man, I feel like a tool.
Esp since I brought the team rating down a few points because shrimpy wanted to arena.
Happy Birthday man, hopefully you found a special lady to spend the time with. If not, I could fund one for ya...
After looking around the grounds of Pnyx for most of the day, Saria went to the dining hall to strategize her next course of action as she thought it over, again and again, she slowly fell asleep.
Waking up the next day, she had the good nature to look a little sheepish when the dining hall chef approached her as she started to stand.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." Saria started to explain when the man put up his hand.
"Its no worry, ma'am" the man said "My name is Paris and I run this dining hall. There have been far too many problems today, and you seemed so tired from the moment you walked through the doors"
"I appreciate your kindness" Saria politely responded "Id stay for a meal, but I really am late now"
The man laughed "Heh, a bit more than you know, you slept clear through the night"
Saria smiled as she gathered her bow and quiver "Thank you again, I may be around later"
"Come by anytime"
With that, Saria crept along the halls of Pnyx again. She made her way down to the northeastern end of the southern level by asking her way every few guards that she ran along. Though curteous, these guards seemed to be a bit involved with whatever they were doing, and didnt pay her any extra attention. As she made her way along, she spied an eerie man with a dark presence around him. She got the chills when she reached out with her remaining powers and knew this was the odd man she had heard about earlier. She decided to go along the halls as another person, though she knew she stuck out like a sore thumb.
As she continued in this fashion, she noticed an odd looking woman staring at her for the briefest of moments as she made her way along. Due to this, Saria ducked in with the small crowd that was moving along the halls.
Quickly moving along down the hall, she started to hear a few cries from behind her and noticed the pace was significantly increasing.
What could it be now? Saria wondered to herself as turned her head to spy on what was going on. What she saw flabbergasted her. A largish panther was attacking in the halls, and the crush of people started to surge forward, forming a human stampede. Regaining her wits, she turned back and doubled her pace, keeping her eye on her prey.
The surge kept on going through the long hall, and before long she saw her quarry duck into a adjoining hall. To her relief, he wasnt the only one, and she wouldnt look suspicious if she followed.
The temporary relief she felt was quickly squelched as she saw a growing gathering in a widened part of the hallway. There were many angry people here, and they were lashing out loudly against magic in general.
Slowly making her way into the crowd, she heard one speaker after another angrily speak out against those who use magic. Whether it be for benefit, for battle, or just ordinary healing use. They cursed it as unnatural and weird, and lamented with one another on how it would bring about full ruin of them as a whole.
Then the one she was tracking stepped up to the helm.
He was a gangly looking fellow. A bit thin, scrappy clothes, and a sharp face. His skin was extremely pale, but he had a dark pallor about him which made it seem more an ash gray.
I can feel its darkness Saria shivered at the mere appearance of the creature, It disguises itself quite well
The man started a long tirade about the need to rise against those who use magic, if one hoped to survive. To strike them down before they became too strong. She listened for a short while and started to notice the anger pouring out from the rest gathered in the crowd. This seemed to be more than just an ordinary rally. This seemed to be a call for blood.
She checked her quiver and gladly grasped the three arrows DF had crafted back at camp. She had been out for a bit, and was more than happy to know she had some additional firepower. As she started to draw an arrow, she noticed an errant glance or two turn into stares around her. Thinking over her action at this point, she let the arrow go, hearing it slide back into the quiver. Not the best time Saria thought as she went about getting out of the crowd.
If I am to kill this thing, what will become of me? Saria suddenly thought. She looked over the whole crowd and started to believe that if she were to strike now, she wouldn't be in the best of positions. She quickly made her way out of the crowd and on down the hall. Her sense of direction would lead her back later. Hopefully the crowd will be less than it was currently.
A few hours later, Saria returned to the area. There were just a few people left now, and the man was still shouting out his tirade about the dangers of magic and its masters. The people seemed to lap it up, shouting in agreement on every point, no matter how silly it seemed to her.
This man must be garnering a lot of support Saria frowned If I were to kill him, people would assume it was done by a mage and it would further divide the people. If I were to let it live, though, it would become part of Icel, and fully embody the danger these people so desperately believe in
She hated a hopeless situation, but she knew the path she had to take. She had travelled with DF for a long while at this point, and a bit of his thinking had rubbed off on her. 'If the enemy is evil, but cloaks himself in good, he is still evil. Destroying a evil thing disguised as good might not appear to be right, but it doesnt mean that it isn't.' She had heard him say this once, and knew it to be true. With that, she drew two arrows at once, and before anyone could stop her, let loose the two arrows.
The wraith, suddenly fully aware of the danger, resorted to using dark magic to try and stop the arrows, which drew a gasp from the crowd. The shadow arrows, though, would not be stopped, and both struck the beast hard. The cries of the wraith knocked everyone around it to the ground, clutching their ears in agony.
Saria, similarly affected by the cries, knew the danger she was immediately in, and dashed down the hall and out of danger. Though she was out of sight at the moment, she still didnt feel quite at ease yet...
As Saria left Avatara to his own devices, she decided to wander around and see if she could find one who may be able to assist her in her quest. She started first with the group that she had spied when she first entered the city, but they only seemed to want to try and impress her with tales of their training.
Saria wandered down several halls, asking one person after another the same thing, getting the same basic responses and then the same exact lines. She was starting to get annoyed with the prospect of asking these people anymore when she spied a small grouping of mages down a hall.
Exchanging a few pleasantries, Saria learned a few things of the pyramid's basic structure and even of some disturbing recent events. When she brought up the wraith, nobody seemed to know what to make of it, but were willing to point out a suspicious person on the southern level in the northeastern side.
She was about to continue on her way when one brought up a very recent incident...
"Do be a bit careful" one of the students bid "There happened to be an attack in the mess hall just now, Uldine just saw it"
"A couple outsiders apparently attacked the guards and students in the mess hall not but a few minutes ago." Uldine went on "the guard captain has issued a general hunt for the pair at fault. I am sure glad I wasnt involved in that mess. Heard a good many people were sent to the infirmary"
"I will be careful, thanks!" Saria exclaimed as she left the group
Always has to be something going on wherever I go Saria groaned to herself I should probably find the others now that I have a lead
As soon as she thought that, her mind started to race again. It had been like this since the magic was taken from her. It was like a gnawing thought in the back of her mind. Though she had only been able to use it for a short period, it was long enough to gain a want and a need for it. An addiction of sorts.
As she tried a bit more to conjure it up, a sudden poof of shadow magic came into existance and she nearly fell over from the shock of it.
This must be why DF didnt seem all there when he first got up Saria concluded I must still possess a portion of his magic. Might just be a residual bit, but it might work to my advantage
She started to focus her mind on her task, like she did when she was hunting game out in the forests around her home. She was so intent on her search that she didnt notice the guard round the corner start looking at her.
She finally caught wind of the guard when he was right next to her.
Albeit a bit startled, Saria put on a big smile and chatted for a bit with the guard. She asked if he had seen her companions and went about describing them, but unfortunately the guard was unable to help. After a similar warning to be careful, the guard detached himself from conversation and continued on his rounds.
Saria continued down towards the dining hall to see the carnage that had the students in gossip mode and the guards on even tighter security. When she came upon the area, she saw an older man right outside the doors of the dining hall talking with a guard. The man had gray hair and had an odd insignia on him. This, she pondered, might indicate a higher rank, and she tried to evesdrop on his conversation as they came towards her to pass down the hall.
"Was there any indications as to who it may be?" the older man asked the younger guard who kept in step with him
"I b-believe that the person was named, but I was not in the company that heard it. I was only sent to fetch you" the soldier responded, a bit bewildered by the pace of events that were going on
"Well, we will conclude this new business at hand, then come back to help clean up the mess in the hall." motioning to another guard, the older man gave an order "Leave a couple here to help fix up the damage and take any furthur injuries down to the infirmiry. Tell me when that plant thing is finally gone. Lord knows how that came to be"
With that, the guard turned back and went into the dining hall.
Saria quickly passed by the entrance of the hall, taking only enough time to peek through the open doors. She saw the tables and benches strewn about in a fashion, broken and not all over the place. She saw a group of young mages trying to dispell the giant plant that seemed to take to swiping them up with its tendrils.
As she continued down the hall, she spied an odd piece of cloth sticking out of the ground. She swore it looked somewhat familiar and bent down to pull it out of the stone it had caught itself in. As she brought it up to see, she quickly recognized the cloth by the base scent it held. It was DF's alright. but why would there be a scrap of his out here unless... Saria looked around a bit closer and saw a few droplets of blood here and there, as though DF had been struck around here.
Im getting a bad feeling about this Saria frowned as she thought of where he may go. She saw tiny droplets of blood, as though a small trail left behind by one running away, and she followed them. After a couple moments, she thought more of it, and looked around. Nobody was paying her any mind at all, so she started to rub the blood spots away with her foot as she went along.
She continued this way until she reached a door. She made sure to look around her before opening and passing through the door and onto a stairwell that led down. She quietly made her way down. Having a highly developed night vision helped her not to trip around, but as she stood around in the darkness, she could not discern anywhere her companions could have gone. Hearing a movement, she turned, only to see nothing.
She knew she had felt another presence somewhere down here, but was unable to discern where it was. She heard faint signs of movement, but the echos made it hard to pinpoint their location. She crept along slowly for a small while, trying to discern where the other steps were coming from when she suddenly faced a blade.
"Im tired of playing games, go back upstairs and you will not be harmed" a voice ordered from the darkness.
"Oh, just kill him" another voice chimed in, a bit weaker
"You got us into this mess with that attitude, so you dont have any say in how I get us out of it" the first voice answered back sharply.
"Oh, I dont believe this" Saria started laughing aloud, bringing the second figure up to his feet
"Saria?" the second figure said aloud "Damn, I guess I am out of line"
"I should have figured it to be you two, but from the looks of it, DF was the one who caused it, am I correct?" Saria queried, with a half smirk on her face.
"That would be a correct assumption," Avatara answered with a glare at DF "I got involved only because I could see it becoming very dangerous and deadly had it gone on any furthur"
"How did it all get started?" Saria asked, concerned about the whole situation.
"I dont want to talk about it now" DF looked away.
"Also, we dont really have the time to explain just yet" Avatara concurred "There already have been people following us, and this location doesnt seem quite safe anymore."
"That I might be able to help with" Sideline appeared at the top of the stairwell "Your little stunt caused quite a lot of havoc in this area, but now they are on alert for some other reason. The guards have been pulled back to Lindus' quarters and it affords you a place to go"
Avatara eyed Sideline suspiciously but shook his distrust off for a moment, the information he was providing was quite valuable. The 4 of them quickly darted down the hall and into the area Sideline had described a bit ago. As he had stated, it was deserted, and an exit lie just ahead.
"Since im not at risk right now, I will go back and try to investigate furthur" Saria stated as she turned away from the rest of them "Ill find a way to meet up with you all later. Hopefully ill be able to flush out the wraith while im at it"
And with that, she darted down the hall and away from the rest, who continued towards the exit.
As they walked out into the area around Pynx, Avatara stopped the rest.
"Ok, why did you help us?" Avatara asked "It wasnt intentional, but you were blasted by that magic just the same"
"It seemed you two were in the most need of help at this time" Sideline responded "I wasnt trying to fight DF, just keep him from slaying all those people"
"I wasnt intending on slaying them" DF chimed in, a bit downcast
"The intent wasnt there, but it would happen if it kept up" Sideline noted and then drew a loaf of bread from a satchel he carried "I brought this along for you. I heard that this all started because you were hungry enough to eat Pnyx, stone by stone"
"Words cant describe my thanks for this" DF said as he took the bread and began devouring it.
"I sense this is as good a place as any to set up camp. Sorry to have dragged you into this somewhat, Sideline" Avatara apologized
"Its nothing, I chose to be here, there would have been no other reason for me to follow" Sideline smiled
"Where are the other two?" Avatara asked as DF wolfed down the bread.
"Brianna's sleeping, we took her back to her room. Her grandfather's looking after her."
Unknown to the group, though, was a dark presence lurking in the shadows nearby. Icel had tracked the trio as it was to the city, but stayed along outside.
Its all coming together Icel grinned from ear to ear as he thought up a plan Though that wench isnt around, they seem to have come up with another fool. I sense the wraith nearby, but with my new power, I should be able to take these fools out before I take it over
With that, Icel started thinking over a strategy...
The brawl was starting to get out of hand. The guards had drawn their weapons and DF had drawn his. Not only that, but DF was casting spell after spell, blasting back one combatant after another.
Avatara mused at the fact that if DF was fully recovered, those blasts might have meant the deaths of those fighting him, but quickly buried those thoughts when Sideline joined the small conflict. Though not knowing Sideline's full abilities, Avatara knew that both he and DF stood to be injured in this one. Not to mention the fact that not only this little problem was flaring up, but there seemed to be more and more guards with each flying body.
Avatara tried to find a way out of this but he couldn't. It was then that his hand brushed across the zetacomb. He looked down at the artifact, which very much resembeled a clear stone now. He felt its power at his hands and knew if he could control it, he may just have a solution to his problem.
DF fought on with renewed vigor. He slashed at his adversaries, which were growing in number, and started to worry about his remaining strength. There were mostly just guards fighting him now, but a few unknowns came into the fray attempting to restrain him. DF slashed back and forth, casting a spell here and there to throw his adversaries off a bit. After a few more moments of this, DF felt his magical energies being lifted from him. Stunned by this new development, he attempted to call back his power, summoning all of his willpower to bring it back to him. All the while trying to fend off attack after attack. He felt panic start to rise within him when suddenly it happened.
Avatara struggled to pull DF's power away from him to cloak him. This way, he would disappear, leaving only a group of soldiers who didnt know what was going on. Only problem was that DF was struggling with him. Avatara put a lot of energy into the zetacomb and was trying valiantly to control the energy it was trying to withhold when suddenly, everything seemed to crash.
DF looked around him as he fell to his knees. It felt like a great weight had just fallen upon him, and it looked as though it had fallen upon all others in his general vicinity. He tried to summon the strength to do anything, but it failed him utterly.
Avatara looked on the scene stunned. The moment he lost control, the power went crashing to the ground, and the whole hall seemed to be stunned on the ground. As the immediate danger subsided, he noticed to his surprise that Sideline was one of the dazed combatants. As if he could sense he was spotted, Sideline glared back, attempting to get up but not having much success.
"What were you thinking?" Avatara hissed at DF as he began dragging DF's limp body away in a hurry. Once outside in the hallway, they could hear the shouts of guards and heavy footfalls on the stairs not far off. "Snap out of it!" Avatara clouted DF across the face, "We have to get out of here!"
DF groaned in reply, but managed to be forced to his feet. Half-staggering, the two managed to find their way to the entrance to the underground chamber and throw themselves down the stairs, closing the door behind them.
"Wake up already, they'll find us if we stay here too long," Avatara said, pulling DF back to his feet and further away from the stairs. "So much for keeping a low profile."