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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(No, he was still confused, as others began to mess with the rooms, but he was starting to get the idea. It was all in what Dien had to say on the thing about time control. These time-locked rooms were apparently changeable with the flick of the dial, though Canti hadn't understood it all at first. But eventually, he got the hang of it, and decided to work on the meadow with the tree again. So saying, he set the room for Meadow #3, and then moved the dial towards Egg. And...success! The meadow was the same one as what contained the big tree...only it was sans tree. Hmmm. This kinda' struck Canti odd. Stepping in, he noticed a patch of dirt where the tree should've been. He poked and dug at it a little with his knife. Yyyup. It was dirt, alright. The sudden urge to shout out like Johnny Depp rose from the depths of his being, but he managed to contain it. After all, he'd look awfully silly, shouting, "I've got a patch of dirt!", like Cap'n Jack Sparrow. Coincidentally, the music he was playing switched to Jack's theme, making this moment all the stranger. In any case, Canti made a few noticeable holes in the dirt and then stepped out to change Egg into Bird for the time being. He strode back in and found...big tree. No apparent sign of the changes in the dirt, but the tree was taking it up anyhow. This was beginning to fit with a theory he was developing. The Twin Blade flew around it, looking the tree over for anything special. Nnnope. It was a tree, and it was alive. The only significant difference was that it seemed a little younger. There was no fruit or seeds, just...tree. Canti couldn't even say what kind it was. Shrugging, the Twin Blade began to carve words into the tree, the exact words that Dien had found on the rock. Nothing stopped him.)

Canti: No Wizard of Oz moment, eh? Hmmm...

(He wandered out of the room and set it for Bone again. Like before, it changed into the dead tree that he had previously burned to freakin' death. Returning, he found that the dead tree was completely unmarred, no trace of his deep carvings at all anywhere. From this, Canti theorized that the time in these rooms were not connected, just linear. They were past, present, and future, but you could not 'disrupt' the stream of time passing here. It would always be as you originally found it, regardless of actions in the past. If he dug up the ground in the past, there would still be a tree, and burning the live tree would not remove the dead one, ever. Heading back to the Egg version of the tree room, Canti tried making something grow with Juk Rom - without success - before abandoning the room entirely. He had other things to do at the moment. Raquar had contacted him about the second meadow in its Bone setting. He explained that there was supposedly a path there, and that since the Twin Blade had been adamant on burning things, maybe he could burn through a blocked path. This was fine with Canti. He was no botanist, anyway. Of course, upon going there, Canti did not see a path. Old man, check. Old house, check. Anything resembling a path...not check. Annoying, isn't it? He decided to look at the other instances of the room to make sure and, sure enough, there was no path there. Was Raquar wrong? He returned to the future-instance of the second meadow to find the old man and talk to him.)

Canti: Hi there. Friend of mine said there was a path into town here.

(The old man looked at him for a few minutes - Sizing him up? - and then nodded, pointing at where Raq had said in the Flash Mail.)

"There."

(Yyyup. He was pointing at gnarled brush and crap like that.)

Canti: I can't help but notice that it's somewhat blocked by forest. Any chance chance I could get through that without harsh measures?

(Okay, now the old man looked at him like he was talking a foreign language, speaking in tongues as it were. Then, he says...)

"Follow me. I was leaving anyway."

(The guy turns, and heads into the forest where Raquar had said...almost as if it were never there in the first place. The brush didn't move or anything. He walked right through it, like it was an illusion. Of course, naturally, Canti tried to do the same thing, only failing miserably. Well, he had to be sure! It might've been all a fake! But it was clearly saying to him now, "Yeah, nice try, but you're not gonna Moses your way out of this one." The brush let him in maybe a foot, then thwarted his attempts to get through. Canti stepped out again and decided to go for the burn-strategy, using a FireBall Tempest scroll on the woods. That...set things aflame, but not in the same way as the dead tree. The fire soon put itself out, uselessly. Canti countered this retort with another heaping helping of Darkness Flame until his SP bar ran out again and was rewarded with precisely nothing. This was not gonna be forced. There was something that he, and everyone else, was clearly missing. What it was...he did not know, but he DID learn something.)

Quote:
TO: The Party
FROM: Canti
SUBJECT: Ghost story.

Raquar noticed, before, that I was burning up the room with the tree and suggested I try the same for this supposed path that leads to town. I went in there and didn't see a path, so I asked the old man to make sure and...wouldn't you know it? It was indeed suppose to be there, only I didn't see a real path there. Asking the man further about getting through the mess, he looked at me funny and told me to follow him...as he walked through the mess like it was nothing. IT wasn't the illusion, though. HE was. The old man is a ghost who can see the path when it was there and thus cannot be of any use. Someone might wanna try that with his younger self. Burning through it, BTW, was worthless, and I need a smoke break.

Oh, speaking of burning, the tree in the third room was both alive in the Bird-scene and not there (with only a patch of dirt) in the Egg scene. Anyone got any time travel theories for that? All I can be sure of is that you can't alter the state of the future-scenes from the past or any way vice versa. It might be nothing more than a hint of the Birth, Life, Death deal, but maybe not. Can't say for certain.


(With that, Canti pulls out a Silk Cut cigarette - Cheers - and lit up, taking a drag and trying not to think too hard on the latest developments. If they didn't didn't find something quick, he had half a mind to whip out the Vegas Vindicator nd try something desperate.)

_________________
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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 03, 2008 12:40 am 
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Ikkitousen
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To his dismay, it didn’t seem that the underbrush could be burned through which meant that the town was off limits. This in turn probably meant that his thought processes were off base. So he turned back to the riddle. He removed the periods and mumbled it to himself as he thought it should be read, but that left him with nothing more than life planted, grows. He recalled that there was a blank patch of soil if you were looking at the past conceptualization of the tree meadow. Maybe something was there planted, and he needed to help it grow? He turned the dial to the Birth or Past setting, whichever descriptive one preferred and headed into the tree meadow. There it was, the patch of soil that looked like something should grow out of it, but what did it mean? To help something grow usually you had to water it. Watering might be possible, but the boy hesitated before sending shards of ice at the patch. The last time he tried heating something up with a spell it resulted in an explosion that could have possibly destroyed something useful. There had to be a way without causing random destruction. Thinking back, he remembered his first encounter with the man in the bird meadow, and that he was poking around the cooking fire. Maybe he had some water nearby. It couldn’t hurt to ask anyway could it?

Returning to the hub, the boy dialed in the present time frame and headed into the northern meadow, the first meadow he entered. Instead of just wandering into the hut however, he stopped at the entrance to the hut and proceeded to knock on the door instead. The man turned toward him and stared for a bit, before a briefly muttered, “What?”

”Do you have a container of water I might borrow?”

The man harrumphed at him, before digging round in his collection of pots, pans, and various utensils. After a moment of searching he tossed a small sealed container at the Long Arm, perhaps the size of a distorted cantaloupe.

”Thank you sir.”

With the container in hand, the boy crossed his fingers and attempted to go back into the central hub room. He passed through the doorway successfully, and the jar was intact. No disappearance or anything, which meant that perhaps he was on the right track. He quickly reset the dial to the past, maneuvered the door over to the tree meadow and entered once again. This time he crouched by the soil, and gave the jar some more in depth studying. It wasn’t much, more or less a baked clay container with water in it. Shrugging as he gently removed the seal; the boy took careful measures to slowly and carefully pour the water onto the soil. The water puddle a bit at the surface, before gently sinking into the soil. That was it, however, no magical growth or sudden flash of light hit him, just a light moistening of the soil. Maybe that wasn’t enough water. Maybe he needed to find more.

Rather hurriedly, the boy vaulted back into the main hub room, switching the settings to visit the middle aged man and returning from that room with another jar of water. This jar he brought back into the soil room as well after a quick changing of settings. This container of water however changed nothing. It had the exact same effect as the one before it. And then the boy remembered something. The rooms reset when you left them. So all this frantic running around served no purpose. He nearly headbutted the ground. As stupid as he was being, he figured that the container of water was important somehow. It had to have been. He went back one final time to the man, and procured one more jar of water. But what to do with it? He went back and reviewed the riddle another time. Life planted, grows. Planted. That had to refer to the soil, he just didn’t know what to do with it.

And then he had an idea. What if other people could grab containers of water too? Maybe that would do it? Scanning around he decided to approach the giant Heavy Blade about it.

”Umm Nighthand, if you wouldn’t mind, would you try going into the Present Bird Meadow and see if you could obtain a jar of water?”

“Why?”

"Because I want to see if watering the blank path of soil with more than one jar of water changes anything."

"You seem to have it down. Leave that one here and get another?"

"Fair enough. Hold this for a second would you?"

The man took it from his grasp as he went to retrieve another jar of water. The boy came back, retrieved the first jar of water and then took both containers into the soil room. This resulted in nothing however, as both sections of water were absorbed into the soil with no other experiences. Frustrated he went back into the main room. At the very least he could share his one finding with the group.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Raquar
Subject: Items
Message: So it appears that you can take things from the room without any adverse affects. For example, I asked the middle aged man in the Present Bird Meadow for a container of water which he begrudgingly supplied to me. I then in turn took it to the Past Tree Meadow where pouring it on the soil had no seemingly useful effect. But if somebody finds something useful in one of the meadows it can be transported to a different one it appears.

_________________
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: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:42 am 
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Senna was perfectly content to just lie there and enjoy the meadow, but this didn’t mean she was idle. For the first time, she didn’t mind the incredible wordiness of everyone’s Flashmails. She perused each, letting the puzzle unfold through their words instead of her eyes and trying to keep track of it all in her mind. So, not just the door but the pillar turned. And depending on which way each of the two was directed, a different room would appear. There were 13 in all, four of which were useless for their needs. Unless, following the time thinking, you considered these meadows to be standing for before everything started?

Well, either way, ‘In The Beginning’ didn’t affect them much. It was the person who interested her the most. She considered his stages. Child. Middle-aged man. Old man. If there was an answer to be had, she suspected it was with him. It seemed like most of the time in this dungeon, they were simply manipulating what was there to solve the puzzles, and unless they strayed from the pattern now, it should be the same here. A giant tree and a boulder offered precious little to manipulate she figured, so the first aspect of the tree or one of the aspects of the man would probably be the place to start. But how? Bully him?

Her first idea came to her after getting the Flashmail from Raquar. She didn’t know what to do with things from one room to another. But if people were the thing that had to be manipulated, then maybe leading one of the people out of their room and into another was the key.

Senna straightened up and left the room, returning to the center area, unaware of the time that had passed. “I think I’ll try talking to the kid. Maybe if we can bring him to another area it’ll help?

Leaving it at that, she set the doorway where she wanted it and wandered in.

There was indeed a child playing there, swinging a stick at the grass. For the moment, he didn’t seem to notice her. Walking quietly across the grass, she approached the child, crouched down next to where he was concentrating on his task, and asked, “Whacha doin’?

The child jumped back with an “Eep.” Senna maintained her place crouching and looked at the child a moment, then down at the grass. With one finger, she poked one of the tallest blades and said, “I don’t know this game.

Apparently deciding no one interested in games could be a threat, the child regained his enthusiasm and swung the stick at the grass a few more times, saying, “It’s easy! See?”

She smiled and nodded. “I see. You’re very good at it. Do you know any other games?” she wasn’t sure where she was going with this, but she knew the best way to get along with children was to keep things moving.

“Umm… sure!” he said, but he didn’t change what he was doing.

Senna kept at it. “Mmm. Like what? I’m looking for a new game.

“Dunno. Wanna play knight and giant? You can be the giant!”

Senna put on a thoughtful expression. "Maybe. It sounds fun. How do we play?" She wasn’t sure there was a reason to do this, but it beat lying around in the meadow.

The child was all ready with his answer. "You're the evil giant and I try to slay you!" he rushed at her and swung the stick. Senna flinched, but while the attack cracked the stick, it was only a momentary sting on her shin.

She blinked in surprise. "Oooh, ow! you pack quite a punch, sir knight! But this isn't the right place for an evil giant to be slayed." she shook her head. "Haven't you heard of Jack and the beanstalk?"

He stopped and stared for a second. "Who?

Senna settled back into a sitting position, indian style. "Jack planted three magic beans and they grew into a HUGE beanstalk. And at the top, he found an evil giant he had to slay."

"Oooooohhhhhh... Ii bet he did too!"

"He did." She nodded solemnly in agreement with his answer. "So I wonder... I wonder if we could plant a beanstalk." Her mock-thoughtful expression was back. "But I don't have anything to plant." This was followed by a sad frown. "Do you?"

He looked around, then ran into the hut. A few seconds later he returned and produced what was obviously a plain old rock. Not so great, but it was good enough to check the basic premise.

Senna looked at it thoughtfully. "I don't know. Maybe we should try a couple different ones. Just in case one doesn't grow. Do your parents plant seeds?"

"Nope!"

"Well, we can try this one. I know a good place to plant it. Want to go? It's very nearby."

"Sure!"

She stood up and held out a hand. "Alright, it's just this way." she nods toward the doorway. He followed, but his face suggested he wasn’t too sure about this, and he didn’t take her hand. She paused and tilted her head. “ Something wrong?

"Do you live in the woods?

"Of course. How do you think I know about magic beanstalks?" she asked reasonably.

“Alright.”

She held out a hand again to take his as they approached the doorway. For some reason, she suspected this wouldn't work if there was no contact. Assuming it was going to work at all.

She found herself somewhat surprised when he actually took her hand as they approached the doorway. However, it was a brief moment, because as soon as she stepped through the doorway, it was gone. She looked at her hands – one no longer holding a hand, the other still holding a stone, and said, “Well, that didn’t work. Bet if I go back he’ll think I’m a ghost.

_________________
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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 Post subject: Part 3
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:52 am 
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Posts: 226
Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
There was literally no idea in Dien’s mind of how to solve the puzzle. The poem seemed to bear overarching significance to all of them, with each line representing a single room, but beyond that no real correlation stood out. He had half a mind to search the bird-bird-man’s house, but that would be horribly rude. Same with the shack that belonged to the old man.

But then, watching as Senna tried to lead the child through the Pivotal Room, a thought struck Dien. The rooms were temporally frozen, meaning that there was practically nothing that could be done to affect them with any kind of permanence and they could just be reset completely to one point in time. But herein lay the question: there was obviously some progression of time when the dial was turned: what would happen if one were in the room while that happened? Such a test would at least prove whether or not the things there actually existed, or if they were no more than a reflection of one version of reality.

With a sigh, he rose, making his way into the bird room where the child was. He waved casually with a smile, but turning then to the doorway, he called, “hey, someone mind turning time forward while I’m in here? I’ve got a hunch.” The request was obliged, and as he half expected, the room merely flickered forward in time. His presence was no kind of anchor for it to keep it from moving forward, and so he sighed again, turning an about face and re-entering the Pivotal Room. So it seemed, at least to Dien, that the rooms were nothing more than clever reflections, designed to trick their minds into decay until these hackers’ badnicks could deal with them.

Still, question stacked upon question, and he couldn’t help but be curious: what if that old man were Nall in some way? Shifting between the players that were crowded in this room now, the only one who would have any way to distinguish that at all would be Sheena, besides the fact that she could probably shed some light on how to get through the puzzle.

“Hey Sheena,” he said aloud, making his way to her, “you got anything?”

Sheena, meanwhile, was staring at various points of the pedestal, the rooms from the outside, and the walls around them. “Not a thing. This is pissing me off!” She punched the wall, making the whole room shudder. “All I can tell is that the exit is through all three meadows. They somehow need to be... combined, or something, I don’t know! Twilight doesn’t give me information the way game data does to Nall or Raine.” The departure from her normal cheerful tones was sobering, to say the least, and the sheer power behind her punch was enough to send chills down the blademaster’s spine. Still, as she had said, she was just as helpless in this case as the rest of them.

“It’s okay,” he reassured, not daring to smile, “we’ll get through this: from what I've seen, we always do. You’ve actually helped quite a bit, but I've got one more question: what are the chances that the character in the bird meadows is in any way Nall?”

What, that sprite? Bah! It’s barely even a rudimentary AI.” Her response was, well, comforting to say the least. While Nall was a prisoner here, it was good to know that he wasn’t being held in temporal limbo on a strange field. So he smiled.

“Thanks, Sheena,” he replied, “and don’t worry, we’re all here for you. Well, we’re here for Nall too, but you’re one of us, right?” Despite the jest of his comment, nothing could be done to lighten her mood, and she simply continued to stare at and through the walls. It was unsettling – enough to drive him to want to find the speedy blademaster, if only to return her to her normal self…

…were such a thing even possible.

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:29 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:28 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hiding in the shadows
He watched Senna attempt to coax the little boy out of his meadow only to have the field rebuke her. She came out with nothing but a stone, presumably something that the little kid gave her. But that didn’t give him any idea. And as he eavesdropped on Sheena and Dien’s conversation he couldn’t think of anything. Combine them? How would we do that. How could you combine a rock with anything? And the more he thought about it, the more a weird idea popped into his head. Rock, Paper, Scissors, the old children’s game that everybody used to play. The boulder could be the rock. The tree could be paper. And the man could be the scissors. It could theoretically work. And if he had to combine them, maybe he needed to take something from each meadow and bring it to a different one. Maybe that would work indeed. The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea, and the more he wanted to try it. But speaking of Rock Paper Scissors, he had a slightly different idea. It was time to go pay the little kid a visit. He approached the kid and asked if he wanted to play a quick game.

"Do you know how to play Rock Paper Scissors, or Jan Ken Pon?"

"Uh... what's that?"

"Its a game. In it you can choose one of three things. Rock, which is a fist, Paper, which is a flat hand, or Scissors, where you stick your first two fingers out. Paper beats Rock, Rock beats Scissors, and Scissors beats paper. When both people are ready you do this." He demonstrated the basic motion for the game.

"Like this?" he waves a fist around randomly"

"Not quite. Maybe I'll come back later to see if I can help you learn it. Bye for now." The little kid was innocent, and in his own way kinda cute, but for right now it didn’t help him much. It was time to get serious. He retreated for a moment, fiddled with the dials and went to go see the middle aged man.

”Excuse me. If you randomly found a giant boulder in the middle of a field, what would you do?”

The look he received was rather hostile and it took him aback for a moment. "What...? Who are you?"

“Name’s Raquar. You don’t know me, but we’ve actually met quite a few times, some while you were this age, other’s when you were about six, and once again as an older gentlemen leaving this cabin behind. But anyway, do you have anything with you that would somehow relate to a boulder?”

"What the hell is wrong with you? You come into my house and claim we've met and spout nonsense?"

The boy sighed. Why did he have to get hostile now of all times? ”Well let’s see, the day I met you as a kid you were about six and your parents were out of the house, you said they were out at town, probably buying some food. You also used to think that the town was that direction.” He pointed straight up hoping it would jog the man’s memory.

"You're insane! Get out of my house!"

“"And if I refuse?"

He most certainly did not see the giant pot come flinging towards his head, and had no idea what happened when the large object careened into his temple and forced him to stagger out of the man’s house. Apparently he struck a nerve somewhere. That might have meant he was getting close. The man had never been that abrupt or abrasive. So maybe he should try something else. Mentioning he had met the man before was a terrible idea. But thankfully the rooms reset as soon as he changed something, so a quick swapping of the dial and resetting it and he was as good as gold.. So he crossed the threshold back into the main room and reentered the meadow he wanted to try something else. “Excuse me, do you have a seed or anything that needs planting?”

The man stared at him for a brief moment before shaking his head. Nothing going there. Slightly puzzled the boy exited the meadow, and switched it to the older time frame. Maybe he would have better luck there. Approaching the old man, he spoke briefly. “If you saw a huge rock in the middle of a meadow, what would you do?”

The man stared off into space for a moment, and the boy almost considered repeating the questioned before the elder sighed. “Admire it.”

That didn’t help much. “And if you saw a tree?”

"Listen to it."

Now that was something to go off of. Expressing his thanks he practically ran back into the central room to set up the meadow that contained the live tree. Leaping over to where the tree was, he slowed down and gently put his ear up against the bark. Only to hear nothing. But he wouldn't give up quite yet. He remembered back at Science Camp, a couple of lifetimes ago that there was another way to listen. Gently hoisting himself up into the leaves and branches, he draped himself over one of the branches and put his ear to the bark one more time. But there was nothing there either. Slightly disappointed that it didn't work, the boy decided to go visit the boulder. Maybe looking at it for himself would come up with something new. Dialing into the life time frame and swinging the door, which was becoming quite a chore as his arms were starting to ache with all the door moving he had done, he entered the meadow and approached the rock in question.

Nothing was there except the riddle. “Once told, repeated hence. It circles, life. Planted, grows.” It still didn’t make anything click in his mind so he set off to see if there was something he could take into a different field. He didn’t find anything important, just a bunch of random gravel laying around. He stared at the riddle. He was pretty sure that ‘Planted, grows’ referred to the tree but that was about it. And for some reason the whole idea that he needed to take something from meadow to meadow stayed with him. But he had asked the middle aged man, and the older gentlemen, but maybe it was his ignorance and quickness to discount the little child that was thwarting him. Paying the little kid another visit he broached a quick question. "Hey kid, if you saw a tree in the middle of a meadow, what would you do?"

"Uh... Climb it!"

"But what if it was too big for you to climb? What would you do then?"

"Dunno."

Ugh. He was getting nowhere fast, but still a couple more questions. "How about if you saw a big rock?"

"How big?"

"Bigger than me. About as big as your house."

"Ooohhhh... Live in it!"

"But its solid. You can't get inside it. What then?"

"Live on it?"

He quite nearly headbutted the wall of the cabin. He was getting absolutely nowhere.

((OOC: Just as a quick note, as this was pointed out to me, the longer we take on this the closer the elites get to the field, which means we're in a race against time, and yes I'm sure Sheena will decapitate me or something for blowing two hours digging out a rock. Sorry))

_________________
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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 Post subject: Part 4
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:15 am 
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Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
“Long day?” Dien asked Raquar as he sauntered back into the central room, looking as though he'd just run into yet another dead end.

Yeah. Pain in the ass. I’m missing something simple.” he replied, turning about to face the once hacker who now sat in the corner next to the doorway.

“I think we all are,” he remarked, rising to his feet, “something we haven’t thought of before. Care to accompany me on a walk? I want to have another look at that rock.” Taking up his position on the pole, the room once again rotated with ease, Raquar’s answer coming quickly.

Sure. Couldn’t hurt.” And just then the room set in place on the Egg Meadow, as Dien reached onto the pedestal to rotate the V ‘northward’—facing the bird etching. In the doorway, it flickered for a moment before settling on the image of a boulder – massive and heavily inset in the ground with a single etching written on it.

“Once told, repeated hence. It circles, life. Planted, grows,” Dien read aloud as they came to stand facing the thing, neglecting the overall pleasantness of the meadow in exchange for the task at hand, “but what’s it mean?” He continued to stare, as though through his prolonged glances the secret of the riddle would be revealed.

Not a clue. The whole planted thing means we plant something in the blank patch of soil. Only other thing I can think of is that the first part refers to an oral tradition, although I don't know anybody who carves tradition into a rock.” Oral tradition: stories passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. In general, Dien agreed with the man’s assessment that this poem was their most solid lead in terms of solving the puzzle. If anything, it pointed to something they needed to do. But that lingering question of a story…wait, what if there was a story they could learn? His eyes lit up.

“You’re onto something with that ‘oral tradition’ bit,” he replied, turning quickly about and walking back to the Pivotal Room, “come with me. By our powers combined, I think we may be able to drive the last nail into this coffin.” Turning the V towards the egg and once again assuming the required position in front of the pole, the doorway was again oriented towards the Bird Meadow – the cottage with the boy. “You thinking what I’m thinking?”

Maybe?” Raquar replied, followed by a quick chuckle. “I’ll follow your lead for a bit before I catch on then we’ll take care of it.

“Ask the kid if he’s got any stories,” Dien said, for a moment eliciting a questioning, authority-challenging stare-glare from his longarm friend, before he added, “what? I’m bad with kids.” So Raquar obliged, walking up to the kid.

Did your parents tell you anything as a bedtime story?” he asked, and immediately the kid went wide-eyed with excitement, responding quickly with.

All kinds of things! I love stories!

“What’s your favorite one?” Dien asked, stepping up next to Raq and stooping down to eye level with the kid.

It’s about a knight and a giant!” he replied, the bubbliness of his enthusiasm refreshing in light of Sheena’s current intensity.

Can you tell us the story?” the longarm asked, echoed by his battle-mate’s sentiment.

“Yes, it’s been too long since I've heard it.”

Not really… mommy tells it better.” Mommy – mother, which by Dien’s reasoning didn’t quite exist, and who, by the child’s reasoning had gone to town, which was straight up. Still best to push the line of questioning as far as it could go.

Do you remember any of the stories your mommy or daddy tell you? Did they write them down perhaps?

No...

“Do they ever read to you, then?”

They just tell me.

Do you know how we could talk to your-” It was then that Dien cut him off for a moment. ‘Mommy and daddy,’ weren’t real – Sheena would have mentioned something about them, and besides that, there really wasn’t any need to give the kid the third degree. In the moment that his arm was held, Raq seemed to pick up on at least some of that, and decided on a slightly different approach.

Do you want to play Knight and Giant?” It was the game that Senna had tried to take up with the child, who cheerfully approved of the plan. So, picking up his stick, he proceeded to whack at Raquar’s shins, all while Dien stepped back, digging a resurrect out of his inventory for insurance. Hell only knew if this child was strong enough to actually kill one of them, but it was better to play it safe.

Ouch. You’re strong.Doubtful.How do you win the game?It’s like ‘Cops and Robbers,’ Raq, Dien thought, though not wanting to voice his thoughts, a child’s game with no real point or purpose. Stop wasting time. This was only confirmed when the kid responded.

I slay you!

Alright, come at me then!” And so he did, taking his stick and proceeding to beat bruise upon bruise into his friend’s shins until the stick decided feebly to break under the abuse (at which point Dien was glad he hadn’t volunteered for the part of giant). Still, Raquar acted un-phased, and responded in the spirit of the game through clenched teeth. “It seems your sword has broken little knight. What now?” With a grin, the child dropped the stick and started hurling rocks at his towering adversary, which Raquar seemed to be narrowly avoiding until one clipped his shoulder, eliciting an under-the-breath curse, but in the character of the moment, the longarm seemed to play up the fact that he was a giant, suddenly acting like he was a great deal larger than he actually was and pretending to stomp and chase the child, who ran and hid in the cottage. Raquar began to follow.

At this, Dien had seen enough. Stepping forward, he spoke. “Come on, Raquar, no need to scare the kid that much.” It was too late, though, as the fighter stood in the threshold of the home, feeling along the wall for a torch to try and find the kid hiding in the gloom and darkness. At least until the blademaster stepped in, his Corona naturally shining more light from within than the door seemed to provide and heating up the air inside a few degrees. Still, Raquar persisted.

I’m coming to get you.” He called in the spirit of the game, then continuing to look around for a torch before turning back to Dien in the darkness. “Worst case Dien, light the fireplace” Besides the fundamental problems with destructive spells and fireplaces in thatched roof cottages made of thatched roof, there were other objections that the blademaster had to this plan.

“Don’t think I can control it that much, but I also don’t think we're getting anything done here…”

Do you have a skill or scroll that would allow it? I have a feeling. Light the fireplace.

“No,” Dien replied, quickly jogging out of the room and turning the V on the pedestal towards the bird, watching the hut flicker slightly before Raquar could further traumatize the child. They had to ask the middle-aged man about the story next—but wait, wouldn’t the old man be better at than him? He could already hear the conflict going on within the shack, and so quickly depressed the V again and turned it to face the bone. Flickering into a state of decay, the cottage was now accompanied by an old man standing outside, and the blademaster proceeded into the room to strike up conversation. It was only upon crossing the threshold that it hit him. Oh come on, it couldn’t be that simple, could it? Confound his memory, he’d forgotten the lines.

By this point, Raquar had made his way back into the center room, and Dien made the adjustments to be able to see the rock again. The poem secure in his mind, he returned to the center room, doubtlessly eliciting the curiosity of his friend.

Wait. What now?

“It’s something the kid said,” Dien replied, depressing the V and twisting it back to the egg, “he likes stories, right? Why not try telling him one?” He took up his position on the pole.

Sure I guess. Though I don’t know how much of a good story that cryptic poem will make. But it couldn’t hurt.” And with that, the blademaster’s pushing stopped leaving the door aligned with the child’s meadow.

“My thoughts exactly.” Raquar led the charge, addressing the kid from a short distance as he began to draw close.

Really?!” he asked, his excited form being suddenly overtaken with awe as the longarm recited the poem to him. The best way to describe his expression was beady-eyed, and he quietly repeated it to himself again and again, entering into a state of catatonia as he wandered back into the cottage, his body language denoting that there would be no communicating with him. For a moment, Raq and Dien just looked at one another, neither one quite sure what to make of it, but eventually they both returned to the main room, debating whether or not changing the room would have any real effect.

“…well it’s not like we can’t just do it again,” Dien said, coming to a stop as they entered the Pivotal Room to be greeted by Sheena.

Something just happened,” she said, “what exactly did you do?

The kid liked stories. So we gave him a story.” the longarm quickly responded, leaving Dien to clarify.

“We just told the kid the poem from the rock...”

Whatever else it did, that triggered something.

Any idea what?

The rooms look more…similar, now, or something. Closer to alignment.” Not sure what this meant, Dien decided to start a systematic search of the rooms to see if anything had fundamentally changed between them. Whether by fortune or by sheer dumb luck the first target of his examination was the next time stage of the bird room. Raquar followed, and they together entered the house, finding inside writings scribbled everywhere, some legible, others entirely not. But perhaps the most notable change in the room was the character of the man, who now sat bent over a desk, seemingly absorbed in the study of a book—something entirely unheard of before their conversation with the child.

“What’re you reading?” Dien asks, trying his best not to startle the man.

Huh? Who’re you? Research, research.” He seemed a lot more nervous than before, obviously much more withdrawn for society, but not nearly as averse to company as he had been prior.

If I may ask, what are you researching?” Raquar asked.

“We’re traveling scientists,” Dien added, “on a quest for knowledge.” Had the man bothered to look away from his work, he would have noticed the ‘dude, what the hell are you talking about’ look that Raquar then shot at the blademaster, who merely shrugged, but he kept his eyes faithfully fixed on the book.

Clues, clues everywhere! In town, etched in trees, written on the clouds! The way people say what they say! It’s all there, if I can just figure it out!” He was surely eccentric, but this gave Dien the idea he was looking for. Tell this man the poem, and then tell it to the old man, and you’ve got your solution.

“What if I told you we found a poem carved in a stone in our travels?”

A poem…? A poem! In a rock! I remember…no, I don’t remember. Tell me!” Dien wasted no time.

“It goes like this, ‘Once told, repeated hence. It circles, life. Planted, grows.’”

Once told…once told…” He trailed off muttering it to himself, staring at nothing, his book forgotten. “I remember…

“Dare I ask what it is you remember?"

The man merely smiled. “I don’t remember!” By this point, Raquar had already started making for the door, and cleared his throat to grab Dien’s attention. Time to go.

“I hope you do at some point, friend, but I'm afraid we must be off.” With a wave, he turned and made his way back to the middle room, a nod from Sheena indicating further progress, and they switched the times once again, watching as the cottage decayed in an instant. Upon entering, they could see bits of writing etched in the walls of the ruins, but it was the man they were more concerned with.

“Excuse me, sir,” Dien began, “how are you this fine day?”

You…you two haven’t aged a day, yet how can I forget you?” Puzzlement crossed the man’s face, and Raquar was quick to reply, the art of bullshitting amply picked up and applied.

A boon of our travels. How did your research go?” Only moments later did he follow with the question, “and do you remember?

A mere sigh came from the man’s lips before he spoke. “A long road, you set me on. I know not why you didn’t travel it yourselves. Though it was a life’s work. Nearly fruitless, in the end. I won’t live to see it through, but you…you don’t seem to need to wait.” It was then that he pulled out a small packet, handing it off to Raquar who received it with thanks.

I don’t know where to plant it, nor will I live to see it grow…but it’s unique. A world tree lives thousands of years and is said to draw breath from not the air or land, but the spirits of life.

I think I might no the place,” Raquar replied, looking up from the packet to the man, “thanks again. We’ll remember you.

“Indeed,” Dien concluded, “your work shall not have been in vain.”

I know you’ll do what you must,” he said, before turning around and leaving the meadow, his life’s work now in the hands of two who would be ruffians. It went without saying that the place to go was the patch of dirt in the tree room, and making the necessary adjustments, the room was entered very quickly. Fire&Sky was thrust into the ground and torqued as a spade, giving space for Raquar to embed the seed into the earth. Putting the dirt back on it, it was time to see just what they’d done.

Moving to the middle-time of that room revealed that the tree was covered in words and markings, making even less sense than the walls of the man’s cottage. How he’d gotten a seed out of mere words was beyond him, but nonetheless, Dien switched the room to its future tense, walking back in to see one big final goal of the puzzle: a basketball-sized sphere hanging right at the top of the tree like some kind of defunct nut or pumpkin.

“Well whadaya know?” Dien asked, placing his hands on his hips and eyeing the prize, “would you like to do the honors, or should I?”

Not bothering to respond the boy vaulted up a couple of branches and shimmied up to the appropriate level of the tree. He felt sturdy enough but it was still pretty high up. Reaching out and snagging whatever that object was he tossed it to the Blademaster with a hushed, “catch.” Starting to slide down, it was the first step he took that went wrong, stubbing his big toe and causing his right foot to slip. Losing his grip on the bark he tumbled out of the tree and went crashing down onto the ground beside Dien, a force that caused enough damage to temporarily end his life.

Meanwhile, the blademaster had lost sight of the nut, pulling out a Resurrect to save his comrade the trouble of being ghosted. However, the moment he activated it (the very moment Raquar hit the ground) was the very same moment that he should have caught their prize, and despite the natural protection of his Corona, it cracked him on the top of the head, shattering into a million pieces and eliciting thousands upon thousands of quiet whispers that added together into a deafening roar. Add into it the concussion, and Dien was once again on his knees in pain, clutching his hands to his ears. Sheena was shouting something that he couldn’t make out, but he guessed it didn’t matter as he slumped over. It was only the tapping by Raquar that woke him up in time to hobble out on the newly-revived man’s arm. WBWBSIM style. Oorah.

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:10 pm 
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Master of Games
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Finally it seemed that Raquar and Dien had hit upon a solution. Sheena watched from the center room as piece by piece the rooms fells into sync. It was so ingeniously designed that she hadn’t even realized how much was out of place until they began to be put back in order.

She followed it in her head as it fell into place. First the poem from the stone had to be told to the child. It triggered something to change in both the other times for the man’s room. Viewing him at middle age revealed a man obsessed, but who had lost his way. The poem again reminded him of his path, and the pair move on to the final stage of the man’s life.

The old man now had given his life over to the quest that ended at a seed. This strange item proved nothing more than the completion of the third room’s cycle of life. This drastically changed the look of the tree, from something normal to an etched monstrosity seemingly made out of letters. The change to the dead version was just as drastic, with a basketball-sized mass formed high up in the branches. Raquar climbed up to get it, but stumbled and fell as he did so. Dien was damaged when the seed fell, as it struck him on the head, but still managed to get a resurrect out to Raquar before his daze took him over.

Raquar began to drag Dien out of the room just as the rooms began to shift. They were moving, but they weren’t moving fast enough.

”GET OUT OF THERE!” Sheena shouted, dashing into the room to get them out faster. She pushed Raquar aside and, having little time in which to move the two players, simply dragged Dien by the collar and tossed him through the door ahead of her. The slowly closing door.

Sheena wasn’t quite sure what would happen when the door closed on someone. Maybe they would be trapped in a room of stopped time, unable to be removed. Maybe they would be destroyed or corrupted as the rooms merged. Maybe they would emerge unscathed on the other side. She had no way of knowing and she didn’t want to take any chances.

There was a deep rumble that filled the room and the door sealed itself closed for several long minutes before grinding its way open again. On the other side was a meadow as blank as the original three had been, with one key difference. The path mentioned so many times by the man in the bird room was there.

Slowly the group regained their cohesion and proceeded down the path, which was just wide enough for two at a time to walk along it. A few winds into the forest and it opened up into another door, identical to the one they had first entered in. The room on the other side, on the other hand, was larger and lacked the pedestal.

Instead, arrayed in the center of the room were eight boxes. Inside each box was a skeletal figure. Each figure had one of the elemental runes inscribed on its bare chest; Rue, Vak, Rai, Ani, Juk, Gan… and two unfamiliar runes.

The party emerged fully into the room, and the figures began to move. They stumbled out of their boxes and arrayed themselves to face the group, the next challenge to progress.

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

EXP 500/1000


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:51 pm 
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The last puzzle had left Lighteria rubbing his head in confusion so having the next room be a little more straight forward is a bit of a blessing.

Well these guys are pretty clearly here to fight us. I was wondering when they were going to send actual bad guys after us rather than let us kill ourselves with giant tress.
...Then again, these guys have yet to attempt to turn us into PCkabobs so there's probably something more to them than that. ...I think it's those symbols that are throwing me off. What's THAT one stand for anyway? I recognize the juk and rue stuff, but that one's kinda... weird shaped.


Relatively near the front of the group, the twin blade glances backwards towards his team and shrugs. They're not in any immediate danger after all, may as well try to find what makes them tick. Without a word, the twin blade walks forward towards one of the skeletal beings, specifically the one with the slightly more aesthetically pleasing unrecognizable symbol. Not being a complete airhead though, he keeps watch on the figure's movements just waiting for a hostile gesture... oddly enough there are no signs of hostility even as the twin blade walks pretty much straight up to the figures and stares at it with a look of childlike wonder.

Not that I should be able to, but I can't figure out what the heck that thing stands for... Not like any element *I've* ever seen... and considering my powers, that's really saying something.
...They don't seem... TOO dangerous right now. Maybe I can try to figure it out. Usually if an element has a strong enough presence I can feel out what it is... well... then I usually split into it by accident. ...I really have to work on that sometime.
...What was I doing?
Right! The skeleton guy.


With a sorely unjustified sense of safety and his curiosity getting the better of him, Lighteria leans in towards the chest of the creature and stares at the rune. His shimmering teal eyes blink a single time as his hand lifts from holding himself up by his knee to poking the creature lightly in the chest. The moment he makes contact with the creature though, there's a strange occurrence. The monster still makes no hostile movements, but Lighteria's body flickers for a split second... blinking could make the person miss the visual clue. At first, especially to the twin blade, it seems like there's absolutely no effect other than him staring at the symbol for a somewhat creepily long time. It isn't until the twin blade rights himself does it become apparent what's going on.

Is it just me, or are these creatures breathing a whole lot faster all of a sudden?

Though it feels like a normal movement for Lighteria, righting himself takes a very long time. Almost as if he's been set to slow-motion, the twin blade slowly rights himself and turns towards the group... normally that kind of motion would take only two seconds but Lighteria's taking at least ten for some reason. His motions, however, remain quite fluid so the movement isn't some kind of dramatic act, it's pretty clear his body, no his entire being has entered some kind of personal time-slowdown. Lighteria looks at the group and blinks again, looking like he's purposefully shutting his eyes. As if to drive the point home, his mouth opens slowly to talk.

"Whhhhhyyyyy aaaarrrrreeee yyyyoooouuu twiiiiiiiiittcchiinnnngg sooooooo faaaassssttt?" He inquires to the group in a quiet and slow voice, apparently assuming everyone else is just moving a lot faster now for some reason.

_________________
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 15, 2008 1:52 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Location: Hiding in the shadows
It was a rough shove by Sheena that sent him out of the door as he watched it slowly grind to a close. He sat there staring at it for a few moments before it started to rumble open again. The resulting meadow was empty except for one difference, there was a path leading down the center of the meadow, the path that he figured was the right way to go but simply couldn’t access. He felt a little glee at the fact that he had the right idea even though he didn’t exactly go about it in the best way. It was always nice to have something you could be proud of yourself about.

They walked in pairs down the winding forest path until they reached another door and another of those spacious cavernous rooms. This one was very similar to the last room except it housed eight box shaped coffins enclosed with skeletons in the closet. When the group was in place the bony figures climbed out of their boxes and assembled before the crew. And then they waited, for whatever the group would do. Lighteria was the first one to move, and touched one of the unfamiliar symbols. His question to the group came in a slow and drawn out voice, and the fact that he thought they were all moving so fast would lend credence to the thought that that unknown symbol stood for time. There were the original six elements, that one which was probably time, and one more unknown one. What better to do than touch it? Walking forward he touched the other unknown rune on the skeletal figure.

The resulting flash of light seared his eyes and burned away his vision. But he smiled blindly anyway, it was likely that this was a “light” element, and if he remembered correctly, it was the element that Royce used. So we had Royce, Nall, and the six normal elements. Blindly staggering and calling out to Sheena, he approached their fear-inducing leader. "Sheena. It seem the two odd symbols are representing of Time and Light, which if I'm not mistaken, are the elements of Nall and Royce. Now I think its highly possible that we have to do something to those skeletons with the elements they represent or their opposites. Any idea what to do for those two?"

"Let me study them, see what I can figure out, because right now I don't know!"

"Okay, but can I cast spells on a couple of the regular elemental ones to see if stuff happens?"

"Go for it?"

"Okay. Umm... Could you line me up in the direction of the Rue skeleton? I kinda can't see right now."

He got twirled around a bit before Sheena gave her approximate estimation of half the room away. Guessing his best from his memory of the room he fired off a Rue Kruz at the skeleton with the Rue rune inscribed on its chest. The spell went off without a hitch, but the sound of crashing icicles went off far to his right. Shit. Either Sheena had pointed him in the wrong direction or this blindness fucked up more than just his sight. He sighed, it was probably in the group’s best interest that he stop firing stuff off when he couldn’t see. It wouldn’t do to have him fire off a spell at the wrong one and have a trap activate and jeopardize the safety of the group. Besides, that would make more time which meant that the Elites would draw even closer. And that would be bad. Frowning, he promptly fell on his ass and rubbed at his eyes. Nothing. He heaved a sigh and resigned himself to wait until he could see again.

((The flash of light that blinded me appears as a flash only to me, to the rest of you guys it looks like a highly focused beam into my optical sockets.))

_________________
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: Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:28 am 
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So in the end, Raquar and Dien managed to figure the riddle of the three rooms and managed to open the way into another room full of skeletons. Phoenix was not quite sure if he could have solved the puzzle himself. He might have gotten frustrated at one point and may have rampage in one of the rooms since they would have reset and everything is okay again. Anyway, the path to the “town” was revealed to the group and began to walk along that path.

At the end of the path was another puzzle room but this time has eight boxes containing skeletal figures with a rune etched on their chest. Once Phoenix looked at the runes, he figured out that they must represent the Elites as the six elemental runes were all represented along with two that were unfamiliar. Soon enough, Lighteria and Raquar confirmed that the other two runes were Time and Light which represents Nall and Royce. It seems that Lighteria and Raquar are experiencing some nasty side effects from touching the runes. Lighteria is slower than everyone else while Raquar is blinded from the flash of light.

So far there was not any progress to figuring out the goal of the room except for touching the runes are bad. Raquar had an idea about casting spells at the runes but his blindness did not help his aim at all. “Raquar, don’t do that again until you can at least see somewhat.” Phoenix decided to focus on the skeletal figure with the Vak rune. He fired off a BiVak Rom at the Vak figure. The fiery tornado appeared around the figure for a second but it disappeared until it came back right at Phoenix.

Phoenix let off a scream for a second before taking in the fiery tornado attack. He took a minute to rest before trying again. "Okay, let's try that again but this time with a different type of spell." Phoenix switched his gloves to Fishing Gloves and cast Rue Kruz at the skeletal figure. The spell was absorbed by the figure without taking any type of damage at all.

Now if like spells have a rebounding effect and its polar opposite has an absorbing effect, what would happen if a different type of spell was used on it. Phoenix decided to use GiGan Zot at the Vak figure. This spell had a very interesting effect on the figure.

The earth spell flings the figure into the air and land pretty hard on the ground. Then the figure got up from the ground and created a ball of flame on its hand, which will elongate and collapse in on itself, forming a blade of dense white fire. The figure just stood there after creating the flame but it is prepared to attack anyone compared to the other figures.

Did I help us or hurt us? Maybe I should approach the figure with the flaming sword. Be careful, Kazuma. I’ll try, Suzaku. Phoenix slowly approached the Vak figure and once he got very close to it, it began to attack Phoenix with the flame sword it created. The blademaster tried to back away from it hoping it would cease but it did not. The other figures were watching the others in the group while letting the Vak figure to attack Phoenix. “So if you want to attack me, then fine by me. Everyone, figure out the other statues while I deal with the Vak statue.”

Phoenix drew out his new sword, Pegasus Comet and was ready to counterattack against the Vak figure.

_________________
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: Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:49 pm 
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Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(You might be thinking..."Hey, that Canti seems to have a habit of leaving alot of the work to the others sometimes.", meaning that he appears to be lazy. Now, it's a given fact that our winged Twin Blade HAS been taking breaks and being more laid back, but those actions are by design and not simply because he's apathetic. We all know how it is for him. He's not the big brains of the act, and the hackers are being extra tricky with their puzzles. The only GOOD thing about the puzzles is that they're not eccentrically Resident Evil-like. So, it's alright for Canti to step back and let his betters figure this shit out. As long as they were his betters, it meant that we didn't have to depend on the corrupted demonic slowly-insane-going Twin Blade for absolute support. It's when he IS on top that we'll have to worry. The Freedom Fighters are supposedly the good guys here, but the archer in the lab coat accused 'em of being murderers, mercenaries, evil freaking bastards... That sort of hit Canti hard because, ironically, the actions of the Elites had fulfilled that prophecy retroactively. Murderous intent had gone up in the Twin Blade, and he wanted to keep himself from expressing that so plainly. Some of the members, in fact all of them, would probably lose whatever faith they have in him if he suddenly started crushing skulls. Then again, who would stop him? You've heard of shoulder-angels, right? The good side versus the bad? At the moment, Canti had a bad side and a worse side. But nevermind all that now. After all the footwork he had done, gathering information and sharing with the group, Dien and Raquar managed to finish the job.)

"GET OUT OF THERE!"

(He looked up when he heard this. Sheena pulled Dien and Raq out of a sealing room as everything began to shape into place. Fortunately, the rest of them were out of there too, and once that was over with, they were finally safe and on their way. Well...maybe 'safe' isn't the right term. More like...'not immediately threatened'. Canti put out his cigarette as the grinding continued, leaving them with one path, the way through. He followed the others, this time keeping on foot instead of hovering. No reason to take flight just yet... Besides, the woods was fairly covered, not much room to move around, and this item-extractor gun DID weigh some. ((Yes, he still has it.)) If there was an ambush here, they'd have trouble. Fortunately, this was not the case, and instead...they emerged in a stone room not unlike the one they left. Larger, but the scheme of the place remained same. In this case, though, there was a number of boxes lying around. Treasure? Hah, you WISH. From each box popped out a tall skeletal figure with a glowing rune on its ribbed torso. Canti facepalmed.)

Canti: Ah, crap in a hat... Stalfos Warriors now?

(For those of you possibly blinking in confusion, we direct your attention to the Legend of Zelda series, featuring skeletal creature who are apparently labeled as 'Stalfos' for god alone knows why. They were...just standing there, though. No hostile actions at this time. He stood there, curious about this, and then noticed Lighteria approaching one of the skeletons himself. Now...Canti was pretty certain that most of these were elemental, but there were two off to the side there that were unknown to him in the runes department. However, as soon as Lights poked one of 'em with his knife, it became more apparent. He suddenly slowed down. Not like the opposite of a Speed Charm, but a literal crawl in time. So...a timey-wimey Stalfos. And that one that just blasted Raquar in the eyes? Light. That settled, Canti began to formulate his plan of attack, noting that Raq's blindness had even affected his aim, despite being pointed in the right direction to hit the Rue-skull.)

“Raquar, don’t do that again until you can at least see somewhat.”

Canti: Here, here. Elemental weakness and all that.

(So saying, Canti moved off in a flight-assisted leap and flanked the one that appeared to be of the Vak persuasion. Now, the odd thing about this was that he didn't know that Phoenix was also going for the same target. So, when Canti gave off his Vak Rom spell...he was surprised to find an extra fire tornado involved there. He didn't notice him yet. He just thought he'd done something wrong. Also, the spell had reflected back to him, giving off a slew of ones for damage. Canti had chosen this enemy just in case of that. It was the safe bet, the minimal threat. He could've done the same with the Ani-skull. Canti switched items and shouted "Rue Kruz!" pretty much at the same time as Phoenix did, and that's when he noticed they were doing the same actions. The Rue spells did absolutely nothing and the Twin Blade was caught off guard by Phoenix.)

Canti: Okay, I need to do something different here... Gan Zot!

"GiGan Zot!"

Canti: Gah!!

(Canti's jaw dropped as they both did pretty much the same thing AGAIN. Granted, Phoenix had some tougher spells, but he was also the higher level. In any case, once the Vak-skull was pummeled around by the two earth attacks, it got up and manifested a white fire-sword from a deadly fireball. It didn't attack yet, but that...looked like an invitation, didn't it? Something like..."Come get some". It attacked once Phoenix got closer to it, very aggressively and with wild abandon.)

“So, if you want to attack me, then fine by me. Everyone, figure out the other statues while I deal with the Vak statue.”

Canti: I have a better idea.

(This wasn't really a one-man job, so Canti took it upon himself to do some lead-on attacking of his own in this case. He was suited to the task for having high elemental defense. And while Burning Fiery Death over there was fairly strong, its power would be equalized by his personal abilities. Canti took flight and swooped past to deal a strike or two with his knives, immediately gaining the attentions of the fire-guy. As he thought... A berserker. Canti ducked and weaved while he slashed his knives, but at that range, the sword definitely hit him at least a couple times. Jumping back in a wing-assisted leap, he casted Repth on himself as the Vak-skull headed towards him again.)

Canti: I just figured it'd be best to draw his fire some while you gank it hard. Adios!

(He jumped over the next sword-swipe and kicked off of the Vak-skull's head to fly overhead at the room to mess with a different target. The Light-skull had blinded Raquar without warning and without him even attacking. Maybe if he blew it up, he'd return to normal... While in mid-air, Canti's hand caught aflame with black fire, and then he launched a few explosive bursts to inundate the Light with Darkness. However, the winged Twin Blade was in for the shock of his life from the skeleton. For you see... This hand of his glows with an awesome power. It's burning grip compels it to defeat him. And thus, the light-runed skeleton suddenly LEAPT right out of Canti's black pyre with a Shining Finger Sword!!)

Canti: SHIIIIIT!!! I didn't know they could jump like that!!

(We apologize for the G Gundam moment, but it seemed appropriate, considering the skeleton of light blazing a sword at the devilish Twin Blade like that. The white sword of light blasted through Canti with a direct hit that would almost-certainly be lethal, but when the skeleton landed, he was still alive. The winged Twin Blade looked in confusion, making sure he was corporeal still, then casted Repth and used a Speed Charm to get the hell away from that guy. Apparently...light did not oppose his darkness in terms of elements. Game-logic had just saved his life...for the moment.)

_________________
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:03 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:28 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hiding in the shadows
Blessed was his return to the world of light, and chaos was the sight that greeted his eyes. Two of the skeletons now had Flaming Swords of Doom that they seemed to wield with menacing ferocity. But not aggressive menacing ferocity. They seemed to be content with standing around like little bony sentinels waiting for the approach of people before making actions. The fact that they had weapons was likely due to the fact that they were attacked, as a simple approach of the creatures did not invoke a violent reaction, it was likely a reaction based on whatever was done to them. Perhaps a sort of mimicry? It wasn’t terribly important at the moment, as the two with weapons were currently engaged with other targets which left the boy some room to try and work something out. Singling out a skeleton at random, the one with the Juk symbol on its chest, he approached it slowly, keeping the armed bones in his peripheral vision. He approached the stony figure and spoke.

”Can you guys talk?”

It didn’t seem so, as this warranted no reaction from the creature, not even a blink. Though the fact that he half expected a blink was ironic, as the thing had no eyelids. Shrugging, he decided to poke this guy’s rune, to see what the elemental ones would do. He wouldn’t be blinded or slowed, so it was either being tangled up in some vines or some unforeseen consequence that he had not the foresight to predict. It was the latter of the two options. A giant wooden spire jutted from the thing’s chest angled downward piercing through the meat of the boy’s left foot. He hopped back and swore at the thing, who reacted not at all to the boy’s curses and threats. This did confirm something, the runes were definitely the defense mechanism. He thought about ways to deactivate them and came up with a couple ideas, but he noticed something else first that he decided to give precedence. The skeletons had come from a series of eight boxes, so perhaps there was something in those boxes. He backed up a bit and then attempted to sidle past the skeleton to get a glimpse at its former container. It was not that simple. It appears that once you activated its defense mechanism it didn’t get switched off, and anytime he got anywhere near the skeleton a spike of wood would jut out to impale a different appendage. It took a hole in his shoulder, hip, and thigh before he decided to back up a bit, cast a Repth, and reevaluate his idea. It was highly possible that if he didn’t activate the mechanism, he might be able to get by. It was worth a shot. Onto a new skeleton.

He decided instead on the Ani skeleton, it was safely out of range of the two offensive bones, and it would allow him so room to maneuver without having to worry about wooden spires attacking him. He approached the skeleton, but didn’t touch it, simply tried to move around it toward the box. He succeeded in getting over to the box, without provoking the ire of the skeleton, but he didn’t find anything either inside or outside of it. It seemed like just a normal wooden box. Hesitating, the boy decided to step into the box to see if anything could happen. It was not what he expected. The guardian skeleton turned and flipped the lid closed. The startled Long Arm had no time to react and he felt a sharp jerk before he tumbled forward and crumpled in and over himself in about three different ways. No way. The boy managed to un-crumple himself for the moment, but pushing on the box did absolutely nothing. The damn skeleton had overturned the box on him. Ramming around inside it did nothing, it was highly likely that he would have to wait for somebody to save him on the outside.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Raquar
Subject: Box
Message: Don’t go into the boxes. You get trapped. Now if somebody gets a chance would they mind letting me out? Much appreciated.

_________________
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: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Well, this was interesting. Skeletons, elements, what in GOD’S NAME was the designer of this place smoking when he decided this would be a great thing to make his workers go through when they visited?

It seemed to be another trial-and-error room, and the most interested error-post-trials were that Lighteria was drawing out his comments so much that it had to be a slow spell and Raquar got himself caught under one of the skeletons’ coffins. Well, he didn’t *get himself* caught so much as the skeleton trapped him, but the end result was similar enough.

She didn’t bother reading his Flashmail – she could guess roughly what it said, something like “let me out!” – but activated a Speed Charm and went forward at a run. As she neared the Ani skeleton, she put her weapon to a use that would have made her old friend Cathal cringe. She reversed her grip, planted the point and used the combined power of her momentum and the game physics to take a flying leap right over the thing’s head. It started to do something in retaliation as she got within a few feet. She didn’t have time to notice exactly what – she was flying through the air, arching her back and coming down in a surprisingly non-awkward landing in a crouch, one hand on the ground and the other holding her weapon, which was swept out to one side. It was one of the best landings she’d ever made off one of these attempts.

Unfortunately, no one could see it.

As she landed, Senna was immediately aware of a bank of low-lying smoke that had rapidly enveloped the area. Well, that explained what the skeleton had been doing in reaction to her approach, but it didn’t seem to be harming her at all. Given that, she swept her spear forward, her depth perception confused by the loss of visual contact. When it didn’t encounter anything, she swung it back, sounding the area with its length. The spear contacted something, making her tense body jump in surprise. Before she could think it through, her instincts had drawn the spear back and stabbed forward again, a little more to one side, hoping to gauge whether or not the thing – the skeleton, she guessed – was moving, attacking yet.

At first, it felt as though it were still, like stabbing one of the dried husks sometimes found in the dungeons. Not moving, she thought. But no sooner had the thought completed than the item at the other end of her weapon suddenly lurched and pulled, like a fish on a hook. Gasping, she pulled back as a deeper shadow, a well of black in the smoke, loomed and slashed through the air. She swore she could feel the nearness of the ani power, a sensation cold but with none of the brightness of rue. Turning to fully face where she thought it was, she tried to guess where the next strike would come from. High? Low? Holding the spear nearly vertically, she backed up further, eyes straining to see through the smoke.

It was her stance and not any real forethought that helped her avoid the first cut. At the first sign of motion, she instinctively moved her thin shield in that direction and caught the swing on the shaft of it. The strength of the blow, however, knocked her into a partial turn, and a second strike, somewhat slowed by her own sped-up awareness, aimed toward her face at a steep angle.

Eeeyaaa!” She lurched backward in an attempt to dodge – and tripped over the very thing she’d come looking for. She fell on top of the coffin with a complete lack of grace, then rolled to the side, avoiding a full-on slash but taking a pretty deep cut to the shoulder.

Ahh, decisions, decisions. She knew her own additions to the team and Raquar’s, and given the two, which would be better? As her knees hit the ground, she brought one leg up, planted the foot and swung her spear hard. The point scraped off the ground, then skidded up and into the side of the coffin. “Back,” she shouted, hoping the other Long Arm could hear, then used the mistaken swing to give it a second try. This time, the thin blade of her weapon found the crack between the floor and the box. Throwing her weight onto the spear handle, she tried to lever it up. Hopefully Raq could get out *before* she was finished off by the blackshadow-happy skeleton.

_________________
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: Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:23 pm 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(These skeletons were something else. Just when you thought it was safe to reach out and smack someone, they countered in the most unexpected of ways. I mean, who expects the bastards to jump? NOTHING in this game had any real jumping power, save for maybe the players. The monsters had certain rules, but these rules were being snuck around by the hackers, of course, allowing little tricks like these. That given, he had now replenished his HP and SP by spell and item, respectively, and was now hovering and watching things. Each of these skeletons had special powers based upon their attributes, naturally, and they behaved oddly in terms of game rules. For instance, his Rue spell didn't cause any harm to the Vak-skull, even with Phoenix doing same, so then what...?)

Canti: Huh?

(In Canti's head, there was a ringing sound now, as a Flash Mail appeared.)

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Raquar
Subject: Box
Message: Don’t go into the boxes. You get trapped. Now if somebody gets a chance would they mind letting me out? Much appreciated.


(Just a box? Canti looked around and spotted it. It was around where the Ani-skull was right now, presumably being the one that Raquar had gotten himself stuck in. As he watched, Senna immediately reacted herself in Ap Do physics, leaping in to help. He didn't see her land because the Stalfos warrior had just put up some kind of smoke screen, a field of darkness that would obscure it and everything else nearby from vision. The Twin Blade's black eyes squinted, but he couldn't make out any more than normal with it. He could sense the darkness, of course, but in that shroud...it would be useless for his special senses except for instinctive guesswork. He waited for a bit, seeing what would happen. There were sounds of combat, clanks and swishes. Wait... There! A black blade parted the shade gas like thrusting a stick through murky water.)

Canti: Target acquired...

(Twirling his knives, the Twin Blade swooped down, knowing that he would be in the same situation as Senna if he flew in there. However, he had a couple of advantages. First, resistance to darkness. And second...he never threw away his old weapons. At the moment, though, he was coming in for the attack, and the shroud came up and POW!!)

Canti: AGH!!

(He'd slashed it, but the skeleton wasn't where he thought it was anymore, so he'd banged his shoulder and the side-front of his chest into it, knocking off of the creature and hitting the ground. Even as he stood up, the slight sounds of the skeleton's footsteps alerted him to it turning around. Canti's left arm hurt, but it didn't matter. He got it to pay attention to him. This was where he held his arms in a criss-cross pattern, hands ending in claws now. His Fuse Blades were a number of levels below Magatsu, but they gave him the option of his only Rai technique, which would be useful here if at least to provide some light. The blade of darkness came and the Twin Blade blocked, feeling himself forced to move via the strength of the slice. Fair enough. He moved with it and slashed back, then ducked around the Ani-skull, clawing at him in between attacks. The creature had no sense of personal well-being, so it really WAS a Stalfos Warrior, attacking endlessly. Canti decided to put the element to the test, even as the dark energy sword struck him for less damage than it would normally. Lightning crackled as he lashed out with the Fuse Blade's signature move, right at the creature's chest at point-black range.)

Canti: Thunder Dance!

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

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 Post subject: Part 5
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Exalted Player
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:59 am
Posts: 226
Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
My turn, Dien thought, watching the battle begin to unfold. For whatever reason, attention had not been paid to the actions of his teammates, at least until a box closed on top of Raquar. Senna had darted forward to help him, while Phoenix and Canti continued to battle against light and flames. At least, that was the case until Canti had the same idea that Dien had: to attack a skeleton with a skill of the element directly opposite to it. His choice was the skeleton of darkness, which had already spread its black mist around the area, making it almost impossible to see. And yet, there was one more thing to be tried: concurrent elements.

Fire & Sky was pulled from his hilt, and he stepped forward to where Phoenix was squaring off against the menace, grabbing the thing as it tried to make another lunge and throwing it back. He expected that the force of his throw combined with the momentum that the skeleton had had in the opposite direction (and the fact that it was a skeleton) would have ripped the thing’s arm straight out of its socket, and yet it had somehow still stayed in one piece. It vanished into the mist, but thanks to the glow of the rune, it was not entirely lost. Time to follow up on the attack. Charging forward, the blademaster activated one of his weapon’s skills: Vak Revolver. The first strike was intended to miss, so that all of the power would be forced into the follow up through his rotation. However, it was when his weapon stopped cold in its path that he recognized that something was wrong.

What flames had been licking up the metal of his sword were suddenly extinguished as the force of the skill also diminished entirely, leaving his own muscles strained against themselves in a moment of distinct pain. Wincing, he watched as the skeleton turned about and began to unleash the same brand of hell on him that he’d been intending to release. Hell no, he thought, pulling his sword back and very quickly taking advantage of the motions he’d come to know the so well. As a duelist, it was his prerogative to know the strengths and weaknesses of his own class, and of all the attacks he could have used, he was particularly fortunate that his opponent was trying to mimic a Revolver. There was an instant wherein the back was exposed to the enemy, and in that moment Dien struck at the skeleton’s neck with what should have easily beheaded the thing. Instead, the entire body was sent sprawling across the floor, bouncing and sliding until finally colliding with the wall. At least, it should have been sent sprawling.

What he got instead was a skeleton who possessed the grace of an expert figure skater. Upon landing where it should have made first contact with the floor, the skeleton continued the spin it had started with the mimicked Vak Revolver, bouncing once and landing on its toes like a top—only it was picking up speed. As Dien watched, his confusion preventing him from following up the strike with another, the thing rebounded quickly, aiming its fiery fury towards him in a fast-paced spinning strike.

“Shi-!” Dien managed to get out, plunging Fire & Sky into his scabbard and quickly swapping for Lake & Sea, and drawing quickly, “Rue Revolver!” The two blades met, and the two skills were stopped. Unlike the blademaster, though, this undead adversary didn’t feel the shock of the impact in the muscles of his arms. Fearing that it would then take advantage of this, the Rue Revolver was quickly followed by yet another skill, “Rue Slash!” Once again, the skill stopped dead against his opponent’s sword, and so Dien was left to scramble backwards and away, his arm sore from the multiple failed attacks and relatively defenseless against this thing. There was no way this thing couldn’t be killed. It followed in pursuit, raising its sword high to slash downward at Dien, who stepped forward, grabbing its wrist and pulling farther over his shoulder, taking its natural momentum to fling it towards the far wall as the smoke continued to block his view.

There wasn’t much time to prepare. In short order, he consumed a Mage’s Soul, switched equipments, and called Rig Geam, Rig Seam, and Ap Do on himself before turning about once again to meet the feisty blade with his own, having switched back into his stronger equipment with the necessary aps in place. It took five minutes of tireless defending and pointless counterattacks to realize the strength of this monster. It wasn’t terribly strong, and it wasn’t terribly adept at battle, but its strength lay in that there was nothing he could figure out how to do to damage it, and it didn’t show even the slightest sign that the relentless fighting was taking a toll. Even though Dien was just getting warmed up with the combat, there were a couple more ideas worth trying. Again he repeated his prior throw, sending the thing careening to the far corner of the room so he could have a moment to think.

Two ideas came to mind. The first was that there had to be some significance to the runes beyond simple recognition and designation. The fact that they were there and that they were glowing screamed of an exploitable weakness, though the difficult part would be exploiting that weakness. The other idea was a bit more difficult to employ; these guys had to fight one another in order to be damaged. It was likely the only way they’d actually manage to take down the Elites as well, because even with Nall on their side, the Elites themselves were too powerful to consider beating. Who knows, maybe they’d be able to talk more of them into joining their cause?

A single laugh echoed from his lungs before he was pierced. Ow, he thought, his face contorting slightly as he looked down to see the fiery sword running straight between his ribs in the lower right of his chest. It made breathing a bit more painful, but at least the wound was slowly being cauterized. In a split second, he’d made his decision, one hand grabbing the skeletal wrist to keep the sword in place while the other reached forward and laid itself on the fire rune. This was followed very quickly by red blinky syndrome, and Dien shook his head, quickly pulling the blade from his chest as his left hand released the rune to search for something to heal him more quickly than his Rig Seam was. Healing Potion. That’d do.

Still, the kicking and gnawing and other attempts by the skeleton to free itself and its sword from Dien’s iron grip were starting to get annoying, beyond the pain that they were already inducing. Fortunately, the object of his second idea was relatively close at hand, as Dien noticed the glowing Rue rune through the smog and made his way to it. Much to the annoyance of his contained enemy, it was held up before him before being swung around in a manner to gain speed before bringing it up over his head and crashing it down upon the Rue skeleton. The two sprawl on the ground, before a sword of ice forms in the Rue skeleton’s hand as they both rise. Without another moment’s notice, the barrage of pathetic melee attacks begins again, only with two opponents instead of one. Despite any attempts he made at getting the two to attack or impale one another, they continued to view him as the target of their aggression.

Slightly enraged with their impudence in attacking an Emissary of Vulcan, but more just wanting to beat the living daylights out of these little shits, his anger flared over into flames that consumed him, and for a very brief time he overwhelmed them, forcing them back and away. However, their retaliation was swift, and he was forced to fall backwards, tripping on a coffin in the darkness and colliding with the Juk skeleton before he landed.

It didn’t take very long for the three swords to impale him and end his ignited lifespan. Hell, he’d have died anyway if he’d kept it up. Dying still sucked, though, and he was getting sick of flashmails.

_________________
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Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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