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Liriael Amaryllis

"Do not mistake tenderness for weakness. It takes a strong heart to be vulnerable willingly."

0 · 165 views · located in Purgatory

a character in “Requiem for a Fallen”, originally authored by Ion, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description



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"Duty binds us all. Some just bear the chains with more grace."



Name: Liriael—one of her station does not warrant more than this, though the word "Amaryllis" is occasionally appended, something between a surname and a title.

Titles/Nicknames: Liri, to some, Captain or Amaryllis to others. Those with a mind to examine human mythologies have taken to playfully referring to her as the Valkyrie, for her skills on the battlefield and sympathy for the deceased.

Age: Young by angelic standards, quite advanced in years otherwise. Her host is about 21, give or take.

Gender: Now, that’s the question, isn’t it? Her angelic self is unmistakably female, but the human host she chose is… androgynous, and it isn’t definitive one way or another what her current biological sex is. She doesn’t make a point of telling anyone either. Usually, she finds that people see what they want to see, and she’s content with that. Naturally, being the angel, she uses the feminine to self-refer when necessary.

Sexuality: Shy-but-not-gender-discriminatory-sexual.

Role: Angel—young and untried as she is, she has not earned her way yet to higher rank than this, though she is a captain in the ranks. Still she stands below the archangels and must defer to them when commanded.

ImageAppearance: Liriael is a being of two distinct faces, though both share in a near-incredible loveliness. That is, perhaps, the nature of being an angel in the first place. Upon the more divine plane of existence, her form is indeed that of a warrior embodied, bedecked in shining celestial armor with divine sword in hand. Her hair is an unconstrained mass of reddish-brown waves, perhaps auburn in proper lighting; her slightly-slanted eyes a deep aquamarine. She lacks the overtly pale complexion of her fellows, indeed bearing something of an olive tint to her coloration, as one who had been of more indigenous ancestry in life before ascension.

Not particularly tall, she is nonetheless statuesque and slender, of modest curvature only, but in her fine-featured face, there was a light of rare subtlety, a radiance not overt but hidden, such that those who did detect it thought it all the more fetching for the fact that it seemed only to be for them. A whispered secret that only some would ever know, and more coveted for that, perhaps. Her smiles were and are rare, but of the same character.

It is most of all her voice that enchants, however. She is gifted in the vocal arts, enough so that the talent has become the locus of her power. In her alto intonations, even the most mundane of phrases are precious things, fleeting and regrettably short, as human lives may be.

Her human host was altered slightly upon her entrance into the form, and now bears eyes and vocal range similar to her own. The rest of the features of this person, however, have more or less remained the same, including the light golden hair, cropped somewhere around the chin for the most part, and the androgynous features. It’s unknown what the host’s biological sex is, and Liriael sees no need to part with that information. This has been hypothesized many different ways, from embarrassment at accidentally selecting a host of the wrong gender, to some strange amusement derived from the confusion of others, to perhaps a misplaced desire to remove gender from considerations of her treatment at all.

She is most often attired modestly, in clothing with a bit of room to move, and the only part of her former raiment that remains is the red sash about her waist. Other than that, she wears a loose white shirt beneath a laced leather vest, with simple dark trousers and knee-high boots, laced in front, with a practical, unisex sole/heel. Her head of blonde hair frequently sports a bandanna-like silk scarf in some bright color, most frequently purple or red.




Personality: Liriael is centered, steady, and considerably more mature than her relative age suggests. At a stage where many young angels are still hapless and trying to get a hold on their new selves, she has gone great distance towards discovering the things that make her unique among them, including her first two angelic talents, though using them both at once is very touch and go. Levelheaded and thoughtful, she is nevertheless still very much the youth in many ways, and though she has attained considerable rank for one so modestly aged, she has little in the way of actual experience in battle, especially with beings such as the ones she is now called to deal with.

Kindness and softness are in her nature, and she sees no reason to hide these traits with a stern front. Pride was never her sin, and it certainly isn’t now, either. She thinks, in fact, that it takes more strength to constantly be aware of and embrace your weaknesses than it does to ignore them or try to do them in. She openly mourns for the fact that she must do harm, but she understands necessity and duty quite well, and does not delude herself into believing that she can do all the good in the world by herself. She is instead very focused on the little things—small kindnesses to others and quiet consideration for their preferences.

She lacks the straightforward righteousness of many of her kind, but replaces it with what empathetic understanding she can muster. She doesn’t seem to possess much in the way of a temper, so it can be safely assumed that whatever anger she does have is on a very long fuse. Insults don’t seem to much bother her.

Still waters, they say, run deep, and it would not be a mistake to presume this of Liri as well. Her virtues, such as they are, are not ostentatious, and she forces nobody to like or acknowledge or consider her, rather believing that this is something people should do on their own. The influence of her host’s personality, however, means that she’ll occasionally be unable to help a sarcastic quip or dry observation, which can seem starkly out-of-place on her until one realizes there’s not real malice involved at all, just a bit of fun.

Liriael sees the best in everyone, sometimes to the naïve exclusion of the likely.




Abilities:
Physical Combat— Liriael is skilled in the art of the sword, though given her somewhat smaller stature, she makes best use of a flamberge-style rapier; stronger than most swords of its kind and faster than everything else. The wave pattern in the blade makes striking it with another weapon jarring and unpleasant for the opponent, and may also create mild optical problems trying to follow its movement properly.

-Angel Ability I: Valkyrie Liriael is a soldier, as are many angels, and she possesses a rare dedication to duty that means she does not slack on her training. Due to her efforts, she has gained more durability, speed, and strength than angels of comparable rank, nearly equivalent to an archangel, though of course she is quite behind the most talented of these.

-Angel Ability II: Spellsong Her voice has ever been her most useful talent, and she has turned it to even more practical purposes by learning to impart magical effects with it, amplifying her natural holy magic with melody and tunefulness. This ability has a fairly wide range of application, but the combative ones are listed below.

*Canto of Purification- This is Liri’s method of destroying a wraith or spirit, after it is extracted by an exorcist and before it is sealed by a demon. As with all of her spellsong, this takes a considerable amount of focus and attention, making it difficult to perform at the same time as maneuvering in battle. It’s most likely to work if she can be still and focus on the song, but she can dodge, and work such a spell at the same time in a pinch.

*Aria of Life- A multifunctional melody that encourages health and growth. Can be used for the healing of fallen allies or to aid in the growth of plants, say. Liriael once sang an entire garden into bloom for a friend, actually, but of course the utility of such a talent is limited.

*Battle Hymn- Through this song, Liri can lend some of her angelic strength and resilience to her allies, though she becomes weak during the effort, and therefore highly vulnerable. This transfer can but need not carry her angelic aura with it, magnifying any holy abilities the person might possess.

*Dirge of Binding- Probably her sole offensive spell, if you don’t count purification. This one is designed to halt enemy movement entirely, though it will only work thus on weaker enemies. It does tend to slow down the tougher ones, though.

Naturally, Liriael can only sing one song at once, and its effects are only active as long as she is doing so. The deaf are affected, but to a lesser degree than the hearing. Also, other loud noises will weaken the effects somewhat, and effectively silencing her by whatever means will make it impossible for her to use these talents.



Bio: Liri came later to her life as a human being than the other angels did, which accounts for the slight disconnect between herself and the host personality, since the host had been able to develop a pretty stable one by the time she entered into their body-bond arrangement. This was because it was necessary for her to complete a certain level of training before she could reasonably be entrusted with such an important assignment, and as the only non-archangel given the mission, she’s still behind her comrades in this respect.

Nevertheless, she entered her current vessel at age seventeen, and awoke to her renewed essence not too many years afterwards, when the seal on the gateway broke. Her vessel was formerly an entertainer of some kind, most easily likened to a bard or petty magician of some variety, and the host’s input in human social situations has actually proven somewhat useful. Over time, however, the host’s presence has dimmed, and now manifests only as the occasional humorous comment or faint inkling of an idea.

So begins...

Liriael Amaryllis's Story

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#, as written by Ion
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The tavernroom was packed to bursting, but this was not at all out of the ordinary for a day such as this one. It was a large city, and bustling with mercantile enterprise, the people in and out of it eager to spend their coin on a little leisure. It also meant, of course, that such places were frequented by entertainers looking to take advantage of this uncommon generosity, and the tumbling bard known to most simply as the Nightingale was, for today at least, among them.

This fine-featured individual, fair of skin and hair and possessed of gemlike eyes, presently occupied the center of a stage, perched upon a rickety wooden stool, a lap harp propped carelessly on one leg. A delicate, sly little smile adorned the musician's face, and those few patrons that had noticed it watched with some measure of anticipation. The Nightingale was by no means world-famous, but a well-kept local secret, a name passed over tongues in whispers only, though the wise figured it would not long remain so. Such things never did, but until their favorite was indeed more common knowledge, they felt that they knew something clandestine, and better for all that. In the end, they'd still be able to say they knew first, and that was in a way even better, wasn't it?

A pink tongue darted out to wet dry lips, and the bard's throat cleared with a soft sound, begetting almost immediate silence as familiar patrons elbowed the ignorant until a hush fell over the room. It was only the Nightingale’s due, didn't you know?

A softly-padded thumb teased a harpstring, drawing from it a crystalline note, singular and lovely, filling the void left by the stilled voices alone for several beats, before it was joined by another, trailing after it as it faded, then another, and another in a cascading melody. It was no more than thirty seconds before the notes were joined by the strains of a light voice, full enough in range as to not be readily identified as either masculine or feminine, and it was perhaps this unique quality that made it so enthralling. Perhaps not; either way, there was little chance of paying attention to much else, and indeed, even the bartender paused in his motions to listen, as he always seemed forced to do by the unique quality of the music.

A heavensent gift, they called it, but the Nightingale couldn't say that it much mattered where it came from, only what could be done with it.

A faint push against the human's mind was all that it took to break the bonds where the angels essence lay. Ki was gentle in getting through to the newly dispatched angel, being wary of the human that she'd chosen to inhabit. He reached down to her and called out gently.

"Liriael, it is time," he said. His form was that of his pure essence as his real body was still at the gates of Paradiso as it always was. This time was different from the last when he'd called to the other angels. He was personally going to her instead of pulling her all the way to Paradiso. He had done that in order to gather all of the angels that were going to work together with the exorcists and demons. This was only one angel as things had taken a drastic change on the world of Purgatory.

"There was an attack at Resmyrd and many of the angles and exorcists had to return there, leaving behind their comrades. I need you to find the demon and exorcist that you will be working with to help alleviate this drastic change in our plans. The gates to Inferno have been breached by someone and we need to repair those gates.

"The human world is in trouble of being possessed by the escaping spirits and wraiths. Help the demons to regain their lost charges. The exorcists will purge the spirits in order for you to help the demons. If the spirits and wraiths give you any reason to kill them, then do so. We cannot afford the lives of innocent humans or any exorcist or demon for that matter.

"And, Liriael, do be careful," Ki offered with a kind smile to her after finishing his explanation of what she was to do. He lingered for a while longer in case she had any questions for him that he may answer.

Liriael felt as if something were calling to her from far away. The sound of bells chimed in the back of her mind, but the angel was tired, so tired, and she didn't understand what they meant. She was aware, as she always was on some strange level, of the activities of the Nightingale, the human who used just a bit of her power, even now, while the rest of her lay dormant, scarcely sentient... somewhere. It was not a phenomenon easily-explained, nor was this light, gentle intrusion into her silent world.

Silent? No, no. Her world had never been meant to be silent. Dark, she could understand, and thick and heavy like a damp cloak about her shoulders, wrapped around her and pinning her essence into place. She'd been ready for that, had accepted it. But silent? She'd never have succumbed so willingly to that. She was sound, music and voices and speaking and little rustlings when people moved, and whispers from the lips of one lover to the ear of the other. That had always been her domain. Small, secret things and public lovely things and never silence. It was... wrong, and she realized with a start that there was relief. Something snapped like the breaking of a dam, and suddenly, the world was silent no more. There was a voice, if only in her head, and she welcomed it as water to one who has wandered long in the desert.

It took the angel a moment to reorient herself, and to recognize who was speaking to her. Surely, she was nowhere near important enough to warrant a visit from the Gatekeeper? She was a simple solider, low on the hierarchy and insignificant. This was... wrong as well, but she could not bring herself to insist so, for the news he brought was important. She felt herself swallow, then nod, before remembering herself and dropping into a deep bow. "I... understand, milord," she said at last. Some of this felt familiar, as if it were the purpose behind her imprisonment in the first place. "If I may, I would enquire... for whom am I searching?" She had at best a passing familiarity with Inferno's denizens, and didn't expect she would know any human by name alone, but anything she could use to accomplish her task more quickly and efficiently would be welcome.

"Liriael," Ki answered her with a warm smile, "There is no need for such formalities with me. You should know this," the gatekeeper shifted his stance slightly as he watched her from the confines of the human host.

"As to whom it is you're searching for, you will be working with a demon and an exorcist. For now seek out the demon, her name is Xana. I do not know where she will be right now, of that I cannot help you and I do apologize. However, you cannot stay here in this town. You must travel to each village and town in search of those that may help you to find Xana. If you can do so, help them as well if they need it.

"Now go, little one. Be safe," Ki leaned forward and pressed the tips of his fingers against her forehead before his essence faded away.

The angel looked properly chastised, but they both knew this was not a habit she would be able to break. It may well be the case that Ki preferred less formality, but the fact still remained that he was far more important a person than she was and deserved the respect due that station of his. The news of her team was accepted as neither particularly here nor there. She had not heard of this demon called Xana, but that wasn’t an indication of anything much.

With a nod, she receded into her host at his touch, and woke to the unaccustomed feeling of being in a body again. Her limbs were heavier than she remembered, and currently, she was pressed into the wooden floor of the stage, her hip and shoulder digging uncomfortably into the rough wood where she’d fallen, apparently gracelessly. Vibrant green-blue eyes cracked open, squinting against the sensation of light after so long spent in darkness. “Mmph,” she mumbled, struggling to coordinate her new limbs well enough to leverage herself to her feet. It felt unfamiliar, like she imagined a newborn colt must feel as it tried to walk for the first time, all sprawling, ungainly limbs. There were a few patrons clustered about her, and one helped her clamber upright, a gesture that she responded to with a small smile. She did not answer any of the queries that followed, however, for they had no easy replies, and she had places to be.

Picking up the lap harp that had fallen to the ground beside her, she dusted off her clothes as best she could and headed for the door. From the looks of things, she had a demon to find.

The setting changes from purgatory to Alveron

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis
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The demoness mulled over the thoughts in her head, trying to grasp the concept of promoting a lesser demon to a higher caste. This seemed almost impossible--to move up in rank like that was an impossibility, they had told her... yet Treylion had told her that she was being considered for this promotion... What was the commander hiding from her, from the other demons, from the other mortals and what it means for them?

...and why was Treylion so interested in her specifically? He had never before deigned to give her the time of day, always staying behind the scenes, manipulating his so-called underlings much better thank Xana herself could ever do... It was something that she admired about the Apokalion, something that she wished to aspire to, but still, she thought it would be impossible to do anything like that...

And then, on the horizon, a wanderer. There was a tug similar to that of the broken gate from before but... different, more hostile and foreign. The figure seemed to turn and stare at the demon even from such a distance away. It sent a shiver down Xana's spine, and she felt suddenly compelled to go out in that direction.

As she made her way across the landscape, she could feel the rage and anger wafting through the air. This was not natural in the slightest--most mortals would never feel this sort of anger in their entire lifetimes, let alone bound to one single body for any length of time. There was no way that this person was normal... unless...

What would a rogue spirit be doing all the way out here?

Regardless of the reason, Xana continued forward, making sure that no one was watching or following her. The last thing she needed was any mortals following her, especially any that would just serve as a hindrance to her and her purpose. Still, she did realize that she could not flat-out kill this vessel, especially without the presence of an exorcist or an angel--which would have been rather convenient had the angel and exorcist that were supposed to have accompanied her were actually with her...

"A bit far to be wandering away from home, now..." the demon purred as she mosied up to the wanderer, noticing the intense waves radiating from the fleshbag next to her.

The vagabond--a female--smirked as she turned and punched the red-haired woman in the face. Taken aback, the demon watched as the traveller's eyes turned pitch-black and turned to her.

"I could say the same for you..." the traveller growled--something unearthly that did not belong to this plane or even in the hellish heat of Inferno. "So far from your prison duties..."

Xana smirked as she rolled out the cracks building up in her neck. "My my... Aren't you a feisty one?" She felt no other presence at this point in time, so with another chuckle and a flash of hellfire, the demon quickly shed her human skin, revealing the serpentine form she was more comfortable in. "Sadly, my job is not to guard filth like you... It's more to hunt you down so I can feed..."

With a cry that could never be uttered by a mere mortal, the possessed human lashed out at the demon, trying to injure and maim her opponent. Xana merely dodged the blows, using her inhuman agility and her preferred form to weave and slither to and fro between the grunts and screeches of the feral spirit. Licks of flame crawled across her skin, and the demon smirked in response.

"Hmm... Your rage is rather filling... Too bad I'm forced to send you back to Inferno--your kind does have some of the most... intense meals..."

***

Having no leads on the location of this mysterious 'Xana,' Liriael had decided to simply head in the direction of the gathering-place of the assembled forces, in hopes that perhaps someone there would either be able to locate the demon or at the very least give her a more certain direction than 'on this plane.'

Her journey was to be temporarily diverted, however, when she sensed the presence of something irregular. She was no empath, and it was difficult to say for sure what it was from this distance, as she'd never been in the presence of a rogue spirit before, but the anomaly was worth invesitgating, anyway. Whatever she found would probably be worth reporting at the very least.

Cresting a hill, the angel surveyed the small town arrayed below, little more than a dot on a map at most times, doubtlessly. The small cluster of homes was hardly remarkable-- the Nightengale still in the back of her consciousness had seen countless settlements like it before, and retained particularly strong memories of none. This one, however, was bound to be a little different, as a large cluster of buildings, including what looked to be the town's inn, were burning.

Without wasting time, Liri tore down the hill at top speed, the rucksack containing all her earthly possessions thumping against her back with every pace. As she got closer, it was possible to make out the screams of humans, as well as some kind of ghastly wailing. Was that... a spirit?

***

Even through the overwhelming anger that threatened to consume the demon, there was something else that Xana felt through her battle--some otherworldly presence that was neither demon nor spirit. Could this mean that an angel was trying to approach? Perhaps an exorcist? It would have been nice for Xana to see just who or what was trying to intervene, although her current predicament was preventing her from doing so. The combat, though, was rather exhilarating for the demon, as the emotions that constantly flooded her were rather succulent. Even through the onslaught of blows, the flames continued to flicker across her skin, and a shiver of pleasure ran down the demon's crimson flesh.

"Are you quite finished? Are you ready to go back to your prison now?" Xana purred as a few drops of blood trickled down her cheek.

"I hope you freeze, fiend!" the spirit retaliated, slamming a fist into the demon's shoulder, causing a small bout of flame to flare up and singe the spirit's hand. Xana only chuckled as she grabbed the spirit's wrists and felt the heat flare up in her hands, causing burns to form on the fleshbag's skin.

"You're lucky I can't just outright kill you..." Xana purred, listening to the skin sizzle in her grasp. The spirit moaned in pain as blisters began to form on her wrists. She needed to stall... If that angel came to examine the situation, it would be able to help, but if not... Xana needed to locate a gate, and quickly...

Perhaps fortunately, the angel in the area was not far off at all, and Liri cast the rucksack off her back and drew her sword with a ring of steel, surging forward to the aid of what appeared to be a serpentine demon-- and the strangeness of this situation could wait to be considered until such time as the spirit was dealt with.

She was in enough time to hear the last statement the demon made, though admittedly that was perhaps only due to her greater-than-human hearing. "I can,"[/color] she replied simply, though in truth she hadn't done so before. Still, it wasn't as though she hadn't learned. But... didn't it need to be out of its vessel first? Maybe if the vessel underwent sufficient pain, the spirit would be forced to retreat, but torturing the creature into the open was not something she desired to do.

Was that the angel that she had been waiting for? If so, it had been taking its damn time in figuring out where the hell to go. Xana, however, wasn't in the mood for playing around at this point, instead choosing to turn back to the approaching angel with a smirk across her face and smoldering embers dancing across her arms and tail.

"About time you showed up... I was starting to think that I would be forced to save the world on my own..." The demon purred at the approaching angel. The woman in her grasp screamed as the sizzling of flesh intensified in the demon's hands. Blisters were beginning to form on the possessed woman's wrists from the heat. "This poor spirit knows that I don't have much patience for idiocy... too bad I can't take it out on the spirit, so I guess I'll go for the next best thing..."

No patience for idiocy? How do you live with yourself? The Nightingale snarked from somewhere in the back of Liri's head, automatically inclined to respond to poorly-veiled insults with the same. Liriael, however, was considerably more patient and tolerant, so she ignored the thought as well as the spirit's vessel, fixing the demon with a flat aquamarine stare. "It would be wisest to expel the being from the body as quickly as possible if I am to dispose of it." Implied: there is no need for extended torture.

Unforunately, she had no other option than to allow the demon to do as she pleased, as she herself had no alternative way of performing the extraction, only the execution. She had no reason to believe that the suggestion would go heeded; though she'd not interacted with demonkind before, she'd been told of them, and that was enough to create an educated guess to this effect.

"Well then, by all means, don't let me stop you from--oh wait..." Another smirk as the demon began to wrap her serpentine tail around her hapless victim. "Unless you can pull an exorcist out of your ass, the best thing we're going to be able to do for this poor woman is to find a gate and toss her through... Of course, it would probably kill the mortal in the process, but at least then I'll be finished with her--"

Before the demon could finish her thought completely, the possessed woman screamed. It was something unearthly and feral, nothing that the human host could produce in her short lifetime. Still, she was getting something out of the spirit--they were not nearly as powerful when trapped inside a human host as they were when they roamed freely, which begged the question: Why was this one in a body at all?

"I'm not going to ask again--shut up while I talk to this... acquaintence of mine..." The demon constricted the possessed woman in her coiled tail, causing her victim to shudder and spasm slightly. In the next moment, she turned and faced the angel, a coy grin across her face as she continued to keep a hold on the spirit.

"So... what kept you? The bureaucratic imbeciles at Resmyrd have been making things rather difficult for us, have they not?" There was a sense of irritability in the demon's voice as she folded her arms across her charred chest, but the smirk never left her face. Time to size up the new meat...

The angel's eyes moved from the demon, to the human vessel of the spirit, and then back to the serpentine woman. A slight frown was evidence enough of her displeasure with the situation, but she made no move to alter it. What was there that she could do? The demon was correct enough-- without an exorcist, there was no good way to force the spirit from the host. Her power was only useful once it was out in the open, and she could do away with it and allow the demon to banish the remains behind one of their infernal gates.

Her sword remained loosely-grasped in one hand, but she was still regardless, save a slight tilt of her head to one side. "I have yet to reach Resmyrd, actually. I was awakened in this host some days ago, and told only to find the demon Xana. If you are she, then perhaps the task was not as impossible as its vagueness might have suggested."

The demon grinned as the angelic figure elaborated on the scenario at hand. "So... suppose you just came across another random demon aside from this... Xana... What then? Do you continue on your merry way in the hopes you miraculously stumble across her at some point? Or do you continue on to the church of exorcists wondering if this demon is there?"

Liri blinked. The hypothetical just made her suspicious, and quite certain that she had found who she was looking for, but she chose to answer the question regardless, moving her shoulders up and back down in a shrug. "I finish what has begun here, and then yes, I make for Resmyrd. If Xana is not to be found, I seek new orders or further clarification."

"Like the mindless drone you are..." the demon smirked. "Yes, I am the one you were asked to seek. Rather... impeccable timing on your end, but then again..." she sighed, placing a hand on her chin as if expressing mock boredom, "you angels always strive for that glorifying moment of entrance, don't you?"

The insult rolled off Liri's back like so much water, and she simply shrugged again. If that was what the demon wished to think, she was free to think it. They didn't have to like each other to work together, and she had rather known that when she volunteered to be reborn this way. The other comment was puzzling-- was she referring to just now? It was true that Liriael had acted with quite a bit of haste to get here, but that was due to the burning settlement and the presence of some kind of spirit.

"If so, my striving has been rather for naught," she replied, glancing over at the vessel. Really, had the spirit not yet decided to leave it? "I entered this body in a tavernroom and fell over promptly afterwards. As entrances go, it was quite inglorious. Will you not cease?" The last was directed at the spirit, and carried the vaguest hint of irritation, so mild it hardly deserved the name. She felt sorry for the host, given the stubbornness of the being occupying it.

Of course the angel had to make sure that she--the voice was much more feminine than masculine--was wound up so tight that she appeared to have absoultely no emotion whatsoever. Perfect--it was almost as if Treylion had specifically requested this particular angel to be paired with her just to see how worked up she could be! And by the hells was she dense! Could this angel really not crack even the faintest of a smile? A chuckle? Anything?

The demon sighed, shaking her head and turning once more to the possessed woman. "Come... the angel has reservations about destroying you completely--you should be rather fortunate that I am also unable to do that, otherwise I would have no need for her in the first place..." Xana gave a violent shove to the woman that was until this moment coiled in her grasp, throwing her to the ground. "We're heading back to Resmyrd... again... and you..." she pointed to the angel as she placed her other hand on the possessed woman's wrists and pulled them behind her back. "You will be the one responsible for getting a damn exorcist so her precious mortal shell won't be utterly destroyed."

Yes, your infernal majesty, the Nightingale sniped, clearly irritated, but Liri ignored the vessel just as much as she ignored Xana's attempts to provoke her, which was to say rather well. Quirking a brow slightly, she shrugged and nodded. "If you feel such a task beyond your capabilities or beneath your notice, I will be more than happy to assist." It was kind of hard to tell which one she figured might be more likely, leaving the tone of the comment as a whole rather vague.

At any rate, she wasn't going to stand around talking about it any more, and Resmyrd was not going to arrive to meet them, so the angel set her feet back on the road. Maybe, if they got lucky, they would meet an exorcist on the way, though frankly, she wasn't counting on it.

The setting changes from alveron to Resmyrd

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis
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The trek back to Resmyrd was tedious as best for the demon. Having to keep track of the possessed spirit and having to deal with the angel's ennui regarding this entire situation was rather irritating, especially with the grumbling of the renegade. Of course, the angel was not doing anything to make the situation any easier for the either of them, so Xana was forced to resort to a bit of brute force--mostly restraining the vessel's hands behind her back so she could not try to do anything. When she felt almost ready to lash out again, the demon responded with nothing more than a quick flash of heat to the wrists.

Pity I can't kill her outright... damn spirit inside can't just leave, and we have no damn exorcist... The demon's eyes flickered white-hot from anger over the entire situation. This comedy of errors was not amusing in the least, and returning to Resmyrd was nothing that she wished to do, especially after having performed for Treylion not so long ago. Why was it that everything seemed to be conspiring against her? Even the potential promise of a promotion seemed to be nothing more than a sick joke that the higher-ups wanted to pull on her for whatever reason.

Resmyrd appeared on the horizon after a lengthy walk. It had been rather silent except for the gnashing of teeth from the spirit-possessed vessel. With a shove, Xana pushed the demon to the dusty ground and glared at the angel before spitting a small wave of embers onto the dirt next to the hands of the vessel.

"Watch it. Make sure it doesn't do anything stupid." The demon was less than amicable with her order as she slithered off on her own toward the massive theistic stronghold. She figured that at the very least she would be able to charm some poor exorcist into assisting them anyway--that was no skin off her back nor any big deal for her to accomplish, but it was a breach of her pride more than anything else. Why was she having to go back and request assistance from someone that was beneath her anyway? It must have had something to do with the millenia before, some damnable pact that prevented demons from being able to slaughter the spirits themselves; it would have made everything too damn easy, though...

As Xana reformed into her human guise, she noticed a few mortals gathered around the front entrance. She pushed past them all, not caring what they said about her intrusion or her potential transformation if they had indeed watched the metamorphosis. Perhaps their guards had caught sight of the angel guarding the vessel--if that was the case, though, they surely would have already sent out a few of their men in order to handle the situation and not force the demon to wander back into the ranks of these easily-manipulated mortals.

"You fleshbags are as inattentive as you are terrified of us," Xana growled to no one in particular. as a group of exorcists came into view. "Now I need one of you to come out with me so you can do your damn job--I can't go and kill this damn woman you claim to care so much about, can I? I'm sure you'd also get along so well with the angel that shoved a pole so deep up her ass you can see that her damn halo's attached to it."

"...angels have halos?" one confused exorcist commented after looking around to the others. "Ma'am, I think you're confused--"

Xana had enough of this imbecile's blathering and wrapped a hand around his throat. "Listen, you insignificant stain," she growled as the others watched wide-eyed at her sudden lashing-out. "Did I ask you to help me with my exorcism!? Take the meat out from between your ears and listen! There is a vessel that needs to be purged--go out and do your damn job before you all fall to the ground with flesh as gray and lifeless as a corpse!" With that, the exorcists around her paled at the threat before backing away slowly.

"No volunteers? What a shame..." Xana pushed past the crowd and wandered further in, not satisfied with the competence of any of these imbeciles. She wandered the streets, coming to a small inn. Rolling her eyes at the repetitive nature of it all, she walked inside and put on a fake smile as best as she could. The barkeep was polishing off the countertop as she walked in--it looked rather dim.

"Ma'am, we're closed unless yer lookin fer a room," he kept his voice low as to make sure not to disturb anyone from their slumber.

"Oh, I'm not looking for a room--I'm in need of an exorcist..." the red-haired woman purred, looking toward the barkeep and feeling the swell of energy moving from her body toward the older man. "It's sort of urgent--a young woman has been possessed and we require their skill in order to rid her of this horrible fate!" Perhaps she had been a bit too dramatic, but if it got her a damn exorcist, then it got her an exorcist.

"...ma'am, as much as I don't agree with disturbing sleeping guests, I know that there's an exorcist sleeping here. Don't know why you didn't go to the main cathedral first--it's right in the center of town, but I guess if you're here, then I'll see what I can do for you... Please, make yourself comfortable while I go rouse him..." With that, the man wandered off, slightly confused and somewhat flustered about this new situation. Xana celebrated by sitting in a comfortable chair next to a still-warm fireplace and savoring the barkeep's emotions. This had been quite the interesting day--she hoped that they would not all be like this in the near future.

The setting changes from resmyrd to Arkanvale

Setting

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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#, as written by Ion


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Liri didn’t pretend to be offended when the demon left her behind to go find an exorcist. Why should she? It was probably what the woman wanted—to watch the staid angel get all righteously furious or who knew what else. She claimed no knowledge of demonkind, but it was apparent to her that this Xana was not overly fond of her, and would probably gain something from her displeasure, if only satisfaction. Liriael, however, simply felt no particular amount of displeasure, and saw no need to fake it. It was true that their inability to extract the spirit from this human woman was somewhat frustrating, and Xana’s treatment of the innocent vessel less than satisfactory, but that was nothing they could do anything about until they found an exorcist, and somebody needed to watch the possessed woman in the meantime.

So Liri planted herself on a clean patch of grass, the battered human lying prone beside her, and sang the Dirge of Binding beneath her breath—the woman was so weak that it scarcely took any effort to contain her, so the crosslegged angel placed a soft hand on her brow and smiled, just barely. The spirit was obviously unhappy with this, but it wasn’t it she sought to soothe, and even when it tried to fight the effects of her spellsong, it struggled in vain, the smooth flow of notes ensnaring the limbs of its host-body and rendering it worse than useless in the end. At least it couldn’t do any more damage to the human it enslaved, this way.

It was quite some time before she sensed the demon’s presence returning, and this time, Xana was accompanied by what seemed to be a spiritually-aware human. Not a full Exorcist, perhaps, but at least a Meister. She was almost certain that was what they were called, though the knowledge did not come from herself. It must be the Nightingale, though why her own host would know anything of such matters, she could not say.

At their approach, she stood, brushing stray grass from her fitted tan trousers and folding her hands behind her back. At this point, the spirit’s struggles had rendered it even weaker, and her soft singing dropped back to a hum, no more than that being necessary to keep it in line. She may have even risked speaking, but she did not want to take the chance. Besides, so bound, the woman would be easier to exorcise. She did, however, dip her head in greeting to the dark-haired young man behind Xana.



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Really, Zilocke thought to himself, it was all somebody else’s fault.

He’d been perfectly content to mind his own business while he passed through this town (or was it a city? He didn’t care enough to check), but apparently, not everyone was content to let him. He’d stopped in a tavern and purchased himself an ale—never mind that it was early in the morning, he’d been walking all night—and then left again, taking a turn through a rather rundown area of slums, when four gentlemen in raggedy clothes had stepped out in front of and behind him, wielding an assortment of nicked blades and rusted polearms. Amateurs, really.

He’d stopped and bid them all good morning, but of course, they were more interested in his belongings than his words. He could understand that, maybe: material items were quite interesting, and words so cheap. But he doubted very much they wanted the banded, engraved silver at his arms for the sake of its unique alchemical properties. Or maybe the reason they hadn’t talked to him was because they weren’t very good with words. They certainly hadn’t used many before the first one tried to jump him.

It was with a mildly-perturbed expression on his face that the Mad Alchemist stepped aside, raising an eyebrow at the loud whistle of the battered scimitar through the air. “My good sir,” he enunciated, as though genuinely shocked, “you really should be more careful. A blow like that could take a man’s arm off!” He shook his head and brought one hand up to rub absently at the stubble on his cheek. He knew he’d forgotten to do something before he left—apparently, shaving was it. He mused on the merits of using his silver wristband to fashion himself a straight-razor, ducking under the next swing with a casual ease that looked entirely accidental.

It was, without a doubt, infuriating, and all four of them were after him then, and dodging became entirely too much work for his lazy sensibilities. So he’d done what any reasonable man of moderate alchemical talent would have done in the same situation: dropped into a crouch, sketched a small circle in the dirt, and caused himself a nice, ground-rocking explosion. It was more noise and dirt than actual destruction, of course: he tended to vandalize only his own property, not the already-ramshackle dwellings of strangers.

Either way, the impressive plume of dust was more than he needed to make his escape, and he did, cackling to himself like a deranged person as he emerged from the cloud of smoke—laughter which ceased when two new pieces of information came to him at once: the crying of a child, and the sense that there was metaphysical matter nearby. Fortunately for his curiosity, they were in the same direction, and that was the one he picked, strolling along the street as though he belonged there—as though he owned it, even.

He didn’t like making children cry, and he had a feeling that this one’s distress was rather his fault. Not every day something exploded this close to you, and though the poor thing had been in no real danger, he supposed she had no way to know that. As he approached, however, he found that the metaphysical matter drew closer as well. Interesting: either the child was possessed by a spirit or… no, this was definitely something different. Angel, if he had his guess. Not that he cared—he was actually more concerned with the fact that she was adorable. Kids were great, honestly. He liked them a hell of a lot better than grown-ups, and if this one just so happened to be celestial also, well… no skin off his teeth.

Crouching in front of the girl with the faint chiming of bells, he folded one hand into a fist, then extended his index finger from it and poked her in the forehead, just gently. “Hey, kiddo. Pst.” Removing his hand, he reached into one of the many pouches at his belt and pinched a tiny bit of a bright blue powder. In the dirt between them, he sketched a tiny transmutation circle, then dropped the powder into it with a flourish. Rubbing his hands together dramatically, he clapped them, pressing both to the circle. Before their eyes, a delicate blue flower erupted from the ground, growing and unfolding its petals. The circle and the powder both disappeared, and Zilocke plucked the flower from its spot and held it out to the child. “See? Why cry when the world is so beautiful?” He grinned, and it might have even been genuine.

Really, it was just equivalent exchange. He'd made her cry, it was only fair that he do his best to make her smile, too. Even if it really was all somebody else's fault.

The setting changes from arkanvale to Purgatory

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto Character Portrait: Leiriya
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#, as written by Siryn
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She stepped out of the portal, her booted feet touching upon purgatory for the first time in a millennium. Leiriya emerged from the doorway created by her superior in a matter of seconds. She'd been chosen to fill in a spot, but not much else was told to her when she'd heard the call from Treylion. As she left the doorway, it shuddered once and then closed abruptly.

"Leiriya," Treylion's voice called to her and she turned her face to look in his general direction. Her eyes were covered with leather cloth, far too sensitive to be looking directly at the sunlight for she was a being of the darkness, always having had her eyes covered.

"My lord, what need have you of me?"

"There is an angel and an exorcist who need your... abilities. You should know that the gates are being broken steadily and that this world is threatened to be overrun by our lost spirits and wraiths. If you can, return them to inferno. If not... allow the angel to kill them. If at all possible, avoid killing the humans, allow the exorcist to perform their purging to draw out the spirit."

Leiriya turned and began making her way to the door without saying anything. Even though she couldn't see with her eyes, she could still see through her sense. Her footfalls were steady, a nice even pace that didn't mark her being in a hurry, or being all that slow either.

"One more thing," Treylion called out and she halted in her steps, coming to a full stop instantly, "Tell Xana that I thought I had ordered all demons to not shed their human appearances unless absolutely necessary. She's testing her boundaries with me when she should not. Any further disobedience will be dealt in full by me."

A faint twitch in Leiriya's lips were the only indication that she perhaps found the notion amusing. Maybe she thought that Xana's getting on Treylion's bad side would be entertaining. Either way, she did not say anything and continued on her way outside of the exorcists home.

The demon left Resmyrd and headed out of the city. It didn't take her long to get passed the gates nor onto the road. She didn't know whom exactly she was to meet up with, but figured it would all fall into place one way or another. Leiriya wasn't one to ask questions about things when she knew she'd figure it out as time went. Moving passed a particular hill, she felt the presence of another demon not to far off.

Turning her head, she looked directly up it's slope to the top. Only then did her lips curl into a smile. It could have been described as chilling to look at, for it was far from amusement or even happiness. She didn't say anything, only letting the other demon know of her presence there. Leiriya was entirely sure that the one up there was Xana and that the demoness got the message very clearly as she was sending it off at a high level.

Turning away, she started down the dirt road without another look over her shoulder. She had someone to meet, if she wasn't mistaken. Perhaps luck would be on her side and she run into her party sooner rather than much later. Not that time mattered all that much to the demon. She was a being of eternity, after all.

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto Character Portrait: Leiriya
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Over the crest of one final hill, Xana and her newest companion found the angel sitting with the vessel. Both of them seemed relatively calm, sitting down against the arid landscape and doing absolutely nothing. It seemed rather eerie to the demon--the world of the humans was rather diverse in its environments, much like Inferno, but even this was rather bizarre to see two bodies doing nothing in this wasteland, especially human shells like these two. The quicker they went through with this exorcism and dealt with this woman, the quicker they would be on their way to... where, exactly? There were no further orders than "Repair any gates you come across and exorcise any humans that might be possessed", but from here, where do they begin to look?

The angel nodded toward the exorcist, almost ignoring the demonic presence that led him to their location. This was the thanks she received for going back to that damn city to find this defective exorcist? She had absolutely no tact, this one... Perhaps she would be able to inquire as to why these imbecilic companions of hers could not appreciate the things she did for them all, but who would listen to her, exactly? She figured that the other demons called up were having some troubles of their own--Janus trying not to murder the angel and exorcist that had the misfortune to partner up with him, and Lucian trying not to let his overwhelming apathy and aloofness cause the others to do absolutely nothing--but nothing on this scale with a broken human and an angel with the biggest "holier-than-thou" complex she had ever had the misfortune of meeting...

Suddenly, another presence, this one demonic in nature. Had Janus come to slaughter someone for her? Perhaps Lucian had finally thought his companions insufferable enough to abandon them and seek some demonic company? When the demoness turned toward the horizon, however, the figure she spied was neither the juggernaut nor the mystic but someone else entirely. She could make it out from here--a lithe female figure that bore two thick leather straps around her eyes as to block her sight completely. A chilling smile slowly crept across the entity's face, something that would seem otherwise unnatural. Xana did not recognize this demon--had Treylion summoned her to keep an eye on her with regards to that folly of a promotion?

Xana sighed and rolled her eyes as she began her transformation back into her human guise. Why was Treylion all of a sudden so concerned about how she conducted herself? She had been on the surface for how many years now, and not once had he cared how she acted until now!? It was not as if she had no idea as to what she was doing--she had not been spawned from the birthing pits a century ago, she wasn't that naive--and she had been one of the most effective agents on the surface before all of Inferno broke loose. The Apokalyon had never before given a rat's ass about this--Xana had done things like this all the time, let herself a little bit loose on the reins when she was assured no humans were about, which she had assured herself there were none after a quick sweep. Was this solely about the promotion she now figured was a lie, or was this more about trying to control a 'rabid dog', in her 'master's' eyes?

In either case, there was work to be done. The newly-humanoid Xana stared at the 'companions' she was being forced to work with--the angel that had as much emotional energy to feed from as a rock, the exorcist that had nearly died from shock when she had transformed when he had already known that she was a demon--and screamed inwardly at the fate that had been bestowed on her. This was going to be a long and trying process...

The setting changes from purgatory to Arkanvale

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto
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#, as written by Ezarael
Takeuchi, Liriael, & Xana



The travel-worn and emotionally weary Takeuchi was glad for the sudden surge of the divine presence emanating from the . . . well honestly he could not tell if it was a man or woman seated nearby, with a calm composure that seemed all too natural to them, even if it meant he was greeted by the malign spirit’s presence as well. That one did not seem nearly as foul as that of the demon behind him, and hopefully the angel had a much more agreeable personality, though from what he had been told many tended to look down upon humans for being less than pure. His limp was much more pronounced now than it had been earlier today, mainly thanks to the demon’s brisk-pace to which he was unaccustomed, but luckily practice kept his wince concealed for the most part, although one who paid enough mind to it would notice how tense his face was at the moment. In an effort to keep some grace in front of the angel Takeuchi bowed down just a bit deeper than he would have normally, mainly to try and mask his body language for a few moments longer, and offered his greeting face-down.

“Greetings, I am Takeuchi Hiroto and I have come to assist in the exorcism and capture of this renegade spirit.”

A cold chill crept down the Meister’s neck as a somewhat noticeable shiver crawled up his spine while his stomach turned over at least twice upon feeling the entrance of another demonic presence, and even though it was not nearby the combined auras emanating from the two demon’s and the spirit were sickening to say the least. His bow ended abruptly as he shot-up straight as an arrow and his head turned slightly in the direction from whence this new aura originated, hoping that this new one was not going to join them in this exorcism, Takuechi was not quite sure if he would be able to concentrate on the exorcism enough with the bile creeping up the back of his throat. Strangely enough though, it started fading away, even if relatively slowly, and Lili began transforming back into her human form, luckily enough this way around seemed much less sudden and jolting than previously.

Takeuchi turned his head back towards the angel with a rather relieved, although still slightly nervous, smile spread across his lips. “So, shall we begin then?”

It was impossible for Liri to make or return any verbal greeting whilst still murmuring her binding spell, so instead she half-smiled kindly. She had not missed the slightly-awkward way the human youth moved, but like everything else, it was not her business unless someone else chose to make it so. Turning from both of them, she crouched near the body of the woman, lifting her into her arms and standing. She wasn't sure what method this Takeuchi used to exorcise, but she supposed it would be helpful to have an unmoving target, whatever that method may be.

The woman in her arms was breathing raggedly still, though the spirit inside her body was suppressed for the most part by Liriael's spell, and as such, she struggled not at all. She didn't appear to be in very good shape, though most of that damage had occurred whether before Xana arrived or between then and when Liri had, it was hard to say. The sword at the angel's hip remained sheathed and relatively unobtrusive; it was clear that she was trusting Xana to be able to find a gate to shove the spirit back through. She would destroy the being if she must, but she would much prefer not to.

Anxiety coursed through the Meister's body as he observed the angel quietly lift up and grasp the poor, possessed girl after his, somewhat, unnecessary question, and it felt as if his heart was straddling the back of his throat now while its rhythmic beating began to pound relentlessly between his ears. A series of deep, fluid breaths helped to calm this sensation, but only slightly, as he knew this would be a trial in and of itself, more so than either of his companions knew at the moment. The Meister paused momentarily to look over the poor girl's form, observing how fragile and ragged the human host looked at this moment, forcing a wave of guilt over Takeuchi at how focused he had been upon his own comfort earlier, this girl was suffering greatly and he had not right to even think about complaining at a time such as this.

"This should not take very long."

Despite the declarative structure of his statement, a hint of hesitation and doubt tinted his words, but Takeuchi stiffened his gaze considerably, setting his feet into the ground and clasping his hands together firmly. With a bowed head the young Meister began manipulating his Qi to begin forming a field around the poor girl, releasing his hands and using short but soft movements to help guide the energy and form it evenly around her body. Things were going about as well as they could at the moment; all he could do was hope that his reputable bad luck chose not to interfere the evening.

Darkness writhed at the touch of the Meister's spell. It flooded the woman's form, and then spilled forth from her every pore. The black mist like structure of the possession seemed to cover the woman entirely until she couldn't be seen. It was several minutes into the exorcism before the mist began to take shape. It pulled itself up from the center of the woman's body that quaked in the angels hold. The black mass curled in on itself several times before finally holding an upright position. The darkness shifted several times, forming arms and a head without features. Lifting completely out of the woman's body, it stretched its arms out and swiped at the barrier that the Meister had formed around the woman. Lips curled along the faceless head, jagged teeth emerged from between the darkness like tar. A cold laugh filled the air between them all. It was no spirit that left the woman's body, but a wraith instead.

Takeuchi had his eyes clenched tightly during the few minutes before the mist's transformation, focusing entirely upon the barrier he was trying to craft around the girl's body, sweat had started beading across his brow and his breath had grown much more laborious as this was proving to be a much more difficult exorcism than he had imagined any renegade spirit's would be. When the dark form brushed up against his Qi field it felt like a dagger had been pricked into his chest quickly, breaking this Meister's concentration entirely, and with it the field he had strived so diligently to create to force the spirit . . . no this was much more than that, it had to be a wraith, from the girl's body. A sensation of panic quickly spread through Takeuchi's body as he readied himself for what was to come, this was definitely going to be much more difficult than he had hoped for, and it seemed like his usual luck had reared its ugly head once again.

A Wraith… Liri would have gritted her teeth had she the ability over the chanting she was performing, and when it seemed that the exorcist was slipping, she formed the cadence back into song, the binding spell this time moving to reinforce the barrier that the young man was forming with his own energy, suffusing it with angelic strength in addition to the spiritual powers of a human. She held her grip steady against the shaking of the host, her breathing even and calm, and hoped dearly that this would work. A Wraith was not something that anyone should take lightly.

Xana had remained silent over the course of these events--she would be useless until they required a gate. The closest one at this point was a gate she had repaired only a few nights before, but even that was still a few hours from their current position. That in and of itself would have been of little concern, but the appearance of a wraith complicated matters somewhat. Of course, either way, she was useless to this group without the gates; physical violence, as much as demons reveled in the bloodshed, was something that was impossible against a wraith--violence usually lead to utter destruction, and demons were barred from outright destroying spirits and wraiths. At Treylion's 'request', not only was she stuffed back into her fleshy meatbag form, but this barred her from using any sort of pyrokinetic ability without exposing herself.

The demon huffed as a new influx of fear and panic flooded her system, something a bit refreshing as the wraith's rage and malice threatened to overwhelm her senses. While the angel and exorcist continued holding the freed wraith inside of their own little bubble, she thought about potential options for this situation. While extremely dangerous, if not unheard of, they could attempt to stuff the wraith back into the vessel and proceed to perform the ritual at a gate instead of out in the middle of nowhere...

"Would it behoove you to know that the nearest gate is to the north?" she asked, her voice dripping with sweet sarcasm, realizing that this was probably all she was going to be good for in the long run. "A few hours north, no less?" She walked around the barrier, letting chills run down her flesh and enjoying every second of it for once--perhaps the physical reminder of Inferno was something that induced nostalgia in her, or maybe the presence of the wraith was affecting her mental integrity. "If you think you can contain it in your little bubble for that long, then we should get moving. Now."

Despite Takeuchi's best efforts to contain the wraith in his Qi field, something it was not necessarily meant to do in the first place, and the added angelic energy donated by his new companion, he was unable to continue keeping the barrier secure around the powerful wraith, and when the hideous being of darkness did finally burst through the resulting shockwave was enough to send the fragile Meister toppling backwards, head-over-heels. The wraith turned, towards its former angelic captor, that cold, empty laugh echoing through the area around them and lunged for her, hoping to take out the one that it knew could keep it held captive. Meanwhile, the dazed Meister did his best to regain his composure, shaking his head lightly to try and fend off the dull pain throbbing in his temples, and also grasping furiously into his the kimono sleeve which contained the paper talismans he needed next, hoping beyond all hope that he would be able to concentrate for long enough to conjure his next ability.

Liri would have sighed had she the opportunity, but instead she rolled her eyes in Xana's general direction. She'd kept the thing bound this long, she could manage a few more hours, but the important thing was saving the host. Xana also could have mentioned this fact earlier, perhaps before letting the boy start his work. As matters were, however, the wraith burst out of his sphere of energy, lunging for her. Liri evaded the swipe, then spared a breath to speak. "I can contain it. Just get us to the gate before I'm forced to kill it." Summoning her breath to her, she exhaled in a vibrato note, causing the wraith to stiffen, its joints locking up in paralysis. She could only hold the joints, however, not the entire being. Jerking her head, she indicated that they needed to get moving. This thing was a lot stronger than most of the foes she'd bound in the past-- if she was allowed to concentrate, she could make it, but she didn't look forward to the next few hours.

A wave of relief washed over Takeuchi as his angelic companion managed to rebind the wraith, no thanks to his complete failure, and inwardly the frustrated Meister was scolding himself for being so careless, letting the entity break his concentration and endanger others in such a fashion, a salty taste teased his palette as Takeuchi bit his inner-lip so hard it started bleeding slightly. With another determined step, this time clasping talismans in one, outstretched arm, Takeuchi brought his good hand up to his lips, his thumb, index, and middle fingers held straight while his ring-finger and pinky were bent at the second knuckle, he began whispering a soft chant. The paper talismans began glowing brightly, as Takeuchi began clenching his eyelids together forcefully, and burst into thousands of shards of light, swirling into the air and gathering around the wraith, forming around the entity's limbs and clasping them to its body tightly. After several moments the brilliant, white light dimmed to a dull pink color, with barely visible gaps between the shards at their juncture points, by now they resembled cherry blossoms. The Meister let a sigh escape his lips as his chant was finished, but he needed every ounce of concentration to keep the spell intact. "I hope this helps, but we must hurry." Takeuchi turned his head at the demon slightly, hoping that a brief look would help reinforce the hushed urgency in his voice, that was all he could spare before he was forced to start chanting quietly once again.

The demon did feel the urgency in the voice of the exorcist. She sensed the impatience growing in the angel--a good sign that she was actually capable of showing some emotion after all. With a quick flash of a grin, the red-headed woman beckoned the others to follow her. She would finally have a moment to shine, although the prospect of watching the angel slaughter the wraith was rather tempting as well... In any case, she tossed a quick wink toward the quivering exorcist as she slowly began heading toward the north. Hopefully they would be able to feed her for a bit as they made their way toward the gate.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto Character Portrait: Leiriya Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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#, as written by Ion


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Before long had passed, at least by his reckoning of time, there was another influx of metaphysical stuff in his range, this a great deal more than little Ilyana produced, and he looked up at about the same time as she climbed down, apparently quite familiar with this new angel. Couldn’t well be anything else, what with the pearly-white wings and all. Now, maybe an average man would have felt a little put-off by all the supernatural happenings in one day, gone back to his house, and lived his life out peacefully until he died, equally peacefully but boring.

Fortunately, Zilocke had never really been an average man.

“I would be the magic man, yes,” he said with a bright grin, nodding his head more-or-less politely. The older angel seemed a lot less interesting than the little one, though, so when she challenged him to a race, he accepted immediately, catching up with her in a few easy, loping strides. “Oh, I almost have you!” he called dramatically, but the stooped in his run to catch her under the arms and hoist her before him. “But what’s this? She flies! And so quickly!” He feigned a great deal of shock and struggle, and indeed, it was ‘Ilyana’ who crossed the threshold first, and the loser obligingly set her down in a seat by the tray of biscuits and took an armchair himself, this a little further away from the sugary treats.

He presumed that the other angel would follow them in, but honestly, he wasn’t sure he had any business being here. Certainly, this was far too much of a coincidence to mean that he wasn’t intended to be here, but that wasn’t the important thing. If someone wanted him to be a certain place or a certain way, he was usually disposed not to be, just out of a certain kind of contrariness in his disposition. Still, he supposed he’d hear them out, see what they had to say. The whole ‘save the world’ pitch probably wasn’t going to work as well as they were expecting, but then, this fellow was an angel. It probably always worked on other angels.

Before anyone could properly get to speaking, though, there was a knock on the door, and it corresponded to yet more supernatural substance, this different in character from that exuded by the angels. Honestly, it was a bit cloying on his senses, and the eye with the patch over it itched uncomfortably.

So naturally, he ignored it, and his reservations, and went to open the door. Pulling it open, he blinked a few times just to make sure his uncovered eye was working properly, then smiled, the expression somewhere between pleasant and lascivious, though it could not quite be called either. “Well,” he commented lightly, “this just keeps getting more and more interesting, doesn’t it?” Apparently, there was now a demon in the company.

Stepping aside to admit the woman, who seemed to be blindfolded, he returned to his chair and waited for someone to start talking. He could do all of it himself, of course, though he didn’t really see the need as of yet, much as he did like to talk. They probably had different things to say than he would, after all, and letting them do so was only polite.



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The terrain they covered on their way to the gate was thankfully mostly flat, and the most predominant emotion leaking from Liriael at the moment was relief. The less the steps of herself and the concentrating Meister were interrupted by stones or inclines, the better chance they had of maintaining their hold. Their progress was somewhat slowed for the boy, who seemed not to move with utmost haste, but upon closer inspection, she decided that he was not sluggish on purpose, but rather because he had to be.

So she walked at his pace, keeping sight on the demon leading them northward. This would simply have to be the way of it for now, and though she’d never been forced to keep a foe this powerful bound for this long, her voice did not let up, and her efforts were bolstered by those of the human who walked beside her. Sweat beaded on Liri’s brow, and fatigue slowly, insidiously, began to creep up on her, but she pushed it aside. She had fought battles longer and harder than this one before, and though she knew she could end it by simply slaying the Wraith, she had no desire to remove it from existence when it could be returned with a little more effort to the plane on which it belonged.

Eventually, Xana stopped, and this was something Liri was unspeakably grateful for. She stopped as well, standing back far enough that the demon would have plenty of room to work. She did not know what was entailed in opening a gate, as she had never seen it done before, but she didn’t want herself or Takeuchi getting in the way, inadvertently or otherwise.

The setting changes from arkanvale to Purgatory

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto
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#, as written by Ezarael
Takeuchi Hiroto & Liriael Amaryllis




It seemed like an eternity had passed before they came within reach of the promised gateway, and by the time both Takeuchi and his angelic companion had caught up with the demon Lili with their charge he was sweating profusely, his breath coming in long, ragged draws that slowly lengthened with each gasp for air. It had taken every ounce of concentration for him to make it this far, and they end of their journey was just around the corner as some would put it, but it still looked like they were miles away. His limbs felt as if they were weighed down by lead chains, forcing his once shuffling-step into an awkward drag that was continuously slowed them down, something he might worry about if he wasn't pouring every ounce of concentration into confining the powerful wraith in the combined auric field. A sigh of relief might have escaped his lips if the wraith hadn't targeted him, suddenly bursting forth with an unknown swell of power, taking advantage of his weakened state.

The malevolent spirit had been biding its time patiently, waiting and watching as its captors dragged it to some unknown destination, presumably the location of a gate the demon would then open to hurl it through. The Meister was weak though, and every step had been taking its toll on his crippled body, so it decided to save its energy for the right moment would it could burst forth and overwhelm the pitiful creatures trying to send it somewhere it didn't want to go in the first placed. They would pay, albiet the angel and demon had to be finished quickly, the human could die a slow, agonizing death, something that seemed only fitting giving the already inevitable, drawn-out deaths destined for them. After bursting forth from its bonds the dark entity swiped a vicious claw at the Meister, hurling him backwards into a nearby tree, and then it launch at the angel in a flash, wanting to eliminate any threat it had of being captured again. Once it dealt with the angel . . . the demon would be of no consequence.

That was it. Liri's patience was wearing thin, and when the Wraith at last burst from the body it was contained in, overwhelming the human's part of their defenses, Liriael set the body on the ground and drew the sword at her hip. The first thrust it made in her direction was parried by the silvery steel of the divine blade, and Liri whirled the instrument of death in a broad circle, slicing up and into the Wraith's arm at the elbow. The heavensmade sword did what ordinary steel could not, and wounded the creature, causing it to stagger backwards a few steps. That was all Liriael really required, and she stepped forward again, trying to get in underneath its guard and put it down.

Unfortunately, the creature moved to the side, its reach seeming to stretch supernaturally long, and a talonlike claw dug visciously into Liri's shoulder, making her turn to stumble back, shifting her grip to her other hand. Cackling madly, the Wraith went in to hit her exposed side, but she was quite ready for that, and pivoted, slashing at its abdomen to distract it, then abruptly redirecting, slamming her uninjured shoulder into its midsection and successfully knocking it prone. Her sword, she used to stake it to the ground by stabbing it between collarbone and pectoral muscle on the right side, or what would have been the collarbones and pectorals had it been human. The anatomy was close enough for the analogy to work, anyway, and though it thrashed around, it couldn't get free.

Glancing over at Xana, Liri narrowed her eyes just slightly. "Now... would perhaps be a good time to open that gate." She just hoped the delay had not killed their exorcist, but she couldn't exactly check when her blade was all that was keeping the thing in place.