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 Post subject: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:25 pm 
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The Great Slaughter, 120 ME: In a time before 'Magic', Elves, Gnomes, and Humans were all hard pressed to stand against the Orc tribes. Their numbers were great and the raw power they possessed in battle surpassed any known force. They were the first Berserkers. They tore through DI, devouring everything in their path... This was the cause for the near extinction of the Goblin tribes, pushing them into hiding. All other races were also at the brink of collapse.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMi74TSRCgo

There was an eerie semi-silence as the four climbed the tower. Not even the sounds of the battle beginning below could be heard, only the neglected echo of their footsteps against the shimmering, black stone floor. Click-clack-click-clack-click-clack. For such an elaborate-looking building from the outside, why was it that everything felt so cold and empty on the inside? While in truth the temperature remained the same, one might find themselves shivering. Unlike the feeling of being watched, Decay's kingdom held an atmosphere of emptiness. Despite being within arms reach of an ally at every moment, one would feel alone. The interior had been brilliantly polished, much like the outside was. But it was only in close proximity that one could notice the eerie reflections against the walls as they passed. At each circling, spiraling step, their forms became more and more distorted and grotesque. Faces melting, some contorted in horror, while others held a content and almost guilty grin. What was more disturbing, perhaps, was that no one could ever seem to observe their own mirrored image... only the reflections of those around them.

It was a godforsaken place, vacant in hope while despair crawled up the nape of one's neck like a black-widow spider. Somehow, some way, the obsidian of the walls around them seemed to swirl and become more oppressive. Deep within the gloom, lifelike shadows chased each other-- the tower acted as if it were a living creature... and it was trying to suffocate them. At this point, Drakol giving reassuring words would be pointless; it would be like telling someone to be not fear fire when they've already been consumed by the flame. But the strange, disembodied anguish didn't last long. Though time passed by slowly in moments of would-be duress, the sands of the hourglass had actually moved more quickly for the group. What might have been hours in moving up the staircase turned into something akin to what a jog would take.

The final, few steps traversed from their usual orbit-like path to that of a straight line. Before them, it would lead onto the landing of the tower. It would lead them to Decay. Moonlight poured in from the opening, glancing off the obsidian in a performance of dancing aurora flares and dark phantom breaths. This display all to well reflected the nature of the tower's master. Nothing was beyond Decay's corrupting grasp, not even light. Gazing from between the examination of his fingertips, the Prime Evil watched the group carefully come forward.

"Ahh, so you must be Drakol..." Decay continued to revel within his new body, flexing his hand like a child with a new toy. It would be familiar for the Drow spellcaster, but not-so for his companions. Who, beyond those that have studied deeply into history and magic, would know of Allan Gauge?

"I would stand and embrace you, but... you know." With his words, a shortly visible aura flared outwards. It acted like a strong push from a flame, forcing the four to take a step back. "Need I ask why you all have come here?"

(Mr. Yoz will post next. Beyond that, anyone who WANTS to post, go ahead. After that's been decided, I'll post again.)


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:34 pm 
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The feel of the place made Drakol's skin tickle and his nose burn. It was wrong, prodigiously wrong. Nothing on the mortal world should be carrying such a feeling of empty foreboding, and yet he was walking the curving stairs of such a place. The reflections barely seen in the black walls were disconcerting and only served to add to the feeling of wrongness in the tower. In truth there wasn't a single damn thing about the tower that would allow any feelings of hope or thoughts of life to flourish. The black walls were godless and carried such a dismal air that the drow, always confident in his abilities, felt humbled, small, and suffocated. That had to be the purpose of the construct, of course. It was a thing built by a creature of such immense power that it wanted those who were ascending to meet it just how much power they did not have, and it worked. By the time they reached the top and freed themselves of the stifling silence Drakol found his soul's edge blunted to its purpose. Even the light from the brilliant moon looked sick and strange.

Drakol nearly keeled over then, after traversing the top. There, before him, sat the spectre of his deeds but two weeks past; The spectre of all that he had become laughing in his face. Gauge... back from the dead, and with far more power than before. Had his death been what was needed to take him to god-hood? A bout of nausea wracked the drow as he stood there was pummelled by the tsunami-sized waves of power that rolled from Gauge's supposed-to-be broken body. Even as the four approached, obviously armed for combat and their intentions clear the man did not seem to be the least bit perturbed. Gauge was examining his fingers with something between fascination and curiosity, as if he still couldn't believe that he was alive.

”Ahh, so you must be Drakol...” Drakol wasn't sure what to make of the statement. It had a note of familiarity, and yet it was spoken in such a way that made it sound like Gauge was just meeting him for the first time. Toying with him, no doubt. And yet... there was something off about that voice. The voice didn't quite belong to Gauge, the same taint that pervaded the place was present in the tone. Did that mean that the being released by Drakol had taken Gauge's dead body and made the liquefied thing its home? Or had Gauge's grasp for power left him a tainted reflection of himself, emitting this aura of emptiness? Either way, it didn't matter. Drakol would still need to kill Gauge again, and this time he would not have the gods to back him.

And then the aura was seen, if for a brief moment as it flared and pushed them back a pace. It appeared to be a swirling miasma of black-and-green mist that radiated from the seated man and left the air smelling rancid despite the lack of material to rot. The talk of embrace was such an open-handed slap in the face that Drakol wanted to fling a spell toward the man, but he knew it would do no good, and none but him knew it was a jab at him to begin with.

”Need I ask why you all have come here?” Gauge knew exactly why they had come here, and the question was just more mocking to the drow's mind, another glancing blow against his steeled spirit.

Drakol went to open his mouth to speak, only to find his jaw already hanging open and a look of absolute surprise on his face. The drow's true response to the question was overridden by another feeling in the back of his head; A feeling of incredulity that the drow had never known before. “B-b-but, you're dead! I watched you die! I saw this whole damn pillar come down on your head!” The words were screamed in a tone completely unknown to the drow's ears, at least where his own voice was concerned. It matched the thoughts that spurred the words forward and with more than a small tinge of fear added to the mix.

A whisper entered the drow's ear now: ”Behold the power that you have unleashed on this world.” The snake's breathy voice trembled as he spoke granting an ominous quality to his words. And with that Sikoma uncoiled himself from Drakol's neck and worked his way down to the obsidian floor, slithering back toward the entrance to the stairs. The empty feelings of that well of bleakness was preferable to the danger and fear that covered the tower's top like a blanket.

For a moment, even if just a small moment, Drakol felt the urge to follow the snake back into the bowels of the tower. Anything was preferable to the weakness in his knees that the wizard was feeling now.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:56 pm 
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It turned out Musalis couldn't run from her fate. And it seemed that her fate was to love Darkol; a love that would be unanswered forever. Once this hadn't bothered him, when she had thought the drow incapable of emotion. But then he and Dhalia... had gotten together. Musalis found it was best not the dwell on that matter, because it hurt. It made her very soul ache. It seemed silly now, but she had considered herself to in some way be the closed Drakol would come to a girlfriend; or any friend at that. She had thought that he kept away from people – anyone except her. She had been wrong. Oh, she had tried to run away from her fate. Once she had learned of her mistake, she had tried as hard as she could. Trying to make herself belief that she didn't really love Drakol; or that love didn't matter. She had left the clan holdings, searching for other things to occupy her mind. She didn't find any.

Instead, Drakol found her.

Musalis had decided to go to some hot springs in the area she currently was in; to get inspiration for a song that was not about Drakol. Before she could get there, however, Drakol met her, coming from the opposite direction. And he asked her for help. Musalis couldn't have said no; even if it hadn't been about some sort of world-saving he needed her help for. Which posed an interesting question: If it hadn't been for Drakol, would Musalis be interested in saving the world? Was there anything in it that she really cared for? After some pondering, the skeleton girl decided that music probably was a part of the world, and that was certainly worth preserving. And innocent people. There were innocent people in DI... at least Musalis assumed there were some. She hadn't met any yet.

The next shock came when Drakol didn't bring Dhalia along. That really put Musalis off. She liked to dream that this was because Drakol preferred her at least as a traveling companion; but the very probably and hard reality was that the mission they went on was really dangerous, and Drakol didn't want to expose his love to that much danger. Which meant that Musalis was coming with him because she was expendable. The notion left a bitter taste in her mouth, or rather the idea of such; after all, Musalis couldn't really taste.

The little skeleton girl didn't realize just how dangerous their mission was to be before they stood in front of the black tower and saw the marks of a battle where powers beyond her imagination had been used. Musalis stared at the crater and slowly fear started to grow in her. Not fear for herself, but fear for Drakol. Even though she thought of him as a being close to a god in power, this was something that rivaled his; and they hadn't even seen the main villain yet.

Drakol divided their group, Musalis got on the team that entered the tower. For a moment wondered if the others felt betrayed. They got a task that was less important; even a victory down there would mean nothing if the group in the tower wasn't successful. Quickly, she reconsidered; if the being they had left down there somehow managed to get into the tower, doom was surely upon them. Someone needed to give them an opportunity to get to the top. The ones left down there had a task as important as they had.

Inside the tower, Musalis became more and more glad that she was already dead. Decay, that was what Drakol had told her they were facing. But only now did she truly understand what that meant. Any living being would surely wither and die if exposed too long to this force, but as a skeleton, Musalis was more resilient. At least she hoped that she was. On the other hand, her bible wasn't really immune to decay, and thus probably neither to Decay. After some consideration Musalis left it before they entered the room Decay was in.

Decay seemed to know Drakol and even have expected him. That didn't sound good to Musalis... if the enemy had expected them, he... she... it was confident that it could defeat them. The problem was that Musalis wasn't so sure they could prove it wrong... but she would give everything she had. For Drakol's sake.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:49 am 
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Stolatos wasn't a very serious guy. His joking around and sarcasm had kind of earned him a reputation as being fairly useless - which made it all the stranger that Drakol had thought it a good idea to ask him along. He could only assume that the wizard meant to use him as fodder - someone to take a few hits while the wizard could get some back in of his own. While that would be a good tactic, it usually worked better when the lamb didn't know they were being led to the slaughter - and he knew. Drakol had even told him as much, though in much nicer words of course. Just go out there and 'distract' the big bad evil monster that might destroy everything. Yeah, that was his idea of a good time! Why had he agreed to come along again? Oh, right, there was the tower to consider - the tower he would clearly be claiming after this monster thingy was dead. After all, he had called it, right? No one could go against the call, or else they'd feel the wrath of Sarkasmos' chosen. Ok, self styled chosen, but still! It was an impressive sounding title to add to the ones he already had - the Fairy Killer being his favorite, of course. Nothing could really ever top that title, he was pretty sure.

As they climbed the tower, he was doubly glad that he had called it. It should make a good home - who would ever want to break in to this ominous looking building? The reflections in the shiny walls were horrific, but he could ignore that easily enough by focusing on those who walked with him, who he took better stock of while they walked. Drakol he had gotten to know somewhat over the past two days, and he vaguely recalled the skeleton 'girl' being around as well. He had avoided her on principal - undead didn't sit too well with him at all. Especially one that seemed to hang off Drakol's every word and probably had some foolish notion of loving him in her head. He rolled his eyes at that thought. She apparently had a bible to some deity or another that clearly paled in comparison to Sarkasmos - she even left her bible on the floor before they walked out onto the balcony where the throne stood. And in it sat... a rather peculiar looking human. He had to glance at Drakol to make sure this wasn't all some huge elaborate joke at his expense. As in a 'Ha ha, I made you think the world was going to end and dragged you out to this obscure tower for nothing, sucker!' kind of joke.

Drakol looked serious enough though, he even stuttered and looked... well, afraid of the human whom apparently knew him and Drakol also knew. He listened to their exchange of words, the invisible push sending him a foot or so backwards. He quickly regained his balance, moving on to the balls of his feet and studying the human in front of him. He didn't look very impressive, but looks could be deceiving at times. Still, they all had their roles to play in this, and he wasn't chicken. If he had to die to save the world, so be it, right? What was his life when compared to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of others? The first thing he needed to do was snap Drakol out of his apparent fearful stupor - he was their greatest weapon against the odd little human with the powerful aura, and without him the world would likely be destroyed as they failed. This was the moment - his moment in time, when he stood up and made a difference. He would make Sarkasmos proud.

He stepped forward boldly, a good four feet before he turned around, putting his back firmly towards the monster, and looked Drakol directly in the eye. "Are you kidding me? You come to us with tales of some ridiculous monster we have to kill for the sake of life everywhere, and this is what we get? I mean, sure, the weird thing downstairs looked impressive, and I give the tower a ten out of ten for being so imposing, but this guy here seriously needs some fashion tips or something. Yellow? It's way passed the season for yellow robes. If he was smart, he'd have worn black, spiky armor that was twice his size and made him look imposing. This is just -pathetic-."

Ok, so putting your back to a prime evil and then insulting it was probably not a very good idea, but he had a plan. Or rather, Drakol had a plan, and he was doing his best to fit into his role. If Decay wasn't taunted by those words and the insult of having a back turned to him, well then he didn't know -what- would anger the man... thing. Whatever it was. He was pretty sure it wasn't human at it's core, even though it looked more then a little bit human right now. His eyes never left Drakol's the whole time he was talking, and he ended with what he hoped was a reassuring wink. Come on wizard, snap out of it and do something! Preferably before he was incinerated by a super-fireball or something. Super-fireballs were notoriously hard to dodge, especially from behind when you didn't see it coming.

After the wink, his gaze shifted to the skeleton who looked like she wasn't paying attention - or maybe it was just the lack of eyes that made her look that way. Suppressing a sudden urge to shudder, his eyes quickly moved to Kronk. He nodded to the orc - perhaps some predetermined signal for Kronk to go into a berserker rage? No, not really. It was just a nod, because he wasn't really sure what to say to his clanmate at that moment. So his eyes moved back to Drakol after that brief nod, hoping his taunting of the human had some effect or another on the drow. He offered a whispered prayer to Sarkasmos, which to the untrained ear would probably sound like a string of expletives.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:48 am 
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139 ME: The Dwarves, while a peaceful lot, were the first to form a true defense against the Orc Tribes. Their idea was simplistic but effective, moving themselves into shallow caves. They were the first Fighters. They clashed against the Berserkers, halting their advance like a mountain would against the wind. However, it was through this action that the Dwarves isolated themselves from the rest of DI. Eventually, they would tunnel deeper into the continent to form the Underdark.


“B-b-but, you're dead! I watched you die! I saw this whole damn pillar come down on your head!”

"If he was smart, he'd have worn black, spiky armor that was twice his size and made him look imposing. This is just -pathetic-."

Lifeless, but still somehow expressive, Gauge's head cocked to the side while his face took on an emotion that could only be considered amused. Soulless, white eyes stared towards the group, looking as though sun-bleached eggshells had been placed within the sockets. Only two of them spoke, Musalis and Kronk remaining quiet for the time. And, while every word struck the chords they should have, their effects were partially lagged. There was something behind Allan's movements, like he were a marionette being pulled by the strings. He smiled when Drakol stuttered and sneered when Stolatos taunted... only a second too late for it to be considered natural, however. Indeed, the oldest known wizard had changed. His body was a faded facade, a crumbled and tattered building for an immortal tenant; up close and beneath the display of normal clothing, one would still find the scars of battle, the flesh still tender from healing after being torn apart by rays of black twilight. Decay had replaced the wizard's life and he had sifted through Gauge's parts, stratum by stratum, until he had gathered enough for what could be pasted together to form a body. That was the Prime Evil's mission... to find a suitable host or vessel. Be it either by force and subjugation or a desire for a symbiotic share of power, he cared not.

Sadly, however... Gauge had not fulfilled that role. Much like Torment, Decay had only acquired a temporary home. The wizard's soul would remain on the planet, trapped in limbo while the Prime Evil sought out something more suitable. The shadow shifted in its seat, the Prime Evil moving its hand languidly inside its robe to produce a fist-sized, metal-like orb. He examined it for a bit before dropping it onto his lap and letting it roll onto the floor. There was a surprisingly loud THUD! as it hit-- It landed as if the object were made of lead. Nicholas Flamel had accomplished a miracle in creating such a wonder. Through alchemy, he managed to produce a very malleable form of Wishalloy... a substance immune to Decay's touch. But more than that, the Morphing Gem was attracted to those that could use magic; at least on some, base level, the item was drawn towards certain individuals within the group... and, then, some more than others. It would continue its oddly lopsided roll along the floor, sloshing in such a way that one would believe a liquid were inside it, before stopping about 3 meters away from Decay. There, it would remain stationary, resting near the obsidian altar but just a small distance away from Stolatos's heel.

"I enjoy your naiveté, but surely you can FEEL the difference. Let your body tell you what your brain can't comprehend."

[Warlock: Holy Aura] + [Warlock: Black Mist Armor; 11 weaks left]

Without so much as even a flinch, two directly opposing forces collided atop Decay's body. A churning vortex of Night and Day appeared, swirling around his chest and throne while lidless, ivory orbs continued to watch the heroes with a distant interest. There was a harshness to the clash of energy, as if it had been tainted by the Prime Evil's discordant calling. Silver lines crawled across his robe, leaving defined battlefields where the two sides of twilight fought for dominance across his flesh. The creature resembled a powerful storm in certain ways, a dark cloud obscuring his form while tiny streaks of light randomly pierced the black armor.

"You." Decay slowly lifted a gaunt hand and pointed it towards the skeleton-girl. There was no flash of magic nor was there any form of incantation... but the others would witness her seize-up at his command. She stumbled back a step before falling to the obsidian floor in semi-helplessness. It was only after this, that the Prime Evil gave a terrible, toothy grin. It tugged at the corners of the puppet's mouth, virtually reaching from ear to ear. It was the type of leering smile that a lunatic would wear, with eyes to match. Something sinister rested behind it all, a furious and twisted thing that not even a murderer would want to have nightmares about.

"You know not what forces you reckon with. Our power is greater and reaches much further than you might realize... Did you not notice the bones around you? Gifts, most of them, from the Guardian High Council... I sucked the mana and life-force from their bones. The others were just unlucky adventurers. But I do not desire more than I deserve-- and I am a reasonable creature. If you leave now, I'll grant your homes immunity from the wrath of my army and you may walk away with any artifact you find within the piles."


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:54 am 
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"You know not what forces you reckon with. Our power is greater and reaches much further than you might realize... Did you not notice the bones around you? Gifts, most of them, from the Guardian High Council... I sucked the mana and life-force from their bones. The others were just unlucky adventurers. But I do not desire more than I deserve-- and I am a reasonable creature. If you leave now, I'll grant your homes immunity from the wrath of my army and you may walk away with any artifact you find within the piles."

What an intriguing proposition. Kronk mused over the thought briefly, only to strengthen his resolve all the more. This “whatever” standing in front of him cared nothing for the world around him, his thirst for power distorting him into something horrible, something bent on destruction merely for his own amusement. Could probably lay waste to the entire tower with him in it within the span of two breaths.

Why did I sign up for this again? Why did any of us? Right. For them. For everyone who could not stand up to fight for themselves, for a world in need of protecting. Kronk closed his eyes for a moment and recollected his thoughts. Yes, he would stand and fight this evil as a courageous and determined warrior would. Coward? Perhaps, Kronk like most in this situation was constantly shaking thoughts of cowardice. With seemingly insurmountable odds in front of him, who wouldn’t doubt his own ability?

Kronk looked at his fellow companions, weak kneed and barely standing. Kronk could fear for his life as well, but with the odds stacked against him and his companions, he resolved he was already dead, and so there was no use fearing for a life already lost.

Kronk hefted his battle pick in his arms and took a couple steps forward, flanking back with fiery determination in his face at his fellow companions, hoping that they would find some strength in him and be able to stand themselves. Hoping that they would step forward and aid him in this battle against all hope, against all reason.

Kronk looked back at decay and answered him.

“You disgust me and I will have no part of the world you wish to create, I know not the realm of power that you possess, nor do I feel the need to fear it. I will stand and fight for all that is worth fighting for in this world until there is no more breath in me. If that happens before you are defeated then so be it.”

With that he let out a mighty war cry.

“Goj'z gevi ni ztrimgtl”
(Pronounced: "Geoh-jae'z geeay-fuee nee z-te-raeem-ge-te-lu")
(Meaning: God’s give me strength)

It was a cry that could be heard even from the base of the tower. Strength surged in his veins and anger in his heart. He hesitated for another second, knowing that attacking this known evil was madness. But he must do it; he must show his companions that fighting was their only option, their only path to follow.

He surged forward pick in hand. Beginning the swing down low in a horizontal motion and getting higher as he ran. The head of the pick making a full 360 degree revolution and ending behind his head, where he proceeded to bring it crashing down upon his opponents head.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Stolatos smirked as Decay called him naive, for he knew the truth of the matter. His words had not been serious - and as it happened so often, Decay had made the mistake of taking him seriously. He had simply been taunting, he really hadn't needed a demonstration to learn that Decay was indeed fairly powerful - but nothing wazs unkillable. Even gods could be killed with enough firepower, and this thing couldn't be much stronger then a god... hopefully. If it was, well, they were probably about to be so screwed that the IRS would be impressed. He started to turn as he heard a loud 'thud' behind him, blinking at the odd little metal ball that was rolling along and stopping near him. Then Decay did something quite strange - he started to glow, and well... un-glow at the same time. Half of the man was dark, the other half bright. Stolatos at first was at a loss for words, and then he simply shrugged and mumbled something or another about stupid fairies.

Stolatos took a step forward and crouched down towards the metal orb even as Decay was pointing at Musalis, and a quick check over his shoulder had him watching Musalis stumble to the ground. He shook his head, a slight frown given towards the skeleton for a moment before he returned his gaze to the small metal orb. He wondered if this counted as one of the artifacts Decay now mentioned in his latest array of words - and hoped it did not, for that would make his next actions all the more infuriating. He reached for the orb and picked it up as his clan-mate spoke and then roared out a challenge. He grinned as Kronk charged forward - the orc was all about rage, so this fit in well with what Stolatos thought of him, but he couldn't complain - smashing a foes head in usually resulted in you winning the fight. Of course, Kronk would need some help getting to his intended target he thought - perhaps the drow would conjure something up, but he had to make sure.

Stolatos reached out and picked up the orb without much thought, for the orb itself was not the point of this. He had no real idea what it was or what it did - it probably had some significance though, since Decay had brought it and even pulled it out. So he stood again, orb in hand, and waved a hand vaguely at Decay as he turned and moved to walk back towards the entrance. He called out loudly as he did - trying to draw at least some of Decay's focus away from the charging orc.

"Any artifact, you say? Well, I happen to have just found one that caught my eye just lieing on the floor, so I don't mind if I do. Silver Haven sounds like as good a place as any - so your armies won't be going there, right? I'm pretty sure I can trust an evil force bent on the destruction of the world to keep a promise like that, yep yep yep."

He glanced sidelong at Drakol as he passed, a wink given towards the drow to show that he wasn't actually planning on ditching them, he was just trying to do whatever he could to draw some of the big baddies' attention, and stealing his special orb thingy seemed to be a good way to do that. Leaving, however, did not, so once he got to the doorway - unless he was impeded somehow or the orb did anything, he would attempt to simply toss it throught he doorway and down the steps. He figured 'as far away from decay as possible' would be a good place for it to be. Of course, he also subtly attached one of his seals to it as he tossed it, just in case he needed a quick exit in the near future. Then he was turning back towards Decay with a smug smirk on his face, almost as though he figured that his throwing of some random orb would clearly spell the death of Decay.

"Ha! What do you think of -that-, looks-realy-bad-in-yellow guy?! Huh? Yeah, that's right, I can see the fear in your eyes now. We've easily dispatched your greatest weapon, so you're pretty much screwed now, as I'm sure you know!"

He adopted a heroic pose, the kind that heroes do after vanquishing whatever evil it was that they were facing, like he had just clearly done. For what evil monster could truly hope to come back and win after being down one nothing so soon into the fight? None, he was pretty sure. All they had to do was strike again real quick and it was two nothing and then it was just a blow out. Unless they were playing lacrosse. Then, just to put the icing on the cake so to speak Stolatos brought both of his hands up in front of him and clenched his fists - save for his middle fingers. He was giving one of the prime evils of DI the double duece, still with that same smug smirk on his face - yep, he was probably going to die.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:22 pm 
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If the others knew, even remotely, the fear that had welled up within Drakol as he watched Gauge's body – a body that was supposed to have been nearly liquefied and then pulverized only weeks ago – ignite in the dancing display of night and day, they may have all fled. They knew quite well that he was the most powerful among them, a fact bespoken by his radiant aura and his prowess with magic. If they knew he was afraid... their resolve was at risk to say the least. He needed to steel himself, to wipe his face clean of anything but steely calm, even if the inside was turmoil. In order to do so, Drakol examined exactly what had happened around Gauge's body. Once he did though, he wished he hadn't.

What had happened around Gauge's body was, in almost all versions of reality save the one they were currently living, impossible. First came the fact that the human seemed to have cast two spells completely independent of one another at the same time. No wizard, no matter how experienced, ever dared do such a thing, even with spells that were so closely linked they could be identical. The mental strain could easily cause a misstep in the casting and end with both spells going horribly awry.... A very unpleasant experience. What made it even more astonishing though is that the spells were polar opposites! That much could be seen by the way they clashed and scrambled for ground like two warring armies across his skin. Drakol could do nothing but be amazed. It should have been impossible, and yet such a thing was accomplished. And just to top it off, the spells that were cast were spells outside of Gauge's calling anti-mortem.

Just what did Gauge have to sacrifice to gain so much knowledge, so much power, over such a short time. Drakol didn't want to fathom the costs. They had to be far too great.

When the offer came, Drakol almost accepted it without hesitation. He had no desire to try to outdo the human with magic – if he could even be called human. His display just moments ago showed just how futile such a thing would be. His eyes began to idly drift about the piles of bones that littered the top of the tower as he seriously considered the option. He and Dahlia would be safe in whatever place they chose as their home. That was the reason he was here, wasn't it? To fulfil that sense of duty, and to protect Dahlia? Drakol sighed inwardly. No he couldn't do it, couldn't forsake his duty for such selfish reasons. What would she think of him, leaving home with the first noble directive ever taken on in his life only to turn it into something selfish. She would despise him for it. She would be safe, and they could be together, but neither would be happy.

It hit him then. Even if they accepted the offer, they would still be dead. Oh, the high-wizard had no doubt that Gauge was telling the truth, that if they surrendered their homes would be protected from the armies that he had amassed. There was one clever omission, however, that put the lie to the notion that they would be safe and be able to life out their lives in peace. He had forgotten to add protection from his own powers and wrath. The armies would not come and lay waste to their homes; Gauge would.

Drakol simply stood woodenly as he watched the stupid cat – how could he be so blind as to not see Gauge's true intent! – pick up the badly-made ball that had fallen from Gauge's grasp and walked by, saying something about Silver Haven in an almost condescending tone, as if he was so confident that he would live out the rest of his days in peace. The drow was about to open his mouth and call the cat a fool when the wink silenced his words. It was all the hint that Drakol needed to know the cat was simply playing his part. There was no doubt as to the orc's answer as he let out an immense warcry and began to take long-legged strides forward, warhammer swinging up to come crashing down on Gauge.

The orc was simply asking to die. It was a foolish thing to do, that was for certain. A head-on charge against a magic user was simply begging to have a spell shoved forcibly down your throat. Such an experience would never be pleasant.

Never.

Drakol hoped that the thing Stolatos picked up and then dropped down the stairwell was important to Gauge, otherwise Kronk would be turned into a fine mist before Drakol could join the attack. Or maybe play a role in defence. Kronk would certainly need that if he wanted to carry on with his head-first tactics. For now a distraction would be best.

Drakol realized then, as he drew his dagger with a resonant hum, that this was the point of no return. He would die this day. That much he knew. He had chosen to see through the ex-high wizard's trick and chose a quick death rather than be spared till the last to watch the entire world wither around him. Drakol only wished now that Dahlia was here with him, so that she may share the same fate as he and be spared the slow and agonizing death that would come if Gauge prevailed here – wanted to spare her the pain of love lost. The human was a lunatic that would cast the world into a void of despair and death. Drakol quietly reflected on the irony of the whole situation. Here he stood with blade bare alongside several allies, seeking to destroy the very thing that he hoped to become.

No, he did not wish to become like this twisted, foul being that stood before him. Drakol knew that he wouldn't, not now. Perhaps weeks ago he might have, when nothing but ambition for power drove him to do what needed to be done and allow none to stand in the way. The change had come with Dahlia who had shown him that there was now more to the world than the massing of knowledge and power. He would still be a god, and would even be malicious, but he would not become the power-crazed loon that Gauge had become. Such a creature was dangerous, and needed to be put down before he could plunge the world into the abyss.

”Thurkear,” the word came out just above a whisper, but the word of contained so much menace that it made the hairs on the back of the drow's neck stand. The cold determination came from many sources, but the biggest was from the desire to return to what he had left behind. As the energy flowed through him and momentarily cleared his thoughts, Drakol realized that he had chosen the right path. Despite his uncertainties this all felt... right.

He took several steps to the side to get the orc out of the direct line of fire from the spell about to be thrown. He chanted in perfect time with the measured steps, masterfully keeping the rhythm as his crystalline blade rose and pointed toward Gauge. Drakol knew deep down that it wasn't Gauge, but he couldn't help thinking of the corpse that way. The mana cascaded down his arm in hundreds of swirling pinpoints before coalescing into the glowing crystal dagger and leaping out of the tip, creating a beam of brightly dancing and swirling colour half an inch thick.

[Colour Beam, 4/3/1]

His target was Gauge's chest. He just hoped that the display of the casting – all of the specks of mana dancing about his as he walked and chanted the words softly – would at least draw a little of his attention away from the charging Kronk. For the moment, it was the least he could do. The arcane fury was already building though, rushing in a lesser part from the jewel in the pommel of the dagger and causing his every fibre to sing with its power. The greater part came from his own, sudden rage at the being, the fear of only moments before seemingly fallen away. He was supposed to be dead, and he now threatened everything Drakol had come to know in the last few weeks. Somebody was going to die. And even through the haze, the drow knew that it would be him.

He had no false hopes.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: PQ: The Dark Spire (The Top)
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:30 am 
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Can't wait for MWO
Can't wait for MWO

Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:31 am
Posts: 1759
Location: Wherever Greatness is Found
(And yes, I know that three spells are cast in this post. The third was appropriate…)

---------------------------------------

“Fool!” Gauge roared. “That trinket meant nothing to me. More than nothing! Your insolence is about to make you just that. You refuse my offer then?”

He merely glanced at the oncoming berserker. Foolish mortal. If their attacks had been more coordinated, they might have actually stood a chance. Gauge waited until the orc was almost at point-blank range so that his spell would have maximum chance to hit Kronk. With a glance, an [energy ball] that was almost undiscernable to the naked eye went shooting out and hitting the orc in the arm, twisting him away from the caster and leaving him momentarily confused. Momentarily was good. Momentarily was all he would need to finish off the rest of the threats in this room.

The cat ignored and the orc taken care of, Gauge’s form turned to meet the final threat in the room, the spell.

With a quick flick of his wrist, Decay brought a small stone to levitate in front of him and with a twitch of his finger, the stone stretched effortlessly into the shape of a drab grey tower shield. The shield was able to catch the largest part of the color beam attack, but some of the energy that was used in the spell splashed over the surface of the shield and leaked out, only to be met by a transparent dome that flashed with the contact of the energies that Decay used to protect himself. [Spirit Break]

Some of the energy seemed to persist, though and that seemed to get Gauge a little bit worried. Slowly, the energy moved its way over the shield and onto the magical one, encircling it with a whitish glow, but coloring the previously translucent barrier in a sickly beige color. It almost seemed to pulsate as it moved across the face of the sphere, with the same rhythm of a beating heart. It was as if the energy was…alive.

After a minute, the energy had completely encircled the former magic master and not a sound could be heard in the room for the anticipation of what was to come. The air was still, charged with so much energy that it seemed as if it had displaced the air that was usually present in the tower’s upper floor. Three quick pulses of white glow emanated from the sphere and then the orb glowed more brightly and consistently as the smell of putrid, rotting flesh suddenly filled the room.

A piercing howl filled the room that seemed to completely sunder reality as the top of the orb was breached by a large green beam blasting through the hole going straight up and blasting a foot-wide hole in the roof above, the beam screaming all the way out. The way that the energy was torn apart, almost looked as if the energy had ragged edges around the hole that was left behind. The orb suddenly and instantly collapsed as if it was retreating to avoid further damage. Upon its reveal, it showed a highly compacted, small ball of white, glowing magical energy.

It was enough time to allow the two members of the party that were still standing hit the deck to avoid being hit with whatever was coming next.

[Armageddon]

Air quickly came rushing into the battlefield, drawn towards the compact energy, and then it was discharged all at once. Thick, white beams of light shot out in a myriad of angles, exploding in all directions without any sense of aim or discretion. This spell had obviously been designed for maximum carnage. The wind whipped around and the sound was utterly deafening and the damage utterly devastating. Within a manner of moments, there was no longer any top to the tower. The roof, the walls, even the spire had been blown to bits. It had been blasted so high that chunks would have been jettisoned high enough and in small enough pieces that they would rain down in various parts of the world for days to come. The rushing air had swept the top of the tower clean, so it seemed as if the adventurers were lying, completely knocked out cold, on a tower with a flat, obsidian roof and stairs leading down to the lower levels.

Eventually, the warriors would come to – not really knowing what had happened.

----------------------------

Outside the spire, a breath of wind passed.

The assassin and the alchemist bravely engaged their target that had been merely observing them from across the crater, one with sword, the other with shards of steel.

When the assassin hit the changeling, it merely turned to absorb the attack, barely moving to defend itself, lethargic, almost not caring what would happen to it. Almost as if it knew something about the potion that was being thrown. Kate’s back was raked with shards of metal, glancing over the flesh and cutting, albeit superficially, through the black outfit that she wore. The assassin’s blade found purchase in the shapeshifter’s flesh, causing pus and goo to bleed from the wound. The creature didn’t make a sound, but began to thrash about, attempting to dislodge the troublesome girl.

And then the sky lit up with a green glow off to the left. A huge green beam slamming upwards through the top of the tower, beside the spire.

A whisper went over the wind, saying “Come”. And as it did, the creature vaporized, almost melting away from Kate’s touch, leaving her on the ground, stunned as to what just happened. The creature was completely gone, taking its weapons, armor and everything else associated with it and it’s master.

The only thing left was to watch the destruction of the spire’s roof, seeming like it would unfold in slow motion, beams arcing out at random angles, laying waste to the tower’s landing and roof. They would be the only living, conscious witnesses of what really happened to the tower.

At least from the outside.


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