2018-08-11: I Am Furious

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<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Sun shines over Hope Springs, not too harsh for once. A rare, recent rain has brought ephemeral greenery to the sleepy town, and a cool morning breeze blows by to awaken it.

A cat-eared nun opens the windows to the Calice orphanage to let the air in. She looks around with a small, lazy smile as another nun looks after children playing in the courtyard, while townspeople trickle through the streets, most going to and from the mines.

She turns back to her guests at the table.

A feline beastwoman similar to Rosaline, albeit with tiger-stripe patterns on her fur and a much more confident bearing, daintily digging into toast.

An unkempt, eyepatch-wearing man Rosaline's age, tearing into a bacon strip with playful ferocity.

A roguish-looking, nonchalantly smiling older man wearing a tipped Stetson hat and a customized Etone robe, balancing on the back leg of his chair while chugging milk.

A learned-looking, glasses-wearing woman in fine travelling clothes, doodling something in her plate with her fork and egg yellows.

"Well, I have to say," the hat-wearing man says, "you're a cheerful bunch for people who have just gone through a funeral."

"Father Mackenzie wasn't a good person," the glasses-wearing woman says, matter-of-factly, "you've done all you could officiatin' the ceremony like a good Granasite, but he's likely in having a well-deserved sulfur bath in Hell right about now."

"I'll admit," the eyepatched man says, "I've had half a mind to burn this building down with him in it. But he had to pass away in his sleep before I got the chance."

Everyone has a good laugh. Rosaline considers, then adds:

"May God forgive me for saying this, but... Fuck that racist alcoholic."

Everyone has a good laugh.

"Ohoho~" the unknown beastwoman laughs, "our adorable Little Rosa has grown into such a hellion!"

"Say, Sister Calice--" the hat-wearing Etone corrects himself, as all three women turn to him, "--Sister Rosaline, would you mind taking your Gear out for a joyride later? I'd love to see what it's capable of. And if you handle it half as well as you handle Crests and ARMs... I'd be more than happy to write you up an Etone recommendation."

Rosaline tilts her head, her smile bashful. "Thank you, Brother Gevurah. But I feel like taking care is the little ones is my greater calling."

There is a knock at the door. "Hold on, I'll get it." Rosaline walks over.

*****

For a few days now, Malevolence and generalized spiritual disturbances have been pouring out of the Furies' lair in waves. Some may have experienced firsthand the Mirror's magic, and connected it with whatever dangerous scheme they've been up to. Either way, concerned citizens have good cause to go address some complaints to the castle's current residents.

And so, several friends and acquaintances of the Furies have made their way through the winding hallways of Castle Rabenstein. Some may have ended up separated from their group amidst the building's impossible geometry, but these things tend to have a way of working themselves out. A party has formed in front of the chapel area (one of them, at least-- this castle makes no sense), the door to which has taken the form of the door to the Calice Orphanage, presumably as it was when it still stood. The window is open, and it's possible to see and overhear the conversation going on within.

Presumably, someone will knock. Perhaps several someones!

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

When we last saw Talise, she was probably knocking over a bunch of pieces on a gameboard and shouting 'I REFUSE TO PLAY' or something, depending on which cards she and her group end up drawing on what is most assuredly not next Saturday.

When we now see Talise, she's scowling and holding her sword - the one the Green Knight affirmed her right to bear, even if she can't access certain other perks right now. Standing in front of the door, she stares a hole into it. It's far too familiar to her.

She can hear wedding bells in her memories.

Guilt stabs at her heart again and again. Of course. Hope Springs. I should have done something before Rosaline went there, but I was too STUPID to see what was happening to her and Ida. I was too SELFISH and IGNORANT and I thought I could just smother their sadness in friendship. I didn't even see if it was the Witch or the Trial Knight and I didn't even think about purple feelings. I FAILED them both. If I'd only been able to--

Talise pushes her left sleeve back, brings her forearm up to her mouth, and bites it firmly. She bites so hard that she actually breaks the skin.

The spark of pain derails her train of thought. Exhaling, she holds her arm out and looks at the marks on her arm. One incisor left a trickle of blood behind.

I can't protect them from everything, she reminds herself as she slides her sleeve back into place and looks at that door ahead of her. But I can try to help them now. Even if Sorey isn't here... I can try to help everyone help them now.

Stepping forward, Talise lays a hand on the door, giving it a firm thump. If it'll open, she'll open it. If not, she'll knock one more time.

"Ros'," she shouts, her voice steady and intent.

"We're here for you."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre has business with Rosaline Calice.

There's the fact that the former nun punched a hole straight through his chest-- that's probably the most important factor driving his travel here today. But there's something else on his mind.

Something... Perhaps more secret than that.

Braving the trek up to the chapel, Cyre and his friends, companions and temporary frienemies are faced with a daunting but unsettlingly familiar door. Cyre frowns, rubbing an ache in his shoulder from where a spectral knife had dug into the muscle. He raises a hand to...

Knock? What, no. Who would knock when there's a window RIGHT THERE?

Cyre doesn't knock. That would ruin the element of surprise, and more importantly would just be far too...

Unlike him?

Look. There are times for knocking on the door to a boss' lair, and there are times for floating up to its window to creep on in through another unexpected vector of entry. Also, Cyre is naturally attracted to high places.

Hence, he has floated up to the window on a cushion of air and is busily going about the business of making an entry-- all while eavesdropping on whatever kind of intimate reminiscing is going on within.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle came with several others when she made her way through Rabenstein, a place she has never been before and frankly would rather not visit again as long as it remains this way. But to help her friends, her allies, some people she has sworn to help -

Well, she'll come for that.

Tethelle has not one but two swords across her back; her usual two-handed straight one in its usual carrier, and a slightly curved blade, just as heavy, that seems most suitable for hacking rather than her almost dancelike style. It's a lot to lug around, but the weight doesn't seem to be bothering her any (even she is not crazy enough to try to dual-wield two two-handed swords, though, and has only used one at a time).

"I don't like it," she admits, as she listens in to a room that can't really be where it is. She doesn't recognize most of the people, but that doesn't mean anything, as she didn't really expect to. She looks toward Talise as she bites her own arm, and frowns, but doesn't do more than rest her hand on Talise's shoulder for an instant.

Talise hits the door and prepares to go in. Tethelle approves of that. "Right behind you."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Castle Rabenstein - Layna and her friends had witnessed it before. They had connections to it masters. Once friends, now...well, still friends, but friends who were up to suspicious business.

Which means, of course, they had to do something about it. Layna knew a thing or two about suspicious business...and she'd seen before what happened when it was taken too far.

Layna stands behind Talise with her arms folded in front of her, and an uncharacteristically serious expression on her face.

This place...she thought back to it everyone once in a while. There were certain things she should've said before things went too far. She had predicted how certain things might go...but not how devastating the effects would be.

"Aye, lass. We just want to talk, if that's alright." Layna calls out.

It would probably end up being more than just talking.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval, a Seraph who appears to have been of a bit greater consequence than first appears, is conserving his strength best he's able by keeping himself within a Holy Bottle vessel barely touched by mortal hands prior to the return trip(s?) up Mount Manfred. To be able to speak a bit more openly about himself after Ghaleon rebuked his attempts to warn him of troubles with the Boundary has made it much easier to keep much of what the Domain has to offer at bay - to say nothing of the hardening of one's spirit within those strange trials on that island.
     (He's also been using that 'conserving strength' excuse the day prior not to do the dishes, but that's neither here nor there.)
     Even after all they've gone through, he holds emotionally about as steady as steady can be, as Talise first comes before the door. Lanval doesn't speak up to ask - he probably already knows, even for someone who wasn't there for the event that saw one fall victim to the ambient Malevolence present there.
     "Hey... Talishe." Lanval speaks up. He can't have heard her thoughts, he's not a telepath. But he knows when a good friend of his decided to bite herself. "It'sh all right... 'm ready." Ready to do the dishes? Great, let's trek all the way back!!!
     "That'sh definitely one of the Domain Mashtersh ahead." Lanval says what should be obvious, to anyone who knows Rosaline as well as they do. What he knows is that to pierce this deep into a Domain not entirely invited is to be, unambiguously, often perceived as a threat. The Domain Masters of this place are all very powerful Hellions, indeed.
     Rosaline's good friends have arrived, ready and clear in their purpose. Lanval, too, primes himself, to stand as another among them. Well, to eventually manifest to stand as another among them. He's going to choose the right moment, all precise-like, as he gathers and waits within his bottle vessel.

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia has a way of turning up when least expected. Rosaline should be well used to that by now. Perhaps not so much most of the others present. They suddenly find themselves with an extra party member who wasn't with them on the way here, the red-haired fist fighter rushing up to them and waving enthusiastically.

"Heeeeeey! Am I glad to see some people I know! I was so lost, this place doesn't make any sense!" Probably not saying anything that anybody here didn't already know, but that's nothing new for Xantia either. No explanation offered for her presense, just showing up in an uncannily bright mood, even in a gloomy place like this. Quite possibly making the situation more awkward as a result due to mood whiplash.

If she's even noticed there's anything like that going on, it's not about to change anything, Xantia leisurely turning to see what everyone else is looking at. "Ooh, that looks important. What's in this room?"

Nope. Not a clue whatsoever.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Not long ago

Mom says, "They're growing longer."

Father says, "'She' won't be able to hide them for much longer..."

Lydia listened up against the wall, recognizing the extra pressure on the word. She reached up to the stubby little horns growing out from the top of her head and then frowned to herself. She still remembers the time she thought they were cool. The parents continue to talk and Lydia slumps against the wall. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair! It's not like she asked for them. She didn't ask to be born or to be made this way.

"I told you," Mom says. "We should have had her drink some tea, take some herbs, and done it while she slept."

"She said she didn't want to," Father adds. "She said it hurt. I don't get it. Maybe it's the youth of today. Doesn't she know how much harder her life is going to be with those on her head?"

Why did she come here, Lydia wondered. Why did she keep listening to the words they didn't want her to hear anyway? Is it her fault? Was she just not brave enough?

That courier who came by sometimes. She always came by with new stories. She was so cool and brave...but she was human and she was this so maybe she couldn't do it. It seems so hard and she has her studies too.

She'd rather be free. She'd rather be free from here. But before the horns grew in, mom and dad said she could do anything and now they said she couldn't even live as herself.

Was it all a lie?

Just a little longer, Lydia thought, just a little longer and I'll be a shaman and I can brave the wastes like Gallows, like Miss Whitlock. Right?

Right?

NOW

Lydia had made two mistakes regarding Rosaline. One was to hate her because of her religion. It wasn't Rosaline's fault the organization at large was shit. The other mistake was to leave her to her own devices. Cyre was nearly killed and Lydia believes firmly that it's because she hadn't managed to reach the fellow beastman properly, gave her time rather than pushed as hard as she could've. Perhaps she didn't think it was her place but well, being growly at Rosaline is bad but gouging out someone's chest is worse. Rosaline will have to deal.

Also present is Lanval whom Lydia smiles at. Lydia has come to a decision about how to relate to other people, and how to connect to others. She reaches out towards Lanval and places a hand on one of his arms. "Take care of yourself, okay? If you need to step out to protect yourself, we'll be okay."

She spots towards Tethelle, giving her a smile strangely enough as well considering they never seemed to get along before.

But finally she makes her way to Cyre and punches him in the arm. "Don't do that again," She tells him. "I already cried enough for you."

And with that she approaches the door and if it hasn't opened yet, Lydia tries to kick it open with her with her foot while smashing the side of the walls with a baseball bat screaming, "HEY ARE YOU HAVING AN IMPORTANT CONVERSATION I AM SORRY IF WE ARE INTERRUPTING IT BUT HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD WORD???"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre is punched in the arm!! OW!! He rubs it even more than usual because that might have just been his Got Stabbed By A Ghost Maid Arm. "Sheesh, relax," he huffs. "I don't plan on dying, you know? But..." The shaman smiles a sheepish grin from his windowsill perch, "Thanks. I won't make you worry this time around."

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

For those keeping track at home, Rosaline's conversation has been taking place within the main building of the Calice orphanage, which was burnt down before anyone got to see it. Adjoining it is the chapel, which most people here are MUCH more familiar with. Both of those buildings are contained within the castle's own, much larger chapel. Yes! A chapel within a chapel. This isn't confusing at all.

The nun hears a few familiar voices outside, and even smiles upon hearing them. She reaches for the door--

Which is RUDELY KICKED OPEN.

"...Oh. It's you." Rosaline's eyes go wide, unblinking, as she takes in and recognizes her new 'guests'. She looks back, desperately. The dream wavers. Try as she might, she cannot fit the newcomers in this reality.

And in a single flash of light and crackling sound, the entire orphanage catches ablaze. The facade falls apart, making the window/door situation moot and, conveniently, also opening up the adjoining chapel.

Within, the four guests get up from their burning seats, but are engulfed in the flames as well-- They don't burn, they simply dissolve, becoming fire of their own. They were never there, after all.

As one's eyes linger on each form as they disappear, brief echoes of their respective stories play out in the mind's eye, filtered by Rosaline's trauma.

Lorelei Calice was taken away by agents of the Church as a child, to visit the Grand Cathedral and train in Aquvy hone the gift God had given her. Rosaline and the others never saw her again.

Tobit Calice joined a group of well-dressed bandits. His obsession with Rosaline and thirst for power were soon twisted into Malevolence. He burned down the Calice orphanage and... most present here know the rest.

Brother Gevurah was unceremoniously killed by common bandits on the way to Adlehyde, turning his travelling companion Rosaline's recent trauma into screaming, blood-drenched fury for the first time. Too dazed to give him a proper burial, she took his horse and guns and made her way alone.

Martha Calice was adopted by a merchant family in her early teens, and several years later taken hostage as part of Tobit's scheme. She lived through the ordeal thanks to the wedding crashers' intervention, and was too drugged to remember most of the horror, but who knows how well she recovered...

As the shapes dissolve, Rosaline is consumed by pink flames of her own, in a way several people here have seen before. She rises off the ground as she is, floating away towards the center of the room, where the table collapses and the four flaming figures swirl around Rosaline's form. They home in towards her chest, swallowed one by one as she tosses her head back with a pained sound. As they do, the flames grow...

And so does Rosaline's body, in fact. Even the un-Resonant (looking at you, XANTIA) can see she is growing physically larger, at least ten feet tall, her grotesquely mis-proportioned limbs becoming just a bit moreso in the process. The room expands to accomodate the impending violence, while still unmistakably remaining the orphanage.

The flames engulfing Rosaline wash away, but only somewhat, leaving the robed Hellion effectively a raid-sized version of her usual self. Her burning hair trails as long as her body, while her face hard to make out, all backlit shadow, blood-red eyes and sharp teeth.

                                ROSALINE CALICE
                             The Mourning Nekomata

               BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaIo82uT0qs

"WHY ARE YOU HERE?!" Rosaline finally asks, "WHY MUST YOU WAKE ME FROM THIS DREAM? I'VE WARNED YOU MORE THAN ENOUGH TIMES! WHY ARE YOU NOT LISTENING?!"

With a wave of her hand, Mother's Mercy flies out of its holster, trailing flame and Malevolence miasma. It blasts at the intruders as they approach, its explosive pellets contributing to the already flame-heavy environment and setting the tone for what's to come.

It doesn't look like she wants to talk. Can't stop you from trying, right?

DC: Rosaline Calice switches forms to The Mourning Nekomata!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Xantia with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Seraph Lanval with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Layna Manydays with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Tethelle Cirdian with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Talise Gianfair with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Lydia Seren with Mother's Mercy!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: Tethelle Cirdian critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Mother's Mercy for 29 hit points!
GS: Layna Manydays takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Mother's Mercy for 146 hit points!
GS: Seraph Lanval takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Mother's Mercy for 139 hit points!
GS: Lydia Seren guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Mother's Mercy for 84 hit points!
GS: Talise Gianfair critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Mother's Mercy for 29 hit points!
GS: Xantia critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Mother's Mercy for 27 hit points!
DC: MISS! Cyre H. Lorentz completely evades Mother's Mercy from Rosaline Calice!
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Talise looks at Tethelle and smiles quietly and gratefully when the shorter swordswoman touches her shoulder. She brings a hand of her own up to rest briefly over the back of Tethelle's.

It's fleeting. This moment is a serious one.

Among others. As Xantia strolls up, Talise briefly wishes she could still manage that level of blind cheer. The fact that someone can brings a smile to her face in spite of everything, and she musters an answer: "A friend who needs our help."

Lydia shows up and kicks the door open. Talise's mental state abruptly gets jolted askew. She blinks at Lydia's back. "...Uh huh," she says, before shaking herself and starting forward again --

Until the guests at the table dissolve into fire and vanish into the cesspool of Rosaline's sadness. Talise closes her teeth around her lower lip.

Rosaline starts blasting at her. Talise does the only thing she can think of, under the circumstances.

She kicks one of the empty chairs as hard as she absolutely goddamned can.

The chair flies into the way of Rosaline's assault. Explosive rounds punch into the wood and upholstery. The explosion takes out the chunk of furniture and blows chunks of wood back at Talise - but she can handle those. Sweeping a fold of her coat across her face, she winces as the shards of chair pelt her, but it's enough to keep her from being thrown aside. The mail layer beneath the coat jingles madly under the impacts.

Looking up above the fold of her coat, Talise fixes Rosaline with a look. "...Everyone's gotta wake up sometime, Rosaline. Even you."

With a flick of her coat, Talise whirls her sword, then boosts herself forward with a couple of quick strides. She bears down to challenge Rosaline up close. Coming around to the angry Hellion's left, she flicks Rastaban with a couple of hard strokes.

Strokes she's using to try and knock Rosaline's ARM to the side, or at least smack her better arm with the flat of her weapon.

"Did Ida tell you?" she asks. "What happens when a Hellion becomes the dream."

GS: Talise Gianfair has attacked Rosaline Calice with Infinitely Rippling Waters!
GS: Talise Gianfair has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice guards a hit from Talise Gianfair's Infinitely Rippling Waters for 78 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren closes her eyes as she experiences the downfalls (well minus Martha) of Rosaline's family. Her breath catches in her throat and when she opens up her eyes again, she's crying freely--tears spilling from those eyes of hers. Despite this, she isn't sobbing or anything. Her lips are pressed forward in determination as she steps forward.

Lydia never did well with the heat and the excess of flames here aren't helping. The last thing Lydia wants to do is be melted again. It's the worst feeling.

But it is something she's willing to go through today if need be. She seems to be able to survive a lot so she might as well make use of it.

Rosaline asks an important question. Why must they wake her up? It's not like if Rosaline napped here forever it'd hurt anybody. Well okay it's on an Earthpulse and whatever that is, it probably would be really bad if they continued to 'nap' here, but that's not the answer Lydia gives. She says, "You ordered a wakeup call when you nearly killed Cyre."

She isn't so surprised that Rosaline has become big for her boss fight. That's what always happens right? You become big and then fight, but the GIANT FRIGGIN GUNS are another matter. An explosive shot bursts in front of her, sending silver spraying from Lydia's chest as she sinks to a knee, panting for breath already. The flames are burning oxygen. Makes it hard.

"Rosaline." Lydia says, standing herself up. "Nobody blames you for wanting to turn inward and stare at what you've lost and the pain that's been inflicted upon you. It's not like we don't understand but when we met, I was doing the same thing you're doing now."

She draws her medium, in one hand as her metal arm transmogrifies itself into a quicksilver blade as she charges Rosaline. "The question I've got for you is this: Do you want to be ruled by the curses that have been inflicted upon you, or do you want to live for the blessings you've received!" She slices at uh...at uh Rosaline's leg.

She's big okay?

GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Rosaline Calice with Solar Slicer!
GS: Lydia Seren has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "'m here for a reashon." Lanval replies to Lydia, from within his little safe bottle. There are many of them, so saying 'a' is underselling it. Her concern is well-warranted. Seraphim and huge concentrations of Malevolence, like this, do not mix. (They do, actually, into slobbering destructive dragons, but you could apply that sort of logic and say 'oh yeah, well water and electricity mix too' and that's a slippery slope.)
     They arrive. From within the bottle, Lanval drinks in a little deep of the contents out of habit. He's had plenty to drink already to keep some of the more pervasive things at bay. This is not his place to preside over. It's beyond anyone now. There is nothing he can--
     "I am here." Lanval speaks, clearly, as he manifests out of the bottle upright. All of his overweight, not all that tall splendor. He's maybe just above half the height of the massive Mourning Nekomata herself, sweeping an arm out into a great wave of water to intercept what looks a lot like one of the weird fire magic rods a bunch of people have. It's a bit of a logistical misunderstanding of what Mother's Mercy is. The wall of water strikes against the trailing flames, leaving billowing purplish smoke in their wake.
     The actual pellets are not slowed, and they strike Lanval dead on to throw him back into one of the 'orphanage' chairs. He's not quite sure he understands what he just got hit by. That was a fire rod, wasn't it?
     To dwell upon this any further risks him losing his mind, and so, Lanval tries to (painfully) laugh this off as he steps back up. Talise and the others have hardened their resolve in coming here for their friend, after so many attempts at dialogue have fallen flat.
     "I thank you for allowing us audience." The slurring drunkard of a spirit is... slurring a lot less. As the smoke clears, bright aquqmarine eyes shine through...
     ...And close back down to that dumb, flushed, cat-smiled face.
     "Mmmmph." That took a lot out of him. But he can't relent or back down now, as he goes back to his usual stumbling. Rosaline exudes the Malevolence to degrees highly toxic. If he had met her any sooner in this exact same context, he might already have become a dragon. Here, though, there is a drunken water spirit with a newfound sense of purpose and trust in the mortals he's coming with - being on very close to the same page on a number of issues - that now he staves the influence off as well as he does.
     He doesn't keep his footing. He flops onto the floorboards of the dream-like realm of the orphanage lost to her, finding himself in need to have another sip of his gourd to keep going.
     "Cheersh," he raises an arm from his prone position on his back, tilting its contents up towards the nekomata.
     Then it starts belching a great geyser of clean, pure, sparkling, beautiful water that gets everywhere on him to celebratory laughter and probably all on her, too, drenching away at her flames of sorrow and rage.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle Cirdian pulls her hand back when Talise releases it, preferring to rest it on her sword hilt instead. (The choppy one, because Tethelle expects she might have to break through a barricade with it.)

Tethelle does not manage a smile for Lydia, but that's more because she's under tension than because she isn't responding to the greeting. "I didn't expect to see you here," she says, not sounding accusing about it.

Instead, she raises her voice right back to Rosaline. "Yes, it's us. Didn't I tell you that I wouldn't let things end like this?" Tethelle steps forward, into the room, as the whole area explodes in chaos and flame.

Tethelle raises her arm to cover her face from the sudden surge of heat and light, squinting into the dazzling flames. She sees pink now, but Tethelle knows what this flame means, even if she hasn't seen precisely this reaction before. "Rosaline! I take my oaths seriously!"

Diving forward, Tethelle sweeps the chopping sword in a broad arc as she rises in a leap toward Rosaline. She actually manages to parry some of the explosive spray with a sound like a bell struck too fast too many times to really ring freely; hailstones on a tin roof, perhaps, except more musical.

Tethelle allows the impact to whirl her all the way around, like a tornado, without interrupting her forward movement much; she turns the rotation into a two-handed strike at Rosaline's side, then uses the impact of sword on flank to lever herself backwards and down, returning to a guard position. "You're hurting inside, and I won't let you stay like that! If we have to fight before I understand you enough to help, then that is what we'll do!"

GS: Tethelle Cirdian has attacked Rosaline Calice with Reverse Edge!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has entered a Reflect stance!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has completed her action.
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Rosaline Calice with Unending Fountain!
GS: Seraph Lanval has completed his action.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

He recognizes two of these people. He knows them. One is unmistakable, the obsessed monster of a man who used to be Tobit Calice. The other, he saw only very briefly when they were finishing up at the chapel. He doesn't know her name-- not properly. Cyre didn't stick around long enough to talk to the other captives much, not when a hellionized Rosaline was on the prowl. But even so, he can feel a pang of pity as the pastoral illusion disappears into the flames.

Oh Rosaline...

Gunshots ring out. Explosive pellets blossom into red-orange plumes, swallowing the chapel in ever more flame. But...

You know. Cyre did kind of wind up eavesdropping on quite a lot there, but maybe hopping up through the window is just a litttttle more polite than straight up kicking the door down.

That might just be why he gets to avoid being blown to smithereens straight out the gate. Or, you know, it might be because Rosaline hasn't noticed him slipping in through the window just yet.

Well. Regardless.

The shaman takes the momentary lapse in carnage to unfold an ARM of his own. Somewhere between a sniper rifle and a lawman's repeating rifle, Cyre levels the Sequence at the raging Hellion below, holds his breath, and squeezes the trigger.

He's aiming for her chest. Because payback is kind of a bitch.

"You've probably figured out I'm not dead by now," Cyre drawls as he fires another slug. Then another and another, discharging spent shell after spent shell with each roar of gunpowder. "So yeah. Nearly is the operating word here. I'm here to even the score a little bit."

"And because," he murmurs, shoving a fresh set of rounds into his weapon. "Because you've been beating yourself up over something you've got no proper blame for. And because you were there for me when I needed help the most, so now I'm here for you, too. To even the score."

"So come on," Cyre growls, hopping down from his sniper's nest. "Let it all out. Scream all your rage. Keeping it cooped up inside is no good. Roar your misery, shout it out loud! We'll take it all and prove you don't need ghosts to soothe your suffering!"

GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has attacked Rosaline Calice with Deadly Sequence!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has completed his action.
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a glancing hit from Lydia Seren's Solar Slicer for 43 hit points!
GS: Disrupt! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"...Hi there, lass." Layna greets with a wave, as Rosaline stares out at them. ...This realization, it seems, causes the entire hallucination to break apart - or, more accurately, burn apart. The entire area is engulfed in flames, with the four figures accompanying Rosaline becoming one with the flame in turn.

...Layna frowns, but says nothing, even as Rosaline herself is consumed.

And then Rosaline roars, drawing her weapons and sending flame and miasma everywhere. Layna curses and leaps back, reciting a quick incantation that surrounds her in a veil of wind. It disperses some of the flames...but not enough. Not nearly enough - none of it touches her directly, but she can still feel the intense heat of the flames through her wind.

This was going to be a difficult fight. If Rosaline didn't want to talk...then Layna would have to try a different language entirely, until she was more receptive to it.

"A dream is nice and all, lass, but that's all it is." Layna replies, shaking her head. "It's time for you to come back to reality."

She then recites an quick incantation. The wind begins to stir, forming blades of cutting wind that go flying toward Rosaline.

"You should know by now we're not the type of people to just turn away from our friends, aye!?" She calls out.

GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Rosaline Calice with Cutlass Gale!
GS: Layna Manydays has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a glancing hit from Seraph Lanval's Unending Fountain for 58 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice critically Guards a hit from Tethelle Cirdian's Reverse Edge for 23 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

While Xantia is examining the surroundings, she doesn't really take note of anything being particularly out of place, but she is starting to realize something about them seems familiar. She was there at Hope Springs, and while things didn't exactly look the way they used to, that chapel rings a bell. Not literally, this time.

When Talise answers, it clicks, and Xantia knows exactly which friend this is. Someone who is also a good friend of hers, who she feels she owes a great deal to. She doesn't appear quite so carefree as before when she nods in understanding, though her smile never vanishes. "In that case, I'll help too."

Lydia quite literally kicks things off, which suits Xantia just fine. Rushing in is very much her style, so she makes to follow suit... when the surroundings change yet again. She takes in the scene before her, probably not completely understanding what's really going on with any of this, but she's already understood the most important thing anyway. Rosa needs help.

Rosa is also suddenly huge, and shooting at everybody. Luckily no projectiles were heading directly for her, and she only has to deal with the heat coming off the explosions all around her. She doesn't bother wondering if that really was luck, or she was not directly shot at on purpose. She just dives through the smoky haze, ready to solve the problem at hand in the most effective way she knows: by hitting it. Leaping up, Xantia aims for Rosaline's suddenly much higher midsection, funneling her strength into a single palm strike. Rosaline may already be burning on the outside - not that Xantia can see that - but this move is capable of making it feel like one is burning on the inside.

Only once she lands from this does Xantia speak, "Like I keep telling you, I'll keep coming back, no matter how many times you push me away! I meant it when I said I'd be your friend no matter what, so just... stop running! Things CAN be like they used to, you can't convince me otherwise!"

GS: Xantia has attacked Rosaline Calice with Disrupting Palm Strike!
GS: Xantia has completed her action.
GS: CRITICAL! Rosaline Calice critically Guards a hit from Cyre H. Lorentz's Deadly Sequence for 27 hit points!
GS: Mute! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Hyper and Quick! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Rosaline Calice critically Guards a hit from Layna Manydays's Cutlass Gale for 24 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice guards a hit from Xantia's Disrupting Palm Strike for 59 hit points!
GS: Cripple! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!


<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Talise tries to knock Rosaline's ARM aside, but finds it hard to do so as it floats about capriciously. A glint of light reveals that it's held aloft by those strings Rosaline has become so fond of. Talise then strikes with the flat of her blade, and Rosaline lifts her enormous hand to catch it. It doesn't appear to do much, but Talise's prodigious strength still manages to wring a wince of pain out of the Hellion.

"What do you MEAN?" she then asks. Ida had told her about that particular misadventure, but she hadn't lingered on the part Talise is so bothered by. Does Rosaline even realize the implications?

"I wasn't TRYING to," Rosaline protests to Lydia with a hiss and ears pressed back. "WHAT blessings, exactly?" she then asks, dodging the question but not the quicksilver blade. She tries to lift her leg but despite her speed, this isn't a scale she's quite used to. It leaves a gash in her exposed leg, leaving her footing unsteady.

"Who are you even?" she asks of Lanval, with another hiss. She's seen him before, even getting the impression he was watching over her after the vision in Uzda Il-Jam left her a crying mess. But it isn't as if she got an introduction to... whoever he even is. He offers a bottle, and...

She shifts her weight in a moment of pure, distilled panic as she is threatened with them element she most hates. The hiss coming from her is both one of irritation, and the sound of some of her trailing flames being washed away. "How DARE you?" she asks, with all the indignation of a cat who just narrowly avoided getting wet.

"No one ASKED you to take this oath," she tells Tethelle, a tinge of sadness in her voice. She sees that whirling blade coming, knows what it's capable of in Tethelle's hands. She raises her palm, causing a geyser of flame to erupt from the floorboards. Through some strange magical effet, it slows down Tethelle's blade as it cuts through, causing it not to sink in nearly as deep, as well as spraying the shamaness in the process. "And what will you do, exactly? Fix me with your Guardian magic?"

"Cyre," she lets out, some relief in her voice despite the blind rage. He shoots at her, dares her to scream all of her rage. She doesn't need to be asked twice. She roars, as if daring those present to choke on her rage. This is when one of the bullet catches her in the chest, interrupting her. "Ghk." Despite the lucky shot, she doesn't seem that much worse for wear, however. Call it the resilience of a Hellion at the heart of their Domain.

"You're persistent, I'll give you that," she shouts at Layna, finding some of her voice again. Enough to incant, at least, as she waves a claw to weave together a shield of flames to intercept those gales of wind. Magic clashes with magic, and while Rosaline feels it, she seems the victor of this one.

This leaves Xantia an opening to leap in. Rosaline sees her coming, enough to brace herself for impact, but the simple palm strike works its magic. Rosaline does indeed feel that burning, judging by her scream. "You're hopelessly naive!" she then shouts, "Why can't you leave well enough alone? You're only making it worse!"

But then, Rosaline takes several deep, ragged breaths. As she does, she draws in more flames from the still-burning orphanage. Once more, her body is engulfed. She lurches foward, her body bending and warping forward in ways hard to make out through the flames. But when the transformation is done, she has taken the form of a two-tailed, pointy-eared beast of flame, snapping jaws that could melt steel.

                                   THE WRATH
                                This Rage IS Me

               BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ce456Nnkt8

She roars. The entire building rumbles. Debris begin to fall in large clumps, threatening to crush those beneath, while waves of flame wash off of her, doing everything they can to push all present away-- or burn them to cinders if they persist.

GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Xantia with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Seraph Lanval with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Layna Manydays with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Tethelle Cirdian with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Talise Gianfair with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Lydia Seren with Wildfire Storm!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: Talise Gianfair critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Wildfire Storm for 94 hit points!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes a glancing hit from Rosaline Calice's Wildfire Storm for 175 hit points!
GS: Seraph Lanval takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Wildfire Storm for 144 hit points!
GS: Lydia Seren takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Wildfire Storm for 166 hit points!
GS: Layna Manydays takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Wildfire Storm for 141 hit points!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian takes a glancing hit from Rosaline Calice's Wildfire Storm for 164 hit points!
DC: MISS! Xantia completely evades Wildfire Storm from Rosaline Calice!
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

There are others with her. That helps Talise feels more than a little bit better about things.

Wheeling away from Rosaline, Talise moves aside to keep clear of blades and wind as the others unload their emotions upon the rogue catnun. "I mean it eats you from the inside!" she snaps - but then, something is happening to Rosaline.

She's not a catgirl anymore. She's THE WRATH.

Flames roil off of the pink Hellion of flame. Chunks of rubble plummet from the ceiling. Snarling, Talise hunkers down beneath her coat again. Bricks pelt against her back and shoulders as she lurches forward, lost in the flame for a moment. Pain sears through her as metal heats up against her skin, fire scorching away part of her tunic to expose the riveted steel plate beneath. Ugly burns scream across bits of exposed skin.

Another brick falls, slamming off her shoulder and driving her to one knee. "Ros', listen to me," she growls, though there's no anger behind it - more worry. "The more you draw on your Malevolence, the more it'll eat you up. What you think is strength is slowly consuming you. Before long all that'll be left is a screaming angry thing incapable of thinking anymore. You won't be able to feel anything else because everything but your anger will cease to exist!"

Talise rushes forward again. The flames ripple and crackle around her, roiling up as though to try and swallow her - but even as the flames try to push her away, she fights her way closer to Rosaline. The focus etched into her face is steady and unbroken despite the bestial state Rosaline has melted into. "We can't leave you alone," she shouts through the roar of fire and cat. "If we do that, there won't be a you left!"

Talise isn't even sure if Rosaline is solid like this. But she does have her ARM with her. She can't quite get close enough to tackle her; instead she gives way and draws the shotgun--

    The shotgun from Ida and her family. Talise's heart tightens a little.

Pumping it rapidly, Talise unloads an entire preciously rare clip. The muzzle flare rips through rosy fire and casts stark shadows behind Talise with every booming eruption of buckshot, rounds barking towards Rosaline as she pumps again and again, trying to hit someone she really does not want to hit but has no choice but to try.

GS: Talise Gianfair has attacked Rosaline Calice with Slam Fire!
GS: Talise Gianfair has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna and the others assail Rosaline with the best they have...but Rosaline is the master of this domain. Fighting her here, of all places, is going to be no easy task. Rosaline manages to turn away her blades of wind with little effort.

Layna grimaces. Yeah, this was going to be a real task...

"Aye, lass. I'm persistent." Layna replies with a strained grin...and then backpedals as Rosaline draws more flame into herself and, as a consequence, her body shifts and warps...and then she roars.

The building rumbles. Debris falls. Flames wash off of Rosaline.

Layna...runs directly into and jumps through them, surrounded by a thin veil of wind. She takes the full brunt of the heat, but...it's important. It's necessary.

This flame was a part of Rosaline, after all - she couldn't just ignore it.

With some slight gusts of magic to adjust her trajectory, she aims to land right on Rosaline's head. She withstands the flames and rears one hand back.

Energy begins to build around it, before she plants the hand on Rosaline's head.

"I'm persistent...this means I'll never give up, aye!? You shouldn't, either!" She calls out.

GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Rosaline Calice with Plunder Power!
GS: Layna Manydays has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna and the others assail Rosaline with the best they have...but Rosaline is the master of this domain. Fighting her here, of all places, is going to be no easy task. Rosaline manages to turn away her blades of wind with little effort.

Layna grimaces. Yeah, this was going to be a real task...

"Aye, lass. I'm persistent." Layna replies with a strained grin...and then backpedals as Rosaline draws more flame into herself and, as a consequence, her body shifts and warps...and then she roars.

The building rumbles. Debris falls. Flames wash off of Rosaline.

Layna...runs directly into and jumps through them, surrounded by a thin veil of wind. She takes the full brunt of the heat, but...it's important. It's necessary.

This flame was a part of Rosaline, after all - she couldn't just ignore it.

With some slight gusts of magic to adjust her trajectory, she aims to land right on Rosaline's head. She withstands the flames and rears one hand back.

Energy begins to build around it, before she plants the hand on Rosaline's head - it's like she's trying to draw out Rosaline's physical strength and add it to her own.

"I'm persistent...this means I'll never give up, aye!? You shouldn't, either!" She calls out.

GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Talise Gianfair's Slam Fire for 132 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    That's him, all right. That fat, ragged-looking bearded spirit in aquamarine, whose beard hairs trail a soft blue - a physical tell of what elemental aspect he is made of. Water. Water, lying on the ground soaked with unquelled wrath, trying to smile his way through that.
     "Name'sh Lanval," he keeps a conversational tone. He doesn't dwell on how this is uncharted territory for him. To invite worry is to invite the Malevolence in, and that's part of the reason why he is so sauced. (The other reason is that he doesn't need a reason to be sauced.)
     "'m a Water Seraph," he adds as she chastizes him for trying to soak her as he lets his own miraculous water wash over him. It's a great feeling. He laughs a little more as he tries to sit up and get a better view of the... flames... that lick and burn about him, obscuring the tortured Hellion as she further loses the core of who she is to the ambient contradictions of others she absorbed.
     'You're only making it worse,' these were words meant for Xantia by the transforming beast moments prior. Lanval has to stand up and back away because the flaring Malevolence as part of the transformation is too thick for him to stand close in, so he gives her space to bring it all out, rage out, before he speaks again.
     It is nowhere near enough space, as the building rumbles and collapses. Flaming debris impact him, squeezing him underneath great burdens of flaming dream orphanage detritus. He should de-manifest to pull himself out, in most circumstances... but that would invite maybe a bit too much Malevolence back in there with him.
     Lanval, like water, only needs small openings to wriggle contrary to his appearance of being an overweight oafish, well, oaf. He flicks out his gourd, showering small sprays of water that seem to do a lot more than their volume might suggest against the encroaching flames that push back. He has no idea about Rosaline's general upbringing, the strictness of her conduct, or the exact circumstances that invite such incredible rage.
     When he was what he was, he was charged with one responsibility - and a specific power to exercise in which to go about this one responsibility - and while he is not enshrined, he knows full well what it is.
     Don't let it get worse.
     It's already really bad. This is a worst case scenario for Meribus as it stands... but it's up to him, and the others here, to not let it get worse.
     "Hey... Roshaline." Lanval tries to address THE WRATH, as he sneaks a sip of his gourd to keep himself properly inebriated to stave it all off.
     "It'sh all right to be angry... that'sh... normal. There'sh plenty of thingsh ta be angry 'bout," Lanval pontificates. He lets the fires rage on for a little while longer, while he talks. He's sat around and drunk through some pretty wild things, oh wow, but let's not go there. Might as well drink through someone's dream-wrath-catastrophe.
     "Probably never got a chance ta really expressh it before... all thish, huh." Lanval thinks. All that repression and contradiction, and now it's taken her over. "Sho, hey, lemme ashk... lemme ashk..."
     Lanval gulps down the gourd. Yeeeeeaaaaah he's going to need as much of it as he can.
     "Are ya really mad at yer friendsh here?"

GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Seraph Lanval with Quick Swig!
GS: Seraph Lanval has completed his action.
GS: Riposte! Statuses applied to Seraph Lanval!
GS: Seraph Lanval heals Seraph Lanval! He gains 100 temporary hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"That's right," Cyre doesn't bother fighting back the grin splitting his lips, the flickering firelight dancing across bright, not-quite-human teeth. He laughs as the flames bite at his skin, flash-boiling sweat before it even has a chance to glisten. The heat is incredible, but he bears through it. "Killing me'll take more than a punch through the heart or a firestorm from the mouth of whatever hell you've fall into. So let's hear it! I'll match you blow for blow!"

Rosaline...

Elects to do just that.

"Huh," Cyre murmurs as Rosaliine reveals just how twisted and monstrous her rage has become, "That might do it." The ceiling collapses. Smoldering rubble and ashen cinders pour down in a great sheet of burning debris, swallowing the shaman up in his entirety.

Well.

No. Not quite.

BGM CHANGE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W-O11uqrT0

A wave of emerald light scatters the glowing coals. Roaring gusts of wind scream out from where the rubble lifts, shifts, and finally bursts. A beast emerges, wrapped in light, sutras singing the praises of the living wind writ across its limbs in shining, prismatic gales. The tiger roars, declaring its survival and demanding a challenge of the flames and the suffering monster at their heart.

"I'm not dead yet!" Cyre yells over the roaring wind and crackling flame. Rosaline Calice, you are not the only one here with way too much cat in their blood!"

The white tiger-- The Guardian, Fengalon, tears out from the rest of its rubble prison with natural ease, an drawn back as it leaps forward... and drives a fist right at Rosaline's monstrous jaw. It follows with another, then another, cross after jab, haymaker after dodge, claw upon claw upon claw. "I saw it, you know. Your malevolence, trying to find a path between good and evil. Not knowing where to go, now that you are what you've become. But..." The Nahual of Fengalon winds up again, ribbons of galeforce wind spiralling out from its limbs with each strike. "The form doesn't matter! Purity doesn't matter! You're human, not a god or a devil. The only thing that you need to be is yourself, Rosaline. Let heaven or hell decide your merit after you've lived your life!"

DC: Cyre H. Lorentz switches forms to Nahual - Fengalon!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has attacked Rosaline Calice with Tiger Breaker!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has completed his action.
<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

"I know you didn't ask me to take the oath," Tethelle replies, "but I did - and I would do this with no oath at all, if I had to!"

Tethelle lands poorly after her strike was intercepted by a flame geyser; not only was the blade partially deflected away from Rosaline, it's now so hot that she can feel it even through her gloves. The leather wrapped around the hilt to form the grip is smouldering.

But Tethelle doesn't let it go, not even to switch to her other sword, the one she more commonly uses. She shifts her grip on her blade to a less tight grip - not loose, precisely, but held differently, a looser stance to go with a looser grab. "Purification alone is not enough, though, yes, it will help. I want to help you and your anger, and that isn't a job for magic!"

Tethelle did not know everything Talise says, but it makes sense to her now that someone else has told her. She takes in a breath, sharply, through her nose, then lets it out. She steps forward.

Rosaline screams.

Flaming debris slams down around Tethelle, and a wash of flame pushes her back. Her sword is very hot now, so hot she can't really keep ahold of it, and she's off-balance from being literally shoved away by the flame wave - so she doesn't try to approach again. No sword dancing here.

No, instead Tethelle throws the sword through the air, letting it spin like a buzzsaw. It takes a wide arc toward Rosaline, sweeps past - through - her, and then back to Tethelle's hands, slightly cooler (but not really all that much) from getting wind blown across it. "Listen to us! More - listen to yourself! Is this what you want to be? Nothing but rage?"

GS: Tethelle Cirdian has attacked Rosaline Calice with Sword Boomerang!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Even if we're not tryin' to, we gotta deal with the people we've hurt. You're one of the people who taught me that." Lydia says, before devolving into a coughing fit overtakes her. She still needs to breathe, at least, as she stumbles forward, panting for breath at the lower levels where smoke hasn't quite fallen yet.

"And you damn well know what blessings I'm talkin' 'bout. How many friends you got here, ya dingus? They are still here! Don'tcha miss 'em? Is this dumb spooky castle and all this misery worth it?"

She brings up her arms crossed over her face as flames rush past into Rosaline.

Lydia hears the debris tumbling for her and she smashes it to the side with her baseball bat but she is far too slow to escape the fire that Rosaline is sending forth.

Well here we go again, Lydia reflects in a sort of tired way as she's engulfed in flame.

A skeletal but still very metal foot steps out through the fire, then another. Then Lydia herself steps out, her head protected by her arms, but the rest of her flesh melted away by Rosaline's attack.

"Not again...!" Lydia protests in dismay, curling rusty digits of fingers into a fist. "What use are ya if you keep getting burned to a crisp!"

The lenses of her eyes zoom in on the flame. "But...if this body survived that then..." She shakes her head and looks back up. "I know what it's like. I've been pissed off at the world too...! So..."

She pauses for a moment, her train of thought derailed by Cyre calling a beastman a human.

"Um. Aw...fuggedit."

BGM CHANGE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zyJX3WSjDQ

Lydia launches a ball of light to burst against Rosaline's face!

"SHOW ME YOUR COSMIC MIND!" Lydia shouts. She understands what that's about as much as she knew when she first heard it.

GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Rosaline Calice with Solar Burst!
GS: Lydia Seren has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a glancing hit from Layna Manydays's Plunder Power for 22 hit points!
GS: Weaken! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Mighty! Statuses applied to Layna Manydays!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Cyre H. Lorentz's Tiger Breaker for 150 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia has been accused of naivety plenty of times. It's just a fact, really, pointing it out doesn't mean much to her. But she does narrow her eyes at this, because the Rosaline she knows would never say that. Rosaline is endlessly patient, always willing to help her with things she doesn't understand. Knowing her well enough to keep her from doing something unfortunate by predicting it before she does it. How is it even a question why she can't leave this situation well enough alone?

"Because I don't want to lose any friends!"

The search for her old memories may be what occupies her mind the most, but Xantia has developed an additional concern. Being unable to make more good memories with a person, because that person isn't there anymore. She doesn't want that to happen, with anybody she cares about. Rosaline's still here, and as long as that's the case... she has to keep trying. She just has to. Even at the risk of 'making it worse'. Not that she understands how trying to be someone's friend could possibly make anything worse.

That's when... something happens. There's a transformation. Even Xantia can see this one, and yet... not very well. She grits her teeth in frustration as she shields her eyes from the nebulous, hazy figure within the brightly glowing flames. This always happens. Why is it so hard for her to clearly see these things for what they are?

It was clear that one time. Rosaline found a way to show her. How was it different? Is she just... not looking at things correctly? This is like with Seraphs, how she can see them sometimes but not all the time, and even when she does they never look... complete. ...Maybe she should treat this as if she's trying to see a Seraph?

No sooner has Xantia had this thought, when something changes. Abruptly and out of nowhere, like someone just punched her in the back of the head. She flinches, grabs for her head, shakes it a few times... and when she opens her eyes again, everything is different. Rosaline's new shape is now clearly visible. The flames are more pronounced, and there's all this... purple around.

She doesn't have much time to get her bearings. The building is collapsing, and the beast that stands where Rosaline used to be is about to attack. But she can see everything, so much more clearly than before. And so she moves, without even thinking, almost dancing away from the falling debris, and using it as cover from the flames. She's out again in a flash, moving with such great speed she leaves a red blur in her wake, passing by the beast twice. It's hard to see that she even did anything, but the glowing red of an energy blade visible from now-active ARM suggests that she attacked with it in passing. When she turns, she is yet unscathed, looking upon Rosaline's shape in a completely new light.

"...I can see it, Rosa. I can see you now, what you really look like. But... can you see yourself? If you could, you'd know this isn't you. But... if you still want to fight, go ahead! I'll fight you for as long as you want! I can keep this up for however long it takes for you to calm down!"

Xantia gets that, she gets that very well. Sometimes, you just have to fight in order to come to the right answer.

GS: Xantia has attacked Rosaline Calice with Crimson Flash!
GS: Xantia has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Tethelle Cirdian's Sword Boomerang for 103 hit points!
GS: CRITICAL! Rosaline Calice takes a glancing hit from Lydia Seren's Solar Burst for 46 hit points!
GS: Break, Cripple, Jam, Mute, and Poison! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Rosaline Calice critically Guards a hit from Xantia's Crimson Flash for 21 hit points!
GS: Riposte! Statuses applied to Xantia!
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Soon, the orphanage and chapel are burning ruins once more, their respective rooftops having broken off into rapidly-decaying chunks. The good news is that this gives the smoke somewhere to go, and allows a glimpse of Castle Rabenstein's own, mind-bogglingly larger chapel. Behind the illusory orphanage is what used to be a statue of Granas, now smashed to bits.

Talise explains what makes her plea so urgent. The good news, if you can call it that, is that even in this form Rosaline can hear her. In a strange way, it's still an improvement from her pre-Hellion berserk state.

"That doesn't ALWAYS happen," Rosaline growls out. "So long as you keep a grip on yourself, not like those others..." Her point may be made shakier by the fact that she is currently self-immolating in exchange for power. She lunges for Talise first, roaring in pain as she takes the brunt of the ARMsfire in a blind rush to shut her up by pinning her with a white-hot claw.

She doesn't remain there very long, however. Her ears twitch, indicating that Layna is up to some pirate tricks. Rosaline shifts her body, stepping away and preventing the maneuver from looking as cool as it possibly could, but Layna does manages to draw that power in. The great beast seems dizzied for a moment. "I haven't... I haven't given up, SHUT UP! We're staying away for your own good, why can't you understand?!" The word 'UP' comes along with an explosion in the air, right where Layna is currently sailing. It threatens to set her aflame entirely, coat and all!

Lanval doesn't attack her, but addresses her in that drunken slur of his. Rosaline's red-hot glowing eyes narrow at the sight. She has certain issues with drunks, as her earlier, more peaceful conversation may have indicated. But he's being kind. That's new. He asks a question. One she feels she has to answer honestly.

"NO, of course not, I just, I... Shut... UP!!" She opens her maw to breathe a veritable curtain of flames towards him. Good thing he prepared for this. Steam hisses from the corner of the burning beastwoman's eyes.

Cyre guardianvolves in a way Rosaline has seen and been irritated by before. She turns her attention towards the emerald light, snarling. He charges towards her and she answers in kind. The Guardian given flesh is her mirror, in some ways. And she intends to crush it.

They clash. Pink flame and purple smoke spill out, like blood from a wound. Rosaline has snapped her jaw in the process, too, though whether it found any purchase is unclear for the moment.

"It's all so SIMPLE to you, isn't it? All you have to do is be yourself, and only mortals will judge you! But I know-- I know my soul is WRONG, and there's nothing you can do about it." There it is again, that steam from the corner of her eyes.

Tethelle throws a sword at her through the flames. As if out of reflex, Rosaline leaps to pin it to the ground in mid-flight. She succeeds at this, but at great cost. Pinning down a burning, sharp, massive blade leaves painful gashes in her paws, causing more Malevolence to spill out. "Of course I don't want to! Who would? But I don't have a choice, do I? I can't... I can't CONTROL myself!" She steps away from the blade, breathing out another gout of purple-tinted flame towards the shamaness, leaving the great beast a moment to lick her wounds.

"I am not a dingus!!" she protests to Lydia, which at least means she isn't protesting the presence of friends. She then scowls deeply at the disturbing sight of... whatever... Lydia... is? A ball of light flies towards her, and while Rosaline steps swiftly enough to avoid it, she doesn't expect it to burst in this way, right in front of her eyes. She staggers on her four feet, under the weight of... most buffs.

She doesn't know what a cosmic mind is, because she has never met Carina and never will. Perhaps Carina doesn't either.

Then comes Xantia, with the arm blade Rosaline helped her unlock to begin with. Knowing perfectly well what it's capable of, and knowing how swift Xantia can be, Rosaline demonstrates swiftness in return-- surprising for a creature her size. The blade only glances at her, but Xantia's words find some purchase.

"You can?" she asks, with momentary wonder. But she shakes her head. "You don't understand. It IS me! It is TOO MUCH of me for my body to even hold, that's what Malevolence is! It didn't turn me evil, it just took what was already there and, and..." As she speaks, she swipes her paw in the air, as if attempting to swat a fly. And if she manages to, well... Flyswatting may be happening.

GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 3 Combo on Headshot!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Xantia with From the Shadows!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Seraph Lanval with Curtain of Flames!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 1 Combo on Poison!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Layna Manydays with Spontaneous Combustion!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Tethelle Cirdian with Malevolent Shells!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 3 Combo on Headshot!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with From the Shadows!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 3 Combo on Headshot!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Talise Gianfair with From the Shadows!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 1 Combo on Poison!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Lydia Seren with Spontaneous Combustion!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes 5 damage from Poison!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice takes 7 damage from Poison!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: CRITICAL! Talise Gianfair critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's From the Shadows for 40 hit points!
GS: Poison! Statuses applied to Talise Gianfair!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Talise Gianfair enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: CRITICAL! Tethelle Cirdian guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Malevolent Shells for 59 hit points!
GS: Poison! Statuses applied to Tethelle Cirdian!
GS: Hyper and Mighty! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: CRITICAL! Xantia takes a glancing hit from Rosaline Calice's From the Shadows for 84 hit points!
GS: Poison! Statuses applied to Xantia!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Layna Manydays guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Spontaneous Combustion for 0 hit points!
GS: Toxin! Statuses applied to Layna Manydays!
GS: Seraph Lanval takes a glancing hit from Rosaline Calice's Curtain of Flames for 71 hit points!
GS: CRITICAL! Cyre H. Lorentz takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's From the Shadows for 180 hit points!
GS: Poison! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Lydia Seren critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Spontaneous Combustion for 0 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Talise's mouth hangs open as she sees the horrific state Lydia emerges from the flames in. "Lydia," she breathes, momentarily shocked.

But there are other things to consider. With her clip spent, Talise slings her shotgun again - but Rosaline's on her.

That white-hot claw comes ripping forward. "Ros' you are literally setting yourself more and more on fire right now!" Talise shouts back at her as she jabs her left hand out to try and meet that claw. She's got a pair of regular gauntlets on today.

It's enough. Rosaline's claw slams into Talise's steel-clad palm. The tall woman's strength is extraordinary even without her ogre gloves; beneath her coat, her muscles strain as she grapples the flaming cat. Fire licks up her arm, beginning to consume her sleeve, scorching the bite wound beneath it. With a wince, Talise pushes back, mail jingling as she lurches away and catches herself.

As Rosaline screams at the others, Talise opens her mouth to say something sassy - but she checks it. Those whisps of steam pouring from Rosaline's eyes - she spots them and understandt ehem. When she does speak, her voice is softed. "But you can't keep a grip on yourself, Ros'. That's how negative emotions work. They drive you over the edge and eat away at you. And it seems like that's all you are. But even though I've seen you incredibly angry before... I've also seen you incredibly kind."

A couple of tears stand at the corners of Talise's eyes as she sets her heels apart. Light glints from Rastaban as it reflects some source that isn't there. Heart thumping against her ribs, she raises her sword and braces herself. "Even if you have the Wrath in you," she shouts, "it doesn't matter to me, because I love you for who you are! My friend, Rosaline! You made all of these people care for you!"

Dust kicks up behind Talise as she launches herself at Rosaline. With a roar, she swings Rastaban up, then brings it down, raining a rapid series of strikes down on Rosaline - and yet, the first few don't touch her.

They're cutting the fire. The flames around Rosaline eddy as Talise slashes at them. Rastaban's blade seems capable of slicing through the molecules that make up the fire. As flames fly, Talise swings a few more times, then drives forward and attempts to slam her knee into Rosaline - trying to knock her violently onto her back!

Knocking some sense into her is all she can do, no matter how much her heart hates it.

GS: Talise Gianfair has spent 3 Combo on Headshot!
GS: Talise Gianfair has attacked Rosaline Calice with Cascading Steel Dragon!
GS: Talise Gianfair has completed her action.
GS: CRITICAL! Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Talise Gianfair's Cascading Steel Dragon for 328 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Rosaline manages to avoid Layna attack, but the point still gets through...but her shout is punctuated by an explosion. ...Layna makes no effort to avoid it. She finds herself wreathed in flames, but even so she walks out of it, looking up toward Rosaline with determination.

"...'For our own good', aye...? Sounds like you decided that for yourselves without askin' me." Layna repeats. "Hiding yourselves away, in a castle deep within the mountains...that sounds like giving up to me, aye? That ain't livin'. A person can't live like that."

Layna shakes her head and begins to walk toward Rosaline once more.

"I took in a young Hellion once, who thought the same way. Did you know that? She was afraid of hurting people just by being around them...but me, well, I'm made of stronger stuff than most. I can take it, so I did - my crew and I helped her out 'til she decided to seek purification. Maybe you will too, maybe you won't. Don't care either way, long as it's what you want. Point is...I don't think this is good for anyone, least of all you."

She stops in front of Rosaline, then looks back at the others.

"Come on, let's keep this goin', aye?" She says. "It's too early to give up just yet."

GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Talise Gianfair with Captain's Orders! !
GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Tethelle Cirdian with Captain's Orders! !
GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Seraph Lanval with Captain's Orders! !
GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Lydia Seren with Captain's Orders! !
GS: Layna Manydays takes 13 damage from Toxin!
GS: Layna Manydays has completed her action.
GS: Talise Gianfair takes a solid hit from Layna Manydays's Captain's Orders!  for 0 hit points!
GS: Talise Gianfair enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Reload! Talise Gianfair gains 15 extra FP from Layna Manydays!
GS: Talise Gianfair gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian guards a hit from Layna Manydays's Captain's Orders!  for 0 hit points!
GS: Reload! Tethelle Cirdian gains 15 extra FP from Layna Manydays!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Seraph Lanval takes a solid hit from Layna Manydays's Captain's Orders!  for 0 hit points!
GS: Seraph Lanval enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Reload! Seraph Lanval gains 15 extra FP from Layna Manydays!
GS: Seraph Lanval gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Lydia Seren takes a solid hit from Layna Manydays's Captain's Orders!  for 0 hit points!
GS: Reload! Lydia Seren gains 15 extra FP from Layna Manydays!
GS: Lydia Seren gains a Combo from Inspire!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Violet flame scorches his body, charring stretches of the manifested avatar jet black. Cyre howls as the pain consumes him, wracking his body in a way that is more than merely physical. A few weeks ago, a spiritual injury of this caliber could have shattered the form he wears, but...

Fengalon does not fight alone here.

"SO WHAT IF IT'S WRONG!?" The tiger roars, sweeping its claw through the violet flames, dispersing them in a blast of rushing wind. "What does it matter?! Who cares if it is or isn't!? The storm gathers, surging around the Nahual's hands and unfolding, unwinding into a long, deadly spear. He surges, diving through the flame that continues to bite and burn even as he fights through every ounce of pain.

"Do you think you're the only one with a god, the only one with faith to fight for!?" Cyre snarls, driving the lance forward at speeds that can be roughly approximated as supersonic, each strike releasing a thundering shockwave, scattering flame and reverberating over the earth. "Or maybe it's just that you think Granas is somehow less forgiving than Fengalon. Is that it? Does your god's love come with so many strings that you've bound yourself to hell with them?!"

The tiger lunges, thrusting the lance of wind right for his firey counterpart's gut. "No god worth worship would be so cruel! How can you be so sure of the state of your soul, how can any of us!? We mortals are not so wise!"

GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has attacked Rosaline Calice with Sonic Javelin!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes 6 damage from Poison!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has completed his action.
<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle does not mind that Rosaline has pinned her sword, because she has another; seeing that the first one is not coming back to her, she draws her second, holding it before her in a defensive position.

"Then learn!" Tethelle circles as Rosaline exhales a wave of flame at her. Despite a fast step to the side and her bringing up her sword, the flame washes over her, scorching her arms - maybe she should have worn more armour, though she's pretty sure that wearing metal armour only means you come pre-cooked in your own foil in a situation like this.

"There is always a choice. It might be hard, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. When I came to Ignas, I - was not truthful," Tethelle admits. "Not with other people, and not with myself. I was trying to avoid admitting something, even to myself. Perhaps it isn't the same for you, exactly, but you still have a choice. It might be a part of you, but it does not have to be all of you!"

Tethelle almost drops her focus when she sees Lydia, in the state she is in, and also Cyre, in the state he is in, but she refocuses almost immediately when Layna points her forward again. "Please," she says, more quietly. "It hurts to see you like that."

Despite her kind(er) words, Tethelle tightens her grip on her sword. She needs to feel Rosaline's heart, and the only way Tethelle knows how to do that is to fight her. She tenses, chi surging around her, pushing away the smoke for a moment as Tethelle stands in a corona of power. Not sorcery; there is no touch of the Guardians. Just battle spirit and training in her esoteric martial art.

And then she launches herself at Rosaline like a rocket, closing the distance between them in an instant.

Tethelle's swing looks like it should be slow and ponderous from the sheer heft of the weapon, and her first one is a little slow - but as she swings back the other way, it's faster, and again and again. She whirls around Rosaline, lashing out like a tornado of swords as she strikes and strikes and strikes again.

"Rosaline!" Tethelle calls, pausing her assault for a moment, breathing hard. "Rosaline, please! Listen to your heart - not your anger, reach past it!"

GS: Tethelle Cirdian has activated a Force Action!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has spent 4 Combo on Headshot and Gatling!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has attacked Rosaline Calice with Whirling Juggernaut!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian takes 7 damage from Poison!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval finishes wriggling out of the flaming wreckage trying to keep him pinned, burnt, or both. It's tough on the eyes to watch for anyone with a modicum of empathy, because his manifestation - as a lot of Seraphim do - look so human that one is inclined to believe that the injuries apply one-for-one in a similar fashion. They only do sometimes, because they seem intent on not making much sense ever.
     He strolls forward at a far too relaxed pace for having Malevolent flame breath from a quadrupedal rage monster - almost the furthest thing from 'a person' that one can imagine - and just lets his nature take care of the rest. Water regulates fire by quenching it. Much of the smoldering anger turns to less potent steam against him, but to say he doesn't stumble and stagger through the wavering aimlessness inherent in uncontrolled wrath would be to basically lie. There's just an odd rhythm to the way he does move about it that, much like Seraphim and the concept of physicality, does not appear to make much sense.
     The rest is pure inebriation dulling it out. Maybe most of it, actually, as he ambles ever closer. He comes up behind some of the others who dare approach the giant beast, as Layna looks back to him with encouragement to keep it going.
     For so many years, he held onto the place he presided over. They were long years, sometimes, but he held onto power. The faintest hint of worship and belief, he took that whiff and let it keep him going. In Layna's trust, he feels that hint of reverence.
     The air suddenly grows more... joyful? Rosaline's power as a Hellion is significant. Her rage projects across the entire dream realm they are in, but there's a little place around one Seraph Lanval that seems to push out and resist against it. In which he dares to attempt to enact his very Domain - one of celebration, contentment, and overall a feeling of well-being.
     "You are furious." Speaks Lanval in a sagely, calm, patient voice, as though the world weren't burning to cinders around him, all around. He even takes a little seat on the ground much too close to the anger-filled creature. He looks so tiny and harmless in comparison to her, like a big ball of lumpy, weak fat compared to a muscular, rage-driven creature of insatible desire like the flames that will eat and eat and eat and never be full - that is the nature of fire. Fire continues until there's nothing left to burn.
     "You are Rosaline." He continues, eyes opening fully wide again to the brilliant aquamarine within. He smiles gently, warmly. Warmly independent of the incredible heat of the flames of Rosaline's uncontrolled wrath.
     "You can be both." Speaks Lanval. He is not gifted with the power of Purification, but he is watching how the Malevolence corruption accelerates ever further. Who knows what else she's pulling in? She has so much rage. Some of it might not even originally be hers, but that seems to be the common thread that he can glean. Anger, fury, uncontrolled.
     He's here to stop it from clumping up already more than it has. To speak to her, to reach out and reconcile elements she believes are seperate - to stop the contradictions from continuing further down into a snowballing spiral of uncertainties that would invite even more self-fulfilling prophecies.
     He tilts his gourd down towards the ground. Water gushes right out of it, sloshing around everywhere - trying to put out flames it comes in contact with, all around him. It might even be a bit slippery to walk on. That might be comical, but there is no doubting the strength of the waves of water that seem to rise from this ever-lasting spill.
     "You need not be further conflicted." Lanval smiles patiently while he's BASICALLY RUINING THE FLOOR AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WAY. "Come. Come. Be at rest, Rosaline."

GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Rosaline Calice with Spilling Goblet!
GS: Seraph Lanval has completed his action.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

As ready as Xantia is to fight, she is also quite prepared to just listen. She thus stops her attack as Rosaline starts to speak to her, ready to counter with words instead... but Rosaline stops talking a little bit earlier than she was anticipating, and finishes the last sentence with a claw swipe instead. Instinctively, Xantia jumps away to avoid getting flattened, but just a little bit too late to avoid getting hit entirely. Just being clipped by a giant flaming paw is plenty to get knocked aside and onto her back.

It would be pretty lame to stay down after just claiming she could keep this up for however long it takes, so Xantia quickly hops back to her feet, holding her ARM at the ready in front of her. Perhaps not so much to fight, but moreso to lend weight to her words. She's well aware that she'd never have gotten it repaired without Rosaline's help, and Rosaline should be well aware how thankful Xantia is for that.

"Even if it is you, it's only part of you, not ALL of you. Don't you remember everything else that's a part of you? I do, I remember the parts of you that are nice, and patient, and smart... the part of you that wants to help people. And I'm still seeing those parts. I'm seeing them right now! You think you have to do this for our own good, don't you?"

Xantia extends her right arm, pointing the ARM blade in Rosaline's direction... then deactivating it, the blade evaporating into nothingness. "But if I leave you alone now, it's like I gave up without even trying! You know I can't do that! You have to let me at least try to help you first! If you don't..."

Now Xantia is the one who doesn't finish the sentence. Instead, she leaps up, up... and then crashes down with a leg extended. A simple attack, all told, but it can't be underestimated, given that Xantia's physical strength is in the Absolute Bonkers range. She backflips after impact, directing a cheerful smile Rosaline's way. "I know this isn't easy. But I'm fine with learning things the hard way. How about you?"

GS: Xantia has attacked Rosaline Calice with Cardinal Impulse!
GS: Xantia takes 6 damage from Poison!
GS: Xantia has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice guards a hit from Cyre H. Lorentz's Sonic Javelin for 67 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia glances over to Talise. "Oh, uh. Hi Talise. Looking good."

Her left arm is starting to melt off. She pushes it back into place and it sticks. Yeah, Lydia probably can't take much more of this heat.

Or maybe she can. Maybe there's a durability to this Lydia that isn't present in the other one because when Rosaline sends more heat and flame against her. It just...doesn't acutually do anything. It just washes past her and when it's gone, Lydia is still as Lydia as she was before. She keeps walkin' forward.

"Rosaline," Lydia says. "I know as well as anybody that the world isn't kind to beastmen. They did this to me, because of what I was, they felt it was okay because of what I was. My parents wanted me to cut off my horns so I wouldn't have to deal with it. If I came back to them now, they'd say 'we warned you, Lydia, but you just wanted to keep them'."

Lydia shakes her head slowly.

"This fire, maybe it's you in a way, but the malevolence is distorting what you are. Who you are. There's nothing wrong with passion and anger, there's nothing wrong with you losing it now and then. Even if it's bad at the time, it ain't the end of the world. The world needs angry people! If we don't get angry..." She fans out a hand, "Then that's just another way of saying that all the evils of the world are okay, that we don't need to fix them! Our people need us to get angry for them because if we don't, you think humans will? They won't. We need to make our own happiness and if that fails...then we have to make our own happiness again until it sticks. We can't forget what's good in our lives, but that doesn't mean our rage is bad. If you can accept that, then I think--I really do--that your anger will be easier to manage. Cooping it up because it's 'sinful'--that's just going to exacerbate it."

She draws out Solais Emsu into her hands and she adds, "You're the only Etone that ever tried to show me kindness. Could you think about giving me another chance?"

And then she closes her eyes, holding the Medium to her chest as she summons some kind of wizard in the air. Huh.

The wizard draws a a complex star-shaped sigil with his hands before sending a giant laser death beam from the sky towards Rosaline's body, parting the flames as it crashes down upon her.

And she is empowered, thanks to Layna reminding her of the hellion she WAS able to help.

GS: CRITICAL! Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Tethelle Cirdian's Whirling Juggernaut for 297 hit points!
GS: Hyper and Shield! Statuses applied to Tethelle Cirdian!
GS: Lydia Seren has spent 3 Combo on Headshot!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Rosaline Calice with Material - Solais Emsu!
GS: Lydia Seren has completed her action.
GS: Rosaline Calice guards a hit from Seraph Lanval's Spilling Goblet for 71 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice guards a hit from Xantia's Cardinal Impulse for 84 hit points!
GS: CRITICAL! Rosaline Calice guards a hit from Lydia Seren's Material - Solais Emsu for 110 hit points!
GS: Cripple, Jam, Mute, and Poison! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Layna tells Rosaline a story she hadn't heard before. The Hellion beast's eyes widen. "What? Really?..." A part of her whispers that Layna is lying, trying to get on her good side, but... As far as she can tell, Layna may be a sinner in several ways, but she's not a LIAR. The thought gives her pause.

Then Talise has her word to say. "You're kind too, more than I deserve," Rosaline answers through gritted teeth, amidst all this violence.

She isn't surprised or even resentful when sword strikes are what comes next, because she knows this dance well by now. What does surprise her, however, is the way the blade slices right through her flames. It tears into her, until Talise moves in to knee-slam her down on her back!

And that she does, causing the large Hellion to flip over and crack the wooden floor. Rosaline roars in pain.

Cyre is on the attack once more. His words irritate Rosaline, despite her saying she turned her back on Granas. "You don't know what you're talking about... You don't..." As she struggles to get up, she can't very well dodge a supersonic lance, but she can at least, with an incantation too quick to actually SOUND like one, erect another shield of flame. Sorcery meets sorcery, considerably slowing down the windy projectile even as it manages to dig into her flank.

She rises on her feet once more. Tethelle unleashes another flurry of swords, not unlike Talise, while she implores her to listen to her heart. "I'm trying," Rosaline answers, "I'm..." The rest is cut off as the blade cuts several more Malevolence-spouting gashes into her side. She roars out, breaking off some more of the miraculously intact walls.

Lanval, the greatest X-factor where she's concerned, approaches her. How foolish is he even, she wonders? She knows the very air she breathes can be poison to him. She could likely wipe away that smile of his in an instant, unleash a terrible dragon that would give everyone else something to worry about besides her.

But... his aura works as intended. The Hellion trembles as she feels emotions she hadn't allowed herself to for some time, at least outside of this dream bubble she had created for herself. "I... I..." That steam emanates once more, from the corner of her eyes, as the mysterious man very succintly cuts to the heart of the matter, with the sort of patience Filgaia has had far too little of throughout her life.

Water spills. Without particularly thinking about it, Rosaline rects another magical wall to guard against the waves, and finds some success in doing so, but as she takes another step, she slips unceremoniously.

She gets back up, trembling, hearing Xantia speak and not finding anything to answer her with. After all this time, all these attempts to reach out met with her lashing out, is this finally it? Are they FINALLY getting through to her? Rosaline braces for impact-- She is well aware of Xantia's strength! She rolls with the kick reasonably well, considering that it sends her skidding away and well into the chapel-within-a-chapel portion of the arena, shattering a few pews in the process.

Lydia speaks of her own experience as a beastwoman. Rosaline is crying in earnest now, her bestial sniffling echoing. "I didn't... I didn't know..." Her eyes narrow, however, as the sight of a certain sky wizard's sigil. One Rosaline has made use of, herself. The Hellion throws her head back and roars, producing another flaming sigil meant to protect her--

But it pierces through.

Rosaline topples over, the flames composing her somehow finding a way to visibly smolder. Once more on the ground, the Hellion breathes heavily. She looks at the others, slowly, and--

Once more, the beast roars, loud enough for the building to rumble. Cracks open in the floor, and flames come pouring out, as if there weren't enough already. But what little remains intact of the illusory building is gone now. There is nothing but flame, as far as the eye can see. The beast Rosaline has become has melted away into one of the more distinct masses of flames.

                       THIS IS THE END, THIS IS THE END
                      You're Not Alone in This, My Friend

               BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJdClQz7m1Y

But even amidst the ravenous, licking flames, the beastwoman's real body can be glimpsed, floating inside the mass like a nucleus. She is curled up in fetal position. Words echo in the air, disembodied.

                  Please let this end, one way or another...
                             I don't want to die.

                   Go away and leave me alone, all of you...
                               Help me. HELP ME!

Perhaps, by clearing away the flames and reaching through them, it might still be possible to reach Rosaline's heart.

But before that, the group will have to deal with the countless enormous, clawed arms forming out of the flames. They grasp and tear for everything they can, aiming to dismantle anyone they can find purchase in. The way they do so might be familiar to anyone who has seen Rosaline in her state of blind rage, so long ago.

                 Don't die, I don't want anyone else to die...
                         Die. Die die die die die DIE.

GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Rosaline Calice with Soul Infusion!
GS: Rosaline Calice gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Rosaline Calice heals Rosaline Calice! She gains 200 temporary hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 4 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Xantia with Gloves Off!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 4 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Talise Gianfair with Gloves Off!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 2 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Lydia Seren with Gloves Off!
GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 1 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Seraph Lanval with Gloves Off!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Tethelle Cirdian with Gloves Off!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Gloves Off!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: You do not have any attacks from that person in queue.
GS: Talise Gianfair critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Gloves Off for 53 hit points!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Gloves Off for 194 hit points!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: CRITICAL! Cyre H. Lorentz guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Gloves Off for 183 hit points!
GS: Poison! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has Fallen! He is no longer able to fight!
GS: CRITICAL! Lydia Seren takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Gloves Off for 402 hit points!
GS: Poison! Statuses applied to Lydia Seren!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Lydia Seren enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Lydia Seren has Fallen! She is no longer able to fight!
GS: Seraph Lanval critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Gloves Off for 54 hit points!
GS: Xantia critically Guards a hit from Rosaline Calice's Gloves Off for 53 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I didn't tell you," Lydia says to Rosaline, managing a small smile. She readies her hand outward, intending to purify what she can with the power of the Guardians. She is no shephard, but if Rosaline is this tired it may be possible for her to get the job done. "It's not your fault, I had my own issues I was working through. We can be better people yet if we want...I want to be friends with you too!!"

She lowers her guard too soon, however, thinking that it was just about over. She never anticipates the clawed arms. Why would she? That's not something that usually comes out of fire.

A clawed arm of flame latches onto Lydia's face and rips it off. Lydia screams as more flames come to join it and she is sent crashing against a back wall. The clawed flames keep surging in on her even then.

She burns. Eyes burn out and pop within the flames.

Even so, Lydia tries to get up, screaming in terror and pain but every time she moves the claws rip at her body and head more.

And eventually, she just stops moving at all.

And the rage keeps coming and coming anyway, trying to claw at her metal limbs to rip them free in spite of their durability. Given enough time and effort, maybe they will.

GS: Talise Gianfair has activated a Force Action!
GS: You have activated the Force Action Full Clip!
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Hurting Rosaline that much...

...It tears Talise apart inside. She clenches her teeth together and struggles to keep back a couple more tears even as she fades back away from Rosaline. The sound of the Hellion-nun screaming in pain rings in her ears but she forces herself to remain determined.

She's trying. Rosaline Calice is trying her very best. And now Talise can see and hear her tears. "There's nothing wrong with feeling scared and angry. It's how I felt," she murmurs. "When Althena outlawed everything I loved. But...."

But there's flame. Endless flame that consumes everything. The flames of contradiction. Fire swallows up Talise and everyone she loves who's within eyeshot, and even a few people she may not love but definitely likes. It's an inferno of pain. Her pain, and someone else's. Talonious flames rake through the conflagration and seek out their lives.

A blazing hand slams into a steel-clad palm. Strong fingers knit between the talons - and the metal hand crunches closed. Flames spit from that grip.

Talise stalks through the flames, scarred and burned, the tips of her hair smouldering and her face marked with ash and soot. More claws rise from that intense hell of emotion to loom towards her, splayed and predatory.

Talise sees them. But there's something else she sees. A white shape, like a chick floating in the midst of an egg. Soft and vulnerable.

"Rosaline," Talise utters as she steps forward, unable to keep those tears from beading free. They leave small trails through the soot smeared across her cheeks - but the eyes they spill from are focused forward.

"I hear you, Rosaline," Talise says as the claws descend. "I could hear you all along. It's because one thing's true."

Rastaban gleams, unmarked and sharp as ever. Talise's knees bend, thighs and calves bunching with power. Dipping her sword point low, Talise lunges forward in a single, long leap, hurling herself into the arms of those talons of fire.

She does not cry out. Rastaban sings for her. A single, slashing, silvery harp chord that hangs in the air for an eternity.

                        *SHNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN*

"...You were never alone," Talise whispers in a moment of absolute, silver silence, her voice balanced on the trailing edge of that hum.

With a click of heels, Talise drops to the ground. She's attempted to jump herself within a foot of Rosaline. Rastaban is held out past her shoulder, high and back, at the end of a slash.

And if all worked out, the flames around Rosaline Calice, even those very talons, will divide apart along a single, shockingly clean line.

GS: Talise Gianfair has spent 4 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Talise Gianfair has attacked Rosaline Calice with Tidal Blow!
GS: Talise Gianfair has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Aye, lass. You can go ask Virginia Maxwell for yourself, if you'd like." Layna replies with a nod. She's resolute. There's no trace of deception in her voice, face, or her stance. Sure, she's a pirate and that might not count for much...

But even so.

The others unload everything they have onto Rosaline - bearing the very depths of their souls. They're making headway. Are they getting through...?

Rosaline is crying.

Rosaline topples over.

...Rosaline roars. The building rumbles.

...Layna frowns as flames pour from the floor, forming into clawed limbs that grasp and tear. They reach for her, forcing to the ground and trying to tear her apart...but with a recited incantation, wind erupts from Layna, extinguishing them. She stands up. There are burns from where they grasped her...but she's still standing, if only barely. She fixes her gaze forward toward Rosaline...and then hauls her arm back. Energy begins to build.

"Rosaline Calice!" Layna calls out. "Endure this!"

And then she punches forward, emitting a shockwave of wind - seeking to help clear Talise's path toward the inner Rosaline by dispersing even more of the flame.

GS: Layna Manydays has attacked Rosaline Calice with Hand That Seizes the Future!
GS: Layna Manydays takes 11 damage from Toxin!
GS: Layna Manydays has completed her action.
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has activated a Force Action!
<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle lands, eventually, her whirling assault coming to an end. She is breathing hard, but not so hard that she can't keep going. She's hurt, but not out. Only the fact that she's fighting Rosaline instead of someone she doesn't like makes it as hard as it is - it wouldn't be easy under any circumstance, but it wouldn't have quite the depth it does.

"Rosaline," Tethelle gets out, before her words are drowned out by an impossible roar. Flame erupts around Tethelle, again throwing her back whether she wants to or not; this time it's because the ground cracks around her, sending fire up near her boots. A chunk of roof falls behind her, the beam also on fire, blocking her path. She has nowhere to stand; there is no safe way to retreat.

And so Tethelle chooses the only direction she has open to her.

Towards, not away.

Tethelle leaps into the flame. Claws rend at her; they tear at her flesh as she puts her head down and literally charges Rosaline. Her sword is not forgotten but it doesn't seem to be her primary purpose either; she is just doing a bull-headed rush toward the beastwoman she sees at the core of the hungry flames.

She reaches down, picking up the fallen sword that Rosaline trapped some time ago, and for a moment Tethelle is indeed wielding two two-handed swords. She feels the burn in her muscles from trying it; they're too long and too heavy for her to do this for very long, or very accurately.

Fortunately, she doesn't need to. Tethelle strikes out in all directions, not at Rosaline but at the claws that keep forming. Her blades shimmer with chi as she pushes herself to her limits, drawing on everything she knows about her martial art and some things that, strictly speaking, she does not; she is a whirling blender as she carves her way toward Rosaline herself.

In this state of focus, Tethelle barely looks elsewhere. She sees Lydia fall but not how bad it is; she sees Talise approach herself but not the precision of her movements. She feels her arms burning from the flame, her hands gripping progressively hotter metal. She has one goal, and one approach, and all her mind and soul is focused on getting there.

"Rosaline!" Tethelle's voice is loud, even over the flames. "Come back to us!"

GS: Tethelle Cirdian has spent 1 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has attacked Rosaline Calice with Steel Tempest!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Did it help? Are they getting through? Xantia honestly can't tell. It feels that way, but being able to clearly see what's going on with Rosaline for the first time... she'd have to agree that it looks bad, and she couldn't possibly understand what it must be like. It's just that she can't help but keep trying anyway.

Even in this moment, she finds a way to get momentarily distracted, noticing that she's standing in water. It's kind of bizarre, in the middle of all this fire. Tracing it back to its source, she spies Lanval - able to see him when she couldn't before. She does briefly wonder if that guy was here the whole time, but shakes her head. She needs to focus on Rosaline right now.

As the Beast collapses, Xantia drops all caution, rushing in to get closer. She has to make sure Rosaline is okay! She halts when she notices the mass of flames reforming into... into what, exactly? She can see Rosaline, even hear her, but somehow this doesn't feel exactly... good.

Her instincts prove correct, when clawed arms suddenly emerge. In a flash, Xantia is surrounded be electricity, to fight fire with lightning. It... somewhat works, intercepting an incoming claw by raising her bracer-bearing arm, her aura somewhat dampening the impact. It still sends her skidding back a few feet, but she manages to remain on her feet.

She attempts once more to reach out, starting, "Don't worry, Rosaline! Nobody's going to die!" And just as she says that, happens to see what's happening to Lydia. No. That can't happen. This has to stop, right now.

With a primal yell from Xantia, lightning bursts from her hands, a large cluster of energy shaping around them, shaping itself into a pair of large claws of her own. Wordlessly, she starts to beat back the claws assaulting Lydia, working her way closer towards the center mass of flame. As she closes in, she finally finds words again. "...You always tried so hard to keep me from making mistakes. Now it's my turn."

And with that, she brings both electric 'hands' together, smashing them against the entity of flame in a massive hammer blow.

GS: Xantia has activated a Force Action!
GS: Xantia has spent 4 Combo on Gatling!
GS: Xantia has attacked Rosaline Calice with Megavolt Hammer!
GS: Xantia takes 4 damage from Poison!
GS: Xantia has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    The stray thought the beast of rage has is not incorrect. This is a lot of Malevolence. Very, very few Seraphim could withstand this. Water is especially noted as being fragile and open to corruption. How does this one stave off enough of this venom to his kind to not become a dragon?
     Every doubt that could infiltrate his psyche is cast aside. The Malevolence tries to grab into anything and everything that's ever made him upset. It does not find purchase. The flames continue to roar about - truly intense. The physical aspect alone is enough to disintegrate flesh and bone, perhaps. Lanval is not made of flesh or bone.
     "Ha ha ha..." Good natured laughter. That's about all he has, but he is the Mirthful Wellspring. His Domain fights back against the unease as best as it can stretch. It meets a hard stop - maybe even a collapse - when Rosaline disappears into the flames with a roar.
     "Hellion." Rosaline is struggling with herself. Though it may not be kind to refer to her by what she presently is, it is the best he can do to make sure the mass of emotions understands it is being directly addressed.
     Flames, everywhere. Lanval lifts up his gourd with a flourish to a Seraphic Arte incantation, and the water about the floor rises in a great geyser that coalesces around him. It crashes against the ambient fire alone, clearing the space around him. Flames of rage turn to steam that is also very angry but loses the vehicle in which it is conveyed to instead hang in the air.
     A clawed hand reaches out for Lanval. Rotund, raggedy Lanval, whom sways where he sits back and forth in peace.
     He swings that gourd outward once. It looks like a gourd on a rope. Just a gourd. It so much as taps the flaming wrath-hand, it's like it gets batted aside by a greater force, and the aura of mirth grows anew.
     "You are Rosaline, and you are furious." Lanval smiles patiently. The flames can't reach him where he sits. It can try to form and blind him, but they can no longer draw nearer. Water holds power over fire, and it is this elemental truth that allows him to hold the ground he does. "Do not worry yourself with anything else. You are Rosaline, and you are furious." Hellions cannot expunge their contradictions on their own, but having her grasp onto the core might be the way to help keep it in check until the Shepherd comes and helps her. To invite her to grasp both, and accept these aspects she cannot reconcile.
     Lanval has himself another sip of his gourd. The rage and fury is overbearing. Everyone here is here with conviction in how much they wish to help Rosaline, but even he knows... Malevolence is an inevitability. It will always be around Lunar.
     It was once his job to keep it from being anything more than a thing that simply exists, to a low hum. How much of it did he have to manage, in those centuries? To hear - and know! - of the stories of what the Copper Rapier Inn was like. Of all the doubts, the fears, the resignations, the discomfort in which one would have found themselves doing or being something they never thought they would.
     To say 'this is no different' sells the scope of what has been allowed to happen short. Rosaline has suffered - as has her friends - to a degree they never should have. Even as the curiosities of at least one stands to do more--
     "Be at ease." He says, not allowing any thoughts to drift inward or outward beyond this, throwing his gourd up as he splashes out more water like the froth of a mug raised high for a toast. "You are among friends! Now celebrate that you are among them! Ha ha ha!"
     Lanval stands up, laughing a good-natured laugh as he starts to waddle about the fiery hellscape with unrestrained laughter.
     "Ha ha haaaaaa~!" Everywhere he goes, his Domain seems to expand that much more. Splashing water goes to and fro. It is cold water - very cold, shocking to the touch as to just how cool it is, but it's also... refreshing? Crystal clear, clean. It is infused with white magic to ease one's worries and pains. (In this case, status effects.) Lanval invites this ease wherever he goes, as to ensure the Malevolence will not clump up further around anyone's potentially vulnerable psyches when subject to such incredible wrath and anger.
     Wrath and anger that will lose their fiery form as he splashes this cold water everywhere, chaotically, in the middle of a drunken stroll around as he sees to each and everyone's well-being in this way.
     ""Hm, hm, hmmm... I'll drink away your worries, too!" Lanval says as he laughs in the face of what flames around may be left, knocking back another drink of the gourd. He raises it one more time in a toast, towards Rosaline. It's distant, but it's an invitation - grasp a hold of who she is and the emotion that guides her, and come for a toast!

GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Xantia with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Tethelle Cirdian with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Layna Manydays with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Talise Gianfair with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Lydia Seren with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Rosaline Calice with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Wake Up Splash!
GS: Seraph Lanval has completed his action.
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes a glancing hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has Fallen! He is no longer able to fight!
GS: Layna Manydays takes a solid hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Layna Manydays gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Talise Gianfair takes a solid hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian takes a solid hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Tethelle Cirdian gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Xantia takes a solid hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Xantia gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Lydia Seren takes a solid hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Lydia Seren has Fallen! She is no longer able to fight!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

There's something to be said for the depths of one's emotions. To be able to reach within, to take hold of some inner tranquility, some deep-seated core of serenity that reaches out to others on the deepest and most intimate level.

Cyre Lorentz does not have that. Not exactly.

He is not a heartless man. He feels for others, certainly. He lives life with open arms and a smile on his face. He is a man who lives with his heart on his sleeve, but...

That means he shows himself fully. Good and bad, all is laid bare. And there's something else there besides the grins and the sarcasm, the love and the passion and the wit. Something, perhaps, that he gained in trade when he first opened himself to the will of the wind. Something that, even in this manifested form of the Avatar of Fengalon, rarely ever manifests in full.

But hearing Lydia scream--

That noise makes the Nahual pause.

And suddenly, his purpose here becomes something very, very different from what it originally was.

There is no sound. Sound is not fast enough to keep up with what this is. The tiger surges into the conflagration of violence, its body transforming into a tide of unstoppable, incomprehensible energies. It is no physical form disintegrates, fading into rush of emerald motes that smash into the onslaught of tooth and claw and unholy fire... As a man materializes in the maelstrom, and wraps himself around Lydia's broken body.

His flesh is cracked, split like a pane of glass by spiderweb fissures that bleed brilliant green energies. His eyes burn with retributive fury.

They came here to save Rosaline.

In so doing, Rosaline may have just killed Lydia.

Would a better man forgive? Would a better man forget? Maybe. But Cyre is the son who faced responsibility and ran away. Cyre is the wanderer who turned away from home and left his own flesh and blood to the wolves.

Cyre.

Is not a better man.

"Rosaline," Cyre growls as he clutches Lydia tighter, terrible malevolent claws raking across his back and shoulders. "We're dragging you out of that hell of yours today. One way or another. You'll feel like shit over what you just did. I know that. But."

Suddenly, a wave of retributive malice, of pure and terrible primal fury washes out from the emerald green. "Nobody hurts my little sister like that and gets away with it! I don't care if you can't control yourself or WHAT. I'm going to make you pay for what you did. Right here. Right now!" Fengalon unwinds. The elemental power Cyre gathered into himself to power his transformation is unleashed in a single, devastating blow. The tiger's physical form shatters into pure energy to drive the blow home, transitioning around its outstretched fist into a veritable tornado of emerald force directed into the heart of that living inferno.

Cyre drops to the ground, covered in wounds and bleeding from smoldering, emerald cracks, with an unconscious girl in his arms and the fatigue that can only come from spent fury.

GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Talise Gianfair's Tidal Blow for 197 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Layna Manydays's Hand That Seizes the Future for 108 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Tethelle Cirdian's Steel Tempest for 156 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Xantia's Megavolt Hammer for 232 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice has Fallen! She is no longer able to fight!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Seraph Lanval's Wake Up Splash for 0 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Rosaline Calice has Fallen! She is no longer able to fight!
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Beating back the flames turns out a bit harder than expected even with the power of punches but it is rather telling that Xanxan's strikes have an effect at all on the claws battering, well. Cyre's form now. Diving in to protect Lydia was probably not good for his health but that is the kind of man Cyre is. Lydia won't even be able to give him a hard time over it later.

Lydia would probably tell Cyre at this point 'don't avenge me by murdering the lady i was trying to save, you idiot' but she is in no position to do so, nor is she able to blush at his declaration and give a little smile like she is hiding at how happy that made her.

Nor can she thank Lanval for actually putting out those flames around Cyre and herself but she alreqdy thinks the world of the seraph.

And when Xantia finally reaches Lydia, she looks like a metal corpse. Her skin is gone and burned away. Her nanotech should be fixing her, Xantia knows intuitively, but they aren't working correctly but Xantia has healed these machines before hasn't she?

Is she willing to try again?

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline's claws of flame tear into her friends, but particularly poor Lydia. Xantia and Cyre move to protect her, with hands of electricity to counter those claws, and with the Nahual's own body, respectively. Amidst the inferno, Rosaline twitches. Her eyes may be closed, but she knows what she's done. She will 'feel like shit', indeed.

But people keep their eyes on the prize. Tethelle is an unstoppable force of nature, slicing away at the claws so as to clear the way for the others. Layna sends a shockwave of wind forth, dispersing the flames. Lanval distills the situation down to simple truths. Inside her cocoon, Rosaline remembers. Didn't she hear a voice like this, before? The flames' incessant wavering slows down, even though she is Rosaline, and she is furious. She doesn't appear to wish for a toast-- Right now, at least.

Then comes Cyre's elemental beam, full of righteous fury. Its sheer force disperses more of the flames, and in fact seems to filter through and hit Rosaline herself. The flames intensify, trying to protect her--

Until Talise slices through them with uncanny precision, diving in to save her friend. As she approaches, she finds in the way of the last throes of Cyre's blast. But she's weathered worse before, right?

Rosaline's eyes open. She extends an oversized claw, not to attack, but to grasp Talise's hand. She screams something, though it isn't audible amidst the sheer chaos.

And then... The flames wash away, gently shooed by Lanval's cool aura. Rosaline's terrible power is spent. The ruins of the Calice orphanage begin to melt away into purple wisps.

Rosaline is still in her Hellion form. She looks wounded, but well, she isn't the one worst off here, by a large margin.

She looks around at the group, blearily, until her eyes land on Lydia.

"Oh no... Oh no!"

A flickering, pink glow swirls in her hand as she rushes over. "Can anyone heal her? Anyone who isn't using dangerous forbidden arts?" Her tone is desperate. She will heal Lydia unless someone steps in first, and Rosaline's Hellion healing is... painful, in the best of scenarios.

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia's electric fists bursts apart into sparks on impact. Normally, Xantia would probably seek to approach Rosaline afterwards, to see if there's anything else she can do. But this situation is hardly normal.

All around, fire is getting pushed away by water. Normally, Xantia would probably recoil at how cold the droplets that hit her are. But this situation is hardly normal.

Right now, there is another matter that needs urgent attention. Attention that - as far as she knows - only she can provide, which makes it her responsibility to do so. Even though she has no idea how it works, and if she actually thought about it, she would be hesitant to try it again. But this is too urgent. This could be a matter of life and death. There's no time to think, only to act. And so, she makes a beeline directly for... "Lydia! Hold on!"

Poor Cyre is in bad shape too, she realizes, but... most people can be saved with regular medical attention. This may not be the case for Lydia. And so...

White energy bursts forth from Xantia's left hand, while red energy appears in her right. Bringing both hands together, a lighter tone of red is formed, and Xantia jabs her arms firmly into Lydia's midsection, sending that energy into... into what? Is this still a living person, or it already too late? She can't tell, but she also can't let such thoughts keep her from trying. All she can she can do is try to locate the non-functional repair units and restructure them, back into the shape they were supposed to be. At least in this state, Lydia shouldn't be able to feel the excruciating pain that would normally come with this.

It takes a while, and it's visible draining on her, but that doesn't matter. All that matters is getting the nanomachines to function again. Surely they can take care of the rest.. she hopes.

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

The wind mounts. Flames billow.

And then the wind itself divides to either side of Rastaban. The divine gale blasts across her back and shoulders. Her muscles scream with pain as she braces against it. But she bears it. She's borne worse. And there's nothing she won't go through for this. Nothing.

Opposing those flames of rage and despair, Talise can feel something else around her. The clear, ebullient warmth of the Domain of the Lord of Rylia. The Goddess may have passed her fake judgment on Lanval, but Talise closes her eyes for a moment and lets the feeling of her friend's laughter cast aside worry for just a moment.

...Lanval... is this what Rylia was like...? I wish I'd been there....

An oversized hand extends. A steel gauntlet drops to the ground. Amidst the chaos, long fingers find that paw, and clasp it tightly.

She can't hear what Rosaline Calice is shouting. But she's holding her eyes. Her lips move.

    'we're here'

The cool touch of the Lord of Rylia dispels the last of the terrible power - and Talise is left with Rosaline before her. Sinking to a knee, she reaches forward to put an arm protectively around the pink Hellion. She might get burned because she doesn't care.

Rosaline makes a familiar exclamation - and Talise's heart soars a little, in spite of the gravity of Lydia's wounds. Things will be alright.

Except for Lydia, anyway. Talise darts over with Rosaline, kneeling beside her, keeping that supportive hand on her. The sight of Lydia in that state is absolutely horrifying. Truthfully, Talise has no clue what the hell Lydia is; she assumed the girl despised her and kept her distance.

What Xantia is doing is beyond her understanding. Talise just watches, gripping Rosaline's paw for a tense moment. "...We have to trust her," she murmurs. "Whatever she's doing... it'll work. I'm sure it will."

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    "Rosa."

    Seeing as how the chaos is drawing to a close, it's easier to hear the voice than it was to hear the footsteps proceeding it. It's Ida's voice.

    The big Hellion stops in the chapel doorway, and her lips pull tight as she surveys the aftermath of the fight. To say she looks beaten to hell and back is an understatement. Her body is doing its level best to heal itself, but she is drained in ways she didn't know it could be drained. She soldiers on, walking across the scorched, bloodstained stone until she gets to Rosaline. For a moment, her gaze darts down to Lydia, and back away. She swallows, steels herself. "I'll get Kalve. He's nearby. I'm certain he can help."

    "I believe we are almost done here," Ida says. In her voice is a shadow of something--but not the woman who tried to be brave because it was what her mother or Luisa would have wanted her to do. It's something new. "But first, there is something we must do." Thoughts twist and spiral as she looks back at Xantia tending to the wounded shaman. She lets them spiral, and focuses on her breath instead. "The Mirror is approaching critical mass. We must destroy it before that happens."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval's laughing carries on for a while as he appears to do his damndest to stop the Malevolence from taking hold of anyone here at a time of great emotional distress and need. People are hurt, possibly dead, from what Lanval hears. It would be kind of simple for him to brush that aside, wouldn't it? Mortals die tragically all the time - but this is a stressor coming up in an especially emotionally delicate time, indeed, and the purple wisps remain circling.
     Lanval robbed them of the flame they were able to manifest as, and thus much of the 'bite' - but it remains in the same concentration. Great risks remain.
     Lanval's eyes close, a representation of expended power as he ambles about ever closer to where the skeletal(?) remains of Lydia remains. He holds a hand up, gently, to Rosaline as if to encourage her not to worry.
     That's a hard sell, because if she is dead, that is a death she is responsible for.
     An eye opens half-lidded to Xantia, who seems reasonably confident in what she's doing for them. All he can do is sit down, exhale as per his weird habit he picked up from mortals since he doesn't need to breathe, and entrust all will be as well as they're going to be.
     Ida appears. Lanval turns that half-open eye to Ida, noticing the difference in her voice. There's that dumb cat-like smile on his lips starting to form.
     "Mmmph... if ya will have li'l ol' me come in there..."
     She is one of the Domain Masters, after all. Having two of three a bit more tolerable of his presence will help stave the oppression of the Malevolence off if he's going to go another round.
     He can't back down from this. He can't even think about backing down from this, actually...
     He doesn't know who, but he's here on that person's behalf. Whoever the Lord of the Land here was, they're gone now. They might've even become Bitey, maybe, he's not sure. This isn't the time to wallow around in drunken confusion about the whole situation.
     This is the time to live up to the reason he wanted to become a Lord of the Land in the first place, over five hundred years ago.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Perhaps there are some things only Xantia can do or, at least, thought to try. Is this what it means to be the hope of Filgaia? Maybe Xantia will learn that answer some day.

But she doesn't need to know that answer to help Lydia. Perhaps the universe isn't so cruel after all.

As the mysterious energy fills Lydia, Xantia finds the many nonfunctional nano-drones and, frankly, plenty of ones that are functional but seem to have corrupted programming. She performs what is essentially intense nano-surgery which would probably have Lydia screaming if she wasn't unconcious. It takes some time, plenty of time for Ida to step in and say some words to Rosaline.

But eventually Xantia hits her own limit and has to stop. She's managed to do a great deal of repair of her own. At first it doesn't seem like anything was done.

But then, with inhuman speed, Lydia's skin starts knitting itself back together, starting from the chest where Xantia started and spreading outward, even going so far as to reach her face and head. Within moments it's as if Lydia hadn't been melted down to bone at all except for her eyes, which are still gone and seem to be taking longer, and her hair which will be a while longer. Heck, that arm of his that was ripped off and turned into a metal arm seems to have been returned to normal on top of everything. She doesn't wake up, but the gentle rise and fall of her chest indicates she's at least breathing again.

Xantia, Cyre, and Lanval probably just saved her life.

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

As Xantia works her magic, Rosaline busies herself healing Cyre, apparently not minding that he'll find it painful. Such is the nature of cat friendships.

Her ears twitch. She hears footsteps approaching, one she recognizes. She turns around to face Ida, who it seems has been through quite an ordeal of her own.

"Ida!" Rosaline's expression is tired, but she nods along even before Ida announces they're about done here. She understands. But before they leave, it seems they have one last, very important thing to do.

She turns to the others. Lydia is knitting herself back together. Relief dawns upon Rosaline's expression. She looks to the others in turn, managing a tiny smile. She stops at Lanval, then turns back to Ida.

"Yes. I'm itching to do this. After all..." She raises a claw, grinning a shark-toothed smile.

"I am Rosaline, and I'm furious."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Hi furious," Cyre says, his wounds aching with HORRIBLE NECROMANTIC POWER. "I'm Cyre."

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

<=== TO BE CONTINUED ====