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Baron Mind
(2013-10-06 - 2013-10-06)
No description.
Maleficent The walls of Baron are strong. Defended by dark swordsmen, engineer corps, backed up by white mages, and covered overhead by Dragoons. It is a military powerhouse led by a paranoid king who may in fact be stygian evil.
RStygian Evil meanwhile stands outside on a rocky outcropping and gazes down at the place. The gates are not shut, and it IS an important location. Now and then, the engineers might consent to let some technomagical researchers in to see the crystal, but it is a rare thing.

The area is nonetheless beautiful, and their airship designs have revolutionized this part of the world. Many people pass though on their way to somewhere else. The castle is theoretically open to those seeing the airships, or inspecting the crystal - and even people in the market might see what happens now.

Stygian evil turns to its partner, stygian evil, and raises one pale green languid hand.

A wave of that hand evokes clouds of purple smoke above the city. Green fire rains down, and aerial heartless with lances hit the ground before the first alarm bells sound.

"Well, it would seem the festivities have begun." This is said to a patch of air just behind Maleficent, but it might be slightly less empty than similar patches of air.
Garland The air behind Maleficent rips and tears. Space and time crack and break; the world screams in protest at the advancement, as if trying to stop the thing coming through that tear. Shadows gather in front of the portal, prostrating themselves before it as though paying obeisance; they disappear from natural structures, a most unnatural puddle of darkness emerging before the portal. Soon, an iron foot steps forth, utterly silent, utterly without mass; it lands upon the shadows, and they disperse back to their proper places. Another foot comes through; then the ironclad gauntlets, the terrible sweeping cape, and the wide horned helmet. It is the image of the Devil himself; his cape flows behind him as he walks forward to match Maleficents step, terrible yellow lights flashing within the shadows of his helmet.

"So they have," the terrible voice declares; the first words, the first *sound*, the Ironclad Nightmare has made since arriving. That dark, cold, mocking voice echoes through the air, reverberating off nothing at all.

Garland has arrived.

The Ironclad Nightmare's monstrous blade forms from nearby shadows; they drip backwards, piece by piece forming into his palm as he shoulders the thing. He tilts his head downwards to look upon Baron, a sense of displeasure radiating from it.

Garland had no qualms with Baron. But the Water Crystal was necessary for Maleficent's plans, and while Garland was no lackey...

Well. The chaos that would come from this would be.../entertaining/...if nothing else. And it would be a good mask for his own plans.

As if summoned by the arrival of not one, but two of their masters, heartless begin to arrive; pureblood heartless, without sigils, crawling out of the shadows to add to the havoc unbidden.

"As they say.../ladies/ first."
Avira This is a terrible idea. That's all Avira can really think as she approaches Baron. On one hand, it had been a long time-almost a year, in fact!-since she had been troublesome to Baron. That is, not counting the Dwarf Woodlands incident but even then she had minimal contact with the Baron soldiers during that incident. Hell, they've all probably forgotten her name by now! And with Morrighan no longer working for them there was basically zero reason for them to care!

"The things I do for science." Avira sighs, thumbing through the list of odds and ends that Arthur Drover sent her to collect for their various projects. Some of the stuff was pretty far out too...a white calf? Unicorn horns? Was getting a unicorn horn even legal? Or advisable? Isn't it bad juju to cut one off?

Still, in light of everything, especially the goings-on with Seith, Avira does not travel by herself any longer. It's actually a little annoying to her since she's used to being able to come and go as needed. But as the situation grows more least her company is great today!

She's just outside the walls of Baron, mentally considering how they'll all negotiate inside when something else quickly interrupts her thoughts. There is a giant cloud of evil looming over the city, raining heartless. Swiftly, Avira withdraws the Spine.

"Well I think we won't have to worry about being let in now."
Chita It was truly only chance that Chita was even within Baron at the moment. The Viera wasn't here on any official business, he wasn't here trying to stir up trouble or be a hero. He wasn't here for his Chocobo or researching things...

He was here shopping. Shopping for something that, to his knowledge, Baron had a very good supply of and was a good producer of. Spears, and Lances. It wasn't exactly hidden secrets that Baron was home to a lot of Dragoons, and they prided themselves on their military might. Hence, Chita came as a simple traveler looking for weapons. Because he was, there was nothing deceptive about that in the least. Too many of his personal stock of lances had begun dwindling due to fighting too many powerful beings that were simply destroying them.

Walking through the marketplace with a collection of three new spears he had purchased wrapped in a sheet and bound with rope as a sign he had no intent to use them in the city, the sudden appearance of purple smokey clouds caused confusion in the Viera. He stood still in the middle of the marketplace, looking straight up at the ordeal as likely many others were, only to see the Green fire begin raining down. "Oh come ON!" he grumbled out in annoyance before looking for something to duck safely under. The closest thing he wound was a stall in the marketplace that had a large awning, to where he jumped quickly to, but not before grabbing a nearby woman and her child without a word to do the same for them. The spears were left right where he was, on the ground, since his mind was elsewhere. "Stay safe."

Then something else impacted the ground just as the alarms began sounding... Heartless. With Lances. Without the newly purchased weapons, the unarmored Viera slowly steps out from where he was in an attempt to distract the Heartless while giving himself enough time to get towards his weapons. And, hopefully, figure out exactly what was causing this. His attention was, after all, bobbing up and down here and there looking for some sign of the cause.
Angantyr Vespar A figure, larger than her by a good foot walks near Avira, "Indeed." The deep voice says...

A pause, and his head seems to snap up, looking at something in the distance. "He's here." He says, grimly. "And another darkness. Almost as dark.." he mutters. The hand moves to throw off the cloak hiding his body and reveals the form of the giant mercinary, Angantyr Vespar. "It seems the time for subtly has passed...lets go straight to the violence...and figure out why they are here.."

Directly. Why was Garland here? What did he have to gain by showing himself! It makes little sense from what he knows of the giant nightmare clad in armor and darkness...

Baron by all rights should be an ally, he should be manipulating them...not directly attacking. It was brash, it was something he would do...

Angantyr runs forward, he thinks about using a corridor, but eschews it until it is absolutely is not that desperate yet, but he does pull forth another dangerous weapon.

The Tyrant Breaker, a Keyblade forged with part light metal and wrapped with dark spikey metal tears through a pure heartless aiming to drive into the city as he rushes towards where his senses tell him. "I'm glad to have you at my back at least." he says towards Avira. "Lets hope that training goes to good use!"
Maleficent Maleficent smiles, and inclines her head somewhat at Garland's remark. A wave of her hand conjures a thing from Elsewhere. It fades into existence as if it had always been. Before the two of them - the edge of a gray and black hill. The hill has a distinctive curled shape, as if it were a tape or a roll, all rolled up. A pumpkin patch comes with it. She sets foot on the top of the furled-up hill, and it unfolds, to take them down from their perch and over the walls into the castle courtyard. The pumpkins all well up with light and give out a shriek as ghosts emerge from them. "How quaint." she averrs, as she leads her monstrous armored compatriot down the extended ramp formed from this peculiar place.

The heartless are chasing citizens, causing them to barricade themselves inside. The unusually well trained forces of Baron's military might have been roused from their barracks and are fighting the mysterious enemies with magic and blades. Dark Knights seem to be having the hardest time, unable to make much dent with their dark magics and soul splitting technique. Garland and Maleficent may win a few hearts over to their side that way today. Her robes billow, black as night, as she spreads her arms.

Magic roots through her, a simple enough spell: all light sources in the city snuff as one. No doubt Garland would feel his already massive influence moving closer and encroaching more direly on the unwary who find their candles simply will not light.

Sunlight has been blotted from the city, but a wan purple light from above evokes a perpetual twilight. Those cowering are in the dark, those standing in the streets are before the hungry eyes of darkness.

She can feel the thing. The Crystal in its special chamber is protected, and merely blowing her way in would be to tip her hand. It would also leave them vulnerable to messy complications. The screams of the rabble are as music to her, and she allows her eyes to close - the palpable aura of dread is music, the fear in the air is wine, the frolicing of the Heartless is a symbol that will play in the minds of all present for some time to come.

Where her feet touch the ground, purple smoking footsteps are left behind. She is a physical creature, and she is here, but reality doesn't seem to like it much. "I believe this place will stand no significant challenge."
Deelel Deelel has to admit this may be a terrible idea, yet she's not about to let Avira go alone. She's not someone to let a friend walk into something like this alone. Avira's history with this place was ot good and she had to say her friend was bring brave or foolish going here. She followed along with Avira actually wearing traveling cloak. Well grid based one after all ti was less showy than her light suit or what she was wearing now in user space.

"As things seem to be going to heck at this point.

"Looks like we're going to have to ... protect Baron. Wait did I just say that?"

That was one of the stranger things Deelel has said in a while. So she pulls the disc off her back and looks to her friend.

"Time to get to work, we just can't leave the people here to suffer because their leaders are null units."

The disc humms to life as she makes ready for a impending fight.

"Well Avira lets get to work, shall we?"
Garland "Highly unlikely," Garland agrees as Maleficent snuffs the light. His yellow eyes flash across the battlefield as they descend the ramp; the ancient warlord has no need to strike yet. Nothing has appeared that can challenge him; nothing has appeared that requires his direction attention. There is, in fact, nothing present here that /can/ challenge him; it's nothing more than Baron's military, wielders of darkness and destruction. Those few Dark Knights who attempt to raise bows and blades against him are utterly ignored, or dispatched with a wave of his hand in a most unpleasant way; as the shadows grow strong, so too does the Ironclad Tyrant.

Soon, however, it becomes apparent that there *are* a slim few here who can challenge him. Garland radiates displeasure; he had expected this, of course, because heroes always congregate where there is evil, but the appearance of keyblades made him...unhappy.

Still...time to test someting interesting. Garland holds up a clawed gauntlet, and from the pooling shadows, a knight rises - a black Knight, on a black horse. The shadowy champion.

The Fallen Champion's horse stomps its foot as Garland lowers himself back down to the ground. "Shall we, then?" Garland takes Maleficent by the arm; he's practically mocking the assembled heroes, acting as though this is no different than a stroll in the park.
Maleficent Maleficent walks to the wall of the castle closest to the throne room, from the east courtyard this would be the northwest corner.

She lays one delicate hand upon the wall - sending pulses of dark power. These spiderweb across the floor inside, and anyone who sees them would be filled with terrible dread. Anyone who touches them might be feverish and have very odd dreams. They spiderweb right up to the wall of the hidden Crystal Chamber behind the throne room.

But they slow as they come closer. It will take some considerable time. She stands in the open, trusting Garland to handle any threats. Her energies are focused on penetrating a barrier which runs off the crystal itself. This is not simple.

But darkness reigns, fire rains, and true dark magic is alive in the world for the first time in a year.
Chita As things slowly got Darker, the eyes of the heartless, glowing a sickly yellow, slowly became more and more apparent. At least for those that could see well in the dark. Probably for more. Chita looked around and used the telltale signs of a heartless to slowly walk around them towards his weapons before diving to grab them and leaping high up onto the roof of the nearest structure.

Probably wouldn't keep the heartless away, but it would give him enough time to unbind the weapons and pull them free. And more time to look around and try to figure out what the source of things were.

Then something strange happened.

What looked like a hill uncurled over the walls of Baron and slowly delivered someone walking atop. Two shapes traveling a cross it.

"What sorcery?" Chita asked softly to no one, mumbling to himself more in confusion. The dreadful feeling coming from the two certainly didn't make it easy for the Viera to even consider stopping them. Yet, he did, unless blocked, attempt to leap hop his way until he could stand somewhat 'in front' of them at least as much as a single humanoid figure can stand in front of people walking their way leisurely into a city under seige.
Avira Avira can feel it too. She's encountered Garland enough that she can recognize his particular overwhelming feeling of dread. "Of course he's still alive." That other overwhelming darkness, though...she couldn't put her finger on it. It was unfamiliar and that kind of /scared/ her.

"Let's go! C'mon Deelel! That's exactly right, we can't just let these people suffer!" Avira's quickly taking off after Angantyr because like hell she'll allow herself to be separated from the dark knight in a sea of Heartless. "Hah, you know I won't let you down."

The length of the Spine shimmers light blue as ice magic creeps along its length. In short order, she dispatches a purebreed Heartless that leaps at her, bisecting it horizontally with a blue flash of her blade. Then Garland casually strolls by without as much as an acknowledgement of her or even Angantyr's presence. There is a scary-looking woman on his arm. Horror strikes her as she realizes that this must be what happens when extremely evil people date. Kind of like how her and Mercade would hunt marks together (shut up it's definitely a date to Avira). "HEY!" Avira calls out, half-miffed and half-terrifed, "Both of you, stop right there!"

Inverting her weapon, Avira places the sharpened spire against the ground. Immediately, giant ice crystals shoot up from the stone, growing tall, then spreading forward in a line. Very soon, it becomes a wall that threatens to curtain off the lackadasical stroll of the two stygian evils.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr runs, his eyes focused ahead as he spots something on the edge of his vision...

Worse, he spotted the webs. The power of darkness is strong, but Angantyr's will over it is did not become an apprentance of Garland with a weak will. He fights through it, Keyblade swinging to break through the web in his way... but the next obstacle would be less likely to move from a single blow..

The thing...

"The heartless of the Prince of Cornelia.." he says, with a frown. "GARLAND!" he shouts,"When your minion is gone, you are next!" he declares, drawing the weapon forward...there was no way forward... it was a powerful heartless who was almost opposite of his specialty...even he may have trouble with it. Worse, he was blocking the way...

So Angantyr takes the initive. He dives towards the heartless, attempting to break through it's defenses, while a trailing dark flame empowers his strikes, making each blow hurt and burn a little more.
Deelel Deelel looks at Avira and does not have enough experience with Garland to know where the dread is coming from. Still she feels it and has to be somewhat concerned. Bravery is not a lack of fear, it's acting even while your afraid after all.

"I'm coming, no we can not let's go."

She notices Ang is already here and knee deep in heartless.

"Hey Ang, this a private dance party or can anyone join?"

She's already starting to throw her light disc into the some for the near by heartless and takes note of those who have come here.

"So...your the ones behind this?"

A creature born of strong order meeting a creature of pure chaos. This is not going to go well for her as her disc hums there and she also notices the prince. Oh this is bad news this is very much bad news
Maleficent The ice crackles in front of Maleficent, breaking her contact with the wall. The sudden coldness was surprising, but not dangerous to her. A dark, smooth hand touches the wall again as Avira, Deelel, and Angantyr say their pieces. But, Maleficent pauses.

The Fairy eyes Avira - inspecting the scar, the sword, the entire defiant posture. Her eyes rove over the Viera and the Program, but they return to the warrior girl. Anyone else can be ignored. If this means someone strikes out at her, they will be dealt with, but for some reason Avira has interrupted her stride.

"Hello, my dear." The voice is honeyed, rich and melodious - and menacing in its sweetness. "Pleased to make your acquaintance." The smile on her face is palpable. She's had to part from Garland in order to make her inroads on the magical defenses, but now that is forgotten.

"I should be very pleased if we could have a "heart to heart"."

Heartless mill in courtyards, but they seem to be occupying the streets rather than chasing people into their homes. They are a suppression team, unimportant except to keep idiots out of her way. The Fairy paces closer to the warrior. There is no fear of the spine, nor of the line of jagged ice, in her gaze.
Avira A little over a year ago, Avira had learned ice magic with the assistance of Clan Dagda. Even she herself is a little impressed with her own ice wall-though she's probably the only person here impressed by this bit of magic. It does accomplish what she sent out to do-which is halt Maleficent's progress. Experience has taught her that a shouted 'HALT, EVILDOER' generally does not result in halting.

Actions over words.

Any pleasure she feels over her victory of stealing the fairy's attention is immediately lost when she starts speaking to Avira. That particular tone of voice and the cadence of her words made her skin crawl. The leather of her fingerless gloves creaks as her grip tightens a bit harder upon her weapon. "...who are you?" she asks cautiously, slowly moving into a position that would bar Maleficent's way to where she was walking. Her eyes dart to the sides, noting the Heartless that seem to be milling around and not actually hunting people down. Very unusual.

She was already aware that Garland or (obviously) this woman could control the Heartless. So why were they making them do that?

Avira stands her ground against the fairy, tapping the tip of the Spine against the stone streets. The ice springs up again, though this time rather than forming a wall, it aims to cage the malevolent being.
Chita And suddenly a fight began to break out. At least, in some manners. The robed woman was approaching someone nearby - wait, was that... Avira? Chita looked towards her in a confused moment as to why she was even here before deciding that the best thing to do was simply to ignore that for now and focus on dealing with the problem at hand. Which is why he walked up towards Avira and said, "I do not know who they are... but I will not let you fight them alone. I owe that much to Mercade as an apology."
He began to glow faintly with light as it seemed to gather towards him and, when his hand reached out towards Avira to try and place it upon her shoulder - successful, it would transfer a bit of his own gathered power towards her in an attempt to 'buff' her a bit for the upcoming likely fight.

"More importantly... you should not be here. Leave." His other hand, his right, raised with a single spear in it pointed towards Maleficent, watching her specifically. He was not attacking her yet. He was waiting for her to make a move first, giving her a chance.
Garland Garland tilts his head up as Angantyr shouts. The Heartless creature rolls in between Angantyr and Garland; the blade slashes across the thing's body, leaving deep, scoring slashes along its form - slashes that actually *stick*, for once. The Heartless rears up and roars, furiously.

"Child," Garland observes coldly, "Simply because you have earned yourself a keyblade does not mean you have learned enough to kill me."

"Come and see if you can handle my Champion; perhaps then I will deign to face you."

Garland waves his hand dismissively, as though releasing the reigns of the horse. The horse rears up, and comes smashing down, galloping towards Angantyr with nothing but hatred, trailing shadows in its wake.
Maleficent "My dear." Comes the voice, again clear and high. She is feeling gentle today. And besides, this girl has purpose. The ice lashes out, a cage for the tall fairy. It surrounds her like a diamond, while lances of power jab inward with sharp ice and damaging intentions. They do pierce her robe, which repairs itself in their wake. Then she speaks, and the voice does not seem to come from her - but from over Chita and Avira's shoulders. A magical whisper, barely there, but somehow clear enough.

"I am... Maleficent."

The declaration rocks the world. Some names have power in them - Garland's certainly does, and the Dark Fairy's has acquired it. As she makes that declaration, it seems like she is insisting to the world what she is. Her presence /wobbles/ in spacetime. Suddenly, the ice prison is gone - a melting shell that falls away. But the meltwater does not pool on the ground. It boils off in flashpaper gouts of hot white force. Her feet, which had been lifted off the ground by the icy stasis field, touch the ground.

Purple lightning arcs from her, striking earth and conjuring green fire that licks a huge circle around the Viera, the former Dusk Princess, and the evil creature.

She bats her eyelashes in a way which conveys "you are adorable" somehow. The energy under her feet pounds on the skin unpleasantly, as if it wants to get in. Insisting that she is who she says, her silhouette ripples and a dark portal appears above her head.

A black bird emerges and perches on her upraised hand. "Ah, I wondered when you would be done your duties." she says to the bird, as if the two combatants were not there. After preening for a moment, the bird ruffles its feathers.

Her cool eyes in that pale green brow fix on Avira, "So, you were the Heart of Light from Manhattan... You undid much of our hard work, you know!" The voice is gently scolding, neither unkind nor angry. The earlier ice prison and the spear in Chita's palm appear forgotten.
Angantyr Vespar The Knight moves, trying to run Angantyr down. The strike comes, and Angantyr counters with his own brand of fighting...excessive violence. The punch strikes out, aiming to break through the charge, even as he gets clipped by the horse in passing...Angantyr spins, feeling the numbness in his fist...this wasn't going to be easy, but he wasn't going to give up now, he thinks with a narrowed gaze...

"Oh I don't know, you can't find out if you never try." He says, not arrogantly...he was secure in his strength, he knew the limits...he knew that he was not quite at them /yet/ but it wasn't the issue right now...not at all.

The name was revealed...he knew it. The only person Garland heeded...the name of the witch that the Princess Aura told him of. He could not advance to help Avira without risking his back, but Deelel and the bunny with the spear was with her. He would have to trust he focused his attention on Garland and the prince.

"Besides, you're showing your arrogance Garland. Intentional, or not, it's a weakness..." Angantyr swings the blade down, aiming to catch the Prince in the wide arch, before coming up with a wider side swing, a dark trail aiming to consume what it strikes.
Deelel Deelel has fought this thing before, she knows how powerful this heartless is. She intends to do what she can to help Ang, but she's darn well going to take some preperation as Angantyr charges in at it. She issues the command which tune her systems up to be better suited for some combat. She's got faith in Avira being all right. She turns down Garland for a moment she feels concerned, thats a lie. Garland scares the hell out of her on a level she does not /understand/ why. Still she can't leave Ang alone, she's going to jump in, in just a moment.
Avira Much to her surprise, Avira has a viera coming to her aid. Surprising since her track record with viera has not been so great in the past. What's even more shocking is when he makes a comment about 'making it up to Mercade.' There is only one viera that would have the need to do that. The scarred woman promptly double-takes, shocked to realize that her ally today was Evja-or rather, now Chita.

She would say something to that but Maleficent interrupts them with an introduction that sends a chill down her spine. For a few seconds she actually expects to see someone behind her but there is nobody there.

Her ice simply vanishes in a display of power that tells Avira her tormenter can generate some really, really high temperatures very quickly. Angantyr informs her of something over her linkpearl.

Her eyes narrow, "And you're the one who had the World Heart of Manhattan destroyed. You caused /so many/ people grief!" In contrast, Avira sounds pretty angry. Reflecting this anger, Avira actually hurls herself at the fairy, the air behind her leaving a strange bit of silver ripple in her wake. Nevertheless, it's one of those stupid, hot-blooded lunges that usually never end well but to her credit, she follows up with two quick upward strokes afterwards.
Garland The Fallen Champion brings up its shield; the shield takes the brunt of the blow, and there's a clash of darkness against darkness that rips through the field with 'unlight' as Garland watches impassively.

"You mistake my confidence for arrogance, boy. They are similar, I will grant...but the subtle difference is extremely important."

"Once again, I must teach you a lesson." Garland swings his hand forward, guiding the Champion; the Champion comes roaring forward, its blade held tight in two hands, flashing with the same darkness that Angantyr wields.
Chita The attempt at playing with their senses did work, enough that Chita paused what he was doing to look over his shoulder for some sign that Maleficent had actually appeared behind them and what was before them was actually just a clone or duplicate of some kind. An illusion, a double. It wasn't, however, as best he could tell. And then she goes on to show that she is, in fact, capable of using magic. Strange magic in that he didn't see any sort of visual cue of what was being used, no fire spell showing itself so much as the effects happening.

Truly a dangerous thing.

And then they seemed to be mostly trapped in an arena of green fire, the same green fire that was raining down earlier. "So you are the one responsible for this." Chita remarks on the rather obvious bit. He wasn't certain before, but now he was - this was the one responsible. Then Avira speaks, declares, sentences Maleficent into being responsible for Manhattan. Before Chita could say anything or respond, Avira had already launched herself towards the sorceress. "Damn it, be sensible, charging head-first into a mage will just get you burned down!" he calls towards her in a bit of a panic before leaping up high and attempting to slam down into the ground behind Maleficent as a distraction. Where it seems Avira was going for drawing some kind of pain from Maleficent, the violencewary Viera instead chose to try and use his weapon to sweep Mal's legs out from beneath her and hopefully pin her to the ground in some manner with the backend of his newly purchased weapon.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr swings to block...he only knows how to be aggressive, it works in his favor because not many can stand in his way, pure aggression breaks even the strongest shields...only a few can stand up to his brutal assault, like the master who trained him.

"You say confidence, I say arrogance. But let me take a guess. You are here for the crystal, why else would you come to Baren to attack, they served as good pawns up till now, but you need the Crystal for some reason." he says, puzzling out this while he fights the Fallen Champion...

"And you have grown bored of your Champion, and wish to gaze the strength of my keyblade mastery. Two birds one stone." Angantyr continues...

"But revealing Maleficent here, directly allows me to puzzle out your plans, Garland. Or should I say, hers?"

Angantyr's darkness bursts, drawling upon the abyssal power, infusing his very armor with it. Darkness overtakes his form, his armor shifts to cover his entire body. The armor itself is stuff of the abyss, while the eye slot only shines a crimson light. The keyblade shines in constrast with him, as he brings it to stare down the Rider.

"You might be unkillable, but I wonder if she shares your unique make up?"
Maleficent Contrary to Chita's belief, Maleficent does not burn the charging girl down. Time seems to slow. Chita gets there BEFORE Avira, and Maleficent's legs are indeed badly rended by the strike. That lance is allowed to pull away clean though - indeed, Maleficent seems to shimmer and her legs are locked in place. Droplets of her golden essence fall to the ground by her. Chita goes ignored except a brief contemptuous grimace which returns to a smile.

Meanwhile, in Avira's world...

Avira describes an elegant arc, she soars through the air and ends up nose to nose with Maleficent. Ah, heroes. Maleficent is almost wistful. Her eyes go misty.

The warrior intended two quick upward strikes. What she probably did not expect was for the sorceress to grab the /blade/ of Avira's weapon in both hands and drive it into the center of the robed figure's mass - with surprising physical strength for someone so thin. The Spine is in the Dark Fairy's chest - she fell forward onto it on purposeand used her own weight to anchor it there so deep that it ought to be severing /her/ spine. Pulling it out is next to impossible. It rests right where her cold, dark heart should be - but it does not come out the other side. Maleficent holds the blade, golden-hued ichor falling from between her fingers. She leans in, reeeeally close. She removes her hands from the Spine, but by then she has them on either side of Avira's head, entwining in her hair. "Interesting choice, my dear." Her breath is surprisingly sweet, her eyes boring into Avira's from very close.

"Manhattan will fall again, by my hand, unless you are strong enough to slay me." Maleficent looks down "Oh, look, you have driven your blade into the evil sorceress!" Her voice drips sarcasm.

"Very well, we will see how determined you are. I will not hurt you, my dear. Your blade is inside of me. Take hold of it, attempt to hack me to pieces. But for every second you have failed in your quest to destroy me, your "friends" will suffer. How strong is your resolve?"

Her look is insane, she appears every bit the sweaty-browed madwoman, except for that little smile. That constant smile is all that can fill Avira's vision in this position, the handle of the Spine protruding from Maleficent's robes, there for the grabbing, there as an open target.

True to her word, Maleficent does not target Avira. She spreads her hands wide, ichor dripping from around the blade buried in her, and a huge orb of flaming power forms in each of her palms. From there, each describes an elegant arc toward Chita, or Deelel. Anyone with any kind of magic sense just got the headache of the century. Each of those small packages could blow up a world - but instead they would rock the very heart and light of what they touched. A fire to consume all. A shield to block off any heart.Even if it struck Chita where he stood nearby, it would not cause any splash - it would cauterize its sizable wounds instantly if the Viera did not dodge. There is no telling what it will do to the program.

"That's one, girl." Maleficent says, eyes locked on the ur-Princess.
Avira Truly, Avira had been expecting a parry somewhere along the way. It's usually the first strike. Though as the Spine sinks deeply into the evil fairy, she begins to wonder if perhaps her speed had finally improved enough that was able to get the jump on her opponents.

Then Maleficent grabs the blade and holds it there. Right away, Avira starts tugging backwards because Garland has taught her that bad things happen to weapons if overwhelming forces of evil put their hands on them. She pulls back but as the fairy commits her (surprisingly heavy) weight against it, she finds herself nearly falling backwards. Her feet go back to brace herself because falling to the ground is a terrible thing to do during a fight. Suddenly Maleficent is practically nose to nose with her, threading fingers into her hair.

For a few seconds, she's too terrified to actually say anything. Her mouth opens as if she wants to but it is a few seconds more before she offers up, "It won't happen again. Not again. Not ever." She has not released her weapon, refusing to relinquish the Spine, even as it sticks into the fairy. Even if this means she's dragged along with her.

In fact, she'll let this happen. At this close of a range, she is provided a golden opportunity. A golden opportunity few people in their lives would ever receive.

Avira gladly seizes the opportunity to headbutt Maleficent in the face.
Garland "Do you believe that your taunting bothers me, boy?" Garland inquires as Angantyr empowers himself. "Do you believe that your attempt to work at what little you know of my psychology will successfully enrage me?"

"I am thoroughly disappointed in you, boy. You left far too early and have learned far too little." Garland draws his hand through the air, shadows trailing in his wake. "You assume far too much."

Garland's eyes flare red as the Champion raises its blade once more. Wings burst from its back; horns explode from its helmet; the massive sword twists and turns as physics cease to exist for the monstrous Heartless, swinging its blade violently into Angantyr.
Deelel Deelel is breaking off from the fight with Garland's champion. Ang is right, he's got this. He's stronger than her and has a keyblade, he's well suited to fight a heartless. Avira and Chita need her help, and there she foes closing in to the fight. She hears Maleficent speak of making Manhattan fall again, that puts her world once more at risk. She doe snot scream in anger but she'd seeming far more focused than she was before. Deelel is the same sort of creature as LEXUS, not something born of the world of flesh and bone. She's born of another world unintentionally made my men with their science. The unknown children of humanity of one world, who have found a way into this world. Then comes the magic it's powerful, Deelel however is fast. She's learned from those stronger than her, more skilled than her. This shows as she's able to just get out of the way in time. That magic was more than on par with the heavy weapons used by CLU's Light Tanks and worse. That display of power would be more than enough to make Deelel wary, but this is the leader of the shadow lords.

"Lexus once gave me a chance to run, save myself at the cost of my world. I told him to shove it and fought even knowing I couldn't win. I was alone then and I'm not alone here and nor is Avria!"

Deelel moves shedding an illusions to being a creature of flesh, her movements are too precise, too calculated as she moves in. The thrown weapon is launched at the Dark Fairy, hit or miss she'd recover it and launch into close combat with her striking slashing with it trying to cause as much damage in a short period of time as she can. Avira's given her a heck of a distraction there.
Chita One thing Chita was innately aware of was when magic users were attempting to do something. Yet, Maleficent... he couldn't sense anything. At least, until hit was too late. He was no mage, no magic user, not even a bit - in fact, magic was his main, primary weakness. The ball of magic came towards Chita and he attempted to jump straight up to avoid it. Yet, it did something he didn't expect, it arced up as well and he wound up hitting it head on, mouth partially open.

What followed was a scream of agony from the Viera as he instantly fell straight back to the ground, one hand grasping at his throat and another covering his face, curled up and rolling around in what can only be described as probably the most painful thing he had felt. Not only was the attack that powerful, yet with his weakness, it had caused the relatively powerful Vieran Judge to drop like a stone.

From a distance, one wouldn't be able to see the full extent of what had happened to Chita, yet the sizzling form as well as the damaged clothing that looked like he got flash-seared leaves little to the imagination.
Maleficent She reels. The headbutt is forceful enough that Maleficent's perfect nose is bloodied and crooked. Can't have that! She's seeing stars and her eyes are embarassingly crossed. Only to quickly right herself. "I neglected to impart that the energy I use to stay up will be taken from them." The green fire of the ring moves inward, heading for Chita and the very dodgy Deelel. It would make a stop at them and attempt to siphon off some of their life force. Given some information Maleficent obtained from Hades, she is very keen to see how this effects Chita in particular.

The flames would then return to Maleficent. When they reached her, these flames would flow up her, making her more hearty and hale, restoring her body and mind in the process. Once more, the Fairy falls with Avira. She doesn't need to be in any particular position or posture to work her will. Indeed, what she needed to do was already done. This is now about the darkness in the Princess' heart.

Deelel interrupts the maneuver with a hasty lash of power. The green flames chase Deelel - perhaps they sense she has an affinity with light, and they want to show off. On the ground, where Chita lies twitching, the fire tries to roll over him and consume him whole.

The Dark Fairy only smiles. "If you want me to suffer, take the blade in hand. I swear it I will see Manhattan burn. A...hahahahaha...hahahahahaHAHAHAH!"

The city burns on. The heartless are milling nearby, watching this show, like moths to the flame.
Angantyr Vespar "Bluff all you want old man." Angantyr says, calm...he focuses his blade waiting for the thing to come...and as it does, his hand reaches out, manipulating the darkness at his feet aiming to cause it to lose it's balance, and he moved forward, not away but into it's arch...the blade clips his shoulder but he's suddenly /right there under it.

"TYRANT..." he shouts as a LIGHT shines from the keyblade. Darkness and light suddenly unite and work together. He swings the blade one, aiming to break through it's defenses with the darkness. It burns, it /hurts/ and it drains away what it hits...

And then he swings forwarda gain, "BREAKER!" he shouts, swinging the blade one more time. Light blasts off of it, aiming to try and obliterate the heartless. The light was blinding, a representation of what lies beneath the heart of the Dark Knight. It wasn't just his power, but the strength of his heart, the power he has gained from the people in his life...

The force of the blow continues aiming to tear through the area, it is like a strong wind to any not in it's direct path.
Avira @emit As the viera screams, Avira's stomach twists. At the same time she had trouble recoinciling the fact that Chita's suffering was directly her fault. No, not really, it was Maleficent doing these things. "Lay off them-!" she grunts,continuing to yank the Spine backwards. "Don't be dumb! This isn't about making you suffer! This is about stopping you from making /them/ suffer!" The silvery sheen is back again and a fairy as ancient and terrible as Maleficent could easily identify this Light being mustered. In her case, it is a warning that must be heededbecause the light spreads along the lenght of both her arms and onto the Spine blade. Should it remain in Maleficent the sensation would be quite unpleasant.

Fortunately for Maleficent, Avira's still trying to pull her weapon free so the undesireable contact may not last long. Still, there isn't much of a reprieve as Avira's suddenly upon her again, moving so quickly with a flurry of strikes as she dances around Maleficent. "Leave them!"

The air behinds her blurs and the light intensifies just slightly. It's hardly the light expected out of a princess, "Leave this city!" Quite suddenly, she's behind Maleficent.

"And leave Manhattan alone! Or you will /really/ be sorry! I'm warning you!" A howl follows and ice blows both past and through the fairy. Should she turn around at the right time, she'll find herself staring into the snarling visage of a lupine beast on the incoming small blizzard.
Garland The Heartless implodes. The strike cracks it straight down the middle; it shatters into pieces, light bursting out of the cracks. A few moments later, a heart rises out of the thing; it spins around for a moment, then vanishes.

Garland expresses nothing; the strong wind blows his cape about momentarily, but he doesn't move.

"And now you have nothing, boy. You have overextended yourself once again, in a single burst, to kill nothing more than a disposable minion." Garland unslings the sword from his shoulders. "Were it my goal to slay you, I would end you at this moment."

"Unfortunately, it is not. I have more important things to do than play with my erstwhile, rebelious apprentice. And your death earns me nothing." Garland advances slowly, the darkness spreading around him calmly...

...and passes him by completely, as though Angantyr weren't even there. Garland is also not heading for the crystal chamber. He's just...leaving?
Maleficent Maleficent does indeed see into the blizzard. She spots the dog just in time - and pats it on the head.

The merest hint of frost brushes her clothes, then vanishes. So too, does the green circle of fire. "We must do this again, but a Lady cannot allow her escort to slip away.". And nothing more is said. About Manhattan, about harm to the friends. The heartless begin to skulk away as well.

Her gait is calm, brushing away the injuries as another person might adjust clothes. Even her ichor burns away on the ground. No sign remains - except a few of Deelel's light cuts which were a bit too close to home - and she moves in step with Garland, taking his armor's massive arm lightly in her own. "A good show." is all she adds...
Angantyr Vespar "Oh?" He says, with a grin, "I haven't done that /yet/." Angantyr says with a flash of power, "I have been training, if /some flashy technique/ is all that I had to defeat you and some /fancy/ weapon in hand, I wouldn't have even bothered showing up today! No /Garland/ I have learned /more/ than that!" He says, "But because you seem so contient on focusing on /my/ friends..." he turns, Maleficent was a threat to all worlds, to all life...

Angantyr turns, a sudden BURST of wind, a /second wind/ if you will as he turns right towards the Mistress of all Evil, and dives in at her, Keyblade swinging right at her face...he would never expect Garland to was not in his nature to help others.

Darkness bursts along the blade igniting like a fire aiming to burn her body out from the inside out! "Aurora sends her reguards, WITCH!"
Deelel This is how things have gone, she hears Maleficents speech. How she seems to revel in the suffering of others. Part of it is clearly to prevoke them but there's a good grain of truth again Deelel has proevne to be fast, and she's learned. The lady who has time to banter like this has the power and confidence to so so. She's managed to do some damage the green flames are something she'll not be forgetting any time soon. Ang has contiuned his fight and Avira is not giving up.

Deelel is cringing at Chita's suffering and she looks at the dark fairy.

"Mend and defend as some say where I'm from. You'll have more than just her to worry about if you try anything again."

She's also wise enough chase after Maleficent, but she wont' forget this and there are people they need to help.

Then Ang mentions Aurora, a friend of Deelels and stares.

"Your...the one she's hunting!"
Garland The strike never reaches Maleficent.

Garland's massive metal arm comes up - not his blade, but his arm. The keyblade snags on it, slashing down on it; light explodes out of the blade as it connects with one of the true forms of evil, recognizing the creature it strikes as one that it must purge from existence.

And then the keyblade is engulfed in darkness. From the 'wound' pours shadow, shadow and darkness absolute, far greater and far stronger than any mere heartless. The shadow bleeds out like blood, spilling across the ground as it snuffs the keyblade's light, ensnares it, engulfs it; it cannot taint the keyblade, but it can overwhelm it. Garland's darkness is far, far greater than Angantyr had ever known.

"No, boy." Garland declares coldly as something terrible burns to life in his hand, as brute force demands the attention of the magical forces of the area in a way that no mage in the world ever could. Garland's clawed gauntlet closes around the forming spell, crushing it into nothing. "You have learned only what I wanted you to learn. In the end, what you know is a drop in the ocean. Allow me to enlighten you."

And then he intones the word, as he brings the light shining in his NUKE."

And then, where there was darkness, there is light - absolute, painful, physical light and roaring sound and screaming force. The light pushes against the people in the courtyard; it scatters soldiers, burns Heartless out of existence, melts trees and rocks, and crumbles walls.

When the light dies, there is Garland, the darkness, one arm on Maleficent's, walking away.
Angantyr Vespar There was a bit of surprise...

The hell?! He defended her? He had a clear shot at her...but..

There was the red flash, Angantyr's eyes narrow...he knows this...

The keyblade was surpressed, The darkness sticks to it, he feels the connection reduced...but he can bend the darkness he can...break through it. Garland does not give him the time, he draws on that power...

Explosions tear through Angantyr, the magic tears through him, shattering his armor and causing massive burns and wounds from the sharpnel...Angantyr breaths heavily, his own darkness brought to barely protect him...he lost the armor, but gained his life. Angantyr knew a many good things...

But he showed his back, however pressing the attack was...suicidal, the portal appearing before him went to a place he would not survive...if he were lucky. No, he knew caution, there would be a time and a place...

Even if he was fighting with everything he could to steady the shaking in his hand. He would not show weakness here...he refused.

When Garland leaves, when his eyes are no longer there, he drops to a knee...blood dripping onto the floor as he loses control of the keyblade, and it fades back into it's proper place. Surviving the Nuke took everything he had, and he had also threw his power forward to kill the heartless and attempt to kill Maleficent. There was simply nothing else to give.
Avira Good news, at least her weapon was freed! Bad news...for all it was worth, that display of power did absolutely nothing to her opponent. At this point, Avira actually starts to feel very outclassed and that worries her. Nothing is said to specifically intimate that Maleficent will target Manhattan or anyone else. But the threat was there.

She would chase...but she doesn't, instead looking immediately to Chita, then moving to the fallen viera. She's only peripherally aware of Angantyr rushing in to strike. It's when her back is turned and Garland speaks that she really registers what's happening and by then she's already bent over Chita, too late to stop Angantyr or help. She turns again, seeing the magic swallow up Angantyr and then leave barely standing.

"Deelel.." Avira croaks. "Check him...Angantyr...Ang you're going to be okay, right?!"
Deelel Deelel can only watch in stunned at Garlands pwoer, she's seen powerful magic before but Nuke? There's something about it, something horrifying as the spell fades? Garland is gone, arm and arm with Maleficent. She looks to Ang and Avira who are horribly messed up in one way or another. She nods once and goes to check on Chita to see if he's aive and she knows, she can be of some helps, Avira has Ang right?
Chita The ring of fire that had moved to envelop the fallen in-pain Viera had engulfed him simply enough and moved on when Maleficent had called it back. What it had left was the downed Viera, still smoldering and smoking. They were alive by all means but in no clear way were they perfectly fine. Much like someone who had a gout of fire splash at them, all the finer tiny hairs along his face and forearms were gone, just barely there in tiny, blackened bits. Otherwise, the tips of his ears were still smoking a tiny bit, almost comically if not for the severity of what had happened.
Chita was still conscious for whatever reason and coughing as if trying to clear something out of his lungs, which may simply be part of what had been damaged given the magic hit him head on and did quite a number to him physically, the wounds easily seen. He wasn't speaking, though, or making a sound, quite silent and easily seen to be in a good bit of pain. Lucky, truly, that it wasn't a true attempt at doing him in so much as just causing pain.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr slowly brings himself up again, fighting pain and anguish to do so.

"Yes." he says, bluntly... "I'm alive." He says and stumbles...
Avira This looked serious. Chita's injuries were far too great for someone of small healing skill like Avira. She had potions and remidies but nothing along the lines of magic that would take care of this. She will dispatch what she can though-a basic regen spell and one of her emergency potions poured down the viera's throat.

After a few moments she struggles to haul the viera up and drag him to somewhere a bit more comfortable. Like an inn.

The sudden spate of fighting on the radio seems to be the cherry on the sundae of this lousy experience.
Deelel Deelel knows it's time to get moving, they need to gget the Viera out of here, like the Inn and get ahold of a healer of some sort this was going to be a long night and Deelel would take watch...

This scene contained 44 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Deelel, Angantyr Vespar, Maleficent, Garland, Chita