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Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    2/3 of what number, though? The amount of voters fluctuates.
     
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  2. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    AA

    I still want mah shiny!
     
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  3. Sunnmøring Novice

    Sunnmøring
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    Ooh, AA! Assembling an army and pilfering shiny stuff is what it's all about.
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    An experimental spell. That requires combining the efforts of two mages. In a place where the minds have to struggle not to converge on one another.

    In hindsight, that was retarded.

    Wonder what extras we've picked. Oh, and now we owe to one of the Fallen, too.

    I always thought the bracers were too good to be true.

    Don't really want to destroy a part of Nine's mind without knowing its significance, but don't want to pick it up either. The shiny is imaginary anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Oh, and we are exhausted, too. Fangshi, is there a way to recover from this state without terminating the contact with Nine's mind?

    I believe we have to destroy the orb. We lack the mental fortitude to fight it again.
     
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    If you could get in some rest perhaps (it would take a while though since your body suffered the strain and it has to recover in real time). You would have to find somewhere safe and good luck finding somewhere safe in Nine's mind. You can probably assume Thaïs is fairly worn out as well. Just... you know... be careful from here on out... :lol:
     
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  7. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Actually... If we suspect Nine to be The Voiceless One, or The Mother of Plagues, or something similar, that could explain what is going on in her mind. The Dark corrupts and twists the personalities of the Avatara, but they still retain memories and certain aspects of their previous existence. These creatures call the center their home, and refer to their opponents as 'Fallen'. Maybe they are the remnants of her original personality?

    In any case, we must either leave or destroy the orb. We can't take that risk after being nearly consumed by it. There are at least three others, so we are unlikely to cause irrepairable damage with that action, and we stand too much to lose if we are caught unprepared again.

    What is it about shinies that makes people forsake everything for them?

    AC.

    Smashing Axe, what happened to your natural aversion to the horrible consequences?
    I think there is plenty of evidence for us not to mess with that thing.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
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  8. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Well, it was a bit risky, undeniably. My mistake was assuming mental spells would be far more effective in Nine's mind. Still, I don't think it was a really bad move, even in hindsight; the outcome wasn't good, but bad rolls didn't help with that.

    But yeah, let's be more cautious with this kind of stuff in future. It was the right decision to intervene at least.

    Av could have been worse.

    Going to flop back to destroying the orb. I was voting to keep it because I wanted to adopt a wait and see approach with it in case we could utilise it to achieve greater control of our surroundings, but I think Nevill is right that getting rid of it is for the best.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The problem wasn't even with the mental spells, though it played it's role, too. The risk - very high and unnecessary, mind - came from the fact that we used the spell that required us to link our minds with another person in a place where we were forewarned it was incredibly dangerous to do that sort of thing. I can't believe I forgot about that aspect of magic.

    It was an incredibly bad move (not the intention, but the method we chose), as we've worn ourselves out right in the beginning of our journey, and got indebted to a set of bracelets we can't get rid of. At least now we know there is a third side to the conflict. Damn, the insane hybrid of Nine and The Faceless One would qualify for an endgame abomination that could rival the Watcher.

    Yeah. :( I can't marvel enough at just how narrowly we have avoided a TPK.
     
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  10. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    This joke got old.


    vote AC
    meatshields and mby wiping out the part of her mind we encountered.
     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Who said I'm joking?
     
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  12. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    My hope i guess?
     
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  13. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    AC
    get some allies and stay away from that damn orb.
     
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  14. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Fangshi, I am rereading the Great Figures and Artefacts section, and I have some questions regarding the world.

    What does it mean to be an Avatara? The update told about Alric joining their ranks, and 'Mazzarin' was talking about the Deceiver belonging to the same organisation - was it an institution (i.e. anyone can become an Avatara if he applies and qualifies)? The Council comprised of nine Avatara, and eight of them died or were slain during the first war making Alric the last of their kind - but were there other, perhaps less powerful, Avatara that the history did not mention? Does the institution still exist, or was it abolished? If it does, are there any known Avatara that are alive besides Alric, currently?

    Is it known what Dreams Mazzarin - the original one - possessed, if any?

    Henry's journal does not mention The Faceless One, even though he was one of the original six Fallen Lords. Does that mean that Derryth did not recognize the name? Is there anything at all known about him in the setting?

    Is it known what the Fallen Lords did before Balor united them under his banner? Some of them, like the Watcher, were alive for thousands of years. What were they up to, when lead to their own devices?
     
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Lore questions, I love those. Alright:

    The Avatara are an organization or rather were an organization. Mages, archmages in particular do not trust one another. They find that working together does not really come naturally to them but every now and then a sufficiently charismatic archmage is able to convince his/her/its fellows to work together towards the common good.

    Mazzarin was the first of the Avatara and helped found that organization during the Wind Age. In theory the Avatara exist as a sort of magical 'think tank' the most powerful and learned mages of the age come together to support the emperor and fight for the Light. The organization has collapsed four times within it history, lacking a strong leader its members tend to bicker and the whole thing unravels, but each time it has fallen it has risen again when needed.

    The remaining Avatara of the Wind Age aided Connacht against the Leveler of his time, they proved crucial to the victory of the Light in that age but within one hundred years of Connacht's death the order fell apart.

    Since then other organizations have periodically arisen claiming the name of the Avatara. The last Order of the Avatara was formed during the civil war between the Province and the Empire proper. They fought against the emperor for a free and independent Province. Some say they were patriots, others that they sought to grab greater authority over the new nation. Perhaps both theories are true.

    During the Great War there were only nine Avatara and eight of them perished fighting the Fallen Lords or during the brief civil war that mysteriously broke out in the final months of the War. Alric is the last, known, living Avatara and he has not seen the need to reestablish the order. For the time being it is once again dead.

    There are over a dozen Dreams attributed to the archmage but no actual surviving proof that he possessed any. Some say he knew a version of the Whisper Dream, others that he knew the Dream of Dominion or the Dream of Shaking Earth. It is not actually known what most of these Dreams could do beyond what their names imply.

    The history books are often found to be wanting when it comes to the Fallen Lords. Balor, Shiver, Soulblighter, The Deceiver and The Watcher everyone can agree on and though the stories attributed to them can change their existance is never in doubt. They fought with great spells and massive armies and left physical and psychological scars across the continent. But there were other wars as well, secret wars conducted in the heart of the old empire both before and during its fall. The Voiceless One, The Lurker, The Faceless Man, Bonesplitter. These are names that only appear in some of the histories and little is really known about them.

    Derryth vaguely remembers the name from some work she did setting up for her run in Muirthemne. She knows he is ancient, she knows he is dangerous and that he may lack a physical face or that his name many refer to his lack of a 'presence'. Little if anything is actually known about him though she is fairly certain he fought for Balor in some capacity.

    Well some of them are ancient evils, The Watcher, Shiver and the Faceless Man probably all fall into that category, though you can not be certain. Some of them date from the age of Connacht, Soulblighter being the most obvious example. And some of them are fairly young, the Lurker was probably the youngest of them all. There are a number of conflicting stories about each, lots of speculation but perhaps little truth.

    What is clear is that they did not trust one another, did not like one another, and in many cases hated each other more than they did the Light. Balor had some way of keeping them all under control... some speculate that he bound them with the Dream of Dominion stolen from the oldest temples of the Trow. But no one really knows.


    Current Tally:

    Baltika9 AC
    Smashing Axe AC
    Kz3r0 AA
    Grimgravy AA
    Sunnmøring AA
    Nevill AC
    Jester AC
    asxetos AC
    Zero Credibility A B>C
    GreyViper AA

    1.
    A) 10 votes
    B)
    C)
    D)
    E)

    2.
    A) 4 votes
    B)
    C) 6 votes
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
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  16. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    We are a treasure hunter. Shinnies are our business. Plus, leaving part of Nine's mind in the muck or destroying it sounds off.
     
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  17. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    No time for an update today so the vote will stay open for another twenty four hours. The update should come twelve hours after that.
     
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  18. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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  19. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
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    AA
     
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Okay, 1.A 2.C wins you will go to meet the creatures' Mistress and you will destroy the Orb.

    Update in 12 hrs.
     
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  21. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Mah poor shiny! :decline:
     
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  22. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well at least it was not a real shiny like that ring you guys threw away for no reason. Now that thing was great and it had absolutely no strings attached... :troll:




    Anyway, the update ran a bit long, I did not want to cut it off at a place where the choices would not really matter so you are getting a 12 page update... might want to get a coffee or beer or something. ;)

    It will be up as soon as I give it a couple passes to at least try and find the mistakes, maybe a 1/2 hour to an hour.
     
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  23. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 16: The Mad, Mad Minds

    None of your options are particularly appealing. Well, you could leave, that would be very appealing, but you did promise two archmages that you would succeed here. You are not certain how wise or how safe failing would be.

    "Options?" Thaïs asks.

    "Flee?" you suggest.

    Your friend gives you a weak smile, "I would love to but you know we can not."

    You nod a couple times, "Yeah... I know. We could go on alone."

    "Would that be wise? I mean... you know," she gestures subtly to the three creatures. They fail to notice.

    You are both exhausted from the battle, your spells noticeably weaker, and it is doubtful that you will be able to recover until you have had a chance to properly rest your physical bodies. Drained as you are you do not wish to travel further into the city without help... a lot of help, "I know. Think we should meet this Mistress of theirs?"

    She gives a reluctant nod, "We are going to need help so... yes."

    "One second," you catch sight of the orb again, "We have to deal with that damn orb first."

    You shuffle over to the large creature's corpse and heft its club up in both arms, Thaïs places a hand on her hip, "Derryth, what are you doing with that?"

    You give her a mischievous grin, "Dealing with the orb, of course."

    You raise the club over your head, wobbling a little from the weight of it. You slam the club down on the orb and it shatters. A scream echoes out throughout the city, it sounds like Nine.

    The city begins to tremble.

    The glass cracks as the creatures outside increase their activities. You can hear them now, their screams. They sound like screams of triumph.

    The city continues to shake and groan. The glass begins to hum and a sharp, stabbing pain shoots out from behind your eyes.

    For a few minutes you are certain you are going to die.

    Then the screams of the creatures and the humming of the glass diminish as the pain recedes.

    The city steadies itself though the cracks in the glass remain.

    You take a deep breath and exhale.

    You are not certain if what you did was right or even helpful but you are still alive so you might as well push on.

    "Alright then," you turn to the lead creature, "We will go to meet your Mistress, ah- What should we call you? What is your name?"

    The creature tilts its head, twisting it at an odd angle as it thinks, "Do not have... name?"

    You doubt that, "Well then how do you communicate? How do you know who is being addressed? How do you differentiate between one another?"

    His answer is as short as it is unhelpful, "We know."

    A bit annoyed at the creature you press on, "Well, we need something to call you."

    The creature shrugs and gives you a wolfish grin. He is attempting to be friendly but everything about him bothers you. He is just wrong, and the more you think about it the more wrong he seems.

    You point at him, "You are Goon," you turn to his two associates, "And you two are Geek and Freak, got it?"

    The three creatures nod enthusiastically. Either they don't know what those words mean or they don't care as they take to them quickly enough. They even go so far as to cut their 'names' into their on flesh. Geek gets his right, Freak's new nametag though comes out wrong. He carves FREEK across his chest and looks up to you proudly.

    You choke down your feeling of revulsion as you gesture to Goon, "Let's get this over with."

    -------------------------------------------

    You walk for what seems like days. Each dim, unlit corridor looks much the same as the last. Part of you thinks that Goon and his men are leading you in circles, waiting for you to sleep so that they may more easily murder you both. You dismiss the thought, not because you trust these creatures, since you don't, but because here no one seems to sleep. You do not feel any more tired than you did following the battle, of course you also don't feel any better...

    As you travel deeper into the city the architecture begins to change. You descend below the earth into the depths of Nines's mind. The twisting glass hallways give way to leathery, pulsing tubes hung loosely on a framework of bleached bone. Here and there spines of glowing, green metal attempt to push through into the interior of the tunnels. They let out a high pitched hum that you would find nearly unbearable were it not muffled by the wet walls of the tunnels.

    This city beneath a city seems to run on forever into darkness. The air is hot and wet in sharp contrast to the cold, dry air of the hallways above. The two of you are careful to remain within the loose triangle formed by your guide and protectors. They hop and skitter along, moving down these tunnels at a speed that is difficult to match.

    In the distance you can hear screaming.

    It gets louder.

    You realize that the creatures are taking you towards the source of these screams.

    You want to sneak away, or attack them and flee but you suppress that desire.

    You are well aware of how damaged Nine is, how twisted her mind can be. This place may be monstrous but you reason that it is no more so than the rest of Nine's mind.

    You press on.

    Eventually the tunnel you are following opens out into a impressively large cavern. A single, large, glowing, tumour hangs from the roof of the cavern in mockery of a sun you are afraid you will never see again.

    Hundreds, perhaps thousands of the creatures swarm throughout the cavern. They dance, they sing, they play, and they eat... several large tables dominate the cavern. Strapped to them are the bent and twisted forms of the Marked. Their screams are what you heard in the tunnels above.

    You look to one another, seconds from cutting down your guides and fleeing back into the tunnels and the city above.

    Goon seems to sense your unease, "Do not worry... only captives... enemies!... are devoured... not you!... not friends!"

    You take a deep breath, you remind yourself that you need the aid of these things, still you can not help but ask, "Why? Why eat them Goon?"

    Goon sighs, "Have you seen... have you seen any... food?... in the city above?... in the city below?... We eat for... life!... We eat them... they eat us... big circle..." he shrugs as Geek and Freek nod along.

    Thaïs exhales, she asks the question you are both thinking, "So then your weapons?"

    Goon nods, "Made from enemies," he drops his gaze, "Made from friends... we... we do what we must?"

    He gives the two of you a moment to let that sink in. This madness that has taken Nine is far, far worse than anything you have ever been forced to witness and not for the first time do you desperately wish to flee to some kinder plane, some safer harbour. It is a testament to your will, or your foolishness, that you press on.

    Your three protectors lead you down into the crowd. The creatures part to let you through and immediately close ranks behind you. They follow you, running along the ground, climbing along the walls, vaulting over one another to get as close to you as they can.

    One of them reaches for you and Goon is on him. He punches him, kicks him and drives him back into the crowd. He shouts at the other creatures and waves his blade. The assembled creatures hop backward a couple steps. They give you a wider berth but you can still feel their eyes upon you, you can feel their curiosity, their hunger... thousands of eyes stare on as you make your way to the very center of the chamber.

    Goon leads you to the only structure that appears man made within the caverns, a truly massive tent made from the worn hides of some beast. If you had to guess you would say that it, like everything else, is fashioned from the flesh and bones of these creatures.

    He leads you right to the front of the tent. There are no guards, perhaps none are needed.

    "In there," he gives you a slight push, "Good luck. We will guard!"

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    You expect a dark interior. Smoke, body parts and some dark goddess of murder and hate.

    That is not what you find, not quite.

    The tent is orderly, clean and... well, beautiful on the inside. The walls of the tent are reinforced with stone paneling, the floor is covered with well preserved hides. A small fountain sits in one corner; clear, clean water pouring forth. A grand table dominates another corner of the tent, maps pinned to its surface. There is no bed as none would be needed, there is however a throne, a truly massive throne, and perched on its edge is Nine.

    Or rather someone that closely resembles Nine. For all the similarities, this is not your mentor. She holds herself differently, the spirit that animates her simply feels different and a little terrifying.

    This being radiates power.

    She is in almost every way an exact replica of Nine. She is dressed in a sleeveless tunic of cerulean blue with gold trim. Plain black trousers and well made leather boots complete her outfit. Resting next to her throne are a pair of well worn axes. As you observe her in silence she opens her eyes.

    You are certain now that this is not Nine. Those eyes do not belong to the woman you know.

    You know enough about archmages through to know that they all enjoy being flattered.

    You give her an incredibly low curtsy and Thaïs follows suit. You wait for her to begin.

    Instead of speaking she attacks.

    She pushes out with her mind attempting to invade yours.

    If she truly were Nine, with full access to the entirety of her power she could crush you in an instant. As it stands you just barely push her back and you think you can feel Thaïs do the same. Your willpower is strong enough to prevent casual invasion but in your weakened state she could break through if she gave it just a little more effort.

    She does not.

    You speculate that she was testing you. She failed to easily break you and she has no way of knowing just how powerful you are. It seems that she is content to treat with you until she determines whether or not she can beat you.

    "What business do you have within my court?" her voice booms out across the tent, all confidence with an undercurrent of malice. She does not sound like Nine, her voice is deeper, more menacing.

    You decide not to lie to her, you have no wish to provoke her though you suspect you do not have to tell her the whole truth, "We are simply two travellers seeking the center of this city," you respond.

    She lets out a deep and bitter laugh, "Then you had best turn back traveler. The center of the city has fallen to that traitorous bitch and her monsters."

    Thaïs steps in, "Which is why we have come to you. We encountered some of your soldiers valiantly fighting the beasts of your adversary. We broke the Marked creatures and slaughtered them all. We even destroyed one of the orbs their captains carry."

    The figure on the throne raises her eyebrows at this, "That was you? I thought I felt a shift in the balance of things. You have done me a tremendous service travelers. Perhaps..." she rests her head on one slender, calloused, hand, "perhaps this is the beginning of the end for her."

    Thaïs submissively nods, stringing the archmage along, "It is our great honour to be of service to such a powerful archmage. Your soldiers suggested that we petition you for aid in our fight against our mutual enemy. Is there any way that we might convince you to lend us the support of some of your men to aid in our passage."

    The archmage is still for what seems like an age. Finally she speaks, "Then you are in luck for I will help you, but first let me explain what is at stake here. My name is Culwyeh and I am the greatest archmage to ever ascend to the throne of mighty Yer-Ks," she pauses, as if the name of that kingdom should mean something to you.

    You vaguely recall the name from ancient history texts but it means little to you.

    Still she notices the spark of recognition in your eyes and gives you a thin smile, "So the name of Yer-Ks has not been completely lost to time, for that I am grateful. Long ago, hundreds of thousands of years now, I ruled in the center of the city at the heart of my kingdom. Then from nowhere the Liar appeared. She who will forever be my enemy! She sealed the borders of the kingdom, isolated us from the outside world. We fought over the kingdom and for control of the city until it fell into ruin. I used every spell, every tool I could think of but I could never beat her. Despite my clearly superior grasp of magic she remained illusive. She would never meet me in open battle and so our war spread to the very edges of this realm. After the first hundred years not a tree remained standing. After the first thousand our reserves of metal were exhausted. After the first ten thousand years nothing remained except for out soldiers and our spells. She conjured her city of living glass to shelter her. I fled into the bowels of the earth and grew my creatures."

    She grinds her teeth in fury, each moment that passes fuels her rage, each sentence, each thought drives her further over the edge, "This stalemate has lasted for over one hundred thousand years! The men and women of my kingdom have been reduced to what you see out there! But tonight! Tonight it all ends! Tonight I will march to the heart of the city with the heroes that made this all possible! That orb you destroyed has destabilized her city! I will hit her now with everything I have and she will perish even if I must die as well!"

    Carried away by her rage she leaps from her throne, snatching up her weapons as she flies across the room and out of the tent. You can hear her screaming out to her creatures. Ordering them into loose columns for the march.

    The two of you are left staring at one another, finally you speak, "That went... well?"

    Thaïs matches your uncertain tone, "Yes... she seems willing to help, even if she is a bit..."

    "Unstable?" you hazard.

    Weakly she smiles, "Yes. Though I suppose we have to work with what we have to hand. I do not suppose she will inform us of her plan of battle?"

    You fan yourself lightly with your hat, "Doubtful..."

    ---------------------------------------------

    There are times when you delight in being correct. This is not one of them.

    Culwyeh knows little in the way of actual strategy and seems content to simply order a general advance as she wades in at the front of her forces.

    She lashes out with spell and axe. Every creature she touches begins to gurgle and dissolve, rotting from the inside out. Their eyes cave in, their teeth drop out and their liquefied organs are vacated through the nearest available orifice. They die in one of the worst ways imaginable.

    You stay well back from her, thankfully she has forgotten you in her rage. Unfortunately the enemy has not seen fit to follow her example.

    You grab Thaïs's arm and pull her back as a bone spear flies past her head. She spins you out of the way of a makeshift axe moments before it strikes home. The Faceless Man is at work again, giving you each enough warning to protect the other as the Marked and Culwyeh's soldiers butcher one another.

    Goon, Geek and Freek protect you from the worst of it and every now and then you slip their enemies a slight suggestion or compulsion to ensure their safety.

    This has not gone unnoticed by the other unmarked creatures near you. They see your invincibility and the increased prowess of your guardians and they begin to congregate around you.

    You try to remember how Gareth lead you under Muirthemne but you lack the skill to command others in battle. You settle for ordering them to advance towards the center of the city.

    You follow in Culwyeh's wake, tracing the path of rotting bodies to the very heart of the city. As you get closer to the center of the conflict the city begins to sway. Glass projectiles burst forth from the walls and mow down much of the vanguard. Culwyeh pushes through these traps without a scratch, her magic melts away the projectiles well before they can reach her.

    She has nothing to fear but her army takes heavy casualties.

    Your column fares better than most but you lose Geek to a stray shard and Freek pitches off a second story catwalk with three Marked on top of him. You feel a moment's sympathy for their fates before reminding yourself that none of these things are real.

    That thought makes it easier for you to watch what comes next. Your column arrives at the new front. Just outside of the very heart of the city. The central building has only a single point of access, a wide hallway three levels high.

    The scene that greets you puts everything you have seen so far to shame.

    Much of the floor and walls of the hallway are painted with the blood of the creatures. On the ground and against the rails they struggle with one another. You count dozens of corpses tangled together in mounds. At the far end two of the Marked captains use their magic to hold off a dozen of Culwyeh's warriors. Across from you is the entrance to the heart of the city. The remaining Marked captain stands guard with less than a dozen soldiers.

    You need to go through them but casualties will be high.

    You remind yourself that none of this is real and you give the order.

    You command Goon and your column to charge the entrenched Marked position. You even use suggestion and compulsion to ensure that none of them even think of retreating. Goon snaps you a quick salute before charging the battle line. You clear a path for him and he even manages to drop the Marked captain commanding the defence before he falls with an arrow in the chest.

    The two of you slip across the hallway, subtly redirecting Marked and unmarked alike to more tempting targets. You do not have much to work with but you make do.

    After what seems like an eternity you manage to slip inside.

    Inside the central structure it is remarkably quiet. Remarkably quiet and... empty. The walls, roof and floor are opaque, unlike the hallways outside but everything is the same shade of green. A single large, bronze lamp hangs from the ceiling but otherwise the room has nothing in it.

    "Now what?" Thaïs asks as she catches her breath.

    "I don't know," you have to admit, "I thought there would be something here to guide us but-"

    Without a word Thaïs pulls you backward by the collar of your armour.

    A bolt of light incinerates your hat.

    You mutter to yourself, "Damn good thing that was not my real hat," to prove a point you conjure up another one.

    Nine's voice calls out to you though you can not tell from where, "Oh, so you are the mages? Do you know what you have done?"

    Still annoyed you speak up, "Well to hear Culwyeh tell it we are helping to defeat a usurper and a traitor!"

    The voice giggles, "She would remember it that way! I am not a usurper... well... alright I suppose I am but she started it!"

    "I don't care who started it I-" Thaïs puts a hand on your shoulder.

    She whispers in your ear, "We should keep her talking until we can find out who and where she is."

    Thaïs calls out to the voice, "Who do we have the pleasure of addressing?"

    "The one without a voice!" the voice giggles.

    "You are the Voiceless One?" your friend replies.

    "What? Just because I can speak I can't be the Voiceless One? Not all archmages choose literal monikers you know?" she practically squeals with delight, she pitches her voice downward and does her best to effect a sophisticated tone, "Some of us aim for something that will tickle the mind with its deeper meaning... or something like that!" she breaks into another giggling fit.

    Undeterred Thaïs presses on, "Interesting that you should say that. We are first and foremost seekers of the Truth. If we have not heard the whole story then we would certainly be interested in hearing your side of it."

    The voice sounds uncertain, "Would you? Well then maybe I will tell you!"

    A woman materializes before you, she floats slightly off the ground. Long black hair, mercurial eyes, she looks exactly how you would picture Shiver did before the Great War. She speaks to you in Nine's voice but something is off, she has the same playfulness but there is a cruelty there that Nine does not usually exhibit. Nine laughs with life, this woman laughs at it.

    "Oh where to begin?" she floats around you in a lazy circle, "Well that self important bitch Culwyeh might have been queen here but she was holding out on her subjects. I came to set them free you see! She kept most of them, the really important ones, all locked up in the darkest and cruellest prisons you could imagine. Then one day I arrive and the people 'cried out for a saviour'. So I led them. Then, out of spite she sealed the borders of the kingdom! She pulled up all the trees to make weapons. I had to turn every scrape of metal, every available body towards the task of annihilating her! But she hid down in those disgusting tunnels! And... well... we ran out of resources so we had to make do... I tried to help my people! Gave them artefacts to help lead them! But she had so many followers and those damn miniature monstrosities of hers keep trying to collapse my city! Then you had to go and help the tyrant try to retake her throne! Still..."

    She rubs her chin as she bobs back to the center of the room, "Maybe this is a good thing... she is coming here... will be here shortly... you survived my attempts to snuff you out so you might just be strong enough to tip the balance against her." She snaps her fingers and three little green spheres materialize around her, "I am probably going to need these she is awfully powerful if a little predictable... Now when she comes through those doors-"

    The doors blow out and the whole structure screams into your mind.

    Culwyeh floats in, covered in gore, "Ravanna! Tonight you will finally die!"

    The Voiceless One, Ravanna, disappears giggling, "Well you will have to find me first won't you!"

    Culwyeh goes still, she closes her eyes. Slowly a smile spreads across her face.

    You and Thaïs back away from the doors towards the far corner of the room.

    Culwyeh lashes out with something big. The city shakes and buckles and the very foundations it is built on start to crumble, "I will bring your whole city down on our heads!" she howls, consumed by primal rage.

    Shadows pool in the corners of your vision. Streams of green light and absolute darkness lash out towards Culwyeh. Ravanna giggles, "No you won't! No you won't! I'm going to kill you first!"

    The spell Ravanna is casting must be quite powerful as her form begins to rematerialize.

    Culwyeh catches the briefest outline of her and hurls a ball of magic at her, as it travels it shifts into a cloud of yellow bodied horrors, small insectoid wings bound to eel like bodies whose heads explode into dozens of horrid, ring-toothed maws.

    Ravanna dodges most of the cloud but the ones that hit her immediately begin to burrow within her flesh. She screams out and drops her defensive spells as she pours more energy into her attack. The bolts of green light pierce Culwyeh's body and for the first time since you met her the archmage howls in agony. The streams of darkness coil around her, squeezing the life out of her.

    The two archmages stand frozen there. Their cries of pain mixed with threats to one another.

    Ravanna screams to you, "Help me please! Help me kill the tyrant! Help me free us all!"

    Culwyeh bellows at you, "We must kill the usurper! Help me avenge my people or all of this has been for nothing!"

    Ravanna pulls every bit of power she has into her spells and Culwyeh attempts to break free. The whole city rumbles, teetering on the edge as the magic that holds it together is strained. You would not be terribly surprised if the tunnel system beneath the city is also on the verge of collapse.

    You stand, watching two archmages try their best to obliterate one another. You survey the room looking for options. That is when you see it. Concealed behind Ravanna's spells is another door.

    There is a second way out of the room, deeper into the very heart of the city.

    You think you hear a cry for help coming from beyond the door though it is simply too quiet to properly make out.

    You have a feeling that whatever you do it will have a profound impact on Nine's mental state.


    1. What to do?

    A) Aid Culwyeh. Your spells won't do much but all you have to do is provide a distraction and the ancient archmage should be able to kill her adversary. (All A votes are counted together)

    i. Assault: You probably won't be able to actually hurt her but it might draw off enough power to allow Culwyeh to win.

    ii. Firebolt/Energy Bolt: you will each hit her with an attack spell. It is doubtful that you could permanently injure her but you are simply aiming to distract her.

    iii. freeform

    B) Aid Ravanna. Your spells won't do much but all you have to do is provide a distraction and the younger archmage should be able to finish off her adversary. (All B votes are counted together)

    i. Assault: You probably won't be able to actually hurt her but it might draw off enough power to allow Ravanna to win.

    ii. Firebolt/Energy Bolt: you will each hit her with an attack spell. It is doubtful that you could permanently injure her but you are simply aiming to distract her.

    iii. freeform

    C) Run for the front door. You will have to pass the battling archmages but you have to get clear of here before the whole place collapses.

    D)Go through the inner doors. You don't trust either of them and it does not really matter to you who wins this 'war' between them. You are here for information and the only place you have left to explore in through that door. You will just have to be quick before one of them wins or the whole place falls down.

    E) You attack them both! They will never see that coming...

    F) freeform
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
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  24. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,952
    Location:
    Vicksburg
    E

    I'm pretty sure we're screwed any way we go about this.
     
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  25. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,189
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    None of these we want to be in control of Nine's mind.

    D
     
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