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Fight for the Castle
(2013-10-24 - 2014-03-25)
No description.
Disarray Last we left these dark and eerie woods, the Heartless had been gathering strength. Villagers had been kidnapped and taken who knows where. The stories of a mysterious beast seem to be confirmed, but this one is no monster in a castle. Instead, it seems to be the leader of a Shadow Lord invasion.

The forest is a dangerous place now, but the forces of darkness are doing little to disguise their efforts. They've moved closer to the castle deep within the forest, but why? What could linger inside that is worth their while?


Inside the Castle:

"Masterr! Masterr! Ze Heartless are at ze gates!" A candelabra comes bouncing into a room in the west wing.

"Heartless?" The Beast growls, lifting his head, his hands still holding a glass cover over a glowing rose. "What do they want now? There's nothing LEFT here!" Belle had already fled, and the rose's petals still fell. How much time did he have left?

"Lumiere!" A short, pudgy clock comes waddling in after him, wearing an oversized metal helmet, waggling what looks to be a decorative sword, and riding a footstool that seems to be barking. "We have to martial the others. Hurry!"

"Masterr? I know ze girl is..." Lumiere starts, but Beast simply growls, his breath blowing out candle sticks.


Outside the Castle:

An armored monster seems to lead the charge, smashing a huge hammer into the front gates of the castle. Behind her, soldiers and air soldiers and heavy bodies move forward, pouring through the gaps or coming to land on the ramparts.

"Bring me the mirror. Everyone else inside is yours for the taking." Disarray growls, the sound causing the Heartless to take a step back from her as she stands in the courtyard.

Now would be a good time for some heroes to consider raining in on the Shadow Lord's parade...
Aerith How she'd gotten here, she had no idea. But when a Shadow Lord came out to play, it wasn't for nothing. They wanted something from this place, and the goal was simple; do not let them have it. Any little thing that the forces of destruction claimed as important, they weren't allowed to have, lest it be the final piece in the puzzle they needed to break everything.

So Aerith was there, standing in front of the army, prepared to rain on their parade, as it were. But it wasn't water that fell from the sky...

Pale bolts from the grey shot into the crowd of heartless, the glow of her materia just beneath the sleeves of her denim jacket the only telltale sign that something unnatural made it so.
Niklas Dragonius Danger? Excitement? Potential magical items? That's basically a longer way of saying 'adventure', and, buddy, Niklas Dragonius is *all over* Adventure. Adventure is the closest thing to a long-running relationship Nik has, and who can blame him? It's like a woman who's not just full of curves and fun parts but also gives him *lots of money and shiny things*. Sure, Nik tends to give away most of the money and shiny things, but that's hardly the point! (This probably says a lot about what Nik might actually consider for a long-term relationship, but, ehn, unimportant) And nothing, /nothing/, not even the letters A-D-V-E-N-T-U-R-E, spells 'Adventure' like an ominous dark castle clouded by evil magic at the top of a mountain surrounded by a dark forest. NOTHING.

"Hurry up!" Nik urges at Soan, his arms crossed, his foot tapping against the ground rapidly. "How long is gonna take you to get this back door unlocked, huh? Man, at this rate, it'd be faster if I just knocked it down..."
Soan Sagittarius Soan Sagittarius is leaned over the door in question, messing around with the knob of the door. His expression is rather calm, patient, almost actually enjoying just looking over a very simple piece of security equipment dating back a few hundred years by his home world's equivalent.

"Nik," The Rogue says, grabbing the knob and simply twisting it to the right, then causally pull the door open, "It already /was/ unlocked. You just need to /pull/ the door." He complete his statement, not very much reproachfull, more... stating the facts than anything else.
Niklas Dragonius "Well then why were you kneeling in front of it?" Nik demands, hands on his hips, "Man, *thieves*."
Soan Sagittarius "I was looking for traps! You said it was locked, so I looked!" Soan replies, a tad annoyed. "Let's go in."
Kamon Lionward If you put an ominous castle on a clifftop and surround it with creepy forests, and then put an idyllic village not too far off, and /then/ fill the villagers with a sense of dread for said castle and all kinds of creeped-out warnings... well, you really can't complain when the adventurers come a-knockin' and try to make off with the contents of the chests inside.

Kamon Lionward, the Obligatory Fighter, stands a step back from the door to the kitchen while Soan works. He watches their surroundings with a careful eye, mostly because now would be a perfect time for something awful to sneak up on them. He's got a hefty stick resting on one shoulder, and a curiously ornate red and black gauntlet on his right hand.

Soan opens the door. Kamon turns and heads for it, moving to take point. "I figured it was trapped," Kamon remarks with a shrug. "Alright. I've got ten gil on haunted kitchen. Ten gil. Ten..." He steps inside.

He does not get attacked by ghosts.

Kamon sighs, fishing out some coins from his pocket. He holds a fist out to Nik, surveying the room. "Clear."
Kyra Hyral At first, Kyra was trying to gain some traction amongst the other Alexander Academy students to help out. People were being kidnapped! It's time to do /heroic things/! But this had been met with indifference until Kyra mentioned one thing.

A mysterious castle deep within the forest was involved.

So now the white mage and mad chemist stands with the rest of her classmates at the back door. "If you knocked it down, you'd probably aggro the beast living here." she pauses, "I mentioned that earlier, right? The big rumor that some huge beast lives in this castle? I'm pretty sure they were referring to the striped-looking monster I ran into last time."

Kyra grinds her teeth. Getting another shot (literally) at that beast would be awesome.

Naturally, the girl can be found /behind/ Kamon.
Seloria Delacreaux A door opens. Seloria is standing there, a puzzled look on her face.

"I was wondering where I was!" She says brightly, peering out at Kamon, Nik, and Soan. "Hiii guys!"

Do not question how she got there. She preemptively notes, "I got lost trying to find Costa Del Sol.."
Myla Mason Myla Mason had been there the last time, they'd only managed to save one soul from the night. Still it was better than nothing, however? She had no love for the shadow lords but protecting others from them over rode any personal urges for vengance. She'd been hanging out with many others from here world. See Myla can get out, she is being social as she was before the world fell. However as Kyra notes about doors she can't help but laugh a little bit as she keeps with them.

"Seloria, you just ... what? I swear sometimes if your not on the water you can't find your way."

She has her pistols hosltered at the moment as she smell something here what the heck is up with that?! Cheese?!

Caran Steel Outside The Castle II: Electric Boogaloo

Caran, HEROIC ADVENTURER, has been awaiting word of attack. And now the Shadow Lord has shown herself! Shrouded in invisibility, Caran rides Blackwing through the sky, coming to rest atop the castle. He dismounts, and dismisses the invisibility as he raises his voice:

"Your campaign of terror and the destruction of innocent lives ends now! I, Caran Steel of Alexander Academy, am here to stop you, and THIS time" he draws his sword, "the gloves are off!"

He holds the sword in two hands, ste'Shard of the deepest darkness, free yourself from the cosmos!' A breeze suddenly blows out of nowhere, rustling his ca'Blade of nothingness, colder than coldest ice! Let my power be made manifest!' Energy like black lightning arcs and crackles along the sword, coalescing around it into a jagged, shifting blade of dark energy. Or 'Cut a swath of destruction! Blade that can slay the mightiest of giants!' The red mage holds his sword above his head, 0'BLACK! BLAAAAAAAAADE!' The black lightning-like energy coalesces into a clear, straight-edged shape -- a sword of pure darkness that reflects no light, held in Caran's hands.

Caran looks down at Disarray and her gathered heartless, surveying her forces and making his plan of attack.

Ketan lands next to him on one of the ramparts. "You're gonna get it now!"
Kamon Lionward "Hi Seloria. We're raiding the dungeon. There's no beach. You should probably get in the back row before we get attacked by something." Kamon hefts his stick. He doesn't seem terribly surprised at her presence.
Soan Sagittarius Neither is Soan. "Yeah," Soan says, moving aside to give her some space, peering into the kitchen. Huh. So that's where the crazy strong smells are coming from, the very same that's threatening to overwhelm his sensitive sense of smell. Is that /cheese/? Damn.
Disarray The sudden appearance of heroes does not seem to be unexpected. With a curl of her lip, Disarray just sneers towards those she can see. It may be that distain is her default state of being. It could also be that her mother warned her to stop making that face... and it ended up stuck that way. Whatever the case, it seems to linger as Caran arrives. "Oh, you think you can actually defeat me this time, boy?" She smirks. Reaching a hand out, the beast flares up darkness around her feet.

The Heartless press forward towards Aerith and Caran, sending out a series of flames towards their feet while Soldiers and Large Bodies start trying to get to the front doors.

The multi-colored mob of elemental Heartless make a strange 'chuuuuu' sound as the lightning from Aerith streaks down in their midst, but somehow it doesn't seem to damage them, and instead the group just breaks apart, a few of them spinning in the air. A couple of little yellow hats are smouldering, though.

For those sneaking in the 'back door' of the castle, well... the door seems to open in on the kitchen. Really, the place seems quiet and empty, what's the big deal about? Yet, this is the sort of moment when thief senses would be tingling. It's too clean here to be some abandoned castle. No, no Kamon, it is not 'all clear'. Just at that moment that fire flares. A huge oven flares to life, complete with an exhaust pipe that looks like a mouth.

At their feet, an army of tea-cups start clinking out, holding tiny toothpick spears. "Stand your ground!" A tea-pot calls, while the oven reaches for knives which are leveled at the intruders.

"Mamma, Mamma, these don't look like Heartless?" A cup with a chipped tooth bounces. "No Chip, but they're probabably working for them." She fumes steam at them. "You've chosen the wrong kitchen to invade!"

From outside, the sounds of the Heartless trying to break in to the castle can be heard. There are voices shouting from other rooms. Oh, and there's a Large body, now conveniently standing behind the group of invading the kitchen. It's trying to press it's way through the doorway.
Niklas Dragonius Nik peeks to the side as Seloria shows up, gesturing for her to get behind him. She's a fragile summoner. Nik's a Black Belt. "Hey, beautiful. Been a wh-"

Nik pauses.

"Guys, the kitchen's challenging us to a fight."
Soan Sagittarius Soan Sagittarius stares with the eyes that's seen the true horrors of Alchemist-Based Cuisine.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" The Rogue asides to Niklas. "Start /punching it."
Kyra Hyral "HAH! Joke's on them, I have /professional experience/ in destroying kitchens!!!" Kyra crows, immediately taking out a vial of napalm. "THE DAY IS MINE!!!!"
Niklas Dragonius "I'm not gonna *punch* the kitchen! Kyra's got this." Nik holds up his hands.
Myla Mason Myla Mason says "Woah you actually are admitting that Kyra."

She pauses looking at the Napalm, okay prehaps this is a bit going overboard here. Either way they are going to get moving right into madness.

"I'll leave the kitchen in your capable hands, Kyra!"
Kamon Lionward Kamon jerks back from the sudden flame and the tiny little toothpick-spears. He grasps his club in two hands, waving it threateningly. He looks a little confused at the aggressive china.

"Uh... hold up, we're not with the Heartless," Kamon corrects. "We're adventurers, from Alexander Academy? And --" Kamon sniffs suddenly. He looks up, and slowly turns around.

"Kyra," Kamon says, "don't freak out, but there's a giant monster standing right behind you."
Seloria Delacreaux "Hello, Nik, it's been awhile, I miss you - I am /not/ getting behind you." Seloria says, as she notes the Large Body.
Aerith Aerith gritted her teeth as she was battered by the magical forces, yet the only damage she seemed to take was a pair of ruts in the ground from her boots. Apparently, something is different about her. She stood up again and called forth her Spirit Staff, then pointed it toward the incoming army. "Okay, fine. If that's the way you want it..."

Streams of pale green energy flowed into and through the weapon, just a brief moment before she unleashed another torrent of lightning; this time, in a forward arc.
Soan Sagittarius Soan blinks, lifting an hand, lifting a finger, then slowly turn around.

"Okay, then." He says, quietly, calmly. "How about that, Nik?" He says, motioning vaguely at the Large Body trying to squeeze in.
Niklas Dragonius Nik crosses his arms thoughtfully. "Is it an actual monster, or is it, like, an outdoor oven or hot tub that came to life to kill us?"

Nik notably hasn't actually turned around. "Because if it is, I don't think I wanna hit it."
Soan Sagittarius Soan hesitates. "It ... kind of looks like a Butter Troll trying to squeeze inside a phone booth." The Rogue goes with the creative imagery.
Seloria Delacreaux "A ... a butter troll? Is that one of Kyra or Minette's cooking experiments...?" Seloria asks, slightly afraid.
Kamon Lionward "Well, uh... it's one of the fat ones," Kamon says, looking back. "You know, with the ham hands and the tiny hat?"

He turns back to the assembled forces of kitchenware. "Could you give us some room, please? I don't want to hurt any of you."
Myla Mason Myla Mason :says "A butter Troll, oh god not that crazy harpie who did combat baking! The custard was the worst thing!"

Myla flashes back to all tbe baked goods trying to actually /eat/ her. She doesn't stay there long but she looks to the kitchen folk.

"What in the name of the serpent himself? The dishware is talking!"
Kyra Hyral Excitement aside, Kyra's actually a little surprised to see talking kitchen implements trying to hold the likes of their little adventuring party off. It's even a little more trippy that they sound like an actual kitchen staff and not a hard-bitten trained squadron of kitchen commandos. Could Kyra bring herself to destroy /this/ kitchen as she had, countless others, in her quest to make the perfect banana bread?

Kamon brings something very pressing to her attention. "What?" she stiffens, her fingers freezing over the cork to her napalm. Kamon wouldn't pull her leg about this kind of thing. Very slowly she looks over her shoulder to see the Large Body trying to get in. Her face...well it doesn't become pale. Kyra is a Ramuha and as pale as they come. "Um, yeah, I think I'm going to get behind my sturdier friend now." she says quickly before scooting forward, hopefully out of Large Body grab range.
Caran Steel The RESIST indicator appearing over his head if you look just right. "Rrrgh... no! Not this time!" Caran swings the sword at the little mages. It cuts more than just matter, cutting into their very magic, eating away at them. "Get out of my way! Back to the darkness you came from!"
Niklas Dragonius "I guess I should probably hit that," Nik agrees, "Although I'd rather hit- ahhh, nevermind."

Nik turns around and cracks his knuckles as his eyes flare to life. "You guys should probably stand back, I'm gonna kick this thing somewhere, like, a mile or something backwards."

Nik brings his hands up together, taking his stance. Magic comes pouring through his body; the kitchenware, most of the castle, and probably the people outside are likely to immediately notice if they're even somewhat magically aware, because, well, Nik is putting out enough of it to-


Nik backflips onto Kamon. It's just for a moment - literally, because Nik doesn't touch down for any serious amount of time. He springboards off Kamon's iron shoulders as light explodes out of his body, shining out of the windows.

There is a giant ethereal whale crammed into the kitchen.

It is moving rapidly in the direction of the Heartless - in time with Nik's kick. His very, very big kick.

Disarray The Orchestra Mob seem to find Aerith's magic almost amusing. A group of yellow Orchestras watch as the lightning is slashed towards them. 'Oooo' they seem to churr at the same time. Unfortunately, they don't get out of the way this time. Two of the ones in the front of the group disappear into slightly charred bits, leaving only their hats behind, which float down to the ground. A few more get dispatched by Caran's attack, but soon enough, the two are nearly surrounded in the front of the castle. Soon enough, it's a rain of elemental attacks heading their way.

Disarray, on the other hand, follows the remainder of her forces, who are pushing their way into the castle. She kicks through the front door and lets out a roar, which can easily be heard elsewhere. The Shadow Lord's Beast is here. "Out of my way." She shoves a set of drawers to the side and steps further inside. "Where is the mirror? Tell him to bring it to me now, or you all die."

The moment that a /real/ Heartless starts trying to push through the doorway, the tea-cups and other kitchenware seem to back up a step, or more like a few clicking steps as they hop across the floor, still waggling toothpick weapons. The Oven turns his attention to the massive form pushing through the door, and chucks a knife at it, only to have it bounce off. "This is trouble." He grumbles, not sounding nearly so brave.

The tea-pot leans over to the smaller tea-cup, "Chip, go get the Master. This is more than we can handle by ourselves." The little one bobs his head, or what would be his head if he was something other than an animated tea-cup. Then, he goes clinking off into the castle, which already seems to be filled with the sounds of fighting.

A french-accented feather-duster swishes, flattening herself against a wall, "Did you zee that? Eee attacked one of ze Heartless wi' a whale. What are zeze strangers?" She fans herself with her feathers, or at least as well as she can.

The Large Body makes a 'blub' sound as it gets smacked, but it seems to be stuck in the door. It bulges as if something were pushing it from the outside. Then, with a sound like a balloon deflating, it goes barreling into the room, threatening to mow down people in its wake. Behind it, more Heartless come pouring in, their yellow eyes searching.
Aerith Yet she manages to fend off the destruction, still standing. There are tears in her jacket and jeans now however, and several cuts that begin to bleed. At the same time, she's not about to back down. It's simply time for a change of tactics, that's all.

She glanced over her right shoulder, taking note of Caran and his valiant efforts. Maybe it's time they were rewarded. She channeled another spell, and within moments, a torrent of healing and defensive energies surrounded them both.
Myla Mason Myla Mason looks at the various cups and such that are talking. She looks not wanting to smash them. She's goin to look to kicking some Heartless in the teeth but first. she pulls severall small spehers from a pouch on her belt and throws at the oncoming heartless. They will trigger shortly and start playing some fo the most annoying boy band music you can think of.

"Let's see how you like that!"

She makes once last glance to teh defenders.

"I'm so going to have to ask how this is even possible, but right now name's Myla and we'll deal with the heartless!"
Soan Sagittarius Many times, one of Soan's teachers taught him that no matter how much you plan, how much you can bluff, you'll have to think fast, really fast, and do what seemed like the best idea at the time. Because no idea is worse than one a idea sometimes, even if it's a terrible idea.

Soan Sagittarius is having one of theses moments.

Resisting the urge to snag some silverware(that would likely just scream 'AIIIIIIES' anyway.), Soan ducked for cover to hide from the fat Heartless popping around the room, reaching for two of his grappling hooks.

"KAMON!" He shouts, standing back to a knee as he starts spinning the chains of the hooks. "GET READY TO SMASH IT!"

Soan's not quite sure what he expected to happen as he throws the twin grappling hooks at the Heartless, beyond 'keep it still so people can smash it'. He seeks to grab upon it to hold it and offer a very much more still target to smack.

He really hopes he brought enough rope for this.
Niklas Dragonius Nik ducks the thing bursting through the door and pulls himself back to his feet, his hands sliding into his pockets. "Gimme a minute, you guys."

Caran Steel Caran glares coldly at the gathered Heartless. He sees them casting. Ketan hops onto his shoulder. The red mage holds out his hand. "Protection." A barrier forms, absorbing most of the magic except for a little bit bleeding through, crackling and making his hair stand out a bit. He leaps down, using a blast of air magic to slow his fall at the last moment and blow a hole in the horde of heartless. Lightning channels into his sword as he swings it in a circle, then thunder explodes outward to knock them back. "Get OUT OF MY WAY!" He charges in the front door, and starts cutting down heartless, channeling his magic into the sword's power, trying to suck heartless into it and drain their power.

He's coming for you, shadow lord!
Kyra Hyral To Kyra's credit, she's very speedy. By the time the bulging heartless pops his way into the kitche, she's well out of the way. Given the close quarters, Kyra actually opts for a more sane option and puts the napalm away. Then again, it's less 'putting it away' and more like 'hastily stuffing it in the front pocket of her hoodie'. "Hang tight, you guys, I'll shoot you up!"

Those of Alexander Academy knows that this particular parlance of Kyra's means that he's going to give everyone some performance-enhancing drugs. From beneath her hoodie where it was held within a holster comes her well-travelled needlegun. Her other hand procures a trio of darts, each stocked with a glowing green liquid in the resevoir. For a few seconds, she forces herself to stand still so she can target Nik, Kamon, and Soan.
Seloria Delacreaux "Uhhh, Sylph, think you wanna give me some help here?"

The Divine Goddess appears over Seloria's shoulder, glaring at her. "Oh, whoops, I'm sorry." Siiigh. "Mother Goddess, Sylph of the Air, Divine Being, etc etc etc, look, just--"

KERZAP. Lightning bolts. "... you know me too well."
Kamon Lionward The teacups back off a little. Kamon steps further into the room, lifting his big branch. It has a little leaf on it. "Is that the only one?" he asks nobody in particular. He backs off, keeping himself between the Large Body and the assorted forces of ADVENTURE and kitchen militia.

The Large Body pops out, and Kamon ducks. It bounces. Kamon blinks at the sight. He figured they were denser than that. But if they're bouncy, then --

"RIGHT!" Kamon takes a tight hold of his improvised weapon of the moment. He waits for the Large Body to bounce into the right spot, or maybe for Soan to tow it there. Meanwhile, he takes a deep breath (and gets jabbed by Kyra; the room suddenly feels cooler), centering himself.

And then he hauls off with the stick, smashing the Large Body with the club and intending to send it sailing right at and through the opposite door. "HAAAA!" WHOMP

Kamon, of course, has no idea how bouncy these things are -- or that there's someone wandering the halls on the other side. He figured there'd be monsters!
Disarray Smaller Heartless fall to the left and right, but Disarray doesn't seem to be paying him much attention. SHUN. Well, mostly it's the fact that there are other things going on that have her attention, such as a Large Body coming directly her way. For a moment, the Shadow Lord's eyes go wide with a show of surprise, then... she's barreled over as the Large Body goes bouncing out the front door, with an armoire waggling a 'fist?' after it.

The Shadow Lord growls to herself as she pushes up onto her feet, just in time to be zapped repeatedly by lightning bolts. There is a moment where her skeletal structure appears. Then, the cat-like monster is left standing there, fur completely on end, a little bit of smoke rising from the hair on the top of her head. "You're going to pay for that." She grumbles.

Just who has to pay for it, she's not sure, though. Where did all these heroes come from? GAH! The Shadow Lord takes her hammer and swings it down at the ground, causing the entire floor to rumble, knocking over furniture, and sending a shockwave towards those who she assumes are the sourse of her troubles.

Annoying boy band music fills the kitchen, making talking china rattle and a couple of Heartless freeze in place in absolute confusion. They can't seem to tell if this is some sort of sonic attack or not? One seems to decide that it is, and falls to the floor, twitching.

The Heartless seem to be in absolute chaos, being batted this way and that by various animated pieces of household goods and also by the powers of the heroes. Some try to slash out, others shoot magic. The entire entryway to the castle and most of the kitchen errupts in a back and forth of all sorts of dark, magical energies.

From upstairs, there is another roar. The sound of pounding feet can be heard. Something is coming.
Caran Steel The Shadow Lord... is that her? Caran has almost--

"AAAGH!" he's caught in a barrage of dark magic from every angle. As he stumbles, he catches a glance of the one whose been supporting him getting blasted as well. That healer girl...

Dammit. "EeeeeNOUGH!" Caran's sword is wreathed in black flame, and he spins as he rises and regains his footing, throwing dark fire at the heartless this way and that as he reverses his charge, making his way towards Aerith as he cuts another path.
Soan Sagittarius Soan spins his grappling hooks back, failing to catch purchase. That didn't stopped Kamon from smacking it with all the strength he's known to display, so mission accomplished all the same. This is quickly turning out into a far different adventure than he imagined it to be when they proposed to explore this 'abandoned castle'.

Sagittarius's eyes narrows as he look further ahead through the hole the Large Body made in the castle, immediatedly opening up again. "Evasive manuevers!" The Rogue shouts as he leaps up above the shockwave, getting caught by it and slamming into a wall. He bounces back off it as he draws a blade and buckler in midair, tumbling a few feets off from the feline-like beasts. "Listen, lady," The Rogue says as he swings his blade to the sides, buying time as he leaps at her. His blade, a nicely polished example of steel, glows faintly in the dim light of the hall, bringing it down in an particed curve.

What's really going on, however, is his other hand, obeying his Thief instics and do what any good Rogues do when confronted with what seems to be a creature out to destroy, rip their throats out and kill them: frisk them for item in a few split seconds.

Also leave exploding net traps, rigged to explode. Not to mention the few other little traps he left in various places on the way there and while he wasn't doing anything that berserking Heartless would stumbles on. Such things includes: Cheese plates, forks, candles, doors, plushies, Kyra's Moogle Hoodie Pom-Pom, a coin and a suspiciously dark piece of meat on the floor.

Soan can be a bit crazy with his traps, sometimes.
Niklas Dragonius And then Nik gets hit. Hard.

The mob of Heartless runs him down and rams him; it collides with him as hard as it can, sending him smashing against the walls. Nik collides with the wall; he goes through it, slamming into a tree outside. The tree falls, crashing against the castle with a loud *wham*, and Nik is buried under the rubble and chaos.

For moment, Nik is unmoving and silent. He did just sort of get run over by a train of heartless.

Then there's a surge of magical energy centered outside the building. The tree goes flying out of the forest as Nik rises, bloody, bruised, and torn; his hands go down to his sides, and he makes his way back into the castle, burning with energy. He's...well...

He's cutting loose.

The castle probably isn't going to be in the best shape when he's done.

Nik enters the rubble he was knocked out through; he straightens, advancing towards Dissary - and the horde between him and his target - slowly. As he walks, he picks up speed; as he picks up speed, he moves into a charge.

A charge that is suddenly joined by a dragon's roar.

Niklas spins. He spins forward, spiralling through the ranks of the Heartless towards Disarray. As he spins, he...coils, a translucent green serpent extending itself along the way. It thrashes, rocking and roaring through the castle, crashing against furniture and walls to smash the Heartless as far as it can.


Niklas skids to a halt as the dragon departs; he continues skidding right out the front door, spiralling out against the grass.

That's fine. That just gives him more charging room.

Nik bounds back into the castle, moving from wall to wall as he does so. He flips up the hall onto the chandelier, hanging himself upside-down for a moment as holy light gathers around his eyes - Holy, Almighty power.

Nik releases himself from the chandelier, falling towards the ground, his arms crossed over his chest and his feet tucked tight together. As he he falls, light erupts around him once again. The translucent blade that forms around him needs no introduction; creatures of Darkness know well to fear its light, as the massive blade comes crashing down into the floor.


Nik rises. His coat and pants are in shambles, and he's bleeding all across his body. But he doesn't seem to care.

He's in 'actually taking this crap seriously' mode now. Gods help everything in his path.
Seloria Delacreaux Oh /god/ this one is gonna hurt--

About five minutes later, bruised, stunned, bleeding, lying on the floor reconsidering her life choices, Seloria realizes she is absolutely correct and just lies there.
Kyra Hyral "Woo! Nice one, Kamon!" Kyra takes the moment to fistpump with her free hand. "Alright, so let's get to-"

Before Kyra can really continue that thought, she's hit hard from behind as Heartless pour into the kitchen from the door the Large Body just squeezed through. The strike is enough to make her topple forward and the needlegun flies free of her hand, sliding across the floor and under a table. The chemist shrieks as additional Heartless leap on top of her. "Kamon!!" she cries out, squirming and trying to work herself free. "Soan! Nik! Myla!!" The trap Soan left in her moogle pompom goes off, unleashing a sudden blast of sparks but it only holds them off for a few seconds-not enough time to get to her feet.

Desperate, she slaps a hand against the floor and squints her eyes shut. Beneath her, glowing bright circular arrays spread out from her radially, etching arcane symbols that go unrecognized in this world except by her fellow students. "GET OFFA ME!" she cries out, though half in warning to the kitchen denizens that may venture too close to the Heartless-mobbed girl. Everyone in the castle could feel it as a sudden torrent of magic is released from within Kyra. Blinding and searing light fills the room, obliterating the darkness in an instant.

A strange salt-like substance is left behind in a dusty coating on everything in the kitchen. Breathing hard, Kyra is quick to pull herself to her feet and run after her fellow classmates.
Kamon Lionward The room is vacant of Large Body. The door is also knocked open, and probably off its hinges. Kamon straightens, raising his... broken... club. It's held together by a strip of bark and hope.

And then the floor shakes. The entire kitchen does. Kamon takes a knee as the tremors get worse. Something is causing them, out in the hall. He forces himself back up, teeth rattling, looking for the source. He has a sense for where it might be.

"Kyra, Myla, take the small ones in back. Nik, we've got to find what did that or we won't have much of a castle left when it's done!" He starts to take a step forward, and then casts a glance at Soan. He gives him a quick grin. Soan knows what he can do, and where he can be.

(Answer: Everything, everywhere.)

Kamon moves out into the hall. Soan and Nik are already in motion. He spots Disarray, blinking at the tall tiger-like woman. He doesn't look up very often, but he's doing it now, at least a little. "Are you controlling these Heartless?" he asks. He looks at the hammer and then his own busted stick, and tosses it away. Kamon looks for an alternate weapon. He reaches out --

-- and picks up a standing candleabra as tall as he is. He hefts it easily, taking it in two hands and a spearfighting stance, triple-candlestick top pointed forward and canted upwards. He takes a deep breath and exhales slowly, letting the tension bleed out of him. "I don't want to hurt you. If you'll just stop, we can talk and work something out."

He's standing directly in Disarray's path, though out of immediate weapon's reach. He doesn't look happy, but neither does he look hostile, or even a little bit afraid. Maybe he just doesn't want to fight?
Aerith For her part, Aerith did her best to watch his back, delivering another round of healing while he dealt with the vast amounts of Soldiers in their way. She'd change tactics again soon, but for now, it would just have to wait. Biding her time was the best option until she found a good opening, and right now there wasn't one.
Myla Mason Myla Mason so many heartless and well there's a bit to many for Myla to handle, or prehaps she's paying for well? Using her sonic grenades, that may very well be the issue. The universe is smacking for her sinking to such a depth but she's alive the force of the heartlss attacks have done some really nasty damage to her. She's hurt she's battered and she may otehrwise be injured as she pulls a cultass off her back and dives into the heartless swinging as she goes.
Disarray The Shadow Lord seems oblivious to the fact that she's being mugged, just like most monsters do. Then again, the only item she seems to have on her is a chunk of dark metal. She lashes back with a swipe of a clawed hand when Soan gets too close. Everyone seems too busy to notice the traps, at least not until they start going off. Heartless flail in net traps before exploding.

Even more Heartless are smashed left and right, sometimes into armoires or over footstools, sometimes just smooshed into black dust on the walls as Niklas comes barreling past.

Disarray sidesteps him the first time through, but there's no such luck on the second run. The blast of light shoves her backwards into a nearby wall, sending cracks up into the stone. A bit of blood leaks from the Shadow Lord's muzzle, her fanged teeth showing a snarl. "Stronger than they look." She snorts. The Heartless continue to fall to Myla's strikes with her cutlass, thinning the crowd until there are far fewer left inside.

In the kitchen, a number of the Heartless cry out at the sudden blast of light. When it's over, they are covered in a layer of salt, looking dazed and half-blinded. A couple of them wander, zombie-like in Kyra's direction.

As Disarray steps away from the wall once more, she is met with a candelabra in the face. "Excuse me, dear lady, would you be so kind as to stop trashing our home? We would very much appreciate it. And you, sir. Watch where you put your hand if you please." Apparently, it talks, and... maybe it's best not to ask about the other comment.

"Oh, I'd be glad to leave... if only a certain someone would ..."

At the top of the stairs, a beastly creature emerges from the darkness, moving on all fours. While there are certainly some likenesses between this creature and Disarray, the two are clearly made from different picks into Darwin's Grabbag. He snuffs like a bufflo, blowing air out of his nose. "You are not welcome here!" He snarls, pushing aside a Heartless as he barrels down the stairs.

"Just who I wanted to see." Disarray smirks, "Give me the mirror, prince, and we'll be happy to leave you to your dark and dingy castle. Or what's left of it."

"Never! It's the only chance I have of..." These two are clearly not on the same side. Perhaps /this/ beast is the one that the enchanted creatures of this castle call 'Master'.

"Of finding the girl? Let me flip you to the end of the story. She doesn't love you, and you stay a beast forever!" Disarray cackles with a laugh that certainly qualifies in the Villian hall of fame.

It sends the 'Master' of the castle into a rage. He launches himself towards her, only to be bounced back by another Large Body, bouncing him off as if it were a trampoline, only to have him land in the midst of the fray in the front hall.

Disarray seems to ignore Kamon, perhaps because he didn't actually attack her. Either that, or she's far more distracted with her real prey. Then again, there's that hero who had hurt her quite so badly just a moment before. Decisions decisions. In the end, she simply reaches to touch her gauntlet, which seems to explode in a wave of dark flames. It's not the sort of thing that would burn down the castle, but it certainly is painful for living beings, including those enchanted creatures who live here.
Niklas Dragonius Nik fumbles backwards. He's exhausted from the attack; it, unfortunately, leaves him quite open, and he take the attack and is knocked to the side. He slams into the wall and skids down it next to Aerith.

Nik rubs the side of his head. He pulls himself to his feet. "Heartless in the middle of loot in the castle that doesn't freaking *talk*...*and* I'm getting beat to hell? For this to even be kind of worth it..."

Nik looks over at Aerith.

He sticks out a hand at her. "Hi. I'm Nik. For this adventure to even kind of be worth it, I'm gonna need a treasure worth all the gold in the world. I think that' digits...?"

"Say...*your* seven digits? I bet that'd be worth it."
Aerith The last of the Heartless stood before them, and it wasn't like there were very many of them. Then again, it didn't matter, because their leader was inside already. She could feel the anger and pain from... whatever was fighting the Shadow Lord... and made a note to at least provide some assistance.

First things first, though.

Aerith ramped up yet another spell, this one aimed at the remaining forces. One last attempt to stop things from going south, as spheres of flame shot from the front end of her staff.
Seloria Delacreaux Seloria rolls across the floor.

She ends up on the outside of the area, and starts drinking down potion bottles and resting, still, before placing her cheek against the tile and mumbling to herself, "I shoulda been a time mage..." She drinks heavily.
Soan Sagittarius Soan rolls away, pocketing the dark metal. Huh. He'll give it a closer look later, when it's not a gigantic hell zone between one... tigress woman thing and a bear dog hog fuzzy man beast thing screaming at one another.

This also proves that the rumors he's heard are also true: there IS a thing living here. Ah well! Explosions slams into him, sending him rolling and scorched from the various Heartless throwing fire at him. He can't steal fire. Or at least, he can't steal /heat/. This always has been something he wished he could do.

The Rogue get back up, Kamon gives his offer. He's always been the more idealistic of the both of them, or at least, more openly about it. He has his moments, himself, but he's more pragmatic about things. Then again... he does what he does.

Kamon's plea ignored, Soan feels a twang of annoyment welling up in his heart. That annoys him greatly, that Tigerwoman just battering away in her rant at the master of this castle. Soan wipes off a bit of blood and soot from his mouth with a sleeve, glaring at Disarray, butting in the conversation, lifting a finger. "Uhm. Excuse me," He begins, breaking out louder. "EXCUSE ME. But if all you wanted was a /mirror/ out of this guy, you could've just went down the /Emporium/ in Traverse Town."

Despite being just washed by DARK FLAMES by her, Soan is surprisingly causal about how he approaches the woman. "/And if you came here to steal it/, I'm afraid I must inform you that you are doing a VERY BAD JOB AT IT."

During all this time, Soan's been busy, preparing his traps, letting things drop on the floor along with everything being destroyed around them: several rune traps, more snaring ones, but more importantly is the venom he's placing on his weapon, a sapping, debilitalising one on his glove's edges.

Then he springs into action, his eyes locked on that gauntlet she have. Before his eyes even laid their gaze upon it and the rest of what she might or might not have, much like before, his hands already went at it, reaching for latches, other equipment to remove, dismantle, remove screws of, weapons, gems, jewelery, and are about half-way done when Soan realises that he's trying to do it conciously beyond a mere little spark of desire that it's the thing to do, and one-up himself.

Then, the venom explode. As well as the baloon.

It's full of water.
Caran Steel Caran fights his way to Aerith and stands there a moment, panting. "Hahh... You're okay... hahh... good... hahh... Thanks for the heals." He's a bit disheveled from all the attacks, bits of that red uniform cut or burned away. His hat lifts up and Ketan peeks out. So that's where he went! "Hi!" Did that cat just talk? Caran takes a deep breath and turns around, Ketan scrambling off him and leaping to fly (fly?! it has wings!) over to-- "Uh oh!" it takes to the sky as the wave of dark energy passes. Caran raises his hand and blocks with some sort of magic shield. Ketan comes back down, landing beside Aerith and hissing menacingly at the heartless.

"Cut them all down! Greater Bladed Dash!" Caran gestures with his free hand and seems to speed up, becoming a blur that dashes from Heartless to Heartless, slashing each in the blink of an eye on his way to the next.

Once these mooks out out of the way, he'll show that Shadow Lord who they're dealing with!
Kamon Lionward Disarray ignores Kamon's attempt at diplomacy in favor of talking to someone equally beastly. He sighs inwardly. Feels like he can't sell peace to the peaceful, some days.

The hallway explodes into darkness-tinged flame. Kamon swings his 'trident' upwards, spinning it in his hands and sending a gust of wind into the expanding wave. It cuts into it, parting it around him; as a result, he's singed instead of immolated, tendrils of greasy smoke rising off his jacket where he was brushed. Even that sends shocks of agony through him.

"Okay." Kamon seems disappointed. "Then I guess... we fight." He bends a foot, adjusting his stance.

Kamon does the next best thing to teleporting. He goes from his held ground to right in Disarray's face in less time than it takes to draw breath. He thrusts the candleless candleabra at her gut, and then flips it in his hands, turning on his heel to swing the weighty iron base around. It brushes the burned floor and then swings upwards, a heavy ascending strike for her chin with the wide base.

He lets the weight carry it through. Kamon turns again in the other direction, swinging the candleabra in a twisting near-figure eight in the air above him. He plants himself and drops the base of the decorative object like a hammer (or a descending blade), intending to slam it into her head or shoulder.

Disarray may be about to taste floor. Kamon seems intent on giving her the opportunity.
Kyra Hyral As soon as Kyra can get on her feet-well, she's not gone. Not quite yet. As soon as she's on her feet, she's off looking for her lost needlegun. In the time it takes, now that she hears that other beast arguing with another beast, she can't find it. Leaving it behind, wherever it went to, Kyra finally rushes out of the kitchen as out to where the rest of her classmates are.

"Hey everyone I-" she stops to see the drama unfold. Recognizing an impending implosion, Kyra sidesteps and lifs her hands, a clear barrier forming that repells the blast of darkness.

The barrier crumbles, or more accurately, the magic inside it is repurposed into something even more useful. Esuna spells! Kyra starts to sweat as she works with the magic, the particulars not as important as the inteded results. Burns disappear, poison is purged from systems. People can keep going.
Myla Mason Myla Mason it was strangely good to be along side so many of her friends today. Perhaps their world wasn't entirely gone in that regard. She drives into the heartless slashing and dicing with her cutlass but there's a whole lot of them still going around. She sees they been thinned out but there comes more fire? Yes more fire she's already got some burns from the fight so far and things seem to be adding up at this point. She's going to do something to help but it may make some people unhappy as she's seizing control of the water in the air to her will. She's chanting again in the strange tongue she uses when she casts the few spells she's able to use.

Then comes the tide the water is trying to flush the heartless out, of here, it's oddly very well directed focus upon the heartless and nothing else. She'll take care to avoid harming the locals and don't worry she'll be able to banish the water so they are not cleaning the place up for the next several days. Well at least of water.
Disarray The Shadow Lord turns her eyes to Soan as he decides to be LOUD about things, her eyes narrowing. "Fool. Clearly, nothing is mundane about this castle. Besides, I have no need to steal it, when I can make this pathetic excuse for a prince hand it over. Especially if he wants to spare the lives of all the people /he/ cursed." Though the thief's hands might get close to the gauntlet, any attempts at removing it only seem to tighten it around Disarray's arm. The metal coils as if it were a living thing, the eyes of the dragon atop the gauntlet flaring to life, blowing steam at the thief.

Beast turns towards her and growls again, prowling low, his wolf-like tail lashing. But before he can retaliate, Disarray faces the result of one moment of weakness on her part. Not attacking Kamon had left her vulnerable, and the sudden hit from the talking candelabra, has her stepping back, just in time to take a second hit across the chin. The Shadow Lord drops to one knee, barely able to avoid the last strike hitting her head. Instead, it crumples in the armor covering her shoulder.

"I... won't let you go without pain next time." She growls. Her eyes sweep the area. Without the Heartless to back her up, she is one person against far, far too many heroes. It's time for a tactical retreat. With a grunt of effort, Disarray is on her feet, "Don't think this is the end. I'll be back for that mirror, your highness. Maybe I'll even hunt down that pretty town girl of yours, too."

"Belle..." Beast whispers, stopping in his tracks. His anger seems to fade, torn by grief and loss.

"Have your victory. It will be short lived." Disarray smirks, though the pain is clear on her features. The monster bolts, the few Heartless that remain after the flood summoned up by Myla's magic forming a sort of shield to protect her as she flees towards the woods. They are easy to pick off, but by the time the last are gone, the Shadow Lord has fled.

It leaves behind the Master of this castle. Beast stands lifts himself onto two legs, looking at the destruction around him. "Is everyone alright?" A french-accented voice chimes in, "A few scratches." Others follow as various bits of furniture appear from the shadows. Like any good children's film, it seems no one has died tonight, other than the Heartless, that is.

He looks to the strangers, clearly trying to control his temper. "I appreciate what you've done. Tell Mrs Potts to prepare something for you. Once you're tended to... could you please get the hell out of my castle?" He swishes his cloak around him, kicking over a bit of Heartless armor as he moves towards the stairs. It seems more than a little ungrateful, but clearly the Beast has more on his mind than these intruders.

At least, there will be food, right? The Heartless hadn't gotten into the dinning hall. It's not often that there is a fight in this castle, and even less often that there are guests! They might even get a musical number. Maybe.
Aerith Aerith glanced toward the... creature... and shook her head as he walked away. "Definitely not the most hospitable or grateful of hosts." She smiled. "At least he thanked us, in his own way." She turned toward the others. "Anyone want to tell me what she was talking about? Heard something about a mirror..."
Kamon Lionward "Next time," Kamon says, midway through his strikes, "pay attention when someone is speaking to you. It never hurts as much as ignoring them."

Kamon does not smile at his own dumb joke.

Instead, he retreats to the kitchen, gives Kyra a kiss on the cheek, and grabs something non-burned for his own trouble. So much for 'cool spooky dungeon castle.' Next time they'll raid a tavern's basement; those are at least reliable.
Soan Sagittarius Soan is a bit bummed that he couldn't grab the gauntlet. Ah well, it probaly was cursed, anyway, if that woman's shape is of any indications. "Thanks you." The Thief replies to the Beast, bowing his head and hurring after Kamon. The less amount of time they remain there, the less time they have to wonder on how they'll explain the touchy questions of 'why were they here at all to begin with'.

He'll grab quite a bit of food on his way.
Caran Steel Is that... "Hey!" Caran shouts. He runs after Disarray. "Hey, get back here!" He raises his hand to open a Door, then thinks better of it. Last time he tried to do that while maintaining the Blade, it didn't go so well. He may need to practice that. A split second of hesitation as he decides on an alternate course of action. The Black Blade becomes indistinct, like a black flame, before fading away. Caran rechannels his energy into projectiles of pure force that launch after the fleeing Shadow Lord, but they just smack a few heartless.

And then she's in the forest. "...Dammit." Caran bends over slightly, resting one hand on his knee and catching his breath. After a few moments, he looks over at Aerith. "Mirror?"
Caran Steel By the time the Academy students are coming out of the castle, Caran's caught his breath and sheathed his sword. "Dude, where /were/ you guys?! That shadow lord was here!" He was outside the castle most of the time, so he kind of didn't actually see his allies fighting.
Myla Mason Myla Mason sees things are over for the moment and she banishes the water. She shakes her head a little bit and looks abotu the remaining locals and has to wonder about how they are doing. "Thank you, to you too..." Well the big guy didn't get too mad at them, right? Whelp this ended better than she mighht have expected she's not going to press too hard about it, nope.
Kyra Hyral Success! One beast leaves, the other remains, and everyone is left with a still-occupied castle. With Kyra's last ensuna spell, the almost electric current of magic through her had tapered off. It threatened to return in a blink when Kamon ambles over with that kiss.

"You alright?" she asks him quietly, even though she probably knows the answer. "Need any more healing?"

Then Caran finally shows up, "Where were you? We went in the back!" Kyra says, exaspirated.
Seloria Delacreaux Seloria, from the floor, where she's not bothered to give up yet:

"Did we win?"
Soan Sagittarius "Yup." Soan says, leaning down to help Seloria up and when he does, offer her a slice of cheese. "Cheese? It's... kind of blue."
Aerith Aerith nodded. "Yes. A mirror. I don't know why she wanted it or what it does, but she mentioned something about one. And if the Shadow Lords want something, it's pretty important in general."
Caran Steel "I was fighting the heartless!" Caran, equally exasperated, makes a sweeping gesture at the now-empty courtyard, which is probably covered in magic burns and stuff now.
Aerith Aerith shook her head with a chuckle. "Well at least she didn't get it. That's good, no matter how important it is." She still wants to know, but that'll be for later. Right now, it was time to eat.

This scene contained 71 poses. The players who were present were: Aerith, Niklas Dragonius, Seloria Delacreaux, Myla Mason, Kyra Hyral, Kamon Lionward, Soan Sagittarius, Caran Steel, Disarray