Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Flashpoint: Mythic Ritual

The ritual begins. Lunjun marks chalk sigils across the floor with a circle for each participant and a larger central circle for the manifestation. The team seek to make contact with the God that is watching them. Proteus hopes (and prays) that it is Shelyn but none can be sure. Lunjun begins the chant – a series of syllables from a variety of languages that really draws upon a variety of languages style of speaking.

Finally they feel the moment of sacrifice where they each lose two points of an attribute. Archer donates 2 Strength. Lhye and Lunjun donates 2 Charisma. Proteus donates 2 Wisdom. The dryad donates 2 Dexterity. The succubus donates 2 Intelligence. The actress donates 2 Wisdom. The agathion familiar donates 2 Strength..

For a wonderful few instants as the power swells within Lunjun and he gets to enjoy the dizzying stat boost before he channels it all into the central circle and a crack, a mild emanation, a slight touch of some divinity begins to etch its way in. The sight of it temporarily pulls Lhye’s demonic nature to the surface, driving him Chaotic Evil, and giving others the certain impression that for now he is no tiefling but a demonic figure.

Although the edge of divinity has no visual component, it gives the impression of being a sliver of darkened mirror glass and within it they can each see themselves and a terrible promise of their future. They would gain power, such wonderful power, they would reach their maximum potential (level 20).

Lhye felt the evil draw loose from him, hanging by threads, allowing him to make his own decision (bit unfair to offer power to a forcibly Chaotic Evil demon because, err, yeah, auto-yes). He was offered love and acceptance wherever he went. He would be so charismatic that he would never be an outsider again. He was tempted and only refused because he recalled his mother’s experiences with love potions. The fact that he would be so powerful that no one would dare act the spurned suitor towards him didn’t keep him from saying ‘No’.

Archer saw himself bringing the world to heel to keep Andoren safe. He would usher in a time of peace, prosperity and law to Andoren and famines, plagues and slavery to all of the ‘lesser races’. He would be capable of stopping Nidal from marching onto Varisia (which was declared as the future) and Cheliax from crushing fragile Andoren (which was possible). He refused it as he believed that the world could only be protected by the strength of will, not by the might of magic.

Lunjun saw himself tapping into the source of magic and for one brilliant moment being all-powerful before destroying magic itself and scouring it from this world. From that moment on, he refused any thought of acceptance as, well, he wouldn’t want to have to manually do things.

Proteus saw himself in his fated role as the destroyer of the world as the power he unleashes begins to even destroy himself. Yet there was the promise of reforming the world as he so chose, creating in it something new, something fresh, something brilliant. He rejected the idea, though he was tempted as well.

It seemed that all had been granted the choice, however, as the nymph, succubus and actress disappeared.

At that point, they saw the shadow of a masculine figure emanate from the mirror. Proteus considered it might be the same shadow that he saw earlier at the theatre, something which he considers to be Zon-Kuthon. His hand-bone was eerily silent at this stage.

They tried addressing the shadow but to no avail, suggesting that if this is a divinity they have contacted then it is either a Messenger (whose form, behaviour or words should disclose something to them – this shadow disclosed nothing at all) or an Avatar (whose form, behaviour and words represent a key aspect of the divinity).

Proteus figured that considering Zon-Kuthon is the Lord of Shadows, it was likely him. Or perhaps Norgorber. Deciding to take one for the team, especially as Zon-Kuthon half had him anyway, he stepped free of his protective circle further onto the sigil.

Immediately Lunjun lost control of the magic which violently whipped about the sigil, then froze. Proteus found himself in the point of time before the power imploded and felt that he could pull free one of the three individuals who were being drawn into the mirror and yet hadn’t or perhaps had (it was all very wibbly wobbly timey wimey). In that long instant, Proteus pondered.

The succubus had granted him a favour. He would permanently lose Charisma if she were destroyed. He decided not to save her.

The nymph was an immortal being of goodness and nature. He justified not saving her by figuring she’d had a good long life and had been recently tortured anyway, so it might just be time to call it quits. (Not that he truly believed she would be allowed to die).

The actress was only here because he had brought her here. She was an innocent human and if she disappeared it would have been a direct consequence of his actions. Still, while he tilted toward saving her he almost wanted to save the nymph as well.

The fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself granted him a divinely gifted inspiration (not given by the Shadow of a God nor the Mirror but by something else). Rather than letting the energies of that proto-dimension safely implode, he could let it explode instead, thus preventing the trio from ever reaching the Mirror.

After a long moment, he went with that, shattering a portion of water from the Underground Plinth onto the floor, destroying some of the chalk. The energies erupted opposite to how it had before, ripping apart the walls of this realm but leaving this sigil as the eye of a hurricane. This became quite literal when the sigil appeared 80 feet high hovering above the mansion garden while a Pit Fiend pulsed above the Mayor’s mansion before exploding in a burst of gale force winds that pulled a literal hurricane above them.

Before the Shadow of a God disappeared, they saw that it had white and blue cracks, like little lines of something, right where the eyes should be.

Lhye figured they may have allowed Dou-bral to exist briefly while Proteus figured they may have even woken him up.

The trio of women lay beneath the sigil alongside the animal companions. The four adventurers realised that they were now god-touched (Mythic Tier 1 obtained) and more potent (Level 9 obtained) and both Lhye and Lunjun teleported the rest back to their ships.

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