< In the Realm | Sol Invictus Logs | Trouble at Home >

Summary: The Solars complete their confrontation with Tevezt and return to safety.

  • Tevezst looks at the newly-formed puddle of wine on the table for a moment, then begins to laugh uproariously.

The surroundings begin to twist and shake uncomfortably, in time with the faerie's laughter. A smell of burnt cinnamon fills the air.

  • Zahara smiles sweetly at Tevezst. "What do you plan to do now? Eat the rest, or just another small snack?"
  • Tevezst stands up, his chair melting into the earth as he does so. "That is not to be my pleasure today. I have other purposes for you." He raises a hand and the trees begin to turn to steel, vicious vines with jagged edges snaking from one to another and closing off the clearing where the group stands.
  • Zahara laughs, "Is that supposed to scare me?" she smirks at him contemptuously. "Try harder."
  • Tevezst shakes his head. "I have already done my part, luring you here. I serve a greater master in today's tale.... " He laughs, and as he does, the very surroundings seem to laugh as well, but in a different voice -- lower, earthier, and much less human.
  • Markuran steps forward, snarling. "You will return Zahara's heart!"
  • Zahara sighs

<Zahara?> "But I have a gift for you before we meet your master, Tevezst. Aren't you curious?"

<Tevezst?> "I think not, Zahara. I remember what sort of present I gave you, long ago. And you have already met my master -- he is all around you." He lowers his arms and seems to melt down into the earth. The laughing landscape grows louder and deeper.

  • Zahara smirks. "Chicken."
  • Zahara idly wonders what happens to a fae who's melted into the ground when it's made real, but decides to reserve her special surprise for when it becomes necessary.

Cerin notices two things simultaneously -- a brilliantly glowing pillar of red light, off on the southwestern horizon, and a strange, extraordinarily unnatural feeling that seems to suddenly pervade the area.

  • Cerin frowns in the direction of the pillar, studying it for detail as he studies the ..strange feeling, mirroring it a little to the Unity, moving just ever so slightly into more of a fighting pose
  • Markuran peers at Cerin. "What are you staring at?"

<Markuran?> "And now how are we supposed to get that fae to return Zahara's heart?"

  • Zahara moves over and prods the ground where Tevezst disappeared. "My 'heart' can wait, Marku. Until after the war."
  • Markuran shakes his shaggy head. "I disagree."

<Zahara?> "Of course you do."

<Cerin?> "There is a pillar on the horizon, brilliant red light."

  • Markuran peers at the horizon...
  • Birds looks.

<Zahara?> "I suppose that has something to do with my friend's master." she says, seating herself at the table as she looks over at the light.

The red light reflects off the cold steel of the surrounding trees.

  • Kai glances toward the pillar briefly, then returns to scanning around for more nearby enemies.

<Cerin?> "...And the most bizzare feeling..." Cerin closes his eyes as he tries to analyse the feeling more.

One of the trees begins to sway back and forth, as if there were a breeze -- then, a few moments later, it uproots itself. The jagged steel tree begins to scuttle towards the Solars, vicious branches swinging to and fro.

  • Kai moves to intercept the tree.

<Kai?> She let's it approach her, cautiously awaiting the first strike, to test its strength.

Despite her best efforts to walk in that direction, Kai finds herself another 50 yards further away from the tree.

<Zahara?> "Ah, fae tricks. What fun."

  • Kai peers around, briefly confused.
  • Cerin remians standing there with his eyes closed, then draws back a golden mote and shoots the tree.

The bolt curves through space, bearing oddly away from its intended target -- but at the last moment, it seems to correct itself, and the arrow of Essence strikes the tree, neatly severing a single metallic branch and sending sparks off in every direction.

  • Cerin nods to himself, and opens his eyes.
  • Zahara remains patiently waiting at the table, her fingers resting on the daiklave laid across the tabletop. She does not look impressed.

The tree responds by charging forward -- which seems to take it away from the group and back out into the mass of trees.

There is a rumbling as the ground seems to shake. A few drops of the fine wine upon the banquet table spill and mingle with those shed by Zahara's sword.

  • Markuran hands Zahara her daiklave, not wanting it to fall. With a heave, the big Zenith lifts the dinner table into the air and, admist a rain of strange and delicious foods, stabs the table down into the ground. Driven by the strength of the strongest man in the Southeast and possibly the world, the table drives deep into the wyld-touched ground and sends out shattering cracks to tear the trees from their homes.

Massive cracks begin to spread out from the point of impact, splitting the earth wide open. The metallic trees begin to fall in. The cracks, however, continue to grow wider.

  • Kai hops away from the expanding cravasse.
  • Zahara blinks and spears an apple with one sword, a ham with another, followed by a pomegranate, rabbit and marshmallow as they attempt to rain down upon her.
  • Cerin simply moves in such a way that ensures no food lands on him

The cracks grow larger and larger as the cracks continue to expand, until most of the ground is split into tiny chunks. These each begin to fall away into emptiness, until only the area once surrounding the table -- perhaps forty feet across -- remains. Then, all of a sudden, it begins to rise up, into the sky.

<Kai?> "Uhm..."

<Zahara?> "I wouldn't worry about it, really." she relaxes on the bench as they rise up.

<Markuran?> "At least we aren't being attacked by metal trees."

<Zahara?> "Yes, nice job on the shattering everything with the food."

  • Cerin stands behind Zahara, resting a hand on her shoulder.
  • Markuran shakes his head. "With the table." Having said his bit, Marku produces a pie from behind his broad back and starts eating it delicately.
  • Kai peers into the void.

The area of ground rises up quite far above the ground, revealing a strange and bizarre landscape of unusual shapes rendered in what appear to be various forms of detritus. Kai is a little startled to see that their platform seems to be merely the head of a massive giant, composed of dirt, paper, rotting food, and held together by ropes of solid rock.

  • Kai peers back toward the group. "Uhm... Maybe you should see this."
  • Birds comes up and looks. "Yeah, maybe you should."
  • Cerin moves quietly over there, appearing behind birds and peering over.

<Zahara?> "Eh."

  • Markuran saunters over to check out the area

The giant beast begins to walk, crushing a wastepaper schoolteacher and a pyramid of dust under one massive foot.

<Markuran?> "Oh, good."

  • Markuran wanders over to the side of the ground-clod opposite the rest of the Circle and takes advantage of the trash-filled surroundings to clear his sinuses and take care of a pressing personal pressure before returning to the Circle to prepare to smash the trash beast apart.

<Markuran?> "Maybe Birds can organize its papery bits into a giant poem.."

  • Cerin sighs. "Hold on, everyone. And be prepared. Something unpleasant is about to happen."
  • Markuran blinks.

<Markuran?> "What?"

As if to answer the question, one of the beast's giant hands swings downward violently towards the irritating gadflies on its scalp.

  • Birds nods to Cerin. "It's so nice to have a friend whose hunches are always right."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Ack! PENUMBRA STANCE!"

<Kai?> Daybreaker swings up in a wash of light, sparking against the oversized trash-paw.

  • Zahara Raises her daiklave like an afterthought as the hand approaches.
  • Cerin looks up at the descending finger, and then is not below it.

The two daiklaves neatly deflect the hand.

  • Zahara gestures vaguely and the four iron swords swing out and around the creature's head like mosquitoes seeking blood after a long hot day. One pierces each eye, and each ear finds what seems an iron toothpick jammed into its drum.

<Markuran?> With a bellowing yell, Marku's brawy form goes skiing down a vein-like line of slippery mud that connects the wrist to the central body core of the trash heap. Wrapping his arms around the beast in strategic points so that large chunks of garbage are depressed by his muscles and act as extensions of his body, Marku starts trying to compact the dump into a managable trashbag.

  • Kai paces ever so briefly, considering the ground beneath her feet. When she feels like she has reached an appropriate spot, she drops to her knees, driving Daybreaker, aglow with essence, into the giants skull.

As the vicious blades pierce its skin, the beast begins to buck and thrash about rapidly. A single, extremely forceful jolt of the head forward sends everything on it flying.

Markuran is thrown forcefully from the beast, though he pulls with enough might to tear the creature's hand entirely free of its body as he does so.

  • Zahara simply steps above the thrashing head to avoid being thrown off.
  • Birds left at 04/05/05 01:52:08
  • Birds barely maintains a foothold. "Oh please, not this again."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> She makes a motion like putting on a pair of unseen slippers, and walks out into the open air.

  • Cerin leaps and lands on one of Zahara's orbiting swords.
  • Markuran looks surprised somewhat as he, along with the beast's hand, go flying off into..nothing. Most confounded, Marku clambers on top of the hand and starts jumping up and down. Using a combination of brute force and the rarely-displayed grace that Marku's bulky body hides the big man hammers the hand into an ungainly and incredibly ugly airfoil, gliding him back towards the garbage beast.
  • Zahara moves the bell out of reach of flailing hands before sending out its piercing ring to further torture the pile of trash.
  • Cerin finds himself standing on the pommel of a sword embeded in the things great eye. He smiles at it, then draws back a quintet of motes, releasing them in a rapid blur deep into its eye.

The arrows fly into the beast's head with a satisfying fizz-thump, tearing the eye to shreds. There is a momentary pause, then the creature's head violently explodes and the rest of its body begins to fall towards the earth.

  • Cerin remains standing on the sword as it floats around Zahara.
  • Zahara uncoils the Bonds from her waist and sends it towards Kai, either allowing her to catch it, or catching her if she is not quick enough.
  • Markuran jumps from the floating hand and lands, fairly lightly considering his size, on Cerin's shoulders.
  • Cerin dodges marku with easy grace, then catches the big man as he flies past.
  • Kai happily grabs the bonds and swings away from the crumbling beast.
  • Markuran peers at him. "What was the point of that?"

<Cerin?> "You're not on my shoulders."

  • Zahara reels Kai in
  • Zahara sends another sword or three to shore up Markuran's weight

The giant crumbles into dust below, dust that spreads out and sets fire to the refuse that covers the new ground, far below. As the fire burns away the detritus, a sea composed entirely of teeth is revealed below, which sways and flaps menacingly.

<Zahara?> "Well, for all its faults, the Wyld is at least interesting. Shall we continue on deeper?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Onwards."

<Kai?> "My dislkie for this place is definitely growing."

<Cerin?> "Onwards."

<Zahara?> "I'm sure it has far more to grow, Kai. Especially if you meet a Fae who can actually touch you."

  • Birds makes a disapproving noise at that.

The red glow Cerin noticed earlier still shines in the northeast.

  • Zahara heads towards it, as it is the most obvious target.
  • Birds follows along.

The ground slopes up to meet the Solars as they advance towards the column; the teeth seem to have solidified and rooted into a series of elaborate wooden structures spiralling out of the ground, which they jut out of like pearlescent white flowers. The wind makes an odd whistling noise as it blows through them.

  • Kai drops to the ground, pleased to be moving under her own power again.
  • Markuran glowers suspiciously at the ground and remains in the air.
  • Zahara remains in the air as well, although she suspects this will do her no good. Regardless, she surveys the dangers of the Wyld with studied nonchalance.

As the Solars walk closer, they can begin to see where the red light emenates from -- a huge castle juts up from the ground, spiralling upwards in almost infinite detail. It appears to be made entirely of bricks composed of constantly flowing, running blood -- each a little self-contained waterfall.

In the front, a giant clam serves as a drawbridge into the central courtyard.

<Zahara?> "Inviting, don't you think?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Oh yes."

<Zahara?> "I particularly like the little waterfalls. I should add something like that to the Cascade when we get back."

<Markuran?> "Not in blood."

<Kai?> "Althuogh maybe wine..."

<Zahara?> "Wine would suffice."

  • Zahara prods one of the waterfalls with her sword
  • Kai smiles. "Oh, I think wine would more than suffice."

the sword neatly separates it, as it would a regular waterfall.

  • Zahara tests to see how far in the sword will go

It stabs cleanly as far as Zahara pushes it.

  • Zahara swishes it around a bit
  • Markuran peers down into the clam for signs of pearls

No such thing is apparent.

A faint murmuring noise comes from within.

  • Birds hovers slightly behind Markuran, watching.

<Zahara?> "Well," she calls to the castle, "Are you going to show yourself, 'master'?" the last word is filled with mocking laughter

As if in response, a great face extrudes itself from the castle, and two of the towers stretch out to form crude hands. The face is utterly unlike any human face, though the basic regions of eyes and mouth can be identified.

<Zahara?> "Good enough."

  • Birds concentrates for a bit, changing her water-empowered garments into puffed crimson silk shaped to match the bloodfall bricks.

<Master?> An inhuman voice, grating and amelodic, speaks up from the face. "You resist for naught. You bring your wicked shape within my great chaotic borders but it is for naught. I shall absorb you and render you unto chaos."

  • Markuran chuckles.

<Zahara?> "Well, that sounds like fun but I must decline. You could just give us a bit of Deep Wyld essence and we'll take our shapely forms out of here. Or, well, I wouldn't recommend the alternative." she says mildly.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "It is interesting, O lord of chaos, that you rigidly define shape thus."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Do tell us more of the things that you believe and desire."

<Master?> "All shape wears away at the perfected chaos. The very realm of order defines us by its existence. Your very presence defines us by your conversation." The face slowly shifts its shape in the falling blood as it speaks. "All shape must be destroyed, whatever its form. There can be no compromise."

  • Birds experiments with her dress, causing it to slowly pull tighter against her body. "Zahara, about that alternative?"

<Zahara?> "If all shape wears away at chaos, why are you taking the shape of a beam of light, a castle of bloody waterfalls, or the face you produced to talk to us? Surely you must destroy yourself now."

<Master?> "This shape is impermanent. It does not constrain me." No sooner is this last word uttered than the blood castle shatters, the sky falls down to the earth, and a thousand identical bushes spring up, each forming a distinct face of its own. "Your kind are immutable. You bear with you the risk that we shall become immuatable as well."

<Zahara?> "But it does constrain you while you wear it."

<Master?> "Only while we do not take other forms." Suddenly the trees melt away, and a great pool of deep blue water opens up, from which the words flow out of the sounds of the water lapping against the sides.

<Zahara?> "Why do you require form at all, if Chaos is so much better?"

<Master?> "Without this form, we cannot interact with you in order to consume you."

<Zahara?> "That makes chaos inferior, then, doesn't it?"

<Master?> The ground shifts up into a forest of great ivory spikes, while a bright red sky rains down upon them and lightning flashes in the distance. "Chaos is what we are."

<Zahara?> "That makes you inferior to Shape."

<Master?> "We are not inferior."

<Zahara?> "Of course you are. You can't even interact with us without taking Shape. Obviously Shape is more powerful."

<Kai?> "It seems like Chaos is just a long string of Shapes, all mashed together..."

  • Markuran sits down on the ground and produces the half-eaten pie. Content to let the others confuse the fae until he can attack it, Marku starts eating.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Maybe this isn't Chaos at all."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Just, like, shape that got beaten up in the wash too long. Kind of frayed at the edges."

<Master?> There is a silence.

  • Kai discusses with Birds. "If Chaos is the opposite of Shape, wouldn't perfect Chaos be void? Wouldn't that be nothing?"

<Zahara?> "It's a terrible tragedy. Chaos is too inferior to deal with Shape, yet it is inherently the cast-offs of Creation, once Shape, now useless."

  • Birds tilts her head to one side. "Well, void is sort of something too...it's the Shape that is perfectly empty. I think that's similar to chaos...but not quite it."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "I'm not sure I would know Chaos when I saw it; I think that 'seeing' might not mean what I think it means, there."

<Master?> The air splits wide open and a pale glow begins to shine beyond. The inhuman voice speaks up again. "Leave us."

<Zahara?> "We cannot leave without what we seek."

<Master?> Zahara notices, out of the corner of her eye, a strange, multicolored swirling within the container she had specially prepared for this purpose.

<Master?> "Now go."

<Zahara?> "Thank you. If you ever decide to take on a Shape, come visit. We'll chat. Say hi to Tevezst for me."

  • Birds shrugs. "We should find some Void and put a fey in it sometime, Kai. See how he likes it."
  • Zahara turns in the general direction of not-Wyld and makes her exit.

<Kai?> "I bet he wouldn't1 I just bet!"

<Master?> No sooner does Zahara step out into the Wyld proper than she is tackled by a familiar form. "No! You were to be consumed!"

  • Birds beams. "Hi, Teveszt!"
  • Markuran finishes his pie and follows Zahara
  • Zahara allows herself to be tackled, winding her arms around Tevezst along with a certain white collar.
  • Tevezst pulls the black dagger medallion from around his neck, and it grows instantly into a real weapon in his hand.

He begins to stab towards Zahara's heart with it.

<Zahara?> *click*

  • Tevezst struggles and fights against Zahara's efforts.

<Markuran?> "Zahara! He has to return your heart first!"

<Zahara?> "Don't be silly, he's not dead."

  • Zahara fends off the Fae's feeble attacks easily, while simultaneously managing to fasten a leash to the clip on the collar.
  • Tevezst screams a bloodcurdling scream as he fights without success to escape from the collar.

His hands smoke from his attempts to grab at the iron on the collar's exterior.

  • Zahara watches with the tiniest smile on her lips. "You have taken from me, now I take from you."
  • Markuran takes the fae's two hands in one of his and twists the two arms up behind the creature's back. "Give Zahara back her heart!"
  • Tevezst 's horrified look is something that Zahara will remember clearly for a long, long time.

<Zahara?> "Markuran, there will be time for that back at the Cascade. And quit saying that, my heart is exactly where it belongs."

  • Markuran shakes the Fae.
  • Tevezst is shaken violently, but says nothng
  • Markuran shrugs. Swinging the fae onto his back, Marku starts walking back out of the Wyld, bouncing the faerie noble along on his muscular shoulders, banging the man-shaped creature so that various portions of its body continually tap against the iron collar.
  • Zahara watches Markuran ONCE AGAIN appropriate and torture her captive and says "You should watch after your OWN heart, Markuran."
  • Markuran waves the suggestion off.

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Page last modified on February 03, 2009, at 03:48 AM