoever. "
  205.  Melody Ultovex says, "But do as you will..."
  206.  Despair says, "I do 'gree wit' the idea. But ta rift o' wayfind, ya'd need ta see the destination. Tha' inside o' the crystal ain't visible cause o' the darkness."
  207.  Melody Ultovex asks, "An inch in a certain direction guided by runic engravings proves too much?"
  209.  Garrick would tap his claws steadily upon his lips as he listened in idly upon the conversation between the trio, humming to himself as he nodded lightly along to the chatter. A hole that released light, a harmonious balance of dark and light? If that thing was going to absorb it, there would have to come a time when there was no light left to absorb. The thing already consumed all the light surrounding its very existence, the concept of a balancing act seemed shaky.
  211. "Create a glow, huh? Wouldn't that be more like an...illusion of light at best? Shiny, sure, but you got something that dark around your finger, no way it's gonna be real light for long. Wouldn't the ring be better off for stripping light from folks?"
  212. (Garrick)
  213. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  215.  Rindou shook her head towards Garrick.
  217. "It would not feel or look the same as Jiuweihu's blessing. I will grant it what I possess and use the time as best I can while it lasts."
  219. Her eyes then shifted to Sors once more.
  221. "Prying it open physically seems to be the best way, as long as we can seal it back once that glow is in. I believe I have an idea for such; magma will provide enough heat to let rocks meld into place and hold the light. A small patch that would then be further reinforced by the ring itself, if you would.
  223. I honestly thought you'd be able to bind that energy to your will, but it seems not. Nethradin did obey you back then, after all."
  224. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  225. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  227.  The Ultovexian would nod to Garrick.
  229. "It is an illusion o' light. Made ta look like a certain kind. Ideally tha' darkness tha' gem exudes can b used in tha' illusion, exertin' tha' darkness further away from her ta make her glow appear even mor' powerful. Refraction o' something." His lips then formed a line.
  231. "Ain't a good 'dea ta hav' mor' people know then necessary, ya. An option ta get a scribe is there but makes it mor' risky o' bein' found out." A clawed finger tapped on his arm then he nodded. The clawed hand extended.
  233. It takes seconds for the facsimile to form. A small crystal that almost looked the same of Rindou's would appear in the center of his hand, curtesy of the worldscape. A rift opened halfway between the object, bisecting it which would cause for some of the darkness inside to escape.
  235. "If ya make tha' hole small should b minimal leakage an' easier sealin'. But rift ain't tha' bes' fer small. Tha's why a tool is preferred. But ya, magma should b able ta seal it up. As fer bindin' energy ta ma will? Rifts, ya. But controlin' a sentient bein' an' something without a will is different."
  236. (Despair)
  237. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  239.  Rindou Sakamoto asks, ".. So forcing it to cave in a bit, then channeling my light within and ending it all with some magic to keep it in's the best solution, isn't it?"
  240.  Despair says, "Sounds rite."
  241.  Rindou Sakamoto says, ".. I should get to work, then."
  242.  Rindou Sakamoto asks, "Anything else any of you can think of?"
  243.  Garrick says, "Magma I can handle easy enough. Stabilizing the hole seems like a half decent plan once it's all inside. Sorta like....a drainage ditch for holy energy."
  244.  Garrick says, "Makes sense to me."
  245. Rindou Sakamoto says, ".. Alright."
  246.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "Then.."
  247.  Garrick says, "Hell, energy's malleable....probably only need a real tiny point to release it. Might be could make a mechanism that contracts a bit of the crystal with a bit of applied force, like a spray bottle."
  248.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "... It's time."
  249.  Rindou moved further south. If she was going to do this it would have to be in the best spot possible. Despite all of her intent and will to falsify who she was - to give off a glow that could no longer be there she... still believed that those values were the right ones.
  251. Kindness, respect, understanding. There was nothing wrong with that. The way that they had been interpreted in the past, however, had been completely wrong. Her mentor allowed Agartha to fall into a crisis of sorts for the sake of making one man happy - of preserving love.
  253. Jiuweihu may not forgive Rindou for this.
  255. "I trust you lot to finish the ring after that. I have no idea what'll happen to me."
  256. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  257. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  259.  The Ultovexian nodded.
  261. "After tha' intial light is placed inta the crystal, it can b sealed. From tha', it can b forged inta a ring, an' it's properties tested ta b correct. But very much, ya. Tha' first step would b the placement o' ya light into tha' ring."
  263. "O' the forgin' o' the ring. 'spose tha' could happen consecutively."
  264. (Despair)
  265. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  266. Garrick would take a step back as he crossed his crack scaled arms over his broad chest with an idle hum, the drakan tugging steadily at his raggedy cigarette as he mulled over Rindou's resolve with a degree of respectful deference. Nodding lightly over to Sors, the fire drakan would snap his claws together with an affirmative gesture as he shrugged his shoulders lightly.
  268. "Could do either. Already gauged the crystal's measurements when I was gawkin' at it, should be able to make an adequate socket. Ring work's not real trouble to hammer out either. Perks of being a walking powder keg, magma magic makes just about anywhere with soil a forge. soil right? Not just pretend?"
  269. (Garrick)
  270. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  271.  The woman stands with her arms folded. Her idea was shot down - replaced instead by an analogue alternative.
  273. As the one cosmic mage present, as well as an exorcist, one might think this musician knew something of light.
  275. "Pouring the light into it before we shape the stone may be problematic..." The woman comments in an almost patronizing tone.
  277. Beyond that, she says nothing more.
  278. (Melody Ultovex)
  279. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  281.  Rindou took a few more steps away from the rest of the people. Melody's words were heard - she had almost forgotten about the first and most important step of it all; to give the light a place to reside and bore the hole it would live in. She shifted to face Sors, expecting him to manifest the right tool.
  282. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  283. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  285.  The Ultovexian seemed to consider Melody's words for a few seconds. Occultism could be felt radiating at the tips of his clawed fingers, and he took it like a string, straightening it out.
  287. "I think it real 'pends. From ma mind's eye, it's bes' ta hav' tha' light in tha' crystal 'fore attachin' it ta the ring. Tha' way we see the properties tha' the ring will b enhancin'."
  289. "An' wouldn't bet on this. This place ain't ya typical reality. I believe tha' there is a forge upon tha' mountain. After tha' changes hav' been made ta the crystal, we can make the ring at the forge. Should b soon."
  291. He rolled the occultism at the tip between his forefinger and thumb. He does not draw out a tool, instead suddenly hurling the tiny occultic needle at the crystal, having it puncture the side of the object and make a tiny hole before dispersing it before it would come out the other side.
  293. "Need a larger hole o' will tha' do?"
  294. (Despair)
  295. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  296. It's almost reflexively that Rindou brought the crystal up to catch that needle. She had been struck by so many of those before - she wasn't going to let another one of them run through her like that. A small huff left her lips as she peered into the darkness - not seeing the hole.
  298. A finger traced its way over the crystal to actually feel it, locate it and keep it under her watch.
  300. What a horrible method for something necessary.
  302. She turned to face the south once more, answering the Ultovex with a shake of her head before she moved to sit down, cross-legged.
  304. ".. It'll do."
  306. This was it, wasn't it?
  307. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  308. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  309.  Garrick would nod lightly, if inquisitively to Sors as he took a progressive drag from his raggedy cigarette with a pensive hum. So the soil he stood on wasn't normal then, didn't obey the same laws of earth and fire that the standard landmass did. That was....fascinating. The crack scaled smith had nothing to compare it to in his experience, but he wouldn't complain about seeing something new.
  311. "Good, precise. Who knows what sorta shit could happen if you cracked that thing and tried powering it. Sounds like a whole bunch of whoopsie daisies just waiting to happen. Mountain'll do, figure if there ain't a forge there we can make one."
  312. (Garrick)
  313. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  314.  The young woman takes a deep breath, her eyes falling shut. A silent apology to Jiuweihu is made from within the realm she could not access. Part of the reason she believed her glow had yet to depart was due to their location, too. The sun had yet to shed its light upon her ever since she had embrace the way she lost, ever since she had given in to this.. despair. This desire.
  316. She knew she wouldn't last long under the star's watch as she was; she would lose her glow and her cover would be blown. That cover was important. If people knew she had given into the horrible feelings that gnawed upon her heart they may just treat her like Aurora had, if not worse.
  318. This was her last chance at making a good impression. Her lips barely parted to let out some air. Fingertips felt over the small hole again and again, making sure that it was there - that it was present. The young woman's features faltered a bit.
  320. I'm sorry, but... You probably already knew I'd fail, didn't you? You should have placed your hopes in someone stronger.
  322. The dim light that surrounded her suddenly took upon an impressive, undeniable glow. Rindou's mind began racing as she focused upon all of those tenets, all of those virtues that the sun had passed down upon them.
  324. Kindness for agartha. Understanding of her own position. Respect of her weaknesses. A twisted version of the blessing that had been given to her, although one that could be freely unleashed from within the worldscape.
  326. All that light traveled down Rindou's arms, focused and allowed to escape from her fingetip and into the small, small hole. It was as if she was channeling every bit of hope for herself she had into this. Every bit of thought that things would get better without this kind of ridiculous sacrifice was cast away.
  328. She was weak.
  329. She was unloved.
  330. She was a traitor.
  331. She was a villain.
  332. She was heartless.
  333. She was a poor medic.
  334. She was the lowest of all.
  335. She was only human.
  336. She was not meant for this blessing.
  338. The light flickered, falling silent and exploding outwards from time to time as Rindou's heart further shattered itself with all of the humanity she felt she had left being poured into the most horrible of things.
  340. For she saw no other solution. Jiuweihu would disapprove of her and... fooling others was the only way she'd be able to survive long enough to attain the strength she needed - the powers she required to make a change. To become the kind of person she wanted to be, the kind of person that was respected by all, just like those illustrious leaders and heroes alike.
  342. The kind of person that could rival Caira.
  344. Tears quietly traced their way down her cheeks as her glow grew as dark as the backdrop surrounding her. Heat escaped from her fingertips, molten rocks burned bright for a moment as they were forcefully stuffed into the small hole - trapping all of that light within and... cooling off to seal it.
  346. For Jiuweihu's blessing would remain within that crystal now.
  347. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  348. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  349. The duality of feeling is sensed by the Ultovexian, remaining from his nearby perch as he watched the ritual. Rindou exhibited both the quality that she had fought with before, the feeling of wanting to do good. But as she worked it was as if he could feel the other feeling. The self doubt, the pain, the suffering, Despair.
  351. The feeling of not being worthy was touched, of being only human, unable to do more. His lips formed a singular line as he felt it, like person trailing their finger across the water's edge. No, closer to a person with red food coloring on their finger dying the liquid a new hue.
  353. Despair clung to him, and it infected, spread as it's own plague to another victim. He only nodded in approval.
  355. "Tha' world is sufferin' ya know. It is Hel we're walkin' through." He spoke too charismatically as he could almost feel her tears from afar. Then he turned.
  357. "Ya will need ta seal tha' hole Garrick, an' get tha' ring ready. If ya got tha' estimations o' it ready, I can rift ya back ta tha' mountain an' we can avoid those opoosie daises, ya?"
  358. (Despair)
  359. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  360.  Garrick would watch the display with his molten eyes as he puffed steady rings of smoke from his cigarette, molten eyes watching the light figuratively, and in this case quite literally leave the woman before him as she fell into the depths of despair from her sacrifice. The fire drakan might have felt some sense of pity once, flecks of empathy for one that had fallen to darkness after being bathed in a blessing.
  362. Once, perhaps.
  364. Yet, as the fire drakan paced across the worldscape's false earth with idle clanks of his black sabatons, his molten eyes glowing with intensity as they trailed over the subject of his efforts to come, all the crack scaled smith could see was fire. An inferno that would scorch the island until all the rot was cleansed at last. He was not unfamiliar with this lowness, with the emptiness that came from the depths of despair.
  366. It was there, after all, that he'd discovered the flames of hatred. And it was there that he'd learned to never let them go. To never suppress them again as long as he lived and there was still ash to make.
  368. His claw would glow hot with molten intensity as he approached the crystal with an engineer's caring touch, trailing it delicately across the confines of the abyssal gem without the slightest scratch as the fervent heat grew brighter and brighter. Compressed, held within much as one swallowed fury, the flame burnt at its brightest and most intense without the slightest flicker.
  370. Dipping lightly within the miniscule hole and its molten seal that had been applied with cursory application by Rindou, the slightest of swirls with the barest tip of his molten claw would trace in a careful spiral around the puncture, melding the material as he condensed it with a delicate gravitic well, a pinprick of pressure and force to ensure not the slightest bit of light trailed out.
  372. And just like that, it was sealed. A spiral all that remained of the leakage that was now reinforced and shut.
  374. "That should hold. And yeah, if I didn't get a good enough view before, I did now. Socket should be nothing, looks like Rindou here did the real bootwork. Probably needs a lemonade or somethin'"
  375. (Garrick)
  376. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  377.  Rindou allowed Garrick to finish sealing up the light within the crystal. She wasn't at her best - not at all. Her heart was... tormented. She was surprised she could even think straight after getting rid of that glow she had fought so hard to obtain. What would happen when Jiuweihu would catch it?
  379. She could only fear the future.
  381. A quiet, shaky breath escaped her as she spoke.
  383. "Let's... go forge it."
  384. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  385. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  387.  Despair asks, "Do ya wish ta follow ta tha' mountain ta forge? O' would ya prefer maself an' Garrick handle tha'?"
  388.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "I'll come."
  389.  Garrick says, "More the merrier then."
  390.  Rindou reached out the crystal and a piece of arcanium to Garrick, quietly looking up to the night sky. It had been... So, so long since she last saw the real sky. It felt good.
  392. It felt bad.
  393. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  394. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  395.  Garrick would clasp the chunk of arcanium with a two clawed salute to the drained Rindou as he whistled a jolly tune, puffing away on his raggedy cigarette as he snapped the sharp lengths together with his free hands. The snow below the fire drakan's feet would begin to melt into slush as a glowing light bubbled beneath the black plate of his armor. Molten, once frozen soil would swirl from the ground as it compacted and smoldered with gathered heat, forming a crucible of earth from the frigid expanse of the mountain.
  397. Tossing the single piece of emerald glinting ore into the makeshift smelter, the fire drakan would allow the raw material time to melt down to an ideal state of malleability as he turned to the other task at hand. Stomping his foot into the ground, a block of stone would rise barely largely than a common box, swiftly clasped in both crack scaled palms of the smith as he laid it down upon the nearby anvil with a steady puff of his smoking appendage.
  399. Glancing briefly over at the crystal he'd set carefully aside, then a molten, scanning fleck of his eyes towards Rindou's ring finger, the fire drake would begin to carve the ring's mold with his glowing hot claw millimeter by millimeter, forming a careful circle by eye as sparks of heat and flame steadily flushed from the mold to be. Bit by bit, the chunks of earth would melt away to form the ring's rough shape to be, an empty slot of still hot earth awaiting in the conjured slab.
  401. Nodding with a sharp toothed, draconic grin, the crack scaled smith would clasp the molten crucible between both of his claws before rising it with care to chest length, glancing once more at his mold before beginning to slowly empty the liquid arcanium drip by glimmering drip into the ring slot. The heat of the mold would increase in intensity as the brown slab began to glow hot, maintaining the malleable state of the arcanium as every last drop of the material was brought forthinto the mold until at last the rough state of the ring was achieved.
  403. Allowing a brief moment to take a smoke, Garrick would nod to Sors with an idle tug of his cigarette.
  405. "Once it cools, gonna need your help a tad. Gonna hammer it down a bit, condense the metal, then socket it with my claws. Gonna match the spiral I made on the crystal, and we're gonna do a sorta....flash weld with occultic energy on top of my magma when we bind the two together. Gonna nick out some pseudo-circuits in there to make sure the mana flow's apt, but I'm no occultist. I reckon you are."
  408. (Garrick)
  409. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  411.  The young woman didn't seem all that mentally present after having given the required objects for proper crafting - her mind was wandering in a completely different direction; she was wondering how things would be. How she would approach the world once again, and what would she do when the sun rose again? She was bound to be judged, to be hurt and... punished for what she dared do. She didn't expect Jiuweihu would let that go so easily, after all.
  413. This would hurt, wouldn't it?
  414. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  415. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  416.  And so work began. It was this part of the process that the Ultovexian often participated in the least. He could make holes nad punctures but when it came to melding the metals or shaping them, he had no ability and thus his attention often lacked. His arms crossed over his chest as he squinted, watching Garrick begin to get to work on the chunks of arcanium.
  418. Only faintly did his eyes follow the work, never really changing his movement until he was looked towards. He began to pay more attention, listening to the instructions.
  420. "So wha' ya need ma ta do is apply ma occultism where ya forge the circuits, rite? Should b easy 'nough. It'll jus' b a fast fix but I think it should work."
  421. (Despair)
  422. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  423.  Garrick would ash his cigarette as the successful smoke break was achieved, cracking his clawed knuckles with a flash of his toothy grin as he got right back to work. He nodded to both Sors "Despair" Ultovex and Rindou as he glanced at the cooling arcanium within the mold, humming contently to himself before with a snap of his twin claws, the soil of the mold would dissipate into nothingness.
  425. Leaving a glowing hot, unadorned ring upon the surface of the anvil.
  427. Raising his right, balled fist into the air, glowing soil would begin to trail up the fire drakan's split scaled arm as it condensed and hardened around his hand, a molten mallet forming from the frigid expanse of earth as the glowing eyes of the smith gazed down upon his work with focus. This part would take a bit of care, too much force directed towards the wrong place could mess up the mold's work and set them back to square one.
  429. The hammering would begin. The heavy clank of hardenedstone against molten metal and half chilled iron as the drakan delivered determinate strike by strike against the flat surface of the ring. One side, flip, the other side, flip, so on and son on as the outer edges of the ring were adequately shaped while maintaining the shape of the mold with care. Aesthetic work to most, surely, but the master smith knew the passage of mana through the conduit required this sort of ideal symmetry for the best outcomes.
  431. At least, that was how he figured it.
  433. The molten soil would flow down into the snow with a sizzle as the hammering was complete, the crack scaled smith raising his claw forth towards the still hot metal as his sharp appendage sparked with condensed heat. With a delicate flick of the end of his draconic talon, trails of circuitry would begin to be carved in the inner seams of the ring, delicate application of the molten tip with care as patterns for passage of energy were carved millimeters at a time while sweat beaded upon the magma drakan's forehead. It was a grueling, time consuming process, but Garrick wasn't in a rush.
  435. Good work was worth a bit of effort.
  437. At last, only the final step of the process remained. Claw simmering with condensed, smouldering heat as the drakan turned the glowing hot arcanium ring in his palm, the fire drakan would begin to carefully carve the spiraled socked that would fit the abyssal gem inbetween glances back and forth between the crystal that had consumed Rindou's light and his own forged piece. Precision was required in these things, the slightest bit of inaccuracy could have dire effects on the piece's effectiveness.
  439. The island could nod be burned with just a match, after all.
  441. At last, the socket was milled with molten claws, the fire drakan blowing a gust of hot breath upon the piece in an engineer's flourish as his sharp toothed grin curled into a wide smile. Glancing over the ring with an idle hum, he'd nod before delicately clasping it on the two sides that were perpendicular to the socket before raising it up towards Sors, gesturing to the crystal that lay upon the anvil with a wave of his free hand.
  443. "Alright. There we have it. Now for the cherry on top. I'm gonna channel my heat while you mount the crystal with your dark energy. Needs to be spiraled in, best way to make sure it lines up with the circuits. All said and done, should have yourself an inert dark ring after this bit. Long as we don't explode or something."
  444. (Garrick)
  445. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  446.  The Ultovexian waited. The process had already been explained to him, but he hadn't know exactly where to tap in. Dusk and Aurum kept their gaze on the crystal as he remained silent, eyes ever narrowing with every last spark due to the heat or the sound of sweat going down a forehead. The final step remained.
  448. The void claw would have the occultic energy mount atop his dulled talons, surround it faintly as he moved his grip to the crystal. As explained, the crystal needed to be spiraled in so first he would line up the circuits with what had been created by Garrick, and after he began to slowly turn and twist the crystal in place, believing for it to be entered like a screw.
  450. "Spiraled in like this? O' ya want ma ta handle it a different way?" He was careful to have it descend and keep his occultism faint enough not to ruin the work if it was being done inccorectly, but if it was confirmed to be correct he would simply continue to work it into the approved groves.
  451. (Despair)
  452. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  454. "Exactly so. Keen eye Lord Ultovex. No pun intended. "
  456. The crack scaled smith would begin to heat the ring with the subtle glow of his molten heat as trail of flame leaked from the spider webbed pattern of shattered flesh and scales that spread from his palm across the rest of his garbed body. The heat was just enough to make the ring malleable, not too much that it would lose its shape as the abyssal gem was bound and spiraled within.
  458. "Alright, I've heated it right where it needs to be. Keep applying that barest bit of occultic mana as you twist in. When you hear the little clink at the end, amp up the dark energy you got going now about....twofold. That'll set it in without breaking it, and the seal will be in place."
  460. Garrick nodded to Despair, the man that was once Sors Ultovex, with an idle puff of a fresh cigarette that appeared to have come from nowhere. Clearly the drake was a prodigious smoker, but maybe that just came with being your own lighter. He'd clasp the ring carefully, nod moving an inch as he allowed Sors to apply his precise spiral without the slightest bit of shaky hands.
  462. Hard to get cold when you're on fire on the inside.
  463. (Garrick)
  464. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  465. Exactly correct. The Ultovexian nodded. The occultism remained around the talons of the claw, using the dulled edges to hold the crystal. It wasn't an easily breakable mineral, that was good, for if it was it might have shattered easily even if the talons were dulled. The occultic power mixed with the heat that was emitted by the blacksmith.
  467. "Jus' keep applyin' it until it's flush against it?" The Ultovexian asked curious before it was fully explained. A sound at the end as it was screwed in, one clink later as the crystal sank deeper and deeper into the ring before finally he amed up the darkness. It wold be triplefold, causing for a slight crack in the crystal, but it would only be skin deep.
  469. Despair was careful not to destroy it. Only to force it incorrectly before nodding.
  471. "Tha' should work."
  472. (Despair)
  473. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  474.  Garrick would nod contently as he held the ring steadily in place, the process going completely smooth as millimeters at a time the gem of overpowering darkness, the absence of light, was mounted upon the ring with care. The crack scaled smith would flick his molten eyes briefly over to Rindou as he allowed Despair to complete the process while puffing small rings of smoke from his jagged toothed mouth.
  476. Clearly the wrong moment to look away.
  478. When the smith's eyes had returned to the ring, he'd blink lightly as his glowing visage fell upon the barest of cracks that had spread across the crystal, squinting briefly as he forced his eyes nearly atop the crack with an engineer's frustration at the sudden lack of complete symmetry in the work. The flames within the magma drakan would briefly glow hot with fury, the glowing handprint of reika that remained at the center of his chest sparking wit energy as the smith grit his teeth.
  480. Yet, as he examined closer and gauged the depth of the crack, a sigh of relief would exit the smith's jagged teeth as he barked out in laughter, shaking his head lightly as he laid the ring with care upon the anvil to allow it to cool at last.
  482. "I guess the crack does add a bit to the cosmetic flare. Luckily it ain't deep, looks largely cosmetic. Probably not gonna disrupt the passage of mana through the ring's energy channels. Well...probably. If it explodes, not my bad."
  483. (Garrick)
  484. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  485. "This world is imperfect, full o' sufferin' an' betrayal. One crack won't break wha's made anyways. 'sides, it's jus' like ya said. Mostly cosmetic, shouldn't do anything." The occultism slowly began to disperse from the darkened talons of the claw as he backed up slowly, looking again at the work.
  487. "Ya, do make sur' it ain't 'xplode if ya can. Ain't think Rindou wants ta lose figners, an' would ya want ta hurt tha' pretty face?" He cackled, almost seeming partially comedic at the moment.
  489. "Is there anything else we need ta apply ta tha' thing 'fore it's finished? O' should we let Rindou don it an' see if it works well 'nough?"
  490. (Despair)
  491. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  492.  "Ain't that the truth. Only perfect world is one burnt to ash I reckon. No hypocrisy, no fallacies, just a sea of warm grey and nothingness as far as the eye can see."
  494. Garrick would nod steadily, puffing steadily at his raggedy cigarette as he hummed to himself in contemplation. There was one final thing he needed to do, though it was hardly necessary for the smithing process. In truth, it was just a sense of comfort he'd always achieved from a completed project. The crack scaled smith was hardly going to stop now.
  496. Clasping the ring briefly within his spider webbed palms, the drake would lightly polish away at the gem and arcanium with his cotton coat, buffing it with careful precision until the green metal glinted even as the dark gem seemed entirely unaffected. Perks of swallowing all the light Garrick supposed.
  498. It was a brief gesture, and with a nod the fire drakan would hand the completed piece over to Sors with a nod to him and Rindou, taking another long drag from his raggedy cigarette with contentment at a job well done.
  500. "All yours. Shiny as incarnates of darkness come. Which is to say not that shiny, but well, sucks to suck I reckon."
  501. (Garrick)
  502. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  504.  Rindou offered nothing more than a frown towards Sors as the man seemed to try his best attempt at cracking a joke and being funny with a compliment. It didn't work. The moment the ring was presented forward the young woman reached out - snatching it before the Ultovex could even have a good look at it.
  506. She had to make sure everything was there. That it was all find. That it could... let out that glow, entrap it, and make her shine when she needed it the most.
  508. Unless stopped she'd slip her finger into it.
  509. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  510. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  511.  Despair asks, "It fit?"
  512.  Garrick says, "I'd be a real shitty smith if I messed up the fitting."
  513.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "..."
  514.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "It fits."
  515.  Despair says, "Satisfactory."
  516.  Despair asks, "Now that you have tha', do ya want ta remain in tha' worldscape while ya adapt o' 'round here?"
  517.  Rindou thought for a few moments before she looked up towards the skies. Morning was coming soon, wasn't it? She couldn't run away from her meeting with the sun forever.
  519. "I'll stay here." She said, nodding to Sors.
  520. (Rindou Sakamoto)
  521. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  523.  Garrick says, "Cozy place, really. Always preferred the snow myself. "
  524.  Despair says, "Too cold fer ma."
  525.  Garrick says, "Gehenna's too damned muggy, hot, and full of shit for me I reckon."
  526.  Garrick asks, "I mean...can't you just pull extra blankets from a rift?"
  527.  Despair says, "Tha' ain't solve the cold."
  528.  Garrick says, "True. Need more fire for that."
  529.  Despair says, "Ya. An' I was neva a fire mage."
  530.  Despair says, "If ya'll both b reaminin' here, I think there's somethang I need ta check inta."
  531.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "..."
  532.  Rindou Sakamoto says, "I'm gonna go take a walk."
  533.  Garrick says, "I wander about the island, perks of being a humble smith. Most folks just see the smile."
  534.  Garrick says, "But I'll be about."
  535.  Despair says, "See ya'll latta then. After I attend ta ma thangs."
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