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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:59 am 
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Location: Wherever I'm needed.
Lighteria's story was long, drawn out, and more than a little dreary. I couldn't help but drift off for parts of it. But I felt like I got the gist, and his quick exchange with Zan confirmed it. I breathed a sigh of relief when Zan's reply was subdued; he hadn't been the most agreeable of people lately, but who could blame him? Events in his life had been strange, to say the least, and he'd been caused nothing but anger by Raquar and myself. I half expected him to walk out on us after his tirade, but I was reminded of his loyalty to the group during our battle with Angel. Hell, he was more than loyal... he was easily the most reckless and risky of all of us, willing to put anything on the line.

I realized then that... I looked up to him. He may have looked at me as some annoyance, some weak child tagging along and having to be protected at every turn, but... he still fought for me. For all of us. Tooth and nail is the term, and he did so quite literally at times. His dedication and willingness to sacrifice himself was something I admired and wanted to emulate. Sekai had made me realize that I wanted to keep people from harm; Zan reinforced that knowledge by doing so on a regular basis. Maybe I couldn't do it like he could, but... I could do it somehow.

My train of thought was interrupted by the dinging sound of Zan's flashmail, and I looked around to see Phoe's back as he disappeared into the hallway towards a room. All too quickly, every room was taken, but it seemed that leaving more than half of the group sitting in the library was a waste of firepower. Of the four who claimed rooms, Zan and Phoe were definitely needed the least help, thanks to their powerful hacks and pets. Hacorie could also likely handle himself, and... I didn't really know him. But Senna... her I had spoken to, and while she was likely quite able to defend herself, she was the weakest of those who had laid claim to an exploration job. And also... her words seemed far more inviting then anyone else's were.

My choice made, I walked over to the Long Arm. "I'll go with you, Senna, if I won't be a burden."

_________________
Zhao's Profile

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Slayers
Other level 16+ Twin Blade Weapons
Cougar Bandanna
Snow Panther
Level 16+ Twin Blade Armor

Miakita hazu no tasogare ga
Konna ni kirei dato naita


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:22 pm 
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Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(As Canti followed Zan and the rest upstairs, he noticed that he and Sekai were speaking about something, but was unable to hear. Either he wasn't close enough or it was an actual person-to-person private chat. It didn't matter, though. It was only a minor diversion in an otherwise uneventful rise to the second floor. There was, however, one odd thing that hit the Twin Blade on the way up, a sort of inconsistency that made him smirk. The staircase and the door at the end of it looked to be in disrepair, as though ill-kept. If Angel did not use the stairs, this would make sense EXCEPT for the fact that this was The World. There was no time, no age, no reality in which to build upon this theory. The World was a game. Nothing rusts, there is no accidental dirt, and no cracks appear without something having directly caused it. So, in effect, it was just supporting the Creepy Haunted House look. No big deal. What WAS a big deal was the big room that greeted them upon hitting the second floor.)

Canti: Whoa... Big collection.

(The dark Twin Blade was not an intellectual, not a genius or a scholar, certainly not a guy who had bothered to go to the library very often. This many of the tree-made things in one place clearly impressed him. The public library DID have more than this, but for one person to have so many...and it wasn't even a false graphic! They were real! Fabulous! Not paying attention to the middle of the room just yet, Canti went over and began to look at the titles. He perhaps recognixed a few out of dozens, picking them up and looking at them for a second, then putting them back. It didn't look like these novels contained anything of importance. Just the four massive hardbacks in the center where the candles were. However, before Canti was to investigate them, something caught his eye. He pulled out a peculiar blue book and read the cover.)

Canti: Deja Vu, The Feeling That You Have Done Something Before.

(He puzzled over this for a second and then went to put the book back...except that he couldn't. In the place of where the book had been, another blue book now rested, tucked between Catch-22 and World War Z. Confused, Canti pulled it out and read the title...)

Canti: Deja Vu, The Feeling That You Have Done Something Before.

(Eyebrow arched, the Twin Blade was now holding two identical books and, yes, there was indeed yet another blue book lying in the breach. Putting the other two down, he pulled this one out next and read the title, confirming that he had read this one before. Tossing it away, he pulled out another...and another, finding them all to be the same book! He kept this up for a little while...)

Canti: Deja Vu...Deja Vu...Deja Vu...

(...not even realizing that this bizarre pursuit was being performed at the same time as Lighteria was telling that story of his. Ironic... FINALLY, there was a halt of the books - numbering in 57 on the floor - when Canti found himself staring at a clear plastic bottle of purified water.)

Canti: Deja...Blue...

(And then, he facepalmed, before putting all the books back. Apparently, that spot on the bookcase had a near-infinite capacity, so it fit the books like you would put candy in a PEZ dispenser. AFTER that, Canti began to read the actual middle books...which were HUGE in comparison to the Deja Vu books. Also...Canti found that they all irritatingly had one thing in common. Nothing was resolved in their plots. It was all open-ended and tedious, with too much exposition. It was like bad anime! Canti began to talk to Reyome about this to see if she could make sense of it.)

Maybe the endings are located elsewhere?

Canti: Say, that's not a bad thought.

(That was when Phoenix spoke about the layout of the rooms on the second floor, and about the means to unlock them. The lights went on in Canti's head as he realized what all of this could be. It was too simple to just leave a bunch of easy bookmark keys lying around, so it had to be only one piece of a puzzled centered around the story. And the prize? Access to the fifth room, no doubt. Phoenix was already going to the Sun Room, and indeed was prepared for that. Zan's Flash Mail confirmed that he was heading for the Moon Room himself. He noticed that Hacorie was making a grab for the Star Medallion. Senna and Zhao were going for the Cross Room. Well, since standing around in here was gonna be boring as hell, Canti began to decide which of them hewas gonna follow. Senna and Zhao would probably be fine, having basically teamed up. Zan would be alright on his own, and so would Phoenix...who also had Suzaku to watch his back. That left Hacorie, which in turn let Canti heading out into the hallways.)

Canti: Hac, wait up!

(He entered the sub-hall just as he was talking with Zan in brief. Canti did not know if Zan was up to anything beyond just being Zan. He was aware that Nulus was another factor, but mostly it was all Zan, since Nulus was basically linked with him. There was definite friction between him and Hacorie, but the black-eyed Twin Blade's presence would probably prevent the possibility of anything going wrong. Canti...had suspicions, unfounded but potent. He had to worry, if only because dissention within the ranks would kill them. So, once Hac was done speaking...)

Canti: Don't mind me. I'm here for back-up since I'd be otherwise bored, waiting in the library.

_________________
I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:49 am 
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(OOC: Nighthand, I’m going to do something regarding my hack here. I don’t know if you’ll approve or not, but you’re not online to ask, and I want to get this post in while I still have the chance. If this is unacceptable, please let me know and I’ll see about changing it as soon as possible.)

Everything had calmed down considerably, but that didn’t mean the danger had passed. After a short trudge up an unkempt staircase, the Freedom Fighters found themselves in a yawning library, filled with shelf upon shelf of books. While others decided to peruse various rooms with respective aerial symbols, the Fist Fighter decided to browse through this undoubtedly one-of-a-kind collection. Immediately, one title caught his eye.

Chronicles of the Knights of Destiny: A True Story about True Heroes

“No way...” breathed Silk. “What the Hell is this doing here?” For a split second, the Fist Fighter thought to get Senna, but she had already journeyed into another room. If this was here, he’d rather look through the other books than waste time examining this one. Still, Silk decided to pocket this little volume and continue looking around.

Truly, the variety of books here was mind-boggling, and in no particular order to boot. Here lay Dragons: Kinds and Uses by Lucious L. Leftfoot. There, stuffed between two particular thick books, was Scandalous: How to Have a Good Time in Mac Anu. Silk grinned at this one, then moved on to: The Physics of Dun Lorieag… indeed, how did those rocks float in the sky unsupported?

There was no way the Fist Fighter could look at every one of these books, so he decided that he would try to focus on discovering books he could use later. Many of these were worthless, while others, while very interesting, were probably not going to be of any practical use. Certainly in an ideal world he would have a limitless amount of time at his disposal to read all of these, but as it stood, he couldn’t count on such a luxury. Really, what he needed to do was get a book that would help him out in combat.

After some time, one book caught his eye: The Tao of Jeet Kun Do. “Gotta get this one,” thought Silk to himself, snatching it off the shelf. Thinking that Angel would get mad at him, Silk actually made to put both the books back, but then he thought to himself, We’re gonna fight her anyways… and held on to them.

And then he found the most interesting book of all. Potent Potions by S. Snape. Eyeing the volume warily, “It’s a coincidence, right?” he murmured to himself, he grabbed the book and flipped through it. What he saw made his eyes widen. Potions – dozens and dozens of them – filled the pages, all of which were made from combinations of items and… a measure of blood! Thinking that he hit the jackpot, the Fist Fighter clutched the book tightly and went to see what the other’s were up to.

_________________
Level 25 Fist Fighter
Boxing Gloves | Nny Scales | Dice Gloves | Iron Anklet | Time Headband

Skills: Ap Corv, Ap Torv, GiVak Don, Ap Torma, Ap Do, Repth, Kiwami, Double Mortal Scorcher

Wishlist:
1.) Rare Foot Armor
2.) FF Belief
3.) Any stat-altering items


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:00 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Location: Hiding in the shadows
The stairs to the second floor were chipped and weathered with age. Cracks adorned their faces and dust coated their tops. The stairs looked altogether undisturbed and unused. Then why bother to have them? That party mounted the stairs leading up to a giant oaken door, one that was not well-maintained as proved by the giant jagged crack running through it. The crack didn’t seem to affect its usability, as the giant wooden portal was pushed to the side providing a cascade of soft luminescence to filter out onto the dusty stair case.

He followed the rest of the group in, and was immediately surrounded by massive amounts of text. The library was enormous, and there were books quite literally, everywhere. The sheer immensity of the volumes of literature would have been enough to occupy a single person for decades, if not centuries. There were titles obscure as well as those recognizable. Beowulf was situated right next to The Weasel and the Kewkie. There were titles he had never seen before, titles that gave him a sense of déjà vu, and titles in languages that looked like scribbles and gibberish. In another time, the sheer immensity of all this would have left him incapacitated and speechless. He had been quite the bookworm as a younger child if he remembered correctly, and it was quite possibly that he would simply lose himself amongst the pages.

That was at least, until he noticed the massive librams situated toward the back of the rooms. Those books alone, had to contain a more massive volume of words than the entire library. They were scarily enormous, and impossible to lift, this revealed to the boy as he attempted, quite futilely, to raise the cover of the book to catch a glimpse of the title. Failing to move it at all, he decided to settle down and peruse the pages. The faded words told a story of young royalty, and the story of her impending engagement to a far off prince. This portion of the story spawned a quartet of heavy volumes, each one regurgitating a different aspect of the story. His head rose as the reentrance of Phoenix was announced with the Blademaster’s findings, followed by a quiet timid voice. Lighteria, fresh back from wherever he had been during the fight with Angel, had decided to share a story with the crew, hopefully in the meantime sharing with some sagacious piece of advice.

If the advice was there, it was hard to decipher, the only the boy really managed to get out of the story was the warning to be cautious, something at this rate, should have been common sense. His eyes wandered back to the words of the book when a series of movements caught his eyes. The bookmarks, and possible talismans were being snatched with sudden alacrity, and in moments, all four were gone, their takers heading to their respective doors. The Long Arm hesitated slightly before following most of the crew outside the library, he didn’t just want to wait there in the library, he wanted to do something. Explore a room. Not break anything. Maybe make up for his idiocy earlier. Maybe.

His wandering out into the hallway forced him into a decision. Left side of the mansion, or right side of the mansion? Turning around to face the library, he decided to go left, mainly because . . . well there was no mainly because, it was just another random spontaneous decision. He realized that he should probably cut back on those as he paced down the hallway, turning to push the door open. Those could likely lead to his death, and if he wasn’t careful, possibly to the deaths of others too. The boy made a solemn vow to make less of those spur of the moment decisions as the door swung open to reveal a small crowd of people. Directing a set of glances first at the amulets, then at the people holding them. Pacing slowly over the door, he leaned next to the one bearing the opening of the moon. He glanced at Zan then back down before closing his eyes for a brief moment. There was nothing to be said. Only actions would redeem him now.

_________________
Level 28 Long Arm
Archspear, Newt Necklace, Smith's Gloves, Wyrm Scale, Kuja's Thong Dress
EXP: [700/1000]

WISHLIST
Levels
Weapons: - All
Armor: Head - Scarab Earring
Body - Nothing until Mid 30's. Ninja Garb Hand - Nothing until Mid 30's. Leg - Nothing until Mid 30's.
Items: Cooked Biles, Darkness Scrolls (Any and All)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:27 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Location: Liminality
The library was, if nothing else, rather impressive for one particularly young and impressionable Archer. Well, that and intimidating because of how massive the place was to someone who was cheating five feet in height and weighed about a hundred pounds soaking wet with all her armor and such on. Some of the books were probably about half her weight due to how thick they appeared to be. One being what appeared to be the entire world's collection and translations of the Holy Bible in one massive volume while another seemed to be a collection of various conspiracy theories concerning the two World Wars and that incident that sparked a large war between the United States of America and the Middle Eastern countries and sent the world into an odd state when she was five. Why people liked to accuse the governments of various nations of trying to basically ruin and make their own country paranoid was beyond her and she felt as if there were better, more productive things to do than make people suspicious and, well, paranoid.

Some of the book titles fascinated her, others had her glancing warily and backing away from them as if they might bite her. Lighteria-san's tale of the group of friends in the library with the scholar herself being the only one realizing that it was such a dangerous trap had her feeling a bit wistful, more than a little melancholy as she thought of how it could relate to the group of them now.

Shells of their former selves, ghosts wandering restless for eternity filled with sorrow and the regret of not having done more or not realizing their comrade had been correct in her warnings to them.

Sekai paused in between one of the rows of the smaller book cases and looked down at her hands, really took a good look at them for the first time since the thought struck her. These borrowed, created forms they had created for themselves in the very beginning, that they changed without blinking an eye... could these be the hollow, empty and sorrow filled shells that would turn all of them into ghosts of their former selves as well? Maybe not even the literal meaning behind the word ghost was what the story meant when it talked about those trapped people.

The interaction between Zan-san and Lighteria-san had been particularly interesting, as well as the stammered explanation behind the story's telling. She'd almost gotten it though and it made a kind of sense as she let her mind float back and retell the story to herself. Yes, losing sight of themselves because they were too actively pursuing one goal was always a risk, always a danger to themselves and to those around them; be the enemy or friend. Hacorie-san approached not long after, the tension and wariness between the two of them making her heart ache.

...his head hung as his voice lowered, the words a plea despite their hushed tone as he finished up the rapid explanation with six words that nearly broke her heart.

“I'm no traitor, Sekai. I swear.”


'You're not a traitor, traitors only have the intention to hurt people. You don't want to hurt any of us, that's why you did it in the first place.'

Still... it hurt that she couldn't vocally disperse the suspicion people had of him. Self-righteous anger in his place rose up sharply within her, sparking tears of frustration as she quickly looked away from the two Heavy Blades and glared with blurry vision at a book in front of her.

'It's always the people who have the physical scars showing that get the suspicion; the worse the scars are, the more people whisper and suspect the person is going to turn traitor.'

“It's not fair.”

She hissed viciously to herself, fist coming up to dash across her eyes and vanish any sign of tears as she blinked a few times and focused on the title of the book in front of her.

“21 Things I Want in a Lover...?”

That sounded like dangerous territory alright, might be best if she moved on and blinked at the title of the next book.

“79 Uses of a Piney Apple?”

What. The. Hell?

Curiosity was taking over as she examined a few more titles, confusion evident on her face as she fought the temptation to open and count the actual number of each of the titles' subjects and their uses or, well, whatever they were about. Because honestly, who on earth would have taken the time to explore the 'Sixty Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Ways to be Killed by a Noble Grunty'?

“Some people have entirely too much time on their hands, I would be willing to wager that even Angel-san or Marionette-san would agree with me on that front.”

She muttered to herself with a shake of her head and scanned the contents of Zan-san's flashmail before heading to the room itself. Something about some kind of fairytale had been mentioned, along with the medallions that opened doors to another area. Wandering into the candlelit area and suppressing the urge to suddenly bow her head as if she were in a place of worship, the young white haired girl walked carefully to every book and read the contents. At some points she had a smile on her face, others there was almost a distressed expression. At the Star book, a distinct melancholy but understandingly wistful upwards tilt to the corners of her mouth spoke volumes of how much she related to the person she was reading about. Or she found some kind of connection with the story itself; she wouldn't have said anything, even if she had asked.

After the Cross had been read, she looked to each of the doors. Someone had gone through the Sun, Zan-san and apparently Raquar as well had gone through the Moon, Hacorie-san, into the Star room and Senna-san and Zhao-san into the Cross room. Swallowing hard and remembering the old stories that, as children were wont to do, told of those who ruled the direction of the Ox-Tiger and of the consequences of not heeding the warnings that the direction threatened, Sekai took a step forward towards that door.

But... Ox-Tiger or not; there was still no need for someone to go alone into such a direction filled with bad omen.

She moved quietly through the room and into the door, looking over her shoulder once more at the candlelit room and closed her eyes in prayer for a moment. Please, she pleaded with any God listening to her or who might be watching, please keep those around me safe from harm. With a slight rustle of clothing and the quiet creak and sound of her hair sliding against the worn leather, Sekai entered the Star room and prepared herself for whatever horrors may await her in the room.

_________________
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Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:52 am 
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Master of Games
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
One by one the amulets were pressed into their doors, the icon melding with the slot made for it and disappearing. The door clicked and slid sideways in the style of the Japanese paper doors, only made of solid wood instead. Behind each was… Nothing.

For the span of maybe a minute after the first entry into the room, it remained empty. Four solid wood-paneled walls, a tiled floor that made no sound as they walked across it, and a ceiling that looked identical to the floor. Then… Images. Sight and sound and smell and taste and feel. Fully immersive, fully as potent as reality.

Thus began the story.

The Sun Room – Population: Phoenix, Suzaku

The blademaster and his bird entered through the opened door, and a moment later was somewhere else. He found himself immersed in the scene he would recognize from Suzaku’s reading of the pages to him. This was the scene talked about in the Sun Book, the grand ball.

Around him, the ballroom was radiant. Three chandeliers hung high above, far higher than the ceiling of the room he was in. They were made of crystal and wire, a delicate display that held hundreds of candles with ease. Around the room, every few paces along the walls, were glass lanterns holding their own candles, elegant matches to the great pieces above. The entire room was bathed in light, and no one cast a shadow.

For the room was packed with people. The murmur of voices was a dull roar from which only the occasional word could be snatched, nothing of importance. The dazzling variety of clothing and dress would be impressive to even the most staunchly elegant personage. A king’s court could hardly have pulled finer dress from the people. Around the blademaster passed women wearing all styles of formal wear, from crimson and azure dresses fit for a high school prom, to poofed and laced ivory-and-saffron Victorian dresses. There seemed to be no prejudice against showing skin, for bare shoulders and legs were in just as great an abundance as masques and form-hiding veils. A few of the more foreign-looking personages, no doubt from some distant land, laid even more bare; little more than a skirt and jewelry adorned the beautiful dark-skinned women. A few of the natives wore similar dress, and pulled it off with mixed success, their untanned skin betraying their usual preference for more covering clothing.

The dress of the men was just as varied, and just as open. The majority wore elegant suits of any color imaginable, seemingly ripped right from the most fashionable eras in England. A number wore suits that would have seemed common in the 20th century, and a few wore styles that looked newer even than that. A pair of men, a glimpse seen between passing crowds, wore kilts and vests seemingly made out of feathers. A few wore loincloths and jewelry, and had similarly tanned skin to that of the topless women, though their loincloths were much nicer in construction than leather and string. None seemed to give anyone else a second glance if they weren’t already talking. This was a fancy, but typical, courtly gathering.

At the head of the room, a smaller group of the most regal looking people stood gathered. Here was plainly the king and queen, the Princess Emerine, and the few royal advisors and guards that never left their sides. The king was richly attired in a formal azure suit, seeming at once less formal and yet more rich than any other suit in the room. The crown of the kingdom, a comparatively small coronet of gold and ruby, adorned his proud head. His hair was graying but his form was strong, not ready to pass on just yet. His face was filled with pride, and his eyes held back tears that he refused to let fall.

The queen stood next to her husband, resplendent in her own rich gown. She wore a golden gown that was slightly revealing of her shapely figure, without giving away too much of her earthly secrets. Ivory shaded gloves covered her dainty hands, and her hair was done up with incredibly fancy, jeweled golden hair pins holding it all in place. Her face beamed with a smile fit to dazzle any who watched, but it was a smile of happiness and pride, not of temptation. None who watched the pair would ever think of their separation; theirs was a bond of love in the purest form.

Standing next to her mother, with the guards on her other side, stood the woman who could be none other than Princess Emerine. Her hands were covered with gloves identical to her mothers, and a single delicate sapphire bracelet adorned her wrist. Her gown was similar in cut and color to her mothers, tailored to fit the princess’s spectacular form. Her hair was identical in color to her mothers, a rich copper that looked more like red gold above her gown. It cascaded down her shoulders nearly to her waist. Her skin was pale and unblemished as freshly fallen snow, and her lips the color of strawberries in summer. Her eyes were as blue as the sky at midday, matching the sapphires on her wrist.

The tension in the air was palpable as the entire room waited for the arrival of the man Phoenix expected to see arrive next. Prince Miloban, prince of a far-off land, come to court the princess that cast the beauty of all others in shadow. Yet, as long as the blademaster waited, nothing seemed to change. Conversation continued and the murmur of the crowd stayed even, while the royal family looked on.

The Moon Room – Population: Zan, Raquar

For a moment, Zan and Raquar stared at a room as blank as the rest, before a scene began to unfold around them. They stood outside, the stone wall of the castle behind them, a single gate and a few outbuildings all that separated the castle from the woods ahead of them. The sun, full ahead, was inching over the horizon to cast its light on the world. The sky was still almost navy behind them, brightening to a light blue and almost pink in sunrise. The sky was cloudless, the weather fine. The sounds of horses and men moving anxiously in wait surrounded them.

No more than a few yards in front of them stood another pair of men. The king was dressed in a suit designed to be fitted for riding. Additionally, his crown was nowhere to be seen, while he wore thick leather gloves dyed white, cracked with long use. The prince beside him wore nearly identical clothing, save the color; his was red as fresh blood, while the king’s was green as the forest in spring. The two eyed each other with a mixture of respect and curiosity, hesitant to say anything to break the morning’s quiet.

The clatter of hooves grew louder and a servant trotted up on a mangy pony, the chestnut-colored horse that was plainly the king’s animal trailing slightly behind. It pranced with energy when told to stop, knowing and ready to go on the hunt. The saddle and bridle gleamed with polished leather and steel, well-kept. The king himself checked each buckle and each strap, before mounting with satisfaction of a job done well.

A moment later, the prince’s servant arrived, bearing the horse the prince would ride. The midnight-black animal stood still as stone while the prince repeated the checks of the king in a horseman’s demeanor. Finally, he mounted, just as the sun broke over the canopy.

Behind the pair, the riding and hunting party had saddled up as well. Their weapons, a myriad of bows, spears, and swords, were held at the ready. Many of them looked to be nobles, but all had been soldiers at one point or another, and held themselves as any trained horseman would. They were just as prepared to fend off bandits and defend their king as they were to shoot a rabbit or spear a boar. Each wore armor under fine linen coverings, each embroidered with the crest of the noble house the man who wore it came from.

The prince loosened his sword in its sheath, making sure it wouldn’t stick should it need to be drawn. The king noticed this with a sharp eye, but made no motion save resting his hand on the butt of his small hunting knife, the only blade he carried this day. The hunt would begin, soon, and tension was in the air from all involved. Yet, as long as Zan and Raquar would stand there, the horn would not be blown.

The Star Room – Population: Hacorie, Canti, Sekai

It was only but a moment after the trio had entered that the scene began to form in front of them. They stood down below the balcony mentioned in the Star Book, looking up at the princess in her balcony. She, in turn, looked up into the sky, watching the stars twinkle brilliantly in the moonless sky. It was so bright and clear, it seemed as though the stars were motes hanging in the sky around them, within the reach of their arms. As they watched, the princess reached for the sky herself.

A strain of music startled the trio as much as it startled the princess above, its unearthly tune carrying far in the still evening air. The princess gasped and drew back her hand, her eyes widening and searching the garden below.

The trio became as enamored by the music as the princess was above them. The tune carried on and continued without pause, showing them scenes in their mind. A scene of the ocean, waves crashing on a beach of white sand. A beach that stretched endlessly behind them, a desert at the edge of the ocean. Further down the coast, a town made of sandstone and other rocks, bustling with people dressed in ways fit for a fantasy story. A castle of sand, built around a single freshwater stream, more underground than above.

Slowly, the music began to have less and less effect, the images beginning to repeat and fade from their minds, leaving only the dark courtyard garden with the music filling the air. Slowly, the three began to be aware of themselves again, and aware that the princess was still enthralled in the music. The moment was not theirs, but the moment was eternal. The music played its endless refrain, the princess listened, and the three were left wondering what to do.

The Cross Room – Population: Senna, Zhao

The pair had only to wait a minute before their senses were assaulted with the scene depicted in the Cross Book. The first thing to hit them was the smell. While they didn’t need to eat, being in a game as they were, the smell of food still would make them hungry. The table that lay out before them was covered with all manner of food, anything that could be come up with and prepared for a great feast. Various nameless birds were cooked in innumerable sauces, laid out on platters. A whole pig, and several other plates of pork, joined in the ranks with beef and mutton. Fish were prepared in any way they could be, fried and baked and even raw. Eggs of various birds were prepared as well, and a variety of pitchers of drink were arranged in the little space that remained.

At the head of the table sat the royal family. The king and queen sat to one side, Emerine and Miloban on the other. The absolute head of the table was set for a throne that lay unoccupied.

The king rose with his glass in the air, an obvious toast that all present understood. This was a day of celebration. This was the day of the proposal. A second toast was proposed, and another after that. To good lives, to merry days, to a bountiful harvest. To good blessings, to good tidings, to good cheer. To each god and each goddess, each spirit and each presence that could be named or worshiped. The goblets were drained and drained again, and the first of the meal was served to the empty place at the head of the table. The feast had begun.

Before it could continue, however, the prince rose from his place. He knelt on the floor at the side of the princess, taking her hand in his own and bowing his head to kiss it. Her pale skin grew rd with nervous blush, and the prince raised his head, looking into her eyes. There they held, looking at each other, as the feast went on around them. As the moment grew longer and longer, Senna and Zhao would realize the moment had stopped. This was the end of the page, and the end of the scene.

--------

Back in the library, the books wavered and changed, ever so slightly. The text faded and faded but stayed in place in an odd dual-existence. The text was unreadable.

--------------------ooc

Sorry that took so long, I didn’t have a solid amount of time to sit down and write the post. I’m going to try to jump to twice a week again, and we’ll see how it goes, though I’m not certain how my schedule will allow it.

Some things to note:

The scenes will replay if a new person enters the room. If someone leaves there is no change, unless everyone leaves. If that happens, the scene will fade and the door will close. Once that happens, the medallion will pop back out.

As long as the medallion is in the door, as long as the door is open, as long as the scene is playing, the book is unreadable.

Let’s see if you can discover the rules to the game. =P

_________________
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:21 am 
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Phoenix was tired of waiting for other people to show up and insert the medallion into the door. The medallion melded into the door before it slid sideways to reveal what appeared to be an empty room. The blademaster decided to examine the empty room to find any secrets before dismissing this as a waste of time. After a minute of being in the room, the emptiness of the room completely disappeared and replaced with a grand ball room. Phoenix was out of place in the ballroom as he was so underdressed compared to the various people in their finest clothes from various time periods and cultures. He could not even remember being at a similar engagement while he was still able to logout from the World due to his memories being locked away.

The blademaster hoped that he would be able to figure out what he needed to do here once entering the room but so far, he has nothing until Suzaku mentioned something. The prince should have been here by now. From the last paragraph of the Sun book: Soon, soon now, and it would be time. The party was in her honor, and his; the man she had yet to meet. The man she would meet tonight. The man known as Prince Miloban, a noble of some great stature from their nearby neighbor kingdom. The man she was to marry, and hopefully, to love. The collective intake of breath rushing across the room was accompanied by the ringing announcement of the herald. Prince Miloban, here to meet the lady Princess Emerine. It was time to meet him, at last. It mentions that he does show up.

It seems that the story is stuck at this exact moment. I wonder if I can interact with some of the people here.

Phoenix tried to socialize with some of the guests in the room but they ignored him for the most part. He realized that he could not do anything in the room since he had no idea what was the objective to this story. It is hard to play a game where the rules are unknown to you.

Suzaku, let’s regroup back to the library. Maybe the others had better luck or if someone who did not go to any of the other three rooms noticed something in the library.

The blademaster decided to head out of the room with the grand hall with Suzaku who was following him closely. After exiting the Sun room, the door closed behind him along with the medallion popping out of the indentation. Phoenix picked up the Sun medallion before heading back to the library feeling dejected. Right now he wanted to fight something as it was easier to figure out what to do in that situation than what he encountered just now.

Phoenix returned to the library and noticed Lighteria, Silk, and Nighthand were still in the room. Before trying to talk to them, he decided to look at the giant books once again and noticed something very strange about them. Suzaku, how did you read the other three books? They’re unreadable.

Kazuma-sama, they were not like earlier. They were readable like the sun book.

Of course. The others are currently in the other three rooms. If the rooms are active, then it somehow makes the text unreadable like it can change. But the problem is what are we supposed to do with them? I should at least tell the others about this.

Flashmail

To: Freedom Fighters
From: Phoenix

Hey, I hope you guys in the other rooms are having better luck in figuring out this damn puzzle but maybe this piece of information can help you in some way. When I came back from the Sun room, I examined the books in the library and noticed that the text is unreadable on all the books except for the Sun room. It seems that as along you’re playing the story, the text is unreadable. I think we are supposed to do something in the story but I don’t know what.

I’m going back to the Sun Room to try once again to understand this game.

Good luck to all of you.

End Flashmail


After writing the Flashmail, Phoenix yelled out to Lighteria. “Hey Lighteria, keep an eye on the giant books and note anything unusual for me and the others.”

After saying that, the blademaster headed back to the Sun Room and placed the medallion into the indentation a second time. Once again the door slid sideways to reveal the empty room. Phoenix and Suzaku entered the room once more to replay the grand ball scene.

_________________
Phoenix
Level 48 Blademaster
Equipped Skills: Vak Revolver, Gan Revolver, Dek Vorv, La Repth, Juk Kruz, Rue Kruz, BiVak Rom, GiGan Zot
Other Skills: Rue Kruz, Rip Synk, Rip Saem, Crack Beat, Rue Slash, Ani Slash, Gan Crack, Gan Revolver

Wish List: Phoenix's Fire, Gold Necklace
EX-Spheres: LV 3 - Overdrive, LV 3 - Curative, LV 3 - Elemental Breath


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:40 am 
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My gut's still clenched, I think I'm going to make myself sick... If that's even possible.
Man, when you think about it, there's so many little inconsistencies to this place. I don't have to eat, I only sleep when my head needs a rest... But this game is still just creepily real when you're stuck in it. Though not... really real.

...
Well, I know my feelings are real enough. I really spaced out hard back there with that speech. It felt more like I was talking with myself more than anything... Just recounting an old story to myself like I used to do.
...Now that I think on it, I only talk to myself when I'm deeply worried about something... or trying to distract myself.


The twin blade swallows a lump in his throat, his finger gently rubbing behind the ear of his purring kitten.

We've been fighting so hard... But when I'm around it's usually fighting beasts... just AIs that the elites put in our way to either toy with us or flat out annihilate us. These last two people, the angel and that devil Raven fought... they're just too human for me. I mean... I know we're probably going to face an elite someday.. but it's not like they die if we kill their character. THEY'RE not trapped in the game... ...right?

Ugh. I need ask these kind of questions out loud.

...Still, I can't believe he said thank you. It's a bit late to say something back to him now though. My voice feels locked up and he doesn't expect it either... Come to think of it, Zan looked really angry that I didn't fight in the last battle. Which I guess he has every right to be. I really copped out that time. I knew they were fighting, but I didn't even leave the lab room. All that stuff was just so distract... ing...


His hand drops from Kit's back, looking forward a little stunned with himself. Kit groans, disappointed he stopped at such a critical juncture between 'relaxed' and 'nap'.

Oh wow. That's it, isn't it? I don't want to think about fighting Angel. I avoided the first one, I'm recalling children's stories out loud to myself... and now I'm huddling in a corner petting my kitten. I don't want to confront the idea of killing something that's NOT an AI. ...Oh gods... I'm even less sure I can handle this now... What do I do?

**New FLASHMAIL**

The familiar ding of a new flash mail quickly snaps the twin blade from his shaking. He stands from the ground and grips his left arm tightly to force control over his body again as he skims through the mail. Phoenix is back to business as usual, making sure the group makes a step forward. As he finishes his read, the twin blade glances to his side, seeing the blade master in the doorway.

“Hey Lighteria, keep an eye on the giant books and note anything unusual for me and the others.” He calls out, causing the twin blade to blink in confusion.

Me...?

"S-sure. No problem." He calls back, just loud enough to be heard, heading towards the table with the books. Now the twin blade had taken a passing glance at these things when he'd entered the room and the swirling text that's now appearing on the pages is a little... strange... as if the words were never really set to begin with. Regardless, the twin blade had asked for something he could do, and this is a perfect distraction. With a set mind, he quickly opens a blank flash mail and begins copying down the contents of the Sun Book, the blank flash mail being the most convenient template for the job.

"Wish I had a pen..." He muses quietly but, again, out loud. "I'd just write us all a happy ending."

"Someone should write me a back rub." Kit mutters in English, curling up on her chair in a huff.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:07 pm 
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And...there was nothing. What stood before Zan was a great room of absolutely nothing. Other than the walls and the odd ceiling/floor combo that looked identical, the room was blank of anything even reasonably interesting. Had Angel accidentally forgotten to craft the rest of what the werewolf assumed was a puzzle of some kind? Had she really been so daft as to send them on their way to something that couldn't be progressed? True, that would have been the smart thing. Thing was, it was also a little convenient. From the experiences he had had with the Elites and their respective minions, Twilight was hardly ever convenient for them. Their monsters, no matter how fearsome, always had a weakness that could be exploited. Their fortresses always had ways to broken into. Perhaps it was karma; perhaps it was 'The World's way of getting back at them for all the terrible thing they accomplished in their time. Whatever the origin, it gave the Lycan hope that something was still to appear in the room. There had to be a point to the medallions and the stories they had kept the books open to. Plus, if Marionette wanted him to get the group to head to a field so bad, he wouldn't have made their advancement through his Hubs impossible. It just wasn't prudent. Taking a step in with Raquar, a Long Arm who he had lectured not too long ago (but found himself unbothered by now), the noiselessness of it was a little startling.

Which was when everything sprang up.

No longer were they in a rather bland room, but found themselves instead in an open area between a towering castle and a lush, green forest. In this space was the hunting party from the moon book and, at their head, the prince and the king. For a while, the lycanthrope did nothing but stand there, waiting for things to move past the point they had in the story. After a few minutes of this rather fruitless staring, it was obvious that the group either didn't feel like going anywhere or they...simply couldn't. That was a thought that began to turn the cranks in Zan's brain, that began to reveal to him the true purpose of each of the rooms. They were stopping at what he assumed were the exact same pausing moments at the end of the books' pages. The Freedom Fighters had to find a way to make the scenes move on, to complete them and allow the story to finish off. Well, if it was nothing else, it was one of the more creative puzzles given to them by the Hubs. The Heavy Blade was aware that it was quite possible that he wouldn't be saying this later, that his enjoyment of the challenge would soon slip into frustrated madness. That's usually what happened, anyway. There was no reason things shouldn't progress as they usually did. A sideways look was given to Raquar, then Nul in turn, and the three stepped forward. Hopefully their momentum would carry the story as well.

Of course, it did no such thing. The man who held the hunting horn, one that was supposed to be sounded before anything happened wasn't doing shit. Expecting to have to verbally argue for the bastard to hand the horn over, Zan approached his horse with the expectation for violence...but no one even seemed to notice him. Rude sons of bitches. Reaching up to shove the nearest noble, for the sake of experimentation, he wasn't exactly surprised that all he received was a shrug of their shoulder - like they were stretching. So, they may as well have not been there at all. That both made figuring this out less stressful and more so at the same time. Sure, they wouldn't have to worry about two strangers roving around a group of weapon-toting hunters causing a stir, but they also couldn't ask any of the present individuals questions that might help them move forward. Bleh. Feeling no particular urge to play the games of the Guardians, he proceeded to grab the horn from the oblivious man with no particular drive in his maneuver. It was forced...bored. A blow into the object gave him no noise and, in turn, no motion from the gathered horseman. A shrug and he tossed it back into the hands of the mounted man, giving no mind to any fumbled reaction it may have garnered him. If it wasn't the horn...then what?

A look to the forest beyond and he remembered the mention of the white stage. Maybe, just maybe, he was supposed to go in there and find it, bring it out, and spur the whole collection of individuals into some crazed chase. It was an idea worth following. Not really waiting for Raquar to follow him, the werewolf charged forward, eager to get things moving and equally eager to shrug off the nonchalant pull that had settled on his muscles after only seconds of being unsuccessful in his endeavors. All of the potential excitement of giving chase to real game that had began to rise in his Beast was quickly snuffed as he seemed to hit some invisible wall with a resounding thud and a breaking crack of his nose. Falling, sprawled out on his back, to say that Zan was embarrassed and a little unwilling to meet the Long Arm's eyes was an understatement. Instead of having to visually meet someone who was probably cracking up at that point, not to mention the roar of amusement already coming from a casually observant Nul, the Heavy Blade chose instead to cover his broken nose with his hand and groan the humiliation away. An adjustment of the bone into its proper position and the lycanthrope could already feel it growing better and patching up with the power of his metabolism. When it had finished, he gathered up his pride and rose to his feet, attempting to act like it didn't happen despite the jeering coming from the bastard on his right.

"Oh, sweet Jesus, please do that again. I'd give a million GP just to see that frazzled, 'what the fuck' look on your face again when you hit the ground. I think...God, I think you made my year." And the laughing continued. Fucker.

Zan moved on immediately to his next guess, figuring that a hunting party would love something to, well, hunt. The shift to his Garou form was brief and hardly worth mentioning, its complete failure in inspiring their bloodthirst shrinking him back down into his human form once again. Nul had stopped crying at this point, nothing but a stupid grin left on his face to remind the player how much he was hating it there already. Again, as a sort of distraction mechanism, the Lycan found himself mulling over a way to solve the stubborn son of a bitch. Maybe there was some hint in the text that he hadn't caught the first time. Giving Raquar a warning look as he left, one that clearly said 'If you laugh at me, I'm going to kill you', he exited the room and waded his way through the corridors before he again came to the massive library. By its outside size, it shouldn't have been so apt at containing as many books as it did, but that was Hubs for you - logic wasn't necessary for their functioning. Lighteria seemed to be doing...something hopefully useful, but the Heavy Blade gave him little more than a nod before his eyes were again skimming the moon book text. And...the fucking words were unreadable. Oh balls. The player was on his way out again when something caught his eye on the shelf near the exit, something he didn't believe was real. A book, its title scribed 'The Shadow of The World' along its spine, was the third from the left on the topmost shelf...not that it mattered. Though the Lycan didn't have time to look at it right then, to check if it was what he thought it was, that didn't mean he didn't take a second to shove it into his inventory.

On his return, he found himself mulling over the details he was aware of. From the story, he remembered the two horses being brought to the prince and the king, that they were hunting the white stag, and that they had a party with them wielding all sorts of weaponry. There were also small things like the king thought the prince might kill him and that he had checked his weapon, to make sure it didn't stick, but...wait. Though he tried to keep it at a walk, Zan again found himself sprinting into the moon room, careful not to collide with any other invisible barriers in the process. The poor Long Arm was again left in the cold of his reasoning, the werewolf ignoring any questions that might have been shot his way. A check at the king's gear and the prince's in turn confirmed his suspicion. It had been such a small detail, one he had ignored as important, but the king didn't have a sword on him...only a small hunting knife. More importantly, when they had first entered, Zan had seen the prince drawing and checking his sword instead of the land's ruler. It was a small detail, something potentially useless, but it had to be addressed just the same. They needed to knock down every possibility on the list until they came across something bizarre and correct. Attempting to grab the sword from the prince's hand proved unsuccessful, Zan's amplified strength serving him not at all. Maybe...he had to narrate it?

"The king should have the sword."

Seeming to come out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time, a voice spoke up with a seedy edge, the pitch almost seeming to place it the ranks of a supervillain sidekick. "Yes yes yes, he should shouldn't he, but whatever will you do about it?"

Zan mumbled something about sodomizing the voice and attempted to cleave the prince's arm off and take the sword that way, but other than the tear in his clothing (one that stitched up much like lycanthrope's flesh was able to) there was no damage on him. Gah.

He attempted to recite the change, hoping that what he assumed was the actual narrator would do was he said. "The king drew his sword, making sure it was ready to draw at a moment's notice." It wasn't an exact quote from the book, but hopefully it was close enough.

Again, the voice spoke. "Oh ho, it's not that easy now is it? Heh heh heh heeeeeeeeeeh." A lot like the actual words, the laugh came in its whiny, giddy fashion .

The next idea, being that the king lacked a sword, was to give him one of his own: the High Forger. The Narrator didn't find it appealing. "Oh really now, that ungainly thing? No king would be caught dead with something like that." Next, he tried a rare: the Holy Cross. The response, it seemed, came more directed at Raquar than Zan. "Pah, can you believe this fool? things he actually has a kingly blade. What a laugh!"

Stubborn, the Lycan again tried to speak the story. "There was an ornate sword fit for royalty at the king's side."

The voice came once more, laughing almost too much to talk. "Dear GOD you're funny." It broke into gasping giggles. "You're not the narrator here, kid." More giggles. "This story was written looong before you got here."

Snarling, Zan attempted to target the king's knife, thinking an Ap Corv might magically make it into a sword, but found he couldn't target it. Shocker. All of it said and done, the lycanthrope found himself temporarily giving up on the room...but not before a Flashmail was sent. Maybe someone else could use what he had learned. This came after his leave of the moon room and entrance into the sun where, again, he recalled all the tiny details he could remember and used them to find a flaw in it. If he saw Phoenix in the process, he made no note of it.

Flashmail!
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Zan
Subject: Discovery

I think I know, kind of, what we're supposed to do. Each room has something wrong with it, something that differs from the book and the live action versions. In the moon room I found that the king doesn't draw and check his sword like he had in the book. As for the sun room...the princess' sapphires were on her neck in the book and they're on her wrist in this one.


He paused, taking a second to try and move the sapphires from her wrist to around her throat, but they wouldn't fit.

And it seems that simply correcting the mistake is either impossible - in case of the sapphires - or just not obvious. But that's something maybe one of your guys can work with to find the rest of the solution. Hopefully it helped.

-Zan

Flashmail! End


Now...he waited.

_________________
Lv. 50 Heavy Blade
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Special: Levels, GR Sendai, PL Sakai, Darklore.
W: Tonosama Sword, Mineuchi, Jundachi.
A: Samurai Helm, Able Hands, Rare Greaves.
I: Holy Sap, Treebane, Cooked Bile, Nightbane.
EX: Elemental Summon (Lv. 2), Overdrive (Lv.1), Elemental Attacks (Lv. 2), Enhance Dark, Elemental Breath (Lv. 2).


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:01 am 
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Volunteering for things was always, always, ALWAYS a mistake, and the moment she made her offer, Senna regretted it. Thankfully, at least someone else volunteered to go along with her – Zhao, whom she didn’t know very well as yet but who seemed trustworthy and at least a little more level-headed than some – and a little could make all the difference, especially when she herself lost the keel so often. She didn’t particularly like this idea, but there wasn’t really any backing out of it now. There was a good amount of thankfulness that Zhao was coming along, actually.

If something weird happened, at least she wouldn’t be alone.

So, their room was the cross room. As she pressed the symbol home, it fused with the door, which then slid open to reveal the space beyond. Senna silently glanced at Zhao, to see if he was ready to proceed, cursed her own book-blindness and stepped in.

Whatever she feared would happen when she did do didn’t happen – at least, not at first. It was just an ordinary room, empty of furniture, accessories, even echoes. It was as though the space wasn’t real, was flat.

Flat like the page of a book?

This is different,” she commented, making her way slowly around the room, sometimes tapping at the wood paneling lightly with the butt of her spear. This wasn‘t out of any expectation that she’d find anything, but that the dullness of the sound and the flat lack of a real echo, as one would expect in an empty room like this, was just novel and a little creepy. She couldn’t help herself.

And then the show started.

It was interesting to see any story brought to life before one’s eyes, and all Senna did during the duration of the short skit was to stand aside and watch. Their preview apparently missed the part where the Prince dealt out wine like cards (a disappointing omission to Senna, as that was the act which spoke to her of deceit and treachery), but was otherwise as she remembered from the page – the empty chair at the head of the table, the two pairs sitting across from one another, the food, the toasts, the impending proposal…

And as quickly as it got to the end of what had been written, it stopped, held more or less in stasis. After a few seconds of this stillness, Senna ventured up toward the happy pseudo-couple.

What do you think of this?” She asked the other explorer in the room as she walked a half-circle around the pair, then pushed a little – tapping the princess on the shoulder, giving the prince’s a little shove. It was as though she was doing nothing at all – the pair completely ignored every move.

It was getting a bit hard to ignore the good smells, and the unmoving people were a little creepy, but aside from those two facts, Senna just had no idea what to try. She tried a good loud “Hello” and a fair amount of silly commentary like Zan had, but beyond that and the suggestions of Zhao, it was Zan’s Flashmail which jolted at least a little direction into her fuzzy brain.

Frowning, she tried to check the wine. Local wine from a forested country and well-aged fine wine from a coastal country might well, be notably different. Aside from that, she might have to take a trip back to the library – or hope Zhao had paid better attention to the story than she had – to find the discrepancy Zan suggested would be there.

_________________
Senna, level 33 Long Arm (710 HP/180 SP)
Most common kit: Ichigou, Racoon Earcaps, Air Bracer, Snow Panther, Winter Coat, Graceful Book
Spells/Skills: (Critical Hit/Death) Repulse Cage, Ap Corv, Ap Vorv, Rai Rom, Rue Zot, La Repth
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:52 am 
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Angel sat in a darkened room, only a single candle casting light on her features. She was paging through a book, her finger idly tracing the words as she read. She looked up across the room to the four shadow-cloaked figures that appeared in the room with her. Three of them bowed immediately, while the fourth wavered before falling to its knees.

“My lady. There are intruders.” The voice was strangely melodic, a rich tone.

“I know.” She responded.

“Whaat do you wiish for us to doo?” The second voice was hissy and low.

“Delay them. Kill them if you must, but make that a last resort. My Master wishes them tested, not destroyed.”

“Hehehe… Your will be done, dearest!” Came the third, a giggly voice. A hiccup signaled the fourth’s comment, as it slouched to the ground and faded away.

Angel watched them a moment longer as the remaining three disappeared. Then her eyes lowered, returning to her page.



Phoenix’s replay of the grand ball scene proved there to be no change to anything from the prior viewing. Everything was the same, in fact, even down to the snippits of conversations overheard. Each repetition was exactly the same as the previous.

Senna’s check of the wine proved it to be… wine. There was no way to tell the difference between one wine and another when the other wasn’t present, after all.

Nighthand, meanwhile, was in a completely different place. He hadn’t even progressed to the second floor, yet. Instead, he was standing in the lobby, waiting. For what? Well, for what appeared a moment later, walking up the trail beyond the front door.

”Do you have it?”

”Of course. You didn’t think I’d leave the hideout to tell you nothing, did you?” Raine’s voice glimmered with humor the heavyblade didn’t feel.

”They didn’t like me staying out of the battle.”

”No, and as I recall, you never much cared for the same treatment from Nall. Unlike Nall, however, you don’t have the power to create things like this on the fly. He doesn’t either really, but he’s still more equipped to handle himself than you are.”

”I can handle myself.”

”You say that now, but if you had to go one on one against this Angel character, or Marionette, or one of the Elites… You’d be much harder pressed than Nall was.”

”Speaking of. Where is he? Shouldn’t his mission be over by now? I thought you just sent him scouting in old fields.”

A dark look passed over her face, before she answered. ”He should be back by now. I haven’t been able to contact him yet… I’m worried. Something might have happened. I’m going to send Sheena to check the places he was supposed to check, she should be able to track what happened, if anything.”

Nighthand sighed, and started to turn away, but Raine’s voice stopped him.

”You forgot these.”

She held out her hand, and dumped a handful of small gold slivers into his hand. No larger than the cap of a pen, each was filled with a shimmering liquid.

”Crack one open over a weapon. It should have the effect you’re looking for, though only temporarily. It’s the best I can do on such short notice.”

Nighthand turned, and Raine watched him walk back across the lobby. She started to turn, but, like hers had before, his voice interrupted her.

”Hey, Raine? …Thanks.”

She smiled and disappeared. Her job was done, for the moment. Nighthand himself headed for the second floor, to see what was going on.

------------ooc:

Some of you are pretty close, you’re just thinking in the wrong ways. Zan especially; though I know he has a whole section scripted he hasn’t posted yet, Zhao too. But really… question yourselves and your assumptions.

_________________
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:27 pm 
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The scene was replayed once again as Zan entered the room and managed to discover the objective of the room. The sapphires on the princess were on the wrong body part but trying to fit the sapphires around her neck did not work. Even if the mistake is known, trying to fix is a whole another story. Maybe there might be another pair of sapphires around that would fix this story.

Phoenix began to search the Grand Hall for the sapphires and examine the guests as well but the result did not go his way. There were no sapphires anywhere else besides the princess. Then the blademaster decided to try to put the sapphires on the princess’s neck. He tried to take apart the bracelet to make a better fit around her neck but was unable to do so. Phoenix was feeling frustrated at the inability to solve the problem at hand and hastily stabbed one of the guards. His sword went through the abdomen of the guard but he did not seem to notice the wound. The blademaster withdrew his sword from the guard’s abdomen and immediately the wound was healed.

Suzaku, it seems that our actions can’t affect the story in any way. It’s like we are observers of a dream. There’s some interaction but overall we’re ghosts to them and the environment. There’s no way that we change the mistakes because we’re not part of the story. The only ones who can correct it is the characters or the author.

At that moment, Phoenix shouted out the following. “Angel, fix the mistake in the story! The sapphires are in the wrong place!”

The voice that Phoenix expected was not Angel’s but a hissy, low sounding voice instead.

”Why should I?”

He was a bit off when hearing the voice but he would make a guess that it was his ticket to solve the current puzzle.

"Don't you guys pride yourselves on being accurate? Narrators need to be accurate with all the details. It would be like a director of an adaption to a popular book screwing up an important detail."

”You assume…”

"What would happen if Angel found out that you screwed up on details? I wouldn't like it when the tiniest detail is incorrect and think that she doesn't as well. I would correct it myself but I'm not part of the story unlike you."

"Tell her if you pleasse..."

"Angel, if you're listening, tell your minion slash narrator to correct the story by placing the sapphire bracelet around her neck instead of her wrist. Please."

The disembodied voice gave out a dry, hissy sort of laughter which made Phoenix annoyed by it but continues on with the conversation.

“What’s so funny?”

“Haa… You have your ansswer…”

The blademaster realized that Angel is not going to help and need to change his approach towards the narrator.

"So what will it take for you to do the correction?"

"Give me a reasson that matters?"

“Do you care about being accurate?”

"Doess it look like it?"

"Well you managed to get everything else right but that. Don't you want to the story to finish?"

“No.”

"It's pretty boring to be stuck in the moment. Everything comes to an end. Nothing lasts forever which includes this story?"

"Thiss story is not for entertainment."

That statement was quite odd as most stories were design for entertainment or express some type of moral lesson. Phoenix asked the narrator about the purpose of the story.

"Oh, then what's the purpose of the story besides entertainment?"

“I feed.”

Phoenix could not understand how the narrator could feed from a story but right now, he went along and continued talking to the hissy voice.

"So the story is a way for you feed on emotions?"

"It is something."

The next thought that came to Phoenix’s head was immediately met with a reply from his guardian. Kazuma-sama, do not propose it. You do not know what would happen to you. I am against it.

I understand your concern but right now, it’s our only chance to find Angel. Besides it’s not like it will feed on everyone. Hopefully it will just be me that it will feed upon.

Suzaku became silent afterwards without saying a word to her master as Phoenix proposed a deal to the narrator.

"Ok, how about you feed on me in exchange to make the correction to the story?"

"You propose thiss deal... to what benefit?"

"I want to help my comrades no matter what happens to me. If this can help them for the better, then you feeding on me will be worth it."

"...then it shall be ssoooo..."

Suddenly, Phoenix was unable to move or even speak as his HP, SP, and stats were draining away like a very powerful poison. He wanted to scream out in pain but was unable to do so as he collapsed to the ground. Suzaku noticed that the sapphires were placed now around her neck but right now, her main concern was the blademaster.

Kazuma-sama, wake up. Kazuma-sama, please wake up. You cannot die now. KAZUMA-SAMA… When anyone hears Suzaku, they do not hear any words but a loud cry.

_________________
Phoenix
Level 48 Blademaster
Equipped Skills: Vak Revolver, Gan Revolver, Dek Vorv, La Repth, Juk Kruz, Rue Kruz, BiVak Rom, GiGan Zot
Other Skills: Rue Kruz, Rip Synk, Rip Saem, Crack Beat, Rue Slash, Ani Slash, Gan Crack, Gan Revolver

Wish List: Phoenix's Fire, Gold Necklace
EX-Spheres: LV 3 - Overdrive, LV 3 - Curative, LV 3 - Elemental Breath


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 3:09 am
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Location: Wherever I'm needed.
Zan's flashmail opened my eyes somewhat, and thinking back to the story, I could pinpoint a thing or two that struck me as not quite right. The king had done something wrong, and I felt like the prince had as well. Perhaps...? "A few things wrong here,” I began. “First of all, in the original story, it was Miloban who offered the toast. Not the King. The King never left his chair. Also, the proposition is all wrong. He knelt next to her, he didn't stand... what's going on here?" The last part could have just been a lack of detail in the original story, but I felt it prudent to mention it just in case.

I didn't know what to expect when I spoke those words, as I'd said them more to Senna than anyone else. So it shocked me when a voice, obviously drunk, came from nowhere. "Tthhhhhsssshhhh what do yoush care?" I looked around and, seeing nobody, thought that perhaps talking to the voice more would get me some kind of results.

"The story's not right. It has to be right. Either what is written is true, and this room must change, or this room is true, and what is written must be corrected. Which is it?"

"Heeeeeeeheheh," the voice began, laughing wheezily, "right and wrong, whish izit?"

I gave an exasperated sigh. Drunkards were generally worthless, but I had to try and get something out of this one. "I was hoping you could tell me. Perhaps there's something I can do for you to secure your aid?" Well, bargaining with Angel had worked; why not try it here?

"Do? You? For me? Hahaaaaa! I hash all the wiiiiiine I want, all the fooooood I want, what more?" Of course. Simple pleasures. Perhaps if I deprived him of them? I walked around the table and attempted to spill as much wine as I could onto the floor, attempting to deprive the bodiless voice of something it wanted. When I got to the last bit, I grabbed it for myself. It would be my hostage and bargaining chip.

"You... Why would you DO that?" said the voice, obviously irritated.

A small smile crossed my lips. I had done something to gain an advantage for the moment, and I was certainly going to make use of that. "Now I have something you want. Gonna tell me what I have to do here, or do you live without wine for the rest of your time here?"

"Oooohohohohooooo I know your gamesh. Toooooo bad though!" To my dismay, the wine glasses around the table refilled themselves. My smile died instantly at this sight, as it made the glass of wine I held useless, and killed my only halfway decent idea for how to eke information out of Mr. Disembodied Voice.

After a moment's thought, I spoke again. "Well, there has to be something you want besides food and alcohol. Money? Women? Power? Come on, I'm sure there's something you can be tempted with."

"Money?" he responded. A noble then rose from his place at the table and emptied his coin pouch onto the table. "Women?" he said, just as a noblewoman rose and began to dance, apparently at his behest. "All thish in my power! Yoush... jusht in the way."

Was he playing head games with me? If he had wanted us gone, why wouldn't he have just forced us out already? I decided to fish around for some more info, even if I couldn't get much. "In the way? So do you plan to remove us? I think if that was your plan, then you'd have done so already. Why not?"

"Muuuuusht I?" he said, and to my alarm several nobles stood from around the table. "It wouldn't be diffu... dishuf... hard!"

This was unexpected, to be sure. I slowly backed away, holding out my hands in what I hoped the voice would determine "Now now, friend. I wasn't looking for a fight. Just answers."

"Heresh your anshur. Leave me here and let me feed." Feed? The wine and food, I suppose. Made sense. Still, he seemed to have eaten rather a lot already. Did he have a bottomless appetite or something? Maybe I could still solicit his aid.

"I'm quite willing to do so if you feel like giving us a hand."

"Why should I?" said the voice, I was shocked once again as a noble drew a sword that I had not seen before. Had it been there, and had I just missed it? Or did this voice have the power to add things? That would mean the voice had the power to change the story, which meant he could indeed help us. Regardless, a sword was a sword, and I began to back off. This had come completely out of the blue. I shot a wild glance at Senna, looking for answers, but I also knew I had to resolve this myself. After all, I'd started it all.

“Now friend,” I said, “lower your blade. We don't wish to fight you. Please,”

"Friendsh, I'm not friendsh. Why are you shtill here?!"

I was afraid, but I pushed it to the back of my mind and continued. "Because, we have a purpose here. Even if I don't know what it is, even if you don't know what it is, I know we have one. And I cannot leave until it's fulfilled."

"Leave! You don't even know why you're here! Get out!" The voice showed the effects of alcohol less and less, and as it became more sober it also seemed angrier. The entire room full of nobles were now armed, and they were heading our way. To my dismay, I had forced this choice on us, but now we had to exit.

"We're leaving!" I cried, and made good on my words, Senna close behind. I once again felt ultimately useless. I returned to check the cross book again, in the hope that maybe I had achieved something, but nothing was different. It read the same, and I sighed, then looked to Senna to see if she had any ideas.

_________________
Zhao's Profile

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Slayers
Other level 16+ Twin Blade Weapons
Cougar Bandanna
Snow Panther
Level 16+ Twin Blade Armor

Miakita hazu no tasogare ga
Konna ni kirei dato naita


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:41 pm 
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Master of Games
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
(This is a short ooc post about phoe's post to clarify and add a few things. It's not the GM post, which should come later tonight, assuming more people post.

First: Phoe doesn't collapse to the ground, and second, the sapphires don't appear just yet. Part of being unable to move is, well, being unable to move. As for the necklace, no one said this creature is as trustworthy as Angel.

Second: While Phoenix and Suzaku cannot see it, anyone else who looks into the room sees a massive figure behind Phoenix (this is the reason for not collapsing or being able to move, etc.) It's about eight feet tall, cloaked in shadow and only half-visible. It has one long, thin arm outstretched, a bony hand clutching Phoe's head. The only other part of it's form that anyone can see is it's eyes, that glow a light blue.

Third: Should anyone enter the room, as mentioned before, the story resets. When it does, the creature becomes much more tangible-looking. It remains this way until the story progresses enough to reach it's "freeze point", where it becomes intangible again.

Fourth: Suzaku can leave the room, but Phoenix cannot. Suzaku can leave for the purpose of notifying other players. When it, or anyone else, returns to the room and enters it, they can't leave afterwards.

That's all for now. Oh, and Zan, since some of the stuff we scripted that you didn't post conflicts with this (by which I mean it wouldn't make sense for it to happen right now) you might as well discard it. A temporary relief from the "you have to do what you script doing with me" rule.)

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Wishlist: Any Armor or Weapons under level 50, Any Scrolls (prefer level 2+)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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I'm getting dizzy...

The twin blade blinks his eyes a few times, staring as hard as he can at the Sun Book. The words continue swirl and morph in front of his eyes. He had spent quite a while staring at these things by now. Copying the other books down into an open flashmail was... dull, but at least it was easy. He can get behind easy when he needs a distraction. With the copies done though, there's little left to do now but to check for differences when he can. For the most part though, the books simply didn't stop warping. The sun book had stopped for a moment... no changes it would seem, but now it was morphing around again. The twin blade grimaces to himself as his eyes unconsciously try to make sense of the ink swirls, even though it's impossible.

It's kind of like one of those hypnotist disks, the kind that doesn't actually work but gives people the willies anyway.

There's a moment where his eyes dart to one section of the book, feeling like he saw something recognizable for maybe an instant. He squints at a blob which he was SURE spelled out 'bumper car' for a few seconds before he looks away again, his head starting to spin a second time.

Ugh. I feel like this thing is playing mind games with me. Like you can read parts of it, but not really. Kind of like it's tempting you to keep making sense of chaos.

He glances towards the side door.

Still. If one of these books doesn't become readable soon my mind is going to start wandering again. I'll end up worrying about someone and forget what I'm doing... ugh... This whole situation just can't sit right with me. The whole place just feels like it's a big risk, but somewhat safe at the same time. Like a fun house! Naaaah, not like that. It's more like there's hummingbirds nesting in lighthouses across a sea of 7up as amber waves crash on jagged airplane wings from space. Or at least something to do with popcorn.

...

What the hell did I just say to myself?


With a swift motion, the twin blade steps away from the table puts and shuts his eyes, his thumb and index finger gently rubbing his eye lids.

Ok, that's enough staring at those things. I think I'd better update Phoenix on this stuff before I TOTALLY lose my mind... ...pickle.

Blinking a few times, the twin blade turns towards the door in a bit of a mind haze.

"I'll be right back..." He says in a tone that's really only JUST loud enough to hear to anyone who isn't focused elsewhere. That being his only announcement, he steps out of the library and into the hallway, pausing just for a moment after he shuts the door to take in the scene. Two doors on this side, probably the same on the other... Symmetrical design and all that... all mansions tend to be proportional since it seems more elegant. Lighteria knows that because he had worked in a mansion before... though that seems like years ago now. ...How long HAS it been?

There's just a brief instinctual second where he thinks the corners need dusting before his ears perk up, catching SOME kind of sound. The walls muffle it pretty damn well, but it sounds a bit like screeching cry... at least to him. He turns his head towards the direction of the sound and blinks with curiosity, walking up to the door with the sun emblem. Now normally he wouldn't go wandering into the rooms without approval or at least a good reason, but he'd definitely heard something, plus he was curious to see what the heck all the fuss was about with these rooms. So with only moderate hesitation, the twin blade opens the door and steps inside.

As you might expect from him by now, the timid twin blade falls onto his butt in shock. He'd read the story written in the sun book, but seeing the actual scene and the... added bonus... is, well... overwhelming. Lighteria would normally fall into a nervous stupor at this point, either from the decor or the dresses, but there's that..... THING in the room. It kind of looks like a cross between a black cape and a street lamp to him... whatever it is though, it seems to have a death grip on a blademaster's head. It takes two clicks of the player's recently boggled mind to realize what's happening and who it's happening to. Once that clicks though, the twin blade pales and gasps, hurriedly lifting himself from the floor and charging forward towards the black thing's back. With a little luck, the tackle might jostle it enough to stun it, or at least shift its focus away.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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