From running from spiders, to the ruins of an empire? Cecilia was feeling haggard and hungry.
"Look... Kleis I'm sure none of us don't appreciate your assistance, so pardon me if I seem a bit rude, but what in Ink is going on?" Cecilia observing all around her felt this was too conveient to be true.
Kleis did a quick mental check. Something seemed off to her. Good, they were perceptive. Kleis continued to pet the wolf's head, the wolf not changing expression.
"Ma'am, it's simple. War. That's what's going on. A war that's been going on for too long. And now you're kinda involved. Sorry about that. He nonchalantly said. Atticus stood there when he suddenly felt goosebumps on his body, but they quickly faded away.
That was odd. Atticus thought.
Meanwhile, within the cathedral, the strange creatures trained relentlessly. They worked day in and day out, acquiring new skills, preparing themselves for the final fight, the fight to claim a world they rightfully owned. It had been long since they seen the light of day and they had had to hide, but no longer. The three had appeared 5 years ago with a strange request, to lock one away in ice. the other two, Edwin and Volitare, began training them and teaching them. They learned how to fight, so they no longer had to hide from the pointy-ears. This had gone on for too long and they were ready to end it. Their lords were here, they'd given them power, they had taught them, and they were ready. The pointy-ears had no idea what was waiting them shortly.
No idea at all.
"A War? Is this a fight for good and evil, ones own belief, or some other idiotic claim like kingdoms and land?" Glad for the brief respite and angered at being tossed in to the another situation, Cecilia's tone was suffice it to say, not pleased.
"We've fought crazed monsters appearing to be miners, faced a storm of ice and death, angry mobs with explosives, Prail losing an arm, frigid traveling, a poisoned member of our party trying to kill us, a ravenous horde of spiders, only to be magically saved and then told there is war?" One hand on her hip and the other motion to the party in turn of comment and actions, ending with pointed at Kleis as she picked up her pace.
"With you casually petting your pet, and using a tone plain as day? I think many of us deserve a little more in the ways of an explanation, if not feel free to dump me back in the forest, then things might be simpler." Her head was raging and she hated Kleis and herself as the words left her mouth. Thing fast, speak slow, a simple lesson and one that she wished she'd remember more often.
Prail hadn't expected Cecilia's outburst but she agreed in most respects.
She spoke a little.
Her eyes swept over the other's gathered here. She was curious about the weird creature the elf was petting. Was it giving her a funny look? Potentially, maybe it was just as curious about her as she was about it?
She knelt down dispatching a few flyers around to explore.
Faunra was in awe of the sight. She was, by a twist of fate, with elves. ELVES! It seemed completely impossible. She wanted to ask a thousand questions - to learn everything there was to know about the elves. Looking around however, it was clear to see that these elves were, despite what they may have said to the contrary, in decline. However great their empire used to be, this was but a remnant of that greatness. Though she did not know what they had been, she could only feel a sense of forlorn at such a loss. Finally, she managed to squeek out a question. "What.. what were they like, the Fristics?"
Kleis sat there, looking between Cecilia and Faunra. He noticed her ears, similar in appearance to his own. She was excited, slightly nervous, and a bit confused with the appearance of those around walking through the old town. He sat there, petting the wolf, trying to come up with a feasible answer for them. Kleis finally stood up.
"Abzerosa has always been a level of ice and snow, but there was a time when the animals of this level weren't as... ferocious. Most of what you've encountered out there originated from here. We were working on a lot of strange things back then. Magic, Alchemy, general sciences, and onwards, just name it. We were dabbling in all of them. Nearly had flight down, too." He said, glancing at an unfinsihed blimp-like machine hanging from the canopy. He sighed a bit, looking towards a larger part of the castle.
"The creatures roaming our level are former tests, attempts to create better lifeforms. More powerful and more efficient. Why you ask? Well, for the same reasons most rulers start demanding this sort of thing. One part grandeur, two part armory. Beneath the surface lived these brutes, hairy, fast, strong. They started appearing all over the place, trying to destroy our Empire's rule. They claimed that they were the rightful owners of the surface world. We didn't exactly agree. Sadly, there wasn't much we could do at the time, they were faster than us, stronger than us, nowhere near as smart but it didn't really matter. Our weapons weren't powerful enough to wipe out an enemy this big, and the ones we did have were too dangerous to use. They could control ice and snow, the very elements that make up this level. There was nothing we could do but send in more troops to die. We were being slaughtered."
"So, what happened?" Atticus asked quickly. Kleis grinned a bit, stood up, and opened his arms.
"We got better. We decided that if we wanted to beat an enemy like this, we'd have to partially become them. We actually managed to capture one of the hairy bastards and dissect it, understand how their magic worked, how their bodies ran, and how to get it to work for us. Sadly, only people with a rare type of blood could be granted these abilities. However, our numbers began to grow and we began to get good at using these abilities. Really good. Combined with our knowledge of magic and some military training, we were mutilating these things by the thousands. We actually had a chance at beating these things...and then it happened, they finally attacked here, the source of our empire. Even with the playing field slightly leveled, they were still mowing through the rest of the city." He lowered his head a bit, a mixture of anger and disappointment washing across his face.
"Maybe with some more time we could've pulled something off, maybe we could've at least survived. But it turns out that our king was a sore loser, and he decided to use a dangerous weapon. It was some sort of magic dust, instantly destroys the nerves of its victim and paralyzes them in place. The victims: every normal man, woman, and child. Sure, it stopped those damn snow apes, but only those who were caught off guard. When they realized what was happening, they froze themselves. And we did the same. A few civilians may have gotten lucky, somehow managing to protect themselves from the dust for a few years, eventually repopulating and eventually reclaiming the land when it all cleared. The Fristic Empire was long forgotten, but the people live on, even if they din't no it. My fellow "pointy-ears" and I, on the other hand...we weren't in hibernation, we were literally frozen. We were awake for every second of every minute of everyday...one day eventually became one thousand years. It was damn near torture. However, we did get something out of it." He said, raising his head and making sure his mouth was firmly shut. The group felt a tiny tingle in their heads.
"When you spend a few thousand years mentally begging and pleading for someone to say something, anything at all, eventually you'll improvise." Kleis's voice said in their heads.
A spike of pain and a headache turning to a migraine followed as the words echoed in her mind, each ping as it bounced around Cecelia's skull cause a jab to a head. Clutching her ears in a fruitless effort to stop the shaking she felt, shivering visibly like a tingle to her spine,
"I'd like it best if you don't do that to me at least, I feel sick as is, and don't need someone telepathically talking to me." Lowering her arms and gripping her sides to feign her bodies shaking from the cold a bit as she steadied herself.
"Thank you though for explaining and while I've got no way to confirm what you say really, I'll take it as the truth. Asides from saving us, what do you expect from us, or even plan for us?" Her tone was grateful but reserved.
A bit distracted her mind finally tapped her on the shoulder, turning her head to Prail, "Oh I agree, and (turning to face Kleis) Prail is wondering what your wolf like creature is."
Kleis looked at the group of climbers, not really sure what to say next. They seemed like an alright set of people, golem, and lizard. Even if Stonefuse had tried to track him down and Prail had somehow walked into a temporary base. Sadly, they were still an unknown variable. They had helped the town they'd been staying in, but after they were still seen as a possible threat...well, Kleis didn't see them as a threat but orders were orders.
"Well, as for what we planned for you...let me just start by saying that Miss Pick is in capable hands-" Wooly let out a minor cheer and shuffled around a bit. -and that Veritas is okay as well." Atticus stared at Kleis for a few seconds, and quickly looked at the group. No Veritas in sight.
"Wait, where did he-what did you do to him?" Atticus said, instinctively reaching for his slingshot, wondering how well sleeping powder would work on these guys. Kleis calmly stood there, a bit of regret flowing through him, but continued talking and ignoring Atticus's question.
"Now, let's talk about my wolf friend here. You see, spending a few thousand years frozen awake with no way to communicate gave use a few odd advantages. We could talk to each other mentally but after eventually unfreezing and returning to a world rebuilding itself, we quickly learned we had a few more tricks up our sleeves. For one, we could disrupt perception, allowing for us to move around freely without being noticed. Combined with our freezing trick, we're pretty much invisible to most." He said, quickly glancing at Stonefuse.
"Among other things, we could wipe short term memory and actually make people follow certain commands. Initially, the first few of us unfrozen tried passing ourselves for gods. The Fates, we called ourselves, after our own belief in fate. We wanted to help speed up the recovering of Abzerosa but sadly we found out that THEY were still around and were up to something. Initially we attempted to simply wipe them out, make them go extinct, and all was going. You saw what we did to those spiders, probably would've gotten the queen too, if it weren't for the fact we were trying to save your asses. The point is, we're more powerful then them now. They're untrained, uncivilized, unarmored beast. Those snow monkeys should all be dead by now. But a few years back, these climber, fucking dragons appear, cause some havoc in multiple towns, and then disappear along with our enemy." Kleis growled, sneering slightly.
"That's all fine and dandy, but you still haven't answered our questions. What do you plan to do with us, what's up with the wolf, and where is Veritas?" Atticus demanded.
"Your friend Veritas has an interesting ability. While Stonefuse merely sees us as statutes, Veritas can see right through our disguises and other tricks. And that's not really useful when trying to disarm people. So the others were ordered to separate him as soon as we arrived." Kleis said, slightly disappointed. Four the pointy-eared individuals surrounded them, and a large armored man appeared next to Kleis. He slowly walked up to Atticus.
"It's an interesting trick little trick. You create a mental construct, something the mind believes is a reality, and everything changes. It's as if you're watching a play, except you're the lead actors, and someone else is in charge of your props." The wolf disappeared and Atticus's slingshot gradually melted away into nothing but a twig. As the others reached for their weapons, they quickly found the same thing. Nothing but twigs. Aleister noticed a pair of peculiar cuffs on each arm and he soon found out he couldn't light a simple ball of fire. Etrius's wings were bound together, Damien found himself in a waste deep block of ice, and Stonefuse couldn't move at all. Suddenly, the columns of ice rose around the group, forming a cage. Thea armored man stood in front of the cell, a blank look of indifference.
"You are being held in custody by the Fristic Empire due to your classification as a high threat. Any attempts of resisting will result in sever consequences. This is mostly for your own protection and safety." The large armored man calmly said as the cell dislodged itself from the ground and the four other pointy-eared soldiers slid it across the ground, towards the main building. Kleis watched this, feeling rotten about the whole thing. He ran his hands through his spikey hair. Why did they need protecting? They could handle themselves just fine? The Commander had been making some peculiar decisions lately, but Kleis calmed himself. He was The Commander for a reason, and orders were orders.
Cecilia wasn't looking forward to any attempt to break out, her weapons gone were little consequence, but fighting against an army with powers of ice and mind seemed deadly in all a senses. Her head still ached and felt like it had gone through the worse it could, with her limbs control mostly mental she felt shackled and focused on options, perhaps she could sed-... Nope. Making a mental check list with her back against the bars and arms across her chest, she failed to notice ghosted arms clutching the bars.
Sighing in the chill, she decided to try the only thing she felt she might be able to do safely maybe, she spoke to Prail in her own language, posing a question concerning their situation.
Prail gave a considered reply.
Her tail swung slightly a few times.
She began looking around moving fairly freely.
She was thinking. This wasn't ending well.
"You are being held in custody by the Fristic Empire due to your classification as a high threat. Any attempts of resisting will result in sever consequences. This is mostly for your own protection and safety." An armoured man said, as the ice cage that contained the climbers dislodged itself, and went sliding along to some other building. Aleister quietly chuckled to himself, as he began thinking over his options. He tried casting a small fireball, but found that his magic was gone from him.
"Today, has been a rather bad day for us hasn't it? I mean, first we were attacked by that sea monster; second were those miners over by the graveyard; third was when we were chased out of town by its occupants; fourth were those spiders just now; and finally, fifth, our current situation." He remarked in a disgusted tone to the group as a whole. Aleister then responded to the armoured man's statement.
"Oh really, for our own protection and safety. You sure it isn't for yours. To protect what remains of this probably once grand empire. To think, over the years of your existence, you have survived on the powers of ice, and of the mind. But now, something has come along to challenge it, something that has seen through your illusions. Thats why you 'adjusted' the mind of that miner, and thats why you wiped the mind of our Lallow friend here, because you are afraid of being discovered."
Faunra stared for a moment at the cuffs; a look of shock plainly on her face. Why? She finally meets another elf after more then three decades, and they turned out to be incredible, unhelpful bastards. Former-elves she tried to correct herself. For whatever they were thousands of years ago, what had immerged from the ice - assuming the story was true - was anything but. Yet, for all she tried to convince herself that they were imprisoned by something distinctly different from her, she could not help but doubt it. She had only ever known one other elf - her bother - and her was hardly a knowledgeable source of elves. Maybe these "elves" were her people. Would she develop such illusionary abilities and powers over ice if she were contained for long enough? And even if it were not the case, was this what elves were like - creatures convinced of their own greatness, yet fighting against extinction.
The thousands of variations of these questions raced through her head, leaving her lost and confused. For just a moment, she had believed she would finally know what she was; what it meant to be and elf. Then, in one horrendous moment, it had been stripped away from her, along with her weapons - the remnants of her brother and her father. This level was a cold place, now in more then one way.
Damien stood in the ice, unable to move, his weapon a twig secured in it's sheath, encased in ice. He understood their trepidation, but questioned the Fristic Empire's methods.
"Oh really, for our own protection and safety..."
"There is much on this level we don't know of, Aleister. They have their reasons for this, allow them it. Should they prove more venomous, I am confident of our abilities to defend ourselves. Even from inside this cage, we are not something to be trifled with."
"There is much on this level we don't know of, Aleister. They have their reasons for this, allow them it. Should they prove more venomous, I am confident of our abilities to defend ourselves. Even from inside this cage, we are not something to be trifled with." Damien remarked, his movements frozen stiff from within his icy cocoon. Aleister nodded his head, agreeing with what Damien said, and simply laid back within the ice cage.
"For once Damien, I'm inclined to agree with you. We shall simply bide our time then, the moment will come soon." He said ith a devious smile, as an idea had formed. Aleister then turned his head to Faunra, who was sitting next to him, and held one of her hands smiling as he did.
"You okay there Faunra?" He asked her, showing some concern, as Faunra seeing these elves and the way that they acted, might have been a slight shock to her system.
The Commander stared at Aleister and Damien for a moment before walking off. Kleis followed, running his hands back through his spiky hair and quickly transmitting an "I'm sorry about this, but don't try anything." Atticus sat in the cage, ignoring the others, trying to resist the urge to panic as two guards took point.
"My tool belt is gone, my bag was gone, my slingshot is gone, the capsules, the Rod, his water wheel, and the Cradle is gone, along with the Elemental Predominating Tool...all gone! They even have my-" Atticus stopped abruptly, attempting to keep a certain piece of equipment secret. He began walking back and forth in the cage, trying to think of something. He stared at Stoneufuse, somehow being restricted. He then looked over at one of their guards, holding an arm up in a tightened fist. Since Stonefuse was currently made of ice, they must've been able to control his body, but if he wasn't ice... Atticus ran up to Stonefuse and started slowly sliding him towards the half frozen Damien. He mocked the guards under his breath.
"Nice try, but in a few seconds, you won't be able to control Stonefuse and we'll be free-" Suddenly, Stonefuse's arm shot out and puch Atticus sqaure in the chest. The guard flexed his fingers, causing a reluctant Stonefuse to return to where he was standing. The guard turn towards Atticus and quickly spoke.
"Be thankful you have some leg room and don't try anything else. Besides, I'd prevent hims from changing his solid state anyway." He said, returning to his post. How did he-doesn't matter. Atticus slowly walked over to Damien.
"Pst, Damien. I have a plan but it might hurt a bi-" A spike of ice shot out from the ice block Damien was held in. Atticus looked at the guard that was restricting Stonefuse. The guard pointed to the second guard.
"Yeah, don't bother with your little heater plan either. I'm strengthening the ice as we speak, maintaining it. And before you ask yourself, we can hear your thoughts, remember? Especially conscious, definite thoughts. Like the one you're thinking of right now, using the screw you just found in your pocket to pick at the locks on Aleister's magic dampening cuffs. That won't work, those things are permanent unless we take them off or he decides to chop off his arms." The guard said, with a bit of smugness.
Atticus stood there, staring at the guard, a bit of rage seeming in him but he slowly sat down. "Well, I'm stumped." He looked around a bit and noticed Cecelia's ghost limbs clutching at the bars. She didn't really seem to notice. In fact, her limbs tended to do things on their own at times.
"That's interesting." Atticus thought, spinning a screw he'd found in his pocket. A bird watched them from a far before flying off.
kleis followed The Commander, trying to reason with him in releasing the climbers. "Sir, be reasonable. They could be very useful to us. One off them is a Grand Master of the Monestary, meaning he's probably handled dragons before and the magic user appears to be pretty powerful. Oh, and the inventor, that device of his stopped the storm. Nathan, Caedis, Etrius, and Zavier appear to be amazing warriors, and the Elvish girl...well, I just think she's kinda cute." Kleis said with no shame. The Commander was, well, The commander so he had the authority read Kleis's mind anyway. The Commander continued walking, a look of utter indifference on his face. He replied with a simple, "No."
"In all do respect, at least have us use Stonefuse and Veritas to locate the enemy. And what are we to do Miss Pick and that large hairy creature-" The Commander stopped walking and turn around, staring down Kleis.
"Listen carefully for I shall only say this once. You are to leave them imprisoned until I say otherwise and no amount of prodding will influence that. Veritas is to stay separated from the others, kept away from me, and if he does manage to escape, kill him on sight." The Commander ordered harshly. Kleis was about to ask if that was a bit extreme, but the Commander abruptly continued. "Miss Pick is to be kept in the medical bay, under multiple restrai-"
""But sir, we cured her of the venom. She's thinking quite rationally now and is no longer a-"
"Do not question my demands!" He yelled. Kleis took a few steps back. The Commander rarely yelled, if ever. "keep the creature in a penn and get out of my sight!" The Commander barked, glaring at Kleis. Kleis stood there, a bit stunned, but quickly put his fist to his chest in salute, and turned around walking off quickly. The Commander watched him walk off before doing the same. He walked into a small room, locked the door, and crumpled to the floor.
Edwin opened his eyes, sitting with his legs crossed in his usually meditating state as a bird flew through the cave and landed on his shoulder. Maintaining control was a bit of pain but it was worth it. The climbers had been imprisoned, but from what he'd seen, that wouldn't last long, even if they wanted to. They'd break out or be broken out, and if they were lucky, harm most of those Fristic soldiers. The seeds of mistrust had been planted and Kleis was wary of his Commander. Miss Pick was awake yet being restrained and thus angered. Everything was falling into place. A slick haired Volitare marched by, grinning like a mad men, and army of armored beast following him in formation. A couple of weaker one without armor carried a large block of ice, cracking as it moved. There was a body inside it. Edwin stared at it, as a beast in slightly different armor, the leader of these beasts, walked up to him.
"My lord, our men is prepped and the supreme lord will soon awaken from his slumber. We are ready to serve you and get revenge on those pointy-eared ones." Edwin simply nodded at the beast in the armor. "Excellent. Have your brothers ready, we leave soon. Make sure to put your best men in charge of the Cathedral;'s gate, just in case." Edwin said, before walking off. The leader nodded and grinned
"I am coming for you reaper. Vengeance shall be mind."
The sudden betrayal and the disappearance of her spear would have sent Caedis into a rage but instead she knew better to submit to her anger. The others though, were confused and angry with emotions she understood and sympathized with.
Instead, Caedis found a spot in the cramped cage, closed her eyes, and was back in the golden plains of Helliot. She wasn't in some icy cage with Elves holding them against their will but instead, she was sitting on the warm ground with the bright sun overhead. It didn't seem so cold anymore.
"Come what may." Caedis simply said to the group.
"You okay there Faunra?" Aleister asked, drawing her from her thoughts. She considered the question for a few seconds then answered. "No, but I will be. Thanks."
through her mind raced several ideas how to get them out, but each in turn would be read by their jailer, so she was forced to let it go. Feeling vengeful, she decided to think about what she planned on doing to the elf responsible for this. If nothing else it made her feel better, and made the guard visible twitch.
"No, but I will be. Thanks." Faunra said, giving a short sharp response to his question.
"Okay then, you know Faunra, if you want to talk, I'm here to listen. It'll help pass the time till someone, somewhere thinks of a plan to get us out of this predicament." Aleister remarked with an insightful tone, as he closed his eyes, and began to think. It was then that he began talking to his other self inside his mind.
"Aeon, can you here me? I don't know how these blasted manacles are effecting my abilities as a Reaper."
"I can Aleister, from what I can see, they don't appear to have effected your Reaper powers, but it seems to have made it more difficult for you to become me." Aeon remarked in a worried tone. His voice briefly went silent, his mind trying to think of some way he could be useful in his current state.
"I'll see if I can contact Dante. Try and get him to send some assistance."
"Good idea, but hurry though..."
Meanwhile... At The Shinigami Headquarters (Dante's Office)
"What do you mean that we've lost them Krieger?" Dante shouted at his subordinate, angered at the news that Aleister/Aeon had simply vanished.
"It's as I said sir, Aeon's aura simply vanished a few moments ago, over at some structure. Reconnaissance thinks that The Fristic Empire, who were known to inhabit the area they were travelling in, have gotten involved, trapping Aleister and his fellow climbers. So far, no word from either of them." Krieger responded with nervously, hoping that Dante would calm down soon, and that either Aeon or Aleister would contact them soon.
"Damn the Fristics to the Realm of the In-Between." Dante remarked, still angry at the previous bit of news. Then suddenly...
"Hello? Dante can you hear me? It's Aeon." Aeon asked as his spectral image came into view.
"Thank the Nine Spirits of Purgatory, it's good to hear your voice Aeon. Just what in hell has happened to you two?"
"It's the bloody Fristic Empire! They have Aleister and the climbers he is travelling with trapped in some kind of ice cage. And, Aleister can't use his magic to simply melt the ice, due to some blasted manacles they put on him. I've come here to get some help."
"It appears that the Reconnaissance Department was right Krieger. Now just settle down Aeon. You contacting us has made the job of finding you somewhat easier. Just tell Aleister that there'll be some assistance coming. That should brighten up his current mood no doubt."
"Oh, he'll very happy for this." Aeon remarked with a devious smile, very much pleased at the result. His image then faded. Dante soon spoke to Krieger.
"Make it so Krieger." Dante ordered in a stern voice.
"Of course sir. I shall do as you command." Krieger responded with, quickly bowing, before leaving the large office.
Back in Aleister's Mind
Aeon laughed with joy, as he returned to Aleister.
"Good news I take it?"
"Yes, very good indeed. Dante is sending some help."
Cecilia was peeved and dryly hummed beneath her breath, looking at the guards of the cage and everyone else. Back still against the cage, what were once two, was now 4 hands gripping, testing, and flexing fingers against them.
As Cadeis gave but a single remark, then Aleister seemed to be off in his own thoughts as well, she wondered if they could somehow take down the guard using their golem. Dismissing it and feeling frustrated, pained, and clenching her fists. She huddled her knees and put her head down, thinking generally thoughts of physical harm on the guards, petty as it was.
Ghosted limbs behind and out of sight tensed and looked ready to attack, the first pair seemed to be almost pushing against Cecilia, like wrenching itself from her body.
The guard flinched a bit, slightly annoyed with their thoughts and trying to maintain control over Stonefuse's body. It wasn't too hard, but their thoughts were making it a bit more difficult than it had to be. It wasn't too bad though. It was childish but it didn't really matter, 'cause they were in there and he was out here. None of them really had any plans, but both the knights seemed to buying their time.
"Yeah, keep waiting." He said, trying to pass the time while he waited for an order explaining what to do with them.
The armored woman was apparently tuning to her happy place, the magic user seemed oddly hopeful, the inventor was frustrated, the lizard was confusing, and the bird felt trapped. The only ones trying to do something were the golem trying to move, the elf girl thinking gruesome thoughts, and the other woman doing the same. But it didn't matter, none of them had an actual plan. All was good-
He felt his head being tightly gripped for a few seconds and a loud crack as the guard began to crumple, but was quickly held up by a pair of Cecilia's ghost limbs. The second guard was too tired and bored to notice.
Stonefuse flexed his fingers. He could move again.
Good, Prail had figured they'd not notice if anything she hid her thoughts in the middle of complex engineering terms. Probably also helped she'd got a completely different brain structure.
The control they had over stonefuse was worrying.
She was surprised and impressed to see Cecilia break the man.
She gave a short noise of congratulations.
Now let's see. She quietly loosed a few flyers to go out and investigate.
Faunra watched as Cecile's arms did their work, dropping on of the guards. she banished the conscious thought from her mind, fearing that it would undo them, and instead made her way to Aleister, to see if she could remove his cuffs. Reaching behind her ear, she felt for her lock picks - 12 decades of thievery had taught her to keep them close; she hoped that the snow-elves had missed them.
Caedis rose from her sitting position as soon as the guard fell over, thanks to Cecilia. She tried banging her cuffs to get her hands free while she whispered to Atticus.
"Get Stonefuse free and tell him to break down the damn cage." Caedis said. Whatever they needed to do, they needed to do it fast. They only had a small window of time to act. After a few moments of trying to break the cuffs to no avail, Caedis gave up but instead of just sitting there, she pried off the icicle that had tried to kill Atticus. She held it close to her in the event that she was caught without a weapon.
Atticus sat there simply staring quizzically at Caedis for a few seconds before shaking his head. He whispered in reply,
"Look, I'm not sure if you were paying attention but that guard has Stonefuse under physical control-" Atticus stopped mid sentence, stunned to see a slightly limp guard with a broken neck being held up by a pair of ghost limbs. Somehow Cecilia had managed to get the drop on him without alerting him. He then glanced at the second guard, totally oblivious. It didn't look like he was monitoring their thoughts, must have assumed that his little threat would be enough to keep them from trying to escape and left the currently dead guard to do the rest of the work.
"The price of laziness..." Atticus thought to himself. Meanwhile, Cecilia simply slumped against the bars while the limbs held the guard. Atticus gave her quick thumbs up and Prail congratulated her. She looked at the both of them as if they was crazy. He shrugged and moved slowly moved next to Stonefuse flexing his fingers and breaking whatever shackles were on him.
"Can you move again?" He whispered so he wouldn't alert the still standing guard.
The golem slowly shook his head.
Atticus pointed towards Damien and Stonefuse got the message, walking over and touching Damien's armor, phasing into the same metal. Atticus then looked towards Faunra, pulling a pair of lock picks from behind her ears, grinning a bit, and going to work on Aleister's cuffs. The locks seemed a bit complicated, but he was sure she could pull it off. And if she couldn't, there was still a living guard they could have take them off.
Atticus nodded towards Caedis holding a shard of ice, telling her to be ready. Faunra and Aleister quickly realized what was about to happen as Stonefuse walked up to the front of the cell. Damien starting trying to free his legs from the ice and the others stood ready, Prail and Nathan ready to pounce. Cecilia looked at them, still oblivious to the actions of her ghost limbs. Atticus cleared his throat and said with the cheeriest voice,
"Oh guard on the right!"
The guard sighed and turned around.
"What?" Stonefuse's fist shot through the cage, shattering the bars and sent the guard flying into the apposing wall. He slowly fell back and let out a minor whine of pain, staring up at the climbers rushing out of the cage, excluding Damien still held by ice. Ceadis stood over him, holding an icicle to the guards neck. Atticus spoke quickly.
"Kindly release Damien and don't try anything, or my ill-mannered lady friend here will splatter that 'special blood type' of yours all over the ground before you can mentally say 'ouch.'" The ice around Damien's waist began to melt and he kicked himself out.
"Good, now for our magical friend Aleist-."
"That won't be necessary." Faunra said, spinning the cuffs around her finger while Aleister conjured up a few fireballs.
"See? This is easy, didn't even have to do anything for that one. Now, where are weapons." The guard gulped and started breathing heavily.
"Your weapons have been placed in a special section of the armory, but that strange metal box and your weather machine were place in a lab, near the medical ward." He personally said to Atticus. Atticus groaned a bit, but continued.
"And the portal." Atticus finally asked. The guard looked at him, puzzled.
At Prails noise Cecilia looked up, keeping silent and letting everyone else do their thing. As soon as the guard fell and interrogation began, Cecilia rose and stretched her limbs out, turning as she heard the soft plop of a fallen body. Confused she barely noticed as something leapt from her body, half dragging her with it. A ghostly upper torso from her lower torso arms outstretched, practically leapt to the fallen guard.
Locking arms and attempting to strangle him for a second, Cecilias face was filled with shock and quickly focus. The body disappeared and she was standing normal as ever. Coughing a bit nervous and awkward, then taking a commanding tone,
"Tell us all you know of your people, weaknesses, weapons, anything, oh and directions as well. If not and you believe your loyalty is with your people, I will personally rip every piece of your flesh that I can get a hand on from you."
Ghosting limbs again and looking like a goddess of war, she looked imposing a figure as ever. Her mind was rock hard and straight as an arrow, thinking of places to tear him apart, ears, fingers, legs... over 20 years of Guild training backing her action up as the right course of action.
Faunra, having removed the cuffs, slipped them into her pocket - if they really were magic suppressing, then they would come in handy when it finally came time to teach these ex-elves a lesson about manners.
Listening to the interrogation, she added her own input. "Now, If I wanted to get to the armory from here, where would I go? And the Medical Lab?" though she posed it as a question, her tone and eyes gave away that she was not above asking anyone in the party to break him if he didn't answer wisely and honestly.
Aleister felt a sudden rush of power flow through him, as Faunra managed to get the magic restraining manacles off. He soon started summoning fireballs, feeling overcome with joy that his power was back. He soon saw the interrogation of the guard that was still hanging around taking place.
"Tell us all you know of your people, weaknesses, weapons, anything, oh and directions as well. If not and you believe your loyalty is with your people, I will personally rip every piece of your flesh that I can get a hand on from you." Cecilia said in a rather commanding tone, she was soon followed up by Faunra.
"Now, If I wanted to get to the armory from here, where would I go? And the Medical Lab?" Though Faunra posed it as a question, her tone and eyes gave away that she was not above asking anyone in the party to break him if he didn't answer wisely and honestly. Aleister, sensing an opportunity to get in on the fun, and also a little payback joined in.
"Ladies, should this man prove to be uncooperative, would you like me to provide a little heat to the proceedings? Or, there is the alternative, you both know who I am talking about." Aleister asked with a rather grim inflection in his voice, as he gave the man a rather dark smile.
The elves were defeated and Damien found the ice much less solid, a few quick strikes with his armored fists and he was free. He moved his legs, as they were somewhat stiff from being stuck in the ice for even that short period of time.
They had the surviving elf restrained and had proceeded to question him. A few of the threats they made unsettled him.
"Tell us all you know of your people, weaknesses, weapons, anything, oh and directions as well. If not and you believe your loyalty is with your people, I will personally rip every piece of your flesh that I can get a hand on from you."
"Ladies, should this man prove to be uncooperative, would you like me to provide a little heat to the proceedings? Or, there is the alternative, you both know who I am talking about."
He found himself unable to keep quiet, as the elf looked supremely terrified at the horrific things they threatened him with. And judging by the looks on their faces, they intended to follow through with them.
"Neither of you will do any such thing, he has told us where our possessions have gone. That is enough." His face was set and his eyes hard, he drew the line at torture, and frowned on Cecilia's disposal of their jailor, but this was too far.
"Neither of you will do any such thing, he has told us where our possessions have gone. That is enough." Damien said, his face set heavily and his were deep. It obviously showed that he was most displeased with what was going to happen to the jailer. Aleister decided to reassure him.
"Look Damien, I wasn't going to actually do anything to him. It was merely an intimidation tactic, one which may have tipped the scales in our favour, come the point when they will no doubt attack. If I was going to do something drastic as torture, I would have sounded a lot more sincere about it. But your right, suppose we may have went a little too far over the line of morality." Aleister remarked, sounding deeply apologetic towards the warrior monk.
"Anyway, lets grab our gear and whatever else we will need, and find out where the portal off this level is."
The guard stared at the climbers wide-eyed as the climber casually started walking away from him in search of their equipment. He stared at the limp body of the first guard, neck bent at a strange angle, and breathed heavily. They'd gotten the drop on him somehow and he'd been too lazy to do his own work. Great, the Commander's gonna love the explanation to this...but he didn't need to know about this. In fact, there didn't even need to be a problem. He quickly got to his feet.
"Where do you think you're going?" He said bitterly, as he held them in place. Stonefuse wondered why they'd all stopped moving and looked slightly strained, he looked back to the guard and began trudging towards him. "You all are going to-whoa, what a second!" Stonefuse picked up the guard and slammed him head first into the ground. He was out cold. Atticus looked over Stonefuse for a few seconds and then hit him.
"Wait a second, you can't be influenced, can you?"
"Is that why everyone was talking about a wolf?" The golem asked.
"That could be useful...anyway like Aeister said before we rudely interrupted, we have to retrieve our gear and get to the portal...if we can find it."
"...I really hate that." Mental freezing or ice powers, either way it was bad. She failed or perhaps forgot to knock the guard out at least with a choke hold, maybe she should've let her ghost limbs do as much.
Cecilia paused as she followed a bit, "Asides from Stonefuse here there has to be someway to counter the whole mental control in general. At least with ice magic we can get some footing, but pervading our minds is just hard. Any solutions in a magical manner?"
Face looking strained and concentrated, "I think I have an idea for a counter, but I'm not willing to rely on it solely with a power house of a golem as the other aid."
"Asides from Stonefuse here there has to be someway to counter the whole mental control in general. At least with ice magic we can get some footing, but pervading our minds is just hard. Any solutions in a magical manner?" Cecilia asked, trying to find a solution to their problem. Faunra had been thinking along the same lines since Atticus started talking about using Stonefuse's inability to be controlled to their advantage.
"I have an idea, but it's not a "magical solution" - I look a lot like these elves. I could take that guards uniform and pretend to be taking the group to another area if anyone asks." Faunra offered. It was the only plan she could see, if only because she lacked magical knowledge.
"I have an idea, but it's not a "magical solution" - I look a lot like these elves. I could take that guards uniform and pretend to be taking the group to another area if anyone asks." Faunra offered.
"The second they look in your mind or even move a tendril of pressure on you is a huge risk." Cecilia considered disguises amongst the choices to use, and in any case she'd be fine with it.
"We can fool their eyes, but surely not their minds, once an alarm goes out they'll be after us communicating and linking together, physically and mentally." Her voice was calm if a bit peeved.
Atticus thought for a moment. It would be difficult to move around with this many Fristics out and about. There were probably a few guards near the armory, so getting their weapons would be a pain. Faunra's plan would have to do. He checked the guard closest to the cage, his neck bent a bit too far and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. Atticus inspected his gear, an armored chest plate with a peculiar vest inside, some basic boots, and a nice size for Faunra.
"This guy won't be needing his clothes back anytime soon. Neck's broken and he doesn't have a pulse. Get changed quickly, because we have to get out of here." He said, passing the vest to Faunra. He quickly walked over to the second guard Stonefuse had punched, putting the magic negating cuffs on him, bending down to check him out.
"Cecilia, any way your limbs can move this guy around? I just put the cuffs on him and I assume they negate their abilities too. He'd unconscious so moving him around shouldn't be too har-" Atticus stopped, noticing something odd. The guard didn't have a pulse either yet there was faint breathing coming from him. Atticus ignored it, too caught up on trying to get moving.
"We're gonna need to get back in the cage for this to work. Just act calm if we walk past anyone and hope they don't have a tendency for reading each other's minds without permission or something." Atticus said, hoping this wasn't a bad idea.