Fists of the Goddess

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  1. The materials needed to forge her mighty guardians was pulled from the lands she herself had created so long ago. Each blessed with a powerful magic no human could dream of summoning on their own. ...But not just anyone could be allowed to wield such power. The stone guardians would need capable masters. They would need someone righteous, strong-willed, cunning… stubborn. Yes… these ones would have to do.

    Surely, they could carry the burden of saving humanitys' future.


    Kaja felt heavy. There was a lightly pulsing pain in the back of her head as she attempted to regain consciousness. There was a bright light on the other side of her eye lids. Was it daytime...? No, not quite that bright....

    Not far off was the gentle trickling of moving water. The wind was stirring, on it she swore she heard something akin to a voice... whispering her name. "Wha?" Eyes opened with a start, and she sat up so quickly her head throbbed in protest. Ah, that's right... she'd fallen, hit her head, that explained that pain. Her chin, arms, and various other parts of her body were sore too, but that was from a fight earlier that day... that much she remembered very clearly. The later events were... a little more foggy.

    She'd gone up to the side of the canyon, longing for a good look at the starry night sky. It was risky, the area was restricted and getting caught could land you the cells, the dark and dank ones in the deepest part of the canyon. But the risk was worth it to see the glittering of stars stretching all the way to the horizon. A muted clank under her boot had brought her attention to a shining pair of gauntlets, lying on the ground. She'd thought it strange... had a guard dropped them? Kaja felt compelled to put them on, and that's just what she did, right before a she heard the commands from a quickly approaching guard. "You there! Stay right where you are!" He'd shouted. And of course Kaja ran, or started to. In her shock she'd stepped back too quickly and fell off the cliff edge....

    It didn't feel like she'd fallen very far, though. Which brought a very crucial question to her mind... "Where the hell am I?"

    The "room" was large, round, and open. Pillars held up the high, domed ceiling and a fountain in the room's center was the source of the water she'd heard. From where she sat all she could see beyond the pillars were stars, some clouds, and a very bright, very full moon. Still on her hands were the gauntlets she'd found, pale gold with surprisingly intricate wispy designs, and a rounded, pale yellow stone on the back of each hand. They gave off a faint glow. "...I have to be dreaming. Musta hit my head pretty good." she muttered to herself.
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  2. The blizzard had been a rough one - the coldest that any of the old farts around town could even remember. Everyone feared that after it left, Isolde would be hit by another fever. Parka was one of those who feared. And yet, he'd been out in the biting wind and heavy snow. No, he wasn't an idiot. He was trying to find the hunting party that had been caught unprepared. Well, maybe that didn't actually clear him of the idiot status after all, but this hunting party mattered. There was someone in it who... Well anyway, he was alone and for good reason. Not even Doc was with him this time because the storm was just too much for even a huge cat like him. No, Doc had been told to stay home and watch Hearth while Parka went out into storm like it was going to be a leisurely stroll through town. Yeah, okay. He was a Dastri idiot after all. Visibility was poor and by poor we mean he hadn't been able see a damn thing past his rabbit skin clad hands.

    And now, as he lay on the floor, Parka gave a small laugh. It always amused him that he automatically dressed warm like the rest of his people, decked out in furs and leather and wool when he just really didn't need it.

    Oh, but we're getting a bit off topic here. Parka was looking for the hunting party. Well, to put it bluntly? He failed. Instead of a group of men huddling together for warmth he'd found only a pair of gauntlets half buried in the snow and he would have completely overlooked them if they hadn't been glimmering despite the lack of light around them. There in the murderous snow storm in the middle of what he hoped was still the hunting trail, he'd stopped everything he was doing and had abandoned his useless gloves in order to put on a pair of random gauntlets and even now he still had no idea what had possessed him to feel such pulling desire to do so.

    With a groan, the hunter, the bladesmith, the man of six feet and two inches of height slowly got back to his feet. Now that the snow that had been clumped to his boots had melted, it was easier not to slip on this ridiculously polished floor and fall back onto his ass a second time. Snow shook from his furs, his hood still up, the cloth across his mouth and nose still in place and patchy white from his breath becoming frost. His gaze swept the room he was standing in, finding first the source of the sound of water, then the voice. It'd started out soft, distant, though he knew it was speaking his name. But now it was just the murmur of a young woman not too far away from him.

    "That's what I'd like to know, Miss," he said with a tone that suggested wariness under general curiosity. "Buuut I don't think this is a dream. My ass is pretty damn sore from falling on it and they say you can't feel pain in dreams." Even though the majority of his face and head was covered, his eyes seemed to smile kindly at her.
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  3. The sound was water.

    Water... trickling? No... it was flowing, quite serenely too. Almost lovingly poured is how it seemed to Awitani's ears.

    The next sound was air.

    Wind finding music in the crevices and tight spaces of the environment, hallways with impromptu concerts and shutters with experimental melodies.

    The rest of the world slowly filled in afterwards. The cold sting of marble floor upon her cheek, the dry old taste on her tongue from too long of a nap. Awitani opened her eyes and for a moment she thought she had fallen asleep on the floor like a first year dancer. It took her a moment and the feel of cool metal clasped against her cheek instead of her own warm flesh to confirm that she was not at the dance hall in Wayra. It was even more beautiful than her dance studio. The pillars loomed high overhead, the dome looked as though it provided excellent acoustics for live music during dance practice. Had Gerin made good on his claim of abducting her for his own studio? The metal gauntlet against her cheek had shaken off the remaining torpor, she looked at her hands. They were still adorned with what she thought were ornaments for a new dance Hilano had been choreographing, she had assured Awitani that she'd give her the accompaniment before the week was out. Flexing her fingers inside the gloves, Awitani attempted to recall what happened before she found herself in this strange location.

    She had been folding up the scattered shawls, and fans from the last practice class; placing stray castanets back into their boxes when she came across a pair of beautifully wrought gloves. The inset stones gleamed from the light of the candelabras. She had put them on, curiously trying out a few clapping rhythms. The clanging of the metal was impressive, the notes rang out clearly like cymbals but without the tinny fading out. She would have to ask Hilano who had smithed these gloves. She admired the artistry for a moment, slightly turning her hands back and forth when suddenly, "— Mistress Awitani!"

    She whirled around, sure that Hilano would be a bit put out at Awitani playing with her things again, when her heel caught on one of the shawls left on the floor and the world slipped out from under her...

    "... And then I woke up here."

    It seemed to be nighttime already. Did Gerin find out what my schedule is...? There were others across the fountain, they didn't quite look like dance students but who was to say how Gerin ran things at his school? If it was his school. Awitani gingerly picked herself off the floor, a flurry of her flowing skirt and shawl, and a jingling of her bracelets and anklets. She strolled up first to the young man, he looked sturdy like a 2nd year student at the very least.

    "Young sir, is this not Gerin's dance academy?"
    #3 Kooriryu, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  4. The cool gentle waves lapped at his feet that morning, the sand already warming under the sun, a fresh breeze on the wind. Rychdir Barolt, or rather 'Rhys' as he was known to his family and his friends had escaped the busy open house as people moved in and out, the shop in the front busy as ever. But there was no need for him today, oh well, he needed to fish.

    Which is how Rhys ended up on this smooth cold floor. He breathed suddenly, the last thing he remembered was almost drowning. He'd seen something on the ocean floor. it had sparkled and gleamed like something fantastic and Rhys was as bad a crow, always after something shiny and little that he could wear. The glassblower had great lungs between that and diving, he was normally more than well equipped to reach the floor where his boat was located. Diving alone was stupid but Rhys hadn't wanted to lose sight.

    No. He needed whatever it was. He needed it like he needed, desired the chill of Isolde. The mountainous forests of his childhood.

    Rhys flexed his hands, the gauntlets felt.... odd but good. He peeled his face off the floor and discretely wiped the drool off his cheek and the floor both and shivered, he was coated in salt and not too wet anymore but the cold marble floor and the thin breeze and of course the feeling of how unreal everything was.

    It certainly didn't hurt that he was now sitting there wearing nothing more than a pair of tight fitting thin shorts that ended just below his knee. Well. That and a few of his most important necklaces. He ran a hand through dark blond hair.

    "Where am I? We?" He murmured noticing that other people. "I was... drowning. Am I dead? If I'm dead, I'm in so much trouble."
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  5. Canis was as prepared for returning home as she could be; the closer to the city's gates she got, the more it all sank in. Years of being away, training-- enjoying her freedom and solitude, all about to be thrown away in order to please her parents. They expected her to settle down, run the family business and start a family...three things that she gloriously avoided, until now. Just the thought of it caused her to stop dead in her tracks on the dusty path on the side of the mountain.

    What if they had already found her a husband?

    By the Goddess, she'd be damned before she allowed it; not really one to think things through, the wanderer furrowed her brow and turned to look out at the opened canyon. As her eyes searched the beautiful skyline, she found herself moving closer to the edge; all of this beauty, would she really be able to give up on it? The warm wind blew through her hair as she smirked and looked below-- getting what had by far been the most foolhardy (but at the time, good!) idea she had come up with. Many cliffs had she jumped off of during her travels and before she was about to hang up her hat of adventure, why not give it one last go? Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a traveler and instantly, her smirk grew into a full-blown smile.

    What better way to hide from responsibility, than to fake her own death? With a witness, no less!

    Sure, her parents would be heartbroken as well as her newly-appointed "fiancee", but this stupid idea was beginning to sound more and more appealing. In one fell swoop, she could get out of marriage and giving up her freedom; as the traveler neared the turn hurriedly, she waited for the perfect chance to take a dive-- weapon in hand just to make sure that when she DID fall, she could grapple onto something. The gates of Janan to her back, she also was thankful that the guards were watching and without fear-- she simply jumped right off. Eyes wide open and wearing a smile, she chuckled at the commotion the guards let out and felt oddly...satisfied. Wind enveloped her as she seemed to pick up speed, a very audible "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO~!" echoing throughout the canyon as she dove right past the traveler and further down.

    Canis had done this thousands of times, so as she could feel the air getting cooler, she unlatched the extended chain on her weapon and sent the sickle out-- only for it to miss. It was then, that her jovial cry of excitement turned into a scream of panic. After a few more tries to latch onto the cliff, she was pretty convinced that she was about to die...

    Then, there was nothing but darkness...and trickling water?

    With a groan, Canis crawled to her feet; from a fall of such magnitude, she should have been a big pile of goo-- splattered everywhere, but upon patting herself down she realized that it was not so. "What in the...SHIT happened? I survived that?! WHOO, baby-- Canis 1 Mountain 0! Suck it, mountain!" Collecting herself and her weapons, it took a while for her sight to adjust to her surroundings and quickly turned red. Not only had she made a complete fool out of herself, she did so in front of a bunch of strangers-- who were magically there before her.

    Suddenly, she didn't feel so proud-- not if THEY did it too.

    " guys jumped this too? Quite a rush, isn't it?" She said kindly, looking at them and putting her hands on her hips; acting as natural as she could-- like she didn't just make a complete ass out of herself...
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  6. Dim evening light cut through a series of small windows high above the floor of the warehouse, motes of dust meandering lazily through the glow. They drifted down to join the layer of undisturbed grime that had accumulated on the surface of the many crates and boxes filling the room over long-forgotten years. The wooden containers were stacked one on top of the other, almost reaching the ceiling in some places and forming the walls of an elaborate, ever-winding labyrinth that left only narrow passageways to be navigated as one made their way through. Whoever had been in charge of storing and organizing the contents of the warehouse had apparently done so with the objective of fitting as much as possible in the limited space rather than making things easy to find.

    That was precisely the reason Lyrian was currently in the warehouse, accompanied only by his trusted manservant Sayre. Lyrian had recently acquired the rights to the building and everything in it during a property auction. It had been easy enough. Years of disuse had decreased the chances that whatever was there would be in decent condition, which meant its price had been greatly reduced. Furthermore, the warehouse was located in a rundown corner of one of Janan’s slums, far removed from the mercantile businesses concentrated around the city’s main trade district.
    It was hardly an acquisition worth celebrating. Other buyers had doubtlessly passed it over many times before because of the slim probability it would be worthwhile and the trouble they would have to go to in order to access it. Lyrian wasn’t concerned with these things, however. Even if there was nothing interesting or useful in the warehouse, he had bought it so cheaply that it would be no great loss on his part. The main reason he had decided to buy the building wasn’t for the hope of profit, but rather the chance to explore and uncover any secret curiosities the previous owner might have left behind. That it was nothing more than a pet project meant he didn’t have to bother with getting someone to inventory the warehouse. He could inspect the place himself and then have a crew come and clear it out later if necessary.

    Lyrian was intrigued to see what he could find, but unfortunately Sayre did not seem as excited to be there. The older man’s nose crinkled at the musty odor that lingered in the air, and he raised a handkerchief to cover the lower portion of his face while his other hand held up a lantern.

    “Whatever it is you are hoping to find here, master, I hope you find it soon.” Sayre sniffled and grimaced as he swept aside a curtain of cobwebs stretched between two crates.

    “Well, I won’t know what that is until I see it. Until then you’ll just have to bear with me, I’m afraid.” Lyrian’s crystal blue eyes glinted gleefully from the light of his own lantern, which cast long shadows as he slowly moved forward and it illuminated the path in front of him. He rounded a corner, savoring the anticipation of what might lie in store.

    A small aisle in between two towering stacks of crates was straight ahead. Lyrian made his way over, slipping into the cramped space before Sayre had caught up with him. After sidling his way through carefully, he emerged into a more open area enclosed by boxes on all sides. His lantern showed that it was mostly empty, but a long crate almost entirely covered by an old sheet was tucked into one corner. Drawing closer, Lyrian could see the indistinct shapes of a few objects under the yellowed sheet that was draped over them. He pulled the sheet away gingerly, his eyes widening as they became fixed on the crate before him.

    Once the crate was uncovered, he let the sheet fall to the floor. On top of the crate sat an assortment of various small boxes and other containers, mostly dilapidated or decayed to the point of uselessness. One, however, was whole and in practically pristine condition. Brushing off the thin coat of dust that covered the outside revealed it was an exquisitely crafted, compact wooden chest. Leaning closer, Lyrian could see the inlaid details of a series of jagged, forking lines etched into the wood. He could hear himself breathing in and out softly in the silence, almost afraid that the slightest disturbance would damage it. Lyrian set his lantern close by on top of the crate and felt along the front of the chest for a way to open it. Finding a small clasp, he undid it and lifted the lid of the chest.

    Inside were a pair of finely made gauntlets, adorned with bright blue gems and gleaming metal plates that bore designs similar to those on the outside of the box. Taking them in his hands, Lyrian marveled at the gloves and could hardly believe his luck. He had hoped for an amazing find, but this was something he scarcely could have imagined. Without much thought as to what he was doing, he slipped a gauntlet on to one hand and then did the same with the other.

    Lyrian flexed his fingers and turned his hands over a few times, finding that the fit was snug but comfortable. A bright light suddenly flared at the edge of his field of vision, and Lyrian turned thinking his lantern might have tipped over while he was distracted. But his lantern was no longer there. Neither were any of the crates or other identifiable trappings of the warehouse. Disoriented, he swooned, catching himself as he stumbled for a few steps.

    “Sayre?” Lyrian shouted, unsure if his companion could hear him or where he even was. Looking around, he saw that he was now in a completely different place that was not familiar to him in the slightest. There were a few other people standing a short distance away looking equally as perplexed as Lyrian, but he recognized none of them. Sayre was nowhere to be found. Stone pillars supported a vast open ceiling that gave way to a starry night sky.

    There had still been light outside when Lyrian and Sayre had entered the warehouse, so wherever he now was had to be far away or else a few hours had somehow passed in the instant it seemed to take for him to inexplicably be brought here.

    “This isn’t Janan. Where in the world am I?” he remarked aloud, his voice beginning to quaver as an odd chill rankled the back of his neck.
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  7. A second woman appeared quite literally out of thin air and Parka blinked a few times, rubbing his eyes. "What...the?" Had he shown up like that too? Had this other girl done the same? Why were people appearing here, of all places? The new woman's inquiry sounded like a possibility and yet although he knew magic had to be involved, he didn't think someone was summoning random strangers to a dance academy.

    "No Ma'am I don't think we're here to dance, even if these floors are smooth enough for it." The words were barely out of his mouth before more people began appearing. It was something truly bizarre, though Parka had long gotten used to strange happenings. In fact, the birth of Hearth and a few years later the birth of himself were two prime examples of strange happenings.

    The nearly naked man was closest and without a second thought, Parka reached down to grab his upper arm and help him back to his feet. "I don't think we're dead, friend, but I do think we're somewhere not easily accessible. The air is thinner than Isolde's. We're somewhere up high." He released the man's arm, though admittedly he found himself fascinated with the tattoos and they distracted him from the details of the face playing canvas to them. "You from some place warm, huh? It's colder up here." And without waiting for a response Parka tugged off his...parka (oh Mom, why did you ever let Dad name us?) and draped it over the nearly naked man's shoulders with a nod.

    The mask, however, remained in place for a moment as one of the newest arrivals called out to them and posed a question he just didn't have a clue how to answer. Jumped..what? He tugged the mask from his face and before anything else happened, there was routine that needed to be completed. He'd arrived, well, somewhere at least but safely, so he tugged the necklace from inside his shirt and he brought the charm of glass and metal up to his lips and kissed it in thanks for keeping him alive another day.
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  8. "I. What? Yes. Nereus." Rhys paused, something seemed familiar about the man in the mask who was so clearly from Isolde. But right now, even that familiar sensation couldn't cope with how unreal this entire thing was. Everyone was chatting at once it seemed, no one had any idea where they were or how they got there either. Just that they were indeed there.

    Rhys tugged the parka close around him, sliding his arms inside. Arms that now had gauntlets. He wriggled his fingers in them exploring the way they felt against his skin before turning his attention once more to the group at large and pulled himself up off the floor finally and got the feel for being upright. He ran a hand through sea-bleached blond hair and cracked his neck and focused his gaze on the man who kissed the necklace... Ah.

    A wicked grin spread across his face.

    "I think introductions might be in order? We're all here after all and none of us know how or why." He smiled pleasantly, using his merchant voice -brisk but friendly. He was considering using a fake name to screw with Parka since the man clearly didn't recognize him. Rhys got lost in thought for a moment, allowing the moment to introduce himself first to pass by him.
  9. Kaja had jumped at the sound of the first voice. She was pretty sure the place was empty when she showed up. Or had it been? She was a little distracted and disorientated and.... wait, this really wasn't a dream....?

    She ignored her soreness and jumped to her feet, stepping towards the edge of the room, between a couple of pillars. A weird mixed feeling of dread and exhilaration hit her. This... definitely wasn't Wayra anymore. Visible below were spires, walkways, lush greenery, water... and beyond that... cloud, clouds and more clouds.

    According to Snowflake, they were up high. So that's why it seemed a little harder to catch her breath.... Speaking of the stranger, there were more of them now, no doubt finding their way here the same way she had. So people from all over were finding these... possibly cursed gauntlets. She recognized one to be a Wayran dancer, the professional kind that put sweat and tears into the craft.

    "Yeah, we've all been kidnapped by magical pieces of armor, why not get to know each other?" She responded to Shirtless with a clear tone of sarcasm, but proceeded with something an introduction anyway. "I'm Kaja... And no one has any idea what we're doing here?" she said, stepping back towards the group and crossing her arms. "...Not that I'm really complaining... this place looks pretty cool." But... she'd be lying if she said she wasn't worried about how to get home. If she didn't get back, her mother would kill her... somehow.
  10. Canis blinked; she hadn't noticed the gauntlets around her wrists until she tried to lift her arms-- goodness, they were heavy. It wasn't until she noticed them that they got lighter; intricate cuffs leading to broken chains that dangled and clattered each time she moved-- like gold bracelets. Once calmed down from her adrenaline high, she glanced at everyone around her. It was apparent that they had no idea what was going on either-- let alone why they were even brought to that place...

    It was up high...wait-- didn't she just dive off a cliff?

    "This is too weird..." She said under her breath as she glanced at the others; everyone was introducing themselves, so it was only a given if she did. Bowing kindly at them, she smiled kindly. "I'm, how did all of us end up here? It's safe to say that we are where the gods dwell..." She left the rest of her words for her mind and tried to think of a reason why they were there. But why were we summoned here?
  11. Even as the young man was answering Awitani, more people arrived... or more accurately: appeared. She didn't need to gasp in surprise, merely stepping back abruptly set her jewelry to jingling. All doubts about Gerin's abduction schemes disappeared the moment a shirtless man materialize out of thin air.

    "My word... !" breathed Awitani; the shirtless man did seem to be ripe for recruitment, especially with so few men in the 2nd years' classes. A bit too old however even with musculature that could easily be redirected towards the more expressive arts. A few more people "arrived" out of thin air. While not similar in design, all present were wearing wrought gloves. At the most inopportune time, a dance story began to formulate in Awitani's mind— she would have to do her best to remember it to repeat back to Hilano should she manage to find a way back to Wayra from wherever her location was.

    The current company of people had made it very clear that the place wasn't a dance academy; Awitani disapproved of the realization since the floor seemed to be well maintained, the acoustics lovely, the room itself spacious enough to conduct a full day's classes twice. With this much space there would be no need of multiple groups to perform the same chunk of choreography. The lack of enough space in her academy in Wayra was something Awitani always lamented, but Wayra being so full of people... an expansion would not only intrude upon the respectable (but small) finances of the academy but of the precious space others use to live in. Then again, the tight quarters did provide a breeding ground for the camaraderie amongst the students and rivalries that would push them to excel, granted the teachers being attentive enough to mediate and stave off the growth of overzealous competition.

    As the young man clothed the shirtless one, the notion of introductions came about. Despite not being a dance academy, the interaction was very reminiscent of first year students on their first day of instruction. Awitani was warming up to the motley collection of people already.

    This one, with the sharp tongue was Kaja.

    Canis, the polite girl. She reminded Awitani of a student she had 3 years ago. She had blossomed into one of the most ruthless students she had. Last she had heard that student was primary dancer in the troupe most requested for the elites of Janan

    With the familiarity of conducting her classes, Awitani slipped into her sense of authority as a dance academy mistress. Drawing up airs, Awitani straightened her shawl and gestured towards herself, "I am the mistress of the Bailaodori dance academy in Wayra, Awitani Soomasayao."
    #11 Kooriryu, Jul 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  12. The gentle sounds of water seemed to increase as the lone fountain rippled even more. Water rose up slowly, whirling around briefly before forming what seemed to be person.

    Kaja- like the other's no doubt- noticed, but felt a need to let out a "Hey... guys, head's up," anyways, taking and instinctual step back.

    The water created a, seemingly, solid form of a cloaked woman with only eyes exposed. Violet gaze hovered over everyone present, settling on the shirtless one for a little longer. The being seemed to remember that humans needed a certain amount of warmth to be comfortable, because the room suddenly took on a balmy temperature. "Welcome... chosen ones. I am Eris, a guide in service of the Goddess." She stepped down off the fountain with an amount of grace that made her inhuman-ness even clearer. "You must have many questions. Now is the time to ask."
  13. If there was one good thing about Canis, it was her fearless chattering; on her travels, she had pissed off many-- usually because she wasn't one to sit down and play along. Hands on her hips, she looked at the mysterious figure and then to the flaming gauntlets on her wrists. Of course they would have questions-- starting with why and HOW all of this was happening. "I'm not trying to talk for my...companions, but exactly why are we here? Not to mention...well, that fall should have killed us-- where are we?" Already, she was considering the others as her "friends" or "companions"-- even IF she didn't really know them all that well, there was a burning urge in her to protect them.

    This was beyond odd and if they had to fight to get out of there, she'd be alright with that-- as long as the others escaped safely.

    Hands now folded neatly in front of her, she took a few steps closer to Eris; studying the form, with her head cocked to the side. Surely, they couldn't (and wouldn't) harm the guide and she hoped that the others weren't inclined to do so-- it would be embarrassing...considering what Eris said.

    "Guide, in service of the Goddess-- right? What would she want with us? What are we supposed to do?" She said worriedly; looking over the others and hoping all of them weren't going to be given some impossible task-- or better yet, a suicide mission. All of this was quite a bit to take in-- considering the fact that they were "chosen". Chosen for what?
  14. Even as Lyrian's senses began to recover from the daze provoked by his inexplicable arrival in the temple, he could still scarcely believe that he and the others, who it seemed had all gotten there in the same way, were together in this situation. All of them being apparent strangers, they made their introductions in turn. When it came to Lyrian, he hesitated briefly, unsure if he could trust any of them to know who he was without first having some idea what all of this meant. He realized, however, that no one appeared to have any answers at the moment, and that collectively they were all in the same boat with just as much to lose.

    "My name... is Lyrian," he said after a pause. "Whatever lead to all of us ending up in this place, it can't just be a coincidence. There has to be some reason we're all here. And obviously it's something having to do with these, as Kaja already pointed out." Lyrian raised the pair of gauntlets adorning his arms as he referred to the one thing they all had in common.

    As if in response, the fountain nearby murmured and the water rose to take on the shape of a woman. While this was shocking enough, Lyrian almost fell to the floor when the woman addressed their group. A servant of the Goddess? What exactly did that mean?

    Although Lyrian was hardly one to believe in divine providence, it was undeniable that something far removed from the ordinary was taking place. And since the guide had offered to answer their questions, he decided to take the opportunity to try and understand just what was happening.

    The woman named Canis inquired first about the purpose for which they had been chosen. Lyrian and no doubt the rest of their present company would be eager to hear a response. That being said, he had a question of his own he wanted answered.

    "The gauntlets." Lyrian bent his arm and made a loose fist in front of his chest, his armored knuckles shining in the moonlight. "They brought us here, even though we all come from different places around the world. What do they have to do with us being chosen?"
  15. Kaja shifted uncomfortably on her feet. All this talking was making her anxious. Was she the only one this tense about a magical lady appearing from a fountain and spewing nonsense about the Goddess? Everyone knew the only people who still went on about Her were crazy fools, waiting in vain for some legend to come and slay the Giants. Well, maybe not everyone knew that, but Kaja did.... She mentally scoffed, and the mysterious woman looked her way, making her wonder if she'd done that aloud.

    "Is that all of your questions?" The cloaked woman asked, glancing between them without turning her head. She didn't actually wait for a response before continuing. "Well then, I'd much rather respond with a... display, over a lengthy explanation. Human time is so precious and... short, after all." Eris spoke, then crossed her arms over her head, palms raised. Next came an unearthly glow around her form, a matching aura rose from each of their gauntlets. Kaja looked down at her hands, the mysterious glow, and wondered why she hadn't thought to take these things off!

    Too late. Kaja was no longer in the round chamber. She was... well, she had no idea where she was. It was dark, and she felt no floor beneath her feet. Despite this, she felt more secure than alarmed. A faint whisper came, and she couldn't quite make out the words, but knew... something or someone was asking for her trust. And, for reasons she couldn't begin to fathom, she wanted to give it.

    With that thought, suddenly, she could see! But not quite through her own eyes. She saw clouds rushing by all around and realized... she was falling! Falling from the island! In her panic, arms flailed as if there was anything to grab. But it wasn't her arm she saw, it was a grand stone one. That's when it clicked. She was inside a giant! Not a monstrous kind, but one of stone. "This would be really awesome if I wasn't falling to my death! How am I suppose to control this thing!?" Kaja yelled, not realizing the other's would be able to hear her.
    • Love Love x 1
  16. Kaja. Canis. Lyrian. Awitani.

    Definitely not Isolde names but Parka already knew by their faces. Nevertheless he committed each one to memory because his guts told him this wouldn't be the only time he'd be seeing them and he hardly ever distrusted his guts. No, they were here for a purpose of great importance whether that be for bad or good and it seemed like the rest of the group was in agreement with him.

    And so was Miss Purple, apparently.

    Kaja was kind enough to vocalize a warning but Parka was already drawing magic from his core up into his palm as he watched the water dance like it was trying to impress Awitani. He'd freeze it in a heartbeat if it proved aggressive. But that wasn't the case now was it? Instead, the water became a woman and he wondered just what sort of magic it took to make something like that happen.

    The answer, it seemed, was the magic of a goddess.

    Parka, though his gaze had shifted back to the blonde from Nereus, listened closely and carefully to the woman as she spoke. No hostility hinted in her words, he became genuinely curious which in turn distracted his thoughts from the Nereus man whom he was certain he knew from somewhere. But Eris as she seemed to be called had directed attention to the gauntlets still on his hands and on the hands of the others. They were personalized. His, specifically, looked like ice and it glowed with a bio-luminescence (thank you Mother for your never ending lessons about plants and animals) and yet it moved like silk, like they were meant for someone with hands more delicate than his own.

    "Weird," Parka thought out loud. And then something clicked. His gaze shot up to the blonde and his eyes widened with recognition and then suddenly he was falling and Kaja was shouting. "The gauntlets!" he shouted back, not even knowing if she could hear him like he could hear her. The moment he acknowledge their power, it came rippling through him and he felt something like a second heartbeat in rhythm with his own. The great stone and glyph arms moved as his arm moved and he fought to pivot this..whatever it was, hoping that it had feet with which to land on and hoping even more so that the inevitable impact on the ground wouldn't kill him.

    But what a rush.

    He let out a laugh and then a giddy howl of excitement as the wind roared around him.
    • Love Love x 1
  17. Canis looked around; glancing from one of her companions to the other, she didn’t really register what was being said to her. It was an ever-present quality in the girl that kicked into high gear every time she became excited—all other sense or worry went right out the proverbial window. Looking down at the gauntlets, she soon felt a wave of warmth pass through her entire body; the ever-moving flames around her wrists didn’t seem to burn her skin. Hell, out of curiosity, she even placed her hands over her face.

    Only to open her eyes and be surrounded by the beautiful and chaotic flames. A phantom voice hit her—no, it was more of a feeling…something was around her—offered protection and a way out from mediocrity and the wanderer gladly accepted it.

    Just like Parka, she let out a whoop of excitement; able to hear a few of her companions speak, but unable to see them. All of this was unbelievable, but if this was some afterlife repercussion from diving head-first off a mountain—it was still pretty awesome. “Whatever it is that the Goddess needs—I’ll gladly do it. I’ll give my life!” Sadly, Canis had no idea what she was signing up for—but she wasn’t really one to back down or run from an opportunity…
  18. Things had happened so fast that for once in his life, Rhys had been struck dumb. He didn't know what to say that the others already hadn't said and not just that he was a little miffed that damned Parka didn't recognize him. You know. His best friend. Seriously, Parka? Rhys made a mental note that if he survived this whatever it was he was going to kick Parka's ass. It really wasn't much of a wonder that he was taken completely by surprise when he found himself falling.

    Only. It wasn't just him. He was inside something. A vastness. No. It was small. No. Vast. It transcended description. He flailed. Only to see stone arms? Flailing as well. Vines crawled over them, tiny blossoms bloomed in the clear blue sky. It was beautiful. Sigils under the moss and vines once rough but now smooth from time and weather. Rhys flexed his hands and then prepared himself for the fall, hoping that the lady had a plan other than them all smashing to their death. He didn't want to die. Not right now. Not yet.

    He had promised Parka his first child, hadn't he? That when he got married, he'd send his first child to be fostered with the man. Well he hadn't managed to get married yet!

    "Shit! How do I control this thing?!"
  19. Awitani was a mistress. She had taught many, many classes that saw many, many pupils' pass through Bailaodori's halls. As such, she was used to being asked this or that, being the one students would direct their curiosities. So when Eris, guide to the Goddess, gave them the opportunity to ask Awitani was speechless. Moreso Awitani was in the presence of one who was in a number of old choreographies that told the tales of ancient pantheons and long-past heroisms. What questions could one ask of something that before was merely a collection of specific hand gestures and rhythm?

    "...Well," Awitani started before Eris engulfed herself and the gauntlets in divine light. The dance mistress was in good shape for her age but even the healthiest heartbeat couldn't cope with seemingly being thrown off of whatever place they had been standing. Awitani suddenly felt that she was much too old for this. Though a master dancer can adapt to any flubs on stage, dancing is a purely terrestrial activity. To have the floor taken literally out from under her feet-- Awitani flailed limb and jewelry in the air, a lifetime of training to let the body speak in lieu of the voice left her mewling like a lost kitten.

    A very loud, very lost kitten.

    Her eyes were closed tightly, limbs working the air to no avail and jewelry jangling noisily— she had never really put much thought in death since the dance academy commanded much of her time and attention, things she already willingly gave. All of a sudden thoughts of dying and death filled her head. Feelings of abandonment by a goddess she had never truly worshipped, worry over the academy in her passing, fear of her cousins and siblings finding her diaries grew in multitudes until...

    "This would be really awesome if I wasn't falling to my death! How am I suppose to control this thing!?"

    "The gauntlets!"

    “Whatever it is that the Goddess needs—I’ll gladly do it. I’ll give my life!”

    "Shit! How do I control this thing?!"

    ... For falling to their deaths, their voices were awfully clear. Tentatively, Awitani squinted one eye open, her arms and legs slowing in their struggling. It was the most peculiar sensation, to have no solid form beneath her feet but to be as still and upright as a tree in the earth. She looked around; hands clasped with fingers skimming each stone set in every ring, every decorative ridge in her bangles needing the tactile reassurance that she was not, perhaps, in limbo after being dashed to her death from falling.

    "Guide Eris... w-where exactly... am I, are we?"
  20. A voice began to echo in the Guardian's pilot chambers, "I suppose you could call this something of a test. I prefer to call it a learning experience," Eris spoke. "The Stone Guardians you control amplify magical powers you already possess. Some of you are already aware of this magic, others may need to catch up. Either way, I suggest you think fast, and work together to slow your decent.... hitting water from this height isn't much better than hitting solid earth."

    "Oh, GREAT, well that answers everything! Anyone got any ideas about how we can... not die?" Kaja said, trying and failing to hide her alarm with humor. And of course this evolved magic... because nothing could ever be easy for her. Her brother had been the talented magic user in their family. She had accepted her place as the family fuck-up some time ago, and yet here she was, chosen by the Goddess for some incredible magical destiny.

    Dammit Kaja-girl, she thought to herself, now's really not the time for self-pity....
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