Mana P3y1s01

Mana: And so it was written: Pokiehlember 3rd, Year 1, Luna's Day! It's a bright, early dawn, the first of the lights just beginning to rise in Salamander District.
Mana: The shine of the heart seems to fade a little, and you can hear pots banging, windows being pulled open, the heartbeat of the city a ways away from your apartment.
Mana: The humidity in the air has vanished, the air is clear and crisp.
Mana: It's a bright new day!
Veracruz is up a little earlier than everyone else, just before the sun has rise. He has checked out the mail, mostly out of habit because today there are things of more import first, and there is a pot of water being boiled already by the time someone wakes up
Xsaieta knocks on the door. Knock!
Mana: Two letters and a package - One letter going to the edge of Luna, one going to Kuro Kuro Carceri, and the package to Gnome.
Veracruz looks back at Xsaieta, because the mailbox is outside! "It's open" he picks up the letters, looks them up, and the package. It might take a while to get on with those but that'll do. He puts the letters in the safe spots on his jacket and the package on his backpack
Veracruz then goes open the door for Xsai
Xsaieta definitely did knock on the door /while/ Cruz was stepped-outside checking the mail. It basically… seems like he'd been lying in wait for the opportunity. "Oh! Thanks." And then he slips in and flops in a chair languidly.
Xsaieta: "…so, how's things?"
Veracruz: "Well, moving! Hrm… Salamander's still unstable but I guess we're about to perform some surgery"
Theodore: "Heck no, surgery is delicate. We just need you to wreck stuff."
Xsaieta: "Aw, well, I'm good at that."
Veracruz: "Well"
Xsaieta: "Surgery's for puttin' stuff back together..? That's more your department, bro."
Veracruz: "It's brute-force surgery!"
Theodore pulls himself up form the window ledge he'd been climbing through, rolls across the ground after getting inside, then sits up and ruffles Cruz's hair.
Xsaieta: "They say, what is it, 'give me a hammer large enough and I'll…'"
Xsaieta: "…eh, however it goes." He casually reaches out a hand to give Theo something to grab to help him clamber on in.
Theodore eventually stops messing with veracruz, and gets up with Xsaieta's help.
Veracruz finally gets to putting the boiling water to good use, he's got a few cups packed with herbs to the top, he puts the water on the cups and hands them to Xsaieta and Theodore as well as one for himself. The drnk is incredibly bitter
Theodore stares down at the cup for a moment, then up at Cruz. "Well, I guess it is morning wake up tea."
Veracruz chuckles "It's good for starting up the day at full speed"
Xsaieta takes a big ol' drink of the tea without blinking, and purrs contentedly.
Veracruz: "Hrm… I forget how the plan went? (did we have one?)"
Xsaieta: "The plan is… sit around and look beautiful for like…" He makes a watch-checking motion.
Theodore: "I duno if I'd call it a plan, but we needed to get into that building, and I think you can punch a whole through the wall which - lets me honest - they'll never see coming."
Xsaieta: "…a few more minutes, and then Mr. Toth will show up."
Xsaieta: "I mean, I got no idea about the plan, but, I mean, I know what I gotta do for the next few minutes regardless, because I have a cup of… tea? in my hand." Sip.
Veracruz: "Hrm, right, i've been dieing to try that" he has a smile
Xsaieta: "Shortest distance between two points, huh, Cruz?"
Veracruz: "Definitely, need to always be on time after all"
Toth can be seen passing along the street, a large, empty sack slung over his shoulder. It seems like he didn't notice the group up on top.
Veracruz walks up to the window, looks at Toth "Going shopping?" it's kinda loud
Toth stops, turns around to look over his shoulder, and then up. He smiles. "Oh no, but I was hoping if you can handle a delivery today."
Toth: "We'll give you a hand, of course." He looks around a bit, trying to figure out the best way to climb up.
Veracruz: "It's my job!" he waves for Toth to come on up
Toth will notice there is a set of stairs to the side of the house that his is on top of
Xsaieta: "See? I'm good at this."
Theodore: "Mmhm."
Toth ascends the stairs, joining the group. "Gentlemen. Ready for an exciting morning?"
Veracruz: "Always ready"
Veracruz offers Toth a bit of his drink
Toth will take a cup of it, sure.
It's bitter
Xsaieta has pretty much finished his cup of whatever the hell it is, by now. …seemed like he enjoyed it, too?
Toth sloshes it around a bit, suppresses a scrunched-lip-face, and nods.
Xsaieta leans back in the chair with his head lolling over the chair-back and tilted to one side all the way, and eyes Mr. Toth insouciantly. "Now…"
Xsaieta: "…what could that big, person-sized sack possibly be for?" He might have licked his lips somewhere in there, too.
Toth: "Putting a person in it. Specifically, Ibex."
Veracruz: "Sounds like we'r in for an exciting day"
Xsaieta expertly feigns shock, his ears twirling around dramatically!
Toth: "I suppose I should go over the particulars, yes. Even though not everyone's here."
Theodore: "There's particulars now?"
Alexander knockes on the door, as if that was his cue.
Toth: "Sorry for making life difficult."
Toth: "But if there's a clean way to resolve this, this is about as good as it's going to get."
Veracruz: "Alright"
Theodore waves to Alexander.
Veracruz goes open the foor for Alexander
Xsaieta: "I prefer the term 'making life interesting', personally."
Alexander: "Morning, gentlemen."
Toth: "Morning!"
Veracruz: "You're up early"
Toth: "Anyway, this is how I'm seeing it…"
Toth: "We crash into the mansion, as planned. Find Ibex, that hasn't changed."
Toth: "But, I don't want to kill him- I want to dose him with this." He procues a bottle- black, with long, wing-like handles, tall and spindly, green and ink-dark.
Theodore squints at it.
Veracruz blinks, then looks at the bottle "What's it do?"
Toth: "It'll knock him out for about twelve hours."
Veracruz: "Ooh, what do you plan on doing with him?"
Toth: "Well, 'half a day,' but that's about right."
Toth: "That's what the sack is for. Ball him up, put him in here."
Toth: "Given the chaos that'll likely be ensuing, one of us- possibly Veracruz- needs to take him to one of the slag tunnels. It'll be a bit southwest and down into the maze of pipes."
Xsaieta squints at the bottle for a moment or two and then gives Mr. Toth a slight look of amused surprise.
Toth: "At noon, they'll be empty. And there'll be Rats there."
Toth: "I've talked to King, and at that point, those tunnels will get us anywhere."
Veracruz: "Hrm… So we're smuggling him out of town"
Veracruz: "That'll be an adventure, for sure!"
Toth nods. "I want to smuggle him to Jinn. Possibly dump him off at Erinee's, since he's a collective enemy and she's a doctor- and he might need one after that dose."
Theodore rocks his head form side to side for a few moments, then nods.
Toth: "Not that I know where to find her, but…"
Toth: "Once there, the courts will have him more or less isolated and at their whim."
Toth: "If someone's hands are to be dirtied, I'd rather it not be Salamander's. It's possible this all goes wrong, but…"
Theodore: "Sounds good."
Veracruz: "Sounds good enough. We just need to be careful about someone unintended seeing us on the way out"
Toth: "Oh I'm sure there'll be a right lot of chaos at that time."
Toth: "If nothing else, we need to buy time and draw attention from whoever's carrying Ibex."
[OOC] Toth: *attention away
Toth: "Of course…"
Toth: "There's also the possibility that the Rats waiting for us will want to kill Ibex as well."
Toth: "So it's not a job that'll be finished with simply the manor."
Veracruz: "That's true but that part's easy"
Veracruz: "Just keep running"
Xsaieta beams at Veracruz.
Toth: "We'll also likely have to beat Ibex about a bit before we can force it down him. Can't set it in his breakfast, it'll lose its composure."
Veracruz: "Hrm… Well, i'm all up for giving him a black eye and dropping it down his throat"
Veracruz: "He kind of deserves it!"
Toth: "The -other- reason he'd need a doctor, yes." He wryly smiles.
Toth: "Any questions?"
Veracruz: "Sounds like we're about set to"
Theodore pokes his head out the window, glancing down at the streets
Veracruz looks around, at himself, Theo, Xsai and Toth, also Alexander "Hrm… Yeah, full team"
Xsaieta looks at Toth, and Cruz, and at the bottle, and the corner of his mouth quirks up and he starts giggling desperately but silently in the chair he's still flopped in.
Theodore taps his finger against the window frame before responding to Toth without turning around, "Who's planning on eating the spear hits…?"
Veracruz looks at Xsai, raising an eyebrow, but better not disturb the man having a seizure. Then he looks at Theo "Hrm… Yeah, we're kind of missing her, aren't we? Guess we're going to have to split that duty"
Theodore: "one two three not it."
Toth: "I can work up a sort-of barrier… but I can't sustain it forever and will have to throw it at the enemy."
Alexander: "We'll just have to keep their attention scattered, yeah."
Xsaieta seems like he's giggling even worse now, for some reason!
Veracruz: "Worset comes to worse we can let Xsaieta handle it"
Veracruz: "I mean, i've got a new trick, if he takes enough hits I can make whoever hit him regret that pretty fiercely"
Theodore: "Works for me!"
Xsaieta finally gets a handle on himself and takes a few deep breaths. "-yeah, I- I'm good, I think-"
Toth: "Let's be off, then."
Theodore pushes himself bakc over the window ledge and hopes outside.
Veracruz looks at Theo, goes over to the door and opens it, looking at him still "You like windows?"
Theodore: "It was already open!"
Veracruz: "Aha" he jumps off the roof of the building into the railing of the stairs, grinding them down, and lands softly on the ground, waiting for the party to move
Toth ambles on out and walks down the stairs like a normal person, you freaks.
Mana: The streets of Salamander - clear, gently rising, walkways lifting up from the streets to head towards the refinery.
Mana: Huge pipes flow in and around the buildings - you see a crowd of people filling up buckets of water for the day from one of the main arteries.
Veracruz cracks his knuckles, and starts heading over the mansion (which last he knew was where Ibex was hiding at?)
Xsaieta totally walked down the stairs, too, by the way.
Mana: Yeah - It's a long walk, past laborers heading in for the day and a pack of poorly disguised goblins, up past the Foundry, east of the tin village, to the Estate.
Alexander thnks for a bit. Is Ibex in his mansion still, or might he have gone out? [Master Hunter]
Veracruz waves to the pack of goblins but otherwise doesn't bothers them!
Mana: Ibex is still holed up in the Estate.
Mana: You're certain of it!
Theodore: "Well, at least they didn't learn how to make *good* disguises." After they're a decent distance away.
Toth: "Sometimes, I still wonder about their 'apocolypse'…"
Toth: "Best not to underestimate them, I suppose."
Theodore: "It's the joke ending."
Theodore: "Like, you know, when it's panning across the world and everyone's a goblin and doing some kinda weird little dance -"
Theodore waves his arms erratically as he talks.
Veracruz just looks at Theodore
Toth stares at Theodore.
Theodore: "You know."
Veracruz: "Not quite"
Veracruz: "But okay"
Theodore tilts his head towards Alexander.
Mana: The Estate - A stately mansion on the top of the hill, iron fence surrounding it, patrolled by guards.
Xsaieta: "If goblins were all as fabulous as the king I think I might be almost okay with that?" Trudge trudge.
Alexander: "Yes?"
Theodore: "S'not really the same thign if they're people shaped goblins!" Theordore pauses, giving them a strange look, thne shakes his head. "Aw, nevermind."
Veracruz: "Well he isn't a people shaped goblin"
Veracruz: "He's a goblin-themed person!"
Veracruz: "Small difference"
Toth: "So do we just start running across or did someone have a plan?"
Theodore: "Oh, Cruz was gunna punch a hole in the wall."
Veracruz: "Hrm… We need to try to start as close as we can, then we can rush in"
Toth: "Well, yes, but the wall is way over there."
Toth: "And there's guards between here and there."
Veracruz: "HRm… Want to see if we can ambush a few guards to clear the way?"
Theodore: "Eh either way!"
Veracruz: "Toth?
Toth: "Works for me."
Toth: "Not like blowing a hole in the wall is going to be inconspicious -anyway- but I'd like to delay it as long as possible."
Veracruz: "Yeah, the later we alert everyone the better"
Mana: You could probably try to jump on a patrol of three as they head around one side of the perimeter -
Mana: then you might have a clean dash up towards the Estate proper.
Toth: "If we wait for a bit, and then pounce here…"
Toth nods. "Get ready."
Theodore: "Right on."
Veracruz nods at Toth "Alright" he draws his knives and sits in ambush
Alexander takes cover as well.
Toth crouches, his bow drawn…
Mana: You wait for just the perfect moment, and…
Mana: Battle order: Alexander [F]:0 Veracruz [F]:3 Theodore [B]:4 Xsaieta [F]:5 Toth [B]:6 Regular Force A [F]:15 Regular Force B [F]:19 Regular Force C [F]:19
Mana: They round the corner - three of Ibex's guards, dressed in blue, conical helmets, polearms, and all.
Mana: Alexander!
Alexander takes a look at their opposition. [Analyze, 20D]
Xsaieta: "Sometimes… you gotta punch a hole in a guard before you punch a hole in a wall, you know?" Still, he'll… try to be gentle. Honestly, hats like that deserve punishment anyway.
Mana: Regular Force, level 3 normal humanoid. HP344/344 MP308/308. Aligned with Jinn and Wisp. Fears Shade and Gnome. Armored (-30). The unusually stalwart rank-and-file of the Titanian guard!
Mana: Battle order: Veracruz [F]:0 Theodore [B]:1 Xsaieta [F]:2 Toth [B]:3 Regular Force A [F]:12 Regular Force B [F]:16 Regular Force C [F]:16 Alexander [F]:17
Mana: Veracruz!
Alexander: "Looks like these guys can take some punishment. Use Shade or Gnome."
Toth: "You got it."
Veracruz stares at the enemies, takes a moment to slowly move behind the patrol and suddenly strikes at Regular A, delivering a knife strike on his back, while he's distracted with pain he quickly spins, grabbing the man's arm and letting go, quickly kicking him in the back in the party's direction [Blindside, 39D]
Theodore: "Hmm…"
Veracruz rolled 1d100 and got 63 ( Total: 63 ) for 80 CoS
Veracruz then hurls both of his knives at his back [Power Strike]
Veracruz rolled 1d8+48,150 and got 3 ( Total: 76.5 )
[OOC] Mana: 43] to A as he stumbles back, leaning against the fencepost!
Mana: Theodore!
Theodore: "Oh!" Theodore shake shis head, before quickly taking a swing at the spinning guard. [42D]
[OOC] Mana: Er-
Theodore rolled 1d100 and got 55 ( Total: 55 ) for 80
[OOC] Mana: 46], I mean. It's a hit!
Theodore rolled d10+64 and got 4 ( Total: 68.0 ) for row, blindside
[OOC] Mana: 38]!
Mana: Battle order: Xsaieta [F]:0 Toth [B]:1 Regular Force A [F]:10 Regular Force B [F]:14 Regular Force C [F]:14 Alexander [F]:15 Veracruz [F]:37 Theodore [B]:41
Mana: Status for Regular Force A [F] : [======== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [==========]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Mana: Xsaieta!
Xsaieta follows up on Theodore's heels! [Attack, D50]
Xsaieta rolled 1d100 and got 23 ( Total: 23 ) for 5/85
Xsaieta rolled d12+100,125% and got 4 ( Total: 130.0 )
Mana: Wham! [100]! The guard takes a few steps back, fumbling for his spear. "H…hey! Halt!"
Mana: Mr. Toth!
Toth nocks two arrows into his bow, and their tips glow with gathering Shade mana… [CT 20]
Mana: Forceman A rushes at Xsaieta, spear in hand! Forceman B begins casting [Heal - CT15]! Forceman C spins his spear - [Imperial Guard].
Mana rolled 1d100 and got 27 ( Total: 27 ) for 80-eva to hit
Mana rolled 1d12+80 and got 4 ( Total: 84.0 )
Mana: Striking for 84 physical damage!
Theodore: "Well,"
Mana: Battle order: Alexander [F]:0 Toth [B]:6 Regular Force B [F]:14 Veracruz [F]:22 Regular Force C [F]:23 Theodore [B]:26 Xsaieta [F]:35 Regular Force A [F]:49
Mana: Status for Regular Force A [F] : [===== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [==========]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Theodore: "We'll halt the assault -"
Mana: Alexander!
Theodore: "But we're gunna keep going to the mansion!"
Theodore: "But I don't hiynk that's okay with you?"
Xsaieta takes the hit! "-nnff. Pretty sure they meant halt, like, in general, in the abstract!"
Mana: "Nobody gets through!" "So, he's right." "Yeah."
Alexander strikes at Force A! [40D]
Alexander rolled 1d100 and got 18 ( Total: 18 )
Mana: It's a hit!
Alexander rolled d10+80 and got 2 ( Total: 82.0 )
[OOC] Xsaieta: HP: 341/375, MP: 375/375, SoS: 93
[OOC] Mana: 52]! He takes the kick to the gut with a clang.
Mana: Battle order: Toth [B]:0 Regular Force B [F]:8 Veracruz [F]:16 Regular Force C [F]:17 Theodore [B]:20 Xsaieta [F]:29 Alexander [F]:34 Regular Force A [F]:43
Mana: Status for Regular Force A [F] : [=== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [==========]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Mana: Mr. Toth!
Toth fires his arrows, which do an unusual turn up into the sky, then loop back down and strike the ground beneath Regular Forces A and B, sending them skyward! [Gravity Slam, 28D]
Theodore: "It never hurts ot check! Especially when it hurts to *not* check!"
Toth rolled 1d10+100,150 and got 9 ( Total: 163.5 ) for shade damage
[OOC] Toth: *magical
Xsaieta: "I get it!"
Mana: Hits the weakness! Pillars of violet energy hurl them up into the air! [163] [KO!] [163]!
Mana: Forceman C lashes out as Imperial Guard triggers, sending two shockwaves ripping through the air at Mr. Toth!
Xsaieta: "Man, I bet you feel kinda silly now casting a healing spell, huh?"
Mana rolled 1d10+64 and got 1 ( Total: 65.0 )
Also rolled 1d10+64 and got 1 [Total: 65.0 (Min), Avg: 1.00]
Total: 130.0, Avg: 1.00
Xsaieta: "Just weren't expecting us to do that much that fast. It's okay."
Mana: Hits for 65 physical Jinn damage, wtice!
Mana: Forceman B cures himself!
Mana rolled 1d12+96 and got 12 ( Total: 108.0 )
Mana: Battle order: Veracruz [F]:0 Regular Force C [F]:1 Theodore [B]:4 Toth [B]:12 Xsaieta [F]:13 Alexander [F]:18 Regular Force B [F]:21
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [======== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Mana: Veracruz!
[OOC] Toth: HP: 231/375, MP: 390/390, SoS: 93
[OOC] Toth: HP: 231/375, MP: 315/390, SoS: 93
Veracruz takes the moment that Forceman B is busy healing himself to reacquire his knives from his friend's back and immediately backflips in the air towarsd him, landing on his shoulders with as much strength as he can "Sorry to bother" he jumps up again, hitting his feet again the man's shoulders twice more before flipping away [Blindside, 39D]
Veracruz rolled 1d100 and got 59 ( Total: 59 ) for 80
Veracruz rolled 1d8+48 and got 5 ( Total: 53 )
[OOC] Mana: 23]! He spins around, trying to catch Veracruz with a swipe -
Mana: Regular C sends a shockwave through the air at Veracruz!
Mana rolled 1d10+64 and got 10 ( Total: 74.0 )
Mana: Striking for 74 physical ranged Jinn damage!
Veracruz gets knocked out of his return flip, landing hard on the ground "Okay I forgot that part"
Mana: Forceman C delivers a spear strike to Veracruz, closing in!
Mana rolled 1d100 and got 21 ( Total: 21 )
Theodore: "Haha, I'm sure he doesn't mind."
Mana rolled 1d12+80 and got 4 ( Total: 84.0 )
Mana: Catching him for 84 physical damage!
Mana: Theodore!
Veracruz rolls aside, carefully transforming a direct hit in a glancing blow before jumping up "Ow"
[OOC] Veracruz: HP: 267/375, MP: 375/375, SoS: 93
Mana: Battle order: Theodore [B]:0 Toth [B]:8 Xsaieta [F]:9 Alexander [F]:14 Regular Force B [F]:17 Veracruz [F]:35 Regular Force C [F]:51
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [======== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Theodore spins his staff around once, before slamming the butt into the ground. [CT20] [4/5th Defense Factor]
Mana: Roger! Mr. Toth!
Toth aims at Regular Force B and fires! [Attack, 53D]
Toth rolled 1d100 and got 97 ( Total: 97 ) for 80
Xsaieta quirks an ear up and then holds one finger up in the air at Force B. "Hang on just… one second, okay?" And then he starts rummaging around in his robes for a comically large hammer. [Switch Weapon D20]
Mana: The arrow flies wide!
Mana: Battle order: Alexander [F]:0 Regular Force B [F]:3 Theodore [B]:6 Xsaieta [F]:15 Veracruz [F]:21 Regular Force C [F]:37 Toth [B]:47
Mana: Alexander!
Alexander strikes at Force B! [40D]
Alexander rolled 1d100 and got 39 ( Total: 39 )
Alexander rolled d10+80 and got 2 ( Total: 82.0 )
Mana: Slam! He can't even parry - [52]!
[OOC] Toth: he gets the blindside
[OOC] Veracruz: Blindside! So 102.5
[OOC] Alexander: ah, right
[OOC] Mana: 72], I mean!
Mana: Forceman B delivers a spear strike to Veracruz!
Mana rolled 1d100 and got 48 ( Total: 48 )
Mana rolled 1d12+80 and got 7 ( Total: 87.0 )
Mana: Hitting for 87 physical damage!
[OOC] Veracruz: HP: 180/375, MP: 375/375, SoS: 93
Veracruz can scarcely parry thow blow
Mana: Battle order: Theodore [B]:0 Xsaieta [F]:9 Veracruz [F]:15 Regular Force C [F]:31 Alexander [F]:34 Toth [B]:41 Regular Force B [F]:51
Mana: Theodore!
Xsaieta: "And there they figured I'd be the one takin' all the spears today. Hang in there, Cruz!"
Veracruz: "Well, now I know how Aurora feels like"
Theodore kicks his staff up into the air with a foot before twirling it and sending sparkling light thorughout the party. [Cure Light] [32D]
Theodore rolled d8+80 and got 6 ( Total: 86.0 ) for to everyone
[OOC] Veracruz: HP: 266/375, MP: 375/375, SoS: 93
[OOC] Toth: HP: 317/375, MP: 315/390, SoS: 93
Mana: Battle order: Xsaieta [F]:0 Veracruz [F]:6 Regular Force C [F]:22 Theodore [B]:23 Alexander [F]:25 Toth [B]:32 Regular Force B [F]:42
Mana: Xsaieta!
Mana: Smash whatever stands in your way!
Xsaieta lofts his hammer over his head and then gives Force B a wild-eyed look, jumps into the air and whacks him good with it! [Battle Rain D53]
Xsaieta rolled 1d100 and got 4 ( Total: 4 ) for 80
[OOC] Xsaieta: …*cries*
[OOC] Toth: *pats
Mana: Smash! It's a whalloping hit. No property!
Xsaieta rolled 2d12+100 and got 4, 4 ( Total: 108 ) for Shatter!
Mana: He drops to his knees, skidding along - with a horrible scraping of metal - back a few feet along the street with the force of the blow. [78]! [Shatter-OK!]
Mana: Battle order: Veracruz [F]:0 Regular Force C [F]:16 Theodore [B]:17 Alexander [F]:19 Toth [B]:26 Regular Force B [F]:36 Xsaieta [F]:47
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [=== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Mana: Veracruz!
Veracruz takes the moment that he's staggered and rushes in, taking the moment he's down on his knees he stops just in front of him before backflipping, his feet connecting the man's chin, before delivering two quick strikes with his daggers [Blindside, 39D]
Veracruz rolled 1d100 and got 80 ( Total: 80 ) for 80
Veracruz rolled 1d8+48,150 and got 4 ( Total: 78.0 )
Mana: It's a hit! Boosted by Shatter!
[OOC] Mana: where'd the other +25% come from~
[OOC] Veracruz: Er
[OOC] Mana: 35]!
[OOC] Veracruz: Supposed to be 65
[OOC] Mana: got it
[OOC] Veracruz: That +25% was my fingers being idiots
Mana: Forceman C begins casting [Heal - CT15]!
Mana: Battle order: Theodore [B]:0 Alexander [F]:2 Toth [B]:9 Regular Force C [F]:14 Regular Force B [F]:19 Veracruz [F]:22 Xsaieta [F]:30
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : [== ]
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Theodore hops forward, swinging his staff at B! [42D]
Theodore rolled 1d100 and got 97 ( Total: 97 ) for 80
Mana: He clambers to his feet, managing to parry! Alexander!
Mana: Battle order: Alexander [F]:0 Toth [B]:7 Regular Force C [F]:12 Regular Force B [F]:17 Veracruz [F]:20 Xsaieta [F]:28 Theodore [B]:40
Alexander takes another swing at Force B! [40D]
Alexander rolled 1d100 and got 50 ( Total: 50 )
Alexander rolled d10+80 and got 3 ( Total: 83.0 )
[OOC] Theodore: +25%
[OOC] Alexander: oh right Blindside again
Yamobot: Alexander rolled 83*5/4 -> {103}
[OOC] Mana: 73]! He manages to lift his helmet off his eyes - Mr. Toth!
Mana: Battle order: Toth [B]:0 Regular Force C [F]:5 Regular Force B [F]:10 Veracruz [F]:13 Xsaieta [F]:21 Alexander [F]:33 Theodore [B]:33
Mana: Status for Regular Force B [F] : []
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==========]
Toth frowns and fires an arrow at Regular Force B. [Attack, 53D]
Toth rolled 1d100 and got 18 ( Total: 18 ) for 80
Mana: It's a hit!
Toth rolled 1d12+100 and got 12 ( Total: 112 )
Mana: He hits the floor - [82] KO!
Mana: Forceman C casts Cure, to no avail!
Mana: Veracruz!
Mana: Battle order: Veracruz [F]:0 Xsaieta [F]:8 Alexander [F]:20 Theodore [B]:20 Regular Force C [F]:21 Toth [B]:40
Veracruz takes the chance that Forceman C is probably startled at his lack of timing on his spell and closes in, quickly digging a knife in his arm "NNgah!" he spins around and directs him towards Xsaieta [Blindside, 39D]
Veracruz rolled 1d100 and got 70 ( Total: 70 )
Veracruz rolled 1d8+48 and got 3 ( Total: 51 )
Xsaieta follows on Cruz
[OOC] Xsaieta: bah
Mana: Hits - [21]! Xsaieta!
Xsaieta follows on Cruz's heels, taking one hand off the weapon to give Cruz a high-five, then continuing on - [Slam Attack D55] - to slam the hammer into the guardsman's side! (He'd have aimed for the hat, but… that wouldn't have ended well, for anybody!)
Xsaieta rolled 1d100 and got 44 ( Total: 44 ) for 80
Xsaieta rolled 2d12+100,150% and got 6, 4 ( Total: 165.0 ) for Shatter! Blindside + Ravage
[OOC] Xsaieta: BAH
[OOC] Xsaieta: +125, not +100
[OOC] Veracruz: 202
Mana: Whamm! It's an amazing [172]!
Mana: Alexander!
[OOC] Mana: Shatter!
Mana: and Theodore!
Mana: Battle order: Alexander [F]:0 Theodore [B]:0 Regular Force C [F]:1 Veracruz [F]:19 Toth [B]:20 Xsaieta [F]:43
Mana: Status for Regular Force C [F] : [==== ]
Alexander strikes at Force C! [40D]
Alexander rolled 1d100 and got 53 ( Total: 53 )
[OOC] Yamobot> Alexander rolled (d10+80)*5/4 -: 1d10=5 ]{106}
[OOC] Mana: 76]! Theodore!
Theodore winds up and take another swing! [42]
Theodore rolled 1d100 and got 39 ( Total: 39 ) for 80
Mana: It's a hit!
Theodore rolled d10*.75+64*.75 and got 8 ( Total: 54.0 )
[OOC] Mana: 24]! The Forceman delivers a spear strike to Xsaieta!
Mana rolled 1d100 and got 63 ( Total: 63 )
Mana rolled 1d12+80 and got 10 ( Total: 90.0 )
Mana: Battle order: Veracruz [F]:0 Toth [B]:1 Alexander [F]:21 Theodore [B]:23 Xsaieta [F]:24 Regular Force C [F]:36
Mana: Veracruz!
Xsaieta attempts a parry, but honestly, parrying with a hammer doesn't… really work all that well. Oof!
[OOC] Xsaieta: HP: 285/375, MP: 375/375, SoS: 93
Mana: "Stopping people from climbing over fences… is what it means to be a guardsman!"
Theodore pauses for a second, then gives the guard a sharp salute.
Xsaieta gives the guard a thumbs-up!
Veracruz takes the moment that the man is busy fighting Xsaieta and ducks under his friend, standing right in front of him and under the spear's range, he's got both of his daggers against the shaft of the spear as he dashes ahead dragging them along the length of it to keep it in place, finally slashing against him once he's close enough [Blindside, 39D]
Veracruz rolled 1d100 and got 83 ( Total: 83 ) for 80 CoS
Toth takes aim- "Saving the world is what it means to be… well, don't worry about it!" - and fires! [Attack, 53D]
Toth rolled 1d100 and got 49 ( Total: 49 ) for 80
Mana: It's a hit!
Toth rolled 1d12+100 and got 10 ( Total: 110 )
Theodore: "Super Heroes!"
[OOC] Mana: 80]! And he's down for the count.
[OOC] Mana: Got 72 Lucre. Got 9 AP.
Mana: So, what's phase two of the plan?
Theodore props the guards all up alside the fence, shuch thta it looks like they're sitting.
Veracruz nods to the party "Alright, we make it to the outer wall and from there, we run"
Toth: "Time to hustle up to the side of the mansion!"
Veracruz goes along! No time to lose!
Alexander brushes off his jacket and then follows along.
Mana: The facsimile of a patrol of three guards sitting against the side of the fence is perfect!
Toth nods "Good arrangement."
Theodore: "Thanks!"
Mana: Anyway, you hop over the fence, dash up towards the manor - it's over open ground, and there are some shouts, but nobody gets there in time -
Mana: Veracruz, tell me how it goes.
Theodore gives a nice, cheerful wave to the guards as they start to close in.
Mana: The guards shout, you know, guard stuff at you, Theodore. "Stop!" , "Halt!" , "You!" , etc.
Veracruz keeps running "Xsai, keep ahead of me" he says to his friend. As the near the wall he waits for a moment.. And jumps on Xsai's shoulders, grabbing the hilt of his greatsword, jumping off and spinning midair, with a very fast movement he lands near the wall, crouched. Slowly he stands up, waiting for Xsai to catch up, and sheathing the sword back on his friend's back "There is
Veracruz nothing I cannot cut " he says with a grin, as the section of the wall falls apart in pieces
Toth: "Hah! Amazing!"
Xsaieta runs like the wind to stay ahead of Cruz, and then braces for impact- and then just kinda watches- okay, stares- at Veracruz- and lets out a little whistle that, honestly, probably lasts a second longer than they strictly have time for right now? But damn.
Theodore: "Guard's gotta guard! No hard feelings, but see ya!" Theodore runs over to ruffle Veracruz's hair with some enthusiam, before slipping through the opening.
Toth: "Now we need a bit of luck to find him!"
Veracruz runs in, looking quite satisfacted "Well, he's the commander, gotta be somewhere commandy"
Mana: The stone wall falls open in several pieces, letting you run straight forward into the estate.
Toth: "Upstairs, or a basement war-room?"
Theodore cups his hands around his mouth, "IBEX< where you at???"
Toth winces at Theodore's shout!
Toth: "(Augh, well, I guess it can't be that much more loud at this point!)"
Mana: A noise from the stairs around the hallway: "Report! What was that -"
Mana: "I'm up here, whoever you are!"
Toth snorts, and looks approvingly at Theodore.
Theodore: "Awesome, be up in a sec!"
Theodore dashes for the stairs.
Veracruz rushes right up the stares "Well, that was easy"
Toth also charges ahead!
Mana: Ibex stands at the top of the sweeping spiral staircase in the foyer of the estate, spear pointed, warily. He lifts it.
Mana: "You're… the ones from the Heart, that day."
Theodore: "Yup!"
Veracruz: "Yep!"
Veracruz: "We kind of need to take you out of here"
Xsaieta gives Theodore the hugest thumbs-up.
Theodore: "And we're still helping out which - at this point in time - means taking you back home so the district doesn't implode."
Toth: "I'm new-ish."
Veracruz: "Since you're making a mess out of Salamander. Yeah, pretty much what he said"
Mana: Ibex is a stalwart, young man, his helmet a little smarter than most of the guards, a blue shoulder-cape hanging from the armor to denote his rank. His nose is a little long. And he frowns.
Mana: "…And leave it to the gangs, is it?"
Toth: "Yeah, pretty much."
Toth: "It's better than what's coming, which is the entire district going sky high."
Theodore: "Well, I'd leave it to a Sage, but…" Theodore rolls a shrug.
Veracruz: "Well,
Mana: He descends the staircase.
Veracruz: "Well, more like not letting it become a huge bloodbath"
Alexander: "Sorry, cousin, but that's how things are."
Veracruz: "Gangs can be taken out in time if you don't, y'know, cause them to go on an all-out war that could easily harm the entire district"
Veracruz: "Which is what you're doing"
Mana: "Yes. I imagine it's so."
Mana: "Time, however…"
Theodore: "But also, we gotta move quick so uh. Are you coming wiht us so we cna keep deaths down, or do we need to knock you out first? Should work either way."
Mana: "…Where, exactly, are you taking me?"
Theodore: "Back home! To Jinn."
Mana: "Hmph. This won't end well."
Theodore: "More well than staying here, at least."
Mana: "Yes - Nevertheless, I accept full responsibility."
Mana: "In my absence, look after the Empire. It needs good stewards, better ones than it has."
Toth: "We're invested too."
Mana: A soft smile. "I know."
Theodore pauses for a second, leans in towards Alex. "(Is that the Jinn way of saying " okay i'll come " or " I'm prepared to fight until the end?) "
Alexander: "(Pretty sure it means he'll come since he asked us to look after things.)"
Veracruz scratches his head "We're doing all that we can and a little more, don't worry"
Theodore: "Oh! Awesome."
Xsaieta glances over at Ibex. That was… classy. On several levels. "We won't even stop at 'all that -can- be done'. Don't worry."
Toth: "Well… let's be on, then."
Mana: He rolls his shoulders, embeds his spear by its blade into the banister, and descends down to the group.
Veracruz looks at Toth, then sighs "Well, let's be on our way, then"
Mana: "That we can."
Toth turns to lead them out- before doing so, he shoots a look to Alexander, pauses, and then nods towards Ibex, trying to say 'hey, cover us.'
Toth heads for the front door.
Mana: He says to one of the guards on his way out - "I'm heading in to Jinn. You'll be falling back under Imperial direction. Do good work."
Mana: "Yes, sir." She says.
Mana: Salutes.
Theodore: "Sweet."
Veracruz just goes along, this got a little awkward
Toth flings open the doors.
Mana: Extremely awkward. There's a weird shine in the Heart in the distance. There's Ironclads on the ramp up.
Mana: The traffic's too clear for the gate up into Wisp.
Veracruz looks around "Is something going on?"
Theodore scratches at the back of his head. "Lunaday always a slow dya around here?"
Veracruz: "It isn't, something off"
Mana: "No." Ibex says. He looks about.
Mana: Veracruz, Insight 50?
Mana: or Danger Sense, if it's better.
Toth: "We're peacefully going to Jinn…so yes."
Veracruz rolled 1d100 and got 44 ( Total: 44 ) for Both are the same
Mana: You see the glint of a musket in a window overlooking the ramp.
Mana: (Can it even shoot accurately from that range…?)
Mana: Ibex follows Cruz' gaze - "…Some kind of pipe…?"
Veracruz blinks, stops Ibex's movements
Veracruz: "No, a weapon, very powerful, very low accuracy"
Theodore: "Uh?
Veracruz: "Yeeeah… This is a firing range, they're going to try and kill you"
Toth: "Into the alleys."
Toth: "Now."
Veracruz points to the rifle up at the window, then waves to the sniper so he knows he's been spotted
Mana: Ibex nods, assents, dashes out into the alley -
Mana: "…How'd they get someone there that fast?"
Veracruz: "Yep, into the alleys, they're like crossbows, but much more powerful"
Theodore: "I thought they never mis - er." Theodore blinks, then stays on Ibex's heels.
Toth: "Moreover, how'd they know we'd be coming this way?"
Veracruz: "Uhn, gunna be sincere I wasn't there when you guys saw them"
Mana: "Did you tell anyone?" Ibex asks, leaning against a barrel.
Toth: "Yes… but again, not this direction. Honestly, I was going to drug you and put you in a sack if I needed to."
Mana: "…Are they planning on killing someone else?"
Toth motions to the sack that he is now holding.
Mana: "…Not that I'd like to stroll right up that ramp in plain sight."
Toth: "If so, I've no idea who it'd be…" He glances to Alexander, curious.
Toth: "But anyway, it doesn't look like we're getting out the straight way, anymore."
Theodore: "Hmm."
Toth: "…there's another far longer path."
Theodore: "I know how to figure that one out!"
Veracruz: "Nobody's ought to die right now though, whoever does it'll be a problem, hrm…"
Mana: "How - and where?"
Alexander just shrugs to Toth.
Xsaieta frowns pointedly, and ducks into an alley with the others, tail lashing back and forth in frustration. It's like everyone involved -wants- Salamander to burst into flames.
Toth winces and keeps his voice down. "There's a grate that'll lead to a drain- we can either escape into Shade and… somehow get to Jinn, or go to Undine and through the gate there.
Veracruz: "If we can take him through the path to Undine I think the place's a safer path"
Theodore heads back out to the edge fo the alleyway before poking his head out and glancing around until he notices one of the muksts. "Hey, dudes with the crazy holy weapons! Who's the target anyway? There's a bettin' pool going and I wanna know if I won!"
Mana: Xsaieta: I know, right?
Toth: "Or at least we have more friends there…"
Mana: The musket barrel wiggles a little, but there's no response. But, I mean, you could go in the bookstore, and ask to go upstairs, and bug them there.
Toth: "There's also Gnome, but that's a far longer path."
Theodore rocks his head back and forth, then nods. "Be right back." And then he slips out of the alley and towards the bookstore.
Veracruz: "Rather take the shortest path-" he looks at Theo "Well"
Toth: "Well, now we have time to discuss it, eh?"
Toth: "Undine it is."
Mana: Anyway, so there's one of the people of the red dust sitting in the spare room on the third story, rifle out the musket, and he turns -
Mana: "You, you actually came up here!?"
Theodore: "Well, yeah. It didn't seem like you wanted to shout!"
Theodore: "So now you don't have to."
Mana: "Well, no, but…"
Mana: He averts his gaze, awkwardly.
Theodore: "Would it help if I said I could make my voice sound blue?"
Mana: "So you have the voice of portent!"
Theodore: "Oh right that's what she called it. It's a weird word."
[OOC] Veracruz: How many snipers did we see, Peter?
[OOC] Veracruz: More than one?
[OOC] Mana: Just one!
Mana: "Well, this is going to sound unusual to someone outside the faith, but…"
Veracruz blinks, looks out, then looks at Toth "Or we could take the chance, they're busy talking with Theo"
Mana: "…I won't know who I'm here for until I see them."
Theodore: "Oh."
Veracruz: "If we go to the other end of his line of sight we can probably move safely, he's only looking out of one window"
Mana: "…This is a holy weapon, so it can do no wrong."
Toth: "Sure, why not. Did you only see one?"
Theodore leans out the window. "GUYS IT'S NOT FOR US!"
Veracruz: "Only the one"
Toth: "Let's make with some speed, then."
Toth: "I'll lead."
Mana: Theodore, want to roll Charm 70?
Theodore: "Just waitin' for the gut feeling, then? That's kinda rough, but sometimes it's the only way yeah?"
Veracruz then nods at Toth "Alright" and tags along closey to Ibex. He won't actually trust the guy won't figure the one he wants is Ibex out of the blue
Theodore rolled 1d100 and got 11 ( Total: 11 ) for Sure!
Mana: "Right! All of a sudden I just felt - this is where I had to be!"
Toth heads around the corner, back into the street, and hustles on up towards the ramp.
Theodore: "Did you remember to pack a lunch? It doesn't seem like too many people are coming around, so it might be a while."
Mana: The sniper starts talking animatedly to Theodore, gesturing, getting into it, before - "Actually, no, it was just an absolute impulse sort of thing-" He turns, as if checking to see if he brought something, setting his musket to a lean, and -
Mana: Anyway, so he gets into it, talking really animatedly - "Well, no, actually, I don't think I did, it was just this absolute impulse kind of thing-" And he turns, setting the rifle to lean against the windowsill, as if checking to see if he brought something-
Mana: And then: "No! Wait! That's the one! That's him!" He shouts, startled, fumbling for his musket…
Mana: But he doesn't get to it in time, and Ibex and crew are in the clear.
Theodore: "Oh, Ibex?"
Mana: "Is that who that is? In the armor?"
Theodore: "Man, Toth was like, really intent on *not* dying. Yeah! He's sort of in charge of the armor, but he's like, going on leave and sin't in charge anymore. We kinda sorted out the problems he was making in Salamander right before we showed up here!"
[OOC] Theodore: on him not^
Mana: "Well, there has to be some really important reason for him to die, right?"
Theodore: "Hmm."
Theodore: "Up until about like, five minutes ago yeah. That was actually kind of what we thought was going to happen too, until Toth said he had a better idea."
Theodore: "I'm not sure what killing him now would accomplish though, since he's alreayd out of the picture."
Mana: "Well, as you said… you just need to go with your gut!"
Mana: "Or, um, divine inspiration."
Theodore nods.
Theodore: "Yeah that's fair. Although like, just so you know, we're gunna try and keep him alive too. And I also got one of those," Theodore nods towards the Musket.
Theodore: "- Er, that's not a threat. Just a heads up to be fair, since you lemme know what you were up to."
Mana: "M…maybe this is ordained, also!"
Theodore: "It's possible! I did sort of arrive in Titania by falling through a hole in the ground a few days ago."
Mana: "Ha…huh."
Theodore: "Honest! I lost my eyebrows in transit too." He points towards where they should be.
Mana: "I… don't know what to say to that."
Theodore: "And then we beat up a monster yesterday that was trying to eat a Salamander, and if I'm ont mistaken they're on the same tema as the Goddess, more or less, so… hm. Maybe you're on to something."
Theodore: "…Although it'd be a little weird for her to send me here to prevent seven different apocolypses from happening, wouldn't it?"
Theodore: "Man, Titania is weird."
Mana: "It… really is."
Theodore: "Speaking of though, I should get back to it." Theodore glasps the man on the shoulder before nodding. "Keep on keepin' on buddy." He then lets go, before hopping out the window, sliding down the side of the building, and then heads for Undine.
Veracruz looks at Theo as he approaches "Had fun there?"
Mana: Roger. So, Theodore's off to undine, and the rest of the pack headed up into Wisp?
[OOC] Veracruz: Uhn… If memory serves me didn't Ice just presum we were all heading to Undine because it was our secondary option whereas now we have the path to Wisp clear? OR-
[OOC] Veracruz: Hachi where are we heading
[OOC] Toth: going straight to wisp now haha
[OOC] Toth: since we only saw one sniper and just decided to run for it
Theodore has no idea how to get from salamander to wisp, but *does* know how to get from salamander to undine to wisp. :D
[OOC] Toth: we're good with w/e I think
[OOC] Veracruz: Well we're
[OOC] Veracruz: All convening on Wisp before moving to Jinn?
[OOC] Toth: we can, sure
[OOC] Toth: it'll just take longer
Mana: Wisp District.
Mana: There's an icy, unseasonal wind in the air, as the trolleys roll past.
Mana: Ibex sighs with relief as he comes up onto the Ring Street.
Veracruz: "Alright, everyone's gathered. From here off to Jinn, better go fast"
Xsaieta shivers, and adjusts his shimmering clothes.
Toth: "Even the weather's awkward…"
Toth: "Anyway, yes, let's keep moving…"
Theodore catched up with the others somewhere in the middle of Wisp after taking a bit of a roundabout path. "Oh yeah. So apparently he *was* waiting for Ibex, he just didn't knwo it was Ibex he was waiting for until he got a better look."
Toth: "Not much of a description they gave him, huh?"
Toth: "Who was it? A Rat?"
Xsaieta: "…huh. Man, I get the feeling I woulda enjoyed listening in on that conversation."
Theodore: "No description at all! A divine compulsion. He just knew he had to be there, and he's know the target when he same 'em."
Xsaieta: "That was, uh, pretty awesome, bro."
Theodore: "What was?"
Xsaieta: "The whole… uh… darting off and giving no fucks and distracting the probably crazy sniper guy. Between that and Cruz bustin' down a wall it's been a pretty awesome morning?"
Veracruz: "Fairly sure Theo just wanted to ask a question! He's pretty straightforward like that"
Theodore: "Oh. Well, I mean what was the worst that was going to happen? Take a hit, but I'm pretty sure I could eat three of 'em anyways." Theodore waves dismissively.
Toth: "Hah!"
Toth heads towards the Jinn checkpoint…
Mana: Ironclads on the gate. One of them raises his hand to his eyes - "…Is that Ibex?"
Toth: "Yes. He's with us. We'll be heading inside."
Mana: The Ironclad nods. "I need to go inform Erinee."
Veracruz: "We're taking him to her, yeah"
Mana: "I'll accompany you." The iron giant says, and he turns to lead you into the tower.
Aleithilithos continues with the group.
[OOC] Toth: nick up lol
Xsaieta has the strangest feeling like he's walking into a trap, but that's probably just because he's walking into Jinn district.
[OOC] Alexander: whoops
[OOC] Alexander: First three leters are the same!
Mana: After the Ironclad rings a bellcord in the tower foyer, Erinee descends an elevator, flanked by shadows -
Mana: "…Ibex. I trust your little rebellion went well."
Mana: "I wouldn't use the word."
Theodore: "Hey now, play nice."
Mana: "Little?" Erinee asks. Ibex only smoulders: "…Rebellion."
Theodore: "We all just want this city to survive, yeah?"
Mana: "That we do." Erinee says. "But one does not misuse so much resources without escaping scrutiny."
Mana: "Ibex. You're to be summoned to the top floor to be stripped of your rank and face judgment."
Mana: Erinee smiles to the rest - "Would you care to attend? …Sadly, barring you, Alexander."
Veracruz: "Well, he was definitely causing some problems but i'm fairly sure he was just trying to do what was right"
Alexander salutes Erinee. "Rightly so."
Veracruz scratches behind his head, then looks at Theo "Hrm… Wanna watch? I don't know how those things go, it'd be good to know"
Toth: "I'm interested. Provided we forego a search, of course."
Toth: "May as well see the story to a conclusion."
Mana: "One won't be necessary. I'm well aware of your particular circumstances."
Theodore: "Oh wait we're allow to take a few parting swipes? Tell Vald I said 'hah' and also, 'hah! ANOTHER POINT TO US' when you see him again then Erinee?"
Alexander: "I'll be at the Manor, folks."
Mana: "Certainly."
Veracruz: "Well, we'll see ourselves in a moment, Alex"
Toth smiles wryly. "Yes, this was another problem solved by us, wasn't it."
Alexander wanders back to the Manor, then, pondering on where he might find Prince Cat.
Theodore holds a hand out to high five Mr. Toth.
Toth high fives Theodore.
Theodore: "Later, Alex!"
Toth: "Be seeing you."
Mana: Alexander: The evidence fits together perfectly in your mind - not that you could explain what evidence, if asked.
Mana: But you know that sushi place on Ring Street? That's where Prince Cat is hiding.
Toth half-turns to Erinee. "…did you ever see the lumbering phantom, by the by?"
Mana: "I did not." Erinee says, as the golden gate to the central elevator opens, and she steps inside.
Veracruz simply follows
Toth: "(Hm, well, that sorts that out.)" He follows
Theodore follows along with the others, not particularly wanting to be stranded and alone in Jinn.
Mana: "The others did, I imagine?"
Toth: "Yes."
Toth: "It's curious all the same, even though I can handwave it away with two words."
Mana: "Go on, if you don't mind."
Toth: "Pure hearts."
Xsaieta totally follows the others. Watching Ibex probably be eaten by a grue is actually less scary than being left alone in Jinn.
Mana: The elevator rises…
Mana: …And rises…
Mana: …And rises.
Mana: The moon-reflecting pool
Mana: ripples in the icy eastern wind
Mana: mercury flowing away from each foot-step as Erinee strides out into the Emperor's court,
Mana: the Emperor, who sits to the Imperial North, atop a white throne.
Theodore lets out a low whistle.
Mana: He's bald - his skin ivory, almost sculpted, dressed in white, his eyebrows white. He smiles.
Veracruz just stares at the place, in awe
Theodore tilts his head. "That's the Emperor?"
Mana: He wears rings of bleached wood upon each finger - sandals carved of something's bone. Far less adorned than you expected, really.
Toth looks to the walls, the ceiling, the pool. Sometimes you're just a tourist. And then to the Emperor.
Mana: No walls, of course - this is the top floor, the city open all around you.
Mana: And the countryside, to the northwest, and the harbor, and the tremendous ice floes in it to the east.
Mana: "It is." The Emperor explains.
Theodore: "Oh, awesome."
Toth lingers a stare towards the east before returning to the Emperor.
Theodore: "I had a quesiton for Erinee, but it's actually a better question for *you* anyways."
Mana: He smiles. "Sometimes I feel that way, too."
Theodore: "Why'd you become the Jinn Emperor instead of the Gnome Emperor?"
Xsaieta raises an eyebrow, perks his ears up, looks around… lets out a slow breath. This escalated rather quickly, in more senses than one.
Toth: "Gnome doesn't really 'do' Emperors."
Theodore: "Yeah huh I heard the story! Well, the end of it. Not the start or middle."
Mana: He shuts his eyes. Erinee turns, a bit surprised before the Emperor speaks.
Mana: "Gnome is the style too concerned with the aesthetic of virtue - the calling to revenge, the duty to those that have done well to you. Kindness to those you find beautiful, kinship to those you take as friends, compassion to those you find pitiful."
Mana: "Drawn towards enlightenment, Gnome considers the world its kin."
Mana: "Know that the eight paths of enlightenment are spiritually equal. However, as an Emperor…"
Mana: "…Even before achieving enlightenment, I must be kind to all."
Mana: "And it's thus better to seek an imperfect kindness towards all, than a perfect kindness towards an imperfect all, in the meantime."
Mana: "Does that answer your question?"
Theodore: "Hmm."
Theodore: "Yeah, I guess that makes sense."
Theodore: "S'probably not how I woulda done it, but that's why you're you and I'm me! Was there like, a specific moment wher eyou realized that or was it jsut kind of a slow dawning thing?"
Mana: "The latter, I think. We don't all have the luck of living like stories."
Mana: "Commander Ibex, please approach."
Theodore nods.
Mana: "You have acted improperly for one of your station, and in so doing, challenged the stability which Titania depends on."
Mana: "I understand you have done so out of personal virtue and conscience. This is a valiant thing."
Mana: Ibex approaches. You can't see the look in his eyes.
Mana: "My final order to you, as Emperor, is to sincerely seek peace and joy in the next world."
Veracruz crosses his arms, this doesn't sounds like it will end well
Theodore opens his mouth, shuts it and turns to Toth questioningly.
Toth mouths, 'watch.'
Toth mouths, 'or don't.'
Mana: The Emperor extends his right hand towards Ibex. He shuts his eyes.
Xsaieta grits the hell out of his teeth and lashes his tail back and forth.
Theodore rocks his head back and forth, hold a hand up towards Toth and wobbles it. "Your call."
Mana: There's a cold wind, and Ibex's bones and teeth are torn through his armor, tearing ribbons of blood and flesh through the air, all in one smooth motion, too fast to make a noise, vanishing like ash onto the wind.
Mana: The wet remnants fall to a pile, staining, barely mingling with the quicksilver.
Veracruz winces
Toth: "Is the next world 'Paradise?'" he asks, amidst the silence and winds.
Mana: The Emperor speaks: "Yes. Yes it is."
Mana: "How could an imperfect Emperor rule, without the promise of a paradise beyond?"
Toth: "So that's why."
Mana: "Erinee." He says.
Theodore reaches over, petting Xsai's head for a moment.
Mana: The court Doctor nods, waves one of her shadows over to the remnants - he scoops it up, heads into the elevator.
Toth: "You don't neccessarily have to -keep- promises, mind. Isn't that part of the imperfection?"
Mana: Then, the Emperor opens his eyes.
Veracruz bites his lower lip
Mana: "At the very least, I must keep them to myself."
Toth: "Why's that, if you don't mind my asking."
Toth: "(Or even if you do.)" Mana: "You watched that, I think."
Mana: "It was horrifying."
Mana: "Is it not unspeakable, to bring such suffering to another soul?"
Mana: "…We are all equals under Heaven, after all."
Toth: "Such is the kindness that you're giving to the people, the execution, even in its horrificness?"
Mana: "But yet… in punishment, in pain, in starvation - in arrest, in seclusion - by rack, by manacles, by oubliette -"
Mana: "These things are also unspeakable."
Theodore: "You just mentioned it all though."
Theodore: "Or er - is that a 'don't bring it up in poliet company' sort of thing?"
Mana: "I would say that it should pain you to even think of - but that should is incorrect."
Mana: "I may yet simply have a weaker stomach than most."
Theodore: "Well for what it's worth I'm sure at least one person here wants to rip your throat out for that, but."
Mana: "I yet have duties in this world. But yes, at some point, I will join him in Paradise."
Veracruz: "Hrm…"
Theodore tilts his head to the side, then stares up at the emperor with his stared eye.
Theodore: "You a Pure Heart, by the by?"
Xsaieta: "The latter." His voice is a bit tight. "In public, talk about duty and Paradise… in private- rrh." He bristles. It -was- quick, and merciful, as executions go, but Xsai's hardly going to think about that now.
Mana: "Sage Joch thought that Titania needed Pure Hearts."
Mana: "And that's why he wrought such disaster upon us."
Theodore: "I'm pretty sure he wanted us to stop disaster, not start it."
Veracruz blinks, tilting his head to the side "Sage Joch wrought disaster?"
Mana: "Deep beneath the earth, beyond where my fingers may reach, there are exiles of my kingdom who built engines that grind history."
Mana: "That sing stories into the world with their hollow, stony drone."
Mana: The Emperor tilts his head to one side.
Mana: "Sage Joch penned a chronicle of seven disasters, brought it to these engines, and called these calamities onto us."
Mana: "He did so to bring to us people like you."
Theodore: "That sounds kinda nuts."
Xsaieta: "Huh. Is that what you think?" He scratches behind an ear and glances at Theo.
Theodore: "Like I'm not arguing with you or saying it's wrong - but it's kinda nuts, is what Im' saying."
Theodore: "Why would he want us if he didn't need us?"
Toth: "Interesting…"
Toth: "He didn't, he believed Titania did, or so the story goes."
Veracruz: "That is kind of very strange, yes"
Toth: "It's… oddly circular. Provided he thought that Pure Hearts would do something else for Titania, as well."
Xsaieta: "Rather relies on the 'if disaster, then Pure Heart' leap of reasoning, which…" His tail lashes back and forth. "…I mean, it also is the most paranoid thing I've ever heard, but if anyone in Titania has that right, it's definitely you, so." He continues to look thoughtful.
Mana: "There are… nine of you, I believe."
Theodore: "Yup! Some more active than others, but yeah."
Toth chuckles. "Two more than apocolypses."
Mana: "Since we sit in disaster now, and disaster calls to your hearts and your heart to disaster-"
Toth: "So Pure Hearts have numbers on their side."
Mana: "…I would like to meet with all of you and grant Imperial Sanction to your actions."
Theodore opens his mouth, closes his mouth.
Theodore: "So you're *not* the big problem getting in our way and making a lot of these problems yourself?"
Veracruz blinks, a little… Taken aback "Hum… Hrm…"
Toth: "Just eccentric. And Jinn as all get-out."
Mana: "I understand one of them is related to me?"
Veracruz: "Well"
Mana: "I shall have to send an envoy, for him."
Theodore: "Alexander, yeah. Someone uh. Had him killed? But he got better."
Toth: "It'd be… annoying if he were killed again."
Veracruz: "Yes, that consumes an incredible amount of time"
Veracruz: "Which we are not particularly full of"
Theodore: "OH! OH OH OH!"
Mana: The Emperor smiles. "I am glad he is well, then."
Mana: "Yes?"
Theodore: "Goddess, before I forget - WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE PAINTER?! And uh closing the gates I guess, but COME ON - the painter thing is so weird."
Toth: "Darn, I wanted to ask him about that."
Mana: "Which painter?"
Mana: I'll let exactly one person make an Insight 30 roll, right here.
Theodore: "Down in the shade in this weird upside down tower thing, there's a dude down there that said you hired him as an offical imperial painter, and there was one in each district."
Toth rolled 1d100 and got 51 ( Total: 51 ) for 30
Mana: "I did hire him, yes."
Theodore rolled 1d100 and got 93 ( Total: 93 ) for wingman hooo
Mana: "There isn't one in every district, however. I hadn't the chance to complete the program - most stay in the tower."
Theodore: "But yeah like - what's the deal there?"
Mana: "I provide him with supplies and living, and he enjoys sufficient freedom to produce as he wishes. Patronage, I believe, is the word?"
Toth: "Stately interest in the arts."
Mana: A nod to Mr. Toth. "Indeed."
Theodore: "Dang, I was hoping there was a more interesting answer."
Mana: "I apologize for boring you. Titania is filled with wonders in places, however."
Toth: "Anyway…"
Veracruz: "We've certainly met a great deal ofthem"
Toth: "The gates."
Toth: "Why keep them all closed? Aside from the one leading out of Salamander…"
Mana: "The interior roads, you mean?"
Toth: "Yes."
Theodore: "Yeah Titania is DEFINITELY weird."
Toth: "Well- no! And the exterior ones!"
Theodore: "The ones blocking mana flow!"
Xsaieta: "We're at least… reasonably sure that closed gates are a huge part of what's contributing to the oncoming-catastrophe situation, so…"
Mana: "Yes. But that's because Joch wished for bad things to lead to worse things."
Mana: "He penned a situation which could not possibly help but to get worse."
Mana: "In opening the Salamander gate, Vush will meet his army, and there will be an opera of blood."
Mana: "In opening the lower Shade gate, the moonmatter will rise up, and we'll be beset by - well, any number of foes who would love to rip our purchase and our land from us."
Mana: "As such, these ways must remain shut."
Mana: Erinee turns to the Emperor - "Lord. If you would excuse?" "You need but ask." The Emperor responds, and Erinee departs, with her other shadow in tow.
Xsaieta thinks that it must be lovely, and it must be easy, being able to pin all of this on the late Sage Joch…
Theodore: "Yeah I *do* keep trying to think of a way to open Salamander without anyone dying, but have yet to have a good idea there."
Toth: "I still lack the true understanding of the situation of Salamander, I suppose. But for now, one crisis is averted, if only temporarily."
Mana: "Which I thank you for."
Mana: "There is much a pure heart can accomplish, it seems."
Toth: "Is your word all we'll need for the Sanction, or is there more we should carry?"
Xsaieta: "Speaking of crises, uh. The Goblins want the City Heart pretty badly. Is there something we'd be better off knowing so we're not, you know, shocked and thrown off our game by it later?"
Theodore: "Oh! I just thought of another question but three at once is probably a bit much," Theodore nods to himself.
Mana: "I'll have formal materials drawn up for the Sanction, but I'd like to meet with more of you, first."
Mana: "To set pure hearts against one another in the streets would be a dangerous matter, I feel."
Toth: "Yes…"
Theodore: "I'd totally punch Vlad in the jaw for ya if you wanted though."
Xsaieta: "…damn it, he's been working with all along, hasn't he? The smug look that scruffy bastard will give us when we see him next- rrrgh."
Mana: "Actually, I hadn't had the chance to meet with him."
Mana: "He and Erinee are good friends, I hear."
Theodore: "Yeah."
Toth: "I imagine the wedding will come in a few months, yes."
Mana: "I'll have to apologize for not meeting him sooner, then. I suspect I may have made a breach of protocol in not rewarding his filiality."
Theodore tries to imagine Vlad in a tuxedo, Erinee in a wedding dress, and *both* of them smiling pleasently.
Xsaieta: "…oh, dear."
Mana: "Yes?"
Theodore: "Mr. Toth, I commend your power of imagination - it's just not workin' over here."
Toth: "They're more likely to just sign papers, yes. We'd have to strongarm the ordeal like true pure hearts."
Theodore: "Yeah!"
Mana: "As for the City Heart…"
Mana: "…You must understand, I'm cautious in telling others about it."
Mana: "The certain kind of romantic mind, on discovering its nature, seeks to destroy it."
Xsaieta: "So far, so what-I've-figured."
Theodore: "Like the Goblin King!"
Mana: "Indeed."
Mana: "If this is done, Titania will come apart at the seams, more literally than one could imagine."
Veracruz: "I've no doubt it's one of the things holding the city together. Goblins also kind of want it something fierce"
Mana: "I will tell you this:"
Mana: "There is someone that dwells inside it."
Mana: "She does not suffer. Her existence is not painful."
Mana: "She lives a life much like any in the city, and knows not of us."
Theodore: "Is she… bored, though?"
Veracruz crosses his arms, thinking…
Xsaieta tilts his head to the side, half-closes his eyes. "Hm. I have another question, then… how do you know what you know?"
Veracruz: "Innocent, powerful, and important to the goblins"
Mana: "Possibly. But who isn't bored, from time to time?"
Toth: "Why does someone dwell inside there?"
Theodore: "Well, it's more important 'cause I'm not a spirit that actually summons goblins to break things when I'm upset."
Xsaieta: "What if I said, 'I've heard her crying, in the middle of the day, walking through a Salamander street'… it wouldn't change the fact that destroying the City Heart would be the same as sticking a knife into Titania and twisting."
[OOC] Theodore: -actually +accidently
Mana: "The City Heart is a pact between two worlds."
Xsaieta: "I mean, they also say in public that when you die, you go to Paradise. We talked about this, remember? And- it's a good thing that people think that, and it doesn't hurt them…" -and then he shuts up, and listens.
Mana: "With us as the night and it the day, it, and its denizen, could not continue on without us."
Mana: "And without it, we could not carry on, either."
Mana: "To call this injustice is to forget the fact that we live in reality."
Theodore starts to say something about Xerelle to Xsaieta, but stops ads the Empreror speaks. And blinks.
Xsaieta: "Destroying it, and not destroying it, can both be the 'right thing to do'. Just… one of them's the right thing to do that makes sense to us, and one's the right thing to do that makes sense to the Goblins."
Xsaieta: "I'm just… trying to understand their motivations."
Xsaieta: "So I can destroy them better. You know?"
Toth: "It's a goblin, isn't it?"
Toth: "That's what would immediately make sense to me."
Mana: "No, it is not. Goblins have no urge to serve goblin-kind."
Mana: "Even their king is a human, I think, of sorts."
Toth: "I'm glad I said something."
Toth: "Human-themed, apparently…"
Xsaieta: "It's a spirit."
Veracruz nods at Xsai
Mana: The Emperor nods. "Goblins have no concept of death."
Mana: "…But then again, in a sense, neither do I."
Xsaieta: "…oh, damn."
Theodore: "Yeah, Xerelle wasn't really happy with the changes you made to it."
Mana: "…Changes…?"
Toth: "Paradise."
Theodore nods in Toth's direction.
Mana: "…Is as it always was."
Theodore: "Uhh."
Veracruz: "Well, to death. Given, uhn…"
Theodore: "Oh, that *wasn't* you that made Paradise?"
Toth: "But it's directing souls from all over to Paradise."
Theodore: "We were all pretty sure it was. Huh."
Toth: "And none to the underworld."
Mana: "Which would you rather spend eternity in?"
Toth: "The point is, that was the change."
Veracruz just looks at the emperor for a moment, did he say that he has no concept of death? He furrows his eyebrows a little bit
Mana: "But didn't this underworld… appear only very recently?"
Theodore pauses.
Toth: "But it was always there."
Theodore leans forward, squints at the Emperor.
Veracruz raises an eyebrowat the emperor
Veracruz: "It has always been there"
Theodore: "Are you … *sure* you're not a Pure Heart?"
Mana: "In the sense that my family members can have long, storied histories of plots against me…"
Theodore: "'Cause only use and the Invaders are supposed to know that."
Veracruz: "Even if it it only appeared recently"
Mana: "…And have had these for years, and years, and years…"
Xsaieta: "On the one hand Xerelle was pretty cute. On the other hand it wouldn't be -her-, it'd be, y'know…" -and then he trails off and peers at the Emperor, lashing his tail back and forth.
Mana: "…Only very recently."
Mana: "Much like the machinations of the engines of Shade, an Emperor must be well aware of what shifts within his demesne."
Theodore: "Xerelle *is* pretty cute, in a dorky kinda way."
Mana: "Don't you think?"
Theodore: "Well."
Theodore: "Yes, but it's more than weird that you'd know that a new path to a place that's Technicaslly-Always-Been-There-Tp-Everyone just opened."
Theodore: "Oh, wait, if you're not a Pure Heart maybe you're a Sage? OR YOU'RE THAT GUY FORM THE WORLD THAT SURVIVED WINTER but probably not? Hm."
Mana: "Certainly. And this place is created, and suddenly, Paradise is a little less just."
Mana: "Do you not believe that there can be a world of perfect joy, and splendor?"
Toth: "I try to dress up my restaurant the best I can, so yes."
Theodore scratches at the side of his face.
Theodore: "Naw, actually I don't."
Toth: "I believe. But the afterworld, 'Paradise…'"
Theodore: "'Cause I'm pretty sure my perfect isn't the same as anyone elses."
Toth: "Is that really the place for it?"
Veracruz: "Not really? I mean- Everything loses meaning without something to define it, joy and suffering define eachother, can't be absolute in either camp, y'know. Also what Theo said"
Xsaieta: "Aw, totally. I just… I'm honestly not sure Paradise is it, y'know? It's a pretty great idea to have if you want to get people to do what you say, though."
Mana: "Joy and suffering define one another…"
Mana: "That's what you say when you are overly fond of suffering, I feel."
Xsaieta sideyes at Veracruz briefly, lasciviously, but then remembers he's in the Emperor's chambers, and thinks better of whatever he was about to say.
Theodore: "Gunna give him the point there, Cruz."
Veracruz: "Nah. I don't like suffering. But if there is only joy in your life, it becomes bland and stale, you stop knowing what 'joy' is and it just becomes 'normal'"
Veracruz: "Stubbing your toe surely makes you appreciate your boots"
Veracruz: "Is what I mean to say"
Veracruz: "A bad day certainly makes you appreciate a good month"
Xsaieta: "Although, if you -were- a Pure Heart, and you said, 'hey! There's this place, it exists, it's whatever will satisfy every single person's desires if they knew perfectly what their desires should be and imply, and you go there when you die, it's called Paradise'…"
Toth: "(" That's one hell of an Artifact…) "
Xsaieta: "…then it would be true, wouldn't it? On the other hand if you -weren't- a Pure Heart, and you just made a box that made people -think- they saw that when they looked in, and what was really going on was you were eating people's souls and making monsters…"
Xsaieta: "…it comes down to how you know what you know, you know?"
Xsaieta quickly adds: "-not that I'm accusing you of fulfilling every sentient life-form's coherent extrapolated volition -or- making a gigantic fiend factory. It's just… there's a lot of possibilities here, is all."
Mana: "So there are."
Theodore: "Wh - oh right the fiend machine apocolypse."
Mana: "But there's a certain sort of mind…"
Veracruz: "There is that one other problem yes"
Mana: "That can't imagine a way for everyone to be content, to leave in peace - perhaps not in perfect happiness, but well enough, from each day to another…"
Mana: "…Without there being someone suffering, someone to blame, someone who loses."
Mana: "I have decided this will not be my Empire."
Xsaieta: "Damn it, I think I like you now. You're good at this."
Theodore: "Does the name Jack mean anything to you?"
Toth: "The apocolypes didn't include 'crazy emperor,' but safe to say we weren't sure about a lot of things."
Mana: "It's a common enough name - which means, I suppose, that it does not."
Theodore nods slightly, rests his hands behind his head.
Xsaieta: "I mean, that doesn't mean I trust you, but I've spent lovely hours with too many Vipers in my life to ever get the two mixed up."
Toth: "Where did Sage Joch live?"
Mana: "Somewhere in Gnome, so I heard."
Mana: "Some records of his might be of use, though I'm sure they've been scattered by now."
Xsaieta lashes his tail back and forth, making mental notes.
Veracruz: "Well, every last bit helps"
Theodore: "Oh yeah one other thing."
Theodore: "What's your beef with the moon empire?"
Mana: "They are an Empire, after all, with one foot in the real, and another in the Luna."
Veracruz: "That one's kind of important, I think they're going to end up as catalysts for some apocalypses, on no direct fault of their own"
Mana: "How can a nation be ruled righteously by one who rules the land as if its people were nothing but smoke and ghosts?"
Theodore glances at Xsaieta, then himself.
Veracruz: "So you have just… A problem with the way they run their nation?"
Theodore: "To be fair I think a lot of them *are* smoke and ghosts."
Mana: "Why would one conquer the known world, if one didn't think one could do it better?"
Theodore: "Hm."
Theodore: "Well."
Xsaieta: "Huh. So you're saying they started it?"
Theodore: "Just so you know the Princess is keeping them from starting a war."
Theodore: "So uh maybe cut her some slack?"
Mana: "What fashion of it?"
Theodore: "Maybe get someone a little friendlier to watch her, or let her leave the tower on ocassion to, I duno, do whatever she might think it fun. I think I'd go kinda nuts if I was in her position, and it's, y'know, admirable that she's telling them not to attack everything considered."
Mana: "So I shall."
Mana: "It's good to do so, but do clean up the aftermath if there comes to be one, if you don't mind."
Theodore pause,s then gives the Emperor a smile.
Theodore: "That's fair yeah."
Veracruz: "Well, we can do that, definitely"
Xsaieta: "Fair, if only in that we'd be wanting to protect the city and its people anyways."
Mana: "Culling goblins, staving off invaders…" The Emperor sighs. "Would that I had no use for you."
Theodore: "Angels, Fiends, Winter, uh… what was the other two. Salamander imploding and…"
Theodore: "Augh I always forget the seventh."
Veracruz: "Hrm…"
Toth: "Yes…"
Veracruz: "Don't quite have it in memory, yeah"
Xsaieta: "Weapons are for wielding. Maybe you should take up a different art form? Sculpting, perhaps?"
Veracruz: "Ahaha, I actually count on you remembering them, don't remember them offhand"
Toth: "The plague."
Toth: "Though really… we were more or less treating that as something that'd clear when we were clearing the others, as a side-product…"
Theodore: "Oh, I think it's invaders times two yeah. The Moon Empire, and then the Services/Plague."
Veracruz: "Oh, yes, the Services"
Mana: "I'm told that you're the only ones who can see them?"
Toth: "So the story goes."
Toth: "(Also, something about Undine eating winter?)"
Veracruz: "Oh! Right that is the ACTUAL seventh apocalypse"
Veracruz: "The winter"
Theodore: "I mentioned winter!"
Veracruz: "Did you? I forgot, my bad"
Toth: "Yes, I was just recalling the odd offhand comment about it."
Xsaieta: "You're forgetting the goblins, I think. That makes seven."
Veracruz: "YEs"
Theodore: "Naw, the Emperore mentioned goblins first!"
Toth: "We should really write all this down…"
Theodore: "I was finished where he left off."
Xsaieta: "Oh."
[OOC] Theodore: -ed +ing
Xsaieta scuffles his feet.
Theodore: "Hm. Well, I think that was all that was on my mind at the moment. I'll make sure to let the others know you wanted to chat for a bit, yeah?"
Mana: "Indeed."
Xsaieta glances at Mr. Toth. "'s cool, I won't forget 'em now."
Mana: "I pray this ends well for all of us."
Theodore: "Me too."
Veracruz: "Oh, yes, one last question, logistics"
Veracruz: "Once we manage to get us all together, which would be a bit of a feat in and of itself"
Veracruz: "How to contact you about this?"
Mana: "Come to the tower. And it need not be all at once, given."
Veracruz: "Thanks"
Toth: "…can I see Paradise?"
Veracruz: "(Don't think you can without dieing, Toth)"
Mana: "…You may. Wait in the lobby, I'll send someone."
Veracruz: "(Or you can?)"
Veracruz is actually surprised
Toth: "Right, thank you."
Mana: "Certainly, if you're to be killing in the name of the Emperor…"
Mana: "…I must set your heart at ease just as much as I do my judiciaries."
Xsaieta steps over towards Mr. Toth.
Toth looks at Xsaieta.
Xsaieta: "…I'd like to see it as well."
Mana: "Of course."
Mana: "Go, then." He waves his hand towards the exit.
Mana: "I'll see you again soon."
Toth: "Right…"
Toth turns to and enters the lift.
Theodore chews on the inside of his cheek.
Theodore: "Eh, tell me how it goes."
Toth: "Will do. Want to meet for breakfast afterwards?"
Theodore: "Yeah, sounds like a plan."
Veracruz scratches the back of his head
Veracruz: "I'll go with Theo. Xsai, tell me how it goes. You'll no doubt make me regret my decision"
Xsaieta follows Mr. Toth, tail swishing back and forth, almost dragging in the quicksilver. "…don't count on it."
Mana: The lift descends.
Mana: Eventually, to the lobby, one of the judiciaries arrives - the lady Via, in fact -
Mana: "Ah, so it's you two. Really should have known, don't you think?"
Toth looks genuinely taken aback.
Toth: "I… I suppose?"
Xsaieta looks up at Mr. Toth, rather defencelessly- and then turns towards the Lady Via with a charming, vulnerable smile. "A pleasure to meet you again. I did think we'd be meeting somewhere a bit more…" He gestures, vaguely.
Mana: "…Actually planned. But it turns out tracking you to Salamander was a hair more difficult than I expected."
Mana: "You'll have to tell me how you got in, don't you think?"
Xsaieta: "We're rather delightfully flexible, is the thing."
Toth nods along.
Mana: "Certainly! I'm sure there's a full assortment of interesting ways to slide you into my schedule. This lift." She says, tapping it, drawing the wirecage aside.
Toth follows.
Xsaieta smiles out of the corner of his mouth, follows.
Mana: "Honestly, once is enough for me. I hate to think of that sight being on whoever's mind when they finally decide to-" The lift glides up with a swiftness, and stops.
Toth: "Part of why I'm here to see for myself, yes."
Mana: "Yes."
Mana: There's only one door on this floor - Via steps up to it, fumbles with her keys, springs it open.
Mana: It swings open to a big, cold stone room, with a view on the far side. Huge and open, like a balcony window.
Xsaieta pads alongside Mr. Toth, holding in a breath.
Toth steps onto the room, his shoes barely clacking on the stone.
Mana: And, yes, it's a view of Paradise. But how long will you have to look to determine that? To notice that all step through the streets in equal splendor, that goods are freely taken with blessings from each stall, that there are bathhouses, but no hospitals? That there are clothes of great wonder and splendor worn in the streets, and simpler clothes worn in the fields - rows upon rows
Mana: of fat, heavy grain, orchards deep with fruit -
Mana: That none carry weapons.
Mana: If you had a spyglass, you'd even notice - ah, most of the clothes don't even have pockets.
Mana: There's music, of course. There's theatre. Even in the pleasant glow of paradise's summer, there's ice skating.
Mana: Athletics - sports.
Mana: How long will you look before you see a face you recognize?
Xsaieta walks towards the edge of the room, the edge of what would be a balcony - reaches his hand to trace against the wall, follows it to the edge and past.
Mana: Pleasant chatter, the smiles as people greet one another - shouts of old, shared jokes, barely heard from high above.
Mana: (You might feel a moment of triumph - aha! - When someone drops while skating, scraping their knee. Not that you see any blood, but there is, for a moment, a cry of surprise, of pain.)
Mana: And yes, I'm sure this doesn't erase all worry. But as far as you can tell, it's there.
Mana: You could reach out and graze your hand against a passing cloud, if you'd like - a passing bird pauses to alight on the balcony for a moment, before flying off, heading back below.
Xsaieta: "Hm."
Mana: If I were to say, ah, the edges of the balcony are sinuous, silvery, faintly pulsating, spindly like the roots of a tree, with faint flecks of red swimming within, would that ease your heart? Because this is so, too.
Xsaieta gazes off into Paradise with a vague smile on his face. He seems to be enjoying the view, regardless of anything else.
Mana: Via speaks up after a while.
Mana: "…So, there it is."
Toth is without comment, his brow furrowed, and as Via speaks, it's as though he's jolted from a deep thought.
Mana: "I mean, if it's so great, why are we still up here…?"
Xsaieta purrs: "Well, he's a hell of an artist, at the very least."
Mana: "…And, then again, you don't see me leaping down."
Toth: "…right."
Xsaieta: "Anyone who can make anything that beautiful? I've got to give them at least a little respect."
Xsaieta: "…but no, I don't particularly trust it any further than I can throw it." A wistful shrug.
Toth: "What -does- keep you from leaping down."
Xsaieta looks thoughtful.
Xsaieta: "The fact that it's morning and not the end of the day, to be honest."
Xsaieta: "That's… about it."
Toth snorts.
Xsaieta: "I mean, unless you have a…" -he glances down. "-really long rope ladder? But even that'd be more trouble than it's worth."
Xsaieta: "I'll be back eventually, though."
Mana: "Well, we all will."
Mana: "You done?"
Xsaieta nods.
Toth: "Do pure hearts even go to paradise?"
Toth: "I mean… if you ever do bite it in a day I'll come back and look for you, at least."
Toth: "Yeah, done."
Mana: She leads the way out.
Mana: "Well, I'll wave. If I see you."
Mana: "If that isn't…" She shrugs.
Toth: "Yeah."
Xsaieta: "I have the distinct feeling… that any definitive proof is going to be rather conveniently elusive, you know?"
Toth: "Oh… I believe we can get -something- written."
Mana: And so it was written.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License