Horror Within And Without

Heart of Darkness

How All Tales of Darkness and Suffering Conclude

• Monday, December 5, 7:30 am
• V now has access to his Zemial Gnosis powers.
• They kick out the door and look out upon the city from the tall hill to look out over the city, and see the destruction that goes around them. Luma notices 10 of the flying creatures a great distance off, but still far away and not noticing them. They trudge forward, V in the lead and C holding the rear guard. They walk up to the gate, V grabs it and it turns to ash in his grip. The others comment on the strangeness of it all, and the fact that he couldn’t do that before. Isabella comments on the big man doing stranger things. They then continue to trudge forward down the street yet again.
• They see the creepy silence and change of the image around them. The air is silent, snow falls slowly. Blood, red and black gore, and the occasional limb reaching outwards from it. Isabella sings a happy tune and completely inappropriate song. The song draws in several collections of zombies, which V, H, and C deal with attacks from all of their own waves of violence and awesome. They make their way forward for a time.
• As they reach the edge of the Top Tier district H falls through a pile of snow into an open manhole. He finds himself falling below the turgid slop down below, and rises covered in complete gore and rises up. Isabella says that “Dad, you smell like ass.” V comments on the ugly appearance. Then Y, Isabella, C, H, and Luma all look around and notice a very well dressed man looking down at them from on high, with a raised eyebrow regarding H’s appearance. Isabella waves up to him. Cormac asks if he intends to actually assist them or talk to them. The man says that he would like to speak with them. They ask about who he is and what he is doing. He says that he was a researching, hoping to make his way out from the city in order to survive. He also says that he wanted to get the Book of the Dead out of the lab, but he does say that it appears one of them dealt with it. V says the book is there with them. Isabella jokes regarding it. Y asks who the man is, and he introduces himself as Ocelot Gris, the lead tactical trainer for the undead upon their tactical approaches. Then he explains that there is a great force that needs to be destroyed since it has apparently been let out to destroy the world. Then Lila asked if there would be any reason for them to actually let him try to assist and try to murder such a creature. Ocelot says that he can lead them outside, and from what he hears they have come into such a condition to lead the violence. Lila has trouble arguing. Then Ocelot says that he can assist in leading them to an exit that should be open, but that the monstrosity needs to be removed first, and they will die otherwise. Again, they have trouble arguing, so they ask if he has any idea about how they could actually kill them. Lila suggests that Ocelot could always try to kill the god of death by himself, to which he says he would have already. Ocelot suggests they attempts to gather powerful allies in order to destroy it in order to remove it so that they may all escape and live. The party asks to see if there would be any such allies in the city. Ocelot suggests they try to make contact with the Magus Order within the city, which he knows where they are based, and Samael, although he doesn’t know where they are as they often move about. Isabella asks if they would be willing to help, H knows a little bit about them but not much. They decide that they should probably go for the people they know where they are first, hoping to possibly find the Samael group on the way, or else afterwards. There are a few that wonder if they shouldn’t try to go to the Sanitarium still, as it is close to the exit. Then Ocelot informs them that Ragnarok happens to be lurking beyond the massive wall, just outside, between them and the Sanitarium. They decide going to the Magus Order base should prove to be their first objective. Then they begin to go move forward, with Ocelot running atop the rooftops.
• Through the streets they go, with Heinrich having Luma looking for any signs of life so that they can attempt to rescue them, or if they are Samael. Passing a home Luma gives him the signal, and H informs the others of living things in the two-story home across from them. V goes to the door, and turns it to ash in his touch. On the other side are a family, mother, father, two grown-up boys, with the father holding an Arquebus. He demands V leave them alone or he would fire. V stepped forward, the father fired, V stopped it with his axe, and grabbed the father by the head as the others ran away. C shook his head in acceptance of what was to come, while H, Isabella, and L discussed whether they should stay to witness this. While they were discussing whether to stay, V drove the father’s head through the wall, pulping it immediately and leaving his gun to fall to the floor. Then V moved upwards in pursuit of the family. All but Y decided to leave and continue to walk forward, although Julietta took the opportunity to grab up the arquebus and discarded shot first. They continued walking, trying to find a way out. After a time V returns downstairs and then begins walking in pursuit. Y burns the remains of the house down, drawing the creatures nearby to it, rather then them. Eventually the majority of the group (not V and Y) reach the wall of the top-tier district, and find the gate that is closed, and the gatehouse beside it. H enters the gatehouse in order to try and find the way to open it. Inside he sees numerous torn apart and partly devoured corpses, as well as a pair of unnatural monsters that were devouring the corpses. H backs up and tells the others to look out. The Aberrations then follow him back outside to the door. The others grumble regarding this mess.
• H knows the traits and abilities of the Aberrations and tells C about the pain aura. C brings out his super bolas and hurls it, splitting to hit both, crushing it into both of them solidly, and resists the Bonds of Suffering. H fires his wave of three arrows, striking solidly once, twice, and even more solidly thrice, and resists Bonds of Suffering. The Aberration littered with magic arrows charges Cormac, and his mystic wave shield soaks it up with the waves. Lila backs up and examines the case, seeing that no zombies are coming in. The other Aberration began eating a corpse instead of attacking C. Isabella fired a lightning arc into the Aberration devouring the corpse, charring off a great piece of its hide, and giggles without suffering from Bonds of Suffering. The first Aberration attacks C again, but his shield soaks it up without any harm to him, and counters with his bolas to strike both of them, decapitating the one that he countered, and nearly breaking off the back left leg at the thigh of the back one. Lila looks around once more, and notices V and Y were coming up, letting the party know. Isabella fires off another Electricity Arc at the one Aberration still standing, blowing off its left shoulder and causing it to fall downwards, and Isabella giggles out loud.
• V catches up and asks what the children have been up to, Isabella says killing, V says good, Lila says not wasting time. They continue moving on, heading through the streets of the high-class district. Any undead that attack them are destroyed quickly and efficiently. H also has Luma continue to look for any signs of life, and this time people that are not whimpering for mercy or a divine being to assist them. When passing a large, four-story building Luma senses a group that match the description. H asks if they should talk to them or just move past. L suggests they not let V do the talking with them. V moves over to the door, and politely knocks. From the other side are barked orders for him to back up and leave. V demands to know why. Those on the other side of the door simply say that they are in a very good place at the moment, and don’t need any fools ruining their strategy. H moves to get Isabella out of the direct line with the door. Y moves behind V to support him. Lila, Ocelot, and Julietta begin to ignore the situation and walk forward. Cormac backed up and allowed a resigned shake of his head. V then kicked in the door, and a trio of cannons on the other side fired at him in unison. Two V deflected, sending them each soaring in a different direction. The third struck his armor centrally, and detonated. The two that were deflected destroyed buildings, one of which Ocelot was standing upon. The third didn’t harm V, or Y as he rolled backwards out of the way. The front of the building and the operators of the cannons were not so lucky, and were quite destroyed. Then the upper floors began to fall over. V walked in, Y backed up, and C walked in, with H leading Isabella out of the path of the falling debris. V and C easily made it into the lower level before the rest fell. C then joined with L, H, Isabella, and Julietta, in following the now emerged Oselot, standing on a building adjacent to the destroyed one dusting off his clothes, in moving down and around to continue on their journey. Then V looked through some of the debris for survivors, crushed a few under wreckage, amputate the broken limbs of another (killing him in the process), and just breaking as many bones in one’s body as he could and let him crawl feebly away. Y muttered under his breath, but the mutter was something complimentary, then lit the ruins on fire before the two caught up with the other group once more.
• Reaching the edge of the High Class district, the group once more arrived at a large gate, wood bound in metal, standing between their current objective. V stepped up to the center of the gate, and split it down the middle, opening the once proud single door into two smaller half doors. Trudging ominously forward once more, they continue into the guild district.
• Moving through the streets, they continued to pass buildings, although many of these were already aflame, or else had the doors and windows battered in, corpses of civilians and undead scattered about. The milling of undead around them was lessened here, to the point where there were even fewer within sight where major streets met. Those that they saw turned to avoid their path. C muttered about something finally going right at least.
• It was while they were moving through the guild district that Isabella’s gaze was drawn by something particularly shiny. Through the shattered window of a store, littered with headless zombie corpses, on a pedestal inside, was the most expensive looking item she had ever seen, a grapefruit-sized sphere made of gold, silver, and platinum, studded with countless valuable gems. Without saying a word she sprints at full speed towards the building. H calls out to see what is wrong, while Y follows the young girl’s gaze and spots the valuable sphere. With inhuman speed he charges past her, and jumps through the window over the decapitated zombies. Furious at seeing her prize about to be snatched, Isabella unleashed an Electricity Arc at Y, but he was able to nimbly turn aside from the attack, with help from his misty cloak. Landing and coming to his feet Y tucked the orb away into one of his many satchel. Then noticing three animals in cages, a bunny, a spider monkey, and a chinchilla, Y grabs the three cages and walks out the front door. L asks him what is up with the animals, while Isabella demands he give her what she wants. Y hands her the cage with the rabbit inside, and Isabella is pleased and sated for the time. She pulls it out of the cage and names it Fred. Lila “So we are holding up pet stores now, are we?” Isabella “You can’t hold up when the owners aren’t there, then it is only robbing.” As V and C begin leading the group away from their distraction, Y sets down the other two cages, because they are too large to carry. After a short while however Y realizes that the spider monkey and chinchilla are still following him. Apparently their cages were unlocked.
• The group continues forward, until Ocelot points towards a two-story home and informs the group that it is their objective. He suggests they have someone other then V do the talking, based on how the previous discussions went. V mutters and says that he would happily stay outside then, to avoid dealing with such people. Ocelot then hops to the ground, so as to make a more normal introduction. Lila “I didn’t think you could walk on the ground.” Ocelot “I can sully my feet when the need arises.” The rest of the group then pushes Lila up to the front door to do the talking for them. She knocks, and a man’s voice speaks to her from the other side. Upon reaching the Magus Orders headquarter Lila’s shield is diminished. The man asks comments that since they knocked they must actually be alive, and then he asks them if they are sane or not. Lila replies that sanity is a point of view, but that only one of their party has lost their wits. Isabella tells Lila it is not nice to talk about Big Man that way. The voice on the other side grunts, and then asks them what they are here about. L informs him of the ‘god of death’, that they are looking for powerful allies, and that Ocelot knew their location. She then asked to continue the discussion inside. The man on the other side of the door opened it for them, and invited them in. V, Y, and the spider monkey and chinchilla stayed outside while the others entered.
• The man escorting them in asked them to follow him so that they could meet the leader of this group to discuss things with her. Isabella tries to wander off to find food for Fred the rabbit, but their guide tells her to stay with the group. Pouting, Isabella listens and follows. Their guide leads them down into the basement, a room filled with books and nearly a dozen individuals working over them at a rapid pace. On old woman walks over to them, asking what the meaning of this intrusion is. Lila explains the situation, and that they need their assistance in order to try and deal with Ragnarok. The mage leader, Brunhild, comments on the fact that it sounds like they let it out, so they should deal with it themselves while the Magus Order members continue to work on their own escape plan. H asks what their plan is, and Brunhild informs them that they are trying to bring down the barrier. L comments that releasing Ragnarok would be a bad thing, and that he would proceed to kill them later. Ocelot inquires if they are aware of the location of any member of Samael, but Brunhild doesn’t as Samael tends to keep to themselves. Brunhild then suggests that the only way she will hep would be if they could draw Ragnarok out and if she could receive an item of payment in response. Isabella asked what would happen if someone’s heart was placed inside the death thingy, if they could use this method to move it where they wanted. While the others tried to silence her, Brunhild asked her some questions in a very pleasant, grandmotherly way, and was able to learn of V’s heart powering the creature, some of the powers, and the axe that devoured the Book of the Dead. Brunhild demands the axe as payment, causing Ocelot to twitch and sputter that he already was in need of receiving the axe. When Lila agreed to Brunhild’s terms, assuming she helped them kill the “soul conduit” before they take the axe from him Ocelot twitched even more. A young mage charged forward from the back, a darkness sheele on his shoulder. The Darkness Sheele and Luma stared at each other for quite some time while this young mage, Gryllinae, demanded that Brunhild come to her senses and not deal with such suicidal plans. Brunhild reminded Gryllinae of his rank, and asked him to send over her second-in-command, Gand, so they could plan. Gryllinae storms off, and soon Gand joins them. The group decides to try and draw Ragnarok to a narrow street, so they can place their forces on both sides, the mages providing support. They also want to try to locate Samael, so some of the mages begin magically probing for them. In the mean time Brunhild offers to let them rest, eat, and relax, so they may have their strength for when the inevitable struggle begins. C asks if their companions outside may join them, and Brunhild allows it so long as the “conduit” remains only on the upper floor. C and H go out to invite V into the house, which he grudgingly accepts. Y and his small furry friends come with him as well. V goes to the upper floor to bed, Isabella feeds her rabbit and makes herself a sandwhich, which Fred the rabbit attempts to sneak pieces of when she isn’t looking, making Isabella slightly annoyed. Y waits in the same room as V for a time. H assisted the other mages in the basement with their research, learning that they intended to enact a major ritual to bring down the mystic barrier locking them in the city. He provides what assistance he can. C and L goes up to a room and gets some well-earned rest themselves.
• After a time, still during broad daylight, Y decides that he should go looking for mystic treasures that all mages tend to keep in their homes, or so he hoped. Sneaking through the halls, Fingers the spider monkey and also the chinchilla in hot pursuit. Finding the door to Brunhild’s private quarters, Y tries the door and finds it locked. Nodding to himself, he begins to attempt to pick it, and fails. Repeatedly. Eventually Fingers the spider monkey gestures, chirps, and runs over to a window, opens the unlocked window, and goes outside. Y follows, and finds that Fingers the spider monkey opened the window to Brunhild’s room and is now inside it. Y follows, and gives the room a quick once over. Nothing, except for a locked cabinet catches his eyes, so he goes over there, and begins picking it. This time he is successful, and finds within a mirror, and a deck of cards in an incredibly elaborate box. He stuffs them both at the very bottom of one of his loot sacks, and then sneaks back out through the window.
• With Y out of the room, Grylinnae sneaks in and wakes V from a sound slumber, with V still in his armor of course. V rumbles to know why he is being woken up. Grylinnae informs V of the plan that the others made to use his axe as the bargaining chip for the Magus Order’s assistance in destroying Ragnarok, and that they plan to murder him afterwards. V demands to know why Grylinnae would tell him this. Grylinnae responds that he believes all the others here fools that simply don’t stand a chance of survival, but that he and V could. Grylinnae offers to assist V in the ensuing struggle, after Ragnarok has been defeated. V wishes to know what help Grylinnae could provide, so he conjures up a slight taste of his powers, and has his Sheele tear a hole in some nearby furniture in a single stroke. With a grunt V accepts Grylinnae’s offer, and tells him to get out. Grylinnae leaves, V muses over whether Grylinnae will live much longer at all, and then returns to slumber.
• Feeling successful upon his theft from the Magus Order leader, Y decides that he should pull a card from the deck that he took, once he returned to the room. Ymir draws the Judgement Reversed from the Tarot. Instantly a void sweeps out across the entire enclosed city. All that are awake find themselves surrounded by utter blackness where each individual is the only one left in all existence. Then, as quickly as it arose, the darkness vanished and all returned to normal. “Well, that is being hidden away for a while.” Y muttered to himself as he shoved the deck to the very bottom of his “loot satchel”, before pretending to fall asleep. Silence was broken as Brunhild began shrieking from the basement, and all the Seekers were awoken and dragged from their rooms to face the irate elderly mage.
• Once everyone was awake and gathered, Brunhild sputtered regarding which one of them took ‘it’, and if they had any idea exactly what they had done. C asked what she was talking about, as he had been asleep at the time, while H asked what exactly happened, and Brunhild ignored them both and cast accusing glances over the entire group while muttering things like ‘doomed us all’. L points towards Y, saying “If anyone took anything that wasn’t theirs then you should start with the thief.” Feigning shock, Y handed over his loot satchel for Brunhild to search through. After only making it through the first many layers of clothing and random items, she gave up, exasperated and saying that it really couldn’t get any worse. Then the mage on look out reported that they had found the local group of Samael in the city, and that they were on their way. Brunhild, the mages, and the Seekers (the last batch a bit more reluctantly) went up to ground level in order to meet with the Samael group, and try not to be slaughtered.
• As they stood upon the ground level, all gathered were treated with the sight of a massive creature of fire, and liquid stone charging towards them, with a female Jayan lieutenant at his side and 17 other assorted supernatural beings all kitted out for war. The mass of fire and doom, the local Archon, demanded to know who was responsible for the act that occurred. Sputtering to try and explain everything in time, Brunhild informed the Archon that they did not know, but she suspected one of the Seekers, and that if the Samael forces would be willing to assist in the destruction of Ragnarok first, then they might be able to sort this out, and murder the one responsible, afterwards. During this exchange Lila shook her head and critiqued Brunhild’s negotiating tactics, while C and H agreed with her opinions. The Samael Archon agreed, and began having all their forces moving into position to fight with Ragnarok, as a massive batch of necromantic energy could be felt approaching them. The Archon, with what was most likely supposed to be a grimace, commented that this might very well be their best chance to destroy the approaching monstrosity, as everything within the city was now as mortal as they would ever be. They formed proper battle lines, with the lesser mages standing on the Magus Order Headquarter’s roof, and everyone else mostly staying within their personal groups. Then Ragnarok burst through a building without slowing, and roared as he charged “You dare to challenge me with such audacity!? Those that would unleash such powers against me will be sent screaming into oblivion!”
• Ocelot, surprising everyone, cracks his knuckles and begins playing cat’s-cradle. Fineran-Ristmuromatt waits, Ymir draws his daggers and waits. Luma waits. Brunhild throws up a Royal Shield. The mages on the roof begin to accumulate magic. Gryllinae accumulates magic. Lila accumulates magic. Ragnarok vanishes, then appears on the roof with the mages, bringing his massive blade down to kill them all and destroying the building in the process, then appears amidst the 17 Samael soldiers and cuts 7 of them down with his Spirit Blades. Then Isabella fires a crossbow bolt with EMAA, but his armor stops it. H fires an arrow, and scratches it slightly. The Samael members try to move into position around it. Y throws a +5 dagger at Ragnarok, and it manages to pierce his armor to hurt him slightly. V then charges in on Ragnarok, tearing a hole through his armor. Julietta looks at her ineffective gun and backs up. C then throws his super-bolas against Ragnarok, tearing through Ragnarok’s left arm and then comes back to tear through his torso and have him fall to his death. V goes into his chest looking for his heart, but finds nothing but an empty shell. V warns that this is probably not the end, so Lila continues to charge. Then Ragnarok appears in their midst with all his powers, unleashing a power of Memento Mori to charge over the field with a wave of death, killing all the Samael minions, Ocelot, Grynillae, Chikara, Cormac, Viresaegar, Isabella, and all three of the animals fall over deceased. Ragnarok then announces that it is a god of death. Then they unleash their counter attacks, Brunhild firing a beam of light but it is dodged, Lila charged zeon, Gand fired an illusionary spell, but it missed. Then Ymir through one of his daggers, but it did not reach Ragnarok as it dodged around. Finerra unleashed a pair of attacks against Ragnarok, one harming it, but the other not. Heinrich then used Luma to fire a light beam into Ragnarok, but not harming him. Then Heinrich brings out the Hunter Arrow, fires it to drive a great hole through the spiritual mass, causing it great pain. Then Lila continued to charge her magic, and Finerran charged Ragnarok as it appeared behind Julietta. Ragnarok put his ghostly hand through her, tearing out Julietta’s flesh killing her. Then Finerran brought its full bulk down upon the creature, destroying it in a flail of doom and violence. With the spirit gone, they all wonder if it is over, with Lila continuing to charge zeon. After nothing happens after a time, Brunhild wandered over to take the axe from V, while H picked up Isabella’s body and beginning to walk towards the Sanitarium again. When Brunhild touched the axe, V rose from the ground once more and cut down Brunhild with a savage strike from the axe to absorb her bodily into the axe. With horror Gand looked at V, and began charging up his Zeon, only to be cut down. Y looked around to see what was going on, H drew out his Naginata, placed Isabella down upon the ground, and then moved as V charged Lila. Lila used her powers to hurl a piece of the street into V, staggering him so he could only stand over her. H then came in, swinging with the Naginata, but having it stopped by V’s armor. Lila juked back and forth in order to get out of the reach of V’s act. Then L continued to run in the direction of Finerran heading off to try and destroy his way through the barrier and into freedom. H then lunged forth once more, but his N was knocked aside, and V brought his axe down upon Luma, to cleave through her, and then destroying H also due to the overwhelming damage to his soul in the process as well. Y then asked what was going on with V, who responded by charging with the axe. A glancing blow nearly tore through Y, so he turned and fled. V then charged off.
• Y End Notes: Having narrowly escaped with his life, Y skulked through the cities, down a nearby sewer entrance, and back into the subterranean laboratory. Carefully he picked his way past the undead that remained within, found one of the secret escape paths, now open thanks to The Edge of Dawn’s demise, and made his escape from the doomed city. Not even looking back he quickly traveled to reach the nearest bastion of the Black Sun organization that he could find. Trading in his report of what happened in the city, as well as the mirror and deck of cards, Y was handsomely rewarded. He maintained some freelance work on the side however. After all, not doing so would simply leave him bored.
• Lila End Notes: Travelling with the surviving Samael Archon, the two of them reached one of the external gates of the city, and with a tower show of magical and physical force were able to tear a small hole in it long enough for the two of them to escape. They traveled as far as they could in the night, until a massive build-up of power behind them made the two turn around. Lila witnessed the final moments of Terrasanta as it was consumed in the unholy maelstrom of mystical forces to reduce it from one of the most splendid metropolises of the world, to a crater of nothingness. The power of the explosion also blinded her for two weeks. The Archon, feeling sympathy for this small mortal, stayed with her and fed her until her sight returned, then informed her that he would be returning to Samael, and that she was on her own. With a shrug L accepted this fact, and decided to return home and pursue some less life-threatening employment. She took a small bit of solace in knowing that not even Viresaegaer could survive the explosion that destroyed the city.
• Viresaegaer End Notes: Stalking the city, looking for more prey, V felt a familiar sensation of a strange mind behind him. Swinging about, axe ready, V found the form of the chained, skeletal angel floating inverted in the air behind him. V said nothing and simply waited. “I must say, you have come along far better then I could ever have hoped,” rasped the unnatural creature through dry chuckles. “Even the other Lords of Nightmares themselves would tremble in your presence I suspect. What an incredible asset you would be. Would you like me to bring you from this place, so that you may spread madness and death across so much more of the world?” V considered for a moment, before rumbling “Perhaps, but first I would have your name.” The floating skeletal angel’s madness tinged eyes gleamed in amusement; “You may call me Dementia. The two of us will work together well I think. You will spread the gift of insanity wherever you tread, and our power will grow before it. Now, let us take our leave of this beautifully mad city before the powers that contain it destroy all within.” Relaxing his grip on his axe, but not too much, V strode beside Dementia, and the two vanished together into the Wake. V and his axe would greatly enjoy the years to come he suspected.

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