The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)

The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
A sprawling high-rise juts into the multiversal skyline. Few of the lights were on, and they all seemed to be concentrated near the top. Inside, a lone figure was busily setting furniture up (with his own arms, too!). He was sweating and wondering why hosting a Grand Battle had to take so much effort. Then he realized something vital.

"Wait a minute! I'm a Grandmaster!"

And so, the self-proclaimed Artisan simply snapped his fingers. Everything was set in place... kind of. The couch was uneven, and the chairs lay astray. It painted a picture of sloppiness, even with the opulence of the modern architecture. The glass-lined fireplace calmly roared on, barely even having an effect on the room. The ugly yellow walls were lit up by bright white lights. He shrugged. It was good enough. After all, he was excited to get this thing started already! It may not have been long since he acquired his fake Grandmaster Card from the multinternet, but soon, he was about to achieve his true dream at long last - host a Grand Battle!

He concentrated, and sent his mystic eye across the multiple universes, and with great care and intelligent decision, selected 6 of the very best contestants he could glean. (In other words, he went on Google and searched the multiverse for some people he thought would be cool.) Then he checked the thesaurus and determined the battle's name to be...



So, what is this anyways? Well, this is a Grand Battle! Essentially, a Grand Battle is a writing competition to the death. You, the people reading this right now, yes you, get to enter a character, and write series of posts about it killing other characters! But it's not going to be as simple as that. This battle will be split up in several rounds, and, at the end of each round, a character dies. The character that dies is decided by who wrote the weakest, or who contributed the least. Each round will take place in a setting of my choosing. The last post of the round will always be a post featuring their death, then the battle moves on into a different round, less one character. This continues until there is only one character left, who is then declared the winner! Go ahead and check out some of the other battles in this subforum to get an idea of just what I'm talking about. Or, join the #grandbattle IRC channel on EsperNet and ask around! We would love to give you answers for any questions you may have!

Generally, your characters can be anything. No really, anything at all. They don't even have to be called "people". After all, this is a multiversal battle, and anything's possible out there. But, for the sake of good writing, try not to have your character be too overpowered. If you can't write anything other than your competitors being instantly mutilated by your awesome invincible bearded swordsman, that's bad. Similarly, try to keep your characters interesting. If they're a perfectly ordinary guy with no remarkable features whatsoever, it'll get hard writing for them real quick. Think about why they are being entered in this. The goal of a Grand Battle is to tell a good story, and the one who tells the best story will end up winning. Also, don't kill other characters until it's time for the round to end. On the other hand, interaction is very healthy to writing. These battles are different from a standard roleplay in that you can control other characters, as long as you don't make them act against what their writer would have them do. This way, you can write entire conversations and scenes at a time. Also, yes, this is technically the fourth S? battle, but my advice to you is not to worry about canonicity.

The reserve system is in place here as well. What does that mean? Well, when you are working on a post, it is a very good idea to put up a reserve, so that others know you are working on a post and will not write a post that will contradict your post and render it void. These reserves can be held for as long you need to write the post, and as the other players feel is acceptable. I'd say maybe up to two weeks is an acceptable maximum to begin with, but that will of course depend entirely on the flow of the battle and also the other players' preferences.

Signups close exactly 10 days from now, with extensions available for those who have reserves but need more time.

I should also note that newcomers are given bias in this battle. If you enter a character that's writeable, and you've never entered one of these before, you're in! Conversely, veterans are also welcome, if you're not in too many battles at the moment.

The profile template can be found here (shamelessly stolen from Schazer):
[u]Name:[/u] A useful substitute for "Oi, you!"
[u]Gender:[/u] Whatever you and they prefer.
[u]Colour:[/u] A [color=#hexcod]text colour[/color] to distinguish between players. Keep it readable, #AAAA44 is reserved for the GM.
[u]Race:[/u] AKA species. Give a brief description if it's especially weird.
[u]Equipment/Abilities:[/u]Tools of the trade, where the trade is survival in their harsh world.
[u]Description:[/u] A brief overview of their appearance and personality, to give other people a feel for how to write for them.
[u]Errata:[/u] any additional information you'd like to include. A writing sample is not necessary.

- Reginald Lithe - AgentBlue (#908070)
- Samantha Craig - cerebralconfinement (#571B7E)
- Luis Port - Truegreen (#006400)
- Scout - SupahKiven (#800000)
- Clark - Gnauga (#CA0000)
- Mademoiselle la Musette - Vancho1 (#C71585)
[Image: 6xGo4ab.png][Image: sig.gif]
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
Username: Agen
Name: Reginald Lithe
Species: No longer human
Gender: Male
Color: #908070



Description: Caucasian male, approx. 35. Medium build. Pale skin, white-blonde close-cropped hair. Witnesses report unusual eye color; inconsistent reports range from light grey to completely black irises. Possible nanoinfection. Known to possess body armor (several sightings report metal 'skintight' torso protection). Prone to violence. Emotionally unstable. Suspected but unproven serial killer.

Subject wanted for questioning regarding triple homicide, Verobraccia (Case ID 55414101). Victims Aleksandr Mitrovich (17) and Killan Spaers (19) forcibly drowned in local reservoir. Investigating Officer Rickard Parnell murdered in same fashion. Remaining Officer Harold Temes opened fire, upon which subject fled. Bullet ricocheted from subject's body armor and wounded Temes, preventing pursuit. Other sightings suggest subject has fled into New Darmina jurisdiction.

Contact Verobraccia law enforcement if sighted. (Contact Book Ref: VCPD-001)


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3421 has surrendered to Independent Governing Body forces following the mass homicide of New Darmina Police Department personnel. Initial tests and observation are consistent with old records that suggest that 3421 may be the last remaining survivor of the Baines Group of Previous Agency Complex One escapees. Bio-enhancement is consistent with some of Dr. Baines' records, though no identity confirmation is possible. See insert BAINES414.

Weapons/Abilities: In the light of the success of experiment number 413, I, the great Doctor Jefferson Baines, will attempt the reverse: I shall use my, uh, [inaudible] multiplier(?) to embed a miniaturized sphere of regolith, shaped to be a replica of our good moon Luna, into the [pause] Baines Human Enhancement System!!! [short burst of feedback]

Obviously this will offer different advantages from that of 413. Instead of becoming fusion powered, 414 will be sustained through energy produced by the gravitational pull of mini-luna; a tidal generator in both arms should produce enough bioelectricity to sustain the test subject. In particular I hope to install force concentrators in 414's hands, in order to enable hydrokinesis - for the tides! Note to self. I must discover how to create more fine-tuned manipulation of water. A swimming pool is all very well and good but it can be better. But science will not wait! I must continue on 414. I have the test subject sedated now. For science! For glory!! For me!!!

As evidenced, 3421 possesses Baines' signature bio-enhancement system, integrating biological processes with artificial and esoteric power sources. In addition, 3421 appears to be able to manipulate large masses of water with high precision and accuracy.

3421's eyes have been modified, ostensibly by Baines. Reports suggest that 3421's irises can change in shade on a range from light grey to pure black, allegedly related to emotional state. These reports are uncorraborated.

3421 has expressed distress regarding the upcoming fourth week of his incarceration.


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Reg Lithe's Journal

Biography: An account of one's life; a recollection of events that shape a person.

The biggest event in my life that shaped me was taking an apprenticeship at Doctor Baines' laboratory. Out in the wasteland. I needed the money. He needed my qualifications. But I was wrong. All he needed was a body. A body that would not be missed. A body and a brain that would understand what was done to it. Baines rebuilt people. Baines took people and did things to them. He was so proud of what we were. He built a man who could melt. He put together parts and created an eight-armed monster with legs bent into wheels. With blades. And he created my sister; the queen of sun. He told me so much of her. I only saw her once, when he showed me to her. I will not lie. I was attracted to her.

The moon will be full again soon. I can feel it inside me. I wonder what will happen if I leave this planet. Will I still be bound by the phases of Luna above? I have a feeling that I will. We were all together once. Then people came. Gunfire. They killed Baines and gathered us together. They put us in a great underground complex and experimented with us and tried to make sense of us. Those of us who could do so escaped, one by one. I do not think they cared, honestly. Then one night the lights went out. I had heard my sister was powering the facility. She must have escaped, herself, somehow. I could not feel her anymore. I was glad for her.

Around me, our jailers choked to death on their own breath. Most of us remaining died, too. But I do not breathe anymore. So I waited until they all stopped moving. Some of them killed themselves. I could hear the gunshots even from my cell. In time, the seals that kept the plumbing intact failed. The water tanks ruptured. The facility flooded. I pushed at my cell with it until it broke. I walked to the sealed main doors and swept aside the skeletons. With so little oxygen, rusting them away took a long while. But I had all the time in the world. Sometimes I raged and scratched at the walls and tried to knock them down. But I had no one to hurt. Sometimes I wish I had stayed down there.

This new world is strange. The countries are broken apart. The cities rule over even bleaker wasteland and fields of farms. Where there is water, there is lots of it. But where there is water, there are also people, and sometimes the darkness in my heart must be shared. The new moon is a void that must be filled. The full moon is bright, and I am sure it shines through me. When I am full, people accept me. They do not know that I am changeless. They trust me. As I wane I cannot help but break that trust, and I leave when the darkness is complete in me. Sometimes I can do it before someone dies. Sometimes I cannot, and I leave waterlogged bodies in my wake.

Too many bodies. I have turned myself in, but I do not believe it will help. I cannot be restrained by any means this governing body possesses. Technology has not progressed in that direction. I do not know how long it has been. It cannot have been too long yet I can no longer remember much of the time I came from. I think the brain Baines wanted was damaged somehow. I do not understand a great deal about this world, but I can only live on.

Perhaps I will search for my sister.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
Name: Samantha Craig, or just Sam
Species: Human
Gender: Female
Color: #571B7E

Physical Description: Sam is a rather small high school sophomore, measuring in at just a few inches over five feet, with a slender build - belittle her at your own risk. Her hair comes down to her shoulders, and has for a few years, despite repeated efforts to convince her that long, black hair would make her look absolutely gorgeous. She rather likes the effect her that her eyes’ unusually prominent shade of blue has on others, and prefers contacts over glasses for correcting her vision problems. Her wardrobe consists almost entirely of T-shirts (with and without snarky captions) and several nearly-identical pairs of jeans. The shirt she’s currently wearing reads, “Never trust an atom, they make up everything,” in dark red text on an off-white background. When walking, Sam has a noticeable limp, caused by a deformity in her right knee joint that’s concealed by her jeans; the result of the one occasion she surpassed the preset limit while Channeling (see below).

Vague summary of Personality: Pragmatic, direct, terse, aggressive, driven

Equipment/Abilities: Sam is a Channeler, or, to use a more common term, a magical girl. Her Catalyst, a magical intelligence construct contained inside of a gem, is the same shade of purple as her text, and is set into the back of a right-handed fingerless glove. It allows her to transform (as per usual with magical girls, this is, visually, just a change of clothes), and regulates the amount of magic allowed into her system at any given time. In order to trigger the transformation, she must be wearing the glove, and she must give a vocal command to her Catalyst with the percentage value of magic she wishes to channel. This percentage value can be changed at any time while Channeling. Transformation is nigh-instantaneous, and replaces her current clothes with a set of leather armor, dyed a shade of purple so deep it’s almost indistinguishable from black. This armor is tougher than regular leather, though powerful piercing and slashing attacks (for instance, a bullet or chainsaw) may still penetrate.

Sam is little more than an average high school student until she begins Channeling. While Channeling, she becomes physically stronger, faster, and more resilient after transformation, as well as gaining a limited form of regeneration, at a level dependent on the amount of magic she instructs her Catalyst to allow into her system. The magic that Channelers use is mainly comprised of kinetic energy, but the active ingredient, so to speak, is the raw stuff of creation, χάος - or Chaos, as it is more commonly known. However, every Channeler has a limit on the safe use of their power, which is usually measured in percentage values. This percentage value is based on the amount of power a Catalyst can safely regulate, and goes from a low of 0% to a high of 200%. If a Channeler passes the 100% limit, the Catalyst can no longer protect them from the typical effects of Chaos: consciously- and subconsciously-controlled mutability of physical form* and minor (but usually temporary) degradation of the sense of self.

Additionally, while Channeling, Sam can manifest a mutable, but solid, “barrier” of sorts. This barrier can take any shape she envisions after about one second of intense concentration, though if she tries to make it too large, it simply vanishes. Whichever shape this barrier takes, it always appears as an object composed of purple light. While its shape is always well-defined, it will be semi-transparent in any form it takes. If sufficient force is applied, the barrier will shatter. This has no negative effect, aside from requiring the normal amount of concentration to reform. In most situations, Sam will form her barrier into either a foot-long blade emanating from her Catalyst, or an armored bracer on her forearm.

Errata: Tentative theme song, because I like matching music to stories and characters, is Visions, by The Luna Sequence.

In her home world, Sam and other Channelers fight the Unchained, humans who have been irreversibly altered by exposure to unfiltered Chaos. They have incredibly variable appearances, body shapes, and personalities, often all within the same individual. Consuming the soul of a human stabilizes them temporarily, allowing them to coalesce into a sensible person, more or less, for a few hours.

*Resulting transformations are, for all intents and purposes, permanent, unless reversed or revised by the Channeler while surpassing the Catalyst’s limit.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
Name: Luis Port
Gender: Male
Colour: Speaks in #006400
Race: Human, last he checked
-He carries a rechargeable plasma pistol. It charges quickly but contains only a small battery and so holds only a few shots per charge.
-His clothes are made of a synthetic material that is fire retardant and can deflect most blades or other edged weapons though blunt force can still leave bruises and break bones.
-His glasses contain a miniature computer which was used primarily as a pilot's HuD and adjustable opacity but is not limited to those functions alone.
-He is an expert pilot, especially of smaller craft.
-He is trained in small arms, including plasma and ballistic weapons.
-he has a lithe frame and is quite agile.
-short range teleportation through shadows. (Though he dislikes using it.)
Description: Luis is sarcastic and silly, he is always prepared to laugh or tell a joke. Some have even described him as immature. At heart though, Luis is a kind soul, he always tries to do what's right. He is a loyal friend and can show true courage in times of peril. He can be reckless at times and is seldom indecisive. He is quick to act, and quick to react. He often surprises enemies with quick thinking and improvised plans. His pilot's reflexes don't hurt.
He is about 6' 2" tall and of a slim build. His eyes are hazel and his hair is a dirty blonde. His clothes are a white long sleeved shirt and white pants held up by a black belt. The shirt is bisected diagonally by a thick black line bearing the symbol of the Trader's Confederation at its center. Three blue dots arranged in a triangular formation, linked by white lines. He also bears a pilot's patch and a crew patch for the Starship Aurora on his right shoulder. He likes to keep his glasses toned to a high opacity because he thinks it looks cool and mysterious despite the fact that it more often makes him look like a dork.
Errata: Luis Port served aboard the Starship Aurora, a scout of the Human Trade Confederation sent to investigate reports of a new spacefaring alien race at the edge of known space. The ship suffered from a malfunction en route and lost their primary engineer in the accident. A second malfunction sent the ship hurtling into another dimension. It didn't exactly follow the old rules of their universe, and they were all changed by the shift. Some more than others. Now after several weeks on an alien planet in the wrong universe, they have finally found a substitute fuel source and a way that just might lead home. All they need is their pilot, who has mysteriously gone missing.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
Name: Scout
Gender: N/A
Color: #800000
Race: Force-of-Nature (A 'construct' race similar to Elementals, Forces-of-Nature are abstract beings usually made out of one or more 'natural' elements)

Equipment/Abilities: Scout is made out of the elements of fire and earth and thus, can control them to an extent. Being around said elements strengthens Scout, making it faster and more powerful. Because of its abstract form, it is also harder to damage with physical attacks, making magic the most effective means at combating it. It can also 'eat' intelligent beings by getting them to fall into its body and closing up. After a period of time, Scout will open back up with its body longer and its flames hotter.

Description: Scout appears as a large crack in the ground from which lava bubbles and the occasional wall of flame shoots out. It moves like a snake, the crack slithers along the ground, and occasionally walls, opening the ground it moves on and closing that it's done passing over. As of right now, Scout is about four feet long. The fire and lava normally coming out of it is normally orange and red, although on occasion, the fire is seen as blue or green and the lava appears black.

Scout, despite limited intelligence, seems to be rather curious, occupying itself less with interaction and more with exploration. It also, strangely enough, appears capable of hearing and responds to the word 'Scout'. It is normally passive, but acts aggressively if actively disturbed.

Errata: Forces-of-Nature are different from Elementals in that they are usually more aggressive than Elementals. They are mainly used for scouting and as front line attackers, as well as the occasional back up unit. They also have more abstract forms than Elementals, usually being appearing as things like infernos or rain.

Scout is likely a summoned Force-of-Nature, as it not only acts passively unless disturbed, but also responds to a 'name' when called out.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
Name: Clark

Gender: Male

Colour: #ca0000

Race: Plain ol' human.

Equipment/Abilities:A bum leg, and a pale wooden cane. 125 words per minute, 12 years of experience, and hitherto-unseen latent white magic power.

Description: Considered by his co-workers and superiors to be a fine example of an office employee, Clark takes a certain pride in his work and position as an office worker. Admittedly, it's not as glamorous as the occasional adventuring parties who carry him away bodily, claiming he's destined to join their band of heroes. He's not a cleric, he's a clerk, he snaps. White collar, not white mage! His co-workers never seem to have that problem. A poorly-mended bone fracture from childhood left his right leg moderately crippled, although he gets around at respectable speeds with his cane. He figured his cane was often mistaken for a white magician's staff. Never mind his business casual burgundy button-down and slacks.

Although polite, helpful, and respectful as a professional, he gets quite snippy and actually pretty fucking rude when ridiculous things happen, like getting slung over some paladin's shoulder. Or getting pulled into a grand battle.

Errata: Basically from normal earth but with final fantasy laid on top of it. To be clear, he's gonna discover his talents in white magic during the grand battle. He might pick up some makeshift white-mage-y gear, if it's appropriate. And if it's relevant, let's say he's 5'11", 155 lb, not built or muscular, really, but likes to go swimming.
[Image: xwldX.gif]
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
Name: Mademoiselle la Musette (Chistine la Musette)
Gender: Female
Colour: It is a jolie color, #c71585, n'est pas?
Race: Humain, and she takes pride in being French.

Diatonic Accordion
Dancing Dress
Formal Outfit
Paper fan (imported from Japan)
Wide-brimmed hat
A floral parasol, the latest Italian fashion.


Dancez!: Christine has a good sense of rhythm, and is quick and light on her feet.

C'est une jolie chanson: She has a beautiful singing voice, which can charm people into liking her.

Ugh! Quel pignouf: Mademoiselle la Musette is a lady. She does not associate with vulgar people, especially not brute, loutish men. Why, if one of them were to approach her, she might even resort to physical means to keep him away!

Physical Description:A tall and thin woman, Christine la Musette considers herself to be the epitome of beauty. Her formal clothing is the latest fashion, with the slightest hint of an Eastern look, to go with the recent movement of Japonisme. When she is performing, however, her clothing is more simple, consisting of a traditional Jupon, Chemise, and Mantelet. She ties her flaxen hair into a bun, but when she feels comfortable, she lets it out. Her hazel eyes are soft and round, and her nose is small. She has a few freckles on each cheek, hinting at her Breton grandmother.

Personality: Overall, Christine is cheery and bright, bringing joy into whatever she does. She honestly enjoys life, dancing, song, and food, and seeks to spread her joy to others. Because of her upbringing, she is concerned with her appearance, especially socially, and tries to keep away from crude or vulgar people. Class divisions, however, mean little to her; as long as people are having fun, she will be happy. Under the name Mademoiselle la Musette, she teaches song and dance, and greatly enjoys helping others with what she loves.

Errata: Christine speaks un peu in, how you say, the façon of the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. She is also a professional dance teacher and singer, and has performed traditional pieces at several events.
Current Projects:
Human space is at war, and we're all caught up in it - Scattered Stars

A woman chases another through the snow, but where will their path lead them? - Footprints in the snow
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups open!)
SO HEY. Signups are closing in like 24 hours from now, so this is your last chance to sign up for this!

Also, I forgot to mention another rule, which will now be added to the OP. Namely, the reserve system. When you are working on a post, it is a very good idea to put up a reserve, so that others know you are working on a post and will not write a post that will contradict your post and render it void. These reserves can be held for as long you need to write the post, and as the other players feel is acceptable. I'd say maybe up to two weeks is an acceptable maximum to begin with, but that will of course depend entirely on the flow of the battle and also the other players' preferences.
[Image: 6xGo4ab.png][Image: sig.gif]
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups closing in like 24 hours!)
well, I'm looking forward to this!

I have some cool ideas I can't wait to start setting up.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups closing in like 24 hours!)
Aaaaaaand signups are over! Looks like you six are all winners! Hooray! Roundstart will be up shortly, then the battle will start!
[Image: 6xGo4ab.png][Image: sig.gif]
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Signups closing in like 24 hours!)
As the nanoseconds ticked by, he waited impatiently. Instant Delivery Service, yeah right. Finally, a crackling in the air got his attention. He leaped up, as bolts of electricity flared across the large and elaborate living room. Six people (well, in the loosest term of the word) were deposited in the ashes left behind by the lightning.

"Oh, good! You're all here! Let's get this going along quickly, now. First, I am The Artisan, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance."

This odd figure made a large and sweeping bow. Then he looked up, expecting a reply. He didn't get any, of course, as they were all paralyzed for their safety. He made a grimace. They were all just kinda clumped together in a big pile. He would definitely not be using the 'Instant' Delivery Service again.

"Oh, no. This won't do."

He made another extravagant hand gesture, and the contestants found themselves floating in the air and deposited into the couches and chairs The Artisan had set up recently. With their eyes finally facing forward, they could finally study this odd figure closely. This so-called The Artisan was clad in a black tuxedo, very well polished. It looked like it had never been worn, in fact, and that was most likely the case here. He also had a top hat and a cape, which only served to make him look more ridiculous.

"Now, where was I? Ah, yes! I'm The Artisan, and I will be your host for this Grand Battle! Put simply, you're all gonna fight each other to the death! But it won't be that simple, no. After all, you're doing this for our entertainment. So! I'm going to have you moved to a new location (so you don't ruin more of my furniture) and it is there that you will fight! When one of you dies, I will move you all somewhere else, and this will continue until one of you is left. Then, well, we'll see what happens next.

"Ah, but where are my manners! I should introduce you all to each other! Okay, first up is this fellow!"

He gestured to some guy, clad in body armor, and apparently with a moon embedded in his body.

"His name is Reginald Lithe, and he's an escaped science experiment! That little rock you see on his body is more than just a rock - it's a moon! With it, he can control the tides, and to a further degree than you might expect. He's sure to be a contender, alright. Moving on!"

He gestured to a rather underwhelming teenaged girl with a fingerless glove on her right hand.

"This is Samantha Craig, and she's a Channeller! Where she comes from, that means she uses magic to fight other humans who have been infected by Chaos. She's a real tough girl, this one. Underestimate her at your own risk! Okay, next up!"

He gestured to a somewhat ordinary-looking young man, but in mildly unusual clothing.

"This guy is Luis Port! He was a pilot on a starship, or at least he was until his ship crashed... into another dimension! Naturally, this had an adverse effect on the crew, and they were all changed, including our Luis! What this means remains to be seen. He's sure to be a surprise! Next up, is this thing!"

He gestured down at the floor, where a crack had formed and lava was bubbling deep down in it.

"I'll bet you all thought this was just a random crack in my floor. In fact, it's actually sentient, and it's the next competitor! Its name is Scout, and it's a Force-of-Nature. That means it has control over fire and earth, but is weak to magic! Don't let your guard down around it, though, it's sure to have a few tricks up its... er, sleeves. Metaphorically. Anyways!"

He gestured, rather forcefully, to a rather irritated-looking office worker.

"This is Clark, a clerk! He may seem rather ordinary, but the world he comes from certainly isn't! There's a whole lot of adventuring going on there, and our poor Clark always seems to find himself forced into adventures. Kind of like this one, actually! We'll see if he can manage to find his way out of this one!"

Smiling widely, he gestured to the next contestant, a beautiful young woman clad in an elegant dress.

"And our last contestant, folks, is the lovely Mademoiselle la Musette! She has no powers, other than dancing, singing, and generally being very charming! I think I'm smitten already! We'll see if she can dance her way through this battle!

"Okay, that's that! Now that introductions are over, it's time for me to reveal to you the first location!"

He spread his arms wide... and nothing happened. He muttered to himself, making more ridiculous hand gestures as he did.

"Okay, what was I supposed to do again? Um. Oh yeah!"

He snapped both hands, and the scene fell away to reveal a grand temple with a vaguely Greek architecture, surrounded by gardens and hedges. The temple was huge, and it was magnificently crafted by the best artisans of the land. Columns surrounded it, and people, clad in religious garb, busily swarmed in and out of the temple. There were small houses scattered throughout the gardens, and beyond the gardens was... nothing but open air! The scene zoomed out a little, to give the contestants a view of the whole landmass, which was floating in the air. Below, above, and all around it was nothing but blue skies, with some fluffy white clouds here and there. Some figures flew through the skies around the temple. Upon closer inspection, they appeared to actually be angels, beautiful humanoids with feathery white wings.

"This is the Temple in the Sky! It doesn't really need a name, because it's the only one around! A while back, this temple used to be on solid land, but these people were apparently devout enough to have their temple uplifted, to be among the providence of Heaven. Now, they serve the angels in blind religious devotion. Looks like a fun place to wreak some havoc, am I right? Oh, one more thing. This whole battle is being broadcast live, and I have quite a few watchers. So, be sure to make this battle entertaining, 'kay? Okay, off you go!"

The contestants were warped to various places throughout the gardens, and, with a loud bang, apparently unheard by the inhabitants of this world, the battle had started!

[Image: 6xGo4ab.png][Image: sig.gif]
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Luis felt the impossible shift once again. Thrown between dimensions like a ragdoll, it was as if this entity had never heard of the laws of dimensional travel. But that was unimportant. He had to get back to his friends.

Luis found himself in a bush. Or more accurately, falling into a bush. The delicately shaped topiary proved to be no match for the pilot's crushing momentum. With a groan of pain at his uncomfortable landing Luis rolled onto the ground. Disoriented by the sudden and violent change of scenery he remained lying on his stomach staring at a pair of sandals that mysteriously occupied the shining stone path in front of him. The sandals were of a fine leather and were obviously cared for. they were strapped neatly to a small pair of feet, which in turn were connected to a skinny pair of legs, which disappeared behind a white robe that seemed just a size too small for its owner. This was all topped off by a pair of toothpick thin arms and a small frightened face. The man let out a small squeak of surprise, a pair of shears jittering in his hands.

"Oh...Hello, don't worry I can get myself up" Luis stood, brushing the dust from his uniform.
The man squeaked again
"My name is Luis and you are?" Luis inquired holding out his hand.
There was a clatter as the shears hit the stone path. Luis could only blink in surprise as the man's fleeing form vanished around a large angelic statue.

Luis looked around,
now alone in the expansive garden. A shining temple stood in the distance, monumental and awe inspiring. Luis lifted the shears from the ground and began the long walk towards the temple.

"I should probably return these" he thought to himself. "Maybe I can find out where I am along the way, or better yet a way back to the ship."
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
"Nope." Clark crossed his arms firmly across his chest.

"Nuh-uh. Not happening." Clark had one foot planted firmly in grass, and his other foot and cane on a cobblestone path, both facing away from a modest pale grey stone house.

"Ah, excuse me-"

"Shut up. Fuck off. You don't exist. This is just one really fucked-up dream. Tomorrow is Saturday. Tomorrow, I am going to wake up and find a therapist. And I will make an appointment with that therapist to talk about my really fucked-up dream."

"Pardon? S-sir, are you pilgrim?"

"No, I'm not a fucking pilgrim, I'm a clerk! A goddamn fucking office worker!" The goddamn fucking office worker continued cursing for a while.

"Then you're a... h-h-h-heathen?" The poor follower barely even whispered the word. The temple was completely isolated, of course. Nobody could remember the last time a pilgrim had arrived, but they were mentioned in scripture; there was precedent. But non-believers? Total outsiders? Between the scripture and the angels, next to nothing was said of outsiders, but never anything good.

"A what? A hea-" Clark paused, looking at the man for the first time and his pale, frightened face. Cultish nutcases, he concluded. Probably the kind that burn the filthy unbelievers or something. But this was just a dream right? One ridiculously realistic dream? And if he died, he'd probably just wake up. The fastest way to wake up in bed and find a therapist would be to die, because this was just a dream. But...

"No, uh, no. No heathens here! Just a, uh, eager convert. That's me. I'm a hundred and ten percent believer."

Color returned to the devotee's face, as he sighed in relief. "Of course. Forgive me, but if you aren't a pilgrim, then what are you? You said an awe-fish?"

"Well, see, pilgrims have to travel places, right? In long, trying journeys? But I kinda just got... put here. So you wouldn't really call me a pilgrim, would you?" he ended lamely.

The man looked at Clark peculiarly. He would, in fact, call such a person a pilgrim. But asking so many questions is impolite, and no doubt this clearly tired individual would want to rest so he could arrive at the temple as soon as possible. He looked behind Clark to take another look at the left face of the Temple. He felt his soul glow with renewed reverence for the Temple, and with inspiration to live up to its teachings.

"Please, step inside," said the man, opening the door and motioning inside at once. The robes flowed gracefully; they were clearly very light. "Let me feed and, ah, clothe you," briefly struggling to remember exactly what The Hermit did for the wandering pilgrim in that one story he kept forgetting.

Clark wasn't too keen on the robes. Looked a lot like some mage getups he'd seen marching through town between a couple of hulking fighters. But then again, blending in with the locals might help him avoid getting killed right away. And food sounded good, to be perfectly honest. Oh of course, he'd have to eat something when he woke up. He had leftover chives from last night's dinner. He'd make an omelet with those. But for now, dream-food would have to do.

"Alright, then, ah..."




"Do you have a name?"

"Me? I guess, when the angels want me, they call me He Of Brown and Curly Hair, because my-"

"Cause your hair's brown and curly. Got it. Let's get inside now, Brownie" Clark was starting to feel shifty. No need to dally outside where he'd get spotted by some crazy murderer. Except maybe that French chick. She was kinda hot.

Just as Clark thought he was in the clear, he thought he spotted someone not in a white robe lying on the ground in the distance. Not needing any further encouragement in the first place; he hurried up and pulled himself into the house.
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RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
It was a simple task, really. Go down into the catacombs, grab some wine for the upcoming festival, take it back upstairs. Simple, easy to follow. And so the monk had gone down into the wine room, only to find something that wasn't supposed to be there. A large, spiral shaped crack.

"Now who could have done this..." The monk sighed to himself and approached it to see how much filler they would need to repair this. It was then that the crack erupted in his face.

Scout flared angrily as something approached it. Too close, too close. It let loose a wall of red-orange fire, causing the being approaching it to scream and stumble back. Scout slowly uncurled itself and began moving towards the thing. It screamed and ran out of the room, yelling something that sounded like 'bad omen'. Once the screaming grew quiet, Scout let the fire die down and slowly slithered around the room. Nothing. Nothing alive in this room. That was good. Scout slowly began spitting up lava, the molten rock slowly filling up the room. It needed a place to prepare for surveillance.

The monk stumbled through the halls, rushing past confused citizens and bemused priests. He only slowed to a stop once he ran into the high prophet's office. Dashing over to the priestess in charge, he began babbling.

"Please, please, you have to let me in! The bad omens have arrived!" The priestess raised an eyebrow in confusion, but let him keep going. "I saw it down in the underbelly of the town, the catacombs. A... a beast that was part of the earth, disguised as a large crack! It spat fire at me and approached! I barely got away!" The priestess, who finally started to pay some attention, paled slightly. She opened the door and they rushed into the High Prophet's office.

Scout was already long gone from the wine cellar. It slithered through the narrow halls of the catacombs, crawling on the walls and ceiling to avoid the occasional passing creature. It had learned from the screaming thing, narrowing itself as much as it could when passing by others of its kind. It was slow moving with all of the creatures scurrying about. They must be preparing for something. And these tunnels were so large, it would take a long time, sure. But Scout is a very patient being. It just needed to map the first mile or so of the underground. That's what it was made to do, after all.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Sandaled feet thudded against marble steps.

The figure ran with an awkward gait. Half stumbling half falling up the steps of the temple. Father Curiosity recognized
him at once.
"Mouse?" "Father!" cried the figure, obviously distressed. Curiosity sighed smoothing out his clean white robe. "What is it this time Mouse?" "DEMONS!" the slight figure was visibly shaking now. "Or maybe just one! But it was
horrible and it was in the gardens!" "Now Mouse, calm down, a demon in the gardens? Are you sure?" "Absolutely Father! it was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen! We must notify the Archons!" Mouse looked up at the Priest, his facial features rapidly switching between determination and absolute terror. Father Curiosity sighed, "Mouse...what exactly did this demon look like?" "Well he a person, except..." "Except what Mouse?" "Well he had these huge shiny black eyes, like a beetles! He was tall, and his clothes nothing I’ve ever seen! He fell from the
sky! Crushed the likeness of Saint Cyrus down to a stump!" "Hmm, was he bright red with the horns of a goat?" the Father inquired. " sir...?" "Did he breathe fire and speak the language of the abyss?" "I...uh, I don't know sir." "Well then this requires further investigation!" Father Curiosity grabbed his walking stick from its place leaning against the wall. "Er...Father, where are you going?" Mouse asked meekly. "Why to the Gardens of course my boy!" "B-b-but the Demon! Shouldn't we tell the Archons?" "No need to worry Mouse, if it gives us any trouble I'll give it a taste of my staff HA, now let's go see what this is about shall we?" "BUT FATHER!" "Now Mouse, I am going to that garden, are you going to show me this Demon or hide here?" Curiosity strode dutifully towards the thick topiary that marked the entrance to the gardens. Mouse remained on the temple steps, momentarily lost in indecision before meekly following after the determined

Luis stared up at the particularly snobbish face of an angelic likeness. While most of the bushes were shaped in a similar manner he was sure he had seen this one before, he must be walking in circles. The shears felt heavy in his hands. He was really tired of dragging them around. He looked up at the temple, somehow it seemed even further away than before. Luis sat down, resting against a hedge. The sky was filled with idyllic fluffy white clouds. Shining lights danced between them, brilliantly visible despite the glow of the sun. Luis was tired. He felt like he had been walking for years. His friends were in trouble, lost on an alien planet far away and here he was getting lost in a glorified hedge maze. He had seen no one since he was dropped into the garden, save that jittery man who fled from him. His reverie was shattered by a rhythmic tapping. It echoed through the white stone pathway the sound of wood on stone. Tap Tap Tap. Luis stood up slowly, edging along the row of bushes, unable to see what was approaching. The tapping stopped. Luis slowly peered around the corner and found himself staring into a pair of curious brown eyes.

Luis found himself sitting in a sparsely decorated study. The stiff wooden chair was uncomfortable, but better than the cold stone of the path. The Father scurried around, preparing tea over a small fireplace in the corner. A rough mug was
pushed into the wayward pilot's hand.
"Drink up, it's ginger, a fine relaxing tea"
Luis stared into the brown liquid steaming in the cup and took a tentative sip.
"Now down to business." The priest sat down, pulling out a frayed notebook and a stub of pencil.
"The Angels here call me Father of Endless Curiosity, but before I came here I was known as Leonardo. I would just like to ask you a few questions and would be glad to answer any you ask in return. Is that acceptable?"
"Brilliant!" The Priest beamed "Let's get to it then. Now how did you get here?"
"Well, I'm not really sure. I was just sort of picked up and dropped here..."
"By the Angels?"
" the Angels wear ridiculous capes and call themselves 'Artisans'?"
"Then no, and what's the deal with that guy you had with you, the uh jumpy one."
"Ah you mean Mouse. Well, he's never seen anyone from outside the temple...and he has a certain zeal."
"So he was born here?"
"No no, of course not, no one is born here. The Angels brought him up when he was but a baby."
"That...doesn't seem very angelic."
"Well it's complicated."
"How so?"
the priest looked away for a moment.
"Well you see, Long ago the worshipers in this temple were so devout and so pious that the Angels lifted the temple to be closer to the heavens, or so the legend goes. It was completely isolated from the rest of the world, but the monks and priests didn't really mind. They spent their time in contemplation or conversation with the Angels, some even say they spoke to the Gods themselves. But they were still mortal, even when gifted with long life and good health they slowly died of age. Soon the temple was nearly empty. The Angels grew flustered and confused without the worshipers. They are a rather literal and single-minded bunch so they started lifting people from Terra far below. This was partially successful. Many stayed and worshipped at the temple, but others were not so understanding. Some reacted with violence and anger, perhaps they were justified in their rage. To be abducted and taken so far from their homes with no hope of return. It's a wonder they didn't destroy the temple! The Angels learned their lesson. They changed their tactics, taking only the young and malleable. And the temple has flourished ever since."
"But that's terrible! They are taking children from their homes, from their Parents!"
"There is a lot more to Angels then is immediately apparent, trust me on this."
"Do not question me further on the subject, there is little more to tell and even less that can or should be done"
"Did they take you from your home?"
"no, I came here of my own free will."
"But did you get here?"
"Well...I flew, I'm a naturalist of sorts, and a bit of an engineer. I constructed a craft that could soar through the air like a boat through water. I was carried by the winds and my curious nature and they brought me here. The angels were happy enough to accept me and even answer some of my questions, but there is always more to learn. This island is a marvel!"
"Do you happen to still have boat?"
Father Curiosity looked down at his notebook, his page still curiously empty.
"Perhaps, but if you would like to know any more you are going to have to actually answer my questions."
"Fine, ask away."
"Alright, now let's start with that curious device upon your face."

RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
(Reserving the next post; should have the post up tomorrow or the day after)
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
(Yeah, reserved after that. Or, in case there's no response for... eh another 12-24 hours or so? I guess then typing in my post is acceptable, right?

EDIT: I understand, but it's been almost a week, and I haven't made my introduction post yet. I'm going to be busy tomorrow, so I will snipe tonight if nothing appears.)
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
(Chain-reserving is generally frowned upon, although if you feel that someone has taken too long to fulfill a reserve [let's say until Monday], you can do what is referred to in the business as sniping the reserve, and just writing a post yourself.)
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RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Most people, upon being told they were to engage in a fight to the death with five other people (or in this case, three other people, one living volcanic fissure, and one of whatever that Reginald guy was) would begin panicking, or maybe just faint. Sam, however, found herself unable to do anything but look on at the Artisan’s failures with horrified amusement. Perhaps she was simply going into shock, or maybe her experience in battling beings with supernatural powers had jaded her. Either way, it was almost impossible for her to take this guy seriously, but at the same time, he was pretty obviously in possession of power way out of her league. The only analogy she could come up with was watching a little kid using an unexploded mine as home plate in a baseball game, and she would have said something to that effect, had her jaw not been locked in place.

This impression was not in any way dispelled by her transportation to the Temple in the Sky, as immediately upon arrival, the back of her head collided with something hard. Her eyes lost focus briefly, and she crashed to the ground, which was just as solid as whatever she’d hit her head on. The resulting bruises left her somewhat disinclined to do anything but lie on the ground where she’d fallen. Within a few minutes, the splitting headache she had gained faded into a dull, bone-deep ache. Though it showed no signs of disappearing any time soon, which made Sam think that she’d managed to get a concussion, she knew that she would need to move as soon as possible, and gingerly pushed herself up to a sitting position, wary of any spikes of pain that might be caused by sudden movement.

Having accomplished this, she finally took the time to look at her surroundings. The first thing she noticed was a massive marble statue of an angel that dominated the room, which couldn’t be any more than fifteen feet to a side. Aside from the statue, the room contained little but polished stone walls and a wooden altar, adorned with gold leaf and a series of intricate designs lining the upper edge of its outer faces. Turning around to look at the statue again, a smear of red near its base caught Sam’s eye at the same time her wet hair came into contact with her skin. That was strange. There wasn’t any water around, so she couldn’t have… Interrupting her own line of thought, she lightly touched her hair with a finger and brought it in front of her eyes. Yes, she was bleeding, and had been since she’d hit her head on that statue.

Abruptly, a voice intruded upon her thoughts.

[Connection lost. Re-establish connection?]

It spoke directly into her head, and that fact was likely the only thing that kept her from starting at the not-sound. Sam strained her memory, and faintly recalled the Catalyst saying something like this when she had first obtained it; when queried, it had revealed that each person required a unique connection to the maelstrom of Chaos that lurked just beneath the fabric of reality.

“Yes,” she responded. Absentmindedly nodding her head while giving the command, she cringed as the action shoved a needle into her already heavily abused skull.

Almost immediately, the voice confirmed her response. [Establishing connection…]

A few seconds passed, and Sam had to restrain the urge to poke at her head wound.

[Connection established; efficiency at typical levels.]

At this, she hauled herself to her feet facing the angel statue and lifted her right hand palm out. Her eyes looked directly into the violet-hued gem embedded in her glove.

“Engage. Twenty-five percent.”

[Engaging preliminary Channeling procedures.]

The gem began to shine, first seeming to reflect the light being cast on it, but almost immediately proving to be generating its own light. The intensity of the light swiftly grew until it hurt her eyes, and continued growing, only stopping after it had blinded her completely. A familiar weight settled onto her body, and the light faded faster than it had grown to reveal that Sam was now clad in a solid-looking set of leather armor.

[Output at twenty-five percent of maximum safe limit.]

Something let out a gasp behind her.

She turned to find a robed man standing frozen in the entryway, eyes wide with shock. A few seconds passed where neither party moved, but eventually, the man managed to stammer out a question.

“H-how did you g-get in here?”

A few more seconds passed as Sam considered the question. She decided not to answer. After all, she wasn’t entirely sure herself. Instead, she began walking towards the entryway. The man flinched, but did not move. She gently shoved past him to find that the door opened out onto a sort of gathering room, or whatever that type of thing was called in a temple - maybe the word was sanctum?

Five hundred pairs of eyes locked on to her, or more likely, her strange attire. Ignoring the surprised onlookers, she walked around the outside of the room towards a set of double doors on the side opposite her.

No one reacted, except to turn their heads to follow her.

Upon reaching the doors, she was pleasantly surprised to notice that the damage to her head had begun to repair itself; her headache was much less unpleasant than it had been a few minutes ago, and she was pretty sure the bleeding had stopped.

Sam took a few seconds to steel herself for whatever she might see, and opened the doors.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Mademoiselle La Musette, or Christine, was going to the theater. When she found herself in a floating temple, she thought it was some champagne and acting-inspired dream. She barely listened to The Artisan's introduction. Something about temples and entertainment? Christine didn't really care. What she did care about was the splendor around her. Were those columns of different marbles? And was that an angel which just flew by?

"A dream plaisant."

For she found herself, introductions being finished, in a completely different part of the temple, with a fountain depicting an angel pouring water for a mass of huddled lepers. She marvelled at the exquisite craftsmanship of the fountain, for it was carved with exquisite detail, every fold of the angel's robe crisp, and the looks on the poor beggars' faces lit up with joy. She was sitting on a wood bench near a bed of flowers, with a small shrine nearby and the temple proper a little ways off, connected to her part of the gardens by a polished pathway.

"Ce soleil est trop fort! It will burn my skin."

With a dextrous flip of her wrist, her parasol was deployed above and behind her head, providing just enough shade to protect her from the no-doubt burning rays of the sunlight. Thus shielded, she sat for a moment, enjoying the perfectly maintained rosebushes across the path.

"But how can they be so parfait? Ah!"

She caught sight of a gardener. It was a lower angel (for this garden was for their enjoyment, and they preferred to have their own maintain it to their standards), and Christine was instantly taken aback by the sight. The gardener was a perfectly formed young woman, with long, flowing, and golden locks of hair fit snugly into a straw hat. Her wings, not yet worthy of flight, just barely peeked out from behind her robe, and a pair of gilded shears were in her hands. Christine, even in her formal dress for the theater, felt jealous. Here was a woman who wore a simple robe of white, even with such a utilitarian thing as a gardener's tool belt, more elegantly than she did her dresses. The Mademoiselle felt a little silly, being so over-dressed when she would much prefer to be in her dancing dress and singing. A note escaped her throat before she remembered the angel, whose stare stopped the song in an instant.

"Who are you?"

Oh! How melodic a voice these angels had! Christine would have loved to have a person like that play music with her, even for just an instant. But the question needed answering, and so she measured her response carefully.

"My name is Christine la Musette. I am un peu lost. Could you help me find my way?"

The angel stopped, unready to answer the question. Perhaps they were not as perfect as they looked. Well, maybe they were very close to it. At least, no-one with such a good singing voice could be that bad.

"Ah... L-let me ask my supervisor. I-"

Here, Christine saw her opening.

"Non, non! I will go to your superior, it is no trouble. If you could tell me where he is, I will leave you to your travail."

The trembling novice pointed down the path, towards the shrine. Strange, Christine didn't notice that building next to it before. It was a little more than a shrine, perhaps a gardening shed and more besides. She stood and curtsied to the gardener, before slowly stepping towards the shrine. She made a careful pace, aware of the gardener's eyes on her, but also enjoying the sights and smells of the immaculate garden. Soon, though, the portal was before her: a dark entryway into the shrine, unblocked by a door but still a threshold into a new place. She stood on the edge and peered in, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the lower light within.

Christine's heart leapt into her throat. A handsome male angel sat at a canvas, painting a scene of the temple gardens. She had not the resolve to interrupt him, and so stood at the door, waiting for some acknowledgement of her presence.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Two figures made their way carefully down the long stair. The steps were worn with age, the stone crumbly and uneven. " Much of the island has been carved out" Leonardo explained as they descended. There's a whole maze of tunnels down here, some sections for storage, others...well I suppose you could call them crypts. There are a few private rooms down here as well, mostly for the ancients and the Script Archons." "And your ship is down here?" Luis asked, adjusting the settings of his glasses. "Oh most certainly, I was very specific about how it must be stored" "But won't it be a little difficult to get it back up to the surface?" "If this were a normal island, most certainly. You seem to forget we are already soaring through the sky. There is an opening in the room that will allow the craft to soar up and off the island. yet it has enough coverage to keep it stored safely from the elements." The pair continued in relative silence, Luis fiddling with his glasses. Eventually they reached a long corridor extending outward to the left and right. Leonardo strode quickly down the right passage. "It should be right near the end of this corridor, Oh I'm so excited! I haven't seen the old girl in years! I should really fly her more often, but you know how difficult it is to get coal up here" He rambled excitedly. "Father wait!" Luis hissed his voice dropping to a whisper. "Come back towards me, slowly" "Eh? What's wrong?" "There is something in the corridor, I think we should find another way" "What are you talking about?" The priest asked looking around. "There's no one here but us..." "Look, there." Luis pointed at the stone at Leonardo's feet "What? This crack in the floor? Why it's only a bit of damaged tile, nothing to be afraid of." "Father," Luis said, watching the various warnings and alerts dance across his HuD "I think you are very much mistaken, it might be a very good time to run"
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Scout had slid to a stop when it heard the footsteps coming down the hall. Two sets, one similar to the robed creatures that it had heard roaming to the halls during its travels. The other, however, was more dangerous sounding. Heavier, more experienced. It was the sound of battle. Scout didn't really comprehend what they were saying, but the experienced one began backing away. It heard the hesitation in the creature's words. But then its holding appendage (hand?) fell back to a thing on its side and Scout could feel the intent in it. So it attacked.

"Father, get back!" Luis was glad he reached for his plasma pistol, because moments after he finished speaking, the crack flared to life. It spewed molten rock and fire, and Luis barely managed to grab Leonardo and toss him back before the conflagration hit. Thankfully, his clothes blocked a majority of the potential damage, but he still took some hits on some exposed skin. He hisses as it scorches his skin, and fires off a warning shot at the crack. It continues to advance, and Luis turns to run after Leonardo, who's already running back the way they came. Luis can only hope that the thing doesn't want to keep following them as he begins to run.

The monk had met with the High Prophet, who had given him instructions on how to help deal with the bad omen. This situation would surely lead to tragedy if not successfully dealt with. He hoped it wasn't the Tragedy. The Final Tragedy. He shuddered at the thought of it, but pushed it away. There was no way it was going to happen. He ran to the Prayer Sanctum, taking a quick moment to catch his breath. Just as he reached up to open the doors however, he was met with them swinging open. A young woman stood there, one he didn't recognize, in unfamiliar clothes. She looked at him with a surprisingly uninterested stare. The monk stuttered out a quick sentence, not sure what to do with the rather stoic adolescent.

"M-Ma'am uh... I-I'm afraid I don't recognize you, do you need help or are you new? H-How did you uh... get here?"

Sam stared at the babbling man in front of her. It was clear he was trying to go into the building she just came out of. It was also clear he had no idea what he was doing. She spoke up, gesturing with her hand for emphasis.

"I'm perfectly fine. Sir. If you'll just excuse me..." She made an attempt to walk past him, but he apparently had caught sight of the blood on her hand because he let out a quiet gasp and lightly grasped her hand. Sam gently tried to yank her hand away, but the man stubbornly held on.

"Y-You're hurt! Come with me!"

The man proceeded to pull her back into the building she just came out of. All of those people in the sanctum once again turned to stare at her, and this time she shot a few of them a curt wave. The man continued to drag her back into an office looking area, where he made her sit down while he rooted through a container for something. She repeatedly tried to assure the man she was fine, but he would just shush her and keep looking for something. She contemplated getting up and leaving, but since she had no idea where to actually go, she decided to let this guy do whatever he was going to do, and then find out some things about the area.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)
Luis charged down the hall, Leonardo in tow. The crack rumbled on behind them, flames and magma charring the walls as it traveled. Whatever it was, it was powerful, and it was angry. "It burns with the fire of the pit! My God it's like nothing I've seen before!" "Yeah, I think it's another contestant" Luis said turning to fire another volley of plasma at the oncoming horror. "A you? So it is truly from another world! How exciting, oh just imagine what we could learn!" "Now is not the time Father. We have to ge~LOOK OUT" Luis dragged Leonardo down a side passage as the corridor behind them was engulfed in flames. "We have to keep running! We have to get out of here!" "Well, we've missed the stairwell, We'll have to circle back around" "Damnit, all these passages look the same, where do we go?" "Right! Up ahead, down that passage!" The duo quickly ducked into another corridor, their pursuer hot on their heels. They navigated through the twisting maze-like catacombs, running as fast as they could, barely staying ahead of the raging flame. They turned a corner down a long tunnel, a single wooden door resting at its end. "There! That door!, that should lead us out!" Leonardo cried, wheezing slightly with exertion. Luis rushed to the end of the hallway yanking open the door to reveal...a small cramped study, lined with bookcases. "Eh...Perhaps we should have gone left..."

The Angel painted, his brush gracefully dancing across the canvas. Each stroke was placed so lovingly, so carefully, it could be nothing else but divine. After a short period of silence the angel spoke.

"It has been a long time Mademoiselle. Though I believe from your perspective, we have only just met. Why is it you have crossed my threshold on this day of all days?"

His voice was soft and relaxing, but while he had acknowledged her presence he remained focused on his painting, never once turning his head to look at her. Christine was taken aback, but being a woman of mettle she rallied quickly speaking with poise befitting one of her status.

"I am far from home and this place, it is peu familier to me. I seek only guidance to help me find my way."

"Then you will have it. The Temple is the center of all things on this island. Reach it, and Father of Wandering Paths can guide you further. If you find yourself lost in the garden, simply look to the silent sentinels that stand at every corner. They all point home."

"Merci, you have been very helpful monsieur"

"Do not worry Mademoiselle, you will return to your beloved France but for now you have a great journey ahead of you. Be careful, it will be very dangerous and you will face much sorrow before it is through. Here, take this, my final gift and my final guidance"

The angel held out his palm releasing a small wisp of golden light. It floated gently to Christine who caught it in cupped hands.

"In your darkest hour, when all hope seems lost, clasp this in your hands and it will bring you light"

Christine looked down at the charm. It was intricately carved, tear shaped, and it glowed with the most brilliant gold light she had ever seen. It was Majestic.

Scout rocketed down the corridor, magma and flames spewing from its depths. It was so close. It wasn't sure why, but as soon as the creatures had started running, it had felt an irresistible urge to chase. Now it was at the end, the creatures were trapped, there would be no escape. Scout bubbled with unfettered excitement. They had closed the door, but it was useless against the force of nature that crashed against it with un-tempered fury. It was incinerated in less than a second. The two hunted had taken cover behind a large desk. One of the creatures stood fast, firing shot after shot from his sidearm, even as the room around him filled with fire and smoke. The other cowered behind him, words pouring from his mouth in a never ending deluge. Bolt after bolt flew from the creature's weapon, but they were little more than an annoyance to Scout. The other creature's words became more and more frantic, magma flowed into the room, an inferno leapt from wall to wall. They were trapped, as good as gone, but just as the desk caught fire, in that final moment of triumph, something happened that Scout couldn't quite explain. One second, the creatures had been standing there, about to be engulfed in flame and the next, they were gone. Vanished entirely without a trace. Scout sat quietly for a moment, the flames and magma slowly cooling around it. Then, without another sound, it slipped away, it had work to do.
RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)


An ocean of time rolled away from the patient Reginald, as he rose to the surface of a particularly fluffy cloud. If he had been human, he would have stretched and yawned, before looking out into an exciting new world of possibilities. But whatever human there was left of Reg had been eroded and ground down in the centuries of entombing, and though he was grateful he no longer frequented those damp, airless halls, continual disinterest is a hard habit to break. But he took his time, anyway. He had nothing but time.

He noted the clouds themselves - water suspended in air, useless to him but interesting all the same - and pondered the theoretical problem that he shouldn’t be able to walk on it at all, but this conundrum was quickly resolved: a brisk headwind cleared the fluffy condensatory stuff, which showed that he stood at the precipice of a cliff. One step further ahead, and he would have made a very interesting splatter on the ground possibly ten minutes later.

“Step back, friend.” A hand landed on his shoulder, as gentle as a butterfly - a butterfly equipped with a vice grip rivaling neodymium magnets, heavy-duty nutcrackers and most industrial clamps. Held by an exerted force matched only by specialized specimens from the kinkier side of sex toys, Reginald was not so much guided as bodily dragged back from the edge of the floating land. “Whew. That could have been nasty.”

Laying back on the grass, Reginald had a nostril-based view of his circumstantial savior. He took stock: white robe, slightly tattered? Check. Look of furrowed concern? Check. Blazing halo and majestic white wings? Oh. Check. “An angel.” His voice, still rusty from decades of disuse, came out as a flat monotone. “I expect you get this a lot. But.” Good, good. Social conventions coming out strong. Praise Luna. “Have I died.”

The angel laughed, a little ruefully., “No, nothing like that. You have been chosen, to - uh - revere us.” A sculpted, nervous hand ran through perfectly tousled curls. “That is, um, you’ve been brought here, so that we can...we know. Be, um. Revered. Worshipped.”


“Look, I-” A minute hesitation, then the words came spilling out, “I-I’m not much for all this either. Uplifting people - t-taking the children away... It seems,” hushed whisper, “wrong. But some of them,” the angel gestured back at the majestic temple buildings, “like it that way. They don’t care if everyone down there starts cursing our Names.” Deep breath. “I worry that - I worry about her.”

“Her.” Carefully, Reginald gathered himself to a standing position. He stood a good half a head taller than the angel, who, up close, was not exactly a paragon of perfection. Close. But not quite.

As if remembering Reginald’s presence, the angel stopped dead on the conversational path. “Sorry. So sorry. Where- where are my manners? My Name - sorry - my name as you would hear it, is Daciel.”

“How would I not hear it.”

“Well. Well, you wouldn’t. You can’t. Mortals can’t.”

“I am not mortal.”

Handsome, ungendered features creased in puzzlement. “But...but you have to be mortal. You’re not one of us.” Daciel had a habit of lip-biting when nervous or confused, Reginald noted, and the angel was positively masticating. In fact, if he looked closely, he could see faint dimples worn into the skin from constant chewing- “Do you mind?”

“My apologies.”

“I don’t - I don’t suppose you’d tell us if you were a demon of some sort?” the angel asked helplessly.

Now it was Reginald’s turn to pause and think. “I do not think so.”

Are you a demon of some sort?”, even more helplessly.

“Not now.”

Daciel threw up his hands in despair. ”I should - I should find someone. C-can you stay here? Please?”

He considered it. “I can.”

“Thank you! Thanks -” the angel’s voice faded out as angelic footsteps - exceptionally light - ran off across the grassy meadow, heading towards the closest temple building.

Reginald hoped he would not have to lie to them. He had never encountered angels, but he had a feeling they would know falsehoods from truth.

Feeling. That was something he hadn’t really had in a long time.

But he had lied, of a sort, to the bumbling Daciel. Reginald hoped he would not be here too long. Luna was full when he arrived, but she was waning now, slowly, and he would have to face the consequences soon.

“Water.” He should find water. Where there was water, he had control, and control was important in the free-falling reality that was his world now. Besides. He had only told the angel that he was capable of staying. He was bound by no promise.

Still. He should leave a note or sign. He closed his eyes, listening to the subtle gravitations of water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink; water, the bringer and taker of life, the substrate of consciousness, the solute of the living universe. There. A fountain, nearby. Not a lot. But he could improvise from there.

He gouged an arrow in the grass and soil beside him, pointing in the direction he would go. Perhaps Daciel would find him that way. But water was paramount. Water was key.

RE: The Daunting Affray! (Round 1: Temple in the Sky!)