The Ossuary

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Shadowcaller
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Shadowcaller »

The Tome of Eliander

"I, um, can't see." Raheeda remarks as she carefully gets off the ground and turns in the direction Harley's voice is coming from. "I'm sure it will wear off soon though. Any minute now." Since spells didn't last all that long in her experience. Unless they were one of those enchantments but those were just on items so surely she'd be fine.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Tome of Eliander]

The answer here would be yes.

The spell hurt her.

It was a beam of green fire that causes blindness in addition to the sorts of things that getting blasted with green fire usually results in. Raheeda is pretty tough, though, so she should probably be fine. Maybe. Probably.

The blindness will last about an hour unless she has access to some healing magic that releases people from curses. If not then, well, there will be some stumbling as her vision gradually returns. This is what you get when you tangle with eye-themed cultists. You have to deal with eye-themed curses.

As for the moon dragon, he's still over there. The area around him looks like a tangle of drifting silk gradually weaving into tapestries depicting fantastical scenes and beings. Very weird.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by quillpleasant »

The Tome of Eliander

"Oh moon, you're blind?" says Harley worriedly. She's likely right that it'll wear off before too long, but he really has no way of knowing for sure. Well, time to worry about that later. For now, getting out is what's important.

He carefully reaches out to take her unburnt hand. "Here, hold on and I'll guide you. The cultists are gone, by the way. We should see if the dragon can help us get out of here, and then we can head back to GLOG and see if they can heal us up and fix your eyes. Delivering the book can wait," he adds firmly.

It occurs to him that the dragon might even be able to fly them out. But it might not be big enough for that.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Shadowcaller »

The Tome of Eliander

"Temporarily!" She sounds absolutely confident of that fact despite having no evidence for it.
"And if the cultists are gone, we won right? Easy. What a bunch of bullies." Raheeda takes Harley's hand and let's him lead.

"Besides, I can still see by smell. Kinda. At least stuff that smells if you know what I mean? So it shouldn't be any problem returning to glog. No sir." The yuan-ti nods confidently.
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Re: The Ossuary

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The Tome of Eliander

"Temporary," echoes Harley, "That's good." He's actually a lot more worried about that than he sounds, but it wouldn't help anything to let on about that.

"Yeah, we won, thanks to you! Taking out their leader like that was awesome, and Bloodheeda really helped by leading those eyeballs away." Those would have been nasty to deal with.

Seeing by smell sounds absolutely fascinating. Harley's senses are strong, but nowhere near that strong. Still, scent won't save Raheeda from tripping, and this place smells mostly like death, so he's going to stay by her for now. "Well, I'll guide us in the right direction and you use your scent to make sure no one gets the jump on us, how about that?" If anything's going to be noticeable by scent, it's undead.

Harley begins leading her towards the dragon, holding up the book in a wave. "Hey, moon dragon! We did it!" he calls out. Did they never ask the dragon's name?
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Re: The Ossuary

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[The Tome of Eliander]

They never asked the moon dragon his name.

And returning to chat with him might be difficult, because the place where he landed is covered in drifting silk where colors and shapes warp and smear. Reality is bent here and it looks like the moon itself has been drug down out of the sky such that would could climb the glistening webs up to it. If the dragon's still there he's nowhere to be seen. Maybe he's dreaming on the moon again like he said he was to begin with?

Our heroes could probably hike up to the moon.

But that probably isn't the best idea.

Especially not with Raheeda blinded at the moment.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Shadowcaller »

[The Tome of Eliander]

"Yeah, sounds good." Raheeda nods in agreement. She wasn't going to mention picking up Bloodheeda's blood as this journey was already dangerous enough as it was and she didn't Harley to be concerned about that.

She could use any blood to animate her so she just had to get some new from somewhere.

But hearing Harley calling for the moon dragon she has to object. "We should just wander back the way we came though. There's no way they would know where we want to go. It would probably just take us back to the moon or something." And those darn moon trees.
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Re: The Ossuary

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The Tome of Eliander

Harley is assuming that Bloodheeda can be remade in some way, hence not going back for her. Plus, he's a little more concerned with the actual Raheeda right now.

As she suggests leaving without the dragon, Harley looks over to it, and his breath catches in his throat. Seeing the moon this close, just a short climb away, fills his heart with a longing so intense it hurts. "Back to the moon..." There's nothing he wants more than to run over, climb the gleaming web, and disappear into the silver dreamscape and whatever awaits within.

But then he tears his eyes away from it, and looks at Raheeda. As tempting as the moon is, there's more important things here. "You're right, yeah. Better to just leave," he says, giving her hand a squeeze. "This way, let's get out of here." As he begins to guide her back the way they came, he keeps his gaze forward, never looking back at the lunar bridge.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Returning To The Pyramid

This is where a woman strides, in burnt tatters of clothing. She's hideously ugly, a middle-aged woman, with too-close eyes, one of which is lazy, a broken nose that has healed very crooked, large gaps between her teeth (and she's got bad breath, too, though she's actively chewing mint her Name insists she be 'vile') and a furrowed tongue. Her face is puffy and bloated, but unevenly so. Her hair is short, an uneven cut, and a drab shade of brown. She's accompanied by a number of skeletal servitors, and carrying reverently a skeleton with a helmet lodged onto its skull.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Returning to the Pyramid]

The Necromancer will find herself coming upon a rather unwelcome sight as she returns to the Ossuary.

One of the gate guardians has been reduced to sanctified ashes, golden flames still burning atop them. Beyond that several of the sepulchres of bone have likewise been burned to ashes. The source can be found pretty easily. Some distance away, between the Vile Necromancer and the Ziggurat, stands the Virtuous Purifier. He's busy blasting another defiled crypt to holy dust that will forever be useless to the necromantic arts.

Has he been here the whole time obliterating undead?

He certainly seems to have quite the issue with them.

That odd 'girl', the strange fox spirit, appears to be here as well. The Necromancer might have to strain her senses, but if she does she'll be able to pick up on the conversation in spite of the distance.

"-no I get it but just blasting it all willy nilly's dumb. There's important history here we don't wanna lose it."
"History of heretics and enemies of Above. This place is a blight that needs to be purged."
"Could you at least let me check for books or inscriptions or things before you nuke 'em? I don't care about their dark magic I'm with you the stuff is gross. But these were people with stories and it's gunna suck if all those stories are lost."
"Fine, alright. But no books of magic. The evil arts these people practiced deserve to be lost."
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Returning to the Pyramid

Well, at least he's consistent with his bigotry. Even understandable, really, given he's Lycaonese. Still, Keter's an enemy of everyone, not just Above, and this is not Keter. For now, she's going to lead her small pack of undead on a less direct route, to try and avoid interacting with the zealot... And hopefully avoiding the strange fox, too. She rather deliberately didn't leave them in a good position.

If she can return to the tomb using the same secret way she left, that would be ideal.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Returning to the Pyramid]

It might not be Keter, but it surely has the flavor of it. A vast city of the dead. Fortunately for the Purifier the undead here don't seem to be as clever as the ones controlled by the Dead King because otherwise he probably would be a revenant by now.

Regardless!

The Vile Necromancer begins sneaking. There's a problem with this plan, though. The rules of the game like forcing confrontations, for one. And in her first encounter with the Purifier she had come out on top. She escaped unscathed and left him fighting for his life. That counts as a Win by any reasonable measure.

With haste in her steps, the girl (hero?) steps out of one of the tombs with an armful of scroll tubes. No sooner is she clear that the Purifier calls down fire from above on the construct of bones.

But much to his surprise the heavenly flame doesn't land where he wants it to.

It lands on that tomb OVER THERE that the Necromancer was using as cover to sneak past, blasting it to sanctified ashes and very possibly coating both she and her minions in holy dust still hot with the fires of heaven.

"Why did you hit that one I hadn't checked it yet?"
"I didn't mean to it was- THE WITCH! The Vile Necromancer has returned!"

Uh oh.
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Re: The Ossuary

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Returning to the Pyramid

"Yes, I'm back! And whilst you were distracted with a bit of tomb robbing and desecration, I was busy sourcing undead from elsewhere. See my minions and weep, knowing they are innocents you were too bigoted to save. After him, my darlings, add his skull to my collection. I have more important things to do." She's obviously lying about the source of her minions; the bones are too old and too well-cared for to be fresh from slain villagers, but if she makes the Purifier angry she's depriving him of the use of his mind as a weapon, which is always an advantage. The skeletons are directed closer, save the ones with ranged weapons; they will hang back to shoot as a distraction.

Meanwhile, Elvyra de Tojedor will reach out with her Name, finding any dead remains that might be available and pulses her aspect of Raise, reanimating them and sending them up against the hero.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

Raise is going to have the same problem it had last time here in the Ossuary. The bones are already filled with malignant intent. They can't be raised and controlled since they are already so. Now, if the Necromancer had the ability to REST control of undead from others that would be VERY effective.

But a villain only has the tools she has.

So! When the Necromancer mentions murdering innocents to create her new batch of minions she gets two reactions. One of aghast horror followed by righteous indignation from the Purifier. And one of simmering rage from the fox spirit.

The former begins backing away from the skeletons, streaks of golden flame lancing towards them while the protective flames around him sear the sparse arrows.

The latter seems to explode in a spray of darkness as her shadow goes racing towards the Necromancer, the now wholly undisguised kumiho bursting from the gloom near the villain and aiming to deck her with one very large paw. Even in her anger the fox is pulling her punches. A kumiho has the strength to easily bend a horse shoe straight and if she hit with full force she suspects a normal human would be killed.
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Re: The Ossuary

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Toward the Pyramid

The Vile Necromancer is not a normal human. She's Named, reinforcing her body with the narrative of a good story. As the fox spirit races across the ground towards her, she mutters a quick "Evade" and disappears. She's invisible, and teleported a short distance away. She's hidden from all mundane senses, as one of the skeletons- still marked with the wire formerly holding it together- turns towards Khannie and stumbles towards the kumiho, bony limbs outstretched. If Khannie gets a good look at it, she might notice the way it's been put together, and realise that the Vile Necromancer was, at least in this one instance, lying.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

The kumiho isn't paying a great deal of attention to the relatively lowly skeleton ambling toward her. It's probably going to find itself getting swatted with great force by one of her tails as soon as it strays too close. She's got quite a few of those and kumiho are inhumanly strong. Really not a great combination for relatively mundane animated skeletons.

MOST of her attention is on something else. Namely, sending her own shadow literally spider-webbing away from herself across the ground. Watching it stretch into a web of fine strands of darkness is definitely fascinating to watch. The implications, though, are less fascinating. The kumiho will be able to feel creatures treading on it. So unless the Necromancer also has the ability to levitate slightly her position is going to be zeroed in on pretty quickly.

"You know I was willing to help you out. I was trying to be nice,"
the fox growls as her ears twitch this way and that. "But I guess some people just can't help being complete garbage. You're really heckin' lucky that I follow the comic-code to a T 'cuz otherwise you probably deserve whatever Sunshine over there wants to do to you."

Probably get incinerated.

Speaking of incinerated!

The Purifier seems to be quite adept at keeping his distance from undead. His powers are mostly centered around torching things from afar so that makes sense.
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Re: The Ossuary

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Toward the Pyramid

"I could hang up my hat right now, swear never to touch magic again, forgo my vengeance and join a monastery. It won't change anything for him, and he'd still want me dead. He expects the worst of me, so I gave it to him. To make him angry, so he makes mistakes. Look at the bones, he won't. He doesn't see them as anything but abominations to be put down, but you? You're clever. You'll see. I killed none of them, I stole them from the vault of the one who did. I do have more important things to do, though. That wasn't a lie. Let me go, keep him distracted, and I'll reward you, however I can." The Vile Necromancer's voice comes from everywhere and nowhere, or so it seems, as she's moving invisibly around. She's trying to get one of the skeletons between her and Khannie, whilst keeping an eye on the Purifier- he's her real enemy. But she is still stepping, so Khannie can sense where she is.

The Purifier's helped a little by the fact that Khannie is providing a distraction. Her skeletal minions are rather slow and stupid, when she is not Directing them with her aspect.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

The kumiho's ears swivel this way and that, seemingly trying to figure out where the sound is coming from. But seeming is the operative word here. She doesn't want the Vile Necromancer to know that she knows. The huge, disturbingly human-shaped fox drops to all fours and begins stalking.

"Yeah I don't think you're lying. These bones smell really old. But they still don't deserve this. And I dunno if you're the sorta person that would treat people like tools to make 'em into your slaves. You're mad about that jerk mistreating you, but doing something worse for revenge isn't gunna make that go away," the kumiho replies. "Alphonse isn't a bad guy. He and his village got hit by a raid from the Dead King. He told me all about it. He wasn't able to save everyone in his village when his Name came in, but he was able to save some people. And he was able to give everyone else the rest they deserved instead of eternal servitude. He's as much fueled by revenge as you are. You both got wronged and you're both lashing out at the source. The difference is you're creating corruption and he's cleansing it. He wants to prevent more suffering. And it sure sounds like you're willing to make a whole lot more just to get your way."

It sounds like the fox isn't too big on undead.

"Important things, huh? You came back here for a reason. You find a way to get at the power sleeping under the Ossuary? You really think cracking open some sealed evil in a can is a good idea, huh? You think that'll give you the power you want instead of dissolving you like a handful of salt in the ocean?"

The Virtuous Consecrator is definitely busy right now, but he's cutting through the minions from a distance pretty well. It probably won't be that long before he's blasted the Necromancer's minions. Once again, Above definitely cheats.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Toward the Pyramid

Interesting note- with her minions animated by aspect, as opposed to sorcery or a fae mantle, they aren't as undead as other undead. There's no soul or spirit to them; they react like undead in many ways (especially with Light, that erodes sorcery amongst other powers) but to any that tried to usurp them, they're more like constructs made of bone. Not sure if that matters with Khannie's corruptionometer.

"That's not the difference. The difference is the priests do not condemn nobles when they burn down hovels. He thinks he is righteous because the church and Above stands on his side. I'm not just fighting corrupt nobles- I'm fighting a corrupt system, one that empowered him to stop me. The Gods Above side against me, and they will use him to do it, and I cannot afford to deny the help of Below, even if it leaves me Damned. I will teach all the princes to step carefully around their wizards, and it will cost my life. A price I'm willing to pay- but not here, and not now. Leave us to our squabble, fox. You'll get your wish, one day I shall be killed and no one will mourn. But not today." Elvyra knows the Purifier has mulched most of her minions, and here she's hampered and unable to get more. But she's still unwilling to leave without knowing where Khannie stands.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

The Hero is the Virtuous Consecrator. Rebo mis-typed it earlier. Probably not the biggest of deals but no doubt the Consecrator would be upset if someone said his Name wrong.

And that is an interesting note! So these skeletons are more magical puppets than they are entities in their own right. Even Khannie's illusions contain shadow spirits to give them some measure of agency. None the less, using someone's remains to make minions still smacks of desecration and corruption to Khannie at the very least. It's just... disrespectful. An ugly use of power.

None the less, the fox continues to prowl.

"Sounds like the place you came from is a feudal heck-hole. It isn't like that here, though. Jerks don't get to abuse people just 'cuz of who their parents are,"
the fox retorts. "You might not even be able to get back to where you came from. I dunno where it is you think you are, but it isn't where you were. This is the Nexus, the crossroads of worlds."

She'll wait a few moments to allow what she said to sink in.

"And this place is MY home. I can feel that thing sleeping under the Ossuary. I'm not gunna let you try to wake it up or whatever the heck it is you're up to. I can't let you endanger my home just 'cuz you wanna play revolutionary back where you came from."

"Where did the Villain go?" the Consecrator calls out. "And why do you... look like a beast?"

"She's invisible. And I haven't got myself all illusioned up. Big spooky fox-monster is just regular me," the kumiho retorts, her ears swiveling back toward the Hero without actually facing him.

He seems conflicted. This girl has been kind and helpful, if a bit uncouth. But apparently she's cursed with some form of lycanthropy? Her powers are dark, but he can feel a sanctity to them. They seem far more akin to Above than Below. It isn't often that the Consecration's convictions leave him uncertain.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Toward the Pyramid

"I will. My story's not done yet." She speaks with total conviction, but now the Consecrator is approaching and distracting Khannie, and this is her chance. The Vile Necromancer moves off, moving silently as well as invisibly. She doesn't know yet that Khannie can sense her presence, as thus far her aspect hasn't failed her.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

It isn't a bad aspect. A pretty useful one for a minion-master type of cape. But the fox has dealt with exactly that sort of ability before. She's tried crafting exactly that sort of ability before. And almost never do people manage to mask tactile senses. That is really really hard to do. The best Khannie has managed is by trying to disorient with a whole bunch of sensory noise. Trying to exclude tactile senses is hard. But overwhelming them? That's easier.

The kumiho's web of darkness has been, up til now, simply shadows on the plya surface.

But now, at her intent, they're actualized. Unless the Necromancer is careful she'll step right into the thin strands and find her foot stuck as if she were walking through an over-sized roach motel.

"And you're... certain she shouldn't be killed?" the Consecrator asks. He hasn't been at this Hero thing for as long as Khannie has. The uncouth girl is clearly of peasant stalk, but she's brave and pure of heart and he can appreciate that. Her idealism toward what a Hero ought to be seems almost naive but the determination behind it is unmistakable.

"It shouldn't ever be the job of Heroes to kills Villains. As soon as you start doing that you're gunna go down a dark path where you get to decide what's worthy of killing over,"
the fox says as she moves closer toward the Necromancer, though not directly. It still isn't clear she's sure of where the Villain is.

"She killed those villagers, though!"
"She was trying to get your goat. Those bones were REALLY old. Like dead for centuries old. Maybe longer," the fox retorts.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Toward the Pyramid

Evade is built toward escaping unnoticed and unharmed. She's not untouchable, but it's very hard for her to be affected by effects designed to catch her, since the point is getting away. So she slides through the shadow-strands without noticing them, the strands unable to get a grip on the Vile Necromancer's feet or shoes.

What Khannie should try is either pointing her out or attacking her directly. Even random blasts of Light in all directions might work, if Providence is kind.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

Beans.

Of course that made her slippery. The Necromancer said Evade, not Hide. The fox hasn't really had much experience with this 'aspect' stuff but it seems like they all do basically what they say on the tin.

"She's right there,"
the fox says, making a rough human-shape out of foxfire more or less where the fleeing Necromancer is. She was hoping to snare her but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. She gives one of her tails a flick, a human Mask appearing at the tip as she places it over her vulpine nose and suddenly a teenage girl is standing there again.

The Virtuous Consecrator spreads his arms wide and releases a diffuse, conical blast of Light in that direction. For those suffused with the power of Below it might at most feel like a particularly bad sunburn. Not terribly comfortable but not incapacitating pain, either. Unlike Khannie and her shadow magic the Consecrator really isn't well suited for non-lethal takedowns. Khannie had actually helped him practice a bit and brainstorm ways to use his powers that DIDN'T consist of just totally incinerating things.
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Re: The Ossuary

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Toward the Pyramid

The Vile Necromancer yelps as she's lit up first by Khannie's illusions and then blasted with Light. She stumbles to the floor and rolls over so she's looking back at them as she conjures a ball of fire above her left hand, which she hurls at the Consecrator. She's not the most accurate, right now, panicking because she's sure the Consecrator wants her dead even if Khannie doesn't.
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Re: The Ossuary

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[Toward the Pyramid]

Khannie makes a gesture with her arm, stretching her shadow long before whipping it upwards, her shadow snapping skyward and swatting the fireball with enough force to cause it to detonate. The explosion is enough to shred her shadow construct but she really doesn't care.

Because she's heading straight for the Necromancer, fists balled. This lady coulda just stayed away. Waited until they were done for the day and then snuck in by night. What is it exactly that makes villains so DUMB even when they're smart?

Arrogance?

Pride?

Hubris?

Whatever it is, it really gets Khannie's goat. If she had a goat right now it would be gotten and she would be goatless.

"You're not gunna wake that thing up," Khannie says, her mess of tails unfurling behind her. "You hear me? Whatever you're up to in here, drop it. Give me your word that you're gunna leave the Ossuary and never come here again."

There's something dangerous to that demand.

If the Vile Necromancer gives the kumiho her word she'll never be able to take it back to herself again or risk becoming forsworn.

And those who are forsworn are forsaken utterly by the Dreamheart. To never again dream is a terrible curse.
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Toward the Pyramid

Often, Khannie, villains are dumb because they're desperate. They feel they can't afford to wait, that they don't have time to wait for a pair of heroes to finish, as every moment they aren't working towards their goals is a moment they cannot afford if their plans are to succeed. In this instance, however, it was also hope. Elvyra hoped she could sneak past them using the available cover and be in the pyramid with a new ally before Khannie and the Consecrator noticed her. The Vile Necromancer did not know when her opponents were going to leave, and waiting for a villain when there's heroes nearby is a sure fire way to get discovered.

"The only word I have for you is Direct." The Vile Necromancer pulses the aspect outwards, trying to usurp any skeletons or other physical undead nearby from whatever already controls them, sending them towards Khannie with violence their purpose. This includes any of her minions that had not previously been destroyed, though the ones Khannie smashed earlier remain destroyed. This isn't her animating aspect, but the one that she uses to lead them in a fight, making them smarter and keeping them under control.

If it works, even for a moment, she'll follow it up with a whispered "Evade", disappearing from sight as she teleports a short distance away and returns to invisibility. Now she really will try to get away, her aim not for the pyramid but for survival. She's trying to leave the Ossuary, but did not commit to never returning.
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Rebonack
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Rebonack »

[Toward the Pyramid]

Sadly Khannie doesn't have the power to read narration, otherwise this would be some useful insights.

She does, however, have the power to go, "Oh heck," when several of the mausoleums nearby react to the Necromancer's aspect and rise from the playa as hulking amalgamations of bones in rough humanoid shapes. And Khannie reacts to this new threat by-!

Spinning?

Well, first she crossing her palms in front of herself, hands outstretched, causing an image of her glyph to flash in front of her. THEN she starts spinning as ribbons and sparkles swirl around her! Silver grieves appear on her feet and silver gauntlets appear on her hands. A knightly tabbard flashes over her body and a long scarf billows around her neck. And with one final pose, a big bow with a gem in the middle pops into existence tying back her ponytail as she strikes a heroic pose! One can almost imagine music the whole time.

Weirdly that all takes a split second, even though by all accounts it went on for about a minute. Weird.

The Consecrator immediately begins calling down Light on the skeletal abominations, but the things are huge, dense masses of necromantic power. It damages them, sure, but they can take it. Olympia, meanwhile, springs into action! She launches herself at the nearest abomination, sparkles flashing around her fist, and then strikes it square in its center of mass with the force of a run-away train.

The abomination is scattered!

And immediately reforms into a bunch of smaller skeletal abominations.

THOSE are much easier for the Consecrator to fry.

As one might imagine, this provides the Necromancer plenty of time to escape.
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Earl of Purple
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Toward the Pyramid

As before, the Vile Necromancer's Evade isn't perfect. There are still ways to find where she's gone. But with the distraction of her impromptu minions, and the instruction she gave was to attack Khannie, it'll be a lot harder for the fox-spirit to actually concentrate on that, she hopes.

So for now, it seems, she gets away.
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Earl of Purple
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Re: The Ossuary

Post by Earl of Purple »

Returning

Months have passed, and in that time Elvyra de Tejedor has been lying low. Very low; she's been avoiding anywhere there might be people and keeping her head down as much as she can. Now, though, she returns, the bundle of bones held tight to her chest. She arrives shortly before dusk, in the hopes that she's alone here, and nobody is here to witness her skulking through the mausoleums towards the central ziggurat.
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