The Curse & the Dreamer IIMarduath lightly lands outside the cage. Interesting...
"You're not an adventurer," says the monster rising up next to Marduath, in a black cape and white scarf, placing a top hat on its dome. "To whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?"
Names have power, replies Marduath, not even acknowledging where the monster stood. You do, however, have a fine fix on something that belongs to me and my love.
"Something or someone?" the monster quips.
Very astute. Give her to me.
"What if I told you that there's a good reason that she's here? What if I told you that my mistress is running this charade in the back of her sleeping little mind to get rid of her competition? You can appreciate that; this is a fight over a lover."
Is it, now? Marduath turns to regard this monster. Name?
"Unlike you, I love hearing other people say it. It's Midoru, the Rune of Curse."
Marduath eyes the monster, then turns back to face the cage. ...If that is the last shard of Iawen, and she remains trapped AND wishes to not be trapped...I will step in.
"Oh really? As who?"
"As the God of Magic, and I will shatter the containing elements!" Marduath says with a shout that shook many birds from their trees. "Is that a good enough name for you, Midoru?!" He snarls, turning into a visage of a fearsome monster himself. Midoru took one step back, holding its cane out defensively, as Marduath seems in his face to be considering something. "...I would like to let the heroes have a go first, for amusement. I do not want to let Iawen know I can do this; hence how the shards know nothing about my presence here. It will be kept that way, do I make myself clear?"
"Yessir, very clear," repeats Midoru.
Marduath growls again, shrinking back down into the form of a spirit, then solidifies and becomes smaller, this time looking like a female human child about ten years old. I hope that fills you in. You are also to allow access for the Xaos shard to me, should she wish it.
"But, my mistress--"
Marduath glares at Midoru, who swallows, and then disappears. The young child then kneels by the cage, peering through with spiritual eyes, and sighed. If only she'd ask for my help...
"Before we do anything... I need to know something," Faelinn growls. "What did PhoenixRose do exactly. And more importantly, when did she do this? Before the Black and White and conveniently forgot to mention this? Or afterwards and is throwing her second chance in our faces?"
The Luna shard shakes her head twice. "It was before your masquerade ball, much before. She laid in a cot, with the Sheshawnii elf wishing to speak to her about Valas... she also knew that the rest of us, well, minus her," she looks to Siap (Diskordian shard), who has only managed to make Amergin's hair a bright strawberry-red, and is now poking at his Coventry favor.
"The rest of us were on our way," Luna continues. "We had had enough of the nonsense, and so after writing some entries in the Ivory Library, we handed off the work and made our best way towards Achoria."
"We got side-tracked, however," adds Tymora. "And by the time we were able to re-coup from that adventure, our respective Ladies let us know that the Xaos shard was beyond our reach, and Valas himself was quite dead with grief, apparently having committed suicide when Phoenix Rose attempted to force him to love her instead."
polite way of putting it, yes," Luna sarcastically hisses.
Sir A shifts her weight, looking at the ground again. "No one left behind," she says quietly. "Even if the others left... I'd do everything I could to dream myself here. Keep trying. Even though Eris says I can't, I shouldn't... I can't fathom giving up. Xaos didn't give up looking for us, and I was practically the hardest to obtain, what with being locked in Hell for being caught on a mission. And she didn't care what people thought, she just did it as quietly as possible, as to not drag more people into the search."
Luna shakes her head again, this time chuckling. "See, and that's where I disagree. If Gryf and the others weren't up to the task, she should have made it more public, searched and banged a pot and pan and kept yelling until she was noticed. But yeah, yeah, I see where you're going with this," she waves a hand dismissively at Sir A, who is glaring at her.
"In the end, PhoenixRose had more than enough power to use her Words to banish Xaos to a dream-scape of her own making. Granted, she had help at the time; a monster she commanded to make her wishes and desires come true. The elf herself doesn't have the confidence and power now to maintain this, and yet here it is, and here we are," Luna finishes up, looking at Faelinn. "Iawen had already used her... what is it... 'Knight'? call, to save a larger group of people far off. As amusing as it would be to argue we should all get a call, we don't, and thus she couldn't fend off Phoenix Rose, though she tried, in the slightest."
The forest is quiet, save the sounds of song-birds.
Tymora speaks up after a time. "So... have you four made a decision?"
"She did... I can't even..." Magnus's face tightens with suppressed anger and hands bristle, glow faintly blue. Anyone close by feels a crackle in the air. "Sir A, can you please lead, I will follow behind. We are moving. We are getting Iawen out. And then I am having words with Phoenix-Rose...possibly with a sword."
Lily is sitting, but appears serious and barks.
Four giant red-wood trees, each in a corner. About twelve feet or so high is a Hedge made of blooming red and black roses and black thorns that are choking out the space that's hard to see through(just not for Marduath). Interspersed are bones of birds and black, long bird feathers. Attached to the trees are a few 'climbing knobs' and two ledges (North-West and South-East Trees). Being on the balcony is about fifteen feet in the air, but one can see down into the Hedge.
Xaos Iawen is in shreds of linen cloth, and is tied up to each tree (so splayed out in four directions). There are many birds in here, all carrion-types. And in the middle of that is PhoenixRose, who is dressed in a slinky black dress, with black arm cuffs and a black necklace made of feathers, but her eyes are shadowy balls of red. She has a bone belt on her hip, which has a sharp quill pen, a dagger with black fletching, and a black leather cat-o-nine tails' whip with thorns and bone embedded in the tips.
...And Marduath watches and listens as Phoenix Rose goes on a Typical Monologue Rant about how Iawen should 'give up by now' and sink into the arms of her goddess forever, leaving 'her and Valas alone'. When this generates no response other than hard breathing and quiet whimpering, Phoenix Rose tends to either whip Iawen, or make little slits across her skin on her legs. That usually generates screams or shouts or cries, but when the gray elf still doesn't 'give up', Phoenix Rose begins to use lines that Iawen has heard and has them be repeated by the birds. Marduath recognizes Phoenix's voice, Laurante's, Valas's, perhaps Morradin (or was it Magnus, they sound so alike), and others. Each are things that have been said to Iawen at one point or another, he surmises, but the bad lines are remembered word for word, and the good ones twisted somehow. My kind of thinking for my enemies, which she is not. He glanced behind him, looking around the dream-scape. Those adventurers are certainly taking their sweet time...typical.
Marduath disappears and reappears, popping up to the level where the torture is going on. As the little girl, he smiles at Iawen in a comforting way and waits, feet dangling. This will be over soon, gray one, he speaks, glaring up at the one causing all of it. While Phoenix Rose doesn't look pleased, she doesn't look upset either. This is more that 'this is what must be' or 'what is', and the time for her to halt her interference has not come. He gazes down at the gray elf again. I've got a sick sense of timing, but I understand that some creatures fade in and some fade out... But Marduath is unsure if this is Iawen's time to fade out. Phoenix Rose is unable to see Marduath...for now.
If the 'heroes' take awhile, I will become visible as the girl; but will ignore Phoenix Rose. I'll do it just to make her squirm and maybe have an exchange of dialogue... though much beyond 'Stop', I don't really care what this blustering would-be dominatrix has to say. Come on, Iawen, Marduath scolded. You really are tougher than this bitch. After all, you are my play-thing that this stupid mortal is playing with. I don't share well.
Amergin politely moves Siap's hands away from him with a look. "I will deal with Phee. My responsibility since I was there. Both of you calm down, this isn't the place for those emotions." He looks at Faelinn. "Remember what she is scared of." Faelinn nods briskly, but doesn't say anything else to him. "Let's get this done," Faelinn growls at Sir A. "Lead the way."
As requested, Sir A leads the four of you on. Luna shard sticks by Faelinn, Tymora is content taking rear guard, and Siap tends to bounce back and forth between changing Amergin's hair odd colors (no plaid yet) and attempting to poke Quinn. The dogs hang with their respective masters, and the going is less dangerous than one might think... or dream.
Along the way, one, then more of you note that the song-birds are fading back, and the calls of rougher stuff are filling the air. Faelinn notes a long, black feather; its nib or 'quill' embedded tightly into the trunk of a fallen redwood. Luna bristles at this as the path ahead seems to be littered with these feathers.
Siap, however, hangs back at this point. "I know y'all will have fun without me, but I haven't any desire to be blown awake. I wonder if one could be sucked awake, though? Do dreams even suck? How does--"
And Amergin and Tymora push the group ahead to leave Diskordia to her own rambling.
The group presses on, and then Quinn notes a simple rose, withered, in the middle of the path. And yet as drooped over as it is, the stem barely stands, and the thorns are still a bit prickly (but brittle). And then a voice is heard in the trees, sharing the noise of the cawing: "To be completely honest, my feelings for him haven't changed, and they won't...but you're not about honesty, are you? ARE YOU?!"
The dogs fold their ears back a bit, growling as a loud whip-CRACK is heard ringing through the forest, and a strangled cry follows shortly after it.
"I want to know how you feel about him now! Still think he's worth this?" whip-CRACK And another cry is carried through, followed by much cawing of birds back and forth to each.
"Good luck, for I can travel no further. I'll keep an eye on the time for you. May Fortune smile upon your endeavor." And with that, the Shard of Tymora halts behind the group, in the middle of the path, and focuses on her hourglass. Any dialogue struck up with her doesn't generate a response, and the remaining Shards lead on.
The voice occasionally crosses over through the noise, sounding more and more like a female, but low and warbled, as though listening through a thick pane of glass. Soon, four giant red-wood trees come into view. About twelve feet or so high is a hedge around the four trees, made of blooming red and black roses and black thorns that are choking out the space (its hard to see through). Interspersed are bones of birds and black, long bird feathers.
Attached to the trees are a few 'climbing knobs' and two ledges (North-West and South-East Trees). Being on the balcony is about fifteen feet in the air, but one can see down into the Hedge if they were to try.
And here, the voice is much louder.
"If I had a chance from him for his acceptance, love and happiness, I would gladly take it. A family...that's trickier, Sir Iawen, isn't it? You can't have a family, can you? You can't give him what he wants, what he asks for." The voice is being kept steady as the only response the four hear is a slight sob or two, then nothing. "He is a good man, don't you think, Sir Iawen? I would be honored and pleased if he could return my feelings for him. But he can't do that. I wonder why? Do you know why?!" whip-CRACK
From around the corner a small little ball is bounced, and a little girl goes after it, picking it up and then plunking down, playing jacks. If she can hear anything going on, she seems to have no reaction to it.
"I respected you and him both, and that's why I wanted to discuss it with you. So, again I ask: what about you? What do you feel for him? Give me your feelings, that I might make them my own and thus he'll love me!"
The little girl turns her head up, as if listening all of a sudden. And the birds that were making all that racket are silenced in one moment between breaths.
"What are you doing to that nice lady?"
There is hard breathing on the other side of the Hedge, as though someone were stopped in the middle of... a monologue.
"What are you doing to that nice lady?" the young, innocent child-like voice asks again.
"She's no lady," comes the venomous response of the voice from the other side, and for those who have heard her speak, it sounds a lot like Phoenix Rose.
Sir A grits her teeth, and the Luna shard pulls her own ears back. "Any ideas?" she whispers to the group.
The child turns, saying in a soft voice to seemingly no one, "You have company." In a more louder, flat tone, the girl says, "That is not an answer to my question. I'll ask again, but not a fourth time. What are you doing to that nice lady?"
Magnus moves cautiously towards the Hedge, as Amergin calls out to Phoenix Rose, armor and light beginning to surround the knight. Both dogs are with their respective owners. Both start to go around in separate directions, but keep the ladies and Quinn in eye-shot. Then, Magnus goes for the first shot.
Magnus's attempts to get to the center are thwarted by cutting thorns and brittle bones, and many cawing of crows, and it seems to also be tearing right through the armor itself as though it were a lot harder and stronger than any rose-hedge one might cross in the Realms or in Faerie.
Magic Missile-ling the Hedge provides spectacular blasts and slight singe marks, but no holes to climb through whatsoever, and the Hedge itself seems to knit quickly.
Faelinn transforms into a wolf: large, silver, and snarling. Amergin nor Luna are able to keep her back as she springs at the Hedge itself, jaws snapping as the ebony up-turned crescent moon manifests on the forehead. With a bright scarlet flash and the smell of singed fur, Faelinn is thrown back a few feet, bouncing once on her side. Before anyone can check to see if she is injured, she leaps to her feet and charges head-long into the Hedge once more, and once more being tossed back. This repeats another time, with Luna calling for Faelinn to stop!
...and she does, shaking herself as she skids to a stop, growling. Luna, however, having alerted the area that she had returned, gets banished once more from the area as bird feathers blow by in a 'storm wind' upon the party, and she is gone from view with a curse upon the ones who made it possible.
Sir A and the little girl both grit their teeth but hold their ground.
As mentioned, there are climbing footholds on the trees with ledges. The whipping has stopped, but the air/sky here is darkening considerably.
"I'm doing what I was asked to do, what I was created for. Once she gives up, then she will go, and then I will go. What. Are. You, weird dream-ling?" asks the warbling, low, and twisted voice of Phoenix Rose Dawncry Nosetti.
The wind continues to whip around the little girl, but she appears unimpressed. She giggles slightly, as if amused. She then looks down into the Hedge and says, "It's a little breezy up here! It would appear you will not answer my questions. That is quite rude, you know."
Attached to the trees are a few 'climbing knobs' and two ledges (North West and South East Trees). Being on the balcony is about fifteen feet in the air, but one can see down into the Hedge. Amergin advances first, calling out to the inside of the Hedge. Climbing higher into the tree, he allows the light to gather and bloom, T'pulli sitting on her haunches and waiting patiently, alert. "Never give up, Iawen. The light does not turn away!" he calls out as her climbs.
As Amergin calls out to Iawen, the little girl turns to look at him. The look is slightly unnerving as she doesn't blink. As she turns, Amergin can finally see the full red orb. Sitting on the surface is an image of Iawen's face. Was it staring down at him? Observing him?
Sir A steps (slightly protectively) in front of Quinn, removing the long sword and watching with a tense expression as Faelinn scrabbles up the other tree, snarling as her claws create heavy marks and splinters. Magnus, seeing the weave of things, follows Amergin's lead and attempts to climb up. All three (Amergin & Magnus on one, Faelinn on the opposite one) make it to the ledges/balconies, and see below into the Hedge.
Xaos Iawen (a gray elf) is in shreds of linen cloth, heavy damage sustained to her legs and back and shoulder blades. Tied up to each tree (so splayed out in four directions) are her limbs, marked raw around the wrists and ankles by rope aggravation. There are many birds in here, all carrion-types. And in the middle of that is Phoenix Rose, who is dressed in a slinky black dress of crushed velvet, with black arm cuffs and a bone necklace made of feathers. The tattoos are a bright red, as are her eyes, a startling contrast to the actual Phi's black. She has a bone belt on her hip, which has a sharp quill pen, a dagger with black fletching, and a black leather cat-o-nine tails' whip with thorns and bone embedded in the tips.
Faelinn snarls even louder, leaping out and into the Hedge, determined to rip the whip out of the woman's arm (and maybe her arm in the process). Phoenix Rose, however, darts as quick as a bird to one side, and Faelinn barely misses Iawen, snapping the rope line on the right arm. It drops limply down, the fingers dangling a few scant inches from the ground, the upper right side slanted in exhaustion and pain.
The little girl blinks. Then she looks from Amergin to Phoenix-Rose, to Iawen's body and back to Phoenix-Rose. The little girl turns her attention back to Phoenix-Rose and the balloon remains staring at Amergin with... a pleading look on its face?
Magnus, seeing his chance, tosses down a Magic Missile and draws Rhymer's Oath directly after. Phoenix Rose screeches as the whip is dropped, magical energy singing her hand. Nursing it quickly, she snaps her free hand: a spectre of Sir Chan appears (overlaid on one of the carrion birds), sneering at the gray elf and begins to berate her in Common. He goes a Typical Monologue Rant, the one that Marduath had heard before: Iawen should give up by now and sink into the arms of her goddess forever, leaving Phoenix Rose and Valas alone. When this generates no response other than labored breathing, Chan adds that she's nothing more than a thief, a liar, a construct, Not Real. Even Paradise didn't want her, Chimeron didn't want her, her family abandoned her for being a terrible burden. And he drops a word: 'aberes'.
"MORE!" orders Phoenix Rose, and more bird voices join "Chan's": Faelinn, Valas, Phoenix Rose, Morradin, Nero, Nimbus, Gryf, Rorin, Harlest, Yipp, Cecil, Rel, and many others. Each are things that have been said to Iawen at one point or another, but the bad lines are remembered word for word, and the good ones twisted somehow. Accusations of being Black Star Guild, challenges to her knighthood and honor, flippant remarks about her chastity; comments on her mental health; taunts about being timid, arguments about true potential, ranting about her uselessness, shouts of being secretive and shady, outright refusals to even raise Iawen from the dead are spaced over the cacophony of cawing birds.
Faelinn folds her ears back, growling, as Magnus climbs down as quickly as possible, ignoring the pain as the thorns and bones slit his wrists, shins, and so forth. With Rhymer's Oath gripped in a scratched gauntlet, he hacks at the ropes holding her legs out and up, and the body crashes and twists as the left arm hangs the rest of the upper body up. Magnus catches Iawen as he slashes at the last rope, while Faelinn begins snapping her jaws around the imagery hell by birds. The voices begin to desist as there are squawks and squalls and screeches of pain and gurgling blood as Faelinn crushes their throats with her smiling jaws.
Phoenix Rose rises into the air herself on wings of bone and feather, and speaks to the group in the warbling voice: "Who are you that would disturb this rightful prison? Speak up, creatures! For you tread on ground that belongs not to you, that has been shaped for an audience of One."
Sir A looks to Quinn. "You're here... and yet you do not move, or even really speak. What don't you do something?!"
Quinn, who is staring straight ahead into the Hedge with brow furrowed, casts a side-long glance back at Sir A. "I am," he whispers back.
Magnus looks up at this twisted form of Phoenix Rose. "We are the ones who stand with Iawen on the path. We are the ones here to stop you. We are the light and your death come to visit. We are Iawen's family and friends; those who care and come for her in the dark places when she needs us."
Faelinn responds in a ethereal voice that wavers with a hint of madness on the end, causing Amergin's own anger (and warning signs to trigger). "I am that which is made of fear!" she snarls, wolf noises colliding with the Common. The dire wolf form of Faelinn leaps into the air, snagging a part of the dress in her jaws and pulling violently down, ripping off a good chunk of fabric on the first pass. Landing she spits it out, a gleam in her eyes as she readies for another leap.
Phoenix Rose rises up further, screeching at the birds, "Keep it up! Don't let her escape! Wake these others through pain!"
The birds in the Hedge move out and begin re-producing the voices again, but Faelinn is focused on Phoenix Rose with murder on her mind. Amergin looks at the balloon as if realizing something, and nods. In a hurry, he scrambles down and yells aloud: "No more! You are false! All of your voices, you are not these people!"
The knight keeps away all the birds he can from Iawen and Magnus, slashing this one and that one as they speak (although he is only startled briefly once by a Magnus bird, and another time by a bird shaped like Faelinn. He's able to cut 'himself' down with little to no effort).
The men look at Phoenix Rose upon her words as she speaks, growling herself at the group. "Elements and Balance, you people don't understand it, DO you?! I've a task to carry out! It's true, I can't stop how I feel for him. Love is precious to us. It could be centuries, or longer, if another ever caught my heart. Yes, we do share, because of how rare love is...we can't help whom we fall in love with. But SHE DOESN'T SHARE, and it's not fair to keep another from happiness! Even now...neither of us can change how we feel... so the desire here is to make her give up on her desire! If I cannot coerce him, I can certainly take her out of the picture! Look at her!" she crows, pointing down at the gray elf. "She is naught but a shard of whom she used to be, and refuses to embrace her true self! And thus, her love isn't real, much like this Shard. She cannot even love with a whole heart, so broken is she. I am whole! I am real! I love Valas Baneshot, and it is my RIGHT to see his happiness fulfilled!"
"This is not a rightful anything! I know who and what you are!" shouts Amergin. "You breathe false words through these beings," he gestures with a free hand, "and you say we disturb this place? I will not allow you to keep her anymore. She is needed by the Light."
He pauses slightly as Faelinn makes another attempt on wrenching off the ankles of the flying creature and succeeds in only landing in the Hedge, a small yelp and a larger growl as the thorns tear at her fur and she pulls herself out. "I understand unrequited love. We all do here. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SHOW IT!" Amergin's face darkens. "You have a second chance here and now. You do not get another."
"And you should be running; for we finish what we start and woe be those who get in our way and harm our friends," add Magnus, his gauntlet charging up with magical energy as he readies another volley.
"And you still haven't told me who you are!" she snaps, flying up a few more feet to get out of potential range of Faelinn's leaps. "Nameless people who invade a private dream of someone they don't even know, they just think they know. How can a dream love anything? How can a construct hope to ever love? Isn't that what you said? Feh, can't even stand up for herself!" she snaps at Iawen, and then from her height sees Sir A and Quinn... and glares.
"Shit," mumbles Sir A, holding the great sword up. "Quinn, duck!"
Quinn, having heard that story before, complies, curling into a ball on his feet.
Phoenix Rose sends down at the duo a flurry of razor sharp bones, feathers, and black and red roses, as Sir A turns wrapping herself as best she can around Quinn.
When Quinn stands up once more, Sir A is gone, and he is grazed in some places pretty badly, and his garb shredded a little. A little surprised (and worried), Quinn stage-whispers to those in the Hedge, "I'm alright, but Sir A is gone!"
With that, from his free hand; Magnus sends a flurry of Magic Missiles toward Phoenix-Rose (who only manages to dodge the first two, and gets singed by three) and looks to Amergin. "It's time to go. I don't believe that is the true Phoenix-Rose--"
"It would seem you are out of time to answer my questions. The end is soon for you."
Amergin and Magnus pause (while Faelinn stalks and leaps and snarls) as they hear the flat, emotionless voice of the little girl, who is speaking directly to the twisted elf. Somehow, this 'little girl' defies gravity by just walking into the air and perching on a long branch high up, leaning down on her elbows. The look in her eyes is pitiless, and Amergin gives an involuntary shudder.
"Annnnd I don't want to find out what the creepy kid is," finishes Magnus. "I've had enough of dream lords & demons for a life time." The red orb, Faelinn notes in her madness (and Quinn from the other side) has slowly disappeared from view, perhaps from Magnus cutting down Iawen. The farmer-turned-Defender very carefully puts Iawen's arms around his shoulders; holds them together. Gently ties his belt around both of them (belt over belt) and moves to climb out and over the hedge. He leans in and whispers to Iawen, "I told you I would be there for you. Friends keep their promises. Besides, I think Lily might miss your company. Now let's get you out of here."
The twisted elf named Phoenix Rose; her voice turns heavy and she has to clear her throat several times. "Never has anyone told me that they trust me, value me. Not even my own family. He does...and he cares for you. YOU! Possibly loves you, even if he won't tell me..." she begins to cry hysterically, sounding like a young bird's cry. "I won't stop trying, until the day he asks me to. Even then...I won't stop! He's mine, Valas is! And no trollop of a crazy construction is going to take him away from me!" She calls out to Faelinn, black tears pouring over her cheeks, and says, "YOU of all people should understand how I feel! You lost out on love to her supposed MOTHER! She is nothing more than a breaker of hearts, and a thief and a liar, and a broken Dream that should never have been. Her name, her REAL NAME, we all know, is Aberes! It means Burden! And that's what she is! STOP adding burdens to our lives and let's do the right thing! Cut the cord of life!" She removes the quill and sends it spiraling in the blink of an eye right above Magnus's head into the tree, causing a giant crack and splinters to rain down in all directions.
"Everyone has secrets. Everyone has burdens, things they don't know how to handle. Sounds like a strong goddess to me that we can send her to, being able to take the world's worries and woes." The Sheshawnii elf's lip curled upwards. "And if we send her to Xaos, convince her to give up, you still have the other four, and I may have Valas, and everyone wins. Everyone! Besides," she adds, her voice rising again, "At most gatherings, you HEAR the words said about her! 'She's crazy, she's broken, she needs to be fixed' and the like. I am FIXING one part. You have fixed the others. Take your prizes and go, before I use the Runes on you, too."
Iawen tries to form a short sentence, and a small cough is soon follows by silence, tears no longer hitting the ground.
Amergin stops and listens briefly. "Curse..." he says aloud. The knight looks in Quinn's general direction on the other side of the Hedge, pondering for a moment.
Magnus, however, is unsure how to react to the whisper. The farmer says to Iawen, "You are not a burden to those who choose to accept you. You must remember that the difference between a burden and a gift is a matter of perspective. To one who does not want it, a gift is a burden. I would not say that you are our burden, you are our gift; and we accept you."
A knowing look dawns on Amergin's face as Magnus speaks, and the knight looks up at Phoenix Rose, attempting to keep her attention.
"You ask who I am? I am the light in the darkness, I am that which forever holds hope in it's heart. I am he who represents the second chances we are all given, and how taking that opportunity helps to mold us." He raises his voice. "Amergin is my name, Knight of the Crown. You are a twisted corrupt version of a young girl who is in love! Do you not understand? Harming the loved one of whom you claim to love so dearly only causes pain?! We have come here to bring her back, ALL of her back. You ask how a dream can love anything?!--"
"Shut up shut up SHUT UP!" she screeches, pointing an elongated finger at him. "You don't understand the depth of my pain! We can only love once, and it's practically impossible TWICE. I have nothing left! I have no home, no family, nothing! And she has everything! She has a knighthood, land, people like you who throw their weight around that she can hide behind! Look at her! She's not even standing up for herself!"
Amergin's eyes begin to whiten and glow as his anger grows. "I understand the price that has been enacted on you by the rune of Curse. Turn away from the darkness that is consuming you: the choice is yours."
"You idiot! This isn't a choice! I have been created by her, and carry on all that she asks and feels and desires!" the voice goes from a screech to a low, echoing warble. "But I see now that all you are is talk. You're trying to distract me. Elements and Balance will silence you for good! PARGON ISA ARETAK!" and she hurls magic like a transparent wave, the area in front of her rippling as it heads straight for Amergin in half a second and connects. While all around him brace for a bad impact, instead Amergin puts a hand to his throat, shocked to find that he no longer has a voice: Phoenix Rose has Muted him.
Faelinn stalks underneath Phoenix Rose as Amergin talks, looking for the right moment to leap; yet upon seeing this, she recognizes what Amergin was doing, and picks up where he left off in her own way...
"Oh shit!" whispers Quinn as he hears the Runes being cast. "Well, what's good for the goose..." As Faelinn yells at Phoenix Rose, Quinn immediately clears a small space with one sweep of his leg: bones and feathers and petals are shuffled off the ground. He takes a hold of his Apprentice wand, and grabs another one that looks ridiculously sharp from his sling bag. "You would be here, wouldn't you," he whispers to himself, glaring up at Phoenix Rose, then back at this wand once more, and breathes deeply.
Quinn whispers, "My heart is light, my soul is calm...VIMIKU," and he pulls his arms back and stretches a bit, the shirt tearing at he produces a pair of blue and yellow wings from his back. Lithe and translucent, they flap in the breeze.
"Alright, down to brass tacks..." he kneels on the ground. "My mind is a fortress, my soul is protected, my body is capable. Simalcrum, I need you. Answer the call of one who could use an extra pair of hands. By the Wellspring, show thyself to me!" he commands huskily, attempting to not be noticed by Phoenix Rose.
Quinn looks over his shoulder and sees a perfectly-made stunt double directly behind him. "It worked!" they both whisper happily and then go to high-five... stopping just short and shaking their heads.
"You ready?" asks Quinn.
"Hell yeah," replies the Simalcrum, mimicking his voice exactly. "I've been listening to this mindless drivel since the Dreamscape was created by Her. Something's got to give."
"Excellent. I need you to distract her, get her to turn around while I stab her from behind with this." Quinn holds up the sharp wand.
"Can do, boss," replies the Simalcrum, and he makes his way to the North-West tree as Quinn races for the South-East. Quinn pauses for a second, and then comments half to himself, "I don't know why I feel 'dirty' saying this, but gods I hope get this right, for the both of us." He turns his face away, staring at the ground once more. "...this is probably going to hurt like a bitch... SILENCIO PARGON MATSU BENWILO SANTEK!" he whispers, determination on his face.
"Impudent whelp! You don't know what love is, you only think you do. Love is sharing life and laughter. Love is kindness and warmth. Love is standing together at the edge of darkness knowing you are doing the right thing even if you should die together. Love is acknowledging the greatest gift all life has: free will. The freedom to choose to love, the freedom to be able to love. And above all else..."
Faelinn's growls cease. "...the ability to let them go.
"When you put your love's well being above your own petty wants... when you refuse to be his Queen because the Light has need of you in the mortal world. When you are willing to choose for them, so they don't have to choose duty over their own love... That, child, is real love."
The wolf's tail lowers for a moment, as Faelinn is lost in a reverie. One look back at her apprentice on Magnus's back, however, and she snarls, in attack mode once more. "You taste only the bitter ashes of hatred! You don't know love. I will love him until the end of my life and beyond! Such love is lost on you because you are blind to everything except your own wants!"
Amergin gestures quickly and Faelinn follows suit, using him as a springboard and leaps up to try and snag the twisted being above her. Phoenix Rose, however, is ready for this and dodges once more, this time Faelinn ending up on the ledge once more as 'Quinn' climbs over the edge. "Oh, hey there! Need help with tall, thin, and ugly?" he asks the dire wolf.
"Lies! All lies!" The warbled voice commands more birds to enter the Hedge, and Amergin hastily begins chopping them clean through before they can get their lines off. "This creature here, this 'elf' has been nothing but a liar to each of you. To Faelinn: she's only using you as a Magus to become one herself, she thinks you're insane, intolerable, a negative influence on those females around you. She only became an Apprentice to you to shut you up!" The upper lip curls into a smile, thinking she has hit a sore mark as she turns to face Quinn. "And you! She tricked you into become a puppet on the path of Wayland because of her own true hatred for Faerie, not to mention sealed your fate in the coming months in the other World. You're going to die if you let her escape!"
"I'm going to die anyway," 'Quinn' pipes up flippantly as she glares down at Amergin. "You! That very elf you fought for, she finds you to be tiresome and a teller of half-truth stories; how very damaging for someone who calls themselves a knight! She doesn't trust you as far as she can throw you, and with arms like that she can't throw very far. And as for you--"
"As for you, you bitch," snarls Magnus, snapping his head upwards to glare back at her, "you have become a burden. YOU have lost your way and are harming people! Valas is a friend. He cares for people. Your actions drive you further from him. It is not love you have. YOU HAVE LOSS! You are loss, the absence of love. You are jealousy and rage and malice. I mark you as you are, as you are truly visible to be. I declare you to be JEALOUSY AND EMPTINESS!"
Meanwhile, as this goes on, from the South-East a creature, covered in head to toe in a bright, also sea/metallic blue and a very visible gold silently bounces once onto the ledge, and then places a foot on the railing. It nods to the group below, and has two wands, one in each gloved hand, at the ready. Magnus, noting this, continues. "You cannot exist here any longer, for love is truly in this place, in each of us. And we all know that when jealousy and emptiness is confronted by LOVE, it cannot stand. Know yourself as you are revealed to us. You are the darkness, but we stand for the light. WE are the points of light which will not run from the darkness and which will drive it back."
Magnus pauses, focusing his energy, knowledge and experience in the Dreaming. "And as the Dreaming regulates its own; become that which you are. Nothing but a harmful fleeting nightmare from which we choose to wake up and forget."
As the creature steadies itself to leap (as does Faelinn from the other side), 'Quinn' points at her and says evenly and (for once) loudly, "My wrath is not made of swords or bonds, it is made of fury and darkness. I sunder and dis-join that which holds you together, and bring that which you have wrought to nothing. My vengeance is swift and terrible, my revenge, cold. MATSU ISA ARETAK!"
Faelinn launches herself one final time at the creature, who now in terror brings her hands to her own throat as she is silenced (but how?!). One giant chomp from the dire wolf guarantees that she'll be silent forever, but as Faelinn tries to pull (using gravity) straight down, the creature's throat bubbles and froths and she spits up anger and nightmare and hatred upon the fur. And she's still in the air, as Phoenix Rose slams one elongated set of fingers deeper into Faelinn's upper flank, causing the wolf to yelp.
And that's all the distraction the covered creature needed as it makes an impossible leap from the ledge onto Phoenix Rose's back, and drives the spike of the wand home, deep into her neck and out the other side of the hole Faelinn so violently created.
The trio tumble into a heap as the Hedge begins to break apart, many birds flying off in all different directions, squawking and cawing as Faelinn mauls the body viciously, the cloth-covered creature pulling back with a black-covered sludge on its glove and the spiked wand. Strangely enough, the sludge seems to be sliding up rather than down, disappearing into the wand.
The world begins to quake and break, and the two dogs are yipping like crazy, as 'Quinn' calls down, "Hey, if any of you motherfuckers know how to wake yourselves, NOW'S THE FUCKING TIME!!!" And the ledge under him breaks, tossing him over and drops down to the ground in a bone-crunching heap, then the body dissipates like so much fog and mist.
And all the while, the little girl is unmoved by anything, but just seems to be giggling, an 'I told you so' expression on her face.
It's the last thing anyone remembers are the four trees shatter and splinter and fall down on the group.
November 8th, 1010 M.R.
They woke up, severe headaches, starving, possibly dehydrated (not dangerously so if they had someone taking care of them ahead of time). The time was a half past nine bells in the evening. - Aven
Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 10-28-12 04:22 PM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 10-28-12 10:20 PM