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Thread: Quest for the Lyre of Orphaeo

  1. #31
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 85,460, Level: 12
    Level completed: 66%, EXP required for next Level: 4,540
    Level completed: 66%,
    EXP required for next Level: 4,540


    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    8,318
    AP
    76
    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

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    One form, and straight into another.

    Closing her eyes tight Philomel screamed as she willed the aged powers into her form. Drys-blessed as she was, she allowed the formation of endless days into herself, going from faun to goat-headed beasts ... and onwards into a roaring, spitting form. Screeches of agony echoed around the halls as she took on the form of the enraged dire-goat far faster as she ever had before. The entirety of her body spasmed, shaking and spluttering ...

    From the side - from the opposite edge where Joshua was creeping towards the sorceress No-One as the woman began to spin a larger than ever swirl of light within her palms - a streak of red and saffron brilliance emerged. Mighty, beautiful, flames pouring off him like streams of water, the firey form of Veridian now five times his normal size, ran. Jaws ablaze, eyes of gold gleaming, he rushed at the witch who threatened his darling beloved. As Philomel kept screeching, her weapons now discarded as her hands became hooves, he leapt, jaws wide, heading fire for the shoulder.

    The ball of light, made for Philomel originally, found a new subject. That beast of earth and fire was met with an almighty crash of brilliance and flashing lights. But Veridian had already clamped his jaws, and as he fell heavily, the brightness piercing his chest, his forewarned bite flew from his maw. Illusions of his jaws, created pf the flickering fire that licked his coat, clamped around her shoulder. The witch began to scream, sweeping up a hand. As she did it seemed that the dust around her, that which Philomel had just moments ago caused to fall from the ceiling, began to shake. Though she was now burning from the fiery bite, her power was by far not dimmed. The dust rolled, swiftly curled into larger and larger forms.

    First swirls, then tiny whirlwinds, then more and more -

    Paws. Eyes, ears, fierce noises that belonged to another plain.

    Another scream from Philomel, but finally - finally - she was getting back onto her feet. Her hooves. All four of them and her screams were turning into dark and darker bleats. Crying in rage for the barely breathing Veridian lying on his side. Or was he just resting. Could it be that -

    Light reigns where fire cannot, he breathed into the fury that was Philomel. That was ... a hard hit. I know not what I can do anymore.

    A savage bleat tore through the crevices of the world, shaking it once more. The woman, she was not looking at Breaker, instead she was concentrating on her dust forms as they came into being. One, two, three, four twisted strange beings born of light, wind and dirt. All with starry eyes that were glancing around for the next enemy. Veridian, the massive half a ton of magical goat that was gaining to its hooves ... Breaker. One saw Breaker.

    And they charged.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  2. #32
    Thayneslayer

    EXP: 192,814, Level: 19
    Level completed: 20%, EXP required for next Level: 16,186
    Level completed: 20%,
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    Breaker's Avatar

    GP
    12,205
    AP
    202
    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    29
    Race
    Demigod
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    The dust beings bore down on Breaker with single minded efficiency. From four different directions they approached, heavy shoulders swinging, headless bodies bent to their task of destruction. Their long arms looked like warclubs, shaped to rend flesh and shatter bone.

    Breaker did not shatter so easily. Some feeling had returned to his legs, but nothing more than a tingle. He rolled aside as the first specter struck, and snared the ankle of the second. Or rather, he tried to. His hand passed directly through it. The thing's massive arm thudded into his ribs, driving the wind from his lungs. Still he rolled away and scrambled to his feet.

    I cannot touch them... but they can touch me. The dust golems were ethereal, and yet not. They moved swiftly, in co-ordination, and surrounded Breaker once more. The cavern shook with their footsteps, and with the mad bleats of the transformed Philomel.

    Josh summoned blades of ice, but the weapons passed right through their targets.

    The dust golems beat him like a housewife cleaning a dirty rug, striking him from all angles in rapid succession. The body of blows forced Breaker to cover, arms upraised to guard his head. They battered his sides, his front, his back and his legs, but they could not force the unbreakable man flat.

    I must destroy them at the source. Josh could not touch the creatures... but he could kill the witch that summoned them. Or at the very least, cut off her powers. He could not see the sorceress through the wall of golems surrounding him. Instead he searched for the source of her power, finding it bright and brilliant a short distance away.

    With all of his own might and arcane knowledge, Breaker attempted to seize control of the sorceress' magic, to shut off her access to the Tap. She was too strong. It felt like attempting to dam a mighty river with a single driftwood spar.

    Perhaps if Philomel can weaken her...

    An uppercut from a dust golem slipped through Josh's guard and clipped his chin, drawing blood from his lip.

    "Lyre bearer!" He cried, "Finish this evil one!"

  3. #33
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 85,460, Level: 12
    Level completed: 66%, EXP required for next Level: 4,540
    Level completed: 66%,
    EXP required for next Level: 4,540


    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    8,318
    AP
    76
    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    As large as a terrifying Salvarian white bear and as vicious as a dragon, the twisted, beastial form of Philomel the dire-goat steadily gained to its hooves. Black to the skin, yet speckled in white and brown, she stood at seven foot to the shouder, mighty enormous horns spiralling seemingly into a void. With vivid eyes of silver that seemed themselves to glow, her mind was not of any reasoning creature.

    The cry rang through her tapered ears.

    "Lyre bearer," it screeched, "Finish this evil one!"

    Evil? Who, what? The goat let out a horrific bleat, the echoes filling the chamber. No-One the Sorceress turned her head away from her dust-creatures returning to the source what they had been. Her dark eyes slowly blinked, hands before her forming an invisible sphere between them. By her legs Veridian still was breathing, but barely. He had returned to his birth-firm, all the flames and muscles had gone. Mighty as he had been, now he was little more than a struggling pest. Eyes wide and golden he watched the witch's gaze settle onto the goat, Breaker just managing to gain his ground.

    Only just.

    And now between the hands, in the exact centre of that sphere, a tiny nodule of illumination was beginning to be created. A pinprick of the smallest star, an atom of light that was a single point but could easily swell into something more. The swirling storm of the settling dust was merely a sign of what the witch might do more. Even as she was beginning to smirk, eyes dancing with delight at the sight of the massive goat that was beginning to growl in a bleating manner, the dust around her shook, as if the creatures that had been were threatening to return.

    Just defeated. Now, coming back. The whirlwinds of sand and black coloured dirt picking up pace, shaking, flittering, fluttering ...

    Philomel! Veridian shrieked, Please!

    And he gave a cry of pain. Lacerating to the ear, haunting, spectacular, thundering it through their connected mentality into the goat's conciousness.

    A roar. And Philomel the beast felt the source of the horror in this place, the agony of her companion pointing her directly towards the woman standing there, the pusalting orb of light growing, growing, growing ...

    She began to run, charging with vehemence. Within seconds she had picked up pace, horns down and eyes the colour of death. Full of the blessing of Drys, and the anger of a thousand years of hatred.

    Ready to face the sorceress whose dust storms had hands once again.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  4. #34
    Thayneslayer

    EXP: 192,814, Level: 19
    Level completed: 20%, EXP required for next Level: 16,186
    Level completed: 20%,
    EXP required for next Level: 16,186


    Breaker's Avatar

    GP
    12,205
    AP
    202
    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    29
    Race
    Demigod
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    Roaring with frustration, Josh waved his mighty hands and summoned gusts of wind to batter the dust golems back. He staggered toward the sorceress, legs still refusing to work properly. The woman was charging her light-magic again, preparing to launch another glowing orb at her original target; Philomel.

    But Philomel was gone, replaced by a great and rampaging dire goat. Its beard and pelt streamed with the wind of its charge, its curved horns lowered toward their target.

    The sorceress continued gathering her strength.

    Breaker could see her magic. She would be ready too soon. Philomel did not move fast enough.

    "Lyre-bearer!" He called, and then she disappeared.

    She re-appeared in the same instant, directly in front of the sorceress. Josh circled, trying to get behind the woman. Philomel's horned skull swung in a massive headbutt at the same time as Veridian the fox nipped the target's ankles. She fell like a toppled tree, hard and without ceremony.

    Breaker pounced on the witch like a spider taking a fly. As his arms tightened around her body her hands came up, glowing with deathly promises.

    Too late. Josh squeezed until her spine cracked, and her eyes rolled back in her head. He left her body lying there and rose, watching the returning dust golems crumble to nothingness.

    Philomel bleated and pawed at the ground. Breaker raised his hands defensively, lest the dire beast not understand him.

    "You must return to yourself now," he said, "it is time that we find your lyre."

  5. #35
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 85,460, Level: 12
    Level completed: 66%, EXP required for next Level: 4,540
    Level completed: 66%,
    EXP required for next Level: 4,540


    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    8,318
    AP
    76
    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    It is time.

    It is time that we ...

    The ruined remains of No-One, priestess and sorceress of the demon god Bark'al'tol, lay before her hooves and lowered horns. As her huge chest panted, eyes mad with savage beastial anger, she tried to grasp what had just happened. What her rage had brought her. Pain, that was clear. Heavily, the dire-goat spewed out a wave of vomit, made of the faun's breakfast and leftover blood and bile from the agonising transformation. Heaving, she could barely watch as the corpse seemed to wither away before her, the skin flaking off and writhing into the air like the dust golems she had so cunningly animated. Pale beauty became grey horror as right there Bark'al'tol claimed her soul, flesh and mind, stealing the youth that he had granted and casting her body straight into cremation. No flames came, but ash and smoke rose, spiralling beyond the wheezing goat's head.

    Suddenly, Philomel collapsed to the ground, letting out a pained bleat as agony ripped through her. Siezing her form it made her instinctive mind once more aware of the horror Veridian was still going through, as the full force of the light energy still thrummed through him. The part of him that was Behemoth, the ancient fire whisp, fought with heart and glory against the dark light of Bark'al'tol, but it was a losing battle. Slowly, Veridian was fading, and though he had found the energy to bite at No-One's ankle and help them win the war, he was drifting away. Drifting into death and back to that ash tree where they had first met, all those years ago ...

    Philomel, his voice gasped in her ear, Philomel, the quest is still not over. You need ... you need to ...

    And into her mind he sent a glorious image of the goddess herself. And not just any goddess, but the goddess. Drys, the beloved, Drys, the tree-maker, Drys the mighty and mother of fauns and earth-spirits. Drys, who ruled over Philomel's and Veridian's hearts and had made them hers - her totem on the face of Althanas.

    There, in all of her bright glory. Long, flowing fair hair drifting to the ground. Pale skin, like that of a beech tree, with leaf-green eyes. A gown made of the softest silk, as if sewn by spiders and made from petals, which flowed off her form and down, down to the ground where it seemed to merge with the ground and become nothing more than the forest floor. It parted, though, and showed those dainty, bare feet, hovering inches above the air as wings made from vines and branches spread out to the air, ground and atmosphere but unbeating in themselves ...

    Oh my. Oh Drys ...

    Gasp. Reach. Clasp. Grasp.

    Calling out she fell to the floor, spasming and writhing as her mind awoke. Body shaking, the fur began to receded back to its original pattern - just around the legs. The tail shortened, the horns spiralled back, and the head began to mutate to present the skin once more. Skin under the goat, under the beast, that was ...

    Humanoid. That was Philomel, and that was gloriously faun.

    The Matriarch awoke, gulping in air as she lay there, naked and pure, eyes staring around. They looked to Veridian, who she could feel was on his last breaths, and they looked over to Breaker, standing there, crouching with an avid concerned look on his face. They looked to the now burnt remains of No-One who no one actually cared about, then briefly regarded the lumpy hulk of Feardon - long forgotten, long since unknown.

    And then they looked up the now short distance up the dyke and over to the altar-like tomb with the partially shattered lid. With the weathered carvings, she could see now, of the life of a man who was a great musician. A man who had challenged a minstrel god to a contest and won. Won a lyre that, when played, could, if legend was true, force anyone to do his or her biding.

    A tomb where she knew, because of the book in that downstairs library that now seemed so long ago had been mentioned. The resting place of Orphaeo, the legendary minstrel, he who had the lyre. The lyre that had been buried with him and had been sought by demon-god and barbarian alike and now ... now ...

    Now was within her grasp.

    Shaking, she began to stand and stagger to the final resting place of the final leg of her quest.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  6. #36
    Thayneslayer

    EXP: 192,814, Level: 19
    Level completed: 20%, EXP required for next Level: 16,186
    Level completed: 20%,
    EXP required for next Level: 16,186


    Breaker's Avatar

    GP
    12,205
    AP
    202
    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    29
    Race
    Demigod
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    Naked and shivering like a leaf on the wind, she strode down into the shattered crypt. Sharp fragments of stone stabbed at her hooves with every step, but she walked onward as if unfeeling of them. Her steps carried her down the rubble, into the carved coffin where an ancient skeleton lay, clutching a lyre. It was fashioned from ageless mythril, and glowed to Breaker's eyes as if freshly polished and lit by a beacon. In truth, he was seeing its innate magic. He could see the great, and terrible potential within the instrument. It could be used to save lives of change the course of a war... or it could be used for great evil. And so it was that one such as Philomel bust bear its burden, for the faun was pure of heart and sought only to please her goddess. Much like Breaker, he the guard of the lyre bearer.

    Philomel crouched on her hooves beside the coffin and lowered her curled horns. She kissed her fingertips and touched them to Orphaeo's skull in a sign of reverence and respect, and then gently lifted the lyre out of his ancient arms. The bones rattled but remained intact as she rose and climbed out of the pit, enchanted instrument cradled like a babe in both arms.

    "We have it," she said to Breaker, eyes glowing with tears of wonder. "After so much... we have it at last."

    "Concern yourself with the treasure, lyre-bearer." Breaker said. He found the shimmering cloak he'd crafted for her lying among her possessions, and swept it around the faun's shoulders to warm her and hide her nakedness. "I will concern myself with you."

    "There is such power within this," Philomel said, emotion bubbling beneath her voice. "I can feel it burrowing into my hands, my arms, my soul. It calls to me. With this power we could do anything, Breaker. We could cleanse the Red Forest. We could turn back the oncoming forces of Alerar. We could rise to the very level of Drys herself..."

    "But we will not," Breaker reminded her gently. "It is for that that we were chosen for this mission. Breathe deep, lyre-bearer, and remember your true nature, and your purpose. Your goddess charged you with bringing this item to safety, not to use it."

    Philomel nodded slowly. "You are right. I know you speak the truth, and yet... the power within pulls at me so. It is like an itch and an appetite all in one, begging to be scratched and slaked..."

    "You are stronger than your desire." Breaker gripped the faun's shoulders and gazed into her eyes. "Only you can bear this burden, and only I can protect you." He guided her to a fallen pillar and sat her gently on the hard stone. "Rest a moment. I will gather your weapons." The faun nodded, a faraway look still haunting her eyes.

    Breaker strode around the chamber picking up the various items and clothing Philomel had discard during her transformation. He returned to her side and helped her buckle on the weapons. Her own hands never left the U-shaped instrument. Every so often she caressed the ageless mythril strings, but she never dared to pluck them. Who knew what even a single note from the ancient artifact might do?

    "Are you ready, lyre-bearer?" Breaker asked at last. He stretched and twisted his torso. His legs were finally feeling like they properly belonged to him, recovering from the powerful light attack the sorceress had struck him with.

    "Yes," Philomel said after a moment. "Let us leave this place."

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