The Multiverse » Arcs » Awakening The Impervious Door

An assortment of adventurers, for various reasons, arrived at The Impervious Door - only to learn that The Impervious Door won't easily be opened.

153 pieces and 34 characters involved, written by 14 different authors.

4 places involved




As written by: LawOfTheLand, lil_kreen, lostamongtrees, Scorpion01, Davien, barney_fife, Butterfly Effect, Yvandír, Sepokku, ClockworkTowers, Abraxas_Axis, LookingAtPerks, NeverEndingFlip, Fishbucket


So begins...

Awakening The Impervious Door


The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


"All right, here we are. Wow. This thing has to be a facade, since there's no way this door opened in recent memory. Or ever."

Jennifer played her flashlight around the enormous carvings, wondering what exactly it was if it wasn't a door. What kind of door was never meant to be opened, after all? Unless...

"Oh, Arceus. This place isn't meant to keep invaders out. It's meant to keep whatever's in here in! We, um...we may have fucked up here. Big time."
Flynn's toe-claws clacked their way over to Jennifer two eternally curious lime fluffballs sticking out her backpack. The stiff fur making tight fuzzy cones from the backpack flap where pairs of mismatched eyes looked around. Buried within the lime one slit eyed like their mother the other round very much like Jennifer's. Flynn herself, old enough for hunter's sight, had either eyeshine nor an iris at the moment.

Flynn's crest fluffed upward showing a cobalt underlayer and a clack of her jaw full of black teeth, "No bodies. No stupid thief ignore ruins and big door."

She bent down head flat her tail balancing her out huffing at the floor to see if there's dead things about. A similar high pitched sniffing mimicked from the safety of her backpack.
Character Portrait: says,
 “ "Don't get me wrong, I like the idea, but I don't think this is coming down through any amount of force we can apply to it. And I'm still winded from closing the gate. I do have one other option, but I'm not sure if either of you are going to like it." ”
Character Portrait: says,
 “ At this point I think I'm open to hear all options. ”
"Okay. There's one more option, but it's a little dangerous. We're going to need to stand back for this." Jennifer provided an example, leaving at least a good 25 feet between her and the rock face. She fingered one of the mysterious capsules at her belt. "Before Draco took over the valley, I was considered pretty good with creatures that could harness the power of steel. You're about to get a demonstration of that power." She chose one with a yellow H on a black field over half of the fist-sized orb, the rest being a lovely shade of off-white.

"Scizor! I choose YOU!" A red winged mantis hit the field with a loud pop and a bright flash of light after Jennifer threw the ball hard in front of her. Large, menacing pincers made him look almost like a boxer, and its whole body had a metallic sheen. "Bullet Punch that wall!"

The creature obediently darted forward at a speed that was hard to follow before delivering a series of rapid punches into the stony face.

Image
Flynn pumps a palm-up gesture as the peeping ever continues from her pack her fluted voice now somewhat harsh, "Secure door. My job artillery. Not enough water for breaking in."

When the large insect appears she runs to take cover behind a rock her pack making a loud hissing noise from small fuzzy hiding heads.
Casren balked and rushed behind a ruin, waiting to see what would happen. Would that be able to bust through?
The very air shook gently, and with a flash of Golden Light behind the group before the door, Irral appeared. The First Son of the Light, a Light Dragon, corrupted but still righteous in his power, sworn to defeat Draco, to put an end to all darkness. The gentle clank of his Draconian Battle Armor filled the air as he stood, towering over the others at twelve feet in height. Irral's helmet, imposing and resembling his Dragon form's own head, began to glow gold before vanishing, revealing a youthful, but tired man, with pure white hair braided into a ponytail, fair skin, and eyes of Solid Gold, tainted by swirling streaks of Violet. Black Reptilian slits formed his pupils, and he looked to the trio, now foursome as the pokemon used its attack on the wall in order to try and open it. Whatever lay behind that door interested him. And whether it was something able to defeat Draco, or something that the Shadow Dragon would find useful, Irral wanted to know, and wanted to deal with it personally.

He said nothing, nor did he move, instead opting to stand and watch, a good ten meters back behind Jennifer, Carson and Flynn, his stance relaxed, and the aura he projected one of calming benevolence. He wasn't here to hurt anyone, on the contrary he was here to protect.
Sparks flew as the face of stone was punched, rapidly, by the pokemon. The air quaked as a newcomer arrived, still the sparks flew. Scizor's attack was relentless and brutal. If this were any other door surely it would have been a success. Still the sparks flew, but as they faded something else in the air began to change. An unusual warmth spread over the gathering.

The shadows on the wall started to dance. Strange forms growing from the rocks and broken pillars of the great courtyard. It was as if humans were turning into beasts, enjoying it all the while, and even as the sparks faded the figures continued to dance.

A great thrumming had begun behind the door. It swiftly grew louder, turning into a hum you could feel in the floor. The shadows on the walls danced all the higher.

Louder still, a hum felt through the bones, and still the door remained unbroken. It's great stone face hadn't so much as chipped under the attack of the Scizor, however it had done something most unusual.

The Impervious Door's eyes had focused, transforming into glimmering emeralds. It stared directly at them.
Jennifer looked at the door. Barely a scratch. She started looking for a weak spot to better focus her efforts, and noticed the door...looking back at her and the rest of the group.

A loud fart echoed through the small chamber, snapping the bodybuilder back to reality. "Oh crap. No, seriously. Scizor, uh, stand guard, I need to take care of something personal."
Kanto had found it! Finally! The clues had all added up to finding this magical place. But alas, it would seem there was another group that had beat him to the strange place. Kanto looked up to the large glowing eyes as the team conversated amongst themselves, Kanto positioned himself silently behind a rock large enough to hide his lithe form, tail twitching impatiently as he waited for something else to happen. Should he go up and ask if he could be of assistance? He truly didn't know, and the giant bird looked like it coul dhave him for dinner. But.. It was talking.. Something he had never personally experienced before. For now, the Mishqua decided to do what comes naturally, and remain hidden as he closely inspected the door from far away. Suddenly he heard a loud strange sound that echoed through the already vibrating air, and watched as one of the group began to walk away from the other. Towards him no less.. He decided to remain hunched behind his rock and wait to see what further action the group decided to take.
The added presence of Kanto did not worry Irral, nor did the actions of the others. No, in fact he seemed to ignore them, or over-look them. They couldn't harm him anyway - not as he was. Perhaps one of their pokemon would be able to put up a minor fight, but ultimately Irral's unstable, corrupted Light Magic would overwhelm them. What intrigued Irral was the dancing of the Shadows along the door, and the opening of two emerald eyes, watching the group trying to gain access. Tilting his head, the Corrupted Dragon of Light narrowed his eyes, tainted Gold iris's contracting, the black pupils becoming slits.

"Something... Dark is working its Magic. Something beyond even Draco." Irral spoke at last, his voice, while a fair and modest Baritone, rumbled one to the bone with its power and wisdom. He was ancient. Being the First born Dragon from the Original Dragon had its perks, after all. Stepping forward, his Armor clanked quietly as he strode forth to the door. He held out his left hand, his Draconian Lance sliding from its place on his back, and into his hand, slender fingers closing around the shaft, the claws of the gauntlet making small tink! sounds as they connected with the metal. His steps were slow and methodical, almost as if he were testing whatever was behind that door, seeing just how much it would react to his Holy, albeit corrupted presence.
Amid the dark halls of the mountain fortress, the sounds of a Latinesque language filled it's dark, stoney hallways. A small group of individuals, an IIA operative and two archaeological researchers slowly made their way through the fortress to happen upon a large chamber with several other individuals.

Erin moved in first, the brilliant blue white beam of her flashlight illuminating the strange door before them, while the strange eyes sent shivers down her spine.

"This place must be incredibly ancient..." One of the archaeologists commented in Anquietas.

"See if we can get any references to this door in local texts..." Another replied, the small group of Aschen for now, paying little attention to the others, their gazes fixated on the strange door before them.
Though the dancing of the shadows grew subdued, the hum continued. The emerald eyes cast an eerie glow down onto the floor, where beneath the dust of ages and vegetation loomed another massive engraving.
The Squad outside had called in back up as everybody and their uncle's brother started showing up...

This aid came in the form of Sara Drake a Terra Nova Ghost. An army to herself. She entered in with the TLA squad.

She gave the group an annoyed look and asked. "Ok... Who's going to tell me what the hell is going on here?"
"This door," Casren shouted over the din, realizing the room had slowly begun to fill. He looked to the floor, where the beams from the eyes seemed fixated on two specific points. There was something under all that grime, and something bigger than life was happening here. The old vampire's fangs poked out on instinct. He recalled a story overheard at Gambit's Bar once long ago, one that too had an impervious door.

Suddenly it was as if the door could feel the elder dragon touching it. A slight breeze kicked up in the cavern, the emerald eyes burning harsh through the dust fog. There was a clatter as some small debris were tossed from their resting places.

Still the door remained shut.
Jennifer went behind a rock and changed her pants with a new pair in her backpack. There was some weird cat thing next to her. She didn't mind...something huge was going on here.

"Scizor, return." The mantis-like Pokémon disappeared in a flash of red light before returning to its spherical home. "Oh, man, I don't think it liked that. I could have stepped it up, but I think we have other things to worry about right now. Like the fact that we apparently have company. And the fact that THIS THING IS APPARENTLY FUCKING ALIVE."
The last thing Kanto had expected was the presence of so many diverse groups all coverging upon the same mountain fortress at the same time. It must speak to how far and wide the rumors had truly gotten. The large black armored one had begun to unsheath his weapon as Kanto's ears detected yet more figures walk into the fray, largely only interested in themselves and their mission. Kanto was sure he had heard that language somewhere...

Kanto positioned himself upon the rock that he had found his way behind, listening intently to the chatter filling the room from several different groups. He stay there for but a moment before sliding down and casually beginning to walk up to where the emerald eyes illuminated the floor. He largely ignored the woman walking towards him as he did so. He began to inspect the area as if he had been there all along, but let his thoughts remain to himself as he collected the full picture within his minds eye.
"We're gonna breach it." Solis called out in Anquietas to the two scientists behind her.

Both of them returned quizzical stares while the dark haired woman stared up at the clearing, shouldering her disruptor rifle, then letting it hang loosely by it's strap, while only briefly regarding her surroundings.

Moving her finger to the communicator nestled inside her ear, she called out in Anquietas.

"I'm gonna pop smoke, there's a small clearing above our position, lower the supply pallet through that, antimatter charges a fusion reactors and a boring laser, asap."

As she finished speaking, she produced a small cylindrical device, tossing it into the center of the room, where it began to produce a plume of vibrant blue smoke, that while smelling slightly of sulfur, would be otherwise harmless.

Once that was done, the woman turned her attention to the door.
The breeze continued to swirl around the cavern. Casren watched the smoke rise, the edges tornado-ing back into the plume. He noted for the first time that these archaeology people were Aschen. They didn't seem to recognize him and were definitely determined to do what they were all seemingly there to do: open the door. Though their presence was irksome, it didn't seem they were up to no good.

Suddenly the eyes of the door flashed, their beams hyper focusing onto those two points. He gingerly approached Kanto and the center of the room, saying his pardons and excuse me's, careful not to walk in the green light lest it be some sort of space age laser technology. He shrugged again at Sara, for this truly was a puzzling circumstance.

Once low to the ground, It didn't take long to realize the beams were focusing on two indents...another set of eyes, there set into the floor. They were open, hollow, and seemed to drink the light of the emeralds. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a glimmer on the ground not far off.

"What do you think?" Casren quietly asked Kanto, glancing over to the where he thought he saw something. The hum continued, the shadows still danced, the green glow hurt to look at, and now the whole place smelled like sulpher. Still, the door remained impervious.
Irral was expressionless as the door seemed to come alive at his touch, and he looked to the eye-shaped indents in the floor, then back to the source of the Emerald glowing. The Elder Dragon seemed to not care in the least what the humans and otherwise around him were doing, his own mind fast at work to decipher the puzzle of opening the door. Slowly he began to rise from the ground, his grip on his Lance loosening slightly as he adjusted his grip, and rose to be level with the eyes of the door.

Turning, Irral gazed upon the floor where the door looked, seeing the pattern clearly now, and narrowing his eyes. Out of the corner of his vision, something sparkled, glimmered even, and he once more turned his head to look. Tilting his head, the Dragon sheathed his Lance, and, as if walking down stairs, descended to where there was glimmering on the ground, using the edge of his Armored boot to nudge at the glimmering object to make sure it wasn't anything particularly harmful to these humans and otherwise around him.

Once he was sure it wasn't going to try and tear off his boot and beat someone with it, he crouched, balancing on the balls of his feet, and reached out to grab it with a hand, clawed Gauntlets moving to cut off the long-dead vegetation and remove the dirt from around it.
"Opening a door that may have been sealed for a very good reason.... this is a bad idea..." Said Sara.

"I think it's too late now Ma'am.." stated a TLA Trooper.

"indeed... men fall back and take covering positions."

The TLA troopers took cover around the door guns readied on overwatch. Sara herself activated her cloaking device and suddenly disappeared. readying her rifle ready to ambush anything hostile.
Kanto focused his eyes upon the Casren, ears perking up as he was spoken to. Or, he thought he was being spoken to. Either way, he answered. "The holes upon the floor, they are filled with nothing." He said in a very thick accent. "When they should be filled with more fancy rocks. Then the gaze shall continue." he nodded to himself, trailing off at the end in thought. Like connect the dots, Kanto was taking a wild guess that the stream of light must be focused again with more semi precious stones. Whether he was right or wrong didn't really concern him, as it seemed the other forces at work were fast on the track. He sidestepped the smoke device nonchalantly, eying it suspiciously as the smell of sulfer overwhelmed his sensitive nose. He noticed the one that smelled like a lizard was bent down, beginning to remove debris. He decided to help, as he was not doing much else to contribute at this point. His strange little hands began to pull the vegetation and clear away the stone engraving.
The object in the dirt flashed once as Irral took it. When the debris was cleared, it was revealed to be an Emerald Eye Pendant, too large to be fashionable, too small to hang on a wall, but on the end of a fraying chord.

Casren balked as half the room took for cover. He almost did, too, until Kanto spoke up.

"I think you're right," He turned to address literally everyone else, "Hey! Look at the grou-" when he noticed Irral had the glimmering thing.

With the vegetation mostly cleared, it was revealed that there was another engraving of a face in the ground. Surrounding the face was a labyrinth. The long line of a maze wound around, and around, and around, until it trailed off finally towards the door...which remained impervious.
Irral took the Emerald Eye Pendant and stood, towering over the creature who had helped him. It was small in his massive hand, and the claws of the gauntlet shimmered with it. Holding it up to the light, he examined it, and then turned to look at the spots where the "Eyes" of the door were staring at the ground. Narrowing his Corrupted Draconian eyes, he turned his body fully and stepped forward towards the area the light shone on the ground, searching for a place to put the pendant.

"Search the area for another one of these. They may just be the key to the door." he commanded to those around him. His voice left no room for questioning - He wasn't asking. He spoke with authority that had been both granted and earned through his multi-million year life, and with a sort of entitlement - Where he was from everyone respected a Dragon, and what they had to say. Even Demons. "If you find it.... Bring it here."
"Okay. Everyone, just back the hell up and let's think about this. We can't batter it down. We can't jimmy it. And I'm pretty sure it tried to look at me funny." Jennifer laughed nervously at that last part, taking her reaction into account. "There's something going on with the way the light is playing in this room...maybe we should try looking for a key or something instead of brute forcing it. Maybe it's some kind of ancient riddle or puzzle. Look for something that might match the stones on the door."
All of the light in the cavern, save the green beams projecting from eye to eye, began to absorb into the Emerald Eye Pendant.
Solis briefly surveyed her surroundings, again she seemed to ignore the people surrounding her, but the strange emerald light coming from the door had her intrigued, even as the pair of scientists moved slowly behind her in fear, the IIA agent stood steadfast, and defiant.

She watched one of the natives pick up some kind of pendant, they also seemed to give out orders, this brought a scoff from the IIA operative, as if she was going to listen to some filthy terrans. Erin had a mission to carry out, assist in the study of this impervious door and what lies behind it, and report the potential for any threats back to her command.

“I don’t take orders from you.” The Aschen agent commented, the first thing said to the people surrounding them, while she slung her disruptor rifle across her shoulder, cradling it in her arms.

At that moment things began to go dark, either from the Aschen ship suddenly appearing in the clearing above them, and blocking out the light, as refractive hexagonal photonic panels disengaged revealing the Stealth corvette above them, or by way of the emerald eye pendant. Erin moved quickly across her weapon’s safety, and it’s shrill whine echoed through the stone room.
Kanto rolled his eyes as the lizard man continued to speak. He was never very good at taking orders, especially when delivered by someone who he had never met, or talked to. He wondered why the man simply didn't put it on his neck.. Thats where humans stored those kinds of things, right? It had to be. He thought about telling him this, but was almost sure he would largely be ignored. Those over 5 feet tall have never been known to be great listeners to the Mishqua. Suddenly, the room began to grow very dark, all of them basked in darkness illuminated only by the eyes glow. Kanto's ears perked as he heard the whirr of something begin to spool up.

He rolled his eyes, sensing the tension between the two, and believing he had the answer for himself. After all, these puzzles sometimes seem to have much simpler solutions than one would think. He looked between the two again, pointed nose going from one to the other before speaking out in exasperation. "This is why Kanto goes alone! I would already be in there if it were not being for all of you tall type!" He stomped, inaudibly because of his size, over to the dragonborn and plucked the pendant from him, using both hands as it was slightly heavy for him, and feeding his muzzle through the chain that would hold it from his neck. He looked back up with a smirk to the dragonborn, hoping he had guessed right on the use of the pendant, based on adventures he had had in the past with magic objects.
As the Dragon grabbed up some sort of large amulet Sara muttered "Yes pick up the freaky magic necklace that you have no idea what it does... that always ends well..." The sarcasm dripping in her voice.

The Pokemon trainer was saying something about puzzles and Sara sighed "Damn anicents and their puzzle locks..."

Sara was still talking as the lights went out. "What the Hell?"

And that's when she noticed the Aschen ship...her squad did as well and soon the TLA's guns where trained on the Aschen woman. Sara still cloaked aimed her rife at the Aschen woman as well. The shot from a Ghost's rifle could shred tank armor so the Aschen woman would be paste from a connecting shot if it came to that. "What's the Meaning of this Aschen? I can tolerate your presence here barely...but not a fucking Aschen warship You already know brute force won't do shit to this door. All your ship will do is cause harm to us. So I suggest you call off your ship before I call in a Terra Nova fleet to do it for you."
The placid calculating eyes of a reacher eyed the statue quietly as others worked against it. Careful intuition proved right when the human female said it was a living statue. Flynn busied herself with casting a Tongues spell so she didn't have to use english when it hurt her throat. Reachers at a standstill quietly faded into the ether and ones actively hiding faded across the lines between planes. Careful inner machinery squeezed away into the wall boulder it was how she shifted here and how she'd get home. This wouldn't let her out of her plane, not yet, its other use was avoiding the baleful largesse that was the children of grandfather teeth. Even the children knew while their carrier and mother faded away with them to be silent.

The children of teeth were things of calculating wrath and not impulsive but neither ones of restraint so the reachers couldn't be either. If it hadn't attacked by now it wouldn't so made the choice to remove herself and children from hiding. Though it was not the quietly moving misshapen figure hiding behind the boulder that stood forward. Though the shape kept fiddling its tail, even blinking, vines and air split with a tinkle of stained glass severing matter as the Reacher reimposed on the vicinity near a distant wall. It wasn't specifically that the severing vines turned into something else but more that the reacher replaced its patterns with herself. The vines moved and thumped as if the matter her image said they were. At least until the bright glass planes finished reconstructing the dromaeosaur. The afterimage lingered, staring at Flynn on impulse, bothering to mouth words that meant nothing at all. The afterimage continued to stare though Flynn intentionally did not look at it in the eyes. There was a horrible void there now with nothing but the ticking of gears and synthetic planestuff struggling to integrate with its natural counterpart.

Flynn's fluted tone was strong now the spell translating as she huffed her pointed tongue glowing blue, "It is said in the eyes of the children of teeth are the doorways to the universe and to be careful what patterns you make under their eyes."

The flat black eyes looked up at the face directly into the green light she couldn't see right now. Thermal vision couldn't see it. Though she did glance at the barely visible column of smoke. She looked around at the room but didn't care to switch out of hunter's sight if the room is getting dark.

Then the clacking feet and toe-claw spoke at what she thought was a dog, "And you put on something it has been staring at. You'd do young reachers proud even if you don't live that long. Do you feel different? Perhaps you have engaged something. I can't see the dark right now and there is nowhere to run."
while the TLA agent waved her gun about in an Aschen archeologist's face, a Peregrine falcon would fly over the heads of those within the cave, its semi-translucent form leaving behind a wispy trail of azure blue light, before settling down upon a branch high above the heads of all within the cave, the bird's eyes would glow with an orange light.

following from the tunnel a short few seconds later, the sounds of footsteps almost silent echoed into the cave, though as the hooded figure carrying an intricately carved longbow stepped into the light bathing the cavern he lowered his hood, and looked at those around him that had arrayed themselves here to investigate the door before them.

"would you mind lowering your weapon and actually having some restraint" Yvandír pitted it as a question but his undertone declared it as a demand. "we have better things to do than wave dicks around in an attempt to one-up another" he spoke calmly and pushed back the cloak so it hung at his back, leaving the very elven designed clothing to be exposed and his myriad of magical artefacts for all to see, his feet moved him swiftly beyond the entryway and he glanced back towards the others. "Catch me up please, I was unable to find this place by mortal means until that ship appeared in low orbit."

he raised an arm and gave a sharp whistle, the falcon returning to Yvandír and resting on his arm "well done for finding this place Horus, now rest" the bird began to shrink until it fit into his palm and then turned into stone, a miniature figurine now, he safely stored it into a pouch on his belt.

Listening in on every conversation in the room at once, even those of whisper microphones his keen senses beyond any normal state.
"Arceus. Fucking. Damn it." Jennifer was never one for crass language, but the gunner had a point. "I ran into this fortress to get away from Draco. Everyone put down your guns, we don't need to start a war over this. Besides, if any shots were to be fired, it'd do more damage to us than it ever would to that door."

A newcomer flying in. Just great. "Okay, quick version: The gentleman and I ran into this fortress to get away from Draco's invading forces on the valley. We found this door. Other people found it as well. We're now trying to figure out how to get it open. Looks like there's some sort of riddle or puzzle involving that emerald pendant and the maze on the floor, and I'm currently trying to keep my organs inside of me in the middle of this Mexican standoff!"

As a precaution, Jennifer released another beast, something she called Castle. Its broad, bony, shield-like crest on its head provided a decent amount of cover for her to crouch behind. "Get behind him, it can take a bullet better than either of us ever could," she instructed the elf.
The Emerald Eye swallowed the last bit of light, with it the winds and the shadows, as tension grew to it's peak. Pitch darkness befell the cavern. The great hum suddenly stopped, replaced with a deafening silence. For three of the longest heartbeats, nothing happened. In the pitch darkness, people aimed guns, castle-esque creatures appeared, more took cover, and all were one step closer to opening the Impervious Door.

Suddenly, the Emerald Eye flashed green so bright, everything was illuminated. Thousands of lights shot from the gem in all directions, clinging to the walls like constellations, the eye subduing to a glow. Standing in the cavern was now like floating in the dead of space, but with your feet still grounded. The tiny balls of light, emulating a strange star system, swam for a brief moment as the hum rapidly returned again. As fast as they came they were gone, and as silent as it had been before it was now roaring loud. The stars sucked back into the Emerald Eye.

Another flash of light!

The entire cavern was bathed in it’s green glow as the dust settled. Shadows again projected on the walls. They displayed swirling shapes that slowly morphed into a landscape. Mountains emerged, great peaks shooting up and dividing down the middle; a valley. The shadows transformed again; the peaks of a city emerged from the mountains. The city collapsed into a waterfall, up rose an airship. The shadow danced, this time wild like fire, and from them emerged a Gargantuan Eye. The eye blinked, the hum stopped, and for one moment there was total silence.

"UNITE THE EYES"
The Impervious Door had spoken.
Taking the Pendant from Irral would prove to be nigh impossible. Not only would he not allow the smaller creature to get close to it, he would tighten his grip on it just in case. At the whirring of a weapon coming off safe and the appearance of an Aschen warship, the area around the Dragon's head glowed, and his Horned, Intimidating Helmet came into view around him, making him all the more intimidating.

"I don't take orders from you." the Aschen sneered in defiance. Irral turned his helmeted head towards the Defiant Aschen, and slowly his Lance descended to his outstretched hand again, pointing the tip of the weapon to the ground for now.

"You have little choice when a Dragon speaks to you, Human." he growled, his voice now a rumbling bass beneath his helmet. His gaze turned towards the Elf who had appeared, regarding him with a nod. Turning, he held up the Pendant as it continued to take in the Light of the Chamber. A low, contemplative, rumbling growl came from his throat as he examined it. "No puzzle concerning eyes is ever solved with just one. Find the other pendant." he said again.

At the Mention of Draco, Irral looked once more to Jennifer. "You survived an invasion from Draco? Then surely you know why it is much better that I am here rather than he." he looked closer at her, narrowing his eyes as his helmet once more vanished. "Yes, I remember... you were present in that town he invaded. Where his Shadow Guard was present, and where those foolish humans and their toys attempted to assault me, a Dragon of the Light." he recounted the battle of Ridgecrest. He may not have seen Jennifer, but he had sensed her and any other living creature that had survived the onslaught.

Then everything went completely Dark. Then Green, then dark once more, and then.... "A map?" Irral looked to the projection, watching it transform into a great eye, staring, it seemed, right at him. Or perhaps, the eye in his hand.

"UNTIE THE EYES"


The door itself spoke, and Irral turned to face the great architectural wonder, looking to the Pendant in his hands, then to the spots where the eyes were located on the door. He only had one of the Eyes. Where was the second?
"the three clues, they're our locations, I've no idea where this mountaintop city might just be nor the Valley, the only thing that catches my attention is the Gargantuan eye" Yvandír looked to the dragon who seemed quite full of himself, though what did you expect, dragons tended to be like that anyway.

"Aye its a map and I hope you guys have good memories because there's only one and our dragon here doesn't feel like relinquishing it, by the looks of it and I'm not about to cheat." He gave a smirk and chuckle, though he quickly went quiet and lifted up his hood and pulled the cloak back around himself turning to face the pokémon trainer he gave a polite smile. "Thank you for the offer but if any one of these people were to shoot at me, I'd hand them the bullets back."

With that comment, he turns to leave, his footsteps no longer making a sound, this was no magic enchantment. he was simply that light-footed and seemed to be within a favored hunting terrain of his. once out of sight he would stop and close his eyes reopening them when he felt the astral winds billow through his cloak, to those within the cave, he had just vanished and entered the astral plane.

His destination Aberash
It would be a bold faced lie to say this didn't happen very often to Kanto. It was just another day in the world. Futilly tugging at the chain he finally gave up, not much preferring the smell of a 5 million year old reptile anyways. Kanto watched as the room filled with the star chart as he made his way away from the lizard-man and walked instead over to the large avian, deciding to stick with someone closer to his kind. "Apparently so." He said, watching the others plan out their next move.
Casren watched amused at the small kerscuffle over the Emerald Eye, unflinching as Yvandir spoke, and then disappeared. It was a map for sure, but would the great dragon truly not share? Wherever Yvandir had gone Casren hadn't a clue, he had never heard of a Gargantuan and didn't know where you'd find one.

"Whatever is happening here is certainly larger than any one of us. Only a fool would venture to open this door alone," He slid his eyes to the great dragon and shot a fanged grin. He looked around the room, at everyone in turn, almost daring someone to tell him he was wrong.
The bipedal vulpine yawned. "Kanto has done much worse things by himself than go through a door." He said with a hyena like chuckle. "We know where to go, but how are we to get there?" He said to anyone listening and still present in the room. Kanto had to agree though, this seemed bigger than anything he had personally had the pleasure of taking part in. He understood the clues and what to do next, but had no means on transport. He looked up to Casren imporingly, not saying but heavily implying he wanted to go with him.
As others looked around wildly when the lights changed Flynn's reflective eyes reappear with her blue-veined irises. Her hackles raised taking a defensive position at the sudden casting of light but it seemed harmless enough. When the places began to emerge from the light she took note the images ferreted away in her memory to be inscribed on her note book. Though she extracted it from her green pack the small bloodwrit pen made blue scratches on tightly packed lime pages. She had a few notebooks and took pains to use them fully as difficult to replace as they were. Her sketches were rough but the memory remains firmly anchored. She'd fill out the sketches later this place was too likely for combat than she preferred.

As the light returned Flynn looked at the two groups that had pointed guns at each other. Freshblood Far and Deep, she decided. So busily preening than going about their duties. The other one, a tall human looking one of a sort she didn't really recognize, had a caste in her head that spoke as yet to be decided. Some part of her blood hadn't decided on him but intellectually found him more like the Thirteen. The warriors with so obstinate a path that it crossed back from their end into egg hosts with only rare failures that saw her triplets rise to power to fill the vacuum of power. Familiar loud ticking in her head declared the large armored surly creature a spiker. Her traveler within her blood didn't seem to like the creature though it had at least decided for that one.

Then the human-looking one with the pointed ears left his senses leaving an uncomfortable vacuum in her sense of safety. Her senses chirped and hummed tuned to detect where elder things left wakes much like the one this strange male had left. A ripple in the plane leaving that familiar taste of Losthome behind it. At least something like it she could follow. This one more bland indeterminate mass even less certain with time. Still a place her traveler was quite well accustomed that the reacher could squeeze through to get away from this place. Given so many unknowns with weapons of some kind she thought was the best solution. Her whelps certainly at least risk away from these angry sorts that had stopped chirping when hostilities appeared. Pen put away Flynn's feathered hand reaches to pet Kanto seeing what her limited understanding of canines saw as a talking pet dog. Considering to get him to safety too.

She whispers to him tongue glowing blue, "Good boy. I can follow the placid one to get away from here. I could take you too though the path sinks quickly so you must decide. The fray has not yet weaved enough to hide from a reacher."
Kanto, who had been focusing his attention back on Casren, was completely surprised by the feathery hand landing upon his head. He jumped about a food in the air and let out an involuntary sound of startlement as he quickly turned around to see the culprit.

"Good boy." Usually, Kanto would not like the unwelcome attention, but out of present company and the nice compliment, he let it slide. Watching the bird person as she spoke. He couldn't understand the words as they were spoken, at least not exactly. But the sentiment of her words shone through the him. He nodded to her, before asking, also in a whisper: "But how do we do such a thing?" He said, looking around the room once more, wringing his hands as he awaited the next leg of their journey.
Amid all the chaos, a large pallet of goods landed inside the chamber from above, it contained a powerful diamond-laser borer that the Aschen used to mine Kanvium precursors from meteroid impact craters, a rather large deuterium-tritium fusion reactors, some computer equipment, and a crate filled with antimatter charges.

One Archaeologist was fixated on the happenings within the chamber, her video recorder was out, and carefully recording everything so it could be sent back for analysis.

The second Archaeologist seemed to cow away from the Terra Nova ghost, leaving Solis to simply shake her head.

The Aschen could put these people down with minimal effort.

Moving to the Pallet, Erin unfastened the cables still attatching it to the ship above.

She cut the ties holding everything in place, positioning the laser towards the door.
"All right. This is getting way too hot for my tastes. I gotta get out of here," Jennifer declared loudly over the roar of the dropship's engines. "Gun girl, on me. Same with the gentleman. I don't know if anyone else saw what I saw, but I have an idea as to where another one of the eyes might be located...and I'm going to need someone to watch my back. That, and I don't want you two to blow up the whole valley over who's got the bigger dick. Already had that shit happen once with the volcano."
Casren stood and brushed off his pants.

"That," He looked pointedly at the giant drill, "Seems to be a bad idea."

He thought long and hard about the vision, the map, they had been shown. Casren had never traveled space before. He wondered where it was that mountains rose and airships flew.

"I think we should figure out where that is, the rest of us I mean," for two had walked into thin air, and two more were conspiring to follow, and what was this with the Pokemon. He wasn't sure about stepping through the fabric of time himself, and considered his options.
Flynn sniffed at Kanto's head to get an idea of his scent. The reacher committed his face to memory in a long gaze so she had an idea of his shape, the feel of his fur, or the sound of his voice. A professional of her work she carried many a far and deep packing weapons and heavy armor into Losthome. Some times she took more practical ways of getting to know a body, hence her triplets, but discerning senses served just as well.

The feathered dinosaur offered her hand third eyelid blinking away her iris and eyeshine to flat black as hunter's sight returns, "I hold your wrist and drag you across reality. You just need to keep your mind. Focus on me, my willful path, the solidity of my body will be the most firm island of calm for your mind to rest on."

Her outstretched hand shimmered with some colorful plates squirming just underneath the feathers of her body. As the reacher focused a soft ticking sound emanated from darker spaces of the room. Black gears emerging from empty space then translucence as something approaches the plane. Bits of clockwork assembling for purpose.

"Have you ever had drugs that lose your person? This will feel like that. We must move quickly after my path will be much easier to follow," Whispered the reacher to Kanto looking periodically at the healing ripple in reality.
Irral looked to Carson, Golden, Violet-corrupted eyes taking in the Vampire with a near subtle caution. "You are correct, Vampire. Only a fool would venture alone past that door." he said. His gaze returned to the Aschen, who were tinkering with their toys. "And only fools would ignore the commands of the door." he added softly.

Turning to the map once more, Irral's eyes examined it. If he was reading it correctly, the second Eye would be on an Airship above a city within a valley surrounded by numerous Mountains. The Dragon's body began to radiate Golden Light, and a beam of his Holy Magic rocketed into the air, straight up, narrowly missing the Aschen ship. Either it had ignored any possible shields, or it was merely just Light radiating off his body, but either way, it traveled unimpeded straight up.

"I will return when the second Eye is found." he said calmly. And suddenly his body vanished, a small burst of energy being sent off from his last location, shaking the very air around them and rumbling the ground gently. A Draconian Light Magic Circle was left on the Stone floor where his feet had been; indicating where he would appear when the second amulet had been found, whether he found it, or someone else did and brought it to the Door.

The circle where his feet had been glowed dimly, and a magic Hum was audible from it. It was still active. If anyone wanted to follow the Elder Dragon on his quest to find the Second Emerald Eye, they would be able to from stepping through the transportation Array.
Sara's mind was suddenly filled with Images of far off places she had never seen before. Even with her psionic powers she couldn't figure it out having never left Terra. As the vision cleared Sara looked around the room. Soon enough people where starting off in small groups to go to other Planets and try and find this second eye or whatever. Well all but the Aschen...

As pokemon girl said she should come with her Sara sighed. "My name is Sara... but sure I'll go with you... anything to get away from these fools... hope you blow yourselves up Aschen scum."

Sara headed out of the ruins and as they left she turned to her squad. "I'm going on alone you guys head back to HQ and inform command of what's happening here."

The squad saluted and took off in their banshee. As they left Sara turned to the pokemon girl "So where we off to kid?"

Port GoldengearSetting: Port Goldengear


A small party exited Silver Knuts, but instead of emerging into Port Goldengear found total darkness. The Emerald Eye Pendant, a seemingly harmless trinket when purchased, began to emit a deafening hum. From where it hung around the neck of the pirate captain it pulsed a green glow.

Before anyone could question the circumstance, the Emerald Eye Pendant flashed. The light faded into an illusion of a cavern, an enormous door rising before them. As the door made of light grew, a face emerged carved into it. The eyes of the face suddenly burst into green fire, illuminating everything and swallowing the cavern. The light slowly sucked back into the Emerald Eye Pendant, showing snow capped mountains as it went. The last of the light formed a giant dragon, who transformed into a human before diving into the eye.

For another moment, total darkness. Again the pendant flashed, this time emitting thousands of balls of light. They shot in every direction. Each stopped, suspended in the air, slowly drifting. All together they displayed a star system far, far away. For a few more moments the beauty of night hung around them.

As quickly as the lights appeared, they disappeared back into the pendant, with them taking the mighty hum. For a moment, there was total silence.

"UNITE THE EYES"
The words echoed around them.


Slowly daytime and the rest of Port Goldengear resumed to vision around them. Any passerbys would not have seen what the group saw, but they may have heard the wind whisper a peculiar command.
Blackness, and an odd scene played about before his eyes, flashy swirling locations, and a dragon taking human form and diving into the Amulet. Then the Amulet let out thousands of lights, creating a make-shift... "I-Is that a map..? Omnia are you seeing this?" The neuralink installed in his brain relayed what he was seeing to the A.I. back on his ship, and he could hear her response echoing in his mind.

"Yes darling, if the map is up-to-date with current star-maps, which it appears to be, then it's a planet we've visited before. Quaint little rock called Terra." Integra let out a sigh of disgust, his last trip to Terra had been... eventful. "Oh great, Home to the Slumwalks, Terra? Where that crazy chick lives!?" He sent a mental note to Omnia, and she brought the main ship down to low orbit, ready to receive her Captain.

He turned back to Abigail and frowned, "Okay, welp. It looks like you get off easy this time, Ms. Fogg. Try to stay out of trouble, or I may really be back to chop off your hands, yeah? Cheers!" A schooner flew above them, controlled by the A.I. Its engine whined as it touched down on the street, and without further ado, Captain and his 'crew' stepped into it, and were off. Leaving Abigail to her fate, whatever it may be in a new city without the funds she had planned on. They returned to the Frigate, in low orbit, and prepared themselves for what came next.

BrightmaidenSetting: Brightmaiden


Blackheart lazed in his chair, looking down at the amulet that had only shortly before finished yelling at him. A hologram of Omnia was looking at him curiously, charting a course for Terra, but not yet setting out. Their frigate, The Bleeding Heart was hanging out in low Orbit, just above Brightmaiden.

"Are all the Servitors up?" He looked up at the hologram, still fidgeting with the Amulet in his fingers. The hologram took a couple steps closer to him, placing a incorporeal hand on his shoulder. "Yes, dear... Are you okay? You've been a little on edge lately... Should we, head to Terra?" He shook his head, a simple no, and looked back down at the Amulet.

Fufufufufu, scared of dragons, Blackheart? Bezalel detached from the Captain's shadow, forming a shadow black hound, tongue lolling, and red eyes locked hungrily onto Blackheart. Captain just sighed, and kicked his feet up, "Experiencing trepidation, more like loathing returning to Terra..."
The Pendants were drawn to each other, and the one in front of Blackheart was flashing quicker and quicker with each second. Looking up, Irral spotted the ship in Low Orbit, and with a shake, his four Draconian Wings sprouted from his shoulder blades, allowing him to take off, heading straight for The Bleeding Heart. The Amulets would practically be a solid color by the time Irral appeared in front of the Bridge View-port, wings spread out gloriously, Amulet hanging from his chest as he stared into the Bridge of the ship, and floated forwards towards it. Using his magic, his Wings folded in, vanishing in a flash of Golden Light, and he walked on the air, and through the view port, phasing through it just as Light passed through.

He stopped, staring at Blackheart from behind his Helmet, which also vanished in a flash of Golden Light, revealing the young but wise face beneath. Golden Draconian eyes with corrupting swirls of purple observed the man, narrowing slightly, then moved to the Amulet. "I am here for the Emerald Eye." Irral said calmly, not moving.

"Do you know what it is for?" he asked, curious as to how much this human knew. He sensed the pang of fear and shadow Magic, and his eyes narrowed again, focusing squarely on Blackheart's Shadow, where Bezalel hid, now manifested as a hound. Irral resisted the intense urge to kill it and the man before him. To purge the Multiverse of more Darkness similar to Draco. A low Draconian growl rumbled in his throat as he exhaled.
The Amulet flashed, pulsating with emerald light, quicker and quicker. A throaty chuckle sounded in Bezalel's throat, his eyes lazily drifting away from Blackheart and towards their newcomer. "Looks like your dragon friend has arrived." The hound's tongue lolled to one side, panting unnecessarily.

Servitors began to march up from deep in the ship, to where Blackheart was, just in case things might escalate. The Captain just sighed, looking up at the dragon person and raising an eyebrow. "Where I come from, it's polite to ask permission to board... No matter i guess, saved me the trouble of looking for you." He snapped his fingers, and a hologram of the galaxy appeared before him. It zoomed into the Orion Spur of the Milky Way and down to a system that revolved around a sun called Sol, containing the planet Terra.

"I know it's an artifact trying to drag me along to this Godforsaken Earth-ball. Further analysis seems to reveal it's a key, though incomplete. I can only assume you have the the pieces to complete it." Blackheart sighed, reaching into his jacket pocket for a flask, undoing the stopper and taking a long swig. "So, what... you're like my... honor guard? A glorified escort here to ensure my safe passage to Terra?" He snorted, "They couldn't send, like, a hot chick or something?"

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


The emerald eyes of The Impervious Door flashed, washing the cavern green with light.

"UNITED ARE THE EYES"


The door spoke as the bright light faded, the eyes returning to a subtle green glow.

BrightmaidenSetting: Brightmaiden


Irral tilted his head at the man's humor, and his eye twitched at the appearance of the Servitors. But for now, Irral did not see them as a threat or a challenge. He understood that humans were less reverent of Dragons as they had once been; and that their respect would need to be earned again. The Dragon paid no heed to the map that projected itself before them, and walked through it, stopping a few feet away from the desk before Blackheart, his boots thumping on the deck.

"I am here for the Amulet. Not for you. How I acquire it does not concern me, what does is that I bring it back with me." He said, ignoring the snark in the man's voice as much as he could, annoyed by it. Slowly the Dragon held out his left hand, palm up, as if waiting for the Emerald Amulet. The Claws of his gauntlet gleamed in the light, and the tough Leather that formed the rest of the glove was smooth and battle-hardened. Irral did not speak, but his request- no, his command was clear:

Hand over the Amulet.
Blackheart raised a gloved hand to stifle a yawn as he stretched. "Awful cocky for an overgrown Kobold, aren't cha?" The Captain stood, and the black hound dissolved, returning to the his shadow in anticipation for what may come. "You see, the only two problems I have with that are: One, I don't think you can ensure the safety of these important artifacts. Two, I paid good money for this amulet, surely blind greed is something you lizards understand?"

A hologram appeared behind Irral, a girl made up of blue and white light. "His mind is weak and his soul broken. What lie after the door will surely cause him to lose himself. Could you live with yourself, my dearest Captain, knowing full well that you unleashed such a heathen upon the world?" The question was rhetorical, the AI knew her Captain had a soft heart, and wouldn't allow such a thing to happen.

Dragons make good servitors, shouldn't we gut him and get to work? The demon wasn't wrong, but Blackheart wasn't in the mood for violence. "Be a good little pet, lizardman. Sit in the corner and eat your grubs, we'll be at Terra soon enough."
"Wux re diwhafup ekess ve, munthrek, shar dout sisargho geou ergriff faestir wux dout marfedelom. Draco tiliw ti pok ve, thur geou wux." Irral's voice rumbled in Draconian, corrupted eyes turning fully Gold as his helmet appeared on his head. His statement roughly meant "You amuse me, Human, but your arrogance will only lead you to death. Draco couldn't stop me, Now will you."

A ball of Pure Light Energy appeared in Irral's outstretched hand, the sound of harps playing melodiously in the back ground would seem soothing to the human, but more than likely agonizingly painful for anything Demonic or Dark. The Hologram was right about only one thing: Irral's soul was Broken. But even then as a Dragon he was more than capable of taking on anything behind that Door. His mind was secure, and how a mere program would be able to tell the mental or spiritual state of a Dragon. The FIRST Dragon born from Light the All-Mother herself, was beyond comprehension. But this blatant disrespect, nay, heresy against Dragon-Kind would be punished.

The sphere of energy began to expand, filling the room slowly, harmless for now. "I give you one last chance, human. Hand over the Amulet, and you may yet live." This was not a threat; but a promise. Irral was the Most Powerful combative Dragon in creation, and a mere Demon-enhanced Human dared to challenge him. The ship around them began to rumble around them from Irral's sheer presence alone, his Lance descending from its holster and into his other hand, gripping it tightly, ready to strike immediately.
Bezalel began to to whimper, a pitiful weak noise that was very amusing to hear for Blackheart. The damnable demon was always turning its nose up at people and taking a general 'unholier-than-thou' attitude. It deserved a little pain every now and then. The Captain started giggling, which quickly turned into a barked out laugh.

A swarm of nanites arose from his coat, creating a silvery wall interposing itself between Irral and the Captain. " Ianuae Magicae" Behind the wall of silver, Blackheart vanished, no longer on the ship and now light-years away. Though gone, his voice continued to echo throughout the ship. "That's the issue with you dragons, it's always physical might this, combative prowess that. You never learn to appreciate a little guile."

The hologram's third eye shone quietly, looking Irral up and down. "Your aura is damaged, wildly swirling like that of a madman. You're the first dragon I've seen with such an unhinged psyche. If my emotional software was running, I'd feel bad for you. Worry not, the Captain forgives you, as you know not what you do...." The hologram almost looked plaintive and almost sad. However the undead Servitors, loaded full of explosives, thermite, and other chemicals designed to inflict collateral damage when they die, continued to stare at Irral with blank faces, weapons at the ready.

Blackheart's voice echoed once more through the expansive frigate, "See you on Terra, Gecko."

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


Integra appeared in a swirl of silvery light, nanite swarms pouring out of the rift he'd created and settling like a gloss on his jacket. Eight undead monstrosities, each an amalgamation of different creatures sewn together, then augmented with cybernetics, stepped out of pitch-black rifts of pure night. With a free appendage, they each saluted their Captain and fell into formation behind him, their various weapons at the ready.

It was crowded here, much more crowded than it had any right to be. "Ello, ello, my duckies! My name is Once Dread Pirate Captain Integra Blackheart, no relation, and I'm here to fulfill the prophecy." One of the servitors dropped a cask of femtites, which rose up and surrounded the Captain creating an imperceptible swarm of femtometre sized robots that formed a bubble around him. "I trust we are all ready to begin?"
At this time, a woman walked forward, approaching the others and the door. Dressed in a dress fit for a cleric type, she kept her eyes closed as she impeccably stepped up to the door, past the others. Stopping before the door, she clasped her hands together and began muttering in an unknown language, though it did not sound pretty. Not once opening her eyes, she lifted her head as if observing the door, her arms returning to her side as she took a position to the side of the room, where she would stand and wait.

"There is a strange energy present here. All of you must exercise caution once we enter."

With almost as little warning, the woman would spawn a staff out of the air, and stamp it on the ground, vanishing in a flash of light.
"Strange presence indeed," Casren looked around at everyone present, taking in the crowd. Given the amount of strange people from strange lands drawn to this door, there was something so big in the works that even his immortal self couldn't fathom.

"Ready to begin?" Casren looked to the captain with surprise, then to the drill, then to the captain again, "Where's the ah, other?"

As if on cue, the eyes of the door again projected green beams to the holes in the ground.

Port GoldengearSetting: Port Goldengear


Abigail was speechless.

In one day, in one hour, she had both gained and lost everything. Her eyes were fixed on the sky, where more of what she was sure were vessels had appeared. What was going on? Who were these people? Where did they come from?

She swallowed, hard, and decided to find somewhere to maybe schmooz someone for a meal.

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


"Hey, you." Havasikaji went up to the person who had just spoken, who appeared to be a young man with long strawberry blonde hair and the faint aura of a corpse around him, and tugged impolitely on his arm. "Can you or someone else explain what the hell is going on in this damn place?" she asked in her thick accent.

Ospian'likSetting: Ospian'lik


Omnia remained cordial, the Aschen were moving into an attack formation and energy reading suggested they were expecting a large conflict, and likely reinforcements. It was never good to pull the tail of a tiger, especially not when she was operating at minimal capacity.

"Your vessel has been found to be in possession of Imperial Property, surrender it, and we will arrange proper compensation; Failure to comply will result in interdiction, and seizure of your vessel."

"I can assure you, proper paperwork has been put together for all property on board. I concede that some of our deceased organics indeed originated from Langara, but a bounty was put on their head, collected, and their bodies legally obtained through the correct channels. If your scanners are picking up residual energy from the artifact, I'm afraid it's been transported to Terra. Should you collect the first, I'm certain my Captain would be more than happy to surrender the second."

The AI contemplated warping to Terra, but she hadn't been called for yet, and was excited to see the Aschen in action. Her ship retreated a safe distance away from the dragon, watching it begin to glow like a Yule-tide tree. She always felt so powerless when she was disconnected from the mega-structures that housed a majority of her processing power.

She re-oriented six of the ship's twelve cannons, locking onto Irral, just in case. There was another Artilect with the Aschen, one that wasn't held back by the same constraints Omnia was. "What a brilliant battle it will be!" A swarm of nanites hovered around the frigate, forming many impromptu telescopes, each one relaying what they saw back to Omnia. The show was about to start, and she eagerly watched with her many 'eyes'.

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


The heads-up display in Integra's eye-patch quickly tagged everyone present. An undead which was probably a vampire due to his uncannily human appearance, an arcanist, a hitman, an elementalist, and a creature made up mostly of quintessence that took the form of a girl. Whats with Quintessence and pretending to be girls...

Integra stifled a yawn as the undead approached him, questioning about the lizard he'd left orbiting Pramia. "You know how lizardfolk are, slow. He'll be here eventually." He undid the stopper on his flask and took a long swig, enjoying the bite of alcohol as it ran down his throat.

"Can you or someone else explain what the hell is going on in this damn place?"

Blackheart knelt down, placing his amulet in the spot that the door pointed to, and spoke plainly to the elementalist. "It's a door, there are key-holes. I have one of the two keys. Get both keys, door opens. Not much else to it." Maybe he oversimplified it, but that was the gist of it.

Ospian'likSetting: Ospian'lik


Irral narrowed his eyes as the Aschen Ships continued their advance and began to shift formation, their anti-magic generators projecting a shield around them. Typical Humans and their toys, he thought. Not knowing that this shield was Anti-Magic, however, he did as predicted, and launched an attack at long range.

Quickly twirling the Lance in his hand, Irral drew the Magic Circle before him, and then slammed an open hand in the center of it. Arcs of brilliant, blindingly Gold light shot from the circle, heading straight for the bridge of each front-line ship the Aschen was sending his way. He would watch with confidence as the bolts of Light made their way straight for their targets at blinding speed, only to slam into the shield with all the Force of a Supernova. Due to the anti-magical properties, however, each bolt was fizzled out before it could reach each ship, no matter the force behind them.

With an annoyed grunt Irral spread his wings, and darted for the ships personally, breaking the sound barrier and heading to Mach 7 within a matter of two seconds, the shock wave from his sonic boom rumbling the earth beneath them as he headed towards the ships, Lance at the ready.

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


The eye flashed bright green as it was inserted into it's place in the floor. The green beam of light was sent from door to eye, the Emerald Eye Pendant refracting the light skyward. The beam of light grew in strength and brightness, comparable almost to a quasar, as it shot straight through the hole in the ceiling and made contact with Sol high above.

A hum began again from behind the door.
"SET THE SECOND"
The door spoke again, if possible even louder than before, words that could be felt in the very bones of those present.

Ospian'likSetting: Ospian'lik


A great emerald beam of light, the beam being only visible to Irral, stretched through space and time. It hit the Emerald Eye Pendant, which started to brilliantly glow.

A voice would permeate Irral's mind, with it a vision: The Impervious Door, with one glowing eye, the other dark, it's features seeming more lifelike than ever before.
"SET THE SECOND"
The Impervious Door called for the return of the second Emerald Eye Pendant.

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


Aoi watched from a bit further away from the others, well within the distance needed to reach it in only a few seconds for him, but far enough to watch from a distance with extreme interest. And more importantly, listen. Aoi made use of his exceptional hearing, and decided to listen in on everything from a distance, even going so far to take off the headphones he had specially made for him.

"Well well, this looks like it could get interesting...and the rewards are so high in potential...I wonder what I will buy this time..."

While thinking those thoughts, and watching the others as they discussed the door, the door began to speak itself...Aoi decided to specifically listen to the door now, and since it was making sounds on his own, he might be able to gather more data on it. Density, mass, possibly even material if it was unique enough.

Aoi took up a closer position, not really going out and introducing himself and not overly noticable. However, his main focus at the moment would definently be the door in front of him.

"If its really sturdy, then there definitely has to be great treasure ahead...."

Incidentally, Aoi was rather greedy and ambitous, having made a name for himself in certain circles...very few of them legal.
Havasikaji slowly nodded her head at the pirate's explanation. "Why do we need keys, though? Couldn't we all just try to blast down this door with our combined strengths?" She then muttered to herself, "I could probably do it on my own..."
"And also, what exactly do these keys look like? Where can we find them?"
Casren Bistreo pointed to the great green beam of light.

"The keys," He explained with a bit of excitement, "are the Emerald Eye Pendants. One of them was already here, and the other...Er," Casren turned to the pirate, "Where did you find it, anyhow?"

Out of the corner of his eye, the vampire watched bemused as yet another inspected the door.
Blackheart nodded towards Casren, "Funny story actually. I picked it up as a fancy brooch from a general store. It wasn't until it started yelling at me that I realized the importance of it." Irral was taking his sweet time, and by now the Captain had gotten bored.

He found a nearby wall, sitting down with his back resting on it. He flicked the lid off his flask, having a slow drink of the whiskey within. The newcomer was nearly famous in underground circles, the HUD in his eyepatch labeled the young child as Dark Sparrow, a hired assassin. "Cheers mates! I'm sure the gecko will be here soon." Not like he's engaged with the Aschen or anything! He chuckled, enjoying his aged whiskey.
"It? You mean the pendant, or the general was yelling at you? Just curious, cause I have met a few robot generals who would fall under the it category" Aoi asked, sitting cross legged on a rock behind Blackheart. Wait, just when did he get there? Well, that was his little secret, and if asked, he probbly would not explain it. At least, not yet. But he expressed an almost innocent like curiosity.

Aoi had decided to go with this for two reasons. One, he wanted to introduce himself before the door opened. He figured if he didn't, the people around might get suspicious. Besides, he was aware two people had noticed him. Its not like he was being overly stealthy, but a normal person wouldn't have noticed so he figured these people could have some talent.

He had no interest in a suicide mission after all, at least not an unneccessary one.

He then turned towards Casren with a smile. "You seem to know a lot about this door, gramps. Have you already explored it? Anything that might give us enough shock to stop a heart from beating...or maybe, make it start beating again?"

Admittedly, Aoi knew almost nothing about the people before he arrived. He had heard rumors of Blackheart, but Casren sort of interested him. After all, he didn't hear the usual heartbeats he got from everyone else. He considered vampire, but in a multiverse as large as this one, he couldn't be certain it was not something else. Zombies, some immortals, a few gods even, or so he heard.

"Of course, oen of us could always try to pick the lock if we felt impatient...but personally, I dont feel like upsetting that thing or doing soemthing unneccessary that will probably end with all of us dead...or re-dead".
Havasikaji narrowed her eyes at the young, blue-haired teenager who just seemed to sort of... appear. "Where did you come from, boy?" she asked. Then she turned to the others in the room, and said, "And for Satan's sake, why hasn't anybody put in the other key yet?! All we've being doing is making small talk and sitting on our thumbs! Can we just move on!!!" She stood there, fuming and huffing.

Ospian'likSetting: Ospian'lik


At velocities approaching relativistic speeds, at which Irral was approaching at .05 the speed of light, the Aegis cruiser would stand little chance, with his full dragon form in force.

It would take a paltry second to cross the vast distances between the edge of the aegis field, and the Aegis cruiser closest to his position, and upon impact, Irral would first strike against a shimmering curtain of light, the Aegis cruiser's shields flared brilliantly, but was ultimately incapable of repelling kinetic energies of that magnitude.

If the impact at near relativistic velocities didn't liquefy the insides of the dragon, he would after a split second find himself still sailing through space, with the Aegis cruiser broken in two, and drifting apart.

Flames, gases, and electrical arcs, along with hundreds of bodies danced through the blackness of space. But he would still be within the influence of an albeit slightly weaker anti-magic field, which meant he was likely unable to orient himself until he passed through, and outside the aegis field.

---

Aboard the Command Carrier, Montrose grit her teeth, as EVE informed her of the loss of an aegis cruiser.

"We cannot afford to lose any additional cruisers, if we do, the creature will regain it's magical capabilities and be able to attack us. His current velocity also makes any firing solutions ineffective. It's anticipated he will attempt to disable all of our aegis cruisers."

She keyed the fleet interface once more, ordering the robotics cruisers to begin launching drones, and they began to comply.

The two Hesperides class drone carriers began to release their compliment of Furie class drones, each Furie drone was spherical in appearance, wielding four MEC-A6 30mm KEWs, which fired a High-Explosive Armor Piercing round with a carbide penetrator.

Hundreds turned to thousands, thousands turned to tens of thousands, like bees spewing fourth from an angry hive, Irral would find himself contending with nearly two hundred thousand Furie drones that began to quickly close in.

"Initiate diversionary tactics, keep him from attacking the Aegis cruisers." EVE Recommended.

"Launch all fighters!" Montrose called out.

Two of the Hastati class cruisers followed suit, coming about, their shields flashed angrily as they moved into attack position. They too began to open fire, discharging brilliant green streams of turbodisruptor energy towards the dragon.

Each turbodisruptor bolt contained millions of degrees worth of thermal heat, enough to liquefy metal, and penetrate most ship hulls with ease, it was the standard mainline weapons platform of Aschen capital ship warfare.

Roughly 150,000km away from the Aschen formation, additional surges of energy came fourth, and another dozen ships jumped in.

A single Reverence II, the Perdition's Flame, escorted by a trio of powerful Iconoclast class battleships, a duo of Punisher class battleships, four Hastati class cruisers, and two Hera class fleet tenders.

The Fleet Tender began to make course towards the broken Aegis cruiser, where it would attempt combat rescue operations, and salvage.

The Reverence II slowly began to come about, bearing all one thousand five hundred starboard turbodisruptor batteries against Irral.

"Concentrate your fire on that creature!" Admiral Whitcomb bellowed aboard the CIC of the Perdition.

"Launch fighters!" She called out.

The Reverence II began to launch it's contingent of Raptor Talon, and Apollo fighters, by the dozens they streamed out of launch tubes located within the ventral sections of the ship, hundreds of glimmers of light, as squadrons of fighters began to deploy.

Aboard the Pride of Langara, EVE Chimed in.

"Additional fleet elements on station, Identified as Task Force Beta... Task force Constellation will arrive in two millicentons!"
The Emerald Eye, amidst explosions galore, began to rapidly absorb light once again. The catastrophe began to dim. Hundreds of glimmers of lights faded and flickered, those closest going out completely within 30 seconds of impact.

As the light absorbed, the wielder of the emerald eye pendant would have noticed a strong pull, an invasive thought, a growing itch. The Eyes were meant to be together. This one wished to return home.

The Green Beam of light, meanwhile, strengthened, widened, until it was a great beacon shining onto the wielder. It was almost as if the pull itself was coming from the green beam.
Irral's body shuddered with the weakening of the Aegis field, and now he could breathe again, his Magical abilities being slightly less restricted. Managing to turn his body, a majority of the incoming fire would likely miss him due to his speed, what did hit him would be distributed among his external scales, the tough material shining brilliantly as he let out a small growl of annoyed pain. That was hot! Once he was outside the Aegis Field, he immediately shrank to his human form again - figuring shooting at and tracking a twelve foot human form was much harder than a massive Dragon. However that also made the drones swarming him much more annoying. Twirling his Lance, he aimed to quickly dispatch them while his body began to radiate Draconian Light, and he zipped around the edge of the Aegis field, an arc of light trailing behind him similar to a comet tail. It was clear indeed that anything with anti-magical properties became his main focus, and there were three more Aegis cruisers for him to destroy.

The impact on the shield had acted as a Cushion, and the impact through the ship itself had slowed him down despite his high kinetic energy keeping him going. He couldn't handle more than two more of those kinds of impacts, he reasoned, before he would suffer permanent damage. Already he had Micro-Fractures along his body where he had impacted, and his muscles were highly strained. His Magical Healing properties wouldn't kick in unless all four of those cruisers were gone, and he was going to be unable to leave this place until they were dealt with as well.

At the same time, the Emerald Eye Pendant needed to be returned to the Door, and now it was showing him where it wanted to go. Irral paused, letting out an annoyed, yet pained grunt while keeping his speed as he darted around in an erratic pattern, not thinking about it, and thus making it all the more random as he moved. After a few seconds, he let out a mighty roar and, with the same speed as last time, charged the next Aegis Cruiser in his sight. Very much the same thing happened, with him transforming and maintaining his speed as he headed towards the Cruiser at break-neck speed, claws outstretched and now, roaring the whole time, an additional intimidation factor to stack upon his speed and size.

Straining himself, however, Irral did something different. Flaring out his wings, he was able to use them and just enough of his Magic power to slow himself down to the point where he would still be able to land on the surface of the Aegis Class Cruiser, and then jump off of it towards the next, and then to repeat that process for the fourth and final Aegis Cruiser. If he was successful, and didn't simply shatter the Cruiser into oblivion as he had the first, Irral would use his massive Blade-like tail to finish off the damage his initial impact would do, and aim to complete the cut, snapping the subsequent cruisers in half as well.

The Furie Drones however began to pose a problem, chipping away at his thicker scales on his back and flanks. As he continued his attack on the Aschen Fleet, Irral made it increasingly more difficult to target his belly and under-side, knowing that the rounds the Drones were firing would be able to penetrate his softer scales, and harm him. His Slowing down aided his efforts by allowing him to crouch low to the hull of the Aegis Cruisers as he attempted to hop between them, keeping his vulnerable belly safe, for the most part. The Fighters that were incoming, as well as the continued fire from the Hestati Cruisers and Reverence II concerned Irral greatly, and his body actually was reacting to the impacts now, scales and skin rippling, scales flaking off, and some rounds even penetrating, sinking slightly into his thick hide.

If the second Aegis Cruiser was successfully destroyed, Irral would not need to leave the field to regain control over his trajectory, and would be able to move as he pleased. The third would allow him to begin to heal himself and absorb insane amounts of Damage once more, and the forth would allow him to access his full strength, and teleport himself back to Terra without threat of being interrupted.

But he still needed to succeed in his efforts to destroy his targets first.
It took Irral moving at near relativistic velocities to destroy the first cruiser, and without moving at such velocities, he would likely learn quickly that the Aschen vessels were much more resilient than he gave them credit for.

They were anticipating these kinds of attacks now, and EVE had dissemenated the tactics and attack patterns Irral was using to the rest of the ship captains, along with tactical suggestions and possible ways to mitigate the damage he could deal.

"Utilize hard light shielding to protect from kinetic impacts."

What was at first a pliant cushion of shield turned into a hard, fast shimmering series of interlocking hexagonal plates, which radiated brightly with Irral's impact against the second Aegis cruiser. The hardlight behaved as if it was solid matter, providing a several meter gap between the shield barrier, and the hull of the cruiser itself.

"Hard light shields are holding." EVE reported.

It wouldn't be long until the Furie drones caught up with him, and while he managed to eliminate a great many of them outside of the magical suppression field, it seemed the two drone carriers simply continued to pour additional drones into the battlefield, though these drones seemed different.

Spherical in shape, like the furie drones, these Sentinel drones sported dozens of mechanical tentacle like appendages on their backs, multiple glowing blue eyes, and claw like appendages on the undersides of their chassis, which included things like sensor arrays, high powered cutting lasers, razor sharp hardened titanium claws, and all sorts of tools to carry out their objective.

They behaved much like a swarming, writhing mass as they moved from the nearest drone carrier.

Irral would find that each Aegis carrier he hopped to, would throw up this strange hexagonal barrier to protect itself from impact, but if Irral chose to try and strike the hexagonal plates of shimmering light, he would find with each impact, the hexagon would shift slightly red, along with the plates that endured weapons impacts from the nearby cruisers.

If the Furie drones reached him, they would form a sphere around him, constantly pummeling him with 30mm HEAP rounds until they were depleted, destroyed, or he managed to escape.

The Sentinel drones too, began to close their distance, their objectives clear, and while Irral could challenge the Aschen fleet, and EVE's increasingly optimistic predictions, escape was possible outside the aegis field, but that window too was closing fast, as the Command Carrier prepared it's planck field generator, which would inhibit forms of teleportation, portaling, FTL Jumps, and the like.

Among it all, Admiral Montrose continued to watch the holographic interface.

"Nobody challenges the Empire." She muttered to herself.
Irral's assault was halted. He hammered away at the hard-light shields for a good few minutes before the Drones formed their sphere around him and began their assault of 30mm fire. A single pained roar echoed from Irral's throat as the rounds started to shred his wings, which quickly spread out and rotated, swatting at a good majority of the drones around him while the Dragon flicked out his massive blade-like tail, aiming for another large portion of them while he turned towards the nearest edge of the Aegis Field.

He was taking far too much damage to sustain this much longer, and was going to be weakened to the point of capture, if not death if he wasn't careful. The Emerald Pendant had become a part of his magnificent scale formation on his chest, almost as a center-piece of the armor-like formation of Scales. It glowed madly, and its incessant pull towards Terra was getting on Irral's nerves. He would silence it by giving it what it wanted.

Heading as fast as he physically could without his magic to propel him, a good one-thousand times the speed of sound, Irral made a hasty retreat to the edge of the Aegis Field. Once he was outside, his body began to glow again, and his wounds began to heal rapidly. He turned, shifting into a humanoid-version of his Draconian Form, retaining the twelve-foot height, but now sporting his Scales rather than the armor, the scales forming a natural Armor as he turned, wings flared out to a twenty-five foot wing-span as his eleven foot tail twitched behind him. As he finished healing, he reverted fully to a Human form, the Armor returning, and his Lance appearing in his hand.

A Portal of Holy Draconian Light appeared behind him and he spread out his arms with another roar. A blinding flash of light would spread from his body, aiming to disrupt sensors and visual confirmation not via magic, but by sheer amount of Light being thrown around. Regardless of effectiveness, he would sink into the portal, heading back for Terra.
"Subject has retreated..." EVE reported. "It has taken the magical artifact with it, based on previous intelligence, I have extrapolated it's location, and am forwarding intelligence to the Imperial Intelligence Agency..."

"Update! Your task force has been redeployed to the Outlook system, I am uploading coordinates to Task forces Beta, and Constellation... it is recommended to commence jump."

Montrose huffed, while the wider Aschen fleet fell into formation, then disappeared as jump drives were engaged.

The strange cluster of stars in Pramia's night sky disappeared, one by one, as the battle came to an end.

The Impervious DoorSetting: The Impervious Door


Casren laughed at the outburst of impatience, his fangs showing for all to see.

"Well, you see, the other eye was here, but it departed shortly after we found it. Goodness knows why we didn't insist upon it staying here. According to, er, what was your name again?" Casren addressed the pirate, "The other eye should return shortly. By the way, where is the other eye?"
The ground shook as Irral slammed into the earth, standing from his kneeling position, the portal closing behind him. The Dragon's Human body shook as he took in a breath, and he continued to glow, the sounds of wounds healing under his armor audible. The Second Eye hung around his neck still, glowing madly now that it was close to the door. Squaring his shoulders, Irral's back popped loudly, and he shuddered. His Lance was held in one hand, and with his other hand he removed the Emerald eye, holding it up to the door, slowly walking towards it.

He wasn't planning to stick around, however. Once the door was open, he was going to return to his own realm, and heal after his battle with the Aschen.
"Ha! The Second Eye! It is there!" Havasikaji pointed to the armored man who'd appeared with the Second Eye. "I like this man! He's much more useful than all you guys!"
Havasikaji sat on a rock and took out some jerky, chewing on it. "At least now we can get on with this damn adventure," she muttered to herself in her native language.
All the light in the room, save the great green beam, absorbed into he eye Irral held.
"SET THE SECOND"
The door spoke to Irral. The eye of the door not projecting a beam pulsed with green light. The energy in the air was almost electric. Something big was about to happen!
Irral ported in, obviously worse for wear due to engaging the Aschen. Integra grinned, standing up and polishing off the last of his flask. "Oi, look who finally arrived! Took ya long enough." Turning to the undead, he smiled "Speak of the devil and he shall appear, eh? The reptile here has the second pendant. Gods know what took so long."

Stretching out his muscles which had began to grow inactive due to the long period sitting, Blackheart snapped his fingers, prompting the undead Servitors to stand at the ready, weaponry locked onto Irral. Three gauss cannons, eight power swords, three laser rifles, four modified rotary autocannons, and one magitech cannon, all ready to light up the wounded dragon should he make a threatening move.

The elementalist said something about the dragon being useful, "Ironic," the Captain chuckled, considering they'd been waiting on Irral for sometime now. Even the door seemed impatient now. "Long time no see Gecko, you look well. Place the pendant so we can get started, M'lord."

"Blackheart my love," The AI chirped in his ear, "The Aschen retreated, presumably they will be here soon once they're better mobilized." Blackheart sent back non-verbal confirmation.
From outside lumbered a rather odd sight. One who, unlike Jennifer and Casren, was able to force the main gates open with sheer strength and a loud creaking sound not long after the green light shot up into the air.

It seemed to stand like a massive snowman, half again as tall as a normal human, moving on a snakelike tail of blackened snowballs. On its back was a massive frozen claymore, easily longer than a human was tall, and the haft was the length of a man's arm. A tattered, faded black T-shirt was stretched over its huge chest, with "Gambit's Bar" barely being able to be made out.

"What in the name of the Ice Lord is going on here? I just hope there's still some fun to be had for myself."
Apparently forgotton about and ignored, Aoi watched for now as all the pieces went into place, and the door as it reacted. It seemed that it was finally showtime, but from what he had seen he would not be surprised if half this group would end up dead.

That said, this new...being...seemed sort of interesting. A being made completely out of ice, and what from what he understood was probably a Dragon. To be honest, he had never really been in the pressence of a Dragon yet, so he found it interesting. To heat the thump thump, beat beat of a Draconic Heart...to hear it resonate.

Aoi had a bit of a thing for melodies and music, due to his sensitive hearing.

The Dragon didn't seem like it was sticking around, but this popcicle seemed like it would. Aoi could use this, he seemed like someone who could take a hit, or fifty.

"Well now, it looks like you made it right on time. We have not begun the party just yet, but don't worry, I think everyone here should make for a good group...that said, did I miss the part where everyone introduced themselves already? My name is Aoi, Aoi Azul, professional treasure hunter. You can call me Aoi, Aoi-kun, or however you might say it where you are from".

While he said that, Aoi made sure to listen to how they answered, to try and learn more about them. On the surface, people could fake voices pretty well, but Aoi could pick up things that no one else could with his hearing. He could hear the slightest traces of doubt, and sometimes if they were already thinking about it, he could even pick up hidden malicous intent...like the intention to betray their comrades, based on how they responded.

Of course, being able to hear heartbeats at a distance was very useful for that as well.

That said, from waht he could see, there was still a critical issue with this group currently...though the fact that Casren had not pointed it out either also interested him.

"So then, unless anyone wants to back out now, shall we proceed?"
In the skies above the collenham mountains, a ripple of thunder echoed through the mountains.

Then, through the clearing above the chamber where the Impervious door sat, a flash of multicolored light filled the room with brilliant rainbow colors, followed by an even louder thunderclap.

The flash culminated to a vortex, which flashed brilliantly, a figure in sleek, all black armor emerged, it’s face completely obscured by a glossy black helmet and visor. What betrayed the figure’s identity, was the sleek, compact disruptor PDW that was held in the low ready position while the figure moved forward, energy shields rippling a faint shimmering blue across the figure’s armor.

Another flash, and a second figure emerged, it’s PDW too held in the low ready position, it took position immediately to the left of the first figure, and then crouched on one knee.

A third flash, revealing a third figure, this one sported a full sized Type 53 disruptor rifle, modified with some sort of emitter attatched to the underside of it’s barrel, an emitter that, to the magically sensitive would seem unsettling, emanating anti-magical energies that while not outright suppressing or anti-magical, a keen sense could impart that this particular weapon dealt enhanced damage to magical entities.

This figure moved immediately right, taking position near some stone outcroppings.

A fourth flash followed, a fourth figure in the same armor, sporting a subcomact MC-3 PDW, a newer Aschen styled weapon that fired magnetically accelerated projectiles, they took up position near the first two figures, moving to a crouched one knee position, weapon held at low ready.

A fifth and final flash revealed yet another sleek black armored figure, but this one seemed different, their figure obscured by a large jacket, which obscured two disruptor pistols holstered at their hips.

On close inspection, every one of these individuals sported all sorts of equipment, affixed to nylon, and kydex fasteners to their kanvium armor, from antimana grenades, to rucksacks strapped to their backs, every one of them looked like they were ready for a serious fight.

EVE’s voice chimed in Anquietas in the first figure’s ear.

“All assets in position, use extreme caution, one entity has been detected to have energy signatures matching that of an entity Classis I engaged in the Opsian’lik system.”

The lead figure sent a mental acknowledgement, before turning towards Irral.

It watched somewhat impatiently as he set the stone.
As the stone was set in place, Irral froze, letting the Emerald set itself as he turned his head towards Blackheart and his Servitors, and then further to observe the Aschen as they made their appearance. As the stone was set, Irral's Lance slide from its sheath to his hand. "Lower your weapons or perish. I will not ask again." He growled. His voice boomed and shook the ground, but he made no other movements.

This over-confident Pirate who insisted upon insulting him was getting on the Dragon's nerves to say the least. Who did he think he was? Speaking to a Dragon so casually? What in the name of the Light had this human's head so far up his own ass? Why did the Aschen likewise think they could contend with a Dragon? The metal of his gauntlet and lance groaned under his grip. By now his wounds from fighting the Aschen Fleet had mostly healed, and his damaged bones were being coated in calcium; hardening as the nerves likewise mended themselves, though with higher pain thresholds.
The pendant flashed bright green as Irral inserted it into it's place in the floor. The second eye of the Impervious Door flashed, projecting a second green beam into the eye on the ground. Like the first, the green beam of light was sent from door to eye, the Emerald Eye Pendant refracting the light skyward. The beam of light grew in strength and brightness, comparable almost to a quasar, as it shot straight through the hole in the ceiling and made contact with Sol high above.

A deafening silence blanketed the room. It was as if someone had turned off the sound.
The Impervious Door spoke again, the eyes in the door projecting beams into the eyes in the ground, which then projected beams into Sol high and far above.

"AWAKENED IS THE DOOR"


It wasn't a trick of the eyes, though to most who noticed it would seem to be so, but for a brief moment Sol dimmed. It brightened again, almost immediately, and as it did it presented another beam. A third beam of pure light, which seemed to be all colors at once as well as none of them at all, shot from Sol into the cavern.

The beam of light came to rest on the mouth of The Impervious Door. In the pure light of Sol, the mouth of the door looked to be alive. This time it was definitely no trick of the light-the door's mouth was moving, slowly, opening, slowly. A great hum emanated from the opening mouth, a strong gust of air whooshing in to the mouth as if by force. As the lower lip of the door descended, the great green beams from eye to eye faded, followed by the great green beams from the eyes in the floor to Sol.

The ground shook as the door's lower lip completed it's descent. It's mouth was left gaping open, revealing a long, dark passage. At first, the entrance was illuminated, revealing smooth stone and expert craftsmanship. A second later, the great beam of disappeared down the throat of the door, the door swallowing it whole.

There stood open the Impervious Door, mouth gaping, eyes glowing.
A flaming portal opened as the door spoke and stepping out of it was a woman with glowing tattoos. She blinked looking at the crowd gathered around the door.

"Well what in the Nine Hells? I seem to be late to a party here..."

Selena looked around at the odd group and at the door suddenly wishing her portal hadn't just closed behind her. "So um who wants to tell me what is going on here?"
Things suddenly started happening all too fast for Havasikaji to follow. As the very helpful man was about to put the eye in, a bunch of soldiers suddenly appeared with weapons and trained their guns on them. Then there was a bunch of light and the door stood open.
Havasikaji looked at the odd group around her; soldiers, dragons, wizards, strange synthetic creatures, pirates, vampires, snow creatures and now some magical woman. This last one asked what was going on, and to her Havasikaji replied, "Honestly, lady? I don't even know anymore."
She did, however, assume a combative stance against the soldiers. Flames grew and licked along her forearms and hands until it looked like blades made of fire had been grafted to her arms.
"Woah there, people."

An older man suddenly appeared, walking directly and deliberately in the crossfire of all the weapons that were being pointed, seemingly without a care in the world of the consequences. He almost seemed to appear out of thin air, but a few careful observers would've notice him walk up just before the door opened.

The man looked to be about forty or fifty, with jet black hair tied into a messy ponytail behind him, a shaggy beard that barely seemed trimmed, calm black eyes that seemed to settle like dust, and a casual grin with a piece of straw hanging out of it. He wore a faded blue kimono and a ragged white belt tied around his waist. He wore leather gauntlets, gray pants, and soft gray shoes. The only threatening devices he seemed to carry on him was a Yumi Bow and some kind of sword sheathed on his waist, though neither was drawn. His hands were behind his back, palms open, and he turned to face all combatants, which made sure everyone could see that he had no kind of attack planned.

"You all may be jumping too quick," he stated simply, "You all see enemies, but I see many allies to be made here. Now I came to see what this green light was about, probably like many, if not all of you, have done. We all come seeking the same goal. That make us allies, right?"

He turned towards the door, a calm and steady gaze made enlightened by the green hue the door was letting off.

"My name is Akio. I'm a wanderer by trade," he continued, "And where I want to wander is through that door, preferably with more friends than enemies. You all should do the same."

And before anyone could ask him anything, before anything could be done, Akio the Wanderer casually walked towards the door...and went through it, disappearing behind the green veil that cast it's inviting shadow to the rest of them.
“Allies,” Casren reiterated, watching Akio closely as he was the first to enter the door. No harm seemed to come of him, but Casren did notice something strange. His night vision didn’t seem to work as well down the hall, as it did in the room. He could still see better than any mortal.

“The Door has been opened!” Casren announced, maneuvering to the center of the crowd. He looked to Selena and Havasikaji, addressing them first, “It seems there’s something going on here that is bigger than all of us,” Casren then turned to Irral with a wink, “Perhaps even bigger than you!”

He then turned to address who seemed to be the leader of the Aschen unit, “Impressive entrance, and welcome back to the party! Shall we lower our weapons?” Casren looked pointedly to the Pirate, “Shall we investigate what lies behind this door?”

There was a distant series of booms- and then a min closer quake, come from outside the Mountain Fortress. For those native to snowy areas, it would be the obvious sound of an avalanche. Casren froze in place as the light from where they entered from faded fast.

“Ack!” Casren dove as a giant pile of snow poured in through the open hole, narrowly missing him. The snow kept coming as the avalanche proceeded, forming a solid column of ice and snow, clogging the ceiling hole and officially trapping everyone inside.

Casren let out a chuckle, gave the room a bow, and turned his back on the rest. He passed under the green glow and began to walk after Akio down the hall.

As he progressed, he noticed his supernatural abilities were most certainly muted. Not altogether gone, but he was no longer at his full power. This worried Casren- but was no deterrent. He remembered his cell phone and took it out to provide light, only to find it completely inoperational. As was his watch, he noticed. Technology seemed to no longer work past the threshold of the door- and he wanted to take pictures! A pity.
Aoi felt a little sad, not much because he worked as an assassin often times, or a thief, or such things like that, but still a bit sad on this specific occasion, that Casren did not notice him. However, he shoved those feelings of neglect and disheartedness to focus on the job at hand....at least, he was trying to...but then they arrived.

There were five of them.

They came in on rainbow lights.

They had martial arts and advanced tech.

The moment he saw them, he could not help but calling out despite worrying about the possible dangers....

"IS this...is this the Aschen Power Rangers?!"

He said it. After that, he looked over at the pirate and the Dragon.

"Uhh, guys....the Aschen Power Rangers are here...so instead of turning this into a big huge fight, we should probably enter the dungeon and start the...the...the..."

And then, again reacting to the litteral vortex of events that occured, he turned towards the one who introduced himself as Akio.

"Wait wait, Akio?! Your not...no, no. Just the same name, you two dont look the same at all. Sorry about that, its just, the last time I met someone named Akio...well, lets just say he was a very curious vampire scientist....who likes to experiment on people...yeaah, lets just go into the dungeon".

And with that, before he got caught up in the craziness, he followed Casren into the dungeon while pouting a little.

"You know, you totally forgot to talk to me at all....uhg..."

But when he entered the dampening field, Aoi threw up almost instantly. All of Aoi's "supernatural" abilities were actually abilities that were produced from his own body. It meant each time he used them, there would be recoil, even if it was small and managable, but the way this acted it felt like it was trying to worm his way into his body to dampen him, and caused him to throw up on the process in this hallway.

Hopefully people watched where they stepped, or they would be stepping in vomit.

Notably, his advanced technology also seemed to disable, but not his headphones. Of course, his headphones were made of special material even harder then the door of the Dungeon, which was Impervious, and enchanted several times over, due to the fact they were necessary for him to function normally.

In fact, if normal people wore these headphones, they would be totally incapable of hearing any sounds including the ones they made themselves, but Aoi had been wearing them and participating in normal conversations, even talking to people far away from him.

Thankfully, his supernatural hearing seemed relatively unaffected...if that got dampened, he would have likely passed out and been unconscious for days.
The Aschen team quietly held their position while the door opened up.

Visions flashed through Marlene's head as she stared at the gaping maw of the opened door.

"Our technology won't work past this door; we need to improvise." She said quietly to herself, while her eyes were affixed to the door.

"Change of plans, beyond that door, our weapons won't work, switch the suits to manual, and power them down. I'm going to make a quick errand." She said to the rest of her teammates.

They all nodded in unison, slowly lowering their weapons, and letting them hang loosely across their bodies.

One by one they removed their helmets, letting them fold back into the suits with an audible 'snick'

Three females, and two males made up the Aschen team, including Marlene Angel, an individual whom had quite the reputation.

Throwing a few strands of hair away from her face, Marlene dropped her Disruptor, and placed her hand on one of the many large boulders in the chamber.

Undeterred even by the avalanche, a portal shimmered into existence against the Stone. The portal was a clear image of some kind of military lockup, but everything was in Taiyou.

Marlene moved first, stepping through the portal, she grabbed five Seburo Type 64 rifles from the rack, and began passing them out to her team. Each one of them took their rifle with a nod, while Marlene stepped back through the portal, returning with an ammo container in one hand, and a magazine container in another, along with load bearing vests in Olive drab slung over her back.

She passed out simple halogen flashlights powered by alkaline batteries, and attachments for the weapons.

"Let's do this, I'll take point. Connors, on me, Jacque, Duram, cover our six, Solis, watch the flanks."

Moving into a bounding overwatch formation, Marlene advanced first into the door, as her portal closed.

The rest of her team followed closely with flashlights illuminating the hallway.
Havasikaji warily lowered her weapons as Akio confronted them all. Then as they all started moving through the door, Havasikaji readied herself to dash through the door, when there was a sudden avalanche that blocked off all the exits. "Whoa!" she cried, and immediately a cone of flame darted up from her hands to engulf and melt an ice boulder that would of crushed her. All that fell on her was a bunch of cool mist that helped to freshen her. "That was close," she said in her thick accent. "Now let's go!"
Right as she was about to go through, she noticed something strange. A man in a dark blue hoodie was walking towards the gate. He walked at a calm but steady pace, right towards the door. He did not speak to the others, but he just passed through. He hadn't been there before.
Havasikaji frowned. "Hey! Hey, you in the hood!" she shouted, but the man ignored her and kept walking. She scowled, but then thought about the semi-mysterious manner the others had entered. Thus, she shrugged it off and continued on her way through the Impervious Door.
Immediately she could feel her magic begin to weaken. She shivered. She felt cold with the heat of her demonic powers dampened. She saw the others weren't faring well either. The blue-haired kid threw up. Everyone's technology had oddly stopped working, though this did not affect Havasikaji as she had come from a third-world country. Even so, the others were definitely downtrodden; the vampire seemed upset he couldn't take any pictures, and the soldiers had to go back and get new guns that would work. The man in the hoodie was barely affected at all; as he entered, he stumbled a tiny bit, but then continued on in his brisk but calm pace. What's his deal? she wondered. But she just ignored him and instead went over to the kid who puked and asked, "Hey, are you alright?"
"Hold on. These guys are Aschen?" A mostly featureless face twisted itself into an expression vaguely resembling anger. "One of these days, I swear, you'll pay your tab...but first, the business of this door."

Upon hitting the threshold, he cried out. "Agh! W-what? Some kind of magic...it's interfering with my ability to sustain this form. I can fight it off, but it'll drain my stamina. We have to move quickly." As if fighting against some sort of invisible tide, the Snow Warrior soldiered on into the breach, following the team of off-world talent.
“Mind the, ah,” Casren picked his way over a dash of vomit, feeling a strange tingle throughout his body. On inspection, his veins would be showing black through his skin. The vampires features had become gaunt. His sandy gold hair almost seemed to bristle.

“Are you faring well? My deepest apologies, I didn’t mean to disregard you.”

His voice was higher pitched, too. Casren waved to the one in the hoodie.
A small bipedal feline, standing with a humanlike posture, walked up to the door behind everyone else. Its fur was predominantly white, with an accentuation of dark brown, including entirely white ears, noticeable for their curled tips. The tuft of fur between the ears was dark brown and curled up. The collar of fur around its neck was also dark brown, and had a curl that rose to the face. Its eyes are were light blue, with blue-green pupils. The two tails it had were dark brown at the base, and ended in white, fluffy curls. Its arms ended in dark brown patches, and its legs were mostly dark brown in a fashion resembling stockings. Hidden inside its ears, safely tucked away, were colored organs used to emit psychic energy. It was wearing a small traveling outfit that consisted of a small blue coat with pockets, a blue-green shawl, no doubt with pockets, and a red-orange flower pin.

So, it's a door. Terra is an odd place. Well, this is where I was told a treasure was sleeping. Seems a lot of other hopefuls are here, though. Humans are annoyingly organizational.


It walked forward, intent on passing through the entrance, disregarding the presence of the others at the moment. The sensation that awaited was unexpected, however. It's expression never changed.

My strength fades... Is it Gastro Acid? Not quite... Definitely not Paralysis, and definitely not Confusion.


Throwing a few air punches while staying behind most of the main group, it looked at its arms.

I can still use some of my Moves. This shouldn't be too big an issue, and my movement feels unhindered. My eyesight feels less sharp than normal, but my senses are intact. This is... No. It's a Seal Trap? Have I been Sealed? ...That must be it. A Seal Trap that also applies the effect of Gastro Acid. It isn't a PP-Zero Trap, since I can still use some of my moves.


The feline would then fish around in her bag, as if looking for something, unless she was interrupted.
"How fascinating" An old, wizened man placed his hand on the door, rubbing it and gazing at it with old curious eyes. How he had come to be there was inexplicable, none would have seen him enter, none would have seen anything that suggested he had arrived. One moment he wasn't, and the next, he was just there.

"I wonder how long ago this was made, and the hands that must have made it... perhaps the descendants yet live? This light is curious, I wonder what it's purpose is."

The oddity of this man was perhaps compounded by the fact that whatever seemed to be effecting the others had no hold over. The curiosity of the door however did cause a very strange sort of mirage to shift in and out of visibility.

At once there was two figures. The old wizened man with his robes and curious eyes, and the ungodly massive body of a dragon larger than the whole of the planet.

Dorant Magthulia, that was his name, and there were perhaps a handful of people that might recongnize him, for he the beast for which Dorant Valley Was named. He was the great and ancient dragon that had nearly destroyed the world merely through the act of being present upon it's surface.

He peered at Akio and said suddenly "My dear fellow, you seem to be surrounded by ghosts, and some of them seem quite old." The blue eyed Dorant carefully walked over to Akio, or rather to a space on his left, peering at something that wasn't there. "Hmm, interesting. They look like you. I figure your related? So very curious, you little things."
As the various adventurers progressed towards the end of the passage beyond The Impervious Door, which disabled most technology and damply muted all magical, supernatural, mutant, or otherwise superb abilities, a jumbled figure slowly emerged from the darkness. At first it looked like a pile of rocks. The Aschen flashlights revealed its true form.

Crouched on the ground, blocking the way forward, was an enormous Gollum. It appeared to be made from the same materials as The Impervious Door. Open eyes set with sparkling emeralds stared down at the party. It’s expression was one of peace. It had its left elbow placed on the ground before it, hand extended forward with it’s palm turned up. It seemed to be waiting for something.


By this time, Casren Bistreo was exhausted. Bristly clumps of hair emerged from random spots on his body. His ears had grown to points. His suit hung on him, and his pupils were far too large. The adult male, who had been of fair complexion, was now gray skinned and dark haired.

He gave a weak smile back at Cryoface, gesturing towards the Gollum. The two kinda looked alike.
Selene hung back a bit as the others made their way into the hall. She began to whisper in a demonic language and a small portal opened up. From the portal a a wolf like creature stepped out. It was covered in red fur with a row of curved spikes along it's back. Its tail was covered in quills like that of a porcupine. A green acidic poison covered them. It's eyes glowed green and a fel green fire burned within it's mouth.

Selene looks to the hall and the hellhound dashed into the hall. It let out a howl and it could be seen that the fire with it's mouth had died down. Selene didn't like this but she followed her hellhound into the hall. She felt a drain on her power and frowned she hoped this was only temporary... She hoped this even more as she reached the end of the hall and saw the gollum.
The Man in the Hoodie continued to ignore the advances of the others and continued on at a brisk pace. Havasikaji looked to Casren and gave an apologetic shrug. But she was very cold. The strange effects of the door had caused her magic to become weaker, and her breath came out in puffs.
When the golem suddenly formed, Havasikaji started a fire spell, but then saw it appeared to be friendly, so she left her powers on standby. The Man in the Hoodie, however, continued to walk forwards, attempting to bypass it and continue on his/her/it's/their way.
The Gollum’s eyes lit up, bathing everyone present in a green glow. He would prove completely impassable to the man in the gray hoodie, as well as any others who simply tried to press on.

“It’s... alive?” Casren panted out, maintaining his human form a labored task.
The Man in the Hoodie stood there, looking up at the massive yet peaceful golem, which would not let them pass. Casually, they lifted a gloved hand and attempted to bash the golem out of the way with an unnatural and crushing force.
As Aoi started to recover, somewhat, from the unfavorable feeling the Dungeon had just given him, it seemed to try and go further and further...before it let up, if only a little. As if the Dungeon seemed to understand that the further his powers were dampened in that manner, the worse he would be physically. If it wasn't for Aoi's headphones, he would probably be dead from that already.

"Well, that was...is...unpleasant. And, just dont keep forgetting me okay...old man? Sorry, dont think I got your name. Or, the vomit impulse is screwing with my memory a little" Aoi told him as they entered the main room, looking upon a huge golem with its arm in a weird way.

Curiosity took over Aoi a little, as he began to circle the statue. At least he could move himself just fine, and he had his mind and his ears. Not that his hearing could do much here, but...it was still something. At the very least, he was able to tell that this statue was strong, sturdy, and possibly invincible. It made him wonder if it was made from the same materials as his headphones, but he decided to not attack it in fear it would react...poorly...

Actually, as he circled it, and he looked at the position, a thought occured to him...however...

"No way...it can't be that. That would be ridiculous".

The only reason he even thought of it was because of that friend he had who did that all the time, but in a dungeon? He dismissed the idea entirely as being foolish...

"...well, maybe?"

Not entirely dismissed it though, but he still didn't bring it up because he didn't want to be seen as someone crazy or foolish on the likely chance he was wrong. At the very least, he decided to wait and see what all of the others thought up first before making the suggestion...if someone else considered it, then he might mention it as well. Or if they ran out of more plausible ideas.
Southpaw sentry was unable to be crushed, or moved with physical force. The man in the gray hoodie would find his powers weakened along with all else who traversed down the hall.

Southpaw Sentry frowned from his crouched position, hand extended forward and open. Slowly the Gollum’s mouth widened. In a low rumble, he spoke:

”When power brought is power lost,
Your greatest tools will pay the cost,
But grip in numbers met against mine,
Will open the way to power divine.”
Dorant started at the golems voice and, Akio and his ghosts forgotten, The old man immediatly approached and began to appraise the golem "Absolutely fascinating.... So that's what that strange itch is, I was wondering about that."

He tapped the golem in several places with his walking stick, testing it's firmness and solidity. He gave it a slight kick in one of it's legs and, seeming satisfied by the impact he made, or rather the lack thereof, he came to circle in front of it, seemingly oblivious to the others in the room.

"I do so love riddles... Let's see now.. Power brought is power lost obviously refers to the studious drain on magic this place causes... I haven't the foggiest about the greatest tools, but Grip in numbers... perhaps that refers to cooperation among multiple members...." He turned and gestured widely at the group "I think the way it's offering it's hand is some sort of symbol, a gesture of unity."

Dorant then turned back and placed his hand in the golems own, looking up at it expectantly.
"Power brought is power lost? Well, that certainly explains why I feel like something's pushing against me," Cryoface grumbled with a voice that sounded more human than his usual timbre of a shifting ice sheet. "But I can push back. And if I have to arm-wrestle this golem to get through, then that's what I'm gonna do!"

A gigantic mitt reached up, but even he couldn't properly grasp the statue's outstretched hand. So he settled for leaning on it near the elbow. "I can hold a couple of you on my shoulders, we can push against him that way."
There was a mighty rumble. Southpaw Sentry's frown leveled into a neutral expression. The green light cast from the eyes, while still bright, was slightly less green. The shift was subtle, but those touching it would notice the great hand of the gollum sink ever so slightly towards the ground.

Casren wheezed out a chuckle, reaching to rest his own hand on the thumb of the gollum. As he did, the remainder of his vitality snapped, and he promptly assumed his bat form. Aggravated chirps echoed around the passageway. A sleek cell phone and an engraved pocketknife clattered to the palm of Southpaw Sentry. Casren, now a bat, landed on the great thumb and took his rest. The hand shifted again, slightly, down.
"Well that seems to be doing something..." Said Selene as she and her hellhound stepped closer to the gollum.

Selene spoke a command in demon to the hellhound and the creature jumped up onto the gollum's hand.

"Well here goes nothing..." Selene said placing her hand on the gollum's hand.
Akio ventured forward at a slow, steady pace. He seemed surprisingly calm with the scenery around him, the dark and damp walls of the cavern that felt so vast yet so claustrophobic. He was unperturbed with the change in the atmosphere as it seemed to affect him, all three types of magic that brewed inside himself was suppressed if not negated entirely. He could not sense the shadows anymore, nor could he pull from their energy. The recently acquired Myrkul's Essence was also cut off and he could no longer feel the entity of Myrkul within himself, but he was okay, so long as he didn't suddenly morph into a giant dragon while in this cavern. The only energy he could feel was his bloodline, his ancestors and his heritage that remained by his side and within the blade he carried. The blood connection remained intact.

As he looked around him, he saw the effects of the cavern getting to them, some more so than others. The young one that couldn't be older than ten threw up from the feeling of it all, he noticed. The five colorful beings that had shown up right around when he arrived were improvising to the effects, attempting to use a varied form of technology to try and bypass the cavern's effects. Unfortunately, he watched as their lights died upon entry, regardless of the material they were crafted from or powered by. Their rifles were still a question to be factored in, but he wasn't sure whether the air would affect them or not. But if his assumption on this energy's existence was correct, they probably wouldn't fire either. This was meant to neutralize any advantage one person could have over the other. This was meant to bring them all down to the same level.

But why?

He figured the answer would be revealed later. Right now, there was nothing to worry about except walking down the hall.

He caught the words of the old wizard that appeared by his side, questioning the ancestors that were always by his side. To which he was not shy about talking about.

"Indeed," he responded in turn, "They show me the way, teaching me the lessons they've learned while giving me a little clairvoyance." He would be shocked about the fact that this man could see ghosts, except he knew one other...well, being...that could do the same.

Captain Ean Falcor...

He had understood when his ancestors had shared with him this path that he should take, one that involved many sacrifices, but many opportunities to take along the way. And so, he had let him travel on this journey, appointing an interim first mate while he was away and resuming business as planned. He knew they would be fine.

Eventually, he reached the end of the corridor, where the Gollum awaited, extending his hand forward and proclaiming his riddle. Akio thought along the same lines as the many around him did...until the wizard and the one named Casren made their move towards the Gollum and clasped it's hand. He watched as the effect the Gollum had on Casren took a sudden turn, transforming the once pale, slender man into the flying bat, revealing his vampiric ways. In that moment, he had the epiphany, understanding the riddle in full.

But was he willing to pay the cost?

We are...he very faintly heard his ancestors echo in the back of his mind. Trust us...

He looked at his blade, forged from steel, yet empowered by an unbreakable bond that seemed to transcend all material. He understood what taking this action would do. But his ancestors understood what would happen as well, and they were willing to do what was necessary to proceed. He nodded understandingly.

Neutralize the advantages...bring them all to equality...

He walked up, grasping the Gollum's hand. Immediately, he felt the effect rush through his body. The whispering voices in his ear were suddenly blanketed. The formerly suppressed powers were now gone altogether, including the one he deemed unbreakable. He glanced at his katana as he let go, knowing full well that his ancestors were trapped inside. To test the theory, he touched the hilt of the blade. But no energy seeped through into his being upon doing so. He was cut off from his bloodline. He was all alone.

And he knew the same effect either had washed over or would wash over anyone who touched this statue. They would be separated from their advantages, any and all of them. At least it was painless. Immortal beings would become mortal, inhuman strengths would become human. They would all be relegated to simple man, woman, and child...or whatever base form they would initialize. Thankfully for Akio, that wasn't his dragon form, as Myrkul's vein had been cut for the time being, in a similar fashion to how he lost connection with his ancestors. But he wondered what everyone would be like when they were stripped from their specialties and made normal. He wondered what normal looked like for everyone else when they touched the statue.

The Gollum's arm shifted lower.
Havasikaji reached out and touched the statue, and immediately let loose an unearthly scream. The golem's power was trying to rip away her inhuman abilities - to make her normal again. Thing is, she relied upon her inhuman abilities. As a half-demon, to destroy her inhuman abilities would be to destroy her.
With a shout, she pulled her hand back from the Gollum. This time, it's hand did not lower as she had not completed the form. She knelt on the ground. Smoke rose from her body, and she looked different; half of her body suddenly became demonic, with brick-red skin, glowing yellow eyes, sharp fangs and a curved horn. The other half of her body - the right side - remained human.
"That hurt," she gasped, "like hell." She slowly rose. "I... I don't think I can make it through here, guys. The power... if I were to let it fully course through me, it would kill me. It returns us to our natural forms; well, this is my natural form. To destroy it would be to destroy me."
Finding the item she wanted, a small seed that seemed to have unique properties, she consumed the item to no real effect.

This is... This effect is persistent. Well, with some of my power still available, I'll need to plan carefully.


Her small allowed her to mostly avoid getting too involved with those around her, but as they all moved forward and began interacting with the golem like entity, she thought for a moment.

A riddle. Original. Well, while they grasp for ideas, I'll see if my own can work.


Moving forward, the small feline walked forward up to the right side of the golem (its right), and attempted to use acrobatic maneuvers to get around it, through whatever small openings existed. It was during this attempt that Temperance's inherent physical abilities would be tested as to their effectiveness in this area.

----------------------------------------------------------
Temperance's Infiltrator
----------------------------------------------------------


Regardless of the outcome, Temperance would dust herself off and once more reach into her bag to fetch another item, albeit with some annoyed noises if it was a failure.
As Aoi watched and watched as others interacted with it, as people interacted with it, and specifically the arm, while others flapped about trying to circumvent the challange, Aoi became more and more sure his answer that he thought was ridiculous was actually correct. And because of that...

"Haha! Ahahahahahahahahaha!"

He ended up laughing over the silliness of it. He was pretty sure he had all the pieces now, though it was only thanks to Casren and a few others he put it all together....at least, he thought. There was still a chance he was wrong, but since it seemed like most people were trying to bypass the challange rather then face it, he decided he could wait any longer.

Waving off those who tried to bypass it, he just said what came to his mind.

"No no, dont try to skip any of the challenges. Dungeons with power like these, if you try to bypass it you will only likely forfeit any reward you could hope to get. No, in order to actually win and succeed, you need to complete the challenge...although I must say, I was not expecting a literal challenge like this...but I think I know what it is now. Well, Casren and the others did help me figure it out".

He walked over to the center of the room, near Southpaw, and then lay on the ground on his stomach and he put his arm out to mimic Southpaw.

"Now, I was not certain at first, but now I am. Look familiar? This position, the same one that Southpaw is using, is an Arm Wrestling Position. Oh, right. As for the riddle, I dont think this thing will kill us. It seems to only take enough power to make us equals sure....but maybe I am overthinking it, but that might not be the real objective. It only took our power so none of us could cheat, but left anything vital for living. After all, my powers are also tied to my physical body. If it was completely negated, it would require my DNA being rewritten, and that would have probably killed me. Anyways, I think I understand the riddle now too...I think multiple of us need to do this arm wrestling thing, work together to achieve divine power? Could be a reward, or could be what people consider to be the most divine of all...teamwork, cooperation, friendship".

Aoi stood up, and proceeded to push on the stone statue.

"That's just my guess though. And there is always a possibility this will still end up triggering a trap that causes this whole room to flood and kill us, so you should only proceed if your confident with my deduction and reasoning".

That said, Aoi was fairly confident he was right, at least this time. But this was a serious out of the box type challenge, so he had no certainty or guarantee on how helpful he could be with the next one.

He also ignored the fact that in terms of pure physical strength, the short fourteen year old might not do much. His skillset was less powerhouse, more tactical. He knew how to deal with a variety of trouble, and could show some power...but his specialty was logic and tactics, and producing sonic waves.
Two of the five Aschen, specifically Duram, and Michael moved carefully among the group as Marlene issued her next set of orders. Several of them kept their flashlights on the golem, while Michael, and Duram stepped up to the Golem itself, then they produced high-yield satchel charges taken from the armory that Marlene procured the guns.

"Put the charges around the legs, and see if we can find a weak spot, maybe a stone door, or something else." Marlene said, thumbing her chin.

Several clicks, and beeps followed as the men set the charges, and the three women moved about the walls of the chamber, looking for any discernible writing.

They would ignore the others, unless interfered with.
Southpaw Sentry's arm was significantly lower to the ground than when it started, but not all the way. It would seem the party was on to something with the arm wrestling bit. It lowered with each member of the party- even so when a hellhound landed on the outstretched hand.

”When power brought is power lost,
Your greatest tools will pay the cost,
But grip in numbers met against mine,
Will open the way to power divine.”


On the walls inscribed, over and over and over again, were the same words that had previously echoed through the chamber. Unfortunately for the small feline Temperance, there would be no way to slip beyond Southpaw Sentry.

As the charges were braced around the Gollum's legs by the Aschen his mouth deepened back into a frown. Not because he feared at all for himself: Southpaw Sentry would prove as impervious and indestructible as the door which came before him.

There was a low rumble. It was a familiar sound to most. The rumble stopped abruptly. After a moment's pause, a strange scent would be sensed by those with noses. It was methane based, absolutely horrible, and caused Casren to faint for a moment from where he perched.

When he regained consciousness, the vampire in bat form would look down and see Havasikaji crumbling under the effects of the Gollum. He flopped forward and glided down, landing on her and chirping comfort. They had to continue!

"Would my venom help?" Casren asked Havasikaji, hoping he could understand her as they both shared veins of darkness.

He sent chirps around the cavern again, realizing that something about the charges had changed- in that they had unhinged and fallen to the ground. In the Gollum's palm, his pocketknife had clattered to pieces.

It would appear the fart of the Gollum served to further deweaponize the party -and oh was it gross.
Irral watched the others enter the door, and saw that they lost their magical abilities. Having already dealt with that exact thing and having had to deal with its consequences, he decided against going through the door, and opted to return to his home in order to heal. With a flick of his wrist, a portal opened behind him, and he stepped through it, vanishing.

Irral was gone.
Picking herself up, Temperance walked backwards, staying away from the scent that began spreading. She put the solid blue Orb she had taken out back into the bag, seeing it have zero effect. Then, she waited.

Ugh, what rotten luck. I'll let these hotshots figure it out; my usual tricks are all disabled.
"Ugh... that stench..." Havasikaji muttered, still in her weird bloodied state. Casren, as a bat, walked over to her and asked if he could help her with some sort of venom. She wasn't exactly sure how he could speak to her, but at this point enough weird crap had happened today that she was completely unfazed. "Venom? What do you- wait, you aren't going to try to suck my blood, are you?" she narrowed her eyes, suspicious.
The... fart... had destroyed her oak staff, as well as her sense of smell ("Damn soldiers just HAD to try to blow him up, didn't they?" she muttered to herself in her native language). The others seemed affected as well, but not as much as the man in the hoodie. As soon as the fart hit him/her/it/them, they began to shudder violently. They let out a loud screeching noise, like metal upon metal, that would hurt the eardrums of all nearby. He would then collapse, no more than a pile of clothes and... other things.
A metallic voice, devoid of emotion, rang throughout the room. You have angered the Arkeyan Lord Gorahnal. Your price shall be in your blood.
There was a stunned silence, and after a minute, Havasikaji grunted, "Well, that can't be good."
She turned to Aoi as he solved the riddle. She nodded respectfully. "Good thinking, kid. However, I won't be of much help, being in this weakened state I am in right now."
“Darkness is as darkness does,” Casren chirped, himself only a little surprised she could understand him while in bat form. “I can lend you vitality, strength - the venom, like a reservoir. You cannot he turned, I take it?”

Bat Casren went to amble onto Havasikaji, when suddenly there was an outburst. He blinked and curled his ears - how loud! - but then, too, turned to Akio and the others who seemed to have figured it out.

The whole room could flood and kill them, granted the fart almost did, but collectively arm wrestling the Gollum with the glowing eyes seemed plausible, and ridiculous.

Worth a try.

Casren looked to Havasikaji, “Shall I?”

As Temperance retreated from the scent and spectacle, Southpaw Ssntry’s hand lowered even closer to the ground. At this point his eyes were pale green, still glowing, the color washing from them as the arm lowered.

It lowered again, ever so slightly, upon Irral’s departure. As the great draconian being left he might have heard a whisper; a thanks.

Few remained to make their decisions on how, or even if, to proceed. Southpaw Sentry stood still, a smile cracking the corner of his mouth.
Havasikaji was a bit suspicious of the bat that stood before her, but she was in great pain and needed something to relieve it from her. "Very well," she said in her thick accent. "Go ahead and work your magic."
She looked nervously over at the pile of what used to be the man in the hoodie. She could see strange machinery bits poking out. She wondered what that guy's deal was, and what would happen now - especially after what the strange voice had said.
Nimble for a seemingly old man, Dorant got tired of holding the creatures hand, and decided to instead hop up and sit on it. Shortly thereafter he reached into the satchel that swung at his side and pulled out a book, from which he began to read, his lips quietly muttering the words to himself as he smiled.

The book's title was in an ancient language that maybe one out of every ten thousand people would be able to read, but those who could read it would see it for what it was, a silly romance novel.

The old Dragon, stuck in his human form, seemed to have lost interest in the proceedings as they were no longer actually proceeding.
Selene growled out "You damn fools" as the Aschen bomb setting set off a gollum fart .

Selene wasn't sure if it was her anger flaring or something with touching the gollum that caused her to take on her demonic form her tattoos glowing as her hands shifted into claws and demonic wings grew out of her back.

The Hellhound on the the other hand seemed bored and lay down taking a nap on the gollum's hand.
Aoi waited and watched as...people ignored him entirely. With the exception of one or two, maybe three people, it seemed that no one had even bothered to listen to him. And his mind started to percieve some of them in his own way out of annoyance.

The Dragon, not being helpful at all as if he wanted his hand held the whole way, reading some book and not even trying to help.

The soldiers, completely messing around and not even bothering to actually attempt something, instead trying to break through what seemed to be the same material as the door, in otherwords impervious and so pointless to try.

The witch or demon or whatever she was, calling those Power Ranger fools which they certainly were, but also didn't seem to be trying or even acknowledged he said anything.

And there was also woman, who after trying to bypass it instead of at least trying to solve this directly, seemed to have given up and decided to make everyone else do everything since she couldn't just sneak past and bypass everything.

Meanwhile, Aoi had just explained his whole theory, the proof for it, and about how they could easily solve this puzzle, but instead of everyone with the exception of a few listening and cooperating, as the riddle indicated, they decided to do the exact opposite. Hence, he was pissed, and this was how Aoi saw everyone right now.

"Casren, since your in a bat form, you may want to brace yourself...this is going to get loud..."

Even though his powers were muted, they were not gone...and Aoi was pissed enough to face the Recoil he would face from using his powers while in a dampened state. But this had to be done, and so he took a deep breath and...

"WOULD EVERYONE, FOR A MOMENT, STOP SCREWING AROUND AND PAY ATTENTION?! Listen! If you are going to just screw around and mess everyone up, then you should just leave! This is a dungeon! We are supposed to listen to and cooperate with each other to complete challenges together, as a team! And yet, it seems that only a few of us are even going to bother to do any effort! Well how is this, no one is getting any damn treasure unless they actually participate! Here I am, I pretty much figured out the riddle on my own, but it seems like no one here actually wants to even bother trying!"

He was loud, but not just normal loud. This was "everyone's ears would be able to hear this even if they were covered and plugged" loud. Although it seemed like he had not totally lost it, it seemed he was not going to let this slide either. Although certainly, he saw the advantage in having more meat shields...err, allies to be useful, but if these allies would just slow them down and make them stop, then he should just cut the baggage right now.

"So listen! If you want any treasure from this at all, then as the riddle clearly said, you have to work with everyone else! Otherwise, you should just stop slowing down the rest of the party and leave the Dungeon to let those who actually want to make an effort be able to do something!"

With all that done, after using his powers while dampened....Aoi ended up throwing up on the ground a little, but otherwise seemed to not be getting hit too hard. Oddly enough, he actually looked a bit better.

"Ahhh, that felt good to get out. Ah, sorry about that Casren, but at this rate if I didn't do anything I might just end up killing everyone so....this seemed like the best solution".

Although parts of what he said were dangerous, Aoi seemed a lot happier again despite vomiting. Even though he was shouting and angry just a moment ago, it seemed that either Aoi got over anger easily....or had scary emotion control, and was still half a step away from cutting off the head of whoever bothered him next while just appearing peaceful and calm with a smile on his face...a scary smile, but still. It was as if alll the shouting was not even anger at all, only to get people's attention...and perhaps his real anger was the cooler, hidden, more icy kind.

After that, he took out one of his emergency chocolate bars and began to eat to help him get his strength back...or to have excess of it, should he need it.
Cryoface managed to find enough breath to bellow in something closer to his usual tone, the one he used to use when breaking up fights in Gambit's. "The woman is right. We must all push together if we are to progress...I cannot seem to move this alone in my weakened state. If you are not interested in working together with the rest of this group, I hear the sounds of battle coming from outside the temple. Perhaps your skills would be better put to use there. Except you Aschen, you can fuck right off to wherever you came from. Whenever you land on Terra, you bring nothing but trouble."
"I second this ice man's opinion, as well as that of the child here," Havasikaji said, waiting for Casren to perform his magic or whatever. "This Gollum seems to want us to work together, and tampering with such things would be foolish. So let's all work together, touch the hand and do some shitty magical friendship stuff, and somebody keep those soldiers away from here." She glowered at the Aschen troops. "I may not know much about the nations of other places, but I have heard of you 'Aschen' from the common folk," she said, spitting out the name of their empire out in a very accented way, so it sounded like "Ash-skawn". "You act like you can go and do whatever you want, like you own the entire Multiverse. Well, I think I speak for all of us when I say that you are not welcome here. Leave this place now, and don't come back."
Selene's eyes turned dark and she spoke in a Demonic voice "Watch your tone child...I case you haven't noticed me and my Hellhound have both been holding this damn statue's hand just like you... So don't you fucking try to lecture me!"

The Hellhound woke and let out a cold growl. "Silence Malik.." Selene commanded the Hellhound in her normal voice.

Malik the Hellhound went back to his nap.
Temperance's arms moved to cover her ears. How loud and inconsiderate. The formerly silent feline was going to speak, but then realized Telepathy was useless. They wouldn't understand her even if she said anything. Nonetheless, she did vocalize. Some people could understand Pokemon, even with the language barrier, so she could only bank on that. Turning to the obnoxiously loud Aoi, she tugged on his pants to grab his attention, and vocalized, quite upset.

Meowow Me-Meow MeMe-Owstic, Me-owStic!

(You're far too loud and rude, Little Boy Blue!)

Likely not anywhere near intimidating, but it was clear there was displeasure taken, regardless of if he understood her or not. She then walked up to the statue once more and stood to the side in front of it, turning to face the rest of the party. Then she stood in place waiting, this time crossing her arms, and looking ever so slightly more annoyed than her usual deadpan face let on.
Casren did his best to be gentle. He moved close to Havasikaji and opened his little bat mouth, clamping down with needle fangs and focusing his venom outward. A mortal would be turned into a vampire of the night by such a bite, however a half demon would find the venom to be a source of vitality.

After administering the venom, he curled into her neck and flipped his ears down to avoid the loud echoes of voice, from all present. Oh dear, he thought to himself as everyone proceeded to shout.

In the moment of silence that followed the exasperation’s Casren let out a series of chirps. He flew, a little clumsily as it had been a while, back up the the thumb of the hand. From here he gave a brief speech, Knowing at least some would get the message.

He implored the Aschen to join the party in touching the hand, or to at least stand back and stop showing aggression towards the Gollum. To the others he asked for peace, and to encourage the Aschen to join them. He mentioned the fart as a key point, and paused when he realized his prize possession, the cell phone, was a shattered mess. Casren the vat visibly faltered, but puffed his little chest out again to say one last thing.

“Power Divine. This must be worth it, for all of us, if such a promise has been made.”
The lone group of Aschen soldiers watched in slight frustration, and intrigue as the satchel charges seemed to fall apart under some perverse magical influence. They racked their weapons, but the guns seemed to jam.

Marlene quietly stood, and stared up at the golem, her mind pushing against the strange dampening so that she could mentally percieve all possible futures.

It seemed none of them bore fruit against the golem through conventional measures.

She scowled, and furrowed her brows.

"We're going to have to play nice." Marlene commented. "Let's negotiate this obstacle." She said aloud, gesturing for each aschen operative to place their hands in the golems.

Marlene committed each person's face to memory, she would work with them here, and order they be hunted like animals as enemies of the empire once the dungeon was negotiated.
Havasikaji grunted as Casren sunk his fangs into her. The energy coursed through her, and soon she returned to a human state, except for one odd feature; green and black vein-like structures repeatedly rose and fell on her body. She breathed deeply and smiled. "Much better now," she said, and her voice was a note deeper.
She watched as Casren and then the Aschen soldiers touched the palm. She eyed these latter suspiciously, but they seemed to be going along with it. Thus, she placed her own hand upon the palm of the Gollum.
The lone group of Aschen soldiers watched in slight frustration, and intrigue as the satchel charges seemed to fall apart under some perverse magical influence. They racked their weapons, but the guns seemed to jam.

Marlene quietly stood, and stared up at the golem, her mind pushing against the strange dampening so that she could mentally percieve all possible futures.

It seemed none of them bore fruit against the golem through conventional measures.

She scowled, and furrowed her brows.

"We're going to have to play nice." Marlene commented. "Let's negotiate this obstacle." She said aloud, gesturing for each aschen operative to place their hands in the golems.

Marlene committed each person's face to memory, she would work with them here, and order they be hunted like animals as enemies of the empire once the dungeon was negotiated.
Irral vanished and many of the assembled participants began walking through the door. Integra rubbed his chin in thought and sent his servitors through via Neural Link. "Guess the Gecko didn't want to stay and play. Poor fella, all tuckered out from playing with the Aschen." Bezalel manifested as a black hound with four red eyes, licking his chops and staring curiously at Blackheart.

"You're going in there? There's powerful magics at work in there. Dampeners and such." The Captain nodded, "Yeah... I am." The cybernetic enhancements in the servitors immediately failed, and when Integra entered the door, the necromancy keeping them moving got weaker. What was once a small army was reduced to shambling zombies, most were too heavy to even raise their arms.

The adverse effects on Blackheart were much more noticeable. First off, he vomited, the nanites in his blood stream and cybernetic enhancements failing entirely. It left him feeling very nauseous, and his magics were dampened. Even his connection to Bezalel felt weaker, though not gone entirely. The two were bonded much to tightly for that, and the Umbra Demon used this bond to help mitigate negative symptoms that suddenly ravaged its host's body.

Walking slowly, almost as slow as the zombies, Integra could hear arguing in the distance. Not very surprising considering how motley their bunch was. Ignoring almost everyone entirely, he shambled his way to the large stone Gollum, leaning on it to help prop himself up.

This proved to be a mistake, as the Gollum drained away even more power from the ex-pirate. Bezalel grew silent, and could only barely be felt. His shadow resumed a normal form and the Servitors collapsed in a heap on the ground. Many of the magical artifacts he carried lost their magicka and even Blackheart himself felt much of his magical reserves siphoned away. That's when the small assassin boy started screaming.

"Oh for Feck's sake. No one knew this was going to happen!? Chronologically speaking ive been dead for centuries. Now a majority of the crap keeping me alive is failing, I have a massive headache, and you all bickering like children ISN'T helping."
Havasikaji eyed the pirate dangerously. "Then let me put it this way, pirate; you'll have an even bigger headache if you don't touch this Gollum's paw right this very second. I'll let you guess how." Casren's venom made her a little... different. For one she felt way more irate and grumpy than usual. It also made her feel very strong, which helped her from collapsing on the floor in pain.
A flash bathed the passageway in light; the eyes of Southpaw Sentry cooled down to a soft white as the five Aschen and Captain Blackheart made
contact with the great left hand. The gollum's knuckles rested finally on the ground. His face twisted into a grin.

Dust and minor debris fell from the ceiling as Southpaw Sentry, the great Gollum who had stood guard for ages past, finally moved from his post.
It took a true declaration of peace; defeat in a challenge of strength. Not the kind you'd usually assume. Numbers weren't a factor, either. The
true strength was found in the heart.

His right arm unfurled from beneath him, extending out and forward, the passageway shaking as he set his elbow down. Right knuckles on the
ground, exhibiting near perfect symmetry of form, with the exception that his right hand was clenched in a fist.

Great sacrifice demands greater reward,
Take your prize and proceed through the door.


The right fist unfurled with a great crackling. Treasures glimmered from his palm, a collection of artifacts in pristine condition aside a bit of dust. There was something for everyone- eerily so.

For each, a bit of compensation,
Crafted from that which was taken.


Now that the Gollum had moved his other arm, - clear way forward was seen. Casren sent a chirp just to make sure it wasn’t an illusion: it wasn’t.
Havasikaji was the first to choose an artifact. She chose a strange relic that appeared to be a steel gauntlet. It had obsidian inlays, and a metal tube replaced the hand part. It looked sort of like the muzzle of a gun. When Havasikaji attached it to her hand, it fused with the flesh, becoming integrated into her body. The black and green veins started to grow over it.
Testing it out, Havasikaji found she could shape her fire better with it by spraying it outward into a construct. Satisfied, she walked down the hallway to see what awaited them.
Dorant hopped up and patiently waited his turn to see the artifacts. He inspected one that caught his eye immediately. "Oh that is simply amazing." He said, picking up a small, white and slightly chipped dragons tooth. "Hah! It looks almost exactly like one of my baby teeth."

The tooth in question was about as big as his fist. He took this and conjured a small bit of chain to hang the tooth off of. "Ahh, nostalgia truely is such a bittersweet thing. I remember how I got the chip too, I had been arguing with this other youngster, and we got into a tussle over a female of all things. Hah! Ah it was such a row, Bit off the last three feet of his tail, but chipped a tooth on one of his spikes. Oh that had hurt something fierce.." Dorant continues to babble on about his past as he wanders down the path, seemingly oblivious to whether or not anyone is listening to him.
Selene looked to the relics her clawed hand was drawn to a ring red like fire. She touched the ring and it turned to a ring of fire that wrapped itself around one of the claws on her right hand the claw that would be her ring finger in human form. Selene felt a burning power rush though her and grinned.

Selene then noticed Malik pawing at a necklace with a demon's fang. She took the necklace and placed it around her neck. Another flow of power went though her and she touched Malik with her claw power flowing into him. Malik's jaws lighted with a burning flame and he let out a dark howl shooting fire into the air.

Selene with a snap summoned two female imps. They looked much like evil pixies but with red skin, tiny Demonic wings, and a tail like that of a scorpion. They hovered about giggling like mad.

"Well that's better.." Selene said. "Well one down... who knows how many more to go.."

Selene made her way to the next hall minions in tow.
The Door had promised power, and it seemed the Golum was going to deliver on that promise. After all was said and one, the statuesque creature opened its palm and presented the group with various magical artifacts that had supposedly been crafted from "that which was taken." With a slight nod to the statue, Blackheart reached out a hand for one of the artifacts, a gleaming hilt that seemed to call to him.

That was when the shadow his hand cast began to flicker ever so slightly, seeming to dance towards another object. Bezalel's usual obnoxiously present voice sounded in a tiny whisper "Take it." The fang of a demon, it seemed. The Captain swiped both objects, and felt a bit of his acuity returning to him. The connection to the Umbral Demon seemed to strengthen as well, as he hung the fang charm around his neck and tucked it into his shirt.

Aww lookit you playing all nice with these strangers. First time for everything I suppose. The demon's voice taunted his thoughts. "Quiet, you." As if on cue, the charm around his neck began to feel a little warmer as the demonic energy was siphoned into it, and Bezalel's taunts trailed off into nothingness.

"Holy shit. This charm can shut him up. This was already worth the trip! Anything from here on out is just gravy."
As for Aoi, while he watched the others get their prizes, he also got his own. It was a rather interesting pair of items, one was a glove, and the other a Satchel. He was not really sure what to do with all this at first, but when he put on the glove he immediately realized its effects. After all, anything that would influence sonic waves he would notice immediately. Whatever this glove was, it appeared to be able to use the same powers as him, and could also act as an amplifier for those powers. It might even help reduce his recoil, though he was in no rush to test that yet.

As for the Satchel, when he reached into it, he could feel...well, infinity. But not only that, he felt something he could pull out. He went and pulled it right out, and it was one of his Blink grenades he designed. He reached in again, and this time pulled out a goo grenade. That said, he wanted to make sure they would work all the same.

He tossed the blink grenade, and it landed on the wall he threw it at. It seemed to attach itself, and then Aoi appeared right there on the wall, standing and holding the blink grenade.

"I see....this will be very useful indeed" he commented, deactivating it and jumping off the wall. Since he didn't know the full extent of the mute, he had no plans on using some of the more experimental grenades, but since this reward was given by the Dungeon, he guessed he could use them then, or at least any he could pull out of here.

Well, he would still probably limit what he used all the same, since it would be bad if it had an adverse reaction to the Dungeon in some way.

"So then, shall we move forward?"

He decided to try and keep everyone moving and occupied, before anyone got into another fight with each other.
"Yes, and if we do, we should get a marching order in place," Havasikaji said. More irate than usual, she'd mentally assimilated herself to the co-leader of the group, along with Casren and Aoi. The others could take a trip down the Styx.
"I, Casren and Blue Boy here will lead. We're all fairly adept at combat so we should be fine. Soldiers, senile wizard dude, talking snowman and demon chick, you're all in the middle. The rest of you all are in the back.
"Now, I don't want to even here a peep of a complaint out of any of you. If anyone so much as says 'I don't wanna be in the back!', or 'Since when were you the leader?', I will hellblast you right where the sun doesn't shine.
"Now let's get a move-on. I'm tired of waiting on you children." Havasikaji then continued down the hallway, regardless of whether the others followed her or not.
Temperance approached the wristlet and snatched it, looking it over. Deeming it suitable, she placed it into her bag. In complete disregard of Havasikaji, Temperance quipped, albeit in her own tongue that Havasikaji likely would not understand.

Meo Meow-Meow MeStic, OwStic Meow.

(I don't recall anyone making you the leader, Terran Girl.)

Temperance would then follow everyone else. Perhaps there was treasures to gain. She had to make sure no one else got to her bag.
As he heard himself get called little boy blue, although he did shrug it off...he totally did...he definently is not forcing himself in any way, it did remind him of something.

"For the record, my name is Aoi. Aoi Azul" he said...hoping no one realized both his first and last name actually were the words for blue...but then he turned towards Cryoface. "...and also, I am a boy, not a girl".

Cryoface had reffered to him as a female earlier, so he also had to clear that up...and he was really hoping that Cryoface was the only one who had made that mistake. After all, he looked very masculin. He was sure of it. He definently was not short, not very tough looking, and so on...he definently looked like a boy!

While hiding all that inside his head behind a carefully trained poker face, Aoi continued to move forward as well towards the next challenge. He forgot to question why he was in front though and Cryoface was in back, given you usually wanted the faster people in the middle so they could react quickly, and the tougher people in front to take any damage from surprise attacks and traps though. Totally not because he was secretly flustered by some comments. He was very professional.

Well, he was, otherwise he wouldn't be here and wouldn't have been the first to solve the riddle, granted thanks to some actions that others took to give him those final clues.
Each of the five Aschen took their artifacts, strange magically imbued bracelets, they inspected them, turned them over, and then placed them in satchels attached to their armor.

Marlene was the only one who didn't take the bracelet, and put it in a satchel, she also was the only one that brought her attention to the strange woman who began barking orders.

"You have neither the qualification, or the leadership to command me, or my men." Marlene commented, staring at Havasikaji. "If you attempt to order me, or my men again..." The blonde said coldly, as she approached the demon-woman.

"I will gut you like a fish, before displaying your entrails from the nearest precipice." She said, the Aschen standing, with a rather imposing stance.

She didn't take her eyes off the other woman, but with a simple hand gesture, she motioned for the others to gather around.

"Let's proceed." Marlene ordered, and the flashlights came on once more.
Dorant swiped a hand about and called out to the aschen leader. "Oh hush now child, your acting petulant and foolish. Honestly threatening people with fish guts and all? If your going to be so immature then I'm afraid I'll have to contact your parents." He wagged a finger at Marlene before turning and nodding at Havasikaji. "After you young lady. Since you seem to be the most coordinated of us here, I'd be happy to have you escort me through this place. After all, If I were to wander on my own, i'd probably get lost. And then i'd be late for dinner." The old man grinned at his own jest, stepping into place behind Cryoface.

"By the way" He said to the large ice creature "Are you alright? I'm not sure if your maintained by magic or not, but if you are, the lack of power back there couldn't have felt good for you. Do you need some juice?" He started rummaging through his satchel, before pulling out a small kids juice box. "I have apple, grape, pomegranate, something called tomato puree?"
Havasikaji smirked at the haughty Aschen woman as the old geezer called her out. At least someone appreciated her take-over.
Reining in the Aschen would be tough. Not only were they a bunch of holier-than-thou bastards, Lady Peroxide over there probably meant it when she said she'd gut Havasikaji like a fish, despite the wizard's reassurances. She'd have to find someone to keep an eye on them.
As she scanned over her group, she realized exactly who would be able to pull it off.
"Hey, Blue Kid," Havasikaji whispered to Aoi as they walked down the hall. "Mind keeping an eye on those soldiers? If they start acting treasonous or doing any sort of suspicious behavior, just give a 'shout', if you know what I mean." The cambion winked, referring to Aoi's apparent ability to generate high levels of sonic energy with his voice.
Akio was the last one to retrieve his artifact: a navy blue kimono with a golden fabric belt. He waited for everyone to go on ahead before he changed clothes. There were children present after all. And no...he was not just referring to the blue-haired boy.

"These people," he thought aloud, definitely out of earshot from them (well, except Aoi), "They only care for themselves. Which wouldn't be a problem if they didn't feel the need to constantly try and prove themselves better than one another."

He sighed as he tied a knot around the front of his kimono with the golden belt in front. He already felt the comfort of the new article of clothing was far superior to the old faded blue kimono he was used to wearing. It wasn't rough or rugged, but soft and silky. And something told him that it carried special properties of it's own, not unlike the other artifact the rest of the group had received. He would find out what uses it carried later.

He glanced at his katana, "I can't ask you all for guidance while I'm in here. That would defeat the purpose. But I don't believe I'm on my own."

He looked ahead towards the group that was heading to whatever awaited in front of them. "I am supposed to have these people to help, utilizing their own pasts and expertise to navigate through these trials while providing my own. That's what I think this cave wants us to do."

He glanced back at Southpaw Sentry, who had once again taken it's place in front of the hallway. The Impervious Door had shut behind them. No turning back now...

"I hope I can rely on them," Akio muttered as he jogged to catch up, "Because I fear if we can't work together, we're not going to get very far."
"Okay, first, I'm sorry I called you a girl," Cryoface sighed at Aoi as he put the crown of ice on his head, instantly standing up straighter as his powers were returned to him with interest. "Second, you're right. We have to organize ourselves effectively. The reason those Aschen are operating independently is they're used to working with each other and ONLY with each other. Plus they don't think much of Terrans. And to answer someone's question earlier, yeah, it was hard, but I was able to deal with it. I knew I didn't have much time before melting away, however...so glad everyone figured it out."

He idly reached for the massive icy broadsword on his back, but thought better of it. That would just be asking to take a disruptor blast to the face. "Come on. Let's see what else they got. The sounds of battle from outside are getting dimmer...sounds like the decisive moment has arrived. I only hope that it ends in Terran liberation. I really don't want whoever they were fighting against come in for a backside hit on our group."
As Havasikaji and the group continued to walk along the corridor, there was a great rumbling, as if one thousand feet were running down the long hallways.
Havasikaji held up a hand to halt the group. "Stop. Do you hear that?" The cambion turned to look behind her.
And her jaw immediately dropped. For charging down the corridor towards them was an entire army of men wearing black hoodies. Exactly like the one from the guy who had died earlier, when the golem farted.
Havasikaji was usually very brave, and didn't like to stand down to a little opposition. This, however, was not a little opposition. It was a lot.
"RUN!!!" she shouted, and took off down the corridor as the army of hooded men began to reach the group.
Dorant turned to look at the army of black hooded individuals rushing towards them, a smile on his face. "Why hello there young men, will you be joining us on this.... hmm, Would any of you suppose it to be a quest? I rather like the idea of this being a quest. Yes... Yes I do believe this counts. Will you young men be joining us on this quest? There are rather a lot of you.."

Dorant turned with a bit of a jolt when Havas shouted for the group to run. "Oh what? Where then, wait don't run off like that, you'll tire yourself out!" He called, following her at an ambling jog. "Damnit wait! I can't keep up with these confounded robes tying up about my ankles! Wait I said!"
A cacophany of bat screeches came from Casren as he fluttered beyond the Gollum and in to the next chamber. On his way he was sure to grab the little bundle of darberries, glowing an unusual color, on his way. He was screaming to run from the hoodied-hoard!

Southpaw Sentry shifted forward, maneuvering his body slowly over the rest of the group as they passed through the tunnel, positioning himself beyond them, but facing them as they left. The party was trapped by him again, this time prevented from returning from whence they came.

There was a great rumble from within his belly. Would the hoodied-men again invoke the gas of the gollum?
"Guys! I think I figured something out...whoa!"

And like that, the living titan of snow and ice followed Casren. Clearly he had discovered something...and the portal's protector was properly pissed.