Summary:The Solars complete their liberation of Lookshy, and Varanim engages in a spat with the Green Lady.

XP:C4, I4, L4, V4, Z4


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The ballistae Varanim warned about begin to roll into place, their vast bolts glowing with unholy radiance and reflecting the truly vast magical power that was imbued into them.

Lucent ::Cerin. Imrama. Let them fire.::

Imrama ::Simple enough.::

The first line of the undead-crewed weaponry is pulled back with immense effort by scores of unliving arms, and a moment later they launch forward, precision-targeted for the vessel -- eight vast bolts that, quite literally, scream through the air as they tear away the fabric of the living world, leaving ash and ectoplasm in their wake.

zahara contemplates the oncoming death with equanimity.

Lucent "Well. They DID overdo it." Eight projectiles, eight of his Orbs. Lucent's anima flares to engulf the fable and the Incarna jump out of Lucent, each wearing a version of his armor! Jupiter wreathing a bolt in silk, The Sun stopping it between two fingers, Luna trapping it into a crescent of herself, Mercury running with it around the fable like a pet, Mars stopping it with a shield... and Saturn just looked at it. And it stopped.

Lucent And within each Orb Lucent would hold one.

Lucent ::Cerin, what IS in those things?::

Cerin ::Nothing we want anywhere near us. Or ... uh ... anywhere. Varanim, would you mind if Lucent were to throw eight soulsteel bolts of dire potency near you?::

Varanim ::If it'll make him feel better, go for it.::

zahara ::Do you really want to encourage them, Cerin?::

Cerin ::Not ordinarily, but I would also like to go about my business not feeling like I was eight thousand years old. And it would be helpful if our armies could move in, too.::

Varanim finds herself winding through the streets towards the wall that separates the Fourth District from the outermost area where she currently stands, though the vast doors in the immense stone walls have been thrown open -- the better for hordes of insubstantial, yet certainly deadly, war-ghosts to pour out through.

There's a convenient courtyard area just a tiny bit ahead that would probably look pretty nice, decorated with horrific and soul-rending weapons of necromantic war.

Lucent ::Well I suppose this will be cathartic.:: Lucent joked as the Incarna threw them back in a conflagration of Void and Sunlight in the skies! ::Now PLEASE countermagic them in the next one two NOW::

zahara ::Are these the only eight they have?::

Lucent ::You really like seeing me throw nasty pointy things at my girlfriend, don't you?::

zahara ::Au contraire, I was simply concerned that you might have to keep doing this if the originating ballista are not taken care of.::

The bolts come streaming down towards the cobbles of the courtyard just in front of Varanim, disrupting the pattern of the nearby ghosts as they move to react to this unexpected stimuli...

Cerin ::Imrama, perhaps now that we are closer, the Fable can take care of that detail?::

Varanim nudges Algorab wordlessly in the right direction. As Lucent speaks her anima is flaring to life above, a tower of vivid sunset eyes now bloodshot with black veins as she directs the terrible force of Obsidian Countermagic out through it. Everywhere the gaze of her anima falls, spells shatter catastrophically, while the crow threads a course through the rain of soulsteel itself.

Imrama responds to Cerin's suggestion. ::Or at least have fun trying.:: The great sunship's gunports drop open, and the harsh light of day scours the siege weapons below.

Jagged black shrapnel explodes out in every direction as the tendrils of the spells violently unwind and tear their vessels apart in the process. Algorab banks and turns through the rain of violent essence and deadly soulsteel, even as little pieces of the spells strike nearby ghosts and tear their Essence inside-out with their last vestiges of unholy energy.

The sound of Imrama's cannons at her back and of siege weaponry exploding into wooden flinders propels Varanim forward through the Fourth Ring and through the gates leading into the Third, where vast war-golems four stories tall walk towards the city's forefront, single-mindedly aiming to repel this counter-invasion.


zahara " Lucent, you are so... " she tries to think of a word. "...lucent."

Lucent "Thanks!"

Lucent ::That is a good thing, right?::

zahara ::It's certainly unique.::

Varanim ::War golems, not my department. I need to get to the geomantic center of this mess and sit for a while.::

At the outskirts of town, more defensive forces rise up to challenge the sun-vessel that fires upon the city from above: pterax riders, slain in war or hunting or a storm thousands of years ago and slaved to Larquen Quen's ghostly whim launch themselves from the inner walls, a force of a thousand flying ghosts ready to harry the Fable.

zahara "We've got company," Zahara notes.

Lucent "You know... this thing of throwing balls? It is best on one target at a time..."

Cerin 's bow starts to sing a song of sunlight on a winter's day as he looses a torrent of brilliant white motes into the oncoming cloud of pterax riders and their mounts, cutting them from the air with sunburst sparks.

zahara "I need to work up a spell for a...shadow-magma kraken. Wouldn't that be neat?" She leans over the railing to watch the battle, as her bell tolls.

Varanim rushes forward through the city streets, drawing nearer and nearer to the Old City, where the heart of the shadowland that was born in Lookshy lies. As she passes through the warehouse district of the Second Ring, vast blocky buildings at strange angles guiding her path, she hears a voice, whispering to her: "You must not do this."

Meanwhile, far above, hundreds of ghosts explode under the torrents of sun-bolts that fly out in every direction from the Fable, though the crowd grows so thick that many other sneak past and latch on to the undersides of the hull.

Varanim "Do tell, mysterious voice which is definitely not me being crazy," she mutters, flying low under the last scattering of spell-shards.

Lucent "Why a shadow? Burning light and embers work even BETTER against undead, right?" And Lucent's sun strikes a single Pterax. But with style!

zahara "It just seems rather ominous. Plus it's fire, not sunlight right now, which does not have any particular extra use against undead..."

Lucent "But Shadow is Varanim's trademark! You should do Wyld-Kraken."

zahara "Hmmm that sounds fun. Just think of the chaos!"

A shadow in a familiar, feminine shape darts across Varanim's field of vision on the irregular bricks of the Old City's towering wall. "You should leave Lookshy. It is not time for you to be here."

Cerin "Lucent, can you do anything about those creatures clinging to the base of the Fable?"

Varanim "Is there a reason I mustn't do this besides your calendar-related disorders?" inquires Varanim, just as happy that this is happening away from most ears.

The skittering and clicking sounds from beneath the ship grow louder as more and more ghosts accrete on the ship's hull, and Imrama feels the pull -- irrelevant, so far, but at least imaginably not forever -- as they attempt to use their ghostly mount's vast wings to steer it off course.

The nearest doors to the Old City snap shut and bolted, seemingly of their own accord, and a moment later something breezes past Varanim's left ear. "Your destiny is almost ready to unfold," she says. "Our destiny. Creation's destiny." The same breeze goes by her right ear, in the opposite direction.

Lucent "I thought killing endless masses was your job!"

Imrama nods to Mr. Iggles-Lux. No matter what, stay the course. And then, guns still drawn, he hops the rail and walks coolly down the side of the ship to where it meets the flat bottom. In a single step, he pivots his relative sense of "up" more than 100 degrees and comes to a stop standing on the underside of the Fable. Then he opens fire.

Varanim "So that's a no, then." She jerks her chin up, and the crow banks away to circle higher, aiming to crest over the wall whose doors are now barred to them.

Imrama's guns blaze out a brilliant path, cleansing the taint of evil from the belly of his beloved ship and leaving only pure, shining gold behind in their wake. Below, a rain of ashes falls behind the ship like an unholy wake as Imrama's targets disintegrate under his fierce assault.

zahara follows through on her latest fancy, and when the molten tentacles of the kraken erupt through the ground, (placed neatly in gaps between buildings and handy plazas so as not to destroy more of lookshy than necessary or amusing) they do so with a shower of rainbow sparks that turn into butterflies and flitter through the masses of undead.

Cerin ::...Zahara?:: Cerin asks her privately. ::Are those butterflies?::

zahara ::Sparkly ones!::


Lucent ::I love them! All metaphorical!::

zahara "Of doom! Don't go near them if you're not undead and''or evil!"

Varanim crests up towards the top of the Old City wall, and in a flash someone is waiting for her, perfectly balanced atop that wall: Zinnobia, her eyes covered by a blindfold, flowing black robes covering her lithe body while two scarves, one green and one gold, hang from her wrists, matching the two sai blades she holds in a clear demonstration of the Fickle Dragonfly form.

Cerin ::I can't help but notice a certain ... wildness to them.::

zahara ::Just a LITTLE.::

Her green lips move to let out forceful speech as Varanim's crow rises up to fly above her. "Then whether you choose to accept your destiny must no longer be relevant to me," she says. "Prepare yourself."

Varanim "First, this is really trite." Algorab stalls on a gust of fetid air long enough for Varanim to hop lightly down to the wall. "Second, why do you care what happens to Lookshy's spiritual boo-boo?"

Zinnobia steps forward once, her weapons shifting into the Second Position of the Form. "At the heart of this darkness will gestate the seed of a new world," she says, "and your role is not to stop it."

Varanim pulls off her mask, taking a short drink before unslinging her staff and settling into the first of the slouch-stances she learned from her alcoholic sensei. "You're really hitting the motherhood metaphors. Are you sure this isn't about you needing a man?"

zahara sends a blinding bolt of solar energy towards the largest and''or ugliest thing that moves down below.

Lucent rises all the rubble as one big pile like lifting a MOUNTAIN... and makes it fall on a Golem!

Varanim Testing the waters with a single strike, in the space of half a breath Varanim moves from a lazy lean to a whistling-fast head-high arc of the staff, impatient but also curious about the woman she faces in the flesh for the first time.

Zinnobia "I already have more of those than I need," she says, eyes narrowing. She catches the staff in the crooks of her two blades, then quickly whips both hands apart in a way that sends the staff's tip flying upwards, granting her an opening that she uses to slip her right foot in for the three carefully placed kicks of the Dart Across Still Waters Strike.

Varanim stumbles back from two of the strikes in the classic I'll Split Wood Later, I'm Resting evasion, and a hissing flail of chains from her arm blunts the third. "If it's not me, it'll be Zahara," she notes. "Lookshy is done for you." On the last word of that she steps forward, staff lashing out at knee and shoulder.

Zinnobia slips back, slipping her leg away from Varanim's strike while bringing her weapon up to block the second strike. "What are you afraid of?" she says, and leaps up into the Aerial Sun-Dance Diaspora, raining down blows from every angle before alighting soundlessly behind Varanim.

Zinnobia 's strikes slam against Varanim's unprotected back with a remarkably heavy impact, driving her down to one knee and radiating pain out into her every extremity -- though she feels no cuts, no blood flowing from her back or nerves severed by the strikes. It's clear Zinnobia wants her alive.

Varanim "Lots of things. I keep lists. Could you be more specific?" After a moment to gather herself and adopt the fabled Hangover-Enduring breathing method, between two heartbeats she lunges forward, still on one knee and holding the bottom end of the staff to extend her reach. Between one heartbeat and the next, from the middle of her muddy technique, a perfect strike.

Zinnobia Varanim's strike catches Zinnobia by surprise, square in the gut, and she doubles over momentarily as the breath rushes out of her chest. "Why... won't you accept... your destiny?" she gasps out as she steadies herself. "Why... must you still... resist?" She brings up her blades, a little unsteadily, as if to make another strike.

Varanim "Because destiny is for suckers, and because controlling my life won't make me love you."

Imrama On those fateful words, a jet of molten sunlight rocks the Green Lady like a rowboat caught in a tidal wave. Following the trajectory of the torrent of solar fire back along its route leads the eye to the prow gunport of the Fable of the Reconstruction. Raising a hand up above the level of the enormous, luminous cannon, Imrama waves at Varanim.

Lucent appears on the deck and points down, his voice booming through Lookshy! "Get away from my girlfriend!"

Zinnobia The Green Lady takes one look at the incoming gout of terrible, cleansing fire and makes a fateful decision:

Zinnobia "I was never here!" she shouts, and retroactively disappears in a puff of illogic.

Varanim climbs to her feet wearily, waving for the crow to circle back for her. "I hate exercise."

Varanim She does, however, pause to briefly and warmly consider the expression on Zinnobia's face right before vanishing. ::Thanks for that.::

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Page last modified on May 04, 2010, at 03:56 PM