Apocatastasis Fiend Medicine

AURUM: Etched on the surface of the moon: <秩序大火ヘン : Fiend Medicine>
AURUM: The Mud-Ocean laps at the white-sand beach; the moon and the aurora give everything a weird reddish cast.
Ezekiel: "Whadda ya figure is with all the JP anyway?"
AURUM: There's something hard to pin down but subtly unreal about everything - like the rocks on the beach were deliberately placed there by some artist, crafting beaches, in a beach-workshop.
Solberg: "The - what?"
Ezekiel: "The moon runes."
Nine: "It's a language that puts a lot of meaning in very few letters"
Nine: "Some people like it"
Ezekiel: "Which I can say now,"
Ezekiel: "Because as far as you know they're runes,"
Ezekiel: "On the moon."
Ezekiel looks entirely too amuses by this.
Solberg looks up. "Oh. For once you're not hallucinating."
Nameless: "Hm."
Nine‘ stares at Ezekiel for a few moments, then looks up at the moon, back down at the beach. He furrows his eyebrows
Ezekiel: "Please we’re int he neverending story, nothing is a hallucination, it's just weirdness!"
Nine: "This kind of… Uncanny valley…"
Nine: "I've seen quite a few machines cause this, never the scenery"
Nine‘ looks around "What now, I wonder… We can’t just wait for something to happen… Or i'd rather not at any rate"
Eidolon is stalking down the beach.
Eidolon: "Still chewing the scenery?"
Nameless‘ is staring at the tree. Smiling.
AURUM: So, like I said before, it’s a pretty big island. In the middle of the island, there's an enormous tree; towards one end of the island, in the distance, there's a small mountain that'd look MUCH more impressive if the tree weren't there.
AURUM: There are lights, on and around the mountain, sparkling and flickering in the not-light; stone buildings and walls. Some sort of settlement.
Eidolon: "Come, come. Don't let the red cloud your judgment."
Nine‘ looks up at the tree, back at Nameless, makes sense. He changes his attention towards the mountain
Solberg: "Something seems familiar about this."
Nine: "Well there’s people, or something like it. Let's go check"
AURUM: There are flags up on the walls, with a symbol Clarafina recognises.
Nine‘ starts heading towards the mountain
Nameless` strolls along, humming merrily.
Clarafina: "…How curious."
Clarafina puts on her mask as she approaches. …Not that anyone would recognize her.
Ezekiel: "Oh shit Hime’s entering Weirdo Modo, this oughta be interesting."
Clarafina: "Sometimes I'm masked, sometimes I'm not masked. There's not really any rhyme or reason to it."
Ezekiel: "Uh-huh."
AURUM: As you get closer, there are…
AURUM: Well, there's -movement- on the battlements, at any rate.
AURUM: Hard to see. Lots of hats.
Eidolon: "Sure are a lot of hats."
AURUM: It's true!
Eidolon: "Odds on them firing on us?"
Ezekiel: "Well obviously, she's from Steampunk Land. Stands to reason."
Nine: "No idea, Eidolon"
Clarafina: "Don't we all have our punk phase…?" She starts hiking up the mountain, taking point.
Nameless: "We'll find out when we get there."
Solberg: "I think I'm here because I'm having mine."
Ezekiel follows on up.
AURUM: Well, I mean, there's a giant stone wall at about the foothills,
AURUM: which you're coming up on.
AURUM: There's someone standing outside the gate, right by one of those little doors-inside-a-larger-gate-door that you see, sometimes -
Clarafina: "We're seeking entry," she explains.
Nameless‘ looks as unthreatening as possible. Which, aside from the huge sword, is pretty possible.
AURUM: Strikingly dressed, a lace-ruffled bliaut so dark purple it’s almost black, elegant gloves, a plague doctor's mask, a head-dress or cowl made out of black crow feathers, silk tassels, and amethysts.
AURUM: A young man's voice, elegant and mellifluous, muffled by the mask: "You're not fiends, are you? You don't look like fiends."
Ezekiel: "Nope, pretty much human."
Eidolon grins, sparkleteeth.
Nine: "Human as far as I know" he's definitely not looking at Eidolon's Obviously-a-fiend face no
Clarafina: "At the very least, we aren't fiends."
Eidolon is just so [Charm]ing otherwise.
Nameless: "A man doesn't feel like a fiend, either. So is probably safe to allow into your city."
Solberg: "Surely there's some fiend litmus test we can pass instead of just making verbal claims?"
Clarafina: "If you prick us, do we bleed, I suppose…?"
Clarafina: "…No, our word's as good as anything."
AURUM: "Delightful. It's been -years- since I saw another human in here. My name is…" There's a slightly awkward pause, while he gestures with a lace-ruffled hand- "-Xitrost!"
Ezekiel: "Ezekiel!
a pause* *an apologetic smile*
AURUM: "Anyways, it doesn't… matter all that much, I suppose. The real quarantine is underground, anyways."
Clarafina: "Keeping it in or out?"
AURUM: "Well, I should probably let them explain the situation, shouldn't I?
AURUM: He turns towards the smaller gate-door, pulls some complicated and heavy-looking keys out of, basically, hammerspace, opens the door.
Ezekiel: "Sure."
Eidolon: "Have many fiend problems about?"
AURUM: The city inside: is much bigger than it needs to be, like it was purpose-built for a population that never really happened. Lots of incredibly elaborate stonework. Gaudy, ostentatious, to the point where even your narrator can't approve.
AURUM: Xitrost chuckles. "Well, I mean."
AURUM: "There are fiends, and they have problems."
AURUM: "So yes."
Eidolon: "Interesting response."
Clarafina tips her chin as she heads in.
Clarafina: "Well, thanks for keeping watch."
Clarafina: "It looks like rain, by the way. Stay dry, now."
Nameless: "Tut tut, it looks like rain?"
Nine‘ looks out, at the very least this looks like a very well projected city, probably wasn’t a bad idea to be bigger than it needs to, better than being smaller than needed. Not the best taste in the world though "As he said. But mentioned someone should explain?"
AURUM: A massive boulevard paved with mosaics - the aesthetic theme seems to be scenes taking places in vaulted caverns, lava, that sort of thing. There's mosaics on the walls of the buildings, too.
Nine: "Interesting…"
AURUM: He leads you inside, following along with you without really saying anything.
Eidolon: "Does it have a name?"
AURUM: Eventually, there's a big round building nearish the centre of the city. So far you haven't seen a soul other than your guide. "The city? I don't think… they ever had the heart to name it, you know? I've never asked."
AURUM: He knocks on the door to the building then opens the door and holds it for you.
Eidolon: "Ohh you poor, innocent thing."
Eidolon: "It'll never survive us."
AURUM: "Hah! Can't say I'd mind going somewhere new."
AURUM: Inside:
Nine‘ raises an eyebrow, heading in
Clarafina slips inside.
AURUM: It’s some sort of convocation hall - a sea of little pointy yellow hats and sturdy metal helmets, blue robes and well-fashioned armour, all turned to stare at you with bright eyes staring out from wispy blackness.
AURUM: There's an empty throne, and a wooden chair next to it, in which is seated one of the little fiends with a particularly elaborate robe, and a crescent moon on their hat.
AURUM: "Greetings, travelers." Their voice sounds like tired wind.
Clarafina: "Are we interrupting something?"
Ezekiel opens mouth, closes mouth.
Ezekiel: "Heya."
Nine: "(Now this is an interesting scene)"
Eidolon: "Greetings." He flourishes into a bow.
Nine‘ nods "Hello"
Nameless` waves.
AURUM: The fiend shakes their head. "No, no. We saw you coming, and decided to wait here to meet you."
AURUM: "You… you aren’t fiends, are you?" There's hope in their voice.
Eidolon grins, sparkleteeth.
Clarafina: "We are not."
Eidolon: "But… you are?"
AURUM: "We are. Genus Monolithos - the Shadow Souls, the Walkers-of-the-Caves…" They sound so -sad-.
Ezekiel: "So uh… what are the haps?"
Solberg glances over at Xitrost. "So … you mentioned problems."
Eidolon: "It doesn't -have- to be so sad, ol' boys."
Eidolon: "Many fiends can still get about and lead well-adjusted lives."
Nine: "I take it… You wish you weren't, from your tone?"
Eidolon: "Or be rakish ne'er do wells."
AURUM: "Easy for you to say!" One of the armoured fiends calls out from the peanut gallery, and the one who was speaking gives them- well, turns to look at them. Maybe it's a stern look? It's hard to read their expressions, for… obvious reasons.
Eidolon: "(He's got me there. It -is- easy for me to say.)"
AURUM: "We are- we cannot be what we are! We are meant to walk the caves, but we were forced to flee. The Great Rust, slow and creeping…"
Clarafina: "And, I suspect, something that wouldn't catch us. Is that it?"
Nine‘ furrows his eyebrows, tilts his head to the side, then it’s just his right eyebrow raised "Ah… So you were displaced by a fiend disease"
Eidolon: "A fiendise."
AURUM: "It pushed us further and further towards the surface, and finally, it could not follow us! But- the sky- I could live to be a thousand and not understand how you can walk outside without clinging to the ground for fear of falling into the sky!"
AURUM: There's… genuine terror in their voice, towards the end there.
Ezekiel: "Well, I mean…"
Nameless: "Use your toes for a better grip."
Eidolon: "Hmm…"
Ezekiel: "Gravity, mostly…?"
Eidolon relents in his tone.
Eidolon: "Fair enough, vertigo can grip the saltiest of sailors."
AURUM: The fiend gets control of themself, eventually. "It still strikes us, even here. Usually, with Inganno's help, we can fight it off, but!"
AURUM: "Th- the Rust, that is."
Clarafina: "The one outside?"
AURUM: Xitrost (who followed you in) coughs. "Er, they mean me. Middle names, you know? I've been helping them, with what knowledge I have. It's a terrible disease."
Nine‘ sighs. Looks at Clarafina. It’s her show, right here, right now. He lets her speak
Solberg: "Care for a second opinion?"
Clarafina: "You can have the first, even." She nods to Solberg.
AURUM: The fiend continues: "It's endemic to the people still living in the caves. Every so often, we get messages- Inganno passes them along- it's horrible! Sometimes, we're forced to send one of ours down into the caves, if they succumb, and-"
AURUM: The fiend's overwhelmed, for a brief moment. "Our king, they- they've fallen ill."
Clarafina: "Then we're going to have to treat it."
Solberg gestures back at Clarafina. "I was deferring to you."
Ezekiel: Hey Aurum how do I tactfully ask the part why we're helping fiends instead of killing them all the sudden, especially when in a room full of sad fiends???
AURUM: Xitrost cuts in: "Beyond my help, even. If I had a crystal from the depths of the caverns, bright with fiend-light, then perhaps… but I'm not strong enough to get it myself. Goodness knows I've tried. I'm sure you're much better than I at this sort of thing, though." It sounds like he's smiling, behind the mask.
AURUM: Hey sometimes fiends are friends :(
Nine: You don't
Clarafina: "I'm spectacularly effective at fetching things."
Nine: Now stop with that, Ezekiel, this story isn't yours
Ezekiel glances over at Nine after a blink, mouthing in his direction; 'god are you gunna be this whiney and defensive the entire second book???'
Nine‘ just nods at Ezekiel
AURUM: Play nice, you two, or I’ll introduce a mechanic where you have to hug each other!
AURUM: Don't think I won't!
Eidolon: "We're hardy."
Ezekiel: "I'm gunna need a a Bigger Blunt."
Solberg would fistbump Ezekiel if they were aware of that sentiment.
Eidolon: "Don't you worry about letting strangers, and we're as strange as they come, handle delicate matters."
AURUM: Xitrost snickers helplessly.
AURUM: The fiend-seneschal: "Oh, we've been hoping for strangers to come for -months- now!"
Ezekiel: "Makes sense, quest givers can't just do things on their own."
Ezekiel: "Then they wouldn't be quest givers."
AURUM: Xitrost looks like he might fall over at this rate, although he's heroically trying to compose himself.
Nameless: "And a good thing, too. Otherwise we might get bored."
Clarafina: "Into the earth with us."
Clarafina: "Rather simple, don't you think?"
Eidolon shrugs. "Doesn't have to be complicated."
Xitrost: "I'll lead the way- I'm usually the one guiding poor sick fiends into the caverns when they've got to join the quarantine."
Nine‘ looks at Nameless "I like being bored"
Eidolon: "Light fights darkness, the four orbs must be restored to the light, ’no, I am your father…'"
Eidolon: "Simplicity is striking."
Solberg: "Children following a pied piper."
Eidolon: "I thought they were snakes?"
Nine: "Mice, first, then children"
Xitrost: "Let me guess, you go in for the Wisp spells?" You think his eyes are probably sparkling behind the mask, as he heads towards a stone door in the back of the building.
Solberg gives Xitrost a level glare.
Nine‘ follows after Xitrost
Clarafina: "We’ve never really had to think about that."
Eidolon: "Don't let the mask slip, I'm having fun as-is."
Xitrost: "Oh! That's convenient." He touches a jewel in the door-handle, and it burns briefly with silvery fire before the door slides teeth-rattlingly open.
Eidolon: "Also I'm not sure how Wisp 'needing a windup turn' is, really. It's effective, points for style, maybe- but cumbersome. Where would you put that?"
AURUM: "Mmm."
Ezekiel taps Clarafina on the shoulder as they head through the passageway. "So hey, like, don't care either way honestly, but when did we switch form kill all firends to help all fiends? Don't wanna get confused down the line, y'know."
Eidolon: "It changes when the fiends either attack us or don't, I'd say."
Nine: "I imagine from the time they asked for help instead of attacking us on sight"
Eidolon: "Some fiends you have tea with,"
Nine: "Isn't it incredibly simple?"
Eidolon: "Some try to crush you between giant crablike pincers."
Nine: "You'd thinking killing someone just because they're something in particular would be generally considered wrong or unethical"
Nine: "Apparently there isn't true where you're from, Ezekiel"
Ezekiel: "Well, not really, when all forward momentum thus far as been accomplished by chansing down and boss fightan' fiends. Or well not all, but most."
Ezekiel: "Man don't look at me I don't make games."
Clarafina: "Fiends are beings of purpose."
Nine: "You don't play them either, from the looks of things"
Clarafina: "We fulfill their purpose for them. And when that purpose is to fight us, then they tend to lose."
Nine: "This is such a classic curveball it's achieved trope status"
Ezekiel: "Fucks Sans, bro."
Clarafina: "A tool's nature can be gathered from inspecting it."
Ezekiel: "Hum okay."
Solberg: "I'm surprised you had the 'kill all fiends' notion anyhow. You're really going to take that cackling jester's viewpoint?"
Nine: "He's the sort of hero that when the villain makes it clearly obvious he wants him to do something he does it, I imagine"
Nameless: "Well, we do tend to benefit more from killing things than letting them run free."
Nine: "And then gets surprised when he's stabbed in the back"
Nine: "I'm not sure, Peregrine… Especially since you're under the misconception we've killed many fiends recently"
Ezekiel: "Man I'm jsut saying, we've been killing a whole shit load of fiends and not doign a whole lot of baking them cakes."
Eidolon: "And likely we'll kill even more, before the journey is over."
Eidolon: "Just- not now."
Clarafina: "Not yet."
Nine: "One wasn't even pretending he was dead, one wanted to fight until he exhausted, but he just went away. One was already long deaad. One I recovered to his original state"
Ezekiel: "I'd fucking wrek that segment though just fyi."
Clarafina smiles at Ezekiel. "Noted!"
Nine: "We've fought them a lot. They haven't died at our hands at all"
Ezekiel: "I'm gunna hug you Nine!!"
Nine‘ grabs Ezekiel by the hand, pulls him closer and hugs him tight! "There, if you want it so much!"
Nine` then shoves him out of the way "Now come on, we’ve a crystal to recover, and Clarafina's a cure to create"
Ezekiel wraps his arms aruond Nine, sort of falls over and rolls along down the hall way with him. This is a long hallway.
Nine‘ apparently rolls down the hall instead
Nine` says that after he’s done rolling, then
AURUM: Your guide chuckles darkly. "Golly, I take it back about the Wisp." One cave turn, then the other - there are natural crystals in the caves, glowing softly, and he seems to be using them to navigate. "Really, I've found that most fiends do have a story to tell. I used to just fight them every chance I got, myself, actually, but…" He trails off, giggling a little at Nine and Ezekiel.
Solberg: "But you're not strong enough for what's down here?"
Ezekiel: "A C T I O N E C O N O M Y !"
AURUM: Xitrost giggles.
AURUM: "Come on, I can fool fiends, but you're telling me you didn't see right through that?"
Clarafina: "You've come unprepared."
AURUM: He reaches out, snaps his fingers, and there's a scythe made of white fire in his hand, which he swings around very elegantly and, um, dangerously, before banishing it and shrugging adorably. "I just wanted the fiends to need you to show up. I was bored. Anyways, hang on, the next part won't be as funny unless we're in the caverns." He keeps walking, turning left, then right, then right…
Clarafina: "Stop."
Clarafina takes the left fork instead, at one of the tunnels.
AURUM: "Oh, whoops. Thanks."
Nine‘ just follows Clarafina
AURUM: "Haha, that would have been really embarrassing!"
Clarafina heads down a brief ways to a small chamber, containing a solitary treasure chest. Which she opens.
Clarafina: Got 1x Mythril Sword!
Clarafina:
Solberg: "No, it was pretty transparent. Calling you out upside would have caused problems, though."
Clarafina: "Anyway, we can keep going."
AURUM: "OH I GET IT"
AURUM: "Okay."
Clarafina puts it in the inventory for later and heads back.
Ezekiel: "I DON’T :("
Clarafina: "Can't you just sense…"
Clarafina: "When there's a river you won't be crossing twice…?"
Clarafina: "We won't be able to go back and get it later, so…" She shrugs gently.
AURUM: He leads you back to the fork, his voice sounding like he's smiling ear to ear. "Gosh, I've missed this. Anyways, don't they say you never… no, that's 'step in the same stream twice', I guess that's a different quote."
Nine‘ opens up his book, looking at it, closes it again
Nine: "Italian isn’t it?"
Clarafina: "My senses are quite acute," she justifies.
Nine: "I knew it was familiar"
AURUM: Anyways, eventually the corridor starts to open out a little and he nudges his mask up on his face - he's got ludicrously pale skin - and hollers: "HEY GUYS I'M BRINGING SOME FRIENDS"
AURUM: before
Solberg: "No man steps in the same river twice?"
AURUM: giggling -wildly- and straight up shoulder-hugging Nine. The plague doctor mask would make an Actual Hug kind of logistically difficult!
Nine‘ sighs "Well, anyway"
AURUM: Anyways, in a few seconds there’s a weird rumbling noise -
AURUM: A bunch of rocks about the size of your fists put together, covered with runes, come rumbling and bouncing on the floor; each one of them is trailing a solid tendrily mass of shadow behind it like a comet, and each one has two bright shining yellow eyes.
AURUM: The rocks are covered with a weird, rusty moss, and actually, now that you notice it, there's some of the same rust-coloured moss on the walls of the cavern.
AURUM: "Who are these guys?" "Are they friendly?" "Are they from another world too?" "Did you come from topside?"
Eidolon: "Greetings!"
Ezekiel: "Yup!"
Nameless: "Yes to the last three, in general."
AURUM: A couple of them are going in circles around Xitrost's feet like bumbling excited puppies.
Nine: "Hello"
Nine: "Patients, I guess…" he says, mostly to Clarafina
AURUM: He pulls the mask down around his neck, and pushes the cowl back- he's got silver hair, and rainbow-coloured eyes, and kind of shaggy silver hair, and he's pretty preposterously bishie all things considered- "Hey, guys! Like I said, I brought some friends!"
Clarafina: "Oh, I've got all night." She keeps her mask down, of course.
AURUM: "Aaaand," -he reaches into an imaginary pocket, and brings out a giant sack of coins, and plonks it on the ground. "-they paid me good gil for the 'medicine' this time around, too. Help yourselves."
AURUM: One of the shadow-rock fiends starts rummaging around in the bag of gil with wild abandon, making clinkety clink noises.
Clarafina: "Snake oil, or snake venom?"
AURUM: "Snake oil. Venom's not my thing, although, I mean- some of the Serpentia actually have venom you can make -legit- medicine from, did you know that?"
AURUM: "And venom from the Mother of Monsters herself, prepared the right way, can cure -any- disease."
Clarafina: "I didn't know, but wouldn't doubt. The dosage alone, no?"
Nine‘ looks at the little fiend rummaging at the bag, curiously
AURUM: The fiend pokes its nose out of the bag, adorably, blinks at Nine, darts out of the bag. "Tch, too much like wearing -clothes-."
Nine: "I like clothes myself"
Ezekiel: "They’re great for not being naked."
Ezekiel: "10/10, would recommend tbh."
AURUM: Xitrost scratches the back of his neck, awkwardly. "…anyways, sorry to put you on, topside. I guess you've figured out by now that… there really isn't a Rust Plague."
Eidolon: "Why all the misdirection? Just profit?"
Solberg: "About as early as when they mentioned your fake name, yes."
Eidolon: "(Though honestly there's nothing wrong with that…)"
Nine‘ is mostly content watching clarafina and this man, however. This is her story, after all, and he’s no good with this being vague and misdirection things
Solberg: "You really suck as a liar."
Nine: "I second Eidolon, however. Any particular reason for this?"
AURUM: "I mean, I'm good enough to fool the fiends? So, okay, this is a bit of a long story. Before the weird rust-moss started growing, all the fiends lived down here in the caves, right?"
AURUM: "And… they weren't very happy. The King kept making them mine for crystals, there was this rigid caste system, fiend nobility is a giant pain, everyone had to wear clothes and none of them really wanted to."
Ezekiel opens mouth, closes mouth.
AURUM: "So, eventually, I showed up, and… I must have brought some spores with me in the goods I traded with them. I honestly didn't mean for it to happen! But the nobles started freaking out, and… I may have played it up a little." He blushes. "I like gil, okay?"
AURUM: "And… well… suddenly, they started fleeing the 'plague'. And I realised that… this could be my chance to actually help the fiends that didn't want to deal with the nobility, so I kept playing my role until they'd gone all the way topside."
Nine: "That's terrible"
AURUM: "…I'm probably not the greatest person, no. But… look, before I got here, nobody was happy. And now?" The rock-fiends headbutt his ankles amiably.
Solberg: "What's there to spend gil on around here, though?"
AURUM: "…it's the first time I've ever made fiends happy, rather than just… killed them right and left, or took advantage of their static nature. I guess I like it…?"
Clarafina: "Always nice to have for a rainy day."
AURUM: He shrugs at Solberg, gestures in agreement with Clarafina.
Nine: "It's a good thing what you did, never doubt that"
Nine: "Sounds a like it could have been handled better, though"
Nine: "Do you have a plan on how to go on from here?"
Ezekiel: "He definitely doesn't, why don't you outline your plan to make everything perfect and everyone happy in the end, Nine? I'm sure he'd appreciate it."
Nameless: "A man does have one question…?"
Ezekiel sounds more teasing than snide.
AURUM: "Anyways… I mean… I've made a few of the fiends topside sick. And some of them… would rather die than go to quarantine, even though quarantine means they could go back underground. Even still I've got blood on my hands. I kept telling myself maybe eventually everyone'd be either back in the caves, or… or gone, but…" He stops, breath shaky.
Nine: "I'd need some time to plan first" he glances sideways at Ezekiel
AURUM: He looks up at Nameless, curiously.
Nameless: "Where is the King in all of this? One ones topside seem to think he's down here? And yet if he was down here it would blow the entire scheme, wouldn't it?"
AURUM: "The King's topside. They… they weren't supposed to get sick, but they were messing around with my supplies, and…" He sighs. "They won't go into quarantine, and… if I just cure them then the others will think I solved the plague and nobody will ever go into quarantine ever again! I've made a huge mess of things."
Eidolon: "The mask begins to slip…"
AURUM: "So… I was glad to see that… heroes like you finally showed up. I don't really have anything to offer, and at this point I just… want to leave this place, more than anything else."
Nameless: "Ah. A man misundersdood, then."
Nine: "Hrm…"
Clarafina: "And then… what happens when you leave?"
Ezekiel stages whispers, "(OTHER THAN THE BAG OF GIL, OBVIOUSLY.)" but doesn't look like he actually cares about it.
AURUM: "I don't know! I don't know. Maybe the fiends topside would decide that the plague was over, maybe- they'd figure out what was going on. I think- if it came down to it- if the King tried to take things back over down here, the fiends would resist…? I don't know!" In this light- he seems so young.
Nameless: "You could just kill the king."
Nine: "Are the fiends such that they won't stand on their own?"
Clarafina: "I'll tell you what will happen."
AURUM: He slumps. "I… I'm afraid they are. I've always been afraid of that. That if the King actually died, they'd just… that's why I've been keeping them stable."
AURUM: He shuts up and listens to the doctor in the house.
Eidolon: "Fiends can be… fickle."
Clarafina: "Up above, in that lonely city, they will build a furnace. When you are gone, they will wait a long, long time. They will note that there are no cases."
Clarafina: "Someone will begin to dream of going underground again."
Clarafina: "And when they do, they will go with fire."
Clarafina tilts her head. "…Am I wrong?"
AURUM: He frowns. "…you're probably right. What do I do?"
Eidolon: "Well…" He crosses an arm and rests his other hand on his face.
Eidolon: "It's out of your hands now, isn't it?"
Clarafina: "Hardly."
Clarafina: "You're going to go back up there and tell the truth."
AURUM: He ulps, audibly.
Clarafina: "…And, for the interest of your health, you are going to have a doctor on very close call."
Eidolon half-waves half-sweeps a hand in Clarafina's direction. "My point."
Nameless: "If they try and kill him, a man is inclined to let them."
Clarafina: "Really? How strange."
Nine: "Are you a fan of tyrants, Peregrine?"
Nameless: "Absolutely. Their overthrows make for amazing stories."
Ezekiel: "Things sure did get complicated from all this fiend-helping-instead-of-killing, huh?"
Clarafina: "It's very simple, really."
Clarafina: "We're going to go upstairs…"
Clarafina: "We're all going to listen to a story…"
Clarafina: "And then, at the end, no one dies."
Nine: "I like complicated, Ezekiel"
Nameless: "We shall see."
Ezekiel: "No you don't." Ezekiel ruffles Nine's hair.
AURUM: He frowns, takes a deep breath. "Okay, you're right."
Nine: "I got my point across with that line, however"
Clarafina walks past him, running her gloved fingers through his hair.
Clarafina: "You're shaking."
AURUM: "Mmm." He squats down for a second, ruffling a few of the shadow fiends, talking to them quietly. Saying goodbye? Promising to make things right?
AURUM: He stands, brushes himself off- goes to put the mask and cowl back on, but then takes the mask off entirely and drops it to the ground. "Come on, let's go."
Clarafina: "Let's." She heads up.
Solberg: "Not going to keep it on at first so as to not cause a panic that the quarantine's been broken?"
Clarafina: "You're not masked yourself, are you?"
Solberg: "Fair point."
Nine‘ follows after
Eidolon smiles and waves to the rockfiends before turning and leaving.
Nameless` strolls along with the others.
AURUM: "It’s always been more for effect, really." He leads you back up, out of the caverns…
AURUM: …fiddles with the door again, filling a gem with silver fire, the door slides open, as teeth-grating as ever.
AURUM: Xitrost steels himself, briefly, before walking into the middle of the room where the topside Fiends are gathered, and beginning to explain the entire plot, from start to finish, looking terrified as hell the entire time…
Nine‘ just stands there, hands in his pockets. He actually has already set the timer on the flashbang on his right pocket, waiting to see if he has to use it.
Solberg files their nails while the events are preceding.
AURUM: …some of the fiends warble in shock, but don’t do anything. Some of the fiends actually just /take off/ into the caverns, as he explains what's been going on - he left the door open. Some of them start encroaching on him, but he doesn't seem to be summoning his scythe in self-defence, although he does give Clarafina a brief look.
Eidolon hides toward the back, tilting his head this way and that.
Nameless‘ crosses his arms and leans against the wall.
Nine` has a guard assist ready for any incensed spirits, don’t worry
Clarafina speaks loudly:
Clarafina: "I hope you understand."
Clarafina: "No one gets hurt."
Clarafina: "No one dies."
Clarafina: "I am a Princess of Uld Fia, and there is a sickness here, much like the one that haunts my kingdom."
Clarafina: "And when tainted blood is spilled, there is the tradition to burn it out."
Clarafina: "Please understand."
[OOC] Clarafina: Status, 1 LP.
AURUM: The seneschal themself looks like they were ready to lead the attack on Xitrost, but at Clarafina's words, they back down… glancing between him and her, eyes quivering… finally blinking.
Clarafina: "A fever is an attempt by the body to kill something within itself."
Clarafina: "…It will rise, and rise, and if it does not break and fade, there will be nothing left."
Clarafina: "The fever breaks, though."
Clarafina: "It fades."
AURUM: "…as you say. Besides, the judgement is the King's to make, and not mine." A challenge - and the seneschal points to the chambers where the King is being held in stasis.
Clarafina: "You're making a judgement right now, aren't you…?"
AURUM: "I was. It is not mine to make."
Clarafina spreads her arms wide and walks forward. "Shall we hear from him, then…?"
AURUM: Xitrost walks into the King's chambers.
Eidolon silently stalks after.
AURUM: There's a sphere of moonlight surrounding the King, who's wearing richly ornamented armour, eyes closed to slits.
Nine‘ goes along with Clarafina and Eidolon
AURUM: He gestures, and the sphere of moonlight fades away; he rummages around in a bandolier for a vial of countertoxin, and administers it to the King carefully.
AURUM: There’s a pause…
AURUM: An uncomfortably long pause, and Xitrost looks like he's starting to worry, but then the King opens their eyes, looks around, confused…
AURUM: …and Xitrost explains the situation to him, as well. Carefully. Slowly. The King closes their eyes, for a few moments, and when they open again, the King pronounces his judgement: That Xitrost be banished from the island forevermore.
AURUM: Xitrost takes a few steps back. "…that's that, then, I suppose?" Half-turning towards the party.
Eidolon: "Well… you got your wish!"
Clarafina: "Well."
Clarafina: "You need to say your last few goodbyes."
Clarafina: "We'll wait for you, just outside the gate."
Clarafina: "Bring your raincoat."
Nine‘ crosses his arms
Nine` looks at Clarafina
AURUM: Xitrost heads off, for a little while. Back into the caverns for a bit, and then just… clearing up a few loose ends, spending a minute or two staring up at the tree at the centre of the island.
Ezekiel: "What’s the moral of the story by the way I think we skipped that."
Eidolon: "Moral?"
Ezekiel: "Yeah."
Nine: "Hrm?"
Eidolon: "I don't think all stories have those."
Nine: "Since when does that matter?"
Nine: "You're going to understand whatever you want to out of a story, anyway"
Nine: "Never what it's actually trying to tell you"
Clarafina: "Oh, well, what it told me…"
Clarafina: "Is that when I get home, I actually will get to cure a disease with an axe."
Ezekiel flops over Nine.
Ezekiel: "Thanks, Clara."
Eidolon laughs lightly.
Ezekiel: "Ai'ght we're good here now."
AURUM: Xitrost shows back up.
Nine: "I guess you didn't really think everything through"
Nine: "Oh well"
AURUM: "…so, there's really only one way off the island." And he gestures awkwardly towards the shore, towards the ink-dark Mud Hell.
Nine: "Which way did you come in?"
AURUM: "The funny thing? I can't actually remember. I think I just… woke up underneath the tree, one day?"
Ezekiel: "Have you considered falling into a book instead."
Nameless: "That's gonna be pretty common."
Eidolon: "But I just washed this…" He picks at his coat.
AURUM: He shrugs, and starts walking foward into the Mud. "L- let's go, then!" It's a brave face he's putting on.
Nine: "Well… Have you considered remaining within the island?" he looks around "Or should I make you a boat?"
Solberg: "Banishment isn't really conducive to the former."
Nine: "I never said it would be easy. It's also not like the fiends are keen on leaving their city to begin with"
AURUM: "I mean, it's just Mud. Worst thing that happens, we run into some unfriendly Lutum fiends or start oversharing personal details by accident."
Eidolon: "Accident, he says."
Eidolon strides into the Mud.
Nine: "Well, if you're fine with it"
Ezekiel: "Shh, shh, shh, the adults are talking Nine. It's time for us to Be Quiet."
Nine: "I'm well aware i'm talking, Ezekiel"
Nine‘ sighs, putting a hand on his face, to what depths has he fallen
AURUM: Oh my godddd you two.
Solberg rolls their eyes with enough momentum to swivel their neck as well. Then makes a point to shove Nine into the Mud Hell first.
Ezekiel shrugs to the others.
AURUM: "Haha, you two really like each other, huh?" Xitrost grins, waist-deep in Mud, then dives in.
Nine` sighs and teatrically falls, why not
Clarafina waits on the beach, for a moment. She waxes poetic:
Nameless: "You people are all very silly, and going the wrong way."
Ezekiel: "I like ’em more when I'm stoned."
Clarafina: "If I am to be banned for shouting at all the beasts of the earth…"
Clarafina: "I shall face God and walk backwards into Hell."
Clarafina giggles, a little, and wades in.
Nameless‘ looks at the tree. "Of course, they want to go the difficult way." He sighs and follows the others.
AURUM: Nothing’s ever easy!
AURUM: Anyways…
Nine` had no say! he was pushed
AURUM: The moon shines down on your story, and the aurora flickers in the endless night.

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