Monday, December 05, 2005

The Hunt for the Orb

The construction is magnificent. A maze of catwalks suspended in the air above the ocean, probably created from blue jade and steel. The paths criss-cross with each other, making the whole thing look like a painting with a serious perspective problem. The structure seems to be suspended in midair, though 2 paths enter the ocean, and 2 paths contact the mountains at the sides. Still, they are too flimsy to actually offer support to the whole thing.

There were mortals there too. Seemingly, we needed them there for some reason,
something to do with the end of whatever it is we were doing there. I think Angel was tasked with defending them, while Otoniel and I had to defeat the orb's guardians.

At the top of the structure sat a triangular platform, some 40 yards on a side. Each point had a stone, that, when properly activated, would allow us access to the blue orb that sat in the middle of the platform.

I remember being up there with Otoniel, trying to touch the Orb, and one of the stones on the points began to glow with unearthly light. Then the whole pedestal where the stone was set moved, shaping itself like a great hunting cat, the stone set in it's brow. Apparently it wanted to defend the central orb. Which made it our enemy.

As soon as it began to move, I activated my Ebon Shadow Form, concentrating the dark essence within me to shroud my silhouette in fading copies of my shadow. At the same time, the bands in my arms began to glow, unwinding and showing scriptures of martial prowess, before fading into nothing, yet reinforcing my movements.

It pounced at this moment, yet it seems the shadows were successful, for he didn't hit, even though I didn't move. Otoniel began the motions to cast a spell, so I moved to defend him while he finished. It seemed the cat thought the same, and tried to attack Otoniel.

As it pounced his way, I struck first, forcing it's snout upward, which I followed up with an upward roundhouse, pushing him up in the air. Once there I jumped, followed it with another kick, and then a formal spin kick, pushing it away. Once I realized he was out of range for any other hit, I snapped a bolt of focused necrotic essence at it, and that finished it. The stone in it's brow stopped glowing, looking like an inert rock.

Unfortunately, all of the impacts forced the cat off the platform, and into the ocean. As it fell I could see how the cat itself began to turn to dust, until the only remaining thing was the stone, which landed in the water on it's own.

Otoniel stayed on top, thinking of furthering his defenses for the other 2 guardians we were missing, while me and Finian, who had arrived late, went for the stone. We both just jumped from the platform to the water. But where Finian made a splash as he sank in, I landed with a skid on the water's surface. I peered into the water, and even though I saw some creatures going after Finian, I wasn't too woried.

As expected, a sudden flash of necrotic energy centered on Finian did good work of getting rid of those stupid fish, and a few seconds later her came up with the stone. But as he surfaced, and we started the trek back to the platform, I heard the sounds of combat up above. Seems the second cat woke up ahead of schedule.

I told Finian to get going to the top. We needed all 3 inert stones to unlock the Orb from it's casing. As he climbed off the water and started to run on it's surface, I allowed myself to sink in the water, seeking the shadows deep below. The calm of the waves was soothing, but I had more pressing concerns. As I reached the shadows, I willed myself to travel through them, to take me to the shadow cast by the pedestal atop the platform.

Suddenly, I can hear the combat sounds a lot louder, and just a step takes me out of the pedestal's shadow, to see how Otoniel's finely dealing with the second cat on his own. Or should I say, with the help of a construct he created from the very material of the platform.

I've always marveled at the perfection of his constructs. Right now he created something very similar to his opponent, if a bit bigger. Both cats are squaring off a small distance from him, and whenever the enemy tries to strike at Otoniel, his construct bats him away. Very, very nice. Maybe I'll let him do those augmentations he always offers me... But then again, my body works just fine, thank you.

This is based off of a dream I had a few minutes ago. I tried to write down the dream as fast as I could, and when it faded, I used what I had written as a seed for a story on the new characters me and my friends are making to play in Exalted. We'll be playing Abyssals this time. I haven't finished this, I'll see if I can finish it later on.

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