[Episode 4.2] The Choices

Archives of Occultus Magica's beginnings, ten years prior to the current story.
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Kokuten
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[Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kokuten » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:33 am

Tulan, in response to the rest of the group, specifically Ruarc, stood tall in her diminutive state, blood smeared on her features.

"I'll hold you to that! Ho ho!" she laughed confidently.

After bidding farewell to the mewling Tulan, and finding that Percival's ghost was already taking a risky sprint across the tree-bridge, the group set forth for the next chapter in their journey in this strange realm. Escaping over the shattered valley, which cut over the grassy hills of this pleasant area, the group would find them at the edge of the dry areas of the Elementalia. In the distance, they could see sand and dirt funneling into the sky. Arid shrubberies and bushes tore from the ground with what seemed to be the ceremony of a child leaving home to an unwilling future. Yet, the path was solid enough there. The spectre, still rather tall and noticeable, began to wander every few minutes.

He seemed to be lost, but at the same time, aware of where he was. This was especially so as they came upon a wet valley that seemed to cut naturally through the rocky terrain. There was a path that settled down into the valley's wall, and seemed to ride back into the wall at one point. Seeing this, and with little reserve for the others he had been dragging about for the past couple of hours, he began to descend it. The further he walked, the more uneasy he became, constantly shifting, turning his gaze over his shoulder, as if to expect something. When they came to about half-way down the wall's face, still walking the precarious path, he began to shrink, literally.

This time the ghost took on the qualities of the Percy they all recognized.

He was dressed in tightly bound robes, which were carefully bound by belts. These belts were laden with vials of poultices, in fact, wherever there was a securing point on his body there seemed to be a potion taking advantage of the additional garment. He wore a back-pack, thickly laden with what seemed to be survival gear. He was keeping his hand to the wall, as he looked towards the end of the path, which turned into a cave in the valley's face. Very carefully he leaned in to look into the cave's mouth, before he removed himself. He settled against a portion of wall that had a deep looking mark in it, like a cut into dried bread, his body just almost occluding it completely save for his own transparency.

Feeling safe, judging by the small smile on his face, he pulled up a canteen and took a little drink from it. Then, he suddenly shook, the ghostly figure suddenly pinned to the wall by something that pierced through his chest. His canteen fell out of his hand, as he weakly began to palm something in front of him. He started to speak, struggling with what pinioned him to the wall. Finally, without warning the ghost dispersed into a dusty nothingness.

All that they were left with was the howling wind blowing through the cave.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Straken » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:16 am

The group’s progress seemed fairly uneventful, at least in relation to when the first arrived, and Ruarc cast about with a look of interest as he studied the realm around him. Though, as much as Ruarc found himself wanting to take a closer look at everything he was also getting rather anxious for this escapade to be done with, so he could not help but feel a little irked when the entity that shepherded the group along appeared to be in no particular hurry, or lost.

With a small sigh of relief, Ruarc was glad when the group made some headway. Though his sense of relief was short lived once their guide was impaled, and a stunned look stuck on the Druid’s face as the specter faded away.

“Well, tha’ was a thing…” Ruarc said as he continued to stare at the spot that the phantasmal Percy had been moments before. After a few heartbeats passed he looked over his shoulder at the rest of the group, almost as though he was looking for confirmation of what just happened. “So, uh, inta the cave then?”

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kai » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:30 pm

Walking. More Walking. Still more walking. They had been walking for ages. One would think, that, in another realm, using bodies that were morely just a projection of one's essence, that one would not get tired of walking. But One did. At least, Miyuki did. Mentally exhausted, only the thought that they could save Percy kept her going as the trekked across the desert, before finally making their way to this, this, valley, or whatever. Down the treacherous path they went, following the Spectre as best they could, Miyuki not far behind the wisp of Percy-ness, until, suddenly, finally, it was banished, somehow.

It was a shock to Miyuki, watching this guide of theiors, this hollow, see-through shell of her friend, just gone. It hurt Miyuki more than she wanted to admit, and that wasn't even the real Percy, not the entire one, the living breathing Percy they were trying to save. Her eyes stared in horror at the spot where he had been, and she was frozen to hers, before something suddenly snapped her out of the trance. Ruarc's words brought the Japanese girl back to reality. causing her to blink, and shake her head a few times.

"uhh.. Yes.. Let's..." was all she could say.

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by CadetNewb » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:38 am

The scene Tulan watched was like the ending of a movie - or perhaps the beginning!

Heroes walking off, departing from an epic quest completed as credits rolled, or starting off on a brand new journey to uncharted lands. Either fit the scene she watched. Until a little girl in red ran all the way back to her, quickly started putting red bandages over her wounds, and ran all the way back to her spot in the group.

*****

Coco watched as vast, dry lands flew by - literally - as it was all seemingly vacuumed up. To where? She had no clue. As the red clad Mahou Shojou gleefully hopped along, it soon all transitioned into moist, vibrant walls of a valley, the change almost looking like a transition from one paint pallet to another. To her, it was like an abstract blending of reality that was somehow smooth and seamless while being completely alien. Like Minecraft. 'Just what does it say about Percy?' the Lich wondered to herself. Again, she was struck dumb. As they went along, the girl being unusually quiet as she thought about this, the ghostly form they followed soon changed. "Hey! This must be it! We're probably really clo - " And, so Coco jinxed them all by speaking too soon. Again, he was gone. Completely, utterly gone.

"He's. Gone," she spoke in disbelief.

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kokuten » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:47 am

Into the gloom they entered, those remaining of the party who hadn't disappeared. The tunnel here was a semi-natural formation, toiled apart with some sort of magic that gave off the look of natural carvings. However, the Druid of the group could recognize, as well as anyone versed in shaping magic could, the evidence that this flat path gave. Runes of light were carved into the wall to give just the barest sight. The smell that wafted around was rich and dank, raw with the aroma of unearthed dirt, which only lent further to the cave being the result of the machinations of someone who was not Mother Nature. Occasionally, ever now and then, they would encounter thick gaping gouges into the wall that could not have been done by any natural creature. The wounds in the rocky walls looked as if someone had driven in an industrial scoop and carelessly tossed aside the scoured remains.

Yet, there, as they began to gather more of the visual evidence, it was the sound that was the most unfitting of them all. Throughout the length of the tunnel there was a deep, thrumming hum. The noise was of no obvious growl, but more of a resonating, electric noise.

At the tunnels end, they found where it was coming from, and there, they found everything. At the base of what seemed to be an architectural carving of Mesopotamian or Babylonian styles in the wall of this wide, soaring area was Raiko. Her legs were sunken into the earth, as if the rock under her was taken with the idea of being liquid. Thankfully her captor seemed to offer her the courtesy to sit, despite her condition, but in trade, it appeared she was to be in care of a child. In her arms was a sleeping toddler, who appeared a little over one, but no more than two. The child's hair was blonde, with two black horns protruding from under her lake of short strands. Two Raiko's right, a stone spike impaled into his chest, was what appeared to be a full sized Decanus. The Guardian was upon what seemed to be some sort of sacrificial altar, he was unmoving, but appeared to breath despite the solid object pinning him.

Then, in what seemed to a stone basket carved from the wall of runes and enchantments was the young boy they had been seeking all this time. He looked battered, unkempt, and unconscious, hanging limply from the stone that restrained him. The young man was mildly bloodied, but was nothing too threatening other than the runes that were marked on his face. What seemed to be more threatening, more intimidating was this pulsing construction made from the carvings of the wall. Coco could recognize the swirling and inscribed enchantments connecting various runes that Ruarc would also recognize. Yet there was something familiar about the construction of this set of prepared magicks that seemed to ring a word up from the Druid's studies.

Meshlagal.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Straken » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:28 pm

Ruarc should have been elated to have found both Raiko and Percy in the same area, both looking slightly worse for wear. However, the scene in which he found his friends dredged up knowledge that he had thought he would never need to bother with, and when he should have been moving in to help his friends all that was on his mind was the passages written within the Tome Percy had passed on to him; The End.

“Why? Why is this here?” Ruarc said, unsure whether he had whispered the question or if he had shouted. Taking a deep breath to steady his mind, he began to run over all that he had read in the Tome, and with great trepidation began walking steadily towards the altar. “Goes without sayin’, Ah s’pose, but everyone be on yer guard here. It is a thing of vile magics.”

As the druid drew closer, he focused himself on checking Raiko first, and the odd infant she was holding. “Raiko, are ya alright?” he asked as was almost within arm’s reach. With his closer vantage point Ruarc activated his right eye as he inspected the ground around Raiko’s legs and the baby in her arms. Then in a whisper under his breath, “How do you two figure into this contraption.”

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kai » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:11 pm

"I- I'm alright, I think" Raiko responded to Ruarc, looking somewhat distressed, as she sat there, attempting to stay calm and not wake the baby she had found herself holding. "But, He has been here the whole time, before I got here... and the other one, the little one. he did this!" Raiko explained, although who 'he' was exactly she didn't seem to think to explain. "We need to stop this! it's bad, whatever it is!"

**************************************************************

Miyuki's first instinct was to rush over to Percy. Without thinking, she embraced him, calling out his name. "Percy! Percy! can you hear me? Are you alright?" she asked, desperately looking for something she could do. Her two friends were entrapped in stone, and her mind raced as to what she might be able to do about it. shaking Percy urgently but gently, she suddenly stopped, remembering that she had something- the Gemstones! Quickly, she dug through her outfit and found them, except, they looked a bit different than normal. something was off about them, and they didn't seem to resonate with power anymore. Regardless, Miyuki pulled out the Topaz, and set it in the choker that allowed her to use her powers, in place of the sapphire. but, it didn't do anything. No transformation occurred, the key did not materialize, her intuition of the magic she could use did not shift, and, most worryingly, the stones refused to shift no matter how much she might have willed them to.

"Uhh, guys... I think we have a really big problem" the Mahou Shoujou admitted, stating the obvious in a very obvious manner.

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by CadetNewb » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:13 pm

Coco's face had gone white.

Gone was her cheeriness, the upbeat attitude and playfulness. The reason why was simple. When she woke up as a Lich, the first things she saw were runes just like these - all from the ritual that her older brother and sister had done together to save her. And when they explained exactly what it all was - modified from the original - Coco had cried then, screaming in horror. The cold chills still ran down her spine. The young Lich could still feel that much, especially in this realm. "It's a soul eater. It gobbles up souls," Coco explained to them all, her voice quiet. When Raiko spoke up however, the ice spread like crystals, their sharp, jagged forms growing through her flesh. Putting two and two together, she bent her knees, getting into a fighting stance as her ribbons readied themselves like snakes.

"If Miyuki's powers aren't working properly, that means that it's just us in here. Right?" Coco slowly asked. "None of her actual familiars...if that's the case, who's the little boy? is HE the one behind all this, Raiko?"

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kokuten » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:07 am

Ffffzzsh!

"The answer to your question, is no. That 'boy' didn't do anything," answered the miniature Decanus as he stepped from a fissure, with a different, feminine voice. He stood high on the wall, mounted atop some of the more involved looking runes. The small assassin stared down at the group, and wore a lop-sided face of annoyance. With a burst that made it seem as if the small Decanus had exploded from the inside into dusty bits, there came the appearance of a young mage, not too much older than the rest of them. Despite her former expression of annoyance, she settled into a small smile. Then, with a throat-clearing cough, and adjustment of her glasses, she began to speak. "I did, and I believe you should remove your hands from my machine."

She pat her hand on the soul-extractor, and it hummed. Percy twitched a little bit, as if having some sort of excited dream with no chance of waking. "I worked very hard to make it, and I'm surely not letting you contaminate the specimen. So, stand back."

The mage snapped her fingers, beginning to kick her legs under her robes. Raiko began to sink a little further into the stone, the hard rock enveloping her little by little. With another snap of the mysterious mage's fingers, the priestess stopped, albeit a few inches deeper. "Unless you're here to free yourselves from this gaudy mage-prison, which I assure you I know you aren't, fools, I'll ask you to leave."

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kai » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:28 pm

A new wave of panic came over Raiko's face as she began to sink just a bit more, though when she stopped she did seem to look somewhat relived, at least that it was stopping, anyway. Feeling powerless, she had no idea what to do, none of her usual methods worked in here, and she was completely without any of her items, as well. It was, to be certain, a worst case scenario.

************

"Who the hell are you?" Miyuki spat at the newcomer, vile hatred in her eyes at the bespectacled woman who was threatening Percy's life by attempting to tear out his soul "And what gives you the right to do any of this to Percy? he's a Human being! A person! Our friend! Not some battery to power your stupid cave drawings!" Miyuki wanted to add the word 'bitch' to the end of her sentence, but decided that, at least for the moment, it wasn't necessary just yet. She had, however, curled her hands into fists, and begun shaking in anger; a soft crackling sound announced the appearance of Ice forming over her extremities, however.

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