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1/14 Finding One's Resolve (CoD)

JWaldman Jan 16th, 2020 35 Never
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  1.  Captain Mori says, "Oi! Robin! And .. others."
  2.  Captain Mori says, ".. So it says here we've got a voyage for .. "
  3.  Captain Mori says, ".. That stupid tower nearby? But why? Didn't it just get hit by a Comet or something? .."
  4.  Valero lux Montclaire asks, "Hail, Captain. Permission to board?"
  5.  Robin lux Queen says, "Aye"
  6.  Task says, "That sounds about right."
  7.  Robin lux Queen says, "Brought my motley crew an' all."
  8.  Task says, "I didn't actually ask for any details on this glorious expedition."
  9.  Captain Mori sighs ..
  10. (Captain Mori)
  11. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  12.  Captain Mori says, ".. S-Such enthusiasm .."
  13. Captain Mori says, ".. Very well then, hop aboard my vessel."
  14.  {NARRATION} The winds of adventure were calling. Prior to this, a comet had crashed somewhere, far off in the distance on an Osronian island.
  15.  
  16. .. The island had been covered in a thick black mist- the leering aurora of corruption bleeding it ..
  17.  
  18. .. Whatever could they hope to find? ..
  19.  
  20. {NARRATION} Darkness befalls the crew .. The last thing they remember was the rampant noise and crash of a ship being destroyed .. They awake upon an Island .. (repost)
  21.  Waking up on the island the man was groggy..
  22.  
  23. He'd at first felt that he'd been killed in the hux of all of this.. though it seemed that he still drew breath.
  24.  
  25. Shaking his head, brown locks unfurling about he'd get the ringing from his senses as his hues bounced about making sure that everyone he'd brought along still drew breath as well.
  26.  
  27. Coming over and checking with his rucksack of medical materials at the ready he'd make sure nothing had been too damaged or swept into the sea whilst he was being tossed about.
  28.  
  29. "Aye....? Is anyone too hurt..? We're all in one piece more o' less right? I think we made it.. though, tha' poor Captain ain't anywhere to be seen.
  30.  
  31. An' without another ship... I'm thinkin' forwards is the only way for now. Might find another boat inland, anyways."
  32.  
  33. Oceanic air still graced his senses some as they'd been close to the shore, but nonetheless it was probably best to get things on the road. And in a sense, he'd still been highly curious and intuitive towards the forces upon this island and the whereabouts of that comet's landing...
  34.  
  35. "Shit.."
  36. (Robin lux Queen)
  37. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  38.  a really big squid says, "*sea creature noises"
  39. As the groan of buckling wood began to peal out over the waves at first Valero had paid it little attention until the sound spiked in pitch signaling something was wrong.
  40.  
  41. The turbulence that followed gave way to blackness and as light returned, vision fading in, he squinted through a headache as he rose to his feet to assess where they were or what had happened.
  42.  
  43. His lips moved to speak but all he could manage was to spit flecks of salt away from his parched and cracked lips. As he reached to his side a small relief was granted as he found his side-satchel intact albeit waterlogged.
  44.  
  45. He withdraws a waterskin from, still sealed tightly against whatever had happened, and he rises to take a sip. Once his throat was quenched he could respond to Robin's voice.
  46.  
  47. "A bit roughed up, but fine. I have water if anyone needs it." He grimaces at realizing there was no sign of the captain and his crew, "Perhaps they may have made it out yet, Robin. We were so lucky, it is not a stretch to say they might have as well."
  48.  
  49. Hopeful thinking, but there was the greater issue at hand, "We can likely charter another if there is a village or.. Any sort of civilization out this way."
  50. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  52.  Task occupied his time upon the ship's passage in meditation, centering himself for whatever came ahead as he did his best to banish any distractions from his mind. Id had granted him the key to moving forward in his mastery of energy magic, to mastering himself. The commander that had executed Crowley in a fit of extrajudicial rage had power, certainly, but not control. His resolve had slipped, consumed by passion, and in doing so Task had lost a bit of himself.
  53.  
  54. He would need to find his resolve once more, that spark of genuine idealism that had kept his eyes bright in his early years as a constable. To master not only his fists, but the man behind them.
  55.  
  56. Deep in meditation, the crash was hardly noticed until they were underwater, consciousness lost in a fugue of blackness and sogginess. After a time, the bald constable would awaken with his cloak soaked through, cold and heavy, and sand slipped into the crevices of his nyeshk plate in places far more uncomfortablethan he'd consider.
  57.  
  58. Igniting his shroud of ethereal mana to begin the process of drying off and to banish the seaborne chill that coaxed over him, Task's remaining eye would scan about the coast with an idle hum as the constable centered and controlled their breathing, manifesting control over the body to assuage the mind.
  59.  
  60. "Well, I'm missing an eye, but I think that was already the case anyways, so it looks good so far Robin. That said, I don't think this ship of ours is....seaworthy anymore. Well, unless we paddle back to Osrona, but that sounds perilous."
  61.  
  62. The bald commander would raise his fist with firm resolve, the way of willpower laid forth before them.
  63.  
  64. "We march then, whatever awaits will guide us by the star's light."
  65. (Task)
  66. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  67.  She had been on the deck, silver hues cast forward towards the distant island. She could feel the air of wrong surrounding the place before an unnatural darkness blanketed them.
  68.  
  69. She woke up to sand beneath her, her senses returning as she rolled to her feet on a reflex before assessing her surroundings.
  70.  
  71. "I'm alright, how are the rest..? The non-Magi?" They would need a new way home but.. they would have to find it on their way out she supposed.
  72.  
  73. "What took out the ship..?"
  74. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  75. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  76.  The little bob hopped around at the sight of new visitors! Oh me oh my, W H A T F U N .
  77.  
  78. "Well this is amazing!!!"
  79.  
  80. "See- normally, they're already dead by the time they get here, but you guys?-- Not so much!"
  81.  
  82. The blob slithers over, the creature makes itself present. Yes indeed- it was Mr. Squiggles.
  83. (Mr. Squiggles)
  84. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  85.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "You guys must be strong! You're still alive and all that!"
  86.  Robin lux Queen asks, "Ah...?"
  87. Robin lux Queen asks, "A-are...? What..? Who?"
  88. Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "I'll give you ... 3 out of 5 Squiggle points!"
  89. Mr. Squiggles asks, "Who--?"
  90. Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Well- I'm glad you asked!"
  91. The creature rolls up closer to Robin lux Queen.
  92.  
  93. Surely, there was fear permeating from the Knight. Why wouldn't there be?
  94.  
  95. "I am MR. SQUIGGLES!"
  96. "At your service!"
  97. (Mr. Squiggles)
  98. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  99.  
  100. Mr. Squiggles says, ".. It's funny- this is my second time shipwrecked on an island .."
  101.  Mr. Squiggles says, "But oh- what a horrible place to be!! .."
  102.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, ".. First that meteor? Now you Zombies?!"
  103.  Mr. Squiggles asks, "--You guys /aren't/ zombies, right?"
  104. Alyssa cos D'Arnette says, "Zombies..? We're all alive."
  105. Mr. Squiggles exclaims, ".. So are Zombies!"
  106.  Mr. Squiggles says, "You know what-- Too fleshy for Zombies."
  107.  Task says, "..."
  108.  Mr. Squiggles says, "But why would you guys come HERE of all places? .."
  109.  Task sweats.
  110. (Task)
  111. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  112.  Robin lux Queen says, "...Adventure."
  113.  Robin lux Queen says, "An' Comets."
  114.  The Radiant presses his palms against his temple and begins to rub in a circular motion, geometric shapes dancing across his field of vision as it faded to blackness overlaid with octarine flashes of light.
  115.  
  116. When his vision returns the creature is still there and he frowns, "A persistent hallucination."
  117. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  118. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  119. Task would glance over Mister Squiggles with minute concern, blinking lightly before taking a deep breathe as he watched the creature with a stalwart, unmoving gaze. He must not be put off center by any form of emotional reaction, even amusement. If this thing was real, it might be dangerous.
  120.  
  121. And if it was fake, they were already in danger.
  122. (Task)
  123. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  124.  Why had she come here again..? It surely wasn't for the pleasure of being shipwrecked, she had come because Robin had offered and so she accepted. Adventure was adventure, deadly or not.
  125.  
  126. She stares for a moment at the weird blob. "So.. do you know where that meteor landed..?"
  127. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  128. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  129.  
  130.  Motions some past the jelly being, up towards the tower of the island with some due diligence. He could feel a deepened cosmic eminence from it, and he was here with all these other strong comrades to really get at the meat of the rocky archipelago...
  131.  
  132. He didn't really fear the thing.. but he was for sure confused.. and mildly perturbed.. Was this thing also on the ship along with them? Or was this an occultic hallucination manifested by it's tainting allure..?
  133.  
  134. "Aye--what Lys asked.. Aside from our.. confusion. Do ya happen to know if tha' tower.. o' somewhere near it hold where the comet landed..?"
  135. (Robin lux Queen)
  136. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  137.  The creature slithers closer ..
  138.  
  139. "Adventure and Comets?"
  140.  
  141. "OH! I KNOW OF A COMET!"
  142. They slither over closer- approaching the group. "There was this one really BIG one that crashed here a few nights ago!"
  143.  
  144. "Oh- it's by that BIG Watch Tower over there! Like--" The creature bounces pathetically. "There!"
  145.  
  146.  
  147. (Mr. Squiggles)
  148. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  149. Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Here- I'll take you if you want!"
  150. Alyssa cos D'Arnette asks, "Do we follow..?"
  151.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "All you have to do is just follow me!"
  152. Robin lux Queen says, "....Alright."
  153.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, ".. Come on guys- I'm not that scary!"
  154. Task says, "Hmm."
  155. Valero lux Montclaire says, "I do not see a better choice and.. Mr. Squiggles seems fine enough."
  156. Task says, "Let us keep wary of this creature, it might mislead us."
  157. Robin lux Queen says, "Keep your eyes peeled..."
  158. Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "That only happened with that Lukas kid!"
  159.  Robin lux Queen says, "Ain't know if this is a vision o' not.."
  160.  {NARRATION} Journeying up the steps to the Island, Mr. Squiggles leads the group to a tower .. Corruption seeps from the inside ..
  161. The creature flops up to the steps--
  162.  
  163. "AND THERE IT IS!" It proudly exclaims.
  164.  
  165. "See- it's kind of crazy that you guys showed up with good timing! My friend is inside actually, and he's been--"
  166.  
  167. Klkk-
  168. Klkk--
  169. Klkk- ..
  170.  
  171. ".. Huh. Whatd'a know. Locked! Guess I-uhh .. Misplaced the key to the tower! Sorry! .."
  172. (Mr. Squiggles)
  173. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  174.  She looks at the tower, one only a step and a hop from Occultism she knew what she felt wasn't pleasant. "Your friend what..?"
  175.  
  176. Her eyes shift to the locked door, between them they more than had the raw strength to break through whatever would lie in their path but... did they want to?
  177.  
  178. "What do you think? We can just blow it open."
  179.  
  180. She waits for a response, glancing around for anything else worth noticing.
  181. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  182. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  183. Task would watch the back of the single file line as the party followed Mister Squiggles, remaining eye scanning steadily across the island of the rumored comet fall with constant diligence. The commander could not give in to flights of fancy any longer, to master another rung of energy magic would be to master himself. All emotion must be in control.
  184.  
  185. Even wonder. A bitter truth, but a necessary one.
  186.  
  187. The bald commander would glance over the corrupted tower with a grimace as he took a thoughtful drag from his corncob pipe, glancing over its expanse with a light hum as he turned his gaze to the group's backs, the dancing shadows of the tree line offering valid concern.
  188.  
  189. "Watch our backs, who knows what might come from the darkness. If the door will not budge, we will make it so through our own resolve. Maintain vigilance, we must be lanterns in the dark this night."
  190. (Task)
  191. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  192.  Coming up to the Tower, it would seem pretty evident that it was locked unfortunately..
  193.  
  194. And that the slime thing..? Had hands? He'd come over inspecting for himself but at the end of it all he'd agree that it wasn't accessible at the moment eyes spanning the rest of the island.
  195.  
  196. "Do ya know where we'd find the key? --Well. If tha' doesn't just work outright. In my experience, blowin' open doors is much easier said than done. 'Specially when occultism is involved...
  197.  
  198. But if he's got no other leads, then it'll have to do." the Exarch would state now looking to the others.
  199.  
  200. His body would glow lightly as he pondered their other options.. though at the end of the day, the curt and honest approach of going into this head first may shake out the most efficiently.
  201. (Robin lux Queen)
  202. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  203. As they drew near to the tower the vile feeling from within prompted him to halt and count the resonations from Geist. Slowly but surely he had come to summon the blade more swiftly.
  204.  
  205. Glittering motes of the three noble colors coalesce around the glassy outline filling it until the blade is complete. The normally golden blade shines white in response to whatever is behind the door.
  206.  
  207. His golden-eyed gaze studies the door for a moment before he casts a more meaningful look to those gathered, "Whatever is in there is setting Incandescenc alight the same way as The Battle of The Forests."
  208.  
  209. Confirmation of something twisted beyond the merely feeling that the building exuded, "You're probably right, Robin. Usually these places seem to be bound to rites or rituals."
  210.  
  211. It would not make sense for it to be easy to enter a lair, after all.
  212. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  213. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  214.  
  215. Task's eye had never left the shadows, so when the great raven that approached was less a surprise than an alleviation of a bad feeling. The commander had done enough patrols in Sudsbury to know there was always something lurking in the shadows, even if it was just an illusion conjured by one's fear. Yet, with iron clad resolve the constable would raise his fist with a grit of his teeth, his arm's skin darkening as it hardened with condensed mana.
  216.  
  217. No running, no turning back, no fear. Only determination.
  218.  
  219. "These fists are not for the innocent, but you stand in our path. Yield what we require, and you will be spared. Move against us beast, and you will be put down."
  220.  
  221. No anger or resentment, only focus. He could not be the man he once was, he must be better. For Osrona, for his companions...for the people he wanted to protect.
  222.  
  223. The avian creature had its chance to flee, there would be no vengeance here. Only justice.
  224. (Task)
  225. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  226.  Mr. Squiggles may not have been a fighter, but she sure as hell was, and the darkness was her friend.
  227.  
  228. "Not sure what this is but.. it's not gonna be friendly."
  229.  
  230. Her breathing slips into the Kageken, as familiar as moving a limb as she begins to move. The shadows cling to her form with the touch of a lover as she does something not many would expect. Her dash taking her towards the tower, shadowy claws forming onto her hands as she begins throwing herself up the building.
  231.  
  232. Clearly she was aiming to gain the high ground, she read in a book somewhere that was a serious advantage.
  233.  
  234. She hoped Robin could shed some light on the situation, just enough to illuminate their foe for a few moments.. it's all she would need for what she had planned. A chance for all of them to strike it down.
  235. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  236. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  237.  
  238. As the fell beast appeared, with cacophonous squawks a chill ran across him, but was still and dissolved by the warmth of The River he and Robin channeled.
  239.  
  240. Incandescene was raised an at angle, the features blurred by the intensity with which is glowed in the presence of the corrupted bird, his footing certain. His practice with Nemein had lent credence to the experimental style.
  241.  
  242. The weightless blade of Incandescene was slowly growing familiar despite the surreal nature of its composition and the counter intuitive nature it required in fighting without resistance.
  243.  
  244. Whatever the little creature was, strange as it might have been, it seemed to be a benevolent and helpful spirit even if its form was odd. He did not bother to shout commands as all were capable magi in their own right.
  245.  
  246. Instead he began to move forward knowing that the others would be there to fill in the gaps. Iridescent trail of red-gold light shimmered in a trail behind him as the Radiant dashed forward with mana-infused superhuman speed.
  247.  
  248. He had promised to make a world where such beasts found not rest or respite. The alleged 'Lifestream' he had heard of might have had the power to undo the Occult's taint, but for now it was a pipe dream.
  249.  
  250. All that lie before them was the call to action and he intended to answer.
  251.  
  252.  
  253. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  254. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  255.  Taking out his blades pre-emptively as a tainted and large draconic bird sailed down from the skies the Light Magi was readied for what was impending.
  256.  
  257. He'd anticipated beings of the Island similarly to the corrupted swordsman and his daughter from the past.. however the onset of a humongous bird rearing it's talons upon him and his comrades wracked the man's mind.
  258.  
  259. "Tha's---- I'm guessin' it's hostile!
  260.  
  261. Get to the back.. Squiggles?!
  262.  
  263. An' we'll handle the large pigeon. Whatever it is.. bearing the star of crimson in it's aura.. it must be something formidable, at least.. Only the most adept can wield an advancement in their celestial attunements.."
  264.  
  265. He'd call forth the sheen of starlight to coat his dual blades here, and taking a step forth, he'd steel his nerves, bracing for what doom the entity thought it could bring upon them all.
  266.  
  267. Robin had ordained to come here and investigate. But further than that, he'd want to clear out the corruption that seeded itself into the history of these lands, to surpass his limitations baring his style from growing.. and to ensure the light wins out in the end.
  268.  
  269. "Prepare yourself.."
  270. (Robin lux Queen)
  271. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  272.  
  273.  The battle had drawn on for a bit.. though it seemed things weren't slowing down any time soon.
  274.  
  275. Honing the fulcrum of his luminescent power into his blades as they seared in star blessed might and emitted a violent whirring the Exarch would dash in and out, aiming at weak points in armored skin, and posture.
  276.  
  277. Looking to make sure that the others weren't too harmed in this series of events, he'd brace and block a few blows here and there, consistently growing and expanding his valiant light about him in a golden beacon he'd begin to form into a blinding light that zipped around at a blinding speed, sweeping, slashing and slamming with the weapons he had been giving his all to further with his astral efforts.
  278.  
  279. "Formidable....
  280.  
  281. But we'll have to cut this short... An' maybe with a small amount o' flair--"
  282.  
  283. A cannon of light would pierce through the evening as the man appeared in the air above the Dragon now. Emitting from his eyes with a piercing, and powerful beam of accuracy and devastation.
  284.  
  285. Having evolved his style to have free fingers, eyes or even his blade emit this beam for ease of use, the man didn't seem to be shaken or hindered at all as the most minute shift revealed a chip in the reptile's scales and soon it'd open to a spray of bloodcurdling viscera from the exit wound.
  286.  
  287. Eyes closing as the man landed on the grass and sheathed his weapons already knowing everything had come to a finite close.
  288.  
  289. "I'm sorry we couldn't save you...
  290.  
  291. But perhaps you'll find rest among the stars..." he'd let out, a tad morosely at having to take the life of the creature.. even if it -did- attempt to kill them at the behest of the island's corruption.
  292. (Robin lux Queen)
  293. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  294.  
  295.  He had launched in without hesitation despite the threat the large creature posed. His blade cut through the night itself as he parries the beast's raking talons and streaked through the air supercharged by heavenly might to deliver aerial swipes at the beast.
  296.  
  297. Though he was not reckless his pattern was read by the beast, given less credibility than it should have been, and he roared in pain as the beast's maw closed around his mythsilver breastplate.
  298.  
  299. The metal held, but the teeth pierced down to flesh as it met his blood his body was inflamed with the foul burning sensation and he pained scream fell off abruptly with a grunt as he collided with the ground.
  300.  
  301. Lying there on the ground his feet thrash as he struggled for breath, fingers shaking as he reached blindly toward his side. The familiar smooth contained within was brought trembling to his lips.
  302.  
  303. Hopefully the brew was as potent as advertised when Priscilla had mentioned them before.
  304.  
  305. Mind drifting through the fog of pain and teeth struggling with the cork, at last it pops spilling a bit of the draft on the Radiant's face before he manages to drink it.
  306.  
  307. The vitalizing liquid flows through immediately as the pain gradually fades away to a dull and intoxicating worth.
  308.  
  309. As strong as advertised.
  310.  
  311. Valero manages to find his way back to his feet blood and dirty, but the wounds were gone the superficial remnants remained, "Half-chewed by a corrupted.. Dragon? That's a new one for the books."
  312. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  313. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  314.  Task would pursue the wyvern without fear across the battlefield, having made an oath of resolve to see this through without a single slip of body or mind. This was the sort of trial Master Id had spoken of, the sort of challenge where one either stood up, or shut up. If this beast was going to attack his companions, then that would require an answer.
  315.  
  316. His fists had purpose beyond killing. His will was not to slaughter mindlessly, but to protect.
  317.  
  318. Dancing across the battlefield as the starlight carved out a sea of energy amongst the dark forested plain, space itself began to rend as the great beast carved a gravitic well within the center, pulling with immense weight upon all of his fellows down to the bone. The apex of gravity magic, set to grind his fellows to dust with the entropy and apathy of cold space.
  319.  
  320. Not on his watch.
  321.  
  322. Where a less determined man might flee, Task did not falter. Lunging forth directly into the center of the great, blackhole even as his muscles screamed, his bones cracked, and blood dribbled from his mouth, the bald commander would take a deep breath before raising his palm before him, emptying his mind of pain and emotion as he visualized the flow of mana throughout himself, to the very artifices of the gravitic well before him.
  323.  
  324.  
  325. Opening his remaining eye with sudden strain, the forces of gravity would suddenly be turned upon the wyvern, each and every pound of bone cracking might. Holding his place, the bald martial artist would not budge until the beast laid dead, sweat pouring from his brow with blood and caked dirt as he at last sighed in relief.
  326.  
  327. "I.....am never....doing that again."
  328. (Task)
  329. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  330. She had done her job, standing atop the tower for the initial part of the conflict she blinded the scaled beast with darkness, shadowy chains reaching from the ground to bind it for a few moments.. but she couldn't do that forever.
  331.  
  332. Diving from the top of the tower she drove her mana-empowered elbow into its back to distract it for a moment before she kicks away.
  333.  
  334. She watched as the dragon was struck with that piercing beam, her own feet striking the ground as she tucked into a roll to mitigate damage to her legs.
  335.  
  336. "That was... that was something.."
  337.  
  338. She was breathing a bit heavily, intense indeed. Now they had to worry about that key..
  339. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  340. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  341. {NARRATION} The battle was fierce and intense- the light versus the dark. In the end, they had befelled the beast .. A small hint of the corruption fading from the Land ..
  342. Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Sheessh!"
  343.  Mr. Squiggles says, "You guys are something else .."
  344. Mr. Squiggles says, ".. You know- what is it with me and always running into giant scary lizards .."
  345. Robin lux Queen says, "Is--- are things all well? An'... aye there's a reason I brought them."
  346.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Tough as nails you guys are! Let's find that key for that tower!"
  347.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Here- follow me!"
  348.  Robin lux Queen asks, "Indeed... any hint as to where?"
  349.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Yeah! I always put it by my 'Remembering' Rock!"
  350.  Robin lux Queen says, "Lucid namin' scheme..."
  351.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Ah-hah!"
  352.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "There it is!"
  353.  Task says, ",,,"
  354.  Task says, "What."
  355.  Now, there was always something a bit peculiar about Mr. Squiggles!
  356.  
  357. The forgetful slime-creature had always had large stones to denote things to him! His, so called 'Remembering' Rocks.
  358.  
  359. "This is it, yup!"
  360.  
  361. "This HAS to be the rock. I think."
  362.  
  363. "Oh? Would you guys like a piece of my stone?"
  364.  
  365. Mr. Squiggles offers a chunk of his stone to those nearby ..
  366. (Mr. Squiggles)
  367. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  368.  Robin lux Queen says, "...Sure."
  369.  Task would squint at Mister Squiggles, shaking his head steadily as he puffed away on his corncob pipe. He wasn't going to accept a random rock from some kind of ditzy slime creature.
  370.  
  371. Not yet at least.
  372. (Task)
  373. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  374.  An eyebrow was offered, though through a journey like this..? It seemed that there wouldn't be any real point in not going with the punches. A nod was given to the Jell-O being as they awaited it getting the key to the watchtower.
  375.  
  376. "Not one to look a gift slime in the mouth.."
  377. (Robin lux Queen)
  378. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  379.  
  380. She knew it was probably a terrible idea, but who was she to refuse..? Carefully she extends a hand, a thin layer of darkness coating her fingers as she prepares for what may or may not come. "I suppose...."
  381. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  382. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  383.  
  384.  The slime had seen friendly enough and object given our of kindness from strange creatures were always noteworthy in some way or another. That and the tales cautioned against spurning such gifts, "Of course, I would be.. Honored."
  385.  
  386. There was the issue of what they were going to do to return home, or where home even was relative to this place, had been stifled and pushed down lest panic begin to blossom.
  387.  
  388. Still this was an odd turn of events.
  389. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  390. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  391.  
  392.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Ok! Line up to have a rock!"
  393.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "If you're not interested, please step aside to the purple tree@!"
  394. {NARRATION} .. Something seems off ..
  395.  
  396. As Mr. Squiggles approaches his rock pile, A RUNIC SIGIL BEGINS GLOWING!
  397.  
  398. ".. Oh no- oh no-no-no-no-no-no!"
  399.  
  400. "SHOOT!"
  401. "IT'S JUST LIKE THAT TIME WITH LUKAS!!"
  402.  
  403. "AAAAAH, I'M SORRY GUYS- I'M REALLY SORRY!!"
  404.  
  405.  
  406. It seems Mr. Squiggles' rock pile was indeed for remembering.
  407.  
  408. "THIS IS THE WRONG 'REMEMBERING ROCK' PILE!"
  409.  
  410.  
  411. "THIS IS FOR REMEMBERING THAT THERE'S A TRAP!"
  412. (Mr. Squiggles)
  413. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  414.  
  415.  Robin lux Queen says, "---"
  416.  Task says, "I KNEW IT."
  417.  {NARRATION} Thankfully, Alyssa and Valero were quick on their reflexes, backing out of the way before things got worse!
  418.  
  419. But unfortunately for Robin, he's only getting one chance to escape!
  420.  
  421.  
  422.  She could feel something was off just before the blob begin screaming. "Watch out!" Her form instantly dissolves into shadows as she zips backwards at an inhuman speed... an effective dodge.
  423. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  424. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  425.  
  426.  Curious he inspected the rock further, but as he panned away he caught the faint outline of a sigil just as it began to alight. The mention of 'trap' from Squiggles had barely come forth when he pressed against the ground leaping in the air away from the radius of whatever was there.
  427.  
  428. "Move!" It was all he could manage as he soared back watching as he sailed backward at what was to come from the activated sigil.
  429. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  430. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  431.  
  432. Task had grown a sense of clear perception from his resolve, relying entirely upon his instincts untouched by emotion to gauge their surroundings. The bald commander did not trust the seemingly childlike antics of the slime, and it appeared that his gut feeling had proven right.
  433.  
  434. Unclouded by fondness, by sentiment, he had seen the path.
  435.  
  436. "This is why you don't take rocks from strange slimes. Check the shadows, we might be in for another ambush."
  437.  
  438. The bald commander's remaining eye would scan their surroundings once more, leaning against the purple tree that had proven his salvation from danger.
  439. (Task)
  440. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  441. Accepting the rock..
  442.  
  443. The man wouldn't lower his guard at all, at his own behest and the words of his comrades here the man would just narrowly flicker out of the way with lightspeed reflexes.. a near miss that could've spelled catastrophe for the man if he hadn't been a practitioner and harbinger of the wiles of Light Magic.
  444.  
  445. "--Tha'.... Tha' was close.." he'd break a small sweat looking to the others with a slight nod at their own caution being reinforced here.
  446.  
  447. No more playing around..
  448. (Robin lux Queen)
  449. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  450.  
  451.  It would be that loud bang, that would alert the predator, After that? Well...
  452.  
  453. Quiet, everything had become far too quiet. Something was wrong, very, very wrong here, or perhaps they had simply done it, bested whatever creatures laid lurking for them during their adventure, and everything was smooth sailing from here on out.
  454.  
  455. NAH, it was almost certainly the first option.
  456.  
  457. Which was only proven when that eerie silence was broken by a rather loud SNAP! Whatever had been hunting them, had decided that it no longer needed to be stealthy. It's prey was within it's sights, and it didn't care if they could see. There was no way they'd be able to stop it, so why bother sneaking up on it?
  458.  
  459. The first things they'd see? Would be those piercing pale green eyes of the beast, peering through the foliage. The next? It had faded away, darting through one of the nearby shadows, until it was literally face to face with the group. The giant wolf, stared down the group, as it's fur, and eyes lit up with with a brilliant crimson.
  460.  
  461. It was time for the hunt to begin.
  462. (Abyssal Wolf)
  463. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  464. {NARRATION} The loud bang had brought a devilish beast approaching forth .. a Demonic creature- taken shape of a Wolf luring forth.
  465.  
  466. .. The piercing green stares into those present ..
  467.  
  468. She spotted the wolf at the snap, it didn't seem to be afraid of something at the slightest. Was it just a dumb beast incapable of knowing they were stronger..? Or did it have some intelligence and thought it had a chance.
  469.  
  470. Piercing green eyes met silver as she fades back into the trees, using the island's own corruption to strengthen herself. One could see the longer they were on this island the further her shadows crept across her skin, slowly arcing up her neck now.
  471.  
  472. Though only Robin knew as to what they were, and what they did.
  473.  
  474. The shadows were her friend, and no giant beast would prove otherwise.
  475. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  476. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  477.  Once more the blade at his side had begun to flare in the presence of the approaching evil and his attention turned snapped to the woods. "Guard up!" He called as the prickle of the occult began to tug at his skin.
  478.  
  479. As he continues to wield Incandescene against the forces it was made to destroy his attunement to it continued to grow. There was no wonder on his footwork, arcs, or deflections.
  480.  
  481. Once again he began to shroud himself in the glorious energy of the Celestial River once the creature surface. This time his approach was not direct, but he ran at an angle.
  482.  
  483. "I'll cover the flank!" He shouts before his movements blur with the infusion of heavenly mana and even his blade was not a break in the flowing lights that filtered through his circuitry.
  484.  
  485. 'Within every weapon lies a soul. Not like our's, but one formed as a bond between master and tool. By unleashing your emotions and letting them be conveyed through each strike, you come to understand that soul both in your blade and within yourself.'
  486.  
  487. Continuing the works it had manifested for served to deepen that bond until it felt more an extension of himself. The first time he had wielded it with any significance he had been overcome with a just rage toward Moonfall.
  488.  
  489. Yet it had not been a conscious effort as this to read what lie beyond as it was now.
  490.  
  491. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  492. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  493.  Task's had held upon the shadows without cease, and the dread wolf's approach did not come without notice. The scent of abyssal corruption was heavy in the air, and the constable's senses were on edge from the foul emanation. The commander would take a deep breathe, emptying his mind once more of rogue thoughts and emotions, willpower focused only upon the task at hand.
  494.  
  495. Id had told him in her own way the secrets of her strength. As long as Task's fists were burdened with hate, with bloodlust, with violence and anger, they would always be heavy, unmalleable, stagnant.
  496.  
  497. His fists would bare the mantle of justice uncorrupted, his resolve possessed without any emotion. He would not falter against the wolf, but he would not allow hatred to consume him once more. It was not a source of strength as he'd confused himself to believe.
  498.  
  499. It was weakness. The path of least resistance offered the greatest potential flow.
  500.  
  501. "The winged beast was offered mercy, for justice is blind. It chose the closed fist, will you do the same? Turn heel, flee into the forest and leave us be, you will not be harmed. Pursue, and we will do what we must. Justice is blind."
  502. (Task)
  503. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  504.  The hunting hadn't been noticed.. but now it seemed to all been brought to the forefront.
  505.  
  506. Looking to the others here in a quick glance he'd already have his patented Astral Style flowing his blades full of starry potential to cut down with the light of the cosmos.
  507.  
  508. He wasn't sure about most of this.. but it did seem like a similar deal as the dragon. With intent to continue this purging, and to maintain the basis of this adventurous journey it would once again seem to be...
  509.  
  510. "Us.. o' it. The energy it gives off is too intense... An' without a way to purify it we're out o' luck on the part o' savin' it.
  511.  
  512. But.
  513.  
  514. I will try.." Robin beset.
  515.  
  516. Should the last few strikes come down to it, he'd attempt to reign this beast in.. However possible, if even at all, then it'd be up to them to give it a try. Feet sliding into a pristine and unwavering guard... this seemed to be the onset of something entirely similar, and in that same vein, hopefully different.
  517.  
  518. Slashing both of his blades together, with sparks flying he'd use the distraction to dive in head first..
  519.  
  520. But who's really the prey..?
  521. (Robin lux Queen)
  522. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  523.  
  524.  With the very ferocious wolf in the way of things...
  525.  
  526. Things had looked even more dire then they had before. It's evils were seeping out of it's maw and at every snarl, every claw it seemed to corrupt the land about them that much more. At the climax of everything the lessons of people he'd trained under.. of those he'd taught himself, and those he hoped to learn would all marry into concepts of great importance here as they made the home stretch.
  527.  
  528. Valero's cosmos burned bright, searing, slamming in a galaxy of new pain, and debilitating explosion.. And Alyssa's shadows lied to the very realm of reality itself, the wolf not knowing sight from a distant memory as it'd be stunned for the intervention of Task and Robin here.
  529.  
  530. Weaving in and out, with starpowered slashes alternating into firm-willed strikes, the Exarch would dip back and begin charging his astral and iridescent energy into his eyes again as the bald wonder practiced his deflective stance to actually revert the wolve's own nova ray back upon him slamming it with it's own energy back in kind..
  531.  
  532. Surpass it..
  533.  
  534. Overcome..
  535.  
  536. Unleashing it all over the man's shoulder as he kept up his stance, the Shining Exarch would mix his own efforts with the rebounded beam which would envelop and decimate the corrupted wolf... But unlike his execution of the corrupt and irredeemable dragon, his efforts were damning.. but not lethal.
  537.  
  538. In a plume of smoke from a scar along the ground, there'd be a much smaller, and less feral wolf lying where the monster had once been. Casting judgement of the stars, peering through, piercing, and stripping the umbral celestial energy from his being, Robin would have surpassed that mindset that they needed to die...
  539.  
  540. In fact the conclusion of this fight saw the being completely and utterly...
  541.  
  542. Enlightened..
  543.  
  544. "Tha'...took a lot more out o' me than I care to admit...
  545.  
  546. Go.
  547.  
  548. An' don't come back until we purify the rest o' this island... the tower's corruption no longer holds ya.." He'd let out as he fell to a knee, with some smoke coming from him now, as well ion sheer fatigue.
  549. (Robin lux Queen)
  550. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  551. Task would engage the dark wolf with sure sight and unbudging resolve, dancing through the second sea of foul starlight as the posse stood their ground against the hunter. The commander's mind was clear of rage, fear, amusement, even the joy he'd once taken from a random brawl. No, Id had made it clear to him what he must do, and his knuckles would not be caked with guilt.
  552.  
  553. He bore no vengeful desire towards the wolf that stood in their way. Only pity for a life that must be taken. The bald commander's mind was cleared and made at peace, his fists instruments of justice pure and untainted. He would defend his companions at any cost, and so the obstacle before them had to be defeated.
  554.  
  555. It was a necessary sacrifice, he would not become the man he was. He who had almost been lost in hate.
  556.  
  557. Weaving close with Robin as the pair leaped back and forth to laden forth ferocious jabs and slashes, the crescendo of the encounter would finally come forth as thebeast lunged forth, releasing a great, pulsating ray of corrupted starlight directly at Task's form.
  558.  
  559. Yet, no fear filled his heart, and his nerves were untouched. He saw clearly with his remaining eye, and he would not be blinded ever again by rage.
  560.  
  561. "You are your own undoing, find peace in the stars."
  562.  
  563. As the ray ushered forth, the commander would calmly raise his palm as its calloused skin blackened with sheer condensed, hardened mana, visualizing the basic flow of mana within the great wave of energy before, with stillness and emotionless calm, thrusting his palm forth. Swiveling his black sabatoned step, the energy would swirl, redirected around his form before surging back towards the wolf, concussing it in a starlight weave with Robin's own prismatic exertion to send the hunter packing.
  564.  
  565. Sighing with exhaustion, the commander would wipe his brow of sweat and blood as he spit a glob of viscera from his teeth.
  566.  
  567. "It's not over yet."
  568. (Task)
  569. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  570.  Once more she did most of her fighting from the background, between the other three warriors they could handle most of the up close. Wielding her illusions and the darkness around them it the wolf would see illusory copies of the group running about.. anything to throw its senses off.
  571.  
  572. Utilizing every advantage she was able to weaken or batter it down for the others, finally a shot taken through some combination of Task and Robin's abilities the beast was both defeated and spared..
  573.  
  574. "At least it isn't dead I suppose.."
  575.  
  576. She looks about.
  577.  
  578. "So.. we're still after this key..?"
  579. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  580. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  581.  
  582.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Oh! The key- the key!"
  583.  Robin lux Queen says, "Aye--"
  584.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Yes, you're right!"
  585.  Mr. Squiggles says, "Well, it's unfortunate things had to go like this- BUT"
  586.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "I do have a SECOND Remembering stone!"
  587.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "This one HAS to be my Remembering Stone for the Key!"
  588.  Valero lux Montclaire asks, "..Do you have any other remembering stones? And does this one explode?"
  589.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "See- I only have two stones on the island! Otherwise, I'd have a third remembering stone to remind myself!"
  590.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Nahhhh-- No explosions this time!"
  591.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Tag along, guys!"
  592.  Task says, "...If you say so."
  593.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Alright guys- this HAS to be it!"
  594.  Mr. Squiggles says, "So, uh .."
  595.  Mr. Squiggles asks, ".. Let's get that key, right?"
  596.  Robin lux Queen says, "--No funny business."
  597.  Alyssa cos D'Arnette says, "Or even un-funny business..."
  598.  Alyssa cos D'Arnette says, "Just the key.."
  599.  Task says, "No business period."
  600.  Task says, "Yes."
  601.  Task says, "Key, now."
  602.  The slime creature audibly gulps as he approaches the rock ..
  603.  
  604. ".. Oh-Oh boy .."
  605.  
  606. "Aaaaaaah .........." He comes close, pushing the rock aside, toppling it over ..
  607. (Mr. Squiggles)
  608. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  609.  
  610.  
  611. .. Maybe the Remembering Stone was reminding him of yet another danger ..
  612.  "Oh for fucks sake."
  613.  
  614. Perhaps it was the corruption of the isle..? Seeping into the noble, feeding off of her own darkness. Those lines having crept to frame her face in a hauntingly beautiful fashion, she was slowly drifting towards what Robin had faced that day at Gendo's.
  615.  
  616. She lunged forward, and her form flickered before fading away entirely. She was tired of these giant monsters on this damn island.
  617.  
  618. Clones of herself and the others dotted the landscape to try and throw it off, but we would see just how far that would go.. but the longer she was hear the more she seemed to radiate an air of pure malice.
  619. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  620. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  621.  It was another beast!
  622.  
  623. This time... the Stinox did not truly elicit any more than his already raised blades. Unlike the dragon, and the wolf before him, the Exarch knew well that these creatures were naturally aggressive, poisonous and prone to attacking regardless of territory, hunger, or protecting their young.
  624.  
  625. Slapping corruption, on the devil... just made a bigger devil.
  626.  
  627. "Ain't a fan o' Stinox's…. got grazed by a stinger once an' nearly lost my leg as a young lad. So, feel free to let loose on this one.."
  628.  
  629. He'd fly forwards intending to quell yet another being of the Island's crippling darkness... The light once again piercing through without much looking in to it's own devices..
  630.  
  631. They'd purge it and continue along... Born monsters wouldn't want to be saved anyways.
  632. (Robin lux Queen)
  633. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  634.  As the cursed words of 'Easier than I thought were spoken' the ground began to rumble with the clicking and clacking of insectile appendages as yet another wretched beast appeared.
  635.  
  636. Valero glances over to Robin, "Sir Queen, where in the abyss have you brought us?" He calls out moving again as he had with his blade outstretched.
  637.  
  638. Overally it had been impeccable practice, but they still had no guaranteed way home and it seemed nigh impossible to live in such a place. No doubt this is what the true wilderness of the world looked like when the Occult threats were left to fester.
  639.  
  640. These were the blighted crops they could not allow to spread within their own domain. It was a grim reminder that once their affairs were sorted at home they still had work ahead of them even in that peace.
  641. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  642. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  643.  Task wasn't even surprised at this point, perhaps the recent assaults upon this journey had done favors for his instincts. Since the moment they'd washed up on the shore, every step within this star lit vale had been nothing but trouble. Yet, the constable felt no irritation, banishing even the basest wisps of anger and annoyance that might have been brought forth in his mind.
  644.  
  645. To master energy was to master life, to master the self.
  646.  
  647. Raising his blackened, hardened fist to the massive stinnox, the commander would stare it down fearlessly with unyielding determination, planting his black sabaton into the soil before himself as he widened his stance in preparation for an assault.
  648.  
  649. "The winged beast assailed us, and we brought it down from the sky. The wolf sought to hunt us, and yet it was made to flee. Each was offered mercy, and chose their own path towards self destruction. You will be offered the same."
  650.  
  651. Task would nod serenely, shutting his remaining eye his his ethereal shroud pulsated around him, taking a deep breathe as he centered himself once more.
  652.  
  653. "Walk away, and you will not be harmed. Stand against us, and you will fall."
  654. (Task)
  655. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  656.  
  657.  She dove between the things legs, her form blurring in the darkness. Her bloodlust was beginning to carry in the air around her, her fists and feet striking beneath it's underbelly before she slipped away.
  658.  
  659. Littering the ground with fire, cosmic, sand, and tearing holes in gravity made up close fighting more than a bit difficult but she was doing her best to ensure she survived until the end. Anyone watching could see she wasn't her usual calculated self, that something else was gaining a growing hold.
  660.  
  661. At one point or another all of them hit the ground beneath the might of the thing, but her rage wasn't something that would allow her to stay down.
  662.  
  663. Charging from behind she slides beneath the thing to face it as she rose, umbral energies gathering around her arms. "I'M TIRED OF THIS!"
  664.  
  665. Two massive arms of shadow form, the hands compressed into a fist as they are brought down to slam into the head of the massive thing. There would be a sickening crunch, the head crushed and whatever goo was within it's head leaking out.
  666.  
  667. Then she kept doing it.. again... and again... and again...
  668. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  669. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  670.  
  671.  
  672. ** Best Mori has inflicted an injury upon Task. ("Fractured Rib", "A heavy impact blow has found itself meeting squarely between Task's sternum, cracking the supporting ribs as the pressure caves his chest. Though thankfully stopped just shy of his heart, the victim may experience difficulty breathing for the remainder of the injury. The effects seem long-term. Perhaps even permanent.", "Permanent",
  673. [02:42] This battle certainly hurt worse than the last..
  674.  
  675. The Stinox proved itself much more formidable to face off against than the other tainted beasts.
  676.  
  677. Beating against the beat with all of his might alongside the others, the cosmic magi's shine would flicker a bit as he slashed, and was punctured by the being's poison stingers and it's strong claws.
  678.  
  679. With the onset of all considered being placated...
  680.  
  681. Their battle finally wearing at the chitinous armor of the insectoid as he'd slash past with his orange-gold hued blades extending and stabbing past he'd still fall to the ground like a comet plummeting out of the air.
  682.  
  683. The exchange left him injured, and a bit corrosive... Though he'd still have the fortitude to appear beside Alyssa and her umbral fury. Placing a hand on her shoulder to quell her tantrum much like he'd done before with her..
  684.  
  685. "G-ghn...Lys...
  686.  
  687. It's over.." he'd let out. Offering her that solace before looking to Valero and Task, understanding that they both needed some immediate attention.
  688.  
  689. "Aye! No dyin' on my watch lads.. If we've any kits.. these'll both be a quic---G-gheugh… It's in my system." He'd struggle slightly, taking up a healing Elixir to clear his ailments so that he could work.
  690. (Robin lux Queen)
  691. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  692.  
  693.  Task would engage against the great stinnox of the stars without further delay, dancing through the plumes of sand even as the great weight of gravity bore down upon them. The creatures upon this accursed isle appeared to possess all the aspects of space, merciless and without morality. All of them had been offered mercy, and all of them had denied its grace. The hard chitin and unnatural body proved difficult in trying to gauge the passage of the beast's mana circuitry, and the need for accuracy was matched only by the requirement of immense strength to even pierce through the shell.
  694.  
  695. And yet, he could not fail.
  696.  
  697. His companions would not be allowed to fall. This was the meaning of resolve.
  698.  
  699. Dancing through the twisting sands with great difficulty, the bald pugilist found that this corrupted stinnox was a more ferocious foe than any of the others they'd face. The gravitic pressure and seething, occultic sands sapped away at all of his fellows, and inch by inch their life force was sapped away.
  700.  
  701. They were losing focus.
  702.  
  703. The bald commander would sigh lightly to himself before taking a deep breath, knowing the necessity of his actions as he plunged forth into the depths of the gravitic emission. Plunging himself into the sands as they engulfed him, Task would raise his palm and put all of his efforts into redirecting the titanic force of the mutated insect towards its own chitinous shell. Blood would begin to spurt from his mouth as his rib cage cracked, slowly caving in from the force as the man staked his life on the foundation of his resolve.
  704.  
  705. Id had told him to find something he could not live without, to make it a source of strength. His companions lives mattered to him far more than his own.
  706.  
  707. At last, the pressure would release as the beast was felled, the bald commander's breathe shaky as blood continued to drip from his mouth. The pain was overwhelming, the snapped bones agonizing as they tore deep into his flesh. But when the dust cleared, they all lived, and the day was saved.
  708.  
  709. At any cost, his resolve would not yield.
  710.  
  711. Slowly, the commander would begin to control his breathing once more through sheer force of will, steadying his heart even with the major internal injury he was dealt as the now silent Task shut his remaining eye.
  712.  
  713. Raising his fist with a silent nod to the trio beside him, he'd cross his arm before his black plate cuirass with a bow of his head. He would not fall this day, they could continue on.
  714. (Task)
  715. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  716. Try as he might to wield his weapon against the insectile beast he could not even draw near for all the blinding and choking sand. His allies were lost to him in the shroud of its dark-tinged earth.
  717.  
  718. No matter how he struggled against it he could not find any reprieve from or quarter against the enemy they faced. In the end all he could do was trust his comrades to hold back the beast as he was lost in the shroud of its power.
  719.  
  720. The piercing tail struck forward from its obscuring sand-veil along with pincers laced with the same foul dark flame that had possessed and twisted the other beasts of the land.
  721.  
  722. As he tried to orient himself a dark shadow began to loom forward, but in its depth it appeared to shimmer. He had no time to do anything, but shield himself with an arm in a vain attempt as the foul energy washed over him.
  723.  
  724. His consciousness was a pinprick of light constricting and threatening to waver away as the field of negative energy overtook him. His own aura began to react violently sparking unevenly and torrents of the energy burst forward in a shower of meteor-like projectiles.
  725.  
  726. A scream tore forth from his throat until it was raw, but no noise came from his efforts. Eventually the gurgle of warm and coppery blood broke the monotony of his sore throat numbing it as his scream came to an end.
  727.  
  728. Eventually it had passed, but the blood in his mouth and the prickle at his mind pulled at something normally locked away. The bar's on the beast's cage had been widened.
  729.  
  730. The light of consciousness began to expand until he beheld the fallen beast. Weakly he raises a hand to signal to Robin for aid, a mouthful of crimson liquid spit upon the ground.
  731.  
  732. It did not even hurt for some reason. It just made him angry.
  733. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  734. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  735.  
  736.  Alyssa cos D'Arnette says, "If I see one more giant monster.."
  737.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "No- no! That should be it! Really!"
  738.  The battle was long and arduous
  739.  
  740. There was blood and guts and visceral. No one would ever expect a Stinox to be the main cause of so much suffering! But the group was powerful- and they did what they could to push through, despite the hardships that await them.
  741.  
  742. "Seriously. You guys are pretty darn tough. I-uh .. I'm sorry it had to be like this!"
  743. (Mr. Squiggles)
  744. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  745.  
  746.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "You guys are strong though- that much is evident!"
  747.  Mr. Squiggles asks, "Well, you've got the key, right?"
  748.  Robin lux Queen says, "AYe."
  749. Robin lux Queen says, "Follow me."
  750.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Mmhm!"
  751.  Task says, "..."
  752.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Valero is uh .. A little sleepy!"
  753.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "There we go!"
  754.  Mr. Squiggles asks, "So this is it, huh? You guys are SURE you want to go in there?"
  755.  Task says, "..."
  756.  Robin lux Queen says, "Yeah... I'm ready."
  757.  Valero lux Montclaire says, "I'm a little banged up from remembering rocks, actually. Just for the record Mr. Squiggles."
  758.  Task glared at the slime in speechless resolve.
  759. (Task)
  760. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  761.  
  762.  Robin lux Queen says, "Been out here long enough."
  763.  {NARRATION} Valero's sword hums .. there seems to be a strong sinister resonance ..
  764.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, ".. Whew .. Okay then!"
  765. Though it had hurt in the moment as that Occult wave washed over him in the aftermath he felt less inhibitions. That primal side had been loosened, the one he held back, the sinister forces had sought to pry it forth and the blood had sealed the deal.
  766.  
  767. It always brought forth the bubbling thrill of battle that pressed him forward and drowned away fear. It was the passion that the civilized side sought to control, but when it was drowned out courage could not blossom forth.
  768.  
  769. As they approach he had occasionally spit a bit more of what had accumulated in his mouth from the torn throat, though it did not seem to concern him overly much. He knew the source of it yet oddly he felt no reservations.
  770.  
  771. As Incandescene began to hum he held it forward toward the door waiting for what lie within with a blood-stained, "The blade." He rattles, the words wet and harsh. Obviously he was trying to conserve his speech.
  772.  
  773. It reacted more powerfully in response to whatever lie beyond and he was more than ready to answer the call. His lips twitched upward into a blood-stained smile as he nods to the door.
  774.  
  775. "Let's disturb its rest."
  776. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  777. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  778.  
  779. {NARRATION} The final bout was upon them .. It was only time to unlock the door.
  780.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Y-You know guys, there are two perfectly good rowboats over there!"
  781.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "It's not too late to call it quits! We could just head back, y'know? Forget all about the place!"
  782.  Valero lux Montclaire says, "That is not our way."
  783.  Mr. Squiggles says, "--! "
  784.  A nod was paid to Valero now...
  785.  
  786. It seemed that there was yet another battle awaiting them perhaps.. or further than that, a final enlightenment. The Exarch would take the key and open up the watchtower, now making himself intent to see this through shaking his head to Squiggles.
  787.  
  788. "We've come this far.. an' this is it's tail end. We'll figure out to cease this corruption an' get home in one piece all at once. Ain't like us to back down when justice, an' the light beckon us forth."
  789. (Robin lux Queen)
  790. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  791.  
  792.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "Man .. You guys are so cool!"
  793.  Task says, "..."
  794.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "HAHA- Alright- Light beckon us forth then! Let's do this!"
  795.  Task would speak, but his rib cage was crushing his lungs.
  796. (Task)
  797. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  798.  
  799.  {NARRATION} The key fits perfectly .. the group heads up the stairs ..
  800.  The bloody carapace drips.
  801.  
  802. The creature clings to the walls. The formation of its flesh deeply engrained into the Lighthouse's stature.
  803.  
  804. The flesh crawls across- creating a home in the walls. This was a Dungeon, this was its root.
  805.  
  806. It merely watches. Observing.
  807.  
  808. (The Old One)
  809. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  810.  Mr. Squiggles says, "He-He's seen better days! .."
  811.  Mr. Squiggles exclaims, "I'- uh .. I'll sit this one out!"
  812.  Task says, "..."
  813.  Robin lux Queen asks, "What's.. wrong with him?"
  814.  The Old One says, ". . ."
  815.  {NARRATION} Eyes follow from the creature. It watches. Simply keeping an eye on the group before it.
  816.  
  817. The extraordinary oppressive energy of Occultism is keen. Bloodstains run down the wall.
  818.  Looking up to the being strung up in a mass of flesh.. there was some solemn analysis paid to it as the man took a step forth.
  819.  
  820. He could feel the occultism seeping out from his being and with some due diligence his blade would be drawn, but not before he asked his questions.. Wondering how it came to be.. and why it had seeped it's corruption onto these lands.
  821.  
  822. "You.... Why have you turned this Island into a grounds for corruption? Were you formed o' the comet tha' crashed here a bit ago.. o' were ya merely awakened by it's power from the start...?
  823.  
  824. --We're here to cleanse the energies tha' you seem to cling to. But how depends upon you entirely.. an' your reason for unearthin' it all to the surface here an' now."
  825.  
  826. He'd attempt to hold back bloodlust, or zealotry.. But it was hard to feel so much occultism and not have his guard all the way up and swing first. So much here had attacked them without question.. and it was hard to believe that it was possible to break through it to speak to the being..
  827.  
  828. But the slime-being had spoke of it being a friend.. and if it was at all sentient.. Perhaps it could be reasoned with.
  829.  
  830. Hope within Robin was that they could purify it willingly, before coming to the pinnacle of their investigations.. However. it remained to be seen.
  831.  
  832. This had to end, one way or another.
  833. (Robin lux Queen)
  834. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  835.  Task would approach quietly as he glanced up at the old one, remaining eye tracing its unnatural growth bounds upon the walls silently as he analyzed the situation at hand. His breathe was kept steady in spite of the pressure of his caved in chest, practiced breathing and focus keeping his mind clear even as the pain wracked his body. This was what they came here for, and injured or not, the bald constable would defend his friends.
  836.  
  837. Successfully gauging the unnatural void beast, the bald commander would pace forward before staring it down with iron resolve, any fear or anger banished in his gait as he approached. In clear sight of its corrupted visage, the commander would raise a balled fist and an open palm to the beast, offering a silent warning in lieu of his recent gestures of mercy. He could not speak with his lungs impacted as they were, and yet still his message was clear.
  838.  
  839. Take the open palm, turn away from battle. Or accept the fist, and all that came with it.
  840.  
  841. The offer was made, the challenge accepted. Task would await, his willpower untarnished and resolve made clear. The hatred had long since left his fists, replaced by something far, far stronger.
  842.  
  843. A genuine duty, a reason to protect.
  844. (Task)
  845. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  846.  She follows Robin up the stairs, spotting the massive thing against the walls. The presence of Occultism was keen and it pressed against her mind.
  847.  
  848. She began to tremble, but not in fear. The blackness of those lines reaches her eyes, seemingly pouring into them to swallow the silver and whites entirely. "Another one...."
  849.  
  850. She knew it had to die, she could feel what it was putting off. It was the source of this corruption, the source of all of the darkness on this island. She wouldn't admit to herself, admit that she enjoying bathing within the foul energies.
  851.  
  852. It would only get her killed by the Order, just like Kirai.
  853.  
  854. Those afterimages began to trail her form, her own potent desire to kill and maim a palpable sense to all around. She was barely restrained, a thread so thin... it would only take a nudge.
  855. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  856. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  857.  Previously he had spoken to Adrielle, Robin, and a few others of the 'darkness looming' in his visions beyond the golden light of their sacred project. There were things which sought to smite the white star.
  858.  
  859. He had only encountered one demon before, not counting the tainted noble who had tried to imitate one, but the creature before him was in another league entirely.
  860.  
  861. It emanated a wrongness that brought a hateful cast to the smile he yet wore until it was more like teeth bared at a threat than a symbol of heroism protected by a promise.
  862.  
  863. With his throat still bloody from his exertions he struggles physically and mentally to find the words for the situation, "...Them." He confirms, hoping the meaning behind his words was caught.
  864.  
  865. It was 'them', that unspoken and hidden enemy that sought to undo their work. Despite its frightful appearance Geist flared indignantly shrouding him from the horror that mighthave seeped into unprepared minds.
  866.  
  867. His features grow indistinct as the golden light around him crackles chaotically sending bursts of red starlight discharging forth in dazzling yet painful sparks.
  868.  
  869. Each pop brought of wince that only furthered the rage of his heavenly patrons. His blade was the anthesis of this being's existence and it marked it for the enemy it was as he raised it up in an accusatory manner.
  870.  
  871. Valero swallows heavily clearing his throat for one shout, "The path we walk!" It did not matter if they fell to the Eldritch beast, that they even dared raise arms was enough to feed the Celestial River with the glory and good it demanded.
  872.  
  873.  
  874. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  875. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  876.  The sunken gaze peers at Robin.
  877.  
  878. It stares, expressionless, the mouth held agape as features lay sinister.
  879.  
  880.  
  881. ". . .
  882. ----
  883. MY. SUCH VOLITION--
  884. -THE INSECT'S DUTY.
  885. ---
  886. . . .
  887.  
  888.  
  889. . . .
  890. ----
  891. WHY? --
  892. DOES THE BOOT OF THE EMPEROR;
  893. SHALL IT QUESTION THE WORMS IT MAY CRUSH?--
  894. --UPON THE PATH IT WALKS?
  895. ----
  896. . . .
  897.  
  898.  
  899. . . .
  900. ----
  901. FEEBLE INSECTS;
  902. YOUR ENERGIES ARE MERELY HARVEST.
  903. THE BLACK STAR I SERVE--
  904. --ECHOS FROM THE VOID.
  905. ----
  906. . . .
  907.  
  908.  
  909. . . .
  910. ----
  911. I KNOW ONLY ONE WORD-
  912. TO DESCRIBE THE CONFUSIONS IN YOUR ..
  913. .. PRIMIATIVE MINDS.
  914. TO REVEL IN ME;
  915. ----
  916. . . .
  917.  
  918. . . .
  919. ----
  920. KNOW; --
  921. THAT I AM GOD.
  922. ----
  923. . . .
  924.  
  925.  
  926.  
  927. The Blackened Occultism bleeds .. the creature begins detaching itself from the walls ..
  928. (The Old One)
  929. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  930.  
  931.  Robin lux Queen says, "Tha's... all I needed to know."
  932.  Task says, "..."
  933.  Task would give the great old one the modest, young middle finger.
  934. (Task)
  935. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  936.  
  937.  Best Mori says, ". . ."
  938.  The Old One says, ". . ."
  939.  The Old One says, ".. You will be THE FIRST to go."
  940.  The Old One says, ".. Bald one .."
  941. That was all she needed.
  942.  
  943. She screams, the sound echoing off of the walls as a pulse of umbral energy flows out in all directions to obscure vision in the room. Though oddly enough... it seemed to remain mostly clear for her allies.. as if she did still retain a bit of her senses.
  944.  
  945. She was lashing out with all she had, those umbral energies leaking out more and more to surround her like a miasma. She was sinking as deep or deeper than she ever had before.
  946. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  947. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  948. Task would smile, this was exactly what he wanted. Anything for his companions.
  949. (Task)
  950. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  951.  The Radiant's movement had ceased as the being 'spoke', that information breaching into their minds in an omnipotent wave. He continued to grit his teeth and spit a bit of blood to the floor in defiance of the statement.
  952.  
  953. Torn and wounded as his throat was he still spoke broken words, "Not." Already he was moving forward toward the thing that should not be, Incandescene flaring in anticipation as he drew nearer. "God."
  954. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  955. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  956.  
  957.  Robin gave a nod.. and like that he'd ignite..
  958.  
  959. Tossing his full Light at the being in question.. burning brightly as he went to fight and fell this thing for the greater good. His want to purify and protect outweighing whatever warped resolve this beast had in store.. They'd do well to make this their stand here.. To vanquish the Old One and bring some peace to the Island with due diligence.
  960.  
  961. This was not his God...
  962.  
  963. And they'd have to do well to show it's mortality here and now as they went above and beyond in their actions as a unit of Osrona.
  964.  
  965. "If you're God.... then we've got lots to talk about... But first things first. Let's hold tha' to the ultimate test." he'd simply let out, a pure valor enveloping him, with that star burning at the edges of his dual weapons.
  966. (Robin lux Queen)
  967. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  968.  
  969.  The Old One says, ".. GAZE INTO THE ABYSS .."
  970.  Task only had one eye, but he had no fear. He was unimpressed.
  971. (Task)
  972. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  973.  
  974. The blows impacted the creature in various ways .. He felt their strength.
  975.  
  976. Now, he would give them his.
  977.  
  978. ". . .
  979. ---
  980. I SEE. MOST DISAPPOINTING.
  981. ---
  982. . . ."
  983. (The Old One)
  984. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  985.  
  986.  The Old One says, ". . URRGH- . . ."
  987. Robin lux Queen says, "Looks like it didn't pan out so well.."
  988.  
  989. Task would give the old one....a thumbs down.
  990. (Task)
  991. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  992.  
  993. The power exuded from it was overwhelming yet he never with Incandescene's flaring brilliance the will of Leonaus ran through the man and his own will and wants were dimmed save for that burning red passion that launched him forward.
  994.  
  995. As he danced around the beast attempt to weaken it or open up a place to plunge the blade his energy continue to backlash at him in a spray of painful crimson sparks.
  996.  
  997. Still he persisted against the pain as it transitioned to an acknowledged fact from a conscious and realized sensation. He would pay the price for it later, but for now it was hidden as he worked he had his blade became one trying to open up anything in the beast's defenses.
  998. (Valero lux Montclaire)
  999. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1000.  She lunged, spikes of shadow forming from the shroud of umbral energies around her as she stabs at the thing before fading away. In and out. In and out. It was the only way she could hope to fight this thing and survive, fireballs and oppressive gravity alone.. not even considering the Occult made any long trading intensely dangerous.
  1001.  
  1002. Her murderous energies were explosive, every strike with the Kageken feeding from that same negative feeling.
  1003.  
  1004. Massive chains of darkness form to temporarily bind the thing to the ground, though the sheer focus of such an act put her in a similar binding situation before it would inevitably break free.. but she gave it her all.
  1005.  
  1006. Taking her own shots and heavy strikes with shadowy limbs, it was Robin who landed the final blow.
  1007. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  1008. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1009.  Task would pursue the tainted creature of the void throughout its eldritch nest within the lighthouse with dogged determination, lunging forth into the starborne madness that was the onslaught of corrupted, ooze like sea of black cosmic energy. He could not speak, but he could fight, and as long as he was able to do so, he would protect those he considered sworn companions.
  1010.  
  1011. Though the shifting form of the great, eldritch abomination and its malleable, flowing flesh made any consistency present with its alien mana circuitry void, the galvanization of the constable commander's resolve had awakened a more refined perception of the world. He was no longer going against the flow, and as the lifestream flowed infinitely in the spirit of energetic, perpetual motion, so to did that coiling, unnatural life run through the beast from the stars.
  1012.  
  1013. If it had energy, it had energy that could be stopped. He would manifest his will with his bare hands.
  1014.  
  1015. This was his resolve. He would not lose another friend again. Not like Ravan.
  1016.  
  1017. And in the great cacophony of violence and spell weaving that was the broiling conflict, the commander found the focus he'd sought, clarity only present with emotions banished and fists unweighted by sin or corruption. In this state, even crippled, the flow of mana about his form no longer felt forced. The rushing current of the lifestream, the serendipitous song, it rung clearly in his ears even as silence left his own lungs.
  1018.  
  1019. His remaining eye focused hard, and when he aimed his finger pistol at the great beast, it was not with malice. Not with hate, nor vengeance. It was with a desire to protect, a genuine determination to seize peace through whatever mean he could. To protect those he cared for, those he loved.
  1020.  
  1021. He would not be the man in that cell with Crowley, misshapen by rage. He would be a symbol of peace no matter what it cost.
  1022.  
  1023. Weakening its flesh with relentless, focused barrages of kinetic energy, Task would lower his finger gun the moment the conflict was at end, briefly gazing at it, at the phantasmal blood stains that would never leave it, before nodding firmly to himself.
  1024.  
  1025. He'd acknowledged where he'd failed. He would be better, for the city he called home.
  1026. (Task)
  1027. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1028. The Old One was quite prolific..
  1029.  
  1030. It's power and scope of corruption ran deep within the minds of each and everyone here in these series of events.
  1031.  
  1032. A rumbling of the entire watchtower would foretell it's titanic struggle amongst the group of warriors with Robin having a keen eye for any opening.. the right opportune moment to strike, and in stabbing past the mangled flesh to reach the parts that mattered.
  1033.  
  1034. Searing, soaring, and swiftly stabbing through the bone-like armor about it's mangled and lucid skin beneath.
  1035.  
  1036. The Shining Exarch would become a shining ray of light with each slash. Singing and bubbling the cuts with radiant light, and a celestial burn that stuck with the ancient being even till the end of the match.
  1037.  
  1038. Their deeds with Valero, Alyssa and Task beating away to expose the chest cavity and beating core of the Old One would reveal it's corrupted core.. pulsing and leaking this darkened energy intertwined with a chunk of the aforementioned asteroid.. utilizing it's connection to the stars to force one of it's own and affect the life that once ran rampant and free about the archipelago.
  1039.  
  1040. "All o' nothin'.... this is it.." he'd think to himself seeing the final window of opportunity.
  1041.  
  1042. Eyeing it as the cause for all of this, the man would bring his blades out. honed masterful swordplay fueled by his astral countenance as he roared past at the speed of light, a light laced slash across the core to not only free it from it's cavity, but also to purge the rest of the form in a large blinding pillar of light, leaving nothing but the core plummeting above a pile of ash as he'd finally turned around and placed his weapons upon his back again, with a coughing indicating him coming out on top of this trade once and for all.
  1043.  
  1044. It was finally over..
  1045.  
  1046. "Ya can't save someone tha' ain't want to be saved... an' you can only destroy monsters. There was no light left in tha' vessel.. an' now? Tha's the last thing tha' ball of tainted flesh an' corruption will ever see.
  1047.  
  1048. Catch ya later.." he'd say simply snatching the thing from the air, and surging light and cosmos into it, to replace anything that remained of it's eviler influence.
  1049. (Robin lux Queen)
  1050. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1051.  {NARRATION} The creature swells, and swells- one final act before it is finally defeated. The rays of light with every slash would come triumphantly, casting away the darkness.
  1052.  
  1053. As the pillar of light shines- burning away the creature's flesh, one final action of vengence is tossed out.
  1054.  
  1055.  
  1056. The Old One has inflicted an injury upon Task. ("Occultic Shard", "In one final blast of radiance, Occultic fragments have lodged themselves into the victim from a stunning explosion! A shard finds itself piercing Task's forehead. The curved shard bleeds mana from him occasionally- and contributes to a more aggressive personality .. .. Though, thankfully, the effects seem to fade with time ..",
  1057.  
  1058.  
  1059.  Even as things finished.. it seemed that there would be a last portion of spiteful occultism to the beast's will.
  1060.  
  1061. Through his surge of light, shards of occultic bone and crystal would fly out threatening to stab Robin but he'd brace with a stalwart and lightspeed slash with his greatsword neatly, being a bit grazed but mostly tanking the onset without a flinch and cancelling out the energy with his own.
  1062.  
  1063. Then he'd move over in that spit second to take the blow for Valero's safety, having seen to it that he'd already had gotten injured enough on this perilous journey.
  1064.  
  1065. "Not today....
  1066.  
  1067. Not anymore." he'd let out in a gruff cough off blood while facing the Radiant. A soft smile on his features as he fell to the ground some but stayed his feet and didn't fall over...
  1068.  
  1069. He'd not show weakness in destroying evil... And further than that? Not to make anyone of the group concerned with his well-being. He'd live, and that's what mattered.
  1070. (Robin lux Queen)
  1071. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1072.  Within the beasts final moments it released a final fuck you to all of those present, a blast of Occultic shards rocketing towards all of them.
  1073.  
  1074. One of those shards pierced her thigh and she grunted, one hand reaching to pull it out but.. it seemed to settle there for a moment.. feeling the dark energies within as she stared down at it with her still all-black orbs.
  1075.  
  1076. It felt like power. Strength. Freedom. All of the things she so desperately wanted in one way or another.... but it wasn't the way to achieve it. Her hand pulling the shard out and casting it aside. "Damned thing.."
  1077.  
  1078. Her voice was a growl, waiting to see what would happen next.
  1079. (Alyssa cos D'Arnette)
  1080. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1081.  Task would find his rigid forehead pierced by a spontaneous, final barrage of occultic shards from the void beast, collapsing to one knee as a surge of occultic energy shocked his brain down to the very fibers of his mind. Aggressive impulse began to shutter through, calling upon the violence he'd once manifested from rage staring down Crowley.
  1082.  
  1083. The temptation to give in to emotion, to anger and frustration, was great and overwhelming, the occultic surge beckoning him to give in even as his pierced skull steadily dripped blood upon the lighthouse's tiles. Yet, staring into the puddle of his own sweat and crimson ichor, the bald commander that had been made silent by duty found his focus once more.
  1084.  
  1085. He would not lose his resolve, his willpower would not be challenged.
  1086.  
  1087. Rising from his knee with a grimace as he tapped the shard lodged in his forehead lightly, the commander would nod once more to the trio of companions as he took a deep, steady breath, centering himself once more in spite of his shattered, caved in rib cage and new forehead horn.
  1088.  
  1089. They had seized victory from carnage, peace from violence. Though his wounds were great, Task's soul was unburdened. He'd found what he'd been looking for this day.
  1090.  
  1091. Something worth fighting for. Something that had been in front of him all along.
  1092.  
  1093. His friends.
  1094. (Task)
  1095. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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