[Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

The story unfolds around Osaka, Japan, with the unlocking of one girl's hidden potential, and a gathering of Young mages whom are destined to change the fate of the Earth.
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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore »

As in all good warriors, Jane displayed no hesitation. There was the slightest pause after she landed as the gunslinger found her sky-legs. Then she drew her holstered revolver, and set her sights on those six forward-facing eyes. A blind spot would be a huge boon to any potential targets. Jane unleashed her next salvo like a well oiled war machine, mind bereft of anything other than the distance between her barrels and those six gleaming orbs.
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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Kokuten »

Aulan pictured many things before her impending death. She saw the face of her mother, doting over her form in training. An image of her aunt instructing her in the finer arts came next. Then a scene of these people, all of them, fighting for their lives at her age; Miyuki's face stood out to her. Finally, a memory of her father came to her, a face filled with a rare warmth; proud, red eyes looking down at her in a kindness that few could or would ever know.

The spell was broken. This wasn't her father. It never was, but it was too late. So many years too late.

And then, Miyuki's face came into view, shrouded by the back-drop of a horrific maw of mandibles. Aulan felt the woman's hands press against her, and then suddenly she was sent back. The girl could feel her heart beating in her skull as Kagami Miyuki's desperate visage was there one moment and gone the next.

Ruarc stood on the back of an almighty creature, his boots planted firmly into the creaking plates. From his position, he could see Aurus descending on the god-child, and as he made his threat, he realized that it was not the god-child.

It was Miyuki, slowly being pulled into the maw by a second mouth within, the sound of crunching bones audible to all those present. It was now or never.

A thunderous laughter shook them all.

Fire, earth, and darkness. Do you mean to exist as an insult to me War God?

Another beast had risen, this one as dark as the War God, but with more pride and prowess. Ruarc Flynn knew the sight of it better than most, despite never seeing one himself.

A Dragon. A True Dragon.

It came upon Aurus as he tried to feed on the ice mage. Abjuration magic shuddered under the larger horn mandibles, Eryl struggling to hold back the dark god's feast. Claws sheared through Aurus' morphed plates, rattling the druidic rider on its back, before overturning the entire creature. All four of them went turning as the dragon sought to over-take the beast. Ruarc's arm protested at the sudden force, holding on tightly. Kagami had no choice in the ride, as Aurus refused to release her in the melee, but she could keep her senses well enough even though she had lost feeling in her hand.

The Druid's rune found its spot, no doubt now. As the dragon clambered above the rune struck from below. A loud hiss took over the ambient struggle as the plates at Aurus' neck bulged. What counted for the god's muscles erupted from the gorget down to the undulating tail. Shrapnel erupted under Ruarc as the Fire God's horrid form ruptured on the seam, throwing him off finally with metal shards in his skin as a souvenir.

The Dragon above had a clear opening now, the core of the God exposed.

Aurus convulsed, his maw snapping shut with a wet chop. Miyuki finally fell from the creature, her left arm reaching out; the right, never to be seen again.

Her blood touched the ground first, and the dust beneath it shuddered with a potent energy.

----

Meanwhile, the God-Eater trailed the Ethereal and the Dove, on its back the Knight and the Gunslinger. The serpent cut a large white line in the sky, leading a slow, arduous chase. The Serpent would turn its attentions on Laoise when she struck it, taunted by her song and her attacks, but it was difficult to keep the attention of the beast. It had one morsel to eat that would turn it into a nightmare for not just this realm, but many more.

At the sound of a gunshot, it let out a stunning roar as one of its eyes erupted in a white-hot geyser of ichor. Jane was not going to wait for the serpent have its way. A sudden jerk of the creatures head sent her flying, but Akanus snatched her out of the sky. The eyes of the mythical creature looked up at her now, showing painful awareness, before more geysers erupted. The steely-eyed rider laid out a volley of fire from her elevated position, blinding the fore of the creature. The pain drove it towards the ground, breaking its chase for a moment, before throwing its head upward in hungering defiance.

Yet it could not see its target so easily before, and had to writhe to see the Dove and the Ethereal.

We have to destroy--...

The Ethereal stopped its words halfway, the glowing orbs in its eyes widening, its form began to become unstable. It howled in a way that they all could hear. It was the Alchemist's voice.

A U R U S.

As if it had been shot as well, the Ethereal fell from the sky, then firing straight into the land below. A leyline of light glowed from the point of impact to the pitched battle with Aurus.

The serpent searched wildly, thrashing about, unable to track the movement of the spirit.

-----

When Kagami Miyuki fell from the eldritch maw of Aurus the False, the ground seemed to be a likely candidate to catch her.

Instead, she fell into the arms of a man, a man who should only have one. He was wearing a body that was half corporeal, half ethereal, burdened by a glowing halo running around his head and ending with the blazing symbol of the Elementalia at the fore. A tender hand held her head close to his pulsing chest, her legs supported by a crooked line of light. Her bleeding wound seemed to draw from his body, staunching the injury.

He looked down at her, his face pained by her state, before that pain turned into hatred towards the beast.

"You die today, monster."
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Straken
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Straken »

Ruarc landed on his back with a great deal of force; knocking the wind out of him, and rattling the freshly imbedded shrapnel that peppered his front. Not giving himself the liberty of being stunned, the Irishman rolled with the force and pushed himself back up to his feet. His lungs burned, and what breaths he could manage felt wet and tasted of metal. Gritting his teeth and squaring his stance, Ruarc breathed in. His chest seared as he forced air into his lungs, but he needed his voice if he was going to cast. In the meantime, he thrust his gauntlet forward as he forced mana into it; keeping enough wherewithal with omit casting the fire rune, and launching wind and lightning.



Back in the air, Laoise continued to pelt the serpent with her bolts of radiant energy while her voice assaulted the beast’s senses. She paused momentarily as the Ephemeral… freaked out?
Wait… are you surprised by something Aurus did? Or is Aurus the other thing we need to destroy? Laoise willed her thought to the glowing entity.

Casting a quick glance back to the ground, she was astounded by what she saw; astounded, and horrified. Things on the ground had gone very south, and she felt momentary panic until she saw Ruarc getting flung out of the fray and stand back up.

Too many cooks Laoise thought as the giant serpent suddenly didn’t seem all that bad.
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Kai
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Kai »

Miyuki fell, the pain in her arm suddenly stopping, but the pain at her shoulder suddenly becoming much, much worse. She didn't cry out, didn't seem scared, there were no convulsions of agony, just, quiet shock. the only sound that escaped her lips was a simple- "Oh."

Suddenly devoid of any feelings aside from the relief of knowing she had saved the young Tegwyn and the searing pain from her left, the Ice mage just let herself fall. She tried not to right herself, had not the sense to try and dress her wounds with magic as before, just a sort of hollow feeling, like something was missing, aside from the limb. Her eyes saw nothing but the blackness that was the roof of the theater, that is, until she landed much more gently than she expected to, staring into the eyes of someone she hadn't expected to be here, cradled by two arms, one solid, the other ethereal.

"P-Percy?" she asked, simply, before her eyes fluttered closed and her body remained limp in his arms.
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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore »

Despite all her preparations, Jane noted her dwindling supply of ammo as she reloaded once more. With the chambers full, she had one spare bullet still tucked into one of her crisscrossing bandolier belts. She glanced at the chaotic conflict below. Her friends were unwell, but Percival Caxton had appeared-- and in the nick of time, it seemed. Steely eyes reacquired the writhing demon in the night sky. "Akanus, lef side, but keep a distance. I ain't done pluckin berries jus yet."

The serpentine motion of the Devourer, the uneven flight of little Akanus, and fatigue of the gunslinger would make these shots difficult. They had to count. Each eye lost would be a great boon, and each bullet squandered would move Jane one step closer toward irrelevance in the greatest fight of her life.

Both guns came level. I aim with my eye.

A deep, painful, steady breath cleared her thoughts. I shoot with my mind.

A slower version of her familiar beat rang out across the celestial dome. I kill with my heart.
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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

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"Time to show some teeth." Riley murmured the words to herself as she pushed past the fog still clinging to her thoughts. Shifting her grip on her sword's hilt the stage magician managed to push her lips up into a smile as Dyrnwyn's flames tenderly accepted her hold.

From the edges of her vision Riley could tell that Percival had made his appearance - her brother had rescued Miyuki - but the brunette's eyes only had time to keep track of the mad struggle between the deformed remnant that was Aurus and her otherself. From amidst the battle between titan and dragon her phantom had thrown their own accounting into the stage magician's memories.

The god wasn't going to get away, but despite their best effort with wing and tail and claw the war deity was still managing to protect the gap Erin had torn through his armour.

The distance the world had been being held at snapped as Riley's blood began to pump and pulse in her ears. The younger mage couldn't feel the dis-ease across her skin anymore as her smile lifted itself into a full blown grin. The heavy drumbeat of her heart carried Riley both away and forward as she began to move. Reaching the edge of the brawl her phantom's bladed tail slammed down into the stone in front of her feet and without missing a beat the stage magician was up and running along the dragon's spine.

At the front of the battle Aurus's bladed limb was caught cutting again and again against a tangle of half-mangled, half-reforming wing. The phantom's claws were joined by a flurry of projected stone doppelgangers as they repeatedly ripped and tore through the beast-god's maw as he made attempts to bite through shadowy scales. The former fire god was pinned between the body of the dragon and the earth they commanded, but Erin's great angular visage was an eyeless, mouthless, expanse of shadow that lacked the tools necessary to crush their opponent for good. As they had done from frustration before Erin slammed her armoured head down against the rend in Aurus's armour.

This time Riley rode down with the blow. Her footing remaining steady despite the force involved as the two opposed beings crashed together. Dyrnwyn's fire was held tight against its blade - a simple blue twinkle tinged in-and-out with searing white - as the stage magician thrust her sword forward and the iron edge bit down against the war god's core.
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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Kokuten »

Clouds of mana swirled over the shoulders of Jane Smith. Wide thunderheads of gun fire shook the sky she dared to occupy with the world serpent. The beast curled, its remaining eyes catching sight of the Font: its prize, its feast. She saw it turn, Laoise chased over her shoulder, but Jane would not let it win the day. Even as great rifts of terrible light opened in the dusty surface of the world below, she planted bullet, after bullet, after bullet in the beasts eyes, beating to a deadly rhythm.

"I know you're watching. I see you in the stars. Watch closely. You should hope only to see this once. We will demonstrate the best and most fitting way to kill something like this."

Motes of dust blasted into the face of Ruarc Flynn. Terrible arcs of lightning, and globes of wind sheathed his hand, a thunderstorm in his palm. Aurus fought madly, like a demon facing its final judgement, and it snapped at the figure of Percival, while clawing at the dragon above it. He could see the serpent coming towards them, and then veering to the ocean of glowing energies forming around them as gouts of blood sputtered on its side. Undeterred, Ruarc extended his fingers, and let loose a night-sky's worth of fear in a tormenting hurricane of the elements.

"First, you remove their ability to move."

Blinding light bathed the form of Riley Erin Alstad. She lept over chasms that yawned beneath her feet as she sought her prize. The ground now behind her opened to a sea of mana, but her feet carried her on a stage where she would star in the climax of this play. Her brother was approaching the beast, his form becoming more stable as Erin restrained and sundered the armor of the false god. A wall of electricity and then shrapnel of armor crashed and washed over her quarry, which she evaded in his shadow, then rising in the wake of the storm to bring the curtain down.

"Then, you show your enemies face to the world."

A tranquil air of protection sheathed Kagami Miyuki. The Ice Queen's limp form was carried back to the monster that had stolen her arm. Her repose was the first rest she had in many years, and her man would not see her disturbed. At the audacity, Aurus whipped his maw back, bleeding a glow of hateful fire from his mandibles which unmade itself in the presence of the Alchemist and the Queen. Percival Caxton, calm and resolute, came to one knee at the thrashing head, holding Miyuki close.

"Finally, you remove the head."

The core split under Riley's blade, a scalpel extracting a beating heart from a sickened body. The stage magician felt a vicious heat rise from under her, as a unchained force started its eruption.

Jane's serpent quarry sailed aside, crashing down quickly into the volatile ocean below in its blind rage, its maw burning in a brilliant, oily display of color.

The druid felt the ground beneath him crumble, as control of reality was severed from its Gods.

Time froze; control wrested into the hands of a new arbiter of the divine in the Elementalia.

"And that, ą̵̴̶̷̷̸̴̴̵̦͙͋̎̀s̴̷̸̷̷̴̴̷̢̖̮̝̔p̶̶̵̸̷̸̶̵̶̝̦̀͒̉͒e̵̴̶̵̵̵̴̸̮̥̜̪͑ī̷̶̸̴̷̶̴̴̞̈̂̑g̸̵̸̸̷̵̸̷̛̞͆͑̌k̴̴̵̴̴̦̉, is the fate of those who stand against us."

----

Rays of sunlight danced over Ruarc's eyes, rousing him from his slumber. Leaves swayed in the branches of a tree he seemed to have been sleeping under. As he came to, he found that he was sitting upon a hill in an immense field of rolling plains. The tree above him was the only landmark for miles, the horizon painted in waving green.

Laoise was laying next to him, still asleep. A small ache worked in his body as he turned to see the others, his wounds not bleeding, but not quite healed. Riley and Erin were piled on top of each other, who were then both piled on top of Aulan. Jane was leaned against the tree, her hat pulled low over her eyes. Eryl was near-by, her face in her hands.

Standing over the triclops was the girl they had seen earlier in the visions, a young Eryl, freed from the prison of Loathing. Her hand was on the shoulder of her elder double.

The spirit of the young girl met Ruarc's eyes, and she looked to the base of the hill.

Percival sat there with his back to them, Miyuki resting next to him, head in his lap. A bright light bounced on his shoulder, noticing him; the figure of a faerie. Percy turned to it, and then turned the other way to look over his shoulder at the druid.

The Alchemist smiled.
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Straken
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

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The final conflagration seemed so far away. Even without his garnet vestment he felt himself growing attuned to electricity as the fury of a storm erupted from his hand. This fight needed to end. Wariness was setting in, injuries were mounting, and the stakes grew more dire; so every last drop of energy he had channeled into his palm and out towards the dark god. And yet, the next thing he new, there was tranquility.

Jolting upward as though he were half asleep and felt himself falling, Ruarc winced as pain laced across his chest; memories of broken bones that, while magically mended, remained as fractures. He felt tired from his magical drain, but at the same time he felt rested. Casting about to get his bearings he was grateful to find his companions nearby, even if he had no real idea beyond a guess as to where they were currently. Pushing himself to his feet, wincing again as he put weight on to his once shattered leg, he looked out across green landscape. It was utterly serene. The view, the breeze, the sun; no trace of corruption in sight. For once Ruarc did something druid related.

Looking to his side again, he realized Percy was with the group as well. Even after three years and a recent fight, the Irishman was so used to the Welshman's company that his presence wasn't alarming. Knee jerk reaction had him smile, and he was about to call out when the recent days returned to his mind. His stern face returning, Ruarc crossed his arms and looked back out towards the horizon.

"You're welcome," Ruarc grumbled.
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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Kokuten »

"Y'don't sound too pleased," came a voice from the other end of the tree, like Ruarc's, but much younger. Eryl's spirit wasn't the only bit of the incorporeal that was present. He hadn't seen it, because it wasn't there until that moment. Standing a few paces away was an image the druid, painted in a pearlescent color, radiating a soft glow. His teenaged face looked at him with a bit of unsure confusion, "Why is that?"

It was a piece of Ruarc that he had left in this realm ten years ago. Something he had used to fell Zulan in a battle long, long ago.

It was the piece of his soul.
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Straken
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Re: [Chapter 1.3] A Theater of Gods

Post by Straken »

Ruarc turned to look at the unknown voice, and was caught off guard by what, or rather who, he saw. Like seeing a recording from years past he didn't recognize his own voice, he took a moment to recognize the awkward lanky teenager that he was when he last came to rescue Percy. Without realizing it, Ruarc grabbed at his chest. It had been a long while since he had felt whole, and it was only now that he looked himself in the eye that he realized just how much damage that one rune stone had done to himself. He tried to speak, but his voice broke a bit and he shut his mouth again. He cleared his throat.

"I'm plenty pleased," Ruarc said, his voice sounded rough. "I'm just tired."
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