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 Post subject: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:59 pm 
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It was probably a year or two since the temple had been destroyed, Musalis guessed, from who much plants had grow over the ruins. Not that there was much left to grow over. Nothing left of the glory that was once a temple to Ochre. The priest had been replaced with a huge amount of pale blue butterflies. Those little insects swarmed every bit of the place, and Musalis had had to stop ever so often to take one out of her skull. No that she really minded having them there, but they interfered with her thoughts, making her lightheaded. It was a feelings she thought was probably similar to when normal people got drunk. As far as she could tell from the songs she had learned.

Something was going on. Slowly, but surely, Musalis started to see bricks fall into place to form some sort of picture, but she wasn't sure yet what the picture would be. But she was sure that she wouldn't like it. the bricks so far included her own temple getting destroyed, this temple suffering a similar fate, the absence of any other intact temple to Ochre on her journey so far, and the fact that she hadn't met a single other priest with the same God. It was as if... the religion to Ochre didn't exist. Or was being erased. Any way, Musalis didn't like it at all. Being a wandering priest-musician was okay, being the only one was not.

However, and Musalis took some confidence from this, she might just be wrong. That was what she was hoping for. And it was also the reason her next plan was to visit the city of Vallandar, where she wouldn't only a know temple to Ochre nearby, but there was also a library which was supposed to be very up-to-date; so all temples to Ochre should be mentioned there. Once she had convinced herself that nothing was wrong, she could go back to a meaningless wandering around.

Musalis brought her thoughts back to here and now, and pulled another butterfly out of her head. For a moment she started angry at it, but then she let it fly away. Her gaze followed it as it soared seemingly effortless across the ruins, and on into the distance. Musalis looked at the blue shy where it had disappeared for a moment, then she turned. There were truly enough other butterflies, she didn't have to watch one. And actually none of them were of any real interest to her.

Musalis considered honoring the ruins with a song, but decided to wait until she was some distance away. This was a place which musicians had been slaughtered on, and thus not a place she would want to stay any longer than necessary. The skeleton girl turned, and walked away from the hilltop where the temple once had stood proudly over the land.

(so it's your choice if you want to wait until she's in the open plains, or if you want to start the battle in the ruins)

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:56 am 
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The outer wall of what had once been a temple provided a scant bit of shade for Joshen to rest in as he consulted his notes. According to the old pamphlets from the library of Vallandar, this place had once hosted a yearly festival to Mishkael, Lord of Light. A quick look inside before lunch had seemed to confirm it. Not only was the place as abandoned as one would expect of a temple to a missing god, but he could clearly see the remains of the site’s once-legendary magic organ.

Fortunately, the place hadn’t been taken over by some other god. Or if it had, it had since been abandoned. This way he could simply walk in and dig up the altar stone, claiming the priceless treasure that should be there with a minimum of trouble. At least, if still older sources were to be believed...

But as he packed his remaining bread, an odd scraping sound from inside the temple reached his ears - not a loud sound, exactly, but one that stood out through the faint birdsong and gentle breeze. Joshen set his food down and peeked through a ruined window, careful not to crush any of the scattered stained glass underfoot as he did so.

A robed skeleton stood near the weed-covered remains of the choir platform. Its bleached skull stood out against its bright blue robe and the matching blue butterflies that swarmed the ruins. It was simply looking around, confused, broken. Joshen felt a faint twinge of nausea. This was one of the land’s undead, a soul thrust back into its former body by black magic. This one had been abandoned to the ravages of fate, left to futilely repeat its final orders or perhaps to reconstruct what it could of its shattered life. It looked around yet reacted to nothing, except to dislodge the occasional butterfly.

The nausea quickly gave way to pity. Surely there was something Joshen could do for this broken toy. By the time the petite skeleton finished her meditation, Joshen was checking to make sure his armor was securely fastened. As she turned to leave, Joshen was unpacking his shovel and returning his spear to his sling. And as she past the last stones of the ruins on the hilltop, he approached her at a brisk walk and took a swing at her head with his mace.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:20 pm 
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If she hadn't been able to look behind herself, Musalis head would have been spread out over the edge of the ruins. Fortunately for her, though, Musalis was able to look behind herself and so she got a moment to react when the mace raced towards her skull. Musalis dropped herself to the ground, and made a dodge roll to avoid the attacker getting the option of kicking her while she was on the ground. Once she was out of immediate range, Musalis got up again, and faced her opponent. She didn't often meet people who attacked her without talking to her first. From his looks, she couldn't guess his motives either.

Due to that, Musalis was unsure what to do. Fighting in a battle she didn't know the reason for seemed... wrong. But the person hadn't given the impression of wanting to chat before fighting either. But maybe there was some way to get him to talk... and then she needed a strategy, too. In the very likely case that he would continue to be hostile. Musalis considered her options. Her usual secrets, herself being a skeleton and the ability of looking behind herself without turning her head had been revealed already. And to be honest - the surprise part was what made most of her abilities useful. So Musalis decided she wasn't ready to reveal any other of her real weapons, so she made one up.

"Behold and don't move!", she called in a dramatic voice, pulling her black flute from under her robe, "If you fail to comply, I'll unleash the terrible curse of this flute upon you!"

Musalis was unsure for how long he'd buy the flute being dangerous, or if he'd believe it at all. But this was her chance to get some answers.

"So answer me these questions: Who are you? And why did you attack me?"

Just as the words had been spoken, Musalis realized she hadn't introduced herself yet, which wasn't really polite. She considered telling it now, but somehow she thought that admitting a mistake wasn't going to help her show of the cursed flute. Which was pretty lame anyway, she admitted to herself, but she hadn't had much time to come up with something.

Thankfully, Cindy kept quiet for once, so the bible didn't create any problems. Which left Musalis with one more thing to do - prepare herself to counter an attack. Under her robe, Musalis drew her bible, which should be able to work as an improvised shield against the mace, since that couldn't cut the book like a sword.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:27 pm 
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The tiny skeleton easily ducked under his overhead swing. Given the skeleton’s head start – that is, starting from a few feet below a typical opponent – the blow had no real chance of landing. The skeleton rolled away, flattening a cluster of delicate pink flowers, as Joshen checked the follow-through with his left hand. He took a step forward to press his attack, but pulled his exposed leg back as the undead child reached for something concealed under that robe.

So it’s not completely oblivious to everything. Hmm...

But instead of a weapon, it pulled out a black rod with holes in it- a flute, Joshen realized. It held the flute in a natural one-handed carrying grip poorly suited for bludgeoning, and simply held it up instead of, say, playing it or pointing it at his face. In short, it did not present a direct threat. But he had hesitated long enough to let it speak.

“Behold and don’t move,” it shouted in the lyrical, strained voice of a young girl. The words would have sounded comical rather than unnerving had they not come from a faceless skull. “If you fail to comply, I'll unleash the terrible curse of this flute upon you!"

Joshen flinched momentarily at the word ‘curse’. The construct was obviously incoherent. Perhaps it once held an item of real power, but had since lost it and was going blindly through the motions anyway. Or maybe it expected him to know of the legendary flute, even through the legend had since been lost. He couldn’t rule out the flute being magical, though, so he would need to take the appropriate precautions.

And the easiest precaution to take would be to remove its access to the flute before going for the kill. He took a step forward, crushing the battered pink flowers with his heel. The skeleton began to speak again, but he cut it off with a strike. A quick flick of his wrist abused greater extra reach to send the mace at the arm holding the flute, just below the elbow. It was a hasty swing, without nearly enough force behind it to break bone, but it would likely draw a reaction. The impact wasn’t important; the move simply served to disguise his real goal. As soon as the head of the mace was inside its ‘guard’, he would jerk it back towards himself, catching the flute between the bronze studs of his mace head in an attempt to wrench it from those bony fingers.

(Note that Joshen starts to act before Musalis finishes her second statement. Musalis is allowed to break off any subsequent actions such as pulling out the bible.)

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:15 pm 
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Much to Musalis' annoyance, her plan didn't even slow down the fighter, and certainly didn't give her the chance even to ask for a reason for his actions. Musalis had a hard time trying to dodge, and didn't quite succeed. The mace scarped at her arm, a really unpleasant sound, even more so as Musalis got pain accompanying it. And then suddenly, the flute was gone from her hand. Musalis had been so focused on avoiding to be crushed that she had forgotten to keep a tight grip on it.

But now was not the time for remorse, Musalis had an unlife to keep. Quickly she took a few steps backwards, once again increasing the distance between the two of them, and giving her time to finally draw out her bible, which she held in both hands. Now she something resembling defense, Musalis thought about a plan... the flute hadn't worked out so well, but maybe she could use it anyway. The chance of it getting destroyed was small, Musalis reckoned; after all the flute had been given to her by Ochre, although it since had lost all powers.

The situation now was, Musalis guessed, that the fighter suspected her to lie about having items of great power, just like the flute. There were to paths to go from there that came to the skeletons mind. The first was simply doing the same thing over again, but this time with something containing real power. The strategy then was hoping that the warrior would think of it as powerless; just like the flute - and that would give Musalis an element of surprise when she proved otherwise.

The second strategy was more intricate. Musalis could present other things as 'powerful' that really were so - her voice, her bible, and her Battle Tuning Fork, but not make true on that threat - lulling the warrior in a false sense of security. Then, she would reveal that the items did have power, ultimately making the warrior assume the flute really was cursed after all - which she might be able to turn into something useful.

While Musalis liked the second strategy better, it wasn't given she would survive until it was executed, as she'd have to stay alive for some time without fighting back in the beginning. Anyway, she'd have to act fast.

Musalis lifted the bible, much like she had with the flute, and pronounced: “Behold and don’t move. I hold a mighty book in my hands, with power far beyond what you could conceive.”

Musalis didn't really expect this to work, so she made herself ready to use the bible to defend herself.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:18 pm 
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The flute popped free of the construct’s grasp, spinning towards the ground to his left. It took a downhill bounce, tearing through a spider’s delicate web before coming to rest against the remains of a rotting wooden bench. Joshen smirked as the skeleton backpedaled. The surge of satisfaction following an easy disarm was seductive, tempting him to toy with the skeletal mannequin before breaking it.

It fell back again, pulling reaching under its cloak. Again, the possible threat of a concealed blade was enough to make Joshen hesitate. This time, the bony hands emerged holding a formidable looking book. It must have been at least eight hundred pages thick, bound in a hard cover. The polished metal at its corners reflected the sun’s glare, bright enough that he could not read the cover. The skeleton held it up theatrically and spoke again.

“Behold and don’t move. I hold a mighty book in my hands, with power far beyond what you could conceive.”

That drew a chuckle. Whatever power the book might hold, however great, was undoubtedly less than that of the remains of the altar fifty paces behind him. And he could easily knock off the skeleton’s skull if it tried to read anything. Still, a book’s a book, and a book belonging to a corpse hanging out in a temple might have some relavent information, especially if it predated the Great Deicide.

It took Joshen a bit longer to come up with a suitable plan this time. The skeleton held the book in both hands, so the trick he used on the flute wouldn’t work. Furthermore, it held the book in a better position to fend off incoming blows – close enough to its head that a human would do so reflexively. And he absolutely did not want to damage the book if he could help it.

He raised his mace, threatening a strike at the construct’s left side, then shot his left hand towards its right wrist. The book looked heavy enough that it would be difficult to hold with one hand, so a firm tug on the arm would have a decent chance of dislodging it, and make it difficult to use in defense even on failure.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Musalis prepared herself to defend against the maze again, when her opponent instead tried to grab her arm. Musalis was too surprised to react. One moment of little attention, and she was caught. He could dislodge her arm if he tried, and Musalis suspected he would if she didn't interfere. Musalis stared at the hand around her wrist for a moment, and then she got angry.

She could accept people attacking her, hurting her. She could tolerate people trying to smash her skull, after all this was a battle. But this... it was just unfair. So her body didn't keep together as well as those of others. That didn't mean they could use that as an advantage. There were just some things that you didn't do, not even in battle. Musalis had fought some battles were she had lost some limbs, and she was far from willing to repeat the experience.

If he could fight dirty, so could she. Other races had sensible areas, too. Normally they were off-limit for her; attacking them was something she'd not even think about. That had just changed.

Musalis' left hand left the bible, and fainted an attack at the humans face, as if the skeleton was trying to pierce her opponents eyes with her finger. Truth to be told, if she could get past the maze there was a probability she could have done just that. However, risking a smashed arm wasn't worth it. So she just started the stab, and stopped before her arm got into a dangerous zone. This was only meant to be a distraction anyway, but it was one her opponent couldn't ignore even if he suspected it to be one. Loosing his eyes was too much of a gamble not to respond and focus on this threat. At least that's what Musalis hoped, because that would conceal her real attack before it was too late: kick the human between his legs, where, as far as she had been informed, men had a very sensible spot.

The plan after that was that her opponent would let her go in the surprise and (hopefully) pain of the attack; and that he'd need some time to focus, enough time for Musalis to make her next move. She wasn't sure yet if that next move would be to run away, or... well, stay and fight.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:56 pm 
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His hand closed around the arm, and kept closing. Without any padding, it was only a fraction as thick as Joshen expected. Meanwhile, the skeleton’s other hand came free of the book and made a tentative jab his face. Joshen’s mace was in position to ward it off, though, and the construct broke off the attack before he even had the chance to break off its fingers.

Meanwhile, he had a chance to dislodge the book, by using its mass to his advantage. He jerked its wrist hard to the left, trying to twist it palm-down as he did so. He widened his stance to put his entire body behind the move. Between the sudden twist, the force behind it and the book’s own inertia, holding onto it with one hand would be tricky.

The wide stance was a mistake. The skeleton’s leg whipped up and caught him right where his missing codpiece should have been.

The all-to-familiar pain clawed at his brain. He reacted on instinct, crouching slightly and pivoting to the right to put his left leg in the way of a repeat attack. His left hand dropped what it was holding and took up a defensive position by his chest as if wielding an invisible shield. And he got a brief flashback to one of many field exercises at the Guild.

Calm down, Josh. It’s no worse than a routine combat exercise.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:52 pm 
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The attack went perfectly, something Musalis hadn't really expected. She picked her bible up, which her opponent had dropped when she kicked him. She checked it briefly, and determined nothing important had been damaged.

"I think you should be more careful with me.", Cindy voiced her opinion, "That was pretty dangerous, you know. What if he had torn some pages out of me? Would you be able to replace them? We are miles from any City, and you'd never find the right type of paper."

"Look, I'm sorry, Cindy.", Musalis said, "Besides, I don't really think anyone could really harm you. There's something about bibles that..."

"... is holy and therefore not easily harmed.", Cindy ended the sentence, "I know it seems probable. But... I'd really rather not try it in reality. Legends have a nasty affliction to containing grains of lies."

Musalis didn't really follow the discussion at that point anymore, she looked at her opponent instead. He'd get better eventually. And then the fight would probably continue. Until then... well, there was a limit to what she would do even in anger. And attacking a fighter that seemed honorably while he was down was beyond that limit. Though, about that honor... Musalis wasn't really sure what he was. Things would be so much easier if he told her what this fight was all about.

To be prepared, though, Musalis held her bible in her left and, and used the right to draw her Battle Tuning Fork from under her robe. A soft humming sound filled the air, just the right pinch to have the potential to be annoying. Musalis smiled, though for a skeleton that didn't really show. For her the humming wasn't annoying, it was a constant reminder that she now had a weapon, something that might actually do some damage - as opposed to the dagger she had carried before.

Hummmmmmmmmmmmm....

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:25 am 
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I deserved that. Assuming that it couldn’t strike back just because it hadn’t. I never would have exposed myself that badly to a human.

Joshen took another step back, bringing his right side forward and going to one knee. Such a display of weakness would normally fatal, but since his foe wasn’t armed he could risk it. He was still relieved, though, when it retrieved its book rather than press the attack. It inspected the book, found it undamaged, then began to talk to itself. Or not; as the pain demanded less of his attention it became clear that the book itself was speaking.

“...Legends have a nasty affliction to containing grains of lies.”

Huh. So it is a relic in book form. I’d better drop it of at the Library so they can dissect it.

The skeleton’s returned its attention to him. Its hand disappeared into its robe a third time. This time, it drew a weapon – or at least something resembling a weapon. It slid free of its hidden sheath with a high, faint whine, as if complaining about its job. It looked slightly similar to a Southlander disarming fork, but with straight prongs of equal length that weren’t adapted to catching blades. Joshen groaned; the last thing he needed was a fight against a lost weapon technique. Its other hand held up the book like an improvised shield.

He stood up. One hand disappeared briefly behind his back and returned with his shield. He still wasn’t quite steady enough to fight effectively, but the construct probably wouldn’t know that. It obviously did not have a thorough knowledge of combat stances, since it was in a symmetric stance poorly suited to techniques from the shield-and-stick family. Or if it did it would rather start the fight at a mobility and reach disadvantage than betray such knowledge. Still, he had to buy a few more seconds if he could, and chose to do so in a productive manner by probing for information.

“That holy book,” he said, in the firm, commanding voice of a drill sergeant. He managed to keep his words free of the last traces of pain. “Tell me why it speaks.”

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:14 pm 
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So the stranger could actually speak. Musalis had started to doubt that fact, since he had been silent all the time. But he probably just didn't think it worth his voice to talk to a skeleton - which made her in turn wonder why he found it worth his time. Anyway, now that he did speak, she might be able to get to know the reason of his attack

"Uhmmm... hello?", Cindy interrupted before Musalis could answer, or ask a question herself, "I'm here too, you know. It's rude to call me 'it'; you could instead just ask me directly. Not ignoring people who you are talking about when they are present is common courtesy. In case you didn't understand that because it's too advanced for your tiny brain: common courtesy are nice things people have do towards each other because life would be pretty uncomfortable if they didn't. To answer your question: I talk because I have important things to say - as opposed to you. Which almost begs the question why you talk, but that would be a little rude to ask...

Oh, and while we're on the topic of courtesy; it also isn't polite to attack poor minor skeletons and defenseless bibles without a warning nor explanation. If everybody just got into fights like this all the time, people would die out soon. Oh, and by the way, my name Cindy. That's C-I-N-D-Y. Thanks for not asking me for it; nor telling me yours. Oh, and in case you didn't get it; that just there was irony; which means I actually meant the opposite of what I was saying. Sorry if this is too advanced for; I'm just having difficulties with lowering my speech to the levels of you puny little...


"That enough, Cindy.", Musalis stopped her bible. Cindy muttered a response, but stopped her rant. She probably should have stopped her earlier, but she couldn't say that she enjoyed Cindy's taunting after the way the man had treated her. But there were limits, and Musalis' patience had just reached one. Now she needed to get some answers before this silly fight went on. Best case would be that there was no more need for a fight, but that would be unlikely. However, Musalis would be contempt if she got to know a reason for the attack.

"I am Musalis, nice to meet you... or it might be nice, under... ah... different circumstances. For now, would you please tell me to what end you started this fight?"

While she spoke, Musalis studied the terrain around her. Something should be useful; she only needed to find out what. Some of the rocks laying around from the former temple could probably be thrown. Which could probably prove useful later, but wasn't really crafty. Apart from that, there were only lots of butterflies around. Pale blue butterflies. Interesting...

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:11 am 
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Instead of merely buying a few seconds, he managed to incite the book into a rant. He waited through over a minute of insolent comments on etiquette without reaction. He was only half-listening, reflecting instead on the irony of interrupting someone with a lecture on manners, delivered with a heavy dose of insults. More interesting, though, was what it didn’t say. It didn’t, for example, ask to be rescued from some curse that turned it into a book, or indeed answer his question in any useful manner. He even had time to devise a few puns to use as offensive retorts before the skeleton managed to at last get a word in edgewise.

It then addressed him in a slightly apologetic manner, as if it hadn’t yet realized it was under attack. "I am Musalis,” it said, its skull turned as if avoiding eye contact despite not having eyes, “nice to meet you... or it might be nice, under... ah... different circumstances. For now, would you please tell me to what end you started this fight?"

Joshen knew what his answer would be, and saw no reason to give any advance warning. He took a shot with his mace at the outside of the wrist holding the book, a relatively conservative attack that left his body out of reach of the skeleton’s slightly shorter weapon. Only then did he answer.

“To put you back in the ground where you belong.”

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Musalis was still partly distracted by the butterflies and a plan that was forming in her mind when her opponent attacked again; still not having told her his name nor the reason for this fight. Instinctively, Musalis reacted, and moved Cindy so that she could take the impact instead of her own fragile skeleton body. A muffled thud marked the impact, followed by a equally muffled outburst of pain from Cindy. Musalis herself felt the pain too, through her link, though not as clearly as the bible.

Even though the impact of the attack was reduced by the bible, it was still strong enough to force Musalis to take a step backwards in order to keep balance. The step made it impossible for her to get into a range where she could attack before her opponent was ready. But she had an other opinion. The butterflyplan had finished forming in Musalis' mind, and was hanging there, just waiting to be set into action. Before she could do anything, though, the man before her finally gave her a reason for the fight. A stupid reason, but a reason anyway.

"Riiiight... that's racism, you know. You don't know me, so you can't be judging me personally. Which means you think that generally every skeleton belongs in the ground; and I'd guess you also have the ridiculous ideas that every elf belongs in the forest, every book in a library and that you are doing the right thing. Allow me to prove you wrong. There's a nice song about this..."

Musalis used the power granted to her by Ochre to make her voice able to transmit feelings. This was were her plan started; she needed her opponent incapable of noticing what she did next. Normally, her Sirens Talent immobilized others, overwhelmed as they were by the strong feelings suddenly rushing over them. At least the first time, when they didn't expect it. Unfortunately, she couldn't attack while singing like that, because it took too much concentration. However, she could walk, so while the music of her voice filled the air, Musalis walked around the human, to end up standing behind him. In case her song didn't work she kept a safe distance; enough that he wouldn't be able to reach her without moving.

[Sirens Talent used]


"At the very end of the world
Where time meets it shore
The last threads of destiny are uncurled
The last people decided what life is for

And there were three people there
One elf
One human
And one dwarf

When time was growing old
The elf was longing for someone
To share a life, someone to hold
To share what was begun

So he met the dwarf
But said dwarfs belong under the mountains
And walked away

So he met the human
But said humans belong in cities
And walked away

And there were three people there
One elf
One human
And one dwarf

And the last day went by
The elf sat on a stone
Watching the last sunset die
And feeling all alone"


Now, if the plan worked and Musalis had managed to get her opponent to be unable to stop her while she sang; the next step in her plan would start. Musalis would pause only slightly after singing the last line, and change her voice to that of a mountain horn; i.e. a very, very loud instrument.
[Instrumental voice]

Loud enough to make all the butterflies which sat on various flowers all over the ruins of the temple to take to wings all at once; and there were enough butterflies around to create a cloud of them. And, they being the same color as Musalis robe, that would make for excellent cover.

[Sirens' Talent 2x left]

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:15 am 
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Location: Horston, DI
Whump

Joshen checked the mace’s rebound and backed off slightly. It looked as if one of the mace’s studs had dented the tome’s cover, but not badly. Like the voice of the book, he wasn’t happy about that; after all, he did want it intact. The skeleton began to speak again, accusing him of racism in that creepy little girl voice. And just as Joshen began his physical retort, she –it – suddenly burst into song.

The song itself seemed boring, a slow ballad of three fools too stuck up to talk to each other. But the voice singing it reached into his soul and tore something loose. His raised mace halted in mid-swing, and dropped to his side. A wave of melancholy swept across him, wrapping him in regret, holding him in place.

Below the surface lay currents of confusion, some fragment of his will trying without success to break the bonds of heartache. He knew that the argument the song presented was flawed on several levels, perversely implying that the elf and the dwarf were not human*. In context, this singing doll seemed to be claiming to be just as human as himself**, a claim belied by its emotionless skull.

Yet another sliver of his consciousness, the instincts of a seasoned warrior, screamed at him to move. Even as his head was hung and his mind preoccupied, he was still subconsciously tracking the skeleton as it circled around his weak side. It shouted him to raise his guard and line up his next strike even as the mace slipped from his fingers. And perhaps he would have acted had the song not been so compelling, inviting him to lose himself, to savor every drop of bittersweet.

And then it ended in a noise so loud that it sent him staggering forward. A flock of startled prairie birds burst into flight at the bottom of the hill. A cloud of butterflies tumbled past him from behind, presumably for the same reason. He spun around, ears roaring, and went for his mace. And he also reached for the easiest verbal counter he could think of. His voice seemed strangely muted due to the aftereffects of the horn blast.

“If I thought like that, I wouldn’t be here trying to dig up this forsaken temple in the first place.”


--------
*Being a foreigner himself, Joshen thinks of the differences between dwarves, elves and humans as mainly ethnic.
**i.e. yet another foreigner

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 Post subject: Re: Sunshine and Butterflies (vs. MEB)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:37 pm
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Location: in DI
Her plan worked. Butterflies rose all around her, obscuring the rest of the world from Musalis' view. She probably only had a few moment in the cloud, but she would make them count. Until the cloud was completely dispersed, Musalis had two advantages: First; her magic sight allowed her to look further through the cloud of butterflies than any normal eye could, and secondly, of course, her robe had almost the same color so she was efficiently almost invisible. For a time. Soon the butterflies would thin out, and the large shape of her robe would be visible, if even just slightly. And from what she had seen of her opponent, he would charge the moment he saw this shape. Musalis intended to use that.

She chose a part of the ruins that probably had been a huge pillar some time, but now was reduced to something resembling her own height. Musalis placed her robe over the pillar with a quick motion, making sure she kept the equipment she needed; which were her Battle Tuning Fork and Cindy. With the butterflies obscuring the view, one might think that it was her. A perfect dummy to lure her opponent into a trap. Now she only needed to hide herself. Without the robe, her white bones would stand out once sight was a little better. Therefore, Musalis simply hid behind a rock, which resembled white. If her opponent attacked straight forward from the position she had last seen him, she would be behind his back, able to react the moment he passed her.

Cowering behind the rock and waiting, she considered her situation. She was fighting a stranger - he still hadn't told her his name - because that man thought it his duty to 'put her back in the ground'. In short, it was a mess. Her entire life seemed to have been a mess since she had to leave the monastery way back. And for some reason, she always ended up in fights. Which was odd, all considered. The reason had always been different, so each encounter could be counted as bad luck, but together? Something was determined to get her killed... or actually, it wasn't quite that. If something powerful enough to arrange that many encounters really had wanted her dead, she'd already be so.

Anyway, she needed to focus. From the amount of butterflies that had settled again, Musalis judged that her opponent would soon be able to seen her robe.

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Last edited by bluedragonfire on Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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