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Grey Ventures

Postby AdamZero » September 3rd, 2009, 10:44 pm

(ooc: This thread is for all of Marcus's 'Battles'/'Cleansings'/etc on the intangible planes. I'll link each post where I enter from, and edit each post I exit into)

From Rinkale

The stairs were far longer between the planes then in reality, dark swaths of decay flanked me along the walls, moving and exposing faces, but without features, some writing under the echo of material reality. They were the foundation of the house. The broken earth and the lain stones all that held up the building above. Children of the home's raisers had been slain here. Their blood had set the home into despair. The lingering souls kept the wounds from healing.

They were in battle when I reached the level floor. It wasn't dirt met my boot falls, and it wasn't mud that sucked them down a solid inch. Blood. It was blood. Ectoplasmic blood; wounds of emotion and suffering manifested. Not a pleasant feeling.

She was beautiful, even wounded, translucent, her skeletal core apparent through a thinning silver shell of her living self. Silver hair flowing behind her, parting at her back and splitting into winglike forms. Her voice was of a shield-maiden, declaring her hatred, her wrath, her pure motive and devotion. Her blade was no less dull. Her strikes were dealing no less damage. But she was tiring. Her son was alive but aging, and nearing his own death. Her oath was losing strength. She was a specter, and the wounds of her death were still clear on her body.

He was hideous, rotting and viscous, less human than the most feral of beasts. To call it a him was only a mild gesture of professionalism on my part. His sou had rotted and engorged long before his life ended; the passing from life into death only made things worse. His skull elongated and grew flat ridges horizontally outward. He moved on all fours and black blood flowed out of his core forming his limbs and tail fire burned inside him and souls screamed from his wounds. Every strike from the pure blue being freed the essence of another victim, helped ease the pain of another lost soul. He was a mordicant, by one name. A being who in life claimed lives in an almost ritualistic fashion. Their souls were not full bound to him, but they could not full pass until his soul was defeated.

I had my work cut out for me.
"Now he's gone too far. NOONE ATTACKS AMERICA'S FOOD COURTS!" -Deadpool.
"Don't be so naive. I've got ulterior motives. MANY. Two, maybe three. Probably Four. I am one BIG ulterior motive." The Great Teacher, Onizuka Eikichi.
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Re: Grey Ventures

Postby AdamZero » September 4th, 2009, 9:19 am

(had a dream Patrick Stewart was gathering ghost hunters in a chinatown somewhere, so I'm inspired for awesome here)

Magick is easier here, where your body isn't slowing down your will, not entirely, and surrounded by a malleable substance that heeds the stronger wills. Fire built up in my hands and flew like serpents into the Mordicant's face. It hardly did damage to him, but the heat and the pressure and the calm of my energy smack across his skull like a heavy whip. The spectre didn't look at me or hesitate; instead she drove her blade into the creature's shoulder.

It howled, loud enough for me to be forced back onto the first step of the stair. I forced myself back into the mire of shadow blood. The scream of the spectre sang like bell against the crackling roar of the mordicant. I reached out and felt the Grey that made of the two beings; the spectre's smooth but consistent force, and the turbulent patchwork of the Mordicant. I felt at the Grey, flashes of memory striking me with each mental 'graze'

==
"-h so sweet." A man's voice hissed from between my ears. A woman was nailed to a rock wall, water dripping stalactites and light from metal lanterns focused on the woman. Tears streamed down her still-warm cheeks as her life blood dripped out of in wounds all over her form.
===

I nearly wretched but continued, gripping the weak link in the grey near the potent memory and rending it outward, spilling the essence of more victims out into freedom. The Mordicant howled, but was cut off with another slash from the spectre, emboldened by a few of the phantoms who turned from passing to join her spirit. I stepped closer, reaching out again into the Mordicant's grey for another weak link.

===
"fficer, I don't know what your TALKING about!" The man's voice from before was a plea of lost man. "I've haven't been to Lucian point in YEARS! My SISTER fell to her death there, OKAY?! Is that what you wanted to here? I don't ever want to go there again!" The view turned a pair of hands covering his gaze, sobbing tears falling down his face. Muffled words from the officer, unremembered, triggered a subtle change. I could feel the man's face twitch, slightly, as if he formed a smile.

====
I shouted out in tandem with the spectre, DarkGrey shadowflesh spilled onto the blood matter ground, and more phantoms fled from the beast, and more of them joined the spectre than the last great gout. The creature was diminishing, and for the first time it looked at me. I felt a boiling cold strike at my stomach, but pushed it outward. I struck into the Mordicant's mind, searching for the weakest link.

==
"-me on, Maria..." A man's voice came from below my perspective, a woman was standing in a basement like this one. She was wounded, and bleeding fatally, yet her eyes were shining with fury and purpose. She held a wicked knife dripping with her blood and her son's. "You... You can't do this? I'm like your big brother, remember?" He laughed. "Same as you're like my little sister." He was shuffling back, toward where he knew a longer knife rested. He twitched his head to affirm this, and shifted to snatch it up.

He never got there. Metal sank into his side and with a heavy pull, the woman wrenched the blade out from his body, along with most of the man's organs. He fell to the ground howling in pain, and his gaze fell on something partially covered by a heavy tarp. It was a large silvered mirror, resting on it's side. But what I saw wasn't the man's face howling in pain from his death wound. I saw the mordicant's skull, screeching in again from it's dread blow.

====

The spectre had struck while I was in the Moridcant's memory, and as I dragged the heavy link apart, the whole of the mordicant's captured spirits spilled out into the free grey. The creature was dead and gone, only the distorted skull remained. The blade of the spectre faded and she swooned. She didn't fall so much as float, and I moved to send her on her way, my lips speaking a universal prayer for passing.

No real words, sounds from the heart that invoked the feelings of passing, peace, and family. She smiled at me and was gone, the Phantoms followed with her, so their souls could finally find their peace.

I held up my hands, gathering the wicked and rightous grey into me. A battleground of spirits was almost always in balance, but the conflict was misplaced chaos, and would cause damage to those around it.

My hands were closed when I opened my eyes and the would shifted back into the material realm. Boris coughed politely and I turned to see the skull, in the material realm. This didn't bode well.

(exit to here)
"Now he's gone too far. NOONE ATTACKS AMERICA'S FOOD COURTS!" -Deadpool.
"Don't be so naive. I've got ulterior motives. MANY. Two, maybe three. Probably Four. I am one BIG ulterior motive." The Great Teacher, Onizuka Eikichi.
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Background noise

Postby Graybeard » May 10th, 2010, 10:25 pm

OOC: OK, here's a bit of an experiment.

The purpose of this topic is to allow players to write some solo stuff that's purely connected with their own characters, and not with the general adventure that all the players are on. The goal is to develop backstory, action behind the scenes, and so on, in ways that don't tip the whole thing off to the main game threads unless people specifically want it to. It could even have an element of fanfiction in it, if people like that kind of thing ... Anyway, it's for monologues, or dialogues with NPCs who aren't interacting with the main party. I'll write the first entry shortly, pertaining to what happens to Sister Rose when she goes to the Orthodox temple in Gervasiel -- an experience that Argus, Lillith, Drusia, etc., don't accompany her on, and therefore would only learn about to the extent that Rose eventually clues them in.

Opinions on this approach to streamlining the actual game threads would be much appreciated, as would be suggestions on how to organize the information that gets posted here. If it doesn't seem to be working, or valuable, it can be quietly deep-sixed and my feelings will definitely not be hurt. If it does, well then ...
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Re: Background noise

Postby Graybeard » May 10th, 2010, 11:33 pm

[OOC: OK, so here's the first test of this idea. It lines up with this installment of the "Stone Man Pass" thread. /OOC...]

"Good afternoon, Sister Rose of the Reformed Church, who is Major Nuria-Lucas," the hawk-faced man at the Orthodox temple said. "We have been expecting you." His posture and tone of voice were both as military as they could be. "Please call me Father Amalric." Two novices of similarly military bearing fell in beside him.

Rose had been out of the Orthodox denomination for a long time, but she remembered enough of its rules and rituals to respond appropriately as she was escorted into the inner sanctum. Looks like my guess was right, she thought. This whole place has a military-outpost feel to it ... and thank Luminosita that it isn't Millenarian. The formalities dealt with, she produced a carefully sanitized description of why her party was in town; the man might be military, but that didn't mean that he and the others had a need to know about all that sensitive "MARIGOLD" stuff. As it turned out, however, she needn't have bothered with the circumlocutions.

"We know all this, and more," Amalric said when Rose was finished. "Patriarch Jeramel himself has taken an interest in your mission. There are things afoot with this Professor Indianel that it is not given to us, or to you, to know. We have been instructed to offer you complete cooperation as you do your duty ... regardless of what manner of apostates you have chosen to travel with."

Rose let the barb glance off her emotional hide; Lillith, Argus, Drusia had all been called worse, and if anyone in the country knew Maduin's origins, he'd have been called worse too. The man might not like dealing with what he judged to be infidels, but he'd clearly do his own duty. One thing puzzled her, though. "Thank you for that assurance," she said, meaning it. "But why us? I can tell from your temple --" she extended a hand to the sanctuary, clearly large enough to service a congregation of several hundred, and with evidence both of many more priests, nuns and novices, and a distinct military bent to them -- "that you're more than equipped to undertake the, I guess I'll say 'courier,' role that we've been assigned. Why aren't you retrieving the -- thing that Professor Indianel has for me yourselves, and carrying it north?"

Something unreadable flickered across the man's face before he answered. "I do not know, Sister. I know only what I have been ordered to know. I would recommend that you adopt a comparably -- limited -- view of your mission, and simply carry out your duty. The less I know of it, the better."

Well, that certainly sets some boundaries. Rose started to agree and excuse herself, but the man wasn't done yet. "There is a thing that you should know, Sister. You are not the only ones in Gervasiel in pursuit of the forbidden artifact that Professor Indianel carries -- excuse me, I should have used a different term for your own party, you aren't pursuing the forbidden, you are merely carrying out your orders. The other men, however, are pursuing things best left in peace. One of them is a Tsuirakuan --" he practically spat the word -- "whose godless lust for knowledge and power poses a threat to us all. But the other is worse."

Now that took Rose by surprise. "Worse? How? We've been warned about a dangerous Tsuirakuan, and I suspect that one of the reasons why our party was sent on this mission is because Dr. Cleiviein, in our party, knows how to deal with him. But what can be worse than--"

The man interrupted. "I do not know, Sister Rose. I know only that I have prayed to Our Lord Luminosita for guidance ... and there are worse things in Gervasiel right now than godless Tsuirakuans. Now go, and may Luminosita's Peace be with you. We will be here if you need us." She was dismissed.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Graybeard » May 16th, 2010, 10:33 am

[OOC: This one follows directly on this moment in the "Stone Man Pass" thread. It is also seriously SPOILERIFIC. Don't read it if you don't want to know (yet) what's happening with that explosion near the Stone Man Inn. Seriously.]

Spoiler: show
Porpington Bree picked his way through the gardens surrounding the Stone Man Inn, heading for a gazebo he'd noticed the previous night, before he'd done his "reading."

Fortunately, the inn was almost empty. The party traveling with the person who interested him had dispersed. The two Tsuirakuans had hied off to the center of town at a gallop (should he have followed them? maybe, but at their pace, it would have been all but impossible), the Veracian nun seemed to be following, the young couple had wandered out into the gardens and then back to the inn (had they been having a tiff? they didn't seem as ... close ... as he expected). Neither the scared-looking blonde girl nor the very tall woman had emerged from the building as far as he could see. There appeared to be no other guests at the inn.

That was good; he absolutely HAD to have privacy for what he was about to do.

When he reached the gazebo, he sank into what looked like a meditative state for a few minutes, but he wasn't meditating, just making sure the coast was clear. As soon as he was satisfied that nobody was watching, he extracted a crystal ball from his traveling kit and took the necessary steps to activate the thing.

"Go," the frightening man at the other end said without preamble.

Bree caused a certain thing to be done; that was his job. Then he thought of something that should be added. "Sir, I've made contact with him again," Bree said. "There's no doubt that he's the man you're looking for. I got a name confirmation and everything. The young Tsuirakuan who's traveling with him came running into the room yelling for 'Dr. Cleiviein!' I was pretty sure who he was even before that, but --"

"Wait a minute," the voice at the other end interrupted. "I thought you said you ran into this party on the road. What's this about the Tsuirakuan running into a room shouting Cleiviein's name?"

"Oh, I saw them again in the inn here in Gervasiel," Bree said, completely oblivious to how much danger he'd just placed himself in. "Pure coincidence, as far as I can tell. They must have come over the mountain and --"

"Bree," the other man interrupted again, "are you unaware of your orders saying that you were to make contact with Cleiviein once and once only? And that to avoid suspicion, you were to avoid a second encounter at all costs? ALL costs?"

Bree didn't like the change in the timbre of the man's voice, but he tried to be reassuring. "Oh, sir, it's all right. I'd got out of my costume and was just checking the place out when they came in. One of them thought they recognized me, but without the poet garb, they couldn't know. I convinced them I was somebody else and they went away. They --"

"SAMOS! THE CODE!" the voice at the other end bellowed.

Porpington Bree's last conscious thought was Code? What code?, just as the ball emitted a curiously musical twitter ... and then, just as another crystal ball had in the ruins of Centoriel, it detonated with the force of a much larger bomb, turning the poet laureate into a spray of flesh, blood and bone fragments.

Silence returned to the gazebo as the tinkle of breaking glass could be heard from the Stone Man Inn. Somewhere inside the building, a woman screamed.


[OOC: And with that, the latest distant glimpse of the BBEG comes to a messy end... Note that there was a very delayed retcon to this.]
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Re: Background noise

Postby Graybeard » June 5th, 2010, 9:28 am

[OOC: Here's the behind-the-scenes moment associated with this tickler. Warning: SPOILERIFIC...]

Spoiler: show
The nondescript little man was preparing to set off with his horse when something caught his attention.

"None of the other Veracians seem to have such difficulty with walking."

Aha. So that means the flamboyantly dressed fellow is not a Veracian, he thought. I suspected as much, from the moment I saw him ... and that confirms it. There is only one place that someone like that might have come from. And I'd better find out why.

He mumbled polite nothings to the girl tending his horse (a barbarian, obviously, but at least a well-mannered one ... and not bad looking, either ... there might be possibilities there later...) and returned to preparing for his excursion, noting as he did so the flies that flitted around this stable, as they would around any other. A nearly instantaneous bit of magic froze one of them on the horse's flank. Another extension of his will, and the fly was now "programmed" to perform certain services for him. As Maduin and Brad headed back toward the inn, the fly followed at a distance. Its vision, of course, was that of a fly, and he couldn't see things through its eyes very well ... but he could hear.

Until the spell wore off, conversations involving Maduin were also going to involve a "fly on the wall," in a sense so literal that Arsoro Kurou had to stifle an amused chortle at the thought.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Graybeard » June 10th, 2010, 12:21 pm

[OOC: Teeing something up for Drannin and Drusia here...]

Arsoro Kurou was a thoughtful, pensive man as he rode out into the hinterlands.

He hadn't really picked much up from the Fly on the Wall before it went out of service. (How had that happened? The spell shouldn't have worn off yet. Eaten by a bird, maybe? If so, that bird was in for a surprise...) [OOC: It would never occur to Kurou that a bunch of barbarians would have defeated his magical ingenuity without using magic themselves. /OOC:] The spell simply had too many limitations. While the fly was on the move, the buzzing of its wings would drown out all but the loudest voices, and apparently, it hadn't been stationary close to the flamboyantly dressed Tsuirakuan enough of the time to eavesdrop. All he could hear, through the fly's "ears," were snippets of conversations...

A woman's voice. "Brad! Have you seen your cousin?..."

The Tsuirakuan's. "You are a hopeless chauvinist. Not that there's ... quite gallant really..."

A different woman. "...The explosion was magical, no doubt..." Well, that was interesting. It sounded like the Tsuirakuan and the women (and apparently another man that he couldn't hear) were as puzzled by the blast as he was. Of course it was magical -- even at the distance of his own inn, he could tell that by the feel -- but who had caused it? Not that group, obviously. But for such a thing to happen out in the barbarians' countryside, at the same time as the Tsuirakuan had rolled into town, and according to his source, the barbarian professor (interesting oxymoron there, he thought) had completed the excavation of the thing he'd come for ... that was one coincidence too many.

I'd better devote some extra effort to concealment and defenses, he thought as he rode toward the ruins of the Lorenzelite castle.

[OOC: And on that note, it's over to you two. Have fun!]
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Re: Background noise

Postby Drusia » June 15th, 2010, 11:38 pm

Reality bends. And we're standing in the middle of the forest, halfway up the hillside.

Eh. Close enough. I put down Harker and start walking. "Stay close until we get there," I advise him. "When I make contact, use the distraction to get inside."

-- Drusia

OOC: Reposting the end of my post in Gervasiel as a lead in to RPing here, to make it easier for Harker (or Kurou) to reply.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Drannin » June 16th, 2010, 11:49 am

Kurou stood upon upon the highest tower in the Lorenzelite castle. Highest surviving tower, at least. Time and age had been most unkind. Still, it sufficed. Besides which, Kurou found that he liked the cool darkness of the castle. It had... ambiance.

With a faint smile, he turned and looked at the device of crystal an obsidian he had set up, long crystalline rods pointing towards the south. The telemetry was coming in perfectly. The rest of the equipment, studded throughout the castle, was functioning perfectly. He could realistically regard this place as his personal fortress. Of course, trips to Gervasiel, though tiresome, were necessary. One had to put on a show for the local barbarians, after all, lest they storm the place, however ineffectually, with torches and pitchforks. Besides, this place didn't exactly have the comforts of home. Well, neither did Gervasiel, but it was marginally more comfortable than an empty castle.

He sent a mental pulse to the omniceiver behind his ear. A magical pulse sent to his eyes allowed him to privately view what his equipment was picking up whenever he wanted. No matter where he was, the security equipment here would alert him of intrusion, implemented countermeasures, and he could even see what the crystal balls were picking up. It was a delightful feeling of being all-knowing, one he found so seductive.

He yawned. Sadly, like many things in this benighted country, it was so boring. With one exception, nothing ever happened on his screens. Honestly, he was surrounded at all times by the ignorant, the superstitious, the stupid... It was enough to drive a man mad. Really, was it too much to ask for one intelligent person to appear, someone he could talk to about anything?

The omniceiver beeped an alarm that only he could hear. Oh. A lone intruder. Excellent! He could use some entertainment! Or possibly some target practice! Smiling and humming a jaunty tune, Arsoro Kurou walked down the stairs to see who was approaching his sanctum.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Drusia » June 16th, 2010, 8:06 pm

Smiling and humming a jaunty tune, Arsoro Kurou walked down the stairs to see who was approaching his sanctum.

I hike up the hill with Harker, doing my best to preserve the dress. I can see the castle ahead - I watch a light move within. "Show time," I murmur to Harker. He moves off - I'll trust him to know when best to make his move. I, meanwhile, concentrate on my motivation.

"Hello?" I call. "Is anyone there?" I move faster towards the castle, as if hopeful, yelping as I snag my dress on some underbrush. "Please, I need help!"

I make my way closer, concentrating on looking frightened but collected. I don't want to overplay this. As I near the castle, I begin to look disappointed. "Um, hello? Does anyone... live... crap." I stare at the rather abandoned looking castle. "I am so screwed," I sigh.

There. I went from desperate and hopeful to disappointed and dejected. Just like someone who might have experienced a non-fatal gate mishap and ended up in the wrong place might react.

So, assuming he doesn't try to kill me for trespassing, I believe the trap is baited. Let's see what bites.

-- Drusia
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