Vale of Distortion

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Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:45 am

Time in the valley almost seemed to stand still a perpetual state of twilight which cast the lands in hues of gold an amber. A small form could be seen standing on the edge of an earthen bridge on that connected one island to another—barred feet curled slightly against the ledge as it merely peered out into the abyss, a great chasm which opened into the sky, pulling its form downward. Swirls of murky white danced just below- dispersing light throughout the area. Slowly the being turns, pushed onward by a subtle breeze as it makes its way across the precarious path and onto the adjacent island. Each a floating mass of land the remnant of what was one a valley. The sound of rushing water sounded in the distance as one neared, and rivers ran their course spilling over the lip of the island and into the depthless void asunder. This particular landmass covered densely in trees and other such vegetation, their roots forming large arcs which broke through ground and form narrow paths of their own. A small breath perhaps out of relief befell lips as the child arrived at the other side, gazing back at the island that he had come from as if expecting something or someone to have been following him.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:52 am

”Pretty irregular readings coming in from that valley, boss. Not sure what to make of it, it’s as if natural laws don’t apply to most, if any of the area. And the mana readings are higher than I’ve ever seen recorded.”

The S.I.F. Ensifera, the foremost discovery ship of the Skymarchian Empire, glided just above the Vale and the interconnecting floating islands below, its various array of scanning probes and antenna collecting incoming data.  Designed for traversing the vast cosmos in attempt to locate any and all territory that could be beneficial to the King.

The blast shield receded and the valley below came into view, for the first time, to the screw inside. ”Radiation levels at an acceptable low.  Even given the unnatural state of the area, atmosphere can safely support life. Breathable air, not sure how clean. Signs of life present, but this raw mana in such an unnatural volume is really toying with our instruments, boss. How do you wish to proceed?”

From the captains chair, Seven rose and clasped his hand behind his back as he made his way to the small observation platform that stood in the center of the command deck. He was a man of average height and lithe build. A mess of blonde hair in a lazy, waving and unnatural spikiness adorned his head. Simple, ebon hued clothing covered his frame; a sleeveless shirt and simple black pants and leather boots. An eye patch covered his right eye, and most notably his left arm was missing. ”Bring us down near the bridge just there.” His right hand would unclasp just long enough for him to point in the direction of the bridge Xin had just occupied and moved from. They were landing on the opposite island he’d just moved to.
”Aye, boss. Legs released, bringing her down now.”

Mana jets hummed to life and the stationary hovering jets were cut off and the main thrusters were engaged. The ship bobbed for a moment before steadying and beginning a slow and calculated descent to the island just ahead and below. Seven remained upon the observation deck, watching carefully for any signs of trouble as the ship descended onto the island. What seemed like hours took only minutes as the ships legs finally pressed against solid ground and the main engines were disengaged once more.

”Switching to stand-by power, ships engines entering cooling and recharging phase 1. Increased pressure detected outside the ship, cause unknown. Crew prepare to disembark and set up base camp. First priority, communications with King Anselm. Exo-suits in charging phase 1. Captain, we’ll be ready to setup mana probes and begin testing compatibility within’ the hour.”

Seven nodded and moved from the observation deck back to the Captains chair. But only to retrieve his ashen colored clock and wrap it about his shoulders. ”Once communications are up report to Skymarch all of the data collected about unnatural state of mana gathered here. Make sure to note to the king that this is like very few things I’ve ever encountered. Hold on further exploration with the exosuits, I only want two running for now, see if they can handle cycling the natural mana in the area to the standalone power systems. As soon as the probes are set up, report to me the readings. I’m going for a little stroll, open the side door.

”Aye, boss. Will report as soon as possible. Enjoy your stroll, stay safe.”

The side doors to the S.I.F. Ensifera hissed open and the ramp descended to the ground below. Seven took just a few steps outside the door and stopped to take in a deep breath. The air was crisp and sweet and just a little moist. However, the raw mana, the sheer amount of it made the atmosphere feel thick, like a weight pushing down upon his chest. He lifted his right to the earpiece he wore and turned it on. It hummed for a moment, a slight high pitched whine and then the mildly static filled voice of the ships AI, Myra. ”Myra, use the ships array and run scan comparing gravity outside of the valley and near the mana enriched islands. I have a hunch that’s why the irregular pressure readings started as soon as we landed. I’m going dark now, I expect everything to be taken care of when I return.”

Before Myra could reply, Seven keyed his earpiece off and finished descending the stairway. He looked up towards the massive trees adorned with glowing leaves and noticed, in fact, almost all of the fauna had a glow to it. ”Interesting…” Moving on, Seven turned towards the bridge connecting the two floating islands and made his way over to it. The earthen bridge looked as if it were intentionally made to occur naturally, if such a thing were possible. With a deep breath he moved onto and over the bridge, his eyes set on the massive glowing forest that lay in front of him. As he entered the trees he could already hear his crew exiting the ship and beginning to set up shop.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:11 am

The being had scarcely made its way into the surrounding tree-line would his attention be pulled skyward with the descent of the S.I.F Ensifera as it fluttered about the air before setting course to  land  on the  adjacent island – The spot they had chosen was quite flat and baron easily  accommodating the ship size and despite the nature of the floating islands they were completely stable as if having been solid ground—still the clouds  swirled about just beneath them and as mana continued to course throughout the Vale  causing the air the feel thick and weighted. Occasional streaks of light flashed through the clouds below, dispersing the stored energies  once more into the air, though all was silent.

Save for the noise that the airship made as it landed on the island, the whirling of the engines echoing throughout the valley like a steady breath.  

Scans reviled huge amounts of energies flowing through the surrounding islands which somehow allowed  for them to defy the laws of  physics—even in certain pockets large  boulders could be seen drifting upwards towards the Ground which was covered in pillars hundreds of feet long, resembling the stalactite covered ceilings of deep underground caverns.  

Solitary, a bright silver orb watched from the cover of the trees as men began to pour out from the vessel  and began  to establish some sort of encampment. A thoughtful… Hm. graced lips, as Seven made his way onto the landing. A moment passed, and without a sound the boy disappeared towards the center of the island to keep from being spotted.

The entrance to the forest was noticeably darker as the canopy above blocked out most of the natural light, though the leaves produced a strange yet eerie glows which illuminated paths below. Flesh brushed lightly against the root covered ground as the boy quickly made his way inward with one singular thought. Need to hurry back.

Toward the center of the island were perhaps the most usual readings of all. A deep pool of water fed into the rivers which ran off the face of the island and into the bottomless depth though despite this the water level never seemed to lower, never changing. The source, a large tree which could be seen towering high above the canopy, sprouted from the remnants of a great beast which was covered partially in roots and vines still a constant source  of energy which fed into the surrounding trees, the rocks, the air. Everything seemed to be connected as if the  forest itself was a single entity -and in a way it was- interconnected roots formed a network of sorts feeding the life  of the woods which was inhabited by many  strange and  unusual creatures. The area itself was unnaturally silent, distant from the outside world and the cascades..

A small camp had been established near the water’s and what appeared to be four Knights had gathered for lunch, a stew which had been created using various roots and other vegetation which were forged from the forest- as well a some spices that they had  brought with them. The parties initial plan was to pass through the Valley to visit a neighboring Kingdom rather than skirt around it, thinking that  going through the Vale would be a quicker alternative. Which had proved true thus far though they were still unaware of what  was approaching them…

”Where did that little troublemaker get off to this time?” A voice called out,  belonging to none other than Horace, the crimson knight.  Ember eyes, which matched the hue of his fiery hair, scanned the surrounding tree-line.
”Uhm.. w-weren’t you supposed to be watching him.” A timid  voice  replied, Agatha, the timid looking  Knight was  met with a glare and released a small yelp. Which prompted the other two to share in a small laugh. They continued their banter back  and forth for  a few moments, before the one in question emerged from the tree line. Xin.

Upon reaching the camp the small child bent over, panting softly as he attempts to catch his breath and  from his appearance  it was clear that the boy had a run in with a tree or two. “Guys.. airship.. someone’s  coming.”

“Slow down there, who’s coming?” Horace asked, setting down his bowl as he moved approached the small boy. Placing a gauntleted hand on the child shoulders. Those crimsons orbs staring into the child’s single eye as if searching for some answers. He peered  into the surrounding darkness, before slowly rising.

“I’m going to go check it out wait here...” Without giving his companions a chance to respond the Knight disappeared into the tree line to greet their new guest. A broad sword clanking softly against his sides, the male was fully clade in armor, besides a helmet and a shield and donned a crimson cloak which trailed through the air behind him, adorned with the Vestige of the wilted rose.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:10 am

The crew of the S.I.F. Ensifera had made considerable progress on erecting their base camp. Already, the camp HQ was setup with mana-to-power energy converting machines and a various array of computers, sensors and scanning equipment. As the crew began working on setting up a sleeping quarters and mess hall, Myra had already begun to network with the outboard computers and running a variety of scans on the surrounding area within’ a mile or so.
”Crew, stay alert. Life signs detected, not all small and not all that far away. Curious creatures in these parts. Exosuit Alpha, begin installation of mana probes just under the canopy to the West. Gamma, I want you to try and get an anchor on the edge of this island, I want a probe installed on the underside of this island. Find me a reason these islands aren’t moving further away from the ground, we already know why they are floating.”


In fact, the natural way these islands were floating was much like, if not exactly like, the very mana fueled jets and propulsion systems used by the Skymarchian empire. How they maintained altitude without a programmed control center still baffled the crew, and even the super computer AI that Myra was.
Alpha “Aye, Myra. Permission to arm up requested. We don’t know what is out there.”
Gamma “You got it.”
Myra ran a quick biological scan of the area revealing a myriad of smaller lifeforms in the immediate area, but further off and circling in slowly were larger creatures that were exhibiting the behaviors of predatory lineage. ”Granted, Alpha. Small arms, only. Shouldn’t be anything that serious. Gamma, be safe. The crew had already finished erecting the sleeping quarters, and now the mess hall quickly became and structure.

Seven closed his eye for a moment as he stopped just inside the forested area and then let it slowly creep open. For a moment he could see nothing but a mild blue haze with the low-light glow of the trees and underbrush. As his eyes adjusted and his nightvision came into focus the area became much more clear to him. Poking up from the ground was just the surface of the very vast and important root structure. This place was a wonder even to him, he who had seen some things in his day. The most bothersome thing, however, was how the unnatural state and amount of raw mana in the area was seriously screwing with his own power network. Since touch down on the island, Seven was unable to convene with his other self nestled deep in the inner workings of the ancient Realm.

”The mana in this area seems to occur naturally in such copious amounts. Source unknown at present. Mana interacting with my own sensory abilities. Danger doesn’t seem imminent, but I’m a little uneasy being that I’m stuck with the little magic I stored in runes and even less equipment. Will report with more information when necessary. Seven lifted his hand to the earpiece once more and keyed a different tone. ”Save file, upload into locked file in Myra’s network.” The earpiece chirped and Seven moved on.

His sensory abilities were hazy but not absent. He could still sense energy signatures and biologics in the immediate area. What he could not discern from his innate ability was size, intent and the usual readings he would take to read those lifeforms. This could be an eye-opener for him as he was now stuck relying on his most base Mazoku instincts. He began to listen more closely, note different scents and strength. He was still too far away to hear the Knights ahead, but he could definitely smell a faint scent of their spiced vegetable stew. And that put Seven on edge.

Where there were spices, there was an intelligent species to use them.  As far as knew, at this moment, this was a previously undiscovered territory. That lone right hand dug into the pouch he kept at his right side, pulling forth a stone that was scarred with an archaic rune in which he had store his most precious weapon. Should he need it, he would have it close at hand. He moved forwards again, every movement calculated for stealth and observation. He moved into the shadow of a tree and blended into the area, pulling the hood over his head and moving from shadow to shadow. In the glow of the underbrush, this wasn’t an easy task. Every new position he took became harder to blend into as the underbrush grew thicker. Soon he was but dark blob against a radiant background, which had him irritated.

Seven pulled back his hood as he decided to take a more straightforward approach. He now simply moved quietly through a small wildlife path that lead him closer to the center of the forested area.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:53 am

The forest was seemingly stirred to life with the appearance of Seven the soft call of birds resounded  in the distance, followed by the soft rustling of leaves as small critters scurried between the roots of the trees, fleeing and scattered about as the being made his approach even as he used the shadows to  conceal his presence there was something Inhuman which stalked the underbrush.

Just as the S.I.F. Ensifera camp was getting settled their scanners would pick up something  large incoming, a low drone echoed throughout the valley seemingly amplified by the surrounding islands—the sing-song call of great Majestic-Beasts reverberates like the wale of the siren, and the creatures come into view a subtle almost  imperceptible breeze sweeps across the island as those beings soar greatly overhead, a pod of creatures resembling Giant Manta Rays gliding through the air as if they were just as easily swimming in the vast  depths of the ocean. Oblivious to what was going on below.

Their calls could  even be heard from the thickets of the forest though it was  dampened by the canopy above.  Chin tipped upward, allowing that single silver to glance upward, noting the ceiling that the leaves  above created blocking out the light completely save for their own a faint blueish tint which scarcely reached the forests  floor, even the surface of the water seemed to  glow as various  aquatic based plants radiate beneath the surface. The water was surprisingly clear and one could see all the  the way through to the bottom, which connected to various cave systems and reservoirs which eventually fed the small body of water.

The darkness did little to hinder the child’s movements however and he was easily able to navigate through the forest to find his way back to the camp, though now he stood almost dumbly  as the Crimson Knight vanished into the surrounding shrubs at a surprising pace given the unevenness of the terrain. Quietly he contemplated what to do looking back at the Knights then into the darkness where their companion had vanished.

”I think that we should go after him.” the boy called out to the other Knights who were already making their way over towards the small boy.

”H-He said. W-wait here..” Agatha called out meekly, they had gathered around the child  by now , string in the direction that Horace had taken previously. ”R-Rifu!?”

Just as she had spoken a third Knight ran on ahead, turning to look at the pair. ”Quit hesitating, he could be IN TROUBLE.” The Azure knight. Like Horace she was fully clad in armor, though  the make was somewhat slender and more shapely to her form, she wielded what appeared to be a lance and had long Azure colored hair which had been tied up to keep from getting in the way.

The final Knight, Bruno, was slightly  larger than the rest and donned a large shield  on his back as well as a great sword, his steps were unmistakable as feet  pound against the ground, and without a word he was off.

Slowly the boy turned his attention onto always do as your told, Agatha. And she cowered slightly under the boys gaze. ”It’s okay. They  may need your  help… You don’t have to worry about me.” and with that the boy ran off  into after the other two Knights, followed shortly by Agatha the white, who perhaps wore the least amount of armor, she also wielded a staff which she  held close to her at all times.

Horace was first to arrive. The fiery-knight landed a few meters away from Seven, smoke rising off his  body, the leaves from the trees   behind him slightly singed as he had augmented his own abilities  in  order to traverse the forest more quickly. He was in a crouched position, holding onto the hilt of his sword which had been buried partially into the ground. Slowly he looks  up  towards the one known as, Seven who had decided to take a more direct approach through the forest. He was met with scarlet hues as the Knight looked upward, noting the others appearance, the missing limb his clothing.

Slowly the being rose, smoking rising off his shoulders his arms though soon it dissipates as he extinguished his own mana, though he remained cautious not wanting to underestimate the man before him even if he was missing an arm.  “I am Sir Horace of The Order, we are passing through this valley in order to reach a neighboring kingdom. May I be permitted your name and as well as your intentions with this place?”

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:42 am

The reverberating echo of the flying Mantas call chilled the crew to the bone as they halted all progress to gawk skyward at the flying beasts. The biological sensor array and proximity alarms of the S.I.F. Ensifera were going haywire at the sudden and unexpected appearance of the large beasts. The crew began to scramble for the airship under the assumption that the large animals were predatory in nature. Though, as the crew scrambled about, Myra kept tabs on the creatures in the sky, noting their flight pattern and trying to scan for data.

Alpha “Myra, permission to engage!?” Alpha Exosuit had already ceased installing its mana probe and returned to the edge of the forested area. At the sight of the large creatures he armed his mana cannon and aimed it skyward in preparation for the assault to come, or so he had hoped.

”Negative, Alpha! No threat detected, this guys are just passing through. Crew, return to your stations and continue as instructed. Look if you wish, just make sure you’re finished when the Captain gets back. He wouldn’t be happy to know you ran like scared rabbits. The crew hands snapped to and rushed from the ship. The fear in them of disappointing or facing Seven’s punishment was motivation enough to face any odds. He was fair, but he was scary.

Alpha “Aye, Myra. Maybe some advanced warning next time.” The exosuit pilot scoffed as he keyed off communications. He never really did care for the artificial intelligence created by the King. She, no, it was too human. As if it were a being all its own. He knew better and did not trust her, no…it. He discharged the mana cannon, a jet of mana gas exited the vents on the back of the exosuit as he turned and moved to finish installing topside probe. However, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was watching him from deep in the forest.

Gamma “Installation of bottom side probe completed, Myra. Coming back topside to dock exosuit for recharging and repair. Need to get these winches looked at, grinding present in left shoulder mounted wire spool.” The exosuit as it unlatched from the rocky side of the island and engaged the winches which pulled skywards towards the anchor points placed above.

”Acknowledged. Gamma, return exosuit to docking station and write up a repair log. Bottom side probe online. Recording data. Analyzing local mana fields. Retrieving sample…” Myra went on with her probing. Previously, the sensor array was now allocated an increase in power to extend the proximity that it could detect biologics. Little did she know that the creatures here would not show up on your basic biologic scans due to the fact they were enriched with the very mana that unnaturally encompassed the realm.


---------


Seven let his guard down momentarily as he listened, just stood and took in the natural beauty this place had to offer. It was so serene; it made him sick. Such madness had he endured in this world and a place as peaceful as this existed, hidden from him, no, kept away from him as he was forced into servitude by forces far above himself. The serenity did not last for long, however, as the sounds of the small creatures skittering about and the birds calling out to each other was silenced by a sudden crash in front of him, followed by the sound of the air sizzling. He narrowed that singular golden hued eye at the intruder of his serenity and allowed him his dramatic gaze. The man of scarlet eyes spoke and lead Seven’s own gaze to grow colder. ”Sir Horace, you say? Well then. Seven allowed himself a moment to reign in his anger and let a deep breath escape from his nostrils. ”I am Seven, Captain of the S.I.F. Ensifera. Head search and discovery ship of the Skymarchian Empire. Our business here is our own and classified to all those who are not kin, crew or loyal servant. You are none of those, so I will have to gracefully decline you that information.” Seven again narrowed the single orbed gaze upon Sir Horace.


His lone right digits curled tightly around that stone scared with archaic runes ready, if needed, to summon forth Elminister at a moments notice. He wasn’t too sure of this knights intentions. Was he a denizen of this strange world? He said he was passing through to a kingdom along the way, but from where did he hail? ”Where do you come from, Sir Horace? Is this your land?

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:26 am

The shadows of the creatures stretched across the island casting it into darkness as the beings passed over head, seemingly oblivious to the commotion below simply uninterested in the humanoids and their plight, their calls continued to echo about the valley as the glide lazily into the distance, breaking the clouds as they soar through them— feeding on the mana currents that was thick upon the air. From a distance they appeared no more than a flock of birds until finally they disappeared from sight.  

Other strange creatures could be seen soaring through the air, though nothing as impactful as the large mantas that had previously graced the small encampment. The underside of the island  very  much resembled a mountain that had been turned upside down, jagged peaks  pointing towards the golden  sky in a staggered formation. Most  of it was solid rock as much  of the dirt had already been swept away due to  years of erosion, though strange currents seemed to course through the stone almost as if it was a living entity. And of course, many of these readings would be electromagnetic in nature various waves of energy which resonated through earth—though how the islands actually stay afloat remained yet a mystery.

Alpha: From the tree-line two pairs of golden hues—starred out at the exo-suit—as the mechanized unit trained its cannon upward, watching, waiting, stalking. A strange creature indeed. Crept ever near as the man had been focused on those beings which had passed harmlessly overhead—it was all the time the being needed and it broke free from its covered position and leapt through the air in an attempt to throw itself onto the suit from behind.  The disappointed piolet may have had a chance to use his suit sooner than he expects or wanted…  The creatures themselves  resembled something very wolf-like, though  without fur  and had six muscular legs, with their front possessing ‘thumbs’ which  allowed them to grip onto their prey, and stood almost as tall as a man without being on its hind-legs.

If successful, the being would grip onto the suits -head- and proceed to beat  against the face of the machine in an attempt to crack it open.

___________________________________________________

Meanwhile… The Crimson  Guard slowly rose to his full height, standing just a bit taller than the man he had been watching, though this was due to the slope of the roots he had currently been standing on though in actuality they were around the same height. Briefly glanced towards the man’s  clenched hand a weapon? Perhaps  he had really know way of knowing for sure. Instead, a gauntleted hand wrapped around the hilt of his own sword pulling it from the ground there was an obvious  mark left upon the  ground in the shape of an ‘x’ where the roots and earth had been scorched. He though at a moment never taking his eyes  of the man—left hand rising to gently scratching along the underside of his chin.

Though he didn’t appear the least bit surprised with Seven’s reply, despite having already stated his intentions. ”Skymarchian Empire.” He repeated. ”Can’t say I’ve heard of it. Though this territory is currently under the control of the --- Empire. I’m afraid without knowing your intentions I can’t let you proceed.” Perhaps that would answer his question.

And with that he lifted his sword, those crimson hues narrowing slightly upon the man.—Particles slowly began to swirl around the length  of the blade as he drew the mana  from the air and infused the blade with his own causing it to become engulfed in flame.  ”I suggest going back  the way you came.”

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:03 am

Once more the crew of the S.I.F. Ensifera were taken by surprise by the strange and apparently hostile wildlife within’ the region. Once more proximity alarms blared to life as it detected a threat to one of the machines on its network. Myra focused her consciousness towards exosuit Alpha to determine the issue and hoped against hope the reason his biosignatures had spiked dangerously was that he was frightened. Such was not the case as the onboard camera showed a hazy picture of the grisly attack.

”Exosuit units Gamma, Beta and Charlie dispatch to position Alpha. Violent threat detected. Biosignatures showing rapid deterioration.”

Alpha The moment he began to turn to return to the installation of the mana probe he felt the impact happen. It was unexpected and as such he didn’t have the chance to raise the mana shields. The outer armor of the suit was not designed to take such a beating without aid of the mana shields simply for the sake of heightened mobility. The six legged wolf-like creature leapt at him and began pounding away at the exosuit and in moments the helm would be crushed in and its pilot severely injured. Blood poured from an open gash that seemed to span the entire length of his face as the guttural roars of the creature continued ringing in his ears. The suit would topple to the ground with a horrendous metal groan. As the attack continued the biosignatures would cut out completely as the pilot was maimed to a violent death, the exosuit becoming no longer useful as a machine and now only as scrap metal.

Gamma had a headstart on the other two, as he was already dispatched, but with little in the way of armament. Though, as he had arrived the sight he saw was enough to rattle him. The massive six legged wolf-like creature had toppled the metal giant. Gamma raised his mana shields just as Beta and Charlie arrived on scene and began to unload man propelled tungsten alloy projectiles at the beast. Each shell was little more than the size of a baseball, but were propelled at speeds fast enough to leave a vapor trail in their wake.

”Communications with the Captain failed. We’ll have to handle this one alone, boys.”


-----

Seven noted the man’s height as he rose to it. Roughly the same height as himself given equal ground, a little bulkier in stature. Given it came to a fight, Seven was certain he could handle the threat. For a moment, the thought of handling things civilly was almost an option, though not one Seven usually opted for. He was less a talker and more a ‘handle this with fists’ kind of guy. But the one time, the singular time he was considering attempting a civil response, the other party beat him to the punch, so to speak. The man’s sword burst into a torrent of flames and he stood at the ready.

”It is not surprising you have not heard of the Skymarchian Empire. We are not from this realm, in fact, we are not even from this solar system.

Seven gripped tighter on that stone, crushing the stone to dust and releasing the stored spell. In a flash of brilliant green light a staff appeared in his hand. The gun metal hued, six foot length of steel stood out, if only for the fact it was alight from tip to tip with electric green runes. His eye once more narrowed as he dropped the lower end of the staff into the dirt before him.

”Sir Horace, from the --- Empire, I implore you. Do not attempt to hinder me in any way. I, Seven, Captain of the S.I.F. Ensifera will not be set back or put off from our task here. The resource which we week is too rich a thing for us to turn back now. We are here. We will have what we came for and no one, not even the likes of you are going to change that. Rethink your actions, knight. For they may be your last.”

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:36 pm

The hot-bloodedness of the Crimson Knight was unmatched, perhaps if it had been any other Knight they would have been able to work things out in an agreeable able manner. Horace watched as the other summoned his own weapon via the spell that had been stored in the runic stone causing energy to disperse  viably into the already saturated air. White translucent  mist began to swirl about his own blade as it siphoned in the surrounding  energies, converting it to the flame which enveloped the flame, making it relatively easy to keep up the enchantment as it required very little of his own energy to activate and once activate the flame was able to feed off of the surrounding mana. The blade whipped through the air, leaving a trail of flame which burned the sky before dissipating into the ether.

“Well then, Seven, Captain of the S.I.F. Ensifera, man from the stars and beyond. It is a shame that you  have traveled so far  just  to get some sense beaten into you.”

Lips curled upward in a sort of awkward smile at Seven's promise for death. Wordlessly he brought the blade back, pointing towards the ground directly behind him never taking those scarlet hued eyes off the man, they seemed to burn with an intensity that matched the  flame which danced around his  own weapon. Seven was given the curtsy to finish his speech, though that brief moment—perhaps the last at a chance to resolve things peacefully did not last long.

Let’s see what you got…

BOOM! without warning a sudden burst of energy  discharged behind  the male, a small explosion, the force of which  propelled the man  forward at a sudden and explosive rate, he was flying directly at the one known  as seven almost with the same force that those projectiles were fired at the wolf like creature- leaving a trail  of flame which resembled tracks  dancing upon the earth in the his wake and as he traveled through the air. The direct approach was always best in his mind, and he proved this with the fully directional attack. Mid-Flight his body began to twist as he built up momentum, attempting to bring the edge of the blade down upon Seven’s head in a downward slash, which was carried through by both his inertia and the rotational movement of his body.

____

Clank, Clank, Clank, the  beast continued to beat powerfully again the machine , using every tool at its disposal, it powerful forearm, the claws  on its  middle and hind -legs gripping onto the body of the machine.  Each  muscle  on the beast seemed  somehow  defined  and  expand and contract with each strike  and indeed each hit was rewarded with the sounds of the man inside as metal  began to crumple upon itself until  finally nothing was left but a metal husk. A loud growl escaped the creature reverberating deep within its lungs. However,  before the creature could claim its prize another group of mechanized warriors  appeared before it. Those four eyes trained upon the new adversaries perhaps contemplating whether or not it should run. Though before it was given a chance however, the other two  were already unloading a wall of shrapnel its directions.

The being moved almost instinctual, its  body  quick as it reacted to the mana that had been dispersed into the air, there  was  no thought  only action. One that stemmed from a very basic  animistic nature, survival. Twisting its body, it managed to avoid the first shot.. somehow. However it would not be so lucky with next, or even  the next as one of the projectiles caught the beast in his upper arm  tearing it clean off, the being itself  lacked the proper hardiness it needed to withstand such an attack and it was clear that this predator was designed for speed and attack rather than defense. A loud deafening cry filled the air one of the creatures arms was taken clean off [upper-right]. It was already scurrying towards the protestation of the tree-line when another shot caught its back leg instantly dismembering it from the creature’s body and it ran in a zig-zag motion through the trees in an  attempt to escape until it was no longer within the proximity of the S.I.F Ensifera.

Though it was very ambiguous as if the creature would survive such devastating wounds.

Leaving its Prize  behind as well  as two of its limbs, various  chunks of flesh, and a smattering of blackened blood.--- It was clear that the creatures within the vale were unused to human  interaction and they were  viewed as prey just as anything else that wandered throughout the islands.


Last edited by Xin on Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:14 pm; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : Fixed some typos)

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:50 pm

The creature fled with its wounds, leaving an arm and a leg behind at the scene. The barrage of shells ceased as the creature retreated into the treeline and Gamma moved towards the wreckage of what was once Alpha exosuit.


Gamma As the fire ceased and the creature was nowhere to be seen, the pilot moved itself to the wreckage of what was once Alpha. The scene was grisly, to say the least. Where the pilot was previously, there was now only a mass of bloodied meat and bone. ”God dammit. What was that? It really messed him up. Not to mention the suit.” Beta and Charlie set up a perimeter with weapons at the ready in case another one, or worse, the same one showed up again. ”Myra, we need the med crew down here, along with a scrapper. Warn them it isn't a pretty sight, leave the squeamish behind. I suggest rolling out the rovers, scare off any of the wildlife, maybe.”


”Acknowledged. Med crew dispatch to position Alpha. Unmanned rovers coming online, course input determined. Gamma, proceed with topside mana probe. We need this data.”


Gamma The pilot had already moved on to start with Alpha's assignment, no reason to stop progress. He made sure his shields were up and diverted thirty-percent more power to them, just in case.


Three rovers came to life and moved off into the distance through the trees. Easily, these machines stood three or four exosuits high and resembled a humanoid figure with massive mechanized arms and shoulder mounted mana cannons. Hopefully, many of the predatory wildlife would be fearful of such massive and noisy machines. If not, the automated response to a violent attack would be to assault without mercy.





The attack was so sudden that Seven almost missed it. Almost. That scarlet clad man rocketed through the air at Seven, a twist in his flight and brought that flaming blade downwards with the intent to smite him. Seven began to move, no intention of letting this foreign knight best him at one his most adept skills. Moving to his own right, and crouching down, he pulled the skyward end of that staff down with him and over his head. The two weapons would collide as a consequence, the bright green runes blazing upon contact with the flaming sword overhead. Due to the angle of the staff and the fact the man was coming down at him from an attack in the air, the hope was that the blade would impact and slide down the length of the staff towards the ground.

At the time of weapon to weapon contact, Seven plant that left and following foot, launching a high and sweeping kick with his right leading leg that aimed to impact the man about his left rib cage and send him soaring through the air in a wild path into one of the many large trees. In tandem, Seven would put Elminister to work. While his own magics were severely dampened in this area, his staff was made for a situation exactly like this one. The center of the elementium tube that made up the outer shell of Elminister was packed with a Nether ore core. The very property of this ore was to absorb and, with the help of runic inscription, a variety of static mana and cosmic energies.

This mana enriched atmosphere just added to the ferocity that was Elminister. Mana flowed into the weapon, aiding the blazing of the runes. If the kick did connect and send the adversary soaring, Seven would follow up by quickly rising to his feet, a spin of his wrist would allow his staff one full rotation before the end would come to a rest between his arm and right side. The tip of the staff would become ablaze with a brilliant radiance of ivory, an orb the size of a grapefruit firing out into the direction fo the man. It wasn't anything too serious, Seven did not want to kill this man, only hurt him. Should the orb connect, electricity would engulf the man and issue a most painful shocking sensation.

Should the kick not connect, Seven would still be crouched with his leg outstretched with the attempted kick.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:25 pm

Steely blue leaves fell towards the ground as the beast leapt from one tree to another using its one good arm to latch onto the trunk before kicking off to the next. It movements were frantic uncoordinated until it suddenly vanished and the shooting stopped, though the distant trees could be seen swaying to and forth which marked its path as it ventured deeper into the sanctity of the forest and away from the strange creatures it had just encountered. The ground seemed as if to shake and rocks began jumping up and down as those rovers were unleashed upon the woods a torrent of wild-life followed.

Avian creatures, fleeing their nests and taking flight off into the distance sky, while creature who burrowed beneath the roots of the trees in small hallows began to scurry about in an almost aimless manner in an attempt to get away from these foreign entities, these machines, under the banner of the Skymarchain Empire.. and with them came their unusual sounds, an agitated squeak as they were forced from their homes the Rovers were quite effective indeed as they arrived the creatures would have been long gone before they even arrived both predator and pray alike.

Though tiny yellow motes began to swirl about the air as if dust kicked off of the ground, flowing upward and swirling about in an almost carefree manner.

____

Clang, steel struck against Elementium and the force of the blow was transferred in a single instant, sending a shock-wave of heat which singed the surrounding trees as well as a wave of sparks which flung every which way. The male seemed to hover of a moment at the blade connected and the friction from the impact seemed to hold him up, most of the force was absorbed by the ground while the remainder was bore by the man. The blade slide along the length of the staff in quick succession before burying itself into the ground, causing tiny chunks of rock to erupt from a small crater, though the male was still airborne when Seven unleashed a counterattack, a kick to the ribs which was met with the plated armor, sending the male flying as a somewhat skewed trajectory.

First, he was caught by surprise that the man had been able to deflect it with but a single hand- and send him flying armor and all with but a single kick though still he did not spend much time pondering the implications, rather he was quick to react, arms spreading in an attempt to increase his surface area and regain some semblance of control. His right hand still gripped onto the hilt of the sword having failed from letting it go, flames continued to dance about its surface, drawing in the surrounding energy and rather than strike against the tree as Seven had intended—to be met with an electric blast, the man launched himself up into the air. Which another controlled explosion aimed towards the ground. Avoiding both the impact from the tree and Seven’s next attack. Hopefully.

Drawing his legs upward, the male landed safely upon a low hanging branch, the pain from the kick though his armor had absorbed most of the impact, he was still able to feel the blow. Thankfully nothing felt broken. Hues burned intensely upon the staff wielder and provided there was not a follow up attack the male merely used to moment to catch his breath.

Not bad….

He thought before leaping from the branch and landing in a slight crouch, there was still a fair distance between them more than when they had spoke previously. Though it seemed the time for speaking had come to an end. This time however he would not make the mistake of underestimating his opponent.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:27 am

Gamma The pilot turned towards the encampment and began to head back to the docking station as the man probe behind him came online. ”Top side probe installed, Myra. Data stream initialized, docking up and returning to previous assignment of finishing with the mess hall and bunkhouse.”


”Great work, Gamma. Charlie, Beta take up stations on either side of the camp. Beta, I want that treeline monitored. Anything the rovers didn't scare off need to be handled before reaching base camp. Charlie, monitor the bridge. Notify me of the Captain's return when you see him.


Already the encampment was beginning to look more like a colony than anything thanks to the wondrous combination of magic and technology. Not to mention, minimal assembly required shelters. While the exosuits were dealing with the monster near the treeline, the crew had already finished assembling the two buildings and were now working on unloading the ships supply of food, linens and various life support technology.


The rovers continued on a course that led them deep into the forest to a point at which they turned and changed their path by ten yards and repeated the process back to the treeline, only to turn back and do it again. Mechanized sentries, ever vigilant and never tiring. Everyone else was much to busy to notice the cloud of yellow dust they were kicking up.


- - - - - - - -


Seven was surprised at the heartiness of the man. That kick would have crumpled many of the strong warriors in his homeland, perhaps killed many of the weaker ones. The fact this man had simply taken it in stride and was prepared to carry on gave reason for Seven to respect him. Though, that respect was overshadowed by the fact he was a clear hindrance to his current business.

The Crimson Knight landed upon the tree branch and Seven simply watched him, staff outstretched in front of him as the man leaped down and stood now, seemingly ready for more. Seven shook his head a moment as he let the end of that staff lower once more to the ground, intentionally slow as to show it was a non-violent action. The time for talking was not so quite dead as Seven had something he needed the man to hear.

”Sir Horace. I admit, you are formidable. Not many I know of can recover so quickly. But I must tell you...”

Seven closed his eye and allowed his right arm to laze for a moment, his grip sliding down the shaft of his staff and allowing it to fall back and rest upon his shoulder.

”You cannot suppress me on your own. There is but one end to this fight, one that holds a most inevitable death for you. I do not wish to shed blood today, least of all an emissary of an empire of this foreign land. Come now, must we fight? Leave me to my business and I'll leave you to yours. ”

Was he trying to talk the man down? Or was he trying to goad him into making rash and angry attacks? It was hard to tell when it came to Seven, he was strange.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:00 am

Initial readings from the probe would reveal various electromagnetic waves which seemed to course through stone, and around the islands as wells as varying degrees of gravitational force which floated through the valley even changing its directional pull at some points—though the exact source of the readings were still unknown. However a powerful disturbance came from the center of the island across from them.. if they were able to gather such information it seemed to be coming from the center of what appeared to a lake, a constant flow of mana which leaked from the carcass into stone and eventually the interconnected root system that made up the forest.

The sound from the explosion sounded in the distance causing the ground to shake lightly from the impact shortly after there came another as a result of Horace’s encounter with Seven. The Knights Bruno, Rifu, and Agatha as well as the child  continued through the forest at a fair pace weaving deftly between the  trees, the sound was closer the second time letting  them know that they were close to the scene of  the actions .

”Let’s hurry.” Called Rifu, who was quickly followed up by the large knight. Despite his build the male withed with a surprising amount of swiftness that was surprising for someone of his size and was quickly gaining on the Azure Knight eventually passing her however as he speed of head.

The  other two were not far behind but there was a notable gap as they had stopped to speak a moment before running off  after their companion. Agatha decidedly needed some convincing, but now that her mind had fully been committed she quickened her pace, weaving effortlessly between the trees her gown billowing lightly in the air behind her…

___

Armor  clattered lightly as the male slowly rose, holding his sword out towards the side; pillar of flame continued to dance around the edge of the blade, lifting the tip of the blade upward which cut a line through the air, testing the own range of motion in his right arm, there was some discomfort in his side from the kick Seven had delivered but it was not enough to hinder his movement or even make him consider backing down from a fight. He listened as the male spoke and even assumed a passive stance.

The knight listened for a moment as the other attempted to reason[?] Seven’s  words were likely to have the opposite effect on Horace though he refrained from attacking, just yet with the tip of the blade pointed slightly in the males directions.

“Not bad yourself, though its as one would expect from the captain.” He said with a smirk.
Then there was that word, Alone he expected the others might show up at any second now, he would rather face this man alone. And despite his words he was still confident in his own abilities.

“Seven, as a Knight it is my duty to protect these lands and its resources, I cannot allow you do as you to do as you please, as far as I’m concerned this is my business. If you still insist on your dubious intention then I’m afraid I will have no choice but to stop you.” There was a certain intensity in his eyes that betrayed his words almost as if he were looking forward to a fight. Almost as if he enjoyed it.

The flame pulsed slightly as he began to weave a spell through the blade, infusing it with his own mana which caused those pillars to lick out against his skin in response causing smoke to disperse from his body.

”Incinerate.”

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:06 am

If Myra could, she would be marveling at the data currently streaming in from the two mana probes. Whilst they may be named such, they did so much more than simply read data. The probes were a tap into the grander workings of the corporeal.

For instance, the probes filtered through the various gravitational forces at work on these floating islands. It was surprising to see that, rather than maintaining constant force in both opposing directions, that the forces at work were more like various rivers of force coalescing. Ebbs and flows that, while did not maintain exact position or force, seemed to follow a pattern. Which would explain why the islands have risen and fallen by degrees so small and slow that the screw wouldn’t have noticed at all without the advanced monitoring systems. It was as if the islands were icebergs afloat on a sea of air.

Then there were the electromagnetic currents which seemed to flow through the islands like a life force. It happened through the stone in pulses, almost like a heartbeat. But in the trees and underbrush it was a near constant glowing. Combined with the unnatural amount of mana that was occurring in the area gives you the cause of the wondrous light show that are the glowing fauna on the islands.

But the mana, that was more difficult. The readings were higher than anything they had currently seen to date, in terms of mana concentrated in one area. Of course, the cosmic mana streams were much, much larger and held more, but that was on a cosmic level. The amount of mana that was present on this singular island alone was massive. It was supremely difficult to pinpoint a source, location or even a hint at where it all might be coming from. The odds of being naturally occurring were started to look even thinner as the data streamed in.

Indeed, there was plenty to marvel over, but Myra lacked the necessary equipment to do so. For she, no –it, was but a machine given the impression of freedom.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Horace’s word put a sour taste into his mouth, and such, Seven would heave a great sigh. This was not exactly what he wanted to spend his time doing, especially since he was currently attempting to locate the center point of this island, as his King had specifically instructed for no serious reason.

”You knights and your duty!”

Seven raised his staff once more, Horace muttering his single word that seemed to cause him to smoke and his flame to grow larger. Seven was growing weary of mind with this dutiful knight. Not only was he no longer equipped for physical battle, which he was bound to due to this damned fog of mana, he also lost much of his patience in his latter years. As such, he would not give the knight much time to prepare.

That raised staff almost immediately changed direction, the bottommost end of it slamming into the ground, runes blazing violently to new life as he released the energy Elminister pulled in from the surrounding air. The spell was simple, yet effective. The earth would crack, a violent rumbling that seemed concentrated only within’ a small area surrounding the two men, and nature would begin spring new life from the small crevices formed. Vines of various widths would begin to writhe from the ground and around Horace’s smoking form, an attempt to entangle him so that Seven could more easily deal a blow that would render the man temporarily unconscious.

That eye narrowed once more as his spell begin to work, and should it be successful, Seven would allow himself a moment of respite; a grin would split his face.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:54 pm

Crimson eyes fell upon the one known as Seven, as flame continued to pulse and dance with the growing mana. The crimson knight however did not reply to Seven’s words though the man’s posture and demeanor seemed to convey the message well enough. Never doubt a Knight’s Commitment.

All Horace needed to do to complete channeling the spell was plunge the tip of his blade into the earth, all he needed to do to end this battle was but a moment away. However it seemed that the Sky Captain would not allow this this to finish. when the ground began to shake and rumble causing the crimson knight to lose his balance. Feet shuffle against the ground attempting to gain purchase as it was split asunder and Seven’s attack was revealed, stepping forward with a long arching swing that served to hew those vines in half. A column of flame as if an extension of the blade itself shot upward at an angled trajectory, cleaving the surrounding trees in two before piercing the canopy in a bright flare, like a wave upon the sky that could be seen from the Skymarchian encampment before it vanished into the ether.  

Loud thunderous cracks resound through the surrounding forest, like a violent an ominous storm as the trees fell one by one groaning faintly before they crashed against the ground or to rest upon the adjacent tree, allowing a shower of golden twilight to cascade upon the ground as the dust began to settle, a flurry of leaves  swirled about some burnt while others whole.

The attempt at stopping the vines proved only moderately successful however, like a lizard with its tail cut off the vines began to regenerate with the abundance of mana flowing through them, they bubbled  and popped as new threads sprang forth to snare the males arms. Not to mention the maneuver was only successful  in clearing one side from of vines, before he had even realized his arm had been caught in their trap, though provided the vines were like ordinary vegetation the would have a hard time gripping onto the male, being burned almost instantly, his own temperature began to rise and he through his arm causing those ropes to snap.

It was strange that the captain had decided to use a plant based ability against the Flame Knight, though it proved successful in the end, as the male had already burned through most of his energy in the hopes of ending things quickly, the vines had won out. Like a boa catching its pray, snaring each limb, his torso, and neck, squeezing the breath out of him. Though the male never stopped struggling even using his teeth at one point to sever his bonds until he was rendered immobile.

“Damn you…” he spat through gritted teeth.  A fire still burning within those crimson eyes.
All looked hopeless for our hero Knight…


THUMP the ground shook once more, though not by any feet of magic, but by sheer size and weight alone. With the appearance of yet another, The Onyx Knight, Bruno. Landed upon the ground between Horace and Seven flinging bits of rock every which direction. Great-shield shimmering and poised to block any follow up attack.

”Piercing Light.” another voice called out meekly. Agatha waved her staff through the air causing ball of white light to from upon the crystal specter splitting into several shards which were directed in Horace’s directions. They shot out tiny bolts severing each of the vines in an instant. Providing this had been successful. Bruno slammed the butt of the shield against the marred ground causing it to close up once more as he channeled his own energy through the piece.

Ice Tomb: Rifu, was the first to arrive on the scene though rather than make her presence known she crept  along the outskirts of the battle, hoping that their fight would distract Seven  long enough for her to sneak up behind the man to prevent him from escaping should he try to run or offer assistance as needed. She moved as close as she was confident that the other would not notice her before launching a surprise attack on her own. A sheet of white ice snaked across root and stone at a slight curve attempt to strike within his blind spot and unless the male moved he would fine his feet, frozen in a vice-like grip to the ground.

Slowly Rifu made her way, into the clearing eyeing the large hole they had seemingly been punched into the sky. A small breath escaped her lips from the recent exertion of sprinting through the woods and being forced to use her mana.

”DAMN YOU HORACE!” She yelled. ”How are you supposed to protect ANYTHING with THAT. Are you trying to burn down the entire forests?” She fumed.

If the bind had hit Seven would find himself affixed to the ground, if the  male manage to break free or avoided it however— it was likely that Rifu would pursue.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:11 am

It had not even crossed his mind that this backwater Crimson Knight could even muster such power. For a moment, a thought of certain doom he sprouted up in the back of his mind. As that fiery blade seared through his vine summon he began to worry as that explosive flame cleaved a massive hole in the canopy, felling many of the surrounding trees. Luckily for him, there was no real reason to move as those trees were all out of range, he was safe from that.

As quickly as it had come, the thought of doubt in his success had faded away. Seven’s vines continue to grow and creep up the man, fighting against the very nature of fire itself to do the bidding of their master. Soon, Horace was covered, entangled in a mass of vegetation meant to squeeze the life out of him. The Knight cursed and Seven allowed himself a moments respite.

”No, sir knight. Damn yourself for being foolish and not heeding my warnings. Had you—“

Seven was cut off mid monologue as the hulking mass of Bruno was suddenly between the two men, quaking the ground with his impact, a stone flinging from the ground and causing a small wound to form upon Seven’s forehead. His eye grew wide for but a moment as the man poised himself to defend. Seven was on the verge of comment, though he silenced himself as he heard that meek voice call out yet another spell. Automatically, Seven assumed this was directed at him and he erected a barrier directly in front of him, only to watch as the vines succumb to some sort of vicious blade-like attack and release the fiery knight.

”Fools, the lot of you. What chance do you hope to stand against me!?”

Seven allowed his knees to bend ever so slightly, and with a mild thrust he would soar into the air; or so were his intentions. In his anger and surprise at the newly arrived knights, he did not notice the layer of ice or sheer cold that was now binding him to the ground and slowly creeping up his legs. He hated the cold, hated ice magic. It really peeved him how something so easily broken in a natural state could be so damned strong when combined with magic. As his leap was stopped cold in its’ tracks he faltered and lost balance for but a moment as he tried to pull his staff free from the frozen ground. Being that he had only a single arm and could not adjust his stance for strength made this task extremely difficult. By that time, Rifu had already begun to berate Horace.

Seven stopped in his struggling and allowed his eyes to close. He breathed in deep and held it as he began to channel with Elminister. Mana pooled in rapidly from the surrounding area into the now blazing staff as he prepared an attack the would level most, if not, all of the island. The energy around let off a shimmer of heat as he prepared.


- - - - - - - -  -
-

The encampment had settled down greatly as work had already come to a standstill, crew milling about with nothing left to do but get their personal belongings into the shelter and work areas that had just finished building. Already they were becoming accustomed to the extra pressure in the air that was caused by the presence of such an amount of mana that it baffled their own Captain. No further attacks from the local wildlife had come, no attacks from other unknown sources. The Crew had become stagnant, milling about in small groups, conversing about the odd way the trees glowed or the dark and mysterious atmosphere here on the island. Until a great gout of flame seared through the top of the forest canopy on the island their captain had ventured off to. The people were shocked, some even screaming in mild terror as they stopped all they were doing to watch the flame dissipate and hear the distant racket of trees collapsing.

Alarm modules went haywire, the massive outburst of energy detected from the other island was enough to alert the scanners to something sinister.

”All Exosuits dispatch to the land bridge. Permission granted for heavy armament. Target the treeline, watch for anything but hold fire until I say. The Captains out there but that wasn’t caused by him.”

Myra watched as all twelve of the exosuits left docking stations and loaded with a variety of mana rifles, proximity explosive shell launchers, mana rockets and the very handy chain fed, tungsten projectile mana-rail guns. As the exosuits lined themselves at the edge of the island, the remaining crew retreated into shelters and activated the mana-fields that surrounded them.

It was all a waiting game for both the Captain and the Crew.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:53 am

A wave of air rushed past the small clearing as the cacophony of snapping and breaking timber finally subsided. Like the soft pitter-patter of rain, leaves fell from the sky to litter the awaiting ground flowing freely about Bruno’s form. Despite being slightly crouched the male towered easily over the others in both size and girth, combined with the great shield left for quite the imposing stature. Golden hues as if stone itself fell upon before him, Seven, bearing an almost expressionless gaze. The man remained motionless like a statue no an insurmountable cliff ready to block whatever counter Seven may have up his sleeve.

A soft grunt escaped the back of Horace’s throat as he fell towards the earth, armor clattering softly as he hit the ground. The last of the vines shedding from his form like the skin of a snake, turning into dust and ash which is swept away by the subtle breeze. Agatha, instantly rushed to the males side struggling to support his weight against her own.

“Are you planning on getting in my way as well; I told you to wait at the camp.”

Horace scowled, which elicited a soft yelp from the poor girl, though never the less she offered her support—though tried herself to avoid his fiery gaze. Thin digits lift the tip of the staff towards the male’s side offering to heal his wound though he quickly pushed her away staggering a bit as he regained his balance and some of his stamina. He had only sustained light- wounds after all and he knew it may be important for the girl to conserve her energy. He looked towards Seven watching as the man struggled against the ice, struggled with is one arm to free his staff.  

”It seems you’re the one who is in trouble here.” spoke  the Crimson Knight once more, he was quick to recover now that he was now longer burning his own mana, though the flame that had previously danced around his sword  had been extinguished. Like a fire that had burned all of its oxygen and snuffed itself out, though the male seemed quite irate that the others had decided to interfere with his battle—a small breath slipped past lips though no sooner were they offered this brief respite, the Captain began to channel yet another spell, the flow of mana funneling into his staff like the rivers that spilled endlessly into the abyss.

A flurry of what looked like steam began to dance off the surface of ice, whipping back and forth by the displacement of air. A heat-haze began to radiate about the staff as it filled with energy, causing the ice which bound it to the ground to weaken somewhat, a chip breaking off at first followed by a small fracture which weakened the bond around the tip of the staff, which would most likely shatter if the male attempted to dislodge it, however the ground about the male’s feet was as strong as ever, however would he have time to break free? Time to channel his spell?

The Knights were quick to react however it was The Ivory Knight, Agatha this time. She charged her own spell, though only a single shaft of light this time was aimed at the male’s right shoulders—it shot through the air like a bolt from a crossbow in an attempt to disarm the male. (One way or another.)

Simultaneously, --

Ice Lance: Rifu stepped forward her demeanor seeming to change from anger at her comrade and her chilled gaze fell upon Seven seeming to reflect the very nature of ices itself.  She hoisted the tip of the spear into the air causing a crystalline ball to form just above the blade resembling what appeared to be a spiked orb which was lobbed in Seven’s direction.  The projectile itself flew through the air as in in slow motion, Seven would have easily been able to duck under it. However, its intentions were never really to hit the male in the first place and if  it had been avoided, the impact against the ground would cause the orb to shatter like glass, releasing four narrow shafts of ice, which shot towards the male’s back like a thrusting spear. Otherwise he would find himself with a chest full of ice-like daggers.

Meanwhile, the boy who had originally told the knights of the S.I.F. Ensifera’s arrival watched at a safe distance from beyond the tree line, Rifu had told him to wait there after all. Slowly Xin crept closer towards the edge, bared feet lightly tracing over the ground taking in its uneven texture the  roots that broke the surface like veins which fed life throughout the forest. That  solitary single orb widening slightly, had this man intended to destroy the entire island just to prevent himself from becoming captive? Regardless the outcome however the boy moved ever close, the treads of his cloak flitting about his small frame as if a shadow itself.  

Slowly he stepped out into the clearing, approaching from behind Horace. ”What is the meaning of this?” He question. ”I expect a full explanation once we return back to camp but for now..” his gaze  trailed towards Seven then beyond, knowing that the Sky Ship and its crew were able to see  the flame which had set the sky ablaze, it was only a matter of time before they sent more men into the forest after their Captain.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:20 am

Mana continued to poor into Elminister from the surrounding area, his spell almost brought to completion. These knights were a nuisance and he planned to deal with them wholly; death a finality he would soon have them meeting. Or so he thought. Foes he had encountered before had scattered, running like children to flee such a spectacle of an attack. For that reason he had no expected the knights to attack him before completion, when he was vulnerable to all.

Thus, when his right shoulder became alight with agony and a sense of absence he’d not felt since the loss of his left arm, his eyes shot open and a roar escaped him.

”No~!”

As if his limitations hadn’t be degraded enough with the loss of one arm, now he would suffer the handicap of having none. But there was hope, the lance of light had only partly seared the arm from its rightful place, and he may be able to heal it later if he escaped now. The ice had melted away at his feet from the heat of the energy intake. He began to turn, but it was too late, he was had. The ice sphere connected with his left side, ice daggers sprouting from the orb and penetrating deep into his torso. A grunt escaped him as he collapsed to one knee.

”You…you bastards. I’ll…k-kill you all.”

But he was in no shape to continue, and he knew it. Fully collapsing onto his chest only drove those ice daggers deeper into him. Blood began to pool, a sticky obsidian substance resembling oil soon grew from a puddle to a pool around him. Seven was not dead, for from it, in fact. Though, he was critically injured and worse for wear. Elminister still stood in place upon the ground, its light having died off at the absence of its masters touch. His breaths came in rasps, a thick, wet wheezing as each breath brought blood seeping from his mouth. Punctured lungs, broken ribs, loss of function in his right arm. It was safe to say that he was beat.

”Dammit…how?

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:43 pm

‘The small Giant as he was called was by no means  small, only when compared with other members of his race would the words come to mind, for her was among the smallest of his kind, standing well over eight foot in height. He remained motionless like a statue, petrified in stone, as if having met the gorgon’s gaze. Never taking  his eyes off the man—until the attacks launched by both the woman had found  their marks and  he fell. A loud shatter like the dropping of a vase broke the silence as ice broke off into the captains chest, like needles standing from a pin cushion, the remaining fragments scattered about like shattered glass, melting slowly in the heat of the forest as the spell was lifted.

SHACLINK, Bruno slung the great shield over his back after the captain went down, thunderous steps marking his approach which caused the earth to shiver as if chilled by the ice, and pebbles to jump out of the man’s way.  Slowly, the Colossal closed the distance between them with a long and lumbering gait. He bent, a single hand easily closing around the male’s head as if it were no more than a toy. A doll within his grasp and Seven was drawn into the air [provided the man did not try to resist], till their eyes met. Golden hues and a flat expression like the face of a cliff, a thin line began to form no more than a crack at first then it spread into a vast fissure as he offered the male a toothy grin. Breath hot upon his face.

”You come with us now. Try funny. Bruno squash like bug.” his voice an avalanche which rumbled deep within his armor.  He would too. A moment passed as he made sure that the other knew the position he was in before slinging him over one shoulder.
“What happened here?” The boy questioned, moving over to where Horace had been standing.

The Crimson Knight had composed himself, mostly now, told them of the events that had happened, though there wasn’t much to tell, until everyone there knew exactly what was going on. The boy thought a moment, and tapped against the surface of the mask with the tip of his  nail. tink, he thought. Tink-tink. He thought some more. “Well if the captain won’t tell us why they came perhaps the crew will.” If they even knew as much. He looked towards the Elminister which stood from the ground now lifeless.  ”Someone should go to the camp and negotiate. The captain for information.. or  their departure.”  that single , silver orb scanned over each of their faces. Horace was about to volunteer when Xin passed him over and looked towards Riku who had been starring aloof as if she were not apart of their ensemble.

“I think Riku is  more suited to this kind of thing. Be careful.” She turned towards him brining a hand over her chest and offering a slight bow, before she turned from him and made her way towards where the Captain had collapsed, taking the Elminister within her grasp she would need something to ensure her safety after all. Though perhaps these were the sort of men to shoot first and ask questions later. Hopefully they did not share the same temperament as Horace.

“I shall return by the morning, otherwise expect the worse.” The Azure Knight disappeared into the trees in the direction that the Captain had come from.

“If you don’t return, Well we’ll be offering them his other arm as well as his head.” Horace puffed slightly still slightly stung by the boy’s words,  it was the truth that cut the deepest. Though as his breath left him so did the heat and he sighed softly, those crimson eyes settling on that man’s arm which held on just barley. He went off in the opposite direction, back towards the camp ahead of the pair.

_________________________


Riku, the knight, ran swiftly through the forest almost as if she had been running on level ground though carrying both her lance and the staff proved a moderate inconvenience  through the forests, though she ran all the same skirting in and out of the trees. She was careful  and mindful of her surrounding attempting to go unseen until she wanted to be. She would pass unhindered, unless those suits had spotted her and attempted to impeded her progress.

Eventually should would arrive at the ice bridge about the same time the other’s would arrive at the camp, she figured. This time however, no longer concerned with beings spotted she stepped boldly from the tree-line and onto the land bridge which separated the two islands.  She he the captain’s prize high above her head. “I’ve come to negotiate the safe return of your captain, who is in-charge here?” her voice was cool and demanding. The Elminister was thrown at the foot of the nearest guard, likely one manning an exo-suit.

_________________________

Seven was dropped roughly at the base of a tree as they returned to the camp, Bruno crouched in front of him. Horace quickly securing him to the tree though while he looked for a chain the giant was left watch.

Agatha had been eyeing the man’s injury ever since the Giant had scooped him up, though if he ever looked at her she would yelp softly and quickly advert her gaze, until he had finally been set down. She worked up the courage to approach the male though still keeping her distance.

”D-does it hurt?” she spoke softly and apologized under her breath while inhaling deeply she began to infuse her staff with mana once more, particles of light gathering about the tip of the staff. ”I-I’ll heal you..”

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:34 am

The air had calmed and cooled around him significantly, mana returning to a more neutral state. Pain flared anew as the small giant, Bruno, came to him and gripped his head tight enough to lift him from the ground. His words caused Seven to crack a grin, that one eye heavy lidded and covered in blood had caused his vision to go blurry.

”Damn, you’re ugly.

Seven had mustered at least enough energy for a smart remark, but there was nothing left in him to put up a struggle. Not yet. Already that sticky obsidian substance that poured from his body had begun to harden into a putty. Heat radiated from him as if he had a fever, his ‘blood’ already beginning to mend his wounds. However, it would be sometime before he would be able to put up a struggle. A painful grunt escaped him as he was tossed over the shoulder of the small giant, his vision going even more blurry as his chest full of ice shards collided with a heavily armored shoulder. The exchange of words between the knights was lost on him, his mind was awash with pain and that was all he could focus on. Had he known, he could have given some notice to expect the Azure Knight’s arrival.

- - - - - - -

The exosuits were on high alert and so, when the woman broke the tree line all mana-powered weaponry turned and focused upon the woman. However, they were on orders to wait and monitor all non-violent activity. So far, the woman seemed like she meant little harm. As she lifted that staff above her head and spoke, the exosuits stood down without needing the order. Loud speaker systems squealed to life as Myra started to speak.

”I am Myra, the Sentient Artificial Intelligence of the Skymarchian Imperial Fleet. In the stead of our Captain, I am in charge. What has happened to our Captain?”

For a moment, it was as if a touch of real emotion had crept into her strangely robotic voice.

- - - - - - - - - -
Another painful grunt sounded as he was dropped against the base of the tree and he was secured in place. His blurred gaze lifted once to look around and he caught the eye of the other woman looking at him. He could help but chuckle as the eye contact was broken almost as soon as it was made. Though, when she got close enough that he could hear her words, his eye narrowed sharply and he growled through his teeth.

”Heal me!? Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with!? I don’t need your help!”

He started to struggle against the restraints, but as soon as he started he howled in pain and collapsed back against the tree, the overwhelming pain knocking him out.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by ALIS-Ultonis on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:33 pm

It just so happened that The Empire had decided to send some recon to this strange anamoly. The "Vale of Distortion" as it was called. The expedition force was simply seeking to find out more about this strange region. They had arrived by way of "Silhouetto" a stealth-transport vehicle exclusively used by the Ultonis.

That was when instruments picked up a fluxuation of energy within the sector that could only have been a battle. "Hmm..." Barlen had actually been put in charge of the mission. He scratched his goatee and looked at the holo-display as it fed him data, and then sought to extrapolate. It also picked up the various creatures moving about the area.

As the Ultonis moved closer they activated the cloaking-mechanism causing the field around the ship to mimic and reflect the properties of the ambient area it was moving through, creating a metaphysical and physical camouflage as the ship itself phased with the various wave-lengths that the fundamental forces of the localized area consisted of.

"We have evidence that shows an unknown Space-Craft was or is still nearby..." one of the other officers on the ship said. "Let's observe for now but move in closer..." Barlen said. The squad on the transport consisting of 7 others besides the Lieutenant.


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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:53 pm

A high-pitched squeak escaped from the girl as their captive refused her offer though he gaze kept darting back and forth to his wound then his face. She hated, though the girl seemed incapable of such emotions, seeing others hurt even if she had been the one to caused it. White hair swayed gently upon either shoulder as she tipped her head just. She moved forward despite his protest. White magic inflamed the rod, dancing off the shaft in a distorted haze. Slowly she reached out towards him, after he had seemed to pass out.

”Don’t waste your time on that man.” Horace called, snatching her hand away. ”He does not want your help. Just let him rot.”

Though rather than shy away from the man’s scolding she scowled, and her eyes seemed to burn with the same intensity of the energy that filled the staff. It seemed her sense of duty had won out, over her trepidation. He stepped ”Tct” Horace released her and moved back towards the small camp that they had recently abandoned, his bowl  of soup resting upon a stump  now cold. No mater, it merely gave him a chance to see if he had recovered. Steam danced across the surface and he returned to his meal.

The girl crouched before her ‘patient’ once more nothing that he had passed out, at least he would not be able to restrict her from aiding him—though he might have been able to keep her at bay if he had been conscious to do so. Heart fluttering rapidly against her chest as if the body may suddenly spring to life, it was likely to send her running. Finally her hand found  his shoulder and she muttered softly under her breath. The  mana which swirled about the shaft followed up her arm and flowed into the man. Even in his unconscious state, Seven would be enveloped by a soothing warmth as if he were laying out beneath the sun. A simple spell which worked to only boost the man’s natural  healing ability, while applying a small coating over the wound one that would cleanse it of any foreign entities and allow the skin  to repair itself beneath, offering the sustenance and networks for muscle and tendon to form, to restore what had been lost.

Though the actual healing process would be left towards the individual’s body, a mere nudge, which set the train off in full force, offered by her hand. She rose, unsteadily, brushing a hand along her forehead before she wandered over to take a seat around the fire pit, which was now glowing anew beneath Horace’s touch.

________________

The sky, a perpetual state of aureate stirred no more than usual even as the Silhouetto made its approach, waves of mana like ripples across the surface of a pond flutters about the air in  unsteady patterns, though there was almost a rhythm to it subtle like he pulse which  beats beneath ones skins. A low hum filled the air as those great beasts float lazily across the sky like distant kites. Ancient gods, disinterested in the struggles of the men below. A greeting in their own way.

Even from a distance they would have been able to see the great column of flame which sliced through the sky, like a signal flare before fizzling out, it was hard to miss. Distant clouds continue to swirl about the abyss, streaks of green light flowing through them as if the slow brewing of a storm.

________________

Faux-intelligence? the machine spoken a lot  of  words she did not quite understand, though seeing as it was the only voice that had addressed  her she  figured it was good enough. The staff rolled and tumbled, before  stopping against the foot of one of the suits, briefly she wondered what the seers would say the runes which  landed  face up would say about her future, thought the thought quickly faded as the voice requested information regarding their captain.

“Your captain.” She replied, her voice betrayed nothing as she chose her next words it was unlikely that they would welcome such news. “Engaged one of our Knights. He’s alive, though admittedly not completely uninjured.” At least the last time she checked, there was no telling if he would survive such an attack most men would not, though this was their captain she was talking about and Captains did not die so easily.

She was prepared for any sort of retaliation though her manner seemed completely relaxed as if this was all just some sort of misunderstanding. “I’m sure he’s receiving the proper care even as we speak.” She studied their reactions, motionless as she had been frozen to the ground. Though the only thing frozen  was her spear which stood straight up as she disarmed  herself and moved towards the first guard.

“I would prefer to discuss such matters, face to face or else I find it hard to trust.” Even if Myra did not have a physical form, there must have been a console or something Rifu could communicate with. ”Perhaps in private, on your ship.” Little concern for her own safety though she had some assurance. Confident in her own abilities and confident that these men  would not risk the life of their captain so carelessly.—She had her own reasons as well. A visit of the ship would tell her all she needed to know about these foreigners. She preferred to give and account of their captain in private rather than make an enemy out of everyone all at once.[/i][/i]


Last edited by Xin on Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:28 am

Forbidden, it was the mindset in place for the entire crew of the S.I.F. Ensifera when it came to the Captains belongings. In fact, they had very strict instructions when dealing with the aforementioned. That staff that tumbled and rolled only to coming to a rattling stop against the leg of the nearest exosuit was met with a scrutinizing gaze. A swift mechanical whirring buzzed out, followed a loud stomp and the sound of shattering metal. The heavy foot of the exosuit came down upon the staff, utterly destroying it. But the desired effect was not to destroy, but disassemble. Durability of the weapon in question was only great in the hands of its master. Without, it was as fragile as glass. A bright green glow blazed beneath the foot as the summoning cast upon it was effectively dispelled. Enough, now, about the weapon.

The crew were filled with a sense of dread as the coming stranger spoke of their Captain. Injured? Surely such a thing was not possible. Seven was a part of the most powerful members of the Elite Guard of Skymarch. To encounter such powerful foes in the new realm and to now be without their Captain, it was a hit to the morale of the crew.

”Our Captain? Seven? He was injured in a conflict with one of your knights?

Myra ran through the various contingency plans in place of certain scenarios that could happen, and how to move forward from here. Luckily, Seven wasn't so pompous to believe he was all-powerful and had a plan in place for exactly such an event. Negotiate for as long as possible, wait for his return. In effect was an allotted amount of time to wait for him, failing that, departure and safety of the crew were first and foremost.

”Exosuit squadron, stand down. Allow the knight passage to the ship. We will speak in private and attempt to come to an agreement. Knight, what is your name?

The Captains door to the bridge would open up, a light bridge blinked into existence from door to ground. Myra awaited the arrival of the knight, surely doubting that they would need to actually rach an agreement. Stalling the knight was her first priority at the moment,

- - - - - - - - - -

A warmth enveloped Seven and he was oblivious. He deep slumber he'd succumbed to was part of the rapid healing process his own body enacted when massive amount of damage was dealt to him. Unbeknownst to the knights, this mending of his person only further accelerated this process. His arm was coated, the wound itself seemed to become more solid under the spell of the woman. If they watched close enough, that bubbling black tar-like blood substance would soon seep back into him from the various orifices it leaked from. No longer did the sticky substance have to focus on externally mending him and could skip directly to the internal phases of healing. Already tendons, muscles and bones began to mend, his arm regaining the flow of that tar within'. During this phase of healing his slumber became lighter, now he was able to regain his normal level of dream lucidity. More to the truth, comprehension of the four presences around him renewed in his mind. Externally, he remained the same, looking as if he was in deep slumber and in great pain. His breath came shallow and in ragged rasps, if not for the stresses of his healing process, it would have been a show.

All there was to do now was wait, in time Seven would once more become a nuisance to the knights. For now, he was but a burden.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The arrival of the Ultonis went unnoticed. The current status of the early detection systems of the S.I.F. Ensifera was roughly less than half the capability of their usual sensitivity. The natural aura of mana heavily influenced how the Skymarchian tech worked and would only improve as those installations of mana probing machinery pulled in data from the surrounding area. Adaptation, while a wondrous ability of magitech, took time and information to run current in new lands not currently input in their mainframe. Perhaps, the time it took to adapt could be seen as a huge disadvantage. And it was true at first, though after the initial data gathering and tuning, very few systems of detection could rival or even match the Skymarchian empires methods.

In short, the Ultonis were here and there presence was unnoticed for the time being.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by ALIS-Ultonis on Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:38 am

The Ultonis had not been noticed it seemed. They moved their ship in towards one of the rocks and sought to "stick" to the ground upside down on a ledge. "Initiate cloaking." the field around the ship would distort its image causing it to blend with the face of the ridge seamlessly. "Life-signs are moving." one of the hands said. "Lets send a scouting team for recon." Nine Ultonis dropped from the sudden square hole that appeared in the canopy of rock. Cloaked and wearing full gear masking their faces.

They moved like shadows turning on their own cloaking fields, as parties of threes diverged from each other. The gear of the Ultonis made them highly well suited to such terrain as their "Grav-Harnesses" gave them free mobility to climb sheer surfaces, glide, and leap vast distances, as well as adjust their acceleration and guide their momentum.

As such the three parties sought to each move at a certain point deeper in creating a perimeter, taking in readings of the soil, and the distortion, as well as noting anything that looked manufactured or altered for signs of life. Though they knew people lived here by the earlier readings, such things could bestow more data than the mere calculations of a machine ever could.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:58 am

“It’s Rifu.” She replied simply, dispatching with any titles that she may have. Little it would serve her when dealing with those from another realm, though she did offer a slight bow of her head, enough so that she could still keep watch on those around her. “I would prefer if we could resolve this without any further incident.”

The azure knight waited until the other agreed to an audience a warm smile spreading across her lips, well as warm as the girl could manage, ice still danced from the tips of her fingers before dissipating into the air is if steam—then to nothingness. - Slowly she approached, passing by the first of the guards who had promptly disposed of the weapon though she did not give it much thought. Figuring that the weapon itself was merely a tool for the captain to channel his energy. She moved across the bridge, taking in the number of men that had been posted there, counting in groups of five as she passed, any personnel moving from building to building as for the rest she could only guess. All however vital information.

She made her way towards the sky-bridge which appeared seemingly out of nowhere, stopping once she arrived at the base, now fully surrounded by the enemy at least she would have difficulty escaping if things went badly. She cast the forest one last glance before making her way up the light bridge, and entering into the captain’s bridge. Still keeping track of their numbers, weaponry, and anything else which may prove valuable later on.

”You must know, my company will expecting me shortly.” She began a simple reminder, though it seemed if they had plans to harm her they would have done it already. Though a hostage exchange did not seem out of the question.
_ _ _ _ _ _

Agatha would have noted the subtle changes in the male though she figured that the tar-like substance was meant to aid the male in the healing process she watched him for a bit humming lightly  as she settled upon the log  adjacent from the Crimson Knight all the while avoiding his gaze  she seemed quite pleased with herself despite  that however. She quickly finished the remainder of her own meal before volunteering to wash the dishes. Taking them to rinse them out in the lake water.

“I’m going to go ahead and wait for her to return.” Finally, Horace broke the silence. Standing up  and making his way over towards the tree line.

”Do you think it’s a  good idea to split up?” the boy asked, which only drew a glance from the male. True it would have been bad if their prisoner had more tricks up his ‘sleeve’ though waiting around never really was his style.

”I won’t go far.” he replied before  disappearing into the trees.

Shaking his head slowly the boy turned towards the flames once more a meager serving of soup still remaining. He scooped the remaining substance into an empty bowl  and took a flask before making his way  over towards Seven. He will be hungry when he awakens. He reasoned. Perhaps the smell would even bring the man to his senses though it was no telling how long he would remain unconscious.

Clink, he set the bowl onto the root of the tree before moving to retrieve Bruno’s own bowl and handing it to the man. Up  until then  the Little Giant had not moved merely  staring over their captive incase he tried to escape fully intent on keeping his promise.

”Thank you, Little Lord.” Bruno called him, voice rumbling within his breastplate as he accepted the meal, devouring the entire contents in a single gulp.

_ _ _ _ _ _

The only signs of life aside from those moving about the forest and the various critters which wandered the different islands seemed to come from a small mining settlement which sat just on the outskirts of the vale [a great distance from where the Skymarchian had landed, and the forest] most of which was underground though a few buildings stood upon the surface, topped with mechanized arms that swung back and forth loading and unloading various materials to and from carts.  

Gears whirled and steam spit from mouths of different flutes, The arms waved in response.  It appeared recently excavated which was evident by the debris and rocks which dotted the entrance. Carts slid along narrow tracks at regular interval from the mouth of the shaft, carrying an assortment of ore deposits—which glowed with the same luminesce as the surrounding foliage.

[Samples taken by the Ultonis would yield the same results as those taken by the Skymarchian]. The people there continued their routine oblivious to the arrival of the Ultonis.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:07 am

Without incident would be preferred, Rifu. It should not be an issue to reach a civil solution to our current situation and have you on your way to deliver news to your compatriots. Our captain has a tendency to be...


Myra paused even though the need for it was only to allow the knight the impression of humanity within' the machine. Already the bank of possible words she preferred to use in description of Seven was saved at the forefront of her banks of endless memory.


...Rash when engaging a situation. And it's made no better if he encounters someone equally as stubborn. Though, the fact that a Knight of your company has caused him enough harm that he could not return himself, it says much about the strength of your company.


Once more, Myra silenced herself to allow the female knight a moment to digest her surroundings. There were many things out in the open. Various panels of illuminated controls and holograms flickering due to the distortions of the Vale. More important were the things not openly visible. Already systems were on standby to capture the woman if she were to flee without information pertaining to Seven. Myra had little doubt fatal harm would come to him, but she was prepared nonetheless.


What are your terms?


It was straight to business, Myra was growing anxious to have the chain of command restore to someone of merit.


- - - - - - - - - - -


The conversation was only discernible to him near the very end as the exchange between Bruno and Xin had occurred. The final stages of recovery were beginning to set in while allowing his exterior to remain seemingly battered and weak. Already he began to plot in his slumber. Xin, or the little Lord, was his play. Kidnapping home would surely give him the upper hand and an important piece to use against that damned Horace.


The fact that it wasn't actually Horace whom had caused his current situation was far from his mind and considered an unimportant detail. What really irked him was that this backwater Knight had dared to stand against him. That he had dared spew his righteous garbage as it mattered at all. In his earlier days, Seven could have befriended him. In his latter years it only served to piss him off.


Another shocking discovery was that his senses were gradually adapting to the surrounding distortion. If not for the kindhearted woman, Agatha, such a thing may not have happened, Thankfully she was ignorant to exactly how his anatomy worked. When she used her magic to heal him she had directly opened him up to a foreign magical entity and, from that moment on, his body began to process this energy as a normality and the distortion became stable to him. It was this occurrence that allowed Seven to become vividly aware of nearby living entities and vaguely aware of the more distant ones. Still, the Ultonis remained hidden from him as his full range of sensory abilities were not yet adjusted to the varying levels he would need to detect a hidden foe.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:08 pm

The bridge was easily identifiable to the knight  much like  the air-ships of her kingdom though there were various interfaces  and panels that she did not fully understand—where  she might expect to find gears  whirling were flat displays she looked about the room, not bothering to mask her gaze. Chin nodding slightly at the beings words.

“Erm.. yes.. Horace can be a bit stubborn as well.” She admitted though he was a bit surprised to  hear the machine  talking about their captain in such a manner.  Though when the machine had asked what exactly it was that she wanted a thin smile stretched across her lips. Did Myra, really want to reach a peaceful conclusion she could only hope that the machine was speaking truthfully. Slowly she backed, leaning casually upon one of the consoles.

“We would like to know your intentions with this place, be they hostile , then we would ask that you leave. Of course we will give you your captain back but then we have no such assurance that your captain will not turn around and attack us the moment he is freed. Are you able to make such promises?” She paused a moment before pushing herself off the dash. “Say, would you happen to have  a diplomat on  board, someone who is able to speak on behalf of your people?”

As she spoke she peered beneath the dash as if one might be hiding beneath the controls for  some  odd reason  though  perhaps she was just trying to piece together how the machinery worked, what fed it power, how did it stay afloat. Though what she saw there instead was potential. “Perhaps they would like to visit the capital once this mess has  been sorted..” She trailed off slightly a bit unsure of  how the  machine would take all this as she slowly paced about the room still keeping track of their numbers, trying to estimate how many could still be onboard. She really had wandered into the lion’s den and if they machine for some reason decided to keep her she would have little chance of escape.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:37 am

Myra was a close to a diplomat as the knight was going to get at this moment as, currently, Seven was the only other presence with the permission to speak on behalf of the Empire. Even that authority was held with fine guidelines and only because Seven was so renowned a figurehead of the kingdom.

”At this time I am the only other entity qualified to speak on behalf of the Skymarchian Empire. And with only the utmost discretion. I can, however, tell you that our intentions are not hostile. Allow me to explain.

The AI paused for a moment as if she were gathering her thoughts even though it wasn’t truly necessary. It was one of the many programmed behaviors that allowed her to seem more human when interacting with others. Apparently, many felt put off by dealing with machines.

”Long range detectors picked up this strange realm and its unique characteristics. Mainly the permeating mana field and the assumed mana rich ore and biologics here. Since mana, albeit it an abundant and reoccurring natural energy, is a very valuable resource to us we decided to investigate. Having ore already infused with mana would save greatly on cost and efficiency. We only wish to mine and harvest from the natural environment. Of course, since it is an exhaustible resource, we are willing to replant any wildlife taken.”

Not really very vague a statement, in fact, she’s just summarized the basics of the mission statement she’d been given. Though, the idea of visiting the capital intrigued her as much as a machine could be. A chance at an alliance, expanding the Empire and free access to the land might be well within’ reach without total hostility towards these foreign people.

”Our Captain is…unpredictable. It is less likely that he will attack you head on again. In fact, chances are he will go for a hostage. Someone easy to capture, someone he can use against you. But, since you have a company of such strong knights, he’s likely to recover and retreat, with no one like that to take hostage. On the matter of visiting your council, once this is sorted out I am sure we can come to an agreement. Our own Lords are not far away.”

Of course, Myra had no way of knowing that a young lord traveled with them. Everything thus far she had been playing by ear until she received acknowledgement from the city ship and her lords. At best, she could hope Seven pulled off some miraculous escape and didn’t try to do anything stupid.

- - - - - - - -

98%, it was where Seven stopped. His mind willed away that healing tar, pushing it now into a state of slumber. When he was beat, there was no control. But when he was nearly fully healed there was total control, and he was healed enough and to impatient to wait to be fully recovered. There would be plenty of time for that. His sense reeled as he assessed the situation. He was bound to the tree quite tightly. Two knights were left and a smaller boy that he could only guess was human. That, the boy, was his play. A hostage ripe for the taking. All he had to do was escape this damned rope and that was easy enough to do. His whole body tensed and expanded with a rapidness that few could follow. His eyes shot open and he roared loudly as he flexed, the rope exploded into splintering threads of material.

The second part of the plan came in a flash. His form blurred and then vanished from view and would reform behind Xin. He attempted to wrap his arm around the neck of the boy and flash away once more. It was easy enough to foil if one was quick enough to do such a thing. And there was always the wildcard of the boy himself. Seven assumed he was an ordinary human, but he’d been made and ass out of before.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by Xin on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:37 am

The frost knight listened quietly as the machine spoke while still combing over the interior of the vessel—though her face remained blank, despite her obvious  looks. There was not really a reason to  hide  it after all. After the machine had finished giving a statement  of their mission a soft sigh slipped  past her  lips.

“Myra.” She began, looking curiously to where the sound originated. “A lot of this could have been  avoided if your captain would have just said so in the first place. There are many coming here for that exact reason  and the land is leased out to them, but you would need to go to the capital to work out a contract.” Some reason  she felt that she could  trust the machine’s words though it was odd that the being seemed to  be so h open even revealing details about  their captain, while their captain could not be bothered with captains.

“That would be up to the council and of course, the land would return to the kingdom once the mines, or resources  have been exhausted.” Truthfully she did not know all of the details being as she was not a True knight, only in name alone. She  got a flash of the camp as it voiced the captains  intentions- there -was- someone like that. But, there was  no reason to relay that information  to this machine. A faint heat began to surface to her cheeks, anger perhaps, yet there was no change in her outward appearance. Kidnapping children seemed a coward’s move  if she ever heard one and this was the person  that everyone here  looked up  to and respected as their  leader.

“Well.. I’m sure that we will be able to protect ourselves  should it come to that.” She spoke calmly now  already  heading towards the door. “You seem to know your captain well, we will bring him here, I trust you will be able to reason with him. I will also give you the coordinates to the capital upon our return.” She waited a moment at the door, and if the ship had no further need of her and she would slip out the exit and slowly descend the sky-bridge taking not of the guards that were gathered there.

If she was met with no resistance she would – return to the forest and take ahold of her spear which had been waiting for her, still sticking from the ground, the ice shattered like glass before  dissipating  in a cloud of mist as she  disappeared once more into the tree-line.  
Waiting for her there was Horace, propped casually upon a tree. Eyes closed as if he were sleeping . She eyed him a furrowling  a scowl ,though she was not surprised  to see  the Knight there  he always  had a sense of duty especially when it  came to protecting  his comrades  though perhaps  he was just trying to keep  busy.

“You should be at the  camp.” She spoke, recalling the words of the machine as she hurried him along. If somehow the man  managed to  escape—and  harm their  lord. Well she  wasn’t sure what they would  do. Wordlessly Horace followed and the two became a blur as they rushed through the woods.;

_ _ _ _  _ _




The sudden burst of rope came at a slight surprise when their prisoner regained consciousness, though he had announced this with a sudden roar which seemed as if to severe  his bonds and in a flash the man was making his way  after the child who  had been standing a short distance away easily closing the distance  between  them. The Onyx Knight was at his  feet in an instant, lunching towards the  escaped with  an out stretched  hand attempting to intercept him and grasp the male by the head to slam him back  against the trunk of the tree— Agatha  was a little  slower to react a soft yelp escaping the back of her throat  as the rope  suddenly burst into a million threads  and lightly dusted the surrounding ground in the wake of Seven’s movement, though she  sprung  to  her  feet  as well, wielding her staff in front of her as she assumed a defensive  position  should the male attempt to go for her. Though, her main  concern was for the boy who  they four had  been charged with protecting and with the four  of them together  there really was no uncertainty that the  boy would  come to  harm. Though now  they  were  spit—and  there was  no way that she  would be able to come between them  as she was not very  physical  in nature. However she  began to channel her staff  once more—infusing  it with  white fire- merely  waiting to see if it would be required.

As for the child, he did not seem to react to the noise at all facing in the direction  of the  lake as Seven  approached from the rear. Though as he  neared  he would notice the boys  cloak swirling about him  like a wisp  of  smoke  flicking lightly against his skin – the  boy dropped to the ground in an instant, leaving a phantom image in its  place  and from his  vantage  the boy  would simply appear  to be standing still. Movements  masked by  the  cloak. And as he landed upon the ground he aimed  a sweeping  kicking to back of  the man’s leg  with a force that would have been surprising for one of his  size, though the attempt  was  merely  to stagger the male and allow enough time for Bruno  to follow up and pin the  male if  he had been unsuccessful in stopping him from reaching the  child.

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Re: Vale of Distortion

Post by InnocentByStander on Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:50 pm

A most human noise echoed in the cabin as Myra allowed a calculated chuckle play out. She honestly could not recall the data in which Seven had ever made anything easier for anyone, not even himself.

”Rarely does our Captain say the one thing he can to avoid drama. It's almost as if he thrives on it. However, we will look forward to your return with our Captain. Hopefully everything goes along well. I will send along a drone so that if he does 'cause any additional strife, perhaps he will be less inclined to do so with it following you.

Myra didn't say any more as the Knight left the craft and began her journey back to her company. However, she was accompanied by a softball sized chrome sphere with a single rotating optic that let off a little hum as it traveled with her.

- - - - - - - - - -

To say he was unexpectant was an understatment. This was a child, after all, and he had never been bested by a child at anything. That leg sweep took him fully. The swiftness with which it was carried and his own hubris spelled out his second defeat. That leg crunched against his shins and he lost balance. For a moment he floundered before he tried to regain purchase and attack again, but it was too late. The small giant Bruno lashed out and his massive grip lead his head directly into the tree behind him.

Seven groaned as the impact rattle his brain and caused his vision to blur. He still wasn't fully recovered from the earlier battle with Horace.

”S...son of a bitch...

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Re: Vale of Distortion

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