Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
The Cloister of Shiva
(2014-03-16 - 2014-03-16)
A group of adventurers make it to the Cloister of Shiva. But what will they find inside?
Shiva Mt. Bur-Omicase. A pillar of stone that rises up among a garden of peeks that all stretch above the clouds, their rocky expanses set as dark contrasts against the pure blue of the distant sky. It's hard to imagine anyone living here, but this is where the Kiltian sect worships in their reclusive temple. The walls of the great structure are carved from the mountain rock. The great towers extend their shadows down onto the turrain below. In the distance, the snowy peek of Mt. Gagazet looms against the skyline.

A makeshift city has built up on the mountain, made up of those who have come in pilgrimage to this site, and for others who have no homes to return to. Refugees and religious seem to now call this place home. Creatures of all races dwell here, with modern-day humans working alongside the rarely seen Nu Mou.

The most recent addition to these mountain-dwellers seems to be a group of Yevonites, drawn to the ruins that were found here shortly after the fall of the worlds. Along one section of the path towards the mountain, rocky turrain gives way to strange shapes like crystaline trees. These seem to have been plucked from another world and dropped here unceremoniously, all leading towards a crack in the mountain. Frost clings to the rocks, here, and a cold wind blows from deep within the mountain.

Priests of Yevon along with researchers from other cultures have made a sort of tent-city outside of the entrance. Some talk excitedly about the prospect of having a summoner enter the temple. The chill of the mountain seems to grow icy here, as if some force from within were freezing it from the inside. It doesn't take long to find the source of this power, though. An ornate set of doors lies just within the cave, itself, blue lines of power inviting only those who hear the song of the Fayth.
Zia There are two things working against Zia at the moment. Firstly, it's cold. Second, it's daytime. The cold wouldn't normally be much of a bother to a gargoyle, but her connection to the weather does tend to make her a little more sensitive to it than most. Then again, she looks a bit silly with bare feet and legs while wearing a thicker coat. Gargoyles are strange. For the moment, she's avoiding the throng of Yevonites who seem curious about their expedition, stiffling a yawn as she peeks in at the door to the cloister.

"Ah dinnae think Ah'll ever understand all this esper nonsense." She murmurs, her wings stretching slightly before caping on her shoulders. Tail flicking, she glances towards the others, "So, these priests seem familiar wi' the place. Ah imagine it was part of some other world by the look of it. They know anythin' aboot the trials?" After having gone into one already with Skoll, the idea that only summoners might be allowed is a foreign concept.
Reize Seatlan This is Mt. Bur-Omicase.

Reize had arrived to makeshift city yesterday from his long journey. His arrival was not guided by a map, but instead by trusting an unknown source. This source has been the one that has guided him from the Heartless taking over his homeland to the events today. To this day, Reize has no other reason but to trust this source.

More importantly.

His pendant has responded to the source within this location.

As he traveled closer to the region, his pendant reacted strongly. It was not his will that it responded to, but the will of something else lurking within the halls. It is strange, his pendant has not been illuminating in such of a rapid pulse as it has been today.

Reize cannot help but to stare at the ornate set of doors from far off, looking at it in awe.

"I don't understand it either," Reize notes to Zia, then he rubs the back of his head sheepishly, "However, it looks like my pendant has been responding to the source here."
Skoll Ulfang A wolfish looking young man is leading a small group of people. Gray hair, wolven ears, and a thick winter coat with a thick fur collar, Skoll is looking a little less gentleman-ish, and more like a young man who belongs in a Host Club. Skoll doesn't really fit in the backdrop of a cold mountain. Not even the less cold regions of this particular mountain range. He came from plains far warmed than these. Yet he's never had trouble staying warm.

A wolven tail lazily wags behind him as the werewolf idly plays with one of his gloves' straps at its base. A series of chains hang down from his pants like they usually do, and there's even a pair of looped long chains hanging off of the back of his thick winter coat. You'd think he'd be a mountainclimber... but they use rope. And the metal chains that hang from his back end in darts - not hooks.

He knows that people have heard that he'd be coming. And to entertain those who have come, he's brought a present in the form of a chipper little bunny like creature running at the side of his feet. Green in color, with a red gem on its forehead, the Summoned Carbuncle remains close to the werewolf even as he comes to a halt at the gates.

"I understand it." Skoll answers Zia, and kneels down in front of the entrance in order to pick up Carbuncle. "In my world, the Ancestors held a great importance. They were worshipped, and for good reason." He explains. "As for these people. From what I understand by now, they come from a world name Spira? I believe your friend Deidra knows more about this." The werewolf turns towards the rest of those who have come with them. He notices Reize's pendant of course, and a mildest of frown appears on his expression for but a moment.

After all. A year ago, he had joined the Shard Seekers merely to obtain that treasure.
Deidra Day Light, it's something she's missed. Thanks to something Zia did she got to enjoy it normally for a time. However to her body clock it's like being up in the middle of the night for a human. She's got a thermos with her full of coffee which she's taking a drink from. Just to keep her from beign too sluggish. It's been said Civilization didn't run on Oil, nay that it runs on coffee. She finds herself agreeing with this line of thought. With the coffee consumed she returns the thermos to a hitch on her belt.

She yawns a bit giving the world a view of fangs and pushes on. Hopefully she'll be able to lend Skoll a hand. She had been the one to find this place after all she wanted to see things through to the end.

"They sound like the best ones to ask."

She smiles seemingly able to keep going, Reize meanwhile looks over at him for a moment.

"Been a while Rieze."

She takes a moment to brings her wings about her body like a cloak, so she doesn't end up catching them on anythign as they go further in.
Avira It has been quite a bit of time since Avira was last here, in fact. This is due to an incident she had involving Garland near this most holy of places. At the time, she struck first and had appeared to slay the ancient evil. Avira knew better-that a single blow from her could not stop him, the priests had treated this act of violence with great offense.

Nevertheless, Avira is low-key in her movements and does not announce her presence. Attendence today was solely based on assisting Skoll in another one of his quests to recruit a summon. She did remember the Cloister of Phoenix after all.

The snow does not bother her. Avira has dressed warm enough for the occasion in slightly heavier leather armor and a leather longcoat.
Mir Clarence Walking alongside Reize was Mir. She wore a heavier coat that stopped at about her thighs, but looked warm enough. They'd taken a look before, but now here they were again. "..." She glanced at Zia, listening as the gargoyle spoke. ...Of course, she knew nothing about esper trials, so it was better for her to stay quiet. A lot of these people looked like they'd been around the bend more than their fair share of times.

...And then there was herself.

Ah, why was she here again? Right, to make sure the idiot with the yelow scarf didn't get himself killed. Of course. The girl rubbed her arms a bit as she slowed down, eyes drawn to that summoned spirit hanging around Skoll. "....Cute." She muttered to herself, unconsciously smiling a little more than she otherwise would have.

After a few moments, Mir snapped out of her trance and glanced off at the temple gates, frowning a bit. "...Everything is going to go wrong, isn't it?" She mumbled, asiding to Reize mostly, but audible enough for others to hear.
Faruja Senra "Espers art servant-spirits of Holy Faram, given to our ordained Summoners in order to destroy the corrupt and wicked." 'Helpfully' answers one Faruja Senra. The Burmecian, despite any and all calls to do the opposite, is fully dressed in parade uniform. He couldn't be more Glabadosian if he tried, light shining off of his golden armor. The death-glares he offers many of the Yevonites, however, is softer than usual. It seems, for Skoll's sake, he's /trying/.

The Kiltians, however, are treated much more respectfully. They, at least, seem to worship fAram in some incarnation. Like slightly crazy uncles, these ones. Still, he's here, just behind Skoll and near Reize and Zia.

"...Though I suppose the Heret...ahem, /Yevonites/ may well know something."
Violet Yet another Shard Seeker. Though if anything, those that belong to the Shard Seekers Guild are anything but ordinary. Violet is one of them. The princess in hiding rests a hand lightly on the hilt of the blade at her hip, out of habit perhaps, as she follows the others. Her cloak billowing lightly behind her while her gaze glances around their surroundings.
Zia The white gargoyle opens her mouth to say something, only to find whatever her comment is cut off by Faruja's explination of things. It wouldn't do much good to point out that this cloister certainly isn't part of his world, nor the fact that Skoll is hardly an ordained anything, buuuuttt... she's learned to leave well enough alone, and just nods once, offering the mouseling a small smile. "Aye, somethin' like tha. Ah suppose Ah'm just nae used te all the fuss around one wee lil' thing."

Her eyes find Reize's pendant, which often reminds her of her own. Though the two might be different, it's still the sort of thing that leads her in various ways. "Maybe there's somethin' there for ye te find, too. Who knows. These places are a wee bit confusin." Her gaze slips past him towards Mir, head tilting. "Ah dinnae know if we've met. Ah'm Zia." She offers, inclining her head. "The one who tries, but usually fails te keep te male Shard Seekers outta trouble."

As for Skoll, "Speak of the devil. Ye ready for this?" She asks, shruging back into her coat slightly. Ah dinnae know if Shiva will be quite so nice as yer other summons." The gargoyle crouches and reaches out to give Carbuncle an affectionate scratch - as if he were some sort of pet.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll keeps his hand to the gate as he looks at the others. Reize was being drawn to this place as well. So certainly, there was more to the threads of the world that intertwined everyone. Like hearts, bound together by a red string of fate. "No need to be /that/ pessimistic." There werewolf has wolf-like hearing, as his race might imply. "Don't worry..." Mir. He hasn't learned her name yet. "Whatever may come, will come. But we're amongst friends. We can weather anything."

Faruja's attempt at tactfulness, though failing here and there, is appreciated by the werewolf. He knows that the Burmecian has some /firmly/ set beliefs, and that it's difficult to sway him from thinking otherwise. But yet still, he is here helping them. "In our world, the 'Espers' were nobody's but their own." Espers, Aeons, Eidelons, Guardian Force, Summons, Calls, Ancestors... they all come down to the same beings, inheriting memories from a strange world.

He looks uChuuuu.". Skoll keeps holding the little beast and glances over at Avira, smiling at her. It's an obvious 'thank you for common'.

The werewolf then turns and sets Carbuncle down onto the ground - which hops off towards Mir - and lays his hands to the doors and pushes, opening them and moving inside.

"To adventure!"
Reize Seatlan Reize, oddly enough, had been dressed for the wintry weather. His red shirt had been replaced with a fur-covered red top along all sides. His gauntlets has some fur lining along it. Even his boots have the fur lining against it. It gives the boy a wooly look.

Reize cannot help but to glance over at Carbuncle out of curiosity. Yet, Faruja's description earns a glance over. "Oh, I see!" "Spirits that crush the corrupt and wicked." He then frowns as he sees the glances Faruja exchanges with the Yevonites, "Errr, perhaps we could ask them as well."

A wave is extended towards Deidra, "Ooiii! It has been a while!" And of course, he sees Avira, "Oooi, Avira!" The boy beams, then he looks over at Zia with a subdued smile, "Perhaps. It could explain the feeling here." A glance is given to Mir, "Oh, come on. With us all around, this shouldn't go too bad." Reize isn't running off without them and getting chased by giant crabs this time. The boy frowns at Zia's remark on keeping the male members out of trouble, "Hey! Trouble finds us!" He sticks his tongue out at her playfully.

Then, he turns to face Skoll, "... We can do this, Skoll!" He takes a moment to look back at Violet, "Glad you could make it! It looks like we are in for an interesting adventure, here!"

As Skoll chimes out, Reize lifts a hand into the air, "To adventure!!!"
Shiva A harsh wind blows from within the temple, cold enough to make breathing difficult. It certainly isn't a warm greeting. What might have once been beautifully, ornately carved walls are now frozen over with ice. Statues of former summoners line the entryway, their faces obscured by a layer of snow. It seems as if this place has gotten more inhospitable since it's arrival here atop the mountain, or perhaps it is the visitors that are being shown just how unwelcome they are.

The floor is layer of ice, which leads to a set of equally dangerous stairs which descend into the temple below. Those who have steady feet might be able to make it down if they are careful, but the others are in for a bumpy ride down the stairs.

The temple, itself, is a wide-open room, with three levels. The upper level has a door on the far end, but the path seems to drop off suddenly - which is the likely end-result for anyone who slipped. Luckily, there's a pile of snow below to keep them from being injured. On the lower level, there are icy spires as well as what seem to be pillars meant to support the missing upper paths.

Oddly, it appears as if some things may have already been moved around inside the temple. Who could have been there before them? Whomever it is, it appears as if the puzzle has been completed half-way and then left. The hymns heard above are silent here. The entire place seems eerie. Breath hangs in the air. It's quiet. A little too quiet.

There are patches of ice on the middle-level of the temple, which seem to be there to push around small pedestals. The glow from one of the spheres still illuminates one that seems to be stopped halfway by a pile of snow. Strange, how could snow have stopped it from moving?
Deidra Deidra now all wired off with some caffeine Deidra is looking a bit more animated at this point.

"I shall keep it simple the Fayth or as some might call them an Esper. They are powerful creatures of magic which certain people are able to make pacts with to summon them. Summoners go from temple to temple attempting to form pacts with the known Fayth on a Pilgrimage which is an attempt to learn the final summon and confront an being known as Sin which has ravaged Spira for a 1000 years and force it into a calm for a time."

That should hopefully explain thing as she falls in with Skoll and everyone else moving to get the iTome she's taken to using, also it has other handy things on it like a local map.

She enters with the otehrs and things look well cold it does bother her a bit but it does help keep her awake as she looks at the puzzel ahead.
Mir Clarence Mir looked towards Zia and nodded in return. "H-Hello..." She replied, looking a bit uncertain. All of these people were dangerous, weren't they? That was the thought at the forefront of her mind. But nonetheless, she managed to stand for herself and smile a little. "I'm Mir. around and sell stuff." That was said a bit sheepishly, finger scratching at her cheek lightly.

The girl blinked at the mention of Shard Seekers though and tilted her head slightly. "Oh, so you're in the group too? I didn't see you when I hired them last." And then she looked the white gargoyle up and down briefly, a hand on her chin in thought. "...You look mildly more capable than this moron here at least." Mir jerked a thumb in Reize's direction at that, smiling at the boy's expense. And she wasn't disapointed as he did what he did best and bluster confidently without any basis.

As they entered, Mir glanced at Skoll briefly, a bit intimidated by his appearance. Dude looked like a thug! "....Um....right. Well, I-"

She didn't get to finish, as her feet met ice.

"Huh? Wait whawahwahwaaaaaaaaa-!"


The girl went sliding comically across the ice ahead of the others and then crashing right into a pile of snow...which then fell down and covered her completely.
Faruja Senra Zia's efforts at least have Faruja's burning gaze of intolerance softening, the group slowly cooling his head as they head in. He peers about, pulling his robes closer as the chill bites to the bone. Unwelcomed indeed. Soon enough, the rat's glowing white, as if in defiance of all that surrounds him. Sometimes he can be petulant like that when confronted by the beliefs of others.

Reize though, finally brings a smile from the rat. "Ahh, but methinks Reize hath the right idea! Let us allow naught to deter our passage, for our cause here is holy (...Dear Lord tell me 'tis so, Skoll) and just! The honored Esper shalt surely see our intentions art pure." Surely.

When there's an ice floor, however, Faruja smartly draws his spear. Using it almost like a crutch, he stabs it into the ground to avoid slipping too much. Stab-walk-stab-walk.

"And Sister Henrietta said I should hath learned to use a sword."

Then Mir goes skidding. Faruja hides a snicker. "Art ye alright, M'Lady?" Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways. He offers a hand to anyone who needs it. Stick-walk!
Avira Avira grins and gives a salute to Skoll in response to that smile. Casually, she slips her gloved hands into her coat's pockets-that is until she gets close enough to Carbuncle.

Unless Carbuncle bounces away, she picks up the summon and gives it an enthusiastic hug. Her cheek rubs against the top of its furry head.

Stoically, she puts Carbuncle down.

"Hello Reize." Avira smirks at him. "Are you supposed to be here for Skoll or did you run into him along the way?" She teases.

Onward they go and right away, Avira notices that the floor is entirely covered in ice. How does she notice this?

By immediately slipping and falling down the /entire/ flight of stairs. When the others catch up with her at the bottom, she's already picking herself up and casting a basic healing spell on herself. "So it looks like we've got a block-pushing puzzle on our hands." Avira says casually and in a manner betraying prior experience with block pushing puzzles. Such a thing was pretty much required for adventurers in the World of Ruin.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll listens to Deidra as he steps in, pulling his collar a little closer up along his neck to stay warm. "A Pilgrimage?" It echoes with how things had been for him and his people. His father had made them all travel along the lands. Partially to ensure a rich food source - they were nomads after all. But they went through a harsher path when his father found out that he - his son - was an Unlimited. He'd known what that meant.

Skoll, not so much.

When they move through the main room, the werewolf takes a moment to stop and look at the statues of the summoners. He finally continues on to the stairs, turns around, and faces them all. It takes him a few moments to recall, but eventually he moves one arm over the other, and makes the Yevonite gesture, along with the bow. The werewolf has respect for those who came before him. And he 'thanks' them for creating an opportunity like this.

"I should learn more about these people." Skoll notes. He's hardly likely to become a Yevonite. But there's nothing wrong with perhaps helping people destroy a great beast. He's of course unaware about the whole Final Summon thing, and the sacrificing. And everything else that entails.

Finally, he descends down the stairs by putting one foot before the other and slides down while crossing his arms. He just patiently lets the ice slide him down to the ground. Before he gets to the edge, he naturally slows down.

That doesn't help those who might pass him by and go tumbling down into the snow below of course.


Carbuncle in the meantime, was trying to get Mir's attention. Of course, this meant first being subjected to Avira's warm snuggle. And the little Esper responds possitively by nuzzling back against her cheek like a cat. When he's put down, he heads over towards Mir, who by that point is at the stairway.

And when she ended up slipping and rushing down, it quickly jumps on.

Which ends up following into Carbuncle 'surfing' on Mir's belly, one paw forwards, one paw backwards.

"Chuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!" And when they finally drop down into the snow, it jumps and ends up landing on Mir's head.

"Chu-chuuuu!" It raises its paws. (Ta-daaaa!)


"You alright down there?" Skoll calls on down to the others who weren't as lucky. Indeed, it looks like they have another block-puzzle on their hands. But the /state/ in which it is in...

"Well, there looks to be only one sphere." He notes. It's at the mid-level though. Surely there's someone closer to it than him.
Violet Violet... hadn't seen the ice... at all. Or if she had, she saw it at the last minute. Just like Avira, she falls down the steps, sliding across the ice down the stairs, to land in the snow in a heap with Avira. At the bottom she groans and rolls over. "Ow..." she murmurs.
Reize Seatlan Oh man, it is a good thing that Reize dressed for the weather. If he did not, he would be a lot colder than he was already. However, it is still bone-chilling given that the ability to breathe is difficult. Reize gazes at all of the ice-covered walls and then the statues, "... I d-d-d-don't think that a-a-anyone has been h-h-here in a while." Reize shivers with a grimace, but he shakes his head and moves to bear it.

Reize coughs, "Ran into him along the way! I didn't get lost this time! ... I was following something."

While they walk along the layered floor, Reize tries to tread carefully along the solid ground. The stairs are very slippery. Reize has to keep his steps pretty accurate. One wrong move and he may end up rolling down the stairs.

---like Mir and Violet.

Reize /winces/ at the sight, trying to keep a careful step, but a bit hurried. "Violet, Mir!" He finally makes it down upon the patch of snow. "Are you guys alri--..." His eyes fall upon the temple itself as a wide area. "Whoa..." Reize glances over towards the icy spires and pillars.

This seems odd. Something seems off about the spot, but Reize is not sure what. As he looks around the area, Reize can feel the chills of the silence. Nevertheless, his attention focuses on Mir and Violet. "Don't worry, you two! We can do this! No ice shall defeat us here!" He pumps a fist into the air with a look of determination. ...Is that fire in his eyes?
Zia The information about 'Sin' just leaves Zia standing there with a blank look on her features. In her mind, the whole thing translates as: Oh, by the way, there's another 'big bad' out there you need to keep an eye out for. Oh, and it might eat your boyfriend. Her ears tuck down slightly. "Nice te know." She looks at Carbuncle then, "Multi-talented little things ye are, huh?"

That said, Zia is on her feet, offering a rueful sort of smile towards Mir. "Ye'd be surprised wha feats the lad can manage from time te time." Though the boy can have his moments, she's loyal enough to the cause. Besides, stories of small animals hijacking Reize with his ahoge make for good tavern conversation.

As some others go sliding on the icy floor, Zia's feet slip just slightly, but not enough to have her following them down. In fact, she grabs onto a passing statue to get her footing. "Ah dinnae think Shiva is happy te see us."

Dropping down onto all fours, Zia uses her talons to latch onto the ice as she makes her way down, peeking over the edge towards those in the snow-drift. "Doesnae look like there's a good way across. The wind's too harsh for glidin, 'n Ah dinnae see any good place for a climbin' hook.
Deidra Oh look ice, she's got talons on her feet. What does she got to worry about, it's not like she can slip, right? She's wrong for soon she's not only slipped but is now going for a bit of ride on the ice and off over the edge into a snowdrift. There's a plume of snow and one snow covered gargoyle head poking out of it a moment later.

"...I meant to do that really!"

Direct hit to the pride and it looks like it's been sunk. She's pulls herself out of the snow shakes her self off and move to follow after the group looking quite embarrassed as she does so. She looks at the party coughs for a moment.

"So who knew they had Russia in a bottle here."

She's taking a look around as she moves to recover a little bit from her little spill, her tail gives away though she's annoyed given how it's twitching.

"Agreed, I'd not try flying over that myself...I don't think I have enough mastery of my powers to form a bridge..."
Mir Clarence There was a moment of silence, and then a gloved hand thrust through the snow, followed by the rest of Mir's body. "Reize Seatlan, I swear to god I will throw you off a ledge if you say another word." She grumbled, glaring at Carbuncle as well, but that only lasted a second before she sighed and shook her head. "At least one of us had fun." She mumbled, managed a small smile for the creature.

That said, she picked the esper up and set it aside before attempting to stand. "...Huh?" Feeling her foot bump against something, Mir looked back behind her and into the snow pile. "What's this?" Reaching back in, she pulled out some sort of belt pouch. "...?" It felt slightly weighed down. Was there something inside?

Curious now, Mir opened the pouch to see just what it was. "Huh..." It looked to be some manner of sphere. Purple and glass-like. But why was it under there? Did someone lose it "Uh, you guys?" The girl called out to the others, holding up the sphere slightly. "Any of you know what this thing is?"

Because she sure as hell didn't.
Violet Violet grumbles for a short moment, her eyes turning to Mir beside her first and for another moment she's thankful she hadn't landed on top of her. Though her reply to Reize /is/ amusing. She chuckles once and she pushes herself up. "Ignore him. He's always like that." she answers Mir with a smile.

As the sphere is found... Violet frowns to herself and moves a little closer, inspecting it. "Odd..."
Avira Avira examines the block puzzle from afar, the woman zeroing in on the drift that seems to be blocking some of the clearly movable pillars (see they are a slightly different color than the background pillars meaning that they are objects that can be interacted with!) Mentally, she starts pushing the blocks around, not touching anything, but just thinking.

Then Mir holds up a spherical object with a purple hue. Avira looks thoughtful.

"Well, it's either a piece of materia or a key. We had to put spheres in pillars, if I'm remembering correctly."
Faruja Senra Sniff sniff. Faruja's comments stop almost immediately, as the scent of burning enters his nose. He shivers, and not from the cold, the rat's hand immediately going to his eye. Taking a deep breath, he's suddenly glad for Shiva's unwelcome. Maybe it's a sign from the Lord? Steeling himself, he follows the scent, peering downwards.

"Mmm...'tis as though someone hath attempted to tamper with the local mechanisms." Calls out the rat to the others, indicating a charred wall upon the lower level. It's as though in a fit of rage, they used the wrong sphere!

With that, he leaps down to investigate! Dragoon powers go!
Skoll Ulfang "Shiva never really... clicked well with me." Skoll comments, giving a bit of backstory. "It was a really cold winter when we ended up meeting. And I do have to say... back then... I found her incredibly attractive."

"I think I was too young at the time. Stumbling over my words and everything."

Can you imagine it? Young little 'cub' Skoll, blustering and flustered in front of Shiva? Ears folded down. Stupid blush on his face. Barely able to get a word in edge-wise.

Right, Hati did tell him not to tell Zia about that. But he doubts Zia will punch him for that. The werewolf inches forwards a little to glance over the edge, and gets to watch Carbuncle being taken off of Mir's head and set into the snow. The little thing doesn't take long before it's sniffing the purple sphere made out of a glass like material.

"Looks like one of those spheres that blows up walls." Skoll notes. A destruction sphere? "At least, that's what one of those did in Carbuncle's place."

Carbuncle Chu?" Headtilt.

"We're certainly not the first people here though." Skoll mentions. /That/ much he feels he can tell. "I wonder how long it's been." He'd have a hard time smelling them though. This cold is making it hard to breathe, so he is trying to only breathe through his mouth.

Faruja then calls his attention to the burnt wall. "Mir, maybe try tossing that sphere over to Faruja, so he can try it out?" He offers, before he jumps on down to the second (mid) level, and starts to approach the snow-drift area with Avira.
Reize Seatlan Mir's threat earns a wilted look from Reize. His antenna hair flops low as well, "...You know how to bring a guy down, Mir." A river of comical tears flow along his eyes. Even Violet recommends for Mir to ignore him! He huffs and sticks his tongue out at both of them! Hmph! The feigned indignantion lasts only but a moment.

The strangest thing that seems to continue are the hymns. Reize had been listening to the others most of the time, but he could not help but let his mind wander to the voices singing the hymn. "Wow... that sounds beautiful."

Mir's discovery brings Reize back into attention, "Huh?" He turns to see the fairy as she reveals a purple, glass-like sphere. "I don't know, actually." He peers at the object, "Maybe it's a key here?" And Avira sheds light on what they would likely have to do.

"Oh! Well, then, we should put the spheres on the pillars." The forest hunter smiles, "This should be simple!" He reaches his hands out for the sphere, but Skoll recommends for Mir to give it to Faruja.

Reize deflates, "Awww..." Denied to try a puzzle! Then he muses, "I suppose Faruja would be best for this." He rubs the back of his head, "He can jump pretty high!"
Deidra Deidra sees some people are ahead of her on figuring out the puzzel here, that's all right. The Imporant thing is they are able to get past these tests, collectively right? She's looking to Faruja as he mounds away ahead, he's a dragoon after all and can jump better than she can fly really. So she's going to keep to the mid level as she follows after Skoll and Avira.
Shiva The lower level of the cloister seems smaller than the others, as if entire chunks of the floor were missing. Some glyphs down here have already been lit. There is clearly a spot for the pillar up above to fit into, and glowing lines tat seem to suggest, yet again, that the puzzle has been partially completed. More than that, there are footprints here in the snow. They look like they were made by some large animal pacing back and forth. Someone was frustrated. There are claw-marks in the walls.

The snow drift looks quite unusual, even at a distance. The moment that Skoll begins to move the snow out of the way, it would become clear why. A frozen hand creepily sticks out of the snow, clawed fingers clenched around something. It wouldn't take long to uncover what is clearly the body of a werewolf. He looks a bit younger than Skoll, and has clearly been here a while.

Unfortunately, this is also a trap. Hidden underneath the snow is a small magical device, which when exposed... glows briefly, before lashing out and sending a shockwave along the middle level of the cloister. It causes ice to crack in some areas, and the corpsicle of the werewolf to fall over, allowing the pedestal to continue on it's way...

Hey look, it's heading down the ramp lower level.
Avira "I helped Skoll in the Cloister of Phoenix a while back. It too had puzzles to challenge the applicant." When it is mentioned that the purple orb might be a destructive thing, she flinches when it is tossed to Faruja. When he doesn't explode in a shower of rat and heritic-smiting power, she lets out a sigh of relief. "Maybe it works differently in this cloister. They each seem to have their own thing, no?"

Following after Skoll to investigate the mysterious snowdrift, she seizes up when a frozen body is uncovered. A sick feeling gathers in her stomach as she gingerly helps move the werewolf out of the way, unaware of the trap hidden beneath.

Strange, that shockwave didn't feel like it physically hurt her at all.

"We'll have to bury him later." Avira mutters as she follows the descending pedestal.
Zia Still playing 'look out' on the upper level, Zia flicks her tail as she looks across towards the doors. They'd have to find a way to re-build the pathway across. It isn't the first time that they'd encountered puzzles that required certain actions to allow them to move forward. There's probably a whole chapter on it in the walkthrough.

"It looks like we needte somehow get energy te the two pillars." She suggests, and then looks down just intime to see Skoll uncovering something creepy from the snow. "Alright, glad Ah'm up here now." She shivers. The distraction of the sight below is enough to make the sudden blast catch her off-guard. One foot slips, then her claws scramble, and then...

*whoomp* Down Zia goes into the snow-drift below. Two eyes blink from the snow, and then she starts trying to dig her way out of it, coming out looking like the abominable snow gargoyle.

"Uhm... Does he look like he's holdin somethin?" She asks, keeping well away from the frozen wolf. The thought of trying to get whatever it is... kind of turns her stomach. "Somethin is seriously wrong here."
Mir Clarence Mir glanced at Violet, who'd unwillingly joined her in her slippery trip into the snow. "...Hehe, I know. I've had to deal with the idiot for a little while now." There was a pause as the fairy sized up the other girl. "...Who are you anyway? You seem pretty familiar with him." She narrowed her eyes and leaned forward a tad, their faces in closer proximity. "...I didn't know that moron had a girlfriend. You must either be patient, or you /really/ lost a bet. Which is it?"

Mir's attention was drawn to Avira then and she straightened up, nodding slightly. "So you've been to a similar place before?" She knew was Materia was, not that she used it herself, but it didn't seem likely. So it must have been the latter. "I wonder where it gets used then..." The girl mumbled, looking about curiously, not minding Carbuncle too much.

She listened as Skoll explained what the purpose of the where could possibly be. "Hmm...Well okay." Not like she needed it for anything. "Faruja! Catch!" She called out and then she tossed the sphere over towards him. After that was done, the fairy turned to look and see what Skoll was doing once find him revealing a creepy frozen hand. "....Ergh! Ew! What the heck!?" The following activation of the magic trap caused the girl to trap and fall back onto her behind as the ice cracked, sending the frozen corpse tumbling away and the pedestal sliding down to the lower level.


Not about to go taking crash ride down below, Mir focused, quickly willing her wings out, which they did. Extending from her back and taking on a green glow, the girl took flight, staying aloft in the air. "...What's with this place!?" She complained loudly as she lowered herself to the lower level, after the ensuing fiasco.
Faruja Senra Catch! Mir's throw is pretty accurate, and the ratling once again takes a look down below. "Down 'tis, the..." Pause. That is a woofcicle. Faruja shivers a bit. He's seen corpses before, but someone being so utterly frozen in a temple? All it does is confirm everything he's thought about this place, and the the Yevonites too.

Nope, no exploding Avira. Or any freezing either! There's a shockwave, though, and the ratling deftly makes his leap to avoid it! He floats into the air in his jump, hanging for a while as that corpse-pillar goes downwards. Only when it plops into place does he finally land! Skitter. Skitter skitter stab! Only thanks to his sphere does he not end up on his butt, instead very nearly slipping on his landing. He ends up wit one foot in the air, tail downwards to balance himself.

"...Do be careful, Sers and Dames!" Bloody ice physics!

"Wish me luck. Lord save us from darkness..." With that, he'll put it into the nearest, lower-level slot. One within the pillar that just came down, perhaps?

"He shalt be suitably buried, Lady Avira, Lord rest his soul. I know a few funerary rites." He'll be darned if he lets a few Yevonites take care of /that/.
Skoll Ulfang When the snow drift clears and a hand come visible - holding on to something - Skoll immediately backs off. He may be an adventurer, but corpses still freak him out. But far more than that, he recognized the young one.

"Muninn...?" Skoll whispers just before his eyes lock on the magical device... and ends up being thrown straight back by the sudden mild explosion that rips through the middle level of the Cloister.

Skoll /firmly/ falls onto his ass and skids a ways back.

Like flashes; in that moment, things start coming to him. The footsteps. The clawstrikes. The half-finished puzzle. "No..." He utters, his eyes wide in surprise and... partially disgust.

But he's supposed to be dead! Destroyed with his world!

He starts getting up, and looks around at the others. Should he really let them get involved in this? In getting involve with... /him/?! Who knows if that beast is still here?

It's easy to tell that he's nervous. But what's more, he's tempted to ask the others to leave right now. But Muninn had also been carrying something. It could be another trap. But it could also be something they need to carry on.

So, Skoll kneels down besides the displaced corpse, and hangs his head. "You didn't deserve this kind of fate..." He reaches out towards Muninn's hand.
Reize Seatlan On one hand, Reize is doing pretty well, trying to get adjusted to the place. On the other hand, well, the situation proves a bit worse for wear when Skoll manages to move the snow out of the way to reveal a frozen hand. His antenna hair shoots up, shaking in fear as the boy steps back, "Gah!" His eyes widen with a shocked look at the sight of the frozen corpse of the werewolf.

...And then a trap activates. There is a glow.

"Everyone! Watch ou---OOOF!"

Unfortunately, Reize is one of those that is caught by the vicinity of the devastating shockwave. It bowls through him, causing the ice to crack in the area. The impact sends Reize flying across the ground, "Whoaaaaaa!" Reize is knocked over towards one of the edges where the ice has cracked and the corpse tumbles away.

It seems like everything has stopped.

"...Okay, I think we're...."



The ground along Reize cracks and shatters. And the boy falls. "Gaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!"

There is a heavy thud on the ground.

"I'm okay..."

Reize is now on the lower level of the cloister. He rolls along the ground, holding his stomach in pain. "Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow." He grimaces, sucking in a breath. As he looks up, he can see a few lit glyphs and a pillar.

"It looks like there was a puzzle here as well!" Reize shouts.
Shiva As Reize goes tumbling to the lower floor there is a moment of good luck. Just... not for him. He ice and snow fall just next to the pedestal, knocking it sideways and sending it right along the path into the pillar, where it neaty slots into place. A green light spirals up along the pillar, activating it, high above. On the highest level of the cloister, a platform of ice appears out of nowhere, extending the path halfway to the door.

Success! Right?! Of course, the weight of the pathway being formed above causes some more snow and ice to fall... right on top of Reize. Poor guy just can't get a break.

As for what the frozen wolf seems to be holding, it is two-fold. The most obvious thing is a glowing green sphere. It must be the one that can be used in the pillar there on the middle-level to complete the walkway. However, there's also something else. Between his fingers is a clump of dark fur. Far too familiar dark fur for a certain werewolf summoner.
Reize Seatlan "I'm still okay!" ...Reize's voice is a tad pitch higher. He's alive. Right? ...Right.
Mir Clarence Mir touched down onto the ground beside Reize, smirking to herself as the boy doubled over in pain. "It's okay Reize! You just need to believe in yourself and the bonds of your friends! You can do it!" This was all said in an imitation of the boy's own 'inspiring voice' for the express purpose of mocking him.
Deidra Deidra is pressing on she's being wary now she's making sure to use her talons to keep from losing her footing. This still does ngo well something is comming it'a a trap and it goes off. She's caught in the effect and has a thin layer of ice forming on her she's force to shake it off and she's shivering now.

"ugg this is not my day."

Oh heavnes more Puzzel and then she sees Skoll knows the frozen werewolf and frowns.

"I'm Sorry Skoll..."

The connection that Skoll knew the dead person is enough to snap her out of any self pitty. She checks her iTome for a moment and then Reize goes for a dive, she's about to go ate rhim however he seems to be all right, okay he's alive.

"Reize do you need a hand?"
Faruja Senra Sigh. Faruja just shakes his head, and starts to help dig out Reize from the snow. "...At least the snow broke thine tumble." The rat sounds just a little amused.

For all of five seconds. An ear perks. The Burmecian doesn't comment, as the corpse turns out to be someone Skoll knows, and likely very closely if his tone is any indication. He might make an exception here if Skoll wants a Yevonite funeral for the man.
Avira "You knew this one?" Avira sounds shocked as she watches Skoll's reaction. She didn't want to assume that something as silly as all werewolves knowing each other was true. Skoll has mentioned that betrothed was a golden-furred werewolf from another tribe in the past. Clearly others existed.

But seeing this corpse here, clearly having been alive at one point, was just too sad to see. She doesn't make any move to touch the corpse now or to remove the object from its hand. Skoll can-and should-handle that himself. Instead, she follows, holding back a laugh as Reize is assaulted by snow.
Mir Clarence Despite that though, Mir knelt down and pressed her hands against his shoulders, facing him from the front. "Don't be too much of an idiot, okay?" She mumbled, emanating a soothing energy. Not quite a healing spell, but it should be enough for this level of tumble.

"You still need to complete your own trial, don't you?" She glanced off at the pillar that was activated after that and smiled a tad. "At least that's one part of the puzzle down."
Faruja Senra Once poor Reize is unburied, Faruja squints at the orb. With a deep breath, he walks up to the charred wall. "Back, everyone, if ye please." He gives them all a moment, before sticking in the sphere.

Then, he makes a leaping dragoon-dive backwards into a roll, just in case is tries to explode in his face. He's already had enough traps for one evening.
Shiva As Faruja places the orb into the wall socket, a purple line lights up. Whomever was looking for the treasure was clearly looking in the wrong place. The line snakes around to the edge of the lower level, where a small chunk of ice breaks free, revealing a treasure chest. Score.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll finds the second sphere, and very carefully pries it out of Muninn's hand. This man had been loyal to his father for so long. What could possible have happened that this one would have turned on his father. Or... had his father simply gone completely off the deep end?

The werewolf faintly nods, a little in shock and out of it, when Deidra gives her condolences. He leaves the shred of werewolf fur alone, and lets out a long sigh. "So it's true... he's alive."

You'd think that Skoll would be the first person to get excited at one of his race being alive. But here lies a corpse, also one of his race; a race he thought almost entirely exterminated. But they'd been killed not by that destruction. But by one of his own.

He looks up at Avira when she comments about him knowing this one. "Muninn. One of my father's loyal followers. One might even have called him his eyes and ears in the wilderness of my former world." So he explains.

His voice is sad. "This is the last place I'd thought I'd find him. And least of all... like this." He closes his eyes and keeps his head held down for a moment, before lifting it to the skies and letting out a sorrowful howl.

A sorrowful howl, commemorating a fallen one of his race. It echoes through the icy halls, filled with Skoll's feelings. After all, all werewolves of his pack had been - at least in some way - family.

Only then, does the young man stand up, picking up the sphere, and tries to look down for any slots that logically still need to be filled.
Shiva And, as Skoll manages to find the remaining sphere slot on the middle level, the other pillar lights up, completing the pathway above. Time to trek back to the upper level and make their way into the chamber of the esper herself.
Reize Seatlan The Good: Reize may have incidentally solved a puzzle completely by accident.
The Bad: Reize's well-being may have been a sacrifice in order to solve the puzzle to its proper place.

As Reize is managing to get onto his knees, a shadow looms over the boy. His eyes lift up to see the source---

---oh hi snow---wait what?"ACCCKK!!!"

Thwack! The snow and ice collapses on Reize, sending him face planted to the patch of snow beneath him. This is not one of the days that he can get a break.

Mir's comment earns a frown as comical tears roll along his eyes, "...So mean..." His antenna hair looks like it gotten a beating. As Faruja and Mir help dig him out of the mess. The fairy's healing magic helps Reize get back to a nominal strength; it's warm and alleviating to the harsh coldness of the weather.

"Thanks..." He smiles towards Faruja, and then Mir. A glance is given to Deidra, "They managed to get me out, thanks!" ...However, his eyes drifts upward to see Skoll with someone. He has heard a bit of the somber voices. ... And then, that somber howl. Reize lowers his head from the lower level, "...Skoll..." The youth feels horrible for his friend. He will allow Skoll the time to grief.

After the moment, Reize looks up to see a light emanating from the pillars. Reize looks over towards Mir, "Time to meet up with the others."
Zia It was hard to figure out how much of what was going on was actually Shiva's ill will, and what seemed to be leftovers from whomever had tresspassed before. There were plenty of reasons that she might be angry at him - from stumbling juvenile flirting to the whole 'dark esper' thing, but the sight of another werewolf being frozen down here seems to suggest there is more to the story. "Do ye think... he might have found his way here?"

She asks in a quiet voice, taking a few steps closer to the werewolf. As he goes on to explain the connection between this wolf and Odin, it only seems to affirm her fears. "His father is trying to get to the espers before we do." Zia looks across towars Avira, expression serious.

Then, the wolf howls, and her ears tuck back. Something within her stirs, but other than the goosebumps she tries warm away from her arms, Zia does little else but lower her head.

Walking to the edge, she looks down and calls out to the others. "Come on up. Looks like we've got a way across now." Yep, time to get going. She'll wait for Skoll to finish his moment of mourning, and then start her way to the upper level.
Mir Clarence At Skoll's howl, Mir went quiet, she could understand his grief...and now she felt a bit guilty for indirectly calling that frozen corpse gross. That wasn't very respectful to the dead. ".....Sorry." She mumbled mostly to herself, and then nodded, raising her head as Reize spoke up.

"Okay, let's get going then." She stood then, lowering her hands to her sides as her wings began to flutter, expelling a shimmering green dust as she started to float up to the level above. "Did we get everything now?"

Sighing as it apparently was the case, Mir casually extended her hands a bit, casting some supportive spells on Reize and Faruja...just in case. She had every right to be paranoid after all the traps and pitfalls so far!
Deidra Deidra hears that Zia seems to ahve found a wya up and she drops out of whatever she'd been thinking about. She pockets the tome, spread her wings and heads up hopefully to catch up with Zia.

"This is some good news, shall we get a move on. If someone else is after Shiva we need to get there before they do."

With that she's flying to catch up with Zia.
Avira Avira looks utterly confused, "But how could he...wasn't he..." Slowly she grows to accept that maybe Skoll isn't alone as he had thought.

Valeth was alive, after all. ...well, sort of alive, if one could consider being a fiend alive. Where had he gotten off to anyway? She doubted he stuck around after the Shinryuu came and made a mess of that place. Wordlessly, she follows after the others to the upper level.
Faruja Senra Faruja accepts the fairy's buffs, reaching over to ruffle Reize as he's righted. "Ye did well." Even if he bumbles about, Reize always gets the job done.

Then, with a quick cast, he Warps up to the treasure. Open! Dun-na-nuh-nanannana-naaaaah!

Doo-doodly-doo! It's a....letter? Faruja opens it. Upon reading the contents, his eye narrows. 'IOU: One Thunder Spear. <Dragon Symbol>.

"Oh, by Ajora's pantaloons! I hate this Temple!" Laments the rat. Still, he stuffs taht letter away. Yeah, he's keeping whoever wrote the letter to that.

Then, Faruja listens as Skoll and Zia speak. His eye goes wide. Another Warp spell, and he's on the bridge, crossing over. Memories of a dream, a bloody wolf in the snow, and a bounding figure ignites the rat's fury. Holy magic bleeds off of the Burmecian even as he casts magic upon Skoll and Zia.

"Come, Ser Ulfang. We hath work to do." His tone is one of barely restrained rage. He knows well who puts those scarrs on Hati. The ratling mutters something about affixing heads to pikes as he stalks into the inner chamber.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll's ears continue to hang down even as he finally does slot the final sphere, and proceeds to make his way up in order to cross the bridge. In doing so, he joins up with Zia and allows her to explain just what may be going on.

"But why..." He whispers. Why would his father want to get to the espers? He can't summon them! ... right? He's not an Unlimited, like himself. He's a normal werewolf. Or has something happened to him? Is there something he simply doesn't know yet?

It'll take the werewolf a moment to get his act back together, whether he's mourned or not. "I can't believe that he's alive either, Avira. But the evidence speaks for itself. That fur... it was my father's. I'm sure of it." Sure, he's not as alone as he'd thought.

But somehow... this. All of /THIS/... it only made him feel more alone in that regards.

Hearing Avira's surprise, and both Faruja and Zia supporting him, Skoll does feel a bit better as he crosses the bridge. "Thank you guys." He whispers.
Shiva As the doors are opened into the Chamber of Shiva, the cold seems to grow just that much deeper. The song of the Fayth (or the hymn of Farm, or the tribal songs of the wolves) plays, moprhing itself to the ears of those who hear it. Each would hear a song they consider sacred before it returns to the haunting melody they had heard in the entryway. Oddly, there is also a frozen over painting that seems to show clouds against a dark sky, complete with metal spires and lightning. It seems strange in this place.

Yet... the icy esper is waiting for them.

Shiva floats in the center of the chamber, her white eyes staring towards the adventurers as they arrive. As Reize steps through the doorway, his pendant seems to glow brighter, resonating with a crystal that lies within one of the Esper's wrist-bands. Her eyes find him first, then move on to Skoll, watching these two as if they were the reason for all of her troubles.

"You may have found my temple, but I will not fall to darkness so easily." Her arms extend, snowflakes drifting from her fingertips as wisps of wind sweep them around her like a blizzard. "The last one who came failed, and so will you." Her hand extends towards them, as if she were grouping the party as a whole.

"This place will be your tomb." Her hand closes, and as it does, a series of ice spikes shoot up from the ground, trying to catch them within like a cage - or spear them through. The Esper doesn't seem picky about that at the moment.
Mir Clarence As they entered into Shiva's chamber, Mir's eyes were immediately drawn to the iced over painting. "...What's that place?" She asked aloud, and to no one in particular. She was curious, but it seemed like now would not be the time to get an answer as Mir's gaze went from the painting, to Shiva. "...Oh."

She looked mean.

And out of the corner of her eye, she could spy Reize's pendant glowing even brighter than before. "..." Looks like this was it. Thankfully, the girl had prepared herself for trouble this time, and as the ice came, she shielded herself with her arms, erecting a small scale magic barrier to cause the freezing assault to hit everywhere but the area she'd been standing in.

"That's not funny! Someone could get hurt! ...Which is probably the point." Sigh. Mir quickly lowered the hastily erected barrier to look over her companions...Skoll and Avira took some heavy hits. Nodding to herself, the fairy floated over to them, already beginning to cast stronger restorative magics. "Are you two okay? That looks really painful...Try to stay with me, okay?" Not physically, but mentally. Yeah.

Oh whatever, she sucked with words, casting magic now!
Zia Zia doesn't have any answers for Skoll. Instead, she just shakes her head. There are so many implications of the werewolf's father being alive in this realm. Trying to make sense of why he might be going after the Espers is something she can't quite grasp just yet. Though, they'd been warned about it, hadn't they? The dark form that stalks Skoll's path to recovering his power... the Espers had talked about it, and now it seems that much more clear just who it means.

"Seems like we arenae in for a warm welcome." She murmurs under her breath as the Esper begins talking. Perhaps it's 'heretical', but her world doesn't have these creatures, and thus she doesn't have the reverence for them that some others have. Sure, there's some nice ones - like Carbuncle, but one that greets them with spikey, icy death - not so good.

Pushing off into the air, the white gargoyle manages to avoid the worst of the spell, her wing clipping the edge of one icy shard. It's one of those moments where her other 'persona' would probably be of more use, but this isn't quite the moment where she wants that known - not yet. Instead, she'll have to depend on her her own magic and hope that will serve well enough.

"Ye know, Ah'm nae a fan of the whole shoot-first ask questions later thing. Ye might try lettin' people explain before ye go off turnin em' inte popcicles." That said, Zia sweeps her wings forward, sending a gust of wind towards the Esper, hoping to catch her off-guard and buffet her around a bit, or at least keep her from being able to aim those wicked ice spells quite so much.
Avira Gregorian chanting in latin fills Avira's ears as they near what is no doubt the esper. She slows near the painting, frowning with confusion as she looks upon it. That didn't seem like a landscape commonly associated with /ice/.

"...I'm afraid you are mistaken, Esper Shiva." Avira begins, respect clearly reflecting in her words. This is, after all, the esper that resonates with her chosen element. "We are not here to promote the darkness, we're here to recruit your help in fighting it."

With a heavy sigh, Avira draws her blade and steps forward, unafraid to do battle with Shiva. In short order, the ice cages her but with a shout, she smashes through the ice around her, making use of her own magic to manipulate the element to her will. She only uses it to free herself, figuring using ice magic on Shiva would be pretty...ineffective.

"..damnit, my magic is going to be useless here." she doesn't even bother channeling it through her blade. Instead, she tries to close on the esper, resorting to plain swordplay. With a burst of air she leaps skyward, coming down upon her with an overhead cleave. Should the esper be knocked down to her level, she follows up briskly with a series of rapid jabs, spinning sideways to finish with a horizontal slash before sidestepping to flank.
Reize Seatlan Re-joining with the others, Reize walks alongside of Faruja and Mir. As Faruja ruffles his hair, the boy chuckles and grins up at Faruja, "Thanks!" His antenna hair bobs about, looking dizzily. Once the young adventurer joins with the others, Reize makes his way over towards the bridge. The essence of magic flow along the boy as time itself seems to be still for a brief moment. He feels rejuvinated, as if a burst of energy has heightened.

While they cross the bridge, Reize places a hand over towards Skoll's back.

"Skoll, you're not alone on this. You got your friends by your side. We won't give up. We can't." He grins.

However, as the doors opened, Reize can feel the chill becoming bone-cutting. As the song of the Fayth plays, the boy can hear those haunting tunes. "...Wow.." The boy looks over at the paintings. He squints over to see the paintin a bit more. "..."

The more strange part...

His pendant reacts strongly. It brightens, resonating with that essence. As the boy looks over towards the center to see Shiva. His eyes widen as he sees a crystal glimmering along the band. "Wh--hoa..."

And her eyes focuses on him for that brief moment. He tenses considerably, giving a nervous look.

"Wh--what? Wait, we're not trying to make you fall into the darkness!" The attempt to reason with her fails as she releases a fierce wind of the blizzard. Even more terrible, ice spikes forming to the ground to try to spear through them. "Gah!"

With an alarmed yelp, Reize takes a dive towards the ground to evade the rising spikes and then he pulls out his boomerangs. "We aren't going to fall either! Everyone, let's do this!" Reize charges ahead towards Shiva, taking opposite of Avira's flank besides Shiva while Zia works her weather magic. The boy makes his way up towards the wall and he leaps up to it. He springs back over to dash at Shiva with a twist of his body to launch a double spinning kick at Shiva.


Then, the boy twists downward to bring his foot out to strike her with a downward kick. "Saaa!"
Faruja Senra They enter, and Odin isn't there. The white-knuckled grip Faruja has on his spear slowly loosens. His scowling lessens, as he looks upon the icey esper, settling into simple 'foul mood'.

The Burmecian is quiet for a moment. An old Church hymn with notes from home helps lessen his temper. "...The one whom came here previously. The failure. Did ye slay him, honored spirit?" It's a simple question, and one he desperately wants to know.

Then, there's ice-spikes, and Faruja has a trio of them spear through his sides. Tearing away before he's lifted upwards, he falls upon his tail with a squeak of pain. Quickly righting himself with his spear, he ignores the bleeding for a moment as he notes the others.

Luckily, there's a healer in the party. Two in fact! Like a proper knight, he leaps over to Mir, sliding the last few inches into something akin to a guarding stance. Setting his sharp claws behind him, he starts to heal his own wounds, even as he attempts to defend the party's healer like a proper paladin!
Skoll Ulfang Stepping into Shiva's Chamber, they are immediately met by the woman of ice. Skoll doesn't even notice the strange painting. Instead, he's mesmerized by the beauty of the floating woman before them. Not in a way that is normal though. But more like there is a connection there.

Once she'd been his summon after all. But the pact made between the two had been 'dark' at one point. He can't blame her for not wanting to return to that. "I have nothing to do with 'that' last one." Skoll calls out to Shiva, throwing one hand to his side. "I no longer harbor that darkness."

But before his words can even reach her, Shiva shows that she's made up her mind, and lets a flash of ice break across the ground towards them. Skoll braces himself, putting his other hand before his face as the icy shapes stab up from the ground and try to puncture them. Skoll stands strong against the ice, but the frost tears through him no matter what, chilling him to the very bone.

"Shiva! Stop this! Please!" The werewolf grabs for the two rings of chains on his back, and throws them out like whips, holding onto them tightly in his hands. He doesn't really want to hurt the Esper. But he can't let her hurt his friends!

Crossing his arms, he whispers into the chains. His eyes closed, summoning the power of the sun into the chains. From his hands, a golden aura quickly stretches out along the chains, filling them with something that can only be described as Light. A beautiful golden light.

The werewolf bares his fangs, growling at Shiva as his eyes suddenly open, a golden light momentarily flashing from them. "LUMINOUS SUN CAGE!" The chains begin to move, as if living entities of their own, and stretch beyond their normal lengths. More and more links appearing out of nowhere as they snake towards Shiva and try to bind her - grapling for her arms and legs, and to tie them to her body.

"Power Imprisoning Bond." Skoll then finally announces. A flash of gold spears up from ground to ceiling, trying to 'cage' Shiva.

"Tssk... I can't believe I am fighting one of the Ancestors. This isn't how it should be. Please forgive me.
Deidra Hey they got to Shiva, this is good news. Wait Shiva's not very happy with them, oh she's not very happy at all. She seems to think they are working for someone else and there seems to be no chance to convice her yet, or is it due to Skoll? That could be it, she's got her tome out and she chants quickly bringing up a barrier that takes the brunt of the attack. Even then some gets past Deidra's spell craft and she's been hurt. She starts chanting again this time trying to sap some of Shiva's magical power and hopefully give the party a chance to talk her down.
Shiva A gust of cold wind is thrown in the direction of the talkative gargoyle, "I know the sight of one who has held me in chains before. His kind have forgotten the ancestors they once worshiped." At least she is responding to them, even if it is not in the most pleasant of manners.

The glowing wristband seems to absorb the energy from Deidra's attack, preventing it from ever reaching her, while the other us used to block Avira. Normally, an Esper would face a summoner one on one. Shiva isn't used to fighting large groups, though. Once these two attacks are diverted, she is left open to the remaining attacks from others.

The power of Zia's lightning flickers across her icy exterior, the wind buffeting back against the snow that surrounds her. "Your power is nothing compared to that of Ixion, or Ramuh. No mortal can compare to our stre---OOF." Reize's slash and kick knock her back slightly, the larger Esper narrowing her eyes at the boy.

Then, Skoll's chains catch her, and Shiva hesitates. "If you have truly thrown off the darkness, then fight me with all your strength, wolf. Show me the power of your heart and earn your right." She pulls herself free, looking towards Reize, "The same for you, little mortal. Can you prove yourself?"

She sweeps her arms close into herself, drawing snow and ice around her like a shield. "The other one never got this far. Others may let him into their sanctuary, but we have decided. Not again." Who is we? It's hard to tell. Regardless, the Esper's back arches slightly as she lashes out. Hail like golfballs strikes out towards them, followed by icy shards that threaten to spear the unwary.
Skoll Ulfang Mir's healing magic doesn't come a moment too soon. The healing magic washes over Skoll's body, and revitalizes him. "Thank you! Mir!" He may be Unlimited, but that doesn't mean things don't /HURT/. Sadly, it doesn't do away with the rediculous cold in this room. Or the ice that is sticking to his clothing and making him look like a porcupine!

Skoll's technique is disrupted, and Shiva breaks free. His chains are thrown back for a moment, during which the werewolf naturally returns them to himself and creates a chain-wrought shield before him that the hail strikes into.

Each strike causes his feet to grind back just a little. "Don't be so quick to ignore the strength of us mortals." Though Skoll is hardly a 'Mortal' in the normal sense of the word, and it might be considered a foolish statement by others.

"But very well, I will prove myself to you. And assuming the 'others' are those who I once called my own, I will prove myself to them as well!" Bringing the chain-shield out of its form, the werewolf whips them forward once more, jumping into the air and bringing up first the right side -- burning with a blazing aura -- and then the left -- chilled with a deep cold -- trying to lash them over Shiva's body, before letting them both descend upon her.

"WARP CHAIN!" Arcane magic burning through it, trying to disrupt her connection with her own power. He quickly glances around at the others. "Zia!" She got hurt. "All of you - Hang in there!"
Mir Clarence All the talk of darkness, espers, Ixions, Ramuhs, and ancestors just left Mir confused. She was just a...relatively normal girl who, by all rights, had no business being here. And thus, she just frowned as she failed to understand anything. ".....What are you people even talking about?" The girl grumbled, standing waaaaay in the back, not about to go flailing her arms at Shiva uselessly. Leave that to the big, strong adventurers.

A glance at Reize.

...Small, twiggy adventurers too.

Not that she had room to criticise on people's heights. She was probably the smallest here!

".....!?" Caught by surprise, Mir shielded her face with her arms as a storm of ice pelted her, and the others. "Ow! Ow, ow ow! That hurts!" Of course it does. Once the assault had passed, Mir once again took a look around and proceeded to heal the most wounded looking ones, this time being Zia and Faruja.

"Just a second..." She said quickly, stepping over to them and casting her magic again. Skoll is given a nod in the meantime before being left to do what he does best; or better than her. And that's to fight.
Reize Seatlan "Good job, Zia!"

Even if Zia did not exactly make the exact damage that she intended, it gave enough of a distraction for Reize to step in and clock her with a kick and the slash of his boomerang. The boy rolls towards the ground, landing on a knee and then he looks up at shiva.

"Don't underestimate us, Shiva!"

Reize gives her that look of determination, then he starts running around her as his boomerangs are still drawn. The boy springs back from Shiva, jumping to a distance to throw a boomerang out her way. The boomerang intentionally misses her, only to hit a wall. It ricochets from the wall and zips past her to hit the ceiling. The boomerang starts darting all directions to smack out her way.

"...We?" Reize quirks an eyebrow. As the ice shards flow to spear against Reize, he yelps and he reaches into his bag of tricks. He procures his hookshot from the bag of tricks and then he shoots it into the air. As the hookshot prepares to clamp out, the boy launches the hookshot over towards Shiva's form.

"Here we go!"

The hook dislodges from its holder and seeks to latch onto Shiva's arm. Yet, even if the hook miss her arm, it'll latch onto one of the walls. The Lightning Materia will likely activate at the process, shooting Reize towards Shiva in the dash. As Reize is zooming her way, he is seeking to catch his boomerang and use the pull as a momentum.

The ricocheting boomerang coming back in time for Reize to release the hookshot and catch the boomerang.

Then... Reize bursts her way in a blinding speed while mid-air. He prepares to swing the arcing boomerangs out like a pair of swords as he passes by her.

"Hunting Hawk!"
Zia Shiva seems to have a good idea about how to shut up the white gargoyle, as an ice-ball to the face to do the trick. Zia winces, grabbing at her nose. For now, all she can manage is a nasal-sounding muttering of: "Tha isnae very nice." A bit of blood drips between her fingers from what is likely a broken nose. She'll likely have those 'racoon eye' bruises tomorrow without some healing, too. Stupid Espers.

Of course, the golf-ball to the face isn't the end of her troubles. Drawing her wings in quickly is only enough to ward off some of the ice shards, and it forces her to have to catch herself on the wall of the cloister with scrambling talons. It leaves Zia hanging semi-upside down, hair dangling forward. It seems only one spear had hit it's mark, and she tugs it out of one shoulder.

"Alright. Ah've had enough." The nasaly-broken-nosed Scottish would be funny in any other situation, really. Shoving off of the wall, Zia sweeps over the head of the Esper, sending down small torrents of wind which should, at least, keep her somewhat distracted, even if they aren't the most powerful of her magics.

She lands, bat-like on the other side of the cloister, only to hear Skoll call out, "Ah'm fine." Goosenose. Then, Mir's magic comes over her. One minute pain, the next... "By the egg." Zia touches her nose, "Yer a miracle worker, lass!" She calls out, no more goose-nose.
Deidra Deidra now sees it is Skoll, that has set Shiva off. Given Skoll's few comments about his life and family before she knew him? She could see why Shiva has made the assumptions she has. Her magic amounts to little as Shiva absorbs her spell. She'll have to think of something else but what? She must think quickly and act quickly she says nothing for she's caught in the icy power of the Esper as she lashes out. She's speared by several of the shards and lets out a cry pf pain, her eyes also are glowing red. No she's not happy, then again who is happy to be stabbed like that?"

She needs to figure out how to weaken Shiva in some other way so she starts chanting once more tyring to bite through the pain and unleash a minor curse or two upon Shiva. She's clearly not doing so well from the bleeding wounds and well how much she seems to be fighting to keep on her feet.
Faruja Senra "Ye underestimate the power of mortals, honored spirit. Though we may not have thine power, 'tis our faith: in God, in our friends, and in ourselves that allows us to rise above the frailties of the flesh! We shalt not fall before ye."

Faruja gives a swift nod to Skoll. He'll be damned if he dies to some Esper! Thrusting his blade, even as he's forced to keep his head down by showering ice, and more spikey ice-bits, the ratling goes to work with rising blades of Holy Fire beneath Shiva! Even if they may not be that strong, the Esper might feel weaker to the holy element after the strike. "The doom of a planet! Crush Punch!"
Avira Healing magic well on the order of what she's experienced from Maira overwhelms Avira, causing her quite a bit of surprise. It takes her a moment for her to realize that it came from Mir-and when she does, she gives the fair-winged girl a thumbs up.

"Chains? Is that really what a summoning pact is?" Avira huffs as her attack is repelled and she drops back to the floor in a crouched position. "I thought it was a partnership, not slavery." Nope, pokemon they are certainly not.

Stepping back, Avira transfers the Spine to one hand and lifts the other into the air. With a gesture, the hail and ice that descend towards her part, falling all around her, not a single stone or icicle. "Odin, huh. Well that's good to know he will never succeed. Looks like you'll have the edge, Skoll."

She switches her weapon to her other hand before charing again, leading with a jab, then spinning to follow up wth a back heel kick rather than a blow with her weapon. Whirling again, she chases after Shiva to finish off the combo with a strangely close-in upward knee.
Shiva Perhaps Shiva has never seen the strange chain-magic that Skoll uses, or she is unprepared for it. Whatever the case, as the chains descend upon her, she pays them little heed as there is no pain to come with them. Yet, after a moment, it becomes clear to her that there is more to this spell than meets the eye. "Clever..." Her voice is like ice as she pokes at one of the chains. "But not good enough."

The Esper barely follows the ziping about of some of the faster members of the party, especially Reize. It isn't until he is rocketing in her direction that she looks up, blocking him with her wristband. There is a strange energy that resonates when his attack comes so near to the 'source' that his pendant seems to be calling to. The back-lash is enough to leave her wincing.

Like an insect, she bats once at Zia's passing magic, which seems to irritate rather than do great harm. The same goes for the holy blades which lash at her feet. With a blast if gale-force winds she pushes herself away from them. Deidra's curses add to the feeling of weight being held on her shoulders by Skoll's chains. It makes it harder to avoid Avira's attack, but the Esper spins in mid-air and lands again, her form seeming slightly smaller than before.

Was she losing strength?

"You are clever to have brought your friends, but I am not done yet." Uh oh. There is a sound like ice cracking, the floor beneath their feet freezing as the icy Esper spins once in the air, wind and ice shooting out in all directions. This is the height of Shiva's power. If they can survive this, they might stand a chance...
Mir Clarence For all of her healing others, Mir hasn't been taking very good care of herself. Not that she can do much more at the moment than support the people who were actually capable of fighting. Thus, when Shiva acknowledges the strength of the others, she was taken aback by the sheer force of power the Esper displayed as she unleahsed her ultimate attack; Diamond Dust.

The storm of freezing air and ice chunks tears into the fairy and she let out a cry of pain before falling to her knees.


Panting heavily, keeping herself upright with her hands, the girl's vision flickered in and out of focus as she looked on at the battle. Shiva was still standing strong, and here she was, nearing collapsing. "...Haaahhahaha...Figures." She muttered, shaking her head slowly.

There were definitely others in worse condition though, so mustering up the strength to stand, Mir extended a hand towards Avira and Faruja, casting additional healing magic. "Guys? Try to finish this soon...!"
Faruja Senra Victory is at hand! Or maybe not, as the floor itself begins to freeze and crack, the temperature almost enough to freeze the blood. As the storm of ice and snow kicks up, Faruja leaps over to Deidra; practically tackling the once-human Gargoyle. Using his body to shield her, jagged shards of ice pierce through plate mail, the Burmecian squeaking and yalping as he's made into a rattish pincushion. And for once, it isn't because he's pissed off the local esper.

He'll blame this all on Reize when he can feel anything that /isn't/ cold and pain. There's ice-cicles forming on his tail and ears, and some part of his brain is sure he's getting frost bite in the extremities. At least he won't bleed out; the cold freezes the blood, stopping that health risk.
Zia Most of the time, Zia seems to be the one who usually takes the bront of major attacks like these straight to the face, no matter how much she tries to avoid it. Today, she just seems to have luck on her side. There is a pillar of ice hanging down from the ceiling, and with a quick movement, she ducks behind it and presses her back against it, watching as the force of the Esper's magical blast goes by. "Whew... Tha was close."

With a peek out from her hiding place, Zia watches the chaos below, "Hang in there, Faruja!" She calls out, concerned after seeing him throw himself in harm's way as he tends to do. It's just a Faruja-ism.

"Alright... lets see how she likes a taste of her own medicine." Pushing off of the wall, the white gargoyle extends her wings, gliding to the highest point in the domed room. There, with the winds summoned up to keep her airborn, she calls down some of the strongest of her own magic. In the close confines, it isn't quite the storm she can manage elsewhere, but it should do a good bit of damage - hopefully.

There's rain, tempest winds, her own icy chunks of precipitation, and enough lightning to make the hair on the back of people's necks stand up.
Avira This was distressing. Had Avira been relying on her magic to boost her strikes so much that her actual swordmanship had suffered? She'd have to go off and practice it more lately. This performance was, frankly, unacceptable. Angantyr would be /so/ disappointed.

"I'm trying." she grumbles as she bares the full brunt of the ice leveled at her. As she stands firm against the gale, refusing to drop even as it freezes her in place, a distant memory stirs inside of her...

...standing upon a mountain, facing a blizzard raging down from above, feeling the bitter cold of the ice in every bit of her body. Understanding its true essence. Knowing the ice so intimately, not a single secret escaping.

A ragged sigh escapes her as she charges the esper once more, her Spine berfit of magic.
Skoll Ulfang Hehehe... by the egg. Skoll can't help but be amused.

"Some people create a summoning pact through chains." Skoll answers Avira, accompanied by a sorrowful look. "I don't know if they can truly stop Odin. My father has power even beyond what I know."

"I've heard rumors, and have seen it on other worlds. Ancestors trapped in stones. Or worse. For me, the pacts were not always dark or light. But they soon grew to chains as the darkness within me grew." The werewolf turns his gaze down for but a moment, before looking up once more.

"But that was /then/. I will no longer allow darkness to befoul my heart!"


The werewolf throws his hand dramatically to the side again and retracts his chains, "Bringing my friends had nothing to do with smarts. They are here simply because we're friends! Because that's what friends do! They're there for eachother!"

The chains come back to life, glowing and growing larger as a pale while light starts to pervail through them. It starts at his hands, two stands of light on each side twisting between the chains, forming a second set of chains interlinked with the first.

Skoll hangs in there even as the ice start to crack and wind and ice shoots towards them. Diamond Dust. Skoll knows its power well. He's been on the receiving end of it more than once in his past. And he's used its power as a Summoner.

It tries to blow him away, the frost tearing into his flesh. He can feel the pain spreading through his body. Barely able to see in front of him. And then...

"I must protect my friends." Skoll howls, and takes a firm step forwards. The light in his chains grows brighter. "And in order to do that, I must defeat you. Not just because I need your power - Shiva. But because right now, you're hurting those who are dear to me!"

Another step forwards, and he draws one chain closer to himself and it starts to shape, while the other suddenly dives into the earth below. "Let me show you my power then! If you must see it so badly. The power of AN UNLIMITED!" Without his summons, it's clearly not his true full power. But...

Taking another step forwards, Skoll weathers the storm, his winter coat ripping at the seams. Shards of ice cut through it, cut along his flesh, but he still approaches Shiva. The chains in his right hand by now have formed a mighty spear of chain. Where-as the chains on his left hand continue to be bound around his hand and are starting to cause tremmors in the ground.

And then... finally... it comes. "INFINITE CHAIN!" The ground rocks, and breaks open. Not just in one place, but in multiple places! It catches onto Zia's lightning and grows like enormous chain snakes into the room, slicing from ground to ceiling in multiple places. It's like that one chain had become multiple!


And then, from multiple directions, it comes. Enormous chain spears try to stab and cage and grab Shiva!

The werewolf then pulls on the chain, and throws himself up into the air and forwards. The spear in his hand grows, the jingling of metalic chains rattles through the room. "UNLIMITED... HOWLING CHAIN!" And down he comes, with the spear aimed for Shiva - splitting into a two-pronged spear just at the last moment as he attempts to pin her into a wall!
Reize Seatlan Reize has been doing good with the strike downs against Shiva. However, he turns to see that some of his friends have not been faring off well in the midst of it all. "Guys!" He looks worried. However, Avira's words call true to the boy regarding the use of chains, "...It does feel like imprisonment.." Reize thoughtfully adds. However, hearing Skoll's explanation, the boy offers a smile. Then, he looks over towards Shiva, "...You may have experienced the worst in humans, but you haven't forgotten the best in them, right?"

Reize managed to zip in and strike the ethereal being down, managing to get ot the other side right behind her. While he distances himself, the boy does wince a bit. There was some sort of backlash from the impact. The pendant is starting to glow with a bright aura.

And yet...

Shiva is showing her strength. His eyes widen as Shiva summons forth her wrath; the ice cracking and the floor freezing as ice shoots at all directions. The boy's eyes widen at the sharp, frigid blades. "Whoooaaaa!" The young adventurer begins moving as fast as he can, springing back from the darting pins. He springs back from the pins...

His form is fading away from sight. As the boy's form becomes like a phantom, he blinks out of the existence.

...Only to re-appear behind Shiva.

The boy exclaims his fury.


As his pendant gives off an ominously bright glow, his aura expels off a force of energy. The will of the young adventurer manifests as a luminous aura that flares out in a burst. That burst of energy lashes all over as the boy extends his right hand to his side. "This is why you should not underestimate us humans, Shiva! This is a reminder for you!"

0Sparking blaze, I call upon your wrath...

A tarot manifests around his hand and he extends his right hand to his left side, the aura manifesting to a glittering tarot. The boy shoots the tarot overhead.

0Cry out your mighty roar!

The tarot spins around and forms into three small orbs of crimson energy. The flames flicker.

0Nova Flash!

The blazing energy swirls around the boy, they form like a ring and then the flames converge together to form into a massive fireball to lash against Shiva at close vicinity.
Deidra Deidra is closing in she's getting ready to cat a spell, but Shiva is faster. This is going to be bad there's no way she's going to be able to endure a hit like this. Then suddenly a Dragoon. Faruja has taken the hit, she's shocked for half a second but needs to make use of Faruja's heroic action.

She has time to chant and this goes on a bit longer before she finishes weaving the spell, that's when a bolt of raw arcane energy strikes from above towards Shiva, but will it be enough to put her down?

The Gargyole struggles with her wounds and the strain of casting the spell, hit or miss that may be the last of what she's able to do in this battle, she prays this that will be enough to stop the fight, if not? She will not last much longer and she knows it.
Shiva So much strength. It is impossible for the Esper to ignore the fighting hearts of those who have come here to her temple. They have come here for curiousity, strength, friendship, love. Whatever the reasons, the power she has seen is enough. This is enough.

Avira's spine lashes against her icy hide. Zia's magic rains down from above. Reize's flames sear away her layers of protection. Deidra's powerful winds lash against her. And last, the chains that bind and the spear coming towards her. Her eyes close, as if accepting her fate. Then, at the last moment, she catches the spear in one hand, looking Skoll straight in the eyes. "Enough."

Her magic pushes them back, but it is more gentle this time. The Esper seems to settle slightly, her magic sweeping around her like an icy cloak. "You have shown your strength, Skoll Ulfang, and honored your ancestors. I once gave my power to a fledgling boy, and he used it for dark purposes. I will give you a second chance to use my power for something better." The light around Shiva glows briefly, and an echo of the same power flickers over towards SKoll

Then, her eyes find Reize. "You come seeking something else, young adventurer." Shiva touches the crystal at her wrist, the light glowing softly before it rises up into the air, floating over to vanish into the glow of his pendant. "Like for your friend, this is only just one step on a longer journey."

The last one that finds her attention seems to be Avira - a kindred spirit, perhaps? "There may be a path for you, as well, but only time will tell." She closes her eyes, letting out an icy breath. "For now, I must rest. I am tired, and the road is long. There is darkness at your heels. It will find you soon enough."

Who is she talking to? It could easily be any of them. In this world of ruin, it is no doubt that there will be more trials than just this one.

The Esper's form begins to fade, leaving only the lingering hymn in it's place.
Faruja Senra The icey death fades, and Faruja slowly manages to push himself to a sitting position. He's quick to start knocking off pieces of ice, the rat quietly watching, and listening. His vision swims a bit, the ratling barely noticing the ice-shards still in his back.

His single eye turns to Skoll. That light...what is he? The more the rat thinks about it, the more he smiles. Skoll's a friend, freed of darkness. And that's all that matters. "Well done, Ser Ulfang. Ye shalt bring honor to thine forfathers."

Then, he turns to Reize. What /is/ that pendant he holds?

Using his spear, he gets to his feet. "Methinks the Esper is quite right." Dark dragons, corrupt stones, empires galore?

"No lack of corruption in this world." Time to get to healing everyone, starting with himself. Ow. He needs a hot bath, some bandages, and a wolfess-related massage. She's going to /kill/ him.
Avira Avira will take this moment to get the hell out of the way of everyone else, using the reprieve to gather herself and tend to her own shivering cold. Although adept with ice magic, she couldn't deny her body's biological reaction to such extreme temperatures.

Fortunately, their combined might overcomes the raging esper and Avira sighs in relief. "Like we said earlier, we're not with the darkness. We're not with Skoll's father-we're against it if anything. By his honor, he will certainly not abuse your trust and if he does, feel free to forsake him again." She did recall that his other summons had left him over being in service of the Gaudium Lords.

With a swift motion, she sheathes the spine and watches as the pact is completed. Then...confusion as the esper addresses her.

"I'm...sorry, what exactly do you mean by that? I'm not a summoner or anything like that." Though she can't help but be a tiny bit disappointed. Phoenix was way nicer. It must be a warmth/coldness thing.
Zia There is a moment where Zia is still in mid-air while the fighting stops. She swoops around one more circle of the chamber before landing near Skoll, her wings caping over her shoulders. There is something about that moment that leaves her silent and reverant, watching the transfer of power from Esper to Summoner. The creature's response to the others draws a curious look passed across them, head tilted, ears perked slightly. It seems like these Espers always have more of a role to pla than just being a site of pilgrimage.

"Yer sister isnae gointe be happy." She murmurs in the aftermath, once the Esper has faded. The news of their father's return had been only rumor before now, and it seems to be confirmed. And that's before any news about mouse-pin-cushions. "But... we did it at least?" She reaches out to touch his shoulder. "Just a few more and ye'll be back te full strength."

Her eyes sweep the others, making sure they are mostly in one piece, "Anyways... let's get out of here. This place gives me the creeps and Ah'm nae a fan of the cold." Shiver. Snuggle into coat.
Deidra Deidra has reached her limit when the Esper says Enough. She just kinda sinks down to her knees for the moment hoping to rest for now. She has no desire to press the fight and is thinking a period of stone sleep is just what she'll need to recover from this beating. She does not wish to fight Shiva again i she can help it. She's just happy her resarch and help turned out well when all thigns are considered.

"Very well Shiva and thank you."

She smiles a bit and has to agree they all have much to do.
Reize Seatlan After the spell fades, the pendant loses its glow for a brief moment. It is a silent humm now. Reize looks pretty calm, and then he shifts his stance with his boomerangs out. When Shiva finally declares the fight finished, Reize looks over at Shiva and Skoll.

As the two begin to exchange words, Reize is grinning. Skoll has managed to earn a second chance for the werewolves. Reize runs over to pat Skoll on the back and he grins. "Hee! You did it, Skoll!"

But then, Shiva turns to face him. "...Ah..." She touches the crystal and then that light...

That glow on the crystal is resonating along his pendant. As the boy holds onto the glowing pendant, it's light shines like a beacon. If anyone was to look at Reize at this point, they would see that the icy aura around Reize breaks apart...

It appears as water surrounding the boy as he grasps along the crystal of his pendant.

"...It feels like it has grown." It is a moment later that the glow fades away, leaving the pendant to carry a resting glimmer.

However, there was something that has drawn Reize's attention earlier. ...The painting.

Reize turns around and grins, "I'll catch up with you guys. Just want to see this painting. The location looks interesting!"
Mir Clarence Mir stood back and watched as Shiva repelled Skoll's last attack, or rather, caught it. "You have got to be kidding me..." She grumbled, at first preparing herself for the long haul, but she soon realized that the Esper wasn't going to attack further, but rather, told everyone to stay their hands. "That's it? ...Huh."

Well good. She wasn't sure she was prepared for another round. And with a huge sigh, the girl sunk down to her knees, her wings dissipating from physical and mental fatigue. She really had used up a lot of her magic in such a short frame of time. It wasn't a common occurence. "...So we're done here now?" Mir asked no one in particular, just tiredly observing the aftermath.

"Because I...could really use...a nice...."


She just fell over, unconscious. Closer inspection would reveal that she was...asleep.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll finds his spear halted, is pushed back from Shiva. Espers... the Ancestors. Truly, they are powerful beings. To think this was possibly not even a fraction of her true power.

Skoll lands deftly on his feet, and the chains grow inert and go slack. Some of the disappearing in the sparkle of rising beads of light. He takes a knee and bows his head before Shiva, as she speaks of his strength. He tries his best not to flinch as Reize pats his back.

"I won't let you down, Shiva." Skoll answers the icy Esper, feeling her soul come to resonate with him once more. Even with all that cold that she wields, her joining herself into a connection with him once more is something that feels 'warm'.

"Welcome back." He whispers.

He then slowly stands up once more, one hand to his knee, and gazes around the room. It seems that Avira had caught Shiva's attention - as had Reize. The latter even ending up with a gift of sorts.

Skoll nods his head at Avira. The werewolf doesn't mind her addendum. He will never abuse Shiva's trust ever again.

Closing his fist, he looks down at his chest, before looking at the others again and wanding over to where Reize is. The frozen painting. He actually stands there, looking at it for a bit, before deciding; "I don't recognize it."

The werewolf then turn-faces and nods at Zia. "You guys can all leave. But someone... ehmmm." He glances at Mir, who has fallen over. "Someone pick up our little healing hero. If it wasn't for her, we'd been in a pickle."

He then wanders out of the room. "I'll be a bit behind you guys. I want to give my kinsmate a proper burial pyre - so his spirit may join the ancestors."
Avira Avira reaches over and gives Skoll's shoulder a squeeze. She doesn't comment about the burial, leaving him to honor his fallen clanmember in the ways only he is familiar with.

"I'll give her a hand. She seems small enough." Avira announces, shouldering Mir up off the floor. With a grunt, she drags the girl along with her, stepping very carefully so she doesn't slip on the ice-encased floor.
Reize Seatlan Reize's intent was to see the painting up close. For some reason, it seemed very familiar. It looks like with the worst of it all over, Reize can actually see what it could be. "It looks familair, the style. It caught my attention before, so I wanted to see...----"

As the boy wipes his hand along the ice to free the painting...

There is a sense of familiarity with the style of the painting. Where he previously had a cheerful smile, it fades and is replaced with a wide-eyed gazed. His hands droop low as he gazes at the painting itself.

That music box... that familiar tune is ringing in his mind.

A clatter echoes as Reize's boomerangs drop.

As he stares at the painting, Reize gets a feeling that is similar to a knife stabbing him in the gut. "..." The shocked look fades before he reaches to his side to procure the deck of tarots. His fingers thumb along the cards until he finds the one that matches the painting on the wall.

Holding it up to the painting, the hand shakes as he takes in a breath. Closing his eyes, the boy places the card towards his side, shaking his head.

His head lowers, a shadow obscuring his face.

...She was here, wasn't she?

This scene contained 88 poses. The players who were present were: Reize Seatlan, Faruja Senra, Deidra, Skoll Ulfang, Zia, Avira, Violet, Mir Clarence, Shiva