Summary:Lucent and Phoenix halt the Lion's spectre group, but discover their goal was not to raise Abadis...

XP:L4, P4


< To Ashes | Sol Invictus Logs | Planning for Doom >

Lucent Lucent stood atop of Amika, now an infinite-winged wasp made of night. Around him were Crow and the few God-Exalts and Dragons he had managed to swing to his cause, riding the sunlight-wrought Fae-beasts conjured by Neshi's miracle-workers - flying hawks of palest sunlight, each of them carrying a lantern.

Lucent Those flew at his side, for they could not go through the river in the sky.

Lucent The remainder of his army was sailing through a floating river that went from the Sunlands to the blessed isle at an _incredible_ speed, a work of glamour conjured by the Sisters, and one that Lucent and the other Exalted would disbelieve and fall through. "Ignorance." He points to Crow, "Is bliss."

The location given to Lucent sits upon the lower slopes of the Imperial Mountain, just over the lines into the True Realm's territory, and from his vantage point, high in the sky, he can spot the mark of its location easily: three small, jagged sub-peaks, the center of them glittering with a purple opalescent sheen from the rich gems that lie within.

"Our quarry aims there," she says, in a flat, toneless voice -- for perhaps alone amongst all those wrapped up in this vast diorama, Crow-Devours-Flame alone takes no great pleasure or unhappiness in it.

Lucent "Amidst greed." Lucent looks around, attempting to find any sign of them. "Can you sense them?"

Crow purses her lips as she looks beyond the mundane world in search of dark energies. "There," she says, pointing to a place not far away from the target, "there is something amiss there."

Lucent "Hmmmm. Diamond! Obsidian!" He calls to his generals atop the hawks. "Make sure all of them get out of the ships, and proceed there. I will be going ahead with Crow to scout. I will flare if anything's amiss."

Lucent's generals nod with a practiced speed, and bank to the side, circling down to escort the remainder of his troops. Looking over at him, Crow, almost against her own best intentions, lets one tiny corner of her mouth slip upwards towards the hint of a smile. "Let us go, then," she says, and without waiting for his answer urges her hawk into a downward dive.

Lucent urges Amika to follow, the myriad violet wings beating down, leaving a trail of night! "Let us hope your sword did not rust."

His own demon-forged steed moves swiftly at his merest thought towards his new target, and as he draws closer, his naked eyes tell him what Crow's could spot at a far greater distance: that something is greatly disturbed.

He sees a black cloud, hanging near to the earth, bolts of dark lightning shooting out of it to each side at every passing moment -- and it seems to be moving steadily towards the three spires that mark the spot he is bound to protect.

Lucent "They are INSIDE that cloud, you think?" He almost takes his helmet off to see better... but reconsiders.

Lucent "Or do you suppose they ARE the cloud?"

"Is there truly a difference?" she says. "There are many of the dishonored and loveless dead there, and the cloud itself brims with necrotic energy. Both it and whatever is within are our enemy."

Lucent "No. There is not. I would take cover if I were you." Not real. Nothing left. All a lie. Made to die. Lucent took hold of everything that had been devouring his heart from the inside out on the palm of his hand, twisted, and let it go. A wave of anger through his outstretched ego, striking the mountains about them like Lighting From God! Shattering immense pieces of crystalline rock, raising them and creating a wall to the darkness!

Lucent And Lucent himself shining, setting the rocks themselves aflame to heighten the obstruction!

The black cloud comes to a halt, its path blocked by Lucent's dramatic demonstration. It hovers, bolts of the dark lightning arcing out at every angle for a moment, and then, the front begins to split, tear open like an overripe fruit, the black cloud peeling back to reveal what lies within:

a silver and black carpet, upon which sit seven spectres, each carrying elaborate soulsteel staves and decked out in pompous and ridiculous priestly robes and hats.

Lucent "The Lantern only has one path to come." Lucent points. "And they will be between the rocks and the Lantern. And until they come, between it and US. Come, it is time to kill priests." He told Crow before allowing his voice to resound, loud as thunder, to the priests! "Welcome to Meru. We are here to hit you."

In response to Lucent's words, two of the dark priests arc their skeletal hands upwards in Lucent's direction, beckoning out bolts of purest darkness to fly forth and strike him from the sky.

Lucent backhands the darkness away, shining bright golden as he dives with Amika, the Sun's orb flaring the brightest as itbegins to speed around him, leaving afterimages that freeze in the air on each direction - Dawn, Zenith, Twilight, Night, Eclipse. The orb was gone, just its images falling down five of the priests like infinite mirages! "Time to earn your keep, Crow."

Lucent's light tears across the blackened outlines of the twisted spectres, annihilating the tight weaves of poisoned necrotic essence that holds together their beings into tiny wisps of empty smoke.

The two who remain take almost no time in reacting -- each discards the shell that binds them materially to the living realm, and thus rendered insubstantial, drops through the carpet on which they are seated, towards the ground below.

Meanwhile, the cloud of darkness re-coalesces around the carpet, and suddenly charges at incredible speed towards Lucent!

Lucent Lucent closes his eyes, looks at the cloud... and the Unconquered Sun himself rises behind Lucent, creating light no creature can go through! "STOP."

As if possessed by a greater intelligence, the cloud skids to a complete stop.

Lucent "It is more spirit than flesh. Crow. Finish it!"

Crow's eyes slam closed, even as she, in a single fluid motion, unsheathes her sword and effects the Scarlet Life-Ending Betrayal Strike, slicing the cloud (and the carpet contained within) into a hundred tiny, red-edged pieces that begin to flutter away on the breeze.

Phoenix` A phalanx of agatae buzzes to a landing at Lucent's side, with Phoenix of Ashes at the head, and the baby Solars in tow, all bearing white-and-gold victory banners. "Well done!"

Lucent ...

Lucent "PHOENIX!" And for the first time in quite a few days, Lucent shows genuine emotion!

Lucent "I see you found our trainees."

And indeed, seated on their own demon wasps behind Phoenix are many other friends, though some seem... a little different.

Nesula, her long hair gone in favor of a close-cropped cut, and black ribbons edged with gold wrapped around her hands and wrists; Arathi, still bandaged from relatively serious injuries; Brilliant Falcon hiding behind a new technique or toy that blurs his face and causes his very edges to shimmer; Verbena, still much like when she left, her expression nonplussed as always.

And seated to their side, one other: the thin, tall man, swaddled in a thick black cloak, copper-tinged hands with nails painted brilliant turquoise emerging from the sleeves: the Eclipse known as Nine Dark Thunders.

Lucent "You found your Eclipse, it seems. What is your name, boy?"

"Nine Dark Thunders," the cloaked man says, in a gruff voice.

Phoenix` leans over and stage-whispers, "Be nice, he had a bad day. Never rode a wasp before."

Lucent "Charming." Is as nice as Lucent can be this day! "Two spectres have sunk into the ground. They intend on waking Abadis."

Phoenix` "That sounds like something we should stop."

Phoenix` bites her fingernail. "How do we do that?"

Lucent "Any of you are able to sense the whereabouts of ghosts? I must confess I am blind to them."

Lucent smiles a bit at Phoenix. "Theatrical much?"

"Gimme a sec," Verbena says, and (rolling her eyes), she wiggles two upraised fingers in the air for a moment, before closing one eye, dropping her hands to an even level with them, and finally... pointing. "There," she says.

A faint ray of light passes out of her finger, revealing the glittering, black outlines of the two ghosts, marching in a straight line towards the tomb. "You should be able to hit them now," she says in a bored tone.

^black outlines of the two ghosts on the surface of the ground

Lucent "Much appreciated." There are no great flourishes. Lucent merely points his palm outwards, then pushes it downwards, bringing the entire might of Creation down with it! The weight of the sky falls, breaking the ground beneath them, forming a crater at first, widening, farther and farther as its pieces break down... and Lucent PULLS, rocks cut and rising to the skies, surrounding them like mist!

Lucent And leaving them standing, each on a single pillar amidst a nine-foot-deep crater.

Lucent "Crow. Phoenix. Sword-Dance."

Crow brings her blade up with a certain kind of enthusiasm.

Phoenix` grins and summons up her anima-weapon.

With a single, surgical strike, Crow splits one of the two ghosts in two.

Phoenix` plays cat-and-mouse for a little where before disassembling the other.

Verbena smirks and dusts her pointing hand off showily. "Well, it seems like that's all wrapped u..." Her sentence is interrupted, however, by the sudden commencement of rumbling earth.

Lucent "Phoenix, this is not a ga..."

Phoenix` "...Or, not."

Phoenix` gets back up on her wasp.

In the great Calendar of Setesh, the globes that mark the passage of time click forward, as they always do. But this time, something is missing. Something... is wrong.

In the great black sea, angry waves freeze halfway through the process of swallowing the dead put out to sea by their fearful relatives.

In the southern deserts, pyreflames pause mid-flicker, and in the cold north, the elk tribes stand still in the midst of a successful plasmic hunt.

In Stygia, the great city of the dead, the damned and forgotten stop in the midst of their daily "life": in streets, in palaces, in stores, in slums, until only seven figures on that great, vast isle still stand....

And at that moment, far above....

The earth of the great mountain's side begins to shake.

A loud roar bursts out from beneath the ground, echoing and rebounding off every surface and growing louder and angrier with each step.

And then, in one sudden motion, something bursts up, catapulting miles of earth into the sky in a single vast explosion, darkening the skies with dust and death... and beneath it, still hidden, something... something shaped like a vast man... and off of it wash waves of air, thick with the stench of rotting and death.

Phoenix` exchanges a look with Falcon. "I don't know whether to be excited or run away."

Lucent "I failed."

< To Ashes | Sol Invictus Logs | Planning for Doom >

Page last modified on July 04, 2009, at 01:17 AM