Old August 16, 2016, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Orb [Ziel Aerca] Twisted dreams [Barthelme]

Mid-Summer, Era XXIII


Diamea slowly woke up, she stretched and yawned, it was already morning? what a strange light there was. She looked around, that wasn’t the room she went to sleep in: too much light, too much windows… she got up, pulling her hairs back, she felt light, too light? She looked around, that flat compromised of bed, little kitchen, couch, it was looking quite her dream flat. Just… she wasn’t sure but something was nagging at the back of her neck… all colors were a bit too… deep, too bright… she looked at her hands but it seemed all normal.

She took a few steps and opened the door, only to find herself on the beach, behind her a lush green tropical forest, above a radiant light blue sky. She remained wide eyed, where she was? She looked around, she was coming out with a little hut, under her feet she felt the sand, she heard the sounds of water on the beach, of the leaves moved by the breeze.

She looked at herself again finding was wearing a black and white, with a pattern that looked like broken crystal shards, top and a loose skirt of similar colors, moving softly in the breeze. She rised an eyebrow, she didn’t remember to have such clothes in store… there were a bit too many things that she was finding… strange… not fully ‘logic’. And the feeling at the back of her mind didn’t help.

She shrugged, a bit unsure, and took a few steps forward, the water came to caress her feet and she slowly made a pair of steps on the side, the dark shape of her steps disappearing under the low waves coming and going.

OOCHope I did right and you like it! =D
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Old August 16, 2016, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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oocHey, looks good! It's nice to have some detail for my PC to work with.:p

Bithisarea was there, watching from the darkness just beyond the visible regions of the dream.

"Hmm..." one pale green, nearly humanoid hand had gone to the chin of his bone mask. "Diamea."

It was a bit of a novelty to visit the dream of someone he already knew. Diamea was... well, not a friend, no, despite at least three shared adventures between them. They had hardly spoken at all, and even then, the words they had exchanged had always been limited to the business at hand. Still, Diamea was an acquaintance at least. Not a stranger. And she was even someone that Bithisarea's mortal counterpart had a certain amount of vague respect for, given the terrible events she had survived and the fighting skills she had displayed.

He remembered her. That wasn't nothing. Most fellow adventurers quickly receded into a vague background blur in Barthelme's fevered mind.

This dream, now... it was a Kaimeleaite lie. Probably. Bithisarea was finding it a bit hard to read, perhaps because Diamea was sleeping so lightly, and was so close to being aware that she dreamed. Was that good? Bad? It was difficult to say. A woman displaying the amount of awareness that Diamea currently was might possibly have some potential as a Dreamwalker. Or a Twisted? Perhaps not. Still, Bithisarea found Diamea's dream-outfit pleasing. Black and white, and with a pattern reminiscent of shards of glass. It brought broken mirrors to mind, and as such, spoke to his Twisted heart.

"A fetching dress,"
he murmured. "And perhaps it means nothing more. Still... here is a chance... to come to know Ms. Diamea better."

"And become buddies, maybe! Or, you know, given the way these things tend to go, probably not."



Well, Bithisarea would begin with a light touch, particularly as the dream itself seemed so delicate. As Diamea tried to get her bearings within the dream, and took a few tentative steps into the water, the Twisted would begin to Invoke a few appropriate memories to take things into a productive direction. Little things, at first. Dull sounds echoing across the water like distant thunder. Flashes like lightning on the near horizon. And gradually the haze over the water would begin to clear, and vague shapes in the early morning light begin to reconcile themselves into ships as Diamea's eyes "adjusted."

Pirate ships, she would realize. Diamea ought to find them easily recognizable as such, given their experiences about the Sire, not to mention the attack on that little town that she and Bithisarea's mortal counterpart once defended together in Enamoria. And from there, she would soon under stand that the "thunder" was the roar of cannons, and the "lightening" flashes of fire from the weapons' muzzles. Bloodthirsty shouts and screams began to echo dimly across the waves. And if Diamea turned her gaze to see what the pirate ships were firing upon, she would see a small port town was under attack, not too terribly far from her own idealized hut.

Diamea would certainly know what that looked like. What it felt like to see it. An interesting case, here, with the memories Bithisarea was Invoking now, to create this nightmare-raid on a nightmare-town: they were the memories of the very attack that Barthelme and Diamea had lived through together in the waking world. As such, they should seem as familiar and real to her as they did to him.

It only remained to be seen if Diamea was as ready to fight marauding pirates now as she had been before. If so, she would find her weapons and gear were there in the little hut when she needed them, and that the town being attacked was close enough that she just might be able to reach it in time... if she hurried.
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Old August 17, 2016, 04:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OOCAnd glad you liked the post and thedress, I thought that pattern would be fitting and that you would like it! =D

Diamea had made a few more steps on the beach, the waves brushing at her ankles, when she started hearing that dull sounds, like of distant thunders and, moving her hairs behind one of her ears, she looked up to the horizon; she saw flashes too and for a moment she thought a storm was coming. But then, from the haze of the water she saw vague shapes taking shape and a long cold shiver runned down her spine.

She felt dread rising strong as that vague shapes become pirate ships; memories came back strong, memories of the Sire, of that crazy adventure in the ocean and she felt immediately cold rising inside, the water touching her wasn't feeling pleasant anymore. She could heard that bloodtirsty shouts and screams, making her shiver in revulsion and dread; the dark haired girl turned to see what the pirates were firing upon: a port town, one not so far from her.

At first when she came out from the hut she didn't see it at all, how was that possible? Maybe someone put a spell on her... then memories hit and her eyes went wide: that town, that ships, she remembered them, only from a different point of view, that time she was inside the town, ready to fight that same pirates.

How was all that possible? Panic slowly started growing like waves inside her, it felt all so real, but she already lived that, it couldn't happen again...! She closed her eyes, trying to breath slowly and calm down, it was just a dream... just a twisted dream... only that the thunders and screams kept going as well the water on her ankles.

Diamea still had no clue of what was happening, just a series of "illogic" things creating a twisted chains of doubts, but her determination stirred: it could be everything she was in, but she won't remain sitting while whoever was creating all of this laughed and played with her.

She run back to the hunt, she couldn't go fight pirates half naked in a beach outfit and more importantly without weapons; with her amazement, she found all her gear where she thought she would put them if she lived there. She did as quick as possible getting undressed and dressed again in her black fighting outfit, all weapons ready to go. She grimaced, if someone was playing with her, she hoped he was enjoying this all, cause if she found out, she really wanted some explanations.

She rushed back out on the beach and, carefully staying where waves covered her tracks, she hurried towards the town. Fears and panic gripping at her with cold dead hands while determination burned warm. She was gonna fight through this to the end.
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Old August 17, 2016, 06:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, well, now Diamea had the distinction of being the first of Bithisarea's dreamers to change clothes in the middle of a nightmare he was weaving for her. He had certainly seen dreamers do a whole lot of things, but somehow never that! Off in the shadows Ariadne tittered out of the corners of several of her mouths at the sight of Diamea undressing, causing Usira to roll her eyes at the spider-Otherling. Bithisarea himself, however, remained focused on his Dreamweaving, pretty much.

Perhaps memories of the raid on that town near Port Alyxandrya, had not been the wisest choice to Invoke, after all. Diamea knew these memories too wall, and saw entirely too much. Bithisarea had merely intended to use those memories as the basis for a nightmare-raid on a nightmare-town, but if Diamea's brain was telling her she was seeing the exact same village she had defended under attack once more, so it would have to be. The narrative of the nightmare could not be denied. Nonetheless, for safety's sake, Bithisarea would Invoke no more memories henceforth. What was the point in taking such a risk, if the dreamer was already very nearly aware of what was happening here? Henceforth Dreamweaving would suffice.

On into battle Diamea would go, then. It was as Bithisarea had expected.

The town, however, wasn't all that close. Definitely not close enough that the young woman's failure to notice it immediately should have been surprising. By the time Diamea reached the embattled village on foot, the battle would have been already been raging for hours more from the moment she had initially noticed it. Nor would the raid be going exactly as it had gone back then, because where was the fun in that? From the depths of Nightmare, Barthelme had crafted a rather larger pirate fleet than had actually been in evidence that day, and this time they had begun by shelling the town's docks to splinters. By the time Diamea arrived, half the nightmare village was ablaze, and things were going quite badly for the defenders.

Diamea would enter into an all-too-familiar scene of village militia being overwhelmed by pirates' superior numbers and ferocity. This scene would be more chaotic than the one they had witnessed in the waking world, however. Panicked civilians were caught between both forces, being skewered by the frenzied pirates' blades or dragged, screaming, off to their dark ships. Some poor innocent souls were even impaled on the spears of the militia who were nominally defending them, but in actuality flailing about in a near panic.

Something else was different, too. Coming from the thus-far-untouched half of the town, a half-dozen figures were approaching the scene of the battle at a confident walk. Each was clad in heavy violet robes, but otherwise they were an eclectic lot, ranging from monstrously large to child-sized. For just a moment, the one in the lead seemed to glance Diamea's way. Then his hooded head turned back to the battle before him, where he and the others were approaching apparently unnoticed by militia and pirates both.
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Old August 19, 2016, 07:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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OOCWell, glad of having done something different like dressing and undressing! xD I thought it would be "normal" to do so, not knowing she was in a dream! xD

Diamea shook her head, how she could misjudge so much the distances? It was like if someone first showed her the village close, only to let the "real" distance appear as she started moving. Another link in the chain of illogic things happening.

When she finally arrived in the village, dread gripped her, hours has passed in the village while to the dark haired girl only "minutes" had seemed to pass, and the town was a bloodshed. The town could be like the one she fight in but everything else was changed. The pirates were far more, the chaos was raigning supreme and blood was flowing free.

She remained stuck for a long moment, her eyes reflecting that bloodshed, a cold shiver runned down her back, this was... just... just too much... her mind was being sized by dread and panic, they were screaming to turn her back and save herself, the city was doomed. But then her temperament was telling her to fight, as she always did until the end. She gritted her teeth, unable to move, unable to look away from the bloody chaos raging wild in the town, with the red shadows of fire as a curtain of this gory show.

Her eyes were then caught by that group of people clad in heavy violet robes, it was an eclectic lot but they seemed to move like no one could see them, and confident too. Her eyes widened slightly as she saw the lead glancing her way and that made another cold shiver run down her back, she didn't like them... she didn't know why...

Her fear was screaming to run away but she gripped her dagger, her knuckles whitening and she drew from her rage, before jumping in battle, trying to make it's way through the mess, trying to get a closer look to that violet robed lot.
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Old August 19, 2016, 08:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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oocWelp, Diamea was also the first dreamer whose nightmare involved rushing from a beach house into a war scene, so that'll do it I guess.:p

Fear was good. Bithisarea accepted it and sent it along to Risthal, in payment for the wisdom on offer to Diamea now.

But in its own way, rage was even better. Bithisarea's goal was not, and had never been, to break his dreamers. He would have been most disappointed if Diamea had succumbed to her panic and fled. To fight on, regardless of the odds? Yes... that was the spirit he admired, and tried hard to cultivate in weaker dreamers, though it seemed Diamea was made of sterner stuff than they. In any case, the young woman's anger-driven courage would serve her well, both here and in the still darker worlds that lay beyond the veil.

The first pirate she encountered went down before the point of her dagger, gurgling blood as she buried the blade in his throat. The next one after that did not acquit himself any better. But then Diamea was in the thick of it, and all of a sudden she had three pirates coming at her at once, their longer blades keeping her at something of an advantage as they came swiping at her from all sides. Shallow cuts opened up on her shoulder, on her forearm. Meanwhile a militiaman was coming blundering towards them, the point of his pike wobbling in the air... dazed or perhaps half-blinded by the blood pouring down his face, he seemed uncertain of whom or what he was aiming at.

From somewhat further away, more and more frenzied screams were arising. The violet-robed figures had just waded into the fight, apparently on the militia's side. That might not have been very remarkable, except just behind the pirates she was engaged in battle with now, Diamea saw the lead figure extend an arm, and pale green tentacles poured out from his voluminous sleeve... three of them impaling a pirate like spears, and a fourth curling round the corpse and then just tossing it away. Another of the robed folks caught a pirate by the collar and, from somewhere within the darkness of her hood, vomited a torrent of acid into his face. That man went down with a disgusting, liquid moan and a hiss of scalding flesh. Meanwhile the biggest of the robed ones had wrapped itself around yet another pirate, and actually seemed to be devouring him alive.

Perhaps understandably, the militia was keeping a wide berth from the people... things?... in the violet robes, and those townsfolk caught in the square fled from them in an absolute panic. Still, the robed ones ignored these others, concentrating exclusively on the pirates.
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Old August 21, 2016, 07:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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oocOh okay! xD

Diamea gripped hard her dagger and gritting her teeth, she throw herself into the fight; she kept her stomach down as blood covered her sword and the pirate gurgled blood, it wasn't the first time she kill and won't be the last, just this all seemed even more bloody than reality was. She swing her dagger at the best of her abilites, trying to not let pirates slip through her guard, even if they had the advantage of a longer reach, her braid swinging behind her.

But soon as more and more pirates converged on her, she felt steel meeting her and she let out a stragled cry of pain as it shoot trought her and her bloody started dripping on her shoulder and down her arm. She got lucky? since the cuts were on her let arm and not on the one wielding the dagger but this stopped her from wielding one of her knifes too.

She saw that militia man coming to them, she was going to be impaled on that spear if she did nothing, since he seemed uncertain of whom or what he was aiming at. She tried to move in a way the militia man would charge the pirates and not her, but her attention was soon draw away, to that violet-robed figures.

Her eyes grow wide as she saw that show of power and destruction: she saw that pale green tentacles pouring out of the sleeve, impaling the pirates, and then swining pirates away like broken toys, and that acid torrent... she was speechless and dread tried to take control again. She noticed the biggest doing something that looked like devouring a pirate alive.

Diamea felt absoultely repelled by that show of twisted power, they were creatures of darkness that violet robed figures, but on the other hand they seemed to attack only the pirates. Why? Was the question that rised in her mind, why such creatures of darkness would do something like saving people? What was their objective? She tried to find some sort of balance between her growing fear and panic and anger and determination; she slowed her advance towards the violet-robed figures, keeping an eye on them as she kept fighting.
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Old August 21, 2016, 12:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Blood: because of the long-ago trauma that had first set him on his path, Bithisarea's mortal counterpart had a minor obsession with it. Haemophobia had once had an honored place amid his extensive list of fears. Since ascending to Twisted, of course, things had changed... and drastically. Many of the things he had once feared had been incorporated into his Visage, and therefore, became simply part of who he was. So, perhaps the nightmare seemed bloodier than the waking world to Diamea because Bithisarea tended to fixate on blood, and made sure that the eyes of his dreamers were drawn to it as well. But then again, Bithisarea would have said that Diamea had simply never paid much attention, before, to what a grisly business battle actually was...

In the waking world, people saw only what they wanted to see. Bithisarea was here to draw their attention to the truth.

Twisting deftly aside, Diamea missed the clumsy thrust of the militiaman's pike, and one of the pirates was skewered in her place. Or rather, judging by the militiaman's reaction, that was what he had been trying to do... and Diamea had saved herself from very nearly being an unintended casualty of war. Regardless, the pirate was torn asunder as the blade of the pike punched through him, and died messily, as was probably to be expected in this nightmare. He went down spilling entrails as well as blood, as the militiaman kicked his carcass off the pike's crossbar. Unfortunately Diamea was distracted by what the violet robes were doing, and so was unable to capitalize on her momentary advantage. She even winded up getting stabbed a little by one of the remaining pirates, which was agonizing, though fortunately it was a shallow wound. With the militiaman at her side now, Diamea and he were able to dispatch the remaining two pirates once she turned her attention back to the fighting.

There was a momentary lull. The weary militiaman hefted his weapon once more; turned to meet Diamea's gaze. He started in shock.

"You're one of them!" Briefly he pressed closer, his grimy, bloodied face intent, and then twisting slightly in an expression of disgust and fear. "You are, aren't you? I can see it in your eyes."

The man lifted one hand in a sign to ward off evil, and staggered hurriedly away. His brief glance toward the robed ones' telling Diamea, should there be any doubt, that he had took her for one of their number, and not mistaken her for a pirate.

The chaotic maelstrom of battle continued, though for the moment Diamea was in a pocket of calm. The soldier who had accused her of being... what? A "creature of darkness?" ...was hurrying away to reinforce the militia's battle lines not far away. They were now making a determined, somewhat more effective push to turn back the pirates. In another direction, the creatures in the violet robes were slaughtering pirates with their various strange powers, while continuing to ignore militia and peasants. Once again Diamea thought she saw their leader's hood turned her way, though she was still too far to see what sort of face lay beneath it.

Diamea could go either way, or neither. There were also more than a few pirate stragglers around, looking for loot or victims, with no one fighting them at the moment. There were wounded militiamen and peasants on the ground, with a few militia attempting to evacuate them. And there was also the village gates behind Diamea, if the young woman had had enough of this and simply decided to leave. Or maybe she would just go ahead and do something entirely unexpected? It was a nightmare! Who knew?

Choices, choices. Of course if she stood and waited too long those roving pirates would probably find her.
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Old August 24, 2016, 07:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Diamea felt that swallow wound and grimaced, feeling pain flaring up, and a bit of rage too, damned pirates! She spun and made sure this time pirates were dead and motionless. She spit on the ground, trying to clean her mounth, the sight of all this bloody mess was giving her troubles now. Battle and war was a grisly business, she knew that since she lived that before, but this all was just too bloody, too messy.

The dark haired girl turned to the militia man to try something but he spoke and she remained a bit open mounted, she didn't expect at all to be grouped with that violet robed things. But why the militia man tought so? Was her clothes violet too? She tought they were black but here it seemed things kept changing! Had her face something strange? She didn't want to touch it with her bloody hands, no need to add blood and scare people even more. But it felt her face be her facce.

Diamea needed a moment before shooking her head; okay, she said to herself, breath. She was getting more pissed off than everything as things kept going on, and being accused of being a creature of darkness didn't help at all. She wasn't a creature of darkess, she tried not to be, even if she sometimes slipped toward darkness she always tried to be a light one.

At least the militia men seemed to have organized some sort of resistance but there was little sense in joining them, they would try to keep away from them or worse, try to kill her and that wasn't at all in her plan. She wasn't going to get killed by this stupid men.

The gate, the gate were tempting, just get out and reach back for her hut, relaxing on the beach... why she just couldn't do that like normal people? Why she had to be in such a nightmarish place, trying to save people calling her "creature of darkness"? Argh!

"Feth this damned battle, feth everything!!!" she cursed as she imagined a wave of dark blue energy radianting in circle from here, sweeping everything around her, knocking militia man and pirates to the ground, defeaning them with her cry. That was not gonna happen, right? or no?
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Old August 24, 2016, 08:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Diamea's wardrobe remained the same as ever, familiar and black, albeit currently somewhat bloodstained. Her face didn't seem to have changed either... or at least, it hadn't changed in any immediate obvious way. It would be really hard to check on the particulars without laying on hands or at least looking into a reflective surface. She definitely didn't seem to have developed any strange mutations that would allow her to spit acid or transform her limbs into tentacles.

But then...

Nightmares could be strange things, even for those who trafficked in them. Even for those who lived them, night and day, until the Nightmare itself was the only reality they recognized. Which is to say, on occasion even Bithisarea could be surprised. He had not expected this level of rage from Diamea. He certainly had not expected her to consider lashing out at the townspeople as well as the pirates. And yet, here they were. Diamea had shown so much awareness of the peculiarities of the nightmare before... did she understand what she was doing now? Was she aware of what might happen? In the end it didn't matter, for either way the results would be the same. There was power to be had within the Nightmare, for a price.

As Diamea imagined it, so it would be: a wave of dark, destructive power radiated outwards from her in a ring as her anger cry rose into a literally deafening howl. To a man, the militia were knocked down, looking for all the world like so many toy soldiers upset by a sudden earthquake. The pirates, too, were blasted off their feat. And the civilians... and the injured? Diamea had not imagined anyone being excluded from the blast, and so no one was spared. Sure, she had only meant to knock them down... and for the combatants at least, no more than that would happen. Some of those wounded men and women, though, would definitely not be rising again. The massive wave of concussive force that Diamea unleashed had turned serious injuries into fatal ones.

No one was spared. No one... except, of course, for the six robed figures. The dark wave had broken around them like an actual wave washing up against rocks. Diamea had been around the block a few times, yes? Perhaps she recalled seeing a spell be Dissolved by Spellbreaking or Nullified by Mysticism before. It was pretty much like that. Anyway, now all six of those hooded heads were turned her way. After a moment, the lead figure bowed to her in respect... for her power, or the way she had used it? Hard to say.

After several moments, those pirates, militia, and civilians that Diamea's dark energy had struck began struggling to their feet, looking stunned and shaky. She had at least temporarily forced an end to the hostilities... so that was something, right? But there was no telling how long the involuntary truce might last. And in the mean time, many eyes were turning her way, and by and large the look in them was exceedingly unfriendly now.

"Witch..." "Demon..." "Madwoman..." "Monster..."
These things and worse the people called her. Who knew what might happen once they recovered enough to bear arms once more?

Those six creatures in violet, meanwhile, all stayed where they were... except for their apparent leader, the one who had bowed, and who was now walking Diamea's way at an unhurried pace. He raised one arm toward her, and where once tentacles had spilled from his sleeve he extended an apparently human hand in her direction, gloved in black.

He beckoned, even as he approached her. Apparently a meeting was desired.
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Old August 25, 2016, 07:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Her eyes went a bit wide as the dark blue wave of energy appeared and hit everything around her, her cry deafining everyone, leaving only the violet robed group standing. Diamea was a bit surprised, she never had been able to do such a thing before... but then this didn't seem to respect all the laws of reality...

Seeing what she did, the realization she wasn't fully herself came to her mind, seeing pirates and townspeople on the ground, she had let rage take the helm and release violently but she wasn't her, it was just a part of her... Diamea took a few deep breathes, trying to calm herself down, trying to get a grasp on herself again.

She looked around, a little pan of guilty raising in her chest, she should have avoided the townspeople, but they got her angry, calling her creature of darkness, she wasn't one, she tried not to be one... but now, after what she did, who really she was? She heard them coming to her feet, muttering words and other things and Diamea tensed, gritting her teeth, clenching her fists, trying to push back down the "Shut up!" that came to her lips. Breathe, she told herself, breathe.

Her attention were soon back on the violet robed people. They went through her energy wave unaffected, they had dissolved her speel like a Mystic or a Spellbreaker or something similar, and now they were all looking to her. What seemed the leader even was walking towards her, she remained stil as he came closer and rised his arm, showing a black goved human hand. She promised herself to not, for anything, touch him or give him the hand, she remembered that tentacles.

She saw him beckoning her, he wanted to meet her it seemed. Diamea was thorn, part of her just wanted to selfishly walk away and go back on the beach to relax, part was a bit sorry for what she did and another one was curious about this violet robed people. A cold shiver run down her spine, they were to not understimate, they were dangerous. She slowly walked towards him, let's see what he wanted.
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Old August 25, 2016, 10:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The leader of the robed ones stopped only a few paces away from Diamea, and stood with his arms folded into his sleeves before him. Up close, he looked more like a man than a monster, insofar as the young woman could tell under his voluminous robes. Beneath that deep purple cowl, she could see that he had a human-like face, though only the lower jaw was plainly visible. The upper two thirds of the stranger's face was covered by a white bone mask resembling the upper portion of a human skull. There was a single large eye carved into the brow, its iris appearing to be crafted from a bright red ruby. Diamea could see only the barest hint of eyes somewhere within the shadows of the skull-mask's eye sockets. Impossible even to tell their color.

"I thought perhaps I sensed something familiar in you," the robed one said. "Now I see that I was correct. You are like us... in here."

Two gloved fingers tapped at the temple of his mask. Slowly, the hooded head tilted to one side.

"Or at least... there is a part of you that is like us. Buried deep within you, perhaps... and waiting to awaken... when the time is right."

The robed man turned his gaze one way, and then the other. Taking in the aftermath of the wave of destructive energy that Diamea had unleashed on all and sundry. Behind him, the other robed creatures had turned their attention to culling the pirates numbers while they were still down. They laid into them with claws like knives, or with bone sickles emerging from their voluminous sleeves, and other eerie powers such as Diamea had witnessed before... and more recently, displayed herself. Those pirates who were further afield took the opportunity to flee, as soon as they had gathered themselves, some even crawling away on all four limbs like animals, as they lacked even the strength to rise. The militia force, on the other hand, wearily rose and regrouped.

Dark looks continued to be sent Diamea's way, along with more than one sign intended to banish demons or protect the wielder from the evil eye or whatnot. But so long as the leader of the robed things was conversing with her, it seemed that the village folk would not actually attack.

"It's good to have power, isn't it?"
the robed one was saying. "It's good to be strong." Again came that inquisitive tilt of his head. "I wonder, however... why attack the villagers? When I saw you enter the battle... I suppose I thought you would content yourself with the pirates."

No hint of judgment or condemnation there. Only curiosity. After a moment, the robed man bowed slightly once again.

"But, forgive me for my discourtesy. I am Bithisarea. If you will humor me, and answer my questions... I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have, in return."

He did not say that the time for questions and answers was likely to be limited. Still, even if the fighting in the immediate area was over, the larger battle raged on. Diamea could still hear cannon-fire in the near distance. From not terribly far the buildings off over Bithisarea's shoulder, great plumes of smoke were rising in the air as the village burned.

Eventually the pirates would find them again, or worse.
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Old August 30, 2016, 05:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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oocSorry for the so late answer!

Diamea looked closely at the creature standing now a few paces from her; now he was looking more like a man but she was pretty sure that his look was just a mask. Quite the scary one, she thought, with that skull with the red eye and that skull-mask's eye socket shrouded in darkness.

"I'm not like you..." she said, trying to not stagger, not really sure if it was the thruth she was telling. They were darkness, she was not, right? Even after she did what she did? A friend words came to her mind, her face appeared, the gypsy that always had faith in her, that always tought her as a good person; it all gave her a little more force to deny their similarities.

"You're right, it's just part of me... and it's not the one on top." she spoke trying to convey sureness even if inside doubt was still cold and present.

Behind them, she noticed the other violet robed people continuing with their bloody work, thinning the pirates ranks as they tried to get back up and reorganize. The dark haired girl tried to ignore that cold looks coming from the towns people, they hurt but she had to be strong and don't let them get to her mind, she did already enough damages!

"It's good to be strong yes... but not when innocent people got hurt for nothing..." she replied, she felt well when she felt strong, ready to fight, able to overcome any odds. But this time she went over the edge, she lost her control on herself and she didn't like that. "Indeed but... I got a bit carried away." she replied trying to give a steely edge to her voice.

Diamea didn't like the idea of telling her name to that creature of darkness but she didn't have many chances. She nodded back at him, noticing behind him the fire closing in, indeed they won't have much time.

"Who are you? What is this all?" she asked, after a breath.
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Old September 3, 2016, 03:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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oocNo problem, and likewise! Busy times happen to us all and such.:p

The robed creature, Bithisarea, just looked back at Diamea when she denied any similarity between them, the ruby eye seeming to gleam beneath his cowl. But when she conceded that there was at least a part of her that wasn't so different from he and his kind, he bowed his head slightly in acknowledgement.

"You are wise," he said, "not to deceive yourself. But in fact... it doesn't matter which aspect is 'on top.' All that matters is... it's there."

With one gloved hand, he produced a single silver shield from somewhere beneath his robes, and held it up with Empress Rhysatra's face turned towards her.

"There was a woman, once, who made very nearly the same argument to me that you have. She said that her kind and mine... were like two faces of a coin. What she failed to realize is... that the two 'opposing' sides she imagined... are both part of the same whole."

He turned the coin about, revealing that what should have been the tail-side was another face, only blackened and corroded.

"The only difference lies in which face we reveal to the world."

Slowly the hooded head turned to one side again. Bithisarea knelt over one of the townspeople lying crumpled at his feet. An old woman. Almost gently, he turned her head so that her eyes looked Diamea's way. There was no sign of life within them. It probably would have been an exaggeration to say that the dead woman's gaze was accusing, but if Diamea's brain wanted to tell her that it was, no one would argue against her.

"Please don't misunderstand me,"
Bithisarea said. "I do not condone what you did here."

With two fingers he slid the dead woman's eyelids shut, and rose again, leaving her where she lay.

"But neither do I condemn... because... I do understand. All of us feel what you felt then... the desire to lash out... to destroy. It is part and parcel of who and what we are. Those of us in my order... do our best to channel these urges to constructive purposes. Hence... we choose to prey on the pirates... and defend the people of this town. It is my opinion that those who do have power should protect those who do not... in so far as such a thing is possible."

The cannon fire continued. The plumes of smoke rose on. For now, however, the front lines of the battle seemed to be getting no closer, nor any further away.

"I have told you my name,"
Bithisarea said. "Beyond that? I am what you might call a priest... in service to a higher power. And this..."

He gestured with one gloved hand to the scenes of battle, and to the destroyed marketplace around them.

"There are many worlds in the multiverse... spread among many planes of existence. In all of them, it is the same. Whether the battle is here, or in some far distant place... it changes little. What you are seeing here is who my people are... and what we do."

Now he held up a small hand mirror. Though lightly cracked in a spiral pattern, if Diamea looked into it she would see her own face looking back at her... but with a few key differences. Her skin was now just the faintest shade of blue. But more than that, her eyes had gone pure white and crystalline, as though they had been replaced with spheres of ice.

"If you look within... you will see... we really aren't so different at all. You, too, have been more than merely human."
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Old September 7, 2016, 09:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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"I think it matters, even if not that much." she answered before falling silent as he produced that silver shield from his robes, showing Empress Rhysatra's face. She remained silent, listening and grimacing at his words and as he showed the corroded and blackened side "But yet different and opposed." she said more for herself than anything else.

The dark haired girl's eyes followed him and saw that townspeople, met that lifeless eyes and for a moment she felt accused but she soon pushed it away, it was just a suggestion of her mind.

She tightened her grip on her blood smeared dagger and her lips tightened a bit too as he spoke again. He said things she agreed to, but then, she felt there was something wrong they way they worked.

She had never been connected to religions or gods, they never really do something for her and when she heard "priest in service to a higher power" she grimaced: priest were dangerous people she didn't like.

So he was saying they weren't in the "usual" reality, in the multiverse she called reality, but they were in another place. Now she understood more all the chain of strange things she saw from the start of this nightmare. But how she got there? Who got her there? Him? And then... how to get out?

Diamea was too curious to not watch but what she saw wasn't something she liked: she paled and her eyes widened "I'm... not that... thing..." she said, staggering, flashes of memories and sensations, the pain, came rushing to her.

She stood back and shook her head "It's not me that thing." she said again, a steel edge in her voice, that thing was a creature born from a curse, it wasn't the true her.
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