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Prelude ~ Panic in Fluorgis
(2013-01-06 - 2013-01-06)
It started off as a normal day for the Shard Seekers, but then the Heartless invaded the city itself. Many adventurers banded together to stop the outbreak with a bit of a mysterious help...
Reize Seatlan It's a good day at the Shard Seeker's headquarters.

With the day being normal, it leaves for the group to start looking for adventures again. Unfortunately, yesterday was a bust because the Shard Seekers did not find Atlantis(Reize was leading, so this is a 99.9% explanation on why they did not find it).

The Headquarters is pretty peaceful today, Dandelion is running around happily, following the owner who looks a bit beaten, but in good spirits. After a session of getting healed by Lily and Lenn, Reize brights to a smile and he looks out ahead. "It is another day!"

He extends his hand out, pointing towards the sky.

"It's time for another's day of adventure! Faruja should be back by now as well!" And as Reize takes a step forward...

Dandelion, the trusty beagle, grabs Reize's scarf and starts tugging him.


Lily likely told Dandelion to make sure that Reize doesn't run off like he usually does.
Leida Adventure is pretty close to the furthest thing from Leida's mind as she moves about the lobby, humming softly. Her plain shirtdress has been augmented for the moment by an old apron that looks like she dug it out of some ancient storage room and probably manages to get her more dirty simply by wearing it than the puffs of sand and dust that are being kicked up as she cleans.

The soft scraping of straw bristles on the stones can be heard through the base as the broom in her hand does its work. Cleaning was a chore that required constant maintenence. Here in the desert the sand managed to get into just about everything at all hours of the day.

Fortunately, the heat was a little less oppressive indoors in the shade so the princess didn't particularly mind taking this task upon herself. Despite her noble birth she had plenty of experience with such things and the familiarity of the job was pleasant. It allowed her to help out around the HQ in some small way, even if she wasn't really good for much else yet.
Faruja Senra Faruja has been absent for some time, and rather suddenly, but the news plastered about the various worlds-wide news services of the attack upon Mullonde, and subsequent miracle, would likely be more than enough to explain the Temple Knight's departure. Almost as if on cue, the ratling walks inside the front door after a polite rapping on the door with a claw. There's an aura of confidence around the Burmecian, and more importantly, of purpose that had been shaken for some time since Manhattan. He's a rat on a mission today, it seems.

And arriving just in time to see the little Beagle yank on poor Reize's scarf! Before he can even say a thing, the dog has the Templar desperately trying to stifle a laugh. A hand goes to his muzzle, but he can't quite look away, snickering. "Heh heh heh...ahh, my my! Good morn to you Ser Seatlan! And to you as well, little Dandy. Keeping our glorious leader out of trouble?" He'll bow to Reize, walking over to give the little beagle an affectionate ruffle along the ears.

"Good girl!" Suddenly, dog treats. Glancing up, he gives Reize a more serious, appraising look.

Mmm. I see Lady Lenn has kept you in one piece at least." Frown. The ratling's getting that 'healer' look on his muzzle again.

One ear perks at the sound of unfamiliar humming, shortly followed by a girl. The Templar stands, single red eye glancing her over. A moment's thoughtful look, and he bows. "...Lady Leida, I presume? Temple Knight Faruja Senra, at your service."

The nezumi's tone is polite, not aggressive like he would be with typical cases of potential Heresy. A keen ear might pick up a hint of conflict in the rat's voice. Not exactly black and white, little Leida's situation, and the rather cut-and-dry world view of the Burmecian clashes horribly with it.
Reize Seatlan "ArghagrhwhatareyoudoingDandy?!"

And the boy is released from being dragged. His eyes widen when he sees a good friend, and then his smile brightens, "Oooi! Faruja!" Reize greets the burmecian. As he glances back at Dandy with a glare, Dandy returns that defiant glare.

Mommy said keep daddy out of trouble, so...

Reize relents with a sigh, then he says, "I guess no leaving for the day." When Faruja appraises him, the boy laughs sheepishly, "Lily and Lenn spent the night healing me." He frowns, "There was a Judge that Luso, I, and a couple of others fought last night."

And then, Faruja is greeting Leida. As he can see the interaction, Reize looks over towards Faruja. There is the look that is a slight frown. Please remember what he said.
Leida The sound of visitors causes the small girl to look up from her cleaning, peering over at the door with a quiet look of curiosity. Her hands tighten about the handle of the broom as she sees the armored Burmecian step in with the confidence of one who belongs. She doesn't have a good history with armored strangers showing up unannounced.

The look Leida gives the knight is one of timidness, her shoulders hunching up as he turns his attention upon her. Her eyes meet his for a moment but drop to the floor almost immediately, silent tension building in the air. She looks to Reize from the corner of her eye for guidance here but it seems like he's taken a passive stance.

After a few moments the princess seems to gather her courage and offers Faruja a polite bow in return, her body folding forward at the waist towards him as her slender hands clasp together on her thighs. The move is smooth and graceful, carrying with it the practiced ease of courtroom etiquette despite the haggard appearance of her garments.

"U-um... yes... I am Leida. It is a pleasure to meet you..."
Faruja Senra "Excellent. Lady Lily is in need of sharpening her skill, and more importantly, to take reign of it. Hardly better claws to be in." The Knight isn't in a hurry to save Reize from Dandy. His tail sneaks around, rubbing her fuzzy head. Good doggie!

Pause. Wait. "...You fought a Judge. Of Arcadia."

The ratling takes a step forward, looking as though he's going to smack Reize upside the head. He stops himself, however, as worry for the boy wins out over anger. "Explain."

So much etiquette from one so young strikes the rat as being very upper class. The tip of his tail twitches in brief irritation, only enhanced by Reize's news. Reize's glance is returned, and he keeps his temper with a monumental effort. Slowly, his gaze softens. "And you as well, M'Lady. I have been informed of your..." He pauses, hunting for a word that won't frighten the already tense young girl. "Situation. Worry not. My wrath is reserved for Dark beings, not unfortunate children. With time, luck, information, and Faith, mayhap we will be able to drive out that which plagues you, rather than merely seal it." The rat has his doubts about such seals remaining in place.
Reize Seatlan Eeesh. Faruja is looking pretty angry his way. His antenna hair shivers and the boy steps back slightly.
"...I don't think it was a Judge of Archadia." Reize scratches his haed towards Faruja. "...Cirra was with us at the time." He furrows his eyebrows, "...He wanted to test us through an ordeal. ...When we beat him, he departed, feeling that he found people with strong hearts."

He shuts his eyes, "...Luso told me that there were rumors of a figure who attacked various people, so he went to look for the person responsible. Deelel, Yurita, and I stumbled in on it."

Though, Reize looks back at the two's interaction, smiling that the burmeciean is showing restraint.
Leida "O-oh..." If the outright confirmation of Faruja's intentions did anything to soothe the girl's nerves, it doesn't show very well. The fact that such an intimidating individual knows about her past is unsettling. She remains bowed towards him for a long pause but eventually stands up again, eyes glued to her feet.

Silently, she doubts if this knight truly understands the thing that he proposes. Demons were akin to gods in her world, their powers were beyond mortal ken. That it had been sealed at all was the work of ancient magics woven by an opposing spirit. To drive it out completely was a possibility beyond her ability to hope. She would just have to do her best to keep it under control.

"I... thank you... for your understanding." Leida inclines her head again for a moment. "Um... would you like some tea...?"
Faruja Senra The rat's anger deflates rapidly. Uncharacteristically, he slumps, one hand on his chest. "...Lord in heaven, Reize! Please, PLEASE do not bandy about that term without qualifiers, pray you!" Siiigh. Reaching to his cheek, he yanks out a strand of fur. It's held up to the boy. There's a hint of grey at the end. Letting it go, it floats in front of the boy's face before being blown away with a breeze flowing in.

Straightening himself, the rat sways his tail. "How curious. Tell me there was a name loosed from our mysterious Judge of hearts' tongue? Or mayhap a Judge of /where/ exactly? Had the Lady Judge or Ser Clemens any insight?"

The girl's response is about what he expected. Faruja isn't exactly trained for comforting of victims of possessions; that's a Priest's job. The rat's confidence is real, though. As far as he's concerned, nothing is beyond the Church and his God.

"Thank the Lord, and Ser Seatlan. I am but a humble Temple Knight. 'Tis my duty to see your soul freed, and in the hands of the Father and the Holy Son once more." One ear perks.

"That would be delightful, thank you, M'Lady. Need you help preparing it?" His gaze softens a touch at that. No better way to get at a Burmecian's heart than an offer of tea.
Reize Seatlan "Eh heh, sorry." Reize adds, rubbing the back of his head. And as Faruja asks the boy about the name, Reize is rubbing his chin with thoughtfulness. ...Faruja and Leida can likely see the steam coming from his head as he's trying to think about it.


Suddenly, it hits Reize hard. "The Judge of Nocturne!"

The boy glances over, "I remember now! It was a mark!" He boy places his hand over his chin, "There were rumors of a figure wandering around as a single entity of pure, terrible darkness. He challenged strong warriors to combat."

The boy looks over towards Leida, his grin widening. However, Faruja's other question is regarded with a frown, "No, I don't think they knew too much ofthe guy's origins.." His antenna flops. "...Though, Luso did get a sword. Unlike the last sword that we found, it did not bleed off any ominous magic."

And then, Reize brightens and he just decides to follow the two. "Faruja is great at making tea!" He adds to Leida.
The young adventurer can't help but grin from ear-to-ear. It looks like the two will get along yet!
Leida The Father? Holy Son? But her father was dead and he was the last person Leida wanted getting their hands on her again. And her brothers were far from what she might call saintly. Perhaps these were titles for some celestial entities but if so the princess had never heard of them. Human souls were not things that the gods cared to toy with unless it was part of their duties and only demons sought to interfere with the natural order of things.

This talk is all rather confusing to the poor girl but she has enough sense to know that the merger of worlds is likely to blame for these strange new concepts. Rather than offend this frightening individual by speaking about things she doesn't comprehend, the princess merely bows to him again.

"Oh, no... please, allow me to take care of that task. An honored guest should not trouble themselves so..." Despite Reize's encouragement, it just felt wrong to allow a weary traveler to do such menial tasks. It was also rude to wear shoes indoors but she hadn't managed to bring anyone onboard that particular rule yet. Everyone here wore such complicated footwear for some reason.

Turning away, Leida scampers off towards the kitchen to do just that. Fortunately, it had become her policy to keep a kettle heated while she was around for just such occassions.
Faruja Senra The whole Judge of Nocturne bit has a slow nod from the rat, as well as a pen and notepad produced from his robes. Scribble scribble. "Mmm. Far too uncommon, such entities, but strange that it chose to test others. To what purpose? To twist them into falling from a righteous path? One cannot trust such creatures. They are living embodiments of lies and deceit, seeking out the pure, innocent, and weak to use to their own purposes." As for Luso, the rat sighs in relief. "That young Ser's greed for all things bladed will be the death of him if he seeks naught to learn a touch of sense."

All titles, of course, that the Templar would be happy to explain! But for now, Leida's spared the conversion attempt.

"My, my, for a human, your manners are impeccable. However, I am hardly a 'guest'. 'Tis something of a second home, and the Shard Seekers not far removed from kin. I insist!" Seems the Knight won't be dissuaded! He follows into the kitchen. "Mmm. Yet, it seems you've caught me unprepared." A kettle on and everything. Touche, young lady~
Priel Aylin And while all of this was going on, the audible sound of SOMETHING pulling up the building could be heard. There was a sound like something before shut and then the front door to HQ opened. Following that was the tap of footsteps approaching the main area. Eventually, though, the mystery guest made themselves known to allas they stepped into sight.

"Hello losers~"

It's Priel. Oh what fun.

Oddly enough though, there were a set of keys connected to a small metal ring that she was twirling about a clawed finger, smirking wryly as she did so. Maybe that was a part of whatever the hell she just pulled up with outside...

"So what heroic idiocy are you geniuses up to today, huh? Saving cats from trees? Helping old ladies across the street? Singing songs to school children~?" ...Nope. No respect at all.
Reize Seatlan Reize cannot help but laugh towards the interaction. Meanwhile, the puppy continues to tug along the boy's scarf. "Ooii! What are you doing now, Dandy?" With the puppy wagging its tail, Reize kneels down to the little guy and pets him. Sigh, "What am I going to do with you?"

He glances back towards the two, furrowing his eyebrows. It's pretty peaceful. Lily and Lenn are likely asleep, Shiki's probably asleep. Ivo is somewhere doing his own thing..

...And Priel is thankfully not here causing trouble.


Reize turns his head over towards Priel, frowning towards her as his antenna hair points at her like a blade. "...Hi Priel."

One of the odd benefits of being the possessor of tainted demon blood was that Leida's senses were all enhanced. Sight, smell, and ofcourse, hearing. Though the sound of Priel's arrival might provide no particular reaction to anyone else, there is one person to whom it cuts to the core.

The sound of shattering pottery can be heard as the clay kettle slips from Leida's trembling fingers to crash upon the stone floor into a hundred pieces. Scalding water washes over her bare feet but the girl seems not to notice and oddly her skin seems not to redden or burn from the contact.

The princess' eyes are wide, her pupils shrunk down to tiny dots as the memory of the most recent encounter she had with this person comes floating to the surface. The sound of crashing metal and shattering glass. Great metal shapes whizzing by on all sides, coming mere hair's bredth's from impacting together. The ground as it rushes up to meet them again.

Leida just stares at the doorway, trembling from the mere sight of the person who has perhaps scarred her ability to travel by modern conveyance permanently. Her mouth hangs slightly ajar, soft noises of distress trying to escape but they die before getting out of her throat.
Faruja Senra Ahh, yes, (relative) peace. Really, Faruja could do with more of it. Truly, the Shard Seekers' home is so very relaxing for the rat...with one exception. Enter That Bloody Dragon!

Twitch. Twiiiitch. Faruja's brow practically vibrates in barely constrained rage. And that's /before/ Priel opens her mouth. But Faram-help him, he'll take the high road here! Stiffly turning about, he looks her in the eyes.

"I should hardly think our affairs are any concern of yours, Lady Priel." A pause, and a dismissive snort. "What brings you here? Come to simply taunt us, or mayhap for once make yourself /useful/ outside of that loose tongue of yours?"

That question gets answered as Leida drops the kettle, and trembles before the dragon-woman. The rat's short form may just block her gaze as he settles himself between demon-girl and dragon-girl.

Thankfully he's too angry to contemplate the irony. Whump! Steel on floor can be heard as his spear is brought out, its butt slammed down. "WHAT, exactly, did you DO to the girl?" he snarls out at Priel.
Priel Aylin Leida's reaction of sheer terror did nothing but cause Priel to smile wide in amusement. As if looking right THROUGH Faruja and at the smaller girl, the terrible dragon lady waves rather cutely. "Hi Leida~ you miss me~?" She spoke in a sickeningly sweet, but fake tone. The memory of the shenanigans at Goug still fresh in her mind.

For Leida, it was hell on earth, but for Priel, it was just a fun little joy ride! And hey! She got shot! So it's not like it was all HER fault! Though any indications of wounds and such seem to have vanished completely, and Priel sure hadn't come back to be healed by Lily or Lenn. Regeneration perhaps?

Reize is given a wry smile and wave as well before her attention to drawn back to Faruja, the sound of steel being set into the floor being an obvious draw. "Hmm? What did I do? Absolutely nothing!"

Total lie.

...Well okay, only half lie.

"Dear Leida here is just shaking with /excitement/ over how much fun she and I had with Ivo the other day~" And as she said that, she tossed the car keys up into the air before catching them again, smiling rather wickedly.

"In fact, I had SO MUCH FUN, that I got myself a car of my own! Care to take a ride with me, Leida~?"
Reize Seatlan And then everything goes wrong. When Leida drops the kettle, Reize is turning his head over to see the expression on the girl's face. It looks like she seen a ghost. "...Leida...?"

He frowns, then he turns to glare at Priel.

"...Did you threaten to eat her?"

Blink. "...Oh? You got a car?" He blinks, then he looks at Faruja, "I've seen some of those before! They are pretty interesting!" He places his finger over to his chin, "...I've never actually ridden on one." He thinks it over. "Leida?" Reize looks over towards her, "...How /was/ riding with Priel?"
Leida Time seems to go in slow motion as the keys are tossed into the air, the light glinting malevolently off the metallic tools of evil as they spin and clatter together. Leida's eyes follow their arc as if entranced, the black pinpoints of her pupils shifting up and down as the only indicator that she's still aware of her surroundings. But she hears the cruel taunts, oh yes.

Faruja's intervention seems to have little effect on dragon's demeanor and the aura of intimidation that already threatened to cower her into the corner when he first stepped through the door magnifies with his anger. Finally, Reize's complete lack of understanding is added to the bubbling cauldron, providing the last ingredient necessary to drive it past the boiling point.

She can't take this any more. It's too much.

Another dull thud is heard behind the holy knight, softer but heavier, as Leida's eyes roll up and she faints dead away.
Faruja Senra 'Ivo'. 'Fun'. Faruja's grip on his spear tightens. The rat too, trembles, though more out of explosive RAEG. "Faram-blast it, Galvan!" he mutters angrily. It's /always/ Ivo.

A red eye watches those keys. Slowly, the Burmecian relaxes. And /smiles/.

"I do believe the Lady does not wish to ride with you, Lady Priel." He doesn't bother respond to the rest, turning to Reize and the girl herself.

Thud! Oh, that's it. Taking the opportunity, he mumbles quietly in draconic into some unseen ear piece. Spear replaced upon his back, he leans down to gather up the fallen girl gently. All Priel gets is a look of utter, absolute hatred and loathing.

Outside? There's a sudden roar. A second later, it's followed by that of crumpling metal and shattering glass as a large, white wyvern lands rather forcefully on top of a car parked out front of the Shard Seeker's head quarters. Claws knead into seats and rip up the steering wheel. A lashing tail makes an imprint along the trunk. Surveying her work, Arista gives a triumphant hiss, and makes her way off into the skies, her 'good deed' for the day done.

Inside? Faruja manages to not smirk. "Oh my." Cue car alarm. "'Tis there trouble afoot?" He deadpans.
Reize Seatlan !!!!

"Leida!" Reize yelps, then he runs over towards the girl pretty quickly. The young boy rushes towards the princess's side, kneeling down beside her while being careful not to slip on the dropped water which has likely cooled off by now. The boy wraps his arms around the fallen princess, carrying her close to him. Well, it is the princess carry time.

Reize then hears something.

Car alarm.

"...Uhhh... I'll take her to the dorm."
Priel Aylin "Hmm?" Priel's ears twitched, hearing Faruja whisper something, but she couldn't make it out completely. What followed was a sound crash from outside. The sound of crushing metal and glass tipped her off well enough to what exactly was going on out there. Aha, so that's what he was mumbling about. That language did sound familiar.

But nevermind that, she just lost her car! That thing cost a lot of gil!

"...Oh?" Priel spoke rather cooly, her eyes beginning to flicker from blue to yellow. "Is there trouble afoot?" Parroting the knight's question, she raised a hand slightly, grinning widely as the skin of her hand began to shift into red scales, the black talons extending outwards further. Her fangs began to lenthen and from her head, two black horns began to jut out.

"Specifically, for you, that is~" As Priel spoke, plumes of flame billowed out of her mouth, not looking to be intentional. "I wonder how fried mouse tastes, huh?" The rest of her body followed suit with her shapeshifted arm, beginning to scale over in a rather sickening fashion.

She was slowly but surely turning into a dragon, no one here was likely to be safe soon.
Faruja Senra Smile. Smile! Faruja watches the angered Priel's eyes change, and gradually, her form. A Dragon. Threatening a Dragon Knight. The Burmecian's grin is almost feral. "Oh, be still my heart! I /tremble/ before your draconic superiority!"

He, of course, lets poor Leida off to Reize. "That would be for the best, Ser Seatlan." Something is tossed to the boy. It's the rat's necklace, complete with cross and that odd little orb set within it. "If you would, deliver that to Shiki. She will...hold on to it for me." He says cryptically.

Flicking his spear off of his back, he starts to walk towards Priel...and past her, should she not try to scorch him!

"Come! If you wish to fight me, do it outside. At least make it /seem/ like you have an ounce of civilization in your blood."
Reize Seatlan Growl. Reize reaches over to point defiantly towards Priel.

"I said no fighting inside!" Reize snaps at her. As the boy takes Leida from Faruja, Reize sighs, "...Alright, time for you to rest, Leida." He smiles faintly, then he looks over towards Faruja, "...Huh?" he looks at the necklace, then he takes it from him.

"...Alright." He gives a nod. Then, he glares over towards Priel, "You two have a fight, and I won't stop it. If you do it where people are in danger, then I will step in."

And then, Reize makes his way towards the woman's dormitory.
Priel Aylin Deep breaths.

Deep breaths. He's just a rat in a tin can! Don't incinerate him! Don't incinerate can always just get another car. It's not like you can't get all that gil back.

Priel made that mental mantra to herself, dragonic eyes glaring at Faruja's smug furry face as he passed her. She didn't follow him. And after a couple moments to doing just as she told herself, she began to revert. scales receding, fangs shortening, and eyes turning back to blue. The horns on top of her head also sunk back down into her skull.

Once the reversion was complete, Priel then sighed and stepped outside after Faruja, putting a smile back onto her face as she surveyed the wreckage.

Ah, what a pain.
Lenn Shortly after Reize walks in, is a shriek of surprise. "R- REIZE?!?" Reize still got a decent look before Lenn managed to find herself a place to hide.
Lily Lily's also in there, eyes wide with shock and surprise and body completely frozen on the edge of her bed... and a fit of blinking beginning. "Uh, Reize?"

Though in the midst of putting on her typical robes (clean from the previous day!) she doesn't mimic Lenn and just stays frozen, staring at the intrusion confusedly... and then over at Lenn.

"... it's just Reize!" She chirps warmly, in a tone that suggests 'much better than Priel!'

"... Uh, is she alright?" Lily pauses while pulling on her robes, peeking through the top Leida's way and apparently torn between getting dressed or going to help Leida.
Reize Seatlan !!!!!

Leida is promptly put on her bed.

See Reize.
See Reize run out of the room.
Run, Reize, Run.


His face is beet red. Oh god.
Faruja Senra And, Priel /doesn't/ incinerate him. While he's sure she can't see, the Burmecian smiles. Greedy, perhaps evil, and a complete jerk, she's at least not prone to backstabbing when given the opportunity. Maybe Ivo's not insane after all.

"Perish the thought, Ser Seatlan!" Comes the rat's return, before he's out the door. Stalking past the wreckage of the car, which gets a smirk (good job Arista!), he leaps up onto a nearby building. His spear falls to the roof, followed by robes, then gauntlets, then his chestplate. Cracking his knuckles, the rat beckons with his tail. "Let us test those claws of yours. What say you?" Minimal damage to others, maximum clawing of each other.
Faruja Senra Of course, there's the sound of Reizes fleeing the wrath of women. The rat's ears perk. Sigh. "OH LORD IN HEAVEN, REIZE! KNOCK UPON A LADY'S CHAMBER!"
Angantyr Vespar At the front of the Shard Seeker HQ...

Angantyr, dressed in his usual armor, with a desert traveling cloak and supplies walks into the door.

His eyes narrow for a brief moment, as he considers his surroundings, and then speaks up. "Leida?" he mutters, "Where is that troublesome waif.." he mutter-

Then he turns to look at Faruja, facing off with someone he doesn't know and Reize being Reize.

"Where is Leida? I am supposed to be giving her lessons."
Priel Aylin Stepping outside, Priel passed Angantyr without giving him much of a second glance. Her attention was focused on the car wreckage for now. She just came to a stop in front of it, mentally calculating the massive loss of funds this all was with each second that passed by. What a shame too.

Driving was actually kind of fun after all. Even if she could fly, there was just something entertaining about being behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Of course, it's at that moment that Faruja's call gets her attention and she stared up at him, quirking a brow. "Hmm? What, you actually want to fight now? My, I had no idea you knights were so bloodthirsty~"
Reize Seatlan Towards Faruja, Reize yelps, "Sorry! Sorry!"

As for Angantyr's entrance, Reize turns to face the older man and he waves, "Ooooii!! Uhh, why were you and Riku fighting? Oh! And uhh, Leida passed out after seeing Priel looking at her." He gestures outside to the dragon girl who has stepped out of the headquarters to see the wreckage of her car.
Faruja Senra Suddenly, Ang. Who is looking decidedly non-demonic. It's an improvement, but his words don't exactly but the rat knight at ease.

"...Lessons of what nature, exactly, Ser Angantyr?"

He's not going to ignore the Dragoness! Smirk! "Why, /dear/ Lady Priel, I would love nothing more than to run my claws against you for the distress you have caused the poor, blighted girl. Call it what you wish. Besides, 'tis been a while since I have used what the Lord gave me against someone competent." Is that a compliment?

But Reize has Ang in hand. Faruja watches warily, trying to split his attention between knight and dragon. This might not bode well, what with a challenge thrown Priel's way!
Angantyr Vespar "Reasons." Angantyr speaks towards Reize.

"...I was going to ask what was up with that." Angantyr mutters, and shrugs, "So wait...she passed out? Seriously? From a lo..." Angantyr rubs his forehead as if massaging a maigrane. "I am going to have to toughen her up harder than I thought. Can I ask /why/ a look from the strange yet cute lady brought upon such...distress?"

And then Faruja.

"That's between me and her, Knight," he says, "And reguardless, are on things that you have no experience of.." he pauses, "Not those things, though I am sure you have little experience in the relm of the ladies, but she is too young for me. I speak of matters of darkness."

"And if you go fighting for her every time someone scares her or duresses her, then she will never learn to stand on her own two legs. Instead of coddling her, you should be teaching her how not to be frightened. Buy a man a fish, teach a man to fish. Surly you know THAT proverb, rat. You sure do love spouting them."
Reize Seatlan Everything is going to happen. The young man looks over towards Angantyr, "Probably from something that involved Priel and Ivo. Priel said that she has a car now. ...And Leida just collapsed." The boy lifts a shoulder with a shrug.

Reize's logic and mathematics of adding things together is pretty much low. Nevertheless, boy blinks regarding Angantyr teaching her regarding the darkness.

"...Oii! Oii! Guys..."

0Before the conversation can continue, there are lots of screams. People are in panic. But the most comprehensible words that are shouted are, 'Heartless everywhere'


"What the?!" Reize immediately runs out of the door, then he moves ahead to see the commotion at the city proper.
Reize Seatlan Fluorgis is a city that has seen both day and night. It is a city that has thrived off of the water and resources that they've obtained through and the passing of adventures. In fact, it is probably one of the more diverse cities to live in.

On this day, however, Fluorgis is under attack, the light has faded in favor of the enroaching darkness that encompasses the sky. All of the Heartless have emerged from various pots, pans, and other sort of containers. The pot handler screams and he tries to flee. Unfortunately, he is unable to escape as the creature obtains his heart.

While the city is attack, it becomes proven that it is far from defenseless.Adventurers, hearing the commotion, have charged out of the inns and they dispersed. "Everyone! Protect the city! All of the Heartless will be slain on sight!"

Of course, one of the many peple who emerges from the Shard Seeker Headquarters is Reize, who heard the screams from earlier. That was enough to push him to alarm. It is also thankful that it would likely prevent infighting at the headquarters.

The presence of the Heartless are everywhere, causing a ruckus in the city. Many of the adventurers managed to intercept the group, but unfortunately, there are many more of the Heartless around.

At the heart of the city near the townsquare is a massive pool of darkness swirling around. That whirlpool of malevolent essence radiates.

"Shard Seekers! Assemble!"

This is not looking good.
Faruja Senra -- EARLIER --

Grrrr! The rat glares at the Dark Knight, stubbornly uncomprehending as usual. "Darkness will lead the girl to naught but further control by that which ails her!" Faruja is about to continue on a pious rant, before the man manages to hit one of the rat's weak points; women! He sputters mid-starting-lecture, coughing and folding his ears. He quickly looks away. Guilty as charged!

Still, the dark knight has a point. "And in order to /that/, she must be strong enough to stand on her own. Until then, I shall support and defend the girl, while imparting what few lessons as I may be able to give her." At least the rat recognizes he can only teach her so much!

Faruja rounds on Priel, looking ready to claw her all the harder with another source of irritation nearby. Then Reize speaks up. "Heartless? Fah!" He quickly redresses.

"I am afraid our bout shall have to be postponed, Lady Priel. Until then." A bow, and then he whistles! Down from the skies comes Arista. Crunch! A second wyvern-shaped indent is made into Priel's car. As he leaps upon her back, he couldn't look any prouder of his wyvern companion.

-- NOW --

Screams, chaos, and death. Adrenalin, blood-lust, righteousness, and concern for the Fluorgisians mingle in his heart as the Burmecian and his draconic companion tear into another small group of Heartless, this one seeking the life of a young not-Aerith flowergirl. Unlike the poor Potter, she's saved just in time by snapping wyvern jaws.

Faruja throws the leader of the Shard Seekers a quick salute. It's not mocking, or even half-serious. They're in the middle of a battleground, and he's all business. "Have you a plan, Ser Seatlan? Lady Arista tells me that there seems to be some sort of maelstrom of Unholy energy in the town square."
Lenn Lenn is still tying her belt as she runs out, jewel-pouch held in her teeth. "Mmmfffefffus!" Behind her, Dandelion is following, having fetched a BIG stick for her. Her staff is held within the dog's teeth, as she finishes getting herself settled.
Zia The timing seems just about perfect. The sun is setting and night falls, bringing with it the awakening of the Shard Seeker's own 'Angel of the Night'. A litter of bits of stone fall down across the rooftop as the gargress wakes, shaking free of her daytime prison. Her eyes flash from red back to their usual blue just in time to hear the sounds of yelling from the city.

Moving forward, Zia peers down over the edge of the roof to see the arrival of Reize, shortly joined by Faruja. Her eyes find them, and then sweep over the signs of Heartless activity in the area. Not again. She will /not/ lose another world. Of course, the girl has no way of knowing if that is the point of this attack, but it causes her anger to rise in a show of those red-tinted eyes.

"They're all over." Her voice comes from the roof nearest to the two Shard Seekers who have just stepped out. A moment later, she hops down, landing in a crouch, wings caped. "We need te do somethin." She's looking to Reize, as he's the so-called leader of the group. There's no time to feel embarassed over her last meeting with Faruja, or to really even think over the situation. Everything about this screams to her that something needs to be done, and done now.
Ward Zabac Ward seemed like he couldn't go anywhere these days. He was almost always under attack by something. He couldn't fiure out why this was happening so much. Clearly the Heartless were rampaging, but he wanted a break. Ward had decided to visit this town for a little R&R after fighting Baron...again. "Though talking to people had been a problem again." he thought to himself. As he watched the Heartless he rushed to pick up his harpoon. He wasn't going to do nothing. Since that the worst thing a good man can do.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr rolls his eyes towards Faruja.

"The darkness must be mastered, unlike you, I can sense it. It'll be there for as long as she lives, whatever it is it's apart of her. You can not ignore that, no more than you can ignore your arm, rat. She must learn to control it, lest it control her. Or do you so badly want to destroy darkness that you'd destroy her soul for your pride? For your cute little believes that light conqures all?" Angantyr fehs.

Smirking at the rat's stumbling, he shakes his head, "You are not supporting her, you are proping her up, Rat. You are jumping in the way, when she needs to master herself...which includes standing up for herself and not letting strange people stare her down."

"And Another thing you over grown ro-.."

"Heartless?" he asks, as Reize shouts at them. Angantyr, not a member of the Shard Seekers does not assemble, instead, he walks outside, stares at Reize's command, walks on by him, and proceeds to SLAM his mace into the neartest heartless.

"Less posturing, more killing." he complains towards Reize and starts moving towards the city center.
Nagetta Nagetta looks outside to see it's dark out. Wasn't it a bit early for it to be so? At least she doesn't have to worry about the sun hurting her eyes as she slithers outside. She then notices that the city was being attacked by Heartless. So much for a peaceful night out. "What are the Heartless doing here?" She looks a bit confused by that.
Jasmine Amazingly, Jasmine showed up /after/ the Darkness, for once; the dawn after midnight, rather than the harbinger of doom. All it took was one look at the sky for her to diverge from her usual course (re: 'away from civilization').

There have been enough casualties in this unnamed war, enough cities that have disappeared, enough lives destroyed -- the survivors as much as, or more than, those who have literally as well as figuratively fallen into the void of despair, themselves.

Her being here might make things infinitely worse; it's certainly a terrible personal risk. But she cannot do nothing and be what she is... and instinctively, intuitively spreading light and warmth wherever she goes might just make things better. Crossing the city towards the heart of the storm, which presses upon her senses nausatingly, she evades the Heartless not without effort, but with, at the least, graceful panache, leaving dizzied potspiders and flipped little fellows in her wake, as those who attack her find themselves with their energies redirected towards their fellows.

She does not stop to finish any of them off; the symptoms of the disease have been treated enough, though unshed tears glimmer brightly in her eyes at the sight of each stolen heart, turning them into twin stars. Her path winds inexorably to the town square, and there, she casts off her veil, that she may move more freely. A slip of a thing, a tiny girl in iridescent blue garments straight out of desert tales, her smile for those she recognizes is as warm and dazzling as that for those she does not. It encompasses everyone in turn; no one is beneath her notice.

"Don't be afraid," she calls, her voice clear as a bell as it rises above the chaos in a gentle, lilting caress to the ear, reassurance incarnate. "Watch each other's backs; we'll face this together. Everything is going to be all right." A statement issued with absolute conviction. A promise. A vow from the heart.
Sabin Rene Figaro Sabin has not been around much lately. Obviously, with his brother at large and the Heartless evading, it is because he had really important business to attend to.


"...okay, so the little numbers are..."

"OH MY GF!" screams the frantic eight-year-old, tugging at his hair. "It is NOT HARD, mister! If the numbers on the touching sides of each card is the same, then the other two cards are flipped!"

"But I thought they had to be bigger than..."

"NO! NOT FOR THE SAME RULE! Look, just---"


"So...what are the little icy thingies for?"



The heir presumptive of the Kingdom of Figaro looks up from his contemplation of the cards from a children's game as the skies begin to darken, an odd sensation tingling up the back of his neck. Sabin lets out a long breath and tucks the cards into a pack at his belt, then leaps up toward the rooftops, skipping from wall to wall until he's standing on tiles, his cloak whipping behind him as he looks over the city. "Heartless," he mutters, rubbing his chin. Moments later, the big man is breaking into a run, leaping from roof to roof, ready to spring into action at a moment's notice!

(He is also wondering what Heartless cards would be statted like, but Triple Triad is kind of like that.)

That female voice, echoing down the block, is Lily.

She's screeching. It's not that she hasn't yelled before, agonized, terrified, and pained, fearful for herself or her friends, sure. But this is quite different.

The Darkness has come again. And it's threatening Fluorgis. The only shelter she's found from all of the crazy has been this town, this humble building, the dorms and the gardens, her comfortable bed - even if she hates sleeping in the lonely dark of night.

And thus, her screeching as she tears right past Reize without any more words or any looks for anyone, on a berserk course.

The girl launches forwards, landing with previously unseen coordination and balance by skidding past Reize and raising up with teeth clenched and arms stretched out as if to encompass the whole of the HQ and ward off the Heartless. "Never. Never never NEVER."

Never will she let the Heartless take her home. HER HOME! And everyone she knows!

Blue light shimmers around her, containing entwining shards of the elements that start to whip up into a synergistic storm. Tongues of flame curl about sizzling bolts of electricity, wisps of winds, twisting streams of mist and freezing rains, and whirls of swirling pebbles and dust.

It might be a wise idea to give her a somewhat wide berth, as getting too near? Hairs start to stand on end, as the power of Air... of Electricity... is building most spectacularly to start with and redoubling with every new Heartless her eyes fall upon.
Deelel Reize call sfor them assamble as something seems to be off. She's not there she's already well going after the heartless. She seems pretty motivaed as of late about confronting the beasts as of late.

"The viri have come here? I'll not allow another manhattan to happen." She seems pretty set the heartless are creatures of pure chaos that are utterly aborrhant to a basic. Given they are beings of order for the most part. Her liht disk is ready and she's already moving in. She triggers several commands boosting her preformance getting ready to move in. Then Sabin falls out of the sky, what in the name of Flynn was that?! She just doesn't know some days but there's viri to deal with.

BGM System Shock 2 Soundtrack - Med Sci 1
Leida A few minutes later back in the Shard Seeker women's dorm, Leida bolts upright on her bed, inhaling sharply. It takes only a moment for her to realise where she is, which earns a look of confusion as she glances around at the empty room. How did...?

The last thing she remembers is Reize's friend the holy knight showing up and looking very intimidating and then she offered to make tea and... nothing. The princess scratches her head as she swings her feet onto the floor. Surely there was more, it was too early for her to have gone back to sleep. And she's still wearing this cleaning apron.

Before the girl can ponder this strange lapse of memory further, a fresh swell of panic and fear rises up outside in the city proper. A look of worry overcomes Leida's expression and she quickly moves outside, peering out through the cracked front door apprehensively. It doesn't take long to spot the source of the trouble - Heartless!

The door slams shut again immediately, her back pressed against it. What to do? A brief consideration is given to hiding in the bedroom and waiting for this to blow over. She's not a fighter, not yet. But the thought of her friends out there fighting while she cowers in here is not a pleasant sensation. Besides, everyone kept telling her she needed to be stronger and this was her chance to try.

Patting herself on the cheeks vigourously as it to mold her expression into one of determination, the princess clenches her fists and throws the door open...! Only to find a Heartless shadow peering up at her with beady yellow eyes. They stare at each other quietly for a moment, the small insectoid creature's head tilting to the size quizzically.

Leida's expression goes dark, her flat-cropped bangs shifting to obscure her eyes as her head tilts forward. The door is slowly shut once more.


The princess might be a little while.
Reize Seatlan The situation within Fluorgis has been experiencing two situations going on. Particularly, the area if split off into various sections of the city. In particular, there are more than just the dark portal along the town square.

"Faruja! No! There are more!"

Panning over towards the gate off to the western side of the city, a massive gate has rippled into existence. Through the gate's formation, Shadows, Bandits, and Fat Bandits are emerging. The small group of adventurers are finding themselves in a very sticky situation.

Panning towards the eastern side of the city, the gate ripples open once more, revealing a few Heartless flying around. They look similar to that of birds, but as they take off into the sky, they swoop around to prey upon the people within the vendor section of the city.

The adventurers have moved up towards the north, which a gate is starting to open off of there. And worse off, it looks like a massive monster already has made its way out from the gate.

With the sections revealing each commotion, Reize blinks and he growls. "Guh!" Even with Angantyr already moving to hack down the Heartless, the boy looks at Faruja, "...Faruja, I will need you to take lead of the others. The other adventurers are going to need my help. I will try to direct them." He looks over to see Lily, giving her a sad smile. "Lily..."

And then, a mysterious person calls out to the people out at the town square.

He cannot help but smile.

"Everyone, let's do this. We need to make sure these gates closes down!" Reize is already moving northward to assist the adventurers. However, along the way, the boy moves towards the entrance of the headquarters, swinging out a spinning hook kick to kick it away from his home. "Stay out!" Then he continues onward, calling out, "Leida! Now is the time! You are an expert with your bow! We need your bow!"
Sabin Rene Figaro As Sabin drops down to the streets, Lily can be forgiven the gods have decided to drop sides of beef from the heavens rather than manna. He lands in a crouch and then surges forward, taking three strides to build momentum before vaulting over the next row of buildings, his cloak swirling out behind him. Another land and then leap - this one with a flicker of chi pulsing through his muscles - sends him high into the air. He scans the streets quickly, looking for people running toward the Heartless rather than away from them. A handful in the square, another couple toward the east. People - heroes - rushing headlong into danger.

The prince of Figaro grins. Awful nice of them to leave one to himself.

The big man moves his way across the city, short hops and long strides taking him westward in a hurry as he gradually, inexorably, begins to build momentum. By the time he reaches the approach near the western portal, Sabin is already slowing his breathing, focusing his chi into the palms of his hands. A shattering roar escapes his lips as he plummets toward the streets, white energy blasting down into the cobblestones as he lands, clearing a circle five yards around him with brilliant, holy light.

The earth shivers as the prince of Figaro thunders into the stones. Continents of muscle shift underneath his skin as he slowly rises to his full height. "Hello, boys," he says, popping his knuckles. "Want to play?"
Nagetta Nagetta notices the bird heartless go airborne as she gets closer to the battle. Those could cause some real problems if not stopped, and she figures they would be the best opponent for her to fight. Plus, she's a bit curious if they're actually edible or not. She makes her way to the east gate, hopefully no one would mistake her for one of the Heartless. She nods at Faruja's order. That's where she was planning on heading anyways.
Faruja Senra Suddenly, they've got Princes falling from the sky, Gargoyles waking up, Dark Knights riding off to MACE things to death, Lamia about the place, a Princess making a Heartfelt vow amidst the chaos, Programs on the prowl, doggies and a crystal-mage running onto the scene, a guy with a really big harpoon, and one rather angry little ball of magical energy running off to smite the unholy abominations. Faruja smiles in the general direction of everyone for a moment. Ragtag to be certain, but this city has a defense, Faram blast it! He's not about to complain.

There's not even a retort to Angantyr from the rat. No, he'll save his arguing for /after/. "Heartless to slay, indeed."

"Lady Zia, Lady Deel! Lady Nagetta! My, my, is that Lady Jasmine I hear? This bodes well. Come, dear friends, stout warriors, skilled mages! Have Faith in your Hearts, and fire in your souls! We shall overcome this trial! We shall drive the Heartless from this city without delay!" It may not have that magical, mystical quality of lifting the spirits, but it's a good enough morale speech off the cuff. It helps that Jasmine's own speech already bolsters his own feelings!

Of course, Lily is charging off right as Reize hands him the reigns of command. Even a group of this size is larger than anything he's personally commanded; he was a squad commander back home. As he feels the pins and needles of responsibility settling in, he takes a deep breath. A red eye surveys those present.

"'Tis never easy, eh, Reize?"

With a silent prayer, and plan laid, he raises his voice. "Lady Lenn? Lady Deel?" A pause, and he spies Sabin. Point! "YOU! Fine Ser! If you would be so kind, support the Ladies, you seem stout and strong! Lady Lenn, keep the Ser and Lady Deel alive, your magery will be needed. Lady Deel? Destroy these abominable 'virii'. Westwards, all of you!"

Faruja watches Lily turn south. He motions to the silent Ward. "Ser! If you would be so kind, turn southward! I do not trust the Knight, and Lady Lily shall need help, she is fragile."

Looking to Reize, he nods. "If you find the girl, and she fights, turn her southerly as well!"

Finally, himself. Zia and Nagetta are both pointed at. "Lady Zia, Lady Nagetta, with me! We shall take the flying beasts to the east!"

"Communicate as you can over the linkshells! Now, MOVE, all of you, and May Faram bless us all! For Faram and country, oh valiant warriors!"
Lenn Lenn picks up her staff, and ties the pouch of gems onto her belt. "Thanks, Dandy. Now go hide!" The dog then bolts, like a good boy. She then frowns at the Heartless. "You took my home once. Then I had to watch you take someone else's. You will NOT HAVE THIS ONE!" She then nods to Faruja. "Nobody falls today." But she resolves... she's going to learn to fight.
Ward Zabac Ward started poking and busting this down heartless left and right. He saw people trying to stop Heartless as well as keeping the gates closed. Ward heard Faruja and ran after Lily southward. He caught up to her quickly, his speed did not match his size. He bowed quickly to the little girl(everyone was little except for gilgamesh) and motioned for her to stay behind him. The south was being Invaded. It didn't look like anyone had gotten to the gate so Ward preped himself for the wave of heartless letting out a mighty roar. Which it hurt like a bitch, but got him pumped enough for battle.
Zia Luckily, Zia isn't too bothered by air magic, or the electricity that goes with it, otherwise she might be put off a little bit by the power that Lily manages to summon around them. While the gargress may not have put it quite in the same words as the girl, the feeling is mutual. After losing her home, Zia is more than ready to bash some Heartless heads if that's what it takes to make sure it doesn't happen here.

Of course, no one had gotten around to actually getting her combat training yet, so that might be easier said than done. The mage will just have to make sure she stays in the 'back row' when it comes to fighting this time, and not try to take on a Shadow Lord single handedly. The fact that there are enemies coming from multiple sources means that she can at least be of use /somewhere/.

At least she isn't the one having to make a combat decision, so she looks to Faruja, giving the mouse a quiet nod of her yead. "On it, lad." For all his fervor, she could depend on his friendship and on him at least having some idea about how to face this sort of battle. The gargress nods to Nagetta, then launches herself skyward, using her own wind powers to push herself skyward and propell her towards the group in the East.

Her first task is to make things a little more difficult for those flying heartless. So, Zia backwings, keeping herself stable in the air while she pulls the winds about her, pulling them out from under the Heartless - rushing them into small groups of them unexpectedly, and otherwise making it far more difficult for any of them to remain airborn.
Jasmine Out of Jasmine's cast-off brown robes and beige veil comes a tiny figure with a wet black nose, floppy ears, and a wagging tail. Rajah Jr. barks excitedly at the sight of Sabin on the roof, recognizing one of his saviors from a distant threat at a distant time. It seems he's done pretty well since then. He certainly isn't less excitable, and his puppydog eyes know no fear.

His exuberant mistress, on the other hand, is on some level completely terrified, like any sensible person, but controlling her fear, working through it. It's certainly hard to tell, the slight tremors in her hands far outweighed by her elegant posture and confident expression. She shares that smile with Reize for a moment, before listening intently to Faruja's proud speech. One might have thought it was impossible for her expression to warm further, and one would have been wrong; the fierce intensity of her hopeful convictions becomes dazzling to behold, on the far side of the Burmecian's words.

He gave her no orders; left to her own devices, she races to a nearby tower and begins to climb, after stowing the dalmation puppy in a sling on her back. Light on her feet, she's at its top in mere moments, and from there is afforded a commanding view of the battlefield.

She takes a few deep breaths to steady herself, as the weight of the Darkness pouring through the three portals crashes down on her, noxious, cloying, corrupting. It finds no purchase in her spirit, but it is singularly unpleasant, and she swallows the desire to retch the meager contents of her stomach.

Wrapping a strong, slender arm around one of the tower's pillars, she leans out and thoughtfully surveys the ground, the wheels turning in her mind -- the most important weapon she has. She's certainly entirely lacking in blades, blunt instruments, or explosive magicks. What can she hope to accomplish, all alone up there?
Leida Even with the dull thud outside and Reize's encouraging call, it takes Leida another minute or so to get the courage to peer out of the front door again. The signs of battle are still everywhere but it looks like the immediate coast is clear this time, atleast for now.

Quietly, she slips outside, a massive bow easily as tall as herself in hand and a leather quiver full of equally impressive arrows hanging diagonally across the small of her back. The princess timidly but quickly makes her way towards the gathering of heroes, casting her gaze about for a familiar face amid the chaos. However, the short search provides no glimpse of her guardian.

The overwhelming energy of the dark gates suddenly seems to become palpable to the small girl and she staggers against it, eyes winching shut as the surge of negative power threatens to unbalance her spirit. Invisible to all, faint power plays across the tattoo upon her shoulder in response to this threat and a few moments later the pressure on her mind fades to a mangable buzz.

She doesn't have time to ponder the nature of what just occured, however, as free combat erupts all around. Leida takes a deep breath to steel her nerves and then turns and rushes in a random direction, still seeking out signs of her friends.

As she rounds a corner, the princess is suddenly met with the sharp tingling on her skin as the atmosphere of the air changes, literally charged with power from Lily's display. Her eyes widen a little to see the girl in action for the first time. Such blatant shows of magic were the providence of the spirits in her world.

Such things were best not interfered with. Glancing about, the girl sought out a better place from which to offer her aid, hopefully away from the chaos and carnage of the main battlefield. A pile of stacked crates against a nearby building offers her swift access to the roof and she quickly takes that route, scrambling onto the stone tiles with a soft grunt of effort.

Reaching into her quiver, Leida quickly retrieves a few of the arrows and jams them point-first into the roof at her feet, taking up a proper aiming stance as she casts her eyes upon Lily again. She can protect her from here without exposing herself - she hopes.
Deelel Deelel really needs to look up the term Lady in referancv eto user culture well Faruja's culture she gets the idea each 'system' has it's own at the very least. Users are chaotic at least somewhat in thier nature. For now she's got to emake for the gates. "That's the plan, these creatures have no real game. I known Viri. Understood." She reacts proply at being given such a command and is making for the west gate, her disk is already out and prepared. "Sabin! Lenn LET'S GO!"
Faruja Senra With Nagetta and Zia giving their assent, he nods to them. "Excellent. Do your damndest to survive. And if it comes to it? Sell your lives dearly my friends. This city cannot fall, we shall NOT have another Manhattan!"

Wings flap, and Faruja is off with the Gargoyle and bouncy lamia-dragoon towards their targets. As Zia gets to work with her wind magic, he motions for the female Dragoon to stay on her flank, even as he does the same, lashing out with Holy Spear techniques before shielding them all with his magic.
Lily There's plenty of folk striding in that Lily's never seen before in her charge southwards, where she can feel a mass of darkness on the horizon... an ugly, awful sensation that gets all her nerves a-jumbling.

The Elemental power orbiting Lily pulses as she stamps her feet down upon rounding a corner and stopping right there... specifically, the sections of dust grow more intense and swirl faster, growing outwards. It's hard to say just what purpose this display serves, but it would take a truly numb person to not FEEL what just happened.

A pulse of stout and stalwart Earthly power bulges out, extending to Leida and Ward. Whether this is intentional or not is hard to say, but both will feel the unbudging resilience of a proud mountain rise up within and their bodies respond to that spiritual resonance.

"They will NOT have my home. Not a single speck of it!"

That charged feeling in the air shifts balances again. Just HOW much magical power does this girl possess?

The air ionizes further, enormous lightning bolts fiercely arcing out from the aura and scorching the stone like grasping fingers reaching out for the mobs of Heartless...
Bucket O Heartless The East Gate is being attacked. The Dark Portal continues to pour heartless, gargoyles swarming from the apeture in small swarms that Zia slams into at speed.

A few gargoyles go streaking like comets to the earth with a series of bone shaking thuds that cause them to explode in plumes of darkness.

MultiSHOOT CHAINS. shoot great masses of black chains at Zia from multiple directions while the gargoyles try to swoop dive on Nagetta and Faruja.
Heartless Swarm 0West Gate:

A couple of the bandit Heartless turn to face Sabin with quizzed look. Their feelers stretch out, the yellow beady eyes inspecting them. And yet, while Sabin blasts his way through the streets, the Shadows that are about are swept away by the shockwave emanted by Sabin as the white energy blasts them all away to different sections of the area.

The Bandits all turn to face the muscle bound man, and then they charge ahead towards him. But then, they are intercepted by Deelel when she launches their way. This gives the adventurers a chance to fall back and recooperate themselves for another tactical strike.

The Bandits and Fat Bandits get together and they start charging towards Sabin and Deelel. The bandit is moving towards Sabin with its dagger, swiping upward to hack against his chest, followed by a couple more slashes. Meanwhile, Deelel is meeting with one of the Fat Bandit trying to tackle her down. Lenn, thankfully for her, is not quite noticed yet by the Heartless.

0South Gate:

Ward's piercing harpoon is flung out towards the air, aiming for one of the sets of creatures, but they instead managed to avoid the mess. As the fighters in the south are getting a better look, the group will find that all of them are mages that are flying in the air. They look like miniature black mages, but Heartless.

As they float around, they see where Ward and Lily have attacked. One of them swings across, holding a wand up. As it swings its wand around, it soon points the magical wand towards both Lily and Ward. A stream of ice shards are flung their way, aiming to send them to the ground while many of the mage-Heartless rise into the air. For now, Leida is not seen. Though, few of the Heartless are performing sweeps, trying to monitor for anyhing strange.
Jasmine Both sides seem to have gone with 'divide and conquer'. This could be good, or it could be bad, but to Jasmine, there is no distance, no separation; the pulse of this battle beats as one as the hearts fighting it, and all of those are near and dear to her unquenchable spirit.

Offense or defense? She weighs her options in an eyeblink; decides to go with the former. The longer this lasts, the more lives will be lost -- better to try to end things quickly, than draw it out.

Unwrapping herself from that pillar and closing her eyes, she dares to do something she does so rarely: to fully open her Heart.

The constant and cataclysmic pressure of the Light comes pouring through her, its conduit opened at long, long last onto the eternal battlefield. It wants to be used, and today, it gets its longtime wish. And there's so very much Darkness for it to oppose, to defy, to deny, to banish. To purify.

The effect is instantaneous: faced with their cosmological opposite in its purest form, those Heartless that succumb become subtly weaker, softened up, so to speak, by mere exposure to the princess and what she embodies. The furious onslaught of the heroes will have a correspondingly easier time finding purchase and biting deeply. And, though the power pervading Fluorgis is completely invisible, its source is unmistakable, felt on another, deeper level by anyone who has a heart -- or who wants one.

Calling what's just happened magic would be an oversimplification, a minor misunderstanding. The girl who stands alone atop the tower is not a mage, nor a paladin; she is simply herself.
Ward Zabac Ward's harpoon went sailing, as he went to pick up his harpoon he noticed that it was all actually just fliers. He cursed himself and decided to try and go about it differently. He sighed and jumped up into the air grabbing at the heartless and throwing them to the ground, then slamming into them.
Zia The sight of all the heartless is more than a little daunting for a gargress who has only just comitted to the fight against the darkness. Her eyes grow wide, and it's quite possible that the gargress is muttering some colorful Scottish curse at the invasion force. At the very least, her magic seems to do some good, for the all of a minute or two before the pirate ships shoot chains out of the air towards her. "Oh fer the love of..."

Zia doesn't even get the sentence out as one set manages to catch her right in the midsection, wrapping her up like a neat gargoyle-shaped, chain wrapped burrito and down she goes. It's by some quirk of luck that the gargress doesn't end up street pizza, and instead lands on a stack of matresses that someone must have left in a nearby alleway for no apparent reason whatsoever. She bounces off, rolls to the bottom, and groans.

The chains aren't strong enough to hold her, although they do give her quite a struggle for a moment as she squirms, trying to get herself free before they can drag her back up like some catch of the day. She looks around for the others, spotting Faruja briefly as she's climbing up to try to get back to the air. "Watch yerself, they've got ships above." She calls, then swings herself up onto a rooftop and leaps to the sky again.

By now, her earlier winds have died down a little, so she tries a bit more of a clever tactic. Rather than going for directly knocking them out of the air, she murmurs in Latin, calling the moisture in the air to stick to the propellers of the Heartless airships. Slowly, it starts to freeze the mechanisms, slowing their turning. In the mean time, she's set up a nice charge of static electricity around herself, just incase they decide to try that trick again with the chains, or if any of the gargoyle-like Heartless get too close.
Lenn Lenn watches Sabin and Deelel get smacked around a little. But she's not going to leave it at this. Two crystals come out, their energies expended, swirling into the elven woman's staff, and with a swish, it becomes a spray... a hose of power decending on both the warriors in front of her to boost their defenses.
Sabin Rene Figaro A smile slides across Sabin's face as the Heartless rush toward him. He breathes, letting it fill him, feeling the flow of energy from the earth of his bones, to the air of his breath, to the water of his blood, to the fire in his heart. The past few months have been a challenge of a sort to which he is not accustomed, something more in his brother's domain - arcane rules and numbers twisting around each other until he is unsure of which way is up. But this - placing his mortal body between innocents and war's desolation - this is what he left a kingdom for. The bandits come forward, and Sabin beckons them in.

This is what he was /made/ for. And he revels in it.

A left hand snaps out and in, a flickering jab that strikes like a piston. Sabin's body weaves back and away as the lithe little Heartless shadow lashes out at his chest, scoring a light wound across his side. The big man's left fist snaps out again in response, followed immediately by a downward, chopping right hand. The bandit's sword slashes out again and again, but by now the martial artist has caught the rhythm of the strikes, his body flowing away from the sword with a grace that belies his size. Each evasion brings with it a counter - four punches. The next brings with it a blistering eight-punch combination, the next sixteen, flickering so fast that Sabins arms and hands seem to blur, the sound of the strikes echoing out with a rat-a-tat-tat.

Sabin smiles, and sets his feet. "All right," he says, tossing his cloak away to reveal his bodybuilder's physique. "That's good for warm-ups."

Between one heartbeat and the next, the prince of Figaro moves. Fists whistle in and out, over and over in a free-flowing combination that quickly begins to accelerate. His body twists left and right, weaving up and downward slightly as he throws his core into the more powerful punches, until only his legs and abdomen are visible, his upper body moving so fast it is simply a golden blur. A wind begins to pick up, flowing away from the western gate, as the air itself crackles under the force of Sabin's fists.
Nagetta Of course Nagetta isn't the easiest target to hit as she slides behind the gargoyles. She looks at Zia a bit curiously with that. "Are they anyone you know?" She wonders if she recognizes them at all. Either way she has to stop them from attacking further. She bounces up high into the air as she tries to do her best to keep them from swooping down into the air. She wraps herself around one of the gargoyles before driving her spear into and diving to the ground below with the Heartless.
Leida A shiver runs up Leida's spin as the power of the elements surges into her body, the strange magic causing a confused reaction from the Seal. However, as there is no trace of darkness nor killing intent, it goes dormant and the reinforcing energies bolster her slight frame. It is a novel sensation.

An instinctive squeak escapes the princess as lightning scours the ground below, the explosion of magical fury surprising her yet again. Lily was scary when she was mad! This slip up may also give her position away though she isn't particularly trying to remain hidden. Either way, it was time for her to do her part!

An arrow is pulled free and set against the bowstring as the girl's wide eyes scanned for an appropriate target. All about them it seemed only the floating robed Heartless had come to challenge this section of the city with their magics. Small and swift moving aeriel targets who seemed to have no means of physical assault. This was something she could deal with as long as they kept their distance.

The huge bow is brought up over her head as Leida begins to take aim, her body going through the motions necessary by some unnatural guidance rather than the years of skill and incredible strength that would be necessary to even draw this weapon properly. The strong wooden haft creaks as it bends to the girl's will, the shaft of the arrow coming to rest alongside her cheek.

And then time seems to slow down for a split second. Her focus intensifies, eyes narrowing slightly on the floating blue-robed creature and its dark features beneath the pointed hat. And then the arrow is loosed, zipping on a powerful trajectory towards the Heartless, a faint nimbus of black light surrounding the projectile.
Lily Ice. Incoming ice!

Plumes of flame lash out from LIly's aura to engulf and consume the Blizzard spells, unraveling them elementally and causing small explosions of steam and uncoiling arcs of raw magical energy. The resulting freed power's then sucked in towards the girl and fades out into her aura, joining the conflagration of elemental glory. ONly a precious few of the ice blasts break through that barrier to slash along Lily's cheek, drawing some blood... and not much. She's seemed so very, very frail when faced with physical threats. THAT, however, was barely a nuisance.

"Is that really all these things can do?" Well, some of Priel's attitude might be rubbing off on her... because she raises both hands and SCREAMS. The arcing electricity transforms into long, grasping tongues of FIRE. The air heats up...

And more of that Elemental power reaches Leida and Ward. This time the fury of an all-consuming blaze, stoking a raging spirit within and evoking greater ferocity against the Heartless!

The Light from JAsmine gets the girl to blink a little, the flames and displays faltering with her emotions, but her expression of wonder is washed away in the desire to simply eradicate these things!
Faruja Senra Heartless Gargoyles, and airship pirates, oh my! As a trio of the Gargoyles fly at him, the Burmecian points his spear. One incantation later, and blades of holy fire erupt from above, skewering the offending creatures. So too does he turn his wrath upon the pirates who attempt to chain down the lovely gargess!

"Lady Zia! So it seems! Stay mobile! Cast thy powers to their sails! The other heartless are a lesser threat. Sails and masts, and we deprive these beasts of transport and life!"

Then he spies the woman at work. A grin comes to his muzzle. "Bah, it seems you've things well in claw! Arista! FORWARD!"

Ever eager while in a fight, the Burmecian's mount and the rat himself climb, the swift and agile wyvern dodging, weaving, and lashing about with spear at any heartless that get too close. When they're at their peak? The duo dive at the nearest airship's sails and masts that Zia isn't taking care of, intending to cavalry-charge the mast in half. With a motion, he flicks his spear to his back, casting a spell. With a flash of light, he yanks a large halberd from seemingly nowhere, the weapon already shining with Holy light as he brings it to bear against the ship itself, amplified by the breakneck speed of a descending flying mount. Even worse for the unfortunate heartless ship? Jasmine's Light fills the area. To Faruja, it's a shining blaze, and he grips it, pulls it into himself, and brings it to bear with the full fury of a zealot. "TREMBLE, oh ye abominations! For we are agents of the divine Father, and ye SHALL BE CAST DOWN!"

"Good, Lady Nagetta! Keep them from Lady Zia! And watch for the chains!" He calls out to the descending, skewering naga. "Hardly! A lovely Lady such as her would not associate herself with such garbage!" Someone might just be a little too honest in the heat of battle.
Bucket O Heartless The heartless continue to circle like sharks of the air. Sharks with chains and possibly even laser beams attached to their heads. In fact, some of those heartless up there look sufficiently like sharks for the metaphor to sink-- and just like the metaphor, if sharks don't keep moving, they die.

Great waves of frost freeze the propeller blocks solid, causing one ship and another to slow motion collide into eachother. The slow motion collison rains bits and pieces of heartless ship down on the people below as the other ships careen and float out of position while Pirate crews chop frantically, wave blowtorches (almost setting fire to their own ships) and otherwise try to free their ability to TURN-- a great and fearsome ability to have. Nagetta has her pick of Pirates and Gargoyles to choose from, snapping one out of the air and causing it to explode with a shriek as the spear drives home.

POOOF. Instant black cloud, just add spear. It is certainly a target rich entirely though and one that continues to be ever more so as more uninhibited heartless ships and another flock of gargoyles spawn from the dark portal.

The heartless cringe back away from the tower, their resolve weakened and their focus at a low ebb as the light of hope shines out over the battlefield. ---And LO. For the heartless were stricken down in the midst of their chincanery involving torches and picks and the freeing of 'turning' ability on ships. Faruja like an angered temple idol descends on the abomination and lo-- there were dark clouds and wisps of shadow and abandoned ships left behind with sails sundered and shields shattered. One ship crashes towards the tower in which Jasmine is standing while two others go to ground with massive crunching explosions of dark energy as they go up in smoke, quite literally.

Gargoyle packs with their swirly eyes and pink flew and grinning maws take the stage while the new ships get back into position, filling the sky with wings and talons-- and they are carrying gifts. The ceramic pots in their grip are thrown onto the ships, thrown onto the ground in front of Nagetta, while Gargoyles uninhibited swoop and slash at Zia from the air. The ceramic pots start to move-- hooked limbs full of thorny barbs lashing out as they skittter across the ground towards Nagetta and Faruja.
Deelel Deelel is not one to sit still as Lenn might see that Deelel is never sitting still she's always moving as she comes under assault from the the heartless ansd she's just not able to be touched, she's almost dancing her way through harm at this point she takes note of Sabin has proven himself in moment as he's clearly a hell of a fighter. He's well trained he's making use of hsi body as a living weapon it's suprising as he's really just using his fists. She's going to have to talk to him later if she surives the. For now the attackes are treated to a flurry of light disk throws.
Zia Wait, what? Zia catches the question from her dragoon ally and can't help but stare for a moment. "Recognize them? Would ye go upte a refugee 'n ask em if one'o the human-shaped ones looked like their mum?" Staring is probably not the best thing to do in the middle of combat, all things considered. Admittedly, the gargoyle-Heartless only have the most distant resemblance to her kind. There is no small bit of relief when Faruja comes to her aid in that regard. "Nae, lass. These arenae m'kind."

Remember what we said about the distraction being a bad thing? Well, just about the time that the gargress turns back to deal with the Heartless, she gets slammed into by one of the passing 'gargoyles'. This one clearly has no concerns for it's own safety, and seems intent to slam her straight into the ground. There is a puff of darkness, a bit of smoke, and an exaggerated bit of crunched street where the two landed. It seems, at the last minute, that the gargress had managed to turn so that she landed on squishy Heartless instead of on hard ground.

It doesn't make it hurt any less, though. Wincing, scrambles out of the way as another attacker comes swooping her way. This one, she grabs on to, using their own momentum to haul herself back skyward, trying to ignore the pain and stay in the fight. Still holding on to the Heartless, who seems to have no idea that it aquired a passenger, Zia grabs on and then flares her own wings, flinging her 'ride' right towards one of the nearby groups, hoping to catch them unawares by using their own comrade as a cannon ball.
Heartless Swarm 0West Gate:

It was a surprising fate that the Bandits are faced with the searing light from the beam of light. That eruption of the banishing light sends the creatures hissing and cowering away to get some sort of cover.

They can feel it... the Princess of Hearts.

This gives Sabin the opportunity to ome forth with his own set of attacks. First, the four punches strike against one of the Bandits. The bandit punched those four times is knocked to the side. And then the next followed, eating the eight strikes. And next came the other one, who received sixteen. As the wind flows away with the motions of the fists, the Bandits hunch and explode into munnies. The other set of bandits have started getting sliced by the discs. Those discs are hacking each of the Heartless into munny.

Now, Sabin, Deelel, AND Lenn has their attention. The bandits charge forward, but the fat bandit finally starts stomping on the ground repeatedly. The buildings around the vicinity of the stomping shudders while the water sways on each side. More of the Bandits emerge from the gate and charge at the Sabin, Deelel, and Lenn.

0South Gate:

The Wizard Heartless screech, finding themselves prey to the light that sears them. They too can feel the light weakening their bodies, withering it. However, unlike their compatriots at the western gate, the Heartless are able to get a good feel of where that is coming from. Unfortunately for Jasmine, these creatures can not only sense her, but can take off to the air to DEAL with her. It is gathering the darkness, releasing a bolt of dark lightning. That lightning bolt turns into a demon's head. The 'jaws' open, and then it swoops her way, aiming to bite down on her. Which, in reality, just the energy surging through if it contacts her. It wants her Heart...!

As far Ward, he will find that the massive man flies its way. As one of the Wizards try to get away from the man, it finds itself unsuccessful. A squeak sounds off as it is flung to the ground before the man lands on it while cracking the earth below him. Leida's arrow strikes true towards one of the floating wizards, piercing it until it explodes into munny.

Leida is now noticed, and this is a bad thing. Seeing the girl's attack, the monsters start sweeping over towards her. The flock of wizards move towards both her while another set flies towards Ward. There is a manifestation of lightning emanting from the Heartless. That lightning bolt comes down towards her and Ward.

However, deep inside... something is EMERGING from the gate of darkness become chaotic as the presence of an ominous figure sweeps out of the depths.

0The Northern Side:

It is not a gathering of miniature Heartless that the adventurers are dealing with from the north. No. Instead, this is a giant Heartless that is wearing a knight's armor. The Heartless is trudging forward, hacking a the adventurers. Reize is already in action, trying to face off against the creature, followed by pair of Black Mages throwing out a fire and lightning spell.


"Guh, I hope the others are doing well," Reize grunts.
Nagetta Nagetta isn't able to dodge that time, and finds herself getting piereced by the barbs. She cringes in pain at that, "Sorry..." She hasn't seen that many gargoyles about, so she doesn't really know about the different types. Noticing they're still Heartless above she takes the air once again with a mighty spring onto one of the ships above. She try to uses one of the pirates as a makeshift landing pad, while magically draining the life from it as well.
Jasmine Her nails dig into her palms as Jasmine fiercely concentrates, casting her awareness more and more widely. The Light fills the hearts and inflames the spirits of anyone open to it -- it's attracted to Lily's wonder, drawn to Faruja's faith. To be its vessel, however briefly, is to have one's inner Light stoked to infinity and beyond, to feel all the best parts of yourself magnified, to be distilled into one's purest essence. Its warm embrace is transcendence. It is a sense of boundless, cosmic potential; and yet they are still exactly who they are, for the Light loves you for yourself, not only for what you could be, if you only *believed*.

Jasmine believes in them both with all her heart, with every fibre of her being. As though there is no distance between them, they can feel her smile, shining, shimmering, splendid.

The princess opens her eyes just in time to see a Heartless ship crashing towards her tower -- with a swan leap that would make the boy in the marketplace proud, she flings herself off of her perch, and grabs a horizontal outcropping in midair. Flipping around it thrice to build momentum, she releases herself again to launch through the sky. She lands atop another tower, this one slightly lower to the ground but still affording her a decent view.

And then the bolt of lightning strikes her. It courses through her body and spirit, stealing her breath and drawing tears from her eyes, as much from the pain she senses from within the Heartless, during their momentary connection, as that caused by its attack. But though it tears through her, she stands fast, her stance strong and her head held high. It will not have her Heart. It cannot, while her will holds firm enough to deny it.
Faruja Senra Crashing ships, and the general effect of the combined actions of Jasmine, the two aerial-favoring women, and himself has the Burmecian mightily pleased. There's hope, even against so large a force. Seeing Zia struck by a pair of not-Gargoyles, and the following use of a Heartless as a ride to horrible pain on their end, he's quick to act. Pots are thrown at him, smashing open with skittering things clearly intent on hurting himself and Arista. The pair, having served together so long, need no words. Faruja leaps higher, above the skittering /things/, as Arista rolls and descends, only to bank and fly higher.

The Burmecian peaks at his Jump, for a single moment released from the weight of the world as his own velocity and gravity equalize one another. That moment is all he needs to flash off a quick spell upon the bodies of his compatriots, red eye glancing to Nagetta who tries to use the enemy as landing things as well.

The powerful energies of Curaga seeps in, mending flesh, even as Regen seeks to close lesser ones they may yet sustain. Slowly, gravity reasserts, and the Burmecian prepares himself for one heck of a fall as well as whatever may come with it. Hopefully Jasmine can navigate /away/ from the descending falling airship.

The Light further bolsters the knight. His insecurities, all of those little doubts every person has...they all vanish has the fires of his Faith are stoked. Dangerous, indeed, for a person already so Faithful. But this Light is gentle, turning his more violent tendencies away, and focusing him on saving lives. It's not perfect; his own inner Light rages, even against something that would bolster it. In the end, though, Faruja draws upon both as he readies himself. Light, Jasmine's and his own, form around the Burmecian. No longer is it simply magical, or invisible stuff of the soul. It comes into being, as Faruja focuses, prepares for the right time to strike.
Ward Zabac Ward failed in protecting Leida and saw her get struck down. He tried to stay calm, he still had a lot to do. He looked to Lily to see if she was ok, he was struck by lightning, didn't help that his harpoon was pure metal. It coursed through him as he shook. Ward fell to the ground with a sigh, stunned unable to move he had to regather his strength.
Sabin Rene Figaro Sabin inhales deeply as his assault winds down, sweat glistening along his muscles as the delicious, delicious munnies spiral in toward him. (He wonders why they do that. Probably magic.) He scans the field for assailants, and finds himself soon to be amidst what one might call a target-rich environment as more bandits rush toward him. The big man gathers his power, preparing to send another bolt of holy fire ripping into them...but then pauses as he feels the earth shift under his feet as magic ripples along the ground toward him. Sabin sighs. Earthquakes to the left of him, bandits to the right, here he is, stuck in the middle with...

The big man blinks. And looks up.

Seconds later, as the buildings begin shivering around him, the prince of Figaro goes leaping upward on the surge of two powerful legs, evading Heartless and earth magic both as he takes to the skies, a swirling plume of dust drawn into his wake. "Hey nice lady what's makin' with the magicky magics, watch out!" Sabin roars. "I'm gonna hit him with /physics/!"

Somewhere in the kingdom of Figaro, the royal tutor wakes up in a cold sweat, screaming.

Sabin, meanwhile, reaches the apex of his leap and then begins dropping, tucking his legs and arms in close to his body, instinctively lowering his profile against the air resistance. "Them old guys tried to teach us a bunch of math an' stuff," he adds conversationally to the elven woman. "Bunch of hooey, really. But one thing he kept yammerin' on about stuck with me. Somethin' about what happens to stuff when it goes up: seems it comes right on back down."

The martial artist drops toward the Fat Bandit's face at full speed, leading with both feet lashing out toward the enormous Heartless's chin(s). He sticks the landing, hard - the cobblestones ripple out from underneath his feet, shattering in a concentric wave a half-dozen yards outward. "Funny thing, though," Sabin adds as he darts back in toward the Bandit from behind, sliding down low between its legs, bracing his massive back and shoulders against its considerable posterior. " just comes right back up again," he says as he straightens and leans backward.
Lily "Don't you dare." Lily screams fitfully, voice booming thunderously and carrying a pulse of magic with each syllable - odd to hear indeed, since it's FAR from deep.%R
She can feel it, somewhere. It would be hard NOT to feel it. That other Presence here. The source of all that Light. Warm, comforting, reassuring... an invigorating.

Whatever that Presence is, She is the Hope of the city right now. "Leida... and... I don't know who you are over there, big person!" She calls over Ward's way and gestures wildly. ".. I think... I can control it now... this power. A little bit better!"

Is it Jasmine's doing, or something other than the Princess? That's hard to say, but Lily brings her hands together, folding them as if in prayer. To who, the world may never know.

Perhaps just deep within herself.

Her forehead jewel shimmers and light all of its own, forcing away many shadows in the street's surroundings but casting a few new ones and intensifying what few are there. It is simple intense light, and while it's comfortable to bask in... it is also somewhat terrifying on a primal level.

Sparks of mana coaelsce in the air and swirl in towards the girl's aura, forming rapidly into a giant cloud and then compressing into a swirling accretion disk of glorious magical energy. Unfathomable torrents of power spiral inwards and collapse into a single point shining between her folded hands, a strange wind whirling about the girl and making her robes and hair both flutter about, as if uplifted.

"I feel it... I've got it. Alright! You will not have 0HER! STAR... CATACLSYM!"

She finally put a name to it. This mysterious power. A deepest wish granted.

A wish for destruction and new things to follow.

With that word said, cerulean light blasts outwards with a thunderous, ear-splitting bang. It's almost blinding in its intensity, but tiny motes of light spray everywhere, flying up into the heavens and into alleys. They perforate everything the girl despises and burst in little supernova, spewing more explosive motes of magic about and tearing into her enemies.

It's ESPECIALLY concentrated in the mages heading Jasmine's way...
Leida Leida celebrates a little internally as her shot takes out one of the buzzing mages, the elation clear to see on her face. However, that swiftly shifts to a look of wide-eyed panic as the rest of its fellows turn their evil magics upon her.

The princess seizes up, her inexperience robbing her of the insight necessary to deal with this situation. After a moment she turns to flee but that hesitation has already cost her the opportunity.

Fell lightning crashes into the roof all around the small girl, stone tiling exploding into puffs of dust and shrapnel. Several of the bolts impact upon her directly, lancing through her unprotected body like spears of fire and erupting out the other side to add even more crackling pain to the cacophonous blast.

Leida spasms violently as the static charge plays havoc with her muscles, tiny and noodly things that they are, but before the demonic surge can short out her heart or her mind a swell of counter energy rises from within her body, snuffing the thunder out as if it were the flame of a candle. The girl falls to her knees, smoke rising heavily from her body and the small crater channeled into the roof, coughing black smoke from her lungs.

After a few moments, she gets back up, looking dazed and battered. Her hair is an absolute mess of static-cling and frazzled ends. A whine of pain escapes her lips but as there is no one around to comfort her but the Heartless, she manages to suck it up, rallying a little to Lily's cries.

More arrows are pulled from the quiver, each carefully nocked and fired with mechanical precision into the crowd of mages, each arrow striking with a tiny burst of dark power that probably slips under the radar with all of the Heartless about. As she fires a subtle change begins to overcome the small girl, her expression slowly becoming a little more fierce and a little less timid.
Lenn Lenn keeps up her energy expenditure. Again she expends her crystals, and again the energy is expended into her staff, and AGAIN, she sprays that over the erstwhile defenders here. Her staff is spinning furiously, and she launches the energy, this time healing as well as reinforcing the monk and digital defender.
Bucket O Heartless Cannoooon heartless! (Boom) The Heartless Gargoyle (which has no relation to actual gargoyles) doesn't take it's new passenger very well. However it doesn't look like it has a great amount of choice here. It's sort of Win, Lose or SLAM in which the SLAM is inevitable as it collides forcefully with an entire group of it's own brethren, ripping a ragged hole in the formation of the heartless.

But the ships have managed to get in position, and all of them are aiming in a semi circle to sweep over the Eastern gate and it's defenders while the remaining heartless forces regroup. Nagetta finds herself with no jumping pad to jump as the pirate heartless skitters out of the way of her attacks. However the spring is good enough to put her onto the ships, but these new ships are bristling with pirate heartless who try to batter her back and back as a swarm of heartless and their ships continue to aim. Some of them are aiming towards the new tower but they may or may not get into position in time.

--And then they are ready. The ragged remnants of the heartless form back together, trying to beat their way across the Eastern gate deeper into the city. A black storm of Grapeshot spills through the air in a great torrent of firing cannons and pirate yells upholding bottles of Shadow Grog (less powerful than Shadow Rum but still favoring a kick) while the remaining Gargoyles are flanked by Wyvern Heartless. As the grapeshot pulverizes and scours the air and ground, Wyverns swoop and dive, trying to knock Zia and Nagetta into the range of effect.

0Heartless turn: Wyvern Grapeshot!
Deelel Deelel really doesn't know about the Princess of hearts yet but she does know there's a whole ot of heartless coming at her a whiole lot of bandits but she's moving around a high speed and taunting the things.

"Come on can't you catch me or are you just that lagged?"" She's going to pay for that as wham she caught in the pile of heartless. Thankfully she's fighting her way free and the next thing she knows her body is restoring it self thanks to Lenm's own inate talents.

"I owe you one!"

Then comes Sabin and he's still going, unaware of the poor tutor waking up screaming in pure terror. The poor man or that's what she'd think if she knew abotu that all she sees is Sabin just demolishing things like some sort of Light Tank. She'll need to revise a few things about users after seeing him in action.

Again she strke out with her light disc on them trying to trip them up and set them up for a much more brutal take down as she seems to have a plan forming for just what to do about these banits.

"These things are glitched they keep marching to their derezzing!"
Zia It's hard enough to keep an eye on all of the Heartless in the air, but keeping an eye on the Burmecian and dragoon is another matter entirely. It actually isn't until she starts feeling the effects of Faruja's magic that she spots him, offering a small nod. She's not quite able to smile in such a dire situation, but the magic is certainly appreciated.

Of course, even that can't really prepare her for the barrage of fire that sweeps through the skies. It is by some small miracle that she manages to avoid being thrown back into the worst of it, flipping one of the gargoyle-like Heartless out of the way as she draws in closer to the ships.

The one thing about storm magic is that sometimes having the caster close to you is not a good idea. There is that whole 'eye of the storm' thing, but it only works so far as those right up in the thick of things. If you aren't... well, you're usually screwed. Zia growls to herself, her eyes turning to red as she sees the others get hit. "Ah think tha's been quite enough." She states, extending her arms out to her sides. Electricity crackles from her fingertips, and above the ships, a dark cloud begins to form.

She doesn't have the time to summon up all of her strength, but at least on that small section of the battlefield, it seems as if the weather has turned for the worst. Lightning lashes at masts, hail whips at the flying Heartless, winds buffet the sails, and rain pelts down with an icy chill. At the center of it, a certain pissed off gargoyle who is probably going to regret summoning this level of magic in the morning. Especially if the Heartless get a chance to target her while she's quite so out in the open.
Nagetta The landing's rather painful as Nagetta misses her target. "Ouch!" She rubs her tail in pain with that. She would have to be more careful where she lands. She curls her tail a bit before she bounces from heartless to heartless driving her spear into them as she does so.
Faruja Senra Even for a Dragoon, there's little one can do while they're falling. Sure, Faruja twists, maneuvers, and makes himself surprisingly difficult to hit while falling by the ships that fire upon the trio. But there are too many, and the rat too distracted by pulling upon a well of Light he's unused to having at his disposal. Buckshot pierces armor, claws of wyverns dive, and generally cut and shoot poor Faruja full of holes. He bleeds profusely, worryingly, and will likely have to cure himself at some point to avoid bleeding out. But, he's a Templar, and the ships have themselves in a lovely position around the gate.

That energy that had been worked upon and gathered by the rat comes to fruition. From an aura around the Burmecian himself, it flows to the tip of his spear. A moment's incantation, and...Warp! A brief swirl of light, and the ratling is once again above the ring of Heartless ships. Righting himself in the air, he thrusts his spear at the Gate. The borrowed Light from Jasmine, and his own power gathered, he spits out one contemptuous pair of words. "Be gone."

With all of that power, and Faruja yet being new to the Holy Spear, he could hardly think of forming a proper technique. Instead, he /releases/. Pure, uncontrolled Light reaches out to consume and destroy in columns all around their enemies and the Gate itself, even as Zia unleashes her great electrical energies, and calls a storm into being. He returns her nod. Wind whips him around, but he doesn't seem to care too much, as a storm rages, a naga unleashes her bouncing fury, and the rat makes quite a lightshow. Thankfully for the Knight no longer caring about becoming street pizza, his wyvern swoops down as he falls to catch him. Thump!
Ward Zabac Ward got up shook himself off roared and casted cure and protect on himself. He looked and saw Lily cast something and deal a ton of damage to the heartless, that was rather impressive. He grinned and would have to try and top it. He picked his harpoon back up, gathered himself and threw his harpoon in the air jumping after it and striking down hitting as many as the hoard as he could. He then slammed them afterwards.
Faruja Senra The supernova that erupts, courtesy of Lily, gets the rat's attention. The hellish, pure power that could only come from one source amongst those gathered has the Burmecian smirking as he rests upon Arista's back. He mutters into his linkshell.
Heartless Swarm 0West Gate:

It is through Sabin's knowledge of physics that the Fat Bandit who launched the tremor tantrum meets its end. His dive down at the Heartless plants it deep into the earth. The impact puts a hole on the ground,leaving everything a shuddering mess. That Fat Bandit explodes into munny.

Many of the Bandits and Fat Bandits end up triping on themselves, practically falling for Deelel as she chucks herligh discs at them and trips them up. They are starting to get back up...


They take position. 21. 22. HUT HUT!

And the Fat Bandits are charging forward, moving like a pile of football players aiming to tackle down Sabin, Lenn, and Deelel. ...Wait, are one of them wearing a Cowboy's helmet?

0South Gate:

The Strong Heart....

The Princess of Hearts. As Jasmine dived away and sprang towards yet another tower. It's eyes locked onto her, becoming more obsessive with trying t get her Heart. It must seek the Heart. It becomes more attracted to her like a firefly. When the Heartless moves forward, it flutters and brins its wand back.

Something emerges....More of the flying Mages are emerging. What was supposed to be a large Heartless turned out to be multiple smaller mages flying and seeking out the Princess of Heart.

Slowly, the gate near the Town Square is fading away. However, more of the mage Heartless are trying to emerge out. Leida manages to strike each of the Heartless down with the arrows. Each arrow causes them to explode into munny. Those darkness fills the Heartless, oddly enough slaying them. And Ward's harpoon pierces each and every single one of them.

The Heartless that started concentrating on Jasmine did not get too far. As all of the Heartless emerge from the gate, it slowly started to die away. Complicating the matter even moreso is the sudden spark of energy. That explosive supernova sucks all of them into its rippling gate... And they all shred into darkness. Screeches cries of death stir from the creatures as they slowly wither away.

0> The Dark Portal within the Town Square closes.

The darkness on the southside is no more.
Bucket O Heartless The tides of the battle turn against the heartless. There is a storm of holy energies and actual storm that rips through the Eastern Quarter.

Skittering pots shatter against the buildings. Pirate hulls are swept clean, exploding as they are torn apart by the combination of fierce winds and holy energy. The holy spear rips through the area and the heartless all freeze simultaniously.

Then, in the aftermath of the ripping winds and torrents of lightning, they begin to explode. One after another while Nagetta bounces from one survivor to the next, the entire eastern quadrant is swept clean.

The last remaining ship plows into the ground as the dark portal of the eastern reaches SLAMS closed with a thunderous and probably earth-shattering KABOOM.

Then there is silence.

The Dark Portal of the East Gate has Closed.
Jasmine Jasmine knows that she and Lily have a great deal in common, when she sees, and feels, the other girl wield the Light -- it is /not/ a tame lion of a force, so to speak. And wielded by the mage, it is as mighty a weapon as any could hope for, blasting away the Heartless that plague her as though they are no more than flies. The enormity of the explosion passes close by the princess -- it can't not -- but she doesn't so much as flinch, her trust in Lily's abilities absolute, and her gratitude, afterwards, palpable.

Casting her gaze across the city, she sees a great deal of suffering, as battle is joined in earnest and the wounds begin to mount, especially as the Heartless grow more desperate. Taking a deep breath, far more pained than when she suffered assault personally, she spreads her hands in a gesture not so much a prayer as a promise.

'Everything will be all right.'

In her hands, the Light is the opposite of a weapon, but no less wondrous and terrible to behold. Crossing over to the visible spectrum at last, it leaves blinding streaks in the eyes of anyone who looks at it directly. All colors and none in its radiance, it subtly penetrates any barrier, leaving no infinitely dark shadows on its opposite side, for everything it touches is subtly illuminated from within, the Light within all beings responding to the call and surging to the surface. Magnificent luminescence, it is apocalyptic in its glory; one could call it the fires of creation as easily as the waters of life, its exact manifestation differing to any who experience it, for it is seen most clearly with the heart. It erupts from her fingertips, her mouth, even her eyes.

This is what the Heartless fear. This is what they love. This is what they yearn for, to possess, to extinguish.

And the fact that it lives in everyone's hearts, not only hers, is what gives her the strength to keep going.

Bringing her hands together, it explodes out of the princess and into the three spirits she senses most in need:

Leida, facing her battle relatively far from her friends, alone, on the rooftops of Fluorgis. Who hesitated, but then came to fight anyway, and in so doing won the only battle that really matters.
Faruja, who was so quick to spread his Light to others, but never himself, though he gapes with wounds.
and Deelel, who fights so fiercely to defend the Users, in worlds so very different from her own.

Love fills them as surely as any You are glorious and wonderful and strong and brave and true, brilliant in mind and spirit,' says the Light, says Jasmine's Heart. '0Thank you for being you.'

"Now get up and go finish this," she says out loud, as one portal closes, then another. This isn't over, but it could be soon. "You can do it. You can do anything..."
Zia In the aftermath of the storm that she'd summoned, Zia is barely able to keep airborn. The strength of calling on that sort of magic always took the 'wind' out of her. She decends to land on a nearby rooftop, trying to catch her breath. While there may be fighting elsewhere in the city, her magic is tapped out for the night, it seems. For now, she'll work her way back towards the Shard Seeker's HQ. She isn't entirely sure what this 'light' is, but the girl she'd seen earlier certainly does seem to be the source. Maybe she'd look into that on another night. When she doesn't feel quite so woozy from overexerting her magic.
Sabin Rene Figaro Sabin pounds a meaty fist into an open palm, making a sound roughly equivalent to the open crash of a sumo match. Exploding bad things and more munny to spend on children's card games. Could anything make this day bett...the big man blinks as the ground starts shaking again, and he looks down. He doesn't feel any chi or magic flowing into his feet from the ground. So why? He looks up at the Heartless football team and sighs, just before he's run over.

He comes up again looking bruised but not terribly worse for wear - in no small part thanks to the magical defensive energies swirling around him, courtesy of Lynn. He doesn't pay much attention to the sparkly things as he wipes a trickle of something wet and red off his lips, then spits the rest to one side. "Okey dokey," the big man says. "Big finale time." Elemental motes twine around the area - call it magic, call it chi, the Lifestream or a dozen other names, it is the force that drives the universe. Sabin ignores it all. He closes his eyes and reaches inward, instead, slipping past muscle, bone, blood, sinew, drifting through the physical and into the core of his being, the blazing essence of him. Locked away in a cage it burns, giving off drifting images - the faces of his parents, his brother, that night on the castle rooftop, the light of a coin as it dances in the air. Long days and nights under the tutelage of a dear old man who taught him to tame the power. To control it. He reaches out, mentally, to all those limits and slowly, carefully, sets them free.

The disciple of Duncan Harcourt opens his eyes, and the world explodes in brilliant light. Chi blazes out from a vaguely humanoid figure at its core, its feet digging deep into the earth, fists clenched at its sides. A defiant scream ripples outward, bringing with it another surge of energy, the earth shuddering underneath its feet, the skies shivering at its call. The light grows more intense, almost blinding...and then the figure within it crouches.

An instant later, it is crashing into the line of Fat Bandits, driving its fist shoulder deep into the Heartless's gut. The shockwave threatens to bowl the others over, but by then the disciple is among them, moving in a never-ending wave, a streak of raw power striking again and again and again. At its core, the disciple brushes against the edge of perfection, years of training and technique blending together in a single, perfect moment. It knows it cannot last. It never does. But until th---

Sabin Figaro crashes to the earth seconds later, chest and shoulders heaving, sweat pouring down his body as he gasps for air.
Nagetta After finishing bouncing from heartless to heartless, Nagetta makes a safe landing on the ground below. She's somewhat beat-up from all the fighting but at least the area around the East Gate was safe. She breathes a sigh of relief as she watches the fighting in the distance. Hopefully, they could handle things over there. She's a bit worn out right now.
Leida Arrow after deadly arrow erupts into the Heartless mages, each projectile screaming with power and force as it leaves the curved arch of Leida's bow. The weapon seems to imbue each shot with overwhelming speed, far beyond what such a small weak girl should be able to manage or the bow itself for the matter. They are missiles of kinetic force, striking like thunderbolts. Many of them punch completely through the tiny robed figures to strike at others as they cluster together, while some embed themselves into the stone walls as firmly as nails being driven by a hammer.

The princess continues to change as more and more enemies are brought low by her hands. Her eyes grow wide, a fierce snarl beginning to pull at the corner of her lips. The soft amber of her irises begins to dark into a sickly yellow color, the pupils stretching and elongating into thin slits like the cold hungry eyes of a lizard or a... demon.

Lily's display of frightening magic explodes all about her, the power unleashed infusing her with vigor. She grabs one last arrow as the gate begins to collaspse, dark energy building about her body like hazy silhouette of black mist. But before she can fire another source of light touches the battlefield.

Jasmine's pure radiance sweeps into the girl, overwhelming the sizzling unnatural rage beginning to bubble to the surface. Even as this healing power begins to mend Leida's body it sears at her soul, the strange mixture of human and demon, light and dark held in precious balance, thrown into disarray.

With a shriek, the princess collapses, her weapon clattering to the rooftop from insensate hands as the light of creation attempts to renew and destroy her at the same time. It is not a pleasant feeling.
Deelel Deelel is geting haled heck she's feeling a bit overclocked she's feeling very good now better than the day she was Rezzed all things consider she's going to have to talk to Sabin later. She's flat out impressed at how he fights it's alien to how her people fight but damn she can't argue just how well it works. As for the heartless who remain she's just diving into them. They can't seem to pin her down ad she smirks at one heartless before disking at it. "I think this game is finished, end of line!"

She then launches the disk after it's return and then tries to play pinball off all of them.
Faruja Senra Gasp. Gasp. The Gate closes, the combination of Zia's storm, Nagetta's Jump prowess, and his own efforts sealing the deal. Slowly, Faruja lands, watching and bleeding as Zia makes her way to Headquarters. He doesn't reproach her; she's no Temple Wizard, trained to cast, cast, and cast until one's head aches and one's knees go weak. No, the Gargoyle has proved herself braver that he could have ever hoped.

Then, there's Nagetta. Glancing to the naga, he grins as she rests. "Well done, M'Lady. Well done. No Demon shall take this place."

Jasmine's prayer, her Light is far more gentle this time as it fills him. Pure, unadulterated love rocks the tired, weary Burmecian. For a moment, he loses consciousness. Then, slowly, as if coming back from a dream he opens his eye. His wounds, though still terrible, at least aren't threatening to steal away his blood. More importantly, much of his strength seems to be back, and the lingering feeling of soft arms around him. His Mother's arms. The rat stands, and Arista flaps her wings.

"Lady Nagetta, I shall survey the battlefield. Be careful, there may yet be stragglers." Right now, caution is definitely a good thing, Manhattan still scratching in the back of his head.
Ward Zabac Ward set his harpoon on his shoulder he looked at Leida and scooped her up carrying her. He then found Lily and made sure she was ok. He smiled, then it quickly went away after looking at the carnage. He sighed heavily and thought he would be here awhile repairing the town. Ward carried Leida to what remained of the inn found a /nearly/ complete bed and set her down to rest. Ward then went out to see the others.
Heartless Swarm It is then that Deelel's disc is launched out. That whizzing disc is flying all across throught the air, moving towards the football-player style Fat Bandits. As the disc ricochets from each one, many of the Fat Bandits are knocked all across the air.

There was a strange power that radiated from Sabin. It was a pure form of energy that could not be denied. As the chi blazes from the man, he ripples forward to move. And then Sabin is crashing onto the line of the Fat Bandits. The fist drives aganst the one with the Cowboys helmet's gut. It hunches over, the shock wave shuddering and exploding every one of them from the sheer power. That raw power sends all of them ripping out of existence...

And munny explodes.

0> The Western Dark Portal closes.

0Victory is achieved!


There are a band of adventurers emerging from the north. All of them are looking pretty beaten. It was quite a bad situation at the northside, given a massive Heartless emerged and the group had to break away and battle it out. However, they ended up victorious.

The victors are approaching southward towards the town square. Of those that are approaching, one can see that Reize is one of them. However, Reize looks incredibly beaten, sooted, and bleeding. Despite of his pains, sores, and likely near-death experience, he smiles.

...He is not alone, as someone is propping him up.
Luso Clemens ...And that person is Luso. He doesn't look much better than Reize. He's got soot, cuts, and blood in various places. But despite that, he's grinning victoriously, waving to the others with one of his swords still in hand; Kotetsu.

"Heeey! We did it! Everything's alright up here!" He called cheerfully, having to take a moment to wipe some blood away after. "Heh! Not a bad job, Reize! Using the hookshot as a distraction to propel yourself into Storm's Eye...that was pretty crazy! Ahahaha!"

Ah, how easygoing they are. Just fought off a horde of heartless that seriously threatened to take down the city...and here they are, laughing it up like they just came from a carnival.

Suppose that's idiot heroes for you!
Lily Lily wobbles, gasping for breath, as the portal collapses. How that had quite occured she isn't so sure, but she won't argue with results today. A new feeling's filled her, one she's going to have a time putting to words, but she,in the wake of all this chaos, and surely visible to Ward, smiles brilliantly. Warmly.

The relief of triumph is such a wondrous thing.

"I... I hope Dandelion's alright!" It really is a wonder... where all of that power came from. And why anyone would EVER name a beagle 'Dandelion.'

BUt those questions are for another day.

"... Heeh." She bursts into nervous, childish giggles, eyes tearing up, and brings a hand up over her heart, fingers clenched tightly...
Faruja Senra Up in the air, atop Arista, Faruja gazes down. A pair of bloodied, beaten boys prop each other up, and wave about. As one, the pair of rat knight and wyvern place a limb to their foreheads. Sigh.

"Our glorious leaders. Faram help us all."
Jasmine Still brimming with Light -- she's always brimming with it, but so rarely allows it to manifest in any external form, for a very specific reason -- Jasmine gasps as though struck, as the battle winds itself to its calamitous conclusion, writ large across the city, and small within a single soul. Dark sparkles cross her vision in a torrent. The princess sways upon her feet, struggling to retain consciousness, to retain control.

And a single thought passes through her mind like a shooting star:

0They may not have come to Fluorgis for her, but they will return if she doesn't leave /now/.

Plunging from rooftop to rooftop, she pauses beside Leida, for the span of a heartbeat. "I'm truly sorry," she whispers. "Hang in there. You're stronger than you realize." By the time Ward's arrived to carry the girl off, she's gone, having seen him coming and satisfied to know that Leida won't be left alone.

She's out of the city within moments, back on her endless flight from darkness, into darkness...

But it felt wonderful to stop running and stand her ground, if only for a moment.

This scene contained 105 poses. The players who were present were: Heartless Swarm (Aka: Reize Seatlan), Lily, Faruja Senra, Priel Aylin, Sabin Rene Figaro, Zia, Jasmine, Nagetta, Ward Zabac, Deelel, Lenn, Bucket O Heartless, Angantyr Vespar, Leida, Luso Clemens