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Thread: But For a Sword (A Matou Shinji Series AU)

  1. #341
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Stand on the footprints and try to figure out the riddle




    "Huh," Pansy said upon stepping into the room and looking around, noting that there were no obvious enemies in the room. No spiders. No dementors, nothing except--

    "Sarcophagi, huh?" Selina observed, with Pansy blinking as she took in the presence of the rectangular stone boxes lining the walls, which now that she thought about it, looked a bit like coffins.

    "Wait...are you saying there are inferi in those things?" she hissed, her face a mask of horror. "That they're going to jump out at us as we go in?"

    "No...I'm not sensing anything dangerous about them," Selina commented. "Not yet, that is. Could still change."

    "I thought Mopsus was supposed to give you a warning about this stuff."

    "Oh, it does, but its not perfect, especially if there is no immediate danger," the veteran adventurer informed them. "Or if there is danger behind you and danger before."

    "Huh, I see."

    Aside from the sarcophagi, the only things of note in the room were an ornate altar of obsidian against the far wall, and a remarkably clear pool of water in its very center, no deeper than waist high, and three meters across. At the very center of the pool, one could see something like a blade - a long dagger, or perhaps a sword, gleaming with golden light, with the hilt just beneath the surface.

    "Can you grab that?" Pansy asked, her voice hushed. "Something that shiny and obvious has to be important, right?"

    "Or, its a trap, but might as well try," Selina replied, reaching out with the telekinetic abilities granted to her by Mopsus, though try as she might, she couldn't get a proper grip on the item. It was as if it wasn't there, as if what they were seeing of the item wasn't really there - some kind of optical illusion, maybe. "There's something around the pool though."

    That something turned out to be runic letters carved in silver. The letters were grouped into five short phrases, with the phrases separated from one another by footprint shaped imprints wrought of lighter-colored stone.

    "Draco, can you--"

    "What clings to you?" the boy translated. "Bear it—you cannot. Accept it—you cannot. But hidden—it is from you. Recite its name." He blinked. "I think its a riddle."

    "Might as well see if we can solve it, don't you think?" Selina questioned.

    "Are you sure?" Pansy asked. "What if its a trap?"

    "Then best we know now, as opposed to in a future run."

    "That makes sense..." the expedition leader noted. "I guess we should stand on the footprints?"

    "But there are five sets of footprints, and only four of us," Lily pointed out.

    "I can use Mopsus to push own on the set we aren't standing on," Selina offered, with Pansy nodding.

    "Let's do it."

    So the group moved to stand on the imprints, stepping onto the footprints one at a time, with the runes between the footprints beginning to glow.

    "Huh."

    But that was not the only change to occur, as lines of golden light began to unfold across the lake, shooting from footprint to footprint to form...

    "...a pentagram?" Lily murmured.

    One with the sword in the very center, no less.

    "Speak its name..." Pansy muttered. "Any ideas, anyone?"

    She tried to shift her foot to see what would happen only to find that she could not, and that on the set of footprints closest to hers, Selina seemed to be trembling, her eyes closed as she fought to stay standing.

    "It could be your shadow," Lily offered. "Or your reflection, I guess."

    "Are you sure it isn't something else?" Draco asked, trying to lift his leg and finding that he couldn't, even as Selina grunted, as if her leg was threatening to buckle from a sudden tug. "Maybe - your family's crimes?"

    "Or the lies you tell yourself," Selina grunted. "Your choice, Pansy."

    What is the answer to the riddle?

    [ ] Reflection
    [ ] Shadow
    [ ] Lies
    [ ] The Sins of the Past
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  2. #342
    [X] Shadow

  3. #343
    [x] Shadow

  4. #344
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
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    [X] Shadow

  5. #345
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Shadow




    'What clings to you?' Pansy repeated in her mind. 'Bear it—you cannot. Accept it—you cannot. But hidden—it is from you. Recite its name.'

    As team leader, the duty to speak the answer was hers, though she didn't really know what the answer was. Her teammates had all suggested answers, with Lily suggesting Shadow or Reflection, Draco suggesting his family's crime - the sins of the past, and Selina suggesting the lies one told oneself, yet...

    'The weight of the past is something that one cannot bear alone,' she mused. Yet she didn't think whoever created this place would care for things like history. It probably wasn't the lies one told oneself either, as that was also something of a nebulous concept. 'Which leaves Shadow or Reflection.'

    Given that they were standing around a pool of water, the obvious answer was a reflection, but in terms of what one could not bear, and what generally hid...

    'Shadow...'"What is hidden, what cannot be borne, what clings to us and we cannot accept?" she murmured. "My shadow."

    For a moment, it seemed as if nothing had changed - no, something had - as each of them felt a noticeable drain on their magic, with the four stumbling back as the footholds released them.

    'ugh, what...'

    But her thoughts died as she saw four shadowy figures standing on the water, looking out at them with golden eyes, with one of them, a...

    'Oh Merlin's unmentionables. Doppelgangers.'

    One of them was using Mopsus, if the outstretched hand was any clue. The others...

    'Fiendfyre potions! No!'

    What's the plan?

    [ ] (write-in)
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 4th, 2019 at 04:48 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  6. #346
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    [X] Have Lily's familiar cast Sleep on as many Doppelgangers it can, focusing on the lessor threats - Draco and Pansy, then targeting Selina. Selina-will Mopus counter her Doppleganger to deadlock/neutralize the two (until lily's familiar can knock her out). Everyone else is going to focus on pinning/knocking out Doppelganger Lily with what spells they know, using numbers against her.

    Ok, this plan might need refinement, but I think it covers the bases. The idea is to take out the big threat (lily) ASAP. But we need numbers against her so the hope is that lily familiar that was not copy can take out the other dopplargangers so that people can focus on Lily. D. Selina is an issue here but hopefully Selina can lock her up enough for the group to win.

  7. #347
    [x] Have Lily's familiar cast Sleep on as many Doppelgangers it can, focusing on the lessor threats - Draco and Pansy, then targeting Selina. Selina-will Mopus counter her Doppleganger to deadlock/neutralize the two (until lily's familiar can knock her out). Everyone else is going to focus on pinning/knocking out Doppelganger Lily with what spells they know, using numbers against her.Had forgotten the familiar.

  8. #348
    [x] Have Lily's familiar cast Sleep on as many Doppelgangers it can, focusing on the lessor threats - Draco and Pansy, then targeting Selina. Selina-will Mopus counter her Doppleganger to deadlock/neutralize the two (until lily's familiar can knock her out). Everyone else is going to focus on pinning/knocking out Doppelganger Lily with what spells they know, using numbers against her.

  9. #349
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Have Lily's familiar cast Sleep on as many Doppelgangers it can, focusing on the lessor threats - Draco and Pansy, then targeting Selina. Selina-will Mopus counter her Doppleganger to deadlock/neutralize the two (until lily's familiar can knock her out). Everyone else is going to focus on pinning/knocking out Doppelganger Lily with what spells they know, using numbers against her.




    With everything else that had happened on the damned island, it figured that getting the right answer to the riddle would lead to a battle - though that did raise the question for what might happen if they had given the wrong answer. Sudden death, perhaps? Or worse, a drawn out one as the imprints drained them of their magic?

    'Quirrell isn't pulling any punches...' she groused, but didn't have time to do more than that, as the doppelgangers spawned from their magic attacked, the copy of her using Mopsus, while the shadows based on the others used wands and... 'Fiendfyre.'

    This was bad. Very bad.

    With all of them trapped as they were, there was nowhere for them to run, while their shadows could simply dance across the surface of the water with impunity, dodging whatever was thrown at them.

    'What to do?' she thought frantically, as she barely raised her hand in time to deflect a powerful surge of force that would have probably snapped her neck. The others were distracted, with Draco and Pansy trying to keep the fiendfyre away from them, and Lily being the only one putting up a reasonable defense against...

    'She's fighting all of them except my double...'

    No. This was bad. This was very bad. Lily was skilled, far more skilled than someone should be at her age, with the ability to use advanced shields and conjure forth a Patronus, but even she--

    "Now, Inaba!" Lily barked out, with the odd form of her familiar shimmering into view, standing on its hind legs, the tips of the...feathers...on its head shimmering with an ethereal silver light.


    With a shrill cry, a wave of power was released, and all of the sudden, the doppelganger of Lily simply...stopped, frozen in place in mid-cast. Seeing this, two of the doppelgangers leapt back, with one turning its wand upon the familiar, only to find that it had vanished, while the other assaulted Lily with sickly bolts of red and blue light launched in rapid fire, with it taking everything the girl had to keep up.

    Meanwhile, Selina's duel with her doppelganger continued, a strange, slippery thing of force against force, precognition against speed. She was pretty sure the shadowy copy of her couldn't predict what she would do, exactly, but it was fast enough that it didn't matter - as well as being able to move - on top of being more powerful, so she couldn't keep taking its blows head on.

    'Mobility...I have to stop it from moving. To weaken it...'

    If she threw everything she had into the blow, she could probably do it, so long as she aimed her blow at somewhere that wasn't the head or torso of the Shadow.

    'Can I do it?'

    Bracing herself, she drew on every last bit of her reserves and lashed out - not at her doppelganger's head or arms, but at its legs, which it didn't really bother to guard.

    The result was a satisfying crack that was audible from the shore, with the other stumbling into the water, though not before an iron-like grip fastened itself on her neck and squeezed.

    'No!'

    Selina wanted to shout, to scream, to cry for help, but the foe's grip was too strong, strangling her voice in her throat. She reached out, trying to dislodge the telekinetic choke with her own abilities, but it did no good, as the enemy had her now.

    All she could do was reach out further and, with a vicious pull, bring down one of the other doppelgangers as a surge of golden light surged past her, as the smell of ozone filled the air, before darkness finally claimed her.

    [Selina's journey is finished. Lily's familiar manages to take out the doppelgangers, now immersed in the water, not just standing above it, with a blast of lightning that dissolved them all - which curiously also made the fake Fiendfyre disappear, though not before it consumed Pansy. The surviving members of the party - Lily and Draco - are presented with copies of a strange blade, or perhaps the original, for when they looked at the water, the original was gone. The blade slots onto in an indentation on the Altar, opening the path to the inner Mausoleum, though with reduced numbers, the others pull back.]

    Final result
    : 2 point as reward for every member of the team (5 points as base reward for scouting the Hill of Graves, with a -3 point equipment loss penalty). Lily gets an additional point as MVP. Pansy gets 1 point less, due to penalty for teammate deaths canceling out team capitan bonus).




    Right then - shall we move on to a Shinji team run, or shall we move to something else for the moment, like oh...dealing with the Spencer-Moon business, where Ras Al'Gue and Talluah Kai are looking into a case of vanished Squibs?

    [ ] Azkaban
    [ ] New Orleans
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  10. #350
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
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    [X] New Orleans

    Either work but I think it be more fun to see Orleans adventure before we go back to the death trap that is Azkaban. Granted in the alleys of 'The City That Care Forgot' you might find death just as easily.

  11. #351
    [x]New Orleans

  12. #352
    Any is good to me really;

    [x]New Orleans.

  13. #353
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    So, one more question, before I update this week: shall this be Natsumi's POV or from Shinji's?

    [ ] Natsumi
    [ ] Shinji
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 18th, 2019 at 06:16 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  14. #354
    [x] Natsumi

  15. #355
    [x] Natsumi

  16. #356
    [x]Natsumi

  17. #357
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
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    [x] Natsumi

    Oh yeah time to see our Dark Lady of Cute Sith thoughts.

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