Seven months have passed since the fateful evening of the fall of our heroes to their second encounter with the Uukan brothers. Of those present, only Liridon managed to escape with his life, and not in the best of shape. With no hope of rescuing Diab alone, the paladin was forced to leave the matter alone. Fortunately, Diab was released by Daask a week later; unfortunately, she was scarred somewhat by the experience, as Daask was acting on a false tip that she was the Prism, and attempted to extract information from her.
In the meantime, the Fairy Knight has continued to aid in the protection of Sharn as best he can alone and under the restrictions imposed by his everyday life. He has not, however, been left entirely isolated; Chance still proves to be the occasional roundabout aid, and even Lannar, the priest under which Kyra was training before, has extended a hand in friendship -- in particular, sharing letters sent by Kyra from Aerenal.
It seems that Kyra has had intersting times there; aside from learning to fight better and exploring the place, it seems that his father figured out the Prism's identity in particular.
However, two months ago, the letters stopped with no explanation...
It is now late in Eyre -- mid-spring. This is no ordinary late Eyre, however; it being the year 999, the plane of Irian is due to become coterminous for a period of five days, bathing Eberron in the powers of light and life. Wonders are bound to be apparent in the short term, and longer-term this year's harvest should be plentiful.
Many of the most privileged have gathered in Skyway to watch the effects of the coterminous phase manifest in the sky or in various gardens, especially the children of the rich. Not everyone is restricted to the more easily accessable tower tops, however; Liridon sits atop a rooftop with no access aside from flight -- naturally, in the guise of the Fairy Knight.
Fairy Knight munches on an apple idly.
Spoiled Boy: Mommy, is it time yet?
Mother: Not yet, dear. It'll still be a minute.
Spoiled Boy: Can't you pay them to make it go faster?!
Mother: Sweetheart, there's no one to pay... it's a natural phenomenon.
Fairy Knight stares at the spoiled boy, tempted to throw said apple at his head.
Spoiled Boy pouts.
Fairy Knight mumbles to himself. "Just wouldn't be a spectacle without some brat ruining the view..."
As the sun nears its apex in the sky, the shadows shorten more quickly than seems natural. The stars grow visible even in the clear blue sky, the Ring of Siberys's shine far more apparent, and the sun's light brighter but no warmer.
The colors of various flowers in the district's landscaping grow brighter, unopened flowers suddenly bloom, every glass and otherwise transparent object around seems to project rainbows at the slightest touch by the sun's rays, and pleasant murmurs begin to ripple through the crowd.
Fairy Knight watches. "Isn't that something."
Alien, glowing creatures begin to appear in the sky and fly by... before this can be admired for long, however, terrified cries become apparent from the north.
Fairy Knight sighs. "...Always something to ruin the moment."
Fairy Knight hoists himself off of his perch and flies to the source of the screams.
As he cruises over Brilliant, several fights are apparent -- various bodyguards and bouncers protecting their charges from lumbering people who look like they once could have been elves. Barring large numbers in any one place, the mercenaries seem to be dealing well with this part of the situation, however.
Fairy Knight debates swooping down to help with the situation.
Four brightly-costumed figures suddenly zoom over the rooftops in the distance, each apparently carried by a rainbow.
Fairy Knight hovers. "...That's different."
The situation in the immediate area seems to change rather slowly over time; more of the shambling beings unfold into presence occasionally, but only at about a rate of one per three defeated. Meanwhile, the four costumed types seem to be heading for the northeastern edge of Brilliant.
Fairy Knight scratches his chin and flies towards the newcomers' destination.
By a roundabout route, Liridon makes it to the northeastern edge of Brilliant. Once he arrives, two things stand out. One is that while most of the skycoaches around are flying away from Skyway, one is flying towards it instead. The other is that aside from all the elflike beings around, someone's private garden seems host to a terrible giant feline, white with splashes of various bright colors. It must be at least 12 feet long...
Fairy Knight stares.
Two opulently-dressed elves stare at the feline, edging to the far side of the table they were apparently previously sitting at.
Fairy Knight descends in front of the elves, shield and scimitar drawn defensively.
Wealthy Elf Woman: Wh-who... are you the...?!
Fairy Knight: Fairy Knight, at your service.
Wealthy Elf Woman nods.
Fairy Knight stands tall between the cat and two elves.
The redheaded elven man backs away slightly, trying to make sure as many things as possible are between him and the multicolored great cat.
The beast merely stares at Liridon at first, its eyes large and deep with pain... The wealthy couple seems overcome with despair at the sight, but Liridon's resolve is firm.
Wealthy Elf Woman: Wh-what is...?
Fairy Knight: Going to have to do better than that.
Wealthy Elf Woman backs away. "S-so terrible..."
Fairy Knight waits for the beast to actually approach.
Wealthy Elf Man: Wh-what has it gone through?...
Swift Hawk appears flying towards the garden, approaching and landing near the elves.
Swift Hawk stares at the terrible feline from the shadow of her hat. She reaches for her rapier, pushing her cape aside, and mumbles something underneath a dark brown scarf.
Swift Hawk hovers over the water and lands underneath the tree, between the elves and the Fairy Knight.
Fairy Knight notices a newcomer from his peripheral vision. "Eh? How'd you... Whatever, it's not safe, so you'd best get out of here."
Swift Hawk lifts her hat a little. "Don't worry about me, I can fight."
The dire feline slinks towards Liridon, then unleashes a moaning roar as it slashes.
Fairy Knight takes a nice gouging from that blow, but keeps his guard up. "Come on, is that all you've got?"
Wealthy Elf Woman gibbers in terror...
Wealthy Elf Man stares in horror at the ferocity of the blow, choking on any words he might have.
A familiar female voice rings out over the air: "Miss me?" Suddenly, something that looks less like an arrow and more like a beam of light tears across the garden, and though it misses the cat, upon hitting the ground, the arrow explodes into a million multicolored fragments, coating the area in a thin layer of shining dust.
Fairy Knight blinks. "Prism?"
Prism slides through the air dramatically from the southeast, apparently riding a layer of multicolored light. His robes are different than his previous guise; instead of the stark white of before, the robes are dashed with streaks of dark blue and bright gold.
The cat manages to twist away barely in time to avoid the blast of dust.
Prism moves through the air towards the melee, decreasing altitude slightly and beginning to slide in an arc to the north.
Fairy Knight: You're a sight for... Wait. Nevermind.
Fairy Knight rubs his eyes.
Swift Hawk stares at Prism, speechless.
A young woman with blue-and-green hair, dressed in violet, likewise rides a flying rainbow in from the northeast. "Unite against this tragic taint of the beauty of Irian! Bring that tragedy to its end, that it not further detract!"
Fairy Knight chants to his necklace, which glows blue for a moment.
Fairy Knight then turns and swings twice at the beast.
The first of Liridon's blows is softened to ineffectiveness, but the second not only overcomes the resisting energy, but strikes true down a key artery in its right foreleg, causing it to gush blood too red to be believed.
Fairy Knight: An eye for an eye.
The Swift Hawk leaps and sails over the feline, landing a short distance behind it, then turns around to attack it from behind.
The first of the newcomers manages to barely push past the resistance protecting the beast to scratch it.
It seems far more concerned with Liridon at the moment, however, hissing as it swipes with its other paw.
Fairy Knight takes another fairly solid blow, bleeding profusely. "...Ow."
Prism looks to the other rider, quickly delivers a hand gesture pointing to himself, then the bard, then moves his finger in a quick circle. He quickly arrests his movement, casting a spell, then dives towards Liridon.
Prism: Guess you missed me after all.
Prism plants a glowing-white hand on Liridon's shoulder. The energy quickly spreads through Liridon's body.
Fairy Knight: ...Thanks. Took you long enough to get back.
Fairy Knight grins slightly.
Prism smirks behind his veil. "I had some business to take care of, sorry I'm late."
The cool-colored bard nods to Kyra, then dives to land next to and behind the brown-clad mystery woman, the rainbow vanishing as she touches down. Two of the blue motes of light orbiting the top of her head vanish as she holds a hand out at the creature; from it, two sparks of light that flash every color shoot out to home in on the beast.
The creature winces as the sparks sting it.
Fairy Knight chants to the amulet around his neck again, then throws another two slashes at the beast.
Liridon's first attack is too light and swift to overcome the creature's energy field, but the second strikes far more firmly to scratch it.
Swift Hawk prepares to attack the beast again, but this time, its resistance is too much, and the impact blows the rapier out of her hands.
Swift Hawk picks the rapier back up and gets out of range, but not before the giant cat slices at her back, leaving a bleeding wound.
The rainbow cat rapidly makes a followup attack against the swashbuckler while she's still recovering, leaving a gash in her front to match the one in her back..
The wealthy couple backs away further, fearful.
Swift Hawk grunts, and wipes away some of the blood.
Prism: Sir Knight, cover your ears.
FairyKnight does so, despite confusion.
Prism doesn't wait, placing his fingers in his mouth and letting out three loud, piercing whistles in distinct patterns.
Prism nods in satisfaction, then reaches out a hand swirling in rainbow energy and touches the Knight on the shoulder. Liridon's form immediately begins wavering, the light shifting around him in odd ways.
Prism's apparent companion mumbles something that sounds like a chorus to a song, then touches the swashbuckler with a white-glowing hand.
Bard: People really look much nicer without wounds...
Swift Hawk looks down at the now noticeably smaller wounds.
Fairy Knight swings twice again, putting slightly more force into his blows.
The paladin manages to more effectively overcome the feline's resistance to damage with this tactic -- at least, with the swing that actually struck the beast's hide. His second swing is too uncontrolled to do more than glance it with the flat of his scimitar.
Swift Hawk attacks the beast again, although somewhat reluctantly this time.
The reluctance itself brings out a yellow-green gleam in the sword; when she strikes, the weapon doesn't actually pierce the cat's skin upon the typically-difficult contact, but sends a ripple of energy through it which causes it to stagger slightly.
It seems less concerned with this, however, than with the more substansive wound Liridon inflicted, as it turns slowly and swings accurately at him again. However, the force it manages to muster seems less than before...
Fairy Knight: Hmph.
Fairy Knight: You're slipping.
The cat moan-roars.
Prism nocks an arrow, but holds his position, seeming to be waiting for something.
Bard waits as well...
Fairy Knight: Let's finish this.
Fairy Knight throws two more slashes.
It would seem that Liridon's technique for overcoming this rainbow-splattered, furry brick wall is improving; it winces away from a rather substantial wound, though this reaction spoils his second swing.
Swift Hawk prepares another attack and strikes the creature carefully and accurately.
The beast staggers, and in a haze of desperation spins and swings its massive, dagger-filled paw at this stranger. She's raked badly on the side...
Swift Hawk crouches for a moment, holding her left hand to her wound. "Ugh..."
Two sparks much like those the bard fired scream in from the northwest, striking true...
Fairy Knight: You all right!?
The cat roars and turns to look at what struck it now.
Prism jumps on the opportunity. The nocked arrow flares with a rainbow colored light just before it leaves the bow, and streaks towards the cat.
Bard: More join the fray! Be heartened that the true creations shall overcome such an incomplete, wrecked creature as this!
Prism mutters as the cat manages to twist out of the way of what should've been a perfect shot.
Fairy Knight raises an eyebrow.
Swift Hawk grunts. "That thing is getting annoying."
Above the roof of the northern wing of the mansion, the young man who fired these sparks is visible -- someone dressed in bright red, with an orange mote remaining in orbit around his head. Ethereal-looking bracerlike energy of shifting warm hues floats around his wrists.
Fairy Knight: ...So, that's what this was about.
Fairy Knight continues his assault, putting slightly more force into his strikes.
The Fairy Knight's first strike practically ignores the field protecting the being as it strikes across the creature's jaw, shattering bone. It whimpers most pitifully, seeming not to notice the paladin's clumsy followup swing.
Swift Hawk attacks the cat, this time showing no mercy, but the strike only seems to bother it a little.
Swift Hawk: Huh...
The cat ignores the woman trying to poke it, instead desperately flailing at the man that broke its jaw...
Fairy Knight grins at the beast. "Please."
Meanwhile, the latest newcomer swoops in while holding his longsword high and his shield in front of him. At the end of his diving charge, he swings, the sword flashing with a white light -- but unfortunately, this impressive-looking attack falls short of its mark.
Prism decides to fall back on his signature attack. Hold his hands over his chest, he begins chanting. "Prismatic light of Irian, heed my call! Aid me, and coalesce into Boldrei's will! Shining Spear of Community!" As he shouts the attack, a spear of light forms from the air around the cat and promptly takes a swing.
The feline spots the flash of the forming force spear, and sidesteps its thrust.
Swift Hawk glares at the cat and sighs.
Prism looks uneasy. "Something isn't right."
Fairy Knight: What now?
Prism points to each of his allies, then makes a horizontal circle with his finger, punctuated by a sharp, staccato whistle.
Prism quickly darts backwards, taking to the sky again on a shining pathway.
Bard pauses to recast her musical healing spell on the brown-clad one before doing the same.
Swift Hawk mumbles "thanks", even though the bard isn't there anymore.
Fairy Knight: Now hold up...
Fairy Knight throws a final slash at the beast.
This blow leaves the badly-wounded creature staggering from blood loss...
Fairy Knight then proceeds to follow Prism.
Wealthy Elf Man pales. "N-now wait a minute!"
The cat cleaves the Fairy Knight's legs as he retreats; fortunately, for the moment it's his wings that matter.
Fairy Knight takes the blow in stride, looking back to the couple. "Get out of there while it's weak!"
Prism looks to the Fairy Knight. "Something is very wrong. It's...holding back."
Fairy Knight: ...wuh?
Prism: I've seen one of those take out an entire team. Something...doesn't add up.
Fairy Knight stares.
Prism: It's not fighting with the breed's usual ferocity.
Fairy Knight yells to the brown-clad one. "You best get out of there quick!"
Swift Hawk heeds the warning and retreats quickly, far enough away to avoid attacks, but close enough to keep an eye on the beast.
The red-clad, armored man, however, is too slow to react; the great cat manages to slice his arm before he begins his retreat. Wincing, he rises up on his reformed rainbow, flies off to the west, then begins to spiral to a higher altitude.
Prism performs more not-so-intricate hand gestures to the others, motioning for them to surround it. He himself begins moving towards Aftab.
Prism chants a quick spell and lays a hand on Aftab when he arrives, surrounding him with white energy for a moment.
The man reaches down to meet Kyra's hand as he goes, and murmurs, "Thank you, Prism."
His wound mostly vanishes.
Prism: It's what I'm here for.
Prism turns back to the cat, eyeing it warily.
The feline merely gazes back, seeming pained...
Bard ascends somewhat while heading towards her companions. "I had thought it merely more ruined than most..."
The wealthy elves slip into their mansion while the cat is paying attention to the others, closing and locking the door behind them.
Prism sighs. "Put it out of its misery."
Fairy Knight looks to Prism.
Prism looks to Liridon. "Do it!"
Fairy Knight nods.
Fairy Knight chants to his amulet again, then charges forward, bringing his scimitar around for a horizontal slash at the beast.
Liridon's blow slices through an entire blue patch in the creature's hide. The cat gurgles a bit, then slumps to the ground with a resounding thud. Likely much of Skyway felt the small shudder.
Fairy Knight sheathes his scimitar.
Two more men, these clad in yellow and green, glide in on rainbows. "...Hm. It looks like we're late," remarks the yellow one.
Prism: Looks that way.
Fairy Knight: It's still alive. What'll you do with it?
Prism: But thanks for the backup, Barak, Shachar.
Shachar, the one in green, nods. "Of course, Prism. ...Hm, who are these two?"
Prism nods to Liridon. "This is the Fairy Knight I told you about. As for the other..." Prism shrugs.
Bard descends and lands in the center of the garden.
Prism himself skates to the sky over Liridon, then simply turns off his boots, letting his ring give him a soft landing.
Aftab lands as well, staring at massive claw wound in distinct confusion...
Fairy Knight looks to the newcomer. "So, mind introducing yourself?"
Swift Hawk smirks, a smirk which slowly turns into a wide smile.
Prism looks up to Liridon, an eyebrow raised. "...Then you don't know this person."
Fairy Knight: Nope.
Prism walks over to Aftab, already gathering healing energy in his palm. "I believe introductions are in order, then."
Swift Hawk: I... Wow, the Fairy Knight wants me to introduce myself.
Aftab: Why isn't the last of it mending itself?...
Fairy Knight: Indeed, you don't have a bad sword arm, if I may say so myself.
Prism holds his hands over Aftab's wound, gathering the energy there.
The wound vanishes completely.
Swift Hawk smiles even wider. "To be told so by you is an honor. Thanks."
Prism: This will have to do for now... I apologize.
Shachar and Barak both land as well.
Swift Hawk: I... Call myself the Swift Hawk. I have my reasons.
Fairy Knight: Interesting.
Prism smirks. "I need a longer name, it seems."
Fairy Knight walks up to the Swift Hawk, looking her over.
Swift Hawk lifts her hat a little, lighting up her face some.
Elana stares uneasily at the ground near the Fairy Knight and the Swift Hawk...
Fairy Knight holds out a hand. "Nice to meet you, Swift Hawk."
Swift Hawk reaches out to the Fairy Knight's hand slowly. "Wow."
Prism crosses his arms. "You have a fangirl, Knight."
Fairy Knight: I'm sure I have a lot of those. ...Not gloating or anything.
Prism: Uh huh. Just because you're older than me.
Fairy Knight grins nervously, then looks to the Elves' house after the handshake.
The house itself seems quiet. Even the chaos in the distance sounds like it's beginning to die down.
Fairy Knight looks back, then motions to Prism. "I'm sure you know of my friend Prism, then."
Swift Hawk smirks. "Of course. Meeting you two is just... Wow."
Aftab looks to Elana, then looks at different spots on the ground himself thoughtfully. He seems less troubled than the bard.
Aftab: That may be normal for this place...
Elana winces. "Ruining the colors of the surroundings like this is normal?"
Prism turns to Aftab, looking confused. "What may be normal?"
Fairy Knight: So... looks to Prism Who're your friends?
Aftab: The anti-rainbows. They seem too prevalent for it to be otherwise.
Shachar: If that's the case, then how are we to discern the lost from the natives if we find them?
Prism nods. "Indeed, everyone and everything casts anti-rainbows here. I'm sure one of you remembers how weird I thought it was when everything there didn't." He shakes his head. "It isn't going to be easy, Shachar."
Prism looks to Knight. "Friends. I spent quite a lot of time in the Domain of Light, and, well, kind of got embroiled in matters there."
Fairy Knight: Oh, really.
Fairy Knight: Doesn't seem so crazy that I spent a couple days in Thelanis, now, does it?
Fairy Knight grins slightly.
Prism shakes his head.
Fairy Knight: So, Swift Hawk... looks back Why do you call yourself that?
Fairy Knight looks to her, interested.
Swift Hawk: Uh, well... It seemed fitting. At least somewhat. You know, with how I fight and all... But there's also, well...
Prism: I hate to interrupt.
Prism: But my team and I could use a place to rest, and, er, the two places I could show up would look really suspicious with these guys in tow.
Prism: If you two have any ideas, we could continue the discussion there, and not on somewhere eavesdroppable.
Fairy Knight: I suppose that wouldn't hurt.
Fairy Knight: How about your old tower?
Prism nods. "Right, that place."
Fairy Knight looks back to the Swift Hawk. "I trust you can follow us?"
Barak looks to the Prism. "This is your native tongue, I gather?"
Prism: Yes, it is.
Swift Hawk: Wait wait wait... I'm coming with you?
Fairy Knight: Might as well.
Fairy Knight: We can talk there.
Prism thinks for a moment. "I might have a better idea, actually."
Fairy Knight: Hm?
Prism: "Where better to hide than in the light?" My friends need a respite, and we need to talk... I might be able to bring you to Irian.
Fairy Knight: That'd be... interesting.
Fairy Knight: I don't see why not.
Prism: We should return to Irian for the time being and rest. I would like to bring these two along to explain the situation; are there any objections?
Shachar: If you trust them, I do as well.
Elena: It's a shame for them to see Kohlinoor in the state that it's in rather than at its best, but all right...
Prism: Agreed. sighs But what must be done...
Barak: I will be ready if they try anything funny...
Barak glances at the Swift Hawk.
Prism: As will I.
Prism offers a hand. "Form a chain. I'll return us to Irian." He then repeats himself in Common for Knight and Hawk's benefits.
Fairy Knight: All right then...
Fairy Knight takes Prism's and the Swift Hawk's hands.
Swift Hawk: This is new...
Shachar nods, holds his hand palm-up with the fingers splayed in what can only be supposed is a salute, and takes the Prism's other hand. The others are quick to follow.
Prism closes his eyes in concentration, and begins taking slow steps forward.
Fairy Knight follows suit, sans the eye closing.
The world warps, blurs, and grows more intense as the Fairy Knight and the Swift Hawk feel themselves pulled in an unnatural direction. The strange trip only lasts a few yards, however, before the landscape resolves itself into a whole other city, filled with buildings that seem to either be blown from pastel frosted glass, built of stained-glass bricks, or formed of masonry involving enormous but low-quality gemstones. Small trees with multicolored leaves bearing rainbow-swirled citrus fruits the size of grapefruits occur regularly along the sidewalks. The sky is filled with an aurora, but bright stars nonetheless clearly shine through even this. The short shadows of noon are notably absent from this place as well.
Prism: Welcome home, guys.
Fairy Knight looks around...
However, rather than the bustle one might expect on a city street at midday, few people are about, and their manner is quite tense. Some seem to be picking up after some minor disaster, others simply hurrying to the safety of some building or another.
Swift Hawk admires the scenery, speechless.
Shachar: Hopefully it'll be home in spirit again soon enough.
Prism: It will be. I'll see to that.
Prism walks up to a tree, hops up to a low-hanging branch, plucks one of the fruits off and peels it. Taking a blue-colored wedge from it, he offers the fruit to the Fairy Knight and Swift Hawk.
Fairy Knight: Don't see why not...
Swift Hawk: Uh... What's that?
Fairy Knight floats up and grabs a fruit of his own.
Fairy Knight takes another and tosses it to Swift Hawk.
SwiftHawk catches the fruit and studies it for a second before starting to scratch the peel.
Under the swirled exterior, the fruit is divided into seven wedges, each a different color.
Fairy Knight: That's... interesting.
Fairy Knight eats the green one first.
Swift Hawk: Wow... This has to taste good.
Prism: It's called a "keshefram," lady Hawk.
Fairy Knight: Always with the interesting fruit in these places...
Swift Hawk attempts to pronounce "keshefram" while chewing the purple wedge of the fruit.
Fairy Knight looks around while taking another piece, this time yellow.
Prism munches on the blue wedge. "We should go to Lady Zahirah's home, we can speak safely there."
Prism: We're going to Lady Zahirah's for a while; you guys can do as you wish, but meet up there later.
Fairy Knight: All right, then...
Shachar: We'll see if there are any stray lost here.
Prism: Thank you. And good work today, guys.
Aftab grins. "We try, Prism."
Prism blushes, rubbing his neck nervously. "Then, see you at Lady Zahirah's." He turns to the Knight and Hawk. "This way, then." Prism hops into the air slightly, kicks his feet together, and begins skating through the air on a prism of light.
The four arrange themselves in a diamond; small rainbows form under their feet, and they take off into the sky riding on them in the other direction.
Fairy Knight waves goodbye to the Prism Rangers.
Fairy Knight follows Prism.
Swift Hawk hovers after the Fairy Knight, having trouble keeping up while at the same time admiring the surroundings.
From the view above the buildings, this city is revealed to be built on a very large floating island. Rainbows link it to other floating islands visible in the distance, as well as to the ground. The sheer riot of colors visible in the buildings of the city and the world beyond it is bewildering. Before the horizon can even be made out, things blur to white in the distance.
Fairy Knight: Interesting...
Swift Hawk: This is... Wow. I wish Sharn was like this.
Prism: And I bet you were wondering why I have these boots. Well, now you know.
Fairy Knight: They're pretty nifty, but nothing beats having your own wings.
Fairy Knight grins.
Prism: I'm working on it.
Prism says that without a hint of sarcasm.
Fairy Knight raises an eyebrow.
Zahirah's home seems to be a large yet simple green frosted glass house, two stories high, seemingly composed of three short domed towers of equal size clumped tightly together in a triangle. The dip in the center is filled with dirt, and a natural-looking smattering of randomly pastel grass and flourescent flowers grows there. The flowers include simple small five-petal ones, akin to violets at a glance except for the intense colors, as well as larger ones resembling big daisies or small sunflowers.
Fairy Knight: Nice house.
Swift Hawk: This place is amazing...
Swift Hawk floats over the center to have a look at the flowers.
Prism nods to the others, pausing slightly in the lawn.
Fairy Knight takes the whole view in.
Prism drops to the ground and walks inside.
Swift Hawk hovers back and follows Prism.
Fairy Knight follows.
Aside from the colors and materials used, the home of this "lady Zahirah" doesn't look especially remarkable. This room is a faint echo of a middle-class living room, just semicircular -- a fireplace, rugs, chairs, a stocked bookshelf... One shelf also displays a variety of colorful jugs and pots. The room appears empty for the moment, however.
Prism looks over his shoulder. "Shoes off." He has already done so.
Fairy Knight: All... right...
Fairy Knight kneels to take his boots off.
Swift Hawk takes her boots off while saying nothing, puzzled by the almost disappointingly unremarkable indoors.
Fairy Knight takes a seat in one of the chairs.
Prism crosses his arms, watching Hawk carefully.
Swift Hawk walks towards a chair, but stands next to it rather than sitting down.
Prism: So what's your story, Swift Hawk? The Knight may trust you, but I'm hesitant. Out with it.
Swift Hawk lifts her hat to show a raised eyebrow. "No reason to be like that. I'm not the one who dragged me along. Not that I regret coming."
Prism: I got rid of the others. There's nobody here to keep secrets from.
Swift Hawk: If what I've read about you is true, I... I think I'm like you. Maybe. I don't know.
Swift Hawk lowers her hat again. "I've been reading a lot. Especially about that... When you were... You know..."
Swift Hawk sighs.
Swift Hawk: I was actually hoping to seek you out before that.
Prism: Right... I wish I had been there myself for...that. I might've been able to do something.
Fairy Knight looks up and sighs.
Swift Hawk: As for today, I saw trouble and couldn't help but stick my nose into it. All there is to it.
Fairy Knight: Well, that's certainly enough of a heroic trait for me...
Swift Hawk smirks, and finally sits down in the chair next to her.
Prism: I guess I should explain what's going on here, then.
Fairy Knight: It would be nice.
Swift Hawk nods. "If you wouldn't mind..."
Prism: The short version is this: a couple years ago, someone figured out a way to drain light from other denizens of this world.
Prism: With the caveat that the target be suffering from some negative emotion caused naturally.
Prism starts pacing.
Prism: The person whose light was drained during this - a "Lost" - would become overwhelmed by the emotion they were feeling at the time in an attempt to fill the void left behind, while the lightstealer would grow more powerful from the stolen light.
Prism: I don't think I need to tell you that that's gotten a little out of control.
Fairy Knight: Hm...
Swift Hawk shakes her head. "That sounds... Bad."
Prism: So groups like my own have started forming, to... "take care" of any Lost and lightstealers while a cure of some sort is found...
Fairy Knight: So... Those people that looked like Zombies or something back in Sharn were your "lost"?
Fairy Knight scratches his chin.
Prism: The coterminous phase allows movement between here and Sharn, yes.
Prism: The patchcat was a Lost as well, hence the...violent tendencies.
Fairy Knight: Hmmm...
Swift Hawk looks up at the mention of the patchcat and lifts her hat again. "So it's not just people...?"
Prism: And as you can probably tell, the coterminous phase has led to a mass migration to our own home.
Fairy Knight nods...
Swift Hawk: Is there anything we can do about it...?
Prism: Well, we still need to find the one responsible for the mess here. It's likely she ran off to Sharn.
Prism: Though this wouldn't be the standard detective work we're used to; glimmers do tend to stand out, and lightstealers stand out amongst those.
Fairy Knight: I could see why.
Swift Hawk stands up. "If you don't mind... I would gladly join you in your fight against these... These... Villains."
Fairy Knight stays sitting. "You know me."
Prism: Then we should go back to Sharn before too many Guard are lost.
The nearby door is heard opening.
Prism turns idly.
Swift Hawk quickly lowers her hat.
FairyKnight looks to the door.
Zahirah clanks in, dressed in distinctly transparent full plate armor. Her hair is white with the vaguest yellow-green tinge, and all her nimlis appear absent. A rainbow orbits her right wrist haphazardly, and a blue band seems practically tattooed to her head under her helmet. Before she can remove more than said helmet, however, she notices the others and blinks in surprise.
Zahirah: Kyra? Who are these two?...
Prism: Welcome home, Zahirah. These are friends from my home. I've told you of Sir Fairy Knight, and the lady is Lady Swift Hawk.
Zahirah nods, then begins to speak in accented Common -- though a bit stiltedly, much like a child reading aloud. "Hello, Fairy Knight and Swift Hawk." She bows. "I am Zahirah il'Jalal, a servant of the Light."
Fairy Knight: Nice to meet you, Zahirah.
Swift Hawk bows. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Zahirah: Please pardon my not having something ready for you; I didn't expect Kyra to bring guests here.
Zahirah continues to remove and hang up her armor. She also removes an odd weapon from her back, some kind of long rod with a small weight on one end and a loop around the grip at the other, and hangs that on the wall near it.
Fairy Knight: Fine by me. You have a nice house.
Zahirah blushes slightly, then bows again, somewhat more gracefully in the absence of her armor. "Thank you, but it truly isn't so much. Our art is simply well-received."
Zahirah gestures to the shelf full of pottery as she heads to the last of the unoccupied seats.
Swift Hawk looks at the pottery, somewhat puzzled.
Prism: Well-received, nothing. You're among the best!
Prism speaks in Common for the benefit of the others.
Zahirah blushes more deeply.
The pottery in question shows a great deal of variety in shape and designs rendered in colorful glazes.
Swift Hawk: Those seem very well done...
Swift Hawk walks towards the shelf to take a closer look.
Zahirah: Y-you flatter too much...
Zahirah sighs and settles further into the chair. "All hues, that search was tiring... At the least I believe Marisu has left Kohlinoor."
Fairy Knight raises an eyebrow.
Prism: Confirming my suspicions...
Fairy Knight: That the one that stole light from others?
Prism: One of many. This one is particularly bad; she sees it more as an art than anything else. At least the others seem to be working towards a discernable goal other than "perfect the process."
Fairy Knight: Hm.
Zahirah shakes her head... "It is as Elena says -- art should enrich the world, not defile it. It is bad enough that they don't trust in the Light enough to see that it is meant for everyone, and given to everyone."
The patterns on the pottery in particular are striking in their complexity up close, and choices of complementing and contrasting colors quite pleasing.
SwiftHawk turns to Zahirah. "These are wonderful. Are they... Yours?"
Zahirah looks to the Swift Hawk. "Some of them, yes. Others were created by my brothers, parents, or grandparents."
Zahirah next looks to the Fairy Knight. "In hopes of gaining further insight into lightstealing, she has studied other forms of mystical theft. Do not think her monochromatic."
Fairy Knight: Hmm.
Zahirah: Do you intend to stay long? I could prepare tea if so... which color do you -- wait, are you familiar enough with kesheframs to even know your preference?
Zahirah shakes her head.
Prism finally takes a seat and muses.
Swift Hawk returns to her chair and sits down. "If we're staying for a while, and you don't mind... I think I like purple."
Fairy Knight: Had one of those on the way? That green was pretty good.
Zahirah nods, then stands and stretches.
Prism: Blue as always, if you don't mind, my lady.
Zahirah smiles at Kyra, then heads through one of the doors leading further inside.
Swift Hawk looks to Prism. "So... Kyra? Is that your name?"
Fairy Knight: So, just what antics did you get up to around here with the Prism Rangers, Kyra?
Prism nods. "Guess that's out." With that, he pulls his scarf down and turns off his disguise circlet and voice choker, revealing the young, lightly armored boy under the illusion. He's grown in the time since he left, having gained a good three inches.
Fairy Knight: Liridon.
Swift Hawk peers at Kyra for a while before stuttering a little. "Uh..."
Swift Hawk looks to Liridon, then back to Kyra. "Wait... You're just a kid?"
Kyra clears his throat, speaking in a very typical boy's voice now instead. "Surprise." He grins goofily.
Kyra: It's funny how wrong people's perception can be, isn't it?
Swift Hawk blinks.
Kyra looks at the floor. "I...I heard about what happened to Diab."
Swift Hawk: I read about it... They thought she was you...?
Kyra: They did, and I can honestly see why. Maybe my efforts to disguise myself worked a little too well.
Liridon mumbles to himself, then his clothing changes to something a bit more casual, his mask removed.
Swift Hawk: ...And you, your name is Liridon...?
Swift Hawk turns towards Liridon.
Swift Hawk: Wow... Now this has been an enlightening day...
Kyra: I trust you will keep the secret. Oh, and also. waves a finger around his face Return the favor.
Liridon: Indeed, it's only fair.
Swift Hawk nods and stands up, first taking off her hat. Then, the rest of her clothes change into a combination of gray adventurer's clothes and seemingly more casual, quality garments.
Swift Hawk: My name is Gharta'torrn. Pleased to meet you.
Liridon: I would say the same to you.
Kyra: Indeed. That would make you of House Tharashk, would it not?
Gharta nods affirmingly.
Gharta sits down again. "I would, of course, prefer that they remain unaware that I'm in this... Place, and not doing my job."
Liridon: You and me both.
Liridon rolls his eyes.
Liridon: What're you into? I'm a Hospital Guard, myself... Nothing ever happens, so...
Gharta: I'm a bounty hunter, I suppose, though I can't say I like it all that much... sighs Too restrictive. There's a whole world out there, and I'm stuck tracking down random rascals.
Liridon: At least you get to move around...
Gharta nods. "That's a good point."
Liridon: ...Not that that's stopped me before. We'll just say I have a reputation around my house for walking out on my job.
Gharta snickers. "At least when I don't report back, it's assumed that I'm still working."
Kyra: Suddenly working as a veterinary assistant seems rather boring.
Liridon: Wouldn't your mom freak if it were anything more more than that?
Kyra: True. These last few months have been tough on her, I imagine. Especially after Dad went home.
Kyra looks as if he knew it was a mild joke, but is serious anyway, seemingly a bit worried.
Liridon: Well, about time for you to come back, then?
Kyra: Honestly, yeah.
A kettle is heard whistling briefly in the other room.
Liridon stretches out.
Liridon: ...So, you know, I had a thought here... We should think about a headquarters or something.
Gharta: That would be interesting...
Liridon: Any possibilities?
Kyra shrugs. "I haven't been in Sharn for a while. Don't ask me."
Gharta shakes her head.
Liridon: Well, that's a lot of help... Guess we could go looking when we aren't looking for a lightstealer.
Kyra thinks for a second. "Or we could get Father or Chance or someone to give us some ideas."
Liridon: That too.
Liridon: Could probably pull a favor from Chance and get somewhere down in Dragoneyes...
Liridon: If you guys are okay with that, anyway.
Liridon: It might be a good idea to warn you that he probably will make some trick to it, though.
Gharta nods. "I don't really know what to do, so... I'll just tag along, I suppose."
Zahirah returns after a bit of silence, bearing a ceramic tray with four cups and saucers on it. She passes three of them out to the others and places the tray on her lap still bearing the last.
Gharta smiles towards Zahirah. "Thanks."
Zahirah: You're welcome!
Each cup has a bit of weak-looking tea tinged the desired color, even with a touch of pulp floating in each suggesting that the color came from freshly-squeezed keshefram wedges. Additionally, the saucers have a pair of crackers on the edge. The cups, saucers, and tray themselves are a pretty vibrantly-decorated set, in a style reministent of some of the pots on the shelf.
Kyra takes his blue-tinged tea. "Thank you, Lady Zahirah."
Liridon takes the green one.
Liridon: Thank you.
Zahirah smiles warmly at Kyra. "Of course, sir Kyra."
Zahirah nods to Liridon. "You're welcome!"
Zahirah sips from her own, tinged yellow.
The slight bitterness of the tea complements the sweetness or sourness of the chosen wedges' diluted flavors well.
Liridon: Very good, you have my compliments Miss Zahirah.
Gharta holds the cup before her mouth and smells the purple tea before actually tasting it.
Zahirah blushes again. "I only used what was here."
Zahirah: Mother is the better chef.
Zahirah shakes her head, then sips again. "In any case, do we have a plan of attack?"
Kyra lowers his tea. "Taking care of Marisu is a top priority, especially if she has gone to Sharn."
Zahirah nods in agreement.
Liridon: It's our duty as heroes, after all.
Gharta attempts to hide a vague smile.
Zahirah grins at Liridon.
Kyra glares at Liridon jokingly. "Good to see you still enjoy your cheese."
Liridon: Of course.
Zahirah: It wouldn't surprise me if she took this opportunity and is in your Sharn, though. She would be interested in seeing whether lighttheft would have an effect on things beyond Irian...
Zahirah looks concerned.
Zahirah takes a visible breath, then sips again.
Gharta sighs. "So Sharn attracts villains from places like this, even..."
Liridon: Apparently so.
Zahirah shakes her head... "It wasn't always like this. The world has never been a perfect place, but in the end, people appreciated the generosity of the Light, knowing all things to be of it."
Zahirah: There are those in the church who are not satisfied with simply battling such a perversion of the Light's will, and feel that they must actively preach what most still already know...
Zahirah sighs a bit, then consumes a bit more of her drink.
Liridon: So... what's our battle plan?
Zahirah: Well... Marisu is not above misdirection and illusion as tactics. We should be vigilant for traps, whatever else we do.
Gharta listens carefully while finishing her tea.
Zahirah: Beyond that, her interests are in deeper and broader understanding of lighttheft, and its advancement as a nominal "art", no matter the cost to others. I have little idea of what she might try in your world to advance this beyond what I've already proposed...
Zahirah: You have far superior knowledge of it.
Liridon: Kyra would probably have a better idea of what she would be up to.
Liridon looks to Kyra.
Kyra: "Light" in this sense seems to be more of what we see as "positive energy." Healing and such.
Kyra: The people of Sharn - those not born and raised in an area where this energy is everywhere - might be nothing more than an experiment to her.
Kyra: If I were a lightstealer in her situation, I would try to incite a riot or protest of some sort. Lots of negative emotion there.
Zahirah: But where, if the city is as large as you say?...
Liridon: Indeed where.
Zahirah finishes her own tea.
Kyra sits back. "Thought you'd have an answer for that one, Knight. You're the one that knows the city, not I."
Gharta shrugs. "Hmm... Did you mention healing?"
Liridon scratches his chin...
Gharta: 'Cause if you did, House Jorasco comes to mind. It's vague, but...
Liridon: Could be one of the hospitals...
Kyra: Also a possibility. Despair is a nice negative emotion, too.
Liridon: And she wouldn't have to go out of her way to make a riot or anything...
Zahirah nods... "It does sound subtle enough for her."
Kyra: I'll have a team stationed at every House Jorasco hospital in Sharn, then.
Liridon: Hopefully it isn't my hospital. That'd be awkward...
Kyra: If you have to fight out of costume, you have to fight out of costume.
Liridon: It might be a waste of resources to set up at the smaller clinics, I'd just patrol the major ones.
Kyra: Good idea.
Kyra: I can think of three... might be wise to station teams at each of those.
Kyra: Convenient, then, that there are three of us.
Zahirah stands, picking up the tray. "I'll see who I can find."
Kyra takes a sip of his tea. "I told the rest of my own team to meet here, so I'll stay here until they return. I'll assist with the roundup as soon as they arrive."
Kyra: And you two... uh, explore or something, I guess.
Liridon: I learned my lesson last time I was in an alternate world, thanks.
Kyra smirks. "I think you're fine here. A world of chaos and trickery, this is not."
Liridon: I'm just fine relaxing here. If you don't mind, Miss Zahirah.
Zahirah smiles. "Not at all!"
Zahirah holds out the tray. "Is anyone finished?"
Gharta nods and places the empty cup on the tray. "Thanks again."
Liridon takes a last sip from his tea and sets it down.
Kyra looks at his own cup, still half full. "I'll take care of it myself when I finish, Lady Zahirah."
Zahirah nods to Kyra, then takes the rest of the dishes back to the kitchen.
Zahirah soon rearms and rearmors herself and departs. After about ten minutes, the so-called Prism Rangers arrive to find the group redisguised as the Prism lets them in. It takes another twenty minutes after that for the group's gentle host to return and ask everyone outside -- and once they exit, it's clear why: nine more people would definitely make a crowd.
Swift Hawk eyes the strangers from the shadow of her hat.
Prism sighs, seeming a bit nervous. "I assume Lady Zahirah has filled you in on the situation."
The leaders of the two teams, a militant-looking female cleric with an odd weapon of the same sort as Zahirah's and a young man who looks as though he could be a ranger, both nod.
Zahirah waves, smiling. "I couldn't find any more experienced squads on such short notice, but I'm sure Abida's and Jairo's teams will serve you well enough."
Prism nods, and scratches his head with one finger. "Then all that needs to be done is decide who will fight where. Sir Knight would be better suited to make that decision, as he knows the city and locations more intricately than I."
Prism: Ok, Sir Knight, you have the troops, and you know the city and locations better than I do. Divide us up.
Fairy Knight: Hm...
Fairy Knight scratches his chin.
Fairy Knight: First off, it might be best if you hang on to this...
Fairy Knight tosses something at the Swift Hawk.
Swift Hawk catches it, barely.
Swift Hawk: I'll make sure to keep it ready.
Fairy Knight: My Hospital is in Deathsgate, it's the smallest, but I normally cover with another guard. It might be best if someone other than me stays there... So, Prism, why don't you head out there.
Fairy Knight: Won't be able to avoid it if she decides to strike there, but at the least when in the heat of battle the guards won't be able to look me over and decide I look somewhat familiar...
Fairy Knight: There's Kurala's in Clifftop, they aren't really equipped for a fight themselves... So I'll head out there with... Them. points at the ranger and his team
Fairy Knight: And Swift can head out to the Great House of Healing in Dragon Towers with the remaining team.
Jairo looks over at the Fair Knight questioningly.
Zahirah quickly relays the gist of the Fair Knight's decisions in Irial, and the two groups head over accordingly.
Fairy Knight: They should be able to recognize her, right?
An apparent wizard from Abida's team addresses the Swift Hawk in Common. "I suppose it's a good thing that I learned this language after all..."
SwiftHawk smirks towards the wizard. "That should make things easier, yes..."
Fairy Knight: Well, if you or your team sees anything, just use the sending stone and we'll head over as quick as we can.
Wizard: I'm Pazi; good to meet you.
Swift Hawk: The Swift Hawk, and likewise. Here's hoping we'll get something to do, Pazi.
Swift Hawk snickers to herself.
Prism nods slowly. "I'd prefer to keep this as under wraps as possible; no sense getting the public in a panic or asking questions. Try to stay hidden or at least incognito."
Fairy Knight: Indeed.
Pazi shakes his head. "I have plenty to do; I just can't really do it on duty..."
Fairy Knight: And it would probably be best if plausible not to fight until the rest of the teams are there... But if you have to, you have to.
Fairy Knight: All clear?
Swift Hawk: Everyone? Pazi?
Pazi: I'll relay things, Ms. Swift Hawk.
Prism: On task. And thank you, Knight; time dulls memories a bit.
Fairy Knight looks to Zahirah. "You coming with? If so, probably best if I have a translator, too."
Fairy Knight looks to Jairo's team. "Unless someone on this team can speak common..."
Zahirah looks uneasy. "I can if you wish... unfortunately, no, I don't think any of them do."
Fairy Knight: Well... I don't want to have any more accidents, and communication will be important in that...
Zahirah nods... "Don't worry about me. It probably isn't as frightening as it sounds if you live in such a world safely..."
Fairy Knight nods.
Fairy Knight: Well, let's get to it, then.
Fairy Knight: Oh, Prism, there's a good hiding spot across from the Deathsgate clinic, but you can't really see the door...
Prism puts an arm around Zahirah's shoulders. "It'll be okay."
Fairy Knight: Good for watching the crossroads, though.
Prism looks to the Knight. "Thanks, I'll station someone there. Might make a good ambush point."
Swift Hawk: So... How are we getting back?
Prism: Same way we got here.
Prism offers a hand.
Swift Hawk nods and grabs Prism's hand, offering her other hand to someone else.
Fairy Knight follows suit.
Prism closes his eyes for a moment...then reopens them. "Everyone, activate your pathboots, we're currently high above east Sharn. Go figure."
Prism: Be ready to fly, you two.
Fairy Knight: Am I ever not ready?
Fairy Knight's wings flutter slightly.
There are nods and spoken acknowledgements amongst the others.
Prism turns his own boots on and closes his eyes again, phasing through back into Sharn.
The contingent is led a short distance in the alien direction with little trouble -- Prism first, followed by the Swift Hawk, the Fairy Knight, Abida's team, Jairo's team, and finally Zahirah. Sure enough, they emerge well above Tavick's Landing; fortunately, thanks to the warning all the nonfliers begin to scatter out of each others' way aboard rainbows as the ground is left behind.
Irial murmurs ripple through the small group. "So this is Eberron..." "What a strange-looking city..." "There are anti-rainbows everywhere! How does anyone even see here?"
Fairy Knight leads the way slowly so his team can keep up.
Prism skydives for a few meters before catching himself in a skating pattern along his own rainbow, skating off towards Liridon's hospital and waving for his team to follow.
Jairo and company do their best to keep up with the Fairy Knight despite their slower and less maneuverable means of travel.
Zahirah waves to the Prism as she takes up the rear in the Fairy Knight and Jairo's group.
Swift Hawk hovers in the air for a bit while regaining her sense of direction, then motions for the rest of her group to follow her towards Dragon Towers.
Abida nods curtly; she and the others of her squad stop circling and chase after the Swift Hawk.
Clifftop isn't the most beautiful of districts to look at; the towers here are utilitarian in design and many of the buildings are shabby, but nevertheless the sheer vibrancy and diversity of the crowds here are striking. The people here generally come off as tough customers, yet the air is less that of thugs looking for something to sack and more that of openness -- idealism seems not to be dead in this place, a strange thing to see in Dura.
Fairy Knight looks around for an ideal spot to hide when they reach the clinic area.
Kurala's House of Healing itself consists of the middle two floors of a six-story granite tower upon the cliff proper, clearly marked by banners of House Jorasco between the plain windows of those levels. Balconies are few in this area, but bridges and places to touch down are many, and a number of the surrounding towers feature open, glassless windows.
Fairy Knight motions over to one of the windows.
Zahirah nods and follows the Fairy Knight, still seeming uneasy.
Jairo's squadron follows suit.
The window in question leads into what looks to be a small tavern. The group seems not to attract many stares for long; then again, the crowd looks to consist of such diverse sorts of faces as kobolds, shifters, hobgoblins, warforged, humans, elves, some type of feline-looking people, and even less identifiable humanoid and human-shaped peoples.
Fairy Knight: Good.
Fairy Knight meanders over to an empty window seat facing the hospital.
Jairo looks over the crowd for a while, eyes widened, as he follows the Fairy Knight. The rest of his squadron and Zahirah likewise seem impressed and awed, though are generally at least trying not to stare so much.
Zahirah sits across from the Fair Knight, seeming the least comfortable of the bunch.
Fairy Knight: We should probably have someone scout down there...
Fairy Knight looks from the Hospital, to Jairo, to Zahirah and back. "And he looks like the type that could be able to do that easily."
Another of Jairo's group seats himself at a small table near the one Zahirah and the Fair Knight are at, and another takes the other seat there as the first picks up an unlit, half-used candle in a brass holder and puzzles over it.
Zahirah nods and looks to Jairo. "Jairo, I realize this is a fascinating place, but we need you to scout near the healing tower."
Jairo sighs, nods, and heads for the exit.
Zahirah looks over at the two now examining the candle together. "What... is that?"
Fairy Knight: That's a candle. You set the string on fire and it lights things up.
Zahirah: Hm... so you do have ways to compensate. That is some small relief...
Fairy Knight: There's lamps, too. Which basically do the same thing.
Zahirah: Hm, so what is the difference?
Fairy Knight: Those are all across the streets.
Zahirah: Ah, so that's what those were... They compensate for this "night" that the Prism spoke of?
Fairy Knight: Most people here do, yeah.
Zahirah shudders. "It sounds frightening... the sun itself abandons you, and the sky is left black?..."
Fairy Knight: Well, it's not much, but the moons give some light.
Fairy Knight: And the Ring of Siberys.
Zahirah: I suppose that I'll understand better when I see it...
Fairy Knight: And while it might be odd to you, I wouldn't say the night is that frightening... It's beautiful, in a way, really. You just have to stay away from places while you'll likely be mugged or worse, or be able to protect yourself.
Fairy Knight shrugs.
Fairy Knight: At least here in Sharn, anyway.
Fairy Knight: Out on the road you don't have to worry about it as much.
Zahirah: It used to be the opposite way in Irian -- that is, the cities were far safer than the wilds. Predators must be vicious if their prey is not to live long enough for the light to restore it.
Zahirah sighs and shakes her head. "Now, it is less clear."
Zahirah glances down and places her hand atop a pendant visible through her transparent metal armor. "When I joined the church, I... never dreamed of light abandoning anyone. Irian's light is so generous that to most gratitude seemed redundant..."
One of the two at the other table glances at Zahirah.
Fairy Knight: Hm.
Zahirah is clearly tearing up...
Fairy Knight: Well, on my honor we'll catch the person behind it.
Zahirah looks up... "Th-thank you, Sir Knight..."
Dragon Towers is known for a particular brand of ostentation -- rather than making their wealth directly apparent, the dragonmarked houses opt instead to flaunt their influence. The crests of the thirteen dragonmarked houses are displayed, usually quite prominently, wherever that house holds sway, as though most were competing to look more important than each other.
Swift Hawk looks around. "Well, we're here... Now where's that Hospital again..."
While House Jorasco's holdings in this district are not the most prominent of the bunch, the Great Healing Hall is relatively hard to miss once ones goes looking -- a squat tower on a hill, which in turn seems to itself act as a base for some of the towers of Highest Towers itself. The crest of the griffon is prominently carved into its walls and painted brightly, and banners with it flap in the breeze as well..
Several entrances are apparent, from the doors at its base where one can walk in from Granite Halls below to various balconies large enough to accomodate skycoaches to a number of bridges. Not all of these entrances are public, but those that are tend to be decorated such that they stand out.
Swift Hawk looks to Pazi. "Alright, I'm new at this, but I'm going to suggest that we stay outside and keep a look out for anything suspicious."
Swift Hawk scans the surroundings.
Swift Hawk: Let's see if we can't find somewhere that isn't out in the open...
Many prominent towers fill this district, the largest being associated with the primary dragonmarked house enclaves. Some enclaves encompass whole large towers named after their corresponding houses, while others such as Tharashk Enclave itself simply take up the middle levels of several interconnected towers so tall as to span all three levels of southern Central Plateau. Few places seem not associated with the Houses in some manner, though some are more prominently so than others.
Swift Hawk nods towards the entrance to a hotel. "There. Maybe we can get one of the rooms overlooking the Hall."
Pazi relays to the others in Irial, "The Swift Hawk wishes to rent a hotel room to look out from."
Abida nods. "A reasonable approach, but what of other angles?"
Pazi: Abida's concerned that one view wouldn't be sufficient.
Swift Hawk: Hmm, true...
Swift Hawk searches the surroundings for another place to hide.
Swift Hawk: How about... We split up, and some of us keep watch from that residential tower over there?
Pazi relays this to Abida, who nods and gives her own input.
Pazi: Since we can communicate better, Wazha and I are to go with you, while she leads Najla to the residential tower.
Swift Hawk: Great. Let's head for the hotel then.
Pazi nods, then he and the apparent pure heavy warrior of the group follow the Swift Hawk's lead.
The receptionist behind the counter inside this hotel's checker-floored lobby peers at the three at they head in, particularly staring at the lights orbiting Pazi's and Wazha's heads.
Pazi seems not to notice the suspicion in the halfling's eyes, simply admiring the embroidered red curtains.
Swift Hawk walks up to the counter and smiles to the halfling. "Hello. We'd like a room for three with a view of the Great Healing Hall, if you happen to have any."
Receptionist: I don't know... they're Irial, aren't they? There's been some trouble stemming from the coterminous phase.
Swift Hawk peers at the receptionist. "...Mmhm. Do you have a room?"
Receptionist frowns over at Pazi and Wazha. "I'm not certain..."
Swift Hawk: That's a shame... But what if...
Swift Hawk looks towards Pazi and Wazha quickly, then turns to face the halfling again.
Receptionist raises an eyebrow. "Yes?..."
Swift Hawk: What if we accidentally pay a little bit extra...? These two gp could easily be an oversight...
Receptionist: Hmmm... well, I suppose there is one room you could use.
Receptionist unlocks something below the counter...
Receptionist: Ah, yes, here. 402 is available, for 3 gold per head.
Receptionist: One of our more popular rooms, really. You're fortunate that it's available...
Swift Hawk sighs and reaches for a small pouch, then picks 11 gold coins from it and puts them on the counter.
Receptionist hands over the key while sliding the coins further her way. "Please enjoy your stay."
Swift Hawk grunts.
Swift Hawk: Pazi? We have a room.
Pazi turns. "Ah, good."
Swift Hawk heads towards the stairs, motioning for the others to follow.
Pazi and Wazha do so, though Pazi can't help but glance at the halfling briefly.
The room in question does indeed have a splendid view of the Great Healing Hall through a large picture window framed by simple grey curtains, as well as two queen-sized beds at opposite sides of the wide room. Green carpeting and brown bedsheets complete the simple look, seemingly designed not to distract from the view.
SwiftHawk: Hmm... The halfling was right. This is a nice room.
Pazi is clearly distracted from the view, looking the bedsheets over. "What an unusual color!"
Swift Hawk takes off her hat and carefully throws it onto one of the beds.
Swift Hawk turns towards Pazi. "Unusual color? What do you mean? It's just brown."
Wazha sighs and shakes her head, then simply tends to watching the view.
Pazi: Brown, hm?... It's not something I'm used to seeing. It sort of reminds me of when a lost stands near something orange, come to think of it...
Pazi seems thoughtful.
Swift Hawk: Huh... Well, we have a nice view from here. I think this was a good idea... ...If a rather expensive one.
Swift Hawk grunts again.
Pazi picks up a corner of the sheet. "Where do the dyes for such a color come from? I wonder if they're difficult to work with at all..."
Pazi: I'm not sure why she would be so suspicious, though. We have the right number of nimlis...
Pazi: And lack any anti-rainbows.
SwiftHawk raises an eyebrow. "The right number of what?"
Pazi: Hm? Oh... I suppose none of you have any, do you?
Pazi points to the three green motes of light orbiting the top of his head. "These are known as nimlis. I say the right number because this is the most we have at a time... naturally."
Pazi: If you're not a lightstealer, I mean.
Swift Hawk nods. "I see... So lightstealers would have more... Nimlis?"
Pazi nods. "Most do. It's possible to channel these into magical effects. More of them can yield stronger ones."
Swift Hawk: Well, at least I know to watch out for people with more than three nimlis then.
Swift Hawk peers through the window. "Not sure if I hope that something happens or not..."
Pazi: All I know is that I wish this war would end... but that's why I'm even fighting in it.
Pazi looks back to the sheets. "But maybe it'll be worth it if I can at least take home some new dyes."
Pazi: I could see using something like this for contrast...
Swift Hawk snickers.
Pazi looks to the Swift Hawk. "What's so funny?..."
Swift Hawk: Oh, nothing.
For all the bad reputation Dura has in general, Kyra finds that Deathsgate is a considerably less comfortable place to visit than Clifftop, seemingly its dark mirror. In both, warriors and wizards of every race and multiple nationalities carry themselves with confidence, but here, their eyes seem to scan not for a new thing to explore or someone in need, but a quick buck or a worthwhile foe.
Thanks in large part to the skycoach station on this tower floor and in part to a simple crossroads and a ramp downward, this is a busy place the Prism and his squad have spread out to stake out. Which isn't to say that the hospital isn't also a contributing factor; indeed, men, women, and those less easy to define, nearly all of whom look like trouble, file in and out of the Jorasco establishment regularly.
Kyra himself is trying to look unassuming in the latest of his disguises. Using the combined effects of his crown and choker, he currently resembles a nondescript elven woman, leaning against the wall across the way from the hospital with his nose in a newspaper.
Elana hides behind a support beam in the northeastern corner of the tower, near a pair of wooden buildings clearly added after the fact.
Shachar and Barak sit on the benches not far from the broad, open, arched entryway and exit from the skycoach station that takes up the southwest corner.
Aftab sits in the waiting room of the clinic, trying to act the part of a man waiting worriedly for a loved one to return from a doctor's visit. Yamalle and Martin peer at him from time to time, but leave him alone.
A voice whispers, "You made yourself easy enough to find, Prism..."
Prism ignores the voice the best he can.
"I have to say, you've piqued my interest. Your power certainly outstrips that of raw glimmerfolk. If it weren't for the lack of nimlis, I'd wonder if you were a lightstealer yourself..."
Prism looks over his paper finally, folds it under his arm, and nonchalantly crosses the way.
The voice seems to follow the Prism. "I know you're too self-righteous to satisfy any curiosity you might share with me, however..."
"But there are ways you could satisfy mine that wouldn't involve letting others come to harm."
Prism stops across the way, and speaks with his disguised voice, quietly. "What do you want?"
"For the moment, to understand you. Surely such an... uneven distribution wouldn't have gone unnoticed for as long as you must be old. Those who fight those like myself accept you. And... you cast a shadow in this world, when in Irian you don't. Who and what are you?"
Prism smirks to himself, eyeing the steps he noticed and attempting to follow them. "I'll tell you when I know myself."
"Surely you must know something, or you would have had no argument by which you could convince your own allies to accept you. Or... are they instead pawns?"
Prism: I do what I have to.
"Heh... and you call yourself any better than me. I at least don't hide what I do..."
Prism: I don't recall saying that. We just find ourselves on opposite sides of the lawful spectrum.
Prism continues trying to follow the trail while hiding the fact that he is doing so.
"Law? Is that all? You should know yourself that life isn't as fair as the church would have you believe..."
Prism: We all have to find the truth for ourselves.
"Don't you think that's what I'm trying to do, Prism?"
"Then why are we fighting? We both share an ambition to understand, and see others as tools towards that understanding. ...Haven't you wondered what would happen if you tried?"
Prism: Why yes, I did, actually.
Prism: In a moment of weakness. Then I realized that no truth is worth destroying the lives of others for.
"Such pointless distinctions. You call this beneath you, but not using others? Or is that mask there to hide your shame?"
Prism shrugs. "I underestimated your ability to see through illusions."
"It wasn't much. You just have to be more careful where you position your pawns, refractor."
Prism: Oh, a pun on my name, I like it.
Prism: The hero always gets new powers or something at some point in the stories, maybe I'll use that when that happens to me.
"Pfft, don't pretend you don't know what I or anyone else would mean. What hero has pawns rather than friends? Why live in such denial of the degree to which you deceive? Or are you deceived yourself?"
Prism yawns, stretching in an exaggerrated way. "Attack my virtues all you want, I do what has to be done. Like you said, you're no stranger to that."
"So what have you convinced yourself you're fighting for?"
Prism: I fight to protect those that cannot protect themselves!
Prism drops low to the ground, then springs upwards, throwing his newspaper upwards as he does so. As the paper crosses his body, the illusion shifts and changes, leaving a very angry Prism behind holding his bow over his head. "To protect them from the likes of you!" He whirls around, pointing his open hand at what seems to be nothingness. "Take this! Spectral Prism!"
A multicolored spectrum of light launches from Prism's hand in a conal pattern.
Prism quickly puts his other fingers in his mouth and lets out a shrill whistle.
Laughter erupts from the point the Prism tracked his quarry's prints to. "Fool! Did you think someone with the power of Irian itself would be overcome by a mere light show?!"
Marisu, a golden-haired woman with dozens of nimlis with colors spanning the spectrum, dressed in a pale blue vest, skirt, and cloak as well as a shimmering shirt of clear metal links, appears suddenly with her hands thrust out towards the Prism -- who quite suddenly falls to his knees, feeling as though his spine were being gradually, arduously ripped out from the front side...
Prism falls hard to his knees, biting into his fingers painfully as he does so and cutting off his whistle. He manages to avoid screaming, barely, instead trying to keep his insides from tearing themselves out with his arms.
Prism grits his teeth and grins. "Surely... surely that isn't the best you... can do."
Marisu grits her teeth as well, maintaining her focus. "Stubborn one... aren't you... but no matter. You won't last forever..."
Suddenly, Prism finds the assault interrupted by a brief, disorienting sense of the world shifting around him as an unfamiliar figure passes him. He finds himself suddenly almost a hundred feet away from the hospital.
Prism blinks, fighting against the new magic forcing itself on him for a moment; however, the force of fighting against the attempted drain overrides his defenses against the teleportation and he blinks, suddenly staring at Marisu from a long distance away.
Marisu staggers as the tendrils of her magic are stretched and snap. "Wh-what?! No!"
An unfamiliar female halfling stands before Marisu, staring from behind glasses that seem to shine with a pale light that obscures her eyes.
Female Halfling: What's the matter? Am I not as appealing a prey?
Marisu glares at the newcomer. "Meddling stranger..."
Female Halfling grins, though it's mostly obscured by a scarf. "The name's Vision, and meddling is what I do best."
Elana steps out from behind the pillar just northeast of the intersection and fires a fowling arrow at Marisu, only to have it fly over the lightstealer's head. "This was never my best art," she mutters to herself in Irial.
Marisu closes her eyes for a moment, then looks even more annoyed. "The easy one first, then." Two of the sparks orbiting her wink out, and a conical blast of colorful energies much like the one Kyra fired at her before shoots out from her cupped hands towards Vision.
Vision shrugs this off, though she does drop the grin as she takes a more defensive stance. "Wrong, try again."
Aftab rushes out the door, drawing his own shortbow. This one, however, isn't loaded with fowling arrows -- and the arrow flies true. Unfortunately, some unseen magic makes the blow veer enough to prevent armor penetration at the last second.
Prism shakes off the dizziness from the teleportation spell and the remnants of Marisu's attempt and draws his bow. "Great, another mysterious costumed vigilante. Didn't see that coming." With a snicker, he falls into a stance and begins moving towards the melee, letting an arrow fly into the sky as he does so.
Marisu tries to dodge, but only succeeds in making the arrow land poorly enough to skip off of her transparent armor.
Barak runs out from the skycoach station, screeches to a halt just before the sidewalk, and begins chanting, pointing at Marisu. A bright red beam shoots out at her too quickly for the eye to follow, but misses wide right and dissipates; the wizard sighs.
Vision: I've seen your downfall... have a taste of it yourself!
Vision concentrates, distorting the area around Marisu.
Marisu staggers somewhat as a sword blow appears across her chest. "Wh-what...?"
Shachar throws away any pretense of being inconspicuous, riding out of the station and slightly upward on a rainbow from his pathboots. "Be prepared to steel yourselves; don't succumb to what could have been Prism's fate."
Elana nods to Shachar as she closes the distance part of the way in order to get an easier shot. This does prevent the subsequent arrow from completely missing, but it doesn't have enough force to do more than bounce off of Marisu's thin chain.
Marisu points at Vision. "Fine, so you're a threat..." Six nimlis merge into her hand, which glows red. "Taste my latest YEEAAH?!" The ray shoots off at an odd angle and out the southern exit, leaving a large burn mark above the entryway to the next tower to the south.
Prism can't help himself and staggers.
Vision just shakes her head. "I told you."
Aftab can't help but chuckle a bit as he repositions himself smewhat closer to the others, in the middle of the road. He lets loose another arrow, but this flies over Marisu's head and skips off of the wall behind her.
Prism darts across the road, nocking another arrow as he does so. Wordlessly, he lets the arrow fly; as it takes to the sky, the arrow transforms into a short beam of light.
Prism's arrow explodes in a burst of light as it, unfortunately, strikes the wall next to Marisu.
Marisu manages to turn away from the blast in time to avoid being blinded, as well as duck away from the ensuing shower of motes.
Barak: I suppose this is why you asked that I learn such things as this...
Barak chants a brief spell; a blast of snowballs erupts from a point on the ground.
Marisu is too preoccupied with dodging Prism's attack to notice Barak's, and is pummeled with the freezing orbs. She hisses in pain.
Vision follows quickly with a repeat of her earlier attack, though Marisu seems better prepared for it this time.
Marisu recoils as suddenly an arrow wound appears in her left arm, and clasps the new wound.
Shachar backs away somewhat, then aims another arrow. He doesn't adjust properly for the slightly increased distance, however, and the arrow lands at Marisu's feet.
Elana runs to Shachar's side. "Let us bring an end to this story that will make for a tale beautiful to the ear!"
Marisu replies in Irial, "Let us rather stop failing to appreciate what more there is to tell!" Two more of her overabundant nimlis vanish, yielding not two but five sparks of light that shoot out -- three striking Elana, the other two Barak.
The two seem to be in quite a bit of pain...
Aftab's expression hardens as he sees his comrades struck; glowering, he shoots again, but Marisu apparently anticipates the arrow and manages to dodge it.
Prism, on seeing his allies hurt, throws caution to the wind and charges into the fray.
Barak looks to the closing Prism worriedly, but takes a breath and chants a spell anyway, pointing two fingers at Marisu. A beam that cycles rapidly through colors zooms towards Marisu, grazing her with a purple flash.
Marisu: And here I thought you would be more of a threat...
Barak shakes his head.
Vision raises a crossbow of her own, leveling it at Marisu. "Hey, over here, doomed thief." She lets a bolt fly.
Marisu looks over, and turns enough to let the bolt only graze her armor. "You were doing better with the magic, half-pint."
Shachar glowers at Marisu. "Touch the Prism again and see what happens when we are sufficiently motivated not to miss," he growls.
Marisu erupts into gales of laughter.
Elana: Do not be discouraged, Shachar. Your delivery was impressive...
Elana fires another fowling arrow, but Marisu half-avoids it simply by accident of her movements while laughing. "...it's just the context that is not."
Swift Hawk arrives at the scene from the west flying at full speed, spotting the combat and attempting to land nearby, but struggles to slow down and ends up a small distance away from the others.
Marisu seems not to notice the newcomer, instead struggling to contain her own mirth. After a few breaths, she repeats her previous attack -- but one of the motes shoots towards the Prism, leaving only two for each of those previously wounded.
Elana stumbles to her knees, dazed and bleeding...
Barak lets loose a cry that tapers to a whimper and collapses to the ground.
Prism staggers, but shakes it off.
Aftab screams, dropping his bow in favor of charging Marisu with his sword -- drawn one second, glowing white the next, clanging off the wall the next as Marisu sidesteps only enough to make a bit of her long blond hair be all that's cut.
Prism, hearing Barak's yell, quickly runs to him. Crossing his arms over his chest, he begins chanting in Irial. "Boldrei's will, coalesce through me...and heal my allies!" He throws his arms outward, sending a burst of positive energy radiating from his body in a sphere, striking most of his allies and stopping just short of hitting Marisu.
Elana stands. "Thank you..."
Barak groans and rolls over, manyost of his wounds having been suddenly mended, and uneasily brings himself upright.
Prism: Are you ok, Barak?
Barak: I'm still in some pain...
Prism: Then let's finish this.
Prism quickly whips back into a standing position and nocks an arrow, letting it fly.
Prism, unfortunately, stood up too quickly and didn't have time to aim properly...
Aftab yelps as the arrow strikes him in the side in the confusion folowing his missed smite.
Prism: Damn! I'm sorry!
Aftab flashes a pained grin at the Prism. "Such is also the fruit of battle."
Barak chants another potent spell, striking Marisu squarely in the chest despite the chaos. The phantom sword wound from before (after?) is seared and a portion of her armor heated to a brief orange glow as she screams.
Prism: Yeah! Nicely done!
Barak nods to the Prism, smiling.
Vision, seeing her position is no longer particularly advantageous, makes her way past Aftab and towards Barak and Prism.
Shachar takes a step backward while firing another arrow aimed not quite well enough at Marisu.
Elana holds her ground, and her inferiority as an archer is clear as she almost strikes Aftab again. She blushes.
Swift Hawk darts towards the group of people whom she recognizes.
Swift Hawk turns towards Shachar and attempts to get his attention. "Excuse me, you aren't one of those who speak common, are you?"
Shachar glances over his shoulder to the Swift Hawk briefly with confusion in his eyes.
Swift Hawk: Uh, I'll take that as a no...
Prism turns to Swift Hawk. "Yeah, you can. What's up?"
Swift Hawk: I could ask you the same. Who are we fighting?
Prism: Remember the mega-lightstealer I told you about?
Prism: I found...well, she found me, I should say.
Marisu meanwhile murmurs to herself. "Hm? You've recovered?..."
Swift Hawk nods. "So you won't mind if I get involved, then?"
Prism smirks. "Give her hell."
An orb of light not unlike am oversized nimli suddenly appears behind Aftab and stabs him with a pale blue burst! He yelps, turns to see what struck him from behind... and is only saved from Marisu's strike from behind with the spear she unstrapped while Aftab was distracted by the thickness of his full plate.
Marisu: Damn it!
Aftab spins with his sword out to counterattack, a green light surrounding the hilt this time, but between Marisu rolling with the strike through a twirl of her own and her armor she remains unharmed.
Prism makes some brief motions with his hands. A gentle light radiates from his body to a certain distance. "Boldrei protect us..."
Prism steps forward slightly, trying to get a better view of the action in the main melee.
Barak steps forward and murmurs something slightly more gentle-sounding than his prior spells, and begins radiating a white light.
Vision speaks to the Prism in Halfling. "This may be slightly disorienting, but it should help."
Prism raises an eyebrow. "You've given me no reason not to trust you."
Vision touches Prism's arm briefly.
Prism blinks rapidly. "...That's...a little messed up, but thank you..."
Vision nods and begins reloading her crossbow.
Vision: Messed up is probably an understatement, but I'm sure you have your share of personal mysteries too.
Shachar: It seems a tactical alternative has presented itself...
Shachar turns to aim at the independent-seeming mote -- but snaps his bowstring as he tries to draw an arrow back.
Elana frowns at Shachar, but tries to succeed where he failed. Unfortuntely, the light proves only just barely too nimble for her.
Swift Hawk leaps and glides towards Marisu, landing next to her. "These people here were nice enough to share with me."
Swift Hawk waves her rapier around for a moment to visualize her "threat", only to lose her grip on it and send it flying through the air, landing a short distance away.
Marisu snickers. "Is this the color they dress buffoons in in this world?" With that, she turns from the Swift Hawk, chants a couple of brief syllables, and thrusts her spear at Aftab again while her seeming companion blasts him again. This time, her spear flashes red as it pierces the seam between Aftab's upper body and lower body armor; while she's singed by the energy, the well-placed hit clearly hurts Aftab far more. His scream is of a sort few have heard outside of war...
Swift Hawk hesitates to recover her weapon, distracted by Aftab's scream.
Vision shudders and shakes her head, clenching her hands around her weapon's grip.
Prism clenches a fist. "Damn it..."
Shachar squeezes his eyes shut and clenches his teeth.
Elana winces and shudders. "I suppose that's what it's for, but..."
Aftab manages to stay upright, even in such pain; he clutches his waist with the fist gripping his shield while holding his sword ready to parry, then backs away with obvious pained effort.
Prism quickly scrambles backwards, sliding to a stop a fair distance back; with a simple yell, he throws his hand skyward and releases another burst of positive energy.
Prism: Hang in there, Aftab!
Aftab stands tall; though the wound still bleeds, it's apparently been vastly lessened in its depth.
The others of the Prism's entourage have the remainder of their wounds mended in the process.
Aftab: Th-thank you...
Barak: That is quite enough!
Barak holds out a hand; some of the light he's glowing with now is channeled into yet another type of ray, this one white. He sears a portion of her arm with it, causing her to recoil more than one might expect from the size of the wound.
Vision lowers her weapon momentarily and concentrates, generating a blast of psionic force between Marisu and the orb, which moves out in both directions to strike them.
Marisu flinches slightly, but the unseen strike seems to mainly add insult to her rampant existing injury. The stray mote flickers and wavers in the stability of its hovering for a moment.
Shachar: She's slowing down!
Shachar aims at the oversized mote again, this time managing to strike it while it's off-balance. Apparently there's some solidity to it, as the arrow is slowed by its passage through the creature and it drips a bit of some blue, glowing substance.
Fairy Knight speeds in from the west with sword and scimitar drawn, stopping to hover just outside of the ensuing battle. "Did I miss anything?"
Prism: Nice of you to join us.
Prism turns to Liridon and gives him a thumbs-up.
Fairy Knight: I got here as fast I could. I trust you've left some for me?
Fairy Knight looks to Marisu.
Prism: A little, I think.
Marisu: You speak of me as a holiday bird!
Fairy Knight: Yes, thanks for getting my joke.
Marisu glares at the Fairy Knight.
Elana, oblivious to the nature of the banter, simply fires another arrow at the large mote during it.
Elana nods to herself as the fowling arrow sends the creature back a few inches. "Ah, a single stroke in place at the least."
Swift Hawk steps backwards and reaches for her rapier, hoping for Marisu to be sufficiently distracted.
The rapier is retrieved with no issue.
Marisu takes hold of a small white pendant she wears briefly; golden light swells from it to envelop her briefly and lessen the apparent severity of the wounds she's accumulated. She then holds out her hands; five of her remaining nimlis orbit them at the wrists. "This is getting annoying."
As the nimlis wink out, white fire erupts from a point just above the southwestern corner of the intersection, enveloping the group. It's not as intense as a fireball, but it's relentless...
Prism throws his arms up. "The trump cards come out!" He bounces back and forth in place, dodging the worst of the flames as best he can.
Vision is taken by surprise and staggers as the flames envelop her.
Fairy Knight dodges the flames nonchalantly.
None of Kyra's Irial companions seem to have been ready for this; all have been singed.
Prism: She's getting desperate! Take her down!
Prism repeats himself in Irial.
Fairy Knight: Hmph.
Aftab charges out of the continuing white flame at the pale blue light, seeming intent on getting rid of the distraction first.
When struck, the mote wavers, then floats to the ground as erratically as a feather, barely shining.
Prism: Together, my friends! Strike the finishing blow, and show this lightstealer the true power of the light!
Prism nocks an arrow. A burst of positive energy radiates from his body yet again as he fires the arrow. "Destiny Arrow!"
Prism's arrow flies as though magnetically attracted to a point on Marisu's armor, striking true enough to leave a bruise even through it.
Barak runs out of the range of the flames via the sidewalk. "This doesn't seem to be letting up..."
Barak looks down at the mote, watching it like a hawk.
Vision starts moving away from the source of the flames, but slows enough to concentrate, sending another future (or perhaps past) wound to meet Marisu's present self.
Marisu winces and grabs her cheek as an apparent cold-inflicted wound spreads over it.
Shachar focuses on escaping the aura of glowing heat quickly.
Fairy Knight advances to Marisu, and brings his scimitar down on the villain.
Marisu is sliced down the torso -- right in the same place a wound had appeared on its own before.
Marisu: Gaaah! Wh-what the...?
Fairy Knight: Time to serve up.
Shachar advances to just barely outside the reach of the flames, and lines up a shot... which unfortunately bounces off of a place where links meet in Marisu's armor.
Swift Hawk steps out of the flames, lifts her newly retrieved rapier over her shoulder and swings the pommel towards Marisu's head.
Marisu's attention being on Liridon and her familiar wound at that instant, she doesn't manage to dodge this strike -- perfectly placed, and accompanied by a green flash. Her eyes roll back in her head, shen she collapses to the floor of the tower.
Swift Hawk looks at the hilt of her rapier, then at Marisu. "Huh... That did it."
Prism nods to himself, then dashes out of the flames to the others, burning himself as he moves. "Very nicely done, everyone."
Shachar puts his bow away and smiles. "Thank you."
Fairy Knight sheathes his scimitar. "Indeed..."
Fairy Knight then looks to the newcomer. "Now who are you?"
Vision makes her own way out of the flames, getting singed but not hurt too badly. She seems to take another moment to concentrate, then lets out a long sigh and falls to her knees. "...whew... I guess that wasn't too bad for a start..."
Elana: I suppose so. An accomplishment, if not a sightly one.
Prism: Subdue the lightstealer. We shall return her to Irian to receive the justice she deserves.
Prism looks over to the halfling. "So there's a shorter hero in Sharn than I, now. Care to introduce yourself?"
Vision: You're kinda tall for supposedly being a halfling, aren't you? But at any rate, I go by Vision, and more than that... looks around should really wait for a more private setting.
Prism chuckles. "Indeed."
Vision: I apologize for my abrupt intrusion. I should have made my presence known sooner. Perhaps then... no, no point worrying about it.
Shachar takes out rope as he approaches, while Aftab starts to relieve Marisu of any combat-useful affects -- starting with the spear that harmed him so badly before.
Prism bows graciously. "Though I must thank you for saving me there. It's funny how emotion can break the strongest plans..."
Fairy Knight: Vision, eh...
Vision rises to her feet. "...hmm, indeed. But I'm just glad my intervention was enough to shift the balance."
Fairy Knight: Good to have you, then.
Prism: ...I must...return with the others. It was good to see you again, Sir Knight.
Fairy Knight: That's too bad, you just got back and all.
Fairy Knight grins.
Barak has meanwhile started inspecting Marisu for himself and taking items as he goes.
Prism grins back. "I'll be back in a day or two. Sharn can't get rid of the Prism that easily."
Fairy Knight: Good, then.
Vision: You cannot walk both of these paths for long...
The others look up from their work and at Vision in surprise at the familiar tongue.
Prism: Nice trick, psion.
Fairy Knight raises an eyebrow.
Vision: We shall speak more upon your return, I'm sure. Take care until then.
The white fire finally stops billowing out from its point of origin.
Prism nods. "We should return to Irian. A blow has been struck today."
Shachar finishes tying up Marisu to the best of his ability.
Aftab nods slowly and helps Shachar pick Marisu up... but seems troubled.
Barak's home is not quite as extravagant as that of his elderly parents, but wealth is still apparent; a few red jewels adorn the smooth, domed tower, and the transition from the orange frosted-glass-like material of the walls to transparent, colorless, shuttered windows is seamless. The tower itself features five floors -- kitchen/dining room, living room/study, miscellaneous small rooms, two guest bedrooms, and master bedroom -- with a spiral staircase twisting up through the side of each.
The large, plush-filled combination living room and study easily accomodates the Prism, Shachar, Aftab, and Elana, with room to spare for the now-returning Barak, who carries the remainder of Marisu's equipment -- a light blue vest and matching cloak -- and lays it out on the floor with the rest.
Barak remains kneeling next to the items laid out on the carpet. "...Well, there we have it."
Prism: Thank you again for taking care of the fees for this, Barak.
Barak nods. "That's all right. I have the best resources to apply to such things, and so long as we have a war to fight we need to apply our resources carefully."
Shachar stands from the soft chair he was in and stretches. "Well, now that we're all here... the potion proved to be a simple potion of levitation, and the dust will make temporarily invisible anyone or anything it's sprinkled upon." He kneels down next to the items in question."
Shachar: Likely those would be more worthwhile to keep than to sell, as they probably wouldn't raise enough funds to pay for any damages.
Prism nods in agreement. "Agreed."
Aftab sighs, already sitting next to Marisu's spear and armor. "I still think we're better off using everything of worth ourselves to keep the damages from getting any worse..."
Shachar shakes his head. "And what of the families already harmed?"
Aftab: Look, we should at least think about it...
Shachar: We can have this discussion after we finish sharing the findings.
Prism nods to Shachar. "Indeed. We can make decisions afterwards, Aftab."
Aftab hmphs. "Fine, fine... when the armory was done looking these over, they turned out to simply be a vicious spear otherwise minimally enchanted, and a glassteel chain shirt of a more respectable grade of enhancement further empowered for endurance in travel and carrying burdens."
Shachar nods. "Elana? What of the jewelry?"
Elana: Well, aside from being a little utilitarian in design, the ring is also just a basic protective one with a limited capacity to turn aside blows. The unicorn pendant is more powerful, but she must have lifted it from a paladin's corpse -- its full potential couldn't be used by her.
Aftab: Damn her...
Prism: To be expected, really.
Prism remains in his "musing" position, his words a little colder than usual.
Elana: In any case, aside from allowing a potent wound-healing effect every day, it can counter poison as often, and furthermore can significantly improve a paladin's healing gifts.
Elana picks up a fist-sized, runed metallic object of short cylindrical shape. "As for this, it's no decorative item -- I didn't think so. It's actually a sort of reusable trap."
Shachar raises an eyebrow.
Prism: Huh. Explain?
Elana: One can place a fairly basic destructive spell into it and press it into a surface so that it blends in. Whoever stumbles upon the transformed item will activate the magic.
Elana: When I asked how basic, the proprietor cited summoning a swarm of rats or a small explosion of noise.
Shachar looks to the Prism. "Is something the matter?..."
Prism: Not really. shrug I pictured the rat-swarm use of that thing.
Prism shudders again.
Barak: It sounds like it would handle the simplest of journeymen's spells, in that case. ...As for the clothing, the vest carries a protective enchantment akin to the sort typically found on the most basic of protective cloaks, but somewhat stronger than the minimum. As for the cloak, it strengthens one's confidence and expressiveness.
Prism: Well, if there aren't any objections, I'd like to claim the glassteel armor for myself. You all know I'm not the strongest shade from the prism, so...
Shachar: Hrm... well, in such a case we should almost certainly sell the spear, as it sounds like the other item likely to yield enough money to aid with reparations.
Aftab: Though... that short one said something about you having to choose between that world and this one, didn't she?...
Prism hesitates for several moments.
Prism: ...Once...the coterminous period is over, the nearest manifest zone I can use to return is a few days' travel away...
Elana: I see...
Shachar: ...I think I knew.
Aftab stares at Shachar.
Shachar: You've been trying to make sure that I can carry things without you lately... haven't you?
Prism blushes, rubbing the back of his neck. "I hoped I wasn't being too obvious."
Shachar chuckles. "You should be relieved, Prism. What sort of leader would I be if you had failed to pass along that sort of sense?"
Prism nods. "Then I have no doubts."
Aftab: So we're stuck with the stiff, hm? Better than nothing, I suppose.
Aftab glances at Barak.
Barak: And just what is that supposed to mean? I only realize this is a war, not an opportnity for personal --
Shachar: If we get too caught up in our personal viewpoints, we won't be able to act as a team. You do all have your points...
Shachar looks to Elana. "...unorthodox as some may be."
Prism nods slowly. "You shall be in good hands even in my absence; and I won't be leaving forever." He smirks. "I'll be back to make sure you haven't screwed things up, Shachar."
Shachar grins and nods. "I look forward to it, Prism."
Prism quickly shakes his head. "Back to the matter at hand."
Prism: Barring objections, I would like to reward those that helped us in the fight with the reusable trap seal, the unicorn pendant, and the cloak.
Aftab: Hm, that's quite a lot. That'd probably call for us to sell both the spear and the vest to make up the difference...
Prism: I shall pay, if that's what you're concerned about.
Aftab: I do worry for those hurt.
Shachar: That only leaves the ring unaccounted for, unless someone disagrees that the consumables are best kept.
Elana: I believe I could use a ring like that. The form may be disappointing, but I find it hard to argue against the function after having seen Barak's in action.
Barak pffs. "If it bothers you that much, save up and trade it in for a prettier one."
Elana glowers at Barak. "Probably."
Shachar clears his throat. "I believe that fully settles the matter, doesn't it?"
Prism: Indeed it does.
Aftab: ...So that's all, huh.
Aftab sighs and looks to the Prism. "I'm going to miss you."
Barak looks over as well and nods... "You did help take the edge off of the grimness of the situation."
Prism shakes his head. "And don't bring it back just because I'm leaving, ok? I mean, I'm not leaving for good or anything."
Shachar: No, but it will be a long time. But we'll manage to be a strong team without you.
Elana: I should hope so. It would be a shame to see such a carefully-crafted structure undermined.
Shachar glances at Elana briefly, then smiles and shakes his head slightly.
Prism gathers the items he claimed and reaches into his bag, handing a handful of coin to Shachar. "I'm a man of my word."
Shachar nods, accepting it. "Take care, Prism. I hope when we next meet the situation will be better-contained."
Prism begins to leave the room, then looks over his shoulder. "I'm gonna miss you guys..." He sniffs a tear back, then hurriedly exits.
Althea awakens suddenly, blinking within the dim light of her room. Momentarily disoriented as she reaches for her glasses, she manages to collect herself after about half a minute.
Althea: That's... no, that's not even in Sharn. sigh
Althea gets out of bed, staggering to a small table, and lights a candle. Sitting down, she starts going through various notes and scribbling additional ones on the margins of pages.
Althea: Well, I finally made contact with them today. I think it's the right move. Even if... no, that's all the more reason...
Althea: They're going to need the support. And there's just not much I can do from afar, or on my own.
Althea eventually finishes writing, extinguishes the candle, and returns to bed.
Althea: muttering Now shut up and let me rest, this time.
Cogsgate may not be the most private of Sharn's warehouse districts -- goods flow to and from Terminus regularly -- but it's at least situated in Lower Tavick's Landing as opposed to the hotbed of crime, gang wars, and even stray monsters that is Lower Dura. Aside from warehouses, there are a number of shabby residences to look into the occupancy status of here.
Vision strolls down one of the major streets looking from place to place critically, occasionally touching a building and nodding or shaking her head, or in one case recoiling in seeming shock.
Swift Hawk yawns to herself as she walks down the street, eyeing the various buildings without putting much more effort into it than that.
Vision continues examining buildings, but notices the Swift Hawk heading her way. "Well, seems we had the same thought, hmm?"
Swift Hawk peers at Vision for a second before responding. "...Oh, it's you! I didn't expect to run into anyone I know here."
Vision grins. "I suspect not being likely to run into people we know would be a useful feature of this area."
Swift Hawk: See anything decent yet? I've found some abandoned buildings, but they look the part.
Vision: I've run across a few 'maybe's, a number of 'probably not's, and at least one 'not on your life'.
Swift Hawk shrugs. "I'm not even sure if there's any at all here with a secret entrance."
Vision nods. "I have a feeling we'd be subject to at least some noteriety here, at least."
Vision: On the other hand, the most obvious alternatives would probably be subject to looting or worse...
Swift Hawk: It's the best I could think of though...
Vision nods. "Well, one thought does cross my mind, anyway."
Swift Hawk: Oh?
Swift Hawk looks around and whispers. "Oh? Where?"
Vision: Well, I understand there's a rather... distinctive area in Middle Dura. They say the architect was mad. Well, most do, anyway.
Vision: But he was supposedly inspired by other planes of existence.
Swift Hawk: Hmm... Wait. Is that where I think it is?
Swift Hawk scratches her chin. "Why would we want to go there?"
Vision: Could call it a hunch, but it seems to me those like us who have appeared... have seemed to draw some part of their nature from one of the other planes.
Vision: I don't know if there's something to the planar inspiration to the place or not, but at the very least it seems like it'd have an appropriate 'theme' to it, if nothing else.
Vision: I was kind of figuring to swing by there last in case anything really jumped out at the last minute.
Swift Hawk nods at the mention of "theme". "...Alright. We could try that."
Vision: Besides, if we're looking for a place with secrets, a mad architect might be a plus.
Swift Hawk: I like the way you think. Let's go!
Hareth's Folly is as chaotic as its reputation suggests. No single tower here is built in the same style as any other, and even the bridges are a grab bag. Much of Hareth's work doesn't lend itself well to being built directly on top of, either, so many vast support pillars cut through the district in order to support the more recently-built Hope's Peak above -- which makes this district look all the more weird. Below Hareth's Folly, the once-glorious Gate of Gold slum ditrict is visible.
Kyra saunters through the zone, hands in his pockets. His newly glamered armor is in Prism guise, but his disguise circlet has him appearing to be a human male in the early 20s wearing normal clothing.
Vision peers at a tall, misshapen building, closing one eye, and then the other. "I almost expect it to be moving." She shakes her head.
Swift Hawk nods slowly, her eyes bouncing from building to building. "I bet there are so many secret doors here..."
Swift Hawk lowers her hat a little to help her concentrate on the ground level.
Swift Hawk: So... What do we do here?
Vision: I almost wouldn't be surprised to find miniature manifest zones in some of these.
Vision: Well, nothing as yet has really quite seemed right, but there's a good bit to go through. Can't really make any sort of uniform judgement about any of it.
Vision passes by a small apparent house with four front doors without comment.
Kyra blinks, looking across the way at a house with four doors and familiar faces. Quickly crossing the way, he says in his disguised voice, "Well, well, familiar faces abound," waving to Vision and Swift Hawk.
Swift Hawk eyes the man suspiciously.
Kyra puts a hand to his throat for a moment, and says in his normal voice, "Surprise." He removes his hand and speaks in the disguise, "Can't be too cautious around here."
Vision raises an eyebrow but doesn't comment.
Kyra: So what brings you two to the Folly?
Swift Hawk shrugs and looks to Vision.
Swift Hawk: I only know the details.
Vision looks back and shrugs.
Swift Hawk lowers her voice. "The details I know being that this place is weird, and that's a good thing."
Kyra nods. "Then you're here for the same reason as I."
Vision nods. "...Indeed. This did strike me as an... appropriate place for ones such as us..."
Swift Hawk: Hmm... I'm sure there's a better place for this, don't you think?
Vision stares at a building shaped like a tree, complete with branches for balconies.
Vision: I think the better place for this is what we're looking for at the moment.
Swift Hawk lifts her hat slightly and looks around. "How do we know what's a good place...?"
Kyra: Nondescript, out of the way, and somewhere with a good lock on the door.
Kyra rolls his eyes at the last part.
Vision: A good lock is important, but I was thinking we should go for something styled after one of the planes. Ideally a plane one of our number is associated with.
Vision starts looking for buildings in an Irian-style.
Kyra shrugs. "If you think so..."
Such a building is not difficult to find. Stretching up from the reinforced top of one of the squatter buildings in the Gate of Gold is a round tower that looks to be built of glass bricks of different colors, domed at the top. Occasionally the mosaic of bricks is interrupted by a window as rounded as the bricks allow.
Kyra crosses his arms. "A fine attempt at replicating the Irian style, if a bit on the cheap."
Vision nods, and places a hand against a bright orange brick.
Vision shrugs. "I suspect it's being used, though. Get the sense of children playing here."
Vision looks around for anything that looks like it might be Kythri-inspired.
Kyra ignores Vision leaving and eyes the Irian-inspired tower.
Kyra blinks and rubs his eyes. "Weird..."
Kyra looks to Swift. "I'm going to check it out. Can't tell everything about a place from the outside."
Vision looks back to Kyra. "Agreed, that's a good idea. I'll see if I can't scrounge up a couple additional candidates in the mean time."
Swift Hawk nods while still admiring the colorful tower.
Kyra heads into the tower, still having a hard time adjusting his eyes.
Swift Hawk follows inside.
This floor of the tower is split into two by a hallway, with pleasant murmurings streaming from both sides. One side has a sign indicating a day care; the other, a restaurant. At the end of the hall, a spiral staircase is apparent, leading both up and down.
Kyra holds the bridge of his nose and leans against a wall. "This...might've been a bad idea..."
Swift Hawk puts her hand on Kyra's shoulder. "...Are you alright...?"
Kyra shakes it off, nodding. "I'm fine. If I didn't know better, I'd...think this place is manifest to Irian..."
Kyra shakes his head and looks around.
Kyra: Guess we split up. I'll head up, you check out the basement.
Swift Hawk: You're sure you'll be fine?
Kyra nods. "I'm ok."
Kyra heads for the stairs and moves upstairs.
Swift Hawk follows Kyra to the stairs and heads down.
On the next floor, Kyra encounters six numbered, locked doors with slots in which to place names -- seemingly basic apartments. Four have residents indicated while two don't.
Kyra thinks, still fighting to hold his position.
Kyra: to himself Neighbors might complicate it...
At the end of the hall is a smaller, unnumbered door, presumably a closet.
Kyra notices the final door and checks it out for sheer what-the-hell factor.
How the brooms and such are staying in place is unclear to Kyra's eye -- it looks to be a 5'x5'x10'x50' hallway ending in a door.
Kyra: What is this place, anyway?
Kyra is overwhelmed by curiosity and goes to check the door.
This door is unlocked. It opens into a room about 30' tesseract which seems to have gathered dust and cobwebs from neglect.
Kyra crosses his arms. "...Well, this redefines nondescript, I guess..."
Kyra turns to look into the "closet." "I can understand why this would be here, but... I should find Hawk."
Kyra turns on his heel and heads back for the stairs.
Meanwhile, the Swift Hawk finds that the first floor down from where the pair entered features two shops built into the near corners -- a candlemaker and a painter -- while the far half features a stage where a simple acrobatic performance is taking place, to the delight of a largely young audience.
Swift Hawk watches the show from a distance for a short while, then decides to approach it.
Swift Hawk: So she really could feel that there were children inside, hmm...
The three acrobats don't look to be with House Phiarlan, or even elven, but aren't bad for not having thousands of years of techniques backing them up. They appear to be heavy on near-contortionism in their quick moves and flips in close proximity to each other without getting tangled.
Their costumes, while brightly-colored, seem simple and of the minimum quality not to rip in a performance.
Swift Hawk smiles at the children who seem to enjoy themselves, then turns around and heads down the stairs again.
This floor is structured with a circular path ringing a massive cylindrical floor-to-ceiling building. Doors appear in it every several feet; one is set apart from the rest slightly more than usual and has the crest of House Ghallanda hanging over it.
There's also an open arch leading directly to a rope-and-wood bridge 90 degrees counterclockwise from the staircase.
The stairs also appear to go down further still.
Swift Hawk shows relatively little interest in the doors, choosing instead to see where the bridge could possibly lead.
The bridge connects to a building that's reminiscent of drawings of ruins in northern Xen'drik, complete with proportions suited for giants.
Swift Hawk: Huh...
Swift Hawk approaches the building curiously.
Kyra steps onto the floor as well. "Ah, there you are."
Swift Hawk turns around, hearing that someone had come down the stairs, notices Kyra and yells. "Hey! Did you find anything?! This place is really weird!"
Kyra jumps. "Don't DO that. And you have no idea."
Swift Hawk approaches Kyra. "So, you found something?"
Kyra points upwards with his thumb. "Couple floors up. C'mon, I'll show you. ...I hope it's still there."
Swift Hawk nods and looks back towards the other side of the bridge as if to say "I'll be back for you later."
Shortly, the Prism leads the Swift Hawk to what appears to be a simple closet door on a small floor of apartments.
Kyra wastes no time in opening the door, half-expecting the whole thing to have been an illusion.
To Kyra, the four-dimensional hallway is still apparent. The Swift Hawk, however, only sees a 5'x5'x10' closet...
Kyra: Good, I wasn't imagining things.
Swift Hawk: Yeah, it's just a normal closet.
Kyra: ...Which proves my other theory. Tell me what you see.
Kyra steps down the hallway and stops at the door.
SwiftHawk peers into the closet, apparently towards Kyra, but somehow not. "...Umm... K-... Prism...?"
Kyra shrugs. "I don't think this is a manifest zone, but there's definitely a connection." He sticks his head back through the wall. "C'mon down."
Swift Hawk walks towards the closet slowly. "That's... Creepy."
Kyra notes Hawk's eyes. "...Trust me."
Swift Hawk nods slowly, positions herself right outside the closet, then attempts to leap through the apparently fake wall, only to hit it face first with a loud bang.
Kyra nods. "Answers that question."
Kyra offers a hand. "Maybe it works like planeshifting."
Swift Hawk grunts, holding one hand to her head while accepting Kyra's with the other.
Kyra attempts to rap Hawk's hand against the "wall."
Kyra's hand simply pulls Gharta's somehow deeper into the center of the room, from her perspective; while she still feels her hand, her arm appears to fold in on itself and into nonexistence when she looks at it.
Kyra: Do me a favor, Hawk. Close your eyes.
Swift Hawk grunts again, closing her eyes.
Kyra: Hang on.
Kyra simply pulls Hawk through.
The sensation is decidedly weird, though not unfamiliar -- the same as when Kyra led the others through to Irian.
Kyra stumbles back against Hawk's weight, having pulled a bit too weakly to control the movement, and falls as soon as Hawk is "through." "Ow! ...You're good, open your eyes..."
Swift Hawk holds her hand to her head again while opening her eyes. "...Wow."
Kyra points over his shoulder to the door down the hallway. "Guess this works quite well, but you'll need my help to get in."
Kyra stands up, dusting himself off.
Swift Hawk looks behind her. "Well, that didn't seem to get me far..."
Kyra offers his hand again. "C'mon, then, I'll lead you the rest of the way."
Swift Hawk sighs, then grabs Kyra's hand again.
The dizzying journey lasts for several more yards before emptying out into a 30' tesseract room. While Gharta couldn't make out the door Kyra led her through, she does see another one elsewhere.
Vision blinks and steps out of nowhere into the room. "Well, that's handy."
Kyra jumps - literally, leaping a good distance into the room and landing with the illusion gone and in his modified Prism guise, bow in hand and pointed at the door. "Who in the...!?"
Vision: Calm down, it's just me. I wonder how many entrances there actually are to this room, though?
Vision: Can I assume you two just came from the building where I last saw you?
Kyra lowers his bow. "For the love of the Host, don't do that," he says shakily in his normal voice.
Swift Hawk peers at Vision for a moment, then sits down on the floor slowly. "...Maybe. I think so..."
Swift Hawk lets out a relieved sigh.
Vision sits down herself. "Yeah, this is going to take some getting used to. But hey, you wanted secret doors?"
Swift Hawk stands up again, apparently suddenly realizing that she did, in fact, enter a room through a secret door.
Kyra crosses his arms. "This seems a little too convenient."
Vision: ...still, I have to wonder. Could Harath have actually designed something like this on purpose? Is it naturally occuring?
Vision: Hmm, and did, er, the Swift Hawk have any difficulty getting in the way you two came?
Kyra snickers a bit. "Though it was funny watching her run into the wall."
Swift Hawk grunts.
Vision looks to Swift Hawk. "Do you see any doors in here?"
Swift Hawk looks quickly around the room. "Mm... There's one. Is that what you saw earlier? In the closet?"
Swift Hawk looks to Kyra.
Swift Hawk: Well sweet. At least I have an exit.
Vision: Then most likely each of us has one, and only one, entrance to this place that is suitable to us.
Kyra: And if I'm catching what Vision is saying... I'm not sure where it'll put you.
Kyra sits on the floor, cross-legged, and dispels the glamer on his armor. It returns to a clear, glass-like look over simple clothing, and the scarf covering his face moves around to his neck. He nods. "I guess we found a nice, private spot."
Vision: Well, somewhat...
Swift Hawk heads towards the door. "I wonder where this one goes... Here's hoping it isn't a closet."
Vision: It should be safe from any kind of casual snooping, but not everyone who is like us might necessarily be an ally...
Vision: So. I guess this is as good a time as any for more formal introductions. Though I've already gathered who you and your companions are.
Kyra: You're a seer. I'd think something amiss if you hadn't.
Vision: Formerly of your number were Kale d'Medani or the Crane, and Gauvain d'Orien or Mindflare. With you but not present is Liridon d'Deneith, or the Fairy Knight.
Vision nods to Swift Hawk. "Gharta'torrn, if I'm not mistaken."
Swift Hawk turns back right before entering the door.
Vision nods to Prism. "And our master of disguises, the Prism, or Miss Diab Kearne."
Kyra chuckles. "Swing and a miss."
Kyra stands up and dusts himself off. "I am as you see me, Kyra Vivian Friedhelm d'Vadalis." He offers his hand.
Vision: ...OH! Then the... and... oh...
Vision takes Kyra's hand. "That also makes a sort of sense. Seems I was mislead, then."
Vision: Still, did seem to think he had it on good authority...
Kyra rolls his eyes with a sigh, as if expecting the question. "And yes, I'm a boy. The disguise seems to work quite well, if someone such as you was misled."
Kyra raises an eyebrow. "'He?' He who?"
Vision: Oh, it's not that, if I didn't know better I might have thought you were a changeling or something. But it was pretty obvious you changed form from time to time.
Vision: Umruuk, an acolyte of the Shadow who is also something of an information broker. I was able to sense that he was telling the truth as he knew it, and that that truth came from a source that would know...
Vision: Formerly served under someone by the name of Fibblebaum.
Kyra: ...The names you're dropping aren't exactly making me glad I trust you, halfling.
Vision: ...hey, I don't get everything handed to me in a vision, you know. I have to do some investigating. Just got a wrong lead.
Kyra shakes his head. "I'm not the same idealistic boy I was a year ago. I understand you have to have sources."
Kyra runs a finger in a circular motion around his face. "Planning on introducing yourself? I don't want to have to keep calling you... Vision, was it?"
Vision removes a hairpin; a glamer falls away and her appearance changes to somewhat more typical halfling fare. Her hair is now black, and her eyes, now easily seen through the lenses of her glasses, are brown.
Althea: I'm Althea d'Jorasco.
Kyra smiles honestly. "A pleasure, Miss Althea."
Althea: Anyway, if it's of any help, from what I understand, someone was poking around asking about Fibblebaum and his relationship to someone named Timore, who I believe created a disturbance under the name "Black Terror"
Althea: And he traded the Prism's identity for that information.
Kyra: Timore...now there's a name I haven't heard in a while. Too bad they got my identity wrong.
Kyra sits cross-legged again. "I wonder why me specifically, though."
Althea shakes her head. "I don't know."
Kyra shakes his head. "I just got home, by the Host, and everything hits me at once." He laughs.
Swift Hawk shrugs. "If you know who I am, then I suppose this isn't necessary anymore..."
Swift Hawk takes off her hat while her scarf and leather armor disappears, revealing gray and brown attire.
Swift Hawk puts her hat back on and sits down.
Althea stands up and paces the room a bit, getting used to the feel of the space.
Althea appears to fold in and out of apparent existence now and again as she tours what she can perceive of it.
Kyra rubs his eyes. "That's going to take getting used to."
Althea: Can you two follow my movements in here?
Gharta: I would ask what's going on, but I should probably stop thinking so much about these things...
Althea heads back toward the others. "I'm guessing not."
Althea: Well, I have some guesses about it, but...
Althea: The best way to put it is that most places on the material plane are 'flat' on some extra level. It's not flat here.
Gharta raises an eyebrow.
Althea: I'm guessing it's like that for each of us, but it's "not flat" in a different way for each of us... Which is why we can't see the other doors here.
Gharta looks back towards her door. "Speaking of..."
Gharta stands back up and heads towards the door.
From Kyra's and Althea's perspectives, Gharta folds in on herself and away.
Althea idly traces a hypercube in the air in front of her. "It's pretty disorienting, though. Good thing I'm used to the disorienting."
Althea: That we each are perceiving a different extra dimension, though... means this room must have a staggering number of dimensions.
Althea: Which means lots of hiding places. And a LOT of storage space, should we need it.
Gharta examines the door curiously, then tries to open it.
Althea: I suppose there'd probably be 13 'extra' dimensions. So 16. Looks like this place is about 30' in each dimension I can see at least.
It opens simply enough into a long four-dimensional hallway that eventually turns.
Althea mutters numbers to herself.
Gharta stands in awe for a moment, then starts walking down the hallway.
After a few twists and turns, the strange hallway empties out into what seems to be some kind of storeroom in a place that seems to be built of a material that seems like a cross between translucent white marble and a honeycomb.
The room seems to Gharta as though it has an open doorway leading back the way she came, but it's in that unusual direction.
Gharta looks back towards the way she came from. "Huh... Not so painful this time."
The room is filled primarily with crates, baskets, holsters, and display stands; the visible items within include various balls and other sports implements.
Gharta: Hmm, balls... So that's what they store in here...
Gharta stands around thoughtfully for a moment. "...Oh. I get it."
Gharta starts searching the room for an exit.
Aside from the way Gharta came in, there's a simple wide sliding wooden double door.
Gharta finds the double door and attempts to open it.
Through the door, Gharta finds an ordinary hallway. A gnome glances back over his shoulder at Gharta quizzically as she emerges, but simply continues on his way past that. There are many other doors along the same side of the hallway, of varying styles, and there's an indistinct, distant, perpetual soft background noise.
The side of the hallway that lacks doors instead has various paintings of sports moments hung on it.
Gharta walks fairly quickly down the hallway, trying to give the impression that she has a reason to be there.
Gharta: ...Has to be an exit around here somewhere...
Gharta passes a couple of doors, then decides to open one at random.
Gharta finds herself the recipient of quite a few angry male shouts and a few thrown balls.
Gharta jumps and closes the door quickly, then continues down the hallway, a little faster this time.
A little investigation reveals four apparent paths of egress. Two are stairways at opposite ends of the curved hall which lead downward and towards the apparent center the hallway circles; near these, the background noise is more easily identified as cheering. The others are perpetually-open sliding doors that lead to staircases that lead both up and down.
Gharta looks from path to path. "Hmm... If this is what I think it is..."
Gharta hurries down one of the stairways leading towards the center.
Gharta finds herself soon reaching a barred gate, looking out at what looks to be a soccer game in progress.
Gharta nods to herself. "That explains it, then."
Gharta: Well, I've learned what I came here to learn... Better head back.
Gharta returns to the bizzare, neglected room back the way she came with no issue.
Althea has gone from muttering to herself to scribbling numbers on a sheet of paper.
Althea: ...then that'd be about 430 hexillion feet... er, decahexic feet.
Althea puts the pen half-down, stops, then frowns. "Though we probably can't get at all of the dimensions either... hmm..."
Gharta: Hey, I found out where my door leads. Never would've expected that.
Kyra sits against a wall, hands behind his head. "Nice of you to just leave like that," he says with a smirk.
Gharta shrugs. "I wanted to know where my entrance was."
Kyra shrugs, closing his eyes.
Althea: Well, I suspect we'll have plenty of time to familiarize ourselves as we get this place set up to our purposes.
Kyra nods, standing up. "I should probably go. Mother will kill me if she finds out I'm not at the market."
Althea: If it's just the four of us, that'd be a bit over 20 billion... heptic feet.
Gharta: That's a lot. I think.
Kyra just looks confused.
Althea nods. "Let's say between us we'd have almost a million times the common space we can all see and manipulate."
Althea: Well, if we organize well.
Althea: But yeah, it's probably best if we get back to our usual routines. I need to be at the university before long, myself.
Gharta sighs. "I'll have to cover up this detour somehow..."
Althea: You could always have Kyra lead you out the way you came if you're that worried about it.
Gharta frowns a little.
Kyra shrugs. "Up to you."
Gharta: I suppose that wouldn't... Hurt.
Althea scratches something out. "Actually, nevermind, that doesn't account for the flatness of normal objects..."
Althea holds her pen in front of her and stares at it intently for several moments, then shakes her head. "Nope, that much is beyond me... I wonder if I should be relieved or disappointed..."
Gharta looks to Kyra. "So... I'm ready when you are."
Kyra walks to his door, then looks back and offers a hand. "Then let's go."
Gharta takes Kyra's hand, then looks to Althea for a moment. "Bye."
Kyra: Until next time.
Kyra leads Gharta back out of the room and into the closet.