BY INVITATION ONLY Phantasmagoria — Ewigkeit in Wiedergeburt

Skyswimsky

Nien Scheiße!
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Primarily Prefer Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I can adapt, so both. But I guess more on the passive side.
Favorite Genres
I like nearly all genres as long as they are anime-themed, anything can be made interesting.
Genre You DON'T Like
Pure Smut/Libertine and realistic.
"If you think it's too much to handle, you might as well quit now. While there isn't much difference between weaker and stronger ZAYIN or TETH, HE-class entities can be quite diverse. This one should be on the weaker spectrum. Oh right, they might have not taught you at Witch school or whatever, and unless it's an ALEPH nobody really bothers with it, but HE-class and upwards are further specified through a numerical value. Ranging from 1 being the weakest to 10! And some even have a secondary letter to denounce their speciality. Like HE-7-A would be a rather strong HE-class monster that specialized in Assault, aka offence!" Scratching the back of her head and clicking her tongue, she added. "But really, it's not something you should bother with anytime soon!"

Taking in a breath of fresh air and stretching herself, Melody nodded. "Alright, remember all the flying classes you hopefully took in your past? It's time to put them to good use." Taking off her witch-hat for a moment and rummaging through it, Melody pulled out a simple, old-fashioned, broom. Slowly lifting off Melody chanted with a soft, actually charming, voice. "Oh my sweet, sweet, shining light, guide us through the darkest night." Not a second after, an orb of light gathered in front of every Witch, not that easily visible thanks to the daylight.

"Oh, c'mon. A tad darker, please?" Changing to a sort-of purple, the orbs now clearly stood out. "Well then, these orbs will guide you to the place! With all that out of the way..." Melody grinned in a smug-fashion now. "Show me those racing skills of yours~!"

Was she messing around? Was it a challenge? Clearly, Melody couldn't be serious!? Mentor role, important mission, and all that! Yet, here she was, clearly not intending to slow down.

...

Their 10 to 15-minute flight would take fledgeling Questing Witches past a variety of islands. From grassy plains to thick forests, high mountains and deep valleys with waterfalls whose end disappeared in the thick fog below. There even seemed to be a volcano further away! Of course, amongst all this, were also all kinds of animals. While mostly various kinds of birds, one could see fish-like creatures with wings; and was that a tiger-shark with wings!?

Although Horizon was supposed to be infected by the Manablight all over, there seemed to be a distinct lack of corruption so far. Maybe the route they took was simply safe. Or the immediate surroundings of Phantasmagoria served as a safe haven. Either way, things quickly changed as each and every one of the Witches could feel a shift in the air. If the feeling of slight dread wasn't enough, the floating giant piece of half-rock half-flesh was unlike anything they had seen so far.

The rocky bits of the rather oval-shaped island were in direct contrast with what appeared to be the Manablight. Rugged, uneven, cold, lifeless, rock in direct fusion with a smooth, fleshy, area. Various veins pulsating in an even rhythm as one could also spot what appeared to be eyes spread around it. A disturbing, yet not too disgusting, view. The worst, however, was the fact that the guiding orb of light led the Witches to what appeared to be some sort of another cave entrance. At least it was still made out of rock.


  • Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaccceeee~~
  • Make sure to check out the announcement on Discord for this post! In which I will elaborate more.
    • Dicing will be done on Discord.
  • A score of 95 or higher is required to beat Melody and earn imaginary Witchy witch points.
    • You may work as a team and may gain extra score depending on the creativity of your approach.
    • The score to beat Melody in a team is 80*amount of Witches working together.
      • So if Luma Luma and Villamvihar Villamvihar decide to go power of friendship they need a cumulative score of 160!
    • Make sure to announce who you're working with at the end of your post!
  • I mentioned how there are some slight dice shenanigans. The RNG in this one may seem ridiculous but I'm not intending for any of you to beat Melody in a race, and neither is it that important. By no means will I put your life in the hands of some ridiculous RNG!
    • This just serves to make you a bit more comfortable on how things will be run here and there.

 
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R-9 Pilot

Edgeknight
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I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
"Eh, it's not like I'm all that worried, just a little surprised is all. Good to know on the number stuff, though?" The guiding light would be useful, but Mina wasn't expecting a race. Not that she let her momentary surprise slow her down very much. She sighed at the challenge to a race. "What does she think this is? Initial W?" Mina's protests didn't stop her from getting ready to go on her own. She didn't have a broom, but instead muttered a few lines of her own, and began to float above the ground.

"Well, come on, let's not get left too far behind," she said to the others before speeding off herself. One could see runes and sigils on her back glowing with arcane energy even through her clothes as she turned her back on the others to follow Melody. She didn't spare much attention to the sights, as she focused on following her guide and doing her best to keep up with the team's mentor.
 

Luma

Ohio go sigh moss
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Libertine and non-fiction.
"Hm? Sun? But where are all the wavy lines the sun's supposed to have around it? Oo, unless those represent the pain in your eyes when you stare at it? Interesting!" Aurora turned away, furiously trying to blink away the dot in her vision. After a few moments, she finally recognized Eiry, handing her bird butterfly back.

"Well everything breaks eventually. Just be careful with it and try to have it... ya know... not break as long as you can!" Stepping closer, Aurora closed Eirlys's hands over the glass bird butterfly and gave her a playful pat on the wrist.

"Wait, what? Flying... lessons...?"

Aurora stood there awkwardly as everyone began to take off from the island, as Rune wandered up to flick her on the head.

"Whaaaat...? You know broomsticks are expensive! Besides if you hadn't used up all that flow with your cartridge the other day, maybe I would've been able to afford one!" Rune responded with an indignant eye-roll, motioning towards the witches who were promptly flying away.

"I know, Rune, I know. Um... oh wait, I might actually have something! Hold on...." Aurora assured as she pulled out a thick deck of elaborate cards. "You know, I really love Stella Gambit. They have all these super interesting deck combinations you can make. Aaaanyway, I'm pretty sure I have a card in here for this; I just need to set up first."

...
........
.......................................

Several minutes later, Aurora was standing in the grass, surrounded by at least 30 glowing cards floating around her head. In her hand were another dozen that she pondered carefully. Meanwhile, Rune was significantly less enthralled at the performance and had taken to idly pacing around her. Of all the places Aurora could get lost in her little world of magic, this was one where at least Rune could appreciate all these new sights... and sounds... and smells... and feelings.

"Aha! Yes," Aurora exclaimed, snagging Rune's attention! "So I have my Boundless Well in place, and the water energy is being converted to air energy with my Tururi's Geyser... now all I need is to..." Rune continued pacing. She took a moment to stare at the purple orb that'd been waiting there patiently all that time.

Did it have thoughts like she did?
Did it find her as curious as she found it?
They were both synthetic beings made with magic... did that make this orb her sister?
...

"Aaaaaand, there~! Lepheo's Luminescent Wings!" Suddenly, a pair of massive, glowing wings sprouted from Aurora's back and stretched them out wide like a cat after a comfy nap, promptly falling backward into the grass. "Oww. Now I feel all off-balance. But wow, I forgot how pretty these were. Anyway, hold on Rune and I'll make you some too!"

Shaking her head vigorously, Rune quickly ran up to Aurora and latched onto her shoulders, pushing her towards the edge of the island. "Ruuuuune! Rune, stooop! It won't take that long, really, just a few minu-- aaaahhh!" Dropping off the edge, Aurora spread her wings out, the two gliding through the open, blue skies like a hang-glider.

"Heeeaaavvvyyyyy!" Despite being several minutes behind, the wings were fast. Very fast. In fact that shot across the open skies like a hawk diving for its prey, wind whipping them with a force never known before. After a minute or so, however, Aurora's head started to throb. The floating islands, the distant volcano... they all seemed to swirl about like oil trying to mix itself in a bucket of water.

"Rune... I think we need to land for a minute, I'm starting to feel diz--"

"Help me..."

"Huh...!? Rune, did you just...?"

...

Skyswimsky Skyswimsky
Villamvihar Villamvihar
 

Skyswimsky

Nien Scheiße!
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Primarily Prefer Female
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I can adapt, so both. But I guess more on the passive side.
Favorite Genres
I like nearly all genres as long as they are anime-themed, anything can be made interesting.
Genre You DON'T Like
Pure Smut/Libertine and realistic.
Melody scratched her head as she was standing at the entrance of the cave. "They're slow..." She ultimately concluded. "No, of course not! But they're slower than I thought!" The senior Witch seemed to have a conversation with someone as— "Oh, finally!" — she could see the first of the new Witches in sight. "Had a fun ride?" The blonde asked nonchalantly as the other Witches quickly followed, one after the other. Except for Aurora.

Special Event for rolling 42

Taking her time to set-up a combination of cards that triggered a multitude of effects to ultimately create Lepheo's Luminescent Wings, a spell that would allow her flight, Aurora was already lacking far behind the others. She wasn't even competition to begin with. Unless, of course, her wings were fast enough to—

'Help me...' A whispered plea, right beside her very core.
'Please...' A desperate voice, seeking for attention.
'Hurry!' A call full of sorrow, becoming louder and louder.
'It hurts!' A single sound, on repeat.

'It hurts!' She couldn't hear the birds.
'It hurts!' She couldn't hear the wind.
'It hurts!' She couldn't hear her own voice.
'It hurts!' She could only hear the overlapping pain of someone, something.

And then it all stopped. The roaring sound of air reminding her she was still, safe and sound, in the sky. Together with Rune and the Orb in front of her...

"Finally!" Melody clapped her hands together upon Aurora's arrival. "Enjoyed the sight, eh?" Teasing her for a second Melody now made a swirl before spreading out her arms, gathering a bunch of gusto. "Welcome to the Gaping Maw!" Before adding a lot less motivated. "That's what the Scout Witch called it anyway. Buuut don't worry. The rock won't eat you... I think." With everybody gathered, Melody now cleared her throat.

"A-Anyway, our target is deeper inside this cave. I'm sure you have seen the rock already becoming less rock...y on your arrival, right? Well, that's because of your target! Now, I'd say 'follow me!' BUT starting from now I am just an observer! So, instead: Lead the way!" Giggling a bit, Melody shrugged as she waited for the group to get a move into the interior of the so far harmless looking cave.


At first, the pitch-black cave that was hopefully illuminated by some sort of light spell didn't look like anything out of the ordinary. A single path with rocky walls followed by more rocky walls. Then, however, things slowly started to change.

The rocky surface was thinly coated in some sort of translucent mucous that was barely noticeable if not for the unpleasant smell. Then, further in, slowly but surely the Witches could see patches of flesh instead of rock. Some larger, some smaller. Adorned by a few veins, innards, pimples, and other disgusting flesh-like things they finally came to a point where their surroundings consisted more of flesh than rock. Most of their steps creating a 'squish' sound unless floating.

"I know that MAYBE you might feel disgusted and never wanna go out again..." Melody decided to speak up. "...but rest assured that the Manablight can warp its surroundings in many different forms! Just unfortunate that this had to be your first actual experience, huh!? Further north, there's a corrupted place, a forest made out of bones, that messes with your sense of direction! First, your feet are simple solid on the ground and two steps later everything is suddenly upside-down. It's just really, real— Oh look, an enemy!"

Finally, further ahead, seemed to be something else than just disgusting corridor. It was a humanoid shaped, 3 meter-tall, very muscular entity with fleshy, but very smooth, skin. It had very sharp claws instead of fingers and its knee in a bent position, as if ready to jump at any moment, its head was dominated by a very large mouth with humanoid teeth. It took a moment, but a low growl could be heard from the monster as its head shifted, just a little, towards the group of magicians.




Name: Flesh Golem
Class: HE-2
HP: 150/150

Retaliates with 10 DMG upon a roll of 20 or lower.



  • Make sure to check out the announcement on Discord for this post! In which I will elaborate more.
    • Dicing will be done on Discord.
 

R-9 Pilot

Edgeknight
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Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
Mina might have taken a while to get there, in no small part because a patch of rough air slowed her down and caused her to veer off-course to catch her runaway hat. Still, she wasn't expecting to win that race either.

"Looks mostly like an ordinary cave. Though, uh, not sure if that'll keep forever," Mina said, eyeing some of the fleshy scenery nearby suspiciously. She took the initiative in moving into the cave. As soon as the group had gotten far enough into the cavern for natural light to begin to wane, Mina cast a simple light spell, causing the tip of her staff to glow like a torch. It was enough to illuminate the immediate area, which made the slow transition into clearly Blighted territory all he more apparent. Glad I decided to wear clothes, Mina thought, frowning at the carpet of squishy tissue beneath her feet and imagining what that might feel like without the boots in the way.

"Oh, good." It actually was a welcome distraction, if a little physically intimidating. But, hey, they were Witches of Phantasmagoria. They train their entire lives to eventually deal with this sort of thing, don't they? Mina raised a hand to point at the monster, and with the pointlessly simple incantation of "Shoot!" fired a blast of magical energy at it. Again, some of the runes on her skin glowed even through her clothes. The magical bolt struck the towering creature clear in the chest.
 
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Karyra

Punch Squad
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[Joint Action Begins]

Eirlys stared at the glass robin in her hand, incomprehending of how Aurora could hand off such an important thing to her. Finding her words painfully lacking, the silver-haired Witch tried to get Aurora's attention... To no avail. Sounds got stuck in her throat and within seconds, she found herself giving up on the prospect of handing the glass robin back to her benefactor. Heart heavy from the responsibility she percieved to be handed off to her, she took a deep breath of air in an attempt to centre herself, then turned around-

Then almost fell onto her butt when she found Melora just an arm's length away from her.

Having surprised the silver haired girl, Melora gave a huge smile.

"It's not like I'm actually very scary. So, do you have a cool plan for getting from point a to point b? I'd love to hear it. Come on, if we hurry I bet that we'll get a lot of glory and praise..." Melora said singsongingly. "So, whatcha got?"

The thought of clinging to Eirlys was temping, but the vibe the poor girl was giving off was closer to vibrating apart due to stress, and Melora didn't really want to add to that. Right now, anyway.

Eirlys blinked in confusion, her mis-matched eyes widening at the question. Caught completely off-guard, she let out an adorable squeak before she composed herself with a deep breath. Resonating through her entire being, she took a moment to calm her quick-beating heart, not sure if it was from the surprise or her anxiety around people.

"Umm... F-flying," she answered honestly. There was nothing more to it, was there? Or maybe she answered wrong? Was it what Melora expected? Would she be disappointed? Already, the familiar lump grew in Eirlys' throat.

"Flying...?" Melora said. "Aww come on don't you have a more fun grab bag of stuff to do? Like sprout wings or summon a golem to carry you away?"

Melora dramatically flailed her arms, hoping to let her 'disappointment' show through. Maybe then this silver haired girl would show her stuff.

Eirlys almost shook her head to answer it, but stopped mid-motion as she realised she did have the answer Melora was looking for.

"U-u-umm! My flying works t-t-that way. I-I... I mean... I fly with wings!" she managed to blurt out without trying to shrink away or fix her eyes on the ground. Not that this helped with her posture or her nervous stutter.

"Then show me how, and we can do it together! I've never flown with wings before. Just the usual broom stuff." Melora said. She dug out her box and pulled out a card. Then, thinking better of using it right away, put it to the top. "If you show me how, I bet I can do it on the way back, too."

Melora was excited. She loved seeing new types of magic. And if this unlocked a new card along the way... Melora wouldn't say no it.

Eirlys sighed, letting the tension out of her body and at the same time, let her senses fall away from the world. Eager to act upon Melora's word lest she be faced with a difficult situation, she shut everything out iota by iota. Sight by sight. Noise by noise. Touch by touch. Smell by smell. Taste by taste. Her eyes may have remained open. Her hands may not have cupped her ears. Her skin had no extra cloth covering it. Her nose was still free. And her tongue could not be obstructed.

But the world went black all the same.

It took a second.

Yet for Eirlys, it felt like an eternity as she called out to her magic and Corvina.

SensingofMasterEagertoServe.

Her eyes lit up with a grey glow. A drop of Flowiron appeared between her now outstretched hands, while a pair of skeletal wings erupted from the moonstone on her collarbone. Thin, long constructs decorated with runes upon runes, they were quite a sight to behold as they folded under Eirlys' hands. Transitioning to her back through a series of complex and coordinated motions, they seemed more machine than Historia.

WholenessisAchievedWaitingonCommand.

Eirlys' fingers moved and the drop in her hand turned white-hot before she launched into a flurry of elaborate gestures, creating and directing Flowiron towards the wings. There, the strange material swirled around the runes in twisted circles, eventually arranging itself into a thin, shifting film between the appendages.

The last drop of Flowiron disappeared from between Eirlys' fingers and she gave Melora a shy glance.

It took a moment of silence as Melora just watched Eirlys quietly close her eyes and focus. She pulled out her notebook and took down a note: E takes a moment to focus on her magic. Sc-

Melora had to hurry to take down what happened next. Beautiful, and amazing. She must have a historia somewhere inside of herself, ooh that'd be a beautiful sketch if she could just get the runes right...

"That's.... that's amazing. How big of a construct can you make? Where's the Historia? Is it that drop or is it inside you somewhere?" Melora burst out with questions, then took a moment to physically stop herself by holding out her hands. "We've got a group to meet up with and monsters to kill. But I expect to get answers later, okay?"

"So... Can you carry me or should I go looking for a suitable stick nearby?"

The sudden burst of questions overwhelmed Eirlys, to say the least. She found herself taking several steps backwards in an effort to get some distance from them, but they reached the poor witch all the same. As a result, a light blush tinted her cheeks and she shook her head, disbelieving the notion that such attributes could apply to her. Nevertheless, it seemed Melora was more intent on catching up to the others - a relief honestly - than learning about Corvina.

"Ah... I-It should be okay to fly together," Eirlys responded when she managed to find her resolve again, steeling her nerves a hundred times over. She just had to do this or she would never grow to make more friends! "I-I can try to explain while we fly, b-but i-it'll take some time."

There! Was that good? Was that correct? Was that something someone would say? Eirlys swallowed all those doubts as she extended a shaky hand for Melora to take. Her heartbeat practically drummed in her ears.

This. Was. Awesome.

Being a Questing Witch was awesome.

"That's fine. We have a bit to get there, anyway. Take it at your own pace. Sorry to push." Poor Eirlys, Melora hadn't meant to push so hard... but it had been so cool!

Melora took the hand that was offered, excited by the next step that was going to happen. What was the world going by below going to be like? What about the magic? Melora was brimming with curiosity. Her heartbeat excitedly beat in her ears, racing with the possibilities that flight would bring.

"U-umm. Sorry. T-this is going to be a l-l-little weird." With her free hand, Eirlys reached into the moonstone of her Historia once more while focusing her attention on Corvina's operation. This time, her eyes did close as she focused on getting the pattern along with the shape right. She soon retrieved a pair of rune-engraved bracelets with adjustable clasps, snapping them onto their connected hands. And before Melora could question it, she summoned some Flowiron, creating a link between the two of them.

"N-now you definitely w-w-w-w-won't fall," she spoke up, trying for a bright smile. It looked nervous and unsure at best. "H-h-h-h-old on t-tight, please!" Without warning, Eirlys' free arm wrapped tight around Melora.

ReadyforFlightBalanceisPerfect.

The runes on Eirlys' wings flared with searing, white light, and the machine exploded into motion. The two Witches blasted off with the force of a tornado.

Eirlys soon focused again and pulled out a couple of bracelets with runes like the wings that the silver haired girl had conjured moments prior. Before Melora could ask, they were put on and chained together. Melora was mildly concerned that losing Melora was a bit of a worry before they took off like a shot.

Melora certainly held on tightly. As they moved, she wondered if she could somehow pulled out a card to help keep her from falling to her death while moving this quickly.

As they went, Melora heard some laughter. She tried to twist her head around to try and see around her, but there was no one. Eirlys was focused on flying, and the laughter sounded... cruel. As though she was being made fun of. Some small part of her pride was pricked by the laughter.

"Was that-" Melora stopped herself. "Look, we're almost there. That was fast. Next time, I'll try and fly us, okay? Favor for favor and all."

[Joint Action End]

Still a little wobbly from the flight, it took a moment for Melora to regain her legs. Jeez, that really was fast, wasn't it? She took a moment to shakily write something else down. About the laughter from earlier. She wasn't sure that Eirlys had heard it at all. Which was.... unsettling to say the least. Disembodied laughter?

Then again, as Melora walked into the Gaping Maw, things weren't great out here. The floor was squishy and fleshy. Which meant all this combined was suuuuupppper gross. To make things worse, there was a monster at the end of the tunnel, waiting for them. It was a HE class, so it was nothing to be worried about, but Melora really didn't know how to handle this either.

She pulled out her first card, Judgement. Moving both hands together quickly, she put on her mask and aligned the card. The mask went a soft grey and a woman wearing a black dress and a blindfold appeared in front of Melora, and the card disappeared into the woman's back. The gloves were a soft fabric that matched the dress, and the impression Judgement gave off was that of a soul that was trying to understand.

"Judgement, help us destroy that creature, please."

Launching forward at extreme speed, Judgement quickly got behind the creature, grabbing one arm and pulling it behind the creature, allowing for the others to strike. It pulled hard and managed to scrape its ugly nails across one of Judgement's arms. Melora winced as the same cuts scraped across her own arm. She held it and tried not to let it bleed out on the floor too much. The clothing was already woking on knitting itself back together. It would serve as a bandage soon, but that would quite a while from now.

"Fire away, guys!"

Villamvihar Villamvihar
 
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Luma

Ohio go sigh moss
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Rune wasn't entirely sure why or how, but she sensed something. Danger, perhaps? Or maybe some anxiety attack? Either way, Aurora was clearly disturbed from something, which-- as a relatively faithful partner who also relied on the girl for mortal existence --was cause for alarm.

Rune poked Aurora on the head a few times, inquisitively. No response. Until...

"Huwaah!? What WAS that!? Was that what they call a 'mirage?' But I thought those came from sand?" Pondering it no more than a few seconds longer, Aurora continued to press onward, considering they were really pushing the boundaries of how late one could be while still being sorta polite.

"Hm... well I did really enjoy the ride, yes," Aurora answered Melody's clearly rhetorical question with a legit answer. They continued into the cave, a full minute of silence before Aurora did Aurora things and... "Hey, is it normal to hear strange voices in yo-- WHAT WAS THAT SQUISHY THING!?"

She'd practically screamed her exclamation at the sight of the fleshy ground. Even Rune, despite her curiosity, was throwing Melody a 'you can't seriously be expecting us to go further into this' sort of glance-and-point gesture.

"I think I'm going to be sick... I... I knew Manablight was awful, but this is the worst awful I've ever seen!" Yet clearly they were meant to go in, as the party pushed on forward. Meanwhile, Aurora-- and Rune by extension --were still struggling to follow along.

"Okay, the wings should last another hour or so, but these aren't really hovering wings. I know Witches' Generation has this one tune you can sing to float, if I could just remember the... hmmmmm hm..." Aurora began a serious of warmups with the graceful voice of a seagull in a blender. Rune leapt into action, setting aside her disgust and pushing Aurora forward again.

"Blech. Ick. Ugh.... ewwww...! Rune: no! What have I said about shoving people?" Nevertheless, they were moving, and Aurora was (relatively) quiet, so all was well-ish.

Speeding up a bit, Aurora caught up just in time to see the black lady take a swing at... --yep, this place just got worse.

"Uhm... hm... offensive magic...! Right, okay! How about... a fireblast!"

Aurora swung her arm around with grandeur, fling forth a little spout of flame.

Pffth.

It poked the beast and left a small scorch mark.

"Err... heh he......... go team!"

9 damage
 

Villamvihar

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Despite her promise to explain the mechanics of Corvina along with Flowiron during the flight, Eirlys could really not do such a thing. The wind seemed to fight against her every step of the way, with strong gusts. Fortunately, Flowiron possessed plenty of inertia and it did not slow her down greatly, but it meant she had to concentrate, pouring all of her being into maintaining her flight. She probably overdid it, but it was better to be sure than to be sorry; she did not want to hurt or lose her passenger.

But Eirlys had worried over nothing.

They arrived safely and Corvina retracted itself into the moonstone on her collarbone right before she followed Melody inside the cave. At first, there seemed to be nothing wrong with it... but then the warped sights started.

Flesh-coated rocks.

Tumors the shape of veins.

A hallway resembling a throat.

Muscles entwined in painful configurations.

Eirlys swallowed. Her right hand came to rest on her Historia as she navigated the hallways with her fellow Witches. Her heart thundered in her ears, a lump growing in her throat with every single fright she passed. True, she had seen many horrors within the Metal Sea, but those were of a different kind. Abstract in their construction, they lacked connection to reality... but this? She felt it under her fingertips when she touched one of the rocks out of curiousity.

It was real.

Swallowing her fear after what felt like an eternity, Eirlys started to have second thoughts about her decision. Then IT appeared and her blood burned with the song of the Metal Sea. She did not even register her teammates in the moment; Flowiron already floated between her hands, exploding into a swarm of droplets.

She stepped back with one leg. Her arms opened wide. Her eyes glowed pale grey. Using the momentum of her step, she twirled on her leg, tracing a white-hot arc in the air. It formed an elaborate symbol with a serpentine core and flowing metal poured onto it, constructing a long, thin line with a grip. As for Eirlys, one of her hands went to Corvina in the middle of her pirouette, retrieveing a small circlet... then as soon as she twirled back to her former position, she gripped her weapon.

With a loud crack, the whip unfurled from its position and struck the creature head-on. The Flowiron became solid just a moment prior to impact, exactly when Eirlys let go of its grip.
 

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The Witches were quick, quick enough to take the initiative, but not strong enough to take the monstrosity down without effort. Clawing itself free from Judgement's grasp, which bought them some precious seconds, it went from a slow walk into a four-legged sprint. Closer and closer, only becoming momentarily slower as Mina's and Aurora's attacks teared away on its flesh. Only after Eirly's metal whip hit it head-on, revealing part of its white-skull, the monster came to a momentary halt.

No.

It decided to stop. Close enough, the monster gave off a deafening scream under the constant barrage. Raising up on two feet again, the Witches could feel the blood-thirst it was giving off. Burned, battered, beaten, even Judgement holding onto it once again did not seem to stop the Flesh Golem from aligning its sharp claws with the Witches. As if it was pointing at each of them.

Not waiting even an instant after having done so, it didn't give the Witches any time to react as the claws suddenly shot forward. Piercing each and every single one of them: Hitting Aurora especially bad. Melody wasn't spared either, standing there with her arms crossed her lips made some light movement as a personal magic barrier protected her from any actual harm.

Nonetheless, after the surprising assault, the Flesh Golem fell first on its knees, before its entire body collapsed. It had been a last ditch effort.


35(Eirlys)+10(Melora)+44(Mina)+9(Aurora)= 98/150
Melora takes 10 DMG for rolling below 20.
Aurora takes 10 DMG for rolling below 20.
The entire party takes 10 DMG for not being able to kill the Flesh Golem in time.


"So..." Melody was about to raise her voice but was quickly cut off as only moments after, the ground below shook slightly. Stopping as quickly as it came. ba dum But now, there was something else, ba dum something new.

ba dum ... ba dum ... ba dum ... ba dum

It was an even, gentle, but also very weak rhythm. The entirety of the living flesh around them vibrating ever so slightly with every beat. Eyelids now started to open on the walls, staring creepily at the intruders without showing any intent of harm.

"Well..." The oldest Witch among the group seemed a little bit insecure for a moment. "Good Job on beating that thing! But that wasn't the target. I guess the Manablight is now aware you're here!" Before clasping her hands together with a smile, apparently not all that caring about the wounds the group had sustained. "I'd suggest you to hurry, it won't get any easier the longer you dilly-dally! Although, you can always turn around, too." Pausing for a second, she quickly added, however. "Although I won't step in unless absolutely necessary. So you don't have to worry about dying!"

Options, options, options. Good thing they had decided on a Team Leader, more-or-less? Whatever the group of Witches was planning to do. As soon as they started to move forward, they'd soon find that their path would split into two. To the left, an alluring sweet odour sickening the air even further. To the right, just more of the same. Or was it?
 

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Mina was none too happy about the claw stuck in her, but left it alone for the moment. It'd probably be worse to just pull it out and have a claw-shaped hole instead. Note to self, consider regenerative enchantments, she thought bitterly as she assessed the situation. The golem was dead, but they were all the worse for wear, except for their experienced chaperone. Not too surprising. Though her encouragement that they need not worry about death was.

"We should probably get a move-on. If you can heal on the way, focus on the more injured first." She was going to take this leader role seriously, and continued on down the corridor, urging the others to follow. Stopping here with the enemy alerted and clearly becoming more active wouldn't lend them any advantages.

The fork in the path did give her pause for a few moments. "Ugh." She wrinkled her nose at the smell. "I don't know what that is, but it's probably nothing good." Curiosity dictated she check it out, yet she did feel like it was probably some sort of strange trap or, well, something doubtlessly wrong in a new and unusual way. She instead paused to listen carefully. She couldn't hear anything definitive, in terms of where that heart was. Must be deep enough to reverberate through the whole complex. She did catch a few noises on the route without the smell. And got a feeling that she definitely shouldn't follow her nose.

"This way!" She pointed down the path which didn't have a strangely alluring smell. "Just hold your nose and keep to the right! I think there's something moving up that way, so stay alert." Mina continued down the right fork, keeping an eye out ahead.
 

Karyra

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Judgement's emotionless face almost made it seem as though she had decided to let the monster run towards the group scot free. Melora was towards the back, holding cloth against the wounds, but even as Judgement tackled the beast back down, she saw everyone get hurt. The claws were awful, and frankly hideous as they pierced into Melora's side.

The monster collapsed forward. It seemed to have given up the ghost, after that awful display. Melora grit her teeth and pulled the claw out, which was not the wisest of actions, perhaps, but it got the thing out. As the cave started to pulse -like a heartbeat Melora thought with a startlingly distressed clarity- Melody explained that they could either run or carry on.

Judgement came up behind Melora, quietly seeming to assess the situation despite not seeing with a huge blindfold on. Then, without words she scooped up Melora in a princess carry. Judgement even walked next to Eirlys, seeming to try and hint at something. Melora hid her face out of shame.

It didn't seem like Judgement hated her caretaker, nor did it seem like she was mute. Judgement probably just was silent just because. Melora still hated the thing. The first time Melora triggered the bonus time, Judgement stabbed her, and the physical scar would take shorter to heal than the emotional one.

"Oh, Auora and Rune! This is Judgement! She's really powerful and good at hitting things. Better than me, anyway."
Melora yelled. "Don't ask me how she works. It just does!"

Judgement nodded to the rest of the group.

"Also, she has a time limit, so if we're near it, I'll let you know before she disappears."
No point in bonus time right now, anyway. Melora wasn't going to play that difficult yet.
 

Luma

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Rune glanced at Judgement and Melora, and then to Aurora. With a saucy look, she hoisted Aurora up in the same way and began to carry her alongside the two, shoving her wrist up close to Judgement’s face and tapping where a watch might have been if she were the type of golem to wear a watch.

"Rune? What’re you doing? I mean I’m not complaining, that ground is nasty, but this is pretty unusual for you. Oh, but Melora! Judgement is so cool looking! The bandana makes her look and mysterious and cool! I wonder if sh— oof!" Rune promptly dropped Aurora to the ground wandering ahead of them.

"Eww...! Ruuuune, come on! Next time set me down before you start malfunctioning!" Rune mostly ignored Aurora’s complaints. Brushing her skirt off, Aurora continued where she left off....

"...that’s really cool though! I hope she lasts until we find the manablight. Wouldn’t that be awkward, if we find the blight, and then she goes to attack it and suddenly ‘poof,’ ahahaha! That’d be pretty awkward, right?" Rune shot Aurora a brief glance from up ahead before turning forward again.
 

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A scream pierced Eirlys' ears and before she knew it, the monster had revealed a skull of bleached bone. Staring in mute shock at the blood-curling cacophony, not to mention the sheer horror on display, the Witch could only watch as the monster arranged its sharp claws in a neat firing line. The wicked tools hung in the air with the finality of a death sentence, suspended for a moment... Then they struck head on. Like hail, they battered Eirlys and her comrades, slicing open the girl's upper arm, nearly to bone.

Teeth sunk into lips.

But the monster collapsed and the next second, a breath of relief left her. Unfortunately, many of them have been injured and while most deferred her assistance for the moment, Melora seemed especially wounded after their brief encounter. Without thinking about that, or how Judgement took the Witch into her arms, Eirlys walked beside them, hot droplets already floating between her fingertips.

"U-umm. S-s-sorry. T-t-this'll h-h-h-h-h-h-hurt, but I promise i-it's going to help, okay?" How could she sound so weak? Once again, she cursed her inability to form coherent sentences, but quickly shifted her mind to the matter at hand. Spellcasting while walking was not an easy task and she could barely maintain her focus to form a coherent matrix of symbols over Melora's injuries. Following the lines of magic, Flowiron pressed against the wounds. Though definitely painful, the pressure along with the steady rhythm of magic helped despite the rather primitive nature of Eirlys' spell.

"S-sorry," she repeated once again, hands dancing as she spoke and walked, following their leader through the tunnels.
 

Karyra

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Rune seemed to make a pointed comment at Melora and Judgement. Judgement carried on as normal, her walking speed not really affected. However, Judgement leaned down to let Melora stand after Eirlys helped heal Melora up some. Once that was accomplished, Judgement took a few extra strides to catch up with Rune. She then proceeded to pat Rune on the head. Judgement then returned to Melora's side, nearly hovering over Melora's shoulder.

"I mean, I have an internal sense of when Judgement will stop being here. Most of my cards last ten minutes. There might be an exception or two, but that's typically the rule. And Judgement won't be back for another ten minutes. Also, it's not a bandana, it's a blindfold. Technically, she can't see right now. I don't... have really any clue how she does when it's on. But that's symbolism, I suppose."

Melora winced at the injuries. Seemed like the clothing was already starting to stitch closed, but it'd be nice if it stitched together wounds too. Stupid boring clothes. Since it wasn't too much of an issue, Melora tore a strip of cloth off and used it to tie back her hair. what a terrible inconvenience. How did people stand long hair?

"By the way, thanks Eirlys. Even though it hurts, I feel much better without a gaping wound. Let's do our best to keep going forward!"
Melora smiled, hoping that maybe something good would happen because of this. Money? ...New cards? Nah, she'd rather not push her luck. She just had to keep an upbeat attitude while wading through this... fleshy goo of manablight. Worst thing she could do was panic, honestly.

Luma Luma Villamvihar Villamvihar
 

Skyswimsky

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The group of five carried on in relatively high spirits, trying to tend to some of their wounds without slowing down too much. By now, there was nothing left that resembled they were inside a cave anymore. With each step they took forward, the heart-like beating became ever so slightly louder. While a few steps barely made any difference to those without trained ear, by the time they reached a junction the vibration was potent enough to resonate slightly through their body.

Being somewhat in charge, Mina quickly decided for the right path, leaving behind the sweet and foul smell that would have resulted in a battle of willpower; and everybody followed without complaint. "Mhm..." Melody nonchalantly put her finger on her chin. "I really don't like this whole Mentor thing, it's really hard to just shut up and do nothing, y'know." Not really talking to anyone in particular.

Deeper inside, in addition to the now even stronger heartbeat, the structure shifted more and more from a more-or-less single mass of flesh to a multitude of big and small fleshy cords. And they were constantly moving. Creating a rather unpleasant noise on top of making movement on foot more difficult. Some slower, others faster, a few were even in the middle of the corridor, sticking out from one end of the wall just to disappear on the opposite side. While others dangled around like a fleshy branch.

Regardless of their surroundings, and regardless of any thoughts to why it didn't just decide to trap them, the group could suddenly hear some more noise from behind. The unfamiliar sound of flesh being ripped apart, as a human hand bursted forth from one of the walls, between the vines. It's bloodied palm grasping for something to grab on.

"H-Help... m...e..."

A desperate, muffled, voice could be heard from behind the fleshy prison.


Melora +10 HP from heals
 

Luma

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Judgement's headpat was met with a cringe, as if it was physically painful for the golem to endure. Glaring back as the Historia made her way back to her master, Rune brought up two fingers to her eyes, turning them to point at Judgement as if to say, 'I'm watching you,' and promptly beaming a smug, triumphant grin back to her 'blind' rival.

"Maybe she sees with magic," Aurora supposed? "Oh, but Judgement and Rune seem to be getting along so well! It's like Historia bonding! I wonder if they can speak to each other in like a special Historia language that needs no words. Can you imagine saying things but without speaking any words? I can't even picture it. Could you still think you're saying one thing but you're actually saying something else, even though you're not saying anything out loud? Maybe the Regalia girls would know. I should ask them later..."

Watching Eirlys cauterize Melora's wound, Aurora winced a bit. To her own eye, that looked way more painful than just leaving the wound as is, which is how she herself planned to go about it.

"Hm... I guess they say everyone has a different tolerance for pain," she commented. "Or maybe you just get used to it. I mean, it technically hurts, but it's not really that bad compared to my first time trying to conjure a fireball. THAT hurt." She shivered from the gruesome memory. "Oh, or that time I was practicing with that halberd... or the fo-- OH, the glassblowing accident! That was REALLY bad, I can't believe I almost forgot that one..."

Aurora continued forward a bit until a voice suddenly caught her ear. It sounded kinda familiar... which witch was it? Her eyes widened once she realized where the sound was coming from, sighting the hand and whirling around to see who was where.

"M-Melody," she exclaimed in shock!? "How'd you get stuck in the wall!? Um... uhm... hold on, we'll get you out soon!" Without even hesitating a single moment to allow for the actual Melody to step in, Aurora ran up to the hand and grabbed it in her own, desperately trying to yank her 'friend' out from the wall.

Karyra Karyra
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Villamvihar

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A smile, barely visible, appeared on Eirlys' lips as a touch of warmth rushed into her stomach. It felt nice to be thanked for her work, that is, with the genuine kind of thanks, when she really did do something deserving of it. However, she could not focus on the feeling. She had a spell to maintain, though she could tell it would be done with the wounds soon. Or, at least, some of the wounds. She did not have time for all of them, just the most pressing. Yet even if she felt inadequate about it, a far worse emotion lingered in the air.

For the walls reminded her of the Metal Sea.

Grotesque constructs of malformed flesh arranged in horrifying and warped patterns, the cave resembled one of her nightmares. She swore she recognised some of the shapes traced between the lumps of disgusting corpses. Shivers ran down her spine. Her fingers trembled. She could barely focus on her magic, as she found her eyes drawn to the horror around her. Strangely enough, she found the connection to the Metal Sea more frightening than the actual corridor, however, she did not have time to analyse her emotions. They needed to move and she had to keep up her spell.

Without warning, a hand burst out of the wall. It called for help, however, it did not resonate in Eirlys' heart. More than wary of her surroundings, Eirlys took a step back to look at it closely. It... seemed like an ordinary hand. Though covered in thick blood, it did not look deformed or as though it belonged to a monster like moments before. Yet she could not find the resolve to help the voice.

Guilt welled up in her heart as Aurora leaped forward, trying to pull it out of the wall, but Eirlys pushed it down. Something was wrong here, her instincts screamed. But it also could be a genuine victim, a fellow Witch trapped within this hell. She would never be able to forgive herself if it really was that.

So she did the next best thing. Ending her spell on Melora, she quickly brought her hands to her chest. White-hot Flowiron came into being at the dance of her fingers, striking out to arc symbol after symbol in the air. Her legs too, started to move, liquid metal following in the wake of magical energies to weave self-maintaning embroidery into the structure of reality. Senses and magic both primed, Eirlys focused on her surroundings so she could take action if - or rather, when - something started to go wrong.
 
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A hand tore its way free from the wall behind the party, accompanied by a cry for help. Aurora was moved to help almost immediately, and Mina might not have been far behind, but something about the hand seemed off. It certainly wasn't Melody, as Aurora had thought.

"Aurora, wait," Mina shouted. It was subtle, but there was something note quite right about that hand. "Look closely! No fingernails. It's probably a fake." It was not the most coherent warning, but it would probably do. A hand with fingernails completely missing, no matter how detailed, just wasn't right. Eirlys had the right idea, this was probably some sort of trap.

She dashed back toward Aurora to stop her.
 

Karyra

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Melora wandered close to the eyeballs, reaching a hand up as if to poke one when Judgement quietly grabbed Melora's hand. Judgement shook her head as well, as if Melora was a child. Melora rolled her eyes at this. As this happened, Melody was muttering something about it being hard not to jump in and help.

Aurora then excitedly started talking about Judgement.

"Oh, Judgement's not my Historia. None of my cards are my Historia." Melora suppressed a wince. "But I've had some experience with pain, because well... some cards just hurt me more than others if I'm not careful. I mean it when I say that if I say that Judgement is dangerous and you need to run... you run. But Judgement talks. She just doesn't want to right now. She thinks she looks cool right now, so she doesn't want to ruin that impression." If Aurora or anyone else paid attention, they could hear the slight amount of contempt in Melora's voice.

As Aurora ran forward to help "Melody", Melora turned to look at the true Melody. Something really didn't add up there, but Melora wasn't sure exactly what besides the obvious.

"Aurora, That's probably not-"


Melora was surprisingly calm for being in a cave filled with nightmares. She issued orders to Judgment to help Aurora if things turned ugly as Eirlys seemed to get the same idea.

Mina shouted that it was a fake because of fingernails. Melora walked over and leaned in to look closer. Not close enough to be grabbed, but enough to look closely. Mina could grab Aurora. Judgement could. It was not a pressing issue for Melora.

"Hey Mina," Melora said as she walked back. She was not going to be close to that thing for longer than necessary. "How'd the Manablight manage to copy the sigil so accurately? Think other witches have been through?"

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Villamvihar

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No fingernails?

Eirlys exploded into action. A storm of Flowiron symbols assaulted the air on front of her, crystallising into meticuously designed snowflakes. Patterns wove further patterns as Eirlys' magic reached towards Aurora, liquid metal encasing her hand to yank it away. It was a truly fascinating display of coordination: taking only a split second to perform, it bridged the distance in an instant. However, her desire to save Aurora proved insufficient.

Before Eirlys' tendrils could yank Aurora away, the hand moved. Joints snapped in impossible directions, revealing the monstrosity for what it was: an imitation. A sack of sick, twisted flesh. Yet its strength remained real as it wrapped its fingers around Aurora's arm, trapping the Witch in a vice grip. Skin cracked under the immense pressure. Threatening to spear bone along with marrow, it looked as though the group would arrive one arm short at their destination...

But then the Flowiron changed direction and slammed the hand.

The heavy, irresistible wave smashed the hand into smithereens. Chunks of red flesh flew everywhere and even though a few fingers still dangled on Aurora's arm, there was nothing to hold them in place. So they fell to the ground like mangled, rotten remains.

"A-a-a-a-a-aurora! A-a-a-a-a-re y-y-y-y-y-you all r-right?"