Riverside

Locales found within the main city centers; primarily Inside, Riverside, and Skyside.
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Arkhosia
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Re: Riverside

Post by Arkhosia »

[Studious Visit]

Vax's examination won't turn up anything unless she's capable of a more supernatural kind of seeing, but Dulcinea does pull her robe a little tighter as if warding off a chill. "You'd be surprised just how capable some of our more mundane institutions can be. These people have kept me alive for years." The remark is a little frostier than she means, unable to help a strange sense of familial pride creep in.

"A ritual is... not the exact term I would use, but I suppose it's not wrong either." She tilts her head and muses how best to phrase her next few sentences. "I believe - ehem - I believe I mentioned my friend was an amateur necromancer? It turns out that while I was running around getting my final affairs in order, she took it upon herself to begin researching ways to save me from dying right under my very nose." Fondness tints her words here, as it always does when the topic turns to Reilana. "She worked out an elaborate necromantic theorem that would bind spirits to eat away at the cancer within my systems, and a few nights ago she and I put it into practice." A pause. "Required cutting me open quite severely though. It's remarkable I didn't bleed out! Shows how thoroughly she prepared, really."
"Are we living a life that is safe from harm? Of course not, we never are. But that's not the right question. The question is: are we living a life that is worth the harm?"
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SliiArhem wrote:Arkh I may be slightly delirious but I don't think that would make sense even if I was coherent.

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Re: Riverside

Post by Ironsmith »

[Currency Exchange]

The robber seems to see the impulse coming at the exact moment the spider decides to employ her webbing; she springs to one side, grabbing her handgun off the floor in the same motion, bringing it up to fire off shots at the other officers nearest her; whoever's there that isn't enjoying cover from the oversized arachnid.


[Xar'cha Estate - Abyssal Aftermath]

"...Shit. That's not good." Marianne sighs through the reciever, along with the mother of all understatements. "Okay, listen closely and take notes. I don't know when I'm going to be able to talk to you like this again."

"The first thing you need to understand is how little they'd normally think of you. To a Devil, you're not an enemy. You're not even a toy. You're food, and a pretty small morsel at that. They care about as much about you as you might an abnormally juicy grape. Our standing arrangement should put you right around the level of attention a spider in your garden would get. If they've decided you're looking particularly tasty, it's because you did something well beyond pulling a few scraps off their plate, so whatever that something was, I'm going to advise you not to do it again."

"That said, now that you have their attention, I'm going to say do whatever you can to lose it. They want souls that taste new and different and exotic, and they get souls that are fucked up in some way or another. So if you want to shake them, try... I don't know, being the most banally good person you can be, I guess." There's a ruffle of fabric on the other end of the phone as the angel adjusts her position. "Like, not good good, like giving to charity and adopting puppies or anything, but, like... annoying good. Something they've seen a million times and aren't going to be in as much a hurry to eat."

Marianne audibly licks her lips. "...To be totally honest, I have no idea if that would work or not. But that's about all I can recommend. One way or another, you've got six nearly-omnipotent deviants looking over your shoulder."
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Re: Riverside

Post by Shadowcaller »

Reinholdt wrote: Oct 13, 2023 8:33 am [Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor]

The phyrexian stares at Nathair with a mixture of pity and disgust, tearing her gaze away to glance at the gold upon the floor and the crack it caused. "There's no rest in it," the nymph says softly, her throat twinging. She bends down to pick up the hand. "But if that's your desire..."

Ilpholin straightens up, her free hand turning into a sharp, thick blade. "Goodbye." Her arm dives forwards towards Nathair's head, force with the intent to kill, the blade stopping millimeters before puncturing the exhausted telekinetic's skull. There's a moment of silence and stillness from her before she withdraws her blade. "There. You're dead. I took your life. It's mine now."

Turning towards Svartha, Ilpholin aggressively tosses her Nathair's golden hand as the nymph starts to walk away. "Clean up your mess and compleat him already."
[Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor]

Svartha just barely manages to catch it and gives it a brief inspection as Ilpholin is walking past her. "Awesome, thanks." A beat as she turns to the nymph. "And I think T-ron is with Ava by the way!" She calls after her before returning her attention to Nathair's hand and bends the fingers so they're making a thumbs-up gesture.

"See?" She eyes Nathair himself while displaying the golden hand to him. "You can be positive." Svartha grins as she then reaches out to grab him by the neck with one hand. Lifting him off the floor. "And you're gonna need some of that positive attitude right now."

Svartha is going to take him all the way to the surface again and if he doesn't pass out while being carried around he will find himself being held over what seems to be a large crudely dug hole in the ground. Filled with a black glistening liquid. "This is your last chance to die~" Svartha remarks cheerfully. "Or y'know. Actually not be so damn depressing for a change. Either you emerge with your kindle relit or... well..." The phyexian shrugs before letting him go.

He falls.

His weight causing him to sink down into the hole in the matter of seconds once he makes contact. The last thing he sees before the black liquid closes in around him is the still grinning Svartha waving him good bye.

It's far deeper than it looked at the surface. Perhaps the remnants of an old well or just something Svartha's gang entertained themselves with while holing up at Ilpholin's place. Extreme hole digging. While he submerged quickly it will actually take a little while for him to reach the bottom of it.

[Studious Visit]

Zhareen's eyes widens at Dulcie's first remark and before Dulcie can continue she cuts in. "Dear child, let me assure you that I have the uttermost respect for their competence. People don't come to us with their injuries." There were warlocks that specialized in such things of course but those weren't exactly common. Back in the day the second tower had the monopoly on healing and that could be seen even today.

But once Dulcie continues Zhareen shrinks back. She had known about this already of course but hearing Dulcie using terms such as 'thoroughly she prepared' while describing someone as a 'amateur-necromancer' hurt her professional sensibilities. By all rights this poor girl should be dead. Had all the adults around here really failed her so much that this butchery was what she had to rely on?

Or had this 'friend' somehow stumbled upon a scientific breakthrough?

She prayed to the seahalls that it was the second option. The first one seemed far too depressing for her liking.
"...and where is this friend now?" If she hadn't been arrested then perhaps there was hope. "Ah... miss Reilana was it?"

[Currency Exchange]

There's a cry as one of the officers appears to get shot.

The spider is in a somewhat awkward position to respond to this as its back-section is positioned in-between its legs while attempting to web the culprit. However, in a move that can be described as creative it lets the momentum of its butt carry it forward and performs what appears to be a backflip.

It lands on the floor again and this time just attempts to bull-rush the woman as the other officers swirl around aiming their guns at her. The only thing preventing them from shooting is ironically the spider.
Last edited by Shadowcaller on Oct 14, 2023 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Reinholdt
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Re: Riverside

Post by Reinholdt »

[Xar'cha Estate - Abyssal Aftermath]

Ilpholin takes a slow, steadying breath. Oh. So the Devils were like her mother. But she's obsolete now. "I'm not interested in shaking them," Ilpholin declares. That option flew out the window the moment they dared to bring even the memory of Darcy into this.

"I'm much more interested in reminding them that some spiders are poisonous and watching them perish at my feet, with no small amount of writhing if possible. What makes you say they're nearly omnipotent? And there's six? What can you tell me of each of them?" Ilpholin continues. So they're primarily motivated by food. That's important. Possibly useful.
► SHOW SPOILER
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Re: Riverside

Post by Ironsmith »

[Xar'cha Estate - Abyssal Aftermath]

"...Are you out of your mind? I just told you-" The angel lets out a wary sigh from the other side of the phone. "Of course you're out of your mind, you kill people for a living. All right, look. I'm going to answer that, but I can't stress this enough, do not pick any fights with them. You can't, and I mean literally can not win."

Marianne clears her throat before continuing. "Even up here in Elysium, where we have every incentive to look into other possibilities, the consensus among our scholars is that the Devils created our world in its entirety. They decided they didn't like it very much, but rather than destroy it outright, they've taken to squeezing as much pain and suffering out of it as possible, consuming it for entertainment. They tend to focus on what they think of as character flaws, each having one in particular they enjoy... hence individual associations with Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Sloth, and Envy. They're not limited to any one domain and will happily consume souls that don't meet their preferences, but they do seem to have some kind of gentlemen's agreement to shunt known favorites to their counterparts."

[Currency Exchange]

When the spider charges the woman again, she'll find the robber's movements telegraphed by the fact that she shoots the officer who would have the cleanest shot at her in the shoulder, pre-emptively cutting off an avenue of attack before risking exposing herself.

Dancing around like this, she's already near the vault's entrance, hooking the bag of documents with her foot and hurling it out into the hallway. She keeps her focus trained on the spider, flicking her gun around and taking shots at anybody trying to come around her.
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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Reinholdt
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Re: Riverside

Post by Reinholdt »

[Xar'cha Estate - Abyssal Aftermath]

Ilpholin bites back a vitriolic response about what a succubus does and just continues. "Right. So they created your world and now it's all bleeding in over here. I get why they'd create the material plane and the Abyss, but why Elysium? Why create something designed specifically to prevent them from getting the one thing they want?"
► SHOW SPOILER
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Re: Riverside

Post by Gullara »

Arkhosia wrote: Oct 13, 2023 2:58 pm [Studious Visit]

Vax's examination won't turn up anything unless she's capable of a more supernatural kind of seeing, but Dulcinea does pull her robe a little tighter as if warding off a chill. "You'd be surprised just how capable some of our more mundane institutions can be. These people have kept me alive for years." The remark is a little frostier than she means, unable to help a strange sense of familial pride creep in.

"A ritual is... not the exact term I would use, but I suppose it's not wrong either." She tilts her head and muses how best to phrase her next few sentences. "I believe - ehem - I believe I mentioned my friend was an amateur necromancer? It turns out that while I was running around getting my final affairs in order, she took it upon herself to begin researching ways to save me from dying right under my very nose." Fondness tints her words here, as it always does when the topic turns to Reilana. "She worked out an elaborate necromantic theorem that would bind spirits to eat away at the cancer within my systems, and a few nights ago she and I put it into practice." A pause. "Required cutting me open quite severely though. It's remarkable I didn't bleed out! Shows how thoroughly she prepared, really."
Shadowcaller wrote: Oct 14, 2023 2:11 pm [Studious Visit]

Zhareen's eyes widens at Dulcie's first remark and before Dulcie can continue she cuts in. "Dear child, let me assure you that I have the uttermost respect for their competence. People don't come to us with their injuries." There were warlocks that specialized in such things of course but those weren't exactly common. Back in the day the second tower had the monopoly on healing and that could be seen even today.

But once Dulcie continues Zhareen shrinks back. She had known about this already of course but hearing Dulcie using terms such as 'thoroughly she prepared' while describing someone as a 'amateur-necromancer' hurt her professional sensibilities. By all rights this poor girl should be dead. Had all the adults around here really failed her so much that this butchery was what she had to rely on?

Or had this 'friend' somehow stumbled upon a scientific breakthrough?

She prayed to the seahalls that it was the second option. The first one seemed far too depressing for her liking.
"...and where is this friend now?" If she hadn't been arrested then perhaps there was hope. "Ah... miss Reilana was it?"
[Studious Visit]

"And this friend is your age, yes? Quite a resourceful young woman." Vax remarks. Zhareen knows well that Vax has a certain fondness—in her own way— for resourceful young women. Perhaps because they remind her of herself once upon a time.

"Single handedly solving a years old problem that seems to be, by all accounts, hopeless is impressive." Her praise is stated a bit more explicitly than is typical of her, but she gets the feeling that praising this friend will endear Dulcinea to them.
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Re: Riverside

Post by quillpleasant »

Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor

The golden hand, when Ilpholin picks it up, is strangely heavy for its size; rather than having moving mechanics it's more akin to a finely carved statue. It's just as pliable as a regular hand despite its unique composition, however.

Nathair closes his eyes as the blade stabs down at him, making no effort to dodge. When the strike doesn't connect, he blinks, the fury slowly fading from his face. As Ilpholin departs, he stares after her, a strange, almost reverent look in his eyes.

He stays there, lying motionless until Svartha hauls him up. He dangles limply from her grip like a broken puppet, barely reacting to her jokes except to focus his mechanical eye on her. He doesn't resist as he's carried up to the surface, and he also doesn't seem to need to breathe, since he's still very much awake when she holds him over the pit of oil. Glancing down without much interest, Nathair's lips curve in a mocking smile just before he's dropped.

As he begins to sink below the surface, he suddenly calls out. "Didn't you hear her? I'm already dead." Then the glistening liquid rolls over him and he sinks.

Drifting through the inky lake, Nathair's body begins immediately to break apart, as the oil sinks into him through the holes in his chest and arm. The swarm of nanobots that lives within him flood out, like bees escaping a burning hive, and without them to hold him together his limbs detach one by one. The golden eye pops out of its socket, and he diffuses into a cloud of mechanized pieces and melting flesh.

But a strange transformation is happening as well. The gold eye cracks down the center, creating a jagged new pupil as it swivels around to scan the cloudy debris that was Nathair. Each tiny nanobot, now exposed to the oil, is warping, shifting and growing as they draw the substance in. Every one of them, a miniature machine. Every one of them, compleated in an instant due to their miniature size. In mere seconds, the metallic swarm is transformed into something new and horrible.

As the nanobots draw strength from the oil they begin to reconnect, forming twisting black strands that reach out, pulling the pieces back together. Slithering into the body like a snail retreating into its shell, the swarm reassembles Nathair- only to begin devouring him from the inside out, replacing every strand of tissue, ever gear and plate with more of the compleated nanobots. The only part to escape the cannibalization is his eye, which watches dispassionately from above.

And then it's done. The swarm is made whole, the shifting surface smoothing into a gleaming metallic body. It kicks off from the bottom, swimming upwards, the golden eye settling in its eye socket as it makes its way to the surface.

Pulling himself out of the oil, Nathair gets to his feat, dripping with the black liquid. He looks like a more mechanized version of his former self, the disparate flesh and metal fused seamlessly together in golden perfection. His left eye is entirely gone, replaced by smooth metallic flesh, while the cracked orb gleams from his right socket. There's a strange, almost feathery quality to his skin, as the nanobots that now make up his form shift and surge with even the slightest movement.
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Re: Riverside

Post by Murkus »

Shadowcaller wrote: Oct 10, 2023 12:52 pm [MERC Offices]

"I don't know." Dena reaffirms, not even attempting to defend herself. Someone should really have interrupted her meeting.

But as Tina just said. It didn't matter. Would it have matter if she had known sooner? Perhaps but if there was anything Dena had learned during her long life it was that thinking of the maybe's would drive you insane.

But that was difficult once she heard Tina explaining what had happened. "Shit." She snaps up her phone and a glance at the screen confirmed her suspicions.
Well, at least her people hadn't been idling. Things had been done, just without her approval. But they shouldn't be needing that in this sort of situation.

But knowing that she put it away again and turned back to Tina and approaches her. "Like you?" She inquires as she tries to take the angels hands. "Angels?"
[MERC Offices]

Tina lets her hands be taken. She folds them over Dena's and squeezes tight. Her chrome skin is cold as death. Her voice is mostly distant, shaken, hollow. "That's what they said. Someone even used the word 'angels'. But they seemed surprised they'd be there, or... that they did something like that. There are people trying to find out why."
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Re: Riverside

Post by Shadowcaller »

[Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor]

Svartha... is no longer there.

Instead he finds a small group of the mechanized goblins that attacked the prison.
It looks like were engaged in some kind of scuffle as two of them are still wrestling on the ground. But they've all stopped what they were doing and are all staring at him.

Then one of them approaches and points a claw at him.

"MINE!" He might recognize this particular goblin as it was the one dragging him all the way here. Or he might not as he was unconscious for a lot of that ride.
Either way, this proclamation causes the other goblins to start to holler and jump up and down. They're making quite the ruckus.

[MERC Offices]

"Then count me among those people. Since I already have a suspicion of who the 'nymph' you mentioned is." Dena frowns. "Ilpholin has gone too far this time and I think it's my duty to put her under arrest." Unfortunately. She did not like the idea of squaring off with Ilpholin. Especially as Malechenar probably wouldn't support any action taken against her. They had essentially wanted this mess to happen.

But she couldn't act like an uncaring asshole in front of Tina. Not after what she had seen.

"I might need to talk to Kirk. You wanna be a part of that conversation?" She meets the angels gaze which was something of a new-ish experience for her.

[Currency Exchange]

The other officers have taken cover and have exchanged some fire. But nothing close to hitting her. With civilians on the floor the risk of a bullet ricocheting into someone was far too great so they're rather conservative about firing.
So it looks like the only one close to her as she approaches the entrance is Miss Rock-Spider.

The elemental being makes a sweeping strike with one of its long forelegs aimed at her torso. In theory this one would be difficult to dodge the way she has avoided all the other attacks.
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Re: Riverside

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Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor

The goblin's antics make Nathair smile, his mouth shifting a little too far open. He takes a step forward and just... kind of collapses into a cloud of golden dust, which floats forward. He reforms, body coalescing in a kneeling position in front of the goblin who dragged him there.

"Yours? No, little one, I am Ilpholin's. But I, all of you, and everyone else all belong to the oil. Or they will once we've made them whole." Despite moving his mouth, the voice seems to come from all of him, layered like a thousand tiny whispers on top of each other. He spreads his arms wide, face twisting into a look of joy. "Rejoice, my brothers. You brought me here, and now I see the true beauty of our grand purpose."
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Re: Riverside

Post by Murkus »

[MERC Offices]

"Ilpholin?" Fettina's eyes widen a small margin. "I've met her. She seemed..." Well. Violent. Fettina wasn't sure what her deal was, but she was surprised to see her hanging out with Anika at the time.

"I was gonna say she seemed like she could do this, but... I don't think you ever expect anyone to be capable of this," Tina says. "How are you gonna 'arrest' her? Do you even have any authority for something like that?"

Their eyes meet. Tina isn't afraid to look back. Although, she never really was. "Sure, I guess."
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Re: Riverside

Post by Earl of Purple »

Xar'Cha Estate- Ground Floor

"I will need... a lot of clothes." Though then she's asked about the feathers, and Matilda grins. She quickly bulks up, growing rapidly as fur ripples out across her body. Feathers sprout from her arms and head, as her eyes widen and her nose and chin morph into a hooked beak. Scales erupt across her hands, as her fingers change into strigine talons. It's good she was already sat on the floor, as very little furniture is designed to have an owlbear sat upon it.

Several injuries are also present, lacerations healing and then reopening as her impressive regeneration battles the glistening oil for dominance.
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Re: Riverside

Post by Arkhosia »

► SHOW SPOILER
[Studious Visit]

"Good. They are very talented people, and their difficulties in curing my condition should not be held against them." There's still a frosty edge to Dulcinea's voice, but it's only lingering - the assurance seems plenty to appease her.

"And yes! Girlfriend now, in fact." The word drips with smug delight. "Incredibly resourceful. I saw some of the research and the schematics when I visited her around a week before, though I had no idea they were for the purposes of this. Learned two new schools of necromantic magic she'd never shown any interest in before entirely to save my life. Her fathers aren't exactly happy with her methodology, but - well, quite frankly their morals can be so last century. I'm alive now! And that's what matters." Something about her tone here might strike the two of them as rather fond, and not just because it's her darling Kahu they're talking about. It's as if she thinks about the very event on the same terms as a grand gesture or an elaborate proposal.
"Are we living a life that is safe from harm? Of course not, we never are. But that's not the right question. The question is: are we living a life that is worth the harm?"
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SliiArhem wrote:Arkh I may be slightly delirious but I don't think that would make sense even if I was coherent.
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Re: Riverside

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[MERC Offices]

"The crime was committed on our turf so technically, yeah. Though she might argue against that. Or pull some other trick out of her hat. Ilpholin is pretty unpredictable." And clever. Dangerously clever.

"I will need to speak to a lot of people. Collect evidence. All that sort of thing." Dena nods to herself as she's considering all these things. "Which is why I'd like to speak to the same people you did. You're only a second-hand account after all."

The gorgon let's go of Tina's hands and gesture for her to follow as she sits down at her desk again. "But yeah, Kirk was taking charge of this whole things while I was in a meeting. So he's the first person I will need to talk to." Her computer starts logging in as she turns to look at Tina again. "So weren't you guys supposed to... y'know, get hooked up. Officially?"

While Tina considers the answer to that question she starts calling Kirk through her phone. Attempting to make him accept a video call. If he accepts his face should show up on the screen.

Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor

If the goblins hollers only grow louder and more enthusiastic as Nathair finishes talking.
And it the middle of all this excitement three of them start gesturing for him to follow them.

If he decides to follow them they're going to lead to somewhere quite familiar. The barracks that he awoke in.
As they enter Svartha is standing by what seems to be her corner of the building as it's sparsely decorated by what appears to be trophies that have seemingly been impaled upon the walls. Otherwise it just has a crude bed and little else.

She's standing up reading a dirty scroll that seems to be made of a thicker material than ordinary paper.

As they enter however, she looks up.

"Already?" She throws the scroll over her shoulder and it lands with a thud on the 'bed' behind her. "So what do you wanna do now? Fight me? Praise me? I can never predict how these things turn out."

The goblins something at her which is still impossible to understand.

"Yeah, now I won't beat you up. That's you payment. What did you expect? Money? You should be happy we aren't capitalists too."

The goblins don't seem especially pleased by this response but the chatter draws the attention of another creature that suddenly peeks in from one of the other rooms of the barracks.

The sight of it alone cause the goblins to turn and run. The creature quickly returning to whatever it was doing as it disappears behind the door once more.
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Re: Riverside

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[Studious Visit]

Dulcie was certainly more of a Vax person than a Zhareen person. She could tell that much just from their brief exchange with one another.
But that was exactly why she and her wife worked so well in tandem. While she was the more cautious and code-abiding one, as far as warlocks went anyway, Vax worked much better with people of ambition. That weren't afraid to walk over people and moral codes to reach their goals.

She nevertheless nods to Dulcie as she poses this rhetorical question. "It certainly does. Your girlfriend is a real hero, and a brilliant one at that. Which is why I'd be interested in speaking to her at some point. Since I'd be a crime to not, ah, learn from her."
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Re: Riverside

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Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor

Nathair does indeed follow the goblins, getting to his feet to do so. Although his movements are unstable at first, every step sending a shiver through his form, the more he walks the more sure he is. By the time he reaches Svartha's room there's only a faint hint of his diffuse nature, the nanobots holding him solidly together.

"Yes, the process was aided by my- our nature," he says, nodding in greeting. "And if it's all the same to you, we'll do neither of those things. Squabbling is for the unenlightened. No, we..." He pauses, gold eye swiveling to examine the strange black beast. Blessed perfection. His lips shiver in amusement as the goblins scurry off in fear.

"We wanted to thank you. Of course, our gratitude is most directed at Ilpholin, but without your attack on the prison, we would still be... stuck in the dark. You could have killed us, and instead you gave us a chance." Nathair shudders, running a hand through his hair, which ripples and distorts. Even that is comprised of nanobots now.

"We also wanted to ask for our hand back." Svartha might note that despite being made anew, Nathair's left arm still ends in a stump. "It's powerful, and has... sentimental value to us."
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Re: Riverside

Post by Gullara »

Arkhosia wrote: Oct 18, 2023 5:12 pm
[Studious Visit]

"Good. They are very talented people, and their difficulties in curing my condition should not be held against them." There's still a frosty edge to Dulcinea's voice, but it's only lingering - the assurance seems plenty to appease her.

"And yes! Girlfriend now, in fact." The word drips with smug delight. "Incredibly resourceful. I saw some of the research and the schematics when I visited her around a week before, though I had no idea they were for the purposes of this. Learned two new schools of necromantic magic she'd never shown any interest in before entirely to save my life. Her fathers aren't exactly happy with her methodology, but - well, quite frankly their morals can be so last century. I'm alive now! And that's what matters." Something about her tone here might strike the two of them as rather fond, and not just because it's her darling Kahu they're talking about. It's as if she thinks about the very event on the same terms as a grand gesture or an elaborate proposal.
Shadowcaller wrote: Oct 18, 2023 6:17 pm [Studious Visit]

Dulcie was certainly more of a Vax person than a Zhareen person. She could tell that much just from their brief exchange with one another.
But that was exactly why she and her wife worked so well in tandem. While she was the more cautious and code-abiding one, as far as warlocks went anyway, Vax worked much better with people of ambition. That weren't afraid to walk over people and moral codes to reach their goals.

She nevertheless nods to Dulcie as she poses this rhetorical question. "It certainly does. Your girlfriend is a real hero, and a brilliant one at that. Which is why I'd be interested in speaking to her at some point. Since I'd be a crime to not, ah, learn from her."
[Studious Visit]

"I'm sure she'd be interested in what we can offer as well. It's common among practitioners to learn from each other." Vax adds to Zhareen's comment. "And we'd like to invite you to visit us again as well, along with her." She is quite curious about procedure performed on Dulcinea, of course. Reilana, though, is a source of great potential looking to be guided.
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Re: Riverside

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[Xar'Cha Estate- Ground Floor]

The shapeshifting isn't entirely unexpected, though the result certainly is. "Intriguing," Ilpholin says, looking Matilda over with fearless fascination. "We ought to be able to design a fabric that stretches appropriately, but I don't know if it'll chafe with your feathers or not. Squiggles would have to design a material and then we'd have to get it enchanted on top of that. I do know a good tailor."

Ilpholin pauses as she notes that Matilda's body appears to be fighting itself. "But before that, I think you need to see my doctor. And this isn't a request." The nymph's not going to wait until the middle of battle to learn that Matilda has some crippling disease that causes her to spontaneously implode when Ilpholin needed her most. The phyrexian stands and motions for Matilda to follow her.

[Mothers Against Demons]

The semimonthly meeting of mothers who hold demons in particular contempt has been growing rather heated. The government's response to the bombing at Wild Mike's has been underwhelming. Justice is directed at Ava, a high security prisoner and reported terrorist, but that hasn't stopped many moms who still recall the demonic invasion from idolizing Ava. Many whisper that if more people were like Ava, there wouldn't be a problem with Deathkiss or Hell's Bend or any of the other horribly corrupting influences on today's youth.

Ironically, it was their leader Karen who sat quietly, barely paying attention to the indignant gossip, looking down at her phone instead at news reports of the recent attack on the jail. Names haven't yet been released as to who lived, died, or escaped.

"I caught my young boy sneaking out of the house to gamble at that horrendous place. My John would never do anything like that before those demons arrived."
"Oh Mercy be on his soul!"
"They would mollify us with drawn out fake elections."
"Five dollar word there Yancy."
"Thanks, I got a word-a-day calendar from my sister."
"Is DEATHKISS still playing? Isn't that proof that we need more radical solutions like Ava's?"
"You weren't there Clarice. The terror and screams... it was horrible."
"No more horrible than demons surely."
"Well... yes..."

A silence falls upon the group as the door opens and an imposing and sensuous figure strides in. Motherhood doesn't seem to have hurt her shapely body in the least, but that's the furthest thought from most of the mother's minds. The figure herself is the first to cut through the dense quiet, her emerald and black eyes scanning the small gathering of matrons.

"You know me." It was nothing more than a statement of fact, given the stares. "Then I'll cut to the point. I too, am a mother. And like you, I am concerned for the future of Riverside."
Whispers abound now between the women, but none dare to interrupt Ilpholin. "Unlike you, or any of the sides governing bodies, I am taking a much more direct stance on the problem."

"Yeah? Why weren't you at Wild Mike's then?" One of the braver women who is well known for having no filter demands.

The nymph's mouth twitches a little. "You require proof. Well, check the news."

Some murmurs of confusion go around, but someone turns on the television and flipping through the channels, it's harder to find some outlet that wasn't covering the recent attack on Hell's Bend. The reporting is being tasteful by avoiding any direct shots of the injured or dead, but even washed over, it was clear that it was fairly brutal. Enough to get Vigil involved, which is mentioned more than a few times. 'Bad enough to get Vigil involved' seems to be every reporters' tag line.

"I am quite serious about what I do. Talking about it just isn't enough," Ilpholin chides.

One of the founding members bristles defensively. "We're not hardened warriors. We can't do what you do. We do our best."

"I know," Ilpholin says softly. "And that's why I came to tell you that I offer a gift. One in which you can take Riverside's protection into your own hands. That you could make the kind of difference I make."

There's a wave of unease and hesitation, but Karen speaks up through the tension. "What gift?"

"The gift of Compleation. It's... transformative. Gives you strength and purpose like none you've ever known. It gives you the power to protect those children we love so much and provide them a real future, a future free from demons!" Ilpholin pauses to look at her hand, skin unnaturally pale. "I won't lie. It's a bit scary. Your life will change, as will your body." Her hand shifts into a fist, tightening as her gaze returns to the mothers. "But it's all worth it and then some. It's a small price to pay to protect our children."

Waves of discussion roll through in strong whispers, wildly ranging in acceptance and denial, no one going so far as to openly take up Ilpholin's offer. This fresh babble calms a little as Ilpholin speaks again. "Of course, I won't make you decide now. It's a serious decision, going to the front lines, and should be given real consideration. Think on it. Decide for yourselves. Not as a group, but as a mother. Anyone who wants to take up my offer should come to my estate and ask for Svartha, Tauron, or me. We'll be happy to guide you through the process." Ilpholin's head slowly swivels as she looks at each of them one at a time. "And if you don't... keep up the good work anyways." The nymph gives a gentle smile here, before turning to leave.

The moment the door closes behind her, the room absolutely erupts in heavy debate.
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Re: Riverside

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Xar'Cha Estate- Ground Floor

Matilda stands and slowly shifts back as Ilpholin leaves. Owlbears are very good at hurting things and destroying everything in their way, but far less so at fitting through doorways or talking to people. "Stretch's no good. Not unless it de-stretches when it's time to talk again." She's content to follow Ilpholin to the doctor, however, whoever that might be.
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Re: Riverside

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[MERC Offices]

"I didn't really get much of a chance to talk to the witnesses. And the only person who would talk to me was a... pigeon," Tina blinks a couple times, uncertain, aware of how silly that sounds. "A talking pigeon."

Fettina will hop up and sit on the edge of Dena's desk. It might be a surprisingly familiar gesture, to Dena, but Tina seems to do it almost without thinking about it. She looks at Dena's computer. Tina seems surprised to hear a question about her and Kirk hooking up. Her eyebrows rise. "Well... I guess so, yeah." She cracks a little smile, at least. "We're both horrible at commitment. I guess maybe that's why we haven't gotten around to it yet."
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Re: Riverside

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[Xar'Cha Estate - Returning]

The list of visitors to the estate isn't over yet. This time, at least, it's someone familiar. Haabeth made it back from Hell Bend, not too long after Ilpholin and the rest of the elves did. She slipped out as soon as the barrier went down and people started dispersing enough for her to vanish in the crowd... but she did have to do it barefoot, which slowed her down. She's notably missing her armor and weapons, only wearing an undershirt and trousers. The other clothes she wore under her armor were deemed too conspicuous to keep with her.
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Re: Riverside

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► SHOW SPOILER
[Studious Visit]

"Oh yes, positively!" Dulcinea's expression is positively effusive at this point - praising Reliana seems even more effective than appealing to her own good graces. Even so, the keen interest the two of them show in the girl feels too eager to be treated at face value. She wonders whether the two hold ulterior motives... and Vax might feel a faint drop in temperature by the nape of her neck, spectral fingers drifting through the air around her in search of the echoes of her life and thoughts.

"I would be quite interested in visiting once more, and I am sure my dear Reliana would be interested too. Kahu's always been an industrious scholar. It may be difficult, but I could arrange for a meeting of some manner. And if there are... opportunities your organization can offer for the both of us?" Her eyebrow arches questingly.
"Are we living a life that is safe from harm? Of course not, we never are. But that's not the right question. The question is: are we living a life that is worth the harm?"
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Re: Riverside

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Shadowcaller wrote: Oct 18, 2023 6:04 pm [MERC Offices]

"The crime was committed on our turf so technically, yeah. Though she might argue against that. Or pull some other trick out of her hat. Ilpholin is pretty unpredictable." And clever. Dangerously clever.

"I will need to speak to a lot of people. Collect evidence. All that sort of thing." Dena nods to herself as she's considering all these things. "Which is why I'd like to speak to the same people you did. You're only a second-hand account after all."

The gorgon let's go of Tina's hands and gesture for her to follow as she sits down at her desk again. "But yeah, Kirk was taking charge of this whole things while I was in a meeting. So he's the first person I will need to talk to." Her computer starts logging in as she turns to look at Tina again. "So weren't you guys supposed to... y'know, get hooked up. Officially?"

While Tina considers the answer to that question she starts calling Kirk through her phone. Attempting to make him accept a video call. If he accepts his face should show up on the screen.
Murkus wrote: Oct 20, 2023 6:30 pm [MERC Offices]

"I didn't really get much of a chance to talk to the witnesses. And the only person who would talk to me was a... pigeon," Tina blinks a couple times, uncertain, aware of how silly that sounds. "A talking pigeon."

Fettina will hop up and sit on the edge of Dena's desk. It might be a surprisingly familiar gesture, to Dena, but Tina seems to do it almost without thinking about it. She looks at Dena's computer. Tina seems surprised to hear a question about her and Kirk hooking up. Her eyebrows rise. "Well... I guess so, yeah." She cracks a little smile, at least. "We're both horrible at commitment. I guess maybe that's why we haven't gotten around to it yet."
[MERC Offices]

Kirk pops onto the screen, looking rather harried. Busy day, surprise surprise. "Dena." He greets briefly, brevity reflecting his mood. He arches and eyebrow when he registers Fettina's there too. "What can I do for you?"
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Re: Riverside

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[Xar'cha Estate - Ground Floor -> Tauron's Lab]

"Yes, de-stretching would be part of the process," Ilpholin says, her eyes openly roaming Matilda's body as the owlbear shifts back. Once she's resumed her nude human shape and steps onto the elevator with Ilpholin, the nymph will press a button. They don't have to wait in complete silence as the elevator descends, providing music to keep the boredom from setting in while they descend all the way to the ninth floor.

From there, she'll lead Matilda to Tauron's lab. Ilpholin Knocks and enters politely so as to not disturb him if he happens to be preoccupied. "Tauron? I have a patient for you."

[Xar'cha Estate - Returning]

Haabeth still manages to be more thoroughly dressed than most of the visitors to the embassy building today. Getting in won't be much of an issue for her, though no one in particular will greet her up top. Riding the elevator down to the second floor where the bedrooms are will get her the complementary elevator music as well as change of clothes from whatever she has in her room. Or perhaps the third floor where she can grab a quick bite to eat for those carbs.

Haabeth will find the elves down on the seventh floor where they usually are, given that's where they gather and train the most. Either way, at some point along the way, Haabeth will be intercepted by Ilpholin. For someone who possesses endless endurance and unlimited stamina, the nymph certainly looks tired. Perhaps it's the hint of guarded relief on her face that makes her seem so. "You made it out."
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Re: Riverside

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Xar'cha Estate - Seventh Floor

Svartha nods along as Nathair explains his reasoning for being here. She had heard the same thing in so many variations before.
But something seems to click in her the moment Nathair mentions the hand and she snaps her claws like one might snap their fingers. Though by the sound of it one might think there's actual bone snapping involved. "Oh right, the hand." She turns to her trophy rack and after rummaging around for a few seconds finds the golden hand, still giving the thumbs up, behind the skull of some large sharp-toothed beast.

"Aha!"

Svartha turns back to him, the hand held tightly within her claw. "However, before I give this back to you do satisfy my curiosity first." A predatory grin, though its unclear if she can actually grin in any other fashion. "So what made you decide to serve Ilpholin, specifically?" Seems like the goblins told her a few things. "Did you know her before being brought here?"

[MERC Offices]

Dena was just going to take the 'talking pigeon' in a stride. Tina wasn't about to make stuff up while talking about this.

So as she sees Tina hesitating she just gives her a reassuring nod. It didn't sound much sillier than other stuff she got reports on in the nexus. There was a whole people that looked like colorful talking horses after all so why would talking birds be that much weirder?

What concerned her more was getting in touch with said pigeon and have it be a credible witness. Since that was just the sort of thing she had to worry now that she was working as a pretend law-enforcer.

But that could wait for just a moment as Tina mentions how she and Kirk had commitment issues. "I thought the whole marriage thing you were doing wasn't especially binding?" Wasn't the whole point that they weren't supposed to commit? Since there was no way she'd see Kirk doing that.

Tina will have time to reply to this question before Kirk pops up on the screen and Dena directs all her attention to him.

"Hey Kirk, Tina here just came to me with a testimony about what just happened in Hell Bend. A person she spoke to there said that the attackers were lead by a 'nymph'. Does that match your intel on the situation?" Kirk would know that Dena has been in a meeting until now.

[Studious Visit]

"Oh absolutely!" Zhareen nods eagerly as this was her opportunity for a spiel.

"The fourth tower is founded on a scholarly principle that have endured the fall of an empire which unites us across both political and physical divides. The core being that knowledge is for everyone. Since many are under the misconception that only those with special gifts, such as witches, can become warlocks but nothing can be further from the truth. We believe that everyone has a god-given mind and that mind can be used to create wonderful things regardless of your circumstances."

She clears her throat.

"That said, another of our core principles is that we should strive to better ourselves. In other words, ah, become more powerful." Zhareen glances at Vax, feeling some hesitation at using this kind of wording to someone who had barely heard of their organization before. But she couldn't exactly avoid mentioning that the core principle of the fourth tower still was power even if it had changed drastically from its foundations.

Some compounds more so than others.

She looks back at Dulcie. "Since as the old saying goes, knowledge is power and the tower recognizes that the two cannot be separated. However, everyone gain power in their own way of course. Some might just be looking to study with us for a short time on their path to become a local witch doctor or priest while others seek to raise within our ranks to eventually become the leader of an entire compound. Though some members can even go, uh, further than that. But that's the beauty of it, you set your own limits."

And some people set their limits to what they considered to be godhood and beyond.

[Tauron's Lab]

As the two enter it's evident that he four-armed surgeon was preoccupied with the sculpture in the middle of the lab.
Being human-sized and made of clay its hard to not spot the moment one enters the lab given how pristine and bare its surroundings are.

Indeed, it seems like a couple of his myr servitors are making sure it stays this way by dutifully cleaning up the area around the sculpture. Making sure that everything always stays perfectly clean.

What's peculiar about this sculpture is that Tauron seems to have already have made its insides anatomically correct. Having first sculpted both a skeleton and internal organs of either metal or a red clay and is now adding the external organs, as in the flesh and the skin, out of a blue clay.

The sculpture seem to represent a human however given that it has four arms, one still just made of a skeletal metal structure, and an unusually shaped face. Though it is otherwise very human-like so he's not making a biological copy of himself either.

His impractically long claws twitch nervously as he regards the newcomer following Ilpholin inside the lab. "...a patient? As in someone that wishes to be, ah, improved?"
Last edited by Shadowcaller on Oct 23, 2023 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Riverside

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Tauron's Workshop

"Yes. I want to be better than I am." Although Matilda probably doesn't know what she's in for, she is now apparently volunteering. Matilda looks around, rather curiously, and she's also very much not scared. Despite everything, she's confident if needed she could fight her way out.
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Re: Riverside

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Reinholdt wrote: Oct 15, 2023 9:09 pm [Xar'cha Estate - Abyssal Aftermath]

Ilpholin bites back a vitriolic response about what a succubus does and just continues. "Right. So they created your world and now it's all bleeding in over here. I get why they'd create the material plane and the Abyss, but why Elysium? Why create something designed specifically to prevent them from getting the one thing they want?"
[Xar'cha Estate - Abyssal Aftermath]

"They... sort of didn't." Marianne explains. "Strictly speaking, Elysium isn't even a separate reality from the Abyss. Right now I'm a few miles above the spot where the band and I used to rehearse, back when we were all trapped down there. Which is... about as disconcerting as it sounds."

"But no, the Devils didn't make Elysium. The founding angels did. I don't know as much about them as I probably should, but they're probably the only exception to the general rule that anybody who goes against the Devils loses eventually. And even they knew better than to try stabbing... I think. Given the amount of anti-violence rhetoric up here, I'd be very surprised if they did."
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Re: Riverside

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Shadowcaller wrote: Oct 17, 2023 3:27 pm [Currency Exchange]

The other officers have taken cover and have exchanged some fire. But nothing close to hitting her. With civilians on the floor the risk of a bullet ricocheting into someone was far too great so they're rather conservative about firing.
So it looks like the only one close to her as she approaches the entrance is Miss Rock-Spider.

The elemental being makes a sweeping strike with one of its long forelegs aimed at her torso. In theory this one would be difficult to dodge the way she has avoided all the other attacks.
[Currency Exchange]

Theory quickly becomes practice as the spider's limb collides with the woman's torso, knocking her off her feet and leaving her temporarily winded, her gun spinning across the floor a short distance, out of reach.

It doesn't seem to stop her for long, though. While still on the floor, the robber rolls as best she can toward the vault door, aiming to be on the far side of it before the spider or officers can hit her with any kind of follow-up attack.
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Re: Riverside

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[Xar'cha Estate - Returning]

Tired and sore as Haabeth is, she nonetheless snaps to attention and salutes when Ilpholin meets her. She's nervous, even if she's trying not to show it. Will she be suspected of being compromised?

"Yes, ma'am. I had to leave my equipment behind and pretend to be a guest. But they didn't suspect me. I killed two demons and I might have seen something useful."
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