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Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

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Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:26 pm

The attack came out of nowhere. Mari was walking through the woods a few hours outside of Haremhall. It was early in the afternoon, the sun slanted through the leaves dappling the ground around with tiny pools of light. Out of the canopy dropped a ball of fur right onto her head. A grey squirrel chattered angrily at her. Mari focused trying to understand. “KILL, KILL KILL, BLIGHT UPON THE EARTH SCOURGE IT CLEAN.” The squirrel yelled frantically scratching and biting at Mari.

Mari was startled, she quickly grabbed the squirrel by the scruff of the neck and held it out from her. She studied it closely as it struggled and continued chattering. She noticed a darkness in the squirrel's eyes, she could sense something wrong within. “Sleep,” she murmured layering her voice with geas. The squirrel went still in her hands. She held it close gently stroking it's fur as she sunk to the ground crossing her legs. She sent her consciousness out exploring the world around her. There at the edge of her senses, about a mile away something was wrong.

A dark inkiness met Mari's consciousness, it probed gently, reaching out dark tendrils towards her. Suddenly the darkness lashed towards her racing alongside the paths of her consciousness towards her. She quickly pulled back, slamming the doors of her mind. She jumped up turning towards where the darkness was. The forest looked normal, but Mari knew something out there was dangerous, and it knew she was here. She gently secured the sleeping squirrel in her pouch and set off towards where the darkness waited.



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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:54 pm

Margot had been watching Mari for a little while now. They'd gotten reports of a fairly strange woman lurking around Haremhall and Margot had been tasked with figuring out of the stranger could be an asset or a potential target. For the most part, Margot had been bored with Mari for the most part, until the stranger freaked out over a squirrel. This woman had seemed calm and somewhat demure the entire time Margot had been watching her, but now, things were getting interesting. The assassin still didn't want to reveal herself, but she did want to get a closer look. Vanishing into the shadows of the tree she was perched in, she moved through them, appearing on the ground, close to Mari but still hidden. "Alright Squirrel girl, what else are you going to do today?"
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:42 pm

Mari rolled her eyes and looked over towards small human. "You can stop hiding. I'm glad you've finally decided to stop stalking me though, it was getting a bit tiresome."
Mari kept walking but slowed down a bit, knowing the other person would have more trouble with the dense undergrowth. "My name's Mari, by the way, and I'm going to go contain some evil. There's a darkness about a mile this way, my guess is we'll find an Akashi tomb there whose wards have weakened. That or other people actively trying to cast dark magics. Either way something is trying to corrupt this place, and I intend to stop it. Care to join me?" Mari looked towards the stalker with a sly smile as she continued through the woods.



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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:01 pm

Margot scowled as her location was called out. "Very well, I am impressed, most people I can follow for days without getting noticed." She said, putting a hand on her hip and listening as Mari explained what she was doing here. "That's an interesting reason to come so close to a place like this. Typically things like the Akashi are covered up quick and most people don't even know when things are getting bad." The assassin slowly circled Mari, getting an idea of what the woman could do. "Although, if you're trying to keep the people of this city safe from a legitimate threat, I suppose you can't be that bad." Margot shrugged, stopping next to Mari. "Well, lead the way Squirrel Girl."
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:18 pm

"Most people are idiots," Mari said looking pointedly at the stranger. "Don't feel bad though, not much can hide from me here, not even something as small as you. And I don't give a damn about your city."

Mari continued through the woods for a while listening carefully. The woods became unnaturally quite. Birds were silent, even the cicadas had ceased their songs. Mari paused, looking for old paths or anything that might hint to the source of the disturbance. She was apprehensive about opening her mind again, worried about the darkness encroaching.

"We're close," Mari said quietly, "Something is very wrong near here, but I don't know where exactly. I'm going to trance briefly, to locate it. If I'm out for more than a minute, or if I come back and seem abnormal, kill me. Then go to your city as quickly as possible, find the strongest magic users, and bring them here."



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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:33 pm

Margot just followed Mari and listened, grumbling a little about the woman's small comment. When Mari finally stopped the assassin was fairly confused, not seeing anything around that implied ancient and evil magics were about. She chuckled when the other woman explained her plans and Margot pulled out and twirled one of her knives. "If you insist Squirrel Girl, you've got one minute, make it count." Margot said, sitting down by a tree and waiting to see what this woman could do.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:54 pm

Mari sat down silently with her staff across her lap, she took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. Mari cautiously opened her mind allowing a sliver of consciousness to probe the woods. She could sense the ball of energy that was her new companion. Jumpy, confident, and, deep inside, a bit scared. She could sense the squirrel, it's rest was deep but uneasy, the animal's consciousness fighting the darkness in silent battle.

Carefully Mari expanded, sensing hidden animals, frightened, anxious. Suddenly she sensed them tendrils of darkness creeping along the forest floor, exploring this world, they seemed clustered about 50 yards to the south. An Akashi tomb carved from marble but reclaimed by the forest, almost completely engulfed by a living yew tree. All the tendrils came from there.

Mari quickly retreated back to her own mind and stood up. "This way, be on guard, be careful. Watch your thoughts." She said as she quickly strode to the south.



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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:53 pm

Margot watched with fascination as Mari did her meditation. Most people in Haremhall didn't dabble in magic of any sort so to see this up close was somewhat new to her. Kneeling down and waving a hand in front of Mari, Margot chuckled at just how far gone the other woman was, standing up and twirling a knife. "Time's almost up Squirrel Girl." Margot said, counting down in her head, as she got down to the last few seconds, she raised the knife right as Mari stood up. The druid started walking before Margot had a chance to say anything, the assassin sighed, sheathed her knife, and followed.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:27 pm

Mari saw the yew tree, twisted and gnarled. Between it's roots the stone of the tomb could be seen, the forest was silent. Mari felt like eyes were watching her from everywhere and the sense of evil made her feel sick. She took a deep breath and approached the tree, walking it she found the entrance. Mossy steps lead down into the earth with intricately carved walls showing images from the lives of the people buried within but worn with age to be almost imperceptible. Mari, couldn't see far into down the stairs, it seemed unnaturally dark. She took a torch out of her small pack and lit it, she began down the stairs, not looking to see if the other person would follow, and not really caring either.

The crypt at the bottom of the stairs wasn't very large, about 10ft by 15ft with 4 sarcophagi against the wall opposite the stairs. One was broken and the magic was visible floating above as an orb, but jagged like a ball of black lightning. Mari took a step towards it when a shadowy figure came out of nowhere slamming her against the wall with a hand around her throat. She dropped the torch and is skittered across the floor sending shadows juping all over the walls, but thankfully staying lit. The figure beneath the shadows, with hands tightening around her neck, was richly dressed with jeweled rings and necklaces, and fine clothing. One of the dead that was supposed to help seal the magic had been turned, that meant the other 3 might have turned too, Mari tried to come up with a plan as her vision began to darken.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:30 pm

Margot was unsure about the situation at this point, things were starting to become a bit more surreal than she was comfortable with. Granted, she'd made it this far and turning back now seemed almost cowardly. She followed Mari into the tomb, feeling an immediate pressure from the dark magic. "Damn Squirrel Girl...is this what you do for a living?" She asked, rather than an answer though, she witnessed an undead creature attack her current travelling companion. Not quite sure what else to do, Margot pounced on the creatures back, dagger in hand and began to stab at the creatures neck and arm, trying to get it to release Mari.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:53 pm

Mari gasped for air as the hand left her neck. "Fight evil?" she responded to the girl's question. "Pretty much," she said with a smile as she shape changed into a bear. The cracking of bones and the feel of fur spreading always weirded Mari out a bit, but the feeling of strength and power that coursed through her more than made up for it as she towered over the undead and her companion.

Mari could smell two others trying to creep out of the shadows. She roared and swiped her paw at them, knocking one away and pinning one to the ground.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:44 pm

Margot jumped off the creature when it released its grip on Mari. "I could get used to this, at least some time. Beats fighting the aristocracy all the time." She smirked, dropping low and slicing the tendons of the zombie's legs, dropping it to the ground. As Mari changed into a bear Margot stood and watched before shrugging and looking for any more of their opponents. "Still gonna call you Squirrel Girl, even if you're a bear!" She said, pulling out her cross bow and firing a bolt into the head of a zombie.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:48 pm

Though the magic in them was strong, the bodies the zombies occupied were weak, Mari accidentally crushed the chest of the one she pinned and the magic fled the body, back towards the orb which was lashing out frantically. She could feel it beating against her mind trying to corrupt her.

Mari saw the magic leave the one her companion shot, leaving just the one crippled on the ground. Mari lumbered over to it and stepped on it's head releasing it as well. She then returned to her human form, picked up the torch and began studying the black orb, maintaining a safe distance as she circled it.

"I may have been counting on the guardians to help seal this back up. I don't exactly know that type of magic, but with the guardians having been corrupted. I'm not sure what to do, perhaps the Akashi left clues in the carvings," Mari said as she began studying the walls.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:08 pm

Margot stood and panted from the adrenaline, fighting the undead was a new one for her and the situation had happened so suddenly, she got caught up by it. Once it was clear that the creatures weren't coming back, she sheathed her dagger and collapsed her cross bow before holstering it. "I don't know how much help I'm gonna be at this point. Magic was never really my area of expertise" She said as she started to wander the room. "Frankly, I'm a bit freaked out by this whole thing right now if I'm being entirely honest with you."
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:39 am

"Being freaked out is an appropriate response for a situation like this I'd say," Mari smirked looking at the woman, "After all if the guardians of this tomb were corrupted whose to say others weren't also. We could have another cataclysm on our hands for all we know."

Suddenly there was a scraping of stone, Mari whirled around and saw the lid of one of the sarcophagi sliding open. "Dammit, four tombs three undead, how dumb are you Mari," she muttered gripping her staff. But the undead who climbed out wasn't shrouded in darkness like the others.

The guardian was small, a child when she died. A soft glow emanated from her as she climbed out of her tomb. She glanced silently at the destroyed undead, then looked between Mari and Margot, quizzically. The orb of darkness became even more frantic lashing out towards the guardian but unable to penetrate the light. The girl opened her mouth as if to speak but no words came out.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:42 pm

Margot just nodded as Mari explained that she was supposed to be freaked out. "Yeah...Those things were pretty messed up." She said, kicking at the one with the arrow sticking from its face. When Mari pointed out the fourth guardian, Margot heard the scratching and drew her daggers, getting ready for another fight. At the sight of the child, the assassin lowered her guard slightly, still not sure what would happen, then the orb started to lash out more. "What are we supposed to do about this Squirrel Girl? How do we stop this thing..."
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:18 pm

The girl guardian ignored the blackness, walking over to Mari she grabbed her hand. Mari looked startled but could feel goodness in this creature, she went with her. The girl walked over to Margot and took her hand too, leading them both over to the wall, pointing out a series of pictographs showing how the Akashi had sealed the darkness long ago.

Mari studied the pictures intently. The magic was simple just someone magic sensitive touching the wall at a warded spot was enough to activate it, but a sacrifice of life force was needed was needed to seal it. Mari closed her eyes and rested her head against the wall before speaking. "We need a living sacrifice," she said not looking up. "That's what you were wasn't it" Mari looked at the girl who nodded her head.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:38 pm

Margot followed in stunned silence as the girl led them to the wall. She looked at the pictures but, unlike Mari, she couldn't figure out anything about what they meant. "Wait...What?" Margot said, stepping away from Mari and the girl when Mari mentioned a living sacrifice. "No...There's gotta be some sort of alternative. It's been a long them since the Akashi were around, there's bound to have been some sort of advances in magic since then." She looked back and forth between Mari and the girl. "You...You aren't seriously considering going through with it...are you?"
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:42 pm

Mari gave her companion a wry smile. "Actually, we've forgotten a lot of their magic, it would take the the School of Sorcerous Arts about five years to figure this out. We can buy them that time." As Mari spoke the darkness began lashing out, the young guardian stood between the Darkness and the two women acting as a shield. The darkness reared out and sent a massive tendril at the girl, the glow emanating her flashed brighter for a moment but the darkness was to much and wrapped itself around her. The girl gave Mari and Margot a panicked look thrusting out her hand and pointing at the ward. Before the orb sucked her in.

"Shit," Mari whispered frantically reaching into her pouch. "You need to go kid. Now. The stronger the life force the longer it'll hold. I've already been around almost 100 years, and I could have a couple hundred more. That should buy some time. You need to go to Allocai City, and alert the School. The darkness is re-surging, we could have another plague on our hands soon."

Mari finally pulled her hand out of her pouch, she was holding the sleeping squirrel. "Keep him safe please. Once I seal the darkness he should be back to, well, not being vicious and he should wake up. Without him we wouldn't know about this, He might have helped save the world. Now go kid, make them take you seriously. If they don't believe you bring them here and I'll knock some sense into them."

Mari pushed the sleeping squirrel into Margot's hands and turned her towards the stairs. "Go," she said layering her voice with Geas, compelling the young woman to listen.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mistdrake on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:21 pm

Margot took the squirrel and held it, standing there in shock for a moment. The girl had vanished and Mari was claiming to be almost a century old. When Mari spoke her final order, Margot felt her body forced to move, by the time she realized what happened she was outside of the tomb. "Wait, no!" She said, trying to get back in but by that point ,the dark energy had expanded enough to keep her from getting back in. "Damn it! You didn't even give me a chance to get my own thought on the matter." She said, collapsing with a sigh. She felt a scurrying in her hands and looked down to see that the squirrel had started to wake up. "Looks like it's up to us to save the world little guy...We should probably get going, it's a long way to Allocai city." She said, standing up, letting the squirrel climb up onto her shoulder.
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Re: Where Darkness Lies {Mari-Outside Haremhall} [Open]

Post by Mari Bryn on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:25 pm

As Margot left Mari had a small smile on her face. "Never even learned the kids name," She said with a chuckle as she lay her hand on the ward. She felt her life draining, as all the carvings on the wall were beginning to glow. The darkness lashed out wildly trying to reach Mari but the light from the walls was just as ferocious lashing back. She felt the light traveling through her, the light began closing in on the darkness causing it to sink in on itself.

As the darkness shrank to no larger than a walnut Mari walked over to it. She reached out a hand, glowing with a golden light and gently grasped it. Pulling it towards her chest. It trembled with fear, lashing out with what little strength it had. Mari cupped it in her hands. "Shh it's okay, I'll keep you company for a while, don't be afraid."

As Mari felt herself becoming detached from this reality and cordoned off into the void she used a bit of magic to reach out and form a link between Margo and the squirrel, they wouldn't be able to talk per se, but they would have a basic understanding of each other. "Good luck," she whispered to them with a smile before she and the darkness were sealed away.
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