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Vex-Chari-Noda : Shattered-World-Torn

Vex-Chari-Noda

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a part of Vex-Chari-Noda : Shattered-World-Torn, by ShadowBlackheart.

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ShadowBlackheart holds sovereignty over Vex-Chari-Noda, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

2,412 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for Vex-Chari-Noda : Shattered-World-Torn
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Vex-Chari-Noda is a part of Vex-Chari-Noda : Shattered-World-Torn.

4 Places in Vex-Chari-Noda:

5 Characters Here

Valen [115] Two separate bodies, one mind and person behind them both. Confusion and mistakes sums up his past since the world ended and he now finally sets out to correct the mistakes he let grow too large.
Ravyn Arcadia Valos [103] Blue dragon with feathered wings and mastery over air and water.
Red Eduard [99] A real fan of blood.
Holo [55] A scared girl who developed shape shifting powers, Holo did the only thing she knew she could when the world ended and become someone else. She changed herself 3 times before taking the name of Holo eventually thinking she had always been the Wise Wolf.

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Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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Holo nodded and looked around some with Ravyn as they docked, Alexia moving off with the crusaders in tow leaving them with the barge. “I think I have heard tales of such places of wonder such this. My memories of the early days and my own youth are short and ungathered sadly. Try as I might, I can never fully recall my own birth. For some reason though, all of this, what you say sounds so close, familiar to me.” Holo stated before turning to start, hoping to work quickly with the others to start unloading her cart of things off into one of the giant hangers, the building far larger in terms of open space then anything that she could remember seeing before. The sheer size of the building alone could cover a large way station or inn on almost any trade route she had been on before as she worked to unload the things.

As she worked, she looked around more and more though, just feeling something weird about the place and her mind, but she tried to put that out of her mind for now. As they were working though, they couldn't help but hear Red off in the distance, even across the lake, his dark cackling rose eye brows from the group on the island. “What... no, nevermind. I have this distinct feeling that I would rather not know with that one.” Holo started, only to quickly correct herself. She just hurried to finish securing her things away before being ready. With that done at last, they were moving back to the airport lobby now, they finally caught a brief glimpse of Red on the beach before moving inside the airport at last.

For all the vines and even flooded spots that were there, even how some walls seemed to bleed water in some spots, the entire place fully sound, and safe, large sections of the place left entirely in tact and well cleaned, a large open space in the center for now as well as several other segments that were all cleaned up and free of vines as well. Among the sections that easily stood out were a few bathrooms that passages looked cleaned, as well as a small food area, vending machines and a small buffet present there, although it appeared that a few runes on the walls around it prevented smell from traveling far.

Much more interesting however was the main room itself, which seemed to include a large collection of magical globes just flowing around near the ceiling, small threads connecting them in strange ways until something clicked. “Is that... a collection of globes showing the worlds?” Holo asked, moving under them a bit more, only to hear something strange sound very loudly, like a set of noisy bells ringing out loudly.

-x-

Already Alexia was moving into her airport, the three slaves being pulled along on a cart behind her with her tail as she moved. It would be easy to interrogate them, but securing and hiding what her home was right now was the harder task. For now though, she cared little for the others at this time however, her sole task as usual since she started was the target of Zenos and now she she had easy pass into the city. She still had the very same letter that had started this whole personal crusade of her own on her, and that would be the key to proving to who she was for now, but she would still need some work to get things started though.

She just kept moving slowly into the depths of the place only to realize that she was alone though as she reached the backrooms, mostly storage and offices, grumbling some and moving over one of the larger computer set ups, moving past them until she came to the one she needed. She quickly typed in a few things, and shortly after pulled up the security cameras that were still working, only a few down, but most still worked well enough. With the place as empty as it was however, it was easy to find people, and Sam was no different as Alexia pulled up a phone and dialed the number to a pay phone that had been next to him.

-x-

Holo and Ravyn both quickly turned towards the loud ringing in confusion, even Sam stared at it for a brief second before giving a bark of laughter and moving to pick it up. “Is... is that a telephone? Out here? Who would place such a call out here?” Holo asked as Sam picked up the receiver and listened in.

“Perhaps I was not clear. My apologies. I meant for you to follow me.” Alexia stated. “And before you ask, some of the cameras are still working. Hallway S-3 to main offices. S-3 is the large hall behind the main desk of the room you in just in case the vines grew over the signs again. Once your at the main offices, just follow the red lines on the floor past them. I need you to help with this event.” Alexia stated, and as soon as she got a confirmation, she started to hang up, only to stop. “Oi, one more thing. Tell them not to play around with my phones. That dragon seems to have a curiosity with all sorts of antiques and ancient technology. Its not exactly like proper antique phones see much use.” She added, before actually hanging up and then resetting the passwords to keep others out just in case.

Sam of course quickly passed on the message, Holo nodding a bit. “Such a strange place this is.” She commented as she took a chance to start looking around now.


-x-

As Alexia waited for Sam though, she still moved to a large back that had been mostly empty, pulling the cart with the three still stasis bound crusaders into the room, and then heading across the hall and looking over some basic furniture she had piled up to get out of the way. As she picked a few benched and various blankets and whatnot that would have to hold the crusaders over for now, she noticed Sam walking down the halls.

“So, what kind of bribe is it going to take to make you play the role of The Headsman of Alexia Everstorm until this giant cluster fuck is sorted out, or at least started to be sorted out?” Alexia asked as she tossed him some blankets and other essentials for the crusaders to use while they were staying there.

"You'll need to give me an offer, preferably on something I don't already have." Sam replied simply. "I won't barter hard, but there are...plenty of unique things in this airport." He said as he grabbed the things easily that were tossed at him, holding them easily and waiting for any orders.

"Name something we'll start this trade from there." Alexia stated, still moving to collect a few things from the storage room, as well as head down the hall a bit with him following to a large storage room that she had turned into a food storage room filled with coolers, vending machines, and other things.

"Hmmm...a lot of old goodies here...and they haven't been affected by their expiration date?" He asked, looking to Alexia.

“This place is soft locked in time. I don't think anything here has an expiration date anymore.” Alexia told him as she pulled out some fruit, some caprisun drink packs, and some jerky to hold over the crusaders, before heading back to the room where she would hold them. “Pop that vent to drain the water I'm about to spill in here.” Alexia stated setting the food on a bench and then moving over to the far corner of the room, and moving a tile from the ceiling to reveal a pipe, and then turning the handle on it, water starting to pour down hard into the room and flood the floor a bit before draining into the vent on the floor.

"Very nice...in that case, I'd like to have old world chocolates if you have any, preferably chocolate chip cookies, Twix, or Kit-Kats." he said "And some milk to go with that." He stated before moving and popping the vent open.

“I have Twix, but don't know about the Kit-kats. I also have milk, but no actual chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate upsets my stomach like this, so I really only kept some for when I'm human and have a sweet tooth. I should have the things to make the cookies though and I've set up a kitchen in one of the buffet spots.” Alexia explained before making sure that the water only flowed into the vent and not out into the hallway. “Good, get them in here, and close the door before waking them up.” Alexia stated. “And try to act a little scary, I need my messages to set in hard and fast.”

“We'll work out the other details later, but consider it done." he said, walking out and bringing the captives in and shut the door. 'Ok just one sec.." he said, his body glowed a bit. He forced himself to grow a tail, wings and horns, as well as grow sharp teeth and claws. "Lets make this quick, this is very forced and uncomfortable." he growled, drawing his sword and latched on a electric and fire rune to give it a intimidating look. He composed himself before releasing the stasis field on them.

Alexia just nodded some as the three started to stir, the two beast race females gasping out and looking around some before spotting Alexia, the third one, the human, the girl who had claimed that her aunt was a high priestess already on her knees, hands together in pray with her head low, not even saying a word.

“Which one of you claimed to personally know a high priest in my name?” Alexia stated, still just standing there and looking down on them all, the other two girls quickly moving to match the pose. For all that they knew, they had been just been in a cave, and now they were in some strange isolated room. They could only count this up to being the power of the Great Goddess now as they.

“I am y-your g-g-godd-dess.” The human said very fearfully as she kept her head down.

“And how does this priestess rank among those in Zenos?” Alexia asked moving to stand before the human.

“She p-personal-ly hosts th-the high ser-ser servi-vices for the g-g-g-governing body of Ze-Zenos, and sees o-over the Central Church.” The human stated very worried and keeping her head down, but her arms raised as though in prayer.

“And her connections to the military forces?” Alexia asked, focusing entirely on her and ignoring the other two for now.

“I-I do n-not know.” She said very much worried now more then ever as Alexia was practically standing over her now.

“You are not making me happy... Do you know her personally? If I were to send a message back with you, you could make sure that it gets into her hands correct?” Alexia asked, the human nodded.

“When does the next collection of crusaders from Zenos plan to come here. I know they tell all of you this much. They expect you all to try and meet up with each other while mapping this world.” Alexia hissed some from her lack clear answers.

“I-in two d-days. We we-were suppose t-to” The human started only for Alexia to stop her.

“In two days then? Good. You have that long to make sure you can get to see this high priest and hand her a message. I'll be coming to Zenos personally, and I expect them to be waiting for me.” Alexia commanded very firmly making the human girl look up to her. “I will have people with me. You're going to make sure that anyone who comes with me will not be harmed, even if they are male. You're also going to make sure that I am taken directly to see all of the high priests.” Alexia explained. “If you can't do this, then you should be aware that I'm going to give you to him...” Alexia roughly jerked the human's head to look at Sam in his half dragon form. “He likes to crusaders who make him angry. And when you make me angry, you make him angry. At least he'll make it quick if I give him to you though, but you'll never have my praise and I sure as hell won't take you to the afterlife. Do I need to make an example out of one of them to show my anger?” Alexia asked, all three quickly gulping and starting to beg, only for Alexia to hiss out loudly silencing them all.

“When that group from Zenos makes it here, I'm going to make sure you are found by them. And you will make sure that they all turn right back around and take you straight to the church. I'll leave you with a message before I set you free. If you fail me, know that my Headsmen will never stop coming for you, and he will kill you and everything that gets in his way.” Alexia stated getting up and throwing the blankets into the corner of the room onto a dry section. “You have food, you have water, you have blankets. Use this time to make sure you know what to say to follow the orders I have given you.” She continued before nodding to Sam who opened the door and walked out. “Leave this room, and my Headsmen will be allowed to do anything he wants with you before he kills you.” She stated, not even really facing him, but speaking more then loud enough for them to hear to them, before closing the door and locking it, even barricading it some.

“You can go anywhere you want around the airport now.” Alexia said after she started walking down the hallway, a large rune appearing on the door as they left. “If you want your candy, check the east side... I just go by the signs around here for directions, the entrance you came in was on the south for quick reference.” Alexia told Sam as he changed back. “I have a large store room there filled with various things, but let me know what all you take. I won't be picky, but I need to know what I have to refill later.” She said.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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”Yeah...New York City airport.. part of it at least." he muttered to himself. He wandered around a bit, taking in the old, yet familiar architecture. He looked to Ravyn "This would be part of a much larger facility, where it would monitor, instruct and resupply air transportation vehicles. You could find people from all over the world traveling here, of all different nationalities, races, beliefs…”

“Different races. Were there dragons and elves too?” It was odd thinking of a world before the shattering. The way the worlds were now was all he and his race knew. And this…airport. A strange relic that has no use now outside of a very large home or trade hub and inn.

Ravyn followed the pair as they wondered around the airport. It was quite a sight. The condition of it amazed him. It was older than his race yet the condition of the airport was very well preserved.

“Is that... a collection of globes showing the worlds?” He looked at the globes and he even recognized a few. Later he would ask Alexia if he can take photos of it and log the globes. Some were completely unknown to his race. The sound of the ringing bells made his ears twitch and turn towards the sound.

“Is... is that a telephone? Out here? Who would place such a call out here?”

His ears were good enough to pick up the conversation on the call. Apparently they were being watched by the cameras in the room. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep my hands to myself. As much as I can anyway.” He grinned as he told Sam.

“So Holo. What do you want to do now?” Ravyn asked while looking at the globes. “There’s probably something fun to do around here. Alexia said as much

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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Holo just looked over the place a bit more before moving around a bit. "I... I have no idea what to do here. For once I feel so out of place and out of own league so to speak. I have never seen ruins of the myth that is earth so well preserved." Holo said as she just walked around a bit. "I suppose we should seek food first, and then find a place to lay our personal things down before exploring a bit to learn of this strange place." Holo stated looking back to the dragon for only a few, and watching Sam walk off now, wondering what he was going to do with Alexia, but knew that it was not her place to know just yet.

"There are so many strange things here... I just can't begin to image them all." She started, seeing a sigh that depicted an image of pizza, an apple, and bottled drink, only to quickly move towards it. "Food first still." She stated, hoping that it was not just a generic sign, and hoping that there were some earth apples to try, having heard so much about how everything on earth was so grand, wanting to see if even the food as good as the myths and legends had stated, even if she still held a doubtful, but hopeful mind of things.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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Sam followed Alexia's directions to head to the east side and started to think. Last he recalled, while his former, initial home realm was controlled by tyrannical females, they were somewhat independent of Zenos, however he heard whispers they were starting to try to work together. However, a large distance separated the two entities. Had this been the old Earth, then it wouldn't have been an issue, however since the chasms were a factor, communicating and organizing between the two kingdoms was difficult to say the least. He had no doubt Alexia would be able to level Zenos to the ground, but it may prove to complicate his own plans.

He finally found the storeroom Alexia spoke of and started to go through the contents. He started pocketing various things and writing down what he took. He figured he'd enjoy some of it after they dealt with Zenos, however that brought his thoughts back to his own plans. He had two targets for... repayment, Atraxia, the first realm he tried to settle in after the shatter, and the entirety of the dragon race. He had very little doubt on whether or not he could deal with Atraxia alone. Their science division had grown by leaps and bounds, and were one of the more advanced realms. However, there was one person he wanted to find, the one responsible for setting him on this path in the first place. Simply killing her was not enough, he needed to make her watch her entire empire torn asunder in front of her. He ran into Alexia by chance that day at the market, and given he knew what kind of damage she could do, it was best to put his own vendetta on hold.

He found himself clenching his fists and took in a breath, calming himself. He needed to step forward carefully, otherwise he'd end up getting himself killed before he did what needed to be done. He closed the storage room and resumed walking around the airport, looking for a comfortable place to lay down and keep himself entertained. Soon enough however he found Holo and Ravyn to be somewhat lost. "So, just wandering about or looking for something? he asked with a chuckle. Ravyn said they wanted to try old world food and Sam nodded "Lets see then...where oh where... ah ha! Here!" he said. There was a sign partially covered with vines. However Sam pulled off some and it said 'Food Court' . "This way this way." he said. He lead them down a terminal and were greeted with a lovely smell. "It's been too long." he chuckled. "Oh very nice, a buffet." He said, motioning them over "Lets see, pizza, burgers, french fires...very nice. Help yourselves, but don't finish it off. Always leave some of there." he said, grabbing himself a plate and started helping himself to some food.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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"I... I have no idea what to do here. For once I feel so out of place and out of own league so to speak. I have never seen ruins of the myth that is earth so well preserved." Holo said as she just walked around a bit.

"I know what you mean. It is an interesting place. So unlike home." Like Holo, he too has seen ruins of earth. There was even some ruins of old earth back home. Not a lot though.

His ears perked up at the mention of food. “Food would be nice.” Ravyn walked with the wolf girl. “Ooh, old earth pizza. I wonder how different it tastes from the current version. Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite food? Apples?” It was a bit of lame small talk but he was a bit overwhelmed at the old earth airport and was at a loss for better conversation.

Sam ran into them and led the way towards the food court.

“Help yourselves, but don't finish it off. Always leave some of there." The “human” said. He remembered what Alexia said that the food will replenish itself as long as it wasn’t finished off. An interesting ability of this world. He wondered if there was a way to replicate this effect back home. Something to ask Alexia later. For now…food.

“Do you or Alexia know how that effect works?” The dragon asked while he grabbed a few pieces of pizza, some fries, and a couple of sodas.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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The few days had passed and at last Alexia was ready for her march on Zenos, capital of the 8th Order of the Crusaders. Although not fully confident in her actions, things could not remain as they were. While she was very confident that she could never undo what she had done, she could only hope to minimize the damage now.

With a few final preparations, and a new much larger and fancier cart for Holo to use for the trip to Zenos, they set off and in a slight rush, easily reached the edge of the large clearing that rested at the chasm. Although they had only taken what they had needed, Alexia did fill Holo’s cart with a number of other various items and treasure's to make Holo's role as merchant all the more convincing. Hopefully this would allow Holo to enter the city with little trouble while Alexia hid away within the cargo.

Gathered before the chasm that would lead to Zenos, Alexia moved first into the clearing after having made sure that they were properly alone before motioning for the others to follow. The words of the crusaders that Alexia had taken captive had apparently been taken seriously. There was no one there waiting for them, and the gravity tram that Alexia had asked for was there as well.

Walking with her feet always in some water or as much as she could manage, the blue glow that the water gave off seemed to be sticking to her for a bit now, and she made no efforts to hide her intentions of sticking to the water at the moment, even taking longer indirect routes to keep her feet or her tail in the water.

Burning a spell card to help ensure that they were alone, Alexia started moving while motioning for the others to join them. Turning to look over Holo's new cart, Alexia wondered if it would be convincing enough to pass without incident.

“Remember… I don’t want to be found until I’m in the city proper, preferably as close to the presidential center as possible. I made sure that the message passed to the crusaders that anyone bearing my mark will be allowed free passage. If they give you problems, then try to act mightier than them, and threaten my wrath. I’ll be giving you this letter that was meant for me. Its seal has been broken showing that only I could have opened it.” Alexia stated, talking to Holo as she looked over the gravity tram again, mostly ignoring everyone else as she focused primarily on her own goals at the moment.

Red of course remained indifferent, uncaring externally and like Alexia was focused heavily on his own goals. He had clearly been as focused on things as much as Alexia herself had been. For this moment, it was only another dull transition between worlds, the chasms always feeling like a slow waste of time, but they were of course the only way to travel between the worlds. It wasn’t like there was much else to do on the trip anyway. If anything, Red was merely annoyed where as everyone else was highly concerned.

Red just did his small part, taking his briefcase of needed supplies and picking a corner on the gravity tram where he would wait and stay out of the way giving the world one more look over the place. There may one day be a need to return to this strange world that Alexia had tried, and failed to convince Red, was her own and belonged only to her. The blood of this world still needed studied after all, and he had not yet discovered the secret of this bloody sight possessed by the predators of this world, an ability that would prove unique to be harnessed.

Rayvn, the youthful dragon of the group seemed far more concerned about his own safety then anyone else though. He had never known war personally, and while he had seen combat, having watched Alexia in action, he couldn’t help but compare her to a god, despite her many claims against such things. He could tell that she wanted blood, and while he doubted his actions for coming, the chance to see such great change in motion that would affect every world there was was a chance he could not pass up.

Still, Rayvn stayed close to Holo for now, helping her move the cart onto the gravity tram as he watched her for the most part, but still tried to avoid the blood mage. He could see that Holo was nervous much like himself.

For Holo however, her concerns were far greater. She understood far better how much change was coming as she loaded the cart onto the tram with Ravyn’s help. She knew that religion was a powerful thing, with the power to induce order and chaos beyond all means including reason. She knew that by taking this path now, she was about to help denounce the largest religion in the worlds and as a result, there was no way to predict what kind of change this would bring.

There would be profit to be had, and it was a good cause dethroning the crusaders from their perch where they attempted to force everyone to follow their way of unequal life between the sexes. When presented with a choice however, she was unsure how she would try this herself. But having seen Alexia’s resolve, she knew that this event was unavoidable. The closer that she could be the event however, the more control she had, and control was something that she needed. Not control of people or worlds, but control in how the future was to be shaped. Freedom never came without sacrifice, and no world was perfect, but if she did not take this chance then she had no right complain about how things happened in her absence. She worked mostly in silence as she looked up to the chasm in the crater walls, merely taking out a strong sleeping drought and giving it to her horses to keep them calm for the trip.

Of all present however, none were more than worried about the upcoming event than Sam was himself. He knew the power that Alexia held, and was he was sure that she had grown even more powerful since the last time that he had seen her in real combat. He kept close to her as the others loaded up the cart and took their spots. “Are you absolutely sure you have enough water?” He asked quickly, looking up over the chasm and then back behind them in the direction of the airport.

“I’m confident that I have enough for a while. My bags are full of water, at least 3500 gallons.” Alexia replied, barely a whisper not wanting her words to get out, wanting to just to try and hide her addiction, having claimed that it helped keep her calm and making them avoid other questions. She knew that she could only avoid certain questions for so long though, and was just hoping that she could delay them long enough to help her at least finish the events in Zenos for now.

“You are certain that is enough… and you’re not forgetting anything else?” Sam asked again in the same whispered tone for now, giving her a very worried look. He knew that by now a number of the leaders of the various crusader orders would be in Zenos, and with so many gathered in one place, there would no doubt be some bloodshed.

Barely giving a nod, Alexia just moved forward and looked over the gravity tram one last time, checking the ropes that had secured the wagon to the tram as she jumped up onto the ride. Sam just sighed a bit, but followed along. He knew the plan well enough, as did all the others.

The plan was simple and hopefully Holo would do her part the best. They would take the tram to the world of Zenos, and hopefully find that gravity train station on the other side was empty. If it wasn’t, then there would likely be some early blood shed. If it was empty like the message carried by the crusaders that they had captured had explained it should be, then Holo would hopefully be able to get them into the city without anyone finding out that Alexia was there.

The desired plan was for Holo to use her silver tongue, and supposedly grand status bestowed upon her to hopefully get them into the heart of the city, and from there, Alexia would take over. The longer that Holo lead them into the city, the more trouble that there would be if discovered, but Sam trusted Holo a lot with her tongue.

Moving to join the others on the tram, Sam quickly looked over the controls, and with very little trouble managed to get it running. He could never understand why even the most simple of things had to be built for beauty first, even the control console used to operate the tram was made to be pretty, and thus was disorganized a bit for Sam’s liking. Regardless, the tram started up and soon enough, the group was inside the chasm.

-x-

Everyone spent the ride in silence, all concerned with their own things or in Red’s case just bored as he merely sat there. The ride was nothing special, but the tension of what was coming hung over everyone else. Once the chasm turned red though, showing that the end was coming up soon, Alexia had charged over the gravity tram and threw herself from the front of the ride with the intent to arrive at the train station on the Zenos before the others.

She quickly vanished from sight as she rushed to reach Zenos first. Focused heavily on her task, she cared for little else as she pulled a card from her spell decks, something to help her land easily. Although it still took a short while before she suddenly appeared in the world of Zenos and just as quickly, the perception of time around her slowed down, before she was suddenly launched straight down rather then flying into any walls.

It was a rough landing, but Alexia was already fully upright on her feet looking over the enclosed train station. Her landing did not echo though, enchantments still in place to help keep the place quiet, a gentle hymn sounding even. It was the first time that she was here, and looking over the place, her ears quickly turned to the sound of something walking close by though, completely ignoring the hymn in her name at the moment as she charged forward, clean through a passenger car that the crusaders used.

Tearing clear through the center of the car practically tearing it in half, the large angry feline scattering a small number of golden deer that had taken to trying to snack on the now unguarded flowers and plants that were open to them.

Alexia just hissed lightly, turning slowly back towards the chasm itself in the cliff face, pulling out and burning another spell card that would highlight all living things around her, or least give them an aura for her to look at. A quick glance and Alexia was satisfied that she was not among any crusaders, only some deer were present.

It didn’t take much longer for Sam and the others to arrive, Sam quickly noticing the very damaged train car. “Did the train start worshiping or hitting on you?” Sam asked parking the tram in an open space with ease, but keeping his eyes more on Alexia however.

“I heard something on the other side of the car. It was just some deer.” She stated, only to turn back to him rather annoyed. “ The crusaders just had to paint in their own form of twisted beauty rather then let them show their own. It appears that they only accept their beauty even in nature.” Alexia stated, hardly caring for the comment at the moment, but knowing that Sam was still just trying to keep her light hearted in a sense, or rather trying to keep her from getting too angry too quickly.

“Now that are through the chasm, you should change into your formal attire. How long will you need Holo? You said that your outfit would take a few, you would need something rather fancy to hold the sway you needed.” Alexia asked as she pulled up her hoodie, hiding her face at last, the enchantment of shadows quickly hiding her face, even pulling out a skirt for her tail and fixing it to hide her appearance, as she moved up into the cart, taking a seat towards the front, where she would be seen enough to know that she was there, but was otherwise mostly hidden among the crates and boxes of goods that Alexia had supplied her with to help reinforce the act that she wanted Holo to take up.

The hoodie would also bring about a small aura of forgetfulness about her that would make her rather forgettable to those who weren’t shielded from its effects. Easily hidden by the golden aura that was standard with all other major crusader orders to begin with, it was make it easy to effectively smuggle her into the city where she could choose where to reveal herself with ease.

For the others though, they would need to keep the attention off of her, and Holo would of course be in charge of this part to get to Zenos. “I will need a little help with my hair. My dearest dragon hunter, would you help with that?” Holo asked, taking a small package that was on the seat of the new cart.

“I can help with that.” Sam nodded as Holo smiled before she turned to Ravyn.

“And you my youthful dragon. Before my horses wake, would you fit them with that barding since we no longer require to be flighty?” Holo asked the young dragon, who nodded himself.

“I can do that easily, but then I’ll need to get dressed myself.” Rayvn stated reaching into the back of the cart, he pulled out the formal like horse armor that would hopefully give them clean passage into the city. He then went off to change into an outfit himself behind another car.

Sam just moved with Holo though behind a train car to change, and soon enough, the two returned with Holo now fully dressed in what was sort of a half dress and half suit, bearing Alexia’s marker symbol on her chest in gold, over a light blue dress shirt, with an opened dark velvet business dress vest, matching pants, and a half skirt, favoring shoes over heels however. Of course, it took some time to have her hair braided properly, not to mention a large number hairpins and two golden flowers that would rest in her hair and behind her ears. Even more, she had made a custom braid piece for the end of the hair in the shape of a black and red marker.

“I do hope that I did not go overboard with this. While looking through your collection of games and believe that this was the proper marker image you meant to show.” Holo stated as she came back. “You requested that I hold myself to be better than the crusaders and act as your desired guest. I thought that if I held your image, the image that you gave to my horses and this lovely cart, that I would hold more sway. The bone white marker does a lot, but like many other flags, color and style in full have much more sway.” Holo explained.

In the time it took her to change though, Red had already changed into his preferred outfit that fit Alexia’s recommendations, a rather fancy black and grey suit that would be far more fitting for funerals, but still gave him the much needed appearance of style and grace that the crusaders required. Holo would easily be able to pass him off as a skilled medical practitioner when questioned about him, and of course Sam’s heavy scaled armor designed almost like a tuxedo would allow him to be passed off as a high class bodyguard.

This just left Ravyn to finish up coming out a bit later, in his own outfit. Made of what looked like gemstones and precious metals, it was clear that he was rather fancy, perhaps the fanciest of them all. It also showed that he was rather unamused with his own outfit, a slightly annoyed outfit on his face.

“Holo, you look great and you’re making me feel overdressed here. Can we switch? I guarantee mine will fit you.” Ravyn laughed a little and continued. “What do you think?” He turned around to show off his outfit. Looking at the symbol on Holo’s outfit, he quickly noticed the red and black marker icon. “Should I add the marker symbol too?” The dragon asked.

“No…” Alexia spoke up looking over them. “But you do seem over dressed. Holo, can you keep us out of trouble?” Alexia asked, still hiding where she was, if looking them over a bit.

“I could use that look on him yes. It could be used to show him off as my property, if he would play the part of a servant of sorts.” Holo stated looking him over. “He is bound to get some looks though, and I would… no. No, I can use this easily.” Holo suddenly grinned moving up to him and walking around him. “Do you have spare outfits like that. I could use him as my model. I prefer not to wear such elaborate things, but he has the right build, a slim enough to show grace, but with enough muscle to show how one would carry strength. You do display some of your more feminine traits as well since you are both, yes I could sell this easily. He won’t stop us, this look might even advance our passage.” Holo stated smirking some, turning back.

“Mr. Red, would you take a seat here on the side by these crates. They hold medical supplies and it would look far more proper for you to sit there. You’ll be seen a lot, but ignored quickly. And Ravyn, you’ll be beside him on the seat.” Holo commanded, and Red just nodded, moving over and taking his spot, putting his suitcase behind him, but still in easy reach. Ravyn just nodded himself as well, moving up into seat on the cart and taking his place, Holo moving up beside him, intentionally blocking the view others would have of Alexia.

“And you my dear dragon hunter. If would be kind enough to walk with us once we get into the city, I would suggest that you take the horse for now.” Holo added, Samuel just nodding.

“Sounds like a plan.” Samuel stated, moving over and getting on the horse and setting them off, through the cargo doors at the side of the station to start with. With his abilities, it was easy to open and close doors around them, allowing a quick and clean exit from the station, which only showed off more of how much the crusaders favored beauty.

The entire station grounds were filled with golden and silver flowers, roads designed in patterns, with large prayers written upon them, and the place was very clearly built upon a religious design making the station take up lots more room than it needed.

It was clearly overly elaborate and function appeared to be a secondary concern and Alexia had to bite her tongue when she realized that the station appeared to built to mimic a giant cat’s head and face when viewed from above, as shown on a map that they had passed.

“Just let it go, it’s why you’re here.” Sam said quickly, once more in an ancient earthen tongue. “We’re here to solve this, and you wanted to do this as quietly as possible. You don’t need to let them know your here just yet.” Sam reminded Alexia, already seeing her clenched fists. “They already have blimps in the air and by the looks of it they are fully expecting you already.” He reminded Alexia.

“Hmm… that would look like trouble. My dearest dragon… coming from this direction would make them alerted to our presence quickly. Would you be able to take us to the other side of the city so that we might enter from the west? We may have an easier time entering from there with all the eyes of the crusaders on the east.” Holo asked looking over all the blimps, seeing how they were clearly over the city, but mostly turned to focus on the east and the station that they were at.

“With so many eyes knowing that this is the entrance to the Holy Lands, we may be able to easily sneak past those who guard the west. I doubt there are many eyes there looking the correct. Plus, I could easily make a scene about how they are messing up, and denying a chosen of the Goddess passage.” Holo explained.

“I could do it.. It won’t be easy with the horses and the cart however.” Sam said after a few. “Alexia, I’ll need some extra spell cards to make this work. I can do it, but I’ll leave it to you. They are your cards I’ll need.”

Alexia just quickly nodded, pulling up one of her suitcases, and opening it to reveal a large collection of spell decks, showing some of the other supplies that she had prepared for this. Sam just got off the horse and looked through the decks for a few, pulling out a few cards here and there, until he had the ones he needed.

“Everyone hold on, this will take a few.” Sam stated, using a dowsing and vision card to look over the world a bit, trying to find a place that would be safe for them to teleport to without first teleporting into the air where they may easily be seen. It took him a few, before at last he found two spots that they could use.

“I’ve got two spots in mind. One is along the beach, but its still west of the city. We would avoid of a lot of people though, or rather we would avoid the front lines so to speak. The other spot is a bit risky though. I could teleport clear across the world, but I’ve never done a group this large at that distance before.” Sam stated.

“Holo, your preference on this?” Alexia asked knowing that it was up to her to get them as deep into the city as possible.

The wolf girl just sat there thinking for a few before at last nodding some. “We’ll go with the beach. I will not risk my horse, it has taken me decades train him.” Holo stated. “The beach routes will be watched a bit, but I believe that we can make them work. I should be able to talk our way through things.”

“Then we go by the beach.” Alexia stated and allowed Sam to get to work. With the use of a few more spell cards, the world seemed to shatter some around, falling to pieces as new images appeared forming a new scene for them before things returned to normal.

At once though, Holo quickly got up and looked over her horse, smiling some as it only appeared to be a bit curious about its new surroundings, still very well behaved. “Such a good boy you are.” She smiled, moving up and rubbing his cheek a bit, before turning to her seat. “Very well, let us see about getting into the city now.” Holo smiled as she motioned for Sam to lead them on. “That road up there, make sure to keep us on it. Try to keep us on the far left side though. If I remember my crusader customs correctly, that far left lane is for slower traffic and higher value traffic, those with power. As we are both, then we should probably attempt to blend in just a bit.” Holo explained as Sam guided them onward, taking it slow as Holo looked on, having moved up a bit as well to intentionally be taller, and held herself with a strong pride, giving the appearance of true importance now.

Thankfully though, no one had seen them enter the road from such an isolated point, and so no one stopped them. For the first hour though, only a few smaller cars and trucks passed them, all clearly looking over for any signs of the goddess. While there were many eyes, no one seemed to stop them, even if some waved to Holo, knowing who she was. A few even saluted her thinking that she had finally accepted the Crusader way of life.

Thankfully the easy trip up the road came with little problems, and the first problem that really came up was when they came up to a checkpoint. Even before they approached, it was easy to see the large number of various Crusaders all at the ready having made a very impromptu, but still very fancy checkpoint.

“Just keep moving, don’t slow down… for that matter speed up just a bit. We’re approaching the city, so we no longer need to take our time so much. Not much though, only enough to match some of those other caravans we saw. Slow down once they wave us to stop.” Holo stated as she guided them along now. Sam just followed the directions though, and barely sped them up as Holo stood up a bit, getting ready to get off the cart, but mostly showing her confidence that she knew that she belonged.

It didn’t take long for one of the crusaders to hold up a hand for them to slow down as they started to approach. Sam slowed the horse and then stopped it as he approached the gate, Holo moving off the cart once it stopped. “Am I late to this party? Our dearest goddess made it very clear that today was to be the day of her arrival. She made it very clear that I was to be here.” Holo stated, her voice strong and direct. She played her part very well, and her tongue was just as silver as Sam had told them.

“And you are?” The first crusader stated, a large amazonian like elf, easily standing a head or two taller then Holo, but clearly sizing her up, only to take a small step back, if barely seeing the icon that Holo had in her hair.

“Me? Did they not tell you. Oh of course today would be the day… Oh well, it’s not my head on the chopping block. I did as I was told, and I am here because our goddess told me to come here.” Holo said, sighing a bit, just shaking her head.

“I am Holo the Wise Wolf. And I am here because I bring gifts. Do not mind my company however. My bodyguard use to hunt dragons for a living, so I trust his blade. He also dresses up nicely, isn’t that right Samuel.” Holo smiled, Sam giving a small nod.

“Wait… Holo?” Another of the crusaders stated, coming out from behind a large wall, with a very fancy silver clipboard and golden pen, just more signs of fancy gear that was done too much. “Holo, what are you doing here. I was under the impression that you were… unhappy… with our lifestyle. You didn’t seem to want to ferry our goods often. You certainly don’t approve of our goddess.”

“Oh, I approve of our goddess. But only the real goddess. Is it on her request that I am here today. I know she comes for she told me today she would come. She is not happy with your orders, your false images of her anger her.” Holo stated firmly as well as crossing her arms, only to reach one hand up and tap the marker icon that she used to finish braiding her hair. “It is her icon, her true icon that I follow, not those silly statues, or those false silver rings. The twin spiraling towers of her Marker are the signs of my faith.” She stated.

The new crusader finally moved up though, removing her helmet showing her as some kind of feline proper, perhaps a cheetah girl, just well hidden within her armor. It took some restraint though, but Alexia did remain seating, merely turning away. “So you say… and who are these guests with you?” The crusader asked, a quick hand motion moving the larger crusader back.

“My personal servants and bodyguard. Sam of course is my bodyguard. And this is my new record keeper in training. He does make a wonderful model as well, even in some proper outfits like the one we have here. He is even part female, and while its not the best, it still shows in the grace and this one holds. Besides, dressing up a dragon of any kind of proper outfit certainly holds some beauty doesn’t it.” Holo stated this time showing off Ravyn. “Ravyn dear, would you kindly pull out that list of goods we have.” Holo added, now addressing Ravyn.

“And here is my personal doctor. I expect to be staying for a while, and so I offered him a chance to come with me. He does such fine work that I thought I could use this change to have a full and proper check up, as well as manage a few other personal matters with. He has special talents and does very talented work. I figured that bringing him had many benefits. He could even take this change to order some new equipment at my side to improve his clinic. Don’t mind him and his silence. He has learned to be respectful and quiet. He knows better than to cause problems, it is always just such a hassle and leads to unwanted situations that only waste everyone’s time.” Holo stated, Red just barely nodding, raising a hand to show his presence and nothing else, as bored as any other time. He didn’t even try to fake a smile, merely keeping his head down and his gaze low, uncaring to look at the crusaders.

“And the one in the cart?” The crusader asked, pointing to Alexia, who merely turned her head to the side again.

“Ah, her. She is off limits. She is my personal gift to the goddess. No one may look upon her before the Goddess herself.” Holo stated. “You are welcome to challenge me on this, but remember.” She smiled, a hand once again tapping the marker icon in her hair. “It will not be my wraith that you face, but our dearest Goddess shall be the one to judge you. I know she is angry, she certainly wasn’t kind with the last few messengers that I had seen her with.” Holo stated very confidently, and using her tone to command the situation. “I shall be judged myself for this gift, but if you wish to try and tamper with my gift, I’ll make sure to explain that I was unable to deliver my gift untainted.” She smiled.

It was clear with Holo’s tone, and the marker icon though, that that crusaders there were now very hesitant about something, and seemed a bit fearful of Holo. “Now… about this checkpoint. I have identified us, and as I already have all my crusader trading permits in place, which I renewed last month, there is no need to issue me a limited trade tag to trade now. I also have my manifest here for your to review, and I have prepared the usual documentation.” Holo stated, Ravyn having pulled out the few large folders that Holo had told him to get, handing them over to the crusader closest to him.

“I do believe that I was issued a small storefront to set up shop with in the city. At the very least, our beloved Goddess had said that I would be given a place of honor in the middle of the city to await her from.” Holo continued, still holding her commanding tone, as well as getting a bit annoyed now, just more parts of her act as the Crusaders seemed to be determined to try and question her, even though she had used the name of the goddess to threaten them.

“Surely I don’t have to go through all of this mess about getting past another checkpoint again.” She continued, only to very blunty stop and look behind her, towards the chasm of Zenos. “Samuel… she comes.” Holo stated, clearly ignoring the crusaders. “The Goddess approaches. Protect my gift to her at any cost. No one may touch her before the goddess sees her with her own eyes.” Holo stated, quickly moving off the wagon, the sudden mention of the goddess in the world making a few of the crusaders quickly drop down and start praying.

A few others however started to quiver a bit as Holo’s marker icon began to glow red and black, quickly moving up into the face of the leading figure of the crusaders, the cheetah girl just standing there however, unsure what to do. “Hurry up and approve us. I will not be late to her arrival.” Holo stated, clearly in the cat’s face now making her quiver a bit.

“B-but there…” She started.

“Shut up, give me an escort, and allow us passage right into the heart of the city.” Holo demanded. “I will not suffer her wraith on your account. I will not defy her, but I assure her, that if she decides to show her anger, I shall not accept it alone. Those who defied her will shall be at my side for whatever punishment she decides to give.” Holo stated firmly, and then it seemed to click for the Crusaders.

“Gali, Lewa, Jonsa. Mount up and make sure she gets to the presidential center, and quickly.” The cheetah finally stated, three of the other nearby crusaders quickly moving over and getting their horses, all too distracted and fearful to argue, just doing as they were told, Holo once more quickly looking to the chasm of the Holy Lands.

Now in a slight rush, the named crusaders moved to get around the cart, the cheetah girl handing them a large golden scroll that would give them quick passage, Holo just giving a sly grin for a few. “You are wise to assist us. We must hurry, I do not want to be late.” Holo stated as she returned to her seat.

With a few more guards now, Holo was quickly guided to the city, and in a slight rush no less as Sam followed the leading crusader who was guiding them. Able to easily enter the city now, Holo just continued to hold herself high as she kept her seat, barely looking around, but for Ravyn, he couldn’t keep his eyes off anything as he just tried not to be noticed at the moment.

It was his first time seeing the city, or even images of it. The very much modern city, with glowing gold and silver lights all over. As they moved deeper into the city though, Ravyn could also see how much the city was built for beauty first. Several blimps were now visible with ease, each having a large magi-screen like giant television on them broadcasting the news of the coming of the goddess that day. Hymns played loudly now, and there were priestess’s on every corner offering praise, while soldiers were clearly patrolling the streets in force as well.

One look at the scroll that the crusader escorts held though, and they were all let through. Sam kept looking back though, towards Alexia seeing her unsettling glare and slowly showing fangs underneath her hood though. Sam knew that there would be trouble soon, and just dropped a spell card on the ground as they moved, the card activating as the cart moved it.

Sam knew that Red wouldn’t care one bit as everything in the cart itself suddenly seemed to suddenly start to get quite, Alexia barely starting to ease up a bit though. Despite this, Red only seemed to start focusing a bit more, the silence a boon as he focused on looking for obvious traces of the the vault that he sought access to. While it wouldn’t bother him to put up with the hymns, it certainly wasn’t going to be missed either. As they passed between two of the large hotel towers however in their rush to move through the city and head to the presidential center, Red could feel a powerful if still faint and hidden holy magics that he knew they used to guard powerful undesirable items, his first lead within the city. He quickly made a note of which towers they were as they continued along.

It didn’t take much longer though to get to the main street that lead out from the Presidential Center, the primary business district of the city, and it was in full swing. Noble types, high ranking figures of all kinds, leaders of various nations were all present, so many shopping to pass the time, or holding up debates with each other to pass the time as blimps above them watched and played various ads and hymns.

Sam still just kept Alexia in check though, trying to help keep her hidden as the escorts quickly lead them to a small access alley between two buildings. “You can use that elevator to move your goods up to the second floor. There is a small store front reserved for revered traders like yourself. Please, let us know if you need anything at all.” The elf leading the escorts stated. “Jonsa, stay with them and make sure they are treated fairly while I manage Holo’s documentation. See to it that they are all well cared for.” The elf girl stated, taking off quickly with one of the other crusaders, leaving just a dwarven lass with them. “Do you require help?” She asked.

“No… my servants shall be enough. But you can help to make sure that no one bothers us until I have set up. And no one may peak upon my gift to the goddess.” Holo stated firmly, getting off of the cart with her dominant grin still present.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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#, as written by Zalgo
Ah, Zenos... Home of vanity unto foolish death.

Red stepped down onto the ornate streets of the wide alleyway. It was good to be back on his feet after so much being hauled about like luggage. He always preferred to travel alone, it was so much faster to get around without dead weight slowing him down. Still, if there was one thing the wolf girl was useful for it was managing paperwork. If he held onto all the forged documents and fake ID's he's had to pick up he'd need a cart of his very own for it all.

Despite his feelings towards the delays they were sweetened with potential. Were his sources correct the prize he sought would be here and there were already signs that it was not an error to make this trip. Stepping up to the elevator he hit the key for their designated floor. Before long he was in the shop they set out for Holo, such as it was. Making his way around the tables littered with display cases he proceeded to the backroom.

Alexia had disclosed little about her plan but he knew enough to consider what it was they had in mind. She needed to find a location tall enough for her to see the city. While this would be a rather straightforward task in normal circumstances she was a bit of a high priority figure in this city. Her lackluster attempt at a disguise would hardly cut it in terms of passing the security surrounding the gaudy parade they've laid out for her supposed arrival.

The backroom was dimly lit and littered with boxes. It wasn't set up quite or organized quite like it should be yet but it was out of public view which was all he needed. Passing his plan on to Alexia it was met with a brief nod of approval. With that he went on into the employees only restroom, locking the door behind him. He would need some time for this step.


It was a relatively sterile environment, white tiles polished clean with the standard features of such a room. He needed naught but a room with a lock on it which was what this gave him. Firstly he doffed his formalwear, dressing down to naught but his bare skin. Getting to work he produced his daggers and cut the arteries along his thighs, upper arms and neck allowing the blood to flow out with ease. The crimson fluid did not fall but instead began to wrap around his body. With his arms crossed and his legs together the blood surrounded him. It formed a large case which enclosed him, holding tight to his form. Once enclosed the blood hardened, becoming a cocoon formed from coagulated blood.

Now ensconced in his fleshy casing he was able to begin the metamorphosis. Moving the flesh was the easy part. Shifting the bone structure was a fair bit harder. As a hemomancer his domain was largely over blood so matters of bone shaping were handled the hard way. While the sound was muffled by the cocoon those with keen hearing who leaned up close to the door could hear the subtle cracks, pops and grinding of bones being broken and shifted against one another. For most residents of the shattered realms this process would prove so incredibly agonizing that they would never willingly subject themselves to such mutilation. For Red this process was a chore. The bone restructuring was still quite uncomfortable, especially given the number of microfractures required to shape the segments into the desired form.

As the transformation reached it's culmination the cocoon split into four quarters, the sections parting and falling to the wayside like the shell of a seedpod. Still caked in the fresh viscera Red stepped from the pulpy remains of the cocoon and stepped over before the mirror.

She was the very model of beauty.

Well, aside from the bloody strands of meat still clinging to her freshly renewed flesh. Having been shaped with a master artisan's precision her form fit the classical ideal for feminine beauty in the human form. Her body was svelte, her skin flawless and pale like freshly fallen snow. She was careful to balance her bust with her hip and posterior size so they created a gentle hourglass curve. Every measurement was applied with subtlety creating a lithe beauty who's every feature serves to compliment the sum rather than distract from each other.

As for her face it was distinctly feminine but still retained some faint characteristics of Red. While her jawline was now quite slender and her cheeks were filled out a bit more to help smooth out the narrower sections of her face it was still faintly reminiscent of Red's former face due to being somewhat long with a semi-sharp albeit shorter nose. Her blood red irises held a captivating draw to them, not unlike the piercing eyes of a predator. Her face while designed to accentuate her femininity also improved upon her expressiveness. Her new capacity for expressions held a strong degree of nuance, able to speak chapters with a single look. The only part that went largely unchanged was her hair. Her long flowing red hair which reached right to the middle of her back was already smoother than silk, holding plenty of softness and bounce.

This shape was a time perfected favorite of hers. While she ordinarily preferred her male form simply due to her familiarity with it's standard of shape this one was a suitable go-to for all the times a woman's grace was required. Having sculpted this form time and time again she's painstakingly refined this shape into the work of art that now stands before the mirror. Many shapeshifters would have trouble matching the level of refinement that's gone into sculpting this body simply due to the dedication she's put into perfecting her art.

After all, art is meant to represent all forms of expression. Pain might be a lesser used emotion but Red was far from blind towards all other forms of expression.

Taking one of the daggers she made a gentle incision right below her rib cage. The blood which she was covered in began to flow across her body and into the cut, reclaiming some of the blood that wasn't spent in the metamorphosis. With a whisper of a spell she sealed the wound, the cut dissipating leaving nothing but pure unblemished skin.

Ah, one mustn't forget to prepare she realized. Every time she changed her form all that work she put into engraving hemomantic runes into her skin would be undone forcing her to carve the whole set all over again. This time was no different. Despite the exhaustion from putting herself through such pain in adjusting her skeletal structure it was simply mandatory to mark the flesh with all the precious runes which kept her safe thus far.

Giving a short cough to clear her throat she sung a few notes to test her newly shaped vocal cords. Most were fine but she found a slight issue in the higher ranges. Her blood shifted the flesh within, adjusting the cord until it was tuned just right. After another series of notes it was pitch perfect.

She looked in the mirror, admiring her work for a moment with her dagger clutched in her left hand.

"A shame, such work perfecting a canvas such as this... Alas, the artist's trepidation need not stay the brush." She flourished the blade, it's wicked edge gleaming in the light. "Every masterpiece begins with a single stroke."

And with that she cut into herself, the first of many markings in her most effective mosaic of hemomantic flesh runes.


Roughly an hour later Red finally stepped out from the bathroom, dressed in her work clothes which while not strictly as fancy as the funeral suit was certainly above standard street clothes. Given her current form was more fleshy than the prior one she had to make small adjustments to accommodate her curvature. Bandages were tastefully concealed beneath the clothes practically all across her body save the head and hands. She was able to keep her blood from leaving the wounds with little more than a passive thought but were her concentration needed in full elsewhere having something as backup to keep stray blood from escaping was circumstantially useful.

"Well, time to bring a civilization to ruin. Tootles~" She remarked in a laissez-faire demeanor as she sauntered past the four of them. Exiting the building she strolled past the dwarven crusader the others had left to supposedly babysit them.

"H-hey!" Jonsa called for her attention, notably confused by the fact a strange woman with similar red hair was walking out when she never saw her actually enter. Red simply turned to her with a look of confusion as though she was surprised that someone was even addressing her. This was of course a falsehood since she knew for a fact Jonsa was going to be waiting outside.

"Sorry, have we met?" She asked the short lady, turning in full to face her which brought to light the gulf of differences between this form and the one she recognized.

"Ah! No, uh..." Jonsa really couldn't say. The hair looked similar but she never really paid too much attention to Holo's doctor to begin with since he was just a servant. With a majority of the primary identifiable traits changed she couldn't recognize her at all. She simply stood and looked down at the confused crusader, biding her time as the dwarf stewed in her uncertainty.

"Nevermind. Please take care not to disrupt Holo's company. It is very important." Jonsa warned her, trying her best to salvage some degree of authority or at least the appearance thereof.

"Oh, of course!" Red smiled brightly and gave her a friendly nod before turning and continuing on her merry way.


Hers was the path to the Presidential center but she did not choose a straightforward root. She passed through numerous side streets and back alleys, a winding route with many detours. The purpose for this was to find remote areas where people didn't frequent often. When she did she'd create a pool of blood in a discrete location such as behind a dumpster or beneath a manhole cover, areas frequently left alone in this posh region of the city. Even in glittering cities like this the living produced their fair share of waste in need of disposal.

At the end of her roundabout trip she finally arrived before the Presidential Center. Looking up at the cliff with a pleasant grin she quickly glanced about the area near the side of the building where the cliff side and the walls met. There was security present but their eyes were towards the east gate in the distance. None of them were keen to miss the arrival of their very goddess which definitely allowed for some degree of secrecy at their backs. Slinking into the unsupervised corner she generated two orbs of blood. One she splashed directly against the wall while the other she directed upwards. It quickly rose until it was right over the center's rooftop where it splashed against the cliff. The blood formed a reasonably sized splotch, one quite ample for someone to fit inside.

In arcane tongue she incanted her dark spell. The various pools of blood she had left seemed to tremble before tearing open like a membrane ripped asunder. Each hole in reality opened to the same exit: The roof of the presidential building. With her own aperture opened she stepped through, emerging on top of the center. From here she could see the security abuzz about the sudden use of transportation magic. See had foreseen this and had left several false portals which opened up as entrances and exits to each other, all designed to throw security off their trail.

Meanwhile back in Holo's store the pool of blood she left for Alexia to pass through was opened. Very soon the amount of security approaching them would be irrelevant.

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Sam made sure to take note of Red stepping away from their little caravan, then coming out and revealing 'her' little trick. He had met several Hemomancers in his travels, and all of them displayed extensive abilities in controlling the biological, this was no surprise. Returning to his observations to the city around him, making sure to appear as unimpressive as possible. He looked through the streets and could only feel his blood boil while his teeth ground together. It had been too long since he had been in a city like Zenos, but the enslavement surrounding him only freshened old wounds he had been carefully treating. How long had it been, truly? By his count, over 300 years, though walking through these streets made it feel like yesterday, when his old home was forced into a coup after the entirety of the guild he called family was used as a sacrifice to stave off a dragon.

He took in a deep breath, biting into the side of his cheek to calm himself. He would have some reprieve from this later when Alexia made her first move, but he couldn't do anything to draw attention until then. He looked to the side and saw a shop displaying males of various races in cages on display alongside more exotic animals. Their eyes were dull and unfocused, suggesting they were receiving the usual treatment to keep them tame. He felt the shift teleportation magic usually caused stir around him and sighed, giving a glance to Alexia who only nodded. With this, he assumed Red was operating under Alexia's instructions, so he didn't bring it up again.


He let Holo do all the talking, her silver tongue and calm demeanor were more than enough to handle them without aid from him. He took the signal from Holo as he started taking cargo from the cart with his magic. The crates began hovering off the cart in sets of two, making sure to surround Alexia with them to keep anyone from getting a good look, the enchanted cloak taking care of the rest. He sat crate after crate into the elevator, giving a small space for Alexia to duck into. Once he fit as much as he could into the elevator while leaving room for a few people, he approached Holo. He cupped his hands and bowed his head "Mistress, I've loaded as much as I can into the elevator and will be taking them up for the first trip. Is there anything else you require?" he asked.

Holo just grinned a bit, making sure that Alexia was on the elevator as well, before nodding to him. "Just help us unload this collection, and then come back for the rest. You know how to handle my trade goods, so I trust that you will of course be careful." Holo smiled, making sure to keep attention on herself for as long as she could.

"As you command, Mistress." he nodded and went off to the elevator. He stepped inside and hit the button before the doors closed. "Holding up alright?" he asked, having made sure there weren't any cameras or audio devices in the elevator.

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Even though he still had that hatchling excitement of exploring a new world, well new to him anyway, he was still very worried about the impending battle between Alexia and… well and the whole world shard to be honest. Though after seeing Alexia in battle mode, he didn’t think the war would last long. She fought with more ferocity than most massive armies he’d heard about.

The blue dragon shook his head to clear his thoughts. This wasn’t the time to get nervous. Even worse time to show any nervousness but he couldn’t keep it all down.

To distract his mind, he went to assist Holo getting the cart onto the tram. It helped ease his mind when he noticed she was nervous as well. He guessed an impending world altering war would do that. But his muscles relaxed and his feathers settled back into place.

There were several reasons for joining along in this expedition, financial compensation, exploring new worlds, and the chance to discover new items for his race to examine were high on the list. However higher than those, even higher than his own curiosity is the impending change that will be happening. One goddess against a world of her “followers”. This would be a war to write home about. He just hoped he would survive to tell the tale. After seeing Alexia fight, he wasn’t overly worried. Though if, on the off chance, Alexia failed… Well he had little hope of surviving long after or surviving as a free dragon.

True he was able to relax, he couldn’t stop his feathers from sticking up when around Red. The blood mage still weirded him out. To be honest he forgot if Red had a sample of blood from his kind and was also somewhat too nervous to ask. For now he tried to keep a fair distance away from the blood mage as often as possible.

The ride on the tram was uneventful. Which was probably a good thing. It gave Ravyn time to reread the notes about Zenos and to organize some of his things. He couldn’t help but giggle a little when he saw Alexia jump out of the tram when the exit approached. But considering what will be happening, he understood her eagerness.

She was apparently a little too eager because when they finally arrived, a train car was torn in half. This was someone he never wanted to be on the wrong side of. Ever.

“Now that are through the chasm, you should change into your formal attire.” Ravyn heard Alexia’s words and searched through his bag for one of his clothing cards that held his formal outfit.

“And you my youthful dragon. Before my horses wake, would you fit them with that barding since we no longer require to be flighty?” Holo asked the young dragon, who nodded himself.

“I can do that easily, but then I’ll need to get dressed myself.” Rayvn stated reaching into the back of the cart, he pulled out the formal like horse armor that would hopefully give them clean passage into the city. He then went off to change into an outfit himself behind another car.

This just left Ravyn to finish up coming out a bit later, in his own outfit. Made of what looked like gemstones and precious metals, it was clear that he was rather fancy, perhaps the fanciest of them all. It also showed that he was rather unamused with his own outfit, a slightly annoyed outfit on his face.

“Holo, you look great and you’re making me feel overdressed here. Can we switch? I guarantee mine will fit you.” Ravyn laughed a little and continued. “What do you think?” He turned around to show off his outfit. Looking at the symbol on Holo’s outfit, he quickly noticed the red and black marker icon. “Should I add the marker symbol too?” The dragon asked.

“No…” Alexia spoke up looking over them. “But you do seem over dressed.” At least he wasn’t the only one that thought so.

“I could use that look on him yes. It could be used to show him off as my property, if he would play the part of a servant of sorts.” Holo stated looking him over. “He is bound to get some looks though, and I would… no. No, I can use this easily.” To be honest, he felt a little shy being looked over the way he was but kept it to himself. Aside from some darkening of his cheeks. “Do you have spare outfits like that. I could use him as my model. I prefer not to wear such elaborate things, but he has the right build, a slim enough to show grace, but with enough muscle to show how one would carry strength. You do display some of your more feminine traits as well since you are both, yes I could sell this easily. He won’t stop us, this look might even advance our passage.” He nodded that he indeed did have more. In different colors too but he could show her later. Still he did smile at her complements.

His smile widened a bit when told he would be sitting next to Holo and not Red. He was playing the part of Holo’s servant and clothing model after all and it would make sense he was on display.

The station did look quite pretty. A bit overdone in his opinion, like design came first, function was second. If that. If it had pews it could have been a church or temple instead of a train station. Looking at the map with Alexia and the others, they discovered it resembled a cat head. He could tell every stone on this world pissed Alexia off.

Looking into the sky as they left the station things looked interesting. Blimps were in the skies and the city was very much awake and attentive. It’s not every day your goddess stops by to say hello… with claws, magic, fangs, and everything else in their arsenal.

There was an old saying he heard on another world. Well a curse in their eyes ‘May you live in interesting times.’ Too late there. Every one on every world has probably been experiencing that since the Shattering. Well more-so for those that remember things before the Shattering.

Alexia, Holo and Sam were deciding how best to enter the city without too many issues. It seemed to be either risk a teleport or go by the beach to avoid as many people as possible. At Holo’s choice, they went to the beach.

He wished he could swim in the water but there was a mission on and he knew better than to ask. Maybe after this is all over…Maybe.

A little riding later and they reached a makeshift but oddly fancy checkpoint. The people really are devoted to their goddess. Even something as simple as a checkpoint was designed like everything else he has seen so far. Design over function, even for something that was probably temporarily made because of their goddess’ visit.

They were of course stopped but Holo, being the spokesperson of the group, responded in a friendly ‘our-goddess-is-awesome’ manner.

Holo spoke to the, he guessed, head crusader of the checkpoint. She didn’t seem too impressed with the Marker symbol Holo was wearing. He was introduced as Holo’s servant. To be honest, it didn’t bother him too much. One he knew it was just for show, and two, he kinda liked the wise wolf as a possible traveling companion. At least until he gets the urge to explore solo again.

Like before, he blushed a little at the complements Holo was giving him. When asked, he produced the list of goods for the feline crusader to look over. On the list were some of the items he brought to sell and trade. Red was described as Holo’s doctor. A blood mage as a doctor… creepy but it would kind of make sense. Alexia was described as a gift specifically for the goddess. Which made him smile a little. She was a gift to herself.

Being a messenger of the goddess had its perks. Without much trouble they were allowed forward without more issues. Even got her an escort and a pretty good store front in an amazing location. He couldn’t help but wonder what a store front like that would cost a normal merchant.

Like the train station, the city was even more grand and ostentatious along with the prettiness still winning out over function. Though, he noticed, his formal outfit probably fit in perfectly.

It was still a bit odd being of a race with no real religion to one that centers everything on the worship of a goddess. Priestesses were everywhere and hymns were playing as well. Deep down this place was a nice, if you aren’t fully male, to visit but not a place to stay and live for a long period of time. Even being part female he’d not be treated as an equal by a long shot.

The business district was fascinating though. Many high ranking figures and nobles of all kinds were wondering around.

They stopped in an alley next to a building with a storefront for visiting revered traders. Most of the escort left except for a female dwarf who Holo told to keep people away until they were ready.

Ravyn started by helping to unload the cart and began loading up the elevator with boxes of items to sell. With the others assisting, it didn’t take long. He began putting some of the items up on display and organized per Holo’s instructions. Even some of his items that he wanted to sell or trade was put out. One full outfit similar to his but with different gemstones used along with a few cards containing more of his kinds formal attire.

While he worked, he watched Red go off to the employee restroom. Normally he wouldn’t give that another thought but he was in there long enough, an hour he thought, to make the dragon wonder what was going on. What surprised him was instead of the Red he’s come to know coming out of the bathroom, a female came out. And an attractive one too, for a human. Since that was the only door, that had to be Red. Quite an unexpected ability for that blood mage to have. He made sure to remember that when he added onto Red’s bio.

"Well, time to bring a civilization to ruin. Tootles~" The now female Red told them. Ravyn responded with a wordless wave.

After helping Holo unpack the cart into their retail spot they were given for their stay, a question popped into his head. The blue dragon went to Holo to ask. “After this is over and Alexia wins, what will happen to this world and those that survived?”

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Holo just mostly looked over the storefront, guiding her dragon helpers to where she wanted the boxes of goods she had for sale, looking over the place and ensuring that all was well. Once that was done and Red was already his or perhaps her way to help Alexia, Ravyn spoke up with a question.

The curious young dragon was clearly a bit confused, but it was direct enough question however. “After this is over and Alexia wins, what will happen to this world and those that survive?” He asked, already appearing confident that Alexia would win, even if Holo wondered if Alexia could win and what the cost would be.

“To be bluntly honest my young dragon... I have no idea. It would appear that their fates now lie in their own hands, for it will be their choice how an angry ancient full of wraith reacts to their responses.” Holo started, clearly thinking upon the same subject. “They could be spared perhaps if they listen to her words and not impose them as some kind of test. To think though... that the greatest religion of our time is nothing more then a mistake of an ancient who let things get out of control.” She stated, moving over and taking a seat, thinking it over considerably now.

“I wonder if perhaps all religions were such mistakes as this. I mean no disrespect to you and any higher powers that you may believe in, but were any of us truly around for such a thing. Our dear lady spoke of many things that I had also heard of from another... things that I can trust as truth, for that is all that Julia deals in. I can't help but wonder if she is hiding other things from us, but our elder dragon friend has wisely suggested that we don't pry.” Holo smiled looking to Ravyn.

“No, if I had to guess, the survivors of this world will not remember this day well. With so much time making their rules and religions, they may not even come to accept that Alexia is their god and war may be the only option.” She finished, only to look back to Samuel, and seeing that he could agree with Holo's final statement.

"In all honesty, the number of survivors will depends on how they act, and how close Alexia is to boiling over." Sam sighed, shaking his head. "At the very least, the city will be decimated. There'll be survivors l, that I don't doubt, but they'll probably walk away with more than a few mind scars." He sighed, shaking his head before looking out the window. "A religion such as this was bound to pop up after the shatter. I can honestly say there were a few similar organizations throughout pre-shatter history where parallels could be drawn."

“We can only wait and see. For now though, a snack. Samuel, would you grab that little blue case and spread it out, perhaps warming the jams though. I find a warm berry jam is just so delightful on a lightly buttered golden roll. Nothing can go wrong with a delightful apple and peach jam when prepared proper.” She smiled heavily.

-x-

Alexia was just waiting now, Red having offered her a quick passage to the highest part of the city, the top of the Presidential Center. She hardly cared for much at the moment, merely leaving the room long enough to hand Holo a secured envelope while telling Sam to make sure she was was informed of the situation, and then quickly dashed through the opening.

It wasn't the first time that she had traveled so quickly, but it always felt a little off. Perhaps more so now that she was paying so much attention to everything, her senses far more keen then usual knowing that her goal was right there before. Still wrapped in her sweat pants and hoodie, she blended in well with the silver roof top at a distance, but it was clear that she was there as she stood with Red on the roof, neither really caring for the other though, aside from a glance back to the portal, Red knowing to close it now that they were both there. With that, she just moved behind a corner and out of site to get changed into her proper attire, her Dead Coat ready to be seen by all now. Unlike the other times that she had taken the coat however, today, she merely summoned it to her side, was intent to put it on proper and slow, if only to make sure that every detail was correct.

“I'll need about half an hour to get this suit on right. Let me know if the security forces show up quickly. I know it won't be easy to get this high up normally, so we should have some time for them to track your magic, and then just to get up here.” Alexia stated, still behind cover, but having and good feeling and trusting that Red had his own interests in mind, and wouldn't disturb her unless it was needed.

-x-

Just before Alexia, she had called Holo over and gave her letter, and then closed the door once more. Holo knew what the letter meant, and sure enough, she had one last task to do for Alexia before the change came forth. “Samuel, I require some attention.” Holo called out, knowing that a security team would soon be on the way, but it would only further to serve Alexia's goals.

Sam quickly made his way to Holo, looking at the letter and having a good idea what it was for. A very clear crusader script showed that it was addressed to Brea Ever-Tongue, leading figure of the 21st Crusader Order. “We have one last task to do, and the quicker the better. Did you see the towers on our way. It looked to me that many of them had been marked with the icons of the other Orders. Did you happen to see the symbol of the 21st order? Our dearest goddess has a message for Brea.” Holo stated.

"Yes, it's southeast of here." He said, pointing to the general direction. "It's the one with the ivory stone and golden trimmings....I suggest everyone here prepare for the worst, our hosts are coming rather heavily armed. Ravyn, let Holo work her honeyed words, but be ready."

Holo just smirked and nodded a bit, moving over to the central desk and waited for now though. “At my sides, behind me of course.” She smiled, the two dragons quickly moving to the space behind her. “And do pose properly, we have guests.” She added, and both took up a solid standing position, clearly waiting now.

They didn’t have to wait long though for a number of well armed crusaders to burst into the small store front. “The small room on the left side is the source of magics that you detected.” Holo stated, a mere simple hand motion guiding them to the room where Alexia had been waiting, before having moved through the blood portal.

“She’s here you know.” Holo added after they rushed up before her, a few spears pointed right at her, and a few more at her dragon servants, while others rushed into the small room. “Well, in the city at least. She collected the gift I had for her, and requested the services of my doctor. More importantly, I think that I will require an escort, for she has left me a letter to be delivered to Brea Ever-Tongue.”

“And who are you?” One of them finally spoke, a new crusader, almost twice the size of any of them present in full armor hiding her form before Julia, the crusader that had stayed with them at the store front had forced her way in.

“This is Holo, Merchant of the Feilds.” Julia stated firmly. “She is here on the words of our Goddess. She was mentioned by name in the message that was sent to us days ago by those who were found waiting in The Holy Lands.” Julia stated, panting, a large golden scroll in her hand. “The Priestess confirms her story, they just verified it with the letter, and she bears the true mark of the Goddess.” Julia panted a bit, clearly a bit out of breathe, but Holo could only wonder as to why.

This new giant leading crusader looked over the golden scroll slowly, only to slowly relax some, before looking back to Holo, who merely just turned her head to the side a bit, pulling her braided hair just a make, but sure not to say a thing, and slowly drawing full attention to the marker icon that was in her braid. Although it was a simple action, it was all entirely deliberate and fully intended to make a show of power, which it seemed to do with those who were informed of the situation.

“I require an escort to go see Brea Ever-Tongue still.” Holo stated once the crusader had calmed down enough, and finally made a motion to make her small army stand down, the numerous crusaders all slowly putting their swords back, while merely standing their spears up at their sides, looking to their commander for orders.


“Prepare a troop, and send word to The 21st Order.” The commander stated, clearly a bit unnerved, and annoyed. A good view of her armor now that she was standing up proper and displaying her armor in full showed her as one of the 8th Order Soldiers, and Holo could only assume that this commander was not happy with the 21st order, a very common thing.

“I thank you greatly. Samuel, my bodyguard will be accompanying me as will my servant here.” Holo stated. “Can you spare a few soldiers to protect my goods here as to ensure that they will not be tampered with until I get back.”

The figure just grumbled a bit, but nodded. “Very well… but you will wait for a priestess and a diplomat.” The crusader stated at last. “You two, send word of what has been found here, double time.” She snapped, and two of the recruits quickly rushed out to make spread the message, already pulling out magic stones to help them.

“Until then, we’ll wait here. I would like to see that letter however.” She stated, only for Holo to shake her head a bit and then drop it.

“Now now, this message is not even for my eyes. Only Brea Ever-tongue may read this script for it was handed to me with her name upon it by our beloved Goddess. I’ll not give in so quickly to such a sacrigilious command, and I’m sure that neither of us which to make a scene.” Holo stated quickly looking back up. “I shall allow a High Priestess to feel the magics within this scroll, but no one by the one chosen by our Goddess may read it.”

The Crusader just grumbled a bit, but Julia quickly moved between them. “Crusader Jaheria Behm. We can trust that Holo is who she says she is. She was named in the very letter handed to us from our sisters in the Holy Lands, and sure enough, today is the day she comes forth. We must risk her anger or else Mira would skin us both. Allow the High Priests to handle this.” Julia stated. “If this message is for the Order of Sight, then it is for them. The Goddess chose to grace our world remember, we must trust that she intends to show the others our favor.”

“Well put my dear.” Holo smiled. “Yes, we can all trust that on this day, things shall become very clear and change shall be made powers that pre-date us. All will be made very clear, very soon.” She said.

With her last words, the room went quiet, but tensions seemed to rise until at last someone new entered the room about 10 minutes later. From her clothing, it was clear that this female lizard woman was of very high standing. Each of her scales seemed to be painted in a shiny metallic like paint that may have well made her a moving piece of art, her silken robe of just as much high standing as she was. Almost everything about the new comer easily just breathed power of a sort, as though she commanded everything. For Holo and Sam however, it hardly mattered, although Ravyn easily got a bit more nervous. Everyone else in the room quickly bowed however.

“You must be Holo, the Wise Wolf, trader of the worlds.” The lizard spoke, even her voice seeming to try and be as much an artwork as she was. Internally Holo just sighed, but kept her face well, even grinning a bit more.

“Indeed I am, and I am here for I was told to come.” Holo smiled, standing up. “For now however, I have a task from our dear beloved Goddess. She has commanded me to pass this scroll to the one known as Brea Ever-Tongue. Shall we be on our way?”

“And to what purpose does the Order of Sight hold to this meeting?” The Priestess asked, also clearly having an issue with the other orders.

“The business between Brea and our Goddess is their own, and I will not pry. Her power radiates from my scroll if you wish to feel it however.” Holo stated, holding up the scroll, but quickly pulling it away when the lizard attempted to take it.

“You may feel it, not take or read it. I have my orders, and you would be wise not to tempt the wrath of her now that she’s here.” Holo added, slowly holding the scroll out again, but keeping a firm grip on it very visibly now.

The lizard clearly wasn’t use to such things however, but merley waving her arm over the scroll and feeling the power, it was clear. She had felt traces of this power before, and quickly moved towards the crusaders and door. “Hurry now, we must not anger our goddess. That is indeed her power I feel, for I have felt its traces before, in the Tomb of the Demonic Harem Master.” She stated, and in a bit of rush, the crusaders in the room cleared a path for Holo, Sam, and Ravyn to follow them before closing ranks around them.

In a slightly hurried rush of things, holo and her servants were guided through the streets to one of the large towers, and sure enough, it was filled with Crusaders from the Order of Sight, the 21st crusader order. After a few brief words from the priestess to another, they were guided to main elevator and quickly ascended the tower up to the penthouse where Brea was waiting, but now surrounded with gaurds from the new Order.

As soon as the doors opened up again though, Holo and the others were greeted by a massive sight of what may as well been heavenly musics without words, into what looked like a sizeable spa and garden, just another show of power, a great view of the lake and bits of the city present through a giant glass window on the far wall.

“I am Holo, the Wise Wolf, and I come bearing a message from our beloved Goddess for your leader, Brea Ever-Tongue.” Holo called out as Sam stepped out first, turning and seeing a window facing the Presidential Center.

At once, Sam immediately took a knee and bowed his head. “Our Lord is here, Mistress Holo.” He stated, Holo’s marker sigil in her hair quickly starting to get very red now and glowing as Holo just smiled.

“I would have Brea read this quickly.” Holo smiled, just holding out the note for one of the women to take, although they all seemed to have focused on the windows facing the Presidential Center.

-x-

Alexia took her time putting her outfit on, but down below could easily see that something was stirring in city as she looked over the place. It was all too clear to see which building were what, all decorated to be shown off easily, giving anyone with a high view of the world an easy way to make a map and just easily tell what the buildings were.

Red just remained quite though, still keep an eye out as he did his own thing, Alexia still just working on her plan for now.

Although she did take her time putting on her outfit properly, she did rush a few things, but not much though. After what may as have been about a half hour of work though, Red finally spoke up.

“They’re coming.” Red called out at last, still just as dull and bored as normal.

“Hold them for a few more minutes, then make a quick exit to the ground. Trust me, all eyes should be on me, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble.” Alexia stated, stashing a few things in a small bag she had. “And make sure my supplies with Holo’s shop are still untouched.” She added hastily before pulled out a number of spell decks and hiding them in her coat, aside from a number of cards that she had set to trigger on a timer of sorts, a phantom casting card allowing them to be timed mines of a sort for a few.

With that she moved to the front of the tower where everyone could easily see her if they looked, and she made sure that they did. Letting her full power flow freely now, her aura could be felt in a sudden wave by all around her, and by activating a few spell cards, that aura become very suddenly visible as a growing pillar of gold and silver that was quickly turning red and black instead, with streaks of blue. A few cards even help spread the range that her power could be felt.

While it was clearly smoke and mirror tricks to some degree however, it also clearly wasn’t a joke either, Alexia made sure that all eyes would be on her now that she was ready, the entire city seeming to go quiet before her now as she commanded their attention.

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Sam felt the rush of power flow over the entire region, and only the wind was left whispering. This was the very same feeling when they met once more at the beginning of this venture, albeit she was in much more control now. He kept his head down, remaining still as a statue. He could only hope at this point Alexia could keep her cool long enough to try end this whole crusading order in a somewhat peaceful manner.

Sam could see the bottom of a mirror from his field of view, and shifted his eyes to see the faces of at least a few of the crusading leaders. One seemed to be a hulking brute, her armor thick, enchanted and covered in numerous scratches, however it as polished to a near mirror sheen. From what he could gather, she prided to both show she had service, but also took care of her gear. Her face show some form of awe, but it was rigid and scarred, like her armor, so it seemed only some emotion could get through.

Next to her, another leader with long flowing blonde hair, who had up to this point sported an air of superiority, grandeur and arrogance. Now however, that was much subdued, and replacing it was a mix of awe and fear. She managed to keep her posture straight and from shaking, but he could smell the fear leaking from her armor, though if she pissed herself, she was doing a good job of hiding it. The only other people he could actually see were a couple of the guards who had broken out into a cold sweat, but remained still while gripping their weapons hard enough to make their knuckles white. This was not out of readiness to fight, but to keep their composure as elite guards.

The room itself, like the blonde, was filled with awe and fear, none of them seemed to show any doubt that this indeed was their goddess, and she had come to deliver at least some form of judgement.

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#, as written by Zalgo
“Hold them for a few more minutes, then make a quick exit to the ground. Trust me, all eyes should be on me, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. And make sure my supplies with Holo’s shop are still untouched.”

She glanced back at her employer, hearing out her instructions before looking back out at the gathering crowd of zealots at the foot of the building. Most of them were response teams come to investigate the sudden use of magic, the rest were just passer-byes rubbernecking at the scene before the presidential tower.

"Alright then." She answered back. Producing one of her daggers from her jacket she cut her wrist open, speaking a harsh incantation as the blood flowed down past the edge of the roof top to the streets below. As the drops hit the pavement they started to bubble and rise as a red mist which quickly formed into a red cloud enveloping the base of the building. This was no ordinary mist however. This was blood enchanted to act as a venom which would necrotize all flesh it comes in contact with, something which was especially deadly when introduced to the throat and lungs.

She figured the group would maintain a healthy distance from the building once a couple of them drop dead within the deadly red mist. Since a majority of the team attending the unwarranted teleportation disturbance were ground-based she had little need to concern herself too greatly with their flying units coming to disrupt her employer's change of dress. All she could she as of currently was one griffin rider making her way up the side of the tower towards them.


Her crimson life essence quickly flowed from her veins and formed into two long lances of coagulated blood as she spoke her words of unholy arcana. They hovered adjacent to her head until with but a simple gesture of her index finger they lanced out at rapid speeds. The first blood lance clashed against the griffin rider's shield, rocking her back against her saddle and leaving her struggling to regain her composure. The second blood lance sheared through the griffin's wing with a visceral ripping sound. The broken wing fluttered uselessly, the shattered bone ends poking out from the bloody wound that spurted sweet red fluids as the useless hunk of feathered flesh dangled about from whatever skin still held it together.

Both rider and griffin fell, cast down for flying too close to the top like a veritable Icarus of their time. With a meaty thud and metallic clang the two landed amidst the red mist which billowed around their crash site. Even though they survived the fall both of them were severely injured and the venomous mists were quick to fill their bloody lungs. Death was assured.


With Alexia now dressed for her show it was time for her to take her leave of the stage.

"Ready? Go knock 'em dead for me now!" She joked, waving to her playfully as she sauntered past the supposedly divine feline. With a feminine sway she made her way back to the blood on the cliff face, reopening the blood gate with but a few words. She felt awash with viscera as she merged through the quivering shreds of the curtain which was reality made intangible, stepping through into Holo's shop.

Now standing within the apparently now abandoned store she slowly walked over and took a glance at Alexia's stuff.

Yup, all there She was quick to confirm. She wasn't about to go and catalog all of her belongings in an effort to make sure nothing of hers was missing. She was a blood mage, not her bloody clerk! With a disinterested sigh she took a lean against and looked over her nails with boredom, All while Alexia's aura permeated the city. It was real easy to conclude that her little show & tell was already underway. In this case she figured the tell part was her telling them all their business is not her business and the show part was the part where she shows them their own entrails. It wasn't a certainty but just a little guess of hers as to how things would work out.

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Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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A silence flowed over the world as Alexia stood on top of the Presidential Center for all to see now. The young dragon could only take a step back as his fur once more stood on end, his feathers fluffed a bit as he looked out the window, seeing the growing pillar of aura.

Even Holo wasn't prepared for such an wave of raw power, and neither were many of the crusaders in room around them. Ravyn just backed up a bit towards Sam and Holo though, staying close to them now just in case as someone new entered the room, an elf in far more eloquent robes then the others as well as in a mask for now.

“Has she come at last?” The elf asked, looking around. “Who are these?” She asked, but when her guards did not stir even for her presence, she cast her own spells and steeled the confidence of all present. “Who are these people.” She asked properly with her guards now at least responsive.

“We come to give a message from the goddess to Brea Ever-Tongue.” Holo stated turning to face her, still holding her personal confidence, but even still it was easy to see that she was worried by what she felt. A war may well be inevitable now and she wondered if being this close would be wise.

“A letter.. from our goddess?” Brea stated, the elf taking off her mask to show her face, of course dressed in some face paint to add to her beauty and standing, clearly holding a position of leader among the Crusaders. She just took the letter though, and opened it, before looking over the contents and quickly. “Seras, quickly. Get all of our forces back to the tower. Our Goddess wishes to speak with me directly and this will not sit well with the other orders. Thier arrogance will surely make them try to act against us.” Brea explained, moving to center of the room to a small platform, a large golden staff appearing in her hands as she started a chant to try and spread her powers throughout the room and prepare for Alexia to come visit.

Holo just watched though for now, knowing that now she could only wait, moving a bit closer to Sam however. “Has she ever... been like this before?” She asked quietly, wondering just what might happen now. Holo had always known the rumors of ancients, and even among the crusaders, the rumors of ancients were wide spread. Despite even having met a few, perhaps unknowingly, a large number of crusaders even doubted the existence of such beings, but Alexia's little show no doubt would either convince that a real goddess was present, or that ancients were real.

Holo just hoped that there would be something to salvage here, and was equally concerned for her horse now however.

-x-

Atop the Presidential Center, Alexia just stood up looking on in her armor for all to see as the column of power still rose a bit higher, some of the spell cards activating behind her to start a white fog on the ceiling the building. The fog quickly started to grow though and now starting to pour over the sides of the building, Alexia's show off to a strong start.

She knew how to set herself up to make an entrance, and she also knew how to play on the fools below. Anyone who would look closely could see that she was using the cheap man's magics, but she just wasn't going to give them that chance until she already had control of the majority of the masses. She would turn their whole religion against them now, just slowly walking to the edge as the fog followed her a bit, along with the tower that showed her aura of power.

Taking one more step, Alexia just walked right off the edge. Uncaring, and plainly just annoyed, the fall from the top of the Presidential Center already left its first scar as she sunk her claws into the building, leaving a trail shattered glass, shredded metal, and several dozen sparks of lightning on her way down.

This first scar could easily be seen by all even as she was surrounded in fog from her spell cards, finally landing hard, a huge wave of fog following her crash into the pavement, concealing her for only a few, before her armor began to glow as her aura shined slowly through the fog.

-x-

Even now, every video screen, both magic and science based were broadcasting the scene in front of the Presidential Center where Alexia was getting surrounded by almost every crusader in the streets that was near by. Most were quickly approaching and bowing down, a new strong hymn sounding in her honor as the fog began to slowly fill the streets around the building.

While it only covered the roads and walkways for now, aside from the occasional little small shift where it almost looked like a hand was reaching up from the fog before sinking back down, the crowds around were easily seen to be growing, and then total silence once more as Alexia stepped out of the columns of fog dropping from the roof.

“I would speak to the prophets who would dare to speak my words to the masses.” She stated firmly, her voice strong and clearly showing a dislike for everything around her. A few still tried approaching her, only for the first bits of blood to be drawn.

A quick strike of her fist and her entire hand up to the elbow in her gut, barely enough time to understand the pain in her chest before Alexia ripped her arm back, pulling her heart and several strands of other tissue out of her chest. The elf girl quickly fell over as Alexia's arm was still covered in blood and slowly dripping onto the street, the fog going red and slowly still expanding outwards from any blood the touched it.

“I would speak... with the prophets... who speak my words... to the masses.” She repeated firmly, her actions quickly a large path down the center of the main street for her, only a few daring to approach now, the now hidden elven corpse now only visible from the small streaks of red fog that flowed over it now.

Among them were a few other females, all of which were dressed far more eloquently then others around them, most clearly higher ranking females in the crusader orders. “I am President Seras.” One of them finally spoke, stepping forward a bit. Seras was the leader of the Eighth Crusader Order, a four armed spider like girl very much overly dressed in gold and silver fabrics and paints, no doubt covering her true bare form so that she can call herself beautiful among the people.

Alexia still hardly cared though, as a few other leaders tried to speak up, but only one stood out, a half elf girl taller then the others. Of course what made her stand out wasn't her form, but the weapon that she seemed to carry around on her back, a sword that appeared to be larger then herself. The crusaders were known far more for elegance and beauty, smaller fancy weapons were often betters, so to see a weapon larger than the person who would wield it was a very clear oddity.

“I'll deal with you in a few.” Alexia stated firmly looking back to the the president of the 8th order. “I want to see those who claim to speak on my behalf.” She hissed a bit, the spider like woman slowly backing up.

Seeing their goddess in such a mood however slowly started to have an effect on the crowd however. Some of the closest spectators were trying to disappear back into the crowd while only a few of the entire crowd tried to still move forward.

One by one, slowly a few people started to force their way closer to Alexia. Dressed in white rather silver and gold, with small various feline details of sorts present, they stood out even among the other crusaders as they slowly approached.

Of them all, it seemed that only a few were dressed differently however, but for the most part it seemed to be a uniform look of sorts, all of these women who had approached appearing to be preistess's.

“And you are the ones who would speak my words. The priests who say that I speak to them and pass on my commands.” Alexia finally stated as the main street of Zenos seemed to finally come to stand a still, no more room as everyone seemed to be packed there. Above them, even the blimps were crowded and trying not to touch and cause problems, but their screens were now facing downwards.

The images were all the same, of Alexia standing there, her back still covered in fog, her left arm turning the fog red as it passed, not far from her the corpse still turning more fog red. Even as she stood there though, waiting for the priests to speak, more screens and magical images seemed to appear, even in the shop where Red was now waiting, as well as in the pent house with the others.

-x-

“She.... she knows how to put on a show...” Holo stated quietly as she just watched only for Brea to move up to them.

“Tell me know, what role do you play in this mess?” Brea asked, clearly concerned now as she watched.

“I... am no longer certain.” Holo stated after a moment of silence, during which Sam remained quiet as well, Rayvn just focused on the screen. “I played a part in getting her here, but now I am at the mercy of what comes next. Unless of course, she has shared anything with my dragon here. He would know her far better then myself.” Holo explained.

"Would you elaborate this show to me then?" Brea asked, still a fair bit worried as she quickly directed her words at Sam.

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Sam sighed and rubbed his chin, thinking over his words and what he was allowed to say to Brea. "Prove to me you are an ancient, and I shall share what Alexia has given permission for me to share."

"And to what provience would you demand me to speak of? How do I know that you come from the old world, of a time before the shattering." She counted. "How can one tell of the beauty of the cold north, of Canada and our quite lifes without actually having been there." She stated.

Sam couldn't help but smile a bit and nodded "Because, at the time of the shatter, I lived in British Columbia, with green forest in the warmer seasons of spring and summer, a vast rainbow of colors in fall, and white winters." he said, crossing his arms. "I was an electrical engineer at the time, working in Vancouver." he stated. "A technological marvel of Canada at the time, one of the most advanced cities in the world."

She just barely nodded at him, but would save that for later. "I wouldn't mind speaking of my last home to you, but for now, we have far more pressing matters. Tell me what you know of what is going here. What do you know of the goddess?"

"She is...very, very upset." Sam sighed "She is also an ancient, one of the most powerful out there. She is here to give a single message, in person, so that her words may not be twisted." he said "There are multiple ways this day can end. I will give one piece of advice when listening to her. Take her literally, and take her seriously. Her message will be simple and brutal."

Brea felt her heart skip a beat when he said she was upset, and felt her heart stop cold for a moment when he said she was an ancient. "She...is an ancient..."

"One that is not at all happy with the way the order uses her name to annex worlds and enslave men. I suggest you follow my advice, it will be the only way you may save yourself, and those you look after." Sam nodded before looking to Holo, leaning down and whispered to her "I know you're no push over, but I think we can agree on the value of sticking together." Sam spoke silently, making sure no one else but her and Ravyn could hear.

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Despite the body, crowds still rushed up to gather around Alexia as she stood there, the fog still flowing strongly off the Presidential Center, the body and Alexia's bloody hand continuing to paint streaks of fog red.

Only a few individuals were even trying to get away, and of them, almost all of them were because of Brea, the crusaders trying to cover their icon as they moved to return to the tower that they had been given.

The priestess's were all scared though as they were present all seemed to be forcing themselves to stand there as Alexia moved forward a bit. “Who among you is the high priestess? Who here gives my words to the masses?” She demanded, letting her angry show, but also still trying to reign herself in some, if not doing it very well.

Only silence followed for a moment though, getting a hiss from Alexia however. Finally someone spoke, stepping forward. Dressed in what appeared to silver over white, and looking to be less overly dressed at first glace. As the elf stepped forward, her outfit glowing quickly seemed to spill to life with various bits of magical aura that gave her a strong appearance of a cat, with ears, a tail, whiskers, and even wings for some reason.

“What was the last command you issued to the masses in my name?” Alexia moved up, still shorter then the elf by nearly a head, looking up but still in full command as she bared her teeth.

The elf stammered a bit more, clearly taken back by the very clear command, the aura of her clothing doing nothing to hide the smell of fear over her. “You... g-g-g-gave the... bles-ess-sing to... prepare for y-your arr-rival.”

“Blessings... you mean my letter? That was no blessing, that was a command, sent by messenger to be given by the President. Did you take the news that I explicitly told her to deliver?” Alexia snarled some moving closer, the other priestess all parting as Alexia pretty much stalked the high priestess of the eighth order.

“N-n-n-n-n-no!” The priestess cried out falling back as she tripped over her own robe, now mostly hidden by the fog, only her chest and head still above the line of fog.

“Then speak!” Alexia snapped, stepping on her chest, claws in her chest a bit, ready to slam her down.

“You told u-us... us to... to...” The elf shook hard against the foot paw on her chest now as she looked up in fear. “To... t-to... to prepare to … put the chef... J-Juro in his... place at your... f-feet!” She stammered, only for Alexia to slam her down her. There was a small splat of a body forcibly hitting the pavement, and the elf was entirely hidden under the fog, little streaks of red starting to appear and paint more of the fog red now.

“Who here would say that I have given you my personal blessing? I've walked the worlds. I've seen the fires you raise claiming its for my honor. You slaughter men who would defy you, and enslave the rest who submit. I never gave such a command.” She hissed, moving slowly through the fog, a shift of her hand just letting another spell card fall into fog, going completely unnoticed at first.

Its effect was strong though, more fog pouring over her now swallowing her form, and letting her reach behind her back, and just drop a number of opened and now activating spell card decks onto the ground, before another pillar rose up by the largest group of priestess present. Stepping out of the new pillar of fog, she just moved forward, her power still flowing strongly once more, grabbing one and looking the feline enhanced human girl, just lifting her up by the throat.

“You have false ears, a false tail. Are those false fangs I see, and even fur between yours legs?” She hissed. “You all seem to think my looks grants you favor. I however... personally hate it when others take my image.” She stated, just snapping the neck of the human, before moving back into the fog and rushing back into the face of the president, roughly pulling her down to eye level.

“You all claim to hold my favor, but I have question. What even makes you think I like any of you. You're church is built on false images and personal greed. Tell me, surely one in your position might be able to answer this. Why do you all think that I hold you in such high regards.” She said, staring right into the many eyes of the larger spider.

“You... you have blessed us all. Our fields grow because you allow it. Our armies cannot be stopped, only slowed. Our Order was personally rescued by your hand.” The spider stated, clearly the only one able to keep any form of calm, at least speaking clearly, if slowly.

“Your orders... were saved by my hand?” Alexia asked. “To what do you refer to, to what act in your defense did I step up for your glory?”

“You slew the great demon king who would have tried to kill all life. The Demon King of Vice, the Foul Lord of Defilement, the Abuser and Taker of the Sacred Female Temple, the-” The spider continued, only for Alexia to hiss loudly in her face.

“Yes, I was there. I ripped the cock from the Ancient who called himself only by the name of Sin. These titles, this always growing list of false legends, this proof of your arrogance. Sin was only a depraved man, not some king of sin and vice. He used illusions to get his way and keep his slaves under control... and I cared nothing for them.” Alexia hissed loudly, pulling the spider down so that was forcibly set on the ground, her head still forced at an awkward angle as she was held in the fog.

“I didn't go there to free your kind and there was the only thing we have common. Sin had something I wanted, so I went there and took it by force. I cared nothing for his slaves, or your foul order. There was no mention of a god before I walked in on him and castrated him. You all foolishly made up some god to fit your needs, to fit your desires. You wanted a reason to enslave men because your arrogant foolish weak minded bitches just wanted to justify your actions.” Alexia hissed. “No one here has given me any reason to even consider helping anyone present.”

Alexia just reached over and throw the spider clean through the nearest store front, letting fog spill into the newly opened space as she stood among the crowd. “Can anyone here give me a reason why I should care?” Alexia asked looking over the crowd.

“But we...w-we serve you so faithfully!” One of the priestesses shouted out.

“Really... because I've only ever sent one word to any of your collective orders. And that was the word to prepare for my arrival now, so I can silence this false religion. You haven't followed my teachings. You've made them up. And every time that someone found something better, you changed your teaching to fit them. When you couldn't agree, you split your forces and both demanded that they were right. Every Order you have all does things for own personal gain.” Alexia stated rather bluntly.

“You all plainly do what you want because you want to, and you justify it in the name of some false goddess who you say gave you the world, who chose your ancestors to take over these new worlds, that you can't be stopped. And yet there are worlds you now avoid because you can't take them. Dragons can still shred your forces like paper, and you all openly try and force your ways onto others, but still they rebel against you. I've been around. Just because I have a black and blue tail, many of your kind have tried to proclaim me the messenger of the goddess.. and when I said no, they all tried to force me into becoming the face of your orders, just so that they could prove their power over the others. You have no honor, you care about nothing but false beauty. You cover yourselves in the finest of silks, the strongest of make ups and magics, surround yourself with servants who all may never look better than yourself just so you stand out more. This entire city is built to be a temple first, and you care nothing about others who might even be friendly unless they join your ways or bow down in servitude.” Alexia continued as she just moved slowly away from the presidential center, the crowd readily and quickly parting for her.

She didn't get far though before someone moved up to her, dragging a male at her feet even in her fancy dress. The large amazonian woman just dragged the male on. “I will prove my devotion to you my Goddess. This male is a servant of the lowest sort and yet he dares to lay a hand on his master. He had bewitched her to live in her estate and she would even try to call him her equal in private. But no more, with his blood, I prove myself.” She cried out, and quickly snapped his neck, another woman screaming out from in the back, her head quickly dropping down as she seemed to just vanish in the fog and crowd.

The amazonian woman just grinned, and even when her head fell from her shoulders, her face held that determined grin for only a few seconds before it gave away to a lifeless look, vanishing into the fog. It took a minute, but even the rest of her now decapitated body just fell into the fog painting even more of it red.

“I never ordered you to enslave or kill those of the male gender.” Alexia stated, one of her spears still dripping with blood, before she lowered her arm and allowed the spear to help paint another streak of red in the fog, that was was now slowly taking over the entire city, block by block, occasionally even climbing up buildings a little bit at a time.

“You are all so quick to deny the truth. You demand your own lies to justify anything you want to do. I'm told that someone here even slaughtered the Oracles of Prophecy just because they had the nerve to say that I did not cause the Shattering.” Alexia stated. “You see, you are so quick to pass your own lies as truth, you would only destroy anything that might even offer a chance for truth. The Oracles could not lie, and yet, you still took their lives because you couldn't let it get out that the god you created was to suit your own desires.” Alexia stated, many quickly backing away from them.

A few however, had drawn blades. Among them, a very large elf female in full on armor took off her helmet and drew her massive blade. Alexia recognized her quickly as the one who stood out before the fog had set out over the world.

“No... no this cannot be... You have to be the Goddess. You have to be the one. There can be no other, only females have the right to bask in your glory. This is all a test right?” The woman stated, stabbing her blade into the ground, those few with her doing the same as they bowed down, taking a stance around the large elf.

“I, Mira Juneborn, Commander of Warcraft, Leader of The Hand of the Goddess, have done nothing but pledge my allegiance to your name, your honor, your image, since I had been saved by your very grace. Males are worth nothing. They can't be worth anything but to preserve a species, something we could do better with magic. Men can only bring death and rape females unless they are beaten down and forcibly taught otherwise.” The elf stated looking up, her face very clearly torn as she looked to Alexia. “Only Woman can know the grace of peace, and the wisdom of when to fight. Only females can hope to bring peace to the worlds, and men are only worth their place under our boots. My mother was a non-believer, and she was taken by the ogres. But I killed my father in your name, I made sure that he could never harm another. Please tell you saved her though. That when she passed, you have a place in the Land of the Light, that she knows peace and watches over me.”

“You claim that all men are beasts. And yet, from where I stand... you women would slaughter and draw blood first conditioning men to believe your lies, and slaughtering any who might even think over wise. Your life is your own, I had no part in it. I've read every letter you gave those chosen by your hand to invade my home. They speak little of wanting my glory, and far more of trying to make me take a place on the throne of your temples, all just to further your own power.” Alexia stated.

“B-but... no... you...” Mira started, getting up, pulling her blade and moving forward. “No... no I will not be stayed. This is all a test. I am your servant, I live for your glory, I will be the one to stay all worlds in your name, for your-” Mira stated, only for Alexia to roar out and go to strike again.

Acting purely on instinct, Mira using her giant blade to deflect the first blow, but only barely, her mind torn at the moment. She couldn't stop the second blow though, Alexia's leg catching her side and thrusting her back hard into the fog near the Presidential Center clean behind her.

Reaching back into her coat, Alexia just pulled out a small stack of letters The same power that showed that only she could read them once more flowed from the private parts of the letters towards her eyes. “I am the recipient of these letters. It was my power that scarred the Ancient human turned Demon Sin. It was my form and my fury that those slaves saw that day. You may have taken my image, but the goddess you claim to give you power is nothing more than a figment of your imagination, a means to help you all feel better about all the blood you shed and men you enslave. I cast down this false god and will see the false religion of the Crusader Orders begins its death this day.” Alexia shouted out, her words echoing hard over the city, now carried by more spell cards.

Slowly though, Mira stood up behind Alexia, blade drawn again, but shaky. “What... no... no the goddess... I have her blessing, she came to me... I know... I know she gives me power...” She stuttered a bit. “You.... you have to be... you are a false god... you are the false god! Kill her!” Mira cried out, still shaken and rushing forward.

Mira rushed forward as Alexia just turned to face her. Mira started to pour some power into her blade, but Alexia just smirked. She had shaken the head of the 8th Order's war machine, and seeing their leader unsteady, it no doubt had an effect on the others.

With her resolve now in question, Mira couldn't concentrate in full and as she rushed forward, Alexia just ducked into the fog and then rolled around behind Mira. Although Mira still somehow followed the movements, her improper stance couldn't keep up. Although she blocked another blow and even fired a blast of magic power from her blade that slammed hard into the pavement, it didn't slow Alexia for now.

The blast scattered the fog, and left a crater in the pavement, but Alexia still flowed right around it, twisting around and spreading more fog from her coat, her foot once again connecting with Mira's side, this time launching her through another store front and clean through several shelves and racks of clothing.

Seeing their leader attacked again though, Mira's forces rushed forward. The few lighter fighters who rushed up first were quickly tossed away, but even with the ease in which they were thrown around, they still kept Alexia facing away from what looked like a bipedal leopard furred dragon like girl. Although hidden mostly in the armor, rushing forward, her wings extended out as did her claws showing her form a bit better.

A small blast of ice chilled Alexia's coat and the fog over her, getting her attention as she turned to counter, but when the new larger combatant twisted around herself, using her wings as a giant club that threw Alexia herself now into a different store front. As Alexia was tossed through the shelves herself though, her music device activated and a sudden shift seemed to take place over the street as something just seemed to wake up in Alexia.

A very loud beat, the echoes of some illegible chorus seemed to sound out, and then dozens of tentacles made of fog seemed to burst forth from the store front. Even more spell cards hidden by fog were now flying out of the store front and began to crawl over the city buildings and through the streets. Something quickly flew out of the store front and a sudden wave of red fog now washed over the streets in a clear line from the shattered windows of the former clothing store, just in time for a loud and firm, but yet somehow calm if dedicated voice now filled the city.

“Gone in a second, Ultimate destruction.”

The voice sounded loud and clear through most of the city as a massive pillar of fog rose from the center of the streets, a dozen destructive elemental spears raining over the Presidential Center, right for the where the image of the Goddess has been set upon the build. Glass shattered and an ever growing hole was left visible in the once proud and iconic structure within Zenos.

The so called crowds quickly started to try and run now in full, panic spreading through the city as Alexia made her statement, and now started to back up her declaration of ending the false religion. Still broadcasted live, the blimps above the city, all televisions and magic screens were showing the start of the carnage live now.

“Gods are warring, Sorrow never-ending.”

The lyrics sounded so clear and cleanly sounding further and further out in the city continued as Alexia somehow seemed to find a sudden clarity, a confidence even as she turned. Even in the depths of the fog, her eyes began to glow would be seen easily in the mists, slowly followed by dozens of more cat like eyes opening throughout the fog and just staring at people. Another pillar of fog jumped up from the ground though, the song still going however.

“Endless Chaos Fooor, an eternity.”

Jumping from one ledge to the next, the pillar of fog seemed to be glowing with dozens of eyes now as it reached one of the massive blimps, just colliding with the bridge of the blimp. The pilots were clearly startled by the event, and backed up quickly when the fog covered and hid everything from them, the fog even trying to encase the full blimp to anyone looking at it now.

A hand appeared over the windows by the door of the blimp, only to easily cut through it and reach in, opening the door smoothly, the song never stopping however.

“Welcome to the Abyyyyysss.”

Alexia sang out, throwing a spear right into ceiling, its sparks quickly starting dozens of flames as it tore through the ceiling and into the balloon, where everything was quickly up in flames. Rushing up before the flames could fully engulf the bridge, she quickly hit anything that looked like it would accelerate the blimp forward or down, and as her last word rang out, the blimp had come starting to crash down, colliding with the top of the Presidential Center, before it went up fully.

Engulfed fully in flames and smoke, crashing down into the city streets, the fog that had tried to devour the blimp returned to spreading out over the city, now carrying wisps of fire glowing yellow and orange as it spread, while other parts were gray and black, carrying ash and smoke as they went and spread further. Alexia just easily hopped out of the fire storm though onto another building to finish her lyrics, eyes closed, a peaceful almost relaxed look about her being shown on the other blimps and every other screen.

Just barely turning her head and looking up, perfectly into the camera that was recording everything on the remaining blimp, Alexia slowly opened her eyes as the music continued, but the lyrics paused. A moment of absolute clarity shined on her relaxed face, as if truly care free having found inner peace. Had she not been surrounded by destruction, the look could have been one of delight and perhaps that of a caring mother even, but as things were, it only served as an unrivaled symbol of despair for the crusades now, of how beneath them they were to the one attacking their city, of the one they openly invited into their once glorious symbol of power.

The music never stopped and Alexia just let herself fall back quickly getting lost in the fogs as dozens of eyes appeared throughout the streets in the fog once more.

“Backwater town where nothing happens
Don't let disguises fool you
Evil is coming from everywhere
Destroying all that we believe is good.”

The lyrics returned, sounding fully and cleanly throughout the entire city, the fog carrying the notes without regard for anyone around in perfect detail. Still hidden the in fog, barely able to see mere feet in front of themselves however, the notes came from everywhere all at once as the fog continued its trek. Able to make out things as they got close, the only true signs of things were what colors and other things the fog picked up. As the crowds all ran though, an explosion of red fog burst out in front of them stopping entire crowds, many getting trampled from the sudden change of pace, but crusader soldiers could do nothing now, only hoping that they could evacuate the priestess's even forgoing governmental officials to try and save any part of their religion that they could.

The notes continued as Alexia's eyes halted the flow of crusaders, a wall of eyes making them fearfully stop and draw their weapons, but this was only the newfound clarity of power that Alexia had somehow found within. Her powers normally chaotic and brutally strong were now lead by the music and the city had become a stage for her first true act.

Easily snapping the neck of the one priestesses from behind, the body fell without a sound, before the lyrics shifted from everywhere to just behind the small crowd, even if it still sounded all throughout the city.

“My mother's ghost still haunts me now
Fortune abandoned by God
Nothing can bring her back to me
Now I will seek to rage heaven's doors.”

The song only inspired fear and confusion as the crusaders watched another body just fall, a brief glimpse through the fog allowing them to see the perfectly calm looking Alexia standing there behind falling back, before just as quickly stepping back into the dense fog, and then worse a sudden wash of orange and flickering fog spilled down the city street, another explosion from the blimp going off and spreading shrapnel and fire all over main street.

The lyrics sounded from inside a group of moving priestesses and at once screams sounded out, Alexia having fallen into the last of the high priestesses from above, moving easily and even faster but utterly silent through the fogs, her words only showing her place when she willed them to reveal herself. Still, the entire city heard her song with perfect clarity now, and her notes even started to echo off outside the city, along with the sudden cry and screams of the last of the high priestesses of the 8th Crusader Order. Although her song was still strong, the fog carried the screams of the dying high priestesses just as well, showing their slaughter as a massive wave of blood red fog erupted from the streets around her, the bodies torn and shredded as she spun in place, her spears like a giant many faced circular saw around her for a second.

What should have been endless rage and pure unguided slaughter of what Alexia had known all her life as she was, what should have been an easy attack on everyone didn't happen though as Alexia easily noticed one elf girl on her knees having just given up as her song continued. She easily placed the voice, the girl who had screamed when amazonian woman had snapped the neck of the male before. In perhaps a show of mercy, and with only a rush of speed back into the fog, the crying elf only found her former lover if still dead but now in her arms, whilst she remained unharmed in a wave of red fog.

“There is no mercy, compassion in the world
Embrace the chaos
For in the end that is All
Now the universe is broken, lost its force
Turn your back on all you have loved
For it is.”

The rest of the city couldn't be so easily spared though, for this was the only moment of regret that Alexia had witnessed so far however. Now taking to toy with the crusaders though, she just as easily stepped through the fog once more, her eyes misguiding those around her between her illusions as the fogs continued to over take the city, burying all but the highest towers as the fog climbed over. Another group of crusaders had taken to try and hide in the alley ways and shops now. Even inside the stores though where the fog had barely gotten in, things seemed to be only more tense.

A shadowy figure moving through the fog, only going slow to tease her image through fog, the blood on her blades, her hands and feet, even her tail now easily painted things around her, her tail just barely rubbing against one giant window for the largest store on the main street. Two very clear slowly drawn giant lines of blood as drawn with Alexia's tail pressed against the window, forming a giant X for everyone inside, only for her form to back away from the window and vanish, before the vents tore open and flooded the shop with fog.

Orange and black fog carrying ash and fire rushed through the vents into the shop, and another scream sounded, only half a body standing in the back, starting to burn some from the orange fog, its shoulders, arms and head just gone slowly leaning back further and further against the wall before just falling back. The same leopard dragon girl who had thrown Alexia aside earlier once more spread her wings, determine to protect the few warriors she had left at her side as well as the remaining civilians.

Giving a mighty thrust with them, she forced the fog back easily revealing Alexia standing in a small hallway now, holding the head of the president of the 8th Crusader Order, and just gently placing it on a pedestal in place of a bust of her own head now. She seemed entirely uncaring as her form was revealed though, barely turning still sing, her face still calm and maybe even kind stroking the hair of the spider's heads as she made sure to show it off.

The dragon charged forward, a blur much like Alexia was herself. Thinking that she had an advantage since she had done so once before, she spun around wings spread out tearing through the walls of the hall, only for Alexia to just easily lean back and roll right under the dragon's wings and stand up with her back right against the dragon's once she finished her strike having rushed right past her. Alexia's tail had already pinning her wings up though, closed around the stalks that held the muscles for them against the dragon's back.

“Gone in a second
Ultimate destruction
Gods are warring
Sorrow never-ending
Endless chaos
For an eternity
Welcome to the abyss.”

With easy access, Alexia just reached up and with a shove of her tail, but tight grip on her hands, the wings of the dragoness had been ripped from her shoulders even as she continued to sing, everyone still in the store just watching before fog over took the hallway once more. Her shadow was visible as she slowly started forward once more, the magic screens now starting to show images of her eyes in the fog for the whole city as her illusions grew.


Already back in the streets, the city was losing its shine as the ash and fire carried in the fog now started to tear at the shiny surfaces that made it a beautiful sight before. Alexia hardly though as she walked along, her voice still sounding strong. She took to finding the rest of the preistesses and other religious figures now to help in her task of silencing the false image that was taken from her.

She easily just appeared in front of another group of priestesses, uncaring for which order they served, just walking up in the fog, letting her power flow freely as her figure shined like a bloody beacon in the fog. Although in a large crowd followed the priestesses looking for hope and a means of escape, the only escape that came for the priestesses was a sudden wave of red as droplets of blood showered the street painting the fog and most of the crowd in blood, which quickly scattered trying to find a way out.

Although unsure of what was going on properly having only heard radio broadcasts that were a bit fuzzy, the crusader armies that had been protecting the city from outward threats were now rushing into the fog filled city, as the first of the civilians were rushing out the two groups both quickly crowding the city streets and locking with each other trapping them within.

“Creation desperate
Waiting for a
Miracle to transcend all war
Watch how the bloodlust of the divine
Throw out its hatred for all time.”

Shifting just as quickly as the verses and lyrics, Alexia was moving past the survivors, taking only brief glances now as she moved, letting her claws or spears bleed some of those that she passed in her movements, using her illusions to help both scatter and collect large crowds. Constantly keeping everyone on edge, fear spread like a virus among the survivors in the fog now with so many survivors being civilians and just religious followers, which heavily out numbered the actual armies present in the city, there was no way for those few leaders who weren't running for their lives to keep order.

Just quickly passing through and drawing more blood, each new sudden streak of red fog inspired only further chaos among those were already filled with fear and the cycle quickly carnage of itself as some of the civilians even began to lash out at the armies around them trying to demand safety. Happening upon another structure, a massive golden pedestal in the middle of a large fountain as she sang out still searching for priestesses, Alexia stood before the largest of the false images of the goddess. Made of polished onyx and sapphire woven seamlessly together, with golden eyes and silver flesh, not even covering itself just holding its hands open as if to embrace all the believers. She would remember this for later as she moved on, leaving just a single bloody hand print on its stomach, and smearing her tail over its face.

A burst of wind rushed over her form as someone tried to clear the large park to see, and there standing before Alexia was the first of the reinforcements that had managed to get into the city. Lead by a war priestess, it was easy to see that this group held power of a sort, and barely looking up, Alexia could see herself once more on the screens above while other screens zoomed in onto the war priestess. Just reaching behind her with her tail and grabbing the pedestal that held up the statue she had just marked, she turned it to face the new forces so that they could see her views on the statue.

Throwing a single spear out, the war priestess managed to block it and ordered her forces to charge even as the fog started to close in over the park once more but Alexia just stepped back into the fog easily. With ease, she rushed around to the other end of the park and jumped up from behind the war priestess, dislodging her easily from her horse as she was focused on what was in front her. A new spear already in hand, now lodge in the neck of the war priestess for everyone to see now, another high ranking religious figure lay dead in Alexia's hand before her women.

“There is no mercy, compassion in the world
Embrace the chaos
For in the end that is All
Now the universe is broken, lost its force
Turn your back on all you have loved
For it is.”

Righting herself to stand up proper once more, and then with mere kick to show how little she cared, the war priestess's body hit the praised statue's chest, its open arms acting as though it may have caught the corpse, only for another spear to get thrown into it pinning the body against the statue covering it in even more blood now, a number of the new forces staring on is disbelief, which quickly let them slaughtered as Alexia just turned and throw more spears around her at anyone who was an easy target.

Dropping quickly as the fog closed in around her once more, those who were watching by television or magic screens could only see more of their precious religious fighters all like flies now as Alexia's song just continued uninterrupted in rapid order.

Quickly encased in fog once more, Alexia was raking up a large body count as she just kept up her work. Her song still not stopping at all, she just moved further into the city, seeking to make her statement stand. Looking for more signs to tear down now, she continued to rush through the city, although tracking her progress was harder now.

Where before, Sam could watch her progress by tracking the bursts of red fog, when more then one burst of red fog appeared, it was clear that the women of the city were turning on themselves now, as at least three bursts of red fog appeared highly spread out in the city at the same time.

Alexia's influence was clear now as made her way along Main Street, finding her icons and took her time to pull them down now. Hearing another band of survivors rushing in and ordering commands, she just picked up the newest statue of herself that she found and threw it in their direction now before rushing to meet them, not liking a calmness in her presence.

“Gone in a second
Ultimate destruction
Gods are warring
Sorrow never-ending
Endless chaos
For an eternity
Welcome to the end, to the abyss.”

With the fallen statue tossed pretty much in the faces, if only able to be seen by the few crusaders in front, it was enough to get their attention as they looked up, Alexia now sitting there on top of it, a brief view through the fog showing her form as she sat upon her broken copy still just singing looking down on the newest batch fodder.

A quick motion of her arm and she threw a spear out at whoever was on the horse, just assuming that they were the leader for now, and then slowly looking over the group, rolling back off the statue when they charged forward, before slamming her foot into the statue to thrust it right into the group like they were pins for a twisted game of bowling. Easily killing and having maimed others, she just moved on to let her fear sink in now.

As she moved though, a another power began to rise, and even as she once more tore down a symbol of the crusaders, she had to turn to acknowledge the power. She didn't stop her song even as she turned back towards the presidential center where she felt the power was coming from, but she did start to move back towards it.

Even as she moved though, there were still plenty of people trying to move past her, her image in the fog now very clear and everyone seemed to give her a good amount of room or ran down another passage. She choose to walk this time though rather than rush now however as she moved, just throwing spears into any symbols of the order that she had missed the first time though.

“End as beginning
And so it will be
Alpha Omega
The end thou shalt see.”

Her words continued as she moved up the street, only to feel the opposing power grow, unaware that it was her own song in a way that had given power to this new power.

Mira Juneborn was once more on her feet, standing in the middle of the street before the presidential center, one knee on the ground holding her blade as she listened to the song, but one verse had stood out easily, and having thought heavily on it, she found purpose with it slowly standing up.

Thrusting her blade out in wipe slash over the area, she used a wind based spell cast from her blade to try and cast off the fog over the street, the wall of wind forcing most of fog off the street and even a number of people off their feet but Alexia still didn't care as she just moved.

“Gone in a second
Gods are warring.”

Still singing, just grabbing a large blade that was at her side and still moving closer, Alexia showed no signs of stopping at the moment, the fog from the spell cards still once again spreading over the main street from so many places, if once more just a ghostly white now.

Of course, this hardly mattered to Mira or Alexia, both of which could still easily feel each other now and moved in for a fight.

“Gone in a second
Ultimate destruction
Gods are warring
Sorrow never-ending
Endless chaos
For an eternity
Welcome to the end, to the abyss.”

This time though, it wasn't Alexia letting her power show in full, it was Mira who began to pour a massive stream of mana and magical power into her blade, letting it burn with a silver and golden flames matching the crusader's symbol now. With her music however, Alexia was still at peace, accelerated even and collected. Prepared and ready, Alexia wouldn't have much of an issue with this fight as she was, still moving forward.

-x-

Above the city, in the tower, Holo could only look on in a bit of fear from what was taking place. The city was quickly losing its luster in the growing fog as it over took the city, but what was so off about the entire thing however was the sudden song that Alexia had started.

Even back in the tower, the music would reach them if softly for now, but the song quickly gave way to carnage. “So... this is her power... music? Has she ever done this before?” Holo asked, looking to Sam for a moment before looking back to the magic screen in the room just in time for the blimp to fall, and the camera focused in on Alexia standing above the fog, her calm look inspiring a fear that she knew was well warranted.

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Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Ravyn Arcadia Valos Character Portrait: Holo
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Sam watched from above, keeping careful watch on the fight should Alexia need assistance. Even at this distance, he felt shivers tremor down his body from the music. "One thing about Ancients is that their powers can be anything across a wide spectrum. Some hone their abilities to sheer mastery, others expand their talents into other areas, using their powers to become more adept at tasks of their choosing. I can't say I've seen her do this before, but I have seen things similar, though not on this scale, and I'm very glad to not be on the receiving end. Music can have...rather dramatic effects on a soul, by the time you listen to it, it's too late if you're unprepared." he stated.

He felt the urge to jump in, waiting for the right time to do so should Alexia require assistance. The element of surprise can be the difference between victory and defeat, especially with Mira's sheer arsenal. He started prepping, taking off his cloak the showed runic tattoos all over his body. They glowed for a brief moment before the his armor appeared on him. He rolled his arms and stretched to make sure the armor was on right. He drew his sword and opened his shield, ensuring it functioned properly before collapsing it. As a final bit of preparation, he coated his blade in a sedative, hoping that if he managed to nick her flesh, it'd slow her down.

Brea's eyes narrowed on Sam arming up, looking between him and Holo. "And what do you intend to do?" she asked, her guards quietly raising their weapons and pointed them at Sam.

"I'd rather not make enemies with the only potential ally we have to clean up Alexia's mess, but I'm sure you can see with the chaos below, I'd rather be ready to defend myself." he stated, sliding his sword behind his back. He slid on his helmet and his visor lit up with the usual HUD, motion tracker, basic life signs and hostile contact markers. "My main goals are to support Alexia, ensure our foxy merchant and her property comes out unharmed, and make sure you have a chance to talk with Alexia." As of that moment, Brea and her guards were marked as 'cautious'. He wasn't going to reveal his dragon form here if he could help it. If he did however, many would put the blame on dragons corrupting the goddess to attack, and that would open a different can of worms entirely, and he'd probably get an earful from Alexia afterwards.

He saw the charged up attack aimed for Alexia and quickly warped, vanishing from their high vantage point to right next to Mira. "Lets not get too excited now." he growled through his mask, sending a jolt of his power into the sword to send its energy balance awry and caused it to explode. He quickly raised his shield as a fist sent him hard into the ground, crushing the rubble beneath, he softened the blow as much as he could, but he felt his power getting restricted "Damn...tech..." he grunted.

He warped again it taking a few more seconds than usual as he was pummeled into the ground before he reappeared in front of Alexia, his arm numb from the beating it took. He had been studying the technology of many worlds, and with the amount of energy Mira had been putting into the sword, something that would set it off balance would be much easier than blocking it. "Go ahead and try that again darling, no harm in it." he teased, trying to get Mira off balance as much as possible. He had just barely dodged her grab, showing she had extensive training with her powers and technology. Just was Mira was about to unleash another attack, Sam was starting to feel Alexia's music seep into him "Music's helluva drug it seems." he said, rushing Mira just as Mira rushed them. From the start he was on his toes, resorting to a more mobile form of fighting and relying on rolling with the punches, and he was rolling very, very hard. "Alexia, if you could focus your music more on me than her, I'd appreciate it." he grunted, his armor and dampened powers only doing so much. He managed to slip his blade in between her armor, feeling his tip pierce into her flesh before he got slammed into the ground with a banshee's scream. "Hope the sedative works..." he thought.

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Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom
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#, as written by Zalgo
So she stood, many a plot circling her thought when the distant explosions rung out.

"Oh good, she's finally stopped faffing about." Red idly remarked, calmly sauntering up to a window in the store front to see ensuing chaos. From where she was she could see a blimp loudly broadcasting the mayhem, their screens focused on the subject of the hour. It was as that point that she heard her blasting music and singing. She stroked her chin a moment, taking in the lyrics while a bemused smirk crawled up her face.

"Ahaha... Ahahahahahah!" She burst out into laughter which echoed in the mostly empty room. This positively tickled her sides.

My goodness, now THAT is adorable if somewhat pathetic. She actually prepared a backing track so she could hold a sing-along killing spree!

Just the very thought of it had Red in hysterics. She had to brace herself on the window sill so she didn't end up rolling on the floor laughing. She brushed tears of laughter from her eyes as she guffawed at the scene.


Coming down from the hilarity of all that she stood up, brushed herself off and strolled on back to the washroom where the blood stain still marked the wall. She knelt down, resting on her knees as she intoned an incantation. With the amount of blood shed by Alexia she was able to get a very clear read on the remaining life forces in the given location. Both were quite rife with potential power though Mira seemed to have invested a fair amount of her strength into equipment and techniques over raw force since her physical form was hardly remarkable in design. She figured she must have put quite a lot of coin into those tools of war of hers.

What a waste.

Getting a good read on the situation she saw that the surrounding area was flooded with fog and littered with bodies. It was the perfect cover to cast from. All she needed to do was to establish a network to distribute her field of influence and she could probably cast her spells from anywhere in the city at this point given how many dead she had to draw from. She opened her portal into the crimson and stepped through, seeking out the perfect position to cast from. A couple blocks away there was a fountain with a statue to Alexia that was still intact. Blood filled the waters, bodies strewn about it, it was an excellent cover.

The crimson waters rippled as Red slowly raised from the pool. Slowly uncrossing her arms the spell came to it's close, leaving her standing thigh-deep in blood slaked waters. Well out of sight she prepared a ritual, organizing the blood strewn about the ground beyond the fountain into a ritual circle which would allow her to project her spell across a greater range.

"Ascendit Cordibus Vestris"

All at once she could feel the multitude of bodies created in Alexia's massacre. Grasping forth she seized their hearts, the organs pressing up against their cage of ribs. With a powerful rip she used her hemomancy to force apart the ribs using the cooling blood still flush in their flesh, creating a hole through which she tore free their hearts. Meaty pulsating organs of varying sizes from varying races all levitated up, softly hovering as they all emitted a gentle red glow. These would serve as Red's conduits, totems to project her control through.


Now that she had a network set up for her to conduct her magic through she figured it was a good time to mask her presence lest she expose her position and leave herself open for direct attack. As a disguise she decided to pretend to be one of the many corpses left in Alexia's wake. Shallow ripples traveled the waters with each slow, deliberate step she took through the fountain, the cool water slaking her legs as she approached the statue. She looked up at the image of the cat goddess these people so revered, her arms wide open in acceptance of their orders. As though lost in the moment she leaned her face onto one of the open hands of the statue, resting her head upon it's outstretched palm. Red's eyes closed and she looked truly calm, at peace with everything despite the stark contrast of the carnage which surrounded her. Such delightful juxtaposition, something she felt Alexia lacked in her less than subtle performance.

The truth came in a sudden violent motion as she ripped her head away from the hand only to smash it back down against the tip of the statue's outstretched fingers. She felt her skull shatter, her wards of physical protection consciously lowered for this moment as she brought harm upon herself. The blood in her head pushed out, keeping the fragments of skull from grazing her brain matter which resulted in a visceral spurt from the side of her head, blood dripping down the identically colored hair which covered the point of impact.

She let herself drop into the stained waters below, her whole body now immersed in the cold embrace of the fountain. Pain throbbed all throughout her head, tingling with a delightful warmth as all her nerves screamed in alarm at her actions. It was as though her body wasn't used to the fact that she did this to herself. As if she'd let her body grow callous towards it though. She would never allow herself to be removed from the experience her victims suffered. Pain was an experience and she wouldn't miss out on it for the world, any of them.

Slowing her breathing down was just as easy as breathing itself. Her intake of oxygen dwindled to the point where the air still in her lungs would be enough to sustain her for up to half an hour. She could stretch it out for longer but she was being economical with her changes for now since she had bigger fish to fry in a manner of speaking. She simply let herself drift in the still waters of the fountain like the other bodies which littered it. She was now little more than yet another corpse in the eye of the beholder. Between her masterful disguise and the fog which obscured the city's air there was little chance for Mira to ever find her.


Now it was time to bring her to heel. As powerful as Mira might be Red had almost an entire city's worth of blood to draw upon. So long as she couldn't find her she would turn this battle into a game of attrition, whittling the warlady down until she'd have no choice but to retreat or die. She quietly hoped she'd pick the latter choice, it was her favorite option.

Before she started the show however she'd establish a line of communication with her quote en quote comrade for a more organized attack. She'd only set up a line with Samuel since Alexia seemed a little too withdrawn into her own head-space to communicate with effectively. On the ground at the scene of the battle what blood stained the ground proceeded to creep up the back of his armor, flowing between the cracks in secret as it made it's way up. On the back of his neck a bloody rune formed establishing a magical connection which allowed for telepathic communication.

"Having fun? I figured I'd give you a heads up before I start letting loose upon the field. Do pass word on to Alexia if she's in a listening mood, she's more likely to heed your suggestions over mine. Keep in touch~"

She passed a fun little mental message on to the hapless warrior before returning her focus onto matters of magic. The hearts were now beating, blood flowing from the dead into the suspended organs and passing from heart to heart in airborne streams of blood which formed a network of blood which flowed across the city, channeling blood to where she needed it.

Oh yes, she would need plenty of it.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom Character Portrait: Holo
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Feeling a difference in her blade, Mira just looked on to the two combatants before her. The dragon teased her and she knew he did something to her blade. But it was her blade, and she put thousands of Dead Patched Gold into the weapon just to ensure that she could be the only one to control the blade, and purge it of foul magics. Raising it up, but still keeping the point down, the last spell stone still loaded into the blade began to sour gray color and then as she slammed the blade into the pavement, a crater formed as she released her spell.

Whatever magics were stored in the blade to upset it were drawn fully out as the spell stone was fired, an eruption of magical energies blasting outwards from the blade caused a small scale sonic boom like effect, Mira having hardened her own personal magics to make the spell flow around her, but the result was far more powerful then Mira could have planned for. Windows from all over main street and more shattered at once, but even more devastating was the fact that the spell also shattered the screen of Alexia's small antique musical device.

As the screen of the ipod shattered, so to did its functions and all at once, the music, her illusions, even her calm but cold attitude was ended abruptly. With no music giving her focus, Alexia instantly changed, and a rage unholy roar filled the town, Alexia's eye's glowing red as her power surged showing off to all her pure need for bloodshed. She already had a target, and jumped clean over Sam easily, a grouping of spears instantly thrown at once, many surging with electrical arcs, the others frozen to the core.

With no desire for personal safety, only bloodlust leading her actions, Alexia hardly cared as Mira swept aside very spear that would have hit her with a broad swipe of her blade before she countered. Another spell shot was fired from the blade as Alexia landed in front of her, but she just rolled to the side to avoid the blast, which landed in a store front and shattered the first floor of the building, the structure collapsing in on itself Mira didn't let up, a golden aura appearing over her blade and feeding into her spell stones now freshly loaded into the blade.

It was clear that Mira's blade was the source of her magi-tech abilities though, as it began to devour all the magic Mira could pour into it, both strengthening the weapon and feeding the spell stones she would use as ammo for it. More, it even began to soak up some of the fog from the spell cards that Alexia has used.

Of course, in her blood lust, Alexia wouldn't care, already up in Mira's face, an empowered icy fist connecting with the blade and knocking both backwards, leaving the area covered in icy mist. Alexia landed roughly, but recovered, but Mira however had landed back perfectly, her blade already stretched out and now firing a pair of magically enhanced spell stones at Samuel now.

-x-

Holo could only watch in horror now, wondering if her actions were warrented. She had expected a war, not a slaughter, but there was no stopping this now. “We need to move. IS there a safe house for us to take in? A place where we can communicate with the troops still out there and try to help lead them out of the city?” Holo asked quickly. “I may be powerful, but the only way I would survive is if I showed my true form, but then the crusaders may hunt me as well, given you tried to kill me many times before. And you, you're no good to anyone if you die in this mess, people will need leaders.” Holo stated quickly as Brea nodded quickly.

Brea didn't care about the fact that the other orders may want Holo dead, it was part of why she lead her own order of the Crusader Faith... or at least use to. If this truly was the god that they had prayed too now, then it would be safe to say that the faith the crusader's had followed was clearly not one of peace of all, or even welcoming of its own followers.

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Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom
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"Alright Alucard, thanks for the heads up." Sam stated mentally, quickly recognizing that the sword was the key. He could offset and destabilize it, but from what he saw, destroying it would be no easy feat, let alone in the midst of battle, and separating her from the sword may be just as hard. Sam landed at Alexia's side, a shield up as he kept his eyes on Mira "If you can hear me, our bloody friend is almost ready." he stated. He could sense the blood magic in the air, and it didn't give him much of a pleasant feeling. He Sam watched carefully before rushing in, keeping an eye on her and the sword. His eyes glowed softly, seeing the massive amounts of magic being poured into the sword. Her sword did have a weakness, and it was a matter of timing and applying enough magic when he sword discharged. This would never destroy the sword, however it would be more than enough to disrupt her combat effectiveness. "Just a matter of timing and not dying..."

As Mira sent the magic stones, he opened a small portal for each of them, intercepting them and shooting them from her right towards her. While she was distracted briefly, he rushed in, but she immediately raised her other hand to stop Sam. "She relies on magitech, but must only understand it to a certain extent." he thought. He opened two portals again, this time they immediately came from right under her chin, slamming her head up. Sam quickly stabbed once more, this time getting under her breast plate and nicked her flesh again, more of the sedative starting to course through her veins. Immediately he was slammed from the left by her sword, just barely raising his shield up in time before he was sent flying through several piles of rubble. He saw Alexia following up his attack and Mira swinging her sword, he quickly sent a jolt of magic into her sword, causing an immense vibration to shake her arm. He minimized the damage to him with his kinetic power, but she had hit hard. With his bones more than rattled, he warped out of the pile to avoid a follow up attack "I swear this bitch has poured an entire nation's worth of resources into her magitech." he growled, seeing a noticeable notch in his shield. "And her tech is draining my magic fast...hope I have enough potions." he grunted.

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Character Portrait: Valen Character Portrait: Red Eduard Character Portrait: Samuel Malcom
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#, as written by Zalgo
Red quirked an eyebrow. She wasn't familiar with the nickname Sam used.

Must be another of their pre-shattering references. She found that the so-named ancients certainly adored speaking of their history. While she understood the origin behind the term it would be apt to call them ancient for much like their great ruins they too were relics of the past clinging desperately to that which was lost. In a way it was a curse in it's own right.

Alas, mortal combat was no situation to be idly pondering the more philosophical quandaries posed to her. While in the secluded safety of waters now virtually opaque with the stain of blood she continued to extend her powers through the network she had fabricated. With all the pieces in place all it took was a few shallow motions to set things into motion. The impact of the blows being traded cast shock waves which brought ripples to the fountain water even this far off from the main conflict so the slow minute motions of her hands and the silent mouthing of words spoken into liquid produced no visible disturbance. The water shuddered gently ever still as off on a different street earth shattering strikes were traded back and forth between the three.

The blood which flowed in the air like streaming shocks of uneven crimson ribbons traced about like veins leading out from the hearts. Upon the field surrounding the three bodies were plentiful, all thoughtfully sewn by Alexia in her little music video just prior. Women's bodies were strewn about in varying degrees of physical integrity, all ripe for her control.


With unheard incantation the blood traveling between the hearts started splitting into forks in their paths. While one line always led on to the next heard the rest flowed into the holes littering the dispatched bodies, threading through them like thin ribbons of red silk.

In a macabre display these former members of the crusade staggered slowly to their feet like jerky marionettes being forced to rise by the strings which control them. Each dead body that rose began to slowly shamble on unsteady feet towards Mira, dead lifeless eyes and loose hanging jaws fixed towards their former general.

They came towards her in greater and greater numbers. Animating them was easy. Controlling them was even easier. The spell used to give them motion was very basic, barely any effort at all. The blood spent to give them rise was distributed very frugally and their built-in command was very simple. All they had to do was walk towards Mira.


This was naught but the first part of Red's hand in this little road bump. The reason she had made these weak shambling corpses stand and move like some form of common necromancy was simply so they could set up the stage for Mira's grand fall. Each and every body brought to it's feet by this method packed a certain quantity of blood left within it.

Her plan? To use the zombies as cheap distractions until one of them gets close. Once close enough Red would use these bodies as essentially living bombs. With a separate spell Red can manually explode those under her sway. Not only does the force of the blood erupting out pack carry potent impact but the blood can be brought to a boil resulting in a shower of excruciating agony. Such was the fate of those who stood between Red and her book.

Of course that was not to mention how the shattered fragments of the skeletal structures would serve swimmingly as impromptu shrapnel. This way she could turn this battle from a small skirmish into a battle of attrition, a battle she was fairly confident a dull witted foe like Mira wasn't likely equipped to withstand. If she left the bodies alone they would eventually close in on her before exploding. If she shot them to keep from being caught in melee range of these hollow husks of those she once considered friends then she'll have wasted her spell stone projectiles wiping out these reanimated shamblers.

The expenditure of blood lost for each destroyed body was so low as to be almost negligible. All the cost for this particular magic combo largely came from the explosion and all the while she patiently waited, surveilling the field through the blood that stained it, awaiting the moment Mira gets too close to one of these shuffling corpses so she can detonate it before Mira gets the opportunity to dodge or shield herself behind her sword. This would be all while at the same time attacking on the mental battlefield as the wholly unnatural gait of those she once cared for brought these cherry sharp dead ever closer to her, the bloody deceased approaching with no remorse.

The smile on Red's face held a cruel tinge to it. Her inner sadist was positively beaming with new ideas for how to tackle this.

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Uncaring and uninterested in anything but the death of her target, the masses of moving bodies nothing more then things to thrust out of the way for Alexia in her cardinal rage. Another roar, letting her power gather in her spears and hurling them skyward, the spears went up high, only to rain back down, columns of her selective elemental powers turned the field into a minefield of sorts. Spires of ice chilled anything but the raging cat near them, and impromptu telsa coils building up a charge of electrical power on anything they could touch before releasing an electrical arc to everything around them made it hard for the dead to just walk up towards Mira, but it also started to hinder their view and soon a wall of the dead had effectively been made around them.

Mira quickly only getting faster though, and also apparently wasn't alone in her actions as two battle priests dove into the action as well, sacrificing their lives to help empower Mira even more knowing that they were already outnumbered and would have died anyway. Thier dying breathes however gave way to two spirits who flew into Mira's sword as she ducked to avoid another blow from Alexia. Twisting around and rolling through the air, landing and striking her blade down almost on Sam's neck, a strong aura appeared over Mira as she kept gathering more and more magic out of the air. “I will not fall to the false god!” She cried out, a magical helmet appearing over her head now and hiding her face, chasing after Sam, only to have to stop and jump back.

With no more spears at the ready, Alexia just started to grab the undead and toss them forward now, still uncaring for anything she might hit. Slashing through one that was tossed right at her, a magical barrier kept her safe from the blood and more in front her, as well as purging the body that was just cut in two, its form turned to ash almost as soon as the blade had touched it, Mira wasn't going to just let herself be touched if she could help it. She knew that some foul magic animated these bodies, and while she could only guess that it was necromancy, she couldn't be sure and so she took no chances.

Of course, Mira could only purge so many bodies with each strike of her blade, and now fully surrounded with a slowly closing circle of dead around them, Mira knew that unless she could find the source of the magic animating the dead, that it wouldn't end. Alexia had already littered the city with dead, and the riots that she sparked would easily give the dead numbers in the thousands, if not tens or even a hundred thousand, more then she could handle as she was prepared right now. The dragon warrior wasn't making it easier either. She could feel something in her blood, and while her two new spirits could help her keep herself clean, even they could be over whelmed now and their power would run out.

Firing off another spell stone, this one burning like hellfire, she tested how thick the dead were, taking out an easy hundred in a line, but their ranks easily filled back, the icy spires keeping them her fires from spreading. She parried another blow from Alexia, and once more fired off another spellstone to interupt whatever the dragon was doing as she looked around. She was prepared for a fight, but not a war, and it seemed like her foes knew this. Of course, her helmet hid her conversation, only those loyal to her path, her command would hear her words as she found the rest of her personal unit, mostly in tact but scattered.

Issuing new orders, she told them to retreat while she held them back for a while longer, keeping them busy to ensure that they could move what they needed to safety, as well as declaring herself the new president by way of martial law. Quickly striking down a number of the undead as to try and keep them from getting too close, she needed only a few minutes to let those comrades of hers who could escape do just that. Switching from the offensive, and now starting to empower her armor over her blade, she needed just a minute to prepare a spellstone that would help her level the playing field. Emptying the current chamber of all spellstones, just trying down as many undead as she could, she loaded a new much larger crystalline spell stone into the chamber, her blade quickly glowing gold with holy energies and when Alexia throw yet another body at her, this time the body was just cast aside, magical energies striking at anything nearby, even breaking a few of Alexia's spears still imbedded in the ground.

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Sam kept up his attack, now just focusing on supporting Alexia as she ruthlessly attacked Mira. Given that she didn't react to Sam, chances are she wouldn't shy away from hitting him, by accident or otherwise. He noticed that Mira had shifted to more of a defensive pattern and raised a brow. "....She's stalling for time, but for what?" He muttered. She was at a disadvantage, they were pressing it, and she knew it.

He decided to take a shot in the dark, or perhaps it could be considered an educated guess, but he needed to get her off balance somehow. There were substantially less followers helping her than he originally thought, and while there was definitely a dent in their numbers after their surprise attack, he doubted they got all of them. It was then in her movements, in her subtle shifts of the helmet he realized she was indeed communicating with someone.

"Red, we're going silent for a bit, it'll last 30 minutes." He told him, just to give him a heads up. He whipped out a card from his deck and flipped it. It was essentially a jammer, a custom card he had ordered a while back. It was expensive, sure, but it definitely was nice to have up his sleeve. He quickly activated it and watched her closely, and noticed her head jerk and pause every so slightly, even as she started to emit that golden glow and began eradicating the nearby undead. "Hope you don't mind me borrowing some of your friends, Red!" He needed to stop that attack or at least divert it, and he had a good idea how to.

He rushed forward when Alexia was grabbing more bodies, and spoke while starting to exchange blows with her"Ah, I see that friends of mine has found your forces retreating. They'll keep them company, I assure you~" he teased. There wasn't much of a reaction, but the subtle grunt and slight tilting of her head forward informed him that he was right. As the golden magic started to scar his armor and heat his flesh, he grinned "I don't think it's me you should me worried about, as flattering as that is."

It was only then faint shadows started to darken above them and Sam dashed back, immediately chugging down another potion to restore his magic reserves. Red, scarlet bodies began falling from the sky directly above Mira. Since he couldn't fight Mira as he normally could, he decided to get creative.

Enhancing as many bodies as he could by supercharging their cells, each body killed would explode violently. He quickly downed another potion, leaving him with two bottles. "If it weren't for her tech, I'd have her head by now." he growled under his breath

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#, as written by Zalgo
Easy come, easy go.

The wall of elementally charged spears did stall the dead she had animated, yes. What it also did was provide a wall of frozen bodies charged with electricity. Not one to squander an opportunity to change the playing field she started to divert blood from the animation of the corpses and started to form a hemomantic ritual circle within the confines the dead bodies provided.

Of course that one companion of Alexia's went ahead and barred her communication spell. 'Twas no hair off her head since talking to them was more for their good than her own. If he felt isolating the area from magical messages was more important than knowing what was to come it didn't bother her in the slightest.

The circle was of course a summoning circle. What it was summoning was not a creature but rather it was to pull all the blood within a few miles of them and deposit it all within the perimeter of the circle. It was a bit costly and maybe a little risky but seeing from the pools of blood surrounding the battle field she could observe that Mira was pooling her own power for an attack of her own.


The crimson flows formed their arcane lines, the circle activating with a pulse of palpable power which burnt through a fair few litres blood to fulfill it's cost. A nearly identical circle formed above them all, it's diameter the size of the prison of dead that was created around them. Like the building intensity of a storm cloud reality within the gaps between the lines seemed to tremble. Like a bloody wound in reality the sky-born circle ripped asunder like a moist fleshy flower rapidly blooming for all to see. From within the darkness what laid beneath the flesh born into reality was a torrent of blood akin to a waterfall. The red fluid descended upon them all, bathing everything and everyone not directly shielded from it in a cascade of crimson life fluid.

But what good was blood if not harnessed to it's maximum potential? Red had no intention of simply bathing them for the sake of adding a little color. Rather than fill the battlefield with blood like a big bathtub Red began to swirl the murky red essence forming a typhoon of blood with their little arena smack dab in the eye of it all. As the blood passed over the leftover spears they froze, sticking to and building upon the wall of frozen electrified undead as the whirling mass spun around them. Soon the dead bodies were frozen into a solid wall formed of frozen blood which mounted higher and higher over them as the blood conducted the elemental energies throughout the frozen sum of the mass.

Her idea was form a solid dome over them wrought from blood and reinforced by the magic emanated from the spears left by Alexia. She knew that soon Mira would burst and likely do a lot of damage upon her employer and associates. Thus, her plan was to isolate the lot of them from outside aid and then swiftly remove her living assets from the dome before Mira has the opportunity to explode on them. The dome would contain the explosion and leave her associates unscathed for the most part.

Once the dome was finished she dissipated the circle and reallocated all the blood summoned to this one spot back out through her network where she could continue animating simple undead dolls to keep throwing at this problem until another complication reared it's ugly head. All she needed now was for the others to keep Mira busy until she was ready to pop.


Simple enough, right?

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As the sky changed and the flow of magic began to swell around her, Mira knew that she wasn't the only truly powerful magic user in the area. And by the sheer scale of the event, she also knew that her fellow crusaders still loyal to the one true cause would see or sense it as well. There was no change to her plan, to delay these false prophets and foul heretics. She would send them all to the deepest pits of hell one day, but for now she could only curse herself more. So caught in the days prior to secure the city against outside attacks, she should have spent more time preparing weapons and her troops for an attack from inside the city itself.

Still, she knew that there could only truly be a enemy forces here. If there were any outside the city, then her trusted hand picked soldiers would handle them... could easily handle them. Their power was one beyond the reasoning of mere mortals after all, it was faith that only had been questioned for but a moment. She had wanted too much, she had desired for so much, but looking back now as she deflected along blow, she knew that she had not yet earned the true favor of the one true Goddess. The Goddess would not reveal herself until all threats were dealt with, and these fools before her needed to suffer in her name.

The imitation cat may have the power to fake being the Goddess, but it wasn't perfect, and she was clearly too lost in the sake of rage to even be a real threat now as she watched the feline use her claws to help her run up the wall and try to strike from above, this time throwing discard crusader weapons at Mira, only for them to be easily deflected.

Rushing for the bigger problem, her blade was almost blinding with light now, a number of glowing silver tendrils reaching out from the blade as she rushed forward to strike at the dragon warrior, trying to force him back, and now waiting for an opening. She was fast, and with so much magic building up, she only needed one blow, even a partial one to inflict a lot of damage. She didn't care if she struck the wall and opened a way for her to get out of this cage, or if she struck the dragon, but it was clear that she intended to do something.

Only just parrying blows from Alexia as she kept up her strikes again Sam, something else happened to the region first, a massive quake of some kind shaking most of the city as someone else had apparently used the chance to cause some damage.

Unsteady and shaken like everyone else still standing, Mira stumbled and her strike was released early with another spell stone. The holy blast of power missed Sam and Alexia for the most part, but still blinded them, and even dissipated parts of the bloody sphere of a cage over them.

Magic seemed to cease to be over the blast for a few seconds, before the cage started to try and mend itself, slowly over taking the magic that had pierced it if slowly. Alexia was of course the first to recover though, and quickly jumped for Mira her eyes still twisted in rage.

Mira while on one knee still started to counter however a heavy handed strike slashing Alexia's hand as she rolled over, a glowing golden scar forming from the wound, only for Alexia to ignore it and try again.

Mira thought she had Alexia this time though as she got to her feet and jumped back, only to strike forward. The tip of her blade dug into the chest of Alexia's chest, cutting through her sarashi chest wraps, but in a flash of golden light, and hymn of holy chorus, Mira was gone along with her blade.

The attack hardly slowed Alexia though as her hand plunged into the chest of whoever was before her, tearing through the lungs and spine of the feline girl who was now handing off Alexia's arm.

“My life... for the goddess. You will not stop Mira from bring true peace to this world.” The feline stated, looking very close to Alexia, but easily not her, too large and with streaks of gold and silver fur over her entire body instead of having limited fur like Alexia herself. The feline just spit on Alexia's face, only to ripped free from Alexia's arm and then slammed into the pavement over and over again until Alexia finally slowed, her chest bleeding from the start of attack given to her by Mira before she had been forcibly swapped places with a martyr who gave their life to save Mira.

Still hissing, Alexia panted some, one hand on her chest, the other holding her up as she looked around, trying to find Mira, only for Mira's voice to loudly speak out over the city by whatever speakers were still working.

“The ONE TRUE ORDER still lives this day. Make no mistake, this false prophet will die, and all of you false orders shall perish with her!” Mira screamed out from a remote location, only to go silent at last.

-x-

Outside the dome, a magical earth quake or something similar had shaken the city, a large section of the city streets now cracked in all directions as a few buildings fell several blocks away. Clearly not a direct part of the fight, but still something powerful, the effects were easily felt all over the city as the fog was blasted away from the site of the magical attack, the space slowly filling with more fog once more though.

Brea was just barely able to save the members of her order though as she slowly got up, helping Holo to her feet as they all looked around, the entire place still a war zone, but starting to calm down as most of the surviving people had either managed to leave the city and its deadly fog and fear behind, only the crazy and brave trying to remain.

“What was that?” Brea asked, feeling three powerful magical spells all at the same time, all slowly dying down. The first was clearly blood magic on a scale she had not seen before, for few dared to practice it that much so openly. The second was clearly Mira, easily able to be identified by the crusader magics that she used in combat, and then the magic of her being saved by a sacrifice of one of her chosen soldiers.

But the third set of magic, the one that had shook the city, she couldn't identify. It was different from what she knew, but yet it felt familiar in a way, almost like other powerful ancient magics.

“I don't know, but we need to get out of here first. If that is how this fight is going to continue, we can't risk staying.” Holo stated, helping up a few more of the crusaders.

“No... no I think Mira has retreated... but we can't stop. We must reach the rest of my order who are here.” Brea quickly stated. “We will find them and then we will see if this fight still continues.” she stated, looking over the area around them where the fog had been blown back. A single figure stood in the middle of the streets however, dressed in large black cloths that hid its form. It was clearly waving to something, and a few more similar figures ran past, all but one in the same black cloth. The sole figure not in the black cloth however was in some kind of white coat, but unlike anything that the crusaders wore though as it ran away from the city center though.

“Wait... wait my people are in that direction. NO! We have to hurry!” Brea cried out as she realized where they were and how close they had gotten to the place where she had told all of her order members to meet if something happened.”

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As Mira vanished from sight, Sam sighed. "Well shit." He glanced down at his armor, it was in some of the worst shape it had ever been, at least when compared to his first run in with a Greater Dragon. He walked up to Alexia and, while readying up his barriers just in case, he tapped her on the shoulder. "May wanna have a drink, she got away. There'll be another time to get her head on a pike." He said. He wasn't exactly pleased with this either, but there was nothing to be done at this point. Taking a drink of another potion, he restored his reserves, though his throat was starting to get rough from the rather acidic liquid.

They were still in a war zone, after all. Being attacked was still likely, and right now they would be at a disadvantage if anyone of significance attacked. "Best we meet back up with our compatriots, we need to regroup and repair." He said, opening a flask of water and drank down several gulps to mend himself as best he could. They attracted too much attention, and he was starting to worry if they attracted the wrong kind of attention this time. He partially regretted not shifting to his more draconic form to try and finish Mira off, but that would have really fucked up things even if they had won.

As he saw Alexia drink down a bottle of water, he then offered her a soda and snack. "Water is good and all, but something sweet after going through the grinder tops things off nice." He chuckled some, then noticed she almost gingerly took it. His eyes focused on the gash in her chest, the bleeding had slowed, but it was still very fresh and sensitive. He turned off the comms jammer he had set up and got on the radio to talk to Holo. "Holo, you alright?" He asked. "Yeah, Mira got away, bitch of a coward used a follower to do the old switcheroo."

He had a feeling he would be seeing her at some point down the line, and it looked like he would need to get some gear upgrades to deal with it, as much as he had become a penny pincher, and he couldn't rely on just enchanting his dragon armor anymore. Still, he wondered what treasures he could snatch in the now ruined city. If he could get into Mira's treasurey, that would be more than enough to get his armor upgraded. Though, that's if he could find it and even get into it in the first place.

He looked to Alexia and reached into his bag again, this time pulling out a tube of salve. He unscrewed it carefully and said "Hold out your hand, and rub this on that wound. It'll sting like hell, but it'll speed up healing and keep it from getting infected." he said