Anima - Into the Shadows

The Lines that Burn Us

The trip back to Solomon, following the defeat of Manhater Woe was thankfully uneventful. As it is wont to do, the news of our success traveled even faster than we could. Upon our arrival in Solomon, we were thanked by many for what we had done. Of course Jericho drew many shocked glances as he paraded around Solomon, disguised as Manhater Woe.

Upon arrival at my estates, it was discovered that several people had left messages for us and that Quinn had even sent a package prior to his untimely demise. However, it was quickly decided that all that would wait for a few days while we recovered from our trials. So, after several days of rest, recuperation, and mourning for Soren, we decided it was time to tackle the investigation into Quinn’s death. Unfortunately, Raphael’s wounds were strangely resistant to any and all healing attempts and was therefore forced to remain behind at the estates.

It seems that Quinn’s majordomo Kwal, Jace, and Senator Tyreese had all left messages for us. The senator wished to meet with us at the senate building or at his residence, so we decided to meet him at his residence later that evening. Jace wanted us know that he had the information we had requested him to research prior to leaving. Kwal’s message was the most disturbing. It seems the Senate has suspended the investigation into Quinn’s death, believing it a random attack of hooligans. Kwal did manage to have the alley where it happened placed in a stasis field, so that we could look at where it happened upon our return.

Armed with the information from those messages, we went off to meet Senator Tyreese. As a long-time senator, he had lots of insight into the relations between Quinn and Marcus. It seems that not too long ago their differences had come to a head in the main senate hall where after a long disagreement, Quinn punched Marcus in the noes, resulting in Quinn being barred from the senate building for a time. Their disagreement was focused on what to do about the upstart Abel.

Quinn felt he should be ignored and the senate’s time and energy focused on the betterment of the people of Solomon. Marcus felt that Abel needed to be eradicated and the borders of Solomon expanded. Tyreese told us that he couldn’t risk being seen as involved in the investigation, but that he would help us if he could.

After talking to the senator, we went off to meet Quinn’s majordomo and get the items Quinn had sent to us. We were given all the information Quinn was able to collect on the skykeep that would become Project Ascension, as well as the remote to a Leviathan that had supposedly been damaged in offshore drills. We were of course to return it after we were done using it, and the recovery of a lost Leviathan would certainly only serve to increase our fame.

At that point, we decided it was time to head to the alley where Quinn had been killed. We knew that after bringing down the stasis field, we would have less than 10 minutes before the scene deteriorated to the point where we would not be able to find anything helpful.

2 of Quinn’s loyal guards, Zachery and Asuma, were standing guard over the stasis field when we arrived. After we explained who we were, they gave us the information they had. Quinn’s 5 guards had not been heard from since the murder. They were equipped with transponders, but something was interfering with the signal. At our request, they brought down the stasis field.

There are some things that you wish you could unsee. This is one of those things. The alley was carpeted with the remains of Quinn. I could sense his nanites, quickly fading strewn through the entire alley. We quickly determined that whatever had done this had also removed all the bones and cartilage from Quinn’s body. Deep gashes in the wall seem to have been caused by a large bone-bladed scythe. Burn marks in other places look like Quinn and possibly others fought back, likely with weapons similar to the Zeonic Rifle I use.

Our ODD was able to detect a quickly fading disruption from another subdimension, the Infernal Realms. We were able to determine that what had done this was likely a Bonecollector, one of the beast-like demons from those realms. The knowledge on how to summon one of those is restricted and would require special access in the library, which should leave a trail for us to track. I was also able to determine that there was a senate override blocking the guard’s nanites from transmitting.

Both of those major clues required some research at the library, so we went off to see Jace. Upon our arrival, he handed me a summary of what the nanites in my body would be able to do and after listening to our questions, gave us the generally available information on the Infernal Realms. After looking and not finding much useful information, we asked if he could give us a list of people who had recently accessed the restricted information. The lines of nanites in his body started to glow, as they always do, as he accessed the records. Then suddenly, they burst into a bright white and he let loose a bloodcurdling scream. His body locked in place, the nanite lines continued to glow brighter and brighter as his hair and clothes burst into flame. Instinctualy, I reached out and shoved him off of the access point. A wave of pain washed over me and as I slipped into unconsciousness, my eyes fell to my arm, now just a burned stump where my left hand should have been.

Woe is me...

Once again the men have proven why they need a woman in the group. Raphael attempts to break down the door by hitting it, which fails miserably only to then realize that the gate can be lifted. We enter the Citadel of Wrath to find Woe standing on a platform across the courtyard. We have arrived too late it seems. The ground shakes and starts to crack as the Magma Lord erupts from the ground. And so the fight begins…
Soren and Taro went straight at the Scientist. The two of them combined overcame the Scientist and took him down relatively quickly. With the Scientist down Taro went after Woe with Raphael, Vito, and Jericho. Where Soren jumped straight into the magma pit and started to fight the Magma Lord in hand to magma combat. The molten magma didn’t seem to affect Soren at all. At the same time somehow Raphael stabbed himself and seemed to do damage to the Magma Lord. I flung fire mines at Woe trying to knock him off balance to let Taro and the others land solid strikes against Woes incredible defenses. When finally out of the shadows Akeem came running past me heading straight at Woe. He was spectacular! I don’t think I have ever seen anyone fight as fervently and as well controlled as Akeem was! Even now I can close my eyes and I can see him jumping effortlessly across the 20 foot gap to enter hand to hand combat with Woe. And then, flowing from one marvelous stance to another intercepting numerous blows aimed at my allies and inflicting grievous harm to Woe. This is what Akeem told me happened as I, Tsura, was unconscious and bleeding from the head.

To face your inner child

We made it to the generator room, ready for the horrors within. This brightly lit room far outshone anything in the castle of brass, 6 generators filled the room, 3 on each side and at the very end of the room the last aspect of woe. Draped in cloaks like all the rest, this one acting as a conductor for the generators. Luckily due to the bright light he had not noticed us yet, so we split up hiding behind the generators , it was Vito and I to the left and Soren and Stura to the right. Soren crept up on the right closing in on the aspect, while Vito took to the left lining up a shot, and as Vito pulled the trigger Soren realized it was just a kid.

The shot let off a loud ring as Soren screamed for him to stop, to late the bullet seemed to connect, then the kid spoke,
“hey that could of hurt.”
the shot had just barely missed.
Something was different about this aspect though, he didn’t want to fight, or attack us he just wanted to be free to be a kid. After talking with him and apologizing to him about the miss fire, he decided to help us shut down the generators. With the help of Tsura putting together the key, and the rest of us setting up the connections we finally where able to shut down the generators and one by one as they shut of the kid slowly faded into oblivion. Now our mission is nearly complete and there’s only one more stop.

Look out Woe we’re coming for you!

Puppets, Arms, and Aspects... Creepiness abounds

Just when I thought this place couldn’t get any creepier, we decided to head back to the Crone.

Tetsuro lead the way, which unfortunately happened to be the wrong way. We came to a place where the bodies were piled so high it literally blocked our way. Raphael strode forward, confident as always, and began attempting to hack his way through the pile to open the route for us. Alas, the pile proved to be too much of a challenge, even for our giant friend. As he finally got a path through the bodies, I set out in the lead toward the Crone.

And promptly walked into a trap. Luckily I managed to avoid the wall dropping from the ceiling, but poor Tsura was not so lucky. With a sickening splorch, the wall dropped on her arm. The arm, from the elbow down was now useless to her.

Needless to say, after all the distractions, it took us 12 hours to get back to the Crone and her creations. As we arrived there, an eerily-thin marionette opened the door and gestured for us to enter. While we were gone, it seems the Crone had fashioned herself a new marionette, who bore a striking resemblance to Raphael. See what I mean about creepy?

If that wasn’t creepy enough, the Crone presented Taro with a bowl of the homonocli blood, from which he drew a bloody mask. It seems the mask will allow the wearer to strike at the true aspect of Woe. You won’t catch me wearing it…

After resting for a few hours, we went off to find the Summoning Room. As we left, we noticed that the Crone had started another marionette. This marionette was starting to bear a striking resemblance to Taro. I’m starting to think she’s obsessed with our group…

We stumbled across another Zeonic flow. Jericho and Tsura moved up to the flow and tenatively reached out to attempt to absorb some of it’s power. With a painful jolt, Tsura withdrew her damaged arm only to find it fully functional, albeit it covered in green scales with claws.

Upon arriving outside the Summoning Room, a pair of magma elementals barred the way. Jericho strode forward and with a brief word, the elementals opened the door. After entering the Summoning Room, we saw a crowd of acolytes chants some unknown ritual. Floating at the front of the room, the Aspect of Woe With a gesture and a word, Tsura decimates the crowd with a series of well placed fire mines.

With a gesture, the Aspect directs a flow of lightning through Tsura’s body. Taro, Raphael, and Jericho’s Blood Rose attack the Aspect. As the remainder of the acolytes turned toward our group, a cry arose from the hallway. A band of villagers poured into the room and swarmed over the acolytes. Quickly, the Blood Rose ends the fight with a slice of his blood sword. A pair of tarnished wings dropped to the floor.

Retrieving them, we discovered the wings would allow whomever was holding them to fly. Hopefully we can find a use for that to help us with Woe as well.

As the villagers finished off the acolytes, we were able to talk to the leader and discover that they were all members of a group called the resistance. Other villagers had been taken to the Transformation Room and the resistance would like us to go with them to try to save the others.

We agree and off to the Transformation Room we go. Yet another Aspect of Woe was there to greet us. This one was quite batty. A half-machine, half-man he seemed willing to make a deal with us to avoid being killed. However, the price he asked was just too high. As we approached him, he erected a force barrier. Taro attempted to channel his Ki into an attack, but it just sparked off of the barrier. Raphael started destroying apparatuses to help convince him to work with us, however the negotiations went nowhere and he soon disappeared into a portal.

Have I mentioned this place is creepy?

Keep Your Friends Close...
...But Not Too Close.

With the imp scared away, the doors opened before us into the Crone’s chambers. Raphael entered the room, wary of a trap or ambush being laid for them. Greeting them as they entered the room was a wooden marionette, clacking as it moved and ushered them into the room, reminding Raphael of the mummers at penny fairs.

“Why have you come here?” a creaking voice spoke. The question echoed throughout the small chamber, and more and more of the unnerving puppets could be seen in the shadows. Short ones, akin to dwarfs, dusted the floors and gathered in the shadows, peering out at the Council with their beady eyes. Other ones, larger, moved behind them, blocking the door off.

Another pair, of average height with nondescript faces, clattered out with trays carrying some drinks. While most of the drinks spilled to the floor, a few made it. “Drink, should you wish,” the voice said. A weathered and wrinkled lady, with stringy, gray hair, sat at the far end of the chamber. Raphael and Jericho took a cup each, and choked down the vile brew that passed for coffee. “Choked” is an apt word, for it was more grinds than liquid. “It has been ages since we’ve served guests…I hope the refreshments are still passable…”

“They have aged well,” Raphael commented.

“We seek information on Manhater Woe,” Jericho said.

“Ah, my student…a quick learner, but where he has ended up…alas…it is a perverted place.” Peering at Jericho, wearing the face of a gargoyle, she turned more uneasy, saying, “And you appear to be one of his own puppets…you smell of his servants.” Two large, sumo-like puppets bounded from the shadows, each flanking the Crone. Retractable blades sprouted from their wrists.

Soren intervened before violence could break out, for once seeking to avoid a conflict. “What do you desire in exchange for any information?” The Crone pondered for a moment, then spoke sharply. “Blood. I desire blood, but not just any.” She looked at Taro with distaste as he appeared to be ready to make a sacrifice. “Certainly not yours. Slay the homonculi in the library, and bring me their blood. Ideally before Woe summons the great Magma Lord.”

“Do you have any aid you could grant us?” Soren asked. “Perhaps a puppet guide?” Raphael contributed. The Crone thrust her arm forward, and monofilament strands latched into each of Soren’s joints. The Crone cut them strands, and attached a small mechanical spider to them, who nestled itself comfortably into Soren’s chest. With the spider leading the way, the group set out to the library of vile darkness that resided in the Citadel of Brass.

Following Tetsuro’s nose, despite its conflicting nature with the spider’s directions, the group came to a large catwalk in a gold smelting/refining area of the Citadel. As Raphael’s large frame stepped onto the walk, it began to creak, and eventually collapsed, spilling several of the Council to the ground far below. Tsura, utilizing her strange magicks, and Raphael, focused inward, managed to avoid the costly spill.

Trusting in his new spider companion, Soren guided them towards the library, but their errant travels earlier had placed them on the wrong side of a xeon conduit, which separated them from the library. The humming energy could rip flesh from bones or souls from their mortal anchors if one were to enter it unprotected.

“So can’t you just, I don’t know, funnel it away, using your body as a conduit?” Raphael theorized. Raphael knew nothing of the flow of xeon, but he wasn’t too keen on trying to use ki to shield himself from the soul-ripping river of creation before him. Unfortunately, Soren had no such compunction, and placed his “tentacle” arm into the flow. With an otherworldly scream, Soren fell to the ground as his eyes and mouth glowed and the xeon madly rushed into him…but the flow stopped momentarily. Rushing across, with Raphael carrying Soren, they made it safely across the xeon river before it started again. At that moment, Soren awoke, and his chaos tendril unleashed the absorbed energy in a focused blast on Creation itself, with no immediately discernible results.

Before them stood the doors to the library, which certainly held terrifying secrets and keys to Woe’s power if the could be found. Shrouded librarians stood within the room, seemingly sharing faces and appearances, but taking no note of the new visitors. Jericho quickly found a book that caught his interest as the others took up positions around the room, and then found another. Upon taking the second book, the homonculi librarians hissed, revealing their pale, marble-like skin, and assaulted the otherwise scholarly guests.

Tork, the minion of Jericho, quickly slayed one, and it fell to the ground, bloodless. Tsura blasted another with a lance of heat. The battle commenced quickly, and the Council seemed to be faring well in the combat — but for all the casualties they inflicted, there was no blood.

Soren tackled one, and beat it mercilessly with his flailing tentacle arm, and it had gained a new feature: a layer of frost, reinforcing its blows with icy brutality.

“Begone, creatures! Go back to whence you came!” Jericho shouted, beginning a banishment. “Your master no longer desires your service…” The homonculi paused for a moment, unsure of what the strange gargoyle meant. Then, through ill-intent or ill-incantation, a legion of homonculi appeared to reinforce their comrades. Operating in assault groups of ten each, these new reinforcements were bigger, faster, and stronger than their previous ilk. They moved with ruthless efficiency.

Soren’s arm latched onto the nearest villain, and its head exploded in a bloody puff of crystalline spikes. He fought valiantly, but fell beneath the weight of the attacks. Seeing him go down, the rest of the Council fought viciously, and Tsura incinerated dozens of the creatures at a time before falling to one. Raphael did his best to keep his companions capable and fighting, and Tsura eventually managed to incinerate another several dozen of them.

Taro and Tetsuro managed to hold the western flank of the council, beheading and ravaging the homonculi faster than they could shamble up the aisles of books. Drenched in blood, they fought until no man was left standing.

Towards the end of the battle, as strength and spirit waned, hope returned to the group. Like a macabre phoenix, Soren rose from the midst of his killers in a crimson spray of vengeance. His swords whipped through the air, inflicting red ruin on those who stood before him. When the conflict ended, he was whole, and his left arm had been reforged. Blood dripped from his clothing and hair, and this is a day he would remember for eternity. This was the day he returned to have his vengeance.

Split Personality

Split Personality

We exit the Titan in the courtyard of Castle Brass. (More like it shat us out, but we won’t go into the details of our journey) We quickly spot the missing villagers. They are shackled and working at different jobs around the castle. (I must say that they do keep it well maintained) We move to one of the out buildings, the forge, and strike up a conversation with the master smith, Jorum. He tells us what he knows of Castle Brass and its enigmatic leader Man-Hater Woe. It seems the great sorcerer Woe has split his/her/it persona into different aspects to better control the castle. We will have to defeat different aspects individually to accomplish our mission of death and destruction. We determine that before we confront Woe we must first go to the dungeon and free a monk named Akim. There we can also disable the binding device keeping everyone prisoner. Next we will go visit the Crone’s Tower, only because Tork the Grendel wants to go. Then it is off to the Ritual Room, the Arcane Generators, and then the Cathedral of Wrath. (Sounds like a lovely place) All in all an easy morning of work.

The Dungeons of Dread. We make our way into the dark following Soren’s lead. We come upon a wall of green flames. Raphael uses his unnatural strength and stamina to push through the flames, ignoring the burns and turns off the barrier. Next we find a magical trap. Unfortunately Tsura cannot dispel it and in a fit of pique, crosses the trap. Somehow she survives and we move on. Finally we reach the dungeon and the Jailer, one of Woe’s personas. Soren does what he does best and sneaks behind the Jailer to stab him in the back, quite dishonorable. A great fight breaks out. (When do we not get into a fight?) Finally Raphael cuts the things head off. It turns to dust and deposits a blue disc onto the floor. It is a soul fragment. (They tell me it’s important) We free Akim and he agrees to join us in our fight against Woe. (who better to fight Woe than someone that he has already defeated) Tsura disables the machine, freeing the prisoner’s topside and we depart. Upstairs all is in chaos (again what’s new?) with the prisoners fighting for their freedom. This makes it easy for us to sneak into another part of the castle.

The Crone’s Tower. (It’s colder than a witches…) We follow Tetsuro into the tower to find the Crone. (Bad idea if you ask me) We find a balsa wood portcullis that Raphael easily moves for us, a maze which is way too easy to navigate, and a locked door. We encounter a small Efreet that Raphael kicks out of the tower window. Up the stairs until we find a locked door at the top. Raphael knocks, receives a nasty surprise and a puppet opens the door. We can see more puppets inside. (Did I not tell you this was a bad idea!) Hopefully Tork gets what he wants. ( A new master maybe??)

Fate Hates me

Have I ever told you fate has never been my friend. I have traveled this world to and from and not once has anything gone right. These new companions of mine are definitely the most unique ones I’ve had met yet, and for a time I thought to myself everything is looking up. Yeah I had a senator of Solomon as a friend, talk about all the perks you get. But like always though something goes wrong and instead of enjoying his estate and the other benefits, we were all but forced to side with Quinn and after a political debate in which we completely humiliated Marcus were task to lead a strike force to take care of Man-Hater Woe.

With A sky skiff at our control and a legion behind us we led the charge directly to Man-Hater. We soon reached the edge of the No mans land. Odd patches of grass grew up in areas, confirming the stories of patrols dieing here. We landed the sky skiff to see if we could find who or what’s been killing them. To our dismay 5 Gargoyles descended upon us catching most of us off guard. They dove at us firing down as they landed. They then came at us with scythe’s in hand, swinging with power that could cleave limbs, we blocked and parried their blows and returned with devastating attacks of our own. Wounding 1 of them, killing one, and I managed to Banish another. After they saw my power they turned to come after me yelling “kill the summoner”.

Fate how I hate thee, that my gifts I use that you gave me only attract more enemies than friends.

Luckily the Gargoyle who came after me met my life long “friend” Tork. Tork my Grendel was there parry his blow, laughing at the pathetic Gargoyle that tried to harm him. We soon countered their attacks with flurries of our own. Vito was raining down support fire, as Tsura actual burned one to a crisp. Tork and Taro managed to hack the other one down, leaving only one left but not for long as Soren broke him apart. Finally the long battle was won.

I prepared myself for what Fate had in store for me next, so I carefully skinned off a gargoyles face and used it to disguise myself as one of them, if we were found by the enemy I was planning on not being captured.

We moved by foot leaving the sky skiff behind, activating a tracking beacon so the legion could find it. We advanced in till we saw a village off in the distance. We all hid behind a hill then decided to send Soren to scout ahead, he seemed to be doing and amazing job, though we found out the town was completely abandoned. We also found out that they did not willingly leave their homes. Several marks signified that they were carried off by the gargoyles. Then it hit me, no summoner could possibly have this many summons, he had to have a gargoyle king which meant he was way out of our league. I also noted that if things go to wrong maybe he’s in need of an apprentice, though then again fates never been that kind to me. We soon discovered a hole in town 10 feet deep with a sealed magma fount in it, with closer examination we determined that to mess with it meant death and that we had in till the full moon to end his plan or whatever he had planned to summon would come to his command. Above where Taro was keeping watch a giant earth Titan confronted him, surprising him, Taro swung with all his might at the titan but could not even scratch him. From in the hole down below we heard this commotion, and Soren rushed up to help him or would have if he didn’t use only one side of the rope ladder. so we waited till we could climb out as well to see the titan before us. He had informed us he was sent to see who had been tampering with the seal, and that his was master Man-Hater Woe.

Fate tried to deal me a blow but this time I was ready, I laughed at fate for I had planned that something like this would happen.

With my cunning and looking like a gargoyle I tricked the Titan into believing that I had captured all of them but needed assistance in bringing them back. So believing me he gave us a ride towards his master. Stopping for the night to rest and eat and in the morning we would leave to the Castle of Brass. That night we formed the plan of “Trojan Titan” With this plan we would gain access to the inner of castle brass and with that slay Man-Hater Woe.

That morning we left and later in the afternoon we arrived on the inside of the castle of brass. It’s a lot bigger than I thought, and once more where in the castle is Man-Hater Woe?

Hey fate can I borrow a map?

On the Alphas - Volume 7, Chapter 5: Solomon and the Journey Home

From the Journals of Soren Morseth of the Council of Gaia

I hate this place. Just wanted to say it and write it down. I HATE THIS PLACE. Nothing seems right. It’s all too… shiny. Whatever…

We ended up researching the Temple of Mesegius in “Senator” Vitto’s library. Suffice to say it was productive.

After finding all we could of the Temple, I, Raphael, and Jericho accompanied Vitto to meetings with a Senator Marcus and a Senator Quinn in another part of Vitto’s residence. Marcus didn’t even try to hide his disdain for Vitto, but that didn’t mean he didn’t want something from us. He wanted us to investigate the Sky-keeps under construction to the south. In return he offered half the land Solomon wanted to acquire. It was quickly negotiated that if we did this for Senator Marcus he would aid Vitto in additionally acquiring the area that will eventually become the Iron Pit. The meeting ended before Vitto gave him an answer.

The meeting with Senator Quinn went quite different. He told us he emphatically did not want us involved with Senator Marcus. He did though have a number of tasks he was hoping we could accomplish; either stopping a being known as “Manhater Woe” to the south-east, smoothing over strained relations with the New Continent, or stopping a man named Abel and his army to the north. While this was occurring one of the assistants to Quinn spoke to Raphael and convinced him of the need to not go after Abel. She also mentioned something about the CDD he has and the interesting facts that the specific type that was given to him has not been invented yet and that CDD’s are only passed to those who have taken it upon themselves to protect creation. Quinn then offered to double whatever Senator Marcus was offering. We told him, much like with Senator Marcus, that we had to discuss the proposal before giving him an answer, which signaled the end of the meeting.

Taro and Tsura decided not to accompany the rest of us. Taro mentioned something about finding the lone cherry blossom in the city and I don’t know what Tsura was doing, but apparently she found herself in a magic shop of sorts. She mentioned that everything seemed too “new”, whatever. She ended up purchasing something called the Amulet of Moonlight. They were on their way back when they were ambushed by Baal, a creature Taro encountered during the war. Vitto was alerted to the disturbance and soon after we joined the fray. Baal said that Woe ordered our deaths… fantastic. During the melee Baal’s demonic form became visible. To say it wasn’t pretty would be an understatement. Before we could appropriately dispose of our foe, Baal was whisked away by his master in some conflagration of magicks. For any normal person it would’ve been quite the eventful day… sometimes I wish we were normal.

So… after much debate and discourse we’ve chosen to go along with Senator Quinn. I’m alright with it; it’ll give us a chance to find out who this Manhater character is and why he wants us dead. There’s also that little matter with a certain island off the coast of the New Continent…

And the walls came tumbling down...

Anyone who tells you time travel is like taking a boat or an airship is lying through their teeth. But there I go again getting ahead of myself…

After Taro assembled the rods, we were violently ripped backward through time, although we didn’t exactly know that’s what was happening at the time. Most of us seemed to fare just fine, other than Soren and myself. I almost blacked out, but that was far better than the surprise that awaited Soren at the end of our trip.

As the universe seemed to stabilize around us, we all dropped onto the top of a tower. Soren, the unlucky one that he is, didn’t land on his feet and promptly fell off the side of the tower. Whether by luck or due to that rather disgusting arm of his, he managed to not fall the 3000 meters to the ground.

After rejoining the rest of us on the top of the tower, Soren turned things from bad to worse. He opened his mouth. To Omega. Needless to say, Omega didn’t seem thrilled with his tone and proceeded to strike him with lightning. Which of course struck those around him. Why can’t he keep his bad luck to himself?

Before the unnaturally dark cloud through which we could see Omega disappeared, he told us that we were his agents in this time and he would be using us to destroy the world. Ok, so maybe Soren was a bit justified in mouthing off. That Omega guy has one heck of an ego…

With Omega gone, we turned to the task of trying to figure out where we were. Things looked familiar, but not quite right. And then that thing in my head started talking to me again. Something about welcoming me to Solomon and asking if I would like an escort. Oh, and it mentioned that this was the year 3374.

As we were talking and trying to figure out what was going on, Taro assumed the lotus position and attempted to reach out to Seline. Almost immediately he started writing on the ground screaming something about nightmares. Seems we can’t buy a break these days. Those days? Back then? However you want to refer to the now that was so long ago.

Is it stating the obvious to say that something strange was going on? Yeah, I thought so. But still, something strange WAS going on. As we tried to figure out what was going on, another Dajinni came running up the stairs to the tower. Jericho, he called himself. He comfirmed the date at 3374 and our location as the kingdom of Solomon. Maybe this thing in my head isn’t broken after all. I’m not sure if that’s good or not…

At this point, I decided an escort to somewhere was probably better than just standing around on the top of whatever this was. So I asked for an escort. Almost immediately, a large sword shaped object, flying over what was identified to us by Jericho as the city of Solomon, turned and started moving toward us. As we waited for it’s arrival, I sat down and had a conversation with my head.

And yes, I’m convinced that I am as crazy as that makes me sound. It seems this thing in my head is a grouping of nanites that identifies me as an Esteemed Senator of Solomon. There’s 30 others and mine identifies me as holding a long vacant seat in the ruling body of Solomon. Each set of nanites can be replicated once to be passed on to the chosen heir. It seems that whatever was in the dust below Ascension that I disturbed contained these Nanites that a previous me created and placed there. Or is that a future me? This time travel stuff makes my brain hurt…

The sword-ship arrived and I was greeted by the commander of the ship. We were offered a transport to my manor, which we took, for lack of a better option. We invited Jericho to join us, someone who knows something about this time and place was a very welcome addition.

After arriving at my manor, we were greeted by a servant construct and shown to quarters to clean up and change. New wardrobes and armor were fitted for each of us. At my request for a crossbow, the construct offered me several other items as alternatives. I finally settled on what it described as a Zeonic Rifle.

We then sat down to eat and discuss our next move. The consensus was that some research was in order. Jericho suggested we visit the Hall of Knowledge, as that would be the most likely place to get some questions answered. As we finished eating, a construct delivered invitations from two senators, Marcus and Quinn, asking to meet with me today. Making arrangements to meet them later tonight, we left for the Hall.

Upon arriving at the Hall, we were greeted by the Arch Librarian Jace. Yes, the same Jace. Just younger and less tattooed. I’m not quite certain how he ends up being everywhere we travel to, but it bears watching. We asked for information on any Duk’sarist projects, as Ascension was one of those, and any information on Omega. He returned with that information, plus extra information for each of us that we hadn’t asked for. A complete primer on the Path of Light greeted me, a complete primer on the Path of Fire for Tsura, rare summoning information for Jericho, a Treatise on Nightmares for Taro, and a history of Mesigius for Soren.

As we worked through the information given to us, we were able to determine that the project mostly likely to become Ascension is about 6-8 months from completion. It is being built in the mountains along the southern coast of the continent. Very little information on Omega himself was given to us, but we were able to uncover information on the 15 types of dancers, all named after insects for some reason. It also seems that Omega was originally at war with Ciel and Giara. That war almost destroyed everything, so Ciel and Giara have sworn not to interfere personally in matters pertaining to creation and instead work through the Beryls and Shajads.

We also learned some of Ydrassil, the one place in creation that it is rumored that reality itself can be affected. Rumor also has it that if someone were to attempt to affect reality at Ydrassil, something called the Prime Powers would interfere.

Why is it that wherever we go, things always get incredibly complicated? Ah well, time to save reality again. In the past. So would that mean we were going to save it first and last time was again?

Arch-Traitor Vito, signing off…

File 10985.23
Project Resurrection

<< login successful
<< Project Resurrection
<< file 10985.23

<< begin recording…..

<< We make our way down the tunnel carved into the earth.

<< error
<< file interrupt

<< Chapel transports in.

<< I hate it when they do that. They treat me like a slave sometimes. No one checked to see if the procedure is within program parameters. No one cares if the “construct” minds being a conduit. One day they will regret treating us like mere robots. One day they will get theirs.

<< continue recording

<< It takes us 6.1 hours to descend into the Pit. The biologicals need to stop and take a break every hour. Inferior design. At the end of the tunnel is a brick wall. Just as I am ready to blast an entry point and assault the stronghold, Ichiro punches a hole in the wall. Victor and Madu swiftly and silently enter the cell we have breached. Initial scans confirm it is unoccupied. We make our way into the central part of the stronghold. It is dominated by a spire made out of Void Ice. At the top, the Alpha known as Raphael is suspended, crucified is the correct term. We quickly find three of the other Alphas; Taro, Tsura, and Vito. Taro has a beast with him that he can barely control. It should be euthanized for mission success. They are in terrible condition and agree to wait in the tunnel until we can escort them to safety. Taro is given the Malboseum Rods for future implementation. Scans reveal that Alpha Soren is being held at the top of the Spire, near Alpha Raphael. The group begins the ascent, it is 600 feet up. Again we move slowly. We stop on the 12th level. Through an entryway, guarded by two Cicada class Dimensional Disruptions we can see the dangling feet of Alpha Raphael. We engage the Dimensional Disruptions. The fight is quick and one sided, the biological Obsidian Butterfly’s are finally learning proper tactics and teamwork. Chapel ignites one and Victor kills the other with a flurry of blows. During the exchange 30 biological minions charge down the stairs at us. Lacking proper tactical training they charge headlong into our concentrated fire. Aeval frees Alpha Raphael and he joins into the melee. He seems to relish the breaking of their bones. We continue upwards to find Mr. Black and Matthew Gaul. At the top a storm is raging with thunder and lightning. Just as we enter Matthew Gaul leaves to engage the Masked Council on the roof of the Spire. Mr. Black is standing in the middle of a pentagram shaped arcane device surrounded by more minions equidistant from the shape’s center. Tied to a table is Soren, the last of the Alphas. They are using his internal fluids to power the arcane device. We make quick work of the minions. Victor summons Ferrox, his Dragonsworn pet dragon. Mr. Black moves about trying to engage us. When he ventures near to me I strike him, releasing Nikolai’s soul into its proper place. The Demon inhabiting his body is forced out. We swarm it with fire, blade and claw and overcome it, forcing it out of this existence. The storm is destroying the top of the spire. Suddenly we see a Skykeep approaching. Ferrox greets it with a gout of fire and many Azure Alliance soldiers die. We race down the Spire and reach the tunnel just as Taro connects the rods… white light… I am being tugged forward?

<< system overload

<< begin emergency shutdown

<< help…..


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