Quest [Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

‘Maybe we should think of memory itself as a work of art—and a work of art is never finished, only abandoned.’

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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[Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

Postby Alses on April 20th, 2016, 5:33 pm

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Alses listened carefully to Veldrys; the Symenestra had proven himself intelligent and with a considered, reasoning mindset that appealed on an intellectual level. “It might be possible,” she mused, watching the statue for a reaction, mindful of previous events. “Although a little distasteful,” she added, suddenly wondering if this was a tomb or a memorial. Such things were not common in Lhavit, but not non-existent. “We’d need a mason, unless someone here has the skill to cut and lift her?” Her eyes flicked hopefully from one person to the next in their little group, just in case some more unexpected skills made themselves known.

She’ll be all right,” Alses said brusquely to Veldrys, hurrying over to the girl’s side through the freshly-falling rain, a show of concern as much as it was anything of real substance, most of her mind still taken up with the fascinating conundrum of the fountain and its many-on-one auras. “She looked at us too deeply, that’s all.” Alses discreetly left off the fact that she’d deliberately drawn the girl’s attention in the first place; mentioning it would only lead to difficulty.

It’s a mistake many an aurist makes. Perhaps it will serve as a reminder not to go nosing around wherever her fancy takes her,” she added, more quietly, frowning at Khara in an absent-minded sort of way. “Although I suppose I have to make allowances for uncontrolled magic. See? She’s coming back just fine.” Sure enough, Khara was responding to ministrations and indeed the world at large once more.

Look at me,” Alses instructed the girl quickly. “No, not with the magic-” she added, pre-empting any surge in djed, and any repeat of the incident “-with your eyes. That’s it. Ground yourself with your physical senses, don’t go losing yourself in the colours, otherwise we’ll hurt you again.” She would, too, and with as little compunction as she would have in swatting a fly; her secrets were her own, thank you very much, and it was less draining to flare momentarily than it was to compress and hide the radiation of her own soul.

Which would not be a good thing, yes?” she added, a wry smile thrown in for good measure, softening the blow and reinforcing the implication that it would be accidental and involuntary.

May I take a look at that?” she asked, holding up a hand for the locket as it dangled from Khara’s fingers, eyes already going distant and slightly unfocused as she hurled herself deeper into the colour-drenched world, feeling the solar blaze of her soul and her magic twist and shiver, a bright tide of djed pouring away in a torrent, driving her deep into the obscured depths that only her skilled auristics could penetrate.

Even as she did so, eyes wide open but looking at things others couldn’t sense, the air filled with the eye-watering sound of cracking bone and popping joints, her reaching fingers elongating rapidly, unnaturally, tangling spindly, bone-spired digits into its fine links. The flesh on her hand looked as though it was boiling and leaping as it tried to keep up with the ivory needles that had grown – wicked-sharp – across the intervening distance, a painless but gruesome transformation, and decidedly not one Alses had intended or anticipated.

Which wasn’t to say it was the worst of outcomes; there had been times where the capricious magic had taken all the bones from a limb for a while. A nuisance, at the very best, and a disaster at worst, leaving her to lounge and languish collapsed in a heap like a jellied eel. There was something supremely disconcerting, too, about the sight of a limb flopping bonelessly, bending and twisting in all the wrong ways.

No time to dwell on it now, or to force her vicious new hand back to its original shape; there was magic and mystery afoot!

A tight whorl of her power danced and played around Thomas, drinking deep of the wisps of divine magic that curled shyly, secretively off him; what hidden depths! A memory tickled her, and she inwardly cursed herself – Avalis, of course, and the bright lily-mark of Her favour on Thomas’ arm. Which explained, in turn, why he had managed to see something that Alses, with all of her power and skill, could not.

Artisans,” she mumbled in response to Khara’s question, even as she sank deeper into the comforting ocean that the artist unseen had painted, beautifully, just for her. “Aska at the Touch of Fire is one; she’ll know the others in the city.” Alses was looking for resonances, trails and indicators, sifting through the arcane strata of time, the locket in one hand as a reference echo and the rest of her senses directed outwards. There had been no obvious defences or traps; the less-skilled would have set them off by now, surely: Alses felt able to do some brute-force work, therefore, to expend more magic and to go deeper.

Had the locket been entombed beneath the fountain at some point? What was its link to the statue? Was there a link, beyond appearance? And was the statue – stone on the outside, at least – more than it had appeared on her first inspection? Was the stone imbued with some quality or capability beyond the mundane, had it been impressed with some arcane charge or divine geas, or was there a nastier origin; had stone been flesh, at one point?

One thing at a time, Alse,’ her thoughts whispered, taking the reins and directing the surging rush of her magic. List and regimen, order and compartmentalisation – there was a place for genius, for the flight of ideas and the intuitive leap, but for much of an investigation it was the meticulous assembling of information that was key, evidence building up in snippets and chunks from a thousand different sources until something coherent could be assembled out of a disparate collage of pieces.
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[Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

Postby Azira on April 20th, 2016, 8:27 pm

The locket had passed from her hands to be handled and examined by each member of the group. Everyone seemed eager to get a hold of it, perhaps thinking that they could read in to it more than the ignorant Inarta had or perhaps merely glad to see the first concrete thing this investigation had uncovered. Kelski had apparently seen all she wanted already because she'd moved off with a departing smile and had gone back to talking at nothing. Well, Azira was sure that she was talking to something, she just wasn't sure if it was real or a figment of the other's imagination. She'd seen Dek talking to things that weren't there but they had displayed other signs of mental instability and this woman didn't appear to be like them. She wondered if there was some sort of magic in play, after all, there were aurists here who could look at things with a unique perspective so who was to say that there wasn't some sort of magic involved here too? The huntress couldn't recall any magic that fit what she was seeing, but then she wasn't a well of arcane knowledge so it didn't mean that such a magic didn't exist. Whatever was going on with her, Azira didn't understand it and it was probably best if she just didn't interfere. She left her to it.

Izuyanai had taken the offered locket and she read out the Common phrase for Budo which had already left the Inarta's memory. Everyone seemed to have questions or their own ideas and thoughts to present and Azira was becoming more than a little overwhelmed by how much there was to be said. She'd been left dripping outside the fountain while everyone else concentrated their attention elsewhere. She may have been the centre of attention when she'd made her discovery but now the young woman was forgotten in the pursuit for information. Except that they weren't getting anywhere, were they? They asked a lot of questions and they found evidence that only raised more questions. So the fountain was magical but its workings were mundane, the likeness of a woman had turned up twice now, and a number of them had gotten quite wet. Veldrys had helped clarify what Alses had been getting at as he talked about looking for something buried under the statue, but his words only raised more questions in the Inarta's mind. Where had all this gotten them? They were even more perplexed than when they'd started and it had the making of a great big headache. Now Izuyanai wanted them all to get in to the waters of the fountain to make the statue happy. The huntress opened her mouth to ask what that would achieve when Thomas spoke up out of nowhere.

The arrogant young man had actually followed the bartender's suggestion by climbing in to the fountain, but what he had to say was of far more interest than his actions. He spoke of things that he couldn't know, impossibly obtained information that he recited with a certainty which amazed the huntress. It tied in with the theme of love that she had gleaned from the locket's inscription and the fountain appeared to be a monument of it. However, she had no idea what an Isur was or why anyone would have a red arm. The way Thomas spoke about them living long suggested that he referred to some sort of race. Was the colour of his arm significant? She'd heard talk of the colour of the Akalak before so could this be a characteristic of an individual? Might one have a green arm and another a red? She had no idea if she was on the right track but she didn't have a chance to show her ignorance as Khara's unbalanced figure caught in her vision.

"Khara! What's wrong?" she exclaimed in her native Nari, hastily clambering back in to the fountain. She hadn't been the only one to take note of the young woman's condition and she didn't even have a chance to reach her friend's side before the Symenestra doctor was waving at them to get back to give her space. Khara had collapsed, Azira was sure of it and as she crept closer to where the woman now sat with the doctor's arm around her. Tears appeared to have left their marks on her but she seemed to be coming to herself, providing reassurances while also trying to continue the investigation by telling what she knew and asking questions. She'd asked the very question that the huntress had been pondering a few moments before but now she was more concerned about her friend. This had something to do with her new magic although this was an extreme reaction and for some reason she suspected that the other was keeping something back.

Alses seemed to take control of the situation, explaining it away dismissively. This pain--for that what it seemed to be--that Khara had suffered had something to do with her? Azira found herself scowling at the Ethaefal as she pinned the blame on to the other Inarta. She'd definitely implied that it had been the girl's own fault and the huntress was far from pleased with such an accusation. Her expression didn't soften either when Alses declared that she had to make "allowances". Her manner was far too cold and unsympathetic as far as she was concerned. She had control, grounding Khara back in reality and warning her that being hurt was guaranteed if she looked at Alses that way again. But the Ethaefal was far more interested in the locket and so when she reached for it as eagerly as she did, Azira took some gleeful delight in the painful sounding and gruesome change.

Serves her right for not showing more concern for those she's hurt, the huntress thought with grim satisfaction before turning her attention back to her friend. She came as close to Khara as she could, bending her head down to talk to her.

"Does she speak the truth? Did it happen as she said? Did you go looking at her or did she do something on purpose?" she asked forthrightly in Nari, well aware of potential eavesdroppers. The facts discreetly checked, she made the mental shift to the Common tongue for the benefit of the others. "Will you be well?" she asked Khara, looking to the Symenestra doctor for an answer as well. She waited for an answer from one or both of them before straightening up and raising her voice loud enough for all of them to hear.

"We cannot talk and ask always! We have to do!" she blurted, coming very close to stamping her foot in the water. "If under statue, maybe there is way to look. Maybe masons, maybe digging, maybe easier. What about statue? Is there a way in?" she asked, even as she began to cut a passage through the water towards it. They'd looked at the fountain from the outside, they'd checked the bottom but how well had they checked the statue itself? The huntress had every intention of finding anything there was to be found and she was almost frustrated enough to attempt tearing the likeness down with her bare hands.

"What are you hiding?" she asked it softly in Common even as her fingers began a frantic search of it. She nudged the base hard with her foot to see if that would make it budge. Could it be opened? Was their a clue in the statue itself? If there was nothing to be found then she didn't know what they'd do, maybe go hunting this Isur. How long had this woman been dead anyway? There was no guarantee that the man she'd love was still around or even still alive no matter how long Thomas thought they might live.
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[Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

Postby Elysium on May 23rd, 2016, 2:39 pm

There were a few exchanges between the gathered company. As the Doctor and the Aurist moved to Khara’s side, the Eagle left the fountain just as the Seer entered. Each of the players did their part, cobbling together what little information they had. The shadows echoed the sentiment to Kelski that Thomas had shared, chanting: ”An arm, yes! A glittering arm!”

Orchid was gone, but not forgotten. Kelski had the shadows sudden interest at her offer, but there was little time. Just as Azira spoke to the fountain, asking of its secrets, Izuyanai held the locket aloft and read the inscription. It was passed along to Alses, but It was already too late. As she took hold of the necklace, a deep guttural sound had begun to respond to Raven's words. The statue began to pivot, as did the top of the dais, peeling back to reveal what appeared to be upon further inspection, a staircase.

It led into an impossibly black depth, as if tunneled straight into the earth. If this were the work of an Isur, it was masterfully done, even by the standards of the skilled. The stone was cut to perfection, the stairs even and the staircase just wide enough to fit two at a time. But there were no torches to line the way, no light whatsoever. Just inky darkness, all the way down, as far as the eye could follow.

If it weren’t for the storm, they might have had time to deliberate. But it seemed Zulrav conspired against them. With a mighty roar, thunder and lightning fell upon a tree just yards away, splitting it neatly in two with such intensity that it would no doubt throw some of the members of the party to the ground. The fact none of them were electrocuted was a small wonder. It gave even Budo a start. He clutched his chest.

”Akvin’s arse!” He shouted over the incredible velocity of the rain. ”We’ve got no choice! If we don’t go down, we’ll be as fried in time for the noontime bell!

Thus, he ushered the group into the opening at the base of the statue, two by two, assuming they understood the gravity of the situation. Once all the agreeable parties went scrambling below, the sickening sound of marble screeched overhead, enclosing them within...

Beneath the statue, there were a few moments of hang time. Anyone with claustrophobia would no doubt be stricken with panic. But then, a deep emerald glow flared in the darkness, casting dim light upon the faces of those gathered there. It wasn’t much, but it was something. It seemed to be coming from Budo, who now held a opalglobe, a glass container containing several opalgloams imported from Kalinor.

”This was meant for my niece, but it’ll have to do,” he grumbled. ”Is everyone alright?”
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[Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

Postby Thomas Cosa on May 28th, 2016, 12:07 pm

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OOCHope it's not an issue that I broke the posting order! I just wanted to see the quest moving along
The ground echoed and shook, a powerful squeeee sounding from the statue as it rotated on itself, whether in protest or relief in having gathered the whole lot of them in it's waters was anyone's guess. Thomas would have guessed the latter, had he had time to think; the storm seemed desperate to steal their attentions away from their quest, lancing arcs of lighting fading the skies to bright white every few ticks, accompanied by constant thunder.

It took little to convince Thomas to follow the others into the below.

He was quick to gather his shoes and socks, and even quicker to follow after their spirited guide down the hollowing blackness, eager for respite from the torrential downpour. It was only there, in the quiet womb of the fountain, did Thomas bother to question his decision.

His mouth pursed itself thin, his eyes narrowed in a quiet suspicion as they darted around the darkness, desperate for a light. His body stood tensed, and only relaxed after Budo lit his lamp. Still, Thomas gathered himself, casting his Auristics out like a net into the dark, his magic prowling for anything strange about the empty dark. For now, he only sensed the physical; the solid emptyiness of the space, the cold absence of light, the hard touch of stone. He felt around silently until he would get more impressions of the the place they found themselves.

"I'm alright, but I suppose we don't have the option to go find the fountain's artisan now," he complained loudly, his clothes soaked. He sat to pull on his soaks and shoes, not wanting to run around the dark barefoot. "And while it seems a=our only option is to trek through this never ending dark," he paused to stand, flinging his spell into the dark hallway, hoping for more information, "I would hope we might still have some other choices. I would remind us all, that the fountain is a thing of magic. Avalis knows what we might chance upon, should we try and make our way.," Thomas bit his lip, in concentration and in thought.
Last edited by Thomas Cosa on May 29th, 2016, 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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[Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

Postby Izuyanai on May 29th, 2016, 4:05 am

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The raven's eyes widened as she turned to stare at the fountain's contraption revealing the hidden entryway. Whatever they had done had triggered this sudden reaction. Izuyanai quickly darted her eyes around the group to see if anyone of them had cast a spell of some sort. It didn't appear that way. The only incident that had occurred had been Khara's sudden topple. That had been from group using auristics as far as she knew. Perhaps that had been the cause. Otherwise, the verbal recitation of the inscription must have acted as some sort of password.

A good thing too. An unexpected crack of lightning decimated a tree not far away. The loud destruction caused the raven to instinctively leap away from the danger with poorly disguised alarm. A few other members of the party were expressing their various concerns as Budo bustled them onto the crafted stairs. Izuyanai let herself be swept along with the small crowd, all the while giving the smoldering tree a stern glance as if it were responsible for her discomfort. She crossed her arms tightly and regained her composure as the marble closed with a finality behind them.

There was a moment of calm in the darkness. The kelvic could sense the numerous other bodies shuffling around in the enclosed space. The sounds from the outside were muffled creating a sense of distortion. As Izuyanai tried to get her bearings, she accidentally elbowed the figure who had been ushered in next to her. Next moment, Budo's lamp flickered to life and cast an ethereal glow over their surroundings.

"Sorry about that," the raven murmured, acknowledging her pair. "I'm fine, considering."

From somewhere in the pace, Izuyanai recognized Thomas' annoyed voice as he lamented their predicament. Somehow his attitude brought enough sense of familiarity for the raven to let out a small chuckle and call back through the semidarkness.

"And I would remind us all that this was our plan to begin with; to uncover the mystery of the fountain. I'd say we've at least begun to succeed in the matter, if not in the most graceful manner. Before we move forward, does anyone care for more light? Or shall we get on with it and let Thomas lead the way?"
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[Spring Quest] Rigor Samsa

Postby Kelski on January 21st, 2018, 9:15 pm

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Experience: Investigation +4, Observation +4, Dancing +1, Socialization +3, Interrogation +3, Storytelling +1

Lores: Socialization: Meeting Khara, Thomas, Veldrys, Alses, Azira, and Izuyanai. Lhavit: Lhavit’s Magic Fountain, Socialization: Meeting the Shadows Umbro and Halo

Note: I think you're all long gone from the site, even Thomas though he came back and made a post recently. Let me know if any of you return and want a grade.
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