< The Doom That Came To Varex | Sol Invictus Logs

Summary: The Solars confront Vhuel, while, the First Herald's arrival brings strife amongst their ranks.

XP:I4, L4, S4, V4, Z4

Back downstairs. Cypress has made an ominous pronouncement, and there are some crashing noises upstairs.

Alitashi "This building has been fouled and needs to be purged of Anathema influence. That might resolve the anomaly, and it might not, but either way, it needs doing."

Zin`Bei-La rubs his forehead, closing his eyes for a moment. "It does need to be purged, but we must be careful. It IS still here, and we too could fall victim to it. Make every effort not to fight amongst ourselves."

Alitashi "That is sensible. The shortest course to ensuring that we do not fight amongst ourselves would seem to be to find something else to fight amongst. Brigadier Bei-la; I believe we should seek out the cause of that crashing noise, and in all likelihood hit it until it stops breathing. Do you concur?"

Zin`Bei-La flashes a brief smile at Alitashi. "An excellent suggestion. Let us commence at once!"

Zin`Bei-La gathers his defensive magics about him as he strides cautiously towards the source of the noise - and the Lunar's warning.

More crashing and banging echoes down the stairwell as Zin Bei-La charges up, the other Solars in tow.

As he begins cresting the stairs from the third floor up towards the fourth, he reaches the point that a river of blood, flowing from the open door to the fourth floor above, has reached in its inexorable attempt to cascade ever downwards towards the earth.

BitterAsh The flowing blood seems to divert itself around two spots on the floor, and the sound of low chanting can be heard.

Zin Bei-La crests the fourth floor, splashing through the pouring blood as he does so, to see the two empty spots just a couple yards away, and down at the other end of the hall, a huge bluish-grey cat-person, tearing fixtures from the walls and slamming a large stick into the ducts and ceiling with impressive abandon.

The other Solars arrive just a moment later.

BitterAsh The flowing chanting shifts sinuously, and words can be heard in the spaces left by fricatives and glottal stops...

BitterAsh "Astoria. Watch out."

Zin`Bei-La surveys the carnage with dismay and decides to see if he can snap the crazed Lunar out of it. Squaring his shoulders, he barks, "Vhuel. I need a full report on this situation. Immediately."

Astoria There is the sort of quiet that might come from something small and furry pausing carefully in the ductwork.

Zin`Bei-La simply waits, radiating authority and looking at him calmly, hand resting on the hilt of his saber.

Vhuel turns his head, his teeth glistening white and a faintly unpleasant miasma filling the space around his body, and looks directly at Zin -- for about two seconds. Then, with one forceful push, he leaps at an impressive speed down the hallway, one arm tipped in vicious moonsilver claws extended to slash the elder's throat.

BitterAsh The chanting comes to a sudden, violent end, with a swish of air as if from the violent wave of his hand, and the ground beneath Vhuel explodes upwards even as he jumps towards the Solars, the familiar, flaming tentacles of the Magma Kraken reaching up to arrest his progress -- with prejudice.

Zin`Bei-La sighs and readies his defenses. "Vhuel. Don't make us kill you. We've fought side by side in countless battles, and toasted to lost friends afterwards."

Odolan draws Seventh Sea and shatters its jade edge against the wall in one smooth, determined motion. The shards zoom through the air, falling into formations of interlaced rings and spirals around himself and Zin Bei-La. Meanwhile, the gold edge rings like a funeral bell.

Vhuel yelps with a surprisingly high-pitched kittyish sound as the burning tendrils halt his advance. There's a momentary scent of singed fur, then Vhuel reflexively shifts into the form of a bat and flaps his way up into one of the small ceiling ducts.

Odolan "He's right, Vhuel. I won't kill you if I can stop you another way, but I don't think Bitter Ash will make the same promise."

Zin`Bei-La curses. "We can't let him get away, not like this."

Astoria the cat, in the duct, flashes a wide smile at Vhuel and bites down.

Vhuel "All the works of the Sun are as naught in comparison to the vastness of Cytherea, mother of a--AAAGH!" cries a batty voice that seems to be moving through the ducts, before suddenly being cut off by an unpleasant scream.

Vhuel A mere moment later, a megalobear, with a cat biting firmly on its ginormous ear, crashes through the ceiling, then through the floor beneath, leaving the Kraken tendrils waving about in temporary confusion.

Zin`Bei-La: "Well." He blinks.

Zin`Bei-La shrugs, and dives down the hole after them. "Vhuel!"

Alitashi Coronas of sunlight explode around Alitashi's hands and feet as she drops down through the hole in the floor.

BitterAsh There is a frustrated hiss from the empty hallway, and the Kraken tendrils, one by one, redirect themselves through the hole, smashing things and generally creating additional havoc as they do so.

Vhuel In the hallway of the third floor, megaloVhuel shakes the dust off for a brief second, swats at his ear -- blood squirting from what remain quite vicious cuts around his head and neck from Astoria's teeth as he does -- and then shifts back into a person, running at a great speed down the hall.

Astoria wastes no words on her fallen brother but twists with feline grace to put her feet to the wall, springs, and is running after him as a gazelle by the time she lands.

Odolan hauls himself out a window and climbs for the second floor. Maybe we can surround him. His halo of sword-shards spins along after him.

Zin`Bei-La lands with a great thud, sending dust up from the impact of his boots, and runs after them.

Alitashi lands heavily on the stone of the third floor hallway, in an expert execution of a three-point elbow-drop against the building itself. A shockwave of force pulses out from the point of impact, a cascading solar glow that rips down the hall after Vhuel at the speed of the rising sun, redirecting all of the force of Alitashi's landing into the coward's back.

Vhuel The force of the powerful shockwave strikes Vhuel's running form full-square in the back, and even the graceful and speedy limbs of powerful Lunar stumble under the force -- dropping to his knees, not for long -- but long enough for Astoria to catch up to him.

Odolan uncurls from a doorway as if he had just been rolling up the stairs. "You're out of exits, tiger."

Zin`Bei-La stumbles a bit as the vestiges of his hypersensitive awareness sends his senses reeling, the overflow of Solar energies surrounding him pouring through him. And he sees.

Astoria In her last step Astoria is in her rarely used human form, a sign of contempt as she laces her arms around his in a smoothly complicated joint lock.

Vhuel Vhuel moves to rise from his crouch, but he's blocked to the front; he turns to avoid Astoria's grasp but he's simply too slow;

Vhuel he moves to transform, to escape as a dove or an ant or a viper, but Astoria's fingers nimbly slip to enact the Seventeen Pressure-Point Moon Restriction Grasp, the technique all Lunars learn at a young age to lock their fellows into a single form, and which only those with the facility to operate seventeen distinct fingers can perform. Instead, he grunts angrily.

Zin`Bei-La says, distractedly. "Can you keep him immobilized without needing to hold him? There's... more..."

BitterAsh "Rune of Singular Hate?

Zin`Bei-La: "You want to waste it on a mad Lunar?"

BitterAsh "Just an idea."

Odolan "Hold up, I think I have a thing..."

Odolan pulls a Hearthstone out of one of his bracers, a sphere of smoky crystal full of holes. To Zin Bei-La's enhanced senses it is a strangely still point in the maelstrom of hostile Essence.

Odolan hands it to Bitter Ash. "Attach this to him."

Zin`Bei-La knuckles a fresh flow of bloody tears from his eyes, and snaps, "Hurry."

BitterAsh The smell of brimstone approaches the Lunars, still wrestling, and Bitter Ash searches for an opportunity to place it...

Odolan meanwhile arrays a handful of smoky crystal darts between his fingers, each one surmounted by a different occult diagram.

BitterAsh fumbles the bead, nearly planting it on Astoria, then tries it again, more carefully.

Vhuel The tendrils of the Magma Kraken wave mournfully through he hole in the ceiling, reaching out across an unreachable distance in search of the object of their affection.

Odolan The moment the jewel touches Vhuel's flesh, Odolan launches a dart. It passes through one of the Hearthstone's holes and Vhuel's left arm goes limp.

Vhuel "Grrrrr."

Zin`Bei-La: "Shut up."

Odolan A few darts later, Vhuel is reduced to a collapsed pile, vaguely able to speak and breathe but not much else.

Odolan "There are so many uses for a Meridian-Draining Valve Crystal."

Zin`Bei-La suddenly spins to look behind them. "We don't have time for ...! no time." He shifts. "It could be anywhere. In anyone."

Alitashi offers an aside to Odolan. "It's good to see you putting it to a constructive use for once, especially after what happened to the Bright Obelisk Academy's mascot."

Odolan tries to look in two directions at once, shakes his head, and settle on dealing with Alitashi later. " 'It'? In?"

Zin`Bei-La: "The Herald, you fool!" He retreats warily from the group. "It did this. Cythera is nothing compared to it."

Odolan "Luna's innumerate tits! What do we do?"

Vhuel Something, somewhere, begins rumbling.

Zin`Bei-La tugs at his white beard, leaving smears of rust streaking it. "We can't win..."

Alitashi puts a steadying hand on Zin Bei-la's shoulder. "Steel yourself, old soldier. We are harbingers of the Sun. We can do anything."

Vhuel There's a loud, resounding crash, followed by the sound of glass tinkling down from a great height, as something smashes into the upper floors of the tower.

Odolan circles around so that Alitashi is between him and Zin. He says in a low voice, "The old man is starting to crack." Zin's halo of sword-shards begin to rotate in the opposite direction, as if they are looking inward rather than out.

Zin`Bei-La: "You haven't seen it. Seen what it can do."

Astoria "Zin, my friend. If the only option you can see is surrender, close your eyes."

BitterAsh "We should have run."

Vhuel Another crash, closer this time.

Odolan "Let's run -now-."

Odolan doesn't waste time looking for agreement. Out the window again!

Alitashi rolls her eyes and sighs, grabs Zin by the shoulder, and follows Odolan.

Zin`Bei-La: He reaches out the shards grazing his knuckles, then is spun around and propelled forward by Alitashi

Vhuel Bursting out of the window, the Exalts fall to the ground below, a perfect vantage point to see that all the windows on the top three floors of the tower have exploded outwards and that each consecutive lower floor is following suit -- with a billowing cloud of many-hued, oddly-patterned smoke -- in just a few more moments.

Odolan "Now I'm going to have to wait a month...RUN FASTER...Ash, did you get a good look at that smoke?"

Odolan drags Seventh Sea along the ground as he runs. The jade shards drop out of the air and skim the ground, rapidly reassembling themselves along its leading edge.

Astoria runs, casting a look back over her shoulder at the exploding building, and for a moment her eyes are wild with a desire for vengeance that is normally well hidden under her civilized skin.

Alitashi runs just a few steps behind Odolan, carrying Zin if necessary. "Back to the ship, then?"

Odolan "Ship."

Vhuel The building's detonation continues at a faster and faster rate, until the glass of the bottommost floor explodes outwards in a particularly huge display, followed shortly thereafter by the door rocketing off its hinges and falling away somewhere far from its origin.

Vhuel A moment later, something begins to float out of it... at first, visible only as a vague, churning cloud of dust and light.

Astoria Though it would be wiser to keep running, Astoria pauses, swarming halfway up the side of a building to take a long look back at what's emerging.

Vhuel The dust cloud does not carry on, and after a moment, something starts to emerge from it... a shape, first silhouetted against the light, then fully realized as the last wisps of the cloud fall off its edges....

Vhuel Fifteen feet tall, it stands, the shape of a woman, rendered in perfect detail as a statue of the finest green marble, a long flowing gown that moves lightly in the breeze despite its rocky nature hanging below where her feet would stand...

Vhuel From her back, six huge wings spread wide from beyond where she stands. In her hands, an apple and a sword, both of the same flowing green stone... and set on her head, a golden crown, the only detail that differs -- split down the middle by a jagged black edge.

Vhuel She floats, rapidly and ominously, towards the Exalts, no part of her face or body moving at all even as she moves inexorably towards her quarries.

Vhuel The creature's Essence is... disturbed. Broken. Wrong. The patterns that underlie its structure are unlike any the world knows; the pathways shaped in geometrically impossible forms and the energies flicking from alignment to alignment and element to element in but a moment's time.

Astoria With a momentary look of fierce vexation, Astoria drops down and hurries to rejoin the others. "We need an army."

Odolan glares at Astoria. "Well, rev up the ship. We don't have any of those around here."

BitterAsh "Adrian..." Ash swears to himself quietly.

Alitashi calls out, "But the Deliberative has them in great abundance. We need to report to the capital."

Odolan flings a golden Essence grapple at the ship and swings himself aboard.

Zin`Bei-La: "No. The Deliberative can't get involved!"

'''**Zin`Bei-La wrenches away from Alitashi

Vhuel At every moment in which the creature draws closer, the atmosphere grows thicker and more oppressive; any long-buried feelings of anger or once-forgiven crimes bubble up to the surface, and the hand of authority begins to weigh far heavier on the shoulders of those whom it claims as its own.

Zin`Bei-La: "Vhuel turned on us already! Who knows who else is corrupted? Maybe even the General!"

BitterAsh "How long do you think an army would last against the desire to kill your friends?"

Zin`Bei-La: "How long would it take for YOU to kill your friends, Bitter Ash? After what happened in Gem..."

Alitashi wheels around to stay with Zin. "Brigadier, you are not behaving rationally. I believe that Ash's irresponsible use of sorcery may be at fault. This is a 3rd-Circle crisis, it requires a 3rd-Circle response force."

Zin`Bei-La: "Rationally? Since when do you even know what the word means?"

BitterAsh is silent, but the smell of brimstone thickens.

Vhuel The statue draws nearer and nearer. Its sword hangs heavily in the air, its broken crown gleams in the sunlight, but it takes no other action -- only draws nearer and nearer to the Exalts.

Alitashi gets right up in the elder's face. "You are in no position to judge, or to lead, or even to account for yourself! I am taking charge of this Circle, and I am taking us back to Meru."

Zin`Bei-La: "How DARE you!" he sputters. "You have no right to judge my abilities, pup! You never fought the Primordials! Never led an army!" He suddenly lurches sideways to where Vhuel is being held limply and wrenches several of the shards out. In one smooth motion, they go from the Lunar to Alitashi's chest.

Odolan "You're not taking us anywhere! We can fight this thing!"

Odolan activates the Mutineer's Helm-Stealing Stance.

Vhuel leaps up, his form freed once more by Zin's sudden and unexpected reversal, and within a moment he's wrapped a set of thick tendrils around Bitter Ash's young form, with a moonsilver knife in his free hand.

Alitashi takes one small step to the side and somehow it is enough to place her completely behind Zin Bei-la. "I've heard more than enough of your war stories for this incarnation, you toothless old lion," she says, introducing the Pounding Hammer of Devastation to the back of Zin's head.

Zin`Bei-La: "NOW LOOK WHAT YOU'VE D....ungh!"

BitterAsh whistles a short sharp directive in the language of the Blood Apes, and his friend in the lower cabin...stirs.

Vhuel Vhuel begins to back away from the group slowly, not releasing his grip on the Solar sorcerer. "We... we..." He sputters and chokes on his words. "...I," he finally settles on. "I will usher in a new Age, still," he says, continuing to back away.

Alitashi Having sucker-punched Zin, Alitashi whirls around to face Vhuel. With no apparent regard for Bitter Ash's safety, she launches herself at the fallen Lunar, making to tackle him.

Odolan "Not if I have anything to say about it!" Odolan dives into the fray, booming auras of scarlet forming around his fists, elbows, and knees.

< The Doom That Came To Varex | Sol Invictus Logs

Page last modified on November 29, 2009, at 02:09 AM