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Thread: [Open] Week ---: Pura Imperium (Black Portal Finale)

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    [Open] Week ---: Pura Imperium (Black Portal Finale)


    Pura Imperium
    Unto the Black Portal, Final Phase - Eternal Eclipse



    At the highest prominence of Krevati Evimerias stood what had once been a celestial observatory. It was in the shape of a pentagon, no more than one hundred meters across. Pillars lined the outer edges, some still bearing the frame of a roof that had long since crumbled away; seven Januin corpses spread out around the edges. A circle of square granite tiles had been formed in the center of the former observatory, a disc of solid obsidian inside it. Surrounding the circle was a large pentagon, matching the edges of the terrace itself. The lines of the pentagon had been made in marble. The points became wide circles, also surrounding in marble but filled with basalt, and with another disc of obsidian in the very center. At all points but one laid familiar corpses in robes of black in crimson.

    Directly above the center of the array, the eternal eclipse darkened the sky. It did not just block light, it stole it away, draining it from the world. The Black Portal dominated the sky. The world below was cast in darkness, as was the sky above. In every direction, a ring of light remained at the distant horizons, a fiery halo.

    At the very center of the array stood a man. He was clad in robes of deep crimson, lined in gold. This man had no hair atop his wrinkled skull, but his beard fell all the way to his knees. He bore a spiked crown of black iron, set with a single red ruby the size of a fist. The Januin King, Vasilias Mavros, Archmagi Pura Imperium.

    On the final remaining point of the pentagram, a man in black and crimson robes. His skin, like all Januins, was cracked and weathered, and his deeply sunken eyes glowed with red light in the shadows of his hood. One hand to each side, one holding an orb of bright blue light, the other an orb of sickly green light. Dikaiosyne, Archmagi Aequitas. Beside him, outside of the pentagram, stood a humanoid. No skin covered its flesh, leaving muscles, sinew, and organs all exposed, pulsing and beating. Long, oily black hair fell down to its thighs. A many-eyed raven nested atop its head, concealing its face from view: Arch-Daemon Aequitas.

    Behind the pentagram, an enormous creature of flames and shadow, with dark grey skin pulsing with red light. Darkness seemed to follow the daemon. Its form was that of a man, impossibly tall and covered in muscle. Great, draconic wings spread out, covered in scales and hide. The feathers of an enlil adorned its waist and shoulders, while the fins of a velen protruded from its arms and legs. Three eyes adorned its head, each gleaming with red light, and a fiery glow escaped its toothy maw. Great horns curved to either side of the beast, and a flame floated above it, growing brighter and hotter as the three eyes narrowed. Its snake-like tail whipped around behind it. The Daemon Lord, Ṃ̵͈͖̻͚̩̜̪̙̯͇̱̰͔̬̗̭͍̲̕͞A̶̵̸̵̱̪̰̟̱L̨̼̟̺͎̱̠̬͈̥̟̦̦̫̣̀ P̸͢͏̙͈̞̠̲̱̭H̭̭͙̤̝̘̣͙̜̩͉͈͈̤̀͠A̶̢̫̮͈̮̝͚̩̬̙̺̩͡͝Ś́͟͏̛ ̮̪̻̖̘̪̜.



    [500/500]

    Note
    Climbing the tower from the Temperantia chapter will lead the heroes to the top of Krevati Evimerias, where this sight greets them.

    Come on if you're coming. Don't hold back, but also don't disappear. This is a big fight, but silence is not a valid defense. If you join in, then go silent for a week, your character(s) may experience grievous bodily harm. The thread may not wait for a week before continuing, however.

    Do note this thread will end by New Year's -- hopefully sooner.

  2. #2
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    Aelflead murmured under her breath, "Textbooks don't do that thing justice."

    The gruff spurii was among the first to finish the climb and for her trouble was struck with shock at the sight of the pair of horrors waiting to meet her. The grotesque churning of dangling organs in front of her combined with the palpable aura of malice and wrongness in the air was enough to give even her pause.

    The warrior’s grip tightened on her blade. What could we have possibly done to earn these kinds of horrors as retaliation? The redhead’s favorite mask threatened to shatter with this thought, the weight of the disgust fighting its way to the surface. Deepening her already impressive scowl was all she could do to keep her feet from dragging her back down the tower.

    They’re all mad, she reasoned, still inwardly agape at her sight. These things are myths I studied... Who would call these things? Why? Questions raced through the mind behind the warrior scholar’s face. She found herself questioning the motives of her enemy for the second time through this campaign, trying to understand the reasoning behind what she could see only as insanity.

    Demons are horrific, soul-harvesting monsters hailing from another plane of existence with no clear motives, notorious for turning on their master’. Suspicion alone had kept Aelflead away from learning to summon a beast herself, they carried too much risk. One false move and a summoner could quickly find themselves a disembodied glowing snack. Taking that kind of risk just for oneself required a tremendous amount of either foolhardiness or desperation. Anyone capable of putting an entire people, much less your own people at the mercy of creatures like these, much less their king, for the sake of any goal, unnerved the spurii.

    Not because the redhead particularly cared for the fell terrans, but because strength won wars. Be it a strength of ideals, character, or military, history proved this fact. Without looking around the spurii knew the motley crew of Terminus was lacking in military power, even to get as far as they had. If the Janu were calling the boogeymen from bedtime stories and things that go bump in the night to help them and trusting them not to turn on them the redhead feared that their strengths of ideals and character were left wanting compared to the archmage and Janu king in front of them.

    Vaguely Aelflead hoped that one of the beasts would turn on their summoners instead of fighting them but she chastised herself and her mind replayed a line that was too familiar with for her own tastes and cracked her knuckles. You know better, she thought. Lustus non est de Paradiso, so tuas propiram daemonum appellationem.


    [488/488]

    wc/sp check
    The Latin at the end means, (I hope): Heaven comes only for the righteous. Also, wc/fixes.
    Last edited by Pacman100; 11-17-2017 at 02:20 AM. Reason: wc + grammer + sp fixes
    Look, the way I see it you can go down the cliff two ways. You can walk down, or I can push you down. Its your choice, I don't care as long as I get paid.
    -Aelflead Kriastes

    Quick! Look over there! I promise it's important!
    ~Gwendolyn Noname

    Stats and Capabilities

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    Deni panted as he and a few others finally reached the top of the stairs. As he emerged next to Aelflead, he gripped his bandaged torso.

    “Fuck me,” he groaned between breaths. “How am I supposed to fight after that?”

    Even though his most grievous wound remained dressed, it was only a precaution. The Castus healers had fixed most of the damage he had sustained from the ship battle.

    When Deni noticed the ritual ahead of him, however, he decided that he wanted to go back and stay on the ship. More archmagi, more daemons… he barely survived the first time. His hands trembled at the recent, disturbing memory of Misericorde. Bloodshot eyes begged for sleep. Even without his previous wounds, he was in no condition to fight. But he had to.

    “So, business as usual I guess?” he shrugged, finding at least a shred of solace in the familiarity of Aelflead.

    [152/152]

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    Once they neared the top of the mountain, Ignis sought out familiar faces. From her perch on a floating nest of vines, sticks and leaves. She'd stuck close to Aeria during their ascent, preferring ranged attacks to getting up close and personal. Her cloak was ripped in several places and smeared with dust and ashes. Nevertheless, the enlil wrapped it around herself tightly and used the remains of the hood as a makeshift scarf to hide the lower half of her face.

    Her guns we reloaded and she'd made use of ammo liberated from corpses to refill her stash. Cora sat to one side of her, ready to take flight at a moment's notice.

    The darkness made Ignis shiver almost imperceptibly, but she did not turn back. She couldn't let this abomination continue. Gun grasped tightly in one hand, Ignis reached in her robes with the other for some terra regia and mumbled a prayer to Aquila for protection under her breath.

    She was afraid, but not deterred.

    Laurel, newly healed, stood nearby, a grim expression on her face. She was tensed, like a spring, ready to act.

    Dianette held her trusty rifle like a lifeline. She glanced over at Ignis. Could she trust this woman to watch her back? Frowning, the velen looked away. She had no choice for now.

    Laurel was doing better at pretending they weren't temporarily aligned with a terrorist. The scarred woman had taken the news calmly and said she'd withhold judgement until Ignis could be observed. That was their task, wasn't it? To observe this woman and her intentions. It wasn't their place to decide whether she was guilty or how guilty she might be. That was to be left up to higher authorities.

    “I think we should light this place up,” Ignis said, breaking into Dianette's anxious thoughts. “If we give that demon a chance, it's going to kill as many of us as possible.”

    Amicus clung to Ignis tightly. He didn't like this at all, but his partner wouldn't hear of fleeing. The woodland spirit shuddered at the vile aura emanated by the demon lord. Such a creature was the type of thing mons infans tended to avoid.

    “We can't afford to attract too much attention to ourselves early on,” Laurel cautioned. “We need to hit it from different angles.”

    “Right.” Ignis nodded.

    Cora flew away from the party, seeking a good angle of attack.

    “I think something big is coming…”

    A large barrier pushed forth from the ground at an angle, shielding the group and all those nearby.

    “When we get noticed, we will have to act fast, understand?” Laurel looked around.

    Several people nodded.

    “Dianette, I need you to put your magic skills to use. That gun of yours isn't as important as stopping enemy attacks.”

    “Yes, ma'am.”

    “Once they're distracted, Bird, you get us close as fast as you can. We're going to hit and run, you understand me?”

    “Got it.”

    [492]

    Characters & Stats
    Ignis
    Vigor: 21,845/22,295
    Skills:
    Art of Ingenarius-Skilled
    Calling of Fundibuli-Skilled
    Calling of Pythonis-Skilled
    Way of Pistolii-Adept
    School of Aquila-Adept
    School of Occultus-Adept
    Discipline of Pugilis -Adept

    Laurel
    Vigor 20k
    Skills:
    Bellator-Skilled
    Militis-Skilled
    Canonis-Adept
    Pistolii-Novice

    Dianette
    Vigor 6k
    Skills:
    Serpens-Adept
    Scolepto-Adept
    Militis-Novice


    Items

    1 Armor (Dahilitium) --worn by Ignis
    1 Salve (Dahilitium)
    1 Salve (Bigatium)
    9 Explosives (Dahilitium)
    7 Explosives (Auritium)
    9 Bigatium (Pulveris)


    Techs
    Dys <3

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    Alongside Ignis, Dianette, Cora, Amicus and Laurel there was a figure clad in her tattered travelling cloak. Her short hair stood up in fuzzy spikes, stirring very slightly in the wind that blew like a breath from Hell around the great black mass above them. A long, black-hafted spear with an ornately decorated blade rested in Aeri’a grip. She’d picked it up from where it had fallen on the battlefield, replacing her destroyed halberd until she could have one made. The pain in her body had slowly begun to subside, but there had been little time to make sure she was 100 percent ready again.

    For now, she didn’t say anything, content to let others make their observations. She had hoped that it was all over, but it seemed that the great evil threatening the world hadn’t let them get away with anything yet. The Janu above them was utterly terrifying and she couldn’t pretend that she didn’t feel a gut-clenching sense of fear right now. However, they had a war to fight and war didn’t stop to ask how you were feeling, it just ground your soul to dust and spat out what was left.

    Next to her, she felt a presence and turned to look. Her eyes opened wide as she took in the solid, broad form of the enlil named Diamantus. She was clad in thick leather armour and wore a helmet. In her right hand, she held a thick bladed cutlass and a steel buckler was strapped to her other arm. In her belt, two pistols were holstered and ready. The velen gave her a sharp-toothed smile. “I heard there was some bad shit going down and came to see for myself. I figgered you lot might need a bit o’ help so here I am.”

    Something about Diamantus gave her confidence and she flashed a smile back at the velen. “Glad you’re here. I think we could use more like you!”

    The rebel leader nodded. “I’ll give that nasty bastard a taste of my steel the first chance I get.”

    All of them stood there on that shattered plain and waited, hearts thudding, for the first surge of the attack.

    [365]

  6. #6
    The Lurker <span style='color: #FFFFFF'><span class='glow_008080'>swaswj</span></span>'s Avatar
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    Any hopes that the long battle would end without bloodshed rapidly drained away. Winged monsters soared overhead and even as they stood there facing the Januin King and his most trusted lieutenants, more daemonkind dropped through the dimensional gap overhead. The inside of the portal itself was blacker than black, offering no hint of what was on the other side other than the terrors that passed through into Mortalis.

    The fifth archmagi began speaking, the first of the Janu to speak in the common tongue, heavily accented. His voice was gravelly, imperious, and reached to all of the allied forces, even those who had not yet reached the city's peak.

    "Perichora, torn apart by hordes of vistra, driven there by the laicar in Excelsus. The people begged for mercy, hoping for a suffering's end more than life, but found none." Over one of the glyphs, the body of Eleos floated upright, still showing the wounds of Ioannes' rifle.

    "Rebellitro, set upon by the enlil hunters of Pistris Coda. The people lost their courage, turning their backs to their attackers to flee, and stood no chance." The charred body of Tharros lifted up, marked up by the multitude of strikes and shots from Aelflead, Aeria, Ignis, and the allied forces.

    "Anatoli Iliou, destroyed without provocation by the demvir of Cursus. The people held to prudence, in hope of peace, and paid the price for it." Over another glyph, the body of Phronesis lifted up, limbs twisting in unusual directions, crushed beneath the towering bookshelves toppled by the demvir Laebuta.

    "Vexento, wiped out by the toxins brought by the velen of Listonella. The people failed to exercise temperance, so desperate to cure their ills, and as many died from medication as toxin." The fourth body, that of Sophrosyne, floated up, pierced through by Argos' trident.

    "You stand now in Krevati Evimerias, the final stronghold of all surviving Januin people in the northern reaches of Secare. You come here bearing the sins of your kind, and so you will meet the justice that you deserve." Dikaiosyne, standing over the fifth glyph, finished speaking.

    The Januin King, Vasilias Mavros, spoke out a short command in the infernal tongue. "Kill them all."

    The great draconic wings of Malphas flapped, lifting the daemon general into the air. With a snap of his snake-lake tail, Malphas soared over the allied forces, laughing and throwing spears of fire. Aequitas began walking forward, flanked by numerous other daemons. The many eyes of the crow over its face seemed to be staring into everyone, judging them. Dikaiosyne unleashed a storm of ice.

    King Mavros, meanwhile, stood with arms folded, content to watch the battle unfold, all while smiling.

    [450/950]

    Sorry for the delay.

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    The women saw the dark shapes above and for a moment, they just watched. Dianette cursed, Laurel frowned, Ignis trembled.

    “Let's move!” Laurel commanded.

    Their platform rose swiftly, curling protectively around the women. The vines shifted to allow them to see outside and shoot at any winged demons that came too close.

    Dianette glanced at Ignis while she took aim with her rifle. The enlil's gaze was focused on her drone, which flew in an erratic dance between and around demons, throwing bullets like flower petals. The shots more often than not pierced wings or heads. Occasionally a shoulder or leg. The avian was trying to kill or disable as many of these aerial demons as possible. Satisfied that the woman wasn't going to turn on them, the velen turned and began defending their shield with well-placed shots. She planned to conserve her energy for when they got closer to the enemy. Her magic skills would be of utmost importance then.

    Laurel watched the other two women weave pain and destruction around them and nodded to herself, satisfied that their flight was relatively undisturbed.

    “Let's go lower. We can provide aerial support and hopefully avoid drawing too much attention to ourselves. I want to use Star Shriek Blast on that big demon in the middle. We can use its blinding effects to take cover and disappear into the crowd. Dianette, you'll need to pay attention. I need you to bind one of those guys standing back. They're probably orchestrating this. That's why they aren't fighting with the masses.”

    Ignis nodded and Dianette grunted in affirmation. Their leafy capsule swooped down and threaded through the beginning battle. First, they needed to ensure they weren't attracting too much attention. Blending in was vital.

    [290/782]
    Dys <3

  8. #8
    Lobster Mobster Valero's Avatar
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    Deni stared down the gathering demonic masses. He had never wanted to flee more in his life. Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead as the remaining Terminus forces poured out onto the pentagonal rooftop.

    Someone brushed against his shoulder. Her green feathers averted his gaze. Effie. The one he had encouraged to keep firing the cannons aboard the Hydrus. Without him, she might not have been able to summon enough fortitude to carry on fighting. Without that cannon, the serpent would have likely decimated the ship. As much as it pained him to admit it, he needed to be there.

    “Looks like this is it,” the velen shouted at the top of his lungs. Effie and a fair portion of those that heard him glanced in his direction. “Armour in front, gunners and spellcasters behind. Aquila users, make some cover!”

    They must have been in dire straits if the rogue was the one barking orders, but enough leaders had fallen in the campaign. Deni’s eyes turned to the skies, where the infernal daemon overlord was sowing havoc. He hadn’t managed to get a good glance at his name before the chaos erupted, but it didn’t matter. The gunner pulled his rifle down off his shoulder as melee combatants charged past him, straight through the icy storm and into the fray. Effie remained by his side, though.

    “I’m taking out that Manfloss or whatever his name is,” he said to the blue-armoured spurii. “Give the troops some cover fire.”

    She nodded. Deni didn’t know why he was surprised that she followed his order without objection. Perhaps he was better at leading than he thought. Or perhaps she was just grateful for his aid on the ship. It didn’t matter; she immediately drew a rifle of her own and aimed down the sights, unleashing a few shots at winged beasts that soared towards the melee fighters.

    The velen dropped to one knee and aimed carefully down the sight of his auritium sniper rifle. Malphas was a terror. His flight pattern was unpredictable and had he not been such a large target, he would have been a nuisance to hit.

    Deni inhaled slowly. The daemonic general seemed to slow every time he cast his flames.

    One more time… come on… there!

    A loud clank signalled the unleashing of a metal bolt towards Malphas.

    [391/543]

    Note
    Auritium rifle + Skilled sniper = 6 tier shot at Malphas.

  9. #9
    The MinjaBlade Pacman100's Avatar
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    "Something like that," Aelflead murmured. But she was too transfixed on the Januin king's words to be granted peace by a familiar comrade.

    Perichora, Rebellitro, Anatoli Iliou, Vexento, and now Krevati Evimerias. Fear left the woman's body while a new stranger flooded her system: Uncertainty. The woman's mindscape mirrored the chaos on the battlefield as the drive for survival, warrior's discipline, and what few values she had left clashed in her mind.

    Her mask fell away for a moment and she hesitated. Last bastion... I-is this genocide? The cloth around her hands fluttered while muscle memory tensed and pulled her body into position for battle, but her mind was still elsewhere.

    Murder was not something the redhead was unaccustomed to but that never entailed the destruction of a race. If Kervati Evimerias was "it" for the Janu, what happened when they destroyed it? Fade to black? Curtains for a whole species?

    Aelflead's stance faltered and she took a step back. This was a problem when the prospect of having to do it again was on the table, but if this is it... What did that mean? The scholar couldn't decide whether to be horrified or relieved. A victory here meant "never again," but it also meant "never again." Her hands would be guilty of helping to wipe a whole species and their culture off the map forever, not just putting down an uprising.

    While the warrior scholar debated the morality of the war going on around her, the war was still going on around her. A demon covered in spikes and dripping blood lunged for the spurii, brandishing a club-like arm with no hand and aiming to crush her beneath it.

    Her training as a child would save her here as her body reacted to the threat without the woman's present mind. Foot placement allowed Aelflead's body to sidestep the beast and leave her standing behind it.

    A shove to follow through with her motion forced the beast to the ground, and a flash of Auritium combined with her momentum made for a hackneyed amputation.

    Inside her head problems remained unresolved though. Images of Deni, the short-haired spurii, the Enlil, and Ego's entourage flew across her mind with a new question. Am I the only one thinking about this?

    She backed away from her demonic interrupter's flailing, now brandishing the beast's arm herself.

    It rushed her in a rage, seeking to rake black claws from its remaining arm across her body and met the flesh of its amputated arm instead.

    Before it could make a second attempt, flames erupted beneath where it had been standing, leaving a newly charred spiky corpse to disintegrate in front of her.

    Aelflead's eyes met briefly with her savior before combat called the mage back into the fray. Aelflead's body turned back to combat likewise, and her mind continued soul searching, letting herself autopilot for a while longer. Just because the woman's world was being called into question didn't mean she had to die too, a war didn't stop just because one soldier was having a crisis on the battlefield.

    [525/1,013]
    Look, the way I see it you can go down the cliff two ways. You can walk down, or I can push you down. Its your choice, I don't care as long as I get paid.
    -Aelflead Kriastes

    Quick! Look over there! I promise it's important!
    ~Gwendolyn Noname

    Stats and Capabilities

  10. #10
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    If Aeria had stopped to think about what was going on, she might not have kept fighting. The Janu had a point, a terrible and searing point in what he’d said. This was the wholesale slaughter of a group of beings. It was exactly what some would have done to spurii if they had the choice given to them. She was thinking about exterminating a whole race of beings. Right now, she had to tell herself that this was a horrible mind game being played by the Janu. How did she know if what their leader had said was accurate or not? There was no way of knowing. It could have simply been a bluff designed to make the weaker members of the army facing the daemons back down.

    She’d missed the chance to get onto the mons infans platform so she took up a position next to Deni, her black hafted, black bladed spear at the ready. She glanced across at the velen and nodded. “Well met, Deni! I was wondering when I’d see you in all of this.”

    On the other side of her fellow velen, Diamantus gave him a toothy grin. “So yer the Denisis Perfide I keep hearin’ so much about huh? I guess we’re gonna see what you got today!”

    She hefted her pistol, aimed and blew the head off of one of the daemons swooping down on them. “There’s one fer me!”

    [603]

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