Irulia: The Spirit Changers Quest

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Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
A moment of deep discomfort later and Mandan successfully shot a blast of...whatever it was...at Arthur, knocking him completely off course and into the sand. Not wanting to lose the temporary advantage he'd gotten, the dark boy tried to finish standing, only to shout in dismay as some sort of billowing evil flooded towards him, rushing into his hand. No...no, no...nonononono...this was too much, he'd gotten lucky before, but there was no way in hell he wouldn't lose his mind to all this darkness...he could dimly see he was pulling whatever corruption Sera had absorbed towards himself as well...good...she'd be safe...but he had to kill himself, and quickly...and yet...he was so...tired...

The next thing Mandan became aware of was the sun burning down on his back. Stupid desert. Groaning, he tried to move, only to feel his muscles rebel against him. It made sense though...he had to have used a ton of energy to do that blast thing, of course he'd be sore...though he must've passed out right after...which meant...fearful, he snapped his head around to see...everyone relaxing. Donna and Kulos were wrapped around each other, Amelia was consoling Theo, Seamus was helping people...even Lecta was there somehow...the dark boy was glad the idiot hadn't gotten himself killed in his stupidity. And a little further down, Dianne was helping Sera. Thank the gods she'd survived...the others had kept Arthur off her...though as he finished his visual sweep, he saw a pile of ash, darker color distinct from the surrounding sands, right where Arthur had fallen before Mandan had blacked out. That meant...oh gods, he hadn't meant to kill him...sure, he'd tried to kill both him and his sister, but there had to have been a shot at redemption in there somewhere...and instead he'd taken the boy's life. Revulsion swept through him, and he barely had time to force his unwilling body to kneel and spin away from the others, removing his veil as he did so. He was then violently ill, disgust for what he'd done simply too much for him to handle. He'd saved Sera's life, true...but only by taking another's...and while if he had to choose between them the answer was obvious, that didn't mean he was going to be happy about having done so. He'd...butchered the boy...and that was something he'd have to bear for the rest of his life. First he'd caused Leo's death, now he'd killed Arthur...how many more of his friends would die as a direct result of him? Stomach now emptied, he replaced his veil. He'd try to stand in a moment...for now, he needed to come to terms with his new status of murderer.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Donna
“Don’t ever do that again.” As their lips broke apart, Donna broke into a happy smile at the other girl’s response being whispering. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be the girl you fell in love with.” Suddenly Kulos was shifting her hold on Donna and she stared up at the other girl. As they finished shifting position, Kulos’s face was coming down and… Donna felt herself melt into the arms of the other girl as the two embraced in a passionate kiss. Forgetting that the rest of the group was around her, she pushed back into the other girl, her chest rubbing against Kulos’s chest as she wrapped her arms around Kulos, pulling the other girl on top of her. Their lips broke apart just long enough for her to whisper “I love you too.” And then they were diving back in, kissing again with Kulos’s body on top of Donna’s. With a quiet moan, Donna wrapped her tired legs around the other girl and clung to her, wrapping her legs around Kulos’s firm behind. Their tongues explored one another’s mouths and Donna pushed herself into the other girl, lust propelling her forwards. Passion overtook her as the pent up desires that the sexually confused girl had harboured over the past week finally expressed themselves, the pair not coming up for breath but rather maintaining the kiss, their bodies seeming to meld together as they lay on the desert sands.

Lecta
As Lecta sat in his position, the sands slowly slid around him. As he watched, the group picked itself up around him. Amelia glanced over at Donna and Kulos, now embraced in a passionate kiss, and turned a new shade of scarlet before hurriedly turning back to Theo, who was now in a slightly more stable state. The rest of the group continued on about their business, generally paying little attention to the Spirit Changer as he sat in the sands, his thoughts his own. Still, even though it had subsided, he could feel within the back of his skull a throbbing sensation. A throbbing sensation that seemed to whisper to him, gnaw at him. You could take your sword. Whilst they’re sleeping. Take the fighter girl first… Then the lover. Such a disgraceful pair. They don’t deserve to be alive. You could rectify the situation. Do it. You could even do it now. What are you waiting for? Go on… Kill them both. The whispers continued, unending, driving Lecta, telling him how worthless his comrades were. Kill them Lecta… Kill them all

Sera
Dianne furrowed her eyes as Sera said that everything sensed wrong, that it was all too loud. Fixing the girl with an intense stare that would have made most people squirm, Dianne thought for a few seconds but her thoughts were interrupted by Sera’s question about Mandan. Lowering her voice to a whisper, which made it about the same level as a normal conversation for Sera, she spoke again, her voice calm. “Mandan’s fine. He blasted Arthur with his arm energy pulse… thing and Arthur’s dead. He absorbed a lot of the demon spirits but he seems to be fine, if a little tired. To be honest, I’m more worried about you. Do you remember what happened Sera? Do you remember what you did?”

Mandan
It was as he finished retching, emptying the contents of his dinner all over the desert sands, that Sam arrived behind him. Waiting until the reclusive boy had finished fixing his veil and turned around, Sam smiled kindly but tiredly. “I think… I think you saved us Mandan. So thank you.” Extending his arm, Sam offered his hand to help the other boy up from the ground. “Do you want me to help you back inside? You look like you could use a good rest and it’ll be better in the shelter than out here.” As Sam spoke, with his mind, he opened up the desert sands and buried the pile of vomit that lay spread across the floor. Covering it with sand again, the stench was masked and the sight hidden from the rest of the group before anyone noticed that it had happened. It’s the least I can do. I owe him, especially for saving my life.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
"I-I don't know...last thing I remember were...were the bullies a-and then e-everyone w-w-was d-dead" Seraphim stammered out as the cacophony of sounds and smell threatened to drive her mad. She could hear everything; the wind, the shifting sand someone crying, someone being sick adding the stench of vomit to the already saturated air. All this and more on top of the constant backdrop of Ku and Donna making out; the sound of them kissing one another so loud it was like she was lying there next to them with the grey and orange...auras? They exuded melding together to create a whole new colour for which Sera had no name.
Pressing her hands over her ears Seraphim continued speak to Dianne in a whimpering voice hoping that by telling the other girl what had happened to her that she would be able to make it stop, but with everything going on around her it was a struggle to even hear herself think "...they'd...killed Mandan and then...and then...STOP IT KU! JUST STOP IT, I CAN HEAR EVERYTHING!" Sera shrieked in an anguished voice as the sound of the two young lovers enjoying one another's company along with every other damn sound in this infernal desert slowly drove her to breaking point.
She couldn't stay here, she just couldn't, she had to get away, away from people and their sounds and smells. Scrambling to her feet Seraphim started to run out into the desert with her hands clamped over her ears; using only her blind panic as a guide with her staff still lying where she'd left it on the sand.
She didn't know how long or how far she'd managed to run before she was brought to a sudden stop. Her foot catching a half submerged stone that sent her tumbling down the side of a sand dune to lie in a heap at the bottom.
Lying there with her heart hammering in her chest Seraphim tried to catch her breath whilst listening to the sound of the desert. It was still far from silent and what she could hear was still far too loud but compared with the din she'd just left this was paradise.
Maybe I just need some rest? yes that's it I just need to lie down for a little while and let whatever they did to me wear off Sera thought to herself, desperately searching for a way out of this nightmare into which she'd awoken and yet deep down something told her that it wouldn't be that easy.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Mandan hadn't heard Sam approach as he'd been...occupied, and jumped a little when the other boy started talking. He said something about saving all of them, which he had to admit had a basis in fact, even if the cost had been a life that might have been possible to be saved. The dark boy took the proffered hand, wincing a little as he stood. As he did he looked at Sam briefly, only to hear him say that hiding his lost lunch was the least he could do since he'd saved his life. Mandan quickly averted his eyes, clamping down on his mouth before he could retort. He probably hadn't meant to say that aloud, and bringing it up would only cause problems. He was wrong, but at least for the moment there was no point in correcting him.

The tired boy was about to agree to the idea of laying down when Sera freaked out, yelling about how everything was too loud and then ran off. Blinking in surprise, Mandan watched her go, then started moving in the direction she'd gone. After a few steps he nodded to himself. "Thanks Sam, I should be able to go myself from here." He slowly made his way over to Sera, following the trail she'd left in the sands. Fortunately she hadn't made it too far before seemingly falling down a sand dune. Making as little noise as he could, he approached her before sitting back down a little more heavily than he'd've liked. Keeping in mind her complaints of things being too loud, he lowered his voice to a bare whisper. "Anything I can do?"
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Sam
As Sera took off, Mandan decided he could care for himself. Despite common sense saying otherwise, Sam realised this was an argument he wasn’t going to win. Settling for observing from a distance, in case the pair needed help, Sam sat down again, pulling small streams of sand up around him in flowing lines, testing out his powers and his body absentmindedly.

Dianne
This was not looking good, Sera seemed to have picked up some form of… enhanced senses and it was slowly driving the girl crazy from sensory overload and. Dianne’s train of thought was interrupted as Sera decided it was all too much, jumping off and setting off at a run. She didn’t make it very far, not more than ten seconds or so, before her foot snagged on a rock of some form and she went tumbling to the floor. Mandan immediately set off after her, quietly approaching the girl and sitting down once he’d reached his destination. Dianne set off, purposefully treading very lightly on the sands, so softly that she was almost unnoticeable to Sera, despite her heightened hearing. Shooting a glare at Mandan that read I’ve got this. Stay out of my way in every sense, she slowly knelt beside Sera, her voice quiet and calm, soothing like the cool desert wind. “Sera. Do you remember the meditation exercises we did back at the academy? Now listen to my voice, focus on my breathing, let everything else drop away and just focus on the sound of me.” Sera would feel, as she listened to Dianne, her muscles slowly grew more tired and it was as the girl’s voice itself was a soporific, every word calming her down, sending her closer to a slumber. “It’s going to be alright Sera. Tell me that Sera, tell me that you can hear me and that you’re going to be alright.” Her voice remained calm, flat and level throughout the whole affair, her voice barely louder than a whisper but yet at normal level for the girl. She was hoping that this would work on the girl, otherwise she really was going to run out of ideas.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
With her hands clamped over her ears Seraphim was just about able to keep all of the nocturnal desert noises at bay; the skittering of a lizard as it hunted, the distant cry of an owl, not to mention the dull roar coming from the group of Spirit changers as they went about their business somewhere beyond the dune she'd fallen down.
By the time Mandan arrived Sera's head was starting to pound and her stomach was tying itself in knots as a result of the unnaturally strong odours assailing her.
Gingerly turning her head she watched as the aura she instinctively knew to be her brother’s approached her with the girl wincing slightly as he sat down a little too heavily for her liking.
His Aura was mesmerising, it was like watching an electrical storm at the dead of night as pulses of white hot energy seemed to spark and ripple across the deep purple colour that was she supposed his soul.
With her brother asking her how he could help it was all she could do not to break down into tears "Mandan...H-help...m-me" she whimpered pitifully at the boy as she fought back the wave of tears threatening to break as the pain in her head continued to grow. However before Mandan was able to even respond to her plea Dianne's silvery aura had joined them with the girl crouching down to speak to her. Was her aura becoming more humanoid? she wondered to herself as she noticed vague facial contours forming across the silvery expanse only to disappear just as quickly.
Speaking in a beautifully soothing voice that Sera found more than a little enticing she listened as Dianne spoke to her; her soft gentle voice lulling her to sleep "are...are you...hypnotising me?" she asked in a sleepy voice as a half smile formed upon her lips. People had tried hypnotising her before with next to no success though regardless of whether or not that was what she was doing Seraphim found herself gently sighing "I'm going to be alright" before drifting off into a deep sleep.
 
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Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Sera's pitiful plea for help was hard for Mandan to hear, and he began trying to think of ways to ease her senses, overtuned as they'd become. Dianne showed up before he had any solid plans, glaring at him in a way that screamed "let me handle this", and as a rather solid reader of body language he thought it was overkill to have said it as well, but whatever. The girls communicated between themselves for a bit, with his sister ultimately managing to fall asleep stating she was going to be ok. As quiet as he could so as to not wake the sleeping girl, the dark boy murmured, "Thank you." He hesitated a moment, then added, "I'd take her inside to rest, but I'm too weak right now. If you can't, I'll stay with her." He'd much rather rest indoors, but he wasn't willing to leave her alone right now...he could put up with some mild discomfort to keep her safe.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Seraphim slowly awoke the following morning, or at least she assumed it was the following morning as being blind she was unable tell for sure, especially seen as there were no songbirds or other animals within the desert in order to give her some kind indication as to the time of day, although the skin on her arms were feeling warm so that was something she supposed.
Rising slowly to a sitting position Sera took a moment to adjust to the world around her. It was all still too loud but not painfully so. If she concentrated she could still hear the sound of the shifting sands and Mandan's heartbeat as the boy lay close by but the moment she turned her mind to something else it just faded away into the background.
Looking about herself she could see both Mandan's and Dianne's auras floating within the darkness with the pair having seemingly decided to watch over her which was a little embarrassing to say the least oh gods I wasn't that bad was I? she thought to herself with an embarrassed flush creeping up her pale cheeks.
It was as this was happening that a large gust of wind swept across them causing the dune she’d fallen down to momentarily reveal itself to her causing the girl to gasp in awe. Sure it wasn't sight, and it had only been for a few moments but for those brief few moments she had been able to see the dune in almost perfect clarity as her brain translated the sound of the wind as it washed across its surface into pictures. I saw it! I could see! her mind exclaimed excitedly with the girl wanting to wake her brother up immediately in order to share the news though not before she had a chance to speak with Dianne.
Carefully moving over to where her Dianne lay, which was a tricky task in itself, for although she could see Dianne’s aura it was rather difficult to judge depth within the surrounding darkness; nor was she able to see what lay between her and the other girl. However she managed to slowly make the short journey without either falling over or standing on the girls fingers in the process, with her then crouching down beside her, with Sera then reaching out to gently shake the girls arm "hey Dianne...are you awake?" she asked in a nervous whisper, waiting until she was sure the girl was actually awake before continuing in a quiet voice "I just...I just wanted to thank you for helping me, I feel a lot better now and well...thank you, it means a lot to me knowing that there's someone out there who cares enough to do that" she said knowing instinctively that her cheeks would be glowing bright pink by now.
Once she'd finished thanking Dianne she fully intended to wake Mandan and tell him all about what she'd seen, something that she'd never thought she'd be able to do again.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Dianne
As Dianne whispered soothingly to Sera she smiled gently, an almost motherly attitude coming over the woman. As Sera’s eye’s lulled to a close and Mandan asked if Dianne could carry her back to the hut. Putting her arms underneath the girl, Dianne struggled to lift her for a few seconds before she collapsed backwards, Sera sliding off her arms and back onto the desert sands. Chuckling slightly, Dianne sat back up. “Well that’s a no. I’m more tired than I thought.” Stopping for a minute, she lay down on the desert sands. “Maybe we could all do with a break.” Closing her eyes, the gentle rise and fall of Dianne’s chest appeared to indicate that she had gone to sleep. Once Mandan had fallen asleep, Dianne quietly picked herself up off the floor and moved back over to Sera. Softly stroking the girl’s long, blonde hair she smiled again and took a seat beside the girl.

When Sera stirred, Dianne had returned to her position before upon the sands and as the girl crawled over to Dianne and thanked her for the help, Dianne’s face brightened into a small smile. Her breathing was slow and controlled. “No worries.” Her voice was soft now, but for Sera this was fine. “I saw you were struggling so I helped out. I felt it was the right thing to do.” As she spoke, she reached up with an arm and gently rubbed the girl’s shoulder reassuringly, watching for her reaction. Lowering her voice to a whisper, her smile stretched into a grin. “Plus, Sera, I like you. So if you need help, you feel free to come to me.” With that, she stopped stroking Sera’s shoulder, the girl having become accustomed to the sensation whatever her initial reaction had been. Letting Sera crawl over to Mandan, Dianne raised her voice slightly. “Why don’t we wait here together for a while? It’s only been half an hour or so and if someone in the group needs us, they’ll come and get us.”

(OOC: This section actually takes place in the space of time before Sera, Dianne and Mandan wake up. Donna and Kulos may be many things but I don’t think they’re able to kiss for half an hour straight without going any further).
Lecta
Seamus and Sam had headed inside to go sleep and Theo, now entirely consoled, had been lead inside by Amelia and the pair had not reappeared. Gideon and Leona had yet to appear from the ruined shelter hut and so did Everett and Matthew. That left him, sitting by himself, and Donna and Kulos as they breathlessly continued their make-out session in full view of him. His thoughts had faded away with time. Suddenly Gideon and Leona exited the building, shortly followed by Everett and Matthew. Leona shot Donna a death stare and her hand when to her hand and a half sword by her waist for the briefest of seconds, before Gideon placed his hand on hers, intertwining his fingers with hers. Turning her gaze away, she stalked onwards. Everett and Matthew chased after the pair, all four carrying their rucksacks. Everett and Matthew stopped behind Gideon and Leona and the four proceeded to have a hushed conversation for a minute. Eventually, Everett turned away from the three, and made his way over to where Lecta was sat. His pack was next to him, Arthur having apparently had the consideration to transport it with the boy and place it into his cage.

“Lecta, isn’t it?” Everett smiled politely at the boy, his face kind, he looked trusting and trustworthy. The two hadn’t really spoken much at the academy. They’d been in the same classes for a few things: combat, history, and some others where Lecta might have been but Everett wasn’t sure. Either way, the pair new one another, but not terribly well, at least not in Everett’s opinion. “Gideon and Leona are leaving. They’ve had enough of Donna, Kulos”, Everret paused for a second, glancing at the couple as they continued to make out, ignorant of the world around them, “and Dianne being antagonistic so they’re going. Matthew and I were worried about them so we’re going with and we wanted to ask you to come too. I remember you being a reasonable fighter and you’re water, whereas we’re all air and earth, so it makes sense.” Sticking out his hand, Everett offered to help the boy up. “So, what do you say? Want to come travelling with us?”
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
As Dianne's hand gently touched her shoulder Seraphim couldn't help but flinch, though anyone that had spent any length of time with the girl would know that she always reacted that way to any form of unexpected physical contact. Not even her brother; Mandan could take her hand without causing her to jump if she wasn't expecting it, though to be honest physical contact from him was always unexpected, but that was just the way he was and she loved him for it all the same.
Making no effort to remove Dianne's hand as it slowly made its way up and down her shoulder in a soothing motion Seraphim listened as the girl spoke; gracefully accepting her thanks before going on to admit that she liked her "oh...well...I like you too Dianne" Sera replied; surprised to learn of this sudden declaration of friendship, causing her to wonder what she'd done to warrant such a response for as far as she could recall Dianne was only in a few of her classes and they'd never really spoken to one another before today. Not that she was going to knock back her offer as it was always nice to make new friends.
It was as she was going to make her way over to where Mandan lay in order to tell him all about how she'd seen the sand dune, that she was pulled up short by Dianne calling to her that perhaps they could just stay where they were for a little while as it had only been half an hour since she'd had her little episode "oh...I thought I'd been a sleep for longer than that" she said in an embarrassed whisper with her cheeks turning pink once again; deciding that she'd better not wake Mandan up just yet as it had already been a pretty tiring night and he needed to sleep.
Sitting back down next to Dianne, Sera takes a moment to replace the blindfold that had slipped off during her mad dash before speaking in a low yet excited voice "Dianne....I...I saw the dune! It was just there! It must have been the wind causing all of the sand to move...I mean...well...ok I didn't actually see it, see it but...my mind made a perfect picture in my head just from what I heard!" she said, speaking in a rush as she desperately tried to explain what had happened to her "...oh Dianne you can't understand how amazing it was to see something for just a few seconds after being trapped in the dark for so long! It was simply…amazing!" she wasn't sure if the other girl understood or was even capable of understanding how she felt about the whole situation but she had to tell somebody about it before she burst from the excitement of it all.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Dianne
As Sera described the sensation of seeing but not seeing the dune, Dianne smiled, a kind friendly smile. She finished and Dianne began to speak, her attitude relaxed. The wind switched direction and now Sera could smell Dianne even stronger than before. She smelt of freshly scented rose petals and of a calm summer’s breeze. Fresh and cool yet with radiant heat, promising further delicious treats if the recipient merely let themselves drift into the arms of the desert. “That’s really good to hear Sera.” Dianne’s voice was soft and gentle. “Sounds like your powers revealing themselves might help you with seeing with your senses. That’ll help a lot I imagine.” Dianne paused for a second, as if considering what to say, and suddenly the smell shifted. The rose petals were gone and it was replaced by the unmistakable stench of fear. Fear that chilled to the bone. “I…” And as soon as the fear had arrived, it had vanished again, almost as if it were a trick of the desert. A mirage in the desert wind. The scent of rose petals had returned and Dianne continued to speak. “think that with another couple of weeks or so, it’ll be as if you never lost your eyes at all.” Putting her hand gently on the other girl’s shoulder, she gingerly rubbed the other girl. Her eyes narrowed, she intently studied the girl, waiting for her reaction like a hawk. Should Sera flinch, Dianne would withdraw her hand with a muttered apology. If she didn’t show any signs of discomfort though, Dianne’s hand could stay where it was… for now.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
"I don't know about that" Sera replied in an unconvinced voice to Dianne's claim that soon it would be like she'd never lost her sight at all "...I mean I can see where you are but I can't actually see you...not the real you anyway, just a silvery aura or… something" she said; trying her best to explain something that perhaps was beyond Dianne's ability to fully grasp and understand as even she couldn’t quite grasp what it all meant though she assumed that would come with time. Metaphors about fish teaching birds to swim came to mind, or at least tried to with the blonde girl finding that she was becoming increasingly distracted by the scent of wild roses being carried within a warm desert breeze. The fragrance was thoroughly intoxicating and was causing her to feel more than a little giddy as it wove itself about her Where is that scent coming from? Is...is that Dianne? And if so is it her perfume I'm smelling or her? she quietly thought to herself.
It was an interesting concept, after all if she was capable of seeing people as colours then why not extend these...aura's... to her sense of smell too? It would also explain that startlingly brief stench of pure primal fear she'd detected though what did Dianne have to fear? They were both safe now; the Demon Changers were gone, the group was altogether now albeit on the other side of the dune and Mandan was close by should anything catch them unawares.
Maybe it was just Dianne’s perfume that she could smell? Though it was unlike any perfume she'd ever smelt before.
It was as her mind danced amongst the heavenly scent of roses that she felt the other girl's hand gently rubbing her shoulder once again. The slow, soothing touches combined with that wonderful scent causing all of the fear, anxiety and tension within her body to simply float away into the ether leaving her feeling more relaxed than she'd ever been before in her life.
Carefully shifting position, Seraphim would gently rest her head upon Dianne's shoulder, clearly intending to drift off to sleep as she gave off a deeply satisfied sigh and never once questioning Dianne’s motives for doing so.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
(OOC: Donna and Kulos’ state agreed with Aut)
Dianne’s smile widened as Sera leant down onto her shoulder. She continued to rub the girl as she drifted off. She shifted around, holding the girl on her chest as she ran her fingers through Sera’s hair. Reach inside her. Corrupt her further. She’s yours for the taking… The voice, low and sinister, sprung unbidden into her mind. Her eyes shifted, appearing almost jet black with no distinction between the iris and the pupil. No! Not yet! Her emotional side cried out almost desperate. The more you fight us the longer you prolong the struggle. Surrender yourself to our power. Corrupt her further and expand your abilities. Soon you will have them all under your thrall. Dianne began to hyperventilate slightly and her eyes flickered between their normal state and their filled in void state. The darkness reached forward towards Sera, towards her pure white soul. As her mouth began to open, the cold analytical side of her brain cut through the dark haze, a tinge of emotion to its voice. Not yet… You saw how she reacted when the darkness tried to force its way inside her. We must be slower, more methodical. Corrupt her slowly and the chance of success is greatly increased. That, and we get to enjoy the thrill of the hunt… Its desire sated, the darkness slunk back into the corner of her mind and Dianne breathed a sigh of relief. She had earnt a temporary reprieve. Yet again, she’d lost count of how many times it had been, she regretted the decision she’d made only a few hours earlier. But the power is nice… And you’re so much stronger than you’d have ever been otherwise. And you can bring them all under your thrall… And then you’ll be able to do almost anything. But first, start with the girl. Dianne smiled mournfully, her eyes having returned to the normal colour. Slowly she closed her eyes and drifted off, her hand still in Sera’s hair.

By the time that Dianne, Sera, and Mandan awoke several hours had passed. As they picked themselves up, Dianne mentioned that they should probably head back to the rest of the group. Heading over the dune was a fairly simple affair and Dianne was more than happy to lend Sera a hand should she desire it, leading her back to the camp, whereupon she would describe the scene before them. Donna and Kulos were asleep. Still, surprisingly, fully clothed; they lay wrapped in one another’s arms. If Dianne was going to guess at the cause, it was probably exhaustion simply from the terror of what had just happened combined with the jubilation of seeing one another safe and sound. Either way, they were asleep together and were the only pair to be seen. Lecta, Seamus, Everett, Matthew, Gideon, Leona, and Sam were all nowhere to be seen. As they came down, Sam emerged from the ruins of the hut and called out to the approaching trio. “They’ve gone!” There wasn’t much concern to his voice and Dianne stared at him for a second before he elaborated. “Leona and Gideon left and Seamus, Lecta, Everett, and Matthew with them. They took their own packs and divvied up some of the rations. I’m sure they’ll be fine, Everett and Matthew know what they’re doing.” As he spoke, Donna started to stir and process the information she was hearing, wriggling out from behind Kulos and getting to her feet. “Still, I guess we should set off shortly. I dunno, depends on what you guys want.” Sam shrugged. Dianne furrowed her brow, fixing him with an intense glare for a second. Deciding to hold her peace, she stayed quiet, deciding to let the others do the talking. Sam glanced round the rest of the group, his face fairly light. “So, what do people think?”
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Seraphim slowly awoke to find that she was lying somewhere soft and warm, with the faint smell of wild flowers wafting around her head. It would take her several moments to eventually recall that she'd fallen asleep within Dianne's arms with the blonde girl blushing as she muttered an embarrassed apology. It was starting to become a habit with her; first with Mandan and now with Dianne. People will be thinking that she’s got issues if she did it many more times…or rather more issues than she already did.
However despite this her new friend seemed to be in a rather good mood, with her even volunteering to help walk Seraphim back to the camp. Which was just as well because without the wind Sera was unsurprisingly unable to see anything in front of her and the dune was rather steep, No wonder I fell down this thing, I'm lucky I didn't break my neck! She silently exclaimed as she scaled the sandy heights; happily chatting away to Dianne and Mandan as she went.
Upon arriving back at the camp she’d retrieve her staff from where she’d left it on the ground moments before Sam emerged from out of the shelter with his aura seemingly appearing out of nowhere “They ditched us!? But…why?” Sera exclaimed in a hurt voice upon learning from Sam that other than Donna and Ku that the rest of the group had left without them.
It wasn’t the first time that she’d been ditched, with her often being left somewhere out of the way feeling lost and confused. The worst one had been when a boy in a maths lesson had passed her a note asking to meet her by one of the fountains only to never show. That had hurt and so did this especially when she considered two of the group that had left her to be friends though perhaps she was wrong about that too.
Taking the news far more personally that she probably ought to, Sera moves over and takes Mandan’s hand; wanting the comfort and security that he brought with him “I suppose we’d better get moving then” Sera responded with a hurt whisper not really seeing any point in them hanging around the shelter “…wait…what about Theo and Amelia? You didn’t mention whether they left with the others?” she quietly asked Sam in a voice tinged with hope. She wasn’t all that bothered about Theo, but she’d rather liked Amelia with the pair of them having more than a little in common with each other. That and she’d been the first person to offer to help Mandan and that alone meant a great deal to her.
With their group now substantially smaller than it had been Sera would set about getting ready to move on with their quest with their packs now weighing just that little bit more.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
The sky swam into view as Mandan woke, feeling somewhat well-rested, even if he'd slept outside in the desert. He thanked his luck that he'd fallen asleep at an angle where he'd not left skin exposed, though his tendency for black clothes had left him unbearably hot. It seemed Sera and Dianne were both awake, so he roused himself to go join them. The pair were in a good mood, and the dark boy saw no reason to interfere with that, letting Sera talk about small things as they returned to the group. Once they got back, however, Sam informed them half their group had taken off on their own, which killed the mood so fast it was questionable if it had been genuine. Sera asked why, a reasonable question that Mandan wanted answered as well, then asked after Theo and Amelia, since those two were neither present nor listed as absentees. True, he would be ok if Theo went with the others, since he'd proven to be rather tactless, but Amelia had been a help to both him and his sister, he would prefer to have her around. Regardless, those who had left had made their choice, and fretting over their fates would prove to only upset those who remained. His efforts were better spent keeping those still here in a safe capacity. Towards that end...when had Sera taken his hand? The dark boy blinked at his limb, surprised he hadn't noticed. How strange was it that he didn't even notice such blatant physical contact anymore? The world had truly gone insane...
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Sam smiled bitterly as Sera asked why they’d been ditched. He opened his mouth to explain when she suddenly asked her question about Theo and Amelia. “Oh, they’re asleep in hugging one another inside. Sorry, completely slipped my mind.” Sam shrugged. “As for why they left, Matthew left a note in my pack. Apparently Gideon and Leona were sick of the group and leaving and Matthew felt like they couldn’t just let them go on their own, in case something happened. Presumably, he must have asked Lecta and Seamus to go with as well. Safety in numbers and all that.” Sam sighed, as if considering something to say, but he just hung his head down and remained silent. Donna, sensing that the group was headed towards simple inaction, spoke up. “Sera’s right. They’ve left and there’s not much that we can do about that. I think I’m right in saying that we’ve all had a rest, so now’s a good time to move on. Everyone make sure your stuff is packed up and, when it is, we’ll meet back here.” Giving Kulos’ hand a short tug, the girl would make her way into the building to wake Amelia and Theo and begin to pack her things with Kulos, leaving the rest of the group to its own devices.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Despite the relief that came from learning that Theo and Amelia were still around, Sera still felt rather hurt that the others had seen fit to leave them without even stating what it was that she'd done to upset them. It’s probably all the weirdness that Mandan and I attract, she quietly lamented as she went to pack her things.

Enlisting Dianne's help; Sera slowly set about re-packing her bag in order to accommodate the extra food she now needed to carry. Normally she'd have asked Mandan to help her but there were a couple of items within her pack that she felt embarrassed about Mandan seeing, even if he was her brother "I can't believe they ditched us...its not our fault you know, we didn't ask for this to happen to us" Sera miserably spoke as she accredited the blame for the others leaving the group to her and Mandan. After all they were the ones with the freaky powers. They probably started packing their bags the moment I started freaking out she thought as a single tear rolled down her cheek.
It wasn't fair. She just wanted to be normal and have friends and go out on dates and so on. Why did all the bad things have to happen to her?


It didn't take long for her to get her things in order, with the blonde then swinging her pack across her back and waiting for the others to finish; watching their colourful aura's floating around within the darkness before her, like fish within a dark lagoon. She wasn't yet sure whether or not what had happened to her was an improvement, but it was certainly different.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
(OOC: The final post of Irulia... A lot is covered in here. Some things (or rather people) aren't as well as a few of the subtler plot points and foreshadowing that was going to happen so you'll have to forgive that.)

Another explosion rocked the battlefield. A shower of dirt and grass flew up into the air as Donna rolled out of her dive. The water curled around her fists and she charged her opponent, a demon wizard, firing off several water blasts. It had been two months since they had reached the lair of the Ultimate One. One month since they had completed the purification rite. One day since the island had risen. And now, as she stood on the risen island, the landmass at the centre of Lake Irulia, she was a participant in the final battle. The water blast connected and the Demon flew backwards, before a flash of steel and a blur passed through. Mandan had arrived back in their section of the battlefield. He’d matured a lot in the past two months, she thought to herself. Then again, he’d had to. Besides, he wasn’t exactly all him anymore, not in the strictest sense, when she thought about it.
The Ultimate One’s Cave. Donna’s back was sore from carrying Dianne. It had been at an oasis, a few nights after they’d beaten Arthur, that Theo had accidentally walked in on Dianne seducing Sera. They’d tied the girls up and had swiftly realised what had happened. Dianne’s spirit had bonded with a demon, granting her extra powers and she’d been used, attempting to corrupt Sera. Sam, for his part, had carried Sera and kept to himself for the most part. As they stood at the entrance to the cave, Donna shot a look over to Kulos. They’d not had much private time but they had had some time together at the oasis and the memories still glowed fondly in Donna’s mind. As she placed her hand on the rock in front of them, it glowed and slid open and the group walked nervously into the darkness ahead.

Sam danced around the battlefield, his rapier whirling through the air. He had chosen the monkey in the end and had scampered through the Demon Changer lines until here he stood, in the middle of the enemy. Walls rose and fell around him, blocking attacks and stumbling his opponents, and he danced the dance of death amongst them. His sword entered a Demon and did not exit, he pulled for it and the handle snapped and he was left holding a stump of what had once been his weapon. A Demon Changer rushed him and a wall rose to greet him, the Demon Changer slamming head first. Sam switched to his fists, mauling those around him, ignoring the nicks he was taking, the blood draining from his body. In his mind he saw Leo standing at his back, fighting alongside him. The blade pierced Leo’s chest, slid through his body and into Sam’s. He collapsed forward to the floor and was trampled underfoot as the bodies surged towards their target as the life drained out of him and into the dirt below.

Fifteen. The number of enemies in front of Mandan. Time slowed for a second as he saw their auras, saw the essence of their being. He uttered a prayer for their souls. We have to do this. Sera’s voice rang clear in his head. It had been difficult at first, adjusting to her presence in his head. Adjusting to being mixed with one another, and with Gabriel. The past month had allowed him to grow accustomed to it though, to accept his place. They were three and they were one. He moved forward and fifteen bodies were dissolved, leaving smoke in their place. Sera spotted the place where the Changers were most hard pressed. Mandan was closer and so he moved to intervene. Enemies vaporised and burned to cinders. He watched impassively as their ashes blew away on the wind. He was the angel of death and the symbol of life and rebirth. He was one of three and those three had become one.
They had made it to the cave. Mandan sighed with relief. He was worried about Sera still but this was solvable… he hoped. A being, clad in white, appeared before them. “Mandan. Bring Sera and come with me. Alone.” Donna went to cut across and the figure raised its hand. “Hush my child. Dianne will be fine. I will cleanse her body in the pool of souls in the fullness of time, but first I must attend to Sera. You will wait.” Mandan eyed the figure suspiciously, but decided he had little choice in the matter. Besides, they had come so far now, they could not turn back. He took Sera from Sam and carried her through, following the spirit. “Place her in the pool but be careful not to touch it yourself.” The rock of the cave gave way in the middle to a large pool of bright blue liquid. It bubbled and as Mandan lowered Sera into it, it began to turn black. “The pool will cleanse her, and whilst it does we must talk.” The figure lowered its hood and its feet lowered to the ground. A white face, short blonde hair and blue eyes peered out at Mandan. “What I am about to reveal is the greatest secret of our time. As the chosen hero, you must know this, as must Sera. The secret must be kept though, and you must help me keep it.”

Dianne’s body twisted through the air, her weapon slicing through opponents. Her arm ached and the blood that seeped from it made her hand slippy, making it harder to grip her weapon. She had been fighting for an hour or so without break now and it was beginning to get hard to continue. She wasn’t supposed to have gone this deep but the Demon Changers had made a breakthrough in her sector and she’d been left behind whilst the defensive line adjusted backwards, Mandan and Sera apparently being too busy to stem the tide of Demons in her sector. She had embraced her fate but, as her blade shone in the light, she knew that the more that she took with her, the harder it would be for them to reach their goal. She could attempt to transform and fly away but she’d likely be dead before she even made it off of the ground. As spear glanced off of her side, leaving a cut along her stomach, she knew that she was nearing the end. Another Demon Changer fell, followed by a Demon. The macabre symphony would continue and she would fight with all her might. The sword that pierced her throat was not the end as she buried her sword in another opponent before pulling the weapon from her body and plunging it into the one that had attacked her. She stumbled forwards, her vision flickering. The axe fell and separated her head from her body in one clean swipe and, as her head tumbled to the floor, the spark of life left Dianne’s eyes.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
“The Ultimate One is dead.” The figure’s eyes contained a deep sadness. “They have been since the return of the Spirit Changers at the start of this age. They used their very existence to bind the Devil himself in hell and left me, Gabriel, in their stead. I have continued the Spirit Changers, acting as the Ultimate One, for the past centuries but now this is no longer possible. My power is weakened from centuries of use and against the Demon Changers and Riebald, I am not strong enough on my own.” Mandan was shocked. He had imagined many scenarios, predicted many things, but this had not been amongst any of the thoughts that he had had. “Riebald intends to raise the hidden island at the centre of Lake Irulia. It contains a keystone and he will sacrifice the population that he has corrupted in the Lake and use the power of their spirits to break the seal and unleash the Devil and the most powerful forces of hell. We cannot rely on the Spirit Changers of the academy as they have been all but ruined fighting for survival and it is beyond my power to break the seal over the academy. It falls to this year’s crop of Spirit Changers. We must take the island when it rises from the Ocean and hold it against the Demon Changers, long enough for me to use the spiritual energy to bring back the Ultimate One.” Mandan opened his mouth, he had so many things to say, so many objections, he wanted to tell Gabriel to hell with it all, that he wasn’t the right one for this, that he couldn’t even transform! No words came though. “I know your objections and I know your failures. Were I the Ultimate One, I might be able to fix you of your faults. I am not though, and I know I must win. So forgive me Ultimate One, but it has come to this.” Mandan was frozen in place as Gabriel walked towards him and placed his hand upon Mandan’s head. In that moment, Mandan became two and the two became one. Mandan continued but at the same time, Mandan ceased to be.

Donna and Kulos were back to back now and blood littered the ground around them. They had retreated for a period and rested before heading back into the fray and now, as they were surrounded by Demons, their enemies fell like flies. They had been holding their sector for a while now but the pressure of the Demons had increased. Donna sent another blast into another Demon Changer and sighed. She wasn’t sure how much longer they could keep this up. The battlefield opened and she nudged Ku to take their chance. They sprinted into the opening, only to come face to face with Riebald. Ku grinned and set off wide, drawing Riebald’s attention. Donna charged straight forwards and suddenly Riebald’s left eye flicked to her, his right still tracking Kulos, and he grinned. A look of horror came over Donna’s face as the black bolt of Demonic energy pierced Kulos’ right shoulder. Donna dodged the projectile aimed at her but could only watch as her girlfriend tumbled to the ground and a second bolt pierced her heart. Kulos staggered to her feet, still grinning and winked at Donna. Donna punched the bolt sent towards her, her water splitting it in two as the shards passed either side of her. Kulos charged forwards as the third bolt passed cleanly through her forehead and obliterated most of her brain. Donna let out a scream that mixed anger with anguish, passion with deadly rage. Her anger boiled over the top and a stream of water exploded out of her, wiping out a group of Demon Changers and disintegrating the bolts of Demonic Energy that Riebald had sent towards her. She charged forward with inhuman speed and a look of shock passed over Riebald’s face as her fist passed through his stomach and scattered his intestines over the battlefield. She flattened her palm and brought it up like a sword through his body, and as the two halves fell apart, her magic, pushed to breaking point, failed her and she collapsed forward as the Demon Changers rushed her, desperate to finish her off.

The time has come.” Gabriel’s message was clear in Mandan and Sera’s minds. They had achieved their objective. They returned to the centre of the island, to the floating keystone that lay ahead of them. “For those that have been lost today, may they find solace in the return of the Ultimate One.” Gabriel laid his hands on the stone and Mandan and Sera followed suit. The stone began to glow, burning bright. It heated up so much that it burned white and though it hurt to watch, Mandan and Sera found themselves unable to look away. Suddenly it pulsed and the whole world turned white.
Blackness. The emptiness of space. The Ultimate One cast its gaze around the nothingness that formed the universe. It… it remembered things. Donna, Dianne, Amelia… names that meant things, names with feelings, emotions. It was a god though, it didn’t have feelings, but it clearly felt an attachment. It could see everything, the make-up of particles, the waves of magic that radiated through the universe, the fundamental make up of every being. It had a universe to create, one where things would go right. And with that, the Ultimate One set to work, to rebuild what once had been.

(OOC: And that, as they say, is that. I hope you enjoyed Irulia. I'm sorry I didn't have it in me to finish it but I hope that this makes up for it to a small degree.)
 
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