6963/ALLIANCE: The Center Of The Maze

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ALLIANCE: The Center Of The Maze
Date of Scene: 02 January 2020
Location: Crystal Tower, Eorzea
Synopsis: The Warriors of Light and their allies take on Amon, and are betrayed by Lezard Valeth and the Concord
Cast of Characters: N'raha Tia, Guzma, 7180, Alruna Greengate, Tomoe, Lezard Valeth


N'raha Tia has posed:
    The place? A massive elevator in the center of the Main Foyer of the Labyrinth of the Ancients. Where once it remained in a locked position in the middle of the massive raised platform over top the Giant Cistern Of Literal Liquid Aether, now the controls have come on line, there's a bunch of Allagan text there that seems to indicate 'Press Here To Activate', and a rather anxious looking Ax Catte. N'raha is busy working a stone across the blade of Bravura, the ax already magically sharp, but, well. It pays to maintain your gear, in any case.

    Off to the side, Nero and G'raha are busy with a bunch of devices and consoles and widgets that appear to have been trucked in from the Ironworks, and have them routed into ports and sockets on the side of the elevator. Almost time.

Guzma has posed:
Guzma and the Skull Trio are back, with their bandanas, hats, and bling. The white-haired Guzma steps up, several pokeballs around his waist, and approaches the Allagan text. "Alright, yo, let's get to work."

And then he pushes to activate, while the rest of Team Skull dances behind him.

While he's here, he does turn to Lezard when he approaches, and gives him a supportive nod. He likes Lezard, and he considers Lezard the 'ranker' here, evne if they're the same rank, since Lezard has more experience in the Concord and knowledge of 'weird magic crap'. "So, what's the plan, Valeth?"

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
Amelris Belthrone is being an adventurer. Which is to say, poking his nose in things that does not concern him and things that looks very shiny, interesting and likely dangerous. Such as the many screens that surrounds the massive elevator inside of it. The Red Mage is peering at the screens with much interest. His rapier is sheathed at his side, a hand on it's hilt as he observes the magiteck around them.

"Very, very, very nice." The Miqo'te mutters outloud. "It's amazing that everything have been sitting here for centuries, undisturbed." He leans over to get a closer look at some of the Allagan text, smiling. "Amazing. Simply amazing."

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna has been kneeling on the flagstones, her blade drawn and resting point-down on those same stones, for some time now while the party gathers, praying, or meditating, mumbling something that sounds like scraps of a song under her breath as she recenters herself after days of revelry for Starlight and Heavensturn.

Fully armed and armoured, she closes her hand around the shimmering blue soulstone she's been singing softly to, and stands up. The solemn expression on her face breaks. "Don't stress." Alruna says, clapping N'raha on the shoulder with a beaming smile as she walks past to take her place on the platform, waiting patiently. She's been through here several times since the first foray, with the Adventurer's Guild, to make sure the Ironworks.../consultant/, and the other Raha, aren't jumped by any unpleasant surprises; all the wondrous Allagan technology has lost a bit of its novelty for her.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    The text, as far as has been translated and noted (with some rather pointedly offworld Post-It Notes) says that there's power readings from the deeper parts of the Wings. Looks like the other teams have been working to get the main shaft back up and running, and unlocking... either actual power readings or safety switches or whatever to get the elevator up and running. It's Allagan and a dungeon, and that's esoteric, at best.

Tomoe has posed:
She had told N'Raha at the new year's party? She was with him and she'd put her money where her mouth was as she'd shown up when they were called for another run. She'd left a note with the GU to where she'd runoff too. She had arrived had given Nero a look wh4n she di and was moving to fall into the group her sword dawn breaker was at her hip and she had the mourning wall with its ever-shifting names on it ready.

"Geeze."

She pops out her smartphone and takes a few images of things before banishing it back into her inventory. She looked ready to move out.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    Lezard Valeth returns to the Crystal Tower. This Labyrinth is full of plenty of things that interest him, really the more difficult thing would be keeping him /away/. Still, the Sorceror of Midgard sweeps in through the entranceway once more, smiling at the sight of the churning liquid aether roiling below the platforms.

    His gaze hangs over the little station where Nero and his assistant G'raha seem to be set up doing investigations, and nods to himself and does not continue to concern himself with the support.

    No, instead he looks to Guzma. He returns the nod. "At this point the objective appears to be to access this overcomplicated moving platform so we may find a path into the Tower itself. Undoubtedly, it will be sealed behind yet more absurd guardians. At this point, it will be simple enough a task to follow the flood of 'heroes' and allow them to dash themselves against the cliff as it were."

    His gaze turns to the axe-wielding catman, and he frowns for a moment. "I would tell you to be cautious, but you already know what to expect, I believe." He says. "No one here is going to concern themselves with your well-being. Be prepared to operate on your own at a moment's notice."

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Guzma, of all people, seems to be the quickest to start things off. He presses the button, and the whole thing... shifts and shudders and starts up, moving and rumbling. Nero, for his part, smiles. It's not a polite smile. "I guess you're going now. Be sure to let us know what you find up there, by the way. And don't break too much. I know that will be.... difficult for some of you." A glare at N'raha and Amelris, specifically. Huh. I wonder what this guy has against THOSE TWO?

    N'raha huffs a bit at Lezard, and bright green eyes glare at the man from under that red visor, even as he nods to Alruna and shuffles up and onto the elevator himself. It's time.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "No promises!" Amelris shouts back as the elevator starts moving, the Red Mage giving him a two-fingered salute.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe gumbles about the dragon horror from last time unaware of what might be thrown at them this time. She looks to Alruna then to N'raha. She knew N'raha was very good at his job and Alruna had left a good impression with her. So she seemed ready as she was going to be she drew her blade and would push to the front of the party and takes a look at Lezard. On one hand some of the best damn fire-support in the multiverse. On the other, it's Lezard Valeth. She would just have to deal and away she goes for the lift not wanting to end up left behind. Well there was one thing that she thought of she'd get to see both Amelris and Alruna in action today.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    The elevator shudders... and starts to move upwards. Up and up, through the sky, a floating, rail-less platform, rising up into the vaulted ceiling, and up through a suddenly opening portal. Huh. That's interesting.

    And as it slides up and into position, the light's glare fades and people are able to see... a short platform, heading off over a less roiling, but still deadly looking flow of aether fluid. It's less orange than before though, and a much more acrid looking cyan in color, maybe a different aspect? That's a question for the Eggheads, though, because what's much more clear is someone waiting for them, at the end of that pathway. The room itself is clearly a control room of some sort, with dial and gauges and floating widgets and everything, all whirring and buzzing. Much more elegant, much more Allagan than the gear downstairs. It all menaces with Ancient Intents.

    The man at the center of the room, though, seems very much out of place to all that. He frankly reminds the lot of you of Amelris. He's tall. Human-ish, and Extremely Flamboyantly Dressed. Gaudy is the word of the day, his outfit bearing Magitek braiding, glowing red and blue in the light of the room. and atop his head is a gaudy, feathered chapeau. "And I see the little mice that have been scurrying about inside the tunnels have made their final entrance. Well. I shan't keep you all waiting, dear little mice. A man needs an audience after all, and this show CERTAINLY requires one." He gestures, and then holds out a hand, a sword visible under his cape. "Let's start the show, shall we?"

                                    AMON                                    

                            CHIEF MAGITECHNICIAN                            

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    Lezard moves towards the elevator slowly, watching everyone assemble on the moving platform. Again, he looks to N'raha with a measuring gaze, only to get that glare in return. He matches the green eyes with his own stare, a smile widening as he moves to join the others. Only then, when everyone seems to be assembled, does Lezard step onto the elevator. The fact that there seems to be a couple more would-be heroes than before does not seem to concern him.

    The platform rises, and Lezard steps out onto the approach only to see the Intense Flamboyance confronting him. He scowls. "What kind of absurdity is this?" He declares. He does not step into the area clearly prepared by the man to battle his opponents, instead hanging on the edge. Energy flares around him dramatically, giving his cape a flaring motion as if he is working to match the man in his own Evil Wizard way. "I was not aware that we would be met by the court jester. Explain yourself. What is your purpose here? This is a place ill fit for theatre."

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna chuckles softly. She doesn't know Nero's /specific/ malus against the two catmen, but it's probably a worthwhile story. She turns her head, casting her eyes over their party, assessing. Several of these people are outlanders, so it's going to be a learning experience fighting alongside them, she muses as the elevator goes up. And they don't all seem to be on the same page, either.

No introductions needed, it seems. For anyone, even the man(?) who confronts them. She pulls down her winged helmet's visor and advances, readying sword and shield. She would have to be very stupid indeed to not realise that this stranger has had plenty of time to prepare for their arrival. No, she just doesn't care. Someone's got to step on the trigger plate, after all.

"On guard!" she says, surging forward with a thrusting stab, because Exposition is for Echo visions and /after/ you've beaten the hell out of someone.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     The Red Mage left with a wide, confident grin. This do not change as they head up, glancing over at the opening portal, the new colors -- colors that he spends some time pondering over, infact. He IS a Egghead, technically. As they make their way down the pathway, Amelris' attention is set on the various dials, gauges and technological menace around them. More importantly, the man at the middle of the room.

     "BY THE TWELVE!" Amelris exclaims, spreading his arms and pointing at Amon. His mouth is open, agape, his eyes wide at the whole of Amon. "What have you DONE with yourself!? All of this color, it's clashing with one self! You went much too far on the Gaudy side, my friend! It's too much, /TOO MUCH/. Has your mother dressed you like this!? Tch."

     Amelris drums the guard of his rapier, the gem tingling with his nails. "I do dig the hat, thought. That is some nice feathers. Quite amazing feathers, at that. He steps in after Alruna, knowing full well to let the Tanks go first, pooling his hands to begin casting. Black energy crackles out of his Rapier Rod, then launched out into unleashing a purple and red blast at Amon, spinning with a flourish to launch a second one.

Tomoe has posed:
The lift shudders as they head up, it up into the sky more or less she can see the place and she seems more than a little impressed at this place. That doesn't last too long though she'll leave the egghead to worry about how all this magical tech works. She only has a limited understanding of things that don't run on magic. Tomoe looks to Alruna and then to N'raha for a moment.

Then to the man who has the most fabulous outfit she's ever seen native to this world.

"Mice are we? Well then let's get this show on the road shall we."

Tomoe knows there are two other what she'd call tanks here she makes ready to move in but Lezard is not yet attacking that makes her pause either he's sensed something she hasn't. Or he's got another plan like trying to recruit the guy into the Concord.

"Hate to tell you this sir? All that's in this tower is all that remains of your people. Do you really want to /do/ this?" She's knowing there's going to be a fight but maybe there might be some answers as unlike the lower level this is clearly not an rabdi undead thing before them. With Alruna rushing in she'll rush on in as there's no stopping this fight. She charges on in poping several of her tanking abilities as she does so, lashing out with her blade the moment she gets into melee range.

Guzma has posed:
As they go up, Guzma ignores Nero because Nero was kind of a jerk to him once, and approaches. He grabs one of the yellow and black spheres on his belt, clicks the button, and throws. He's a little unnerved by the sword, but...

"Vikavolt."

The weird flying bug with the very long mandibles appears. It floats up, and then, as the man proclaims himself.

"Tackle him."

It's a test of how fast his reactions are. Vikavolt slams into him with speed, moving to tackle Amon and try and get some light damage, but mostly, give Guzma an idea of ability. Lezard has a plan, so, he needs to also keep hostilities off Lezard.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    The Tall Man rolls his eyes at Lezard, and then bows. "If you think me the Jester, it simply means you cannot fathom what fashion is. Should a master of a keep be as... dim and dingy and dour as you, Ser Warlock? Has your lust for power ruined your sensibilities and your color palette?" A cocky grin, and then he turns and wheels on the Heroes as they approach.

    N'raha and Alruna apparently have the same idea in place as they both charge the Magitechnician and with a flourish of energy, he simply steps aside, letting the attacks slam into an aetheric barrier he lifts to parry away the blow. "Come now, both of you, such IMPATIENCE."
    Amelris' magical blast, however, as well as the smashing assault from Vikavolt stagger the man, and he hisses out. "SEE? This is just as was forseen. A bunch of meddlers. Pretenders to the glory of Allag. Not once have ANY of you stopped to consider the ramifications of your actions. NOT ONE OF YOU..."

    He sighs, and shifts, and straightens up again, dusting off his cloak. A moment to resettle his hat. "Waited for proper introductions. I am Amon, chief Magitechnologist of the Allagan Empire. This is MY Tower and will remain that way until I reawaken the Master. So. Please, sit back and let this all happen like the good little mice you are."

    A grin. "I'm asking nicely."
    He really isn't, unless raising a barrier around the party, and then lighting everyone on fire is 'asking nicely'. The Barrier is to protect the equipment, after all.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    "Tch. I have no need of taking /fashion advice/ from a dead man." Lezard retorts. As the barrier rises, Lezard simply smiles. "Predictable. Of course he would raise a powerful magical barrier to keep you away from his equipment and trap me outside of the battle." He sighs dramatically. "But you are not the only one who can play a part, jester. Give me regards to the heroes. I have matters to attend to."

    At that, Lezard turns, flourishing his cape once more as the circle of his teleportation spell draws itself around him, the Sorceror of Midgard vanishing... elsewhere?

    As for where, that will become apparent shortly.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Well, that's not a great start!

     The fire blasts through the arena. Amelris, certainly, try to avoid it in his usual way: by moving in a grandios way. It does not work. Instead, a surprise amount of fire is unleashed and, while he do avoid his original intended fireball, he does land squarely into another one. This has the obvious effect.

     Amelris picks himself up, grunting to himself as he dusts his clothing and taps to get some of the burning flames out. "I'll be honest, that WAS quite rude of us. So, do tell us about /your Master/ if you're so inclined! We don't have all day!"

     Amelris' floating gem, held a few inches above his outstretched palm next to him, is pooled again at the base of his rapier to form the Rod. A moment is taken to notice Lezard is gone.

     Damnit. He should've suspected that a wizard was untrustworthy. After all, he, too, is a wizard. He should know.

     He focuses on his casting, taking small steps as he unleash out a large fireball headed at Amon's way, take a small stepping hop to the side, spinning his Rapier Staff to unleash out a large stone, ripped from the.. very metal ground, also aimed at Amon.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's blade is turned aside by a glittering forcefield. Not a big surprise.

*FOOOM*

She hunkers down to defend herself from his response. Flame divides around her shield, the heat licking at the edges of her armour with unpleasant eagerness, but the magic fire finds no purchase. When it clears, Alruna straightens up and exhales, bearing down on Amon at a steady pace. "I've never met a man I cared for who let monsters roam in their cellar." she says glibly, channeling her energy into her weapon to slash again at the shield protecting Amon.

She can enervate it or simply break it down with enough strength, either will accomplish the purpose of giving her allies the opening they need. She ducks back out of the way as the next salvo of fire and lightning answers Amon in kind, and then charges forwards again with her shield forward, slamming it against his defences.

Guzma has posed:
A barrier appears, and a fire blasts out. If Lezard hadn't warned Guzma he was doing something, Guzma would be shocked at him disappearing. The three Team Skull Grunts join him, as they throw out their pokeballs, releasing Zubat, Garbodor, and Salandit, the bat, garbage bag, and lizard pokemon. "Group attack!" Tupp shouts out, as the three call out "Venoshock!"

Guzma, meanwhile, shouts. "Thunder Cannon."

Purple poison blasts at Amon, as the Vikavolt charges lightning between its mandibles, and fires a massive streaking ray of lightning straight at Amon.

As this happens, the poison seeping in hopefully into Amon, Lezard gets to work. Guzma eyes his 'allies', and makes sure they don't get in any attacks on him out of anger, too.

Tomoe has posed:
The good news is they have been able to get Amon's attention. The bad news is Lezard has checked so out it's silly what is he up to? She has no idea other than he has to have a plan. Lezard isn't just one to show up, bail and do nothing. She can't worry about that now as for a brief moment she's now /set/ on both lighting and fire. Her avatar doesn't look too hot all things. She's looking a bit odd there's horrible red lines where the lighting got her and a wireframe nature in the wound as well.

On Tomoe's HUD her HP bar drops not into the yellow but a bit chunk of the green is already gone.

"I am Tomoe The Lily. I will note that this tower contains all the Allagans who still live."

She keeps on the move now and she will turn up the heat herself and she might do something which could be unexpected to all the locals save N'raha.

She chants golden runes dance about her body as she does to and then there's an explosion of fire right back at Amon and Tomoe follows that up with trying to press the attack with her blade.

"You ain't the only one who can sling fire about!"

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Don't think he's not spotting these sorts of things, Lezard. Your absence is noted, and then there's a rather... smug smile on Amon's face as he starts to step into the other attacks. "Hmmmmm, did you all know that we made these little creatures?" He states this as Raha SLAMS his ax into Amon's side, forcing the engineer to side step and raise yet another barrier and keep his attention, at least partially, on the catman.
    He also doesn't elaborate.

    He does, however, start to dance around the 'stage' as it were, seemingly... stepping deliberately into attacks. The swords from Alruna and Tomoe SMASH into his cape, blistering him with energy and force. Amelris' twinned spells spatter across his chest and arm, staggering him to the side, and causing him to miss a step. Toxins from the Pokemon start to seep into his body, staining his lovely, gorgeous outfit...
    At least for a second or two. Then once again the man is straightening up, and turns to focus his attention on Alruna and N'raha. "...En guarde." And he reels back, and SLASHES at the pair of them, his sword suddenly crackling with radiant, hideous energy.

    The rest of the crew will suddenly find themselves under... well, less attack but rather Pestering by oozes and critters that start to burble up and out of vents in the floor. Slimes and puddings and other disgusting things that seek to ooze and restrict and distract as the Engineer moves to dismantle the party's two tanks.

Guzma has posed:
The toxins and lightning slam and stain and poison, as Vikavolt pulls back. Slimes move in, oozing at them and distracting, getting their ickiness on Guzma and his team. Vikavolt rams into them to try and cut into them, but they're not going to end there. Zubat is sent down to bite into the slimes, as Vikavolt pulls back...

"Poison Jab."

Guzma smiles a toothy grin, and Vikavolt's mandibles glow violet with energy, as it moves to /ram/ Amon, trying to poison him further, weaken his endurance, and set him off guard with a strong strike.

Tomoe has posed:
"I figured most of the creatures in the tower were made, or tamed by the Allagans yes. I must ask is what I presume the sewage system on the lowest level supposed to be filled with undead and demons?"

Tomoe has seen some crazy things in her time but for some reason that just got under her skin. She seldom got to ask the people behind whatever ruin or dungeon she was crawling about just why there was something like this. She had to ask even if she doesn't get an answer also the next attack is quite swarmed by various horrible things from the lab.
% She sees Alruna get the worst of the attention.

She keeps tabs on Guzma, his minions Amelris, N'Raha and wonders just what Lezard is plotting.

She got to deal with poison and lighting it's not very much fun and the slimes, on the other hand, will have to deal with her as she moves in to cut them down as fas as she can.

"I'll handle the adds."

She calls out to Alrun as she hacks slashed and throws the odd light spell into the mix of her attacks.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "No!" Amelris exclaims, Blade and Gem separating and returning into a fencer's stance, sword pointed outward and palm up, behind him. "I did NOT know that you made all of these little poor creatures! I just figured it out BY MYSELF because I have a brain! /Why would you/ is the better question!?"

     The Red Mage launches himself like an arrow against one side of the 'barriered' fight, spinning his blade to return it into it's casting position and pointing a hand at a bunch of the Oozes. That's the issue when things starts ganging up on you. SOMEONE have to clean the mess up and that's usually him. N'Raha and Alruna have enough on their plate as it is already!

     He twirl his blade with one hand, black energies gathering by the gem as he fling out a large ball of multi-colored energy, which explodes on impact in a calculated, beautiful octogonal shape. It is aimed at the swarm of goop and oozes, Amelris making apparently a VERY good job at staying out of their hungry, dissolving ways. Amelris deftly hops back, throwing his combined weapon up and snatching it out of the air, throwing one hand out in a flourish to unleash another explosion, this time trying to get Amon into the midst of it.

     "By the way, are the feathers of that hat also from a creature you created?"

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna circles, following Amon's movement as he dances through the chamber to keep the pressure on him. "Hey, where did-" she wonders aloud belatedly, realising the headcount isn't the same as it was when they first stepped onto the elevator.

Unfortunately for the tank, there are much more pressing issues she needs to deal with. The way Amon poses, half a heartbeat before his weapon crackles with deathly energy... "Look out!" Her instincts kick in, a wave of aether enveloping herself and N'raha to form a barrier that at least spares them /some/ of the brunt of whatever wicked sorcery Amon is empowering his sword with.

It still rips a cry of pain out of her as Amon carves through her shield and deflects down her breastplate, driving its tip into her side. There and gone in an instant. Tendrils of unhealthy energy seep into her, lodging themselves in her body and drawing another pained, unwilling whimper. Behind her visor, Alruna's face is drawn in a rictus of pain - her glove creaks as she clenches her sword tighter.

She responds in kind, a black cloud of aether lined with dancing purple radiance engulfing her sword, which she plunges into Amon's barrier, driving it forward with adrenaline and pain behind the thrust.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    "Hmmmmm, we made... so many things, little courl~" The words are like venom from Amon as he sneers down at Amelris, even as the Red Mage and his allies start to strike down the assorted goops and globs and oozes. They're doing their best, but clearly that's not enough. That's not to say they're not giving back though. Each little goop exploes, casting awful mess around, slobbering on most of the party as they do damage control, seeping with toxins and garbage as Amelris blasts, as Tomoe slashes.

    Guzma, N'raha and Alruna seem to have the right of things though, as they all step in and make their moves against Amon directly. That Ram-Tackle-Poison from Guzma just gets another dose of Nasty in Amon's veins, but... a smile. "Oh, how the technicians will ENJOY peeling that beast apart and seeing how it ticks, mark my words, little man."
    Alruna and Raha though, make a very pointed reminder to Amon that they are Still Here. Raha steps in with an angry snarl, a wave of distracting energy blasting across the arena, and Alruna's sweeping blade both dragging his attention to the forefront. "BOTHERSOME CREATURES."

    Amon twirls in place, stabs his sword into the decking in a rather grotesquely similar manner to Amelris' casting techniques, and then chilling cold starts to form across the room, and... giant balls of frozen aether SLAM into the arena. Let's hope the party knows how to stay out of the bad.

Guzma has posed:
"Go stuff yourself." Guzma says, to Amon, as the giant balls of frozen aether slam in. The trainers start running, Guzma's eyes widening, as Vikavolt is slammed by the giant frozen ball and sent flying back. Ice is not good for bugs.

But it still flies, even though it's chillier and hurt, one wing limping slightly, and it tries to jam those mandibles into Amon again, taking a big bite out of him!

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's fingers are numbed, her limbs sapped of warmth by Amon's Blizzaga. The worst part? It does nothing to numb the pain of the seeping wound in her side.

Shuddering, she raises her shield to protect herself from the jagged iceberg about to descend, driven to one knee by the impact. Ice crashes over her shield, and her helm too, biting in ways that the fire did not, encasing her in a wintery grip. Sorry, she stood in the bad.

They're all suffering, but she can see Amelris and Guzma preparing... pulling herself onto her feet again, Alruna lets out a warcry and hopes N'raha sees their cue too, telegraphing her movements from half a realm away as she lunges at Amon, delivering a back-handed slam with her shield to distract him one more time. She can be very bothersome indeed!

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     In many ways, that is just insulting!

     "That's not answering the question!" Amelris snaps back, pulling his sword back into a defensive measure, lifting his caped arm as he takes a step back, trying to give himself some defense against the explosion of frozen Aether. It has ... limited effect. The Bad has been stepped on to be certain but that is difficult to avoid when Most Of Everything You Stand ON IS the 'bad'.

     This results in the Miqo'te having something of a frozen problem, boots freezing, ice biting at his skin and stiffening his fur.

     His ears wiggles on the sound he ears. Problems are coming up. This fight is becoming a waste of time, then.

     "Alright then," Amelris mutters beneath his breath, taking a step forward, breaking the crystaline ice that accumulated on him. "You are quickly becoming a bore, Amon! Let us show you how we do things in this Astral Era!" The Red Mage shouts, spinning his weapon as he thrusts it up in the air.

     The ground shakes beneath him, energy spilling out from beneath him and gathering up into his weapon. His hair jerks around by the unseen winds of aether being concentrated and gathered around them, particularly from Alruna and N'Raha as he concentrate it into visible energy in his weapon.

     "FROM THE REACHES OF THE SKIES, REACH FOR A WISH UPON A COMET!"

     Amelris spins his glowing weapon left and right, then slams it into the ground in a NOT grotesque mockerie of his arts, as if to show Amon how it is actually done. "I HAVE A WISH! THIS WISH IS ... STARFALL!"

     Out of nowhere, above Amon, thick, massive balls of flame of rocks comes plummeting down. They explode in massive explosions, focused on the tall Engineer, pelting him a rapid fire barrage of projectiles, fueled by the combined aether gathered in the fight by people assembled here.

Tomoe has posed:
Amsons' creation proved to be a fairly troublesome thing but Tomoe hacks away at the problem. Hopefully, this will lead to her allies have a far less bad time in dealing with Amon. She listens as he talks about carving up Pokemon she frowns and then she looks right at him as he launches an ice spell of some sort at her. One she's cold it's so cold She's having trouble moving for a moment. She does however not stay hindered for long, she curses about how she stood in the ice.

, In turn, she's dashes at Amon aiming to slam into him with her shield then launches into a Sword Art.

"EARTH SPLITTER"

Her blade gains a golden glow and she launches a single powerful leaping strike trying to slice all the way up Amon.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Each one of those balls of ice starts to slam into the decking, leaving a massive hulking block of frost in the field, hampering movement and making dashing around a rather dicey process. Amon is seemingly... dancing now. Sure footed and fleet, even as he crashes into attacks, bashes against the party. There's even a very PLEASED look as he briefly vanishes inside of Amelris' Limit Break, the Starfall getting, apparently, rave reviews...
    His aether barrier is fading, even as his cloak and his sword glow brighter and brighter. He's been steadily gathering energy, not just from his surroundings, but also the attacks he's been receiving, gladly receiving. "All that matters, little mice, is that my Master returns, and now..." He quirks his head. "If I do not accomplish that plan, it sounds like someone else will. You ought to all have... kept a closer eye on things."

    A sniff, and Amon adjusts his hat. "No matter. It won't matter to you lot. This is where the show ends, sadly. And you along with it. Take a bow, everyone, it will be your last!"

    And with an exhalation of exultant breath, he whips the sword around him in a flourish and a wave of... frankly unwholesome Void energy washes over the entire room, smashing aside the carefully crafted barrier and smashing at everyone in the room.

    I mean, unless they managed to get behind a chunk of ice. But who's ever seen THAT mechanic before?

Guzma has posed:
A blast of void energy smashes through the room, destroying the barrier. It slams straight into Vikavolt, Guzma, and the trainers, sending them all flying backwards, burning up and groaning in pain. Guzma's hurt, and so is Vikavolt, but...

They're still standing, just /barely/!

"Vikavolt! X-Scissor!"

Vikavolt flies straight at Amon, and opens its mandibles wide, before slicing them in an x-shape around him. Two x-cuts, moving to try and slice him up and defeat him at all costs. Guzma needs to stay conscious, if he's gonna help Lezard!

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     The Starfall is not as effective as it might've been. That's just the life of a Limitbreak, however. Sometimes, it just sputters and farts into not fulfilling the hype.

     Amelris' eyes widens out at the sight of the breath, all that aether and void energy just spilling out like this. A quick glance looks around, finding a block of ice. The Starfall put a lot out of him but there's some fight left in him at this point.

     "GET BEHIND SOMETHING!" Amelris shouts, gathering his weapons out as he leaps out in the air, backflipping off a few feet to land squarely behind the ice block that was so nicely provided by Amon. He'll never understand that sort of things from people like that but he's not going to complain at this point.

     As soon as the explosion finishes, the void rages is over from the barrier, Amelris immiediatedly dashes out from behind like a balistic missile at Amon, rapier first to ram it down into his knee.

     "No, I paid attention." Amelris snaps, gritting his teeth. "Oh look, an EVIL WIZARD is stabbing us in the bleedin' back. WHO COULD HAVE FORSEEN THIS DEVELOPMENT COMING!?"

     Amelris then flows into a wider movement, spinning his blade up into a wide arc, then ramming it repeatedly into a flurry of thrusts, each impacts exploding into a tiny burst of energy as his sword is charged up with magic, balance of White and Black aether cancelling each other out. "So shut up!"

     Stab Stab Stab, slice, stab slice.

     "AND GIVE ME YOUR DAMN HAT!"

     The last thrust will be, in fact, aimed upward at said hat.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's armour clinks and grates, annoyingly clingy ice shattering off it repeatedly as she takes a step back. That is a /considerable/ amount of void energy now. "Fury take me..." she mutters under her breath. She makes a break for one of said mounds of ice, turning around at the last moment to brace her shield with both arms against it. The ice shatters under the shockwave, leaving Alruna sliding back on the slush underfoot as void energy tears at her body.

Panting, Alruna draws her sword and tries to tackle Amon from a different side to Amelris, a black, dark fear growing in her chest as she realises what about this scenario seems much, much too familiar to her. The last time she fought someone raving about awakening their master... the Seventh Umbral Calamity happened.

Aether rolls down her blade as she attacks Amon with a flurry of slashes, that cold chill down her spine not born of ice spells anymore.

Tomoe has posed:
Amon is proving to be one heck of a foe here. Tomoe is tough she's very well known for just what a beating she can take. Tomoe makes for a chunk of ice, she's just too far out to make it in time. Well, she partially does but her lower half is caught int he flames and it is bad. Her lower body is now a mess of angry red wireframes. Her HP bar on her HUD is in the red, she's in a good deal of pain too.

She struggles to her feet and takes the Dawn Breaker in both hands and she lunges for Amon trying to put him down.

"This is not my final bow, not here not YET!"

She musters all the strength she has left and launches herself at Amon, it's a fairly big gamble but it's the best plan she has, for she can't see running away. To be anything more than a you die tired, sort of situation.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    And then for all the noise? All the... pomp, the rage, the circumstance? Amon can do little to stop what's coming. His energy expended, the attacks slice him to ribbons, blow by blow until-

    Wait, no, he really IS ribbons. Like, his body's gone, and all that's left are his clothes and garments, shredded and torn and raggedy, like they were never that much in the first place. The lights in the room all dim for a moment or two, and then flick over as power cycles in the control chamber.

    Amon is gone, and the elevator starts to cycle again, as lights flick over from that garish, awful cyan to something softer, a warm, alarming red, instead. Great, just great.

    The radio crackles too, as Raha digs himself out from behind one of the now crushed ice blocks. "Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit." He's already staggering up to his feet, limping, his tail lifeless halfway down its length. He's running for the Elevator, trying to intercept it before... well. Someone's coming.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
"Who... who is your master?"

The question comes at the end of a shaking swordpoint. Alruna pulls up her visor, staring down balefully at Amon's...remains, or his puppet, or whatever it was they just fought. She seems hung up on this, barely acknowledging that something else is happening as she stares in shock at the rags left behind by Amon. She looks up, around, helplessly at the control room. "Who is your master!?" she demands, too late to receive an answer, it seems.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     That was actually somewhat surprising, cutting a thing to ribbons like that and only leaving their clothes.

     With a flourish at looking at the garnments, Amelris flips the hat up into the air, snatch it out and hurriedly make it vanish in a puff of aether. The only thing worthy here.

     "Alruna!" Amelris calls, sheathing his rapier to shake her by the shoulder. "We'll find out later! Come on!" He looks at Guzma and Tomoe, nodding at them. "Let's back N'raha up. WHO KNEW, a wizard might've very well have done something wizardly!"

     Amelris then dashes after the other Miqo'te, hand on his hat as he dives after.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    As the barrier fails, there is another occurrence.

    A teleportation circle, the same kind as those that Lezard uses, draws itself on the platform that they had used to ascend. The person who is meant to use it, knows it's going to happen.

    Raha is running for the elevator too. Guzma might want to Goomba Stomp the catman or something on his way to the port, but a voice begins echoing through the Labyrinth.

    "Yes, that is right. Do as I say and I will allow you to keep your life. I need your /eye/, it need not be attached to the rest of you. Do not try me."

    A pause, then Lezard's voice echoes again. "Ah, excellent. Thank you all for providing this wonderous distraction from my normal investigations. This place holds a great deal of promise. So much so, that I have decided to take it for my own. Pursurant to this, I have claimed the cat that holds the key. If you do not interfere, I may even return him intact. Still, there is much to research. It seems that your foe had managed to set some systems into motion, systems that herald that Master he speaks of. Ah well. It seems that I will have to select... Regicide."

Guzma has posed:
As the man falls, Guzma isn't thinking about him. He doesn't care about Amon, or his puppet, or whatever. Lezard has a plan. It's time to move.

But N'raha is faster. Way faster than the humans in Team Skull. So, as Guzma and Team Skull start running for the elevator, Vikavolt charges in for N'raha's heel, moving to bite them and slow him down just long enough for Guzma to get to the teleportation circle, return Vikavolt to its Pokeball...

"See you around, losers! Concord rules!"

And, hopefully, vanish with the circle.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Raha can do plenty to stop Guzma. He can't do a damn thing to stop Vikavolt and that strike, his already injured body getting tossed off balance and slammed into a console as he's tripped and tackled and... and he skids to a crumpled heap.

Tomoe has posed:
Several things of note, Guzma who started out a just being full of it when they first me had moved from component to downright a bad idea to ever fight alone in Tomoe's head. Next, she sees that for some strange reason Amon's body gone.

"Wait what the HELL HERE?!" She's not sure he's dead and gone and she sighs for a moment.

"I have a horrible feeling we are about to find out."

Then something worse comes up, Lezard was up to something and there was nothing she could go at this point she struggles to get moving but is far too late.

She curses violently at this but she's too beat up, and worn down to even think about trying to stop Guzma. Let alone a fully healthy and ready to rumble Lezard and next off there's a damn hostage. She will try to head to Alruna who seems pretty bad off as well.

"We're in no condition to stay here, we need to get out now. I am not going to lose any party members here."

There's an intense edge to her voice like she has failed to do so once and it's haunted her ever since.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's head jerks at the sound of her name. A different voice, but it still manages to pull her back to the here and now. "Not again, please..." she whispers, turning to follow the others sprinting back towards the elevator. She's lagging far too much to do anything about Guzma.

She comes to a stop next to N'raha, checking the Miqo'te over. "N'raha, not now- this is no time to be sleeping!" She slaps her hand on his chest, channeling healing energy into the cat's body.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     This is rather displeasing to Amelris, sort to say. He didn't get to really know the other lad but this sort of turning, especially since he's seen it coming, do give him a sort of vile satisfaction to his pessimistic side, making the Red Mage scowl.

     The Miqo'te spins his rapier, throwing into a dash. He zooms past Alruna and N'raha, his body becoming something of a straight, deadly blurr as he homes right straight to Guzma's back, his rapier sticking out, damn ready to impale him straight on the spine...!

     Except he misses, narrowingly, the blade digging into the side and barely making a slice through his clothing as the Red Mage dashes right past him. He's NOT going on that teleporter. He certainly don't want to be alone on whatever the other side of that is.

     What he WILL do, however, as he dash past, during that 'failed strike', is stick a linkpearl firmly into his clothing, making it stick into a pocket.

     "SHITE!" he shouts out, clearly 'annoyed' at his missing strike

Guzma has posed:
The blade slices into Guzma's jacket and shirt, ripping a hole into the shirt and causing him to mutter light profanities, but Guzma makes it away unscathed, teleporting away.

Except for the linkpearl he's unaware of, of course. That might be a little problematic, depending on how it's used.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
    Guzma vanishes in a flash of light, the teleportation circle disappearing along with it as the intended recipient reaches it. Guzma is safe, Lezard choosing to not leave him hanging around a bunch of angry Watch members.

    However, the linkpearl allows them to start listening in to what comes next.

    "I knew you could triumph, Guzma. Well done." Lezard's voice echoes over the pearl. "Rest well, we have much to do and little time to do it in. The heroes will undoubtedly push ahead after the humiliation of having their prize stolen from them. We have two major goals at this point."

    There are some beeping noises, and then some tapping. "This entire tower is full of homunculus chambers. One of them appears to be in the process of awakening the so-called Emperor of the Allagan Empire. We will have to be sure to interrupt that to prevent him from using his own authority over these machines. The other matter is dealing with this pitiable fool."

    The 'pitiable fool' snarls but weakly enough. Whatever hocus pocus Lezard's put him under, it's a doozy, because the words are groggy and slurred. "That's th-the problem with us adventurers, isn't it? N-Never know h- wh-what to expect." A spit. The prisoner-cat seems to have decided against 'I"m not helping you' or 'you'll have to kill me first'. He's smart about that, at least. He's a little bit out of place to be refusing demands. Smart.

    "I require time to analyze his gift and determine how best to acquire it for myself. But we have equally problematic issues, among which that we do not know which path the heroes will take to attempt to recover their so-called claim on their prize."

N'raha Tia has posed:
    At least they have another ally here, right? Right?

    Because it's Nero's voice that rattles over the speakers. Not nearly as crisply as Lezard's voice though. Nero's missing a critical part of the puzzle, now. "Best one, huh? Just for that I ought to just leave you up there." A moment or two later, Nero himself appears on the elevator as it cycles back up to the Control Room floor. He's looking just a smidge worse for wear. He's bruised, his sunglasses are missing, and he's actually carrying the heavy gear. "Step aside, I've got to undo this damage. How did you let him just... get away from you like that?" He steps right past Alruna where she's bent over getting Raha back up to his feet, and past Amelris, and over to the nearest console he can find, dropping the case down and starting to connect wires to it. "He's gone, by the way. At least, he's out of the Labyrinth. He vanished with the idio-"

    There's a very real and very angry noise that suddenly rattles in Raha's armor right about at that point, and Nero's words trail off.

    "...The adventurer... and he's up... somewhere. He got access to the upper reaches through a teleportation network that... I've..." He's mashing buttons on the console.
    "That I'm WORKING on getting. It will just take some time." A look to Amelris. "That I will hurry on."

    Gosh, why DO Amelris and N'raha make Nero so anxious?

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris, his little sleight of hand done, stops moving and immediatedly takes out another linkpearl, placing it up into his other ear, frowning with his tail annoyedly twitching, swaying behind him. "Come on you bastard, keep talking, keeeeeeep talking..."

     He looks up, stepping away to watch Nero step off, waving off a gloved hand at him. "Don't take it personal. Just had to keep him yappin' and that seemed like a great thing to say at the time--yeeeeeeeeeeees!"

     Amelris moves up back to N'raha and Alruna, grinning from cheek to cheek. Oh yes, now this is a very happy and proud cat of the switcheroo he just pulled.

     "I have good news and bad news." Amelris smiles at Nero, taking full advantage of the nervousness. "The good news, the adventurer is still alive. The bad news, the warlock -- who's a damn coward, by the way, he didn't even fight with us to decently stab us in the back -- is going to study his power.

     A pause.

     "The other bad news is that a homonculus of the old Emperor of Allag is waking up in some homunculus chamber."

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna looks pale, scraping the bottom of the barrel for the energy to continue healing N'raha. Eventually, her hand drops away from his chest. "Come, N'raha. On your feet." she says, her knees heroically not wobbling as she stands up, lifting N'raha with her.

She glances back and forth between Amelris and Nero. "Bold choice of words for the man who /let/ that wizard take our associate." she says, glaring daggers at Nero until Amelris cuts in with something helpful. "Can you deactivate that?" she asks Nero, referring the the Emperor's chamber.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Raha wobbles back up on his feet with Alruna's help, the effort honestly draining. He's pushed pretty hard tonight and, well. Making noises at Nero's about all he's got left. "Yeah just... shut the whole place down, let's do that, I like that plan, this place is a trash heap."

    Nero waves vaguely at Raha like his voice annoys him, which it probably does. "I would LOVE to stop the nice Warlock from summoning the man who caused the..." He does the mental calculations. "The 3rd AND the 4th Calamities." He sighs, and then rattles the Ironworks... whatever it is. "As it stands, without G'raha, we're spinning our gears on anything other than..."

    More frowning at the consoles. "I can track him. Lezard. I can get you access to the network. I can't access any of the major functions otherwise." A pointed look to Alruna. "For the record, you haven't attempted to beat me up yet, so I will listen to you first and not these two... savages." He waves a hand at N'raha and Amelris.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
"Good, lets hope that lasts." Alruna says bluntly, still supporting N'raha.

She considers his answer for a few seconds. "Then we need to find the Emperor and make sure he doesn't take control, directly. I care little for the prospect of facing the true master of this Tower, over one trying to imitate him."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is hanging back at this point trying to recover and she'll look to Nero as he talks. She seems pained and tired and she's cursing herself for thinking maybe just maybe Lezard wouldn't pull something. "Sounds like a plan keeps tracking him and inform us if anything major comes online."

She looks to Nero for a moment sizing him up. "Sounds like going after the Emperor is a good bet. Though it's likely Lezard might be happy with that."

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "That's a sound plan." Amelris comments, still keeping a hand over one of his ears, listening in on the new noises. His ear flickers, almost rythmically at this point. "My suggestion would be to attack Lezard while he will, himself, attack the Emperor. He don't want the Emperor active as long he don't have the means of control the tower, so he's limited on time just as much as we are."

     Amelris eyes Nero, grinning at him. "G'raha is safe as long Lizard don't figure it out too fast and until the Emperor awakens. And as long he don't try to do something stupid, but he didn't sound inclined to do that when I heard him."

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Nero smiles cheerily at Alruna. "See? A good working relationship already!" He sighs, and then gets to work, looking through files and then... "Maps maps maps where's... MAPS. AH." He slides a control and then... a map. It's labeled Syrcus Tower. "Right, I can get you..." He fiddles with controls. The map expands to show a large chamber with tubes and more tubes. "Cloning Vats, looks like. I'll have to rig up the teleporters though." A point. "You'd get one shot without G'raha so make it count."

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "Sounds like," Amelris says, energetically as a burst of aether comes out on his hand, where Amon's large feathered hat appears. "A very good bet to take, then! I'll take them odds!"

     Amelris spins the hat, then place it on his head, above his other hat.

     He frowns, his tail dissapprovingly snapping behind him.

     "Bleh. Even gaudier than I expected."

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna gives Tomoe a wintery smile. "I cannot say working towards my enemies' goals doesn't leave a bitter taste in my mouth, but nonetheless, it serves us too."

She nods and turns to Amelris as Nero gives them their option. "Regardless of Lezard's presence or lack, we have little and less time the longer we dally."