Session 3 The End Of Joshua Olon

<Mina‘Haplo> [ Outside of the Festina Lente! It was a Manarday, a cool, yet sunny morning, with auto-cars running down the road, people crossing… It was calm, nothing out of the ordinary, at least. Just another day in Paxia.]
*Maia steps out of the car she took to the Lente, sharply dressed (as she has been every time the others have actually seen her). It seems she drove today.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Maia is followed out by a pale, bespectacled young man with long brown hair, who steps out of the passenger-side door of the car. ]
*Xiri has, if they did arrange for it, made special concessions for the Lente to be available. They don’t want just anyone walking in, though, so there's a sign that reads 'RESERVED FOR SPECIAL FUNCTION' hanging outside of the mystically-channeled doors.
*Maia had the courtesy to approach said doors and knock softly.
*Xiri opens it, although she doesn't look extremely happy when she sees that it's Maia. She does muster a smile for her and say, "Ah, Maia. You have returned." She pulls the door further and looks towards the man with her, tilting her head as she questions, "And this gentleman is…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius gives Xiri a polite little bow and a friendly smile. "Good morning, madame. I’m Lucius- Lucius d'Armand, an Oblationist assisting Maia. I hope I'm not intruding…"]
*Xiri doesn't really want to answer that truthfully, but does usher him in. The Lente is… fully lit, revealing the full dimensions of the place, instead of the 'go-time' lightning that's more faded and classy. A lot of the chairs are tilted in reverse and stacked ontop of one another, and placed atop the tables while the apparitions clean.
*Tyra is perched on one of the stools that hasn't been stowed away to let the place be cleaned, flipping through the ever present black notebook of her's. A pen hovers in the air beside her, kept aloft by some sort of magic except when she plucks it to scribble something down or underline something else. She gives Maia a glance and a nod, then frowns as she spots Lucius.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius waits for Maia to enter first; he’s not quite as snappily dressed, wearing his thick coat and scarf. ]
*Maia proceeds inside, smiling to Tyra as she enters and looking for a comfortable spot for her and Lucius to have a seat.
*Diana on the other hand felt it rude to get a chair… so she had made one. AU-X was under her, seeming to have been compressed into a more load-bearing form. She was in slightly better civilian clothes (this time, a midlength skirt and a blouse, with the skirt slit on one side). She looked impassively at Maia and her friend.
*Xiri had J.B. be present. … he's important to be here on a lot of levels, both for Xiri and the Slayer, actually. He's probably restocking the bar and checking inventory as needed. Tyra and Diana have already been served drinks, very likely.
*Tyra nods, frowning some more as the pen points at Lucius. "And you are?"
*Maia fields the question by holding up her slate, which already has pre-written on it, "Lucius d'Armand, my assistant, an Oblationist like me."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius points to the slate, and gives Tyra a little bow. "Pleased to meet you, heh." ]
<Tyra> Mm. So, any information about the rogue?
*Diana shrugged, talking a sip out of… a yellowish steel(?) mug. Small amounts of mist was streaming off of it, and she didn’t even -have- her glass anymore.
*Maia nods, and makes a few gestures to Lucius.
*Xiri sidles over to sit beside Tyra, looking at her notebook every now and again.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Would you like me to explain, Mai- okay." Lucius turns to the assembly, and nods to the group. "Ah, okay. We believe that the assailant, that is, the person behind the Strigoi and the other undead creatures is a rogue called Sophie Garland, a blind Oblationist who went missing a few years ago. Her demon sort of matches, and her disappearance was suspicious. Either way."-
<Mina`Haplo> [He holds up the torn fabric gathered from the haunted house. "Guess what we can do with this?" He says cheerfully. ]
*Tyra twitches the notebook half closed out of reflex, though she relaxes a bit as she sees that it is Xiri. It’s an array of notes and such gathered from their investigations. And from Tyra's Vickers' investigations. And some internal Paskell investigations on other pages she flips through while listening to Lucius. She does start writing again as he speaks though, flipping past
<Tyra> » a page with notes about Arkhan on it. "Humor me, it's too early in the morning for guessing games."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Scrying!" He said with a grin. "Thanks to our ties, we can *hopefully*employ the government’s scrying technology and or wizards to find out where the owner is!" ]
*Xiri is a Master of internalizing her surprise, so she doesn't react about glancing at the Arkhan information. Her internal mood, at that point, does get shot in the face when she hears about scrying technology, however. "… wait, you guys can… DO that?"
*Diana meanwhile was inching closer, seeming to be using her feet to tug her makeshift stool closer. "Yeesh, you couldn't even figure out that it was going to be scrying? R&D has scry-link remnants on hand from every sensitive project, and you forget about it?"
*Tyra gives Diana a tired look. "Early in the morning. Budget cuts."
*Tyra reaches for her glass of a clear and rather potent drink and promptly downs the rest of it with a mutter.
*Maia was going into her pocket, meanwhile, to get out her wallet, from which she removes a picture of a pale, thin woman with long red hair. The woman's eyes are open, and immediately stand out as being odd, for they are oddly _white_. In any case, the picture is passed to Xiri to check out, and then hand to the others.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "See, a lot of people think scrying was wiped out after the end of the Revolution, but the fact of the matter is, some people still have it, and there’s even technology on hand-" He points at Diana. "That can do it~"]
*Diana sighed. "…Typical." And took another swig of her drink.
*Tyra gives Diana a Look of Warning.
*Diana just took a heavier swig.
<Tyra> So, we scry her. What's next?
*Xiri doesn't look towards Diana, although her expression does get a little bit less cheery. "Yes, do tell."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Well, then we go to where she is and subdue her." ]
*Tyra rubs her forehead. "How decidedly straightforward. What is she capable of?"
*Maia nods, scribbling on the slate which she soon holds up with a new message. ’Using non-lethal force if possible.'
*Diana nodded. "Possibly equipped for more than the job at hand. She can create undead abominations, that much is known. Nothing but overwhelming force, even nonlethal, would do by my reckoning." She actually seemed a bit grim. "I don't see there being much room for error here.
*Tyra sighs. "Wonderful."
<Tyra> I take it we're it and you don't have a crack team made for handling rogues handily standing by.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Well, undead sum-" Lucius starts to cough, rather violently… He reorients himself after a bit. "Yeah, that. Also various other personal abilities that make subduing her difficult, but not impossible." Said Lucius… "Well. No, not really. We don’t have the luxury of just keeping chaps around for this sort of deployment. What we *do*have are two Oblationists on hand- me and Maia." He grinned. ]
*Tyra mumbles something about possibly modifying their procedure to deal with future rogues, but doesn't say much more as she scribbles down something else in her notebook. She does shift to peer at the photograph, though.
*Diana frowned. "Oblationists or not, don't count me out either. As an automaton engineer I have significant psychic powers, as I imagine they can attest."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Oh, well, that’d be great."]
*Xiri 's eyes widen a little as she extends her and and says, "Um… are you well? Would you like some water?"
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Ah… Don’t worry, I'm fine." Said Lucius, somewhat shyly. "My sacrifice was physical health, so I'm always 'not well'…" ]
*Tyra raises an eyebrow. "You sure you should be along for the takedown?"
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Yeah, I’m fine!" Said Lucius. "I mean, well. It's up to Maia." ]
*Xiri tilts her head and says, "You should… all be more than capable of dealing with this, yes? I do wish you all well and good luck…"
*Maia raises an eyebrow, looking at Xiri curiously, while signing a quick bit to Lucius.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius looks at Maia, then… "Ah, Miss, you won’t be coming with us, then?" ]
*Xiri frowns a little, glances towards the others, and then says, "No, I will not. I do not wish to avail myself to further danger."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius glances back to Maia, signing back. ]
*Tyra shoots Maia and Lucius both a rather cross look at all the signing.
*Diana vaguely turned her gaze at Xiri… and then instead put her empty mug… -in- her assistant, which whirred slightly.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Lucius turns back to Xiri. "I can stay with you if you like. Maybe help out a little?" ]
*Maia nods understandingly, if such a thing is even possible. And she replies, too, while giving Tyra a helpless apologetic look.
*Xiri looks idly to Lucius, and then raises her eyebrows. "I thought you mentioned that you had ’two Oblationists'… were you not going to assist them in tracking this villain down?"
*Diana tilted her head. "I thought they meant themselves."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Well, yes, but… You’ve been targetted by a Strigoi, madame." Said Lucius. "Uh, don't you think it might be prudent if…? I mean, unless you…" ]
*Tyra scratches the back of her head, keeping quiet for now as she flips through her notebook. There is the occasional glance as she follows the conversation, though.
*Xiri frowns lightly and says, "I-I thought we'd got rid of it. It was dead already." A rising amount of anxiety is coming back to her.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Oh no. A Strigoi isn’t that easy to kill; you probably only drove it off." Said Lucius with a displaced sense of eager 'teacher-is-in'ness. "It's probably reformed by now." ]
<Tyra> …that would have been helpful to mention before.
*Diana nodded. "More pertinently, is there a special way to kill one?…" A pause. "Or is it just 'a bigger gun'?"
*Xiri 's face sort of flushes color as she lets out a little squeak of displeasure. "Oh."
*Maia seemed about as surprised by the knowledge as Tyra. How could she have missed that detail?
*Xiri stares at Maia being surprised. Someone's paycheck is gonna get docked off.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["You need to burn the bones. See, the Strigoi you saw was like… Its flesh, ripped off the bones. Alternatively, you can destroy its…" He turns to Maia. "You know, the item used in its summoning. The precious item to its owner."]
*Maia nods, slowly writing on the slate. ’If we can identify that.'
*Xiri sighs very audibly and says with no small amount of frustration, "Fine, yes, do as you will, I will just stay here."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Sorry." Said Lucius meekly. "Anyway, if you lock the doors and keep a weapon on hand, you should be able to fend it off." ]
*Xiri points to J.B. and says, "He should be able to help."
*Tyra chuckles a bit. "He put it down last time."
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Oh really? Well then." Lucius gives JB a cheerful grin and thumbs up. "Well done." ]
*Xiri turns to Tyra and Diana with a cross, yet worried expression as she says, "Well… I hope you get to the bottom of this swiftly, then. This is no life I wish to lead for too long."
*Tyra smiles at Xiri, reaching out to give her a comforting pat on the back. "Don’t worry, we'll settle it. You relax, alright?"
*Xiri looks to Tyra, for a moment… then she gives her a smile in response as she says, "Well. Okay. Good luck. And do not get hurt, okay?"
*Diana nodded, though got a bit nervous at the cross look.
*Tyra smirks a little. "Technically if we do, it'll be your job to nurse me back to health. We'll try not to though." She looks towards Maia and Lucius, clapping her book shut. "So, where do we go to ask the wonderful city government to lend a hand?"
*Xiri pouts at Tyra, then looks to Lucius again and asks, "Would you like… anything while you are here? Please, make yourself comfortable."
*Maia nods, at that. She nudges Lucius gently, and signs something brief.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Do you have a glass of cold milk on hand?" he asks. "I always find that keeps ol’ Hammarus down for awhile…" He turns, and nods to Maia. "Also, ah… Something light for Maia, too." ]
*Tyra winks at Xiri, stretching for a moment.
*Xiri raises an eyebrow at Lucius, but then nods as she walks over the counter to pour him some good ol' fashioned cold milk, straight from the Lente fridge. And… then she looks to Maia. "Alcoholic?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius takes a glass of milk, and starts drinking it slowly. "Thank you. It’s quite delicious." ]
*Maia considers the question for a few moments, and then thinks better of it, shaking her head.
*Xiri gives Maia a Shirley Temple, then. … well, okay, such a drink would not be, in fact, the Shirley Temple in this universe. It might even be called the Xiri! Ha ha ha! Regardless, it is grenadine with soda adorned with cherries and orange.
*Maia sips it, and seems pleased, leaning back a bit for the moment.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Might want to get moving after this, hmm, Maia?" ]
*Maia nod-nods at Lucius in agreement.
*Tyra looks at her empty glass for a moment, sighing before opening her notebook as she waits for the rest to finish their drinks.
<Mina`Haplo> [ And so the two Obbies quickly drained their drinks, and, bidding Xiri adieu, left the Festina Lente, piling into the autocar Maia had procured. Within an hour and a half they arrived at a government building nestled in the Central District; it was a large, grey building, proclaiming it as the Department of Observation. Two large wooden doors barred entrance. ]
*Maia tries the doors. Are they open?
<Mina`Haplo> [ Yeah, they are. Also, Lucius is asleep. ]
*Tyra glances at Lucius. "Do we need him too?"
*Maia will nudge him awake, then, gently.
*Diana on the other hand was just standing around, the mechanical moon orbitting peacefully.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "nnn… Sorry, did… Ah…" He extracts himself from the car and brushes himself off, standing at Maia’s side bashfully. ]
*Tyra shrugs, heading for the doors.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The doors open easily enough, leading to a cool foyer of marble walls and tiled floors. There’s a receptionist behind a desk, fiddling about with a stack of papers. ]
*Maia approaches the desk, slipping a note to Lucius as she does so. When she gets there, she starts to sign a few things to Lucius…
*Tyra fidgets a bit in the background, looking a bit out of element.
*Diana followed along, inside… and sighed a bit. She seemed a bit disapproving of the highclass surroundings. She wanted the fancy wizards and the scanning implements!
<Mina‘Haplo> [Lucius nods to Maia as he reads the note, then says to the receptionist, "We’re here to inquire about the case of the missing Oblationist, Sophie Garland." "I see." The receptionist takes out a form titled 'Scrying Requisition Form', and hands it to Lucius, who promptly hands it to Maia. The form is bureaucratic and intimidating, but the two puzzle through it. "Do you have the required material?" "Ah, Maia…?" ]
*Diana meanwhile loooked over it. "Ah, paperwork. I can do paperwork. Yes."
*Maia nodded, producing the scrap of robe-sleeve that had been left behind at Olon's house with a nod.
*Tyra peers over Diana's shoulder. "Goverment paperwork, at that."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius bent down and whispered a little to Diana. "They’re utterly fastidious about this scrying thing. We actually had to send a telegraph ahead just to get permission to request to requisition a scrying. It's insane." Meanwhile, the receptionist takes the sleeve, and… She measures it a little with a tape measure. "Very well. Take this form, and someone will be along shortly." She hands Maia a Confirmation form-
<Mina‘Haplo> [With details of the ’scryed', the scryer, and the material involved.]
*Diana tilted her head. "Considering the implications… After all, I'm only approved to set up scries for inanimate objects that are company property - there are -inspections-!" …Despite her weird enthusiasm for paperwork, the mention of inspections was with a sense of… aghastness?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius mumbles, "They want to see if the material ’works'." He says. A few minutes later, a tall, sharp-looking older man appears. "The party for Sophie Garland Scrying? Please follow me."]
*Tyra frowns. "It's like a resturant reservation."
*Diana calmly did so, holding her bot in her hands like a precious vase.
*Maia certainly fills out the form while the party waits! And when the man shows up, she'll follow dutifully.
*Tyra follows along.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The man (whose nametag, pinned to the front of his coat, read "Tyler McIntyre") led the group down a hallway to the right of the receptionist’s desk, into an elevator… Which rose a few storeys. He was silent and cold, rather unfriendly in his demeanour… When the elevator arrived, he stepped out. "Follow me."-
<Mina‘Haplo> [ He led them down a surprisingly unadorned hallway, and into a large rectangular chamber, dominated by a complicated looking machine and four fellows wearing the somewhat familiar garb of the Paxian wizard. "The material." Asked Tyler. ]
*Maia nods simply, proceeding onward. When requested, she holds out the cloth solemnly.
*Diana watched carefully… and with an eye for determining how the machine worked.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Tyler takes the cloth, and hands it to one of the wizards, who puts it into the machine… And then, Tyler turns. "Out." he says sternly, pointing at the door. "You will get your results soon." ]
*Tyra follows still, peering at the machine out of an idle curiosity instead of a- she blinks as they’re told to leave. "…okay."
*Maia will also leave without protest! … though, when she's outside, and no, you know, officials are around, she does sign something to Lucius with a distasteful expression.
*Diana made a bit of a pout… and took one last gander before quickly dashing out!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius nods to Maia sadly. "Yeah. That guy was a dick." ]
<Diana> "Ah. And their machine sucks. Needs strong magic to use."
*Tyra chuckles.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Time passes slowly… 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15… Eventually, 20 minutes after they were told to leave, Tyler appears with a note of paper for Maia, which he hands to her. "We have established a good, solid location, recorded here. Even better, we predict that we could rescry her with ease using just this material." ]
*Maia smiles - a bit forced - and accepts the paper with a nod, giving him a respectful - if restrained - bow, before looking over the paper…
*Tyra peers over Maia’s shoulder.
*Maia certainly isn't stopping anyone else from reading it.
*Diana peeeers too!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius doesn’t bother, peering over Maia's shoulder as well- it's an address. 22 Morton avenue, Eastwood District, based in southern Paxia, a somewhat quiet and residantial area. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> Residential*
<Mina`Haplo> [ The scry mentions ’Stone rooms' and 'Sandstone walls' as well. Also 'Little ornamentation'. ]
*Diana pouted slightly. "Aw. Not isolated enough for my backup idea."
*Maia presses her lips together, signing something to Lucius.
*Tyra glances at Diana. "What was your idea?"
<Diana> "Aerial assault."
<Tyra> Oh.
<Tyra> …wait, what?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius nods to Maia… Then turns to Diana. "… What?" ]
*Diana sighed. "Just, that if it was an isolated locaation we might have been able to get away with trying to get an airship to bomb it if something terrible happened to us. But you want her alive anyway…"
<Tyra> …I’m going to not ask anymore questions until we're back at the Lente.
<Tyra> Then we're going to have a talk about where you're spending the budget your project area has.
*Maia can't help but giggle at this a bit.
*Diana waved her hand. "It's not from our budget. I meant talking someone into it. It's a silly idea."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius blinks, then… "Well." And with that, Tyler escorted them back out into the foyer, where they would eventually find themselves wondering: what next? Off to the address? The autocar awaits. ]
*Maia indeed hops into the driver’s seat, but before she gets moving, she signs to Lucius one quick thing.
*Diana climbed in behind Maia, calmly.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius shakes his head. "I’m fine. Do any of you have anywhere you want to go?" ]
<Tyra> No, let's get this over with fast.
<Diana> "I don't care either way."
*Maia nods, and begins to drive!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "We’re fine, Maia." Lucius climbed into the Autocar, up in the front with Maia… Three hours pass as Maia drives to 22 Morton Avenue. Lucius falls asleep about 20 minutes in, as is usual, and dozes the entire way…-
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Upon arriving at the destination, they see a house, an ugly thing it is, with a single story, no windows, and a wooden door at the front. The roof is… Shoddy, almost falling apart, the tiles crumbling a little. ]
*Diana frowned. "This almost stinks of some kidnapping plot. Abandoned building, held in a featureless room…
*Tyra raises an eyebrow at the sight, taking a deep breath. "Showtime."
*Maia frowns nervously at Diana, nodding. She nudges Lucius awake once again, and helps him out of the autocar…
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Mmmf…" Lucius looks embarrassed as he accepts Maia’s help, and gets out of the car… ]
*Diana stood up, herself… and stood at ready, orbitting 'bot present as always. It aided her production of unseen servants so why not?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The house inside… The walls were indeed sandstone, solid and hard, yet the floors were made of wood. They entered into some sort of foyer in a sense, with a door to their immediate left and a door on the far right. ]
*Diana wandered in, AU-X changing its orbital position to cast an ecliptic shadow upon her back… as she stared out forwards.
*Maia stands still, … just listening, for a moment. For any sort of sound around the house.
*Maia softly closes the front door behind her, trying to make as little noise as possible.
<Maia> (Once everyone is in, of course.)
<Mina`Haplo> [ She closes the door! ]
*Maia puts a finger to her lips, signaling the others to try to be quiet, then she slowly, cautiously, reaches out and attempts to open the door to the left.
*Tyra creeps along after Maia. Wait, where did she go?
<Mina`Haplo> [ The door opens easily… Leading into a small, slightly cramped yet bare room with a bookcase on the far end, lined with books. ]
*Diana kept AU-X now as a robobackpack, knowing that a little metal contraption ambling about would make far too much noise… and headed to the door on the right, standing to the side and bidding her invisible forces to open it.
*Maia scratches her head. Books? That’s odd.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The door swings open… Revealing a similar small, cramped room with two bookcases on it, although one is mostly bare; there’s another one at the far end lined with books, and another door on the northern wall. ]
*Diana carefully walked in, keeping to the left wall… and eyeing the shelf, to see what type of books were in the shelf that had them.
*Tyra creeps after Diana, looking to peer to the next door and see what was beyond.
*Maia would check the books in her own room with a puzzled expression.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The books covered all sorts of topics, from the mundane ("Andrew McEllan’s Guide to Gardening") to fictional works ("A Murder at Voltscliff")… Also an odd book bound in red labelled "Collection of Love Stories". ]
*Maia signs something to Lucius, with a frown.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tyra enters, and finds… Another ’library', with a bare shelf in front of her, and a stacked shelf to her left. ]
*Diana frowned… Thinking that ultimately there wasn't that many leads.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius followed along… "Perhaps… She’s living with someone?" ]
*Diana then thought about the featurelessness of the room, and the fact that it seemed to be all that there was in the house. So, with a tug from her powers of invisibly moving things… she tried to pull out the conspicuous romantic book.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The book feels different from the others- quite distinctive. But when she pulls it, it doesn’t come out- instead, it sort of 'hinges' off the bookcase. It's a lever! … She can hear a slight click, but nothing else. ]
*Diana grinned smugly, and began walking confidently towards said bookcase… before veering to the side, just in case.
<Mina‘Haplo> [Maia would find a similar thing, as well, in her case… Down to a similar red book labelled "Collection of Love Stories"…]
<Mina`Haplo> [ … Nothing shoots out at Diana. ]
*Maia would also find that one to be interesting, so she’d grasp it to see the contents? Maybe it would be in Braille.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia can’t pull it out the whole way, either- it's also a lever, and she hears a 'click'. But nothing else. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "… I wonder if that opened something?" Mumbles Lucius. ]
*Diana moved over to Tyra, whispering. "Look for a red love stories book in that last room. It’s a switch. And do be careful."
*Tyra raises an eyebrow, then goes to do so!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The book Diana manipulated slides back in after she’s done with it. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tyra would find, indeed, in the set of bookshelves… A red book labelled "Collection of Love Stories". ]
*Maia shrugs, gesturing back at the door before walking over to join Diana and company, eventually.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Maia’s book clicks back into place when she's done. Lucius follows her onward. ]
*Tyra pulls the book!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The book is a lever- it doesn’t come out the whole way, and Tyra hears a -click-. But nothing else. ]
*Maia steps into the room with Diana, and notices the book, seeming a bit surprised at it. She pulls out the slate and writes. 'Same book in other room'
*Diana nodded. "I know. I figured there was another in the room Tyra's over at… and judging by the sound, I was right."
*Tyra heads back out!
*Maia raises an eyebrow and signs to Lucius!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius rubs his chin… "Maybe she uses spectres to manipulate them? Or some sort of mage hand? Or… Hmm." ]
*Maia grumbles a bit, and writes, since Lucius didn’t pass it on. 'Pull all 3 together?'
*Diana thought. "…Or an accomplice." Then nodded. "A plan, surely." She poked Tyra in the back - invisibly - to make sure she noticed too.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Sorry." Mumbles Lucius, getting the ’gist'. ]
<Tyra> Ow.
*Tyra goes to do so, giving Diana a Look.
*Diana nodded, and headed to her own. "…We should have a signal."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Maybe I could yell something?" Said Lucius. ]
*Maia frowns, signing rapidly and shaking her head.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Huhm. Fair enough." ]
<Diana> "If not… I could do it."
*Maia frustratedly rubs her forehead.
*Tyra taps her foot.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Do it? As in, signalling us?" ]
<Diana> "I meant, the whole thing. I can move things remotely, compel my assistant to do it, and pull it with my own two hands.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Ah! I see." ]
*Maia raises an eyebrow, looking intriguied.. Either way, the news seems to relax her.
*Diana then… ordered AU-X over to Tyra’s room, walked closer to her own shelf… and focused her mind on the last room. "Okay…" She held her head with one hand, needing a bit more concentration. "And pull!" Simultaneous yank!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Three books are pulled… Three clicks, and… A louder, more solid -click-! From the main room. The sound of something heavy moving. And indeed, upon looking in, they’d notice that where there used to be a wall on the northern end of the room was now… A space into a new room. ]
*Diana assembled over to that area, graciously letting Maia go first… and scooping up AU-X again!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Well done, miss." Said Lucius. ]
*Diana nodded. "Nothing, t’was nothing~"
*Maia does go first, heading back to the now opened wall after actually giving Diana light applause.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The room is bare… Except for a cellar door built into the ground. ]
*Tyra heads for the cellar door, checking to see if it’s locked.
*Maia stared at the cellar door, and frowned worriedly. She made like she was about to sign to Lucius… but then decided to write, since he wasn't being much of an interpreter. 'Don't like this'
*Diana nodded. "You can say that again. Well, don't, writing everything must be a pain. But… Yes. It is bad news. Fits entirely with my theory though. Now which way do we propose getting in there, if it IS locked?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ It’s not locked! ]
*Tyra opens it. "Nope."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The cellar door opens, revealing a rather unkempt staircase leading down into a basement of sorts… With stone floors. ]
*Diana smirked. "How convenient." …She didn’t feel like going first. Let the Oblationists do that.
*Maia would, once the map loaded, proceed down. But first, the map must load.
*Maia … arrives downstairs!
*Diana does as well, 'bot - as always - close behind… and moving to the side. Yet again, screw going first.
*Tyra is right on Maia's heels, still moving stealthily.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius goes down as well! ]
*Tyra continues forward, pulling past Maia. She’s produced a rather wicked looking dagger from a metal hilt somewhere along the line, too.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The room the group was in was, apparently, just a side room to a larger foyer, with a pair of big, double doors to the south, and another room to the northwest. It’s rather cold… ]
*Maia proceeds into the larger foyer, and immediately gravitates to the room to the northeast….
*Diana tailed her, of course… and weapon? What weapon? Who the fuck needs a… Oh, wait. She has a giant silvery wrench in hand, which oddly enough seems to be decorated with a small amethyst…
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia finds herself in a small room, dominated by some sort of black dias. There is a strange pattern to the dias, and a strange burned smell to the air around it… An arcane, acrid scent. ]
*Tyra meanwhile heads for the southern door, frowning.
*Diana followed Tyra along, knowing that bosslady could probably use the violent backup.
*Maia - from the other room - lets out an irritated sigh.
*Tyra edges one open. Sneakily.
*Diana slipped to Tyra’s side. Never walk point, never personally open doors!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The doors open up into a hallway… 2 doors on each side, and another pair of imposing wooden doors at the end. ]
*Maia writes something on the slate, and then hurries out to the foyer again, attempting to whistle and flailing her arms.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Maia wants you guys." ]
*Diana paused. "…Mm?"
*Maia holds the slate up to reveal the words: ’She's escaped'
*Diana furrowed her brow. "…Not surprised. We should have probably asked those wizards if we could get an update. Or shelled the place."
*Maia glared at the mention of shelling.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "We want her alive, remember? Besides. This is underground. She might survive, and still get out." ]
*Maia signs a bit to Lucius, frowning. She looked pretty annoyed.
<Tyra> Wait, how’d she escape?
*Diana shrugged. "…In a basement she'd survive until we dug her out. Though if she… uh, teleported out… Ugh. So annoying. Anyway, she might have left clues or undead monstrosities - which I think we should go about systematically destroying."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "There’s a Locked Teleportation Circle in the room over there. It's attuned to Sophie Garland, apparently, so only she can use it." ]
<Tyra> Great. Let's search the rest of this place for clues.
<Diana> "…As I thought. Should we destroy it? I figure, it'd make her have to come back here the hard way."
*Tyra starts down the hall, opening one of the side doors.
*Maia nods to Tyra, folding her arms and heading toward the double doors while pondering Diana's question.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tyra enters a room… Revealing a magical circle of runes enscribed into the ground. They’re not active. ]
*Tyra gestures DIana and Maia over.
*Maia goes to check out what Tyra's seeing, an eyebrow raised…
*Diana followed, making a mental note of yet more Eldritch Slabs Of Rock to smash. And followed~
*Tyra meanwhile heads for the next side door.
*Diana followed along, muttering as she went. "That should probably be destroyed too, once anything bound by it is taken care of."
*Maia follows Tyra, frowning a bit (and nodding at Diana slowly).
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Inside, Tyra would find… Another room, a small one, with the identical symbol glowing on the ground. ]
*Tyra shakes her head, gesturing for the two to check it as she starts for the next set of doors.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Inside the next 2 rooms, Tyra would in fact find the exact same thing in each; the same magical circles, identical to the others… ]
*Diana stared at the circle, the lenses of her little hat coming down and twirling seemingly of their own accord, eyeing it critically.
*Diana bit her lip. "This one’s binding something. I'm not sure if destroying it will help before we know what's bound."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The ones Tyra found are also glowing. Only one is inactive. ]
*Tyra waves them over soon after, then starts on the last set of doors.
*Maia signs to Lucius as she heads after Tyra to the last pair of doors.
*Diana then wandered off, pointing out the… seemingly obvious. "If they’re glowing, they're binding something. Watch out, they might be -here-."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius follows on! "Yeah… Almost some sort of…. Oh yeah, Maia says they’re all circles to bind undead servants, and also, Maia…" He taps her on the shoulder and tilts his head back at Diana. ]
*Maia nods to Diana.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Either way, as Maia and Tyra enter the southern room, they enter… A large ritual chamber. On the ground is inscribed a magical sealing circle, one that Maia would identify as the Strigoi’s circle. The lines are made in ash- Aspen ash, and most disconcertingly… A magical stream of energy flows around the inner circle of the symbol. ]
*Tyra frowns. "The hell?"
*Maia points at it with wide eyes, excitedly,
*Maia then writes on her slate a single word. 'Strigoi'
<Tyra> …the energy, or what? I don't know this stuff.
*Maia continues to write. 'The circle. It was summoned here'
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "This is the Strigoi’s summoning circle." Explained Lucius. ]
<Tyra> So, does it go away if you destroy it?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "No. This circle is… A vestige for now. We need to find the Strigoi’s precious item…" ]
*Maia shakes her head at Tyra.
*Tyra shakes her head. "Never easy. Do they have to keep it near the circle?"
*Diana stared… "Then why is it still flowing?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Because it’s active, basically. The Strigoi is still alive, and until it dies, it'll be charged with energy, but it really isn't doing anything except providing a status report…" ]
*Diana nodded. "Makes sense. I suppose that's the one thing we don't need to destroy. It might be a useful check."
<Tyra> …so, wait. Does that mean it's already reformed?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Yes." ]
*Maia frowns worriedly.
*Tyra turns and starts heading for the stairs, heels clicking.
*Diana then paused… Not being nearly as hasty. "…Hey. So should I rip apart the other stuff? The binding circles and the teleporter?"
<Mina`Haplo> [… Hsssss. A sudden smell comes to everyone’s nose… Whiskey. And a smell like rotten eggs. "…Snff. Snff…"]
*Tyra comes to a halt at the smell, raising the dagger.
*Maia whirls around. She knew what the smell meant too, and her rod was immediately in her hand as she stepped in front of Lucius.
<Diana> "…Goddamnit I am tired about being right about these things." She turned to face the source of the smell - if she could - wrenchwand at ready.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ There’s a horrid sound of squick, squick… The smell grows stronger. "M-Maia…" ]
*Xiri is now known as The_Slayer
*Maia nods to Lucius, as she signs something to him quickly with a nervous frown.
<The_Slayer> Behind you.
*The_Slayer 's voice comes resolutely, cutting clear and informative through the room… followed very shortly by her form being visible amongst the group in a presdigitative storm of rose petals unfurling her form. She is facing the Strigoi, the Stinger held aloft.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Wh-" Lucius turns, just as an ear-piercing *shriek*sounds out across the room… And a shape bursts from a nearby wall, a black shadow forming into a man… His skin rotted, his clothes torn and haggard, once hinting at finery, a battered top hat on his head…-
<Mina`Haplo> [It stares down at the Slayer with vicious delight in its eyes. ]
*The_Slayer stares back, eyelessly, facelessly, at Olon. "I should have been more thorough in my work the first time around. I scarce thought a man as you would be so persistent, a black cockroach ’mongst your kind. You, who I have once slain for your wickedness…"
*The_Slayer brandishes the Stinger directly at his face. "In the name of my crusade, I will kill you again."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["You’re welcome to try, Slayer! But I assure you, you'll not leave this threshold!" ]
*The_Slayer blasts forward, a trail of petals in the air as she moves with alacritous speed. The Stinger impales itself on the undead gentleman, the force of which drives him back a few feet as she continues her vengeful assault. "I have no desire to leave until I see you to the gates of the Abyss itself!" she declares, drawing her blade back and the might of the Sages running through the edge of her blade…
*ChanServ sets mode: +oa Mina‘Haplo Mina`Haplo
*The_Slayer then follows the stabbing manuever with a crushing slash from above, slicing deep into his flesh. Her garments flow smoothly with every move she makes, and her body is surrounded by an aura of vengeful power now. "Such is the curse of your kind."
<Mina`Haplo> [ Joshua reels from the blow, a growl of pain coming from his mangled lips, his hands automatically flying to his hat to reorient himself. "First or last, Slayer!" ]
*The_Slayer responds, "I can assure you you will be the first to go."
*Tyra actually springs up and /over/ Maia’s head with a shout, landing on the ground with an acrobat's grace as she smirks. "Finally, something I can actually help with!" Then she's actually streaked past the young woman, jumping up into a spinning roundhouse that floors the zombie even as her dagger flashes across it's throat. In another smooth gesture she's driven it deep into its leg.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius turns, trying to assist Tyra with a blast of dark energy… It misses, and as the creature falls to the ground from Tyra’s attack, it dissolves… Reappearing back on its feet, where it swings at the Slayer with its long arms. It misses… And a large, cruel-looking talon appears on its right arm, which it slashes her with across the arm.]
*The_Slayer receives the cut true and well, reeling lightly from the blow (she's not a *tank*, per se), but then taunting, "You may only hope to flail away hopelessly at flesh wounds."
*Maia rushes valiantly - okay, recklessly - into the fray, firing a bolt of crackling purple-black energy at Joshua's corpse!
*Diana thought deeply for a moment, realizing that much in the way of shoving things around or blowing them up was going to make a ridiculous mess of things… so instead, she grabbed a tiny brass… sphere, and *pchoo*, it rocketed into the sky, and briefly hovered over the Slayer… sending a light bluish mist over her! "Protection!" …Then… -
*Diana sent a batch of gears, plating, screws, and other assorted components… and in a blaze of activity, constructed a lowgrade warforged right next to Joshua! "Go CU-X! Crush him and defend us!"
*The_Slayer receives Diana's mist, absorbing the power into her as she performs a wrenching slash with the Stinger that drives her further back. She then continues to taunt Olon, announcing, "Come, fiend. You would not want me to escape, would you?" as she moves backwards.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Gah! Hrrr!" Olon hisses at the Slayer, his eyes glinting angrily. ]
<Tyra> Where are you looking?
*Tyra rips the dagger out of his back, sending bits flying every which way.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Lucius runs forward, and lifts his staff to unleash an attack, but as he does so he starts coughing madly, doubling over… His dark energy dissipates harmlessly. Meanwhile, Olon turns to look at Tyra… And grins.]
<Mina`Haplo> [ With a sudden bound, he jumps into the wall, his shadow sliding along it… And disappearing around the corner of a room. ]
*The_Slayer barks, "More tricks and deceit, Olon? Truly you will never learn."
*Maia dashes forward; as she does, that purple glow around her hand creeps up her body, surrounding her whole form now…
*Maia glares hatefully at Olon, the purple-black energy concentrating around her head… and then suddenly, it flares up around Olon as well, sending a searing pain through his head! It seems to backlash on Maia visibly, though - as the glow fades from her, back to simply her hand, her other hand is clutching her head and she’s wincing.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Olon roars in agony as he reforms, dark lightning crackling around his body… Whilst Lucius cries out. "Maia…!" ]
*Maia frantically gestures something to Lucius, even as she’s reeling a bit from the pain!
<Mina‘Haplo> ["… I… I can’t believe I'm saying this, but TARGET THE HAT!"]
*Diana grinned, as the 'bot walked over to be in sight of him. Diana responded as she rushed in closer. "With pleasure." …and at that instant, CU-X's right arm was pointed at said hat - its arm being an automaton-portable gatling gun. With metallic whine and a dull whirring noise… it began spinning up, then sent a stream of bullets right into the goddamn hat!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Olon throws his arms up, absorbing most of the bullets into his own body, sending hideous globs of rotten flesh across the walls… Some pierce the hat, and he screams pitifully as they do. "No!" ]
*The_Slayer exclaims, "To me, vile ghoul! You shall not escape your grim fate!" and strikes out… with a rose-petalled whip of divine energy in one hand, attempting to lash at him to drag the enemy towards her… but it misses. Uttering an eladrin curse, she instead navigates around to stymie his plans.
<Mina`Haplo> [ He strikes out at her as she comes by, but he’s finding it hard to land his blows… ]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Olon throws his arms out at the Slayer blindly as she comes close; he can’t seem to get a solid grasp on her! His claws seem to go wide as well. ]
*The_Slayer displays her competence at swordfighting as she parries, sidesteps and deflects his blows, hissing back with an ardent tone upon her voice, "Scarce can I imagine you will ever comprehend, but I am armored by more purpose than you have in your insigificant little undead body."
*Maia seems to recover her stance, pointing her purple-glowing right hand directly at Olon's hat and firing a crackling burst of energy directly into it, not at all hiding a sort of ha-ha-found-your-weakness grin on her face.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Olon whimpers in a mix of pain and anger as the hat starts to fade, rifts appearing across its surface… ]
*Diana concentrated, as all her mechanical servitors rushed around her… she gestured… and with a giant yank pulled Olon closer to her, sending him careening out of the room! "You, abomination! Over here!" …then immediately followed with a concealed device, which shot a small dart via a quick burst of telekinetic force… -
<Diana> - …Which was tethered to something on her wrist that seemingly had just been an unremarkable bauble… and a surge of indigo energy danced across it, pulling the very energy of motion from him!
<Mina`Haplo> [ Olon sprawls into a sort of tumble-run as Diana pulls him towards her, and when he returns to his feet he’s barely capable of standing. ]
<The_Slayer> Joshua Olon! Remember what I told you when I first laid judgement upon you, months ago.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Olon turns a blurry eye to the Slayer… There’s an almost uncomprehending look in its eye. ]
*The_Slayer rears her blade back as she leaps into the air in a forward dashing motion, blade outstretched. "I am the Dawn, come to vanquish the Night! I will kill you, and put an end to your dark deeds!" The tip of the Stinger is headed at full tilt, magitech all active, towards the hat.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ As the Stinger pierces the hat, the entire thing rips in half, along with Olon’s body; he screams, in terror as well as pain, and as the two halves of the hat falls, his body collapses… The same a body would if its skeleton were suddenly removed. It falls into a head on the ground with a disgusting -squish- sound, the pieces of the hat falling on top.]
*The_Slayer watches him fall, and looks towards Maia and Diana. "Burn this miserable wretch."
*Tyra slumps against the wall, catching her breath.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["We should take the rest of the hat to the circle and destroy it with fire." Said Lucius, looking down at the mess. He looks rather worn out. ]
*Diana stared down at the dead thing… and with a vague gesture, disassembled CU-X, its parts flying back into her pack. She couldn’t maintain an empty-shell unit like that for long… Then a sigh, standing strong. Unlike the others, she stayed -well- out of the way. "…Alright. I'll go break the other circles and the teleporter. Uprooting what it's carved on breaks it, right?"
*Maia nods to Lucius, gingerly gathering up the shredded pieces of the hat. Once she had them all, she'd proceed to the circle. … The disgustingness of the corpse seemed not to affect her.
<Mina‘Haplo> [Lucius nodded. "Ah, yeah…" He said. "The teleporter is no use to us, so go ahead and ruin it." He said, then turning his gaze to the Slayer… He shrank back a little, apprehension on his face. ]
*The_Slayer is facing the rest of the party, leaving no one turned to her back as she does so. She’s also watching Maia go.
*Diana nodded calmly, robo-orbit continuing again. Much like Maia and the corpse, she seemed to pay the presence of the Slayer absolutely no mind as she began methodically hammering at the teleporter dais with her mind, first cracking, then chipping, then shattering the obsidian construct.
*Maia turns, and before entering the room with the circle, would face the Slayer, giving her a deep and respectful bow.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The dais smashes apart beneath Diana’s telekinetic hammer blows. A massive crack down the middle renders it useless forever. ]
*The_Slayer questions, "Why do you bow before me?"
*Maia stops, when she's asked the question! The sound of chalk on slate can be heard, and then she reveals a message: 'Thank you'
*Tyra slides down in a sitting position, watching the Slayer out of the corner of her eye.
*The_Slayer looks to Tyra for a moment, but then looks back to Maia to say, "You have nothing to thank me for."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius eyes the Slayer warily, before running back to Maia. ]
*Maia shrugs, and signs something, clearly intending for Lucius to relay the message.
*Diana turned around as her handiwork was done, striding calmly, the flaps of her skirt sliding back and forth. "…Nonetheless, your enmity protected her life. Allow her her gratitude, just as she allowed you your vengeance." When nobody else was watching, though, she winked. And she made damn sure nobody else was. Save Tyra.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Lucius eyes Maia, before turning to the Slayer. "She says you do the work of Good." Said Lucius, translating as best he could. ]
*Maia turns and proceeds in. There was a job to do with this hat! So she produced the flint and steel and got to the the gritty work of good, old-fashioned firemaking.
*The_Slayer might even have a small smirk reserved under her faceless hood, but it disappears as soon as Lucius translates. "I will not accept gratitude for the work of the wicked, for that is not a moral action you take," she sternly admonishes. Then she moves closer to Lucius to say, "Tell me what you know of Olon’s accomplice."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius stares back at the Slayer… "… That depends on whether you intend to kill her or not." ]
*The_Slayer says, "She is a person of interest. If she possesses wickedness in her heart, then she will be slain."
*Tyra winces. "He won’t tell you, then. They intend to take her alive no matter what."
*Diana pondered. "Sans the demon all oblationists carry. A difficulty of control might be the problem." She nodded. "Tyra is right. They believe they can redeem her if she has truly fallen."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "I can’t tell you anything that could risk the life of a rogue Oblationist." Said Lucius… "And not just for moral purposes either." Meanwhile, as the hat burns, the circle starts to break down… The glowing ring shatters entirely… As the hat falls to ash, a strange object appears beneath it in the circle. ]
*Maia curiously picks up the object, carefully, peering at it. What is it?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ It’s a black feather… Identical to the one worn on the Slayer's outfit. ]
*The_Slayer gestures vaguely, and then says, "Then harbor your secret. The sinful cannot hide their deeds for long." She does lift the blade to point at Lucius again, and adds, "I hope for the sake of your livelihood that you will not impede my path should such an event be a certainty."
*Tyra clears her throat, shooting the Slayer a glare.
*Maia … pockets it, surreptitiously. Might come in handy later. Then she steps back out, writing on the slate as she does. She stares resolutely at the Slayer as she reveals the message written: 'Rogue = our business; do not interfere'
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius shoots the Slayer a glare. ]
*The_Slayer stares at Maia and Lucius, and even Tyra for a while, before lowering her blade. "My business is to unearth the root of evil in Paxia and cinder it to ashes. In this, I will not be stopped."
<Tyra> And if they remove it from Paxia?
*Diana meanwhile… stood there, waiting what appeared to be dispassion. But yet there was a small edge in it, as if she was starting to get annoyed at the bickering. Whether anyone paid attention to her was another story.
*Maia peers around the room tensely. This was going to be a long, long day, she was realizing.
*The_Slayer turns around. "Then hopefully there are others to continue the crusade outside of its boundaries."
*Tyra shrugs, gesturing at Maia and Lucius. "There you go, terms. When we take her, you get her the hell out of the city."
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Of course. She’ll go back to Redspring, where we'll deal with her in the proper fashion." ]
*Maia nods calmly at that. It seemed acceptable to her.
<Tyra> Now. Next step?
<Diana> "Obviously, to get an update on her position
<Diana> *."
*Maia nods to Diana.
*Tyra sighs, getting to her feet. "Let's go, then."
*The_Slayer begins walking ahead of the group, her form eventually disintegrating into an ascending flourish of white tulip petals that float away and turn translucent, before floating down gently towards the ground. Then she gets the hell outta here while her invis is still on.
<Tyra> I'll take that as a cautious 'yes'. But we should move fast.
*Maia nods to Tyra, as well, and she's hurrying for the stairs back up.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lucius slams his fist against the wall, angrily, before following after Maia. ]
*Diana headed up too!… Her foreknowledge making Lucius’s gesture seem rather silly.

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