Author Topic: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm  (Read 22192 times)

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Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5100 on: January 10, 2019, 12:31:56 pm »
(( Solomon section written with Mrno, Helen section written with Wilson. ))

As the four of them made their way back to Walkerville, Alice had been checking on Isaac to make sure that he was unharmed. Certainly bruised and sore it seemed, yet otherwise unharmed. As for why he seemed so shaken, it wasn't until the tank stopped, Hector and Nathaniel stepping out of the rear hatch, that Isaac told Alice the news...



Solomon gave a sigh of relief after the radio chatter had died down, able to set it down at last. Despite the gunshots and distant thunder of Helen's hammer heard earlier, he was confident that she and Steinar had the situation under control. He'd sit down at last if not for one very troublesome thing remaining, nearly knocking him over in a flurry of panicked, trembling feathers.

Solomon struggled to stay standing, taking an uneasy step forward. "Now could you please let go? It's fine..." The offending bird-man chirped shakily, arms and legs wrapped around Solomon's left leg like a little kid.  He gave another chirp before spreading his wings out, curling them in and around Solomon's legs, stopping him from taking another step forward unless he wants to fall over.

The avian only tightened his grip on Solomon, talon-tips starting to dig in through his pant legs a bit.  Cardin tweets quietly, his wings shaking as he buries his beak against Sol's leg. Solomon gave a little whine, afraid he was going to fall over at that rate, and in fact he very much did, giving a startled yelp. "Ack! C-come on, we're not under attack...nevermind how thick the timbers in this place are anyway." he pointed out, only to grumble at the frightened avian refusing to let go.



Helen began the trip back to The Hall after leaving Steinar to handle Branches, grumbling to herself as she made her way along a different route. One that took her along the main road cutting through the woods east of the bridge, to ensure the area was clear after the disturbance. I swear...incompetent brigands. I fear this isn’t the last we’ll hear of them... she thought. Of course, her thoughts turned to the others at The Hall, and especially Walkerville. Despite the danger, she knew several of them, Hector especially, would relish such a thing.

A tall, slender man wearing a houndstooth patterned sweater stood in front of a easel, with a palette and a brush in hand. He chuckled aloud as he held the brush up to the landscape, with a nearby ruined town. “What a landscape…! A striking image!” The artist said to himself, as he continued with the painting. “Beautiful…” He was lost in his task, making small comments to himself as he painted.

Helen blinked a bit, left stunned by the completely out-of-place sight before her, quickly activating her mask to look around. No one else waiting in ambush, all that became apparent was a peculiar glow of magic of materials stowed away among his arts supplies, yet its nature was hard for her to discern with just a glance. “What in Hel’s name...” she muttered, shaking her head. The artist stood back from the painting, admiring his work. The painting itself was a more abstract version of the landscape, full of color. “It was worth coming out here for this wonderful landscape…” He whispered to himself, chewing on the end of his brush. The artist took a bottle of water and a paint-stained rag from a nearby moped. He began to clean his palette and hum softly, still oblivious to the person watching him.

After a moment of waiting in silence, Helen finally gave an “ahem” to get the stranger’s attention. “Greetings...er, is everything alright?” she asked, likely leading to the strange sight of a woman in a scaled cloak and copper-decorated mask. The artist let out a small shout, before composing himself. “You’ve startled me... Yes. Hello. I’m doing fantastic… Hmm…” He said, as he zoned out once more, absentmindedly washing the palette.

Helen smiled a bit underneath her mask, before giving a nod. “An...unusual place to stop and enjoy the scenery. Fields and forests giving way to swamp and a crater-filled ruin...” she remarked. The artist hmmphed at that, “I sense your sarcasm… Allow me to show you what I see.” He said softly, setting aside the washed palette and walking up to her. He stood beside her and framed the landscape he was painting with his fingers, “See? A beautiful composition… wonderful mix of new and old, nature retaking civilization. Truly amazing... “ He rambled softly.

Helen smiled a bit at that. “So I see...it can be dangerous here at times, admittedly. Regardless, you’re right. Morbid though it may be, I suppose there is beauty to it.” she admitted. “What’s your name? I’m Helen McKinnon.” The artist smiled a bit, “My name Remi Lafonce, pleasure to make your acquaintance.” He introduced himself, before he glanced over at Helen. “What a beautiful mask… May I inspect it?” Remi asked, infatuated by the design of the mask itself.

Helen was taken aback at that, before nodding and removing it carefully, showing its design was a feminine depiction of some divine figure with an ambivalent expression. Similar to a cavalry mask in fact, well-kept steel for much of it, and copper to form the hairline that it depicted, along with brows and the faintest hint of decoration to imply eyelashes for the eyeholes. Remi held the mask tenderly, running a thumb across the engravings. “So ornate… It’s very well made, miss. Is it an heirloom?” He asked, handing the mask back.

Helen shook her head at that, putting it back on afterward. “Made by my mother, and its enchantments were put into place by myself.” she explained. Remi cocked his head to the side, “Enchantments?” He asked, raising a thin brow. Helen smiled some under the mask. “Don’t tell me you’ve paints that glow under the sight of my mask, but would be dumbfounded by mention of the arcane.” she teased. Remi blinked at Helen for a moment, before cocking his head in the opposite direction. “The arcane?” He asked, legitimately confused. The Artist thought hard for a moment, “My peinture de la prêtresse? He asked again.


Helen gave a nod at that. “Surprised that you seem to not know what I speak of...” she said, before sighing. “Your paint, yes. It has some manner of effect to it beyond producing art, am I correct?” she asked. Remi hummed a bit, walking towards his moped and grabbing a small clay vessel, a bottle of slightly murky water, and a sketchbook. He tore out a sheet and set it on the ground, taking a brush and drawing a water-drop symbol. Remi set the bottle against the sheet of water and held his hand against the paper.

Helen watched with amusement, the motif evident and hinting at its nature, though no visible effect made the effect clear from vision alone. However, as the metal of her mask shifted and the faint hint of green eyes vanished in the faintest hint of a red glow, the nature of his work became obvious. “Interesting...a way to form symbolic magic, it seems.” Remi nodded, before letting out a hmm. “Appears I’ve forgotten to eat…” He said aloud, looking through his moped. “...oh.” he said quietly.

“If you’d like, my home isn’t far from here, and there’s another community just across the river. Then west of that, the local refugee center.” she offered. Remi nodded, “I’d be happy to be your guest!” He said, gripping his moped by the handlebars. Helen nodded at that. “It’s just down to the bridge, then south along the east bank.” she said, turning to lead the way. The two walked back to the hall, Remi walking the Moped along as they walked. The artist let his mind wander as he looked at the scenery around them, “Interesting…” He mumbled.



Elsewhere in Maine, Donny looked over to the nearby table in the Shepard's Wolves' mess hall, seeing Aurelia sitting across from Nashio, having spoken to Taji earlier, looking back to Jonathon. "So I last saw her skulking about in stolen clothes, but..." Donny gave a blank stare at the aging mage hunter. "Over where Ta-a-aji's friend is st-st" He thumped his chest, coughing a bit. "...staying?" The mage hunter just gave a nod at that.

"Describe it..." he said, which prompted Jonathon to give the cyborg a concerned glance. "Dress shirt and slacks. Shirt was this real tacky pattern..." Donavon pointed over to Nashio. "Tacky as *bzzt* that?" Jonathon nodded. "Yeah...you...wait..."

"It took you thi-i-is long to figure that out?" Donny quipped mechanically.



And on Mount Katadin...

Horace, despite his reservations and suspicions about the old man, walked along the old hiking trails. They were overgrown with plants, broken and cracked, unmanaged after nearly a decade having only ever had a single human being walking along them. At least, only one to walk the trail without be assailed by the things that haunted the mountain.

But soon, hardy snow-covered plants gave way to barren ground, seemingly along a much lower altitude than was normal for the mountains. The higher elevations suffered the full brunt of all the things that afflicted the air those eight years ago, and the plant life here had never fully recovered. He suspected this was higher than the old man ever dared to climb, and for good reason given the air was thinner. But there was something unnatural to it, a certain clarity where heavy snow once shrouded the sky, to the point of barely being able to see ahead a few yards.

The unyielding blizzard gave way to snow that fell in a peculiar swirling torrent, intense yet offering an unnatural clarity to the sky overhead. Like rain on a sunny day, yet not a cloud in the sky. More than appearing as though the sky was perfectly clear, there was a peculiar clarity as though the vastness of space itself was laid bare before him, a brilliant field of azure fading into purple, distant nebulae and a sprawling web of stars offering light that the rising sun struggled futilely to diminish.

He was being watched, by creatures of inhuman shape and form, on a peak where the little instabilities that dotted the mountains mingled, leaving not rifts but a dull haze where the world was both earthly and otherworldly. It was here that the monsters from Beyond could linger and stalk, not comfortably but certainly surviving this unfamiliar world better than they did down below. And here, among shifting stars, it appeared as though the sky offered a view of both this world, and of worlds that had no place here, a glimpse into a world humans did not belong in.

He held his axe in one hand, and the amulet in the other, continuing on towards the very summit, as though daring the inhuman things to attack him. The unearthly abominations here weren't under the old man's control, and with a heavy blow the blade sheared through the iridescent chitin of a six-winged monstrosity, scuttling in and out of reality. Other beasts began to advance on him, another smote by the axe and descending as a rain of formerly-living shadows, but a faint whisper bid him to halt, instead holding up the necklace he'd been given.

It was carved from strange, almost shimmering ivory from one of the many abominations to stalk the mountains, strange patterns etched into a rounded-off lower surface, that gave way to rune-inscribed prongs that split off and entwined together in unnatural ways, flat surface transitioning into a tangled bramble of bones, carved and trimmed into a more orderly motif that resembled flames rising from an offering chalice.

Shadowy, twisting forms recoiled and froze, halting a charge through strange time and space. Not due to the example easily made of the first attackers, but at the symbol held aloft. The armored figure stepped forward, until he looked down upon the land from the very summit. A twisted shadow of an already ruined land, warped and hinting at the reflections of strange gods and otherworldly horrors.

Horace simply laid the carved amulet on the bare stone at the peak, turning to return the way he came. Things looked different, the lay of the land threatening to lead him astray, as though he might find himself in other worlds entirely, but he felt that ethereal pull guiding every heavy step.

He found his way back, and the creatures didn't stand in his path this time.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 05:44:51 pm by Chaosvolt »

 

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