The Vault of Stars

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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami crosses her legs and arms, leaning back. "I only remember the past 12 years... Or, maybe like 10, technically. Maybe my 'mortal body' has some weird memory quirk?" She fully believed what Yorumi was telling her, knowing of her own immortality and connection to the sun. Furthermore, the idea of possessing a mortal body wasn't unfamiliar to her. Thus, the situation was only as disorientating to her as an ordinary person waking up in a hospital knowing nothing of their family, home or prior identity. She giggles a little as her sister complains, delighting in her struggle. When pressed for her explanation, though, she just shrugs and gives a lackidaisical response, "I've just been wandering around aimlessly. What would you have done if you lost her memories?" Her tone was a bit sarcastic as she asked this.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Aw, crap.

A teleportation device. Of course.
Now she was all alone with Violet with no idea where to go. Sometimes she bloody hated magic.
Well, this had turned out to not be a dungeon at all. It was still populated with its original inhabitants as far as she could tell. They had broken into a shelter of some kind-

Wait.

So did that mean 'Asami' had known all along?
Yet the death-beam had fired on her just as well. It just hadn't done anything to her. She had a feeling she was probably related to the people around here somehow. But it didn't matter now.
Her goal was now to make sure Reina came out safely which meant focusing on what she knew.

1. The guards did not seem able to see through her camouflage.
2. The guards seems to have looked for Reina specifically. Perhaps she had triggered some kind of silent alarm while she was looking through that room?
3. The guards didn't seem overly aggressive. Yet she hadn't seen their boss yet and people living in sanctuaries guarded by death beams probably weren't the most reasonable of people. If that even was a death beam. The guards attitude didn't really scream "kill on sight" despite them obviously being outsiders. Perhaps it was a teleportation device to a dungeon or something?

But what did that leave her for options? She could either just wait for Reina to handle it her way but that seemed less than certain. So the question was if perhaps she could activate the teleportation device somehow? She carefully approaches the same hallway Reina disappeared into. Was there anything to interact with here? Panels or the like? Or was there anything that suggested a teleportation circle?
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Hmm. It felt like they went... downstairs? Was there a section of tower buried under the crater then? And what's on the first floor if the second is the holding cells? Reina's not entirely sure she wants to find out.

"Hey. Can you guys open a window or turn on the vents? Us mortals need fresh air to breathe, you know!" Reina complains to the guard before they lock her in completely. It may be dangerous to wait for this Vaultkeeper Sato if there's a difference in time perspectives. Shortly could mean a few minutes, but to star people it could mean a few hundred years.

Reina'll wait for the guard's response before jumping to conclusions or action though. And maybe at least give this Sato guy a few minutes.

If the guards don't seem interested in her air supply, she'll shift into her cat form. It is small even for an adult cat, always has been. A beautiful Russian Blue who chews through much, much less oxygen than her humanoid counterpart.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Well, there is the circle of runes that appears as soon as Dena steps into the intersection, which float at about eye level and quickly reveal themselves to be a series of numbers. The one floating in front of Dena's face is 21, and she'll be able to see the sequence moving in either direction.

And of course, with Violet right there in easy reach, it shouldn't be too hard for her to put together what she's working with.

"...Excuse me? Miss? Are you still there?"

Around the corner, a pair of little red horns, followed by a little red face, framed in tangled black hair, pokes out to look over at Dena. They belong to what appears to be another small child; she can't be much more than maybe ten years old, clad in a tattered and burnt haori.

"...You're not from around here, are you?" The girl blinks, staring directly at Dena. "Who are you and what are you doing here?"



"...DO THEY REALLY?"

"NAH, SHE'S JUST PULLING YOUR LEG. WHO EVER HEARD OF 'FRESH' AIR? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY TIMES SOMETHING'S BREATHED IT ALREADY?"

"...HA! ALMOST GOT ME, LADY." The guard gives Reina a decisive shove into the room and locks the door on their way out.

Fortunately for Reina, switching to a small cat does wonders for her breathing. A room like this, if it's sealed and the air quality is poor, might last her a few hours. But as a cat... well, now she at least has the reassurance that dehydration would get her before suffocation would. Assuming she can't find a way to escape a locked room, that is.




"...Ten years?" Yorumi blinks, before staring wide-eyed at Asami. "...Oh my gods. Oh my gods. What on earth happened to your poor little brain, that you can only remember ten years?!"

Yorumi stands up and puts her hands on Asami's shoulders. "That's it. We're going to go and get you fixed up right now. Something has clearly gone horribly wrong and I'm not gonna stand for it." The girl drops her kimono and immediately starts shuffling under the bed for a clean one, muttering darkly to herself. "Stupid freaking... unbelievable, this is what they call the VIP treatment... half a mind to strangle the lot of them...
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

Ugh! Rude!

Well Reina's still going to wait around for about twenty minutes. In part to see if the Vaultkeeper shows up who she wants a word with anyways. In part to give the guards time to go away. And in part to see if Dena just pops the lock on her own without Reina getting fancy. Dena probably also needs time for the guards to leave so no need to rush things.

"Second floor, first hallway on left, third door on the right," Reina will say into her communicator for Dena's sake in case she missed which room it was. She'll start meowing if she has to! No one can resist letting a cat out when it's meowing.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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As Reina's voice can be heard over the communicator Dena isn't sure what gave away her position.
It could just be that, the presence of Violet next to her or that these children had devil eyes. Like cats staring off into space.

Either way, now she had to deal with what may or may not be children. Considering these beings wore bodies like suits it could be anything behind those eyes.

She looks back, unsure what to do for a moment, and realized that the girl wasn't just looking in her general direction. She was staring right at her. Which meant she had the devil-eyes. Great.

"...I'm a visitor, yeah. The name's Ssotha. My friend is here and she's about to commit a huge mistake. So I need to stop her." Dena pauses but not long enough for the potential child to get in another question before she continues with her own. "Do you know how to get to the second floor? I'm pretty sure she's supposed to be going there."
Ssotha was her usual go-to fake name. One she had taken from the gorgon magazine she subscribed to. Sounded more stereotypically gorgon-y than "Dena" so no one had any reason to not accept it.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami stands up as Yorumi is getting changed, scratching the back of her head. "Oh, um..." Asami mutters passively, prepared to follow her sister. "I was told we're in a state of emergency and not to leave my room, in case that's important," she says in a matter of fact way, not exactly insinuating they should follow the directions.

Preparing to follow Yorumi, Asami starts looking through anywhere she would personally use to hide stuff. If she really was the same person prior to losing her memories, she hoped to find any kind of staff under the couch cushions; it was her choice weapon in non-fatal encounters as far back as she remembers, so it wasn't much of a stretch for her to assume she has one here.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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...So far, nothing. The guards don't come back for her, and there doesn't seem to be any activity outside her room at all. The atmosphere out there is as still figuratively as it is literally.

If Reina intends to wait out that twenty minutes completely undisturbed, though, she's going to be disappointed. Potentially.

After the first five minutes or so, the cat will hear a soft scraping sound, like a pair of rough stones being dragged over each other, coming from the back wall of the room. The crystal there seems to be spontaneously flaking, tiny bits of material drifting to the floor as a series of characters appear in the wall.

G R E E T
C A T




"...Oniko." The red girl replies after a moment. "And... yeah, it isn't very hard to get to the second floor, but, um..." She pauses, looking up at Dena with big, doe-like eyes. "Why would you want to go there? All that's down there is the penen-... the penement-... the penetem-..." The girl's face screws up for a moment as she tries and fails to pronounce the word, giving up and choosing a different one. "...The jail. If you go down there, you're just gonna get locked up yourself... er... more locked up, I guess."





...Well.

Not a staff, exactly.

What Asami finds under the couch cushions is the wooden shaft of a push-broom or a deck brush, with threading on one end where the head would go had it not since been removed. The broom shaft itself is made from dense cherry wood, and is surprisingly heavy for its size; it'd make for a good bludgeon, if Asami really intended to use it for that.

"Um, yeah, we're in a state of emergency, my sister's lost four point six billion years' worth of memories somehow. And it happened on the guards' watch. I'd call that an emergency all right." Asami's sister straightens up and tightens up her kimono, looking over at what the younger girl found in the couch cushions with a bemused frown. "(So that's where that went. Huh.)"

Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Meaning she already committed the mistake if she's there." 'Ssotha' let's out a small sigh. "But all she did was entering someone's room. How great a chance do you think it would be for whoever is in charge the laws in here to see reason? Since it seems unusually harsh a sentence."
The girl seemed to hint that people in here were as much contained here outsiders were kept out. Would require further investigation.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami raises an eyebrow at the stick, thinking she must've made it in haste. Unbothered, she twirls it around a little in one hand, getting a feel for its weight. She glances between the door and her sister before casually remarking, "Fair enough."
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Reina's ear twitches as something new catches her attention. It isn't hard. Those five minutes are absolute tedium. She's already contemplating stopping her sniffing about to hop on the bed, but she's all but convinced it won't actually be comfortable in any way.

So she welcomes this new development, padding over to read the message and tilt her head slightly. "There's no point in greeting myself, but I'm willing to greet you. I'm Reina, Treasure Hunter Extraordinaire!" Reina performs a remarkable flourish for a cat. Or for anyone really, it is a well practiced and truly unnecessary flourish. "And you are?"
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Oh, no, I wouldn't say they're reasonable at all." The red-faced girl shakes her head, giving an awkward, toothy grimace. "They put me in here when I was just minding my own business, living out in the mountains on my own. Then they kept telling me they were going to release me, then that I'd have to stay, then that they'd release me, then I'd have to stay, over and over again. They're just mean, that's all there is to it."

The horned girl huffs and shakes her head. "...So, um... who are you, though? I mean, I heard you the first time, miss Ssotha, but... who are you? You don't look like you're from this world. You certainly don't come from mine. So... where are you from?"




In the time Reina takes to give her reply, the letters etched into the wall fade away, the crystal re-growing to fill in the gaps, leaving it unmarked.

Then it starts again, that godawful scratching sound as new characters carve themselves into the wall.

Y O U M O R O N



The stick feels quite natural in Asami's hands; she might vaguely recall having played with it before. The reflexes certainly seem to be coming back to her. Or perhaps her usage of staves in the more recent past is just translating well to using the broom handle.

Neat.

"Right. If we're all ready to go..." Yorumi steps up to the room's door and gestures for Asami to follow. If she does, the two will make their way back to the teleportation circle, where Yorumi will unceremoniously flick the ring over to 5 and the two will vanish with a pop.

Re-appearing in a similar hallway, this one smelling faintly of alcohol and... something sweet, but unidentifiable.

"...That's weird." Yorumi comments, looking around. "...Where the hell is everybody? Hello? Hello!"
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Well that's a wholly unfortunate name. Have you considered having it legally changed?" Reina says, licking a paw and rubbing an ear.

"I suppose we can salvage it by splitting it properly. Youm Oron doesn't sound half bad. Youmo Ron's ok, but I don't like the way the last name meshes with the first. I'm just going to stick with my first suggestion. Nice to meet you, Youm Oron. Hmm... no wait I changed my mind. That's just too phoenetically close to the original problem. Youmo Ron it is then. Ron for short." The cat flicks her tail with satisfaction now that the wall has been properly named Ron and braces herself for more awful scratches.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami does indeed follow behind Yorumi, smiling pleasantly as she takes in the smells of hallway 5. In response to Yorumi's calls, Asami solemnly recounts, "There wasn't anyone here on my way in either. The only people I saw were two strangers who went in after me and disabled whatever was protecting this place by shooting at it with a gun." She pauses for a second to muse, continuing, "Then there was the guard, and you, of course. But if there's supposed to be a lot more people, its obvious something shady is going on. We should try and meet up with those two strangers to see if they learned anything important." Feeling a sense of urgency, Asami moves forth to flick the ring before stopping in her tracks and turning to Yorumi, "Unless you got any better ideas?" Assuming Yorumi has no ideas at all or gives an unconfidant one, Asami would start to flick the ring back all the way to 21, looking around for the two she encountered earlier.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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So she was obviously not from this tieflings(?) world, huh? Brave girl then, not many from outside the nexus would have just approached women with snakes for hair.

"In that case I'm afraid this place isn't where it used to be. Since I didn't cross any planes to get here as far as I'm aware. But perhaps that can be blamed on these rude folk as well. Either way, if I can manage to get my friend out you're more than fellow to tag along once we make our escape. We just need to figure out the safest way to do it. So any information you have about this place and its inhabitants would be useful just about now." 'Ssotha' argues.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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There's a brief moment of blessed silence as Reina's monologue extenrmds past the time needed for the crystal to grow, and she's able to say her piece without having to talk over that awful scratching or the crackling sound of it being undone.

Then, extra slowly, seemingly on purpose, the scratching continues.

S T U C K B E N I C E





"...It's not?" The tiefling(?) frowns and rubs her chin. "...Well, that's not good. But it would explain why the tower feels... off." She looks back up at "Ssotha" and gives a little groan. "I'll help you escape, but I should warn you, I don't think you're going to like what I have in mind. But, um..." The girl trails off, staring blankly into space.





"...On your way in?"

Asami will find herself caught by the shoulders as her sister starts shaking her excitedly. "You mean you found a way out?" Yorumi squeals. "Ooh! I take back all those things I thought about you when you were gone, you've gotta be the best sister ever! Which way is it?"

Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Oh, um," Asami stammers as she's shaked, awkwardly trying to maintain balance and speak straight, "I-I don't remember ever being here before! I just walked up and the walls opened up for me." She glances at the floating numbers, continuing, "It was on '21'. Think its worth seeing if that'll work as an exit?" Even if the walls wouldn't make way for her again, she still had the power to take the form of light, able to move through anything light could move through; this applied to the smallest of gaps and even transparent materials like glass.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Being nice goes both ways Ron," Reina huffs. She'll give what she gets.

"Are you stuck in the wall itself or in another cell?" The ability to scratch out messages in walls suggests all sorts of possibilities.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"You already have something in mind? Well, go ahead. Can't be worse than being trapped here." Dena wasn't sure how much she would trust the plan of a child but she should at least hear her out. She knew a lot more about this place after all.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Well, yeah." The horned girl shrugs. "It seems to have worked on everyone else. Er... everyone else I could reach, at least. Sorry, Ikari..." She looks back up at Dena. "...But we probably ought to find your friend before attempting it. It would be some time before you could come back to the Vault again, and you might not even want to. And if the two of us together couldn't get her out of the penetratiary, I certainly couldn't do it alone."

The girl's eyes widen as the air behind Dena lets out a soft pop, and she lets out a happy gasp. "Asami!" She squeals, running past her and attempting to wrap the girl up in a hug.



The sound of scraping on the wall intensifies, scratches appearing but not seeming to form anything coherent, a series of frustrated scribblings running along its surface for seemingly no other purpose than making irritating noise.

Then, after about fifteen seconds of this, after the wall wipes itself blank, a new series of letters appears.

T O W E R



"...Okay. Don't know what's so special about that floor in particular, but it can't hurt to try." Yorumi reaches out to the ring of runes and flicks it back to 21, the air audibly popping as they're transported.

Fortunately for Asami, it seems as though, for one reason or another, the gorgon that followed her in hasn't left yet. No sign of the catgirl, though. But there does seem to be a new person here; a red-skinned, black-haired girl who looks to be about Asami's age, with short horns growing out of her forehead, dressed up in a scorched haori. The moment she sees the sisters appear, the girl lets out a happy gasp and goes to hug her.

"Asami!" She squeels excitedly.
Last edited by Ironsmith on Aug 16, 2023 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami looked surprised as red-skinned girl suddenly hugged her. She instinctively hugged back, a confused look on her face as she clicks her tongue. "Uhm," she mutters weakly. She appeared distressed and agitated, looking to her sister with uncertainty.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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After about five seconds of Ron's tantrum, Reina rolls her eyes and performs an intricate flourish with her paw, pulling a pair of kitty sized noise cancelling gamer headphones out of her hammerspace and putting it over her ears while she lets him finish.

"Well that doesn't tell me anything, this entire place is a tower. My goodwill and interest in springing you from this prison is rapidly evaporating." Reina starts looking away, wondering if it's been fifteen minutes yet. And what was taking Dena so long. Did she have to hold back and avoid the guards? Forced to turn back for air? That Vaultkeeper Sato hasn't shown up yet either. It might be time to make her own exit.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"What has worked on everyone else?" Dena inquires as she wasn't quite sure what she meant by that. Had she really let others free too without getting out herself? That didn't seem to fit with the rest of her story.

Of course, that question will have to wait as Asami appeared. Confirming some of Dena's suspicions. So she was from this place. It wasn't just a coincidence that she happened to arrive at the tower at the same time.
But wait, so the tiefling(?) knew of her? That was... suspicious. Could she even trust her now? Ugh, nothing about this made any sense.
Maybe it would be better to reach Reina on her own. Yet now Oniko knew of her presence, and her goals, so if she and Asami were on the side of the people running this place it seemed unlikely any rescue attempt would be possible.

She ventured into dungeons to get a chance to get away from people but here she was caught up in what seemed to be drama. It always made things a lot more complicated and messy. Couldn't this tower have been inhabited by regular golems or something instead? Anything that didn't force her to interact with people as that's what she constantly did back at MERC.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Hey, don't look at me, I don't know that little ghoul anywhere as much as you do. Did. Whate-"

The dark-haired girl stops and looks up at Dena, only now seeming to realize she's there.

"Oh, great, a mortal visitor. As if there wasn't enough going on right now." Yorumi holds out her hand toward Dena, fingers dangling in a dainty fashion. "Go ahead, do your thing." She continues, in the most saccharine tone she can manage.

Meanwhile, the maybe-a-tiefling gives Asami a little squeeze before stepping back and giving her some space, keeping her hands on her shoulders. "What are you doing back here already? Did someone figure out what you are and... you know?" She glances up at Dena and frowns. "...Wait, is that why they're here? They're not in uniform, I didn't think they were imperials, but... I guess they wouldn't, right?"





The next set of letters scratches into the wall so fast they're barely legible, but Reina probably doesn't have to try very hard to understand the intent.

I D I O T

Before they finish fading away entirely, a new set starts to appear, carved in more slowly and cautiously.

S O U L S T R A P P E D I N T O W E R

N O T C E L L

T O W E R

Last edited by Ironsmith on Sep 16, 2023 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami raises a finger to her chin, contemplating the presence of the possible tiefling and the absence of the catgirl. "Good questions... But more importantly, should we really be standing out in the open like this? What if another guard comes by." She looked at Yorumi with confusion, wondering why she made that weird gesture.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

"So you are capable of more than two words a time." Reina notes nonchalantly. "Well, when the tower self-destructs, you probably won't have to worry about being trapped anymore. How many souls are we talking?"

Reina will turn pink and start flying to get a better look at the door between her and freedom. Checking classic things like hinges, whether there are bars, maybe a tiny window with which to shout through that a particularly small and fluid kitty might just wiggle through, if it's actually flush with the floor, and whether or not she could reach the lock mechanism.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Dena rubbed the bridge of her nose with her knuckle tiredly. This was exactly the sort of thing she had wanted to get away from in a dungeon. Questions and organizational tasks. Reina had hardly needed those. She was a professional.
Yet now she was here stuck with children and an amateur who talked about what sounded like nonsense to her.

"If someone can point us to a place where we can discuss things privately first?" She opened up as she looked up at the small gathering. Since that seemed like their first priority right now. But that was of course skipping past the concern of the identity of the person Asami had brought with her. They all seemed to know one another though which made her trust her enough for now.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"...Right. Oniko supplies, tapping her chin thoughtfully. "I mean, most of us aren't actually going to be affected too much... Asami, Yorumi and I would only be put back in our rooms, which we can then walk right back out of. That leaves you, miss Ssotha, and while I don't think they'd hurt you, you'd probably end up in the same situation as miss kitty, and that's still pretty bad."

"...The good news is, the guards don't really go into any of the cells." The dark-haired lady supplies after a moment, jerking her thumb toward the hallway behind her. "I've been sitting in mine for gods-only-know how long and nobody disturbed me." She lowers her hand and looks at Dena in a somewhat bewildered way, as though something she did wasn't quite making sense to her but she'd rather puzzle it out internally than put it out to the group.

At least until Asami interjects.

"Normally when mortals come by, they're a bit more awestruck by us." Yorumi supplies to her sister. "It's pretty commonplace for them to try to do something vaguely courtly; I think they think it helps build rapport or something. Bows are common, so are hand kisses. I guess miss... Ssotha, her name is? ...Isn't that impressed. It's whatever, I guess. Saves us some time."





For a moment, the room goes completely still; there's not a response from Ron at all, and the last letters from the last one fade away into the wall tracelessly.

But that doesn't hold true for long.

In a few moments, the scratching sound of crystal being carved by some unseen force returns, but no letters appear on the wall. Instead, the lines drawn start to form the crude semblance of a face, with a pair of them for the eyes, one each for the nose and mouth, and a ragged circle being drawn to represent the head around it. Next to it, a second face is being drawn before the first is even finished, and a third on the opposite side, and then more and more being drawn simultaneously all along the walls in every direction, even across the floor and ceiling, the air filling with an ungodly shriek as the crystal is carved away to show the crowd of faces looking back at Reina.

...Before they all start to slowly fade away again, as the crystal regrows like it always does.

Last edited by Ironsmith on Sep 16, 2023 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

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Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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[brackets lover]
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by [brackets lover] »

Asami soaks in the information, putting her at ease. Upon mention of a kitty, she looks around, raising an eyebrow. Asami crosses her arms, looking to 'Ssotha'. "So, its only you that has to worry, huh? No skin off my back."

She then muses, "What kind of place is this, anyways? Why is leaving such a hassle?" She chuckles, "Sounds to me like its either a prison or a daycare center."
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Reinholdt
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

Reina covers her muffs with her paws, burying her head against the floor for a moment. Goddessesdammit, why are all these souls such overdramatic babies? A number would have sufficed. Or a descriptor. How many of them are talking right now?

Doesn't matter. She is done talking to them and asking them questions. They want to continue to act cruelly, they can do it to some other cat. Reina resumes looking at the door for the information she was checking out earlier.

Once the crystal souls are done scratching out their own epitaphs, Reina will also contact Dena. "Hey Dena. Know all those missing people? Someone's been shoving their souls into the building itself somehow. Be extra cautious about anyone you might meet." Chances are high whoever is responsible for soul melding is still lingering around and very physical.
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