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The Final Lesson

Blue_XIII Aug 16th, 2019 93 Never
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  1. [21:41] {NARRATION} [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpXM8bOV_Bs ]
  2.  
  3. The group collects themselves somewhere around Gehenna and Levengard. A little task force brought together by Siegfried in the best case scenario to bring a new future for.. Well. His significant. They find themselves with a map in hand, certain little rumors and stories brought together telling of a lost and even hidden away temple on an offshoot island miles away from Agartha itself.
  4.  
  5. .. Boats do them wonders here, and the group sails for an entire day heading out towards the north-east. The weather is clear, the wind is slightly cold, and the breeze on their faces is relaxing and refreshing. This adventure was already starting off rather well.
  6.  
  7. Perhaps things wouldn't be quite as difficult as they may have felt. In sight now, a very mossy and overgrown island can be spotted. Looking down at your map, the coordinates and rumors seem to be in check. A stone, sturdy temple rises high into the air. Though it's off, almost.
  8.  
  9. There seem to be no birds, no waves around the island, and the breeze suddenly starts to die down. It gets.. Quiet.
  10.  
  11. Too quiet. As the boat comes to a standstill and the plank is extended outwards - The group had now come to their supposed destination.
  12.  
  13. The temple has a closed, stone and vine door in the front. From the boat it seemed small. Up close and now in proximity? It was massive.
  14. [21:48] Nym had brought along the necessities and pretty much nothing else. Sword, armored dress, and some foodstuffs that would last her throughout this little adventure. The Nagual never needed a lot in her life, and that hadn't changed, even with the acquirement of a large house.
  15.  
  16. Though she had never ridden on a boat like this before, the sea didn't give her any sense of wonder or amazement. The ocean had been a staple on Dusk's shores, so sailing out across it didn't really offer any new experiences to her. Even so, she wasn't completely bored throughout the trip.
  17.  
  18. Once they finally reached the temple and set foot upon land, Nym walked forward and spun around on her heels in order to get a full rotational view of the surrounding environment before she came back to face this huge door. In front of it she quirked an eyebrow and put her hands on her hips.
  19.  
  20. "Sowhat's the idea? This place holds what we're lookin' for?" Siegfried had explained some of the plan, which was why Nym was here to begin with. She knew she had to help for Clara's sake, even if it meant putting herself in harm's way.
  21.  
  22. Nym knew her sister would do the same for her.
  23. (Nym)
  24. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  25.  
  26. [21:48] This wasn't exactly his normal crowd of people, with two certain individuals he wasn't typically fine with being around... While he didn't actually care that much entirely, really.
  27.  
  28. Tobias was a new face, one he didn't see often. Other than hanging around Gehenna or speaking with Lea, while remembering his face and broad golden wings from the expedition alongside Calael.
  29.  
  30. And his brother. Which he couldn't decide if Siegfried was looking better or worse since he had changed his hair and even seemed more confident when speaking to others. Even if Siegfried didn't notice, Adrian tried his best to watch him from time to time... Until he disappeared.
  31.  
  32. But now, they arrive on this island. Whatever this place was, Adrian had no time to ask questions. He was here to help someone chase their dream, even if it was quite an odd and disgusting one. Walking down the plank, he does a little hop off and onto the dirt below.
  33.  
  34. Checking his boots, he brings his slits back up towards the temple. A thick stone door that was sealed, covered in vines which symbolized it was abandoned for quite some time.
  35.  
  36. ''Hmm...'' No words for now, as he turns his head to look at his fellow Spire Shard hunters. ''Ideas?''
  37. (Adrian Rowan)
  38. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  39.  
  40. [21:49] Right off the back of another life or death mission, Tobias was sailing his way to another island to risk everything once more. Only a little bit familiar with everyone in the party but Siegfried, maybe this would be an opportunity to bond with them further.
  41.  
  42. Yeah, there was bonding alright. Oh shit, are we about to get a montage?!
  43.  
  44. ---
  45.  
  46. The group of five sailed the open seas, leading to some shenanigans while they made their way to their destination. The waters near Agartha were home to strange creatures, due to influence from the spires. One such creature was being held up by Tobias with a grin, an octopus with a shark fin on it's head. All the while, Siegfried was probably shrieking like a girl.
  47.  
  48. Another panel depicted the young man in a pirate hat, crossing his arms and standing at the edge of the boat. Wind rushing through his hair as they traveled along with the tide. Siegfried was probably steering the ship, being the oldest one in the group.
  49.  
  50. And one more wacky scene, of the party sitting in a circle and playing cards. Tobias confidently slammed down his hand, beaming. All of the chips were to go to him, but Adonis had revealed his own hand. A full house, which forced the Star to begrudgingly forfeit all of his chips.
  51.  
  52. ---
  53.  
  54. Now that those shenanigans were over, they had finally arrived at the island. While it was a long time coming, this was only the very beginning of the journey. He stepped onto the shore, crossing his arms and frowning slightly. This place didn't seem alive.
  55.  
  56. "Isn't it a bit too quiet?" he asked, before stepping up to approise the temple. His eyes widened as the full scale of it came into view, not expecting it to be so massive. "Wow! I wonder who built this."
  57. (Tobias Ulrich)
  58. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  59.  
  60. [21:50] Tracking down a Spire Shard wasn't really the most effortless of things.
  61.  
  62. Regardless, the Siegfried that'd come here today, for this, standing proud and tall on that boat overlooking the horizon, was not the same Siegfried that sat in the streets and joked with kids. It was not the same one that blew hundreds of coins on cheese. It was not the very same Siegfried who was involved in jovial japery and trivialities...
  63.  
  64. This is the Siegfried who shines in the thirteenth hour. There's purpose in his stride, and that purpose can be felt in his very presence. Would he really use the Spire Shard for the purpose which he'd revealed to the group? Who knew. But whatever it was that he intended to use it for...the last time he'd tracked one of these things, he'd nearly lost an arm, and, in his place, a man had lost one. He'd come face to face with one of the most fiercesome beings he'd ever encountered, last time he pursued this.
  65.  
  66. But his resolution is stronger than that. Stronger than any fear of death. It can be seen and felt, palpably, in the cyan wisps that float from him, as they do Tocatl, their eternal session's burning inspiration still close to his heart.
  67.  
  68. As they step off and onto that boat, there's that wolfish grin that he tosses out every time he's about to say or do something stupid, but all that projects from him, for once, is dazzling confidence.
  69.  
  70. "We're here, guys and...gal," Siegfried frowns, seemingly upset at how poorly that'd flowed, "Watch your step. Abandoned temples...always full of traps. Spirits. Lots o' freaky shit. In and out. No extra risks."
  71.  
  72. Were they here, they asked...and for ideas?
  73.  
  74. Siegfried closes his eyes, tapping into that spiritual sense he'd been honing. As he always did, nowadays, as well, when he tried to glean insight from that place, from what he called his instinct, a hand clutches the pendant Skadi'd granted him tightly.
  75.  
  76. Clutched what he held of Taiga Rowan as he tried to figure out what to do next.
  77.  
  78. Would he be able to sense anything, or were they just going hard and hoping it worked out?
  79. (Siegfried)
  80. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  81.  
  82. [21:51] The beautiful scenery is appreciated in full by the young artist. With a brush that is much smaller than his usual one in his left hand, he does what he can to paint on an easel as they move towards their destination.
  83.  
  84. Yes, it was over the top. But the art that came from it might have been his masterpiece.
  85.  
  86. A hand brushes the hair out of his face as they arrive, ringed eyes studying the rising stone temple and its.. less than normal surroundings. Siegfried had explained the bare minimum to him about the trip - he knew why they were going and where vaguely, but the other details were beyond him for now.
  87.  
  88. Clara's life was the Fool's primary concern, while Adonis' was to soak up the beauty that was to be found.
  89.  
  90. " It is, yeh'. Full of traps though, huh? We'll stay focused then. "
  91. (Adonis Lelhua)
  92. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  93.  
  94. [21:52] {NARRATION} Siegfried. D20.
  95. [21:52] {NARRATION} Energy Magi. D20.
  96. [21:57] {NARRATION} Siegfried and the others seem lost for a time, wondering on whether to go in hard or investigate for a time. Nym. As you go towards the temple to look and examine for a time, you narrow your eyes down as something catches your eyes. To the right and under a small rock, there is something that looks like a small hermit crab.
  97.  
  98. It doesn't appear to be moving. Nym also notes that despite the ocean wafting off and rocking the boat, making waves all around the island itself - No actual waves are coming from the island.
  99.  
  100. Tobias. You step forward and go to place your hand on the stone door and you feel no breeze from inside. No breeze from the outside either. You turn your head up to the sun above for a time and stare. It's about the time of day where the sun starts to set the fastest. Even as you watch it for a minute, it should have moved an inch down to the horizon.
  101.  
  102. It does not. Something catches your eye behind some of the vines growing on the walls surrounding the door. Cleaning and removing the vines, you start to see a symbol. You know exactly what it is. Please approach for a whisper.
  103. [21:58] Escaping Light [DM] whispers something.
  104. [22:03] Tobias placed his hand against the stone door. From within the crack, there wasn't a breeze. And in the air behind them, the wind was silent as well. This area was eerily stationary, which brought the youth to turn his head upward towards the sky. Having stayed observant, he noticed something.
  105.  
  106. "The sun has remained stationary for the entire time we've been here. Not an inch. The wind isn't blowing, either." he commented, crossing his arms. "Doesn't this all seem artificial? As if we are in some kind of illusion. Or.. perhaps something is tampering with the flow of time." he predicted, before turning his head down.
  107.  
  108. An insignia caught his eye on the door, beneath some vines. He utilized fire magic to burn the excess plant life away, as it crumbled away to reveal a symbol. "Ah.. I know what this is." he muttered under his breath, having seen the emblem many times in his childhood.
  109.  
  110. A pair of black wings that had been painted into the stone, expanded outward in a distinct shape. "This is an Azraelite temple." he told them confidently.
  111. (Tobias Ulrich)
  112. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  113.  
  114. [22:05] Siegfried says, "..."
  115. [22:09] Nym heard what Tobias was saying, but the strangeness of the environment came second to the thing that caught her eye. She took a few steps forward and then pointed toward it, "There's a crab shell thing there, if any of ya want to stab it or get a snack." A bad joke, or an actual suggestion?
  116.  
  117. "Azraelites. Guess that means we'll be sure to meet some skeletons or something in here, right? Or more rottin' corpses?" Nym giggled and nudged Siegfried in the ribs. "Try not to fall in love with any of the lady ones, huh?"
  118. (Nym)
  119. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  120.  
  121. [22:10] Adrian Rowan says, "You looking like a snack."
  122. [22:10] Azreal.
  123.  
  124. Fitting, in a way. Overcoming trials set by Azrealites, to bring back the daughter of the ruler of an Azrealite nation. He turns to Tobias after the boy's explanation, which'd been very informative, to address one small problem.
  125.  
  126. "That doesn't tell us how to get in."
  127.  
  128. Siegfried isn't deterred in the least, seemingly, by the revelation. Instead, he's still wondering how they were going to overcome the obstacle of...getting inside.
  129.  
  130. "So. First off, wanted to thank you all for makin' it," he says sentimentally, eying each one in turn. "But uh, since this is an Azrealite temple, and there's already some freaky shit goin' on before we even get in, I wouldn' blame any of you for turning around right now.
  131.  
  132. No, really."
  133.  
  134. After giving them a dramatic pause to deliberate on that, he continues.
  135.  
  136. "Assumin' everyone is still her-"
  137.  
  138. Nym's joke actually takes the wind out of his sails. He stares at her, deadpan.
  139.  
  140. "I'm volunteerin' Nym for any blood rituals in this shit heap."
  141. (Siegfried)
  142. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  143.  
  144. [22:11] Time was frozen?
  145.  
  146. Adonis takes some time to process what it could all mean, then pokes his tongue through his cheek.
  147.  
  148. He knows little about Azraelite temples or the religion as a whole.
  149. (Adonis Lelhua)
  150. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  151.  
  152. [22:11] Nym says, "Oh c'mon it was a joKE."
  153. [22:11] Adrian had nothing to add so far, he was only really here to give his strength. Everything else was left down to Siegfried and the others, which he seems quite content with.
  154.  
  155. ''No point in teasing him, if he plans to go this far for one... I doubt he can fall for another. Because I don't plan to go on any more spire shard adventures for his love.''
  156.  
  157. Whatever they needed to do, he simply let them handle it.
  158. (Adrian Rowan)
  159. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  160.  
  161. [22:11] Siegfried says, "You need to stop kitten around."
  162. [22:12] Escaping Light [DM] says, "HAHA"
  163. [22:13] Siegfried asks, "...Anyway, Tobias, they teach you anything in Dawn school about gettin' into azrealite temples?"
  164. [22:13] Siegfried asks, "Any secret prayers? Rituals?"
  165. [22:13] Adonis Lelhua asks, "Blood rituals are a Gehennan thing, right?"
  166. [22:13] Siegfried asks, "Blood sacrifice?"
  167. [22:13] Siegfried says, "I dunno."
  168. [22:13] Tobias Ulrich says, "I typically just opened the door and walked right in."
  169. [22:14] Siegfried says, "..."
  170. [22:14] Siegfried turns, and then tries the door, shoving it as hard as he can, and putting some elbow grease into it, to see if it'd nudge.
  171. (Siegfried)
  172. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  173.  
  174. [22:15] {NARRATION} The vines are simply too dug in and wrapped around the stone door for it to swing wide open with ease.
  175.  
  176. .. Siegfried does manage to get it to shift, though.
  177. [22:15] Tobias Ulrich asks, "Could another melee get in there and help him push?"
  178. [22:15] Tobias Ulrich says, "My weak fragile wizard bones."
  179. [22:15] Siegfried says, "...The vines, Tobias, these damn vines..."
  180. [22:16] Siegfried says, "Burn this shit. You too, Adrian."
  181. [22:16] Siegfried says, "Let's get some fire goin'."
  182. [22:16] Siegfried says, "Then me and Nym'll push."
  183. [22:16] Adrian Rowan says, "Hmm..."
  184. [22:16] Tobias Ulrich says, "I'm on it."
  185. [22:16] Adrian Rowan says, "Azrael isn't always based on sacrifice, but it's based on life."
  186. [22:16] Adrian Rowan says, "I'm not too sure if burning these vibes will work."
  187. [22:16] Siegfried asks, "..Eh?"
  188. [22:16] Siegfried asks, "No harm in givin' it a shot, right?"
  189. [22:16] Adrian Rowan asks, "Did you feel it shift?"
  190. [22:16] Siegfried says, "A bit...."
  191. [22:16] Adrian Rowan says, "Hm... Alright."
  192. [22:16] Adrian Rowan says, "I'll burn the vines with Tobias, you open it with Nym."
  193. [22:17] Tobias reached for his staff, offering some fire to burn at the vines in order to help Siegfried. It would hopefully give him less obstacles in the way of pushing this door open, as the plant life was attempted to be reduced to ash alongside Adrian.
  194.  
  195. "No one has opened this door in years." he commented.
  196. (Tobias Ulrich)
  197. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  198.  
  199. [22:18] Tobias Ulrich says, "If there's anyone here, they've been here for a long time."
  200. [22:18] There was no need to draw his axe for this one, as it required his flames to be used... Not his ice.
  201.  
  202. Letting out a cold breath, it dissipates. His body heats up, while flames dance around his fingertips. Across his arms, before he brings them up in an x shape, furrowing his eyebrows as he waited for Tobias to move.
  203.  
  204. And once he did, he used his own flames combined with Tobias Ulrich's to burn away the vines, hopefully reducing them to ash to allow them to open the door by force.
  205. (Adrian Rowan)
  206. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  207.  
  208. [22:19] {NARRATION} D20, fire lads.
  209. [22:22] {NARRATION} The door finds itself assailed with harsh, intense flames. The burning crimson magic is fired at the overgrowth around the door and as it flows forward and the flames disperse. There's something weird..
  210.  
  211. .. The vines have all been charred, a lot of them have been turned to ash. Yet the ash and charcoaled vines don't fall to the ground. They remain there, stationary. In stasis. The door seems like it'll open now, despite all the freaky shit going on so far.
  212. [22:22] Tobias Ulrich says, ".. It is as I predicted. Time must not be flowing properly here."
  213. [22:23] Siegfried watches as the harsh flames arc forward, the combined efforts of his student and his brother incinerating the obstacle. His coat billows from the turbulence, the reverse-vacuum generated by the force of what they'd managed, but he just kind of runs a hand through his silver locks and then tosses the two a thumbs up.
  214.  
  215. "You seem nervous, Tobi'. I brought rum, you know. Fancy a sip?"
  216.  
  217. As he says this, he's already begun nudging at the door. Nym didn't seem all the way here at the moment, so he just goes ahead at trying to force it on his own, hoping that the vines crumbling would make it a piece of cake.
  218. (Siegfried)
  219. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  220.  
  221. [22:25] {NARRATION} D20, Sieg.
  222. [22:26] "Of all of the times to get drunk.. I don't think that this is the time, master Siegfried." he replied, shaking his head vehemently. Anyway, he stood and waited to see what would happen next. He felt somewhat bad that he was just standing here and not doing the menial labor, but he wasn't nearly as physically fit.
  223.  
  224. "More for you, I suppose! If you drink too much, I'll carry you home." he joked.
  225. (Tobias Ulrich)
  226. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  227.  
  228. [22:27] Adrian Rowan says, "I hate drinking."
  229. [22:28] {NARRATION} Admittedly, the door does open now. With the vines removed, it's a much easier process. He does struggle a lot at first, which might've seemed hilarious as the swordsman is defeated by a door - But as it opens? There's.. Nothing inside.
  230.  
  231. Nothing but a single, green flame burning in a small little altar ahead of them in the center of the room. Except the green flame isn't flickering, it's in total pause as the green light illuminates several pictures on the walls.
  232.  
  233. On the left and right, there are paintings of hourglasses tipped on their sides. The sand and time flowing within the hourglass had come to a standstill. Ceased, utterly. Above the green flame are two massive, black wings that expand out across the furthest wall. The Betrayer's Wings.
  234.  
  235. Inside, where one might think they'd smell death and corpses from an Azraelite temple - They smell nothing. No noise, no breeze, no smell, no..
  236.  
  237. .. Nothing. A right path and a left path rest ahead of them. These paths are anything but lit up.
  238. [22:28] Siegfried says, "..."
  239. [22:31] Seeing as Nym didn't help him, Siegfried, who'd been so determined, so vibrant, so full of youthful vigor, supercharged at the premise of completing this grand task, was now collapsed, on the ground, on his back, chest heaving up and down.
  240.  
  241. What the fuck...
  242.  
  243. "Thanks for the help...Nym…" He curses from the ground, taking the bottle of rum he was carrying and taking the briefest of swigs from it. Afterward, he'd throw it away. He had no intention of getting fucking hammered here. Even he's not that stupid.
  244.  
  245. Even from his vantage on the ground, he's capable of seeing the décor...and that the strange stasis effect on the outside of the temple persists here, on the inside.
  246.  
  247. He didn't like this.
  248.  
  249. "One o' you take point...just let me...catch my breath."
  250. (Siegfried)
  251. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  252.  
  253. [22:32] Nym exclaims, "You're welcome~!"
  254. [22:36] Tobias took a knee before the collapsed Siegfried, hovering his hands over his teacher. The young man began to draw cosmic energy into himself from his star, which he would redirect to calmly flow into Siegfried's body. As his mana circuits filled up with the magic of the cosmos, he'd find himself brimming with confidence and stamina.
  255.  
  256. Cosmic magic didn't heal bodies, it healed hearts. That would probably be enough to inspire him to stand up. Meanwhile, the young man stood up himself and began stepping into the temple. "Hourglasses.." he muttered as he looked at the paintings. It was obvious that time was being fucked with, as he had already stated twice.
  257.  
  258. He looked towards the flame in the center. "And, a green flame. I think it might be powered by rieka." he theorized. Tobias lit up with golden fire, attempting to illuminate the entire room before him and take a closer look at any important details he may have missed.
  259. (Tobias Ulrich)
  260. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  261.  
  262. [22:37] {NARRATION} D20, Tobi.
  263. [22:37] Nym says, "*stepped into the room. She gave the walls and the paintings and idle look after her retort 'you're welcome'. "
  264. [22:37] Adonis steps into the room. He gives the walls and painting an idle look after nym's retort.
  265. (Adonis Lelhua)
  266. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  267.  
  268. [22:38] Nym stepped into the room. She gave the walls and the paintings and idle look after her retort 'you're welcome'. "So..... what's the idea here?"
  269. (Nym)
  270. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  271.  
  272. [22:38] Adrian remains at the back for now, following behind the two once they enter.
  273. (Adrian Rowan)
  274. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  275.  
  276. [22:39] {NARRATION} As Tobias lights up the room, nothing of note seems to be in here. Whatever was interesting here seemed to be deeper into the corridors.. Left or right. They were both pitch black.
  277. [22:41] Siegfried is able to raise up off of the ground, reinvigorated from Tobi's magic...and something else. Something internal.
  278.  
  279. ---
  280.  
  281. Ya' can trust ma', with this.
  282.  
  283. ---
  284.  
  285. He had to keep his end of the deal, didn't he?
  286.  
  287. Hands move about the room as Siegfried himself begins to emit a dwarfing, pulsating light. As he had before, he puts his best foot forward in expanding his spiritual senses. From his body, the spiritually attuned would be able to see that which held no cohesive shape extend from him, constructs from his very soul probing out and into the world. The closest real world phenomena they'd be comparable to is fireflies, expelled from his body and trying to communicate with the nearby spirits.
  288.  
  289. A fist clenches Taiga's pendant tightly.
  290.  
  291. "Yo, pops," he whispers, low, but just high enough that anyone straining their ears could listen. "I know you didn't approve, but if you don't want to see me die like a dumbass, give me a hand here."
  292.  
  293. And then he waits, still as a statue.
  294. (Siegfried)
  295. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  296.  
  297. [22:42] Tobias Ulrich asks, "So. Left, or right?"
  298. [22:43] Tobias Ulrich says, "I vote left."
  299. [22:43] Siegfried says, "Gimme a 'sec."
  300. [22:43] {NARRATION} [For now, nothing more remains in this room beyond the flame and the drawings on the walls. When you have made your decision, head south and navigate through until you find me once more. I will have my bubble up.]
  301. [22:43] Siegfried says, "...Not shit..."
  302. [22:44] His hand releases the pendant, and then he turns to Tobias.
  303.  
  304. "Left it is."
  305.  
  306. His hand points forward, down the left corridor, and he moves forward, ahead of the group. If a trap was to be sprung, if injury were an inevitability, he would shoulder that burden.
  307.  
  308. Siegfried was not unaware that this was the most selfish thing he'd ever done, and asked for.
  309. (Siegfried)
  310. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  311.  
  312. [22:56] Nym catches up.
  313. (Nym)
  314. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  315.  
  316. [22:56] Adonis Lelhua whispers: (what? no mayonaise?
  317. [22:57] Nym whispers something.
  318. [23:02] {NARRATION} [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Hf1-lQElE ]
  319.  
  320. The walls and rooms seem to echo and call to them as they move through it. For a time in the darkness of the corridors, it almost seemed like even Tobias' light could not illuminate it. The walls start to break and fade away. All around there are beautiful links and veins and nerves wrapping around individual corridors. Adonis and Siegfried would know immediately what was moving in and out of their venture through the maze.
  321.  
  322. It's the Lifestream.
  323.  
  324. Every known color from reds to purples string across the pulsating marvel that was the visible lifestream here within the temple. As the walls and stone décor is no longer present, for a minute it was as if they were walking through the cosmos. They aren't staring down at stone bricks as they're walking, they're staring down at the endless reaches of space. Stars are surrounding them, it's pitch black.
  325.  
  326. … That all changes with an illuminated door in front of them. The group escapes the illustrious maze- And now? Now it becomes clear of a separate phenomenon. If the lifestream was beating, pulsing, visible here - It absolutely meant that spirits might be nearby. Walking through the illuminated door brings them right back into the stone make-up of the temple.
  327.  
  328. Around them now are a series of pools and decorative, almost visually appealing bodies of water. Pouring down into them are waterfalls likely drawn from the sea. Yet they don't move. Nothing does in this temple. All of it is utterly and completely still.
  329.  
  330. It's only then when the group turns northbound.. And spots.. A hulking stone figure.
  331. [23:09] Nym felt the inner heat of that burning soul of hers as she came into contact with a physical manifestation of the Lifestream itself. With such a spiritually strong pull in this area, she couldn't help but hear Helheim's call. It drew upon her body, pulling energy through her circuits in the color of the hellfire that consumed her nightly visions during her sleep. Her future was that place, no matter how much she tried to ignore it.
  332.  
  333. It made her irritated, and the Nagual was soon scowling for apparently no reason with every step forward. Her fanged teeth were grit tightly together and her fingers made twitched motions until she clenched them into tight fists. It was only the sight of the still waterfalls and frozen world before the group that Nym found some calm.
  334.  
  335. Though that minor relaxation was short lived.
  336.  
  337. Something massive was here, something that looked like it might be one of the few things that could move within this temple.Even if it hadn't made any motion yet, Nym unsheathed Unkind Jeff's Unkind Sword in a swift motion while her energy magic crackled outward, only the sparks near her body black for now.
  338.  
  339. "I don't like this place. I don't like how none of it's movin' and I don't like that it's holdin' something fuckin' massive like that. You better be goddamn certain there's somethin' that can save Clara here, Sieg, or I'm gonna be replacin' what parts I lose with yours."
  340. (Nym)
  341. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  342.  
  343. [23:11] The myriad of colors was unfamiliar to Tobias. He had never been connected with the lifestream, and thus had never been given the opportunity to see it drawn out before him. It was as beautiful as it was psychedelic, unlike anything he had every laid eyes on. An interconnected network of mana, veins and nerves intricately marking the corridors.
  344.  
  345. "What is all of this?" he asked, staring out into the void as the walls and stone décor were no longer present. Pitch black, accompanied by stars. It seemed to stretch out endlessly. This was a sight that he was drawn to. It was familiar to him, as if he had been here before.
  346.  
  347. "In my dreams, I have floated among the stars. But, I've never seen something like this up close, while conscious." he commented, while proceeding through the corridors. Finally, they reached a door. When they proceeded, he laid eyes upon a hulking stone figure.
  348.  
  349. He was given flashbacks of the siege on Dusk. A similar stone construct that was mercilessly taking down it's enemies and leveling buildings. It reminded him of the golem from Levengard. So, he was naturally on his guard. He reached for his staff, preparing himself similar to Nym.
  350.  
  351. "I don't think that's just a statue."
  352. (Tobias Ulrich)
  353. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  354.  
  355. [23:12] Adonis cannot help but grin as the group traverses through the never-ending maze and arrive at what appears to be the end of it all. But rather than it being through their efforts and struggles, it seems as though the maze itself seemed to be breaking away. With stones falling and giving way to the ever-expanding cosmos around them, his interest continues to grow exponentially.
  356.  
  357. " This is definitely the Lifestream, Siggy. But it's just as the hourglass portraits advertised at the entrance - everything here is stuck. Suspended in time.
  358.  
  359. I don't know much about Azraelites, but I've known a time magi or two. And this definitely seems like it would be down the alley of a magi who was trying to push the limits. Of their own capabilities and the world around them. "
  360.  
  361. A few steps bring him further in, fingertips just barely tracing across the suspended world around them. It was inspiringly creepy. " When you learn about art, people tell you that your art should tell a story. That it should move. But as we can see here, that isn't always the case.
  362.  
  363. Suspended art from an Azraelite. Huh. This place is amazing, Nym'. Portraying immortality. You can't age if time itself has stopped for you, right? " His focus falls upon the massive statue, and a hand taps to his chin. " Even if it isn't, it won't move, right? Unless the artist - who I would love to meet, has it here to stop people from messing with their art.
  364.  
  365. I mean shit, I wouldn't want anyone corrupting my masterpiece either. "
  366. (Adonis Lelhua)
  367. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  368.  
  369. [23:12] The pitter patter of feet makes such an ominous chorus in the eerily silent maze. There is no sound here, just like there is no movement, no advancement. Eternally suspended in chronostasis, this place is as foreboding as foreboding gets. And then...the very walls begin to erode away, and their journey starts to become something entirely...
  370.  
  371. Other.
  372.  
  373. "Adonis...Adrian...Tobias...Nym. You seein' what I'm seein'?"
  374.  
  375. It's...beautiful.
  376.  
  377. "Lady and gentlemen, we are floating in space."
  378.  
  379. Traipsing through the winding tunnels of aught and naught, Siegfried allows himself to bask in the beauty of this place. That natural adventurer in him, the starry-eyed boy that'd ran away from Emiri's home for this life...swelled with excitement. This was what he'd ran away for, wasn't it?
  380.  
  381. To brave terrain like this. To see that which few gazed upon in splendor. Similar to the wisps of light that had emit from him, almost, but more tangible, more real, because they are not bits and pieces of him, but representations of entire beings, snapshotted and immortalized, here, for this.
  382.  
  383. A planetarium of souls.
  384.  
  385. Breathless as he drinks in the sight of waterfalls that don't drip, bodies of water that do not ripple, it is all interrupted by the sight of something that does move. Something that looms over them all, the inevitability in a place like this.
  386.  
  387. "...You think it's a friendly golem?" He asked rhetorically.
  388.  
  389. And then, at Nym's statement, a wolfish grin.
  390.  
  391. "Hey. If they can make water stop, these Azrealites have to be higher than your generic-brand, Esme Rowans or Alrah Leverds. This is some Sors shit. Even besides the shard I know's in here, we might scoop somethin' else that can help..."
  392.  
  393. He joins the girl in drawing his blade in a flash.
  394. (Siegfried)
  395. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  396.  
  397. [23:13] This place got worse the further they got inside, and he didn't like that at all. He was a Dragon man, not a spaceman.
  398.  
  399. And the further they got into this maze, the darker it felt. Like it was closing in on them, every step they took. And if the lifestream simply existed boldly in these moments, as much as he may feel it... He couldn't tell it apart, even if his family had a history of tampering with it. He didn't.
  400.  
  401. Then even the ground beneath their feet begins to vanish like they are walking on air. The feeling of space around them, causing his gut to tighten horribly. This feeling wasn't enjoyable, which is when that door opens up in front of them.
  402.  
  403. Stumbling through, he was finally safe. Away from horrible illusions that twisted his vision and mind, something he did not enjoy in the slightest. ''Fuck... It feels better to see stone beneath my boots. Even around me, but it's not much of an improvement after that.''
  404.  
  405. Water... That was something he could smile about, that was something he could feel like he could relate to. ''Ahh... Finally-...''
  406.  
  407. But his attention shifts, looking towards Nym Ann and Siegfried. ''Clara?'' An icy breath billows out from his maw, as clear annoyance surfaces. A vein on his head pulsing, as slits finally find Siegfried only.
  408.  
  409. ''Clara Ultovex?''
  410.  
  411. The hulking figure in the background is ignored, as he seems very irritated by this face. This tiny little bit of information, that Siegfried had managed to leave out.
  412. (Adrian Rowan)
  413. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  414.  
  415. [23:14] Siegfried says, "....."
  416. [23:14] Siegfried says, "oops."
  417. [23:14] Adrian Rowan asks, "Was that a tiny little detail you managed to leave out?"
  418. [23:14] Nym says, "........."
  419. [23:18] {NARRATION} Unfortunately, the group gets little time to act as the golem itself immediately seems to -blink- out of existence. It appears right before the group, as if it had picked two points in time and glued them together. Like it had cut out the part where it moved and stomped towards them. Inside of the golem's chest now, a glowing core that was not active before shimmers with light.
  420.  
  421. Activation. It was turned on.
  422.  
  423. A loud, hollow voice drums out from the walls itself. It is deep, robotic, hollow.
  424.  
  425. "You draw your weapons yet you know not what you seek. You are foe. None of you bear the green lines of the masters. You seek to ruin the stasis we have created for Lord Azrael."
  426.  
  427. The golem starts to split slowly. As if copies were being made. As if it was starting to occupy several places at once.
  428.  
  429. "For intruders and thieves, you are far from wise."
  430. [23:19] Siegfried says, "Adrian...look. You got every right to be mad."
  431. [23:19] Adrian Rowan says, "I fucking do."
  432. [23:19] Adonis Lelhua asks, "SIEGFRIED DID YOU SEE THAT?"
  433. [23:19] Siegfried says, "But I'd suggest channeling some of that right now. I like my arms and legs. I like your arms and legs."
  434. [23:19] Adrian Rowan says, "I may aswell join the fucking golems side."
  435. [23:19] Adonis Lelhua says, "SIEGFRIED, I-"
  436. [23:19] Siegfried says, "YES, ADONIS, I FUCKING SEE THAT-"
  437. [23:19] Siegfried exclaims, "ADRIAN!"
  438. [23:20] Siegfried exclaims, "PLEASE!"
  439. [23:20] Nym asks, "See what?"
  440. [23:20] Nym asks, "Huh?"
  441. [23:20] Nym says, "Oh."
  442. [23:20] Adrian Rowan asks, "PLEASE WHAT?"
  443. [23:20] Adrian Rowan asks, "HELP YOU REVIVE CLARA FROM THE DEAD? BECAUSE YOU LOVE HER?"
  444. [23:20] Siegfried says, "..."
  445. [23:20] Nym says, "Hel yeah he does, so stay outta the fuckin' way."
  446. [23:20] Adrian Rowan says, "I'll stay out of the way, but don't come begging me for help."
  447. [23:24] Nym gave Adrian a sideways glance. She didn't seem to care if he joined in the fight or not, but she was obviously here to help Siegfried. "Have it your way then, Wingy." Her mistmatched gaze flicked back to the golem, this mighty creature that would definitely squash her in one on one combat. More obsidian darkness flickered underneath the blue, azure glow of her energy.
  448.  
  449. "Alright. Let's scrap this thing-" Nym growled, her circuits now firing all black magic forward.
  450.  
  451. Her pupil's widened, overtaking the amber and pink hues of the hunters before her. With a battle roar that was far morea battle shriek the Helcat surged forth to do as much damage as she could to the guardian of the temple.
  452. (Nym)
  453. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  454.  
  455. [23:25] As the golem seems to begin reproducing by splitting into several miniature golems which advance upon them, Siegfried has little time to do much of anything in the face of all of this arguing, bantering, and dissent than draw his sword, steel his mind and body, and begin to emanate that faint, pulsing azure light.
  456.  
  457. Constructs from the spirit realm hover about his arms and legs, ready to lash out with his soul's defiance to bat away their assailants, to protect them, to fight for his beloved...
  458.  
  459. To, as Tototl'd instructed, break his limits.
  460.  
  461. "Adrian...I understand completely if you back out now. I don't have a whole lot to say right now. I ain't never been the best at words. I ain't never been the best at a whole lot of anything. I kept her name from ya' 'cause I knew you'd have this response."
  462.  
  463. He abandons any pretense of backing out, flaking, running, as he had his entire life. This was the time to stand his ground...
  464.  
  465. And not just for her.
  466.  
  467. "All I can say, Adrian, is that I could never hate you for leavin' me here but..."
  468.  
  469. His knees buckling, eyes flashing with the might of his convictions, Siegfried prepares for the inevitable.
  470.  
  471. "I'd do this for you, Adrian, everytime. I'd never have asked you otherwise."
  472.  
  473. Was that enough?
  474.  
  475. It'd have to be...
  476.  
  477. Time was up.
  478. (Siegfried)
  479. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  480.  
  481. [23:25] "I think we have more things to worry about!" he exclaimed. He had known about the true meaning of this expedition, yet he didn't know Siegfried hadn't briefed Adrian about what they sought to accomplish. "Bigger things! Much bigger things!" he went on, his flames lighting up.
  482.  
  483. He was a bit irritated that everyone in the party wasn't on the same page, but those grievances were to be aired after they got themselves out of this life or death situation. The golem seemed intent on eliminating these 'threats', simply because they did not bare rieka lines.
  484.  
  485. Trying to reason with this magical mechanization? It didn't seem plausible to him. But, would he protect his group from harm? Without a second thought. Cosmic magic began to flow into Tobias, more easily overloading his mana circuits with starlight than before. He was growing in experience.
  486.  
  487. Although, it still burned and hurt like hell.
  488.  
  489. Omega's mana overflowed, flaring out of Tobias. From his back, it formed as two brilliant wing-like apparitions. They swung down with an immense burst of wind pressure, carrying him off of the floor and allowing him to float there in an almost angelic fashion.
  490. (Tobias Ulrich)
  491. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  492.  
  493. [23:26] Siegfried says, "AND SHE'S ALREADY BACK FROM THE DEAD. I DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE IN THAT. JUST BARE WITH ME FOR NOW."
  494. [23:26] The giant hulking machine was completely disregarded, even when it activates and starts threatening them. And instead of withdrawing his weapon to it like normal, he moves back to the side away from the group.
  495.  
  496. ''I should have known I couldn't have trusted you, to being something so extreme for someone like that. I believe in second chances, but I don't believe in third fourths or fifths.''
  497.  
  498. He was seriously, even in a dangerous situation like this. The risk of losing with him dropping out of the fight might increase, but why should he risk himself for a cause like this? Siegfried was his brother, but he was starting to question that fact over time.
  499.  
  500. Instead, he watches. Even if they failed to win, he knew that thing may race towards him next, but he was confident in his own ability to actually take it down. Even when they fall, they must have weakened it... And he wouldn't let anyone die to this thing, even if he was seriously pissed off
  501.  
  502. For now, he allows the cold to float around him. An icy mist dancing in his atmosphere, a clear sign of his anger. ''You wouldn't have to do this for me, because I wouldn't risk family for someone who is already indecisive and got themselves killed.''
  503. (Adrian Rowan)
  504. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  505.  
  506. [23:27] " A stasis for Azrael? "
  507.  
  508. He repeats the phrase, but his focus is primarily on the mannerisms of the golem itself. Namely the speed at which it was moving. Or was it teleportation? As Adrian and Siegfried go back and forth, Adonis' focus is entirely on the titan's movements (or lack thereof).
  509.  
  510. To the untrained eye, it was just speed. To a magi, it was likely obvious that magic was a large part of it. But to the Lelhua who had been watching the likes of Sors and Taiga and Laemor 'skip' from one place to the next, it was his new obsession.
  511.  
  512. But how could a creation bound to Azrael keep from tearing up the Lifestream with such actions? Adonis looks back and around them to the suspended state of everything, then it clicks. " Maybe the damage just hasn't been shown because everything here is suspended. Far be it from me to be the cautionary one here guys, but I really do think that some terrible shit is going to go down if we do manage to topple this guardian. " He speaks as his energy mana runs through the holy gem on his chest, filtering itself through the conversion point to become golden.
  513.  
  514. " Are any of you even fucking listening? Adrian - this place is going to implode if we don't all fight this thing. And that includes you. Trust me on this. "
  515. (Adonis Lelhua)
  516. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  517.  
  518. [23:30] Tobias Ulrich exclaims, "We'll just have to make do with four!"
  519. [23:31] Adrian Rowan whispers something.
  520. [23:31] Siegfried exclaims, "ULTRA COMBINING GALE BLITZ DARK INFERNO STAR, GO!"
  521. [23:31] {NARRATION} I feel the need to clarify.
  522.  
  523. This is a HIGH Chance of Death event.
  524.  
  525. If you get KO'd all rounds and roll low, you will die.
  526.  
  527. If you suffer 3 or more permenant injuries, you will die.
  528.  
  529. If you ever drop below 100 or less vitality, you will die.
  530.  
  531. Injuries from this fight will be DOUBLED. Good. Luck.
  532. [23:31] Escaping Light [DM] whispers something.
  533. [23:31] Adrian Rowan whispers something.
  534. [23:32] {NARRATION} [Use /vit now. Even you, Adrian.]
  535. [23:38] Adrian Rowan says, "Tsk..."
  536. [23:38] Siegfried says, "Fuck..."
  537. [23:38] Nym exclaims, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRHHHHH!!!"
  538. [23:41]
  539. {LOAD GAME}
  540.  
  541. [23:41] {NARRATION} Everyone relog.
  542. [23:46] {NARRATION} [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iWAuDH-UoI]
  543.  
  544. As the golem is thrown back from the second clash of power, it stops moving for a second and assesses the situations. The core spinning in its chest starts to overclock and shine a brilliant shade of red. It was like it had reached a level of transendance.
  545.  
  546. "More outputted power is required. Releasing restraints."
  547.  
  548. The entire temple starts to shake as energy starts to mote and drain away from the waterfalls and pools of water all around them. As it does? They start to flow again. The golem itself was draining and leeching the OVERWHELMING temporal force inhibiting the temple itself.
  549.  
  550. Energy and lockets start to shift and morph on the golem's body.
  551.  
  552. "Every last one of you will be frozen in time until the great resurgance of Lord Azrael. This is no longer a game."
  553. [23:47] Annoying...
  554.  
  555. Annoying...
  556.  
  557. Annoying...
  558.  
  559. ''Complete moron, you were taken in and cared for. You were protected and saved... And you lost your cool over material items, and then pursue one in the name of our enemy. For someone that could never be trusted, for someone that received many chances to change.''
  560.  
  561. A hand reaches up to his axe, removing it from his back. The ground around him freezes over, causing it to become slippery and frozen. Icy wings spread out at his back before the mist blows over the field.
  562.  
  563. ''I should let you fall... But now. You'll stand out, and I will clean your fucking mess up. Siegfried, take a seat.''
  564.  
  565. The very spirit itself flows through him, as the Dragons ghostly flames sputter out around his body. Like a sudden ghostly wind moving through his black locks of hair. The Dragon forms at his back, rising up and floating up above his head.
  566.  
  567. Water spirals around at his waist, spinning constantly. Like three large hydras that spawn at his waist, moving up through the air wildly. Maws open wide, with fiery eyes that turn down to the group. They were at as much risk, as the golem itself in getting swallowed up by its waves.
  568.  
  569. ''I'm disgusted.''
  570.  
  571. In the end, he couldn't let people die. They didn't deserve to die in a hole like this, not for some undead... Not for her.
  572.  
  573. ''Frozen in time? Shut your rocky mouth, because I am the only one who does the freezing around here. Taste Skadi's ice, you piece of junk.''
  574. (Adrian Rowan)
  575. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  576.  
  577. [23:52] It wasn't a four man job. Hell, it might not have even been a five man job. But, having Adrian there would have improved their chances. Instead, they were forced to battle against this insanely powerful golem while Adrian simple stood on the sidelines.
  578.  
  579. "We could use a little help over here!" the boy shouted. Making it very clear that Siegfried wasn't the only person he was wronging in his blunder. It was all five of them that could fall if they didn't work together. In this moment, Tobias learned just how valuable teamwork was.
  580.  
  581. And just how screwed you got if the team wasn't working together.
  582.  
  583. Luckily, Adrian returned to stand with them. A relieved sigh was given, confident that he could overcome this foe with their newly bolstered numbers. He remained stalwart in the face of adversity now. It was showtime, for all five of them to take this thing down.
  584.  
  585. "Now we're talking!" he exclaimedas Adrian shrouded himself in three aquatic hydras.
  586. (Tobias Ulrich)
  587. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  588.  
  589. [23:55] "I'M GONNA RIP IT'S METAL TIN CAN HEAD OFF AND SKULL FUCK IT!!" Nym screamed at the top of her bloody lungs. Energy bursts twice the size of her own body force the Nagual into a peaked and struggled fight forward. Even lost to her rage and Helheim's curse, she had that ever present awareness and desire to survive.
  590.  
  591. Slammed, smashed, thrown clear across the quaking room by the iron giant, Nym found several moments that gave her rare clarity amidst her berserker's rage, as if that mentality was becoming a honed edged weapon rather than a club of brute force strength. It was a rare sort of serenity, one that made her energetic aura crackle outward with increasing rage, fueling her body with the strength needed to land debilitating cuts against this foe.
  592.  
  593. While Siegfried was being wrecked, Tobias and Adonis provided theperfect distraction for Nym to cut in from the back, and Unkind Jeff's Unkind Sword left a massive, shredded 'cut' across the golem's back. She grinned madly, blood dripping from a cut across her forehead. Nym looked over at Adonis and opened her mouth to laugh or boast or any other sort of victorious statement, until the guardian's core began to spin and unlock, and the enemy decreed the 'game' was over.
  594.  
  595. Nym didn't care what Adrian was doing, but when the drakan decided enough standing on the sideline was enough, she couldn't help but feel slightly relieved that she wouldn't have to gut him later for letting them die.
  596. (Nym)
  597. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  598.  
  599. [23:55] Adrian Rowan says, "My mecha... It was me the entire time."
  600. [23:55] Adrian Rowan exclaims, "HAHAHA!"
  601. [23:56] The golem draws on more strength.
  602.  
  603. Battled back as he'd been, rocked by the golem's mighty blows while unleashing all of his might just to contend, Siegfried fights because he has no other option.
  604.  
  605. ---
  606.  
  607. Hey, cheer up, Siegfried.
  608.  
  609. We'll see each other again soon.
  610.  
  611. ---
  612.  
  613. The golem is able to disarm him, sending him splaying around this tiny arena as those willpower constructs shatter in the face of a superior energy magi, time and again. The might of Siegfried's dedication, the manifestation of his will only barely is able to leave dents in the unbreaking chassis of the golem...
  614.  
  615. But those around him never cease. Even for this. He and Nym fought to save Clara. Adonis, Tobias, and now Adrian...they fought for something that was not necessarily important to them. They fought because the two of them fought.
  616.  
  617. His sword is embed into the ground, used to support his weight as he stands again. Siegfried's trademark wolfish grin is nigh-insufferable, even in the face of this idiocy.
  618.  
  619. "Love you too," is all he says in the face of Adrian's cold resolution.
  620.  
  621. As he bleeds, in the silver of Skadi's pendant reflects that visage that'd once been Taiga's, the same countenance that his son now shared. Foolish. Idiotic. Always rushing in. The smile on Taiga's face was the smile on Siegfried's face, and he raises his blade like the man's...
  622.  
  623. Mana circuits pushed to the brink and beyond flare to life, spurned by the late arrival of his brother, a fire ignited in his soul that revs him up like an ignition.
  624.  
  625. "TOBIAS! NYM! ADRIAN! ADONIS!"
  626.  
  627. Each name he cries solidifies that ethereal construct, until it bleeds blue mana onto the stained, sullied earth. The mark of his mastery continues to advance here, in a place where hope seemed all but lost...
  628.  
  629. They'd find a way.
  630. (Siegfried)
  631. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  632.  
  633. [23:58] This Golem was the real deal. A threat that they had not expected, but had no choice but to cross.
  634.  
  635. The bad news is they were already outclassed.
  636. The good news was that Adrian had decided to help after all.
  637. The terrible news is that somewhere along the line, this entity had flipped the switch in the back of Adonis' mind by threatening to leave him frozen here for an eternity until Azrael returned.
  638.  
  639. They were going to die unless they all stepped it up. And while he should have been terrified by the concept alone, it only served to make Adonis' heart pump and beat faster.
  640.  
  641. His own energy output increases dramatically, causing his aura to expand outwards as well. But he doesn't stop there.
  642.  
  643. " It's brilliant, isn't it? The passion coming from this titan! And it took me a while, but I think I've figured it out, Nym! What Tenko could only dream of! " The student of art holds his free hand out and twists it to the left, causing six magic circles of varying sizes to slowly but surely appear around his wrist.
  644.  
  645. This was the rush he needed. His life being put on the line for something that he had only been going through the motions of until now. " Clipping through space, manipulating time. It's nothing that artihmatics can't do. " Supporting glyphs begin to form out of thin air and form rapidly, filling in the slots that had been empty other wise. Once they are all set, his wrist twists back to the right, and he seems ready to give it a shot.
  646.  
  647. " To be something like this, we gotta' keep up. We gotta step the same way that it is. Let's fuckin' rip it apart. "
  648. (Adonis Lelhua)
  649. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  650.  
  651. [00:02] Siegfried exclaims, "WHEW!"
  652. [00:02] {NARRATION} "Need- Bzzt- More-"
  653. Feel free to RP your victory.
  654. [00:22] It wasn't just the energy magic the great behemoth leveled against them, but the control of time this thing commanded was unreal. Despite throwing herself into its hull a dozen times, Nym found herself beaten back, her armored dress tearing and breaking in some minor parts under the stress from the fight. It wasn't until she was chucked into the wall that her wrist actually broke, and then a massive wave of temporal magic took hold of her.
  655.  
  656. When she stood again, the world was absolutely disoriented. She couldn't pinpoint movements, couldn't land attacks or even find crystalline aid from Adonis as easily as before. She found herself clamoring around the shaking arena, gripping the sides for help. Her blade was used more as a cane to move forward now, something to aid a disabled Nym.
  657.  
  658. It was maybe five minutes after that attack than Nym realized her circuits were no longer glowing at all, her rage had subsided into this ringing confusion. She opened her mouth to say something, but no voice came out, and she saw the others still fighting, but the vibrations on the ground were wrong. Her senses were betraying her, but the hunter couldn't figure out how.
  659.  
  660. "What's going on?" the sound of her voice finally echoed outward, but Nym's mouth didn't move. It shocked her, and she took a delayed step back before tripping over a loose stone. Her head his the stony floor with a thump and she was reminded of that throbbing pain in her shattered wrist. Once again she tried to cry out for help, only for no sound to be made.
  661.  
  662. Nym held her head and shook until finally, "HELP!" was yelled outward the body of Nagual lost in time.It was a nightmare unlike any other. She barely even realized the battle had ended moment ago.
  663. (Nym)
  664. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  665.  
  666. [00:27] By the skin of their teeth.
  667.  
  668. As the crypt of the golem comes to life, so does Adonis' passion. If the others couldn't get along and function as a cohesive team, then he would pick up their slack. But not to cover their asses - for his art.
  669.  
  670. He knew that using arithmatics to calculate distance between where he currently was and where he would need to dodge to would be taxing, so he uses it sparingly. Only when he absolutely needs to avoid taking a wave of the titan's mighty energy to save his hide.
  671.  
  672. And even then, he comes out of it exhausted. Barely able to breathe, in some cases.
  673.  
  674. But they did it. Panting for air, Adonis arrives at Siegfried's side once he prepares to deal the final blow to the titan. " The core, Siegfried. You let me research that thing, and you can consider my services for the rest of this nightmare bought. "
  675.  
  676. He turns to Nym after, wincing in response to her call for help. With another use of the raw and unrefined usage of his teleportation, the youth relocates himself by her side and reaches out to clutch her shoulder. " Hey-hey, snap out of it. You're alright. "
  677. (Adonis Lelhua)
  678. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  679.  
  680. [00:28] And then teamwork made the dream work, right? If only it were that simple. No, they were still fighting against an incredibly powerful golem. One that was tasked with defending this temple, and immortalizing Tobias and all of his friends in frozen time. They had to fight hard for that happy ending.
  681.  
  682. With such a vast and dark emptiness around him, his light felt darker than ever before. He couldn't quite illuminate every corner. Tobias truly felt like a star, floating in a cold and frozen abyss. As he became the epicenter of Omega's power, he felt like they had reached a greater understanding.
  683.  
  684. He was bright, but what did that mean in the grand scheme of things? Darkness was everywhere, making him truly feel insignificant. Like just another one of those specks in the sky. But, a star's purpose was as important as the ones who followed them. It was to guide the way.
  685.  
  686. And, he was going to make sure that they made it out of here.
  687.  
  688. The team of five magi would eventually make their dream work, finally. Tobias himself had been utilizing holyfire magic to quickly cauterize wounds, painfully keeping the blood of his allies inside of their bodies. He rained starfire on the opposing giant.
  689.  
  690. A hand of marble erupted from the floor, plucking Tobias from out of the sky and forcibly pulling him down. Flying no more, he was aggressively pulled into a fissure where the earth would turn and grind against his leg. With a grotesque sounding snap, the bone underneath shattered.
  691.  
  692. "Aghh-.. AHHH!" he screamed out, throwing his hands down defiantly. An explosion of holyfire erupted from him, freeing him from the fissure and allowing the boy to fly out of harm's way. Whimpering in pain, he kept flying. Not like he could stand on that leg.
  693.  
  694. "Son of a-.." he muttered, before feeling at his throat. "Wait." he stopped. He sounded distinctly different, as if his voice was higher pitched. Had the warped effects of time done something to his body? He looked down. "Am I younger?" he asked.
  695.  
  696. He had only just become a man, and now a curse was making him sound like a pubescent teenager again. He was shorter, too.
  697. (Tobias Ulrich)
  698. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  699.  
  700. [00:29] Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.
  701.  
  702. To say he's riding battle high would be the understatement of a lifetime.
  703.  
  704. Adrian's resurgence has left him on cloud nine in all of the ways one might imagine. Any single opening created by any of his allies, their showers of cosmic radiance, their bone-shredding shards of ice, projectiles of the soul and the stars that momentarily debilitate the beast...he's there, aided by his ungodly speed, that mastery he wields showcased at it's highest level when he expels it at the point of impact, to devastating effect.
  705.  
  706. Tile is uprooted. Chunks of the golem are smashed apart. Their repeated clashes with the unruly beast fissure the ground and sunder the earth beneath this carefully composed ruse of spatial dissonance,a beautiful slow-mo, space battle...
  707.  
  708. Nym moves like lightning, darting in and out of the fray and fighting with the unchained savagery of Helheim. Adonis is like a maestro, a composer of the battlefield, seeming perfectly within his element. Tobias fights his heart out, calling down the stars and summoning torrents of inferno and starlight to blaze a path and snatch openings from an immortal defense. And Adrian? Adrian is Adrian...unmoving bulwark, unbelievable powerhouse, all in one.
  709.  
  710. Siegfried is all soul.
  711.  
  712. The telekinetic bursts that the golem levies propel them this way and that, the arcane utilized to crush the opposition. But in that repetition is weakness.
  713.  
  714. The very same repetition on which this entire place is sustained.
  715.  
  716. "THERE IT IS!" He roars in triumph, and with his ghostly images trailing behind him, Siegfried, like a bullet shot from a gun, moves with speed and singleminded determination.
  717.  
  718. Atop the golem's arm, his sword buries itself within...and then he begins to channel.
  719.  
  720. ---
  721.  
  722. Find your limits...
  723.  
  724. And break them!
  725.  
  726. ---
  727.  
  728. From mana circuits already exhausted thrum an ethereal light that bleeds from him like he is coming apart at the scenes, a conduit to that which was larger than any vessel, that could not be contained. He is a living paradox, that which was more than a body, but was contained within one, and through his sword he gives everything he is, everything he's ever been, and overloads the golem with fuckfire.
  729.  
  730. "ALL THINGS GOTTA COME TO AN END, BIG GUY!"
  731.  
  732. Siegfried drags his sword up the golem's arm, bleeding his soul into it and overloading it. After he has cut it perfectly down the middle, he leaps off of that arm, overhead, and for a split second, up there, in the air..?
  733.  
  734. He almost forgets where he is.
  735.  
  736. And then Siegfried comes down, cutting the golem in half - horizontally, so as to preserve the core, as Adonis requested, - clean down the middle, all of the mana he'd charged into it detonating like a timebomb.
  737.  
  738. Refusing to look at the explosion, he turns his back to it, sword being strapped to his back as he looks to his friends, chest heaving.
  739.  
  740.  
  741. Only to see that they'd...
  742.  
  743. Gotten younger?
  744.  
  745. huh?
  746. (Siegfried)
  747. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  748.  
  749. [00:30] Siegfried says, "I brought potions..."
  750. [00:30] Siegfried says, "But not diapers."
  751. [00:30] Siegfried says, "Shit."
  752. [00:31] Tobias Ulrich exclaims, "I'm not that young!"
  753. [00:31] Tobias Ulrich asks, "I feel.. I don't know. Sixteen again?"
  754. [00:32] Tobias Ulrich asks, "I was a late bloomer, okay?"
  755. [00:35] This was unsatisfying.
  756.  
  757. The fight was heated, and a real challenge. Causing him to push back, tossing out tornados as Hydras move to snatch at the machine. Causing its movements to slow, as the flames dance over its rocky body causing the bricks to blacken.
  758.  
  759. But he was doing this for something he didn't enjoy, he was fighting for something he didn't exactly hate... But he clearly didn't trust it, not one bit.
  760.  
  761. As ice dances across the ground, the axe is swung to smackdown against the beast's body. Doing his best to aid the others in taking it down, even if he originally planned to stay out of the fight before. But he couldn't let them die, he couldn't just watch them perish.
  762.  
  763. So he lets his body consume the ice, bringing it across his hands and snatching down at the beasts limb. Frost moves over from his palm, coating its body to make its movements mute. But before he could tear it apart, the explosion of energy sends his body sliding backward.
  764.  
  765. Burns coat over his flesh, causing him to gasp. But before he could even get his footing, a small rift opens up in front of him. Time itself torn open, before the sharp edge catches his chest. A deep cut across his skin, causing blood to spew out like from an old samurai movie.
  766.  
  767. Kneeling down for a second, he pants. Blood drips down onto the ground below. ''T- This is nothing.'' He brings a hand up, flames being used to close up the wound for now. Flesh burnt up and closing the wound, shaking his head from left to right.
  768.  
  769. The golem was taken out, but he didn't get the chance to witness it. Instead, he just remains standing after doing his best to treat his wound temporarily.
  770.  
  771. He didn't want to even spare Siegfried his slits, focusing on anything but him.
  772. (Adrian Rowan)
  773. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  774.  
  775. [00:35] Nym kicks and struggles when Adonis shakes her. In her vision, she was just suddenly grabbed and moved, and Adonis was still across the room trying to catch his breath. "OFF OFF GET OFF!" She yelled, something the others could hear, but once more the Nagual wouldn't even hear her own voice until after she realized Adonis was in front of her minutes after he had arrived at her side.
  776. (Nym)
  777. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  778.  
  779. [00:36] Siegfried asks, "...Nym..?"
  780. [00:38] Tobias Ulrich asks, "Does.. anyone have a lax essence?"
  781. [00:38] Adonis Lelhua says, "......... All of the extras are back in Gehenna."
  782. [00:39] {Item} You drop Lax Essence.
  783. [00:39] Siegfried says, "I told you I came with some things."
  784. [00:39] Tobias Ulrich says, "Thanks, master Siegfried.."
  785. [00:40] Siegfried says, "...don't thank me yet..."
  786. [00:41] {NARRATION} As the golem teeters and the body is split in twain, there's a rupture and an earthquake that goes the through the temple. For a moment, the room they were in started to smell like mildew and stagnant water. They begin to hear the buzz of mosquitos, the time in the room shifts only for a second as they're able to see something they shouldn't ever want to see again.
  787.  
  788. The entire room cloaked in black, frenzying mosquitoes. Millions and millions of them feeding and spawning from the water below. The waterfalls had long since clogged and gone dormant while time in the room was no longer that stagnant dream.
  789.  
  790. They could see two timelines. One where the temple had never been frozen before, the mosquitos that would flurry and eat them alive, and the one they were currently in as time started to slowly restructure itself and pause once more.
  791.  
  792. The room goes silent, the mosquitos disappear. The water is stagnant once more, but the waterfalls are here. The golem dying showed that perhaps the guardians of this place were keeping it in stasis. Though with the golem dead, it also explained something else.
  793.  
  794. Something here was much grander, much more potent because as it died - The frozen effect remained. Something was strong enough to still keep it locked. In front of them, there is only a single door. The temple is once more silent.
  795. [00:42] Nym threw herself into Adonis' arms in legitimate fear, but didn't hear Siegfried's voice for several seconds. "Where- is it gone?"* She asked, now peering out to see the golem laying on the floor. Her reaction time was obviously severely stunted.
  796. (Nym)
  797. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  798.  
  799. [00:48]
  800. {LOAD GAME}
  801.  
  802. [00:48] Tobias ingested the lax essence, finding himself able to ignore the pain of his broken leg for now. This along with a constant flow of holy magic to numb the area allowed him to press onward despite his dangerous injuries. There was still more to be done.
  803.  
  804. If he couldn't stand and walk on his feet like a man, then his wings would carry him from the soil like an angel as he ascended. But, maybe he wished that he would have been unconscious for what he had just seen.
  805.  
  806. Mosquitos. A swarm of frenzying bugs that made his skin crawl. But, they were lucky that time slowly crept to a halt and kept them safe from the millions of bloodthirsty insects. He shuddered, letting out a sigh of relief.
  807.  
  808. "Wait-.." he trailed off, realizing just what htis meant. "That means that the golem wasn't the one keeping time frozen. There's something else that we haven't gotten to yet." he speculated, pointing towards the door.
  809.  
  810. "And, I havea feeling that it's just past that door."
  811. (Tobias Ulrich)
  812. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  813.  
  814. [00:49] "It can't hurt you anymore," he promises to Nym, and means it. "It's over."
  815.  
  816. Letting Adonis attend to Nym, knowing that he can't be as much of a comfort to her as he could, he spares Adrian a momentary glance. Guilt is plainly reflected in his eyes, but he doesn't expect to be able to make eye contact.
  817.  
  818. He was already here, and he'd keep moving forward, no matter how many of them dropped out.
  819.  
  820. "Adonis. You an' Nym can go back if you want...same goes for all of you. Like I said. I'd understand."
  821.  
  822. He's careful not to look at Adrian as he says it, unable to even stomach the idea of seeing his face right now, and how it'd be judging him.
  823.  
  824. And then, the smell of death, decay, and mildew strikes, all at once. His nose crinkles in disgust as the immensely powerful smell infiltrates his nostrils, and he pinches them. And then it flickers back to the much more pleasant, facsimile of reality that he'd become so much more used to in this demented hellhole.
  825.  
  826. He isn't sure if it's comforting or not.
  827.  
  828. Siegfried, of course, being a fucking caveman, budges the next door, just trying to get it open with brute force, even tired as he was.
  829.  
  830. The sooner he reached the end, and either succeeded, or died trying, the better.
  831. (Siegfried)
  832. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  833.  
  834. [00:53] {NARRATION} The door to the next room starts to open rather easily - You may progress to the next chamber. Go north.
  835. [00:54] Nym put lax essence on her wrist while she walks but she's smearing it on her sleeve that she hasn't rolled up yet.
  836. (Nym)
  837. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  838.  
  839. [00:54] Nym rolls up her sleeve.
  840. (Nym)
  841. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  842.  
  843. [00:54] Nym doesn't notice it's covered in lax.
  844. (Nym)
  845. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  846.  
  847. [00:59] {NARRATION} [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8vukfdvlIw ]
  848.  
  849. When this door opens, the ground finds themselves pushing into a forested, almost dense area. It had a stone brick flooring, but looking around it seemed like vines and roots had dug in from the surface. Despite this, trees and bushes have grown in this area. But that's as far as they've come. Water droplets coming from the ceiling had stopped, and the growing plants have also stopped.
  850.  
  851. It's honestly a marsh in here, one that stopped growing some unknown amount of time ago. One could only imagine how treacherous and clouded it might've been had it only been left to grow.. But there's something innately -wrong- about this room.
  852.  
  853. Any single person who had ever been close to a spire shard or let alone the spire isle itself would understand that radiating, cryptic feeling of uncertainty in the air. Something prodding at their very magic and soul within. They're getting close.
  854.  
  855. It's only when they went to step forward that they would see something that might make them jump. A human arm lays extended from one of the pushes at the side. It seemed to be connected to.. A whole body hidden behind the bushes. No trace of rot, no trace of wither. It looked as if they person had collapsed a second before they entered.
  856. [01:00] Siegfried says, "We're so close."
  857. [01:04] Nym wandered into the room ahead of Adonis in reality but behind him in her mind. No voice could reach her without confusion, given everything she saw was delayed and in the past. The Lax Essence numbed her shattered wrist which allowed the swordswoman to maintain her sword in her other hand. To Nym, it was of little consequence, all it meant was she was now left without her parried claw hand.
  858.  
  859. This new room was met with some intrigue and interest, but until a real conversation started, Nym wasn't about to attempt to ask or give out any orders with out confusing everything else was right now.
  860. (Nym)
  861. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  862.  
  863. [01:05] Tobias felt something distinctly familiar as they entered this marsh. A cryptic and divine presence, one that he remembered feeling on the expedition to the spire island. They were getting close to what Siegfried wanted. The question was, what was going to get in their way to claim it?
  864.  
  865. There was no question about if there was someone, or something that wished to defend it. That was proven by how time had stopped, and it was proven again by a crumpled corpse that laid defeated by a bush. A fresh body, one that looked recently deceased. Could it be the effects of time?
  866.  
  867. His eyes widened. "Who is that?" he asked, floating forward. "Someone that died attempting to do just what we did, I assume.." he went on, frowning. "I believe it's only right that we should give them a proper burial after we're finished here."
  868.  
  869. "But.. where is the murderer?" he asked, looking around and attempting to search the area more closely.
  870. (Tobias Ulrich)
  871. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  872.  
  873. [01:05] " Close to what, exactly? "
  874.  
  875. He trails along with the group the best he can, looking to his side occasionally to make sure that Nym hadn't be caught in some loop of stasis-based paralysis. He was beginning to understand Adrian's frustrations with being left in the dark somewhat.
  876.  
  877. But he had agreed to see this through to the end. It's not like there could be anything worse than a giant stone golem, right?
  878.  
  879. " Careful. That body might be 'stuck' too. "
  880. (Adonis Lelhua)
  881. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  882.  
  883. [01:09] Further into the source of the time dilation. Closer to the flames. Where the spirits got louder, and his danger senses went into hyperdrive. Like a moth, he ran straight to that fire, miraculously untouched by the previous battle, and ready to be ravaged by the upcoming skirmish. He banishes his fears, exiles them, and steadies his wobbly steps by embracing his soul's hearth.
  884.  
  885. So close to the end. He just had to keep it all together. His mind, his body, and his allies.
  886.  
  887. "Alright..." he breathes into the world. His steps cease.
  888.  
  889. Ignoring Tobias for now, he looks at Adonis, and there is nothing pale or dead about those normally soft blue eyes.
  890.  
  891. "A miracle, Adonis. Once you step close to one, you know the feeling. You can never forget it. Spire Shards...the balancing point of the axis. Secret of the golden ratio."
  892.  
  893. As they speak, and wonder at that corpse, he tries to sense out what direction the damn thing was in, if it was this close...
  894.  
  895. "Just a little further..."
  896.  
  897. and then he whispers, low. none of them could hear.
  898. (Siegfried)
  899. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  900.  
  901. [01:10] Siegfried whispers: I'm coming, Clara. I'm so close.
  902. [01:11] Moving into the next room, he could feel it instantly.
  903.  
  904. That tug on his very soul, that spoke to him. The spire, and spire shards. He had been near both, and this wasn't a very nice feeling. In fact, it usually marked for danger... Because what else would be laying near a spire shard? Danger.
  905.  
  906. Even now, it feels like that spire shard was inside of his cloak. But it's at home, not close to his heart. But why did it feel so warm? A hand moves up, placing itself against his wounded chest for a moment.
  907.  
  908. Slits gaze around, finding the arm. Enough to spook anyone not used to corpses, but was it even dead? Everything seemed to be stopped, that broken effect of time still lingering in the air.
  909.  
  910. ''Are they even dead? Is it... Even a person? It could be a trick... And what should we do now?''
  911. (Adrian Rowan)
  912. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  913.  
  914. [01:11] {NARRATION} D20. Everyone but Nym.
  915. [01:20] {NARRATION} Nym and Adonis start to move a little to the right of the corpse itself. While the group was stagnant, Tobias moving to search the area a bit closely.. Unfortunately, he's only able to assess the corpse at face value. It looked like the man himself had died with no injury on his body. His chest looked a little small, but otherwise nothing else. He was a Jianghese man, with armor and symbols on his clothes that were indicative of..
  916.  
  917. The first Shengese expedition out towards Agartha.
  918.  
  919. That's when Adonis and Nym find another body hidden up against the trees, and another in the bushes beside it. And another in the branches of a nearby tree, and another strung up by vines.
  920.  
  921. Every last one of them looked to have small chests, almost as if.. They were.. Compressed inwards on the heart inside. It's at this very moment that the corpses all around, not a second past their death, start to sprout bones that explode and sharpen from their limbs. Like a Kaguyua(TM) might.
  922.  
  923. Their eyes roll back, necromantic purple chains sprouting from the corpses all tie it to a singular entity somewhere deeper into the forested room that starts to hiss and click.
  924.  
  925. "You have picked a poor, poor ssssssspot to venture into."
  926.  
  927. For a split second, Nym can see what looks like a skeletal naga slipping through the cracks between trees. Nym and Adonis both start to feel their bones vibrating and paining them.
  928.  
  929. Whatever demented creature that slithered here could control the very bones beneath their skin.
  930. [01:21] Adonis Lelhua whispers something.
  931. [01:22] Nym says, "I'll have a look over here, let's see what's in the bushes, Adonny."
  932. [01:22] Adonis Lelhua says, "w-"
  933. [01:22] Siegfried says, "...wh-"
  934. [01:22] Siegfried says, "Adonis, go with her, man. Check those bushes with her."
  935. [01:22] Nym was already in the bushes.
  936. (Nym)
  937. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  938.  
  939. [01:27] "What are the symbols on this man's clothes? It belongs to some sort of group, but.. none that I can recognize." he commented. The first Shengese expedition was so long ago at this point, and he had been raised in a Valmasian dominated settlement. There's no way he could know exactly what it was, but he knew that the body wasn't from here.
  940.  
  941. Then, bones started to sprout from the corpse's skin. They were sharp and deadly, Tobias only reacting just in time to evade being impaled. His wings took him away, and he avoided direct contact with any of the corpses. His eyes widened. It was starting to make sense now.
  942.  
  943. "Of course, this is an Azraelite temple. Why wouldn't necromancy be involved?" he asked rhetorically, gulping as the corpses became tethered to that singular entity. He didn't yet see the source of whatever was manipulating these corpses, but he stayed on guard.
  944.  
  945. "We need to spot them before they take us by surprise!" he exclaimed, his eyes frantically shifting in every direction. Battle was imminent, but where? He hated sneak attacks.
  946. (Tobias Ulrich)
  947. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  948.  
  949. [01:28] " There's nothing humerus about this, Siegfried. These aren't just bodies. Tibia honest, I think we're in a lot of trouble if we cannot dish out enough osteoblasts to handle these things. If we really need to, we might be able to make a marrow escape. " He speaks bodly as the skeletons rise up, and his own golden aura flares to life.
  950.  
  951. " An Azraelite temple of all places. This is getting crazy... "
  952.  
  953. His brushes twirls about and he prepares for what is to come. Namely his bones hurting if they don't handle the situation fast enough.
  954. (Adonis Lelhua)
  955. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  956.  
  957. [01:29] Nym says, "There's lots of dead people here, uhh, we should be careful."
  958. [01:31] Adrian Rowan says, "Hmm..."
  959. [01:32] Nym hits Adonis and shushes him. "There's a Naga comin' over here!"
  960. (Nym)
  961. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  962.  
  963. [01:33] Brings his axe from his back again, while ice forms around his body. Across his arms and legs, while slits focus ahead on the new arrival of the undead.
  964.  
  965. Teeth grit, while Skadi's Genesis causes that frosty mist to float across the area again. He still hated who he was doing this for, but he had to if they wanted to get out of here alive.
  966.  
  967. ''Let's just make this quick.''
  968. (Adrian Rowan)
  969. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  970.  
  971. [01:39] Nym exclaims, "GUYS LOOK OUT IT'S COMING!"
  972.  
  973. [02:05] Against such an overwhelming horde, that's where the magic Tobias wielded was reached the height of it's potential. He rained down starfire from the skies, meteors colliding with the ground in an explosion of spectacular golden hues. Holy flames eviscerated the dead as they were risen.
  974.  
  975. He was able to dominate these large areas, laying down rows upon rows of blessed fire that caused the skeletons to crumble as they were pieced together. Tobias really valued having his own bubble of personal space, that was for sure.
  976.  
  977. To protect and heal his allies while also warding off the enemy. The almost angelic looking Ulrich gave, and he took away. Nym, Adrian, and Rowan were treated on the fly during the battle, holyfire painfully cauterizing their wounds. It burned, but it kept their blood inside of their bodies.
  978.  
  979. He was able to keep himself health enough as the skeleton was taken down, but it was a different story for his allies. The many foes were finally taken down, but he couldn't prevent the many concerning injuries that would follow.
  980. (Tobias Ulrich)
  981. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  982.  
  983. [02:06] Everything hurts.
  984.  
  985. Despite the groups skillful maneuvers and actions in dealing with the enemy, they still suffer a great deal of damage from it all. His leg is busted up in the worst of ways, with bones sticking out this way and that.
  986.  
  987. It would have been beautiful to see it on anyone else, but for him to be the victim...?
  988.  
  989. It sucked.
  990.  
  991. Adonis scowls and cringes at his wound and takes a knee, aiming to lather up his leg with lax essence before they move forward.
  992. (Adonis Lelhua)
  993. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  994.  
  995. [02:06] Nym exclaims, "GET THEM! GET THEM!!"
  996. [02:11] {NARRATION} The Final Chamber. As the group kicks down and kills that Necromancer Naga, the room shifts and shakes. The temple once more quakes, and as the trees start to rot and the fresh bodies slowly start to turn into disgusting, morphed corpses.. There is a silence that broods through the room.
  997.  
  998. That silence is them immediately disjointed by a dissonant humming, churning, clunking of gears and machines in the next room. Moving towards the next room and pushing open the door reveals a massive, beautiful generator. However, there is an altar in the room with a slot that looked like someone would have to put their hand into it.
  999.  
  1000. A transcription reads - 'Only those with the devout green-lines may pursue without loss. The power of Divinity belongs solely to Azrael and his Children.'
  1001.  
  1002. .. In the center of the generator, hidden behind gear after gear after glass after arcanium..
  1003.  
  1004. Well. Can you guess? This room felt cryptic.
  1005. [02:13] The hydras made of water move, swallowing up skeletons and crushing their bones. Leaving tiny pieces of remains left across the ground but in the final moments of combat... They had to focus on the main enemy, a large abomination that could control bones.
  1006.  
  1007. Ice glides across his body before the air thickens. Frost forms from the air, causing each of the bones of the skeleton to freeze over. Slowly, it gets worse and worse... Until any sudden movement made by the skeleton causes it to shatter.
  1008.  
  1009. Before it's complete, bones erupt out of his back and shoulder. Blood spews out across the ground again, causing him to choke and stumble back. Breathing heavily, his entire body was suffering from these fights. There was no simple way to receive this item, and he felt like death may welcome him soon.
  1010.  
  1011. But no. He couldn't die here, he wouldn't let himself die for this stupid adventure. Instead, he flicks his wrist out and causes the wind to twist around the beast's body. And with the frost already formed around it, what follows is its entire body crumbling into tiny cubes of ice.
  1012.  
  1013. Breathing heavily, he was just glad it was over.
  1014.  
  1015. ''What else? HUH?!'' Nym was still lagging behind, seeing that makes him calm down a little. Raising an eyebrow out of confusion, despite his pain.
  1016. (Adrian Rowan)
  1017. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1018.  
  1019. [02:17] Siegfried reads that transcription. His eyes remain affixed to it, for some time, and it appears there is nothing that can be done about it, plain and simple, aside from the direct path.
  1020.  
  1021. He was alright with it. They had gotten this far.
  1022.  
  1023. His allies had been horribly injured for the sake of this already. Whatever happened to him was probably deserved.
  1024.  
  1025. Wholly expecting to lose the hand or something, the white-haired boy shoves it clean in the slot.
  1026.  
  1027. And that was that.
  1028. (Siegfried)
  1029. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1030.  
  1031. [02:23] {NARRATION} What happens afterwards might surprise Siegfried. There is a set of spiked barbs that fly up from the slot of which he put his hand into. Drawing blood from his hand, the slot soon starts to fill with Siegfried's blood and mana as lights all in the room start to flicker crimson in and out. From the generator in the back, a singular beam of rainbow colored light fires from the spire shard in the center and hits him in the forehead.
  1032.  
  1033. He would feel his mind prodded, examined, sorted through and torn. It's only then when the lights on the wall start to turn green and the slotted spikes vanish. It had scanned through and found something. Found something important sitting within Siegfried's memories. Little by little, the walls seem to glow and pulsate with green veins as if they were alive.
  1034.  
  1035. As if they were Oscuri. What is pulled from Siegfried's mind is a tangible and visible collection of -memories.- Of an Oscuri he'd known in his life, of an important emerald-born that meant the world to Siegfried. The memories themselves are taken into that machine and cannibalized. Little by little the gears start to turn, and an image starts to be projected. It was as if a spirit was coming to life.
  1036.  
  1037. .. No.
  1038.  
  1039. The machine itself had -created- a spirit out of the memories Siegfried provided. The generator in the center pulses outwards and the entire group is locked in a moment of pure stasis as the field starts to open up. The machine itself.. Had created an image.
  1040.  
  1041. It had created a -Champion.-
  1042.  
  1043. As a man now begins to rise up from the spirit that the machine had produced, a emerald-painted powerful armor seems to glisten and shine in the room's light. A dark hood and cape are donned from the being itself. Reaching to its back, a massive green scythe made of artificial reika is pulled free and held at length. Pointed at the group.
  1044.  
  1045. The entire group can see his face. A wicked smile, a tormented expression. Green, radiant eyes.. And purple locks of hair. Green, marvelous wings explode from his back as a shrill, familiar laughter fills the room from the created Champion.
  1046. [02:24] Siegfried says, "..."
  1047. [02:29] He had been ready for a thousand possible outcomes. To be rent asunder. To lose the usage of his hand. Pain unending. Some primordial, ancient evil, unleashed upon him, forced to utilize all of his might to topple a foe by the skin of his teeth with all of his allies. What he had not been expecting, after hours upon hours of struggle, wading through this twisted labyrinth of pain and regret, was to come face to face with someone who he'd long thought he'd never see again.
  1048.  
  1049. "...Godfrey."
  1050.  
  1051. Siegfried's heart skips a beat as he breathes out a name that would be familiar to all here but Tobias, looking upon the champion that would be, presumably, their final obstacle.
  1052.  
  1053. "I'm..."
  1054.  
  1055. Before him, no steel is bared. All resolution resets to zero. The facts are there, in his head. This can't be real, they said. A falsification. A spirit. A replica. Any number of much more logical, real explanations came up, to justify how he felt.
  1056.  
  1057. But none of them changed how he felt.
  1058.  
  1059. Like he was offering his life, he swayed on his feet, and looked to the ground.
  1060.  
  1061. Oh, he was so very, very tired...
  1062.  
  1063. Oh how he felt so very old.
  1064. (Siegfried)
  1065. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1066.  
  1067. [02:30] {NARRATION} [Is anyone else RPing?]
  1068. [02:35] Spectral Azraelite says, "You're.. Sorry? Sad? You're lost? Don't give me that, Siegfried."
  1069. [02:36] The man looked vaguely familiar, but not enough for Tobias to seem surprised. They hadn't even interacted. Perhaps if the circumstances had been different, they could have met and become friends. But, that loss and heartache were the essence of this specter. It was only when Siegfried spoke his name that he realized who it was.
  1070.  
  1071. And, he saw his master give up in that moment. Not even drawing his sword, just standing there. Swaying on his feet and looking to the ground. Was he offering his life to this image from the past? Tobias quickly floated over, close to Siegfried. He was radiating with warmth, and the cosmic magic he gave off was inspiring.
  1072.  
  1073. Was it enough to snap him out of this? No, probably not. But maybe, his words and actions would do the trick. "Siegfried, you need to move and fight if you want to live! That man has the eyes of a killer!" he exclaimed. But, Tobias had already resolved himself.
  1074.  
  1075. He floated in front of Siegfried, protecting his master with his body. Just as he had done before.
  1076. (Tobias Ulrich)
  1077. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1078.  
  1079. [02:38] " That can't be Godfrey. Only in likeness. "
  1080.  
  1081. Adonis states the obvious, more so for himself than anyone else.
  1082.  
  1083. The Godfrey he knew and remembered wouldn't have want to be resurrected through an Azraelite shrine... would he? Or perhaps in following the path of the Fallen, such things would be an honor. But this was just hard to see.
  1084.  
  1085. Pulling in a deep breath, he fights back the waves of emotions and frowns.
  1086.  
  1087. " It's good to see you, but we came here for a reason. For a purpose. One we cannot turn back on now. And... sorry. For not stopping Fera back then. We should have known she was an evil bitch. " He glances over Nym and huffs.
  1088.  
  1089. "You're not gonna' make us fight you, are ya'? I don't know if Siegfried's heart can take it. "
  1090. (Adonis Lelhua)
  1091. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1092.  
  1093. [02:38] Not focusing too much on what was happening, the pain in his back made it hard. Struggling along, losing blood. The grip on Skadi's Genesis was loosening... How far could he go?
  1094.  
  1095. But he tightens it finally, bringing it up to rest on his shoulder. This whole damned trip was a waste of time, and at this point... Was it even worth allowing for Siegfried to take that shard?
  1096.  
  1097. Oddly enough, he may have not helped if Siegfried told him in the first place. But now, he felt like it might be wise to just let it flow. If Cara was revived, she would have gotten more chances than anyone he's known. But what if she actually improved? It was... Worth a try.
  1098.  
  1099. ''Fuck it...''
  1100.  
  1101. Slits move up towards the spirit, now looking over what seemed to be Godfrey. At first, Adrian seems a little surprised. But a few moments after, he shakes his head.
  1102.  
  1103. ''I am not sure if this is real, but if we have to cut down his spirit too... Just to get you this stupid shard, then you best prepare yourself, Siegfried. You are healthier than anyone here, so you best be ready to use that health to its full extent.''
  1104.  
  1105. The temperature drops once more, as he aims the axe towards the spirit. Did they even have to fight it? It was hard to tell, but Adrian was even feeling a little confused due to the number of injuries he's taken.
  1106. (Adrian Rowan)
  1107. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1108.  
  1109. [02:38] Nym exclaims, "GET THE LAST TWO AND THE BIG ONE!"
  1110. [02:38] Nym wipes her forehead. "Whew. Nice one, Adrian."
  1111. (Nym)
  1112. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1113.  
  1114. [02:38] Adrian Rowan asks, "What?"
  1115. [02:39] Siegfried says, "..."
  1116. [02:44] {NARRATION} "Likeness, a mirror, a spirit - Does any of that fucking matter?" The scythe moves between his hands as if it weren't him controlling it - And the wings of reika start to blacken. They start to corrupt and shift as they're swallowed with immense, nauseating amounts of Occult force. ".. I don't get a choice in this matter. And neither do any of you."
  1117.  
  1118. The scythe sharpens itself with seven different levels of dark force before it's brought upwards and held on his shoulder. The Eyes of a Killer? Absolutely. When Tobias stares back at Godfrey, he sees that which could be seen in the iris of someone like Sors Ultovex. Someone lost, shattered, broken and cruel.
  1119.  
  1120. This was someone could slaughter a swath of people who meant everything to him and wake up the next morning without a single nightmare. The Spectral Azraelite's left hand is brought up to point at Tobias and Siegfried alike as one detail is changed about him.
  1121.  
  1122. This image of the Azraelite had a skeletal left hand - Which is remarkable only in the fact that the sounds of bones snapping and cracking in the air can immediately be heard. It's then when an oppressive amount of chaotic, arcane force is slammed right down on the two of them immediately beginning their battle. Tornadoes begin to form all around the spirit as they turned black.
  1123.  
  1124. Sharpened and radiated power.
  1125.  
  1126. "You want to sit there and go motionless, Siegfried? Fine. I'll send you to Avalon myself. But if the lot of you want to grow a FUCKING SPINE - THEN YOU'LL HIT ME HARDER THAN YOU'VE HIT ANYTHING ELSE!!"
  1127.  
  1128. It's then when the temple started to shake once more, and the Spectral Azraelite flew forward with his scythe in hand - Directed right for Adrian's jugular.
  1129.  
  1130. "DON'T DISAPPOINT ME WHILE YOU STILL HAVE LIVES LEFT TO LIVE!!!"
  1131. [02:47] Adrian Rowan whispers something.
  1132. [02:47] Adrian Rowan whispers something.
  1133. [02:48] Spectral Azraelite whispers something.
  1134. [02:52] "Gahk-..!!" he sputtered out as arcane magic pushed down on him. The floating Tobias found it exceedingly difficult to keep himself off of the ground. He grinded his teeth, strain becoming evident on his features. "What is this.. pressure?" he asked, having never been hit with such an oppressive wave of chaos magic.
  1135.  
  1136. In the darkness, he saw a light. Omega beckoned, and his heart answered. A flare of cosmic magic extended throughout his wings in a wave, giving him enough power to overcome being flattened. His fingers tightened around his staff, keeping it within his grasp. He needed to hold onto it if he wanted to honor the specter's request.
  1137.  
  1138. He looked into that man's eyes, and he saw a cold blooded killer. He didn't have the history that the others did with Godfrey. All he saw was a threat to the lives of him and his friends. Someone who wouldn't think twice about senselessly murdering all of them. And, Tobias? He was someone who didn't think twice about defending their lives.
  1139.  
  1140. "Be careful what you ask for!" he shouted back, preparing for the impending battle.
  1141. (Tobias Ulrich)
  1142. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1143.  
  1144. [03:07] A hand reaches up from behind Tobias.
  1145.  
  1146. It clasps itself on the boy's shoulder. If he turns to look at Siegfried, he would notice that the white-haired swordsman's long, tassled mane is shadowing his eyes, and covering his face, hiding the twisted web of emotions he feels from view. Slowly, his muddied boots tap alongst the tile of a room that, like the rest of this place, never moved forward.
  1147.  
  1148. In so very many ways, this place was the worst of him.
  1149.  
  1150. ___
  1151.  
  1152. Calael holds up a book on Azraelism that he actually had tucked under his arm. "I'm brushing up on the subject. I'll let you know when I'm ready for our debate, hm?"
  1153. (Calael E. Kang)
  1154. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1155.  
  1156. Godfrey Vishkar exclaims, "Better study all you can!"
  1157. Percival Kang asks, "What debate?"
  1158. Godfrey Vishkar asks, "What chapter of Azrael's life are you on, Mister Calael?"
  1159. Godfrey Vishkar says, "Oh- A long time ago, I told Mister Calael we should have a debate on Azraelism since- It's my whole faith."
  1160. Calael E. Kang says, "I'm going through the tales of his fall first."
  1161.  
  1162. ___
  1163.  
  1164. That part that clung so closely to the past that even now, it was his greatest reservoir of strength, and yet his most crippling weakness. A man who hung on so tightly to what had been that, even now, he could hardly appreciate what he had left. A student who'd give his life for his teacher. A brother who, time and again, even amongst their many feuds, fights alongside him. Two kids, never farther than a stone's throw away in his heart, there whenever he needed them, doing their own thing...
  1165.  
  1166. Like a war veteran, launched into the fray countless times, each time he heard the sound of a slinging spell, felt the breeze of singing steel, he associated it all with a thousand memories, come and gone. A boundless fount of raw emotion.
  1167.  
  1168. ___
  1169.  
  1170. Aurora did have her mother's temper.
  1171.  
  1172. She just hasn't learned the importance of forgiveness just yet. The green wings that lift the boy skywards are met with a disgusted stare, and even as Godfrey rises up further into the skies, Aurora refuses to let him out of her vision. "It seems like you've forgotten your place. You are a pet. You are here so others can show you as trophy of some sort, an Oscuri who had been made right... Changed, even."
  1173.  
  1174. She shakes her head, allowing him to get his own anger out of his system. His wings continue to flap, and then, stardust begins to collect around the demi-angel.
  1175.  
  1176. "But no one has ever bothered to teach you how to sit down, huh? No one bothered to tell you when not to bark?"
  1177.  
  1178. He was willing not to attack her.
  1179.  
  1180. But this was a fight for her all the same. Whether if he wanted to keep the excuse of not being the first to use force mattered little to Aurora- as she was never one to shy away from using her own magic, "If Ethan won't do it, then I will. You will fall, and when you're on the ground... You will apologize."
  1181.  
  1182. The sword from before is conjured, brought to her grasp once more. This time, it doesn't fade away-- instead, it's launched at Godfrey.
  1183. (Aurora Elisheva)
  1184.  
  1185. ___
  1186.  
  1187. His legs are moving on their own. Adrian's words, Tobias's, Nym's, Godfrey's, Adonis's. They all blend together into white noise. The closest, most apt description for what he actually heard...was the sound you heard when raising up from being underwater. That was how it felt, too. The exhausted final steps in the sprint to the finish line.
  1188.  
  1189. That point at 3 AM when the party was over and you kind of wanted to go home, but you stayed just a little while longer. That feeling at the gym where you know you have to pump out just one more rep.
  1190.  
  1191. Moving from where he'd been, behind all of them, to in front of them all.
  1192.  
  1193. ___
  1194.  
  1195. I am an Oscuri, and I was made to kill and bring us one step closer to Azrael's great dream. Death to All. It's time that I stop pretending to be someone I'm not.
  1196.  
  1197. It's time.. That I apologize for being so weak, and dumb, and foolish. Levengard is made of liars and fools who cascade across the country to fight the evils not realizing the greatest evil was inside of them all along.
  1198.  
  1199. I am no liar. I am Godfrey Vishkar. And I am not Levengard's pet.
  1200.  
  1201. ___
  1202.  
  1203. Face-to-face with that which still haunted his nightmares, one who'd brought him so much joy in life, and over whom, he held a lifetime of regret. But none of that is evident in Siegfried's face, right now, as he steps up to Godfrey Vishkar for what would be the final time in this life, as the spectral projection, the lingering remnant, the falsified memory, the hallucination, as whatever this is threw the gauntlet down at a beaten, miserable man.
  1204.  
  1205. This is what it feels like to be Siegfried in this moment, instead:
  1206.  
  1207. Your mana circuitry feels like it's on fire. Overly aggravated muscles that burn, sluggish to the touch, refusing to obey. You feel the weight of all your follies, and then you let it go. Looking into the eyes of the first brother you'd ever known, you let it go. The sword you carry feels too heavy, but you just let it all go, as Taiga Rowan had said it best, all those years ago, when he'd cleaved Freya Vishkar apart - better to sort it out after the fact.
  1208.  
  1209. But Siegfried is not his father. He was not simultaneously blessed and cursed by Cain. He cannot draw from a reservoir of fuck kill. There is no monster to turn into. He does not lust for blood. He is just a man with a sword.
  1210.  
  1211. And that man, with that sword, who has risen it in the face of injustice countless times, raises that steel against the splitting image of someone he'd loved.
  1212.  
  1213. Wreathed in azure mana drawn from the depths of his defiant spirit, fists well up from his soul to batter away his demons.
  1214.  
  1215. Tears trail down his eyes, but from how he moves, you'd never know it.
  1216.  
  1217. ---
  1218.  
  1219. I'll see you on the other side, someday soon.
  1220.  
  1221. But someday isn't yet.
  1222.  
  1223. Not today.
  1224.  
  1225. (Siegfried)
  1226. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1227.  
  1228. [03:09] {NARRATION} [Okay. Siegfried. Do you want to 1v1? Or would you like a party fight?]
  1229. [03:11] {NARRATION} /vit
  1230. [03:15] {NARRATION} Little by little, the generator starts to whirl and hum. All of its force is being donated to the spirit like a chain. Like a battery.
  1231.  
  1232. The spirit flickers and grins wildly.
  1233. [03:15] His heart beats like a wardrum. Bloodied, but not beaten.
  1234.  
  1235. He keeps on going.
  1236. (Siegfried)
  1237. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1238.  
  1239. [03:19] {NARRATION} The machine continues to flicker and whirl, the entire temple is shaking. Cracks appear in the floor, the scythe wielded by the champion starts to grow.
  1240.  
  1241. But the faintness only grows. Power is sapping, fleeting quickly. The green glint of the warrior's eyes is friendly and malicious at the same time.
  1242. [03:25]
  1243. {LOAD GAME}
  1244.  
  1245. [03:26] Adonis Lelhua whispers something.
  1246. [03:37] {NARRATION} Roll a D6. Now.
  1247. [03:39] {NARRATION} A Whole Lot of KOs:
  1248. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  1249. Adonis: One -10 Vit Perm
  1250. Siegfried: One -10 Vit Perm
  1251. Nym: One 4 Day Temp
  1252. Tobias: One 12 Day Temp
  1253. Adrian: One 12 Day Temp
  1254. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  1255. Injuries may be taken for one another at your discretion.
  1256. Without further ado, please RP your victory.
  1257. [03:41] {NARRATION} Nym. /vit.
  1258. [03:42] {NARRATION} Nym lives.
  1259. [03:42] {NARRATION} Adrian. /vit.
  1260. [03:42] {NARRATION} Adrian lives.
  1261. [03:44] {NARRATION} Tobias. /vit.
  1262. [03:44] {NARRATION} Tobias lives.
  1263. [03:46] ** Escaping Light [DM] has inflicted an injury upon Siegfried. ("Reika Toxicity", "Burning inside of Siegfried's veins is a trace amount of faint, lost reika from a spectral champion from the past. Almost like spire radiation, the reika that now sits in his mana circuits will constantly make many of his spells and use of magic fizzle and completely without effect. It's like there's two sources of power within him - Only one is his mana, and the other is an unusable reminder of something from his past.", "Permanent", "Severity: MODERATE (-20 Vit)") **
  1264. [03:47] {NARRATION} Injuries have been handed out. RP your victory!!
  1265. [03:48] {Item} Picked up a bag of 4000 dropped by Escaping Light [DM].
  1266. [03:48] {Item} Picked up a bag of 4000 dropped by Escaping Light [DM].
  1267. [03:48] {Item} Picked up a bag of 4000 dropped by Escaping Light [DM].
  1268. [03:54] "Wait that's--" Nym was shocked. Of course this had happened like a few minutes ago, before she had been assaulted and beaten by occultic winds and telekinetic forces she couldn't even see, much less react too. Still, she was in shock to see her old friend, the Oscuri who had been so untimely taken from this life.
  1269.  
  1270. Nym was growing agitated by this temporal slipping, and as such, despite what might have otherwise been a touching reunion or a groundbreaking moment for closure, the Nagual was only irritated more. She knew it was a trick. She knew it wasn't really Godfrey. And so for one final time, despite her broken body and her lost mind, Nym called upon Anhur's gift and aimed to interrupt Godfrey and Siegfried's conversation.
  1271.  
  1272. Fortunately for the two involved, that conversation had ended by the time Nym had both engaged in the fight, gotten her face cut open, and was soundly beaten. She was lying in her own blood now, too trapped in the past to properly react to anything or make heads or tails of the situation. Nym let them fight, considering she might very well die, and just trusted that Siegfried would do as he said he would and get them home safely,
  1273.  
  1274. with a spire shard in hand.
  1275. (Nym)
  1276. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1277.  
  1278. [03:58] A specter, a mere shadow of someone. In fact, it wasn't even Godfrey's own spirit that was fighting them. It was Siegfried's memory of him, given form. Yet, it fought with ferocity and killing intent. One wrong move could mean certain death, and there were a few times where he had genuinely felt like he was on the border between life and death.
  1279.  
  1280. How could such strong hatred exist within someone? Tobias had never experienced such a potent rage from anyone he had ever encountered. It was terrifying, but it also inspired him to keep fighting. Even though his consciousness faded in and out and his body screamed in pain, he still got back up each time.
  1281.  
  1282. His star beckoned for him to push himself up off of the ground and defend his friends, even if it would have been more beneficial for him to just stay down. This was his purpose. Tobias wasn't even connected with any of this. Not with Godfrey, and most certainly not with Clara. So, what gives?
  1283.  
  1284. It was a hero's duty to meddle where they didn't belong, wasn't it? He was repeatedly cut down, prompting him to get back up every time. It wasn't even him that dealt the decisive blow. He had only helped in any way he could, healing his allies and spewing fire onto the opposition. By the time that the decisive blow came?
  1285.  
  1286. Tobias was unconscious on the ground, slowly awakening. It was probably around his third time being knocked out in this fight alone. His vision blurred around him, not quite aware of anything that was going on. And, there was a pulsating and throbbing pain that was spreading throughout his bloodstream.
  1287.  
  1288. He reached up to his neck. The veins underneath were glowing with an ominous purple. From how much abuse he had taken from the dark arts, it had cursed him. The young man let out a pained groan, not quite fully conscious yet. They won! Maybe? His entire world was pain right now.
  1289. (Tobias Ulrich)
  1290. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1291.  
  1292. [04:02] It was annoying how mighty the spirit had become.
  1293.  
  1294. At the end of their dangerous journey, Godfrey had shown that even in death, one could reach their goals with the backing of the right belief system. And Azrael seemed to be one of the most rewarding to his subjects.
  1295.  
  1296. Just as he had against the golem, Adonis conjures forth hard green light and creates the six magical circles with them, locking each in an solidifying them with supporting glyphs to calculate the distance and mana needed to reach point x rather than to go from a to b.
  1297.  
  1298. It was an odd thing to practice and carry out in the heat of battle, but he had no other choice but to. Every wasted movement was a potentially lethal blow from the purple haired youth and every moment wasted was one that would bring him closer to an early end.
  1299.  
  1300. He was beyond enraged at the events that had occurred - from Adrian being severely injured to Tobias and Siegfried also taking blow after blow. But nothing caused him more anguish that Nym's current ailment.
  1301.  
  1302. He snaps.
  1303.  
  1304. Somewhere along the line, Adonis stops holding back as if they were fighting an old friend and starts throwing his absolute all into it, more than willing to use all of his remaining energy to put an end to the fight at hand. Cosmic and energy mana meet wind and the occult, and this dance goes on until the other side is no longer able to stand.
  1305.  
  1306. " I hate this. Even in death, you're too strong for me to contend with using just beauty alone. But you taught me something back then - the same lesson that Ahmir and Sors had taught me before. " As Siegfried gives his parting words, Adonis opens a medium sized portal encased in green light and dives through it.
  1307.  
  1308. Timing was everything. Precision was key.
  1309.  
  1310. Rather than arriving infront or behind the warrior, Adonis appears above him, portal encasing his frame in hardlight as descends down upon the weakened spirit. " Passion is nothing unless you have the might to back it up. And right now, I'm using my might to send you back for an eternal slumber! " One final portal opens up wide, projecting the void that they had seen on their way to the golem's lair.
  1311.  
  1312. That endless nothing that was everything and infinite at the same time. It opens up with a flash of light, and Adonis aims to end the encounter by slamming it downwards to engulf and swallow Godfrey's image.
  1313.  
  1314. " Thanks for a wonderful time, Vish. Now rest. "
  1315. [last part taking place after Siegfried/Adrian's rps]
  1316. (Adonis Lelhua)
  1317. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1318.  
  1319. [04:06] He was on his last legs... Maybe being the sturdiest here, was a bad thing? To last longer in combat, to take much more punishment. But his body could only take so much, causing him to wobble back.
  1320.  
  1321. Wind erupts out around his arm, crushing the bones and tearing into flesh. It's enough to make him drop his axe, groaning out in pain with grit teeth. Blood dripping down his whole body, causing the ground beneath his feet.
  1322.  
  1323. But... Falling would only mean death, closing his eyes at this point would be leaving everything behind. Everyone... Brynhild, Folke... Caira, Cordelia. Calael... Lea. That gay power couple he has in his house quite often lately, but they would be missed too.
  1324.  
  1325. ''I've had enough of this shit.''
  1326.  
  1327. With his broken arm flopping down at his side, he uses his weaker hand to pick up his axe. Ice begins to form, the blue tint turning into a deep red. The blood froze over the ground, raising up as spikes that glitter around him like a blizzard.
  1328.  
  1329. The axe is aimed towards the spirit... The illusion. Whatever this thing was. ''Sometimes, people need to learn to stay gone. And as much as I wanted to push you to be good, Godfrey... It's too late. This is the portion of Azrael, I am going to get rid of.''
  1330.  
  1331. The chaos, the murder, the sacrifices. All of that was going to be destroyed so that they could focus on a noble goal... Focus on those white-wings... Focus on life, not death.
  1332.  
  1333. ''Skewer!''
  1334.  
  1335. Anger fuels his ice, causing the entire area around him to flare up. Those bloody icicles explode forth, tearing through its body and causing it to most likely be destroyed. Alongside his 'allies' magic, they would finally have beaten the horrific wind Elementalist Oscuri.
  1336.  
  1337. ''Fuck...''
  1338.  
  1339. He stumbles back for a moment, bringing his axe down to the ground. Crouching low, he uses Skadi's Genesis to keep him on his feet. ''This is nothing...'' He spits blood on the ground, coughing. ''Fuck.'' And he rises again, breathing heavily in his beaten state.
  1340. (Adrian Rowan)
  1341. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1342.  
  1343. [04:15] It's funny how this thing goes.
  1344.  
  1345. The same old song and dance and clash of might and magic, a timeless dance that'd be repeated until the day he died, due to the road he'd chosen when he was a boy. To fight the odds, no matter what it meant. To go to any ends for others...
  1346.  
  1347. To risk his life for a necromancer that the whole world had told him to just let go.
  1348.  
  1349. In the end, the phantom of what'd been Godfrey Vishkar is defeated.
  1350.  
  1351. ---
  1352.  
  1353. This isn't goodbye, brother.
  1354.  
  1355. It's until we meet again.
  1356.  
  1357. ---
  1358.  
  1359. Clenched in his fist is a promise, of all that he could not let go. A glimmering, glowing miracle, that pulsed, ebbed, and flowed with the power to rewrite the tapestry of fate. Green reika coarsed through his veins, and his soul's own vibrant blue contrasts with it. That reika does not empower him. He is not an Oscuri. He is unable to do with it the things that an Oscuri does.
  1360.  
  1361. Instead, this is his curse. The price for his ignorance, for his stubbornness, and for his bullheadedness. For there always came a price. The scarred, weary, limping twenty-six-year-old knew that all too well. Nothing about him worked right, at this point. Not his limbs. Not his hip. And now, not even his mana circuits.
  1362.  
  1363. But even now, he does not look defeated. Never defeated. In perilous combat with all that he has hoped to overcome, in the bliss, the agony, the hate, the love, his experiences encompass him, an ethereal mantle with which he could arm himsef, and know no defeat.
  1364.  
  1365. The Spire Shard in his hand is proof of what they had done, against all odds. Regardless of the cost. And Siegfried, standing there, cloak in tatters, body exposed to the elements, adrenaline the only thing sustaining his movements, turns his back as Adonis obliterates the specter.
  1366.  
  1367. The entire room becomes gold.
  1368.  
  1369. The jacket that Siegfried dons flutters in a wind that still billows after there is no trace of the battle here. That which had sustained this temple clutched in hand, and all of its guardians conquered by the adventurers who'd pillaged it's secrets, it was sure to collapse next.
  1370.  
  1371. Tied to Taiga's pendant, kept on the same string, he places the Spire Shard they'd acquired, and then he bends down, picking up Tobias and throwing the lad over his shoulder. And then, if he were allowed, with his other arm, he helps support Adrian's weight. Adonis could carry Nym.
  1372.  
  1373. And then, wordlessly, Siegfried leads them out.
  1374.  
  1375. It was time to go back home.
  1376.  
  1377. ---
  1378.  
  1379. Taiga. Godfrey. Niklaus. I've come no closer to making you proud of me. It's been twenty-six years here in Agartha. Twenty-six hard, long years.
  1380.  
  1381. But even if it takes twenty-six more, I won't stop until I can tell you I did everything that I set out to do, and in that, I am complete.
  1382.  
  1383. I still cannot do this. I am not your prodigy. I am not cut out for this. Someone like me doesn't win against all odds. Doesn't get the girl. Doesn't save the day.
  1384.  
  1385. But I've always been too much of a Fool to accept my place.
  1386.  
  1387. Walk with me. Give me strength. Guide me. I cannot do this without you. If nothing else, wish me luck.
  1388.  
  1389. I'm gonna need it.
  1390. (Siegfried)
  1391. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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