Mountain of Shadows RP: the sequel

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AuthorTopic: Mountain of Shadows RP: the sequel
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OOC: Is the RP dead or has everyone gone on vacation?

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"Keep your wits about you, the game is afoot!!" - Sherlock Holmes

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OOC: Hmmm. Now there is something which I indeed didn't really forsee. I was on vacation, adn therfor I didn't post.

IC:

Filbert was hold firm in the grip of Sequoia, who was clearly ready to kill him any time. And the druid was right. Filbetr had caused this mess. He was fully reponsible for the mistrust of all his team 'mates.' First he was just a fool, now also a weak one.

Then suddenly all hi thoughts collapsed under the wight of this one other thought, the one that he tried to repressfrom the very first time that the group travelled together. The one which made Filbert sych a weak person, the one that made it so easily for Orloki to manipulate him.

Hatred.

He could feel it now over all his body. The group thought him to be a fool, and he discovered now he indeed was a true fool. Instead of just talking, saying what he felt, he kept it inside. Now it had to come out. He actually didnt care that he was manipulated by Orloki. Actually, he found it a very pleasant feeling, that he could bash the brains out of Lisha, destroy edith's rediculous herbs, give Sequoia what he deserved. Tuulentekija also mustn't be forgotten in all of this. he also deserved to be beaten, just in a more friendly fashion, as he seemed to still be convinced in some way or another, that Filbert was here with some goal. Or maybe not. Maybe Tuulentekija was against him too. He didn't care. He was about to die anyway.

The big problem here was Cain. Cain, now being a demon, was to strong for him, and he must have been the one finally chasing Orloki out of his body.

Now it was the time to talk. Although it might be his last moment, his final words, and only Sequoia might hear them, gos, he didn't care.

"Let me go! I can barely speak! I have things to tell you!"

Sequoia kept him right in place, but loosened his grip.

"Thank you," Filbert said, in a now slightly clearer voice, after which he continued:

"From the start, right from that moment that we all started to feel the dangers, you thought of me being a fool. Just some luggage on a long trip. Moreover, some worthless luggage that one had to dispose of. You didn't do that, not yet. but I could feel that hatred, I could feel what you thought of me, and I don't care now anymore what you do to me. Yes, I injured you, got you cursed, but think of it from my point of view: I felt hated, I suffered. When orloki get hold of me, what do you think you would have done?"

Sequoia looked at him. he didn't answer. the only sign Filbert could see about Sequoia really listening, was that he started frowning.

"Yes. I wanted to harm you. I wanted to kill you, if possible. That is why I was manipulated so easily by Orloki. Not because I am weak, not because I am a fool, it was your own doing. In my home country, they have this saying: 'Never treat a person as a fool, untill he shows you his strengths.' You didn't do that. I was treated as a fool right from the start. I built p my hatred, and instead of just talking about it, I kept it in. As a result, orloki took hold of me very easily, and I injured you in a very bad manner. That wouldn't have happened, if just you, you and the others, wouldn't have treated me as a piece of dirt."

Filbert was silent. Sequoia was silent.

I said what i had to say, Filbert thought, if he wants to kill me, so be it, but he will always feel the guilt. The guilt of killing a weak fool. A weak fool who was made a weak fool by his friends, his mates. his mates who didn't really seem his friends.

Filbert shut his eyes, and waited for a final blow.

OOC: I hope that was convincing. If not, kill Filbert.

[ Friday, August 04, 2006 07:12: Message edited by: Mc 'mini' Thralni ]

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So, like, what's happening, eh?

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OoC:

A short summary:

Tuulentekija has sent Gnosis to inform Melora about his whereabouts. He's now waiting in the library room.

Melora is being blocked by a barrier of ice. So are Lisha and the Curator.

Curator has contacted Gnosis, and wants back his powers to control ice. Coincidentally, the book Tuulentekija is holding contains the techniques needed for that.

Cain and Edith are a bit behind the others, currently fighting a pack of undead.

Sequoia and Filbert were headed to Orloki, when Sequioa decided to go mad on Filbert. We are now waiting how this fight is going to end.

Curys, Caecus, Andros etc. Are supposedly also climbing towards the top of the mountain, propably following our trails.

My opinion: The next people to post should be either you, Dintiradan, or Ephesos. We need to now Sequoia's decision about Filbert and how Gnosis is going to react to the multitude pleads of help to advance the story. This RP is more than a year old now, we ought to finish it before it turns 2.

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I want to post next, and I expect it'll be short, because it'll probably be written tonight at... well, way too late for a long post. I say this because I'm going off into the woods backpacking for a week, and I will return on the 24th. So, at best, I'll be back to posting on the 25th.

EDIT: Right, can't post. Not enough time. Too tired... and such things. I'll post ASAP once I return... I'll have plenty of time to think of it.

[ Wednesday, August 16, 2006 19:55: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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"She... frightens me."

Gnosis pauses in its musings. Why would you feel threatened by one such as her? The spell she cast on you originated from her tome. Her magical prowess would be diminished without my aid.

For a few moments there is silence from the Curator. Communicating with him is different than contacting a physical through a book. There is no information to be gathered through the raw rush of emotions, just dead silence between each sending. Finally, he replies, and his sending is full of quiet smugness. "You have lost access to much information, Gnosis. This 'drow' bears a name in a tongue you have apparently forgotten." A pause. "'Touched by the Shadow'. If you were capable of vision, if you could see what I have seen in her eyes, you would be frightened too."

Gnosis returns to its previous musings. After what must have been centuries, the Curator has made contact once again. Considering his strange request, Gnosis supposes that he must have fallen out of favour with the Guardian. With him apparently powerless, it found no reason to withhold information on its fruitless conversation with Melora. The physical is informed of the situation with Tuulentekija, but that does little good with her trapped. Gnosis feels frustration; all its hopes dwelt on these physicals, and of the entire lot, only two are heading towards the Guardian.

"Grant me my powers again," the Curator sends once again, this time with a touch of petulance. "I will aid your cause."

Why not? Now that Gnosis has thought it through, it seems that denying the Curator access to his powers is due to the Guardian making absolutely sure that he would deal with the physicals one by one. Even if this druid is as strong as Tuulentekija has suggested, he would be no match against the Guardian alone.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Gnosis comes to a decision and draws upon its energy reserves. It had nearly depleted them when it first came in contact with Melora, but with the advent of regaining contact with the tome held by Tuulentekija, the availiable reserves had increased again. I will grant you your powers again, on one condition. I will regain contact with Melora and Tuulentekija. I will find from them where they are located, and you will shift the ice to make a path for them as well as for yourself and Lisha. Gnosis still harbours doubts regarding the Curator's newfound loyalty, but sending nearly every physical in the Mountain seems the only way that the Guardian could possibly be defeated.

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Hopefully, this will help pave the path to THE FINAL SHOWDOWN!
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
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OOC: I'm not going to be able to post until David posts from the perspective of Cain.

I think it would be a good idea if at least one other person were to find their way to the trophy room where Cain and Edith are. Perhaps a hidden doorway to the chamber could be discovered or something. Now would be a good time to start getting the group back together again.

Note: The Trophy room is supposed to be a room where Orloki keeps the human and humanoid trophies of his past defeats. In other words, Edith and Cain have stumbled onto a sort of crypt. I was hoping to have this Trophy room located next to Orloki's throne room, with a secret entrance to it. However, I'd prefer to leave it up to the other RP members to decide if that's the case or not.

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"Keep your wits about you, the game is afoot!!" - Sherlock Holmes

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Melora turned around to the other side. Her back sent an unpleasant tingle up her spine as it pressed against the rough stone floor.

She had been lying on the tunnel floor for no more than a few minutes, but it already seemed like hours for her. She was trying to empty her thoughts, to focus on the void within her mind where she knew the Shadow still lurked.

The passage was utterly dark even for her heat-sensing eyes; only her breath streamed glowing clouds of warmth, lighting up patches of the rock as it warmed up the walls and the ceiling. Her eyes screwed shut against even this low light, she was utterly alone within the chasms of her imagination and her memories, reaching back through the centuries.

------------------------------------------

The ground vibrates. Dunes shift, the dry sand flowing like water. A low rumble, then a hum, as the age-old stone gate slowly slides open. Darkness and the rotten stench of dead aeons await behind it, but she strides in with confidence.

---

The doleful cry of the Shantak, echoing over the frozen wastes, speaking of loneliness and despair. Tekeleeee Leee! Tekeleeee Leee!

---

Her skin is scorched in the dull red glow of the fiery streams beneath her. She hastens through the cavern, hoping to reach her goal before the sulphurous fumes overwhelm her. A stagnant pool lies ahead, slimy and reeking of death, but she bathes her blistering feet in it without heed.

---

Walking through darkness - utter darkness, where the cold air extinguishes even her own heat. A sound in the distance. Drums in the deep, sounding through tons of rock. As they get louder, she recognizes a rhythm. There are pipes, blowing a discordant, strident melody. The darkness seems to get even deeper. She rounds a corner and---


It was back. She sat up, then stood, suddenly back in the tunnel beneath the mountain of shadows. Her mind was clear, her vision and hearing infinitely sharper. She turned around from the passage's blocked end and towards the small hole that was still open, awaiting her. It looked no more inviting than it had when it had first appeared. It could not have looked less so if the words "Death Trap" had been emblazoned on a sign next to it. But her doubts had blown away like ashes on a fiery wind.

We meet on my ground, Orloki. Even in the heart of your mountain. Just wait.

She squeezed through the hole.

OOC: Gnosis can still contact her. If he does, he'll notice that her mind has changed, but he can't immediately recognize why.

[ Wednesday, August 23, 2006 13:08: Message edited by: Drow ]

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OoC: Ack, pardon the long wait (and my absence in general). Moving back into the dorms has been an interesting process.

IC:

He was right. There was nothing Sequoia could do to deny it... the small part of his mind that was still his own shrieked out a note of justice, forcing the irate druid to remember the training and morals that he had received so long ago. And above all, the cardinal rule of the Order: Treat all as equals, until they prove themselves to be otherwise.

He could not kill Filbert, even with the mountain's power and the demon's taint flowing through his veins. Even though he remembered the unbelievable pain he had suffered at Filbert's hands, he could not make his hand tighten any more over Filbert's throat.

Sequoia lowered Filbert down from the wall, and with a light flick of his wrist, cast him back down the passage a few feet. He couldn't kill Filbert, but he could put him in his place.

He has proven his physical strength, but he cannot prove his moral strength just yet, the druid thought, tendrils of ice still rising from his faintly glowing form.

Another voice in his mind added, And if he is able to help slay Orloki, he shall be forgiven. It wasn't said as a mere statement of opinion, it was said as a fact, carved in stone as ancient as the mountain. It wasn't his own voice, and it wasn't the demon. It had to be the mountain, or Sequoia was finally losing his mind.

"Fine," the druid said calmly to Filbert, who was slowly pulling himself up off the floor and reaching for his sword. "You may draw breath. But when the demon lies dead, we have a score to settle."

A rumble from the surrounding stone caught his attention. Somewhere down below him, the passage of many feet echoed around a large chamber. He felt a scream carry up through the rock.

Edith. What has she done?

Filbert might've said something, but Sequoia didn't care. Every ally was precious at this point, and if Orloki was to keep picking them off... he would have to force a confrontation soon. If he waited much longer, he and Filbert would be the only ones left.

"We must move quickly," he said to Filbert, who had gotten to his feet, breathing heavily. The druid started walking down the passage towards where he knew Orloki was...

Or was he still there? The presence felt different, subtly altered from the near-omnipresent pressure he'd grown accustomed to. This was much more focused, much more intense. This was...

He heard the quick footsteps behind him, and he felt a spell rise to his lips, unbidden. A narrow beam of ice shot from his hands, and arced back around him to freeze Filbert's sword into his hands in mid-swing, causing him to misstep and crash into the floor.

"Do you still want to live or not?" Sequoia asked impatiently, trying to pinpoint the new location of Orloki... or Cain.

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IC:

What a stupid question. Of course I want to live. And what is he doing now. he seems to be standing there, doing nothing.

Sequoia stood in the middle of the passage, staring in blackness. He didn't seem to noticve anything for a short period of time. The silence was interupted by his cloak making some soft noises when the druid put the palm of his hand against the right side of his head. Then, he slowly moved his head to several sides, and finally spoke: "There!"

"What is it?" Filbert asked.

"Orloki, Cain, a demonic form, in any way. Strangely enough, the energy pulses come from beneath us somewhere. Come now. We must hurry and go on."

Filbert obeyed. he didn't want another confrontation with the old man again. I'll just do as he does and hope for the best. He seems to be not entirely convinced that I shouldn't be dead. Also, what he said just now, about a score to settle... Hmmm. I'll just do as he tells me.

The two of them finally started movinbg on. Sequoia first, Filbert right after him. Filbert looked at the druid while they walked on. Both of them were silent.

Soon they found a passage to the right of them, leading downwards. It was still covered in the ice, though the passage seemed to be somewhat better constructed. Here and there the passage's ceiling seemed to be supported by some sort of wooden blocks. Filbert couldn't really say, as the ice covered everything. What also was suspicious, was the fact that the passage was not so much a slope, as crude steps. It looked like a staircase, and so it was. Sequoia and Filbert looked at the passage, staring at it suspiciously, until Filbert simply said:

"You want to get to the demon, right? You said he is downstairs? This way you can get downstairs, so i suggest we continue this way."

Sequoia nodded and they went on.

OOC: I hope this is better.

[ Thursday, August 31, 2006 09:02: Message edited by: Thralni ]

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OOC:

quote:
agony will you have.
I just pictured a short green guy in a druid's robe, and that's your fault. :P

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IC:

Sitting on the icy floor,Tuulentekija waited. And waited. Every second felt like an eternity, every second Sequoia and Filbert drifted further from him and closer to the demon. Every second he wondered how much time they really had left, if any. And every second it became harder to push away the thought, that they had already lost.

We have lost most of our supplies, he pondered. Even if we somehow win the demon, we still have to find our way back down the mountain. Even if the path had stayed the same, it would've be a close call. But now...

If Tuulentekija hadn't already accustomed to the idea that they would, most likely, die, desperation might have creeped into his mind. But in the numb state he was in, there was no room for such emotions; the only thought that fit to his mind was to wait for a response from the ghost librarian of the mountain...

A sudden stream of alien thoughts alerted Tuulentekija from his state of dormancy. "This way", Gnosis signalled to him, and without a moment of suspicion he was on his feet and running towards whatever peril the ghost was leading him to.

Tuulentekija couldn't tell how long had he ran, or when he had entered the room he found himself standing in. After a while of examining his surroundings, he also decided that he didn't know how he had entered it in the first place, as all entrances were blocked by rubble and black ice. "What the hell is going on!" he cried out loud.

"I am sorry I had to do it like this, but it was more efficient to guide you without stressing your concscious thinking", Gnosis responded. "I have led you near the antechamber of the Guardians throne room, close to the place where Lisha is being held."

"Lisha?" Tuulentekija wondered. "But dind't I ask you to seek Melora...?"

"Yes, but to free her it is essential to first free Lisha and the other person behind the barrier you are now facing", Gnosis replied trough a cloud of confused thoughts that was floating inside Tuulentekija's head. "Who other person?" he muttered, but Gnosis remained silent.

"Okay, okay, how am I going to get past this... this.. no mikä saatanan perkele nyt onkaan!" Tuulentekija growled and did several annoyed motions towards the block of ice in front of him. Gnosis was fascinated by the bits of foreign language radiating from Tuulentekija's mind, but after identifying the content of the sentence it decided that it would be better to do linguistic analysis later, when the physical's mind would be more at peace.

"I have already translated some contents of the book to your consciousness," Gnosis signalled. "Using the magical energy contained in the tome as well as your own, dormant, abilities, you have proven to be able to burrow short distances through this ice. I am hoping that by using your new ability, you will get close enough to them so I can form a mindlink between you and the other one."

"What happens then?" Tuulentekija questioned, not bothering to ask about whatever "dormant abilities" Gnosis had found in him. "If all goes as planned, the other one will take on the task of melting the ice, resulting in all three of you being freed from the Guardian's grasp", the ghost told. Tuulentekija stood still for brief moment, shrugged, rolled up his sleeves (or what little was left of them) and then began chanting a mysterious pattern Gnosis had loaded into his mind. Paranaoia is for amateurs was his last free thought before fully focusing into his task.

OoC: I am sure that text is full of typos, but I don't have the time to check it now. Sorry.

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Was that really necessary? :confused:

Mod-Edit: This referred to spam that is now deleted.

[ Wednesday, September 20, 2006 16:40: Message edited by: Drow ]

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All right. Perennial Aranpost coming up. Also, OM has been carefully wiped off this topic with some lint-free cloth.

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OOC Summary:
Sequoia and Filbert are rushing toward Orloki, but have been momentarily diverted by Edith and Cain, who are close, but below them. Lisha is trapped with the Curator, but Tuulentekija is coming to their rescue. Gnosis is in contact with Tuulentekija, the Curator and soon Melora.

IC:

Even in her current state, she felt an instant as if she had made a mistake. There was a terrible moment in which she hung on with her hands to the sides of the chute, and tested with her feet for the ground that was not below her. Then she let go.

The tunnel bent slightly, until it was sufficiently level to break a free fall, but far too steep to control the sliding. Her feet ahead, she slid and fell through a shaft so narrow that she could not even see where she was going. But for the Shadow that assured her she was safe, she would have resigned herself to certain death by now.

Worse, she was still accelerating. Even through the leather of her armor, she could feel the heat of friction. Wherever she came out, she would have a rough landing.

In response to an unknown reflex, she braced herself for the fall moments before, within short succession, a pale light shone up the shaft from below, the tunnel walls ended and she lay in a bruised heap at the floor of a strange cavern.

Physical pain was dulled by the trance, but she fought to suppress a groan as she sat up and took her bearings.

Where am I?

The chamber she had landed in was vaguely oblong and had several doors leading out of it. Several magical globes hung on the walls and doused the room in a soft white light.

She glanced up at the narrow opening she had fallen out of. That was one way she wouldn't be returning, so she might as well go ahead and try one of the doors. There were three of them, leading in different directions, but the Shadow guided her toward one of them, and she opened it without hesitation.
The feeling of a demonic presence washed over her face like a warm cloud of rot as she entered.

The sound of footsteps soon followed. Two people, hastening through the tunnel ahead.

Cain. That explained the tainted aura. And Edith.

So they crossed the runes. A sudden sense of foreboding crept through her, realizing that Cain, having crossed the runes, would be under the control of Orloki. But his aura felt no different than when she had last left him. Had he truly crossed the runes? But how else could he have left the chamber?

The two came into sight, and - again responding to a command from the spirit that had infused her - Melora held up her hand in a vague gesture that could be anything from a greeting to a warning. Her voice was not her own as she called out to them.

"Halt!"

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OOC: It's time to get this RP going again. If Nazgul isn't planning to post, then I must do it instead. I've gone WAAAAAAY too long in waiting on him. I refuse to wait any longer.

IC: Edith can't believe her eyes. A sadistic crypt this high up in the mountain, and full of undead trophies. Orloki must have collected them as some mages would collect insects or plants. A corpse clad in armor and wielding a saber comes at her from the left and attempts to cut off her arm. She dodges it and retaliates by giving it a swift kick in the chest, knocking it down.

Another undead wearing ancient robes and yielding a staff of similar age swings at her from the right. She catches hold of the staff in mid-air with her left hand to the utter astonishment of the undead. Yanking the staff away from it, Edith counters with a strike to its head, knocking it some five feet away. The undead promptly goes after its head, and picking it up, it reattaches it.

Bloody hell!!! What type of undead are these?

Another undead covered in strange-looking armor pulls out a throwing knife and flings it at Edith while she is distracted. It pierces her right upper arm, causing her to drop the staff and let out a horrendous scream. She clutches her arm and begins to stagger a bit. All at once, she can feel some sort of poison entering her veins, but she decides it’s more important to keep fighting.

As more and more undead are approach her, she unsheathes her dagger and strikes out at random to ward them off. Just then, she hears approaching footsteps and turns to see Cain round the corner. He promptly reaches for a halberd that is propped up against one of the walls and throws himself into the fray. However, despite their joint efforts to defeat the rampaging undead, they find they are fighting a losing battle. If they knock one down, two take its place and it more often than not gets back up. They also find that undead with severed limbs can easily reattach them and regenerate.

Looking around the chamber, Cain can dimly see what looks like an exit at the other end. He points it out to Edith and in one swift gesture, they push back several of the undead in their way and make a mad dash for the doorway. As they pass out of the crypt and into the tunnel, they find it curves sharply left and is constructed of what looks like ice-covered marble.

Behind them, they can hear the undead in pursuit, but being slower, they are some distance off. After heading down the passage a ways, they both stop to catch their breath. Edith pulls out her spell book and turns to a familiar page. She mumbles some words and a large sheet of thick ice appears in the passage behind them. Cain looks at it for a second and shakes his head.

"That won't hold them off forever."

"Long enough for us to hopefully find another way to escape them and tend to our wounds... or at least my wounds."

Edith takes the next moment to secure a piece of cloth from her knapsack, and tearing a strip off, she applies a tourniquet to her right arm. Then, taking some of her remaining herbs, she quickly mixes a paste. She then turns to Cain.

"Cain, could you do me a favor? I don't have the strength or the stomach to remove this throwing knife from my arm by myself. Would you please do it for me?"

"I suppose I can, Miss Edith. You better brace yourself."

She does as he says and braces herself against the wall. In one swift action, Cain grabs a hold of the hilt and yanks it out. He expects Edith to yelp, but to his surprise, she doesn't do much more then wince and stagger a little. She then sets to work applying the paste she prepared to the wound on her arm and other various slight wounds. When she is finished, she grips her arm, turns to Cain, and nods her thanks.

Still feeling the poison in her veins, she does her best to hide it from Cain as they continue down the tunnel, but they don't get very far when they suddenly hear a loud "HALT!" just ahead of them. They both stop dead in their tracks and scrutinize the shadowed figure in front of them.

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A glimmer of ice hung in the air, then was gone. At his post by the wall, the Curator suddenly went rigid.

"What."

Lisha slid over to him.

"What have you-"

She stopped. His eyes blinked open and he looked up at her.

"Has Gnosis given y-"

"Yes. Let us go. There is no time, we must hurry." The Curator strode to the wall with Lisha behind, knives ready, wary of both the wall and the undead. What has come over him? Is it just the presence of Gnosis that's given him this... this overwhelming confidence or is there something that even Gnosis missed?

A crack resounded in the chamber. Another shimmer of ice drifted from the ceiling. Lisha's eyes followed it up, searching for but not finding a source, some weakness above them that threatened to throw the mountain down on top of them. When she looked down, she started.

"Lich. What are you doing."

The Curator gave no visual sign of having heard her but kept his attention on his bony hands, the gossamer skin pressed against the black ice - but at the side of the room, not the back. Not to Orloki, but to - where else? Lisha tore him from the wall and raised a knife.

"What are you doing? Orloki is behind you. Do not decieve me, lich."

For the first time since the death of the wolves, the Curator spoke without fear. "Gnosis returned my knowledge on condition. We must first free your friends from their own cells if we mean to face the Guardian. You may let me go, or you may let the ice consume you. I will leave the choice in your hands."

A pause. Lisha lifted her hand from the Curator's robe and motioned toward the wall. The lich bowed slightly, ironically, then moved back to the wall to focus his energies on its restructuring. Lisha watched doubtfully, motionlessly. There was no lie in his eyes; of that she was sure. But why was the Curator necessary to the rescue of the others? What did they need rescue from? And who controlled this power emanating from her undead companion? A section of the ice shifted, then dissolved, and she stepped gingerly over a fallen stalagmite to follow the lich into the growing tunnel.

They walked in silence for a while, the lich pushing ahead, hands spread almost as if in suplication, Lisha behind, one eye to the wall and one eye to the Curator. Both hands held ready knives. Eventually she noticed the ice closing behind them; the lich's power, it seemed, was not quite as great as that of the demon. For once, Lisha found the silence discomforting.

"Lich. Where are we going?"

"To find the swordsman. Do not ask me, ask Gnosis."

Tullentekija. Good, if that were true. In a few minutes the dull glow of the ice gave way to a lighter, more translucent quality, then to open air. Lisha blinked. Tuulentekija stood before them, startled but ready, sword held as if to ward off the lich. His eyes darted to hers for half a second, then back. He lowered the weapon, his face betraying confusion.

"Lisha?"

"Where are the others?" She pushed past the Curator and stood before him. "Melora? Sequoia? Cain?"

"I don't - Brother Sequoia went - how is this? How did you- find me?"

"Gnosis. Where are they?"

The Curator stepped forward and spoke to both of them. "Next we will go to the shadowed one. She will be more difficult to reach. There is no time. Follow me." He stepped back into the passage and they barely had time to leap in after him before the ice closed around them.

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And though the musicians would die, the music would live on in the imaginations of all who heard it.
-The Last Pendragon

Polaris = joy.

In case of emergency, break glass.
Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 2940
Profile Homepage #42
OOC: I'm back, time to speed things to an ending. Better late than never.

IC:

"Melora?" Edith walked towards the slim figure of the drow.

"Where were you?" Melora inquired, "And what is Cain doing here? I thought he was going to wait outside the runes?"

"What do you mean? We never passed the runes, we took a side path before the black ice fell on us." Replied Edith, somewhat confused. "The path led us to some kind of trophy room where we were ambushed by undead and…"

Melora immediately drew her weapons and adopted a defensive position between Edith and Cain.

"Melora! What are you doing, put the..." Melora quickly interrupted Edith's talk, "Fools! You have taken a side path yes, but the path was simply another way of getting you and Cain inside Orloki's prison range. The runes are simply the symbolic representation of an invisible control zone. You may have not have passed over a rune, but that does not mean you are not within his area of imprisonment.

"That cannot be, Cain helped me, he… helped… me…" Suddenly Edith's voice was weakened. A second later, she fell unconscious on the black ice.

Melora gave a quick glance at Edith's body, "What have you done to her hell spawn!"

Cain remained perfectly still and detached, "Poison. An undead weapon hit her a few minutes ago. If we stay here any longer, we will share her f..."

"You lie! I know you have been possessed by Orloki!" Cried Melora.

Cain calmly replied, "I have not been possessed by Orloki," Cain calmly walked towards Melora "Besides, what would you alone do if I were indeed possessed? Pinch me with a dagger?"

"Don't move any closer." Melora replied.
Cain stopped one meter in front of Melora. "If we don't do something, Edith will die."

"Not that you care." Melora replied.

Cain grinned, "Fine. Let's stay here. I will get to see how you heal Edith's poisoning, while fighting of a group of undead at the same time."

Surely enough, both Cain and Melora could hear the sounds of armour coming from the tunnel behind them. Melora cursed in her tongue as she moved over Edith’s poisoned body. With one hand she felt her neck and raised her eyelids, Melora recognized the poison, she could heal it, but it would take longer than the seconds it would take the undead to reach them.

Melora's , mind was reeling, They could run, she could tell Cain to carry Edith to safety but what if Cain killed the human? She could leave them both and attempt to flee through the icy passages, but if Cain was truly Orloki then he could easily trap her in the ice. Melora soon realized she had no option but to trust Cain. Slowly she lowered her weapons and kneeled next to Edith.

"I will heal the human, you will hold the undead." She replied, almost resigned.

As soon as Melora left her weapons for herbs the bulky fist of Cain fell like a brick on Melora’s shoulder who immediately dropped the medicines. With her other arm she lashed a hidden dagger at Cain who grasped the slim wrist of the Melora with ease.

"You bastard, I knew it!" Melora spat.

"You know nothing." Cain replied as he punched Melora's stomach.

Drow blood spat out of Melora's mouth as she cursed Cain. "The others… the others will find you…"

"Indeed. They will join you soon enough, I have someone working on that." With that, Cain released another heavy hit on Melora, this time on her head. The last thing she could hear was Cain's demonic voice commanding the undead around them. "Strip them of their weapons and bind them!" Then darkness fell around her.

Melora opened her eyes to the light of a chandelier hanging right above her. Needless to say, she was confused but also drowsy. Poison? Opium of Shargali maybe? As her head turned she realized she was on her back, bonded in chains to stone platform, Edith was beside her on another platform, still pale and unconscious from the poison, both were stripped to their basic clothing. Armours, weapons? They were nowhere to be seen. As Melora looked around she noticed other empty stone platforms arranged in circle around a pentagram, in the centre of the pentagram stood Cain, apparently focused in meditation. Around the ritualistic setting stood a dozen robed figures holding torches, behind them, a large band of heavily armoured undead. As her mind struggled to remain conscious, Melora uttered to herself, "What now."

[ Sunday, December 17, 2006 06:52: Message edited by: The_Nazgul ]

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"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying."
Posts: 469 | Registered: Thursday, May 1 2003 07:00
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It all happened so quickly that Sequoia felt only a flash of pain in his mind... the others had moved so quickly that he could only find them after standing still and concentrating for a few minutes. This clearly irritated Filbert, but Sequoia didn't care.

"Cain took them," the druid murmured.

-------

Sequoia strode down the stairway, flanked by Filbert. There were no more torches. Thin strands of purified ice formed in the druid's wake, the bright blue marking his path to any creature with eyes. Sequoia knew this was happening, and reassured himself with the knowledge that the rest of the party could find him easily.

If Orloki doesn't keep shifting the tunnels, that is.

Sequoia could tell that the passage he was in ended in a dead end, but he didn't change his pace. If his mind was leading him correctly...

A rumbling sound echoed down the passage toward him. Filbert had been right. Hopefully, the others could bring the Curator to help in the fight, but for now, it was clear that Sequoia had the luck to reach Orloki (or Cain...) himself. An open tunnel ground into place at the end of the passage, and Sequoia started chanting, more words he did not know. He could see an open chamber just beyond the newly-moved tunnel.

The halves of his staff glowed a blinding blue again, and Sequoia felt more magic flow from the stone of the mountain through his body and out his hands. The spell fired towards the opening in a flare of icy tendrils, and it created an icy seal around the entrance to the chamber where Sequoia assumed that Orloki waited.

And we shall have an exit... he thought, quickly shoving aside the thought that he could very, very easily be overmatched before the others rejoined him. If they ever rejoined him.

Sequoia could feel the presence of the demon in his mind, as the taint still clung to the mountain's power. Though Sequoia now had the power to push it back, the weight was growing heavier... and he still had no idea how long he could contain the mountain's raw power.

Then, he felt their presences... Melora and Edith, two faint glimmers of life in the chamber ahead. They couldn't be doing very well right now. And then...

"Cain. He has turned," the druid said to Filbert, who had fallen a few steps behind. "He has been possessed completely."

"So what now, brother?" Filbert asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"We have no choice... we need to slay Cain, and then free Edith and Melora..."

The druid staggered as he reached the entrance, the full force of the demon's presence hitting him. But what hit him harder was the relative plainness of the chamber. No massive gilded throne, no piles of skulls... quite a subpar lair for a demon of Orloki's power. Filbert cautiously stepped into the chamber behind the stunned druid, holding his sword at the ready. Though it probably can do little or nothing to Orloki...

Then Sequoia saw the chandelier... full of blood-red candles, it was much more the sort of thing that the druid had pictured when thinking about Orloki's lair. But there were also stone platforms, arranged in a predictable pentagram. Two platforms clearly held bodies, which Sequoia immediately identified as Melora and Edith. The back of the chamber was blanketed in darkness, though the druid could feel a presence there.

The worst part was how quiet it was.

And then he saw the twisted form emerge from the ceiling, the body's shape shifting from moment to moment. The vast expanse of demonic energy settled in the middle of the pentagram, and its shape solidified into a body very similar to Cain's.

Sequoia wasn't sure what to do. After all of this time, he was face-to-face with the source of the mountain's evil, which had touched him personally too many times. It had endangered his life, his companions' lives, and was generally speaking, something to be removed from existence. And it was now in the body of one of his former allies. But he had no idea what he could do to this thing... it had left the last fight without a scratch.

Surprising himself, Sequoia started chanting again. He felt a charge building in his body, though he knew not to what end. Well, I suppose I should aim...

And then the ground moved. Sequoia felt it coming, or rather, the mountain did. So he luckily dodged out of the way as a spike of black ice shot up from the ground, striking through the spot where he'd just been standing. But the charge was still building.

Filbert took this moment to slip along the wall of the chamber, over to where Edith lay on a platform. Cain didn't seem to notice, and Sequoia just hoped that Filbert did not take this time to turn on his companions again.

The chandelier flared, and Sequoia saw the whole chamber bathed in bright red light. A retinue of hooded figures and undead warriors stood behind Cain, all of them bowed in the undead equivalent of meditation.

Lisha, Tuulentekija! I need you here now! Sequoia thought helplessly, as he dodged another spike of black ice. Hopefully, whatever the mountain has in mind will happen soon, and then I will stand a chance of finishing this before the power chars me from the inside out...

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!
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Within moments of leaving Tuulentekija's meeting point, the three were walking, once again, in all but utter darkness - the Curator ahead, hands spread as if shovelling the ice from their path, Lisha right behind, watching his every motion, and Tuulentekija bringing up the rear, periodically drawing even with Lisha as he overcompensated for the pace at which the ice was closing in on them. The Curator pressed on, senseless to the swordsman's discomfort; it was his job to retrieve him, not to keep him from letting himself into the mountain's clutches.

Tuulentekija's rapid questioning was met with a wall of silence, and soon the silence comsumed them again, broken only by the clack-clack of bone on ice and the swordsman's occasional misstep. What little light there was faded and blurred as they moved; the ice, Lisha noted, was getting denser. She increased her pace a bit to see if this was having any effect on the Curator. It was, it seemed; the strain was visible on his gaunt face. The glint in his eyes flickered towards her, then away, then disappeared entirely into the blankness of his visage. Suddenly she stopped.

"Lich."

The Curator froze, then slowly lowered his foot to the floor. Lisha braced herself a moment before Tuulentekija collided with her, then absently pushed him aside.

"Lich, where are we being led?"

The Curator hissed in frustration. "You know where Gnosis is leading us."

"Gnosis! Oh!" A thought occured to Tuulentekija. "Maybe we could get there more quickly if I - if we- if I helped - you?"

The swordsman's residual discomfort with the idea of aiding the lich in any way was palpable, but the Curator's response to the idea all but manifested itself as a physical being. "You... how could you..."

Lightning flashed in Lisha's mind. Her hand, unnoticed in the darkness, settled on the lid of a pouch; a weak poison, one easily replenished, but one that would hopefully addle the Curator's thoughts long enough to subdue him, if aimed well. She loosened her muscles and waited, eyes flicking back and forth between the faces of her companions.

"Gnosis... Lisha?"

"Go ahead." She nodded passively to Tuulentekija.

"Well, Gnosis contacted me through the tome and... woke in me a power he said was dormant."

The lich shifted his weight. "What power?"

"The same power as yours... he - it said I could burrow through the ice." For short distances, but he doesn't need to know that. "So maybe we could find Melora faster if we both channeled Gnosis' power together."

"I... do not believe that would help. You cannot sense where she is."

"Yes I can. All I have to do is -"

A slim knife flew through the air, striking the Curator in the chest and silencing the open-mouthed Tuulentekija. Before the Curator could respond, Lisha followed the knife, taking the Curator to the floor with her.

"Tuulentekija, keep an eye on the ice."

"What are you-"

"He is doubly a traitor. Do not trust a word he says. Isn't that right, lich?"

The Curator's struggling ceased as he realized in a matter of seconds that Lisha overpowered him and outweighed him by far. "What are you doing?" he spat. "You fool. Only I can bring you to the shadowed one."

"Where is she? Tell me that. Where is she?"

"She is... she is with the tainted one. And - another. The human."

"Edith," Tuulentekija supplied. Lisha ignored him.

"And where are they, lich?"

"Together! All together, just as you wanted!"

"Yes, but where?"

Tuulentekija took a step back and watched in horrified fascination the terrible fury that had come over Lisha, hot as steel fresh from smelting and hard as a blade from the water bucket.

"In - the trophy room! They will enter alone momentarily, without our aid and-"

"You lie!" She struck him, a blow that made the hardened sowrdsman flinch, and stood. "Tuulentekija, you have no option but to trust me. The lich is lying; I know that. If you are truly in contact with Gnosis, find Melora and bring us to her immediately. The knife I used carried a poison which should incapacitate our friend here at least until we're there; then, we'll see. Keep that sword at hand. Can you contact Gnosis?"

"I... yes..." Turning away, he closed his eyes and appaered to slip into some sort of trance.

Lisha looked back down at the Curator, curled up on the floor, in time to see his eyes open and focus on Tuulentekija. With a start, she whipped around in time to see a tide of black ice come flowing in, centered on the unattending swordsman.

"Tuul-!" She grabbed him and dragged both of them down on top of the Curator as the icy wall stopped right where Tuulentekija had been a moment before. In the time it took the swordsman to realize what was happening, another knife, this time a long, wicked-looking serated dirk, found itself buried almost to the hilt between the Curator's ribs and another blade had been drawn across the creature's throat. The first knife, the poisoned one, fell from the Curator's robes and clattered to the ground as Tuulentekija disengaged and sprang to his feet.

"What -!"

"The lich was under Orloki's control," Lisha muttered, wiping her blades dry on the Curator's cloak. "With the last of his strength he tried to betray us once again." Not to mention my own failure to remember that a poison depending on its flow to the brain through the bloodstream would have such little effect on a lich. The Grand Master would - will be furious. Tuulentekija doesn't have to know. "Reestablish contact with Gnosis. Quickly. I don't know where Melora is, but Cain and Edith are already in Orloki's grasp. We must join them with as many as we can, as quickly as we can."

"Right." Tuulentekija slowly turned away and bowed his head once more.

"And Tuulentekija, remember... you are now all that can keep this ice from crushing us. Stay alert." She contented herself with his mumbled affirmation.

Half a minute more and Lisha was anxious to move. She'd replaced her weaponry and poisons and searched the body, finding nothing of interest but a small onyx talisman around the neck which she tied to her sash. She looked at Tuulentekija, resisting the temptation to disturb his concentration. I must rely on him now; he's all that can save me from this ice.

Tuulentekija looked up with a start. "She's there. With them."

"What?"

"In the chamber. We must - find the druid."

"What?"

"They're all there! Orloki's got them!"

A chill ran through Lisha's spine. "Who, and how?"

"I'll fill you in. Let's go. If I do not respond to you I've given control over to Gnosis." She nodded in silent affirmation and stood behind him as he repositioned himself and began clearing the ice before them. Slower than the lich but safer. The body they left behind; she watched the ice engulf it, just to be sure. In what felt like a few minutes they began to find chunks of black rock; moments later the density of the ice began to decrease sharply and through the ice ahead the light was growing, this time tinged with a hint of red.

Lisha reached for her knives. "He is there."

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And though the musicians would die, the music would live on in the imaginations of all who heard it.
-The Last Pendragon

Polaris = joy.

In case of emergency, break glass.
Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #45
IC:

Filbert stood in a corner of the dark chamber. As if paralyzed, he tried to look around. What is this place? Who - are - they... He looked at the hooded figures in the dim light. He could not tell how many there were, but it seemed like a force of hundreds and thousands of, probably, undead. This chamber looked all to familiair. He had been here before. It was when Orloki got him and possessed him. Hmmm... Speaking of which, he and his minions don't seem to notice me. That could end either brilliantly... (and he imagined himself slaying the demon and freeing everybody from the demon's grip) But then he started doubting. What if Orloki overpowers me again? He is so strong, how can I possibly do anything against him.

The thought of Cain murdering his father flickered in his mind. No... I can't... The thoughts became a bit stronger, than they fled his mind, for Filbert noticed something else, quite horrifying. He saw Edith and Melora and two platforms. Two, stone platforms. He looked around, and saw more of the platforms. A drop of sweat silently made it's way from his hair, down to his chin...

Drip.

A small, black circle appeared on the floor. This he found somehow remarkable, as the floor was already quite black. He looked up. The demon was grinning at Sequoia, who in turn looked back at him. The two seemed possessed by each other, but then the demon spoke:

"Fool. You really did think that a bunch of humans could slay me. So yeah, you did slay Grah Hoth, but he was a weakling! Your silly mages, banished from the world locked him, but others freed him. These... others (which he pronounced in a disgusted way)... weren't a lot stronger than the mages, you know. It's a pity that you don't posses the same amount of strength." He pointed to Sequoia's broken staff.

Sequoia didn't move. he looked at the demon, though not straight in his eyes, he looked at his feet. Silently, he was murmuring all kinds of things, which Filbert couldn't understand. It was to soft and in a language which was alien to him. While all this happened, Filbert was on the move. He silently approached Edith, who was just a few meters away from him. She seemed to be kept right behing the demon, who was looking the other way.

If he could get close enough, he might be able to ask her what happened, or better yet, if Edith knew how to get herself and Melora freed.

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
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It was, somehow, clarifying and confusing in the same time. As they slowly got nearer the throne of the demon, the presence of Cain and the others became stronger; that was understandable, but in the same time, the consciousnes of Gnosis became more and more fused with his own. And in the same time, melting the ice became easier.

It was not only because the density was decreasing. As the last inches of the ice melted, Tuulentekija realized that the vicinity of Melora's tome as well as the center of the library were causing an increase in his powers.

The next thing he realized was a horrible pain shooting trough his left leg.

"Graah!" he shouted and fell to his knees, further piercing himself to a spike of black ice that had sprung from the ground. Lisha understood the situation admirably quickly, hastily jumping forwards, avoiding her companion's fate.

This is it , Tuulentekija thought. The pain had clarified his mind, and he was now absorbing knowledge faster than anyone could comprehend without experiencing the same. As adrenaline rushed trough his veins, time seemed to slow around him. In his mind he examined their battlefield; he needed not to look, for somehow, he knew .

He imagined the same chandeliers and the same pentagram the others had seen. He sensed their positions, Edith and Melora lying on the floor, Lisha, Filbert and Sequoia struggling to avoid the spears of dark ice, and Cain, in the middle of the pentagram, draining the essence of the demon to himself.

He could also sense the floor twitching under him; any moment following, a spear of ice would rise from it, piercing his old heart and killing him. I can't let that happen, can I? he thought, and concentrated all his remaining strenght on a single word, a single spell.

"SULA!", he commanded. The spike that had pierced him melted, drenching him in a black liquid. There was a loud, crackling sound, the kind you can hear from a frozen lake during springtime. Ripples were send trough the melting floor, swiping away spikes that were close to hitting Lisha and Filbert.

There was, however, another, more unfortunate effect: were the power was greatest, the ice melted to the depht of several dozen feet. And that happened to be exactly under Tuulentekija's feet. "Perkele!" he shouted before dissappearing into a puddle of tainted water.

He had once before been close to drowning; memories of that occasion now flashed in his eyes. He had fallen from a ship during a fight, wearing a chain hauberk and iron leggins. He remembered how his hope had slowly faded as he had been sinking trough the water, leaving only cold, deep fear. Ashar had saved him that day, but this time there'd be no-one to help. Well, the end had to come some day , he thought and closed his eyes in grim acceptance...

OOC: You still have a chance to save him if you act quickly. Otherwise, this is the end of him.

EDIT: Just a note: I began writing this before Thralni posted. Now, I don't think these posts exclude each other, but the change in tone is kinda funny.

[ Wednesday, December 20, 2006 06:04: Message edited by: Frozen Feet ]

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I have nothing more to do in this world, so I can go & pester the inhabitants of the next one with a pure concscience.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 2940
Profile Homepage #47
OOC: Let's keep the momentum going!

IC:

The crack of the black ice made the mountain tremble, everywhere; bits and pieces were falling over living and dead alike.

Cain stood impassively in the centre of the pentagram, the spirit of Orloki slowly pouring into him, almost oblivious to chaos around him. The dark ritual of unification slowly sapped the energy of Edith and Melora while at the same time, brought together Orloki and Cain. Suddenly, Orloki broke the silence and screamed through Cain, "Fool! You have undone the black ice!" Oblivious to the fact that it was not Ephesos who had done this. "This will bring your doom and that of my ritual sacrifices!"

Surely as Orloki predicted, sharp black ice matter was falling dangerously close to the semi-unconscious bodies of Edith, Melora and Cain himself. Several undead minions were buried by the falling debris, while others lost limbs, not that they cared. Those who did care though, were Filbert and Ephesos who were struggling to avoid the same fate as the undead. It was at this moment when Orloki noticed the proximity of Filbert as the young warrior jumped by Edith's altar and kicked a falling piece of black ice away from Edith's unconscious body.

"You!" Orloki spat. You are tainted! You are one of us! Orloki spoke, this time into Filberts mind. As this mind connection occurred, Orloki waved the remaining undead to charge, or crawl, towards Ephesos.

Although Orloki was now diverting some of his power to keep the cave from collapsing over them, Filbert continued in a state of trance, struggling to keep control of his mind. Filbert… the anger… the rage… feed from its power Filbert

"Nooooooo!" Filbert screamed as he charged his way towards the centre of the pentagram.

"Filbert, wait!" Ephesos shouted, as he tried in vain to make way through the pack of undead around him.

As soon as Filbert stepped on the pentagram a charge of dark energy shook his mortal body to the bone, throwing Filbert on his back right outside the pentagram.

"Quick! Bind him on one of the platforms and dispose of his weapons!" Orloki barked at the nearby monks.

As the first monk reached Filbert, the young warrior sprang miraculously back to life taking energy from who knows where to kick the monk straight in the face. It was a short lived victory for Filbert however, as he was soon surrounded and pinned down by the monks around him. "Ephesos!" Filbert screamed.

"Filbert!" Replied Ephesos amongst a bulk of undead, who slowly but steadily pushed the drained Druid towards a corner.

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"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying."
Posts: 469 | Registered: Thursday, May 1 2003 07:00
Guardian
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At first, the sight of Orloki’s inner chamber through Tuulentekija eyes surprises Gnosis. From the Curator’s taunts and veiled hints throughout the centuries, Gnosis expects the inner chamber of the Mountain to be filled top to bottom with tomes similar to the ones in Tuulentekija’s and the drow’s possession. But this is not the case. The room, while filled with undead and the companions of Tuulentekija, is surprisingly devoid of any furniture or ornaments, let alone the trappings of a library. Gnosis feels the physical it is sharing its conscience with stumble into the chamber in pain, and then...

The full force of the captured energy of the Mountain floods into Gnosis’s awareness, and its perception of the world changes. In a moment, it knows. The suspected library is not physical, as was suspected. Rather, it is here, in the very centre of the Mountain of Shadows, where the major portion of Gnosis’s entity floats. It is now complete: the fractured portions of Gnosis’s conscience are now reunited. One thought circulates through its awareness.

Home.

The sudden utterance of a spell brings Gnosis’s thoughts back to the present situation. In the central pentagram is the Tainted human. Either he is attempting to assimilate the power of the Guardian into himself, or Orloki is trying to possess the human; it is difficult to tell which. As Gnosis watches, the spell cast by the being in the pentagram unleashes a captured portion of the Mountain’s awesome power, and the Tainted ice in the room ripples as spikes shoot out from the floor. Gnosis turns its attention to the others in the chamber as Tuulentekija begins a counterspell in response.

It notices the drow immediately. She lies unconscious in one of the side pentagrams, a human female nearby. A second human is stealthily approaching the two comatose figures. Gnosis continues scanning the chamber. The hordes of undead, controlled by the Guardian and animated by the captured power of the Mountain. The druid, radiant in Gnosis’s perception with a brilliant white glow. The human female next to Tuulentekija, holding a...

Gnosis pauses suddenly, uncertain. The druid!

It should be impossible, yet Gnosis knows it not to be. The druid wields - or is wielded by - a free portion of the Mountain’s spirit. Gnosis had always assumed that the physicals’ goal was to destroy Orloki’s corporeal form, yet now it is apparent that the druid’s intent is different. The Guardian’s destruction would also occur if the druid manages to destroy the bonds that hold the Mountain’s power captive. But doing so would also destroy every other construct that utilized that power. The Tainted ice, the undead, the controlled wolves...

Even Gnosis itself.

Too late, it tries to motivate Tuulentekija forward in a desperate attempt to stop the druid from releasing the power of the Mountain of Shadows. As a result of the counterspell, the physical begins sinking into a pool of Tainted water. In a matter of moments, his entire body is submerged. Gnosis fumes. The drow lies in a pentagram, helpless and unable to use the tome. Tuulentekija is on the verge of drowning. Despite Gnosis’s newfound power, it has no physical to cast the spells. In the minutes to come, Gnosis will impotently watch as either the only physicals to come into its presence in centuries perish at the hands of the Guardian, or be destroyed by those same physicals.

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More commentary from everyone’s favourite sentient library. ;)
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!
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Profile #49
Lisha heard her companion's foreign shout and turned in time to see him swallowed by the tainted water, arms flailing desperately. No time for that, she thought, scanning the chamber before her. If he can crack the ice, he can sure as hell find his way out of a pool of water. Otherwise, it may make things simpler later. Shaking all thought of Tuulentekija from her head, Lisha grasped her cloak to keep it from billowing and lept for the stable ground by the wall of ice, harder than rock, that still enclosed the chamber. Crouching low and stalking silently as she had done so many times before that by now she was all but invisible, she made her way toward the back of the chamber, behind the pentagram and, hopefully, the guard of undead.

The ground shook and Cain went rigid, clawed hands out to the side, skewed like broken wings. A tremor of agony went through him, or maybe not, maybe sudden astonishment as the mortal human body met and melded with the spirit of the eternal Guardian of the mountain. From her ever-changing position pressed against the wall, Lisha could see his face only in clips, and what she saw would've taken the heart of one weaker and fresher than she. A glimpse of pain, then of terror, then a never-ending fury so powerful it threatened to consume what was left of Cain's humanity, then so powerful it did. Lisha watched through the breaks between pillars as Cain's mortal soul was annihilated by the demon inside him, and knew that what was left in the ruins of Cain was a new force, one so powerful it took a mountain to contain it, and that all that remained of the Cain she'd fought alongside was wrapped up in that physical body, entirely under the control of Orloki. The red glow dimmed, then flared up tens of times stronger as what could no longer be called Cain stretched its arms wide and gave an experimental roar. And Lisha smiled.

So it is done.

She found herself directly on the other side of a massive pillar from Orloki and stopped temporarily, listening to the echo in the cavern.

Nothing.

Nothing in the vibration of the ice that would indicate a hollowness behind her. Only the glint of - what was that? - a crown of kings, perhaps, and there, the golden hilt of a dagger, and all around it a princely sum in gold, silver, and precious stones, all unpardonably encased in the black ice. A kingly sum.

Orloki's treasure.

Of course, only the termination of the demon's power could release such a trove from its subzero tomb. And what was claimed in the Grand Master's name by her own voice necessitated the demon's destruction, even at the cost of her own life. But if her life was lost, what would there be to guard against treasure-seeking adventurers robbing the Grand Master of his new-found wealth?

And what of the library?

A demonaic cacaphony arose from the pentagram where Orloki still stood, testing his new body, but Lisha ignored it in favor of this new thought. What of the library? Surely such a treasure would interest the Grand Master as much as his original goal, if not more. The Library of Tass-Shanti was known by all the followers of the Sun, even the commoners, to be the greatest single store of knowledge in any mortal capacity, and only its immutable secrecy kept this fact from the knowledge of all mankind. Surely the loss of such a boon to its already formidable store would border on treason for one such as her, one trained as both a viper and a camel of the Grand Master. But where was it?

Where would Gnosis find it? If not in the tomes, where could it possibly be?

The treasure of silver and gold was not in a room, but in the very walls, ceilings, and floors of the tunnels through which the walked. From her vantage point, Lisha could see the rest of Orloki's chamber; it was without entrances, and without side storerooms of vast amounts of knowledge. But she knew demons; this one, especially, would not let it out of his sight. Yet tomes held so little for Gnosis...

For Gnosis.

Of course.

The mountain itself contained the knowledge, now in a sentient, non-physical being with very little reliance on physical sustenance. That was also why Orloki allowed them into his lair; they were already in the mountain, and, anyway, could not access his power through spellbooks. The power was in the trio in the mountain, and now that the Curator was dead, that left the power for physicals to access the knowledge in Orloki and the knowledge itself in Gnosis.

Tuulentekija.

Lisha shut her eyes quickly, unwilling to consider the consequences if she'd let their last simple means of accessing the knowledge contained within the mountain drown in the tained waters. He was on the other side of the chamber now, anyway, and if he was gone, then only the tome lying at the feet of the demon or the demon himself could provide that vital link. And Sequoia stood ready to destroy both.

She opened her eyes and whipped off her cloak. The time for secrecy had passed. The demon must stay alive, whatever the cost, at least until she'd verified Tuulentekija's existance. She leapt from the wall with a blood-thirsty yell and thrust herself into the teeming wall of undead flesh paying her no attention, hacking and slashing with her long knives at row upon row of warriors intent now only on one target. Where the ranks were thin enough to risk a moment's pause, she set aside a knife for precision of throwing. If she couldn't reach the druid in time, she'd still have to do her duty to the Grand Master, one way or another.

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And though the musicians would die, the music would live on in the imaginations of all who heard it.
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Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
Master
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Profile Homepage #50
Darkness.

In the distance, he thought to hear outcries and yelps. A vague feeling of being moved tried to alarm his tired brains, constantly persisting to be welcomed in, like a beggar banging on the door of a closed inn, wanting to eat and drink, and then, upon filling his belly, a good night's sleep, after which he would leave. The inn didn't open it's doors, and the beggar left it for it was.

The feeling was gone. He lay still.

The outcries and yelps became a little louder now, and his closed eyelids weren't strong enough to keep out an unwanted bright light. Filbert, curious to know what the light was, opened his eyes, slowly and painfully. The druid. Filbert closed his eyes quickly, his eyes didn't have the time to adjust to the light, and a pain seared through his eyes, to his brains, and then filled his body entirely, knocking him unconscious for a short time.

The yelping and the outcries suddenly became louder. A demonic outcry filled his ears, continuing to his brain.

Filbert, bathing in the darkness of his tired brain, forced himself to open his eyes. Very slowly, his eyelids opened. He moved his head, as not to look into the light of the druid. instead he looked into the hall, where he saw that some strange thing was hacking into the undead. Suddenly, it stopped. It stood in a cirkel of undead, and... it took a knife. Filbert looked closely, the form of that being looked familair.

Lisha?

What did it matter, actually. He had always known that Lisha was here for her own good, or somebody else's good. She wouldn't be trying to save anybody, unless it would for her own gain, which immediatly provoked thoughts that alarmed Filbert.

Why would Lisha be hacking into the undead? She wouldn't be trying to save anybody, I presume, who wouldn't be of any use to her. Would she try to save me?

Yes, he liked that thought, but it seemed unnatural.

No, probably not.

He looked around, and he saw his teammates.

Sequoia? maybe, as he wields a great power. Hmmm... How about Melora? Meh, they never could stand each other, for all I know. And how about Edith?

Edith could be the one she was trying to save. She may be useless without her precious herbs (upon thinking about that he started feeling guilty, as he was the one to destroy most of them), but she had that tomb. Then again, now she was captured, she probably didn't hold that tomb any longer.

Cain... Is it Cain? No, it can't be. She woulnd't be trying to save her enemy. Also, if she would be saving Cain, she wouldn't be doing that by destroying his undead force. It must be Sequoia then.

Upon thinking this thought, a dagger struck Sequoia in the arm in which he was holding one of the broken halfs of his staff. he let it drop, and the white light dimmed, to half of it's intensity. The demon looked at the druid, startled at first, but then grinning. He then looked into the hall, filled with undead, and he saw Lisha. Lisha looked at him.

What the hell is going on!?

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00

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