The dim ragnite-blue glow that had been lighting the Ancient Vault up to now has given way to the brighter lights of the inner chamber. There, you meet at last Arc Knight Klein. He sits in what can best be described as a pretty spartan throne, on his lap lies a greatsword which seems to have been painted pure white with pearlescent enamel. Klein looks at you with eyes that remind you of a bird of prey, though his age shows in his grey hair and skin, even through his light armor you can see his still has a very powerful physique.
Standing beside him, as they were talking as you arrived, is a younger man. Around the same age as the party, perhaps just slightly older, hair a golden color, suit a pristine white with a style clearly from Akavir, he turns around to look at you as you approach, his half cloak billowing with the movement, the rapier at his belt clinking.
Klein: "Unfamiliar faces"
Klein: "To what I owe the pleasure?"
Hughbert: "Sir Arc Knight, I presume? I assume a party of Masharasian travelers in this day and age need no introduction."
Harriet: "Yeah, we're kind of a big deal."
Klein nods, standing up. He sets the white sword down on the throne "Good that it is you, I apologize but I have been here for some time, awaiting a resolution which seems to have finally come. Whose banner do you fly, then?"
Serenity: "The one that isn't your cripplingly retarded son."
Hughbert: "Katia's. I don't suppose I could ask you to stand aside for the sake of your beloved niece?" He grins.
Klein: "I see… For what be said in his favor, he has a better plan than you give him credit for"
Serenity: "Any plan that involves letting Akavir fuck you up the ass for table scraps is a bad plan."
Anton: "Not like they had any better offers at the time." He scratches his head.
Klein: "Unfortunately, the trial has one last step, after all we are a warrior clan, after all" he looks at the man beside him "This is Sir Julius Beowulf, ranking officer of the Chancellor's personal guard"
The blond man nods, he seemed to be unperturbed by Serenity "It's good to finally meet the Fatebreakers, you certainly look as lively as I have heard about"
Serenity‘ certainly doesn’t look apologetic, either.
Serenity: "It's because of all the driving. Makes everyone all antsy when we get to step out of the car."
Julius: "Ah, indeed. You would love the railroads as a means of travel, then. Much more comfortable"
Harriet: "I do love a good locomotive."
Harriet: "But my car's a beautiful child and I love her."
Klein: "Sir Julius, if you would help me, then, as agreed?" Klein draws out a different sword from his belt, made entirely of dia-ragnite "Until the other side cedes defeat, then"
Amal: "When we force /you/ guys to cooperate with the rest of the world instead of being warmongering menaces, I'm sure we can build a really great railroad together across the whole world!"
Julius shrugs, drawing out his rapier "I apologize for the rather… Violent welcome, but do as you must in a foreigner's home, yes?" he clicks something in his rapier's hilt, and the blade is covered with ice "Oh, but we do cooperate, more than you believe"
Hughbert starts activation of his force gear… "Ah, so you'll be fighting together. Good. Now, please do take a moment to stretch and warm up if your aged muscles need it. I will not tolerate any complaints after we answer your challenge."
JayM: Battle order: Harriet [B]:36 Anton [B]:37 Serenity [B]:38 Amal [B]:39 Hughbert [F]:39 Arc Knight Klein [F]:40 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:43
JayM: Status for Arc Knight Klein [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]: : [==========]
Klein readies up his battle stance, the force gear on his boots spinning up "It is my hope you can defeat this old man" []
Serenity: "Hmm… actually a railroad network across the continent would go a long ways toward solving some supply issues lots of parts of it are having now that you mention it…"
JayM: Oops, forgot to tick to zero and boost up Anton
JayM: Battle order: Anton [B]:-4 Harriet [B]:0 Serenity [B]:2 Amal [B]:3 Hughbert [F]:3 Arc Knight Klein [F]:4 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:7
JayM: There we go
Serenity: "Man."
Serenity: "We sure do get a lot of opportunities to beat the shit out of people in charge."
Anton takes a deep breath and focuses on what's to come. [Intangability - 30D]
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 550/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - Time Cards[5] (U)
Klein: "It takes a certain type of person to do that. I hope your commanding officer chose well"
JayM: Harriet!
Julius: "That is correct, Serenity. It is the best tool for transporting goods in large scale, as well as personnel transport. Although it's construction and maitenance require constant and organized work, I am certain you appreciate the need of an unified, organized force to put such large scale plans in motion"
Harriet flips a switch on her ECC, and it starts spinning up. [5CT]
Amal: "Hehe! I bet there's a lot we can learn from you~! I'm looking forward to it!"
Serenity: "Ehhh…"
JayM: Serenity!
Harriet: "But it would be an interesting challenge though, wouldn't it?"
Julius: "Certainly"
Serenity: "I'm not sure a good railway network really necessitates world domination. A private company could probably handle it jsut fine."
Serenity‘ swings her rifle around from her back, before pulling the trigger when it’s vaguely pointed in Julius' direction. [50D] [Sniper Beam @60D]
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Hughbert [F]:0 Arc Knight Klein [F]:1 Harriet [B]:2 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:4 Anton [B]:23 Serenity [B]:49 Sniper Beam:59
JayM: Amal!
Julius: "There are indeed certain advanges to private companies, as long as they have competent administration of course"
Amal figures a Chorus will PROBABLY be useful to SOMEONE in a few moments. [CT 10]
Serenity: "Or even as a joint project. The Sacred Groves are coming along just fine."
JayM: Hughbert!
Hughbert takes his usual place in the formation and cuts off the rest of the party with a barrier of shimmering air. "So, let's see what you two do…" [Compressed Curtain, 30D]
Julius nods "I have to agree the Sacred Groves are impressive projects, although they have a lot of… Inefficiencies"
Serenity: "I for one blame that entirely on Mai."
Harriet: "Yeah, we weren't exactly working in optimal conditions."
Klein takes a deep breath and suddenly charges forward towards Hughbert- But instead of striking at him he jumps on his shoulders and flips over the party, landing behind Amal with a spinning slash with immense impact [Overflip Flash]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 19 ( Total: 19 ) for 80
JayM rolled 1d10+144,80 and got 3 ( Total: 117.60000000000001 )
Harriet: "What. What! Oh come on that's so badass that is unfair."
The strike hits Amal for [117] Physical Melee damage, knocks him flying into the front row and inflicts Guard Break(1), take +30% damage
Harriet: "Hughbert, how come you never vault-flip over people?"
Klein returns to his position with a single vault
JayM: Battle order: Harriet [B]:0 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:2 Amal [F]:8 Anton [B]:21 Hughbert [F]:28 Serenity [B]:47 Arc Knight Klein [F]:49 Sniper Beam:57
JayM: HArriet!
Serenity: "I sort of perfer his shock absorber not moving away from us…."
JayM: Oh right I forgot one special condition on this battle: Victory is given if you defeat either of the two opponents
Hughbert: "Ow. I assure you that I have. How could you forget? I didn't even do it on purpose, I was just very annoyed about the constant delays."
Harriet swings her ECC around, pointed at the icy officer Julius. "Oh, just for the record, that was a really good idea but I've still gotta zap ya." [Jolt, 25D]
Harriet rolled 1d12+180 and got 8 ( Total: 188.0 ) for enjoy being quickened by 2D
Math: (188/2) = 94
Julius points his rapier at the ECC, he captures the lightning with his blade and with a swing redirects it at the ground blocking most of the damage taking only [94] damage
Julius gains Parry Break(1), take +100% damage
Harriet: "Okay, that's pretty cool."
Harriet: "It would be wrong to augment a family heirloom to do that, wouldn't it?"
Harriet: "… yeah, that would probably count as desecration."
Serenity: "Who's gunna complain?"
Julius then runs forward, with a single piercing lunge he strikes at Hughbert, his rapier manages to pierce through most of the deflector field's defenses striking through his arm, but the speed and strength is enough he keeps going and skewers Amal as well and finally pins both of htem again the wall, before retreating [Rapier Overdriver]
Harriet: "My mother would!"
JayM rolled 2d100 and got 68, 1 ( Total: 69 )
JayM rolled 1d8+105 and got 3 ( Total: 108 )
Math: (108*1.3) = 140.4
JayM: Dealing [108] to Hughbert and [140] to Amal
Amal: "-ack!!!"
Harriet: "- whoa holy shit."
Serenity: "I don't know. Do you think she'd be more mad at you making your sword ether absorbant, or at you dying because you didn't have an ether absorbant sword?"
The rapier is leaking a lot of mist [will take extra damage if hit]
[OOC] Amal: HP: 293/550, [TMP: 80] MP: 550/550, LP: 9/9, SoS: 137 - Guard Break +30% damage (1)
Harriet: "You know, that's a good point."
JayM: Battle order: Amal [F]:0 Anton [B]:13 Harriet [B]:17 Hughbert [F]:20 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:32 Serenity [B]:39 Arc Knight Klein [F]:41 Sniper Beam:49
JayM: Status for Arc Knight Klein [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Amal!
[OOC] Amal: I probably have more HP than that but I have no idea how much I actually have!
Amal tosses a web of light onto Julius, a little impressed. [Chorus D25]
JayM: You have 550 because you have rested well and not fought in forever
Amal rolled d12+99 and got 11 ( Total: 110 ) for +20% damage to the next hit
Math: (110*1.5) = 165
Math: (110*0.5) = 55
[OOC] Hughbert: you took 0 damage from the first hit because I tanked it, and regular damage from the 2nd one
[OOC] Hughbert: so that puts you at 490 probably?
Julius sidesteps and with a single slash of his blade distorts the web of light as it comes to him, taking only [55] damage.
Julius gains Parry Break(1), take +100% damage
[OOC] Amal: ilu gravagar
Doing os, however, overloads the already overloaded rapier force gear, and he takes [300] feedback daage
JayM: Anton!
Serenity: "Okay, maybe the sword isn't that cool Harriet."
JayM: About Parry:
JayM: Julius permanently takes -50% damage from all sources, but after being hit once he gains Parry Break(1), making him take +100% damage (totalling +50% damage)
Harriet: "We can improve it, we have the technology."
Anton chews at his lip before deciding to call three clones of himself out. [Phantom Rush - 70D] He snaps his finger and one begins to glow. [Invert]
[OOC] Anton: 30D x3 for clones if you don't remember
JayM: Battle order: Harriet [B]:0 Hughbert [F]:3 Amal [F]:8 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:15 Serenity [B]:22 Arc Knight Klein [F]:24 S-Anton A [F]:26 S-Anton B [F]:26 S-Anton C [F]:26 Sniper Beam:32 Anton [B]:66
JayM: Harriet!
Harriet flicks a few switches on her ECC, turns a crank, and it starts spinning up. [CT20]
JayM: Hughbert!
Hughbert makes force gear adjustments, relieving some minor pressure on the system. "Hmm… I was looking forward to seeing the Arc Knight's skill on display. There must be more, isn't there?" [Compressed Curtain, 30D]
Klein nods "If you insist"
[OOC] Hughbert: HP: 700/700, tHP: 15, stored: 80, MP: 600/600, LP: 6/6, SoS: 162
[OOC] Hughbert: the 15 thp is after tossing stored oops
[OOC] Anton: HP: 540/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - Time Cards[5] (U)
Light shines from under Klein's outfit, and his boots whine as they charge up "All which is shines on this blade…" he says, as he lowers his sword [Q - Hypersurge Drive] [Tonbokiri]
JayM: Battle order: Amal [F]:0 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:7 Harriet [B]:12 Serenity [B]:14 Arc Knight Klein [F]:15 S-Anton A [F]:18 S-Anton B [F]:18 S-Anton C [F]:18 Sniper Beam:24 Hughbert [F]:25 Anton [B]:58
JayM: Amal!
Amal gathers another web of light! [CT 10]
Julius raises his rapier in front of him, the hilt starts emitting light as he focuses [Sapphire Heart] [Q - Riposte]
JayM: Amal again!
Amal throws that web of light at Julius - are they stacking it on top of the other one or was there a hit in between?
Amal rolled d12+99 and got 11 ( Total: 110 ) for I think +40% damage to the next hit
JayM: Totally stacking
Math: (110*1.7) = 187
[OOC] Amal: Sweet.
JayM: Given he's still Parry Broken and the bonus from the previous [187] damage
JayM: Battle order: Harriet [B]:0 Serenity [B]:2 Arc Knight Klein [F]:3 S-Anton A [F]:6 S-Anton B [F]:6 S-Anton C [F]:6 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:10 Sniper Beam:12 Hughbert [F]:13 Amal [F]:23 Anton [B]:46
JayM: Status for Arc Knight Klein [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]: : [====== ] Chorus[+40%](4)
JayM: Harriet!
Harriet points her ECC straight at Julius, turns the crank, and releases an arc of electricity! [Atom Smasher, 35D]
Harriet rolled 1d12+240*1.2 and got 2 ( Total: 290.0 ) for Storm Tracking
JayM: This time, he can't defend
[OOC] Serenity: 508
[OOC] Harriet: Oh, And 30 Damage To Klein
[OOC] Math: 240+2)*1.9) = 459.8
Serenity‘ snaps her fingers as the lightning explodes. [Attack Assist]
Serenity` rolled 1d12+180,210% and got 8 ( Total: 394.8 ) for copies sit mods. :D
JayM: Well isn’t this beautiful
Assaulted by all sides, Julius takes a severe beating he can't defend from. He's shaking, as one should when assaulted by lightning like this "Ah… Turns out you are indeed as powerful as expected"
Julius: "And here I had a vain hope it would not be so… I wonder, then…"
[OOC] Serenity: actually that should be 260% so another 94…
JayM: Battle order: Serenity [B]:0 Arc Knight Klein [F]:1 S-Anton A [F]:4 S-Anton B [F]:4 S-Anton C [F]:4 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:8 Sniper Beam:10 Hughbert [F]:11 Amal [F]:21 Harriet [B]:33 Anton [B]:44
JayM: Status for Arc Knight Klein [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]: : [= ]
JayM: Serenity
Serenity: "That's silly."
Serenity‘ hefts her rifle up to her shoulder and takes a shot. [60D - Forward Strike]
Serenity` rolled d100 and got 74 ( Total: 74 )
Serenity` rolled 1d12+108,150% and got 10 ( Total: 177.0 ) for someone chain off this for +70% total and regain 72 HP
Anton follows up with an assist!
Anton rolled 1d100 and got 72 ( Total: 72 ) for 80
Anton rolled d12+140 and got 10 ( Total: 150.0 )
[OOC] Anton: Only with damage mods
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - Time Cards[5] (U),Next Spell +40% (U)
Julius gets struck by both the bullet and the bolt "Unfortunately… Even upon being discarded a pawn must still perform to it’s best capacity" [Rook's Will] [Rook's Stand] he takes a deep breath as he stands tall, in battle ready stance "Has he been outplayed, I wonder?"
JayM: Battle order: Arc Knight Klein [F]:0 S-Anton A [F]:3 S-Anton B [F]:3 S-Anton C [F]:3 Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]:7 Sniper Beam:9 Hughbert [F]:10 Amal [F]:20 Harriet [B]:32 Anton [B]:43 Serenity [B]:59
JayM: Status for Arc Knight Klein [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Julius, Ice Cold Officer [F]: : [-KO-]
JayM: Julius has 0 HP, but still needs to be hit twice before he falls
Amal: "…I admire your resolve."
Klein looks at Hughbert "Ready yourself" he there's a sudden surge of movement, as if time stood still as Klen dashes forward with tremendous speed. He slash right through Hughbert as if he wasn't even there so fast is the strike, it's followed by a trail of blazing light that's gone in an instant
JayM rolled 1d12+300 and got 2 ( Total: 302 )
Hughbert covers himself with one arm, a sliver of his curtain unraveling to wrap around it! [-10% x 2 charges]
Anton snaps his fingers as one of his timecards dissolve. [Good Fortune - Hughbert takes 1 step less damage from this attack.]
Hughbert is struck for [302] Magical Light damage as his entire force gear becomes contaminated with that energy, granting him Enlight(3)
JayM: Enlight makes you deal +50% more damage to Silvarant Crusaders, which would be Klein here
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 550/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - Time Cards[4] (U),Next Spell +50% (U)
JayM: Shadow Antons!
Anton fires a bolt each at Klein, Julius and then Hughbert.
Anton rolled 3d100 and got 20, 25, 67 ( Total: 112 )
Anton rolled d10+150 and got 3 ( Total: 153.0 ) for Damage, damage, healing
Julius knocks off the bolt coming in his direction
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 550/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - Time Cards[4] (U),Next Spell +170% (U)
Julius sighs "Thus is fate, then" he says, in a nonchalant manner. He points his rapier at Hughbert as ice starts to gather around him more and more until his entire lower body has been encased in ice "I imagine I can take one of you down at least" he clicks something on his rapier and dashes incredibly fast Hughbert "Sapphire Heart!" he lunges at him once with enough force to break Hughbert out of his icy prison and send him reeling
But… Julius doesn't stop, boosted by his force gear he has enough speed to turn around, before Hughbert's momentum is finished, and aims a lunge direct at Hughbert's heart-
"Ash to ash…" you hear Klein mutter- You can't imagine how he managed to move so fast, moving across the party and appearing behind Julius, with a tremendous strike sending the man crashing in to the ground he strikes with the hilt of his blade against the man's neck "That… Was not in the deal"
Amal raises BOTH eyebrows.
Klein tosses his sword aside, as well as his jacket that you notice is where msot of his acceleration force gear is, the coloration and the fact the ragnite in it is boiling indicates something very bad is about to happen, or maybe it won't "Hrm… That's one pineapple resolved…" he nods to the party "Thank you for the assistance"
Harriet: "Um. What just happened?"
Klein: "I will consider this a victory on your part"
Anton: "No, no, no. You're doing it all wrong. You know, you gotta invert the attack before you frinedly fire. I just did it earlier!"
Serenity: "I'm pretty sure that fucker wasn't getting through his gear anyway and uh… sorry not-sorry but this spell has to land somewhere." And a massiv eimplosion goes off under the ground beneather Julius, slamming him harder into the ground.
Hughbert saved a little juice in the defense system for this one! [-10% x 2 charges] … Yet the expected second blow failed to land, and the tendril of air slips back into the curtain.
Anton: "Also I don't think I've fired my giant laser in months! All this build up and no payoff!"
Klein: "Hrm… This particular akaviri officer was under orders to kill you. Particularly" he kneels down and picks up the rapier "This weapon is designed specifically to pierce through the design of barrier field masharas utilizes" he hands to to Hughbert "Specifically, it was designed based to counteract your equipment in particular, Hughbert" "
Harriet: "Oh, shit."
Klein: "Much to his dismay, however, I respond to the Royal Guard, not the Chancellor."
Serenity: "Wait hold up."
Hughbert furrows his brow. "What in the goddess's good name…?" He takes the rapier and pushes his glasses up to get an eyeful of it. "…I see."
Serenity: "They spent R&D budget SPECIFICALLY on a weapon to get past one officer's personal gear…?"
Anton: "Technically, Hughberts tech isn't JUST used by Hughbert."
Amal: "Hughbert's scary enough to scare all Akavir. That's kinda badass."
Anton: "Or are you trying to imply we also blew R&D budget on one officer's personal gear?" He grins.
Serenity: "Oh right he is part of R&D so I guess it might be military prototype technically, but."
Harriet: "I think it probably was designed for Hughbert, though."
Klein: "You have no idea how much of a danger you've made yourselves to their current plans, Serenity"
Amal: "Ahahahahaha."
Amal: "I bet we can guess."
Serenity: "Uhh yeah I do."
Amal: "Is the answer 'a lot'?"
Serenity: "I mean we exist exclusively to fuck them over."
Klein: "Yes, it is a good answer"
Serenity: "And we're really, really good at it."
Amal: "Anyways, I've been looking forward to meeting you for a while!"
Serenity: "Well okay I think we also exist to soft counter some other oracles but it's MOSTLY fucking over Akavir."
Amal: "You want a political uprising in Akavir? We're good at those at this point."
Harriet: "See, barrier fields are adaptive. If someone uses a force gear a lot, the field sort of," Harriet gestures roundly with her hands, "shapes around them. The properties can change in a statistically significant way. Killer weapons focus on those particular signatures, but they're way less effective against any other signatures. So, yeah, someone was specifically gunning for Hughbert,
Harriet: because he's super badass and basically herds us all around to do our thing, let's be real here. "
Klein chuckles "There is no need to worry about that, my son is already working on that front"
Hughbert: "Right. This gear is a few iterations past the beta phase, but we haven't rolled them out en masse yet. I was able to convince the Major our mission warrants taking one out for some field testing." Hughbert devolves into mumbling about whether to send it home via postal service, call his men to collect it, or just carry it personally.
Klein: "To give my son some credit… He is aware of the current divide in current akaviri state and their impending social revolution and change of government"
Amal: "I mean… it'll go a lot faster if we're helping."
Klein: "His plan was utilize the Knight's forces as part of the primary armies siding with the prince, utilize the prestige and resources acquired in such a manner to acquire land and, most importantly, production companies and estabilish himself among one of the new commoner elites that would replace the old aristocracy"
Klein: "It is a plan with merits"
Serenity: "Okay but on the flip side:"
Serenity: "Did you know they were using the lava clan to build a MASSIVE FUCKING DEATH RAY that was going to obliterate everything between them and Masharas?"
Serenity: "No one wins except Akavir if Akavir is in a position of power."
Amal points at Serenity and nods.
Harriet: "Akavir are kind of awful, news flash."
Klein: "Hrm…" he furrows his eyebrows "The information matches but… Hrm…" he looks at Serenity "I have heard of the secret superweapon, although the Knights nor the Royal Guard were involved so my information is limited to knowing it exists. However…" he puts a hand on his chin "Some of our engineers, we do have a few, have been conscripted to work on strangely shaped and located defensive walls in Akavir"
Klein: "The positioning and construction doesn't matches any sort of logic for defense, but you mentioning a giant energy weapon seems to indicate the possibility of backfiring exists, the positioning would be logical with that in mind"
Klein: "But… What doesn't makes sense is that the Royal Guard is sponsoring the construction of the walls, and the Dustfire contracts, as far as I remember, were with the Chamber of Commons"
Klein: "Hrm… Akavir, either way, seems to be on their way to re-enacting the sins of the ancient of empire, and taking both themselves out as well as all of those around them"
Hughbert: "Then perhaps someone is manipulating the Guard and the Commons from behind the scenes. They may not realize just what they're contributing towards."
Klein: "In the end, I believe this is the better resolution"
Klein sighs, turns around and picks up the white blade "However, the important matter at hand" he offers it to Hughbert "You seem to be the field commander here. This is the Pact Blade, the symbolic instrument of the Arc Knight's right to rule. Shall we head out and the champion present this to the Ascendant Knight?"
Serenity: "What about the asshole?"
Klein looks down "Hrm… What does one do with enemy officers?"
Klein: "I can have it arranged for him to be delivered for… Intelligence work in Masharas, if you so wish"
Serenity: "Works for me."
Hughbert pops out a ragnite tube from the rapier and tucks it into his belt before taking the Pact Blade. "Many thanks. Arc Knight, I understand the future you want for your people. We're going to take this," he holds the blade out for emphasis, "and we're going to make your future no less bright than your own dream." He nods in response to the delivery, "We'll have a 'penthouse suite' ready for him."
Klein nods "Then, let's go"
Serenity‘ heads on back out.
Harriet heads that-a-way.
Klein takes you outside again, thankfully the entire place only has one way in and out, it’s not a place to set up your secret base at at all.
You notice the battle's still raging wildly, as it should. It looks also like it isn't really going anywhere, though it seems one side appears to have all the defensive implements the other seems to have all the armaments, it's a assymetrical but balanced battle that's not going to go anywhere very, very slowly
Hughbert takes the lead out of the vault. "I'm hoping R+D can determine where this damned rapier was made. I'm going to insist on a detour to visit them when we visit Akavir."
However, once Klein steps out he shouts "Knights, assemble!"
Harriet: "Yeah, no kidding."
And with that shout, the entire fighting stops in an instant. You see the combatants of both sides running in- Without anyone giving orders they organize properly in battalions, formations nearly perfect despite the fact people on both sides have mixed now. It takes a grand total of six minutes for all the combatants to assemble in parade formation- Katia is at the load alongside a second person, he looks very similar to her,though a fair bit more worn out, must definitely be Peyton.
Hughbert stands besides Klein and holds the Pact Blade up high for all to see. "I, Lieutenant Hughbert Marcel of Masharas, champion of Ascendant Knight Katia, claim this blade." He then lays it flat in both hands and holds it out in her direction.
Katia takes a deep breath, and takes the blade. "With this" Klein continues "You have passed the test, you have chosen well your soldiers, you have seen the power that masterless blades have upon the affairs of others" he kneels down before her "It is an honor, Arc Knight Katia"
Katia raises the blade high, and you hear the echoing war cry of the entire contingent, in almost perfect synchrony.
Still, it takes another fifteen minutes before the entire contingent can organize itself to disperse- As soon as the cry is over Katia and Peyton start to work organizing the return of the troops to where they belong, the forward camp and Castle In The Hill and wherever else they should be. There is ALWAYS work to be done.
And once they've given him some distance, Klein sits down right there in the stony plateau where the ancient vault is, breathing heavily "I really am getting old"
Serenity: "Well that was a good reminder of why we're a small group and not a large one if nothing else."
Klein: "Remind me not to try that again"
Harriet: "Okay, don't try that again."
Harriet: "But, like, I don't think you'll have too? She seems pretty competent at this whole organisation thing."
Klein chuckles "She is, it's what she was raised for after all"
Klein: "Made sure to teach both of them all the things I wish someone had taught me when I was an Ascendant… There's so much more to leading a clan than just… Knowing how to fight, or lead people in battle. At some point in the past we forgot that" "
Klein: "I hope we don't forget that again"
Harriet: "Yeah, it sounds pretty complicated."
Klein: "My advice for you, Harriet? Don't do it"
Klein: "It's a pain"
Harriet: "Pshhh. That's, like, so out of my wheelhouse it's not even funny. I want to make amazing things, not oversee some other jerks who get to make all the amazing things."
He starts laughing to himself "Oh… Haven't been able to relax like that for a long time…" he looks up at you "I hear you do make amazing things"
Harriet: "Yup! That's me, Harriet Babbage, fixing problems."
Klein: "So… Now that you've been our heroes, where to next?"
Klein: "I imagine a group such as yours doesn't get much rest between deployments"
Serenity‘ counts off on her fingers.
Amal glances at Hughbert. "Where -to- next?"
Serenity: "Well we stopped every other country from making a horrible mistake now so…"
Serenity` tilts her head towards Anton. "I imagine it’s about time for whats her tits to tell us it's time to move on Akavir, unless it's Asshole Oracle time instead?"
Hughbert: "Hmm… Well, if I am not mistaken, yours was the last clan that had a major Akaviri influence that needed to be cleaned up. It's very likely that we're ready to go home to prepare for the greatly-anticipated Akavir trip, unless you think the clans need our help figuring out their representative for the peace talks."
Serenity: "That's what the radio broadcasting tower was for."
Klein closes his eyes, thinking "No, if we can't solve that on our own, what hope do we have to do anything in the peace talks?
Hughbert: "Unless we get halfway home and an oracle hops out from an ash-blanketed shrubbery wearing a mask and making monster noises. Must not forget that is likely."
Serenity: "(Bet they pick the mail corriers, regardless.)"
Klein: "You seem like you've a recurring rival, Hughbert"
Klein: "Well, I wish you luck with them, and on your travel home"
Klein: "Do stop by either Castle In The Hill or the forward camp, i'm sure they'd be happy to help you ressuply for the trip"
Harriet: "Oh good, maybe we can get some food that isn't dried nuts."
Hughbert: "At least two. Probably three, depending on your definition. We should still have some fruit left over from that tree that had every fruit, Harriet." He does tell him they'd gladly accept the hospitality, though.
Harriet: "Man, that tree was so cool."
Serenity: "A pretty good tree, yeah."
Serenity: "Still can't believe it had a watermelon on it."
Harriet: "I know, right?!"
Klein: "Oh, so you're met the Stingers' secret- Wait, what, a watermelon, on a tree?"
Amal: "It was a very special tree."
JayM: That said, though
JayM: Are you ready for your triumphant return, then?
Serenity‘ is pretty sure they did everything they needed to do in this country, yeah.
Hughbert is ready to see what’s gone down at home in our absence!
Harriet has everything she needs from this region!
The sound of the car engine humming, the sound of sand being crushed underneath wheels… It has become all too familiar to you at this point. For how long have you been hearing that sound?
And so is the early night, you saw the night fall as you headed towards home, but now that you approach you see the sun starting to set, again… But this time, not behind ashen clouds but on the horizon
The closer you get to the tunnel that leads to the side of the continent, the clearer the air gets- At a point it's just outright jarring, you had yet to realize the effect the ashes had on your throats up to this point, but now that they do not pervade the air so you realize their presence- It seems to have struck Serenity harder than anyone else
Still, the rush of fresh air as you enter the tunnel is a welcome sensation… But something seems wrong- But in which return has there not been something wrong?
There's a distant echoing sound you can't discern quite yet
[OOC] Serenity: That's what we pay anton for
JayM: You don't need an Oracle, you just need a bit more time-
JayM: After all the sound is something you've heard quite a few times: Cannonfire
JayM: The continued sound of a heavy shelling, it's troublesome just how long it lasts
Serenity‘ coughs into her shoulder a few times. "Who’s shooting who Anton?"
You finally erupt on the other end of the tunnel- Yet the city seems perfectly fine, no, the noise comes from further away, towards one of the recent openings in the Divine Aegis
Amal: "Oh no."
Harriet: "Ohhh boy."
As you get closer you hear the roaring noise of another vehicle- A different vehicle approaches fast, quickly coming side-by-side with your car. It's one of the Arrows, the high speed intrusion armored cars that Masharas uses. Riding on the back the Major "There you are, we need you over at the opening right now, follow" she directs her driver to go along
Serenity: "H'kay."
Hughbert reflexively salutes! "Right behind you, ma'am."
You're directed in a straight line, as straight as can be directly through the city itself. Though you see people worried at the noise absolutely nothing seems to have happened to the city. Or rather, one thing has: The repair work from the catastrophe seems to have nearly finished, the edge of the city that was grazed by it had the entirety of it's ground replaced by artificial paviment looking like a giant balcony
Still, you're taken directly to the opening where you see… What you've never seen before. You've seen the transparent distortions caused by barrier fields, but nothing like this: It's like hexagons of lightly-tinted blue glass had been built into a wall covering the entire gap in the Divine Aegis, the barrier field looks a hundred times more solid than normal and built out of hexagons rather than a singular smooth surface, it's also considerably, considerably thicker
At the moment you arrive it's just in time to witness almost thirty explosive shells impact heavily against it, to no effect
Serenity: "Huhhhh."
Harriet: "I'm so proud of them."
In fact, the shield seems to be holding so well that the defensive forces here aren't that big, even for Masharas standards, most of it is engineering staff, overseeing the gigantic pillar-like assembly in the center
Hughbert: "That's incredible… But, what's wrong here, Major?"
Harriet: "At a guess, it's all the cannons being shot at us?"
Major: "This, is not so much a tactical catastrophe, as it is a political one. The cannons can't do anything, and in theory we should stop them. But that'd just cause more problems if done the wrong way"
Amal: "Figure they'll eventually run out of cannonballs?"
Hughbert: "Right. The lack of armed guards gave me the impression that you weren't exactly afraid of that artillery. Who is firing?"
Major: "The forces over there" she points to the armored vehicles you can see from here "They fly no banner, technically, they're rogue agents from Chamber of Commons attacking us in order to force a retaliatory strike, inciting an armed conflict" "
Major: "They're not associated with the commons, officially at least, not a sanctioned action"
Amal: "Adorable."
Major: "The idea is that this kind of aggressive action would cause the Noble League to attempt to stop them in order to keep peace"
Harriet: "Sooo all we have to do is unofficially go over there and convince them to stop being pricks, right?"
Major: "Of course. Who do you imagine they actually take orders from?"
Major: "What we need to do, is for you to get there and make them go away, yes. Without killing anyone. Which will, in turn, show we have a sufficiently high technical superiority we're not targets they can afford to fight"
Harriet: "Okay, so killing's off the table, but can we sabotage their gear?"
Serenity: "If they're not flying a banner and they're attacking our capital, who gives a shit if we shoot them down?"
Major: "Mind. The entire situation is an even bigger ball of yarn, but the solution is, at the moment, the same"
Major: "Wether they fly a banner or not isn't the issue, Serenity. Is what others can make this seem like. If we give them a reason here, we're looking at being the initial spark of the akaviri civil war. And if we're going to start it, i'd rather we start it on our terms, rather than theirs"
Amal: "I'm hoping for more of an Akaviri… civil disagreement."
Major: "As it is, if we allow things to proceed the way they are, it will end up with the Chamber of Commons in charge and the Noble Leage destroyed- A complete social revolution, bloody as hell, wit hthe worst possible leader in charge"
Serenity: "I don't see how we could be held accountable for shit, they're a long way from home with a lot of heavy ordinance."
Major: "Oh, no, we can't be held accountable, Serenity"
Major: "But that's not the point. It's who they can blame for attacking us"
Major: "Oh, no, we can't be held accountable, Serenity"
Major: "But that's not the point. It's who they can blame for attacking us"
Major: "If they can pin the blame of attacking us on rogue chamber of commons agents, the noble league has an excuse to try to destroy the only source of political strength the commoner class has- And there we have it, a civil war that they've been preparing for"
Harriet: "Uuuugh politics are so dumb."
Major: "Of course, let's not even get into how this is actually headed by the chancellor head of the very chamber of commons to bait the noble league into being aggressors so he can use overwhelming firepower he has been amassing in secret to defeat them and make himself a national hero of the downthrodden"
Major: "So… The best option, in this case, is to ensure both that we have the capacity to deny this attack happened, as well as send a message we're well aware they're using us for their political games, and that we won't accept it"
Amal: "Can we find proof of that? Discredit the chancellor in front of his own supporters
Major: "Unfortunately, one of the downsides of relying on oracle foresight capacity to outwit opponents is that there is sometimes no evidence or proof"
Major: "We do have leads we can follow… But that'll be for your mission briefing later. For now, we need to stop a shelling"
Hughbert: "…So what do we need, then… It sounds like a terrible outcome regardless if we do anything at all to them. I think we must rely on being able to persuade them to stop of their own accord, somehow. Hmm…"
Harriet: "Yeah, I think I'll let you do the talking on that one."
Major: "First, get in there, disable their heavy armaments. Then apply some diplomacy, or perhaps just return and let our diplomatic corps deal with that nasty part of the engagement"
Serenity: "Those are normal force gear cannons and not those fucking weird ass black powder ones, right?"
Major: "Yes, force gear cannons"
Harriet: "Oh, that's easy."
Serenity: "Assuming they don't run out of juice before I can get down there shouldn't be too hard to turn them off, then."
Major: "Be cautious if you're going to try to interfere with them with your power, by the way. They're attacking here, clearly they'd have something ready, it's just logical they would. I couldn't guess what, though"
Major: "Take fifteen, gather your thoughts, make a plan, tell me resources you need and we'll move"
Hughbert nods. "Alright. Would it buy us enough time to simply ask the cannons politely to stop, Serenity?"
Amal: "Only winning move is not to play."
JayM: And with that
JayM: We leave our heroes to plan
Serenity: "Actually what would really be funny would be to put the force field over them and shrink it until it's barely big enough to contain them but I can't imagine trying to do that while we're still using it would be smart…"
JayM: With Serenity's sadistic tendencies unleashed
JayM: We must leave for tonight
JayM: The outcome of this incursion? We shall see next week
JayM: Also, [14 XP], for facing that strange duel

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