Summary:The Solars unite in a desperate strike on the deadly Abadis -- at great personal cost.

XP:I4, L4, P4, V4, Z4


< Eternal Springs | Sol Invictus Logs | A King in Rags >

In the distance, Abadis stands, silently, still unmoving in the face of the vast Creation it has returned to, all of it ready to be torn down once more and destroyed.

In the nearness, Verbena mumbles something and waves her arms about, readying the Essence that forms the backbone of the Jagged Precipice of Aching Souls, and biting her lip as she does.

And in between: dust, and the stench of death.

Lucent "Got all that, Phoenix?"

Phoenix` "Mhm."

Lucent "Well, then. Verbena." He jumps atop of Amika, wings of night taking him close enough to the peak of the appointed mountain as he ripped it apart with a closed fist, reaching it above his head! "I am waiting!"

The reticent Twilight moves the one hand that's free during this particular casting to perform what one would have to guess is an only half-sarcastic Immaculate blessing of luck in a coming endeavor, before closing her eyes tightly and bringing her other hand down with hammer-like force onto the ground.

Immediately, the ground cracks at the point of impact, and the crack begins to move, splitting through the earth in a meandering yet ultimately unambiguous path: straight towards the ground where, even now, plants wither and animals choke at the all-encompassing stench of Abadis.

There is a sudden loud, deafening CRAKKKKKK -- though still far subtler than that which heralded Abadis' rebirth -- and then, for the first time, the great figure moves -- as its steed's rear legs buckle into the chasm called up by Verbena's sorceries.

Lucent And right into the chasm comes an entire mountain, falling down like the wrath of god!

Lucent "Phoenix! Nesula! With me! Crow, lead the troops and the Solars, KILL THAT HORSE."

Even as the rear half of the creature tumbles into the earth, Lucent's mineral missile arcs down atop it, and for a moment, Abadis seems unable to move -- its back splayed forward under the weight, much of its steed's body sunk into the earth, the weight of the rock pressing down upon it....

Crow wastes no time. Screaming a wordless, bloodcurdling shout, she raises her blade -- and behind her, a force of arms unlike any ever assembled in the previous age of man raise lanterns to match, signalling a powerful and deadly charge at all possible speed.

Nesula is the first of the Solars to move. She rushes past Verbena, tapping her rather aggressively on the shoulder and whispering, jokily: "Alright, break time's over." The others follow quickly at her heels, closing in as closely as possible on the great beast.

Lucent Lucent maneuvers his mount until he hovers above the creatures' face, pinned to the ground as he was. A sun appears above his heart. He takes another from the spheres orbiting him, joining both together... and from the light that rose from the Zenith, that filled each and every one of his soldiers and friends, he took a piece of them. All the faces, all of the faces of the living, their echoes on the sun. "Welcome to Creation."

Lucent "We are here to hurt you."

Lucent And he hurled his sun, his heart, with the echoes of all he swore to protect at Abadis' mouth.

Phoenix` grasps the comet's tail as Lucent hurls it toward Abadis, and in its wake her anima bursts into a midnight-filigreed cloud. The black silhouette of an angular cut-glass bird overlies the tangled verse-lines of the Scroll of the Kings. Just before Lucent's sun strikes Abadis, Phoenix veers downward, and the leading edges of her anima-talons burn white-hot.

Phoenix` "Heaven's Inevitable Mandate Serpent!"

The light arcs forward from Lucent's fingertips with force enough to dissolve the very bonds holding a living person's soul together, but Abadis is something far darker.

As his attack flies through the air, the vast hekaton seems to suddenly spring to action. Heaving with its back, it stretches up, pushing back against the mountain of rock that pinned it just a moment before, and rearing up to display its bulk to the world.

This close, the dust thins, and Lucent can see the creature's horrific shape all the clearer: the rotten flesh hanging in strips as large as city blocks, the skull-mask taken from some long-headed creature no history has ever spoken of, the legs sewn bodily to the flanks of the steed with the very veins of some other vast creature, and through which thick blackish-red ichor flows, connecting the two to one diseased heart...

Thus reared, Lucent's strike hits lower, blasting a chunk of rotten flesh the size of a small house out of its bulging, gorged neck, which explodes into the air with a spray of reddish-black liquid and strange, green miasma that seems to leak from the wound in unsettlingly huge quantities.

Meanwhile, Phoenix's strike cuts huge, cauterized swathes of flesh away in narrow bands that release harsh and foul-smelling miasma of their own; chunks of meat the size of oxen fall away to crash with sickeningly wet thuds on the ground far, far below.

Lucent "Sit. Stay."

Far below, the younger Solars do their work. Nesula strikes at the great steed's still-protruding front legs with brutal golden fists; Verbena stands further behind, ducking about while tossing off golden bolts of light; Thunders and Arathi team up with the aim of slicing the vast necrotic tendons that animate the other front leg, and Falcon is nowhere to be seen...

Crow charges towards the exposed flank that juts up from the crevasse, her black blade followed by so many pale golden ones, the white and gold uniforms brilliantly visible even through the dust, their lanterns held aloft in one hand and shining blades of Essence in the other, as the Last Lantern Line strikes to slice its way into the undead horse's belly.

Imrama Through the dust and soot, the billowing clouds of necrotic energies and evaporated ichors, another light bursts forth to meet the Lantern Line. It is the brightness that heralds the Fable of the Reconstruction, cresting round the great arc of the mountain Meru, full tilt into danger and death.

Lucent "About time."

zahara is meditating on the bow of the ship, using what travel time there was to regain her energies. Her anima still coruscates around her, occasionally tinged with phantom vines or leaves from the lingering echoes of her spell.

Abadis looks over, its face hidden deep within the skull-mask that covers its head, its eyes obscure to all light, and as it sees its new attacker, it makes one huge, calculated move -- it draws and swings a once-golden sword, now stained brown and mottled with the blood of millions, and in its wake the very air itself drops dead to the ground, the motive force that holds it above the earth gone utterly.

Lucent spreads his arms, the spheres sinking into his body and making it shine adamant, slivers of that light entering the wings of Amika and the other Wasps, the caste marks of his peers, the lights of the Lantern. All of them were part of the Adamant God's world. He exhaled, and they had air. HIS air. "Excuse me. You are under the impression that we need such lowly things as air."

zahara is startled from her meditation by the sudden, violent addition of a vacuum to her life. "Wha...?" is all she gets out before feeling the air start to suck itself out of her lungs.

Imrama feels the air slip away from his skin and heaves mightilly on the drag lines. His ship jumps with the sudden force, but manages to stay aloft despite the sudden vacuum that has enveloped it. He purses his lips, holding the last bit of air tight within his lungs. It may have to last for some time.

Varanim looks up, annoyed, from the shapes she was constructing in her mind. She spends her last seconds of breath mouthing words that make no sound, and then she raises her arm. A column of smoky crystal encases her, and on the other side of the Shroud her ghost resumes careful concentration.

Phoenix` makes a motion as if gasping for air. "..." ::What.:: She resolutely shuts her mouth and, as she plummets toward the ground, remembers to activate the Sky-Body Style and comes suddenly to a stop, looking much like a photograph of a falling cat.

Phoenix` rights herself and experiments with this new phenomenon, in these brief moments of respite between Abadis' attacks. Funny. The clothes don't move right at all.

Abadis Rearing up, Abadis sweeps its blade low, scattering the Solars and Lantern Liners who poke at its sides like dominoes after a child's fit of pique; then it pushes with its massive front legs, and begins to crawl back up from the great chasm into which it fell.

Abadis Of those fighting on the ground below, only Verbena remains beyond the reach of its strikes, and she drops into a covered position, beginning the chanting that presages the Rending of Ages.

Imrama The fire in Imrama's pipe sputters and dies, robbed of the air that sustained it. Alone among all the offenses and indignities caused by this Thing Which Ought Not To Be, this small minor slight seems to make Imrama angry. He snears, lips still pursed around the pipe. He lets go the draglines and reaches up with one hand to remove it, before he opens his lips, and blows.

Imrama Leaving his mouth, the breath becomes transfigured according to its elemental essence. Great long tongues of jagged lightning fly from Imrama's lips, as though some terrible thunder-spider were escaping from his mouth. All eight of the crackling arms strike deep, plunging towards the wretched creature Abadis.

Phoenix` examines the tableau spread before her. Shakes her head. She elevates herself to the last cut she made in the behemoth's corpse and dives deep inside. Golden and less wholesome lights surge beneath its surface.

Abadis Imrama's brutal bolts strike into the creature's meaty exterior, burning huge chunks of flesh to a black crisp, even as Phoenix disappears into the creature's innards elsewhere.

Lucent "You are not listening." Lucent holds his hand for the shards of his own sun, starting to coalesce around his heart. He did not have time for that. his hand closed on them, cutting himself with them, blood and gold mixing.... "I said." And he spills it. A lazy arc with his hand and a trail of blood falls down towards Abadis. There was no air for his projectiles to travel through... but they could travel through his blood. Rails of blood and gold through

Lucent "Play dead."

Lucent A lazy arc with his hand and a trail of blood falls down towards Abadis. There was no air for his projectiles to travel through... but they could travel through his blood. Rails of blood and gold through which shards of life and sun raced at lightspeed. "Sit. Stay.

Varanim Still frowning, Varanim's hands drift out as if setting several small delicate objects onto shelves on the air around her. Not moving any further to avoid upsetting that invisible arrangement, she casts her eyes upward, and her anima blossoms in a tower of eyes. Only for a moment--then it goes inverted, darkly lustrous, forming a mirror to show and magnify the Void contained in Abadis.

Abadis Luc's blood trails impact against Abadis' body like brutal daggers, tearing at the flesh and mingling brilliant crimson with inky black as blood and ichor flow down the serrated flesh like horrific rivers. Then, just a moment later, Varanim's spell confronts Abadis with his own reflection -- the twisted mockery of all he was created to be -- and there is a vast explosion, tearing flesh from limb, cloak from neck, leg from steed, and filling the air, for a moment, with too much dark miasma for any to see...

Abadis leg from steed, and skull from head, filling the air, for a moment, with too much dark miasma for any to see...

Abadis When it clears, the form of Abadis, who was once the Daykeeper, stands; its legs, bleeding an ocean of ichor where its ties to its horse (now twitching and foaming at the mouth like so many felled steeds before it) were severed; its chest, lacerated and torn, with bones the size of battleships protruding awkwardly (and a dazed Phoenix seated atop one),

Abadis its cloak of human skin torn off to settle across a the side of the Imperial mountain in a horrible fashion... and its face, the one part that survived its death and transformation -- achingly beautiful and innocent, pleading, begging for mercy, even as the rest of its body moves to end all life...

Abadis In mournful rage, it leaps, striking about with its sword in mountain-shattering swings, while one brutal hand reaches out to grasp around Lucent's defiant form.

Varanim "Huh. It does scale asymptotically cubic." From the momentary silhouettes of ichor spattered on the air, she resumes carefully selecting certain shapes.

Lucent does not move. Twin dots of light burning on shadowed sockets of his armor glare at Abadis.

zahara pauses her just recently resumed breathing to watch the splattering of the Hekatonkhire, musing at what the creature must have been like before it had been corrupted.

Imrama sees the doom that has come for Creation, beginning with his beloved ship, and resolves that it shall not be. He screws himself to the deck, holds fast the lines, and ensures that nothing living or dead may unmake the Fable.

Abadis The great sword clangs against the ship with relentless fury, battering it and knocking it about even as the hull holds with Imrama's intensive effort to ensure it remains whole; and each clang carries the sound of inevitable doom.

Abadis Even as his sword strikes fruitlessly against his tormentors, however, Abadis' hand strikes true, and closes around Lucent with a deathgrip the likes of which none in Creation have ever lived to describe.

Colnapz is now known as Lucent-

Lucent-: The grip tightens. And finds Diamond. Adamant. Impassable as the walls of Heaven. "If you are looking for pity, you will find none here." But Lucent does not move. All he does is look into Abadis. And from his eyes, his light flares. Flares in anger. Not like Adamant, not like the bright, white-gold of the young Lucent. It was golden. Golden and Red. Almost blinding all in the battlefield, shadowed in a dark crescent, his light rises higher than Abadis!

Lucent-: "If you are looking for mercy, just that of death."

Lucent-: "And if you think I need to move to smite you." His fingers dig into his chest... and he takes out his heart, still beating, wreathed in his sun. Each beat a flare of the light. "Then you are WRONG." He gathers it, he crushes his sun, he touches his heart, and one last beat makes the earth shake, wreathing both in burning light, searing flesh from Abadis' bones!

Abadis Fire leaps from Lucent's form to Abadis' hands, where it catches, bursting into brilliant reddish-orange flame... and then it begins to spread.

Abadis Burning embers leap across to his legs, and start bonfires anew. Licking flames climb up his arms, and ignite his shoulders. Scorching heat radiates out in flickering waves, and the spots of human hair that dot parts of Abadis' form burst into flame of their own accord. Until soon, flames run up and down his body in a mile-high inferno, a burning man emitting a column of smoke that would blot out the sun itself, if it could be seen through the dust...

Abadis From down on the ground, a wounded and bleeding Crow, one broken arm hanging limply at her side, screams "NOW!" and leads a charge with the Lantern Lights who remain standing, implicitly urging all others who look on to do the same...

Phoenix` jumps away, scribing an unnatural arc of air-starved flames high into the sky, to land beside Verbena. She holds up a hand and makes a grasping motion, crumpling her anima into a tiny bright sphere and concealing it somewhere among her pockets.

Abadis The Lantern Line swarm, their blades held up, launching bolts of Essence up at Abadis, even as the flame grows more and more intense.

Abadis The great giant continues, stumbling forward, gripping ever tighter, seeking to make his way to a human habitation, anything that can sate his desperate need to crush and destroy, but the fire grows heavier and heavier, until soon his flesh is obscured entirely by reddish-orange flames, and Abadis seems nothing more than a vast inferno in the shape of a man, with a mournful, perfectly beautiful face utterly untouched by flames...

Abadis He stumbles on for a few steps more, then a few more, singing and gouging the landscape with every step, before finally he utters a harrowing, pained cry into the heavens -- then the flames rise up so high that even his shape is hidden, and just a moment later, flicker out altogether.

Abadis There is a clattering noise, and a humongous skeleton, charred black and stained -- except for the front of the skull, which is bleached white -- sprawls out across the landscape and moves no more.

Abadis There is no sign whatsoever of Lucent.

zahara "....Luc?" ::Can you hear me?::

Varanim has been collecting shapes--white sunlight, gray sky, black ichor--from moment to moment, saving them in her memory so that they hang in her mind's eye as she painstakingly fits them together. As she looks down at the wreckage of Abadis, which has risen once and must never do so again, she fits in the last piece. ::I will find you,:: she says to Lucent.

Varanim Then she speaks aloud, as the arrival of the second hekatonkhire, the Thrice-Entombed Self, beats on the air. "It is I am you. We are all buried. Perform your function."

Abadis The creature swirls geometrically into being, the three concentric sarcophagi of pale grey, then dark grey, then pitch-black stone slamming together into shape, before an inner light burns the outline of the sad-eyed king onto the outer surface.

ThriceEntombedSelf From somewhere inside the creature, the sound like rocks grinding against one another carries out its meaning for all to hear: THIS ONE IS FINISHED, it "says." IT SHALL BE TRULY ENTOMBED. Then it rises up, and begins to float eerily over to Abadis' bones.

zahara "Just uh.. Make sure it doesn't entomb Lucent in there too."

Phoenix` flies over to Varanim in a sharp whipping of silks. "Hey Nim, ...what are you doing?"

ThriceEntombedSelf floats over to each part of the vast skeleton in turn. At each massive bone, a flash of powerful light briefly emenates from somewhere deep in the hekaton's stony carapace, and when the light is gone, one fewer bone remains.

Varanim "We're barely at the beginning of our dead problems," she says to Phoenix, watching the sarcophagus with distant exhaustion. "How many times would you like to fight this thing?"

ThriceEntombedSelf continues until it gets to the skull, which at first it simply settles down in front of, staring.

zahara mutters "should have done that to Siram"

Phoenix` picks a dried fragment her lapel. "The minimum amount."

Varanim "You're welcome, then." She smirks, but it drops away as she rises to peer at the paused scene before them.

ThriceEntombedSelf After a while, the Self declines to zap the skull, instead floating over to one side, pushing it up until it sits upright, and then flashing something different -- a pale, soft light. At that, the skull seems to take root in the earth, tiny tendrils like tree roots stretching out from its bottom to dig into the dirt... and the sense of malevolence it once held begins to dissipate.

ThriceEntombedSelf THIS ONE IS NOW TO BE REMEMBERED, NOT TO BE REBORN, it "says," somehow clearly indicating to the germinating skull despite a lack of limbs to do so with.

Varanim "Ah. Well. There you have it."

zahara nods solemnly, and looks over at Varanim. "Indeed. And we'll get him back."

Imrama relaxes his grip on the draglines, and allows the Fable to return to its natural, near-invulnerable state. His monomaniacal focus goes slack and he looks around at his companions. "What happened to Lucent?"

Phoenix` "Huh, good question. He was right there just now."

Varanim looks at Zahara, faint surprise on her face and a great hollow distance in her eyes. "Obviously."

Phoenix` "Is that scary coffin thing going to just....stay...there?"

Phoenix` is pointedly turned with her shoulder toward it, so she doesn't have to look at it, but will see if it explodes.

zahara half smiles at her response, then turns her eyes down to the scene beneath them.

Varanim "It probably shouldn't, no. I'll send it somewhere you can't see it instead," she says to Phoenix with a semblance of her usual necromancer dimples.

Imrama "Seriously you guys, where's Lucent?"

ThriceEntombedSelf ~~~~~~~~

ThriceEntombedSelf Six months later.

ThriceEntombedSelf Standing at the center of the ruins of Kita-O, the armies of the dead advancing in on their position, and the black clouds covering the sky, Varanim thinks: Where is Lucent, indeed.

ThriceEntombedSelf ~~~~~~~

< Eternal Springs | Sol Invictus Logs | A King in Rags >

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