A Clash of Spirits - RPLOG

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Later morning deep in the swamps, the air starting to warm from the heat of the sun despite the rapidly approaching winter. Following the last expedition and the discovery of an ooze-covered hunk of stone and creator steel in the area, the royal ranger service has quickly moved into the area in the last few days and established a cordon. Several academics and clergy move within said cordon, doing their best to examine the fallen creator artifact as best as they can while keeping a healthy distance, the foul reek rising from the altar of stone and creator steel probably the least of one's worries. There's an atmosphere of tension about, that's for sure, but one can hardly feel otherwise with this sort of operations going on, especially with what one hears about Spirits these days.

Remembering what happened last time in the swamp Angus came prepared, walking up to one of the rangers in his dragon form. "Good evening." He greats, checking to make sure that his musket is loaded as he looks around to the others.

Falx mainly came along because he felt he should, seeing the possible danger. Plus he does want to use his magic on someone instead of just protecting a boat. Nonetheless, he notes the fact that Angus, Issi, and Alef are here, all those he has already made acquaintence with. That makes it easy.

Issi would like to get closer if the other beings would let her, but they wouldn't despite her not able to smell anything unless her tounge left her mouth. So for now she makes herself useful as a scout hiding in the grass close to the rest of the group. Why was she here after last night? Morbid curiosity mostly.

Alef walks steadly around the cordon, wearing her wading overalls and boots once again, the young mage moody and grumpy as she walks. Despite her earlyer eagerness to assist with the investigation, now that shes actually here its like shes expecting trouble at every moment. using her staff to support her movements through the muck.

Indeed, everyone appears to be on edge, especially those who're familiar with the situation, but that's only to be expected. Some of the rangers look distinctly nervous, especially at the state of the local flora. However, given the lack of any immediate regative reaction from the dripping, oozing slime that wells up from seemingly nowhere on the creator artifact, some of the academics have relaxed somewhat and have actually drawn a bit closer to the thing, even going as far as to prod it with a long pole. The fact that said pole sokes, hisses and chars as it comes into contact with the ooze is enough to deter them from actually touching it or trying to collect samples, though. Some of the rangers let their attention wander enough to question Angus, Alef and Sylera about their past experiences, clearly feeling a little more relaxed now.

Angus smiles at the questions, answering everyone of them that are thrown his way. "hello Falx, Alef. Come to investigate this thing?" He greets before walking up to watch the academics poking the thing with a wooden pole, whistling as the pole seems to hiss and charr after contact.

Issi starts to physically move back away from the thing, watching the pole burn and char. They were right to be wary. Whatever ooze that thing is emiiting it doesn't look like it would be good for anyone's health. Unfortunately this also means the viper is now crouched down in swamp muck, and thankful they aren't wearing anything massively absorbant.

Falx continues to watch the pole and the strange ooze, though back a bit to keep himself from being able to get touched by the strange substance. He looks up at Angus, and doesn't really respond other than a nod, keeping his eyes mostly on the slime. He's curious as to what it is, and perhaps if it has any useful applications. He does, though, also go over some math in his head, preparing for any sort of possible encounter.

Alef nods to Angus and Falx. "Yeah. Iv been told not to do much if any magic, but I heard another group was being sent here... I just couldn't stay away this time. not in good conscience." Sighing lightly. "So im here." Nodding as she answers the academics questions as best she can, frowning as they continue to test it, uneasy around it, as if expecting that thing to reform in responce.

Siyu is in the back, he heard creator tech and just had to come see, of course he wouldn't knwo what to do with it, but the young crafter at least would see if there's any scraps to be had, or adventure. Acidic ooze? Just pouring from an artifact though, that's odd, "I wonder if it's producing it from the soil or somthing..." he tugs on an ear, not sure what it could be. Not as much an academic as a craftsman so he just watches.

From behind the group comes the pattering of feet as another figure joins them, resolving into Sylera the betta. "Sorry I'm late got caug-." She pauses as what the group has already discovered comes into view. "Oh my... I sure hope it isn't the artifact itself making that..."

"No, it's not meant to," one of the machine priests says in reply to Sylera's statement. "There's something wrong here - it's like divine mathemagic, only not so. We can't get a handle on it, nothing we do seems to work. It may come to it, but we may have to destroy this thing, if anything we do to it can even touch it in the first place. It's certainly proving resilient to anything we can throw at it.

The words, though, are quickly cut off as a shout comes off from one side of the perimeter. It appears that the rangers have spotted movement, but they're not quite sure what it is. Still, since everyone friendly is present, when one rules out the impossible, there's only one thing left...

Angus tilts his head a bit as he stares at the artifact, wondering if there was anything they could really d to help cleanse it. Then there was a shout, his head turning in its direction as he brings his musket up to his shoulder. Cautious as he startes to walk forward.

Issi makes their way forward behind Angus, staying low to the ground and ready to break off into a sprint elsewhere if need be. The best thing she has on her, besides maths is a well kept dagger. It was better than hitting things with a branch.

Falx nods at the response to Sylera, taking in the simple statements. If it were divine mathemagic, perhaps he'd be able to do something about it, but nonetheless, it probably isn't, so not much to do. However, the sudden shout instantly catches his attention, and first looks towards it before turning, continuing his preparation in his equations.

Alef frowns "If everything youve tryed has failed its obviously resisting your efforts. attempting to destroy it will only provoke a simaller reaction. Unless you are SURE you can take it out in one go it wouldnt be recommended." her attempt to share her thoughts is cut short as the call goes up, raising her staff to defend as she holds back near the rear of the group.

Siyu tuns his head around as he's towards the back anyway and therefore closer to the perimeter, Moving now to make sure his back is towards the middle of the group, "Uh...I wonder what that could be..." he mummers getting ready for a fight, not quite sure what is coming.

Sylera grips her staff tighter at the mention of mathemagic. That was one question answered though it raised a new one, whose? She starts to carefully skirt the edge of this... Anomaly to observe but the shout draws her attention away from the thing and towards the disturbance. Staff raised.

Selena coughs quietly as she makes her way through the mire tentatively - late, to be sure; very late, though not too much so. Quietly nodding to a figure behind her, she moves quickly over to the remainder of the group with a slight shiver. "I never liked swamps." She mutters simply, keeping her usual greetings short this time and readying herself in the tense atmosphere. "Angus, it's good to see you again. Alef, I'm glad to see you've made a full recovery."

The murky-grey green water shifts and ripples, something moving beneath the surface, and soon, what it is - or what a lot of them are, to be more precise - is revealed: blobs of slime, festering over with swamp gas, have converged upon this spot. Whether it was an active ambush, set up long ago, or perhaps just in response to the machine priests poking at the fallen altar with a stick, is better left to one's imagination as everyone hastens to defend themselves. The group is best left to their own portion of the ring of putrefaction that surfaces, holding their own line as best as they can.

Siyu is bleeding, feeling the acid tingling and burning his flesh, "Damn it all, burn these things, they hurt worse then molten iron..." he shakes his arms, "Are they attracted to the artifact?"

Angus shakes himself a bit, trying to get the burning acidic slime off his form. "By the creators, that stings!" He shouts, holding his musket in his right hand, dagger in the left as he looks around for anything else that wants to attack them.

It's not over yet. As the depredations of the slime ring continue to batter away at those trapped in the middle, there's a new threat from within: choking, searing mist starts pouring from the altar, flowing forth like a broken fountain and threatening to overwhelm those within. The group is forced to deal with this new threat, while the ranger continue staving off the slimes.

Alef is feeling it already, slinging fire and channeling wind as best she can to hold off the slime, one getting lucky and landing on her earlyer she stands with decaying, melting robes and padded armor below, some of the fur on her left cheek seered of as she has no words to spare for chat. the Miasma appering lost on her as she focuses on the fight.

Sylera staggers on what is left of her staff, much of the wood eaten by the acidic slime. Sploches more the bettas fins but for the moment at least she seems to still be standing and ready to go, turning to meet the new threat.

Issi is already visibibly wounded, and not in the greatest shape from those slimes. She has just done what she can to keep herself from bleeding more when the Miasma starts flowing. The only thing she can think to do is wrap her somewhat bloodstained cloak around her face.

Siyu turns his head back to see the Miasma forming, and he balks a little, "It's coming from the artifact...should we...should we just bury it, bury it in the swamp and leave it? Does anyone have enough earth magic?"

Falx takes a few moments to collect himself, only to notice the strange miasma making its way out. He takes a step back, currently lacking any real magic to defend himself or those around him. However, he will stand and do what is necessary, mainly because there are those here who didn't escape the previous battle without injury.

Selena looks back to the group, pursing her lips. "Burying it could be worse, depending on what 'it' has planned for these things." She comments, closing her eyes shut at the stinging mist beginning to pervade the area. "Might be able to try and break it, if we can deal with this fog and whatever else is here, though. If we had more earth mages it'd be a lot easier to try... But for now, the less acid the better." She notes, her standard gestures being made to produce a burst of wind that pushes back the haze - or at least, for now.

Alef hates this Will o' Wisp. 3166774. is hated by the wisp, 32990

Falx slowly rises back to standing straight and adjusts his robe, looking about at those present. He takes account of who is still here, and who is injured. Those were not easy to deal with, though, luckily, he did get to have some fun with his Dark Magic against more practical targets. Still, he does return to keeping himself prepared, going over spell effects and how to cause them, just to keep himself ready for any other encounters.

"Wow..." Sylera is barely standing at this point, more like leaning on the nearly dissolved staff, though oddly enough seemed to hold her own better than the slimes just prior. Still there are a few new wounds upon the betta though she seems to look to the others first. "Is... Everyone alright?"

Selena takes deep, slow breaths, moving back over the grounds - though the fighting's clearly taken some degree of a toll on her, she looks over at the remains of the gops from before. "Well... Two options here..." She manages, looking about the area. "Either we deal with THAT immediately, as a group" - emphasis on group - "Or I can go about and give the gops a poke. That'd only be a problem if a certain old one's got a stake in them, but I'd rather not want to deal with them again later." She comments, moving over to the gooey remains of one of them and taking out her pact baton. "Any thoughts before I start?"

Angus pants a little as he wipes blood from his brow. "Well, think that thing is done...." He mutters as he shoulders his empty rifle and starts checking over his form, wanting to make sure that his injuries weren't truly bad. "Well Selena, I'm all up for taking these things out." He answers at Selena's question.

Issi isn't doing well. She was alrady wounded by the slimes and whatever that was didn't help, she was very much not in a good way. She's barely standing, and very much visibly bleeding.

Defeated and unable to retain its form, the last of the corrosive mist blows away, dispersed by Selena's winds. Several of the rangers are badly hurt by the caustic slimes and are being seen to by the machine priests, while the remainder draw in together about the reduced perimeter, hoping that nothing else is going to come rushing out of the muck.

~My creatures! Worthless! Weak! I give them an ambush, and this is all they can do?~ The swamp pratically begins to boil, churning and frothing, old, dead branches breaking and falling from the twisted trees. Something is manifesting itself, and not in a good way - already exhausted, the rangers look to each other, trying to rally themselves for anything that is to come.

Selena sighs quietly as the swamp starts to roil, shivering a little at the change in atmosphere. A quick jab into the gop later and she moves back to the group. "Maybe you should pay attention to reinforcements. But I suppose gops don't know much about tactics." she laughs, taking a critical eye to a certain object in need of destruction. "Well, Angus, I know you two didn't get along the first time, but I think it'd be better to bring in some extra. Don't you?" She comments, beckoning to the side; "Kendrac, you're wanted here."

A rip in space heralds the deer-like being's entry, spear well at the ready as he does. "It would behoove you to tell me why you call, Selena." Kendrac states, energy rolling off of the diety in intimidating waves - "Akros." He sneers; "You've as much wit as your followers, I see."

That voice was rather familiar, causing a certain dragon fox to sneer. "Akros! You wretched black stain!" Angus shouts, growling a bit as he lifts his dagger. Then Selena catches his attention, his gaze turning to her. As she summons Kendrac, the fox stepping away from the spirit warily as he scowls.

Issi limps to cover, keeping away from the battlefield. Trying to keep herself from loosing too much blood. She can't fight anymore in this state, nor can she even cast her own magic. Not wanting to attract anymore attention, she keeps her mouth shut however.

Falx hears the voice and quickly lowers his posture a bit, preparing to fight once more. Issi has already been injured enough, so he knows that she may have problems in another engagement, especially if this entity actually had something to do with what they just fought. However, his attention is almost instantly grasped by Kendrac's appearance. He only looks at Kendrak, and then to Angus as he reacts. Why Angus reacted in such a way will definitely be a story worth hearing.

Alef crys out as the battle wages, A constant mist of covering fog replacing the blown away miasma as she continiously chants the equation to make mist through the whole fight. Her earlyer wounds acting up as her staff snaps in half where it was partly dissolved, standing purely on will as she throws fire after fire, wind blade after wind blade, summoning chunks of pure earth to form haphazard armor over herself. at some point she seems to be asleep on her feet. shuddering before she falls over sideways into the muck when the voice roils from the twisted swamp and the deer spirit appears. small dribbles of blood visable around the fur on her fingers, her lips and tounge as well.

Siyu knocks a fresh arrow on his bow, bone tired and not sure what else can go wrong, he looks around, amoung the wounded rangers, "Akros? Who the hell is that?" he asks, the new comer having no clue what the hell is going on, or what is most likely going to kill him, "I'd of rather be buried in the sand..." he comments of the stangnent swamp around him.

Sylera can't help but gape at the events before her. Not only was the Old One from before back but now... Is that another spirit? The betta's eyes dart back and forth between the two figures. This... This was going to be dangerous to say the least but still she readies herself. One hand canted ready to cast depending on how things turned out, not that it would probably have much an effect on something so mighty.

~YOU.~ Angus' prancing, and indeed, every being in the clearing is ignored by the old one, all of his fury fixated on his opposite number. There is little to go on from the mound of slime as to the old one's emotions, but the "voice" that emnates from it sounds much like a skulky, blustering braggart caught in the act and trying to salvage his dignity, which is probably closer to the truth than one might expect. ~That must be the reason why my creatures lost - these things had your help, didn't they?~

Angus looks up at Kendrac, then turns once more to Akros with a scowl. "We beat your pathetic creatures with ease, without his help. I'm surprised they even managed to last as long as they did, since they follow you." He snaps at the Old One, trying to all but burn a hole through the filthy creature with his glare.

Kendrac doesn't seem perturbed by Akros's pouting. ~As it should be, Akros. Remember why we do not bring our quarrels directly to this plane. If you beings were defeated so easily by the few beings here, then your caliber of leadership leaves much to be desired. You should be able to tell which of them have made pacts were you at all observant.~ taking a step forward and looming over the pile of slime as best as the being can - ~I suggest you make a tactical retreat before your pride is damaged more.~

Selena, on the other hand, seems more intent on looking over the area again, rubbing her chin for a moment before Angus mouths off, tapping the fox's shoulder. "I think we have other matters at hand. Like the job that was posted. We either destroy or reclaim this place, and I don't think Akros would let us do the latter."

Issi starts wrapping some makeshift bandages around her wounds, its not much but it helps somewhat. She peeks out from her cover. Spirits. Best leave it to them now. The less stress she can put on her host right now the better.

Falx gives a glance to Angus with his mouthing off to Akros, though back to Kendrac. Quite interesting, to say the least, to see such conversation between these powerful spirits. However, he maintains a level of tension and preparedness, trying to stay ready for whatever could come, especially considering Selena's statements to Angus. This could, very quickly, get very interesting.

Alef slowly trys to sit up. her coughs weak as she looks about, seeing the others working past there wounds and pain giving her a push. Growning as she grips the remains of part of her staff in a white knuckle grip, standing on legs made of paper with effort. she trys to clear a pounding head and figure out whats going on so she can help. "W..hat can. I..do?"

Siyu earflats and begins mumbling some sort of prayer, not so much a pawn in this chessmatch, more like a humble stone on the go board about to be surrounded and captured. Less signifigant and easier to remove.

Interesting... One moment the Old One's attention was on them and the next it was as if they weren't even there. Still that benefited Sylera as it meant she could take a breather for the moment or even... Her eyes stray towards the creator artifact.

The Old One quivers, perhaps in anger and unease, clearly trying to salvage his pride. ~Hrrmph. Nevertheless, our agreement technically doesn't forbid me from doing this.~ With a sharp crack, the Creator artifact is torn asunder by some unseen force, a sudden rush of air expelled as the mathemagics are released from within what was until recently a dedication point to the sacred family. ~If I can't have it, no one will! I come back to my home after being imprisoned for so long, and find that not only is it overrun with vermin, but that someone else has sent them there...~ without another word, the old one withdraws, the stinking pile of flesh, slime and bones losing consistency and receding back into the swamp.

Once the machine priests are certain the malevolent presence has departed, they rush forward to the now-wrecked artifact, moving to examine it, perhaps in the hope that it can be eventually repaired, or if not, at least some part of it salvaged.

Kendrac watches intensely as the sludge monster pulls the dedication point asunder and until they leave the area, at which point the intimidating aura the spirit was putting off subsides. ~My business is done here, then. I must move elsewhere. You fight well, though; while now is not the time or place, you may ask her to call me if you seek to rid your world of the Corrupt Court.~ He states with a gesture to Selena, looking back over the others present, then settling his gaze squarely on Angus ~It is good to see you haven't fallen back to their power again~. With that, the great deer cleaves another rift with his spear to depart.

The wolfess glances over the wreck of the dedication point, sighing as the spirit moves along. "Well, now that he's gone. Akros solved the problem for us." She murmurs perplexedly. "For something that can make the swamp bubble up like that, I'm surprised he didn't just submerge the place."

Siyu looks at the shattered artifact, "Depends on how deep it goes down, after all, we don't know how far the roots plunge into the earth."

"Ha, Run you coward! Slink back to the dark muck that you stink of!" Snaps Angus as he watches Akros disapper, the snapping of the dedication point the only thing stopping him from calling out the the Old one some more. "...Damn bastard." The fox mutters, scowling a bit befure he turns to focus on Kendrac. "Ya, well. If I did fall to them again....You purifying me would of been all for not eh?" He smiles a little bit as Kendrac disppaers, then turns back to the destruction.

Alef is once again knocked flying off her feet, the destruction of the artifact sending the drained fox sprawling out, the moment her body comes to rest shes out, wearing only about 20 percent of her old robe and 40 percent of her padded armor, with fur burned away, acid burns, chemical wounds, and having used a magnatude more magic then she was ever intended to on this trip, the fox is down, and once again will need carryed from the swamp. and likely another week of slow, slow recovery. concious thought escapes her ability as she fades away into dream and rest.

Falx looks as the artifact is destroyed, feeling a rush from the artifact. He can only watch, powerless to do anything, though his gaze is taken by Angus with first what Kendrac says, and then Angus' response. Clearly, there's more than enough going on right there, and his curiosity has been completely piqued. Nonetheless, given the situation at hand, now isn't the time to discuss this. That'll be something to discuss with Angus later. Now, though, is a time for rest: Such use of magic, despite little injury on his part, has left him a bit exhausted.

Sylera shutters as she watches the artifact be destroyed before their very eyes. Well that was one way to win... Right? Still she begins to stand fully only to have her staff shatter with a sharp crack. Frowning she tosses the pieces to the side and makes due with hobbling to rejoin the others. "Just... What was that he destroyed? I mean... I guess I'm surprised he didn't throw anything else at us..." Above all the betta just sounds tired.