Keeping her distance, Amelia made her way behind the nearby guards and sized-up the situation. Pointing a long, thin finger at a spot behind the demoness she mused, "Juz try an cast anudder spell gurl, "
Blue eyes now burned red with rage, wheeling about, she flexed her wings as it to take off and charge Sasha. Yet as Darvesch readied his axe in anticipation, she instead gave a cruel laugh and twisted, stabbing at him from beneath the screen of her upraised wing!
While the attack did not catch him unawares, what did surprise him was the sight of the demoness' blade passing clear thru his shield to plunge into his breastplate! There was no clash of weapon upon armor, no marks of any kind upon the mithril, but there was no doubt from the dwarf's pained grunt that his flesh was not so fortunate.
As Darvsch rocked back from the attack, she sneered and with a nimble hop, leapt into the air, out of reach of his axe, before speeding past Grak with a thrust of her wings.
Thoughts filled with intense pain at the humiliating wound Sasha had given her, Avoreen warned, "You should tell your little friend not to get cocky, she's next..."
As Avoreen took off, the guard captain thrust at her with her magic spear. While the powerful blow was enough to penetrate the demoness' profane aura, the mithril blade merely glanced off her steel-hard calves without effect.
Lips pressed tight with determination, she watched as the succubus queen disappeared from her line of sight behind the archway directly to the north. Looking to the Princess behind her, and receiving a nod of approval, she called out, "Don't let her get away, keep the pressure on. Advance!"
Noble Lightbringer! You shall not go unavenged! This demon's antics have overtaxed our Court!
The Princess' Herald straightened to full height and, as he touched the silken sash around his midriff with his left hand, bowed slightly while casting an enhancement upon himself, with greatly echoing proclamation towards Avoreen, "In all of the excitement we have neglected our courtly duty; an official welcome to Port Eldarion, in the name of her Royal Highness Princess Alissariel Kirmoon, in the presence of The Three Fates!"
With that, the elven Magus dove upon the enemy again, releasing a vicious spell through his Rapier towards the heart of the foe, shouting,
"To match your lovely new feathered brooch, Ibis-Arcana pins another upon your breast beside it!"
Leaving so soon? I hope Darvesch isn't hurt too much...
Amhranai sped after the fleeing demon, stopping just past Grak and, hopefully, close enough to the arch that she could dive for cover if required. The hand holding the clouded eye lifted the medallion free from around her neck and shot skyward. Sumalya, through your husband, Iscandu, I ask that you assist our need. Halt this demon so that we may deal with it properly!
Grak shakes his head silently at the histrionics shown by both Arvoreen and her foes. He realized he still had the spell charged in his body so he once again attempts to touch the demoness, trying to slow her down further.
Fly to O27, flyby attack melee touch 1d20 + 12 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 12 + 6 + 1 = 20 party buffs, higher ground.
Discharge Touch of gracelessness spell...Lureene's CL check is still 13 :(...not that it matters...
Like some white-crested kingfisher, Arion dove, putting everything into his thrust while sparing no accuracy with unwarranted recklessness. It was everything Avoreen could to to avoid a wound to match the one Sasha had given her, and she instead took a blow that would have been enough to slay a mortal woman as the thing blade transfixed her torso.
"Clever, boy, quite the little sadist, aren't you?"
Before the chill mithril blade could even be withdrawn, she was struck by Amhranai's spell, the entirety of her being now suffused by an emerald sheen. In the midst of her agony, Lureene caught a stray thought from her mother.
"Damn that weak fool, and curse these insects!"
Although the younger succubus had no idea who 'that weak fool' might be, she had the feeling it wasn't any of you.
Sense Motive Checks: L 1d20 + 2 + 2 + 10 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 2 + 2 + 10 + 4 = 22 alertness, familiarity, party buffs
Trying to enterprise upon the chance to strike, Grak wheeled about and swooped to attack, but when a wave of hatred from Mother buffeted him, it was everything he could do to avoid crashing into the stone archway she was sheltering behind.
"Thith thuckth," he lisped as he bit his own tongue.
Reflex DC 15 g 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 6 + 4 = 16 party buffs
Darvesch reels back in pain but gathers his senses quickly. Seeing the Demoness flee from him, he shifts his focus on total offense. "I am the right hand of Kahn, I am the instrument of His will, I am His Sword as He is my Armor, I am His Wrath and He is my Zeal, I am the Bane of His Foes and the Woes of the Treacherous!"
Mentally thanking Amelia and Alis for their spells, he swiftly rushes above Avoreen with axe held high in the air. He suddenly drops, swinging his axe down as hard as he can.. and in the sunlight, you could swear, for just a brief moment, the Axe flashed a brilliant Golden light.
swift: activate judgement(destruction, justice); full round: charge
All through this battle Lureene had been watching her Mother closely wondering why she had continued to engage the forces arrayed against her. With the 'death' of Wingilme, wasn't her objective achieved?
What am I missing here...Mother, what is your TRUE purpose here?
She puts the thoughts out of her mind and while calling on Súmalya divine favor steps forward to blast her Mother with holy light.
Trees shook from the power of Darvesch's voice, and countless elves watched in awe as the dwarf was seemingly borne into the air by righteous fury! When he dropped, his blow set his his axe to ringing like a church bell, knocking Avoreen shoulder first into the archway as he nearly sheered her left wing off.
"RIDICULOUS!" was all she could gasp, before she was lit-up like the Sun by twin beams of holy light from her daughter's out-stretched hands, Lureene's thoughts echoing in her mind.
"Petulant child!" she hissed, voice dripping with venom. How she was yet able to stand was a testament to her power.
Next Up: Avoreen, Amhranai, Arion, Darvesch, Tiniel, Alis, Tut, Grak, Lureene, Sasha, Royal Guards, Amelia MAP: Shrine of the Fates, (Round 04d)
The guard captain got out of her soldier's line of fire, and shouted, "Archers..."
The moment she had enough in range she shouted, "FIRE!"
Instantly, 4 arrows ripped thru the air, yet in their haste, only one connected. Yet even though the demon queen's fate was not known to her, the captain did not delay in issuing her next command, "Lancers, CHARGE!"
With that, Lureene's guards charged and giving fearsome shouts of their own, drove the points of their spears so deep into Avoreen's blackened and bloody body, that they drove her down, pinning her to the earth!
Lureene moved slowly across the carpeted grass towards where her Mother had fallen. She stumbled several times as she moved in her evening gown, nearly ripping the expensive fabric on the long train due to her stilleto heels.
A crazy thought flashed in her head...Careful now, mustn't ruin 'Lis' gown...it would be such a shame...
As she stood over the pile of ash that used to be her Mother, she stared down at the ground oblivious to the noises and commotion around her. She had often fantasized about dealing with her Mother, forcing her to leave her be to live her life as she so chose...but she never NEVER imagined it would be like this...
I refuse to believe that, Mother! I believe in the GODS...I...I think I... She cannot even finish the thought as a wave of sorrow and remorse fills her soul. She then fell to her knees, hands covering her face and her body wracked by her sobs.
Although cheers went up from the Royal Guard at their victory, it was not long before heart-broken priestesses and teary-eyed elves had gathered by the spot where Wingilmë had been crushed to death. Yet when the guards by Alis had hefted the bent and broken remain's of Súmalya's butterfly out of the way, they found not a corpse, but a patch of tiny bluebells, covered in glistening dew.
"She's gone to Súmalya's court," she said with reverence, placing a hand on the back of a sobbing priestess.
Yet in spite of all the grief-stricken mourners around her, it was the sobbing of a golden-winged angel that called to her the most loudly. Without pomp or pretense, she ran across the grass to where Arion, Darvesch, and Sasha stood helpless by. There, beside one of the ornate archways, Lureene knelt weeping over a small pile of blackened ashes. She knew all too well what that meant.
Although Alis could hear one of the guards begin to object at the treatment of his weapon, an upraised hand from the Princess silenced him. Quietly, Alis knelt beside her best friend, setting her royal scepter down upon the soft grass before putting her arms around Lureene, forehead upon her shoulder and a hand stroking her hair.
There were no words that could make the pain of losing a mother, even one as heartless and cruel as Avoreen, any less painful. Indeed, Alis knew all too well that Lureene had always hoped she might redeem her mother, but now?
Mouth scrunched up, a brow furrowed, even the normally boisterous ranger could feel her eyes misting up at her best friend's pain. Following Alis' lead, she crouched down next to Lureene and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"We all love you, Ellie," Sasha said, voice becoming choked up. "Please don't be sad..."
Although Lureene didn't display it right away, she was tremendously comforted by her two best friends' company next to her. Taking Alis' advice to heart she continued to sob for several moments while she clung to her friends for much needed support.
Finally her tears abated enough for Lureene to turn a tear-streaked face to her best friend, sorrowful blue eyes meeting violet eyes, and whispered softly,
"Oooo..." As the three sisters comforted one another, Tut gave a heartfelt sigh and hopped to the ground. Keeping clear of the feet of the big people, he made his way over to the patch of bluebells and quietly began to pick a few clusters. The tiny flowers a veritable bouquet in his little hands as he made his way back.
When the little monkey had returned, holding up his gift, Sasha smiled and took them. Gently, she placed a clump of the delicate flowers over both blondes ears before doing her own. Nodding thankfully to the compassionate little fellow, she gave Lureene a squeeze and did her best to answer the question that Alis had not.
"Well... crazy moms do crazy things." She lifted Lureene's chin with a crooked finger.
"At least she had it coming though," she nodded knowingly, "right?"
At the redhead's half-hearted smile, Lureene recalled last night's conversation involving Sasha's mother. No doubt the huntress knew all too well what it was like to tormented by a heartless mother... even one so far away.
"Come on," Sasha urged. Face brightening, she helped Lureene back to her feet, even as she herself sniffed, "I bet some breakfast will make you feel better."
A soft wind stirred the branches high above, and a gentle light shone forth from the Tear of Súmalya. Nearby, a ghostly form coalesced and the assembled elves gasped in wonder at the apparition of the beloved Hetaera.
Reaching out, Wingilmë placed an ethereal hand to her own heart and another to Lureene's. Her ghostly presence invoked no fear, nor her touch a chill. Instead, the redeemed succubus could sense warmth, as if feeling a surge of pride from the nymph.
"Be not afraid, Lureene."
Looking around, you could see the assembled elves turn, wide-eyed in silent awe. Closer to the shrine, the priestesses bit their lips to see their dear elder sister yet again.
"You have friends... loves... and whosoever is loved is never alone."
With a kind smile, she took her hand away and touched Alis and Sasha's hands, before turning to walk back towards the statues.
"Always move forward," she said, touching each of the priestesses on the cheek in turn. "Live without regrets."
She passed thru the parting crowd to the patch of bluebells. "For even should our bodies wither and fade..."
She knelt and touched the twisted mithril of the butterfly. "Even should the world be torn asunder..."
The air seemed to shimmer as bits of broken stone and shattered glass were reconstituted. "It was love that saved you."
She looked skyward, hands raised as the magnificent butterfly rose once more, now whole. "Never forget that.
When she turned, tears of joy in her eyes, each person there would later claim that she had gazed directly into their eyes as she bade them farewell after her own fashion. "Because it is by love that you will save others."
With that, Wingilmë, the Head Hetaera of Port Eldarion vanished into motes of light, floating upwards until they reached Súmalya's broken hand. Then in a single flash of light, like a star streaking upward to rejoin the Lanscarilma, she was gone leaving the shrine as it was before the battle save for a patch of sweet-smelling bluebells and a pile of ash where nothing could ever grow again.
So as the statues of The Three Fates were restored, so too did Alis and Sasha join hands with Lureene. And from that moment forward, the golden-winged angel found a confidence in her own strength that she had not known was there before.
Wingilmë's Gift: So long as she is not suffering from a fear effect, the strength of Lureene's spell DCs may now be determined by her Charisma modifier rather than her Intelligence modifier.
As Avoreen's incarnation became an ashen pile, Arion had begun to float down towards Sir Hellhammer, to offer a hand in celebration and admiration before turning towards the other compatriots and cheering their valorous teamwork, as with the Royal Guards. Yet more verses came to mind to add to the epic Ballad which had been building within the Scribe.
All the intense training in Silverwake could not have prepared me for these past two days here. First to love the daughter then to slay the mother, all before the next breaking of our fast.
As he passed the group being ministered to by the Princess, he paused and noticed what Lureene was experiencing.
It is said that the demon kind feed off the hurt and sins of others. For all I know Lureene might have been a piece broken off of her mother, grown up bodily in her image. Piece for piece; the vanquished even in defeat leaves a bitter sting within the heart of her own daughter. Perhaps a song might comfort my dear Lureen? No. CLEARLY this requires much more investigation. The Wise speak only of what they know and it would be folly for me to allow my words in a vanguard ahead of my lack of knowledge.
The child-like offering of King Tut and Sasha's adornings encouraged Arion to approach them. Even as Arion moved towards Lureene, hoping to find strength and guidance enough to offer some sense of help to her, his stomach rumbled at the mention of breakfast by Sasha and the Princess.
The breezes upon his hair and the gleam of light suddenly froze him in place. Enamoured by the empyreal vision among such an idyllic trio, Arion watched and waited and wondered. He bowed his head and gratefully saluted Wingilmë, hoping she would always have a bond with his Princess. Resting his hand upon the shoulder of Lureene he said in a low voice, "And my love is here, should you need....I know not what else to say."
Arion looked up at the Princess and bowed his head before her and said, "And my devotion, sincerely, and admiration is here for Your Highness."
Lureene felt the blessings of those surrounding her...
...from the small floral gift bestowed by King Tut,
...to Sasha's empathetic response and her flowery gesture,
...to Alis' attempt at humoring her,
...to Wingilmë's final farewell and the priceless gift she bestowed on her, a gift born from LOVE.
And finally, to Arion, a man who had fought for her without hesistation or fear, and whose skills had been instrumental in turning the tide of battle. A true LORD in her eyes.
As she heard mention of breakfast, she felt ravenous and indeed a little weak kneed. Stumbling slightly in her heels...Next time I bring a another pair of shoes with me..., she tiwsted to clasp Arion's hand with both of her own hands. Leaning forward close to him she murmurs, "Lord Arion, you cannot imagine how much that means to me! I would request for you to always support me as we journey forward on our lives together." She then allows him to take her arm as a gentleman would escort his lady, "...which will quickly lead to a tasty repast, I hope!" She chuckles lightly, feeling much happier now, surrounded by those she loved.
Still breathing heavily after his last stunt, he took a moment to catch his breath. He said nothing. He didn't want this moment to come, despite his training. Darvesch considered Lureene a friend, even knowing her heritage. The things he shouted, how would she ever forgive his zeal in attacking her mother?
"We did what we had to do," was his only thought as he walked to Alis.
"Princess," he says cold as stone, masking his inner conflict, "should we continue our deliberations, or delay them?"
When Alis turned to her cousin, it was as much for the expected dwarven stoicism as it was for the still-glowing diamond the Princess wore that Darvesch's inner-conflict remained hidden from all but the most empathetic — namely his Frænka and the strange Daifiri witch.
As if things weren't already awkward between Darv and El after his fling with Sasha...
Stooping for a moment to retrieve Tut and her scepter, she knew that this was not the time or place to discuss the matter — it would only embarrass him and hurt Lureene. With a slow exhale to clear her head, she rose back to her feet and put a hand on the side of his neck, a healing spell coming to her lips before she answered.
"Actually it was a delay that brought us here. I–"
Before the Princess could finish the thought, a manic cry from across the shrine to the east broke the austere quietude that had settled over the masses. "DON'T WORRY PRINCESS, SHEA AND AUNTIE WILL SAVES YOU FROM THE BAD BAT-LADY!"
"What in the world?!" With a shrug and look of confusion on her pretty face, Alis waved a hand to get the guard captain to clear a path.
When she did, what she saw didn't really make any more sense. Running pell-mell about the shrine, Elendreth and Sindariel struggling to catch up was a human-size catgirl with jet-black fur, jade-green eyes, and a pair of ridiculously over-sized... ram's horns curling from her forehead!
Even as Alis cocked her head to one side, mouth agape and eyebrow twitching, the catgirl (whose name was apparently Shea), spotted Lureene and wide-eyed pointed a finger at her. "YOOOU! Shea foundeds a bat-lady, she is tryings to eat that elf man's face!"
Eyes narrowing, she hissed, "Auntie, gives us a magic stick!"
Even as Alis frowned and planted a fist on her hip, the strange anthropomorphic cat found a dozen bows and spears aimed at her. In a strident tone, the guard captain shouted, "Stay back, creature! What mischief is this?"
"IT'S ALRIGHT!" Sindariel called out, breathing heavily as she ran up. Elendreth a few feet behind her, a magic staff in each hand. Gasping for air, the baroness continued, "She's with us... I ran to The Enclave... for aid... Shea's a friend."
As Arion took Lureene's arm in his he explored her eyes, wondering what else was meant...
...ALWAYS support her...as we journey...together...could this new life already have such a happy horizon?
So happy to see the Dwarven Knight being healed, Arion barely had time to register the new...ally(?) before she was pointing directly at Lureene.He eventually snapped out of the wide eyed stare, gaped mouth closing, eyebrows lowering. Had he ever actually awakened this morning? Or had he stepped over the great bridge into a myth of old?
He laughed briefly to himself, HORNY...heh, heh...ahhhh, Sasha...
Then suddenly Arion felt Lureene shifting at his side and his focus returned to his Royal Patron. Quite right.
He returned his Rapier to the form of the scarlet-ibis-feathered Quill, released the soft hand of Lureene and withdrew his journal from its pouch, along with his spectacles. Straightening his vesture, the Scribe stood at attention and nodded a greeting towards his new executive, with welcoming tone of respect, saying, "Well met Lady Lammontari. It is my pleasure to meet You this morning, as well as Your allies."
He then awaited for the Princess and the Baroness to assume the lead.
While Shea scanned the crowd, trying to see if she could recognize a friendly face, the elves continued their discourse.
"You might say that they have departed. My friends, along with my guard defeated the demoness in combat. However," Alis lowered her head and it was only then that she noticed what the others already had — the diamond still shone with an inner light, "Hetaera Wingilmë..."
I am kind of back, gonna do some back tracking and then catch up~
As the demon woman turned to a pile of ashes, Amelia let the arcane magic she was holding onto simmer down. Her muscles slowly releasing their tension as things seemed to officially be 'over', for now. Her hazel cat like eyes stared at the pile of ashes. Those could be useful for divination, maybe even figuring out why that awful being was there in the first place.
Though, it seemed like a good idea to ask the girl who seemed to be the daughter of the creature. Amelia put on a more neutral expression as she headed towards Lureene and Alis, know it was probably necessary for them to actually introduce themselves to one another. She used her staff as a walking stick for the most part, though she had no limp, it was just easier to use it as that, then for her to carry it on her back.
As she made her way to the two of them, the dark skinned woman curtsied for the two of them. "'ello, dere gurl... ya mus' be da princess's retaina we were gonn' be meetin' here. Mi name is Amelia Ech-" Before she could continue introducing herself, a thin hand that was surrounded in thick, but tattered looking lace extended half-way out to her when she heard her sisters name being shouted out by a crazy cat creature with horns.
A smile on her face as she realized who she was, "Ah, ya mus' be Shea... mi sista has told me a lota 'bout ya too, gurl." she said grinning as Shea paused at the sight of her Ocelot, who perked up at the sound of being mentioned. "Be nice ta mi kee-tay gurl, and da two of ya can go play close by." she suggested and waved the two of them to roll together if they wanted near by.
Looking back towards Lureene and Alis, she smiled again, "Amelia Echorn... Ah be wantin' ta help ya gurls wit da problems in da city." After a short pause, Amelia's eyes turned back towards the pile of demon ash and then back toward the obviously good aligned demoness. "Ah be wonderin' if ah could be gettin' any of dat demonic ash... ya see, Ah'm a seer, and Ah could be usin' dat ta get us a good idea why she be on our plane of existence... but, she's yer muthda and Ah'd undastand if ya be wantin' me no where near her." she said, giving Lureene a respectful hand gesture to make up for the one she had been robbed of when Shea took notice of her.
As Arion released her hand Lureene turned to give him a quick glance and a wink promising him to continue this later. She sighed in relief as things seem to have calmed down. She turned to face Lady Elendreth and nods in greeting while absentmindedly wiping the dried tear marks from her face.
"Lady Elendreth, it pleases me to hear no other portals were discovered by--" Her sentence is interrupted by the arrival of the Dafari woman.
She used the momentary interruption provided by Shea to size the other woman up. While Lureene was never going to be an expert at reading other people's body language, she could tell the other woman radiated confidence and self-assurance.
When she heard Amelia's request for the remains of her Mother, she could not help but be startled by the request. Still she could also hear a note of compassion in her voice as she made her request.
She found a lock of hair had found its way into her mouth once again and she hastily withdrew it as she addressed the other woman. "Amelia Echorn, I am honored by your presence and also humbled by your request." She glanced down at the pile of ash. "While that WAS my Mother, I find myself not wishing to be reminded of her...destruction. I will allow you to take her ashes for your purposes...ON one condition:" She then steps closer to the Dafari woman, "I would appreciate it if you would let me know what you discover during your divinations."
She then turned away briefly, wiping another tear away from her eye which had suddenly appeared.
As the eccentric cat-girl bounded off to play with what Alis could only assume was Amelia's familiar, the Princess looked up and nodded to confirm the dreadful anticipation she saw in the older elf's eyes. "Yes, Wingilmë gave her life to save my own and these ashes are all that remain of the one who slew her."
Before her, Elendreth's shoulders slumped as though the weight of the staves she carried might topple her to the ground. Though the wizardess sought to find words, any words, none were forthcoming, only a sigh of deep loss escaped her.
Turning to Lureene and Amelia, she put a hand on Lureene's arm and gave it a comforting squeeze. "Amelia, if there is any insight you could yield that might give everyone here some closure on why this all happened, all of the city would be grateful for it."