I shall befriend both the tree huggers!

Currently running: Vega Solo Session. Please do not OOC in this channel for the duration, but feel free to lurk. I'm logging it!

<@MaidInvictus> Scene: The camera sweeps across the Realm of Brass and Shadow, narrowly dodging low-hanging pipes and bursts of steam, occasionally passing by a conglomeration of gremlins or other void-touched dragging some poor, unwitting technician into the depths. Soon, the camera comes upon a grand sight: a massive cluster of spheres, clumped tightly together like a polyp on the world-body of mighty…
<@MaidInvictus> …Autochthon. As we approach the largest of the spheres, a door opens in the side to allow us entry — we see a massive city, full of spires connected by glowing neon bridges, with railway systems connecting to other spheres. Even here, we can hear the roar of a cheering crowd, and see the lights waving back and forth, casting shadows on the incredible artwork decorating the ceiling of…
<@MaidInvictus> …the sphere. We come to an enormous stage, packed to the brim with people, recorders, even some elementals and lesser machine gods. Judging by their hats, glowsticks, and the color scheme of their clothing, they can only be here for one thing: their Champion.
<@MaidInvictus> We pass the crowd for now and head backstage, where we pass door after door of useless nonsense. Finally, though, we come to a door upon which a star is placed, and within that star sits the word "Diva". We enter the room to find the aforementioned Diva having some last-minute touch-up polishing done on her charms and outfit, though there's a knock at the door that causes the technicians…
<@MaidInvictus> …to jump.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony stands in the middle of her dressing room, calmly waiting as the technicians do their work around her. She appears to be wearing very little, although simply to allow the technicians easy access to do their jobs. Her porcelain skin has been dusted with additional glittering makeups to bring out and complement its natural golden shimmer, and her charms may always be in impeccable
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony condition, but the final once-over never hurts to ensure she's looking her absolute best. Unlike some champions, the majority of her charms are subtle. She lacks the striking lines or shimmering crystals and dynamos of most combat charms, but those which she can display are no less impressive. Orichalcum tracery flows along the lines of her face and body, accentuating her natural beauty
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony and reinforcing her message to the people.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony looks over one shoulder, gently brushing some of her casading hair out of the way to get a better view of the door. "Yes? What is it?" she calls out, loud enough to be heard by her unknown caller. It isn't often someone would interrupt this soon before a performance, so unless there are last-minute changes to the program,it must be important.
<@MaidInvictus> The door swings open, and the technicians go back to work, though they're almost finished. Standing in the doorway is Diva's manager, a bright young engineer who actually spearheaded her creation two years ago, as well as the creation of her former team — he's taken care of all of them over the years, successfully having saved their vat complex with the help of the Champion Idols. In any…
<@MaidInvictus> …case, he taps the dataslate in his hand twice. "You're on in ten, Diva. It's the last show of your farewell tour, so knock 'em dead — the portal is all ready and set up with the pyrotechnics for the big finale."
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "Ah. That should be an interesting way to end it. If all goes well, I'll still be able to send the occasional message and make sure everyone knows I'm doing well, at least." She signs. "I'll miss all this. But, it's important to keep moving forward."
<@MaidInvictus> He nods. "You're doing amazing work, for the good of everyone, and you're the best for the job. Are you ready? We should get you into position for the opening soon."
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "Just one last thing." Diva closes her eyes, and wills her transformative armor to take the form of her usual costume for this tour, and it flows outwards, re-weaving tiself into the flowing, multicolored outfit. She picks up Radiant Anthem from its resting place on the vanity in front of her. "I should be ready."
03* Xomko (~PI.06B3CB0A.5047EC06.F3D8B33C|tobetuca#PI.06B3CB0A.5047EC06.F3D8B33C|tobetuca) has joined #CurtainCall
<Xomko> Is it game time already?
<@MaidInvictus> "If you'd follow me, then." The technicians move away and your manager leads you to a small platform, which you know will raise you up to the stage at the start of the first song. A few minutes pass before you get the signal, and you can hear the music start above — the crowd goes absolutely nuts, and you hear the announcer yell, "And now, appearing for the last time in her farewell…
<@MaidInvictus> …tour… the talented, beautiful, and much-loved Champion of Song… The Diva of Automated Harmonyyyy!" As this finishes, your platform raises you up onto the stage, where you're usually expected to pose or some such before the singing starts. You even get an audio cue, and a burst of pyrotechnics that will go off should you choose to do so — it is, of course, your tour, and you may do…
<@MaidInvictus> …as you please, but regardless, shortly after you arrive at the top, you'll need to sing.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony begins in a kneeling position as the platform rises, and once it stops, she begins to stand, continuing the steady rise has she raises her voice in the first, subdued note of her song. She holds it for a moment before the pyrotechnics go off behind her, and she bursts into action, striding forward and beginning to dance as the tempo of her song picks up and brilliant arcs of golden
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony lightning begin to leap from her soulgem and play across the lines of magical material etched into her skin.
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> ((Using First Performance Excellency, 4 motes.))
<@MaidInvictus> (2 dice, charisma + performance)
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> roll !e22
<Xomko> Exalt Diva_of_Automated_Harmony rolled 6 success : [9, 9, 8, 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1]
<@MaidInvictus> It goes off without a hitch — the crowd absolutely loves it, waving their glowsticks around and generally yelling unintelligible things, though they quiet down as the song starts in earnest. As part of the pyrotechnics, a massive holographic image of Diva is displayed, large enough to be seen all over the city, and it remains throughout the entire show. Eventually, though, the show has to…
<@MaidInvictus> …end, and two tesla pillars come out of the stage on either side of Diva, crackling with orichalcum energy as the final song reaches its crescendo. As the song reaches its final note, the tesla pillars fire up, trying to connect with each other, and reaching Diva in the middle — there's a massive light show and a shower of sparks, and then she's gone. The crowd is silent for a moment,…
<@MaidInvictus> …then goes ABSOLUTELY BANANAS. Quite the farewell tour! (cont.)
<@MaidInvictus> Diva finds herself in the middle of a grassy field, although — relatively unbeknownst to her — she's effectively made a crop circle of a gear, having singed much of the grass down to the dirt by her sudden appearance. Shortly after she appears, she'll hear a loud crack as her bird familiar appears beside her — it immediately disgorges whatever gear she didn't have on her at the time of…
<@MaidInvictus> …her concert, and she might be needing it: the Daystar is at its zenith, and wow is Creation supposed to be blindingly bright? It makes all the colors look washed out! This ENB is shit, and other such complaints. In any case, it's damn hard to look around and get a feel for your surroundings with the sun brazenly assaulting your optic receivers.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony squints and shades her eyes while she finds her arc protector and puts it on. It was definitely a good idea to pack such a thing. How did the people here stand that thing? She blinks a few times to clear the dazzling after-images from her vision, and finally begins to take stock of and pack her remaining gear. Then she finally looks around to take in her surroundings, once her eyes
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony have had time to re-adjust and are properly shielded.
<@MaidInvictus> You notice pretty much immediately that the ground you're standing on is definitely not solid — it's squishy, and it brushes unpleasantly against your legs. It's quite yellow, and comes up to your waist, so it doesn't block your vision too badly. You seem to be at the apex of a small hill, and there's plenty of headroom — in fact, you can't even see the ceiling. To what you can discern…
<@MaidInvictus> …to be a particular direction, there is a large grouping of tall, thick foliage, and to the direction opposite that, which we'll call south, you can see a collection of primitive hovels, not unlike what you'd find outside a budding pa/metropolis.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony considers her options for a moment, and decides it would be best to approach the obvious signs of human habitation. The first step toward getting her bearings in this strange world would be to meet its inhabitants.
<@MaidInvictus> The walk is rather long — almost thirty minutes. You hadn't expected it to be so far away, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of obstruction in your path. There are lots of squishy little organic creatures scuttling around, though, and plenty more in the space above you. In fact, you're getting life signs pretty much everywhere — this place is LOUSY with vermin. Eventually, though,…
<@MaidInvictus> …you come upon the village. Humans are milling about, greeting with each other, going about their toil as is appropriate of the populat. There are even healthy, happy children running around in play — it might bring a tear to the eye of a sentimental Champion, given that there doesn't seem to be a looming threat of stillbirth here. Everyone seems fairly happy, but they haven't really…
<@MaidInvictus> …noticed you yet. Funny, you figured they'd be more aware of a Champion.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony observes them for a while, taking in the pleasantly hopeful scene, before she speaks out in greeting one of the passers by. If the records in the Tome of Autocthon are correct, she should be using the proper language of the Realm.
<@MaidInvictus> They definitely notice that! The man turns to you, and you realize that he's actually wearing a mask, with two feathers sticking from the top of it. His clothes aren't like any fashion you've seen in Autochthonia, but they seem to be plain and loose-fitting, no doubt suited for work. A primitive wood bow is strapped over his shoulder, with a handful of arrows in a leg quiver. His mask is…
<@MaidInvictus> …intricately decorated, and you can almost smell the essence coming off it — they must be educated peoples! Still, he doesn't seem to have understood you. He tries to rattle out a few words — in Riverspeak, so if you happen to know it, you'll understand. "I… don't understand you… stranger. Who are you?"
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony sighs. She has no clue what he's saying. She quickly apologizes in both languages she does know, before remaining silent and going back to her observations. She warms up her Interpolative Syntax Emulator so it can begin logging this new language and work on deciphering it to something understandable.
<@MaidInvictus> He seems a bit apprehensive, though it's somewhat hard to tell, what with the mask — something immediately noticeable, too, is that not every human here has a mask, though many of the adults do — NONE of the children do. As you start to log the new language, though, the man you'd been talking to walks away to confer with some of his fellows. You catch "stranger", "leader", and "spirits",…
<@MaidInvictus> …though. After a moment, he comes back and seems to be trying to mime something to you, flanked by two of his masked fellows. Let's call it Wits + Awareness.
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> roll !e6
<Xomko> Exalt Diva_of_Automated_Harmony rolled 3 success : [9, 7, 7, 6, 2, 2]
<@MaidInvictus> Resounding success! You figure out they're trying to bring you to the local leader — that's about right. They mention something about your speech, too, so presumably their leader might speak the proper language. These must be very poor folk indeed to not even speak the common tongue. In any case, you can let yourself be led, after realizing that their intentions aren't violent, despite…
<@MaidInvictus> …their weapons.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony nods her assent and follwos along, doing as best she can to show her own peaceful intent in her demeanor and body language.
<@MaidInvictus> They lead you through the village, catching stares from some of the others, and eventually you reach what you presume to be a lavish hut to them — it's certainly decorated, but with… animal bits, and… are those people bits, too? In any case, they let you inside, where you're confronted by an aged woman, wearing a more elaborate mask than the others, who raises a hand in greeting. She…
<@MaidInvictus> …says something, first in riverspeak, which you can infer to be a greeting… but then she says "Hello", and you're definitely positive she said it in Old Realm.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony nods, and returns the greeting in Old Realm. "Hello. Is this not the common language here?" She sounds confused.
<@MaidInvictus> She hesitates, clearly confused, but gestures to a pillow across from her, for you to sit as she is — seems to be a custom. She shakes her head, and answers in broken Old Realm. "Old, old tongue. Only spirits and Dragon-children. You are a spirit. [this part is said with a questioning inflection, but was not phrased correctly.] This land belong to Jorst."
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony takes the seat, and apologetically corrects her hostess. "I am not a spirit. I am a Champion of Gulak. This land and Jorst are unfamilair to me."
<@MaidInvictus> She starts, putting a hand over her chest to calm her beating heart, and reaches up to remove her mask. Her eyes are wide and her pupils are dilated — and very, very noticeably, she *DOESN'T HAVE A SOUL*. gem. "Not spirit. Champion. Dragon-child?"
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "Dragon-child?" Diva asks, and pauses for a moment. "I am of Autocthon, not the Dragons," she answers, before asking a question of her own, raising a hand to touch her own soulgem as she does. "You have no soul-gem?"
<@MaidInvictus> She mimics you, reaching up to touch her forehead while she looks at yours. After a moment, she reaches down and taps her chest, again over her heart. "Soul inside. Who Autochthon? Mighty spirit?" She hesitates for a moment, then narrows her eyes. ".. demon?"
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "The Great Maker," Diva answers with pride. "Not a demon. I come here with peaceful intentions," she adds, to ensure she won't be mistaken for a threat, at the very least.
<@MaidInvictus> She nods, then stumbles her way through another phrase: "Why come you here?"
<@MaidInvictus> (For the reference, she's nodding like "Ah, I see, you're dogfuck crazy, okay" not like "Oh yeah the great maker that guy's rad")
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "To explore."
<@MaidInvictus> "Explore. Champion…" She says something here in the other tongue, in Riverspeak. She tries to use circumlocution to reach it in Old Realm, but it's pretty clunky. "Look for… things from past? Sell, make rich? Yes?"
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "Look for new things, too," Diva answers with similar incorrect grammar, but it gets the point across.
<@MaidInvictus> She nods fervently. She points to herself when she says what you can only assume to be a name in riverspeak: "Dahla… look for things too. When Dahla was much young. Something Dahla could never find. Maybe, kind stranger help Dahla, help Dahla people?"
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "Maybe. What were you looking for?" She then pauses, and introduces herself, pointing to herself in a similar manner. "Diva. Not just stranger."
<@MaidInvictus> "Diva strong, yes? Strong! Champion strong. Dahla look for much thing, in place where… place where old is buried. Dahla too weak, cannot survive. Much danger, held by evil peoples, many traps. Holds important to Dahla people."
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony thinks for a while. "For the people, I will do what I can. I am strong, but no warrior."
<@MaidInvictus> She claps her hands, clearly happy at the prospect. "Maybe explore, maybe just make bad peoples go away, we always thankful forever. Champion Diva, Dahla warriors will show you to place?"
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "Please. I will follow them."
<@MaidInvictus> She gently guides you to some of her warriors — they aren't wearing masks. There are two males and one female, and all of them cast strange glances at you, but they'll do as the shaman says and lead you through the wilderness — you enter the massive forest, full to the brim with deciduous trees, and at one point they stop you. They all place their hands on a nearby tree and close their…
<@MaidInvictus> …eyes, muttering in their language — you pick up enough to realize that it's a prayer, and shortly after you hear something moving away from you through the forest — and you're pretty sure it's some kind of moving foliage. Tree. They call them trees. Perhaps it's one of the machine gods for Creation? In any case, they continue on, but eventually they start moving slower and stealthier, unt
<@MaidInvictus> il they finally stop at a nice hideyspot behind a rock, and start speaking to you. You're able to pick up enough now that it's not gibberish.
<@MaidInvictus> "Champion, shaman say you am kill filthy Haltans. They north, around burial mound. You make them away, yes? We explore with you after."
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony replies as best she can with her still limited understanding. "I don't like kill. Will talk first." Though…she still has difficulty with the language, so it's probably not going to work very well.
<@MaidInvictus> They nod vigorously. Either they didn't understand, or they did and they're just weird. In any case, the floor is yours — a quick peek clearly shows the entrance to some sort of mausoleum, decorated with symbols you actually recognize! It's Old Realm! It designates this building as the tomb of the Anathema Thighs Like Trunks, and you see many portraits of what you presume to be… hold…
<@MaidInvictus> …on, that's an Exalted! One of the Solars, if you records are correct, and if all those symbols of the sun are to be believed. The entrance is surrounded by lanky, green-haired folks equipped with all manner of primitive weapons. You can see five, along with five animals — two four-legged furred and fanged monstrosities, two winged feathered monstrosities with wingspans like daiklaves,…
<@MaidInvictus> …and one long-limbed humanoid-ish furred thing with an ugly face and big muscles.
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony carefully steps out and approaches the people and creatures gatehred in front of the tomb. She begins with a greeting in Old Realm, before trying again in the strange local language. She sticks with her intent to try diplomacy first, introducing herself as best she can and asking about the tomb.
<@MaidInvictus> They immediately turn towards you when you speak — maybe even before, they seem more alert than the villagers from before. They draw crude iron swords and axes, while one angles a bow at you — one of the animals, though, the gorilla, holds up a hand, and speaks to you in Old Realm. "Halt there, stranger — you smell of Linowan. Why shouldn't I have my men gut you?"
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony stops where she is, and although her first response is to reach toward her own weapon, she stops midway through. "I am not Linowan. Though I may be here by their request. I was told this place holds something important to their people. I would rther avoid a fight, and negotiate a mutually-beneficial arrangement, if I can."
<@MaidInvictus> He laughs — at least, you think it's a laugh. "Tch. There's no beneficial arrangement to be had with those savages. I'm in a good mood, so if you leave now, I might not have my men fill your back with arrows. This tomb, and soon this section of forest, will be Haltan. We've already planted the redwood seeds."
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "I feel that I have unwittingly stumbled upon the middle of a conflict here. I don't know if it is my role to meddle in such things, when I know so little about this world. Although I take your warning with caution, I am still curious about the tomb and to whom it belonged, as a personal matter." Diva pauses in thought for a while. "I am an entertainer. May I sing, before I leave?"
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> It wouldn't hurt to at least do something to further improve the mood here.
<@MaidInvictus> Roll Charisma + Presence, 1 die stunt.
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> (spending 2 motes on 1st charisma excellency. Can't hurt.)
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> roll !e12
<Xomko> Exalt Diva_of_Automated_Harmony rolled 2 success : [9, 8, 6, 6, 5, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1]
<@MaidInvictus> He seems to hesitate for a moment, then he leans back. "Fine. I could use a good laugh, let's see what the Linowans pass off as art."
<@MaidInvictus> The others lower their weapons.
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> "This is not Linowan art," Diva begins by way of introduction. She starts her song a capella, but as she puts her essence behind the performance, strange music begins tos well around her, accompanied by her own light show. It may pale in comparison to a fulls tage show in Autocthonia, but on her own, she can do well enough to wow a crowd. She goes with one of her more subdued songs,
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> meaning to put people at ease, rather than get a lot of energy going. The language, of course, would be incomprehensible, but it's not her real concern at the moment, as she loses herself in the joy of performing.
<@MaidInvictus> 2 die, charisma + performance!
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> ((2 motes into the First Excellency, as much to get the Radiant Iconography Array going as anything.))
<Diva_of_Automated_Harmony> roll !e17
<Xomko> Exalt Diva_of_Automated_Harmony rolled 10 success : [10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2]
<@MaidInvictus> Shit nigga. That's a positive intimacy if I've ever seen one — the haltans seem genuinely enamored with your display, and the Gorilla seems particularly enthralled. "Not Linowan indeed!", exclaims he, when the song ends. "That was beautiful. Might I ask your name? I am Jing, and we would be happy to answer your questions. No Linowan filth could make something so beautiful."
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony takes a short time to wind down, and sparks of essence clearly dance around her soulgem and some of her charms, plainy showing through her clothes. "I am Diva of Automated Harmony. Pleased to meet you, Jing. As for my questions, they are…too many. I will begin with this tomb. If I read the inscriptions right, it is for an Exalt. I have heard of such beings, but I know very little
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony about them." Strange to be guarded now, perhaps, but that is the truth. She may know her own kind, but the Exalted of Creation are a mystery.
<@MaidInvictus> He nods. "Aye, something from long, long past. We don't know much, but we don't buy into what the Realm says, about them being demons, for… our own reasons. They were lain to rest in places like this."
06* Diva_of_Automated_Harmony nods. "I see. Is the Realm another nation? I would like to study some of the tomb's writings, if I may. It might fill in some of the gaps in my own knowledge."

=-= MaidInvictus has changed the topic to “Beginning Playback of Creation Log #1. AKA. Diva In Wonderland. This recording to be used for scholarly purposes only. Unlawful re-recording or sale of this recording are illegal acts. Have a good day.”
MaidInvictus Where last we left off, Diva had just asked a *TALKING GORILLA* if she could kindly please study his ruins, after being transported to a place with no ceilings, steam, pipes, or abundant metal. The people here are strange, and also there are organic familiars that talk. She encountered a tomb of a long-dead Solar at the behest of the village she landed nearby, but she was accosted by…
MaidInvictus …aforementioned gorilla — thankfully, her singing made him more willing to listen to her. Since she asked if she could study the tomb, he (the gorilla!) responds…
MaidInvictus "There isn't much to see here. It's sealed up tight, we can't get in, and we certainly don't want the Linowan getting in. There's no telling what the Anathema hid in their tombs…"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "Why do you call the exalted 'Anathema'? Are they not champions and leaders?"
MaidInvictus He chuckles, quite heartily, for a gorilla. "Dunno where you got that idea. They're monsters, supposedly, hated by the rulers of the world. Do you live under a rock, or were you just born a few years ago?"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony takes a while to process this, as the second question in particular is technically more true than not. "I am…not from around here," she finally answers. "I think my knowledge of things here is out of date, but the stories I know are not so monstrous."
MaidInvictus He tilts his head to the side. "What stories do you know?" That being said, though, he does move aside — his body language suggests that you can approach the ruins now. He seems more interested in having a scholarly discussion than in fighting — likely as evidenced by his knowing Old Realm.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony moves forward to look the ruins over more closely, as she continues to speak. "Primarily, that the Exalted are heroes who were tasked with ruling Creation after a great war. The Chosen of the Sun were glorious leaders who did the impossible, although they may have troubled some of the people…" she pauses for a while, before continuing. "Luna's Chosen are guardians and stewards,
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony beloved and capable compaions to the Solars. Those Chosen by the Maidens were capable advisors and spies, and the children of the Dragons the numerous soldiers, loyal servants, and closest to the mortal peoples."
MaidInvictus He looks back towards the thicker parts of the forest, then goes back to watching you closely. "We know Luna's Chosen. They visit us — we help them when they need it. The dragons are the leaders, though — they rule from the Blessed Isle, as tyrants." He shakes his head sadly at that.
MaidInvictus On the tomb itself, you see it telling stories of this Solar in the primordial war — of him facing down devas and subsidiary souls, of his circle's journey to find the jouten of a Primordial… and of his success. It tells of the primordial's fall, telling of the great hole she tore into creation as she clawed vainly at it. It seems, then, that this tomb supports your story.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony nods, and explains some of what is written on the tomb. "This much seems to agree with what I know. Has something happened, to cause such a change? Have the Sun's chosen left, and left otehrs in their stead?"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony continues to study the tomb, looking for a locking mechanism or other way to open its doors. Who knows what's inside, but it may be quite important.
MaidInvictus He seems a bit taken aback. "You can… read it, too? I can only speak the language.. I… they did leave. They were cast down by the Dragons, who claim righteousness in their acts. They're all dead, or…" He seems about to say something, but trails off, more interested in your searches. And you most certainly have found the way to open the door — a simple command phrase. You must…
MaidInvictus …simply speak the name of the Solar who is buried here, in Old Realm: The Stag Whose Horns Gore The Sky.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "We still use this language for scholarly writing. Of course I can read it, although it has different nuances, in some ways. I think I can open this tomb." She pauses to face the door, and names the Chosen interred therein. "The Stag Whose Horns Gore the Sky."
MaidInvictus The ground shudders briefly, then the stone doors seem to dematerialize. Musty air comes from the stairs leading downward, and glowing crystals light the way down. Unfortunately, your Linowan allies no longer seem willing to wait and see what you're up to — the leap out from their hiding spot, shouting at you in Riverspeak. By now, you're a good bit more accustomed to it, so you can…
MaidInvictus …catch the jist of what they're saying: they're pissed that you haven't killed the haltans yet. Meanwhile, the haltans are now all on alert, and the Gorilla turns on you. "What is this?! You were with the Linowan after all?!"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "At this point, I act on my own behalf, not theirs. I'd rather not involve myself greatly in a conflict between nations, and if I recall your earlier claims, this is already your territory. If there must be a fight, let it be short." Diva stands with the Haltans at this point. They may be stranger still than the people she'd first encountered, but, if their claim is just, it isn't her
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony role as an outsider to dispute it. "If you do take me for an enemy, that is your choice." She draws her daiklaive and activates it as she takes a fighting stance facing down her Linowan guides. The daiklaive's blade unfolds and extends, transforming a previously innocuous device into a glittering golden sword.
MaidInvictus They draw their weapons, but when faced with a bunch of Haltans and an Exalt, with them only having two… they seem to realize they're outmatched, and take off into the forest. The Gorilla orders three of his men to follow them.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "My apologies. I get the feeling that they were perhaps taking advantage of the ignorant. Though I doubt the rest of their village will be hapy with my decision, I have more important concerns than who might benefit from what I find. …Come to thnik of it, they never said what it was they wanted me to bring back from here."
MaidInvictus "It doesn't matter. I'll need to send for reinforcements, they'll come back with more men." He makes a motion to the Strix, which takes off and heads northeast.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony returns her sword to its folded shape and hangs it once again at her waist. "I think I'll see what mght be so important in here." She turns to the tomb and carefully begins to descend its steps, her familiar flying in to follow or scout slightly ahead. "I don't know what might be in here. It could be dangerous." One out of the light of day, Diva takes off her dark goggles, so her
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony vision won't be impaired while indoors in unfamilair territory.
MaidInvictus The stairs descend a pretty good way, but then open up into a rather wide room. The room is decorated with all kinds of old realm stories — in one corner is an armory with all sorts of mundane weapons ,another has a wardrobe with rotted, hole-filled clothes. It seems there used to be traps here, but they've long since gone defunct, no doubt deprived of a power source for many years. …
MaidInvictus …There are exits leading in various directions, but thankfully, they're marked — one leads further down to the king's burial chamber, and another leads to the servant burial chamber.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony pauses for a time to study the stories on the walls, then goes for the king's burial chamber first. If that is where the solar him or her self is interred, there would be the most interesting or significant things.
MaidInvictus The stories mostly tell of first age exploits — battles won, things created, peasants oppressed, the usual stuff. The path to the king's burial chamber is a massive spiral staircase, seeming to go down forever — in fact ,it does go down for almost ten straight minutes. Eventually, you come to a natural cavern, with a river running through it — and there, in the center, upon an enormous…
MaidInvictus …golden throne, is a skeleton.
MaidInvictus The skeleton itself has enormous horns attached to its skull, though it seems like it should be wearing armor — it isn't.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony Though she doesn't expect an answer, Diva does speak to the corpse. "So, you're the king interred here? Quite the impressive resting place, although quite austere, for such a glorious one." She looks around the area carefully for any unusual Artifacts or other notable things which may be possessions of the deceased Sun King. She won't take anything without good reason, of course.
MaidInvictus Curiously, there aren't any artifacts. -Why-, though? You'd know, at least, that kings in Creation tend to be buried with the trappings of their rule. Where, then, are the trappings of the most Glorious Kings? Though, the corpse seems to respond to your question. The skeleton starts to twitch and rattle when you near it, and an illusion fades — you stand in a glorious throne room, not…
MaidInvictus …a decrepit cave, and the tapestries hung from the ceiling are as beautiful as they were in the First Age. Deep scarlets and golds decorate the room, and ghostly servants rush about their daily tasks. The skeleton on the throne now seems to have flesh, though its eyes are shadowed — it is the glorious Sun King as he was so many years ago, seated and looking bored as hell, in full…
MaidInvictus …armored regalia. He seems to be looking at you.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony shakes her head to clear it, and be sure she is really seing this. "My apologies for so rudely disturbing you," she says in Old Realm. "I am Diva of Automated Harmony, and I come here as an explorer."
MaidInvictus He doesn't respond — though, after a moment, you see something seem to step OUT of you, and it becomes obvious — blatantly so — that you are watching a recording. At least, that's the assumption. The thing that stepped out of you is dressed in the trappings of a general, with symbols of the Moon on her armor. She bows before the Sun King, and though you can clearly see her speaking,…
MaidInvictus …you can't hear any sound. In fact, none of this is making sound ,now that you think about it. Any servants that come near you simply phase through you and continue their duties.
MaidInvictus The King seems to be getting angry at what the Lunar has to say. Eventually, he gets up off his throne, casting his hand out to the side — a massive golden blade appears there, and he leaps down to strike at the Lunar. As this draws your eyes back to the Lunar, you realize you were… mistaken? No, that's impossible. Where you definitely saw a Lunar, you now see a Chosen of Secrets, but…
MaidInvictus …the image is blurred, imperfect, you can't make out their face; the green halo of power hovering just above their skin is evident, though, as they block the King's strike and begin to fight. Many of the servants flee, but just as many suddenly turn, weapons in their hands, and attack their King. The sight of anguish on the King's face, when he realizes this, is likely the clearest thing…
MaidInvictus …in the entire recording — it was exquisitely captured, though his rage quickly replaces it. Unfortunately, you can see more and more servants, as well as Dragon-Blooded, flooding into the room.
MaidInvictus As if it wasn't obvious by now… the King does not survive the assault. The recording flickers twice when he falls, frozen in place, then shuts off, leaving you back in the cave.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "…So that's what happened."
MaidInvictus A crystal falls out of the skeleton's hand and shatters on the ground. Shortly after, you hear footsteps, and… clapping.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony remains in the burial chamber for a while, taking in the vision and the news it brought. It seems something happened in the past, which would explain the apparent disappearance of the Solar kings and their replacement. But…why? She quickly turns on the sound. Whoever else is here, she souldn't ignore them.
MaidInvictus You see a woman, dressed in the trappings of death — a breastplate decorated with skeletal remains, greaves of similar decoration, and a flowing black coat do much to accent her pale white skin, thick black hair, and bright red eyes. She finishes clapping, then bows as she introduces herself. "I thank you, mysterious friend, for the incredible information you've just given me. I'd been…
MaidInvictus …feeling such a pull to this tomb for so long, but I just couldn't crack its mysteries! Would you share with me how you caused the crystal to play its message?"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony remains on guard, and studies this person carefully. "I did nothing out of the ordinary. I merely arrived here, so I doubt it was anything unusual I did."
MaidInvictus She squints, tilting her head curiously at you. Suddenly, she seems to be in pain, holding her forehead and covering her eyes just a bit. After a groan, she speaks again. "Maybe not… something you did… but… something you… are. What ARE you, for that matter? I'd…" She clears her throat, and puts on a sweet tone… very sweet. "Really like to know…" as she speaks this, a…
MaidInvictus …caste mark carves itself into the flesh on her forehead, deep black, and leaks blood — you recognize it as the caste mark of the Twilights.. at least, it should be.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony frowns. She hasn't heard of any such thing. "Perhaps I should ask the same of you. I am an Archon of Gulak, Diva of Automated Harmony."
MaidInvictus She rubs her chin scientifically. "Hmm… that didn't clear things up at all. Oh well." She snaps her finger, and the skeleton of the old Sun King rattles and clacks, then stands from his throne and walks over to the Abyssal. She waves her hand over his skull, then plucks it from his neck! The now headless skeleton seems to panic, waddling around and clutching at where his head used to…
MaidInvictus …be, while the strange not-Solar caresses the skull tenderly. She seems to look deeply into its eyesockets, then you see her fingers tense, and she starts to mold it, as if it were putty. She discards what she doesn't need, and eventually forms the horned skull into a tiara, keeping the horns, though they're sized appropriately for her. She places the bone tiara on her forehead and…
MaidInvictus …tilts her head this way and that, testing the weight.
MaidInvictus "How do they look?"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "Unusual, to say the least. You could at least introduce yourself."
MaidInvictus "Yes… I suppose now that I know the truth, I can." She casts her arm to the side, setting her cloak billowing in the stale cave wind, and flares her anima up — iconography of skeletal hands come up from the ground, clawing ineffectually at her, as if begging her for release, and the hollow screams of the dead echo around the area. Her caste mark bleeds profusely, and finally, an…
MaidInvictus …ethereal, skeletal stag superimposes itself over her.
MaidInvictus "Who I was a few minutes ago matters little, now… now that I know who I am. I am The Stag Whose Horns Gore The World! Hahaha!"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "I see. But yet something is wrong here. I don't know what you are, but you're like no Exalt I've heard of."
MaidInvictus She seems a bit taken aback — the deathly iconographyfades, though her black anima still seems to light up the room, while while simultaneously sucking all the light out of it, drawing all attention to her as it rages like a black flame trying its hardest to consume the world. She opens her mouth once to speaks, thinks better of it, then finally manages to get out some words. "A… aren't…
MaidInvictus …you… impressed? Scared? I'm… I'm an Anathema, woooo. Scary. I control hordes of the undead and create monstrosities from your ancestors, wooo!" She wiggles her fingers about for good measure.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "Impressed, but curious. Anathema do not frighten me, for I know them better by other names. What is clear is that you are Exalted, and although I don't know the details, I do not generally fear such beings. Not simply for that fact alone, at least. Are you, perhaps, part of why Anathema are feared as monsters?" She isn't sure about the animating the dead thing. It seems far more
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony like something one would expect in an area tainted by the Void than any reasonable practice. Just in case, she takes a few steps back and a more guarded stance, one hand reaching toward Radiant Anthem at her waist.
MaidInvictus She curls her lip up in disgust — for more reasons than one, even! She seems bored of this little dialogue, now, and snaps her finger again. All around the cave, ghosts begin to rise through the floor, followed shortly after by their former bodies, shuffling in from the stairs and from unseen nooks and crannies around the cave — the servants the King was buried with, no doubt! They seem…
MaidInvictus …to be heading towards you, though the ghosts simply escort Stag as she makes her way towards the exit, casually and nonchalantly.
MaidInvictus "Fine, then. If you're not going to play my game, I've got better things to do — I've got to go find my old soul. These should keep you company, Diva, and as thanks for showing me what I needed, I won't even slaughter the Haltans on my way out!"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony lets the strange woman go. She isn't really equipped for such a fight against an unknown Champion. She draws her daiklaive once again, and faces down against the dead around her. "You sould rest. I doubt you'll delay me long, but I should set things right, before I go." She leaps forward into the horde of walking corpses and strikes, white-gold lightning leaping from her body to
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony arc along the blade as it cuts the zombies down like grain before the scythe. She contnues forward for a bit, the flames of her stoked anima illiminating the area in flickering blasts as she moves and strikes. Once near a wall, she vaults over one of the corpses to plant her feet firmly onto it, and begins to run right along its surface over the heads of the rest of the undead horde on
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony her way out of the tomb.
MaidInvictus You blaze through the hordes of undead with ease — many of them even fall apart on their own. These were clearly a rush job, and are of poor craftsmanship, as far as zombies go. You make it up the stairs and to the exit safely enough, but Stag is nowhere to be seen, nor are the Haltans. Instead, a tall, scruffy-looking man in a poncho is waiting nearby, turning his head to look at you…
MaidInvictus …when you arrive.
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony tilts her head quizically. "Who are you," she asks, sticking to Old Realm. She still blazes with golden fire flecked with flakes of Orichalcum which float and glimmer around her like embers. Essence arcs around her feet while her gravity manipulation apapratus contnues to operate.
MaidInvictus He performs an elaborate bow, then looks up — the mark of the Chosen of Luna rests on his forehead, and the tattoos decorating his face and clearly disappearing under his clothes glow brightly. He answers in Old Realm, and gives you a sly, one-fanged grin. "My name is One Fang Shy, fair miss, and if you aren't opposed to having your questions answered, I might just know where you can get…
MaidInvictus …help. Also… this place is about to be the site of a pitched and bloody battle. I'd rather not stick around, so…"
Diva_of_Automated_Harmony "I would rather not remain here, either. Lead on."

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