Rise of Rone - 5118-03-19 - Enacting the Pillar Plan

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Charlatos 19-20, 5118

by Leafiara Autumnwind of the TownCrier

To discuss this event, please see the discussion thread on the officials!


Summary

  • As Mayor Cruxophim and adventurers prepare in the mayor's office for the plan with the bone pillars, Tykel Rone enters the room and pleads not to go through with it, saying it dishonors the death of his niece Kalie in 5111. He takes aim at Crux with a crossbow, but is dissuaded by the crowd; however, he vows that when the plan comes back to haunt us, he'll shoot Crux in the skull before the end comes.
  • At the first bone pillar, Leaoh and Lylia among others draw shadow energy from Hapenlok and Madmountan while Cruxophim, Goblyn, Magister Raelee, Xorus, and others stabilize and focus the energy--among other surrounding activities including anointing the area with Hlendril's spilled blood. Hap and Mad are recommended to think of dark times to better urge out the shadows. No unexpected incidents occur and the cracks in the pillar seal up with whorls of a shadowy black substance.
  • The pillar at the Coastal Cliffs had already been activated, but the group briefly drops by to see it. Hap, who had been to the shadow realm twice, reports feeling better after having the shadow energy extracted.
  • At the third bone pillar on the Glatoph, Leaoh, Lylia, Nakaira, and Xeldome among others draw shadow energy from Lornieh and Xorus, then later Leafiara. Meanwhile others continue the procedures from the first pillar, this time joined by Hapenlok and Madmountan as participants instead of conduits. The weather of the already chilly area intensifies throughout the process, leading Meureii to start a controlled fire, but otherwise there are no further incidents and ice crystals in the area fuse into the pillar, repairing it.
  • Afterward some of those involved report feeling their life force drained, but Crux says it was to be expected and Hap and Leafi claim to feel better after having the shadow energy extracted.
  • At the fourth bone pillar--the last one not already activated--procedures continue as before, this time with energy drawn from Evia, Leafi, and Rekarth. This time some of those present report feeling their life force drained even if not directly participating, and toward the end of the process a woman's voice is heard from within the pillar calling for help as the pillar seems to tremble. However, the voice fades as the ritual ends and the pillar's cracks are infused with living shadows. Several people including Evia, Leafiara, Leaoh, Lornieh, Lylia, and Mourne report minor fatigue from the rituals, but none make it out to be cause for concern.



Log

[Note: Since this was a player-driven night, I've given much more leeway than usual to include lines from characters including Cruxophim, Evia, Goblyn, Hapenlok, Hlendril, Leafiara, Leaoh, Lornieh, Lylia, Madmountan, Mourne, Nakaira, Raelee, Rekarth, Xeldome, Xorus, and others. At first I had been bolding ACTs and sometimes even zested actions or regular verbs from people participating, but too many lines wound up being bold that way, so I stuck to only dialogue and GM monsterbold lines.]


Preparations and Tykel's Objection

The soft rumble of thunder can be heard on the far horizon.

[Moot Hall, Mayor's Office]

At the varnished modwir door, a red bear skin rug stretches across the polished hardwood floor. Twin velnalin hide chairs face the Mayor's pine desk, while behind it sits an incurvated bone armchair. A great stag's head and a dark-framed sketch are mounted above a cobblestone fireplace set into the western wall. Refreshments are offered atop an oak bar beside a tall arched window. You also see a bone-ringed dart board with some stuff on it, a large dog bed, a large detailed map and a basket of sticks.

Speaking amicably to Goblyn, Cruxophim inquires, "Will you be deciding to aid with the imbuing?"

Goblyn raises an eyebrow in Cruxophim's direction.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Evia asks, "We're still to do this naked, right?"

Speaking brightly to Cruxophim, you note, "You're even talking alike. It's sweet."

You glance dubiously at Evia.

You feel the blood drain from your face.

Cruxophim grins at you.

Cruxophim snuggles Goblyn, who responds by cradling an arm around him.

Speaking noncommittally to Cruxophim, Goblyn says, "Maybe."

Speaking seriously to Evia, Cruxophim answers, "Yes. Totally naked."

Cruxophim gazes in amusement at Goblyn.

Goblyn takes a drink from her blood wine.

Goblyn hums a seemingly random tune.

Cruxophim gazes in amusement at Goblyn.

[lines without say verbiage are over the amunet:]

Tykel: "Mayor!"

Evia says, "Tykel is hollering about something."

Evia glances at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim: "Good evening, Tykel.. something wrong?"

Tykel: "You cannot do this."

Evia says, "Tykel RONE that is."

Cruxophim: "Do what?"

You uncertainly ask, "What would Tykel know about magical pillars?"

Tykel: "The pillars."

Madmountan says, "Tykel doesn't like the plan."

Madmountan snorts!

Lornieh says, "Shock."

Speaking wryly to you, Cruxophim answers, "Not much, I'd wager."

Cruxophim: "And why not?"

You agree, "I'd think so too."

Evia says, "Tykel is not always a follower."

Tykel: "My niece, Kalie, was the 4th victim of Grishom, her death and blood used to make a pillar back in 5111. You dishonor her, and you dishonor me with this."

Raelee folds her arms over her chest.

Raelee seems to be waiting for something.

Goldstr says, "Tykel was one a da first to pay off da Rooks fer protection."

Tykel: "I beg of you. Do not forget the sacrifice. Do not do this."

Evia: "I would think it would immortalize and honor the sacrifice, if it ends up protecting many."

Cruxophim: "My condolences, Tykel. I mean her no disrespect, of course. But it is my belief that this will protect those surviving that tragedy."

You wearily say, "I've said it before, but if we consider the thousands of deaths that we've caused to get to where we are today, we'd be paralyzed with inaction."

Madmountan: "We dishonor her by using the pillars to PROTECT the town?"

Tykel: "Nothing Grishom has ever created has helped anyone."

You add, "Not that I'm completely unsympathetic, but..."

Speaking to you, Goldstr asks, "WE Caused?"

Cruxophim: "They've said that about me, many times, but history has proven otherwise."

Speaking to you, Nakaira rasps, "Yes, let us not be distracted by... sunk costs. I am certain we'll have plenty of opportunity to cause more deaths."

You say, "We the world."

Goblyn begins chortling at Nakaira.

Tykel just came through a varnished modwir door.

Cruxophim: "Let us turn that tragedy into -purpose-. Let us give her death meaning, and not Stone's meaning."

Lylia: "Grishom Stone was the antidote to Elithain Cross. One does what one must, Tykel. I am sorry for your loss, truly...but let it mean something."

Speaking to Nakaira, Madmountan says, "My favorite kind of fallacy."

Tykel says, "I cannot let you do this Mayor."

You distantly say, "Every city and country is founded and defended on bloodshed. It's unfortunate, but... it's real."

J>look tyk

You see Tykel Rone.

He appears to be a Human.

He is average height. He appears to be past his prime. He has tired ale-brown eyes and tanned skin. He has short, greasy grey hair with a large bald spot. He has a weathered face, a bulbous nose and a thick grey mustache and beard.

He is in good shape.

He is holding a wood heavy crossbow in his right hand.

He is wearing a crystal amulet, a dull black mithril shield, a large shoulder pack, a suit of black-laced leathers, a leather sheath, a small slashed leather pouch, a pair of grease-stained pants, and a pair of scuffed black boots.

Cruxophim nods in greeting at Tykel.

Rekarth says, "That would be most unwise."

Tykel says, "I could not stop Grishom."

Cruxophim nods sympathetically at Tykel.

Lylia quietly says, "I know. No one could."

Tykel says, "That night haunted me for years."

Tykel says, "I have....I am...in a better place."

Speaking gently to Tykel, Cruxophim assures, "I have no doubt, and you have my condolences."

Tykel says, "I can't relive this. I can't revisit this again."

Speaking gently to Tykel, Cruxophim suggests, "But we must move forward, all of us, if we are to survive things to come. She has passed, and I do hope moved onto a better place."

Tykel cocks his crossbow.

Speaking sympathetically to Tykel, you inquire, "No one is aiming to dishonor or disrespect your loss, but... what would you have anyone do, then?"

Tykel says, "I advise you to reconsider Mayor."

Speaking to Tykel, Madmountan says, "I'd advise you to drop that bow."

Speaking reassuringly to Tykel, Cruxophim assures, "I have put no small amount of thought into this, my friend, and no small measure of concern."

Speaking to Tykel, Goldstr says, "Ye was coward when da Rooks came still coward."

Raelee leans against a pine desk.

Speaking gently to Tykel, Lylia says, "You know she is beyond the gates. There is no harm that can befall her now. Let her loss mean something for her home. For you."

Speaking firmly to Tykel, Cruxophim consoles, "I understand your reservations, and I sympathize, but the protection of the town is of the utmost importance to me. Let us make her death -mean- something."

Tykel aims his heavy crossbow at Cruxophim, his hands shaking with nerves and age.

Speaking gently to Tykel, Cruxophim urges, "Let us take it back."

Tykel weakly says, "Please Mayor..."

(Raelee observes the argument passively, looking vaguely disinterested in the whole discussion despite the escalation.)

Cruxophim firmly requests, "Calm, please, do not hurt him?"

Lylia quietly says, "This is not the way."

Cruxophim raises his hands toward Tykel in surrender!

Speaking diplomatically to Tykel, you say, "Let's not do something we can't take back. There's no need for this."

Evia says, "Come now."

Speaking to Tykel, Goblyn whispers aloud, "If you do shoot that at him, maybe in his eye, yes?"

Tykel sighs.

Cruxophim levels his gaze at Tykel, staring intently at him without blinking his eyes.

Speaking to Tykel, Lornieh says, "Killing the mayor won't bring your daughter back."

Tykel slings a wood heavy crossbow over his shoulder.

Cruxophim nods slowly at Tykel.

Cruxophim gives Tykel a strong, encouraging smile.

Speaking gently to Tykel, Cruxophim assures, "I wish that I could undo the past as much as anyone, I hope you know that."

Leaoh asks, "Put the shopkeeper back in his stall, and let's get on to this research, yes?"

Tykel says, "When this comes back to haunt us."

Speaking sympathetically to Tykel, Cruxophim laments, "But alas, we cannot. We can only move forward."

Tykel says, "It will be my bolt that finds your skull before the end comes to us all."

Tykel nods.

Tykel just went through a varnished modwir door.

Hapenlok gently says, "Just once, maybe something good can come from what you lost...what we all lost to Grishom. I wouldn't be here otherwise if I didn't believe it."

Lylia says, "We are all haunted."

You venture, "No doubt you've tried to fire on the pillars before and found--"

You glance at a varnished modwir door.

Cruxophim calmly remarks, "One in every crowd, I suppose."

Goldstr exclaims, "Will comes back ta ye! First to pay off Rooks!"

Cruxophim sympathetically mutters, "Poor fellow."

Evia says, "Goldstr has the best memory."

Evia says, "He really does."

Cruxophim calmly states, "We're here to take back what was taken from us."

Speaking to Evia, Goldstr exclaims, "I was der Dame!"

Speaking quietly to Cruxophim, Pukk exclaims, "Don't smile next time....you might have scared him so bad he might have actually shot you!"

Cruxophim begins chuckling at Pukk!

Hlendril falls to the ground laughing hysterically!

Lornieh chuckles.

Speaking to Goldstr, Evia says, "Me too likely, but your memory is sooo good."

Hlendril exclaims, "Nice one!"

Hlendril struggles to stand, but fails.

Cruxophim's eyes cloud over with dark shadows as he prepares a spell...

Cruxophim gestures at Hlendril.

Hlendril springs upright with amazing agility!

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "Was that necessary? Now he's going to follow us everywhere we go."

Cruxophim begins chuckling at Hapenlok!

The sound of rain plinking comes from outside.

Pukk quietly says, "Oh great."

Pukk quietly says, "Now it's raining."

Goblyn leans softly against Cruxophim.


Overseer Evia

Cruxophim recites:

"Join me if you hadn't!"

Speaking to Cruxophim, Marijka suggests, "Maybe you should leave Hapenlok behind to deter any such following."

Speaking teasingly to Pukk, you say, "All the better to put out fires, if need be."

Pukk quietly says, "And now we will get all wet, and this will count as my monthly bath."

Cruxophim begins chuckling at Hapenlok!

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "That didn't answer the question, though."

Evia says, "Fear not the shadows."

Lornieh asks, "So we going to go get this done?"

Speaking nonchalantly to Hapenlok, Cruxophim inquires, "I'm not a soothsayer, I do not know?"

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok concedes, "Fair enough."

Speaking calmly to Lornieh, Cruxophim states, "We're waiting for the representative to supervise."

Lornieh says, "Ah."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok advises, "Let's get this done. Soon. Before someone decides to take direct action, though."

Evia says, "Except those nasty bright lighting shadows that make your wrinkles look huge, ya know? Fear those ones for sure."

Lornieh lets out an exasperated, "Pbpbpb."

Xorus says, "I was hoping Tykel was the representative..."

Xorus smirks.

Cruxophim dubiously ventures, "I DO hope they're sending someone."

Speaking amusedly to Xorus, Cruxophim mutters, "I would HOPE not."

Lornieh says, "And soon."

Xorus says, "I am kidding, of course."

Xorus says, "I would much rather have Granthem supervising it."

A town clerk arrives and says, "Lady Alendrial is occupied this evening, and has designated Dame Evia of the Silver Gryphons to stand in her place as supervisor of the project and report once completed." The clerk leaves.

Speaking to Xorus, Madmountan says, "I was thinking that earlier."

Evia says, "Awkward."

Evia chuckles.

Evia says, "Hope I don't pass out from the shadow syphoning."

Evia grins.

Speaking lightly to Evia, you say, "Well, you -were- one of the most vocal about wanting the representative to hurry up."

Xorus asks, "Well, then. We could have done this hours ago. Who knew?" [here Leafiara and Xorus are referencing earlier discussion in the mayor's office that I've cut out]

Speaking amicably to Evia, Cruxophim inquires, "Well, shall we move out then?"

Hapenlok quips, "Well, I guess that means Stephos is occupied as well."

Cruxophim recites:

"Join up, moving shortly!"

Speaking to Evia, Madmountan says, "That meants you have to take a good look at you know what."

Hapenlok says, "Guess that's good."

Speaking wryly to Hapenlok, Cruxophim muses, "Probably for the best."

Evia says, "Ack."

Cruxophim grins wryly.

Evia cowers away from Madmountan.

Lylia murmurs, "That is my hope. I am ever an optimist." [seems to be based on a whispered exchange with Goblyn]

Hlendril sarcastically exclaims, "Oh, having a Knight be in charge of a imporant project, Hmm... Something definitley won't go right with this!"

You correct, "Only overseeing, not in charge of it."

Cruxophim recites:

"Tally ho!!!"

Cruxophim roars!


First Pillar

[Upper Trollfang]

A dead tree stands off to one side of the trail, its branches reaching up to the sky like the blackened fingers of a skeleton hand. No trees or bushes grow near it, as though the other plants shun whatever killed it. The soil around its roots is bare and dusty. You also see a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Leaoh glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Evia says, "I'm not in charge, I am merely the Super-Observer, the Mayor is in charge."

Cruxophim points at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim recites:

"This is our first objective!"

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok reminds, "Remember, I'm first."

Lylia murmurs, "Houses are made of bricks, and bricks are small, but they build grand towers." [also seems to be based on whispered exchanges with Goblyn]

Lylia winks at Goblyn.

Cruxophim flashes a wide grin.

Rekarth takes a moment to observe a ruined ashen bone pillar.

(Evia stands at the ready, tilting her veined cheek toward the moonlight.)

Madmountan says, "Hapenlok has double the amount of taint anyway."

Evia tilts her head up.

Speaking to a ruined ashen bone pillar, Goblyn says, "You will be much nicer very soon."

Cruxophim recites:

"Here's a quick rundown of what we'll be doing!"

Speaking to a ruined ashen bone pillar, Hapenlok says, "We meet again."

Goblyn sits down next to a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Goblyn tilts her head toward Cruxophim, examining him intently as the tip of one ear twitches briefly.

Xorus slowly empties his lungs.

Evia asks, "Holy cow that silly clerk expects me to make a report too?"

Speaking approvingly to Cruxophim, Xeldome says, "I say it is ready."

Evia wails!

You rub Evia gently.

Lylia closes her eyes for a moment.

Cruxophim recites:

"We will be drawing shadow energy from the Shadow Realm out of Leafiara, Lornieh, Evia, Xorus, Hapenlok, Madmountan, and Rekarth. Sorcerers or those talented in manipulating such will be aiding with this specifically."

Raelee gazes thoughtfully at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim paces to his right, moving in a circle around a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok murmurs, "I'm first."

Xorus says, ".. my precious shadow energy."

Evia says, "I will delegate note taking to Miss Leafi."

Evia ducks her head.

Hapenlok grins wryly.

Leaoh nods at Cruxophim.

You raise your eyebrows and make a show of gazing intently at Evia, but stop short of wasting any words.

You grin.

Cruxophim recites:

"This energy will be drawn out and woven into a focus, when myself, Raelee, and possibly Goblyn will be using as fuel to imbue the pillars. If you are not aiding directly, you may also infuse ambient mana toward those who ARE, or...."

Raelee gives a sidelong glance at Goblyn.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Goblyn says, "I did say I will do this."

Cruxophim recites:

"...providing comfort and calm to those who are working directly. We are working with chaotic energy, so being calm and collect is of the utmost importance."

Speaking to Goblyn, Xorus says, "It will be like that time in the Lich Landing. Only different."

Cruxophim recites:

"Any questions?"

Cruxophim glances appraisingly around the area.

Hlendril raises his hand.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Lylia asks, "Yes. May we kill disruptions?"

Cruxophim cocks his head at Hlendril.

Speaking amusedly to Lylia, Cruxophim assures, "Yes."

Goblyn cocks her head at Xorus.

Goblyn holds up her hand and tilts it side to side in a so-so gesture.

Lylia nods once.

Speaking to Lylia, Hapenlok says, "I planned on it."

Lylia says, "Excellent."

Cruxophim recites:

"If you are being disruptive or loud, Lylia WILL kill you. Fair warning."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hlendril asks, "So only powerful magicians will be doing the work? What about the rest?"

Speaking to Xorus, Goblyn says, "This is accurate. Similar, but different."

Goblyn begins chortling at Xorus.

Speaking to Lylia, Hapenlok says, "Which is why I wanted to go first."

(Evia pushes her hair back and away from her veined cheek and neck, tucking it behind her flax flower.)

Speaking calmly to Hlendril, Cruxophim suggests, "Try to keep others calm. You're not doing a bang-up job so far."

Cruxophim grins at Hlendril.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hlendril says, "Well, I will do all I can."

Cruxophim recites:

"We'll begin shortly."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Leaoh says, "Just direct me to whom I should be drawing the energy from when ready."

Leaoh nods at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim recites:

"Sanctuary when we begin, please?"

(OOC) Cruxophim's player whispers to the group, "Remember: This is pretty much just roleplay. ACTs, MYCHARs, go nuts... do your thing, it's pretty freeform."

Cruxophim's eyes cloud over with dark shadows as he prepares a spell...

Cruxophim gestures.

A sense of peace and calm settles over the area.

Speaking to Hapenlok, Lylia asks, "I am one of those drawing. Are you to be drawn?"v

Hapenlok nods at Lylia.

Lylia nods at Hapenlok.

Cruxophim recites:

"We'll start with Hapenlok and Madmountan, sound good? They should be plenty tainted"

Cruxophim snickers.

Speaking calmly to Lylia, Hapenlok says, "Ready."

Madmountan grins.

Lylia touches Hapenlok.

Cruxophim holds his blood at arm's length and tilts it slightly, causing a thin trail of blood to trickle steadily forth from it. Cruxophim lets it pour around himself as he turns slowly, and soon he is ringed by a rough circle of blood.

Lylia closes her eyes for a moment.

Speaking calmly to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "I'm going to forget that you said that. For now."

Leaoh leans on his asaya.

Cruxophim recites:

"That circle of blood will be your focus! Weave the energy into THAT, please."

Evia says, "Either one of them drops their drawers and I am out of the project."

Cruxophim walks into the rough circle of blood and stands within it, then kneels down reverently and bows his head in supplication.

Evia stamps her feet.

You take a moment to observe everything you can about a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood.

Cruxophim recites:

"All clear? Respond with an aye!"

Speaking to Lylia, Hapenlok says, "I won't be emitting any power during the process."

Hapenlok nods.

Leaoh nods at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim recites:

"Let us begin!!"

Lylia nods slightly.

Leaoh turns to face Madmountan.

(Madmountan digs down deep inside and begins to attempt to push his darkest energy to the surface, hopefully making it easier for those of a magic pursuasion to latch on.)

Madmountan appears to be trying to concentrate when suddenly his eyes widen and he twitches with a quick shiver.

Cruxophim leans down and slowly runs a finger across a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood briefly.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

(Raelee simply gazes at the pillar for several moments, looking contemplative.)

Hapenlok stares at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Madmountan reaches out and touches a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Madmountan appears to be trying to concentrate when suddenly his eyes widen and he twitches with a quick shiver.

Speaking to Lylia, Hapenlok says, "Should be plenty in me, from two trips there."

Hapenlok nods at Lylia.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Madmountan grunts.

Shadows suddenly burst forth from Cruxophim's body, swarming across his skin and settling on him with noticeable closeness. It lasts only momentarily before sinking back into Cruxophim's skin once more.

(Leaoh plants his asaya firmly in the ground before him, griping it with both hands, closing his eyes. A fine ebon mist evaporating from him. His eyes opening at last, they are clouded over. He extends his asaya out with his right hand, touching it to Madmountan's chest. As he pulls it away, a void of light arcs between the two. The shadowy tendril travels up the asaya into Leaoh as his eyes turn pitch black. The channels the energy forth from him with his left hand, towards the circle of blood.)

Cruxophim recites:

"It may help the subjects to think of dark moments in their past, sort of urge the shadows out as it were."

(Nakaira closes her eyes, mumbling an incantation as she encircle herself in a looping, twining spiral of woven shadow.)

Cruxophim nods approvingly at Leaoh.

Cruxophim nods faintly at Nakaira.

Nakaira raises her hand and slowly curls her fingers into a clenched fist. Pitch black tendrils of essence sinuously emerge from the sigil on Nakaira's glove and swirl around her hand in a malevolent dance before slowly dissipating.

Speaking bitterly to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "Oh, no trouble there."

Madmountan closes his eyes for a moment.

A dark veil coalesces around Cruxophim's sleek dark body armor, gathering into black tendrils of shadow that erupt outward and encircle him with building momentum. The caliginous shadows storm wildly as their depths illuminate with random tiny arcs of silver light, a rising aphotic tempest of chaos and capricious fury. The violent maelstrom swirls and writhes before abruptly spiraling inward to dissipate completely into his exposed flesh, leaving only a collapsed silence in its wake.

Cruxophim recites:

"Please try to help keep them calm during this process."

(Cruxophim begins chanting in a dark tongue at the ashen bone pillar.)

Goblyn's eyes briefly unfocus.

(Lylia puts her hand on Hapenlok's head after a moment of hesitation. She leans forward to whisper something to him.)

(Mourne stands at ease just behind Lylia's left shoulder, one hand outstretched but not quite touching her.)

Hapenlok just opened an embossed dark leather cape.

Hapenlok removes a smooth amber wand from in his dark leather cape.

(Nakaira widens her arms in an all-encompassing gesture, her shadowy tendrils extending towards the collected volunteers and gaining bulk as they draw out additional essence.)

(Leaoh continues drawing forth the energy from Madmountan, small shadowy aura encompassing him, the arc of shadowy lightning from his left hand intensifying as it strikes the circle of blood.)

Madmountan appears to be trying to concentrate when suddenly his eyes widen and he twitches with a quick shiver.

Cruxophim places a hand over his sleek dark body armor and murmurs a few enigmatic and inscrutable words. As his hand slowly extends forward, the flesh of the open palm splits grotesquely into a lurid crimson gash. Sanguine fluid rises uncannily from the wound, twisting upward before darkening into tendrils of shadow that dance and writhe chaotically over the outstretched palm. The thrashing tendrils implode inward with abrupt violence and vanish between clenched fingers as Cruxophim forcefully snaps the hand shut.

Hapenlok offers you a smooth amber wand. Click ACCEPT to accept the offer or DECLINE to decline it. The offer will expire in 30 seconds.

You accept Hapenlok's offer and are now holding a smooth amber wand.

You gaze thoughtfully at your amber wand.

You peer quizzically at Hapenlok.

Cruxophim slips a hand to his ankle, deftly retrieving a black-veined jawbone dagger coated with blood.

(Raelee makes a few experimental gestures towards the pillar, pausing between each.)

(Hlendril slowly dances while muttering an ancestral chant, weaving and swinging his Katana slowly.)

Speaking to you, Hapenlok says, "Might want to wave that at me, if I start going....a bit mad."

Cruxophim put a bone chalice of shadowy viscous blood in his small eldritch coffin.

Cruxophim nods faintly at Raelee.

Lylia touches one finger to her lips.

Speaking amicably to Hapenlok, you say, "Ah... it would be a pleasure."

Slashing his jawbone dagger toward the sky, thick blood dripping from the blade, Cruxophim's voice takes on a syrupy sweet quality as he invokes a curse from the Shadows.

You grin slowly.

(Xorus mutters quietly and the shadows drift toward the circle of blood.)

Hapenlok says, "Madder than usual."

Lylia scowls at Hapenlok.

Cruxophim raises his jawbone dagger to his lips and whispers a soft phrase to it. As he moves it out in front of him, the blood lifts up away from it in a steady stream and dissipates.

Hlendril asks, "Like that mayor?"

Rekarth chants in an arcane language which causes his skin to turn shadowy for a brief moment.

Cruxophim nods faintly at Hlendril.

A circular stain of shadowy viscous blood's edges slowly fade away as it continues to dry up.

Hapenlok nods at Lylia.

Hlendril nods firmly at Cruxophim.

With careful precision, Cruxophim uses his jawbone dagger to slice a long, deep line across his left palm. Blood immediately pools along the surface of the cut.

He wipes the blade clean.

Lylia stares unwaveringly at Hapenlok.

(Nakaira makes a punching motion toward the pillar, her gathered shadow energy streaking toward it only to disappear within.)

Xeldome waves his illthorn scepter in an arc through the air, creating a luminous trail of light with the glowing orb.

Nakaira softly murmurs an incantation and slowly waves her gloved hand in an arc through the air. A trail of roiling dark energy streams out from the sigil on the back of the glove, leaving an inky black tail like a comet behind it.

Tucking his jawbone dagger against his body, Cruxophim squeezes his left hand into a fist and holds it out over a ruined ashen bone pillar. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, dripping down onto it.

Speaking to Lylia, Hapenlok says, "I go there. every day."

The whites of Xorus's eyes go dark as he chants forcefully in an archaic tongue.

You take a moment to observe everything you can about Hapenlok.

Tucking his jawbone dagger against his body, Cruxophim squeezes his left hand into a fist and holds it out over a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, dripping down onto it.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Madmountan closes his eyes for a moment.

(Lylia passes her other hand before Hapenlok's eyes, and a streamer of darkness winds itself around her fingers.)

(Leaoh the arc of shadow seems to falter briefly between the asaya and Madmountan, with a deep breath Leaoh continues to pull at the energy, the shadow in his eyes growing faint as he channels it forth towards the blood.)

Shadows dance between Lylia's outstretched fingers as she issues a command in archaic Faendryl.

Hapenlok gets a blank look on his face.

(Hlendril cuts his hand with his dagger, small whisps of flame running on the palm of his hand.)

Cruxophim glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar and slowly exhales.

Lylia breathes, "Good. Keep thinking on that."

Cruxophim encouragingly observes, "Well done so far, all."

Cruxophim adopts an agreeable expression.

Xorus holds out the palm of his hand and watches intensely as a perfect black rose composed of swirling essence begins to form in the center of his hand. It takes shape but dissipates a few seconds later.

Madmountan appears to be trying to concentrate when suddenly his eyes widen and he twitches with a quick shiver.

Goblyn gives a sidelong glance at Madmountan.

Shadows dance between Lylia's outstretched fingers as she issues a command in archaic Faendryl.

The whites of Xorus's eyes go dark as he chants forcefully in an archaic tongue.

Hapenlok closes his eyes for a moment.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Cruxophim pulls back some sleek black alloy vambraces, revealing an inky black sigil.

Cruxophim narrows his eyes in concentration, the runes on his arm glimmering briefly. He seems to glow with power!

Cruxophim gestures.

A shadowy patch of ether rises up through the ground to encompass Cruxophim, swiftly sinking into his skin.

Xorus holds out the palm of his hand and watches intensely as a perfect black rose composed of swirling essence begins to form in the center of his hand. It takes shape but dissipates a few seconds later.

(Evia tentatively runs one finger along the blackened veins of her cheek and neck, feeling for the tingling twitch of energy which pulses slightly from time to time.)

Xorus closes his eyes for a moment.

You glance between Hapenlok and a smooth amber wand.

(Raelee makes another gesture towards the pillar, guiding tendrils of shadow towards it. A few sporadic white sparks float with them.)

Hapenlok begins to twitch.

Like a macabre sealant, cracks in the bone pillar begin to fuse together, bound by whorls of a shadowy black substance.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

You take a moment to observe everything you can about a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Hlendril says, "By Daemfemdar this is getting so odd."

Cruxophim nods approvingly at Hlendril.

Cruxophim shuts his eyes for a brief moment.

Shadows suddenly burst forth from Cruxophim's body, swarming across his skin and settling on him with noticeable closeness. It lasts only momentarily before sinking back into Cruxophim's skin once more.

Cruxophim leans down and slowly runs a finger across a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood briefly.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Xorus glowers and chants between clenched teeth. Shadows spring to life across the surface of his skin and begin to twitch and writhe...

Xorus gestures.

A shadowy patch of ether rises up through the ground to encompass Xorus, swiftly sinking into his skin.

Evia glances around the area.

(Lylia flicks her hand toward the circle brusquely as if she'd touched something unpleasant.)

(Leaoh continues to pull at the energy from Madmountan, channeling it forth, the arcs growing less violent as the energy starts to run dry.)

Goldstr taps a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Goldstr nods.

Goldstr says, "Whorled."

Cruxophim adopts an agreeable expression.

Cruxophim recites:

"Aaaand success!!"

You grin.

Cruxophim claps his hands.

Lylia lets out a long, contemplative breath.

Evia gasps.

Cruxophim bursts out in a resounding cheer!

Hapenlok begins to twitch.

Cruxophim recites:

"Everyone take a breather, well done!"

Xorus carefully places the black essence rose into his mouth and chews down on the black essence. Slivers of the dark matter can be seen slithering up Xorus's face under his skin, moving in a direct path for his eyes. Xorus briefly closes his eyes, but when he opens them, they have taken on a solid black hue.

You praise, "Very nice!"

Lylia takes a few steps back.

Speaking seriously to Cruxophim, Xeldome says, "You're welcome."

Cruxophim points at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim flashes a wide grin.

Zosopage says, "3 down."

Cruxophim grins at Xeldome.

Goblyn stands up.

Hapenlok mutters under his breath.

Cruxophim nods appreciatively at Xeldome.

Hapenlok lets out a scream of rage.

(Leaoh lowers his asaya, falling to a knee in exhaustion as the shadow leaves his eyes and they return to normal.)

Speaking to Zosopage, you agree, "And two to go."

Leaoh kneels down.

Raelee cocks her head.

Hapenlok chants a short phrase, embers leaping from his fingertips, as he clenches his hand into a smoke-shrouded fist.

Momentarily revealing the small dark ankle sheath hidden at his ankle, Cruxophim deftly sheathes his jawbone dagger, concealing both it and the sheath once more.

Cruxophim begins to rub at a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood vigorously in an attempt to clean it up. After a good amount of work it slowly fades away.

Raelee gazes thoughtfully at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

You wave your amber wand at Hapenlok.

The amber wand vibrates for a moment, then stops.

You squint at a smooth amber wand.

Nakaira makes a gurgling sound in her throat.

Speaking quietly to herself, Raelee says, "... indeed."

Leaoh leans on his asaya.

Leaoh stands up.

Speaking gently to Hapenlok, you say, "Well, I tried."

Cruxophim whispers to the group, "I'll harvest the remaining energy for the next pillar."

You flash a quick grin.

You offer your amber wand to Hapenlok, who has 30 seconds to accept the offer. Click CANCEL to prematurely cancel the offer.

Hapenlok begins to twitch.

Hapenlok has accepted your offer and is now holding a smooth amber wand.

Hapenlok put a smooth amber wand in his dark leather cape.

Hapenlok breaks out in a sweat.

Leaoh grins slowly.

Speaking to Hapenlok, Lylia notes, "You will have nightmares tonight. Worse than usual."

Lylia says, "It is normal."

Madmountan slowly empties his lungs.

Lylia says, "Roiling the waters, so to speak."

Hapenlok begins to twitch as he glances at Lylia.

Cruxophim touches Hapenlok.

Cruxophim stands up.

Speaking to Lylia, Hapenlok asks, "Did you get it all?"

Lylia replies, "I tried."

Speaking pragmatically to Hapenlok, you muse, "Worth it."

Nakaira rasps, "Should anyone dream tonight of being drug beneath the surface of the bay and drowned in icewater, your contribution to me is appreciated."

Cruxophim raises his voice at Nakaira in merry laughter.

Cruxophim recites:

"Shall we move on?"

Evia idly scratches herself on the neck.

Hapenlok says, "I don't like going back into my past, you know."

Hapenlok says, "Some memories should remain buried."

Cruxophim recites:

"I know it's late, we'll try and make the remaining two quick."

Leaoh raises an eyebrow.

Cruxophim recites:

"Moving in 5!"

Cruxophim recites:

"Onward!!"


Coastal Cliffs Pillar (Already Complete)

[travel time]

[Coastal Cliffs]

As the wind picks up speed it wails through the chasms in the cliff rock, sounding eerily like the cry of a woman in distress. You also see a black-whorled ashen bone pillar and a steep path.

Cruxophim nods sagely to a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Leaoh glances at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Hapenlok says, "I do feel somewhat better."

Rekarth takes a moment to observe a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Lylia turns to face Xorus.

Cruxophim recites:

"Number two, complete!"


Third Pillar

[travel time, amidst mishaps with an arctic titan knocking down several in the group]

[Glatoph, Glacier]

Through the ice-laden gusts of wind you see a large crack in the ice. Too large to cross and certainly large enough for you to fall into, it blocks the eastern path, forcing a detour to the southeast if you choose to travel that direction. You also see a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Leaoh asks, "And whom shall we be drawing upon this time?"

Rekarth takes a moment to observe a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim recites:

"Focuses this time are Lornieh and Xorus! Remember: try to think of... uh, dark things."

Cruxophim nods once at Xorus.

You nod understandingly.

Cruxophim nods once.

Lylia turns to face Xorus.

Lornieh nods once at Cruxophim.

Lylia rests a gentle hand on Xorus's arm.

Cruxophim nods once at Lornieh.

Xorus dryly says, "How difficult for them."

Speaking wryly to Xorus, Cruxophim jests, "That shouldn't be a problem for you."

Cruxophim laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.

Lornieh slowly empties her lungs.

Xorus glowers and chants between clenched teeth. Shadows spring to life across the surface of his skin and begin to twitch and writhe...

Xorus gestures.

A shadowy patch of ether rises up through the ground to encompass Xorus, swiftly sinking into his skin.

Cruxophim recites:

"Are we ready?"

Speaking to Xorus, Hapenlok quips, "You're the walking embodiment."

Inky black liquid winds around the tips of Goblyn's fingers, then flows into them.

Lornieh nods at Cruxophim.

Nakaira rasps, "Ready."

The whites of Xorus's eyes go dark as he chants forcefully in an archaic tongue.

Goblyn's eyes briefly unfocus.

Cruxophim removes a bone chalice of shadowy viscous blood from in his small eldritch coffin.

Goblyn sits down next to a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim holds his blood at arm's length and tilts it slightly, causing a thin trail of blood to trickle steadily forth from it. Cruxophim lets it pour around himself as he turns slowly, and soon he is ringed by a rough circle of blood.

>look

[Glatoph, Glacier]

Through the ice-laden gusts of wind you see a large crack in the ice. Too large to cross and certainly large enough for you to fall into, it blocks the eastern path, forcing a detour to the southeast if you choose to travel that direction. You also see a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood, the parrot-shaped Florania disk, the palm frond-shaped Lornieh disk, a forest wolf, a lop-eared pure white lioness, a glowing silver verlok'asha that is flying around, a majestic king cheetah, a frolicsome sun spirit that is flying around, the palm frond-shaped Leafiara disk, the Diablic disk, the Archales disk, some cuirbouilli leather, a leather helm and a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Lornieh shifts her weight.

Cruxophim recites:

"Direct energy in the blood circle, please!"

Cruxophim twists his head slightly, cracking his neck. He looks relieved.

Goblyn briefly touches a single finger to the ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim walks into the rough circle of blood and stands within it, then kneels down reverently and bows his head in supplication.

Cruxophim leans down and slowly runs a finger across a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood briefly.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Lornieh inclines her head.

With careful precision, Madmountan uses his hematite pavade to slice a long, deep line across his left palm. Blood immediately pools along the surface of the cut.

He wipes the blade clean.


Cruxophim's brow furrows suddenly and swirling black ebon lines invade his eyes, turning them into flat ebon orbs. Cruxophim looks around, scanning the area before his eyes suddenly return to normal.

Lornieh gives a sidelong glance at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim slips a hand to his ankle, deftly retrieving a black-veined jawbone dagger fused with sanguine blood marble.

Cruxophim plops a bone chalice of shadowy viscous blood into a large compartment inside the ebonwood kit.

Tucking his hematite pavade against his body, Madmountan squeezes his left hand into a fist and holds it out over a ruined ashen bone pillar. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, dripping down onto it.

Lithely moving her hands through the air, Kipara intones a sonorous mantra and shifts her body into a fluid, open stance. As she utters the last syllables, a wave of cold air radiates outward from her.

[the cold of the glacier begins damaging people; cue healing]

(Mourne hovers a hand just behind Lylia's left shoulder, close but not touching.)

Cruxophim runs his jawbone dagger down the middle of cut on his right palm, further slicing into the existing wound. Blood coats the blade and runs down his hand and fingers.

(Leaoh holds his asaya out once again, forcing all darkness from him, his eyes turning white. He touches his asaya to Lornieh and channels a small thread of energy though it, pulling it back, a torrent of shadowy lightning arcing between Lornieh and the asaya. His eyes going pitch black once again, he discharges of chaotic bolt of shadowy energy at the circle of blood.)

(Hapenlok stands near the circle, and places his runestaff into the ground, as he begins to channel energy into the circle, wisps of flame surrounding his wrists.)

Slashing his jawbone dagger toward a ruined ashen bone pillar, fresh blood dripping from the blade, Cruxophim's voice takes on a syrupy sweet quality as he invokes a curse from the Shadows.

Madmountan runs a finger along the edge of his pavade's blade.

Cruxophim raises his jawbone dagger to his lips and whispers a soft phrase to it. As he moves it out in front of him, the blood lifts up away from it in a steady stream and dissipates.

Tucking his jawbone dagger against his body, Cruxophim squeezes his right hand into a fist and holds it out over a ruined ashen bone pillar. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, dripping down onto it.

(Lylia rests her left hand lightly on Xorus's face.)

Goldstr yells, "Mer Mana Folks!"

Goldstr taps a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Lylia whispers something to Xorus.

You nod in agreement at Goldstr.

Xorus nods at Lylia.

Speaking to Goldstr, Hlendril says, "Theres yer mana."

Lylia smiles at Xorus.

Hapenlok calmly says, "Oh yes, that's much better."

Cruxophim chuckles to himself.

Lornieh shudders.

Nakaira laces her fingers together and loudly cracks her knuckles. As she does so, a shower of sparks erupts from the silvery sigils on the backs of her gloved hands.

Lylia closes her eyes for a moment.

Lylia shivers.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

(Raelee makes a few gestures towards the pillar, drawing shadows towards it. Wisps of flickering white flame flow with the shadow.)

Lornieh closes her eyes for a moment.

Hapenlok kneels down.

Madmountan runs his hematite pavade down the middle of cut on his left palm, further slicing into the existing wound. Blood coats the blade and runs down his hand and fingers.

Cruxophim nods approvingly at Raelee.

Evia squints at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Lornieh shivers.

Cruxophim gives Lornieh a strong, encouraging smile.

Nakaira raises her hand and slowly curls her fingers into a clenched fist. Pitch black tendrils of essence sinuously emerge from the sigil on Nakaira's glove and swirl around her hand in a malevolent dance before slowly dissipating.

Slashing his hematite pavade toward a ruined ashen bone pillar, fresh blood dripping from the blade, Madmountan's voice takes on a syrupy sweet quality as he invokes a curse from Ghezresh.

[more damage from the cold]

Nakaira thrusts her gloved hand into the air while chanting a magic phrase under her breath. A stream of ebon black essence shoots forcefully upwards from the silvery sigil on her glove.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Madmountan raises his hematite pavade to his lips and whispers a soft phrase to it. As he moves it out in front of him, the blood lifts up away from it in a steady stream and dissipates.

Lornieh shudders.

Nakaira softly murmurs an incantation and slowly waves her gloved hand in an arc through the air. A trail of roiling dark energy streams out from the sigil on the back of the glove, leaving an inky black tail like a comet behind it.

Goblyn's eyes briefly unfocus.

The area around Cruxophim grows dark causing him to fade in and out of view for a few moments.

(Leaoh takes on a look of concern for a moment, the energy growing within him faster than he can discharge it. He reaches out and places his hand in direct contact with the circle, the energy racing though him and rapidly discharging.)

Speaking calmly to Saepre, Cruxophim requests, "Can you focus on healing the injured?"

Tiny crystals of ice begin to form in the air around the bone pillar.

Lylia gasps.

You gently comment, "Bear with us, everyone... not too much longer."

Cruxophim pores over a ruined ashen bone pillar, engrossed in the study of it.

You let out a long, contemplative breath.

Evia says, "Hmmm."

Lylia stares unwaveringly at Xorus.

[more weather damage (OOC: it seemed like much shorter intervals between damage than usual, so I'm pretty sure that by now it was being created by Kenstrom even if the earlier ones weren't)]

Lornieh gives a sidelong glance at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Rekarth takes a moment to observe a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Raelee gazes thoughtfully at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Saepre nods at Cruxophim.

Tucking his jawbone dagger against his body, Cruxophim squeezes his right hand into a fist and holds it out over a ruined ashen bone pillar. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, dripping down onto it.

Cruxophim runs his jawbone dagger down the middle of cut on his right palm, further slicing into the existing wound. Blood coats the blade and runs down his hand and fingers.

Saepre asks, "Who need heal?"

Madmountan reaches out and touches a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Slashing his jawbone dagger toward a ruined ashen bone pillar, fresh blood dripping from the blade, Cruxophim's voice takes on a syrupy sweet quality as he invokes a curse from the Shadows.

(Hapenlok ignores the gale, as he focuses on providing a stable conduit of fire type energy towards the circle.)

Hlendril says, "The weather is getting worse."

[more weather damage]

Madmountan starts chortling.

Lornieh frowns.

Hlendril says, "Good thing I'm trained for this."

The air around the bone pillar continues to grow colder, and colder.

Cruxophim recites:

"Keep it up!!"

Hapenlok absently says, "Ignore it. none of this matters."

Meureii slips open a catch-drawer inside his teak tinderbox and quickly retrieves some tinder, sliding the drawer shut afterwards.

(Lylia's hands are wreathed in shadow, not mere ribbons but thick streamers braceleting her arms.)

Lornieh shivers.

You nod firmly at Hapenlok.

Lornieh closes her eyes for a moment.

Meureii carefully places some tinder on the ground.

Meureii slips open a catch-drawer inside his teak tinderbox and quickly retrieves some flint and steel, sliding the drawer shut afterwards.

Meureii fiddles with the top of the canvas tote, causing the metal plates to open.

Evia exclaims, "Focus!"

Meureii put a diminutive teak tinderbox in his canvas tote.

[more weather damage]

Madmountan appears to be trying to concentrate when suddenly his eyes widen and he twitches with a quick shiver.

Meureii kneels down.

Leaoh shudders violently before visibly recovering from his stunned state.

Meureii sets his steel against some tinder and strikes it with the flint. A few sparks fly from the steel and ignite the tinder, which glows red at first then erupts with small flames.

Lylia watches the surroundings in breathless anticipation.

Rekarth says, "Fascinating."

Meureii removes a wooden stick from in his mist grey longcloak.

Lornieh says, "Sss-sss oo cold."

You encouragingly say, "Keep it up... endure."

Meureii tosses his wooden stick into the crackling fire.

Flames begin to lick at a wooden stick.

Lornieh shivers.

(Raelee changes the nature of her gestures. Shadows continue streaming towards the pillar, with ice crystals swirling around it.)

Hapenlok chants an esoteric incantation as small sparks surround his hands.

Speaking to you, Hlendril says, "We are frontiersmen."

Cruxophim sharply barks, "Any who can treat the wounded, please do so!"

(Leaoh continues urging the energy forth from Lornieh, pulling it from deep within her. The energy starts to wane and his eyes start losing the shadow obsuring them. The energy continues to pulse though him.)

Evia tugs her baby blue blanket up higher around her face, and bundles up tightly into its thick folds. She looks cold.

Hlendril says, "Just imagine we are in a Rhimar Ice Cream churn."

Speaking to Diablic, Lornieh says, "Be careful..."

Meureii offers, "The fire will help."

Cruxophim recites:

"Draw from Leafiara for extra energy!"

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

You nod in agreement.

Cruxophim nods once at Meureii.

Lornieh shudders.

A thin, almost imperceptible, cloud of shadows briefly whirls around you, only to be followed by another similar wave of shadow that weaves in and out of those around you.

Evia shivers.

(Lylia points her free hand at the circle, palm up and open, pouring shadows toward it.)

Cruxophim leans down and slowly runs a finger across a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood briefly.

(Leafiara steps forward and stretches her arms out, eyes closed.)

Rekarth cocks his head.

Shadows dance between Lylia's outstretched fingers as she issues a command in archaic Faendryl.

You quietly say, "Draw as you need."

Lornieh shivers.

(Nakaira whispers a word in gutteral Faendryl, making a casual gesture with her left hand to pull an inky shadow from within Leafi and fling it toward the pillar.)

Shadows dance between Lylia's outstretched fingers as she issues a command in archaic Faendryl.

(Hapenlok continues to direct his effots towards channeling mana towards the circle, ignoring his injuires, the wisps of flames still surrounding his wrists.)

Hapenlok chants a short phrase, embers leaping from his fingertips, as he clenches his hand into a smoke-shrouded fist.

You feel slivers of shadow energy uncurling from and seeping out of you, and you are momentarily overwhelmed by a slight sense of loss as they slither away.

The ice crystals floating around the bone pillar begin to darken, taking the hue of liquid night, and slowly begin to seep into the pillar's surface.

Cruxophim pores over a ruined ashen bone pillar, engrossed in the study of it.

Lylia whispers something to Mourne.

You feel that nervous twitch starting up again.

Evia furrows her brow.

Lornieh gives a sidelong glance at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Mourne nods once at Lylia.

Evia asks, "That is a good sign?"

Cruxophim nods faintly at Evia.

Goldstr taps a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Lornieh inclines her head.

Lornieh shivers.

Cruxophim waggles his fingers at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim frowns.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Xorus nods to a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Evia says, "Phew."

Cruxophim taps his cloak causing the shadows to ripple and reform around his finger. Pulling his hand away, the shadows withdraw from his finger and meld back into the cloak.

(Leaoh draws the last weakening arcs of shadowy lightning from Lornieh, the bolts stiking at the blood circle still.)

Hapenlok stands up.

(Lornieh pulls her cloak tightly around her.)

Nakaira begins drawing a faint, twisting symbol as she utters an arcane invocation in hushed tones...

Hapenlok kneels down.

Nakaira gestures.

A shadowy patch of ether rises up through the ground to encompass Nakaira, swiftly sinking into her skin.

Raelee frowns at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

You feel drained!

Speaking to Cruxophim, Goldstr asks, "Was da fifth?"

You furrow up your face and wince.

Lornieh just closed a velvet-lined deep emerald silk cloak.

Leaoh kneels down.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Xorus says, "Mm."

Leaoh leans on his asaya.

Cruxophim recites:

"Victory!"

Leaoh stands up.

Cruxophim bursts out in a resounding cheer!

(Leafiara looks briefly startled even through closed eyes, but then regains composure, a neutral expression on her lips.)

Cruxophim laughs!

Raelee squints at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Lornieh shivers.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "Eh."

(Leafiara opens one eye.)

Hapenlok stands up.

Cruxophim looks at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar and cheers!

You hopefully exclaim, "Vict--victory!"

Zosopage says, "One more to go."

Cruxophim recites:

"Join up quick!"

Goblyn adopts an agreeable expression.

Goblyn stands up.

You nod approvingly to the ashen bone pillar.

Lylia closes her eyes for a moment.


Fourth Pillar

[travel time]

Speaking quietly to Cruxophim, Hapenlok whispers aloud, "Don't mean to be alarmist, but my life force was drained a bit."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Xeldome repeats, "You're welcome."

(Lylia shakes her head as if to clear it.)

Speaking amicably to Hapenlok, Cruxophim assures, "That's expected."

Cruxophim grins at Xeldome.

Lylia gingerly pats her hand along the top of her head and gently smooths her waist-length hair into place.

Goblyn glances at Hapenlok.

Cruxophim recites:

"Well done all, one more to go!!"

Cruxophim adopts an agreeable expression.

Leaoh says, "Any healing please, the task left me quite vulnerable to the cold."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hlendril says, "Sure sir."

Evia tugs her baby blue blanket up higher around her face, and bundles up tightly into its thick folds. She looks cold.

Lylia nods gratefully at Mourne.

Speaking casually to Hapenlok, you say, "Mine was too, but I think it's the kind of life force I'm happy to see go."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "Yeah. I figured as much, but I wanted to ...make sure that was supposed to happen."

You admit, "Or, well, feel more than see."

Cruxophim recites:

"Moving in five!!"

Speaking flatly to Cruxophim, Saepre says, "Can heal self."

Hapenlok grins wryly.

Cruxophim nods understandingly at Hapenlok.

Leaoh says, "Thanks."

Speaking to Goblyn, Goldstr says, "I be gainin respect fer ye lass staid a fear."

Lylia places her arms akimbo and looks about as if waiting for something.

Speaking lightly to Saepre, Cruxophim insists, "I'm helping."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "See, I managed not to detonate."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "I think getting rid of that stuff already helped."

You grin at Hapenlok.

Speaking relievedly to Hapenlok, you say, "I too feel better already."

Interlocking your fingers, you slowly extend your arms up over your head in a long, satisfying stretch.

Cruxophim adopts an agreeable expression.

Hapenlok says, "I still hate you all, though."

Hapenlok says, "Well, most of you."

Speaking amusedly to Hapenlok, you say, "Didn't doubt it for a moment."

You hug Cruxophim, who wraps you in a warm embrace.

Cruxophim recites:

"Okay, moving!!"

[travel time]

[Upper Trollfang]

As you reach the crest of a small hill you can see a trail to the south that leads in the general direction of Wehnimer's Landing. You also see the gradual climbing slope of the hills as you proceed to the northeast. You also see a short sword and a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Rekarth takes a moment to observe a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim recites:

"Final one!!!"

Leaoh asks, "And whom this time?"

You say, "Dame Evia and Rekarth are the volunteers left, I believe."

Evia says, "Alright, alright, alriiiiight."

Evia stretches.

You nod encouragingly at Evia.

Hapenlok asks, "Not just another frustrated observer now, are we?"

Cruxophim recites:

"Foci are Evia, Rekarth, and Leafiara again!"

Hapenlok grins wickedly at Evia.

You blink.

Lornieh glances between Evia and Rekarth.

Rekarth removes a smooth stone blotted with shadowy viscous blood from in his ashen suede case.

(Evia pushes her hair away from her veined cheek and neck.)

Lylia turns to face Rekarth.

Evia stretches.

Lornieh glances at you.

Goblyn nods slowly.

Cruxophim recites:

"Everyone take a brief moment to prepare yourselves, please."

Xorus says, "Mm. More draining of life forces."

Goblyn sits down next to a ruined ashen bone pillar.

You uncertainly say, "I wonder if I still have any shadow energy left in me... I was there such a short while..."

Speaking to Evia, Madmountan exclaims, "I see it!"

Cruxophim recites:

"Also, free donuts!"

[Crux supplies his bacon-wrapped blood pudding donuts]

Speaking to Rekarth, Lylia asks, "May I?"

Hapenlok kneels down.

You optimistically say, "But sure, let's be sure I'm rid of it all."

You nod firmly.

Evia stares at Madmountan.

Rekarth nods absently.

Goblyn's eyes briefly unfocus.

Xeldome walks toward Evia.

Lornieh shivers.

Cruxophim begins to look a little better.

Speaking excitedly to Evia, Xeldome says, "I get to draw you."

Evia turns to face Xeldome.

Lylia lets out a long, contemplative breath.

Speaking amusedly to you, Cruxophim admits, "We can try, but that may be a little beyond our power at the moment."

Cruxophim grins at you.

Xorus chants in an arcane language which causes his skin to turn shadowy for a brief moment.

Hapenlok shrugs.

You gaze in amusement at Cruxophim.

Lornieh shivers.

Cruxophim gazes thoughtfully at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim paces to his left, moving in a circle around a ruined ashen bone pillar.

You give Lornieh a strong, encouraging smile.

Hapenlok says, "Well, I don't feel like my soul is in mortal danger anymore. But that's probably more a mind over matter ...."

(Raelee rubs her hands together briefly, the friction generating a few sparks.)

Speaking to you, Kipara asks, "I'm not so good at mana control, so I may need to get close. Is it alright if I rest a hand on you?"

Hapenlok adds, "Forget it. Doesn't matter."

Cruxophim collects a bone chalice of shadowy viscous blood from a large compartment inside the ebonwood kit.

Raelee gazes thoughtfully at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim recites:

"Are we ready?"

Speaking amicably to Kipara, you say, "Of course."

Cruxophim glances appraisingly around the area.

Evia closes her eyes for a moment.

Hapenlok nods.

Madmountan nods at Cruxophim.

Nakaira nods at Cruxophim.

You nod at Cruxophim.

Kipara reaches over and gently rests her hand on your shoulder.

Evia says, "Yes."

Evia nods.

Xeldome nods.

Raelee's gaze takes on an intense focus as her eyes flare brilliantly with a hot white glow.

Goblyn adopts an agreeable expression.

Xeldome nods eagerly.

Cruxophim holds his blood at arm's length and tilts it slightly, causing a thin trail of blood to trickle steadily forth from it. Cruxophim lets it pour around himself as he turns slowly, and soon he is ringed by a rough circle of blood.

Lornieh gives a sidelong glance at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim whispers something to Goblyn.

Lornieh winces.

(Lylia rests her hand lightly on Rekarth's arm after a brief, dubious look at his face.)

Cruxophim roars!

Lornieh shivers.

Cruxophim raises his hands to the sky, the runes on his jackal's head ring glittering a bloody crimson.

Lylia closes her eyes for a moment.

Cruxophim holds his blood at arm's length and tilts it slightly, causing a thin trail of blood to trickle steadily forth from it. Cruxophim lets it pour around himself as he turns slowly, and soon he is ringed by a rough circle of blood.

(Hapenlok places one palm into the dirt at the edge of the circle and starts to channel. An almost beatific expression of calm on his face.)

Rekarth chants in an arcane language which causes his skin to turn shadowy for a brief moment.

Cruxophim recites:

"You know the drill! PROCEED!"

Cruxophim plops a bone chalice of shadowy viscous blood into a large compartment inside the ebonwood kit.

Lornieh glances at Cruxophim.

Evia slowly empties her lungs.

Madmountan closes his eyes for a moment.

Lornieh frowns.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Cruxophim walks into the rough circle of blood and stands within it, then kneels down reverently and bows his head in supplication.

Lylia smiles at Rekarth.

Lornieh shivers.

Evia coughs.

Cruxophim calmly urges, "Think of your darkest moments. Focus. Let it guide you, and guide it in turn."

(Mourne flattens a hand a span from Lylia's left shoulder and adopts an expression of calm concentration.)

Lornieh shivers.

(Leaoh places his asaya once again before him, clearing his mind and forcing darkness from him. His eyes once again clouded over white, he places his asaya against Leafiara. The orbs at the end of the asaya start turning pitch black, as a bolt of shadowy lightning erupts betwen the asaya and Leafiara's chest. The energy flows up though the asaya, and slams into Leaoh. Weakened from the previous efforts, he steadies himself, and pulls the energy onward, his eyes turning pitch black once again. He raises his left hand outward, and the energy flows forth towards the circle of blood.)

(Nakaira extends both hands toward Rekarth, her eyes closed as she mouths a silent incantation, coaxing the shadow energy out with an almost seductive gesture.)

You breathe very slowly and deliberately, calming yourself.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

(Raelee gestures with both hands towards the pillar. Her palms briefly flare with white flames as the shadows start twining towards the pillars.)

(Evia concentrates on the shadow steeds incident momentarily.)

Evia frowns.

You feel drained! [note: this apparently happened to all present]

Cruxophim closes his eyes and turns an ear towards Evia, listening to her with a curious expression.

Lylia laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement.

Lornieh shivers.

Hapenlok closes his eyes for a moment.

Shadows dance between Lylia's outstretched fingers as she issues a command in archaic Faendryl.

(Xorus chants and directs shadowy tendrils toward the circle of blood.)

Evia closes her eyes for a moment.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Hapenlok chants a short phrase, embers leaping from his fingertips, as he clenches his hand into a smoke-shrouded fist.

(Leafiara looks briefly startled again as faint, dark wisps of mana flow out from near her heart, but breathes slowly, regaining composure.)

Kipa asks, "What is going on with this draining effect?"

Cruxophim raises his jawbone dagger to his lips and whispers a soft phrase to it. As he moves it out in front of him, the blood lifts up away from it in a steady stream and dissipates.

Madmountan slowly empties his lungs.

Evia passes a hand over her smooth tanned face.

Hlendril says, "Me too."

Madmountan reaches out and touches a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Speaking calmly to Kipa, Cruxophim informs, "It's part of the process. Have a donut, it will help."

Lylia closes her eyes for a moment.

Hlendril says, "I feel... Drained."

Lornieh shivers.

(Leaoh setting his jaw in effort, he continues to draw the energy forth from Leafiara. The process, taking a clear toll, drops him to his knees. He reaches out, and rests his left hand in the circle of blood, shunting the power though him directly into it.)

Xorus mutters, "The pillars are hungry."

Leaoh kneels down.

Hapenlok absently says, "Expected."

Cruxophim nods approvingly at Leaoh.

Kipa says, "I am not in the group."

Hlendril says, "I`m not even doing anything, sir."

Authriea offers Lornieh a patty of fried laver bread.

Lornieh accepts Authriea's fried laver bread.

Evia gulps.

Hapenlok says, "Better us, than young women. Weather it."

Lornieh takes a bite of her fried laver bread.

Lornieh looks much more calm and refreshed.

(Raelee continues gesturing, drawing the shadows towards the portal in a swirling mix of light and dark.)

Cruxophim sternly reminds, "Remember: We are stronger than them. We have will, and power."

Goblyn hums a seemingly random tune.

Raelee lets out a long, contemplative breath.

(Nakaira snaps her eyes open, her entire being consumed with the effort of ripping shards of darkness away from Rekarth and guiding it into the pillar.)

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hlendril exclaims, "This is the Landing!"

Goblyn's eyes briefly unfocus.

Raelee stares at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim chuckles to himself.

You feel a bit weak in the knees and find yourself wobbling.

Raelee's eyes flash with fiery reds and oranges as she chants...

Hapenlok says, "...suffer quietly, though. we need to concentrate."

Hapenlok appears to be ignoring everything going on around him.

(Leafiara briefly stomps one foot to stop herself from shaking.)

Hapenlok chants an esoteric incantation as small sparks surround his hands.

Xorus chants some arcane phrases but nothing happens.

Evia squints.

Xeldome waves his illthorn scepter in an arc through the air, creating a luminous trail of light with the glowing orb.

Xorus chants in an arcane language which causes his skin to turn shadowy for a brief moment.

Madmountan squints at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Lornieh gives a sidelong glance at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim begins to look a little better.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Tucking his jawbone dagger against his body, Cruxophim squeezes his right hand into a fist and holds it out over a ruined ashen bone pillar. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, dripping down onto it.

(Lylia wears shadows along her arms like formal gloves. She turns her hand to admire the look of them before dispatching them toward the circle with a languorous wave.)

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

Xeldome grins evilly.

(Leaoh catches himself before falling forward, he continues to urge the power onward, pulling it into himself. A shadowly void prickles along his skin as he continues to focus the energy to the circle.)

Cruxophim gently rests his hand on Evia.

(Raelee continues casting almost ambidextrously, drawing shadows with her left hand while making a series of complex gestures with her right.)

Hapenlok appears to be ignoring everything going on around him.

(Nakaira walks slowly toward the pillar, embracing it fully, willing her cloak of shadows forward to sink into it.)

Cruxophim closes his eyes and turns an ear towards Evia, listening to her with a curious expression.

Kipa says, "That reminds me of a certain tree garden."

Evia recites:

"For the Good!"

Cruxophim nods approvingly at Nakaira.

Madmountan grins at Kipa.

Lylia grins at Rekarth.

The sound of cracking bones emits from the pillar, as layers of dust and grime begin to fall away, as if the pillar is being reborn.

Madmountan looks at a ruined ashen bone pillar and cheers!

Rekarth chants in an arcane language which causes his skin to turn shadowy for a brief moment.

Lornieh glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Leafiara focuses on moments of fear in the cleansing camp, eyes still closed and not seeing the changes in the pillar yet.

Cruxophim flashes an evil grin. The tips of his sharply filed fangs are clearly visible, protruding from beneath his upper lip. His eyes suddenly glow with a shadow-infused sanguine hue.

Evia says, "More please."

Evia glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

(Leaoh falls forward as the last of the energy fades from him, the link between the asaya and Leafiara broken.)

Leaoh falls over.

Nearly imperceptible shadows swirl around you, seemingly passing through you as they continue on their way toward the bone pillar.

Speaking in Faendryl to Mourne, Lylia breathes something you don't understand.

Cruxophim gently assures, "Well done, we're getting there. Focus. We got this."

You feel a bit weak in the knees and find yourself wobbling.

You breathe very slowly and deliberately, calming yourself.

Madmountan removes a glowing coraesine mekya ne'rutka from in his combat case.

(Hapenlok continues to channel mana towards the circle, as one droplet of sweat starts to form on his brow.)

Madmountan kneels down and begins to recite prayers.

Lornieh reaches over and gently rests her hand on your arm.

Kipa says, "I did not agree to be part of this."

Kipa scowls.

Leaoh pants.

Madmountan cackles!

Evia shuffles her feet.

Speaking gently to Kipa, Cruxophim reminds, "You're welcome to go at any time."

Madmountan rolls forward, then springs to his feet, ready again for action!

(Lornieh tries to hold Leafiara steady while still huddled, her teeth chattering.)

Lylia shifts her weight.

Cruxophim gently rests his hand on Evia.

Kipa frowns at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim closes his eyes and chants quietly under his breath.

(Zosopage concentrates, pushing any dark energy from his body and sending it towards the pillar.)

Raelee glances at Cruxophim.

Leaoh says, "I must withdraw... I can pull no more though me..."

Leaoh moves to a kneeling position.

You quietly say, "Thank you... whoever is holding..."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Kipa says, "I hope Rone eats ya heart."

Evia says, "It's..."

Cruxophim pores over a ruined ashen bone pillar, engrossed in the study of it.

Leaoh leans on his asaya.

Kipa waves her hand in a dismissive gesture.

(Leafiara nods faintly in the direction of Lornieh, eyes still closed.)

Mistress Kipa just went south.

Leaoh stands up.

Lornieh nods to you.

(Raelee seems to refocus, pulling shadows towards the pillar with both hands now.)

Evia breaks out in a sweat.

Cruxophim calmly assures, "This is fine, worry not. This is expected. Focus."

Lylia touches Rekarth.

Cruxophim rubs Evia gently.

Madmountan appears to be trying to concentrate when suddenly his eyes widen and he twitches with a quick shiver.

Lornieh affectionately scratches the lioness's neck.

Evia wipes the sweat from her brow.

Speaking to a lop-eared pure white lioness, Lornieh says, "It's ok Yani."

Cruxophim recites:

"Please ensure that Dame Evia remains calm, do not let her lose focus."

Suddenly, from the bone pillar, the rattle of a woman's voice cries out, "Heeeeaalllppp meeeeee........" It echoes for a moment, the shrill, haunting voice hanging in the air.

(Xorus gestures with his hands, directing shadows toward the blood circle.)

Nakaira raises her hand and slowly curls her fingers into a clenched fist. Pitch black tendrils of essence sinuously emerge from the sigil on Nakaira's glove and swirl around her hand in a malevolent dance before slowly dissipating.

Lornieh frowns.

Xorus smiles slightly.

Evia winces.

Speaking to a ruined ashen bone pillar, Madmountan says, "Shhh."

Lornieh glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

(Leafiara tentatively opens one eye, eyebrow also raised.)

Goblyn smiles quietly to herself.

Leaoh glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Raelee clenches her jaw.

Lornieh frowns at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Speaking to a ruined ashen bone pillar, Madmountan says, "We don't want to make Tykel mad."

Rekarth chuckles.

Evia stares at a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Xorus whispers something to Goblyn.

(Cruxophim gazes with steely crimson-veined eyes at the ashen bone pillar, unflinching.)

Hapenlok narrows his eyes.

Evia chews on her fingernails.

Cruxophim patiently intones, "You are stronger than this. Focus."

Lornieh shivers.

Evia breaks out in a sweat.

Dust continues to shake off of the pillar as it almost seems to be trembling, almost writhing.

Evia says, "Tingles."

Lornieh shivers.

Evia idly scratches herself on the neck.

Goblyn whispers something to Xorus.

Speaking to a ruined ashen bone pillar, Madmountan exclaims, "You can DO it!"

Goblyn glances at a ruined ashen bone pillar and makes a little purring sound.

Speaking to Goblyn, Evia asks, "You are watching over me, yes?"

Lylia whispers something to Rekarth.

(Leafiara looks attentively at the ashen bone pillar, lips and eyebrows forming a curious expression.)

You cock your head.

Cruxophim gently rests his hand on Evia.

Cruxophim gives Evia a strong, encouraging smile.

Vonnor recites quietly:

"Here's to them pillas, and our flawless victory over them"

You take a moment to observe everything you can about Evia.

J>look evia

You see Dame Evia Aramathia the Knight-Errant.

She appears to be a Giantman of the T'Kirem Clan.

She is very tall. She appears to be mature. She has beautifully jet black-outlined copper-lashed sparkling hazel green eyes and smooth tanned skin. She has long, softly wavy deep auburn hair shimmering with sun-streaked fiery highlights. She has an angular face, a straight nose and a web of shadowy black veins coiling along her neck and high cheekbones. She has glossy white-tipped lacquer brushed onto her squared fingernails.

She has a shooting star tattoo on her ear, and a rampant silver gryphon tattoo.

(Hapenlok continues his efforts as the pillar reforms, ignoring the commotion.)

Speaking to Evia, Xeldome says, "I am."

Goldstr taps a ruined ashen bone pillar.

Glancing at a ruined ashen bone pillar, Raelee places her hand on her leather casting gauntlet, and a veil of flickering white flames ignites across its palm. A haze of heat boils from around the gauntlet, distorting the air in roiling waves around the pillar.

(Nakaira begins clawing at herself, shredding her own shadow cloak and shoving it with balled fists into the surface of the ashen bone pillar.)

Xeldome says, "Don't fret."

Evia nods at Xeldome.

Evia wipes the sweat from her brow.

Speaking to Evia, Xeldome says, "I'm the best."

Cruxophim looks thoughtfully at Nakaira.

(Xorus forcefully spirals a vortex of shadow toward the circle of blood.)

Xeldome folds his arms, clasping his illthorn scepter close against his chest. The soft light emitted from the orb-capped staff colors half of his face with an eerie glow.

From within the pillar, the shrill voice again echoes from its ashen depths, "Heeeeallp m......" Then, like the ushered silence of night, the voice is quieted and the cracks of the bone pillar are infused with living shadows, creating a pattern of black whorls across its surface.

Speaking gently to Nakaira, Cruxophim reminds, "Calm. Or whatever works, I suppose."

Cruxophim flashes a toothy grin.

Madmountan lets out a cheer!

Speaking tentatively to Nakaira, you say, "That... does not exactly look like calm."

Cruxophim nods faintly to a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Evia slowly empties her lungs.

Madmountan dances around the room to music only he can hear.

The low flames that creep up Raelee's arm transform to a dark, deep blue hue. As they fade into her skin, the illusion around her abruptly flickers out of sight.

Lylia shivers.

Hapenlok gasps.

Evia says, "Phew."

Raelee runs her cloth-wrapped hands through her copper red hair, momentarily drawing her long tresses from her snow white eyes.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Nakaira rasps, "Calm never was especially my forte."

Raelee lets out a long, contemplative breath.

Cruxophim leans down and slowly runs a finger across a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood briefly.

You breathe very slowly and deliberately, calming yourself.

Cruxophim brushes his fingers lightly against a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

>look

[Upper Trollfang]

As you reach the crest of a small hill you can see a trail to the south that leads in the general direction of Wehnimer's Landing. You also see the gradual climbing slope of the hills as you proceed to the northeast. You also see a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood and a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Rekarth says, "All better."

A circular stain of shadowy viscous blood's edges slowly fade away as it continues to dry up.

Evia says, "It's done."

Lornieh glances at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Rekarth nods to a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Leaoh starts chortling.

Goblyn adopts an agreeable expression.

Evia pants.

Xorus indifferently remarks, "Echoes of the past. Meaningless."

Zosopage says, "For better or worse, the deed is done."

(Raelee makes one last gesture towards the pillar.)

Vonnor quietly says, "That pillar sort of sounds like an old girlfriend of mine."

Leaoh says, "Quite the interesting experiment."

Leaoh nods at Cruxophim.

You nod at Evia.

Xorus waves his hand in a dismissive gesture.

You set about preparing Evia to be as presentable as possible.

Crossing his legs at the ankles, Hapenlok moves to a sitting position that is tailor fashion.

Goblyn begins chuckling at Xorus!

Speaking uncertainly to Cruxophim, Hapenlok asks, "Was that....?"

(Cruxophim anoints the ashen bone pillar with a final offering of shadow-infused blood, activating some final invocation in a dark and gutteral tongue.)

Lylia bites her lip.

Evia reaches out and touches a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Goldstr asks, "All five done aye?"

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok asks, "...who I think it was?"

Lornieh winces.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hlendril asks, "Done?"

Lylia gazes with interest at Xorus.

Cruxophim nods slowly.

Hapenlok stands up.

Cruxophim confidently concludes, "We are finished."

Cruxophim stands up.

Lornieh slowly empties her lungs.

Goblyn whispers something to Xorus.

Cruxophim draws his hands together in a slow, deliberate clap.

Hlendril sighs contentedly.

Cruxophim applauds encouragingly.

Speaking quietly to Cruxophim, Hapenlok urges, "Tell Tykel nothing of this. I think that was...."

Goldstr turns to Cruxophim and cheers!

Goblyn glances at Cruxophim.

Lylia whispers something to Rekarth.

Speaking to a black-whorled ashen bone pillar, Evia says, "You are part of me now, too, so behave accordingly."

Xorus smiles at Goblyn.

You say, "A first step."

Cruxophim nods grimly at Hapenlok.

You nod.

Lylia smiles quietly to herself.

Cruxophim grins at Evia.

Hapenlok begins to twitch.

Lornieh glances at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Speaking gently to Evia, Cruxophim agrees, "Indeed. We're all a part of this."

Speaking to Evia, Lornieh says, "Ohhh, I didn't think of it that way... creepy."

Lylia fans herself.

Lornieh mutters under her breath.

Evia nods at Lornieh.

Cruxophim recites:

"Thank you, all.. sincerely. We could not have done this without your aid."

Cruxophim walks into the rough circle of blood and stands within it, then kneels down reverently and bows his head in supplication.

Goldstr turns toward Cruxophim and renders a sharp hand salute.

You applaud.

Evia applauds.

Leaoh nods at Cruxophim.

Rekarth cocks his head.

Cruxophim applauds encouragingly.

Cruxophim begins to rub at a circular stain of shadowy viscous blood vigorously in an attempt to clean it up. After a good amount of work it slowly fades away.

Speaking to Evia, Hapenlok says, "I expect that....you'll be circumspect in your reporting? ....not everyone needs to ....know about what just happened here." [note: this conversation carried on into later in the night in the mayor's office, though I've cut that part out, but Evia and Leafi agreed that the voice should be in the report]

Goblyn gazes thoughtfully at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Speaking to Madmountan, Evia says, "Fresh and breezy taints."

Cruxophim gazes thoughtfully at a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Cruxophim nods faintly at Goblyn.

Raelee gives a sidelong glance at Goblyn.

Lylia smiles at Mourne.

Goblyn smiles at Cruxophim.

Felita says, "It worked."

Gorku throws a handful of confetti up into the air, and it floats down in a cloud all over the area!

Cruxophim winks at Goblyn and flashes a sly grin.

Cruxophim struggles to stand, but fails.

You dust off a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Evia turns toward Xeldome and renders a sharp hand salute.

You pull Cruxophim to his feet.

Cruxophim wobbles, looking a bit faint.

Goblyn blushes a pink shade at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim twists his head slightly, cracking his neck. He looks relieved.

Speaking quietly to Mourne, Lylia says, "Thank you so much. I am fine. Just a bit draining."

Speaking lightly to Cruxophim, you scold, "Don't you get too weak on us now."

Rekarth ponders.

You grin.

Cruxophim pulls Goblyn to her feet.

Goblyn adopts an agreeable expression.

Cruxophim gives Goblyn a lingering kiss.

Goblyn gives Cruxophim a lingering kiss.

(Hapenlok struggles to his feet as he leans against his runestaff, greatly drained from the experience.)

For the briefest of moments, the light of the moon bleeds to black and the glow of the stars in the sky are shrouded in a veil of shadows. But just like that, the radiance of the moon and stars returns to hold their pattern across the sky.

Speaking encouragingly to Cruxophim, you say, "Still have some mayoring to do for another couple of weeks."

Cruxophim gazes up fondly.

You nod at Cruxophim.

Goblyn glances between Rekarth and Evia.

Cruxophim makes a purring sound.

Lornieh glances up.

Cruxophim grins at you.

Speaking to Hlendril, Nakaira rasps, "The Ashrim once called me the Sea Witch and the Nakki, and told legends of how I would drag them beneath the waves into the icy waters to drown. I would be pleased to join with you in that context."

Goblyn glances at Cruxophim and makes a little purring sound.

Speaking tiredly to Lylia, Mourne agrees, "I do not think I have ever tried to maintain so steady a conduit before."

Evia says, "And the light defeated the darkness."

Evia lets out a cheer!

Speaking amusedly to Kipara, Cruxophim teases, "I think you arrived at JUST the right moment."

Cruxophim grins cheerfully at Kipara.

Hapenlok says, "Well, that's the first step."

Rekarth cocks his head at Goblyn.

You nod at Hapenlok.

Cruxophim gives Nakaira a friendly hug.

Goblyn hums a seemingly random tune.

Cruxophim hugs you, and you wrap him in a warm embrace.

Cruxophim gives Evia a friendly hug.

Nakaira nods respectfully at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim kisses Evia tenderly on the cheek.

Lylia nods at Mourne.

You hug Cruxophim, who wraps you in a warm embrace.

Cruxophim hugs Mourne.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Lornieh asks, "Does that mean the taint... is gone?"

Rekarth nods at Lylia.

Zosopage says, "Yes but the dark did try to come out and I haven't noticed that before."


Celebration

Cruxophim recites:

"Eh, screw it... group up!!"

Mourne looks thoughtfully at Cruxophim.

Gorku begins chuckling at Lornieh!

Goblyn glances at Lornieh.

Hapenlok says, "But still....we need to take the fight to them, so we don't have to rely on this."

Mourne chuckles to himself.

Goblyn bursts out in loud, raucous laughter at Lornieh.

Cruxophim recites:

"For a group hug!!"

Cruxophim is hugging himself.

Speaking amusedly to Lornieh, Goblyn says, "You are funny, Lornieh."

Madmountan lets out a cheer!

Leaoh glances at Cruxophim.

Cruxophim begins chuckling at Lornieh!

Speaking flatly to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "I'm not hugging you."

Kipara laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "Actually, yes. I will hug you."

Speaking gently to Lornieh, Cruxophim explains, "Not yet, but it's a start."

Tercolla says, "I will."

(Leaoh steps away from Cruxophim.)

Kipara gives Vonnor a friendly hug.

Tercolla whistles tunelessly to himself.

Cruxophim hugs Hapenlok.

Kipara hugs Cruxophim.

Cruxophim raises his voice in merry laughter.

Hapenlok intones a phrase of elemental power while raising his hands...

Cruxophim gives Kipara a friendly hug.

Kipara hugs Goblyn.

Tercolla hugs Cruxophim.

Hlendril hugs Cruxophim.

Tercolla chuckles.

(OOC) Hapenlok's player whispers to the group, "But I can't. Because someone sancted."

Gorku hugs Cruxophim.

Cruxophim glances expectantly at Raelee.

Hlendril hugs Goblyn.

Speaking teasingly to Raelee, Cruxophim ventures, "Hug?"

You hug Cruxophim, who wraps you in a warm embrace.

Speaking curtly to Cruxophim, Raelee says, "No."

Lylia lets out a long, contemplative breath.

Speaking to Goblyn, Hlendril says, "Adorable."

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "I didn't mean a hug like that."

Evician grins at Raelee.

Goblyn blinks at Hlendril.

Speaking wryly to Raelee, Cruxophim teases, "Well, baby steps."

Cruxophim raises his voice in merry laughter.

Goblyn blushes a pink shade at Hlendril.

Vonnor gives Kipara a friendly hug.

Speaking to Mourne, Lylia says, "Draining, but well worth it."

Hlendril grins at Goblyn.

Speaking dubiously to Hapenlok, you murmur, "Mmhmm."

You chortle.

Cruxophim hugs Madmountan, who wraps him in a warm embrace.

Vonnor offers Kipara a rune-carved drinking horn suspended from a thin strap.

Goldstr grins at Madmountan.

Mourne nods in agreement at Lylia. Speaking to Mourne, Lylia says, "Thank you once again for your help."

Mourne places a hand over his heart.

Mourne bows to Lylia.

Cruxophim recites:

"Everyone ready for a stiff drink?!"

Speaking to Goblyn, Hlendril says, "Ye know, Sylvan women are the prettiest of the Lands."

Gorku turns to Cruxophim and cheers!

Goldstr bows to Lylia.

Hlendril chuckles.

A look of concentration briefly passes across Cruxophim's face.

The sense of peace and security begins to wane from the area.

Evia recites:

"DRINKS"

Goblyn grins slowly at Hlendril.

You sincerely admit, "Thank you, everyone. I... definitely wanted that shadow energy gone."

Cruxophim gives Evician a friendly hug.

You let out a long, contemplative breath.

Hlendril smiles at Goblyn.

Speaking to Cruxophim, Hapenlok says, "No, a proper Hug, Cruxophim....like this."

Hapenlok intones a phrase of elemental power while raising his hands...

Stretching your arms out in front of you, you rotate your shoulders forward and roll your neck in an attempt to loosen the tension in your neck and shoulders.

Speaking amicably in Aelotian to Evician, Cruxophim praises something you don't understand.

Hapenlok gestures at Cruxophim.

The ground beneath Hapenlok rumbles, then erupts in a shower of rubble that coalesces in to a large, pudgy hand in mid-air.

CS: +520 - TD: +487 + CvA: -18 + d100: +53 == +68

Warded off!

The stone hand attempts to grab Cruxophim, but he manages to avoid it at the last moment. Soon the stone hand goes still and collapses to a pile of rubble that quickly disintegrates to invisible dust.

You nod once.

Hlendril bows respectfully before Goblyn, his eyes fixed firmly on the ground.

You gaze in amusement at Hapenlok.

Vonnor recites quietly:

"BOOZE!"

Lornieh nods to you.

Kipara accepts Vonnor's ornate drinking horn.

Hlendril exclaims, "Ale!"

Hapenlok gestures.

The ground beneath Hapenlok rumbles, then erupts in a shower of rubble that coalesces in to a large, pudgy hand in mid-air.

CS: +520 - TD: +464 + CvA: +4 + d100: +9 - +40 == +29

Warded off!

The stone hand attempts to grab Hapenlok, but he manages to avoid it at the last moment. Soon the stone hand goes still and collapses to a pile of rubble that quickly disintegrates to invisible dust.

Evician smiles at Raelee.

Speaking amusedly to Hapenlok, Cruxophim offers, "You can set me on fire. Just this once."

Cruxophim winks at Hapenlok.

Hapenlok chants a short phrase, embers leaping from his fingertips, as he clenches his hand into a smoke-shrouded fist.

Madmountan turns to Hapenlok and cheers!

Kipara takes a drink from her ornate drinking horn.

Kipara's eyes glaze over slightly and her face pales.

Kipara is stunned!

Hapenlok channels at Cruxophim.

CS: +520 - TD: +487 + CvA: -18 + d100: +39 == +54

Warded off!

Wisps of black smoke swirl around Cruxophim for a moment, then dissipate.

Hlendril exclaims, "Ale and Leafiara, a perfect combination!"

Lylia turns her head slightly to the side and stares off into the distance, effectively ignoring her surroundings.

Evia says, "I would not be too quick to deem it fully gone."

A goblin tramps in!

Goldstr begins chuckling at Hapenlok!

Goblyn glances around the area.

Cruxophim nods in agreement at Evia.

Goblyn beams happily at a goblin!

A goblin tramps east.

Inky black liquid winds around the tips of Goblyn's fingers, then flows into them.

Cruxophim recites:

"We must be ever vigilant, remember that."

Miss Goblyn just went east.

Hapenlok says, "Shadows are always among us."

Rekarth leans against a black-whorled ashen bone pillar.

Speaking to Lornieh, you say, "A small, fleeting feeling of weakness... in exchange for a lifetime of peace of mind."

You nod once.

Rekarth nods at Hapenlok.

Hapenlok says, "But, I'd prefer it to be a more managable level."

Cruxophim glances at Leaoh and clasps his hands in a reverent gesture.

Cruxophim recites:

"AWAY WE GO!!"

[travel time]

[Moot Hall, Mayor's Office]

At the varnished modwir door, a red bear skin rug stretches across the polished hardwood floor. Twin velnalin hide chairs face the Mayor's pine desk, while behind it sits an incurvated bone armchair. A great stag's head and a dark-framed sketch are mounted above a cobblestone fireplace set into the western wall. Refreshments are offered atop an oak bar beside a tall arched window. You also see a lop-eared pure white lioness, the palm frond-shaped Leafiara disk, the Diablic disk, the palm frond-shaped Lornieh disk, a glowing silver verlok'asha that is flying around, a frolicsome sun spirit that is flying around, a bacon-wrapped blood pudding donut, a bone-ringed dart board with some stuff on it, a large dog bed, a large detailed map and a basket of sticks.

Cruxophim recites:

"Drinks on the bar!!"

Cruxophim leans against the desk, taking a momentary rest.

Xeldome screams, "You're welcome!"

Rekarth dusts off his hands.

Evia pours herself some sparkling golden plum wine.

Leaoh starts chortling.

Evia raises her golden plum wine in a toast!

Vonnor beams happily at an oak bar!

Lylia removes a mithril and amber cuff from her arm.

You pour yourself a wide glass of cold water.

Cruxophim recites:

"Thank you all again, each and every one, for your contributions."