Page name: Party Nº1 [Logged in view] [RSS]
2008-04-13 22:19:46
Last author: Grengo
Owner: Duredhel
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The trail of the Deck has finally been caught, and their scape goats have turned against them. The group has finally tracked down the Deck to the city under the tree. Upon arriving, they found a massacre which confirmed their suspicions, amongst them, a vengeance hungry guard still survived. With their new addition to the group, the two parties cross the gate into the darkness of the underground city which predates Deepwood. Whether for vengeance, personal gain, or their sense of justice, they hope to catch up with the devious Deck and stop whichever plans they might have in Deepwood. So as the new day dawns on the city above, the adventurers walk down into the eternal darkness of the City under the tree.

Part 1 - Chapter 1 - Osvik: The Golden Sail
Part 1 - Chapter 2 - Osvik: Battle on the Main Street
Part 1 - Chapter 3 - Osvik: The Safehouse
Part 1 - Chapter 4 - Osvik: Out shopping
Part 1 - Chapter 5 - Osvik: Skelle's downfall
Part 1 - Chapter 6 - Osvik: A meeting of spies
Part 2 - Chapter 1 - Verholm's Mannor: The Plan
Part 2 - Chapter 2 - Verholm's Mannor: The Gate
Part 2 - Chapter 3 - Verholm's Mannor: Death of a Tyrant
Part 3 - Chapter 1 - Deepwood City: The Deck
Part 3 - Chapter 2 - Deepwood City: Teammates
Part 3 - Chapter 3 - Deepwood City: Betrayal
Part 3 - Chapter 4 - Deepwood City: Hidden Motives
Part 3 - Chapter 5 - Deepwood City: The Open Gate
Part 4 - Chapter 1 - The City Under the Tree: The Chasm

The group manages to cross over the giant chasm that separates the actual city from the entrance way. Now, they can only imagine what kind of mighty civilization could have built such a place. They walk through what seems to have been a main street, however there are recent signs of struggle. There is some blood on the floor at points, as well as broken statues and odd, empty suits of armor strung across the floor. To their left and right stand imposing towers, some of which actually merge with the high stone ceiling of the massive underground cave. Old, worn off colors and coatings of strange, glowing materials hint that at some point, the towers were as great tusks of ivory and emerald, gleaming in the darkness and providing light to the entire underground realm. Tylien recognizes many of the architectural motifs and colors as reminiscent of a Terran tower/city it saw in a painting one of its fathers had. Those however, were above ground, nevertheless, unlike all other Nai'ithar towers, the Terran towers were rather stunted, and had as many basements as they had floors. The organization of the city seems at first like a circle, or at least a semi circle, since the party could not see even half of it from their current vantage point along the entrance of the main street. The circle had several concentric circles, which intersected with the main street and lead to other areas of it. And in the very center was a huge building, reminiscent of a crystal chandelier turned upside down, which was visible even though the group was some 1 hour walk away from it.

Rei cracked the knuckles of his non-Cestus wielding hand while stomping along the main street, pointedly ignoring the blood stains and armor as his mind was dead-set on finding his former Deck comrades. Despite the majestic and noble atmosphere of the ancient city he and the others were in, he paid no particular mind to them, never having cared much about architectural aesthetics. Staring at the large building ahead of him, the Ignean grimaced and growled out to the others, "Tcheh! With mah' luck, those bastards're prob'ly hiding in there."

Saris observed the city around her as she walked along the main street, feeling a bit uncomfortable as everything she saw was strange to her. The blood and armor on the floor didn't make the feeling any better. Rei's comment about the deck being on the big main building brought her back from her contemplations. "We still don't know what they're looking for here...", she said, "but that looks like a place we should check. Anyways, they don't seem to care about leaving tracks, so I guess we'll find out where they're heading easily enough", she said pointing at the broken statues, blood and empty armor on the floor. "This is odd, though..." she commented and stopped to examine one of the empty suits lying on the street. (Search)

The suit of armor was extremely strange, while one of the parts was clearly a helmet, it had no visor of any kind that would allow vision out of it. The chest also looked somewhat serviceable, but was connected to the armguards of the armor by long and slim metal tubes. Furthermore, the armor had no distinguishable lower part. The armor itself was covered in old and dirty green designs which seemed planetarii in origin.

"Hold on, I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks something odd is going on here," Darius said, taking a good look around the area (Search), "And if I were a betting man, there's something guarding this place. I mean, blood splatter? But does anyone see any distinguishable footprints?" He looks are the area before closing his eyes and focusing on the magical properties of the area. (Detect magic)

Darius looked around, the immediate area, but aside the clear signs of a battle, he could not distinguish anything special. Furthermore, the place was so overloaded with magic, ancient and old magic, that he could not even detect the magica pulse that would come off himself, Elise or Tylien.

Walking close to Elise, since she was pretty much the only one Tylien knew, it mostly spent its moments staring at the architecture; it hadn't seen much Planetarii buildings so up close, and certainly not something like this. "This place is amazing," it said to Elise. The empty armors interested Tylien as well, so it went up to them to examine them. (Knowledge)

Aside from noticing the same things as Saris, the designs had some planetarii flare to them, but they were radically different from anything eolan. In some sense, they felt very archaic. Their forms were rough and geometrical, opposed to the whispy and curvilinea decoration it had seen at its parent's.

As Hiro-Matsu walked along with the rest of the group, he kept his eyes trained on the distance (spot), expecting he and his group to be attacked at any moment. "With signs uf such a recent fight, perhaps it would be best to expect an ambush at any moment."

Hiro Matsu noticed some of the buildings were open and entereable, but it didn't seem as if the fight had steered towards them. He couldn't notice anything else in the distance, if it had been a resistance to a group passing through here, it had ended at the battle site.

Elise walked alongside Tylien, she knew a bit about the mythical City under the tree, rumor had it expeditions and adventuring parties were let in here from time to time in the old days, but they never got too far for some reason. "This place gives me the creeps..." she muttered to Tylien, who had gone off to examine the armor. Noticing she was talking to the air, she blushed a bit in embarassment and looked away. "So, guys... we're supposed to be tracking this Deck group right? which way do you reckon they might've gone?" she asked looking towards the most obvious possibility, the looming tower in the distance.

Darius looked around at his companions, "So, has anyone found anything of interest? I knew I should have picked up 'Find the way' somewhere along my travels," he kept his eyes off from Elise for the time being. He wanted nothing to do with talking about the Deck, and didn't want to strike up her suspicion again after the whole debacle at the Ball.

Tylien was intrigued by the strange armor and the designs. It would have probably wanted to study it longer, but that wasn't why they had come there. "Could we maybe take off a piece so I could study it later?" It heard Elise then and walked to her. "I can fly up and try to see them. Could you hold these?" Tylien gave Elise three potions and flew up, trying to get an overall feeling of the city and spot any Deck members. (Spot)

From above, Tylien noticed it couldn't really peer down into the city because of the tall spires providing cover, however, the entire main road was clear up to the central tower. There didn't seem to be any activity in the entire city aside from its own party.

"N' get yur'self seen in the process, fruitbag." Rei muttered as he watched Tylien fly up, "Easier ta' spot flying scum than ta' see hiding bastards." He then turned his head toward the lynx girl, whose name he forgot, and growled a response, "Scum could be anywhere in this dump. Mah' hunch tells meh' they'd be in that tower, but an empteh' city like this gives 'em plenty uh' cover."

Saris left the whole "where might the deck be" discussion aside for the moment, since the strange armor suit still kept her interest. "What kind of creature could have worn these?" she asked aloud when she noticed the helmet had no visor. Besides, they were empty, no corpses of whatever inside them. Maybe they had been lying on the floor for ages now, and the deck had fought something else while passing by. The panther shook her head, leaving the mistery be, and kept walking following the trail of blood and broken statues.

Glancing at Saris as the panther spoke, Rei'zel glowered slightly before following behind her as curiosity finally got the best of him. So focused on finding his former comrades that he never noticed the bizarre looking armor parts until at that very moment, the moody Ignean crouched down and rapped on the helmet with one of his claws. Being superstitious considering the numerous stories he's been told by his tiger tribesmen when he was a lad, he shrugged his shoulders and responded, "Mebbe' these things 'ere were p'sessed bah' ghosts. Makes sense, some'ut... 'Bandoned city, no bodies."

Shugu kept a little at the back of the party, as he still didn't feel entirely comfortable in the company of so many new people. He examined the empty armors, but he knew little of such things, and left them for what they were, mostly. As the question rose to where the Deck had gone, he walked to some of the blood stains, smelling them. Then, he tried to find anything which could tell him in which way the large group went. Shugu hoped there might at least be footprints or scents he could follow. (Scent / Track )

To Shugu's surprise, there was a very clear scent mark heading towards the center, the smell around the city was musty and stagnant, but the empty armor itself had no odour to it other than the metal which comformed it, Shgu thought it was likely that no one had even worn the armor. There were several other smells, however, indicating a group of at least 5 people had passed through, the blood in the floor and on the armor belonged to one of that group. There was also a strong smell of sheep or ram lingering in the air.

"Perhaps whatever has left this armour empty has journied to the distant tower," commented Hiro-Matsu, still looking around.

"I, for one, think we should just make our way towards the center, whoever came here's got a lead on us as it is, we can't allow them to gain even more distance." Said Elise clearly concerned about the objectives of the Deck and their intentions for preparing such an elaborate ruse only to gain access to the City under the Tree.

"Yeah, right, ghosts", said Saris after Rei had spoken, sort of dismissing the idea. It was a childish thing, to believe in ghosts, she thought. That sort of suited Rei, anyways. She sighed, though, accepting to herself that after all the idea wasn't that illogical, given the circumstances. "Er, well, I agree with our lynx friend here, let's quicken our pace", she said changing the subject and continuing walking.

"Don't mock the dead, girl!" Shugu spoke to Saris, his eyes glaring at her from behind his mask. "Ghosts, spirits, or ancient magic, I don't know, but nobody has worn this armor. There is no scent on them!"
He looked at the distant tower, and pointed towards it. "There are scents however, of five people, heading towards the tower. One of them is wounded. And they have some animal with them. A sheep, or a ram, I cannot tell. But I agree with the Lynx, too! We should hurry, we have a lot of distance to walk, and we need to walk faster than the wretched scum."
He looked at the group, anxiously awaiting their reply.

Tylien flew back down to explain what it had seen: "I did not see any others in here, at least on the streets." Its mind was mostly concentrated on admiring the architecture, but it did notice that the others spoke of going to the center and it didn't have any objections. "I suppose I could fly ahead, but if you think there are people there, maybe not." Tylien frowned at the discussion about ghosts and stared blankly at Shugu.

"Best we stay low, and walk fast. They must know somebody will come after them. They will expect to be hunted, after what they did. But if we're lucky, they are not expecting to be followed so soon after their attack. Also, we are faster than they are." Shugu said, and he pointed to the armors on the floor. "We won't need to fight the ghost-armors, and they have a wounded. So best if you stay low, Hauken, and not be seen. I volunteer to walk ahead. I am an able tracker, and when I look through my mask, I can see this cave as if the sun shone through it."
He looked quite frantic now. "We should hurry!"

Tylien made a calm statement: "My name is Tylien." It walked to Elise then and carefully took back its potions. It was ready to leave, though it wished somebody would take a piece off of the weird armors like it had suggested.

Hiro-Matsu took one last look around before starting off in the direction of the tower, "Then let us stop talking and begin moving," he said simply.

Darius kneeled close to the ground and studied the dust closely, trying to distinguish any sign of the dust being disturbed(Search), "I may have a way to help us track them down. We may not be able to have one of us scout ahead, but what if we had something a little more...feral...scouting for us? Say a wolf or something?"

The dust had clearly been dispersed and walked on. Unfortunately for Darius, half the prints belonged to his own group. However, there was little doubt as to wether someone had been there or not.

"Shugu has proven to be feral enough. He just informed we're following five people and a sheep... I don't think we need an extra nose", Saris told Darius, and kept advancing straight towards the central building. "This is almost a catfolk - only group and this dude wants to call a dog. Sheesh", she thought to herself.

Shugu figured he didn't need to add anything to want Saris had just said, and so he didn't. Instead, he quickly moved to the head of the group to fulfill his scouting role. Following the scent trail left by the Deck, all the while keeping an eye out for anything suspicious or dangerous, Shugu advanced towards the tower, hoping he could at least provide some assistence to these people, who saved him at the foot of the tree, by making sure they'd get to the Deck as fast and safe as possible.

Grumbling some expletives, but keeping mostly to himself as the group discussed amongst themselves, Rei's ears perked up a little upon hearing Shugu's report and he gathered his memory together. Sheep or ram, huh?, he thought to himself before frowning moodily to no one in particular, Means she's here... Following behind those who walked ahead, the Ignean growled aloud to those who can hear him, "Yer' mentionin' a sheep or ram has got meh' rememberin'... Ace uh' Clubs, Mina, she controls a Fellram. Practices White Magic she does, n' damn good at it too. Prob'ly loads better than 'er." He pointed a claw nonchalantly toward Elyse as he spoke, "She'll be using 'er Fellram to do all 'er attacks for 'er, n' she'll most likely beh' the healer n' support. Lemme' tell yuh' chumps this, though..." At this, Rei struggled a little in saying out the following words, "Dun' kill 'er. Mina's a sweet lil' kid who dun' know better."

"Uhhm.. Rei? seeing as you know about the Deck..." asked Elise faintly, adamant about approaching or talking to the Ignean. "Since you know stuff about the Deck, maybe you could give us a bit of a heads up?" she asked. "Just to give us an idea of what we might face when we get to the tower."

Rei turned his head toward the lynx girl as she spoke to him, glaring at her as per his usual manner before deciding to respond. After a moment of thought and getting his mind cleared up, the Ignean said, "Fine, since we're all workin' tuh'gether... I already told yuh' 'bout the Ace uh' Clubs. She follows orders from the King uh' Clubs. He's like 'er dad in a way, his name bein' Xa'arim. He's a sneaky scumbag who'll use anythin' n' anyone tuh' fight for 'em. Uses black magic n' acts as a summoner. 'E won't fight anything 'imself, too co'ardly. Chances are if Mina's there, Xa'arim'll be there barkin' orders tuh' her." At this, Rei clenched his fang-like teeth in disgust before continuing, "That leaves out Khaza, the Jack uh' Hearts lizard n' a master archer. He'll beh' using poisons fur' his arrows, so beh' prepared. Wouldn't beh' surprised if 'e was part uh' this group. There's 13 other strong Deck members n' fightin' all uh' them will be suicide. Luck'ly panther boy o'er here said there's only five uh' them travelling." Stopping for a short time to recollect his thoughts, Rei then asked, "Duh' yuh' need meh' tuh' describe ALL the Deck 'igher ups or just those who ah think we'll met up with?"

Shugu shot a look back at the group, at first annoyed with them still talking, but after some listening, he reckoned that what Rei was saying might actually be useful. After Rei had spoken, Shugu answered him from a distance: "You tell what you think is usefull. It will help us in the fight to come. We should take care of this healer woman first, disable her healing abilities. And then try to get at the summoner, so he can't call forth more allies to their side! Perhaps, when the summoner has been shut up, you can convince the girl to take our side."

Satisfied with Shugu's response, Rei eyed the rest of the group with suspicion before continuing, "Can't beh' sure those five're all top Deck members since some can beh' weaker flunkies. Better tuh' beh' safe though... guaranteed Mina n' Xa'arim'll beh' there. Khaza could be, but ah' ain't sure. Other poss'ble Deck travel'ng along could beh' Nasheem, the Jack uh' Spades. He's a fencer type n' one uh' those honor lovin' scumbags." He turned his head toward Hiro-Matsu as he spoke, "Nasheem n' this chump'll get along fine. 'Nyhow, he's skilled wit' that sword uh' his, fightin' more wit' the sheath than the blade. 'E has a secret technique ah've 'eard about too, though ah' ain't too sure what it is. Bastard never showed meh'. Some other pos'bilities are Toxe, Ace uh' Diamonds n' one uh' the most dangerous of the Deck. Likes tuh' wear armor but 'e fights with green magic. Ah' heard he could e'en combine magic, but ah' can't confirm that. 'Nother one is Siv'vhe, the Jack uh' Diamonds n' and an Ignean like meh'." Rei frowned a little, "She's uh.... she fights with axes n' fire magic. Ah' kinda'.... uhh.... well, ah' hope we dun' get tuh' fight 'er."

"They all sound very challenging", said Saris with a smile on her face, since this was exciting. "We'll have to come up with some plan to stop them... at least we still have the surprise factor on our side. We'll have to be careful to keep it", she said and eyed Tylien, who had been previously flying around, which could have made them easy to spot. The panther didn't make any comments about it though.

Tylien wasn't particularly bothered by the others continuing to talk when they should have been moving, but what made it amused was when Shugu mentioned that Rei'zel should tell them what HE thought was useful. As if he would really know something like that with his obviously inferior intelligence. Tylien suppressed a scoff and a "as if!", smiled at Elise and instead of listening to Rei very closely, went over to one of the empty suits of armor and looked around for a piece of it with a weight of 1 or less. (Search)

Unortunately for Tylien, though the armor was damaged and scratched at several points, no parts of it seemed to have fallen off other than tiny chips that could not possibly be useful in order to examine the material.

Hiro-Matsu emmited a low snort of anger as Rei described Nasheem. This Ignean dared speak of honour when he couldn't even conduct himself with dignity. As it were, Rei was usefull, so Hiro-Matsu suppresed his retort and focused on what was ahead. He had already made up his mind when the Ignean finished speaking that should he have the change, he would meet this Nasheem in single combat. Perhaps he could draw out and learn this secret tecnique.

Darius shot a glance towards Rei as he heard the Igean speak of the deck members as a cold sweat grew on the pads of his hands. He set his hand down in the dust that covered the floor and looked up in the direction they needed to travel, "Stop talking and lets get moving, who knows what the deck could be planning while we sit here. If they did see the Hauken, they could be setting a trap, so it's best to spring the trap before they have a chance to finish it, before it could become fatal," At which, Darius stood up and pulled the hood of his cloak over his head and began walking off in that direction wether anyone followed him or not, trying to keep to the shadows, though he was sure if he came anywhere near a group of the deck members, he was as good as dead if he stood alone. As he walked, he looked down at his legs, and, seeing the diamond sewn into his leggings, he pulled his sash down to cover it up.

The group moved on from the place where the armors lay, they walked down the road towards the massive tower. Though sometime ominous sounds and cavernous echoes came from every direction there was no sign of life anywhere else down the road. To their sides, masses of buildings extended to both sides with the occasional offshoot road. Though the open entrances into the maze of buildings were tempting, the group knew they had to push forward if they were to catch up with the deck. Eventually, they arrived at the base of the giant central tower. In front of them, they saw a massive pair of crystal doors, set atop of a long, wide stairway, easily 30 feet in height. To each side of the door were two armors similar to the ones they group had found destroyed. The armors were empty and had simply been propped up into position somehow. The crystal doors themselves had hundreds of delicate carvings and details, mimicking the general pattern of growing vines clinging onto the doors. On both the left and right hand door, the vines were glowing slightly and all the vine-like designs on each side were connected to 4 diamond shaped spaces, carved in deeper than the rest of the design. In two of these holes, green crystals, with the same diamond shape, had been placed.

Being one of the firsts to the door, Darius looked up to the armors and began scouting the area. He figured that trying to separate magical auras in this area would be next to impossible, even more so now than when he tried to do the same earlier. Being a plague bearer, and knowing a thing or two about the earth, the suits of armor greatly intrigued him, and, standing at a distance from the armors, he focused his eyes adeptly on the intricate tracings on the armor, trying to discern any patterns in the etching that would lead to a magical origin of them. He had thought that the large crystals themselves may be some sort of magical device, though he couldn't be sure on pure instinct, so he put his wits to the test. (Spot)

Peering through the area, Darius could not detect anything he hadn't noticed initially.

Though not one to care much for aesthetics, Rei couldn't help but give a low whistle of appreciation at the area in front of him, particularly the crystal doors. "Whoevuh' the bastards were who made 'dis city," he quietly muttered, "they 'ad taste.... n' lots uh' money tuh' spare too, bah' the looks'iv it." Giving a second quick glance at the architecture, the Ignean then returned to his original purpose and gazed around the area, looking for any possible alternate entrances in getting inside the tower (Spot). Ever paranoid, he was wary of traps and so wasn't too keen on going through the front entrance. After all, an ambush or ghosts could happen to them at any time by taking the easy way in.

Rei looked at the magnificent tower, there seemed to be some windows several storey's high, but the only way to reach them would be either flying or climbing.

Shugu approached the doors in awe. Never in his entire life had he seen anything close to this beauty. At the same time, he realised that these once great architects were now dead, their designs having outlived them by many years. Moreover, the Deck had probably gone through these doors, and was now desecrating what splendours lay inside. He took no further notice of the designs, or the green diamonds in the wall. Shugu growled, and sniffed the air once more, to conclude if the Deck had truly gone in through this door. (Scent)

Shugu approached the doors and as soon as he stepped onto the top stair, all 4 armours budged, rust falling off their hinges. The Panther, howeverm seemed not to notice and smelled the air. However, he could only detect the smell of moss and ancient things, the Deck has approached the area, but the smell was very faint, they had not gone through or even approached the door.

Saris followed the group and approached the building, watching with admiration the impressive architecture. "I'm really curious now, what are they looking for here?", she commented. The panther examined the doors, wondering if the Deck had gone through them or not. (Search)

As Saris approached the door, she noticed it didn't seem like it had been open in a vert long time, however, the crystals that had been placed on one of them softly pulsed with magic. She noticed, however, that the armors on the sides seemed to budge ever so slightly as she approached the door.

"Terrans built the city; who else?" was Tylien's fairly passive and rhetoric response the Rei'zel's mumbling. Being at the back, it mostly kept looking to where they had come from, making sure they wouldn't be surprised from behind, though that was unlikely anyway. It glanced at the doors as well and thought of a few ways to open them already, if it was a mechanism as simple as it suspected, but it didn't say anything before the others would have studied it.

Finally, as Saris approached the doors, all four armors sprunt to life. In an instant, they were free of their stands and hovered towards the group at high speed, drawing showswords, their hinges, chests and helmets were filled with green light similar to that of the crystals on the wall.

Battle has started!
Turns and positions are as following!
Hiro-Matsu - M2 - (Burn!)
Shugu - P2
Tylien - L7
Saris - M3
Enforcer 1 - L2 *_*
Enforcer 2 - Q1 *_*
Enforcer 3 - L3 *_*
Enforcer 4 - P1 *_*
Darius - M2 - (Blade Shield! 3 turns left!)
Elise - N3 - (Fear, 1 turns left!)
Rei - L4

Hiro-Matsu's turn! -

"What's our plan of action?" asked Hiro-Matsu, walking towards Enforcer 3

"I think drawing our weapons should be a priority!" yelled out Elise as Hiro-matsu walked towards animated suits of armor.

Shugu's turn! -
Shugu let out a rather feral snarl, and drew his kukri blade, not knowing what else to do. He usually prefered to use magic in combat, but he really didn't see what good that would do against floating statues. So he thew his kukri to the nearby statue in P1, aiming for the bright green glow in the chest.

"They attack us, we attack them, what else ya' chump!?" Rei growled as all intentions of quietly sneaking on his former Deck comrades went out the window as soon as the battle started. The Ignean had half a mind to attack his own allies in rage, but ultimately decided that he still needed the help.... he was outnumbered anyway.

Shugu tossed his Kukri towards the fourth living statue and hit it squarely on the helmet, the Kukri opened a breach near the top of the helm, dealing 5 damage. The knife remained jammed into the armor as it advanced towards Shugu, unfazed by the attack.

The first armor extended its arms and began to glow much brighter than the others, suddenly, a greenish cloud erupted extending in an area between K2 and O6!

Shugu was stunned!
Saris went Berserk!
Darius was Infected!

The second armor mimicked the first one, causing another cloud of green vapours to materialize from I13 to M17.

Elise is paralyzed by fear!
Hiro-Matsu has been burned!

Tylien's turn! -

Tylien was fairly concerned about what the statues were doing and was afraid it'd be caught in some green magic area. However, since it couldn't fly either, it just casted Mass haste.

Tylien cast Haste on the party!
Immediately after Tylien hasted the party, the two remaining armors glowed as well, just as the previous ones had, however, no green clouds of fog erupted this time, instead, hundreds of little glass and rock shards rose from the ground and began swirling in a circles around each of the armors!

Darius took 1 damage from Zombie Poison!
Darius's turn!

"I hope someone has a mana potion I can take off you after this," Darius said as he stretched out his hands over the ground in front of him and started to make the hand movements of his Blade sheild spell, trying to counteract the same spells that had been cast by the Enforcers.

Upon casting the spell, just like with the living armors, a mass of rubble and shards began swirling around Darius!

Elise's turn! -

Elise, fighting with the fear that prevented her from attacking the armors directly, rushed to N12 and retrieved a scroll from her pouch, struggling against her shaking hands, she managed to cast its contents, Antidote, and rid Darius of the poison!

Darius is no longer poisoned!

Rei's turn!-

Shivering with rage at the mess they all got themselves in, Rei bared his fangs and decided to take out his anger on those floating things that surrounded the group. "Shitty pieces uh' scrap metal..." he growled as he stomped toward Q2, "sid'down n' rust like the trash ya' are." Rearing his Cestus back, the Ignean proceeded to try and bash in the second enforcer.

Feeling the poison lift from his body, Darius quickly turned his head back to Elise, "Thanks, I owe you one," he said, then turning back to wath Rei try to smash the enforcer.

Rei punched the enforcer squarely on the chest dealing 10 damage! The living armor was flung backwards, its arms flailing uncontrollably as if it was a rag doll. The armor on the enforcer's chest bent out of shape but the gem itself was unscathed. The flying armor fell to the ground, bounced and then crashed into the back wall before regaining balance and floating back up!

Hiro-Matsu took 1 damage from burns!
Hiro-Matsu's turn! -

Gritting his teeth at the pain from the burns, Hiro-Matsu drew his Katana and ran to M3, then he tapped Shugu strongly in the back to wake him from the stun!

Shugu is no longer stunned!
Shugu's turn! - 

Shugu shot awake, growled a "Thank you." to Hiro-Matsu, but immediately continued his way towards the enforcer he'd also attacked with his kukri, making his way to P2 while drawing his cutlass on the run. As soon as he reached the armors, he stabbed the blade forward, aiming for the neck of the enforcer in Q1, or whatever acted as one.

Seeing Shugu approach, the damaged armor raised its blade to meet the attack and easily deflected shugu's own cutlass to the side!

Tylien's turn! -

Tylien drank one of the magic potions it had and flew five meters up and to K8.

Tylien now has 17/18 MP!

Completely out of it, Saris saw everything red and and became unable to tell friend from foe, simply lunging out at whoever was closest, turning to Darius, Saris rushed the Lynx and attacked him with both her rapiers!

"Whoa! Saris! Calm down!" Darius said as the other catfolk charged him with her rapiers swinging as he drew up his sheild to try to defend against one of the rapiers, preparing his mace to block the second.

Saris rushed Darius, right through the whirling circle of debris that formed the Lynx's blade shield, taking 11 damage. When Darius raised his shield, Saris easily stabbed through the wicker and cut deel into his arm and stomach in a wide slash, dealing 6 damage. However, the deep cuts from the blade shield seemed to make her snap out of the crazed state because of the pain!

Saris is no longer berserk!

Losing no time, the first living armor hovered over to L2 and tried to stab Saris from behind with its short sword!

Suddenly waking up, Saris wasted no time trying to figure out what had just happened and attempted to block the attack from the living armor trying to stab her!

Without having to do much of an effort, Saris turned around and smacked the living armor's blade off course with her own rapier!

The second armor, still shaken from Rei's massive attack, lifted its own blade and tried to stab the ignean in the chest!

Baring his teeth, Rei lifted his Cestus and attempted to swat away the blade.

Enraged, Rei smacked the armor's blade with suck strength it dislodged it from its place on the arm. The living armor spun once as the short sword fell to the bottom of the staircase!

In the meantime, the third armor glided at all speed to L3 and attempted to stab Saris as well!

Saris tried to jump away from the enforcer's attack!

Saris jumped back but stumbled and almost fell. Seizing the opportunity, the living armor swung at the Panther girl with all its might. However, Saris was barely able to avoid the blade, partly by her own merit, and partly because the living armor missed!

Finally, the last armor tried to stab Shugu in the stomach!

Shugu tried to dodge the incoming attack by sidestepping to the left.

With little effort, Shugu sidestepped the incoming stab and positioned himself safely away from the armor's slash!

Darius's turn! - 

Seeing as the other enforcers had all been hindered in one way or another, Darius turned to the first enforcer and casted his entangle spell on it, trying to keep it out of the battle for a while.

Darius chanted a Hymn to Terra and suddenly the ground beneath the armor he had targetted began to crack. Immediately afterwards, vines shot out of the ground and tried to grapple to armor. The construct, however, extended it blade arm and while it hovered, it spun at high speed, chopping the vines to bits!

Elise's turn!

Elise still dare not attack the enforcer, though she understood the root of this fear was probably supernatural, she could not overcome it. Instead, she ran to O9 and quickly threw a Glyph of speed at Rei.

As if Guided by an unseen hand, the Glyph stuck to Rei's back and began to shine, as if the catfolk symbol Elise had scribbled onto it were a blue flame. Immediately, Rei felt a surge of agility like never before!

Rei's turn! -

Letting out a surprised yell as he felt something odd get on him, Rei turned his head and was about to berate Elise before the sudden effects of the glyph took place. Confused at first, the Ignean eventually settled for a snort and growled a, "Thanks, chum!" before turning toward the unarmed enforcer (Q1) and lashing out violently with his Cestus.... twice for good measure.

Rei quickly spun around and struck the armor on the chest with his Cestus, crushing the its breastplate and dealing 16 damage. Before the construct could fall to the ground, Rei grabbed onto the deformed armor and pushed it against the wall, completely disassembling it from the shock and dealing 25 extra damage.

Hiro Matsu took 1 damage from a burn!
Hiro Matsu's turn! -

Hiro-Matsu ran to M2 and attacked the armour in L3, swinging his katana at the floating armours shoulder in a vicioius horizontal slash.

Hiro-Matsu approached the Living Armor in L3 and as he go ready to slash, he took a full blast of flying debris all along the chest, taking 8 damage! Gritting his teeth, the Fencer brough down his sword and slashed, dealing 6 damage!

Shugu's turn! -

Shugu turned to the enforcer in P1, and decided that he wanted his kukri back. He tried to take back his kukri by lunging at it, and trying to grab a hold of it and janking it out of the automatons chest. Hopefully, he'd even do some damage for removing it. He came in low, in hopes staying below the halo of swirling debris.

Shugu managed to rush through the Blade shield, but dozens of small fragments crashed on his arms and torse, dealing 10 damage and making dozens of deep cuts on his flesh! However he could retrieve his Kukri!

Rei's turn! -

Satisfied that he throttled one enforcer, Rei turned his head toward the others and quickly observed the skirmishes going on over there. Having focused his attention on the enforcer at L3, the Ignean sweated a little and grinned. This is gon' hurt, he thought to himself as he eyed the whirling shrapnel surrounding his enemy, but ah' sure love a lil' pain. Using his newfound agility, Rei sprinted for L4 before turning to the enforcer (L3) and attempting to destroy it with his Cestus, awaiting the injuries that were going to follow.

Rei rushed to the enforcer in L3 and lifted his arm, then recklessly crashed thorugh the whirling circle of debirs, taking 6 damage but crashing the living armor's helmet into its torso, dealing 10 damage and making the whole construct collapse into the floor, a pile of bent metal!

Tylien's turn! -

Tylien took a "step" to L7 and turned its eyes toward Enforcer 4. It casted Wind slash twice at the floating armor.

Tylien lifted its right hand and then mimicked a slash with it in the direction of the armor, two rapid surges or wind came from Tylien and headed towards the enemy at full speed. The first one struck the armor on the side, dealing 8 damage and tearing off an arm! The second one struck it full front after the construct turned to face Tylien, dealing 13 damage and taking it down for good!

Saris's turn! -

Saris charged against the remaning Enforcer with both her rapiers, hoping to be able to finish it off.

Saris swiftly and easily struck the armor twice, the first time she bashed the helmet in with her scimitar, dealing 10 damage, the second slash, however, was only able to scratch its body armor, dealing 1 damage!

Immediately afterwards, the armor replied, trying to slash through Saris' chest!

Saris frowned as she didn't manage to do more damage. She attempted to move away from the armor's attack as fast as she could.

Without having to do much effort, Saris sidestepped the incoming attack!

Darius' turn! -

Still reeling slightly from the wounds to his arm and chest, Darius hefted his morningstar and pulled it back behind hi head, stepping up to the enforcer, knowing full well his own blade shield was still in effect, he swung down towards the enforcers chestplate, trying to finish the living armor, as he felt the need to replenish himself in both his physical and magical aspect, as he began to feel drained.

Attacked by several opponents, the living armor could not really move or block the attack, however, luckily for it, Darius's pain from his own wounds prevented the Lynx from swinging his weapon at full strength. Darius's weak swing crashed into the living armor's chest, bouncing off harmlessly!

Elise's turn -

Still afraid, but thinking the battle over, Elise recalled her speed glyph from Rei and walked to N3, intending to cast a healing spell on Darius when she got the chance.

Rei's turn! -

Spitting on the floor once as he dusted himself off, Rei stomped towards the last enforcer and tried to finish it off with his cestus.

With a final punch of his Cestus, Rei finished off the enforcer. In spite of the armor protecting itself with its hands,Rei managed to deal 5 damage and crush its chest armor, dislodging a green stone!

Battle has ended!
Everyone gains 549 XP!

"Well I guess the mystery of the empty armors lying around is over", said Saris as the last one of the things was 'dead'. She looked around at her group, while saving her rapiers. She was glad all of them were alive, but there were some severely wounded ones. "We'll be needing healing potions if we're going to face other battles soon", she commented, a bit worried that Elise wouldn't be able to heal them all the time.

"Keh ha ha ha ha ~!" Rei laughed as he shadow boxed triumphantly for a few seconds, "Not e'en a light workout! Rusty shits ne'er shoulda' e'en 'ave started." Calming down as his battle lust wore itself out over time, the Ignean settled for gazing about at the wreckage before the glint of something fallen attracted his attention. Reaching down and grabbing the green stone from the ground, he stared at it quizzically for a moment, muttering, "Da' 'ell's this?"

With a sigh,Elise went on to cast Heal 1 on Darius from a scroll she had. Looking at everyone wounds, she nodded in agreement with Saris. "I might be a little overextended here guys... Shugu, aren't you a Shaman?" she asked, hopeful. "You should be able to do some healing too right?"

Darius now has 19/21 HP

Saris turned to look at what Rei was talking about. "Let me see it", she said, reaching out for the glowing stone and attempted to identify it (General Knowledge).

Unfortunately for Saris, she couldn't identify the stone at all. Though it obviously pulsed with green magic, Rei could find the stone beating as if it was a heart, though there was no evidence of this on the outside.

Feeling Elise's healing magic course through his body, Darius turned to the other Lynx, "Thanks, Ms. Elise," He said, then turning to Rei, who had the stone, "Hey, let me get a good look at that, seems linked to green magic, I may have a good idea of what it is." (knowledge)

Darius soon reached the same conclusion as Saris, though the stone was clearly an artifact of green magic, it seemed to have little power left and Darius had never seen anything quite like it. Though he knew Planetarii were able to charge crystals with magical power for later use, he had never seen one of those either.

Hiro-Matsu glanced around the battle scene, clutching a hand to his chest. He was displeased with his performance. He had been badly damaged by the enemy, and barely done any in return. "The road to the samurai is long, this is but a single step," he whispered, trying to make himself feel better.

Tylien flew back down, glad that it hadn't been injured. It was Rei, Saris and Darius fingering some stone that had come from the armor and was naturally curious about it, but it certainly wasn't going to go near Rei to examine it. Instead, Tylien went to the other crushed armor and looked to see if it had a similar stone. (search)

Without much effort, Tylien was able to find a second, diamond shaped green stone amongst the remains of the other armor.

Hearing no reply from Shugu, Elise sighed and figured the panther was useless, continuing on her own role as lone healer, she moved to Hiro-matsu who seemed to be in pain from his wounds and Saris, who has taken more damage but seemed to be holding up in a more stoic manner. Pulling two scrolls, she cast Heal 2 on both of them, figuring she'd best save her magic power for later on.

"Nuthin', eh?" Rei muttered before shrugging his shoulders and putting away the stone in one of his pockets, "Mebbe' ah'll find out from sommun' else later." Cracking his neck a little, the Ignean stared at the tower in front of him for a moment before smacking his forehead in anger. "Aaaah shiiiiiiiiiiit!" He growled aloud as he whirled back toward the others, "If weh' were the ones tuh' take on these scrubs, then the Deck ne'er came 'ere, did 'ey!?"

Darius looked around the battle field before sitting down, his tail jutting out from behind him, slowly swishing back and fourth, "We really can't say that Rei. The deck may have passed somewhere near here, but never came close to activat this door's guardians. Who's to say this is the only passageway leading into this tower? Either that, or they knew a way to keep these armors deactivated, there may have been a password or something. Anyway, does anyone have an extra mana potion I could get off you? I'll pay for it."

"Thank you", said Saris to Elise as she felt her wounds close. Then she returned to think about the problem at hand. "You're probably right", she said to Rei. "I don't think they went this way. And they did fight those armors in the entrance of the city before, so maybe that's why they avoided these ones", she added. "Well I guess we could enter the tower now anyways, since the entrance isn't being protected anymore", she suggested. But since they wanted to find the Deck, she thought she would get a no for an answer. Saris imitated what Shugu had done before and sniffed the air, trying to catch the scent of the people they were following. (Scent)

Saris sniffed the air, however, she could mostly detect the smell of her own party. The scent of the deck members they had detected earlier seemed to fade as one got close to the tower.

"Hold on just a minute, the deck isn't going to make this simple on us, and the chances are, they just heard our battle out here if they were inside the tower, they may be on the other side of this door," Darius said, narrowing his focus onto the door, now, lowering his voice to a level just a bit above an audible whisper, but loud enough that most of the people who were within maybe 30 feet of him could hear, "If they are on the other side of that door, and there is a back way in here, as I'm presuming, maybe we should try to find a back way in, let us get the suprise on them. Now, i may be completely wrong, but it's better than just blindly stepping through this door and recieving a fireball to the face."

"I dun' think they're in there at all." Rei growled moodily as he stared, irritated, at Darius, "Back way ur' not, no way we be gettin' da' slip on 'um wit' all the shit weh' pulled. They dun' 'ave reason tuh' wait in ambush 'nyway, since half of yuh' chumps were 'njured. If the Deck were 'round, they'd 'ttack us when weh' were weak, not waitin' 'round all 'ealed up." Having said his piece, the Ignean muttered some expletives as he tried to think of some other course of action... though to little avail since planning wasn't really his forte.

Tylien listened to the others, but did not have much anything to add. The deck could have avoided the guards or they could have gone elsewhere. It instead looked at the green stone and wondered what exactly it was. (Knowledge)

The stone was an extremely foreign object to Tylien, he pulsed uncomfortably in its hand and it felts somewhat uncomfortable to hold it, albeit not unbearable. The half-breed did, however, notice that the stone was just like the two stones placed on the each of the large double doors on top of the staircase.

Darius was getting Saris irritated aswell. "They're not in there", she just stated, and scratched her forehead thinking. The city was a labyrinth and they had little clue about what the Deck members were looking for. The didn't even have a map of the place. Since the area was crowded with magic, she feared that her scrying ability wouldn't be of much use, but she decided to give it a try anyways. Saris remembered Rei spoke about this healer girl that traveled with the deck, and decided to check if she could distinguish a source of white magic nearby. (Scry)

Saris cast scry and a green circle appeared around her, which only she could see, the circle was thicker in the area pointing to magic, coming to a slight spike wherever a powerful magical force was. Unfortunately she could not refine the scrying to detect only one type of magic, or only people. The main spike pointed towards the tower itself, straight through the double doors, the magical spike was massive compared to the other ones. The next three spikes pointed to Tylien, looking intently at its stone, Shugu, who stood in the middle of the courtyard, Elise, who looked innocently back at her and Darius, who was heading to the staircase, respectively, and finally there were tiny traces of magic pointing towards the road where they had just come from, particularly to the closest buildings on each side.

Wrinkling his nose at everyones appearant dislike for him, Darius stood back up and went to search the left over remains of the enforcer that Rei had nearly slammed into the wall, hoping to pick up another one of the stones, and maybe anything else that was left in the metal carapace that was left behind. (search)

Darius approached the second to last enforcer and checked the remains, amongst them he found another serviceable stone and some intact plates of the strange metal that composed to armor.

As Saris stared at her for a second, Elise smiled and noded with her head, wondering what the panther girl wanted, however, she turned to Darius before she could ask. Hearing the other speak, she decided to pitch an idea herself. "Uhm.. guys, maybe if we check the doors we could find out if they've been opened?" she asked. "Besides, if the deck failed to open this door, as strong as they're supposed to be." she added noding towards Rei, who had provided most of the information on the deck so far. "And found a back entry, it makes more sense that they would be lying in wait by that back entry, rather than by the door they believe to be unopeneable."

Looking over the stone and metal plates, Darius quickly pocketed the stone, and began to weigh the plates in his head, trying to see how much he could carry without being hampered, maybe they could be very useful to him.

There were dozens of little pieces of metal that could be melted and remade, should Darius pick all of it up, they would be worth 15 weight.

Feeling that the metal would be quite enough to put him over his carrying capacity, Darius only picked up a third of the scraps and put them, too, into his backpack, "Hey, I got some good metal over here, and if these things were made of it to last this long, it may be a good metal to forge something from, if anyone wants it."

Glaring at Darius and Elise as the two spoke, Rei cursed a little before walking over and picking up the other 2/3 of the scrap metal, dropping his bedroll, hunter bow, and arrows along the way, figuring them to be useless for him. As he sorted out his inventory, the Ignean muttered aloud, "Ah'right, since weh' ain't got nothin' tuh' go on, les' trah' that backdoor plan uh' yers'. Ah' still think it's fishy the Deck ne'er 'ttacked us 'mediately aftuh' this fight when yuh' shits were wounded n' vuln'rable, though." Not caring whether anyone else agreed with him or not, Rei proceeded to head off toward the back of the tower.

Hiro-Matsu agreed with the back door plan, but said nothing. When he redeemed himself by taking the life of an enemy, then he would permit himself to speak his opinion.

Shugu had silently comtemplated the battle, and was baffled by how little use he had been against these living armours. He shook his head, hoping they would not run into more of them. From his belt he took his lesser healing potion, and he gulped it down to heal some of the wounds he had. Throwing the flask somewhere to the side of the path, where he'd hit no party members, he walked down the stairs, away from the doors. Now that the party had decided not to go through the door, the battle seemed to have been useless to him. Instead, they'd decided to pick up the Deck's trail again and follow their route, hoping to catch them by surprise. The only advantage Shugu saw was that they wouldn't have to battle anymore of these ancient guardians. But if this Deck had any brains at all, they'd be watching their backs anyway.
Still, Shugu figured it was best to try and help, so he too, like Saris, moved down the path, sniffing and searching for any sign of the Deck (Track, Scent)

Shugu tried to track something down the path around the tower, however, it was useless, there was no distinguisheable smell around the tower, away from the main road and door. what's more, the dust was undisturbed, the small road surrounding the tower had not been travelled in years.

Saris sighed, rather frustrated for not being able to find any useful clues. The tower was interesting on itself, so she wasn't against entering it, whether the Deck had done so or not. But she understood the priority was finding them. She shrugged and followed the group, walking around the tower to see if there was, in fact, another way in.

Having studied the mildly annoying stone for a while, Tylien was about to exclaim its idea to the rest of the group when it noticed most of them had just moved away. It didn't want to carry the stone at all and it thought somebody had whined about needing a healing potion. Tylien ran to Darius and gave him the green stone. "I think the door up there is missing two of these. I could only guess that if we place two stones into the holes, the door should open." It then looked after the others and wondered whether it should yell at them to come back or just follow. It also wondered if it should give potion as badly, but it was still its. "Don't you want to open these doors?" it then shouted to the others, as silently as it could while still making sure they heard it.

"Uh?" Rei's ears perked up as Tylien's voice mentioned something about two stones. Stopping his trek forward, he turned around and retraced his steps until he was only a few feet away from the Eolan. "Ah'right chump, put 'ese stones 'ere into an 'ole? 'N then wut'? We 'ope the Deck're ah'ready inside?" He questioned moodily before shrugging his shoulders and going over to one of the doors, placing the green stone he had inside one of the holes, "Wut'ever. Can't find the Deck ourselves, then mebbe' this'll make 'em come tuh' us."

Tylien backed up a little when Rei came closer. It didn't really want to to listen to him, and after deducing that he didn't even have anything to say, it just held on to the green stone it had been about to give to Darius and instead went to the door and put in the stone like Rei did.

As soon as Tylien put the stone in the slot, the vines carved into the door started to glow, and shift. It was as if the entire heavy stone doors lit up with a soft green glow and after a second or two, they began to slowly open by retreating into the walls of the tower. Producing a slow, rumbling sound and producing a cloud of centuries old dust. Once the doors finished opening, the group was staring a a beautiful, darkened crystal staircase which led up into the darkness of the tower.

Looking about as Tylien had nearly handed him the stone, Darius look to the door, "You know, maybe there's a reason there were four of these freaky suits of floating armor? I mean, isn't it odd how two of the stones would fit into here, but they leave potentially 4 of these stones here? Anyway, I'll go grab the other one, if it's there," He said, going over to the left over enforcer and searched its body for another one of the stones, "Hey, by the way, does anyone have a magic potion they could give up? I am a bit drained? I'll buy you another one when we get into the next town."

"I am sorry, but I have none with me," replied Hiro-Matsu.

"I can give you one." Shugu said, taking the potion out of his backpack. When he noticed nobody in the party was planning on backtracking until they found trace of the Deck again, he had been watching Tylien execute its idea with the stones. He handed Darius the potion, and watched the doors to see if anything interesting would happen.

"Thank you, good panther," Darius said as he took the mana potion from Shugu and pulled the stopper from it before pouring the vials contents down his throat.

With the doors open, the group heard the distant sound of clapping behind them. Turning back onto the main road from where they had come, they saw three humanoid shapes aporoaching, one was producing slow yet loud claps. As the three approached, the group could notice their factions better. The first shape turned out to be a short, stocky Dah'kin, he had a wicked grin to him and only one eye, the other eye was covered by a rag which ran across most of his forehead, right over the place where his other eye might be a white clover had been sown into the bandana. The second one was a tall, rough looking panther woman with short hair, rivaling the tallest in the party in height, she donned a gleaming white plate armor and had a heavy mace tightly clutched in her right hand. Lastly there was a caerhamian man of average height with messy black hair and a serious expression, wearing light armor and with a katana strapped to his hip. "Bravo." said the caerhamian with a smirk. "We were beggining to fear you'd take off without opening the door for us." he added. Then, the panther intervened. "We don't want needless killings, we nearly lost one of our own today to those damned armor, leave now and we'll let you walk." she said politely.

Staring at the door open as Tylien put its own stone in the slot, Rei begrudgingly growled out to the Eolan, "Not bad, chump" before the sound of clapping caught his attention. Turning around, the Ignean's sharp looking teeth revealed themselves in a slightly scornful grin as he eyed his former comrades. "Huh, ah' knew it'd work." He laughed before his grin faded away and his usual frown took over, "Been a while, eh Nasheem? Yuh' look well. Can't say the same for yuh, though." His latest comment aimed toward the Dah'kin in the group, "Wut's innis' place that makes even yuh' lot want uh' entah' this city and fight pieces uh' metal fur'?

Before Nasheem could reply, the Panther woman answered. "The Deck's business is, quite obviously, for the Deck alone." she said as she stepped forward. "Now will you leave?". With a sigh, Nasheem turned to Rei. "Look, Rei, we're just following orders from Stefania, whatever's here is important, we were always into treasure hunting, remember? We're just doing it big time now." he added.

Darius turned to Rei after the round of clapping, looking at the Ignean for answers, "So, these must be those old friends of yours, hey Rei?" the lynx said, his face growing into a dour frown, knowing these were associates of the deck, before he looked down to his waist to make sure his sash was pulled down over the small red diamond that was embroidered into his leggings and making sure it was completely clear from sight.

Saris stared at what Tylien had done, and wondered if they were going to enter the tower or not. The sound of clapping made her stop wondering about things and turn to look at the newcomers. She frowned when she saw them approaching. They had been in the houses! That was the magical energy she had felt coming from buildings before, and she hadn't realized it, she thought, recriminating herself for it. She remained in the back, and listened for what they had to say, having the ugly feeling this wouldn't end well.

"One uh them is", Rei replied back, his eyes not yet leaving the current Deck members, "Dunno' who the otha' two are." Deciding he might as well ask, he growled aloud toward Nasheem, "'Ey chum, mind tellin' an old pal who yur' new frien's are?"

"This is Kiara... she's.. new." replied Nasheem with a shrug, growing tired of the banter. "Seems we have quite a stand off here. Listen Rei, we don't want to fight, just let us get what we came here for."

Hiro-Matsu whirled around at the sound of clapping, his had on the hilt of his katana. However, he held himself in check, listening to the conversation between Rei and the newcomers.

Mentally punching himself for not catching their scent, Shugu turned around, showing his teeth in a growl. He assumed this was the Deck that killed off his entire squadron. Straining himself not to jump forward and attack them in order to have his vengeance, he merely stood there, weapons at the ready.

Tylien barely registered Rei's compliment, but nodded to it. It didn't care about the clapping until after a short moment and turned to look at the three people who had emerged from somewhere. It was a bit surprised when Rei started talking to them like they still were friends. Tylien thought that its group should be the one giving them the option of leaving now, but it realized it didn't really want that, it wanted these trespassers locked up. It then figured that they would probably have to fight soon, so it drank its magic potion and then walked over to Shugu to give him its healing potion.

Shugu never even noticed Tylien, or its potion, until the half-breed almost shoved the flask in his muzzle. Grabbing the potion, he nodded to Tylien, and grumbled a "Thank you". He uncorked the flask, and drank its contents, restoring his health. Intending to whisper, but growling because of his restrained anger, Shugu said: "I'm ready to take them on, just say when!"

"Fine, you could've chosen the path of least violence, but I guess that can't be expected from the likes of you!" yelled back Kiara as she charged forward, followed closely by a reluctant Nasheem and the silent Dah'kin!

Battle has started!
Turns and positions are as following!
Hiro-Matsu - K13 - 
Shugu - K6 -
Tylien - H6 -
Saris - M16 - (Sharpen! 7 turns left.)(Cursed! 2 turns left!)
Jack of Spades - K14 (35/43 HP)(Cursed! 2 turns left!)
Darius - M13 -
Elise - K5 -
Deuce of Clubs - M17 (-2/12 HP)(18/22 MP)
Rei - J12 -
Jack of Clubs - J14 (23/26 HP)(26/36 MP)(Unidentified Spell, 13 turns left!)

Hiro-Matsu's turn! -

Hiro-Matsu, getting his chance for redemption, drew his katana, charged forward with all his speed, and slashed at Kiara. (Lightning Speed)

The first of Hiro-matsu's slashes would've sliced right through the panther, had she not taken a defensive stance. Kiara braced herself and bashed Hiro's incoming blade with her Tower shield, breaking the attack and only taking 3 damage from when the heavy katana struck her hand!

Immediately, Hiro made a half turn and slashed again, and once more, Kiara met his attack, this time, however, using her mace. Though Hiro's own attack could've slashed right through a cow, Kiara managed to hold her ground and keep the blade at bay!

Shugu's turn! -

"Dammit yuh' bastard!" Rei roared aloud to his current allies as he shook his head in rage. Despite his demeanor, he really was pretty good friends with Nasheem and didn't want to attack the group for apparently doing the usual thieving they always did. "Ah' ain't 'nerested in'nis", he said as he spat once on the floor.

Ignoring Rei's comments, Shugu grinned a big feral grin, eager to bring these enemies down. First, he used his mask to cast Cause Fear on Nasheem, quickly flinging a Curse on Kiara afterwards, to weaken her strength. All in all, he hoped he could break up and drain their opponents before they got to them.

"Nice to see what kind of people you're associating yourself with nowadays!" yelled out Nasheem at Rei as he charged into battle, easily shrugging off the Cause Fear spell cast by Shugu, apparently, thought Nasheem, it was the first time one of the enemies had fought a disciplined fencer. Having failed to instill Fear on Nasheem, Shugu turned to Kiara and cast hurse, a thin black lightning arc came from his hand, but then fizzled in mid aid as Kiara was out of range.

Tylien's turn! -

Tylien took off in the air and flew to H5 and three meters up. Once there, it made a few short hand gestures and finally let out a shout, casting Screech on Kiara.

Tylien's shout was distorted a few instants after it left its mouth, becoming a wave of banshee-like wailing sound. Kiara braced herself, however, closing her eyes and focusing to shut out the sound!

Saris' turn! -

Saris was impressed with Rei's decision to margin himself from the fight. She hadn't thought he would held some loyalty to the bandits now he had decided to stop them. This raised the question of how he would act when the time came to face the rest of the group later, and that doubt angered her. On the other hand, deep inside she felt admired that he would care for a friend above other things. Since the enemies were pretty far away from her to make an attack, she moved to M9 and casted sharpen on her rapier.

With a smirk, Nasheem rushed towards Hiro-matsu, he poised his katana in a position to stab and proceded to use his finesse, flurry of blows and weapon mastery skills to attack Hiro a total of 7 times!

Hiro-Matsu, rather than attempt to block each strike, attempts to jump back and dodge away from Nasheem's strikes.

The first of Nasheem's stabs was quick and centered, fortunately, Hiro-matsu was ready for it and jumped back, easily avoiding it. However, the fencer did not give up and stepped forward, continuing his attack without giving Hiro-matsu any time to breath. The second stab caught Hiro-matsu in mid air, the multitude of strikes made Nasheem's attacks inaccurate, but he still pierced Hiro's leg for 5 damage. Hiro matsu managed to dodge another strike before falling to the ground, however the leg on his pain made him lose a valuable second in which Nasheem struck him twice in the stomach dealing 3 and 4 damage. And, though he failed the 6th strike, Nasheem's final strike pierced Hiro's throat dealing 15 damage! The xiadomian collapsed on the ground bleeding profusely, if he wasn't tended to immediately, he would die in the next few seconds.

Darius's turn! -

Seeing Nasheem nearly cut his comrade asunder, Darius yealled, "That's enough of you!" as he formed a cup with his hands, his fingers sprawled up before quickly closing the hand into a fist, effectivly attempting to cast entangle on the fencer.

Darius projected green magic from his fingertips, trying to take control of whatever plants were underground and lead them towards Nasheem, at first the spell went well, but then it simply fizzled as Darius projected his powers out of his casting range!

Elise's turn! -

Elise, seeing Hiro-matsu diced by Nasheem, considered the distance between herself and the fencer, and, rushing to K5, cast Heal 1 on him, if only to stabilize him!

Hiro-matsu now has -4/18 HP!

The Deuce of Clubs quickly took one step to M17 and raised his hands, with a hissing voice, his fingers were covered by a dark mist and a minuscule arc of darkened electricity jumped between him and Saris as he tried to curse her strength!

Saris felt quite defenseless against the cursing, and cursed herself all black mages for being able to do curses. Except maybe Shugu, though she didn't know him well enough to know if he deserved to be cursed or not. With that on mind, the panther didn't have other choice but to attempt to resist the attack keeping up the spirits.

Unfortunately for Saris, the darkness coming from the necromancer enveloped and overwhelmed her. Suddenly she felt very faint and weak, as if her knees and arms were about to give in!

Rei's turn! -

"Keh..." Rei frowned, partly out of anger and partly out of embarrassment at Nasheem's comment. Aside from Saris, sort of, the Ignean had little to no sense of camaraderie with his current allies, considering them as simply accomplices with similar goals. His bad blood with the Deck laid solely with their current bloodthirsty policies rather than with some of the individuals that belonged to the organization. Not batting an eye as Hiro-Matsu fell, Rei instead growled aloud to his former comrade, "'Ey Nasheem, ah've known yuh' a while n' ah' know yur' not the type tuh' kill the weak n' defenseless just tuh' get some useless loot. So why're yuh' still wit' the Deck? That group's gone straight down the shit 'ole n' been acting worse than scum since ah' left!" As he spoke, he eyed the Dah'kin attacking Saris with suspicion, but otherwise did nothing (skip turn).

Kiara raised her warhammer and offered a prayer to Nesha, a white magic circle materialized under her feet and then became a tubular structure enveloping her and finally conforming to her armor. At the end, Kiara was enveloped in a glowing aura.

Hiro-matsu remained unconscious, though, thanks to Elise's spell, he had stabilized and was no longer bleeding!

Shugu's turn! -

Angered that his earlier attacks failed to work, Shugu decided to focus his attention on weakening and taking down the Deck one at a time. Nasheem appearing to be the most dangerous of the three to the panther, Shugu ran down to K6 and casted Curse on the fencer, hoping to lower his strength.

As Shugu placed his hand forth, a small arc of pitch black electricity appeared bewteen between himself and Nasheem!

Nasheem's strength has been cursed!

Tylien's turn! -

Taking a step to H6 to be in range, Tylien started casting Wind Slash on Nasheem. Having done that, it did it again.

The first slash caught Nasheem uprepared, making a deep gash on his back and dealing 8 damage, the second slash, however, was easily avoided by the fencer once he knew where the attacker was!

Saris' turn! - 

Saris felt her rapiers heavier on her hands, weakened by the necromancer's curse. That increased her anger, after Rei refused to fight again and Hiro Matsu fell against that Nasheem fellow. "What side are you on, Rei?!", she yelled at the ignean, before running towards the necromancer and trying to inflict him any damage she could.

Saris ran towards the necromancer and stopped at M16, lashing out once with her rapier and quickly cutting through the necromancer's throat. Bleeding profusely, but not dead, the necromancer fell to the floor, unconscious.

Somewhat hurt, Nasheem turned towards Saris, not answering any questions right now, he simply disappeared from the spot he was in, reappearing behind Saris and trying to dice her with his katana!

Saris was glad the necromancer was down, at least temporarily. Now they had do avoid the others from attempting to heal him. As Nasheem dissapeared from where he was, the panther blinked, wondering what kind of trick that was. She attempted then to avoid his attack.

Nasheem's blade slashed at Saris twice with tremendous speed, however, Saris managed to avoid both attacks by sidestepping them. Immediately after the attack, and before Saris could counterattack or reply in any way, Nasheem disappeared again and reappeared in his initial position. "Location, location, location! Doesn't mean anything anymore." he taunted Saris before turning to Rei. "The Deck has change Rei, but at my allegiances haven't, I'm not one to stab his Stefania in the back, sometimes you have to make great sacrifices to make things better." he yelled across the courtyard.

Darius' turn! -

Seeing the necromancer fall, Darius ran up to him, touching him with his his bared paw, channeling his decompose spell into him, making sure he was out of this battle, and any more in the future.

Darius ran towards the necromancer, however he was too far away and only made it to M13!

Elise's turn! -

"Hiro!" yelled out Elise as Hiro-matsu was taken down within seconds by rasheem. She quickly calmed herself and put her hands together, whispering a prayer to Sei'anna and Nesha and casting two healing spells on Hiro-matsu.

Hiro Matsu now has 5/18 HP!
Hiro Matsu has regained conciousness!

The Deuce of Clubs lost 1 HP due to bleeding!

Rei's turn! -

"Make WUT better, yuh bastard!?" Rei growled aloud as he strode closer toward where the others were fighting, "All weh' were making better were our own pockets! Killin' those who can't defend 'emselves? Or 'olding chumps fur' ransom n' then slaught'rin 'um aft'wards? Ah ain't gon' deny ah' ditched yuh all, but ah'd do it again if I 'ad the chance since 'parently nothing's changed!" As he spoke, the Ignean reached up to J12 before following up with, "Ah' ain't got qualms with yuh' 'sheem, but yur' frien' 'ere will 'ave tuh' learn the 'ard way why she joined the wrong group."

Noticing Rei drew closer, the Jack of Clubs drew her Mace and stepped forward to J13. "The likes of you might not know it yet, but this is for the greater good!" she hissed at Rei as she tried to smash him from the side with her Mace.

Rei answered back with nothing but a feral grin as he attempted to block the incoming Mace with his Cestus.

Back to Realms of Lemire                       
Elise Marass
Shugu Eduxi
Tylien Taiveme'le
Saris Asdar
Rei'zel Armada
Darius Kontar
Toda Hiro-Matsu

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2008-01-29 [Duredhel]: Sorry guys, doing argentinian visa stuff, should be done today.

2008-01-29 [Duredhel]: *rolls up sleeves* Kay... here we go.

2008-02-01 [Blood Raven]: Alright people, I'll be gone for a week soon, from the 3rd of feb to the 10th, snowboarding in austria. I don't know if I've got internet there, so I don't know if I can get online. I wouldn't count on it though. Whilst I'm gone, I'll trust any of you to take over Shugu for me. His combat style is fairly simple: keep incapacitating them until you run out of MP or they can't easily get any more fcked up than they are, then move in for melee.

2008-02-01 [Grengo]: Well, that 7 hit combo of Nasheem's has just given me motivation to achieve the same thing for you-know-who. <.<

On a side note, Hiro-Matsu is fucked.

2008-02-01 [Rizzen]: yeah, just a bit

2008-02-02 [Lepellier]: Have I ever mentioned how much I hate spell range?

2008-02-02 [Sturmi]: that's the second time this happens here >_< Really, we should stop loosing spells like that.

By the way, Saris resists with CHA... I can choose, right?

2008-02-02 [Duredhel]: yep :3

2008-02-02 [Grengo]: Wonder if I should actually skip my turn or do something about that Dah'kin dude <_<

2008-02-02 [Rizzen]: ouch

2008-02-03 [Grengo]: Guess I'll control Shugu for BR then.

2008-02-16 [Veltzeh]: What's that special ability Nasheem just used? o_o

2008-02-16 [Lepellier]: flashstep or the blink spell?

2008-02-16 [Grengo]: It's a unique skill. :)

2008-02-16 [Veltzeh]: Well, can't be a blink since that would end his turn...

2008-03-10 [Rizzen]: soo... are we on pause again?

2008-03-10 [Blood Raven]: Meh, Dur be moving, so everything in Lemire still under his supervision is going through some slow-time.

2008-03-11 [Rizzen]: fair enough, just wondering

2008-03-23 [Duredhel]: Ok guys, sorry for the hiatus, I'm now settled (sorta) in argentina. So if you guys are good to go, let's resume this.

2008-03-23 [Rizzen]: no worries Dur

2008-03-24 [Blood Raven]: aye aye!

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