[Chapter 1] Into the Maw

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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Kai
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kai » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:23 pm

With the feeling of her pain slowly going away, and the renewed vigour that came with a sudden influx of mana, Miyuki found herself soon able to stand tall once again, holding herself proud and upright as the feeling of this mana- both familiar and unfamiliar, seeped through her. She pulled up on the short black rod, finding herself a better grip on it and flexing her hand a bit, crackling the ice that hard formed and causing it to fall to the ground with a sound similar to shards of glass. She cracked her neck, one way, then the other, and rolled her shoulders as if getting ready for something.

Suddenly, Rubeh appeared before her, summoned by a thought from the gem that she had pulled out earlier, and she smiled. "Rubeh, there is a little fire sprite named Jakku around here. could you go find her and bring her to safety? I'll give you the gem's full power so don't hold back," she told the small, red and yellow flaming cat-like creature. He nodded, grinning cattily before bounding off in search of the sprite.

throwing her hands back, Miyki summoned an ever growing column of Ice behind her for a short time, which propelled her forward, back toward the fray, bringing the frozen staff to bear on her target- the shade of Sorrow. "HOW ABOUT A TASTE OF YOUR OWN MEDICINE!" she yelled as she came down, Ice forming at the head of the staff in the form of a large, dense, War Hammer. This new frozen weapon she brought to bear on the enemy as an opening act to a dance she was just starting to think up.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:44 pm

Jane's feet spun her around to search for her foe while hands rapidly reloaded her second firearm. The moment Doubt sprang up from Eryl, the American snorted a bull's frustration. Mercy was not welcome here, at the very least not with these foes. When Laoise was struck down, however, her rage flared. There was no respect for life here, that was clear now.

The gunslinger charged forward once more like an ironclad on legs, black armor gleaming. Bores came level as she shouted, "Eryl, get down!" But she refrained from firing immediately, fearing that Doubt had assumed control of the small woman's body. Doubt would pay for her transgressions, every single one. She would succumb to Jane's barrage and pray for mercy-- and there would be none to hear a goddess's pleas. The only uncertainty was whether she'd be forced to kill Doubt with gunfire or her gloved fists.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kokuten » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:24 am

The winds of the natural and the unnatural began to churn and break. Great power was manifesting on the torn land they had entered upon. Whether drawn by its manipulation, or by its mere presence, eyes were resting upon the open glade within the sickened Sprigganwald. The sun was breaking rays through the clouds, but it was a harsh mistress, instead one of a welcome sign. Humid air rose upon the wet floor, making it hotter than any day in Osaka, the ether that flowed through the field of battle began to whip and break. Anomalous sparks of fire, whips of cold, shaking earth, and sun-baked lightning began to decorate their surroundings. A gods lightning rained upon a man, a frozen-souled mage was preparing her charge.

And a dead-eyed gunslinger had a murderer in her sights. The iron-sights of her Colt Lightnings were aligned onto Doubt, the Shade of Uncertainty and Hesitation. The blood of the Dove was still on her forking claws, a small reminder of the danger she posed despite her injury. Tulan's body was that of a mangled ghoul now, only barely resembling the woman that the Shade had possessed, and it hungered to corrupt and destroy others. It had done something to Riley and her counterpart, and Eryl was clenching her chest tightly after acting as gate to the evil spirit. An unfortunate victim at this point, Eryl turned to see Doubt shift her dying gaze on the triclops.

The Abjurer pointed her wand at the fallen Dove, hand shaking, but it seemed to be a futile gesture, an action taken too late. Doubt raised her bladed hand to strike her down, and only the most focused of shield magics resisted the cutting force of the claw, throwing the triclops on to her posterior.

"Let us... be useless... together... black one..."

Eryl rose her wand.
"Eryl, get down!"
A voice had rung out, one that everyone in this Menagerie had come to trust. The clouds parted behind her shoulders, giving out the full-brunt of the sun's light, turning her into a silhouette with two furious eyes. With little question, Eryl threw herself to the floor, abandoning her defensive posture. Seeing acceptance, Doubt's claw dove for a sinking strike.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:14 am

It was a straight shot. Doubt, ever the eager one, made no effort to defend herself. Trigger fingers danced, hammers striking on alternate beats. They sang a brief iron song in 3/4 time until every casing sat empty and alone in their chambers, like wives after the soldiers have left for war.

And there was no mistaking it now. Jane was on the war path. Doubt had set the stakes; the gunslinger was merely adapting to the world in which they had put her. Death was a probability growing with every passing second-- or in some cases, every passing bullet.

As the sun peeked out, a reassuring wave washed over Jane. The heat and humidity were reminiscent of riding days in Kansas, a pleasant time in her life. A time before guns and violence. It spurred her forward a little faster.

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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Gwathdraug » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:36 pm

Riley flexed her newly healed arm - a hiss still caught between her teeth as she found her feet as the vines became loose around her - and rubbed where the break had previously been staining her skin a deep black and purple. The stage magician was relatively refreshed but instead of turning her attention back towards the fight the short woman couldn't help but let a large, near manic grin peel across her face as the half mask seemed to dance into existence in front of her.

She'd snapped her fingers, snapped a bone and now the world was snapping something snazzy back at her.

Flicking her finger against the top edge of the gift that had been grown from out of the vines Riley's hand slipped down and caught the half-mask as it began to flip away from her. The magician's index finger traced across the grinning eye motif a single time before her grinned bloomed into an even larger smile and she pressed the object to her face.

--

The Phantom shook off what fatigue it was feeling as the healing that was enveloping Riley wrought its corrections across a its body in mirror to the original. The copy felt an urge to look behind it - to see what foolishness had caused such a sudden spike of blighted interest to carry across the emotion link between it and Riley - but instead the Phantom kept it's attention set on Jane.

As the woman moved the copy began slashing and carving another rune of flames into the air. When the chamber of Jane's first weapon ignited the Phantom swiped a clawed hand through the construct and shattered it. The scales covering the gunslinger quickly lost definition and split once again into threads and then simple globs of shadow - each of which surged forward and surrounded each bullet as they sped off towards Doubt.

Right before they reached Jane's target the pieces of shadow melted and dropped again streaming and accreting just above where Eryl lay to form a thin eggshell of a shield above the fallen triclops.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kokuten » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:17 pm

The Sprigganwald churned and swayed as the players of its grand tragedy played their parts. The stage was set, a heavy light rolled over the east hill, the remnants of a sun died on the horizon, heavy shadows carried over the fighters of this land. Light seemed to refuse those that were corrupted within it, the very Gods who shaped this world, this Elemetnalia Magicus. They stood, titans in their own right, deadly beings of power churning with emotions lingering of lives long lost. They were imminent, they were powerful, and they held the means of wiping life clean of this realm, victims themselves of a cruel process, of an important role unspoken in their contracts to the mages that bound them. Yet they were opposed in this function, by the interlopers of this show, of great power and minds, of iron will and bonds.

Here stood the players.

Sorrow, the weeping goddess. Wearing the tattered face of Zulan, the Shield Maiden, the Storm Warden, the Mother. Her wand Maelstrom rose, building power in a strike that would threaten to kill the next one of them out right.

Doubt, the laughing fraud. Death creeped upon her visage, one that belonged to the Patient Tutor, the Kind Librarian, the Friend; Tulan. Her hands drew out a vial, an hour-glass shaped bauble that sloshed with two very different liquids, a Stardust Bomb.

Ruarc, the stonefaced keeper. He was wreathed in powers beyond himself; an oath of judgement spoke in his gaze, a dove's last words resounded in his heart. The power of a God lay in his fingers, threatening to snap them from his hand as he wielded the fury of a dragon, with the purpose of an executioner.

Miyuki, the vengeful queen. Wreathed about her were marks of injury, badges of resilience, reminders of power as she tore a thunderous warpath for her target. In her hands a mighty weapon of ancient power, wielded with brutal efficiency, its quarry sought with brutal purpose.

Jane, the steely lawbringer. The very presence of the sun rode her shoulders, making her shadows the longest, her gaze the heaviest to bear. The thunderous roar of her armaments fired, like the clarions of cannons, hot steel enveloped in a blackened casing seeking purchase.

Riley, the split soul. One of Two. A singular mask of great purpose. One placed on the face of the original, a white smile. Then, a black frown, the opposite placed upon her counterpart. Two of the same face, two halves of the same mask, a focus that strengthened their link like a mythril chain.

They all stood in one moment, their declarations and dreadful intention soaring over lesser actors. A dove whose song was lost, an abjurer whose sin was greater than her fear, a red torrent of flame that sought to bring home to its master her faerie. About them circled the Sprigganwald, churning and swaying, a greater heart found against the decay. It was a place where hope was forgotten, where light was gone, and that even nature itself wished for death. Yet there existed a small glimmer in the fate of the shades, their fate at the hands of these mages.

It would take seconds.

An icy hammer strike was first, landing upon a spine, sending glacial waves and frost in the wake past its target. Then came the roar of the dragon, and the silent will of the Keeper. His fist struck into the head of the Queen's hammer, sending roaring flame beyond. Mystic lead cut through the air like charging lances and sank into their target, the darkness upon them exploding upon contact. Each hit struck true, sinking square into the chest, breaking apart the decaying husk they fell upon.

Ruarc caught a glimpse of Sorrow's gaze, there was a single moment of clarity in her eyes. A cupped hand reached out to his cheek, but would never reach it.

Jane saw the riddled Doubt come to her knees, her bauble rolling down her legs to the ground. Despite not a single round striking it, her head came clean of her shoulders, cackling desolate laughter.

The shades broke apart, and their forms erupted in a flash of light that consumed the glade.

----

The force had tossed them to the ground. Crushing the shades had broken apart what remained of the Goddesses they possessed. Two Gods of the Elementalia Magicus had been killed, outright, and the land seemed to shift and shake at the sheer gravity of it.

Yet, the Sprigganwald rose to greet a clear day, the corrupted scene gave way to a fresher, greener forest. The battle had been fierce and deadly, but it had ended, and the mages of Safeholme were victorious. Miyuki's vision would clear to her familiar Rubeh, carrying Jakku's limp form in her mouth. Eryl was gathering herself, still wounded and a bit stunned. The bomb that Doubt had lost had made it into her hands. Laoise's body still shown white and beautiful, only a red mark marring her quiet, unmoving form.
Last edited by Kokuten on Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Straken
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Straken » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:10 pm

Seconds passed like ages in Ruarc's mind. Energy was coursing through him. Every move he made felt amplified. A slight twitch felt like it had a charging bull behind it. He felt more powerful than he had ever felt before. He felt invincible. So why was he still in so much pain? His heart ached within his chest, but that had been there before the strike; it drove his body forward. There was new pain. It felt like his entire body was being stretched to its breaking point. Was it the new power? There was to much of it. Like a dam during a flood, his body was trying to contain more power than it was meant too hold, and he could feel cracks forming. It needed to be channeled. He would unleash the excess with his next hit. He locked eyes with Zulan, met her gaze. He returned a look of resolution.

The air was still, but even if just slightly it also seemed less oppressive than it had. Ruarc no longer felt like he was about to burst, rather now he felt deflated. The excess had stretched him beyond his current means, the punishment for taking more energy than he needed. He felt thin and haggard, but worst of all his heart still ached and he was plagued by a profound feeling of loneliness.

Regaining his senses, the Druid cast about for his familiar, and quickly saw where she lay. Taking a step, fire lanced up his leg, and he could feel tears forming at the edges of his eyes. She can be brought back, whispered a sane voice in the back of his mind. The voice was drowned out however by an invasive terror clouding his mind.

"No!" Ruarc bellowed, his cry long and anguished; pain evident in its tone, and mirrored as pair seared across his broken ribs. He took a few more steps, and then sped up to as fast as his leg would allow him. Limping across the battlefield, passed his friends and teammates who had also fought and earned their own injuries. His singular focus was on getting to Laoise.

"No! No no no," Ruarc pleaded as he got to his fallen sister's side. Seeing her still form robbed him of whatever warmth he had, and filled his mind with terrible memories and dark thoughts; memories and thoughts he had buried for ten years. Dropping to his knees, ignoring his leg's protests, he cradled Laoise and hugged her close.

"Come on, little sister, don't do this to me," Ruarc wept in his native tongue, hiding his eyes in her white hair. "You know I'm not strong enough for this kind of thing."

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:19 pm

A righteous light exploded from a pair of dying gods. The shockwaves picked up the gunslinger only to deposit her on two stumbling feet. Boots slid in the dirt, and an arm shielded her eyes from airborne debris. She came to a stop kneeling in fresh greenery. She didn't have to look up to know this particular battle was over, but she still did. Doubt was gone, and Sorrow with it. The Sprigganwald was retaking the right to its name.

Leather embraced steel like a worried lover, but that tale could not hold a candle to the tragedy unfolding before them all. Jane could do nothing to assuage him, so she did what she could to help Eryl instead. The American knelt beside the Welsh girl and offered a gloved hand. "A long path ye set us on, Mizz Maelgwyn. Come on now, ain't got time to dawdle." There was a wry, hopefully encouraging, smile on her face as she said it.

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Kai
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kai » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:46 am

With the backlash from their strike, Miyuki was thrown backward. the Icy hammerhead melted away, throwing itself in her path as a giant globule of water, which slowed her fall before popping and draining to nothing, gently depositing the Ice mage on the ground, a bit wetter for the wear. She sat up, breathing heavily, as a lot had still been taken out of her and the rush of adrenaline from the battle was beginning to wear off. Rubeh, she glimpsed, rushed to her with the tiny, spent, fire sprite in his gentle clutches. With the sprite and one of her familiars returned, Miyuki patted the cat-like Rubeh in congratulations of a job well done, before surveying the battlefield. It seemed, that none of them made it through unscathed, and there was quite a bit of commotion going on near where they had first started their battle. Slowly, and somewhat painfully picking herself up, Miyuki made her way over to the congregation and stared on in shock as it finally dawned on her that one of their own had fallen.

At the back of the Ice queen's mind, the realization that Laiose was a familiar, and technically immortal, was there, and despite the fact that she knew Laiose would come back if they won all the battles in here, it was still almost more than Miyuki could handle. However, she steeled herself, Ice Queen as she was, and made her way over to Ruarc.

"Let it out for now, but we will have to go soon. Remove her charm, she'll be much easier to carry with us that way, because we can't leave her here." Miyuki grimaced as she spoke, knowing that it would sound extremely harsh, but they were here on a mission- to save the life on someone who couldn't come back if they died.

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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kokuten » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:06 pm

Viney lines encircled the open glade, as if gathering eyes around the crater that was their little war with the gods. That is, until actual eyes began to form at the edge, small creatures, hewn from wood, stone, and dirt, began to emerge. They were the size of gnomes, with stout proportions, mouthless faces, glowing orbs to see from, and wisping hair made from leaves. These creatures were cautious, not daring to approach too closely to the ones that had slayed the Gods. Yet, where there were ten, there came twenty, and then thirty, slowly crowding around until the mages were surrounded in a wide berth. One of them held up white feathers in its small three-fingered hands, the glow of its eyes hissing an aura of tears down its face.

The perimeter of eyes began to feverishly look about as lighting peeled apart the sky, and rain began to fall from the fresh tear. The rain made its steps, and then it began to come to a run, drops pelting upon all present. Jakku's body resisted the water, steam wafting off her still form as she began to become soaked. It was as if the sky joined to weep with the Druid.

Eryl's black hair went slick over her face, but it parted just so to reveal her center eye. A mottling scar of electric burns painted her, dividing her face in two. One of her hands clutched the hour-glass shaped bauble, the other, gentle and fair against the gloom, anchored itself in Jane's palm. When pulled to her feet, the once-foe of the group huddled against the gunslinger, unable to look at Laoise.

"I," a small, hoarse voice cut the wails in the background, Eryl's injury allowed for that much, "witnessed all of my colleagues... slain to the last... one-by-one... by scores... by the hands of these mad gods. Despite it all... I cannot claim to be inured by death's presence. I knew there would be great risk, but... I..."

She began to shake, burying her head.

"I never intended this to happen."
"I never intended this to happen."

A mouthless voice spoke alongside Eryl's at that moment, one that carried the same grim drone as their Alchemist. One moment, the glowing eyes had all kept their distance, the next, a pair stood in their midst. This one tall, but just a head below Ruarc's towering height. A wooden-hewn creature in the shape of a man, clothes made from leaves and moss. Like the others, it had no mouth, just a pair of glowing eyes, set below a beret made of foliage.

"This was the reason I fled," the words came more pointedly from the creature as it slumped, staring at Laoise's body, at Ruarc's broken state, "I knew that I would cause such sorrow. Three are gone. Three remain. At what cost? I know much, yet understand little. I feel life, yet cannot find it. The universe unfurls for me, but I am powerless to protect even one benign dove."

It took a step forward, flowers and weedy grasses growing in its wake, an immense power fluttering from its core. Its hands came together at the front, gnarled fingers glowing with a pebble appearing between the palms. The pebble grew into a bird, and with opening hands, it was released into the sky. "Trees, flowers, spriggans, birds... What good are they in a battle of gods?"

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