Old September 6, 2017, 05:12 PM   #46 (permalink)
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If anyone should have known what it was like to encounter memory loss, it was Moss Oktra'rek. The Aelyrian' Empire's foremost amnesiac had been slowly tugging at a knot of departed recollections, willing it to untangle. They stretched far into his past, with the occasional remembrance piercing through the veneer. But he had never simply lost a specific few candlemarks of memories as Xavier had.

As the ex-novice spoke, Moss contemplated quite how a man could be alive as darkening found, dead but conscious the next brightening, and yet have no memory of the time in between.

It seemed quite a riddle and no solutions were readily forthcoming, so he listened to Xavier's answer again in his mind, repeating the youth's words. But it was as he recalled his own memory - thinking back to Xavier's wheezed words as water had uselessly evaded his mouth, and the sight of the spirit on Xavier's lips as he'd breathed his last - that a new terrifying possibility entered his conscious.

Moss sought to Focus then, even as he felt blood drain from his face. His grip on his longsword was now so tight that his knuckles were as white as his face, though the lack of natural light may have concealed them.

Taking a slow, deep breath, Moss found colours that penetrated the darkness, overlapping the vision of the cellar that surrounded him. A soothing blue and green came first, entangling themselves with a soft yellow that when combined helped to calm the blonde somewhat. He then welcomed other colours to weave through the chromatic bind, before a quick glance was sent in Calanon's direction as he tried to send his Voice Of Thought to his friend.

The elf knew of Moss' fledgling mystic abilities but whether he was conscious of the human's attempted casting was up to the gods.

The message was but a single word...

Possessed?

Despite his fear, however, Moss had only become more determined to see an end to whatever had caused Daltina's malady. He stepped forward, peering through the doorway much as Calanon had just done, before slowly unsheathing his longsword and turning back to the young monk.

"Xavier, will you show us the way?"
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Old September 7, 2017, 04:22 PM   #47 (permalink)
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ooc Assuming Moss' spell worked. if not, prod me and Ill edit

So no memories from the ghost to aid them. The elf felt almost bad for causing the Spirit more distress, but he was the only piece of this puzzle that was being any use to them at that moment. Though his ignorance of where he had been, what he had seen or experienced that had sent him running into the daylight to die was not altogether useful.

Calanon sighed, and moved to take a step forward into the catacombs when the sudden ringing of a voice in his head had him startle. For a moment he panicked at the alien sensation, the word itself not calming him any either.

It was only after a couple of breaths that he realised the voice he had heard was familiar, and he was quite unable to prevent the glare he shot Moss' way. There was a reason he wasn't fond of the sphere of Mysticism. Get out of my head was the instinctive reaction.

But as his heart rate returned to something approaching normal, Calanon was able to see Moss' motivation in choosing that way in which to communicate with him, and his gaze shifted to Xavier as he considered the human's - the living one's- words.

Possessed?

He knew little of such things, of spirits and ghosts in general, and he wondered what had led Moss to think of it. Surely he could do some mind rapery on the spirit rather than on him and find out what was really going on? Of course, Calanon couldn't suggest that, as he didn't have the ability to insert his voice into his friend's mind.

So the elf gave a small shrug, as if in response to the question that Moss had asked of the ghost, before his head whipped toward the tunnel they stood poised at the doorway to.

"What was that?" he asked, cocking his head to the side and listening. "Did you hear that?" For unless it was some further trickery of the mystic, there had been a sound from the catacombs.

" We are wasting time here" Calanon said, glancing from Moss to Xavier. " Your help would be welcomed, brother Xavier, but we must go on with or without you"

He took a decisive step forwards then, through the doorway.
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Old September 9, 2017, 03:17 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Blink-blink,
There was, t’was,
A puzzled look as the Puppy broke her handiwork,
Taken aback by the notion that somehow, absolute destruction was better than what she’d been intending?!
Only for the sound of the stone shattering,
Prompting Éclair’s hands to raise before her face as the sound of it breaking apart,
No thanking you!
Activating the golden bangles that adorned her wrists with the Spirit Shield,
“Bad Puppy!
I was Fixing that!”
Came the immediate chiding,
As shock turned to annoyance,
Wait,
Why was, the Puppy talking anyway?
It wasn’t as if it was a Were-Puppy like Mister Spade… was it?!
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Old September 12, 2017, 08:56 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Barthelme

The rope hung a few meters up from the floor, and could go a bit further if Sylaphormes tried, but still wouldn't reach the ground: the best it could do was hang about a meter up in the air. This wasn't terribly far, but it really rather depended on what Barthelme wanted done with it.

That said... killing the closest of the Caretakers brought on the usual spate of conflicting emotions for the half-elf, now with the admixture of Sylaphormes greedily urging death on the one hand and "Jochannan" whining unhappily about love and fellow man and all that nonsense on the other. Barthelme, however, had probably heard it all before (it did get rather rote after a while).

He had to go by feel in the darkness, but finally Bane of the Awakened and the Crystal were set, drawn, and then shoved down through the man's sockets. Warm liquids spurted up to coat Barthelme's hands and he could sense Sylaphormes' excitement grow to fever pitch through their mental connection.

Perhaps he should have known it, though, when crossing over to the plane of dreams hadn't worked the way it ought to have. Death and sleep were so close, after all...

Well, anyway, he'd know it well enough in an instant, when the dead (dead?) man gave a violent jerk and then suddenly sat up with a gasp, wrenching the twin blades still wedged deep into his brain from Barthelme's grasp and actually throwing the half-elf harshly sideways in the process. Something like a wheeze came from the man's throat, but it was definitely not a gasp for air. That was perhaps the worst of it: the fact that Barthelme knew, absolutely that the man (the body?) was not breathing: it was an exhale, not an inhale he heard in the darkness.

The back of his head hit the ground hard, and in addition to "Jochannan's" whisperings and Sylaphormes there were now a crowd of other whispering voices somewhere in the back of his brain. Not that that was a new experience for the half-elf, of course, but... he hadn't heard them all, and with such clarity, for a while now.

Moss and Calanon

Moss focused, sending his own thought into his friend's brain. Calanon's instinctive defence dampened the spell, but not by much, certainly not enough (and much too late) to stand against it.

Possessed?....

"The way?" Xavier repeated Moss' words meanwhile, having completely missed the half internal, half external conversation going on between the other two. "Well - I suppose, if there is no other way. But please touch nothing..." The young monk's whispery voice petered away, his reluctance clear, but then again it was equally clear to him that Calanon, at least, was proceeding with or without his authorization, or help.

So in they stepped, Calanon first and then Xavier sliding smoothly past him (and again the elf felt that sense of something cold and damp and non-alive brushing past), into the darkness. Xavier didn't seem bothered by it at all, though, and fortunately his ghostly form was quite visible in the darkness, even if nothing else was. So it was simply a matter of following after him into the tunnel.

Brushing up against the walls, Calanon and Moss could tell that there were gaps dug into the wall - niches. And then at regular intervals locked doorways, too. They'd entered not a tunnel, but a veritable maze.

"These are the oldest dead," Xavier explained as they proceeded onward, "And slowly our predecessors expanded further as more space was needed. The tunnels were here before us, though, and nobody knows their extent, exactly. Currently the most recent dead are given space off of what we call the Antechamber, just up ahead."

And again, some sound came to them from up ahead. The echo in the tunnels made it impossible to hear clearly. It sounded like a crash and then a wheeze.

Éclair

Jalat's eye(socket) looked pretty angry as it pinged off of Éclair's magical armour and hurtled down onto the floor, only to shatter again against that surface. Shards skittered every which way, mixing with the scattered ash underfoot.

"Fffooo---llll afff---chooo!" sneezed the dog, and there went the rest of the ash too - not that it wasn't already pretty well scattered and clouding up the air around them.

It was a good old chaotic mess in the bedroom. That's what came of bringing dogs upstairs?

Meanwhile, weirdly enough, the ash/marble dust/shard mix fogging up the air appeared to be taking on the shape of a giant (grinning) skull. Fething image just wouldn't go away and die, would it!

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Old September 13, 2017, 07:56 PM   #50 (permalink)
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A meter in the air wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible. At worst maybe Barthelme would have to chop the carcass into easily to lift chunks with his cleaver. If he could hoist the torso high enough to tie the rope around its middle, he could always Graft the limbs back on after in a bundle optimized for easy transportation. Granted, once Sylaphormes hauled up her prize Barthelme would need to find a new way out of this crypt, and it went without saying that he would only be able to send up the one "Dreamwalker"... and maybe carry another to her on his shoulders. But, one issue at a time! Sending up even the one "Dreamwalker" would be an excellent start.

Yes, Barthelme and the cursed flying head had had this argument many a time already. Barthelme had made his position clear many a time. It wasn't his fault that Jochannan refused to accept the truth. Most of the time, when he was feeding Sylaphormes yet another bandit or the like, Barthelme just ignored the saccharine lies that Jochannan was so fond of spouting. But now he was about to kill a possibly innocent man. So under the circumstances, Barthelme supposed he owed the badgering Otherling a response.

"It's because I care about my fellow man that I do this," Barthelme told Jochannan, "If I didn't care... I would have given up long ago."

And so he struck.

"Hnh!"

It took quite a lot to surprise Barthelme, given the many things he saw (or had once seen) and knew. He was also a fair hand at predicting the vicissitudes of the Nightmare. Yes, he had been expecting a response of some kind. Perhaps an attack. Definitely the appearance of some new sort of obstacle. But somehow he had not been expecting the person he had just stabbed to go and... what, exactly, was the opposite of die? Un-die? Except that this didn't even seem like any sort of Necromancy that Barthelme had ever seen. More like some strange new twist of the Nightmare. If he could still dream, Barthelme would have checked his hand for Bithisarea's tentacles... if indeed it had been possible to do anything in the instant before his head hit the ground.

Sylaphormes, he sent dazedly, the dreamer awakened.

He could think of no other way to describe it. And then there were the voices...

Usira... is that you? Ximenes, are you there? Ariadne...?


Well of course they were there. They would never have left Barthelme. But it had been so long since he could hear them.

Was he hearing them now? Or was it someone... something... else?

Well, Barthelme would have liked to just lie there and puzzle over what was happening, but right now that was a luxury he just couldn't afford. The man he'd stabbed had both Bane of the Awakened and his Pinnacle Crystal. Two of Barthelme's most precious things! Held captive in the stranger's empty eye sockets! He had to get them back. So Barthelme would muster his strength to bring himself back to his feet. Good thing, again, he was wearing his helmet! Assuming he could get up in a hurry, Barthelme would drop into a Demir Kum Falcon stance, relying on pure speed to snatch hold of dagger and crystal before the Awakened Dreamer could go running off with them. How would Barthelme locate his weapons in the dark? He'd just activate Glinnaur, his magic glowing ring, and bring light to the gloom of the tomb. It was a little late to hope that no one would notice him, after all.

"Be still," he told the dreamer, as he tried to yank his weapons loose. "I can fix this."

Could Barthelme fix this? Of course he could. Depending on what exactly "this" was.

Oh, he knew what was going on in the general sense, of course. Between the strange phenomenon in the Dreamscape and the Nightmarish power infused into Barthelme's crystal or dagger or both, the Otherling within this dreamer had spontaneously awakened with monstrous new powers. Either that or his mortal husk has been possessed by some more powerful Otherling, after it had devoured its former occupant. Definitely one of the two, though Barthelme hoped for this fellow's sake it was the former.

So! About fixing this.

If the Awakened Dreamer was hostile, then Barthelme would probably end up having to chop him into chunks too small to attack him anymore, and then send the chunks up in a bundle to Sylaphormes. Easier said than done, probably, but certainly an excellent plan.

If the Awakened Dreamer was not hostile, then it might not be too late to make friends. Barthelme could make this right! He could Graft in new eyes for the dreamer. Maybe also a new brain. If the creature even wanted or needed those things. Really, it seemed pretty functional without them, so... no harm no foul? There were plenty of other dreamers around here to feed to Sylaphormes if Barthelme decided that this one in particular was no longer expendable.

Maybe if Barthelme did manage to pry his weapons from the former human's mortal skull, that would cause his remains to become inanimate again? That would make sense, if it was the power from Barthelme's pair of Risthal artifacts that was doing this. In that case once the thing was down he could try reinserting the Pinnacle Crystal, and then Bane of the Awakened, and then both, to see which of them might have caused this effect.

So, yes, lots of plans! Lots of contingencies! But Barthelme's first and most important plan was to snatch his weapons back from the creature's skull, and then to withdraw just as quickly in case it was about to attack him.

And the voices. Did they have any insight to offer?

If they were his Otherlings, they surely would...
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Old September 16, 2017, 08:58 AM   #51 (permalink)
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The elf shuddered and drew back from the unpleasant sensation of the ghost, well, ghosting past him to lead them into then catacombes. Heeding the spirit's instructions, he kept his hands to himself, carefully trying not to touch anything. The occasional brushing against the walls could not be helped though, and in the dim light they proceeded in, Calanon turned to the side as the wall suddenly fell away to reveal a doorway, locked and barred. Alcoves too, and he glanced forwards toward where Xavier's spirit drifted ahead.

Perhaps it had been a little foolish to consider proceeding without their guide.

Green eyes slid sideways, straining to see what Xavier was speaking off. 'These are the oldest dead'. In these alcoves? Behind these doors? Trying not to let his mind linger too long on that, the elf followed the Spectre onwards, assuming Moss was close at his heels.

They would have to have a little chat about that whole mind whispering thing. Cal frowned into the darkness, uncomfortable still as he recalled the odd sensation of hearing his friend in his head. He rolled his shoulders, feeling suddenly the weight of earth pressing down upon them that always made him edgy in underground places. That this one was filled with the dead...well it did not further endear it to him.

He stopped suddenly then as a sound from ahead was audible once again, half turning towards Moss, his hand going for the hilt of his sword though he did not draw it.

" Your brothers, possibly?"
he suggested in a whisper to the spirit, hopefully. "Is there any reason anyone else would be down here?"
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Old September 17, 2017, 09:14 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Moss watched for Calanon's reaction to his mental suggestion, and the glare was impossible to ignore. He offered the elf a tiny shrug in response, as if it might suffice for an apology.

The human was saved, in a sense, by the distant noise, and he narrowed his eyes as he strained to hear it again, but it had gone.

Watching Xavier pass through Calanon sent a shudder through Moss not unlike the one he'd felt during his own experience of the specter making its way through his body. That was something he couldn't fathom ever becoming familiar with.

The bearded mystic followed the others through the doorway and into the catacombs beyond. Another shiver went through him, though he couldn't tell if the temperature had actually dropped or if it was the proximity to so much death that made him feel cold. Either way, he was already gripping the hilt of his longsword as if doing so might bring him warmth.

Moss tried to pay attention to what Xavier was saying, but he found himself distracted by the niches and what might lurk within each one. When another sound reached his ears he found himself flinching, then half drawing his blade.

"Xavier, you are hearing these noises, yes?" he asked of the apparition just before Calanon added his own query.
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Old September 18, 2017, 08:27 PM   #53 (permalink)
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This was,
T’was Weird.
Of that, Éclair was almost certain,
What with the Puppy doing the Talking Thing, but well,
Didn’t reeeally seem all that much like Iroi which meant… probably?
Well, maybe not a Were-Puppy.
So that was that,
On the other hand,
As her efforts towards Improving,
Fixing the décor went? Broken head statue thing rather spoiled the effect,
Leaving the young woman swaying slightly from side to side as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other,
Brow furrowed,
Nose wrinkling as she retreated a step back as the Puppy sneezed,
”Umm…”
Decisions made, as another step backwards was taken,
And well, figuring that it might be time to uh, back away slowly and close the door on the Talking Puppy.
This was getting a little Weird,
And it being someone else’s Problem? Increasingly appropriate!
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Old June 23, 2018, 04:45 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Barthelme

Glinnaur's soft orange glow illuminated the space around Barthelme. By its low light he could now see the circle of robed men he'd taken for dreamers as well as the one he'd "awakened' sitting up and feeling around for the weapons currently sticking out from where his eyes had previously been.

You've done it now!! Jochanan protested in the background, his voice distinct against the many other voices that had suddenly flooded Barthelme's mind. There were lots of them, and they weren't terribly distinct - kind of like they were talking to him from somewhere far away, or from behind a wall. His Otherlings?... Maybe. Yeah. It was tempting to think so, anyway, although he'd be able to tell for sure if he were able to hear them distinctly, and that wasn't happening at the moment.

But he had the awakened dreamwalker to take care of first. Barthelme leveraged himself back up as quickly as he could, the side he'd landed on protesting and the pose he dropped in to awkward because of that. There'd be a few minutes of limping around before his body could function with its normal speed. Maybe even that was enough, though, as the robed monk didn't seem to be in any rush to go on the offensive. He did lift his hands to the sword and the crystal, though, grasping for them at the same time as Barthleme's hands got there and initiating a tug of war.

"Let.... go!" wheezed the awakened monk. "Monster!" The monk's grip was surprisingly strong. As it was the two were about evenly matched, but the monk's grip on the crystal was firmer than that he had on the sword. If Barthelme chose to focus his efforts on the sword, rather than dividing his strength between the two, he'd very likely be successful in getting it away from the monk. "Get your - tentacles - off!" Cried the monk, kicking out with his feet in an attempt to roll backwards, away from Barthelme.

Because it was Barthelme - at least, that's what Barthelme saw. Where the monk was getting these tentacles from... then again, perhaps the more pertinent question was, how was he seeing anything at the moment?

"Father... Father Quintus?" Whispered the ghost of Xavier in a horrified whisper, looking at the grappling monk.

Calanon & Moss

The sounds of scuffling up ahead increased, along with a very faint glow of some sort of pale light piercing the darkness.

"I... maybe?" Xavier replied to Calanon's question, his ghostly voice hesitant. "Perhaps they came to lay the dead to rest...".

Didn't really sound like "rest", though. It sounded more like a fight, with an echoing voice crying out about a 'monster' and 'tentacles'.

Another turn in the tunnel, and the elf, human, and ghost would come upon a very peculiar sight. A soft orangey glow permeated a cavernous space with its walls, like those of the tunnels through which they'd just passed, pockmarked by evenly-spaced niches. On the floor lay a whole group of unmoving monks who looked like they'd dropped en masse. And in the middle of it all two men - one a monk, sitting on the floor, the other a half-elf, standing - were playing tug-of-war with a sword and crystal that looked to be sticking out of the head of the monk.

Éclair

"You won't --- pfooooo - get away from -- ooooooopf - ME!!!" 'barked' puppy as the head gathered speed in Éclair's direction. It's dusty mouth was openingoddly enough, I don't think that I was thinking about the Mummy when I wrote the previous posts, even though that is totally what it reads like now... sooo... going with it!, the jaw dropping in a way that was reminiscent of a snake about to swallow it's prey.

Yeah, Éclair was not sticking around for that. Backing up she slammed the door in the face of the oncoming dust-face, the dog's growling fading somewhat as it, too, was now behind the wooden barrier.

It wasn't much of a barrier though, and even as Éclair backed up another step she felt the wave of dust and ash crash against the wood. Little rivulets of it began to stream through cracks in the door and the growls on the other side turned downright menacing.

Éclair might be done with First Abbott Emmett, but First Abbott Emmett was clearly not done with her. It was only a matter of time before the head could re-coalesce in the hallway. In the meanwhile, Éclair had the options of heading to the two uninviting communal bedrooms she'd glanced into before or heading back downstairs - if this was, in fact, a full-on retreat?
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Old June 23, 2018, 09:25 PM   #55 (permalink)
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"...the feth?"

The whispered words fell from Moss' lips before he had a chance to catch them. In truth, the mystic wasn't quite sure what he was witnessing, and he feared for a moment that it was some kind of illusion, but the mere possibility that it could be real was enough to stop him in his tracks.

Wide grey eyes peered at Calanon as the interior of his chest bore the brunt of a heart that seemingly wanted to escape.

The grip on the hilt of his sword tightened, and he drew what remained concealed of the length of steel as slowly and quietly as he could, still unsure of precisely who - or what - he was witnessing. His gaze fell to the monks, attempting to gauge whether or not the men lived and were merely unconscious, or if they had met a far worse fate.

"Xavier...?" he whispered, not looking over his shoulder as he sought answers. "Who...? What...?"

Moss strained his eyes to get a better look at the pair. Had it not been for Barthelme's mask, the amnesiac might have recognised the half-elf and even been inclined to interrupt their tussle to thank him for what few memories he had been able to recover thus far. In turn, he could have turned to Calanon and reassured him that his fellow mystic could be trusted.

But, alas, that was not to be, and all that was left was to investigate further.

In all fairness, it should have gone without saying that monks with crystals sticking out of their heads probably weren't all that they appeared, so Moss tightened the grip on the hilt of his longsword as he crept into the room, hugging the sides and ducking into the first niche he could find as he tried to get closer without being noticed.
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Old June 30, 2018, 06:42 AM   #56 (permalink)
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OOC Welcome back, Mim. I'm not sure Bart is currently active, for what its worth, so let me know if need to edit

Further scuffling sounds from ahead had the tension that had cloaked the Sylrosian wind only tighter, and there was the slow rasp of metal against leather as he drew the blade at his hip, holding it before him in the low light, needing the solid feel of it in his hand amongst the strangeness of conversing with the insubstantial from of the monk. And Xavier’s answer, tinged with uncertainty, seemed even less believable as more distinct sounds became audible, suggesting some kind or conflict.

As the unlikely trio edged forward, the tunnel widened into a chamber of sorts, and as Calanon’s eyes adjusted to the light, he made out a scene that had him stop in his tracks. Bodies littered the floor...the rest of the monks they sought? But that was not what drew his gaze. Instead, that was fixed on the struggle between the two figures in the centre of the group of fallen brothers, where a monk -Father Quintas if Xavier’s words were to be believed- wrestled with another man, impossibly, given that he appeared to have a blade stuck in his head, and something smaller that the elf could not quite make out.

Was this other male responsible for the deaths of all the monks? Had Xavier witnessed the slaughter of his brothers and fled for help? It would be a simple conclusion to draw, and Calanon spared a glance for Moss, hard to find in the gloom, before he called the threads of energy toward him to form the weave for a bolt of force. He would not let it fly though, not yet. He would just let the sphere crackle and glow in his palm as he spoke, ready to use should it become necessary.

“What is happening here?” He spoke loud enough for his voice to carry to the two men who fought, resisting the urge to just let the force energy fly at the one who was not garbed as a monk, for surely he was to blame for this?
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Old July 11, 2018, 09:18 PM   #57 (permalink)
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ooc1Still alive. Gonna try once again to claw my way back to the game.

ooc2Barthelme had cast a Journeyman-level invisibility spell on himself just before entering the cave. If it wore off already that's fine. I just thought it was worth mentioning, Mimesis, in case you had forgotten.

ooc3Moss, while I really wish it could have gone down like that, Barthelme is currently wearing his Twisted robes and mask. There's no way that Moss could recognize him from a distance right now.

So many voices. They were welcome, in a way, given the long silence that Barthelme had endured, alone in his head but for Jochanaan. Perhaps Usira and the others were their among the mix... probably they were, in fact! ...but at the moment the voices only amounted to a cacophony of meaningless noise. Barthelme didn't have the time to try to sift through it to pick out the familiar voices of his Otherlings. He had to recover his weapons and deal with the dreamer before doing anything else.

"So,"
he told the squirming, struggling undead(?) monk. "You can see Bithisarea."

Well, that seemed like the sensible conclusion to Barthelme, anyway. On the physical plane this monk might be dead (though also maybe not) and with his eyes gouged out and all. In the Dreamscape, however, one only needed one's Mind's Eye in order to see the truth. It was gratifying to suppose that despite Barthelme's sacrifice some part of Bithisarea still endured in the worlds beyond the veil. He took it as further proof, as if any was needed, that Risthal was still with him.

"In that case, you really should heed my words. Don't struggle. Allow me to assist you."

If the monk was going to kick and fuss over a little matter of tentacles, then no, he probably wasn't a friendly. But that didn't mean it was too late for him to convert! Or at least be converted, into food for Sylaphormes... which was practically the same thing! Barthelme would press forward, attempting to avoid the man's kicking legs, and grasp the fellow's shoulder with one hand for leverage while attempting to pull free his dagger (not sword) with the other. If necessary, and if the man would cease his fussing for long enough to allow Barthelme to do so, he would take a two-handed grip on the dagger's hilt in order to free it from the wound.

Then... did a voice call out? Or Barthelme's Sentinel net warn him that others were near?

Well! This was awkward. Barthelme was currently trying to pull his weapons out of the skull of a possibly-not-dead monk who was accusing him of being a tentacled monster. Fortunately, he was in disguise. Unfortunately, he was in disguise as what he actually was, which was to say a Twisted priest of Risthal. Whoever this interloper was (or was there more than one?), what he would see was a dusty man in violet robes wearing a mask that resembled a stylized representation of a dark elf's face with blank white lenses for eyes. Even assuming they failed to recognize the thing as a piece of Risthal's iconography, it was admittedly not a mask designed to inspire trust in its wearers among outsiders. And then there was the additional wrinkle that Barthelme could not have answered the elf's question if he wanted to, because he didn't fully understand what was happening here, himself...

Still, the adventurers hadn't attacked yet. That was something. As in, it would give Barthelme a chance at least to shield himself with enough Nullify magic to absorb the elf's energy bolt and then some, should it become necessary. So that was what he would do.

"A great power in the Dreamscape,"
was what Barthelme said*He's speaking as "Bithisarea," through a metal mask, but I guess it's up to you Mimesis if Moss recognizes his voice., "has drawn these men into an enchanted slumber."

Behind the mask, his eyes shifted slightly, looking for the passage from which the elf had emerged.

"You are not one of them. You're... an adventurer, yes? What are you here for?"


Definitely an adventurer. Investigating the situation at the Caretakers' Tower, perhaps? Was that where Barthelme was now? If this was what had become of the Caretakers, it was little wonder that bodies had been left to rot in the street. Or was that too much of a stretch? It would be good to know exactly where he was, so that he could try to direct Sylaphormes here to support him. For now all he could really do was inform her, via Voice of Thought, that his plan had gone wildly off the rails, in light of all of the above.

Anyway! Having a conversation. Stalling for time. That was the plan, currently.
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Old July 18, 2018, 06:06 PM   #58 (permalink)
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OOC wibby back at you all! Barthelme: I have to say I did indeed forget about the invisibility (whoops, sorry..). If it's ok I'm just going to roll with it having dissipated, since I don't think it makes a humongous amount of difference atm and I don't want to stall further for rewrites (my fault+lazy). Thanks for plugging all your other current ongoing spells, though, duly noted and that helps a lot!

Everyone

Xavier didn't respond to Moss' question, seemingly having been stunned into silence by the bizarre and shocking sight in front of him. In fact, everyone seemed to have stalled, except perhaps for Calanon who readied a spell... just in case. The pale sphere of force glowed, adding its light to that of Barthelme's dagger, Glinnaur.

It still wasn't a lot, though, and all of them found it difficult to make out details of what they were looking at - Calanon and Moss because of the peculiarity of the sight before them, as also because of the mask that Barthelme wore (which was meant to look awe-inspiring and frightful at the best of times), and Barthelme because, first of all, Moss had pressed himself into a niche and was only half visible, and, secondly, because his attention was divided between the two adventurers and the ghost, and his stalemate with the undead(?) monk. But... was that that amnesiac human he'd seen? There certainly was a startling resemblance, if it wasn't...

Moss, on the other hand, didn't have a clue as to Barthelme's identity; the mask not only hid the half-elf's face but also did a pretty good job of masking his voice, which was made even more unrecognizable by their underground, slightly echo-y surroundings.

Barthelme's senses were pulled in multiple directions, and even as a mystic and a dreamwalker who constantly compartmentalized, it proved a bit difficult when he was also in the middle of a fight. The monk hadn't given up at the half-elf's words, and with Barthelme focused elsewhere he was gradually gaining an advantage in their little arm-strength contest.

But then Barthelme spoke again, and the monk - Father Quintus, that is - lost some of his earlier focus: "So, you did this?! You, Beast, corrupted our minds and caught us between the world of the living and the world of the dead?!" he croaked in outrage, presumably assuming that Barthelme's pronouncements about the Dreamscape and the status of the other monks meant that he knew something about what had occurred (which only made sense, after all, given that that was precisely the impression the mystic was going for).

Through his connection, meanwhile, Barthelme had alerted Sylaphormes to the state of affairs and, needless to say, the lamia was not happy. She'd already been impatient for blood, and further complications were not to her liking. I am coming. He could feel the message hissed angrily through their connection, and then intense focus as she began to dig. A light scattering of dust and dirt began to fall from the hole in the ceiling that Barthelme had come in through, though for right now it wouldn't really be visible in the gloom.
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Old July 25, 2018, 01:35 PM   #59 (permalink)
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oocI was actually waiting for Moss and Calanon to post since I was the last PC who went last time, but lest you guys think I've left again, I guess I'll just go now.:p

Barthelme shifted his grip from the Pinnacle Crystal to the monk himself. First, because Father Quintus was probably easier to hold on to than the crystal which he was apparently trying his best to keep jammed in his head, and second because this way Barthelme could swing him around and interpose him between himself and the others, for use as a human shield. He'd just see if he could hold the monk with his arms pinioned behind his back, so that he couldn't squirm away very quickly. Not that Father Quintus himself actually mattered all that much. Barthelme just really didn't want him running off with the Pinnacle Crystal still lodged in his skull.

"I didn't cause this, no," he said. "But I did have a hand in bringing you back."

Barthelme was actually fairly sure that most of the credit belonged to Risthal. Why would She want this? It was a mystery! Unless it was just to feed Sylaphormes, in which case, oh. Thinking of his Big Sister, Barthelme would just go ahead and send a mental map of the chamber over their telepathic link. He would note the positions of himself and Father Quintus, the ghost, the dreamers, the elf, and of course Moss. Along with the latter, Barthelme would append a request that the human's life be spared if at all possible.

"If you will tell me more about this corruption of your minds... I am quite certain that I can propose a solution..."

By now Barthelme should have worked up a pretty good Nullify shell for himself. For his next trick he would start preparing a Mind Control Suggestion to the effect that it sure would be a bad idea to use Sorcery in here at all, because the earthen ceiling was clearly unstable, for reasons that had nothing to do with someone tunneling into the chamber.
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Old July 26, 2018, 01:09 AM   #60 (permalink)
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For several moments, Moss remained frozen in his niche vantage point, dark grey eyes wide as they soaked in the sight before him. Frequent furtive glances were sent back towards Calanon, the awe not fading from his expression. He had hoped, when he was sneaking up the side of the room, that he would be able to make more sense of the situation from his closer position, but if anything, he was only growing more confused.

His friend, for his part, had opted for a less stealthy strategy, namely calling out to the struggling pair. The masked figure responded verbally, at least, and he didn't seem to be sending the elf away, so perhaps they were not unwelcome - but there was no request for aid, either.

As their conversation began, Moss hesitated, unsure of what to do. He didn't want to rush in, unsure of who to lend his support to do, but unable to simply walk away.

And then one of the masked figure's words caught his ear: Dreamscape. It wasn't a word he'd heard before, but it instantly brought to mind a man who had spoken of another realm where dreams and memories met the here and now; a half-elf who took a great interest in the amnesiac's own dreams and memories.

The mystic narrowed his eyes, then, hoping to recognise something about the figure. With a mask and a different voice, the only thing that Moss could say for sure matched that of the man who had cared for him in Arkdun matched his height.

With nothing else to go on, Moss decided to take a risk. Summoning his vis, he pulled at arcane threads, weaving them together and pulling them tight into a small ball, which he mentally send across the room towards the masked figure. The spell, Voice Of Thought, sent a single word: "Barthelme?"
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