The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:56 pm

Without saying a word, James pointed in the direction of where Jessie slept. Ordinarily, he might feel a little remorse about selling out his employer, but in this case, the situation was a little more complicated. For one thing, James felt that his own life, if he could preserve it, was infinitely more important. If for some reason he had to choose between himself and his not entirely truthful employer, he would sell out Mr. Black in an instant.

The second issue was that he had no intention of actually letting this roughneck do anything, but it was going to require a specific opportunity before he had any options...


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:24 pm

"Good boy. Time to take a little nap."

With that said the knife withdraws and the world turns black as there is a sharp impact at the base of the half-demon's skull.
***************************************************

The party woke to the sound of a man screaming as he litterally flew through the air impacting on a nearby tree with a terrific force. A rather annoyed Jessie stalked out of his tent right behind him. "And tell my sister that she should come and do the job herself!" he said in a venom filled voice.

The man smiled as he coughed blood and held up a card. "Why don't you tell her yourself?"

There is the now familiar rainbow effect as the form of a figure decked out in full armor began to form before the man. "Besides," he continued "you've only managed to destroy my shadow."

With that said the figure of the man melts into an inky blackness.

For his part James wakes just in time to catch the man melt into nothingness.

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:29 pm

James, eyes creaking open from unconsciousness, stared up at the melting figure and placed a hand on the back of his neck. "Ow," he groaned, trying to force his eyes to focus on the situation.

"Will someone please tell me what the hell that was all about? And who the hell are you?"

Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=archmage144>Archmage144</A]&nbsp; Image at: 10/27/05 17:43

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kai » Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:08 pm

When Zea awoke the first thing she saw was a stranger in the camp. Bad sign number one. The second thing she saw was that this person was wearing full armor. Bad sign number two. James, who was supposed to be on watch, was also on the ground at the moment. He probably didn't belong there. Bad sign number three.

Jessie seemed to know what was going on and it probably had to do with several things he hadn't seen fit to tell them. Totally unsurprising bad sign number four.

Zea felt a little less uneasy when James made it obvious he was alive and conscious. Good sign number one.

All in all, the tally didn't look good. She didn't know what the others would choose to do, but for her part she didn't feel like allowing any of them to be easy targets. This meant that she went to stand by James, giving the mystery person an appraising scan.

Someone sure likes to make an entrance. The fact that Black apparently knows them makes me trust them even less. Vague and unhelpful by association I suppose. Though if it turns out we get more information out of this one than our employer, I think I'll have no choice but to be amused.

"You seem like an interesting if somewhat mysterious person. Interesting enough to be used as a test subject if you don't explain what the hell you're doing here."

Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kai@rpgww60462>Kai</A]&nbsp; Image at: 10/27/05 18:09

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:13 pm

According to Zea's mathematical understanding of the situation, this entire scenario rounded out to a lovely "plus three" on the scale of "are we fucked?"

James's scale more or less operated no differently.

He pushed himself to his feet, shaking off the uncomfortable and disorienting feelings accompanying having just been unconscious, and glared at the armored figure. "Jessie? Answers, now. You have five seconds to tell me whether or not this guy needs to die, and if you don't respond, I'm going to assume that the answer is 'yes.'"


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:17 pm

The scream had brought the two phoenixes awake in an instant. Cerene, being rather quicker in her reactions that Keros, brought herself upright quickly, snapping a ball of fire into existence above her hand to shed a bit of light on the scene.

Adrenaline worked wonderfully to clear away the vestiges of sleep. The word 'sister' certainly got her attention. So Jessie had even got his own family to try and kill him. Why was she not surprised?

The fact that he'd waved one of those cards about that Jessie was so fond of suggested that anything their esteemed leader could do on the dimensional front, he could do too. Of course, the fact that he'd even found them in the first place was enough evidence of that.

She wasn't sure she liked Zea's reference to the guy being used as a 'test subject', but she wrote it off as a threat to garner cooperation from him. Besides, after that 'you only killed my shadow' comment (and that sure as hell sounded like something one of the idiots in her uncle Kyle's stories would say), she wasn't sure there was anything left to threaten.

Yet more little bits and pieces of the puzzle to be assembled. Like Zea, Cerene was beginning to think they stood a better chance of getting the full story out of Jessie's enemies than Jessie himself.

Keros was a bit slower to get to his feet. For a moment, it had all seemed like a dream, as if he was looking on the scene through someone else's eyes. Then reality asserted itself, and he shook the sensation off. Two attacks in as many days. Just what had Cerene gotten herself into?

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Keros was aware of a presence gleefully gathering up facts and fitting them together. He always seemed to be at his happiest when doing that, Keros reflected idly.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:58 pm

Bulworth had dreamed of goring red demons. It was a nice dream, vivid... like being there... and once he was done with all of them, he was greeted by a lovely cow... she drew near...

And then she spoke with Jessie's voice.

"Erh?" he said, jerking awake, his hand immediately reaching for his hammer. "What's going on?"

He rose, groggily, his hammer supporting him. "Whuh... what's all the racket about?"

I'd better be able to hurt something after this rude awakening...


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:16 pm

"All things considered James, I do not think that my sister and her husband have anything other than murderous intentions regaurding at least myself. That being said I should note that my being alive is the ticket back to your Gaera, so take that for what you will."

"I do have three sugestions however," Jessie noted as he barely managed to sidestep a lunge from the armored figure's seven and a half foot long sword. "First, watch your back. Second, keep moving. And third, don't attack her directly if you can help it."

(Init Order
1 Cerene
2 That Girl in Armor
3 Jessie
4 Bullworth
5 Keros
6 James
7 Zea
8 Ignazio
9 Baldesar)

- Blackwind.

Edited by: Blackwind Isao at: 11/1/05 19:36

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:46 pm

The unmitigated gall of the man. Certainly that threat had always been in the background, but to come right out and say it? And his sister certainly had the family arrogance if she thought she could take on the six of them and win. Of course, she'd probably just teleport out if the fight looked like it was going against her.

Truth be told, Cerene had a certain amount of arrogance herself. Enough that she pretty well disregarded Jessie's advice and went with a nice, direct blast of fire at the armoured woman. What did he think she was going to do anyway, charge at her waving a sword? Cerene did keep her distance, not wanting to get skewered.

Keros, meanwhile, had taken Jessie's advice a bit more seriously. A little voice in his head told him that anyone going up against six-to-one odds had to have some kind of a plan. Perhaps that other man wasn't actually gone, just cloaked by magic? He resolved to keep on the move as advised, and watch both his and Cerene's backs.

(Fire 2 from Cerene. Oh, the predictability.)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:13 pm

Cerene predictably lets fly with a flamming bolt, which apparently has some sort of effect on the woman. Unfortunately for her however it also draws the woman to do just what she thought she might: charge at her waving her sword. The charge also end predictably with Cerene taking a slash that, in all probability looked as bad as it was. (Cerene takes 52 points of damage.)

Jessie for his part moves in a strangely circular pattern keeping his tent at his back and leaving his sister engaged with Cerene instead of himself. There is, of course, the predictable gesturing and though there is no apparent effect on the woman in armor the elf appears to move much quicker than he did moments before.

(Moving on to Bullworth here.)

- Blackwind.

Edited by: Blackwind Isao at: 11/2/05 0:17

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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:15 am

Upon seeing Cerene's injury, Bulworth leapt to her side, between her and the mad woman's blade.

Remembering what Jessie said about head-on conflict, he simply stood in the way. "Hey! Maybe now you'll want to try and cut me!"

And after that sentence passed his lips, he realized it might not have been the best thing to say...

(Delayed action, till an alternative idea for attack enters Bul's head.)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:46 pm

Cerene's frantic effort to backpedal in the face of the woman's charge had failed miserably. The blow cut a nasty diagonal gash across her chest, and left her crumpled on the ground in a world of pain. She was vaguely aware that this was a bad place to be, but right now she was concentrating on sucking in breath - a mundane activity which had suddenly become rather difficult.

Keros's response was swift and a tad paniced. And, as with any member of his family, paniced responses tended to involve fire. In this case, he sent a blast of flame at the woman who'd just cut down his sister in an effort to distract her from finishing the job. Never mind that Bulworth was already doing that; the more ways her attention was divided the better.

If she came after him, he planned to leg it behind whatever cover was available. In fact, he was already moving for cover before the spell hit.

(Fire 2 from Keros, since he seems to be up.)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:45 pm

As Keros frantically pronounced the words to his spell and started moving for cover he noticed something was wrong. Wasn't this spell supposed to produce a gout of damaging flame? Come to think of it why was he all of a sudden so hot? It took him only one moment longer to put things together and realize that somehow his spell had set him on fire instead of his target. (Keros crit fails on his attack and is on fire.)

(This puts things on James.)

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:03 pm

This is bad news, noted James. Really bad news. So far, he'd seen two spells not work quite as well as he would have expected, and getting close to that sword-wielding crazy was going to be incredibly dangerous. There was always the possibility that he could create some kind of distraction, creating an opening for Bulworth, but somehow James doubted that the minotaur would have understood the words "tactical advantage" if he were smacked across the face with a copy of the great Lanese tactician's manual, Han Shu's "The Magnificence of Combat."

His best options at this point all involved magic, naturally, but he had to be careful. Very careful. So careful, in fact, that he decided that he really didn't want his opponent to know where his next spell was coming from. Instead of looking at the newcomer, James stared directly at Jessie. To an outside observer, James seemed to be expending no effort whatsoever, but internally, he was concentrating harder than usual.

Without so much as a word or a gesture, James gritted his teeth by the slightest amount and released his spell--a supernatural curse that would hopefully affect his opponent's ability to swing a sword accurately.

(Focused Spell, Fumble.)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:18 pm

Through sheer force of will James cast his spell and without even looking at his intended target. For what it was worth anyone who cared to tell that there had actually been a spell cast probably would have to give James a nod for trying. Trying however didn't mean that his spell worked and from what he could see that woman wasn't fumbling anything at the moment.

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kai » Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:26 pm

Well, this sucks.

Zea's summary of the situation needed little qualification, so she moved on.

Magic wasn't proving terribly effective, but unless she wanted to go up and take a swing at the enemy with an axe, Zea was rather limited in her options. It seemed to Zea that, even though saying so directly was a rather rude way to encourage one's allies, Jessie was right. But not only was he their way home, he was also their healer to some extent. Practically-speaking he was more important right now than any of the others.

So. Given that 'directly attacking' could mean anything, Zea decided to let her opponent have some of the control for the moment. If Zea waited until she was distracted by something else, there might be fewer chances of the kind of reprisals Cerene had suffered. It was more important to protect their healer/transportation than it was to deal a quick and easy killing blow. Probably a hell of a lot more practical, too.

Zea began casting a spell, and then held it. She didn't need to throw magic at her opponent immediately, but if the woman attacked Jessie or Zea herself, it might be prudent to ensure that there were reprisals for attacks on either side.

(Greater Insinuation...delayed.)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:53 pm

Noting that Cerene had nearly been cut in half by his damnable sister Jessie decided that now would perhaps be a good time to draw her away from the phoenix. Granted the two of them didn't really get along all that well, but the fact of the matter was that she was someone that he'd rather have alive for at least a bit longer at this stage of the game. The fact that Bulworth had moved to place himself in the way didn't really mean all that much as Jessie didn't really know if he was capable of preventing her from compleating what she had initially started.

This had better work or I'm down one phoenix. He though to himself. With another of those damanble gestures he threw what he thought of as his most powerful attack spell. Much to his surprise it drew a shreek from the woman.

Elsewhere, James hadn't been watching his back nearly as well as he had thought he was. He couldn't have been considering the sharp pain that shot through his left leg as a shuriken buried itself there. He also noted that he felt rather sick after it hit, probably yet another of those bad signs. (James takes 18 points from the throwing star and is poisoned. He'll take another 14 points at the top of the round.)

(This brings us to the top of the round with Cerene.)

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:11 pm

Right now, Cerene had just one thing on her mind - healing up those wounds she'd sustained. Gathering up all her concentration, she sent a wash of healing flame over the wound. Already she could feel her breathing ease somewhat, but she wasn't out of the woods yet.

With the worst of the pain blunted a bit, she could pay some attention to her immediate surroundings. She took a certain satisfaction at the armoured woman's shriek of pain, but she doubted she'd be slowed down much. She needed to come up with something other than her usual direct approach.

There was one trick she had at her disposal that was about as indirect as they came. Unfortunately, it was also a bit risky. It was a measure of how desperate things were looking that she'd already decided to use it.

(Cure 1 on Cerene.)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:41 pm

Seeing her target of the moment engulfed in flames after a near fatal attack led the armored woman to make assumptions that, all things considered, probably saved Cerene's life for the moment. Turning towards her next sorce of aggrivation she promptly rushed Jessie, scoring a nasty looking gash on his left arm as the mage is not quite fast enough to avoid her thrust.

All of this leads Zea to trigger her own spell, which, quite unfortunately fizzles. It does however have some very strange side effects as Zea starts to hear things. Alot of things in fact. Things that sound stragely like the souls of dead people.

For his own part Jessie fakes a move to his right and then dives and rolls behind his sister, putting him rather sqaurely in front of Bulworth and Cerene. Taking the opportunity to cast while her back is turned Jessie makes one his gestures. Unfortunately this apparently has no effect on the woman.

(Brings us back to Bulworth)

- Blackwind.



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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kai » Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:29 pm

Zea's immediate reaction was to completely ineffectually throw her hands up to cover her ears, an instinctive reaction that had no hope of reducing or dispelling the chaos in her mind. She grimaced and tried to ignore it, another futile but instinctive reaction.

Not now!

It had happened before, more often when she was a child, but it hadn't been a problem for so long that Zea had nearly forgotten about it. Not totally, but at the very least she never got lost in the voices of the dead the way she sometimes had when she was younger.

There was just... too much. Too many voices, too much whispering and shouting and whining and cajoling her to do this, do that, kill them, answer this question, tell me what happened, say anything but no matter what Zea told them nothing ever stopped it. No matter how desperately she screamed to them whatever they wanted to hear it was never enough.

Lord Reshtaha, father of death, stop this curse, take it away, take it away take it away take it away take it away...

The words became a mantra in her mind more intended to calm her down and restore some order than to drive away the voices. They usually faded given a bit of time. Whoever it was invading her mind eventually realized there was little she could do for them. Just the same... of all the monstrously inconvenient times!


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:36 am

Bulworth sighed. Jesiah had said direct conflict was a bad idea. But, what else was he good for at the moment? But then, James was sure to say SOMETHING asinine if this didn't work...

But who the hells cared what that fool thought.

He pushed Jessie to the side. "I'm not sure this will work, so if it doesn't, and I'm NOT dead soon, give me more ideas!"

He drew his hammer back, and looked to send the crazy lady flying...

(Lob Strike)


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:00 am

Bulworth drew back his hammer and eyed the woman as he prepared to strike. Something didn't look right to him. Throwing his strike compleately off the Minotaur slid to the side of the woman's stop thrust causing both attacks to miss. What he failed to anticipate was just how quickly the woman would recover from her own miss with a sword that large. Her riposte skewered his shoulder leaving a trail of blood. (The Bull takes 34 points of damage for his efforts.)

(Bringing us to James)

- Blackwind.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:40 am

Keros, in the meantime, was busily engaged in putting out the flames which had engulfed him. Of all the stupid things to have happen. Cerene seemed to be about the only person who'd so much as scratched the woman, and she'd paid for it.

What the hell did that leave them with, if everything they threw at her was turned aside or, worse, turned back on the caster? Not a lot, though Keros was desperately trying to think of something.


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Re: The Valley of Shadows (Closed Second Gen Philsys RP)

Unread postby Archmage144 » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:02 pm

James gritted his teeth. The chips were down, he was bleeding, and he was fairly certain that that shuriken had left something behind a little worse than the nasty cut. From the sweat beginning to form on his brow to the way his pulse was becoming gradually more irregular, he deduced that he had likely been poisoned.

I can't go on like this forever, James thought, despairing just a little for the first time since he'd started this adventure. It was odd how often he was getting his ass handed to him in these fights, at least by his standards. Somehow he'd assumed that he would make a much better mercenary. He had been taught by the best, after all...

He decided that at this point he had no choice but to resort to drastic measures. Bulworth's foolish lunge had hopefully given him an opening, and he quickly considered his options. The more conservative choice would have potentially healed him as well, but Jessie seemed interested in keeping him alive for the time being. Counting on Jessie to heal him if he screwed up was not a pleasant thought, but the optimal course of action in James' mind at this point was a full attack.

Slipping toward the female in armor with a graceful step, James muttered the incantation for a favorite and deadly spell, hoping that he could quickly slay his enemy. As he did so, his blade crackled with a bit of black energy, wreathing one of James' two katar with shadow elemental power. Without further warning, he gracefully leapt into range of his foe, striking twice with his katar using an eloquent pair of blows, hoping to discharge the shadow energy into the obnoxious woman that had dared to attempt to kill them all.

(Precise Strike, Eloquent Strike, Daggerspell Channeling - Antithesis 2. The spell is being delivered with a light strike (AT 22, damage 14+1d6) and the second attack is a medium strike (AT 19, damage 21+2d6). 8 TP and 16 MP spent. Please God, let this work. ;_;)


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God hates people named James.

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:34 pm

James should have probably counted on a stop thrust in responce to his attack, after all the crazy lady had decided to do it to Bulworth when he went for the whole frontal assault thing. If James had in fact counted on this reaction he certainly hadn't judged the line of the counterattack well at all.

In effect James gracefully lept onto the woman's sword impaling himself and leaving little doubt as to his current state of existance. (James takes a rather large 108 points of damage and is very, very dead at the moment.)

(Brings us arround to Zea who is having problems with her head at the moment.)

- Blackwind.


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Re: God hates people named James.

Unread postby Kai » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:20 am

Zea never knew what would help in these situations. Sometimes casting magic scared the spirits away, like shooing insects away. Sometimes it attracted more, and sometimes it made things even worse by affecting her magic directly. It very occasionally drew from the spirits themselves and went wildly out of control. That possibility was the most disturbing one at the moment.

Some part of her mind registered what had happened to James, but her chief concern was self-preservation. Her choices weren't good ones, and her mind ran from fear to fear, seeking refuge in any decision that made sense under the din of shouting, whispering, and crying spirits.

In the end, Zea's choice was purely cathartic in nature. Losing control of the powers of death like this was hard on her every time. She needed to feel in control again. Her best option may have been to sit holding her skull until it all stopped, but that wasn't going to make her feel better right now.

Even if it didn't work, the thought of sending a drill of death energy up out of the ground right into that woman's ass was heartening, and it was helping Zea start to get a grip a little. Still.... it was so hard to think. Why were there so many people? There wasn't supposed to be any life here!

(Insinuation on the woman)


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Re: God hates people named James.

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:26 am

Was there anything Keros could have done to prevent this? It had all happened so suddenly. One of them was dead, another two sorely wounded, and what did they have to show for it? Nothing. They couldn't go on like this.

Cerene reacted to this latest blow to their fortunes with grim determination. There was only one thing she could do now that stood a chance of success, and by all the gods, she was going to do it.

Trying to keep her voice to a bare murmur, she began to run through the summoning chant. It was a desperate roll of the dice, but at this point it couldn't possibly make things worse.

'What the hell are you doing?'

'Not now, Keros,'
Cerene continued with the chant, sparing a bare fraction of her concentration on a telepathic reply.

'Cerene, if this keeps up, we're all going to wind up dead.'

'We can't just let her win!'

'And dying for the cause is the better alternative here? A cause you don't even believe in?'

That set Cerene back. Why should they be defending this asshole? But she wasn't. At least not directly. She was trying to defend her friends. If Jessie died, they'd be stranded here. Keros didn't really know the others; his concern was mostly for her.

'I have to try, Keros. If this doesn't work, I'll give up. I swear.' It was an answer Keros would have to be content with. Besides, Cerene reflected, if this didn't work, there was a good chance she wouldn't be able to keep up the fight.


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Re: God hates people named Zea.

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:00 am

Zea's worst fear was the one that inevitably came true as her spell went compleately berserk upon her casting it. Whatever anyone would have suspected her original spell to have been it certainly wouldn't have been something that turned her into a fluffy blue kitten.

(Top of the round people. Cerene.)

- Blackwind.


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Re: God hates people named Zea.

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:10 am

Cerene's attention was too focused on the chant to take in what had happened to Zea. If it hadn't been, she might have reflected on the irony of what had just happened, or perhaps hope that Zea had absorbed all the bad luck in the area.

She finished the chant finally, calling into existence one of her more... capricious summons. Keros had once attempted to explain chaos theory to her, using the classic example of the butterfly flapping its wings in Prandia and causing a storm in Baron.

Cerene, of course, suggested that the butterfly was using chaos magic. Keros responded that it was a theoretical example, magic had nothing to do with it, and anyway, there was no such thing as a chaos butterfly.

It had taken her a bit of searching, but she'd proved him wrong on that count.

The butterfly floated overhead, flapping its wings lazily. Any moment now, Cerene was going to find out the result of her gamble.

Keros, meanwhile, simply looked on in mounting horror.

(Chaos butterfly)


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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:36 am

If Cerene's crazy butterfly draws an odd reaction from Keros it draws an even stranger one from both Jessie and his crazy sister. Both of them take the time to actually stare at the thing for a few good seconds before comming to their apparent senses. That's probably a good thing considering that the thing's appearance coupled with a stream of yellow paint that seems to have come from nowhere to splash all over the sword toting woman seems to have done enough to cause her to miss her lunge at her brother.

Jessie seems ready to toss this fight and chalk it up as one that he can't win. Or at least one that he can't win without taking more unacceptable casualties. The elf takes one look at the kitten Zea before making his move of pulling one of those damnable cards out.

With that the world begins to spin and fade into darkness. The next thing anyone knows they find themselves facing a very confused looking Ambrogino.

- Blackwind.


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Kelne
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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:40 am

With her enemy gone, Cerene sagged back against the ground. That had gone extremely badly, and right now, she just wanted to rest for a while.

Keros soon made his way over, kneeling next to her and setting a hand on her shoulder. Fire washed over her again as he set about fixing up her wound.

That had been entirely too close. She'd come damned close to dying, and James... Cerene's eyes snapped open, "James?"

Keros shook his head, "I already checked. He's gone."

Thoughts of rest gone, or at least shelved for the moment, Cerene levered herself upright, "Then we're just going to have to bring him back, aren't we?" she said, in a tone that brooked no argument.

Keros chose to argue anyway, "Cerene, neither of us is anywhere near good enough to do that. We're not even sure his soul made the transition with us."

"Well, maybe we can do it between us. We could get Fiore here; he might be able to make the difference. We're phoenixes, damnit. Bringing people back from the dead is supposed to be what we do."

Keros shook his head. Given a century or two of experience under their belts, they might well be able to pull it off. But here and now? Even between the three of them, he doubted they could do it. But he also knew that they'd try.

Despite her concentration on talking her brother round, something else caught Cerene's attention. An empty space that should have been occupied by a friend.

"Where's Zea?"

Keros didn't even need to turn and look, simply saying, "Look down."

Cerene did so, finding her eyes locking with those of a small blue kitten.

"Oh, Hells," she said, with feeling.


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Kai
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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Kai » Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:02 pm

Everything was very large. And she was kind of cold. Maybe a little hungry. But this wasn't the condition that was foremost on Zea's mind. Neither, in fact, was the condition everyone else noticed first. The voices were gone for the most part, and if that meant she had to be a cat for a while, it was a small price to pay. Zea would never expect anyone else to understand what would lead to such a preference, but anyone inside her head during the times when an incalculable number of dead people were all trying to get her attention at once would never ask for clarification again.

So she was a kitten. She blinked, eyes taking in levels of detail that were a bit confusing given the dimmer colors. Her ears were moving on their own, taking in the sounds of conversation from the others. Zea pulled a paw over her ear idly and listened until she heard Cerene and Keros mention James. She stood and made her way to where James was lying. It was hardly a moment for propriety, so she walked boldly to the side of his face and sniffed the place just under his ear. She hadn't noticed his smell before, but now she could definitely tell that he was a demon.

Odd. I must have been aware of it on some level before, but now it's completely obvious. It's amazing that I wasn't driven to distraction by all the smells. They've been right here all the time.

Zea wasn't necessarily worried about James. His death was neither disturbing nor any more interesting than anyone else's. It was just kind of disappointing. She'd rather liked him. He was a cocky jerk and kind of a prick to everyone else, but to Zea he was just this guy who was interested in her work.

She hoped that they would find a way to bring him back. To be honest, she'd like it if he came back, and it was also a ceremony in which she was keenly interested. It wasn't the sort of thing she'd ever be able to accomplish, but to see in a ritual the tangible loosening of the bonds of death over a sentient creature was of some spiritual value to the necromancer. After all, if Death were truly in control, no resurrection ceremony could be performed without at least some passive endorsement from Reshtaha. James would certainly never be revived against the will of the god of death any more than he could be resurrected against his own will.

When Cerene and Keros mentioned her in conversation, she looked up at them briefly. As far as she was concerned, she was not the one with a problem here. The body of the young feline seemed to react automatically to Zea's emotions, flattening her ears back and widening her eyes. Zea was surprised to feel some sense of affront on James' behalf that her condition was somehow worth distracting them from more important matters at hand.

I think they need to be reminded of the first problem that needs to be solved. Being a kitten is inconvenient, but I'm not in pain or dead. If need be I could probably still summon some catnip to occupy myself until this is fixed. James is dead. He only has so long before he can't help but pass on.

To emphasize this point, Zea placed one paw gingerly on James' arm. Finding it to be stable enough, she walked over it to sit on the ground between his upper arm and torso. With a curious and slightly affectionate gesture, she butted her forehead against James' cheek. Turning to Jessie, she opened her mouth wide the way only a kitten can, her blue-furred face opening with a near-silent mew that kittens generally only reserve for their mothers. Jessie could hear it, though. Elves have good enough hearing that it was barely audible, but the message was clear. "Over here, please?"

It was good of Jessie to finally get us out when James is already dead, Cerene nearly so, and me a kitten. Just the same, I think it would be nice if he could offer a solution to some remaining problems. If he doesn't think of a way to fix me and help James, I'm going to relieve myself in his bedroll.

Zea found that some of James' blood had gotten onto her front paws, staining them a dark purple. Without considering the implications of it, she idly licked her feet clean, paying special attention to the spaces between her toes. She paused in her efforts to make eye contact with Jessie again. She repeated her request and stared at him expectantly.

Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kai@rpgww60462>Kai</A]&nbsp; Image at: 11/9/05 16:07

Archmage144
 

Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Archmage144 » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:04 pm

Making contact with Jessie, oddly enough, was likely going to take longer than making contact with James. While it was true that most of the spirits of the deceased haunting Zea had left her alone for the moment, the fact that she was a medium of sorts was not something she would escape so easily. At the moment, however, there was only one presence in her head. This in itself was relatively unusual.

The other somewhat unusual fact about this event was that she knew the deceased with some degree of intimacy.

FUCK! screamed the voice in Zea's head. I fucking DIED! It's been close before, but that calls it!

Death is always a strange and sometimes confusing event for all those involved, but for no one moreso than the deceased. In this case, James' shock at the fact that he was dead was not entirely uncommon--amazement, disbelief, and denial are frequently the first reactions of the recently departed. Eventually, in theory, the dead man learns to accept his fate, acknowledging that he is, in fact, dead, barring future interventions. James adjusted relatively quickly for a dead person, and he began to calm down. Since his body no longer produced the relevant stress hormones (on account of his body currently being prone, damaged beyond repair, and a seat for a certain polymorphed sorceress), all of the feelings of aggression and tension experienced by James at this point were purely psychological. He was somehow inside Zea's mind, but he simultaneously existed outside of her body, faintly tethered to his body only by sheer force of will. Fully believing that his life was far from over, his spirit refused to ascend to the outer planes, though it was still going to take a fair bit of magic to get it back in his body.

He could see, but most of what James was able to perceive was murky and clouded, as though he were viewing the world by staring up at it from the bottom of a lake. Instead of people's physical features being the prime source of input, James found himself staring directly at their auras, unable to see the physical world as clearly. This produced the very aggravating effect of all of the people around him being transformed into quasi-amorphous blobs of shifting color. He could still hear, but all sound was washed out and disconnected, with far too much reverberation, again as though he were underwater.

James stared at the kitten. It occurred to him that Zea might not be able to see him, which made sense, based on the fact that James himself had never seen a spirit on the material plane. But somehow he knew that she could hear him, assuming he tried hard enough to make her hear him. It was just his luck that she was most likely unable to communicate clearly with his fellow adventurers. The problem was likely obvious, anyway. Jessie hardly needed to be told that James was dead.

Okay, okay. I'm calm. Seriously. I'm dead, though. I think this happened to my father once, but he never really gave me the details. Is this normal? Do you understand this shit? You're going to bring me back, right? And please don't use my body for experimentation or anything, I would prefer not to be a zombie. I understand that makes the resurrection process nearly impossible.

Having vented a little, James realized he was still breathing. He realized this because it had become a voluntary activity, and that he was drawing absolutely nothing into his lungs with each heavy gasp. Functionally speaking, he no longer had lungs anyway. From a scientific perspective, this was quite novel.

He shrugged, deciding that he might as well continue to breathe rhythmically, even if it was pointless. It made him feel more comfortable.


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Kelne
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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:59 pm

What else could possibly go wrong today? Cerene decided that she really didn't want to know the answer to that question.

Momentary lapses aside, she really did have her priorities straight. Helping Zea could wait. As could giving Jessie a piece of her mind. If she wanted to bring James back, however, she'd need to get started as soon as possible.

"I'll figure out where we are," Keros said, "See how long it'll take Fiore to get here if the usual rules apply." They couldn't count on simply being able to permanently summon Fiore as Cerene had inadvertently managed with him. Wherever they were now, the rules were probably different.

Cerene nodded, heading over to James and Zea. James really was a mess, but she was sure they could patch him up. Knitting body and soul back together... That was liable to be a lot harder.

Adjusting her vision to the astral, Cerene tried to get some idea of just where they stood. Whether James's soul was hanging around somewhere nearby, what shape his aura was in, all those little details that would make her task easier or more difficult.


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Kai
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Zea=popular in the recently-deceased community

Unread postby Kai » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:17 pm

"FUCK! I fucking DIED! It's been close before, but that calls it!"

Zea immediately crouched on the ground, ears flattened back tightly to the back of her head. It was loud, unexpected, but... and here's the part she ought to have expected but didn't... it was James?

James! Yes, we know you're dead. It's being taken care of. Cerene and Keros are bullying Jessie and I'm doing what I can as well. Also, I have no plans of animating you or experimenting on you. First of all, I never do that if the owner of the body shows up and asks me not to. Second, I don't think I could in this state.

It was important that James have something to focus on. Depending on the person, the recently dead often had a lot of trouble keeping themselves attached to the physical world.

James, I need you to stay here. If you haven't felt it already, you're going to feel a really strong urge to leave and pass on for good. I don't want you to do that. I want you to stay here and talk to me until we get this figured out. Talk to me about... your family. Gunnir. Just make sure you stay focused on us. We're not leaving you dead, but it'll make it easier to bring you back if you hang around. Just tell me about the first thing that's on your mind.


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KingOfDoma
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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby KingOfDoma » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:18 pm

Bulworth was feeling two very strong emotions.

The first was common to him. Anger. He felt anger all the time, and this was no different. He hated facing a foe that couldn't face you on even terms. The ones that had to slip past your attack in order to survive. It was pathetic to him. If you can't withstand the blow, you shouldn't be on the battlefield, it was that simple. At least mages didn't quibble about being struck. They still took it, even if the one blow did them in.

The other feeling was not as common. Relief. Rarely did he enjoy LEAVING a battle. Anyone who was there could feel it. They would have been hardpressed to win that fight. But by the gods, the next time he saw that woman...

He looked at his disabled comrades, and looked with fire at Jesiah. "We better be somewhere they can get help, Jessie. I don't like lugging around corpses."

Kittens won't be THAT bad, though...


Archmage144
 

Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Archmage144 » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:30 pm

I'm not going anywhere, responded James, you can trust me on that. But whatever. James sighed. How he was capable of doing that when he was technically unable to breathe would remain a mystery of the afterlife. He raised an incorporeal eyebrow.

It occurred to James at that point that he was not, precisely, a ghost. He was fairly certain that ghosts were able to exert some influence over the world they inhabited, and as far as he knew, he had no means of doing so. He would experiment with that later.

Me? I'm curious. Is this a side-job for you, aside from the usual necromancer experiments? When did you become Zea, necropsychotherapist? James laughed. It struck him that it was an odd thing to be laughing while dead.


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Kai
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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Kai » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:07 am

Zea inwardly laughed as well. If James thought it was weird to laugh as an incorporeal dead man, he should try doing it as a kitten. It came out as a bit of a sneeze, but James could hear her a little more clearly.

I generally want nothing to do with the souls of the dead. I've had problems in the past with them-- well, they can be a little overwhelming. She pulled her paw over her ear in mild distress. It wasn't an comfortable subject for her, but if she was going to ask him to talk she'd better be willing to do the same. It's actually why I can hear you. It's never been useful before.

She saw another spot of blood between two of her front toes and disinterestedly licked it away. Oh, right. That's yours. She glanced at the paw briefly before setting it down again. Sorry.

Anyway, my worry is that the others aren't necessarily prepared to bring anyone back from the dead. All I can offer by way of assistance is knowledge of death. Unfortunately, I can't offer it to them since I can't talk to them. I can talk to you, however. And I mean to, if only to keep myself from following you into death out of sheer boredom.


Blackwind Isao
 
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Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Blackwind Isao » Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:02 pm

Jessie had little choice but to be keenly aware of the fact that James was very, very dead at the moment. There was however, little that he could do about it himself. Ambrogino on the other hand might be able to at least point him in the right direction if he didn't have an outright means of providing such a service. The question that was foremost was not if he could get James resurected, it was how much it was going to cost him.

Not bothering to pay any attension to either Cerene and Keros' mutterings about someone name Fiore or the blue kitten that he could only deduce was what happened to Zea as the result of a spell gone very wrong indeed, Jessie focused his attension on the person that was likely able to help things the most. "You wouldn't be able to help out with James' current situation would you, Ambrogino?"

"That would be the dead one, yes? I don't think that I have.... Actually, come to think of it I do have something that might do the trick. Did you want to discuss terms now or after we get your rather unfortunate half demon raised?"

"I think I would rather deal with the unpleasantness after we get things back to relatively normal. That will let you deal with all of the parties involved not just one of them."

"Whatever you think is best. I'll need a bit of time to prepare this not to mention other things that will be involved. I suppose that you leave me little choice but to extend my hospitality for the rest of the day as part of the package. If you'll all wait here I'll have someone prepare some rooms for you."

- Blackwind.


Archmage144
 

Re: God laughs at Cerene.

Unread postby Archmage144 » Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:20 pm

I see, noted James. So you have the ability to communicate with the dead. Fascinating. I suppose that much was obvious, seeing as how we're, well, communicating. He looked around, trying to see the world more clearly through the fog of death, and he quickly gave up. I wonder if there's anywhere I can go where I'll be able to see more clearly. Probably in the afterlife proper. I suppose blurred vision is a small price to pay for being resurrected more easily.

James sighed. The whole situation sucked. If it was costly to resurrect him, which he expected it would be, then his cut of the reward for the mission was going to be drastically reduced. On the other hand, his life was worth considerably more to him than any amount of money, and he could always mooch off his father if he needed a bit of extra cash. General Silvar rarely kept track of his finances and was by all probability spending money that wasn't his most of the time.

Alright, so you want me to talk about myself? That's easy. In fact, I happen to enjoy doing it. The half-demon grinned. Even his incorporeal shadow had amazing teeth. I suppose I can't go telling you all my secrets just yet, though, can I? Because I'm presumably going to come back from the dead at some point, so I will be alive for it to make a difference.


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