1154/Last Days of the Dark Sun

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Last Days of the Dark Sun
Date of Scene: 16 December 2014
Location: Great Painting of Ariamis <PoA>
Synopsis: The Union can tolerate Gwyndolin no more. Its intrepid members stage a brave assault on his inner sanctum to quell the threat once and for all.
Cast of Characters: Tomoe, Staren, Priscilla, 168, 183, 253, 560, 570, Ayako Hasekawa, 642

Priscilla has posed:
    For the third, and likely final, time, the summoning has taken place within the boundaries of Anor Londo. Rather than the expansive view of the gargantuan city from the mountaintops however, the surroundings are indoors; just barely illuminated by the soft light of the moon outside, casting the marble into shades of white and blue. The circle is made at the center of a grand chamber in the same shape, ringed by colossal statues of unfamiliar figures of myth, save for one that is unmistakably Gwynevere. The very center and foremost statue is in the process of what appears to be disintegration as the summoning completes, clearly in a hurry. Priscilla seems to be multitasking; retrieving a golden ring from the fading statue's finger, though she had been the one who had put it there in the first place. A massive hallway opens up beyond, composed of series of high, gothic arches, with some kind of monument just barely visible in the distant room at its end.

    Priscilla gestures for her phantoms to walk with her the moment they are able. "I hath tracked the movements of the Darkmoon Blades to this location, where it is certain they report to their lord. A series of powerful illusions disguised it, but I didst learn their method of entry from careful observation. This place is the tomb of Lord Gwyn, though in name only, as there is no body interred here. That it wouldst be sealed up is proof both of Gwyndolin's cowardice, and his futile clinging to the old monarchy. Being the youngest and last in line, no doubt it wouldst suit him well if he were the only one remaining when the power of Anor Londo is restored. He was always, and still is, a petty, manipulative, fretful and paranoid person, primarily due to his weakness. He inherited almost none of the powers of our lineage, and so he hast been overlooked for what must be centuries now. For this reason, I believeth we can defeat him if we move swiftly, before he hath chance to call for his elite guard."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Strangely, Psyber is not a summoned spirit today. Instead, despite the recurrent and ever-present danger of this land, Psyber has chosen to appear in the flesh. There are numerous reasons for this that he could give that make rational, sane, and well-thought-out sense. These reasons include the fact that a spirit form hinders his natural durability, that he feels more comfortable fighting in his own body and can recover quicker from injury than it would take him to get killed and resummoned, and the simple fact that he can exercise a wider array of powers than he normally can. But all of those reasons are a thin veil around the actual and simple fact:

    When Psyber meets Gwyndolin, he wants to do it face to face. And he's been chomping at the bit for this fight for weeks now, if not bordering on months.

    So yeah, while spirits are getting summoned, Psyber is hanging out next to Priscilla in his long coat, smoking a cigarette as he listens to her.

    "I see," He says to Priscilla, "Minimal power, but he has compensated for it by building a network of guardians and protectors that he can move around like pieces on a board, creating an effective substitute for personal agency. I am inclined to agree with your assessment on this matter and second the opinion that he should be dealt with swiftly."

    He exhales a fairly large plume of smoke after saying this.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki would fade into existence, as usual, sword materializing almost as soon as she sets foot in Anor Londo. On any other day she would've waited, but tonight there's a certain... charge; urgency that even she, in all her absent-minded quirk, cannot ignore in the slightest. Besides, she has been beaten and traumatized enough in her travails here to make her far, -far- more wary than she would be otherwise. Lordran was the first place in which she experienced a so-called 'near death'. Come to think of it, it's also where she has experienced death death. Twice, actually! Really, she has no desire whatosever to do that again. She would deny the pain and horror it brought her from now until the end of time if that's what it took, and she might earnestly have appreciated the experiences once, but that's really all she needed to comprehend the 'poetic' aspects of it: to feel it once.


    Not eleventy billion or however many odd times people typically kiss the reaper in Lordran.

    All that aside, though, she looks oddly calm for someone about to bring down the proverbial guillotine upon the head of medieval squid Hitler. Perhaps she feels that this is Priscilla's vengeance to savor rather than her own? In that case, don't blame her too much if she smiles just faintly when the deed is done -- she appreciates a good exorcism, when the world is haunted by the plagues of paranoia and hubris. As much as she likes insanity, those things tend to annoy her in people.

    Mizuki would turn her eyes to the hall as the wall falls away, nodding absently as Priscilla delivers some explanation. When the crossbreed finishes, she would quietly and vaguely add, "Another deliverance hence, and another vengeance sated. What a satisfying few visits these past few have been."

    Oh, if only she meant that.

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    A black mist pours out from where a phantom would normally be summoned. After a brief moment, said mist coalesces into the form of one Ayako Hasekawa, riding sidesaddle on a floating broomstick. She's dressed in her witch costume with a water drop motif and has a pitch-black aura around her phantom body. She zooms over to Priscilla and Psyber's side. "Hello Priscilla and Psyber! Hmm... indoors this time..."

    She pauses to listen to her... and then nods her head quickly. "Then, let's go as the ancients have once said, 'With less haste, more speed.' Before help comes, but not so fast as to set off any traps that he might have placed." Ayako nods her head once... "Speaking of speed..." and then sweeps her palms outwards towards everyone. "Water Bubble!" And a bubble of water forms around everyone for a moment, then fades away.

    For those unfamiliar with Water Bubble, it barely does anything. It might slow incoming attacks, but only a negligible amount. Instead, it's strength is it's low mana cost, high durability, and as a scaffold for Ayako's other barriers!

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko arrives in shining gold, once again. There are a number of convenient reasons for her to not want to be here in person, one of them being taht she's not sure she'd be able to reach Lordran normally quickly enough, as the previous night's operation hadn't left her much time to recover and reorient. Speaking of last night, she seems a bit--grouchy, still? Could be one's imagination. It's not like she normally shows much enthusiasm, nor any other expression, until forced.

    She wastes little time in calling forth her armor, clanking over her body in yet more plates of gold, rather than its natural colors. Sword and shield are standard and expected, for her--she could wait to see what would be needed, but the blue phantoms of their adversary have already demonstrated a propensity for ambush.

    She says little, nodding to her fellows as she recognizes them, focusing on Priscilla in particular, though giving Psyber a glance with some curiosity--she understands, from watching before, why he might want to be here in person. Yet she's also aware of the risks--and quite familiar with the recklessness one's healing ability can bring.

Tomoe has posed:
So Tomoe the Iron Lily was here, after her experiance coming the last time in person? She was lucky to be alive and she's not going to make the mistake of coming in her true body again. It's not she hates this world, if she did? She'd not be trying to help save it. OR at least do what she can right? The oiver 6 foot Salamander woman folded her arms listening to what Priscilla has to say.

"I see get him before he calls in his guard and an odd name I see but no matter shall we get to it?"

Ayako gets a nod from Tomoe.

"Ah hello... and thanks for the buff."

MMORPGERs lose in reality what did that earth unleash upon the multiverse?

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    When Shirou appears, it's within a halo of gold light. he is a gold Phantom of Justice. Maybe a Sunbro in some parlance! But definitely here to right wrongs and pursue justice. That is his purpose.

    And there is a very nasty wrong that needs to be set right. If they're to save this land, Gwyndolin must be stopped. If he's going to get Priscilla to smile, Gwyndolin can't keep harassing her.

    So Shirou's in the same boat as Psyber, all things considered.

    "Yeah. We have to stop the threat before his help arrives. What can we do to him though? If there's a way to turn him to our side I'd be all for that." Even etter if they can wring some kind of apology out of him. Isn't he kind of family to Priscilla?

Nathan Hall (168) has posed:
    "He sounds awful." Nathan says as he begins walking. "The sort of methods I use should not be employed for ends such as that." He keeps as close to Psyber as ever, even if Psyber is technically more at risk of death here than Nathan himself is. He also gratefully accepts Ayako's WATER BUBBLE, giving a quick nod to her.

    He shakes his head at Tomoe, though. "If we give him time by negotiating, he will try to have us killed again. He also has a history of deceiving us in the first place." He jerks a thumb at Psyber with minimal emotional content to the gesture. "Also, getting in his way in this matter is a bad idea, inherently."

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     Landon al Cid, Prince of Ramuh, gave an offer of assistance to Priscilla when she asked a week or more ago. He doesn't really understand the Summoned Spirits system, but if it'll protect him from being killed to death, he probably ought to take it.

     The Prince arrives with an aura of bright, shining gold. He's wearing his heavy plate mail, the mark of the Judges of the al Cid family; in his hand is the shining, crystalline weapon made of solid Law - the Judge Blade, the symbol of his authority. He takes a moment to look around, awed by the scenario.

     His ribs barely ache. His twisted ankle barely hurts. Even the cut on his cheek from the Chaos Terrorists yesterday is barely bothering him here. But the city! The city is grand of scope and grand of size! It's magnificent - thoroughly different from anything he's yet seen. Like something out of a speculative fiction novel, or the old palaces of the ancient days of Ramuh, when the plains were still plains!

     "Amazing," Landon observes, "This world is truly..."

     He cuts himself off to listen. He understands. He also looks over at Shirou and nods. "I agree. Is there no way to reason with your foe?"

Staren has posed:
    As usual, Staren is summoned in his armor. He nods in greeting, then... "...Wow, If even Nathan thinks we need to just jump this guy before he can pull anything..."

    He trails off as he follows the others, then shrugs. "I guess that's what we gotta do. At least it's something I know how to do..."

Priscilla has posed:
    Under normal circumstances, Priscilla would strongly urge Psyber not to risk coming here in person, but at this point, she probably knows his real reasons for a material appearance. She still isn't comfortable with it, or even totally certain of the idea of going up against her uncle, but she feels emboldened by having so many people around her, and having cornered Gwyndolin where he can't simply have her taken care of with his connections. "I wouldst not say that I take such satisfaction in doing this, but I also cannot say that this was not a long time coming." She says to Mizuki. "The tomb of Lord Gwyn is his inner sanctum. I hath already penetrated what I believe to be all his defenses. There is nowhere left for him to be." To Ayako. "Gwyndolin will never taketh the side of another without a plan to overthrow them in future. Centuries of being the weakling, the irrelevant, the unwanted, and the unsuitable do things even to one bearing the title of a god, even just barely." To Shirou and Landon. She just grimaces as Nathan talks.

    The sound of many footsteps bounces off the vaulted walls and ceiling; echoing off the marble floors like quiet traffic through the halls of an art museum. High set windows let slivers of moonlight in, projecting silver light against the opposite walls in staggered sequence. Roughly halfway down the hall, the way forward suddenly begins to fly away; receding into the distance until it seems to hit the horizon, whereupon it no longer becomes visible. Looking back, the way everyone had come has done the same, leaving them in a single, repeating hall of seemingly infinite length. A distance away from Priscilla, the floor shines with the telltale golden light of a teleportation circle, in the middle of which appears someone who must be Gwyndolin.

    He looks nothing like the part. Anyone unfamiliar with the situation would easily mistake the figure as a woman, dressed in ornate white robes, with a golden headpiece that obscures the eyes and most of the face, edged out into sun-like rays. Though no larger than an ordinary human, he is able to look down at everyone present, owing to the fact that he is elevated atop a writhing column of grey snakes, coming out from under his robes in place of legs. He clutches some kind of scepter in one hand, fitting of a king, and a short, gold bow in the other. His voice echoes with the same omnipresence as it had hearing it from the cathedral.

    "First, thou offendeth the Godmother, and then thou seest fit to pillage the sacred Archives, and now thou hast cometh to trample upon the tomb of our Lord? Thine heresy is never ending. Thou shalt not be forgiven. Thou hast come here only to suffer due punishment for your crimes, whether intentionally or not." The tip of his scepter glows softly as he sweeps it over his head, trailing a swarm of glowing embers that settle into the air around him in an irregular field. "It pains me only that thou didst not bring thine conspirators in person, so that they may be summarily executed in permanence."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe pause at Tomoe.

"I think I miced my words but well shall we take him down given what he pulled?"

She looks over at LAndon sizing him up a bit. She'd not have a chance to meet him in person and she nods.

"It is amazing Landon, but it's lethal beyond what's common even in the multivse. To use an saying my dad likes? It hates us and wants us to die."

Tomoe debates saying thing but she'll hold it off for now she knows how it's likely going to go but well? No sense is getting them pissed off enough to do something that could make things worse. After all this guy has quite the ego but wait? This is suprosed to be a /guy/? She's kinda staring now.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Oh don't worry," Psyber says in a firm tone in response to Gwyndolin, his hands in his pockets as the cigarette dangles from his lips, "She brought one conspirator in person. And that's all that's necessary." Psyber spits his cigarette to the ground, a boot coming down on it to snuff it out under foot.

    "Eighty-seven days ago, you first made your appearance," Psyber says, looking the unfamiliar figure over. He recognizes the voice at least, his hands kept in his pockets in a casual gesture. The half-angel takes a deep breath and rolls his neck to the side, "And I told you something on that day. I told you I was going to find you and that I was going to break you. That you would be eclipsed."

    Normally, Psyber is a man known for his amicable nature. And while he can be coarse or even gruff by many standards, it's not hard to classify him as a 'gentle giant' type of person, someone who rarely fights unless necessary. But that's only one side of Psyber. Evidenced in the moments like Walpurgis Night or his fight against D, one can find a Psyber that is full of fury and wrath. Someone who does not let slights against those he cares about go unpunished.

    "Nathan. Hold my coat," Psyber says, slipping out of it and then tossing it to the librarian. He flexes, adjusting the t-shirt he's wearing and giving the figure a hard stare. It's not what he expected in this world, perhaps, from a figure that had brought them all so much misery. But it was him, for that much Psyber is sure, and so the half-angel won't hesitate or pause in his decision.

    Coat off, he clenches both his hands into fists, joints popping and muscles tightening like coils. Outside his coat, one can see his actual physique and understand the meaning of 'Hunter'. Or, more accurately for a being like Psyber, would be the term 'Apex Predator'. The top of the foodchain. A refined body tempered by centuries of training and testing, not in a gym, but in battle and against things much stronger than himself. Weakness whittled down and carved out, leaving only room for more growth.

    He runs a hand through his hair and then dashes in. He won't give a chance to talk today and he won't give a speech. he crosses the distance between himself and Gwyndolin in an instant. And in another instant, he's bringing his foot around in a powerful and sweeping kick. Normally he reserves the kind of force he's using to move cars or break walls, or in its worst case, crush the rib cage of a dragon. Now, Psyber is directing all that force at the Gwyndolin that has appeared before him. Real or not, he will know in a second.

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako inclines her head to the side gently as Priscilla says she's already passed all of Gwyndolin's defenses. "Hmm... then... let's go." She nods her head once and stays by Psyber and Priscilla, just behind them. Mostly to stay in range of them since they aren't phantoms, after all.

    When Gwyndolin himself appears from a teleportation circle, Ayako watches quietly. She knows nothing about this opponent... so she can't make any barriers yet.

Staren has posed:
    "Man. Living in what you convince people is your tomb? How macabre. Why not hide out somewhere nice?" Staren makes conversation as they trek through the building...

    And then... Gwyndolin. "Wow. And he's all high and mighty and pretends it's about someone else. Thinks he has the authority to judge us. I feel better and better about this." He comments, and then raises his arm and fires the armor's particle beam cannons at the... reverse medusa priest poser guy.

    Watching 'his' reaction to Staren's attack and Psyber's, judging whether to close in to melee or back off and keep sniping.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    "It is another facet of my occupation," Mizuki would muse as she walks with them into the hall, "to feel the 'satisfaction' and passion that people more disciplined do not allow themselves to. That I may express any vehemence you might once have felt but no longer allow yourself to indulge is just another way in which I observe, learn, and immortalize thought. As so many other of my pursuits, it can be quite pretentious, but I do try to keep that aspect in check." Smile~. "Usually."

    She would glance to Ayako next, maintaining her smile as she looks her up and down, eventually giving a nod in greeting. "Always so diverse and prim, Miss Hasekawa. We should all be so... fluid in our fashions." Her grin widens yet more, though it might believe something a bit more genuine than her superficial coyness. Something like creeping dread, perhaps, that is certainly confirmed as Gwyndolin makes their appearance.

    If she's unnerved, though, she maintains her poise. She looks unflinchingly to pseudo-real-deity, though her smile might fade just slightly. Only so much as to be more reflective of her standard attitude than one of genuine happiness. When her eyes narrow, this look solidifies itself as one of thinly veiled, but certainly extremely profound, malice. Any light that still manages to penetrate to this sepulcher would dance upon the reds of her eyes, kindling them as the flames they promised to be as the grip she has on her sword tightens.

    This hallway is oh so cinematic. Ceremonial. Beautiful. She feels a sudden pang of lonliness at the thought of not visiting Anor Londo for a long time after tonight, and allows that to distract her as her words fall forth as though they were coming from another source entirely.

    "The most ironic thing I find about people like you," Still perfectly even, steely, "is how you always spout on about moral hierarchy. Platitude after platitude. Perfection after impossible perfection. Always it is those who fixate most on their own failings that come to the conclusion all others are inadequate, it seems." She would sigh. "If only I had met your earlier. But alas, it is far too late to mourn things to that effect now."

    Cue a play of Candle in the Wind, off in some parallel dimension.

    Her soliloquy finished, Mizuki would blink out of existence, hopefully whilst Gwyndolin is preoccupied with Psyber's assault. She would use this time to fire two volleys of gunshots from the left and right of the initial figure, be they real or fake, after which she fades into existence in plain sight (hopefully) on the opposite side of where Psyber's strikes land him, poised with her sword and waiting for some reaction from Gwyndolin. If none comes, she would eventually fade out again and appear near Ayako or Nathan to guard them.

    Certainly not content to play the 'watch and wait' game today, no no.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     The Prince of Ramuh is a tall young man. He's probably nearly six feet in height. He cuts the figure of a dashing Fantasy Knight in armor, particularly surrounded as he is by a gold halo of a Spirit of Justice, wielding the heavy, nonsensical-looking Judge Blade in one hand like it has no weight (it doesn't, but that's beside the point). He has an easy smile on his face, and a gentle atmosphere to him. He also doesn't seem like the kind of royal to rest on his laurels and do nothing, if the cut on his cheek and the way he was favoring his ribs was anything to go by.

     His smile gives way to a frown at the conversation. Certainly, there were dangerous entities in the extraverse, things that measured or surpassed the legend of Arlaus tav Sternn. But even Cid the First, his great-great-great-great grandfather, had given Arlaus a chance to surrender. It was the way of the al Cid family to conduct themselves with honor and nobility, no matter how dark the rest of the world gets.

     He would protest. He'd like to protest. Gwyndolin is talking to them, after all; Gwyndolin clearly isn't a monster without thought or feeling, a beast little better than a vampire to be put down. Whatever words may be coming out of its mouth, whatever nonsensical declarations of execution, Landon doesn't believe that this thing is so unreasonable as to be worth the first strike.

     Is this going to be for him what Dominic's strike was to him? Is this going to shake him to the core?

     Is this the day he first kills an intelligent, living being?

     He hopes to all the gods it isn't. If there was any other way to resolve this, if even a shred of a chance, Landon al Cid would've liked to take it.

     He doesn't have the chance. Psyber lunges forward, demonstrating skill and musculature like that of a master Black Belt. Staren fires strange beams of energy at the strange figure. Harsh words are exchanged by all.

     Landon al Cid has promised that he would help with this scenario.

     His fingers flex under his gloves. His knuckles tighten a bit as a Judge Card spins to being in front of him, pulsating a dim blue-and-gold light. "I have no quarrel with you, spirit. I believe that you could be saved. But you are a creature like that of the terror that walked my land less than a century ago. With these words you have convinced me that you are a tyrant, who wields the sacred trust of the Law as a blade against those who displease you."

     Landon closes his eyes. "And yet, I have no wish to slay you. Surrender now and I will see that you receive fair treatment."

     "But so too have I seen what these people are capable of. The extraverse is a strange place, full of strange powers. To be so arrogant as to claim dominion over all things within it will surely spell your demise."

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    "GWYNDOLIN!" Shirou pounds forth several steps towards the man when he appears. He falters only briefly at the appearance, the pointing finger waving waround uncertainly... but then settling again on the accused.

    The boy's seething, hopping mad with indignation. Priscilla's kind of weird, he gets that. But she's been kind, dedicated, and in his gut he was very much rooting for her reuniting with her family.

    Gwyndolin's responsible for turning that into a heartwrenching mockery.

    Shirou's never, EVER angry for himself. Only the suffering of others puts him into a heroic rage and this time is no different.

    His scornful words echo down the endless hall.

    Clenching both fists, glaring angrily, he has his own things to say. Not unlike the guardian half-angel...

    "Just where do you get off considering yourself judge, jury, and executioner?! Here's a girl who's been alone for years because of that kind of thinking. You saw her, hoping to reunite with her family, not bring chaos or shame to anyone. Even if that was just an illusion, Gwynevere was real to her. This awful land's covered in the dead and the restless dead, its rulers have all lost their senses..."

    He mutters, 'trace on!' under his breath. Emerald light scorches out from his palms, and forms into the married yin-yang swords Kanshou and Bakuya with a sizzling light!

    "But you remain here, in the home of the gods! Tell me! is this what the sun god wanted out of his family? A backstabbing, coldhearted schemer?! Is this how you protect anything?! Because it's a sick joke."

    Shirou bursts forth into a dash across the ground at INSANE speeds. Prana flows from his weapons and blood from the corners of his mouth as he leaps up at Gwyndolin and tries to double-team up with Psyber for an X-Strike!

    And Kanshou and Bakuya will hit with enough force to crack WALLS if they do hit.

    "The only heretic I'm seeing here is you!!"

Nathan Hall (168) has posed:
    Nathan Hall, oddly, says very little. He understands that there are others who deserve the verbal spotlight, so to speak. Heheh. So to speak.

    "Emerald Countermagic." Is the only thing he says, in Old Realm languages, amid a few short chants, and thrusts a hand out. A brilliant multicolored lightshow blasts out of it. He is not attacking Gweyndolin, though, as he still does not have the fighting spirit for such an action. Instead, he fires his Countermagic spell at the teleportation circle that Gwyndolin is standing on, hoping to disrupt it. He expects the leader of a group of assassins to hit and then run, and Nathan is intent on cutting off that escape route, attacking the spell directly with his own essence. The effect should manifest as either disabling it or forcing a delay while the magic is repaired, at least; he intends to, even if he can't prevent the inevitable future escape attempt, at least buy some time.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko's experience with Gwyndolin is less than some of those here. She wasn't present for whatever initially had Psyber so angry. She was here, however, for two different attempts the small god's agents made to kill Priscilla, and she's heard of some matters before. Nathan's words are taken to heart, in particular--if Hall believes that diplomacy won't work, then any words this being gives should be assumed to be distraction and deception. These are not diplomatic attempts, then, not posturing with which one can reason. At best, they are air, and at worst, they are attempts to buy time--in which case, she should take any action as hostile.

    In few words, she tries to communicate that to all else present. For Gwyndolin, she has no words. If there is no cause for diplomacy, then there is no need for understanding.

    Vehemence? Mizuki's words are something to muse on. It's true, in Kimiko's case--she attempts to prevent herself from feeling such things. She doesn't always succeed. The failures are loud. 'Satisfaction.' Rarely felt. She has a job to do, and she seeks to do it well. That should be enough, but satisfaction is another thing she denies herself.

    Yet, enough musing. Either her words were understood, or the understanding of their need was already there. They attack. The teleportation circle worries her--will their opponent escape immediately? Will reinforcements arrive for their enemy? They will not, if Priscilla was correct--but nothing is certain.

    Kimiko's role is one of caution. At times, this means attacking preemptively. At times, it means holding back. At times, it means advancing in wariness. This, she decides, is of the third type. She moves in at a steady pace, shield raised, sword-arm tensed, prepared to move to intercept whatever is thrown against her or against any other who hasn't charged into melee.

Priscilla has posed:
    It's difficult to read Gwyndolin's expression with only half of his face visible, but he is neither moved or pleased by threats levied against him. "These art mine lands. This is mine domain. Mine own world, not thine. Thou wilst be judged as is fitting by mine own laws, as was she. I will surrender nothing to thee but death." Obviously, nobody has ever tried to argue for the moral high ground with him. He won't engage in any kind of banter or conversation. This isn't up for debate. His rule is law, no questions asked. That is plain enough for anyone to see.

    As Shirou and Psyber arrive at roughly the same time as each other, the circle beneath him flashes to life once more, casting curtains of light up from the floor. Staren's particle beam flashes through the empty space left behind, leaving neither melee fighter anything to hit. Far away, Gwyndolin reappears, having teleported straight backwards the moment he was in danger. The immediate problem becomes obvious. In an infinite corridor, he can keep doing it for as long as he likes. The circle appears to be summoned and dismissed at will, rather than a fixture of the hall itself, meaning that Nathan will have to interrupt in the middle of it if he hopes to stop it. The second problem reveals itself shortly, as the floating embers left behind start to move. Each of them shoot outwards in a whirling hail of energy; twisting through snaking paths to seek individual targets, two or three homing in on each Elite, with more focused on Psyber and Shirou, being practically in the middle of them. Priscilla does the smart thing and disappears instantly, seeming to foil the tracking of her portion of the magical bolts, which instead spiral into the edge of a column and blast it to pieces.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko wastes no time, identifying the embers as dangerous projectiles. Most likely, she thinks, they'll explode into some more obviously dangerous form as soon as they reach a target. If her next, hopeful thought is correct, they can be set off before reaching their /intended/ target.

    She's stepping forward quickly, now, sheathing her sword to put it out of the way, and trailing her shield behind. She spins, and the straps release at her thought, sending the shining, golden circle spinning through the air on a collision course for one or more embers. A similar shield, though this one summoned in a shape slightly more suited for such a strategy, appears on her right arm, and is thrown in the same fashion after a mere half-moment. Given time, she can toss a third and a fourth, but that depends on the projectile speed. She'll cover as much as she can for those further back in the formation.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki flutters her lashes like a deer caught in headlights a moment after Gwyndolin teleports, but thankfully she's seen enough of Faruja and Arthur to not be all that thrown off by a little teleportation. The energy balls might get a bit more a reaction, but not much of one; once Mizuki sees how well simply fading out of existence goes for Priscilla, a lot of her adrenaline dies down. This momentary calm allows her to focus instead on Nathan and Ayako, both of whom would find themselves cloaked in the glistening monochrome of Mizuki's speeding fields should they allow themselves to be, before she herself slowly begins to turn translucent, and finally fully invisible. This /should/ occur in time for her to divert the magical blips in a similar manner to Priscilla, but Creation - and she - knows that there is never a guarantee of anything.

    She might struggle momentarily before fading to conjure some manner of slowing field upon Gwyndolin, but considering the effort it would take to maintain one at that distance and how useless it would likely be given his abilities she ultimately gives up on that one.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Shirou might get a faceful of airblast as Psyber abruptly cancels his kick rather than carry through and accidentally hit the Magus. Gwyndolin teleporting is an unforseen obstacle on Psyber's plan to take out the man at the knees. The half-angel snarls a bit in anger before bringing his foot down hard enough to crack the ground under him.

    Shirou gets a stern look that seems to simply say 'try to keep up', as close as the half-angel can manage to approval at the young man's charging in. The half-angel adjusts his footing, removing the foot from that crumbled piece of floor he just stepped on. He has enough time to try to formulate a plan before the magic is raining down on him.

    Psyber backflips and jumps, hands planting on the floor and then feet landing shortly after as the balls of magic begin to rein down. He doesn't try to block or dodge, though. Instead he takes them right on the chin, letting them slam into him with a powerful blast and a cascade of smoke and debris.

    Charging out of that debris a moment later is Psyber, full of fury and bleeding from several wounds on his body. It's actually easier to chart the blood he's dripping than try to follow his high-speed movements. Said trail moves down the hallway, darting left and righty as it jockeys for position.

    A pillar comes loose in an abrupt motion and then seems to streak straight up into the air after it does so. It falls down towards Gwyndolin a moment later as Psyber uses the pillar as a club in a massive overhead swing.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is eveyr much with Pysber maybe she had just miced her words badly eithe way she thinks back to the attck and she's looking to Shirou, he put it better than she could so she says nothing to the hostile native. She focuses on Gwyn and seems ready Moon cutter is summoned from her inventory and the japanese spear is staken in hand as she stares down the one who did go after her. She finally chose to sya something.

"You made this personal when you came after us like you did."

She follows up Psyber and Shirou just lunching at her with the long spear and making for a rapid nuymber of strikes at them.

"I give no damn about what say!"

Maybe not hte best impression to give Landon and maybe some of the others she's meeting but Tomoe is angry and more than a little scared this person imght come after her on her earth where she's pretty much very much weaker.

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako frowns slightly as she notes the way Gwyndolin speaks. "Hmm... your words are absolute, huh? That type of arrogance... you need to be taken down a peg or two!"

    And then quietly watches the way he fights. "Oh... teleporting, huh?" Ayako cringes when she notes the floating embers suddenly snaking out. Mizuki's haste spell comes at just the right time for her to quickly move towards Nathan and pull him onto her broom. "Sorry Nathan! I know you need to concentrate, but you really can't afford to stand still right now! And thank you, Mizuki!" As she does so, she notices Priscilla vanish and the embers suddenly lose track of her-and smash into a pillar as they dissipate. "Oh hey... we can use cover." And hides her floating broom and passenger behind a column, although positioned so that Nathan can make out where Gwyndolin is. "Concentrate, Nathan! I'll try to keep us safe!"

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     So this man - or god, or whatsoever he may be - is exactly like Arlaus tav Sternn. Law to the excess of Tyranny. One who uses the phrase to mean 'that which I declare', rather than 'that which is for the people.'

     That's unacceptable to Landon.

     His fingers tighten around the Judge Blade's handle.

     And then the 'god' vanishes. Embers explode forth, streaking towards everyone. Landon thrusts his hand forward to the Law Card. The card erupts into blue, white, and gold light, blinding and powerful.

     The card vanishes. Between Landon and his embers appears a great crystalline barrier, pulsating with a dim gold light inside its blue-and-silver facets. The embers crash against it, sending cracks throughout the magical barrier.

     One of them gets around. It catches Landon on the shoulder as he twists out of the way, and he bites his lip at the pain. He hadn't expected that. He hadn't felt any pain from his wounds, after all; he'd assumed the ethereal form was the same. Apparently, as judged by the blazing sensation in his right arm, that's not true.

     That kind of sucks. His arm hangs limp at his side as he listens to the plans on the radio.

     Law Cards spring to life in front of him, whirling once more - this time, four. Two of them are assigned solely for defense, ready to protect Landon and the others from the inevitable counterattack.

     The other two are wholly offensive. Landon prepares to conjure a barrier directly above the strange 'god', in order to cut off his teleportation and perhaps allow others to surprise him. The other spawns directly behind the god, to make those reflexive leaps - and Staren's fireball, and other area-of-effect attacks - that much more effective.

Staren has posed:
    Staren's wings appear and he starts flying away from the embers, then seems to come to the same conclusion as Kimiko -- A couple of his micromissiles launch from the armor, trying to catch the embers in their small detonations. ...If that doesn't work, oh well, that's why he has a forcefield and armor. Unless these bypass those. Then this is really gonna suck.

    Otherwise, he next turns his attention back to Gwyndolin. Moving up as if to pursue, though making sure to stay behind Psyber. He draws the Raiser pistol with one hand, acting like he has to get close to use it, while his other hand reaches into the bag at his side.

    When Psyber finishes his countdown, the hand in the bag whips out an almost cartoonish magic wand -- a stick with a stylized star on the end and crystals on and everything! He flicks it out to point such that if Gwyndolin attempts to teleport the same distance back as before, and succeeds, he'll get caught in a massive fireball! Although, it's the concept of heat more than an actual explosion, but still, it's a nice big AoE attack!

Nathan Hall (168) has posed:
    Nathan is just sort of standing there, rambling something or another about tactics, as a horrible ember is streaking towards him, threatening to kill him! Thank goodness for Ayako. "Oh." He says. "Thank you." And he keeps at his plan while he clings, clumsily, to Ayako's broomstick, hoping she'll handle Dodge Duty for him, becaue otherwise those projectiles will murder him.

    Once more, with gusto! Psyber's called-out attack gives Nathan a potential opportunity to time in tandem with his partner of sorts, trying one more Emerald Countermagic! He's only got the essence for two of them, really. He's firing it off again, trying to hit that teleportation circle right when it gets summoned...

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Shirou's lucky indeed for PSyber's foresight. The redheaded magus is clumsier than the more experienced warrior, and when his swing hits only air he's WAY off balance in the air and is forced to spin about and TRY to land on his feet. Shirou hits the ground rolling and grunting.

    He's back on his feet just in time to face the incoming shots. It's very much in his favor that Kanshou and Bakuya are ritualistic weapons with strong ties to fighting monsters and magic rather than fighting in a war.

    The two swords are swung about like grinders, batting away the shots in quick succession. They fly at the walls and ceiling, exploding brilliantly!

    At least... until the last two shatter Kanshou and Bakuya and explode in his face. Then SHIROU's the one flung into a wall and knocked senseless. "Gah!!"

    The boy hits the ground with a mighty thump and staggers to his feet about five seconds later. "That totally didn't work..."

    he decides to hang back after THAT messup, and instead projects a black bow. It suits his strange outfit of black armor and various guards pretty darned well. And in a few moments he's projecting a black, twisted, horn-like sword to match it. The HOUND OF THE RED PLAINS glows with ominous crimson light as Shirou mounts it and uses his material control to streamline the sword into an arrow-shape... "Just try dodging this thing... HRUNTING!"

    The 'arrow' is released, zipping through the halls after the elusive mage with a singular, focused purpose. The strange thing is though... no matter how many times Gwyndolin teleports, the thing CHANGES ITS BEARING midflight to stay locked onto him...

    He'll have to either destroy it or suffer its bite.

Priscilla has posed:
    Kimiko's shields intercepting the soul embers are likely destroyed completely by the blasts that consume them, but ramming physical objects straight into their path does an adequate job of intercepting them, cutting out a significant portion of the volley. The detonations of missiles do nothing to them however, allowing them to pass through the explosions and careen into Staren's forcefield. Mizuki's dematerialization is equally effective, leaving the bolts to fly straight along their last altered trajectory, allowing her to dodge them easily. It's more difficult for Ayako, even with the chronomantic field cast on her, but vigorous bobbing and weaving gets her by with only a close shave, burning painfully as it passes by, but not causing any severe damage.

    Psyber's charge, assisted by Tomoe, has the desired effect. Gwyndolin looks to the half-angel in particular, as if to say 'try it as many times as you want'. The circle burns against the ground below him once more, but just as its glow mounts to its apex, it suddenly fades away, drained of all power. Reacting just in time, he throws up his scepter, and casts out a brilliant golden wall of radial calligraphy, intercepting the pillar with a thunderous crash and a cloud of shattered masonry. It's wide enough to completely wall off the hallway as well, causing Staren's fireball to detonate on it shortly after. With Landon's barriers behind him, Gwyndolin can't move backward physically, and so he takes the option left to him.

    From the other side of his own barrier, he looses a swirling torrent of blue fire that rapidly swells to the point that it engulfs the entire corridor; channeled down the hallway like a barely controlled explosion, sweeping up everything in its path. The columns to either side shatter as the blade wave passes through them; carrying the jagged debris along with it at high speed.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Wounds on one's person do not carry over to wounds on one's phantom form, and vice versa. Ammunition used, and items lost or broken--these losses remain. This principle proves an unfortunate fact, and for a Puella Magi, it strikes close to the heart.

    Kimiko's Soul Gem has not fully recovered from her reckless fight against Nachtwal. There simply wasn't time. This disadvantage sits heavily on her mind--a prolonged battle will put her in a dangerous spot.

    Thanks to a combined effort, it seems things may accelerate. The infinite hallway may no longer be a problem, but they've traded it for a danger of immediate death to all present. Some may survive. Enough? Seath nearly wiped them out--best to take nothing for granted.

    Kimiko abandons her wary approach, charging forward, eyes wide open. Her shields have all been destroyed by the exploding members, and her sword won't be enough to pierce--but she has as many weapons as she can call forth, if she should simply will it. If she can last long enough. If she can hold out.

    Phantom armor, shining gold, nevertheless real enough to touch, suddenly surrounds her. Interwoven shields and chestguards, bucklers and pauldrons, greaves and targes. It all comes together in a single mass, a wall covering nearly the entire corridor, just before the fire slams into it. Around the edges, it still burns, billowing outward with a heat no less dangerous for any to positioned in its way. But the center is blocked, at least for this moment, by her full effort.

    For that moment.

    Kimiko stands directly in the center of the flame as it breaks through, and washes over her, even further concentrated by her attempts to funnel it, if lessened by what her shields absorbed.


Staren has posed:
    Staren's down one layer of forcefield after the embers, and another of the emitter discs on his armor is emitting a concerning crackling noise. The dispel worked but there's a wall now -- fine! Staren charges towards it, firing the particle cannons to blast it... And then, suddenly, blue fire! Which just ignores the barrier, apparently. "Hax! Man, this is exactly what /I/ wanted to do to /him/!" He moves to take cover but sees the pillars blasted up ahead -- finally he sees what she's doing and dives behind Kimiko, the magic having already worn through another shield layer.

    And she took one for the team.

    No time to think about it now. That's why they're phantoms, right?

    If the hallway-filling fire beam /stops/...

    Staren remembers he's holding the Raiser pistol, and fires what he hopes is a wall-blasting shot ahead -- he slips the wand in his bag and then draws his beam saber, taking to the air and trying to swing at Gwyndolin from above. Can this guy fend off Psyber, Shirou, /and/ Staren in melee at the same time? Time to find out!

    And if he walls again, Staren tries to blast it and fly through right away this time to press the attack!

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     It's over in the blink of an eye. Kimiko's shield wall comes up to soak as much of the power as she can, and still fails. She burns, the Phantom consumed in the flames and destruction from the 'god'.

     That's all it takes to spur Landon into true action. The careless snuffing of another life is enough to remove the last of his barriers, the last bit of guilt. Seeing her snuffed from existence in a heartbeat, as casually as one might eliminate a flea, infuriates the Prince of Ramuh.

     "I REFUSE!" The Prince roars. Otherworldly horror. A burn on his arm. All of it is meaningless before the destruction of another life. All of it is meaningless before a creature that cares as little for the word 'law' as this Gwyndolin.

     Landon throws out his hand. He pours MP into the two Law Cards he has reserved, no longer restrained by thoughts of kindness. He still holds his honor, but it is clear to him - clear now - that this creature deserves nothing of his mercy, of his pity. This creature is a monster that needs to be destroyed.

     Twin, shining crystal barriers leap in front of the group. The deadened flames crash into them like waves against the sea. Kimiko's destruction pushes Landon's will onwards, the golden, glowing crystals meeting fire with a roar of anger and challenge the likes of which the Prince has never made before. He rejects the Laws of Gwyndolin with the Laws of Carbuncle. He rejects Laws of Tyranny with the Laws of Justice.

     Ideologies clash. But Gwyndolin is stronger than Landon's will, and his MP reserves run low. He doesn't have all that much to burn. He's neither Sage nor Summoner.

     The crystal walls start to crack. The flames lick around the edges. Landon braces himself, waiting for them to break, as the heat burns around him.

     But he takes a shot nonetheless.

     The heavy Judge Blade goes hurtling through the barriers. It passes through them as though they weren't even there, shooting towards Gwyndolin like a rocket. It cuts through the flames, as it is neither metal, nor any true material - merely a construction of crystallized Law, flying, guided by Landon's will.

     If he gets even one strike...even one strike, he won't care if he burns.

     Just one, solid hit.

     Landon's roar reaches a crescendo as his barriers shatter. He braces himself for fire.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber is here in physical body. A blast of fire like that, while probably not lethal for someone like him, would have been intensely painful and possibly taken him out of the fight long enough to prevent him from venting his frustrations on the Dark Sun. So on many levels, Psyber is grateful for Kimiko's sacrifice when she runs to the front of the fight and puts herself between the fire and the rest of them.

    Powerful blasts of scalding hot air still blow past him and he jumps to the side just in case there's some bleedthrough in the aftermath of his attack and Gwyndolin's counterattack. To have his move blocked like that so completely is frustrating on many levels for him.

    The entire fight has been a frustration. He had made a statement to Gwyndolin: 'I am going to break you.' But so far, he had been largely unsuccessful. A dodged kick and a destroyed column that did no damage was all Psyber had to show for it. And after he'd made such a point of fighting at his full power today. He was disappointed in himself for his inability to even land so much as a hit. He had expected this to be a more cathartic event.

    Wiping a scorch mark from the corner of his mouth, Psyber evaluates the situation. This far in, he doesn't really have much to do but press the assault during a lull in the action. He pops his knuckles again and darts in, trying to aim another powerful blow towards Gwyndolin.

    This one isn't a kick, though. As Psyber gets in close enough, the half-angel slams one foot to the ground and pivots his entire body, aiming to send a straight-thrown haymaker right to the center of the Dark Sun.

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako blinks her eyes as she sees the swirlling torrent of blue fire begin to form. "Uh oh... that's... a big one. Sorry Nathan! We can't hide from this one! We have to just stop it really really hard!" She flies quickly out from the pillars and watches Kimiko try to intercept the fire... Ayako is out of range to help Kimiko! And she can only watch as Kimiko buckles under the power of the fire and is then consumed by it. "Kimiko! Uuu..." She sighs softly and then shakes her head quickly. "We have to stop this fire together!"

    And then Landon al Cid refuses. Refuses to let things end like this. As the twin crystal barriers crack under the fiery onslaught, Ayako flies over to Landon's side and thrusts her palms forwards. "Impenetrable Water of Styx!" A wall of water appears to support his crystalline barrier from behind it! "I won't let you get all of us here!"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki's return from the aether of nothingness is a triumphant one, as the various lights that had been pursuing her spiral off in all directions, decimating the pillars beside them and likely bearing into the tiles on the floor and ceiling as well. She barely has time to smirk, though, before she catches the radiant aftershock of something far more significant. A brilliant flash of teal, or white, or something; she can hardly tell the difference from where she's looking. But nevertheless, it's there.


    ... very, very slowly; far too slowly for her to react should it find her first.


    ... like the hands of a clock when you're eagerly awaiting a specific moment, and each tick seems interminable.

    Fully spun, now.

    Just in time to see Kimiko's body be consumed in a vortex of something akin to flame, but not quite flame. Certainly as vengeful and all consuming, though; bearing their fangs as though they were the personfication of the enemy she made of reality itself, bearing its fangs and serving as a reminder of just how uncaring the forces of the physical world she had long since left behind really were.

    Once again, she's a deer caught in headlights. Her pupils go blank, and she can only stare. As much as every rational fiber in her proverbial cerebrum fights to remind her that this isn't a permanent death, and that this wasn't of all the consequence her uncharacteristically impassioned response would indicate it is, she still feels it all. So recently, it seemed, she had met this Kimiko woman, looked through her Abstractum Node in her company. Far too recently, it would've seemed, for her to put even an expendable life of hers on the line for her sake.

    Now of course were she in a more rational state she would've accounted for the fact that there is far more to it than that -- personal inclination, tactic -- but she cares not at all for that drivel. This was all the excuse she needed to condemn this 'Gwyndolin', if not in the world of the tangible then in her world of thought and word. And she does so, pausing time inside of herself this time so that she may curse him, thousands upon thousands of times, before emerging with the braziers at her pupils at the peak of their flame.

    She wants so very, very badly to go soaring in as she had before with abandon, sword held aloft in some brazenly heroic manner that will amount to absolutely nothing. Just to feel the rush of heroism and vindication; just to have an opportunity to tear into this unholy abomination's flesh. But mercifully, she is able to swallow those feelings in favor of more rational ones, ones that tell her that she was a pivotal part of Kimiko's 'plan' if only because she is still standing here, and the other girl is not. Best not to waste that for some personal satisfaction factor. Best... not to be so self-indulgent, right? Lest she fall into the same pit this wretch has dug for himself.

    Provided she is given some opening, she would begin a flight extremely low to the ground, full on toward Gwyndolin. Unlike so many other suicide runs this might mimic, though, she makes a considerable effort to notice any projectiles coming her way. If any should come, she would fade just so long as it would take for them to leave her. If something knew should come, she would attempt to think of some strategy or, situation willing, give herself some additional time to do so. But if she's to have her way? She would move directly beneath Gwyndolin, poised to deliver a swift uppercut.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    And then, of course, she would vanish, reappearing directly behind him if he has yet to move, blade positioned for a thrust. She would attempt to deliver two swift strikes, one to each of his sides, before blasting herself backward and creating a sort of 'rubber band' of displaced wind. Then she would catch herself in one of her stasis fields before ricocheting off of it into a complementary speeding field that would, ideally, allow land her to land her blade square in his back.

    She didn't really plan beyond that. There is a moment of absence after this fanciful maneuver in which she would be quite helpless indeed. And that, of course, is if she wasn't already made helpless by some other element as of yet unseen.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is backing up Psyber at this point she is moging to just keep them off balance the deal is to just get the enemy down. She's not going to do something like call dibs. She's not stopping the attack yet no she's not she starti9ng to chant in nordic and the accent is so bad that poor Inga would cringe if she heard it but then comes the barrage of rays of lights at Gwyn it's clear Tomoe isn't not playing about right now.

"You can only delay things, you are going down."

Tomoe then throws her self at the remey again hoping they'd not expecting and she's clealry not got off unharmed there's a number of distorted digital wireframe wounds which shows the state of her avatar and it's not that good.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Shirou's not worrid for himself. Even if he gets wiped out it will be nightmarish, agonizing pain. He's dealt with that nightly. His training, year after year, nearly killed himself on so many occasions. He's used to death-like agony. Dying again is not high on his list of things to do here, but it's the OTHERS he wants to protect from that... especially Priscilla, who's here in person. And Psyber, for some odd reason...

    But when the wave of fire comes rushing down, his heart all but stops. "No way...!" That's not possible. So much magic, fired off instantly? AT EVERYONE?!

    How to stop it?

    He doesn't get a chance to act. Shinobu moves first. "Shinobu--!!" Too late to do anything, SHirou can only watch in amazement at the display of compounding, ginormous armor conjuration of a scale he couldn't fathom until now. She did it, she did it!

    Relief begins to show on his face, but then he sees where it's going... and immediately horror. "Look out--"

    Booooom. She's gone.

    Hrunting still hasn't hit its target, but when a new opportunity arrives... Shirou doesn't waste it.

    "Trace on!"

    Suddenly he's howling in pain and clutching at his free hand while still kind of weirdly holding the bow. Power surges out and up into an invisible mold, forming swiftly into a silvery-blue longsword that radiates a burning nobility of sorts.

    Shirou mounts his latest sword-arrow, pumping some extra power into it. The new bow he's got has proven capable of handling things he couldn't handle before, things that would've blown up in his face RATHER BADLY.

    But this bow can handle mounting EXCALIBUR GALATINE, the Reborn Sword of Victory, as an arrow.

    It can handle it when the arrow is released and ignites with the scorching fury of the sun, casting a radiant light through the hallway like a burning meteor as it flies for the distant Dark Sun Gwyndolin...!

Priscilla has posed:
    The last of Gwyndolin's flames blast over the dual barrier made by Landon and Ayako. Without the direct, overwhelming force channeled down the center of the hallway by its construction, the edges whirling maelstrom that reaches them surge and twist over the edges of their defense, slowly narrowing inward as Kimiko disappears, but ultimately subside almost the exact same moment the shield fails; subjecting them to the blistering wave of the aftershock, but little else. The prince's sword goes flying clear through the gap; hurtling down the corridor and crashing on Gwyndolin's own barrier; sent spinning away with a flashing bounce, but also with the sound of cracking glass. It isn't his sword that's fracturing.

    The raiser shots explode repeatedly on that formidable forcefield one after the other, gradually cratering the floor with blast after blast. Even the plasma sword splashes across the screen without cutting it. Tomoe's magic attacks are stopped dead as well, but after each impact from her and Staren, the runic holography shifts and distorts, as if broken and sliding over itself. Gwyndolin drops his scepter and takes up his bow instead, notching only a single arrow, made of a strange, weaving spiral of gold. He looses it only once, but the air is filled with the whispering hum of dozens upon dozens of projectiles; glittering metal flying downrange in a rapidfire volley. The arrows flash with deadly magic where they land; a killing spell designed to penetrate armour and shields to supplement the sheer speed they hit with.

    The ones aimed at Mizuki however, fail to find their mark. As he pulls back the string again, the Author appears behind him, and a deft thrust of her blade catches him in the side, darkening his pristine robes with blood. Before he can make a sound, the speeding form of Hrunting, loosed from Shirou's bow, and still on its unerring flight, joins with that of Galatine, crashing into the already damaged barrier with all the force expected of a Noble Phantasm. The barrier fractures, distorts, and then breaks entirely. Psyber's haymaker catches Gwyndolin straight in the chest, and he is sent flying down another length of the endless hallway with a crashing tumble of flesh hitting stone.

    Slowly lifted upright by his grotesque cohort of serpents, Gwyndolin looks to Psyber with blood running down his face, angrily thrusting out his sceptre with a stabbing flash of light; aimed to spear straight through his chest and continue down the hall to strike those behind him.

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako drops her watery shield the moment the flames fully disspate and winces from the aftershock's blistering heat. "Uuu... stupid heat..." Luckily, it's only a shockwave and not persistant heat! She looks back at Nathan for a moment, who is still on her broomstick. "Nathan! Any ideas?" It's just for a moment though, as her gaze whips back forward towards Gwyndolin.

    A golden bow? And with one arrow, fires several metallic arrows in their direction! She sighs softly and then Ayako sweeps her palms outwards around her, "Whirling Maelstrom of the Sea's Depth!" She has to protect Nathan at the very least, and this particular barrier helps not with blocking the arrows, but with deflecting or redirecting them! It would help her attack too, but... not that Ayako attacks. Instead, she focuses on weaving and waving to dodge the arrows to keep herself and Nathan safe! And slowly tries to make her way to Shirou to support him.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     Landon spares Ayako a brief glance and a broad smile. He's still alive because of the beautiful Water Spirit's intercession; he knows that much. He'll have to thank her properly later. But he can't afford to be distracted in this battle at all. He's already seen what distraction will cost - not just to him, but to his allies. He's better-trained than that. He knows much better than that.

     The Judge Blade dematerializes.

     It does not return fast enough. The spear of light punches through his stomach and out the back of his body. The golden spirit of the Prince stares down at where his stomach was, his hand going to the hole. He can feel it! He can feel all of it!

     The pain is literally agonizing. He wants to fall over. He wants to collapse to the ground. He wants to die, to hurry up and let go and release the phantom. It's beyond agony. It transcends agony and leaves it twitchng back in the field of pain and suffering, so far beyond pain is he. It blew through his plate mail like it was nothing.

     Landon stumbles. He nearly falls to his knee. Cure magic won't do anything for that, and he's almost out of MP. His mind reels as the pain starts to overcome him.

     He retreats backwards, towards his childhood. Towards the stories of Cid the First, who took down Arlaus tav Sternn, the Tyrant-King. His mother told him over and over that the al Cids were great men, and that he would be no different. That the al Cids were a family that stood for what was right, for what was good, for what was just. She told him stories of his ancestors, of great-uncles and great-grandfathers he never knew, and of the great women who supported them (and, in a few cases, were far greater than them).

     But most of all, she had told him of the will that had shaped a continent. Of the will that had broken the backs of the greedy, the tyrannical, the evil, the monstrous. Of the will that surpassed all else, and brought Justice to all who cried out for it. The al Cids were men and women of power, true, but it was their hearts, their unrelenting, burning lanterns of justice that hid within their chests, that made them so.

     These stories are all that drag him forth. These stories are all that keep him standing. The Prince of Ramuh' arm goes around the hole in his stomach, and he starts walking forward. It's a stumbling walk, a clumsy gait, dragging the Judge Blade along behind him. It's the walk of a determined man, a man who has nothing but determination left, a golden specter ready to crumble to pieces. Slowly, it picks up. He picks up the pace, the crystalline blade grinding against the ground, as willpower clashes against otherworldly agony, as righteous fury meets overwhelming pain and smothers it under that famous al Cid heart.

     It was monsters like these that his family existed to oppose. It was monsters like these that his family established the Judges to fight. It was monsters like these that his family ensured would never rise again.

     Sic Semper Tyrannus - so fall the tyrants.

     With the last of his strength, Landon lunges. He swings his fist backwards, like he's about to punch Gwyndolin in the face with nothing more than his gauntlet, like he'd be satisfied by nothing so much as a single strike on the evil God, just one punch.

     And then, just under Gwyndolin's stomach, a blue-and-gold crystalline light shines to life.

     The Judge Blade emerges to stab Gwyndolin straight through the chest as Landon burns the last of his MP, the last of his will, and the last of his concentration for a glorified feint.

     He stands there for just long enough to confirm whether or not his desperate gamble was successful.

     Then he tumbles backwards, his eyes sinking shut, into the waiting grasp of whatever creature deals with golden phantoms.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki is slow to recover from the vertigo her flurry leaves her with, but not so slow that she doesn't notice a bolt of something piercing rushing down the hall, lighting the walls as though it were a star heralding the end of days. Thankfully, Mizuki has enough time to react this time, swerving deftly around one light arrow that comes her way, and practically spinning around a second... before a third one slams directly into her wing, banishing her to the frigid ground. She tumbles in a veritable tornado of cyan flecks and vaguely electrical smog, eventually colliding face first with one of the many crumbled pillars.

    It is some time yet before she recovers enough to rise, recalling her sword from some lonely corner it would have found itself in after her little mishap. Even if this means that she'll be practically immobilized for the remainder of the confrontation, she still has a few tricks saved for a rainy day; expending what little of her energy still remains, she cloaks each of her arms in that familiar monochrome, speeding their movement well beyond the rest of her body. This disparity benefits her in one fundamental way: it gives anything that she throws, as a certain Godkid might say, HELLA VELOCITY. So she grips her sword with each of her hands, carefully training her aim at Gwyndolin with an eagle eye that she most certainly does not possess, and calling forth a trail of some three or four speeding fields to serve as checkpoints. Then she would throw her blade forward, aiming it straight at the God-that-never-was, intending for it to reach him more quickly than he can react to the presence of her little array.

    It's a long shot, if you'll pardon the pun, but aside from a little pea shooter it's all she's got at the moment.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber FINALLY gets to feel the carnal satisfaction of a punch connecting with Gwyndolin and sending him flying. There's a snarling noise as the half-angel puts all of his force into the blow in order to empower that strike when it does send Gwyndolin flying down the hallway and cause him to tumble.

    He doesn't even halt for a moment in his advance. He wants to press the assault, without a moment of respite or an ounce of relief for the Dark Sun. Sweat pours down his brow and mixes with ash and burnt flesh, stinging his eyes. As he sprints, a bloody hand comes up to wipe away the hair, smearing it with some blood. The sheer force at which he struck Gwyndolin was enough to bring the half-angel's own hand up to the wrist from the single blow.

    And he refused to let that be the sum total of his efforts. Hair held messily in place with his own clotting blood, Psyber holds the hand that threw the punch out to his side a bit, letting the twisted hand re-knit itself in moments after he holds it out. Twisted bone and flesh move and right themself, the open wounds on his hand sealing themselves in a single moment of effort. He won't let a broken hand stop him from what he wants to do today.

    He charges at Gwyndolin with a singular fury showing in those red eyes of him. And in moments, it becomes very apparent why Psyber brought his true and physical form today. He does not dodge the flash of light, nor does he attempt to move around it. He does not block it or deflect it. He takes it right to the chest and right THROUGH the chest.

    There's a grunt of pain from the force of the strike, which pushes into the center of his chest and slows his advance slightly. But with fire and fury in his soul, Psyber pushes forward in a determined advance. Even when it sprays out the back of his chest, creating an open wound that explodes with blood and bone from the force of the strike, he pushes in towards the Dark Sun.

    Without his jacket, he can't even hide the wound, which is clear through the chest and would be fatal to a mortal man. Psyber brought his physical body specifically for this moment, where he could take abuse the spiritual form could not endure and then press in towards the finish he wants. He roars with defiance as his boots grip into the stone and he pushes through the blast.

    He regains the speed he lost, but he's leaking blood like it was going out of style, leaving a slick and long crimson trail behind him that shows just how injured he is. He's moving too fast for it to pool, but he's losing enough of it that even his regen is struggling to keep up with both the lack of a heart and the exsanguination. But if anything can be said about Psyber, it's that as long as he can hold himself together with chewing gum and duct tape, on some conceptual level, he will get the job done that he came to do.

    This is good news for anyone on his side. This is bad news for anyone against him. This is terrible news for Gwyndolin.

    With the fury and might of a monster, Psyber roars in towards Gwyndolin with a powerful and righteous anger.

    "Isaiah. Chapter Thirty-Four. Verse two!" Psyber bellows as he closes in on his target.

    He'd pounce upon Gwyndolin, regardless of all other attacks people are throwing and with total disregard of the danger it puts himself into. He'd raise a fist up high, "For the indignation of the Lord..." And then the throws that powerful punch right at Gwyndolin's throat, trying to crush his larynx and both choke him and silence him, "Is upon all nations."

    Psyber's not done yet, though. He has so much more anger to spare for Gwyndolin, "And his fury upon their armies." He wants to throw another punch towards Gwyndolin. And another. And another.

    Psyber practically snarls, "He hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter." He pants when he's done with his assault. By the end of it, his goal was to pretty much pound the Dark Sun into paste on the ground.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    This is exactly what Shirou wanted to have happen in a way. Gwyndolin too distracted with everyone else to pay him any attention. Overwhelmed by the assault and leaving Shirou behind. That's perfect.

    Emiya SHirou is not the best warrior to ever live. He cannot do what Psyber's doing, and what many others are doing. He'll die if he faces someone like Gwyndolin head-on. Numerous excursions and skirmishes have taught him this through the pain of what should've been death several times. He cannot match the Multiverse's heroes through sheer power and outrageous skill. He cannot fight like Saber does and hope to win. Much as he admires it, that's a thing he can never be.

    He will wield this bow instead of the sword. Sir Bedivere's tactics have been pounded into him enough for THAT to settle in...

    "My body is made of swords, a shell of steel with fire for blood." The boy chants quietly, focusing his mind and power. HRUNTING once again appears in a wave of emerald light, to be gripped, stretched out like an arrow, and power pumps into it.

    "I have created over a thousand blades. Never retreating, never knowing victory."

    Yes, even if he wins these fights, he has yet to accomplish his goals. Killing Gwyndolin is not accomplishing his goal. It's an imperfect step. The right answer would not kill anyone. But for now, this needs to be done...%R    Hrunting glows a brilliant red, the quality of this Projection far exceeding the last one. As SHirou's prana flows through it, pushing it past its limits, the forsaken weapon all but screams and howls when it's unleashed. Just like the last shot, it fills the halls with a terrifying light...

    "Think you can just shield this one like the last?!"

    The first Hrunting was underpowered. This one is OVERPOWERED.

    If it strikes... it's gonna be AWFULLY messy. An explosion devastating enough to fill a chunk of the hallway and possibly knock a few people over!

Staren has posed:
    Staren growls as his sword and gun fail to break the shield, but he keeps pressing the assault...

    Until arrows. Suddenly arrows. Staren sees the bow, tries to stay out of the way, but he's not expecting the hall to fill with arrows!

    Shield-piercing, armor-bypassing arrows!

    How could he possibly be ready for that? He's right up front, so he doesn't even get to try and dodge. He can't even scream 'hax' after he's pincushioned -- he can only scream, because of the incredible, overwhelming pain. When he died before, it was instant. This time... even the medical nanomachines trying to numb the pain are overwhelmed.

    Did we mention the pain? Staren fights behind armor and forcefields, or at the helm of a gigantic war machine. While his comrades are injured and sent off to the medbay, Staren generally completes missions without even a scratch on his body. There have been maybe a handful of exceptions -- Staren's reminded of the time Voldemort hit him with the Killing Curse and it just tried to tear his life away... But at least that stopped quickly. Arrows don't.

    Fortunately, the phantom doesn't wait to bleed out before dissipating, leaving a shaken, heavily breathing Staren to wake up back in his chair.


Tomoe has posed:
Somtimes Tomoe wonders if they can hold out against the tide? She doiens't know what can be done for this world but she's seen people make the impossible, possible. Also Gwyn going down would do this world a favour really. The comes a rain of arrows, they are coming down from all over the place and she's trying to dodge however and things are just getitng crazy at this point. She moves with a speed you'd not expect of someone of her size able to do. She still hit a number of times, they protiles are impaled in her body and she keeps going but her HP bar is dropping and she can't quit just yet.

"...I am not going down to the likes of you!"

She's going to get up close and is now caught in the blade storm she's hearing his chant and aborts her attack upon Gwyn as Shirou unleahes hell.

Priscilla has posed:
    As long as Ayako can redirect them, the arrows are simply ordinary, although extremely fast; swerving around her and rattling into the pillars and floor like sharpened hail. Gwyndolin once again raises his barrier as Shirou fires, seeming to need no time to recover after the last one had broken, but the moment Hrunting impacts with it, the half-formed spell is blown to smithereens, sending him reeling back as fragments of gold spray past him. Once Psyber resumes his advance, the least-god skips raising another barrier, instead summoning up his energy again with a flash of light beneath him in another attempt to teleport; having recovered from Nathan's countermagic, and now with nothing in his way to obstruct him. Should he do it, all that remains is to clean up with another one of his building-wide blasts of magic. However, the instant before the spell goes off, he is suddenly flung bodily from his spot; spurting blood in a sweeping trail as he swings back around as if on a string, and then goes flying back towards the Union Elites at the behest of an invisible assailat.

    Mizuki's sword flies straight through his stomach; embedding itself up to the hilt with a wet, nasty thunk. Landon's charge is met head on by his flying body, the momentum causing him to plunge all the way down the Judge's sword, slammed completely through his chest. Still that doesn't seem to kill him. His robes are drenched bright crimson from the waist down, gushing from the scythe wound across his scythe and back and the pair of blades jammed through him, but even a weakling god has incredible constitution. He lifts an arrow to slam it through Psyber's already wounded ribcage as the half-angel descends upon him, but it simply isn't enough. He goes down under Psyber's weight, connecting with the marble floor hard enough for his ornate visor to crack.

    The sound of splitting bone follows, again and again and again. The snakes writhe as Gwyndolin spasms underneath Psyber, still clutching that arrow with a deathgrip as it screws deeper and deeper into his chest, but with no final words, one last punch smashes the last bit of life from his body, causing him to go limp and still beneath the angel. As is the custom of this world, his body disintegrates into the same, glittering, ethereal dust as do the phantoms, drifting away on a ghostly breeze that leaves Psyber to fall directly onto the floor. The soul left behind is just the slightest shade of gold. A pitiful thing barely any different from a human's. It lifts into the air, circling towards a center of invisible gravity, and then disappears. The next moment, Priscilla is pulling Psyber up by the hand.

    The recursive hallway is gone. Not a single one of the pillars have been damaged. The group has come a whole fifty meters at most, and now stand at the very end of the corridor, right before the entrance into the next and final room. Barely visible in the moonlight, a stone coffin worthy of the grandest of mausoleums, but of such gargantuan size that thirty men could fit inside of it, into the face of which is carved the imposing relief of a bearded king; hands resting atop the pommel of a massive sword, and flanked by knights drawn at half his size. A raised platform is set right before it, atop which a collection of offerings lay. Most significantly however, is a lone figure sitting at its foot. A knight in a simple set of mail, wearing a green and white tunic, with a bucket helm over his head. Laying beside him is a simple sword and a shield emblazoned with an emblem of the sun. He appears to be deep in thought.

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako winces when Shirou's Hrunting impacts with Gwyndolin's barrier and explodes violently. She then moves to prepare a barrier to help Shirou-but then the sudden physical assault of so many dogpiling onto Gwyndolin in melee occurs that reduces the white robed man down... and then he dissolves into his soul which is quickly taken by Priscilla.

    Not a moment to spare. She has to help Landon now or his phantom will go out! Ayako quickly shifts her legs over from sidesaddle broom riding to the more expected way of riding a broom. As she does so she gently deposits Nathan on the ground next to Shirou-and then flies off quickly with a blast of water that gushes out of the brush of the broomstick.

    The water spirit goes flying over to Landon, and flings a ball of purple water at him to give him a few more seconds so she can get closer and stop next to him. Ayako's hands cup together in front of herself and concentrates! "Water of Life!" A small ball of golden water forms from her hands and floats in the air. She offers it to Landon. "Landon... please, drink this! It won't work from being splashed on... you have to willingly drink it yourself."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe lowers her blade now as things end and just kinda sinks to her knees for a moment as hting end at this pint she can only watch as things play out in the end with Gwyn and Pysber she wonders for a moment what can be done about this? She cringes and understandf why Psyber came in person to fight she lowers her spear as things sem to be over at this point she looks to the new arrival after she rises now at this point.

"It never gets any easier."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber is thankfully spared from eating a Hrunting to the face due to GM Attack ordering. This is a good thing, because so focused was he on Gwyndolin and so fired up with angelic fury and human rage, that it actually isn't until Priscilla grabs his hand that he stops punching.

    He allows himself to be pulled to his feet by Priscilla, looking over towards her. A moment later, he withdraws his hand, mostly to avoid staining her nice white robes, instead opting to wipe his blood-covered hands on his jeans. Or he tries, but it's difficult to find a clean spot due to all the blood already on it. He settles for a spot on the outer thigh and wipes his hands off.

    He doesn't have much to say to Priscilla or everyone else, so he simply says, "Sorry." To Priscilla.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     Landon stares up at the ceiling. He's in incredible, staggering pain right now, but the knowledge that he stabbed the Dark Sun is fairly important to him clinging on. The massive amount of destruction flies around him, almost unnoticed as he starts to retreat into he recesses of mind.

     Ayako arrives. Landon's eyes fall onto her. The Prince of Ramuh reaches up and takes the water, fumbling with it slowly, his understanding dim and distant, but enough to grasp the meaning of her words. It spills across his mouth as he drinks, drinks, and his wound slowly starts to close. Immediately, he grabs his chest, pouring the remains of his MP into successive Cure spells. It won't save the Phantom completely, but it will buy him time.

     He sits up, slowly, arm across his wound. "That seems to be yet another debt I owe to you, Lady Ayako," Landon offers, his usual gentle smile spreading across his face, "I believe that makes two. Hopefully, I'll be able to repay them sooner rather than later..."

     His head tilts over to look at the Knight, curious. What was that? Who was that?

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    And down goes Gwyndolin, just as everyone was aiming. Shirou grutns to himself even as pain ravages throuh his body. As always, the amount of energy he's putting through his circuits is WAY more than he's used to! Each shot like THAT is like pouring hot lead through his bones.

    He's used to pain. But honestly, there ARE limits...

    And he's been pushing them for days on end.

    When the corridor returns to normal, he drops down to his knees and then forward ono his hands to hold himself up, breathing - and JUST reathing. "He just kept casting and casting. How much magic did he have...?!" And what's more..

    Shirou looks up, gathering his wits, and looks slightly away. "... He could've surrendered, that idiot..."

Nathan Hall (168) has posed:
    "Well." Nathan says, finally coming off of Ayako's broom. Good lord he's looking a little frazzled, but at least Ayako did, successfully, manage to make sure he wasn't SKEWERED AND KILLED, so frazzled is fine. He's breathing a little heavily, but otherwise maintains his emotionlessness. He's having a hard time doing it, considering someone just died for real in front of him. That's always kinda tough for Nathan to be composed around.

    He also still has Psyber's coat, from when he made his first harsh statement. Nathan hands it off to Psyber now. It is, thankfully, just as unscathed as him. Or, you know, mostly. And then he's shuffling over to Solaire, squinting. He sort of stares for a while, politely clasping both hands in front of him to give Solaire his time. He'll wait for a while -- maybe even several minutes! -- but when noticed or after waiting long enough, Nathan eventually speaks to him. "Salutations, Solaire. Once again we meet, with you far ahead of us, likely traveling in opposite directions. How you managed to do it this time, I have no idea, but I am certainly impressed."

    He looks around the wide chamber, staring up at the titanic mausoleum interior, then stays where he is, before the offering area, looking at the huge figure. "Come to pay respects, so to speak? Or are you seeking something else?"

Priscilla has posed:
    "Thou needst not apologize. If thou hadst not snapped first, I wouldst hath done so instead." She turns to Shirou. "At that level of sorcery? Enough to last until the end of time. Though he inherited but a fraction of Lord Gwyn's power, even such an amount is enough for a soul to generate power faster than sorcery of that caliber will use it. As for surrendering, maketh no mistake. He woulsdt voluntarily die before doing so."

    Solaire lets out a sigh as Nathan speaks. Not one that sounds bothered. Just a sigh. "Yes. Respects would be how to best describe it. It has been a long time since last I came here." He slowly gets to his feet, picking up his equipment. "Don't get the wrong idea! The Darkmoon Blades and I have no history. I'm afraid I can't say all of it, but I have a right to come here that even Gwyndolin wouldn't try to revoke. Still, it was inevitable that someone would take care of him sooner or later. He used up all of his power creating the illusions that lay over Anor Londo. Squatting in this tomb, thinking he would make his father proud like this." He turns around. "Since you've been a reliable friend in my travels, I'll ask you a question. Why do you think it is that neither Gwyndolin nor Duke Seath attempted to go to the Kiln of the First Flame themselves? Both of them were waiting for something, but they couldn't have been waiting out each other. Neither of them would ever die of age."

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako continues to focus on Landon... the Water of Life he drank is powerful and works very quickly! Even the hole that was the result from the spear of energy that punched through him is healing. And soon, he is in no danger of dying whatsoever. She smiles cheerfully at Landon and then hops off of her broomstick.

    Her destination? The other person that's very wounded, of course! Ayako makes her way over to Psyber and looks him over quickly. "Eek... Psyber, you're a mess!" The palms of her hands turn upwards and two orbs of purple healing water emerge, floating in the air. "Healing Water!" And she douses Psyber's wounds with them!

Nathan Hall (168) has posed:
    Nathan tilts his head, trying to figure out the chronology of this statement. Solaire doesn't have a history with the Darkmoons, but the Darkmoons came here after Anor Londo was abandoned. And before it was abandoned, he would have needed to pass the trials that their group did, which would have been how many years ago...? And...

    He ponders, for a moment, and tries to come to a conclusion about Solaire. Is he a... Time traveler? No, no. Focus on what is at hand. Nathan gives heavy thought to this. "Well," he says, putting a hand to his chin. "The Duke did not care for this world; its decay merely allowed him to enact his schemes of immortality without hindrance from the more righteous. Although... With more power comes more security. So that does not seem..." He moves on, thinking of Gwyndolin. "He was a coward, of sorts. Perhaps that made him averse to facing more threatening foes? No, that does not make sense either. He was obsessed with idealizations of his family. Why would he not have pursued the path of his father when it was offered..."

    Nathan takes a moment of silence. "There is something I am missing. About the requirements to achieve this goal. Or the means by which it is achieved. Perhaps the goal itself? But you are correct... This strike me as inconsistent with what I know. Have you devised any theories, yourself, while you have been thinking?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber makes an awkward noise when Ayako is dousing his wounds in healing water. But her magical power synergizes well with his personal regeneration and his wounds are soon moving towards manageability. Or at least, he's not outright leaking blood like a shitty old car leaks oil. Which is nice, because Nathan just handed him his jacket.

    "Yeah, well. I don't like people seeing me that mad," Psyber says to Priscilla as he throws the jacket around himself, "So I save my anger for special occasions. I'm glad, at least, some good came of it." He adjusts his jacket and feels like he looks a bit more respectable.

    He doesn't have much more to say, so he'll just hang back and listen for now. He does take a cigarette from inside his coat and light it, starting to smoke.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Shirou isn't especially wounded. He's often overdoing it, and has gotten his butt kicked a fair share of times, but he's not wounded enough to worry about for once. This is evident as he picks himself up - with some struggling - and drags himself down towards where the others are gathering...

    When he arrives, he jsut sort of slumps against a nearby wall without a word. Just an exhausted, frustrated sigh.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe banishes her weapon at this point she looks th Priscilla for a moment as she looks to Solarie for a moment noding to him for a moment.

"...That's a good question. In my experiance power has a price it's like they didn't want to ... pay it almost when you put it that way. OR there's something else they knew that we don't know guarding it."

the Slamander is now lost in thought a bit on this very imporant question Solarie has raised.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     "Power," Landon finally observes, "Is dangerous. The history of my world, and probably every world, is fraught with those who took up power, assured of their own selves, and became lost to it. It is as easy to be wielded by power as it is to wield power, is it not? And though I don't know what this Kiln is, it sounds as if it's something very powerful indeed."

     The Prince struggles to stand up, wobbling for a moment before he collapses against the wall near Shirou. "Perhaps it's a power your enemies don't believe they can control."

Priscilla has posed:
    "It is a conundrum, isn't it?" Solaire says to Nathan. "There are many, powerful beings who would love nothing more than to to ascend the throne, but none of them will take the opportunity. Instead, we are to look to a Chosen, who is destined to do so by proving their divine right. Becoming the Chosen means succeeding Lord Gwyn, and yet, Kingseeker Frampt seems eager to allow even people not of this world to take the role. It seems as if everyone wants someone to do it, but they have a very good reason not to do so themselves." The knight pauses for a long, tense moment, before laughing out loud in his warmly reassuring way. "Such is life!"

    Priscilla speaks to Landon for a moment. "The First Flame is the origin of everything. Its power begat even the gods themselves. The one who enshrined it and built his empire over it ruled as Lord among lords for over a thousand years. There are few who would not wish to follow in those footsteps."

Ayako Hasekawa has posed:
    Ayako makes her rounds, checking everyone and healing them as needed so that they aren't in any danger of dying. "Hmm... Oh, I don't know. It -is- called the Kiln of the First Flame. Maybe they just don't want to be baked to a crisp? It doesn't sound like a place I'd go." She giggles a bit nervously. "I'd probably be barely able to move in a place like that, to be honest."

Nathan Hall (168) has posed:
    Nathan's contemplative posture seems to falter, as if he's more uncertain about this course of action, before he straightens up. "It is certainly worth contemplating, whatever the consequences of this course of action may be. We should be alert for more information about it, but we should not hesitate to act. Please, if you find any information related to this line of thought, bring it to our attention for consideration. And I hope to meet you more, as we continue our journey. It is a good assurance that there are safe steps ahead, when we see you coming the other way." A few firm nods.

    "Until then, we must continue our path. Nothing was ever accomplished by doing nothing, and if there is some awful consequence to ascent, it cannot be so much worse than the decay in this world. There is something here worth wariness, but, as you said. Such is life."