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[RE] when suddenly there came a tapping - Printable Version

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when suddenly there came a tapping - Random Event - 10-18-2019

It is soft, at first, the telltale knocks that vibrate against the guildhall’s mighty doors. Enough that some might miss it, or at the very least dismiss it as an animal’s movements or the shifting of foundations in the house. Is it quiet by choice? Is it trying to lure? Or is the stranger at the door afraid to make further noise?

Worry not - you’ll know soon enough. A sharp thud interrupts the gentle staccato, and suddenly the knocking becomes a pounding, a desperate hammering for entry. A hoarse voice begins to scream; senseless and sad and weak, it cannot take much more of this.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Jigano - 10-18-2019

Jigano had been keeping an Attuned ear out as he dozed, gathering his energy for the tasks ahead. Still, it was Isuma who began peeping worried sounds from the rafters, waking him just before the pounding began in earnest and he sat upright, startled and halfway towards the door before he remembered what time of year it was. "Ronin !" he called, both aloud and along the Attuned bond to the alchemist. "Permission to open the door?" His voice was a little strained with fear and adrenaline, but mostly clear and calm as he called through the Guild for its masters.

The bard hurried to the door of the antechamber, pausing only a moment before moving through it to press a hand to the outer door. The bracers Deimos had made him fit comfortably enough so nap in, but he wasn't wearing his gorget, only his thick cloak for warmth. Scales rippled across the skin of his neck and hands just in case, and black claws tipped his fingers in readiness as he waited for the go-ahead, glancing back briefly to make sure everyone in the common area was prepared for trouble - and to slam the door of the antechamber behind him before he did something incredibly foolish.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Amalia - 10-18-2019

Remi is out guarding the Ascended, so it is up to Amalia to guard the rest.

Gripping her staff nervously, the baker swallows down a shuddering breath of anxiety as she listens to the pounding on the door. A lifetime of training screams against her: never, ever, open the doors. She knows - she knows- but she made a promise, and she is stronger now, protected, a Shield against the dark.

Besides, a year ago it had been her on the outside.

Coming up behind Jigano, Amalia reaches out gently to remove his hand from the door. [say]"Remi isn't here. I have the staff. I'll do it."[/say] She will not have anyone less defended than she risk themselves, and Jigano has already scolded her once this LongNight for being foolish, so his inevitable anger with her decision will just be another in a long list of strikes against her.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Adam - 10-18-2019

Adam was not built for difficult moral decisions and didn't care to make them, but he was prepared to deal with the consequences. He stood up and held out both his pistols at the door, fingers on triggers. [say]"If it's something nasty, I'll make sure it doesn't get further than the door."[/say] He promised, waiting with held breath to see if Amalia was about to save a soul or start a battle.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Deimos - 10-18-2019

Deimos had long since donned his armor, rapaciously pacing floors and keeping his attentive, predator senses honed. Last year, he’d gone and opened the doors alongside Bastien, as Edrei screamed, as Amalia was placed into his arms, dead and almost certainly gone. The memories were rancorous edges, pulsing over him in waves, but not enough to cease the draw of his blade, at the thud, at the knocking, at the pounding along their threshold. Magic seared and sizzled along the intricacies of his veins and flesh, simmering over his skin, ready to be ignited and harpooned; his eyes drifting to Jigano, to Amalia, to Adam, a steady, stalwart nod bolstered to whatever she decided.

They were strong. They were capable. They didn’t have any other choice in these seconds, in these intervals.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Jigano - 10-19-2019

He wasn’t surprised as Amalia came up beside him, knowing that she would be there, putting herself in the path of every danger – no less then Remi, or Deimos, or himself. The hand that settled on his was strong, but he had grown stronger as well, and he resisted being dislodged this time, giving her a slight shake of his head in negation. ”We are stronger together.” It was Amalia he meant his words for, though he looked up to nod once at Deimos as the General joined them, hoping the canny warrior would understand. Adam, beyond, had drawn two weapons of startling design, and the bard’s eyes widened briefly in familiarity before he turned his attention back to the door. ”Close the foyer door, just in case,” he said grimly, waiting only for that to be done before he looked through Remi's window-inset in the door, hand on the handle ready to open it depending on what he saw on the other side.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Amalia - 10-19-2019

She is still afraid, but with Adam, Jigano, and Deimos behind her, Amalia can feel her confidence growing- if only a little bit. Nodding to each in turn, and not wanting to fight the stubbornness in Jigano's eyes, Amalia nods her head. Her gaze lingers a long time on Deimos, a silent request sent to the Attuned bond. [say]Only open if I say the names of our companions,[/say] she tells him solemnly. [say]I love you.[/say]

Then, with a last and lingering look, she steps through the foyer door.

As the door closes behind her the girl can feel a steady and overwhelming dread settle on her, but at least she isn't alone. Her promise to Safrin to do her best and the promise to Remi to help with his quest rings in her ears as she settles her shield on her arm and adjusts her grasp on the staff, standing behind Jigano as he peers through the window. [say]"Tell us your name, race, and the password,"[/say] she calls out, hopeful they will have at least one answer to alleviate her fears.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Random Event - 10-19-2019

The world outside the window is black and freezing and hopeless. While Jigano sees nothing, oh but the knocking and the screaming all continue, as if whoever (or whatever) it is out there is no more than a breath away. [say]”Please!”[/say] came the call, followed by a brief gurgle, an attempt at forming words - a name maybe? - and a hacking cough. The knocking ceases.

And something deep and delicious on the other side of the door begins to laugh.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Jigano - 10-19-2019

It was almost certainly a monster. Jigano knew that, knew that he was being tricked, but there was the chance - however small, however slight - that his instincts were wrong on this. "I can't see anything," he said with frustration as he looked out the magic window into the dark, dark, endless dark of the night.

Then the gurgle, the silence.

The laugh.

Maybe someone had just lost their life. Maybe they were still bleeding out at that very moment and could still be saved. MaybemaybeMAYBE.

If they still lived, they were Amalia's responsibility, she and her healing staff. If they were dead, they were his, with his song that could call their soul into the safety of the guildhall and the lantern.

And if they were a trick? A monster in truth? Then Jigano would bleed, but maybe he would learn something about them he could use to protect Kiada with.

"Maybe it's not too late," he said against the depth of that black laugh, glancing to Amalia with grim resolve. "Together, then?" He waited until he received her confirmation before he opened the door, using his body to defend Amalia and distract whatever was on the other side so she could drag any poor, unfortunate soul they might find into the foyer - or stand next to him to strike out at whatever was menacing the Hall, whichever she chose.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Amalia - 10-19-2019

It is probably a monster. But Amalia made a promise, and she cannot break it. Not now, not at its very first trial, not when life may be on the line.

Nodding tersely to Jigano, Amalia takes her place behind him, raising the shield of healing magic and readying her staff to strike any foe. At the same time, she is ready to reach out and grab a human figure should it appear, to draw them into comfort and warmth and put them to the test of her staff.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Adam - 10-19-2019

As soon as Adam heard the muffled gurgle, he was pretty fucking sure they were not meant to be letting this thing in. [say]"Hey, Amalia...?"[/say] He yelled to her. [say]"If it was a person they're probably dead by now, from the sound of that, so maybe you should just come back."[/say] But he knew how she was (nicer than him) so he kept his guns ready anyway, held up and safety off.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Deimos - 10-19-2019

Maybe it’s not too late accompanied gurgles, pleas, and deep, sardonic laughter – instincts crawled over his senses, coiled into his chest. What on earth were they doing? [say]“Maybe it is,”[/say] he murmured, a low reverberation, the uncertainty and apprehension in the air pooling around them in waves. His blade was still drawn, the intricacies of his enchantments searing along his skin, but this seemed wrong – an obvious wrong, instead of screams and shouts and outright begging, echoes of last year’s throngs. He was nearly in agreement with Adam, but also figured it was a lost cause, Remi’s policy pervading even in his absence, strength accorded even as confidence began to erode into the barbaric twists and turns of possibilities. His jaw clenched, waiting, waiting, waiting for the press of the inevitable, of the foreboding, of the monsters laden within.

Perhaps he was wrong. He hoped so.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Random Event - 10-20-2019

Nature is a funny old thing. Fickle and unbothered by the changing of the world, the birth and death of animals and men, nature cares only about moving forward. Completing the circle, renewing the cycle, however destructive it may be. Did Caiside think about this, as he was torn and ripped asunder, as he hammered desperately at the doors to his salvation? Probably not. Perhaps he would dream of it, though, in his endless and eternal sleep.

His would-be saviours are too late; dilly-dallying over their good deed has turned them into accidental murderers. Jigano opens the door and there is nothing but black, at first. Black to obscure the window they had so cleverly installed, black to hide the snow and the blood. But sprawled somewhere to the right of the doors is what’s left of Caiside.

Jigano will not see much - hunks of red hair, a hand whose fingernails are bloodied from clawing at doors and walls, and a great, dark thing hunched over the body. Feasting.

It screeches at the sudden pooling of light from within the guild, whipping away and into the night - but not before something long and barbed snaps out from its misshapen form, lashing at the bard and wounding him on the shoulder. He is lucky - this time.

RE: when suddenly there came a tapping - Jigano - 10-20-2019



The bard hissed as he was struck, pain blossoming in his shoulder as he was knocked back a step - but only a step before he was bounding out to reach Caiside's body, dropping to his knees beside his friend's corpse and reaching out to touch trembling fingers to long red hair. He was broken, was the smith, was dead beyond recall, and Jigano knew what he had to do, what he had promised to do, what he had bargained and traded oaths to gain the power to do.

But his throat was swollen shut with tears that blurred his vision and fell to mingle with the red, red blood that stained his hands and knees and so, so much of the body of his friend.

The friend he had been too late to save.

Only the memory of Kiada's quest made him move, then. The knowledge that her lover's soul was trapped in the dark, lost and twisted. He had failed Caiside once - would never be able to tell his friend his story, would never hear, never know how Caiside's had gone.

But he knew how it ended.

And he would not fail his friend again.

The song rose weakly, the notes shivering in the air as fragile as crystal about to shatter in the cold. He gathered his friend's - his guildmate's body to him and stood, unsteady and wounded in more than just body as he walked slowly towards the GuildHall door, singing to call Caiside's soul to his side a final time, until he could lead him to the lantern.

It was Caiside, he sent to Deimos , the bard's mental voice drowning in guilt. We didn't open the door in time...