Apocrypha Anything Can Happen Part Ii

AURUM: There should really be some sort of ritual for this, you know? The liminal zone between narrative and the void that comes before; something to ease the transitions. Maybe, in a more elegant world, there is such a ritual! I live, as ever, in hope. Anyways, welcome back. You're drifting back to a snowy shore, the last remnants of the dream-castle dissolving behind you as you do so.
Ezekiel wobble wobble
Nine seems calmly contemplative, although maybe he's just worried
Eidolon COLD OPEN as he drifts down on a cloud, the night sky behind, the growing snowy bank below. Arms crossed, standing on point- superheroic, really.
Nameless‘ touches down on the shore and scowls at the snow. Nothing good ever comes from this stuff.
AURUM: Zoku-Ariku, the Sage of Moonlight - along with the rest of the inhabitants of Evigheden - is waiting for you on the shoreline. (The Sage waves hugely, and almost topples over, saved solely by the fact that he opportunely took a moment to secure his hat from falling off his head and, in so doing, inadvertently righted himself.)
Eidolon: "Townspeople, I am sorry to announce that you have lost a landmark this day."
ClarafinaRosemont unhooks her gas mask from her medicine bag and puts it on her face.
Nameless: "Its OK though, it was a decent trade."
Nine smiles as they approach, waving back with far more composure "We appear to have solved the problem of the names, for now. But with that, the castle’s gone"
AURUM: The Sage shrugs? "I mean, it wasn't really our castle to begin with. We have this huge silver forest, that's weird and storybook picturesque enough, don't you think?"
AURUM: "More importantly, you rescued all of us!"
Solberg: "Enough for whose standards? That's sort of an odd goal to reach for."
Eidolon: "'Enough,' what a limiting word."
Nameless: "Sometimes you need limits."
Nameless: "Sometimes specifically to ignore them."
Eidolon: "'Take a hundred ten percent,' they tell the athletes."
AURUM: The Sage quotes: "'Enough is an eel. Hold it tightly, and it slips away.'"
Nine chuckles "The peregrine is right. You need to know your limits, to know how to negotiate them. Knowing how much is enough is important, to know when it is important to get past it"
Nine blinks, looking at the sage "That is… An interesting saying"
Solberg gives the Sage a withering stare. "… none of that came remotely close to answering my question."
Nameless: "'Course I am. I make a habit of it."
AURUM: The Sage grins radiantly, obnoxiously, at Solberg.
Eidolon: "Regardless, the next page is an overly-verbose description of buffets, drinks, and revelry, yes?"
Nameless: "I sure hope so."
Nine: "I'd appreciate something a little more tame, I like ensuring my faculties. But yes, I would ask if you would allow us spend some time with you before we depart once again?"
Eidolon: "Nine, Nine, Nine, you're in good hands."
Eidolon waves a hand.
ClarafinaRosemont lifts her mask up away from her mouth. "Oh, was I itching to leave too soon…?"
Eidolon: "We'd make sure to tell you about any blacked-out celebration you performed upon the morn."
AURUM: "If I answered questions plainly, without first allowing them to dress themselves in riddle-silks and confusion-lace- well, I wouldn't be much of a Sage, then, would I?"
AURUM: "I have a reputation to uphold."
Eidolon shrugs at Clara. "I suspected that if the story really -was- over, then the ride down would be just in the details."
Nine chuckles "I suppose i'm used to a different breed of sage"
ClarafinaRosemont: "Wasn't your world ended…?"
ClarafinaRosemont: "That might be why."
AURUM: "Oh dear."
Eidolon: "But our hatted friend here has more to say, and as a Sage, the Heroes would do well to listen."
Eidolon: "Just. You know."
Eidolon: "Somewhere out of the cold."
Eidolon exhales a little, deliberately creating a puff of warm air.
ClarafinaRosemont laughs, to herself, and strolls forward through the snowy village, into the sage's little domicile. Remember that place? Yes.
AURUM: It's suitably dramatic!
Nameless: "My usual approach to sagacity is… if the question is simple, give a complex answer. If the question is complex, give a simple answer. if it's a question about women, give a wrong answer. That one is *super* easy."
Ezekiel: "And how."
Eidolon nods sagely.
AURUM: …the Sage doesn't get it. Thankfully, Doge walks up and gently, patiently, grabs the Sage by the scruff of the neck, whereupon he starts flailing and wriggling; Doge turns, beckons for the group to follow with an enormous grin, and leads them in the direction of the largest building in town.
Solberg unwraps a lollipop and sticks it in their mouth. The stick, like their mouth, droops dourly.
Nine shakes his head slightly at Clarafina. He had read nobility was supposed to have manners? He looks at Doge, chuckles and follows
Eidolon follows in Doge's footsteps, somewhat literally.
ClarafinaRosemont spins in her tracks and follows Doge instead.
Nameless‘ follows the others, sword once again slung across his back as he trudges through the snow.
AURUM: Inside: It’s warm, and the village is celebrating; there's a rousing cheer as the group of you enter.
Hachi: "(Sin above, it's been so long since, a welcoming of this manner.)"
Nine might seem like a very composed individual, although you can bet on the inside he's awestruck, this is just how he shows it
Eidolon takes to the cheers like a fiend in mud, waving and smiling, glowing a little brighter.
AURUM: Someone claps Nine on the shoulder with impeccable timing. "SO HEY, WHAT WAS UP THERE, ANYWAYS?"
Ezekiel slips away. Towards the food.
Nameless‘ takes a bow for the group, since they don’t quite seem willing to do it themselves.
ClarafinaRosemont spreads her arms wide, striding into the crowd, her dress trailing behind her, basking in the moment.
Nine basically winces in reaction, not used to this "Uhn- Er- *ahem* Perhaps too much and not a whole lot too interesting"
Nine: "Guardsmen aside, fiends I take it, there was someone very… Intent on making this story happen"
AURUM: The Sage turns, listening to Nine, head tilted sideways and eyebrows tilted up.
Solberg ducks out of the doorway out of reflex. Before, if they were being noticed, they weren't doing their job right.
Nine: "Almost archetypically a villain, I forgot if he gave his name, but he was some form of jester-like being"
Nine: "Can't say he could be killed, seemed to work a little beyond the normal gears thta run this world"
AURUM: "Hmm…"
Nine: "Seemed very intent on seeing us kill his minions, however, and a little bit on the deranged side"
AURUM: "For someone to work beyond the normal rules… of a world where anything could happen. That's a little disconcerting, don't you think?"
Nine: "Almost stereotypical psychotic villain, who wants to see the heroes grow strong" he shakes his head "Not quite, no"
Solberg slips back in when they realize no Agency cameras are possibly around in this setting.
Nine: "I mean, even though in this world anything could happen, there are only so many ways those things can. To the point the only really good villain to this sort of story, would have to work in that zone"
Eidolon: "Here we go about about limits. I risk invoking it as a theme."
AURUM: Ezekiel: Practically the entire village is flirting with you while you're trying to grab some food. What is even happening here! (Okay, okay; practically the entire village that's over by the food. Some of the village is by the door, and they're all swooning over Peregrine.
Nameless: "Not psychotic. And only slightly a villain. He just had a bit better look at the framework of things than most."
Nine looks at Eidolon "I am almost certain limits have been a theme for a while, now"
AURUM: "Interesting, interesting…"
Solberg: "Would you characterize our approach as asymptotic?"
Ezekiel is just really charming and suave while shoving handfuls of cubed cheese and crackers into his mouth, it can't be helped Aurum! He's not even chewing wiht his mouth closed because of all the talking.
AURUM: …the Sage is shaken out of his stroking-an-imaginary-goatee reverie by an uncontrollable gigglesnort at Solberg's comment.
Nameless‘ is all about swooning villagers. Hell, if they aren’t careful he's going to wind up dancing with most of them.
Eidolon stares at Solberg for a bit, as though he is stuck out of a reply, and then snaps out of it, continuing like he never heard it to begin with-
Eidolon: "Never, limits as a theme is very, very new to me."
Nine: "Welcome to this… Story, I presume is the right term"
Nine: "That is what is truly disconcerting to me"
Eidolon: "And even then, this Story is one where Anything Can Happen."
Solberg: "Anything can happen, but nothing in our comprehension."
Eidolon: "So it's a theme that exists to be danced upon and drowned."
Nine at some point did take a seat, and is eating too! Although, nothing too heavy, his stomach can't quite handle
Nine: "Themes exist to be interacted with, yes"
Eidolon puts his arm on a table, and with a twitch of his fingers, a bottle of bourbon slides across the way, into his waiting hand.
ClarafinaRosemont: "…And they rise up, forgotten, and strike like snakes…!"
Nine: "Still" he looks at the sage "Any wisdom to share on our mysterious antagonist and the situation?"
Ezekiel: "The anwser is don't worry about it by the by!!"
AURUM: A handsome stranger in a red suit stops just short of putting a consoling, silk-gloved hand on Clarafina's shoulder, consolingly. "There, there. This chapter's almost over, don't worry. Let them enjoy their denouement."
Eidolon pours himself a drink- twitch, and the glasses circle, and he pours another drink- twitch, pours again. For all those around.
Nine takes a sip of water "A little less like a book, a little more like a play, where the actors forgot what the last line was and the lighting tech forgot when to turn it off. But something like that"
AURUM: The Sage looks at Nine, smiles. "You know, I've always thought it better to not have your possibility-space obnoxiously limited by things like sagely prophecy. That's why I had to take a job out here in the middle of nowhere, you know?"
Solberg: "Anything can happen, and then everything does, but it's all beyond our comprehension. So, effectively nothing."
AURUM: "I've come to like it here, though, really."
AURUM: He gestures at Solberg, appreciatively. "Exactly. Every waveform collapses eventually, you know?"
AURUM: "No sense rushing things."
ClarafinaRosemont holds up her gloved hand, fingers splayed, which might be just why the stranger's touch falls short of her. No comment, just yet, but a dangerous smile.
Solberg: "In a place unbound by rules, the mysterious figure found strength in bonds and chains and limitations."
Nine chuckles "Eh… It's good to be prepared. Possibilities may be endless, may be not. But it's good to be ready for what might be, you know"
AURUM: The stranger smiles, which is strange, because instead of a face under his hat and behind the lace ruffles, he's got fire, and how can fire smile? And yet.
Nine looks down at his cup, looks at the sage and the stranger "Although, no sense in rushing things… Can't stall forever, though"
Nine: "We should probably be leaving "
Nameless‘ whirls by, turning intricately with his dance partner. "All things in time. We’ll go when its time, we'll stay until then. It's not complex."
Nine: "Pretty much"
Eidolon: "Until then, do try to enjoy yourself."
Nine looks somewhat uncomfortable, not in a bad manner, however. He'll enjoy the food (not too much) and drink (it's just going to be water), he hadn't had this in forever
ClarafinaRosemont sighs. "I'm sure I'll manage somehow."
ClarafinaRosemont contents herself with a slice of chocolate cake, sitting in the corner and picking at it with a fork.
Eidolon: "Now then-!" He stands from the table, heading over towards the flaming hearth and the group gathered around. "Tis time the tale of the floating castle is told, and of what once walked its desecrated halls."
Eidolon: "A towering porticullus of obsidian faced us, and…" He continues, regaling the group with their experiences with the castle, and the fiends, and the japery within. Artistic license taken. Eidolon-centric.
AURUM: Oh, there's certainly dancing, and Peregrine's popular. (Ezekiel gets dragged out onto the dance floor, at some point, and a few fox-eared girls gigglingly try to get the two of them to dance at some point. Sheesh.) Meanwhile, the Sage, the stranger in red, and any number of the villagers wind up listening to Eidolon's tale with rapt attention, applauding at the correct points, again once his tale concludes.
Nine makes a point of writing down some details of the party as it happens
Solberg chooses to remain low-key, inserting the occasional witticism here and there, like a verbal sniper, with coffee and cake in hand.
AURUM: (Someone keeps trading little bits of witty repartee with you, Solberg, but you can never quite figure out who.)
Ezekiel isn't really the best dancer in the world but I mean, he can fake it. It's mostly just about staying loose and moving anyway.
Nameless‘ will totally dance with Ezekiel. The boy needs some pointers, and the foxgirls can get their little thrill.
AURUM: In any event, you dance, and feast…
AURUM: …and eventually, the party winds down, people stop telling you their names just for the novelty of being able to do so, the noise dims down.
Nameless` finally stops dancing. Now its his turn to raid whats left of the food and drink tables.
AURUM: (Don’t worry, they left some for you!)
Nameless‘ rejoins the others, glass of wine in one hand and sandwich in the other. "Alright, they seem satisfied. Now we can go."
Nine stands up calmly, and nods to the peregrine "I suppose so"
ClarafinaRosemont: "I’ll have to apologize to you all for not being on my acest social game." She curtsies gently. "…At a later date."
Ezekiel: "Ai'ght."
Eidolon chuffs through his nose, adjusts his mask. "Right, right. Plenty of nights in a year."
Solberg: "Please. It's the first social night I've had in a while where I haven't wanted to secretly murder everyone in the room."
Eidolon: "Yow. You need better friends."
Eidolon: "Drink buddies."
Ezekiel: "Oh, I guess that's why not zoidberg."
Eidolon: "Night wastrels."
AURUM: The Sage burbles tipsily: "'twas wonderful! Wonderful to have you all here with us, if only for a little while~!" …he seems to be enjoying having his name back. Or maybe just having something to celebrate?
Nine chuckles "It was fun, still not good at those myself" he nods to the sage "It was wonderful to be here as well"
Nameless‘ rocks his head back and forth. "Not bad, all things considered. Not as many devils as I am used to, but sometimes that’s fine. Almost like a vacation."
Eidolon: "It's so sad, I keep thinking about it more. Who would help walk you back to your cabin upon a heavy night?"
Eidolon claps Solberg on the shoulder.
Solberg gives Eidolon a level stare.
AURUM: You can see the moon outside, through the large windows; it's enormous, lasciviously looming over the silver forest.
Eidolon: "Ohh… you were making a joke. Maybe. Hopefully. It's neccessary at this point that I believe it."
Solberg: "Believe what you will."
Eidolon: "Thaaaaaaat's the spirit."
AURUM: The red-suited stranger slips out of the door, with a cape-swoosh.
Nine stares up at the moon, such an interesting thing. He takes a deep breath and steps outside, to take in some cold air. It's about time
Eidolon: "(Did anyone get that fellow's name?)"
ClarafinaRosemont: "(I'll be keeping it to myself, for now, if you don't mind.)"
Nameless: "(No but he's made of fire. he wont behard to identify if we have to.)"
Eidolon nods. "Keep me in suspense. I'm anxious to see what you do with it."
Nine did happen to leave at about the same time, the stranger just leaving or heading home here?
Ezekiel: "Didn't even ask."
AURUM: Well, Nine, that's a hard question to answer. Could you wait a moment, for the others to join you?
Nine certainly can
ClarafinaRosemont heads out soon after, of course. She considers putting her mask on, but no, not quite yet.
Eidolon is compelled to follow Nine. Just slightly behind.
Nameless‘ moves via narrative convenience, following Nine after getting one last sandwich.
Ezekiel grab a bottle of mostly still full wine from off the table with one hand, and the last appetizer tray with his other, before following after.
Solberg brings up the back.
AURUM: On the other side of the door, instead of… anything you expected, there’s a room draped in blue velvet, lit by flickering blue lamps, prowled by snake-bodied men and mantis-bodied women smoking filigree pipes delicately, wearing jeweled masks.
AURUM: The door locks behind you - steel, thick as a city wall.
Nine raises an eyebrow "Ah, I see"
ClarafinaRosemont: "Ah… would it be uncouth to admit that I find this far more interesting?" She laughs at herself.
Eidolon: "The afterparty."
Ezekiel: "Oh, the velvet room. Okay."
AURUM: One of the mantis-men gestures with several of his non-pipe-holding arms. "Oh, thank goodness, the party can start now."
Nine: "Not at all, this is close enough to your style"
Eidolon: "Well then!"
ClarafinaRosemont draws her axe. "Let's begin the operation."
Eidolon wades into the lot of them. "A towering porticullus of obsidian faced us, and…"
AURUM: A naga: "Is velvet not to your taste, my dear? I hear the next room's done rather differently. I haven't moved on, yet, of course." She giggles.
Solberg holds a hand to their head and looks at Eidolon. "Yeah, this is more the decor of the social situations I was talking about."
Eidolon: "Hmm."
Nameless: "Well, this is really only going to go one of two ways. I'm going to enjoy this sandwhcih while people decide which."
Nine: "Sadly, my taste is not quite within the possibilities for a party"
Ezekiel: "Oh naw it's just the - eh too hard to explain you wouldn't get it."
Nine: "Either way, care to enlighten me on where we find ourselves at this moment?"
AURUM: "My dear, you clearly haven't been to enough of the Prince's parties."
Nine: "Obviously, it is our first one"
Solberg looks Clarafina's axe up and down. "Be careful not to make a mistake, ma'am, or the Medical Board will be notified."
Nine: "So anything to share with the newcomers?"
Eidolon admires some of the masks. "Oh, but I'd love to start."
AURUM: One of the mantis-men draws four blades, iridescent wings fluttering to attention in a battle stance, but something in Clarafina's gaze gives him pause. "You're not looking for a friendly duel, are you, my dear..? You'll have to go deeper in to satisfy -that- thirst, I'm afraid." And he puts away three of the swords.
ClarafinaRosemont: "I don't make mistakes." She masks herself, now, covering her face with her gas-mask. Her voice is smoke-tinged, now, breather-tinted: "Only happy litte accidents."
Nameless‘ contentedly munches on his food. "I don’t think we're here to kill them, your highness."
Nameless: "I mean you could probably do it anyway? Buuuuut… might not be the optimal choice."
AURUM: A naga and mantis quietly see themselves out of the room via a door at the far wall, trading a Look and a half-smile; there's a flash of bright colour from beyond that door before it closes.
Ezekiel give Clarafina a look.
Nine shakes his head "I am so sorry, my friends are somewhat bloodlusty. Not precisely bad, given exercised in the correct place"
Eidolon takes a seat with a few of the persons. If there is no seat, then… air chair!!
AURUM: "Prince Prospero likes to build palaces out of nautilus shells, you see?"
Nine: "I see"
Nine: "And he sits at the centermost chamber, I presume?"
AURUM: "That way, he can hold all the parties at once."
Nine: "He sounds like someone i'd like to meet"
ClarafinaRosemont tucks her axe away, for now.
AURUM: "You just… keep going further in, and further in. They say eventually you'll get to the centre, but nobody knows how many doors it takes."
Eidolon: "Is there any going back? Not that I've unfinished business, but I wouldn't mind a puff or two about here after a while."
AURUM: "I've always wanted to know, myself, but… I do so like it, here. The doors, they shut behind you, you see, and I can't quite bring myself to leave?" She sounds almost apologetic.
Eidolon: "Aha."
ClarafinaRosemont: "Ah, well then, well then."
Eidolon: "What brought you here, anyhow?"
ClarafinaRosemont: "We'll just write you a letter when we get there, no?"
Nine: "It certainly would make my life easier if I did not have to cross any further walls for now" he nods at the speaker
Solberg looks over at Ezekiel. "How many parties does it take to get to the center of a nautilus shell?"
AURUM: "Mmm, curiosity, mostly."
AURUM: "Well, that, and an invitation."
Ezekiel: "Gunna go with like, twelve."
ClarafinaRosemont beams at Ezekiel and Solberg.
ClarafinaRosemont: "Well, let's see, shall we?"
ClarafinaRosemont: "This counts as 'one', yes…?"
Ezekiel: "Yup."
Solberg: "The second, I'd say."
AURUM: The naga frowns. "Sixth, actually. Did you…"
AURUM: "Did you miss the first five? Poor dears."
Nine looks at the naga "We came in a different way"
Nameless: "We do all kinds of things. Probably best not to ask."
ClarafinaRosemont: "One." She declares. And she pushes into the next room: "Two!"
Ezekiel: "Huh, guess so."
AURUM: "How scandalous!" She seems delighted.
Nine heads along with Clarafina "I don't like parties, anyway…"
Ezekiel takes a swig of wine, then follows!
Solberg: "Consider us fashionably late."
Eidolon sighs. "Ah well. Best of party to you all!" He stands and follows after.
Solberg frowns at Clarafina's count. "And off by one."
Nameless‘ finishes his sandwich and follows the princess.
AURUM: The next room’s a mad path through what first appear to be swirling purple flames - paisleys, though, with rings of colour and rings of black like cheap synthetic agate, fractals licking at your ankles, burning their way up the walls. The wallpaper's singed and peeling. The naga and mantis-man who stepped through are both something else now - a shimmering cord of fire, twisting through the air; a papier-mache effigy of a four-armed swordsman-god, and between them, Prince Prospero, who tips his hat and smiles to Clarafina, just like he did before.
AURUM: The gloves are off, and his hands are streamers of sparks and white flame.
ClarafinaRosemont: "Two."
AURUM: It seems as though you've stumbled into someone else's story? Or perhaps you were given a subtle invitation to
AURUM: <混乱大火ヘン : The Masque of the Red Death>
Ezekiel: "Sup."
Nine: "I see. It is good to meet you" he nods to Prospero
Nameless: "Huh. That's way less than twelve."
Eidolon: "This party is abstracting faster than I can drink."
Nine: "We have been invited to the final chamber I presume"
AURUM: Prince Prospero laughs, and claps his hands together, and the sound is louder than it should ever, possibly be. "Cut! Cut! Hold that dramatic tension, my dear. I want to savour it. Let them wonder, for a little while. We'll be back in an eye-blink, after all."

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