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(Open RP-PVP) Cosmic-Class Coliseum

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(Open RP-PVP) Cosmic-Class Coliseum

A voice booms across the solar system. A telepathic boom, only heard in the minds of those immensely powerful. Be that power of supreme arcane knowledge, granted from a godly entity, mastered with advanced technology, or merely titanesque biology. The telepathy bypasses even the strongest defenses, but it causes no harm.

"I offer you the Soul of Man! With it, any earthly desire is within reach." the boom says, "these needn't only be desires of conquest. You may rid the world of greed, gluttony, lust, or simply bring balance to nature." The boom changes to a goading tone "but others will surely want this as well. You'll have to fight for the Soul of Man!"

Any being of substantial strength innately understands the nature of this Item. The can consciously choose to accept this challenge, and know that they'll be transported to another plane, and lose no time on this timeline.

[OOC link]


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Galrithius is meditating in

Galrithius is meditating in the ruins of his home village in rural Britain when he "hears" the voice. He innately understands that with this Soul, he could subjugate overworld without Convergence and all it's risks. He makes the choice to accept the offer, and is whisked away....

The mage comes to on a fairly desolate planet. Yellowish soil extends to the horizons to the East and West. Yellowish mountains emerge to the South, with no snow at the peaks. To the North in the distance some ruins can be seen. Galrithius quickly realizes he can breathe effortlessly, almost better than on Earth. He innately knows that this is true for any being here. He looks up to see a beige overcast sky, with no sun present, light seems to spread evenly. But, with no sun, he feels comfortable temperature-wise, and innately knows that any creature would feel so.

He notices that seemingly he's the first to accept the challenge, so he performs a speed Somatomancy so he can quickly ready himself for any opponent.


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Gunnhilde Swan came out from

Gunnhilde Swan came out from underneath her senior thesis project - installing a fusion power plant into a standard electric car - and pulled out her phone. "Carmen, did you hear that announcement?"

"No, although I did sense it on several of the devices you have me connected to." The phone displayed several graphs identifying what systems had sensed what, and how long it actually took. The timestamps all agreed.

"If that message isn't a complete fake, someone is holding a contest with a prize of something that shouldn't be given to just anyone. Start up the suit, please, and the timer on the apologies message." The message would go out to anyone she'd planned on meeting later, her teachers, and ultimately her landlord, if she wasn't back in time to abort the message before it went out. This wouldn't be her first time at someone's weird contest... She stripped off her coveralls and donned her biking "leathers".

The intelligence emulator in her phone completed her tasks, and an alleged Suzuki motorcycle's headlights came on in the next bay of the garage. Gunni picked up her helmet, got onto the bike, slipped the phone into the slot where it locked into place, and, just after she locked her helmet into place, the garage faded around her, to be replaced by a yellow landscape with a beige, sunless sky. Nidavallr? Underhill? She looked around and spotted a mage gathering power. She bounced the bike into the air and let it refold itself around her...

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As the motorcyclist appeared,

As the motorcyclist appeared, the pale mage held his spell for a moment and winced. "A motorcycle?" he thought for a moment, "I expected something bigg---oh...". Knowing these were apparently going to be powerful beings he'd fight, he skips the toying phase of a confrontation.

At superhuman speed, he casted a luck aura on his black robes, since he's hadn't donned his battle armor. He then conjured his signature black sword and shield. While most Necrobians wielded sickly long swords reminiscent of a gladiolus, Galrithius conjured a large, wide blade, looking more Mesopotamian and infused with Mentalistic runes. His shield was far more advanced than the simple hexagons of his brethren, it was a large circle with a triangular tessellation, and the enhanced vampirism would not only absorb energy attacks, but channel the energy to the Archmage. First at enhanced speed, he shot his arms to his sides, almost taunting the Asgardian, baiting her response.


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Emerald was hanging out in

Emerald was hanging out in her personal library, in the hidden base she had inside a mountain when the call rang out. Sensing the nature of the call, and realizing the gravity of what is being offered, Emerald consults one of her divination spells. She nods and agrees, soon finding herself teleported to the location the others were called to. Seeing a pair of people facing off already, Emerald quickly raises a defensive spell of her own: A field around her that redirects attacks to go right through her. Kind of like being completely surrounded by a dimentional portal.

What the other two see is a 3' tall anthropomorphic fox girl who is wearing some kind of purple skirt and purple blouse. Rather mundane outfit and looking very unthreatening. She even holds her hands up in a somewhat surrendering pose. "Hello there... I mean you no harm and have come in answer to the call to come here. Can we talk?"

(There is no "perfect" pic of Emerald for this RP, so I'll just show you the images I have of her on my gallery: https://www.deviantart.com/timothius/gallery/?catpath=%2F&edit=0&q=emerald )

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Mittens was enjoying a very

Mittens was enjoying a very yummy cheeseburger when the unsolicited call intrudes upon her thoughts of the difference between a weak burger and a burger that has strength. "I'm on the National Do Not Call List!" she complains in her mind, not that anyone is listening. "Oooh! Oooh! A fight for an epic history-changing artifact you say?! You can bet your mental vocal cords I'm in, disembodied voice!"

A lengthy costume transformation sequence plays out as Mittens transforms into her superhero persona, Miss Adventure! But that's just special effects. It doesn't really take that long. The whimsical kitty lady appears at the yellow world about the same time as Emerald.

"Mrmf nrm mmn," Mittens comments, mouth still full of cheeseburger.

Hmm. Perhaps that wasn't the right transformation sequence. Mits is wearing a very simple red hoodie. Not something you'd expect to see on a contestant.

(( https://www.deviantart.com/timothius/art/Mittens-Token-377140831 ))

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. Who is the real hero?

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Still waiting for the

Still waiting for the Asgardian, the somewhat oversized spellcrafter notices the comparatively nonthreatening-looking contestants. "You're joking" he says aloud, then refocuses his attention forward. He then ponders to himself "the call only went out to very powerful beings, so these beastkin must have some tricks." He quickly motions with his right hand towards the feline and vulpine.

From the soil behind each Mittens and Emerald, undead begin to crawl, their skin ashen and covered in black runes. Once the Umbral Servi arise, they conjure black swords and charge the new arrivals.


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Once the armor was in place,

Once the armor was in place, Carmen gave Gunni an environmental report (contradictory) and a report on the other contestants (incomplete). Gunni ignored Galrithius' taunts, hovering over the battleground, until he turned his attention to the newcomers. *Unknown magic, possibly conjuration. Necromantic elements.*
Gunni looked at the shadowy figures. "You think?" She decided to test Galrithius' defenses, and sent a low level spray of laser light across his face, hoping to blind him temporarily.

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The reports Carmen can find

The reports Carmen can find about Emerald is that the girl was born 32 years ago, is known to have the same abilities as a fox while also having the same abilities as a human, is employed as an archaeologist and was in the music industry about 10 years ago. The fox girl is also known to be active in things like orphanages, homeless shelters, old people homes and the like. The most press she has gotten aside from being in music was the fact she is a fox in a human world.

Emerald looks over to see the undead and gasps in surprise! "What gives?! I just wanted to talk!" and she begins running away from the undead... and towards the ruins to the north. As soon as she can see her hands are clear from prying eyes, she begins moving her hands similar to Naruto Jutsu hand action, causing a simultaneous spell of covering herself in an illusion of herself and then making her actual self invisible. As her invisible self continues running, the illusiory one runs ever so slightly slower and slightly to the side to be between Emerald and Galrithius so it still kinda looks like the footprints made by Emerald are being made by the illusion.

Emerald then slightly slows down herself and turns to see what the undead intend to do with her doppleganger. Illusiory as they are, though, Emerald is going to try to make sure whatever is done to the illusion is believable. Such as screams, blood, dismemberment... as long as she will convince the dark mage that his minions are killing her innocent little self.

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A report on Galrithius

A report on Galrithius provides little: mostly human, possibly mutant. Traces of dimensional energies. Currently with enhanced speed.

With that speed, he blocks the lasers with his shield, the minor energy is channeled to him. "None of you seem the conquest type!" he announces, "this should be fun!" he continues with a smirk. He demanifests his sword and casts alternating fireballs and icicles from his shield at the battle mech.

Meanwhile, the Servi chasing Emerald, while smarter than lesser servi, are still dumber than chimpanzees, they fall for the illusion and quickly catch the illusory fox. The first to reach her impales her with a black sword. She screams then falls. The rest of the Servi catch up, and attempt to siphon lifeforce from the fallen illusion, but are confused at the lack of energy. They stand over the illusion, bewildered..

Galrithius notices this between casts, "Undead? Some other construct? Illusion?" he wonders. He decides to leave it be, the battle mech may be a handful....


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"MRMF!"

"MRMF!"

*Gulp*

"Awesome! Love the Thriller extras!"

A scan of Mittens reveals off-the-shelf biology. Face recognition will probably bring up multiple news stories of the zany hero saving the day in various comical ways that usually include humiliating the villain. Heat signature seems pretty normal for a cat-girl if a little on the warmer side as one might expect from someone who's stressed. Spectrum analysis indicates the normal array of terrestrial elements with a few traces of some not native to Earth. Auditory sensors indicates a normal pulse rate for one who's in duress. EM reader indicates Mits has some kind of wireless implant in her skull capable of interfacing with the top-of-the-line commercial smartphone in her pocket. The burger is superior quality. Free range organic Angus beef, never frozen, cooked to perfection.

But if the sensor array includes any quantum stuff, Mittens reads as the quantum equivalent of a Jackson Pollack painting. Not normal in the least. Is it possible for someone to have particles that are each simultaneously spinning in a random number of different directions while at the same time not spinning at all? Mittens' particles can! They're very hyper-Zen that way.

Mits draws her sword from out of Hammerspace with her left hand. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"

A portable stereo appears and begins to play combat music from the movie scene she just referenced. And with that she begins to battle her zombie. Should the zombie chasing Emerald get too close to hurting the famous musical charity worker, Mits will be sure to interpose herself between the zombies and Emerald to protect her. ( Well... her doppelganger. But Mits isn't aware of the trick Emmy pulled yet, so it would be perfectly awful to just let a zombie tear it apart. )

Mits was hurrying to rescue Emmy, but began to choke on a bit of burger! Surrendering to the reality that she'll have to give away that she's got teleportation powers, she tries to portal the illusion away from danger! It doesn't work and the horrifying scene of the adorable fox lady being murdered assaults Mittens' eyes!

Mits takes on a heroic affectation in her voice, "You fiend! How anyone could be so mean to such a cute vixen is beyond me! You won't get away with this!"

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. Who is the real hero?

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*Carmen. Cue Knight Sabers

*Carmen. Cue Knight Sabers Hurricane. Bullhorn.* "OK, neck romancer." The disdain was audible in the extraneous space between the words. "You've just moved to the top of my list." Music poured from the battlesuit's speakers as Crux drew both of her blades and charged at Galrithius at about a meter above the ground, swinging the battlesteel katana at his neck.

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The icicles and fireballs

The icicles and fireballs miss the mech as it charges Galrithius. He does hear Mitt's yelling and responds aloud "I was under the impression we couldn't die here, so I'm sure she's fine." Crux rounds his shield and the katana nears Galrithius. With the remaining super speed, he attempts to block and parry the katana, but with baseline strength, he's unable to budge the mech. He conjures his black sword from behind his shield and maintains a defensive posture. He ponders amidst the battle "two playing battle music aloud? Overworlders can be so whimsical."

The dozen Servi on Mittens continue slashing away, unable to make a direct hit on the nimble feline. They split into groups: six remain in swordplay, while the other six move a distance and ready black bolts. The dozen on the Illusory fox remain, unable to disengage from the illusion or seek out Emerald.


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Emerald is fascinated by what

Emerald is fascinated by what Galrithius said. Is that why he isn't surprised that Emerald's "corpse" isn't offering up life energy? She has at least established that two of the people present are not the kind to kill the innocent, but Gal is technically still on the fence with the words he just said. But the other clue she is happy to hear is Galrithius doesn't seem aware that her little trick was, in fact, a trick. But a trick like that won't pull the wool over this guy's eyes twice, she suspects.

On one hand; major item that can't afford to fall into the wrong hand. On the other hand, she doesn't like deceiving good folk and the longer she keeps this up, the longer her new "friends" will have been lied to. And she also doesn't know if the nature of this "contest" is that you have to fight each other or maybe the object is in that ruins to the north. But either way, she suspects teamwork would be best and maybe a group of minds will come up with the best idea on what to do with Earth.

Emerald creates another illusion of herself. The illusion says, "It's OK, everyone! I'm alive... very sorry for the deception, but I asked for talking and got attacked, so I wanted to see if the attacker was the kind to kill someone for wanting to talk things out. Apparently, it's more complicated than that. And I did not desire to deceive fellow heroes..."

The other illusion remains on the ground being poked.

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Mits laughs at the Neck

Mits laughs at the Neck Romancer jab. And since mecha lady is providing such rocking battle music, she decides to have her own fade to silence so they don't clash. Mits smiles and winks at Emerald indicating she was playing along with the ruse. Not that her acting was all that great. If she were convinced that the fluffy lil fox really had been torn apart, she woulda gone crazy-go-nuts angry rather than keep up with the silliness.

That said, Galrithius' statement really does change things. If this is just a simulation...

"I'm not left handed!"

After switching to her dominant hand, Mits has the six melee zombies disarmed within moments. Simultaneously, the ones charging up blast attacks find themselves falling toward the ground from a few meters above Galrithius. It's raining zombies! She's expecting that this won't phase the zombies or Galrithius much.

"But Mittens is still holding back. A lot. Coulda just made a zombie sandwich with this planet's hemispheres as the bread. But why destroy such cool undead when we could be teaming up against the other teams who more than likely were clever enough to have teamed up with one another by now and are already two steps ahead of us toward gaining the Soul of Man?!"

If Mittens were in a comic book, that would have been in all caps with bold text for emphasis, but that's not very polite looking in a setting like this...

"Think about it. Why only four of us? Why are three out of four obvious heroes? Not much of a tournament if things start off so mismatched, is it? 'The three heroines take down the misunderstood necromancer then shake hands and agree among each other that the Soul of Man should be used for good instead of evil. The end.' BORING! I've never met a single deity who'd set up a tournament like that.

"So let's find out if we're actually after the same thing. I'll go first. Above all else, Mittens wants to make sure that the Soul of Man doesn't end up in the wrong hands to be used by some maniac to destroy a perfectly good civilization for his amusement. Beyond that, Mittens will be perfectly satisfied if one of you winds up with it to do some worthy thing with it. She doesn't need to use such a powerful artifact to haz a cheezburger."

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. Who is the real hero?

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Crux sheathed her blades and

Crux sheathed her blades and turned down the volume on Priss and the Replicants. "That was my though as well, that such an artifact must be kept from the wrong hands. I'm called Crux. You said you were Mittens? Any relation to Boots? And please don't make me slice off your head, sorcerer, I'm still not sure about this 'can't die here theory'".

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"Illusion it is!" Galrithius

"Illusion it is!" Galrithius thinks to himself. Thankful for the respite, he demanifests his weapons and dashes a few meters away, flying, dodging the falling Servi. "Somatomancy won't do if they reengage, Brutus will help against the mech" he figures. The mage lands a few meters from Crux and Mittens and begins a spell also reminiscent of a jutsu, though the hands don't meet but are offset. While performing the spell, he responds to the others "did we get the same message? Battle for the Soul of Man? I'm reluctant to tell you my plans should I not win, but you redbloods wouldn't like it."

Without further command given, the disarmed Servi continue to case Mittens, and the six teleported rise and begin charging again. The twelve after Emerald scatter, searching the area, only a couple in the direction of the ruins. The ruins share an architecture: closest to ancient Egyptian pyramids and tombs but much larger and obviously more technologically advanced.


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Emerald looks to Crux and

Emerald looks to Crux and Mittens and says, "My name is Emerald. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Emerald then turns to look at Galrithius and says, "He said battle, yes, but he didn't say who. Only that others would surely want it. He didn't say everyone would come to the same spot either. And honestly? How do we know it will simply be handed over? None of us have it yet, so fighting is meaningless until the Soul of Man is at least confirmed and found. Is at least that much agreed?"

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Most of the way through his

Most of the way through his spell by now, Galrithius responds "the being is clearly well beyond Earth, and so is willing to throw its fate away for entertainment...maybe even academics" he ends with some inflection. His hands meet in a sign presumably near the end of the series and he says definitively "but, by all means, if you think it's all a ruse...forfeit." He smirks some at the suggestion.


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"Sorry, but we aren't that

"Sorry, but we aren't that simple. Just because we don't trust a disembodied voice who claims to be able to give someone a world-changing wish, and who doesn't seem to care what that wish is, too have told us the whole truth, doesn't mean we assume that everything was a lie. And again, before you complete that spell, I may not be sure that cutting off your head here will not be lethal back on Earth, but you are doing a good job of convincing me to give it my best shot. Completing that split may not bring out best interest."

While talking, Crux has been examining her katana, and occasionally rubbing out a nick with her thumb....

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Speaking of academics,

Speaking of academics, Emerald continues to be amazed at just how many methods of magic casting there are out there. She doesn't recognize Galrithius' spell. But she does know longer castings or more complicated castings ALWAYS means more powerful spells one way or another. If she were him, the spell would either be a large kaboom (which would blow back the competition, at least temporarily daze them, and probably reveal the invisible opponent), or some massive earth-moving spell to attempt to quickly unearth the relic. But she doubts the latter since this guy seems thoroughly intent on fighting.

Emerald is casting a spell of her own, but her illusion doesn't seem to be casting anything. "I don't want to harm you. And if your theory is correct, I won't harm you even if I try. But if that were the case, this is more a resource management game, where the last person to run out of energy wins. Or the entity who sent the message wants us to exhaust each other on each other so they can hop in and steal our essence much like your constructs were trying to do with my illusory corpse."

She'll fight if she has to, but she is also looking to stall that option to have the option of thinking this out as experience has taught her that is best... when permitted, at least. The spell she is casting will leave her vulnerable, but it will be worth the gamble because she saw how all three of these people acted when they thought her dead. The spell would be a massive dispell magic bubble. But will she get it cast in time before Galrithius casts his big bad? If not, and it looks like the other heroes will need her help, she may be forced to not finish the dispell. But that is what plan B is for.

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"Hold fire" Galrithius seems

"Hold fire" Galrithius seems to say, but his lips don't match the English words. The Servi charging black bolts halt, with the vantablack tetrahedrons floating mid-air, the Servi in melee range of Mits also stand eerily silent. Those searching for Emerald continue to do so, two specifically tread deeper into the ruins.

"Does a being so beyond us need a game to steal our 'essence'? It could've done so outright if it wanted." he responds, then turning to Crux "perhaps I had been naive, but is there an alternative to trickery or sincerity? Pondering collectively brings me no closer to my destiny, but it's uncouth to attack an opponent who refuses to compete." And so he holds his spell, presumably indefinitely.


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"Oh, yes, there is partial

"Oh, yes, there is partial trickery, sometimes looked at as incomplete sincerity, and then there is misunderstanding. Either axis can provide a whole spectrum; my adopted cousin gave me lessons for a couple of years four summers ago. But if you are willing to talk for a while, instead of fighting, I am willing to consider whether or not your wyrd is compatible with my understanding of Earth's wyrd." Crux put the katana away again, and then pulled out the shoto and gave it similar treatment. The shoto seems to be made of a different, transparent material, with a high refractive index.

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As the zombies were

As the zombies were approaching, Mits put the base of her hands together then clapped her hands together. In response, the ground between her and the zombies copied the gesture like a giant bear trap made of earth slamming shut! As she claps her hands, the ground repeatedly slams together matching the movement of her hands.

Mits punctuates with a clap for every syllable, "Zom-bie sand-wich. Plan-et for bread."

When Galrithius calls off the zombies, Mits stops clapping and puts the hunks of earth back to where they belong.

She smiles at the pitch black D4s and the shiny shoto. "Wicked awesome!"

"So glad I didn't have to destroy any of your zombies. And also very happy we're at the stage of working toward hammering out a strategy for overcoming the other teams I have no doubt have already formed. Figuring out what's going on could mean the difference between discovering that the Soul of Man was never a real thing and senselessly dancing to the tune played for us by a being whom we only know has the power to communicate telepathically and apparently send us to this place if we accept the invitation."

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. Who is the real hero?

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"You imply I've made

"You imply I've made presumptions about the being's abilities, yet you presume others are present. Just how much are you willing to infer?" the Necrobian says somewhat accusatorily. "In addition, giving knowledge directly is more than mere telepathy." he continues, then points to himself with his eye movements "I happen to be resistant to such intrusion, so the being has considerable reach."

He looks back at Crux "you'd find determining the wyrd of a Necrobian difficult. There are two or more to consider simultaneously." He then looks down at his hand sign and smirks, "well...at least three."


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Emerald ponders. This is why

Emerald ponders. This is why she learned the trigger spell. She finishes the incantations and adds the trigger spell to her dispel, causing it to be held in stasis until Emerald triggers it. Her illusion says, "Everyone makes assumptions to some extent. None of us know if we were really teleported here or if this is a powerful form of virtual reality. None of us knows we are still alive; this could be the beginning of how the afterlife plays out. But most assumptions are based on what the person knows at a given point in time. All we know about the entity who called us here is they have the power to communicate and the power to bring us here, wherever 'here' is. What we know about each other varies, I'm sure, but we all can pretty much agree we are beings of equal power to each other."

Invisible Emerald is following the servi that are going towards the ruins. She quietly casts a tracker spell on them. Emerald thinks to herself, "I should probably put trackers on all of them, actually... just because there are ruins, doesn't mean that is where the Soul of Man is hidden..." and starts heading to other servi with the intent of putting trackers on them.

Illusion Emerald continues, "We should all check the ruins. It is the first clear location where something might be. Perhaps even find the person who called us. I'm still convinced the entity isn't as powerful as you make them out to be, but you are free to believe what you wish."

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Galrithius furrows his brow,

Galrithius furrows his brow, "I may have been over-intrigued, but I'm not stupid. You have been in those ruins for quite some time while we've squabbled. Antimagic traps are not new to me" he says sternly. He then looks to the other two and says sarcastically "you may walk into what ever she has waiting for you though." He looks down at his sign and considers activating the summoning so he can at the very least cast more spells afterward....


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"Before I go, I'd like to

"Before I go, I'd like to make one suggestion. You don't think we.... 'redbloods' will like what you want to do with the McGuffin of Man. Is there a way to reach your goals that we might not object to?" Crux sheathed her wakizashi, then headed north at a forty KPH jog; saving energy to finish recharging the powercells that her earlier flying dash with the electrostatic thrusters had drained. She stopped at Emerald, or what she had thought was Emerald... Carmen's voice in her ear could not possibly have been heard outside the helmet by normal human ears - assuming there were any normal human ears here - but the IE kept the report quiet. *84% match with initial manifestation.* Behind the mirrored surface of her helmet, Crux smiled.

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After Crux spoke, Galrithius

After Crux spoke, Galrithius just shook his head. Physiologically he's not yet middle-aged, but he's been around much longer, long enough to know a heroic agitator when he sees one. Mits on the other hand was a bit more erratic. The old mage looked at the feline, seeing if she'd join the search, or continue to banter.


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(( Lotta Ground to cover, so

(( Lotta Ground to cover, so I'll try and keep things clear by indicating which message number is being reacted to. Starting with #25. ))

"A fair point. Mittens makes assumptions based off her various weird experiences. I'm expecting there to be teams based off various run-ins like this one. I'm pretty sure that the being who's hosting this tournament is probably more powerful than myself... But is it 'easily shrug off the four of us combined?' levels of powerful? That's in interesting question to have an answer to, don't you think?

"Speaking of interesting questions, how 'bout these three wyrds of yours, Necrobian? What are the ones you like the most?"

(#26) To Emmy, Mits nod and thumbs-ups. She hops onto an out-of-nowhere flying carpet and begins to head for the ruins. (#27) But when Mits hears mention of anti-magic, her ears droop. "Sorry, MagiCarpet. Don't want you to get hurt. Maybe next adventure." The carpet shrugs and vanishes. Mits winds up riding a steampunk horse instead. ( https://i.pinimg.com/736x/fb/0d/60/fb0d60bb019b010012e354aabb9fbdee.jpg ) It looks like it can barely keep up with Crux's jog.

(#28) Mits laughs from the McGuffin quip! She had a feeling she'd love the Iron Samurai, and the evidence proving her right keeps piling up. (#29) She returns Galrithius' look with a big smile and a thumbs-up.

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. Who is the real hero?

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With the others considerably

With the others considerably out of melee range, Galrithius sighs, and releases his hand sign. "Another time then" he says aloud, apologetically. He flies up several meters to get an aerial view of the ruins. He is certain the Soul of Man is not among them, but the situation presents an opportunity he cannot ignore. He begins motioning Servi to leave the ruins and surround them. He then begins summoning Servi outside the ruins, by the dozens. These Servi are not the elite Umbral Servi, but basal Servi with no weapons or tactics...at first.

The ruins themselves are mostly square pyramids with the tops missing or towers with pyramidal caps. They are made of sandstone yellow like the soil. But, inside steel plates the walls and what look like crude electronics line the walls and floors. There are what look like computers, but nonfunctional. The buttons are labelled in a language unlike any earth script. There are no signs of conflict, these are not destroyed ruins, rather a town in severe disrepair.


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Emerald is glad the hostility

Emerald is glad the hostility has died down for now, but fully expects there to be more. After she is finished putting tracers on the servi, Emerald heads to the ruins and she has her illusory double follow alongside her. Upon entering one of the buildings, she looks around in awe and excitement. The fact the script is alien shouldn't be surprising, but it is exciting all the same. As one of her few inherent abilities is the power to know all languages, she gets busy reading. But it doesn't stop her from recording this stuff on her phone. She'll still have some work ahead of her on how one can learn this language. Just because she can read it doesn't mean others can.

Emerald has to calm herself a bit.. she really wants to learn about the culture and what they were like. And even gives herself excuses like "the culture could give you clues on where the relic is..." but she reminds herself that the others are looking for the same thing and even an advantage like mysteriously knowing an ancient lost alien language, while an edge, is still no match for "dumb luck". Which is why she had put tracers on the servi.

Emerald begins to wonder... could the Soul of Man be some kind of magitech made by this long-dead alien race? Was it initially created in order to create Earth? Is Earth a second home and humans are just the offspring of this ancient race? When it comes to history, anything's possible.

Emerald looks around for where Galrithius, Crux and Mittens have gone. Her illusiory double calls out, "If any of you are interested, we could share communicators and cover more ground?"

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The building seems to be an

The building seems to be an office of sorts. The labels on doors seem to imply that it's military. Strangely, while the computers seem crude, there is no paper to be seen, nor are there stone tablets or more primitive record-keeping. The walls are fairly blank and utilitarian, rather than covered in symbols or decoration.


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When the illusory Emerald

When the illusory Emerald headed off toward the ruins, Crux followed with a portion of her suit's onboard memory devoted to recording the telemetry from the various sensors. Electromagnetic sensors from deep ultraviolet imaging to magnetic anomaly detectors. Ionizing radiation counters. Seiðr and thaumaturgic detectors, the latter of which reported a diffuse illusion at about the time the illusion caught up to Emerald.

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"Hmm. Guess Necrobian is at

"Hmm. Guess Necrobian is at a loss for wyrds."

Speaking of dumb luck, Mits has had some pretty good luck with figuring out how to switch on long-dormant alien computers. When they're off, it's pretty safe to just mash all the buttons one by one till something happens.

"Sure. My number's (929) 648-8367. Any ideas on what this thing will look like? Haven't heard from Disembodied Voice in a while. Hey, Disembodied Voice? You have a name? Or nickname? Preferably something without too many syllables."

Hi! I am the great and mighty Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff. Sr.

Mits addresses Mecha Lady, "So Crux! What's your goal? Whatcha gunna do with the MacGuffin once you win?"

She fully expects Mecha Lady to be able to hear the question from just about any distance.

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While the others searched,

While the others searched, the Necrobian had summoned over a hundred Servi just outside the ruins. He then ponders his next move "the beastkin seem fleshy, so fire might be effective, but the mech would likely be resistant. The feline and mech are decent at swordplay, so black weapons aren't ideal." He sighs, "Astral Servi it is" he says quietly.

He motions circularly at groups of Servi, imbuing them with minor psionic abilities, and linking them for improved tactics. The astral runes may trigger thaumaturgic sensitivities, while the Servi themselves may ripple the Seiðr in the vicinity, given their extra-dimensional nature. Depending on the mechanics of the tracer, linking may either improve detection by expanding the radius, or blur the signal over multiple bodies. The few Umbral Servi remaining had their runes replaced by Mentalistic runes.


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Emerald doesn't know from

Emerald doesn't know from these runes on the servi as Galrithius's magic method is different from any she's familiar with. On one hand, exciting new magics. On the other hand, it belongs to a guy who attacked her earlier. She briefly considers placing a similar rune on herself just to find out what it does, but for all she knows that would bind her to Galrithius's service.

Crux didn't respond to the communication offer, but Emerald wouldn't have blamed any of the others for not responding, honestly.

All the same, she jots down the number Mitts gave and texts a "Thanks!" to her, which of course, gives Mittens the fox's phone number as a result. The text continues, "I have heard of you, Miss Adventure! I'm a fan of your heroics and silly antics. :)"

Emerald senses scrying and looks in Crux's direction. Crux is able to find out that Emerald's invisibility magic is purely on the electromagnetic spectrum and thus, she is visible to heat sensors and other technological methods of detection.

Invis Emerald waves at Crux to let her know that she knows Crux can see her. Well.. "see" her. She also holds up her phone as if making one more offer of communication. Emerald figures the techie can hack her phone if she wants. Which is fine as long as she doesn't do anything malicious. But Emerald doesn't think Crux the type.

After that, Emerald begins exploring the complex, figuring if it is military, maybe there is some military tech in here somewhere.

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Now fairly certain that she

Now fairly certain that she can sense Emerald, Crux considers the problem of communication. Back on Earth there were networks of cellular, WiFi, and other schemes for linking computers equipped with low-powered radios, but here, unless they are relatively close, Crux' suit's comm suite would barely be able to detect them, let alone hear them. She'd heard of a mage that had developed an enchantment to allow for smartphones to link at any distance, but that was still beyond Gunni's own magical abilities.

She moved close enough to send a text to Mitttens' phone, starting with a number that began with the New Zealand country code and a Christchurch prefix (+64 332 ). (The remaining six digits had been assigned by the carrier and were of no real interest to the reader. ^_^ ) << Unless your phone's transceiver is overpowered, I need to be within 500 meters for my system to link us up. Or I can broadcast on an unused frequency, say 99 on the FM dial.>>. She then moved closer to Emerald, checked to see that none of those weird dead critters Galrithius had summoned were nearby before using a system not unlike Pro Audio's hypersound to make a nearby rock wall act as a speaker, effectively whispering her number into Emerald's ear.

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Mits so happy! The goodguys

Mits so happy! The goodguys are getting along! Even if her questions keep going unanswered. Probably just an oversight is all.

Mits texts Emmy back with, "Aww! Thank you! I'm a fan of yours! ◟(^≗ω≗) ∫ 〜Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ"

On Crux's suggestion, Mits puts on a radio transceiver headset and tunes it to 99. "For what it's worth, distance is generally not an issue with me around. Is how I get reception for receiving Emmy text. Been keeping an eye on our now silent partner. I think he means to try and overwhelm us with numbers since we've conveniently kinda converged to the same general vicinity. I can preemptively pop us over to the mountains if you like. Or we can wait here to see what sorta nifty sudden but inevitable betrayal he had in mind for us."

It's pretty surprising how often ancient alien computers will still boot up with just a little poking. This is not one of those times. Though Mits finds what looks like a battery powered personal datapad in what may have been a bedroom that a tech genius would have no problems getting powered up again. Mits portals it over to Crux.

"I'm betting this'll provide lots of answers about what these ruins are all about. Which, even if they're completely unrelated to our goal, will make Emmy love you forever should you decide to put a working battery in it."

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. Who is the real hero?

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Having summoned and imbued

Having summoned and imbued well over a hundred Servi, Galrithius considers his next move "An Illusionist, a Crafter, and a Portaller. Servi won't end this. I would need a Bright One to keep up. Or Changling...." He decides to wait until the situation changes below; he hovers several meters in the air a distance from the ruins. The Astral Servi wait on the outskirts, in cover.

"The illusionist might still trap them for me. But they all seem the 'hero' type. Heh, I would almost call it unfair." Galrithius says to himself quietly as he surveys the Servi.


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Emerald puts the number

Emerald puts the number quickly into her device. She then sends texts since Mittens said she was using her portals for allowing reception and signal extension. Her text says, "Cute ASCII, Mittens! And thanks! I can set magic traps or even banish magic altogether. I need to know if I would be harming you if I banished magic in this area. Also: I was kinda sold on the 'no more greed' thing initially, but there is a lot about nature and the impact of social psychology I don't fully comprehend yet, so I'm happy with simply 'keep it out of the wrong hands' for my beginning quest. What were you two interested in?"

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"Keep it out of the wrong

"Keep it out of the wrong hands . Maybe wish for it to be hidden until it is needed - as in no other option - to save the world." Crux studied the circuitry, tracing the flow power would have taken if it had been powered. She noted a few clever tricks and memorized them for later use.

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