Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
Bayou Brawl
(2013-03-11 - 2013-03-12)
No description.
Percival Anger at Viera judge had spurred him to leave the Cloud Nine early, even though he was under threat of being mommed to death by Celina if he weren't medically cleared first. He wasn't worried about that. Nearly all wounds vanished with the coming dawn. And so he'd left on a search for Avira.

The New Orleans Bayou was one of the first places he thought to look. It made sense after all, having been one of the stops on their quest to restore Manhatten. Gliding silently over the mire, he would land upon a tree branch when he saw a cloud of fireflies. They would swarm about in puzzlement for a time before taking the shape of a question mark. He would state one word. "Avira." There is some hesitation given that the last time they saw her, she was in human form but it hesitantly take the shape of an arrow. It would then immediately change into a circle with a line through it, indicating caution, and then the shape would become a broken heart. The Bronze-Skinned Gargoyle would spread his wings once more, before continuing to glide in that direction. Eventually he would come to see dark shapes in the trees, glowing eyes in the quagmire. Heartless were lurking, but they did not approach him. Perhaps it was that he had just enough darkness in his heart that they didn't care to attack him. Or maybe it was more that they just had other priorities. The soft susurrus of the wind under his wings was the only sound of his passing as he continued to follow the trail of Heartless deeper into the bayou.
Will Sherman The reason they were distracted...

Will appears on the map. Heartless also appear, SRT style.

Will fires a single LUCK LASOR, which blows through the first and closest heartless, which immediately outright kills it.

"Tch...more heartless. And swampy too...I hate swamps, they're like oceans, but DEADLIER. And also smell like four trash cans." he mutters. More heartless come...

"Always another heartless.." he says, firing another beam, and rushing for the other ones.

One cutscene later...

"Now maybe I can search for Avira without anything deadly coming to attack me for a damn change.."
Navya Navya has been looking for Avira ever since she heard about what happened (well, minus when she had to crash for the night). She is pretty sure she doesn't have the whole story, although that revelation didn't come to her immediately; as she often does, Navya ran off half-cocked, without really planning ahead of time.

She got to Halloween Town far too late. But today she's much closer on the trail. She just isn't enjoying the trail very much.

Navya has her boots on, same as last time she went into the swamps. She only wishes she had a boat; this time she's on foot, walking with occasional short flights from drier spot to drier spot. She has also figured out about the bugs and is wearing about two people's worth of bug repellant, though it still hasn't occured to her to put on a long-sleeved shirt, or in fact even cover her stomach.

She also makes enough noise for two people, because Heartless definitely don't avoid her. Navya's hammer is good at clearing them out, but it also makes rather loud noises whenever her backswing hits a tree or a log (which is regularly).

Also, she's yelling occasionally. "Hellooo?" she calls. She isn't sure if she's looking for Avira, or 'anyone else in the swamp'. It may explain why she gets so many Heartless, though.
Avira Today would mark the first instance of Avira not randomly fleeing somewhere. There was a purpose beyond mere avoidance to coming to this particular world and it all lay in the presence of a certain Voodoo Priestess living deep in the bayou of New Orleans. Mama Odie.

That scroll she received? THERE WAS NOTHING ON IT. Avira wanted answers.

She tried, really hard, to stay out of sight on her travels, but despite her best efforts and likely due to the sudden proliferation of "Lost Dog" posters (thanks Hades), even here she cannot stay hidden for long.

She had yet to relocate the home of Mama Odie. While she would normally be consulting the fireflies again, they had hidden themselves from her. Why, it was as if she was /specifically/ being thwarted from visiting this narcoleptic old woman again. Or it could be that they didn't want her to lead the Heartless parade following after her.

Frustrated, Avira curls up in an ancient tree covered with spanish moss. The long, drooping plants conceal her form pretty well. Camoflage would only last for so long though.

There are markedly more Heartless in the Bayou today, including a few of the crocodile-shaped ones that were previously only present in Manhattan. There's an odd odor in the air as well and the local wildlife is still and silent.
Mercade Alexander Mercade is present with the TDA contingent. Celina could only keep him cooped up for so long, and now he's here.


Mercade looks intently along the shoreline under the brim of his well-worn fedora as he works his way across the watery area. "Stop complaining, Will. This isn't going to be easy as it is." He pushes the boat forward, letting Will LAZOR Heartless as they appear. Those who get close enough receive SHOTGUN.
Minerva Minerva had caught word thanks to Maira that Avira might be out this way, she'd been a bit suprised at how her clothing had changed and yet some of it had not rither way she looke da bit rag tag for the 20s but it didn't bother her much if at all as she's got a friend to find, the question is, where has she got herself too? She knows it's a bad situation but she's falling in with the TDA team.

"You worry too much Will, but your right, there are many of the creatures lose we'll have to ... deal with them and I could use to relase some pent up agression."
Emi Dennou Emi and Umi are also with the TDA contingent. Emi insisted, despite still recovering, and Umi was the only assault member who was still in good form right now and also available--Ami and Omi are busy taking care of birds, apparently. Yeah it's pretty weird.

For the moment the two are conserving their strength. Emi watches after Mercade as they move through the yuckspace. Umi, of course, tags along with Will and as always is happy to do so.

"Man we met the real Macbeth, for real, The Network is so enthused by this strange facet in our new lives."
Royce Swamps are treacherous things. The dank and dreary atmosphere hides many dangers beneath the layers of slime and fetid water that cover the land in murky patches. Mud made of the peat of what little odious plant life is able to survive in the looming shadows of the twisted trees waits at the bottom of these insidious natural traps, sucking in anything foolish enough to step into their quicksand-like pits.

Bugs of various shapes and sizes flit about with angry buzzing hums providing a steady background radiation to the noisy sloshing of travelers passing through, most of them either poisonous or biting and completely unafraid of the larger forms of humans.

And ofcourse one cannot forget the crocodiles and snakes. Lurking beneath the waters and among the mossy branches these predators rule their natural habitat through cunning and camouflage. Every step taken here could be right into the waiting grasp of some toothy maw or viperous strike.

Places like this had claimed many lives in the past and provided an excellent draw to those who specialized in the necromantic arts. The sheer number of foul components to be harvested here was equalled by few locales but it is not these deadly plants that draw the dark presence that steps through the rippling shadow portal here today.

Royce's armored boots sink deeply into the murk and grime as she sets foot for the first time into this veritable wonderland of alchemical components. Her face is impassive as always, a blank mask that no poker player could ever hope to match, but the burning ember of her lone red eye is ablaze with the delight. She will have have to remember this place for later. As for now the reason behind her arrival in this dismal swamp is no where to be found as she scans the treeline for signs of anything out of place. Dark magic lingered here but the overwhelming putrid nature of the place made it difficult to pick it out.

Chains clatter as the massive cannon on the girl's back lowers into the water. She reaches around and draws the weapon before her, planting it barrel-first into the muck until the great tome of magical power affixed to its stock is level with her eyes. A wave of her hand sends the binding chains falling away with a splash and she mentally commands the proper text to appear before her, sending the pages fluttering madly of their own volition.

Royce's clawed hand raises up into the air as profane power flows through her body, dark tendrils of wispy magic swirling about her body as she intones ancient words. The ground rumbles at her call, sending tremors throughout the entire swamp as the bodies of those claimed by the savage gloom begin to rise up.
Percival Percival would continue to glide along the familiar path until he spotted Avira's mutate form curled up in an ancient tree. Her camouflage almost made him mistake her for one of the heartless, but he still manages to pick her out of the dark in just the nick of time. He would glide to rest upon the tree limb beside him. "Lady Avira. We've all been worried sick." The Gargoyle's expression was pained as he puts up a hand, palm up. "Please don't leave. Give me a chance, just a few minutes of your time. Mercade wants to speak to you honestly about his feelings for you, and you shouldn't believe for even a second that your appearance, your mistake matters to him. It doesn't matter to any of us. You are a beautiful person, and a hero. You represent the best of us."

At that point, he stops speaking along those lines, for she is like to have heard all of that already. A sorrowful expression now lines his features. "I know I am often thought the fool, and that all of my words will seem like trite platitudes given how you feel. But I know what you are going through. I have been there, mired in grief over a sin so vile that I can think of myself as nothing but a monster. I try to tell myself otherwise. I am told otherwise by all who know me, but deep down I know it is so. What you have done though is not monstrous. You are not a monster, and you shouldn't ever think of yourself as one."

Again, he stops speaking. Perhaps he realized that he was rambling, that he hadn't given her a chance to talk, but he was so very afraid that she'd run away before he could get any of it out. Realizing that the Heartless are like to attack soon, he withdraws a runed blade of dark metal. The rapier lay dormant at his side, for fear that it might lead more of them to him.
Mercade Alexander "You know, Percival, maybe you should let /me/ talk to Avira instead of having you just blare it out like that. Seriously, does anyone around here let people handle their relationships themselves?" The Detective grouses.

He nods to Emi as she wows over her recent meeting. "He's nothing like I read, certainly. What's even up with that? I mean, he just showed up out of /nowhere/... And he's a professor? Seriously?" He shakes his head. "Manhattan is weird."

The back of Mercade's neck prickles, however, as dark magics begin to be used in the area. He looks up, blinking, as undead begin to rise. "Uhhhh... those aren't Heartless." Mercade points out. "Okay. Percival! Deidra! Go aerial and clear the way. Will, Emi, let's prepare for ugliness!"
Emi Dennou Umi is doing the wowing! Emi is too worried to wow over anybody. Well they're basically the same people, so she's probably just outsourcing her wowing to Umi right now.

Manhattan IS weird. This may be related to why Emi is so interested in seeing it for herself.

The swamp tremorizes. Emi gets guck on her legs. Her mood drops by about half a level.

Umi, by this point, is already wrestling a crocodile heartless in the Bayou. She has a big smile on her face. This is wonderful. "Say Uncle!" She is saying. "Say Uncle, The Network demands impetuously! :D"
Will Sherman "Nope!" Will answers Mercade, "But we believe in you." he says, pushing Mercade forward.

Will thinks about the old guy they met, "The veil has been lifted from your eyes Mercade...or perhaps, it was never there. You're not like most people, you look deeper, want to know the truth, and not just what appearances on the surface are." Will shrugs, "It's a special quality, one that the last boss had. It makes sense that you're he-..." he pauses, something...

Something was wrong...something was /WRONG/. It chilled him to his very core, the anchient magics, something that tore through reality, and made it dance for whose who could make it dance...but it was different, not the same as Isaac.

Will's eyes looked...strands of glysomer everywhere...seeping through teh ground itself, whispy dark strands attached to the magical strings, causing Will to shuder uncontrollably. Mercade feels it too, and the undead rising confirms it, Will narrows his eyes. The fates are...weak, almost not existing, but even these things can be messed with, and disrupted.

"This is not good.."
Navya Navya hears voices, even if nobody responds to her call directly. Navya lifts off, wings beating strongly as she leaps into the air; she gets up about twenty feet and tries to fly towards it, though the level of the plants around here makes it hard for her to actually fly in a straight line for any length of time. She would probably be just as fast walking.

It does let her take a shortcut over a deeper patch of water, though, and Navya thumps back down on a small hillock. It puts her close enough to see Mercade, Percival, Emi, and his crew; she starts waving as hard as she can, picking her way closer. "Hey! Heeey!"

This redoubles when she sees that they're talking to someone else. Avira? She can hope. Unfortunately, Navya doesn't identify the feel of dark magic, and was in the air for the brief rumble. She is somewhat surprised by the presence of undead. Where did /they/ come from?
Minerva Minerva does not like this place these places tend to be full of the undead and monsters in her home world. Serioulsy they are often the dead of previous wars. She has no idea that soon there shall be problems here much like home. She does keep up with the TDA and almost cringes a bit she knows the winged demi human means well, but Mercade may be the best person to talk to her. She does not know of MacBeth but a history professor is that some sort of scholar? Likely is and she does her best to prepare.

"I dont' like the feel of this, something is happening." With what skill with the darkness she has she can sense something is coming but she knows not what it is yet, ther eis the rumble though, then comes the undead.

"...This tis like the swamps of my world, the vengful dead infest most of them!"
Percival "And if I'd known that you were here, Mercade, I might have done just that. But as far as I'm concerned, propriety and your privacy is out the window until she's safe. Now get in there and sweep her off her God<GOOSEHONK> feet before I shake sense into you, literally." Percival snaps right back at him. He was in a foul mood, and as far as he was concerned, Mercade's reluctance to express his true feelings for her was a contributing factor. He mused over the fact that he was perhaps living vicariously through the man, and not with Avira, but someone from his past. Percival would climb higher in the ancient tree, trying to get a bird's eye view of their surroundings, but he didn't actually take to the skies yet.
Will Sherman Will lightly punches Perci on the arm. Litterally, lightly. No fate magic or anything. "Hey. Chill." Will comments.
Percival Percival would look straight at Will. Then he'd look away from him, surveying the bayou. And then he'd punch Will's arm sideways. It had no real force to it either.
Avira Normally Avira would have warning of being approached here-better warning, at least, besides the sound of wind against wings as Percival glides in. The odor of the swamp hamstrung her ability to catch scents on the wind. By the time she's noticed Percival as Percival, it's a little too late, but she already starts to unwind herself from the tree. Her wings fall away from the trunk and her tail uncurls from the branch that had been supporting her weight. Percival's concerns are not unfounded. She's clearly about to bolt.

There's a guilty look upon her and she cannot bring herself to look the gargoyle in the eye. "Worried? Why would you...I hurt you all."

She falls silent and, fortunately, doesn't run. Eventually, she brings herself to look at him, a confused and pained expression on her face. "As much as I want to believe all that to be true, Percival, what I've done stands in stark contrast to those things." She stands, carefully balancing on the branch. "Just what sin do you hide, Percival, that can equate to what I've done to you and our world?"

The ground shakes and even Avira can feel it up in the tree she and Percival perch upon. A few hundred feet away, a flock of pink-hued spoonbills flee into the air, shrieking in alarm.

She spies Mercade, Will and Emi down below and the guilt returns in full force. Her wings spread out awkwardly, pushing aside the long draped 'leaves' of Spanish moss as she does so. Overwhelmed, she almost seems like she'll be taking off any second now.

"...wait, Navya..?" she pauses, spying the gria rushing in to join, followed quickly by Minerva. The rest of maybe Maira did mobilize them?

"G-guys, knock it off-" Avira mutters, wringing her hands as Mercade and Percival start snarking at each other.

Because of the thick trees, a birds eye view provides very limited visibility. One thing is clear though. There are a lot of Heartless out in the bayou now, slowly converging upon their position. There's even a Large Body or two lumbering out there, though ultimately they would not be that much of a cause for concern. Skyward, however...

There are multiple dark shapes over the horizon. They look to be far larger than mere birds.
Percival Percival would remain clinging to the tree. All the anger floods out of him at her question. And then in a voice steeped in regret he would say. "I crushed a fourteen year old boy's skull, then mauled his body beyond all recognition. I don't remember any of it, but that does not acquit me of responsibility. You haven't doomed our world, Avira. You are the /hope/ of our world." And then his attention would be entirely focused on the dark shapes upon the horizon.
Royce The summoning ritual takes several minutes to complete and Royce's alto voice drifts on the currents of magic throughout the entirity of the swamp in a Gregorian-like chant of words that few living souls know the meaning of. However, even without a direct translation the intended purpose of the intonation is abudantly clear.

Water-logged bodies slowly begin to surface in the muck, boney hands punching through layers of mud and moss until they find purchase on the soil and drag themselves out of the ground. The state of decay among the dozens of corpses varies from those completely stripped by time and bacteria down to skeletons to nearly perfectly preserved bodies drug up from the cloying peat. Despite the lack of functioning lungs, all of the moan and grunt in protest to their forced awakenings.

Once clear of the swampy slop the undead creatures begin to shamble about as if in search of something. Those near the assembled search party draw close and stare at them with tiny red points of light in their empty eyes. However, none of them make any overly aggressive actions, merely content to watch and linger at the edge of the trees.


That lone command goes out throughout the witch's network of freshly risen servants. She need not elaborate what they wish to find for her will is embedded into the dark magics that bind them to life. The source of the dark energy here - she will find it and make it her own. As usual when her internal musings rub it the wrong way, the rumbling voice of her symbiotic guardian scrapes at the edges of her mind.

/Ours/, my girl. This magic shall be ours. Do not forget who it was that saved you from your fate and granted you this wonderful power that you command.

"So you say," she responds in a soft whisper. Her memories of the event that saw her bound to this presence were long since lost, more than five hundred years ago. While she could not dispute that it has done much to keep her safe from witch hunters and rival wizards, the belevolence of its actions were questionable considering the methods she was forced to employ through its power.

Royce takes a step forward to begin searching herself but the grasping mud clings tightly to her metal greaves. It takes several tries to move even a single foot. Too long. Narrowing her eye, the girl snaps her fingers and the water about her begins to churn and bubble. After a moment she rises up out of the murky pool and strides forward confidently, seemingly walking across the fetid water's surface. However as she passes the gurgling moans of undead rise up out of the water. Zombies shuffle about to form a bridge with their backs as they rise up, providing a clear and easy passage for their mistress to the nearest solid ground.
Emi Dennou Emi doesn't jump in to 'help'. She had her own idea of how to go about things, but right now there's zombies and heartless and bugs oh my! She doesn't realize Navya is present until she starts a-waving. SHe looks over her way and smiles at her, faintly. "Hello Navya. We're glad you came, too." She is a bit distracted, of course, thanks to all the kerfuffle going on. It seems the Heartless didn't know it was Avira until Hades told her? ... No, maybe it's more that Hades was holding the Heartless back until his plan went through, and now they are chasing her as a result. Tch, she should have thought about something like that.

"Seems like there will be trouble. Are paravirs equipped to handle this sort of situation, The Network inquires while not knowing what a paravir is?"

They might say more but just then Percival just flat out says he crushed a fourteen year old boy's skull and then mauled his body beyond all recognition.

"...Percival," She says. "What?" Oh right you never told her!! Because you were worried about what she might think!! Well now she knows buddy, hope you're prepared for ... well confusion mostly at the moment, that kinda came out of nowhere so she's not entirely sure she heard that right and it's hard to think of Percival crushing someone's skull all like that evne if Percival has kind of given off warning signs like that.

Of course as child clone soldiers The Network might have unusual views once their surprise wears off. Or maybe they've had enough experience in natural settings to understand the implications.

In either event, Umi says, "Let's stop feeling bad about all these things and punch some zombies! This swamp runs on happy faces!"

"The Network informs Umi that this swamp runs mostly on filth and disease." Emi says.
Mercade Alexander Mercade mentally puts 100 Munny on Umi. That crocodile is hosed. Umi's going to hugwrestle it until it explodes.

He sighs to Will, and shakes his head in amused resignation. "Look, you still don't need to spend time telling I'm awesome and special. I'm a detective. This is what detectives are supposed to do. We're seekers of truth."

Navya shows up, and Mercade waves to her. "Hey! Havya!" He remembers her from a while back. Seventh Heaven, he's sure. "Quick, link up with us over here!" If they're all together this will be easier.

HE nods to Minerva, looking over the undead. "Well, then you should be used to this, right Minerva? Show 'em how it's done!"

Mercade simply frowns at Percival. "Are you... all right?" He asks. Something seems off about the guy, but he can't put his finger on it. However, Avira is present, and he shakes his head at the pair. "This isn't the time to be measuring who's a worse person." Mercade says, standing up in the boat as it lands nearby. Mercade has a certain look of determination that he hasn't possessed before. He's also wearing his hat. This probably isn't related at all. The Detective steps forward, lookin up at Avira. "No! Don't run, Avira! I don't care that you made a deal with Hades! We survived. You had to have felt terrible, all right, but I know you're stronger than this. You've always been there for me, Avira. And now I'm going to be here for you. You're not going to get away from me that easily." He flicks the rim of his hat as he speaks. "Now quick, come with us, it's getting dangerous he..."

Mercade pauses, looking over to Percival... And he just shakes his head.

"Either way..." Mercade says, turning to the undead and Heartless horde. "We don't have time to argue. Come on, let's work together and punch through this!"
Minerva Minerva stares at the winged Demi-human err Gargyole for a moment he did what? She's not even sure what to think, she knew some worlds they did not consider people adult till a much later age than her's still this is something that just is shocking given what she's seen of him. She looks at her friend even as the undead come.

"Avira, he took advantage of you, you have made a mistake and realised it is not too late to make ammends for what has been done! All of VALKYRI is concerned for you as well. It was Maira who informed me of where you might be!"

She looks over to Mercade and grins "Indeed but I do not have enough phoenix downs for this many of the beasts...we shall have to do it the normal way."
Navya "Of course I came!" Navya seems almost offended that Avira assumes she wouldn't. Maira didn't even send her; Navya sent herself. "I had stuff to tell you. And I still do! You shouldn't keep running away like that. You don't /need/ to keep running away like that."

She definitely has more to say, but she can't really do it with Heartless, undead, and flying Heartless all coming more or less at the same time. "Uh, hi," she says to Emi and Mercade, before: "Of course I'll help! And a paravir is a great bodyguard!" Too bad she's not actually one.

And with Percival, who Navya looks at in something very close to horror. She hefts the gigantic maul she carries, unshouldering it from her back, and it is /not/ aimed at the Heartless; she tries to stay between Avira and him, in fact, her wings spread slightly in agitation. That, or she's about to take off again.
Will Sherman Will moves into a defensive stance...

"A Great Body Guard right? Well guess what, you've just been deputized!" Will says to Navya, flashing her a thumbs up. However, he's back into that stance...and then...

Something CLICKS. Something /powerful/ comes to the front of the Hobo's aura...everyone can feel it, but those tied to fate can feel it MUCH more clearly. Something POWERFUL raises in the boy's aura, his hands glow red, and the red aura starts spreading as those normally calm eyes gain a sharper edge to them.

"Alright." Will's voice modulates, between his own and something else deep in there. Both seem to be equally strong, but it's defintely Will talking, "We don't have to kill them all, we just have to break THROUGH them." he comments, "Everyone comes home!" he says, looking to Avira.

"Also, Mercade, come on. Everyone deserves a compliment. I might have also stole your wallet when you were rolling your eyes at the compliment." Will says, with a grin...which is odd hearing out of someone who's voice is constantly modulating.
Avira "W-wh-" Shock is clear on Avira's face as Percival delivers his answer. Immediately afterwards she seems regretful for her own reaction. "You.../you/ took a life?" She whispers, though through her current facial anatomy, it sounds more like a hiss. In fact, if Percival looked closely enough he might notice that Avira actually has a forked tongue in this form.

She seems reluctant to respond to the rest of his statement, though, "I can't be unless Hades can somehow be fended off. That contract..." Her voice grows tight and she sounds to be on a verge of a breakdown again. In her eyes, they can practically see her mentally flogging herself over her vain and desperate decision.

It's a relief to see Mercade no longer verbally sparring with Percival though. The mutate freezes and stares at the detective. "...I should be stronger...I know but..." Her ears droop down. "Mercade I'm so sorry..." she takes a step backwards, then looks away. She...actually seems to be smiling a little, easily the first time she's done so since this whole ordeal started.

"Navya! ...Navya I do. I'm...I'm not running just because I feel like <GOOSEHONK>, Hades is looking for me!" So it really was Maira. In spite of the situation, she can't help but feel proud for her friend.

The dark shapes in the sky are nearly upon them. Heartless wyverns, directed by the will of the Shadow Lords, descend upon the bayou.

Avira slips down to a lower branch, away from the flying Heartless she's actually never had the 'pleasure' of fighting before. "This is the first time I've seen zombies come too. This is bad."
Royce Muck and slime drips from the trees above as Royce makes her way through the winding passages of solid earth that meader among the thick gnarled trunks and bogs. The stench here is absolutely foul. It smells of death and decay, the heavy odour of dead decomposing plants mixed with the sickly-sweet aroma of rotting meat, likely the remnants of some crocodile's meal. It is a perfume that she knows well.

The undead continue to stare at the heroes with baleful eyes as they loudly announce their plans to push through the ranks of fallen soldiers. This overt threat causes a change in demeanor among the creatures. The wet crack of bone and the pop of tendons fills the air as the bodies surrounding them begin to shift and reform.

Ribcages burst into deadly spears of ossein matter that drip darkly with disease, gaping wide like the nightmarish teeth of some demonic maw that has taken the place of their chest cavity. Others reach into their own flesh and yank free jagged fragments of bone or, in some cases, simply pull an entire limb from its socket to wield as some ghastly club or putrid sword.

The reeking stench intensifies as the ancient decayed matter contained inside muscles and organs spills into the air for the first time in decades or even centuries making it difficult to breath without gagging on the rancid air. More and more of the zombies begin to fill the gaps among the trees, others even wading through the water to encircle them and the chance of a clear escape dwindles by the moment.

Some distance away the dark mistress of these abominations draws steadily closer. She can sense the presence she felt more clearly now and she adjusts her course accordingly, using the undead like a sonar to feel out the source of her attraction. Their aggitation upon being threatened is also transmitted to her and the fact that these two occurances are in the same place is not lost on her.

"Do not let them escape." Royce's voice lacks any emotion as she speaks into the wind. It is not a condemnation to death on whoever might have been foolish enough to menace her servants but any attempts to flee will be met... harshly.

The arrival of the Heartless was a different matter. That they were interested in her prize only makes her all the more curious. Realizing that time is no longer on her side, the witch takes off at a dead run through the bog. Her speed is impressive considering the armored weights about her legs and arms and the gargantuan ordinance hooked to her back but it is not as fast as she'd like.
Will Sherman Will's power expands...

So this was it, it was time to FIGHT. Will's hands move, aiming to work that defensive stance, but he doesn't immeidately strike...the undead's aura was...familar somehow. He shakes the thought away, it could be any magic he's seen before, don't think about it too much, but as he looks up he sees the Heartless Wyverns start to come down, it causes him to shift his stance, those things need to hit the ground and STAY there, but right now, he's not in a position to change that location.

"Alright guys!"
Percival "No. Its not a competition. Because I /know/ what I am Mercade. And I /know/ what she is. She's a hero and the hope of our world. I'm naught but a fool and a murderer."

And then he would take wing, leaving Avira's question, and the circumstances of what happened unanswered. His feelings, his past, his current struggles with his inner demons; none of it mattered to him at the moment except in relation to how his experiences might at least make her feel slightly better about herself. And now, with Mercade here, it was not his place any longer.

Gliding through the air, he'd bank around the Wyverns, attempting to just harry them without actually attacking them, and then he would move past them to the column of shuffling, putrefied zombies. The witch directing them was visible enough, and the Gargoyle would land upon a branch of a nearby tree. He'd have his the runed sword of darkened metal out at a low guard, shield at the ready. "Pray forgive my ignorance since we haven't yet been acquainted, but I'm going to presume that you're a Necromancer, yes? Well, today isn't a good time for us. We're double booked, and can't possibly fit you in. Could we persuade you to come back in a few weeks?"
Navya "Let him look," Navya says, dismissively. "We'll help you, too! And you're right. You should be strong. You're a hero! You should act like one, right? I know you can."

If Avira didn't have her weapon, this is when Navya would toss her the maul - which would probably be a mistake, given it's far heavier than the Spine is. Since she does, Navya keeps it, resting it on her shoulder for the moment and rolling her opposite shoulder a couple times to warm it up.

Yeah, she's ready. Apparently ready to fight both gross zombies and Heartless. Assuming most of her allies cannot fly (which is actually less true than it normally is), Navya throws herself into the air, wings beating hard to actually lift her. "It's bad, but we can handle it together," Navya says, perching on a tree branch momentarily. It bends downward, creaking under her weight.

And then she doesn't just take off but /throws/ herself into the air, rocketing toward the Heartless wyverns! Navya cannot fly forever, but she can stay up long enough to deliver a massive downward strike to one of them, sending it in a ballistic arc toward the ground!

Hopefully, anyway.
Minerva Minerva looks at Avira and she says "We'll find out how to break it there has to be some sort of clause for it's end or is it enternal?" She doesn't know much abotu contracts and even then she's from a world where the lawyers are much lower level than say in Manhattan or vs Hades.

She does however start to focus preparing herself for the incminng undead dead and then she leaps upon then nearest one her fists covered in ice as she goes.
Mercade Alexander "We'll figure out a way. Isaac's awesome, we can work this out, Avira. It doesn't matter if he's a God. What's important is that we stick together stay strong." Mercade responds to Avira. "There's nothing to be sorry for. We're here. Let's kick some ass."

The Darkness comes. Mercade turns, moving with definitive actions as he pulls his revolver. "Okay, undead horde..." He stops, gagging at the smell of the undead. He pauses, pulling out a cloth and soaking it with a splash of something from a canteen before he ties it around his face. Filters!?

"Okay, this is just a pain in the ass." He looks back up. Hmmmmm... "Rock and a hard place." He looks to the others. "Quick, try to burn down the Heartless so we don't get shredded while we're dealing with the Undead!"

He moves, working to take cover and move quickly to avoid the incoming undead horde.
Emi Dennou Emi frowns severely at Percival. Puzzle pieces start snapping into place. She doesn't comment on it further, though. "Umi." She says. "Drop the alligator."

Umi drops the alligator.

"You will be acting as frontal assault. But for now I want to set up defenses. Stay close."

Emi does not open up assaultingly. Instead she fans out her arms and unleashes an electrical shield, enveloping the Legions, Mercade, and Will Sherman! This might just be part one of her giving everybody shields like this. Of course, it might not be the ideal method but Emi is trying to plan ahead here--and play cautiously.

She looks up once more towards Avira. She nods slowly. She says nothing, for now. Not really the time for dramatic speechus, she figures.
Avira "...oh Mercade..." Avira murmurs, "I hope you're right."

Though there was also the escape clause, she realizes, "Mercade! You n-" Her tongue seizes up on her suddenly. "What the-! You n-ffhhfewfgehrrr." The words literally will not come out.

"I..." Even before this whole mess started, Avira didn't precisely think her to be a hero. Not yet at least-sure, it was an eventual goal but she assumed that she would need to grow much, much stronger than she was now. Slightly...misguided, perhaps.

There is an undeniable look of concern leveled towards Percy. His own issues with himself at the least took her mind off of her own failures for a few moments. More importantly, she was still pretty concerned for someone who was a good ally and friend.

"...Navya I..." There's no reluctance in Avira's need to fight right now and she clearly draws her own weapon. She is fortunate that she's retained her weapon while fleeing. Watching Navya launch herself into the sky, Avira follows, climbing skywards. Right away, a wyvern descends to meet her and its grasping claws are met with repeated stabs from her weapon.

Navya, on the other hand, much more impressively spikes a wyvern down into the swamp, sending waves of water splashing upwards. The creature struggles and flails, unable to get itself back into the air due to the muck and vines of the swamp. Unfortunately for those on the ground, it proves just as dangerous. Where these Heartless seek to contain Avira, for the others, they have no reservations against taking their hearts. One on the ground is dangerous, as Minerva will discover when her chosen prey snaps back at her.

"Who is THAT?" Avira astutely points out in the midst of the chaos, noting Royce. "Anyone recognize her? I don't!!"
Royce The wide hood covering Royce's head leaves the majority of her features cast into shadow as she skids to a halt, peering up at the hulking figure perched on the branches above. The rugged skin colored russet like dry stone and the massive bat-like wings were all she needed to place his origins. Another gargoyle.

Through the darkness that masks her face the witch's lone eye burns a brilliant neon red like the undying ember of some tiny piece of Hell as she stares back at Percival without a shred of emotion evident, merely studying him like a museum piece or an interesting lizard she found crawling under a rock. However, ancient creatures from her own world are not what she is interested in.

We have no time for fools, girl. Press on. We will deal with this cretin when the time comes.

"I am aware of that." Royce speaks out loud to seemingly no one in particular and turns away, taking off at a run towards the gathering of heroes yet again. She's still a fair distance away but at her present speed it will not take long before she works her way through the trees and arrives at the battle. Things are probably going to get really ugly then.

As the entrapped party prepares for battle the undead shuffle and groan, remaining on the outer edge of the small dry patch of land. Their garish twisted bodies ooze and drip with all manners of puss and disease as if trying to ward off any attempts to break through their lines with sheer revulsion factor. As no one has tried to assault them or make a break for it, they remain stoic sentinels of this putrid corral for the time being.
Percival "What is it with you defilers of the natural order and your general lack of manners? Is a brief reprieve and an appointment too much to ask for?"

He clucks his tongue. "Entitlement, its the rot of modern society. You could take a lesson in patience from your shambling minions." He'd look back at the main group of the TDA and their attack upon the Heartless Wyverns. "Be back soon to smite your frigid arse."

He'd jump off the branch then, soaring towards the Undead Wyverns. From his current position, he tried to take one from below by moving beneath it and climbing abruptly with his shield arm outstretched to knock it off balance. He'd then level himself off and immediately try to rake the edge of the blade against the underside of its belly while he flew in the opposite direction.
Soan Sagittarius "BY THE SKIES ABOVE THE SKY!"

It's a shout, thundering through the air that could be easily mishread by all the chaos that's been installed around the area, with all the Heartless, the Undead, the living fighting for their lives or others. It strikes from the skies, followed whistling sound of something falling at incredible speeds...

One of the tall trees near-by suddenly explodes in splinters from the top of it as a heavily armoured man in stylized armor powers through the poor tree, brandishing a glowing spear with all the wrath of the gods above. He homes into the ground like a cannonball, shaking the earth from the impact -- and hopefully flatten a few of the Heartless mobs that he just dropped himself into.

DRAGOON MAN have arrived.

The warrior quickly follows up on his entry with a spin of his spear around him, taking in a deep breath, then spits out a large stream of bright flames around him.

"I THOUGHT I SMELLED THE TAINT OF DARKNESS HERE!" He intones, loudly, mostly to himself and to others that are capable of rational thought in the environs. "FEAR NOT! I AM HERE TO ASSIST!"
Will Sherman The heartless manage to narrowly catch Will in their swipe, Will is sent upwards and then back down, but as the attack flies...he punches, causing the Heartless and Will to.. CROSS COUNTA

Then suddenly DRAGOON MAN! "Oh hey, that guy again.." he says, now looking a bit different than his fight against Clayton, it is the hair and the sharp eyes and the GLOWING RED MIST radiating from his hands. However, Will doesn't stare to admire the hero...he dives forward, and leaps up...

"NOPE!" he shouts to the Wyvern, aiming to kick one right at the next, aiming to drag it down to the ground where the others can proceed to treat it like that scene from Rejected.

The Silly hat scene.

Will lands ontop of one of the Wyverns, aimnig to repeatedly punch it in the face...
Navya "I mean it!" Navya sounds like she's working hard - which is accurate, since gria wings may be strong but they're not really big enough to keep them up forever. Navya has a tendency to drop slightly after every downbeat. "Everything you've done, and try to do - you're more of one than /I/ am yet, even I know that! You're trying to fix a whole world! Even if you haven't managed it yet, and no matter what you look like! Not looking like other people doesn't mean anything. I don't!"

Navya spikes a wyvern. She then manages to avoid the return assault via the unorthodox and probably accidental method of falling; the rest of the wyverns stay in the sky, but Navya doesn't, landing on a hillock with a squelch.

"Ugh, gross," Navya mutters to herself. She looks up - only to see that, where she fell, she's surrounded by the undead. "Ugh, gross!" she repeats, except at about three times the volume. Raising the gigantic maul, Navya doesn't really try to destroy a zombie so much as throw it several hundred feet by creative application of force, a hooking arc aimed at a distant pool of deep water that she almost fell in once before.
Mercade Alexander "Huh?" Mercade says, looking over his shoulder to the suddenly tongue-tied Avira. She's trying to say something... but what? Unfortunately, he has no time to ask, because HEARTLESS. The wyvern descends, sending Mercade flying as he yells. "WAAGH!" He arcs through the air, leveling his gun and using it to blast a couple of the Heartless fliers as they attempt to catch up to him. He causes it to reel, but how much did he really do? He's not sure, as he falls to the ground, catching on a tree limb with unexpected agility. "HAH!" He yells as he lands... And then he looks up at the cry. "Wha-"


Mercade blinks at the entrance. "Holy hell, iut's that Dragoon guy again! Good timing, man, we could use the backup!" He turns, leveling his guns to fire on the undead as well. There's enough for everyone!
Minerva Minerva comes under assault from the heartless and while she's trying to get an better idea of the other presnce she's sure is crawling around the swarmp she's assuaulted pretty heavily she's forced back even with her abilities she's getting the stuffing knocked out of her pretty earily on on by the heartless. She hears Avira call out that there's another being there confirming her hunch she looks in that direction.

"I shall take care of it!"

She leaps on top of one of the undead not harming it but using it as a spring board to get out of the buck and she's launchign herself across teh swarmp right for Royce.

That is when from the skies above comes The Dragoon Man, she'd not heard of him but he seems to here to help and she's thankful for it.

"Any air is welcome Ser!"

As for Royce she's got Minerva barreling at her and her fists are once again covered in ice, even her upper arms, she'll try to get in close and start assuling her prehaps even freeging her somewhart with her strikes.
Emi Dennou There's something familiar about that Dragoon Man, but Emi /just can't put her finger on it/. Maybe it's ...... Faruja?

Emi doesn't get time to prepare as much as she'd like. Soon, HEARTLESS ATTACKU.

"Not really," Emi says even as Umi yelps, readily caught by the wyverns, she's sliced up across her chest but upon hissing with her teeth, she jogs forward and aims to latch onto one and place her hands on it, unleashing a huge swath of electricity into its body, drawing some of the current back into herself!

"Jiminey Crickets!" Umi says. "The Heartless alone will be hard to deal with, but with the Undead here we're in serious trouble!"

This is so awesome, Umi thinks.

"Emi, just let this one handle it, heh heh! It'll be no problem ouch ooch hurts hurts hurts okay I'm good now I'm good."
Avira Over the horizon, there are more dark shapes hovering in the distance, gradually growing closer. Avira doesn't see these, but, experience has taught her a thing or two about swarms like this. "WE HAVE TO MOVE!" she cries out, "If we stay in one spot, they'll only accumulate!"

The likes of Mercade and Percival could easily recall the swarm that corralled them all this past Saturday. Would such a thing really be repeated?

Avira's sensitive hearing alerts her to Soan's arrival and yelping, she suddenly veers from the sky, away from the Heartless she was all but wrestling with. Soan's descent is so fierce that he actually destroys a wyvern in one shot before he lands upon a muddy spot in the bayou. Notable since, as those here are quickly noticing, the draconic heartless are not the type that are easily dispatched with one swing of the sword. It takes sustained and fiercely concentrated damage to render it into darkness and an escaping heart.

Case in point, as Will hijacks a wyvern, face-punching is quite easy to do from his vantage point, until the heartless starts whipping its head back and forth savagely. Another wheels past Will, chasing after Mercade, snapping at him as he flies through the air, only to be deterred by Mercade's shotgun blasts.

It reels, screeching, and peels away from the detective before trying to come back for him seconds later once he has stood upon the tree limb. He does have some advantage in that the larger heartless needs to pick through the branches to get at him.

The grounded Heartless is busily trying to make a meal out of the delicious little Dennous. Emi is snapped at before she bravely lays electrified hands upon the creature. It seizes up for a few seconds, stunned and perfectly vulnerable for a TEAM ATTACK from the Dennous, if Umi gets herself together!

The wyvern that Avira had been fighting turns to resume pursuit of her-until Percival intercepts it, cleaving its underbelly with his blade. Being a Heartless, however, it does not bleed, but does suddenly become extremely interested in the gargoyle. Its huge talons reach out to grasp the wings of Percival and slowly pull.

Avira, meanwhile, sweeps in low and slams herself into the containment line of undead surrounding them. "If you were sent by Hades, lady, the answer is no!"
Royce A dozen or so undead warriors stare at the strange creature that plops heavily into their midst. Subtle moans turn into wet gurgles in the ruined water-filled bodies as they turn to face Navya but it is not until she swings her massive maul that they menace her in any way.

The spinning strike lands solidly in the body of the nearest zombie and the force lifts it up on the flat end of the hammer. However, before she can send it sailing away into the murk several more of the slime-coated creatures lurch forward and latch onto their imperiled companion and the combined strength and weight quickly overpowers the centrifugal force of the gria's attack.

This action sparks a flurry of activity from the entire undead horde. Several of the zombies begin to shamble steadily forward to close ranks with the heroes though their slow pace makes it easy to see them coming and react accordingly. Those with the nasty rib spears instead turn to face the center of the island and with sharp hisses of releasing gas their deadly bone-blades are ejected like missiles into the enemy ranks.

Mercade's hail of lead or whatever he uses for bullets tears into the wall of putrid flesh without much effort as there's so many of them that it's practically impossible to miss. The hammering impacts of his munitions lift a few of the creatures off their feet as their heads or chests explode into a wet mist and yet others are floored as their legs disappear to well placed shots. It seems that being soaked completely through has made these corpses less than ideal for combat but their sheer numbers are going to be a problem either way.

Royce breaks through the edge of the treeline into view and Avira is quick to point her out to the others. The witch leaps to meet the rushing assault of the flying monk and her hand waves in the air, bringing a crashing wave of force down to meet Minerva. The magical cantrip is not quite fast enough, however, and the frost-covered fist slams square into her chest, arresting her forward momentum and carrying the slender woman back to the ground along with it.

Royce hits the wet earth on her side and a sickening crack sounds through the air like a gunshot. The witch rolls with the impact and bounces several times before landing in a messy heap a dozen feet away. Casually she pushes back to her feet and turns to face her aggressor with the same blank expression she gave Percival. Her left arm hangs loosely and bent in the wrong direction but there is no blood or bone protruding from the wound. Reaching across her chest, Royce snaps the arm back into place with an equally disturbing pop.

"You are in my way." That simple admonishment is the only warning Minerva receives. The chains binding the cannon to the ancient necromancer's back unfurl and drops the weapon into her outstretched hand. It swings around with surprising speed despite its size and the fact that she holds it with only one hand as if it were light as a feather. Brilliant scarlet light builds in the gaping maw of the unusually ornate gun and within the span of a heartbeat it erupts in a spray of screaming hellfire and blazing brimstone.

Like the breath of an angry dragon the flames billow out in a pyroclastic cloud that seeks to engulf the pugilistic warrior. Whether or not this is successful the fire rages on into the island and envelopes several of the zombies, turning them into burning pyres of-- Friendship! They just want a hug!
Will Sherman Will kicks off of one Wyvern, hitting the ground and...

Suddenly he is grabbed from behind by a Zombie that is on fire.

"NOT COOL! NOT COOOOOO-" EXPLOSION! Will is sent immediately flying into the air...once more aiming to smash into a Wyvern who he just departed from...

"...Okay, you know what...

Moments later, he punches the Wyvern in the face, aiming to try and drop it with excessive force...

Right onto Royce.

"LOOK OUT BELOW!" he shouts, actually hoping to land on her.
Percival As the Heartless Wyvern attempts to get a grip on his wing, he did a literal barrel roll to wrench himself away before it could clamp down. With his shield extended, it deflected away its claws, preventing any lasting damage. He would then immediately pull up, loop upside down, before allowing himself to fall upon the Wyvern's back. Once he was standing on it, he would begin to just slash and stab its wings repeatedly, while slamming his shield into the joints. Turnabout was fair play as far as wings were concerned.
Navya Navya is very strong, and actually picking up a zombie is no challenge at all, but when enough of them start trying to drag the hammer around, even she has to obey physics. She might sort of lurchingly throw it a few feet.

It doesn't help that Navya really doesn't want to touch them. They're gross!

Navya yanks her maul back from them, shaking it free but leaving the zombies more or less unharmed. She brings it back, cocking for another swing, but before she gets a chance zombies start spraying bones and crap at her.

Navya leaps - but doesn't actually get away because there is a zombie hanging on her foot. She kicks a couple times to try to dislodge it - and then much harder once it becomes a /flaming/ zombie on her foot, driving her opposite heel into it repeatedly to try to get it to let go.

It doesn't, or at least immediately, which is why Navya looks like a shooting star when she dives again, impacting near to Avira with enough force to send a shockwave through the ground and muck, a rippling wave. It may also crush the flaming zombie clinging to her. "Avira! Let's work together!"
Mercade Alexander "WYVERNS! Why did it have to be wyverns?" Mercade yells, even as the Heartless descends, crashing into the tree and carving into the Detective. To his benefit, his sudden impact with the ground prevents the cannon from exploding and annihilating him. He hits the squishy mud with a "GURK!" and he looks around, nodding to Avira. "She's right. Quick, let's get moving! We need to keep them following us!" With a lack of a better plan, Mercade begins leading the way based on what he remembers, running along the more solid ground as he unleashes a tumbles from tree to tree, unleashing bursts of gunfire when he sees an opening. The wyverns, being more mobile, are the greater threat in his opinion.
Soan Sagittarius Of course, after dynamic entries, there is the inevitable counter-attack after the enemy has gathered their wits! The roaring flames washes over Dragoon Man as it leaps from one wyvern to the other, which spells a rather painful series of events for the armoured warrior. The flames, themselves aren't too nice, but the sharpnels and the counter attack from the Wyverns clawing at him adds to the many chips on the Dragoon's armor.

Still, he looks in relatively good shape, despite everything, smacking away Royce's attempt to knock him down to the ground, instead remaining free to take to the air... where he vanishes from sight.

For like, three seconds, as the Dragoon comes back launching himself like a cannon ball toward Royce. "I HAVE NO CLAIMS AGAINS YOU, LADY! But if you persists to work for Chaos and the Heartless, I have little choices left!"

There is multiple threats coming from Dragoon Man. There is his mass, accelerated by his fall, of course. There is as well that strange, bright, pure glow that is born out of the tip of his spear, a light so bright that sears the vision of the wicked.

Last, but not all of least, Dragoon man breaths out a stream of flowing lights, shaped beautifully like the sea, flooding in her general area.
Minerva Minerva says "Wyerns are amost akin to vermin upon my world! You should be thankful they are rare elsewhere!"

As for Royce she's got her coming in pretty darn hard and hitting her she counter stikes s the attack comes in. Her first bursts into flames as she strikes but she's not so well off in the eschange as the pure hellfire and brime stones comes at her. She stares in horror at such a foul thing and there's something about her even as she focuses to purge her self of the imptending crouption.

"What manner of woman are you!?"

She's burnt pretty bad but she's alive, she's angry but she's clearly still reeling from that last hit.
Emi Dennou Umi is snapped at by Heartless, she even gets carved up, pretty solidly. Normally she'd be having an easier time of this, Umi reflects, but The Network is all discombulated lately. Their coordination is off. She stumbles away from it, jogging on over towards Emi to try and do a 'back to back team' thing, Emi nods towards her and the two press their backs against each other, just as anticipated!

"Awesome!" Umi says. "... ... Now what?" 'Now what' is inded a good question. There's undead on one side, and heartless on the other. Emi bites at her lip and draws a small coin into her hands.

"We do both." She says. "Pressure them both. That's the best we can hope for. Understood?"


The two draw out a coin each into their hands, flip into the air--and then propel it out with a supersonic burst of electromagnetic force. It's not QUITE as impressive as normal, but it should be enough to clear away some undead and Heartless, hopefully opening up a hole in the swarms to get to better ground!
Avira Those that look Avira's way might notice something as she fights: she doesn't seem to be as 'into' it as she typically is. Navya might notice it since they have fought alongside each other before. Mercade would definitely notice, as would Will. "Wha-right! We need to punch through-" Avira says to Navya, struggling to dislodge the firey zombie clinging to her. It's the shockwave from the gria that finally makes it disintegrate. "Right! I'll be right behind you!"

Mercade has the right idea about fleeing though, "Wait-head into the trees, that rotting woman's zombies can't get us up there!" Avira leaps for the nearest tree, clawing her way up while holding her weapon between her teeth.

Percival handily outmanuvers his Heartless opponent, claws meeting nothing but air. The soaring wyvern reacts poorly as it is mounted and in turn tries to barrel roll Percival off of it. The attempt becomes aborted as the gargoyle viciously hacks into the creature's wings, tearing them away in mid-flight. The Heartless immediately begins to fall, shadows streaming out of the 'wounds' where the removed wings had been.

The Dennous move together and initiate...


Picture a slow motion FMV here, rotating around the back-to-back Emi and Umi, lovingly featuring them unleashing enormous blasts of electricity upon the Heartless and undead alike. In the case of the Heartless, that grounded wyvern who had nearly had a Dennou snack seconds ago rumbles, twitches, and evaporates into a billowing cloud of darkness as the electricity permeates its form.

A single, brightly colored pink heart drifts into the air, then vanishes.

Shadows appear in the skies now. Percival, being aloft, will be the first to see the second wave of wyverns that starts to descend. There are markedly more of them than before.
Royce Avira's wanton lunge into the undead ranks sees several of the creatures go down into wet heaps of ruined flesh and bone. Her efforts clears a small wedge in the encircling line but it quickly tightens as fresh bodies surge to fill in the gap, their dirty fingernails and makeshift weapons swinging wildly at the mutate.

Navya's flaming zombie issue is solved in the incredible shockwave created by her thunderous landing. The offending monster is shaken free in the blast and sails off into the swamp to land with large splash that douses its hellish flames. Other nearby zombies are scattered as well and their ponderous movements require several moments to see them back on their feet giving the small group a short reprieve.

Royce stares down the barrel of her titanic weapon as she unleashes hell on the monk but even as she bursts into flames, Minerva surges forward to throw some of that flame back into the witch with a solid punch to her torso that staggers her backwards. Will's kamikaze wyvern surfing attack comes crashing down from above moments later and she has only enough time to spit a single ancient word at him, warping magics that attempt to bend the young boy's body into that of a tiny newt.

The Heartless slams into her body nevertheless and she finds herself flattened into the soft muck like a bug. Despite her supernatural durability, Royce is not particularly strong so heaving the massive creature off herself takes a great deal of effort. Dragoon Man's bold charge is lead by his brave words but they also give her warning of his impending strike. The young woman sits up and pushes with all her strength, her expression as empty and deadpan as ever as the barely living body of the wyvern Heartless is placed between herself and the deadly spear.

The blade still punches cleanly through the shadowy form, blasting the creature into motes of wispy black smoke and impaling the witch through the shoulder but she manages to twist the strike away from anything vital. Blazing crimson light erupts from the wound and geysers into the air with unnerving fury, scattering sparks of pure magic in a fountain for a few moments before Royce plants her foot on the armored warrior's chest and kicks herself away.

The wound seals over almost immediately as necromantic magics the likes of which even the fae would be envious of go to work and the witch brings her cannon back up even as she sails through the air. Crimson fire gathers in its depths once more but this time it bleches forth as a blazing ball of demonic fire. The evil magic streaks through the air like a meteor and plows into the ground at Dragoon Man and Minerva's feet with a cacophanous explosion that is followed quickly by several others as Royce unleashes a hailstorm of deadly power.

The undead ranks begin to thin. The twin sisters' electromagnetic coin devastates the zombies that it passes through, cavitating their wet bodies with sucking wounds that practically core them completely in a messy spray of viscera and gore. However with their line spread so thin it doesn't take down nearly as many as they would have liked and the circle simply grows even tighter in response. A few of the injured undead stir back to motion after collapsing, minus a limb or three, but as long as they have even a single arm or leg they kick and struggle their way towards the heroes with unwavering devotion to their task.

Further waves of flying deadly bone spears and hurdled limbs assail the party amdist the firey rain of doom. Royce lands hard on her back and continues to fire but after several seconds of demon fire she switches tactics and begins to pick out individual targets on the battlefield. Shimmering holy light gathers in her weapon now, defying the logic that all evil is weak to or incapable of handling divine power, and razor thin rays of shearing white heat erupt like lasers to score precision holes into the weak points of armor or exposed joints of those not wearing any.
Percival The sound of beating wings spurred the Gargoyle to look up. It was a good thing too, as the dark swarm that was descending was about to take his head off.

Kicking off his Wyvern's back, he folded his wings upward, and plummeted into an immediate dive towards the ground. It was not so much gliding at this point, but skydiving. Once he had reached the point where the impact was like to kill him if he waited any longer, he opened his wings out to catch. He hit the Bayou near Emi and Umi, but there was nothing graceful in it, as he crashed into the water while skipping and tumbling head over heels to land smack dab in front of the pair. With the wind knocked out of him, he couldn't effectively fight back, but there appeared to be no serious damage.

And then he a rain of bone spears coming right towards the girls. "OH GOD<GOOSEHONK> GET DOWN GET DOWN!" Stumbling over to them, he'd turn his back to the assault raised his shield high, and covered them with his wings. Fragments of sharpened bone clattered against the shield. He dared to turn around, only to find a rays of searing divine wrath coming straight at him. With a deer in the headlights look he stared, mouthing the words of a prayer. They didn't miss, they just changed trajectory when they struck him. His look was one of bewilderment before he got his senses back and turned to the forces on the ground. "Another wave of Wyverns is coming. Mercade, Emi, Umi, Will, all of you. You need to get Avira out of here! This won't end, they'll win by /attrition/. And then we'll lose everything!"
Navya Navya can sort of tell, with Avira... but it might be inexperience with that form, which Navya can't fault her for. It has to be bizarre to have one's body changed like that. She's kind of glad she never has, no matter what she told Avira.

Both can be true, after all.

Watching Royce fight is kind of unpleasant, but watching her zombies is even worse. "What - the trees? But I can't hit them from the trees!" is Navya's objection. She plows through one when it comes for her (which ends up being a mistake, judging by the bone spear that scrapes across her hip); it slows her down enough in a stagger that her ascent is sluggish.

And worse, when she's about ten feet into the air, Royce's surprising light magic drills a thin hole right through one of her wings.

Navya yells. Such a wound is fixable with magic, but it /hurts/ all out of proportion to its size, and it does mean she can't really fly in the meantime. Navya drops back down, wind whistling through the clean hole in her wing, and ascends the tree by the most direct of routes: she climbs it.

It's not Avira's tree. She was hoping it was. Navya makes a leap towards one she thinks might be. "Wait, we have to /run/?" she yells back at Percival. "I - a parivir doesn't run! The rest of you, go, and I'll distract them!"

This may explain why Navya climbs all the way to the top of the tree - and starts beating her wings. The one hurts like anything to do it with, but the other is fine; she beats so hard and strong that a literal tornado starts to form, whirling in an attempt to throw the wyverns across the sky!
Will Sherman Even as the fires on Will's body BURN...

He is found trapped in a spell. The spell tries to change his form, break it down into something less fightening. However, the magic works...but then DOESN'T. The effects of her spell linger, that's for sure...but it's mucking with his form shatters, breaking the attempt to chain his fate to her whims as is if it never tried. He narrows his gaze...

he eye. The eye was the reverse of him, he was was missfortune. The burning gaze of unluck burning through even the eyepatch to Will. The book...the book too, radiating evil black lines, whispy dark strands that seem to be choking the woman's own strings. Her fate...tied to something not unlike what Coyote looked Puck...and tied to himself.

Oh god...

He looks in utter shock at what he sees for a moment, taking a step back, even as another Zombie comes for him, but he moves, smacking it away and soaring down...No...

Will had to act, he was going to save his friend, no matter the cost.

Will's hand comes up, grabbing at the strings all around him, one shooting at the Heartless...the other towards Royce. The string, solid blue, aims to try and connect to their fate lines, making them visible to him and her for just a brief moment. Those around can see faint lines, but they fade in and out.

And then something aims to SEAL them in place.


Will soars upwards, "LEAVE MY FRIENDS ALONE!" he bellows, soaring like a comment down, aiming to drive his fist through the heartless, aiming to tear at their inverted strings...and down, right towards Royce. He grits his teeth, aiming to drive the first through her, tearing at her fate as he lands passed her...his hand gripping at her fate with a terrible iron grip...and CRUSHING it, trying to weaken her fate from the world around her.
Minerva Minerva is getting the hell beat out of her from the strange woman's assault she' shurt she's burnt and she's not looking too well but given she's got an idea of the sort of power she challens she can put this to her own use. She's however not on the best grounding given the swamp but does seem to be making a move for the strange woman as she slams her fists into the ground sending a shockwave so powerful it's causing the swarmp itself to be dirupted as she closes her right hand glows with a bright holy energy, followed by her right glowing black she lunges in the first stri will be to attempt to grab Royce with her hand that's covered with the darknes and it explodes violently and it's not done even as the blast fade the other hand attemps to grab Royce and this time it's a burst of holy much like a White Mage's spell.

"I shall drive you back from whence you came!"
Soan Sagittarius Royce's accelerated regeneration does not go unnoticed. Dragoon Man, if he had anything to express himself with with his face, would be rather focusing that attention on that. What in the blazes...? She kicks back off his chest, sending the armoured hero back, where he stumbles against a tree, hitting his head. He holds it, grunting out, then getting a good look at what's coming his way. The light that serves for Dragoon man's eyes widens, glowing brighter.

"The Darkness has a strong hold over you, witch." Dragoon Man intones, bringing up his spear in defense. he smack away one of the fireballs aimed his way, leaping over the explosion of one. It singes him a little, but the created force catapults him upward -- and being in the air is where he is the more comfortable with. "What has happened to you?"

The news of more Heartless from above snatches his attention away, Dragoon Man letting himself land on the top of a tree. That strange dragon-looking lady also climbs up, echoing his thoughts. He's not fully aware of the situation, but the monstruous girl seems to be rather central to it all. Still, good sense are on his mind. "Do not throw away your live, lady." Dragoon Man asides toward Navya, his glance toward the incoming wave. "The Dragons teaches that True Courage is to face what you do not like and fear, but also live to face them. That woman seems important to them. If we can all go, we all go."

He looks back down at Royce. Except that woman who seems taken by the forces of darkness. Little choices right now, no time to get at the bottom of things. He takes a deep breath, then lets himself fall, homing against Royce, branchesbreaking through his passage in the air.
Mercade Alexander "Avira!" Mercade yells. "Come on! What's wrong? Are you all right, you're not fighting like you usually are! We need to step it up if we're going to punch through!" He reaches out, offering his hand to her. "Come on, we still have time to escape!" Just then, he is blasted to one side from the intense force of the Wyvern assault. He tumbles, falling into the deep water and sinking for a moment, insensate from the wounds inflicted...

But a hand erupts from the water, and Mercade pulls himself out, dragging himself back out. "I'm... not... dead... yet!" He hisses, yelling as he levels his gun, plugging two deadly shots for the remaining wyverns in this flight using the pearl-handled revolver. "Come on, Avira! We have to go!" He calls.
Emi Dennou Emi might have just gotten BONESTORMED to death were it not due to some timely intervention of Percival. Though, of course, the way he panics is in its own way offputting. Concern is nice, but The Network likes to think itself capable. She steps back a bit, trying to consider her own method of dealing with it--but Percival manages to get in there and just smack the spears away from her body. She lets out a breath she didn't realize she was holding.

"--Eh?" She asks as a heart pops out of the Heartless body. But she shakes her head, no time to worry about that! There's still undead to worry about!

She is going to focus on them rather than the Necromancer, it seems. She takes in a low breath and plows a few quick shots for the zombies, she's a little low on battery power, HO HO HO GET IT? She's not the Emigizer Bunny!

"Thank you, Percival." Emi says carefully.
Avira Avira is oddly silent on the subject of her current fighting prowess.

Right away Avira realizes she severely dislikes grabby undead. Her fighting turns to frantic flailing as she beats the zombies away from her before she can break free and climb to higher ground. Even then, she did not account for the projectile bone spears or a focused fire laser drilling through the hamstring of her left leg. She sags suddenly.

Her free hand had been reaching out for Mercade's. Between her suddenly dropping back and him being hurled into the water of the swamp, those hands never make contact. A wvyern dives into the ground after Mercade, jaws opened wide. But before it can gnaw the heart from the detective's body, a duo of shots end its existance.

Heartless dive at the shouting Will, if only because he's there and not because they can understand his defiance. Their fate is rended away and after a second, each Heartless disappears into a cloud of black mist.

Percival's warning should certainly be heeded. Great wings beat against the trees of the bayou and branches begin to snap underneath the weights of the vicious heartless. "You heard him, Navya! More are coming! Don't....don't leave yourself behind!" she pleads.

But the stalling does seem to work as Navya summons up a tornado to keep the approaching wyverns from coming any closer.

Avira, for the first time in days, summons up her magic as she makes the motions of actually fleeing now. Copious amounts of ice that manage to vaguely shape themselves into gusts that slightly resemble beasts like herself are thrown forward into the undead ranks that dare to continue blocking their way.
Royce The zombies are not deterred by the efforts to escape their reach into the trees. A near continuous hail of bone spears and even rocks assail the climbers from below and the trees are swiftly turned into pincushions that ironically provide fairly steady supports on which to climb if they dare to touch the pestilence and wet flesh that dangles messily from them.

Emi's weak bursts of electricity manage to stagger some of the undead, making them dance about comically as their muscles spasm uncontrollably but only one or two actually go down from the attack. Avira has far better luck with her strange ice beasts and their frigid bites petrify several of the zombies in thick coats of frost that see them easily shattered by their attempt to move regardless.

Royce continues to fire away with emotionless abandon, her shots each aimed with a swift movement of her arm and a burst of magical energy from the ancient artifact in her hand. However, the swamp suddenly surges to life at her feet, exploding with the energetic strike as Minerva unleashes her chi into the wet ground.

The witch throws herself backwards but the blast still manages to send her tumbling away where she lands in a roll, popping back to her feet in a three-point crouch with her weapon held at the ready. But Minerva is faster. The monk's darkness empowered fist latches into the half-jacket that only barely covers the young woman's torso and explodes in a furious wave of darkness that rips the hood away from her face.

Long hair as pure as freshly fallen snow billows out from the cowl in a massive wave of shimmering white that drapes about her body like a cape, easily reaching down to her waist. Royce has a moment to tilt her head up and affix her burning stare at the spirit warrior, her other eye's absence suddenly explained by the revelation of the thick black cloth tied firmly over it like an eyepatch.

Minerva's threat goes unanswered and her fist plows squarely into the witch's jaw with another explosion of brilliant white light that blinds all sight for a handful of moments. Royce sails backwards out of the blast and ragdolls across the terrain. Soan's powerful spear thrust catches her in mid flight and rips deeply into her unprotected side, resulting into another violent spurt of neon crimson light that stains the muddy moss carpet of the swamp like blood.

It is not until Will falls upon her with the full fury of his unnatural powers that she shows the first hints of fear or discomfort. The lines that flash to life before her eye causes it to widen a little and she sucks in a breath as a wave of pure unholy outrage echoes through her mind from the dark presence that lurks within. The hobo king's fist passes through her body like a ghost, snatching up the lines of fate that bind them together directly for some inexplicable reason and as he crushes them ruthlessly she grimaces and lets out a soft cry of pain.

Royce's head tilts back as she screams, allowing her hair to fall away from her face and it only now becomes apparent that something terrible has happened, though no one here is likely to be aware of the implications of just what that is - yet. Where once the elaborate cloth covered her eye, wrapping it with mystical sigils and wards, there is nothing. Minerva's strike to the face has torn it away leaving one of the most terrible objects in existance exposed for all to see.

Where Royce's eye should be a multifaceted gem sparkles brightly in the grungy light. It takes her a moment to realise what has occured but as soon as she does her hand flies up to cover the gem as if protecting a terrible wound. "You... fools..." The look on her face has transformed from one of emptiness to that of utter horror. "Your grandchildren shall awaken screaming in memory of what you see today."
Royce Her hand falls away as if in slow motion, no longer able to contain the seething energies that rage against her attempts to hold them back. Power spills forth, raw madness given corporeal form. It erupts from the Eye in a tidal wave of shimmering distortion that engulfs the entire swamp in a moment. Those who peer directly into the terrible artifact suffer the worst for they look into the abyss of which Nietzsche spoke when he warned humanit the perils of facing monsters.

To someone like Will who is capable of seeing Fate itself a different picture is painted. A geyser of pure black misfortune pours from the girl's eye, rending and shredding everything in its path as it twists luck to the worst possible extremes. The earth shatters and rises up beneath the feet of everyone present, tearing ancient trees from their roots and creating deadly sinkholes into which the swamp begins to drain.

The sky darkens immediately as billowing storm clouds roll into existence from nothingness. Within moments thunder hammers them with ear-shattering booms and spears of lightning drop heavenly wrath on everything in sight in an constant staccato rythm of explosions, striking far more than twice in the same place all around the swamp.

Rising from the surge of dark clouds the wind begins to churn as well, swirling in a frenzied rage that sweeps up the loose detrius, rubble, and scattered corpses that litter the ground. A whirlwind of raw elemental power bursts to life in a sudden surge as the cyclone hits critical mass and a funnel of death begins to sweep chaotically back and forth across the battlefield with no regard for friend or foe.
Percival He gives Emi and Umi an apologetic look. "And I'm sorry Emi. Apologize to the network for me. And please, get Avira and Mercade out of here." He didn't say what he was apologizing for.

And then he was caught in the eye an explosive magical storm. And it was all he could do to hold on, as he gripped his talons into the ground. Steeling himself, he would barrel forward through the column of Zombies regardless of the magical storm. He cared not about the consequences of running straight into such a mob of the walking dead in the midst of a raging cyclone. Some he would just trample over in his relentless push, others he would bat aside with shield, fist, pommel, or the flat of his blade. The charge would not end until he'd reached the witch. The Gargoyle dropped down low in an attempt to preemptively mitigate or evade any attacks she had in mind. "As I recall..." He would then pirouette in an upward motion, the sword arcing in a slashing movement towards her chest wall before the momentum carried him around into a thrust aimed towards her abdomen. "...I made a promise to smite your frigid arse."
Will Sherman Will is caught in the elemental rage and power of the attack...he is almost blinded by the pure blackness errupting from the eye. He can't avoid this, it is too much, too sudden...he feels like he's almost floating...

But his fate is hard to alter, even this isn't enough. Will's eyes flare, his whole body glows again, as he punches forward, even as the elemental force batters his body, he steps forward...

And rushes her again.

His hand burning brilliant as he dives right for her, aiming to kick down..aiming to try and drive her into the dirt.

"NO!" he shouts, once more sending out the blue strand, aiming to freeze her in the seal of his fate, trying to batter down the eyes' fate, and the books control...

And then he rushes forward, his hand burning red to counter his blue seal. This time, it's focused only on her, aiming to drive through the seal aiming to shatter the bonds of the book...

He lands, aiming on the opposite side of her, hand outstretched with, hopefully, the book's threads...and tears then with a single motion.
Emi Dennou "There is nothing to apologize for. It was simply a matter of pride." Emi says. She feels bad for making Percival feel bad for lending a hand?! She already knew the guy was emotional, even--oh wait, he crushed a 14 year old's head in his claws.

Emi takes in a low breath. Not now, later. "Let's fall back." Emi says, unleashing another electrical wave as she makes her way towards Mercade and Avira--this one coalesces in shields to help keep out ZA DARKNESS on Percival, Navya and--

--Royce? MAybe she thinks it'll make her power harder to use or something.
Mercade Alexander Mercade staggers forward, dancing among the undead, ducking, and weaving. "YOINK!" He yells, moments before he reaches the others again. "COME ON!" He calls, and grabs for Avira again. "Let's get out of here, Avira! I'm not letting you go!" Mercade doesn't attack, waiting for an opportunity, but he hopes to use the shambling nature of the undead to get the hell out of there.
Soan Sagittarius Dragoon Man can sense the darkness welling into that witch, as he flips away from his strikes, spinning his spear defiantly in the face of the threat. His immobile face, eternal, grits behind the protection it's offered by it's helmet. The lights that serves for eyes brighten in the face of what comes ahead. Darkness. Not just mere darkness he felt, but necromancy most foul is beholding upon this woman.

Dragoon Man does the opposite that is expected out of any sensible human being. He stands up straight, slamming his spear into the ground, staring wide at the terrible things that washes over him. It hurts, the attack darkness blows into him, flaying his flesh and his magical energies, he can sense it. Lightning is added into the mixt, striking the metal, hammering his spear for a direct hit.


Dragoon Man lies standing in the wake of the onslaught, still straight, if an arm seemingly bending in one wrong way, his armor smoking. "Do you not realise what you are facing, Witch?" He intones, a soft light birthed from his chest, spreading through his body. The scorched apperance slowly fades away, his broken arm is mending itself, as the rest of his body slowly begins to regenerate. Dragoon Man's fate seems to be hard, as if he has protection from an higher level.

"You face warriors with a just cause! Your greed, or whatever your /vile/ masters wishes you to do will not succeed today! They will prevail against your dark magic to continue their purpose! I, Dragoon Man, Chosen of the Sacred Children of the First Skies, shall see to it!"

His glowing eyes narrows as his lights amplifies. "Be gone from my sight with your petty magic, witch, or face, through me, their wrath, Chaos Spawn!"
Avira "Listen to the Dragoon Man, Navya!" Avira calls over the howling whirlwind created by the gria, "Don't linger behind here! You'll-"

She stops to stare at that crazy witch woman that has come to harass them all for what Avira still thinks is on behalf of Hades. Since she has commans over the undead and Hades is the lord of the dead, it seems to fit. She stares into the abyss of Royce's eye...

In an instant, all of her guilt, shame, and despair comes flooding back. The bitter sting of failure and the disappointment of betrayal return as well. Doubts over whether or not she was actually forgiven by the TDA. Doubt of the strength of her heart.

Avira grabs her head and tears her gaze away. "No!" The world itself starts to rebel around all of them, calamity rising from the earth and descending from the heavens. Heartless are caught up in this catastrophe, but remain undeterred from their goal. Ironically, this wild magic further stalls the approaching wyvern armada.

She runs. Her wings lift, though the lightning makes her wonder if flying would be a terrible idea-but then she finds herself tethered.

Mercade is pulling her back down, dragging her along. "M..mercade.." The guilt returns.
Navya "I'm okay!" Navya says. "I can fly, I can swim, I can get away! I /got/ here, didn't I?"

This is true, but she probably cannot actually keep it up forever no matter how much she claims she can. Navya is starting to tire, and she's hurt more than she will admit. Sweat beads on her face as her wings slow and finally stop; she breathes hard, trying to catch her breath.

"You go!" she yells back at Avira. "Run! If you're - what he says, you're important! Go be a hero, go with the rest of them!"

Navya vanishes in the cloud of magic. She manages to hang onto the tree even as it shreds around her - even as the spells shred into /her/. She uses her hammer to cover her face, and the maul starts falling apart too, shards of metal flaking off the head and falling down in tiny glittering chips.

She is actually on the swamp's ground when it ends. Navya wheezes, barely upright, maul falling apart. But she straightens up. "A paravir - a real paravir - doesn't surrender! As long as I can fight, and protect the others - I'm happy! Hrr - aaaaugh!"

Navya charges... forward, not back. She makes a gesture at the wyverns, a come-get-it type of motion, but more of her direct approach is toward Royce. Navya raises the battered and broken maul, clearly intending to use it one last time; she rears back, winding up - and then applies a single huge, gigantic, /colossal/ blow directly against Royce, to prevent her from chasing the others.
Minerva Minerva is still caught in the fighting she's not even sure abotu the magic that Royce is throwing against her but it hut she's caught in the force of it. She's battered by elemental forces and just pumnbled she's still very munch off balance here as she tries to keep her focus on Rouyce abnd again she slams her fists togehter causing anotehr large shockwave that rips across the swamp towards Royce.
Mercade Alexander "I told you." Mercade says. He pauses, to look directly in those inhuman eyes. "I'm not letting you go. You're too important to me to let that happen."

A moment passes, and then he looks away. "We're going!" He pulls Avira along, getting to one of the boats and quickly rowing away as fast as possible.
Royce The collected horrors of mankind are gathered into a single spot and unleashed on the assembled heroes in battering waves of madness power. Misfortune rends the land asunder as thunder and lightning falls like spears in a constant deadly hail. The fury of the raging twister abates almost as suddenly as it appeared and the collected detrius is left to freefall back to the swamp adding more flying threats for them to watch out for.

The undead are all but scattered by this unfocused elemental frenzy. Most of the bodies lie motionless or pinned upon the jagged ruins of the uprooted trees and freshly shattered boulders. They pose no more threat to anyone. Their mistress, however, seems to be a great deal harder to kill.

Royce braces herself against the overwhelming surge of power flowing freely from the unmasked Eye, leaning heavily on her weapon for support as the angry voice of her parasitic symbiote vents his wordless rage direclty into her mind. The Eye wasn't meant to be used like this. It required careful control, magical wards, rituals to prepare for its release.

Emi's surge of magical power into her body is utterly inconsequential against the torrent of energy that rages freely. As Dragoon Man, hero of JUSTICE, laughs in the face of her darkness, Navya's massive hammer comes down to strike a telling blow against the nearly helpless girl. Alas, a little lack of teamwork foils this strike as the swamp explodes in a wave of muck and grime to carry the witch away and the maul does little but graze the armored surface of her legs as she vanishes in the mud.

Percival's stoic rush through the chaos finds him a clear path to enact his promise upon the necromancer and his blade carves deep gouges into her flesh that send fernfrond patterns of neon light spattering from each swing. The final thrust buries the weapon deeply into her gut and she once again musters unimaginable willpower, pushing herself free with a solid application of her foot to his chest.

The final blow to this staggering combo attack comes from Will. His hands erupt into unrecognizable energy, polar opposites of blue and red battering through the torrent of negative fate to strike out at the source. However, something happens that has likely never happened before. When he pulls on the cords that bind the girl and the book together, nothing happens.

Royce lets out another muffled cry of pain and rounds on Will her body dancing to the machinations of a force greater than both of them. The wicked talons of metal that cover her hands are more decorative than practical but blades are blades and she presses her fingers together into a knife-like shape, driving it at the young boy's back.

Flames erupt from her very touch, surging into the strike to immolate the target of her rage, the person who would dare attempt to pull the strings of fate as if they were his to manipulate. The arrogance! Another bolt of lightning falls from the sky, dropping directly down upon the pair as nature bends to the whims of an ancient evil.

"Fool! You dare?!"
Percival Staggered by her kick. The Gargoyle's eyes would glow an eerie white out of pure unadultered rage, as he advanced menacingly upon Royce. He saw that she had targetted just Will, and thought that he meant to kill him. He started by aiming a pommel strike of the sword at her solar plexus. "Perdition awaits you.." He would aim a shield slam uppercut at her chin. "..and I will meet you there soon." A two handed overhead strike fell, aimed at her neck.

And then he hesitated, stopping the blow short. He had been fully prepared to try and kill her. But he just couldn't do it.
Soan Sagittarius Dragoon Man's warnings were ignored. Still, she purses her dark magic, this time on another one that is part of this group, doing grievous damage. The hero's voice grows colder, as his head lowers itself, giving a determined look at the witch. The only thing to do now is avenge him, retribution for this foul act.

"You have chosen to ignore my warnings. So be it, then."

The Heartless are coming. This detail is not very important to Dragoon Man right this moment. He crouches down, dust and the earth itself around him growing still as he launches himself into the air, the sound of him piercing through it following after him a moment afterwards. At that speed he is going, he's already a bright light in the sky, plummeting back downward at Royce. A scream echoes through the air, a sound familiar as his previous entry.


It's another jumping attack, but there's something more to it: the same burning light completely surrounds him and he does not seem to directly aim at Royce, instead of his general direction. This... may not be a direct attack, or an attack that need to be precise.


Whenever Dragoon Man impacts directly Royce or not is irrevelent. The explosive damage of pure light, the shockwave caused by his impact are likely more than enough to uproot a few trees in close vincinity.
Will Sherman Will moves, but only turning around to see the claws dig into his side.

Will's eyes look mildly surprised by this...he was pretty sure the lines told him to move...

Oh right, bad luck. <GOOSEHONK> YOU PERCI.

This is compounded by then being set on fire, and then being THUNDAGAED. Will falls to his knees, loosing the focus and cohesion to keep the fae driven power focused...

Will starts bleeding, alot, as he finally hits the mud of the swamp.
Minerva Minerva is just too hurt at this point to keep fighting for the moment, she seems to be hanging back even as her allies start to move in on Royce she falls back in the muck a ways knowing she can't do very much to bring them down so she tries to focus on recoverging herself and preparing for another strike.
Navya Navya looks like she's about to fall over, to be honest. She is about two seconds from falling on her face.

Will does it first. Navya doesn't know Will, but she lurches over toward him, picking him up - with one hand no less - and simply picks him straight up. She slings him over her shoulder, trying not to aggravate his wounds any more than they already are.

She has already lost track of Avira, Mercade, and them. But she can make her own way out... once she's sure Royce isn't going to kill Soan. This may be why what remains of her broken maul gets thrown, hammer-style, directly at Royce.
Emi Dennou Umi is slower to retreat, but that's when she hearst he sound of Will being buried in mud and gore. She spins around and gasps out. "Will!!" She rushes over to him, intending to help pull him out of the swamp and onto her back, hoping to help extract him rather than just leave him in mud.

Because honestly, the guy doesn't take baths so he's gonna REALLY stink if he stays in there too long.
Emi Dennou Umi is slower to retreat, but that's when she hearst he sound of Will being buried in mud and gore. She spins around and gasps out. "Will!!" She rushes over to him, intending to help pull him out of the swamp and onto her back, hoping to help extract him rather than just leave him in mud.

Because honestly, the guy doesn't take baths so he's gonna REALLY stink if he stays in there too long.

Fortunately she's halfway there before Navya actually helps Will out herself. "I'll help you too!" She declares and tries to lift her and Will out but--

--she doesn't really have the upper body strength. "Shoot! We better just run!"

Royce The witch's unholy claws part the flesh of Will's body with incredible ease. Hot wet blood gushes from the wound to stain her terrible gauntlet as the fingers dig deeper and deeper into soft tissue and visceral organs until they are buried up to the final knuckle in his torso. The flames come next, surging directly into the empty cavity of his chest to scorch him from the inside out even as the lightning hammers into him from above, drawn to the fresh metal in his body like a beacon.

Royce wastes no time gloating or checking to make sure he is dead; that sort of assault would lay anyone low. Her new concern is the threat posed by those who remain. In particular one man has seen fit to make himself her primary focus: Dragoon Man.

The armored knight falls from the sky in an envelope of golden light and the girl's eyes narrow aggressively on the tip of his deadly spear as he plummets. She spins around to face the holy meteor and her fist balls up slowly and carefully, the barely contained aggression bubbling beneath the surface of her dark expression.

With a primal scream of defiance the girl's mailed fist swings upwards to meet the jutting tip of the holy explosion, dark magic erupting from her body to counter the divine energies. Both dragoon and witch vanish in a cataclysmic detonation that sends a shockwave surging out in all directions. Galeforce winds hammer those who remain behind to watch for several seconds as the magics clash and vie for supremacy, but in the end neither one can gain the upperhand and the two opposing forces eventually expend themselves.

When the light and smoke clears the both of them are still standing. For her part in that exchange, Royce now seems to be down an arm. The ragged stump of her shoulder spurts the crimson light that is her lifeblood but by sacrificing the arm she remains otherwise unscathed. The look on her face says she isn't particularly pleased with the exchange rate.

Twin chains erupt from her back, snaking out like living things to wave menacingly in the air for a few moments. However, instead of attacking, the chains shoot out under some supernatural force and sink into one of the nearby fallen zombies like whaling spears. The corpse is retracted in short order and Royce tears the right arm free of its torso with a wet pop. The not-so-fresh replacement limb is held up to the bloody socket and within moments begins to adhere itself in place, shifting and altering its shape to a more healthy looking white from the rotten green and grey it once was.

Navya's hammer comes sailing in at this point and crashes heavily into her back. Ribs crack and she staggers but almost immediately whirls and flicks her wrist, sending the massive weapon hurdling back in a telekinetic wave of force. "Flee while you can, fool, or shall add your corpse to my legion!"

Rounding on Dragoon Man once more, wherever he has gotten off to in the meanwhile, Royce gestures and begins to utter profane magical words. Fire erupts into her hands and she sends several wads of flame sailing into the dirt at his feet, saturating the area with explosions meant to end his nuisance for good.
Percival "GOD<GOOSEHONK> YOU!" He aimed a kick right at her chest, and then would pull his arm back to literally aim a slap with it across her face. And then he wouldn't follow up yet again. He was already afraid that any given strike might kill her at this point, so he was pulling all of his punches.

It disturbed him, she may have killed some of his friends. She may have killed many more. Surely /she/ deserved death. And yet he just couldn't bring himself to finish the job.
Navya Navya's hammer hits Navya - and the head breaks off from the haft. Navya doesn't see where either half went because she just got hit in the head. (Fortunately, it glanced off her horn first. She's dazed, not unconcious.)

Shaking her head and clearing it when Umi tries to pick her up, Navya lets out a little groan. "We can't just - let him get beaten! HEY!" Navya yells at Dragoon Man. "JUMP AWAY! I can't help anymore...!"

Carrying Will, because she wants to make absolutely sure he doesn't die if she can manage it, and tugging Umi along with her, Navya half-runs, half-staggers away from Royce and the battlefield.
Minerva Minerva is not done yet, she's totally not done yet as she's managed to recover enough and she sees what happens to Will she lets out a cry of rage and her poer sueges up it flares out sending the swamp water and such everywhere away from her it keeps flaring out.


Minerva then unlahes as much power as she can muster into her hand and then unleashes it all forcused at Royce. She's not a happy lady, not a happy lady at all.
Will Sherman Will would thank Navya.

Were he not bleeding, have enough third degree burns to kill someone, and also not completely filled of electrity.

Will's not going to be thanking anyone anytime soon...but he SOMEHOW is alive...

Emi can feel the faint bio energy still there...his heart still beats, and he is breathing, shallow, but it is there.
Soan Sagittarius Dragoon Man face the gruesome display that the necromancer do to save herself from his wrath. He, himself, is not completly unscathed from it all, this was a rather tiring thing to do. Still, slowly, he stands, rear of his spear into the ground as he stares defiantly at Royce as she comes upon him with all the unholy fury that she is capable off.

There are often where Soan thought he would die in middle of battles like this. It's a fact he's accepted over the years he's done as Dragoon Man. It's not something that bothers him. Death is a thing that happen in the pursuit of eradicating Chaos.

Still, he stands and suffers her heretical magics, making him stagger not one feet, but make him wince, grit. He hopes these people are running away. He can finish this.

Fates has it that he didn't need to lift a finger, instead getting the ire of the witch on him so that the strange gargoyle creature could unleash his fury upon her. Dragoon Man, burning from the profane magic flames, give a long stare down at Royce as Percival plows into her. He raises his spear, walking foward to follow up on Percival's motions, to deal a killing blow.

The shrieks from above of the incoming wyverns, however, stops him, as he looks up at the growing shadows. He wont have time to purify the place, he muses, gritting his teeth. Damnit!

"Percival, was it?" Dragoon Man says, eyeing the Gargoyle. "It's time for us to go. Let us leave this sad soul behind as an example to the others. Come! Go!"

Then, without a word, Dragoon Man leaps up, quickly reaching the skies. He's not seen again immediatedly.
Percival The Gargoyle would stand in the way of Minerva's attack, raising his shield to intercept the strike "No. We are better than that. Even if she is not."
Royce The rage that pours force from Royce is not her own. Her mind is caged, pushed aside by the overwhelming presence that surges through every inch of her body, bending her flesh to its will without even the slightest effort. Why could she not fight back? She had no interest in staying here any longer; her goal of investigating the source of the dark magic for study was a failure and the only thing to be gained by pushing her body beyond its already impressive limits was death.

Silently she rattles the bars of the cage within her own mind, forced to be little more than a passenger in her body. The demonic fires that rain upon Dragoon Man are fierce but the effort of the battle thus far has nearly exhausted the magic flowing through the mortal vessel. Even as great as the power behind the puppeteer is, it cannot draw from an empty well and that realization only makes it angrier.

The unholy fury is cut short, however, by the timely intervention of the muscle-bound gargoyle. Though he has chosen to spare her life, unwitting to the true threat the lurks beneath the surface of her pretty face, her continued resistance brings forth a surge of his own anger.

The massive foot crashes into her chest with incredible force, sending the slender woman's body doubling over as all air escapes from her lungs. The back of his palm smashes into her cheek and sends Royce crumpling to the ground in a heap. For several seconds she coughs up blood and magical sparks, gasping for the breath to spit curses up at them all but the presence in her mind begins to fade and the witch regains some measure of control; just enough to rip open a portal in the dirt below her.

Sinking into the bubbling shadows like quicksand, Royce drops out of sight and the vortex winks shut just as swiftly, cutting off all hope of chasing her down or finishing her off. The day was won but both sides leave this field of battle with blood spilled.
Percival The Gargoyle would nod in a sort of vague acquiescence to DRAGOON MAN. He would have liked to ask his name. But all inquiries into his secret identity were evaded as the man launched himself into the sky. Doubtless he was already on his way to right more wrongs.

He would watch Royce sink into the darkness with a sort of quiet acquiescence. He'd accepted already that the consequences of his actions might be her escape. Those that she would later kill or defile would just be something else to weigh upon his conscience.

He'd gave Minerva a stoic look, as he didn't know how she'd react to his intervention. "Do you need help departing from this wretched place?"
Minerva Minerva is phurt prety badly and she looks at at Percival there's nothing to do abotu the witch she'll have to hunt her later she's still not sure what to think but if anything. Prehaps Percy has saved another from acting out in a rage like he does so something good may have come of it. It's time to go Avira is gone, Will needs help and the witch has fled. She won't forget them though.

"Aye....I do."
Percival "Wrap your arms around my neck." While he was wounded, none of his wounds were actually serious. He often used to tell others that there must be a higher, because how else would fate have a sense of humor? That he came out of this relatively unscathed seemed proof ot that.

Once she does. He would climb a nearby tree, and once he stood high enough on a branch, he would pull her off his back and into his arms to begin gliding, just above the treeline. Most of the heartless left them alone at this point, with Avira gone, but he still didn't want to push his luck. He'd drop her off once they reached the outer edge of New Orleans' city limits, before parting ways.
Minerva Minerva does so as she moves to wrap her quams about it as she wraps he arms about Percy and hangs on she'll just hang on and think it's been a long day. At least Avira's alive right that counts for something. She needs to get somewhere clean up and sleep.

This scene contained 92 poses. The players who were present were: Will Sherman, Mercade Alexander, Avira, Minerva, Navya, Emi Dennou, Percival, Royce, Soan Sagittarius