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Fate of the Unknown
(2013-06-24 - 2013-06-25)
No description.
Alma Hyral /Yesterday/

The tip of a keyblade touches a crystalline shard of a world. Effulgence shines out from it, and the shard rises from the fingers that held it, before disappearing in a shower of color. A shooting star falls westward. Is that a sign of restoration to some part of this broken world?


The residents of Cosmo Canyon report a new river.. where none existed before, leading out of the Sabil Mountain Range. The fires of the Cosmo Candle flicker ominously, and this is taken as an ill omen by the keepers of the sacred flame. None approach to explore where this new wonder leads.


BGM Change:

Gathering in response to the most likely rumor as to where the shard was restored.. you are now at the bottom of the Valley of the Fallen Star. All around you are scarlet mesas and cavern walls which shine brilliantly as the twilight sun reflects off of them. Today, the pilgrims are out in swarms, but not to study the mysteries of the planet and life itself. Instead, they are focused on the party that has come to explore the new river that has formed.

The guardians are not happy. One in particular, a youth with fiery red hair bound by a headband and humble leather clothing loudly decries the party. "The Candle has not flickered like that since just before the Gi tribe attacked! You will find only tragedy upriver. Do you seek to bring calamity upon us all, outsiders?"

Alma Hyral was trying to resolve this diplomatically. After all, she felt a kinship with the residents of the valley, those who sought to study the mysteries of the planet, of life.. of the heavens. She was hoping to visit their planetarium and observatory after they were done with their expedition. However, the crowd was too much for her, she seemed overwhelmed with trying to speak to such a mob, especially with someone loudly condemning them. It left her a stuttering wreck, "N-Now calm d-d-down. P-Please. W-We mean you no h-harm. We r-restored this p-part of the w-world and we o-only want to e-explore what we f-f-found.."

The youth retorts, "So you admit to being responsible for these dread portents?"

She replies fretfully, "N-No! W-Well y-yes b-b-b.."

She definitely didn't seem cut out for leadership, nor defusing the tense situation here.. someone will likely have to step in...
Seloria Delacreaux Seloria looks very, very tired. The summoner is standing somewhere near or around Alma, mostly completely zoned out for the most part - she removes her glasses and rubs her green eyes, before putting them back on her face so she's actually able to see who in the hell Alma was stuttering at.

Or, rather, who in the hell was causing Alma to stutter.

She gently rests one hand on Alma's shoulder, her green eyes blazing at the group at a whole. "Shame on you." She says, gently. "She was not aware of what such an act would do, and thus she shouldn't be blamed for any sort of 'dread portents.'"

"Please, let us pass."

Dammit, she's a medic, not a diplomat! Even in her plain field dress, Arkham draws a sufficiency of glares from the residents. In these darker days, though, she's met a good share of hard stares on her pilgrimages and missions; she steps up beside their fearless leader.

"There is, there's no more credit for these 'dread' portents than there was for the sunrise this morning. The world has changed, and we, and we are bound to see how." She bows her own flame-red head before the flame-haired youth. "Grant us passage, at least, and we will trouble, trouble you no further."

It's the usual pitchforks and torches deal, isn't it? The locals fear a threatening unknown. Better to address the threat than to challenge the ignorance, this Sister has found.
Helena Celba "Really now, lets not cast blame." Helena says, walking from behind Seloria and Alma. She leans over a little...just to give just a little view, using this to try and soften up the man at the gate JUST a little.

"She helped to restore a shard of a missing ended up was not anyone's fault but that who unlocked it...your beef should be taken up with the Keyblade Master, not the woman who handed him the shard." She says, bouncing once.

"Hello, my name is Helena, and we are obviously here to investigate this...obvious ill omen, I am but a master of such ill things...not a lot in life I chose, but was rather 'gifted' with, if you understand the blight of such things,"

"And in order to fix the issue, we are here, before you offering to explore and resolve this.." She says, with a wink. "Perhaps afterwards stay the night if you have a place.."
Soan Sagittarius There were no people like this kind on Galandia. Not /normally/, anyway. Soan Sagittarius does not tend to grasp at leadership, but if it is what is needed to move along, then he shall step up.

"We mean you no harm, and we have no idea what you are talking about these dread portents," The thief says, stepping up and raising his hands up before him, palms out as a gesture of peace. "However, things might have changed since yesterday, which may be our fault as we have saved a new land from the darkness.".

Soan remains calm, keeping his hands before him, harmlessly. "However, if there is dread events about to occur, we are not the ones that will inflict them on you. If they are true, however, you should be ready to look else where than us. We may be able to help you in this case."

He pauses, tilting his head, looking away at another direction, mostly upriver. "We are not the ones that seeks to harm your valley. If someone is, then we can face it together."
Caran Steel Caran has landed his 'chocobo' at the appointed meeting place... And finds himself listening to a pointless argument. "So... You restored part of the world, and they're upset about it? Sheesh, don't they care about anyone but themselves?" He looks over at his classmates. "Look, it's not like /they're/ in charge of a river that was never there before, why don't we just go?"
Myla Mason Myla Mason had been to the Serpent Trench earlier and there had been something strange about the water, something old even after the Heartless was gone. It had her curious but she had to go. There was so much to do and perhaps it was for the best her interest in that region. There had been a rumour of a shard being restored and now she was quite curious about this. It was a world shard she wondered what part of world it would be she had no real idea as she's following up a bit behind Seloria and looks at Alma for a moment before turning her attention to those whoa re blocking out way.

She glances back to her fellow Levitani for a moment before turning her attention back to the guards.

"Let us past, the world changes and we need get though and like my friend said we won't trouble you at all."

She blows a strand of hair out of her face and is paused as she's still a bit surprised Helena would be interested but she's here none the less.

"I agree, if your issue is with the master take it up with them. Not Alma."
Kyra Hyral For reasons of SCIENCE (and intense curiosity), Kyra had attended the unlocking. She, in fact, filmed the entire event with her Ma Belle and took observational notes on the event. For her efforts, she did manage to catch the tail end of the shooting star falling westward, getting a nice clear shot of the astronomy in the background. This video was later uploaded for Alma's benefit.

And now...

...seems the locals aren't too happy that they're even here. Kyra is extremely nonplussed. Kyra is also not known for diplomacy because she put all of her skill points into SCIENCE!

"The least you can do is thank us." Kyra says archly, her hands on her hips. "Dread portents...hah! If there is /any/ trouble upriver, we will deal with it."
Minette Odam "Guyyyyssssssss, wait for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Minette, late to the expedition, comes a-huffing and a-puffing up the trail that leads into the Canyon. She's loaded down with extra packs, gear, equipment, and it looks like she's carrying her own body weight in unneeded crap. As she runs, a lantern dangling off the side of her pack twitches to and fro wildly. "OKAY, OKAY, I GOT ALL THE STUFF WE NEEDED, WE SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHI--"

Minette falls flat on her face. Gear goes everywhere. A cooking pot rolls past Kyra's feet, almost threateningly.
Alma Hyral The sudden deluge of counterarguments from the heroic side, seems to split the crowd. A few seem solely on the side of our heroes. Others remain on the fence. And still others seem to have thrown in their lot with the Guardians. The one leading them seems about to back off.. before the crowd of wildly competent adventurers. Though he seems likely to at least get a last word in.. And then Minette falls flat in the middle of the crowd. Pots and pans roll all over the place, clanging over the canyon floor. This sets off the people who are already on edge, and take the flying pans as a hostile gesture. Things look like they're about to go very poorly(Probably for the locals) when..

Hearty laughter and good natured laughter resonates through the air. "Ho Ho Hooo! Are you really going to shed blood over cookware?"

An impossibly wizened and ancient man sitting atop an orb of green material gravitates over to the crowd, floating above them. At his appearance, all of the guardians blanch, in deference. Some of them, including the red-haired youth leading the agitators immediately bow, their hands over their chest. The older man runs a hand through his pointed beard, smiling patiently at the youth, "Sekani. It is but a river. There is strength in these pilgrims.. Let them pass."

The youth protests, sputtering, "But Honored Grandfather, the Candle!" The ancient man replies mildly, with infinite patience.. "..will persist. As it always has, and always will. Whatever challenges await them in the mountains.. they honor all of you by volunteering to face them."

Sekani gives the gathered heroes a begrudging look, before him and the other guardians depart one by one, with only the pilgrims and tourists remaining behind to watch them in a gathered circle. Some actually snap pictures at the levitating old man from Ma Belle cameras. Some of them even whispering /That's Bugenhagen/ amongst themselves.

The older man strokes his beard once again, before nodding to the group, "Spirits of the lifestream watch over you."

The elder man remains behind to watch them depart, his eyes hidden behind a pair of sunglasses. The river stretches Eastward into the mountain range.. leaving little idea of what to expect.
Annia Leradine Fashionably late is what you could call Annia's timing here. But there wasn't much fashion involved in this. It was less about wanting the attention of being seen by everyone as she approaches everyone after the gathering took place... and more to do with the few odd branches and grass that seems to stick out of her hair and/or clothes right now, as she rides her chocobo through toward the group. She doesn't sound like she's in a terrific mood either, thanks to this.

She brings her chocobo to a halt in front of the ground, sliding a hand through her hair, tossing away the leftover of nature that she carried over with her "I'm here...." Looks like she didn't have the best of luck through some forest. She can read a map, but it doesn't show every single tree, and not when your chocobo goes in a panic attack after some clawed insect had a little 'snipsnip' on the chocobo's feathered rear end.

But, she is here. She missed the part that Alma was about to get bullied by the townspeople, but looks like everyone else took her side, for better results. So she'll let the townspeople alone for now. "So what did I miss?" She asks outloud, announcing her presence to the Academicians, while dusting her pants off the stray leaves.
Arkham Fisher Arkham excuses herself from the front line briefly to go assist whichever poor girl that is who decided they needed the whole airship brought; hopefully, to assist her in leaving nine tenths of it here. She offers Minette a hand.

"Here, that, that, that was a good thought, but we're not founding a city in there. Let's just..." she regards the mass of gear helplessly.

"Let's have the rations, then, and the, and the lantern, I think. I'll help you." The medic's own burden is limited to her doctor's bag and weaponry, and she hefts a pack off of the pile without much apparent concern.

Her concern for the simmering residents is not much greater; someone'll be along to talk sense in a momen-- see? There he is now. And now, Arkham is paying attention. Honored Grandfather has the nature of a saint; her free hand clasps a cross she must wear within her robes, and she whispers some benediction as he departs. "Najbolshi hvala..." The rest is lost in the general din.

Where was she, now? Oh, yes. She turns back to Minette and her mountain, clearly ready to aid in the cull.
Soan Sagittarius Soan winces at the cacophony of sounds Minette makes when she falls, shoulders briefly lifting to hide part-way his ears. He slowly look around his shoulder at her. He shakes his head, turning around to at least help her up, arguments be damned.

"You're alright?" He asks, then turning his gaze at the old man that arrived. An wise, impossibly old look man. That floats. Huuuuuuh. Well, you don't see that every single day around here. The thief gives him a respectful nod toward him. Then, they'll be ready to go.
Kyra Hyral They back off and Kyra looks exceptionally satisfied. A grin is upon her face, though it fades once she glances over at Helena. Not that she minded Helena being here, more or less desensitized to her...Helena-ness, she knew her sister would not appreciate her presence. That she's here in the wake of their shard exploration.

She waits for Sekani to be talked down by his grandfather, a small grin upon her face. The old man gets a respectful...salute? Yes. A two fingered salute. The levitation is only...mildly less impressive, actually. Float was a well-known spell on her world. Though to use it all the time like that was a little unusual.

Reaching over she loops an arm around Alma and pulls her to her, "You ready for this, Alma? It'll probably be a little longer than a usual dungeon-busting assignment." Kyra's got a backpack on in addition to her usual messenger bag. Who knows what she has hidden beneath her hoodie-it looks bulky enough at the moment to suggest that it is "a lot."
Minette Odam "Mukyu..." Minette groans as she's scraped off of the ground. She leans a little too heavily on Soan for support for a couple of moments, then staggers away, tottering as if she were drunk or dizzy. Most of equipment she brought along is left on the dusty ground; it clearly isn't worth it. She'll... probably be okay. For a given value of Minette being 'okay', at least.

Her eyes focus in on Bugenhagen blearily for a moment, and she whispers, "Maaaan, I need to learn how to do that..." before she stumbles after the group, falling into step next to Helena. Sistahs gotta stick togather, even if they don't like each other much.
Helena Celba Helena clams up.

This is because she goes very quiet, very still...there is an air of menace for a moment...

It doesn't go away. There is a chill of ice between two people.

Then, suddenly she turns away.

"Let us continue, the sooner the better."
Caran Steel Caran smiles. "Finally, some reason! Thanks, Honored Elder." He tips his hat to the mysterious old dude. Hmm. What is the significance of all this? That candle must mean /something/, but these locals are clearly mistaken about it. "Well." He sits up straight and grabs Blackwing's reins. "No point in standing around here any longer, I doubt there are any more events here now. Let's be off, shall we?"
Seloria Delacreaux Seloria shrugs slightly.

She then silently helps colelct the rest of Minette's scattered pots and pans, just to make sure they don't leave anything behind that might potentially be needed. She gives Helena a thoughtful look, though, sweatdropping.
Minette Odam Minette's glasses fog over from proximity to Helena. Minette does not know why.
Myla Mason Myla Mason will fight if it comes down to it, she just won't fire the first shop and she hopes she doesn't have to. She looks as people are starting ti part then comes Minette she looks she stares she almost face palms at Minette but she's keeping her weapons holstered at this point for a moment. Then the old man comes to their aid she is thankful as it looks like the as she notices Annia arriving and she gives the tormenter of Cid a nod.

"Thank you sir for your support. We just intend to figure out what's here." Then Soan arrives and has Minette handled and she looks to her for a moment but Soan's already helping her as she needs it.

"I'm prepared for a hike as well."

It is time to head out so that's what Myla does she heads out it's time to move.

"We really shouldn't delay."
Helena Celba And then...

Helena moves viciously.

She moves right towards Alma, finally being set off. Her hands viciously strike at Alma's chest, aiming to repeatedly and painfully strike at her chest. She is going for joint locks and presure points, aiming to cause as much physical pain as possible.

"I will /not/ tolerate this from you any longer."
Alma Hyral Alma's expression seems out of focus for a moment, Kyra can almost swear she hears some buzzing out of Alma's radio in her ear, before it falls quiet. She offers a smile to Kyra, seeming a little calmer than before, "I'm r-ready Kyra."

And then Helena advances on her. As Helena lashes out with her first strike, a yellow Aureole forms over her, limming her body. Gravity shifts, and she moves upwards. Hanging suspended about twenty feet over them in the air. Helena's attack goes wide, merely glancing off of her side, rather than actually hitting a pressure point. She just stares down at Helena.

"The feeling is mutual. Helena. But I'm not fighting you. Despite all you have done to me. I /don't/ hate you. But I won't take your threats, and your bullying any longer. I'm through."
Annia Leradine Something might have happened before too, because one of those that come to Alma's rescue here... is the bullying dancer herself. Ribbons fly out of her hands, and wrap around Helena's limbs, attempting to stop her from moving or furthering her attacks on her own favorite little target. Yeah, beside Jidro, Alma gets the brunt of the dancer most of the time.

"When it comes to bullying, that's my turf. I don't remember giving you any permission to mess with my targets." She says quite spitefully too, giving tugs on her ribbons to keep her from moving. "So if you want a fight, I'm more than happy to handle little hussies like you."
Kyra Hyral Kyra never sees it coming. She's focused on her little sister at the moment, only faintly aware of the tinny sound of people talking that usually indicates the buzz of a Ma Belle earpiece. Then, all the sudden, Helena lunges at her sister-to attack no less. Everything happens too fast for Kyra to really react, Alma peeling away to evade and rise into the air.

Startled, she takes a step backwards and looks from Helena to Alma.

"What the <GOOSEHONK> is going on here?!" she blurts out, growing even more agitated when Annia joins in to attack Helena. "STOP IT! All of you!"
Soan Sagittarius This is not what Soan expected. Then again, he probably should /have/.

"HEY." Soan Sagittarius lets out as Minette stood up, turning his attention at Helena and Alma, his voice firm as he steps up to them, helping Kyra to separate the fight, remaining calm in the face of the fight. "What the hell is all this about. now?"
Seloria Delacreaux God /damn/ it.

(Goddess, damn it?)

"Alma, Helena, stop it!" Seloria shouts firmly and loudly at the other two.
Caran Steel ONWARD TO ADVENTURE! Caran starts to ride along... and then allies start shouting, and he turns back to see... "What... what's going on?! We're supposed to fight the bad guys, not eachother! What are you doing?! Why are you fighting??"
Arkham Fisher Whoa, whoa, whoa, that's not in the contract!

Arkham pushes forward soonest she hears the commotion start, holding the sack of dry rations like a sling, but saintly Alma, unscathed, is already defusing her companion.


...possibly. This still seems like a fistfight, so the Sister does not reach for a blade, nor even drop the pack she's holding. She does square up firmly on Alma's side, watching the aggressor with one stony eye.

"You'll want to think very, very carefully about what you're about to-- Hey!" She used her battlefield voice for that one. "What are, are we doing here? We're scouting a recovered shard. We're not brawling in a back alley."
Minette Odam "Uh." Minette says as Helena declares her intent.
"Uh." Minette says as Helena attacks.
"Uh." Minette says as Alma Almas in responce.
"Uh." Minette says as Souji declares This Should Not Happen.

She moves to interpose herself, physically, in between Helena and Alma, arms spread. "Hey... hey! Helena, c'mon. Please calm down? It'll be okay, whatever it is. C'mon, you okay?"
Myla Mason Myla Mason turns about as both Helena and Alma go nuclear for lack of another term. They have made up their minds to have a showdown here. A several people move to step in, while she does not know the people involved well as she perhaps should she's still going to try at this point.

"...There is a time and place for is not the time. We?re here to see what was restored...not brawl. If you need to have a duel, there are fare better places!"
Helena Celba Alma flies up, much to her irritiaton. Always running away, always playing the burns her. It enduces rage on a level she can not comprehend fully. The passive agressive little <GOOSEHONK> continues to play her little game of helpless superiority. Her hated gaze stares right on Alma. Even as she continues to moralize to her through the radio. Ribbons wrap around her, but they do not even remotely restrain her like they are intended. She moves forward, easily dragging Annia along with her. Her stance changes to being lower, ready to drag Annia along if she needs to.

Seloria and Kyra shout at her to stop, Minette stands in her way, reminding her of Souji's wishes.

She completely ignores the outsider, she is nothing to her, and it shows. It takes a deep breath, and then she speaks, monotoned...

"Forgive me, I acted out of place. Continue without me, I am going to return to the company." she turns, willingly dragging Annia along with her if she continues to hold her with those ribbons.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine releases the ribbons, quite willingly, so she lets Helena go. She just wanted to stop her after all, protecting Alma... for some reason, which might confuse some people around, after they realize it. But no matter. Her ribbons pull back and away, letting Helana leave in a huff. One less annoyance for this trip at least.
Alma Hyral "You're forgiven Helena." She adjusts her glasses as she lands, the aureole disappearing. "...just a schoolyard brawl. I'll have no part in it." She murmurs almost inaudibly.

She seems just as irritated by the interruption as well, her expression suddenly distant as she looks Eastward.

Bugenhagen continues to just stare at the gathered heroes. Maybe wondering if he needs to reassess his opinion. The crowd of tourists were snapping a lot of pictures...
Minette Odam "Aiyaaa..." Minette sighs. "Hel?" She calls after the retreating monkromancer, "We'll talk later, okay?" She turns around, waving her arms around expressively and smiles too cheerfully. "Okay./~ Where were we! Time to save the world and or day! Eh, eh?"
Seloria Delacreaux Seloria looks between Alma and HElena.

Then she goes very, v ery pale, and takes off after Helena at a somewhat more sedate pace so that Helena has had time to walk off her anger first.
Kyra Hyral Kyra watches Helena walk off, a concerned expression on her face. Her eyes glance to Alma for a second, narrowed, before she folds her arms over her chest. " let's get going." she says coldly.
Myla Mason Myla Mason watches as Helena and Alma simmer down but then well Helena leaves her to go. She watches Seleoria seem intent to join Helena and she can only wonder just what is going on between Alma of all people and Helena? She's knows perhaps she should dig but then again this isn't the time to do so. She takes a deep breath and sighs as she watch as the monkromancer head off and sighs. She's at a loss for words, at this for the moment.
Alma Hyral The group begins the trek eastward through the mountains, following the banks of the twisting and winding river. Great concave gouges appear in the mountains around them, indicating they were unnaturally carved, perhaps by the merger of the worlds.. By the time you reach the other side of the mountain range, it has already been night for hours. The sea of stars above them seems like a great ocean tonight, with thousands dotting the sky with a breathtaking view that normally cannot be seen within the various cities of the World of Ruin.

Emerging on the other side.. there is an arboraceous area surrounding the mountains and bordering the river, with thousands of twisted and gnarled oak trees, each telling a story of how old this place must be.. the sounds of crickets and nocturnal wildlife emanate through the air, but each of them begin to have a feeling foreboding.. it feels as if there are a great many eyes were upon them.

Continuing upstream, as you clear the forest.. there is a shimmering lake of pure azure waters within the basin, shaped like a crescent. And in the distance, nestled within the curve.. appears to be a town! Under the dimmer brilliance of the moon and stars, you can see little.. except the town ominously appears to have no hearth fires burning, no smoke, no lights.. and no signs of life whatsoever, it is deathly quiet.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine rides her chocobo as long as she can, but after this little altercation with Helena, she still trots up to Alma's level, and checks on her to make sure she's okay, and not too stirred up.

Then more treking... She looks around at the area "... Interesting place... wonder what town this was..." She wonders outloud, and trots closer to the city, trying to find a sign or something that would tell what was the town's name.
Minette Odam Minette picks up one of her fallen packs (the lightest looking one) and slings it over her shoulder, tottering along with the group. As the group travels along, she starts rooting around in it for things that might be of use, coming up with a pair of... "Pom-poms? Why in the worlds would I pack these?" As there's nothing else of any particular use in the bag, Minette discards it (but keeps the pom-poms). "Hey, look. A town. I wonder what's inside."
Kyra Hyral Kyra becomes pretty quiet after all that nonsense, a distant look on her face. Occasionally she does speak a brief, murmured word or two to Alma but after a while, she moves away from her fellow white mage.

As they walk along, the feeling of being watched becomes more and more pervasive. Kyra draws her gun-the regular handgun she keeps which is in no way magical or designed to launch test tubes. Sometimes a normal gun really got the job done.

The appearance of the town doesn't set her at ease-mostly because there are obviously no lights on right now. No presence of people. Abandoned-or worse, it's residents had fallen prey to the Heartless meaning that it could be CRAWLING with Heartless.
Soan Sagittarius Soan is annoyed. Not just at Helena, but as well at Alma. He is, however, good at hiding his annoynace beyond a vague sense of dissapointment, mingled with a faint frown. He'll have people to talk to later, after all of this. "Alright." The Rogue says, claping his hands, "Let's go."

The trip is a rather strange thing. At first it is a canyon, then the sharp end of the area, transitioning into another date is very jarring in it's own way. Almost like if someone made an error, somewhere.

"Seems to be." Soan says, listing a pair of looking glasses and peering ahead. "Let's go check it out."
Minette Odam "See, Soan has the right attitude!" Minette agrees, then waves her pom-poms right in his face so that he can't see. Worst cheerleader ever.
Caran Steel What a long journey! Caran didn't expect it to take this long... He'll let others have turns riding Blackwing. The summoned chocobo lasts for hours, and never tires because it isn't really a creature. Ketan alternates between flying around and walking, scouting ahead a little. Finally they get to the other side of the mountains, and Caran stops to appreciate the sight for a moment. And then he sees... "A town! Look! ...but... why are there no lights? ...Ketan?" "Got it, buddy." The winged cat flies over to him, waiting to recieve a magic protection spell before flying on ahead to scout. Caran hops onto Blackwing and rides after (if someone else is already riding, they get a second or so to dismount if they wish), though he's careful not to get too far ahead.
Myla Mason Myla Mason has kept with the group as some have departed but perhaps it's for the best all things considered. Given it has stopped things from becoming an all out brawl. She has been taking notice for things as they continue to trek at night. She takes in the stars for a moment but seems more interested in the strange plat life. Well not strange just old. it's so darn old here and now they reach what seems to be a town ahead and she pauses looking at the ghost time.

"I see it but somethign seems off, either way we won't find out more unless we do Soan."

With that off she goes.
Alma Hyral Approaching the town, it quickly becomes apparent that it has been deserted for some time.. the wall surrounding the village has become dilapidated, with stonework spilling out from every direction. Many of the homes have collapsed into ruin. The shops and town hall still stand, but only barely.. it appears as if this place has not been dwelled in for centuries.

But as you into the town limits.. you notice odd statuary everywhere. Horrific twisted caricatures of people in various states of terror. Some even hold weapons which have been rusted away by the ravages of time. All look as if some mad sculptor caught them within the final moments of some approaching doom. Some have looks of cold defiance. Others have the appearance of individuals who cowered as their death approached them. Still others.. huddled within their now ruined homes, quietly spending their final moments together with their beloved family members. All of the statues are wholly intact..

The ominous presence about you grows, and there is a sinister cackling, echoing within the night..


Alma Hyral looks at her forearm, which now has a feathered shaft protruding out of it. A moment later she's shrieking in pain.. but the pain is not the worst of it. There is a muted sound, sort of like stones grinding upon each other, as her hand stiffens, and becomes hardened. Despite her sobbing, she's already starting to try to undo the damage, a soft white radiance spreads over that arm, and grey stone becomes flesh again.. gradually. Something within the arrow seems to be hampering her efforts. So after only a moment's pause, she breaks off the arrow's feathered shaft, and pushes the arrow through her arm with a scream bubbling out of her lips. Only then does her spell seem to finally truly undo the damage, once the barbed head is out of her..

BGM Change:

The cackling grows louder. And suddenly within the night there are green eyes appearing within torn burlap cowls. Spindly and cadaverous spectres with ragged feather capes appear floating within the village, as the air grows stagnant. Each carries a spear, as well as a bow and arrows. More arrows are nocked in short order. And soon there is a volley coming towards the group of heroes..

Some flicker away, and disappear in a ghastly blaze of St. Elmo's fire, before reappearing in different positions to nock and fire again.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine doesn't manage to get close enough to town to investigate further than the first few statues, which seems to be those that were caught outside of the town's limits. She looks at the ones that have an expression of terror... and it doesn't sit well with her "... I have a bad feeling about this..." She hops off her chocobo, patting its feathery mane, instructing it to move away back on the path they arrived from. She has the feeling that she won't need the chocobo here, and it might be in danger.

"... What are we doing here ex-AHH!" An arrow lodges itself right in front of her feet as she turns around, which confirms her worries right there. She immediately rolls away behind a thick fence next to her, just in time for a volley of those arrows to pincushion the area she was standing on moments before "Now that ain't part of the school's curriculum at all." Drawing her daggers from behind her, she motions to the others to stay away "They are going to pick us up one by one if we stay in the open, move behind the houses!"
Minette Odam Minette finds herself being shot at by arrows. She leaps, ducks, and dives out of the way, trying to shield her head with her pom-poms as she runs around in a mild panic. Minette leaps into a ditch and takes cover, trying to find out some way of retaliating with pom-poms. "Wait... how did the cheerleading squad... that's right!"

Minette stands up, shrills "CHARM!" at the top of her warbly lungs, and hurls a pom-pom into the face of one of her assailants. It does not work, for several reasons. There is a reason that Minette was laughed out of cheerleader tryouts.
Soan Sagittarius In other words, nothing about the town tells that it was a good idea to go check it out if you were anybody normal.

The first warning came from the arrow Alma recived. The second was the swarm and the third was the figures coming out of the wood work to turn them into stones. Soan expertly deflects one of the incoming arrow coming at him with his buckler, drawing his blade afterwards to then charge at the some of the figures. He don't have magic, sure, not in this identity anyway.

But he has the amazing power of sheer (GOOSEHONK).

Notably, a while he charges, he subtly fling several traped runs in some of the materialisation locations of the various St. Elmo's Fires, activating in a conflagration of holy water when in proximity of... well, anything, really.
Myla Mason Myla Mason looks as no one is living there she sees how much the place has fallen into ruin. She pauses at the long unpopulated town as she sees all the statues and grimaces there's something of a warning signal about the weapons. Most people would not make a statue carry a metal weapon it's something else it hints to something more horrific happened here.

Then they are attack Alma is hurt she's hurt pretty bad from the looks of it. It seems to be some sort of curse she's having a terrible feeling as she goes for her pistols and calls out. "This is worse than MR. Green's pop quiz boss fights!"

She opens fire with her pistols now before she leaps into the air and rains down shots upon the attackers while she keeps in the air.

"Oh all the /GOOSEHONK/!"
Caran Steel Ketan flies back as soon as he sees the statues. Both of them would know what that means. "Some kind of monster turned people to stone." The cat relays. Caran nods. He casts Invis on himself, Ketan, and whoever else wants it, just in case, before Ketan flies off to scout again.

And then Alma's hit. "Alma!" Caran rushes over... but she's got it covered. Still, he winces at the pain. The red mage draws his sword and looks out at the spectres. There are... so many of them! Even if he's got a large party... "Kill them! Quickly!" Caran's sword glows white as it's charged with holy-elemental magic, and in a flash he rides up to one of the ghosts and unleashes a flurry of swift stabs and slashes. As he turns to swing at another, though, it disappears just as he strikes...

And then an arrow hits him... and flies through his Invis-displaced image. He turns to face the ghost that shot at him. "Body of my foe, ignite! Combustion!" Fire wreathes his sword, and he charges forward towards his next foe.

Meanwhile, one of the sIMMUNE indicator appear over his head. Hax! Hax! Still, it's an arrow! Yowling in pain, Ketan lands by Kyra to pull the arrow out (since it's not turning him to stone) and then seals up the wound with his healing magic. Well, that's just a load of <GOOSEHONK> isn't it?
Kyra Hyral Kyra's eventually shaken out of her silence by what is a rather grisly injury dealt towards poor Alma. With a look, she can tell that it's obviously not mortal so Alma herself could easily deal with it. Which is exactly what she does, though not after a small amount of screaming.

Kyra quickly moves to stand in front of Alma, much against her better judgement, and eyes the incoming spectres. "It couldn't just be normal zombies, could it." she says bitterly, putting away her gun. Just at that second, an arrow is loosed upon her! She doesn't notice until Ketan leaps in front of her and takes the shot.

"Are you okay!?" she's quick to ask the cat-creature, crouching down next to him and-oh, he's up! Good!

Narrowing her eyes, Kyra lifts her hands and pronounces what is typically a death sentence for the undead, white magic swirling around her fingers.

Alma Hyral Minette rolls a natural twenty and her pom pom... well something about her innate math magic causes a mathSPLOSION instead of a charm, sending the single ghost wailing into a dimension explained only by Chaos theory. Maybe that's why she was really kicked out of Cheerleading tryouts!

Soan's volley of traps causes splashes of holy water everywhere, turning cackling ghosts into piles of moaning ectoplasmic soup on the ground, as their bodies literally start to dissolve.

Annia dodges expertly, in her bid to take cover. Several spectors follow her, drawing short spears and letting out ululating cries before advancing on her, flickering in and out of view as they charge.

Myla's pistols cause several explosions which seem supereffective, as literal body parts are blown off of the spectors, dismembering a few, and decapitating others. Even so, they still seem to be attacking, despite their decreased effectiveness from you know, not being able to see, or nock a bow.

Ketan is /IMMUNE/ to petrification. HAX HAX HAX! So they try again by flickering forward and touching him with a hand. /DEATH SENTENCE/ .... ... ... /IMMUNE/ You can see all the Spectors crying out at once about this complete <GOOSEHONK>. They appear to be calling for a nerf to familiars. If they had access to Mognet, it would be all over the Academy Messageboards.

Caran on the other hand doesn't seem quite as immune, but that seems to be mitigated by the fact that his sword is on FIRE. Which seems to be doing a great job at keeping arrows at bay. Also melting spectre flesh.

And then Kyra calls upon honest to Cosma white magic. And several Spectres just.. disintegrate, as the animating force holding them together falls apart. The entire horde of Spectres just stare at her, suddenly quite afraid. But even so, a few flicker behind her, seeming ready to try and skewer her.

Alma takes a similar approach herself, and suddenly two of the Spectres coming at Kyra and herself from behind are washed over by a silvery glow. They hang suspended, paralyzed by the sudden flux of healing energy, and slowly they are undone, as they melt beneath the slower, but ultimately just as effective onslaught by the group's other White Mage.

At this point, it appears like the Gi tribe has just /had enough/ of the schoolkids, as the remaining dozen or so flicker in and out of existence... and blink to the edge of the town. They fire one more volley out of spite to cover their retreat, before eventually they become only ghastly lights over the lake.. and then not at all.

The town is truly deathly silent once more. The statues making the place a grotesquerie, or a graveyard.. take your pick. Though, can something be done for these people? The statues all seem.. wholly intact, which seems strange. And none of them have arrows sticking out of them.
Minette Odam Minette was laughed out of cheerleading tryouts because 1) She's Minette, 2) a dork, 3) can't cheer worth beans, 4) fell on her face during the audition, 5) none of the cheerleaders liked her, 6) was morbidly overweight at the time (120 pounds, the skank), and 7) she's Minette.

Minette blinks once, twice. "Does... does this mean I'm not charming?" No, Minette, you are not. "Awww." More arrows fly and Minette starts running some numbers in her head. She selects Protect, 2, and Level and results in half the party. Hm. She then tries Protect, 3, and Level. Not any better. And then she attempts Protect, Factor, and Level, and that gets everyone. Hm. And then she, on a lark, tries Protect, Prime, and Level, and sees the result. And then casts /that/ instead. Protect spells pop up around Minette, Alma, Caran, Myla, Annia, and Soan, but not Kyra.

"Sorry, couldn't make the Calculations work!" Minette calls. "That was the most optimal result!
Caran Steel Caran's sword is charged with holy power /and/ he's channeling Combust through it. Combust is a fun spell -- as the incant hints, it makes the next thing you touch set on fire! It's not a good day to be a wraith.

Caran winces as he feels that Ketan is hurt through the link. But the familiar can take care of himself, and it's followed by a feeling of reassurance, so Caran's ready to keep fighting! Except, after the white mages' double Turn Undead, the Spectres have had enough and flee.

Caran looks around. Seeing his allies alright, without further words he rides up to the nearest statue. "Cosma's wind, blow with healing power. Esuna." And he touches it.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine doesn't have any fancy white magic to use against them, and she rather not be pierced by arrows either. But she bids her time, waiting... and as the first one of those ghastly warriors appear around the counter, she gets into motion. Its a dance of its own. The foremost Gi warrior gets a dagger planted upward through its jaw, into its head. Before the ghost can be reduced to nothing, she twirls around it, using it as a shield as two arrows plant down into their companion, disapearing with it. The movement brings her between two more, the twin daggers slashing and crossing in front of her, dicing the two apparations back to the next world.

When she can express herself fully like this, she's a tough target to touch, and even more to beat. The dancing brings her high and low, left and right, making herself a hard target for one that can't read the rhythm. Its a beat only she can hear it seems, and anticipating it seems complicated enough that the ghosts can't follow. Because ghosts know no music, obviously.
Myla Mason Myla Mason has got an idea of how bad these4 things assaulting them are thankfully Soan just is making good use of the holy water. Many of the ghosts now just evaporate from his efforts but there's still more. Her own pistols seem to be blowing spectors to bits but wonders if they can keep coming the idea that blowing them apart may not be an good idea it is not a good idea at all here a it seems to not be working so well. Now they will have bites of these things hostile too them and she mutters as she drops down the pistols are holsters and her cutlass is drawn off her back. She watches as they seem to fall back? She looks about curious and shakes her head a little bit as she keeps the cutlass out and ready just in-case.

"I'm really starting to not like this place. Is everyone all right?"
Soan Sagittarius Soan stands back up, dusting himself off as the things vanishes, allowing the arrows fall beside him. "I'm fine, myself." The thief says, looking around with a frown. So that must be the guys that the people they've met before were talking about, huh? Nasty things, nasty, nasty little things indeed.

The statues attract his attention. He squints at them, then turn his attention at Kyra and Alma. "Can either of you do anything, or tell us if they are petrified people?"
Kyra Hyral "I don't believe you one bit, Minette." Kyra grumbles under her breath. She's only half-paying attention to the party support trolling, her focus entirely upon bringing forth the white magic to the surface. It wasn't too often she got to apply the Life spell offensively and she's happy to have the opportunity!

Indeed, maybe these being more than simple 'shoot them in the head' zombies was a bit of a boon. She gets to practice. Practice she does, unloading another life spell before she suddenly has some company.

The fact that she doesn't have the protective barrier around her bites her in the most unpleasant of ways. Spears dig into her back, piercing through her hoodie and shirt beneath that, digging into her skin. A squeal of pain escapes Kyra and she backs off. About to retaliate, her quarry-to-be...vanishes?

Kyra scowls and immediately starts casting restorative magic on herself. "Hmm, these statues. I think it could be a basic petrification spell."
Alma Hyral Minette's protect spells seem especially catty in their specificity. It protects them from the final volley of the Gi tribe, which clatter off the magical barriers. Except for Kyra. Hope she can dodge!

Annia Leradine doesn't have any fancy white magic, but the two Gi warriors pursue her. One Gi warrior goes down as her magical dagger implants itself through it's jaw, up into it's braincase, as it falls to the ground, twitching, before going straight into the rigor mortis of a corpse. Twirling about, she manages to shield herself from another volley as the ghost takes two arrows to the back. However it does not seem particularly hurt by it's own arrows. Apparently they're immune to their own petrification poison. That hardly matters though seeing as a moment later she slices, and dices, and eventually the final spectre falls. Sans a head, and limbs... and part of it's torso really. Those daggers cut to the bone, and beyond!

Now that the town is clear.. Caran tries his Esuna spell on his chosen statue... ... ... Nothing.

Alma instead tries a different approach, first trying to probe the statue of a child with by laying her hands upon the statue's head and diagnosing the problem with healing magic. "T-They're still alive.. I t-think." A moment later, she tries an Esuna spell as well ... nothing. She repeats this several more times, even switching to different statues. All of them alive.. all of them completley unaffected by the white magic. She just looks up at Soan, shaking her head. "T-They're alive but I t-think we'll need to f-find a different a-approach. But Kyra, can you t-try too? M-Might as well cover all of our b-bases."

While he may not be actively thinking this, Soan's rogue sense doesn't appear to be tingling at all. Nothing in the town seems worth salvaging, or looting at all. Even the magical wares in the ruined shops have turned to rot over centuries...

To the east out of town, there appears to be another path that leads to a large grove, that appears, seperate from the rest of the forest in the Crescent Lake basin, except it's overgrown.. a thorny thicket bars their way, if they do indeed desire to take a look in that direction...
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine shakes her head, watching the last of the ghosts disapear. She turns to the others, sheathing her daggers back in place. "Then its something else that you need to cure them. I read about some petrifications that couldn't be cured with magic, you need something stronger, a potion of some kind." She looks at all of the statues "As long as they are alive though... I think the cure might be deeper where those ghosts came from..."
Minette Odam Minette follows up behind everyone else and moves up to a statue, getting up to her tip-toes to stare intently into it's face. "White magic isn't working, eh?" Minette frowns, pensively and in thought. Hrn. PLAN!

Minette reaches up, hooks two fingers into her mouth, and waggles her tongue around. Then she instead puffs up her cheeks and waggles her ears with her hands. And then instead raspberries the statue from close enough away that she gets spittle all over it's face.

This concluded, Minette stands back, thumbs tucked into her belt. She looks to the others, and says (with an aire of definative authority, mind you), "Nope, they're not faking it, they're really petrified. Those were my funnist faces."
Caran Steel Caran frowns. Esuna does nothing. Alma's Esuna also does nothing. What's going on here? "Maybe we need a special item... did any of the ghosts drop anything?" Or, maybe it's some kind of... inverted curse, that requires a /different/ spell to clear. "Light of my will, shed magic from my way! Dispel!"

And if /that/ doesn't work...

Caran takes a deep breath, and hops down from Blackwing. Okay. Now to bring out the /serious/ firepower. This is strange, never-before-seen magic? Well, he's got some of that too. Caran concentrates, focusing on his magic power. His might is great -- he can call forth the ancient destructive spell, the Gigas Rave, and manifest his own longer-lasting version of it. So what's a little petrification spell, right? Confident, he takes a deep breath and opens his eyes. He places his hand on the statue, and then wills his own magic to well up and blast away any other magic that's here!

It's just theory, but it should work, right? Even though he's never actually done this before...
Myla Mason Myla Mason says "I have to agree Kyra look at the decayed weapons, you don't make statues with bits like that that would decay like that."

She thinks for a moment "I may be able to help with this as well Alma." She does have a little white magic but it does not work and it was her weak suit when it came to the magical arts.

Her faintly golden glowing eyes dart over the stone people there has to be something they can do right? But what. "A properly brewe potion which could cure something so powerful would be hard to find."

Annia has a very good idea a very good and possible idea or they would have to scower the world for someone who could create such a potion and then they'd need to make sure they figured out just what caused the change in that case or so sh thinks

"It sounds like a plan to me."

Then again what could it hurt to try her own powers she chants in the same tongue she does for all her spells and water seems to cascade over one of the intact statues but nothing happens not a thing happens save perhaps there petrified person is a bit cleaner nothing has changed at all.

"It's too powerful..."
Kyra Hyral Kyra can dodge, THANKS. This allows her to stockpile emergency overlimit which she can squirrel away for later. When she needs to use it. Against Minette.

"Well, if a standard esuna isn't working..." she says, watching Steel make his attempt. Carefully, she works her hoodie off so she can reveal her twin set of vial-covered bandoliers beneath of it. What follows is a pretty exhaustive remedy trail run, ranging from Kyra's more unusual cures to the very classic 'golden needle' that is used to deal with petriciation. Never leave home without it.
Alma Hyral Minette makes silly faces at the statues. Nothing happens. Except she feels quite silly herself.

Myla makes a valiant effort herself, and it's similarily ineffective.

Kyra's potions and remedies are all of the highest quality, and against ordinary magic it would have made short work of anything. Even that which the most powerful white mages could not cure.. and yet, nothing.

Caran focuses on blasting away the magic and... it's super ineffective. But not only is it super ineffective, something stirs within the ancient spells that had taken ahold of the person, akin to a gnarled root curled around the soul of each person. It twists further around the individual within, keeping it held within it's grasp at the attempt. And then there is a wispy tendril of dark smoke that lashes out at Caran, striking at his skull.

Immediately he begins to experience not only /his/ worst nightmares, but the worst nightmares of every one of the townsfolk that are locked away in stone. All of them include a being of unfathomable evil, and darkness seizing hold of each of them. While he's unable to get a good view of whatever it is, it /sears/ his subconscious mind with the sheer wrongness of it. And now it is reaching for him... slowly, and he finds himself unable to move. Each fraction of a second is akin to an days of anticipation of the agony that will soon befall them. And he doesn't experience this just once... but fifty times over. Once for each person locked away in stone.
Minette Odam "Maybe..." Minette says. "Maybe it's a /curse/ and not a spell. Like in those old stories. And the enchantment can be broken with a kiss..." Minette looks at the nearest statue. Her mouth droops into a slow, pensive frown. And then she gives Alma a little push forwards. "Go try it. You're a pure maiden, and junk, right?"
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine rolls her eyes "Its more likely that its a very strong stone effect, or else its that the source of the magic that petrified then is still active and we need to get rid of that first.
Minette Odam "Look, I don't see what we lose by having Alma try." Minette counters.
Soan Sagittarius Soan's eyes narrowed at the proceedings. There is a bit of information that he cannot directly relay, just how much the place stinks. Not because of the spectres of earlier, but he can sense the darkness, the Chaos here, permeating the entire area, the fiber of those poor petrified townsmen. "I'm inclinded to agree." He says, "This has to be a curse of some kind. From something exceedingly powerful."

His glance flies over to Caron, his eyes widening at the wispsy tendril of darkness. "Caran!" He lets out, dashing toward the yung man.

The red mage and the cat SCREAM, and then Caran collapses in an heap while Ketan stares for a moment with a 'what the HELL was that?!' expression before hurrying over to his master. "Caran! Caran, what happened?! Are you okay?!" He just lies there, with the expression of a man who has seen the great horror to come and given up all hope.
Alma Hyral Minette's suggestion has her flustered immediately as she's pushed towards one of the statues, "I don't.. I...w-what?" Well she is a maiden. She'll cop to that, despite all the horrible awkward high school embarassment that would probably follow. Pure though? ...she seriously doubted that. Even so, it was worth a try and she shudders, leaning forward and puckering up only for...


That breaks her out of her Minette-induced attempt to do something that is probably absolutely crazy. Probably. She runs over to Caran, and notes that.. part of him is also turning to stone in addition to the horrific emotional scars which are thankfully just /terrible/ enough that his mind will likely forget them as a defense mechanism to prevent insanity.. except every once in a while, when he'll probably have wake up from some unfathomably powerful nightmare. Thankfully this /backlash/ of magic is nowhere near as powerful as the base spell cast all those centuries ago, and a quick Esuna spell smoothes the parts of him that have hardened back into actual flesh.

Looking over to the others nervously after examining Caran and applying more healing spells to him, she states in a tremulous voice, "I um t-think we should.. l-look for a-another method."

There is still the path eastward past the thicket... if you so dare to explore it.
Minette Odam Minette looks towards Soan. "You mean I was /right/?" A beat. "I mean... yes! Of COURSE I was right!" Minette skips off towards the thicket, preening to herself. Caran's plight is either ignored or simply not noticed and as such Alma is not forced to kiss any statues. La la la la./~
Myla Mason Things just got bad with Caran having tripped something powerful in the curse or spell that did this to the people. She's got no idea just what horrors her friend has seen but she's now rushing for him for a moment and she says


She rushes over to him and wonders what horror he's seen she looks to Alma an agree.

"I agree...."

She's going to start looking to the path. "WE best.... go onwards we don't wish to miss anything but I suggest we leave anyone else we find alone for the moment..."

She's concerned for Caran but she doesn't want to crowd him badly.
Caran Steel Caran blinks, and he looks up at Alma. "Alma? What happened... where..." he sees the statue in front of him and scrambles away from it in fear. Then... "Oh... the town... of course..." He slowly stands, holding his head. He just stares into space for a long moment. Ketan leaps onto his shoulder and nuzzles him, and Caran cradles and hugs the cat, possibly a little too hard, though Ketan endures. Caran closes his eyes for a moment, then opens them, petting Ketan. Things are alright now. "...S-something bad. Something dark and bad came here. Something evil and dark and /wrong/ and powerful and old and terrible. It turned them to stone and they knew it would hurt terribly." He explains, staring out into space again.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine lets the 'magic stuff' to the magic users... there isn't much she can do for Caran after all. But she's worried about his words... She moves a bit to the side, taking post, observing toward the back of the petrified town...
Kyra Hyral "...none of it's working." Kyra pouts, a small pile of empty test tubes and other bits of packaging at her feet. "I think we need some time to seriously study this affliction because it's clearly something much, much more than a typical case of petrification from a cockatrice or basilisk."

She turns, staring at Caran and...her eyes widen. Was that spell spreading to him!? She listens to the red mage with rapt attention, a growing look of dread upon her face.
Caran Steel Caran just continues staring without saying anything more, a haunted expression on his face, though it softens a bit as he stands there petting his cat.
Alma Hyral So Minette skips off towards the thicket blithely... she is thus flatfooted and fails her initiative against THORNS, despite having Barbarian uncanny dodge. I'm a cheating DM okay? /THORNS THORNS THORNS THORNS/ all over the briar patch, and the thicket.

Beyond... is a glade, empty of any structures, and yet austere in significance. There is a background hum, like a buzzing or thrumming of energy. Within the glade though are eleven piles of rubble, each arranged in a perfect circle. It appears as if someone made a point to destroy each of these individuals, while remaining uncaring about the fates of the rest of the individuals in town

On the Northern edge of the circle is one man very different from every other victim in town. Instead of stone, he's encased in opaque, purple crystal.. and his eyes, you can swear that they are following you. However, he is silent, unable to communicate with those intruding within the glade.
Minette Odam "Ow, ow, ow, OW, OW, OW, OW THORNS, IN MY HAIR! THORNS IN MY HAIR!" Minette rapidly stops skipping and is soon flailing about which does nothing to alleviate her problem and in fact makes it a good deal worse. "Owwie, owwie, owwie, owwie, why, why, WHY?" She comes bursting into the glade in a shower of flora. She twirls about, as one of her braids is caught upon a tree, but the tree soon gives way to Minette giving a high-pitched squeal.

This is a typical day.

Minette stumbles into the clearing, trips over a pile of rubble, stumbles into the middle of the clearing as her arms pinwheel in a desperate attempt to keep balance. They don't and down she goes, falling onto her butt in the middle of everything, staring up at the remaining statue. Minette rubs her backside, not noticing THE TERRIBLE EYES staring at her. "Uuugu..." A sense of dread comes over her. Slowly, her eyes lift upwards towards the remaining statue...
Alma Hyral There is a sense of dread within the air once the others do finally decide to follow Minette... The man encased within crystal appears ancient.. and something about him bespeaks his power, mostly that he among the others was singled out for a spell that left him not just alive, but /trapped/ in a state in which he could experience the passage of time. The others within the town are mercifully spared from this. His eyes follow each of you in turn as you enter into the glade. Able to watch time's passage, but unable to alter the course of the events in any way.

Whatever did this to him....

BGM Change:

...truly wanted him to suffer for his transgressions. But what were those transgressions? There is not even a hint as to who he was, what he was.

This town will remain as it is, forever locked in this terrible state, unless someone decides to champion the cause of these nameless ciphers, to free them from this doom that befell them.

Caran sits in the restricted section of the library. This book could be the key to the power he seeks. Written by a great red mage, apparently, though Caran can't find any records of him elsewhere. A red mage who was not content simply to learn the black and white magic that had been seen before, but explored theories of /new/ types of magic. And this was his magnup opus: A treatise on an entirely new kind of magic, centered around manipulation of oneself to grant new abilities. Brilliant. This would change everything! Copying notes down carefully, he then hurried to one of the magic labs.


He could feel it. Power rushing into him. He let it in, to let it make him stronger... and then cried out in pain. His hands felt like they were burning! Like his flesh was peeling off! The excruciating agony had him collapsed on his worktable, while the silence spell put in the lab to keep the school from being bothered by endless explosions kept the students outside ignorant to his plight. Clenching his teeth and soldiering through the pain, he tries again and again with numb fingers to get his bag open and retrieve a healing potion. He pulls the stopper out with his teeth and pours it over his hands. The burning at last stopped, to be replaced by numbness. Oh, what had he done? His hands... they were the wrong... color? And his skin was peeling as if from a burn.

Once he got his hands cleaned off from blood and dead skin, he saw what they had become -- draconic, monstrous claws, covered in bronze-colored scales. He was just happy to have the feeling back in his hands and still be able to move them. He had heard true mastery of magic required sacrifices... but in the future, he would be more... /careful/.

He would later read at the end of the book that the notes were compiled from the laboratory of Dr. Gollor, who was never found after an experiment that left only a mysterious, misshapen and unidentifiable mass of flesh in his lab.


Caran realizes just how lucky he was. He has, apparently, only brushed the surface of the horrors that messing around with magic can bring upon you.

But he /has/ power now, and a cause to use it for. That thought brings him out of his reverie and he looks over from staring at his bandage-wrapped hands as he hears Minette shouting. Still slightly dazed, Caran walks into the clearing... and stops. Why is that man encased in crystal? "...I'm not trying it again." He states, still sounding a bit haunted. He raises a hand to try detecting magic on that mysterious hum, then thinks better of it. He'll wait and see if anyone else has some better ideas that won't result in getting sucked into the horrible abyss to have his mind chewed oin by Old Ones or something.
Soan Sagittarius Soan Sagittarius is dismayed. He is saddened at what he sees now, the evil that has befel this place, likely right before it has become separated from it's world when it's original realm was ripped asunder. The Rogue thinks that they may not find very much in it's state, right now. More importantly, however, he still think of this as worthwhile. Whoever has done this to them, it was for a reason.

Dragoon Man is downright furious. Furious, sickened at what he smells, at what he imagines has done this. What is strong enough to do something so appaling to this place? Likely one of the strongest Chaos creatures he's never seen yet. A few options are in his mind already, some by reputation, some by past experience with them already. Like the Rogue, it is a good victory, finding this fetid, depraved overgrown lawn gnome garden.

Whoever has done this didn't want them to do something specific. This is too through for something as regular, common cruelty. Too many failsafe.

Something unphantomably evil don't want them to know something.

THis only makes Soan want to know it more.
Minette Odam The high-pitched, keening wail that escapes from Minette makes every bird within a two mile radius take flight.

And then she sits there, looking up at this frozen person looking down at her. "Uh, uh, uh, uh... ... ... ... ... hi." She greets the not-statue, waving up at it.
Myla Mason Myla Mason is not saying much as she follows the path after what they uncovered how could she really be not put off a bit about things. She's a bit surprised a what they find however she stares for a moment. She stares for a moment wondering who did this? Then comes the shock the eyes of this man are moving. She's taken aback in surprise. She stares at him for a moment and grimaces.

"...We have to do something about this we can't leave them like this..."

This scene contained 85 poses. The players who were present were: Seloria Delacreaux, Annia Leradine, Myla Mason, Kyra Hyral, Soan Sagittarius, Arkham Fisher, Helena Celba, Caran Steel, Alma Hyral, Minette Odam