[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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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Gwathdraug » Fri May 11, 2018 9:07 am

"Thief! Betrayer!" The Phantom roared it's pronouncements - one to each of the fallen goddesses - and it brought up a hand, sheathed in darkness into the air. A single talon capped finger extended from the mimic's fist and it dipped and carved through the air - trailing lingering strokes of flame with every motion. The featureless oval of the Phantom's shadowed face snapped towards where Tulan had grabbed hold of Jakku. "A collector is you, a collection is me: from hoard to hoard I challenge thee. Under my graces sits names and faces." Each word of the incantation was accompanied by sibilant, guttural echoes that wormed through each syllable and struck them as truth. Each word heralded another carved line of fire being layered over the sigil the Phantom was creating in the air. "To this fight I ask for Sorrow, Doubt, and the Fire Sprite!" The Phantom snarled the last word and the sigil it had crafted pulsed. Sparks and embers shimmered into being around the forms of Tulan and Zulan. "To this fight I offer the magic, the lives of two that are one and the realm under which my shadows are spun." The sigil pulsed again and embers winked into existence around Riley and the Phantom. With a great groan the shadows covering the clawed mimic shattered - scattering into the wind.

It's mask now gone the Phantom stared towards Tulan with serpentine eyes coloured orange and red in a swirl that shifted and glowed with both power and fury. "Fallen from your old height do you now lack in might - do you stand in fright of this challenge unwilling to bite?" The Phantom cocked one eyebrow upwards in question and then reached their arm forward, tapping a now pale, un-taloned finger towards the center of the sigil. The air around the fiery construct shifted and with a crack it teleported to a point right in front of the wretched, many-eyed deity.

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

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Fri May 11, 2018 11:30 am

"If it weren't the worst, I wouldn't be here," Jane replied with another wry grin. Then it was happening. Riley riled up Sorrow and Doubt seemed happy enough to play along. The nest was kicked hard.

"Go!" She shouted at Eryl and strafed to the right, guns drawn. Once a clear line of sight was available, the gunslinger stopped. Her duster whipped wildly around her and dirt churned. Guns rose and hammers with them. Hephaestus was poised to produce lightning. Chambers were eager to report a deluge of explosions.

Jane's fingers paused at the tipping point, hammers cocked. They settled gently into their grooves as she released the triggers. The Phantom had enacted some magic-- a duel?-- and the gunslinger had no desire to disturb whatever it may be. Caution and valor and all that.

The pair of Lightnings settled back into their holsters, but her hands did not leave them.

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Kai
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kai » Fri May 11, 2018 10:26 pm

It was as if Miyuki's hesitation was the impetus for all hell breaking loose, and break loose it did. Several of the other mages began running, spells begun to be cast, and Riley's phantom started a mini rampage, issuing a challenge and casting some sort of spell on its own. She blinked, just a fraction of a second, and inhaled a sharp breath. Around her, what moisture was in the air froze and turned into a glittering mist, the abounding moisture of a decaying forest was brought under her command, and pulled up bringing a heavy barrier which separated the two fallen deities from the rest of the group, though she left openings to allow those spells already cast to hit their mark. A Crystalline bulwark was formed, and then Miyuki exhaled, opening her eyes once more and summoning a new magical outfit, one that was befit of a warrior queen, woven of mana and ice, it gave off its own veil of frostbitten air, while in her hand the now familiar frozen Katana made its presence apparent. the mist and haze around her stopped in its tracks, then froze into a solid work of intricate crystalline artwork around her before shattering itself with a jingling sound and falling to the ground, and Miyuki was ready for whatever lay ahead.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kokuten » Sun May 13, 2018 4:14 pm

The forest's body began to churn and sway, the winds of the treetops and mushroom caps causing a great tumult in the Sprigganwald. Surrounding greenery and life quickly degraded another level into browns and death. A cumulative death-scream of the immediate world around them resounded in each of their hearts. Sorrow was not just drawing mana, she was drawing from the life force of the land. Percival's mana was steeped deeply in this place, and excess power lay everywhere in all that lived, and some that were sick interpretations of life.

Violent explosions erupted out from end of Ruarc's staff, a vicious back-blast as his mana began to cut its own existence in this place. His lightning bolt was blinding, and tore more eruptions of fire in its path towards its target. What the man discovered, in his attack, was that his lightning did not need much aiming, as the crooked line of light curved straight for the wand. With a resounding clap of thunderous noise, the attack connected in a violent result, stirring up leaves and a cloud of swamp dust. Miyuki's ice wall obfuscated any further sight, going up as soon as the deity was struck.

"Lord Flynn!" Eryl called out, her voice enhanced magically, having just seen what had transpired, "That wand is Maelstrom! Zulan's first weapon! A piece of the Arctic Key! It is the portion which commands stor--"

A familiar lance of lightning struck an unprepared Eryl so hard her shield almost shattered in anticipation of the blow. The triclops was cast to the ground in the harsh strike, her body smoking where the lightning landed. A wretched arm had emerged from the ice wall, holding the wand Maelstrom; sparking, flashing light cycled around the disk-shaped gem. As if one with the element itself, the Shade of Zulan formed the rest of herself with the arm, an icy gargoyle on the frozen edifice.

"To die in this place as your friends did..." Sorrow began to weep, striking the ground in as well a swing as her melded form could allow, surges of freezing ice dancing over the ground towards Ruarc and Laoise. With another swing, lines of lightning cut down into the surges, electrifying them. "... terrible... a terrible price to pay... for your sins..."

The Phantom and Doubt were all left to their lonesome on the other end of the field. Despite the request of the construct, the shade had little to say, she seemed more concerned with the sprite that weakly fought against her grasp. There was a concerned look in her dead eyes that did not entail any comforting thoughts. In frustration, it began to wriggle those sharp fingers like a weaving wheel, turning Jakku's collar into a set of puppetting strings. The other hand began to rifle through her stained robes, pulling out a rune, and slotting it into her knuckle.

When the threatening construct teleported in front of the Shade, she finally earned Doubt's attention. This manifested in the form of a sick, coughing fit. "UUGGHkaghk! You... do not interest me... Heh... he he he... This string... does not go to the shoulder I found this bauble... Your string... however... he he hgkghk...."

A green glow erupted from a rune on a different knuckle. Doubt extended a finger, her arm extending unnaturally to touch the Phantom. In that moment, Riley would feel a terrible invasion as she felt a foreign presence ride the connection between her shadow and herself. Doubt had been drawn into her counterpart, and was ejected from Riley on the other side. The corrupted god appeared among the group with a hacking fit, before turning the puppetted Jakku on the Stage Magician, the sprite tried to resist, but spit out a gout of flame onto her intended target.

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Gwathdraug » Tue May 15, 2018 7:41 pm

Blood was running down from both Riley's nose and ears. Bringing a wavering hand up to her face she smeared shaky fingers across her skin and they came away stained with thick, near black blood. The feeling of having Doubt travel through here - using her and her Phantom as a conduit - had washed everything away leaving the stage magician feeling blank.

The young woman could feel her magic curl towards the essence and shards of the fallen goddess as the reduced deity's power struck at Riley's core of mana like a bolt of lightning. Her magic recognized what Tulan's shade was because she was Doubt. The shade had become broken in a way that was similar to how Riley became rage, became loyalty, became duty or greed. The brunette's mana stretched as the fallen goddess - this construct purged down to a single face - pulled away from her.

It begged her to close her hand. It pushed her to champion a new avatar. With a snap of her teeth Riley surged her magic forward and trapped a piece of Doubt before it could all drain away. Then, with magic crackling across her nerves and bringing a pained grimace to her face, the stage magician pushed aside everything that had become nothing and let the little glimmer she had grasped ahold of expand.

The jet of flames washed over the young woman and through it could be heard coughing and laughter - the two mingling sounds mingling with each other in what shifted from utter discordance to sheer harmony.

An arm, covered in a whispy sleeve that seemed to be made of fog, swept out against the blaze and as a pale hand reach out from beneath the hazy cloth the flames swirled around the fingers and then funneled down the mouth of the garment. Uncovered from behind the screen of fire Riley's body was now entirely clad in the foggy substance - which seemed to shift from all manner of raiment from robes to armour and more modern styles, but always concealing the head with a hazy cloak and hood. Some of the shifts exposed gaps of the body beneath showing hints of hidden, burned sections of flesh underneath the conjured form.

The avatar's motions seemed entirely unbothered by the wounds it had sustained and instead Riley chuckled before snarling heavily through her mirth even as she continued to siphon away the flames. "Do you think that a curtain can be closed just because it had been opened?" The voice was bored, then excited, then mocking as the mage's tone shifted uncontrollably. "Maybe together we can find out?"

Her hand not occupied with the flames snapped its fingers together and two globs of misty material slipped loose from the stage magicians back. The grey masses floated up and collided where they began to swirl and shape themselves into the head of a dragon.

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

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu May 17, 2018 3:46 pm

As soon as Sorrow fully emerged, she was subjected to a barrage of heavy slugs targeting her gaping wound. Jane made her way toward Eryl's prone body to a steady, thunderous beat. If she could at least put the pained goddess off kilter for a few moments, that would be success enough for now. Both guns were empty and smoking by the time she reached her fallen comrade.

The revolver in her left hand swiftly disappeared behind leather. A callused hand gently shook Eryl. "Up n at em, gal." Never idle, those warrior hands rapidly reloaded the right-hand firearm.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kokuten » Thu May 17, 2018 6:31 pm

The limestone platform began to melt beneath Riley's feet, the magic that held the particles together hissing away under the oppressive emanations from her energies. Doubt had little trouble keeping herself planted, as the ether that flowed through this place obeyed her willingly, just as Jakku was forced to. The Sprite hissed her last gout of fire, coughing plumes of smoke at the shade's prodding. Spent, she hung helplessly at the sickened god's fingers, and was held up between herself and Riley.

"Hghk... Heh... he he he," a dead smile spread on Doubt's face, as she fished a glowing, green bottle out of her shoddy robes. She didn't seem to acknowledge the stage magician's words. "How terrible... to die here... He... haghk... missed you so... so much... heh heh heh... you never looked... you never bothered... So... so easy..."

The shade swayed the bottle of volatile liquid low, in motion to toss it at Riley in an almost friendly manner. "Hgk.... To hide behind Doubt..."

Jane's shots whizzed through the air, the ammunition cutting through space itself, leaving trails of cosmic tears in their wake. Sorrow felt them, immediately, howling in weeping pain. Miyuki's ice wall bloomed in red color from where Sorrow had implanted herself, and the corrupted Goddess reeled for a moment as her open wound absorbed the heated metal that had struck it.

When the Gunslinger found Eryl, she was still smoking prone on the floor, unmoving. The moment her hand touched the Triclops, a vicious discharge of lightning surged back onto her, overloading the shield placed upon her earlier and dispersing it. With the lightning trap disarmed, a gentle shake was enough to reveal the wheezing Triclops was alive.

As she turned over, an ugly black crater in her finery was revealed, searing her arm and side. The lightning had imprinted a veiny scald up her neck and to the side of her face, marring the gentle beauty from before. She shivered, and her pale hand gripped tightly to Jane's coat as she tried to stand. The gesture was two-fold, it helped her to her feet, and a fresh shield covered the six-shooting cavalier. Shakily, Eryl gave Jane a weak smile, though couldn't seem to open her left eye, the side in which she had been struck. She tried words, but all that came out was a burdened wheeze.

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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu May 17, 2018 6:55 pm

Jane grunted in frustration at being so easily tricked, but shouldered those thoughts aside for now. With Eryl conscious and responsive, Jane offered an encouraging smile. Her free arm wound around the slighter woman's waist and shrugged Eryl's good arm around her neck.

"Well Mizz Maelgwyn, looks like ye could use a lil help. Why doncha keep up that guard n I'll work up some thunder." With the triclops secured, Jane was moving again. Her pace was deliberate and surefooted, trying to spread the goddess's focus by moving opposite Miyuki; Ruarc still held center stage within the ice cage. Shots rang out yet again, still centered around that wound.

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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Straken » Fri May 18, 2018 10:35 am

"The joys of testing the waters," Ruarc growled through grit teeth as his lightning rebounded. Either way, Sorrow was advancing, and could guess that letting her get to close wasn't in the groups best interest. Keep them at range to allow for the distance casters to pick away at them, the Druid considered. Adding to the considerations was Sorrow's little lightning rod; an Arctic Key, Eryl had said. Ruarc wondered which would win; the wand, or the Babylon Gem of Lightning. Now that he knew what to expect he could prepare for the next time.

"Laoise, fall back to Jane, work on support," the Druid instructed his familiar before moving quickly to the side to start flanking Sorrow. They needed to keep the Gods off balance. The corrupted had the advantage here, so success would hinge on strategy and good dynamics.

With a simple nod, Laoise confirmed her course and spun, making a quick dash back towards Jane and Eryl. The dove was relieved to see the lightning hadn't caused serious harm, but still intended to help make up for the folly. Once she had reached the rear line, taking up position behind her allies, she began to sing. It was soft at first, barely perceptible to even those nearest to her, as though she were trying to find her voice. It soon grew, a gentle hum leading into a soft aria that started to carry across the battlefield. To her allies, the song carried with it a soft caress; refreshing and cool like a breeze in early Spring. Upon hearing it, the oppressive fouls waste in the air seemed to clear, removing the weight from their shoulders; making their actions feel smooth and quickened. Riley in particular would feel a calm soothing, steadying her hands and mind like a comforting hand stroking her hair.

Ruarc could feel the soothing as Laoise began to sing. Doubts and worries that had begun to creep into his mind were quieted; he wasn't numbed to these feelings, he still had the edge that the anticipation of the feelings gave him. No, he was bolstered against them. The song shielding his mind just as the soft glow of her earlier spell shielded his body. The two had trained for a few years now, with Laoise wishing to be useful in case the need arose. In her own way feeling guilt over not being able to help avert Raiko's death ten years prior. The Druid felt proud of his familiar and the progress she had made. Spurred on by the support, Ruarc reached into a pouch on his bandolier and pulling out a few paper slips with runes painted onto them. With a quick channel of energy they were primed. Then throwing them towards Sorrow, he activated the first; Wind. A gust of wind whipped up, sending the remaining runes flying at speed towards the target. The remaining three paper slips brushed lightly against the shade's shoulders with deceptive gentleness, and then with alarming force flared to life; two fire slips that brushed her chest, and a concussion slip off the side of her head.

With a sliding stop, Ruarc reached the position a short ways off her right side. Gripping his staff in one hand and extending the other hand forward, the gem set into the top began to crackle with energy as he began to channel magic into it. Seeming to backfire almost, electricity ran back down the staff and up the Druid's arm in a shocking display. Once the flash of light and sound past, Ruarc's robes had been altered somewhat. Feathers trimmed the edges of the heavy cloak and metal bands and studs accented the leather armor he wore underneath. Jet black feathers across the shoulders, vibrant yellow feathers near the arms, and a zigzagged mix of the two colors hemming the lower portions.

"Neat," Ruarc said to himself. "Time for some live fire exercise."

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Kai
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Re: [Chapter 1] Into the Maw

Post by Kai » Fri May 18, 2018 4:40 pm

Trying not to waste any time, Miyuki began to form large crystalline forms of ice, shaped and pointed but obviously carrying with them large amounts of mass, then, with glacial force, these crystals were condensed, their own weight causing them to re-form a stronger, denser crystal as new layers frosted over their outsides. Her left hand held aloft to control the creation of these crystals, Miyuki's right hand placed her frozen Katana at her side and pulled a stone out of a small bag that lay hidden at her side, obfuscated by magic to be invisible to the casual eye. The stone itself was a ruby, and she clenched it in her fist, her right arm bursting into sudden flames and becoming covered in a delicate, intricate gauntlet of red and gold, the stone reappearing as the centerpiece of the gauntlet on the back of her hand, the woman now wielded the equal and opposite force of that which she was naturally imbued, and in this other hand a small sphere of fire was ignited, itself growing and collapsing several times over, changing colors as the heat and energy that it contained increased even further- its heat was such that some of the crystalline armor on Miyuki's right side began to glisten and even drip.

She grinned, watching as these two enemies gave what appeared to be their all, when she had yet to even throw a single strike. "I hope these two are an actual challenge, and not just an annoyance like they seem now" she boasted, Throwing the super condensed frozen projectiles held aloft by her left hand before throwing the fire with violent force at Sorrow, attempting to not only bludgeon but also freeze her opponent, followed by an intense heat that could cause a sudden temperature spike, simple physics that Miyuki had learned in high school. The intention being of course to cause her opponent to shatter- not just once but multiple times, just in case.

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