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No title.
(2013-03-04 - 2013-03-05)
No description.
Royce The sun hangs low over the horizon as evening begins to slowly crawl forward to replace the blaze of midday. Distant objects shimmer and waver through a haze of heat creating the fabled mirage traps that deserts are known for. The final hours before dusk are only slightly less punishing than the full heat of the day and soon the light will fade and warmth will give way to bone-chilling cold as all of the stored up energy escapes back into the atmosphere with no cloud cover to hold it in.

The dunes of this massive stretch of barren wasteland are well known by now for being treacherous to the unprepared. Few monsters make their homes here but the lack of fresh water for miles and the strength-sapping heat has been more than enough to bring countless foolish creatures and adventurers down if the piles of bleached bones that litter the landscape are any indication.

However, despite all of this, there is movement within the bleak Dalmascan sands. From a distance the ragged silhouettes of shambling figures can be seen moving about a structure half sunk into the sands. It's appearance is tall and grand as if it were formerly some building of great importance but time and the harsh winds have stripped it down. The men move about in a slow but steady way, digging with shovels and pickaxes to break apart loose masonry while others ferry it over into a distant pile for sorting and disposal.

Among these a lone figure stands out. Decked in a scant black outfit that is rather bold in the amount of skin that it shows off, a young woman sits on an upthurst piece of fallen rock, formerly some part of one of the ruined spires that protrudes from the building's roof. She flips something over and over in her hands, inspecting it in the dying light while the shambling figures work. Occasinally one brings something over to show her but after a few moments she directs it either to the junk pile or a series of tarps laid out with similar artifacts awaiting deeper study.

Once one draws closer, however, this mundane archeology site takes a turn for the horrific. The silhouettes of the strange men resolve into the unmistakable forms of dessicated corpses. Decked in ruined armor and tattered surcoats, these men once served as soldiers in some army but their purpose in life has been subverted by dark magic and now they serve their new master in the manner she sees fit.

Beside the pile of rubble and junk another mound is visible. The stentch of death wafts freely through the air and upon closer inspection it is easy to see that that bones, chunks of flesh and even the occasional indentifiable body part are heaped up in one place. From their state of ruin one might surmise that these are the cast-off parts that have become too damaged to be of any more use to the necromancer.
Katyna Determined to save her friend from the clutches of death, Katyna had turned first to Seith for aid, who had sent her to search for Royce. After some inquiring around the Traverse church, her search led her here of all places, in the middle of the desert.

Not that she minded the hot desert much, in fact she was usually right at home out here as long as she didnt linger too long. Besides, so far, Kat had found deserts were full of all manner of treasure. And so with a smile she moves towards the group of people, wondering if they are excavators and have found treasure!

Remembering the description given of the one named Royce, she keeps an eye out for a scantily clad gargoyle in black leather. It doesn't take long to spot the lone figure, and she calls and waves to her, but as she comes closer and notices whom she keeps company with, Katyna shrinks back a bit, frowning softly.

"Wuh..What's going on here?"
Royce The work to unearth the sunken temple continues tirelessly. The zombies of the fallen soldiers gives the occasional soft moan that is distinctive to their kind as they heft heavy rocks and dig out new ones to clear a passage to the depths within and whatever secrets they might hold. However, as the armored figure approaches across the dunes a few of them turn and peer over at the girl, letting out warning grunts to alert their master of potential visitors.

"I see her. Continue." Royce's voice is deeper than most women though still distinctly feminine. However, it lacks any tone or emotional emphasis behind the words that are spoken as if she isn't even interested in saying them. Despite her claims, the witch's lone red eye remains affixed to the trinket in her metal-clawed hands. It is not until Katyna draws within speaking distance that she is graced with a glance.

Though she may reside within the Church in Prontera, the truth of her existence there is not common knowledge. Hexes and nightmarish visions keep the clergy in the dark about her real purpose and to them she is merely a kindly girl who volunteers her aid on occasion. Out here, however, she has no reason to expend energy hiding what she is. The name Royce is the only link between herself and the cover identity she maintains.

A mask of expressionless neutrality is what greets the dark knight as Royce turns her head to gaze at her directly. Her eye burns with the internal fire of a blazing red ember and she stares at the intruder in the ruins she has claimed with a piercing intensity for several long seconds, leaving the question hanging in the air, unanswered.
Ember Yegads, this girl is more creepy than Seith..And looking at the zombies again, Kat has to wonder if she would truly be willing to help her. ~What the hey did to set me up to, Seith?~ She thinks with a soft frown, hands clenched, body tensed slightly as she glances at the zombies.

Slowly, ember eyes refocus back on the mysterious and quite creepy woman, blinking at her single eye that burns with a more intense flame than Ember's own fiery eyes. Hardly the 'quiet, kindaly girl' that the priests had described her as, but..This must be the one.

"Um. Are you..Royce? Seith sent me to find you, said you could help me to break a curse that was put on my friend, Hati.."
Royce The witch's eye narrows ever so slightly at the mention of the dark elf's name. The dark presence that lingers eternally in the back of her mind stirs to life and rumbles in its gravely voice, speaking directly into her consciousness through ancient profane magics.

Hmph! A single encounter with that upstart magician and he thinks he has the right to refer people to us by name! Well... I suppose there is no harm in hearing this child out. There might be aught to be gained through a bargain if she seeks remedy for curses laid by another.

Royce nods once, half to her mysterious guardian and half to the dark knight. The trinket in her hand, a talisman of some sort by quick glance, is tucked into one of the satchels on her belt. She climbs easily to her feet and strides down the inclined rock to stand before Katyna, her face still locked in a bored but neutral gaze. The deep hood pulled up over her head is drawn back and a mass of long white hair spills free to hang down about her back like a cloak that reaches down to her knees.

The lack of shadows obscuring her face lessens the brilliant glare of her eye and dispels some of the mysterious creepy quality about her, though the wicked talons of her metal gauntlets, the sickle-like blades adorning her greaves, and the massive technological cannon chained to her back are no less threatening.

She studies the figure who has chosen to come to her for aid, taking in the dark armor with twitching movements of her eye until it settles on the enclosed helmet. "I am Royce. Speak your request and I shall hear it."
Ember Ember smirks, pulling up her own hood around her face, wrapping the long black cloak about her black armoured body. It's an alias and appearance that seems to no longer suit her, now that she's softenned considerably under Avira's leadership.

Or perhaps this visage never truly suited her, due to the fact that her heart always burned brightly, shying away from the darkness. None of that mattered now however, she was still keen on keeping her true identity and alliances secret from those who might use those against her.

The trinket in the woman's hand is noted briefly, but when it's quickly put away, Ember looks back to the woman's face again, wondering what the price might be, or if she can even trust such an ominous looking creature.

"Ahh. Finally found you! Listen. I need your help. My friend Hati's been cursed by an undead fiend, an unsent who possesses her other eye and used it to curse the one Hati holds. Nevermind that, Seith told me the only way to break the curse is to kill her, but...I need to know, how DO you kill something that's already dead? Cant it just come back again and again? I need to know.."
Royce The request, as it turns out, is surprisingly within her expertise. She half expected to be dealing with two-bit charms cast by a love-sick amateur or weak hexes that the more mundane variety of 'witches' seemed to dabble in over the last few hundred years. The art of true magic was all but completely lost in her world save for the various artifacts of power that still lay scattered about the globe. Oberon's decree that fae may no longer interfere with mortal lives may have been partially to blame for this. While she may be somewhat saddened to see the mysteries dying out it also meant that she was one of the few left to command such power.

However, here in this new amalgamation of worlds, real magic is commonplace. It was something of a shock to find herself facing fireball slinging mages like something right out of a fairytale but in a place like this the chance to learn and grow was even more tantalizing. Though her knowledge of necromancy was already far beyond what any other person she has met could even pretend to claim, she has already learned much simply by being free to experiment without modern inconveniences such as quick-responding police or constant vehicle travel.

Royce's remains impassive as she mulls these thoughts over in a flash, shifting her mind back to the matter at hand. An undead with the power to create powerful curses. Such foes were not to be taken lightly. But first she has to know what manner of monster she is dealing with.

"There are many ways to deal with curses. None of them are easy or pleasant. First, I must know what an 'unsent' is."
Ember Ember waits impatiently for the response, shifting uncomfortably as she warily eyes the zombies who work like mindless drones in the background. Human foes she can handle. Fiends she can fight. Even heartless are not all *that* scary to her, having worked under Lord Fessner's leadership. But zombies? Erk..There's just something...Not right about them..

Buck up, Kat, dont be such a wimp! She grits her teeth, looking away from the creepy zombies, awaiting the woman's response.

"Huh? Well..I guess an unsent is like an undead. When a person dies and their spirit leaves their body, but their body is still intact. At least I think that's how it works with unsent too. I dunno much about creatures from that world."

"This girl died a few years ago. Someone claimed to posses the power to bring her back to life using a magic potion. But it seems that, while she came back looking like herself, her mind is like that of a fiend, but she seems a bit more conscious than those guys over there. Quite a bit more intelligent too.." a nod towards the zombies.

"So I guess maybe the potion worked enough to restore some of her memories and personality, but not completely.."
Royce Royce absorbs this information in a flash, filing it away in her mind to put into writing later. The tome chained to her absurdly oversized weapon has been growing steadily with knowledge gleaned from these new worlds. The description was vague but it held enough for her to form a basic approach.

Aaah, the foolishness of mortals. They dabbled with powers beyond their ken. The dead cannot be reinstated to life in full. What they summoned was likely a ghast or a wight; creatures that bear the face of their former lives but are filled with little more than rage and spite for all living things. Useful watch dogs, as they are, as the child pointed out, a great deal smarter than mere risen corpses. The one who concocted the draught to bring this girl back to life must atleast be more formidable in the arcane arts than most we encounter.

"I see. And this girl has placed a curse on your friend? That would indicate a level of intelligence in undead creatures that I have not yet encountered." She shifts her arms to rest one elbow in an open palm while the fingers of that hand tap idly against her cheek in a gesture of contemplation. "I can foresee two possible options from what you have told me. If I examine the one suffering the curse I may be able to unravel it, though there is danger to her life and mine. However, if you can retrieve the lost eye that was used as the basis for the hex then the process becomes considerably simpler."

Royce lowers her arms to her side once more and looks back at the knight. "It may be possible that killing the monstrosity will undo its magics, however, this is mere supposition at this time as I have never encountered one of these 'unsent' before."
Ember Ember nods and frowns, "It seems she was taking orders from someone else. A powerful sorceress, and the one who supplied the so-called elixir of life." She shrugs, "I think she's the real brain behind the outfit. She was posing as a priestess at Traverse Church, Priestess Felicia..."

She pauses when Felicia mentions needing to retrieve the eye. "Ummm...That's not really possible unless I pull it out of her. Y'see, Lillian, the unsent, was the original owner of both eyes. Hati was given one of Lillian's eyes after Lillian's death to replace her own missing eye. Lillan cast the spell on her own eye, injuring Hati with the same spell, I suppose because they were linked through the eyes..I suppose I *could* bring Hati though. But..."

Ember frowns, "If it's that risky, wouldn't it be less risky just to kill Lillian? Isn't that usually what breaks curses anyhow? I'd rather just try that route first, but again I need to figure out how to kill something that's already dead.."
Royce "Ah, I see. It is likely then that this undead girl has used her own body as a conduit for the curse. Destroying her should, in theory, remove it. However, understand that such things are not always so simple. Her death may resonate through the magic and amplify it, there may be contingencies built in to ensure that merely killing her off will also result in the death of the cursed one, the curse may simply lose cohesion without someone to maintain it and unleash its energies on everyone nearby. It is impossible to tell without being able to examine it."

Royce puts her fingers back on her cheek in an almost mechanical fashion. Another of the zombies approaches her from behind, holding something in its hands. Turning, she inspects it for a moment then gestures towards one of the far piles and sends the minion away before returning to the conversation at hand.

"Since you described this creature as having a corporeal body, slaying it should be no different than putting down a living foe. It is likely the magics binding it to life will make it more hardy than the average soldier. The determining factor will be the skill of those who attempt to destroy it. I suggest bringing along someone who has experience in dealing with such creatures to increase your likelihood of success."
Ember Ember bites her lip as she listens to the complex explanation that Royce provides. Ember knows little about magic and curses honestly, she barely even knows how her own magical sword works aside from manipulating the fire element to an extent.

Still she nods at appropriate points picking out essential bits. "Ooh, do you think, a person with holy abilities would be able to defeat it? Or like, cutting off its head and stuff? You say it shouldn't be too hard to kill, just tough, but I've heard of undead that keep rising again and cant really die. Is it really so simple as just skill?"
Royce Royce stares silently back for a few moments, her eye smouldering softly like a small piece of brimstone. Perhaps explaining how to best destroy the undead while she herself relies partially on them for her own purposes may not be the most prudent idea. But the information she is giving is no more than any priest or demon hunter might know and therefore not particularly damaging.

"Energies that channel the element of life through regrowth and light are likely to have effect against any undead created through dark magic or ritual. I have never heard of a liquid being used to create undead, except for perhaps blood, but the basic theories behind its existence should be the same. Your sword will cut it. Merely exhaust its life force and you shall likely be victorious."

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Ember (Aka: Katyna), Royce