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The Long Day 3/28

JWaldman Mar 30th, 2019 (edited) 30 Never
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  1.  Grey and gold stare at the extended hand, confusion deep in his eyes. Instead of taking it and shaking, the name causes for the rattling of invisible chains to pick up their speed. The Whispering eye is drawn from his back, the blue staring at the boy.
  2.  
  3. "Brother o' Ethan Hawke then? An' member o' Huangzhou?"
  4. (Sors Ultovex)
  5. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  6.  
  7.  Jesse waits for the handshake... only to find it's not coming. With a shrug, he puts it back to his side. Jesse answers earnestly.
  8.  
  9. "Mhm. Mhm. Soldier of the Fourfold. Member of the Illuminated. Jesse Hawke. Why do you ask?" He looks around him as though he wasn't literally surrounded on all sides by his absolute worst enemies. He just casually strolled up into the middle of Dawn and said all of that without even a hint of fear to his voice. Either he was retarded, or he had a plan.
  10.  
  11. "Can I help you with anything?"
  12. (Jesse Hawke)
  13. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14.  
  15. Vedran Ivanovich whispers: . . . What the fuck.
  16. Freya Vishkar whispers something.
  17.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: . . . I doubt it.
  18.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: People don't walk into the center of Dawn without an excellent reason.
  19. Freya Vishkar whispers something.
  20.  "Rite."
  21.  
  22. It takes seconds before a putrid feeling fills the air. Rifts open around the Paladin, skeletons pouring out of them with swords and bows at the ready and trained on the young Fourfold member. Grey and gold stare them down, confusion rapidly fading.
  23.  
  24. "Ain't know wha' kind o' foolish thang ya doin'. But mite as well make this real easy. Stick out ya hand. Ya bein' arrested. Resist an' I'll do this tha' fun way."
  25. (Sors Ultovex)
  26. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  27.  
  28.  Artaghh whispers: I swear if he's go' a bomb.
  29. Artaghh whispers: He picked the wrong person to use it on.
  30. Jesse Hawke asks, "...You know my government wants to kill ALL of you guys?"
  31. Jesse Hawke says, "They're nutzo, man."
  32.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ya. An' ya a part o' 'em, ain't ya."
  33.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Sure as shit wants ta' kill ne."
  34.  Freya Vishkar says, "Ditto."
  35.  The man aims to tuck his hands into his pockets as he moves his gaze among the crowd. This seemed like overkill, right?
  36.  
  37. "Mmh." One of his eyebrows arches as he closes his eyes soon there after. "Death seems th'common desire of th'enemies a'Dawn."
  38.  
  39. And that was their undoing.
  40. (Julian Varga)
  41. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  42.  
  43.  Artaghh says, "Mmm, after las' time, it's a fifty fifty shot'a death fer me."
  44. "I guess I am. But more and more I look around, the weirder everything gets. I grew up here, man." Jesse points down the street. "I used to steal mushrooms from that guys field when I was six years old with my brother." He turns, looking... nostalgic.
  45.  
  46. "Everything got so damn crazy when I left here. I learned magic. ...Felt like everyone and their dog was trying to pull me one way or another. So yeah. I guess I am a member of the Fourfold." He chuckles, before erupting into a loud laugh-
  47.  
  48. "...But does that mean much if I don't give a shit anymore?
  49.  
  50. Listen. Arrest me if you want. Can I get a tour of the town? For old times sake?"
  51. (Jesse Hawke)
  52. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  53.  
  54.  
  55. Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Member of the fourfold..
  56. Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Aye.
  57. Chroma Zanders whispers something.
  58.  Julian Varga whispers: Mmmh, what a drag.
  59.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Moseyin' down the street without a care.
  60.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Freya-- Let Sors handle it.
  61.  Chroma Zanders whispers something.
  62. Artaghh asks, "Holy shit, Bill Billson, yer alive?"
  63.  Eztli asks, "Geh... Who?"
  64.  It was overkill. Especially with the whispers he was only half way privy to. Heels of his boots would grind against the walkway as he turned, red hair fanning out behind him as he began to make his way away from the scene.
  65.  
  66. "Ya'll got it covered."
  67.  
  68. And with that, he'd head on elsewhere.
  69. (Julian Varga)
  70. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  71.  
  72. Chaaca Khan asks, "Wait... He's alive?"
  73.  Eztli asks, "... Who?"
  74. Chaaca Khan exclaims, "Holy shit, I thought he was dead!"
  75.  William Billson says, "Aye, Ah've been stuck in me shack. Some heavy crates fell in front'a me door, been eating me way out. An' we all know how hard it is t'eat raw wood."
  76.  Artaghh says, "The fourty three year old squire himself."
  77.  Chroma Zanders asks, "Holy shit, Bill?"
  78.  "Nostalgia then. Ya raise ya weapons against a people, work fer a people intent on slayin' ours, then come back cause o' feelin' some way. I ain't get it. Is there someone ya hurt here ya want ta see?
  79.  
  80. A person fites ta hurt another person. Tha's tha reason we raise our blades an' stalves. Men, women, children, everyone who fites does it ta hurt something. To return ta a place where ya hurt thangs, tha' ain't make no sense at all." Grey and gold squint, looking at Jesse.
  81.  
  82. "Hand then. Ya under arrest. I'll guide ya ta tha' cells an' ya can hav' a lil talk with Alastor. Tell 'im 'bout ya lil Nostagila wants. If he says so, ya can walk round wit' tha collar on ya neck.
  83.  
  84. O' ya can fite. I'd prefer tha'. Would be a whole lot mor' fun stickin' a member o' tha' Fourfold six feet under."
  85. (Sors Ultovex)
  86. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  87.  
  88.  Chroma Zanders says, "Motherfucker it's been YEARS."
  89. William Billson says, "Tough wood."
  90.  William Billson says, "Jus' a few splinters a day."
  91. Chaaca Khan asks, "A few splinters?"
  92.  Chaaca Khan asks, "What the hell did you drink?"
  93.  Eztli whispers something.
  94.  William Billson says, "Also splinters."
  95.  Chaaca Khan says, "..."
  96. Chroma Zanders asks, "Did...you eat termites or something?"
  97. Chaaca Khan asks, "How do you drink splinters?"
  98.  Artaghh says, "Successfully apparently."
  99. Chaaca Khan whispers something.
  100.  Chroma Zanders whispers something.
  101.  William Billson says, "Nay, termites would'a been a blessin' fer me, not only would they made me job easier, they'd'a tasted better too."
  102. Roh Stanirsk says, "De-dadh-dah-a.."
  103.  Roh Stanirsk says, "W-w--w..."
  104.  Roh Stanirsk says, "WILLIAM?>"
  105. Roh Stanirsk exclaims, "YOU'RE ALIVE?!"
  106. Chaaca Khan says, "We all just said this Roh."
  107.  Eztli says, "..."
  108.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: . . .Well. I dunno' what to think.
  109.  Chaaca Khan says, "You're like five minutes behind, dude."
  110.  Roh Stanirsk says, "-"
  111.  Eztli says, "I'm confused."
  112.  William Billson says, "Aye, been alive all me life."
  113.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "William . . .?! "
  114.  Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  115.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Oh wait."
  116.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "I don't know you."
  117.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Hello! I am Vedran! "
  118. Roh Stanirsk says, "He's a fucking legend, Vedran."
  119. Chaaca Khan says, "He's Artaghh's fourty something year old squire."
  120. Chaaca Khan says, "He's been a squire for like, twenty years or something."
  121.  Eztli says, "I'm more interested that he ate a box."
  122.  Chroma Zanders says, "He defeated Arthur with his hands behind his back once."
  123. Vedran Ivanovich exclaims, "But! Fer' the sake of bein' 'cool' YOU'RE ALIVE?!"
  124. Chaaca Khan says, "Vedran gets it."
  125.  Eztli asks, "How'd 'e eat a box?"
  126.  Roh Stanirsk exclaims, "FUCK OFF VEDRAN, YOU JUST WANNA JOIN THE CLIQUE!"
  127.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Roh you went out for cigarettes like 6 years ago, shut up."
  128.  Chroma Zanders says, "Hey Cordie."
  129.  
  130. [01:08] Eztli squints past Artaghh to see the maybe fight.
  131. (Eztli)
  132. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  133.  
  134. [01:08] Jesse looks up to the sky.
  135.  
  136. God this world fucking sucked.
  137.  
  138. "Well buddy. I've been trying to get around to apologizing everyone I hurt. Tried to kill Alvi once. Funnily enough, she's probably helped me realize more about myself than anyone else. So of course I had to say sorry. After that -- didn't feel right leaving anyone else out." Jesse rambles on. He quickly gets the feeling Sors is gonna be losing interest in this whole personal shebang pretty quickly.
  139.  
  140. Ahh. Fuck it. Give this guy what he wants too.
  141.  
  142.  
  143. "I'll tell you what though, Sors. You wanna kill me? Go ahead and try. My treat. No hard feelings. Just this once." He casually starts walking down the street, motioning for Sors to follow! "Come on, slowpoke!"
  144. (Jesse Hawke)
  145. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  146.  
  147. Chroma Zanders asks, "She?"
  148.  Vedran Ivanovich asks, ". . . She?"
  149. Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  150.  Eztli says, "... I made that mistake too."
  151. Roh Stanirsk says, "Jesse."
  152.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Yer an idiot."
  153. Chaaca Khan says, "Friends. "
  154.  Chaaca Khan says, "We must move the rectangle."
  155.  Cordelia Avitus says, "...."
  156.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'd wager this is suicide."
  157.  Chaaca Khan exclaims, "Form the rectangle!"
  158.  
  159.  "Got ta say, ain't spected ta be murderin' a Fourfold member today. Lemme think. Would it be better fer ma ta send ya head back ta Huangzhou? Or should I raise ya as one o' ma Undead ta fight against tha' thangs ya once fought fer?"
  160.  
  161. The rifts opened, and the green sparring field awaited. Grey and gold stay still on Jesse. The Whispering Eye's tip was pointed at the Fourfold officer.
  162.  
  163. "Is it guilt? Wha' drives ya here? Ya apologies? I real ain't get it. It's war. It's blood, an' bringin' sufferin' ta a foe. There ain't no guilt ta feel. There ain't nothin' but makin' others suffer, an' enjoyin' tha'.
  164.  
  165. One chance ta kill ya gon be all I need."
  166. (Sors Ultovex)
  167. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  168.  
  169. .
  170.  Chroma Zanders says, "Sors ought to be the Eternal.."
  171.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'd vote for em."
  172.  Eztli had the nagging feeling he shouldn't be here.
  173. (Eztli)
  174. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  175.  
  176.  Roh Stanirsk whispers something.
  177. Ser Artaghh would puff away at his corn cob pipe with a hearty grin as he crossed his burn scarred arms over his mithril cuirass. Nothing like a good old fashioned murder in the middle of the sparring fields to get the blood going! Blowing a cloud of minty smoke into the distant breeze, the bald paladin would breathe in the hearty scent of killing intent in the air with a contented sigh. Just another morning in Dawn.
  178. (Artaghh)
  179. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  180.  
  181.  Roh Stanirsk whispers something.
  182.  Crossing his arms, Chroma would not to the proceeds and watch as the elder Paladin took on the Fourfould member. He'd assume that he came here with suicide by cop on the mind....as it didn't truly make sense to the red haired warrior that amidst a war, he'd walk straight into town.
  183.  
  184. Tapping his chin, with a slight shrug now, the games had begun. Hopefully if raised Sors would allow the man to keep his emotions...otherwise he'd just be another husk.
  185. (Chroma Zanders)
  186. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  187.  
  188.  Jesse, without much further fanfare, leads them out into the fields.
  189.  
  190. The men square off. Just like this, huh? He had gotten into a fight for his life just up and pretty much out of no where. With almost all of Dawn watching him. How amazing. They'd all see him shine then. Shine as bright as he could. He draws a breath that feels like ice, his entire body washing over with a feeling of numbing cold.
  191.  
  192. He breathes out slowly. Measured.
  193.  
  194. "I'm gonna hit you with the goofiest stuff I got. So you better be ready, alright?" An arm rises, his hand moving to grasp at his face. A single eye is visible through a gap in his fingers, his knees bending slightly. Feet slid apart, his hips bending. ...What kind of ridiculous posing was this?
  195.  
  196. "DAZZLE! THE STAGE!" Oh fucking lord he was screaming for power now.
  197.  
  198. Light erupts. It practically takes physical form was a massive wave, washing over the plains and bathing it in pure sunlight. Jesse is barely visible, his form entirely consumed by a bright blue glow as he stands in the epicenter of that light. Ouriel Melym's spirit appears behind him. With Dawnbringer. Jesse doesn't even flinch, not giving the legendary figure so much as a lick of his attention.
  199.  
  200. The boy strides forward.
  201.  
  202. The cosmos washes off of him like water, his entire form drenched in it.
  203.  
  204. "Don't swing it." The spirit stops. "I don't need your help anymore. I'm done borrowing power. This? This is mine now. No one can take that." He continues walking. Leaving the figure behind in stunned confusion. It fades, shattering like glass into a thousand, tiny drifting stars.
  205.  
  206. The light fades, condensing onto his form. It is his now.
  207.  
  208. All the power he has left. All the power from Laharl he'll ever get again is in his body right now. He refuses to draw from it any more.
  209.  
  210. "...As for you? You simply said you would prefer to try and kill me.
  211.  
  212. I thought maybe you'd enjoy it. Isn't that enough?"
  213. (Jesse Hawke)
  214. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  215.  
  216.  Asbel Invidia says, "Now this, this is fucking entertainment."
  217. Asbel Invidia says, "We need more guys like this to walk into Obsidia..."
  218.  
  219.  
  220.  Bill was simply leaning on Artaghh's shoulder as he watched that first clash with the same vigour and interest as the rest of this peanut gallery. What better thing to come back to than a duel to the death taking place right in town. He could see the scales of this fight tipping one way particularly hard already, he'd return to an upright position using his own self for balance just to lower his head and shoot out a quick silent prayer for Jesse's soul. Half a moment later he's already back to jeering with the rest.
  221. (William Billson)
  222. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  223.  
  224.  Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  225.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Wait."
  226.  Roh Stanirsk asks, "Aren't you getting married? Why aren't you being serious?"
  227.  "I ain't understand. Ya ain't even tryin'. Here ya are, ya life on tha' line an' ya ain't pullin' out all tha' stops. Ya callin' yaself goofy an' actin' like some sort of kid. This ain't tha' way 'em self riteious o' Huangzhou act. This ain't tha' way a hero ain't 'spose ta try."
  228.  
  229. The power of Ouriel had flickered behind him, appearing before vanishing. The power that had been used on their forces abandoned, but for what purpose? Grey and gold stared at him.
  230.  
  231. "Is it mockery then? Then approach some sort o' foe without ya full power, an' dyin' fer some reason? This ain't no game. Like I said, I want ta kill ya. I want ta kill all tha' self-riteous Huangzhou people who claim they fite 'gainst us fer tha' angels, o' for tha' lifestream.
  232.  
  233. They say thangs ta make tha' blood feel like it ain't on their hands but it is. They pretend they ain't enjoy wha' they do. But even tha' holy Order mages delight in murder an' deliverin' pain.
  234.  
  235. But this? It's hollow. I'll slice ya down. But I ain't feel nothin' from it. No delight in this mockery."
  236. (Sors Ultovex)
  237. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  238.  
  239.  Freya Vishkar whispers something.
  240. Freya Vishkar whispers something.
  241.  Chroma Zanders says, "Well. Some days as a married man I can tell you you might do something similar--I'm just lucky my wife's incredible so I don't have to worry about suicide by Paladin."
  242. Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  243. Chroma nods at that.
  244. (Chroma Zanders)
  245. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  246.  
  247.  Vedran Ivanovich says, ". . . Terrible time fer' this."
  248.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Or that."
  249.  Chaaca Khan says, "He ain't wrong."
  250.  Chaaca Khan says, "Vedran that is."
  251.  Chroma Zanders says, "Nonsense, it's Dawn."
  252.  
  253.  "...I never said I was any of that. I told you from the start exactly who I was. I never said I was righteous. Or just. Or that I wanted to be a hero. Maybe a few years ago I'd be kicking and screaming." He heaves, drawing his blade up again. Leveling it to Sors.
  254.  
  255. "But like I said. This is just a favor. If you're not enjoying killing me... sorry, I suppose. I'm trying my best, given what I've got." He smiles. "I can't make myself into a righteous person, or a hero for your sake, Sors.
  256.  
  257. But if it'd mean you'd have a better time, I can try a little harder."
  258. (Jesse Hawke)
  259. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  260.  
  261.  Sors Ultovex says, "I ain't imagine there's a Fourfold soilder alive tha' ain't want ta be a hero. So le's jus dig up wha' ya really made of."
  262.  Chroma Zanders asks, "What the fuck?"
  263.  Jesse Hawke says, "You're gonna be my tour guide though."
  264.  Jesse Hawke says, "Hope you're fine with that."
  265. Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Fuckin' beautiful . . . I hope he puts up a good fight.
  266.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Give that big ol' shiny thing
  267.  Artaghh whispers: Aye.
  268.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: It was a good effort.
  269.  Roanna Rosenkreuz whispers something.
  270.  Renegin Billard whispers something.
  271. Artaghh says, "Oh hey Roanna."
  272.  Roanna Rosenkreuz says, "Greetings."
  273. Artaghh says, "Hey Rene."
  274.  Chaaca Khan says, "Heya you guys."
  275.  Renegin Billard says, "Aye, Artaghh. Almost missed tha show."
  276.  Roanna Rosenkreuz says, "We were just ascertaining there weren't any 'surprises' in wake of this large gaudy contest."
  277.  Renegin Billard says, "Sad tah see Hawke walkin right intah us though....unexpected."
  278.  Freya Vishkar says, "I don't want to take any chances."
  279.  Chroma Zanders says, "I say raise em."
  280.  Freya Vishkar says, "He'd be an ally as an undead. "
  281.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Let him decide."
  282.  Vedran Ivanovich says, "Fuckin' peanut gallery."
  283.  Eztli whispers: Uh... Mister Bald? Kaa-Zoo? I'm gonna headback t'th'square. Yuh?
  284.  Chaaca Khan whispers: Have fun.
  285.  "Where is it?"
  286.  
  287. The power of Ouriel surged to life around Jesse as invisible chains hurled his body across the field. Astral force launched from Sors' hand and above his head, drawing to the floor. Occultism became needles, stabbing and serrating the flesh of the Fourfold while the Ultovexian Lord looked down.
  288.  
  289. They fought in deadly combat, the intent of kill or be killed, but there was little enjoyment in it. The speeches of the Shogun years ago, and of the Shogun prior filled his ears, remembering their speeches of good. But here it was empty of it. Hatred struck a target, but the boy never passed himself off as a hero or as something greater.
  290.  
  291. The idea he did this for a favor, that he was honest, did not register with Sors. There was no empathy as occultic needles stabbed down into Jesse's hand. There is no understanding as the Whispering Eye slams downwards on his back. But even without that there is the mechanical movements of hatred, of the want to hurt and destroy in everything Sors does. It was as if the boy who refused to be a hero was treated as an animal rather then a worthy adversary.
  292.  
  293. But Sors had killed plenty of those.
  294.  
  295. A boot came down on Jesse's chest, and a gloved hand reaches down underneath his neck.
  296.  
  297. "I ain't get it. Why ain't ya preach like 'em? Wha' made ya give up this whole focus on bein' a hero tha' Fourfold breathe inta ya. Where is ya struggle? How can a person be this neutered?"
  298.  
  299. As he spoke, a light of green and purple opened above Jesse. Hands with stakes through them started to reach through, holding him down.
  300.  
  301. "Where is your will?"
  302. (Sors Ultovex)
  303. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  304.  "...I'm the luckiest man in the world, Sors."
  305.  
  306. The sky was downright beautiful from where he was on the ground. He wished the man stepping on his chest could see it the way he does. He had fought with all he had. Truthfully. Down to the very last bit. But it wasn't anything. It wasn't nearly enough to bring him to the level of Sors. He accepts that.
  307.  
  308. "I'm a magi. One in a million. ...I thought fate had blessed me. Can you imagine being normal? In a world like ours?" All one had to do was look around to see what he was talking about. Demons. Vampires. Humans with powers that brushed shoulders with Gods. Being a non-magi would suck.
  309.  
  310. "...But even we aren't safe. All the power I've got comes from the Stars. It was never mind to begin with. Above that, there are plenty of Gods who'd rather me worship them or perish. My own army... my own government wants me to slaughter people who just want to escape this cycle.
  311.  
  312. I did want to be a hero, Sors. Then I found out they aren't real." ...He smiles.
  313.  
  314. "I just wanted to do something on my own for once. That's my will." He was pinned. Laid out, with Sors kneeling over his body. He had the ability to end his existence at any moment. "Ain't no God or Star ever going to tell me to help a man who wants to kill me. Only a human could do something that stupid."
  315. (Jesse Hawke)
  316. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  317.  
  318.  Cal Flinders asks, "Whats going on here?"
  319.  Roanna Rosenkreuz says, "Duel."
  320.  Grey and gold emptily looked down at Jesse. The hand on his neck stayed, firm as the Paladin stared at the boy, no, the man underneath him. The brokenness, the fact he wanted to be a hero, yet ended up giving up his dream because they were fake, because Huangzhou told and spun a beautiful lie and it was time to wake up.
  321.  
  322. "Ya rite. Only a human would do something this stupid. But ya wrong 'bout one thang, Jesse. Ya ain't tha' luckiest man in tha' world. Tha' luckiest man is tha' one who survives."
  323.  
  324. His fingers hook on Jesse's chin and start to pull upwards. A human was decently strong, but magic flowed through Sors' circuits. Muscles became stronger then they should be as he pulled, slowly, occultism rotting the flesh around Jesse's hands as he slowly pulled the skin of his neck tightly.
  325.  
  326. "I ain't understand this foolish thang. But I've seen ya type before. Tha' type tha' jus' searches fer death maybe. Is tha' why ya struggle so little? Why ya willin' ta do such a foolish favor? Because o' some sort o' death wish?
  327.  
  328. I ain't get tha' at all. Ma wish is tha' opposite. I jus' like ta harm. I like ta bleed. I like tha' emotions it brings ma, tha' void tha's filled when life vanishes from eyes. Some fools want ta help thangs, ta be heroes
  329.  
  330. I jus' want ta be tha' killer. Even if sometimes like this one? I ain't feel nothin' from it."
  331.  
  332. It was empty. There was no desire for anything but bringing death. Again, there is a firm pulling, the sound of flesh ripping as Sors slowly but ever fruitfully pulled Jesse Hawke's head from his body. The grey and gold eyes, empty as he felt, waited, ensuring that the man would live as long as possible, suffer as long as possible as his head was disconnected.
  333.  
  334. "Changed ma mind. This head, I'll keep. But fer ya body? Ma Nethradin are hungry."
  335.  
  336. Invisible chains wrapped around the torso of the recently deceased. It was pulled into the air, the head tucked underneath Sor's arm as he started away from the battlefield.
  337. (Sors Ultovex)
  338. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  339.  Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  340.  Cordelia Avitus says, "... Holy crap."
  341.  Asbel was observing rather stone faced. The whole thing seemed foolish to him. Such a bad, embarrassing way to die. He couldn't bring himself to even be moved by the display, either. Having seen the void, there were horrors much worse than seeing someone decapitated in front of a captivated audience.
  342.  
  343. He didn't know either of the people involved in all this. From what was said, there wasn't much history, and the whole thing was unceremonious. He assumed it was a distraction that the forces of Huangzhou were using... but he was wrong. The man was genuinely suicidal, so it seems.
  344.  
  345. And he got his wish.
  346.  
  347. Asbel sighed, as he was hoping things would be much more entertaining and action packed. Overall, it starkly disappointed him. As such, he said nothing.
  348. (Asbel Invidia)
  349. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  350.  
  351.  Not to be unexpected. Crude. Bothersome.
  352.  
  353. And a pause for thought. At least for now things were over. She turned towards Alex and started dragging him back towards the dungeons - gentler this time.
  354.  
  355. "Mmmnnn… Food for thought."
  356.  
  357. She didn't speak up of what she was mentally consuming.
  358. (Roanna Rosenkreuz)
  359. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  360.  
  361.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Beautiful display."
  362.  Roh Stanirsk says, "But boy was he stupid."
  363.  Ser Artaghh would puff away with a nod at his corn cob pipe as he watched the display, nodding steadily as he gave Sors a thumbs up. It was definitely economic use of a body, Huanger scalps, Huanger heads, didn't really make much difference in the bald paladin's book. Plus, Sors was a riftmancer, storing that shit was excessively simple for him.
  364.  
  365. Crossing his burn scarred arms over his mithril cuirass, he'd watch the finale of the dread display. "Ye' goin'ta make a lamp out'a tha' head Sors? Or a paperweight?"
  366. (Artaghh)
  367. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  368.  
  369. She was silent, the entire time. The blonde had come to watch, naturally. She knew Jesse - from years and years ago. She had witnessed his and Ethan's first fight. When they had realized that yes, they definitely were capable of magic. As Sors worked to literally rip his head off, the thrall just stared, before finally, she shook her head.
  370. (Cordelia Avitus)
  371. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  372.  
  373.  The sickening sound of spine detaching from body filled the silence after the battle, and Freya, now returned from sweeping the perimeter, did not feel the pride of watching a heretic die.
  374.  
  375. In her dreams, she killed many like this. Fools who went to their deaths out of some misguided attempt at redemption, or simply wanted to die. Each time, she at least felt something. Maybe it was mercy, or maybe it was pride.
  376.  
  377. This? She felt pity. She couldn't understand throwing your potential away like this. The chance to fight and kill for your God tossed aside.
  378.  
  379. Her Rieka died down, and she closed her eyes, walking back to her home after a while.
  380. (Freya Vishkar)
  381. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  382.  
  383.  Renegin was disgruntled by the sight before him, Sors was brutal. A cold and calculated man whose disconnect with emotions and sadism had brought him far. Farther then most. Only a woman like Jessi, who could no longer feel any emotion was good for him, truly.
  384.  
  385. "I've no desire fer needless killin. Truly sorry, Sors. For whatever's brought yer mental state so far as tah just easily....pull ah mans head off lika tha. Yer strength is admirable I'll give ye that....but yer ah brutal man."
  386.  
  387. He was honest, he didn't hate Sors no...but he most definetly did not approve of the mans actions, though he could hardly challenge them. He sighed, crossing his arms and simply staring the scene as it finished up.
  388.  
  389. "Tha hell ye even gonna do with just ah head?"
  390. (Renegin Billard)
  391. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  392.  
  393.  As Chaaca watched the scene unfold around him. One thought had crossed his mind, and continued to stay there, repeating itself over and over again. He could make a hell of a song about this.
  394.  
  395. The man who wished to be a Hero, only to find out that such things didn't exist, and the man who wished to be a killer. They were almost total opposites to each other, but the brief interaction between them was short, but beautiful. He'd probably get to work on that song at some point.
  396.  
  397. He'd a nod a bit to himself before giving Lord Ultovex a thumbs up.
  398.  
  399. "Impressive as always Lord Ultovex."
  400. (Chaaca Khan)
  401. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  402.  
  403.  A solemn gaze would onlook the carnage before the man's ACTUAL head was ripped from his body. He watched as the chains wrapped along, dragging his now decapitated cadaver away as Sors kept the head piece as a sort of trophy perhaps.
  404.  
  405. With an imminent shake of his head, he doesn't necessarily care for what happened to the man--but, his words would resonate with him deeply.
  406.  
  407. "Heroes don't exist he said...well I believe whoever wins gets the right to that title, in the end. It's all subjective and yet....an oath that a man loses faith in, now that's a tragedy I'm all too familiar with. I hope I never feel this low though......I want to go out swinging with a smile." His words would find basis elsewhere, moreso speaking to himself aloud.
  408.  
  409. Turning around he'd nearly forget to add something that might entice the calming seas that were their attentions. "Bah..oh, yeah Sors, Artie. Apparently the Jinks are planning something. If Asbel's any indication. Perhaps this is related?"
  410. (Chroma Zanders)
  411. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  412.  
  413.  "Ain't thinkin' a lamp. I've made a lot o' thangs out o' corpses. An' wit' this head, can start on another artifact fer makin' ma Necromancy stronger." The words were simple as the corpse followed after the Paladin, lifted by the invisible chains.
  414.  
  415. "Quite, Chaac. Hope ya'll enjoyed watchin' since it was such as show." His head bobbing as he floated.
  416.  
  417. But the words of Renegin made him slow down. "Horrid gals do horrid thangs ta people. I already told ya wha' went an' made ma like this.
  418.  
  419. But fer something planned? Would've been real good ta ask 'fore I went ahead an' killed him, huh. Shame on tha'."
  420. (Sors Ultovex)
  421. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  422.  
  423.  Chroma Zanders says, "Just learned amidst."
  424. Asbel Invidia says, "What a fucking moron, that guy was."
  425.  Chroma Zanders asks, "Didn't want to halt your fun, mnh?"
  426. Sors Ultovex asks, "We know wha' they testin'?"
  427. Sors Ultovex says, "Melascula. Eat up."
  428. Renegin watches at the unfamiliar entity moves to eat teh body, turning he walked off. Not particularly mad....he just wasnt fond of watching someone's corpse get eaten.
  429. (Renegin Billard)
  430. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  431.  
  432.  Vedran Ivanovich whispers: Haven't seen that one before . . .
  433. Asbel Invidia asks, "Now that I do not have to fight for attention from an Epic Battle. Does anyone want to spar?"
  434. Ser Artaghh would slap Bill Billson on the back heartily as he dredged a worn banjo from his cloak, nodding to Chaaca and Bill before strumming away as he watched the Nethradin feeding frenzy firsthand. Dawn could be pretty boring sometimes, it just be like that.
  435. (Artaghh)
  436. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  437.  
  438. Chaaca offered a smile to Artaghh, as he hummed along to Artaghh banjo playing.
  439. (Chaaca Khan)
  440. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  441.  
  442.  Asbel Invidia says, "Well, I tried."
  443.  Asbel zooms away
  444. (Asbel Invidia)
  445. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  446.  
  447.  Chroma Zanders says, "I was gonna go for pie---Yep. Not hungry."
  448.  Bill takes his cue intuitively and immediately, he'd begin rummaging around in his scarf for a few minutes before he produced a small harminca and joined along the other two.
  449. (William Billson)
  450. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  451.  
  452.  Chroma begins humming along, patting his chest on beat. The ensemble was truly beautiful and wasn't anything short of true music.
  453. (Chroma Zanders)
  454. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  455.  
  456. Chaaca nods to Chroma, as he pauses his humming to produce a small Kazoo from his pocket. Now playing the Kazoo the Sirenian rejoined group performance.
  457. (Chaaca Khan)
  458. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  459.  
  460.  It heard its name, and the figure holding up the mask, wig and cloak floated forward towards the body. Black fog with a sickening aura seeped out of its black cloak materializing and forming. Soon it would take the shape of several tendrils with eyes that stared at its meal.
  461.  
  462. The first few would wrap jesses limbs the slight touch of the sickening tendril would start to decay the cloth or armor covering the flesh of his skin, turning it into mere dust that would soon float into the air and be sucked into the wigged figure like some sort of vile vacuum his skin blackened as the meat from his bones liquefied and raced to Melascula cloak and body and ran up her leg and became unvisable through her own clothing.
  463.  
  464. A slurping sound could be heard, as the rest of the flesh was fed to the being only bones would remain of the rest of jesses body all but the head- the crown jewel for sors to keep it being gone already made the meal a lot easier to consume.
  465.  
  466. Melascula fell toher knees as her tendrils went to work on rotting and decaying the bones within the same process. An impulse of occultic energy would surge and lurch from her leaving the sound of a screech when the pulse finally faded away.
  467.  
  468.  
  469. The masked figured looked up to their summoner, crimson hues glowing from slits of their mask. A tri-toned voice spoke to sors in a language that sounded like a record-breaking and something no human could say nor pronounce.
  470. (Melascula)
  471. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  472.  
  473. Artaghh says, "Ye' dunnae see tha' every day. Mhmm."
  474.  Chaaca Khan says, "Aye."
  475. Chroma Zanders says, "Wow. Don't let me go out like that. Toss my as in a woodchipper if you need to."
  476. Chaaca Khan says, "Right, well I think I'm gonna go pass out. Have a good night everyone."
  477. Chroma rolling his shoulders, and shooting a salute the man would nod to Chaaca, then go home.
  478. (Chroma Zanders)
  479. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  480.  
  481. [02:58] It was not the summoning of the Nethradin, but it was the first time that Lord Ultovex would see it in full action. The black fog seeping out of his cloak drew the grey and golden stare as tendrils with eyes held the body. It turned to dust and rotted, sucked into the creature and the fog with speed as the Paladin watched.
  482.  
  483. "This'll do, ya."
  484.  
  485. The slurping filled the air, an almost joyous noise. It was devoured with speed, but the head remained as a trophy for Sors until further notice. The reek of occultism filled the air, feeling the surging and lurching before hearing the scratching and record breaking sound that was the creature's voice.
  486.  
  487. "I'm aware o' wha ya' are, Melascula. An I expect fer ya ta be aware o' wha I want in turn. Follow ma orders, an' there'll be plenty o' mor' feasts where tha' one comes from."
  488. (Sors Ultovex)
  489. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  490.  Melascula nods in quick succession then looks to the bystanders- a quick stare before glancing back at sors with a tilt of her head.
  491. (Melascula)
  492. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  493.  Ser Artaghh would wave at the Nethradin amiably, puffing away at his corn cob pipe with a steady nod.
  494.  
  495. -Some hours later...
  496. Ser Artaghh would sigh in relief as the frigid winds of the high peaks of the frozen north of Dawn's outlying mountain gusted against the bald paladin's burn scarred cheeks, the otherwise bonechilling gale nigh soothing with the constant feeling of heat that held upon the side of his pock marked face that had been scorched to the bone. It was rare that the burnt swordsman managed to make it properly out of town for his meditations, his duties as a paladin had kept him busier than he'd ever been in Dawn. Yet, much had happened, and Ser Artaghh knew with certainty he must introspect, center his mind, and return home refreshed and focused if he was to continue serving to the best of his ability.
  497.  
  498. Slowly, the crunches of slushy rock and damp dirt would give way to a plateau of powdery snow and flurried trees, a scenic outcropping against the side of the heights of the great mountains that offered a bird's eye view of everything south of the towering cliffs. In the far distance, the hallowed walls of Dawn stood like a distant fort, barely visible from the sheer heights that the bald paladin had ascended to in the pursuit of the ideal meditation spot. The snow covered plain that stood close to the sky felt separate from the world, the gusting winds driving out any distant sounds. It was peaceful, the burnt swordsman thought, and it symbolized the detachment he'd require for the meditation ahead.
  499. (Artaghh)
  500. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  501.  
  502.  Ser Artaghh would inhale and exhale steadily as he stood over the edge of the wintry cliffside, gazing down upon the world below as the frosty gales tore into his cloaked, armored form. The paladin knew with certainty the next step of his preparations would be an unpleasant one, but he knew with certainty that if he was ever going to reach the heights of energy magic, he'd need to endure trials both physical and mental. Retaining one's focus in the nude floating above the icy peaks of a mountain in delicate meditation, hovering so close to the edge that even the slightest slip of concentration could lead to the burnt swordsman plummeting hundreds of feet to his death? Just added to the mood, really.
  503.  
  504. Slowly, the knight would unclip his green twill cloak, bound by the mithril pin that displayed his rank as a Paladin of Dawn. Bundling it lightly against a dryer patch of wood, Ser Artaghh would begin the painstaking process of disarmoring his body piece by piece, sabaton by sabaton, working towards the end goal of being entirely exposed to the open air of the mountaintop snow plain. As each piece of mithril plate was bundled in his cloak, the paladin would shiver at the below 0 temperatures that he was suddenly far more directly exposed to, his remaining teeth chattering relentlessly even as his burn scarred skin was soothed by the frost. Standing naked, staring off the edge of his world, the burnt swordsman would close his remaining eye as he spread his arms, the mithril plating that held his organs in whistling lightly with the tug of the gales. It was a good song.
  505.  
  506. -Some more hours later
  507. Artaghh exclaims, "Hey Ohtli!"
  508.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Lacks.."
  509.  Eztli winced. Such was life. Though he then SQUINTED at Roh.
  510. (Eztli)
  511. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  512.  
  513.  Roh Stanirsk says, "C-c-combing..."
  514.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...My hair?"
  515.  Roh nods.
  516. (Roh Stanirsk)
  517. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  518.  
  519. Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Are you...are you insulting my -grooming-?"
  520. The Elder's wings fan and puff at the immediate and obvious insult taken to her appearance.
  521. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  522. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  523.  
  524.  Roh Stanirsk says, "My dear, it appears you woke up in the woods after fighting multiple people for the sake of the spirits."
  525.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Allow me."
  526.  Eztli says, "... F'you touch my head Mister Roh I'm gonna punch ya in th'ribs."
  527. Von , incapable of feeling proper emotion, found himself disturbed by the ongoing display as its queer nature only grew with each passing moment.
  528. (Von Lepopon)
  529. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  530.  
  531.  Roh Stanirsk says, "You're next, Eztli."
  532.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...There may be some leaves. I admit."
  533.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Come, sit."
  534.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Allow me."
  535.  Roh Stanirsk says, "It'd be an honor."
  536.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Hnf..."
  537.  Von Lepopon says, "Cease thine degeneracy."
  538.  Roh points to the table with two chairs.
  539. (Roh Stanirsk)
  540. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  541.  
  542.  Ser Artaghh would blink. Or was it a wink? He only had one eye. But he was clearly surprised by this display.
  543. (Artaghh)
  544. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  545.  
  546.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Artaghh. Sit with me? We should talk. Chroma too."
  547.  Artaghh says, "Course."
  548.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Why not the clinic? A little cozier."
  549.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "I hope you all have been well?"
  550.  Eztli was not invited. But still arrived.
  551. (Eztli)
  552. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  553.  
  554.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Eztli...have you been hanging about in Dawn?"
  555.  Chroma Zanders says, "Of course, Ohtli."
  556.  Artaghh says, "Aye, been trainin' him."
  557.  Eztli says, "Uh... I did, yuh. I was fightin' with guys."
  558.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I'm surprised they'd tolerate him in Dawn..."
  559.  Eztli nodded!
  560. (Eztli)
  561. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  562.  
  563.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "You...you are not going to march with them. Are you?"
  564.  Artaghh says, "I have a lot of sway in tha' city."
  565.  Eztli asks, "Huh?"
  566.  Chroma Zanders says, "Oh, we don't care about where you're from."
  567.  Eztli says, "March with em? Nuh. I hardly even talk t'people there."
  568.  Chroma Zanders says, "Just so long as you're not Fourfold, or...well blatantly against us."
  569.  Artaghh says, "No, I won't Ohtli."
  570.  Chroma Zanders says, "And..."
  571.  Artaghh says, "Bu' ye' need to ge' yer people outta tha' city."
  572.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Out of Gehenna? Are you mad?"
  573.  Eztli says, "..."
  574.  Chroma Zanders says, "I was--but....you'll be there, won't you? If so then I'll make myself busy."
  575.  Artaghh says, "No, sadly."
  576.  Simply allows them to speak while he gets to do what his former-girl being used to do. He slowly starts to get the leaves out of her hair before stroking down on the mane of Ohtli, making sure to keep it rather gentle and only going rough while it comes down to the knots that have grown in the hair. Granted, it is hard to get the knots done without some tugging, it would be done.
  577.  
  578. After the knots were out of her hair, he would simply comb it down while minding his own mental business. He didn't really pay attention to what was going on until he had an open voice to it. A gentleman simply does what he has to do; it was a way of life to him, and when it came to hair and the delicate beauty of women that the most important of women should have, he did that job religiously.
  579. (Roh Stanirsk)
  580. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  581.  
  582.  Eztli squinted from behind the table. "... What're y'all talkin' 'bout?"
  583. (Eztli)
  584. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  585.  
  586.  Chroma Zanders says, "It barely crossed my mind."
  587.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...I can't leave them to get burnt and die. You all know this. Weren't you all willing to help?"
  588.  Chroma Zanders says, "I am willing to save you. But I never agreed to aid in an assault against Gehenna....I'm...I have an oath Ohtli."
  589.  Artaghh says, "Aye, we're two blades. Bu' Lord Alastor an' Ipos have allied to march....the people who fight in tha' battle will die Ohtli."
  590.  Eztli asks, "... Miss Ohtli? What're they talkin' 'bout?"
  591.  Artaghh says, "Now ye' can yell at me. That's fair."
  592.  The Drakan's mane is admittedly more untidy than usual, littered with bits of leaves, dried grass, and crumpled jungle flowers. Only the Spirits know what she's been up to. While the grooming is nice, even pleasant, it only does so much to chip away at her decidedly weary exterior. Pale too, paler than any average Gehennan ought to be.
  593.  
  594. She is firm. She is stubborn, but she is only mortal. Their words unmistakably weigh on her.
  595.  
  596. "...I will not leave my people to die. I am going to do all I can for them without being a hindrance. They need help. If no one else will give it, it falls to me."
  597. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  598. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  599.  
  600.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...Dawn and Obsidia are set to march on Gehenna together, Eztli."
  601.  Eztli says, ". . ."
  602.  Iosefka Coza says, "--"
  603.  Eztli asks, "Wuh? What for?"
  604.  Iosefka Coza says, "Uh. Well. Huh."
  605.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Iosefka, come, come."
  606.  Roh Stanirsk says, "We're discussing Gehenna versus Dawn and Obsidia."
  607.  Iosefka Coza says, "Oh, yes, what a wonderful topic..."
  608.  Roh Stanirsk asks, "Please, join. I am just combing the remains of Ohtli's hair. Would you like some help with your mane?"
  609.  Iosefka Coza says, "Ah- No, I'm fine. It takes a long time to get it how I want it."
  610.  Roh Stanirsk says, "My dear, patience is -the- virtue."
  611.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Don't push her into something she doesn't want, Roh.."
  612.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Very well."
  613.  Eztli says, "I don't wanna have't fight you guys if that happens... But, uh... I don't wanna just have Gehenna get hurt... It's my home too."
  614.  Eztli squinted between Chroma and Artaghh. A concerned frown on his face.
  615. (Eztli)
  616. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  617.  
  618.  Ser Artaghh would shake his head with a deep sigh, puffing lightly on his corn cob pipe as he turned towards the Drakan, looking her directly in the eye with his remaining one. He would move a slow hand to the elder's shoulder, his tone stern in spite of the distaste for everything that left his mouth. "Gehenna is its people, nae the city. Tha's wha' they're marchin' on, tha's wha' they figh' for. Ye' need to evacuate the city, save as many lives as ye' can. Wherever ye' lead them, Gehenna's spirit will remain. Bu' this is no goddamn joke. The lich is stirrin', the vampires an' demons are grindin' their whetstones, an' they're nae marchin'ta raid. It's long, long pas' tha'. They're goin'ta slaughter an' pillage anyone tha' stands in their way."
  619.  
  620. The paladin would bow his headshamefully, the weight of the evil his nation committed hurting the oathsworn swordsman to his core. "The old men, the braves, they'll fight, aye, and die heroes deaths worthy of tales. Bu' ye' can save the kids, an' ye' can save those who trust ye' an' believe in yer leadership Ohtli. Ye' can save Gehenna, bu' nae by fightin'."
  621. (Artaghh)
  622. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  623.  
  624.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...You are honestly suggesting...that I...That I -what-!?"
  625.  Looking a bit conflicted at all of this Chroma wouldn't look at Ohtli a bit before resting his eyes on the older Drakanite. He enjoyed her company more than he cared to admit aloud.
  626.  
  627. She was much like a guide in the ways of peace and the mystic. Her mannered understanding had served to help the Paladin mature his own outlook on life in Agartha positively.
  628.  
  629. He'd place a supportive hand on her scaly one to calm her nerves a bit, letting her know that he felt for her despite all of this conflict of interest. He'd nod to Eztli as the news was broke as well. The hues of war had upswept so far that he'd nearly forgot to look past them at who else would be affected by their nigh unstoppable tide.
  630.  
  631. "....If you must Ohtli, I understand...we all live by our own paths and beliefs...but Artaghh speaks the truth. Standing against our forces combined with the Invidias? It's suicide."
  632.  
  633. (Chroma Zanders)
  634. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  635.  
  636.  Artaghh exclaims, "Dyin' a foolish, brave death won't help nothin' Ohtli! Yer people need you, nae yer corpse!"
  637.  Iosefka Coza says, "Alright, alright, hold it."
  638. Chroma Zanders says, "You could become a member of Ipos' council. I---Mnh."
  639.  The knots, leaves, and debre that was in her hair was finally gone and done; the hair was now flowing down with ease. Now, it was time for Roh's other specialty when it comes to hair. For years, Roh was the one to braid his hair in rather crazy ways, but for Ohtli, he would do something to remind her that she truly was a delicate woman of honor. Even though Roh doesn't know them, they can sense a soul that only wishes for the betterment of their home; something that Roh admires and adores ever so.
  640.  
  641. A nod, then, as he found himself gripping a few strands of hair and moving it to braid up. It went from the front of her hace to the back while leaving a good bit of braid to hang low. He would leave the combed hair that rested on their shoulders alone, however, and only focus on the hair wrapping around her. In this way, he can make it somewhat of a crown for her. Ohtli was a queen, of sorts, for people admired her wit.
  642.  
  643. After it was done, he would nod at his work before looking at the situation getting dire. The tone has shifted, and he simply listened while he rested his comb into his chest pocket, and rest both of his hands to the arch in his back.
  644.  
  645. "Let Iosefka speak, for she is wise."
  646. (Roh Stanirsk)
  647. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  648. Iosefka Coza asks, "Am I missing something here?"
  649. Artaghh says, "Aye."
  650.  Iosefka Coza asks, "I feel like the past three years have been a blur- Why does Ipos care about Gehenna?"
  651. Artaghh says, "Come on in Osefka."
  652.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I assume because the Invidias are pointing him at it..."
  653.  Chroma Zanders says, "He feels as though the land is owed to he and the Invidia."
  654.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Because of Kuhn's deal. Or, because it's the weakest target."
  655.  Iosefka furrows her brow.
  656. (Iosefka Coza)
  657. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  658.  
  659. Chroma Zanders says, "From my understanding."
  660. Iosefka Coza says, "I suppose I'll have to have a firm talking-to with Ipos."
  661. Artaghh says, "Aye, I told Alastor a dozen times Huang's the folk tha' want us dead, bu' this alliance.....the undead march wit'm."
  662.  Roh Stanirsk asks, "If I may?"
  663. Iosefka Coza says, "An odd time to interject, but if you're so inclined."
  664.  In a lighter situation, the Drakan woman would have been deeply appreciative of a helping hand in grooming the mess of her hair. Right now? A glower aimed at Artaghh and Chroma, nearly bristling.
  665.  
  666. Self-care is, clearly, not the foremost thing on her mind.
  667.  
  668. "And all of Dawn's people, Alastor included, are going belly up for this march. So's Huangzhou.
  669.  
  670. "If you're going to talk with Ipos, Io, I'd like a word with him too. Not so I can...-grovel- to be on some council of his."
  671. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  672. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  673.  
  674. Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Gehenna wants to be left alone. It wants to be at peace. But while Huangzhou's threatening demon genocide and sharpening swords, they want to come knocking on -our- door."
  675.  Artaghh says, "I swore an oath Ohtli....I won' raise my blade agains' Gehenna, bu' it doesn' matter."
  676.  Chroma Zanders says, "It is a bit odd. Aye...but I think their goal is Gehenna, and then Huang. We see the forces of Technochitlan as weakened..I suppose."
  677.  Chroma Zanders says, "The one pperson I hated is no longer a Chieftian."
  678.  Chroma Zanders says, "So it's no longer personal."
  679.  Artaghh says, "Tha' Kuhn deal, it's nae why they're fightin'! They're doin' it cause they can. "
  680. Chroma Zanders says, "Aye."
  681.  Esme Rowan says, "Oh, hm."
  682.  Artaghh says, "Lady Esme."
  683. "In regards to Huangzhou refusing to help, they need to get off of their high horse of a law and rule set, and help you people. However, if their leaders are too adamant in a single demon wanting to stay and help, then they do not deserve the Mercy that is the Spirits.
  684.  
  685. In regards to Ipos -- I have fought along side him in a raid against Gehenna, I have some sort of clout with him, perhaps I can attempt to change their mind of this. It isn't fair that a peaceful settlement who doesn't want to be bothered, to be bothered.
  686.  
  687. And, finally, in regards to the idea of the settlement of Gehenna, my philosophy is similar. Gehenna is now it's buildings and walls. Gehenna is it's knowledge, history, and it's people. If you are capable of saving a life by simple evacuating and taking them out of it, and rebuilding somewhere else to avoid them, that would be wise. However, if you are intent of fighting this war,then I will fight with you."
  688.  
  689. He looks at Ohtli for a second before looking towards Iosefka, waiting for them to talk. He had said his peace, and that is all that matters.
  690. (Roh Stanirsk)
  691. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  692.  
  693. Esme Rowan asks, "Not interrupting, am I?"
  694.  Iosefka Coza says, "Yes, sort of."
  695. Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "..."
  696.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "You. Fought with him against Gehenna?"
  697. Roh Stanirsk says, "Against Huangzhou."
  698. Esme looks to Artaghh, assuming his take on this held more weight than someone she'd hardly spoken to.
  699. (Esme Rowan)
  700. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  701.  
  702. Eztli says, ". . ."
  703.  Chroma Zanders asks, "Gout?"
  704.  Ohtli almost turns her head around a full 180 degrees. "That is not what you said."
  705. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  706. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  707.  
  708.  Chroma Zanders asks, "Aint that a disease?"
  709. Roh Stanirsk says, "-"
  710.  Esme Rowan asks, "Is this an affair with Dawn?"
  711.  Roh Stanirsk says, "."
  712.  Artaghh says, "Ipos is nae goin'ta be swayed."
  713.  Artaghh says, "An' mos'ly it's an affair wit' the war. "
  714.  Esme Rowan says, "Hm..."
  715.  Chroma Zanders says, "He's the Archon of Glory."
  716.  Iosefka Coza exclaims, "HA!"
  717.  Iosefka Coza exclaims, "HAHAHA!"
  718.  Chroma Zanders says, "He's in it for conquest."
  719.  Iosefka Coza says, "More like the Archon of Spilling Children's Milk..."
  720.  Chroma Zanders says, "Beheh."
  721.  Artaghh says, "Tha' was a potent roast."
  722.  Artaghh says, "A solid 8/10,."
  723.  Iosefka Coza says, "Thank you, Artaghh."
  724.  Esme skirts around the table to Artaghh, an impromptu bodyguard of hers, after all.
  725. (Esme Rowan)
  726. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  727.  
  728.  Iosefka's taking her own seat now within the Clinic, not intended to become part of the conversation but now finding herself included. It wasn't right. None of it sat well with her, and it was beginning to show in a rare instance of actual, genuine anger. The old lady frowns.
  729.  
  730. "I think telling Ohtli to abandon her first home and drag an entire settlement's worth of people to different lands because a manchild of a demon is throwing a fit are poor instructions, if I'll be totally real with you." She starts. "I think hijacking two armies to siege a settlement whose standing army is below the legal drinking age is about as pathetic as you can get, and if he really wants to call himself a legendary Archon, he needs to grow the fuck up."
  731.  
  732. She points a finger to Artaghh.
  733.  
  734. "I'm going to talk to Ipos. Gehennans have been some of Crafthold's most steadfast allies in the past 25 years. I can understand why they'd want to rely on Huangzhou for assistance should it ever come to war considering the shit Dawn AND the Vampires have pulled on them, but if he wants to be a petty heel over this, then he can talk to me." She narrows her gaze.
  735.  
  736. "I'm not a fighter. Sure. But I'm also not about to let my neighbor's get browbeaten over shit out of their control, and not do anything about it. I'll fucking buy the damn land if I have to. Gods know I'm not using my fortunes for anything else. Are we clear?"
  737. (Iosefka Coza)
  738. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  739.  
  740.  Artaghh exclaims, "I know Ipos well. He spent many years in Dawn meetin' blades wit' us as'a Kaor. This isn' abou' diplomacy, the Invidia's dunnae wanna talk. It's a gatherin'a super powers bored outta their minds, an' usin' an' excuse'ta slaughter. Tha's wha' demons an' vampires do. This isn' abou' money, land, bills, deeds, laws. It's abou' fuckin' slaughter, an' ye' bot' are old. Don' die stupidly!"
  741. Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "And yet...Dawn's rolling over too. All of your people are. And they're letting it happen, even when Alastor -knows- he's next."
  742.  Artaghh asks, "Ye' think I wan' this?"
  743.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "He's biding time...using Gehenna and Huangzhou as speedbumps."
  744.  Artaghh asks, "Ye' think it doesn' ache tha' no matter how many fancy titles I go', I cannae stop this evil?"
  745.  Esme Rowan says, "Alastor is growing complacent."
  746. Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "I understand, to an extent, there's only so much one person can do. But I -hope- that it is more than you and Chroma here that hate what is happening in Dawn. Isn't it?"
  747.  Iosefka Coza asks, "Alastor kicked out vampires and then immediately bitched out to them. And now- What? Arthur's back?"
  748.  Esme Rowan says, "The absence of my father has left an irrational narcissist in charge in his stead."
  749.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "And yet your father's stirring too, apparently, to take his own piece of Gehenna. Not that it's surprising, from the sounds of it."
  750.  Esme Rowan says, "Rumours."
  751.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Rumors that I've already heard twice since I woke up. They can have truth to them."
  752.  Esme takes her corncob pipe from her mouth.
  753. (Esme Rowan)
  754. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  755.  
  756.  Artaghh says, "It's true, King Rowan's a mean sleeper."
  757.  Esme Rowan says, "Can they? My father isn't actively commanding."
  758.  Artaghh says, "He migh' sleep through the whole war."
  759.  Iosefka Coza says, "We can only hope. Last thing I want to do is have to talk to fucking Arthur about politics again."
  760.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I'm not going to trust any one person's word on it alone. I'm going to help prepare Gehenna for the worst case scenario."
  761. Esme Rowan says, "Well, then I shall speak with him about correspondance with Crafthold."
  762.  Hearing the rousing words from the Neries Warden, Chroma hadn't heard anything that assertive in at least a good half a decade. Blinking a bit, he'd clear his throat as he kept his gaze on her before breaking and joining in on the conversation over what was Dawn's best plan moving forward.
  763.  
  764. "God....you're pretty. AHEM. I think Alastor sees making enemies of someone so close to us, as pretty much suicide...Most likely following the adage of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.However it doesn't account for Demons. Once this happens, it's Huang...and like you all are saying, it's then Dawn...but with the world pointing swords at us, what choice is there?" He'd look around the room a bit, genuinely perplexed.
  765.  
  766. While Obsidia stood, none were entirely safe.
  767.  
  768. (Chroma Zanders)
  769. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  770.  
  771.  Esme Rowan says, "I could even speak on his behalf."
  772.  Artaghh says, "The only things Dawn an' the vampires hate more than each o'er is everyone else."
  773.  Iosefka Coza says, "I'd rather you didn't speak, since you decided to just invite yourself into this conversation."
  774.  Esme furrows her brow.
  775. (Esme Rowan)
  776. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  777.  
  778.  Chroma Zanders says, "Mnh.."
  779.  Esme Rowan says, "Yes, I did."
  780.  Artaghh says, "Now now, all friends here."
  781.  Chroma Zanders says, "Aye..let's remain productive."
  782.  Eztli glares. Though he wasn't sure who he ought glare at. It was half and half between Artaghh and Chroma. He didn't seem very excited about this.
  783. (Eztli)
  784. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  785.  
  786.  Esme Rowan says, "Considering the fact that you've so much to say of my father"
  787.  Iosefka Coza says, "Your father doesn't know how to respect foreign laws, doesn't know how to uphold good relations, and doesn't know how to talk to people without turning it into a pissing match."
  788.  Chroma Zanders says, "-----"
  789.  Iosefka Coza says, "All things I have told him."
  790.  Iosefka Coza says, "And he has relished in."
  791. Iosefka Coza says, "So yes. I would rather talk to literally anyone else if it has to come to politics."
  792.  Esme rolls her eyes, casting a glance at Artaghh and Chroma.
  793. (Esme Rowan)
  794. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  795.  
  796.  Iosefka Coza says, "You can love your father all you want. I'm sure he's quite good at raising children."
  797.  The Drakan glowers at Chroma. The suggestion to abandon Gehenna, no matter how reasonable it may or may not be, hasn't set well with her. She has a lot she wants to say, a lot on her mind, but she bites her tongue for the most bitter parts of it.
  798.  
  799. Thankfully, Iosefka beats her to the punch on some of it. Thank the heavens.
  800.  
  801. "I offered to sit down with Vel and talk, as much as I hate the Invidias. I've extended an offer to speak. It'd only be fair I offer the same to Ipos if he's willing, since he seems to be the one closest to the top of the totem pole...probably below Malentine still.
  802.  
  803. "There's no glory in what he's doing to Gehenna. I don't know why he's doing it if that's what he's calling himself. Meanwhile, Huangzhou's preparing. It's preparing to 'cleanse' Dawn and Obsidia -both-. The Shogun was clear about that much. He'll stand for nothing short of eradicationof corruption.
  804.  
  805. "Which, I'm guessing, is why he's so willing to watch the tribes that gave the Jianghese the land they built on burn."
  806. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  807. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  808.  
  809.  Iosefka Coza says, "But FUCK is he an ass."
  810.  Iosefka Coza says, "Also yes."
  811.  Iosefka rubs her forehead as she leans back.
  812. (Iosefka Coza)
  813. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  814.  
  815.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Don't I know it."
  816.  Iosefka Coza says, "... Sorry. It's not Crafthold's position to have a strong political opinion on things. 'S why I usually leave Eiphraem to all this."
  817.  Esme Rowan says, "Maybe you /should/ then."
  818.  Chroma Zanders says, "I....don't believe he's opposed to all of this, Iosefka."
  819.  Chroma Zanders says, "That's the worst orf it."
  820.  Iosefka Coza says, "-- And maybe you should leave the Clinic, miss."
  821.  Esme Rowan says, "Eiphraem certainly has a more... professional approach to things."
  822.  Iosefka Coza asks, "But I'm not kicking you out, am I?"
  823.  Esme Rowan asks, "Miss?"
  824.  Iosefka Coza asks, "Sorry, Missus? Are you married?"
  825.  Esme smirks.
  826. (Esme Rowan)
  827. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  828.  
  829. Esme Rowan says, "No, no. Ms. will be fine, honestly."
  830.  Iosefka Coza exclaims, "Perfect!"
  831.  Iosefka Coza says, "I know you're Arthur's kid. But he had more than... One, so I lost track of who was who."
  832.  Esme Rowan says, "I'm the only one you're likely to see around."
  833.  Ser Artaghh would run a hand across his burned, bald head with a deep sigh, accepting Ohtli's glare with his head never unbowing in shame throughout the whole conversation. This was not something he desired to be right about, but the paladin knew more than enough to be certain. "You....don't get it. You think Ipos dunnae know ye' spoke'ta Vel? They ne'er planned fer peace, go' nothin'ta gain from it. Since the day ye' tol' an' Invidia they couldn' have somethin', they wanted it all. This ain' abou' slights cause yer no' dealin' wit reasonables people. Yer dealin' wit' monsters."
  834.  
  835. The bald paladin would raise his head to Ohtli, his remaining eye and expression clearly desperate in its pleading. "Ohtli, I don' want ye' to die..."
  836. (Artaghh)
  837. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  838.  
  839.  Iosefka Coza says, "That really doesn't answer much..."
  840.  Iosefka Coza says, "If you have something to say, please say it."
  841.  Iosefka Coza says, "Or leave."
  842.  Atsumi says, "- Right."
  843.  Atsumi says, "No interruptions here, Iosefka."
  844.  Iosefka Coza says, "Thank you-- oh, they're gone."
  845.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "-I- never said an Invidia could have anything. And Atl was never Kuhn's to give."
  846. Artaghh asks, "You think chaos mages give a damn abou' the law?"
  847.  Artaghh says, "The momen' tha' coin exchanged hands, Kuhn doomed Gehenna."
  848.  Chroma Zanders says, "Demons don't feel the same emotions. Vampires only know loyalty to their hunger--These are literal boogeymen."
  849.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Many people don't care about the law. Or decency, regardless of arcane affiliation."
  850.  Artaghh says, "It jus' took a couple years."
  851.  Chroma Zanders says, "And Gehenna is the main course."
  852.  Iosefka Coza says, "Alright, let's relax with the doomsaying."
  853.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Literal boogeymen that Dawn is willingly siding with. I will remind you."
  854.  Artaghh says, "I don' like bein' like this Iosefka."
  855.  Artaghh exclaims, "I'm an optimist!"
  856.  Chroma Zanders says, "Me and Artaghh's hands are tied."
  857.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'm sorry as well.."
  858.  Iosefka squeezes the brow of her nose.
  859. (Iosefka Coza)
  860. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  861.  
  862. Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Huangzhou said almost exactly the same thing..."
  863.  Iosefka Coza says, "... Alright, alright. I'm not about to just say 'nothing is possible'."
  864.  Artaghh says, "Listen, I believe in ye' Iosefka. If yer youthful vigor can stop the war, more power to ye'."
  865.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "If there is even a sliver of a chance something can come about by talking with Ipos? I will take it."
  866.  Iosefka Coza says, "Gods bless I have SO much youthful vigor."
  867.  Artaghh says, "Bu' I wanna saves lives, an' there's nae a goddamn chance in the world Gehenna's winnin' tha' battle."
  868. Artaghh says, "I've fough' mos'a them. "
  869.  Ohtli clenches her jaw.
  870. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  871. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  872.  
  873. Iosefka Coza says, "Relax, Artaghh."
  874. Chroma Zanders says, "I don't see much way of changing your mind...but perhaps your words can reach whatever lies in that chest."
  875.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...So. You can contact Ipos, Iosefka?"
  876.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Is that something you can do? "
  877.  Iosefka Coza says, "I mean, I can get anyone to send a letter to anyone."
  878.  Iosefka Coza says, "It's not hard."
  879.  Iosefka Coza says, "It's if he replies that we'll see."
  880.  Chroma Zanders says, "Aye."
  881.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "He'd probably be more willing to talk with you than with me. With both? Maybe."
  882.  Eztli didn't get it. It was all a bit over his head.
  883.  
  884. What he did know was the place he called home was in danger. And the people he'd deemed friends didn't even tell him that his family was in danger. And it hurt.
  885.  
  886. A jolt of blue energy trembled around his frame as he absent mindedly slammed a fist to the table, turning his back on the meeting and starting for the door.
  887.  
  888. "... Miss Ohtli? I'll be outside. Take me with you when you leave for Gehenna. I don't wanna hear this."
  889. (Eztli)
  890. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  891.  Iosefka Coza says, "Not a fan of Invidias, personally. If Ipos is going to be buddying up with them, then... Well."
  892.  Iosefka shrugs.
  893. (Iosefka Coza)
  894. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  895.  
  896.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Neither of us are."
  897.  Iosefka Coza says, "But an old lady can do her best."
  898.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...Alright, Eztli."
  899.  Artaghh says, "He lived wit' them as a lesser demon"
  900.  Chroma Zanders says, "I honestly wish you well on both accounts...maybe a slight compromise."
  901.  Artaghh says, "Ou' in the fields outside Dawn."
  902.  Iosefka Coza says, "I like to -think- I have a way with words."
  903.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "You've kept me from doing stupid things before. I'd say so."
  904.  Esme takes her corncob pipe from her lips, expelling a stream of thick smoke through her nostrils
  905. (Esme Rowan)
  906. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  907.  
  908.  Iosefka smirks towards Esme.
  909. (Iosefka Coza)
  910. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  911.  
  912.  Artaghh says, "I don' want'a be righ' Ohtli."
  913.  Eztli huffed. A jolt of blue flickering off of him. He squinted at Vel and leaned to the wall. "... Why?"
  914. (Eztli)
  915. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  916.  
  917.  Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  918.  Roh Stanirsk asks, "Did you hear that?"
  919.  Iosefka Coza says, "Hold on, hold on."
  920.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "--Spirits above and below..."
  921. Esme Rowan says, "Hm."
  922.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "You are going to be right if people will continue to let the Invidias mow over everything."
  923.  Artaghh says, "It's nae tha' simple. Yer people an' Huang's wan' Dawn dead. "
  924.  Artaghh says, "The alliance isn' there fer nothin'."
  925.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...Artaghh. Why do you think I have been working so -hard- to bring reasonable people from Dawn in?"
  926.  Artaghh says, "I know Ohtli."
  927.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "I've even convinced the tribes to -accept- help from Huang and Dawn. Do you know that?"
  928.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Are you -aware- of that?"
  929.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Do you know how difficult it is to ask a people to ignore years of prejudice, to see that they need help?"
  930.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "And now, when they need it and finally accept it, that none is coming?"
  931.  Artaghh says, "I can only feel so bad fer one day Ohtli, yer nae helpin'."
  932. Esme grunts.
  933. (Esme Rowan)
  934. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  935.  
  936. Esme Rowan asks, "What about all the weak ramblers from Dawn who've been caught in Gehennan raids?"
  937.  Artaghh asks, "You think I like battlin' agains' apathy?"
  938.  Esme Rowan says, "Sons, daughters."
  939. Esme Rowan says, "Uncles, fathers."
  940. Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "And how long ago were those raids?"
  941.  Esme Rowan says, "This isn't just raids."
  942.  Esme Rowan says, "This is in the woods, in the caverns."
  943.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "You were just talking about Gehennan raids."
  944.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Literally. Just now."
  945.  Chroma Zanders says, "Mnh.."
  946. Esme Rowan says, "A raid means more than a skirmish in a field."
  947.  Esme Rowan says, "Ugh."
  948.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I am not saying that all of what my people have done is right. Just as not all of what Dawn's people have done is right either."
  949.  Chroma Zanders says, "I think this is getting a bit cyclical."
  950.  Artaghh says, "This isn' abou' who's righ' or wrong."
  951. Chroma Zanders says, "We're at a standstill in what to do. Mnh? You two talkkto him.."
  952.  Chroma Zanders says, "Otherwise."
  953.  Artaghh says, "It's abou' wha's happenin' now....an' wha' ye' can do to save people's lives Ohtli."
  954.  Chroma Zanders says, "...."
  955.  Artaghh says, "Because when you send tha' letter, an' ge' the response I expect."
  956.  Chroma Zanders says, "Evacuate who you can."
  957.  Artaghh says, "If you die, Gehenna loses one'a its brightest, wisest leaders, an' uses yer martydom to spark decades of blood lettin' an' deat' in yer name."
  958.  Artaghh exclaims, "An' gods dammit Ohtli, yer the bes' thing they go'!"
  959. The Drakan takes a deep breath. Her wings shudder, then draw completely still. Claw-tips curl inward, sinking into the supple wood of the table edge, and everything goes still. Everything except for deep, steady breaths.
  960. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  961. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  962.  
  963.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'll respect whatever you choose in the end."
  964.  Artaghh says, "I will too....bu' you livin's important'ta me Ohtli. I cannae make Agartha a be'er place wit'ou ye' help."
  965.  Roh Stanirsk says, "Mm.."
  966.  Roh Stanirsk says, "I wish to help."
  967. Chroma Zanders says, "You've proven that your will is strong, words absolute, and actions even moreso...but, you gotta know when to go inside. An umbrella of hope can only take so much hail."
  968.  For a long time, Ohtli says nothing. Running her tongue over her teeth. More steady breathing and silence on her behalf while she tries to maintain some semblance of balance.
  969. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  970. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  971.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...I may, in my age, be a liability on the field. But I have blood to give. I make promises to nothing."
  972.  Chroma Zanders says, "Blood shed with purpose is admirable, but blood shed when theres more life it could carry is just a damned...waste. I--....I truly don't wish for ya to go."
  973.  Ser Artaghh would nod slowly, steadily. He would remove his corn cob pipe from his mouth, turning his gaze earnestly to the Drakon. "Good as I'll ge', no doub', bu' I'll take it. Ye've go' so much to give to Agartha, so much tha' could be lost...plus some day ye' need'ta ruffle my kids hair an' scold'm like a goo' grandma." The bald paladin would sigh deeply, lowering his head once more to the table in shame. "Good or bad time fer'a hug?"
  974. (Artaghh)
  975. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  976.  
  977.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...Bad. "
  978.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Not a time for a hug."
  979.  Artaghh says, "Fair enoug'."
  980.  Artaghh says, "We'll reschedule."
  981.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I've given a lot to Agartha. At least I'd like to think..."
  982.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I can hardly help it when it only looks like all my work gets undone."
  983.  Artaghh says, "Ohtli, ye' have given more than mos' folk e'er could."
  984.  Artaghh asks, "Remember wha' we talked abou' a long time ago, abou' how sensible folk are a dyin' breed?"
  985.  Artaghh says, "Yer' kinda provin' my point."
  986.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...I don't plan to die. I've got oaths of my own to uphold. You don't have to worry about that."
  987.  Artaghh says, "Good."
  988.  Artaghh says, "Because I will still worry."
  989.  Artaghh says, "The whole time."
  990.  Chroma Zanders says, "Aye..."
  991.  Roh Stanirsk says, "You did a lot for Argartha, and your dedication will spread to the seas and the wind."
  992.  Roh Stanirsk says, "I'll make sure, if I live, of course."
  993.  Artaghh says, "Stop speakin' in the past tense."
  994.  Artaghh says, "You are doin' great things fer Agartha."
  995.  Artaghh says, "Righ' here, righ' now, an' jus' like ye' alwaysh ave."
  996.  Roh Stanirsk says, "And always will."
  997.  Artaghh asks, "Ye' think I'd give a shit wha' happens'ta Gehenna if I hadn' me' ye' an' foun' a reason to Ohtli?"
  998.  Artaghh says, "Ye' did tha'."
  999.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I don't know."
  1000.  Artaghh says, "Ye' inspire people to be better."
  1001.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...I suppose. I'm heartened to hear I can do that much."
  1002.  Roh Stanirsk says, "And you will do so much more."
  1003.  Artaghh says, "Ye' know me Ohtli. I'm a terrible liar."
  1004.  Artaghh says, "So I stick'ta the trut'."
  1005. Artaghh says, "Yer important'ta Crafthold, 'ta Gehenna, an'ta all'a us."
  1006.  Chroma would keep his hand atop Ohtli's staying relatively silent for now. They were here for her, and she'd know it to her core that they wanted her to make it through this.
  1007. (Chroma Zanders)
  1008. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1009.  
  1010.  Roh Stanirsk says, "..."
  1011.  The Drakan keeps still, only her head turning to regard those around her. But she'd already explained it best- she did have oaths to keep.
  1012.  
  1013. "...Thank you. All of you," is the only thing she feels the need to say.
  1014. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  1015. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1016.  
  1017.  Artaghh says, "No. Thank you, Ohtli. Fer e'erythin'."
  1018.  Roh Stanirsk says, "And live."
  1019.  Artaghh says, "I know ye'll do wha's bes'."
  1020.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I'll...certainly try to."
  1021.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...I think I need some fresh air. Do any of you need anything?..."
  1022.  Artaghh says, "Fresh air."
  1023.  Chroma Zanders says, "From the bottom of our hearts, aye."
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