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1001 Arabian Nights
(2013-02-18 - 2013-02-19)
No description.
Mirage The last time the Shard Seeker device triggered, following it, an incidentally the map of the Desert Rose, had lead them to a set of ruins protected by a dangerous sandstorm. What, notably, had not been found while on this mission?
A shard.
This could very well be another such wild goose chase. Following the device does lead to the discovery of something interesting. For about two weeks now, there had been rumors of a magnificent palace out in the desert where they had previously been none. Such an unusual thing had been written off as a mirage at first, but eventually other accounts started to trickle in. This Palace was real. This Palace was real and inhabited by horrible creatures. This Palace was real and inhabited by horrible creatures that FEASTED ON THE FLESH OF MAN and I'm THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE THESE TERRIBLE BEASTS. BEWARE!!
The device, in this case, leads right to this mysterious desert Palace. As they approach it, they'll discover that it is indeed real...and it doesn't seem to be guarded in any way.
Reize Seatlan This time, the Shard Seeker device leads them to this place. Where is it? Who knows. Nevertheless, this time, the Shard Seeker should work. Why? Guess who is leading the fray this time. Reize, the Boy Who Has a Knack For Directions.


Okay, you guys are screwed.

Nevertheless, the Shard Seeker device is pinging. Reize looks up from the device and out to the desert.

Upon arriving at the desert palace?

"Ooooh.... we made it!"
He beams, "See? No one should doubt my directions!"
Katyna Katyna had been curious about the Shard Seeking device, wondering if it might lead them to another world shard. Whatever her personal reasons for coming along, the mystic knight was here, outwardly representing VALKYRIE although she may yet have ulterior motives. Who knows?

Whatever the case, here she is, following along after Reize and hoping he doesn't get them lost as he is apt to do..When they arrive at the desert palace, she stares up at the palace in awe.

"Wow, this palace?" Ooh, must be full of pretty shinies! What fun! "Heh, should be a piece of cake.." Greedily, she rubs her hands together, thinking of all the treasures that must be inside that palace. "Alright, lead on!"
Will Sherman Will has a blank expression on his face as he looks at Reize.

He doesn't break it to him that he basicly has been repeatedly bending luck so that the once in a million chance of Reize setting out to a place and arriving there without getting lost despite having directions/something showing you the way happened. Will isn't even sure if it worked, he sure hopes they found the right mysterious ruins.

He looks at Katyna, and gives her a sideways glance... "Riiiight." he sighs, this was going to be a long day. He walks forward, towards the ruins, his eyes, the eyes that see fate looking around for anything out of the ordinary. However, he just goes the only way he knows...forward.

"Place gives me the heebee jeebees."
Deelel Deelel is following after Reize and seems to wonder where the shard seeking device is taking them. "Hopefully this is it." She's not that confident given Reize's habit of getting lost but she doesn't vocalize it. The Basic is looking about nervously hopping things don't go south. Then Will voices somethign else she's feeling "It's in quite the state of disrepair I really don't like it...either Will."
Evja Likewise, Evja was here as well, following up behind mostly for the sake of assisting if needed. That, and he'd been attempting to help out the Shard Seekers anyways until they decide if they want him as their Clan Judge, did they become a Clan, or not.
At the moment the Viera was atop his Chocobo, a large white cloak wrapped all the way around with his head wrapped in something of a white Assassins turban as was traditional with a lot of Jylland Viera, as well as a Veil, keeping himself covered save hands and around the eyes.
Nothing to say at the moment, though, simply following along.
Sarafina Carenze Sarafina is a bit slow in her arrival, this is because walking in her huge armor is not exactly ideal, especially in a desert. She huffs and puffs, and seems kind of grumpy just to be here, but if there really is a Shard here, she's gotta make sure this goes off. Of course it's also possible that there isn't anything here, but at least she can keep an eye on Will.

"Mm." She says, looking over the Palace. She doesn't like the looks of this.

"Lets be cautious." She says after a moment--and despite saying this starts forth, intending to walk through the front entrance.
Mirage The doors are not locked and open quite easily to moderate pressure. Immediately inside there is a long, tall hallway with massive marble pillars lining each sides. Ribbons and banners of many colors, plaid especially, are strung up around and between the pillars almost haphazardly. Indeed, with closer inspection, they seem to have been placed about without any rhyme or reason. The length of the hall bares a bright red and yellow plaid carpet. Following the carpet leads to a well-lit room beyond.
The room the hallway opens out into is immense and obviously set up to be a throne room. Along the far wall is what passes as a throne, though it is built out of massive couch pillows sewn out of the finest gold and silver threads. Luxurious silken pillows are strewn all throughout the room, absolutely coating the floor except for a tiny path leading up to the base of the pillow thrown. The pillows look very inviting and bouncy.
On either side of the room, which turns out to be oval in shape, are staircases that follow the curve of the walls to a balcony/room built into the wall that wraps behind the throne. The walls have been carved out into railings and arching "windows" and pillars. At the very center, resting high above the throne but apparently within the balcony is a shining jewel that floats in the air. It turns whichever color is most pleasing to the viewer and burns with a small firey aura of flames matching that color.
More importantly, the intrepid adventurers are not alone in this room. There are creatures throughout of all shapes, sizes, and colors that resemble either elephants...or weasels. A distressing number of them have skin that is clearly some form of plaid.
Every single one of them looks towards the 'adventurers' as they enter, curious faces slowly pulled into Chesire grins.
Upon the pillow throne sits a massive Heffalump with a striped turban wrapped around his head. Clapping his front legs together, he stands up before his fluffy seat. "FANTASTIC! More entertainment has come! Please, please come forth! We have been waiting far too long!"
Katyna Katyna's eyes widen as they step into the desert palace, staring at this and that..Definitely lots of pretty shinies here, but none quite as spectacular as that floating gem up ahead! She's about to run towards it, when she realizes they are certainly not alone here!

"Erp! What's this?" She sweatdrops, grimacing a bit as if caught red-handed. "Ooh...Err...Hey there! Dont mind us! We just...Err..Got lost!" twitch twitch. Still..They dont seem unfriendly, and so she takes a cautious step towards the creature on the pillow throne. "Err, who are you guys?"
Will Sherman Will's eyes spot the shard, it doesn't take long for him to find the golden string...the one connected to his own fate. There is...a soft smile, despite himself in the weird place. The place just...feels odd, but at the same time that sort of chaotic that....he just can't ignore. But what can you do...trickster gods live inside of yo-no wait, that's just him. Damn it!

His eyes come along the...what the <GOOSEHONK> are these things? He just tilts his head to the side and blinks for a moment... "Lost? No we're in the right place!" he says, holding a hand up...Will has a hunch.

"Game? Well we can't play the game if we don't know the rules, don't just...hide it all to yourself! Tell tell!" he says, grinning, and walking forward,

"I hope it's fun, because I don't like boring games..." he pauses, pointing at the shard, "Hey that's pretty, where did you find that?"
Aerith Being on a chocobo in the middle of the desert provided some unique memories for Aerith the last time she'd been in a scenario like this. Of course they'd almost been eaten then, but they got out all right. She was almost certain they'd come through yet again, and the fact that it was for one of the lost shards was even better. Unfortunately, palace out in the middle of nowhere posed a bit of a problem... how did it get here in the first place?

She felt a wave of trepidation as she approached with the others, attempting to figure out who or what brought this here...
Sarafina Carenze Sarafina peers about as she steps inside. It's easy so far. TOO EASY IN FACT. She doesn't draw her weapon, however, taking her time. There is no notable need to hurry. But it's when she finally catches sight of ... those things ... that she is given pause. She looks towards the Heffalump with a turban over his head. She looks at him for several moments. And then she looks to Will, brow furrowing in concentration. She listens to him and then says, "Mm.... If that's how it's going to be played... But even so, I'm not sure I like this..."

She crosses her arms lightly. "Very well, what are the rules here..?"
Deelel Deelel is keeping on her guard int his place the plaid colour set up there. It's almost painful to her when she states at them for too long. She keeps moving chekcing about the other things that make up the place and she raises an euebrow at just what's going on here. "SO much Plaid. How could someone..." Even with her lack of human fashion sense she realises that set up is a diaster.. Then someone appear and she takes a step bck from the man. "Hello there and you have?" She tries to back peddal in terms from her world. "Game? But what sort of game." This does get her intrest but also she's a bit uneasy given her ... well origins.
Aerith A game. And there was the shard right there.

Regardless of the rules, the fact that they'd been expecting someone to come find it made it suspect from the get-go. Aerith got herself ready to call up her staff, just in case. If something bad went down, and she was almost certain it would, it was good to be able to have it on hand. Still, she listened for what this game entailed. Then again, surely it couldn't be anything bad... right?
Mirage "ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF!" The Head Heffalump trumpets, "I am the Great Sultan Pachidermus and this is our spectacular Palace of Flames!"
At "flames," fire suddenly shoots up from around the pillars in the halls, which immediately incinerates the ribbons and banners that had been left there to decorate the place. Rather than turning to ashes, the banners turn into bits of confetti that blow into the main atrium and fall all over the subjects, pillows, and intrepid adventurers.
"Since building our kingdom, we have met many travellers and they have all been very entertaining. But sadly, not entertaining enough." Sultan Pachidermus sits himself back down upon his pillow fort throne and strokes his goatee, which he certainly didn't have -two seconds ago-.
"All we seek is stories! Magnificent stories to thrill and tantalize us. I have considered even offering a reward for such a story, but none has moved out hearts enough." He laments. All the while he speaks, the other elephanty and weazely creatures creep closer, eyes filled with curiosity. The astute might notice that, for now, the heffalumps and woozles are quite focused on THEM. They might also notice that they don't seem to be posting guards around the shard.
"Oh, our magnficent treasure? It is the most amazing thing, is it not? One night, I had wished upon a star that I would like a star all to myself! And what would you know, this star fell from the sky just for me! It is my most precious treasure. Do you like it?" The Heffalump smiles. "But enough about my story. What we want...are /your/ stories."
They all lean forward. A Woozle of purple and pink stripes chirps. "Go on! Let's hear it!"
Sarafina Carenze "...A story..." Sarafina says. The Head Heffalump might as well have said 'go and kill your family', that's how disinclined Sarafina is to storytelling. She couldn't even tell stories to her kids. Let alone to a turbaned elephant, that's just really out there. Will offers to go first, and Sarafina lets out a relieved breath, trying to sneak to the rear of the group.
Katyna Well darn! How will she ever steal that pretty shiny jewel now? Darnit! But..Maybe she can distract them with stories! Still, does she know any that could possibly make these people fall asleep? Well, let's hope so!

"Ooh, so basically we gotta entertain y'all with interesting stories? And what happens if our stories are not entertaining enough?" Wait, does she even want to know what happens? Darnit!

Still, it seems others might wish to begin the story first and so she waits for someone else to start..
Aerith Oh... oh, this is going to be interesting.

Aerith sits back and waits for someone else to start. She'd have to have a bit of prep time for this one, and depending on how they did it, she'd have to listen closely to how the flow of the story went. Still, a smile graced her features. If it was a story they wanted, they certainly would get one...
Evja Having been staying towards the back, Evja had long since stepped off his Chocobo, now walking beside it as he listened, eventually moving to the side to watch the others discussing it. Well, it seemed simple enough. "So these are the rules - I am quite pleased with such a thing. Rarely have I seen things outside of Jylland make sense and have order."
Will Sherman Will pauses...

"Alright! I can do that.." he says, and grins...

"In the land of Midgard..." he says, waving his hands up, "Midgard, you see is the land where I come from, above it is a place called Valhallah. Valhallah is a brilliant place, golden and bright, close to the sun, but not hot. It rest atop a giant mountain, but this is not where our stroy is about...but rather a starting point!" Will says, looking at each of the weird things. He grins, pointing at one...

"Here, the great king of the hall, of light and warriors who have claimed the right to walk the hallowed halls in Midgard sit and drink and feast for the day that their skill will be needed..." Will wiggles his fingers, "But the great king, Odin, sat on his throne and looked down at Midguard. He was alone, you see...for all of the power and wonder at his command, he did not have one thing...the one thing that everyone needs. The one thing that binds us to each He did not have a love, and he looked down on Midguard, he looked down on the mortal land..."

"And he saw something. Something so beautiful and perfect to him, that it easily outstripped the gold and brightness of his home..." he says, waving his hands to essentuaite the point. "The woman, was not exactly mortal herself, but a creature under Lord Odin's service herself. You see, a Valkyrie is a brilliant creature, who chooses which warriors go to Valhallah to sit at Odin's side...the world is so large that not even he knows the name or even the face of the people that work for him...but this beauty..."

"She was a warrior, a maiden of not just great beauty, but of great skill. She was not easily impressed, and because of her skill and beauty, she was picky with who would take her as her husband."

"But surly Odin qualified? Right? However, taken by her beauty...captivated by her grace and skill...he decided that it was not enough to show himself as Odin. No no...he had to win her heart, the mortal way. He had to show her what was inside his own heart, and that she could only choose him based on that alone..."

"Oh...but see, this is where the story gets...trecherous. A figure, a creature that covited Odin's throne by the name of Surt saw this...and when Odin transformed himself into a human...he took advantage of the weakened Odin, striking him with a magic spell, sealing him in his new form!"

Will's voice takes on a evil overtone, "Ahhhhahahahaha! Look at you pitiful mortal! I will take your place on the seat of Valhallah, while you are cast down to the mortals...but I am not UNFAIR...surly you can win the heart of the maiden you coveted more than even your own throne, if you should win her heart by the week's spell will end!"

"So Odin, cast down from the glory of the heavens, walked in the forest of Midguard...but Surt was not content in see, he sent a dragon after Odin..." and then he backs up...
Mirage "Correct, young lady!" An oversized, stuff-looking Woozle in a safari hat says, peering at Katyna through a monacle. "If your stories are not up to our standards..." he leans in even closer, practically ON TOP of the Ember Knight. "...then we will have to..." he smiles widely, showing off his rather large and rather sharp-looking (?!) teeth. "...remove you."
A pink heffalump with a delicate and dainty trunk leans on Kat's back suddenly. "That would be, like, -so- sad! Just like the last twelve visitors we've had!"
Will is the first to step up and start up what would no doubt be an epic tale. Right away, he has the full attention of every Heffalump and Woozle in the room, especially of the Sultan himself.
The Sultan wiggles in his seat and as time passes, his appearance starts to change. He grows a full white bushy beard and one of his eyes suddenly fades away into an empty socket. This should look familiar to Will.
Evja would notice one of the Woozles standing up-this in particular has odd-looking ears that, rather than pointed, are wide and fan-like. With each passing second they seem to become larger and larger until they are enormous wings. This Woozle poses salaciously, then turns her (her?) nose up at the "Sultan."
A rakish-looking Woozle rears up on the other side of the room amongst the crowd. His fur is bright red and orange and notably not plaid. He taps his clawed paws together and smirks.
Then several things happen at once. The "Sultan" descends from his throne, shifting in shape as he walks until he actually does look like a real human. He seems to be walking to the female Woozle, only to be intercepted by the flame-furred Woozle and knocked over. The flame-furred Woozle then lets out a cackle and wiggles his way over to the pillow fort throne, which he claims.
Wait, they're...acting it out? Sure seems that way, as the biggest Heffalump in the room sits next to the throne and slowly shapeshifts into a Heffadragon.
"Wait, wait!!" A bookish-looking Woozle suddenly shouts out, "Surt has no love interest. SURT NEEDS A LOVE INTEREST!!!" Others start to chime in in agreement with this.
The others better step in with the rest of the story...pronto!
Sarafina Carenze Sarafina will let EVja go next. She is hoping, really, that the others will figure out a good story and that will satisfy before she has to go. What is she supposed to even do to make a good story for Woozles and shit? SHE DOESN'T KNOW. And she doesn't want to know. But Sarafina, she thinks, MAnhattan! You have to help them! Even if it means telling a story! Well okay maybe, but not if she can help it. Maybe she can sneak out the back? Right? Ugghh...

"Is this story ficitonal, Will...or did this actually happen?" She can't help but ask.
Deelel Deelel listens as strange being introduces themselves she listens s they tell about their kingom and they wante to be enterained? All right she takes a moment to think about this. It's a fair offer it seems right? Then she hears them talk about it and her eyes go a bit wide, wait could they be talking about what she thinks they are? This has the basic's full attention now.

"A story hummmm."

A lot of people have interesting stories but her own might not be understandable to many. Still she'll do her best to ad lib it along as best she can, right?

She knows of the legend of the Valkyrie she'd looked it up online after meeting Avira and some of her frends she was curious as the tale that's being told but it's not her turn yet.
Will Sherman "Purely fictional." Will says, and becoming very quiet as he backs up, slowly walking with his back to the wall...he was not going to be surprised.

Will watches, not the shard...that was never going to move, unless they grabbed it...and if everyone here did their parts, then they'd probably wouldn't do that. Will waits...he is patient, he waits to see how enthralled they were, and then he would start moving towards along the wall towards the Shard.

Will is patient...just one shot, and then nothing was going to save their home if they failed here...
Evja Eventually, while listening, Evja did notice these things. It surprised the Viera actually. Not that there were strange looking creatures, with tall ears, or that they changed shapes. No, what was surprising was when he slowly came to realize they were acting it out. Huh, well, what do you know. Listening in on the story did make him wonder a few things that he eventually puzzled out himself.

What was a Valkyrie? Someone who goes to pick Warriors, likely the best. And these warriors, who had gained the right, waited... for what? It hadn't been said yet, but it had to be important.
Odin wasn't a mortal, and neither was the Valkyrie. In most tales, these beings lived forever or close to it... so he came to believe that unless this task lasted forever, gathering warriors that soon aged past their prime out of battle, there had to be something that made them a candidate.

It's here that Evja recalled Leida, that young girl who valued a heroic death thanks to her culture.

Stepping forward, Evja spoke up, voice sounding quite feminine. He was a practiced crossdresser after all, he wasn't about to let his voice be the thing that gave him away.

"Oh, indeed, Surt had a love interest. However, his love was actually quite different. For you see, Surt, as one who coveted Odin's throne, only wanted those who could aid him in getting such. His story was many years ago, though, and this is the story of Odin and his Valkyrie Love. You see, the dragon Surt sent after him? It was once upon a time a woman he cared for. But Odin, the pig, was not one to settle for anything less than perfect. You see, this is how Surt came to covet Odin's throne. This woman was the only thing Surt had ever cared for and Odin espied her one day, approaching her and seducing her. When Surt found out, enraged, he cast a spell upon this woman, turning her into a fearsome, horrible dragon, just like he had used his trickery to seal Odin into a mortals body."

Evja wasn't the same level of storyteller Will is, but she tried, turning and fanning a hand out to say, "The woman..." the Viera pointed towards the fan-eared Woozle, "Felt the shame of betraying Surt and wanted a chance to make ammends for it, having been once upon a time cast aside by Odin after the happening because she was not good enough for him once he had her. Surt said unto her, "Go, and kill Odin. Not only do I now have his throne, but what shame it would bring to him knowing he was killed by the very woman he sought to steal from /me/."
urning towards 'Odin', Evja bowed and offered his hand, "And Odin went, looking for a way to get the attention of the Valkyrie. Knowing what it was a Valkyrie did, he had to prove himself first worthy to be chosen by her to sit in the hallowed halls of Valhallah. And what better way to do that than to go to the war that was going on, stand between both sides and declare his MIGHT!" It was here Evja raised his voice and pulled out a spear, tossing it shaft towards 'Odin'. "He stood in the middle of all of the warring peoples and shouted, "Valkyrie! Hear me now! This world is not worth me, for my skills as a warrior are too great! I shall slay every last warrior here and by doing so, you will know of my worth! The worthiness to return to Valhallah, chosen by you!"
Stepping back, back towards his traveling group, Evja raised one hand towards the groups on the right side, the groups of Woozles and other creatures, then his left towards the other side. "And so they warred, fighting each other, and Odin, stripped Lord of Valhallah, fighting them!"
Evja "Hearing this challenge, the Valkyrie, high above the fields, looked upon the warring nations with Odin in the middle. She looked and snorted, 'Fool mortal, you shall meet your death. However, I shall give you a chance. If you fell even half of these men before you perish, I shall even give you a kiss upon choosing you.' For you see, even though she was no mortal, she had a sense of humor, and betting this man something she knew he would never win? Why, it was entertaining! Thus she sat back, with the warriors she had with her and had yet to take to Valhallah, to watch the fight." Turning, Evja takes the part of the Valkyrie, "Warriors, make sure not to get in the way! This fool battle is for Odin and those two nations! I will not have you dying again before I can take you to Valhallah!" Thus the warriors were named of the group Evja came with, both hands reaching up to 'shoo' them back. Might as well cover his ass, try to keep the enactment from dragging /them/ into it.
Mirage Much to Will's horror, everyone is looking at him expectantly. Is he stuck telling the story?
tNO! Evja to the rescue!
The Viera speaks up and immediately everyone turns to watch him. The bookish-looking Woozle immediately brightens when she is informed that, yes, Surt did have a love interest. A very special love interest. That particular Woozle suddenly springs up and rushes over to the dragony-looking Heffalump next to the pillow fort throne. With extremely little effort on her part, she shoves the Heffalump over and takes her place, promptly transforming into a dragon.
This dragon nuzzles the flame-furred Woozle on the throne.
The flame-furred Woozle cackles again and points a clawed hand at the Odin-Sultan-uncanny human standing amongst the brightly colored Heffalumps and Woozles. The Human Heffalump stands firm, suddenly lifting a spear he certainly didn't have two seconds ago.
Suddenly the other Heffalumps are also decked out in full armor and holding weapons. They're actually very REAL looking weapons. In an instant, the woozles have done the same and now it seems like there's about to be a Heffalump-versus-Woozle fight. The wing-eared Heffalump flies up into the air overhead and the two sides suddenly slam into each other, chaos erupting all around the party.
It's surprisingly brutal. Those weapons ARE real. Rather than flesh and blood, though, cotton and feathers start to fly as cloth and canvas is ripped open.
The winged Heffalump is joined by a dozen others. More 'Valkyries' maybe? They all seem pretty darn enthralled, especially as they "fight" each other. None of them seem in pain though-in fact, it looks like they were having fun.
A hand suddenly reaches out to grab Evja's leg. The hand belongs to a woozle that has been sliced clean in half, but like a zombie, he still persists. "But which side /won/?" he whines, "I must know! Tell us!"
The way is open. They are distracted. Will would have to move fast...and the others will clearly have to keep distracting them.
Aerith Aerith took in a breath and stepped forward. Now. This was it. Things were getting interesting, more so per the minute, and she'd caught the wave. "Mortal though he was, trapped as he might have been, mighty Odin was still the god of WAR!" Her voice echoed off the walls on the last word! "No mere creature of Midgard had the cunning, the skill, the ages of battle! Fierce was the battle, and he reveled in it, laughing as his blade tore through armor and flesh!" She swept her gaze across the room, observing the creatures as they acted out. She grinned as she watched the play unfold, even as she added to the tale!

"Soon, both sides began to converge on Odin, their quarrel of the years forgotten in the face of his battle-fury. So great was the clash of ten thousand against one that even Sutr above could hear! Thus did he become concerned that his ploy may fail, and called for the one creature that may end this farce..." Her expression darkened. "The dragon."
Sarafina Carenze Sarafina nods slowly to Will, turning her attention back to the story. She's going to have to keep her thoughts on this story if she ends up having to pick it up. Maybe she'll get lucky and they'll end it first. Even so, it's hard to listen to the story when all the Heffalumps are out and fighting one another. Her eyes widen as they literally tear each other apart. The fact that this doesn't seem to seriously injure them only makes it more horrifying.

She's really starting to regret coming. Why couldn't it be sandworms? She was expecting sandworms! That would have been wonderful.

"...The dragon..." That sounds like a climax coming up.
Will Sherman Slowly, Will nods back to Sarafina...

Will makes it towards the treasure, while the things are distracted by the story...and he tries not to facepalm at Aerith...whatever, they just need to look at her a bit longer...

And then Will moves to grab the Shard, aiming to lift it up with a very intense STRING...if he grabs it, he drops to the ground and...ponders where to actually HIDE it...

Will puts it in his hat a second later.
Katyna Katyna sweatdrops. She's not a terribly good storyteller herself, but she's experienced enough crazy dreams lately to weave her own crazy stories..Well it's worth a try, hopefully they'll get something good in the end!

She clears her throat, stepping forwards. "So, the dragon emerged upon the bloody battlefield, hungry with rage for Odin's blood! Odin continued to defeat many warriors on both sides, staining the earth red with blood. But!Although Odin fought long and hard and with great bravery against overwhelming odds, he was already outnumbered. Finally, only a few warriors remained. But when the remaining warriors saw the dragon, they realized they were outmatched!

"An ear-splitting roar rent the air as the dragon sent half of the armies flying with but a flick of its tail! Her breath set fire to men as if they were kindling, and she laughed as they fled before her. "Yes, run! Run, puny mortals! I have not come for you..." She turned her gaze toward Odin. "...but you." At this point, Katyna lets out a ferocious roar, taking on the part of the dragon as it creeps ever forward.

"By this time Odin was exhausted from the battle, sporting many wounds as he stared up bravely at the approaching dragon. He, the god of war, scarred and wounded by many weapons, was not about to back off. Instead, he merely stared defiantly up at the mighty beast. "Here me, dragon! I will NOT back down, I will not cower in fear! Mortal I may be, but I will still take you down. Even in death, I shall still be victorious!"

The Valkyrie also watched intently, even as her warriors flew to earth to gather the many fallen warriors. But she turned up her nose at those cowards who turned and fled in fear.

"Odin..Show me your bravery! Defeat this dragon and you will have your reward!"
Deelel Deelel is good at adding visual effects, music, but not really the art of User Story telling stuill she's taking time to listen and learn for herself prehaps even just for fun. She does howwever listen to the story and is finging herself interested in the tale. But if she's called on she'll do her best to provide more stry to this evening still for all teh chaos that spawned the users it does seem to leave them able to think up tales like this and that impresses her.
Mirage The shapeshifting creatures are very thoroughly distracted. Will goes completely unnoticed as he creeps up one of the staircases wrapping around the room and onto the balcony. It's a good thing too since there are virtually no places to take cover on this walkway. Who won seems like it might not get answered right away, not when the spotlight has returned to the human-shaped Heffalump himself, who poses dramatically and fights with the style and grace of a Spartan warrior. Strangely enough, in his vicinity, everything seems to go slow-mo every now and then in an entirely theatrical manner. Upon closer inspection this seems to be by mutual agreement for the heffalumps and woozles involved in the fight, for dramatic purposes.
The Sutr-Woozle slams his hands on the arms of the pillow throne and stands up. With a dramatic gesture, he points forward at the God-turned-human and the Woozle-dragon-love-interest at his side springs into action.
Somehow, the dragon becomes even LARGER when she steps out onto the field, managing to look even more fearsome and imposing.
Will slips into the wall section, slightly behind the pillow throne, and mere feet away from the World Shard.
Meanwhile, the tide of battle starts to turn against Heffa-Odin. Other Heffalumps are cut down by the Woozles into miserable heaps of stuffing and feathers strewn throughout the colorful pillows. A few brave Heffalump warriors stand at his side, fighting to the bitter end, until the Woozledragon storms forth, slapping half of them away with her tail. The rest are...set on fire. Well, sort of fire. It seems to be a magical kind of fire that isn't actually hot and doesn't actually destroy.
Woozle and Heffalump special effects are pretty amazing.
Will takes hold of his STRING and the world shard is drawn to him. There is a faint chiming sound as it moves, but the 'audience' doesn't seem to notice thanks to the story.
Heffa-Odin collapses to one knee, but stares up at the dragon defiantly, shaking his spear at her. The Valkyries swoop and dive down, picking up pieces of stuffing and tossing it everywhere, perhaps to represent themselves guiding souls to Valhallah? They all seem to be having so much FUN.
"So tell me!" The flame-furred woozle calls out, "Did Odin pay? Did he fall in battle that day?" In an eerie moment, all of them suddenly chimed in together, a chorus singing out in demand: "We must know! Do say!"
Sarafina Carenze Sarafina nods to Will and then--Did Odin pay? She is very bad at stories, but it seems like she's the only one left. She clucks her tongue faintly and then steps forward, eyeing all the shapeshifters with an eye. She squints after a moment and then says, "And then seeing the valor of the one who would love her, the woman--whatshername--promptly recognizes his valor...and knew his identity for what it was! She punched the dragon in the snout and said, 'Cut it out already, I know who you are, lets go settle down in a nice cottage somewhere!"

"And then... Surt was so angry... so enraged upon seeing his spell fail, based on conditions he himself set... His anger was so much..."

She looks up sharply. "His head exploded!" Her eyes widen sharply.

And then she pauses for a moment and then nods. "Then they lived happily ever after and started a family and they had to deal with all sorts of kid problems and they grew old but never got to have grandchildren."
Will Sherman Will takes hold of the shard.

YES! He resists the urge to touchdown it, but instead he puts it in his hat, and then places the hat on his head...and then SMASH IT WITH A-no wait, wrong script.


Will does hide, or attempt to hide the shard under his hat, as he walks back down the balcony and around the room once more towards the people he came in with. He is less quite...infact, he might be running now that he has the shard. He lands, by Sarafina...and nods to her once...and then breaks for the door to leave.
Mirage The head Valkyri Heffalump puts a hand to her mouth, then flutters down to stand beside the Heffa-Odin, helping him up. The Valkyrie then leans forward and punches Love Interest Dragon in the nose. A finger is shook at the dragon, who growl-whines.
Then Woozle Sutr pauses, "Wait, what?"
Then his head explodes into a pile of fluff. Every heffalump and woozle in the room turns to stare at this and, in looking towards the throne, notice a very important thing.
The shard is missing. Heffa-Odin promptly breaks character. "Our treasure!" he cries out. He looks around frantically, then spots Will descending from the balcony and then /running/. "That is cheating!!!"
"It's not even part of the story!" the dragon-woozle complains, rearing up on her hind legs.
Will Sherman "I will inform you about something."

"I am Loki." he says, "I get to cheat!" FLEE!
Deelel Deelel pauses at Will's action as he makes his satement about being Loki? Wait what the basic doesn't care right now she turns about and starts to run. She doesn't feel useless she's gained some insight into a way of thinking that was alien to her. Prehaps now she'll actually be able to have some idea how to tell a story. Either way? the Yoink has happened and even programs know the rules of the yoink. Time to run, and away she goes!
Evja "STOP!"

There came a shout from Evja quite loudly when chaos broke out and it came to be realized just who had done what. Of course, given Serafina just kind of had a bout of 'Wait, wha?' disorder, Evja actually looked a bit angry about this. Not at Serafina. Some people simply couldn't tell stories and it seems like she tried to rush finish it to a 'satifsactory' ending out of nowhere. Hey, people jump the gun.
It was that boy, the human boy, who went to steal the shard and break the rules. The laws of the game.


Judge is NOT happy.

"Loki, thief, return the Shard to Odin this instant! Without it, Midguard and Valhallah both will fall! You know very well what the muses have written fate to be!" Standing upright and attempting to sound demanding, Evja held out her hand towards Sherman, palm up. "That is what the second in command to Odin proclaimed to the thief when he was discovered. The Lady Valkyrie was actually on her way back with Odin at the moment. You see, what was thought to be a real ending turned out to be fate destroyed when Loki stole the World Shard from Valhallah! He had disturbed the balance and what was meant to be was rewritten!"
Seems Evja was running with this and attempting to keep up the rules. He... kind of had to, it was part of the whole Judge thing. "BUT! All was not lost! For if Loki returned it, the Shard could be put back in the proper place, and things could go back to how they were meant to be! Odin was to pay the reaper at the fangs of the Dragon, but not before slaying the Dragon as well. The Lady Valkyrie, impressed by Odin's bravery and skill, delivered upon her promise and to him gave a single kiss before whisking him, and the slain dragons human spirit away to the halls of Valhalla. And just as Surt, angered by the betrayal of Loki, came to Odin's lieutenant. "Loki, you are be--HURK!"
When from behind Surt Odin appeared, thrusting his spear through him and ending the usurper to the Throne of Valhallah. 'Return the Shard to me, Loki!' spake Odin, 'Before I kill you! I have returned with my lady love the Valkyrie and nothing shall stand between the two most important things to me - her, and the World Shard!'"
Turning to walk towards the 'Valkyrie' woozle, Evja pointed, "And do you know what she did? She laughed, 'What?! Me?! The Valkyrie love some pathetic mortal? Even if you were Odin, you are no love of mine!'. Yes, she had cast him aside. But Odin - he wasn't going to give up, no! He had an idea! He wanted the Valkyrie more than even his sacred treasure! Ordering Loki surrounded, Odin snatched it from his hand and cried out to the Muses who write fate itself, 'MUSE! HEAR ME, I AM ODIN, LORD OF VALHALLAH! I SHALL GIVE YOU MY GREATEST TREASURE TO REWRITE FATE! MAKE THIS VALKYRIE MINE! OR SMITE HER SO TO NONE SHALL SHE BELONG!'"

And there Evja waited, hand outstretched, playing the part of the Muse, speaking directly to HefalOdin. She was waiting for the shard, to see if he would actually give her the shard, for the chance of Fate to be rewritten and his lady love his.
Will Sherman Will looks at Evja for a brief second.

Will immediately replaced by a dotted outline of the Hobo-lad, as the Real Hobo-Lad /runs/ like hell away from the Shapeshifting piles of fluff. Nobody in this world has the authority to demand his /home/ from his hands. The look that Evja is shot speaks volumes before he was simply running for it.
Mirage There is a collective gasp from the colorful shapeshifters. "You were part of this story the whole time?!" one says and they all look towards each other, seemingly thoughtful and confused at the same time. "Well why didn't you say so!!"
Then they all collectively gasp again and look to Evja as she too reveals herself to also be part of the story, resulting in another brief bit of confusion, especially as they try to follow his bit about fate and endings that tied into the stealing of the world shard. This turns to collective head-scratching.
Except for the Dragon-Woozle. "Okay! I've got this! RARRRR!" she suddenly pounces down upon Heffa-Odin and a fight breaks out where the dragon and Odin apparently slay each other. Chaos erupts again and the headless Sutr-Woozle stumbles forward for Evja. The winged Valkyrie Heffalumps fly down to the remains of the dragon and Odin, the lead one gathering Odin into her arms.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Heffalumps and Woozles-at least the ones that weren't 'slain' by the battle, start rushing after Will/Loki, trying to reclaim their world shard.
The Odin-Heffalump rises to 'life' again and joins them. "Noooo! Waaaaait!" he wails, "I need that to win my Valkyrie's looooove!!!"
The Valkyrie Heffalump looks up, confused and slightly forlorn-not to mention disturbed by the thought of being smited. "WAIT, NO!!" she suddenly seems to come to a realization, her eyes growing...watery? "The Valkyrie was so moved by the plea to the MUSE, that he would sacrifice his greatest treasure to her, that she fell for the mighty Odin!"
The remaining shapeshifters pause and all turn to stare at this one lone Heffalump. She gets huffy and puts her hands on her hips, "Well if they can tell the story AND be in it, so can we, right?"
They all look to each other as if slowly struck with realization, "You mean...we can make the story?" "And participate?" "But that's..."
The Valkyrie Heffalump gets up and walks over to the Odin-Heffalump, embracing him. "And they lived together, happily ever after."

This oddly poetic and oddly meta conclusion, fortunately, does give ample opportunity to, say, escape.
Aerith Aerith tried her best not to facepalm as everything fell apart and began to back away, slowly. She glanced toward Katyna with a shrug and motioned to get moving. Quickly. They had what they came for, more or less, so it was time for an exit while they were still debating the particulars of that mishap. She glanced toward Serafina again and hid her grin behind one one hand before making her way toward the exit.

Stage right, of course.
Will Sherman Will is already running, while being chased!

Sarafina Carenze "And then a homeless man stole the treasure!" Sarafina shouts as she turns and starts running after Will. Once she gets near, she sets off her jetpack, aiming to blast off again. She'll pick up Will if she has to. Sorry horribly terrifying creatures!!

She's going to have nightmares about this.

She doesn't pause much at Evja's contribution, she assumes this is actually just part of the plan to stall for it. After all, he's a judge, surely he wouldn't condemn a world just to play out a story. She jets. Literally.
Evja Seeing everyone start to get the hell out, Evja sighs and looks at his Chocobo as if considering it before shaking his head. The game wasn't over, and even if running away was a valid option... it just didn't feel right with him. Even if these creatures are whimsical sprites, they were still shafted, and hadn't actually declared them winners yet.
But, he wasn't going to try and stop them either.
Evja turns and looks towards the group. "Yes, actually... you did not know that, did you? That you could both tell a story, and play it too, hm? I have an idea, if you are willing to hear it, and the lot of you may be quite happy." Slowly the Viera shifts and sits on the ground, looking towards OdinLump and ValkyWoozle.
Aerith Aerith's chocobo, fortunately, has more clout than to just run away at scary fluffy animals with sharp things. It does look unnerved and jittery though, and as soon as Aerith gets on, it bolts without her urging. "Hey, slow down!" She takes hold of the reins for dear life, wondering why it all went wrong... then she turns her head to see Evja just sitting there. That... was strange.

They'd succeeded, why stay around for the finale?

No time to figure that one out. She'd ask later if they met again. And with a world like this, they probably would. After all, it was difficult not to spot a Viera.
Mirage "Absolutely not." HeffaOdin starts to shapeshift again until he's once again resembling the Sultan from earlier. That other Heffalump chooses to keep her form. "It was always on our guests to be the ones to tell the stories. That's what we were told, you see, by that lady that created this lovely palace for us out here."
"-but do go on." The Valkyrie Heffalump speaks up.
Evja would also notice that the battle-beaten Heffalumps and Wooozles are slowly regenerating themselves. Right before his eyes, they're being sewn back together.
Evja "I see. Well, what a nice lady it was who made this place for you." Even though the veil was over his face, Evja smiled. Perhaps it was seen in his eyes? Despite it all, he was enjoying himself. It was a change not to actually be in a fight. "I had an idea that could help us both out, but first..." Evja paused, then reached into his robe and pulled out something, a small charred crystal-like ring that was transparent.
"You had something of yours stolen by people I came here with. And even though we all had fun... some cheated. So I wanted to offer you this as an apology, and also I had an idea that might allow you all to still have fun without having to wait on people to come here - and without hurting anyone either. This... is my treasure. A good friend of mine, an old man who was pretty much a father to me, died protecting me. This was his... so, here."
Mirage "Yes, it is a nice place. Well...except for the teeny part where we cannot leave it." The Sultan shrugs, "But if we're all happy here, then that's not a problem, no?"
The Valkyrie Heffalump starts to giggle at Evja. "An apology?" The Sultan actually hesitates to take the gem. "But we had a great time. The greatest time we've had in a while."
The girl Heffalump swipes the gem from the Sultan, looking at it. "What's this idea of yours?"
Evja It was actually a ring, a translucent ring that looks to have been half melted and deformed, like it was caught in a superhot fire. "So you cannot leave, then? Damn. That was actually my idea. The world outside is like a giant collection of stories. The treasure you had? It is known as a World Shard. It was part of the heart of a world that was consumed by horrible monsters. See, the reason we came here is because we figured out part of a world was here, and we had to obtain it so we could make a bunch of people happy, and continue our own story. And theirs. Think of them... as missing chapters of stories."
Relaxing a bit, Evja looked up at the ceiling and said, "My own world, too, was consumed by darkness. And somewhere out there are shards of my own world. I had hoped you lot, as silly and fun as you are, might be able to travel the outside worlds and tell your own stories, or read others and act them out and make other people laugh and have fun. You still might, actually. See... there is something in the outside world called a television. I only recently learned of them. I could bring you something called a camera, powered by magic, and people all across all of the worlds can watch you tell stories forever, and act them out, as long as that camera works. And they could even come here sometime to watch you play and have fun, if you promise not to hurt anyone who isn't that good of a storyteller."
"Hm?" Evja really was trying to make it work for all parties.
Mirage "We are stuck here." The female Heffalump confirms. "We can't leave this Palace. It', don't worry about it. We are happy here."

The pair look at each other when they are explained what a World Shard is, "Something that wanted..." their eyes become sparkly, "...we really should have held onto that!!"

Because if World Shards are what you covet...'ll find that they love it.
Because they guzzle up the thing you prize.

"Oh would you bring us that? Please? least send more travellers our way." There is a gleam in the Sultan's eye, "We promise not to hurt them if they play along with us." They seem satisfied with this for now, though one had to wonder. Just what WAS keeping them here in that Palace now?

This scene contained 51 poses. The players who were present were: Reize Seatlan, Will Sherman, Katyna, Sarafina Carenze, Deelel, Aerith, Mirage, Evja