Session 5 of Reflections.
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It is the morning, with the blood red dawn illuminated by the fat sun. Like so many mornings before it, the people of Jade-Upon-The-River have already been awake since the very crack of dawn getting ready for their day-to-day existance. The pungent smell of the brewery wafts around the village, a sure sign that the brewer is working on another batch of rice beer.
Inside the Resting Place (the Manse), the system of mirrors and illumination make it seem like it is already noon.
Hulen is busy making charts and short lists on how to summon and deal with demons - perhaps that would be a good way to pinpoint this cult serving the Mouth of Erembour...obviously demons would know of a cult. The only problem is that he doesn't have the materials for a summoning circle. Once again, there is most definitely /not/ a mostly-finished picture of Sasaki on the back of the paper. Really.
Wolf is busy doing what he's always doing. What is it? Why, tis sleeping, of course. Lots of sleeping. And by sleeping, of course, we mean meditating. Yep, ol' Wolf is up on the roof of the Manse, eyes closed, just enjoying the warmth as the sun comes up, Daiklave across his lap. Ahhhhh, relaxing. And, of note, there is NOT a mostly finished flask of kelp beer behind him. Really. You see, it's a fully finished one.
Staren is busy sleeping. And by sleeping, of course, we mean sleeping. She's currently having a very exciting dream about saving the world in a warstrider.
Sarlk is, of course, also doing what he's often doing: which is Stuff. And by 'stuff', I mean things, and by things, I mean swinging an oversized spear around the court. Waking up early is part of his habitues, specialy for self-training. Damn monasteric habits.
Tsubasa is also on the top of the manse, as he always is every morning, performing rites dedicated to the Unconquered Sun.
Sasaki is peering over Hulen's shoulder. "What're those?" She points to the demonology book.
Damon has already left the Manse and is acting as a midwife to proud new parents.
Hulen turns, surprised. He hadn't noticed Sasaki there.
"Oh, these are instructions on how to use demons. Properly, that is, not like those...monsters with the eggs. If I had the materials, I'd summon one to tell me where that 'Mouth of Erembour' person is, so we could stop him...there's got to be another way to find out. Can you think of any?"
Dream-Staren's charges at the enemy warstrider! And... it steps aside at the last moment, causing her to charge right over a cliff! "Aaaaaaaaah!" She falls, and falls, and *thud* hits the floor, having rolled out of bed. "Owwww..." She stands up, rubbing her head.
Staren showers or bathes if facilities are available, if not... meh, she gets dressed and starts wandering the manse. "Where is everybody?"
Wolf finally wakes up, blinking, and then happily flumps back. Hey, he's performing his own version of rites! Granted, said rites consist of more or less going "Y'know, that's a pretty groovy sun" and then napping in a sunbeam. Hey, it's alllll about the respect for the sunbeams. Still...can't lie around all day. As such, after a bit of a nap, Wolf lazily stands up, grabbing his daiklave and meandering down towards the exit to the Manse.
Sasaki blinks... "Oh! Those... things you did that spell on? So when are we going to get everybody together and make the subersives who're the source of them pay for their crimes?"
Hulen says, "Well, as soon as we find them. That's really the only problem...between us all, I'm sure we can deal with them."
Where is everybody, indeed? Sarlk finnaly finishes his daily training and slam Aurora Arc on the ground, panting. A good work out always do some good, y'know? Leaving his orichalcum weapon on the ground, sticking out of the earth, the Dawn Solar is slowly making his way toward Hulen. "We'll be going to take care of thoses Demon Cultists today."
Mr. Muscle spoke, kids.
Aaaand the World's Worst Sidereal has found her way to the circle's rooftop hangout! "So! When are we stopping those cultists?"
Obviously, Sarlk must know something about it. Well, hopefully. If not, that question's going to make them both look dumb.
Sarlk shurgs at Hulen, lending out an hand toward Aurora Arc and call it over his hand. The weapon flies all over the distance after pyring itself from the ground and clamp into the man's hand without questions.
"Let's ask Tusbasa." He simply states.
Hulen is dumbstruck. Such a simple, yet elegant solution. Perhaps only graspable by the singleminded?
"I hadn't thought of that. An excellent idea."
He turns, waving for Tsubasa to come over. And Wolf. And Staren. It's time for a Circle Meeting.
Staren walks over, curiously, "What's the idea?" Rabi, sitting on her shoulder, perks up an ear, "Meooooow?"
Tsubasa walks over to the gathering, with an inquisitive look on his face. As usually, he is silent, content to listen for the most part.
Wolf siiiighs, wandering over, idly shifting from foot to foot. The pirate's muttering to himself. What is he muttering? Nothing much. More along the lines of "If the Answer is Bunnies, I'm gonna be drinking the local brewery." Fun, neh?
Hulen turns to Tsubasa.
"Tsubasa...we need you to give us directions to the lair of those demon cultists."
He hands over a blank sheet of paper.
"You can write them down, if you want."
"I got a deal for you, Wolf." Sarlk gives, turning around to the pirate. "We destroy an cult of Yozi off the face of Creation, THEN we go get drunk." After that saide, the tall man narrow his eyes and peer over at Tsubasa. Ah yes, he's not much of a talker now, is he.
Leaning over, the Dawn Cast Solar, take a deep breath, then speak softly. "Okaaaay...I'll make it simple. Point us where the demon cult you were supposed to skewer is located at and, if possible, lead us to it so we can lay down the rightous pain on it?"
Tsubasa nods with a smile and will certainly make a map. This will probably take him a half hour, as he needs to remember all the details, so he whispers this statement to Hulen, and goes off to the library to work on the map.
After a half-hour, Tsubasa enters the roof-top courtyard/garden again, since it seems to be the most popular gathering place in the Manse. He presents Hulen with the map, and bows. "... do you wish me to come...?"
Hulen says, "Well...that depends. Do you want to watch or help us destroy this cult utterly?"
Tsubasa ponders this for about five minutes in silence. "... I wish to give them one last chance to repent..."
Sarlk been occuping himself over that half-hour by spinning his spear idly, perhaps annoyingly for some. As the quiet man returns, the wall of bricks look up at Tsubasa and shurgs. "Eh, good enough for me, some might actualy listen."
Rynel shrugs. "I doubt they'll listen. If they're this devoted to their cause that they'll die for it, I don't think there is much of a chance of salvation."
Staren says, "Can't have a cult of the yozis getting any bigger."
Wolf smiles slightly, eyes glinting as he pats his blade contentedly. "Oh, there's always a chance. A slim one, but there's a chance. Of course, that's for normal people. So, I suppose we'll just have to cut them all down, then put their resources to better uses."
Tsubasa persists. "... there may be those who have come to question their leaders' ways..."
Staren says, "Perhaps..."
"Dat's why your comin' along and give them an try. But if they comin' up to rip you to shred, we'll be there to stop 'em from doin' it, got me?" Sarlk gives, peering over at the pacifist.
Hulen says, "...if, when we confront them, there are some who listen, then that's lives we can save. But...yes, we'll kill any who /don't/ listen."
Tsubasa nods, and bows. He gestures for the others to lead the way.
Staren says, "Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo..."
AND, IN A RANDOM TRAVEL SCENE...
"I expect a bit more resistance than those three in town...this is, after all, their base. They may have demons."
Hulen is traveling light. A few books, his staff and that's it.
Rynel has his typical gear, including shiny, wrapped powerbow. "So do I. I don't think we should pull our punches when we get there." He walks for a bit. "Hulen, is it any different killing demons than anything else, or will some well-placed arrows do it?"
Staren says, "So we'll kill the demons."
Sarlk is also traveling light. Or at least, what is light for him. A large cloak hiding most of his body, and Aurora Arc slung over his shoulder, whistling idly to himself and quite loudly. And perhaps obinoxiously.
Hulen says, "Demons are...somewhat tougher, generally."
Rynel says, "I sort of figured that. I mean, weaknesses or strengths we should worry about."
Rynel says, "You are, after all, our resident expert."
Hulen says, "Well...that depends on the demon."
Rynel says, "Any idea what they'll have?"
"Are they immune to an good skewering in the face from an oversized spear that's probably shinier than an thousand jades?" Sarlk asks, barely paying attention to the conversation at hand.
Wolf is just strolling along, enjoying the walk, head bobbing back and forth lazily as he enjoys his walk. And idly murmuring to himself as he goes as he goes.
Hulen says, "...probably First Circle demons. Those men were human...I don't think humans can do better than that. Perhaps a few combat-ready demons...those are dangerous. Not immune to weapons, but certainly good fighters. I can banish them, but it's taxing."
Rynel nods. "I think I won't be going into melee against them if at all possible.
Grunting, Sarlk listens to that bit of conversation, then declares outloud sarcasticaly -- wait, he's capable of sarcasme? "GEE, I WONDER WHO WILL HAVE TO FACE HEAD ON CREATIONS OF THE INFERNAL REALMS. I REALLY DO."
There are... ten people dancing and singing in some strange alien dance, quite unlike any known in Creation. Praises sung to a green sun...? What?
Hulen quietly stares. And mutters several swears under his breath.
Staren nods at Hulen. "Yeah." she says quietly.
Rynel looks over at Hulen, quizzically. He motions to the dancers and then his bow.
It is jungle, as usual in An-Teng. But to see ten people just... around doing this...
Hulen does some quick thinking, and then whispers, "Not yet...there can't be just ten...wait thirty seconds, and watch. And then we attack."
Thirty seconds go by... Nothing is forthcoming. The dance is strangely riviting, however.
Sarlk stops and watch, blinking. That dances sucks, that's for sure. "...Right. Thirty seconds, /fine/."
It is apparent that the creatures have not seen the group, as large as it is. The dancers stop for a moment, then there's something! If you blinked, you missed it. Something shot out of the mouth of one of the people and into the other's. Then they dance again.
Rynel decides its time to attack, as per Hulen's instructions. He draws his bow.
Wolf just sweatdrops and leans on his sheathed blade, listening to the others. So he hasn't been told what to hit, yet. Ah well. Sweatdrop.
Sarlk let out anoter grunt. "...Twenty-eight...twenty-nine...Thirty. Alright, let's go, you bunch of wankers." The Dawn cast gives, peering over.
Hulen stares. And then mutters, "Oh no." Before several more swears. He reaches for his staff.
"Kill it. Now!"
Rynel opens fire.
"I knew /knew/ that." Sarlk replies, "What the hell they are!?"
Hulen says, "It."
Hulen says, "It's a demon."
Hulen says, "It's called a decanthrope...they're dangerous."
Wolf snorts, tossing his head back as he calmly unsheathes his blade and leans it back over his shoulder. "In my land, we know how to deal with demons. In my mind, I know how to deal with demons. Time for it to die." And, that said, Wolf begins to calmly stroll down towards the cultists, eyes hard...and he /is/ glowing slightly.
"...That's kinda a given, I thin--HEY! Where you think your going ahead of me like that, wanker!?" Sarlk gives out at Wolf, charging right after the Zenith Exalted. Not at him, of course -- but at one in many Demon. He's not glowing yet, unfortunately.
Hulen drops into Snake Form, and heads after Wolf and Sarlk. Hopefully, this'll work out.
Hulen is, therefore, glowing. Slightly.
Wolf calmly continues to pace towards the demons, eyes hard, until he gets close. And, then, quite simply, the Zenith slams his sword into the ground, clapping hands together and yelling out in a voice that would be fitting of the Undying Sun itself, his aura flaring up into a massive white wolf which then lunges towards the demon worshippers. "DEMON, BEGONE FROM THIS REALM!" Subtlety? What Subtlety?
Let the big ol' hitty guys have all the fun? Hell no! Hulen lunges into the center of the circle, standing perfectly straight. Suddenly, his glow goes from 'cloudy at the very end of the day' to 'bright daylight in evening colors.' He himself is the center of a spherical aura of reds, blues and purples, but just outside that is an image surrounding him: a young woman encased in some sort of superheavy plate, all in the same colors as the aura around him, holding a balance. In one side, a light red 'yin' sits, and in the other, a deep blue 'yang.'
He reaches his hands out, and shouts. "Return to your den in your forsaken city, demon!"
But that's not the most noticeable thing. Instead, /that/ is the young woman has swung the balance around in a circle, somehow not upsetting the yin or yang, above the decanthrope's bodies. Where it travels, it leaves fire that shifts between the reds, golds, blues and purples of Hulen's anima. From the demon bodies, a green fire seems to appear, and the two fires meet, and clash. This isn't like the banishing of the eggs - those had no minds yet, nor wills. This is a battle of wills, brought forth in essence-fire around the battlefield.
Flicking bursts of essence light up the jungle as Hulen's will clashes with the Decanthrope's... and finally Hulen's aura glows the sickly green of Liger the Green sun before the Decanthrope can clearly be heard to say... "Not today, sorcerer!" then procedes to laugh with a sickening hissing sound.
Sarlk charges. Despite the flashy wolf from the pirate. Despite the blazing inferno of essence that is going on around him and the demon. No, the large man is doing one of the simplest thing in the universe ever since cave mens started pulling around clubs and swing them on their neightbors.
And that's kicking ass. In the old faishoned way.
"KIYAAAAAA!" The Spearman screams as he spins the large spear nimbly bettewn his fingers, stoping his charge to an halt and use the gathered momentum -- and the ambient essence -- into his spear as he thurst it down into one of the multiple-selves demon.
While Sarlk does his thing, the world's most incompetent sidereal decides to call for a little aid. She takes in a deep breath and claps her hands together, a bright green glow rising up above her, like a poor imitation of the anima banner the Solars have, the sign of Jupiter glowing brightly on her forehead. Essence from each of the five poles flies down from the sky, spiralling into a rapidly descending, glowing wolflike shape. 'AwOOOOOOOoooooooooooo~' It lands next to the sidereal, now a fully-formed wolfhound the size of a horse. Staren pats it on the head and then points at the demons, "'Get 'em, Poppy!"
Rynel, noting that Sarlk is currently engaged in melee, decides NOT to shoot from his current point. He suddenly dashes up the nearest tree and kicks off towards another one, letting loose an arrow as he goes. Like a pinball, he ricochets to the next and launches another object of the pointed flying death at the demon... people... things. Each arrow has a slight trail of essence following it as it leaves the bow, the charm propelling him and them to fire at neigh impossible speeds. Unless, y'know, he misses, then he lands and stares dumbfoundedly.
Arrows simply.... kill most of the bodies. Ow... pretty accurate too. Heart, head, heart, heart, head...
Rynel lands softly. He would blow the smoke off the barrel were it a gun. Whats a gun?
The last remaining body's mouth distends and a grotesque entity resembling a bleached white oversized tongue and warty skin lashes about and screeches. "MY BODIES! MY PRECIOUS BODIES...." It sits down and weeps.
AND NOW! TAKE YOUR PICK AS TO WHICH HAPPENED:
There's a moment of bemusement as Wolf eyes the weeping demon. And, then, with a snort, Wolf charges forwards, calmly using Sarlk as a vaulting board to get some airtime, then comes diving down out of the heavens like an agent of the Undying Sun itself, his orichalum daiklaive flashing golden as the Zenith slices downwards, a crack of dust echoing out from the ground behind the demon and in front where the blade is aimed for, then turns and whirls, attempting a heavy horizontal slash, simply attempting to quarter the demon in proper Nautical fashion.
Green brimstone fills the air, leaving a small blighted spot where the demon was.
Hulen walks over to the weeping Decanthrope.
"You can't return to Malfeas. I could've sent you back, but you fought. You're bound to serve your current master. We've defeated you...but I can end this. Just stand still. You'll stop feeling everything."
He takes Serpent's Lotus and slips it around the final body's neck. The anima figure of the girl raises the balance.
And then...he pulls the serpent-sting staff tight, crushing the demon's neck. As he does so, the anima figure swings the balance like a weapon, striking the demon. It doesn't add to the damage, but it's an anima banner, it responds to Hulen's actions and thoughts. And right now, both action and thought are 'end the demon's life.' It's out of compassion, really, even for such an inhuman, unreal beast as this.