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Brokk (Entrance 3)
After catching up to the others, Brokk readied his axe to try and cut through the metal spikes, only to duck out of the way as Izzy came flying through.
He clicked his tongue at the impact, preparing to follow her in and make sure she was alright, when Rab came up to him.
"Aye, though this probably isn't the time to discuss it. Unless you'd care to walk and talk while I check on the dizzy lass." Brokk gestured for Rab to follow him towards where Izzy had crashed through, before beginning to walk. "So, what did you have in mind?"
Lux dashed towards the second entrance. However, the sudden appearance of tall spikes surprised the nephilim, and he abruptly came to a halt.
"Whew, damn! They really aren't playing around with the traps...", he muttered as he composed himself a little.
Well, this was going to slow him down for a while...and that kinda sucks.
Aww, and he really wanted to at least be one of the first ones to arrive. Maybe if he started to get those brain juices flowing, he could still be able to reach his goal pretty quickly...
"Hmmm...", Pollux intently examined his surroundings (or, at least, attempted to), and by doing that, he noticed that someone else came to the second entrance too.
Oh, it's that James guy! Hmmm....should I ask him to help me out? I don't know if that's allowed but- well...two brains are better than one!
"Hey, James!", Pollux approached the synthetic human, who was also examining the nearby area. "You came to this entrance too...um, can I tag along?"
Lambert raised an eyebrow at Kaia, but answered politely, even if he stomped his foot to make sure he wasn't on fire.
"That's a new opinion" He noted. The power of Deuil has spooked people in the past, and has had some instinctive reactions that he had to calm down. "It's not something most people enjoy, and even I have to deal with its... 'quirks'"
Namely, going completely mad
The feelings of rage and sorrow were haunting, and the blackouts... His father really had to smack him hard that time.
Lesson learned, no more pumping so much of its power into me without some kind of release He sheathed back the blade, taking a deep breath to calm himself down.
The passing by Mitzi caused some chuckles, but continued moving.
"No promises" He called out after her. His right hand went to Gloir, the power of the other half soothing his spirit.
Ready to round two
Edited by Blueace on Mar 3rd 2021 at 3:26:01 PM
Barely a minute after Alice and Carol walked into the door, there was the clanging sound of spikes breaking. And then Izzy barreled into them from behind at breakneck speed, splattering their body all over everything and everyone nearby.
For Alice and Carol, while not painful, this was a disorienting and nauseating experience akin to being trapped in a dryer during the spin cycle.
What... just happened? Where are we?
I feel like I'm gonna puke...
We can't puke... no stomachs... kind of wish I could right now though, if it'd help with this nausea.
Alice groaned as she took stock of her surroundings from where her core ended up on a wall.
"I thought the traps were supposed to be non-lethal... what was that?"
"Well, admittedly, it is probably due to me feeling more at home with such an alluring, foreboding darkness. So...yes, I do admit I enjoy it. The idea of such foreboding darkness cascading over me...ooohhhh, yes, it makes me feel ever more lively, Lamby~" Zachaia seemed to flourish her hand in front of her - all the while actually preparing for using her powers.
She looked around for the others who might be heading down this route. Fee wasn't kidding about the traps. It was like walking through the depths of an actual temple. One couldn't be sure where and when the next trap would be unleashed.
She somewhat wondered if anyone who took this class before ended up horribly injured by it. Considering they were in all likelihood not the first people to run this gauntlet. They said it wasn't lethal, but nonlethal was a long step away from non-harmful.
Izzy held back a retch for a moment as she stumbled like a drunken giraffe back up onto her feet, disoriented to the point where she almost immediately collapsed onto her backside again. Despite her queasiness, she gave a tentative thumbs up—wincing visibly as she spotted Alice and Carol's splattered state, however.
“...urgh... uhhh... s-sorry. Whoops...! Didn't know... sssssomeone was already– oh god.”
She had to painfully suppress yet another retch as she realised some of the mud girl had coated her as well, to which she quivered and did her best to try and wipe it off. Realising it was a futile effort without the help of its owner(s), she stammered something guilty and incoherent as she awkwardly rubbed the back of her neck; cheeks red from shame and embarrassment.
”...really really sorry... I thought I was being smart for a moment...”
For the briefest of moments, James flinched before turning away from his search for a switch or lever for the spikes and glanced back at Pollux, giving a curt nod.
"H-Huh? W-Well, t-the teacher d-did say h-helping each other i-is allowed...s-so I don't s-see why just, um, tagging along wouldn't be...a-although if we c-can't get past these s-spikes, we're not g-going anywhere."
Reaching into his backpack and pulling out a cane, James idly tapped one of the spikes, thinking while looking for ways around or to disable them.
After the initial shock of nearly getting skewered, the students managed to break through the spiked barriers in their own ways. Some smashed through, while others got through it the old fashioned way, finding just the right spot to disable them and render them harmless. Either way, the way was clear, and most would soon discover what lay beyond.
For the others, a fifth entrance soon opened up, this one without any spikes or barriers blocking the way. Whether it was a fluke or a belated addition, no-one was sure, but it was there all the same. Eiher way, it was the perfect chance for any remaining students to zip through and get in on the action.
The temple's interior was as much Indiana Jones as the exterior, with perhaps a bit of Harry Potter for good measure. More glowing runes lined its golden walls, each as ancient and mystifying as the last. With luck, Kaia would recognise them. They were common enough in the Abyss, dotting dozens of different temples and infusing them with demonic power. But even the odd ruin or ancient temple on Earth had them if you knew where to look.
Either way, the first and second entrances soon converged, leading to an open clearing. Patches of rubble were strewn across the floor, but most of it was covered in tall grass, drops of dew shining under the bright cloudless sky.
But any sense of serenity or calm was dulled by the sight before them. A large ferocious griffen slept atop a wide archway, sitting pretty above the ascending staircase. Countless sticks and dry leaves littered the floor, withered or brittle to the touch. One wrong move and they'd be experiencing the monster's razor-sharp talons first hand.
The next group found themselves standing before a long, rickety bridge, leading to the staircase beyond. It seemed safe enough. The bridge itself was old and worn, planks of wood jutting out and the odd rope fraying at the seams, but could be crossed if they took it slow.
But the more observant would notice several square tiles on the wide of the walls, forming two large, straight rows across either side. A small rune could also be seen at the foot of the bridge, begging for them to press it. It was obvious this was a trap, but what sort of trap remained to be seen.
The next hallway was a bit more obtuse. It was a rectangular and remarkably narrow passageway. Several abyssal runes spread across the ceiling and floor but leaving the walls untouched. Dozens of small holes lined the walls, but other than that, it seemed shockingly safe.
Dario - Hallway 3
Now, the 5th entrance without any traps seemed tempting, but Dario would rather take his chance with one of the other entrances now that he knew they were safe. He held out one hand, trying to manifest a door to the very top of the temple. Of course, that failed out, leaving the young trainee to frown.
"Well, guess they're jamming teleporting to the very top. Well."
Instead, it was time to turn his thoughts to one of the entrances and who had entered where. A little game later and his finger pointed towards the third entrance.
Well, center path it is. Obviously that's the best choice to take in any situation.
A door appeared before him, and he walked through, appearing by Alice, Brokk, Rab and Izzy, overlooking the bridge. A small smile lit up his face.
"Oh, hey guys, I've got this! I hope you don't mind walking across floating doors."
With a long blink of his eyes, he attempted to summon a path of doors, linked top to bottom horizontally, forming a bridge across the abyss next to the rickety old one.
"Alright then...", Pollux said as he resumed examining the spikes along with James.
Then something dawned on him. A light bulb has lit up in his mind.
"James...I think I've got an idea...", from his back, the Opalescent Wing suddenly materialized. "How about I hold you in my arms. A-And then, I use my Wing as some kind of spring to bounce over the spikes?", Lux looked at the spikes with a puzzled expression. "It's not a bad idea, right? I-I'm pretty sure I can carry a short guy like you..."
Spotting a glint of metal that looked like part of the trap mechanism, Mara felt along the wall until she found a loose brick. She pried it back to uncover a recessed switch within the temple wall. After a moment of deliberation, she flipped it, and with a metallic groan the spikes retreated into the ground.
Well, that wasn't exactly rocket science. Either whoever's fictional pad this was needed a spare key, or the man in charge just didn't want us to miss out on the death traps inside.
Mara gestured to the cat who'd agreed to tag along, Ro-something.
"Come on, sweet cheeks, coast is clear. Let's beat feet!"
Despite her words, Mara wove a careful path through the tunnel, remembering from her license test that she had to be prepared for just about everything. Her caution paid off when the hallway opened up to reveal a sleeping griffin.
As she flipped through her mental library of illusions, she turned to the rest of the little group, which had apparently expanded to include the cats from the second entrance, raising her eyebrows in question.
Her illusions could be useful, but only if the thing woke up. It'd be better to skip that scene altogether.
Temple, Entrance 2
Thankfully, getting through wasn't an issue. The shock from James' rod was enough to overload the spike's internal mechanisms, causing them to sink back into the ground from whence they came. The way was open, with Mara, Rosa and the open clearing straight at the end of the hall.
Edited by kkhohoho on Mar 4th 2021 at 3:14:06 AM
Rosa's eyes widened in alarm as spikes suddenly shot out of the ground, gleaming under the illusory sun. Illusion, most likely, she thought, taking a moment to regain her composure. It's a training exercise. They won't impale us all to death on the first day.
When Mara finished disabling the spikes, Rosa followed her into the temple. As they weaved through the dark and dank tunnels, the only sound being the echoing of their footsteps, something suddenly occurred to Rosa.
"I never actually gave my name back there," she said, speeding up a notch so she and Mara could walk side by side. "Rosabella Linden. You can call me Rosa, if it's easier. Pleasure to meet y—"
She cut herself off when they emerged into a beautiful clearing, dewy grass sparkling under the bright sun. Or at least, it would've been beautiful were it not for the sleeping griffin.
"Ah," Rosa whispered, keeping her voice low so as to not wake the griffin up. "That...might be a problem."
She turned to Mara. "What do you suppose we do?"
Edited by LilyTheLitten on Mar 4th 2021 at 1:16:48 AM
Lambert could only nod. Kaia is someone he really doesn't know how to read, but he could only stare oddly at the nickname. He never knew how to react to those.
Walking forward was the best idea, indeed, the best idea... And the color on his face didn't change.
"Nice for a holiday but I would not live around here" He said, giving the place a look. Well, those symbols were ominous, even if the trap was obvious.
"With all those symbols around here, I doubt they would just be darts" He noted. He could use the power of Gloir to blast through, but that might get messy. And might risk the others. Sure, this is supposed to just be a simulation, but they can't account for all the foolish moves people can pull.
"Sure, if you don't mind" He answered. He focused his power on Gloir for a second. Sending out a small energy wave around to see how the place responds. Controlling the power output properly can be hard, but he needed to be careful to not upset anything too much.
Come on, Lancelot He thought Work with me and without the forced flashbacks
Edited by Blueace on Mar 4th 2021 at 6:55:07 AM
"Tread lightly, I guess? Oh, and just as a precaution..."
Mara took a centering breath and then closed her eyes.
What do you fear?
Martin Hauser, 1991, spent 5 hours lost underground after a caving trip went wrong. We Diedra Carrasco, 1973, rendered blind after being hit by shrapnel. fear Consantin Lungu, 2015, ambushed by muggers on a nighttime walk. darkness.
Tendrils of inky blackness snaked from Mara's feet, rushing across the grass and debris soundlessly. They ascended the stairs, coalescing as they went until they were no longer individual strands. Once beneath the archway, the tendrils interlaced and rose as one to engulf the sleeping griffin. For a moment, a lattice seemed to cage the creature, before the strands expanded and the griffin was completely overtaken by what appeared to be pure darkness.
Only after the darkness had settled did Mara open her eyes.
"That won't stop it from going after us, but it should disorient it if it wakes up and buy us some time to jet out of here."
He'd started to explain to Brokk that he really needed an alternative to buying a new pair of sneakers every week. This guy made armor-why not shoes that could handle some speed? He didn't really trust the magic end of it, but was that mandatory? Then they entered a room with a huge chasm and rope bridge. "Very Indiana Jones," he said with a groan. "Three-to-five that thing will break when we're halfway across it."
He glanced around. So we have me, armor-guy, Doorio, Izzy, and...bits of... the mudgirl who hates me. Great. Well, it is supposed to be teamwork, and there's no I in team. Always hated that saying, really. Aloud, he'd started to suggest ways across the gulf when the bridge of doors was offered. He gazed at them skeptically. "I will if you tell me this isn't the first time you've tried this trick."
Edited by Booky on Mar 4th 2021 at 2:14:24 AM
"Mmm...alright. I'll trust you to handle this. My way would be a little too...forceful." She watched as Lambert went ahead to go try and defuse whatever sort of traps were ahead. Zachaia had no doubts about what was up there, and she presumed it was primed to give even her abilities a stress test.
Well, with the glider they could presumably avoid the symbols and whatever was due to come from the walls.
Left alone with Mitzi, Zachaia eventually turned and looked at the small goblin woman. She lightly turned her heel, and pushed her hair back. A light smile showed, and she evidently decided to whittle down the time by talking, clicking her nails against her chin, "So...it is very interesting that royalty would settle here. Very interesting indeed. If you...don't mind me asking, what would you say the intrigue and politics are like in your home?"
Her tongue flicked along her lips, "Tell me the most sordid details imaginable. The most ruinous scandals, the cruelest secrets, the most riveting conspiracies...I cannot make due with only speculation."
By now she was leaning toward Mitzi, curiosity written on her face.
"I-I mean, if they're just a-an obstacle to g-get over, that can work...a-although if they're like a doorway, I'm n-not sure we could g-get over the-" James started, only to get cut off by the spikes retracting and looking at his cane.
"...W-Well, that's...a l-little...h-huh, might need t-to try and fix this later, b-but I guess the first p-problem's solved." He meekly admitted, a little perplexed at the stun-mode and electricity kicking in on his cane before switching it back off but holding it just in case he needed to whack something away.
Still, he glanced back at Lux with a small nod and cautiously advanced into the temple.
Lux blinked with surprise as he saw James hacking the spikes. "That...that was awesome!", he gave James a starry-eyed look. "Well, at least we don't have to follow my...admittedly ridiculous plan through...", he scratched the back of his head with a bashful smile, before looking at the hallway.
"...I guess we gotta go now...I t-think I can see two people at the end!", with that advice, Lux advanced into the hallway.
Upon reaching the clearing, Lux would have wanted to greet Mara and Rosa, but...but that griffin sure looked terrifying. The nephilim silently gulped.
His fear, however, decreased a bit as Mara, with her illusion powers, was able to trap the monster inside a dome as dark as obsidian.
"Um...hey there...", Pollux greeted - through whispers - the two girls, casually waving at them. "...I-I see you've already dealt with the monster in some way...", he glanced cautiously at the black dome.
Edited by Noussibonne on Mar 5th 2021 at 8:18:48 PM
Slowly but surely, Alice peeled herself off of the walls, the floor, and Izzy, pooling together in a puddle in the center of the room before rising back into human shape.
Looking around, (great, the stalker was here), she took note of the guilt on Izzy's face and in her voice. It was an honest mistake, and nobody was hurt, so...
"What the fuck was that!? You could've killed somebody!"
"Carol!" Alice hadn't been expecting that. They had an unspoken agreement to let whoever was in control do the talking.
"Don't 'Carol!' me, that was reckless endangerment and you know it. So what if she seems a little guilty?"
"But... she didn't know we were..."
"And that stops her from offering a single warning? A 'hey, I'm about to come barreling through with enough force to break metal, so you might want to get your spine out of the way'?"
"Nobody got hurt."
"Only by luck. And if someone had gotten hurt, I'd be the one restraining you from breaking every bone in her body. Don't try to play the moral high ground, when we both know how much of a violent psycho you really are!"
Their body collapsed into a puddle... and when it reformed, it was in the shape of Carol.
Wonderland? Hello? ...shit.
Edited by PossiblyQuiteInsane on Mar 5th 2021 at 9:26:43 AM
Izzy had been so numb to where they'd been going that she hadn't even realised where they were now; taken aback by Carol's outburst to the point where she found herself rendered too mute to reply. As she realised Alice had gone quiet, she merely pressed her lips together and grit her teeth—turning away to prevent herself from looking at the mud girl as she forced out a repeat of her apology.
Her voice was bubbling with emotion she clearly didn't want to express, and she seemed hurt by the fact that she knew Carol was right. So she had nothing to retort, instead exhaling slowly and absentmindedly running her hand through her hair as she focused on the bridge.
“...There's stuff there. In the walls...” she noted as she flicked her eyes about everywhere apart from Carol, clearing her throat a moment as she shook off the events from seconds before. “We gotta... we gotta be careful, still... probably– uh...”
She blinked at the path made of... doors, staring at Dario a moment incredulously before clicking her tongue and throwing up her eyebrows.
“...I uh... I'mma go fly across. So...”
She flipped down her shades, trying to think of a clever one-liner.
She lifted off at this, a dull thrum emanating from her person as a few loose rocks and flecks of rubble levitated upwards with her. After locking her gaze on the opposite side of the drop, she let herself fall—this time in a slower manner, her earlier mistake still fresh on her mind.
...is that girl okay...?
She'd ask them about it in a moment. If she got across, of course. They had a training session to go through, after all.
Mara glanced at the temporarily-shrouded griffin, then back at Pollux, giving him a pointed once-over. The cat was so tall she wouldn't be surprised if he scraped the ceiling. Not exactly the recipe for stealth.
"Yeah, that's not gonna hold it. Not if we can't keep quiet. How good are you at tiptoeing, angel?"
Mara looked away again, squinting out toward the rubble. The rocks were avoidable if they watched their feet, but there was one major issue to worry about.
"The way I see it, the leaves and junk all over the ground is our main problem. One snapped branch and we're griffin food. So...be careful, I guess, and let's pound some pavement."
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