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Return to Darkness
(2014-02-19 - 2014-02-20)
No description.
Echo As luck would have it, Morrighan has been sent a message. It is a videotape, yeah, like the clunky VHS sorts, you'd think the forces of darkness could spring for a DVD burner or something, but nope. Anyway, on the tape is an image of Avira, in some kind of duress, though it's fuzzy and not really clear what is going on. Included with the tape is directions to a remote location, and to come alone or... bad things will happen. The note would lead one to a dark and gloomy section of the Targ woods, where there is apparently some kind of manor house. It looks old, deserted, haunted, and the door gapes open, as if trying to lure passersby inside, as if the building itself wanted to swallow you whole.
Morrighan Alazne ...Morrighan, being an elf from a 'fantasy world', of course had no idea what to make the weird black case with the filmy substance rolled up inside. But she wasn't given much time to refuse the confusing thing, as the courier made off as fast as he'd come. Left with some strange object, she didn't care to hold onto, and more than enough frustration, dealing with interruptions and the like. She just wanted to live in peace! Seriously!

But curiosity took over, and she'd eventually managed to find somewhere to play the damn thing. Having had to leave Mullonde and portal over to Traverse Town for it. ...The 'video' was hard to make out. But it looked vaguely like Avira. ...But that was strange, Avira would hardly get herself into some kind of trouble that she couldn't handle.

And more importantly, why was /she/ the one they sent this message to anyway? There was Mercade, Angantyr, Maira, Will, hell, even those tiresome Dennous! Why her?

This was obviously a trap. The dark elf was more than ready to just ignore the stupid thing and go on with her life, but...What if it /was/ actually Avira? She couldn't abandon a friend.

And so, Morrighan, though wary of the whole thing, set out to Targ Wood. Carefully, she made her way to the old, deserted looking mansion. "...They must think I'm a fool..." The elven woman muttered, narrowing her eyes at the overall sight. Conjuring up an array of phantom blades, creating a legion to attack anything that moved in this still environment, Morrighan entered, stepping past the open and inviting doors. She kept a hand raised, ready to command the blades to strike any target that threatened her.

"Okay, I have arrived. What exactly have I done to merit this tiresome invitation now?" She called demandingly, patience already thin.
Echo There would be noise from somewhere inside the place, sounding like... Avira? The foyer of the old building sprawled, and it was dusty, indeed--the wind had swept up a good amount of it however, so it'd be difficult to find tracks. The sound of the voice would take the dark elf down a set of old, cement stairs, that winded--almost as if this was going down into ruins, or maybe a crypt of some kind..? Torches in sconces barely lit the path, and in this confined space her knives might be a bit hindered. Either way, the sound was getting closer as she moved down, was the ice-using girl really down there? It sure sounded like it.

However, as Morrighan might reach the bottom of the stairs, she'd find the source of Avira's voice... a small portable TV setup down here displaying the image of the videotape from before, the set itself standing in what looked like a wine cellar down here, or maybe indeed some kind of charnal house, but it was difficult to tell from the majority of the racks and furniture being old and broken.
Morrighan Alazne "....."

No response. Typical. Morrighan kept her magic ready to fire and cautiously made her way deeper inside, thinking that she might have heard Avira's voice. "...Avira?" The elf called out, stepping down the stairs slowly.

Once reaching the bottom, she could hear the voice getting closer and closer, until finally...she came across a TV. One displaying the image from the video tape. "...What manner of devilry is this?" She mumbled, arching a brow in utter confusion.

But one thing was clear; there was no Avira here, and this was now 100% certainly a trap.

"Ugh, wasting my time!" Part of her wanted to burn this place to the ground, but the more logical part of her urged herself to get out of here. "Perhaps Avira might know just who or what is harassing me now..." And so, dispelling her magic blades, Morrighan began to set about opening a dark portal to leave through...
Echo Out of the darkness behind the frustrated Dark elf came a pair of arms, stark white and furry. A delicate looking silver circlet was held in the hands that reached out for Morrighan, narrowing silver bands terminating at a triangular red jewel who's surface seemed to shift and move, as if it was liquid. The form of Echo emerged from the darkness behind the elf, clasping the circlet down around her head. Instantly, a sharp sensation of vertigo and paralysis would begin to rush through Morrighan's body, as if it was keeping her in place and simultaneously everywhere at once, like the room was rocking back and forth.

It was... not a pleasant experience, and not only that, unbeknownst to her it would proceed to disrupt her sense of reality and also leave her quite open to the power of suggestion.

"How nice of you to join us!" came Echo's voice, walking out in front of the girl now and standing in front of the TV set. She produced a small scuffed remote and pointed it behind her, while keeping her front facing towards the dark elf, pausing the footage and sound as if it was just a distraction. Which it was. "We need to talk you see, about what you did to Avira," she nodded her head, as if this was sincere. Something happened to Avira...? Was it true?
Morrighan Alazne Before she could complete the spell and rid herself of this place once and for all, Morrighan found herself suddenly assailed by some figure in the dark. But rather than being hurt, they just...put something on her head? "Ngh...!?" Whatever it was, it was restricting her movements. Distrupting her sensory perception. It was dizzying and sickening.

"Wh-What in the world...?"

Hearing Echo, and then seeing her step out into view in front of the elf, she glared, strugglng to move, but once again, unable to. "Y-You again? What...what do you want from my life now!? Are you so daft that 'leave me alone' cannot be...under....stood..." Feeling a sharp pain run through her head, Morrighan trailed off from her impending angry tirade, grimacing instead.

"Avira? ....What? Avira is....Avira is..."

Just fine? Not in trouble? She tried to get the words out, but Echo's statement ran through her mind, like a buzzing insect that wouldn't leave. For some reason, it continued to remain, and set in gradually. "I....what?"
Echo Echo stepped back and suddenly there was Avira standing there... with one of the floating knives that Morrighan herself used jutting out of her stomach. She had a moment to try to speak, but only a streak of crimson ran from the corner of her mouth before collapsing onto the cold stone floor in front of her.
"That, you see, you killed her," Echo nodded matter of factly and walked around the crumpled body, turning to look at Morrighan again. "What, you don't remember? It was just last week," as Echo spoke the suggestion of the memory of such began to worm it's way into her consciousness, as it had really happened. Had they been fighting shadowlords and there was an accident? Did Avira get in the way of one of Morrighan's blades..? The crumpled body of the girl with the long brown braid had no answers for her, only half closed eyes that seemed to heckle with scorn. Oh god, it really happened!

"Might be a bit of a problem for you, so I called you here, I can help you, you see," the bat lady nodded.
Morrighan Alazne Seeing Avira suddenly show up, wounded, and then crumpling to the floor, Morrighan's eyes widened. A small part of her mind was telling her that this wasn't realy, but some force, or influence was pushing that logical section of her psyche further and further away, drowning it out as the suggestion took a larger and larger hold on her.

"I...killed....? But..." She tried to shake her head in protest, words getting caught in her throat for a moment. "'s was an accident! I didn't...I..." Reason was quickly disappearing at this point, and the elf had begun to actually buy into the story.

Echo's mention of help went ignored as Morrighan slowly began to work up a panic.
Echo The bat lady did not press her extension for help just yet, standing there and watching as the girl sort of began to panic and break down. "Well, we all make mistakes sometimes, I guess, just like... with our parents," Echo's look intensified on the girl, and suddenly the dark elf would begin to hear those voices she'd hard long ago, while on the farplane. Except now they were asking why she had killed Avira... and them.

"I guess it's pretty normal to want to kill your parents, heck, I even did at one point," Echo grinned a little, pulling up an old wooden chair and straddling it backwards, her arms folding over the top as she rested her chin on them and peeked down at the soon to be gibbering wreck of a girl. "The thought of having /done that/ know, damn... it must might make a person go mad!" the bat lady's eyes went wide then, and it would be as if looking into those yellow landscapes within was like looking into the abyss, sometimes when you stare into it long enough, it stares back at you.

All around her now, discontended, accusing faces. "Murderer..."
Morrighan Alazne It only got worse from there on. She could hear voices from all around her. Voices of people that...somehow were familiar, yet not, at the same time. ", no!" Morrighan shook her head frantically at Echo's words, only barely registering them between the chaos building up around her. "I didn't! I don't...!" Sinking to her knees, the elf held her head in her hands, covering herself.

"Leave me alone! It wasn't my fault! ...It wasn't my fault...wasn'"

Her protests grewer fainter and fainter, until the elven woman had just fallen quiet completely. "......" The angry spark of life that was usually in her eyes seemed to have vanished, leading just a hollow, empty look. "....Heh....hehehe.....hehehehehe-" Her head lowered, she then began to laugh to herself. It was a dry, hollow laugh, devoid of humor. She'd since remained sunken to her knees, arms lowered to the floor aimlessly.

"...If everyone that matters is dead...then what is the point anymore?" Saying that, a spectral white blade formed in the air above her. It wasn't pointed at Echo, but rather, it was pointed straight down...towards herself. It lingered there for a moment...

...And then it began to fall.
Echo "Now, I could just lead you to your... eventual madness," Echo nodded a bit coldly, peering down at the girl with her hands on her hips. "Or I might have a plan," Echo cooly sidestepped over and batted (pardon the pun!) the falling dagger away with her right wing, as it slapped at the flat of the blade and handle.

"If life has totally failed you and played a great big joke upon you, the best thing to do is just to toss it all away and take the emergency exit," Echo snapped her fingers, and suddenly she was standing there in a black jacket with coattails, bowtie, tophat, a slender wooden cane, fishnets and heels. All of a sudden red curtains filled the room from off to the sides, as if coming out of nowhere, and the floor erupted from beneath them. Suddenly, the two were on what looked like a broad way or maybe vegas style stage show, and Echo was hefting the girl up by the back of her clothes. At the end of the runway stage there was a glowing doorway, above it there was a lit up marquee of a sign that read "Lethe" for some strange reason, calling to mind forgetfulness, or absolution.

"Yeah baby, once you head through that door, we can make everything better and make a star out of you, whaddya say?" she grinned, leaning in and giving her a great big hug from the side. She might even be taking a page from Kuja's rhetoric here, with the stage and all. Ouch, burn!
Morrighan Alazne "......."

The stab never came. In fact, Echo was still talking. Why in the world was she still talking?

Looking up, Morrighan saw what had to have been a complete change of scenery and--


The floor fell.

The elf's eyes widened a tad and she was prepared to try and right herself, but before she could, she'd fallen comedically onto her rump. " I now?" It was a stage. A great big stage out of some fancy manhattan play. And Echo had somehow changed out of her usual getup.

...Wait a second, her clothes had changed too! The exact same cabaret getup at the bat. But before she could make heads or tails of this, she was hugged quite invasively. "....!" ...What to make of this. Despite the stark change of mood, the 'revelations' of previously hadn't gone forgotten. If she really did do all of that, then...she really did have nothing left to go back to. Her parents were dead, her friend was dead. All by her own hands too.

"...if you think you can do something with me, then..." Morrighan nodded slowly and took Echo's hand, waiting to be lead through the glowing doorway.

"...I'll go."
Echo Echo pulled her new little cabaret girl of darkness up along with her on the stage, an arm and white wing curled around her shoulder and side as she sashayed along the vegas style catwalk in those heels. Morrighan's gait in them might not have been so elegant and showy, but she was going to teach the girl, oh yes, and a lot of other things too, to get her back to her previous and much more wholesome dark roots.

"Now here we go sugar, going to be right behind you now, go through there and show us all what a star of the show you /can/ be," Echo's warm furred hand on Morrighan's back would be supportive, reassuring even, giving her a grin and a 'I know you can do it' style look and nod.

Upon stepping through the doorway however, which Echo might give the girl a slight nudge toward--whiteness, eternally, for an instant, blinding her. The white light would pervade her mind, robbing her all of her memories, those fabricated by the bat lady and her magic crown, and even those that were real, tearing away unsightly memories and fears and those of all happiness and love along with them, leaving the dark elf in a state of complete tabula rasa.

"Morrighan Alazne, that's what they call you, right..?" except that name, the voice echoing out of forever, whos was it, even? Avira's? Echo's? God's?
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan was no stranger to the art of sashaying, but...right now, she was confused, and a mess of other emotions. Did she really kill Avira and her parents? What could Echo possibly do? What could she do to make something out of this even? Was it possible at all?

Well, Echo said there was, and she thought she'd had nothing more to lose, so...

With an encourage push from the what winged girl, the elf moved forward, walking into the light. It blinded her, and then she could swear she felt some go horribly wrong. Her memories of the past year, rapidly vanishing. Her service in Baron...wait, what was baron? ...Baigan who? Kaydin? ...Something about Balamb Garden...and woodlands somewhere...two great forces colliding...that ritual at...where was it again? All of it vanished and was replaced with nothingness.

".....?" And then she heard a voice. She was unsure just who's voice it was, considering she knew no names, faces, or people. "...Morrighan Alazne? ....Is that my name?"
Echo "Morrigan Alazne, terrific show, really, that was wonderful honey," there was suddenly clapping, and the noise faded away to what looked like... an actual stage? Or rather one raised in front of few rows of wooden chairs, and there seemed to be people clearing out, leaving just Echo there. Had she really been dancing and performing?

"Really are heading for stardom, but first I gotta give you some help I think first, you'd like that, wouldn't you dear," Echo smiled, stepping up to the stage and patting the girl's shoulders. The stage they were on was indeed like one of those vegas style things... were they somewhere in Manhattan, perhaps? And oh boy, Morrighan's feet would probably be feeling quite a bit sore, it felt like she'd been standing and dancing in those heels for hours!

"I'm happy to be your agent, but there are some problems, my people, we're having some trouble, and we need your help to fix it, you're a magician, so I think you'll do well," well, Morri had the bare arms with white cuffs, and jacket with coattails and all, she might as well have been dressed up like a glitzy stage magician, but that probably wasn't what she meant. Her own magic, she could still feel inside herself.
Morrighan Alazne Things were a blur for a while. It felt like she'd been doing nothing for a while, yet at the same time, doing something all along. She couldn't remember. But something had happened.

Eventually the white and the noise faded away to reveal...a stage. Hah? ...And why was she so tired? Morrighan felt like she'd been doing strenuous movement for a long while. "......" There was silence as the elf took everything in, as well as caught her breath and such. Her expression was cold and unimpressed. Tired and impatient with the situation at hand.

"...With al due respect, Master Echo...I don't think I need to be dancing on a stage." She finally spoke, replying to the bat lady's mention of agents. "...But if you really need my help with something..." She raised a hand, conjuring up a fireball to test her magic. Verifying that all was well, she let it dissipate, and then smiled at Echo in an oddly friendly manner. "...I'll be happy to oblige."

Taking a moment then to look around, the smile she had for Echo fell back into a cold scowl. "...What do I need to do?"

This scene contained 16 poses. The players who were present were: Morrighan Alazne, Echo