3301/HALLOWEEN 2015

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Date of Scene: 31 October 2015
Location: Reality Works
Synopsis:  ????
Cast of Characters: 2, Priscilla, 134, 183, 227, 253, Theo Morrison, 415, 470, Riva Banari, 518, Zero Kiryu, Sir Gawain, 626, 642, 824

Psyber (253) has posed:

Psyber (253) has posed:
If the prior giant block of text is not clear enough, a final elucidating point: This scene is non-canon.

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Psyber says, "Alright, everyone. With you all briefed and everyone prepared, let's get ready for Halloween 2015."
-<OOC>- Psyber rubs the back of his head, "Admittedly, I'm still figuring out how to get this started, so just kinda... show me some patience, alright?"




















Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "Hey Archangel, is it night or day?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel huhs, "Uh... we'll say daybreak. Just at the start of sun-up. Seems theatric enough."

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
-<OOC>- Vampire Queen says, "Oh, daybreak? Ugh, great, daytime for a vampire on the finale, shows me. Alright."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "Also, eh, a little you-centric is fine, this wouldn't be happening without all the organization you put into it. Nice music choice by the way. Now let me see..."
-<OOC>- The Shadow cracks knuckles and gets to posing.

    "Soooo this is it, then... One last night to party. ... Let's make a bang of it."
    A near whisper- practically a hiss in Archangel's ear, is probably a familiar sensation by now. Moving by day had never been easy for The Shadow, but the crepuscular hours of early dawn breaking today was just fine for her. Still, she remains unseen, little more than a lingering presence, just barely registered as clinging onto Archangel's back for the ride down as he descends from the airship, a raspy, almost murky, chuckle crackling from the wraithlike pony-woman's throat as she pokes her head from the recessed shadows of his cloak, cracked mask as ever flashing its jagged porcelain smile, silver-pink hair spilling in curls from under her jester's hat. "You know, I always said I'd kill for peace, but I guess if I have to die for it, then I'll go out with a smile on my face."
    As ever with her bleak humor, the killer shade rasps throatily, at home in the bloodsoaked charnel fields of constant death and woe as she slinks from the Sovereign's shadow in search of prey to commit the last, ultimate, prank of death upon.

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
    It has been a long, long losing battle.

    The Archangel's powerbase seemed to grow every day, and Lilith's crumbled under her every other minute. The Union Empire gathered power and resources from every world they could like sharks in a feeding frenzy, while the Confederate Rebellion tried to keep a grasp on the scraps it had managed to take, reclaim, and miraculously not lose.

    But the Archangel had grown weary of the war and pushed for a final strike. If they could secure the Valley, nothing else would matter. It's the vantage point to beat all other vantage point, and yet had been in a stalemate for so long they'd begun losing hope it could even be taken. Everything was about to change with this last stand.

    As the Archangel's troops drew close, Lilith's prepared as well. The Confederate Rebellion had received its orders: to stand, to trample, and to seize back. Such an open battle would surely leave holes in the Union Empire's front. They just need to push through one last time.

    One massive, round, spherical ship starts forming, ripping through reality to do so. It floats above the frontlines of the Confederate Rebellion, almost half the size of the battlefield on its own. Then it pulses, malevolently.

    Atop it stands Lilith, in her black robes and strange, dual-colored wings, almost artificial in allure. She is holding a tattered grimoire, which itself resonates with all manners of bad vibes. She talks, but it doesn't translate, and rends the ground troops with insanity.

    The spherical ship warps, and suddenly bursts open as masses of boiling flesh, eyes and tentacles come out of the fractured steel. It had been a long road to gather enough power to do that, but Cthulhu rises again, courtesy of the R'lyeh Text. The creature is fusing with the ship, and it doesn't look too pleasant for it. It's destructive, and that's what counts.

    The last thing she does, is snap her fingers. Incubators come out of the woodworks, the small, white, furry critters each accompanied by a magical girl. Tons of colors, tons of weapons. There's an army of them. Most don't look old enough to swing a weapon, many look scared or are already exhausted from fighting. But they make several lines of defenses.

    Lilith lowers her gaze, glancing at Archangel from across the battlefield with a forlorn look. She'd resigned it would end this way, but had hoped there might be more time. Maybe time enough to figure out how to go back again. Oh well.


Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     It's coming.

     The hammer always had to come. There was no avoiding it - the war couldn't go on forever. Logically speaking, eventually, everybody would be dead on one side or the other.

     Or all of them.

     Because that was the *really* uncomfortable part, the thing nobody talked about, the thing nobody wanted to hear said but everybody knew was entirely possible. At some point...

     At this point, it might very well be a choice between tyranny and nothingness, and the Prince of...no. No, the Prince of Ramuh would never have been able to make that choice. He had been weak, and that had cost him everything he had ever cared about. It had cost him his throne. It had cost him his family. It had cost him Cirra, and Mirielle, and Cassie, and Kamon, and Soan. It had driven his nation into the hands of lunatics. The Prince of Ramuh was a fantasy now, a memory of brighter times, when he had truly imagined that justice could carry the world. There was no justice here.

     But there was judgement. That, he could still believe in.

     Tyranny? Or Oblivion?

     The Warlord takes the field. The crystalline armor wrapped around him pulses with every step as he strides directly into the army. Each step of his foot freezes, paralyzes, silences, dulls, blinds - stacks status effects upon status effects on the Union troopers unlucky enough to be caught in the pulse.

     The Warlord might even say that they've always been blind and dull, were he in a mood to laugh.

     From there, it's just a matter of letting his swords do the work. Countless Judge Blades rain down on the soldiers trapped by the killing field, the heavy crystal manifestations of Law and Order falling like meteors from Heaven or tearing off heads like cannonfire. And anything the Damocles Rain doesn't tear apart, anything not caught in the footsteps of absolute binding...that faces the crystalline cannon-blade slung under the Warlord's right arm. On the rare occasions he bothers to lift a hand, the cannon-blade fires, shredding through rows of upper-class troops in a single shot.

     In a place of madness, an island of order reigns supreme.

     The arrival of the Archangel forces him to turn his helmeted head away from the troops around him. The Avatar of Tyranny had arrived. The Sin-Eater. The Nightmare of Peace. All that the Prince of Ramuh had ever despised embodied in a single man.

     Peace through superior firepower. Peace through the strangling chains. Peace through an absence of conflict. Peace through violence.

     The Ramuhan turns to acknowledge the Archangel's arrival. A Union trooper attempts to kill him in the process, and is simply carved away like an insect. The Ramuhan doesn't even bother to turn as he swats the soldier down. The soldier has made a mistake - he has imagined that the Ramuhan Warlord is so-called because he leads wars.

     That is not correct.

     The correct translation of his title is...


     As the Archangel arrives, one eye burns Rebellion Green...and the other Freedom Red.

     This was the final stand. The final act of Rebellion. The final act of Freedom.

     Would the world fall to Tyranny? Would it cave in and become Oblivion?

     Or would it become...


Mizuki (183) has posed:
    The Empress hangs suspended in the air near the battlefield. As it was when she joined the fight against Kalameet so many years ago, she intends to do nothing at first; only to watch. Certainly the Templar and the Lost Dragon will be here, won't they? It has been long -- too long. How have desperation and time altered them, and altered the way they will respond to their band's maneuvers? Failing the presence of the other tactician, she is one of the few left who knows how to exploit these things. It is a small mercy that she had an opportunity so long ago to see their weaknesses for herself within the pages of Heaven. It is an even greater one that she has remembered each and every one of them up until this point, though again, there's no telling whether new fears have taken precedent over them now. She will have to see.

    Eventually, she fades into existence beside Psyber. For an instant, it feels strange to her that she stands at a height so similar to his; time was, she frequented much smaller forms, back when appearance was not important. But she's more than a philosopher now: she's a politician. Only when the Archangel finally decided on this course of action did she realize that she had truly joined an organization that she could believe in, and only then did she begin to demonstrate any real investment in its affairs. Yes. This has become a regime that can challenge the cycles of sentient kind, and one that can eviscerate the purposeless deadlock between the moral poles. As if symbolically, The Empress summons Aelinos into her hand, tightly gripping the blade.

    She does not care how many of her friends she must cut down to see this through; they will become the blood that anoints the font of future progress. She knows that the decimation of the rebellion will only beget more turmoil, more hatred, more despair, yet this knowledge can not stay her: not when she knows that this is the sacrifice that must be made to achieve true perfection. It is lamentable, but conventional morality has become obsolete. In order for humanity to embrace that which will make it whole, it might return to the primacy from whence it came.

    For once, the woman curbs her penchant for theatricism. Her face is stoic as if in imitation of the General. She keeps her blade pointed downward, its steel reflecting the bright orange glint of the surrounding explosions. After several eternities watching the most brave and foolhardy of the soldiers rush forward at once, spurred on by Psyber's words, she eventually speaks. As is customary, she does not look him in the eyes; there is no need for that sort of earnestness anymore.

    "There's a certain beauty to it," She muses. "The growing pains we go through as people." Her sanguine cloak, a tattered iteration of one all too familiar, flutters a stark silhouette against the rising sun. "I have never understood quite so clearly that there truly is no other way that people can learn but through pain. Only the severance of a limb can teach greatness to the other. Only deafness will make someone truly appreciate the beauty of sound. It is disgusting, you know, how fickle they are. How fickle we are. It is disgusting that this reality was designed such that we must be reared that way. But if you have taught me one thing, 'Archangel'," She finally turns to face him fully.

    "There is no resisting our nature. Understanding it, embracing it just to the point where you can feel it breathing down your neck, placing yourself on the precipice where with the slightest push it might consume you -- that is the only way. This... is the only way in which we may teach them." She allows for a moment of pregnant silence. When she speaks again, it as though the preceding statement had never been spoken.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    "I will give orders via radio as is necessary," She says. "I will attempt to sense the Lost One such that she cannot glean too much advantage from her invisibility. If it is all the same, I should like to be the one to end her if she becomes too grave an issue."

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
<OOC> Lilith says, "CONFEDERATES, you may come in riding the giant spherical SHIPCTHULHU. Also I don't have any shame so I'm leaving this here since I may not get to use it again: QgkkSQe.jpg"

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
-<OOC>- Ramuhan Warlord says, "I'm pretending I was here already to sell Archangel a little bit more. Hooray reinforcements!"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "Geez it's been forever since I've listened to Megalovania. It's really fitting here though"

Theo Morrison has posed:
-<OOC>- The Jack of Spades works on a good counter-intro. Way to raise the bar for the last one, /god/

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Hey, DE, did Dreaming Empress give Eclipse Knight any specific orders before the battle, or should I just wing it?"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "I didn't but I was actually about to ask if anybody wanted me to."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "Was gonna do it over radio"

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "That works for me! Wasn't sure."

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    It was time.

    Never before had it been necessary to unfold the full might of the Murasame Zaibatsu private military machine. After all, Galianda hadn't been destabilized through outright war-not for lack of trying-but through the patient economic manipulation waged both openly and secretly. True success only really came thanks to the innovations aggressively procured by the Zaibatsu from the Multiverse. A small mining operation on a planet here...and Erchius mine here...technology to dominate the markets. It was a long term strategy that Kyra Murasame was perfectly able to pick up.

    Now the fruits of those innovations swarmed throughout the airship fleet of Archangel. Erchius drones, sleek airships, Falcon-class spaceships from the Flotilla's world, and the Neo Ame-no-Torifune fly overhead, crackling with the tainted chaotic energy long since associated with the Murasame name. Central to it all was the Falcon-class Rafflesia, easily recognized by its noxious purple Floran outgrowths encrusting the enormous spacelab.

    Perched atop the Rafflesia in white and golden NEO GOLEM-class armor is none other than the reigning CEO of the Murasame Zaibatsu itself: Kyra Murasame. The wild, seething magical signature is unmistakable. The astute may even be able to spot the Murasame blade itself, sheathed upon the armor at the hip. More concerning, however, is the twin CURE-ALL CANNONS perched over either shoulder.

    The CEO shifts from her strong stance into a kneeling position, clasping her hands together in prayer so gently the metal does not make a noise as it touches. "For peace everlasting. May Cosmos accept our sacrifice. May She guide our loved ones in our wake." She bows her head, remaining silent for a few moments before rising. Gracefully, she gestures a hand and the might of the Zaibatsu descends. It starts with drones but quickly escalates to Galiandan fighter jets and energy weapons carpet bombing of the Confederates below. Only after the opening volley do the KIRIN descend, dropping down in power armor or electing to keep themselves flying indefinitely.

    Kyra does not descend. She knows the Warlord is here and has no need to seek him. He, or perhaps the Templar, would find her.

-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame 8D

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
-<OOC>- Ramuhan Warlord says, "Whelp I guess my choice has been made for the night."

Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
    Wilted Flower has had good days and bad in her role advising Lilith, in terms of just how lucid her advice is.

    Today is not one of her better days, but given that it's likely the last she's going to be there anyway, standing next to the closest thing she had left to a friend, seeming unphased by the speaking from the grimoire even from up close, a hand going to touch gently at the sword at her side.

    "It would be kind of nice if we could at least kill him, before the end." She'll speak. It's probably meant for Lilith's ears. Probably; it was sometimes hard to tell with Wilted Flower. She'll shoot a glance over, this one more clear. "I won't be captured, or the last survivor, or anything like that. But you could still try to rebuild, in another sector, if things take a further turn downhill."

    Even that soft suggestion, just a hair away from a focus on revenge, is giving a lot. It betrays the medic's certainty of how far behind in this they truly were.

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
    Dawn.. She'd almost forgotten what it looked like. The grand capital of her homeland, sitting on the edge of the sea, in the morning light. The pearl and silver spires of the palace, the shadows cast over the docks far below. The many noble houses, and their estates, towering above the bustling markets below. And gods, the noise. Free men and women, going about business and leisure.

    She'd nearly forgotten her own home. How the dawn's light would light up the foyer, as the sun's rays caught on the grand stained glass window bearing her family's arms, throwing the image onto the polished marble floors. The sound of her brothers and the servants going about their morning affairs.

Demacia. She'd nearly forgotten her home. Somehow, just seeing that is able to remind her of it, again. It's all she has left of who she was.

Fiora, of House Laurent. Now just another grand, bloody monument to Noxian conquest. Few she once knew survived, even among those who participated within the Institute of War. The hall of the Summoners was laid low, Runeterra itself purged of anything Noxus did not deem.. suitable.

So, she gave up the one thing she prided herself on. Her name. A name she had fought to the death to defend, to protect. It was why she fought. All that ever mattered. But, she'd give it up again, if it meant restoring everything to the way it once was. Forced to sell her skills, to try and do jus that, it's all she has left. Her talents with a blade.

They can't take that away, at least. They may not know her name, but they'll know her sword, soon enough. She wouldn't normally ally with these types, but.. They pay well. And money is what she needs to help restore her home. That, and victory today.

"Live by the sword, die by the sword. This is the only way I've ever known.." Drawing her blade, the woman who'd been known as Fiora lets out a weary sigh. "Let it end today. The last sword of Demacia will either claim her victory, or be broken."

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    The Vampire Queen sat in her 'study', having long been converted to a war-room of sorts, with the surroundings of the Kuran Mansion lit by the first rays of dawn. Overlooking the Blood-soaked Valley, it was where she had observed most of the pitched battles that happened on 'her' territory, and where she had seen so much suffering, hardship, and death. Now and then she'd take a break from standing on the pitted balcony to return inside, read from a book or sip room-temperature wine from a chipped glass - small luxuries afforded her position, and the few she would accept in these times.

    It had been a night as quiet as any other, the faint sounds of battle and scents of blood plucking at her senses and reminding her of her resolve. The massing of Union troops for a push was nothing new, but throughout her night's vigil more and more soldiers appeared, and she feared this was the day she had been dreading the most.

    The Archangel's appearance upon his flagship was the sealing act, though, as tired red-tinted eyes had longed for nothing than a day's rest. Gathering herself, as the Confederate Rebels take the field, pressing her fingers into her eyes. Steel and power were what was expected of her, but she was tired. Tired of the death, tired of the sleepless days and long nights, tired of losing friends...

    Forever was such a long time to fight. But she was the 'Queen', and others looked to her for nobler traits than she possessed. Retreating to her room, she turned to find Hanabusa Aido to gather the rest of the Den's protectors, her manservant and companion for years, but... He had been claimed by the Shadow, his melancholy and self-depricating humor not enough to force a smile on that madwoman's visage.

    Leaning against the wall, she took long, deep breaths. She wanted nothing more than to fall into her bed and let things end. Her inner monster though, calm and comforting as always, bouyed her, told her that she had the power to protect if she would just claim it one more day, and with a few blinks to cleanse her fatigue, she moved from her room to the inner balcony overlooking the common room where her friends, her allies, her Monsters gathered and recouperated.

    "Everyone! The mad Archangel and Lilith have both taken to the field for a decisive battle. To tromp across our den and to visit violence indiscriminate on all. If you can fight, join the Dragon and the Hound. Drive off anyone who enters our territory. And if you find the Sellsword or the Shadow?"

    She grips the bannister, driving furrows in with a white-knuckled grip. "Kill them without mercy."

    She steps back, recomposing herself. "We'll buy all the time we can for those who cannot fight to be evacuated far away from here. Even if we fall, we cannot let hope die because someone decided their 'peace' came at the price of all."

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Lilith says, "Would it be the same, Flower, if we just ran and rebuilt? If we went by knowing we accepted this sector was done? The guilt would eat us. And eventually, they would find us again, having grown even more. We won't get another chance to cut the head of the beast off like this. If we don't take it, we may as well surrender. Clear a path to the Archangel and attempt to put the Union Empire in the Monsters' path! They won't stand by idle here."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress says, "Archangel, they will certainly come for you. I would like to allocate some resources to aid you, even if only to serve as secondary targets. I trust you to handle yourself, but if and when you should fall it will have an infinity of resonant reprucussions that we simply cannot afford. To say nothing of the fact that your mere presence here will serve to distract the leaders of the breakaways."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress says, "As for the rest of you, orders are forthcoming."

Sir Gawain has posed:
At the front of the Empire's forces, the Eclipse Knight stands ready. Dressed in tarnished armor that once glowed, with a dusty yet sparkling blade of faerie birth in his hands, the helmed knight took a breath and steeled himself. Tonight was the end. Tonight peace would come, whether he stood or fell. The sun would be uncovered, released for the world, and the moon that hid it destroyed.

When he was known as 'Sir Gawain, Knight of the Sun', it was his cheer that stood with most. He smiled through every battle, laughed and hollered as he fought, bringing joy to the troops. But that all changed when he lost his home, his king, and his family. The loss of Arturia, Bedivere, and Dun Realtai sealed that happiness away, leaving a sad man hidden behind a helm, a star that had lost its radiance. He only had his Master to command him, his sovereign to believe in, and his comrades to support him. Tonight, everything would be worth it. Peace would return, and if he fell, he would be with the others. He had no regrets.

And so, he turned briefly to the troops around him, raising his sword into the air. "My friends! Show them no mercy! Make them regret ever going to blows with us! Kill them!" And with that, the Eclipse Knight charged into the opposing forces, ready to take down any opposition he <span style="color:ould.

<cxterm108">Empire-IC</span>> Eclipse Knight says, "Understood, Master. I am prepared."

Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Wilted Flower says, "There won't be a we in running. But you're right; I'm sorry for doubting that your will is the same as mine. Let's end this, then."

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> The Sellsword says, "Victory or defeat, my sword will be yours. Until it breaks, or I do. Lead on."

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame says, "Oh yeah, for the last time probably..."
<DICE ROLLER> Kyra Murasame rolled 1d100 <99> + 0 = 99
-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame says, "Oh myyyy"

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Good job, Kyra. I'll just be waaaay over here."

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Wild Card says, "Heheh. Well, it's like I say, isn't it? Sometimes, you don't fight to win. You fight to show the other guy you mean business."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    The fundamental nature of the Hound has been at odds with what he's doing for a long time now. You'd think it wouldn't really matter, if you knew him only from a distance. It's not as if he comes across as sympathetic or anything but an empty workaholic who murders other people for a living, even if those 'people' can be reasonably defined as a serious danger. At his best, he's still fairly abusive to the people close to him. Only a few people have been close enough to him to think that the path his life had taken was sharply out of character.

    The truth is, the start of it hadn't bothered him at all. Kaname had raised him up as a tool to protect Yuuki, strategically placing him where he would always be of "help" while staying just safely out of reach of reprisal. It could even be said that he had saved the Hound's life once, not that he was at all grateful for it.

    Why should he be?

    So acting to bring about his demise hadn't troubled the Hound in the least, and if he thought things would get worse from there, he didn't say anything about it. Now, he doesn't say almost anything at all, ever. Much like his initial change, it's so close to his original persona that nobody saw a reason to question it.

    A man easily perceived to be heartless killing a hated rival? Hardly troublesome at all.

    But now he's hungrier than he's ever been, and if that weren't bad enough he's surrounded by others at least as bad as himself.

    The Hound isn't with the others. He can hear the speech being delivered through the walls separating him from Yuuki, but he had to remove himself. He lingers in a dimly-lit washroom, so hungry he's ill, and plots in isolation.

    They're not innocent, and truthfully, they never were. They didn't deserve a guardian of any kind, much less her, and if they started acceptably then they'd long since stopped being so. Shaking lightly, the Hound reaches into his pocket and draws out the heart. It had been in his possession for a long time, lingering variably in lockboxes and on his person since Yuuki had devoured the other half.

    Holding it is all the worst sensations he can imagine rolled up into one. Like nails on a chalkboard combined with screeching glass, the scrape of cardboard, and the searing taste of stomach acid bubbling up into your throat. It's revolting. But he raises it to his mouth and bites down anyway, embracing the fleeting relief to come.

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Wild Card adds, "And to make sure he's gotta live with the memories. Price to pay, stuff like that." Knucklepop.

Theo Morrison has posed:
They say that on days like this, when Archangel is on the offensive, it's his lieutenants that you really have to worry about. The man himself is like a force of nature, overwhelming in strength and presence, but if he actually /fights/ you... well, that's all they wrote. Why bother worrying?

The Jack of Spades appears as he always does: a young man in a black long coat, with stitched-together scraps of finery from numerous mages covering him underneath it. A slew of trinkets hang off the coat, giving way to a haunting chiming wherever he goes. Each one is the symbol of an organization that he faced off with and defeated, and each one is charged with mana for the taking. The old Ravnican Guilds are prominent, but a vial of glistening oil and a blue-eyed white dragonhead pin catch the light with equal strangeness.

"I'm not really one for grand gestures," he asides, after Archangel and the Empress have had their say. It's a lie, but it comes off with a certain amount of levity. He nods towards the distance, the spherical ship forming. "Here they come," he calls. "Positions! Second and third bulwarks, ready to hit the ground at my command!" The Empress certainly won't be giving many of those, he thinks bitterly. She'll lose interest and he'll have to do it. It would make his life easier if she mused less and commanded more.

The ship, Lilith's ship, begins to fully manifest. The Jack of Spades strides forward with a sort of casual confidence, stepping to the edge of Archangel's vessel. He squints across the field at her, running one hand through red hair and letting the other pull a deck of cards out of his coat. He takes a breath through his nose, his expression thoughtful. He prepares to summon something -- and then gets a whiff of what /she's/ preparing.

Madness comes. He surrenders the first spell for the casting of a second, rushing forward and vaulting over the railing. Enchantments worked into his clothing bear him aloft, carrying him forwards instead of straight down. He gets in front of the flagship, bringing the hand from the top of his head down and holding it in front of him, palm out. He can almost feel it, brushing the surface of his mind --

"Force of Will."

There is a muted flash of blue light. The horrific, mind-rending madness ceases its eternal advance the moment it reaches him, the words rolling off him and parting like a wave. The center of the formation of ground troops is spared, and the safe zone spreads out in a V-shape behind him. The flagship, and the strongest fighters in their forces, are spared. Many, many others are not -- and thats just her /opening move/.

"Well, alright then." Almost absently, the Jack of Spades lowers his gloved hand and touches something at his belt: a tarnished badge, with a darkened and broken crystal at the core. Quicksilver wires connect it to his belt, stabbing into the dead Abstractum's remains. The wires light up, and he releases the deck, letting it orbit him lazily while seven cards fan out in front of him. He gives them a look, nods slightly, and raises his voice as he drifts towards the corpse-filled ground.

"/Game on/."

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Ramuhan Warlord says, "There are no further stands. This is where judgement will be done. Tyranny, or oblivion? What will emerge from this blood-soaked field of sorrows? The worlds have chosen against us time and again, hiding beneath the comfort of peace and prosperity at the expense of all that makes them people. The chains close about our neck like nooses. To run is to prolong the inevitable. Let it end here, come what may - even if all the worlds cave in and become oblivion."
<Rebellion-IC> Ramuhan Warlord says, "I will not run. If you wish to leave, you may."
-<OOC>- Ramuhan Warlord says, "Yeah I pretty much expected that."

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
    The past couple years have taught the girl known as Wild Card more than a little about 'being a hero'. Much of it in the form of some very painful lessons. Lessons about what it means to fight, what it means to /lose/. Rather than breaking the naive, idealistic girl, however, it's forged her into something steadfast and straightforward, willing to step up and put everything on the line for what she thinks is right even when she knows it will only get her hurt.

    Today is going to hurt. A lot.

    "...Hooo, they sure did bring the whole Imperial Army," she says, sounding perhaps a bit more carefree about the whole thing than she actually feels. That's a lot of them. This is probably a losing battle. But even a losing battle can have meaning, right? If nothing else, they can make the Union feel it for years to come, show them just how strongly they believed the Archangel had taken the wrong path. A slightly more cynical corner of her mind also wonders if they'll see all the death and chaos and realize that they'd done exactly what they were hoping to stop. But it's unlikely. And she's accepted this.


    "Well, Saber," Wild Card says, slipping a card out of her holder and grasping it between her index and middle fingers. "How about we get going on a bit of Rebellion?" The car flares crimson as she speaks the word, and with a few more steps she takes a running jump right off the massive ship, just as the massive Elder God begins to emerge from it. In mid-air, a brief flare of white sparks engulfs her, wrapping her arms in distinctive metal; the distinctive armor of the Dark Hero That Rebels Against All Tyranny, sized down to human scale as she draws out just a bit of power from The Beast. Enough so as to turn her eyes green, but no more than that.

    It's also enough that when she lands, slamming her fists down into the ground to kill her momentum, Wild Card also creates a crater, blasting out a small shockwave enough to blast the troops nearest her off their feet. Already, the aggression of The Beast has sunk in, but like this, she's at least not completely mad.

    Although she is rather /angry/, to judge by the way she's swinging her fists...

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Tarnished Saber says, "The world won't end. I'm not going to let it end, not when I have so much unfinished business here."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "Okay, orders going out in a second. Sorry about the wait."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dream Empress says, "If I may offer a suggestion, Archangel, I recommend that you put yourself in the heart of the conflict. Draw their attention and force them into the open; you have the endurance that they do not, and I have faith that you will have ample time to retreat if need be. Still, I would like Eclipse Knight to remain by you as a safety precaution. As for you, Shadow: use your stealth as you will to put yourself in positions of consequence, and if you see an opportunity to deal a debilitating blow to one of the enemy leaders, do so. Kyra, I believe you do best when you have some range with which to exploit your magical talents, so keep your distance and remain in a position where you can heal the wounded if necessary. Jack of Spades, I leave with you a similar suggestion."

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Ramuhan Warlord says, "If it comforts you to believe that, then feel free."

Theo Morrison has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "I know how to win the game, Emps, thanks."

Sir Gawain has posed:
<Empire-IC> Eclipse Knight says, "Understood. Your wish is my command."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Swinging his hammer up and across his shoulder with the grinding sound of metal on metal, Archangel replies to Pinkie with a serious, "We all die some day. Even were I to fall here, it would be acceptable to secure peace." He notes, beginning to walk towards the fields of battle in a determined fashion. The Shadow would find appropriate prey, he would see to that.

<Union Empire> Archangel says, "Shadow. Go take care of their own ninja. I don't want her interfering."

    As a line of battle troops next to him are forced to rush forward to engage with the novice Puella Magi and the hanging image of Cthulhu possessing a ship appears in the air, the man looks upward and through the slits in his helmet, "Tch. Never let it be said my daughter lacked my own ingenuity. I taught her too well, perhaps," He muses as he grips the hammer in one gauntleted hand and moved forward.

    There would be so many here that wanted his blood, but to not fight beside his men in their final battle, win or lose, would defy the purpose behind all his actions: He would become the Monster of the Multiverse if to grant it peace. And so the Bloody Tyrant can feel the Lord of War as his existence flares in response to his own presence.

    He raises his hammer and slams it into the ground in front of him, erupting the earth in a spray of fire, concussive wave, and sheer cracks in the earth. He's trying to scatter the front line of magical girls as he shouts, "You fight for Lilith? FOR WHAT? She will have you die to perpetuate war! I would spare you if you only accepted peace." He bellows angrily, swinging his hammer up and across his shoulders again.

<Union Empire> Archangel says, "Very well. No matter what, this battle decides Sector Zero."

Riva Banari has posed:

I write to remember who I was. I write to remember who I am. I write to remember who I will be.

That's how it began, and that hasn't changed. But you never want it to go this way. Now I have to write in order to make sure that something, /anything/ will remain after this is over. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and we've taken the express past Dis straight outta Malebolge, right into Cania.

It's still hard to tell the exact point when everything fell apart. For everything I know, for everything I tried, it's just kept slipping through my fingers. Sometimes I wonder if these wounds can even be healed, or what will be left if the bleeding can be staunched. Everyone I loved and respected seems to have vanished in the chaos or have fallen into line behind the Archangel, and now it seems like there's nothing left to do.

If we fail here, if we break, there's going to be nothing left. I chose my path trying to find a way to make them see reason, trying to reach them. No amount of psychological analysis, discussion, begging, favors, debates, or argument have been able to sway them.

If we fail here, the Archangel... Well, he has more than one weapon that can kill immortals. Why hasn't he killed me?

Does he want to make a point? Is he hoping I'll give in?

Or is it punishment? The thought of that freezes me to my soul. If we fail here, there will be no one left. That can't be allowed to happen.

I am Templar. I am a protector for those who cannot protect themselves. Even in the smouldering, filth, wracked ruins of Ealdwic, some things will never die. Some gifts can never be taken away.

One day, I'll be able to turn the pages back and allow myself to remember the days of wonder and happiness, the times we shared, the names we all had before this terrible fall. Right now, looking upon the bloody sunrise... The pain is too much. Even now I still can't lock away my heart.

Not like they seem to have.

It's time. I can hear him speaking now even across the field. There has to be something that can be done. I have no idea what, but I can't let that hope die.

Not even now.

I was always stubborn.


The cracked, scorched red leather book closes with a creak. Old already, the immortal woman hopes it will remain longer still. Adjusting it into a chain-wrapped pouch on her back, the shifts to pull a massive, blackened hammer from her back. It creaks and seethes with the energies of a dead Age, mashed together with half-remembered technologies and magics in order to make it a suitable weapons. Somewhere in there, it almost appears anchor-like, giving a hint perhaps as to the original appearance of the weapon. At her sides, twin claws rest upon her hips, mutated and crackling things that were never part of a normal reality and never looked like they belonged there. As the Lord of War stepped forward, so did the Templar. She never really connected with the man before the Fall, but his name, too, rests in that red book. She looks off of the massive abomination of ship and eldritch horror, and pulls a sleek techno-hoverboard from that enigmatic place she keeps all her stuff. She brushes off some black goo from the surface by habit, and leaps onto it.

"Animus." She whispers, and there is an explosion of blue light behind the Templar, seething energy wings of gold rippling from her back moments before she launches forward. She will be a vanguard. She will lead the way.

Riva Banari has posed:
And the Rebels are not without an angel of their own... An Angel of Death. While the Templar may despair of it, it is also the only thing she has that she can use to contribute. As the Ophanim of the Celestial rips through the air like a comet, rippling explosions of raw gold Anima pummel into the oncoming storm, trying to desperately blunt the assault with a moment of brilliant, screaming light, trying to force others to focus on her insanely durable form.

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
Morning was not the best time for the Tarnished Saber, though she could at least appreciate the time of day chosen for this final stand. Her hair whips in the wind as she stands next to Wild Card. "I'm glad they brought an army. My sword has been itching to fight one again after so many centuries..." One hand rests on the hilt of her shorter sword, fingers slowly curling around its wrapped handle.

"Mmm.... If you're using that card, Master, be careful." She tilts her head slightly toward Wild Card, then takes a breath and leaps off the deck immediately after.

Tarnished Saber's own jump is much less flashy, and she lands silently in the battlefield with little flair. While others are flailing or flashing or exploding, she simple draws her sword and whispers, channeling mana into the blade. A single swing, and an invisible cutting force sweeps out toward the enemy forces nearest her.

Sir Gawain has posed:
<Empire-IC> Eclipse Knight growls as he is hit by an invisible force. "Hng...they've brought a Servant. Permission to engage?"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dream Empress says, "If it will be a persistent issue, deal with it quickly. Deal as much collateral damage in the process as you can."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dream Empress says, "Kill them en masse and quickly. They are already short on morale -- the loss of many troops and-or their leaders would secure a swift victory."

Theo Morrison has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "They still have any of those? I thought we cleaned up /that/ brand of mess months ago."

Sir Gawain has posed:
<Empire-IC> Eclipse Knight audibly nods. "As you wish, Master. I will strike them down."

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Kyra Murasame, "Oh, of course, Empress. Today feels like a...good day for magic. Yes~!"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress says, a bit more softly, "... remember. The more quickly we can deter their miserable quagmire of a resistance, the fewer that will be made to die in its defense. Even if we draw more blood directly now, more may well be saved through our ferocity. I should hope that clears away any lasting reservations the lot of you may yet hold."

Theo Morrison has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "Terrific. Have your good day over there. See if you can keep them from aggroing the monster population down on us, huh?"

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Kyra Murasame, "Don't worry, I will take very, very good care of everyone~"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress is now picturing a yandere Kyra. "It is a beautiful mental image."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight grins, "Man, Kyra, you're really ramping up the creepy today. Keep it up."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Are you saying she's not already Yandere Kyra, DE?"

Theo Morrison has posed:
-<OOC>- The Jack of Spades says, "She's always been yandere, you just have to keep her up to all hours for months at a time to get her to play it up :V"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "wow is that all i have to do to raise a legion of yanderes"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress just gives everyone in the Empire limitless rations of coffee patches, instant blitzkrieg

Theo Morrison has posed:
-<OOC>- The Jack of Spades says, "It's easier than anyone ever suspected. But these are dire days, and the yandere hordes are needed...!"

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
    "You think they know the truth?" Lilith asks.

    "You think I told them? You think I had time to ensure each one was groomed and able to handle it? Your push, your haste, my desperation, it all plays in MY hand this time, Archangel."

    She isn't proud. She isn't happy. But a tool is a tool. The Rebels deploy, and the lines of Puella Magi crash into the Empire's troops. Psyber lands amidst them, scattering the weak girls left and right with idle swings of his hammer. It takes so little effort. They couldn't stop the man who vowed to become the one monstrous tyrant of the Multiverse if they tried. But in their deaths and despair, hope for the Rebels.

    As Soul Gems break and shatter, and taint pitch black, as girls break down and fall to their knees at the horrors of the battlefield, their bodies fall one by one, limp to the ground, dead. Shockwaves surge out from them, and for each dead magical girl a Witch is born. A paper dragon, a glass knight, beings of shadow and raw elements. It's difficult to describe each and every one of them, but sustained by Lilith's own invisible Barrier, they advance against the Empire's own troops, sending out waves and waves of powerful mental urges. 'Kill yourself' chief amongst them.

    "Rebels, the Monsters are coming! Do your best to drive the Empire towards them! Flower, watch for stealthers. Wild Card, Saber, Warlord, enact the routing, prevent their forces from rallying at all. Sellsword, I require a surgical strike. Find whoever is giving them their orders, likely the Empress. Cut her tongue out. Templar... how long do you think you can hold the Archangel at bay?"

    The CTHULHUSHIP just kind of fires lasers.
    Unreality lasers.
    It's really just a backdrop to stand on at this point, beyond the fact its presence is a constant mental effect.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "Actually shit there is something I could be doing right now"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "Archangel can I toss you a page?"

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Hey Tarnished, mind if I track your mana signature after getting hit by the attack?"

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
-<OOC>- Ramuhan Warlord says, "Alright, Kyra, Archangel, well, you want the Lord of War, you got it."
[LOG: 3301] Ramuhan Warlord has posed

     The Lord of War feels it across the field. The Archangel's pulse calls to him. They are both Monsters, after all, of a fashion. The scale may be different, the goals may be different, the ideals may be different, but they are both Monsters. In a way they are all Monsters. Perhaps it was the Den that had the right of it after all. Perhaps it was the Den that deserved to feast on the carcasses of the worlds.

     Look at him. Thinking things like 'deserved'.

     That isn't how the worlds work. That isn't how people work. That isn't how anything has ever worked. The Lord of War took that into his heart a long time ago, when he had gained insight into the true nature of the Exaltation, when he had grasped and replicated its true form then learned the true reason the Infernals were called losers.

     Because someone else was stronger. Power was all that determined 'deservedness'.

     No. Not yet. The Lord of War shakes his head as his hand snaps the neck of a Union soldier before he even realizes he's done it. The crystalline gauntlet closes around the throat and shatters it in an instant as the Lord of War walks through the battlefield, blazing green and red. He cannot afford to let himself fall to that way of thinking just yet. Even if all that awaits the worlds is oblivion, the Lord of War...no, Landon al Cid...

     No, the man he once was...

     ...no. The people he once loved.

     The people he once loved would be tarnished if he fell so easily. His grip around the cannonblade tightens as he marches into the ranks of those defending the Rafflesia. With almost criminal casualness, the Lord of War smashes, crashes into the ranks. The Damocles Rain inverts itself, the stream of Judge Blades streaking upwards to dogfight Galiandan fighter jets.

     "Judgement," the Lord of War declares as he stops before the Rafflesia. His voice rings outwards, carrying with it its own binding effect - and Silencing several of Kyra's casters with just a word.

     "The sacrifices you make are not yours to make. You are blinded by the light of Self-Righteousness to the Truth of this world. You have devoured sin and justice alike to serve your dreams of being deliverers of peace."


     The words aren't spoken. The idea - the *concepts* - Law, Chaos, and Rebellion that balances between them - roar out of the Lord of War as he turns the cannon-blade upwards. All around, a silence falls over the noise of battle, as the Lord of War takes hold of his element.


     The cannonblade fires straight upwards, a beam of brilliant light. It fires for the Neo Ame-No-Torifune - a statement to Kyra, to the Archangel, and to the entire Union.

     The Lord of War will make his final stand here. Whatever else the Rebellion may choose, in this place will the Lord of War choose his destruction.

     "Come, Kyra Murasame. Come, Archangel. Come, those I once called friends. The Lord of War will break the noose of chains and show you the Truth of this world."


Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "Okay so I got permission to do this."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight grins, waiting to see what happens. "OH BOY."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Shadow giggles muckily, "I'll have her smiling... From ear. To. Ear~."

    Orders received, The Shadow is on the move. Slinking along the battlefield like a sliver of darkness sliding along the last vestiges of what she knows will perchance be her final night. Her final glimpse of the rising sun. And still she moves with a porcelain smile upon her face, as fluid as liquid night itself, with one final sentiment of parting towards the Soveriegn. "I can live with that. HAHA! Get it? Live with that? Ehhhh nevermind."
    Occasionally she toys with a Rebellion soldier. Garotting a man with silly string and yanking him to dangle upside down in front of his comrades. Opening a throat and using the arterial flow of liquid life to fingerpaint funny faces on a cowering trooper. Turning a soldier's tongue into a silly bow-tie on another corpse. Sliding in and out of vision as she makes her way through the bloody site of endless tri-faction massacre.
    How many peopls has she killed now? For the sake of peace was it? Too many. Far far too many.
    The pony-woman had always told herself, if maybe she could just get the important ones, that number would be less, but in the end for all her attempts at subtlety she fashioned herself into more of a butcher than an assassin. A blunt giggling tool with the precision of a hatchet, pretending to be a scalpel.
    She had come close once, to the Vampire Queen. And in the end settled for taking away someone dear from her when she couldn't kill the Queen herself.
    She had played for so long at being an assassin. A skilled blade in the darkness. Pretending for far too long, to not be the hurt child that truly wanted to return to the way things were over fifteen years ago.
    "Wil~ted~ Flo~wer~."
    Say one thing for the pony that once called herself Pinkamena Diane Pie, under that cracked mask.
    Say she's theatrical.
    It's a whisper in the ninja's ear. And the only warning of the sudden stroke of one wicked curved blade lashing out from a shadow, aimed for a sinister and cheap strike. How she managed to get aboard the Cthulhuship is anyone's guess, but her intent is fairly simple... To tackle Wilted Flower clean off of it and fight her aaaaaaall thw way dowwwwn.
    "Capture? That's silly! I thought you were looking a little glum so I figured I'd put a smile on that face! And neck. And back. And-- you know what Smiles for everyone! Smiles EVERYWHERE! IT'S GONNA /RAIN SMILES/! HEHEHEHAHAHEE!"

>>> SUMMARY - The Shadow <<< - Tackling WILTED FLOWER off the CHTHULHUSHIP for dramatic mid-air ninja fight.

Riva Banari has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> The Templar says, "You want me to go after Archangel? All right. Don't let everyone pile in on him again, that's what he wants. I'll try to stall him out as much as I can."

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
    Cut off the head of the snake? She can do that much. The hard part will be cutting the bloody path to that point. And once she gets there, will she have the strength to do so? Either way, she has her task. The Sellsword steps forward, blade drawn, staring down a squad of Union troops. "Stand aside, or die." They don't, of course. They never do. And they're never successful in what follows, either. The dozen or so men, armed with swords, guns, and whatever other weapons the Union chose to gave them.. Not a one touches her. She's a blur of black and dark silver, still a painter with a brush, that only uses red.

The men come away, if they come away at all, missing limbs or worse. "You shall not strike back.."

"Hear me, Empress. I'm coming for your neck. I hope you have someone with some talent guarding you today, or I'm going to claim it for good, this time."

With that, she dashes forward, going about cutting that bloody trail to her ordained goal.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "And yet you paint ME as the monster because I desire peace!"

    Archangel shouts back at Lilith, gripping his hammer in his hands as he realizes the true darkness behind her plans. He looks left and right, trying to gauge the power level of the Witches that are now beginning to plague his troops. His free hand grabs a massive pistol off his side, shooting to the side and trying to drop the weaker witches before they can fully actualize their fields. It's mixed results at best, due to him trying to also spearhead the charge.

    "You should have been AT MY SIDE, 'LILITH'!" He spits angrily, the words leaving his mouth like angry venom, not wanting to use her real name and instead her alias, "Himei I expected to turn against me. But none broke my heart so much as you, Duet, and Laine!" He screams towards Lilith, "And I have soothed that by putting them all at peace but you. That ends today."

    He slams the hammer down behind him, digging it deep into the ground before he starts to drag it behind him. The force of his hammer and the strength of his pull as he runs are opening up a several-foot deep ditch to allow his shocktroops cover against enemy fire as they follow him zealously into the middle lines of the battle. Let it be said that for all he changed, the Archangel still attempts to protect his own where he can.

    "Rebellion Troops! If you put down your weapons and surrender, I promise you a peaceful existence at the end of the war! You will be treated as citizens of the Empire, you merely have to walk away from battle and swear your allegiance and non-aggression." He shouts amidst the troops, giving them just ONE last <span style="color:hance.

<cxterm108">Union Empire</span>> Archangel says, "Push their troops into the maw of the Den. I want the Queen's monsters to feast upon the Rebellion's monsters."

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber says, "Belatedly, sure thing, Eclipse. It's a pretty unique weapon, for a given value of unique."

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> The Sellsword says, "On the move. She won't escape this time."

Psyber (253) has posed:
<Union Empire> Archangel says, "She's sacrificing her frontline Magi to generate the damn Witches. We're going to need to protect our troops or the madness will drive them into the Den before we can cement their aggression on the Rebellion. We HAVE to get them to wipe eachother out here."
<Union Empire> Archangel says, "There will be no one to stop us this time.."

Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
    Wilted Flower manages to recover herself a bit, a hand staying near her sword as she watches the Puella army go forth. Not speaking as to her judgement of the plan, whether approval or disapproval, but simply watching its effectiveness.

    At first, at least. She seems to notice The Shadow's move a moment before it happens, and her sword is there to meet the blade striking at her. Which is fine, and all, except for the part where she's still knocked back just as effectively, going over the edge of the ship and into a midair fight, legs kicking out in a slight moment of panic.

    She is not an aerial ninja. If she can manage to keep up until they get back near solid Earth, she might be in better shape, but for the moment she's going to fight cautiously, trying to keep her sword in between herself and the Shadow.

    "...You. Do you think this will make you matter in this particular conflict? My part is nothing; yours even less." She doesn't seem too emotional, at least, as she lashes out with one foot during a flip, trying to get an attack in while The Shadow might be watching her blade, actions belaying her nihilistic words.

Sir Gawain has posed:
The Eclipse Knight charges through all that stand in front of him, his blade already dipped in the blood of his enemies. But he's not the only Servant here. Tarnished Saber's attack slams into him, knocking the troops around him off their feet, killing several with the slashing, and causing the knight to stagger onto his knees. Quickly regaining his balance, he knows a Servant dished it out, and begins searching for the massive body of mana that had to do it.


To the Eclipse Knight, the rival Servant is the biggest threat there is. A Servant has the most capability of taking him out, and if he falls, Archangel's defense begins to crumble. He will not let them succeed. He ramps up his speed, leaping upwards in a huge burst in order to get an aerial view. And from there, he spots a familiar face. One he once worked with, thought of as a friend. But that will change nothing. "You! It has been a while...but not long enough! You will fall, and then shall your Master!"

And with that, the Eclipse Knight crashes forward with his blade, aiming to slam from midair straight into the Tarnished Saber. He is not holding back tonight, and he will do anything to ensure he wins.

Theo Morrison has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "I've got a plan for the Magi. Shouldn't be long. Reserves are on the way to the front."
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "They'll... handle the insane. It isn't the first time."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "Oh right, as this is kind of so big and I just flying dutchman tackled Flower- should we pair off orrrrr?"

Priscilla has posed:
    Once in her life, the Lost Dragon had thought she might come to be something like this. A very, very long time ago, a thousand years before she'd ever heard of a 'multiverse'. For a brief, naive period, her disillusionment with the politics, and the hearts, of men and gods had lead her to dream of her own little haven where nobody fought, and nobody died. Once she had possessed it, though she was far too young to protect it, and in her failing, had resigned the idea to the realm of hopelessly childish fantasy. How cruelly ironic is it that after coming to power on a mountain of corpses, and establishing an age of purposeful strife, that she had only come circle to fall back on that silly, fragile little hope.

    That irony is almost a poetic justice compared to the reality of how that wish had manifested however. The Lost Dragon had not been born a protector. She had never been a lifegiver. The workings of the world itself had decreed her The End rather than The Perpetuation from the moment she was first aware, and even now, that nature has not changed. How bizarre is it that the one who is most tired of war, and to whom peace is a dirty word that only calls to mind more fighting, gains the most from its perpetuation? Many times has she wandered this valley. Long has she walked its fields of corpses between battles, bringing closure to the mutilated and the dying with only her passage; an invisible isle of silence that cuts its way through the sounds of pain and despair that echo for days after every conflict, for which The Vampire Queen is surely grateful. She has done it to remind herself, every single day, of what it is she opposes. Of what the man she had once revered as a Lord had done, and for whom someone she had once thought an Author had left her. In the end, the meaning is aside from the purpose. Walking the fields of this never ending cycle of butchery . . .

    ~495,379,320,027 souls~

    The Queen has given her orders. Though she has ever been slightly apart from them, her dragon, both narratively and half-literally, she is inclined to follow them. She gives one chance, and one chance only. Before anyone knows, she is already on the battlefield, a sharp, shrill, freezing wind billowing from the empty space she stands, crystalline glass rolling over the earth, claiming corpses with crackling, hungry jaws to turn them into glittering statues. The event is palpable across the entire battlefield, requiring no special senses to be aware of the heart-stopping moment of involuntary, existential terror that rings forth like the striking of a bell. A maelstrom of departed souls swirls into a vortex of ghostly fire around her, but fails to obscure the white and gold she wears in the spirit of Lordran, and the silver of titanite armour in a handful of places on her form. Oddly enough, she still wears that flower of moonlight in her hair; an unncessary reminder of the fall of Annu.

    "Those who walk this battlefield, know well thou hath chosen poorly, and followed thine hollow, squabbling lords to places even they art forbidden to tread." Her voice is as quiet as ever, but it carries a seemingly infinite distance anyways, as if something alive. "Thou shalt be given one, final offer of absolution. This place is neither the Empire's or the Rebellion's place to maketh war. If thou shouldst insist upon the death of one another, leave or turn thine swords upon thineselves instead. If, instead, there is but a shred of doubt within thine hearts, lay thine arms down and rally to mine voice, and thou shalt knoweth an end to this." She's fully aware what a blatant target this makes her, but she has to at least try one last time.

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "Yeah, feel free to just pair off if you find a partner."

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "Geez. I should have learned by now. Be ten minutes late and get swamped in everything."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    The Empress simply doesn't have the raw strength that either of the groups' leaders have, but what she does have is a presence, a voice, and a twisting cluster of words that may yet show the renegades her own, broken iteration of reason. Before she can be set upon by any other enemy troops, she throws a speeding field in front of herself -- through compressing, expanding, and altering the speed at which the soundwaves given off by her voice are transmitted, she aims to create a living loudspeaker. Assuming this works as intended, her words roll across the war-torn hills of the battlefield, and into the ears of everyone who lacks the ability to force her poisonous volumes out of their minds.

    "Rebels, please hear me, heed me: we have only ever wanted what you want. We dream as you do of a day when we all can be peaceful. We long for a world where all can understand eachother and where the miseries of modernity are no longer necessary. Were it only that you would lay day your arms, set aside the barriers from your hearts and minds! Were it only that you could accept the guiding hands of the Empire and see the rightness of what it has done! You must recognize all that the Archangel has sacrificed for the sake of peace, and yet what have you sacrificed? Ask yourself: have you set aside anything for your cause, or have you only demanded more from others?"

    "Please! It isn't too late. If you lay down arms now, you will be accepted guiltlessly into the ranks of the Empire. You may join with us to see the sun rise on this beautiful new day. You shall become one of those who will witness a true revolution: one where there will never be conflict again, and where all humans may truly love and understand one another! I beseech you to understand that your struggle, your sacrifice was not in vain. If you have lost loved ones, know that their spirit will live on within the achievements of our Empire. All that this rebellion will beget is more and more wanton devastation! Think of the countless others who will lose their families just as you have! Yet if you still cannot see reason, if you truly must persist in this madness, then look to the skies! See the fruits of your crusade!"

    In that instant, a massive amalgamation of marble buildings fades into existence on the horizon. Four prisms linger aloft at its sides, each of them emitting soft rays of a blinding, alabaster light until all those rays link by leylines. They create the outer edges of what could only be described as a summoning circle before the entire structure turns on its axis, facing the battlefield as though it were a cannon. Then, in a single instant, a deafening crack of thunder rains out across the field. A diameter of a mile toward the rear of the battefield is blazed into the Earth, threatening to disintegrate all caught within. It can only be described, in earnest, as a pillar descended from heaven itself.

    "See for yourselves the weight of your sins, oh causeless rebels! See what turmoil your persistence begets! The path you seek is the true annihilation of all the Multiverse! See this, and surrender yourselves to our mercy!"

    Only once she has finished this demonstration does she catch sight of The Sellsword. Not skipping a beat, a bizarre perceptual twist spreads out from the body of The Empress -- a sphere tinged with what would only be known as gaseous fumes distorting the air. She would only know the effect this might have should she draw closer, but for now the Empress summons a crystalline shield to accompany her sword, lying in wait. She isn't going to prevent The Sellsword from making the first move should she desire to do so.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "I AM THE EMPIRE PR since nathan isn't here right now"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "I swear to God I sound more and more like O'Brien every day though"

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "Dammit Empress you can't beg people to defect for peace then vapourize them with a conceptual cannon."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "join the empire, we have cookies"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "i just did lost B> watchoo gon do"

Riva Banari has posed:
-<OOC>- The Templar says, "I still say Lost Dragon is keeping Nathan hidden in that dress somewhere."

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
    Lilith tchs. There goes her advisor, dragged into a ninja catfight. How frustrating. Well, if it means the one assassin decided to attack the OTHER assassin instead of her, maybe it's for the better. She needs more time, though. Much more time. This is a big battlefield. She can't just snap her fingers and warp time. Much as she'd like to.

    The R'lyeh Text whips open again, though Lilith's eyes stare down towards the ground at Archangel and his forward momentum. His accusations. A gloved hand points forward, towards him.

    "If you call this peace, I regret ever calling you father. You've grown crazed and deluded. Look what your actions have done to those you once called an inner circle? Is this really better than the old stalemate of a conflict? If we must die then we will die free." Oh, to go back to the days where she could look back at such a line and find it horribly clich�, terribly overdone, and melodramatic.

    The appearance of the Lost Dragon and her ultimatum is a blessing in disguise. Lilith's voice magically reaches out, and she attempts negotiations. "Dragon. If the Archangel wins today he will walk over your domain the next, unstoppable. You and your own may turn this tide completely. You can have the Archangel and do as you please with him, and we will leave once the last drop of blood is spilled. Consider THAT, and how much more we could give you once all has been freed."

    Down below, the Archangel has gone from tearing magical girls apart to tearing Witches apart, for the sake of his own men. And what few magical girls remain are giving serious consideration to the Empress' commanding voice and claims, some disarming themselves and trying to run behind the Empire's lines rather than keep fighting.

    Atop the CTHULHUSHIP (which one assumes is now entering a laser war with the Palace of White Lilies), Lilith finally stops talking and begins gathering power instead. Time around the ship is starting to accelerate, the war vessel slash horrible abomination under the effect of an absurd Haste spell. Lilith continues casting, because that's not enough.

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "God that joke is ancient by now"

Pinkie (470) has posed:
    All it takes is that one little push. And then the lurch of gravity kicks in. Only now off the side of the ship and locked in deadly combat while in the middle of freefall does The Shadow silently think to herseld 'Oopsie. That might have been a pretty bad idea'.
    Oh well, it can't exactly be undone now.
    "Huhuhuahaheehee! Ninja thou speakest aright, I am that merry pony of the night! My part might be small and juvenile-- but when I'm done your parts will be strewn all around for a mile!" Chirruped sweetly as blows are exhanged. For an Earth Pony she's oddly adept in the air though. It's a flurry of blows she unleashes, twin jagged blades ringing and spitting up sparks as they hack at Flower's sword, trying to get past the nin's defenses. It's that kick to the head that catches her off guard, nearly spinning The Shadow a full three-sixty in the air before she regains herself. "I never really mattered. Not now. And not back then. And you know... That's kind of why I think if I just last this one final night, I can die with a smile on my face. --Oh right by the way I should probably remind you. It's not the fall that kills!" Tittered as she somersaults in the sku, intending to bring her heel down on top of Flower and try to accelerate HER fall with a vicious kick.
    "It's the sudden stop at the bottom!"

>>> SUMMARY - The Shadow <<< - Mid-air wuxia wire-fu ninja action!

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    It's enough that she's heard, for the Vampire Queen. It's enough to see those around her bouyed up by her words, even if despair has them hemmed in more surely than the bars on a cage. It is a sweet lie to tell them that this wasn't their fight, and to send those who couldn't fight away. She can sense that her two companions, the Dragon and the Hound, are both tired of this as well, and unsuited for a mission of mercy.

    But upon their bowed backs, rested the hopes of all those tired of war. Those that wished for just one day, one life of succor from the constant strife, within the Den. And the Monsters, that would protect them.

    The true form of the Den of Monsters was thus. It was not for the Queen, the Hound, or the Dragon, that any of them fought, but to protect the last bastion of peace that was threatened to be ground beneath the bootheel of the Union's order, or the fires of the Rebellion's dissent.

    The Queen knew whence the Dragon stalked, and could trust no other to provide her brand of mercy. The Queen knew the struggle of her Hound, and as she drew close to the side-room he was in, she pressed her hands against the barrier between them, and drops her voice to a low murmur. "Both sides will push towards us, aiming to try and embroil us in their fight for their own gain. But we can't let them simply... take what they want. And..."

    She rests her forehead against the wall. "For me, even if you hate yourself, don't die on my part. Live. Live for a better tomorrow. And I'll try to live for everyone else's. The time I spent with you..." She closes her eyes, and sighs. "Has been the most human moments of my life."

    With that she draws away. "Please, my faithful hound, protect what is ours with your every effort." And with those words, she disappears into a cloud of blood-colored butterflies, flitting off into the battlefield proper.

    The 'army' of the Den of Monsters arrays itself in a defensive formation, a veritible phalanx of both steel and claw in loose rows protected by dark magic and holy arts alike. The 'maws' of them are readied to recieve those pushed towards the defenders.

    And across the battlefield, butterflies. Sworling towards one man whose 'Control' kept much of the battle in check, the Mozart of the perfect battlefield - or the sweeper of less optimal 'board-states'.

    The Queen herself materialzes out of her familiars before him and his array of cards. "Turn back, Jack of Spades. You'll find none of your 'value' here." She announces, her very presence oppressive by the bloody fields around her. "Don't try to daze me with your sorcerous ways."

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
"I know. You've longed for this." Tarnished Saber murmurs softly, glancing down at her sword. "I know you've wanted to battle a great dragon or a mighty army... Today, you may yet see both." She takes a deep breath, green eyes closing as she sweeps the sword out again. Dozens more of the weaker footsoldiers fall to the invisible cuts, but she opens her eyes once she feels the presence a very familiar warrior nearby.

"Eclipse Knight," states the Tarnished Saber, glancing up toward him as he leaps into the air. "You know the priority, at least, for you will have to go through me first to get to my Master." Head tilts slightly, and she gives a rare, if wry, smile toward him. "What makes you think today will end any different than the last three times you thought you had slain me? You should know by now that it's beyond your power to kill me."

The knight crashes down, and Tarnished Saber raises her blade, catching that overhead stroke with her own sword. Sparks fly from the impact, though instead of showering toward the ground, they begin to float upwards. "Would we have fought this battle at night, this would be over already..." She can feel the pressure from the Empress' words, but spares only a glance before pushing her opponent's blade back. "I still regret some of my actions that day..." And it's not hard to tell which 'that day' she refers to. "...but I will consider it a mercy to finally send you to rejoin your comrades." There's no anger in her voice, but sheer determination in her eyes as she steps forward and swings her blade, gathering up the flames from a nearby Witch's magic and sending them spiraling toward the Eclipse Knight.

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Aggressive, Wild Card says, "Ghhh... Of /course/ they brought that empty-headed chivalry-for-brains! Saber, if we have to /tear him apart/ to get him to leave you the hell alone... god damn it, I can't /think/ like this! Keep him busy a second, I'm going all in with The Knight!"

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    Although she could expect the support from the Empress to be impeccable, it doesn't prevent Kyra from Scanning the ranks of those Confederates that come to face them. After all, there would be somebodies here today-perhaps even somebody worth her time. But for her favored foe she didn't even need to look. She knew. The Warlord's fate was as intwined with the Confederates as hers was with the Union now.

    The Warlord is immediately recognized by her own forces. Some throw themselves at him with reckless and disappointing abandon with predictable results. But even those more careful find themselves Judged, rendered useless.

    "I disagree, Warlord." Kyra pronounces, not raising her voice, but heard nonetheless through the amplification of her armor. "I-what is he doing with-oh /my/."

    Kyra places a hand to her breast in shock as the massive beam of light lances through the Neo Ame Ame-No-Torifune. The ship lists for a few seconds afterwards, the hole left by the strike visible from just the right angle. Explosions blossom from within and expand outward as the airship cracks in half, raining twisted, Erchius-tainted debris down into the valley.

    "Now that wasn't very nice." Though her face is not visible, it's clear that Kyra speaks these words with a sad frown, "But for the brave pilots, technicians, and engineers aboard, their sacrifice will not be in vain!" Another grand gesture follows and the Magic Particles around her writhe uncomfortably. Sure, she could remake the ship with white sorcery but the Instinct had warned her otherwise. Kyra doesn't even need to descend from the Rafflesia-it's better that she didn't, given the sheer blanket of fire that suddenly spreads beneath her.


    "It pains me, Landon." she speaks, using the name she once knew him as, "It pains me to see you succumb to the lure of Chaos. Please! Turn back! Turn back and surrender! Become one with us! Become one with our /family/!"

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Kyra Murasame, "Goodness, the Ramuha Warlord is aggressive tonight. He may delay my ~healing care~ but I will do what I can for you all."

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Tarnished Saber says, "I can't fault his grudge, Master, but be careful. It extends to you as well."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress says, "Understood. Your dedication and perseverance are, as always, greatly appreciated Kyra."

Priscilla has posed:
<Den-IC> Lost Dragon says, "It is just as thou sayeth, Queen of Monsters. Already Lilith begs for our aid. Though I admit the Empire's forces pose a greater threat to us should either turn upon us in the aftermath, I cannot in sound conscience ally mineself with those who shelter the Sellsword."

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
    Again and again, Kazusa's fists swing, and swing, and swing. It is far below the full power of the Dark Hero, but it's still more than enough for her to smash her way through the ranks of the Empire's soldiers, to an extent riding her own fury as she fights alongside her Servant. Words upon words reach her ears. The words of the Lost Dragon, the Archangel, the Empress, all of it just feeds into the natural aggression of The Beast, and every fiber of her being furiously rails against it - in a voice that grows in volume with every word.

    "Peace? Mercy? DON'T FUCKIN' MAKE ME LAUGH! You idiots are so focused on your shining and pretty empire of gold and happy dreams you don't realize what it means to oil every gear with blood! You're so eager to unite all the people you've gone and forgotten what being 'people' means! JACKBOOTS AIN'T GONNA UNITE THE GODDAMN WORLD! Sure, it's alright to put down the rebellion with force! We're creating a brighter world, a couple corpses is fine! And when people disturb the peace, hey we already did it once, LET'S DROP A LITTLE MORE VIOLENCE ON IT TO FIX THINGS! Let's make sure folks stay under our heel! Gotta keep the peace, even if it means we get a little rough! And hey, look at that, suddenly you're the source of all the chaos and unrest! Suddenly you're /EXACTLY WHAT YOU FOUGHT TO STOP/! And I will REBEL against that until the end of goddamn time!"

    Maybe the Beast is a little more in her head than she wants to admit. But the brief surge of horrific power from Priscilla brings her focus back to her surroundings just in time to see her own Servant marching towards the one that's given them more trouble over the past years than any other. The Beast very nearly overwhelms her in full; but she forces it down. No. She can't afford to go full Beast anymore. Not with the Eclipse Knight on the field. A killer of more knights than any other. She's going to have to forsake the use of Yuri's power against the Empire in favor of helping her Servant.

    Sparks peel away from her arms, the power of The Beast funneling itself back into its card. She shoves it into the card holder, and then slips out another one - one with an image of the crescent moon, and Saber's blade, on the front. "By the card I choose, I stand as a hero... /The Knight/!" This time, the bright white sparks are much more profuse, and even the Eclipse Knight can sense it. It's like a second Servant coming into existence out of nowhere.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    The Hound barely hears the Vampire Queen when she speaks to him, and he doesn't respond to her. It's not that he can't physically hear her, he could hear her even through more walls than that. But the truth is, he doesn't really want to hear what she has to say. She's grown up to be the thing he accused her of being, when they first went their separate ways. It was almost impossible to forgive her for that when it wasn't even true, but now... now, he doesn't know. He thinks of Ichiru, bound up as a mortal to a pureblood who would not inflict vampirism on him, though he served her better than most would in that capacity.

    He decides to kill the Queen a little later.

    To do that, and to fulfill her request, he determines that he will need to both disrupt the battle and avoid participating in it. The Fruit of Einnashe is something she has already "used" extensively, so she shouldn't have quite the extra reserves he did, but he won't have as much as her at the base level to begin with.

    In other words, the more he gives up now, the less likely his slim odds of defeating her will remain even that.

    Once she's gone, he leaves. Not to the front lines as a defender, but out the back so he can execute the only plan he can think of that will offer them... anything, really. Outside of their walls, he draws Bloody Rose and calls up vines. Vines in multitudes, vines of a magnitude that he does not usually trouble with. And then he digs, following the edge of their safe haven so that he does not destabilize it.

    Once he finds himself positioned just at the tip of where their defenders are arrayed, a few yards outside of their "reach" and where the "enemies" will be pushed, Zero begins to expand Bloody Rose's vine network and drill. They spill forth in great waves, first minor tendrils not unlike tiny roots, and then escalatingly large as they spread out. They burrow through the earth along the "funnel" zone towards the Den of Monsters, slowly but steadily beginning to hollow it out, replacing the supportive earth with supporting roots and vines, just a distance beneath the surface.

    The Hound lingers alone beneath the Earth in darkness, accompanied only by the subtle grinding of Bloody Rose's vines insinuating themselves as the battlefield's primary supporting structure.

Riva Banari has posed:
This is a battle without honor or humanity. Desperation has driven both sides to monstrous points. The absurd scale of the power being brought to bear on both sides is humbling, maddening, the logical result of endless escalation. The power to annihilate entire existences falls to smaller and smaller numbers, eventually to rest in the hands of one being.

And the battlefield is covered in those one beings.

There is a sudden whipping noise, and a moment later the Templar's hammer crashes down beside Archangel, cratering the ground and sending an explosion of red-gold Anima ripping upwards through the air. As the smoke and dust settles, she descends, stepping off the hoverboard and turning towards him. Her face is more hollow than it used to be, eyes that used to be full of wonder and joy instead looking upon the overwhelmingly powerful man with a profound sadness. "You killed your love." She says simply. "You locked it away because you couldn't bear the pain any longer. And now all you can do is try to fill that empty hole in your chest. Fill it with power, with dominance, with lies that you use to try to convince people that they will be safe if they just let you make everything better."

She reaches out, putting her hand on the handle of the massive, eldritch hammer, and picking it up like it weighs nothing to her. Her powers have grown in the time since she struggled with zombies every day.

"They say that when you dedicate your life to helping others, you either die a hero or you live long enough to become the villain. What does that mean for people who live forever? Is that what happened to you? Was the sorrow too much to bear?"

There is a low rumbling around her as her eyes flare with light for a moment. "I can't accept that."

The Templar stalks forward, leaning in towards the man she used to call 'Boss'. "I'm going to bring you down, Archangel. You've already fallen, you just have yet to hit. And once that's done, we're going to spend a lot of /quality time/ together."

There is a sudden detonation in the air as the Templar throws herself back, flinging the hammer outwards and lashing out with a sweeping strike for his legs. The hammer whips past, a tether of Anima keeping it connected to her as she suddenly pulls it back, lunging forward in a sliding kick intended to launching the Empire's leader into the air, followed by several star-shaped golden blasts of light that explode outwards, The Templar snapping her finger repeatedly.

Even as she does this, her expression remains set, knowing that this probably isn't going to even slow him down.

Lilith didn't ask if the Templar could beat Archangel. She asked how long Templar could keep him busy.

She could do the latter. No one can honestly say they can do the former.

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
    The Sellsword stops short, of wading into that mist, or whatever it might be. "Do you take me for a fool? Face me yourself. No tricks, just that blade in your hand, coward. If you're going to hold a sword in front of me, prove you can use it." Her blood boils with a long-forgotten thrill. A true duel, just herself and an opponent. Nothing else in the world, but the two of them.

There is the duel, nothing more. Nothing less. That was her world, once. "Or, you can stand behind your tricks and your army, like you've done before. You can let your men die, instead of facing me yourself. Coward. The title of 'empress' ill fits someone such as you."

The woman spits into the dirt.

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> The Sellsword says, "I do not think the Den will want to have any alliance with us."

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> The Sellsword says, "That is.. likely because I stand with you."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Gonna break out that new +adv I got a few weeks ago."

Sir Gawain has posed:
"Ha. And that I will." The Eclipse Knight's expression is a mystery, hidden behind his helm, as he crashes and impacts with the Tarnished Saber. He leaps backwards, posturing with his blade, showing his intention to win this. "That is your loss. The daylight will be my champion, and I will destroy any who attempts to hide it." Turning his sword from a two-handed to one-handed posture, he gets in a...defensive position? "You underestimate me this time, Saber. Do you not think I would fight you again with no new tricks?"

As the flames come at him, Eclipse Knight raises his empty hand forward, standing firm. "Gwarcheidwad!" As he calls out the Welsh name, a large tower shield manifests in his hand. It's not a Noble Phantasm, but it's surely magical, and surely something he has not used before. As he raises the shield, a force field manifests from it, blocking most of the fire that comes at him from the front. "You will need to try harder than old tactics to slay me this time. Let your blood stain the valley red!"

Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
    Wilted Flower manages to hold on to her sword, but her arms get hacked at, blood rising up at blows that have managed to sneak in. The defensive isn't really what she's best at, but dragging a fight out can work. The wounds will start to close as she concentrates on them... "...You did know who I am, right?" She'll ask, uncertain now. The reason for that will be clear in a moment.

    The heel will slam straight into her, driving her down towards the ground. Once she reaches it, there'll be a momentary cloud of dust, but once that clears, as the Shadow watches to see what effect she might have had... There'll be no sign of the Flower Girl.

    The disturbed look of the ground, though, may suggest that Wilted Flower has been momentarily planted. Pausing long enough may get a blossom, but the Shadow has her own landing to concern herself with.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
<Den-IC> Vampire Queen says, "The very last thing any of us can do is pick a side at this point. If it comes to it, if the Archangel is successful, I will surrender to him myself - but if we side with either before things are decided, we doom our wards to the predation of the others.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame says, "Now would definitely be the time to unload all of the advantages. All of them."

Priscilla has posed:
<Den-IC> Lost Dragon says, "Thine tongue hast failed thee, mine Queen. Thou certainly meaneth 'if the /Empire/ is successful'. I hath not changed mine mind. I am perhaps the only one left in the multiverse able to end the Archangel's existence. If they wouldst carry on without him and his death maketh no difference, so be it, but the two of us can coexist no longer."

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
<Den-IC> Vampire Queen says, "Of course. I misspoke. You are, as usual, correct."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    The Empress stares blankly at the Sellsword. In her tattered cloak and with the way the murky light of dawn refracts off of the red of her eyes, she is truly a paramount visage of classical evil. Similarly, her words roll of her tongue in a way that is plainly too melodramatic and theatricized to be real -- just as it always has been. As it always has been, but in a way different; if she ever was, her heart is no longer open to any compromise. Similarly, she does not greet the challenge with which she is faced with anything so smug as a smile, but rather an almost haunting indifference.

    "I have not the time nor the energy to indulge your primitive concept of 'honor'. Like morality, it is a heuristic that was constructed to foster a mindset that would easily mold the minds of people and make them more amenable to die for their 'beliefs', as if something so romanticized could even exist in earnest. No, if I have the means I am not wont to handicap myself. You will face me with all that you have, and I with all that I have. To fight by any other method is sheer foolishness and only greater evidence of the human frailty that gave birth to your blighted crusade in the first place." With the drop of her final syllable, she raises her sword to level with The Sellsword's face. "En garde."

    With the utterance of that phrase, she immediately fades out of view. The Sellsword would be able to predict easily enough that she would appear next behind her, sword lashing out to test her endurance, as she would then advance to each of her sides to test grazing blows. Her blade is like a harrier of steel, and her strikes like needles rather than the edge of a blade -- tempered by the hastening field that now engulfs the whole of her left arm from shoulder to finger, she truly strikes with speed to rival The Sellsword's own. Though she does not expect to be able to keep up this charade for very long, she will nevertheless continue to jab at her until she is struck herself. Then she will show her the true meaning of her name.

    Then she will play for her the dirge of nightmares.

Sir Gawain has posed:
As Wild Card becomes the Knight, Eclipse Knight turns briefly in her direction. Two against one will be difficult. One Saber against another already was. He didn't want to use it. He had been saving it as a last resort...but it seems this would be it. He took a breath, and waited for the time to activate it. It would be soon, and then, hopefully, he would be able to end it all. Even if he had to bring the darkness out of him.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Then die you shall for the sake of peace! And then there is no one left who wishes to fight, then Sector Zero will know peace!"

    Archangel cries out to Lilith, lifting his hammer up as he looks towards the retreating Puellas. He, dimly, hopes they're smart enough to use the trench he created to fall back and off the field. He twirls the hammer around, its flames licking at the air and at his own hand as he zealously looks around.

    "Yes, Lilith! I will destroy the world to create it anew!" He pauses, "If that is what you force me to do!"

    The armies of the Empire are, indeed, being pushed and routed into the Den of Monsters front lines. But equally are they pushing back against the Empire's armies and trying to draw them as well, trying to at least make it a dual breach of territory.

    But driven into the front lines of monsters they are, totally unaware as Zero begins to use his vines to tunnel under the ground and briefly stopping in awe as Priscilla makes her appearance upon the field. There's a long moment, before one of the particularly hardened generals shouts, "FOR THE EMPIRE! ARCHANGEL WILL REWARD THE MAN THAT SLAYS THE TRAITOR DRAGON!" And the line surges forward again, ready to be fools as they rush into Priscilla and the front line of the den.

    They're trained, battle-hardened soldiers, but certainly not fully elites. Auric at best, which makes them tough, though the Den has always held its own. It is likely the front lines will hold against them until Zero can enact whatever he is planning along with Priscilla.

    Back over to Archangel...

    A hammer comes down next to him, kicking up dust and grit that slams against his armor as he turns towards the source of it, "I thought I loved her, but she couldn't understand. Even after she, herself, undertook the same steps I did. As always, those I love inevitably will leave their scar upon me."

    He drags his own hammer along to face her, staring her down, "But in the end, she gave me something useful." He notes vaguely, looking towards Templar, "Fallen. We've all fallen, Templar. You are missing the grand scope of it. A decade of war now for millenia of peace. This is the trade. This is the... what was it I used to tell you... necessary justice?"

    As her explosions rip across the battlefield, Archangel stares at Templar and then charges in, carrying his own hammer. He's knocked up by her kick, but he corrects himself in the air. He comes down towards her in a falling hammerblow, trying to descend through her barrage like a comet. One of her anima explosions catches him in the face, blowing the armor off one side of his helmet.

    What is exposed is a lock of his rust colored hair and a single purple eye.

    She also better move fast, because that hammerfall is coming for her.

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "I should start getting ready for bed, but I've got about this pose and then one more in me!"

Theo Morrison has posed:
The Magi die and become Witches. The trained troops of the Empire fight, but not all of them. The sheer unearthly presence of the eldritch abomination backing them up, and of the non-Euclidean nightmares the Witches themselves represent, is driving their troops to madness. Far, far too many of them.

"Bulwark Squad two, deploy for reinforcement. Phage Team, pacification." The Jack of Spades touches down amidst the bloodshed, and finds his positioning not ideal. He takes a quick look around and jumps, anti-gravity carrying him far and away. He finds a nice elevated spot, a jutting spar of stone that overlooks the valley below and the packed sky above.

The Bulwark Squad moves into position. It's men and women of all ages, clad in Imperial armor and accompanied by groups of Myr of varying metals. They pull decks of their own, laying them out on something like an old Kaiba Corp Duel Disk, but repurposed for (in Jack's humble opinion) the superior game. They start chanting, speaking in jargon and card titles rather than real arcane tongues, drawing on mana from the robotic bird-creatures as they begin to conjure barriers: hexagon-tiled bubbles of force, walls of light and ice, and swarms of small fighting machines, all angled to intercept the heavier hitters and slow them down.

Behind /them/, a group of five young people in black suits follow. They use the same cards and disks as the others, but theirs seem more uniform. Almost as one, they move forward, shielded by the Bulwark Squad's efforts. As one, they draw and play, black flowers blooming and dying and identical devices like ornate telescopes on tripods appear by each of them. A green haze flows from the bottom to a point in front of them, and all at once, they practically flip their decks over and point into the fray.

Rebel commanders, formidable fighters in their own right, many former Empire, begin to writhe. Blood starts to pour out of their eyes, noses and mouths, massive amounts, their bodies emptying into their armor and onto the already-sodden ground. An instant later, a red glare flares on the field in three places. A wave of deadly light lashes out across the regulars, dissolving flesh from bones and disintegrating the weapons of war left behind, rendering hundreds or thousands of brave soldiers to piles of bone in an instant.

The Imperial forces are not spared. The insane are shown no mercy but that which has been delivered unto the enemy. They're a potential point of failure; thus, they had to be removed.

The Jack of Spades himself watches all of this with a frown on his face. It doesn't revolt him like it used to. Not too long ago, he wouldn't have ever considered using something like that, or recruiting people like him to do it. But in a war like this? The last war, the final conflict? If it gets it done, so it never has to happen again...

Theo Morrison has posed:
The Queen appears. The Jack regards her in his stitched motley and sketches a bow, his trinkets and trophies chiming and tinkling. "Your Majesty." He sounds respectful.

Then he straightens, shrugging. "I know. I don't want to fight you, anyway." It sounds a little bit like he's admitting weakness, or doubt, but -- "You've got all kinds of monster movie tricks, but I got real tired of that back in Shadow block." He spreads his hands, and looks to his cards.

He speaks, but doesn't touch them. They move when he names them, floating into position. "Underground Sea. Black Lotus. Sacrifice Black Lotus." The ground falls away around him. A great fissure opens, showing the surface of a great sea beneath the valley, glittering in the sunlight. Men fall into it, caught unaware. He doesn't even slow down, even as one of those flowers bloom and vanish.

"Ancestral Recall." Three more cards float up from his deck as a flash of yellow light passes over his face. In his mind's eye, the Jack sees Conor, flinging himself towards an open temporal rift, screaming defiance at the monster within. His breath catches, but it's hardly a pause. He's seen that one time and time again.

"Phyrexian Dreadnought."

A monster appears. It's body is made of metal corded like muscle and plates of artificial carapace. It's long, like an enormous worm or centipede, easily larger than the enormous husks of mechs scattered around the field. Every angle seems on it to have a point designed for dealing death. It draws itself up, casting a shadow over the Queen as it blots out the sun.

For a moment, it seems unsteady. Unstable. It quivers, plates grinding together briefly and then seeming to relax and break down. It needs sacrifices to fuel. It needs blood. Its limbs start to part from the body --

The Jack rolls his eyes. Sacrifices? Please. One of the charms alights as mana is drawn forth. "Stifle."

A lattice of blue static washes over it. It links the components, dragging them back together and rendering it whole. The Dreadnought is a terror on this battlefield, even compared to the myriad horrors let loose. It's merely one weapon in the arsenal of the young man who fells gods and men with equal ease. It's all a game, to him.

The Jack of Spades turns back to the Queen. He puts his gloved hand over his heart. "If you would be so kind as to remove yourself from my path," he says politely, "I've got rebel fish to fry. This ends today. You don't have to end with it."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow hm! Pages Flower something for planning purposes.

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "No prob. Thanks for coming out to as much as you could, I know you have work tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed."

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
    "Honor is primitive? Morals? It is all just a 'heuristic' to you? No wonder your cause has fallen so far from its original goal." The Sellsword sighs. "That frailty is the very thing that makes us who we are. You.. You and Archangel. You're truly blind." As fast as the Empress is able to make herself with magic, the woman's arm moving first, then the rest of her body as needed.

"En guarde!"

No wasted movement, no excess. Just enough to turn the blows aside. "Exert yourself all you want like this, though. That is fine with me."

All she seeks to do is keep pace. She doesn't push herself any quicker. "What are you, anymore, if nothing else than a blind puppet, a mouthpiece for Archangel's will? I might as well be fighting him. You have no opinion, no reasoning of your own, for any of this. You have no reason or motivation to fight, save your 'logic'. How can people like you hope to win?"

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "I did! I just wish I didn't have to ditch out early for the finale, but my boss is being a dick lately."

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
-<OOC>- Vampire Queen says, "I'm fighting Jack with infinite money for singles, what a bad fight to pick, ughhhhh power nine more like power 36 because he's running a playset each."

Theo Morrison has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says in a totally offhanded kind of way, "Mind the gap. And the gore. Ocean, bloody slippage... you know."
-<OOC>- The Jack of Spades says, "R&D budget? Mo' like Card Games Fund"

Theo Morrison has posed:
-<OOC>- The Jack of Spades says, "'what did you spend all that money on, there were like nine zeroes' 'getting the recuits from my world snacks and lotuses, you'll thank me later'"

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Yeah, can't afford tanks, but atleast Jack can get ten thousand of each booster pack."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
    A deadly dance in the air soon takes to the ground as the two shadowy killers lash and strike all the way down, from the ship. Terminal velocity is a trivial matter, one will die, or they both will, but The Shadow will make sure it's with a smile either way.
    That green eye peeks out from the slat of the grinning mask, wild with manic murderous glee as her kick lands and Flower streaks groundwards.
    But when the smoke clears, Pinkie does nothing to arrest her fall. "YEP! PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE KILLED YOU IN THE AIR SHOULDN'T I? WHOOPS!"
    Well it's too late to cry over silly mistakes as she reels one arm back, intending to ram that dagger into the ground where she approximates Flower to be.

>>> SUMMARY - The Shadow <<< - Mistakes were made.

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "Alright Flower, it's your show now."

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "I'm cutting your Mountain Dew budget next fiscal quarter."

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     Fire erupts around the Lord of War - hellfire, brilliant and blazing. Some of it is the debris from the ship. Some of it is the fire that licks his armor and burns against his crystalline plate, shattering pieces of the armor. It gives a glimpse of what's underneath, but only a glimpse - something glowing with a strange, dull light. It's enough, though, that the armor is damaged. It's of no use now. He wasn't sure it would matter for this conflict anyway.

     It is at that point that the armor explodes outwards. But it is not an explosion of stress - it is a guided motion, as the plates, the very pieces of that crystalline armor, become what they always were. Barriers erupt all over the field around the Lord of War, smashing through hellfire, smashing aside armies, smashing aside planes unlucky enough to be trapped between the Damocles Rain and the Armor Break.

     For the first time in years, the true form of Lord of War is revealed.

     Nothing of Landon al Cid's body remains. Roiling darkness and brilliant green light wrestle inside a cage of shining blue shaped vaguely like a man. The only thing left that even resembles the man he once was is white fire in the shape of hair, burning atop and down the back of the crystalline cage. Slowly, the fragments of his armor reassemble, filling out the crystalline cage with the features of a hume adult - albeit features made of glass, through which the green and dark are easy to see.

     The Lord of War raises the cannonblade.

     "In the name of peace you slew my friends. In the name of justice you perverted the world to do your will. In the name of happiness you destroyed all that I cared for. You brought Ramuh to its knees. You murdered Cirra. Mirielle. Cassie. Dorotea. Lyria. Kamon."

     The Unfettered Lord Of War steps forward, crystal mouth moving with each name. "Soan. Ellard." With each step, a spinning card appears around him, whirling through the air like planets in orbit around a sun. Some of them pulse blue. Some of them pulse green. One very unpleasant-looking card pulses black.

     "You murdered Kyra Hyral and became that which you hated most in the path to false-forged peace."


Landon al Cid (642) has posed:

     "Dominic!" Landon busts through the door only to hear the beeping. The slow, rhythmic beeping. The green light pulsing along the monitor.

     "Your Highness."

     "Dominic, no. Sit. Don't try to get up." Landon pushes Dominic back down on the bed and shakes his head. "You'll...get better. You will. I promise. I found a White Mage, Esuna, it'll-"

     "She thought of that," Dominic replies, his voice barely above a whisper.

     Landon looks away. "Of course she did." His fingers tighten around the chair arm. "Of course she did."

     "Your Highness, please."

     "Please what, Dominic? Please what?"

     "Please...don't be angry at her." Dominic smiles. "What's left for her, at the end? Who will she die beside? At least I have the knowledge...that I die here and now."

     "No!" Landon stands, knocking the chair backwards with a clatter, "I refuse! I order you to survive! Sir Dominic Masoch, I, the rightful King of Ramuh, Landon al Cid, order you - /survive/!"

     Dominic grabs his hand and shakes his head. "I'm sorry. I can't. I want to die...beside someone I care about."

     "Don't hate her, Landon...pity her...and her loneliness...and maybe you can save her from herself..."

     The grip goes limp and cold, leaving Landon al Cid alone in the room as the Rebellion nurses rush in to bring empty noise to an empty chamber.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:

     The memories of Landon al Cid rise to the surface inside the Lord of War. The crystalline arm snatches one of the rotating cards in thin air as the light in his crystalline eyes glows brighter. Green light pours out of every part of him.

     "Be Invoked."

     Around that shell of blue crystal, green light builds. It weaves itself together. A massive, clawed arm emerges from the light, made of woven green, bound in chains of blue. Another arm bursts forth as well. Then legs. Then a chest, a massive armor. Then, as the Lord of War rises into the chest, a head, horned and massive. A giant cannon-blade completes the monstrosity, dangling with blue chains.


     Trigrammaton crashes forward into Kyra's Rafflesia. It is huge and bulky, the False Exaltation conceived of the Freelancer's power. It is forged of Rebellion and Chaos, bound tight in chains of Order, a reflection of the soul that lies inside the mess that is Landon al Cid's pattern - a reflection of the ghost that he has become.

     Dominic asked him to save her from herself.

     It was the last wish of his dearest friend.

     But the only way he can do that may be to slay her.

     "Only one of us is lost to Chaos, Murasame! As you can see...I have full control of it!"

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
The Tarnished Saber casts a worried look toward Wild Card as she approaches. She knows she shouldn't, she knows how powerful her Master is... but it's in her instinct to worry, even if she knows that her power can potentially make her Master nearly as immortal as she. For a price.

"Hmm. A new defensive trick, Eclipse Knight? Impressive, but don't think that will keep you safe from my blade." Despite her words, that shield will be a problem. It's something new, and while she knows the true identity of the Eclipse Knight, she doesn't know of this particular shield. It must have a weakness, but she's not sure what.

What is an immortal body for, however, if not trial and error? Rather than playing it safe, the Tarnished Saber darts in, silvery hair streaming behind her as she closes the distance to the Eclipse Knight with surprising speed. The longer this fight goes on, the higher the sun rises, and the more powerful her opponent gets. This has to end sooner rather than later. "Cut with wind that leaves no scar," she murmurs, channeling mana into her sword. "Kusanagi no Tsurugi!" She slashes her sword downward toward the Eclipse Knight, and the physical strike is accompanied by dozens of invisible ones, air currents sharpened into deadly blades that would easily cut any normal human in half... though her opponent is no normal human.

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
    The Rebellion's armies are being pushed into the Monsters all the same as the Empire's; and while those soldiers and magical girls who still have their sanity back away, their objective complete, the Witches, the insane, the driven, the zealous, continue pushing. They are as guilty as the Empire in breaching territory-- and in attacking the Monsters.

    The downside to Lilith's plan is, she can't control the Witches. They're berserkers, lashing out at what caused them sorrow and despair in life. The Empire, really. And once they're done with that, they'll attack anything at all. That means plenty of them are digging, stomping, tearing. Many will trip The Hound's defenses, and no doubt get shredded by his vines for the trespass.

    But, hey, they're doing their jobs. Pushing the Empire into the Monsters. The fact they're following is an unfortunate incidental happenstance.

    It helps that the Jack of Spades is attacking, though. Ice and light, bubbles of force, fighting machines, they slow the Rebellion. They keep them from pushing all the way into Monster territory. Unfortunately, help comes mostly in the form of Rebels being purged with incredible prejudice, red light reducing many of them to dust. And then a massive monster is summoned, causing Rebel morale to drop a nudge more.

    Lilith, on her perch, continues arguing with Psyber, as she channels TIME MAGIC. "Your costs have long since exceeded the benefits. The peace you earn will be fleeting, built on a pool of blood, afloat on bones and trying desperately not to sink in. The first person to shake the boat will bring down all of your work in a single instant. Time cycles. Again and again it cycles and you act like you have any more power to break it now than you did then."

    Time grinds to a halt.

    As the Templar engages the Archangel, Lilith's soul is being burned at both ends. A worn candle with almost nothing left. Her 'Soul Gem' if it can even be called that anymore, doesn't turn black, it empties, it hollows. It's filled by void, not by darkness. She's consuming her existence to tap into more power.

    "IT'S ALL A CIRCLE, ARCHANGEL! A big set of rails we're all stuck on, and which you can break no more than I can."

    TIME REWINDS. Not for everyone. REBELS have their injuries mend and turn back, their stocks of energy, mana and other resources return. Dead troops rise again and flee from the Monsters' Den, leaving the Empire there. Witches become Puella Magi again, and split, a number fleeing for the Empress' castle, the other returning to the Rebels' ships and vehicles.

    In payment, Lilith falls to one knee, target painted on her back, face and chest, bright neon signs indicating complete exhaustion.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    "I have only ever been a machine bent toward a specific goal," She says, sparks flying from her blade. "I never was a human being. The only difference between us is that I eventually realized that the 'human', as we understand it, does not exist. We are a mess of rote response to stimuli -- slaves to our pasts, and in many cases, to something as pithy as our own neurological structure." In an instant, she disappears, ending her assault. She is careful to place herself just far enough away to give herself a moment to speak before The Sellsword can reach her. "This is not a truth that I swallowed gladly, Sellsword. I raged against it for countless years before I finally accepted all this."

    "However," She continues, "I do not say all this so that I may appear to you a cynic, or to profess that I have seen some 'great truth' that you have not. No. This is simply my reality, dismal as it may sound to you, and certainly as dismal as it sounds to me. But there is meaning in this acceptance. I acknowledge this reprehensible pattern of life, death, and psychological entrapment such that we may be FREE of it. One cannot fight nature, Sellsword. We cannot pretend that we are the progeny of God, endowed with a sacred emotion, a beautiful mind that can never be torn away. There is no such thing as a soul, Sellsword. Though on this day, you will mark me: I will create one."

    At this point she lunges forward in a sudden stroke, attempting to hold The Sellsword's blade in a defensive stance until she can be parried. "I will rewrite the human genome," She says, the flames of explosions dancing across her irises. "I will take away mankind's ABILITY to fear hatred. I will rend their very CONCEPT of it, then their ability to ever create it again. I will create a NEW being with a TRUE soul, something ABOVE learning through conditioning and rote practice. The Empire will become a great experiment that will finally give all sentient life sovereignty - TRUE sovereignty - over themselves. The culmination of all the Empire's toil will be not the suppression of free will, but the BIRTH thereof!"

    The world around Mizuki begins to warble and shift as it had before. Butterflies begin to form out of glossy, crystalline flecks plastered on the sky, lazily fluttering toward The Sellsword. "And I will NOT allow you to obstruct us! Say and think what you will of me -- I am irrelevant! All that matters is the future of humanity! MY huamnity! TRUE humanity! The only way true peace can ever reign is if humans lack the very ability to conceive of such a peaceless world as this!" In an instant, The Empress throws her hands forward. The butterflies transform at once into a storm of daggers and knives that rain toward the Sellsword at once. They attempt to force her to dodge in certain directions that will allow chains that waver and twist through the air to wrap around her, constricting the movement of her legs. Throughout all of this, Mizuki glides through the area, unleashing a volley of energy blasts from the surface of her shield.

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
    In the past, Kazusa had refrained from getting between the enemy Saber and her own. She had occasionally interfered, tipped the odds in her Servant's favor, but never gone to the whole risk of engaging properly. This battle changes everything in so many ways, however, that there's no question in her mind. They have to end him here. Have to free themselves to push back against the army.

    So as the former Round Table Knight lifts his shield against one maiden of the moon, he is beset from the other side by a second. A mirror of Tarnished Saber lunges in, the same from outfit to hair to eyes to the very look on her face, wielding a perfect copy of the blade in the other Servant's hand and moving with the same grace and determination. "Sir Gawain of the Round Table... once I looked up to you and your kin as pinnacles of heroism. That you could lend your blade to such a bloody cause, even after seeing the depths to which they will descend... To this day I regret how things have gone, but I will offer no apology for standing against you and yours!"

    Her own blade snaps out, straight for the Eclipse Knight's midsection - accompanied by those same invisible slices that her Servant's unleashes.. Straight for the tiniest gaps in his armor that she can exploit while he's busy fending off her 'original'.

Sir Gawain has posed:
<Empire-IC> Eclipse Knight breathes heavily. "Master. I am breaking our contract to activate the Deal. Be prepared."

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Ramuhan Warlord says, "Trigrammaton has been Invoked. I will not allow Kyra Murasame to heal their forces. Use this opportunity. It may be the last I can buy you."

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Ramuhan Warlord says, "I am going to die beside someone I care about."
<Rebellion-IC> Ramuhan Warlord has severed the connection. Reason: Focus.

Psyber (253) has posed:
<Union Empire> Archangel says, "Damn that ability of hers. I had no idea she could still use it so brazenly."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress at first perfectly calm then in an explosion of anger, "Nor did I. If I had, it would not have -HAPPENED-."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress with exasperation, "WHY, Archangel? Why can they never grasp the truth? Why must they perpetuate these cycles as they do? Why can they not have the courage to see they can be broken?"

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
    "You're insane." The Sellsword scoffs, shaking her head. She makes no move to engage again, once the Empress creates that distance. "We're not toys for you to play with, either. Not yours. Not something you can just remake, because there are flaws. Those imperfections are what make us so unique and beautiful. If you can't see that anymore, then you're going to have to die. And even if I have to do the same, I will ensure this.. plan of yours never, ever comes to light. I owe myself that much. I owe Demacia.. House Laurent, that much.."

She manages to dodge the daggers and knives, but she twists and lunges in an almost inhuman fashion, proving far more nimble an opponent than she might appear. Many, still, find their mark. The blasts of energy rake the battlefield, and a chain snags her leg.. but Lilith's spell helps a great deal in mitigating this. "I will have your head, even if I have to die to claim it, Empress! Go, and dream, in death!"

The Sellsword charges, lashing out again and again at that shield, and anything exposed that happens to peek out from it. "DEMACIA!" The woman roars the name of her homeland, something that under the Noxian occupation, is punishable by death. It's been a long time, since she's said it. Spoken it out loud. A battle cry, once carried by many, under a standard that she gladly shed her blood for. What would this person, who speaks of perfecting humanity, know about such sacrifice?

Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
    Wilted Flower was still meant to be down below where the dagger would find her. She'd actually plummeted far beneath the earth; it's her bad sense for starting to come back up the way she'd expected The Shadow to land, and as she starts to rise, a knife drives down into her side, finding purchase in organs that are probably important. Of course, she's not come back up alone; spikes are rising from the earth, ready to impale the freefalling assassin.

    Wilted Flower manages to cough, once, blood rising in her mouth. "Damn you. I had more important things to do before this." She'll manage, trying to slide back under the earth, succeeding before blackness comes.

    Not death, though. She's not so lucky. Once she's under, her body will take over, reflexively starting to repair the damage. Not quickly enough to make a difference. Just quickly enough that she'll be forced to deal with the aftermath. Again.

Sir Gawain has posed:
Eclipse Knight braces himself. He cannot go back after this. He takes a breath, as the Tarnished Saber invokes her Noble Phantasm. He slides forward, activating his shield again, but it is only capable of withstanding half of the strikes, as he is slashed into with the air. Sliding backwards, the Knight grimaces, holding his sword firm as he awaits for the next attack. He knows WIld Card will come at him.

Due to this, while she strikes the Eclipse Knight, he is able to divert most of it off of him. It is still excruciatingly painful, but a possible decisive victory has only been turned into a very good strike. He steps backwards, putting both of them in his vision. "You are one to talk...what did /you/ do for the Round Table? My king, my brothers...they fell! Dun Realtai fell! And you did nothing! Nobody came! They died, and you didn't even fight! And you think yourselves the heroes! I will bring forth peace, as my king would have wanted...even if you must fall in the process!" With every word, his voice begins to falter. Something's happened.

Eclipse Knight's helmet has been slashed into from all sides, and is falling apart. He rises to remove it, as he begins speaking. His words are...some sort of magic, containing an inherent sense of wrongness in them. "I call upon the pact which has been offered to me, and I Accept the Deal. My power is yours, and my body will be your vessel. Give me the strength to destroy my enemies, I beseech of you...as I let in the darkness! Allow it to overtake me to achieve victory and strike down my enemies, for I am no longer Sir Gawain, but the Eclipse Knight, the Altered Saber!" And then, everything crackles. Eclipse Knight's body is swarmed in a purple, bulging darkness, an inherent sense of wrongness that covers him head-to-toe. His armor begins to grow spikes and nubs all along it, changing from a bright floral pattern to purple and black, inherently evil. His blade shatters, replaced with black fire that is so hard to look at, it is mentally repulsive. Gwarcheidwad remains the same, except for the black color it takes, fitting in with the rest of him.

And then, Eclipse Knight tosses the helmet aside. His once blonde hair has turned white, as his blue eyes are now a pure gold, showing no remains of the humanity he once had. The armor builds up onto his face, covering his mouth and jaw in the form of a sort of a mask, leaving only those angry eyes staring his foes down.

And then, he charges. Eclipse Knight's strength and speed has been boosted entirely, as he charges at the Tarnished Saber. But at the last second, he feints, moving to strike broad at Wild Card with his sword, nothing on his mind except their deaths. Sir Gawain is gone. There is only the Altered Saber left.

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Goodbye Dork Knight, say hello to the Dark Knight!"

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Cool-voiced, Wild Card says, "Keep him between us as best we can. Splitting his guard is our only chance now."

Theo Morrison has posed:
The land changes, the Dreadnought rears its ugly head. The two squads of Planeswalkers wreak ugly havoc, driving the rebels back and practically leading the charge into the monsters beyond the ranks that remain to be broken. They're confident. They're ready to fight, to /win/.

The Jack of Spades looks up from his encounter with the Queen, staring into the distance. That familiar feeling. He points at a card as he feels it build. Fractions of a second.

"Mox Sapphire." A glittering gemstone appears in his outstretched hand. He closes his fingers around it. There's a glow from it and from his coat of artifacts --


-- and the Signets flare with icy light, loosed at the perfect moment. The frozen moment.

TIME REWINDS. The bodies reassemble as wounds heal. The army, it seems, is as it was before the killing attacks. The battle has been altered in multiple places. Things have been changed, seemingly irrevocably, in the Rebellion's favor. The Jack, though, just smiles, and smiles, and smiles though it all.

He should have learned this one /years/ ago.

"Time Reversal."

Mana explodes from his body, blanketing the battlefield with a cyan glow for a key instant.


It goes back to as it was. A moment ago, or a moment hence, when the killing power is reversed. It's about to happen again. He's barely managed a few seconds. He looks to his cards this time, drawing on mana from the /game/ instead of his toys. He lets loose a laugh of unrestrained joy.

<Empire-IC> Archangel says, "Damn that ability of hers. I had no idea she could still use it so brazenly."
<Empire-IC> Dreaming Empress at first perfectly calm then in an explosion of anger, "Nor did I. If I had, it would not have -HAPPENED-."
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says confidently, "That's why you keep me around. Watch and learn."

"Mana Drain!"

The cyan blanket flashes outward again, and then gathers into a cyclone. It rips and tears at the power being used to reverse time the first time for the /second/ time, dragging it towards the Jack of Spades in a torrential cascade of untapped energy. He reaches out to grasp it, a manic grin on his face as he rapidly unravels the reversal before it could even happen the first time.

Only some of the changes were wrought; Lilith's power is nothing to sneeze at, but this one time sees it greatly reduced, and the reversal might still be ripped to shreds if he isn't stopped.

Time continues, more or less, as it was. The only difference is that the Jack is about to get super-charged, and the Empire is about to have a much brighter day.

Priscilla has posed:
    On some level, the Lost Dragon wants to consider Lilith's words. None in the Rebellion have hurt her like the Archangel has. Like the Empress has. The idea of crushing the Empire out of sheer vengeance and hoping the Rebellion will leave is appealing in its naive simplicity, but even without the Vampire Queen's words echoing in her head, she knows that the one is barely any better than the other in the end. Her laughter is cold and hollow, something that once might have been derisive if she hadn't run dry of that feeling long ago.

    "I am well aware of what that /thing/ I once called a man shalt do once he is rid of thee. I hath no such misconceptions as to believeth in some other outcome; and yet still, I shalt hath no part in thine war of so called 'ideology'. Not whilst thou ravage these lands and grant him all the excuses he couldst possibly need, and not again whilst thou wouldst shelter unrepentant murderers within thine ranks that so happily prey upon our own. I know full well why thou desireth mine aid in particular, so knoweth this; the Archangel shalt die this day, one way or another, but I shalt spare thine own no more shouldst thou perpetuate this slaughter upon the lands of those who wish nothing but to be apart from it. Dare speak to me again once thou hast surrendered the Sellsword. Until then, I shalt destroy all those who bear arms until every last blade hast been cast to the earth, whether on its own, or in the deathgrip of its owner."

    It's not that she isn't aware of exactly what the Rebellion is doing in so transparently attempting to crush the Empire's forces between theirs and the Den's own, but neutrality is inflexible in that way. Asides, as soon as she hears the words of that unwise general, Lilith's vague duplicity falls well to the back of her mind, overtaken by a torrent of long-repressed feelings that could be sugar coated as indignation, if they weren't so clearly homicidal rage. Her hands shake as her voice does, curling into white-knuckled fists. "Those foolish enough to believeth such shalt be rewarded with DISASTER. Those who wouldst place their souls behind something they so little understand look forward to nothing but RUIN. Thou hast been warned once. Now thou hurry only towards CALAMITY.

    That eye conquered so many years ago, fuelled with the billions of souls lost to these tortuous ages of everlasting bloodshed, flares with a blinding corona of scorching light, the battlefield suddenly blanketed with a million screams of anguish, rage and terror, blending into a single, keening, mind-rending shriek of such potency that the earth begins to smoulder. The first, second, and third wave of the charge is uprooted completely, cast into the air as if falling off the face of the earth. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of men, women and witches, remain suspended for the briefest of instants, transfixed by some invisible force, before being consumed by the cataclysmic blossoming of a second sun; a boiling, molten orange star of malevolent fury that explodes into the shape of a familiar cross, silent for a precious few seconds before the blast wave hits the battlefield, rumbling under the catastrophic hammerblow.

Priscilla has posed:
    It seems the Lost Dragon has no intent of holding her line where it stands. She is not a knight or a shield bearer, but an arrow loosed from beyond the pale to execute those who should have long since died. The ground explodes behind her as she bursts into a sprint, her physical characteristics jacked up beyond all belief from the combined power of all the spiritual essence she has taken on. Moonlight flashes into one hand, carving through the soldiers directly in front of her with a colossal wave of penetrating soulfire. The Lifehunt scythe appears in the other, unchanged since the day it was forged, no great feller of armies, but perhaps now, more than ever, the most dangerous weapon left in existence, as no matter how much those who fight this war may escalate their abilities, and no matter what powers they turn to, they are still just as mortal before its edge as ever. It doesn't take a brilliant tactician to tell that she's headed right into the heart of things. To cut out the heart of the conflict before it comes crashing down on what she has tried to protect in full. At this point, anyone might become a target, even if she does have just one in mind.

Riva Banari has posed:
The Lost Dragon. Templar's ears pricked but she dared not look out over the field at that soul-devouring horror. Where she went, Death followed in her wake. Even so, if the words of Archangel could draw blood, they may as well have from the agonized expression on Templar's face. Even after all this time, she still wears her heart on the sleeve of that suit. "So what? You didn't have to do it! You pulled the trigger! You could have stopped any time! No one made you do it!" She probably yelled this dozens of times. He's probably told himself this dozens of times. Again, Templar tries to find a way to grab at emotions, at the heart, another round in the endless attempts. In some ways, it's almost rote, really, but why does she even keep trying, even now, on the verge of annihilation? It's stupid. Unreasonable. Pathetic, really.

It's about that time that the hammer crashes down, punching past her defenses. The hammerhead slows fractionally for a moment as it hits the massive wall of Anima-reinforced defenses, layers of probablility shifting and counterforces and wards against a multitude of attacks...

And then it pops like a bubble, crushing her chest amd smearing her into the ground. The Templar is dead instantly on impact.

Ten seconds later, a gleaming wave of golden hexagons washes over the corpse. "You're going to talk to me about scope." She staggers back to her feet, coughing as the grotesque wounds rapid-heal in a wash of light. She snaps an epipen-looking object from her pocked and jabs it into her leg, the hissing sound augmenting the speed of the recovery as she straightens. There is a shifting of motion as the Templar brings out the claws, slipping them on and beginning to bounce on the balls of her feet. "Suffering is suffering, Archangel. Did you forget that? I hate the words 'necessary justice'. They're a copout. A surrendering. I hated it when the Templars spoke about it. I hated it when people made me choose that path. That isn't justice, Archangel. That's just..."

She stares up into that purple eye. She knows what that is. She knows what it means. With a shriek, Templar lunges forward, rolling in to try to get under his guard and grapple with him. "DAMN YOU, PSYBER! WHY ARE YOU KILLING EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE YOU CARED ABOUT?"


She doesn't have a prayer of beating him in force of arms. But she won't stop coming until something solves that problem.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    "...ah. It isn't you at all, is it." There is a distinct tone of sadness in Kyra's voice. There is a beep and the helmet of the NEO GOLEM armor splits down the middle, retracting so Kyra's head can be seen. There is little difference from when the Warlord saw her last. Her hair is a little longer and the piercings are nowhere in sight-though those were abandoned long before her fateful wedding. Still, it stands in stark contrast to the appearance of her former friend. "How sad. I was...hoping that someone was left after all these years...someone that would survive my care...though I highly doubt an energy being such as yourself is vulnerable to biological warfare agents. Tricky."

    She spreads both of her arms down to him, "It was for peace. Justice. Happiness. The ends-the sacrifice-justifies the means. And I don't understand why you were so upset with me in the end-you DID seek to phase out the Dynasty and hand Ramuha over to its people. Is that not what we do? Is that not what the Union Empire does? Alas, we still have rebellion. We still have struggle. When those lost souls continue to fail to comply with the order, what choice do we have?"

    She looks distant. "The Light Warriors....they didn't need to die." She whispers quietly, a hand moving to touch the Murasame Blade at her waist. "They didn't...no." Her gauntlet tightens around it, then drops away. The distant look remains on her face as Trigrammaton crashes into the Rafflesia and despite the impact, the former White Mage is not shook from her ship. The Falcon-class vessel remains airborne, though just barely, dipping significantly down over the battlefield. Soldiers go scattering away from the growing shadow, unwilling to take the risk of being crushed by yet another fallen Murasame airship.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    The Warlord will hear shrill laughter spring up, followed by a voice, "Issss not meat." The woody, root-like outgrowths encrusting the ship suddenly twist and shift, exuding purple light as it does so, glowing with a power that the Warlord would know already. He is, of course, using it himself in his restrained, chained form. The Rafflesia seems intent on adding to the restraint, however, lashing out to bind the False Exaltation over the length of the ship, aiming to stretch out limbs far from each other.

    "I know, Rafflesia." she tells her ship, "Use Osmose instead." Horrifyingly enough, the Rafflesia does seem capable of casting a spell, jury rigged through via Kyra's dark experimenting and previous research into the Job Crystals.

    The girl herself walks boldly to the Warlord, each step a loud CLANK against her ship with the slightest sound of suction, suggesting that the NEO GOLEM suit has some kind of magnetic traction engaged to allow her to remain stable on the ship. A hand strays to her thigh and something emerges from the armor, dropped into her hand.

    A good, old-fashioned Rasp Grenade.

    "It's only us, Landon." she says, using the name for the ghost as she strays close to the head of the Trigrammaton. Her goal is clear: stick the grenade to the Exaltation and step back. "But in the end, it will only be me."

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    The Vampire Queen looks across at Theo Morrison, and his personal forces. The havoc they cause, the destruction, the power they play through ritualistic grown man's card game. It is truly stunning what sorts of powers can be brought to bear at the confluence of natural talent, imagination, and deterministic rules-based jargon. Why do the flowers split seconds of life create power from thin air?

    Why do the memories of dying friends draw a surfiet of raw potential into the grip of the Jack?

    A poet would say that it is only through loss and adversity can progress be made. A more literally-minded person would simply know that the primordial power of the earliest of sets, the hallowed nine cards among them was from a simpler time - a happier time, thus plumbed for power and used viciously to eradicate foes.

    The Vampire Queen smiles sadly at Theo, as his very 'land' that surrounds him like a swampy moat draws in his allies callously. "You will forgive me if I ask you to spare me the jargon, I hope? I've studied you, Jack of Spades. Your power is astounding, varied, and nearly unchallengeable. In many other circumstances, I would never think to fight you." She calls, her voice quiet and firm, as the Phyrexian titan begins to rise, dwarfing her. It's all a procedure, rules, outcomes. A tempo set in stone. And I won't..."

    The Queen's speech probably continues for at least half the chapter, and we all get bored waiting for it. In this timeframe, Theo has infinite time to act, to cast, because if there is one thing the Vampire Queen is weak to, it's belabored exposition at dramatic moments.


    ANOTHER FLOW RESUMES. "You will forgive me if I ask you to spare me the jargon, I hope?" She 'repeats, but there's something different to her. The flow of everything was different, and as more and more effects changed the 'future', she sprung forward. "I no longer have the luxury of giving you further 'turns'."

    Her hands are claws, her speed faster than a blur. One hand goes to smash him right in the nose. The other, to close around his neck and squeeze. "You will say no more 'words', you will not speak of strategy and luck and draws and cards, you won't speak at all." She murmurs, her eyes haunted as she tries to bear Theo right down into the water, and jam him under the murky surface of the Underground Sea.

    "No more flowers. No more painful memories. No more black suns that devour all life."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    It is a seemingly endless game of blow against blow, move against move. No matter how far away Mizuki teleports, The Sellsword is always there to intercept her. She is the shield working against a blade that simply will not yield, and eventually, she -will- have to strike back decisively. Yet it's been too long since she's fought someone directly, too many years since she had assumed a role of power that had made her feel invincible -- dangerously so. She recognizes her hubris in a sudden flash that happens to coincide with the moment when her 'perfect' defense fails her. After she has sent a wake of energy flying toward the Sellsword, she leaves her shield just out of reach, just too far to guard her. It's in that moment that the Duelist's blade finds providence. She achieves one sudden, deep blow that leaves her paused in place, likely scoring her several more slashes by extension.

    When Mizuki finally teleports away, her eyes shoot open wide, a hand gripping at the gaping wound on her chest. There is no blood -- only stars; infinities of miniature celestial bodies that seem to make the 'interior' of her being appear a mess of constellations rather than a body. The wound dissipates entirely in a matter of seconds, but it is clear by the way she keeps her hand in place that the pain has not fled alongside it. Moreover, the thousands of cyan flecks - the stars - that flooded out of her being before tint a sickly gray before fluttering down to the ground, ceasing to be as they make contact with the ground.

    Finally, she manages a smile... if one that is terribly sad. "You are right," She wisps. "I know nothing of strife. Out of a fascination toward the idea I have endeared myself countless others such that I could hear their stories, feel their pain vicariously, allow it to teach me -- but no. It is not the same." She shakes her head, now. "... it isn't that I disagree with you. Everything you have said --" She winces, faltering, "Everything you have said has been correct. Our idiosyncrasies, even our evils give character to us. Our failings help us to learn, to grow; they make relationships meaningful. And yet..."

    She looks up, staring directly at The Sellsword. "Wouldn't it be better if that wasn't so? Wouldn't it be better if we could have the same depth of character without all this strife? Without all this bloodshed? Why are our minds structured this way? I don't question the reality of things; you are far more adept in the recognition of reality than I am. No, I only yearn for a world where we could achieve that complexity, that humanity... without pain. I cannot accept the existence of things like scarcity, and need, and suffering. I cannot accept that a kind personality might fall apart if deprived of food, or whatever. I only wish that the personality could the stoic, immovable, perfect thing that it was when I was young."

    Finally, she rises. "Of course I am overzealous. Of course I am evil. I might once have been called an 'idealist', but it is a far easier to be an idealist when the world accepts your ideals as 'moral'. I should have had far more patience in my explanation of these things to you, but due to a bloated ego of my own I have failed you. I have made you think me terribly deluded, if indeed I am not in reality. For that, I am sorry. I have done you a horrible disservice. I had quite forgotten how... to converse with someone who does not believe as I do."

    "And yet," She says, raising her sword again, "even if I cannot make you understand... even if my apologies only highlight my hypocrisy in your eyes... I must persevere. It is all I can do for future peace to endeavor in the belief that the cycles of the world can be broken. I must believe in these small lies that, some time in the distant future, they become truth." After another moment's pause, she quietly intones, "Though I - we - do not deserve it, I nevertheless must beg your forgiveness."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    That said, she does not stop: within moments, more butterflies have formed, all of them launching toward The Sellsword as before. Four portals appear in the shape of a plus sign across their condensed battlefield, the Northernmost of them landing in front of Mizuki. In a moment when The Sellsword is preoccupied with the blades and chains chasing her, Mizuki leaps back from the portal before flying back toward it, pressing herself through one of her speeding fields along the way.

    She intends to emerge from the portal to the left of The Sellsword.

    She intends to run her through, and to accept a grievous wound of her own in the process.

    Just... just like an exchange of pieces in a chess game. But will this one have been worth it?

    She cannot say.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
<Empire-IC> Kyra Murasame, "I'm getting one of those particular headaches and I do not think it is because the Lord of War is baring down on me quite aggressively with his Exaltation. Is there time dickery afoot?"

Theo Morrison has posed:
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "There is was has been will be time dickery. Don't worry about it."

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
    Her spell is being undone?

    And her already taxed, fading resources are being drained.

    Lilith gives a deep sight. The Grimoire in her hand burns, consumed in purple and yellow flames with a scream of agony. It slightly, very slightly, barely, refills Lilith's battery.

    "I will not let my work come undone. In my shadow stand fifty ready to take my place, all driven, all motivated, all capable. Archangel, I will not burn the world for my sake. I will burn myself for the world's sake, in atonement for the flames I already turned upon it before."

    In her hand appears TYRFING, the holy blade that was once Psyber's. "See how every weapon you have ever touched is destined to do nothing but harm your own friends, Archangel." Homura leaps forward, and off the CTHULHUSHIP. She blurs, disappears, and reappears behind Theo, as the Queen attacks him. She can't let him keep channeling those spells and taxing her effects. So there's really only one logical solution.

    Try to drive the holy sword in Theo's back.

    Knowing full well she doesn't even have enough magic left to haste herself anymore, much less stop time. But it's an acceptable risk, if it means releasing all the stored power the teen just took. And putting a stop to his drain on the effect. It might be too late to salvage it, but she's a walking corpse anyway.

    May as well make a point to the Archangel with her last breath.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame says, "Speaking of time dickery. Jack, you don't get double points tonight if I stay up until 2 more than once during this scene due to daylight savings time."

Theo Morrison has posed:

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "We're really pulling out all the stops here. This is great. Thanks, guys!"

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
-<OOC>- Vampire Queen says, "You is was have been already up that long, Kyra, the points are already his."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "It's kinda nice to have some of old Empress show up again"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "Like before all I thought about with her was when I would get to do scenes like this but now that that's every scene I almost never get to have her be un-evil"

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame says, "Noooooooo though seriously I've been looking forward to this scene for a while now and I'd gladly stay up all night for it. Even if it's kind of bittersweet since it IS the finale."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow slow breath... Okay so... Here we go.

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight nods to Kyra. "I couldn't see another way for the game to go out, though, so."

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "I feel like my next pose requires https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI6xlqNsklU some sad theme music." :D

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "There will be time to sleep when we're dead"

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "Totally worth it in every single way"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "(i feel like that's going to be kind of soon actually .-. )"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says "like whoa wut it's the end let's just have a mass suicide"

Pinkie (470) has posed:
    Down she goes, gravity working for her. And gravity working against her. That manic grin unchanged on the pony-girl's porcelain mask, The Shadow cackles with glee as she drives her dagger downwards, ready to twist the blade for a more fatal solution to the problem Flower presents for her. But... "Wha-"
    The ground rises to meet her. Literally. It's too late by the time the earthen spikes jut up to greet her with their jagged embrace. "Ah!"
    The resounding shatter of a jagged crack forming down the center of that smiling mask can nearly be heard across the battlefield as the Shadow never quite fully reaches the ground. Held aloft by the merciless spikes of stone and earth pinning her up towards the sky, that jagged blade finally falls from her fingers, eye wide now not with glee... But shock. Surprise. Even dismay.
    There is no smile, as that mask falls apart, splitting neatly down the middle before hitting the ground and shattering to a million pieces. But it's a young face that's staring down at Flower- far too young, blinking in bewilderment and dizzied confusion.
    Now, light is cast upon the shadow, her last night coming to an end, the first rays of the rising sun giving the girl with no visage a face for the first time in years as silver-pink hair begins to stain red with blood.
    She's done so much in the name of peace. Killed so many people and ponies and what did it get her? Little more than a slipping grasp on her own sanity, and hands so stained with blood she should be ashamed.
    Her breath slows, and in that warped, broken mind she hearkens back to a better time fifteen years ago...

    "Rarity! I made breakfast!"
    "U-um... Well that is quite nice, darling, what... Exactly is this?"
    "It's toast!"
    "Y-yes! I see! Toast! Right..."
    "I love you, Rarity<3"
    "Yes... Of course, dear, I love you too."

    Still, the warm feeling of that familiar hoof ruffling her mane is all she had ever wanted. But now it feels so far away. Still, as the memory fades, growing distant and cold, The Shadow reaches a bloodsoaked hand out, grasping at a figure that simply is no longer there. A figure that has been long gone, just as long gone as she was.

    "I thought... ... I thought it... I thought it would make you happy, big sister..." Whispered to thin air before she slowly goes limp... Just another body heaped upon the charnel fields of eternal battle, in a world of inevitable darkness...

>>> SUMMARY - The Shadow <<< - What's hiding beneath the painted mask...

Pinkie (470) has posed:
(New BB Message (20/36) posted to 'Kudos and Logs' by The Shadow: Shedding Some Light)

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    The Hound remains a passive force on the battlefield for a time, because he does not want to tip his hand too early. The Witches are allowed to flow around his vines, so long as they do not approach the Den of Monsters, deliberately funneling them towards their actual enemies. The sensation of their passage gives him pangs of bloodlust, distant and powerful, but kept in check by the fruit. There's no need to worry about sustenance now. If he needed to, he could drain quite a few people dry under the circumstances. Even when some of the battle pushes its way into the Den above, he does not act. Not immediately.

    The vines continue to spread through the underground of the battlefield, burrowing away the stability that prevents great tracts of land from being anything more than a sinkhole waiting to happen. If there was a simple cross-saction of the Blood-soaked valley, the underground surrounding the Den of Monsters would be obviously perilous in the extreme. It is like a great metal tree is growing from beneath, in a great network so that what appears to be a whole forest is merely one unthinkably vast plant.

    A vague tickle at the back of his senses suggests that Yuuki has begun to fight. He is uncertain who, her surroundings a mire of supernatural /some/thing. Briefly, he ponders whether or not it was wise to postpone her death. If Zero had killed and devoured her, he most likely would have had greater power to carry out her final order. It doesn't matter now. He made the choice to delay his treachery. Someone else flickers into the field next to Yuuki, oddly rapidly. Incredibly odd.

    Zero turns his senses towards the den of monsters, and those that exist within it. He tries to get a sense of them. How many are there? How many are really monsters? Is there a point in offering him this protection, or do they warrant being used as a convenient deflection point followed by systemic extermination?

Pinkie (470) has posed:
+bbread 20/36
==============<* Inevitable Darkness MUSH BBS - Kudos and Logs *>===============
Message: 20/36 (30d 0h 0m 0s) Posted Author
Shedding Some Light Oct 26 2015 The Shadow

Haha wow. So um. Where to begin? I know the scene isn't over, but I figure I'll get this out now before I go to bed.

When I first apped The Shadow, back a good three years ago, I had so many plans and ideas. I didn't get to go through with them all, but the ones I did? Well I'll always cherish them. I want to give my cast mate, ArchMagus Twilight a big shout out for sticking through with me to the end but... Well now it's the end! Haha so I bet you were all surprised by the true identity under the mask, right? Yeah I thought it was a great crack idea at the time, and in the end it worked out really well. I wanna shoot some extra thanks to Al Capone for teaching Pinkie to be a Templar, and to Lilith for the times she pretended to be Slackoff Secretary, too. Also to Archangel of course for running a whole TP for me just for the sake of helping Shadow get that Cutie Mark she always wanted.

It's been an amazing run you guys, and I love you all. So I can happily lay this character to rest.


Mizuki (183) has posed:
-<OOC>- Dreaming Empress says, "say lost how high is your killcount for this tp actually"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    There are three. The Dragon, the Daughter, and the Templar. And each of them holds their rightful hatred of The Archangel.

    The look in that purple eye watches the Templar as she stands up again, and then forced to watch as the battle reverses itself, only to be once more spilled out forward by Theo interfering as best as he can. He keeps a steady gaze on the battle, judging if he can still win it. A lot of people are going down or taking actions to push them to no return, but he judges these acceptable losses.

    "The answer is simple," The Archangel says distractedly. His instincts tell him the dragon is on the field, though he cannot find her amidst the chaos and keeping his watch on both the Templar and Lilith. He grips the hammer in one hand, abruptly curling the arm and throwing it straight at the Templar, letting it trail fire and force as it flies towards her, "Because you all forced this outcome. I remember the day the Librarian and I talked and decided this would be the best course of action, despite what we'd both give up to achieve it."

    As the hammer is thrown, he reaches up to pull off his helmet for the first time since he was catalogued killing Elliana. He lets his hair fall free, though he has kept it short, and he looks at Riva. His one purple eye affixes on her in contrast to the red eye, "I haven't been able to stop since I killed Elliana. I promised him if she died, I'd make her death mean something, that was what Nathan negotiated in the binding. Mordred wouldn't understand it, so I couldn't expect you to."

    And then he smiles again, "Now. Awaken... Wrathborn." He smiles, "Your nap has ended."

    Almost immediately, the spectral purple form of a demonic and possessed snake begins to wrap around Archangel, ghostly and imposing as she charges in at him. He ducks and weaves, her claws rending and pulling away at the armor he wears, slowly peeling away the can of metal that has entombed him. But the snake coils tightly, almost possessively around the half-angel as he hops away and skids along the ground.

    "The deal... one victory when you need it most. Then an eternity of nightmares by my hand. The bargain you and he struck."

    It might give him the edge he needs to fight both the Templar AND the Dragon at the same time as the Shajemic energy suffeses his entire existance to overclock him. It gives him the speed he needs to dart back and away from the Templar, summoning a greatsword into his hands. At one time, it had been known by a different name, but now it was known to many as: Priscilla's Sin.

    The Lifehunt Greatsword.

    He whips around, trying to bring it up to clash with the Lost Dragon's scythe as she brings it down towards him. The Templar he could take on his own. The Dragon stepping in to help was a new matter. One that may threaten his life, were she to land the proper hits upon him. He would make them pay for every wound on his body with a gallon of blood.

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber looks at post. ...wait, all this time, really?

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow says, "Yep! Didn't see that coming, did you?" :D

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber says, "You might say it was a... Sweet surprise, yes."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Knight says, "Man. Man. I did not want to cry tonight. I hate you, Shadow :(."

Psyber (253) has posed:
<Union Empire> Wrathborn says, "You have kept me asleep for too long. I will savor this."

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "So. Unfortunately for all those positive emotion based Puella, the long-lost Lord of Nightmares has reappeared."

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "Right now? Actually higher than the old TP I ran"

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon ticks it up by one. RIP Shadow ;__;7

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
"I am not a hero," says Tarnished Saber coldly. "I never was. I am a spoiled, selfish princess, and I have never cared about honor or peace or justice. I only care about myself, and what's best for me." The words are cold, but she flinches saying them. Her blessed mirror allows her to know when someone is lying, and that includes herself, but she ignores its searing ping in the back of her mind.

All that mana she just expended comes flowing back into her body, and the Tarnished Saber takes a deep breath...

...then it flows right back out again, and she finds herself choking briefly from the shock. Green eyes flick yoward the skies, but she recovers quickly enough. Still, that sort of flow is a huge shock to her system, enough to give her pause and allow the Eclipse Knight to complete his transformation.

"No. You didn't..." Eyes close briefly, and she shakes her head. "There's no going back from this contract. Killing you now is a mercy more than anything else." Her gaze flicks toward Wild Card, her head inclining slightly.

Then the Tarnished Saber charges, sword at the ready. Any experienced swordsman might easily recognize any number of openings in her stance, and her focus is much more on attack than defense... and she doesn't care, driving straight at the Altered Servant with abandon.

Pinkie (470) has posed:
-<OOC>- The Shadow drops a smokebomb to the ground, "Mischief managed, Now I'm going to shuffle off to bed for work tomorrow. I'll catch the log on the wiki later. Have fun guys. You've all been great<3"

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Tarnished Saber says, "Master, like we discussed. Please don't worry about me."

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "Now I've gotta read the rest of this. Nighto!"

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
    The Sellsword.. no.. Fiora feels pity. "I know."

That's all she can really think to say, in reply. She accepts everything. She knew this might be her last duel, but considering the circumstances, it all seems.. right. Dawn is breaking, the sun starting to rise above the crest of the mountains. Still, she dodges the chains and knives sent her way, but there's the pain to confirm she was right.


She loses her strength, but there's enough left to grasp her blade once more, lifting it up to drive it down into the Empress's body. "If only.. If.. I'm sorry, too.."

Already greatly weakened, Fiora staggers back, her opponent's weapon buried in her side. No going back, now. "Father.. Did I.. do the right thing..?"

Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> Wilted Flower says, fading, "Lost. Stupid one, there wasn't any need to get in my way like that. Where was I? What was I? Sleep, but not rest. Never rest."

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
<Rebellion-IC> The Sellsword lets out a tired sigh, "Empress is.. off the field.. Unfortunately, I fear I am, as well.."

Sir Gawain has posed:
<Empire-IC> Eclipse Knight, corrupted, speaks firmly. "Finally, I will end this. Someone once told me something...'Memento mori', was it?"

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
    "You should know better than any - a 'peace' bought with bloodshed is nothing of the sort-!"

    When Gawain steps, Wild Card moves, keeping her Kusanagi in her grasp and doing her best to force the former Knight of the Sun to stay between them - even before he changes, she knows this to be their best shot. As that strange, black power overcomes him, however, she quickly becomes sure that it is their /only/ chance. He has become something monstrous. Something her temporary nature as a Servant insists is incredibly wrong. A faint grimace overcomes her features, and she shifts her position in an attempt to flank - only to find herself stricken right across the stomach. It is a heinous, mortal blow, the sort of thing she'll only survive at /all/ by being empowered as an immortal Heroic Spirit, but even that much will take her too long to recover from-

    Lilith's rewound time washes over her, lifting Wild Card to her feet, her wound gone - and then Theo's magic undoes it partway, leaving her hurt, but not cripplingly so. She staggers and grimaces, but pushes it down, and then looks past Eclipse Alter to Saber.

    And nods faintly.

    She knows there's too much risk in it. She knows only one of the three people involved in this might walk away. But they have a plan, and it /might/ work as intended even now, and moreover it's their best shot... and sometimes being a hero means making sacrifices willingly. Now, more than ever, she has to be true to the heroism she's found for herself.

    As Tarnished Saber lunges forward, a half-step later, so too does Wild Card. She waits for it, she lets her Servant lead the attack, throw her own, present her opening... and create an opening in turn. Then the card-user's own Kusanagi no Tsurugi is pushed in, taking advantage to go for a killing blow.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     The Trigrammaton is lashed, bound, not only by its own chains but by the Rafflesia. In the cockpit, the Lord of War is stretched, pulled, along with it, for in truth he and it are one. His arms lengthen not on purpose or with some magic but simply because force demands that they do, force applied from the Rafflesia.

     The Tripartite God struggles against the plant beast as that which once was Landon al Cid-

     -is broken free just in time by the TIME WIND.

     The Trigrammaton is just out of synch, just enough for the Rafflesia's grip to fall through. Instead, the Trigrammaton grabs the beast by the tendril and shoves the cannon into its mouth, and-


     the cannon fires, but the Rafflesia's tendrils knock it to the side. The massive shot instead goes wide, spiralling into the sky and taking out a jet in one strike. The Lord of War reels from the physical strike.

     "You cannot have it both ways. The sacrifice cannot be both justified and unnecessary. Your own rhetoric has blinded you to the Truth."

     "You replaced a kingdom with a dictatorship. You replaced wisdom with tyranny. You killed my family and friends and twist it into what you imagined I desired."

     Cards whirl around the Tripartite God, each gigantic. The Trigrammaton grabs one of them between its massive clawed fingers, its blue chains rattling around it from the force of the motion. The Rafflesia gets an arm around it, and-

     "I will not allow you to live past this battle."

     "Mirielle's gift! RAGNAROK RAIN!"

     Above Kyra, a massive golden sword spins together of gold light. It hovers there for an instant, almost larger than the Trigrammaton itself, glowing and pulsing as it recognizes its Enemy on the field. The Divine pulses with Holy light, identifying the Lord of War as its foe...and also its summoner. The Divine's confusion is visible as it cracks and shatters, falling to pieces - each piece a shard of Holy light, a gold crystal crashing down on Kyra's golem armor and the Rafflesia. Pieces of it crash down on the Trigrammaton, digging into it, but he pays it no mind - the pain is a mild-


     The bomb explodes against his chest, and the Lord of War - and the Trigrammton - throw back their head and roar in pain. Pieces of the Trigrammaton are torn away, exposing the glowing Judgemaster within. The mech stumbles backwards as the Lord of War reflexively clutches his chest, trying to keep the fragments in tight.

     "It will not...be me who survives. I know this. I came to this battle with that thought in my mind. All that I love and all that I have ever loved is gone. But I have this and this alone to keep me moving. This thought. This single thought. This single...INSIGNIFICANT THOUGHT!"


     "SABER'S GIFT! RULER'S FLAME!" The Trigrammaton snags another card out of the air, and it explodes into crystalline fire, burning a brilliatnt blue light. The mech raises it into the air.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:

     The sword begins to blaze. Inside the cockpit, the Lord of War begins to dim. The Trigrammaton starts to come apart, feeding into the sword, its blue blaze tinting green and black. The wound on the Lord of War's chest is where the unravelling starts, and green light and black nothingness start leaking out of him, pouring upwards into the sword with his exaltation.

     "KAMON'S GIFT! FLAIR FIESTA!" Ice, lightning, red fire, earth, metal, water - they swirl around the sword as it takes in the Lord of War's life force, and they explode, amplified massively. The head gives way - it's just arms, legs, and part of a torso now, the Trigrammaton God vanishing into nothingness.


     The Trigrammaton's remains shoot up. It leaps upwards into the sky, smashing through the Falcon-class carrier on its way up. The legs start disintegrating as it passes through the airship.




     "KYRA'S GIFT!" The Lord of War screams as it descends. There's nothing left of the Trigrammaton now except the massive arms, the huge sword, and the falling torso and head of the Lord of War.




Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
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Sakura Haruno (134) has posed:
    Wilted Flower will stare up, her blood mixing with that of the assassin who had at least taken her out of this fight. One bit of instability gets another; the madwoman, not quite unconcious yet, will sink down into the earth a couple dozen feet, eyes shutting as she does, mumbling into her radio. She's trying to figure this one out, trying to determine if they're still winning.

    She's not entirely certain what fight it is. The Emperor? Sasuke, or Madera? Which set of betrayals was she on, now?

    Why was she always the one who lived past the others, without even really helping? Answers, she won't find. The questions will bother others, until she fades out into unconciousness.

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     The Ultima Slasher falls on Kyra Murasame, the Rafflesia, and a substantial portion of the Galiandan army. By the time the smoke clears, all that's left of the Lord of War - of the Warrior of Light - of Landon al Cid - is a slowly-vanishing crystalline head, burning white hair picking itself away piece by piece, and his right arm. Still, he crawls onwards.

     He made a promise.

     He will not let that promise fail, not here, not now, not at the final hour, even with his fingers crumbling and his head breaking away as the final bits of his life are claimed.

     He made a promise.

     And that is more important to him than all the philosophy in the multiverse.

Sir Gawain has posed:
"What choice do I have? What choice do any of us have? There is nothing for us but war! You are spilling blood as well! Can you really call yourselves the saviors? You're just HYPOCRITES!" Eclipse Alter roars in anger, as the Tarnished Saber charges. He strikes his sword as she moves at him, the flame of his blade moving to slide into her neck, before going downwards into her torso. This, in turn, gives Kazusa the perfect chance to attack, striking true at Eclipse Alter, who is stopped completely as the blades pierce him. Black blood stains his body...as his mask collapses, mouth covered in blood. But, yet, the Eclipse Alter does not go down. He's dying, surely, but he still has one last chance.

Lifting his blade upwards, the Eclipse Alter stares at the opponents around him. "No one wins in war. Everybody loses. But, something can come of it! I will purify the world, I will bring back the sun! Peace will last as the rays of light touch the world!" And then, he points his sword at his own heart. "I call forth, Shattered Galatine, the Cursed Sword of Victory, to bring down the light!"

As the Noble Phantasm activates, the dark flames glow intensely, as flaming sparks bounce off it. And then, Eclipse Alter thrusts the blade into his heart, his body corrupting immediately. His skin turns completely black, almost on fire, as his eyes burn intensely. "BRING FORWARD THE PEACE!"

And then, the energy in his body erupts on all sides, nuking the area containing himself, Tarnished Saber, and Wild Card in a blast of inherently wrong yet incredibly bright fire, as bright as the sun itself. When the blast washes over, the Eclipse Knight falls to his knees, finally smiling as his body falls apart, dematerializing. "Brothers...I'm coming home."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Alter says, "Oh my god, that was so hard to write. Thank you all SO MUCH, this is a really REALLY good scene."

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber says, "I just noticed you even got staff to re-@name you for this."

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber rubs hands and gets typing. Okay then.

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Alter says, "Man, I've been planning this ever since I heard the MU was closing. I KNEW it had to happen."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    For a moment, everything is quiet.

    The butterflies dissipate. The chains unfurl. The eerie, warbling atmosphere surrounding Mizuki's person fades away, allowing daybreak to shine in.

    Her face is terribly pale, and her expression is like that of a corpse. Though it is empty, it is empty in a distinctly human way: it is flushed with shock, and a sense of regret. And many say that regret, like most psychological pain, incarnates as a prick, a sting, a pang; if that is indeed the case, then Mizuki feels that in the form of The S... Fiora's blade. She stands perfectly still a moment, body paused and inert, in every way reminiscent of the marionette she had been called. It is some time before she finally desummons Aelinos, allowing Fiora's body to be free of its pain. Then, with nowhere else to go, she can only stagger toward the light of the sun.

    It is some time before she draws Fiora's blade out of her body. It is then even longer that she holds the thing in her hands, staring at her own reflection in the bloodied metal. Regardless of what Mizuki had thought, regardless of what she made of the ideas of 'honor' and 'morality', this tool of war symbolized her oath. In a fit of darkened passion, Mizuki spat on that oath as though it were nothing. How... how long ago had she lost the ability to acknowledge the beliefs of others? How long since had receded back into her own primal form, the form of the sheltered girl who knew nothing but her own imagination?

    Mizuki staggers back to Fiora. If she still lives, she hands it to her with the smallest of bows. If she does not, she spikes the blade into the ground near her head to serve as a gravemarker. She can do no more for her now -- the Archangel would be finished long before she would have the opportunity. In this way, though, even if she ultimately failed to create a 'true' soul, she at the least can preserve the humanity of someone else in their final moments. Indeed, isn't that... isn't that the use of the lie of the human? People need to see themselves as something venerable, something noble, something spiritual so that they may become. Culture exists to substantiate that idea. It serves to do the same thing that Mizuki sought to do, and yet she had gone so far as to call it foolish, substanceless.

    Suddenly, Mizuki collapses on one knee. Though her wound is slowly, gradually sewing itself shut, a dangerously large torrent of stars continues to pour away from her body. Whether she will survive depends entirely on whether the gash can close itself in time. But, if she does die, if these are to be her final moments, she does not want to spend them in regret and fear. So she turns to face the sun. She averts her eyes as far, far in the distance the Palace of White Lilies crashes to the Earth, the seismic waves its impact spreads about serving as the final bout of death to be dealt by her hand. Her eyes begin to glaze over.

    If Fiora still lives, she speaks to her; if she does not, she speaks to her corpse. "I never even asked your name," She says. "All that hatred I felt... and I failed to so much as acknowledge that I was interacting with a thinking, feeling being." She is silent for several moments more before she quietly says, "My name is Mizuki. May I be so bold as to ask for yours in kind?"

    There is no time to answer before she collapses, either unconscious or dead.

    In her final moments, she's wearing the same dress she wore when Psyber shared his true name with her, when Arthur tried to help teach her Calculus, when The Los... when Priscilla gave her the Dragon Eye Orb.

    In the end, what is there to make humanity 'real' or 'false'? Even she, in all her ferocity, could never have said.

Theo Morrison has posed:
Time changes, and the Jack of Spades finds himself in a precarious place: facing off with someone who is quite willing to get physical instead of magical.

Yuuki's fist smashes right into his nose. There's a satisfying 'CRACK' and a yell from the Planeswalker as the Queen proves that she will just straight-up hit a mage. He staggers backwards, and something inside him tells him that /someone/ is coming. He can feel a presence. It's familiar. He knew it around the office, and he's felt it on the battlefield. Lilith is --

Theo moves in the same instant that Yuuki does, the same instant that Homura descends, the same instant that Tyrfing strikes. The holy blade stabs through the coat and the token layer of armor beneath it, breaches the emergency force field that Staren provided to him years ago, and cuts into flesh. It's going to pass all the way through him. Even without the time control, she's simply fast enough to make the shot count.

The Jack has not been idling in an office chair all these years, though.

At the same moment the shield breaches, Yuuki's other hand gets purchase. She starts to drag him towards the sea -- but he drags himself towards /her/. Theo pushes himself up against the Vampire Queen, and Tyrfing hits his back, slides through his innards, punches out his chest... and keeps going. He has it on good authority that vampires do not enjoy the touch of holy swords. This seemed like a fairly reasonable plan.

Theo's bleeding, badly, but what he's bleeding isn't blood. Silver fluid, like liquid metal, runs down the blade. Lilith would have felt it grinding against metal on its way into his back. She would have felt it hit something softer in front of him.

Still grinning, the Jack of Spades looks between the two, utters a raspy, "Ladies," and releases half the energy he's stolen in a singularly focused burst -- but not at either of them.

Theo Morrison has posed:
The world around them shatters like spun glass.

One second, they're standing in a charnel house of a valley, fighting over an underground sea that Theo -- and by extension, the Queen and the Rebel Lady -- was about to be dragged down into. The next, they're tumbling through a void beyond description, a place where time and distance has no meaning. They merely /are/ in a place where things /are not/, where the only patterns that exist here are uncontrollable, destructive pulses of mana and blind flashes of universal entropy.

The injured Jack stands out in stark contrast to the null-space, the mists, the twisting stone walkways, the something-that-is-nothing the three of them have been dragged into. His Planeswalker's Spark gives him some protection from what is found here. It is not so for the others. With a choked sound (does it go anywhere? Does he make an 'anywhere' when he makes the sound so it /can/ /go/?), he releases the rest of the mana, a visible eruption of black, white and blue light searing the eye and dazzling arcane senses. It's like...

...a flare.

They are suddenly not alone.

A presence fills the un-space that is the Aether. It is colossal on a scale that this place, which /has/ no such concept, can barely contain. It is dreadful on a level that passes the primal, lizard-like brain of humanity and strikes terror into the core of a person's being. It is powerful like a sun is powerful when compared to a campfire --

No. No... like a black hole is powerful when next to a sun. Powerful. All-consuming.

Infinitely hungry.

Theo lifts his feet, free of the confines of three dimensions and comfortable in this not-place like no other, and kicks backwards into Lilith as hard as his Etherium-altered body can. Opposite him, on the far 'side' of her, the entity extends a claw/hand/paw/tendril/mouth, a colossal, mind-bogglingly huge feeding extremity, directly towards her -- which is precisely where he aims to send her.

Here, ULAMOG knows naught but ceaseless hunger, and is nothing but the primal power to feast on anything and everything.

Fiora Laurent (824) has posed:
She can manage that, at least. Lying on the ground, bleeding out, she doesn't seem to notice her opponent has gone already. "Fiora.. of House Laurent, Grand Duelist of the Kingdom of Demacia.." The woman known as the Sellsword breathes raggedly, rolling onto her back. "That is.. my name.. Who I am."

A sigh of relief, of a great and terrible weight lifted from her shoulders. And then, nothing more.

Priscilla has posed:
    The Lost Dragon isn't difficult to see, or to feel coming. One can track her progress by the gradually nearing wave of screams, see it by the flashes of souls erupting from their former vessels, and feel it in the steadily mounting sense of inexplicable dread. She is a streak of white and black and silver, of angrily glowing hatred and softly luminescent moonlight, as she finally clashes with the Archangel. The two weapons meet with a strangely melodic peal, echoing as if from a deep abyss, fading into traces of sound almost like song. Eerily monochromatic sparks fly from both blades as absurdly superhuman strength is locked in direct contest, blasting out the ground between them.

    "The Wrathborn." she states it as a rhetorical question. "Hast thou truly fallen so . . . no, I knew thee long ago to hath reached the very bottom, I am simply yet to find its terminal depths. I pray I never shalt." Oddly enough, she stays completely in deadlock, planting the longsword and bracing the scythe with both hands. Physical strength was always the Archangel's forte compared to her dexterity, so why does she persist in trying to overpower him? "I remembreth once, when thou once said that my world willed conflict; that it desired strife, and craved that only ambition wouldst determine one's fate. I shouldst hath seen then, what thou were. I believed that thou killed with such vindictive coldness from a desire for retribution, against wrongs perpetuated against those thou held close. That thou were a being of wrath, but also of justice, and of character to knoweth the difference. Now I see, that it was always a matter of convenience for thee. 'Kinship' was the worthiest cause of the moment, and as soon as it ceased to please thee, thou discarded it for another hollow ideal without thought, and visited that same unembellished murder upon those who once cared for thee in return, ever the champion in thine own mind, for need of a crusade and infidels to slaughter. How long ago was it that thou becameth this? Was Sir Hall simply the first to see the signs when we all embraced thine betrayal of him? Was Afterus simply thine plaything? Did Annu do this to thee? Or were thou always simply a tyrant so obsessed that even the 'One True God' couldst tolerate thee no longer?"

    It swiftly becomes apparent that something is very, very wrong. The Archangel should still be much stronger than the Lost Dragon, especially with the Shajem aiding him, but his sword arm grows weaker the longer he holds his blade. Starting from when the two weapons of clashed, or more accurately, when the shard of the Lifehunt rejoined its mother, a sense of deep, unignorable, primal danger has been building, setting off every single higher and lower instinct. The Dragon laughs. "Dost thou truly think to use mine own power against me? To wield that shameful reminder of mine ill placed faith as some kind of beacon to ward away thine transgressions against mineself? Didst thou never think it odd that such a power hast never once lashed back against thee, as it has to all others who maketh attempt to harness it? That it hast so unfailingly obeyed thee without consequence. Thine reach exceeds thine grasp, Archangel. Thou hast never once in all thine conquest realized how much thou owest to me."

    He's been using that sword for so long, abusing its powers to take out those few whose immortality could challenge his, that it should only be appropriate for him to feel like what it feels like in return. Priscilla's sin is to be redeemed by rebelling upon its wielder, the latent power within the sun-slaying blade surging into the Archangel's core essence and tearing at it with a million hungry fangs, tearing away the bits and pieces he has attached to his soul until nothing will be left. His only two choices are obvious. Drop it and relinquish his best option of putting down the Templar, or try to fight whilst it eats him alive.

Priscilla has posed:

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
"--gkkk!" Tarnished Saber expected that, but it still hurts, as the blade sinks into her neck, then shatters collarbone and ribs as it tears through her body. "So this is... the strength of Alter." She coughs, spattering blood from her lips, but still glances aside to her Master, and blinks once, a brief signal.

The plan works as practiced, though Tarnsihed Saber can barely move with those broken bones. She can stand, but breathing is difficult, and she's lost so much blood already. But they won, didn't they?

Then her eyes widen as she realizes what the newly-Altered Saber is planning to do. "Don't--!" she tries to choke out, but the word is garbled, cut off by coughing. As Gawain plunges the sword into himself, Tarnished Saber dashes forward toward her Master, one arm outstretched while the other hangs uselessly. At this range, she knows there's no way her Master could survive that blast, even borrowing her powers, so she does the only thing she knows she can.

Tarnished Saber uses her own body as a shield as that energy erupts behind her, bearing the brunt of that blast as she feels the skin evaporate off her back, as she feels part of her spine begin to disintegrate.

When the blast finally dies down, Saber collapses backwards, wincing as what's left of her back impacts the ground. From her vantage point, she can see Gawain fading away, and she can't help but smile faintly. "Heh. He's... with... his friends now."

There's blood. So much blood, and the Tarnished Saber can barely see straight. "Master... I saw..." She breaks off, coughing, and gasps as one of her lungs collapses. Still, she tries to speak, her voice barely a whisper. "When your card runs out, you won't be able to heal." The one arm she can move, despite being singed off to the bone in places, slides into the remnants of her kimono. Shaky fingers draw out a small vial, cracked and leaking, with barely any liquid left in it. "I expect... to see your face... soon..."

And with that, her eyes drift closed, and her hand falls to her chest.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    The Den of Monsters began before Kuran Yuuki split from the Union Empire, in its nascent form. The Kuran Mansion, which had long been home to a host of vampires, and the vast lands the Vampire King commanded were converted slowly, from the mansion outward, into 'safe zones'. Hospitals, refugee areas, simple things. If the now-Vampire Queen could do even something small with her ability, she would do it.

    And then the Fracturing happened, and the Rebellion began, as the Archangel and the Librarian began to sweep the multiverse under heel. Some loudly protested - Lillith chief among them - but others, like Yuuki, simply faded away, back home.

    As the war grew worse, and more bloody, the Kuran's very doorstep became bathed in blood, and it became clear that there was a need to defend that home against others.

    As before, the Den of Monsters wasn't only horrible creatures, sinners, and the like but those tired few who sought refuge from the battles.

    Then again, there was also large swaths of horrible creatures and holy men alike that flocked to the Vampire Queen's cause. The Den was not blameless, and many expected that if they just sat tight within the borders of the Manor, a fresh age of predation would occur under the new leader. Radicals mixed with the righteous, and an unsteady alliance of those who would see the world preserved with those who would see themselves a Queen of their own design upon a throne of blood.

    It was no coincidence that much of the Den's power was concentrated here, in Sector Zero, on this charnel-house of a battlefield.

    By the Queen's own orders, those goodly men had already fled with the "Blameless" and there was only the defenders left. A mansion of filthy vampires, a phalanx of scum. And, as the champions of both sides started winking out, the morality of Zero's gambit becomes rather clear - as long as he has the will reset the slate.

    On the Vampire Queen's end, though, things become... Bad. And weird. But mostly bad.

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "If it wasn't obvious, I will be dying as well, though I'm holding off since mine is gonna be a doozy."

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    "...time dickery." Kyra hisses, turning away from the Lord of War for a few seconds, trusting the Rafflesia to successfully grapple and tame the former Prince while she focuses her attention elsewhere. Elsewhere, of course, being the battlefield in which the Rebellion forces were just afforded an amazing advantage. Scowling, she actually turns her back on her opponent for those few seconds, planting her feet firmly. She only had a few seconds, after all, before the rasp grenade went off and she herself was caught in the blast. Before then, she had to dump as much of her MP as possible into being useful SOMEHOW.

    "CURE-ALL." she commands, "Set draw to full, wide spread." The NEO GOLEM suit beeps twice and Kyra braces as the cannons mounted to the suit's shoulders warm up.

    The Warlord starts to speak to her and she doesn't even do him the dignity of turning around, her focus entirely on the twin blasts she shoots from the wide-spread alchemized healing 'weapons'. White light fills the air, though slightly indiscriminate in what it hits, the energy seems /mostly/ directed at the Union Empire's forces. Kyra seems to not care THAT much if a few or a hundred of the Rebels are healed in the process too. Friendly fire happens and Kyra has had plenty of experience with friendly fire in her lifetime. She's practically a professional at friendly fire.

    Only when the Warlord speaks the words, invoking the power of their former mutual summoner friend does she finally turn on him, eyes widened. A hand shoots upwards and she screams, summoning her own barrier magic. It only shreds the barrier, barely slowing down the power of the Divine summoned forth. Both CURE-ALL CANNONS shear off of the NEO GOLEM armor. The Rafflesia screams and writhes in pain with each shot from the Ragnarok, sinking further but still not yet felled from the sky.

    Then, the grenade strikes.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    Kyra's cold, clinical mind thinks 'ah, so this is what it feels like to have no magic particles. It really does feel like burning.' Yet at the same time, she couldn't help but hear the Lord of War's words, which slice through the clinical coldness right to the emotional center-the TRUE emotional center-she had long since buried when the marriage had been finalized.

    'This wasn't supposed to happen!' she had screamed to her friends, tears in her eyes, 'I was supposed to be free!'

    "...Saber..." One of her greatest achievements in Wild Magic. Consumed to generate more magic particles.

    'Kyra, just give us a little time.' Kamon, the ever optimistic had said, 'We'll find a solution.' With those words of hope, the Whispers started and did. Not. Stop.

    "Kamon...Soan...Cirra...no! My friends, they weren't my friends anymore, they couldn't help me..." Tears well in the acting CEO's eyes.

    'I don't have anymore time! The marriage is in days!'

    "I had to take it into my own hands...I had to take everything into my own hands..." She looks at them, shaking-shaking all over, paralyzed with the weight she had managed to ignore for so many years-the grudge lingering on her soul from /killing them all/. "I had to take care of them. I took care of them all." she lets her hands fall to her sides as she stares at the enroaching Lord of War. With no magic particles left, there was little she could do. But what of her potions? What of her chemicals? They were trivial to reach-a mere snap of the fingers and the matter manipulator did all the work. She could do it now but-

    No. The will wasn't there. How long had it been since she could call someone friend? Too long.

    Kyra Murasame looks upwards as the bright blue blade comes down upon her and her ship, crushing her, smashing the ship to the ground. There is an ear-rending scream-of course, not from Kyra herself but from the living spaceship that had served her all those years. The wreckage smoulders and burns and, dead in the center, the broken, bloodied form of Kyra lays still. With every bone smashed, every organ pierced, she could barely lift a hand, but wouldn't do so to save herself.

    "Landon." she whispers hoarsely, reaching for him. She knows he's there, he must be nearby, because she did hear that promise. In those dying moments, she clings to it, living those few seconds longer just to see him one last time.

Riva Banari has posed:
She knew what the eye was. She knew what it had to be. She tried to take the eye out and failed. She can't even beat him before he called upon the Shajem, what hope does she have now?

Powerlessness. Despair. Pointless, futile anger surge through her along with the horror, the truth of that deal. Eternity in torment, a thrall to a being who helped shatter Heavne or Hell, a being who was created only to cause pain. A being who ripped apart friends, turned love into hatred, colossal in their power. "That's because we still had a lot in common." The Templar says quietly, fatigue in her voice. "Even now. Death only means something to the living. The Multiverse never needed someone to rule it. It never needed someone to protect it."

And yet, she could do nothing about it. Even as she strikes, Psyber's speed grows, his strength too, inevitably. The summoning of Priscilla's Sin into his hand sends a thrill of anger and despair through her, even though she knows why he has done so.

The Lost Dragon has joined the fray. She looks to Priscilla, then back to Psyber as they size each other up for a moment. Three immortals... One, a Goddess of Death, one, an Archangel of Protection, and... her.

If she pushes now, she could die. Archangel can no longer afford to hold back. If there was something she could to in order to sever the pact... Her mind races through the multitude of powers, occult implements, and situations that could solve this.

And she doesn't have any of them.

Archangel is going to win here, and then stride from the field to be tormented forever by that... thing. All her friends will be dead or worse. She will be outcast, a rebel who was not killed because she wasn't enough of a threat to do so.

Dead... or worse.

The Templar raises her head to the air, shrieking a wordless cry of despair and rage. Her voice crackles, warbling into frequencies and patterns beyond conscious reception. Patterns that extend beyond dimension and understanding that interlock and respond with a burning, golden, honey-sweet click.

Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see.

Liquid sparkles in the light as she lunges forward, slashing out with her claws and attacking relentlessly. He's faster, he's stronger, he's got all the advantages.

They always warn you about what happens when you back a wounded animal into a corner. Fear, desperation, adrenalin. A lethal cocktail. The hunters learned this in the primal days, the dark days, before fire and guns and explosives. Some things never change.

The Templar doesn't seem to care he's got an immortal-slaying weapon in his hand. She attacks relentlessly, trying to force him on the defensive, or at least keep his attention.

Did she give up? Is she committing suicide? Is she trying to push Archangel into killing her? Or is she trying to force an opening for the Lost Dragon?

Is there only one way out of this horrible trap that he created for himself?

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber says, "Oh man, the Bees are getting involved."

Homura Akemi (2) has posed:
    Through him. It worked. Lilith seems relieved, but not for long. The Jack of Spades... isn't human, it turns out. Not squishy. Not fleshy. Not fragile. A dangerous underestimation on her part, which costs her dearly. In a flash of light, the Queen, the Jack and the Joker, because if any card suits her it's that one, are transported elsewhere.

    She meant no harm to the Queen, but it's too late.

    Theo kicks her backwards, and without anything to stop herself or brake, she drifts towards the hungry maw. The holy blade in her hand shatters, turning into purple lightning, its final spark of light. The nice thing about being on your deathbed is, you can burn all of your belongings for their very last drops of power.

    The blade is flung, like an extremely potent and ancient holy bomb. God knows how old Einherjar was when it became Tyrfing, but the residual temporal residue on it can't have done anything but help with that.

    But it won't be enough to stop her flight. She's headed into that mouth, one way or the other, BEFORE the bomb goes off. She reaches out, towards Theo, towards the Queen. Her eyes are looking straight pass them.

    "I wonder if both of you will forgive me... for all the blood on my hands. Madoka-- Himei--" She reaches, but can't seem to take hold of anything. "So you've finally come for me too..."

    She smiles, she closes her eyes. She'd disappear into the maw of the great beast, along with her overcharged holy sword primed to explode.

    Her Soul Gem glows a blinding RAINBOW, shooting towards the Queen. She rewrote an universe with that. Surely, it might have enough juice left to get the Queen back to proper reality with one final blast of power. But more than likely, it's about to break and shatter, as the last drop of magic and life leaves both it and Lilith's body.

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
    "You're right, we have no choice. No choice but to take a stand against a conquest we deem unjust-!" The words spill forth. She can't help herself. Not with everything coming down around them on all sides. But Wild Card's words don't last long, because she can see the madness in Eclipse Alter's eyes - some instinct in her, Saber's or her own it doesn't matter, screaming out what he plans. She lets go of her blade, stumbles back, brings her arms up in front of herself to try and cover herself against it-

    And Saber is there. Saber is always there. Standing beside her, standing before her. Protecting her until she could stand on her own as a hero, and then fighting alongside her as an equal. Since the day they contracted years ago, that has always been the truth. Saber is there.

    Saber was there.

    Being able to force-cancel her cards early is another trick the card-user has picked up. It takes great effort, it taxes her mentally and physically, it's a difficult thing to do. Seeing Saber start to fall to her knees, her body half-gone, Wild Card cancels The Knight without hesitation and lunges forward, arms under her Servant. "S-saber, no, nonono, don't- don't worry about me, it's not as bad as it could be, a-as long as I can get a healer..." Even as she's saying it, her hands cup under the vial. Holding it, what's left of it, while the hand giving it to her drops away.

    Wild Card stares at it for a second, her eyes going wide and hollow... and then slams the rest of it without hesitation.

    But it is Kazusa Ujikane who lets out a piteous, anguished howl of grief.

    She collapses down atop her servant, sobbing quietly. But after a few seconds, her voice murmurs. "H-hey... Saber. You're... you're still out there, right? The real you... she oughta still be out there. She's immortal... right? So... so I'mma go find you. I'mma... I'mma scour every last damn version of the moon until I find you. And then I'm gonna punch down the door, and carry you out of there, and take you on another super-awesome adventure... s-swear to god, I'll be the best damn friend you ever had. So... you better be ready for me, wherever you are. And..."

    Already, one trembling hand reaches for the lowest card in her holder. The card of last resort. The one she had planned to use earlier. She has no idea where she'll wake up, IF she'll wake up, whether this will help the battle at all... but at this point, the battle's over, isn't it? The Beast is all she has left.

    "...th-thanks... for that one, too."

Kazusa Ujikane (415) has posed:
-<OOC>- Wild Card says, "That hurt to type. I'm legit tearing up right now. ._."

Sir Gawain has posed:
And with that, Eclipse Alter has completely faded away. Hopefully, somewhere he is out there, the Sir Gawain that they once knew, alongside his king, his brothers, Sir Bedivere, and everyone else he held dear. It is all that can be hoped for now.

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Alter says, "brb gotta go curl in a ball for hours"

Landon al Cid (642) has posed:
     The Lord of War - the Light Warrior - Landon al Cid - crawls. He is coming apart at the seams. The last bits of him are starting to go, and only will - prodigious will, unbelievable will, the will that kept him going, the will that held inside it Chaos and Order and Rebellion alike - is holding him together as everything falls around.

     He stops near her. The last of his arm gives way, nothing but his hand and head now. Still he reaches.

     "He forgave you," comes the Lord of War's voice, and then it shatters, and it's just Landon's voice again, "He forgave you."

     The hand grabs hers. It's disintegrating. Even will can only be stretched so far. The crystalline grasp is still warm as it tightens around Kyra's hand, even as it comes apart like glass under pressure.

     "Kyra Hyral-Murasame." It's still Landon's voice, but it's charged, charged with the ringing power of the Judgemaster, harnessed so long ago.

     "For crimes against Ramuh too numerous to list, For the deaths of the Light Warriors, I judge thee guilty."

     "The sentence is death."

     And then the charge vanishes, and the crystalline head smiles at her. "I forgive you. Let's go together."

     "They're waiting for us. And I must keep my promise."

     The head shatters. The last of his pattern breaks apart, as the ghost held by will and fire fulfills his last obligation to a dead man.


     Once upon a time, there was a lonely girl. She, rebelling against the world, attempted to fill her heart with anger. She, rebelling against society, pulled the chains of her hatred tighter. She, alone in a tower of her own making, cried out for someone to answer.

     Once upon a time, there was a noble boy. He was friends with the kind Prince, but he, too, was an outcast. He, reaching for justice, could grasp only strength. He, searching for truth, could find only politics and lies. He, scorned by his family, tore the chains of blood from his heart.

     Once upon a time, a lonely girl and a noble boy met in a tower beyond physical form. They took each other's hand and became surrounded by friends. And together...

     Together with their friends, they had many wonderful adventures.

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
-<OOC>- Kyra Murasame says, "Yeah I'm legit tearing up, not gonna lie."

Priscilla has posed:
-<OOC>- Lost Dragon says, "My body was not prepared for this level of feels"

Theo Morrison has posed:
-<OOC>- The Jack of Spades says, "It's the finale. After this, we'll have connections and memories and a whole lot of stories to tell. I think that kind of emotion is exactly the send-off we need."

Sir Gawain has posed:
-<OOC>- Eclipse Alter says, "This is really hard to say, and I know the scene isn't over yet, but thank you, all of you, for all these years. It's been a ride."

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber says, "Well. I know I've made Eclipse Alter and Wild Card cry but I'm not done with that yet."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "It is... all part of a greater plan. All part of a greater working," The Archangel comments, though whether it's to the Templar or the Dragon in this three-way melee, it's not fully clear. What is clear is that the Shajemic energy has pushed his already incredible power up through the ceiling.

    "Nathan has always understood this is what is best," He says to the Dragon seriously, albeit vaguely.

    His clash with The Dragon is brief, though in those moments she is able to bring a terrible curse into the Lifehunt Greatsword. One that... Wrathborn, of all people, staves off for the moment. The massive ghostly snake seems to have parts of its body eroded away to keep the lifehunt from reaching Archangel while he uses the sword.

    "Were that you were so lucky to escape your fate, half-angel. I will bear this burden for the moment, but do not dally." The snake chides to him despite its primal pain. He nods and turns back towards The Templar as he dashes away from Priscilla to meet the incoming bee-empowered individual.

    He doesn't want to torture Wrathborn for too long, so he lunges straight into the incoming Templar, pushing forward when he should push back. In the back of his mind, he knows what no one else does. That as they assault him, he's reaching the outcome he's prepared for years. That they will never realize. And for which he has given everything.

    As her claws tear away armor, clothes, and the flesh from his bone, the Archangel's attack is singular. He aims an uppercut stab into the gut of the Templar, trying to run her through with the entire blade and then kick her away. His army is falling around him, he does not have time to waste fighting a battle on two fronts.

    The last weapon is in his hands in that moment. Of all the things it was most surprising he could still wield, this weapon was among them. Another greatsword, but totally different from the Lifehunt Greatsword. It has a great eye in it and the air around it ripples from the sheer power.

    "Redsh-" *CRACK**POP* *SIZZLE*

    "Nightmare Shift Abstraction."

    Archangel's body immediately explodes with Nightmarish energy, exploding all around him. Scales begin to form on his arms, though the entire thing seems... wrong. And way less stable than one would think a Shift should be. Reality and power are buckling and waning around him as he turns towards Priscilla.

    "Immorality Paradigm: Xanatos Crescendo

    He swings that sword Once.

    A cone a hundred yards long in front of him ceases to have life in it.

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
There's no movement from the fallen Servant, though her body is still there. She's regenerated from the brink of death more times than she can count, though she's never taken this much punishment all at once before. Eyes still closed, hand unmoving, and blood pooling beneath her, the Tarnished Saber is completely silent as her Master cries over her.

A thin, raspy breath escapes her lips, and though her eyes don't open, her lips twist into the faintest of smiles. Her voice is faint, very faint... and yet, there's still a bit of life in her. "I never... did get my wish. Did I? Still..." She pauses, choking briefly as blood runs from her lips. "It wasn't so bad... in the end. If you do find me..."

For what seems like forever, but is probably only a few seconds, she hands, silent. Another faint breath, and her thought continues, "...don't forget the recordings I missed... my favorite."

She coughs wetly as her body begins to fade. "It doesn't even hurt. For the first time, it doesn't hurt... I suppose I can...." Tarnished Saber slowly opens her eyes, though her gaze is empty, unseeing. "Don't forget your promise, Master. I know..." And what's left of her physical body fades completely away, dissolving into sparkling motes of mana. One the wind, her final words waft before disappearing completely, "you'll find me."

Kyra Hyral (626) has posed:
    A foul thing inside Kyra's body strives to reject the Judge, but the vessel she provides no longer has the strength or will for it to use. She doesn't squeeze back against the crumbling hand, her fingers limp in his. "He did?" she whispers, "After what I did to him? After what I did to my beloved...?" tears slide down her cheeks, mingling with the blood that pools around her and soaks her red hair. Eventually, she closes her eyes. "I'm glad."

    He pronounces his sentence upon her. "...I'm glad."

    He forgives her. Her voice grows weaker, "I'm...glad..."

     The last breath of air escapes her and she falls still.

    "I'm...glad..my friend."

    Landon al Cid's promise to Dominic Masoch is fulfilled.

Saber of Silver (227) has posed:
-<OOC>- Tarnished Saber says, "great now i'm tearing up some"

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    The Vampire Queen cracks her fist across the Jack's nose, and what should have staved his head in simply breaks his nose. Her hand at his neck, even for all her strength, can't simply crush it.

    The Jack of Spades has benefitted greatly from an unlimited budget. And, as she airdrops him at speed into the Underground Sea, Lilith appears, her speed even outside of time-stop surpassing.

    Tyrfing cleanly pierces Jack's chest, and through. Jack's gambit, of course, sees that same burning holy sword pushed through the Queen's unarmored body, through her gut, where it alights quite uncomfortably.

    Strike that. It burns like a sun in her innards, a hellish pain that even her external mask of steel and resolve cracking.

    For moments, she tumbles in agony, and then she simply tumbles in null-space, as the planeswalker kicks the leader of the Rebellion into he inhumanly hungry maw. Her gambit - the dangerous plan she had, involving breaking her one rule - is all for nought, as Theo's body of silver and metal would find no purchase. She reaches to save Lilith, but that's too late. She's powerless. She has no recourse, and for all her might, every ounce of pureblood vampiric power she could bring to bear...

    Nothing would bridge the gap between dimensions or planes. She would be stuck here, even if she somehow destroyed the endlessly consuming Infinite Gyre.

    Like a ray of light that breaks through the clouds, Lilith's casting of her rainbow-twinkling Soul Gem, with her power stored within, as it speeds towards her, and the Puella speeds towards the maw of Jack's monstrosity with burning, breaking sword in hand.

    She grasps the gem, crystallized hope itself grown murky with despair, and cups it gently as she stares into it.

    "I wish..." She begins, and the gem springs to life, even as it gutters, like a candle with the flame touching the end of the wick. With this, with Lilith's power, she could wish them all back to a time before, a happier time when this bloody war hadn't consumed the bright faces of all. When it wasn't a struggle every day, the lazy times where sleep was an annoying burden, not a longing desire. When the largest of her problems were the hateful, harsh sun in the sky, and how she could be the best 'hero' she could be.

    But Lilith's might was spent, and the twinkling teardrop on her hand had barely enough to simply live.

    The Vampire Queen couldn't die here, and not like this. And she couldn't spitefully kill Jack, especially since he could escape this place and she couldn't. And so, upon Lilith's last moments of reality, upon the soul of rebelling against fate, Yuuki Kuran makes a single, Glittering Wish.

    The Deckmaster and the Vampire Queen fall into the shallows of the swampy sea, splashing down besides each other. Jack's nose is still broken. Both still bear Tyrfing's wounds. The Queen holds in her hand a shattered, blackened teardrop.

    As the world re-reveals itself to the pair, the Queen pants, and splashes over to Theo. She has no words.

    Lilith is gone, and not even a pure wish could fix what had transpired.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    Blips disappear from his radar like the little silhouettes of light overexposure popping in his vision and vanishing from sight forever. Buried beneath the battlefield, The Hound does not hear their speeches or their reasons for disappearing from the world. If he did, he would have no attachments to it. He doesn't know them, for the most part, though he can remember times when some of those blips shared the battlefield with him before. On the whole, however, they are meaningless to him. It is the abrupt disappearance of Yuuki that troubles him, a little.

    It causes him to twitch, slightly. A tendril of Bloody Rose breaks the surface, subtle but not entirely impossible to find for one who is watching the battlefield.

    Another impulse prompts a twitch. It's coming from something entirely apart from misguided worry. He's hungry, and there are a lot of dying powers out there. Some of them have finer things than blood to consume.

    The vines begin to move of their own accord, snaking towards the dying warriors. Mizuki is the first that they close towards, causing bulges to appear in the Earth. They do not surface and strike, but linger like great serpents preparing to ensnare their prey.

    Zero wonders on things long past. An illegitimate name had been slipped onto the hunt list, killing the innocent lover of one of the Purebloods. His parents did the job, and their murder and his own transformation into a vampire was the retribution for that action. One brother she had taken out of spite, and the second had been spared. Deliberately spared, despite a desire for transfiguration, despite the spite directed towards the stronger brother.

    His mind drifts to one of the earliest vampires he had killed near the academy. It killed, and killed, and killed, though the killing brought it equal parts anguish and sustenance. In the end it had been grateful for its death, not troubled. It did not have to kill anymore.

    One and a half. One and a half acts of kindness from her kind, distinct and apart from the norm.

    The Hound knows his time is running out. Not today, but not that far in the future. The bloodlust has been getting worse, much as it had the first time he attacked Yuuki, before her heritage was revealed. Acting in this capacity, allowing Yuuki's vampiric side to strengthen and grow, had dealt him a fatal blow. It wasn't a fatal blow of body, or even one of soul, but one of mind.

    One day, Zero will simply stop being Zero.

    Zero regards the battlefield again, as Yuuki's blip slips back onto his radar.

Go home
You have all the time in the world
You have a future.
It won't just disappear one day.

    The Hound says nothing, and Bloody Rose finally acts.

    It tears the battlefield apart, withdrawing the "support" that it had carved out beneath it and supplanted of the Earth below. Sinkholes yawn open, great screaming maws swallowing the surface. The farthest away are unfilled, but many of them are filled with yet more tendrils of Bloody Rose, poised to shred through whatever falls in them like a vast blender.

    The dead and dying who can no longer act, Bloody Rose devours without pause or respect.

    Yuuki, returning alone out on the battlefield, is spared. The vines rise beneath her in a long unsteady platform, but one that can be stood upon, if unsteadily. They do not attack.

    The Monsters are given selective treatment. Those who cannot breed more monsters go untouched, but just as soon as the Den of Monsters is protected by a vast moat of Bloody Rose's tendrils, so too do its true monsters fall under attack. The tendrils lash out hungrily, reaching out to bind, constrict, and devour.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    Only two true monsters have made the correct choice, and only one of them chose correctly twice. The rest have the choice, and squandered it, or never had it at all. For a little while, Zero still has a choice. Afterwards, or perhaps a little before, he'll have to go too. Until then, he decides, the people who squander their ability to choose by electing to surrender their will, will need to go ahead of him.

Riva Banari has posed:
The Templar gets what she expected to get. The shock of the Lifehunt Greatsword ripping through her feels like ice in her soul. Something terrible seems to lurch, the crackling voice of the Buzzling seeming to shred and trail off in a metaphysical wail as she hits the ground, spitting up a gout of blood.

She's gutwounded. She can feel it. She could die from this. It's not immediately fatal, but... It's only adrenaline and the emotional maelstrom that she feels that keeps her from shrieking and writhing on the ground in pain. She can't fight anymore like this. She can't even really move.

"You always did misapply your efforts."

The claws drop to the ground, useless now, as The Templar reaches to her side, withdrawing thr somewhat quiet entity who just spoke to her. "Daemon."

"Stop wasting time. You need to give this your all."

"A taskmaster to the end, huh. All right."

Riva holds the enlarged paintbrush into the air. "Enviro Shift: Canvas of Life."

Blue lines streak over Daemon, rippling through Riva's prone form as well as the Abstractum revs up. There is a flare of light around Riva, before Daemon implodes in an intense wash of power, the Core Matrix floating there before her as blue-cyan light drips into the ground, striking the blood-soaked earth. It hits the ground, and the ground seems to vanish, being replaced with a simple, featureless plane of pure white in all directions. The influence expands, washing outwards to incorporate the Lost Dragon and Archangel into the Environ Shift with a rapid pace.

Immediately, the area begins to get filled in with rocks and trees, grass growing from the plane as it is shaded inwards by an invisible hand. The coloration and reshaping of the world is immediate, Riva's prone form seeming to alter the area and rapidly add definition at the speed of thought and creativity itself even as her ofn form seems to grow blurry, becoming less distinct.

Stone status emerge, delicate marble yet stronger than steel as they appear, grasping for Psyber as Riva begins reshaping the world to incorporate him into the artwork she is making of the land around them. Filigreed bars of metal twist upwards like kudzu, brilliant lights shining down just right to cast artful shadows... While The Templar cannot fight directly, it looks like she is taking the battle to a conceptual plane, attempting to attack Wrathborn's Nightmare by sealing it into a land that cannot support such a concept, crowding it out.

Theo Morrison has posed:
The Rebel Lady -- the Joker, if we are being so bold as to find a commonality here -- sails away, vanishing into the maw of the beast. She is armed, and to Theo's eyes, she will fight it. It will keep the Titan away from this world for that much longer. She will hold back the darkness, the inevitable approach, until it has consumed all that she is, was, and could be.

For a moment, he wonders: could he be so brave?

The Soul Gem flies. The moment passes, and a Glittering Wish takes hold of him, of the Aether, and of the Vampire Queen, all at once --


The Deckmaster finds himself in the Underground Sea, still wounded and winded. His Etherium body is damaged, but not to the point of failure. He's hurt, though. He can feel the hurt. He made sure he would always feel, even if he had fused with the silvery metal. If he couldn't, could he even say he was remotely human anymore?

He turns his head, finding the Vampire Queen next to him. He stares at her, his expression confused. Why had she taken him with her? He'd practically made his own grave, calling one of the Eldrazi to them. It was a wonder they weren't all taken. But Lilith, that Joker among Aces on the other side...

Whispering, The Jack of Spades says, "Lilith's dead."
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "Lilith's dead."

He closes his hands into fists in the water. He feels the gloves creak against artificially-strengthened hands. Theo's voice is low, but it carries in the cavernous sea beneath the surface. He sounds... weary. "Is this... is it over?"

A moment later, the sea floor cracks, and begins to fall away. Water drains in whirlpools into the fissures and sinkholes as the Bloody Rose rips the ground to shreds. Though wounded, the Jack of Spades pulls himself to his feet, raising his hand upwards as the ceiling and floor of the sea-cave starts to fall away --

-- and the enormous mechanical worm falls into the sea, tearing through the valley floor in a deluge of bloody mud, rock and bodies.

His gloved hand snagging on one of the plates on its back, the Jack of Spades swings himself up on top of it, trusting to his mobility gear to get him out of here as he ceases having a safe place to stand. He runs up its back towards its tail, and the Phyrexian Dreadnought turns downwards, facing the only safe thing there is, the only person who /could/ have done this, as far as the Planeswalker is concerned: the Vampire Queen.

The Jack leaps, arms and legs pinwheeling. Etherium pumps into the badge at his belt, and black and blue mana go along with it. His cards come back to him, the reanimated Abstractum collecting them around him despite his clinging to a spit of land that hasn't yet fallen. His feet scrabble for a purchase, and it isn't until he gasps out, "Volcanic Island into Pili-Pala," that he starts to get his footing again. The vertical wall shifts to a more gradual slope, giving him a foothold, and he reaches up to grab the rake-headed hand of a scrap-built scarecrow with wings and no legs that flies overhead.

He goes up, above solid ground, and looks into the rapidly-collapsing hole. The Dreadnought attacks, its horned head and spiked extremities whirling. Not many things can stop it.

Can the Queen?

Priscilla has posed:
    "/That/ is all thou hast to say? After all of this? After everything thou hast done? 'A greater plan'? The same vague, meaningless nonsense thou hast uttered for years without any sign of cause or direction? Thou art lost to something beyond anyone's power to retrieveth thee from! If such is thine mantra; thine holy chant to repeat to thineself and absolve thee of all sin, then it shalt not even appeareth upon thine grave!" Priscilla snarls in something more than frustration. A kind of deep, bitter, vexation and loathing that bares her fangs to the half-angel and yet looks to be on the verge of angry tears nonetheless. "To think that I once looked up to thee! That I admired thee! That I wished to /be/ like thee! I once looked to thee as living proof that even an ill-gotten bastard with no place in the world; an amalgam that shouldst never hath existed; could still defy their nature and surpass their expected fate! That as thee were barred from thine heaven and brought peace to others regardless, I couldst do the same! That I couldst aspire to be something other than a slayer of the deserving! Never expecting that no sooner hadst I made something of mineself, thou wouldst destroy it before mine eyes! Never once anticipating that thou wouldst build me up only to break me down to this again! Never /dreaming/ that even shouldst it finally come to this, that 'a greater working' wouldst be the only words I am worth offering!"

    She screams after him as he disengages and draws the Abstractum. "Hide behind those degenerate slaves to thine will, as only those without any sense of humanity couldst bear! By all rights I knoweth now I was not given this power for something so simple as to bring order to a world! It was given to me for no greater purpose than to bring about thine DESTRUCTION!"

    She blitzes towards Psyber in an explosive streak of motion, silver and molten orange trailing razor thin lines in her wake, but she is still not quite fast enough. The Driver powered Xanatos Crescendo catches her full on, dead in the headlights as she closes to the last split second necessary, some dozen meters from him. By any rights, anyone; anything; should be dead, and in a way, she is, but then that's the trouble with that name, isn't it? The Lost Dragon. A mighty and terrible creature, but one of flesh and blood and ageless but mortal fire. Long has she given proof to those with the eyes to see it that such a title is so easily misinterpreted. That 'dragon' means something much, much more than that to her strange and ancient little corner of the multiverse. Now it is obvious in full, as the half of her that was never alive, dead, undead, or anything inbetween, refuses to properly die.

    The armour was worthless, so much scrap by now, as the physical wounds stain her white dress with red. Her skin is split open in countless places, save for precisely where her scales still shine unphased. One eye is gone, but it is not the same one as before. It is the eye that once looked to Psyber with an innocent green, and then an appreciative gold, that has ceased to be, burned out with the lineage of the sun gods inside of her; perhaps forever. What remains is the eye of vengeance. One of the physical tethers to her Everlasting heritage that pulses with all the hatred of the original owner, brutally murdered at his hands, and its new one, intent on revisiting the same upon him a hundredfold, combined.

Priscilla has posed:
    The armour was worthless, so much scrap by now, as the physical wounds stain her white dress with red. Her skin is split open in countless places, save for precisely where her scales still shine unphased. One eye is gone, but it is not the same one as before. It is the eye that once looked to Psyber with an innocent green, and then an appreciative gold, that has ceased to be, burned out with the lineage of the sun gods inside of her; perhaps forever. What remains is the eye of vengeance. One of the physical tethers to her Everlasting heritage that pulses with all the hatred of the original owner, brutally murdered at his hands, and its new one, intent on revisiting the same upon him a hundredfold, combined.

    Into her hand bursts, a black and white bonfire of monochrome humanity, crushed between her fingers so that it seeps into her wounds, the life force of all those murdered in Annu buoying her for one last assault on the true reignmaster behind their fates, to which she had been accessory. The eye flashes, over and over again, flickering, screeching and roaring with blast after blast of raw, conceptual destruction, tearing at the Archangel, the air and earth surrounding him, and the reality upon which he exists, so easily malleable as Riva fabricates it, burning at its absolute limit as she aims to cripple and main first the Wrathborn, then Adjudicator, and then him. She does this as she staggers, walks, runs, and then sprints towards him, hitting a second wind as she feels the thoughts of those so wronged by her enemy as she flood her being, the last memories of their hearts and wills merging with hers. On this conceptual plane, the true form of the Lifehunt can be glimpsed beneath the surface, like the shadow of an unknown, deep and predatory horror cresting the waves it should never see. Just as it has precisely once before, it accompanies the final sweep of the scythe in a torrent of howling, eldritch fangs, impossible to grasp, to make sense of, or to reconcile with any shield against the omnipresent fear of death all existence shares at some level.

    It is perhaps the most unlikely show of something that could be considered heroism ever conceived.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Kuran Yuuki - the Vampire Queen - is returned to play, and there is a pause. For a moment, even in the pitlike bog of the fetid Underground Sea, as Jack and the Queen trade glances and draw in startled or ragged breath, there's a peace. A cessation of conflict, even upon this small scale, where there's no need to say anything.

    Jack asks 'Is it Over', and in a moment of innocent weakness, the Queen turns to the sun and sighs. "How I wish it would be. I am so very tired." Yuuki murmurs, just a girl, soaked head to toe and covered in mud.

    It is then that Bloody Rose begins its hungering work. A thorny platform bears her up, as Jack of Spades is scooped to safety by the towering metalwork. She can tell, even he doesn't verbally blame her, that he thinks it is her fault. And, as the Vampire Queen, it is. It was her Hound, and her words that bade him consume and destroy. Just as it was a task placed on his shoulders for his strength, it would be a burden placed on her shoulders for her resolve.

    She closes her eyes, as the Dreadnought rears. And then she raises one pale, slender hand, hands lightly curled around air as if she was holding a ball of some sort.

    "I saved you, Jack of Spades, because I placed two absolute conditions upon myself. That I would never take a human life, and that I would never turn another person into a vampire. I am sorry to have given you the wrong impression about myself. With your permission, I will correct it." She murmurs, though her voice echoes and carries. Sadness and weariness tugs at her expression, but as she opens her eyes, there is a tremendous, harrowing pressure that exudes out of her, and then redoubles.

    She opens her eyes and beholds the Phyrexian Dreadnought, Jack of Spades astride it, and closes her extended hand into a fist.

    The Dreadnought creaks, stopped in mid momentum as surely as if time itself had stopped. Perhaps the shift in speed topples Jack off, perhaps not. Then it begins... compressing. A hissing of air as every available iota of space begins being filled by the compressive force the Vampire Queen exerts upon it.

    In a matter of ear-splitting moments, what was once one of Phyrexia's greatest weapons of terror is a misshapen, totally solid lump of alloyed metals, fused as surely as if a forge had fired them. Jack, atop it, is utterly untouched.

    "I am the Vampire Queen, protector of my Den, and all that choose the path of real peace. Join me, or leave. Just as Lilith is dead, so will the Dragon see that the Archangel sees his end. At the end of all things, in this wonderful sunlight, will you choose futile war or lay aside your burdens and let me carry them?" She speaks, and turns her hand around and opens it, walking forward to offer him a place on her island of safety. "There's still time for hope, Jack of Spades. Can't the killing stop with us?"

Zero Kiryu has posed:

    The great mass of vines that now dominates the battlefield shifts. Zero, who had been one end of it, has been shifted through the rest of it, standing on a titanic thorn in order to accomplish this. It rises from a sinkhole beneath Yuuki's platform, where she stands having only just defended herself from the Dreadnought. He is dressed in a white uniform with a red tie. It's something that he had refused to wear for a very long time, but when things went the way they did, it seemed like an appropriate enough reinvention of self.

    He jumps up to the platform supporting Yuuki, calling more vines up to join them. They cover his body as it is, seeming to originate from something within his coat pocket. Both of his hands are in his pockets, giving him a decidedly casual appearance given the circumstances. Overall however, the Hound simply has a very tired expression. His eyes gleam a brilliant red, provoked by the blood of the battlefield, but there's no real threatening demeanor to him.

    He tilts his head to one side, regarding Jack neutrally.

    "Your battle was never worth its cost."

    "Go home. Make a new one, if you have to. But go."

    Zero glances at Yuuki, but says nothing else. His words aren't meant solely for Jack.

Theo Morrison has posed:
The Jack of Spades feels the Dreadnought lurch underneath him as he's leaving it. He doesn't pay it any mind. He's got to get off of it, and get out of the hole, before --

He's holding onto the Pili-Pala when he hears the tortured screams of one of Phyrexia's greatest war machines being reduced to a metal ball. He twists and swings on the rake-handed scarecrow, the flapping wings of canvas, scrap and sticks struggling to keep him up. He gets a good look at what's happening from above it.

His first thought, born of irrational fear and a mindset he's had to adopt far too often, is how much he hates vampires.

His second thought, slightly more rationally, is how glad he is he isn't standing on that anymore.

The Jack releases the scarecrow, dropping to the rocky slope. He stands in the morning sunlight, staring down into the holes where the sea has drained away. He looks everywhere but at her. At the Queen. His ragged motley is stained silver, but the wound seems to have stopped bleeding... or, leaking, depending on how you look at it.

He starts to open his mouth -- and then Zero appears, and the vines follow. He tracks them with his eyes and with his mind, picking out where they're going and how they're reacting to the Hound's presence. If he's going to win this, a part of him thinks, he needs to take out the Hound. He has another Lotus; he can get down the rest of his combo, and if he draws Memnarch, it's the end. The vines won't be a problem, and neither will he. They'll both be machines, and they'll both be his. He turns them all onto the Queen, and... that's game.

Simple. His win condition is in sight.

But that isn't what he's focused on. That isn't what he heard.

"You don't get to decide if the cost was too high," the Jack of Spades says in a harsh whisper. "You don't get to tell me to /go/. You don't --"

His voice catches. His mouth closes with a quiet 'click,' and he squeezes his eyes shut for a span of seconds. He breathes. He doesn't need to, but he dosn't want to think about that. It's another cost he's paid. He thought it was paid gladly.

"My name," the young man says, his voice cracking under the stress, "is Theo. And Arch--" He exhales, inhales again. His throat hurts. It has nothing to do with the physical damage and everything to do with the hurt. "And Psyber's my friend. You don't just leave your friends. Not ever."

The Jack of Spades stood on the rise, staring down at the Queen and the Hound with the power to turn this war into one of monster versus machine. Lilith couldn't stop him. The rest of the Rebel army couldn't stop him. The Den might be able to, but every step would be paid for in blood and grief as their number turned against them, clad in cold steel and bearing colder hearts.

It is not the Jack of Spades who turns aside.

Theo Morrison takes a step back off the ledge, turns on his heel, and begins running across the hole-filled battlefield to help his friend when he needs it the most.

He has to come up with a plan. He has to find a way.

And he'll never make it.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    The Jack of Spades, one of the Archangel's most cunning allies, with victory nearly always a single draw away, if not already within his grip, could certainly have twisted this battlefield. The Jack of Spades would summon his God-Machine, and perhaps could sieze Bloody Rose, and then it would be a rather academic matter of who whould win, between the Pureblood and the Anti-Pureblood weapon, suborned.

    Jack of Spades could do it.

    But it's not Jack of Spades that draws in breath he doesn't need. Not Jack that feels a pressure in his throat.

    Theo Morrison turns away from a victory, because to do so would abandon the very reason he fought for.

    The man with every tool conceiveable and the means to put it into his hands rushes away from a known victory on the flickering, dim promise of even a chance at helping his friend.

    As Jack shows her his back, the Vampire Queen allows herself another quiet breath, a slump of the shoulders. She could sweep her hand forward, and seize her own victory, for the Den. For her people, for those that trusted her. But Kuran Yuuki, selfishly, doesn't raise her hand, doesn't bring forth the power in her blood, nothing.

    She lets Theo Morrison go, because if their roles were reversed, she would have done the exact same thing.

    In the now consumed land of creeper vines and the slow clash of nearly spent champions, the Queen finds herself refreshingly 'alone', even if Zero is at her side. As the morning sun beats down upon her, she yawns, turning fully and unflinchingly towards the sun.

    It is not a gentle light that touches her, more akin to an instant-sunburn and overwhelming sense of tiredness, like being up long after your natural bed-time, but she lets that uncomfortable warmth touch her, and remembers her seventeen years of humanity. She remembers being 'full' of food, satiated. She remembers it being quiet in her own head, and the thrill of the natural dangers of life.

    Then, in a very unqueenly gesture, she claps her hands on her cheeks, and forces herself to smile. Mornings are a time for new beginnings. To break one's fast, and see to living.

    The Vampire Queen turns to the Hound and, even though his body was covered with the vines of Bloody Rose, delivers a light, almost childish chop to his head (or shielded head-area). "Don't discount someone else's earnest feelings, Zero." She murmurs, chidingly, as her head fills of happy, familiar memories. Certainly not the sentiments of a battlefield such as this, but she hadn't expected everything to happen quite like so.

    Hemmed in on all sides, with an impossible war before her, one she would rather never fight, she clung to one memory. A power only she had, to save a single life. And the knowledge that she had failed as a Queen, as a leader in war. But, then again, she never was a very good war leader. "Zero, I'm being very selfish right now. But... it'd be too sad to callously snuff out hope, wouldn't it?" She muses, and leans in to rest against her Hound. "I'm so tired, of this. Of all of this. Aren't you? ... I hope you don't hate me. That would make this harder."

    As two souls, Kuran Yuuki and Theo Morrison have one thing in common. They both turn aside, becuase they have to find a way.

    Theo will never make it.
    Yuuki will never share in it.

    "Did you know, all the powers purebloods have? They've got so many." She murmurs, sleepily. "My mother tought me one so, if you'll let me be selfish once more..." She breathes, and hugs him, thorns of Bloody Rose and all, and rests her chin against his shoulder. "I'll just rest here, for a while. You should enjoy the morning." She murmurs. Her heart beats slower and slower as something... happens.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Of every power a Pureblood had, one among them was the strangest and most unexplainable. They could sacrifice their own forever, to turn one other vampire human again. She knew his struggle - all too well - and knew she could save her most beloved (still-living) brother.

    "Zero..." Yuuki's weak voice murmurs reedily. "Promise me you won't hate yourself, too?"

    And then she drifts off, her pale body warmed by the sun, finally getting the rest she wanted against her most trusted companion.

Psyber (253) has posed:
<Union Empire> Archangel says, "Jack... Theo. I need you to know. Through all of this, you never stopped being my friend. And I always appreciated that."

    Far and away from the field of battle, a man sits at a desk, watching the final moments of the war playing out on a screen in front of him. He folds his hands and rests his chin on them in contemplation. He is, literally, watching his best friend die. And while his face shows no emotion, the robot hand that rests on his shoulder can feel the gentle tremble. He is, in that moment, simply waiting.


    Psyber stands his ground, even as his body is being eroded by the aberrant Shift that reality was never meant to support. Archangel, the man in the armor, has been burned and cut away. All that his left, in that, is Psyber. The warrior. The man who has, for so many years, sacrificed of himself for those around him until that day so many years ago that the Multiverse saw him snap.

    He is lifted from reality and placed somewhere else. A world under Riva's control. This manages to diminish the effect that the Shajem and its Shift are having as reality is peeled and rent around him, but not completely. Psyber struggles to retain his focus as he looks towards Priscilla when she shouts at him, "A greater... plan..." He gives an... almost gentle smile towards her in response to her screams and her hatred. He seems unsure of how to take her emotions, "I am... sorry I had... to disappoint you..." He groans in pain through his injuries and his literal existence coming unraveled.

    This means that it's not hard for Riva to keep him in place. Nor is it, at that note, hard for Priscilla to come in after him in the wake of his attack. Her scales, which he didn't account for most likely, and her tenacity. He had known she was strong. Strong enough to persist despite the blood-stained world he had created. And strong enough to blast him, over and over, with her immensely destructive power. Psyber, and the Shajem wrapped around him, and the Abstractum in his hand all reel and grimace in pain, her blasts at reality causing their descent into non-existence to speed up, heading towards a critical mass.

    And in this moment, as she is doing so, his mind drifts back.

Psyber (253) has posed:
The Road So Far...

--60 Days After Annu--

    Psyber is sitting in Nathan's library, back resting against a shelf of books as he curls up on the floor, "The Scar burns so bad, Nathan. I can't sleep. I can't deal it. It's... just unbearable. This is too much."

    The Librarian adjusts his glasses, "You will. Just as I continue to endure the inevitable betrayals that everyone brings upon me." He notes, closing his book.

    Psyber sighs, "Can I really? Fuck, they all need me to be so strong, but I just can't do it any more. Is this really what the Multiverse has to be?"

    He puts the book up, "Yes. If you ever determine a means to change it, I will be amicable to hear it."


    Library doors burst open, Psyber rushing in with a book. A Bible, "Nathan. I have the answer! Here. It was here!"

    The Librarian looks up, and then peers at a passage Psyber has highlighted. He frowns, "This is..."

    "The answer! I'll just need to... get close to the power that can do it." Psyber says eagerly, "But the only person is..."

    Nathan Hall's glasses gleam, "Yes. You'll need to befriend her."

    "But I hate her for what she did to you," Psyber frowns.

    "That will make it all the more effective."

--2 Days After Afterus--

    Nathan is sitting at a desk, trying to subdue the emotions still roiling inside. Psyber bursts in, "Nathan! I've got the idea more solidly now. I've written up the plans, everything we're going to need."

    He slams down a huge book. Nathan gently opens it. He seems to take a few seconds, "This is..." He looks up at Psyber, a rare emotion flickering to him, ".. it will take years," He monotones, "Years."

    "Yes. To manipulate her how we want, we need to make them think we hate each other. If she suspects, she will be more defensive," He notes with a grin.

    "Very well." He nods, "We will... feign hatred at times."

    Psyber looks serious, "Nathan, you're my best friend. I can't do this without you."

    Nathan, for his lack of emotion, attempts to convey the equal feeling towards Psyber, "Yes."

-- During Lordran --

    "Lordran will be the proof of concept." Psyber notes, before blurting, "God, it stucks having to argue with you all the time. You're kickin' my ass in debates."

    "The group is rallying to you. And supporting her. It will strengthen the plan when we make our move later." He explains, adjusting his glasses, "And how do you propose we do that on Lordran?"

    "I'm going to pitch a plan to destroy the system and recreate it. They'll..." Psyber waves a hand, "Think I'm just being me. But if we can succeed in a microcosm..."

    Nathan nods. Psyber, briefly, looks to him and says, "Nathan. What we're doing. I'm starting to have doubts. We're... going to go to hell for this."

    Nathan looks at him, "Would hell be any worse than you watching people suffer? Or me being constantly betrayed?"

-- After the Shajem of Hatred --

    Psyber and Nathan are in a secluded room together, looking over plans on the walls, "Nathan. This is all coming together. She has doubt. We've made her my best friend and you her worst enemy. We're pulling the strings."

    Nathan nods his head and says, "Yes. It's time. We will remove her defense once and for all."

    Psyber nods, "You've played your part perfectly. I'm sorry for how I had to act."

    "It was the plan."

-- The Day Of the Coup --

    Duet Fortuna smiles to Nathan and Psyber as she helps put books up on a shelf. Psyber, at the least, smiles back at her. Nathan remains stoicly emotionless, "It's so nice not to have to be on guard. To have real friends."

    As she turns to put a book away, Nathan slips something into Psyber's hand. The half-angel nods audibly, "Yeah. It's nice that you get to remember that, Wrathborn aside, you're just a normal girl."

    She couldn't see the dagger in his hand as he raised it up.

Psyber (253) has posed:
--Yesterday --
    This would be the last time the two were in a room together. They had isolated every variable, they had removed any contingent. All Elites that could reverse or hinder their decision had been dealt with. No wishes... the last time reverser would be removed from play. Psyber sighs and drinks from a bottle of scotch.

    "Are you prepared?" Comes the voice of his second in command.

    "Viridan was right. In a way. His mistake was that he didn't take over both factions before he was stopped. But now..." Psyber looks out the window and sighs at his friend, "An Angel hasn't been sent to Hell in over three thousand years."

    "As soon as you die, it will end. Those who are left will have their chance. Understand that they will never know why you did this. And you can never tell them where your plan came from." Nathan says as he removes a crumpled sheet of paper from his coat and puts it on the table between them. He smooths it out to reveal that highlighted passage from so long ago. Revelations 21:1.


    "Then I... saw a new Heaven... and a new Earth... for the first Heaven... and the first Earth... had passed away... and the sea was no more."

    None save two would ever hear the last bible verse ever uttered by Psyber. Would those two understand what it had meant? What it had implied Psyber had taken it upon himself to do? It's with a look of total agony that Psyber falls to his knees in the aftermath of Priscilla's onslaught.

    He takes a slow, ragged breath. His body begins unraveling starting at that single, purple eye. His existence is coming unwound as the many forces he has taken into his body in this last moment begin to take their toll. His remaining red eye looks at Riva and Priscilla, showing not fury and determination but fear. Fear of an immortal facing death. And sorrow. Sorrow of a man who chose to sacrifice dozens of people close to him so billions could find happiness.

    It's one tear that rolls down his cheek before his body seems to fracture to pieces inside Riva's pocket reality. It's not easy to know what such a destruction would have done had it taken place in conventional reality. But... Riva and Priscilla have succeeded.


    Almost as soon as Archangel's signal vanishes from the last tracking network, the Librarian stands up and begins opening up every single command line as failsafe after failsafe default over to him. A moment that he had waited years for, had planned years for, and had been forced to watch his best friend die.

    A Multiverse-wide broadcast message:

    "This is General Nathan Hall. I have siezed control of the Union Empire Command Structure and am calling an immediate ceasefire on all fronts. Archangel is dead."

    A long pause, "It is time... to rebuild Sector Zero."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    "Useless to the end." Zero complains without hesitation, but his heart isn't in it. He can feel the change in himself the instant it happens. The erosion of his self terminates immediately. He'd expected to walk away from this to the end of his self. Weeks, a few months at most. Maybe he'd have accomplished his goals by the time he wasn't himself anymore, and maybe he wouldn't have. Now...

    He looks down at Yuuki. The smell of her isn't tainted by the scent of her blood or the chaos of the surrounding battlefield, but her blip is gone. Zero knows she'll turn to dust soon, but he isn't certain whether she is conscious or not. Some purebloods in this state are, and others are not. Zero doesn't move, for fear of reducing her to so much stardust prematurely.

    But the relief of his vampiric needs is hollow. Major fixtures in his life are gone now, and once again the only thing ahead of him is the hunt. The fruit's power still lingers, for it added years through means that weren't entirely by blood. Too many important parts of his life have been hacked away, and each time without anybody bothering asking him what HE wanted before carrying on how they pleased with the fabric of his existence.

    "See you soon." He says to her, and waits.

Priscilla has posed:
    It's not the same as before. Not as when she had killed Seath, or Gwyndolin, or Gwyn. The same expectation of catharsis followed by an empty disbelief as always seems to find her in this moments after she's put a great evil to rest. Even now, she's still never read that bible. For thought that she had all the time in the world before, and then for the sickening feeling that arose within her whenever she looked at the holy book after that. Why is it then, that those last words; the last words the Archangel; that Psyber; will ever utter, fill her such conflicting emotions? For reasons she can understand, but perhaps never fully comprehend, Priscilla simultaneously feels angry, used, betrayed, relieved, and . . . proud? No, that last one is beyond her ability to name. It possibly always will be.

    She sinks to her knees as she hears Nathan's voice over the radio, soaking the ground around her with the blood saturated into her dress, tilting her head to look skyward, directly into the sun for a few, dazed moments, before finally back down to Riva. "Taketh thineself and leave. All of thee. If thou wilst persist in this fighting, then I shalt persist in ending it." The words leave her mouth mechanically, almost automatically. Somehow she feels as if it won't be an issue. No, her focus is on what echo remains of Psyber's soul, utterly destroyed, swiftly slipping through her fingers as she finds herself without the will to grasp and crush it. On the last, few, fleeting traces of memory it carries.

Riva Banari has posed:
The Templar has no screams for the Archangel as he passes. No words of defiance, nothing to spit at him in rage. Just a hollow emptiness and a soul-shaking grief.

Oh, and an immortal-slaying blade still punched clear through her gut. That's a thing. A tree limb reaches out, trapping around the hilt of the blade, and pulls it out of her. Her form shakes, trembling and soft in pseudoreality of the Enviro Shift, and she uses that to her advantage, perhaps this one time, forcing the wounds closed moments before Daemon can take no more, the Core Matrix dropping to the ground smouldering as the Enviro Shift collapses, leaving only this spot of beauty sitting in the middle of the vast plains of horror.

Gingerly, The Templar wraps the Matrix up and stores it away. In time, Daemon will recover, but it will need to rest for a long, long time.

She will live. From her expresssion it seems that he might not be able to tell if there was irreparable damage from the Livehunt Greatsword, or if it is the traume of the situation. However, she stumbles forward, and kneels next to where Psyber disintegrated. There was something she had to do. Something important. She bows her head, making the Sign of the Cross, and says quietly, her noice thick with restrained emotion.

"Pater noster qui es in coelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum,
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in coelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
et ne nos inducas in tentationem
sed libera nos a malo.

in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti... Amen."

It's not right. She knows that. She was never a good study. Besides, There is no more time than that. The command from Priscilla gains a sort of numb nod from the Templar, and she stands. "There is no one else." She says simply, as she turns away.

In order to save Psyber, she had to kill him. The taste is like bitter ashes in her mouth, her expression a mask of stone atop a maelstrom of grief and despair. For a long moment, she looks to that terrible greatsword, hanging from the branches of the tree...

But she turns away. She starts walking... in some direction. She doesn't know. She doesn't care.

Theo Morrison has posed:
Theo Morrison runs through a field of carnage and waste.

His legs don't burn, but he wishes they would. Some part of him longs for the physical imperfections he had before he used the Etherium. He went out of his way to change himself like this, to make himself /better/, less vulnerable, to put himself properly on the Empress's footing so that Archangel... so that /Psyber/ would have someone reliable to back him up.

He wishes his legs burned and his body was imperfect, because then he'd have an excuse.

Theo stops at the edge of a sinkhole seperating him from the Dragon and the Templar. He stands there, in his metal-stained rags and stitchings, in his cut and torn coat adorned with trophies and trinkets gently tinkling in the wind. He stares at the two of them, so close and yet so far, and he sees that he's already too late.

He doesn't drop to his knees and cry. He doesn't have the tears, or the instability from the grief. He doesn't scream to the heavens and attack, though he knows he has the ability. Against Archangel, they can't have much left. He doesn't know that he does, either. It's a matter of will, now, instead of injury. He doesn't have much left.

And then he hears the broadcast.

General Nathan Hall, seizing control not a minute after Psyber's destruction, announcing to the whole Multiverse that he's calling an end to hostilities.

General Nathan Hall, perfectly poised to kick the legs out from under the Empire when they were on the cusp of finally unifyng this blasted world.

General Nathan Hall, friend and confidant of 'Archangel,' always right there when he needed him most.

Theo doesn't feel his legs burn, but he feels his fingers press against his palms, harder and harder.

"I'll remember you," he says. He doesn't care if the Dragon and the Templar hear him say it. He says it all the same. "I'll remember."

He turns away from the scene, unconsciously gathering power. He peels the skin of the world away where he walks, marching forward into a misty aperture to who-knows-where. Just before he enters it, he stops, speaking into his radio one more time.

<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "General. The leaders of the Den and the Rebels are down. There... there aren't many survivors down here. Put whoever you can reach on retrieval. I --"
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "I can't do it. I need to go. I -- I have something to do."
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, "But --" and cuts himself off after a sharp breath.
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades says, speaking with restrained emotion, "But I just want you to know..."
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades lets anger slip into his voice for a second, "I'll be seeing you soon."
<Empire-IC> The Jack of Spades desynchs.

The injured young man throws a tiny metal comm-bead into the cracked dirt. He takes another step forward, fixing the sight of the two and the sound of the third in his mind. The people who killed him.

The Jack of Spades steps into the Blind Eternities, heedless of the danger, and marches off to fight one last war.

Psyber (253) has posed:
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "Well guys. As much as I love you all and had an amazing time running this finale for you... It's like... 3 AM here."
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "So I'm gonna duck out. The game will be open for 3-4 more days for people to post cutscenes, goodbyes, contact info, grab decompiles."
-<OOC>- Archangel says, "It's been real. I gotta head to work tomorrow."

Psyber (253) has posed:
-=<*SCENESYS*>=- Archangel has marked scene 3301 Finished!